Title: Explorations
Series: Yes - the third in the Conversations series, sequel to 'Fear of Flying'
Author: Alyse 
Genre: New Professionals
Archive: Jon's New Professionals archive, my own webpage http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~alys4/bunnies, Britslash and Rareslash
Category: Curtis/Keel.
Rating: NC17
Spoilers/Warnings: No spoilers, and no warnings 
Summary: Sam finally decides what to do!

Feedback: Yes please, to alys4@easynet.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 Clare. 


by Alyse

It was over three weeks before Chris had a chance to even be alone in the
same room with Sam for more than five minutes. To say that he'd been
dreading this moment was an understatement. Dreading it and longing for it
in equal measure.

Three weeks since that dreadful night in Sam's apartment and his drunken
confession. Three weeks since Sam and he had had a proper conversation,
namely one that didn't revolve solely around work. Chris had tried once or
twice to broach the subject in the odd few minutes they'd been alone in the
car, or in their temporary HQ, but Sam had been ruthless in refusing to
discuss anything but their current case. The fact that their current case
had been intensive and convoluted had aided Sam in his apparent obsession
to avoid the subject at all costs. Chris was beginning to feel that the
cost may ultimately be their partnership.

Chris started to get comfortable now they were back in their room, kicking
his shoes across the floor so that one ended up lying by the bathroom door
and the other under the small vanity unit, ignoring his partner's rolled
eyes at his normal untidy habits as he did so. He settled down on the end
of the bed with a sigh, which was ignored by Sam. Normally he would have
been quite pleased that Backup had only managed to reserve a twin for the
two of them, and not just because of his burgeoning feelings for his
partner, but because under normal circumstances Sam was very good company.
They'd had to share on a number of occasions, personal comfort as always
giving way to budgetary constraints, and strangely enough it had been fun,
Sam's dry comments about the day gone and the individuals they'd interacted
with always being amusing. There was no running commentary tonight,
thought Chris, trying very hard not to stare at his partner's back as Sam
unpacked the few things from his overnight bag, putting them away neatly.
He wondered if it was too early to hit the bar and drown his sorrows. On
the other hand, the last time he did that...

Chris' reverie was interrupted by his partner's voice. "Mind if I use the
shower first?"


Sam started to shrug out of his jacket, hanging it over the back of the
chair in front of the vanity before starting to unbutton his shirt. Chris
resolutely kept staring straight ahead. He couldn't believe this. Was Sam
taunting him? Flaunting what he now knew he couldn't have in front of him?
Was it just Sam being once again oblivious to the emotional undercurrents
and Chris' body language? Or was it some clumsy attempt to indicate that
their relationship wasn't going to change, that Chris' declaration of love
and lust wasn't going to affect the way his friend acted around him? In
short was Sam just going to ignore the issue? His attitude over the last
few weeks had Chris thinking that perhaps that was exactly what the
Englishman was going to do.

"So which of Malone's suggestions do you want to do first?" Sam was still
speaking, and Chris' attention was reluctantly drawn back to him. For a
long moment he just stared at Sam, frowning slightly as he watched Sam
unbutton his cuffs. "Chris? Hello? Still with me, mate?"

Malone's suggestions. What was it that Malone had said? Oh, something
about a debrief tomorrow, and in the meantime they should get some sleep,
or if they felt the urge to explore make damn sure they stayed out of
trouble this time. Chris had been too tired and too miserable to do more
than listen with half an ear, letting his boss' borderline rant pass
straight over his head.

Sam was still staring at him expectantly, one eyebrow raised. "Oh.
Whatever. What do you want to do?"

Sam gave him a long, keen look before answering. "Personally, I'm up for a
little exploring."

Chris sighed heavily. "Sam, I'm not sure I'm up to tramping all over this
godforsaken town."

"Who said anything about the town?"

He must be more tired than he thought since he normally managed to follow
Sam's thought processes. He was completely lost this time. He could do
nothing but stare at his partner in confusion for a long time before Sam
took pity on him, sitting on the bed next to him.

"I'm not entirely sure how to do this."

"Do what?" There was now genuine irritation in Chris' voice. He was
tired, he was cranky and he was also aware that Sam's shirt had gaped open
when he'd sat down, and he was fed up with fighting this. His partner's
obliviousness wasn't improving his mood. "Do what, Sam?"

