[M] We Were Never Good Men

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Specifically, this thread is marked mature because of: Suicide, Language, Violence.
Ooc here
It had been a while since he'd seen John.

He was torn between the thought to give the man space, and a better knowledge of what that man might do with it. It wasn't a mystery that John already beat the piss out of himself verbally and no one drank like he did without reason. He and Ronnie were always causing trouble together. Wayne had kept his distance from this whole shit-show long enough. He couldn't keep his distance from John. Unlike the rest of this chaotic place, John was the only person he could call family.

Tawny, tar-dipped toes walked to the porch of John's cabin. Quietly, he prepared himself mentally for the sadness that John surely held, tempered himself for the anger and frustration that came with it. Pale knuckles curled as he pulled his hat from his head, a proper thing to do. Yet, as Wayne passed the window of the cabin, odd movement slipped between the curtains. Without thinking of how awkward it would have been to be spotted peeking in his friend's home, the suspicious motions within drew him nearly to press his nose against the frame to see beyond the curtain.

"Aw, shit-"
He muttered to himself, his hands dropping his hat in the cloud of dust he'd left behind him. A hand gripped the building as he spun around it's edge, and without hesitation, he buried his shoulder in the door until it burst open. The shadow of the rugged, dark coydog reached down the the image and he hesitated for only a moment, to be sure of what he'd seen.

John was caught red-handed.

As if he borrowed Cud's wings, he bolted into the room without waiting for whatever John was about to say, or do, he dove into the man. All of him left the floor of the cabin and all of him sought to keep John from getting an ounce further than he was. Just as Wayne figured, sorrow brought anger with it, the only different was that it was Wayne's fist that sought to sink into John's head. A wake-up call, if it hit, and a reminder that the bastard was still alive and would continue to be so if Wayne had anything to do with it.

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He never set his eyes upon the grave, too cowardly to see the final resting place of his brother. It was too damn bad. Words were all that spun around his wretched head, and what he'd said to his remaining brother, to his nephew. They tormented him at night, when he couldn't sleep. Not that he ever slept at all anymore.

John was only one man who could stand with so much weighing down on his shoulders; And it was the middle of the night that had him clutching at his head and screaming into the darkness.

Where were you.

He was nowhere! He wasn't nothing. A failure, a fraud, he couldn't keep none of the promises he made to no one. John wanted that feeling back, the one of water in his lungs, of drifting away on a pleasant tide. In his hatred he cursed even his beloved Remy, for saving him.

"Fuck you. Fuck you all." He sobbed into his burned hands, tears leaving damp tracks down his cheeks.

The claws that dug into his skin offered only cold comfort, hardly nothing at all, and John forgot everything he'd ever said to Zsorthia or Twelve. That if they wanted to hurt then they should come to him, he'd hurt them plenty in a good way. John hurt himself instead, tearing jagged wounds into his own flesh and watched the blood run red with no more notice than a fly's buzzing.

"It weren't me, Ah swear it." It had been him though, all he'd ever done was exist and break his word.

A rope.

A necklace of rope. It broke through his hysteria.

John wove his own noose, and with single minded determination, flung its trailing end up to the rafters, tying it off securely. Just like his Mama had taught him for hitching cattle. He didn't want his wretched, bastard's life anymore.

Green eyes looked to his deliverance with a fortunate smile.

"Mama, Ah'm sorry." He muttered, kissing the back of his right hand, the last thing in his life to touch her whilst she breathed.

Climbing up onto the chair was a simple effort, and boy he was all full of effort now. The Lord would condemn him for suicide, but for John, he was only making a valid attempt to rejoin his brother.

He never noticed Wayne at the window, his mind far from any of the friends he'd made, nor the people he had loved. His own pain was too great, and in his grief he might have been called selfish, but all he wanted was to stop hurting. He wanted peace, or he wanted the burning of hell.

John was setting his head into the noose, ready to kick the chair from beneath his own legs when a riot burst through his door.

