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Finders, Keepers

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Patrick hits the ground with a grunt. He rolls into a crouch, swinging around to face his opponent. Pete snarls and dives for him again, but Patrick's ready this time. He grabs Pete around the waist and yanks him sideways, using his own inertia against him. He goes down with a loud "oof" and Patrick straddles him, grabs his hands and pins them above his head.

"What were you saying about having moves?" he pants down at Pete with a triumphant grin.

Pete struggles a little but it's mostly for show. He's breathing hard too, a sheen of sweat on his brow. "I totally had you there for a second."

Patrick hums, pretends to think about it. "Maybe for one second," he allows, turning his head to wipe his brow on his sleeve without letting go of Pete's wrists.

Pete wriggles under him a little, rocking his hips up against Patrick, and this time he's definitely not struggling to get free. "Now you have me at your mercy, what are you going to do with me?" he asks, playing coy.

It's enough to throw Patrick a little. The moment he relaxes his grip Pete gets his hands free and flips them over so Patrick's on his back. Patrick grabs Pete by the shoulders and pushes, trying to reverse their positions, but Pete holds him solid, pressing him down into the floor with his body, his legs bracketing Patrick's. It's about this time that Patrick notices that Pete is most definitely hard, and Patrick's not far off himself. Pete lowers his face to Patrick's, close enough they're sharing breath, and Patrick can feel the hot puffs of air against his lips. "Now who's in charge?" Pete half-whispers, entirely too pleased with himself.

"That was cheating," Patrick points out, because it totally was. No way Pete would use that move in a fight with anyone else. Hell, it probably wouldn't even work on anyone else.

"Sorry, did you say something? I couldn't hear over the sound of you losing." Pete giggles, and Patrick is totally going to kill him one day. For now he just arches up and takes Pete's mouth with his own. Pete gives a little grunt of surprise, but kisses back, sinking lower until their bodies are pressed tight together. Patrick slips his hands free from Pete's grip and strokes down Pete's arms, his fingers tracing the tattoos he knows so well and ending at his waist. He flips them over again, putting Pete on his back, but this time there's no resistance. Pete just wraps his legs around Patrick's body and bucks up, letting Patrick feel how hard he is, and fuck, that's hot.

Patrick grabs a handful of Pete's hair and kisses him hard. They totally shouldn't be doing this here, but he's having trouble remembering why he should care about Joe and Andy's list of Places Pete And Patrick Aren't Allowed to Fuck right now. He rolls down against Pete, letting him feel just how much he's enjoying this, and is rewarded with a deep groan that vibrates against his lips. Pete shoves a hand down the back of Patrick's sweats and grabs his ass, rocking their crotches together, rough but so good. Fuck, if they keep this up Patrick could come just from this, right here on the floor of the training room.

He's thinking that doesn't sound like such a bad idea when he's interrupted by an agonized, "Woah, woah, wooooaaahhh! No, no, no! Not here, you fuckers, it's on the list."

Patrick swallows down a noise of disappointment and looks up to see Andy in the training room doorway, eyes shooting death rays at both of them. "No fucking in the common areas, assholes. Keep it in your pants."

"We're not fucking. My dick is still in my pants." Pete argues, shifting just enough to make Patrick uncomfortably aware of how hard they both are.

"Millions of lesbians around the world just got really annoyed and they're not sure why. Now stop thinking with your dicks, we've got a hit on the Phoenix case, get out here." Andy gives them another incredibly unimpressed look and storms back out again.

"Oh shit," Patrick says, sitting up, his brain struggling to switch back to work mode.

Pete grumbles, but pries himself off Patrick, trying to adjust his pants around his boner. "Can't we just jerk off real quick?" Pete gives him puppy dog eyes, and Patrick would be a liar if he said he wasn't tempted, but they've been waiting weeks to get a hit on this particular case and who knows how long this window will stay open.

He brushes his fingers down Pete's face, catches Pete's bottom lip with his thumb. "Raincheck?" he offers.

Pete sighs, but he still nods. Patrick catches his mouth in one last kiss before pushing up to his feet and heading into the front room. They've got work to do.

*

The front room is humming when they get out there. Patrick steps carefully over taped-down cables they totally plan to run into the walls one day but never quite get around to. Andy's on the fat pipe computer, chasing code down the screen and typing madly. Joe's at the media station, a map of the bay area up on the plasma screen. He looks up when Pete and Patrick enter the room, and whatever he's got must be pressing because he doesn't even take a moment to give them shit for breaking the no-fucking-in-common-areas rules.

"We got a tip from the Ways. One of the guys on our red list popped up in San Francisco." Joe throws an image up on the screen - it's grainy, probably from a CCTV - but Patrick recognises the face immediately. This guy is one of five on their hit list for the Phoenix case.

"Do we think he's got the item?" Patrick asks, leaning closer, trying to make out where the guy is. Looks like a bank.

"We can't be sure," Andy chimes in, "But yesterday he took out a safety deposit box at Wells Fargo in Stockton and we've got CCTV of him going in with a silver briefcase."

"That doesn't mean it's the item," Pete adds, and he's right - it's hardly a smoking gun.

"He had the briefcase handcuffed to his wrist," Joe says, zooming in on the plasma screen image so Patrick can see the shine of metal around the guy's wrist. Pete's sharp intake of breath matches Patrick's. He can feel a grin spreading over his face. They've nearly got this. This could be the huge payday they've been waiting for.

"Okay then," Pete says, rubbing his hands together. "Pack your shit boys, we're going to San Francisco!"

*

It doesn't take them long to get to San Francisco and into three adjoining hotel rooms - two for sleeping in, one for all their equipment. Joe immediately starts cracking out cables and monitors, while Andy heads for the county recorder's office to see if they can scare up some blueprints for the Stockton branch of Wells Fargo. Patrick gets the task of opening a safety deposit box at the bank (because he looks the most respectable) and Pete goes with him to scope out the security.

It's not the first time they've had to sneak a bank, but it will be the first time their target is in a safety deposit box. It's going to take a little research, but Patrick's confident they've got this. Andy is an elite hacker, Joe's the best communications expert this side of the planet and Pete's got a talent for hardware like no one else. Patrick's the pointman. He carefully choreographs all of their sneaks and does most of the wheeling and dealing to get them jobs. The four of them together are an unbeatable team.

Some people might call them thieves, but Pete likes to call them Finders. Most of the time they're hired by people to get back things that were taken from them in the first place. They rarely have tangles with the law because most of the items they return were taken unlawfully to start with, or people don't want to admit they exist. It's not the life Patrick dreamed of when he was young, but it's a living and they're ridiculously good at it.

It takes them nearly twenty-four hours to lay out a game plan for the bank sneak. It's less prep than they'd usually have, but there's a time pressure. The briefcase has been in the bank nearly three days now, and they don't know how much longer it'll be there to take. A safety deposit box isn't a permanent storage destination, more like a pit stop. They have to move fast.

Joe and Andy kit out a rental van with their gear while Pete and Patrick dress like respectable bank customers. Patrick's outfit is completed with a silver briefcase - the closest match they could find to the one they saw in the CCTV pictures. Joe's already dressed in coveralls and baseball cap in case he needs to pose as a janitor and they've got a fireman's outfit on standby in the back of the van. They all pile in and Andy drives them to the bank.

En route, Patrick fits his in-ear monitor and tucks his lapel mic out of sight. "Test, test," he says, keeping his voice low.

"Reading you loud and clear," Joe replies, adjusting his headphones and taping up a few stray cables. The van looks completely different than when they picked it up from the rental agency - a folding stand now shoved in, covered in monitors and computer equipment.

"You're probably going to lose me when I go down into the vault," Patrick says, "No way signal will make it out of there."

