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: (Reclining)

Ramon would never admit this to anyone but Random - not even himself, really - but this has been the longest week of his life, bar none. It's bad enough when Random's away but when he's gone away to Amber...well, that's a whole different level of worry to deal with.

So, he's dealing with it the way he usually deals with anything difficult - he works. It's early evening now and he's gone to Haven to get some peace and quiet, but he's still tapping away at his laptop at the kitchen table. Martin's in the living room, playing silently with some things he'd brought in from the garden earlier. Another thing Ramon would probably never admit, to anyone, is that having the boy around for the last week has actually been a comfort. Because Random will fight tooth and nail to come back to that little boy, no matter what, and it helps to keep that in mind. He has to believe that Random will keep himself safe while he's away, if only for his son. And for him too, he hopes.

He has no idea where his lover is, what he's doing, what he's going through, when he'll be back. Ramon hates the lack of control so he's trying not to think about it. And, above all, he wont let himself entertain the possibility that Random might not make it back at all.
latino_menace: (R&R - Get Used To Them)

As all the world knows, Ramon is a terrible cook. Just awful. He burns cereal, that sort of bad.

But! He's also an early morning person and Random is not so it kind of makes sense to him that he should be the one to attempt the anniversary breakfast in bed. Martin wisely adds milk to his own cornflakes and goes to his room to play when asked, while Ramon takes up a tray of...foodstuffs. Its the most that can be said for them really, though in another lifetime, they may have been pancakes and toast.

Oh well. At least the coffee's good.
latino_menace: (Lost It All)

It starts with the sound of a bell. A child's bicycle bell, to be exact, chiming tinnily from a distance away, distorted by echoes in long hallways and stone-tiled floors. That's all there is, in the start.

But then he's at his desk with some papers in his hand, feeling the heat of the sun that's falling through the large window to the right of him, covering him in humid warmth that the silent ceiling fan is doing little to dissapate. It's comfortable and the house is quiet apart from that ringing bell. He knows its not going to stay that way because this has happened before and there's only ever one outcome. Without even knowing it, he's counting under his breath and doesn't make it to ten before the peace is broken.

'What have I told you about riding your bicycle in the house?!'

The only reply is childish laughter and then a whoop of abandon as the vehicle in question skids round a corner at the top of the nearest hallway. He doesn't look up from his papers but does smile, behind the crooked finger that's covering his mouth in quiet contemplation as he reads. Pretends to read. He's listening for the bell one more time...yes, there it is, and that'll be the last one. Now there's nothing but the distant cursing in Spanish and the whir of slow tyres on stone as they approach.

He waits until they stop and doesn't look up for another ten seconds or so. And then, without moving, he addresses the boy he knows is peering around the doorframe to see if he's busy.

'Your mama will be shouting at me later for that, I hope you realise.'

Another childish laugh and he still doesn't move from his show of working, even though light footsteps are running towards him. This is an old game and he knows just when to drop the documents and reach out to haul the six-year-old Emanuel onto his lap.

'You never care when she shouts at you, papa.'

'I know. I don't mind if you ride your bike in the house as long as you don't break anything, so you go right ahead.'

Emanuel is thin and tan, scruffy-kneed and with a smear of dirt on his shorts. Dark brown hair is tousled and his Brazil football shirt has a hole in it from where he caught it on the hedge that he likes to burrow through, because the gate takes ages to climb when you're little and trying to get back home to raid the kitchen. His eyes - not quite as dark as his fathers' - are wide and laughing. Kind, even. He got them from his mother.

'She won't say anything to you.'

'You don't think so? She usually has plenty to say.'

Which is true, because it's been six years and she still hasn't learnt when to shut up no matter how many times he beats it into her. She'll get it, eventually.

'Not this time!'

'You sound pretty sure of yourself, kid. Want to bet on it?'

'Wouldn't like to take your money, papa.'

He raises an eyebrow at his son, a look of disbelief on his face that covers his pride that his son is six, and already saying things like that.

'I bet you would really. You know something I don't? She going shopping later? That usually puts her in a good mood.'

Emanuel laughs, showing off perfect white teeth, and shakes his head vigourously.

'Not shopping.' And, in a sing-song voice, he follows up with, 'I know something you don't know...' which he probably got from watching brain-melting American cartoons. Ramon pokes him in the side.

'Oh yeah? Come on then, spill it.'

