last01standing: ([XMFC] Beach)
[personal profile] last01standing
Title: Love of the Fight
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Pacific Rim
Disclaimer: Not for profit
Summary: He doesn’t kiss her then either.
Author's note: Oh god I'm not even in this fandom. I actually think this fandom is mildly insane. Because while I thought this movie was good, I saw it once and didn't get to the freak out. But I know this fandom is all about representation and the glance at aO3 says its not yet supplied ace!Raleigh fic. Which is a failure. So I'm doing it.


Love of the Fight


Facing the end of the world, there’s crush of people who turn to life affirming sex. Yancey has whole books of pick-up lines, will drag Raleigh out to bars to play wingman, where he sidles up to the prettiest girl he finds, lowers his voice and says, “You know, if the last thing I ever saw was you, I think that I’d be happy.”

It works an appalling amount of the time but the failure rate is still astronomical.

And that’s why Raleigh’s always invited to these ventures when he’s honestly just as happy to play pick up basketball at the gym until his body aches. He loves himself a good fight, grew up fists bloodied, face battered. Give him a cause and he’s never going to turn one down. Yancey’s failures at pick-up lines aren’t a good reason, but gigantic monsters are stomping San Francisco and if that’s not a good reason to feel alive, Raleigh doesn’t know what is.

They’re recruited right out of a bar, Yancey chatting up the wrong girl. Her boyfriend’s military and there are six different people wiling to back up their fellow soldier. The brothers are brought to a military lock-up, stitched up by nearly identical nurses. The man who approaches them afterward is not there to press charges.

“You boys look like you’ve been fighting together for a long time,” he says.

“What have you heard about Jaegers?” he says.

*

There’s something impersonal about sex at the end of the world, about sex all together. Raleigh gets love. He’s been in love. The girl in high school, Savannah Knight, who’d patched him up after a fight. Who’d held his hand in the hall and passed scribbled notes during class. Who’d kissed him once and waited for him to get on with the rest of it. Who’d screamed, If you don’t want me, just nut up and fucking say so.

She’s dead now, causality of San Francisco and a kaiju. He wonders about her sometimes, if she would have stayed if he could have put words to it. Raleigh’s never been one to hide, has always known precisely what exists in his own head. It’s the other people who’ve never managed to look.

The drift makes it impossible not to see. His brother’s mind pressing against his own, two halves of the same whole. They’re overnight rock stars after the first fight, and while Raleigh’s blood is singing with adrenaline, tracing the phantom lines of blue kaiju blood against shared fists, Yancey’s smiling at the pretty support tech girl, a different kind of restless building in his veins.

They only talk about it once. Big brother’s arm over the younger’s shoulder. “It’s all right, kid. Just means there’s more for me.”

*

This is Raleigh’s biggest secret: Yancey being dead makes it simpler.

There’s still a gaping hole in him. He wakes up, barely able to use his right side. He has Yancey’s allergic reaction to a peanut butter sandwich. When he sleeps, the ghosts of a woman’s hand traces lines over his skin. He uses up all of his water rations to get the sensation to leave.

Now, when the girls ask, he can say, I lost my other half. I’m not looking to let anyone else in.

And he hates that it’s that easy.

*

He falls in love with Mako at first sight.

No, that’s wrong. He falls in love with Mako when he first sees her fight. The counters to his own moves pushing him farther, pushing him harder and the empty part in his brain that Yancey left starts to wake up. He feels drunk on it, that possibility. We’re drift compatible. Can you feel it? What we could do? How we can win?

He wonders if it feels the same for her, rush of the fight, of the possibilities, blood singing in tandem with another person for the first time in years.

*

Mako doesn’t fill the places Yancey left. Doesn’t even try and that’s why it works. Impossible to hid in a drift, but Raleigh’s never wanted to hide. The looks of longing in the hallway stop, and they fall into step instead. Two halves of the same brain

And it’s better and it’s worse and he doesn’t bother trying to sort it out while there are still kaiju to fight.

*

Their recovery is filmed. The two minute clip of the Raleigh holding Mako as the rescue squad makes their way to their escape pods. The news has a field day spinning tales of the epic romance. Intimacy enhanced by drifting. The love thick in their gazes. He gets letters by the dozen. They say thank you, good job, and why didn’t you kiss her?

Raleigh knows this: for all that they won that day, they lost, too.

Raleigh knows this: Mako will be his best friend until the day he dies.

*

On the anniversary, they go back to the same stretch of ocean where it ended and light a candle for Chuck Hansen, for Stacker Pentecost, for hundreds of thousands more who they never met. Mako leans a head onto his shoulder he slings his arm around her waist.

He doesn’t kiss her then either.
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