"Y'all ain't!!" He roared in protest, shoving away from the chair, and for a fraction felt the rope tighten about his throat.

I'm comin' Ronnie.

The demon dragged him down, ripped his head clear from the embrace of death and tackled him to the floor. John fought, screaming in rage, and swinging as hard as he could at the man he'd counted a brother. A fist to his noggin' socked the words and spirit right outta him, and he was left, sprawled on the blood soaked floor with only thin gasps to let Wayne know he still lived.

"Y'ain't no right!!" He screeched, trying to sit up, trying to hurl another punch at Wayne's face.

"Yain't no fuckin' right. Gimme MY DEATH Y'BASTARD." John screamed, weeping openly, trying in vain now to crawl away from the Texan so that he could resume his trip to the afterlife.

〈 J⌑O⌑H⌑N⌑A⌑T⌑H⌑A⌑N 〉
avatar by Sanba | player wiki | character wiki | sig by despi
Ooc here
Like dead weight they both hit the ground, and John wasn't just going to let it happen. In his distress he threw fists at Wayne, but the dark-faced, bright-eyed coydog slapped his frantic hands away before planting his own reality reminder into John's brain. For a moment, Wayne thought to get off the dumb fool that laid out on the ground as he wheezed through his burden, but John seemed to find his vigor just as quickly as he'd lost it.

Knuckles grazed the sharp cheek beneath the Ranger's face and a pale hand followed it through, aimed at a grip on his wrist while another pressed him against the ground, “No, I ain't got no right,” He shouted above John's own voice, aiming for temperance but his own pain creeping into the end of the note, a crack in his voice at what he'd nearly seen.

“I ain't got right to leave ya'to yer damn self, is what I ain't got,” The retort was curt, and honesty, and it came at the expense of John's tear streaked face. A fist gripped the man's collar and yanked him back down to where Wayne had first dropped him, “Y'ain't getting' nuthing from me 'cept me'n what I got t'give.”

Wayne made a point to ensure that every ounce of his own weight sat upon his friend, his brother, who stunk of loss and sorrow, “I got 'nuther fist cookin', and I got reason 'nuff to sit on'ya until y'calm yer'ass down, but yer death ain't here'n now,” He pulled John close, “I ain't'bout t'let them kill 'nuther one ov'ya fer stupidity,” Roughly, he pushed the tawny man back against the ground, “'Specially not the only sonova bitch that I can trust in this forsaken hell.”

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John didn't stop, clawing and throwing punches weak as a child's piss, the rage there hardening him against everything else except his one choice out. The back of his head throbbed where it had slammed into the ground. Corded rope still lay about his neck and its frayed end had been torn from the rafter he had secured it to.

Harsh, haunted breaths rippled from his bloodied lips, and the blood that spewed where John had bitten his tongue in the collision with his floorboards dripped from his chin and cheeks.

Green and Blue could only meet, braced in this sickening animosity, and John drew in his breath all the way down to his lungs and let loose a howl of epic proportions. A ragged, broken-hearted wail that ripped from his throat and shredded at his voice.

Wayne's pain didn't matter, it was so much lesser to his own. This was how he viewed it and there was no room for anything else in there, wrapped up in all the seething, tormented, shattered pieces of a once-good man. Lies and lies that he could tell himself though his heart whispered the truth. John had never been a good man.

"If'n y'cared. You'd let me die." He yelled, his voice a reedy, scratched thing. Viciously, he dug his fingers into the Rangers arms, or maybe it was his own flesh he dug into.

Wayne leaned down his weight, and it was suffocating. The bracing of the living, the weight of the dead, they warred within him. Some part of him whispered that it should be Andrew here, pinning him to the ground and screaming about the daring of him to try to kill himself. Andrew had never cared, John understood this, he'd left them to chase dreams and to chase pussy and to chase his wives who didn't love him.

John had loved him, but the place in his heart where that love had been held was cold and splintered now.

He cried, without shame, like a young boy on his first night away from his Mama. Missing so much when everything had been good and kind and bright, when had all his dreams shattered to dust and ash.

