Actions

Work Header

The Ruiner

Work Text:

The ruiner's got a lot to prove he's got nothing to lose and now he made you believe
The ruiner's your only friend well he's the living end to the cattle he deceives
The raping of the innocent you know the ruiner ruins everything he sees
Now the only pure thing left in my fucking world is wearing your disease!
-NIN

Looking over the railing from Moriaty's saloon, taking in the smell and sound of Megaton, Sparrow sighed, he took a sip of his beer which Colin Moriaty had been nice enough to let him have for free, mostly because he didn't have a single bottlecap to his name.

”Hey there stranger” He heard a voice behind him. Sparrow turned his head slowly to see where it came from, ”Leave me the hell alone.” He sneered, he was depressed and worried. Dad had been this way, Colin had told him so. But unless he went and sorted some ridicolous debt for him, Sparrow wouldn't get any information. No doubt about it, Colin was a bona fide jerk.

”Hey kid.” The voice said again, ”Are you alright?”

”Peachy.” Sparrow sighed. He didn't have anywhere to sleep, he was hungry and miserable, and he was sure that Colin Moriaty that fucker, sat in his little office laughing his ass off. The door to Moriaty's opened and music came out into the chilly night air.

The person behind him apparently weren't a quitter, and stepped closer. ”You don't look all that peachy to me, kiddo.” The person leaned against the rail next to Sparrow and sighed, ”Are you even old enough to drink beer?” He asked.

Rage overflowed, Sparrow was tired, scared and pissed off, and with a swift move, much faster than he thought he was cabable of, he drew his gun and aimed it directly at the man's head. ”I can do whatever i fucking please.” Sparrow growled, ”Would you just piss off and stop with the questions.”

The man turned his head and looked at Sparrow, and Sparrow noted that he didn't look all that old himself, maybe the eyepatch made him look older than he actually was? ”I'd get that gun back down before Simms sees you.” He man said, watching as Sparrow slowly lowered the gun with a sour expression.

”I'm Billy.” The man said, nodding with a friendly smile.

”Sparrow.” Sparrow said as he fastned the gun in his belt again. When Billy didn't say anything, Sparrow looked up at his puzzled face. ”My name man, it's Sparrow.”

”Oh.” Billy laughed, ”Creative.”

”Tell that to my mom and dad.” Sparrow looked up into the starlit skies, ”Was there something you wanted Billy? Or do you just like chatting up young men infront of Moriatys?” His voice was more venomous than he meant them to be, it was just that in his relatively short life, he had met more hardship within the last couple of months than ever before. This shit made all his dreams while he lived in the Vault, childish and ignorant. There were no good people out here in the wastes, only greedy, crazy, lying assholes. And he was sure that this dude Billy was no different.

”Truth?” Billy asked, ”I saw you standing there in your vault coveralls, looking like someone who was about to cry. And well, i was just checking if you were okay.” He chewed his lip, ”Visiting relatives?”

”Of course! Did you think i was here by my self? What kind of madman do you take me for?.” Sparrow argued, taking a sip of his beer, slowly putting the now empty bottle down on the ground.

Billy squinted his eyes, ”What's their names?”

Sparrow buried his face in his hands and took a deep breath, when Billy asked like that he was sure that the idiot knew just about everyone here in Megaton, and would know that he lied. ”Okay, okay.” Sparrow admitted, ”I'm just passing through looking for someone.”

Billy nodded, ”I'm not exactly a stranger to that myself.”

Sparrow nodded.

”Alright, good night then Sparrow, and good luck with it all.” Billy smiled, holding out his hand for Sparrow. ”I hope you find who you're looking for.”

Sparrow watched Billy off the deck with Moriatys, and his tired brain just overwrote all sense. ”Wait!” Sparrow called, but didn't know what to say after that, so for a moment he just stood and stared at Billy. Sparrow licked his lips, ”I..”

”Hungry?” Billy asked, holding out his hand.

”God yes!” Sparrow gasped, and his stomach began to growl as to drive home the severity of it.

”Come on then, i made some stew for Maggie and me.” Billy started walking and Sparrow followed obediently. Stopping outside Billy's door, Sparrow leaned against the wall, ”Hey.” Sparrow said in a hushed voice, ”I don't have any bottlecaps to pay you, I don't have anything i can give you or sell either.. I.. I only have me.” Sparrow smiled a little crooked smile at Billy. And by the expression of Billy he could tell that the man understood just fine what he was saying.

He just looked a little sad, ”No need for that, kiddo. Come on, the food is on me.” Pushing the door open, gesturing for Sparrow to walk in.

Not sure he trusted it, Sparrow shrugged and slipped into the warm house.

