syllic: ([genkill] assured of this)
[personal profile] syllic
What the subject line says.

Uh. This is what happens When LJ Comment Conversations Go Bad. Very Bad. But Also Good.

Say [livejournal.com profile] pyrimidine says to you, "...naked with a gun and a cat...AND RAY PERSON".

And you're like, no. But [livejournal.com profile] pyrimidine is like, yes.

Then you write

Eames/Ray Person,

rated R for language and suggestion and ridiculous antics

inspired by the sort of man who sits on radiators wearing fingerless gloves, with a pink tint around his eyes,

based on fictionalised portrayals as seen on the HBO miniseries, and

approximately 3,000 words long.

Its title is: EAMES AND RAY, RULING THE WORLD, ONE CAT AND GUN AT A TIME or, Gun and Cat, a Love Story, or, A Gun-Wielding Cat: An Animal Metaphor For Ray Person, or, Catfights, with Guns, or, Is That a Gun or Are You Just Happy To See Me? / It's Both, and Here's a Cat, Too, or, GUNCAT!

by [livejournal.com profile] pyrimidine, who is infinitely cooler than [livejournal.com profile] syllic, and also, by [livejournal.com profile] syllic, who had a beer on an empty stomach on... well. You get the picture.

(MERLIN TONIGHT! I welcome the opportunity to watch them do something with the dragon that makes my despair over In Possession of a Fortune even greater. No, actually--I kind of do. Problematic?)




EAMES AND RAY, RULING THE WORLD, ONE CAT AND GUN AT A TIME

or, Gun and Cat, a Love Story

or, A Gun-Wielding Cat: An Animal Metaphor For Ray Person

or, Catfights, with Guns

or, Is That a Gun or Are You Just Happy To See Me? / It's Both, and Here's a Cat, Too

or, GUNCAT!


by Us




Eames wakes up and blinks blearily at the ceiling.

Flashes of the night before are dimming by the second until they slide away, leaving him in official blacked out territory. He keeps staring up at the cottage cheese of the ceiling, cautiously inching toward being fully awake. All clear so far. His throat feels like it's been scrubbed with pipe cleaners, but that can be ignored.

Of course, the second he rolls onto his side is when it all comes crashing down. The hangover swoops down like an angry, baton-wielding security guard beating his brains in. His stomach roars awake simultaneously, gurgling with bile and liquor. Then there's the fact that there's a cat, a gun, and Ray fucking Person sitting on the other side of the bed, exactly in that order.

"Oh, fuck," Eames croaks.

Ray picks up the gun and eyes the cat. Half his hair is sticking straight up, like he's been electrically shocked.

"What the fuck, man," he muses. "It's usually one or the other."

Eames groans and pushes his face into the pillow, conveniently blocking the light stabbing into his left eye.

"What the fuck are you doing here?"

Eames is, on the whole, a fairly well mannered person. His mother would not have had it otherwise. But there is something about Ray fucking Person that brings out the worst in people. It's probably the fact that if you give Ray fucking Person an inch he will take seventeen miles. (And more than one person--okay, most people--has said that about Eames, so the fact that he in turn feels this way about Ray fucking Person should say something.) Person tends to respond to low-level contempt with perfectly friendly overtures; Eames has always somewhat had the impression that if he addressed Ray fucking Person with friendliness of his own, he might wake up naked in bed with him a few hours later.

(...wait.)

Ray raises an eyebrow and twists one corner of his mouth. He flicks the safety on the gun. Eames is not thrilled to realise he is flicking it on.

"What the fuck are you doing here, homes?"

He says it in a way that is clearly meant to suggest that they are both in his territory, but Eames can tell by the wary flicker of his eyes around the room that this is not the case.

"Do you own a cat?" Eames asks, as the cat pads gingerly over his shoulder and leaps from the bed, heading for the half-open window.

"I think a better question might be: do either of us know anyone who owns some piece-of-shit studio apartment in East Aldgate full of gay-ass Warhol prints in cheap-ass Ikea frames?"

Eames flips halfway through his list of possible piece-of-shit-flat-owning, gay-ass-Warhol-print-loving acquaintances, because Ray fucking Person has a point. Then he decides it's too much sodding effort, and flops his face back down onto the pillow.

"Go make coffee," he grunts.

"Oh, I'm sorry. It looks like you're confusing me for the guy who's your bitch."

"Mostly I'm not confusing you with a man who eats instant coffee dry, even when he doesn’t have to."

"Point," says Ray, inclining his head.

He stands up, one long lean line of ropey pale muscle and dark ink, and Eames blinks.

"Why are you not hungover?"

"I am hungover, motherfucker."

Eames blinks again. He supposes he can see some strain in the pinch of Ray's eyes, and some marginal restraint in the speed with which he's jittering his leg.

