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June 2013

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Unfamiliar Territory

Unfamiliar Territory


This story was originally published on December 1, 2006, in the Mountain_Santa community, a "Secret Santa" BBM fanfic exchange. Access the original entry at Unfamiliar Territory


Written for: Wendy (wyvern734)

Request Written: “I’d like something romantic. Sex is a plus, but not required.... Please no MetaChal!Jack or MO!EitherOne.... Writing or drawing is fine....”

Rating: R

Word Count: 1,568

Genre: AU

Author's Notes: This is one possibility for the November 7 meeting at Pine Creek. Jack and Ennis are up in the mountains, they’ve set up camp, they’ve had frantic reunion sex and a nap. Now they’re just lying in the tent, relaxing.

Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine. They belong to Annie Proulx, who nobly lent them to Ang Lee. Release the buckle by pulling up on the metal flap.


Unfamiliar Territory


“Half a year, damn,” Jack murmured, nuzzling Ennis’s hair.

“Yeah. Half a year.” Ennis lay back against Jack’s chest, Jack’s arm tucked under his, around his chest. Ennis’s left hand caressed Jack’s forearm affectionately. They were in a tent in the Big Horn Mountains, not a bed in the Siesta Motel; and they were 39, not 23; but Ennis remembered, and knew that Jack did, too. “Wasn’t sure I’d ever be seein you again—after that fight an all. Thought you’d maybe quit me.”

Jack made a dismissive sound.

“Knew you’d be thinkin about it, anyway.”

Jack lit a cigarette one-handed, and when Ennis reached for his hand to take a drag off it, said, “Take it. I’ll light another one for me.”

But Ennis didn’t release his hand. “No. Rather share with you.”

“All right.”

They smoked in silence for a few minutes, Jack holding the cigarette alternately to Ennis’s lips and his own. The simple act of sharing deepened their mood of bittersweet nostalgia.

“Well, it ain’t much use me thinking about somethin I can’t do nohow,” Jack finally said.

Ennis took a breath, forcing himself into an unknown and frightening emotional territory. “Don’t like it that you wish you could quit.” Another breath. “Like to try if we can maybe do somethin about that.”

Jack felt his heart had stopped. His heart? The whole world had stopped, leaving them floating side by side in a golden glow, two mayflies together forever in fine amber. He had to swallow before he could say, “Like…?”

“Don’t know. Been thinkin and thinkin. Spent the last six months thinkin an I still don’t know.” The cigarette was long gone, but he still held Jack’s hand. Brought it to his cheek. “Living together? We might last twenty years before they got us. Or ten, or five, or one. Or maybe not even a month.”

Jack cupped Ennis’s cheek and rubbed his thumb gently over his lips as he confessed quietly, “I’d rather spend one day with you than twenty years with anybody else. I been thinkin for six months, too, and I kept thinkin that if a week a year’s all you can give me, then I’ll take it. Like to think we could do better, though. Livin together… Well, you know that’s been my dream since we was 19 on Brokeback together. Times’ve changed, y’know, Ennis. This ain’t 1953 no more, or 1963 or ’67 either.”

“Times ain’t changed all that much,” he said darkly. “Not in Wyomin anyway.”

“Now that ain’t…”

But Ennis interrupted. “Oh, sure, if some guys beat a queer to death now, the sheriff prob’ly won’t just laugh about it; he’ll look into it, and arrest somebody. Maybe there’ll be a trial, and some of the guys’ll do some jail time. But that don’t make the queer any less dead in a ditch.”

“Goddamnit, Ennis!” Back to this again. “Ah, the hell with it.”

“It ain’t about…” A pause. “I mean, I want a give you what you want. You gotta know that, don’t you, Jack?”

Jack’s hand, pulled away from Ennis’s face during the brief disagreement, returned, then dropped to Ennis’s hand that was resting on his arm. He tucked his thumb into Ennis’s palm. “Well, friend,” he replied, “I ain’t always been sure of that. But does it matter? If you can’t give me what I want, what’s it matter whether you want to or not? See?”

“Mm. Don’t it mean somethin that I do? Want to?”

“Yeah. Yeah, it does. But…” He trailed off, gave Ennis’s hand a quick squeeze, and reached for another cigarette.

“But,” Ennis said. “But you still ain’t gettin what you want, whichever way I feel about it.” Another step into the unknown. “What you… maybe… what you need.”

Jack shook his head. “Tell you what. Puttin it short n sweet, what I need more’n anything is to be with you. And you need to feel safe from them tire irons more’n you need to be with me.”

“Short an ugly, more like.”

“Yeah, well…”

“Ain’t true, anyway. Thought it was, till last May. Since then… come to realize…”

Jack waited. Then, gently, “Realize what, Ennis?”