~*~

Billy put a bowl of food infront of Sparrow and sat down watching Sparrow wolf it down. And he couldn't help but to laugh as Sparrow held out the bowl for more. ”You really were hungry huh?” Billy joked, but filled the bowl once more regardless.

Sparrow just nodded and continued eating, showing no signs of slowing down. When he finally had had his fill he leaned back in the chair and burped. Billy just took the bowl and asked if Sparrow wanted coffee. Sparrow opened his eyes wide, ”You have coffee?”

Billy smiled, ”I know a trader or two that comes by here sometimes.” He poured some brown liquid for Sparrow in a cup, ”I used to travel with different caravans before i met Maggie.” Billy seated himself at the table. ”When i found her I settled here in Megaton.”

Sparrow nodded, and sipped the coffee, ”Amazing.” He whispered to himself, he hadn't tasted it since he had lived in the Vault. ”Where's Maggie?” He asked.

”Sleeping upstairs.” Billy said, taking off his hat, leaving it on the table, ”Look i will get you a blanket and you can sleep there.” He shrugged appologetic, and pointed at the floor infrint of the fireplace. ”Sorry but i don't have an extra bed.”

”Don't worry about it.” Sparrow smiled, running a hand over his unkempt mohawk, ”It's really nice of you to let me sleep here.”

”Sure.” Billy said and crawled upstairs to find a extra blanket.

Sparrow watched him go upstairs and sighed, he tried to figure out if Billy was lonely, or if he was really helpful, he didn't know. But he did know something about the wastelands, and the Vault alike, nothing, and he did mean nothing, came for free. Maybe he should just strip now and get it overwith, or wait till Billy would come and force himself on him in the night. Deciding that he would rather have it up front where he could see it, he started to undo his boots.

”Don't.” Billy said, as he had returned with pillow and blanket. ”I told you there was no need for any form for payment.”

Sparrow looked up at Billy, both relieved and suspicious. But he nodded none the less. ”Thanks.” He whispered holding out his hands to recieve the blankets.

”Just sleep, i will finish up here.” Billy said, and returned to the table where he started with taking Sparrow's dirty bowl. Sparrow on the other hand laid down on the floor with a relieve sigh, pulling the blanket up, but slipping his gun in under his pillow, just in case.

~*~

The sun was high when Sparrow woke, rolling over he saw four pairs of eyes staring at him. ”Good morning.” He mumbled and stretched.

”Good morning sleepyhead.” Billy said, grinning at Maggie.

Sparrow got to his feet and came to the table, grabbing his boots and started to tie them back up. ”It was really great that you let me stay over.” he mumbled, feeling strangely aware of Maggie's eyes on him.

”Billy!” Maggie said knowingly, like Billy was supposed to say something he didn't.

Billy cleared his throat. ”Maggie felt so sorry for you that she thought we made you something.” He pushed a bundle of stuff over the table towards Sparrow.

Sparrow looked at the bundle and then up at Maggie and Billy, ”I can't possibly -”

”Of course you can.” Billy said friendly, ”It's a dogpelt to sleep on, believe me it's cold out there soon. Some food, ammonition for your gun, and bottle of water and some bottlecaps. It will help you a little.”

Sparrow looked at the gift, ”You're just giving me this?” He asked not sure how to react.

”We are.” Maggie said with a smile. ”I hope you find your dad.”

”Maggie!” Billy scolded, giving the girlchild a hard look. When Sparrow just looked very surprised, Billy shrugged and smiled appologetic, ”You talk in your sleep.”

”Oh.” Sparrow blushed, fingereing the dogpelt. And then looked at Maggie, ”I hope i find him too.” He admitted.

Maggie jumped down from her chair and left the house, waving at Sparrow, skipping out the door into Megaton to play with her friends. Billy just smiled at it, and as soon as she was out the door, turned to Sparrow. ”Raiders killed her family, it was a fucking slaughter, and i found this little girl amongst it all. How ever she avoided to get killed i don't know, but i've taken care of her ever since.”

”Brutal.” Sparrow admitted.

Billy nodded, ”So where are you going?”

”Springvale.” Sparrow said, ”I gotta get Moriaty to tell me where my dad went.” He picked up the bundle and put it down in his backpack, ”It's all i have to go on.”

”I understand,” Billy said, ”But be careful, Moriaty is a bastard.”

”So i noticed.” Sparrow sighed standing to his feet. Billy walked over to the door with him. ”Again.” Sparrow said, ”Thank you for your hospitality.”

”Any time, kiddo.” Billy said with a big smile, ”If you should find yourself in Megaton in the future, feel free to knock on my door.”

Sparrow nodded, ”Goodbye then.”