"Try to keep it snappy," Pete says, his voice coming through Patrick's in-ear and his actual ears at the same time since he's standing right next to him. Pete catches Patrick's hand and rubs his thumb over the FOB tattoo there. "You know how I get separation anxiety." He tugs Patrick closer and drops a kiss on his mouth. Patrick returns it, lips lingering on Pete's until Joe coughs loudly.

"The van is on the list too." Joe points out.

"That's our van, not all vans in the world," Pete argues, pulling Patrick a little closer, probably out of spite, and shoves a hand down the back of Patrick's respectable suit pants.

"This van is ours today, we've paid for it, therefore no fucking, thanks!" Andy shouts from the front seat, glaring at them in the rear vision mirror.

Patrick swallows a laugh and steps back from Pete, who grumbles about how they weren't even fucking anyway. He doesn't have much time to make an argument before they reach their destination and there's work to do. Patrick hefts the suitcase as Andy drops them off a block away. He shares one more loaded look of reassurance with Pete before they set off, Patrick staying a good distance behind Pete. Pete needs at least a five minute head start.

Patrick keeps a slow pace on his way to the bank, his stomach flip-flopping as he watches Pete disappear inside. Sneaks got a whole lot more interesting when he and Pete finally wised up and admitted their feelings for each other. It's not that they're at any more risk than they were when they were still just friends and workmates, it's just that Patrick can't help feeling like now he's got something good going on, it's more likely fate will kick him in the teeth and do something to mess it up for him.

He swallows down that thought, and waits, biding his time until he hears the call he's been waiting for.

"We've got video," Joe's voice says in his ear, nice and clear. Patrick picks up his pace. That means Pete's made it inside and fitted the repeater to the bank's CCTV, feeding the signal to Joe and Andy in the van. Now they're playing ball.

"Going in," Patrick mutters into his own mic as he heads inside the bank. It's relatively quiet - they timed it perfectly. Patrick can't help scanning for Pete, though he knows he won't see him, not if he's where he's supposed to be: upstairs, on his way to trip the fire alarm. Patrick approaches the counter and lays down his fake ID, asking for access to his safety deposit box. The lady nods and gets his key, indicating for a security guard to come over. It's the same dance as yesterday and Patrick waits patiently, knowing Joe and Andy will be tracking him on the CCTV cameras.

He follows the security guard downstairs, checking his watch as he crosses the threshold out of the bank foyer.

"Five minutes and counting," Joe says, his voice starting to get a little staticky. Patrick raises an arm to scratch the back of his neck, signaling message received. He can hear the faint background hum of his connection drop when he gets to the bottom of the staircase, and it amps his heartrate up. To be off-radar like this, even for just a short time is a little scary.

Once he's in the vault, he checks his watch surreptitiously again - two minutes left. This guard is fucking slow. Patrick waits for him to unlock Patrick's safety deposit box and place it in front of him on the counter.

The beast of a man just stands there, watching, until Patrick says, "Can I get a little privacy? This is kind of personal," with a false smile.

"Of course, sir," the guard says, "I'll be just outside the door, let me know when you're ready."

Patrick thanks him and places his briefcase on the counter, clicking the locks and starting to open it. There's nothing inside but some costume jewellery - all for show. He lays the most convincing looking pieces on the counter and checks his watch again. Twenty seconds. He scans the rows of boxes, reminding himself where his real target - number 317 - is, and fusses over his box until he hears it.

The sound of the fire alarm is muffled but unmistakable. The security guard comes back, moving faster than Patrick would think he's able.

"Sir, you need to come with me. It's an emergency." He grabs Patrick's arm and starts to lead him out of the room.

"But, my things!" Patrick protests, struggling a little for show. "These are very expensive pieces, at least let me put them away!"

"There's no time, we have to leave now." The security guard tightens his grip on Patrick, forcing him out the door and towards the stairs. Patrick checks his watch, he's got ten seconds. He counts back from ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four -

He twists out of the guard's grip and races back into the vault. The guard rushes after him and Patrick catches a glimpse of his horrified expression a moment before the vault doors slam closed.

Patrick immediately ducks down, rolling up his pants leg and reaching for the tools strapped to his ankle. He grabs a set of lock picks, but leaves the tiny bit of C4 - the explosives are purely a backup if nothing else works.

Andy was the one who made the discovery about the vault's 7 minute force-lock if a fire alarm is pulled. Patrick has until the fire service give the all clear on the building to get into box 317. It takes him longer than he'd like and he needs to use every tool in his kit. He even considers the explosives for a second, but then the last stubborn pin in the lock shifts and it finally pops. Patrick wrenches the door open with his heart in his mouth, praying there's a silver briefcase inside.

There is.

Patrick's face cracks into a smile as he pulls it out and lays it on the counter next to his own. They got the match perfect - same brand, same model. He empties the costume jewellery out of his suitcase, and switches the two cases, putting his empty one in 317 and leaving the loaded suitcase on the counter. He gets box 317 closed and re-locked long before the vault door opens to reveal a the now very angry-looking security guard with another familiar face beside him.

Andy looks strangely convincing dressed in firefighter's garb. "You all right, sir?"

Before Patrick can even answer the security guard starts growling at him for getting himself locked in the vault. "You want to get me fired?"

"I can't believe you just expected me to leave thousands of dollars worth of goods in an open vault! How was I supposed to know it would close? Perhaps if you'd communicated with me-"

"Could you guys maybe finish this argument upstairs? I need to keep checking the premises. We think this might be a false alarm, but until we've done checks this is still an evacuation and neither of you should be here." Andy does Annoyed Fireman very well.

Patrick keeps in character, insisting the guard lock his box up before he'll leave. The guard reluctantly complies, possibly only because Andy is there - it's amazing how much trust people place in people wearing certain uniforms. Patrick hefts his briefcase and goes back upstairs. His earpiece finds signal a few steps from the top and he hears Joe and Pete's whoops of delight when he re-emerges with the briefcase. He walks past a small knot of actual firemen and makes his way outside.

There's a small cluster of bank staff on the street outside, as well as a few customers and a fire truck. Patrick makes himself scarce quickly, before anyone can ask any questions. Joe and Pete are waiting in the rental a block away and Andy should be on his way too, via the back entrance. They both arrive pretty much simultaneously and are greeted with Pete's gleeful smile when they open the door.

Pete drags Patrick into the van and into a hug, his arms tight around Patrick as Andy slides the door closed and Joe guns the engine. Patrick doesn't really breathe easy until they're minutes from the bank, and that's when it hits him - they did it. They pulled off the sneak.

"Holy shit, we did it," he says, a little awe in his voice.

"Dude, I've been saying that for like ten minutes now," Pete says, catching him in another hug and resting his head against Pete's shoulder.

Now all that's left is to set up a drop with the client and get paid.

*

Patrick regrets letting Pete drag him out the moment they step into the club. The music is loud, the spinning lights nausea-inducing and the place is wall-to-wall full of guys who look like underwear models. Patrick's getting a crick in his neck looking up at all of them.

He tugs at Pete's arm, "Do we have to?"

"Come on, Trick, it'll be fun!' Pete insists. It's the same thing he said an hour ago, but somehow he was more convincing when they were all drinking champagne out of plastic cups and reveling in their own success. The drop isn't until 9pm tomorrow night and that teamed with Patrick being high on triumph and champagne bubbles somehow added up to him agreeing to go out to a club with Pete.

A gay club, because, in Pete's own words, "I want to be all over you without it looking weird."

Patrick did try to explain that they are in San Francisco, Pete could be all over Patrick pretty much anywhere in this city and the locals wouldn't bat an eye. But Pete was insistent and Patrick has a hard enough time telling him no when he has hard facts to back him up. Needless to say, he lost this round.