There's silence for a moment. Dead silence, and he looks up at the room, wondering where the buzz of ambient noise went. And then, from nowhere, the room is filled with the deafening peal of a thousand bicycle bells, screaming through the stillness. He jerks in surprise and there's a crack, audible above the din and something moves under his hands...in slow motion, his head turns and Emanuel is still laughing only there's blood pouring from his mouth between the cracked and broken teeth, his mangled left arm lies at the wrong angle from his body and the flesh that Ramon can feel under the shirt is pulpy and moist.

'She won't say anything...'

And he's lost his sneakers somewhere but that's alright because those bloated, rotten, balloons of feet wouldn't fit in them anyway...

'...because she's dead, papa. And so am I.'

He looks at his son (with only one eye not punctured and leaking) and opens his mouth to speak (but half that ear is gone) and no sound comes out at all. Emanuel looks back and then he reaches up with that awful left arm and Ramon is leaning away, not wanting it to touch his face but there's nowhere he can go. Even as his back presses to the chair and tries to go through it, the broken hand closes in and his little boy's voice is in his ear, laughing and whispering as though it's living inside his head (because it is),

'We're all dead.'

Fingers are pressing into his eyes and he can't get away.

'Apart from you.'

And they don't stop pressing and now he can't see anything but white and all sound stops, apart from the chuckling of his son, which somehow seems to hurt more than bone in black eyes that never show pain.

* * * * *

He jerks awake with his heart hammering in his ears; for a moment it sounds like (bells) a drum and he's disorientated in the dark. It comes as a relief when he sits up and the air is cold on his clammy skin because this isn't Columbia and he isn't twenty-five anymore. The hands reaching for him remind of that and he shuts his eyes (no pain) so he can tell himself it was just a dream and there's no need to worry.

'y'OK, sweetheart?'

'...yeah.'

Random's warm and in no danger and anyway, after they've lain back down and murmured a few sleepy words, it's not so hard to forget and go back to sleep. There may be a few moments where he tries to remember anything (but laughter) that shocked him but when it comes down to it, Ramon's never been one to remember his nightmares. When he sleeps this time, there's nothing but darkness.
latino_menace: (Couple - You)

It's morning and its cold outside, but that hasn't stopped Ramon from being out of bed for the last half hour, wearing only grey sweatpants and smoking at the window. Yes, it's freezing but he just doesn't care. He has to do something while the coffee's brewing, after all, and working out how to make a nice breakfast. It'll be cereal and toast in a few minutes, because all other attempts have failed.

A tone downstairs and he knows he should move to get the coffee while it's hot. But instead he turns and watches Random sleeping, blond hair on the pillow and a face that appears peaceful, even though it still seems, to him, to be tired.

I'm so sorry.

He can never say it enough. Can't stand that he's hurt this man and that he can't seem to get through to him that...well, anything. That its not his fault, that he's not to blame. What else can he say though? Nothing, which is why he's enjoying the silence of the morning and the peace of being able to watch him now, reach down and touch his head and smooth away hair from his forehead.

It's all he allows himself before heading downstairs. Cereal and toast it is but at least the coffee's good. A trip to Martin's room with breakfast as well, and a few words that hold a promise for later in the day if he'll just stay quiet and play on his own for now. The boy does what he's told when pai speaks and so, he's heading upstairs with a tray and a thousand words that all say 'sorry'.

The tray is put down on Random's side of the bed and he takes his clothes off, skin icy cold but he can't stop himself wriggling into the side of his lover, partly for warmth but mostly for proximity, so he can wrap his arms around him and lean his head against his shoulder and wish that things could be different.
latino_menace: (Thinking)

Ramon has had an interesting evening, to say the least. Women everywhere! And grass and drink and chocolate...that stuff really is great. He's eating another bar now, as he slips through the door with his head full of plans to jump in his car and cruise around town for a while, looking for something interesting to fight.

But he's in a house instead, and its quiet and something tells him his BMW isn't here. Hmmm. What to do? He'll decide once he's finished his candy.
latino_menace: (Cigar - Musing)

It is a well-established fact that Ramon cannot cook. Most of the time, this isn't a problem - Random can a little, after all, and there's always Bar. If he's working, there are people that deliver.

However, he's not working today. Random isn't around and he can't go to the bar because he's vaguely watching Martin. And there is no food in the house and he's hungry.