”Goodbye.” Billy said, never expecting that Sparrow suddenly wrapped his arms around his neck and kissed him. It was a chaste kiss, but none the less it left Billy bothered as he stood outside his house and watched as Sparrow made his way down the ramps and stairs, leaving Megaton.

~*~

It would be a year later when Sparrow knocked on Billy's door once more. Billy opened and looked up and down the willowry, mangy looking young man outside. Sparrow smiled drunk, ”Don't you recognize me? It's me, Sparrow.” When Billy still looked confused, Sparrow's expression faded, ”You gave me a dogpelt. Remember?”

”Oh yes!” Billy lit up, ”The kid that looked for his dad.”

”Yeah.”

”So did you find him?” Billy asked, letting Sparrow come into the warm house.

”Not yet.” Sparrow admitted, pulling a bottle from his jacket, ”Want some?” He held it out to Billy.

”No, i don't drink.” Billy said with a little smile, ”What brings you back to Megaton then?” He asked, making himself a cup of tea, happy that Maggie was at a friends house, so she didn't have to deal with some drunk fella barging in their door.

”You do.” Sparrow said with a little timid smile, and drunken courage.

”Come again?”

”You heard me,” Sparrow said, leaning in over the table looking at Billy with half lidded drunken eyes, ”Are you gonna make me repeat myself?”

Billy resigned and sat down with his cup, ”I heard you.” He admitted, scratching his cheek, staring at the wreck at the table, having a hard time seeing the boy from last year. ”I just don't understand it.”

Sparrow took a swing of the bottle, and rested his chin in his hand, elbow on the tabletop. Staring at Billy, slightly amused. ”Why is that so hard to understand?”

Billy shook his head and stood up, he could hear what the kid didn't say between the lines, it didn't make him hot and bothered, contrare it just saddned him that the wasteland had ruined the kid so fast, like he knew it would. ”You stink.” He finally said, How about you get a bath and then sleep it off in Maggie's bed?

Something flashed in Sparrows eyes, like a spark of something real under all that attitude. Sparrow didn't answer, he just nodded. He knew he was disgusting, but truth was he had travel very far to come, but he was not about to admit to that. Nor why he had come, it was true that he had come to Megaton because of Billy, but not entirely only to hopefully get laid. Truth was that he was tired and lonely, and just needed someone, even was it just for an evening, and even should they only talk, it was fine. Like recharging his battery. He felt safe with Billy and Maggie, they had been so kind to him, and he had no reason to think they'd be anything but this time too.

”Maybe you'll even sober up?” Billy jested, but Sparrow just smiled. Billy smiled back but the smile never reached his eye, what was this kid on? He handed him a shirt and a pair of pants and told him where the showers was, since there wasn't one in the house.

~*~
Billy couldn't resist to go through Sparrows bag as soon as the kid was out the door. He found what he expected, ammo and canned food, some bandages that was almost clean, some Rad-x, and in the bottom he found several containers of Jet. He frowned but reminded himself that he couldn't really judge. Instead he went left the bag alone and went through the kitchen for something to make him, ”Cram it is.” He laughed to himself.

Sparrow stepped barefoot back through the door, his own stinky clothes and boots in one hand, and his bottle of vodka in the other. ”Something smells good.” He said with a little smile, dropping his stinky pile by the door and walked through the room to Billy who was stirring in a pot. He wrapped his arms around Billy's waist and rested his chin on Billy's shoulder. ”What's for dinner?”

”Don't.” Billy just groaned, feeling Sparrow's smile spread against his ear. Sparrow moved one hand, but only used it to brush Billy's hair away so he could kiss his neck. The other hand slowly pushed itself under Billy's belt. Billy closed his eyes, taking a deep breath, ”I'm not gay.” He said with a reasonably steady voice.

”That's fine.” Sparrow whispered sweetly, biting Billy's ear playfully. ”You can just close your eyes, and imagine i am someone else.”

”What?” Billy gasped, finally getting the courage to turn around, pushing Sparrow off, holding him out in stretched arms, studying him. ”If i were to bed you, i don't want to imagine you're someone else! Goddamn kid! How can you think so little of yourself?”

Sparrow just smiled empty, ”Don't you like me?” He asked with a tiny voice.

Billy sighed, ”Of course i do -But.”

”-But not like that.” Sparrow finished, finally averting Billy's gaze.

”Look Sparrow, i know how things gets twisted when you travel the Wasteland, and I am 'telling' you once and for all, i don't want your sexual favours, okay?” He tried to catch Sparrows elusive gaze. ”It's true what i said that you have a home here in Megaton. I am giving you all of this because i want to, not because of what you can give me.”

Sparrow nodded sadly, and as Billy let his shoulders go, Sparrow closed the shirt with a hand holding the fabric. ”Sorry.” He mumbled. ”I thought that- Well i thought something else.” He admitted softly.