Two overpriced drinks later and he wishes he'd fought harder. The music is terrible, the drinks aren't much better and every time Pete leaves Patrick's side, it's like Patrick turns invisible. Pete, of course, is attracting all kinds of attention. It's no surprise given his form-fitting shirt and spray-on pants. He needs a bat to keep all his tight-jeans-clad sultry-eyed suitors at bay. It's no surprise, Patrick's well aware of Pete's charms and it's not like he cares about getting that kind of attention for himself, he's just trying not to feel like a third wheel on his own date.

Patrick doesn't want to spoil Pete's night so tries not to let his discomfort show, and he must be doing an okay job because Pete goes to blow some more dough on drinks. As soon as he's at the bar he starts getting chatted up by the bartender - a tall guy with even taller hair and shoulder pads that make him look like a Roman gladiator. Patrick sighs and leans back against the wall, kind of glad to be invisible. He wonders how much longer he'll have to stick it out before he can take Pete back to the hotel and start having some actual fun.

"Well, hello gorgeous." A voice comes from beside Patrick and he looks up, expecting to see a pickup happening right next to him, since there's no way this guy is talking to him.

Except the guy is talking to him. Or, at least making eye contact. Patrick doesn't even have to lift his eyeline that high, the guy is as short as he is, even with his gravity defying hairstyle.

"Sorry, were you talking to me?" Patrick asks, and he actually checks over his shoulder to make sure someone hasn't snuck up behind him, even though there's a wall there.

"Who else would I be talking to?" The guy sends him a smile that reminds Patrick of an excited puppy. "Want to dance?"

The guy seems totally genuine, which is weirding Patrick out a little. He's also wearing a garish gold/silver suit, so maybe he just has questionable taste.

"Um," Patrick stutters, kind of stuck for an immediate answer. He glances over at the dance floor and notices that most of the guys on it aren't so much dancing as enthusiastically grinding on each other and some of them are even making out. That kicks his brain back into gear and he manages to say, "I'm here with someone." He doesn't point out Pete, but he can't help the way his eyes flick back to the bar where the gladiator dude is still insistently talking at Pete.

"Yeah, I saw," says the guy, "you guys are a cute couple. I'd dance with both of you." He eases closer to Patrick, giving him a winning smile (Patrick's not sure if he's ever seen a smile he'd call winning before, but this guy's totally is.) "I'm Brendon." He takes Patrick's hand, not so much shaking it as rubbing his fingers all over it. "Cool tattoo," he adds, sliding his thumb over Patrick's FOB tattoo in a way that's so reminiscent of how Pete does it gives Patrick a sense-memory. He suppresses a shudder.

"So, dance?" Brendon asks, and he looks so hopeful Patrick feels like an asshole when he says, "I don't really dance."

"What are you here for, then? C'mon, you don't have to be good at it. Just move and let the music take you where it wants to." He's still holding Patrick's hand. His fingers are warm and it's sort of distracting. So distracting Patrick doesn't notice Pete until he's pressing up beside Patrick and putting a drink into his free hand.

"Hey baby," Pete says, nuzzling Patrick's neck. The move is so obvious he might as well have saved himself the trouble and just told Brendon to back off, Patrick is his.

Patrick leans into it anyway. Maybe the champagne got to him more than he thought, but it just feels so nice. "This is Brendon," he tells the top of Pete's head. "Brendon this is Pete." It's kind of tricky to make introductions with both his hands occupied but somehow Patrick manages it, gesturing with his chin instead.

Brendon still doesn't let go of Patrick's hand; in fact, he steps it up a level and reaches for Pete's hand too. "I was just telling Patrick how you should both come dance with me."

"Were you now?" Pete asks, sounding doubtful, but Brendon just says "yes" and beams a blinding smile at him.

Patrick can tell the moment Pete's opinion shifts. "Maybe when we've finished our drinks. Don't let us stop you."

"I'll hold you to that," Brendon says with another huge smile and an exaggerated wink. Somehow he comes off more endearing than sleazy. He struts off, wiggling his ass, which is absolutely on show in his incredibly tight pants. It's actually quite a nice ass, Patrick is just tipsy enough to admit.

Pete slides in behind Patrick, curls his arm around his waist and pulls him in so he's pressed all up against Patrick's back. "Well, he was… interesting."

Patrick snickers and takes a sip of his drink. It's strong, maybe even a double. Guess the bartender really liked Pete. Pete nuzzles Patrick's neck, his lips cool and a little damp. It prickles Patrick's skin, making him shiver and arch against Pete.

"Yeah," Patrick agrees, "Very interesting." He turns his head to meet Pete's eyes, can feel a question in the air between them, one neither of them is ready to ask yet.

Patrick turns back to the dance floor and finds himself looking at Brendon, who's perfectly positioned right in front of Pete and Patrick. The way he's moving shows it's no accident. His dancing is a little too wild and awkward to be typically seductive, but somehow that works for Patrick. He watches Brendon's hips move, his hands caressing his own face and chest, his eyes falling closed as he drops his head back.

Patrick downs another mouthful of his drink and rocks back a little against Pete. Pete pulls him tighter against his chest, one hand splayed over Patrick's heart. He's moving a little himself and it doesn't take much before they're both rocking to the beat, not so much dancing as swaying together, heat everywhere their bodies touch. Patrick drinks faster, eager to be rid of the glass. Once it's gone both Pete's hands are on him, sliding up his arms, over his chest, into his hair. Pete's lips brush the back of Patrick's neck, slide down to mouth at his collarbone and fuck, Patrick's likes that. He grabs behind him for Pete's body, pulling him closer, their hips moving together. He can still sense the pulsing lights behind his closed eyelids. When he opens them, Brendon's watching him with a smile that looks hungry.

Patrick's surprised Brendon doesn't approach them. He just watches them from the dance floor, his own moves getting raunchier, hips bucking, hands roaming. He turns away several potential dance partners, his eyes glued to Pete and Patrick.

In the end, it's Patrick who leads Pete out onto the floor. He goes easily, turning Patrick in his arms and claiming his mouth in a kiss Patrick's desperate for. His arms are tight around Patrick as he kisses him, hot and eager. Patrick can feel the weight of Brendon's gaze on them and it just makes it hotter.

It's no surprise when he feels another body pressing up behind his. He breaks the kiss and looks back over his shoulder, locking eyes with Brendon, who gives him a wide smile. He rests his hands on Patrick's shoulders, just lightly, his eyes darting between Pete and Patrick like he's asking permission, and Patrick supposes he is. Patrick looks to Pete, the same question in his eyes again, and in the end it's Pete who decides. He places his hands over Brendon's, pressing his fingers into a firm grip on Patrick's shoulders. Then Pete entwines his fingers with Brendon's, and tugs him closer, guiding Brendon's hands past Patrick's body to his own waist.

Patrick smiles dreamily, bracketed on both sides by two guys who are out of his league in hotness. He decides to just go with it. Pete starts kissing him again, grinding against him in a way that makes him grind back against Brendon. It feels fucking amazing, even better when Brendon starts to mouth at Patrick's neck. Better again when Pete turns Patrick around so he can kiss Brendon while Pete bites lightly at his neck. Fuck, Patrick's so hard already he might pass out from it. When he comes up for air, Pete leans in, kissing Brendon over Patrick's shoulder. Patrick watches the slide of their lips, how into it they both are and he can't bring himself to get jealous or territorial, it's just a hot view he could watch forever.

"The three of us should go somewhere," he tells them, trying not to moan in disappointment when they stop kissing to look at him.

"Yeah?" Pete says, a careful kind of excitement in his eyes.