This does not put him in a good mood. That changes though, when he's rummaging through the pockets of the coat he was wearing in Milliways the other night, looking for a pack of smokes. Instead, he finds a candy bar.

Well. How fortuitous. Ramon thinks nothing of ripping it open and devouring it, which is why - ten minutes later - he's showered, changed, accessorized with the necessary kit and heading out of the door.

OOM: News

Oct. 14th, 2006 01:28 pm
latino_menace: (Heh)

Millitimed to after the conversation with future!Mary Anne...

Ramon swings open the door to Haven and if he were the type to bound in then...he would. But he isn't, so he just closes it quietly after him and calls out,

'Random?'

with a huge grin on his face. He's hoping he hasn't disappeared off to work or out with Martin or something. He has to talk to him and the sooner the better.
latino_menace: (Glasses/Tired)

Ramon slips back through the front door on Haven, in two minds as to what to do now. Wake Random up and tell him straight away, or let him sleep? It's late but he'd want to know...at the same time, the news isn't that brilliant. It's not as though Martin likes either one of them any better.

He decides to let him sleep because he needs it, so he's quiet as he heads to the kitchen to make a coffee. He'll check on him in a few minutes.
latino_menace: (Shadow)

It's been hours since Random's quiet message. Hours. And he'd said nothing more than he was going to the studio for a while and not to wait up. That was almost a full day ago and there's been nothing since. Ramon's regretting the promise he made to stay away from there. Just a little, but still. He knows he got that place for Random alone but that's not the point. He's worried.

There's nothing he can do but wait. So now he's sitting on the sofa in near-darkness, a glass of whiskey in one hand and a cigar in the other. Random has to come home sometime.
latino_menace: (R&R - Simply True)

It's taken him a few days to find what he wanted but that's OK. He has it now and that's the important thing. He's been waiting for the right time and this is the perfect day - they're alone on Haven but stuck indoors because it's pouring rain outside and blowing a gale against the windows. He can think of nothing better than spending the afternoon inside with Random, not doing much of anything.

So he goes in search of him and locates him in the kitchen. Arms are immediately wrapped round his waist from behind and he rests his chin on his shoulder comfortably.

'What're you doing?'
latino_menace: (R&R - Bastards)

The studio had been nice and it's easy to sleep anywhere when you're with someone you care about. Still, it's nice to be home and be able to clean up properly. Ramon's heading to the bathroom to shower and shave, his thoughts turning towards coffee and lazing about - maybe doing a bit of paperwork later, maybe not. He's tired, but happily so. He wouldn't have thought it possible, so soon after their seperation, for he and Random to settle back into such a rhythm. He's not complaining, obviously. It's nice to be able to believe that the time spent apart hasn't damaged them as badly as he feared it might.

Which isn't to say things are perfect. For example, while it's nice to spend all their time in bed (if exhausting), Ramon can't pretend to himself that it's simply a matter of lust. But it doesn't matter. They're not going to be apart again. He knows it, and that's good enough for him.

Something feels a little off today though, but he can't put his finger on what. Maybe it's just that the hot weather on Haven has broken a little and the green sky outside is a touch overcast. Still, it niggles at him and continues to do so as he takes a hot shower, then a cold one to wake himself up. Ten minutes later, he's wearing only jeans and standing in front of the bathroom mirror, shaving carefully. And that's when he notices what's different.

It's a ring.

He's wearing a ring.

He'd always worn one, actually, until he was put in prison. But this is not a gold one with a black stone, worn on the little finger of his right hand. No, this is quite different.

This is a

(wedding ring)

thin gold band, and it's on the fourth finger of his left hand.

He's frozen in place for minutes. Literally minutes. And then he...well, he swallows, and notices that even under the shaving foam and his tan, his face is a little white. But he finishes what he's doing because he can't cope with this situation with half a stubbly face. He needs time to think.

I'm wearing a wedding ring.

...why the hell didn't he tell me?


Because there's only one person it could have come from, of course. This is not the same ring he wore briefly when he was officially married. That had been large, thick. Practically a signet ring. But this one is thin, gold, understated.

He finishes what he's doing, managing to cut himself rather spectacularly in the process because he can't take his eyes off the thing.

'Fuck!'

But it's OK, really. Because, for whatever reason, Random's given him a ring that'll tell the world he's off the market. And he doesn't mind at all.

He's smiling as he leaves the bathroom, holding a wad of tissue to his chin. With his right hand, because he's still looking at his left. It almost feels heavier, now he's noticed it - but a good way. He toys at it with his thumb, twisting it, getting used to it. Because he's not taking it off.