Billy felt so sorry for the boy as he stood there, lost on the floor. Insecurity rolling off him in waves. ”I made you Cram.”

”That was kind of you.” Sparrow said and sat down dutifully, and slowly dug down into the Cram. Not at all like last where he had swallowed the food too fast.

”So did you stay in Springvale?” Billy asked trying to make light conversation.

Sparrow just shook his head.

”Okay..” Billy said, ”Where did you go then?”

”Here and there.” Sparrow said, not really answering. He put finished the Cram and finally looked up at Billy with dull eyes, ”Thanks for the food, i really mean that, man.”

”You're welcome.” Billy said watching as Sparrow stood and walked over to his dirty pile of clothes, pulling off the shirt he borrowed to put his old one on. ”You leaving?”

”Yeah, i have somewhere i gotta be.” Sparrow said with his back to Billy.

Billy crossed his arms. ”You're full of shit.”

”So what?” Sparrow said, finally turning around to face the one-eyed man at the table. ”What is it to you?”

Billy nodded understanding the kids anger. ”You don't have to leave, you know.”

”Yes i do.” Sparrow sighed, ”It was a mistake comming here.” He said as were he thinking out loud.

Taking a dive off into the deep end Billy stood from his chair, ”You should let Doc Church look at that habit of yours.”

”Did you go through my things?” Sparrow asked mortified.

”I might have.” Billy admitted, walking over to Sparrow at the door. ”Look, i worry for you.”

Sparrow hung his head, he wanted to be angry, but he just couldn't. How long had it been since he had heard those words? ”You shouldn't, i'm fine.” He mumbled, ”I should be getting back out there though.”

”It's the middle of the night,” Billy argued.

”So?” Sparrow asked, pulling on his boots.

Billy finally grabbed Sparrow's arm, ”Stay.”

”What for?” Sparrow asked innocently, looking up at Billy, ”You made it quite clear that you have no interest in me staying. And I am not your charity case.”

”Dammit, Sparrow.” Billy whined.

Finally Sparrow had had enough of dancing around the subject. ”I thought i could trust you, I thought you liked me.” Sparrow argued hotly, working himself up into childish hysteria. ”I came here with a simple request. I read you wrong, that's all.” Sparrow sucked in his breath and picked up his backpack. ”See you around Billy, I think i embarassed myself enough for one day.”

Billy's shoulders slumped, and he shook his head, ”Shit, Sparrow.”

”Yeah I know.” Sparrow spat, ”I must have been crazy coming here.” He shook his head. He opened the door, ”Again, thanks for the food Billy.” And with that Sparrow walked out into the dark of Megaton. He didn't turn around to see Billy stand there in the door looking after him. He went in a straight bee-line or as straight as Megaton would let him, to Moriatys and walked in to get a beer.

~*~

He walked straight past the patrons and ordered a beer from the ghoul. Sparrow felt a missery to his bones, how could he have read Billy that wrong? All he had wanted was just a touch that was not selfish. He couldn't quite put words to the feeling, but he just wanted to feel alive. He was so used to giving and taking, all with a purpose, he couldn't remember when he had last just hugged someone for the sake of hugging. Funny how stuff like that got to you after a while.

”If it isn't Cathrine and James' kid again.” Colin Moriaty said with a smile as he peeked out from his office.

Sparrow nodded at Moriaty,

”I hear you fucked over those Ghoul assholes at Tenpenny tower.” Colin said, ”I always hated those freaks.”

”Thanks.” Sparrow said, squirming a little in his seat, he wasn't about to tell Colin that he wasn't exactly proud of how he had solved that one. Making sure not to look at Gob.

”Come on kid, come have a drink with me at my office.” Colin said and gestured for Sparrow to come over.

With a deep sigh Sparrow got up from his chair and followed Colin to the backroom. ”You been at Billy Creeds house again?” Moriaty asked, just looking at Sparrow with a slightly bored expression.

”Yeah, suppose i have.” Sparrow admitted, there was no use in lying, apparently Moriaty was very well informed about what went on in Megaton.

”I have some information about him and Maggie that might interest you.” Colin leaned in to look Sparrow directly in the eyes, as he poured them both some vodka. ”But as always.” He leaned back and shrugged, ”Information doesn't come for free.”

”Not interested.” Sparrow just said flatly, taking a sip of the vodka poured for him, forgetting his stale beer.

”Really?” Moriaty said with a little smirk. ”I thought you were fucking him.”

Sparrow rose a brow, ”You thought wrong.” He shrugged.

Colin clearly didn't believe it, ”I'm gonna toss you a freebee kid,” He smiled, ”He used to have another kid comming round, about your age. A wasteland adventurer like yourself. His name was Clive.”

