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gaston

no guts, no glory

pairing: taekey
rating: R
warning: character death, violence

listen to songs quoted here



round the hanging tree
swaying in the breeze
in the summer sun
as we two are one
swaying




four days ago

“Why do you even stick around? I’ve been nothing but bad news to you.”

Key wasn’t really asking, and he did not really want an answer. Taemin seemed to understand his unspoken thoughts, giving a resigned shrug.

You compelled me, the shrug seemed to say. Later that night Key pushed back his seat and tried to get comfortable. He knew Taemin was sprawled across the backseat, just as he’d been when Key had discovered him there the first time. But this time there was no sound of soft breathing to startle Key into consciousness, nor lull him back to sleep. He absorbed the hollow silence before finally peeking over the headrest, only to be met by two wells of darkness. They said it all. Closer.

He climbed over the headrest, slowly, trying to keep his breathing even. He never got nervous over anything, not ever, but he got nervous over the little figure in his backseat. Taemin was welcoming enough, scooting to one side to make room for him. Key leaned back, catching a glimpse of the sky. The moon gave it an odd inverted quality, colouring the clouds a paler shade of purple than their backdrop. He felt a little threatened by it, he couldn’t have said why.

When Taemin tried to climb on top of him, Key pushed him back, holding down his shoulders.

“You shouldn’t.”

Taemin blinked, leaning forward to trace unheard whispers around his ear.

But I will, I will.

thirteen days ago

The key was to keep driving. Because when Key drove, he drove, everything else blending into white noise. He tried to pull over as little as possible, only doing so when it was to tend to something necessary; empty his bladder, feed the car, get money to feed the car. Maybe the car was the key.

He looked out of the window, watching the sun come up over a mostly deserted highway. He was nearly out of gas, and he knew his wallet was empty. Time to earn some money.

He took the first exit he encountered, stopping halfway. Tapping his fingers against the steering wheel, he squinted when the sun tipped over the horizon and momentarily blinded him. He retrieved his sunglasses and slid them on.

twelve days ago

The first time Key could have sworn he saw something move near the back of his car, he chalked it up to the heat, because when he rounded his vehicle there was no evidence of anything besides road and dust.

eleven days ago

This time he even sunk to his knees, berating himself a little when the underside of his car revealed nothing besides an underside of a car.

He got back up and kicked one of his tyres. Maybe he should cut back on coffee.

nine days ago

“Fuck!”

He’d finally pulled over for a quick shut eye. Two days was usually his limit. He parked at the back of a truck driver’s resting spot, mindlessly checking the back of his car when he returned from taking a leak against one of the trees. When he realized what he was doing he smirked, and got in.

But after he’d pushed back his seat and closed his eyes, ready to drift off to sleep, he’d realized there were two people breathing inside of his car.

“How the fuck?” Key shouted, and for the first time in his life, he was truly frightened. Or maybe for the first time in a long time.

Taemin got up from his slumped position.

“You left me behind,” he said, almost sulkily.

Key reached behind him blindly, fingering the handle of the door before finally getting it open, half stumbling half falling out of the car onto the pavement.

“You can’t be here, you can’t,” Key whispered frantically, getting back up and rubbing his arms. He felt so cold all of the sudden.

Taemin just sat in the back, looking at him through the window, his eyes black and empty in the night.

thirteen days ago, second time

It didn’t take long for a car to appear. He trained his eyes in his rear-view mirror. The car honked, once, twice. Key felt like his heart should be speeding up, like he should be getting sweaty palms. But right before was always his calmest moment.

It made him feel out of place. Not quite right.

The driver was exiting the car now. Nice looking boy, around his age. Key reached behind him for what he knew was there. He closed his fist around it when his fingers grazed the smooth, almost cool surface, and took a deep breath.

six days ago

“Why are you here?”

