I'm still writing the Paper Thin Moon series, but I wanted to run another one alongside it.
Summary: Ennis leaves with Jack, and three years later, Junior wants to see her father for Father's Day.
Rated: G thru NC17, all will be marked. This is G.
Written by Fics_At_Random AKA Mandi
Rated: PG – NC17 in parts
Lureen had left weeks ago on account a L.D. harpin at her at how much better she could do, an then Jack confirmin in when he told her ‘bout Ennis. He’d never seen a woman turn all them shades a red an purple or cry that much, but Goddammit, if anyone, (‘sides Ennis), deserved the truth, it was her.
It was snowin in Texas that night, he remembered that. Never did it in all the years he’d been there. There was a knock on the door an he figured it was Lureen comin back for the rest a her good dresses she’d left zipped up in garment bags in the upstairs closet.
He let the door yawn open.
There, standin on the front steps, was Ennis Del Mar.
He didn’t have words, jus’ held him an choked up, havin forgotten the warmth of another person in those weeks, even though Ennis felt like he’d been out in the cold for weeks. Truth was, he’d been standin on that doorstep a good ten minutes ‘fore he gathered up the courage to knock; or got cold enough t’seek the warmth a the fire Jack had goin inside.
Ennis never did explain why he was there. Jack never asked.
That was three years ago.
Ennis Del Mar had come to stay.
In all that time, Jack never did ask why Ennis showed up on his front steps that night. Figured it didn’t matter as long as he was there. Was afraid if he asked, Ennis might pack up an leave again an it’d be another four years a hell ‘fore he could find him again. No, it wasn’t worth knowin t’risk that.
They made due as best they could as a coupla gay roughnecks, though neither of ‘em would come out an say that. Ennis firmly said, “I ain’t queer,” an Jack merely shrugged an responded, “me neither.” They went about that line a thinkin for three years. Moved from Texas up to Colorado, little outta the way place called “Last Chance.” Thought it was fittin. Started up a successful ranch where the two of 'em lived an loved an all was right with the world.
Or at least it was ‘til the letter came.
I know it’s been years, but Junior wants to see you. I told her I’d let her write you a letter. I sent this one first to let you know it’s coming. She’s eleven now and she wants to know her daddy. I’m not standing in the way of this. It’s what she wants.
“You ain’t been in touch with Junior in all these years?” Jack asked, though he knew somewhere deep in his heart that Ennis truly had given up everything t’be with him.
Ennis stroked their dog, a border collie named John Boy, didn’t say nothin at first, but gently nudged John Boy outta the way an stood up from the easy chair that Jack had come to associate as ‘his.’ “Ain’t seen or heard from her, you know that.”
“Guess I did, yeah.”
“Alma,” and he said this like the words were stingin his tongue like yellow jackets in his mouth, “said she didn’t want me ‘round Junior or Francie ‘cause a…”
“But Junior’s eleven now, so I guess if she wants t’see me… Don’t know why she would…”
“You’re her daddy!” He cried incredulously. “Why wouldn’t she wanna see you?!”
“I left her when she was a real little kid, why would she? She don’t even know who I am, probably don’t know why I left…”
“Ennis… Don’t do this again,” he pleaded. They’d been over it several times already since the letter came in the post that mornin. “She wants t’see you, that’s why she’s gone an wrote you. You gonna tell me that…”
“What’s that?” Ennis pointed to another letter in Jack’s hand with the same scrawl as the one from Alma. Jack pulled it from the pile a bills and employment applications for the ranch an handed it t’his man, who tore it open in a manner that was so unlike Ennis that Jack could only stare.
I guess I should tell you that I’ve been writing to Junior for the past three years… as you. She’s written you letters, and I got myself a post office box where the letters go to, and I read them and answer them and write her back as you. I guess I’m trying to tell you that Junior thinks she’s got a relationship with you and I don’t got excuses anymore.
I’ve sent you some of the letters to give you an idea of what you two have for a relationship.
I’m doing this for her sake. Maybe mine as well. If you’d go along with it, I’d really appreciate it.
She wants to see you for father’s day this year. I figured I’d give you a week or two to get used to the idea of what she expects from her daddy. She doesn’t know about Jack. I’d be grateful if you didn’t bring him into this.
“What the hell?” Ennis flipped through some of the letters that was clearly Alma’s handwritin an wondered how Junior would a been fooled by this. She was a painfully sharp girl, but he sat an wondered, how many times had she seen my handwritin t’know it when she saw it? I only signed one a those school permission slips once in my life for some school trip…
“What is it?” Jack asked again, Ennis hadn’t noticed. He jus handed him the letter. He looked it over an furrowed his brow in disbelief an disgust. “The hell?”
“She’s pretendin t’be you!”
“If that ain’t some sick shit… Sorry.” He quickly apologized from the look on his partner’s face. “But how could she keep up a relationship with Junior as you? I mean… don’t you think that’s wrong?”
He sighed an shook his head. “Maybe it was for the best.”
“Don’t see how.”
“Junior got a daddy, in some kinda way,” Ennis rubbed the back a his suntanned neck. “She thinks at least I kept in touch with her… feel like a goddamned ass that I didn’t.”
“Would Alma let ya in the first place?”
“No,” he shook his head feebly. “I got the ‘return to sender’ on my letters t’Junior t’prove it.”
“You did try and stay in touch?” He didn’t mean t’sound as shocked as he did, but Ennis didn’t seem t’take notice.
“Never got to her. Alma caught ‘em all sent ‘em right back t’me.”
“Ain’t that illegal?”
“Don’t know,” he thumbed sadly through some letters from “him” to his daughter, wonderin how he was gonna play the part a his life.