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A Ron Ficathon where Everyone's a Winner!
Team Slash: All That You Have Is (the Troglodyte Mix) 
10th-Mar-2007 02:16 pm
triatharon
Story title: All That You Have Is (the Troglodyte mix)
Author name: prurient_badger
Team: Slash
Prompt: Food
Rating: R
Pairing: Ron/Neville
Length: 1,344
Summary: In which Ron Weasley gets stuck in a cave, has sex, and waits for jam. He'd laugh, if it wasn't so depressing.
Author notes: Thanks to momebie for the beta: what would I do without you?!



vii. The light across the walls is smeared and dull, casting Ron's face in inky shadows.

It's cold and damp and Ron is so hungry. He eyes a shelf of rock covetously, and wonders if it'd be crunchy. He could lick the moss on the walls, maybe…if that wasn't completely disgusting and god, what is wrong with him? Forty eight hours without food and he's gone batshit insane.

There's movement at the mouth of the cave and Neville shuffles into view. He's dirty and exhausted with two days worth of stubble and Ron wants to eat his leg, he's that starving. Neville drops down beside him, holding himself carefully. The sickly light of their feeble lumos flickers over the dark smudges under his eyes and blossoming across his ribs. Something painful spikes under Ron's breastbone: Neville looks worn out and defeated and Ron knows they're not getting out just yet.

But when they do, Ron's going to have a sandwich. Then he's going to kill everyone.

v. Seamus had this joke.

"A scientist and a pilot walk into a bar..."

Ron's heard it over twenty times, at least one of which made him almost sick with laughter, but he can never remember it properly.

He knows it's something about space and a wormhole and an intergalactic prostitute. And gay sex, possibly.

Seamus is dead, now. And it's just Ron and Neville in a cave, waiting to be found. He's not sure it matters by which side, at this point.

ii. "Uhh," said Ron.

"Uhh," agreed Harry.

Harry goes one way, Ron goes another, and Ron sees Remus flash into the clearing, catch Harry under the arms and apparate away. Ron's so relieved that he almost doesn't notice that now it's just him and Neville alone in the dark surrounded by psychopaths. His wand spits feeble sparks and makes a noise like a dying seagull.

"Well, shit."

vi. Ron misses jam. Which is a stupid thing to miss. Like, if he got to pick one thing to bring in here with them, it wouldn't be jam. It'd be more wands, or water, or an invisibility cloak, or just a really big knife. With a thick handle and a slicing blade and a layer of hope shining slick across the surface. He shifts slightly, restless in their enforced stillness, feeling the muscles of Neville's back shift against his as he moves. Back to back in a cave and really, how much more buddy action movie cliché could they be right now? He has to stop letting Harry make him watch those films, it just leads to problems in crisis situations. Ron moves again, feels the stretch and burn of abused flesh in all sorts of unexpected places (and a few totally predictable ones) and figures, well, he's gonna be paying for this big time anyway - aches and bruises from here to next month - so he might as well make it count. He reaches blindly behind him until his groping hand catches on a warm thigh. He hears Neville's breath hitch in his throat as he stokes an awkward thumb along an inseam, before he turns, half-blind in the dim light, and brushes high across Neville's cheekbone with his lips. Up close, Neville's pupils are huge in his wand's weak radiance, mouth still swollen and biteable. So Ron does, and Neville sighs softly into his mouth and sags towards him. Ron goes down with him until they're flat out on the rough ground, touching carefully, fingers skimming over cuts and scrapes and bone-deep bruises. Neville's kissing him soft and slow and easy, and Ron thinks maybe, maybe it'll be alright.

iv. Ron's stretched out on the floor, head tipped back awkwardly, waiting for the next drop of water to gather. There's a rock poking him in the small of his back and another under his heel, but he's been lying there for fifteen minutes and he's just starting to feel like there's not a desert taking up permanent residence in the back of his throat, so he's damned if he's moving now. He opens his mouth wide for the next tiny trickle of water and resigns himself to another half an hour of rocks to the spine.

It's been twenty five minutes – according to his watch, which he's pretty sure is either running slow or conspiring against him – before his foot starts to cramp up and he just has to move before he goes insane and tries to break out using only his trousers. He shakes the pins and needles out of his foot before sliding across to where Neville's sitting, hunched against a wall, a tight ball of misery. Ron's never been fabulous with words (well, duh), so he pats Neville on the shoulder in a manly, reassuring fashion, and tries not to think about how the water made him hungry again.

