Title: "Kodak Moment"
Author: monimala
Fandom: "General Hospital"
Rating/Classification: SAC for language. Coleman, filler ficlet.
Disclaimer: Isn't possession nine-tenths of the law?
Summary: A picture is worth a thousand words. And then some. (This story is, however, considerably less than that)

He flips two Rolaids into his mouth, the thin wisps of paper falling into the pile of greasy wrappers and soda cans at his feet as he tucks the half-finished roll into a cup holder. When the mess gets too thick for him to reach the accelerator, he kicks it over to the passenger side.

Acid-fucking-reflux. Ha.

The doctor gave him a prescription for those purple pills and he wonders if taking 'em will shove him out of the Matrix. They damn sure won't cure the burning in his gut. He's thankful that, at least, the sensation ain't lower down. No man wants trouble with his junk... and just to prove things are in working order, he and Winona get together once every few months. They split a case of MGD, smoke a bud, fuck, and go their separate ways in the morning.

Everything works.

Still, he must be getting sentimental in his old age, because flashing a picture around to the guys on the docks is suddenly the worst gig on the planet. The first guy that looked at it and whistled, "Damn, who IS that fine piece of ass?" got slammed against a wall, an arm pressing into his sorry windpipe. "You ain't looking at the lady, Shithead. The guy. Tell me about the guy."

After that, he kept his thumb over her image, remembering what it was like when she closed her lips around it, teeth teasing the skin. He hopes Miz Bitch doesn't notice the smudges on that section of the photo.

It only takes him about ten minutes to find out that the cat all shirtless and passed out is a cop. So, he has to wonder why he's circled Port Charles about four times. By the time he gets back to Kelly's, he'll have been gone approximately fifty-nine minutes. He tells himself it's because Tracy demanded "one hour" service and he's an ornery bastard. He's not a goddamn Wal-Mart developing center or a pizza delivery and it'll serve her prissy ass right if he makes her sweat just a little.

His mouth tastes like spearmint-flavored chalk. Minty-fresh sawdust. His Camaro has seen better days and the brakes sound like a county fair hog when he whips into a parking spot about two blocks from the diner. It's a nice day. He'll walk.

Okay, he's lying. It's a lousy day. He's had a whole string of lousy days. About forty-two years worth. Even when he's staring at himself in the cracked bathroom mirror and pretending he's thirty-eight.

Another wisp of silver paper. Two more anti-acids. He chews these, crunching down like they're Easter candy. Pop never took him to church. His aunt Lorraine was Pentacostal. She took him one year and he remembers watching a bunch of crazy cats hollering and speaking in tongues. Some scary shit. He never went back.

But he always comes back to this place.

This fucking castle in the sky.



"I kill me," he mutters, sliding the photo into his pocket and climbing out of the car.

Everything works...except staying out of her life.



April 15, 2004.

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