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Title: i will fight 'til i have died
Characters: Winona Hawkins, Ava Crowder, Raylan Givens, Boyd Crowder
Summary: Part 3
Winona Hawkins returns to Harlan as a US Marshal. Character-swap, ladies-centric AU, inspired by But we are not men by [ profile] moonshine_givens. R, for gore and language.
Also available on AO3.

Part 1|Part 2

i will fight 'til i have died - 3

In the morning, there’s a church bombing connected to a murder connected back to Boyd Crowder. Winona misses Miami already.

“Someone blows up a stoner church and it’s free dope for the whole block,” Rachel says, her tone resigned, disappointed.

Winona pretends she can’t hear it as she steps out into the brilliant midmorning sun, holding up a hand to shade her eyes. The smell of wet weed hits the back of her throat, she breathes around it and thinks, that’s a shame, in the same reflexive moment, pretends to ignore that, too.

The place is a mess -- must have been a shitbox to begin with, if the accounts of one rocket launcher through the window are true -- the whole structure seems to have caved right in on itself, utterly flattened.

Art sends her to talk to Pastor Fandi, watching her closely, like she maybe shouldn’t have said so much about growing up in Harlan last night, and he’s still trying to figure out where she stands. It takes a load of charm and a lot more smarmy smiling than she’d like, but in the end Fandi to agrees to come take a look at their line-up.

Now the only question is, how the hell are they going to get Boyd Crowder to be a part of it?

A junker skids around the turn into the driveway of the Givens house. The skinhead that jumps out tries three times to shut the engine off, half-hanging out the driver’s side door by the time he manages it. “Boyd here?”

Standing on the porch, Raylan stares down at him in mild perplexity, says, “The hell are you doing here, Dewey Crowe?”

The boys don’t come by the house -- that’s part of the unspoken agreement. No illegal activities take place on Givens property, the boys don’t come by the house, and Raylan don’t have to shoot nobody for being an asshole.

“Is Boyd here?”

“You got something to say to him you can’t say to me?”

For a moment, Dewey just stands there, gaping like a landed fish. He ain’t quite so stupid that he don’t know ‘yeah’ is the wrong answer, but he ain’t smart enough to figure out the right one, either.

Raylan quits fucking with him, says, “He’s out back,” and gestures for Dewey to precede him through the house.

“Boyd, your brother’s dead!” Dewey says the second he gets in earshot.

Raylan can’t help the sharp stab of satisfaction he feels at the news. At least, until he sees the way Boyd nods, that look in his eyes steady, unsurprised.

He already fucking knew, and it don’t exactly take a genius to figure out why.

Raylan’s on him as soon as Dewey Crowe’s junker rattles out of the driveway.

“Goddamnit, Boyd!”

“Don’t go gettin’ upset just 'cause you wanted to be the one to pull the trigger.”

“She should never have had to--”

“Forgive me if I am mistaken, Raylan,” Boyd cuts in, “but I believe it was quite some time ago Ava laid down the law on your -- or anyone’s -- involvement in her affairs. As in, stay out of ‘em, ‘less you’re invited in.”

Raylan scowls. “That ain’t the point. You didn’t even try to talk her out of it, did you? Jesus Christ.”

“I think she had the right to do it, if anyone did.”

“Did you think about what would happen to her, after? You think she’s gonna be tried for manslaughter? Or were you two aiming to get all the way up to murder, you talked about it beforehand?”

“Hold on, Raylan. While Ava may have expressed to me that she was tired of my brother’s wrong actions -- that if there was any justice in this world he’d git what was coming to him -- she never said a thing about murder. It wasn’t like that.” Boyd shakes his head at Raylan’s wordless protest and sighs, the picture of disappointed reasonableness. “Ava ain’t dumb by any stretch of the imagination, and you damn well know it. ”

The fact that Raylan does know doesn’t do much to quell his urge to punch the smirk off of Boyd’s face. He tries a different tack.

“Bo’s gettin’ out soon, and you think now was the time to pull this shit?”

Boyd says, “Five months is nothin’ to sneeze at.”

“Well it ain’t exactly ideal either,” Raylan snaps right back. “And what makes you think we got five months? Dewey Crowe ain’t the only person in Harlan has heard about it by now, I guarantee you that. Someone’s gonna tell Bo soon enough.

“Shit. I wonder if Ava’s okay.”

“I spoke to her on the phone earlier. It’s all right we check in on her, from time to time. She’s fine.”

“The hell she is.” Raylan says, before he can think better of it, “You never shot someone you loved, Boyd?”

That hangs between them for a while, ‘til Boyd laughs quietly, says, “Well no, Raylan, but I can’t say it was for lack of tryin’.”

There’s a whole box full of allegations against Boyd Crowder, not a single one ever substantiated. Tim has a mere summary spread across the conference table, drug caches and weaponry, burnt-out cars and shot-up surveillance cameras.

“No one in any federal office has managed to pin him down. We do have an address, but the only person ever there is the boyfriend.”

Winona ignores the way Tim’s voice goes lewd and ironic on ‘the boyfriend’. She takes one look at the address, shakes her head. Of course Raylan’s still living in that house. Wonder what happened to his daddy.

“On the other hand,” says Rachel, “Bowman Crowder, Boyd’s younger brother, was shot to death on Monday night, by his wife. We don’t think Boyd will be too happy about that.”

“So you’re thinking protection for the widow, catch Boyd red-handed trying to harm her?” It’s not a bad plan.

Rachel agrees and opens another file. “This is Ava Crowder -- until Monday night, Bowman was her husband.”

“Hold on. I think I know her.” Winona scans the file, and sure enough, it’s right there at the top: ‘Ava Crowder’ followed by her maiden name. “She say why she did it?”

“According to the police report,” Tim says, “Says she was tired of Bowman getting drunk and beating on her.” His deadpan tone isn’t really fooling anybody.

Winona knows the address at the bottom of the page, too. That was the Carvers’ old house. Rumor was that Anson Carver couldn’t find his own house when he was drunk. She’d had an embarrassing crush on Jonah Carver, too -- freshman-year, puppy love bullshit -- ‘til she found out what he said about her mama, and that was when she found out where the house was.

Still, she waits until Art asks before she admits that she knows where the fuck it is.


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