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28 March 2005 @ 02:56 pm
Remix Fic 1: Shelf Life (The Go West Young Man Two Step) Good Will Hunting  
Title: Shelf Life (The Go West Young Man Two Step)
Fandom: Good Will Hunting
Original Story: Warning Label by sathinks
Summary: Chuckie's glass. Will's a goddamned diamond.
Rating: NC-17

Writing that story was a lot like having a tubeworm burrow into your skull through the ear. I was (am, really) in quite the State in regards to my heinous, ugly, monstrous, stalking writer's block. I say stalking because I like to visualize my block as a huge, furry, slavering best that follows me in the dark, teeth gleaming hideously in the light, calling my name in a gravelly voice of evil, "Nifraaaaa," it says, "I have eaten your ability to wriiiiiite."

This story is roughly nine hundred times longer than the original. I have to admit that I was very concerned that I wasn't actually *remixing* the story I was, you know, remixing, but all I could think about was "God, poor Chuckie after Will leaves -- because Will knows that he wants Chuckie to come to Californnia but Chuckie just knows that his whole life has been changed."

So that became me writing, what I thought, was going to be a short angst bath about how Chuckie's life had become somewhat empty sans will -- but suddenly, it was longer than that. Because Will is nothing if not a persistent bastard when he gets something in his head, and Chuckie doesn't give in easily, but eventually, he's going to give in. Because Will is his *life*.

That's what really became clear to me, the more I wrote. Chuckie adores Will, and knows everything about him. Chuckie also believes that Will's specialness makes him somehow less-special, and casts himself into the role of the average, undeserving lunkhead. Now, Chuckie might not be a genuis, but he's an incredibly insightful, protective, caring person who has centered his entire persona on taking care of Will, who he sort of vicariously plans to have a life *through*. His claim to fame is that he made sure Will was okay, and that Will took the chance that he does at the end of the movie.

SA's original story makes a point that Chuckie is the one who anchors Will, who pushes him forward, who makes him *see*. But anchoring Will also anchors Chuckie. So, coupling that with his adoration of Will and mild self-loathing, that makes Chuckie's life a really interesting one to intrude upon.

Two things that I wanted to make really clear when I was writing this story was 1) they're in love, but they're never going to acknowledge it formally, or say the word out loud, not in that context. I don't really see that fitting in with their characters, so I had to write their actions to say it. I think I managed that, but it was really, really hard. 2) Chuckie is incredibly fucked up about the sex issue.

They're lower class Catholic boys from Southside in Boston. I don't really see them being like "Why, yes. I am a gay man." And I don't even know that they are just 'gay' -- so the sexuality issue could have been an entirely different story. But I had to balance it out as I was writing, and that was *really* really hard. I don't think that Chuckie would ever really sit there, and think "My sexuality is questionable" I don't think he'd even really admit the possibility of it being questionable, beyond a simple, surface, knee-jerk denial that he isn't queer.

So yeah. That's why this story ended up being the longest thing I've written in, like, ever. Because those are big issues and hard to write, and demand lots of context to try to make them clear. Plus, the story ended up being a real departure for me to write - which is weird because it's the kind of story you find everywhere. "Inner struggle, external events force meeting, happy ending, daily life of character" -- it's not like an avante garde structure or anything. But it's his daily life, day in and out, and that's just not the way I write. So the more I wrote, the more I was like "Okay, so that's a weird thing for me to be writing" but I think in the end, it's a new approach to story telling for me that I'm really happy with.

The ending was -- hard to do. I actually still worry that the conversation doesn't entirely make sense, but I've been assured by very smart people that it does. I needed for them to end up quasi-together, and I wanted it to be hopeful, because Chukie deserves hope and Will's too stubborn to let his best friend-cum-object of adoration give up his life just because he's got some weird complex about not deserving a happy ending. But I also didn't feel like it would be honest to be like 'And then they moved into a duplex in San Francisco and marched in the Pride parade every year and went to leather bars.' So, this is a happy medium? Maybe?

Actually, I weirdly feel like this story and my yuletide story are bookends of a sort of my writing. One is sort of Nifra-write distilled and (yeah, egotistically enough) perfected, and the other is a departure. I think the Friday Night Lights fic I wrote between the two points were sort of a transitional bridge into this fic.

Anyway, I have nattered on more than enough at this point. I've bored myself. *laughs*



I've broken the story into 2 parts, because it's too long with both that and my nattering and nattering and nattering.



