Band of Brothers: Press Gang meets Buffy (well, a guest star therof). It's wrong, just wrong, I tell you. It's funny, I read the US reviews and they all banged on about how gritty, disturbing and real it was, wheras as the Oz reviews remark that it's watchable in spite of all the sugar coating. It is very Boys Own, but you know, what else do you expect - at least it has solid Brits dragging the Yanks up to their level, in the acting stakes at least. No mention of the Brits or any of the other allies fighting in Europe in the same campaign again, as usual. Yes, once again, America fought WWII single handed, which is really rather outrageous from a bunch of Jonny Come Latelys who were entirely willing to let the world go to the dogs until their markets were affected. Heavens, no. Battle of Britain, Battle of the Atlantic, anyone? I do take it as an affront as I have family on the UK and Oz sides (okay, and Japanese in laws and probably German, very distantly, too) who fought, were bombed or scrimped, saved and defended and to have them edited from history - well, it's just plain rude. Uppity Yanks. They don't care about stories like the only reason my Dad and his family weren't bombed was because the Luftwaffe used their farmhouse as a landmark when they swept in on their bombing runs. Or the great Uncle who carried a fork from POW to POW camp across Europe - damn fine Nazi fork, too, great for getting olives out of the bottom of the jar. Nobody cares. Never mind, I get two shots of Damian Lewis, being a beastly cad on Sundays and a bloody Yank on Mondays, at least for another week.
Last episode of Six Feet Under. I don't know, it's spinning out into such an uber soap it's really starting to resemble Soap, and not in a good way. Ease it back, a bit, guys. It works better when it has at least one foot still stuck in reality.
The following is part #2 of my next M7 fic. It's rated MA for mature adults and features strong m/m sexual scenes, violence, coarse language and adult themes.
ALL DAY IN BED
Buck was lying back on Ezra's pillows, attempting to blow smoke rings towards the ceiling. Ezra lay beside him, bare naked arse peeping out just above the rumpled sheet, his head resting on his folded arms. The late morning sun dappled across the pale skin of his back softly. He gave Buck a sly look, at odds with his cherubic appearance.
"Let's stay here all day."
Those wicked green eyes again.
"Do you have anything better to do?"
Than stay here, all day, in Ezra's bed? No, Buck couldn't think of a single thing.
Buck stretched in the bed, letting the idea wash over him.
"Sinning just comes as natural to you as breathing, don't it," Buck teased affectionately.
"I was taught well. I'd broken all the seven deadly sins before I could grow a beard."
"I bet you had," Buck mused fondly. He ran a hand over the soft cream skin of Ezra's back again, loving the silky feel under his fingertips.
"Saints alive, boy, you're the only man I know who can work his way through all those seven deadly sins before breakfast." Buck was smiling, he was paying Ezra a compliment.
Ezra matched his grin, kissing a dark pink nipple lightly as he prowled over Buck.
"I can usually manage to break all ten commandments before lunch, too, on a good day."
"I know you can," Buck acknowledged happily. Ezra was built for sin, and he'd at last found an appreciative audience for his talents. Buck breathed out as Ezra coaxed him wickedly, slithering over him, flicking at him with his tongue, Buck wondering if he hadn't bitten off more than he could chew. In spite of having spent the last few months as an invalid, Ezra's appetites were more than a match for his own. Buck wasn't too concerned, though. If Ezra planned to kill him with pleasure, he was a willing lamb to the slaughter.
Ezra purred under Buck's reciprocal touch, wanting more. Grinning, he crawled over Buck's chest, kissing the skin where he found it, teasing one nipple with a tongue and watching it pucker before moving onto Buck's mouth. He felt Buck's erection press harder into his stomach and he twisted his hips, rubbing against Buck, making Buck moan and grab at his arse.
Yes! Ezra pushed back against Buck's hand, their mouths locked in hungry kisses, their bodies grazing against each other. Oh god, yes, Buck knew exactly what he wanted, fucking him with his hand while Ezra writhed all over that hard body and fucked Buck's mouth with his tongue and came quickly in warm waves of cresting pleasure. Buck's arms came around him and held him tight and Ezra never wanted to leave this room ever again.
Breathing fast he just looked into Buck's eyes for a moment, then kissed him again, long and slow, to show his gratitude.
Gun shots cracked through the leaden mists of desire. Two more shots followed.
"No," Ezra whimpered, collapsing against Buck's chest, sulking.
Another shot and Buck was gently rolling Ezra off him, scooting to the window and peering down into the street.
"Ah, hell," Buck swore softly and Ezra pressed his forehead into the empty cooling sheets in despair.
Buck was already in his trousers and boots when another shot rang out. He was strapping on his guns when a shot cracked through the wall. Damn, that was too close.
"So kind of you boys to join us," Chris drawled, grinning at their dishevelled appearance, Ezra's especially. He'd known they'd damn well had every intention of spending all day in bed together.