Patrick takes a glance at Brendon's sleepy-soft eyes and kiss-swollen lips, and sends Pete a lewd, hopeful smile. "Oh yeah."

Brendon actually bounces with excitement. "Let's blow the joint!"

*

It's probably a stupid idea to take Brendon back to the hotel, but Patrick's definitely at the stage when stupid ideas can be mistaken for genius ones. Especially when Brendon spends the entire cab ride pressed up against his side, mouth hot against his neck. Pete gropes him from the other side, mouthing filthy words into Patrick's ear.

No, this is a great idea. It's even better when they get inside and Pete presses them both up against the wall and takes turns kissing them. He tugs at Patrick's belt buckle and for the first time in memory Patrick's desperate to be naked. Brendon strips out of his awful shiny suit and what's underneath it is so much better than the questionable tailoring.

Patrick swallows a groan, running his hands over pale skin and lean muscle. "You should just never wear clothes," he tells Brendon, because his filter vanished at least three drinks ago. Brendon beams an enormous grin at him and kisses him hard.

Patrick grins into the kiss, getting a little distracted when Pete wrestles off Patrick's jacket and shirt. Pete presses up against him from behind, warm skin against warm skin and Patrick can already feel how hard he is. Pete's not shy about it, rutting up against Patrick's ass as his mouth finds the spot behind Patrick's ear that undoes him without fail. Fuck, he hopes the walls in this hotel aren't too thin, Andy and Joe will kill them.

He forgets that thought pretty quickly when Brendon breaks the kiss, flashes him a wicked smile and drops to his knees. He tugs Patrick's pants down to his ankles and Patrick struggles to stay upright as hot, teasing breaths play across his cock. He groans and leans back against Pete, who hugs him close from behind, peppering kisses over Patrick's cheek and neck.

Brendon doesn't go for it straight away. He teases, holding Patrick's dick in a loose grip and only giving his dick light, brief licks until Patrick groans in frustration. Patrick reaches down, cupping Brendon's cheeks and guiding him closer, trying to feed his dick between Brendon's lips. Brendon lets him, his eyes lit with humour as Patrick's hips press gently forward, forward. Pete makes an appreciative growl and Patrick loses his touch for a few agonising minutes while Pete struggles to get out of his stupidly tight jeans.

Brendon's starts to suck Patrick's cock, his tongue sliding wet around the head. Patrick's knees are just starting to shake when Pete returns. He's totally bare now, pressed up against Patrick's back, his hard dick nudging at Patrick's ass. Patrick whines, caught between pushing back against Pete and forward into Brendon's mouth. He sort of does both, a weird kind of push-pull dance as Brendon swallows him deeper and Pete's hands wander over his skin.

"Oh god," Patrick groans, because fuck this is all going to be over so quickly. He's hypersensitive and feeling a little overwhelmed. His can't help the way his hips keep pushing forward, faster, faster, heat coiling low in his belly and oh fuck. "You guys-" he stutters, "I can't-"

Pete wraps a hand tight around the base of Patrick's dick, and suddenly the heat of Brendon's mouth is gone. Patrick blinks down dumbly to see Pete's other hand locked in Brendon's hair, pulling his head to the side at an awkward angle.

"Not yet, Trick," Pete says, his voice throaty and sounding like sex. Patrick can't help the whine that escapes his lips. Even with Pete's tight grip on his dick he still feels a breath away from shaking apart.

"Did you have something in mind?" Brendon asks, looking way too satisfied with himself. He's still knelt on the ground, his fingers rubbing soft circles on Patrick's thighs, making his skin tingle.

"About a million things," Pete laughs, deep and gorgeous. "How about we start with you getting on the bed though?"

"Roger that," Brendon says, hopping up to his feet with a bounce that makes his hard dick hit his stomach. It's kind of hot and hilarious at the same time. Brendon struts to the bed like he knows how good his ass looks when he does that (Patrick's pretty sure he knows). He flops down on the bed, bends one leg up and starts to stroke himself lazily. He looks like a fucking Playgirl centerfold and Patrick's mouth waters.

"Babe?" Pete's voice is low, just for Patrick. Patrick turns to face him, leaning in when Pete does and sighing into the kiss. Fuck, tonight is turning out to be so weird - awesome, but weird. Patrick's glad they're in this together. When the kiss breaks Pete's smiling at him, his eyes lit with excitement. "You know what you want?" he asks Patrick, his voice careful.

"I want whatever you want," Patrick admits, because he can't imagine Pete wanting anything he'd be reluctant to do.

Pete's grin turns blinding, "I was hoping you'd say that." He walks Patrick over to the bed, and turns him around to face Brendon.

Brendon grins up at them both, still loosely gripping his dick, "Hey."

"Hey," Patrick says back, breathless.

Pete's arms wrap around him from behind and he nuzzles behind his ear. "You want to fuck him?" he asks, his voice low but loud enough that Brendon must hear, his smile growing wider.

"Oh yeah," the words rush out of Patrick's mouth.

He can feel Pete's smile pressed into his skin when he says, "I thought so."

Patrick's about to ask if Brendon agrees, but Brendon's already bounced to his knees, crawling across the bed to the nightstand and digging around in it like he already knows Pete put condoms and lube in there earlier. Patrick gets distracted by the fine view of his ass until Brendon comes up triumphant and crawls back across the bed towards them.

Brendon drops the supplies on the bed and grabs at Patrick's shoulder, tugging him down.

"I take it you're down with this plan?" Patrick asks, letting himself be man-handled until he's lying on top of Brendon, their legs deliciously scissored. Brendon doesn't bother answering him, just claims his mouth in a kiss that says it all anyway. Patrick hear Pete's amused chuckle a moment before Pete lands on top of him, with just enough force to knock their mouths apart.

"Pete." Patrick tries to get a warning tone into his voice but it doesn't really work.

He doesn't so much see as feel Pete's shrug. "I got lonely." Pete starts kissing from the base of Patrick's neck down his back and it's pretty much impossible to be annoyed. Brendon leans up and starts kissing Patrick again and Patrick has to give up on thinking altogether. Pretty soon they're just a pile of heaving bodies and wanting flesh. Pete rutting up against Patrick, Patrick riding Brendon.

"We doing this thing or what?" Pete asks, breathless in Patrick's ear. Brendon's the one to answer, reaching for the lube and saying, "If you'd both get off me, I could probably get this going."

Patrick presses his smile into Brendon's cheek, then he pushes up on his arms, giving Brendon enough room to slide out from underneath them. Brendon goes straight for the lube, and Patrick's mouth waters as he watches him coat his fingers and reach behind himself, leaning forward on his elbows, ass in the air. Pete tugs Patrick back into his lap, their eyes glued to Brendon as he slides teasing fingers around his hole. It's like having front row seats to the hottest live porn show. Patrick can't believe this is actually happening.

He squirms in Pete's lap, breathing so hard he might pass out. Pete hums a moan into Patrick's skin as they watch Brendon slowly finger himself open. Brendon glances back over his shoulder at them, flashing a sly grin, ever the showman. He knows exactly what he's doing and the effect it's having on both of them.

Patrick wants nothing more than to replace Brendon's fingers with his cock, and he can. It only takes a nudge from Pete to get him moving, reaching across the bed for Brendon, sliding his palms over the smooth skin of Brendon's ass.

"Yeah," Brendon hisses out the word, pushes his ass back into Patrick's touch. "C'mon, want you."

Patrick kneels, eases up behind Brendon. He can't take his eyes off Brendon's fingers, shiny with lube, in his ass to the knuckle.

"Like this?" Patrick asks, pushing forward a little so the front of his thighs press the back of Brendon's. His dick - so fucking hard - brushes the perfect curve of Brendon's ass.

