Mr. White stood there on his doorstep holding flowers in his hand. Fucking flowers??
“Yo, what the hell is this?” was Jesse’s gruff response. He’s giving Walt his what the fuck look. Wondering if Mr. White was here to talk about Gus again. Maybe these were, like, poison flowers or something. They were frilly white with purple striped petals on the bottom. There were also these yellow hairy looking ones that were kind of cool.
Walter was just standing there grinning at Jesse like an idiot, seemingly aware that this was an atypical scene.
Okay, this is too fucking weird. He looks way too happy. What the hell did Mr. White just smoke? Has the cancer come back and gone to his brain?
“They’re desert flowers. I thought they would look nice with the cactus Saul got you. Where is that thing anyway?”
Jesse rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah, um, I don’t know what the hell happened. Back when.. you know, my place was like Crackton, I heard some idiot tried smoking it, like he thought it was fucking peyote or something.”
“Peyote, huh?” After a pause, he quirked a smile and looked up at the wasp’s nest above the door. “I remember those days.”
Jesse gave Walter an incredulous look. “Uh, what days?”
“I was a student at Caltech in the late seventies. You think I didn’t try those things?”
Jesse shook his head and leaned against the doorframe, covering his mouth with his arm to smother the suppressed laughter. An image of Mr. White dropping acid with science nerds rolling around in the mud in their lab coats and underwear was an image of hilarity.
“Um, wow.” A cough. “No.”
“In the seventies, a good portion of university students, and the professors too, had tried psychedelic substances. So it isn’t that much of a stretch to believe that I’ve tried it.”
Jesse ran a hand through his hair and looked over at the flowers. He felt a nervous flutter. He points at them. “So are those, like, gonna make me trip or something if I eat them?”
“No, sorry, Jesse. They’re just normal flowers.”
Jesse changed the subject. “So, did you like it? Dropping acid? Assuming that’s what you did...”
Walter looked thoughtful and nodded. “Yeah, I remember I liked it. I guess there’s a lot of things you didn’t know about me, huh?”
Yeah. For one, I didn’t know you were like this homo for me. The thought skittered across his mind while he stared at the flowers, the nervous flutter still there.
Jesse felt awkward taking the flowers. He put the pot down on the wooden floors and stepped away to let Walter to come inside. “Yeah, don’t count on me watering those regularly. They might be dead in like a week.”
Walter shrugged. A nostalgic look crossed his face. “Nothing lasts forever,” he said, still standing on the porch.
“Yeah? Well, between Mike’s jobs and the lab, I have so much shit on my mind I don’t think I can keep anything alive.” An image of Gail and Jane flashed through his mind’s eye. Jesse blinked, then looked away.
Walter noticed Jesse’s strange look. After a heavy pause, he asked, “Is everything all right?”
“Yeah, why?” Jesse gives Walter his usual hostile look when anyone asks him if anything is all right.
“Yeah, well, don’t be.” Fury flared up in Jesse. “By the way, showing up here with those,” Jesse flung a hand at the pot, “doesn’t make you any less of an asshole the other day.”
Walter narrowed his eyes. “What?”
“It’s all about fucking you, huh?” Jesse shook his head. “As you said the other day at work.” Jesse started pacing by the door, running a hand across his shaven head. He was trying to find the words to prove how and exactly why the Almighty Mr. White doesn’t always know everything that’s going on.
“What about that day when you just disappeared. I called and called, thinking the worst had happened, huh? Do you have any fucking idea how sick with worry I was because something might’ve happened to you?” Walter scowled at the wasp nest and dropped his hands.
“No, you, wouldn’t would you, im--“ Walter bit back the disparaging word. Walter was on the verge of high choler. Trying to choke down a rant. Floored yet again by Jesse’s refusal on the fact he actually was concerned.
Jesse stared, temporarily mollified. Walter let out a defeated sigh. “Look. I didn’t come here to fight with you.” He pointed at Jesse’s driveway.
Jesse eyed the red coupe. It was a Dodge Challenger.
“What, is that your new car? Doesn’t seem your style.”
“No. It was a present for my son, but Skyler didn’t approve, so I am going to return it.” Bitterness seeped into the words.
“Wow. Bummer. Nice job wearing the pants, by the way.”
“Everybody has to be complicated.” Walter retorted roughly.
“Isn’t that, like, too much car for your son who is just barely driving, with a disability or some shit? So, why did ya bring it here?”
