Title: Ageing Disgracefully
Series: No
Author: Alyse (alyse@CI5Ops.co.uk)
Archive: CI5 Operational Control ( http://www.CI5Ops.co.uk ), Britslash
Category: The New Professionals - Curtis/Keel.
Rating: PG

Spoilers/Warnings: No spoilers. No warnings. No plot and no sex.

Summary: Chris notices something about his partner and comments on it.

Feedback: Yes please, to alyse@CI5Ops.co.uk.  Constructive criticism
welcome, flames will be used to melt chocolate, and we all know what I'll
do with that :)

Disclaimers: They belong to Brain Clements and David Wickes
Productions. They don't belong to me - if they did we all know what they'd
be doing. I don't make any money from this. I have nothing but my own
warped imagination and therefore I'm not worth suing. :)

Kudos: Many thanks to my excellent beta Lou, for the eagle eyed spotting
of typos.

Notes: This bunny has been languishing in my bunny book for all of this
year, in fact ever since I noticed that Curtis was going oh so sexily grey
in Phoenix (the first time I saw it) and the impetus finally came when I
discovered my first grey hair just before Christmas.

Ageing Disgracefully

by Alyse




Sam was so firmly involved in reading up on the latest developments in
Bosnia that it took him a while to realise that Chris was staring at him.

"What?"

"Nothing."

Five minutes later, Chris was still staring. He put the file down with a
sigh. "Chris, what's wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong."

The look he gave his partner was doubtful to say the least. "Uh huh. So
why are you staring at me?"

Chris flushed and glanced down at the file lying open and ignored in his
lap. "I'm not." Sam watched him for a long moment, but let the obvious
falsehood slide. Whatever was bothering his partner, Chris was far too
impatient to let it fester for long. Sooner or later, and probably sooner
knowing Chris, he'd spill. And Sam would be waiting when he did. If there
was one thing that Sam Curtis was good at, it was waiting. He'd had a lot
of practice. Of course, waiting didn't always result in getting what you
were waiting for.

He stifled a sigh and, with an effort, dismissed such maudlin thoughts from
his mind.

It took all of two minutes until Chris was staring at him again. It was
rather difficult to ignore since Chris was only about a foot away. Sam was
fully prepared to admit that his living room wasn't quite as spacious as
his partner's flat but even so there was enough room for both the sofa he
was reclining on and a couple of armchairs, neither of which was occupied
by the American. That, he thought wryly, would be too easy. No, Chris
appeared to prefer sitting on the floor rather than on something actually
designed for sitting on. Yet another of his partner's many foibles. Like
staring at him.

"Do I have something caught between my teeth?"

Chris blinked slowly. "No."

Very informative. He let out a long breath. "So, why are you staring at
me? I'm getting a little paranoid here, Keel."

"I'm not staring."

This time Chris didn't flush or look away but continued... staring at
him. There really was no other word for the frank appraisal he was giving
Sam and Sam shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

"Chris..."

"Do you know you're going grey?"

He blinked and then coloured. "Yes, I know I'm going grey but thank you
for pointing that out anyway," he snapped. He knew his response wasn't
particularly gracious but Chris had hit upon a rather sore point. It
wasn't that he minded going grey per se, it was inevitable given his dark
colouring, but the other implications of growing older weren't ones he was
particularly comfortable with. Losing his edge. Slowing down. Not being
up to being a CI5 agent. Getting his backside kicked instead of kicking
other people's.

Chris didn't seem at all put out by his show of bad temper. Instead he
gave another of those long, slow blinks he appeared to be specialising in
at the moment and continued his slow perusal of his partner. "I like it,"
he announced suddenly.

"Excuse me?"

"I like it. You know, it's kind of... distinguished."

God save him from his partner's attempts at 'tactful'. 'Tactful' was not a
particular forte of Chris'.

Unfortunately, God wasn't listening.

"You know, kinda sexy..."

Maybe that should be fortunately God wasn't listening...

It was back to his turn at blinking, like a surreal tennis match, batting
surprise back and forth. His partner thought his grey hairs were
'sexy'. He took time to process this thought but unfortunately his mouth
didn't wait for his brain to finish analysing the statement before it
decided to step into the breach.

"If you think grey hair is sexy you must think Malone is bloody
irresistible then."

Thankfully his partner didn't take offence at either the statement or the
tone it was delivered in, giving a throaty laugh that by rights should have
been banned under any weapons treaty worth its salt.

"Malone's grey hairs are just... grey. Yours, however, are sexy."

There was that statement again and it wasn't any less surreal the second
time around. Completely nonplussed he merely grunted and buried his head
back in Bosnia.

"Like red speedos..."

Okay, Chris obviously wasn't going to let the matter drop and so he tried
for facetious.

"You think about Malone in red speedos? I hate to disappoint you, Chris,
but I don't believe that Malone wears red speedos. I don't believe he ever
has in his entire life. And I really worry about you if your imagination
can conjure that image up."

Another one of those should-be-banned-if-life-was-fair laughs. "You can be
reassured as to my sanity. I've never thought of Malone in speedos, red or
otherwise."

"Well, that's a relief."

Chris gave Sam a long, slow and distinctly amused look. "It wasn't Malone
I was imagining."

Blink.

"Not in red speedos." Chris paused a beat before adding, "Or fatigues come
to that."

Fatigues? This just wasn't fair. By rights it should be Chris' turn to
blink in confusion and here he was instead, blinking yet again while Chris
merely watched him with an irritatingly smug smile on his face. While he
was on the subject, those dimples should be banned too.

"Fatigues?" he ventured cautiously, wondering how the hell fatigues figured
in anyone's equation.

"Hmm mm. And I've definitely never considered him in deep red shirts or
loose grey sweaters. Or tight jeans."

Reality had obviously checked out of his flat for the duration of this
particular conversation.

"You've never considered Malone in any of those?"

"No."

"And why, precisely, should this reassure me of your sanity?"

Chris treated him to another blast of those dimples. "Because I think
they're sexy too."

Blink. "Like red speedos?" he asked slowly, wondering if it was too late
to completely scrap this conversation and talk about something considerably
less complex. Like the current situation in the former Yugoslavia.

"Yep," Chris agreed cheerfully. "And grey hair."

Back to the grey hair. He opened his mouth again, probably to come out
with some snappish and borderline inane comment, but Chris then did
something that completely short circuited his brain. His partner reached
up and stroked gentle fingers through his hair, just behind his ear, all
the while giving him an intense look that reached more parts than a pint of
Heineken.

"Hair like dark silk..." Chris added softly, rolling the words around in
his mouth as though savouring something sweet.

He was drowning, pinned by that gaze. His partner leant infinitesimally
closer, such a subtle move that Sam was left wondering if he'd imagined it.

"And green eyes..."

Blue, he thought dazedly but he couldn't vocalise the thought. There was
definitely something swirling around in his mind about blue eyes and sexy...

"Did I mention that I find green eyes *incredibly* sexy?"

He finally found his voice, managing a strangled, "No."

That smile deepened mysteriously. "Well," Chris breathed. "I do."

"Oh."

"*Incredibly* sexy."

Dimples... Sexy...

"Oh..." The sound and the thought accompanying it were abruptly cut off
when a mobile yet firm mouth settled over his and he was lost.

It appeared that the old adage was true - good things come to those that
wait.

Suddenly, growing older didn't seem quite so bad.

The End


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