Title: Sad But True
Author: Ruth Sadelle Alderson
Rating: FRAO m/m interaction.
Disclaimer: They belong to themselves and this probably didn't happen.
Summary: What did happen in that first year and why did Jason stay?
Author's Note: This is thank you fic for Armelle for letting me come visit her and then showing me all kinds of lovely Metallica stuff. I don't think it's exactly what she had in mind when we rescued the plot bunny, but characters will do what they will do.
"Jesus! What's wrong with you? You're playing like shit!"
Jason sighed and stopped playing for the umpteenth time that day. "I'm not playing any differently than I usually do," he said quietly.
James slammed his beer can into the nearest wall. "Bullshit! You're playing like shit! Goddammit, Newkid, can't you do anything right?"
Jason started putting his bass away. "Look," he said quietly but angrily, "you chose me, okay. If you didn't like the way I played, you shouldn't have chosen me."
"If I knew you were going to play this way, I wouldn't have chosen you!" James yelled.
Jason finally lost his temper and yelled back. "I'm not Cliff!" His words fell into sudden silence. "I'm not Cliff," he said again, quieter this time, as he hefted his bass onto his shoulder. "And I'm not putting up with this shit anymore."
"Hey, Jason. Where are you going?" Lars asked as he returned to the studio, followed closely by Kirk.
"I'm leaving. Good luck finding a new bassist."
Lars' smile fell and he and Kirk exchanged quick, panicked looks. Kirk's look quickly turned into a sultry smile and he tried to twine himself around Jason, not an easy task without the other man's cooperation.
"Jason, you don't want to do that," Kirk fairly purred. "I can make things very good for you if you stay."
Jason looked down at him coldly and said, in a voice even icier than his demeanor, "You don't have to whore yourself out to keep me in the band." Jason pushed Kirk away from him and continued on his way out of the studio.
Jason was jamming with old friends when James found him. When they finished the song they were playing, Jason's friends tactfully left them alone. Jason carefully tended to his bass and waited for James to speak.
When they came, the words were just as much of a blunt command as Jason had expected them to be: "You have to come back."
"Why would I want to do that?"
"We're the closed fist. You can't walk away from that."
"No, you, Lars, Kirk, and Cliff," Jason said, emphasizing the last name, "are the closed fist. I'm just the 'Newkid' who's been forced on you."
"You're a part of Metallica now," James insisted. "You, me, Kirk, and Lars are the closed fist." James paused, then gruffly asked another question. "Is this about what happened with Kirk?"
"This isn't about Kirk. This is about the fact that I'm never going to play like Cliff. I'm never going to *be* Cliff."
"We picked you to be Jason."
Jason stared at James for a long moment, judging his sincerity, before nodding. "Are we still in the studio?"
James visibly relaxed. "Yeah. We need you to do some bass tracks as soon as possible."
Jason shrugged. "Now's as good a time as any. Give me a ride?"
James repeated Jason's gesture. "Sure."
Jason was accepted back with no more fuss than an awkward apology from Kirk and things settled into a fairly normal pattern. Or rather, things settled into a pattern that would have been normal for another band. For Metallica it was a period of unprecedented calm and unusual amicability. Jason still felt like an outsider, but at least the others weren't torturing him anymore.
Then things got even weirder. Kirk and Lars were always disappearing. James' temper was beginning to fray. And Jason just wandered about trying to stay out of people's way.
Jason was even more mystified when James, who was sitting in a chair, flipping through a magazine, stopped him from going into the kitchen. It was James' low growl of, "Don't go in there," that finally made him try to get an answer about *something*.
"Why not? What the fuck is going on?"
James' smile was brief and humorless. "Good choice of words. They're fucking."
Jason cocked his head and, once he was listening for them, he could hear bits and pieces of random chatter in Lars' voice and moans that unmistakably belonged to Kirk. "Do they do that a lot?" he asked.
If James was surprised by his calm acceptance, he didn't let it show. "Sometimes," he shrugged. "More now."
"Why now?" Jason asked in confusion.
James' eyes darkened. "Because it's been almost a year . . ."
Jason was flooded with sudden comprehension. He walked over to James, who watched his approach warily. "What about you?" Jason asked, daring to reach a hand out to touch James' cheek.
James turned his head, breaking their eye contact. "I'm fine."
"Are you?" Jason caressed James' cheek. He leaned in, slowly enough to allow James to avoid it if he wanted to, and gently pressed their lips together. He brushed his hand up and over James' hair. "Let me take care of you." Jason kissed James again, then tossed the magazine to the floor.
Jason knelt and unbuttoned and unzipped James' jeans, drawing out his cock. He stroked it gently, then was unable to resist tasting and flicked out his tongue, making only the slightest contact. James hissed in pleasure. That brief taste wasn't enough for Jason and he plunged his mouth down, swallowing down as much of James as he could.
Jason flicked his eyes up, seeking some sign of James' reaction, to see James' head tipped back against the wall, his eyes half-closed in pleasure. Jason pulled his mouth off of James' cock with a slurp and quickly tugged off his own pants. He wet his fingers in his mouth and slipped them into himself, preparing himself for James. James watched him with the same impassively lazy expression his face had held while Jason was going down on him.
Jason straddled James and slowly lowered himself onto his cock. He was unable to hold in a soft "oh" of wonder and pleasure when he had settled all the way down. James finally took an active role as he gripped Jason's hips and lifted him enough to thrust into him. The denim of James' jeans rubbed against the skin of Jason's ass as he moved to match James thrust for thrust.
Jason moaned as James rubbed against his prostate again and again. He leaned down to kiss James again, sucking desperately at his mouth, forcing it open. Their lips twisted together and their teeth clashed, the violence of the kiss matching the suddenly pounding rhythm of their fucking.
Jason tore his mouth away to gasp for breath. He closed his eyes and concentrated on the feeling of James fucking him, James' cock in him. He cried out, a single hoarse shout, as he came. He slumped against James who continued to thrust up for a few moments more until he came silently, pressing his forehead onto Jason's shoulder and filling him with his seed.
They were content to rest there together for a small while, catching their breath until Jason chuckled softly.
"What?" James asked him.
"They're still at it."
James listened for a moment, then a small smile crossed his face. "Again, I'd say."
Jason smiled back at James and stroked his cheek again in the same tender gesture he'd used before. James leaned into it, not very far, but enough for Jason to feel it.
Something dark flashed across James' eyes and he met Jason's gaze squarely, swallowing before saying, "You don't have to whore yourself out to be a part of the band."
Jason pulled himself up off of James' lap and started pulling his pants back on. "I'm not."
- Fic: Sad But True (Metallica, James/Jason, 1200 words, FRAO)