Title: Terms of Endearment
Series: Yes - the seventh in the Conversations series, sequel to 'Trust'
Author: Alyse 
Archive: CI5 Operational Control
(http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~alys4/newprof), Britslash and Rareslash
Category: Curtis/Keel.
Rating: NC17

Spoilers/Warnings: No spoilers. And surprisingly little angst for me

Summary: Erm... The title says it all, really.

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, as always :).


Terms of Endearment



by Alyse


Sam was already reading his way through the material that Backup, in her
normal efficient manner, had provided within a matter of hours. For once
there was no urgency in the situation; well, there was urgency, but it was
of the 'you leave first thing tomorrow morning' type rather than the 'your
plane leaves in half an hour' type, which made a pleasant change. So there
was time for a meal, and some sleep, both of which Chris hated to go
without. 'First things first though,' he thought, heading towards Sam's
kitchen with a mission in mind. Sam had started to stock his favourite
brand of beer even before the two of them became romantically involved,
although he wasn't sure that 'romantic' could be a description applied to
his partner. Over the last few months he'd come to the conclusion that
although Sam may not feel as deeply for him as he did for Sam, his partner
did care for him a lot. And for the moment, Chris was content to let
things take their course.

"I'm getting a beer," he yelled back over his shoulder to Sam. "Want one,
baby?"

There was a stunned silence from behind him, and when Chris returned to the
spacious main room, Sam stared at him with a look of complete astonishment.
"What did you just call me?" he asked.

Oh oh. Definitely in trouble for that one. He hadn't thought, that was
the problem. The word had just popped out, probably because he used to
call Annie the exact same thing. His eyes searched Sam's face, looking for
clues as to just how much trouble he was in. There were still areas of
their relationship that were marked as strictly off limits and he wasn't
sure if he'd just crossed one of those invisible lines. Sometimes being
involved with Sam was like walking through a minefield. Much as he loved
the man he had to admit that Sam could turn from warm to ice in seconds if
he felt threatened.

"Baby?" continued Sam mildly. "Chris, don't call me that." Chris
suppressed a sigh of relief. Perhaps he'd escape with his skin intact.
Sam's next words surprised him, they were so calm. "Makes me feel like I
should be wearing a giant nappy - sorry - diaper."

Chris leered at him. "You know, some people get off on things like that."

"Please tell me you're not one of them," Sam said looking at him evenly.
Chris just grinned back at him lecherously, causing Sam to roll his eyes.

"What would be acceptable?" asked Chris, genuinely interested in the turn
the conversation had taken now that he knew he was going to survive this.
He took a swig of beer, moving closer to where Sam lounged on the sofa,
barefooted and comfortable. The bruises from Tennessee had healed
completely now, and about the only lingering effect seemed to be that Sam
was still a little nervous in completely closed in spaces. However, Chris
had the feeling that he was the only one of their colleagues aware of that.
Sam hid what he was really feeling very well, and he had to admit that
even he hadn't noticed much amiss in the last week or so. At the moment,
Sam looked completely relaxed and at ease, and was not paying a great deal
of attention to him.

"Mmm?"

"If baby's not acceptable, what would be?"

"I'd be tempted to say almost anything, but knowing what you're likely to
come up with that could be dangerous," replied Sam, his attention now
focused back on the A4 pad he'd been making notes in. Now that sounded
like a challenge.

"Honeybuns?" he suggested.

"Yes, that's worse," agreed Sam without looking up.

"Sweetcheeks?" That got a grunt of disapproval. "Possum?"

"Who are you, Dame Edna?"

"Cutie pie?"

"Call me that and die."

"Sweetheart?" asked Chris, the tone of his voice changing from teasing to
something more intense, catching Sam's attention. Chris was now leaning on
the back of the couch with a look in his grey eyes that sent shivers down
Sam's spine.

"That would be more acceptable," he replied cautiously. Chris smiled
softly, still with that intense look in his eyes.