Sparrow's interest was piqued, ”What happened to him?”

Moriaty just smiled, ”Want more, you gotta pay.”

Sparrow deflated in his chair with an annoyed groan. ”What do you want?”

Moraty smiled predatorily. ”You can either bring me a couple of bottles of Rum, or..”

”Rum?” Sparrow asked, ”I haven't seen Rum anywhere.”

”I'm sure it's out there.”

Sparrow nodded, knowing what Moriaty's game was, ”Prolly up about Old Olney there is a bar that has two bottles, am i right?” When Moriaty didn't answer, Sparrow sighed, ”What was the alternative?” He knew it all too well, but he wanted to hear it form that old disgusting bastard.

”I always had a crush on Cathrine.” He started, laughing softly.

Sparrow leaned in, ”You give me everything you have on Billy.”

”You have my word.” Moriaty said, staring at Sparrow.

Sparrow almost rolled his eyes, but pointed at the bottle of vodka. ”And that.”

”You got it.”

Sparrow took a deep breath and got up from his chair, took two steps and fell down to his knees between Colin's thighs, with a soft thud.

~*~

Walking out of the bar again, Sparrow was confused and worried, He took a sip of the vodka, gargled and spat it out. ”Shit.” He dry heaved, and in the end just stuck his fingers down his throat and emptied his stomach, clutching the siding of Moriaty's bar. He spat again and straightened, flexed his shoulders and took a deep breath. Making a mental note to kill Colin Moriaty off, fist chance he got.

And this time he left Megaton with a heavy heart.

~*~

Another year would pass before Sparrow came back, and this time he was not along, Dogmeat walked slowly behind him, lifting it's had sniffing in the smell of food from the Brass Lantern. Sparrow smiled politely at people who smiled and greeted him, walking straight to Craterside Supply, he couldn't help but to look up at Billy and Maggie's house. On his search for dad, Sparrow had found the boy that Colin Moriaty had told him about, Clive. Or rather he had found Clive's grave up at Paradise Falls. He was dead sure it was the same Clive, because the cross had said 'Clive of Megaton' edged into the wood. Sparrow pushed the door up to Craterside Supply, leaving Dogmeat outside.

As he came out again, he found a girl petting Dogmeat, he tilted his head, recognizing her. ”Hey Maggie.” He said squatting down, scratching Dogmeat as well.

”Hi Sparrow.” Maggie said, her pigtales still in place even if she was really too old to wear them. ”Is it your doggie?”

”It is.” Sparrow said, ”His name is Dogmeat.”

”What a mean name.” She huffed, ”He looks more like a 'Candyfloss' or maybe a 'Ladybird'.”

Sparrow laughed, ”Well i stand corrected.” He stood up again, ”Give my best to Billy.” Sparrow said as he started to walk down the ramp, ”Come on Dogmeat.” Dogmeat reluctantly left the girl infront of the store, and followed his master.

”Aren't you staying?” Maggie called.

”No, kiddo, not this time.” Sparrow turned and smiled at her, ”Maybe some other time, okay?”

”Billy will be sad knowing you were in Megaton, and didn't stop by.” Maggie argued, crossing her arms over her chest.

Sparrow laughed at her stance amused. ”I don't think so. But say hi to him anyway.” And with that he turned around again and started to walk off. Something he couldn't quite determine made him look up at Billy's house, and there he stood looking down at them. Sparrow raised his hand and waved, everything else would be weird. Billy waved back, gesturing for Sparrow to come up. Sparrow shook his head, and walked down the ramp.

”Just stay for dinner?” Maggie called behind him. ”I'd love to hear what you've been up to. I didn't get to see you last you were here.”

Sparrow stopped, at war with himself, and in the end the taste of warm Cram , and Dogmeat's whining won out. ”Alright.” He sighed, and turned around and walked up to Maggie again, Dogmeat suddenly ran up to her wagging his tail. ”You are horrible.” Sparrow chided the dog, but smiled.

~*~

Billy still stood infront of his house as they got there, ”Hi.” He said smiling a little awkward.

”Hi.” Sparrow said flatly, starting to reget it.

”Hungry?” Billy asked a little too hopeful.

”Like a wolf.” Sparrow admitted.

”Look Billy, Sparrow got a dog!” Maggie cheered, ”I want a dog!” She went into the house, closely followed by Dogmeat.

Billy cleared his throat, ”Look Sparrow, i'm sorry about last time..”

”You have nothing to be sorry for.” Sparrow said with a shrug. When Billy suddenly hugged him, holding him tight, Sparrow was completely confused, but none the less after a little hesitation, also wrapped his arms around Billy. It was a long lost, alien feeling. He buried his head in the crook of Billy's neck, just breathing. ”What's this for?” He whispered.

