Author: Kat Lee
Dedicated To: My beloved with native blood singing through his veins, my sweet Drew! I love you, my darling; Happy Valentine's Day!!! <3
Character/Pairing: Walt/Henry, Walt/Martha, Walt/Martha/Henry
Word Count: 1,309
Date Written: 13 February 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
Walt barely registers Henry moving around him, cleaning the bar as the crowd begins to disperse. He’s still lost in his thoughts when a sweet smell pulls his eyes downward to a napkin and a cupcake that’s suddenly appeared beneath him. Used to Henry’s subtle ways of making him eat, Walt thinks nothing of it. He takes off the wrapper and takes a bite. He can tell with the first taste that Henry definitely made this cupcake and takes his time savoring each bite, including the candy badge which he eats separately.
He has no idea of the time or how many beers he’s put away when the next cupcake appears. This one does surprise him for instead of a badge, there’s a giant, candy heart sitting on top of the cupcake. Walt’s eyes cut left and right. He looks up to a mirror behind the bar. But he sees noone. He doesn’t yet realize the bar is empty, only that no one’s paying attention to him as he devours the second cupcake, finding it somehow, though made from the same batter, even sweeter than the first.
It’s well past midnight when Henry finally walks up to him. Walt almost jumps and goes for his gun when Henry touches his shoulders, but the actual feel of his hands on his tense muscles tells him that it’s only Henry, only the man he loves and has for so long now even before Martha. Henry rubs his shoulders for a while, his hands drifting slowly lower and down Walt’s equally tense back.
It’s only when Walt really begins to lean into Henry’s touch and lets a groan emit from his mouth that he becomes aware of the music. It’s a slow, old melody crooning in the background. “People’re gonna talk,” he mumbles, still not aware of exactly how late the hour is.
Henry’s mouth is right next to his ear as he whispers assuredly, “No one’s going to talk, Walt. You’ve been sitting here, moping for hours. It’s Valentine’s Day. Martha wouldn’t want you sad. She never wanted you sad. She never expected this . . . this thing between us to stop even when you married.”
“She was a damn good woman,” Walt growls as though challenging anyone to disagree with him.
“She was,” Henry agrees quickly. “And she wouldn’t want you sad,” he says again. “Come on.” He twirls Walt around, and for the first time, Walt realizes that the lights have dimmed and it’s way past closing time. Henry bows before him, holding his hand up to him as he does so. “May I have this dance?” he asks.
Instead of waiting for the Sheriff to answer, however, Henry takes Walt’s hands in his and pulls him from the stool. Walt sways a little, having, on this rare occasion, had too much to drink, but Henry’s arms are around him instantly, supporting him, holding him up as he always has. To his relief, gratitude, and joy, Walt lets himself go.
Henry feels the fight go out of him as they sway together. He feels his body slump against his. He rocks him gently and turns him in time to the music. He had never wanted Martha to die. For a while, she had been just what Walt needed, but she is gone now, taken from them both far too soon. He hadn’t hesitated to help Walt try to avenge her murder, and he doesn’t regret a single thing he did for him or for her, even the time he spent in jail.
Cady can never know the true nature of what he did to get those teeth. She can never know so many of the things he and her father have done for her mother, or for others who the law could not help, or even the true nature of their relationship. This town will never know, but Henry’s made certain all the windows and doors to the Red Pony are not only locked tonight but covered as well. No one, not even Malachi or Nighthorse, will surprise them tonight.
The night is theirs, or at least, what’s left of it is. Walt is his. Henry knows a part of his most cherished friend’s and secret lover’s heart and soul will always belong to his deceased wife, but even when she’d been alive, as Henry had said, Martha had known about their special connection and had not only allowed it but embraced it. A smile gifts Henry’s lips as he remembers the time Martha invited him to spend the night inside their home and inside their bed. She really was a wonderful, one-of-a-kind woman, and he misses her dearly. They all do.
Still, as he told Walt, Martha wouldn’t want them to waste Valentine’s Day pining away for what could not be. She would not want her husband to waste a single night brooding and drinking over what he’d had no control. She wouldn’t want him to be relegated to being the shell of the man he used to be as he so often is nowadays. She had made Henry promise, too, that if anything ever happened to her, he would spend the rest of their days guarding Walt, looking over him like a living Guardian Angel, and caring for the man they both loved. Henry had agreed without hesitation; that was the biggest goal he’d ever planned for his life any way.
His fingers run up into the ends of Walt’s dark hair, and as he spins him around again, he knocks his cowboy hat straight off of his head. A smile quirks his lips. “Oops,” he teases.
“You had this all planned, didn’t you?” Walt asks in his deep, quiet, almost rumbling voice. Henry knows from previous experience just how well and erotically that voice can rumble.
He meets his gaze and releases his full smile. His eyes twinkle. “You know I did,” he acknowledges.
Walt smirks down at him. “Getting my drunk and then taking advantage of me, Henry? That’s not your style.”
“No, but a man uses whatever means he must to get what he desires for himself and his people.”
“I’m not -- “
“You’ll always be my people, Walt. You’re always be first in my heart. You know that.”
Walt doesn’t argue. Instead he finally lowers his head with a smile and lets Henry lean up and cover his lips with his own. Walt subtly takes control of their dance as the tune switches to one to which they used to dance to years ago in private hideouts in the woods. They had been so young then, and so much has happened since that time. So many things that they never could have foreseen have darkened both their lives and made them into hardened men. But still, alone, there’s no one else with whom he’d rather be, no one else to whom he could ever give his heart but Walt Longmire.
“I believe, Henry Standing Bear, you’re wanted for loving.” Walt’s deep voice rumbles this time as their lips part, enticing Henry and making a delicious shiver slide across his skin.
“I’ve waited a long time to hear you say that, Sheriff,” he says, pulls his head down, and kisses him even more deeply.
Walt moans again. This time, he picks Henry up, whirls him around, and sits him down on the bar. As he comes between his legs, Henry knows that’s no gun he feels protruding against him, and he knows too that this night spent loving Walt has been worth every moment of the wait, just as every time with him always has been and always will be. This is where he belongs, not necessarily in Absaroka County, Wyoming, in this place that was their childhood home, or even in the Red Pony but right here with Walt always, and it’s where he’ll stay always.