“So how the fuck you doin’?” Chuckie asks, like he does every time Will calls, and Will says, “Can’t complain” like always, because he *can’t* fucking complain because he’s in California making more money every day than Chuckie’s ever made in his whole life, plus he’s sleeping with Skylar who is pretty fucking hot. They piss around on the phone for a couple of minutes, (“Did you see the game last weekend?” “No shit! The way Arbogast threw that ball?” “Guy’s got a fuckin’ arm.” “Yeah, no fuckin’ kidding.”) and then Will asks how everybody’s doing and Chuckie says everyone’s fine no matter what’s going on, and then Chuckie asks about Skylar, and then Will asks him when he’s visiting California and Chuckie makes some shit up about next spring and then they hang up.

Will says, “Miss you, man.”

“Stop being a fuckin’ fag,” Chuckie says, and he blinks at his hand on the dirty window sill in his kitchen, and Will laughs, and tells him to fuck himself and then they hang up and Chuckie leans his head against the glass and closes his eyes and just breathes for a minute.

Will calls once a week, and it lasts what – fifteen minutes? Ten? Whatever, they’re guys, they don’t spend hours on the phone like a pair of fucking chicks talking about every fucking detail of their lives. Fifteen minutes, once a week. And yeah, Chuckie told him to go, and yeah, Chuckie’d still do the same fucking thing, and he’s glad Will’s gone – drives by his old shitbox of a house every day and thinks, “Thank fucking God, man” – but it’s like there’s a hole in the room whenever Chuckie puts down the phone after talking to him. A hole where Will would have been sitting six months ago, drinking a beer and running his mouth like an asshole, and Chuckie’s just got to get used to it, all over again.

To Chuckie, California’s just this huge fucking blue ocean that Will’s watching from behind some kind of massive goddamned window, which he knows Will has because Will sent him pictures of the new place where Will’s living with Skylar, and it’s got her written all over it. White carpet, sliding glass doors, weird ass blankets draped over fucking white couches – it looks nothing like Will.

Will would live in the corner of a ratty ass hotel room surrounded by his books with scribbling all over the wall and mountains of Chinese containers all over like debris, and he wouldn’t notice there was anything wrong with it until cockroaches started crawling over his face.

But Will would like the ocean. He always had some thing about water, tried to explain it to Chuckie once – something to do with how it bent light and sound and how looking at waves was like seeing some fucking – whatever. Some kind of shape or experiment or something, Chuckie doesn’t remember, but he remembers the look on Will’s face when he’d been talking about it, and that’s the important part. Turned into himself, like Will does when he’s thinking, rubbing his hand over the middle part of his chest, staring down at the brown Boston water – Will, solving a problem. Will, with that crazy fucked up genius brain of his working, staring at the water.

Will’s million-dollar brain, and the shitty goddamned penny colored Boston water – it didn’t fit. Will and the crystal fucking clear, gem blue California water that’s on all the postcards Skylar’s sent saying “Come visit us!” – that’s the way it should be. Will’s always been too good for Southside, even if he didn’t want to be. Anyway, he’s where he belongs.

And so’s Chuckie. He opens his eyes, and stares out the window which is all grimed over again from the fucking snow, and he stares at the sidewalk outside his house, all skinny and wet gray that makes it look *harder* somehow, and this is what Chuckie knows. This is what he’s got.

**

“When’re you going to visit, asshole?”

“When are you going to visit?”

“Come on, Chuck, I fuckin’ miss you.”

“Visit me.”

It isn’t like Chuckie doesn’t miss Will, because he fucking does. Will’s been his best friend since he took his first fucking breath, and not to be queer about it or anything, but Will knows him like nobody in the world knows him, and him being gone isn’t the kind of thing a guy can just shrug off. Chuckie hasn’t forgotten him or anything; he hasn’t gone through a single fucking day without thinking what Will would say to this or that, or how Will’d probably end up getting fucking fired if he had to work for the new guy at work.

And it isn’t that Chuckie’s worried about money, because Will’s made it pretty obvious that if Chuckie comes to visit, Will’s paying for the plane – which if anybody else had offered, Chuckie would have told them to shove it, because he could buy his own fucking tickets, thank you very much.

And Chuckie could *use* Will right about now because his head’s all jammed up with the same stupid shit as always, except this time it’s even worse, and he’s got this whole big thing going on where he wakes up in the morning and stares at the fucking ceiling until his eyes start to water and he has to tell himself he doesn’t have a goddamned choice, just get out of bed and get dressed and go to fucking work. He goes to church every Sunday, even though his good shoes are too tight in the back and his only tie’s got a stain that even buttoning up his jacket can’t hide, and he sits there, and his mouth moves along with the priest’s, and he stares up at the red glass in the windows, and he hears the word ‘God’s will’ over and over and over and he wonders what the fuck God could want from a stupid, useless fuck like him.