Walter stuffed his hands into his beige jacket and turned toward the coupe. He fiddled with the keys in his pocket nervously. “I was actually wondering if you wanted to come with me to take it for a spin before I took it back.” He looked at Jesse expectantly.
Previous thoughts flee as Jesse grew giddy with excitement. “Yeah?”
“I’ll teach you how to drive it.”
Jesse huffed out a laugh. “Wow. You totally did not just say that to me, old man.”
Walter smirked. “Oh, yes. Yes, I did.”
They went out in the desert and Walter is showing Jesse the art of reverse donuts and perpendicular drifting. The thrum and loud whine of the engine, coupled with screeching tires had them both amped. The dirt cascaded away in rolling waves of smoky clouds.
“Yo, man! This is fucking awesome. I didn’t know you could drive like this.” Jesse could hardly contain his frenzied excitement at this reckless insanity, watching Mr. White seriously getting off on this. Walter was laughing. It had a sort of wild, maniacal edge to it. Yeah, Mr. White's definitely gone high off his racquetballs.
Walter does one more drift to spin the car around, changes gears, then slowly drives the coupe a good fifty feet away. Walter stops the car and pushes the gear into park.
Jesse’s face lit up like Christmas in New York. “Fucking seriously?”
“Yeah. Let’s see what you can do.” Walter looked serious. “Think you can best me?”
“Bitch, I’m gonna be beatin’ the brakes on this shit.”
Walter found out that Jesse’s idea of donuts is fairly sloppy. No understanding or appreciation of torque and maintaining equilibrium.
“Come on, Jesse. This should be easier in the dirt, less friction. You’ve got to turn the steering wheel well before you anticipate making your turn.”
“Ok. Let me do this again.” Jesse was determined to get this right, by Mr. White’s standards.
When he mastered some decent donuts, Walter tried next to teach Jesse the basics of heel-to-toe shifting. Jesse just couldn’t hold the drift without spinning out in the dirt. In fact, Jesse ended up just sitting idle with the engine revving and kicking a whole lot of dirt behind them. Jesse took his foot off the gas pedal.
Walter tried to keep a neutral face. Jesse glared. The dirt plumed up behind them in swirling columns of dust and smoke.
“Maybe this would be easier on the road. More friction is better with drifts.” Walter added helpfully.
“You think?” Jesse retorted in annoyance, masking his giddiness. The art of losing control and then regaining control of the car was exhilarating.
Walter showed him how to reverse his donuts instead. Jesse fishtails and doesn’t quite make the donut reverse.
Mr. White was giving him advice and shit, but it was just words percolating his brain. His focal point remained on the dusty landscape. His hands clutched the steering wheel with white knuckles as if he was clutching the edge of a cliff. Danger and adrenaline gave him a transcendent-like focus. “Change the gears, Jesse. Do it.. Now.”
Jesse swerves the car, but something doesn’t feel right. “Ease off the brake.” Walter feels out the angular momentum, bracing for the right moment. Walter was ready to give Jesse the command, but Jesse intuitively knew to flick the wheel in the opposite direction. The donut was reversed.
“Shit.. I mean, that was some shit. Did that look right to you, Mr. White?”
Walter unbuckled his seat belt and climbed out of the car. He took a few steps back and surveyed the ground.
“Looks like you did a good one.” Walter gave Jesse a nod of approval.
“Yeah?” Jesse scrambled out the coupe to take a look. He doesn’t see it right away in the midst of the dust and swirly tracks, but eventually he makes out the shape of an awesome figure eight. He beamed with triumph.
“Yeah, bitch!” Jesse jumps up and punches the air. Then he raises a hand up to Walter for a high five. Walter returns the gesture and clasped his hand around Jesse’s. He’s laughing. Jesse had never seen him look so damn happy. It made Jesse feel all warm and swoony inside and he doesn’t want Mr. White to let go of his hand.
Then a thought hits him. Was this something Mr. White wished he had done with his son instead? Jesse quickly recomposes himself, dropping his hand. He kicks his shoe at the sand, watching it fade away his track mark. His enthusiasm faded along with it.
Jesse squinted up towards the sun at Walt. “So, uh, this was way more interesting than your chemistry class was.”
“It’s just basic physics, understanding the car’s specs, throttling, steering input..” Walter was struck with the feeling that he had just said enough.
Jesse looked back down at the ground. “Well, I, uh, never took you for, like, um, nerdy cool.”