The boys scurried and ducked for cover as several hooligans on horseback wheeled around, firing wildly.
"What the hell is going on," Buck asked Chris, shouting across the gap between pillar and water trough.
"Couple of young idiots took it in their heads to try and rob the bank. Just walked right up in broad daylight, bold as brass."
"And now it's our job to detain the fools for the Judge."
'You got it," Chris grinned wryly.
Buck shook his head fondly. The old dog, he professed to yearn for the quiet life but nothing brought Chris alive like the smell of gunpowder and the sound of shots cracking into the wood they were sheltering behind.
Buck glanced across to Ezra, who seemed curiously distracted, staring up at a window in the hotel across the street. Vin followed Buck's gaze but could see nothing through the closed, curtained window and shook his head slightly to Chris.
"Ezra, stop day dreaming and start shooting," Chris snarled, ducking down as another bullet slammed into where his head had been a second or two before.
Ezra, shocked at the rebuke, stood, up as Buck covered him, took aim and fired.
The young man racing down the street arched back on his horse then toppled over, bouncing along the ground as the spooked horse kicked him, trampling over him in its need to escape.
"Oh yeah, that one's dead," Buck announced, satisfied, patting Ezra's shoulder. Then he stopped, seeing Ezra's conflicted expression.
"I meant to wing him," was all Ezra said, quietly, still holding his gun.
Chris, Vin and JD stood, firing down the street at the retreating horsemen, but catching none in the dust and confusion.
Ezra holstered his gun, glancing at the windows in the hotel, trying to shake off the feeling.
'What?" asked Buck, unused to seeing Ezra nervous and twitchy.
"Felt like we were being watched." He shrugged it off. "Probably nothing."
Buck nodded, making a mental note to ask Vin, later. Ezra would have these funny little moods that would just come on him, but it didn't hurt to double check with Vin, to see if he'd noticed anything at all, too.
Buck didn't like it, the idea that they were being drawn out for show, tested, for something that might be coming.
He shared his thoughts with Chris, worried that this might have been a trial run, but Chris dismissed him, pointing out the job had been too clumsy to have been anything more than a damn fool idea dreamed up over one too many beers on a hot, lazy afternoon.
Chris glanced up to see Ezra waiting for Buck outside the saloon, his white shirt still billowing untucked and rumpled around him. Ezra was wearing an annoyed and impatient expression but he was coming no closer as Chris, Buck, Nathan and Vin conferred over and inspected the body of the would be bank robber Ezra had managed to shoot in the back.
Chris shook his head. Ezra always had been a mite on the squeamish side when it came to death, he didn't know why. He let Nathan and Vin take the body away at last, glancing again at Ezra when Buck repeated Ezra's suspicions that this had been a trial run. Not much of a trial run, Chris thought, and he could see an attempted robbery in broad daylight serving no purpose, and he told Buck so, in no uncertain times.
Buck shrugged, said he was just passing on what Ezra had said, and then had walked across the road to Ezra and Ezra had brightened immediately. Buck must be good if he could take Ezra away from his card game, Chris mused, as he watched the two of them disappear inside the saloon, as thick as thieves.
Buck stopped off at the bar on the way up to Ezra's room. Inez had the bottle already for him on the counter. She'd seen the expression on Ezra's face as he'd gone up the stairs, the one that meant he was churning over something inside.
She held onto the bottle for a second before letting him have it.
"You better take good care of him, Senõr Buck," she warned him, and not for the first time.
"I'd never do anything else," Buck promised. He took the bottle and followed Ezra upstairs, finding his boy standing quietly by the window, watching the gaol across the road.
Buck set the bottle down with a sigh. Ezra was indeed out of sorts.
"Chris says there shouldn't be any trouble about the shooting," Buck offered.
"I shot him in the back."
"You were trying to wing him though, weren't you?"
"Doesn't much matter now, does it." Ezra shrugged off Buck's concern.
"It was an accident - and he was trying to rob the bank."
Ezra was watching Chris, still pacing uneasily down below.
"He didn't believe me, that it was a setup."
Buck exhaled again.
"You know Chris."
"He still doesn't trust me, I know. Has he never heard the phrase you can't con a con man? Something just..." Ezra shook his head and fell silent.
Something had spooked Ezra, but that something was going to be one of those secrets Buck would have to try and pry out of him, if he could at all. Ezra was a mystery to him, and Buck supposed it was one of Ezra's more alluring qualities. Not even Buck was sure everything Ezra had told him was the truth. It didn't bother Buck much, and he kept his own counsel on the boy who cried wolf every time Ezra sulked because no one believed him on the rare occasions he was being wholly honest.
Buck came forward and rested his hands on Ezra's shoulders, rubbing them softly. Forget about the shooting, the dead body, Chris, whatever it was that was bothering him. Buck ran a slow hand down through Ezra's hair, soothing him. He kissed the nape of Ezra's neck. Buck's arms wrapped around Ezra's waist, holding him in a loose embrace.
