Author's Notes: When I saw the song "Tweeter and the Monkey Man" listed on the Yuletide fandoms, I signed up for it on a whim, thinking, it's just a song, how hard can it be? HAH. It was actually one of the most difficult Yuletides I've ever had to write - it's really hard to extrapolate character development from only a few words. I liked the way it turned out (and so did the recipient, which is of course the main thing in Yuletide) but I won't be signing up to write song stories again anytime soon. Also, I feel I should point out that this was written before I was aware of SGA and therefore the use of the name "Rodney" was just a coincidence. :)
Tweeter always hummed when he was concentrating on something. He'd done it when they were kids and he was building model cars; he'd done it in Scouts when he was learning to tie knots; he'd done it in the Army, cleaning his gun. He was humming, now, a soft, high-pitched mixture of Jefferson Airplane and the Doors as he applied his fake eyelashes with the delicate, precise touch of a demolitions expert.
Tweeter had a nice voice, really, though you wouldn't think so, all the shit he'd taken for it over the years. A high voice, yeah, but what made it worse for him was the accent. Tweeter was from down South, one of the Carolinas, maybe, and though his family'd moved to Jersey when he was nine he'd never lost that trick of talking soft and slow.
Tweeter'd always been strange, but he was damn loyal, and he'd been the only one who didn't start calling him Monkey Boy after what happened at the zoo in sixth grade. Sometimes he thought that Tweeter was the only one besides his mother and the cops who knew his real name.
Tweeter looked up and caught his eye. "Benjamin?" he said. "Are my eyelashes straight?"
"They look good, Robbie," Monk said, and Tweeter smiled happily.
"I think I'll wear my blue dress tonight," he said. "It's a special occasion."
"You gonna wear the black wig or the blonde one?"
"I think the red one," Tweeter said. "I haven't worn that one yet."
He nodded, and went to fix Tweeter's falsies. Tweeter liked to have big tits, which was good, because you could fit a hell of a lot of coke in those double-Ds.
Vegas, he thought. They should go to Vegas. There were opportunities there for a businessman, and Tweeter could wear whatever the fuck he wanted to and not take too much shit for it. There were lots of things in Vegas more fucked up than a guy with a high voice and eyeliner caking in his crows'-feet.
He finished packing the falsies- all the rest of their stock. "Ready for 'em, Robbie?" he asked.
"I'm ready," Tweeter said.
He helped Tweeter put the falsies on and slid the blue dress over his head. It was Tweeter's favorite dress, royal blue, glimmering with sequins, with a long slit up one side. A lot of guys came out of 'Nam fucked up, hearing things, having bad dreams, shooting at enemies only they could see until the VA locked them up in a loony bin somewhere. Tweeter, he just liked things to be pretty. Monk did up Tweeter's zipper, the sides of the dress coming together to hide the ropy twists of scar on Tweeter's back.
No harm in wanting things to be fucking pretty, no matter what some assholes said.
"Thank you, Benjamin," Tweeter said, turning to the mirror to put his red wig on.
"No problem, Robbie," he said, and the phone rang. He picked up. "What?"
"Oh God, baby, you gotta go, you gotta get out of there."
"Jan? What the fuck?"
"Rodney got someone to rat on you, baby, I don't know who, but he'd got a warrant and he's on his way over there now, you gotta take off. You can go to the lake house, I can join you there, we can hide from him, there's security--"
"You're fucking crazy, Jan," he said. "Sure, that'll work, I'll go to your lake house so that mobbed-up husband of yours can have his goons hamstring me so he can make me eat my own balls. I don't fucking think so."
"But baby, listen--"
"I've got my own plans," he said. "I'm blowing this town. Me and Tweeter, we're through here, you understand? We're through." He hung up on her shrill protest. She was all coked up, from the sound of it, and spoiling for trouble, starting to shriek and cry about how she loved him and she did it all for him. Fucking insane bitch. From now on, he thought, no more fucking the customers. They were easy, sure, desperate for it, but it wasn't worth the complications. Better to stick with hookers, who at least understood business.
"Time to go, Robbie," he said, and Tweeter picked up his purse and stood up, inches taller in his silver high-heeled shoes.
Monk didn't bother locking the door behind him. Let Rodney choke on what he found.
They made good time out of town. While they were crossing the river, though, a red convertible skidded across their path. He had to swerve to miss a head-on collision, and hit the railing of the bridge with a sickening crunch. The convertible door swung open, and Jan got out, weaving unsteadily, waving around a big black gun.
"Fuck," he said, and scrambled out of the car. "Robbie, get out." He ducked behind the door, edging towards the other side, trying to stay out of range. "Jan, baby!" he called. "What's going on?"
"Don't you baby me, you bastard!" she shrieked. "All for you, I did it all for you, and you treat me like shit, you're just like all the others. I gave up everything for you and you would rather fuck around with your fucking pet drag queen than spend time with me!" He heard a shot, though he couldn't tell if she'd actually tried to hit him or just let one off by accident while she was waving the gun around. Didn't matter. Deliberate or not, you were just as dead.
Tweeter had gotten out of the car and was standing very still, looking at Jan. His dress shimmered in the moonlight.
"Robbie!" Monk hissed. "Get down!" Tweeter didn't seem to hear him.
Monk edged out from behind the car, trying to keep Robbie in between him and Jan. "Robbie, she's fucking crazy, get down or she'll shoot you!"
A harsh peal of laughter interrupted him. "Oh, that's fucking rich," Jan said. "He's standing there decked out like a cheap tramp and I'm the one who's crazy?" He heard another shot go off, then felt a streak of pain sear across his arm.
"Fuck!" he said, staring at the blood that was beginning to soak his sleeve. "You crazy fucking bitch!"
"I'll finish it," she said, the gun weaving alarmingly in her hand, "So help me, I swear--"
A deafening crack, right next to his ear, and Jan was staring down in disbelief at a flower of red spreading across her stomach. The gun fell just before she did.
Under the mascara, Tweeter's eyes were steel-hard, and he didn't take Jan out of his sights until she stopped moving. He put the safety back on the pretty inlaid pistol, and tucked it back into his purse.
"Take off your coat, Benjamin," he said. "Let me see," and he probed at the wound with gentle, sure hands.
"It's just a crease, Robbie," Monk said, through stiff lips, and Tweeter nodded.
"Yeah," he said, and took a pocketknife out of his purse. "Just hold still." He cut a long strip off the bottom of his dress, twisting it into an impromptu bandage. He looked at their car, the front end crumpled against the rail. "We'll have to take her car, Benjamin," he said.
Monk nodded, and let Tweeter lead him to the passenger side. The keys were still in the ignition.
"Where are we going, Benjamin?" Tweeter asked, settling his bloody hands on the wheel.
Monk looked down at his arm, at the blue sequins going tacky with blood, and felt the insane desire to laugh. "Vegas," he said. "Let's go to Vegas, Robbie."
Tweeter smiled. "I've seen pictures of Vegas," he said. "It's pretty there."
"Yeah," Monk said, and let his head fall back into the soft leather seat. "I think you'll like it."
"We'll go there, then," said Tweeter, putting the car in gear and maneuvering back down the road. "You can sleep while I drive."
Monk drifted, for a while, half-sick with adrenaline and shock, and finally slid into unconsciousness, the sound of Tweeter humming Jimi Hendrix following him into sparkling neon dreams.