“Yeah, nerds that like to watch explosions and do cool shit. Like the Mythbuster nerds.”
“Then I guess you don’t know nerds that well.”
“Oh, come on, man. Some nerds just sit around playing chess all day or count cards.”
“And that isn’t cool?”
Jesse’s look said otherwise.
Walter knew to just take the compliment and he took it with a measure of pride. Walter felt relieved he didn’t ask Jesse if he had understood the basic concept of what he just did. Such as how momentum and inertia related to a decent drift. Maybe he would’ve lost all credibility of “nerdy cool” then. Since when did he care what Jesse thought of him anyway? He felt that familiar nervous insecurity that reminded him of the time when he was trying to woo his way into Skyler’s good graces with pizza and dipping sticks. Certainly not the highlight of “cool” there.
Anyway, it would have been an obviously stupid question to Jesse. Walter figured out long ago that Jesse was more hands on. It wasn’t the concepts that mattered to Jesse so much as the application. And with that, Walter found that Jesse was a quick learner. He just either never had the nerve to say this to Jesse’s face or he knew, after years of working with his partner, that Jesse might react to such a compliment with defensiveness. Or was that just because he put Jesse down so much these last couple of years? Walter didn’t know. Ever since he and Jesse had crossed that line, where their partnership became something more intimate, it had greatly complicated things between them. It dawned on Walter that maybe so much of his putting Jesse down was because Walter had to constantly deny that there was something infuriatingly attractive about his partner. It was wrong. It made no sense.
After some silence, Jesse kicked at the dirt again sullenly and turned around to look at Walter’s figure eights a few feet away. The perfect swirly patterns looked flowery.
“So what was with the flowers?” Jesse blurted it out and instantly regretted it. They just never talked about those things, but flowers? That was crossing a line that had never been crossed before and Jesse felt confused about it, and damnit, even pissed, though he didn’t know why.
“I was in an odd mood today.” Walter said distantly. “I guess I wanted you to know that my showing up today wasn’t about business.”
“So what was it about then?” Jesse knew he shouldn’t be asking the question. Nervousness fluttered in his gut. It was taboo territory, but it was time to cut the bullshit and the fake disinterest.
Walter looked at the sky and didn’t say anything. He looked at Jesse and shrugged. It was Walter’s turn to stare at the ground.
“I mean flowers? Dude, come on.” Jesse couldn’t help a sarcastic laugh. “Since when did your gayness for me get all romantic and shit?” Jesse was feeling bolder now, fueled by Walter’s obvious discomfort. “I mean, what was this supposed to be? Some kind of date?” Jesse turned to face Walter. “Or am I supposed to be like the surrogate wife and son for the day? Doing shit with me you wish you could be doing with your family instead.” Hostility infused his words.
“Gayness... for you? Are you telling me that you didn’t like it?” Walter took a step toward Jesse, with an absolute determination that had Jesse’s blustery fiery snuff out like a volcano collapsing in on itself.
Jesse wanted to take a step backward, but pride wouldn’t let him. He stood his ground and resolutely stared Walter down. “I don't know.” He shrugged.
Walter’s closeness had Jesse’s face burning and his heart throbbing. The nervous flutter he felt earlier in his gut was feeling more like a frantic animal. He wanted Walter to... yet feared that maybe Walter didn’t really want to.
Walter cocked his head and stared back at Jesse, hard. “You don’t know...?” He snidely punched out every word. Walt gave Jesse the look over. Took in his slouched form in irritated wonder. Infuriating. Attractive. Block-headed.
And so easily his.
Walter took another step. Jesse really felt the urge to flee now and he took a faltering step backward that would’ve tripped him if Walter hadn’t caught him forcefully in his arms and kissed him.
Jesse felt completely off guard this time.
Shit. Fuck, yes. NO. YES. Knotted confusion and lust had Jesse all tangled up in Walter’s arms and Jesse didn’t know what to do about the mess. So he fisted his hands into Walter’s jacket. Clung on like it was his last breath and he was giving it to Mr. White.
Walter kissed with the forcefulness of a bull, shoving his way into Jesse’s mouth, tongue lavishing every interior. Jesse felt weak and frantic all over. It was exactly what he had been wanting, but it wasn’t like the other times when Jesse was drunk or high. It was harder now to deal with the embarrassment of his swelling dick. Jesse knew of only one way to fix that. Jesse ground his crotch into Walter’s and moaned hoarsely into Walter’s mouth as he did so. He did it again until the embarrassment waned and only coiled lust remained.