"Yeah," Brendon mutters, rocking back into Patrick's touch, already so eager for any contact.

Patrick's breath catches in his throat. Before he can make a move for the condoms Pete grabs him by the hip, ripping foil open with his teeth. "Wanna see this," he tells Patrick, his voice deep and throaty. He reaches for Patrick's dick, giving it a few strokes before rolling the condom on. Patrick wants to swoon. He's too close, it's too much contact. Fuck, there's no way he's going to last.

Pete catches his mouth in a kiss that's got an edge of desperation to it and Patrick knows they're both in exactly the same place. Patrick grabs for Pete's dick, giving it a few slow strokes and making Pete groan into the kiss. Pete's the one to break it, giving Patrick a little push toward Brendon. "C'mon," he says, a sly smile quirking his lip, "showtime."

Patrick's laugh dies on his lips when he turns back to Brendon. Brendon's still face down, ass up, but he's slid his fingers free and is holding his ass cheeks, stretching himself open. Patrick's breath comes out in a rush and he can't help but reach down, trace a fingertip around Brendon's hole, slide it gently inside. Fuck, he's so hot, so tight. Patrick reaches for his own cock and holds it firm and low, trying to calm down. He keeps his grip, easing forward, nudging at Brendon's ass with his dick.

Brendon lets out a needy moan and reaches back, grabbing Patrick's hip and pulling forward, demanding more.

"If you insist," Patrick says, and starts to push in. It's fucking gorgeous, so tight, so hot. He looks back over his shoulder to see Pete watching, his eyes wide, his mouth loose and wet.

"Fuck, yeah," Pete says succinctly, then presses in behind Patrick, his dick brushing Patrick's ass as Patrick pushes in the rest of the way.

Patrick's eyes fall shut and he sighs out a long "Fuuuuuck." He hitches his hips a little, experimentally and Brendon groans loud, pushing back on Patrick's dick like he loves it.

"Yeah," Pete's voice is hot in Patrick's ear, his hand covering Brendon's on Patrick's hip. He ruts up against Patrick's ass, his movements shoving Patrick's hips forward, slowly fucking him into Brendon.

"Oh shit," he groans, letting his hips move with Pete, feeling Brendon all around him. Fuck, it's so good. He wants to fall forward, rut into Brendon's ass until he comes, he's so desperate. He reaches around for Brendon's dick, slowly jerking him off in time with his thrusts. He's just starting to find a rhythm, thinking maybe, maybe he can last a little longer than thirty seconds, when slick fingers start to stroke his ass.

"Pete," Patrick chokes out, because Pete knows he loves this, knows exactly how to do it. Patrick fucks into Brendon while Pete's fingers slide inside, working in and out of his ass. It feels incredible. God, he's so close already.

"Brendon?" Patrick leans down and wraps an arm around Brendon's chest, his other hand still working Brendon's dick.

Brendon arches up against him, moaning, "So good, yeah so fucking good," as he thrusts into Patrick's hand. Patrick's so gone he doesn't put together the pieces - the sound of another foil packet ripping, the lube cap opening, Pete's fingers sliding out - until Pete's dick is nudging at his ass.

"Fuck," Patrick groans, stilling his hips and holding tight to Brendon. "Are you really-?"

"Yeah," Pete's reply is almost a sigh. He's not pushing in, not taking. Just waiting for Patrick to show he wants it. And fuck, yes he does. Patrick holds tight to Brendon's hip, making sure they move as one as he pushes back, slowly impaling himself on Pete's dick.

Pete's long, low groan is hot against his ear. "Fuuuuck."

Pete dictates the rhythm, Patrick's too out of it to even. Pete eases in and pulls out, slow - too fucking slow. Patrick strokes Brendon's dick in time and it's really, really fucking hot. Patrick's got Pete against his back, Brendon underneath him, fucking and being fucked. He bites lightly at Brendon's shoulder, needing to do something with his mouth. Brendon groans and arches up under him, hitching his hips back a little faster, pushing up the tempo.

That's the beginning of the end for Patrick. He's so hot, so fucking ready to blow. Brendon's not far off either, Patrick can hear it in his moans, feel it in the throb of his dick.

"Oh god, goddamn it," Brendon mutters into the mattress, bucking underneath Patrick, squirming and moaning. His dick is slick under Patrick's fingers, making the slide easy, and he feel so fucking good around Patrick's cock. He turns his head to the side, so Patrick can see the agonized grimace of his profile, panting out moans.

"Oh fuck, oh jesus-fuck!" Brendon goes falsetto, rearing up off the bed so high Patrick nearly falls off. He holds tight and keeps thrusting, faster, harder, giving Brendon everything. Pete chases Patrick's rhythm, bottoming out on Patrick's every thrust and it's just too fucking much.

Brendon breaks before Patrick, but only barely. He lets out a long loud groan as he spasms under Patrick's hands, shooting all over his fingers and the bed. Patrick manages a few more fast thrusts before he's coming too, his body freezing taut a moment before he comes his fucking brains out.

He slumps down on Brendon after, breathing hard, slick with sweat. It's a shock when Pete pulls out, so fast it's a little uncomfortable. Pete swears, shoving Patrick onto his back gracelessly. Patrick hears the snap of a condom and opens his eyes just in time to see Pete grip his bare cock, and start jerking off fast and messy. Patrick grins lazily at him, wriggling down the bed and laying right in front of Pete. Brendon rolls onto his side and grins at him, wriggling down to join him.

"Oh it's like that, is it?" Brendon asks, slyly, watching Pete adjust his grip like he's aiming, preparing to shoot all over both of them.

"Yeah," Patrick says, a little breathlessly. He's having trouble taking his eyes off Pete. He's so fucking gorgeous like this. So focused, intense, in the moment. Patrick doesn't want to miss it when he comes apart, wants to see it all, feel it on his skin.

"Shit that's hot," Brendon says, echoing Patrick's thoughts. He arches up a little, like he's trying to make a better target.

Pete looks like he wants to smile but he's too far gone. Patrick recognizes the hitch in his breaths, the little panting moans. He's close.

"C'mon, Pete," he says, sliding a hand up Pete's thigh, slipping a little lower on the bed so he's an easy target. "You know you want to mark me."

Pete whines, pumping his fist, his hips shoving forward into his hand. Christ, he's gorgeous.

"Cheating," he mutters, as Patrick reaches up to twist a nipple. Pete's face contorts and then he's groaning, coming, and Patrick's arching up to catch it on his chest. Pete shifts his aim and manages to get some on Brendon's stomach.

Patrick lies there a moment, hot spill on his chest, still floaty from orgasm and wonders when his life became gay porn.

Pete collapses on top of him, pulling the three of them into a sweaty, sticky hug and Patrick can't think of a time he's ever felt better. Or sleepier. Someone drops a soft kiss on his lips as his eyelids get too heavy to keep open. He's not sure who. He doesn't mind either way.

*

Patrick opens his eyes to mostly-darkness, not sure what stirred him. Someone's wrapped around him from behind, a cuddly big spoon. He looks down and recognises Pete's hands, his FOB tattoo just visible in the darkness. His mind floats to the day they all got their tattoos. How insistent Pete was to get his in the same spot as Patrick's, while Andy and Joe wanted to get theirs elsewhere. He and Pete weren't even dating back then. It's still Patrick's only tattoo and he's not sure he'd get another.

Back then it was about committing to something, a brotherhood of sorts. Now it feels more like family.

A rustle draws Patrick's attention back to the present. He looks toward it, blinking up at Brendon who stands beside the bed, smiling down at Patrick.

