"Did I do something to piss you off?" Tim asked somewhat drunkenly after Landry finally managed to get the window open.
Landry blinked at him for a few moments while his brain caught up. "No. Unless you count you being you."
"That's cold, Lando," Tim said as he climbed into the room, uninvited.
Crossing his arms, Landry replied, "Y'know, some day you're going to make enough noise that my parents are going to come knocking to see what's up, or you'll be hopping the fence just as my dad gets home from a late shift."
Tim laughed. "So? We'll just tell 'em what they want to hear. After all, they did name you Landry, and I'm a starting Panther, and "
"What, we're trying to see if it will rub off on me?" Landry asked sourly.
Tim shrugged, "Yeah. I mean, why don't you do football?"
Landry sighed and slumped onto the bed, head in hands. He had finally gotten to sleep. He was having a dream about Tyra rocking out at a gig and him dedicating a song to her. And now this. "Because it's too fucking hard," he mumbled.
Tim reached over and clapped him on the chest. "You're not as small as you think, Lando. Besides, I could be your lifting buddy and spot you and you could read to me between your sets. And after awhile, you just ... you just kind of learn to push past how you feel. Mind over matter "
Landry brushed Tim's hand away. "That's not what I mean, Tim." He sighed and studied the diamond print on his sheets for a moment before saying, "What did your dad ever expect from you?"
A dark cloud passed over Tim's face. "Don't know," he muttered thickly. He swallowed hard. "'Be a man' he used to say ..." Tim's voice trailed off and the whole set of his mouth turned stubborn and muley.
"Right. But he didn't name you Landry. That kind of sets the bar high, right off the bat. And maybe I knew pretty early on that I was never going to measure up, that I didn't have God-given talent for football. So, when middle school rolled around, I decided not to try any more. Went for Mathletes instead. My folks are disappointed that I never liked football, but they're not disappointed in me."
"You're not out there, shaming their good name," Tim drawled, flopping back on the mattress, gazing blearily up at the ceiling. After a moment he continued. "I get that. I mean, whatever I do, I'm always a Riggins."
Landry looked down at him. "You're getting deep on me, Tim."
Tim gave that crooked half-smile of his and said, "Sorry 'bout that. But really, what did I do to piss you off? You were kind of cold to me at the roast."
Be Tim Riggins. Landry thought. "It's complicated," he finally said.
Tim's gave him a piercing look. "Tyra and I are friends. Really. It's over. That way." Pause. "She's good to talk to, you know." Tim reached over and idly trailed the back of his hand up and down Landry's forearm. "Like you are."
"I'm good to talk to." Landry snorted bitterly.
"Well, yeah. Okay, you open your mouth and run on a lot. But it's okay."
Landry let that bit pass. "You and Tyra, just friends."
"Yeah. And I don't mean friends with benefits."
"You know why I find that hard to believe."
Tim chuckled and said, "Yeah, but Tyra and I sucked as a couple. And now? There's no pressure, so it's ... good. Like what it was supposed to be."
Landry really didn't want to talk about this. Not right now. He decided to change the subject. "Tim, you got me up and I don't sleep so good, so ..."
"Yeah?" Tim turned his head, an eager glint in his eyes.
Landry delighted in doing an end run on him "Want to go stargazing?"
Tim's not disappointed the way Landry thought he might be. "There another bunch of shooting stars?" His voice held an eager note.
"No. But it's a good night, clear and cloudless, and there's always something to see or " Landry stopped himself just before he said "do".
But Tim knew him too well. "I don't need to be asked twice. Only, bring lots of extra blankets, because it's going to be even colder tonight than it was last time."
Landry smiled as he reached for his warmest sweats. "Extra blankets, check."
Landry insisted on driving, which made Tim grumble a bit about the fact that he's not so drunk that he couldn't drive himself safely over and if they weren't going stargazing, then he'd be driving himself home.
"No you wouldn't. Do you think I'd live if word got out that you wrapped yourself around a tree while driving away from my house? I'd have the whole damn town after me for not stopping you."
Tim snorted at him.
"Look, after State, nobody's going to give a shit, but until then? You're a key offensive player."
Tim laughed at that, and turned the radio on. The classic rock station out of San Antonio came in pretty clearly on nights like this, and Landry didn't feel like modern rock, or country, and he could guarantee that Tim would never be up for christian rock.
The DJ was on a Neil Young kick, so they both sang along to "Heart of Gold" and "Cinnamon Girl". Tim had a pretty good voice, Landry noted, outside of a bit of tone deafness. He just hoped that the next song wasn't "The Needle and the Damage Done," because he wasn't sure he could stop himself from saying something about the six pack and the damage done.
It wasn't, but as the first few notes of "Harvest" filled the cab, they hit Landry like a gut punch, and a glance out of the corner of his eye showed that it was getting to Tim, too.
It took everything in Landry not to say something to Tim about what had happened to Tyra.
He pulled up to a grassy expanse, killed the engine and said, "We're here," to break the silence that had fallen over them.
Tim just nodded as he stared distantly out the window. He didn't say anything again until they had hunkered down beneath the blankets in the freezing dark.
"Tell me a story, Landry," Tim murmured sleepily.
"Fiction or non-fiction?"
"I said a story, not a science lecture. Duh."
Landry glared at him for a split second before pointing to Sagittarius and launching into a story about Chiron, the centaur. Halfway though the tragic death of Chiron's pupil, Actaeon, Tim sighed heavily, rolled, and flung a sleep leaden arm across Landry. His breath ghosted warmly against the side of Landry's neck and jaw, a stark contrast to the frosty air.
Turning his head as much as he could with Tim's face nestled in the crook of his neck and shoulder, Landry noticed that Tim had a smile of his on his face.
"Dream up, dream up, let me fill your cup" Landry murmured and Tim gave a breathy little exhalation, a bit more vocal than a sigh, and snuggled in deeper.