Now he was treated to a sight he'd never seen before. Sam was actually
fidgeting, twisting the buttons on his shirt and avoiding his eyes. It
didn't last long; he could almost pinpoint the moment that Sam had himself
under control again, running his palms down over his thighs before turning
to face him.

"Seduce my male partner."

Chris gaped at him. In all the nightmare and not so nightmare scenarios
that had run through his mind over the last few weeks this one had not
featured. The best that he had hoped for was that Sam wouldn't demand
another partner and that somehow they'd get past this and salvage their
friendship. In his darkest moments he'd thought that overly optimistic.
And now the object of a thousand fantasies was trying to seduce him? It
didn't make sense.

Sam was watching him with familiar detached amusement.

"Don't do that," he snarled.

"What?" There was genuine bemusement in Sam's expression now.

"Laugh at me."

"I'm not," protested his partner.

"I won't have you pitying me."

"I'm not in the habit of giving pity fucks." Sam's voice was ice, a tone
Chris had heard before but rarely directed at him. "What the hell do you
want from me, Keel? You get drunk and make a pass at me, taking me
completely by surprise, and then when I indicate that it might not be
entirely unwelcome you take my bloody head off!" Sam leapt to his feet,
and stalked away. "I think I'll have that shower now." His tone was now
distant and still cold.

"Sam... I'm sorry," Chris stammered out. "It's just... You haven't said
anything since... You've barely spoken to me..."

Sam finally turned to look at him, his face not quite as cold, but still
wary. "We had a case," he said, exasperated.

"Yes, I know but..."

"What's the first rule," Sam interrupted.

"Never get emotionally... oh."

"Oh, yes. Work first. Everything else after."

"Yes, but..."

"But what?" 

"Honestly?" Chris searched his partner's now expressionless face before
continuing. "I half expected to be hauled into Malone's office and either
assigned to another partner or told to hit the road."

"You actually thought that I would do that to you? You actually thought
that after almost two years of working together I would betray you like
that?" If Chris had thought Sam's voice cold before, that was nothing to
it now. He sighed, refusing to look away.

"You would have been within your rights. And a lot of people would."

"Not me."

"No. But when you said nothing, acted like it never happened, I..."

"Got scared." Chris didn't need to answer that. The truth of the
statement was written all over his face. He shrugged dismissively,
avoiding looking at his partner. Sam settled himself back down beside him
with a sigh. "Me too," he admitted, and Chris had to appreciate how much
that admission would have cost him. "Can we start again?"

"What do you suggest?" asked Chris, his mouth dry.


As kisses went, it was short, tentative and rather passionless. Chris
remedied that on the next kiss, sliding one hand up into Sam's hair to pull
him closer and teasing Sam's lips with his tongue until he was permitted
access. Much better. Much, much better. Sam's mouth was hot and wet and
sweet. He could taste the lingering flavour of the one glass of wine Sam
had permitted himself to have with lunch, once they'd known that they
wouldn't be called back on duty. It complemented the taste of his partner
very well. He plundered that mouth to his heart's content, Sam not
protesting as he took his time. Kissing a man was very different to
kissing a woman. Not necessarily better in Chris' opinion, and definitely
not worse, but different. The taste, for one thing, and the way that his
stubble brushed against you while your mouths mated. Very different.
Kissing Sam, though, was something else entirely.

Chris finally released Sam's mouth with a small, satisfied sigh. From the
slightly glazed look in his partner's eyes, he assumed that Sam had also
enjoyed the experience. They should talk, he knew. Talk about what had
happened, about why Sam had changed his mind. But he'd been so miserable
the last three weeks in those few quiet periods when he'd had time to do
anything but his job. He was tired of feeling miserable, tired of feeling
lonely. Tired of not having Sam. It wasn't just sex he wanted, he wanted
it of course, but he also wanted to feel close to Sam again, to feel that
everything was going to be okay.

