Title: Parameters

Series: Yes - the fifth in the Conversations series, sequel to 'The Morning
After the Night Before'
Genre: New Professionals
Author: Alyse   

Archive: CI5 Operational Control, Britslash and Rareslash, 
web-site http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~alys4/newprof 

Category: Curtis/Keel.
Rating: NC17

Spoilers/Warnings: No spoilers, and no warnings 

Summary: Chris' turn to reflect on their relationship after three months

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. 


Parameters


by Alyse


Sam was eyeing up a blonde this morning. I don't think he did it
consciously but he was definitely giving her the once over. We were on a
stakeout, sitting comfortably at an outside table on one of those
boulevards of the type that Sam loves about Paris, which made a nice change
from a cramped car like the one we're in now, and she walked past. She was
just his type. Tall, blonde, leggy and gorgeous, and I think his eyes just
automatically followed her. When he realised I'd noticed he flushed and
apologised. It was sweet actually, if such a word could be applied to my
partner. I didn't mind much, as long as he looks and doesn't touch. I
told him I expected him to be faithful, not dead. He smiled a little at that.

Faithfulness. One of Sam's 'ground rules'. He set them after our first
night together. I was so pleased that we *were* together I would have
agreed to anything. To tell the truth, I don't have a problem with them.
Most of them were pretty much what I would have expected and I think the
only reason that Sam insisted on spelling them out is so that he could feel
that he retained some control. Sam's big on control. I don't mean over
me. He's never tried to control me, either professionally or personally,
and I wouldn't stand for it if he tried, he knows that. I mean that our
professional lives are such a careening out of control mess most of the
time that he feels that he needs some control in his personal life. Maybe
that's why he doesn't like letting people close. Except me. So the
'ground rules' thing didn't really surprise me.

Okay, the faithfulness thing surprised me. So did the six months thing.
The rest - work first, we don't fool around on missions, we don't do
anything to draw attention to ourselves and piss Malone off, yadda, yadda.
As far as faithfulness goes, I protested that I had no intention of being
unfaithful, and he asked, "And what was the name of that woman you were
seeing the same time as Amanda? Susan? Sarah?" He never could remember
the names of my girlfriends, except Amanda and she was tall, blonde, leggy
and gorgeous so she was bound to stick in his memory.

"Sasha," I replied. "And that was different."

"Different how?" He was sprawled on the bed, I remember, naked but for the
sheet pulled up to his waist, still glowing slightly in that postcoital
haze and grinning at me. 

"It wasn't serious and I didn't love either of them." That wiped the smile
off his face. Thinking about that still hurts a bit. I've learnt the hard
way not to mention the 'l' word around Sam. He gets that haunted and
hunted look in his eyes. I live with it only because I'm waiting for the
day that I can say it to him without him thinking that I'm about to rip his
heart out of his chest. "Faithfulness I can handle," I told him, hiding
the hurt. "I'm just a little surprised is all."

"Surprised why?"

"Didn't think it would be your thing." 

I definitely remember the glare he gave me then. He was seriously pissed
at me. "Let me get this right. I'm to rest assured that you will be
faithful to me, but I'll probably be after anything in a skirt?"

I shrugged I think, and told him simply, "I don't want anyone else. But
you? Well, you might be right about the skirt thing, with the emphasis on
skirt."

He didn't say anything for a long time, but I don't think he was pissed
anymore. He was giving me one of those searching looks I get when he wants
to know what I'm up to rather than one of his 'one more word and I'll tear
your head off, Keel' looks he gives me when I've annoyed him. That happens
more frequently than you'd think and it's not always accidental. Finally
he said, "I knew what I was getting into Chris. I won't be chasing
anything while we're together." Woo-hoo. Commitment. Get him to say the
'l' word and I'll be floating for a month. And yes, I know sarcasm is the
lowest form of wit - Sam tells me that frequently, usually when I've been
sarcastic about him.

Now the six months thing scares even me. My cool, logical, controlled
partner has it all worked out. If we last six months we are officially
serious, in his mind at least. And once we are serious, given the caveats
attached to CI5's fraternisation rules, we have to inform the powers that
be. In other words we tell Malone. We've been together over three months
now. I think I'd be terrified if there wasn't this nasty little voice in
my mind that keeps whispering to me that come five and a half months Sam is
going to decide that he's given me all he can reasonably be expected to
give me, and it's Sayonara Keel. I try to ignore it. It's easier during
the day, when I'm with Sam and he seems, to me at least, as easy with me as
he's ever been. It's harder at night when I'm alone, and that happens more
often than not. We lost six agents on the last drugs cartel operation, two
dead and four out with injury. With our workload recently Sam's no sex on
missions rule is looking less and less attractive, even to him. So much
so, in fact, that I got him to break it last night.

Just thinking about that makes me smile. He didn't take that much
persuading once I'd pointed out that while we were *technically* on
assignment, it could also be said that since we had handed surveillance for
the evening over to Team Two we were *technically* off-duty, at least for
the night. And besides, we hadn't had sex for over a week and I was horny,
and he knew how distracted I got when I was horny.