The strange thing is that Ray fucking Person doesn't look completely out of place here, in this studio apartment with its lavender curtains and cheery multi-coloured rugs. He seems at home when he scratches his neck as he puts the kettle on to boil, and when he reaches his hand down to scratch at his belly as he rummages in the cupboards for the coffee.

Eames would not have thought he could associate this man with anything other than blue-grey Afghani skies, with the taste of dust in his mouth. He's used to seeing Person backlit by fluorescent lights in training dreamscapes, rather than by the weak sunlight of rainy London mornings.

"No, seriously, whose fucking apartment is this?" Ray asks, as he sets down two mugs on the counter.

The handle on one mug is the neck of a giraffe; the other is an elephant's trunk.

Eames grunts again, noncommittal.

"You realise you went to sleep with your face in the barrel of a loaded gun with the safety off, right?"

Ray (fucking Person) is spooning too much Nescafé into the mugs, looking at Eames from under dark eyebrows. He looks strangely serious for a moment. Then he hefts one mug to look suspiciously into the giraffe's beady eyes, and the illusion of sobriety is gone.

"Also, dude, did we fuck?"

Eames catalogues the pleasant ache in his shoulders and stomach muscles, the almost-faded burn of his thighs. He has a strange flash of Ray's face, of the line of his jaw lit by the golden glow of a bedside lamp.

"Yes," he says, "Fairly certain we did; yes. I would say I'm never drinking again, but..."

Ray picks up both mugs, and comes to sit next to Eames on the futon mattress, crossing his legs under him. He hands a mug off to Eames, and Eames debates the logistics of getting himself upright.

And then Ray fucking Person says,

"I find I'm strangely okay with that. Huh."

Eames shuffles awkwardly, getting one foot braced under him and trying to put his back against the wall with a minimum of movement. He does not succeed; the baton-wielding security guard in his head appears to be having some sort of acid flashback.

When he finally lifts the mug to his lips, he sees Ray looking at him almost expectantly.

"What, homes?" he asks. "No love for Ray-Ray?"

"Yes, well," says Eames, feeling ungainly and still too fucking hungover by half, but unable to help his lips from curving into a smile. He points to the place where Ray's neck meets the muscles of his shoulder. There is a faint pink mark there, in the shape of Eames' mouth. There is an angry red flush at the top, from where Eames appears to have broken the skin. "I think I adequately expressed my feelings on the matter last night."

_____



This is how it begins, once upon a time:

If Ray fucking Person is representative of everyone who grew up in the '80s in America, Eames thinks, then everyone is fucked.

He eats something called Count Chocula by the fistful, and he actually listens to GG Allin. He owns two synthesisers and has written more than one song using the demo function on a beat-up Casio keyboard as the base melody.

He actually has a cousin who shot another cousin in the ear with a BB gun.

Eames knows all of this because Ray fucking Person brings projections even into training dreamscapes, where the architecture of the dream and the dreamers' awareness of the exercise is supposed to make this difficult, if not impossible.

The projections talk. Endlessly. They bring video cameras and make lewd comments.

They sit by Eames' projections (previously manifestations that Eames had been quite proud to get past the training boundaries, as a lesson to the Americans about watchfulness in sleep) and make untoward advances.

Eames meets one of Ray's projections before he meets Ray himself: a svelte blonde girl in a pleated mini-skirt with a nose ring, who films Eames sparring and training with Rudy Reyes and moans breathily, and ironically, each time Reyes makes Eames brings his knee up to his chest, socked feet sliding against the smooth wood of the dojo floor.

"Oh baby," she says, completely devoid of inflection, and as Eames stands up and she pans in on his face, he can't help it:

"That's not all of the workout," he says, defensively, and she laughs at him.

“I think on Rudy’s amateur porn site it’s quality that matters, rather than quantity. No. Wait. Maybe quantity. Definitely quantity. RudyReyes.com: the more jizz the better.”

A minute later Ray fucking Person saunters in the door, loose-hipped and also laughing.

"Don't get your panties in a twist, dude," he says, looking at Eames. "Fruity Rudy," he acknowledges with a nod.

He's dressed in regulation Recon black. He looks about half Reyes' size, but Eames does not make the mistake of underestimating him.

"Yeah, he's a wily fucker," says Reyes, catching Eames’ eye as they're bandaging their hands before the randori. “Watch out.”

He sounds almost fond.

Reyes is working them both hard a few minutes later when Eames hears Person pant,

“Dude. No way.”

Eames looks around, instantly alert, but there’s nothing to see but Person’s projection, sitting on the floor in the corner, with one leg tucked under her and the other splayed out to the side. The video camera is lying, forgotten, by another woman’s hip. She’s wearing a Clash t-shirt with a hole on the shoulder, and Eames knows her intimately.

