Series: Yes - the sixth in the Conversations series,
sequel to 'Parameters'
Genre: New Professionals
Archive: CI5 Operational
(http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~alys4/newprof), Britslash and
Spoilers/Warnings: No spoilers. Angst ahead (surprise,
Summary: A mission in Georgia goes awry, and it brings
Sam and Chris closer
Feedback: Yes please, to email@example.com. 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
It was damn hot in Georgia, unseasonably so, and Chris eased his
away from the small of his back, grimacing slightly. He
needed a cool
shower and a cold beer, not necessarily in that order.
Where the hell was
Curtis? With a sigh, he dragged his mobile phone out
of his jacket pocket
and hit the short dial, hoping he didn't catch his
partner in a bad mood.
CI5 had been requested to investigate
militia activities in the States in
light of fears that there may be
another Oklahoma bombing. Their search
had taken them to Georgia and to
the door of one Shepherd Davies, a figure
who was known locally to be
sympathetic to the right wing militias' cause.
While Chris was off
gathering further intel, Sam was keeping Davies under
They knew from watching for the last few days that Davies
had a set
pattern. Around six every evening he went to his local bar, got
and spouted a lot of right wing crap. Around eleven he got
thrown out and drove back to his home, weaving precariously the
and oblivious of the two CI5 agents trailing him. A couple of
this, and they'd got bored of watching him, aware of the fact
stuck out like a sore thumb in the closemouthed atmosphere of
favourite haunt. Instead they'd handed the evening surveillance
the local FBI, who at least had the accents right, and retired
rooms at the motel.
Six thirty and no sign of Curtis.
Keel had already admitted to himself
that he probably called Curtis
more frequently when they were apart than
the job required, partly
because the job was dangerous and he needed the
reassurance that his
lover was all right and partly because he just liked
voice. So far, Curtis hadn't called him on it, but it was
only a matter
of time. As he listened to the phone ringing with no answer,
wondered if this was Curtis' way of subtly telling him that he was
up with it.
Still ringing. No, Sam wouldn't do that, knowing
that it would worry the
hell out of Chris. If he were annoyed about it,
he'd tell him, not leave
him hanging here imagining the worst. Take him
to one side and tell him he
was making a fool of himself, and did Chris
want Malone to suspect the
change in their relationship before they
were ready to tell him? Chris
could hear the lecture in Sam's sardonic
voice in his mind, so vivid that
he would have smiled if he hadn't been
fighting down the panic that was
gripping his gut.
five and this was no joke. He disconnected the futile call, and
Sixteen hours and Sam was still missing. The longer he was missing
tenser Chris got. By now it didn't matter that Sam was a CI5
least as highly trained as Chris, or that he'd been one for
longer than the
American had. It didn't matter that he'd served in some
of the most
dangerous parts of the world and survived. All that
mattered was that his
lover was missing, and the longer he was missing
the less chance there was
of finding him alive. And that was tearing
Davies had gone to ground, and it looked as though he
had taken Sam with
him. Another of his cronies was also missing, the
FBI team watching him
having no idea when or how he'd slipped their
surveillance. They'd found
Sam's car not far from Davies' home, and
signs of a struggle, but no Sam.
A few drops of blood on the driver's
door, not enough to suggest serious
injury. Forensics were suggesting
that someone's head had been banged
against it. The blood group was
Inside Davies' house, sitting there in plain sight on
the dining table were
Sam's ID and his gun. A warning, Malone had
originally thought. A sign
that let them know that they had him. His
theory was that they were
probably keeping him as a hostage in case
they needed one. Chris couldn't
suppress the fear that it was not a
warning but a boast. 'Look here,
bagged me a CI5 agent.' Another CI5
assignment gone wrong, and it looked
more and more as though Sam was
paying the price for their most recent
hours and no demands, no word, nothing. Even Malone was beginning
lose hope. And the FBI were worse than useless. Keel had almost come
blows with one of their agents already. Only Backup injecting a note
sanity into the proceedings had prevented him. And now he was on
pilot, pushing all of his feelings down into the pit of his
allowing nothing more to show on the surface than a man
worried about his
partner and friend. Not lover. He couldn't show that,
not yet, maybe not
ever. Sam would kill him. Please god let Sam be
alive to kill him.
He was sitting in their temporary HQ, his head
buried in his hands,
desperately trying to think of something they'd
missed, some clue or hint
which would lead them to Sam when the call
came through to Malone. When he
heard Sam's name, he snapped to
attention. He watched his boss' face
avidly, searching for some clue as
to the situation, but Malone's face, as
usual, was giving nothing away
and listening to one side of the
conversation was not particularly
enlightening. He almost ignored his own
phone when it rang, terrified
of missing something, but his training kicked
in and the phone was up
to his ear, his voice automatically spitting out,
"Four five," before
he was even aware of it.
The relief that flooded through him when
he heard Sam's voice on the other
end was better than any drug could
be. He sank back into his chair, no
longer paying Malone any attention,
just letting the sound of his lover's
voice wash over him. Sam. Alive.
"Chris. You still there, mate?"
He found his
voice. "Yeah. You okay?"
"I'm fine. Bit battered around the edges,
but fine." Another surge of
relief, although he doubted he'd feel
completely satisfied until he could
see Sam with his own
"Where are you?"
"Tennessee, I think. I wasn't
in any position to pay too much attention.
Not much of a view of the
scenery from the boot of a car. Is Malone there?
We've got a
Chris glanced over at their boss again. While Malone
was still talking on
his phone, his attention was now focused on Keel,
as was Backup's he
finally noticed. He mouthed 'Sam' at both of them,
before turning his
attention back to his partner.
"Tell me," he
He listened as his partner explained the problem in
his normal, concise
tones. He had to fight back his temper with every
word. By the time Sam
had finished summing up the situation Malone had
finished his own call and
was waiting less than patiently for an
explanation, his sharp blue eyes
fixed on his American agent. It was
probably only Malone's presence that
prevented Keel from taking matters
in his own hands. It was still tempting
Malone impatiently. "I take it that was Mr Curtis. Did
he have an
explanation for what happened?"
"He was set-up," Chris spat out,
his temper still simmering. "Officer
Robinson?" asked Backup, startled. "Works for the Sheriff's
sir," she explained at Malone's raised eyebrow.
"Set up how, Mr
"Sam said she came out to the stakeout. Said she had some
wanted to share in the name of co-operation, and then
pulled a gun on him."
"Very co-operative of her," commented Backup
dryly. "What is it about you
two and corrupt cops?"
and his goons showed up..." He didn't need to say any more.
Backup and Malone could work out for themselves. Right now the
get to Sam as quickly as possible was warring with the need
retribution, and the need to do his job. The job won out.
going down - something big, gotta be. Why else would
Robinson risk it?
Attacking a fellow law enforcement
"They wouldn't have been able to leave him alive,"
softly. "Not and risk him turning Robinson
"It was a rather stupid move on her part," added Malone. "Even
hadn't located Mr Curtis when we did, sooner or later she'd have
up, not been where she was supposed to be, not had an alibi."
"We'd no reason to suspect her," he argued a
little heatedly. "We would
have thought that Sam got careless and..."
He couldn't put the 'and' into
"Maybe," agreed Malone.
"But I'd like to believe that we would have caught
up with Davies and
his mob sooner and later, and I somehow doubt there's
any honour among
"How did we catch up with them, sir?" asked
"Luck, Miss Backus. Pure and simple." Malone stood for a
moment, deep in
thought. "Miss Backus," he said eventually, his voice
brisk, "I'll leave
you here to deal with Robinson. I would ask the FBI
for their assistance,
since we are unsure as to the extent of
corruption within the local police.
Mr Keel, you're with
"Where are we going, sir?"
"To Tennessee, Mr Keel. We
have an agent to collect after all."
Malone was a little more
forthcoming with information in the car on the way
back to their motel.
It transpired that he wasn't joking when he said it
was pure luck that
they'd caught Davies and recovered Sam. It was. Davies
and his pal,
Jacobs had switched cars, and consequently the APB put out on
car would have resulted in nothing. They had been already out of
state and almost through the next one before they were stopped.
probably owed his life to a bored and eagle-eyed State Trooper and
taillight. The trooper had grown suspicious when the occupants
nondescript Ford he'd stopped had seemed overly nervous, and his
were confirmed when he'd heard noises from the
When Malone informed Chris of the facts in his cold, dry
voice, Chris had
had to fight down another surge of fear. Luck was the
word. There were
too many 'ifs' in what had happened for him to feel at
ease. He knew that
dwelling on the past did no good - god, he'd had
enough practice of 'what
ifs' when Annie died - but he couldn't seem to
be able to stop the thoughts
running through his mind. The only comfort
he could take was that this
time, unlike Annie, the 'what ifs' were the
horrors, and the actuality
wasn't. It was a comfort. Would be more of a
comfort if there hadn't been
this little thought running through his
head - 'next time'.
