the reluctant lobotomist (fourfreedoms) wrote,
the reluctant lobotomist
fourfreedoms

Fic: Cheap Charades

Title: Cheap Charades
Author: fourfreedoms
Fandom: Generation Kill
Pairing: Brad/Nate
Word Count: 7,181
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Brad's a cop, Nate's an FBI agent. They go undercover as a gay couple.
Notes: Blame amberlynne. None of the crazy is ever my fault. She's got like, four more pretending-to-be-prompts to go too. Anyway, thank you to the awesome thechiapet for betaing this for me despite midterms. Any mistakes are mine.



Brad was pretty determined not to like Special Agent Nate Fick. His suits were always pristine, he was fidgety about his coffee, and he always remembered everybody’s name the first time they told it to him. He loved to diagram things and to alphabetize and he’d told Brad one morning as they were looking over the coroner’s report that his favorite word was abecedarian.

That’s why it’s strange that one day, when he’s in the lab waiting for Ray’s bitchass to give him the results he asked for, Ray says, “You know, Agent Fick is pretty awesome.” And Brad agrees with him. Absolutely. Even though Nate carries Chapstick, stamps, and a notebook at all times and thinks they’re just as important as his service weapon.

Brad’s always played a little fast and loose with the rules. He drives too fast--when he was still a beat cop, his partner never let him drive. He doesn’t keep his mouth shut about the bullshit going on with Lt. Schwetje or Lt. McGraw, both of whom are always gunning for a reason to desk him. He has a love-hate relationship with Captain Ferrando, and he’s had more partners than he has fingers. But he also has the highest solve rate in the station, so everybody can suck it.

He was pretty sure that Mr. Fidgety FBI agent Fick was going to turn up his nose, refuse to share his resources, and just generally cockblock Brad in all ways possible. Nate’s not like that, though—he lets Brad drive, he doesn’t dismiss Ray or Walt for the "far superior" techs the Bureau boasts about, he lets Espera bitch about racial inequality in the briefing room, and he listens to The Cult and not in an ironic way. At first Brad worried that he was soft and that the reason he got into the Bureau was because of his grade point average, but Nate’s not like that either.

He threw a pen at Ray once in the briefing room when he’d meandered onto the subject of prostitutes and the connection between coastal fisheries, hit him right between the eyes. He told Encino Man Schwetje that he had his dick in a drawer and he was going to slam it when he tried to fumble into the investigation and screw everything up, and the last time they hauled in a suspect for questioning Brad was actually the good cop. Possibly a first in his storied career.

Stafford and Christeson, the two uniforms that are always dogging Nate, asking questions about the bureau, and generally making clowns out of themselves, say that Nate’s the LA branch’s shining white knight. “They expect him to rise through the ranks pretty quick,” Stafford tells them one night during the graveyard shift while they’re all drinking hot sludge left over from the coffee pot.

Walt looks directly at Brad over the rims of his thick glasses and says, “It’s gonna be kind of sad when you get this case wrapped up.”

“Whatever you say, geekface.” Brad scrubs at his eyes and looks at his watch. “ ‘Night, boys, looks like my shift is over.” He’s heading home at 3:00 AM to make himself a late night snack and to determinedly not think about Nate and how he’s a cool dude.

He recently moved to Santa Monica to be closer to the beach and because his girlfriend of forever moved out of their apartment and married his best friend from junior high. That had been fun. In a nervous breakdown, seriously considering life-long abstinence, Ray sending him inspirational e-mails filled with cats and penthouse spreads sort of way. Brad had needed a change. He’s only 12 blocks from the beach now and he’s within walking distance of Café Bolivar which probably absorbs half his salary from how often they feed him. He knows that Nate has a studio in Los Feliz because he hacked the bureau database one night when he was bored and none of his leads were checking out.

He goes to bed. He’s got another shift in six hours.

*

The next morning Nate arrives at the station in bright blue cycling gear, a helmet under one arm, and a messenger bag slung over his shoulder. “Did you bike here from your house?” Brad asks incredulously, sipping on his morning French roast. It’s always too hot and tastes vaguely burnt.

Nate grins at him. “I did.” He walks into the men’s bathroom and Brad shares a look with Ray. They’re distracted by some hullaballoo at the other corner of the room where Griego is making noise about the evidence for a rape case tacked to a white board.