"Beloved?"

"A little old fashioned maybe, but still acceptable."

"Love?"

"Have I ever protested when you've called me that before?"

"I've only called you that once before, and I thought you were asleep."
Sam couldn't look him in the face anymore - it was getting too intense.
Instead he turned his attention back to his notes, underlining a few words
to cover his nervousness. "Acceptable?" prompted Chris, aware that for
once he had the upper hand and not willing to let it slip this time.

"Acceptable," replied Sam, straining to keep his voice nonchalant. There
was a long silence, which grated on Sam's nerves. When he looked up at
Chris again, his partner was looking at him with an expression that could
only be described as 'soppy'. "What?" he asked.

Chris gave him a whimsical little smile. "Light of my life?" he asked
lightly. "Other half of my soul? The reason for my existence?"

"Now you're just getting silly," interjected Sam before his lover got any
mushier. Chris' smile only widened.

"You don't mind when I get silly," he replied, his voice certain. Sam
merely looked at him without commenting, before returning his attention
back to his pad. When he finally spoke his voice was soft and even.

"No, I don't. It's one of the things I love about you."

It took Chris a minute to process the words and realise what his partner
had just said. It took another minute for him to find his voice. He
reckoned it would take a lifetime to wipe the smile off his face. He
struggled to find something to say, something that wouldn't increase the
tension evident in Sam's body, for all that his lover had kept his voice
and face almost expressionless while making his admission. Eventually he
decided that it would be safer to say nothing at all. Instead he leant
over the back of the couch, caught Sam's chin in his hand, tilting his face
towards him and gave the other man a long, satisfying kiss.

"What do you want for dinner?" he asked when he finally released Sam,
keeping his voice deliberately light. The decision to change the subject
appeared to be a wise one.

"You're going to cook?" demanded Sam, his tone deliberately flabbergasted,
but obviously relieved that Chris was not pushing him. Some of the tension
was already easing from his body.

"Nah," replied Chris, unable to resist teasing his partner just a little.
"I think one of us having a complete personality change in an evening is
enough. I'm going to order takeout."

Sam snorted. "Don't know then. Chinese?"

"I was thinking pizza," said Chris. Now he knew Sam's real feelings, he
was prepared to push a little. His suggestion got the disgusted look he'd
expected, but for once Sam didn't argue.

"Okay," he said, both his tone and the expression on his face long suffering.

"Must be love," Chris shot back, grinning, "if you're prepared to eat
pizza." Sam was still staring at that blasted pad, but his ears went a
little pink. It didn't take his partner long however, to recover his
vaunted equilibrium.

"Must be," he replied urbanely. "But if you order anchovies on it, it's
over Keel."


Chris didn't push his luck any further, grabbing the phone book and
ordering a large pepperoni pizza from the nearest Domino's. When he'd
placed the order he moved back to the couch, standing in front of it this
time. Sam looked up at him quizzically when he blocked his light.

"Be about forty five minutes," he explained. Sam nodded again, glancing
once more at his notes. "What are we going to do until then?" Chris
continued.

"Read up on our case," replied Sam, frowning slightly as he looked up at
him. Chris just grinned back. Sam sighed. "Work before play, Chris.
Remember?"

Chris reached down and snatched the pad from Sam's hand, flinging it over
the back of the sofa, ignoring Sam's startled look. "You finally got
around to telling me you love me, Curtis," said Chris, moving to straddle
his partner. "You can't expect me to spend the next forty five minutes
reading files." They stared at each other for a long moment before Sam
relented.

"Guess not," he said with a smile, flinging his pen after the pad and
pulling Chris down on top of him. "What did you have in mind?" 

