Title: Valentine’s Day Fragment

Author: tarotgal

Series: Strokes, set after the New Year’s Eve 2005 story

Rating: PG

Summary: Coyote’s spending Valentine’s Day brooding

Bunny: #2

Notes: This is a small bit of a larger fic with the working title ‘Moving On’. But I want to finish storylines from last year before I start posting large amounts of new storylines for this year.



Valentine’s Day Fragment


            The hourly drink special tasted like cherry-flavored piss. As appropriate for his mood as it was, Coyote decided that he needed something more favorable and, frankly, a little stronger. He didn’t care how well his set with the band had gone now. All he cared about was getting drunk and forgetting what night it was. It felt horrible to suddenly and unexpectedly be alone on Valentine’s Day.


            “ihhSchhh!” He sneezed into his hand and wiped his hand against the leg of his black jeans. Then he sniffled and went right back to his comfortable state of depression.


            Someone sat down on the barstool beside him but he did not bother to look up until he felt a hand on his back. And then he only looked up out of habit because it could only be one of two people. He had guessed correctly which it was. Feeling his emotions rising, he looked back down at the counter in front of him and angrily brushed away a bit of confetti there upon. Then he ran a hand through his purple-highlighted hair.


            “You know, sometimes I wish I could be like you, Nik,” Coyote said at last. “Relationships take so much out of a guy- it’s almost unnatural. All that planning and effort and emotion. And, worst of all, time. You spend so much time with someone and, in the end, all it fizzles down to is a handful of moments.” Coyote cleared his throat. “Lying with my head in his lap while I write a new song. Being embarrassed about sneezing through a lunch date. Picking him up after he falls on his ass ice skating. Standing graveside at a funeral and trying to be strong but crying my eyes out in the car afterwards.” His voice broke and he dared not continue right away. He cleared his throat. “So what’re you doing here?”


            “I wasth watching you on the monitorsth in the officthe, Coyote, and you looked stho mistherable I had to come down.”


            Coyote made no attempt at hiding his deep sigh. “Thanks, but I don’t need you right now telling me to jump back in the game just because it’s Valentine’s Day and there are a bunch of single guys out there who’d love to take me home.”


            Nik shifted in his seat but stayed put. He looked back at Coyote with sympathy. “I wasthn’t going to…” he started, but knew better than to continue once Coyote shot him a disapproving look. Nik tried again, “What I mean isth, I just thought you could usthe a friend tonight.”


            “Oh, I’ve got a friend,” Coyote replied. He was rubbing his index and middle finger back and forth over the top of the bar, rubbing at some invisible spot. But he stopped to pick up his shot glass and nodded at it with reverence. “Meet Jack. He’s wise and relaxing and reliable.” He lifted the glass to his lips and drank it down in a single gulp.


            Eyeing him, “You practically drank usth dry in the housthe, are you working your way through the club now?” His green eyes fell on the empty shot glass. “Your friend isth…” His voice died away as he realized what he was about to say.


            “Gone?” Coyote finished for him, sounding bitter. “Yeah. Seems to be a pattern with my friends, doesn’t it? But at least it’s easy to get this one back.” He reached for the bottle and poured another glassful. Then he paused, pulling his hand back so as not to spill as he directed a sneeze into his shoulder. “ehTChhh!” He scrubbed his nose roughly into his shoulder and sniffed hard. “Damn cigarette smoke,” he muttered.


            “You don’t have to sthit here,” Nik pointed out.


            “Yeah I do.” He drank down the shot and pulled a face as the strength struck him. Then he filled it up again, nearly missing. “This is where the drinks are. This is the fastest way to my goal.” He sniffed and rubbed at his nose again as he looked around the club filled with white and pink and red. There were hearts dangling from the ceiling and go-go boys dressed up as cupids and angels. And since his band had finished its set, the music was nothing but crappy techno love songs. Everywhere around him, men were dancing and touching and kissing. Everyone looked so abnormally happy that Coyote couldn’t stand it. “I can’t get through today without being completely and utterly and hopelessly drunk.” He downed another shot and sighed. “I have a way to go yet. So leave me alone.”


            Coyote reached for the bottle to fill up again, but Nik reached out and took a hold of it for a moment. “Can I asthk you sthomething?”


            “Shoot,” Coyote answered with no inflection, his eyes fixed on the bottle so he could grab it as soon as it became available again. He tried his best to ignore the fact that a Cher song was pumping through the club’s sound system, because he refused to give up wallowing for something so simple.


            Nik gave it a second, then asked, “Did you love him?” Coyote twitched. “Did you love Marty?”


            Coyote swallowed hard, then nodded. “Deeply.” He sniffed and rubbed again at his nose. “Still do.” His nostrils flared a few times and he cupped his hand to his face. “hehhKSch! heh-Chhhh!” Annoyed, he glanced around as though to identify the smokers, though he wouldn’t call them out. He looked down at the counter again, then down at his lap. “God, I love him.”


            Nik put his hand on Coyote’s back again and patted. “Then, if I may, what are you doing here?”


            Coyote pondered for a moment, then laughed and leaned back on the stool. “That’s a damn good question,” he replied, rubbing at his nose. He swiveled and slid off his barstool. He swayed unsteadily, grabbing hold of the bar with one hand and Nik with the other. “Fuck… this exceedingly cheery room is spinning.”


            Nik chuckled and slid his arm around the man’s waist, then he motioned over for Rich to come over and help him with Coyote.