"Shhh," Brendon says, with a nod to Pete. He's sleeping hard and there's no way Patrick wants to wake him. Brendon leans down, pressing a light kiss to the side of Patrick's mouth. "Nature calls, I'll be right back." He kisses Patrick again a little firmer and whispers into his lips, "Don't go anywhere."

Patrick sends him a sleepy grin, his eyelids already slipping shut again.

*

In the list of Ways Patrick Would Like To Wake Up, being yelled at by Andy would be way down the bottom. In fact, it wouldn't even be on the list. Being yelled at by Andy when Patrick has a hangover is even less desirable.

Patrick presses his face into the pillow and tries to will Andy to leave with the power of his mind. He's very aware that he's naked and in bed with two other dudes who are also naked and Andy totally shouldn't be in this room.

"Andy, the drop isn't til like way later tonight, we really don't need to be awake yet. Please go away." Patrick groans into the pillow.

He tries to reach for Pete, to use him as a human shield, but Pete says, "Trick. Hey Trick," in a concerned tone that wakes Patrick up faster than a double shot latte. Patrick pries his face from the pillow and flips over, careful to keep himself covered with the sheets. Pete looks worried. Patrick glances to his other side to see how Brendon's faring… except he isn't there.

"Hey, where's Brendon?" he blurts out.

"More to the point," says Joe, standing behind a very angry-looking Andy, "Where's the fucking briefcase?"

*

Patrick stares - no, gapes at the hotel safe, which last night had been very full and very locked, but is now very open and very empty.

"What the fuck?" he gasps.

Pete kneels down beside the safe, running a finger around the keypad. It's a little loose. "Fuck," he says, "There's barely a mark on it. Whoever did this is good. Really good." He runs a hand through his hair and Patrick can see the wheels turning. "They were prepared, too. You need special equipment for this kind of crack. Fuck." He slams a hand fist down on the safe with a dull thud, "Fuck!."

Patrick's going to throw up. "You mean whoever wanted that case, wanted it badly enough to stalk us and fucking seduce us? What the fuck is in that suitcase?"

Joe lets out a harsh breath. "Couldn't you guys have waited until after the two hundred thousand dollar drop before picking up some random stranger for a threesome?"

Andy doesn't comment, but he does look like he wants to kick something, which is rare for a pacifist.

"He wasn't random," Patrick says weakly. Sweat prickles at the back of his neck. He takes Pete by the hand, trying to will them both to calm. He needs to think about this practically; getting emotional isn't going to help anything.

He takes a deep breath and turns to Joe. "Please tell me you put a tracker on that thing."

"Of course I did! Not that it's going to help us if it's more than twenty clicks from here." He's already reaching for his computer, booting up the tracker software. Pete hovers behind him.

Patrick doesn't hold his breath the entire time they wait for a response from the tracker, but it's an effort to remember to breathe. It's both expected and incredibly depressing when the software comes up with nothing.

Patrick tries to search his mind for anything about Brendon that could tell them where he is. His accent, the clothes he wore, his mannerisms. Fuck, they didn't even get his last name. They're fucking amateurs.

Patrick doesn't curse, as much as he wants to. He runs a hand through his hair, closes his eyes and rolls through ideas in his mind. He treats it like a sneak, looking at it from all angles.

"Okay, we know where it was like five, six hours ago, so how far could he have gotten with it? How far away is the airport from here? Maybe we can hack the CCTV in the hotel?" Patrick starts firing off ideas, something's got to stick.

"Why don't you just call him?" Andy asks.

Patrick nearly tells Andy to fuck off, but there's something about his tone that makes him look up instead. Andy's staring at Patrick's arm. Patrick looks down to see Brendon's name and a phone number scrawled on his forearm in marker.

Well, shit.

It takes Joe less than ten minutes to hook up the trace. Pete patches the call into a voice monitor that'll measure voice stress levels. As Pete has explained innumerable times - "It's not as accurate as a polygraph, but we should know when he's lying."

Careful to keep Joe's adapters connected, Patrick punches the number on his arm into his phone.

"What are you going to say?" Pete asks. He's nervous but there's an excitement in his eyes that's the same look he gets before every sneak.

Patrick's not entirely sure, but there's no time to think about that now. "I'm going to wing it." Pete's smile is all the approval he needs.

Brendon answers on the third ring. There's a lot of background noise, like he's driving. "Who might this be, undisclosed number?" Patrick can hear the smile in his voice.

Joe's already running the trace and Pete's staring at the voice monitor output. Patrick takes a breath and closes his eyes, trying to remember how he felt last night, the things about Brendon that turned him on.

"Well, hey there stranger," Patrick says, drawing out the words. He rolls his shoulders like he's stretching, fakes swallowing a yawn. "I just woke up. Looks like a hot guy wrote his number on my arm last night. Thought I'd call it."

"I was hoping I'd hear from you," Brendon says, and Patrick glances at the voice monitor screen - the indicator is green. Pete nods, mouthing "true" at him. "I had a lot of fun last night." Green again.

"Yeah, so did I." Patrick keeps his voice slow and deep, imagining he's lying in bed. "Pete's still asleep, but I'm thinking about waking him up. Are you coming back? This bed's way too big for just the two of us." Patrick very carefully doesn't look at Joe and Andy. If he doesn't have to see them he can pretend they're not in the room listening to all this. The longer they can keep Brendon on the line the more likely they'll get the trace.

"Oh man, you have no idea how much I'd rather be there," Brendon says. A glance at the indicator shows it's still green. "But I have to run to this appointment - it's super important. Life or death type stuff." Still green.

Patrick spares a glance at Joe to see how the trace is going. Joe shakes his head, makes a stretching motion with his hands.

"I should hope so," Patrick says, keeping his tone teasing. "I'd hate to think you disappeared on us for anything less than life or death."

"It was a pretty hard call, I have to admit," Brendon says, his voice light. The indicator stays green. "But here's the thing. I know you're tracing this call Patrick, and so I'm going to have to go-"

"Wait - Brendon-" Patrick stutters, trying to think of anything to keep him on the line. Joe's holding up fingers, counting back from ten, nine, eight… "You were into it, right? I mean, we had something going on, didn't we? It wasn't just about the case."

"You know it was more than that," Brendon says, and Patrick can't help but glance at the indicator. It's green. Joe's still counting back, five, four. "For what it's worth, Patrick-"

"What?" Patrick blurts out, the desperation in his voice far too apparent. Joe counts back, three, two.

"I'm sorry." Brendon cuts the call while Joe's still holding one finger in the air.

"Fuck, did you get it?" Patrick scrambles to get behind Joe, staring at the screen.

"Not quite," says Joe, "But we got something." The screen shows a map of Nevada, a throbbing circle over the Las Vegas area. "He's in Vegas."

*

Several frantic phone calls and one flight later, the four of them arrive in Vegas. Joe pulls out his laptop before they even get fully into the terminal. Patrick closes his eyes and prays for a hit on the tracker. Pete's hands are warm and heavy on his shoulders, telling him wordlessly they'll be okay - whatever happens, it'll be okay.

"Nothing," Joe's mouth screws to the side.

"Fuck," Patrick breathes, "Now what?"

"Now we start driving around and see if we get a hit." Joe shrugs.

"I'll get the car," says Andy, and heads for the car rental desk.

Patrick starts after him, but pauses when he realises Pete is lagging behind. "Pete?" he asks, walking up to stand by Pete, who's bent double and digging through his backpack. He stands up brandishing a curl of metal with a triumphant grin.

"What's that?" Patrick asks.

"You'll see," Pete says, dropping a kiss on Patrick's mouth before rushing to catch up with Joe.

Patrick follows Pete, watching him juggle Joe's laptop and somehow fit the metal part to it. "That should boost the signal one hundred percent."

"As long as it doesn't make my laptop implode." Joe says.