Rather than respond to Wayne's words, John raised his torso up and instead began to slam his head back against the wooden floorboards violently, again and again. Agony burst and stars came to his eyes, but it was worth it, it'd only get him closer to his death.

〈 J⌑O⌑H⌑N⌑A⌑T⌑H⌑A⌑N 〉
avatar by Sanba | player wiki | character wiki | sig by despi
Ooc here
Tawny tar arms would be riddled with the welts, gifts from John's wretched insanity that had consumed him. It was in his verdant eyes, he was sick, more than the alcohol could ever poison him, and Wayne snarled in his own attempt to keep the flailing man at bay from the both of them. The screams that echoed from John's chest,  bedraggled from ugly sobs shook the Brasas from within, in a place that he'd walled off long enough ago to have forgotten the memory of.

He'd never had the chance to be so selfish, nor so noble, as to mourn the death of a brother.

As claws reached into Wayne's skin, the coydog leaned into John's face an lifted his lips, a snarl was all the man could afford him as the nails of his brother sunk deep. He'd take the pain just as well, because John's would be his, and he'd bear that burden. It was something Wayne could take. John wasn't near strong enough.

This showed clearly as the wild-eyed Elegido had the mind to work with what he had, yet only worked to harm himself. Rather than reason with the bastard, Wayne had enough of offering John a chance to calm himself. Thrice he was able to knock himself in the head before Wayne gathered the man in his arms, threw him to the side, and pressed the crook of his arm to John's throat. With the leverage of his other arm, he pulled the two of them back, and worked his best to collect John's legs in his own. The fold of his ankles worked to box him in, and his arms could take whatever pain they'd have to until John's eyes rolled back and all his vigor was forced to shut down.

When John finally stilled, Wayne relaxed his hold. Panting heavily and lapping at his own dry mouth, he grumbled, “If I cared, I wouldn't be here, y'damn fool,” His voice was strangely calm as he waited for his brother to regain senses in his arms, ready to put him back into a nap if he had to, “I ain't come from Cuero on no honor. I ain't pretendin' like I'm sum good man, tryin'a work at fixin' nuthin'. I ain't put blood I owe on my own hands. I ain't stupid enough for that shit. That shit puts'ya here, lyin' in yer own blood, cryin' over sumthin' you ain't got no way t'fix,” A little more respite was given from Wayne's arms as a hand reached into John's bruised neck and roughly tugged the rope away from him. He knew he was likely talking more to himself than the Winthrop, who was probably dancing with all the stars he'd get to see, “We ain't good men. Why y'think that's worth payin' for now? Cuz yer sad? Cuz yer brother died? He weren't good, neither. We ain't had a chance t'be nuthin' but what we were made t'be.”

Wayne finally released the man to the ground, “It's a god damn Gang, John. What were you expecting? Flower 'rangments'n baked goods?” Sights looked up and down his own arms, shaking them before leaning over himself and putting his hand over John's head, brushing the wilds of his tousled locks from his face, “He joined jus' like us. His blood is on him and two hands, but of'em, none belong t'you. Y'think he fought so you could die like this? Throw away what he fought to protect? Or you gonna throw that away, too?”

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It was consuming, the pain and it made him wretched and blind. The unwritten anguish went soul deep and John wanted to scream more than he already had done. It wasn't enough and no matter how much he roared his misery to the Lord, he'd no more care about it than he'd cared when his Mama had died.

What use was a God that listened to no prayers and answered no fervent pleas.

All that he could do was beg. Beg like the wretched fucking animal that he was with his leg caught tightly in the trap. Release me. He wanted to scream. More blood pooled, from his burst skin at the back of his head now, and Wayne wrestled him into a place where he was bound with no movement allowed.

John choked, whether on his own blood or the thick saliva in his throat.

"Wayne.. Wayne.." He croaked his old friend's name, sobbing over the vowels and consonants, and it was so pathetic of him and yet there was nothing inside John to care anymore.