That, maybe Will couldn’t help him with, because Will didn’t believe in God. He wore the medals his Ma gave him, but he didn’t believe in God. Said something about there being too many hexagons for God to exist, the kind of shit Will was always talking about, but at least Will would listen. He’d drink a beer, and nod like he got it – real slow, eyes narrowed, mind working away, always fucking working – and if Will didn’t have any kind of solution, he’d slap Chuckie’s shoulder and say, “C’mon, man, let’s get shitfaced” and they would, and that’d at least make it better for the night.

If Chuckie went out to California, he wouldn’t say a goddamned thing about work, or church, or any of it. He’d just sit there, on the white couch that Skylar bought, and eat whatever food Skylar made, and drink a beer from the fridge Will’s sharing with Skylar, who’s basically a nice girl, but Chuckie thinks maybe he wouldn’t be able to stop himself from taking a fucking swing at her if he stayed for too long.

Will left because Chuckie told him to, sure. But he wouldn’t have gone anywhere if he hadn’t been following Skylar, too, and Chuckie likes Skylar all right. She’s got a nice ass, and she’s funny, but she’s also got this pull on Will like Chuckie’s never seen anybody but himself have before. Will’s a stubborn asshole, and nobody can make him do any fucking thing he doesn’t want to- he’s too smart, too fucking pissy to let them. But Skylar’s like a magnet that pulls Will along.

All Chuckie did was flip Will over at the end, so he’d feel the pull. And of fucking course, soon as Chuckie did, Will’d been trailing after Skylar, panting at her heels, apologizing – which Will never did – just leaving a note for Sean.

“Gone to see about a girl.” Big block letters, white paper, curled up at the edges a little.

Yeah, fuck you too, Will.

He’d wanted to think Will’s empty house was like – some kind of statement. Some Will way of saying that Chuckie was dumb but he wasn’t stupid, or that Chuckie mattered or some fucking faggy shit like that.

The note pisses Chuckie off a little, still. It’s stupid, but it fucking does.

“Please,” Will says, “man, you’ve got to see this view. Come see me. Just a weekend or something,” and Chuckie hears Will’s voice rasp a little like he’s getting desperate, and Chuckie opens his mouth thinking that this is going to be it, this is going to be the time he gives in and says yes and Will’ll buy the tickets before he can back out, except instead he says:

“Sorry, man. Got to work weekends this month, you know how it is” and Will’s quiet for a minute and then he says, “Yeah. I know.”

**

Will’s bed was always more comfortable than Chuckie’s, which is fucked up because you’d think a bare mattress on a dirty fucking floor would be as bad as it looks, except Will had somehow managed to work a hollow into the middle of it where Chuckie just *fit*, and he never slept as well as he did when he was at Will’s. Chuckie’s bed is the same bed he’s had since he was like – what? ten? twelve? – and he can feel the fucking springs poking into his back when he lies down. Damn thing is so old, he can’t even masturbate without making enough noise that everybody in the house knows what he’s doing, which is not the kind of thing Chuckie wants his mother knowing.

So he hasn’t had anyone over in a damn long time, and he hasn’t really been going out that much himself because – well, he just fucking hasn’t. And he spends a lot of time in the shower, which reminds him of being fourteen all over again, because it seemed like back then all he did every day was jack himself off and shampoo his fucking hair.

Anyway, he’s really fucking horny. He hasn’t gone this long without sex since he was a virgin, which he counts as when Will went down on him the first time and not the first time he had sex-sex with a girl, which is one of the very few things that Will doesn’t know about Chuckie. But Chuckie figures that you lose your cherry when you feel like you’ve lost your cherry, and when Will was going down on him when he was fifteen, eager and good at it like Will’s good at every fucking thing in the entire universe, as if he was born knowing how to suck cock like he was born knowing everything else, all Chuckie had been able to think was “Holy Shit, this is sex! I’m having sex! Fuck!”

The “with Will” part didn’t become important until later, when Will wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and said, “Shit, Chuckie, what the fuck are we doing?” and Chuckie’d just shrugged and pretended like he knew the answer, because Will had looked so fucking *scared* at not knowing, and Chuckie told him, “We’re not doing anything.”