Another long slow kiss down the side of his throat reminded Ezra of why he was here, and why he was with Buck. Ezra guided Buck's hand down to feel his stirring erection. Buck's hand smoothed over the fine material, gratified to know he could arouse Ezra so easily, especially after everything Ezra had been through this last year. Ezra turned in his arms and their mouths met. Oh yes, Ezra wanted him, there was no mistaking that.
Distressed, green eyes bright with unshed emotion and clad in only his white shirt flowing free over tailored black trousers, Buck believed he'd never seen Ezra look so beautiful. Here was a young man, slightly out of his depth, desperate for any emotion he could grab hold of.
They fell onto the bed together in a fierce rutting, Ezra determined to prove his mastery over death. Buck knew what this was, he'd seen it with Chris, a wild reaction against guilt and mortality.
Much later, Buck crept out of bed, trying not to disturb a soundly sleeping and sated Ezra, taking a moment to just sit and watch his ruined beauty, before he pushed himself away, gathering up his clothes, dressing, and easing himself down the stairs to where the bar waited.
Chris leant against the bar beside Buck, giving his old friend an appraising look.
Buck carried on drinking. "I left him asleep upstairs."
Chris grinned. "Tired him out, did you?"
Buck gave him a look that told Chris he wasn't in the mood for teasing, not where Ezra was concerned.
"Leave it be, Chris. In spite of what you might think, Ezra isn't used to shooting men in the back like that."
Chris nodded, sipping his beer.
Buck and Chris shared a glance of long experience and memories.
Buck shifted his shoulders. "He's still young. You know Ezra, more of a lover than a fighter. I wouldn't want to corner the boy, but he doesn't go looking for trouble either, not like that." Buck considered his beer. "It's not sitting well with him."
Buck glanced up, following Chris' lead. Coming down the staircase was Ezra, dressed in his best working clothes. Ezra's face had that slightly bruised, just fucked to within an inch of his life look to it.
Chris tweaked down the neckerchief Buck had taken to wearing, catching sight of the matching bruise before Buck twisted away, annoyed, and he grinned, knowing exactly what Buck had been up to, to get those bruises.
It looked like Ezra was going to spend the whole night supplementing his income. He looked like he was out for blood, too, so there was no way Buck or Chris were going to play with him tonight. Not when Ezra was ruthlessly going to teach a few strangers foolish enough to try their luck just how cruel the cards could be. There was something about Ezra in his element, doing what he did best, without a trace of conscience, that was coldly beautiful, like a diamond. Crystal hard and clear, pretty to look at but sharp to the touch. This wasn't the real Ezra, but it was the face he chose to show to the world more often than not, it was the face he fell back on when he felt trapped or annoyed.
Buck turned back to the bar with Chris. The trick on dealing with Ezra was knowing when to fold and when to walk away from the table. Like tonight. Ezra could be as moody as Chris, in his own way. Buck sipped his beer. He must be a sucker for men who liked to keep him dancing.
"Leave it alone, Chris," Buck cut him off before he could even start. Ezra was gambling tonight. So what? He gambled most nights. Honeymoon wasn't over yet, not by a long shot. Hopefully by the time the saloon closed Ezra would be richer and happier, and in a mood to celebrate.
Ezra was on a winning hand and Chris was on his sixth beer when Nathan stumbled into the saloon, looking like he'd seen a ghost.
"The body, it's gone missing."
Chris stood. "The gang came back for it?"
"Must have. I'm sorry Chris, I had to leave it and go tend to Miss Sadie - she dropped a lamp."
"The burns were bad, but they should heal. When I got back, the body was gone."
"This keeps up the undertaker's going to go out of business," Buck remarked, commenting on the habit for bodies to go missing in the town. "Hey, Chris, you don't think we've got a body snatcher around here, aside from Old Nate here."
Buck grinned, but Nathan wasn't amused. The constant remarks about his ghoulishness in using bodies from the undertakers for his anatomy studies were really starting to annoy him. How else was he supposed to learn?
"Had you started cutting up the body?" Chris asked, not really wanting to know.
"Maybe it got up and walked."
Chris and Nathan both gave Buck filthy looks, not appreciating his humour.
"I suppose we should go and look for this missing body," Chris agreed reluctantly.
Buck glanced back at Ezra.
"No, leave him to his game," Chris decided.
It didn't take more than three men to confirm that a body was indeed missing.
"He's gone alright," Chris declared, arms folded, surveying the empty trestle table.
"He was dead, right? Ezra shot him in the back, didn't he?"
"Yeah, he was dead," Nathan confirmed, annoyed at the implication that he couldn't tell the difference.
Chris was examining the door. It didn't look forced from the outside. He bade Buck to bring the lamp closer. In fact, the lock looked picked from the inside. There were the tell tale scratches in the brass he was used to seeing as a result of Ezra's work.
"You know what?" Chris decided. "I think Ezra might be right afterall. There's something strange going on around here."