Title: Meg's Tale
Pairings: James/Meg, implied James/Jeremy pre-slash
Summary: Western AU. Before there was Jeremy, there was Meg.
AN: No, I don't know why I suddenly felt the urge to write het either. It's never happened before and will, I trust, never happen again. Feel free to ignore it. She was just a bit annoyed at being killed off, and demanded a back-story. Set, obviously, pre-High Noon.
Series index post here.
The first time she seduced him, it was almost just to see if she could. She knew he didn’t approve – of her, of her fortune telling. She needed, perhaps, to prove that the new priest was, after all, just a man, with a man's weaknesses. Maybe even assumed he might still be a virgin.
The moment he finally took her in his arms, she rather suspected this wasn't the case. The kiss was gentle, but confident for all that, and now that they'd come here, to his bedroom, any show of reluctance had dropped from him altogether.
His hands were warm on her skin as he laid her down in the bed, leaning over her hard and ready and unashamed.
She groaned quietly, feeling him pressed against her, parting her legs invitingly. For a while though, he held her, kissed her, unhurried. When he finally slid inside her, in one smooth thrust, she wrapped her arms around his neck and threw her head back, driving him deeper into her, rocking with the movements of his body.
She hadn't expected it to be like this. Hadn't expected that she would be the one unravelling first, that the feeling of him moving inside her would be bringing her this quickly to the edge.
He shifted position slightly, the angle of him grazing a different part of her, and suddenly she was coming, shuddering in his arms with sheer abandoned pleasure.
When she came down, he was holding her against him, still hard, watching her almost tenderly.
"Should I - ?" he murmured, hesitantly, pulling a little way out of her. She shook her head, pulling him closer.
"It's okay," she whispered.
"You're sure?" pressing kisses to her breasts, her throat.
She nodded, thrusting her hips forward, and he took the hint, picking up force, and a faster rhythm. Didn't take him long to reach a climax, spilling his seed in a sudden rush, groaning.
Afterwards, he held her, and kissed her, and she lay in his arms, faintly surprised. Had almost expected he would turn her out immediately, ashamed of what they'd done.
Hadn't expected, either, to feel the sudden wave of affection for him that she did.
"I can't have children," she blurted in a sudden need to explain, then felt a hot flush of embarrassment.
"I'm sorry," he whispered. She looked up.
"You really are, aren't you?" Kissed him, half-smiling. "I've never met a man like you before Reverend May."
He laughed. "I think under the circumstances, you could probably call me James."
"James," she repeated, softly. Kissed him.
"I'm guessing you weren't always a priest?" she murmured, running a hand down his chest, thoughtfully.
He laughed. "What gave me away?"
The next morning, she slipped away before he woke, unwilling to face the inevitable awkward conversation.
It was afternoon before she saw him again, when he entered the saloon. Her heart skipped and she frowned under her veil, annoyed with herself. Walked up to the bar, stood next to him, deliberately not looking over.
"Can I buy you a drink?"
His quiet offer made her jump, and she glared at him.
"I can buy my own, thank you." Took it back to her table, feeling his eyes on her. Unable to tell if he was angry, amused or hurt.
He downed the drink he'd ordered and left again.
A while later, when she'd finished her own, before she could get up the bar-tender came over with another. She looked up puzzled.
"Compliments of the Reverend," he explained, impassive as ever. Set down the glass and went back to the bar.
She tried not to smile.
"You didn't have to buy me a drink you know."
James looked round, key to his front door hovering in front of the lock.
He opened the door, and hesitated. Looked back at her. "It wasn't some sort of bribe you know," he said, more softly. "Or a pay-off. It was just a drink. That's what friends do. Buy each other drinks."
"Are we? Friends then?" Her voice still held an edge of confrontation, of challenge.
He leant back against the doorframe, considering. "I should hope we weren't – adversaries."
A smile playing about the corners of his mouth now.
"Do you think I'm funny?"
"Would you prefer I thought you were consorting with demons?"
Despite herself, she was starting to laugh.
"So. Aren't you going to invite me in?"
Lying together a second time, she found it harder, somehow, to let herself go. James, despite impressive stamina, climaxed before she did, and seemed to realise she hadn't come.
Held her close, trailing fingers down her cheek.
"Did you - ?"
"It doesn’t matter." She kissed him, and he smiled against her lips.
"Yes it does," he whispered.