Sam was watching him, a little nonplussed at his silence. He shifted his
position until he was facing his partner, twisting awkwardly on the bed to
do so. It didn't get him close enough. Right now he wanted every inch of
his body pressed against Sam's, but he had a distinct feeling that if he
threw him down on the bed that for all his vaunted control Sam would freak
out. Although Sam had initiated this encounter, he was tuned enough into
him that he could feel the undercurrent of nervousness within the
Englishman. So slow and steady was the key, not that Chris was objecting.
He'd fantasised enough about this moment that he wanted to savour every

He rose to his feet, pulling Sam up along with him. Sam looked bemused by
this change in position, but appeared content to let Chris take the
initiative. They stood staring at each other for a long moment, before
Chris reached up and traced down the side of Sam's face with one finger.
It was a gentle touch, having little to do with sex and heat, and it made
Sam's eyes widen for a second. Chris wanted to linger, to say something
but some innate sense that now was not the time kept him quiet. Sam had
not reacted particularly well the last time he'd opened his heart, and the
last thing he wanted to do now was spook his partner. Instead, he let his
hands and eyes say what he couldn't.

He took his time in easing the open shirt off Sam's shoulders, running his
palms lightly down Sam's chest, enjoying the feel of the crisp hairs under
his hands, and then back up over his shoulders. Finally he slid the shirt
down his partner's arms where it fell to the floor in a whisper of silk.
He held Sam's gaze for the entire time, only lowering his eyes to look at
his friend's, his soon to be lover's body once it was bare to his hungry
eyes. He was beautiful - there was no other word for it, all hard muscles
and smooth skin, a lean, fit body built for speed and action. Sam shifted
slightly under his stare, a little embarrassed by the open admiration on
Chris' face. While modesty was not one of Sam's strong points, he was not
used to being admired by a man, least of all his own partner. 

Chris grinned at him, aware of his discomfort and a little amused by it.
He'd known Sam for two years, watched him chat up numerous women, and be
successful more often than not, and yet he'd never seen any of them get
under Sam's skin, make him nervous or ill at ease. Yet a little
appreciation on his part and Sam seemed to be as tongue tied as a virgin
teenager. It was an odd sensation, knowing that he could affect his cool
colleague like that, ruffle that self-control a little. But he didn't want
Sam nervous, not tonight, not if he had any chance of making this last
longer than a night. Sam didn't give up control easily, and was unlikely
to want to be reminded if it was wrested from him.

He leant closer to press his lips lightly against Sam's. After the
previous kiss this one was almost chaste in comparison, but held a world of
promise. He pulled back slightly, meeting Sam's eyes again, and got a
small smile. Reassured he proceeded to worship Sam's body with his hands
and mouth. He kissed and nibbled his way down Sam's chin, moving on to
nipping at Sam's neck and shoulder, feeling the shudders running through
his lover when he hit a particularly sensitive spot. Each time he did, he
filed it away in his memory, hoping that he would have another chance to
put what he learned to use.

He stroked his fingers over old scars and more recent ones. An old wound
in Sam's left shoulder, a bullet wound by the looks of it, small calibre
and no doubt a remnant of his partner's MI6 days. Followed his fingers
with his mouth, moving down Sam's arm to a more recent scar, also a bullet
wound, a memory of a sniper's bullet on the island of Nomine Patri. Chris
had been there that time, had bandaged his partner's arm, wanting then to
say something and knowing it was not the time or place.

Back up his partner's arm and stroking down his chest, his fingers
deliberately light and teasing, skirting deliberately around Sam's nipples
and fluttering down towards his groin, before moving back up again. Down
the other arm, again following his fingers with his mouth. No scars this
time, although the fingers of Sam's right hand showed the calluses that
came with the use of weaponry. He sucked Sam's index finger into his
mouth, meeting his partner's eyes for the first time since his explorations
began as Sam gasped, his pupils dilating at the sensation.

He took pity on him, releasing the digit and placing a gentle kiss on Sam's
palm before returning back up his arm to his chest. This time he let his
mouth have full rein, using his tongue to flick over Sam's muscles and
drawing first one then the other of Sam's nipples into his mouth to be
licked and sucked to hard points.