Chris decided to demonstrate what was on his mind by kissing him
thoroughly. He couldn't get his fill of kissing Sam, didn't get to kiss
him enough. Before, during and after sex usually, and seldom at other
times. The small part of his brain that was still capable of rational
thought wondered whether that would change now. The rest of his brain was
taken up with processing the feeling of Sam's lips against him, Sam's
tongue stroking along his and the gentle undulations of Sam's body against
his as his partner rocked against him. By the time he pulled back they
were both panting slightly, and Sam's face had that flushed and aroused
look about it that did nothing to ease Chris' own level of need. God, his
partner was attractive when he was turned on. And there was no doubt that
Sam was turned on. Chris could feel the Englishman's arousal pressed
against his thigh through their clothing. Definitely turned on. To test
this theory further Chris shifted position, rubbing himself against Sam
experimentally and forcing a moan from both of them.

Sam's hands were on the move, stroking down his back and then up under the
loose top he wore, drawing it up over his head. It looked as though Sam
was intent on getting them both naked as quickly as possible, and Chris had
no problem with that. He sat up slightly and moved his own hands to the
fastenings of Sam's shirt, popping the buttons free one by one. When Sam's
body was free to his gaze he bent his head and began a slow exploration of
his lover's body with his mouth.

It wasn't long before Sam was writhing beneath him as he slowly drove him
mad, each nip and lick forcing another moan out of his partner. Sam's
whole body was flushed now as Chris dove unerringly for all of the hotspots
he'd discovered on previous forays. Before too long, Sam had reached the
end of his endurance, and surged up underneath him, twisting the pair of
them so that now Sam was on top, his weight pressing the American's body
into the couch.

If Chris was expecting an all out assault, payback for his tormenting of
his lover, he was surprised. Instead of launching himself at the ex-Navy
SEAL, Sam contented himself with gazing down at him for a moment, his face
peaceful, before he leant down and gently captured Chris' lips with his
own. Chris had no problem with that either. 

There was less urgency now, the heat between them building more slowly as
Sam released Chris' mouth with a satisfied sigh and began kissing his way
gently down Chris' body, almost as though he were worshiping him with his
mouth. Chris lay there stunned, his heart pounding in his chest, and not
just from arousal. This was so different from the Sam he knew, this almost
diffident gentleness so very different from the 'Sam' he was permitted to
see that for a moment Chris' heart showed clearly in his eyes. And when
Sam looked up and caught his gaze, for once it didn't seem to frighten the
Englishman. Instead his mouth curled up in a slight smile and he moved
upwards to catch Chris' mouth again.

Chris deepened the kiss, now longer content with gentleness, delving deeply
into his lover's mouth. The heat flared suddenly between them, burning
brighter with each thrust and suck of their tongues and Chris moaned
helplessly. His hand snaked down Sam's body, sliding into the waistband of
his jeans. When the tightness of the clothing prevented him from getting
any further, he pulled his hand free and, one-handed, fumbled the
fastenings open. The other hand was buried in Sam's hair as he continued
to plunder his lover's mouth.

Finally he was able to grasp Sam's erection, feeling the other man surge
against him as he did so. Sam pulled back from kissing him and buried his
head in Chris' shoulder moaning softly as the American began to stroke him
firmly. Chris eased back slightly so that he could see what he was doing,
alternating between watching Sam and watching what his hand was doing to
Sam. He dragged his thumbnail lightly over the end of Sam's cock, feeling
the shudders that ran through Sam's body as he did so.

"Stop," gasped Sam, grasping his wrist and pulling his hand away. Chris
stared at him perplexed as Sam raised his head from his shoulder. "I want
you," Sam explained.

"You have me," replied Chris simply.

Sam shook his head, his normal savoir-faire almost completely gone in the
heat of passion. "In me," he elaborated. "I want you in me."

Chris gaped at him, his heart pounding again. They hadn't tried that since
Tennessee. He'd wanted to but they'd barely been able to spend any quality
time together since then. And while he hadn't thought Sam would be
entirely averse to the idea, he had believed that his lover would need more
time to get used to the idea, to actually admit to himself that he enjoyed
it, and that he wanted more. Yet here was Sam asking, almost begging for a
repetition, and Chris was more than happy to oblige. Some vague thought
about gift horses flitted through his mind, driven out almost immediately
by the sudden rush of heat to his groin. The surge of arousal had him
struggling to breathe.