Let his fingers slide further down her body, over her breasts, her belly. She felt them come to rest between her legs, rubbing gently over the knotted heat that she couldn’t unpick.
Gasped involuntarily, as his fingertip slid inside her, brushing lightly, the heel of his hand rubbing over her groin, over and over, making her writhe and groan, until she felt a shuddering orgasm overtake her, waves and waves of intense sensation sweeping her away.
When it was over, she took hold of his hand, gently guiding it away. He smiled, hesitantly, and she kissed him, hard.
"That was – no-one's ever – " she sank down against his chest, laughing.
"Really?" James sounded surprised, and she laughed harder.
"Really." She flushed. "Well, only me."
It was his turn to laugh, and she slapped him lightly on the chest, sitting up.
"And what about you Reverend? Do you touch yourself in the dark when there's no-one looking?"
He pulled her down again, into his arms.
"And next time will you think of me?"
Laughing now, both of them.
And so it went on. She would wait, outside his door, in the shadows.
Not always. But sometimes.
One evening she watching him sitting slumped in the saloon, head bowed, lines standing out on his face. Looking tired.
When she approached him in the street later on, he shook his head, tiredly. "Not tonight Meg. It's been a hell of a day."
"Exactly the time you need what I'm offering then."
He was rough, that night, thrusting into her with an almost angry force, and she came harder than she could ever remember.
He held her tightly afterwards, guiltily whispering apologies that she kissed away.
She was falling for him.
She knew this, and resisted it, shaking the knowledge angrily out of her thoughts, knowing it could only end badly, for both of them.
In the end though, she couldn’t resist turning to the cards. But they wouldn’t fall as she'd hoped, and she couldn’t make sense of them.
Finally, picked out the priest card, shuffling the others, intending to see who would fall next to him. Hoping, she had to admit now, for something like the Queen of Cups, a card that could easily mean her.
The card that she turned over though, make no sense.
She stared at it, frowning. Couldn’t really make it refer to her no matter how she twisted the meanings.
Sat back in her chair, pushing the cards away, looking up instead at where James was sitting at the bar talking to –
She blinked. Shook her head, irritably. Stupid. Clarkson was his friend, that was all. Just because he was the sheriff didn’t mean the cards were indicating him. He was a man, anyway. It could hardly be him.
She looked again. James was laughing, hard, at something Clarkson had said. The sheriff was waving his drink around to illustrate a point, spilling it on himself, and James was laughing harder.
She left the bar, thoughts in a confused whirl.
She watched them, now. Watched how they confided in each other, as in no-one else. Watched how, when the sheriff was falling-down drunk, which was most evenings, James would take him home, see him safely indoors.
Angrily, she set the cards aside. They were only showing a possible future. She should tell James how she felt. She could make him hers. She knew she could.
Her usual seat, under the window. Watching, always watching.
Across the saloon, the sheriff sliding off his bar stool and almost falling into a nearby table.
James throwing an arm round him, keeping him upright.
She could hear the argument from the other side of the room.
"I think you've had enough,"
"No I bloody haven't."
"Let me take you home Jez."
"Fuck off. Who put you in charge? I'm fine."
"Really? Stand up on your own then and prove it."
"See, I'm - oh fuck."
"M'gonna be sick."
Watched James hurriedly help him outside while the rest of the bar looked away in disgust.
Slipped out herself a few minutes later, saw James sitting on the end of the veranda, hand on Jeremy's back while he threw his guts up into the street. Stood in the shadows as after a while James helped him up, walking him home, one arm round him supportively.
She loved him. She knew that now.
But Jeremy needed him. She knew that, too. And it hurt.
He turned, at the hand on his sleeve.
"Meg." He sighed. "I'm not really –"
"Well what if I am?" she interrupted. "What if I need this for once?"
He lead her inside, making no further protest.
Despite herself, she found it hard to come no matter what James did, and sighed in frustration. Then melted in sheer wonder when he slid down her body under the sheet and she felt his mouth on her. A warm wet tongue probing inside her, licking and pressing and fucking and oh God…
She lay in his arms, spent and sleepy.
I love you.
She didn’t say it.
Old habits perhaps. Perhaps not.
She went with others, and made sure James knew. Not entirely sure if she wanted to make him jealous or if she wanted to keep him at a distance.
Now she knew what the cards had meant, watching Jeremy watching him.
And wondering if James would ever notice.