“She was a prostitute! I don’t know why we’re wasting time on this!” Griego shouts, face turning red in his anger. Brad’s fingers go white-knuckled around his coffee cup. Ray slams his latest blood spatter analysis in the wire basket of Espera’s desk and stomps back down to the labs. If Brad could run away he would. The bathroom door swings open again and Nate walks out, straightening a sky blue tie, helmet under his arm. He takes one look at Brad’s face and then turns his head and tunes in to Griego’s diatribe. Before Brad even knows what’s happened, Nate has chucked his helmet at him. It hits Griego square in the back of the head with a dull thunk. The clatter it makes hitting the floor is as loud as a gunshot in the sudden silence of the room. Griego bellows like a moose.

“Sorry, sorry,” Nate says, smiling sheepishly, leaning on a nearby desk heavily. “I tripped and it just flew out of my hands.” He shrugs and apologizes again. Griego glares at him but doesn’t say anything. Espera picks up the helmet and silently hands it to Nate. He says a soft thanks and then walks over to Brad.

“You really like to throw shit at people,” Brad says, trying not laugh. Nate’s hair looks like he ran a wet hand through it before coming out of the bathroom. It sticks up a little in the front, makes him look even younger than the baby-faced rookie they’d all thought he was when he first walked into the station. Brad feels a sudden rush of affection and he buries his nose back into his coffee cup.

Nate makes a face, feigning innocence, and then smiles. “My mother despairs of me. So, what do we have today?”

*

That day in the briefing room, Captain Ferrando assembles Nate, Brad, Ray, Walt, Espera and his partner Lilley. Ferrando munches on a carob brownie and looks at their wall of evidence detailing the doings of a disgusting human being, Ronald Flay, and his accomplices. Kidnapping, racketeering, robbery, extortion, rape, and conspiracy to commit murder—there seems to be no end to Flay’s criminal habits. The worst part is that everybody knows it, but there’s no good way to nab him.

“So we know, thanks to Colbert and Agent Fick, that Flay’s using his lover, a Ms. Sweet Violet, and her club, Horizon, as a place to meet and set up deals,” Ferrando begins, back turned to them all. “Sweet Violet often serves as an intermediary for Flay, connecting him with prospective clients.”

“Sweet Violet? Who does that to their kid?” Ray asks, shredding a napkin into little pieces.

Walt pokes him in the side. “She’s a drag queen, idiot!”

“What? Really? Killer drag queens? Awesome!” Ray visibly perks up and Brad sighs. He feels Nate’s elbow dig into his middle and he turns it into a cough.

Ferrando shoots Ray a dark look. “Quiet, Person. So Ms. Sweet Violet has a bit of history with the law. I think it’s very unlikely that we’ll get anything from her if we try the normal route. However, she is frequently found in her club and is well known for being partial to…” he pauses, looking like he’s searching for the right words, “ahem attractive young men.”

“What are you saying?” Espera asks.

“I’m saying we send Brad in undercover at the club. Have him pose as a conman interested in a deal.”

Brad widens his eyes. He can’t open his mouth fast enough and Ray snickers loudly in the corner. Brad wishes he had a pen handy to toss at him.

“He’ll need backup,” Espera points out. “Sweet Violet’s got a rap sheet as long as my arm.” Lilley nods beside him.

“Excuse me?” Brad says, trying to interject. “No backup necessary if I don’t go!”

Ferrando ignores him. “Ray can masquerade as his boyfriend.”

“What? No! First of all, there’s no way in hell I’m prancing into a gay club and cozying up to Sweet Violet. Second of all, Ray? I’d rather lose a nut than go there.”

Ray crosses his arms and shoots him a dark look. “I love you too, sweetheart.”

Ferrando straightens up with a frown. “You’re doing it, or I’ll suspend you for that incident in Echo Park.”

“That was two months ago!”

“You want to play hardball with me kid, I’m laying it on the line for you. If I could send Hasser or Stafford without fear that they’d be gang-raped, I would possibly consider it.”

“Liar,” Brad grumbles.

“You can take Manimal instead of Ray?” Ferrando offers. Ray laughs so hard tears come to his eyes. Walt joins him a moment later and then Nate, Espera, and Lilley are loudly guffawing. Espera keeps getting himself under control and then looking back outside the briefing room and dissolving into laughter once again. Even Ferrando looks like he’s holding back a smile.

“Are you done?” Brad asks. He tips his chair back on its legs and shakes his head.

“I have confidence in you, Colbert, I’m sure you’ll find somebody adequate to escort you to Horizons.”

Brad tilts the chair forward again, legs slamming audibly on the linoleum. “Somebody adequate? Sir, I have to work with these guys. I can’t…do that with them!”

Nate sighs next to him. “I’ll go. We’re not going to be ‘liasing’ after this case, so it won’t be awkward.”