He focused on the tasks in hand instead, found
it easier to keep the panic
at bay that way. Pack his stuff. Move to
Sam's room and pack his
partner's stuff - much easier to pack than his
had been but then it wasn't
spread haphazardly all over the floor or
the bed the way his clothes had
been. Sam always told him he was a pig.
Get back downstairs to meet
Malone, who was already tapping his fingers
impatiently against the counter
at Reception, and then off to
Tennessee. Off to recover Sam.
It took them considerably less than
sixteen hours to reach Sam's location,
a small town not far from the
state border with Missouri. Where the hell
they'd been headed too was
anybody's guess. Malone had appropriated a
light aircraft from
somewhere, and Chris was allocated the task of flying
it, which at
least gave him something to concentrate on other than the
minutes until he got to see Sam. Even so, by the time they
their destination, Chris was wound up almost beyond bearing.
relief surged again when he finally set eyes on his partner. They
Sam ensconced in an interview room, talking to two agents from the
CI5 team were informed, so his first sight of his friend was
glass. Sam appeared to be bearing up well Chris was
pleased to note.
There were some signs of tiredness in his face, and
there was a bandage
taped to his forehead and some bruising around his
jaw line, but his eyes
were bright and his expression focused as he sat
reviewing the facts of the
case so far.
"Good man you got
there," came a voice from behind them. Chris turned to
being introduced to 'Agent Andrews, head of the field
"Thank you, Agent Andrews," replied Malone. "I
take it he's being
helpful." Andrews, a very tall and broad individual,
snorted at some
secret source of amusement.
"Could say that, I
suppose. Turns out our little 'patriots' in there," he
him at what Chris could only presume were the cells or
containing the suspects, "are talkative souls." Chris
attention back to Sam, allowing the rest of the conversation to
over him, listening with only half an ear.
"They've talked to you?"
asked Malone, his interest piqued.
Andrews snorted again. It
appeared to be a trademark of his. "Not
exactly," he replied. "Seems
they spent most of the trip up here boasting
about what they were gonna
do and what they done. And your guy heard most
of it from the trunk.
Not all of it, but enough for us to pressure the
three of them
"Yeah, he says you were watching Davies and
we were watching Jacobs. They
picked up a third guy, name of Caleb
Adams according to his driving
licence, once they crossed the border
into Tennessee. Curtis thinks he
might be the weak link, that we might
get to the others through him. Did
most of the boastin', according to
Malone nodded, satisfied. "But you've made no progress so
Andrews shook his head slowly. "We only got here 'bout an
hour ago, and
we've been debriefing your guy since. Figured we'd wait
for you to turn
up, since this seems to be CI5 business. Besides, if
Curtis is right about
Adams, and from what I've seen of that weasel
I've no doubt that he is,
leaving him to sweat awhile won't do any
harm." He turned suddenly sharp
eyes on Malone. "The three of them have
been screaming for attorneys.
We've kept them isolated for now. Curtis
said something about them tipping
off their compadres?"
was always a risk, Agent Andrews. However, you seem to have
under control. Thank you." Now that the end was potentially in
Malone could afford to be generous. Besides, it was a pleasant
CI5 were respected these days, instead of having to fight
their corner as
well as the bad guys.
"Guess you'll want to talk
to your guy now?"
"If that can be arranged."
there. I take it you'll share anything else he tells you
It was Chris' turn for close
scrutiny as Andrews turned his formidable
attention on him. "Your
partner, isn't he?"
Andrews smiled briefly, the
expression suddenly lightening the harsh angles
of his face. "Guess
you'll be pleased to have him back."
Chris found himself returning
the smile almost before he realised it. "You
know what it's like," he
replied. "They're hell to break in, so when
you've got one trained
"I heard that," interrupted Sam's tired voice from behind
him. It took all
of Chris' self control to keep his beaming smile down
to a relatively low
"You were meant to." Up close his
partner looked even more tired, the
bruise on his jaw dark against his
pale face. Chris couldn't resist
reaching out to touch him, grasping
his chin and tilting his face to the
side so he could see the injury
better. He could only cover the moment
with a joke for the benefit of
the other two men. "This Janice Robinson,
she's what? Five foot nothing
in her stocking feet? Want to explain how
she managed to take you
"She had a gun."
"Lost yours again did
"Very funny, Keel. She also had help."
guys? That all? You're slipping, mate."
"Ha ha. If this is your
idea of revenge for Richmond..."
"Nah. So, did Robinson black your
jaw for you?"
"No, that was Davies."
"Not slipping that
badly then. What about this one?" asked Chris,
gesturing towards Sam's
"Davies again," sighed Sam, smiling
"That's two we owe him."
"Three," replied Sam.
"You haven't seen the bruise on my hip yet."
"I think I'll pass,"
Malone cleared his throat. "When you gentlemen have
"Sir," they chorused, a little sheepishly,
trying hard not to smile at each
other. He harrumphed a little, but let
it slide, his keen eyes measuring
them. They kept their expressions as
bland as they were able to.
"I understand from what Agent Andrews
told me that these individuals let
slip some information, is that
correct Mr Curtis?"
"Yes sir," replied Sam, all business. "I
overheard some things which might
be useful. Nothing specific about
what they're planning, not even Adams is
that stupid, but some hints
that what they're planning is big, and that it
involves a government
building. I got the impression that they don't quite
trust Adams, but
that he may know some more that's useful anyway. Maybe
enough to give
us some leverage over the other two..." Sam shrugged
eyes fixed on Malone's face. "I'd like a go at him sir."
that's wise, son?" interrupted Andrews, his forehead creasing
concern. His eyes scanned over Sam's face taking in the sign
exhaustion and the marks of violence. Chris found himself stiffening
his partner's behalf, but Sam took the question in his
"I think it will give us an edge. He won't be expecting it,
that throws him further off balance has got to help. Turn
the tables on
him. He had me in his control, now it's the other way
Andrews still didn't look convinced, and Malone was
keeping his own
counsel, his sharp eyes flitting from Sam to Chris.
Chris backed his
"He's right. Psychologically
speaking, it puts us in control. We can
exploit that, especially if
this guy is already freaked."
Malone finally spoke up. "You did say
that you considered this to be a CI5
operation, Agent Andrews. I
believe that it's worth a try." He fixed Sam
with a hard stare. "If you
are up to it, Mr Curtis."
Bad move, thought Chris. There was no way
in hell that Sam was going to
back away from that. He was right, as Sam
looked Malone squarely in the
eye and coolly stated, "I'm fine,
There was no question in Chris' mind that he would be in on
interrogation. They were a team after all. Besides, he wanted to
good, long look at one of the bastards who had locked *his*
partner in the
trunk of a car for sixteen hours. And maybe break his
neck into the
Sam paused outside the interview
room, waiting for Andrews and Malone to
enter the viewing room next
door. "Psychologically speaking? Where did
you learn big words like
"Well, I have this anally retentive English partner. Guess I
been hanging out with him for too long."
"You already have," grinned Chris.
There was a
slightly awkward silence while they both checked that Malone
Andrews were out of earshot, before Sam cleared his throat and
"You want to be good cop or bad cop?"
"How about you be
bad cop and I be completely psychopathic cop?"
"Same old routine
"Yeah, I do." He
couldn't help it, the happiness almost bubbling up in him
now that he
knew that Sam was safe.
Sam covered his surprised start with cough,
and gave him a brief smile
before they entered the interview room,
their faces automatically assuming
the hard-edged expressions that
served them so well in these situations.
Adams was definitely
twitchy Chris was pleased to note. Already caught off
balance by the
fact that he and his associates had been caught by something
unexpected as a traffic stop, his level of nervousness only
when he saw Curtis. With his facial features it merely had
effect of making him look like a weasel. Small, vicious
when up against
good odds, but helpless in the face of two CI5
Chris settled himself against the wall, leaning back and
folding his arms.
He didn't take his eyes off Adams, not having to act
to make his expression
menacing. So this was someone who thought that
they could hurt his partner
with impunity and get away with it? Not a
particularly rational thought,
he knew, not when they were in a job
that seemed to result in one or the
other of them getting hurt on a
semi-regular basis. He wasn't, however,
feeling particularly rational
at this juncture.
Sam sat down at the interview table, flicking
idly through a file he had.
Chris knew enough to guess that the file
was empty, just for show, but
Adams wasn't to know that. The weasel's
eyes flickered between them while
Sam ignored him, trying to read the
situation. Chris kept his eyes on him
at all times, never giving him
any leeway. That made Adams more nervous,
judging by the way he was
Sam eventually placed the file on the desk, folding his
hands on top of it,
and looking at Adams coolly. He still didn't speak.
"I want to see my lawyer," he
"Tough," replied Sam.