Not ever.
latino_menace: (R&R - Simply True)

If he thought about it, he’s sure he could make this exercise as corny as hell, he thinks, as he hacks away at dirt made solid by a few months of sun. It hadn’t occurred to him to water it first to make it easier.

The baby vines Fiona fetched from Amber lie in their tray beside him as he tries to do this quietly so that Random won’t hear him. He’s trying to sleep upstairs. The man hasn’t been resting so easily lately. Ramon knows this because he hasn’t either – they’ve both been awake to hear the other lie in silence. He doesn’t try to break the peace because the way he’s been feeling lately, he could say nothing that would help.

Maybe this will help though. It’s symbolic really, this anniversary, given that in their own personal timelines they’ve been together far longer than a year. But there should be a date somewhere and they were brought together by the bar. It’s as good a place as any to count the days in.

The hole seems big enough. He’s no gardener and doesn’t really have a clue what he’s doing. How hard can it be though? Give it a foundation, room to breathe, something for the roots to cling on to. Food, water, a bit of care. Should be enough. They should grow strong, these vines. They have each other to wrap around. No reason why they won’t spread and still be in a thousand years time.
Ramon doesn’t think of much as he pulls them carefully from the tray and places them in the ground. He’s determined not to make this something it isn’t. He could make it sentimental, but won’t. It’s enough, he thinks, that he’s trying to bring Random a piece of home here to this place. What more can he do? He listens when the man speaks, tries his best for him. Thinks up strange gifts that he hopes he’ll like. Attempts to not fuck things up too badly.

(let him sleep with someone else)

Isn’t that sentiment enough?

Dirt is shovelled back into the hole roughly, but patted down with care. And he fetches some water and a couple of the plant food pills that Bar gave him, because they might as well get off to a strong start. He can smell the scent off them already; sweet in the still morning air. Ramon stares at the things for a moment when he’s done. They should thrive here, he thinks. Really, they should. No reason why not.

It’s been a strange year. Its hurt more than anything else ever has but been better than everything too. He wouldn’t have traded a minute of it.

There are sounds of rustling sheets coming from the room above. Ramon looks up to the open window, then back down at his gift. (home). After a moment, he bend s and takes a while to arrange them a little more to his satisfaction. As he leaves to go back upstairs to his lover, a bee lands on a small flower growing from the newly entwined stalks. Ramon’s not a man given to sentiment. But still. They might as well grow together. Stronger that way.
latino_menace: (...oh shit)

The rest of Random's first day home had been spent with Martin, for the most part. Ramon had avoided any more talking about their time apart as much as he could, because he didn't think Random wanted to talk about it and couldn't think of anything to ask him that wasn't a question. So he'd kept things easy, insisted that Random sleep again last night, because he needs it.

And now, another morning has gone. Ramon's making sandwiches for lunch, because it's about the only thing he can make. And wondering how long it's going to be before they get back to somewhere approaching normal.
latino_menace: (Shadow)

He's beginning to think this will go on forever. It's become a habit - for the first time in his life - to go back to bed after having fed Martin and dressed him. The baby's in his room now, playing with his toys in his playpen.

And Ramon's lying on his side, in sweats and a T-shirt, staring at the wall and thinking of nothing at all.
latino_menace: (Haven)
Desription of Haven )

In the kitchen, there’s a note for Arithon and Bianca.

Make yourselves at home, treat it as if it’s yours. We won’t disturb you – if we need anything we’ve forgotten, we’ll Trump you first before coming back. Help yourselves to any drink you want – there’s probably not much food in but only because we don’t cook. The door to the bar is usually the front door, it hasn’t let us down yet. Bar’s good at providing groceries but if there’s anything particular you want, Trump us in Portugal and we’ll bring it through from Earth.

Have a good time and make the most of the solitude!

R&R
latino_menace: (Shadow)
Decision to be made )
latino_menace: (Thinking)

Ramon's got something on his mind. It's been on his mind for a while, if he's honest, but the events of the day have pushed it to the front of his mind somewhat and now he really wants to talk to Random about it.

But first - showering and changing after his impromptu dunking in the ocean. And Random's busy with Martin for a while so he just goes to lounge on the sofa, fiddling with his lighter and staring at nothing while his mind turns things over.

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Ramon Salazar

September 2010

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