He’d gradually grown used to Taemin’s presence. It wasn’t that hard, the boy rarely spoke. He liked to look out of the window, or at least Key assumed he was looking, observing the other’s unmoving eyes in the mirror. And sometimes he’d lean back and reach up with one of his hands to trace invisible patterns on the roof of the car, and sometimes he’d spend time watching Key holding the wheel. But all of it dipped in eerie silence. Key wasn’t sure why he tolerated him. Maybe he had no choice.

“I owe you something,” Taemin finally provided.

“Like what?” Key demanded.

“Just something, you’ll see.”

You’ll like it.

five days ago

Key decided he really liked this car. It was old, but unlike most cars of its era the dated style made it charming instead of ugly. Taemin had used something on the interior that made it smell nice, and it ran too smoothly for its age, speaking of a line of caring owners.

“It was the first thing I bought with my own money,” Taemin said from where he was sitting next to Key. “Maybe not the very first thing, but the first big thing. People tend to forget the small shit. The lighters and the candy bars.”

Key stroked the steering wheel. It was the most Taemin had said to him so far.

“I like it a lot.”

“I can tell,” Taemin said, looking out of the window again.

Key smiled.

three days ago

“You can’t,” Key moaned, and it was clear to both of them what he was truly saying.

“I want to,” Taemin offered to his lips, triggering an almost involuntary response. He slid into Taemin, making the boy in his lap inhale sharply. Key froze, suddenly frightened to shatter this fragile thing, which was so much more than he’d ever failed to hope for. He could feel Taemin clenching around him, could feel the press of his fingernails against his shoulders. “Let me,” he offered.

But then Taemin seemed to melt into him and all he heard after that was more, more.

now

“Taemin,” Key whispered. He was thirsty, so incredibly thirsty. The sun kept beating down onto his skull, and he couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen any kind of road.

Taemin was walking in front of him, just out of reach, no matter how hard he tried. He couldn’t remember, couldn’t remember anything. When they’d left the car. Or why. All he could think of was how sore his feet were, how thirsty he was. He knew if he could just get Taemin to stop, to lie down with him, to kiss him, he’d feel better.

“Taemin,” he tried again. Finally, Taemin stopped. The sudden change of pace had Key stumbling, and he fell onto his knees.

“This is the spot.”

Key wanted to ask what that meant, but he found he didn’t have the strength to talk anymore. Taemin became blurry, or his eyes were tearing up, he wasn’t sure.

“You should rest.”

No, Key wanted to say. Instead he sighed, bringing down his hands. He realized it should be hot, but the ground felt smooth, almost cool. No, he thought again, but his cheek was already resting on the ground, and he knew he was lost.

thirteen days ago, one last time

The boy had reached his window now, and Key turned his face towards the light knocking sound. His hair was dyed a charming enough blonde, but Key frowned, not sure how he felt about bleaching his own hair. He flashed the other an almost polite smile before opening the door with brute force, hitting him right in the stomach, causing him to stumble backwards and crash onto the concrete. He swore he could hear the soft skin of the other’s hands tearing up, and he licked his front teeth. The boy instinctively brought a bloodied palm up to his face, sharply sucking in air through his teeth when he saw the damage.

“Clumsy,” Key commented, gripping the bat in his hands more firmly before he let it connect with his face. It produced a satisfying crack, making Key hum in approval. Especially when he saw more blood well up, this time from the other’s mouth. The boy opened it, producing an awful gurgled sound, before collapsing sideways.

Key gave the other a shove with the tip of his worn-down chuck, but got no response. He was only a little peeved when he realized he knocked him out cold already.

“Maybe I’m not in the mood today anyways.”

He rolled the boy onto his back, and stood back a little so he’d have better aim. Then he swung the bat down onto the other’s face, using all of his force. More things cracked. He continually repeated the action, until there was nothing left but bloody pulp. His bat dripped.

Maybe the key was to keep the cops from catching on too quickly.