Adams tried to bluster. "I
know my rights..."
"You're not under arrest... yet. So you have no
"If I'm not under arrest I can leave at any time," shot
triumphantly. His triumph was short lived, as Sam smiled
"Try it," he growled.
Adams' eyes flickered
between them once more. Chris was between him and
the door, and the
expression on his face told the militiaman that he would
excuse for violence. Any excuse. Sam pressed home
"As far as the world is concerned you are here
helping us with our
enquiries on a voluntary basis. Right up until we
nail your ass. And
believe me when I tell you we have more than enough
to do that right now."
"So what you waitin' for?" The belligerence
in Adams' tone was belied by
the way his eyes darted around the room,
seeking some escape.
"To see if you're more intelligent than you
look. Chris here..." added
Sam, jerking his head towards his still
glaring partner, "thinks that's
highly unlikely. Personally I'm
inclined to agree with him."
"Kidnapping," Chris said suddenly, his
voice soft and deadly. "Assault.
Illegal possession of firearms..." Sam
smiled again, equally deadly.
"You're going to jail for a very...
Adams began to panic. "None of that was me. I swear.
I just got in the
car, man. I didn't know anything was going down. You
gotta believe me.
"You're just a victim, right?"
asked Sam softly. "Wrong place, wrong
time?" The militiaman nodded
frantically. "You're forgetting something
though." Sam paused just long
enough for it to sink in. "I heard you. I
heard everything you said.
Enough to tie you into Davies and Jacobs.
Enough, even, to tie you into
Oklahoma if I'm so inclined."
Sam sat back, watching coldly as
Adams twitched even more. "I think you
were right, Chris. He's very,
very stupid." He leant forward again until
their faces were only inches
apart. "Boasting like that about everything
you've done when you knew I
could hear you. And you knew I could hear you,
you made sure of that.
No point in issuing those empty threats of yours
"Hearsay," squeaked Adams. "You can't convict me
on hearsay." His voice
wasn't particularly confident on that
"It's only hearsay," Chris pointed out, "if you don't say it
in front of a
"He's not a cop!" yelled Adams, his face
contorted with equal parts
desperation, suspicion and fear. "Who are
you? CIA? NSA?"
"CI5," replied Sam calmly, not expecting that to
mean much to their
prisoner. He was surprised.
bastards who did Slade!" Adams exclaimed, referring to the
Colonel CI5 had come up against in Louisiana.
Chris smiled grimly.
"You're more right than you think." Adams glanced
from one to the other
again, Keel's words sinking in.
"You..." he finally breathed. "The
man was a patriot!"
Sam smirked. "Like you, you mean?" Adams
maintained a sullen silence.
"Like Davies and Jacobs? You think that
they are patriots? Men who bomb
buildings, kill civilians, their own
countrymen and women?" Adams avoided
his eyes, his thumbnail beginning
to dig furrows in the table. "If we can
take Slade down, why the hell
do you think we'd have any qualms taking them
out? Or you?"
finally got a reaction, Adams paling and sinking back in his
trying to look smaller. "You wouldn't dare..." he
Chris finally lost it, the worry and torment of the last few
up with him. With a few quick steps he was across the
room, his face only
inches away from Adams, intimidating him in a way
that even Sam, with his
greater bulk, hadn't been able to. There was
pure fury in his eyes. "You
kidnap my partner," he hissed. "Assault
him. Lock him in the goddamned
trunk, and threaten to kill him. You
wouldn't believe what I'd dare do to
interjected Sam softly. After a long moment, Chris responded to
unvoiced plea and drew away slightly from Adams although his eyes
left the man's face. Adams made an attempt to recapture his
"Such concern," he sneered, although his voice
trembled slightly. "What?
You guys queer or
Only Sam's arm raised across his chest prevented
Chris from tearing into
the weasel. Once Sam was sure his partner had
himself under control, he
turned and gave Adams a look of pure
contempt. "I would have thought that
after the threats you made that
would be a case of the pot calling the
kettle." He felt the start that
ran through his partner at his words as
Chris came to the realisation
of just what those threats had involved. Sam
kept his reaction reigned
in. The last thing he wanted to do was further
rile his partner up, but
they were close to breaking the man, and he had an
idea of how to do
it. The last thing he needed was for Chris to lose
He didn't dare look at Chris though, having to
trust him to keep a grasp on
his temper. Instead he kept his eyes
firmly on Adams, fixing him with a
steely stare, keeping the other
man's eyes focused on him through sheer
strength of will. "But I
wouldn't worry about it too much," he continued
with a wintry smile.
"I'm sure that where you're going you'll have plenty
of opportunity to
indulge. Only I imagine that a pathetic specimen like
you will be on
the receiving end. In fact, I intend to make sure of it.
It's the least
I can do, after all. You're going to be the belle of the
ball. And by
the time you get out, you won't be able to stand upright,
spent so much fucking time on your knees."
Adams finally managed to
tear his eyes away from Curtis, but instead he
looked straight into
Keel's. Whereas Curtis' eyes had been cold and
merciless, without even
the glee Adams would have felt if their positions
had been reversed,
Keel's eyes were simply murderous. Adams swallowed
terrified. He believed. He believed utterly. The
who'd taunted Curtis, threatened him and tried to
intimidate him was
gone. Instead there was a wreck of a man. He told them
wanted to know, and more.
"You okay?" asked Chris softly as
they left the interview room.
"I'm fine," replied Sam. "Tired and
stiff, but fine." Chris wanted to
push him on it, but he was denied the
opportunity when Malone and Andrews
joined them in the corridor.
Andrews was frowning.
"You realise that this won't stand up in
court..." he stated without any
"The point wasn't to
secure a conviction," replied Sam, exhaustion now
evident in him voice.
"The point was to prevent another Oklahoma."
appeased. "Is this the way CI5 operate?"
"You may not approve of
our methods, but they work," answered Curtis
bluntly. "You still have
Adams on the kidnapping and illegal weapons
charges, if you're worried
about your conviction rates." He wasn't in the
mood to be diplomatic.
Andrews' frown deepened, but before he could say
"I believe that your agents have enough to tackle
Davies and Jacobs now,
Agent Andrews. I've no doubt that confronted
with the evidence that Mr
Curtis and Mr Keel have managed to obtain for
you that they'll be more than
cooperative. I'm sure that we can leave
this matter in the FBI's capable
hands. If you need us again, you know
where to reach us. Good day."
Andrews directed his scowl at
Malone, but it had absolutely no effect on
the head of CI5. After a
moment he gave up and took himself off to
supervise the remaining
interviews, muttering darkly to himself. Malone
turned his attention to
his agents. They both returned his look calmly.
"Thank you, sir," they chorused. Malone nodded to
himself, before turning
his full attention on Sam.
threats that Adams made towards you Mr Curtis..."
threats, sir," replied Sam, unflinching under Malone's piercing
After searching his agent's face for a long moment, Malone
again, although his gaze turned to Keel, searching the
American's face and
apparently satisfied with what he
"Good," he said, and the matter was closed as far as he was
"Get some rest, gentlemen. You've earned it." He turned on
his heel, and
headed in the direction Andrews had gone in, looking as
unruffled as though he hadn't been up and active for
hours. Sam envied him that, as his own exhaustion
set him swaying on his
feet. Somehow, however, he doubted that he'd
sleep just yet. He turned to
his partner, green eyes meeting blue, and
smiled slightly, although there
was little humour in it.
Malone will spring for a decent hotel?" he asked.
replied the American, the levity of his reply contrasting
drawn expression and the obvious concern in his eyes. Sam smiled
a little warmer this time.
"Motel it is then."
Chris booked them into a reasonably upmarket motel, as motels went. It
been recommended as somewhere clean, quiet and respectable by the
on duty at the local police station, and neither of them was
in the mood to
argue. It was quiet, situated at the edge of town, and
reasonable distance from both the residential areas and
the freeway. No
noise to disturb them as they tried to get some sleep
during the day.
He booked them a twin, getting no argument
from Curtis this time about
appearances. He figured that if Malone was
curious, he'd tell him he
didn't want to leave Curtis alone when there
was a chance that his partner
would just collapse. Somehow he didn't
think Malone would ask, although he
was too damn tired to analyse that
feeling any further. All he wanted to
do was get to their room, throw
Curtis on the bed, crawl into his arms and
sleep for a week.
almost pounced on Sam as they walked through the door. Although he
that his partner was physically fine, the need to touch him, to
he was fine rather than trusting just his eyes was almost
tangible, and had
only grown the longer that he'd been denied the
opportunity. For once Sam
didn't argue or make any smart remarks.
Instead he wound his arms around
his lover and held him back as tightly
as Chris was holding him. Neither
of them said a word, just soaked up
the sensation of being held by someone
neither of them had thought that
they'd see again.