Brad turns to stare at him. He’s just opening his mouth to tell him he doesn’t have to when Ferrando shuts the case file he’s holding, and says, “Great, so it’s settled.”

*

Brad escapes to the lab when Nate leaves to report in at the Bureau's L.A. branch office. Manimal has no idea why Espera keeps laughing in his face.

“What are you going to wear?” Ray asks, fiddling with forensic models behind two plastic barriers. He’s got red high-fructose corn syrup all over himself.

Brad looks down at his leather jacket and jeans and says, “What’s wrong with this?”

Ray looks at him and shrugs. “Actually…nothing, I suppose you’ll have to worry more about Nate. If he shows up in one of his suits it’ll ruin the whole thing.”

Brad leans against the table that Walt is working at, trying to picture what he’s going to wear. Nate has Fed written all over him. “Tch tch tch, get out of my light,” Walt says, snapping his fingers at him. He’s bent over a sample, poking at it with a pair of tweezers. Brad moves obediently.

“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” Brad says.

Ray hacks at another model, more fructose splattering all around him. “I asked Nate to tape it so I can put it up on youtube, but he said no.”

“Thanks, Ray,” Brad replied drily.

“Hey, you said you’d rather lose a nut than be my boyfriend!” He pops the shield he has over his face up and makes a note on a pad.

Brad stares at him. “You like women!”

“So!” Ray clubs another model and the syrup audibly smacks the plastic barriers.

“Is this going to be a thing?”

*

Brad agreed to pick Nate up in the 1966 Aston Martin he’s sunk more money into than feeding himself. He doesn’t drive it enough, but then again he doesn’t trust the wind against it. “Bit much to pick me up on your bike on the first date,” Nate had said before he went home for the day.

Brad goes by the Library Alehouse for dinner with Espera and Lilley because he needs a reassuring burger and a beer. He’s sworn them to secrecy over the whole thing. Espera owes him his life and several favors besides so he agrees easily enough. Brad knows that Ferrando will tell Sixta though, and then it’ll be all over the whole station. Brad’s mostly enjoyed being a police officer, this is not one of those moments.

“I ran into that fuck Trombley the other day,” Espera says, accepting a bottle of ketchup from the waitress.

Lilley replies with a mouth full of food, “He transferred to the Hollenbeck division, I heard.”

Espera shakes his head. “They should take that twisted-up mofo’s badge.”

Brad sighs and changes the subject. He e takes a long swallow of the hefeweizen he ordered and shakes his head. “I’m sorry, I’m about to go play gay at Horizons. Isn’t there some law against macking on FBI agents?”

“Uh,” Lilley blinks at him, “I think there might be a rule that you can’t mack on Godfather, but as far as I know that’s pretty much it.”

“It’s not a big deal,” Espera tells him. “I’m pretty sure Fick has a girlfriend, so he’s not going to tell everyone you touched his ass or whatever.”

“Really? A girlfriend? I hadn’t heard that,” Brad replies, cocking his head. Espera shoots him an unreadable look.

“If anybody would know, it would be you, bro,” Lilley replies.

When the check comes they each lay down some cash and get to their feet. Espera has been talking about his daughters and the shit he gets as a mixed-race cop from all quarters interchangeably. It’s time to go. Brad thinks the only reason Lilley doesn’t look as bored as Brad feels is because he’s always got a sort of vague quality about him. “Quit whining,” Brad says affectionately and changes the subject to Chargers’ chances this season. Espera waves goodbye to the waitress and they leave.

“Are you going to make it up to Laguna Seca this year?” Lilley asks when they’re on the sidewalk. “I know a couple of guys are thinking about it.”

“Oh yeah, that’d be real hot, a cop contingent,” Espera says with a derisive laugh. “We could bring the badge bunnies along.”

“It’s an idea!” Lilley replies. Brad rolls his eyes and walks away as the good-natured argument starts up. Lilley calls peace after him and Brad shoots him an offhand wave without turning around. He looks up at the sky. It’s still light out, blue slowly subsumed by gray. There’s barely an hour before he’s got to get Nate.

He goes home and carefully brushes his teeth with his electric toothbrush, washing out the taste of beer. Running his tongue over his teeth, he wonders why he bothered. It’s not an actual date. It’s an assignment. He’s going to be the joke of the entire station. The next few months are sure to be full of fag jokes and uncomfortable references to Brad’s ass. He can take being mocked, but he doesn’t have to look forward to it. He feels lucky that Ferrando is suitably wary of Sweet Violet that he didn’t insist on a wire.

