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04 June 2012 @ 11:57 pm
Justified Slash: "Something Like Lightning" (PG)  
Title: Something Like Lightning
Fandom: Justified
Author: HalfshellVenus
Characters: Raylan/Boyd (Slash)
Rating: PG
Summary (Pre-Series): In Harlan, nighttime changed everything.
Author's Notes: For the 5_prompts Table 31 picture prompt below, and for writers_choice ("shine").
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In Harlan, nighttime changed everything.

It wasn't just the way darkness covered the things that were ugly and uneven—the broken-down trucks, the peeling paint on weatherboard houses, the shattered windows and busted doors on what must have been half of that godforsaken town.

At night, the moon came over the mountain and the air sparked with the magic of lightning bugs. At night, there was room for hope.

By the end of high school, Raylan left the house after dinner more often than not. He'd found by then that the best way to avoid a beating was simply not to be around. Dinner was when his daddy would start drinking, and he'd get drunker and meaner in the hours to come. Raylan tried to make himself scarce, staying out late until after the time his daddy usually went to bed.

Before long, he saw that he wasn't the only one roaming around the roads and woods near Harlan after dark. Half the time, Boyd Crowder was out doing the very same thing.

He and Boyd took to meeting up and driving to the ridge or out to the lake. They'd sit in the back of Boyd's pickup truck watching the stars and passing a jar of moonshine back and forth between them. They killed a lot of time that way, Boyd no more in a hurry to get home than Raylan was, for much the same reason. The irony of the two of them drinking to wipe away the memories and misery associated with their own fathers' drunken rages was not lost on Raylan. But Harlan was what it was, and his and Boyd's options were severely limited.

Jelly-jar 'shine was about the finest Harlan had to offer, and you had to find happiness wherever you could—even if it was only a sorry excuse for escape that somehow helped you survive until the next day.

"This is real nice, just being here," Boyd sometimes said, and Raylan grunted his agreement. Peaceful, he thought Boyd probably meant, and just about anything would have been, compared to what was waiting for each of them at home.

The two of them were out at the edge of the woods one night, where trees met meadow and moonlight turned the grass a silvery white. Lights floated and blinked in random patterns all around them, like memories from another time.

"I used to catch tons of those critters in jars like this, when I was little," Boyd said. He toasted Raylan with the jar of 'shine, and took a healthy swallow.

"I suppose we all did," Raylan answered, but his attention was drawn to the way Boyd's eyes glowed in the dark, the gleam of them every bit as captivating as the lightning bugs all around them. There was an edge to Boyd even when he seemed relaxed, something alive and unpredictable beneath the surface. Volatile, Raylan thought.

"Things sure seemed a whole lot simpler then, didn't they, Raylan?" Boyd looked at him with something like pleading in his eyes.

"Seemed, yeah," Raylan said. But when you had a daddy who beat on you, it was a lot more confusing at the age of eight or ten than when you were seventeen and knew it was because your daddy was an asshole who didn't care about anybody but himself.

Boyd leaned in and kissed Raylan then, swift and sudden, because Boyd was the kind of person who had to make everything complicated, no matter how someone else might have wanted it to be.

Still, it must have meant something that Raylan didn't say No. "It's just the two of us out here, Raylan," Boyd whispered.

Complicated was looking about as simple as anything, just then. Raylan decided he was willing to take a chance on it, even if it turned out later that he was wrong.

-------- fin --------

nrrrdy_grrrl on June 5th, 2012 08:11 am (UTC)
Aw- yay!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on June 5th, 2012 06:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
cindy: story about love (by apiphile)tsuki_no_bara on June 5th, 2012 03:27 pm (UTC)
i like how quiet this is - it's just boyd and raylan alone with their (no doubt similar) thoughts and all the fireflies. (oh, and their jelly jar of moonshine. :D ) and i really love that raylan notices how coiled boyd is, like he's always ready to spring even when he's standing still.

(i don't think it's really a love story, but there's some definite feeling here.)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on June 5th, 2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
It's not a love story at this point, but you can sense that for awhile at least, it might become that.

Glad you liked it! Hard to believe I wrote another one of these already, but those prompts sure fit. :)
cindy: fangirltsuki_no_bara on June 5th, 2012 06:55 pm (UTC)
also? i really, really love the pre-series looks at the two of them, and what their relationship might have been and how it could have grown. it's the one thing i wish we'd get more of in the show.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: heh-hehhalfshellvenus on June 5th, 2012 07:02 pm (UTC)
it's the one thing i wish we'd get more of in the show.

Me too, and not just (mostly) for the slashy reasons.

