Title: Shoulder To Shoulder
Characters/Pairing: Boyd & Raylan (Or Boyd/Raylan)
Spoilers: Not really.
Summary: The way Boyd sees it, Raylan turned on him years ago.
Word Count: 552 words.
Date Written: March, 2011
Disclaimer: Justified = not mine. This story = mine.
Author's Notes: Inspired by a conversation with ranua, especially her bit here - They were raised to only trust 'family' and to band together against authority figures, especially federal authority figures. And then Raylan goes and becomes the thing they are supposed to stand shoulder to shoulder against. There's gotta be a fic in there somewhere. - and then left as a ficlet in her comments. I expanded it out a little, added to the angst, the tearing apart of a relationship I could analyze for days.
Dedication: For ranua, who was always willing to dissect one of my favorite TV relationships with me and who always inspired my Boyd-voice, whatever that says about us, lol. Love you, babe!
It was happening again, just like it had years ago, when they were still young and their scars were pink and new.
Raylan was suppose to be standing with him, shoulder to shoulder against the world, boots stuck in the thick mud that sloshed up whenever the rain fell down. And yet, here he was, trading Boyd over like a baseball card, edges worn and frayed with age.
“Just like always, Raylan,” Boyd said, the bitterness spitting out despite himself. “At least some things never change.”
“I’m not the one who never got around to growin’ up, Boyd. I’m not the one still playin’ cops ‘n robbers like some backyard game.”
“No, you’re just the one who left your backyard and never came back.”
“Wasn’t much to come back for,” Raylan said and Boyd jerked where he stood, wrists pulled tight against the cold metal of the handcuffs Raylan had fastened there.
“Well then,” he said, eyes blazing right through Raylan, to the setting sun behind him, “I guess there wasn’t, was there?”
“You make it sound like you’re not at fault here, Boyd. Like you didn’t just bring this shitcluster down on your own head.”
“Figures you see it that way,” Boyd said and squared his shoulders against the wind, let it burn cold against his cheeks.
“How else is there to see it?” Raylan asked and if he wanted to, Boyd could almost let himself see the regret in Raylan’s eyes.
Instead he scoffed and twitched his fingers behind his back. “We were a team, Raylan. You and me against the world. Taking care of our own. Then you left.”
“We all have to grow up sometime, Boyd.”
“Is that what you call abandoning your family? Growin’ up?”
“You know what my father was like.”
“Fuck your father, I meant me. You left me, Raylan. You abandoned me. You abandoned us.”
“I asked you to come with me,” Raylan said and Boyd was surprised Raylan would ever even admit to such a thing, years of Boyd just being another shadow of the man’s past.
“And go where? To join them? It’s like you never even knew me,” Boyd said and it spit out like venom on his tongue, even if he knew, somewhere inside himself, that it wasn’t true, that Raylan knew him better than most these days.
He turned, took a step towards the other marshal, waiting tall and silent behind them.
“Boyd, don’t walk away,” Raylan said, but it wasn’t a plea. “We still got some business to discuss here.”
“You walked away first, Raylan. You walked away first,” and Boyd let the wind take the words away with it. “I’m done talking with you now.”
Boyd’s chest was tight with air when the other marshal grabbed him by the cuffs, tugged against his wrists. Someone opened the back door of the SUV and Boyd stepped in its direction, back straight with every footprint left in the mud beneath his feet.
This time - unlike all those years ago - he didn’t turn around to see if Raylan was watching.
As far as he was concerned, he would never turn around again. The door to the SUV closed with a final certainty that Boyd had been waiting for all his life.
It was done now. It was done.