Chris pulled away first, reaching up to cup Sam's
face in his palms and
stroke his cheeks gently with his thumbs. "You
okay?" he asked softly,
knowing it was a stupid question but having to
voice it anyway. Sam pulled
away from him, avoiding his
"I'm fine," he replied, his tone short. His fingers started
to twist the
buttons of his shirt, a sign that Chris was beginning to
realise meant that
his partner was nervous, caught off balance, and he
knew how much Sam hated
that. He sighed internally, making sure that
his resignation didn't show
on his face, and kept his voice calm,
"You need anything?" Perhaps he wasn't quite as good at
feelings from his voice after all, because Sam gave him a
sheepish smile, a
faint hint of apology in his eyes.
he said wryly. "Hot out there."
"Yeah, I noticed," replied Chris
with a smile, moving to draw the curtains
closed and give them some
privacy. "Anything else? Food maybe?"
"When did you last eat?"
"What are you, my
"No, I'm cuter." That at least earned a smile from Sam,
but the Englishman
didn't call him on it.
"Fine, whatever," he
said, his fingers already tugging his shirt free from
"Just not McDonalds, please. I'd have to go without food
considerably longer before I'd consider eating that crap."
Chris teased affectionately. Sam paused and looked him straight
eye, his own eyes very green in the dim light.
"Yeah," he replied
softly. "Only the best." Chris blushed slightly at the
making Sam's mouth quirk up slightly in a half smile at the
obvious discomfort. On a sudden impulse Chris moved back to
partner, capturing his mouth in a sweet kiss.
"I'll be back
soon," he promised. There was a flicker of something in
Sam's eyes but
it was gone too quickly for Chris to identify what it was.
merely nodded, and after a brief hesitation headed into the
bathroom. Chris stared after him for a moment, fighting down the
to follow him, mainly because he wasn't sure how it would be
With another sigh he turned on his heel and went searching
He was back sooner than he expected to be. Sam was
still in the shower,
the bathroom door open and the steam filling the
bedroom. He moved to shut
it. The humidity was already almost
unbearable without Sam adding to it.
"Leave it." Sam's voice was
harsh. He turned slightly in the shower, his
face tense. "Just leave it
please." His voice was a little softer this
time, almost pleading. For
a long second their eyes met, and then Sam
turned away to face back
into the spray. It was on the tip of Chris'
tongue to ask again whether
Sam was all right, but something in the other
man's stance told him
that this was not a good idea. Instead, disturbed by
exchange, he moved away from the bathroom and settled himself on
bed, waiting for Sam to finish his ablutions and explain what the
was going on.
He didn't have long to wait. Sam was finished
in a matter of minutes and
joined him in the bedroom. He hesitated in
the bathroom doorway, towelling
his hair dry, another towel wrapped
around his waist. He still seemed
reluctant to meet Chris' eyes, using
drying his hair as an excuse to avoid
the other man's eyes. Chris
waited patiently, which was so unusual for him
it seemed to throw Sam
even further of balance. Chris won.
"Food?" Sam asked, looking
around the room.
"Thought you weren't hungry," Chris said
neutrally. "I went down to the
lobby and ordered some take out. Don't
worry, it's not MacDonald," he
added with a smile.
"They deliver." Sam merely snorted in response.
"Seafood," offered Chris.
"Now I know you like seafood." That earned
him a smile, a pale imitation
of Sam's normal grin, but it was a start.
"Be here soon," Chris appeased.
Sam settled himself on the bed next
to him with a heavy sigh. His posture
screamed exhaustion, and Chris'
heart went out to him. Acting on instinct,
he reached out and stroked
his lover's back gently, conveying with his
touch what he couldn't with
words. Sam swayed into his touch. "Tired," he
surprised," murmured Chris. "Why don't you lie down for a bit?"
glanced at him, biting his lower lip. "I could use some
myself," Chris added. "Mind if I...?"
his head slightly, looking a little relieved, and threw the towel
been using to dry his hair in the direction of the bathroom. As
started to pull himself backwards up onto the bed, Chris reached out
placed his hand on Sam's forearm, stopping him. He turned Sam's
examining the marks he'd just noticed on his lover's wrists.
ugly, raw wounds, looking almost burned in some places, and
like deep cuts
in others. They also wound all the way around Sam's
wrists. Although they
had scabbed over somewhat, that only made them
look worse. How the hell
had he missed them?
"Nylon ropes," Sam
explained at his look. "They're not as bad as they
look. They looked at
them at the station, but I had to take the dressings
off to shower."
Which explained how he hadn't seen them before. The white
would have blended in with Sam's white shirt, and he'd
mostly on his partner's face, giving the rest of him a mostly
scrutiny. Time to remedy that.
"Let me see that hip." Sam gave him
a bewildered look. "You said, in the
Right. Sorry, not with it." He reached down to unfasten his
before pausing and giving Chris a mock suspicious look. "This
an excuse to get me naked is it?"
"Do I need an
excuse?" asked Chris, grinning. "Besides, I prefer my sexual
conscious. I'm just kinky that way." That got him another pale
as Sam leant back and tugged the towel free, wincing slightly as he
It was a hell of a bruise, almost the size of Chris' hand. Or
else's boot. "Guess they like to kick you when you're down," he
gave a humourless
"How's your head?" Chris asked,
noticing that Sam had also removed the
small white bandage that had
adorned his forehead.
"Never had any complaints
"Funny." He pushed back Sam's dark hair gently, his
lightly over the bump he found there. Again, the
skin was bruised and
broken, but hadn't appeared to require any
stitches. "Any dizziness?"
"No, just tired. And I went through all
this at the station."
"I want to make sure myself. Humour
"No, no dizziness. A bit of a headache at first but that's
gone. I'm a
bit bruised and battered, and I have had better days but
I'm okay. I'm
just tired Chris."
Chris ignored him and continued
to examine his body, pushing Sam gently
over onto his stomach so that
he could see his back. There were other
bruises and marks, but nothing
else as serious. When he'd finished his
perusal, and met Sam's eyes
again, the Englishman's expression was a
mixture of amusement,
affection and exasperation.
"I'm fine," he repeated. "Can I go to
sleep now?" His latter words were
plaintive in tone, and Chris couldn't
suppress a smile.
"Sure," he said. "I'll wake you when the food
"Thank you," replied Sam with exaggerated relief before
crawling under the
Chris settled himself back on the bed
next to his friend, kicking his shoes
off. He knew he should try and
get some sleep too, but he was too wound
up. He wondered how long it
would take Sam to drop off, and if it would
wake him up again if he
touched him once he had. He found the urge to
touch him almost
irresistible, wanting to hold him again, just needing the
reassurance that Sam was there, was real, was as fine as he
was. He stifled another sigh, not wanting to either disturb or
Sam's voice trailed off, that
same flicker of *something* in his eyes, but
again it was gone too soon
for Chris to read what it was. Whatever it was,
it had Chris asking,
"Can I hold you?" before he realised he was going to
say anything. Once
the words were out of his mouth, he winced internally,
half expecting a
sardonic reply, but he was surprised again.
"I'd like that,"
murmured Sam softly. Chris shuffled closer, reaching out
for him. A few
moments shifting around until Sam found a position which
comfortable and didn't pull on sore muscles, and then Chris
himself with an armful of warm, tired and very nearly naked
ruthlessly fought down any stirrings of arousal. It wasn't
hard - he was
almost as tired as Sam. Instead he contented himself with
his fingers through Sam's hair as his partner pillowed
his head on his chest.
"... s'nice..." his lover muttered sleepily.
Chris smiled slightly. Who
would have thought that his practical
partner would be a closet sensualist?
Although, he admitted to himself,
he should have guessed that with Sam's
love of the finer things in life
that the man would be more than happy to
indulge in the sensual. It
wasn't something they'd spent a great deal of
time exploring. Maybe
they should remedy that.
But now was not the time. His own
practical side was exerting itself.
There was something else he wanted
to explore first - like why his partner
felt the need to shower with
the door open. And he sensed that now was the
time to broach that
subject, when Sam was tired and, much as it pained him
to admit it,
vulnerable. He spared a brief second to wonder whether this
ruthlessness was down to Sam's influence, or whether he'd always
it, and then he shoved those feelings as far down as he could.
wasn't doing this out of prurient curiosity - something was eating
and he needed to get it out before it festered.
kept his own voice soft and gentle, his fingers never ceasing
soothing motions through the other man's
"Want to tell me what that was all
"Why you wouldn't let me shut the
bathroom door?" He felt Sam tense up,
but his partner didn't pull away,
which was half the victory.
"It's not silly if it
bothered you." He wasn't sure anymore whether
pushing was the right
thing to do, but he couldn't seem to stop. "Sam?"
slightly under his hand, almost as though he was trying to bury
deeper into Chris. "Sam? Something's bothering you. You're
"Worried I'm not up to being your
"Christ, no! What brought that on?" No answer. "Sam?"
pause and then a sigh.
