Author: Me, rancid_born
Pairing: Matthew and Jeremiah
Disclaimer: F to the A-K-E
Rating: PG-13 for now, NC-17 for later.
Warnings: Mentions of murder, Gun use, Graphic Sex, Language...s'bout it, I think.
Summary: AU. 3rd Person, Matt Centric. Gang fic. I don't feel like typing the summary up.
Note: Oh man, I'm kind of disappointed in how long I took to write this. So, so, so sorry to whoever reads it. I'm also kind of disappointed in how it turned out. I know I can do better, but I've lost all inspiration. The next chapter will most likely be the last. Please point out any errors.
This is cross-posted in my writing journal, slash_stash (which is friends only), jere_bear, and matt_loves_jere.
Matt groaned as warm morning light caressed his skin, and he shifted beneath the cotton blankets. Everything that had happened the night before, now, felt like a dream. The only thing that told him it wasn’t a dream was the blood-stained gauze on his doctored-up wound. He hadn’t felt the strong pair of arms drag him away from the aftermath.
Even before he opened his eyes, Matt knew that he was in a strange place. The smells, the sounds—they were all new to him. And when he finally did open his eyes, it felt like spring; yellow flowers and lace on everything but the walls. He used his good arm to push himself up, and then pushed the blankets to the side to find himself clad only in his boxers. With only his boxers to cover him, he found that the air was much cooler than it was beneath the blankets, and for a split-second, he even considered bundling up once more. But those thoughts were quickly pushed aside.
Placing a shaky foot to the floor, Matt slowly climbed off of the bed. His legs were pretty unstable, but he took a few steps forward just to prove to himself that he could. When he looked up from the floor, he saw Jeremiah leaning up against the wooden doorframe with a smug smirk plastered on his face. Matt could feel a sudden burst of rage roll through him like thunder, and he narrowed his eyes in his best attempt to glare.
“Where the fuck are my clothes?” he asked sharply.
Jeremiah pointed a slender finger to the foot of the bed where Matt’s clothes were folded neatly. Matt grumbled something inaudible and grabbed them, then turned back to push passed the taller man. But to no avail; Jeremiah reached across the length of the doorway as a way to block him. “You don’t even know where you’re going,” Jeremiah stated, a firm look chiseled into his features.
Matt rolled his eyes. “I’ll manage,” he muttered, moving to the other side. Jeremiah just moved with him; he wouldn’t allow Matt to further hurt himself. This went on for a while before Matt got fed up and shoved his fists into Jeremiah’s chest.
“Move it, asshole! I have to get cousin!”
Jeremiah, however, seemed almost completely unfazed by the rage in Matt’s voice, or the way his fists pounded into his chest like an alternate heartbeat. He reached forward to grab Matt’s wrists between both of his hands and leaned down so that he was eye-level. Matt panted as Jeremiah spoke with a smooth, calm voice. “Chill out,” he said, “I’m going to take you to the hospital. If you try to drive with your arm like that, I can guarantee that you’re not going to make it.”
Matt’s eyes were filled with fire and defiance, and Jeremiah only returned the glare. He slowly released his grip on Matt’s wrists when he gave a defeated sigh. “Fine,” he muttered, “But don’t you dare try anything.”
A snarl appeared on Jeremiah’s lips, and he snorted. “What’re you gonna do? Shoot me?” he chastised, then turned out of the room and closed the door without another word.
Matt huffed and began pulling each article of clothing on—an occasional ‘fuck’ or ‘ouch’ slipped past his lips as he pulled the black fabric over his bandaged arm. He didn’t hear the soft knock on the door, so he was a bit startled when he turned around to see Jeremiah’s head peaking through. “What?” he snapped.
“C’mon,” Jeremiah said with a simple nod toward the hallway.
The only sound in the hallway was that of their shoes tapping lightly on the marble as they walked side by side. When they reached the stairway, Matt realized that he knew where they were—the house where the party was held…however many days ago. Matt looked up to the taller man. “If you don’t live here then…why are you always here?” he inquired.
