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Title: I've been hurting since I bought the gimmick
Author: Jess.
Rating: R.
Fandom: Rocknrolla.
Pairing(s)/character(s): Johnny and Pete being bros who share needles. (This could also double as the summary. And the warning).
Warning: Drugs and violence and very briefly implied child abuse.
Notes: 1500ish words. Timeline: set while Johnny is officially dead. No idea if this fits the movie timeline, but with a little jiggling things about it could have been in there. For the “kicking”f_b square. If you recognise the title you're cooler than me because I had to look up the lyrics to steal it. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] apiphile for tidying this up, any mistakes remaining are mine.
Summary: "Where there is a will, Pete, there is a dirty fucking way."




"A sad song from a sad son of no one, a troubled soul, one might say, if one believed in some strange scrap of ethereal material, floating in the damp spaces between organs. Crushed and misshapen like a cartoon animal between the cogs of an Acme machine," Johnny half-whispers.

Pete's sneakers squeak on the concrete as he slides down to the floor, back against the wall of the toilet stall. The door shudders and creaks on its hinges, and the pipes squeal as someone uses the sink. Johnny feels his bones rattle, and wouldn't be surprised if half the noise came from the grinding of his joints. His body feels unlubricated without the comforting, easing oil of the junk running through his veins.

"What was that John?" Pete asks quietly, settling himself knees up around one side of the rather sharply piss-scented toilet. He begins rummaging around inside his trouser pocket, as if there's some complicated puzzle he must solve before he can reach the little silver-wrapped prize.

"Nothing Pete," Johnny replies, and watches Pete fish a out the twisted ball of foil out triumphantly. "Nothing at all." He feels as if his bones sigh in relief simply at the sight. "We need some water to cook our little feast in."

They need water to cook this, this ill-gotten scrap of dirty brown emerging slowly from its bed of foil, freed by Pete's dirty fidgeting fingernails. This is why they are crouched and sprawled here in this filthy toilet stall, within the equally filthy toilets.

He hears the outer door swing open, with another creak that pierces Johnny down to his small bones. He feels it in the phalanges of his feet and hands: ones he's broken enough to know the names of.

This little piggy went to Len's office and went wee wee wee all the way to A&E.

Johnny wiggles his pinky at Pete, now wide-eyed, and taps his lips with it.

"Shhh," Johnny hushes him, then drops his hand and turns to the stall door.

He presses his face against the crack above one hinge and observes the black-clad crowd of rock'n'roll vampires milling about the sink. He watches the pack of would-be somebodies, the invaders of their filthy haven. They're all of them trying to see their empty reflections in the cracked mirror, jostling and joking.

"John," Pete hisses, giving him a sideways glance from where he's pressed cheek-to-jowl against the other side of the door. "I'm not going out there. There's too many of 'em. What if they're looking for us.”

Stolen drugs will breed that kind of paranoia, Johnny thinks. He's not going out there either.

"Well I see no reason to drag my aching bones out there, Pete my old mate, I don't feel up to it. Unless the vapid and vacant vampires have developed a sudden fear of slugs, because that's how I'd have to slither out there to beg their pardon for a drop of skag water."

They are almost certainly no one at all, the black clad pack at the sink, but Johnny aches enough right now without adding to it. His arms have started to itch, his skin growing hair the wrong way in. He's starting to shiver.

The concrete floor may not be helping, but he knows for a fact that the creeping onset of withdrawal feels no better if you're laid up in thousand-quid-a-night luxury.

The bones in his wrists grind and his fingertips squeak, squeak across the porcelain crown on top of the throne. He pushes but it doesn't dislodge, and he collapses back to face Pete, their feet tangled and knees bent up around the toilet.

Pete holds the little tinfoil platter of heroin between them. His eyes are bloodshot and his grief so great over the complications pertaining to getting this one beautiful hit inside them that he looks as if he's set to cry blood. Johnny feels nearly as vexed.

"One thing for it Pete," Johnny says, and shakes a needle from his sleeve. He unwraps the hypodermic from its sterile seal, pristine paper and protective plastic float gently to the ground. He holds the needle up between them. Pete's eyes snap to it like a kid at a magic show. Johnny hauls himself up just enough and plunges the needle into the toilet bowl.

The water has a jaundiced yellow tinge when he observes it the half-filled syringe, and for a brief moment Johnny considers perhaps flushing the loo and going back for a cleaner load.

He discards the idea. His guts are slowly liquefying as his joints dry out like bones in the desert. He imagines his cartilage disintegrating, his ligaments turning to blackened strips. He's a patient boy but some things are not worth waiting for.

It's a story, he tells himself, as his bones gristle grinds. He does love a good story.

"Where there is a will, Pete, there is a dirty fucking way."