Whatever he'd been expecting it wasn't that. Sam
Curtis admitting a
weakness? He half expected the world to
Sam was still tense expecting... what exactly? Chris tried to
words with care. "Because?" As soon as he asked it, he knew
"Because you spent a long time locked in a confined space.
it's only to be expected that you'll be a little skittish
for a day or two.
I'd be more worried if you weren't. No-one expects
you to be untouched."
That got a reaction, Sam's chuckles rumbling against his
chest. "Your type
"Not a chance. One repressed
Englishman's enough for me thanks."
"I'm not repressed. I'm
"Stoic Englishman then."
"I think Malone's
into a companionable silence, Chris resuming his slow
Sam spoke again, his voice so quiet that Chris had to
strain to hear
him. "I thought they were going to kill me." The words
"So did I," he admitted huskily. "I wasn't even sure... I
wasn't sure we'd
even find your body." He fought for some control, to
keep the floodgates
up and not subject his partner to an outpouring of
his fears. "I... I
"Do you?" He tried
very hard to keep the bitterness out of his voice.
replied Sam, his voice muffled against Chris' chest. "You went
and I had this vision of being sent out to view another
corpse only to find out it was you. I had nightmares for
weeks," he added
matter of factly.
"I didn't know," offered
Chris a little helplessly. He hadn't even thought
that Sam would have
been worried, his partner had seemed fine the next day,
and since Chris
had spent most of the night in a drugged stupor, he hadn't
that worried himself.
"You didn't know because I didn't let you
know. But that's history, so
let's not rehash it just now,
"You okay?" ventured the American.
"I'm fine. You're
fine. We're both fine. Now will you shut up and let me
It was on the tip of Chris' tongue to point out that Sam
had brought the
subject up, but luckily he retained enough sense to
think better of it.
He'd managed to crowbar some information out of
Sam, and he could only hope
that after some sleep his partner opened up
more. Pushing any more would
only piss Sam off and scupper any chance
he had of Sam confiding in him.
Instead, he continued to stroke his
fingers through Sam's hair, and reached
out with his other hand to
gently rub Sam's back until his partner drifted
off to sleep. He wasn't
long in following.
He was rudely awakened by the banging on the door. Swearing softly
himself, he eased his way from under Sam, being very careful not to
him. His shirt was damp where Sam's wet head had been resting and
was numb. He staggered towards the doorway, rubbing sleep out
of his eyes.
Food at last.
Sam didn't stir while he paid off the
deliveryman, not even the sound of
the door slamming enough to disturb
his slumber. Chris slumped by the door
for a moment, watching him. The
last time his partner had slept this
soundly to Chris' knowledge,
they'd been in South Africa, and Sam had spent
the previous day
carrying him to safety. That time they'd both slept on
oblivious to the
rangers approaching their position, and that kind of
have gotten them killed. However, they'd both been
exhausted past the
point of caring at that point. This time no one was
chasing them or
trying to kill them, the door was locked, and the bed was
Chris with a siren song. Pausing only to pull off his damp
succumbed. Food could wait.
Fate had other plans. His settling back
onto the bed managed what the door
couldn't, waking his partner up. Sam
blinked blearily at him.
"Food," he explained quietly. "Want some?
Or want to go back to sleep?"
There was a long pause while Sam
tried to get his brain into gear.
Eventually, his stomach decided for
him, grumbling loudly. The two men
exchanged wry smiles. "Food,"
replied Sam, his voice rusty.
"Food it is," said Chris, opening the
pizza box with a flourish. Sam sat
up, rubbing the backs of his hands
across his face before eyeing the
"You don't like
"Not particularly, no."
Chris stared at him.
"Let me get this right. You'll eat Kermit, but you
draw the line at
"I'm not fond of them, that's all." Sam's tone was
defensive. "I'll just
take them off, okay?"
For some reason,
Chris found the whole conversation ridiculous, and he
couldn't help it,
he started to laugh. Sam's offended look just made him
This was so surreal. A few hours ago he'd been wondering if
alive and now the pair of them were arguing over anchovies on a
Life was just too strange sometimes. You had to laugh or cry.
a few moments, Sam studiously ignored him, retrieving a slice of
and concentrating on removing the anchovies from it and flicking
back into the box. When Chris' laughing fit showed no sign of
he started to flick them at his partner
"Hey," yelped Chris as a soggy fish hit him square in the
middle of his
bare chest. "Anymore of that and I'll make you eat them
there." Sam wiggled his eyebrows at him
"Kinky," he leered. The light-hearted teasing did
more to reassure Chris
of his partner's state of mind than any amount
of protestations on Sam's
part had. When Sam turned his attention back
to relieving his pizza of any
remaining anchovy influences, Chris took
the opportunity to examine his
partner more closely. Sam did look more
rested, although there was still
some tension evident in the lines
around his eyes. Sam caught him looking,
and threw him another smile.
"I'll have you know I don't do kinky," he
added off the cuff, suddenly
"No. I'm a nice boy."
anyone in the world who actually believes that?"
"I refuse to believe that even your grandmother is that gullible."
"Probably not, but she pretends that she thinks I'm a
nice boy, and I
pretend that I am, at least when I'm around her," Sam
"And that works?" Chris asked dubiously.
too," replied Sam, taking a bite out of his pizza. "And if it
broke, don't fix it," he added with his mouth full.
teased Chris, pleased to be able to throw the affectionate insult
into his partner's face at last.
"Been hanging around with you for
too long." Sam sounded completely
unconcerned, snagging another piece
of pizza and examining it for
anchovies. "Bad habits are obviously
rubbing off on me."
"Shouldn't speak with your mouth full," Chris
began, "unless..." Sam gave
him a quizzical look. "...it's full of me,"
he continued beaming.
Sam rolled his eyes. "One track mind,"
he muttered under his breath.
"When it comes to you, yeah," Chris
admitted cheerfully. He reached for
his own slice of pizza and they
spent a few companionable minutes dealing
with hunger pangs.
finished first, throwing his half eaten third slice back into the
and wiping his hands on one of the napkins provided. He settled
the bed, reaching behind his head to thump the pillows with
his fist until
he'd beaten them into a more comfortable shape and then
sinking back into
them with a sigh. Chris continued munching away, a
when his partner's eyes settled on him. When he
finally finished and wiped
his mouth and hands with another napkin, he
gave Sam an enquiring look.
Sam just smiled at him, the expression in
his eyes unreadable. Chris
fought back the urge to ask him once again
whether he was all right. His
partner had been pretty patient with him
so far, but Sam's tolerance
wouldn't last forever. Besides his partner
looked fine, considering. In
fact he looked better than fine, lounging
back on the bed, his head
pillowed on one arm and the sheet pulled
haphazardly up to his waist. No
wonder he had a one track mind whenever
he was around the man.
"Want anything else?" he asked. "I think
there's a chocolate machine in
the lobby. And I definitely saw a soda
machine." Sam shook his head, his
expression still unreadable. "Are you
sure there's nothing you want?"
Sam stared at him for a heartbeat,
his eyes very dark, and then he murmured
softly, "Make love to me,
Chris. Please?" The soft, almost pleading tone
had Chris reaching for
him before conscious thought kicked in.
Whatever had prompted the
request, it wasn't simply arousal. It wouldn't
be the first time that
they'd dealt with the fallout from a difficult case
themselves in each other's body, and Chris doubted it would be
last. And now that Sam had suggested it, he found himself wanting
make love desperately, rapidly becoming erect at the mere thought of
when if anyone had asked him ten minutes ago he would have sworn
was too tired.
Sam wasn't having any difficulty in
overcoming his exhaustion either, an
answering hardness rising to meet
his as he pressed himself against his
partner. He had this insane urge
to get as close to Sam as he could,
probably a reaction to the
realisation that he'd almost lost him, almost
lost this. An urge to
mould himself against the Englishman, press against
every inch of him,
hell he'd probably crawl inside his skin if he could,
inside the other man. He told Sam this, in disjointed words
between desperate kisses, probably not making much sense as he
but unable to stop himself from speaking.
His lover was equally
desperate, meeting his kisses with the same fervour
as he gave them,
and initiating his own, his arms wrapped tightly around
They were almost devouring each other.
And then Sam pulled
away, his eyes searching his lover's face, that self
same flicker back
in his eyes. "If that's what you want," he said softly,
Chris to slide his hand into the back pocket of Chris'
Chris kept his condoms. He handed the packet to his friend.
it, giving him a blank look as he mentally reviewed what he'd
"Oh," he finally said. "Sam, when I said I wanted to bury
you, I didn't mean..."