When he felt satisfied with his work, he dropped his tool to the ground and walked back to his car, reaching inside and grabbing his wallet from the passenger seat. He carefully tucked it into the boy’s skinnies, examining him for anything valuable. He contemplated taking the colourful high-tops before realizing they were an extraordinarily small size, too small for even his girlish feet. “Blech,” Key mumbled to himself. He would’ve liked a new pair of shoes. But enough fucking around. He expertly picked up the body and shoved it behind the wheel, reaching over it to pop the trunk before slamming the door shut.

In the trunk he retrieved the only things that were truly his, six matching jerry cans. He carried them over to the waiting car two by two, going back one final time for the bat. He was pleased to find the keys in the ignition, new wallet shoved where you’d normally find a radio. When he’d stored his fuel containers and his bat had found a new home on the backseat, he leaned back and opened the wallet. He found enough cash to last him a good long while, and an identity card.

“Lee Taemin,” he tried, tasting the name. The picture was vague enough to be him, and he smiled again when he realized Taemin wasn’t blonde in it. People were more prone to have a second look if the hair colour didn’t match, and he hadn’t been looking forward to doing the upkeep in dirty gas station bathrooms. He threw the wallet on the backseat as well, adjusting the mirrors and the seat before carefully backing out of the exit.

His car looked so innocent, sitting there in the morning light. Key averted his gaze, and drove off.


when you walk among the trees
listening to the leaves
the further I go the less I know
the less I know


round and soft, pink and weak
foot and thigh, tongue and cheek
you know I'm told to swallow you whole
skin and bone




a/n: I wrote most of this at the music festival I attended last week by hand omfg, it was inspired by that time me and the bf were trying to get onto the highway and the car in front of us suddenly stopped, blocking the road, and the driver got out and started walking towards us. Odd how something so simple can make a person feel so unsafe. Anyways, bf backed up a little, dude got back into his car, all ended well.

Comments

That sounds like a scary situation, I'm glad you guys were okay.

And for Key....A ruthless killer with no guilt...or so it seemed. Had to be some guilt to be haunted by the boy he killed.
I liked that Key had a heart after all, even if it was too late for the ones that had crossed his path up until then. And I like to think he could really have loved Taemin, if only he'd had different intentions :|

Thank you for the read and comment <3
before anything i just want you to know that it's 6am here and i haven't slept since last night. so this comment will be more or less a bucket of inevitable fail.

i love this whole format with the skipping of time lines. this is kind of why dancing cats won me over so quickly, the fact that you are able to pique my interest, make me laugh, fall in love with the characters, confuse me and make me go "OOOOOOHHHHHHHH, SO THAT'S WHY!" at the end.

okay so i'm reading the fic again just because i know that a few of these things went over my head the first time. and i just LOVE LOVE LOVE when i see everything clearly the second time i read it.

You compelled me, the shrug seemed to say.
-- after having read everything THIS MADE SO MUCH SENSE. the way taemin is perpetually quiet, how he says more through his actions, how he STICKS AROUND. just. ugh. ilu.

“You shouldn’t.”
-- the first time i read this i was like, "AND WHY THE FUCK NOT?". but now i kind of agree with kibum...

The key was to keep driving.
-- so this makes me think that key is running away from whatever he left. and it kind of fell together when i read the part where he parks his car and just waits when he finds out that he's running out of cash. then taemin comes over all smiles and is out to give him a hand so key goes ape shit with his bat. then the last thirteen days ago where he basically positions the body and takes taem's wallet like a boss and his jerry cans... i'm like o___o

“You can’t be here, you can’t,” Key whispered frantically, getting back up and rubbing his arms. He felt so cold all of the sudden.
-- at first i thought taem was like a runaway that key was trying to get off his back. but then i go back to that scene, second thirteen days ago where taemin's car shows up and key grabs the bat. at first i thought it was a gun because of the cool surface description so my initial thought was 'SO KEY'S GONNA OFF HIMSELF. AND TAEM'S CHASING HIM TO STOP HIM.' and then i read on and taemin just stays there without any real... what's the word... purpose... or i dunno. i can't think straight.

and when key just kept incessantly asking taemin why he was there it just... ugh, the puzzle solved itself when i read it again.

