Friday: Powerpuff girls: The AWSM episode. Poor Clark gets a right bollocking, heh. The Pagoda of Reclusion indeed. Snigger. That I partiularly liked, and the homage to Battle of the Planets had me squealing with delight.
More, much more squealing over Enterprise, the slashiest Trek episode since the 60s, possibly ever. It had an entire shopping trolley full of things to make me happy: Clancy Brown, cute boys cajoling each other into going on adventures together, cute boys taking their shirts off and engaging in some manly wrestling, cute boys helping each other across the desert and sharing their water, cute boys engaging in much h/c in a deserted building as night falls, no less, cute boys throwing their arms around each other as they huddled from incoming explosions. I mean, so they're filming fic now? Bloody fucking marvellous. It was perfect, just perfect. It hit just about every slash cliche I can think of, bar the old 'the Klingons made us do it', and that just wouldn't be relevant here because as if those boys need an excuse. Trek seems to have finally gotten over their po faced selves and embraced the slashy goodness. My, my, my, the slashiest episode of tv I've seen in ages, slashier even than Smallville this week, and there's been stiff competition in that department, ooo-er. Oh, I'm in love with Enterprise if they keep this up, ahem.
Saturday: Superfriends: Anyone else notice they have stargates which they use to travel from planet to planet? Things that make you go hmmmm. And Firestorm - just too disturbing, and I'm not just talking about the outfit. I mean, a professor and student merging into one body during an extra curricular experiment gone awry? Can't he get fired for that sort of malarky? "And after the ethics committee had my arse, I joined the Super Friends." Tsk.
Sunday: woken around midnight but this enabled me to watch two episodes of Raven, which I needed to do anyway so I didn't mind one bit. It was the Val Pelka epiodes, too. Waking again midmorning I hopped into the shower to wake myself up properly and mother proceeded to give me first degree burns. Yowch. That woke me up. Then Drew very kindly came over to offer a second opinion on EvilPC, which was alas that the only way to fix EvilPC was to buy a new one, which I will have to save up for. I'm sick to death of that bloody lemon. Meanwhile, I have to buy $200 worth of zip disks to copy off my crap because it won't talk to the cd writer. If you're still waiting for a cd from me, I haven't forgotten - it's just that my PC never works, really Never Works, like blue screen of death, and I need to save up to buy a new one. I truly loathe it. It wastes so much of my limited time. So no writing, no taping of M7 for a friend OS, no watching of the Biehn. In the failing hours of the afternoon I potted up Happy Plant (that's what its label says), hand fed the birdies (winding down from their psycho breeding period) fell down the stairs hard and retired to my room broiled, bruised and defeated to watch Brit telly. Dalzeil and Pascoe walk off into the sunset together, to the gayest tune ever. Good grief. I believe we're seeing these eps before the Brits. Ha - the female copper did it, in cahoots with that nice boy from Soldier Soldier. The golf balls are a red herring. Oh, that felt good. I so rarely, rarely, ever get to spoil anything - snigger.
Hercules: Madame Twanky, yet again (it's statistically impossible for me to get Twanky everytime I watch Herc and yet it is so) and Bruce Campbell in drag. I didn't need to see that, and once seen, can never be unseen. Shudder.
Still sulking in my room and I'm watching 6th Day because there's bugger else on and I'm too pouty to go pop a tape in. I hang around just to see if there's any talent in it worth watching. Hrey, they're in Vancouver - I spy the sulpher mountains. Ha! Colin! My Colin! And then - RODDERS!!!!! Rodney, or Rod, as he goes by these days, Rowland, late of Space: Above and Beyond and Pensacola: piles of crap. Drool, drool, dribble, swoon. I was, and still am, an enormous Cooper slut. Oh hello to the Vancouver locations. All the classics: Stanley Park, Simon Fraser (the auld fox) University, that road that was always in the X Files and my personal favourite: the dam. "Hi, you might remember me from such shows as Smallville, Dark Angel, The Sentinel, Stargate..." Hey, it's Don Davis. Why, here's the guy who killed Fraser's dad. Okay, so it's spot the Canadian actor as well as name that Vancouver location. This proves diverting until the History of Britain (Matty does a voiceover!) and dearest Soames, weirdly the most sympathetic Forsythe in that whole sorry bunch. Bless.
Next bit of M7 fic rated PG for some adult themes but not much else.
Buck saw the bitter exchange and knew he was the cause of it. He caught Ezra’s
eyes for a moment and saw himself reflected in them, and quickly glanced away
again. Instead he took off after Amanda, wanting to know just what she’d
said to make Ezra react so badly, openly and in public.
Ezra watched Buck trail after Amanda, expecting nothing more or less of Buck,
and yet more disappointed and indeed, jealous, than he could barely give himself
credit for. Once upon a time he would have followed them, watched them, contrived
to overhear them, but he knew both well enough to excuse himself the effort.
Amanda was playing Buck for all she was worth, telling him exactly what he wanted
to hear, showing him exactly what he wanted to see, being exactly where he wanted
to be. Poor Buck, he knew he was being played but he was no match for Amanda,
not when she had him tied up with silken strings, bewitched, bedazzled and bewildered.
