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Title: Thirty-Eight Years, Twenty Dollars, and a Truck
Fandom: Longmire
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Disclaimers: Don't own, don't sue, don't take this too seriously.
Pairing: Walt/Henry (yeah, I went there, and apparently I'm the only freakin' one so far. *grumble*)
Summary: Fluffy Coda for episode 2x07, "Sound and Fury," with the odd detail here and there from "Cold Dish."
<a href="">Also up on AO3</a>

They'd first met in the school hallway, knocking each other around the water fountain. Henry'd earned a bloody nose, and Walt had, once he'd pulled himself up off the floor, found that a few of his teeth had felt loose. In the thirty-eight years since, it often seems that the fighting's never stopped, as if their friendship's determined to carry on in much the same manner as it had been born.

Usually it's wars and bar fights, them against the world. Even after Walt had made sheriff, there'd been plenty of room to argue. Reining each other in, Walt would say, if anyone had ever asked. He'd probably never repeat Martha's take on their relationship, however. Pulling each other's pigtails. They'd laughed at the time, neither one correcting her.

They've both been soldiers, and can cut to the bone when they need to, even if they feel their own selves bleeding, afterwards, and the win doesn't feel like a win. Henry's dragged Walt's better angels out of him kicking and screaming more times than he can count, and Walt reckons he's done his fair share of beating back Henry's demons.

Walt hates him for it, sometimes, Henry's unflinching honesty and the way he forces the same out of Walt. Loves him for it, too, he supposes, 'cause whenever the smoke's cleared, however it shakes down, they're both still standing. The longest time he's gone without forgiving Henry was three hours. The longest time Walt figures he's gone unforgiven himself is two days.

But the point is, they've known each other since they were kids. Thirty-eight years, and he's never known Henry to back down from a fight.

"Oh hey, Walt," Dena answers the phone when he calls. "Henry's pissed at me, so he's locked himself in his office."


Henry's spent the better part of the evening being held at gunpoint, and then he'd rode shotgun to the hospital and, once the gutter punk had been seen to, the jail. It's five in the morning before they're pointing Walt's truck out of town.

"You wrenched your back again." It's the only injury worth mentioning. Potential gunshots don't- can't- count; Walt would resume worrying, Henry would remind him that it is what it is, and it would be three days before they were even fit for each other's company again.

"I am fine." He's had to say it seven times in the past two hours, but he's not denying the accusation. Even if Walt hadn't been acutely aware of the fact that Henry hadn't put serious effort into disarming the gutter punk on his own- a feat which he is generally capable of pulling with considerable ease, Walt's got eyes. Henry's wedged himself carefully into the seat, his right arm braced on the door, and he's holding himself tightly upright to defend against the truck's jostling.

He waits until they're approaching the turnoff to Henry's house. "Think it's going to lock up on you tonight?"

Henry sighs, but he turns to look at Walt squarely, and doesn't pretend to misunderstand. "It is likely."

Decision made, then. The truck cruises past the intersection, past the Red Pony, and up the road towards the cabin.

It's easiest when they don't have to talk about it. Henry's too proud to ask, Walt's too smart to offer, and besides. Talking about things too directly means bringing up Dena, Lizzie, or all the other minor gravitational pulls that periodically lend their orbit the wobble it's always had.

They've been together all evening, but it's only been the past five minutes they've been alone.


The water pressure at the cabin is the one thing that Walt's managed to fix up right, and while Henry avails himself of the heat, Walt's got some time to pace the living room trying to rub two thoughts together.

What he keeps coming back to is twenty dollars, a cell phone, and a truck.

He'd tried explaining it, more for Henry's benefit than the gutter punk's, but it hadn't been adequate. At the time, there'd been too much a need to de-escalate the situation. To get the gun pointed away from Henry's chest.

Now, though, it's on a loop- his words, Henry's angry face, hearing them, the keys holding Walt's attention almost too long to lock in on his target the moment presents itself- and it hasn't finished by the time Henry's done with his shower.

He's plodding out into the living room in his undershirt and jeans. His boots, socks, and over-shirt are on the chair by the television, and the red of the shirt is the clearest image Walt's ever seen coming from that particular quadrant of his cabin.

Steam follows Henry as he steps onto the area rug, but his arms are already starting to visibly prickle. Walt meets him halfway, wrapping his arms around Henry's shoulders as his fingers travel down in search of the tension in his spine.

"About that entire twenty dollars and a truck thing," he starts, but Henry cuts him off, shaking his head into Walt's shoulder. His hair is wet and cold against the side of his face.

"It is twenty dollars more than the ride out of town my associate had previously determined my life to be worth," he replies, after a moment. "And regardless of exact monetary amount, if twenty dollars is what you had, then it is everything you had."

"Then I probably shouldn't tell you about the buck eighty-three in change I had in my pocket."

Henry glances up, smirking, and slides his hands around Walt's waist.

"I stand here still, do I not?"

"Could be just because you've got no wheels to escape. Sorry about your truck, by the way."

"You are not." It's true. But Walt's not going planning on gloating over the damned thing's demise until tomorrow at the earliest. "But I should apologize as well."

"For making me worry?"

"For waking you up in three hours when my shoulder turns on me and I become more Charlie Horse than Standing Bear."

Walt moves his hands back up, feeling Henry's back under the thin cotton, and finds the knot that's set in there, and tries not to gloat too much when Henry moans and presses closer still.


"Bed," Henry agrees with a yawn, but makes no attempt to move.

When Walt eventually starts pulling away to start moving this towards the bedroom, however, Henry's grip tightens, and he looks up. Leans in. They kiss three more times before falling asleep, though this first one is the only one illuminated by the overhead light.

Henry looks like hell, but despite the exhaustion and the obvious discomfort, it's the best he's looked in weeks, and the way he's looking up at Walt?

Floors him every time, even after thirty-eight years. Just floors him.


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