mcreyes day one - r o a d t r i p
Gabriel can’t say when it all started. He remembers the week after Jesse lost his arm; how he found the younger man on his own too many times, battling with demons that wouldn’t allow him rest. He remembers a night in the rec room, Jesse tucked under his chin as they watched TV and finally falling asleep until morning. But if Gabriel would admit it to himself, he could see they started losing personal space around one another before that.
He let his guard down around the younger man without realizing. Slowly, Jesse started to crumble the walls around Gabriel and managed to touch his shoulder, bump his sides with his elbows, even wrap an arm around his commander’s neck. Night sparring sessions became late night talks and smoke breaks on rooftops their therapy. They met Friday nights in the rec room for a movie. If they couldn’t agree on one, they would thumb wrestle for it. Gabriel always wondered if Jesse’s hand gripped too tightly before he let go or was it all in his head. Those night usually ended with them sleeping closely together, with one head resting on the other’s chest. Gabriel always woke up first, used to his schedule, and would walk out without troubling Jesse. These rituals take place when they’re alone, when they can tell tales in Spanish and murmur secrets that will fade in the air around them.
Gabriel drives through the deserted highway with the sun setting behind them and the moon lighting his path. The radio provides a song he doesn’t know but finds his head nodding to the rhythm. McCree sits by his side, like he’s usually found, telling a story he has told Gabriel before, but the commander has grown too fond of his voice and laughter to stop him.
Jesse leans his head against his seat as he laughs and his eyes close to the joy. Gabriel smiles and takes his eyes off the road to look at his agent, to capture the image of Jesse with the last bit of light left before they’re left with twinkling stars as background.
Gabriel’s hand rests comfortably on the gear stick until Jesse’s finger starts tracing his veins and knuckles. Gabriel can feel Jesse’s eyes on him, daring him to return the gaze. But Gabriel is too afraid of losing control of the car if he does. Jesse’s stare ceases, but he keeps maping Gabriel’s lines, curves and creases on his hand and up his forearm before traveling the same path back down.
“We should rest.” Gabriel says as he slowly stops the vehicle on the side of the road and shuts it off. “Call dibs on the backseat.”
Gabriel gets down and makes his way to the back. He sits down and closes the door behind him, using it to rest his back as he stretches his legs over the seat before McCree speaks.
“Call dibs on you.”