Mmmmm my friend. My pal. My dude if I may be so bold. Please hook me up with some sweet, sweet novahd, I love the way you write them my guy. Fake Chop? Even better. But seriously some fresh boys in dumb love trying to take on the world together? Be it on YouTube or in the crime ring, I'd love seeing some more of your stuff. Also I love you even if you don't want to write any more. Okay kisses, bye. <3
Anon, you are the best (and sweetest) person ever, and for that, I give you this. Please excuse the spelling errors, It’s 5AM here and I’m tired as shit (I will look through this after some sleep), but I wanted to post this before going to bed. I hope you enjoy this and tired me thank you for your kind words.
From the beginning, since the first moment he met the smug bastard, Aleks knew he’d follow James anywhere. It hadn’t been a conscious decision on his part. He didn’t look at the guy and think, yes, this dude, he’s that missing piece of me I’ve been looking for; nothing quite like that, but he had this feeling in his gut that told him, no matter what went down, no matter how much they argued or disagreed, he’d always be one step behind James.
It’s James’ idea to start a crew. A fuck you to every other crew in Los Santos; a way to show that they could become something more than a two-bit assassin and a self-proclaimed thief.
Aleks has his doubts. He’s never been a part of a crew, and the last crew James had been with ended up leaving him bleeding out in a gutter. What if they screwed up? What if they ended up dead? What if they couldn’t find anyone to join their crew? What if they did and these people ended up betraying them? What if? What if? Question after question that kept him up at night and left his stomach in knots.
James, however, is determined, and Aleks can’t deny that he likes the idea of having his own crew once he pushes past the anxiety. He likes knowing that, if he can’t be there with James, he’d at least have someone there watching his back, even if he insisted he didn’t need the backup. He’s stubborn and reckless and unpredictable, and Aleks knows he’ll sleep better at night knowing the idiot will actually make it home in one piece.
Plus the grin James gives him when he agrees is an added bonus, but no one askes and he doesn’t tell.
Before James, Aleks had spent most of his time stealing shit for people. Paintings, jewels, money, cars; anything and everything as long as they paid up after the job. From a young age, he’d been really good at getting in and out of places without being seen; a living ghost.
He’d learned to pick pockets early in life, taught himself how to pick a lock, spent hours in internet cafes trying to figure out how to hotwire a car. He hadn’t meant to become a thief, he’d been more curious about the process than actually doing the act, but he figured why waste his talents? Every crime boss needed a good thief, and if he could make himself the best he’d always have a job.
He’d met James when his crew hired him to steal some documents from some high-security mansion. Aleks’ job had been to infiltrate the place, find the documents, and bring them back before anyone discovered he’d been inside the place. They gave him an hour; he’d done it in thirty minutes. The easiest fifty grand he’d ever made.
He hadn’t been planning on sticking around after the job, never really had before so why start now, but someone handed him a beer and another and another and soon he was pleasantly buzzed, sitting on a couch, listening to the radio playing some stupid pop song he had heard a hundred times.
Someone plopped down next to him, took his beer from him, and said, “Thank you.”
“Hey!” Aleks turned to the guy, reaching out to take his beer, but the guy held it out of his reach. “Give it back.”
“Nope.” The guy took a drink, draining the last dregs, and set the bottle on the rickety coffee table. “Want another?”
“Do you want another beer?” The guy jumped up, nodding towards the kitchen. He held out his hand, wriggling his fingers, waiting for Aleks to take it. “Come on, before there isn’t anymore.
Aleks sat there for a few seconds before sighing and grabbing the guy’s hand, letting him drag him to his feet. He offered him a smug smile, shook his hand, and said, “James.”
“More like Jackass.”
James snorted, dropping Aleks’ hand, and headed towards the kitchen. Aleks waited a few seconds before following him.
Their first job as a crew goes terribly. They’re not the best at planning, and the new dude, Trevor, is so green he’s probably never stolen anything before in his life, but he had been cheap and they aren’t exactly rolling in the dough right now.
Aleks takes a bullet to the shoulder, James ends up with a concussion, and Trevor gets lost trying to drive them back to the safehouse, but they’re alive. A little worse for wear but breathing.
