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[fic] Well I Saw My Devil
purple kak
strawberispring
Yes, I'm sure this constitutes as spam but, shush.

Title: Well I Saw My Devil
Word Count: ~2600
Rating: PG for some SLIGHT language
Disclaimer: I own nothing nor do I claim to. DC owns the characters. Any and all music referenced/quoted belongs to the artist.
Author's Notes/Warnings: I've become so addicted to munnin_odanin's band AU. I had to toss in a little ficlet I threw together this morning
Summary: Dick decides to give them the day off when the band stops in California


By the time they got to California, everyone was nearly dead. They were ghouls, dragging their feet and mumbling incoherent words that may or may not have even been in English.

“We’re taking the day off,” Dick announced that morning at breakfast.

Steph had been pounding the bottle of ketchup against her plate in an effort to get some out for her hash browns. At Dick’s words, she slipped, cracking the bottle. A too large puddle of ketchup spilled out onto her plate, dangerously close to her waffles.

“What?” Tim asked. Dick wasn’t entirely sure if he was honestly confused or just so tired that he hadn’t heard him correctly.

Dick had gotten the idea from Jason. During a night of insomnia, he had been searching in the dark of the boys’ room, looking for his own bag. He had instead found Jason’s and some records he kept buried under his clothes. Surprising records that he’d have thought his brother wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. With no turntable nearby, he had snuck to Tim’s laptop and slid in his headphones. A quick trip to YouTube had him discover the musician’s bittersweet wounded voice and sad, beautiful lyrics. A trip to Wikipedia filled him in on his tragic story. As his eyes scanned the end of the article, an idea began to formulate.

“I cancelled all of the press stuff we had to do today,” he explained. “Told them we’ll postpone—don’t make those faces. All it did was make them want us more.”

Steph frowned as she grabbed sugar packets from the caddy in the center of the table to make a blockade from all the ketchup on her plate.

“What are we doing then?” She was twitching—exhausted but restless.

Dick made sure he didn’t look at Jason when he answered, “We’re going to Joshua Tree.”

Of course, though, he did look at his brother and saw his eyes widen and light up. Dick smiled, pleased with himself. They had needed to get out—be somewhere away from cities and bars and the constant feeling of being wanted by the wrong people.

Tim saw the look, too. Even in his half-dead state, he was ever the keen observer.

“Why does Jay seem so excited?” he asked, stifling a yawn.

“Yes,” Damian chimed in. “Joshua Tree is a desert, is it not? There are no bars and no one for him to fight with.”

Dick waited for Jason to ball his fist and start telling them all to fuck off. Instead, when he spoke, he spoke in a reverent whisper like he was in a church.

“Gram Parsons.”

Damian frowned. “Who?”

--

They drove out in the van. Alfred let them be, saying he had things to do in town. Steph leaned back in her seat and closed her eyes. It felt good to be out of the city. She felt like they had really escaped when they drove by the giant dinosaurs at the Cabazon. They were grinning toothily and seemed to be wishing them on their merry way.

It was kind of depressing—the only dinosaurs that were around were statues marking places were tourists could buy candy bars but they were comforting, too, and she was glad that they were there.

Tim pointed out at the windmills spinning frantically out in the sand.

“They might be giants,” Dick said with a laugh from behind the wheel.

“They look like falling stars trying to get back home,” Tim murmured.

Steph smiled and elbowed him gently.

“There’s a long lyric in there.”

Jason grabbed Dick’s arm suddenly, his eyes going wide and shining again. Steph wasn’t used to seeing him like this. He was giddy, almost like a little boy.

“Stop the car,” he commanded.

Rather than incur his wrath, Dick acquiesced. Before it had even come to a complete stop, Jason was out the passenger door. It took a beat before the others realized that he was running through the desert and another for them to get out of the van themselves.

Jason was on the ground, staring up at the pure blue sky and breathing in the hot-dry-clean air. His hands were palm down and feeling the granules of sand and dirt.

“Jay?”

“This is where it happened,” he said cryptically.

Dick frowned, his face darkening before it lit up with realization.

“Oh!”

“Oh?” Tim lifted a brow.

“This is where Phil Kaufman took Gram Parsons’s body to cremate it,” he explained. “They had had this pact where if one of them died, the other would have them cremated and spread their ashes over Joshua Tree.”

Steph wrinkled her nose. She’d heard worse—even seen worse—but for some reason, that sent a chill down her spine.

“His family was going to bury him but Kaufman stole the body,” Dick continued. “And brought it here. It was half-burnt when they finally caught up to him.”

Tim furrowed his brow, though Steph honestly couldn’t tell the difference anymore. He was so concerned and weary all the time that his forehead was almost permanently creased.

“And how do you…?”

“When I found the records in Jay’s suitcase, I did a little research.”

Steph laughed.

“You went in his suitcase and still have all your extremities?”

Jason didn’t seem to be hearing them, at least. He was on his back, feeling the dirt and maybe, just maybe, a little of the ashes of a dead singer Steph had never heard of before that morning.

“Who is he?” Damian asked again. “And why does Jason hold him in such high regard?”

“He’s a singer, little D,” Dick replied. “And as for the second part…I don’t know.”

Riled from his trance, Jay was up on his feet.

“And I saw my devil and I saw my deep blue sea,” he sang. “And I thought about a calico bonnet from Cheyenne to Tennessee.”

“Country?” Again, Tim’s brow furrowed. “He’s a country singer?”

Steph shook her head. “Jay and country…that doesn’t mix.”