Key decided he really liked this car. It was old, but unlike most cars of its era the dated style made it charming instead of ugly. Taemin had used something on the interior that made it smell nice, and it ran too smoothly for its age, speaking of a line of caring owners.

“It was the first thing I bought with my own money,” Taemin said from where he was sitting next to Key.

-- THIS WHOLE EXCHANGE. SO FUCKING VAGUE I JUST. i cry at how much it makes sense now that i'm reading it again.

“This is the spot.”
-- reading it for the second time... i got chills.

in conclusion... i don't think that taemin is necessarily a ghost. he could just be in the workings of kibum's mind, his conscience nagging at him about that one blond boy he batted to death. LOL, batted to death. uhm. but then again, not very much can be said about key's character here when it comes to guilt. obviously taemin isn't the first of his victims but... i don't know if this is meant to mean anything but when taemin said “Maybe not the very first thing, but the first big thing. People tend to forget the small shit. The lighters and the candy bars.” (and, yes, i realize that i'm quoting this again) it made me think that taemin may not be the FIRST victim but he's the first big one and the rest of key's murders where equivalents of the candy bars and lighters.... :\ i dunno. so the incident with him took a toll on his sanity. also just being on the road alone under the sun for too long. but that could just all be me, seeing things. :))

all in all, i loved this. so much. instant fave!
fuck, this comment. seriously, this comment ;A; when I first read this I pretty much sat around for a month looking like this

being completely intimidated by just how lovely this comment is D: I'm not making this up D:

it is my favourite comment, period. you madam, deserve some awards. and not the boring kind either, the kind that explodes into tacky 80's outfits and painfully bright nail polishes (because when does a girl ever have enough of those)

moving on to the actual comment ;~;

aqzsdjhqfjhds you picked up on every single little fucking thing I CANNOT how am I even supposed to respond to this okay no, be cool

i love this whole format with the skipping of time lines. this is kind of why dancing cats won me over so quickly
I'm so happy you enjoy this timeline skipping stuff, because sometimes I'm like 'ugh is this too much' but you liked it so phew

so this makes me think that key is running away from whatever he left.
he did, and I'm planning on writing about Key's past in another fic, I will keep you updated on that

in conclusion... i don't think that taemin is necessarily a ghost. he could just be in the workings of kibum's mind, his conscience nagging at him about that one blond boy he batted to death.
no I thought this, a ghost seems kinda easy and tacky <.< I really like the idea of Key completely losing it and experiencing things that aren't even there, without him ever realizing it.

Taemin is definitely not the most important person he's killed, but I feel like something about him just reminded Key about his first murder, and that person was definitely someone special. ALL SHALL BE REVEALED~

<3
I always find my own writing heavily influenced by things that I have read lately, so I'm a little curious what's on your reading list at the moment (if anything). Or maybe the bat-smashing just makes me think of Murakami.

You have a talent for time shifts. Sometimes the change in direction can seem rather put-on and make a story disjointed, but you have a knack for knowing when it's necessary in order to build up the reader for a twist ending. I caught on quickly that Taemin was some kind of hallucination or an apparition, but figured they actually had a history together. I always feel like an author has done something right when you think, oh I know this twist and it turns out to be something completely different.

I always look forward to your updates. And the fact that you write TaeKey makes me melt; there needs to be more of it.

