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After the Storm

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Connor has been going on what must have been the world's biggest adrenaline kick, and doing things, rather than thinking them through, but now, with Murphy safely tucked under him on the bed, he allows it to sink in.

"They'd have fuckin' executed you, brother," he whispers.

"For a fuckin' bar fight, the pansies," agrees Murphy. "But you sure showed'em." A grin forms impishly on his lips. "Tore the fuckin' toilet right out of the wall and dropped it on his fuckin' head."

Laughter shakes Murphy's chest and Connor feels a grin spreading on his own lips.

"And you jumped five fuckin' stories down, you idiot," Murphy says softly, gripping Connor's arm tightly.

"Not that idiot tho," says Connor seriously, "sent the toilet first, didn't I?"

They share a laugh again, and Connor rests his head on Murphy's chest, feeling it rise and fall with breathing, with laughing, with life. He feels something wet trickle down his cheeks, and how fucked up is it that his first thought is that it must be blood? But Murphy's looking at him, and he doesn't look worried, at least not in the "blood on your face" kind of way. He just grips Connor tighter and doesn't say anything, doesn't mock, tease or frown, he just lets Connor's tears wash over them like rain on battered earth.

Connor's the sky and the rain, and Murph is his ground and his strength, he thinks as he strokes both sides of Murphy's face, then Murphy flips them over and now he's the one looking up from the depths of the North sea of his tears, and where the fuck does all this fuckin' poetry come from?

"Fuck, Murph," he says, "I think I'm turning into a girl."

"Nah," says Murphy,"if you did I might not want to do this," and he draws his face even closer to Connor's, breathes and puffs lightly over his cheeks, then Murph's lips are on his jaw, his neck, pressing little kisses everywhere. It's another old game of theirs, and they've often went farther than this, but something's different now. Now they know they're going to go through with it, so they take the slow way.

"You know I'd tear down the heavens for you," Connor whispers as he kisses Murph's collarbone, "and I'd jump to the depths of hell if I had to."

"Don't talk like that," Murph says into his hair, before kissing his ear.

"But it's the truth," says Connor, then covers his mouth with his hand, showing his trigger finger to Murphy, and Murph smiles.

"And what is justice without truth, or truth without justice?" he murmurs, bringing his own tattooed hand over his mouth. Connor leans closer until their fingers touch, then the hands retreat slowly, and their lips meet for a deep kiss, while AEQUITAS twines in Connor's hair to hold Connor close, and VERITAS strokes Murphy's neck, feeling the pulse there, twin to the rhythm of the blood thudding through Connor's own veins.