Sam was panting heavily now, his hands resting on Chris' head as the
American moved downwards, to keep him there or to hold himself up, Chris
wasn't sure. Chris moved ever downwards, kissing and licking. He swirled
his tongue around his partner's navel before following the dark line of
hair to the top of Sam's pants, his fingers moving to the top button.
Before he had a chance to investigate further, Sam's hands were on his
arms, pulling him upwards with bruising intensity. For a second Chris
thought he'd gone too far, that his partner had had a sudden change of
heart, and then Sam's lips met his, almost as bruising. There was nothing
tentative about this kiss, as his partner devoured his mouth until Chris
could swear he saw stars. After an eternity, Sam released his mouth and
pressed his forehead against the American's, his eyes closed and breathing
heavily. And then it was his turn to explore, pulling Chris' shirt over
his head so that he could have free rein.

If Sam's hands were slightly more hesitant than Chris' had been Chris
couldn't blame him. He presumed that this was a new experience for Sam
after all. However, he was pleased to discover that Sam's hesitancy didn't
last long, although perhaps pleased wasn't quite the right word, he
thought, as the feel of Sam's lips against a particularly sensitive spot on
his collarbone wrenched a gasp out of him. He could feel Sam's lips curve
up slightly against his skin in a smile as he registered Chris' reaction
before his partner moved on.

Each part of his upper body was catalogued with Sam's trademark
thoroughness, which might have been off-putting in other circumstances.
However, in these circumstances it was all Chris could do to remain
standing upright as his level of arousal increased with each feather light
touch. It felt as though Sam's hands were scorching a path across his body
for all they barely seemed to graze his skin. And where his mouth touched
was agony and ecstasy combined. Ecstasy because it was Sam's mouth on his
skin, and agony because those touches were so brief and he wanted more. 

If he'd had any doubt that his partner was psychic they were banished when
Sam's teeth fastened on the juncture of his shoulder and neck and nipped
hard. It was followed by a slow sucking pressure that threatened to drive
him to his knees, only Sam's hands on his hips holding him up. He dragged
his hands up Sam's back, burying them in his partner's hair and pulling
Sam's head up. As his tongue mated once again with Sam's, Sam's hands
moved round from his hips to his behind, pulling Chris hard against him.
For a long moment they rocked against each other, the hardness at Chris'
groin matched by a similar one at Sam's, before Chris reluctantly broke
their kiss.

He stepped away from Sam, his hands once again moving to the fastenings of
Sam's trousers. This time Sam didn't stop him, meeting his eyes calmly.
Chris moved his hands into the top of Sam's trousers, sliding them down
over his hips down to the floor. There he hit a problem - Sam's shoes.
For a second he just stared at them, before he raised his head to grin at
Sam. Catching his partner slightly off balance he rose to his feet and
pushed Sam in the chest, just hard enough to get his partner sitting down
on the edge of the bed, and startling a brief laugh out of the Englishman.
Now he could remove Sam's shoes and socks and pull his trousers off. 

He rose triumphantly to his feet to find Sam still smiling at him. He
couldn't help it - he had to kiss him again. It was just as sweet as the
last time. He was leaning in for another kiss when Sam leant forward and
placed a kiss on his abdomen just to the left of his navel, rubbing his
face lightly across Chris's stomach. The feeling of Sam's stubble against
his over-sensitised skin was electric. Chris was still reeling from that
sensation when he realised that his partner was following his lead, and
undoing his pants. Since he'd shed his own footwear, Sam didn't face the
same problems he had, and before long his jeans were pooled beside Sam's
trousers. What did surprise him was that Sam didn't stop there, easing his
hands inside Chris' boxer shorts and sliding those down over his slim hips
too. For a long moment Sam just stared at his erection, before reaching up
to stroke it, forcing a gasp from Chris as the American found himself
thrusting gently into Sam's grip.

Too soon. Chris eased himself free of Sam's fingers, and leant down to
kiss his partner again, this time hard and hungrily. He slid his own hands
down Sam's back and into the top of his underwear, easing it off as Sam
raised his hips slightly. And then he was finally pushing Sam back onto
the bed, only taking his lips from Sam's when Sam wriggled out from
underneath him and scooted backwards up the bed. There was a look of
blatant invitation in Sam's eyes that he couldn't resist, and he soon
joined his partner on the bed, settling his body on top of the Englishman's
and kissing him again.