*

Nate’s on the street in front of his apartment when Brad pulls up. Brad almost doesn’t recognize him—he could be any twenty-something Brad expects to see in this part of town. When he imagined Nate outside the job he was always in his suit or running around in perfectly pressed khakis. He never thought Nate would be the type to own a white v-neck and tight jeans. In the casual clothes he seems like an entirely different person.

Nate walks over to the car. He’s holding a cigarette between two fingers and he exhales a diaphanous cloud of smoke before dropping the butt to the ground and stubbing it out under the heel of his plimsoll. The door creaks open. Brad winces for his baby as Nate slides into the car with a smile and says, “This car is gorgeous.” He peers at the leather of the seats and leans around to check out the back. Brad shrugs modestly and starts the engine. If the car gets so much as a scratch on it, Brad will fuck the disciplinary warning he got from Ferrando and give Schwetje a wedgie in front of the entire station.

“I really hate this assignment,” he says, zooming into traffic. He shoots a glance at Nate. “You look like a slutty hipster.”

Nate laughs. He slumps back in his seat and says, “Let’s just hope that Sweet Violet talks instead of dumping our bodies in the bay.”

“Pussy FBI agent,” Brad replies, shaking his head. Nate reaches across the car and punches Brad in the shoulder. Brad has to fight against a grin.

*

They walk into the club together. It’s a busy neighborhood filled with young people looking for a good time. Nate tells him to feel flattered when the bouncer waves him in past a queue of hopped up fairies in bright colored wifebeaters and glitter eyemakeup.

A subtle scan of the dance floor doesn’t reveal anyone of Sweet Violet’s description, the elevated VIP lounge is empty, and the bar is swarming. Brad sighs and glances over at Nate. “You know, it would really suck if we showed up on the one day that Sweet Violet decided to stay home.”

Nate runs a hand through his hair. “Brad, shut up and buy me a drink.” He leans up against the bar, watching the club while Brad orders a Dark and Stormy and a specialty cocktail for Nate off their list. The bartender winks at Brad as he pushes over the drink and Nate’s shot on cocktail napkins. He quails under Brad’s answering withering look. Brad puts down fifteen bucks and turns his back to him.

“Here,” he says, handing Nate the shot and then taking a sip of his own. It’s rum-heavy and burns his tongue slightly. Not bad. If it were any other place he might come back for another one.

“This tastes like dessert,” Nate says looking speculatively down at the empty glass in his hand. “What is it?”

Brad shoves his tongue into his cheek to hold back a smile and says, “A cum scorcher.”

Nate coughs and turns around, reaching for the drink list. Brad starts laughing as Nate finds the fourth item on the list. Nate sets the menu down and screws up his mouth. “You are such a bastard.”

“Aw, baby, you know I love you,” Brad replies, pressing his palm to his chest.

Nate’s eyes slide past Brad’s shoulder, alighting on something behind him. Brad raises his brows at him, wondering what he’s thinking. He doesn’t look away from Nate’s face. Nate gives him a saucy grin and says slowly, “I know you love my cock.”

Brad is so glad he’s not wearing a wire. He doesn’t think he’s blushed in the last five years, but suddenly his cheeks are flooded with color. A guy standing nearby turns around and gives them both a lascivious onceover before hitting the dance floor. Nate clicks his tongue and grins. “More where that came from!” He turns around to face the bartender who magically appears for him the minute he clicks his fingers and says, “Can I get two shots of tequila and a bottle of Blue Moon?” Brad watches as Nate tips the bartender outrageously and then holds the poor guy’s gaze as he slams the shot back. Nate licks the rim of the glass and then shoves Brad’s shot towards him. He tilts his head, tells Brad he’s “gotta keep up.”

He can’t believe this is the same person who starts pulling his hair out whenever he goes into the station’s record room because it’s covered in dust and cobwebs. Or the same person who gets angry when he can’t solve Sudoku puzzles. He drinks the shot and hopes that he’s not openly staring. Finally after long minutes of stilted conversation Nate leans over the careful foot of space Brad has always kept between them and whispers, “Play along, Colbert, our woman of the hour just walked in.”

Brad grits his teeth and then forces a smile, pulling Nate in by his hip. He comes easily enough, sipping at his Blue Moon like they’re at a tea party—not like they’re sharing body heat, close enough to smell each other’s breath. Nate has to look up now to meet his eyes and every time he brings the bottle to his lips it feels like flirtation. Brad supposes that’s how it’s supposed to look. Nate’s eyes are ridiculously green, like beach glass.

“Where is she?” Brad asks, bending his head so that it looks like he’s whispering something intimate into Nate’s ear.

“10 o’clock,” Nate replies. “Laugh like I’ve said something funny.”