He was a hypocrite, for all of his words to Remy about duty and that the world kept turning. The world had ceased to spin for John.

There was a cessation of struggling, and long moments of horrid harsh breathing on both their parts. Then Wayne struck out with something that might as well be another fist to his throat,

"Noooo..." The broken man groaned, to the assertion that there would be no one to stop him if no one cared. Johnathan choked his way through Wayne's speech, only occasionally offering an attempt at escape, still convinced he could retie his noose and end it all.

He continued to cry, wetting his face with his guilt.

"My Mama's son..." He blubbered almost unintelligibly, and grabbed hold of Wayne where he could, not to rip and tear but to hold the Texan closer.

John cried like... like the night Andrew had left. Like the night his Mama had died. Like the night Andrew had left again and John had been forced to carry on regardless. For all of his bluster, John was sensitive, and loyal and his heart broke again and again for the family he missed more than his own life.

"Y'think I ain't know??!" He asked, through his thick words and snot filled throat, "We hung t'gether all them's fuckers that scarred my back with whips. We tried our damndest t'find my daughter."

John spasmed, his body twitching like a corpse in its final death throes, like all them bastards him and Ronnie had given rope necklaces in their turn.

The Virginian choked on his words,

"A gang." Bubbling through his crispy lungs, and sucked in a deep breath to roar again, invigorated for a heady moment,

"THERE AIN'T NO GOOD MOMENTS IN M'LIFE." But it was spent easily and quickly, and John was losing away his desire and his strength. He was weak, and sightless.

"Wayne..." He spoke again, but there was no follow up,nothing else to spew from his lip other than baseless, broken sobs.

〈 J⌑O⌑H⌑N⌑A⌑T⌑H⌑A⌑N 〉
avatar by Sanba | player wiki | character wiki | sig by despi
Ooc here
Finally, after what felt like the countless utterings of his own name ensconced in moans and lamenting wails, most of the piss was squeezed out of John. The man found it in him to resist here and there, but his vigor was gone for as long as he was being detained. Weakness took him and in his plight, he gripped Wayne. The coydog tensed for just a moment, prepared to resort to another choke hold, but it wasn't necessary. The tugging on Wayne's vest pulled him downward toward the weeping man, and he leaned in, replacing fabric with his own hand. He held John's tightly in the man's pain.

“I know, I know,” Graveled tune consoled the whisper of the cold man's ties to him. Family had a whole different taste up here and to John, and it was something Wayne surely couldn't compare to. Lord no, not with what he'd done. Those sins of his rolled off of his shoulders and waited for quiet days to remind him of what he'd done, but John? John had both brothers for just long enough for one to be stolen again. The world was cruel. Wayne expected this. It seemed that John was taken by surprise every time.

Even so, words never did to much good, so he let John shed his fury for a while longer. The man's anger was still too new, too fresh to not feel the haunt of what he'd lost. A brother through his life, that stood beside him as other's fell away. Wayne wasn't honored enough to know loyalty like that, and he didn't pretend that his existence made him any more important than the next or last sorry son of a bitch that might cross his path.

Maybe it was that lacking that kept him going. Was it apathy? No, it didn't feel like that. As long as he could ignore it, it wouldn't feel like anything at all, but it'd never be nothing. Guilt, maybe.

“Ain't nuthin'n this world good, John,” He spoke quietly beneath and between the ugly sobs that tore through his brother in arms, “Maybe that's th'point of t'all. Suffer here. Suffer proper, so when dumb bastards like us get picked off, they's sum good waitin' after,” Long buried sentiments of his own resurfaced, words that he'd told himself, words that made some kind of sense to hold on to something.

Tar and tawn arms roped with streaks of red and corded muscle, warm from choking the man, now embraced him. He held him close and didn't ask anything of him, nothing more than to let him be in pain here, and let it be without rails to guide it or words to define it. The maw that hung over John's shoulder frowned at the bemoaned weeping that shook even him, too. What was missing in him that he never once wept for those that were gone?

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