When they eventually make it back to the safehouse, Aleks is woozy and James is moody and Trevor is frantically running back and forth between the two, trying to tend to their wounds, but he’s shaking so bad it’s any wonder he’s still standing.
Irritated and most likely on the verge of shooting Trevor, James fumbles with his cell, scrolling through what little contacts he has, putting it to his ear when he finds the right number.
“Brett,” he says into the phone. “Aleks is shot and this idiot-” he throws a dark look at Trevor who shrinks back, “-is about as useful as wet toilet paper.” James hums, listening to whatever Brett is telling him, and hangs up a moment later. “He’s on his way.”
“How does he know…?” Trevor starts, but James throws another dark look his way and his words falter.
“He’s on his way,” he repeats and Aleks nods, pressing harder on his shoulder wound, feeling a little bad for Trevor.
Just a little.
James’ crew betrayed him on a Thursday. It’d been an uneventful day on Aleks’ end. He’d mostly spent it with his cat and dog, watching stupid shit on TV, wishing someone would call for a job. He’d been willing to do anything, even a simple breaking and entering. Anything to appease the boredom that had settled around him; anything to escape daytime television.
When his phone rang, he practically pounced on it. Finally, somebody was putting him out of his misery. He answered the call without looking at the screen, happy just to be getting a job, only to nearly drop his phone when a soft voice said, “A-Aleks? A-Aleks, help me.”
“James?” Aleks stood up without really thinking about it, already looking for his keys. “Where are you? What happened?”
“H-help…” the line went quiet and for a moment Aleks actually thought James had hung up, but he heard his rattling breathing followed by a barely audible street name, and Aleks rushed out of his apartment.
He found James lying in a gutter, bloody and bruised and barely breathing, and his heart nearly stopped. Since the job he’d pulled for James’ crew, he and Aleks had hung out on and off, they were friends, and to see one of his friends like this had his blood boiling.
James had been hard to move, more deadweight than anything, but Aleks managed it and drove him to the nearest hospital.
The doctors had been surprised when James pulled through, but Aleks knew, deep in his gut, that he’d survived out of spite. He also hadn’t left his side the entire time, telling the hospital staff he was his brother so he didn’t have to leave.
When James finally woke up, he met Aleks’ eyes and hoarsely asked, “You here to betray me, too?”
“Wasn’t planning on it. Why?”
When James told him what happened, how his crew betrayed him, his voice had been void of any emotions, and afterward, when he told Aleks he was going to get his revenge, Aleks knew right then and there he was going to help however he could; no matter what it took.
Joe’s an old friend from James’ childhood. Aleks mistakes him for the sweet, innocent type until he sneaks up behind a guy and easily slits his throat. He’s never doing that again.
When James brings up the idea of letting Joe join their crew, Aleks has no problem with it. When he sees how buddy-buddy they are, however, he can’t deny the small bout of jealousy that settles in his gut.
He ignores it as best as he can, mostly because acting like a jilted lover is the last thing he wants to do, but one day, before he can stop himself, he blurts out, “Were you and Joe ever a thing?”
“What?” James’ head snaps up so quickly Aleks winces when he hears his neck pop. “Ow! Fuck!”
“Shit, dude. You okay?”
“No! Goddamn that hurt!”
“Lemme get you some ice.” He heads towards the freezer, digging around for the ice cube tray, closing the door, only to jerk back when he finds James standing directly behind it, dropping the tray.
“Fuck,” he mutters, stooping down to collect the ice scattered across the floor.
“Why’d you wanna know if Joe and I were a thing?”
“I don’t,” Aleks answers quickly, face red, eyes downcast. He picks up all the ice, pushing himself to his feet, and hurries towards the sink. “Forget I asked.”
“You thinking about fucking him?”
“What?” Aleks whirls around, nearly missing the flicker of anger that flashes in James’ eyes. “God, no! Why? Jealous?”
“Fuck off.” James stalks away and they don’t talk the rest of the day.
They had met Brett by accident. James wanted to try his hand at assassinations, something he figured would help fund his revenge plan on his old crew, but Aleks didn’t have any contacts that could help him. They poked around for a while, trying to find someone willing to take pity on a loud, abrasive man with a short fuse and a modest body count.