Then the doorbell rang. Unbelievable. He was tempted to ignore it, but he
had a sinking feeling it wouldn't go away. "Shit," he growled. "Hold onto
that thought." He dragged Sam's face down for another kiss and then eased
himself out from underneath his partner. "I'll be right back," he promised.

He was true to his word, turning the pizza delivery girl away with a large
tip to hurry along the formalities and ignoring her giggles at his state of
undress, before bounding back up the stairs. He flung the pizza box down
onto the coffee table, and stalked towards where Sam lay sprawled on the
couch, naked intent in his eyes.

"What about the pizza?" teased Sam.

"Fuck the pizza."

Sam smirked. "I thought you were going to fuck something else," he shot
back. The comment had the remarkable effect of rendering Chris incapable
of more than a grunt. Sam had obviously been busy while he'd been paying
for the pizza, he noticed. There was a packet of condoms and a tube of
lubricant on the coffee table. Sam followed his eyes, and shrugged
slightly. "I want you now," he said simply in answer to the unspoken
question. Another burst of sheer lust went through the American, but this
time he found his voice.

"What happened to work first?" Sam met his eyes for a long moment, and
then shrugged again, sitting back up to peer over the back of the couch.

"If you insist," he said coolly, then 'oofed' as a rugby tackle from his
partner drove the air out of him. He couldn't help it. He started to
laugh, as much from happiness as the absurdity of the situation, lying
there half naked, pinned to the couch by his obviously aroused partner.
Chris sat up, quirking his eyebrow at him as he continued to snicker, his
expression a little put out. Sam got himself back under control with a
Herculean effort, but his eyes shone with a mixture of amusement and
affection, and after a second's pouting Chris smiled back.

"You're beautiful, you know?" Chris stated calmly, the unexpected comment
knocking Sam for six. "I've always thought that if I was a painter, I'd
paint you." Sam just stared at him, speechless. The amusement was gone
from his eyes, replaced by that same familiar flicker, only this time it
lasted long enough for Chris to recognise it for what it was -
vulnerability. The realisation sent a shiver through him, making him feel
strangely powerful for an instant. "You're beautiful," he reiterated, his
voice low and intense. "And you're mine."

"Yes," breathed Sam, reaching up to grab Chris' head and pull him down for
another kiss.


"I think you're wearing too many clothes," panted Chris when he finally
drew back.

"I think we both are." Sam had a point, and Chris sat up once more,
straddling Sam's thighs as he began pushing Sam's shirt off his partner's
shoulders. Sam raised himself up on his elbows to help him. "How do you
want to do this?" he asked. Chris paused, giving the question due
consideration.

"Hands and knees," he said eventually, his voice thoughtful. "Easier on
you that way." A brief hesitation then Sam nodded a little reluctantly.
"Better this way," soothed Chris.

"I know," replied Sam with a brief mirthless laugh. "It's just... It
makes me feel a little... vulnerable I suppose," he continued. "Not that I
don't trust you," he added hastily, heading off the frown forming on Chris'
face. "It's just..." His voice trailed off, and he shrugged, smiling
wryly at Chris.

"I know," answered Chris, and in a way he did, although he did wonder why
Sam would assume that he didn't have those same feelings of exciting unease
when their positions were reversed. "I won't hurt you... Well, not much.
It's going to be uncomfortable the first few times."

"I noticed," commented Sam dryly. Chris flashed him a quick smile.

"This way won't hurt as much, I promise." He hesitated, before his innate
sense of honour made him offer Sam a way out. "We don't have to do this,
Sam..."

"Stop now and I may be forced to shoot you." That earned Sam another
smile, and then Chris leant down again until his face was just inches from
Sam's.