A momentary struggle. “Realize different.” He shifted restlessly. “This thing… This thing we got goin on…” He gasped, and forced out, “It’s the biggest thing in my life. You. You an me.” He pulled away, suddenly, roughly, and knelt up, struggling into jeans, boots, a shirt. “Gotta…” reaching for the tent flap.

Outside, the frigid evening wind flung itself around him, raking away all warmth. He’d meant to catch his breath, maybe cuss and punch a tree, spend a few minutes trying to reassemble himself. But his icy reception changed his mind, and he pissed and returned to the ten as quickly as he could.

Jack was sitting up, cross-legged. Ennis sat next to him, and put his arms around him. “Jesus!” Jack exclaimed. “You’re freezin!

“Colder’n hell out there. Sharp wind, too.” He would have pulled away apologetically, but Jack had put his arms around Ennis in turn, despite the cold.

“I guess! Wind chill factory must of put on an overtime shift.” Ennis gave him a rough hug in place of the punch he deserved for dragging out that tired old joke again. Jack responded with a hug of his own, followed up by a nip at his jaw. The bite turned into a kiss, and Jack began licking along the line of Ennis’s jaw, chin to neck. “You’re cold,” he bitched mildly. “It’s like lickin a icicle.”

“You’re doin a fine job a heatin me up.” Ennis turned and took Jack’s lips. Not frantically, as in their first embrace a few hours ago, when they both were desperate for each other after the long and anxious separation. When they’d wanted it all—everything—now, now—trying to make up in ten minutes what they had been missing for six months. Not roughly, either, in his usual way, trying to pretend that the feelings overwhelming him were merely lust. Slow, contemplative kisses, as though it was deathly important for him to memorize the exact shape, taste, texture of Jack’s mouth. He felt Jack yielding in his arms, opening himself wide and deep for Ennis, spreading himself out body and soul for Ennis to take whatever he liked, and return for it whatever he would, much or little, or nothing at all. “Jack,” he whispered, easing them down on the air mattress, side by side, face to face. “Oh, Jack.” Their kisses deepened, but stayed slow and luxurious. “How d’you want it, Jack?” he asked hoarsely.

“Any way you want a give it to me, Ennis. Any way at all.”

Ennis’s calloused fingers were exploring the soft skin over Jack’s collarbone now. “Not this time. This time, it’s what you want, Jack. Tell me what you want.” Lost in warmth and desire, it was a few minutes before he realized that Jack wasn’t answering. “Jack?” Then he flushed darkly, knowing what the problem was—must be. “Fuck,” he growled viciously.

Jack turned on him then. “You didn’t even know what I would of asked for, and I didn’t ask for it anyway, so don’t you start!”

“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Ennis snarled. “I fuckin hate this, Jack. Just hate it, you hear me? Hate it that you’re afraid to say it to me.”

“Say what to you?” Jack demanded.

“Whatever it was you would a said if you wasn’t afraid,” was the exasperated reply.

Jack set his jaw. “And what if I’d wanted to fuck you?”

“Well, you could of. We done that before,” Ennis returned sullenly.

“And how about if I’d wanted you to suck me off, huh? Or rim me?”

“Well, I would a done that, too!”

“Oh.”

“Prob’ly wouldn’t a been any good, anyways.”

“Practice makes perfect.”

Ennis choked, then shoved him, hard. “You asshole,” he laughed. “You ain’t never grown up!”

Jack lay where he’d fallen, half on, half off the air mattress, laughing. “That’s why you love me, right?” And realizing what he’d just said, went utterly still.

The silence in the tent lengthened and thickened. Twice Jack started to speak, and twice Ennis gestured him silent. Finally, Ennis barely managed to whisper, “One of the reasons, anyway.” And with a heroic effort, “There’s lots more.”

“Ennis…”

“Let’s talk about somethin else,” he cut in quickly.

“All right.”

“Um. Before. When you was sayin what you might ask me to do.” Ennis spent a second on wonderment that this topic now seemed easy to discuss—comparatively. “And I said I would. Well, if you really had asked me to…” he stumbled a bit over the words, “…rim… you…”

“Yeah, you’d a said no,” Jack grinned. “Don’t worry about it; maybe I wouldn’t a liked it anyway.”

“No, I wouldn’t a said no. I just would a had to ask what is it.”

Jack lost it first, but Ennis followed soon after. Their combined laughter probably terrified wildlife for five miles around. They whooped, they snorted, they howled, they wept with laughter. And when the laughter faded, it was replaced with murmurs and sighs, then groans and cries of passion and love. They fell asleep at last in each others arms.

They didn’t know what they’d work out together. They didn’t know what the future would bring to them. But they had hope in each other at last.

Comments

I loved this. I enjoy all kinds of BBM stories, but my absolute favorite is when the characters act and speak like the ones in the story. I realize that's subjective, but for me, you've come up with a totally plausible conversation. Ennis doesn't suddenly make flowery declarations--he sounds like himself. And they're funny. GREAT JOB!