”I'm just happy to see you back.” Billy whispered back, letting go of Sparrow, looking him over. ”You look better, and you grew out some hair too.”

”You look exactly the same.” Sparrow laughed.

”Come on, kick your boots off.” Billy said with a smile as he gently ushered Sparrow inside his house.

~*~

Later Sparrow sat with a cup of coffee and watched Maggie and Dogmeat as they had fallen asleep infront of the fire. Sparrow looked up as Billy came and sat down too, ”I found Clive,” He just stated, watching Billy pale to ghostly white.

”H-how.. W-where..” Billy stuttered.

”Paradise Falls.” Sparrow stated, ”I found his grave.”

”Oh.” Billy sighed, and his eyes watered up, ”Guess his caravan was caught then.”

Sparrow shook his head, ”They don't bother with actual headstones for slaves, Billy.” He said leaning back in his chair.

Billy held a hand over his mouth. ”Oh God!”

”Clive was a slave trader, rounding up caravans and orphans and whatever he could come across.” Sparrow took a sip of the hot coffee. ”Untill someone offed him that is.”

Billy narrowed his eyes ”How do you know about Clive?”

”Colin Moriaty told me.” Sparrow admitted, ”He thinks that you fucked that kid too, and that Maggie isn't your kid, but your girlfriend.”

”Dear Lord.” Billy put down his cup on the table. ”I would never do that.”

Sparrow shrugged, ”Suppose he just ain't into this whole charity thing?”

”What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” Billy hissed.

”Maybe you sold off Clive to slavers when he got too old?” Sparrow studied Billy intensly, ”Loads of the slavers used to be slaves themselves.”

”That is crazy!” Billy gasped, ”Are you even listening to yourself?”

”I just checked up on Colin's theories, and found facts, and from that made my own conclution.” Sparrow said with a little sad smile. ”So are you gonna tell me the truth?”

Billy looked crestfallen, ”What were you doing in Paradise Falls?”

”Quid pro quo Billy.” Sparrow just said, folding his arms over his chest.

”Alright.” Billy sighed, ”I think i need a drink for this.” He got up and rumaged through cabinets till he found a bottle of wine. ”Yanno, i haven't had a drink in 9 years.” He said mostly to himself as he took a large swing of the bottle and placed it between them on the table. ”I found Clive much like i found you and Maggie. He was alone, left to die in the wasteland, he was too shocked to even recall his name so we named him Clive after my dad. ” Billy smiled, ”He would follow us on the trade routes with the caravans, and we became his family. Then we found Maggie, and i was getting tired of the life in the wasteland. I was already looking to settle here, saving money for this house. And so when we could finally afford it, i left the caravan and settled here with the kids.” He reached for the bottle again, ”As to why Clive isn't here anymore..” He looked over at Maggie sleeping up against Dogmeat. ”Lets just say i caught him getting into Maggie's bed. And i kicked him out.”

Sparrow studied Billy trying to detect any deception. ”He fucked her?” He asked crudely.

Billy shrugged, ”I don't think so. But he would have.” He looked at Sparrow, ”I know everything about people like that, my parents were scavengers.. And well, sometimes life was really hard, and we couldn't find anything to scavenge,” He took a deep breath, ”My mother suffered radiation sickness badly so no one wanted to bed down with her, i don't even think my dad slept next to her. So the only thing they had to trade off was-”

”-You?” Sparrow asked in horror.

Billy nodded. ”So believe me, i would never hurt a child. And Colin Moriaty is wrong.”

Sparrow nodded. ”Wouldn't be the first.” He smiled and took Billy's hand resting on the table, rubbing it gently. ”I believe you.”

”You do?” Billy asked baffled.

”You never been anything but kind to me. And even when i tried to bed you, you rejected me. If you really were like Colin said, i don't think you'd done that.” Sparrow said softly, letting go of Billy's hand. ”And as for what i was doing in Paradise Falls, I was buying weapons.” He smiled a little appologetic, ”I know it's not exactly the 'right' thing, but the rifles are cheap and in exelent order.” Sparrow took the bottle and tasted the bitter wine. Placing the bottle back on the table. He leaned in over the table, resting his chin in his hands, ”Billy, how come you never took a wife?” He asked blunt, ”Maggie could do with a mother.”

”Well..” Billy blushed slightly, taking a deep drink of the bottle. ”No women of interest around.” He admitted as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

”Don't you ever get lonely?” Sparrow asked, blinking.

”God, yes.” Billy admitted.

”Me too.” Sparrow admitted, there was a long awkward pause. ”The offer still stands.” Sparrow said in a near whisper, staring directly at Billy.