Buck was her willing puppet and he could be made to do anything, including the
last thing he would ever want to do, which was to break Ezra’s heart.
“Touche, Amanda,” Ezra murmured to himself. Touche.
He lit a cigar as he lounged against a post on the boardwalk, watching them,
Amanda leading Buck by an invisible thread like a dog on a leash.
"You don't mind?" JD looked from Buck to Ezra, searching for the
slightest hint of jealousy, but if Ezra felt it, he wasn't showing it to JD,
a puff of smoke obscuring his face.
"I like Buck," Ezra drawled. "But I'm not looking to marry the
"It ain’t nothing,” Ezra continued, trying to fool himself
as much as JD. “Women for Buck are a sensual pleasure, like a big juicy
pie that you eat -" no, that metaphor wasn't going to work. "Women
for Buck," he tried again.
"I get it," JD spared him. "Buck likes women, but it don't mean
“No, it never does,” Ezra agreed softly.
When Buck finally went looking for Ezra, Amanda refusing to leave him be, Buck
found Ezra at last curled in his own bed, obviously deep in a drugged sleep.
Worn down with practice, Buck sat down on the bed and tried shaking Ezra awake.
When that didn't work, he fetched the smelling salts which brought Ezra to jerking
life, mumbling complaints and pushing Buck away, trying to go back to sleep
but Buck wouldn't let him, making him sit up and holding him there, in spite
of all the slurred protests.
"I think you'd better go," he warned Amanda, in no mood to deal with
any of the complications she brought with her.
"What's wrong with him?"
"He takes too much laudanum sometimes by accident. He uses it to sleep."
It was then that Buck saw very real concern and horror in Amanda's eyes. She
reached forward to try and comfort Ezra but Buck's expression said no, this
"What? You thought this was a game?” he accused in a half whispered
hiss. “You thought Ezra could be played with? He's not the boy you knew,
if he ever was. There's a sadness inside him that I just can't touch. He didn't
go to the gallows to save his friend, he went there to die and you're a fool
if you think otherwise."
Amanda shook her head, not wanting to believe this of her Ezra, eyes bright
with unshed tears.
Buck tried to explain the Ezra he knew to her. "For some reason Ezra got
it into his damn fool head that Chris is some sort of hero and he'll never measure
up - and there's nothing I can do to make him see sense. Somebody told Ezra
he was no good, and he's believed it, set out to prove it, ever since."
"Well, it wasn't me."
Buck gave her a sharp look, to which Amanda took deep offence.
"I would never - I love Ezra."
"You've got a funny way of showing it."
“We were only playing.”
"Playing? This isn't some scheme, some role he's invented. This is Ezra's
real life, this town is his home. No more lies, no more pretending.” He
turned back to Ezra, brushing his cheek softly. "He can't see it but he's
come so far - I don't need you dragging him back down again. Living like that
doesn't make him happy."
"And living like this does?"
Buck couldn’t give her that answer.
She was twisting her gloves, wanting to ask how long this had been going on,
wanting to know if this was the worst it had ever been, but Buck's eyes told
her this was not, not by half. She fretted for a while, then regretfully retreated,
sorry for her part in it.
Buck's very manner made no secret of the fact that Ezra's troubles had renewed
since her arrival in town. Whatever history she had with Ezra was her business,
but it wasn't without its ripple effects, not in a small town like this. Something
had stirred the dust in Ezra's dark places.
"Ezra, Ezra?" Buck searched his friend's face for answers as soon
as Amanda had made her exit, closing the door behind her.
Ezra opened his eyes and Buck saw it, the weary disappointment that he'd seen
in those same eyes whenever Vin walked into a room. This was the first time
Buck had ever been the cause of it though. Ezra knew exactly what he’d
done. He bowed his head, confirming his guilt.
"Ezra," Buck tried, but Ezra shook his head, not willing to discuss
it, not wanting to discuss it, ever. He could learn to live with Buck's weaknesses
as much as Buck endured his own. It just hurt, to a surprising degree. He'd
not regarded Buck as 'his' until the moment he'd realised Buck wasn't, at least,
not exclusively. It shouldn't matter, he'd known Buck for years now, he knew
what Buck was like. Amanda would be forgotten as soon as she rode out of town.
Or perhaps not. It was the doubt that wriggled in his head, poisoning his thoughts.
"I know what she's like," was all Ezra said, absolving Buck of his
part in it, at least. And he did know. Better men than Buck had fallen to Amanda.
There was no shame in it. Only regret, as though discovering his hero was all
too fallibly human. He shook himself - had he really begun to see Buck in such
a ridiculous light? Buck had become everything to him. Until now, Ezra hadn't
realised just how much he'd been gilding Buck in his own eyes.
The gloss had gone now, but Buck was still holding him in his arms, purring
reassurance in his ear and Ezra still - he still needed him. Ezra's arms wrapped
around Buck and he held him tight. He still felt safe and warm in Buck's arms,
he still felt the desire coil in his gut, nuzzling against Buck, wishing his
lips to say what his mouth could not, not yet, anyway. Not when emotions were
still new and raw and tested.