And Will fucking nodded, like Chuckie had made *any* sense, except that he *hadn’t* because obviously they were doing something, who the hell knew *what* though. After that, Chuckie was on his knees sucking Will’s cock whenever he got a fucking chance, sucking and sucking and rubbing his tongue along the big vein on the bottom, and cupping Will’s balls just to see that moment when Will’s forearms bulged and his eyes closed, and he threw back his head and stopped thinking and just pushed his dick into Chuckie’s mouth over and over again.

It was like Will’s orgasm wasn’t the point, even if when Will came his whole body hunched over and he made these sounds that were fucking ripped out of his throat. That was good, great, but what was important was that Will’d finally turned his fucking mind off when Chuckie blew him and it felt like – Christ. It felt like maybe Chuckie wasn’t smart, and maybe Chuckie wasn’t the best friend in the fucking world, and maybe he didn’t always say the right thing or do the right thing – but he could do this much for Will. He could give him this, at least.

And yeah, it turned Chuckie on, and yeah, after Will came he’d always return the favor with his smart fuckin’ mouth, but that wasn’t – that wasn’t what it was about. It felt good when Will sucked his dick -- of course it did, who the hell complained about having somebody else’s mouth on their cock? But it didn’t feel right. It put Will on his knees, and even though it made Chuckie hard, really fucking hard, to see Will’s girl-pretty eyelashes sweeping closed and his lower lip all red and swollen and surrounding the tip of Chuckie’s cock before sucking it in, licking it all over – it felt *wrong* because Will was…Will was something special.

He’s always been something fucking special, as long as Chuckie’s known him. Like a fucking, fucking – there isn’t a word for what Will is, or maybe there is, but Chuckie doesn’t know it but that’s the point, isn’t it?

Chuckie’s glass. Will’s like – a goddamned diamond.

And even if Will can’t see that – Chuckie *can*. He always has, and so he takes care of the asshole, because Will needs to be fucking taken care of. So Chuckie sucking Will off, that felt all right. Felt like he was giving Will what he needed – a little rest from thinking all the fucking time, a little fun, whatever. Didn’t fucking matter. As long as Will maybe wanted Chuckie, Will was going to get Chuckie, that was how it worked – but something about Will on *his* knees, Will sucking Chuckie off – felt like taking advantage.

Which was fucking stupid, because Will didn’t get taken advantage of. He was too smart for that, too stubborn, too much of an asshole to let anyone get away with it. Besides, the day that Chuckie gets the better of Will is the day the world fucking ends, right?

The water coming out of the shower is getting cold, and Chuckie’s just staring at his own hands on his dick. He’s pale and soft, and yeah, he could get it up with a couple of strokes but he closes his eyes, and he leans his head against the too bright green tile, and he turns off the water, because, really, what’s the fucking point?

He wraps a towel around his hips, and rubs a circle in the mirror over the sink so he can see his face, and his hair’s black against his skin, and there are purple smudges under his eyes like maybe he’s got bruises there and Chuckie looks tired. Dead tired, like you see in old people right before they stop breathing, like Chuckie’s grandpa did when he went to the hospital for the last time.

The air’s all heavy from the steam, and Chuckie splashes cold water on his face and opens the tiny window over the toilet, and wonders what the fuck ever happened to Will’s mattress anyway.

**

Seven in the morning is too goddamned early to deal with the chug chug chug of Chuckie’s car as bumping down the lousy ass streets; then again, it’s always either too early or too late to deal with that car because the car sucks -- it’s a couple fucking hundred years old at least. Chuckie’s got the drive to work memorized, not like it’s rocket science or anything, just muscle memory. One turn here, another here, another here – gets him were he needs to go, seeing as he’s been doing this drive every fucking day for longer than he wants to admit. Anyway, he can do it in his sleep, and that’s good, except that sometimes he’s too much asleep and he ends up sitting in front of Will’s old house, staring at it and leaning on the horn.

Nobody lives there now, or else they’d come running out of the fucking house, waving their arms, maybe bang on the hood of Chuckie’s car, which would probably fucking fall apart if they did because it’s only held together by duct tape and rust.

It’s a sad looking building, always has been; especially because Will didn’t give a damn about furniture or basic sanitation, just threw shit everywhere and drew all over the walls like some fucking crazy. But even when Will lived in it, there was something more – light, or just rows of beer bottles lined up along the window sill.

