(One shot in 2 parts. Genre - canon)


Jack Twist had had a sweet tooth as long as he could remember. First his favorites were his Ma's cherry cakes and, bought with the measly savings she managed to put away, occasional candies for Christmas and birthdays. Then it was Snickers during his rodeo days. Well, when he could afford them; which was not that often, truth be told. Then them was Hershey's Kisses and Sticks which Lureen always kept in the house aplenty, but rarely ate herself. It was just fine by him and later by Bobby. But the most favorite of them all, until the end of Jack's miserable life, them was fancy Swiss choc'late. Dark, bittersweet, irresistible. Jack discovered it on the fourth fishing trip with Ennis, after their reunion, in '69.

He brought 'em candies for Ennis from the three-day trade fair in Houston. It was the first one L.D. had finally sent him to attend, and only because the old bastard had come down with flu. He had even put Jack up at Hilton, to parade Ol' L.D. Newsome's flourishing business and his largesse to his buddies at the fair. Jack didn't really care one way or the other, thought he might as well enjoy the fringes while they lasted.

And the fringes included two small squares of choc'late left by the hotel's room service every night on his turned down bed - shiny black wrapping over gold foil, labeled Lindt in fancy gold letters. He unwrapped one on the first night, stared for a while at the dark candy in his palm.

Like Ennis's eyes, when he's all hot 'n needy, thought Jack and put the choc'late careful like on his tongue.

It tasted strong, much stronger than any candy he'd had before. And sweet too. And unexpectedly bitter. But the bitterness only brought out the sweetness to a different level that he couldn't accurately describe. And when it was gone from his tongue, leaving behind a lingering bittersweet tang, Jack was already craving for more. But he held out, reckoning he should share this newly discovered taste with Ennis.

By the time he left the trade fair, half a day early to add a day with his cowboy, he had five pieces of dark choc'late in his pocket. For their after-dinner time, Jack reckoned. He couldn't quite wipe a sly grin off his face the whole afternoon and night while redlining across four states to their meeting place. Couldn't help touchin' them candies from time to time, worryin' that they seemed to get a bit soft with every touch, but couldn't keep his hands off 'em anyway.

He was barely able to hold out until after their dinner by the campfire, moving around restlessly, causing Ennis to look at him suspiciously a few times and ask at last:

"Whut's got inta ya, boy? Got an itch or sumthin'?"

Jack grinned happily at him: "Nah, just glad ta see you, friend!"

He was rewarded with his cowboy's crooked half smile that went fluttering into Jack's gut and further south. And it only made him even more impatient.

Finally, when the dinner was consumed and coffee was ready, Jack gallantly pulled the offerings from his pocket, stretched his hand toward Ennis and said with a carefully feigned nonchalance: "Wanna some choc'late for dessert, Ennis?"

To Jack's slight disappointment, he was rewarded with a dirty look and an indignant grumble from Ennis that he was not some darn girl to be appeased. But Jack was not one to be deterred by such a small matter like his friend's stubborn resistance. He proceeded to explaining that 'twas dark 'n bitter choc'late, fancy Swiss type in fact, the stuff that real men'd take, with their whiskies. Then he unwrapped one piece and put up a show of enjoying it, with his tongue, his lips and little yummy noises.

His antics worked like a magic. Ennis froze, his eyes, suddenly smoldering, fixed on Jack's mouth, one deliberately smeared with a good measure of choc'late.

Or slightly up and to the left of his mouth, to be precise.

Jack had noticed this peculiar stare of Ennis's long time ago, sometime during their first summer on the Brokeback – intense, dark and liquid, drenched in inexplicable longing. A few of such sightings and Jack had started to suspect that it had something to do with the mole over the left corner of his mouth. The one that drove girls crazy, along with his blue eyes, his lashes and his smiles. He had told himself that it was amusing that Ennis would think on him like… the way a girl would. Which's totally not true a course! I mean, Ennis's NOT some li'l gal in any which way. His Ennis was a strong and rough cowboy, a no-nonsense man to the bone 'n all… But truth be told, he had been thrilled at the notion that Ennis might think on him as bein'…umm... sexy. Yep, that's the word he'd heard girls used, and Lureen too in the beginning, cooing over the little dark brown spot over his mouth. So, Ennis's always furtive hungry stares had never failed to do him in, dizzy with lust and trembling in just under ten seconds. Jack imagined that he'd probably die 'n go to heaven if Ennis would jus' kiss it. But Ennis never had. Which time and again made Jack wonder why, seein' as he was so obviously dyin' to do so. Anyways, he'd never asked or even acknowledged that he'd noticed Ennis's stare. Lest he would embarrass his austere cowboy or worse, offend him. God forbid he'd take to his stubborn head that Jack was thinkin' on him like on a smitten li'l gal.

So, he was taken completely off guard when Ennis lurched at him with a hoarse give-it-to-me growl and attacked his mouth and … all around it with his tongue. Jack was stunned, suddenly struggling to put together a coherent thought.

The attack lasted as long as the bittersweet taste lingered on their tongues, then Ennis pulled back and gave Jack's now swollen upper lip another of those starving gazes.

The second candy inspired an even more fierce assault, now on Jack's belt buckle too. Jack was only too happy to surrender. By the last piece of choc'late they were rolling in the dirt, jeans around their ankles, very soon both shooting over the moon, crying out each others' names.

Later that night, wrapped and glowing in Ennis's strong arms, Jack decided that from now on dark Swiss choc'late would be his favorite and, by the look of the things, most definitely Ennis's too. He was so thrilled he'd discovered sumthin' that Ennis would take from him happily and always left wanting for more, that he couldn't sweep a goofy grin off his face for the entire trip.

After that time Jack would bring choc'late to all their fishing trips and let Ennis taste it after their first dinner together. Well, whenever he managed to wait for that long.

Jack also took to keeping a bar of Lindt in black wrapping on the desk in his office. He never ate it, but always took it along on his fishing trips. That soon became a topic of comments and jokes in the office. He would only shrug them off with a strange little smile. Sometimes, he would unwrap the bar and sit staring at it for a long while, his eyes gradually getting a washed-out and distant look. The look that first Lureen and then Bobby hated. Because inevitably it would end up with Jack being drunk, some times for a day or two, others for up to a week and then longer as time went by.

And when the tire iron broke Jack's jaw, sent him rolling onto the ground, the bitter twang of grass and mud mixing in his mouth with the nauseously sweetish taste of blood, the last thought in his miserable, fucked up life was that it tasted almost like Swiss choc'late. The type that Ennis liked… loved… and maybe it was the only thing Jack gave Ennis that had kept his difficult cowboy happy to be with him. And that was all right.

(May/June 2009)

Music: I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing, Aerosmith