Billy sucked in his breath, ”I can't.” He broke their eyecontact, and reached for the bottle again.

”Why not?” Sparrow asked,

”Because...” Billy paused, searching for the right words. ”Because if i want a prostitute i would go pay for one.” He looked up at Sparrow quickly and then back down at his hands in his lap.

”You think i'm a hore?” Sparrow asked, ”Or you think i offered you myself because i feel like i am in debt and have no other means of paying you?”

”I know you're not a prostitute.” Billy said, but his voice lacked convition. He sighed, ”The first time you were here, you didn't seem to understand why i didn't force myself on you, like you fully expected me to, and then you offered it up like a confused dog trying to please it's master.” Billy frowned, ”And the second time you were around you were high as a kite.”

”I am not trying to repay my debt.” Sparrow said, ”I like you, and i miss intimacy, real intimacy.” He could feel his ears burn by that revelation, ”I just wanted you to hold me and tell me that it wasn't all for nothing.”

Billy looked up at Sparrow, ”Liar! Last time you had your hands down my pants. You would have let me fuck you right here on this table if i had wanted it.”

”True.” Sparrow nodded. ”And I am sorry for that. I didn't know you didn't like other men- Like that, i mean.” He looked away from Billy, ”I thought you did, and that you were just playing hard to get.”

”You were blasted off on Jet, kid. You would have had sex with a Brahmin if you thought it had wanted to.” Billy said, ignoring Sparrows appology,

Sparrow frowned, ”I don't get you Billy. I really don't.” He sat back in his chair. ”You know what? I don't need this shit!” As soon as Sparrow touched his bag, Dogmeat opened his eyes and looked sadly at his master. ”Why is it so hard to understand for you that i didn't have ulterior motives?” Sparrow stood up, ”But you know what? Here, if it has to be like this.” He dug his hand down into his bag, and tossed a handful of bottlecaps in Billy's face.

Billy blinked as the bottlecaps hit him in the face, he looked up at Sparrow. ”I'm sorry.”

”For what, man?” Sparrow asked leaning in over the table, looming in over Billy.

”For being all weird.” Billy squirmed, and then he looked up at Sparrow. ”The God honest truth is that you weren't wrong. I forced myself to let you down, I felt like i would be taking advantage of you, if i took what i wanted.”

”You aren't.” Sparrow said softly, ”If anything then I am taking advantage of you.”

Billy seemed thoughtful, and then he held his hand out to Sparrow, ”Come.”

~*~

Sparrow was laying on his back staring up into the cieling, he was so tired his body hummed with sleep, but he wanted to stay awake a little longer, experiencing this most strange feeling. He had fucked numerous of people to get out of trouble, to barter for things he needed, for fun, and sometimes some just took it from him because they wanted it. But this was different, just because he had lusted after it for so long. Plus the complete trust and abandon on Billy's face was worth it all. He snuggled up to Billy's sleeping frame, and fell asleep.

The next morning wasn't as awkward as it could have been, Billy was in a really good mood, and Maggie was thrilled that Sparrow had stayed for the night. Sparrow himself was just a little more smiling, that was all. Maggie ate her breakfast and took Dogmeat out to play, Sparrow was sure she just wanted to show off with a dog, but that was fine by him, he didn't have plans to leave before late that night.

With Maggie out the door, Sparrow turned to Billy who was doing the dishes in silence. ”I'm leaving tonight.” He said softly.

Billy just nodded, ”Alright.”

”Is something wrong?” Sparrow asked leaning up against the kitchen desk.

”No.” Billy said, and then sat down a cup in the sink with a sigh. ”I just don't know what to think anymore.” He turned his head to Sparrow, ”You.. You are everything I could ask for in a lover, and i would welcome that with open arms, was it not for the fact that men don't love or care for other men like that. Men are takers, when you milked this for everything it has, you are gone.”

”Still on with the paranoia?” Sparrow asked amused, till something in Billy's sad gaze told him that Billy spoke honest. ”Billy... The thought of your helpfulness and selfishlessness helped me in situations where i wouldn't have given anything, i chose to set an example and not let the wasteland eat me alive.” Sparrow said, ”You have always stood out to me as something to strive for. And that i thought you were- Devilish handsome that first time we met, doesn't exactly ruin the picture.” He smiled, he knew he lied, but maybe it was what Billy needed to hear. ”But for what it's worth, i believe that men can love eachother like that. Why shouldn't we be able to do that?”

”I lied to you.” Billy sighed, ”For a little over a month ago i asked Lucy to be my wife- And..”

Sparrow frowned sucking in his breath. ”Oh.” Then he smiled the fakest of all smiles, ”Congratulations.”

