Title: "A Righteous Man"
Fandom: Stephen King's "The Stand"
Rating/Classification: SAC for some dirty words, Larry/Stu, angst, filler.
Disclaimer: Stephen King owns all and Gary Sinise is a sex god.
Summary: 350 words.
Larry hears himself humming over the noise of the crowd: "Baby Can You Dig Your Man?" The song he thought he'd die before ever singing again. Turns out he's set to die either way.
When Flagg turns away from the dog and pony show, turns to the man they call Trash and the big fucking rocket he's hauling, he knows he should be thinking of Lucy. Maybe even of Nadine and what might have been. But all he remembers is Stu. Stuart Redman sitting there, propped against that sorry sedan, waiting for death. Did he feel like this? Like it was in the air, pulling at his arms, ready to rip him in two?
Larry remembers Stu stroking his hair, holding onto him while he was bawling, "Shit, Stu... we can't leave you... we just can't," like a baby. That easy voice of his asked Ralph and Glen to "just give us a minute, willya?" And they went off somewhere, just away, while Stu whispered against his cheek that "everything would be fine," and "this was the plan." He clung to him, hung on, like somehow that would make it true. He tasted the honesty there on Stu's mouth but still didn't believe it.
"Come on now, Larry. This motion's been passed, three to one." Stu chucked him under the chin like he was Gina or Joe and kissed him like he was Frannie. Like his soul was in it. And maybe it was. "You've got to leave me."
And somehow... somehow Larry did. He gripped Stu's face, kissed him one last time. Kojak barked to let Ralph and Glen know they were done being queer --not that Glen would do anything but approve-- and he forced himself to be a man, to stand.
Just like he's doing now.
At the end, Larry closes his eyes. Years ago, he thought it would be drugs that killed him. Then good old Captain Tripps. Never an A bomb and he's not sure how much it's going to hurt.
When the hand of God comes down to touch him, it feels gentle, familiar... and righteous.
June 4, 2007.