“That is one slutty ho subconscious you’ve got there, man,” says Person, smacking his lips and elbowing Eames in the side, almost conspiratorially.

Eames does not point out that it’s Person’s projection that has her thumbs pressed against his girl’s nipples, flicking them casually through her thin t-shirt. She’s whispering; Eames strains to hear and realises that the two projections are talking about encryption codes.

He levels one heavy, amused look at Person, and Person flushes, ever so slightly.

After that--forward projections aside, that is--Eames likes Ray fucking Person well enough. They make good training partners, when their paths cross. Person is extremely quick on the uptake and has a mouth that makes Eames think of an Oxbridge philosophy student who has spent several years in a Manchester prison, reading pornography about Victorian whorehouses.

(...Eames has a lot of friends in prison.)

They’re the best of incidental acquaintances, but Eames spends most of his time shuttling between Kandahar and Bagram, trying to train two battalions’ worth of men, and they don’t often get a chance to speak. In those days, Eames is committed to government work in a way he never will be again, and he takes his job fairly seriously. It’s not the sort of commitment anyone ought to trust, even in those early days, but it’s still more reliable than the amused apathy that comes later, when Eames finally lets his disillusionment loose. So he works hard, and he and Ray fucking Person pass like pirate ships in the night, throwing insults and volleys of dead rats at each other’s decks, but that’s really all there is to it.

Sometimes, Eames thinks that’s a pity.

_____


This is how it begins, the night before:

Brad Colbert is somewhere in England, Eames hears from someone who hears from someone who hears from Espera. Person appears to think that that somewhere is Eames’ flat, at one in the morning on a Tuesday night.

“You’re not Brad,” he says, when Eames opens the door.

Eames is contemplating the fact that his life seems to be riddled with problems of the lean, dark-haired sort of late (it’s becoming an issue that might require addressing soon), when Ray leans against the doorway, overbalancing dangerously, and slurs,

“What is that pansy-ass shit you’re drinking?”

Eames is holding a bottle of Lagavulin in one hand and a glass in the other. He’s just finished a job that narrowly avoided going awry, and, spike of surprised pleasure at the sight of Ray fucking Person aside, he’s not really in the mood.

"We're not working together anymore, so I no longer have any compunction about breaking this bottle over your head," he says.

"What's compunction mean."

He’s not really asking, so Eames says, not really meaning it,

"You are possibly the dimmest person I know.”

"Yeah, but I've got the biggest cock." Ray leers.

He drops his bag at the entrance to Eames’ flat, and heads for the kitchen. He buries the top half of his body in the cupboards by the freezer, saying nothing.

“The glasses are above the sink,” Eames says.

“Yeah,” says Ray, emerging with something clutched in each hand. “But the bottles of whiskey aren’t.”

_____


This is what happens, just then:

Ray’s toes are curled into the woven rug by the side of the bed as he drinks his coffee, and Eames is contemplating pulling him up by the arch of his foot and putting his mouth to the hollow of Ray fucking Person’s hip.

His sore abdominals are telling him that Person is a good fuck. He knows from fairly long acquaintance that he and Person are something like kindred spirits, if only in their ability to drive other people mad.

Ray’s projections like Eames’ projections’ breasts.

Eames hangover is receding, no-one’s been sick yet, and he rather thinks surrendering the fruits of the night to a blackout would make for an unfortunate loss.

Person looks at him askance, shifting his legs again, almost as if he knows what Eames is thinking.

Eames puts the elephant down on the bedside table. He reaches a hand out, and Ray twists towards him, and then there’s the sound of a key in the lock.

Person picks up the gun. Eames shimmies into boxers that don’t fit him and throws a pair of trousers in Ray’s direction. The redhead at the door is wearing a peasant skirt, and she looks between them, wide-eyed.

“Who the fuck are you?” she says in a New England accent, already reaching for her mobile, widening her stance.

She’s getting ready to run. Or to kick someone in the face, judging by the definition of her arms under her blouse. Eames likes her already.

“Uh,” Ray says.

The girl’s eyes shift to him. They drop to the gun in his hand and she moves her body, shielding herself with the corridor wall.

“Person,” Eames hisses, tightly, and Ray immediately raises his hands, lowering the gun slowly onto the bed and holding his hands up.

“Colbert,” he says, steadily. His voice is reassuring, cajoling. “Brad Colbert? We’re his friends?”

The girl in the doorway narrows her eyes.

“Who the--- Oh. Brad. Like Nate?”

Eames shifts on his feet, unsure.

“Yes! Like Nate,” says Person, clearly relieved, somewhat bemused. “The LT. What a man. Uh. The captain. That is.”

Eames nods encouragingly, trying to give her a charming smile. She bares her teeth at him. It is not a friendly gesture.

“I’m going to go get the paper,” she says. “When I get back, be gone.”

“Sure thing,” says Person, affably.