Now I just wish I could see Ennis's face when Jack managed to tell him what rimming is. Oh, wait...He probably wouldn't tell him...he'd show him. In that case, I definitely want to see Ennis's face. :P
Thank you so much for your kind words.

"Rimmin is when you lick somebody's asshole."

"Umm. So that's what it means, huh?"

"Yup."

"And you think you'd like that?" Puzzled.

"I am kinda sensitive around there. If you remember."

Ennis grins. "I remember." A breath. "Okay, then, but you warsh good first, you hear me!"
You're right. I did enjoy this. I especially loved the last line. I just laughed myself silly. Thanks! : D
Debra
LOL-YES!

Okay, the script is ready. It's officially time to call Ang, Heath and Jake for the filming of the alternative ending.
Hi,
This is so good. I have to go back and read your other writings some time soon. I agree this can be a really, really good long story!
Thank you for sharing :)
xxx
Well... I'm really more of a drabblist. But I do have some ideas of where they might go from here.

Thanks for reading and for your nice comment.
Oh, I like this! I have always believed that if he'd lived, Jack would be there in November. There were some wonderful tender moments.

"No. Rather share with you."

"It's the biggest thing in my life. You. You and me."

And of course:

Jack lay where he’d fallen, half on, half off the air mattress, laughing. “That’s why you love me, right?” And realizing what he’d just said, went utterly still.

The silence in the tent lengthened and thickened. Twice Jack started to speak, and twice Ennis gestured him silent. Finally, Ennis barely managed to whisper, “One of the reasons, anyway.” And with a heroic effort, “There’s lots more.”

Oh God. That's all he had to say. Thank you for this.
I'm convinced that they both would have been there in November, and that they both would have spent the last six months doing some hard thinking, each about the other's needs and desires.

Glad you enjoyed.
Thank you for reading. And thanks also for your kind comment.

I have a few ideas about a couple of further conversations they might have had on that November trip. Maybe I will add a chapter. Or two. Or...
I loved this. I agree with the other commenters: plausible dialog, not over the top sweet, and so worth continuing.
I always thought Nov, 7th is a good point to begin an AU story.
Thank you!

We each have our own versions of Jack and Ennis: what they are and what they could be and what we wish they were. I enjoy reading others' interpretations, no matter how different from my own, but the only time I could ever manage (so far) to get them to trade mushy endearments was in my Drabble #50, Play. (Shameless plug.)

November 7th is a natural split-off for an AU. I'm following in august footsteps: Jennasts, to name only one.
This is exactly what I was thinking about your drabble. Thank you for posting it. It was really enjoyable. : )

Nothing comes easy for our boys, does it? They have to fight for everything they get, even each other. But their frank exchange gave me hope that they might be able to win the biggest fight if they fought it together.

I loved it. You are such a talented writer. I love seeing your updates, and I look forward to your next piece. With all those wonderful drabbles you've created, I'm sure there's a plot for another great story. Hint...Hint...Hint... : )
Debra
Nothing comes easy for our boys, does it? They have to fight for everything they get, even each other.

So true. They need to learn to fight side by side. Hmmm... That's an inspiring notion. I think it's going to go somewhere, but I'm not sure where.

If you check out my reply to way2's comment above, you will see a small addendum that you might enjoy.

And as for expanding on another drabble... Got any suggestions?
That was lovely with very realistic dialogue - I can imagine them saying that quite easily.

And it would make a wonderful start to a new series - please, please!
Thank you. Lots of people seem to like my "voices" for Jack and Ennis, and that pleases me no end. I'm pretty much convinced that I want to continue. Although at some point I need to go back and fill in the meet-up in the parking lot. And the reunion sex maybe?
Please don't stop here! I love this. Very well done.
Thanks!
Thank you, for reading and commenting.

Okay, you-all have talked me into it. I'll get to work on the next installment. (These comments are addictive, and so I'll have to rustle up my next fix.)
Aw, they're so cute. This really warmed my no-quitter's heart. Thanks, Sid! Can't wait for the next one.

Jannis
I'm a no-quitter myself. So glad you enjoyed. And thank you for your kind comment.
Enjoyed it alot..Hope you do more..

Thanks, C

Just stumbled across this today..

Absolutely wonderful dialogue and the feelings evoked by this:

"Not roughly, either, in his usual way, trying to pretend that the feelings overwhelming him were merely lust. Slow, contemplative kisses, as though it was deathly important for him to memorize the exact shape, taste, texture of Jack’s mouth. He felt Jack yielding in his arms, opening himself wide and deep for Ennis, spreading himself out body and soul for Ennis to take whatever he liked, and return for it whatever he would, much or little, or nothing at all."

... so poetic. Just lovely.

Donna
WOW
just WOW
got me sighing and what if and ... AAAWWWWWWWWWWWWW
thanks
vanessa