Walter pushed himself back into Jesse, which badgered another moan from his partner. Walter’s fingered with the belt loops of Jesse’s jeans. Even though Jesse’s clothes seemed to marginally fit him better these days, it was still absurd how easily Walter could pull them down right now. Walter nudged Jesse’s head to the side forcefully and began biting kisses on his neck and behind his ear while he stole a glance at the coupe. It was covered in dirt. An absolute mess. It seemed a little too unkind to just forcefully bend Jesse over that thing, even though the dirty thought had Walter throbbing in his pants.
Walter ground himself into Jesse one more time and walked away. Jesse watched as Walter made his way to the passenger’s side. The backseat was far roomier than the front. Walter pulled the passenger seat forward and folded it down. Jesse numbly walked over. He felt overheated and exposed. The sun seemed to beat down on him with the fevered beating of his heart. He pulled Walter’s face back down to his and kissed him. It was a much shyer kiss than the previous one. It was a kiss that yearned for intimacy this time, with hope that Jesse meant more to Walter than just this.
Nothing lasts forever. The words Mr. White said earlier that day burned into his mind like gasoline. The air was pungent and balmy with it. It had Jesse hotter with intensity and he began kissing Walter more fervently.
Jesse nudged Walter into the backseat. Walter then pulled Jesse down on him and maneuvered Jesse in his lap so that Jesse straddled him, supported by his knees. It wasn’t the most comfortable back seat of a sports car, but it had more room than most. Walter glided his hands over Jesse’s chest under his t-shirt.
“Jesse, tell me you want this.”
Jesse leaned his face to very close to Walter’s before he answered “Yes” to Walter’s mouth and kissed him again. Walter made a noise of approval against Jesse’s mouth and fumbled for something his pocket. Jesse kissed the scruffy, shaved parts of Walter’s neck while he let Walter pull his jeans and boxers down just enough to expose his ass. Jesse felt Walter unzip his pants. Jesse reached down to pull out Walter’s cock to squeeze it. A bead of precum leaked out and Jesse rubbed it over the head. Walter made a noise of a desperate growl and he ripped off the condom wrapper, the thing he had found in his pocket, and hastily put it on.
Relief overcame Jesse. Walter brought a condom. Walter was expecting this and wanted it all along. Jesse peppered Walter’s mouth with gratitude kisses.
“God, Jesse... I want this... I want... you. Now.” He said in between Jesse’s kisses.
Jesse reared himself up and put his hands on Walter’s shoulders to let Walter guide himself in. Jesse pushed down all the way, too quickly, and tried poorly to stifle a cry at the pain. It was a lubricated condom, but he hadn’t expected the initial entry of this position to hurt so much. Walter held Jesse down with his hands on Jesse’s hips despite Jesse’s initial shock.
“Relax, Jesse. It will get better. It always has.” Walter wrapped his arms around Jesse’s thin frame. “I promise.”
“Um, yeah.” Jesse tried to keep the pain from showing on his face.
“God, you feel so good.” Walter couldn’t help but adding.
Jesse’s buried his face and moaned into Walter’s neck at this statement of approval. Walter waited while he smoothed his hands across Jesse’s torso, his nipples. He felt Jesse’s shivering, relishing in Jesse’s responsiveness.
Jesse’s fingers curled into Walter’s jacket collar as Walter began lifting him up and pushing him back down on his cock. When Jesse felt himself adjusting to the fullness, he began making those noises that Walter had become so enamored with. They were always an octave higher than Jesse’s normal gruff tone that often carried a hint of whine or hostility. The incoherent, keening utterances Jesse made in their sexual encounters were uninhibited, wanton, and genuine. It made Walter’s breath hitch at the captivating charm of it. It had Walter all the hotter and harder for him. The condom did nothing to hinder Jesse’s constricting heat.
Walter wanted to hear him say it. “You like this. Say it.” It was a low, gravelly command.
Jesse hissed, “Yesss,” in between gasps. Jesse began moving himself along Walter’s cock on his own volition. “You feel so fucking good.” Jesse buried face back in Walter’s shoulder. Jesse wanted to indulge in the closeness of this position. He wanted to smell Walter, the faint smell of aftershave, the sun evaporated sweat on Walter’s skin.
Walter ran his fingers across Jesse’s back, under his t-shirt. Short fingernails scraping across delicate skin. Jesse shuddered. His own cock was hard and leaking, frustratingly trapped between his jeans.