Jeremiah’s head jerked to the side. “Friend of the family—they basically raised me,” he replied with a shrug.
Satisfied with the answer, Matt shrugged as well. He quietly followed Jere down the stairs, through the foyer, out the door, and to his car. But that’s where he stopped. “How the—“
Jeremiah stopped in the middle of unlocking the door to look back at Matt. “How do you think you got here?” he interjected, then turned the key. “I drove your car. Otherwise, we probably would both be in jail by now.”
The light caused Matt to squint as he stood with a dumbfound look on his face. He made a noise in the back of his throat and watched Jeremiah climb into the vehicle before doing so himself.
The car ride there wasn’t much different from the walk to the car until Matt flipped the radio on. The fact that he was actually singing along to some old country song—with the correct lyrics and all—was enough to cut the tension in any situation.
He smiled to himself as they pulled into the hospital parking lot, and stepped out when they pulled up to the front doors. He towed Tony out almost as quickly as he stepped in and helped him into the backseat. It was hard to ignore the dark bruises that decorated Tony’s pale skin, but somehow, Matt managed to throw on a smile and laugh at something stupid that his cousin said about being crippled.
Like the walk to the car and the car ride to the hospital, the ride to Matt’s house wasn’t too much different—except the fact that Tony couldn’t keep his mouth shut. But with Tony, that was to be expected. “So, Jeremiah, are you staying for dinner?” Tony asked from the backseat. Matt could feel his head instantly snap to the side so that he could glare at his cousin out of the corner of his eye.
Jeremiah glanced into the rearview mirror with a gracious smirk. “Is that an invitation?”
“You sure do get on well with my dad,” Matt muttered as Jeremiah—who let out a sputtering sound that sounded like a laugh—unwrapped his wounded arm.
“I was afraid that if I said something wrong, he’d chop a body part off,” he admitted. The lopsided grin that followed suit made Matt think of all the bad things that he secretly wanted to do with those lips. The worst part was, only a few hours prior, Matt saw Jeremiah as an enemy.
Matt shrugged. “Nah, he likes you,” he said with a smirk that mimicked Jere’s.
Matt nodded; he hated to admit it, but he was enjoying the light conversation. He was hesitant when Jere came knocking on the door, telling him that his bandage should be changed before bed, but that tension was gone.
“Man, that’d be like, an honor if I didn’t know he’d hate me. I’m glad he don’t know who I am.”
“He has every right to hate you,” Matt laughed. And it was true. To Matt’s family, Jere seemed to be the bearer of all things bad.
Jere pursed his lips a bit. “Yeah…” he sighed through his nose, “he does.”
“You know, I’ve been doing this since I was fourteen, but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten this involved with a family.”
“Fourteen?” Matt asked with shocked eyes.
“Yeah,” Jeremiah nodded. “Back then I thought it was fun. Like…I could play god whenever someone rubbed me the wrong way, but…” he trailed off, moving his hand to cover his mouth in a thoughtful manner. “Playing god gets kind of old after a while—you’ll never forget the faces of the people you hurt.”
A dumbfound ‘wow’ was all that Matt could conjure up. And to think, this is what he had wanted. He did a discreet scan of Jere as he changed Matt’s bandage. He felt sympathy then—not anger or hate or even bitterness—just sympathy.
“All right, you’re all set,” Jere chimed and unrolled Matt’s sleeve. He patted his shoulder lightly as he stood up.
“Thanks, man.” Matt had to keep reminding himself that this was his rival in order to keep from jumping him. This was the Joker to his Batman. “You can find your way to your room, yeah?”
Jeremiah’s answer was silent as he moved to the door and flipped the switch next to it. The room filled with darkness and moonlight, and even as Matt closed his eyes, he could still feel the lithe shadow looming in the corner. But he didn’t mind. In fact, it was kind of comforting.