Neville looks up at him and jesus, even his eyes look bruised. Ron tries to turn the shoulder pat into a hug – if he looks closely, he can still see the imprints his fingers left on Neville's arms when Ron was shaking and crying and fighting to get out and kill something. Anything - but their positions are all wrong and he ends up with his nose in Neville's neck and a hand splayed across his back. And godammit, Ron can't even hug properly, and he's about to pull back and engage in a bit of hunched despair himself when Neville makes a noise in the back of his throat and bites him. So Ron bites him back because, fuck, why not and he's so hungry and tired and pissed off and cold and bored and he's pretty sure they're going to die in this depressing hole. And then his back's against the wall and Neville's pushing against him and Ron bites at his mouth and scratches a hand across his neck and shoves a thigh between his legs. They're panting in tandem now and Ron kisses Neville again, hard, to keep them both silent, because getting caught by the Death Eaters is one thing, but getting caught during sex would just suck. Neville rocks against him and makes a strangled noise against Ron's lips as he comes in stutters and jerks, and Ron wraps an arm around Neville's solid shoulders and spectacularly fails at being quiet.

iii. Harry's gone, not that his broken wand would do shit anyway. Seamus is dead and Ron and Neville are left eyeing each other across a clearing, almost dead wands hanging from their fingers. A stick cracks under a boot as the masked figures move to circle them and Ron catches Neville under the arms and runs until his heart is hammering in his throat. It's Neville who sees the opening, hidden behind a shield of scrubby ferns, and Neville who pushes Ron inside and uses what's left of his wand to cast an ailing lumos. And Neville who pats Ron's back and offers stumbling comfort when Ron clutches at Neville's arms and rants a whispered tirade against Seamus' killers.

viii. They're dozing uneasily, startling awake at the scratch of a leaf across the ground, when a sudden burst of sound outside their hide out jerks them awake. Voices, and a burst of light so dazzling Ron's blinded. He gropes for Neville's hand, twisting their fingers together, and turns his face towards the brightness.

i. Neville and Ron and Seamus are on a routine supply run, foraging for fruit and catching the occasional rabbit – and who would have thought it would come to this? – only, when they apparate to the drop spot Harry's there too. Stubborn bugger, never would listen to all the people who told him and told him to stay in the camp. Ron's one of them, actually, but he can't resist the pathetic eyes of stir crazy boredom, so he lets Harry wander off into the woods with Seamus. Neville smiles at him as they head for the apple trees, and Ron grins back. It's nice to get the simple assignments, sometimes.

Voting for this story is now closed!
Comments 
10th-Mar-2007 09:11 pm (UTC)
I don't know whether to cheer (because Ron and Neville!) or cry (because Ron! Neville! Seamus! Harry!) I liked the disjointed flow of this, it was perfect and really captured the horribleness of this situation. I'm going to pretend that it's someone Good who's come to save them, adn they live happily every after and shag every night.
12th-Mar-2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
Thankyou! That's exactly what I was going for, so it's so great that it came through for you. :D
10th-Mar-2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
I really like the way you told the story in fragments, the little flashes of Ron and Neville's perdicament told out of sequence really drew me into the story.

They're panting in tandem now and Ron kisses Neville again, hard, to keep them both silent, because getting caught by the Death Eaters is one thing, but getting caught during sex would just suck.

This is so very Ron, and despite the seriousness of their situation, made me laugh out loud. I really enjoyed this piece, it was a very good concept and was very well executed.

Good job:D
12th-Mar-2007 03:01 pm (UTC)
Thankyou! I had a lot of fun with the character and the idea, so I'm glad it worked for you as well!
11th-Mar-2007 01:21 am (UTC)
The mixed-up order worked because the story was short, and easy enough to remember the bits you'd just read. Very creative way of presenting the story. The question is - is the light good or bad? :P
12th-Mar-2007 03:00 pm (UTC)
That is indeed the question! *maintains stoic silence* ;D
11th-Mar-2007 01:57 am (UTC)
Very interesting. The structure worked very well (for me at least) to add to what Ron appeared to be feeling. It worked especially well to have the first bit last, ending with an ironic flourish so to speak.

Great work!
12th-Mar-2007 02:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed!
11th-Mar-2007 07:16 pm (UTC)
I really liked the idea of telling this out of order, and ending with the first part last. I'm also very, very interested to know the entirety of Seamus's joke. :)
12th-Mar-2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
I'm also very, very interested to know the entirety of Seamus's joke. :)

Dude, me too! :D Thankyou!
12th-Mar-2007 04:18 am (UTC)
i'm so very sorry but the disjointed way of the story line was very jarring for me but it was over all pretty good
19th-Mar-2007 08:47 pm (UTC)
I liked the pattern but will admit to going back and readin it "in order" just to make sure I got it all. Try that, it helps!
12th-Mar-2007 01:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, I really enjoyed the non-linear storyline, as well as Ron's 'voice'! Sounds just like him, and I also like how we don't know exactly what happens...excellent work!
12th-Mar-2007 02:54 pm (UTC)
Thankyou! They're all things I were hoping would come out, so yay!
12th-Mar-2007 05:18 pm (UTC)
This is awesome. I love the disjointed style, and there were all these funny lines thrown in amongst the chaos. Nice pacing and flow. Love!
15th-Mar-2007 09:49 am (UTC)
Thankyou! ♥
12th-Mar-2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
This was so great! The non-linear timeline worked extremely well and strengthened the tension and urgency of the situation.

