latino_menace: (Chill)


He doesn't sleep deeply, though it's peaceful. When he wakes, he's more desperate than ever to get clean and she seems to be flat out, so he slips out from underneath her and heads into the bathroom. Ten minutes later, he's in a bathrobe and making more coffee; five minutes after that, he's back in bed, smoking a cigarette quietly and waiting for her to wake up.
latino_menace: (Kissing Mary Anne)


He sleeps late. It was a long day yesterday and it had taken longer than normal to drop off, after the uneasy way they ended the day.

When he wakes, it doesn't seem to matter. It's Christmas and he's determined not to purposefully spoil it with problems that are miles away right now. So his arms reach for her and he closes his eyes, smiling a little, trying to doze off again.
latino_menace: (Smile - Blue)


It's been another long drive, through Spain and the South of France and then the long route, into Italy and moving North into Switzerland. It takes longer but means that he can avoid Geneva, which is probably a good thing at the moment as there will be plenty of UN officials with his picture in their offices just now. He doesn't give it much thought though; the scenery has been pretty spectacular for the whole journey, turning from balmy warmth in France to snow and frigid air as they climb the mountains in Switzerland.

It's been a nice day. He's even let Fi drive for half of it. Still, he's pretty glad to pull up in front of their cabin. It's part of an exclusive resort, about half a mile above a picture-postcard village and secluded by the presence of towering pine trees around three sides of it. He grins as they walk into the warmth; everything's wood and fur rugs and a blazing open fire. One wall is mostly glass, huge doors opening out onto a balcony (and an outdoor hot tub) that overlooks a ski slope down to the edge of the houses and hotels.

'Not bad.'
latino_menace: (Thinking)


It had taken three attempts to get Bar to open the door to where he wanted to go. Three times he looked out on a truly scummy bar filled with sweaty, running men and the sounds of choppers bearing down in the distance; Hell on the edge of a jungle.

Not where he wants to be right now.

On the fourth attempt - it's warm. Not hot, but pleasantly mild and the view is of a comfortably lived-in sitting room, with child's toys in a corner and overstuffed sofas and armchairs dotted around. The first thing his eyes rest upon is a glass still half full of Scotch; the second a stone block on the table, a sculpture with a woman's face looking out of one side. He pauses for a moment (so long since all that), then wanders in and puts his bag down, goes to the French windows to look over the garden that ends in beach and then, nothing but sea. Three thousand miles of sea standing between him and home.

But it's alright. It's nice to see the place again. He'd had mixed feelings the night before, wondering if it would be unpleasantly strange to have Fiona here. But it's not. He wants her to see it. For some reason, letting her see the places he lives is like letting her see himself. It's not even about showing off, this time. The house is not small but still modest by his standards. And it was a real home, for a while. Maybe he wants her to know that he can live normally, sometimes.

'Want a tour or do you want to head straight off? I just need to make a couple of calls before we go.'
latino_menace: (Reclining)

Ramon sits alone in the living room on Haven. A clock ticks from the mantelpiece and the only light in the room comes from the kitchen, leaving the room only dimly illuminated. There’s half a glass of whiskey at his elbow and a dagger on the sofa cushion next to him. In his right hand, a card flips slowly through his fingers, over and over, seemingly without any conscious thought from him. He’s staring into the darkness, thinking.

Random is at Amber, where he often is these days. The reason this time is a Christmas Ball. Protocol dictates that he be there with his wife and so Ramon is alone, and waiting.

The dagger has a gold hilt. It shines dully as it catches the small amount of light in the room, leaving a red streak on the cushion and up onto Ramon’s jeans as the rubies set into the crosspiece glow quietly. The blade is razor sharp and beautiful, and the crest of Amber is embossed into the gold where the hilt is at its widest. Random’s Christmas present. It’s ceremonial more than functional although the balance is good and it would do its job should it ever need to. Ramon had thought it would look good when Random was dressed for state functions. A blade fit for a King.

But Random isn’t here. He’s at home. The house is silent now that Martin has left too and Ramon thinks of home as well. It was here, this house, for a long time – but Random lived here too, then. And now? No. He visits. And it’s not the same.

Columbia is warm this time of year, especially in Bogotá. It’s the dry season and there are cool breezes in the mountains above the city. He used to spend the afternoon on Christmas out on his huge veranda, surrounded by Hector and his children and hangers-on and employees and everyone made sure he had a good time because that was his kingdom. He ruled there and no one dared to dispute it. Here, he’s nothing. Haven is empty. When Random lived here, then it was everything because a world for just the two of them was all they needed. Things have changed and this world is nothing but silence. Ramon doesn’t like silence.

He thinks of the offer Mary Anne made. Should he go and start a drug war in Texorami? It would liven things up a bit. The card in his fingers continues its rotation, unknowingly turning in time with the beats from the clock. Two clicks to every turn. He’s lost count of how long he’s been sitting here.

The problem with starting a fight in Texorami is that there’s no competition. That city is a place of cardsharps and sneak-thieves, chancers out to make a quick buck and have a good time. Yes, there are drugs but the citizens are more interested in taking them than in profiting from them. It was good business, setting up there. Easy. Too easy. There was no challenge because the place simply hadn’t been ready for a man like him, someone who would kill as many people as he had to to get what he wanted. Technology is limited there and the opposition just didn’t have the experience to stand up to him when he had arrived. The police had tried and never stood a chance. So now he runs the city with his hand around the throat of the new police Commissioner because the man knows that if he doesn’t do as he’s told then he’ll go the way of his predecessor - a head left in the center of town where everyone could see it. No one had ever found the rest of him – Mary Anne was good at what she did.

Ramon is bored. And resentful and a little angry. Random is doing his best, he knows. But he’s not cut out for sitting on the sidelines and waiting. He’s not cut out for a life without challenge either. And this is why he’s sitting here thinking of home. The card in his hand is his card. The Devil. Random had made it for him right at the beginning back when he deserved it. Oh, he knows that in Tarot terms, the card of the Devil doesn’t mean evil and he doesn’t think of himself that way either. But there it is, in Spanish, underneath his picture – El Diablo. He’s been called it before, at home, where people feared him above just about anything else. He had their lives in his complete control – they worked for him, lived because he paid them, died when he wanted them to. That means more than what the Tarot says The Devil stands for.

He misses it more than he can say. That’s what home is, for him. Earth is a challenge and there are people there to fight and it's fun, when you might lose everything. Except for what he has in mind…he won’t lose. He knows what’s supposed to happen already and so, he knows how to avoid it. Jack Bauer wouldn’t have the chance to get him killed this time – and he could hold in his hands the key to whatever he wants.

He knows he can do it. He just needs one other person to help and he knows who’ll volunteer. He wants it so much he can taste it and there doesn’t seem to be anything to stop him anymore. And would he want to be stopped anymore, really?

And so Ramon sits alone at Christmas and thinks like so many others do at this time of year…of home, and what it means to him. And the card flips through his fingers and the dagger shines and he wonders when (if) Random will get back and whether his being here will be enough to make him think again.
latino_menace: (R&R - Simply True)
Ramon eyes the bike with a gleam in his eye, just because he wants to drive it. He does idly wonder why it's here though.

'Random, I thought you liked the plane. Trying to run away from it so soon?'

He's only teasing though, and lets himself get pulled to it easily enough. 'Where are we going? And more importantly, can I drive?'

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Ramon Salazar

September 2010

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