They found some small crew willing to pay if James had been willing to kill one of their enemies. He agreed, mostly because he got to kill someone, and they handed over a file.
He managed to take out the target, but he’d gotten caught leaving the building. Socked in the face, tossed into a trunk, and driven back to some warehouse. He didn’t exactly tell Aleks what went down, but he when he returned he’d brought Brett with him.
“What’s he doing here?” Aleks had hissed while Brett wandered around their apartment.
“He’s a fence,” James answered, watching Brett uncertainly. “Or so he says.”
“You really shouldn’t conduct business where you live,” Brett called from the kitchen. “Cops ever tracked you down, they’d have enough evidence to put your asses away for life.”
“What are you, our dad?”
“No,” Brett replies, returning to the living room, holding a mug of whiskey, “I’m your new business partner.”
Aleks doesn’t mean to fall off the ladder. One minute they’re escaping the cops, the next his foot slips on the rung and he’s falling to the ground. He blacks out the moment he hits the concrete, coming to a few seconds later to James trying to haul his ass off the ground.
“Come on,” he shouts, and Aleks is too dazed to fight him, allowing him to drag him to his feet. Everything tilts and he’s pretty sure he’s going to throw up, but he puts one foot in front of the other as both stumble out of the alleyway.
“Stupid, useless, fucking plan,” James complains, panting with the effort of keeping Aleks upright and them both moving. “Told you…. the fire escape…. was the worst idea.”
“‘m not the one ‘fraid of heights,” Aleks murmurs, fighting to keep his eyes open. “Chicken shit.”
Aleks loses time.
When he’s conscious again, he finds himself lying on a scratchy couch, a leather jacket draped over his shoulders. He hears someone talking quietly, but he can’t make out the words. He listens for another few minutes before losing more time.
The next time he wakes up, he’s more coherent, and he can hear snoring coming from somewhere near his feet. He sits up, grabbing for the couch’s arm when the room tilts, and murmurs, “Shit.”
“What?” the snores cut off and Aleks feels the couch jolt. “Aleks? You awake?”
A light snaps on and he shields his eyes from the sudden glow, holding his head in his free hand. He winces when someone gently probes his skull with their fingers, squeezing his eyes shut, breathing deeply through the pain.
“You know I can’t do stitches worth shit,” James says softly, moving his hand from Aleks’ head and resting it against his neck. “Probably should have risked getting Brett’s contact here, but we didn’t have time.”
“Did I fall off a ladder?” Aleks asks softly, shivering when James’ thumb brushes his pulse point.
“And you came back for me.” It’s the worst moment to tease James, he knows it, but he can’t help it.
“Fuck off,” James replies but with zero heat behind the words.
James set his old crew’s hideout on fire six months to the day of their betrayal. He dragged Aleks out of bed, handed him a ridiculous mask, and they left Brett passed out on their couch.
It wasn’t a long drive, but for Aleks, it felt like it took forever. When they pulled up to the old apartment complex, less inviting than the last time he’d been there, James got out of the car.
He ducked down, looking into the open doorway, and said, “You don’t have to come with me if you don’t want to.”
“Fuck off.” Aleks got out of the car, trailing after James, looking up at the place. There was no one inside, James had made sure of it. He’d told Aleks he wanted his old crew to pay, but he didn’t want them dead, and Aleks could respect that decision. They’d been a big part of his life, a second family to him; old feelings didn’t die overnight.
It doesn’t take long for the place to go up in flames. It’s old and probably not up to safety code. They stood there for a few moments, watching the fire before sirens broke them from their reverie.
“Let’s go.” James grabbed his hand, dragging him towards the car.
Once behind the wheel, James started the car and sped off in the opposite direction of the sirens. He drove for a good ten minutes before pulling over onto the side of the road.
Neither one said a word for a long moment, but Aleks finally sighed and said, “You okay?”
“It’s not every day you burn down your ex-crew’s hideout.”
“I’m sure, you know, in time, you’ll come to…”
They’re not an established crew, not by a long shot, but Aleks figures they have time. They’ll find their niche, find some allies, make some more enemies, but until then they’ll just have to keep moving forward and hope for the best.
And if moving forward meant walking straight into hell. Well, he’s been worst places.