”You don't mean that.” Billy said, turning to Sparrow. ”Or last night was a lie.”

Sparrow put on a mask of indifference, ”You chose, whatever gets you through the night, man.”

”Don't be like that.” Billy whined.

Sparrow pushed off the kitchen desk and walked over to the table, ”I told you to go get Maggie a mother, how can i be mad at you?” He nodded, ”I mean it, good for you Billy.”

”I told you-” Billy started, but stopped as the door opened and Lucy stepped in, ”Hello there handsome.” She said cheerfully, ”Oh and hello to you too Sparrow, i didn't hear you were in Town.” She smiled at Sparrow. ”Thank you again for taking that letter to my folks.”

”It was no biggie.” Sparrow said with a smile as he picked up his bag from the floor, ”Well, i should be leaving anyway. I got places to be, people to see.”

”Are you gonna come back before you leave?” Lucy asked, ”I promised Billy that i'd cook for them all tonight, and you too of course if you're here.”

”No..eh.” Sparrow said with a tiny shrug. ”I should go get Dogmeat and get going.”

”I have to go get something from Craterside Supply, so i can walk you some of the way.” Billy said, kissing Lucy on her cheek quickly, following Sparrow out the door. ”Sparrow.” He said as soon as they were outside. ”Are you angry with me?”

”No.” Sparrow lied. ”It's fine, I get it, i really do.” Sparrow said softly, caressing Billy's cheek. ”But I am not like you. All i wanted was to be adored for being me. Something to fill the void inside, someone who really cared for ME.” He pointed at himself to drive home the point.

Billy grabbed Sparrow's arm and turned him around so they faced eachother. ”I know.” He whispered tenderly, ”But i also know that you are not gonna stick around, if we had fucked or not, still you'd come by once a year and eat Cram, leaving the next morning.”

Sparrow hung his head and nodded. ”I wanted things to be different.”

”You are always welcome at my house still, if you ever need something, you know where to find me.” Billy said, kissing Sparrow softly on the lips before letting go of him completely.

”Sure.” Sparrow said slowly opening his eyes staring straight at Billy. He should have said goodbye, but he didn't, he just had to get away. He had had every intention of telling Billy why he was back in Megaton but the moment was just never really there. He didn't look back as he left, now he just wanted to find Dogmeat and get that meeting overwith with Mr. Burke and then he was out of Megaton for the last time.

~*~

He found Dogmeat and Maggie over by Doc Church's, he squatted down and smiled at Maggie. ”Hey Maggie?” He said, ”Can you keep a secret?”

”Dude, does the sheriff wear a star?” Maggie shot back, trying to sound street wise.

”Okay tonight when you are about to go to bed, tell Billy that he has to take Lucy and you and run, leave Megaton and don't look back.” He ruffled Maggie's hair, ”But it is important that you don't tell him before tonight.”

Maggie nodded.

”Are you sure you can remember that?” Sparrow asked.

”What am i supposed to tell him?” She asked.

”If he won't listen, you crawl out your window and run, you run to Springvale. Ask for Silver, she owes me one.” Sparrow looked very serious for a moment, ”Promise me!”

”I promise.” Maggie said nodding.

”Oh and tell Billy that we are even.” He smiled at Maggie. ”Good luck kiddo.” Sparrow squeezed her shoulder as he stood up. ”Let's go Dogmeat.” He said as he started to walk down to Burke's house.

~*~

Standing on Allistair Tenpenny's balcony with the old man and Burke, he could see Megaton in the distance. Sparrow kept his stoneface, he was sick and tired of this place, he hated the wasteland with a vengeance, and most of all, he hated Megaton, it was full of people who thought themselves better than the scavengers, merchinaries and other gypsies that travelled the Capital wasteland. But none the less they were just as wretched, decietful and greedy as everyone else. It had been a terrible lesson to learn, how everyone you think is lending you a hand, end up backstabbing you, or not being good on their promise. Sparrow gave up, he was never gonna find his dad, he would never get his life back. And right now, he didn't even want to find his dad, he wanted them all dead. Everyone, Burke and Tenpenny was no exeption.

Burke stepped back from the detenator to allow Sparrow to push it. He stood with his hand over it for the longest time, trying to recall something redeeming about Megaton, something that would prevent him from hating. But he couldn't. If Maggie hadn't made it out he would be doing her a favour, not growing up in this world. And with that he pushed the button, shielding his eyes like Mr. Burke told him to.

”It's beautiful.” Sparrow whispered watching the mushroom between his fingers, ignoring the others. ”And fuck you too.” He risked a tiny smile. As the flash was gone, he held out his hand recieving the key to his new home from Burke. ”Come on Dogmeat.” Sparrow said softly, walking out Tenpenny's penthouse.

-The End-