Title: "Angels With Dirty Faces"
Author: monimala
Fandom: "General Hospital"
Rating/Classification: SAC, angst, Skye/Coleman.
Disclaimer: Nope, I do not own them...I just have this raging crush on Blake G. and Robin C. that will NOT go away.
Summary: Sometimes, you find strength and support where you least expect it.

*I wanna take you for granted,
well, I will.* --Rob Thomas.

She tries to excuse it when she leans forward and tells Jax she understands the need to drown emotion in a warm body, a willing body, any body. She tells him she understands why he'd pay a stranger for sex. Why he needs someone who asks no questions, who tells no lies.

She likes to think that what she has, what she's been doing all these months, is that simple, that cut and dried...that dirty.

But she's never paid her warm body a single dime.

He's no high-priced call girl, no whore. And she knows that every time she leaves his bed, it's not money on the night stand he looks for...but some sign...some little sign that she's going to come back. A phone number, her flask of vodka...maybe just a hint of promise in her eyes.

She'd be better off if she and Jax were truly doing the same thing. If she and her ex-husband were both on the same road to self-destruction. She'd be better off if she didn't need this...this *thing*...so much.

She can't put a name to it.

On her worst days, she calls it "slumming." On her best, she calls it nothing...and calls *him* instead. He wraps his arms around her and hugs her close and they don't even have to speak...just stand in the middle of his living room for minutes on end as his teeth nip teasingly at the diamond earrings Adam gave her on her eighteenth birthday and her hands slide into the back pockets of his ripped and faded jeans.

He has hideous taste in shirts. Baggy cotton and silk numbers with outlandish prints that make him look like a loudmouthed tourist on a beach in Hawaii. And his personal grooming certainly leaves something to be desired ...wild, lank hair that's a nondescript brown-blond color with a nearly Fu Manchu beard and mustache to match.

He drinks Natural Light, smokes Pall Malls whenever he has a craving and the Patch isn't enough, and his car is a beat-up hunk of junk from another era. Pea green with ripped vinyl interior and a radio that only catches talk radio and a honky-tonk station.

But he folds his forefinger and his thumb and creates a perfect niche for her chin as he tilts it up and brushes her lips with oddly gentle kisses. And when she needs someone to hold her, his hideous shirts are soft under her palm and his beard scratches her cheek like whispered assurances.

She climbs out of bed, reaching down below into the dust bunnies for her clothes. He presses his fingertips to her back and the clasp of his wristwatch tangles in the ends of her hair. "You don't have to go," he reminds, in a gravel and sandpaper voice that will never sing love ballads or do television voice-overs.

He smells like her expensive body spray...tart and flowery all at the same time. She turns to inhale the scent from the hollow of his throat, curve her fingers into the hairs on his chest that are, thankfully, not as dense as they could be, and assures him, "Yes, I do."

He watches her leave with uncharacteristic, tolerant, silence.

He'll welcome her back with the same.

And that's why she'll keep coming to him. For him. Beneath him.

She can't put a name to it.

On her worst days, she calls it "slumming." On her best, she calls it nothing.

And somewhere in between, she knows it's more than she deserves...and exactly what she needs.



March 28, 2003.

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