He flicks the hypodermic theatrically, then shoots its little load into the waiting and crinkled cup of foil Pete is holding.

Pete plucks the hypodermic from Johnny's fingers, and his tongue pokes out, a parody of concentration. He mixes with the tip, flicks his lighter, cooks and stirs, until it's liquid enough to be sucked back through the needle.

Where the water was yellow before, the mixture is a murky brown concoction. It looks to Johnny like sweet filthy perfection.

Pete gets his hit second. Johnny would tell him it is simply him being kind enough not to use Pete as his poison taster. Pathetic though he is, there's a doggish trust in Pete's nondescript eyes, and it shines on Johnny nearly as warm as the junk.

Johnny tugs himself free of his one sleeve of his jacket and ties the length of it around his naked upper arm.

He takes the full hypodermic from Pete. Pete watches with hungry but benignly obedient eyes as Johnny makes a fist with his left hand and sliiiiides the needle into a vein. Good veins, he's always had, big wide veins. Doctors used to comment when he was a child. He is practically built for this.

He sucks a gentle gulp of blood out with a little nudge of his thumb under the plunger, and then he trickles the now bloodied mess into his arm.

And everything is good.

His eyelids fall over his unfocussed eyes.

He nods out.

Nods.

Pete's blood clouds the muddy-yellow-brown.

He nods.

Nods.

Pete's off out, his head thudding back against the stall wall, mouth open.

He nods out.

Nods.

Pete's head's rolled to the side, revealing that his silly skull has been obscuring some artist's modern day rendering of a fertility symbol: a dirty great cock and balls.

He nods.

Nods.

Johnny comes awake smiling, and tastes vomit, the back of his throat and his nose clogged. He licks the back of his teeth, and coughs a little, bending forward just far enough he can let the small mouthful spill out.

Heroin does not make him throw up. Someone had had a cheeky little fiddle when they'd cut that bit of skag. But he can't be cross with them when it makes him feel like this. He feels like nothing at all.

He nods out.

Nods.

"Johnny," Pete whispers, "I think I'm dying." He sounds rather happy for a chap at death's door, so Johnny simply wipes the drip of bile from his own chin onto the front of his shirt with a lazy hand.

"Dead," Johnny replies at great length, after inspecting the damp, stinking Africa-shaped mess he's made on his shirt, "we're dead Pete."

"Then why'm I so thirsty?"

"Perhaps this is Hell,” Johnny teases idly, half-formed stories collapsing in his head like cheaply-built tower blocks on a fault line. He loves heroin for exactly this: he can't think and he doesn't care.

"Please John, don't start any fancy stories, not while I'm dying mate. After. Gemmeadrink?" Pete slurs, his head tipping back against the wooden wall, bumping the marker-drawn cock. Johnny smiles loosely, feels a string of vomit or drool slide over his chin, and makes a half-hearted swipe at it.

The door unlatches only after Johnny has had a good long chuckle at it, the latch some frustrated comedian waiting for its time in the limelight. Johnny's fingers are so greased, his bones and joints so well oiled now he can't feel them at all, so smooth the latch just slips between them. He convulses with laughter and finally the latch has had its fill and lets him open the door, knocking it into Pete's knees. Pete makes no sound of protest.

Time's as slippery as the latch: the old rock'n'roll vampires are gone, replaced by a trio of men at the piss trough. They've all still got their pants half down, but have turned just their heads on their meaty necks to face him. As if they think they're real hard-men, glaring at Johnny with their dicks still in their hands.

"What the fuck're you laughing at, son?"

Oh very hard men indeed. Johnny laughs so much he's sick all over the nearest pair of shoes.

The man roars, and throws a punch. Time's still slippery and Johnny's sure he could have sung his entire back-catalogue in the time it takes the man's fist to reach him.

His fingers are thick and tattooed with Xs, blue, prison-made, and blurring around the edges.

Impact finally comes with a long loud crunch, Johnny is sure his nose is flattened to his skull. There's an explosion of blood. Johnny doesn't feel a thing. He just sways limply and bleeds, before another wave of amusement washes over him.

He accidentally sprays his gob full of blood across the hard-man's chin. The looks they give him are funnier still, and he's still laughing as he hits the floor. They shove and kick him, and the tune's familiar even if the words change: filthy dirty junkie cunt. Kick kick kick kick.

He can't feel a fucking thing.

With his face against the concrete, he sees under the door that Pete's nodded out again, head back and mouth open.

"Sorry Pete," he snorts, sounding like he's got a serious head cold. "I'll get you that drink in a minute mate."

He's flipped roughly, and treated to the vision of a boot toe approaching his face at the same unhurried pace the man's fist had.

He nods out.

Nods.
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