"That only happened once," Pete counters, leaning in to see the screen. Sure enough, the throbbing circle shrinks, hitting a more exact point on the map.

"You fucking genius," Joe says, slapping the hand Pete puts up for a high five. He really is the best hardware guy in the business.

Andy gets back with the car keys, "We got a header?"

"We're going north." Joe tells him.

"Then let's hit it."

*

"So what happens when we get to the briefcase?" Pete asks Patrick, his tone careful. They're in the backseat, Joe and Andy up front, Joe directing Andy from the passenger seat.

Patrick hasn't thought out the next part, he's been so set on getting them to where the case is. Of course the guys are depending on him for a plan - this is what he does, he's plotted every sneak they've ever done.

"I don't know," he admits quietly, scrubbing a hand through his hair. He starts running scenarios in his head, but he's low on information. They can't just presume Brendon will be alone. It's unlikely he's taken the briefcase for himself - not with his skill set - he'd have been hired to lift it. He was driving when Patrick called him, so he's possibly on his way to his own drop. Or perhaps the case has changed hands already.

Whoever has it is likely armed, unlike Patrick's crew who've just stepped off a flight. Fuck, Patrick doesn't have enough intel to put a plan together. Not even close.

"Guess we'll just have to wing it then," Pete says, sending Patrick a smile - one Patrick recognises, because Pete gives it to him all the time. It says he has total confidence in Patrick's ability to make this happen. Patrick reaches across the seat and twines their fingers together, wishing he could have as much faith.

They keep on course, going as fast as they can without attracting unwanted attention. The tracker takes them out of the city centre and onto dusty, lonely backroads. When Joe turns in his seat to tell him their ETA is five minutes, Patrick has to think fast. They're on a long stretch of road, red dust all around, flat and with great visibility - a good place for a drop.

Way down the road Patrick can see a streak of red, a car parked by the curb. "Looks like that might be it," Joe says. When they get close enough that Patrick can make out what kind of car it is - a candy apple red vintage Chevy with Brendon written all over it - he suddenly knows the next step.

"Whose credit card did you book this car under?" he asks Andy.

"One of the burners," Andy says, "Why?"

"Because we're about to lose the security deposit."

"Right," says Andy, and slams down the gas.

Brendon must see them coming, must have some idea because the Chevy fires up a moment before Andy makes impact, ramming it hard from the rear. He hits the brakes, the rental screeching to a stop. Pete and Patrick jump out immediately and race for the Chevy. Patrick can see Brendon lolling in the driver's seat. When Patrick rips the door open Brendon nearly falls out, dangling by his arm. The briefcase they stole just yesterday is on the passenger seat beside him.

Pete wrenches the passenger door open and grabs for the briefcase. When he yanks it out, Brendon goes with it, sprawling across the seat. That's when Patrick sees the silver flash around his wrist - he's handcuffed to the case. Motherfucker.

"Ow," Brendon groans, coming to and blinking up at Patrick, looking dazed. He's got a little blood at his temple. "Fancy meeting you here." He lunges for Patrick, but he's easy to avoid, Patrick just jumps back, while Pete holds tight to the case, keeping Brendon trapped in the car. "You trashed my fucking car!" Brendon groans.

"You took our fucking briefcase," Patrick points out, grabbing for Brendon's free hand and twisting it behind his back, bending Brendon double until he lets out a high pitched noise. "Now, you want to tell me where the key to those cuffs is?"

Brendon struggles underneath Patrick, and it's so much like last night Patrick has to fight an overwhelming sense memory - Brendon underneath him, begging, coming apart.

"Maybe I will, maybe I won't." Brendon grits out, twisting his head to the side to smile at Patrick.

Patrick puts his knee into Brendon's back, pressing him down further. "I think you will."

Brendon's discomfort is clear in his hitched breaths, the groans he tries to swallow down, but he still manages to say, "Maybe I'll just wait for my friends to arrive. They should be here any minute. They're pretty attached to that case. You might not want to be here when they get here."

"I don't plan to be," Patrick says. He looks up at Pete, gesturing with his chin and Pete leans in, grabbing hold of Brendon's arms and twisting them behind him. Brendon squirms, but it's to no avail; Patrick knows from experience how good Pete is at these holds. He lets Pete take over, holding Brendon still while Patrick searches him. It's uncomfortably familiar to run hands over Brendon's body as he struggles, but Patrick has to swallow down those memories. Brendon's wearing the same garish suit, though it's dirtied up now, his tie askew, his shirt no longer pristine.

Patrick slides his hands over Brendon's front pockets, along the lining of the jacket, inside to search the breast pockets.

"You know, if you'd let me have my hands back I could make this a whole lot more enjoyable for both of us," Brendon purrs, wriggling a little. Patrick ignores him. Brendon shifts again, trying to heave his knee up, but Patrick's faster, pressing Brendon down with his body weight.

"It's not my fault you're not being cooperative- ah!" Patrick's fingers slide over something small and hard in the lining of Brendon's inner pocket. He fishes it out - it's the handcuff key. He's barely gotten it clear of Brendon's jacket when Brendon bucks under him, slamming his head forwards and biting Patrick's fingers hard.

Patrick grunts and fuck he loses his grip on the key as Brendon wrenches his head back, Patrick's fingers popping out of his mouth wet and empty. Brendon gives Patrick a level stare and then... he swallows.

Pete's eyes go wide, "Motherfucker!" He shoves Brendon face first into the dashboard, braining him on the steering wheel. Brendon barely makes a sound but when Patrick can see his face again there's a new red mark across his forehead.

"The fuck are we supposed to do now?" Pete asks. Patrick can already see what he'd like to do, but unfortunately, further beating up Brendon isn't going to get the damn briefcase off his wrist any faster.

Joe sticks his head into the car at that moment, "How are we doing?"

Pete holds up Brendon's wrist, showing the handcuffs. "We're screwed," he says, looking like he wants to slam Brendon into the steering wheel again.

Joe looks at Patrick like he's waiting for the real answer.

"Will the car still drive?" Patrick asks, already running through the possibilities in his mind. Maybe they can take Brendon and the briefcase, get out of dodge and work on the handcuffs later. He'll be a bitch to transport though.

Joe nods, "Yeah, just. Andy's hacked a satellite - looks like someone's heading our way. A couple of black ORVs. We've got maybe ten minutes."

Brendon smirks at Patrick. There's blood on his lower lip. He still hasn't said anything.

"What, no witty banter?" Patrick asks him. Brendon just stares back at him dolefully. That's what seals it for Patrick, he turns back to Joe. "Bring me my lock pick kit?"

Joe looks at the handcuffs again. They're police issue. "That could take hours-"

"Just do it!" Patrick cuts him off. Joe obviously thinks he's crazy, but he goes anyway. God, Patrick loves his team.

Patrick doesn't even think about the next part, he just does it. He grabs Brendon by the chin and kisses him, hard. He must take Brendon by surprise, because he doesn't fight him straight away. In fact, his mouth softens open on instinct. Patrick presses his advantage, pushing his tongue into Brendon's mouth, swallowing a sigh at how good it feels. He lets himself enjoy it for the tiniest split second, then curls his tongue, thinking I knew it.

He pulls back before Brendon has time to recover, spitting the handcuff key into his hand.

Pete's smile over Brendon's shoulder is like the sun. "Fuck, I love you." He tells Patrick.

"The feeling's mutual," he says with a grin, passing Pete the key to unlock the cuffs.

Brendon starts struggling immediately. Patrick sits heavily on his legs, keeping him down, while Pete chases the keyhole. Pete tightens his hold on Brendon, keeping him still while he gets the cuff on the briefcase open. Patrick loops the chain around the steering wheel and reaches for Brendon's other wrist.