And your Ron-voice is sheer perfection. I love the mix of humour, self-deprecating sarcasm and just... authenticity. There are a lot of stories that get Ron's voice across well, but only very rarely one reads as if channelling him directly, and this does, no doubt about it. Loved it to bits!

Great use of prompt too – Ron is the one of the trio who'd suffer from lack of food most. Not just because Harry is used to deprivation and Hermione has other priorities, but Ron has this strong appreciation for food and it makes total sense that it would obsess his mind. And transfer to a related but somewhat different emotion :). And are they ever perfect together – the mutual comforting through sex flows so perfectly natural from what is happening!

And the writing is so damn gorgeous with images and lines to die for – like
His wand spits feeble sparks and makes a noise like a dying seagull..
Not to mention that absolutely perfect bit of pure Ron in
getting caught by the Death Eaters is one thing, but getting caught during sex would just /suck/.
I also loved the wonderful, hyper-ironic final line so much!

Definitely my favourite of the (many) Ron/Neville's on offer, and among my general favourites so far too!
15th-Mar-2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
*blushes madly*

Thankyou so much! I am totally in flailing love with you right now. :D
13th-Mar-2007 08:47 am (UTC) - team slash - food
Wow. The upbeat ending-beginning was just so SAD, because we've already seen what horrid sadness happens to them all after that. But thank goodness Remus swooped in and got Harry!

And Aww on the Ron/Neville! But sad aww on Seamus...

Intense, I agree that the story was just short enough to make the non-linear work.
15th-Mar-2007 04:39 pm (UTC) - Re: team slash - food
But thank goodness Remus swooped in and got Harry!

Well, he's the hero, he can't very well get stuck in a cave! ;D

But sad aww on Seamus...

Tell me about it! I hate killing Seamus (and how bad is it that I've done it more than once!?!), he's just such a sweetheart.

Intense, I agree that the story was just short enough to make the non-linear work.

Thankyou! I have to admit, I love non-linear stories myself, and I was hoping that it'd be short enough that it wouldn't jarr.
13th-Mar-2007 06:03 pm (UTC)
getting caught by the Death Eaters is one thing, but getting caught during sex would just suck.

Hee! I see I wasn't the only one really amused by that line!

I really enjoyed this a lot. I'm not a huge fan of non-linear structure, but you made it work, and the imagery was wonderful. And the comfort sex between Ron and Neville was lovely.

I hope that light at the end was rescue and not something worse...*snuggles them both, feeds them chocolate*
15th-Mar-2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
Thankyou! I'm really glad you liked the non-linear structure, as it's something I love, so the more people I can convince it's not all bad, the better! :D
13th-Mar-2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this.

I love the non-linear style. That is such a great way to build interest and raise questions -- well I think it is anyway!

You captured Ron's voice very nicely here.

I think the non-ending-ending worked well here in part because the story is short and really could go either way. Sometimes I feel like those types of endings are some sort of test of how deeply one read the rest of the story -- that there really is only one "right" ending and the author is just trying to see if the reader is smart enough to "get it." I did not feel that way at all with this piece. I guess that could mean that I failed the test! Hee! I prefer to think that you are allowing me to imagine multiple endings -- and that this is just fine with you. :-)

Anyway, well done!
15th-Mar-2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
No test, I promise! Please feel free to imagine away! I have ideas myself of course for what happens next, but I wanted to leave it open-ended for the readers. Thankyou so much for saying so many lovely things!

Also, I love your username. Aberforth is awesome. :D
13th-Mar-2007 09:23 pm (UTC)
Interesting fic, but what an end! I hope Ron and Neville are okay. I really your description of the knife.
15th-Mar-2007 04:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks! (I really like the knife description too. :D)
15th-Mar-2007 02:16 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed this. I've read non-linear fics that felt disjointed but this was easy to follow. It packs a nice punch for a short fic.

Very well done.
15th-Mar-2007 04:51 pm (UTC)
*smooshes*

Thanks!
16th-Mar-2007 10:32 am (UTC)
Oh, I love this. The desperate emotion juxtaposed with the humour is just perfect. Oh...my favourite bits are:

Back to back in a cave and really, how much more buddy action movie cliché could they be right now? He has to stop letting Harry make him watch those films, it just leads to problems in crisis situations.


and

And godammit, Ron can't even hug properly... and all of section iv, really.

The other thing I like is the story (to me at least) can be told either way...or really that could just me. And the irony! Yes. ::loves::
16th-Mar-2007 04:51 pm (UTC)
*g* Thanks! That's exactly the tone I was going for! :D
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