“Mr. White,” he whimpered.
Walter pushed Jesse onto his back over the folded down passenger seat, keeping Jesse’s thighs propped on his forearms. It was perfect. Walter took over the thrusting. Jesse was angled just so that he just sank back deeply on Walter’s cock and Walter only needed to pull him back up. Jesse eagerly helped by pushing his thighs against Walter’s shoulders. Walter reached under the jeans and wrapped a hand around Jesse’s flushed cock and stroked it methodically.
Jesse cried out at that. It was too deliberately slow at this stage. Yet, the stymied, bittersweet tension of it brought him right back to the edge of the cliff he felt like he’d been clinging to all day. He came in hot spurts over Walter’s hand.
Walter groaned at the internal sensations of Jesse’s orgasm. His thrusts became more forceful, more frantic. Jesse’s noises had turned into hitching gasps as he rode out Walter’s impending orgasm. Walter came, clutching Jesse’s hips. He let out a satisfied sigh. They laid there for a few blissful minutes, catching their breaths. Jesse’s eyes stayed closed till his breathing evened out. Walter watched as the flushed pink on Jesse’s face subsided.
The used condom got dumped on the ground. Amidst the settled dust and the deep grooves of tire tracks that marred the desertscape.
Walter started the car, put it into gear, and floored it. Enjoying the speed, the golden scenery rushing by. Feeling satisfied about the day. He tried to smell for any burning or acrid aromas and couldn’t detect any. It seemed like Jesse had done well. He didn’t burn out the clutch as far as he could tell.
Jesse watched Walter’s hand on the gear shift. He made to reach out to put his hand over Walter’s, but he realized his hand was shaking. Adrenaline spent on hours of pushing a sports car to its limits, followed by a lingering libido left him shaky. It had only been days since he used. That familiar, uncomfortable feeling of crawling under his skin, in his nerves. It was the feeling of withdrawal. He also realized he hadn’t smoked a cigarette in hours. He became aware now of that thick lump in the back of his throat. The drooling sensation of the need for a cigarette. He knew cigarettes weren’t going to cure the itching in his veins. But God, he really needed a cigarette.
“Uh, is it all right if I smoked?”
“Sure.” Walter had a feeling this car wasn’t going back to the dealership anyway and that gave him a smug sense of satisfaction.
Jesse let out a sigh of relief. He rolled down the window. Jesse pulled out his pack and lit a cigarette and eagerly sucked in his first puff. After a few more he began to feel his nerves relax. He couldn’t really flick the ashes out the window, the ashes just sort of flew to the backseat as he raised his tattooed hand to the window. The car was moving so fast he couldn’t hold his cigarette out either without it snuffing out. He couldn’t believe Mr. White wasn’t bitching at him right now. He put his other hand over Mr. White’s gripping the gear shift.
Walter turned his hand palm up and laced his fingers with Jesse’s. Jesse squeezed Walter’s hand in gratitude.
Three more smokes later and they were back on Jesse’s driveway. Walter pulled Jesse in for a kiss, nearly scooping him up over the console.
“Thanks for that, Jesse.”
Jesse felt himself blushing. “So, uh, are you really going to go take this car back?”
“I have to do something. Otherwise Skyler will throw a conniption.”
“You should probably get it washed and detailed or something.”
“Yeah, there’s a carwash not too far from ours. I think I will do that.” Walter’s mouth quirked in amusement at that. “I’m going to see you at work tomorrow?”
The tension in the car heightened a few degrees. Jesse ran a hand nervously over the back of his head. “Uh, yeah. I guess.”
“You guess.” Deadpanned. “Is there something you haven’t been telling me?”
Jesse felt pissed at that. “No! Why do you need to always be on my ass about that?”
Walter stared straight ahead. His fingers tapping the steering wheel. Finally, “We will need to talk about that. Soon.”
“Yeah, sure. Whatever.” And with that, Jesse climbed out of the passenger’s seat and stalked over to his front door. He turned to watch Mr. White pull out of his driveway before walking inside.
Jesse eyed the graffiti walls still not yet painted over and the paint cans on the floor. He guess he still had a long day ahead of him.
He turned and knelt at the potted vase of flowers sitting on the floor next to the door.
Nothing lasts forever. The words seared his mind like a hot branding iron. He noticed the care instructions tag sticking out of the soil partially obscured by the yellow hairy flowers. They didn’t need much water. Maybe, for a change he could keep something alive.