"It will get better," he breathed. "And when it does..." he continued,
punctuating each phrase with a feather light kiss brushed against Sam's
face. "When it does, we can do this any way you want. Face to face. So I
can see you. Watch your face when I come inside you." He watched Sam's
pupils dilate at his words, and felt the shudder that ran through the
Englishman. His own body reacted to Sam's and he pressed himself against
the other man as he kissed him deeply again, drinking in his taste.

"I'm going to hold you to that," said Sam when they finally drew apart.
His voice was husky, and his eyes languid. Any unease he had been feeling
had obviously been eliminated by Chris' words, and he lifted his hips
towards the American, an invitation to remove the last barriers between
them. 

Chris picked up on this unspoken cue, pulling Curtis' jeans off with
practiced grace, before standing to remove his own remaining clothing while
Sam shrugged out of the rest of his. In a matter of moments it was skin
against skin, Sam sighing happily into his shoulder as he settled against
him. However, their arousal had been neglected for too long, and after one
more kiss Chris started to move down Sam's body, snagging the tube of
lubricant as he did so. Sam started to shift underneath him, rolling onto
his front until Chris placed a hand firmly on his hip and stopped him. Sam
frowned at him, confused.

"Impatient aren't you?" smiled Chris. Sam gave him an amused look, and
gestured to his erection.

"What do you think?"

"I've got to get you ready first," Chris explained. "No reason we can't do
that like this." Sam acquiesced, settling onto his back and letting Chris
raise one of his legs so that it was draped up onto the back of the sofa,
allowing Chris access.

Chris drew it out as long as he could, able to ignore his own urgent
arousal if it meant he could increase Sam's. He placed Sam's other leg
over his shoulder and bent to his task, circling his finger around and over
the puckered entrance to Sam's body, feeling his partner squirm with
mingled arousal and sensitivity. He blew heavily over Sam's erection,
before laving the underside with his tongue, and raising his head to flick
his tongue over the corona. Sam was moaning softly at the sensation, his
moans turning to a gasp as Chris opened his mouth and slid the end of Sam's
cock in. His finger mimicked the action, sliding into Sam's body as Chris
slid more of him into his mouth.

One finger became two as Chris concentrated on loosening Sam, scissoring
his fingers and making the Englishman ready for him. He maintained a
steady, sucking pressure on Sam's erection, driving him closer and closer
to the edge. When he felt that Sam was ready, two fingers became three,
and he scraped his nail over his lover's prostate. Sam bucked at the
sensation, driving more of himself down the American's throat, a low
keening sound driven from his own throat. Chris felt a sharp, painful
tugging on his hair as Sam attempted to pull him loose. He raised his
head, meeting Sam's wide, wild eyes, Sam's cock still in his mouth.

"Too close," Sam growled out warningly. "Chris..."

Chris released him briefly. "Trust me," he said. "Let go Sam." Then he
sucked Sam back into his mouth, enjoying the Englishman's shocked cry. Sam
began moaning his name over and over as Chris nudged the tip of a fourth
finger into him. Once more he scraped his fingertips over Sam's prostate,
this time deep-throating his partner and sucking hard. It was enough. Sam
came hard, his lover's name on his lips.

Chris released him and pulled himself up Sam's body, reaching down to kiss
the Englishman again and share his taste with him. He pulled back to stare
down into his lover's still dazed eyes. "Roll over, love," he said softly.
Sam complied, still dazed from his orgasm, his movements sluggish. Chris
gently pushed his thighs up underneath his body, spreading him as wide as
possible before reaching for a condom and tearing the wrapper off with his
teeth. He rolled it onto himself with quick, slick movements and smeared
himself with ample amounts of lubricant, before positioning himself at the
entrance to Sam's body. "Beautiful," he sighed again, running one hand
down Sam's back. "Love you," he whispered as he began easing his way into
his lover's tight heat.