Dick took them back to the van and pulled out his laptop. There was no internet connection way out here—none reachable anyway—but he had some music saved to his library. He found the song Jason had been singing and began to play. The music came out from the speakers, mixing with the desert air and lifting sweetly into the sky. Steph felt her fingers begin to itch for her guitar, wanting to match his chords. In the middle, Tim began to sing along. His sweet voice mingled with the sorrowful twang of the singer’s and caught the wind.

“Out with the truckers and the kickers and the cowboy angels,” he sang softly. “…This is beautiful.”

“All the more reason why he and Jason don’t compute,” Steph added. “He’s all ‘angry white boy’ music. This…this is so not.”

Dick shrugged. During another song, Damian leaned towards the computer, his eyes inquisitive. He turned his head so his ear was nearly next to the speaker.

“What instrument is that?” he asked.

Dick pulled the laptop away as D’s head was now blocking the sound. He frowned momentarily as if trying to place it.

“Steel pedal guitar.” Out of his trance fully, Jason stood behind them.

Damian tapped his chin.

“I must find a way to obtain one,” he stated matter-of-factly. “I like the sound. It’s very different.”

“So why are you into this guy?” Steph asked.

Jason shrugged and tilted his face up. The sun shone down, lighting his face up and, to Steph, he nearly looked angelic.

“I heard him sing…before,” he said. She wasn’t sure what he meant by ‘before.’ Before he died. Before the exodus. Before, before, before. It came to mean so much. “And…I don’t know.”

Watching him and listening to the music, she knew. It calmed something in him. He looked almost at peace when the music started. Maybe he knew, too, but didn’t want to say. Until Dick had accidentally found the records, Gram Parsons was Jason’s secret.

Tim had the laptop now and played the first song again.

“This is so…” He glanced up. “We should cover it.”

Dick whisked the computer away and closed the top.

“Later, babybird,” he promised. “Right now we’re going to forget about the band and civilization. Let’s just…be.”

They drove further to an empty campground and set up their sleeping bags. Dick made a fire and they sat around it as close as they could without getting burned. Steph looked around at their faces illuminated by the dancing light. Dick looked beautiful, spooky and flickering. His eyes weren’t focused on anything and one arm was absently around Tim’s shoulders.

For the first time in weeks, Tim’s forehead was completely smooth. He had his head resting on Dick’s chest. Jason’s eyes were elsewhere, staring at the orange light illuminating the purple sky. His giddiness would fade, she knew. Once they got back to the city and to their lives and to the tour, he’d be back drinking every night and punching whoever had the gall to look at him funny. For now, though, he was a little boy in a dream land with his cowboy angel.

Damian had his hands spread out on the sand, picking at imaginary notes on the steel pedal guitar he didn’t have. They roasted marshmallows for dinner and licked charred goo from off their fingers. If Alfred were around, he’d have made them real food somehow perfect despite being made at a campfire. Without anything else to do, they got down in their sleeping bags.

Steph found it hard to sleep with the moon so bright and entrancing but soon she heard her brothers’ steady breathing and knew that they had at least been able to go to bed. The moon didn’t seem to mind, though, when she let their rhythmic breathing lull her to sleep.

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So very beautiful! Thank you so much.

You're welcome. I've been working on improving my imagery. And you've set up a lovely dynamic to work with.

Sorry, better comment – I was kinda running late for work when I read it this morning. The imagery is stunning, the view of the desert though Jay’s eyes is just breathtaking! I can feel the connection the singer’s story but vibrate though him.

I love the reactions from the others, the itch for instruments and the need to connect with the music is brilliant and so them.

And them around the fire is just perfect. Thank you so much for this. I really love it.

1. This was gorgeous, and I loved you giving Jason this softer underbelly.
2. Your tags are fucking hilarious.

1. :D Thank you, bb. ♥
2. I refuse to have normal tags. REFUSE.

Oh fuck me sideway. You made me cry, and I don't even- Damian's reaction (“Joshua Tree is a desert, is it not? There are no bars and no one for him to fight with.”) made me laugh out loud and then... then you follow, like you said so well and it's probably the most beautiful thing I've read lately, you follow a little boy in a dream land with his cowboy angel.
I can't almost put the finger on why Phil Kaufman and Gram Parsons' s promise resonnate so much for Jay, but I can't put it into words exactly - words promised and realized and trust and...

Going to listen to this music right away.

This may be the greatest review I've received in years. Mainly for the first sentence. ♥

Uber glad you enjoyed it and that it's inspired you to look up Gram. xD I'm not even a big country fan and his music is just...damn.

This was absolutely wonderful.

Ohhh this was just, mmmm :3

You wrote everyone so beautifully- it was sweet to see that side of Jason.

Absolutely lovely! <33333333

ohai, icon twin. ;0;

Thank you! <333

Thank you fellow believer that Jason has more depth to him that the crazzy fucking fanboys who write him now. The fact that Jay's fire and anger is calmed by the polor opposite embodied in this country singer is lyrical and beautiful. The fact that just being in the area where Mr. Parson's left this world in the manner of his choosing makes Jason giddy yet peaceful shows insight into how he feel so out of control (as indicated by picking fights as a trained fighter thus imposing his physical will over others by beating them up) and honors this man's ability to control this aspect of his life.
I appreciate the layers of depth and fluff you've woven into this short fic and it't not the two percocet I took this moring for pain either LOLOL
Thank you for sharing this, it's beautiful

this gave me happy chills at the end.

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