Brad laughs while Nate looks superficially fond. He feels like he’s been stuck in some horrible romantic comedy, albeit one involving murderous transvestites and cock-hungry fairies. It pays off though when a deep baritone washes over them.

“Well aren’t you two just adorable,” a man at Brad’s back says. He turns his head to look and finds himself staring straight at 6’6’’ inches of woman. Sweet Violet is dressed like it’s the Academy Awards and she’s the one hosting. She grins toothily at them both. “Don’t think you two have made your way over here before.”

“No, ma’am,” Nate replies and offers her a hand. “It’s a pleasure.” Brad smiles tightly at her.

“Are my boys treating you cuties all right?” Sweet Violet asks.

Nate leans heavily into Brad. He’s scarily good at this. “Oh yes, your hospitality is everything we’ve been led to expect.”

Sweet Violet’s mouth quirks and she taps glittery lips with one lavender fingernail. “Hmm, you came here with intent, dollface?”

Brad blinks. The exchange is going very fast. He thought they were going to have to dance around it like Japanese businessmen for at least a little while longer. He watches Nate’s face carefully, but Nate isn’t betraying anything.

“My baby and me, we just moved here from Cleveland,” Nate says, squeezing Brad’s bicep. He shoots Brad another one of those creepy fond looks before turning back to Violet. If Brad couldn’t feel how deeply Nate’s fingernails were sunk into his arm, he’d have no idea he was anything other than comfortable. “New in town, you know, we’re just trying to figure out the lay of the land. We heard you could help.”

Violet raises her chin and sends them both an appraising look. Brad tries not to look away. Finally she nods her head. “Why don’t you come with me?”

She walks off into the writhing mass of bodies and Brad looks at Nate for a second, not wanting to just blindly trail after her. Nate shakes his head and pulls away from him. He ducks after Violet before she disappears from view, Brad following only a pace or two behind. She guides them up the stairs to the VIP lounge. It’s quieter there, though the bass still vibrates through the furniture. Two tall thickset men stand at either end of the room, sunglasses shading their eyes even in the darkness. Brad notes two 9mm Berettas on one and a Sig Sauer on the other. The one furthest from the stairs turns his head to stare at Brad so he carefully looks away.

Violet sits down on a leather couch, spreading her skirts, the very picture of debauched indolence. She gestures to the seat across from her. Nate sits first, setting his half empty beer bottle on the coffee table. Brad shoves in beside him.

“What are you boys looking for?” she asks when they’re settled.

Nate hesitates, and then says, “We have a job, but we can’t pull it off alone.” He pauses and Sweet Violet nods for him to continue. “We’d heard that you knew the right people to take it to.”

Sweet Violet gets an inscrutable look on her face, she pins her gaze on Brad. “The Viking sex god doesn’t say much, eh?”

Nate forces a laugh, rubs a hand down Brad’s back. “You’re just shy, aren’t you, baby?” Brad shrugs.

“I don’t buy it,” Violet replies. “Lotta people come in here, talking about jobs, wanting me to get them in touch with people. How do I know you’re not blowing smoke up my ass?” She leans forward. “How do I know you’re not cops?”

“Cops?” Nate says. He blinks innocently. “I don’t understand.”

Sweet Violet laughs without humor. “You’re darling, dollface, it’s a shame. But him,” she gestures at Brad, “he’s not that into it. Makes me think you aren’t really together. Makes me wonder who would pretend to be together in my humble abode. Makes me wonder if I should call my boys to handle you.” The expression on her face is dangerous and out of the corner of his eye Brad notices that her two heavies are playing close attention to the proceedings. God that was over quick. He knew Ferrando should’ve listened to him. There was no way he and Nate could make this work. What a fucking waste. It’s officially going to be a Bad Day when the two goons come over and try to break every bone in their bodies.

“You think we’re fronting,” Nate says, his voice holding a high note of self-righteousness and incredulity. He turns to Brad and disgustedly huffs. “She thinks we’re lying.”

Brad is aware of this. He is after all sitting right next to Nate. They might as well give it up and get going while the getting is good. He shoots Nate a surreptitious look below his lashes, waiting for some kind of signal. There’s a plea in Nate’s eyes and Brad doesn’t know what it is. He gets a clue pretty quick, though, when Nate tilts his chin and slides in close, mouth brushing over his. His lips are sugary like dessert liqueur.