“Your cat went out the window, I’m afraid,” says Eames, trying to spare her another nasty surprise in a few minutes.

She narrows her eyes again.

“I don’t have a cat.”

“Of course not,” says Eames.

Person snorts behind him.

“And there has never been an unlicenced firearm in this flat,” she says.

“Never have you ever. Got it, baby,” Ray says.

She looks at them, menacing, and then turns to walk away.

“Hey, thanks for the coffee!” Ray calls out after her.

“Hey, you weirdo, fuck off!” her voice calls back.

_____


They end up in a Café Nero. They are, in fact, in East Aldgate.

“How did you know she knew Colbert?”

Person shrugs.

“I didn’t. But the only person I know here is Brad. Anyway. Didn’t look like she knew Brad, really, did it. Thank god for the LT’s network of pinko students of Greek homoeroticism, I guess.”

He’s got half a cranberry muffin in the hollow of one cheek; he’s spraying crumbs everywhere as he speaks.

“You know me,” says Eames. “In England, I mean.”

“Yeah,” says Ray. “But I was clearly in charge of navigation back to her place. Ergo, it had to be somewhere I knew to go.”

“How do you know it was you, Person?” asks Eames.

“The last thing you remember is the sex shop, am I right?” asks Ray.

Eames has a brief flash of getting hit in the face with a fluorescent green dildo. The soundtrack is Person’s nasally laugh.

“Probably,” he says, considering. “Possibly there was singing in a taxi.”

“On the way to the Chicken Cottage with the rabid dog and the hajji whose cat we stole, right,” says Person.

Eames tries not to let the blankness show on his face.

“I did not steal a cat from a Middle Eastern man,” he says.

Person reaches over, crams the remainder of Eames’ muffin into his mouth.

“That retarded, clueless look on your face right now? That’s how I know I’m the one who took us back to Pop Art homo yuppie central,” he says. “But if it makes your silver-spoon, boarding school faggoty ass feel better, you did tell me I couldn’t call people hajji here. Ooh, messages.”

Person looks down at his mobile, presses a few buttons. He places the Blackberry on the tabletop, face-up, and a voice comes through the speaker.

“Person,” it says.

It’s Colbert.

“I don’t know what part of your hick, cow-fucking-addled, NASCAR-baby-mama-bred, Ripped-Fuel-fucked, trailer-park, sweaty-ballsack-fantasy-filled shit-for-brains excuse for a mind thought it was a good idea to call me at three fifty-seven in the morning,” it continues.

Ray rocks back in his chair, laughing and clapping his hands delightedly, mouth emitting muffin crumbs upwards like the crater of a recently dormant volcano. He listens to the rest of the message, a combination of menace and affection, with the same level of delight.

“Ahh, Brad,” he says, when the message stops playing. He reaches out a hand towards the phone, almost as if to pet it, as the Blackberry moves to the next message.

“Ray,” the phone says.

The voice is steady, authoritative. Person pales.

“I don’t know how you got Madison’s address,” it says. “But you can rest assured I will make a point to call her tomorrow, for a nice morning conversation. Then I will call Brad to give him the corresponding sitrep. Have a good day. Corporal,” it signs off, with the sort of dangerous pleasantry that takes years to perfect.

Person swallows the last of his espresso.

“Don’t your parents have a house in Kent, dude?” he asks.

Eames nods, fantastically amused at the change in Ray’s expression, not even caring how Person found that out. He knows the name of the street that Person's family lives on in Nevada, he supposes.

“Yeah. We should go there. Is now good for you? It’s good for me.”

Eames stretches, trying to work out a kink in his upper back.

“Actually, darling,” he says, but then Person stands up and leans over him, pushing his tongue into Eames’ mouth, quick and clever and dirty.

He fists his hand in the collar of Eames t-shirt, and licks his mouth open again and again, catching Eames’ teeth between his lips, almost as an afterthought.

Eames presses his hand into the small of Person’s back. He can see the shape of the gun against Ray’s hip, from where it’s tucked under his fraying jumper, and he hopes that their enthusiasm won’t reveal it, leading to a misunderstanding where someone thinks they’re trying to hold up a Café Nero, as if they’re in a terrible American film about wasted youth.

“It’s near Tonbridge,” he says, against Ray’s mouth.

“I have no idea where the fuck that is,” Ray whispers back, wet. “And I can’t say I care.”

“We can take the train,” Eames offers.

“Let me blow you in the bathroom first,” Ray suggests.

They compromise.

_____



(hahaha who am I even kidding, I already wrote another 1,000 words of this. MORE LIKE TROMBLEY!?!?!?)







[Poll #1617722]




(ETA: Hahaha, oh, Merlin, back with your funky Anglo-Saxon. But ooh, Merlin, call out to me all angry-like, baby.)
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