I barely dare give a tiny fic prompt since I never came through with the Borgia fic I owed you. I wrote a few pages but I don't know if/when I'll get around to finishing it (you'll probably wake up to a random Borgia fic months from now when you're completely Over It. I apologize in advance.) But I can't miss a chance to ask for some Justified! I miss Boyd and Raylan. Something set before the series, back when they (were young and stupid) worked in the mine? Or anything between them, really...
1) um what do you mean OVER the Borgias. I will never be over the Borgias. I don’t get Over things unless they betray me horribly, and a dead canon means I’ll literally love it for always. 2) no worries! I’d love to see that Borgias fic if/whenever you finish it. :) 3)
Raylene Givens never goes down in the mine, but she does go to Glynco. Fifteen years and twenty-four hours later she shoots Tommy Banks straight in the heart, and as punishment she’s sent back to Kentucky.
Boyd Crowder greets her at the door of his repurposed church wearing a smile and a confederate flag belt buckle. “Raylene Givens,” he says with satisfaction. “I remember you from high school.”
“I’d be worried if you didn’t, seeing that there were forty kids in our grade,” Raylene says, ignoring the way his eyes slide over her suit, fixing at the slight bulge of her holster at her side.
“And only twenty of ‘em girls,” Boyd agrees, and grins at her. “Nice hat.”
He takes her into the church, serves her a glass of bourbon, spins her some racist bullshit, and goes sharp and still like a snake about to strike when she correctly identifies his angle.
“Raylene, It has been a true pleasure,” he says when she goes to leave.
“Oh no,” Raylene says, grinning back at him with all her teeth, the challenge as pleasant and familiar a burn as the bourbon. “Pleasure’s all mine.”
* The next day she pulls him into a lineup, and he follows her out into the courthouse gallery.
“You really give that man in Florida twenty-four hours to get out of town, or you’d shoot him on sight?” Boyd asks, his eyes intent on her face.
“Something along those lines,” Raylene answers, not giving an inch.
Boyd smiles, unblinking. “What would you say if I made you the same offer?” he asks, soft as a lover.
Raylene smiles back at him, eases her jacket aside with one hand, just to make a point. “Now you’re talking.”
That night, she shoots him point-blank in the chest.
He gets out of prison six months later, the hole her bullet left in him still raw and raised just below his sternum. She finds him outside her hotel at eleven o’clock at night, talking about God and gratitude, staring right into her eyes like he might mean some of the bullshit he’s spinning about destiny.
She doesn’t fuck him, but the thought occurs, even though she tends to live at the far side of the kinsey scale.
He doesn’t miss it–either the thought or her decision to dismiss it. He gives her a slow, regretful smile. “I guess that’ll be goodnight, then, Ms. Givens,” he says.
“Guess you’d be right,” Raylene answers him, letting her gaze catch on his mouth for a second, just to see his eyes darken.
That about sets the tone for the next six years.
They’re both a little in love with Ava Crowder, and then Boyd is more than a little in love with Ava Crowder.
Raylene isn’t surprised when Boyd asks Ava to marry him.
Ava says she has to think about it.
“How’m I supposed to compete with you?” she demands, showing up at Raylene’s bar already shitfaced, a little black box clutched tight in one hand. “He’s obsessed with you!”
“I wasn’t aware it was a competition,” Raylene says, and carefully puts her hand in Ava’s hair.
“Oh Jesus,” Ava says, and tugs Raylene upstairs.
“What’s your answer’s gonna be?” Raylene asks later, when Ava’s wrapped up in her sheets, knees tucked under her chin, that little box taunting them from the dresser. Ava looks right at her, miserable and well-kissed.
“Yes, I suppose,” she says.
The first time Raylene kisses Boyd she shoves up against a tree, and then cuffs him to it.
“You goddamn bitch,” Boyd says, eyes black, lunging after her. She’s stepped back far enough that he can only kiss her chastely on the mouth, like a husband seeing his wife off to work.
She grins at him. “You love me, really,” she says, and takes another step back.
“Don’t think that means I’ll show any mercy,” he warns, furious and completely without recourse.
“Never has,” Raylene says with a shrug, and starts heading down the mountain.
“It’s a good thing you left Harlan after graduation,” Boyd sighs at her from the other side of a stairwell in their old high school, two years later. “Otherwise I mighta married you instead of Ava.”
“You never paid me the time of day back then,” Raylene says easily, reloading her clip. “You liked the cheerleaders.”
“In fairness,” Boyd says, his voice close enough that she fires another shot down the stairs. “I recall you did, too.”
Raylene grins. “You never could get Mariah Macready’s attention.”
“You didn’t,” Boyd says, and for the first time he sounds outraged, sending another few bullets her way.
“Twice our junior year,” Raylene confirms, and ducks out of the stairwell.
“Marry me, Raylene Givens,” Boyd slurs, drunk off his ass.
“I’m still queer, and you’re still engaged,” she reminds him. “Not to mention a goddamn crimelord.”
He waves a hand in the air, dismissing these as semantics. “Marry me anyway.”
“Not today, Boyd,” she says, and gives him a jerk of her head. “Come on, I’m bringing you in.”
“Course you are,” Boyd says, and there’s a certain softness in his look that she can do nothing but ignore.
“You do love me,” Boyd says when she’s got him in the passenger seat and they’re rolling down to Lexington. “Just a little.”
She snorts. “Quit lying to yourself, Crowder.”
Boyd closes his eyes, smiles in the dark of the car. “Truth always sounds like lies to a sinner.”