Anyway, now the empty windows look like closed eyes, drooping fucking eyebrows – like maybe the house is lonely without Will or hollow or something, and shit, it’s too early for this so Chuckie rubs a hand over his face, and rolls up his window, and pulls away from the curb. He watches the house in his rear-view mirror as he drives away, out of habit, though – like he expects Will to chase after him and call him a fucker and throw beer cans at his bumper until he slows down enough for Will to get in.

Chuckie’s not asleep enough to believe that, not really. It’s the same as when Will was here, and all Chuckie could think was “He doesn’t belong here, he doesn’t deserve this, please let him be gone, please let Will be somewhere better than here”. When Will was here, Chuckie kept wishing him gone, kept thinking about opening the door and finding nothing there. No bed, no shoes, no fucking beer bottles and no fucking Will Hunting. Chuckie just didn’t get that when Will was gone, he wouldn’t be *here* anymore.

**

Bruce Springsteen has been playing on the jukebox by the door since Chuckie had his first fake ID, and first came in and got himself a pitcher of the weak ass domestic beer they sell in this fucking dive, listening to Billy and Morgan tell the same fucking jokes, except back then Will was here and now it’s Will and the California ocean and Skylar, Harvard Girl.

They’d fucking hated the Harvard girls when they were teenagers, all of ‘em. Billy, Morgan, Will, Chuckie – they’d sit at their table, and glare at all of the scruffy fuckers who talked about shit only Will understood. Anyway, it’s fucking weird how things end up sometimes.

“..so then he says to the hunter, ‘You didn’t come here to hunt,’” Morgan says, grinning like he came up with it himself, and Billy snorts into his beer.

“You sick fuck,” he says, and Morgan flips him off, standing.

“Not too sick for your mother, Billy boy,” Morgan tosses over his shoulder as he heads off to the bar, and Billy just makes a face at his back.

The jukebox whirs and another Springsteen song starts playing.

Chuckie smacks the tabletop, hard enough to make his fingers tingle. “Every fuckin’ day do I have to fucking hear Born to Run? Fuck’s sake.”

“What the hell?” Billy asks, staring at Chuckie like he’s grown another head.

“I’m sick of the same old sad fucking songs – Christ, they can’t, what, change the music once every fucking decade?” Chuckie yells over the noise, and Billy’s eyes only get wider and that pisses Chuckie off, too, because what? He’s not supposed to want something different every now and then? That’s not fucking allowed without there being something fucking wrong? So he stands up, pushes back from the table and spills his beer. Billy waves a couple of napkins at him, saying things like “Aww, fuck man,” and “What the hell’s gotten into you?” but Chuckie tells him to fuck off, throws a couple of dollars on the table and stalks outside for a smoke.

It’s cold out, and Chuckie pulls his jacket close as he stands by the door, near the hill of cigarette butts that overflow from the ashtray. He kicks at the grey slush, and glares at his red fingertips, and the end of his cigarette glows in the dark. He takes a couple deep breaths, and fuck it’s cold, so cold it burns his throat, his lungs.

“Hey,” Billy calls from behind him. “You all right, man?”

Chuckie grits his teeth. “Wicked cold out here.”

“Yeah,” Billy says slowly, licking at his white lips, and shifting his weight from foot to foot. “It’ll freeze your fuckin’ balls off.”

Chuckie just nods, looks back down at his feet, the sidewalk, the cigarette butts next to him and his breath as it steams up past his face, his eyes watering from the goddamned miserable weather.

Billy’s sneakers scrape across the concrete. “So what the fuck was that about, inside?”

“Nothing, man,” Chuckie mutters, taking a long drag. “Nothing. Sorry about the beer.”

“Fuck the beer,” Billy says, waving it away. “Doesn’t matter.”

Chuckie nods, lights a fresh cigarette off the butt of the old one and listens to Billy fidget, shuffling his feet and coughing, and mumbling to himself as he shifts his keys in one hand and Chuckie’s maybe a heartbeat away from just fucking snapping when Billy finally says, “Listen. I’m only going to say this one time, because I know it’s not my business, but since Will’s been gone, you’ve been – ”

“I’ve been what?” Chuckie demands, and Billy holds up both hands and backs away a step.

“I don’t mean nothing by it,” he insists, but Chuckie watches him. “I’m just sayin’ – I’m fuckin’ worried, okay?”

“You’re not my fucking mother,” Chuckie spits, and Billy opens his mouth to say something else, but Chuckie can’t hear it. He throws his cigarette down, and stalks down the street.

Billy calls after him, “I’ll see you at work tomorrow” and Chuckie stops still, breathes deep, and doesn’t put his hand through the window beside him.

**
 
 
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