Brad hears Sweet Violet let out a derisive snort. Okay, if they’re doing this then they’re doing this, and Sweet Violet can go fuck herself. Nate rises up out of his seat a little to kiss Brad at a better angle and Brad uses that moment to slide his hand around to cup Nate’s ass. It’s a really sweet ass. Brad’s noticed, because Ray talks about it with alarming frequency. He hauls Nate in over his thighs, palm stretched taut over one perfect cheek, forcing Nate to straddle him. Nate makes a sound in the back of his throat, surprise, Brad figures, and then he’s pressed all tight to Brad, kissing him for real.

He slides his tongue into Brad’s mouth, touching the tip, before withdrawing, forcing Brad to chase after him. Nate can kiss, god, can he kiss. The soft crush of his mouth makes Brad dizzy. He’s suddenly conscious of how long it’s been since he last got laid. Nate radiates heat. His skin is hot under Brad’s hands and the places they’re pressed together burn. Thighs, chest, lips. Brad feels like he’s loudly gasping air in through his nose, clinging tight to Nate in a way that a woman would never allow.

Nate presses a thumb just under Brad’s jaw, putting pressure right over his pulse. The beat of his heart seems to echo out from that spot, pounding down to his groin. He nips at Nate’s lower lip, tries to drag inward some semblance of control, but Nate defeats the attempt with every move. Brad’s completely unprepared when Nate winds an arm around his neck, hand clutching the back of Brad’s head to manipulate him the way Nate wants him. His hips rise, unbidden, seeking contact.

In the background he hears clapping and slowly Nate draws away. Light catches on his shiny and full lower lip, his glazed green eyes. “Sorry,” he breathes, so low Brad almost doesn’t hear it. He wavers, poised over Brad’s thighs, and then sinks off and back down to the leather couch. Brad’s chest rises and falls like he’s just taken several flights of stairs at a run. Nate’s palm has dropped high on his thigh and he’s hyper-aware of it so close to his dick.

Sweet Violet shakes her head, an impressed smile written across her face. “Sorry I doubted you.”

Nate narrows his eyes. “You never disbelieved us. You merely wanted to force us into that show.”

Sweet Violet stretches out a leg, running one four inch heel up Nate’s calf and grinning wickedly. “Dollface, when opportunities come I seize them.” She pulls a piece of paper out of her bodice and writes a name on it with a pen that one of her boys provides. She folds it neatly and holds it out to Brad. She catches his hand when his fingers close on it. “Take care of that, tall dark and silent. Not too late to teach you a lesson.”

Brad bares his teeth at her—it could hardly be called a smile—and pries the paper from her gasp.

“Thank you, ma’am,” Nate says, getting to his feet. Brad stands with him, chest pressed to Nate’s shoulder. “We’ll be seeing you.”

Violet waves them a way, her expression telling them she’s done with them and they head for the stairs. Brad drops a few paces behind Nate, letting him lead. He’s not sure what he’ll do exactly if he’s up close to him. Punch Nate in the gut and ask him what exactly that was? Bang his own head against the bar top? Blaze off and find some chick to bang? He’s hard, very hard, it’s making him think crazy dangerous thoughts. The tequila shot went down without any trouble, but now he’s wondering how much is him and how much is this place full of sweaty grinding men.

He follows Nate to the rear of the club, shoving through hot and heavy couples that don’t care at all about the audience they have. He doesn’t know what Nate’s apology was about, a job’s a job. Now that they’ve done theirs, they can finally get out of here and never worry about it again. They just won’t talk about it. There doesn’t have to be any confrontation, no awkward conversations. Nate’s shoulders seem tense under the fabric of his shirt, but it’s all going to be fine. Brad’s perfectly prepared to tell him he’s forgotten all about it. Nobody ever has to know.

Nate shoves the push-bar on the backdoor, forcing his way outside into the night air. It’s warmer outside without the air conditioning, and quieter, as soon as the door slips shut behind them. Brad looks upward quickly, checking the smogged-over sky and finds himself thrust backwards hard against the exposed brick of the Horizon’s back wall.

“What—?” He’s cut off by Nate’s mouth descending over his, sealing them back together into that crazy moment. Brad moans as Nate’s tongue runs over the inside of his lip and then feels instantly embarrassed. His heart beats too fast, like he feels every push of blood through his body, and every part it reaches feels lit up with Nate. Nate’s run this show from the very first moment; he’s gotten Brad to dance to his tune and Brad does not do that.

Nate’s fists tighten on his shirt, stretching the fabric out at the collar. Brad grabs his hands, using his grip to jerk them around and reverse their positions. Nate’s back hits the wall and their mouths part for a startling second. Nate breathes against his lips, eyelids fluttering, and Brad can’t help it. He’s inescapably drawn to that pink swollen mouth. Now that he’s tasted it, he can think of a million uses for it in Technicolor detail.

