Title: He Rides East
Fandom: 3:10 to Yuma
Character: Ben Wade
Rating: Teen, hard PG-13
Length: 277 words
Spoilers: set post-film
Warnings: het, possibly other things
Disclaimer: Not mine, seriously.
Summary: Ben Wade points his horse east, unaccompanied by apparitions.
Once he knew a man stood taller on one leg than most do on two. Once he knew a man.
They say a man's haunted by what he's done, that his sins walk up to meet him. The wicked shall not walk away but they will be met. He doesn't walk, he rides like he's always done. No ghosts or apparitions. The dead stay dead. They don't speak to him.
Only one he'd pay a heed to.
If he points the horse one way, do what he ought, make things right, he'd face widow's weeds and a shotgun. Ben Wade is not a righteous man.
He rides east, comes to a town with ten cathouses and only one steeple.
Lined up for him, he picks one. It's the eyes he fancies and she's not a wisp of a thing, untouched by consumption. He can afford to be particular.
There's something about a woman, sinking into her, that takes a man's sorrows and joys away, brings him back to himself. Something about the creak of an iron bed.
He takes his time, bought and paid for, drinks his whiskey on the nightstand. Price for everything, they say, all negotiable.
Except for one man's dignity. And there might be apparitions yet, flickering in the wick of a kerosene lamp.
And ye shall meet thy brother and know him as thy brother.
"What is it?" she says as he tilts her chin up, turns her into the light, pencil in his hand and paper on the bed.
Details can escape a man's notice, be the death of him if he doesn't take a care.
"Your eyes," he says, "They're brown."