He trailed off when he saw
the hurt flash across Sam's face, but it was too
late. The damage was
already done. Sam had his 'impassive' face well and
truly in place. The
Englishman rolled onto his back and stared
expressionlessly at the
ceiling. "It's okay if you don't want me like
that," he said, his tone
subdued. He avoided looking at Chris while he
okay," said Chris, grasping Sam's chin in his hand and turning
partner's face towards him. "And I want you in ways that
haven't even occurred to you yet. But what I don't want is for
you to hate
me in the morning because I pushed you into something you
weren't ready for."
Sam jerked away from him. "You are not pushing
me. It was my bloody idea
wasn't it? I'm not a child. I'm older than
you are, and I don't get
pushed into anything I don't want to do. For
fuck's sake, if you don't
want me at least have the balls to tell
Chris kept rein on his own temper with a great deal of
Stubborn, bloody-minded, prickly, touchy, defensive...
Sometimes he didn't
know whether to kiss Sam or kill him. "I do want
you," he said, keeping
his voice even. The quick half-hopeful,
half-miserable look Sam flashed
him had him adding, a little more
gently, "God, do I want you. But I want
to make sure that you want this
too. That it's not because of what Adams
earned him a snort. "I started working for MI6 when I was twenty and
my year out abroad," snapped Sam. "In the last ten years I've
threatened with that more than once by considerably more dangerous
Caleb Adams. And strangely enough it never made me want to go
out and get
fucked up the arse by the next guy I met. So credit me with
Deep breath. Count to ten. Do not kill him.
Sam shrugged. "You seem to enjoy it." There was a
slight pause before he
added, "Let's just forget it and get some
sleep." He rolled over to face
away from Chris.
Chris. 'Fucked up again.' He was annoyed to say the
least, but whether
at Sam or himself he couldn't tell. Everything had been
going great and
he'd had to open his mouth and spoil it. But why the hell
did Sam have
to be so defensive? Sometimes he wondered why he bothered.
reason he bothered was lying next to him, resolutely facing away
him, and if his tone had been argumentative the stiff posture of
fairly screamed fury. Grovelling time by the looks of it,
couldn't understand why the hell it should be him
grovelling when Sam had
completely overreacted. Mentally preparing
himself for another
tongue-lashing, Chris raised himself up on his
elbow and peered down at Sam.
He'd been wrong about Sam's mood. His
face, in the brief glimpse Chris
caught before the mask went back up,
was miserable not angry. The
realisation that he'd been wrong, that
he'd hurt Sam, even unintentionally,
made apologising much easier. "I'm
sorry," he murmured, using his free
hand to brush the hair off Sam's
face. "I didn't mean to have a go at you."
Sam turned his head to
look at him, and after a moment gave him a faint
smile. "I guess I
"I have a habit of doing that
don't I?" Chris maintained a diplomatic
silence. "I'll make you a
deal," Sam continued. "I'll try not to
overreact if you promise to try
and stop second guessing me."
"Deal," agreed Chris, a little
relieved that Sam was being so reasonable.
He couldn't, however, resist
defending himself again. "I just wanted to
make sure you weren't going
to regret it."
Sam rolled back onto his back to look up at him.
"When I was in the boot
of that car," he began, stumbling slightly over
his words. "I thought,
really thought, that that was it. The end of the
line." He paused to
search Chris' face for understanding, and found it.
"And as well as being
scared shitless," he added wryly, "there were a
couple of things I wished
I'd done. And this was one of
"What were the others?" asked Chris, intensely
"God you never quit, do you?" Sam's voice was incredulous
annoyed, and Chris muttered a sheepish 'sorry'. "I haven't
had a blinding
revelation. I'm not suddenly going to become a
missionary in Africa or
anything. It was just..." He shrugged, at a
loss for words to continue,
but Chris understood his drift.
we start again?" he asked. "Pretend I wasn't such an asshole as
second guess you and accepted your offer with the enthusiasm it
Sam gave him a long steady look, and then the corner of his
"How about," replied Chris, leaning in to press a
brief kiss on his
partner's lips, "there is nothing I would rather do
than make love to you
like that." He kissed him again. "Or, I'm
honoured that you would let
me." Another kiss, earning a smile from
Sam. "Or how about, wanna fuck?"
The last words were said in a mock
bright and cheerful tone. "Enthusiastic
"You smooth talking bastard. No wonder women can't resist
"That's me. Irresistible." Chris smiled at him, his dimples
"Can I ask you a question?"
done this before?"
"No. Is that a problem?"
"No. I've just
never seduced a virgin before." Sam glanced up at him,
of the dimples again.
"You seduced me four months ago," he groused.
"I think it's a little late
to be worrying about it now."
not worried. Just pointing it out, that's all. Just a couple
points." Sam sighed.
"You're not going to make me take notes
"No, but pay attention. There may be a test
"Written or verbal?"
Sam chuckled. "Okay, I'll pay attention." When he
glanced up at Chris
again, his partner's face was serious, although his
eyes were warm.
"First thing is that it's kind of like you would
imagine losing any
virginity would be like. It's going to hurt a little
at first. If it's
too much, tell me."
Sam sketched a salute. "Yes, sir."
"We'll go slow, give
you time to get used to it." Another salute. "Sam,
"We're going to have sex, Chris. We're not planning a
And we'll be using condoms and everything, like the
responsible adults we
are. I've got it. Anything else?"
coaxed a reluctant smile out of the ex-Navy SEAL. "Just one thing.
Sam met his eyes, and held them for once. "I know,
and I... I'm grateful
for it. Every day." It wasn't as if Sam had
fallen into his arms, but the
sincerity of the words touched Chris
nonetheless. For once Sam hadn't
shrugged off his admission, and he was
thankful for that. In fact his
partner was just watching him, looking a
little unsure of himself. It was
a good look for him.
advantage of his unusual hesitancy, leaning in to steal a kiss.
kiss turned into two, turned into several. Chris settled himself on
of Sam's body, pressing him down into the bed, letting his tongue
full rein exploring his lover's mouth. Sam always tasted so good,
strong taste, smooth like honey and whiskey combined. And smelt
too, he thought burying his face in Sam's neck and inhaling
licked the soft skin, enjoying the slightly salty tang.
temptation, he sucked the skin into his mouth, marking Sam
as his. A basic
impulse perhaps, but one more bruise wouldn't be
Sam hissed at the sudden sharp pain, but his only reaction
was to drag his
fingernails down Chris' back, settling his hands on his
partner's rear and
pulling the other man hard against him. Chris moaned
softly as their
erections ground together. As much as he would love to
take this slowly,
his passion was rising too quickly for him to be
satisfied with foreplay
for long. He rolled to one side, and fumbled
with the fastenings of his
trousers, wriggling out of them quickly. His
boxers soon followed, landing
on top of his trousers on the floor. And
then he too was sliding
underneath the sheets, coming to rest in the
arms of his equally naked
Bliss. There was nothing
quite like being naked and held by someone you
loved. The slide of
their bare skins against each other was an aphrodisiac
in itself. After
kissing Sam again, Chris went on the prowl, sliding down
sweat slicked body, nibbling and nipping as he went. He paid
attention to Sam's tight pink nipples, knowing how sensitive
partner was there. He alternated between them, sucking them to hard
points, listening to Sam's moans of pleasure. He paid equal
the Englishman's torso, swirling his tongue around Sam's
belly button, and
down the dark trail of hair towards his groin. He
ignored the straining
erection completely, focusing his attention
instead on the inside of Sam's
pale thighs, again nibbling and sucking,
sometimes hard enough to leave
marks. He slid his hands upwards from
Sam's knees along his inner thighs,
forcing them apart and settling
between them, lowering his head to lick
around his lover's velvety sac.
His tongue flickered over the puckered
entrance to Sam's body once,
twice, and Sam gasped and twisted in his
grasp. Smiling softly to
himself, Chris rose up on his elbows and slowly
licked the entire
length of Sam's erection, listening to Sam's panting.
He pulled his
way back up his lover's body, pressing another kiss against
open lips. Sam's eyes met his, glazed over with passion. "Roll
he growled, knowing that Sam was as aroused as he was, and not
to wait any longer. Even so, he was rather surprised at
willingness, as his partner quickly rolled onto his stomach.
had, he needed lubricant. "Sam? Lube?"
His lover sounded breathless and needy, a feeling Chris
was familiar with.
It speeded his steps as he retrieved the small tube
from Sam's luggage, and
in virtually no time he was back on the bed
next to Sam. Sam turned his
head and gave him another kiss, one that
almost melted his bones it was so
sweet and hot and sexy at the same
time. "Ready?" he asked when they broke
apart, his own voice sounding
breathless now. Sam nodded once before
turning his face back into the
pillow and sliding up onto his knees to
Chris complied with the unspoken request, moving closer to
run his hands
down Sam's back and over the smooth globes of his
buttocks down his thighs.
