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Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

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"I don't figure either of us will be alive this time tomorrow," was what he had said, but John could feel the emotions behind the words, see past Faraday's mind without meaning to. Wish I could have one last drink, was the mental follow-up, A drink with John, no better send off than that.

"King," John said, tilting down his sunglasses. "Would you like to get a drink?"

"With you, John?" Faraday lit a cigarette. "Can't think of any better company."

John Jones had only ever had beer before; he and Slam Bradley got a few sometimes after a late shift driving around on patrol. Tonight he looked at the small glass between his fingers and at the amber-looking liquid within and took a polite sip.

"Come on, it's not poison," Faraday said, clapping John's back and letting his hand linger. As always, that touch startled John, sending tingles of nerve and thought up John's spine. He heard snatches--

--tomorrow-- If we're at all lucky--

--Nice to get this kind of time--

Glad I could--

Too bad we can't--

Tomorrow it's all over.

And he saw pictures, blinking quickly and then disappearing in a hazy fog of smoke and color.

John put his glass down and looked at Faraday, who drank all his in one gulp between puffs on his cigarette. He felt John's gaze on him and turned, grey eyes staring fixedly.

"John?"

"I'm sorry," John said, averting his eyes after a moment, ashamed. "I should tell you -- I did not intend to read your thoughts."

"To what?" Faraday exhaled smoke out from the corner of his mouth, cigarette hanging on his lip. His eyebrows furrowed for a moment, then rose. "Judas Priest, John. Don't take any of that too seriously, you know? When a man's seen as much war as I have he… well, you know. He has all sorts of whacked out ideas the night before he wears his intestines like a belt. Doesn't mean anything."

--in my head, King thought, and John still couldn't tune it out. He pushed the glass of brown beverage away from himself, wondering if the few sips he'd had were the problem. Wonder what he…

Faraday's eyes were on him again, cold, piercing. Those eyes gave John shivers because they looked both sincere and ruthless at once. He ran a hand through his combed white hair, a lock of black curling onto his forehead.

Kiss me, John, he thought, clear and deliberate. But not here.

"If we don't make it back, damn if I'm leaving any regrets behind."

He stood and extinguished his cigarette, though it wasn't out for a full minute before Faraday had a new one slid between his teeth. John stood up and followed, glad to leave the bar behind. The overpowering thoughts of depression in the air and the bitter scent of alcohol pressed against his head painfully.

They walked to Faraday's car, a plain looking non-conspicuous thing with Florida plates, and Faraday drove. Neither of them spoke during the drive, but John could feel the murky film of Faraday's thoughts running wild next to him. He couldn't see them, wouldn't see them unless they touched again, and the idea sent another shiver up his spine. A coil of thrill, even. He felt like he was pursuing a hot case that he only had the vaguest of tips for, no idea what he'd be face to face with when he got out of that police car.

They drove to a beach but not their beach, not one with dinosaur bodies littered across the pavement. When Faraday parked, John leaned over, pressing his mouth against the corner of Faraday's lips. Faraday turned, hesitated, and kissed him back, his lips chapped and breath smelling of smoke. John didn't mind. It felt like King should feel, and tasted how he was supposed to taste.

The act was intuitive, and with every brush of their lips John felt more of Faraday within him, not just his thoughts, but his desires, his wishes, his dreams. No fear for tomorrow, and no doubt about what he was -- they were -- doing tonight. There was only that same sincerity that John cherished so much, and again he felt it filling his heart.

King, he thought, and Faraday breathed against his face, undoing his tie. John thought it again -- King.

"Tomorrow," Faraday said, "we've got to give 'em all that we've got. And tonight? Let's give it all that we got. Understand me?"

"More than you know." John brushed his fingers through King's hair.