Nate gasps. He forces a hand between their bodies and grinds the heel of his palm hard against Brad’s dick. There’s no pretending this is anything other than it is. Not with Nate’s pushing their chests together, manipulating Brad with equal parts skill and force. Brad bites at his lower lip again, one incisor catching at the corner of Nate’s mouth and dragging across the full flesh. Nate hips jerk and his palm tightens over Brad’s dick. Brad wants to rut against that palm, to push and push until he reaches completion, but he’s not fifteen anymore.

He shoves a thigh between Nate’s legs, raising him to his tiptoes. Nate bites back at him, teeth sharp at the dip of his lip. It’s a stark contrast to the fingertips he runs over and over the nape of Brad’s neck so light it almost hurts. Brad feels it all the way down his spine. The kisses turn messy and desperate. His mouth feels raw and tender, but he doesn’t stop. Nate makes a small choked off noise in the back of his throat and it’s all too much. He could do this for hours, he could do this for years. It's like Nate’s stuck a hand right through his chest and started rewiring and rerouting all of his nerve-endings.

He feels a hand at the base of his spine and then Nate’s pushing up under his leather jacket. His fingers close around Brad’s spare piece, pulling it out of his waistband smoothly. Brad stiffens, a sudden rush of cold flowing through him, and Nate tears his mouth away. “Back off,” he says, voice brutally hard, eyes looking past Brad’s shoulder. Brad hears the click of the safety being disengaged.

He turns his head slowly. Behind them are three guys, would-be muggers hoping to prey upon drunk club-goers. Brad hadn’t even heard them. They seem just as surprised as he is, and they warily eye the gun, cowed in spite of Nate’s general state of dishabille and how Brad is wrapped around him.

“Get out of here,” Brad says quietly and they turn and run. Nate reengages the safety and sighs. His hand drops from Brad’s neck, trailing down over his back before falling away completely. He extricates himself and hands Brad his gun handle-first.

Brad swallows and licks his lips. He tucks the single action Browning into the back of his pants and drops his eyes away from Nate’s face. “I should…I should take you home.”

“I can catch a cab,” Nate replies. His voice is rough, throaty.

Brad looks up. “No, lemme take you home.

*

Nate is straight and has a girlfriend. Brad is just straight. They may never work together ever again, but they have to work together for now. They can’t really want this or need this or think about this all the time. But Brad does. His entire weekend is devoted to such introspection. He goes to the grocery store and think he sees Nate in the produce section. When he goes for his morning run on the trail next to the beach, Nate is every cyclist who shouts “on your right” to him. He has filthy dreams of Nate trailing his mouth down his chest, tongue running a line to his abdomen. He always wakes up just as Nate circles his fingers around his dick, tongue swirling over the head and into the slit. Usually by his mom calling or Ray showing up on his doorstep to go surfing. He should feel dirty or guilty or supremely annoyed with himself, but mostly he’s flooded with that heady terrifying feeling of a crush.

Brad is so fucked. When he drags himself into the office on Monday, Nate isn’t there. He keeps waiting for him to show up, especially now that the station has found out and reacted in predictable Neanderthal fashion. Brad might’ve responded by taking the wheels off of Griego’s rolltop chair, but he’ll maintain to the death that it was Chaffin. When Kocher calls him Bridget good-naturedly and asks him how much for a suck job, Brad says, “For you, friend? I’m sure there’s enough money in the world. But your wife on the other hand…”

The room explodes in laughter and cheering. Brad is pretty sure Nate would be unimpressed.

After hours of waiting, Brad ends up screwing around on his computer, making a lot of phone calls, and figuring out how they’re going to play the next step now that Sweet Violet gave them a name. He avoids Ray who accused him of moping--he was playing Battleship with Walt when he said it. Just goes to show that lying motormouth is not as overworked as he claims.

Brad thinks about committing some crimes so they’ll have something to do.

Nate never shows up. Brad calls his cell-phone, but it’s turned off. Either Nate was shot in the face and arrangements are being made for his funeral right that moment as Brad fills out paperwork, or he’s avoiding him. The bureau would probably go so far as to notify Ferrando in the former situation, so Brad guesses Nate hasn’t been shot in the face. It’s got to be the latter. Which, for all his misconceptions of Nate, he didn’t think Nate was like that.

“Where’s boy wonder?” Ferrando asks on Tuesday at lunch in the break room while Brad stares despondently at his egg salad sandwich. Nate still hasn’t put in an appearance.

Brad shrugs. “Busy.”