<3
I always find my own writing heavily influenced by things that I have read lately, so I'm a little curious what's on your reading list at the moment (if anything). Or maybe the bat-smashing just makes me think of Murakami.
the only non-fic thing I've read lately is Game of Thrones :) which is pretty violent, so yeah, that could have inspired me. I've actually never read Murakami but have seen him mentioned quite often in other people's journals, would you mind recommending your favourite book?

thank you for saying I do timeline mix ups well, I enjoy doing them a lot so when someone as talented and compelling as you says 'you done good' I'm like :'D and I'm actually starting to get a little worried about my taekey habit, I feel like I want to write other pairings but I always end up on the taekey ship :| they're just something about them that just won't let me be, I think I've reread your latest taekey about a dozen times oo

thank you for the read and the lovely comment <3 I can't wait to leave you on back haha
This... was... I don't even know how to describe it. I basically can't get my mind off the "now" portion and feeling that Taemin led Key back to die in the place where he was killed... Which is eerie in a way because that's where Key became Taemin and Taemin became who Key was before.
I really like this idea of Key dying where he murdered Taemin, I actually didn't have a specific spot in mind when I wrote that, except that is was somewhere deserted. But a highway exit can be mighty deserted, so yeah, thanks for mentioning that <3 and thanks for the read and the comment <3
I'm a little surprised it seems I'm the only one (out of those who commented) whose mind seemed to do that... but when Taemin said "This is the spot"... it kinda clicked later that it would have to be a spot with meaning.. and what bigger meaning than where he died?

Thanks for writing :D
You're stories make me want to cry with how brilliant they are. Like ugh I can't ever bring myself to write after reading them, they're so A-grade.
Part of me is increasingly charmed by your streak of putting TaeKey into outlandishly different situations than the norm. But then part of me is sad because TaeKey falls victim to some dark shit. xD
I love it though, please write more in the future. Like, don't stop here. Or you know, ever. ;-;
Like ugh I can't ever bring myself to write after reading them, they're so A-grade.
haha girl no! I feel like that all the time, when I'm reading my favourite authors, I swear I'm not brilliant omg

But then part of me is sad because TaeKey falls victim to some dark shit. xD
I feel like a jackass now because I just wrote another taekey sigh and it's not a happy story. I really shouldn't keep torturing them like this T_T at least they get to do it often? :D

Thank you for your lovely words <3
This was a great read. I could never write anything by hand. I just get too impatient and the story turns into shit before my hands get tired. Oh, what technology has done to me :/
The murdering scene made me cringe in more ways than one. I have a very explicit imagination, and the scene I pictured in my head was definitely not pretty. Thanks for sharing, you're a great writer :)
I actually felt like I could have been more explicit when Key killed Taemin, so it's good to hear I got my point across.
Thank you for the lovely compliments, you are a cute reader ^^ <3
oh i love how you formatted this. i also love this in general so

your writing makes me cry in jealousy ):
nuuuuuu there's great stories inside all of us, don't let what I do discourage you! that's like the exact opposite of what I want omg ;~;

thank you for the read and the comment <3
omg bb this is pure gold. i love when you jump all over the timeline like this >.<

SO GOOD!

at first i thought key was running from taemin's death and when the reality hit me it was actually a surprise!!!
you're fics almost always surprises me! Its such a small thing but its actually really huge. Most of the fics i read lately are so predictably.

also you know how hard i ship shinee+violence ^///^

in summation you are still my goddess and my brain twin and i love you and seeing you on my flist is always like christmas!!!
<3
yay Christmas comes 12-14 times a year :D omg if only

I'm so glad you didn't find this predictable, predictability is like the stab of death to anything creative so hell yes \m/

ilu brain twin let's write taekey together forever <#
Thank you ever so kindly! <3
I'm going back through all your stuff and commenting on everything, this might just take forever but I’M DOING IT ANYWAY GOSH DARN IT * determined face*
"Later that night Key pushed back his seat and tried to get comfortable. He knew Taemin was sprawled across the backseat, just as he’d been when Key had discovered him there the first time. But this time there was no sound of soft breathing to startle Key into consciousness, nor lull him back to sleep. He absorbed the hollow silence before finally peeking over the headrest, only to be met by two wells of darkness. They said it all. Closer."
That feeling of knowing someone's behind you ;_; this has happened to me (mainly like sharing a bed or sleeping near each other at a party) Oh man. It's impossible to get comfortable and then one of you finally gives in and the first movement where you realizes they aren't just shifting and they come over and now you're both there and ahhh my little heart was all fluttery thinking about Key crawling over armrests to get to the backseat and Taemin silently watching him move under the moonlight >//.//<