He explored Sam's body again with his hands and mouth, concentrating on the
areas he's missed or skirted before, dipping his tongue into Sam's navel
just to feel his partner squirm beneath him. He kissed the insides of
Sam's knees, nibbled on his ankles and the inside of his thighs and licked
along the soft skin at the juncture of his thigh and torso. By the time he
was finished Sam was breathing heavily and sweating slightly, filling the
air with his musky scent, lovely in Chris' opinion.

He took pity on his partner, finally turning his attention to Sam's rampant
cock. His partner was uncircumcised, something Chris had never come across
and it fascinated him. Like most American males of a certain age Chris was
circumcised and his other two male lovers had been as well. He let his
curiosity have full rein, stroking Sam's member lovingly, and sliding the
foreskin back slightly to let his tongue slide over the head. Sam bucked
under him with a strangled cry and that encouraged Chris to continue.

He paid as much attention to Sam's erection as he had to the rest of his
partner's body, alternatively licking, nuzzling and sucking until Sam was
almost writhing beneath him, moaning softly. He cupped Sam's balls in his
hand, rolling them gently in his palm and listening to Sam's gasps as he
did so. When he felt that Sam was close to climax, he released him, moving
up his body to capture his mouth again. He wanted more than Sam coming in
his mouth.

Sam rocked beneath him, running his hands up and down his back, and then
his partner was rolling the pair of them over and landed on top of him,
taking charge. If Chris had thought him beautiful before, it couldn't
compare with the sight of his partner flushed and aroused, pinning him to
the bed, his eyes bright with desire and his hair tousled and hanging into
his face. Something of that must have shown in his face, because Sam
grinned wickedly at him and kissed him hard.

Payback was a bitch, Chris thought as Sam explored his body with the same
thoroughness as he had Sam's. In fact Sam showed only the briefest of
hesitations before taking him into his mouth much as he had for Sam. He'd
always suspected that Sam would be a good lover, since none of his
girlfriends appeared dissatisfied, but it would appear that he was a
generous one as well, willing to give Chris pleasure in whatever way Chris
desired. Of course it was too soon to suggest what he really wanted, so
Chris contented himself with grabbing his partner and dragging him up to
kiss him again, tasting his own pre-cum on Sam's lips.

He rolled them over again so that he was on top, having delayed his climax
too long. Sam gasped again when he felt Chris' erection rubbing hard and
hot against his own. Chris pinned him against the bed, thrusting urgently
against him and continuing to plunder his mouth, only releasing his lips
when Sam surged up against him with a cry and came, his eyes wide. Chris
held him as the aftershocks of his orgasm shook his body, before commencing
the slow thrusting that had him, too, close to the edge.

He was so close as he stared down into Sam's still glazed eyes, needing
just a little more to drive him over the edge. Sam instinctively gave him
that 'more', sliding his hand between their semen and sweat slick bodies
and grasping him firmly, allowing Chris to thrust into his fist. It was
enough. Chris finally came, his eyes closing and his body tensing as his
seed flowed over Sam's hand, before collapsing against Sam's body.

They lay there, twined together with Chris' leg thrown over Sam's, Chris
placing mindless little kisses on Sam's chest and Sam stroking his back
until their breathing calmed and their heart rates slowed. Finally Chris
couldn't keep silent anymore.

"Is this a one night stand?" he asked without looking up at his partner,
not daring to in case there was pity in his eyes, for all that Sam didn't
give 'pity fucks'.

There was a short pause before Sam replied, his voice carefully neutral.
"Do you want it to be?"

"No," he whispered.

"Then it's not."

Could it really be that easy? he wondered. Ask and ye shall receive? Sam
shifted uncomfortably beneath him. "Sorry," he murmured. "Am I heavy?"

"No," answered Sam, "but I really need that shower now." Chris shifted
slightly, becoming aware of the cooling stickiness between them and the
lingering smell of sweat in the air.

"Yeah," he said a little smugly. "You do." That earned him a swat on the
backside before Sam eased out from under him and headed towards the small
bathroom. "Sam..." he called after him. Sam paused in the bathroom and
looked back at him quizzically. "I meant what I said, the other night."

A short pause and then Sam gave him a slight smile. "So did I," he
replied, before turning and heading into the bathroom, leaving Chris alone
with his own thoughts.

What it Sam had said? Something about caring more for Chris than he did
for any other person. Was it enough?

It was going to have to be.

The End

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