Gently resisting Ezra's seeking tongue, feeling too chastened to let Ezra smooth
over the hurts they'd caused each other just now, Buck propped his young charge
back against the pillows and, pulling Ezra's abandoned pack of cards from his
pocket, Buck quietly dealt them both a hand.
Ezra's eyes were darker now. They'd been like pin pricks before, all vicious
and annoyed green, like a cat's. Now they were opening up as he slowly warmed
to Buck again.
They played quietly for several hours together before the conversation came
around to Amanda again. Ezra’s tongue freed to a surprising degree by
the opiates still in his system let loose with a few well chosen and jealously
driven words to describe his former associate, words that made Buck’s
face tighten as Ezra slurred that particular woman and all woman kind.
"My mother was a whore," Buck reminded gently, objecting to the epitaph.
"And what do you think my mother does for a living?” Ezra sneered
back. “Just because she occasionally gets their names on a marriage licence
doesn't make it any less tawdry."
Buck sat forward, curious.
"How many stepfathers have you had?"
"Five," Ezra answered, amused at Buck's reaction. "And I had
very little to do with any of them."
Buck mouthed the word five over and over again, and heaven only knew how many
paramours in between. No wonder Ezra had grown up so mercenary, so wary of people’s
intentions, so willing to be disappointed.
“Ain’t easy for a woman to raise a stake or a son on her own,”
Buck spoke quietly, throwing his hand down, knowing Ezra wasn’t really
listening to him. Any attempt to absolve Amanda or Maude of their actions would
just tar him with the same brush in Ezra’s eyes, and he was painted black
enough as it was.
Ezra looked down the barrel of a gun and fired at the bottles he'd lined up.
He got the first and second, just winged the third and missed the fourth entirely.
He lined up the fifth, but he could feel his hand shaking. He lowered the gun
and tried again, but hesitated, knowing there was a good chance he was going
to miss and unable to bear the humiliation. He scowled, aimed and fired, but
only managed to shoot the top off the neck.
He let his hand drop away, defeated.
He turned to find Vin watching him, as always.
"No, just a little off my game," Ezra tried to cover.
"Does Chris know?" Vin asked quietly, looking straight through him
like he was glass.
Ezra turned on him. "Why does Chris have to know? Even if I never get
it back, half of what I was is still twice as good as anyone else."
Vin ignored the bluster, catching Ezra's hand and holding it in his own, turning
it over gently, stroking the palm.
"Still got the shakes from the other day," Ezra tried to shrug it off
and pulled his hand free, holding it out between them. The trembling was subtle,
but as he focused it stopped, for the moment.
Vin took Ezra's hand again, rubbing it softly. Cool grey eyes held green.
"I'm so sorry, Ezra."
Ezra pulled his hand back, flicking his eyes away. "It wasn't your doing."
"But your hand - "
"I just need to practice some more." Ezra grabbed his gun from his
holster and fired, cracking the last bottle dead centre this time. "I just
need to practice," he reassured.
From a distance Buck saw them, standing so close together, Ezra's hand in Vin's,
and he slumped a little, wondering if Ezra would ever get over Vin, or vice
Buck watched them until Vin walked away and Ezra ceased his target practice,
waiting for Ezra just inside the saloon, pouncing on him the moment Ezra walked
Buck ducked down real close, almost brushing Ezra's face with his own.
"What were you and Vin talking about?" he inquired.
Ezra knew where this was heading, and tried to stop that line of inquiry in
"Nothing. He was just apologising, again, on account of my bad turn the other day. He takes it hard – he blames himself. I never meant - " He shook
his head, annoyed. "Vin and I, we're still friends, Buck. He regrets his
part in...all of this," Ezra gestured openly.
"He still feels guilty?" A light went on for Buck. "That's why
you cut him loose. You couldn't live with that look in his eyes."
"Could you?" Ezra asked evenly.
Buck lowered his eyes and shook his head. No. Guilt had torn up his friendship
with Chris, ripped it bleeding to the breaking point. Almost to the breaking
point. They'd never actually parted brass rags, though it had been close. Nor
had Ezra and Vin, apparently. There was still an affection between them, there
probably always would be.
"He was holding your hand." Buck's jealous streak wouldn't stay quiet,
no matter how much he willed it.
Ezra dipped his head, not meeting Buck's eyes. From being caught out, Buck
thought for a moment, feeling a hollow victory, then he watched as Ezra slowly
held out his hand and he saw the slight, almost invisible tremble.
"How long has that been there?"
Ezra balled his hand into a fist, then opened it again, and it was steady.
"It comes and goes. I hoped it had gone away for good, but it came back."
"Because of the other day." Buck exhaled harshly, wishing this would
all be over even more than Ezra did.
"Have you spoken to Nathan?"
"What could he do?” Ezra appealed. “Vin agreed, I should just
practice, keep practicing. I'll get it back, I will get it all back."
"What if you don't."
Buck saw it in Ezra's eyes. That just wasn't an option.