Ferrando makes a disgusted noise in the back of his throat. “Feds!” he bites out and stomps back to his office. Brad agrees. He can’t actually do this case without Nate anymore, so if he’s got some hangup he should get over it. He was way more comfortable about this assignment than Brad was and Brad’s not off being a prissy drama queen about it.

Brad looks down at his watch. 1 PM. Fuck this shit. Brad has never played by the rules. Who says he should now? He gets his jacket from his desk and ducks out of the station. He makes it to the LA field office twenty minutes later, darting through lunch-hour traffic several times over the speed limit.

He illegally parks his bike, pushes in through the front doors and flashes his badge at security. They warily eye his bike helmet and then let him through. Brad shakes his head internally. The Feds need to do better. Brad totally could’ve bought the badge at a drugstore for all that they looked at it.

He finds the floor directory next to the elevator bank. Organized crime is on the fifteenth floor. Brad looks around and wonders why everything is so quiet. The building seems mostly empty. He speculates fantastically that everybody is out to lunch. That would certainly go along with Ferrando’s low opinion of the bureau.

The elevator all the way up fourteen floors is empty. It’s a fast one and he feels the pressure of gravity at the top of his head--a disconcerting feeling he’s glad not to have to deal with multiple times a day. The doors ding open, revealing an office full of people running around and shouting. Whiteboards are slid around, mounted with evidence, LCD displays project gristly images, and people shout into their phones. Brad almost takes a step back. So this is where they all are.

Through the tumult he spots Nate. He’s got a desk next to the window and he’s in his shirtsleeves, with glasses that Brad didn’t know he wore perched at the end of his nose. The phone is pinned to his ear. He looks up when Brad walks up and smiles tiredly, gesturing to a chair. Brad waits ten minutes while Nate talks to somebody who’s clearly very angry. Nate could probably soothe a schizophrenic serial killer. Brad has to actively try not to just stare at his lips moving.

Finally Nate hangs up and shakes his head. He sets the glasses down on the desk and puts his head in his hands. Brad winces in sympathy. Nate breathes out and then pushes his hair back so that it sticks up haphazardly.

“Something go down over here?” Brad asks, tugging on the cuff of his jacket. He hopes he doesn’t sound too invested in the answer.

“Agent just went down for corruption and now all of his arrests for the past eight years are being investigated. It’s a real mess.” Nate looks down at his watch and blinks in surprise. He darts a glance around like he’s seeing the office for the first time. “Jesus, I haven’t slept in 36 hours.”

“There's a starbucks around the corner. You should grab some coffee,” Brad tells him. The relief in his throat almost chokes him into saying something embarrassing.

Nate gets to his feet and smooths his shirt down. “Come with me?”

“Yeah, okay,” Brad says, getting to his feet.

They walk to the elevators in silence, Nate waving off people who keep appearing to give him stuff. The elevator arrives almost instantaneously, helping him makes his escape. They dart inside as the doors slide silently open. Nate stretches, catlike, and Brad’s eyes are drawn to the long line of his throat. There are terrible dark circles under Nate’s eyes, but Brad moves without his brain processing anything beyond how much he’s been thinking about this. He cups Nate’s jaw and kisses him. It’s short, chaste in a way the previous ones never were.

Nate breathes out. When Brad steps out of his space his eyes are still closed. He says, “That was nice,” before opening them again.

Brad laughs ruefully and looks heavenward. “What the fuck are we doing? You have a girlfriend. And I…you…” he can’t finish the sentence.

Nate stares at him. “I don’t have a girlfriend.”

Brad lifts his head. “You…don’t?”

“No.”

“Well…I…that’s good,” Brad replies and then groans in frustration. “What am I saying? That’s not the only problem here.”

Nate steps into his space and kisses him again, hard and deep, tongue fucking into his mouth until Brad groans. Nate keeps a tight hand clasped around his wrist, grip reminding him who he’s with. The elevator hits the ground floor and the doors open, prompting Nate to step away quickly. “It’s the only one that really matters,” he says softly and steps out of the elevator first.

Brad stands frozen and Nate turns to throw a grin over his shoulder. Brad presses his fingers to his lips, imagining he can feel the burn of Nate’s kiss. The doors are slowly sliding closed and Brad makes his decision, darting through them to catch up with Nate.

*

IT'S DONE. I can finally do something constructive, like work on that paper I have due tomorrow.

That I have not started.

Hey, yesterday was the no good very bad day from hell. I cannot be held responsible.

Also, somebody tell amberlynne to quit having so many good prompt ideas. I'd like to stop frightening my peers by writing this shit in class.
Tags: brad/nate, cop/fbi au, fic, generation kill
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