1. the one that's an AU
Josh says he wants his children to be warriors. Wants them to stalk the earth with steel-booted feet and daggers for teeth. Tearing all asunder, and Brody frowns, and that's when Dave knows she won't last long. They never do, but Brody's special, and Dave had hoped she might.
Pale and fierce and most of all angry, she held their child up to the sun and proclaimed the world his for the taking. Not a hint of red hair in his curls, but his eyes are blue. Josh's, maybe. Theirs, in any case.
They bury her in a grave out in the desert, sand flying into his eyes makes it seem like he's crying. Maybe he is. It hurts, nonetheless, like nothing much has in the past few months. He used to be somebody, he knows -
"I used to be famous."
"Probably. Not entirely sure for what, though."
Josh carries the baby, and when Brody is buried deep enough that the vultures won't get at her, he carves a tiny wound on the child's arm with the ivory-handled knife he used to kill his mother. Baby doesn't cry, although the blood is bright and red.
2. the one where someone's a vampire
Josh is pulling his teeth out with a pair of pliers. The blood is shiny and red on the porcelain sink and soaked in the the towel that he's using to stem the flow. "They grow back," he says, or he mumbles, afterwards. "Sharper than before. It's easier than using a file to sharpen them." Dave generally thinks easier is relative. Such as: massive blood loss and overwhelming pain is, relatively speaking, not so much "easier" than an hour spent with a file and a mirror.
But then what does he know. He's only human. More or less. Josh eyes him speculatively, and slips blood into his whiskey when he thinks Dave isn't looking. "I think I'll pass on immortality, thanks," he said once, because he'd signed up to be a guest drummer in a band, five minutes of free time being too much to bear, not to be offered a place among the undead. Josh had carefully explained to him how they weren't exactly immortal, and how someday he'd tell him all about the difference between myth and reality.
"We have about ten minutes before they all grow back in." Josh opens his mouth, and true enough, Dave can see tiny little teeth pushing out of his gums. The wounds closing and healing back in. "Want a blowjob? They love guys like me in prison."
3. the one where they're both in love with someone else
An ex once told him, when he tried to explain to her how certain people weren't so bad, and that one really shouldn't judge, that there was in fact such a thing as being a little too laid back. Dave then tried to explain to her that sometimes you get so beyond rage it's almost a calming experience, but she never really quite got that.
Josh puts Interpol on in every single shitty motel room in every single shitty state, and he likes to say, in his slow, easy drawl, "Channel, don't suppress." Which makes Dave laugh, because that's why he's here in the first place. Channeling hate and rage in the pit of his belly, and Josh talks too much when he's stoned, allows his disdain of most people to shine through, so Dave just sits back and lets him ramble, and pushes him down when he pauses to draw breath.
Everybody knows he dances like he fucks like he talks like he walks exactly like the way he croons yeah baby, baby come for me, just for me. In this shitty motel room in this shitty state, where the only good thing is the beer because that's the only thing everyone has to live for, Josh drives him into the sheets, fingers pressed on the back of his neck, not hard enough to bruise but strong enough to hold him still, hold him down.
Times like these, Dave never has to think, and the only time it's better is those two hours of the night when nothing matters but the rhythm and the heat and the bright lights.
And when Nick wanders past later, unsteady on his feet and barely connected to the earth, Josh's eyes narrow and Dave says, "Channel, don't suppress," and Josh laughs and says -
"I never said I wasn't a hypocrite. Sometimes."
Neither one of them can let go, but times like these, it doesn't seem to matter.
4. the one where one of them's a girl
The last time it's up against a wall in some alleyway at the back of some shitty club, just like the first time. "We should jam," she'd said, and what she'd meant was "We should fuck," and what he meant when he said "Fuck, yeah," was "Fuck, yeah." Almost as tall as he was, long legs in stilettos and she was a dirty fuck, just like he thought she would be, almost too vulgar to be pretty, but only almost.
Jo's hair all over her face, Dave's fingers gripped around her waist and his head buried in her neck. He's been dumped before, he's certain that it'll be okay someday soon. His usual methods of getting over someone involves copious amounts of alcohol followed by copious amounts of moping, followed by even more alcohol and maybe some random bitching to strangers who mostly will not care but he's usually too drunk by then to give a damn.
He probably won't be bitching about Jo. "Bitch left me for another woman and I more or less approve," sounds too whipped, even for him.
5. the one where nothing much actually happens
They're in the middle of a desert, watching the sun rise, because someone, at some point, had suggested just piling into the car and driving, after the show - Vegas is not just for strippers and casinos, baby - and so they did, and this is why he's here in the first place - court cases and lawyer's offices isn't what he wants to think about when he's thinking about what he loves and what he's dedicated his life to -- and now they're both sitting on the hood and passing around a bottle of whiskey. Dave isn't sure where everyone else is - he's certain neither one of them drove and that he was squeezed tight during the ride, but there's too much alcohol in his system and he's too comfortable to ponder that question for more than a passing second.
"So I said, fuck all this shit I'll just do it myself," and if he were a poet he'd go on about how the Josh's hair caught the sun just so or some shit like that, but he's not, not really, not like that. So he laughs instead, and steals the bottle back from Josh.
There's a feeling threading through his veins, and it might just be contentment, although he hasn't had that in years and it might just be the alcohol speaking, but he'll take it nonetheless. "You wanna talk, at some point, about yester-"
"Naw, fuck it, dude. Talk is overrated. Action is far, far better." The smile he gives Dave is lazy and slow, and sometimes Dave walks around feeling fucking old, and tonight's no different, but it doesn't matter right now.
"Kids," he says suddenly. "That's what it's all about, I think. The true meaning of life. Or rock-and-roll. No, yeah. That, definitely."