Given that we haven't, I have to really give kudos to the pilot, which packed a lot of history into brief flashbacks. The rest is mostly fanon, I think. But I'd love to know more of who each of them were, or why the hell Helen ever married Arlo after she knew what he was, or what-all Boyd truly grew up with at home.

I keep thinking of SPN, where even though the Pilot had some clumsy dialogue in its exposition... it laid an entire foundation of angsty family history that I still write about even now. That's a pretty rich beginning, when you think about it. :)
Gwyllion: community.livejournal.com/justifiedgwylliondream on June 5th, 2012 08:45 pm (UTC)
That was simply beautiful. Great job!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on June 6th, 2012 03:15 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I know it couldn't come at a worse time, with all of the fic challenge results for Justified being posted up, but I finally had the time to write something and the prompt sure pointed this way. :)
rekindle956: Tree&Cloudsrekindle956 on June 6th, 2012 04:17 am (UTC)
I enjoyed reading this. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on June 6th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to comment! Especially with such a flurry of other Justified stories coming out just now. :)
chemm80chemm80 on June 6th, 2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
Lovely sense of the place and characters, here. It's nice to see more Justified fic popping up, too!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Supernaturalhalfshellvenus on June 6th, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I really enjoy Justified, but the Raylan&Boyd (and Raylan/Boyd) is the dynamic I find most fascinating. There's such an ongoing pull there between them, like Raylan's heart and mind are in complete disagreement over what to do about Boyd. And that makes for a lot of room to explore an interesting and complicated past, as well as some of the wonderful under-the-scenes and AU stories I've read.

Nice to find other Supernatural fans enjoying this show, too!
chemm80: Man in the Hatchemm80 on June 6th, 2012 11:55 pm (UTC)
I certainly agree with all of this--I pounce on any Justified stories written by my flist, whose talent I know well from SPN--plus Raylan and Boyd do have a very oddly complex relationship. It's so much more than the usual bad guy vs. good guy dynamic that hasn't really been openly explained on the show. The only thing we really know is that they've known each other all their lives, and "like Raylan's heart and mind are in complete disagreement over what to do about Boyd" is an excellent way to describe Raylan's reactions to him.

If you're interested in reading an SPN/Justified crossover series, my good friend (and talented author) sylvanwitch has a great series here: Nights Like These on AO3 (or you can friend her fic journal wordsothewitch on LJ).

Also, I made a podfic of a Justified Raylan/Boyd story that I really enjoyed: Done Broke Loose by templemarker. (There's a link to the story in the podfic post if you'd rather read than listen.)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on June 7th, 2012 12:37 am (UTC)
I'd actually read that templemarker story on AO3-- I even commented on it! And here I was hoping for uncharted Raylan/Boyd, because the AO3 search function isn't always that reliable.

I went on a Raylan/Boyd binge about 5-6 weeks ago, after I finished watching S1 from Netflix. The last two episodes put ALL kinds of ideas in my head, and I was sure someone had to have written that. That was one of the ones I particularly enjoyed, because it caught Raylan and Boyd's characterization so well, and that unending tethered complexity between them. Fabulous!

-Van: justified raylan and boydslavelabour on June 7th, 2012 04:35 am (UTC)
Squee! One of my fave pairings! I have such a weakness for pre-series history between a couple of old friends. All those old secrets and intimacies and feelings. LOVE IT. ♥
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on June 10th, 2012 06:02 am (UTC)
I got hooked on this pairing as soon as I finished watching Season One on DVD-- it suddenly leaped out at me, and I couldn't resist it.

There is so much subtext between these two characters, so many hints of deeper feelings and a complicated past, that you can't help thinking about these kinds of possibilities. So much room for exploration there...

Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
neliscenelisce on September 12th, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
This was really lovely. <3
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Random Fandomhalfshellvenus on September 12th, 2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you-- so glad you enjoyed it!
happy is as happy does: Raylan Givens - Justifiedhappywriter06 on November 8th, 2012 01:48 am (UTC)
Procrastinating already on my NaWriMo. Lol.

What I love about the is how Raylan and Boyd are too sides of the same coin. This fic brings that all the more home.

You really set the scene here. I felt like I was the lake watching the fireflies.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Justified Black As Coalhalfshellvenus on November 8th, 2012 01:52 am (UTC)
What I love about the is how Raylan and Boyd are too sides of the same coin.
Yes-- each could have gone the way of the other. They are different realizations of the same set of possibilities, which is partly why Raylan chafes against Boyd's choices so much.

Did I link you to this one instead of the next (longer) one? Though at lesat this is short.

Procrastination-- I R it. :D
happy is as happy does: Raylan Givens - Justifiedhappywriter06 on November 20th, 2012 01:46 am (UTC)
You linked to the longer one. I was just trying not to procrastinate too much.