He leant forward and placed a gentle kiss on
Sam's shoulder, before
flicking open the tube of lubricant with one
fingernail. He couldn't wait
any longer. Squeezing some of the contents
onto his fingers, he stroked
down Sam's cleft, smoothing the cool gel
around the entrance to his lover's
body. Without any further preamble
he eased one slick finger into Sam's
slightly but showed no other reaction, his face still buried in
pillow. Chris continued to slide his finger in and out of his
loosening him for their joining. He avoided brushing over Sam's
because, although he would have been unable to put it into
words, there was
part of him that wanted to save that sensation for
when he was buried to
the hilt in his partner's body. He wanted this to
be as good for Sam as
possible, partly love but partly because he
wanted Sam to want this again.
He needed Sam to want him as much as he
He replaced one finger with two, concentrating on
loosening Sam further
with a gentle scissoring motion. Sam still said
nothing but began to rock
backwards into his thrusting fingers. Three
fingers and Sam tensed
slightly at the discomfort. Chris leant down and
kissed his shoulder
again, his free hand stroking along Sam's flank. He
continued to move his
fingers in and out slowly and carefully until Sam
relaxed and he felt that
Sam was as ready for him as
"Okay?" he whispered to the Englishman, unwilling to
break the mood by
speaking any louder. Sam nodded briefly, and braced
himself against the
headboard as Chris moved to position himself behind
him. Chris grabbed a
condom, tearing the packet open with his teeth,
and rolled it onto himself
with a quick practised motion. He guided his
erection to the opening of
Sam's body, and gently began to ease his way
into his lover, placing one
hand on Sam's hip to steady him as he did
so. He placed his other hand on
the bed by Sam's head, bracing
Sam tensed underneath him, the muscles in his back locked
tension translated itself into other tightened muscles, and
Chris found it
difficult to push into the other man. He was reluctant
to be more
forceful, worried about causing his lover pain, but at the
same time he was
almost shaking with the need to possess Sam, fighting
the urge to simply
thrust into him, claim him in the most primitive way
possible. Before he
could come to a decision, Sam spoke, his voice
Chris experienced an almost crushing
sense of disappointment. For a brief
moment he hesitated, battling his
more basic instincts, but common sense
reasserted itself. He pulled
away, settling himself on the bed as Sam sat
up, running his fingers
through his disordered hair. "Did I hurt you?"
Chris asked neutrally,
trying to hide his disappointment. He wasn't sure
if he was entirely
successful, but if he wasn't Sam didn't appear to notice.
stupid, stupid," hissed Sam, more to himself it seemed than to
partner. His grey-green eyes were sparking with anger. Chris could
his own temper rising, and fought it back with an effort. Before
open his mouth, and maybe make things worse, all of the fight
seemed to go
out of the Englishman. "No," Sam sighed, "you didn't hurt
me." He paused
to run his hands through his hair again, pushing it back
out of his eyes.
"But I should have shot those sons of bitches while I
had the chance." He
looked very tired all of a sudden, and older than
his years. He avoided
looking in the American's direction, fixing his
attention on the small
print hanging above the bed.
meanwhile was frowning slightly as he tried to figure out what the
was going through his partner's mind now. "Sam...?"
muttered Sam, finally looking at him. He looked miserable and
"Stupid letting it get to me like this. What use am I? Can't
the shower door, can't bear you on top of me..."
Ah. So that was
it. Chris felt a sudden surge of relief. Claustrophobia
handle. He wasn't so sure he would have been able to handle
"You're being too hard on yourself. It will pass."
"And if it
"We'll deal with it."
Sam gave him a wry smile,
which didn't quite reach his eyes. "We?"
"We," reiterated Chris
firmly. Sam's smile was more genuine this time. He
looked as though he
wanted to say something, but hesitated, and instead
leant over and
kissed the ex-Navy SEAL thoroughly. As his tongue stroked
forcing a moan out of the other man, Sam moved to straddle
him back into the bed. Finally releasing the American's
mouth, he moved
back until he was resting over Chris' groin, Chris'
between his buttocks. His eyes met and held his lover's.
Chris, his mouth dry. Sam nodded, easing further downwards
Chris' cock pressed intimately against him. Chris sighed
fighting the urge to thrust wildly up into Sam. Instead, he
reached up and
grasped Sam's hips, pulling his partner down slowly down
onto him. There
was some resistance at first, until he breached the
tight outer ring of
muscles, and then at last he was sliding into his
Damn, but it felt good. His eyes fluttered shut as he
sensation, his breathing uneven. Better than good. Hot and
incredible. And he was only just inside his lover. God, what
feel like when he was fully embedded in the other man? He was
savour that feeling, holding Sam steady, waiting until Sam
was used to the
intrusion but Sam had other ideas, placing his hands
firmly on Chris' chest
to steady himself, and pushing back hard so that
in one movement Chris was
engulfed to the root.
gasped the American, his eyes flying open as shudders of pure
coursed through his body. "Oh fuck yes." When he could focus again,
noticed the tightness around Sam's mouth. Somewhere in his brain
connection was made that the rapid movement must have hurt Sam, and
tightened his hold on the other man's hips, holding him place.
breathed. "Don't move yet. Just relax. We got all night."
jerkily, his eyes closing and his breathing harsh. His
erection had faded
too, Chris noted, and he moved to remedy that,
stroking his hands along
Sam's thighs and up over his abdomen before
grasping his cock in one hand,
stroking it lightly. The feather light
touches began to have an effect,
Sam swelling under his fingertips and
hardening rapidly. He kept his eyes
on the Englishman's face, watching
it slowly relax under his ministrations
as the pain eased, then tighten
again as the pain was replaced by a
different kind of tension. "Okay?"
"Yeah," breathed his partner.
"Good." His own
breathing was growing ragged as the need to move grew.
"Cos I gotta
move Sammy. I just gotta." Sam nodded once, and then rose up
again. That felt even better, to Chris at least. He knew from his
experience that it probably wasn't particularly comfortable for
familiar with the burning ache that Sam was probably feeling now.
indeed, when he looked at Sam's face Sam's eyes were closed again,
was biting his lip. He let Sam move on him once or twice, until
jerkiness was gone from his partner's movements, replaced by a
that had him wanting to twist under the other man, call out
his name, curse
even, then he caught hold of Sam's hips once more,
tilting Sam's pelvis
towards him so that the next thrust hit just so,
raking across his prostate.
It was Sam's turn to swear as a burst
of blinding pleasure shot through
him. His eyes widened and captured
Chris', the look of dazed pleasure in
them causing Chris' mouth to curl
upwards in a slow smile. He did it
again, and again Sam swore, his
short, blunt nails managing to dig sharp
crescents in Chris's chest as
he panted heavily. Chris' smile widened into
a grin. "Okay?" he
couldn't resist asking.
"Fuck yes," Sam breathed, his eyes closing
again. "I'm beginning to see
why you like this so much."
better," murmured Chris, unable to completely keep the triumph out
"I'm not sure I could survive better... Oh
Christ." The latter was forced
out of him as Chris pushed up against
his prostate again, chuckling softly
reached for his lover's neglected erection, intending to bring him
completion, but Sam stopped him, instead removing his hands from
chest and clasping Chris' hands in his, twining their fingers
bracing himself against them. He used the leverage to sit
meaning that each thrust pushed Chris deeper into his
body. The position
also meant that almost every movement brushed
against that magic spot he'd
just found inside. He soon found a rhythm
that made Chris' face contort
with pleasure, and he watched his lover's
face fascinated, as Chris'
breathing deepened to near sobs of pleasure.
Finally, unable to bear any
more, Chris tore his hands away from Sam's
and grabbed the Englishman's
hips hard enough to bruise, bucking up
into him hard. That hurt again, but
he ignored the pain, focusing on
Chris, rocking back equally hard against
him as the American screamed
his name and came, an almost shocking flood of
heat, even felt through
He was close himself, but for now was satisfied with
just watching Chris'
face smooth out in the aftermath of his orgasm.
And then Chris' eyes
opened again, startlingly blue. Chris' hands on
his hips were gentler this
time as he pulled Sam up his body, slipping
out of the other man as he
guided Sam to straddle his chest. Sam leant
forward and braced himself
against the wall as Chris took him into his
It was a slightly awkward position for Chris, giving him a
slight crick in
the neck, and for that reason he was pleased that it
didn't take long to
bring Sam to orgasm. Sam held his eyes right up
until the end, looking
down at him, watching as Chris slipped him in
and out of his mouth. It
could have been the eroticism of that which
brought him to completion so
quickly, but whatever it was it only took
a few thrusts before he was
forced to close his eyes, fingernails
digging into the plaster, as he came
into his lover's mouth. For Chris
it was a truly beautiful sight, his
partner driven beyond endurance
watching Chris pleasure him, his hair
falling into his face as he bit
his lips to stop from screaming as Chris
swallowed everything he
Sam slid off his partner, rolling to lie on his back next to
breathing gradually evening out. "Okay?" asked Chris again.
only find the energy to nod, nodding again as Chris muttered
about cleaning up.