He took his time this time, determined to minimise Sam's discomfort. His
thrusts were slow and careful, each a little deeper than the one before,
and while one hand held onto Sam's hip to hold the other man steady against
his invasion, the other roamed over Sam's body, stroking lightly over his
skin as he pressed gentle kisses against Sam's shoulder. Eventually he was
buried to the hilt in his lover's body, and he stayed there, giving Sam
time to adjust to his girth. When Sam moved back slightly against him, he
took this as a sign that the other man was ready, and resumed his slow,
careful thrusting. After a long moment, Sam spoke, his tone ragged and a
little impatient.

"I'm not going to break, Chris. I'm not made of glass."

"Sure?"

"If I decide otherwise I'll be sure to let you know. Probably loudly."

Chris had his doubts about that but kept his silence. Instead he moved his
free hand to Sam's other hip, grasping him firmly and surging into him.
Sam gasped, but pushed back into his thrust. A few more movements, and
then Sam moved his hands up onto the arm of the sofa, bracing himself
against it and using the leverage it provided to push back even harder into
him. Chris gave himself over to the pounding rhythm they were setting,
reassured that Sam did indeed want it hard and fast. A second later Sam
confirmed this by reaching back and grabbing one of Chris' hands from his
hip, moving it to his renewed erection before bracing himself against the
sofa again. Chris picked up on the hint, stroking Sam's cock in time to
his thrusts into Sam's body. He angled each movement to strike Sam's
prostate, once more pushing his lover towards climax.

Sam's sighs and moans became more ragged, mixed in with the odd curse word
when Chris hit the exact spot. Occasionally a muttered expression of love
would pass his lips too, but given that they were said in the heat of
passion Chris decided not to hold it against him. Finally, Sam threw back
his head and cried out his name again, spilling his seed over Chris' hand.
The convulsions of his lover's body around his own hardness dragged Chris
over the edge too, and he pulsed into Sam's tight heat, crying out his own
love. For a second they swayed in position, and then Chris collapsed on
top of Sam, pushing him down into the soft cushions of the sofa.

When Chris had recovered slightly and got his breath back, he eased himself
out of Sam, relieved that this time there was no evidence of blood on the
condom. He peeled it off and then settled himself behind Sam, pulling the
Englishman against him so that they lay spooned together, Sam's back
against his chest. "I like this couch," he murmured into Sam's hair.

"Hmm-mm."

"Nice and big."

"S'why I got it." There was a slight pause before Sam added
conversationally, "I haven't had sex on a sofa since I was nineteen."

"Lot of catching up to do then."

"I guess so."

There was such an air of smugness in that phrase that Chris had to laugh.
"Love you," he said again, kissing Sam's shoulder.

"So you said," muttered Sam. "Personally, I think that if you really loved
me, you'd be the one lying in the wet patch." Chris laughed again.

"Come on," he said, pulling his partner up into a sitting position before
reaching back and flipping the sofa cushion over. "Ta da," he said.
"Problem solved."

"I knew you'd have your uses," replied Sam sleepily, sinking back down onto
the sofa, and reaching up to pull Chris down with him. Chris pillowed his
head on Sam's shoulder, throwing his arm over his lover's waist and his leg
over Sam's. It was an unashamed cuddle, and he didn't feel the need to
apologise for it, not now, not when his nerves were almost singing with
contentment.

"Guess we should do some work," yawned Sam, squeezing Chris slightly,
cuddling him back.

"Guess so," replied Chris. Neither man made a move.

"Sod it," said Sam uncharacteristically. "We can read it on the plane."

"Guess so," agreed Chris pleasantly, snuggling up again just to feel Sam's
arms wrap more tightly around him. Pressed against Sam's body he could
feel when the other man gave up the unequal struggle and drifted into
sleep, his body relaxing and his breathing evening out.

Chris had waited five months, one week and five days to hear that his
partner returned his feelings. As he lay there in the warm afterglow of
their lovemaking, slowly sliding towards sleep himself, he was beginning to
think that he would have waited a lifetime.

The End

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