"He never got nervous over anything, not ever, but he got nervous over the little figure in his backseat. "
I love this idea of this person so unaffected by others and then Taemin coming along and just destroying his nerves.
‘Taemin got up from his slumped position. “You left me behind,” he said, almost sulkily.’
POOR LITTLE TAEMIN-AH GETTING LEFT BEHIND ah I’m sitting here talking to myself just like GET OVER IT, HE DONE DEAD BITCH. but I can’t.
‘Key felt like his heart should be speeding up, like he should be getting sweaty palms. But right before was always his calmest moment.’
This manic Key is perfect. And I like this explanation of that feeling that can happen when you’ve except whatever is next even if you know its batshit. That weird calm.

‘You’ll like it.’
I like all the little things Taemin doesn’t say aloud. I think how Key has created such an intense allusion in his head that there are things there like the separation of what Taemin’s saying and what’s in his mind.
“You can’t,” Key moaned, and it was clear to both of them what he was truly saying.’
Okay I feel dumb but, what was he saying? I felt like he was saying you shouldn’t for a lot of different reasons but I wasn’t sure if it was more complex than that or not so I was okay I’ll just ask.
‘He knew if he could just get Taemin to stop, to lie down with him, to kiss him, he’d feel better.’
MY POOR LITTLE HEART CAN TAKE IT AHHH~ THIS IS SO SAD TO ME ;_;
“Clumsy,” Key commented’
Ugh. Fucking crazy Key just. Being. Like. This. And then off-set by the intense violence. Yes.
Okay I would quote everything if I actually had good things to say but instead it’s all just ahg98tf34qyt0h *drool on you*
I like that Key isn’t a total sociopath he still has guilt it’s just a lot more convoluted. And little ghost boy Taemin ;_; there’s always been something about Taemin that is haunting that I really like so this was perfect.
Also the whole concept that Key hallucinates this real person but uses him to personify all this shit, I really liked it. UGH I REALLY LIKE YOUR FACE. OKAY I’M DONE.
TL;DR YOU ARE GOOD JOB

BUT YOU ALREADY COMMENT ON ALL OF MY STORIES THROUGH SKYPE DON'T YOU?

and Taemin silently watching him move under the moonlight >//.//<
dude I'm pretty much obsessed with weather can you tell from my other stories lol and the way things light up under its influence so when I saw you liked that I was like *fistpump*

ah I’m sitting here talking to myself just like GET OVER IT, HE DONE DEAD BITCH. but I can’t.
WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME LAUGH ABOUT TAEMIN DYING THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE

Okay I feel dumb but, what was he saying? I felt like he was saying you shouldn’t for a lot of different reasons but I wasn’t sure if it was more complex than that or not so I was okay I’ll just ask.
I think I actually answered this before but; it's clear to both of them that Key is saying one thing but thinking the exact opposite, that Taemin can and should sleep with him

*drool on you*
yay ^^ there's nothing like some quality friendship drool tbh

UGH I REALLY LIKE YOUR FACE.
I REALLY LIKE YOUR FACE TOO :D YOU ARE FUN AND AWESOME AND I KINDA WANT TO CRAWL INTO YOUR BEDROOM AND WATCH YOU SLEEP AFTER I CUT OFF A LOCK OF YOUR HAIR TO KEEP IN MY LOCKET BECAUSE IF REAL BOOKS HAVE TAUGHT ME ANYTHING IT'S THAT THAT A PERFECTLY HEALTHY WAY OF HAVING A RELATIONSHIP WITH SOMEONE