Chris cast one last look at his
partner as he headed into the small
bathroom. His mouth curled in a
smile again as he watched Sam sprawled on
the bed, one arm flung across
his chest and the other over his eyes. His
partner looked well fucked,
for want of a better description. He hummed
His happiness lasted just long enough for him to realise
that there was
blood on the condom. Not a great deal to be sure, but
enough to have him
heading back into the bedroom, grabbing the small
medical kit Sam always
carried on the way. "Roll over," he demanded
when he reached the bed. Sam
removed the arm flung over his face, and
gave him a puzzled sleepy look.
"Again?" he asked a little
plaintively. "Where do you get the stamina from?"
You're bleeding," Chris explained, a little more softly this
Sam's look of puzzlement increased, as he brought his fingers up to
bump on his head bringing them away clear. "Not there," Chris
rolling his eyes.
The penny dropped. "Oh." Sam finally
obliged, rolling onto his stomach,
and letting Chris examine him, but
unable to resist adding the now almost
"Yeah," agreed Chris finally. "You are." He placed the
unused medical kit
on the bedside table, ignoring the half amused, half
irritated look Sam
gave him, and headed back into the bathroom to wash
up. When he came out
again, Sam had succumbed to sleep, sprawled across
most of the bed. Poking
him in the side to get him to roll over and
give him some room, Chris
crawled in next to him.
something woke him later, it was starting to grow dark. He lay
for a moment, disorientated, until the sound came
Sam. His partner was twitching next to him, a soft whimper
driven out of
him. It didn't take Chris long to figure out it was a
nightmare. He'd had
plenty of personal experience of them. He shook Sam
gently, until Sam half
woke and then curled himself around the other
man, easing him back to
sleep, nightmare forgotten.
The second time he woke it was to an empty bed. It was completely
now, only the streetlights shining into the room through the thick
providing any illumination. His first thought was that Sam had
nightmare, one that had woken him completely, but there was
no sign of his
lover in the room. Sam's clothes were still piled up on
the chair in the
corner, and from what Chris could see of the other
man's suitcase in the
dim light it didn't look like it had been
disturbed. So Sam hadn't got
dressed and gone out, and he was hardly
likely to be wandering about naked.
That only left the bathroom, but
there was no sound coming from there, and
no light was coming from
underneath the door. So either Sam was sitting in
the bathroom in the
dark or he really was wandering around naked, which
might be a bit
difficult to explain to Malone when they had to bail him out.
a sigh, Chris pulled himself out of bed, and staggered on sleepy
to the bathroom.
When his eyes adjusted to the dim light he
spotted his partner. He was
sitting in the corner, in the dark, his
arms curled around his knees and
his face buried in his arms. Chris
sighed, and flicked the light switch
on, wincing as his eyes adjusted.
"You gonna tell me why you're sitting in
the dark?" Sam shrugged
without raising his head. Chris moved closer,
crouching down in front
of his partner, resting his forearms on his thighs.
"Sam? You going to
talk to me, or am I going to have to hurt you too?"
softly and finally lifted his head to look at him. He looked
desperately tired, and the skin under his eyes looked almost
was so dark with exhaustion. "I needed to do
Another shrug. "I had to know I
"Sit in the dark on the bathroom floor? What use is that?"
The look Sam
gave him now was almost contemptuous.
"I needed to
know that I could stay somewhere small, dark and confined and
"You ask me the fact that you are sitting here suggests you
have freaked out."
"Thanks for the support."
again. "Sammy, I'll support you in anything you want to do.
Even if its
something as nutty as sitting in the dark on the bathroom
floor. But I
think you are being way too hard on yourself. I know you're
vulnerable right now, and I don't see how this is going to
"I managed it." Sam's voice was stubborn, with that
underlying hint of
steel he got when he felt he was facing up to
difficult odds. With a
mental sigh, Chris admitted
"Yeah, you managed it. Can we go back to bed now? And stay
cold in here."
Sam gave him a wry smile, the
expression looking very odd on a face as
drained of colour as his was.
"Sure. Give me a hand up?"
His partner's hand was very cold. The
air conditioning had chilled the
room noticeably in the time they'd
been asleep. Chris heaved him to his
feet, catching him when he
stumbled. Sam's torso was also cold, and
judging by the way he was
moving, the cold hadn't done his stiff muscles
need to warm you up," he stated briskly. Sam smiled at him
"What did you have in mind?"
"Bath. Get some
stiffness out of those muscles."
"I'm fine." There was the
slightest edge in Sam's voice, and Chris was
"You are not fine. You're stiff, sore and stubborn beyond
glared at each other. Sam was the first to look away,
in the way he moved.
"You going to insist on
"Right now? Yes. Enjoy it while it lasts. It'll only
happen when you
spend sixteen hours locked in a trunk."
I'm not planning to do again that in a hurry," replied Sam, keeping
voice deliberately light and smiling again. Chris wasn't
"I'd rather you didn't," he answered seriously. "I'm not
sure I'm up to
thinking the worst for that long." Again there was that
*something* through Sam's eyes, although Chris was too tired
to figure out
what it was. "Bath," he reiterated. Sam hesitated, and
himself for another argument he really didn't need at this
time of night.
Sam surprised him, his mouth lifting in a
slight smile as he asked, "Wash
"I'm not going
anywhere," replied the American, his voice gentle as he
unspoken question too. Sam nodded, apparently satisfied
avoided Chris' eyes as he sat down on the closed toilet lid,
the bath fill instead.
It didn't take long. One advantage of almost
living in hotels and motels
was the unlimited supply of hot water - at
most of them anyway. There had
been one or two such establishments that
Chris still shuddered to recall.
When the bath was full he waited until
Sam got in, his offer of assistance
refused with a frown. Back into
touchy mode obviously.
He settled himself behind his partner,
relieved when Sam leant back against
him. Wrapping his arms around his
partner, he contented himself with
smoothing his wet hands over Sam's
chest, getting the circulation going
again, until the warm suffused his
partner again. Then he pressed a brief
kiss against his partner's hair
and settled in for the long haul.
"Want to talk about
Deep breath. Count to ten again. "Let me
rephrase that. Tell me what's
bothering you or I'll dunk
That earned a chuckle from Sam. "Although I'm not sure that
this bath is
big enough for that, I'd rather not wrestle at this time
of night. What do
you want to know?"
Chris kept his voice
deliberately soft and even. "You said you could
"Planning how to kill me, you mean? And you want
to know if it bothered me
at all? Hell, no. I'm a CI5 agent, remember?
We take that type of thing
Sam stirred the water gently with one
hand. "It bothered me," he admitted
quietly. "But what Adams wanted to
do to me first bothered me more."
There was a long silence before he
added, "I felt so fucking useless Chris.
Trussed up like a bloody
Christmas turkey while that piece of slime talked
about how he wanted
my arse." He laughed, although there was no amusement
in it. "Davies
actually shut him up, you know. It appears that he wasn't
too keen on
the idea. Queers turn his stomach, apparently. Weird, isn't
it? I was
actually grateful for his homophobia."
"Remind me to send him a
Christmas card," commented Chris dryly.
"Yeah," sighed Sam. "He
just wanted to torture me to find out who much we
you told him you don't do that on a first date."
This time the
laugh was more genuine, as Sam said affectionately, "You have
really sick ideas, do you know that Keel?"
"Yeah, and most of them
involve getting you naked." Another laugh, and Sam
settled back against
him, the last of the tension draining out of his body.
tired," he said. Another long pause, and then out of the blue,
"Everything. Being my
partner. Putting up with my shit. Everything."
Chris struggled for
something to say, very touched by the remark, and the
sensed were behind it. He settled for, "You're welcome."
there for a while, letting the heat seep into their bones, before
broke the companionable silence to ask,
"Before... Why wouldn't you let me touch
"What? Oh, needed to concentrate. Couldn't do that if you
Didn't want to come too soon."
Chris shrugged before realising his
partner couldn't see him. "I just
wondered if it was, you know, because
of what happened."
Sam shifted slightly, getting more comfortable.
"If that was the case," he
sighed, "we wouldn't have done anything at
"Oh. Good point." Sam chuckled softly, but said nothing more,
against his lover again, pillowing his head on Chris' chest.
going to sleep are you?" Chris asked.
murmured Sam sleepily. "I trust you not to let me drown."
he meant something as simple as the bath, or whether he was being
literal and meaning in what had happened, Chris couldn't figure out.
settled for pulling Sam closer against himself and pressing another
against his hair. "I won't, love," he murmured.
no answer, Sam's breathing already easing into the deep rhythm
Oh yes, Chris decided. He was definitely in for the