He gave in at that point, laughing and saying that we couldn't have that,
could we? It's at times like last night that I know why I love him, and I
don't just mean the sex, although that's pretty damn fantastic. I mean,
it's like that's the only time he feels safe enough to let his guard down,
and I can see how perfect it would be if he could let it down all of the
time. Will be. I have to believe it will be, that it's a matter of time
and not just a possibility that will never come to be.

Instead of concentrating on our assignment my mind keeps wandering to last
night, and is it any wonder? It was fucking fantastic. Actually, it was
fantastic fucking. Technically, the first time for us, and the first time
ever for Sam, well with a man anyway. We'd been working up to it for a
while, skirting around the subject, and finally I'd had enough skirting and
came straight out and asked him. Him in me, not the other way around. I
don't think he's quite ready for that yet. I thought I may have pushed too
far too fast as it was, but he was remarkably agreeable. And remarkably
adept.

It had been a while for me, and it wasn't something I'd done a lot of
anyway, so it was a little uncomfortable at first, but he was slow and
careful, which was a pleasant surprise, and it wasn't long before I was
really enjoying myself. Really, really enjoying myself. And he did too,
maybe more than he expected. He held me for a long time afterwards as
well. Not that he doesn't normally hold me, because he does, but this was
different somehow. We just cuddled up together, my back to his chest, and
he held me, pressing these little kisses on my back and shoulders
occasionally, until I fell asleep. It's at times like that I think that
maybe we do have a future together.

I asked him how he knew what to do this morning when we were still snuggled
up together in bed, and he gave me that look, the one that says he was
wondering when I'd ask and what took me so long. And then he grinned at
me, and rather sheepishly admitted that he'd done some research. I think
I probably looked as astonished as I felt. He just shrugged, and still
grinning explained that since he was a bit of a novice at all this, and
since he knew that sooner or later I'd bring the subject up, me not being
the patient sort and all, he thought he'd better do some reading around the
subject. I just stared at him, trying to find my voice, and then I asked
him, "Where?" I had this vision of him sneaking into Waterstones for a
copy of 'The Joy of Gay Sex' or something.

He smirked at me. "Modern technology has its benefits, Chris." It took me
a second to cotton on.

"The internet? You looked it up on the internet?" I still don't know why
that surprised me. It's just typically Sam - reading around the subject no
matter what the subject is. And then I just got this picture in my head of
him sitting at his desktop, that little crease between his brows he gets
when he's really concentrating, surfing gay porn, and then I wondered if he
took notes, and that was it - I cracked up. "Oh please," I managed to gasp
out between laughs. "Please tell me that you didn't do it in the office."

He gave me a mock wounded look. "I'm not that stupid, Chris." He paused
and grinned. "Although it might just have been worth it just to see
Backup's face next time she reviews the access logs." That cracked me up
further.

"Find any good sites?" I teased him once I'd calmed down enough to be
capable of speech. He smirked at me.

"One or two interesting ones," he replied. "And let me say now that there
are some things we are *never* going to do!"

I thought of teasing him further, something along the lines of never say
never, but decided discretion is the better part of valour, and kept my
mouth shut. I did ask him if he'd bookmarked them though.

"Yeah," he said. "And even better - I know Spencer's log-on password."
That cracked us both up. I mean, Spencer's a good guy and all, but he can
be a little anal at times, and this coming from a guy who has Sam as a
partner. Not that I'd have any one else as my partner, and especially not
now.

"Thanks," I said. I think he was surprised, because he did that one
eyebrow raised thing he does.

"For?"

"Caring enough to look it up." For once talking seriously didn't freak him.

"Wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing," he said, and just the tone
in his voice made me want him again. It was soft and intense at the same
time. "I wanted it to be good."

"It was," I told him, and I meant it. And while we were on the subject...
"Can we do it again?" I asked hopefully. He groaned, and muttered
something about a kid in a candy store. I took that as a yes, although as
always work called, and since we would *technically* be on-duty soon, I
knew I had a snowball's chance in hell of getting him to ravish again me
then. Still there's hope for the future...

"What are you smirking about?"

Sam's voice interrupts my reverie. I grin at him, I hope lecherously.
"Guess." He rolls his eyes, but for once doesn't make a smart-arse comment
about work coming first. I just sit and watch him for a while, while he
leans on the steering wheel and stares intently at the warehouse in the
back streets of Paris that we've been assigned to watch. Gunrunners or
suspected ones anyway. Routine, run of the mill destruction and mayhem -
meat in the sandwich to CI5. 

He's beautiful, and I can't get my fill of him. If only I could shake this
feeling that it won't last because nothing in my life ever does. Suddenly
he looks at me, and out of the blue he gives me one of those heart-stopping
smiles of his. Before I have a chance to even smile back, dazzled as I am,
he's all business again.

"I think they're on the move," he says, nodding towards the large double
doors, which are indeed starting to crack open. "Ready?"

"As I'll ever be," I say, and get another quick smile, a normal one this
time. I grab my weapon and with a quick exchange of nods we're on the move.

Maybe, just maybe...

The End


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