"No, no-no-no," Brendon says, sounding genuinely panicked. "Don't do this, don't leave me here without the case, please, they'll kill me."

Patrick ignores him. The click of the cuff snapping around Brendon's other wrist is very satisfying. Patrick catches Pete's grin over Brendon's shoulder.

"Listen to me. Listen to me!" Brendon says insistently. Patrick swallows a sigh and looks at him. "I did you a favour when I took this from you. What's in this case is bad fucking news." Brendon's expression is intense - he looks genuinely terrified. "You don't want this. It will ruin your life. The guys who are after it - they'll do anything to get it back. They're fucking insane."

Patrick… almost believes him. Almost. "I thought you said they were your friends." He points out.

"I just said that to make you leave." Brendon says, his voice is a little shaky.

"And what if you're just saying this to make me uncuff you?"

"I'm not lying," Brendon says, his eyes huge and his bottom lip trembling. Something twists in Patrick's chest at the sight.

Patrick shakes his head. He can't trust a word Brendon says, not after everything. He reaches up a hand, brushing a thumb down Brendon's cheek, swallowing down an errant feeling of loss at what could have been if they were different people, with different lives.

"I'm sorry," he tells Brendon, "but I don't believe you."

The look on Brendon's face is utter heartbreak - he's either a stunning actor, or he truly is terrified. Patrick tears his eyes from Brendon's, focusing back on Pete, "Get the case, we're going."

He climbs out the car, careful to stay wide of Brendon's legs. He turns away, starting to walk in step with Pete, when Brendon speaks again.

"Please," he says, sounding near tears, desperate. "Please don't leave me here. They will kill me."

Patrick doesn't even realise he's stopped walking until Pete turns to face him, taking his hands. Patrick knows his doubt is written all over his face. He's a thief, not a killer. "What if he's not lying?" Patrick asks, a desperate whisper.

Pete just shakes his head, obviously thinking about it. Patrick's not expecting him to lean in and kiss him, but when it happens, he welcomes it. It's a sweet relief to just forget all the shit and lose himself in Pete's lips, his warmth, think about something other than terror and worry for a few seconds.

He tastes metal a moment before Pete pushes the key into his mouth with his tongue.

Pete breaks the kiss, a little breathless, his lips wet. "I know you'll make the right call," he tells Patrick, wearing that expression of total faith Patrick's come to know so well on him. He hitches the briefcase under his arm and heads for the car, meeting Joe halfway there.

Joe yells, "Five minutes til we have company!"

Shit. Patrick has no time to figure this out. No time to run scenarios and do the numbers - he has to go with his gut.

So be it.

He rushes back to Brendon's car, calling himself seven shades of idiot. Brendon doesn't try anything, just watches Patrick approach with something like hope in his eyes. His wrists are red from tugging at the cuffs. Patrick grabs him by his tie and pulls him close, taking his mouth in a hard kiss, that softens as Brendon opens up to him. Things Patrick would never say out loud are on his lips during that kiss, the way he felt when he fell asleep with Brendon curled around him on one side, Pete on the other. Idle fantasies he'd indulged of some kind of future where they'd get to do that again. The way Brendon looked when he came.

Patrick pushes his tongue into Brendon's mouth, and Brendon freezes when he feels the key there. Patrick withdraws slowly, eyes locked to Brendon. Brendon's looking right back at him, eyes huge and somehow fragile.

"Don't follow us," Patrick tells him, trying to sound threatening but it comes out more breathless.

Brendon just nods. He doesn't say thank you, but Patrick can see it in his eyes. A tiny, familiar smile tugs at the corner of Brendon's mouth and Patrick takes a second to commit that to memory before he turns and bolts for the car.

"Let's go!" he shouts as he dives into the backseat beside Pete, inertia slamming him back as Andy hits the gas. Pete reaches across the seat for Patrick's hand and when Patrick nerves himself to look up, Pete's smiling at him.

They tear down the road, away from the cherry red Chevy. As much as Patrick wants to, he doesn't look back.

*

By the time they get back to Chicago, all Patrick wants to do is sleep. They push the drop to the morning, travel delaying them too much to make the original time. Patrick kind of wishes they hadn't had to do that. He can't stop thinking about what Brendon said about bad news, how terrified he looked. The sooner they get rid of this case the better.

He falls into bed, feeling every limb go limp into the mattress. Pete crawls in beside him, wrapping himself around Patrick and pressing his face into Patrick's neck. Patrick curls his arms around Pete, threading fingers into his hair.

"We should probably take some extra precautions with the case." Patrick mumbles into Pete's hair, already starting to drop off.

"It's in a time-lock safe til the morning, I think we're fine. That thing is fucking uncrackable." Pete mutters into Patrick's neck. He takes Patrick's hand in his, rubbing his thumb absently over Patrick's tattoo.

"I mean tomorrow, between the safe and the drop. Does Joe still have those handcuffs?" Patrick's work-brain is taking far too long to switch off.

Pete tilts his head up, meeting Patrick's eyes in the grainy darkness. "You thinking of taking a leaf out of Brendon's book?"

Patrick shrugs, "Worked for him."

"To a point." Pete adds, and he's right.

"His mistake was carrying the key on him. That's just stupid."

"What'll you do with it?" Pete asks, tugging Patrick's hand closer and brushing his lips over Patrick's fingertips.

Patrick sighs, feeling relaxed in a way he hasn't for what feels like forever. "You'll take care of it for me, right?"

"Of course. I'll happily unlock you when we're all two hundred thousand dollars richer." Patrick can nearly see Pete's smile in the dark. Pete leans up, dropping a soft kiss on Patrick's mouth. "Now, stop thinking about work and getting some fucking sleep."

"Yes, boss," Patrick's sigh turns into a yawn halfway through. He drops another kiss somewhere in the vicinity of Pete's mouth, tightens his arms around him and closes his eyes.

He falls asleep thinking about what he could spend his share of the money on. Naturally, in all the scenarios he runs in his head Pete is by his side.

Right where he should be.

*

The click of the handcuff closing around Patrick's wrist is strangely loud; the briefcase heavy in his hand. Patrick takes a calming breath, trying to swallow down the feeling of being trapped in the circle of metal. It won't be for long.

Pete's still wearing the same grin that's been on his face all morning when he reaches up to adjust Patrick's hat. "Looking sharp, Trick."

Patrick ducks his head, hiding a bashful smile. He grabs for Pete's hand, pushing the key to the handcuffs into it. "Look after this for me?"

"Of course," Pete says, his fingers curling around Patrick's and giving a squeeze. There's a gravity in they way he's looking at Patrick, like he knows this is about more than just the key. Patrick would trust Pete with his life.

Instead of letting go of Pete's hand, Patrick pulls him closer, leaning in to take his mouth in a kiss. Pete grabs Patrick around the waist, hauling him in and devouring his lips like a hero in an old movie.

Patrick's just starting to enjoy himself when they're interrupted by Joe yelling. "The front hallway is on the list!"

Patrick's laughing as they break apart and so is Pete. "We weren't even touching above the waist!" Pete calls and Joe yells back something about not wanting details.

Pete turns back to Patrick, his expression flicking back to seriousness as he tells Patrick, "Don't be gone too long."

"I'll hurry back," Patrick says, squeezing Pete's fingers closed around the key before letting go of his hand.

"Bring me back something nice?" Pete asks with a coy smile.

"I'll bring you back two hundred thousand nice somethings," Patrick says, dropping one more kiss on Pete's smiling mouth. "Promise." The smile he gets back from Pete is gorgeous and totally worth it.

Patrick tightens his fingers around the briefcase and steps outside into the bright sunshine.

 

(end)