Gene looks at the clock and mentally tries to will it to change. Only one hour left. He can make it. One more hour of paperwork and then he can go home and eat all the cold pizza in his fridge and sleep for at least eight hours. He is so close he can taste it.
This late at night no one comes to a clinic, they go to the actual emergency room, but state laws says they have to be open until 1 am so here he sits trying not to fall asleep.
At exactly 12:55 Gene gets up and locks the front doors. He slaps the lights off on his way to the back door.
He opens the back door right as someone punches in the access code making the door swing easier, so he ends up over balanced and almost falls over in the process.
The man on the other side of the door does not work here. Gene had done his residency rotation at this clinic before he taken a full time position. He knows everyone that works here and this guy does not work here. He is also not a member of the board.
The man on the other side of the door is, however, hotter than the sun.
“You’ve been shot.” Gene hears himself say. He would like to blame the sleep deprivation of a twelve hour shift after a night out with the guys and the sheer beauty of the man before him for the words his brain decided needed to be vocalized.
“Yes.” The man says back, keeping pressure on his shoulder with his rolled up jacket. “Are you a doctor?” That restarts Gene’s brain.
“Let me help.” Gene half drags, half hoists the other man’s arm onto his shoulder and moves the two of them towards the nearest exam room.
The other many is dressed in what used to be an amazing suit. Gene can tell just by the feel of the shirt under his hands and the lines of the trousers. He thinks the jacket currently being used as a makeshift bandage costs more than he makes in a month.
What the hell is a guy dressed like this doing in Five Points?
“What happened?” Gene asks as he gets the guy on one of the exam tables and turns to the cabinet for supplies.
“I was shot.” The guy says back like he thinks Gene might have missed the bullet hole in the top left of his shoulder or all the blood.
Gene takes a deep breath and tries to remember everything he has learned about good bedside manner in high stress situations. He doesn’t need this right now. He needs sleep and something to eat. Not to cut the shirt off the most attractive man he has ever seen. He decides not to ask more questions right now.
“I have to cut you out of your shirt.” Gene puts all the authority he has in his voice and pulls out his scissors. If he gives them one menacing click before doing the actual cutting it’s not his fault, scissors are fun.
The guy leans back on the exam table with a pained huff as Gene slides his hand under the guy’s shirt to grip the edge. His fingers brush warm firm skin in the process. Not now brain . Gene cuts the shirt open with swift sure movements.
Now that he can get a good look at the wound Gene is pretty certain this isn’t life threatening. Honestly, if he thought it was, he should have already called an ambulance. The bullet went into the meat of the guy’s shoulder and deltoid muscles. He isn’t bleeding like it hit an artery so the worst they are looking at is a fractured collar bone.
The problem is the lack of exit wound. Gene is going to have to dig it out.
“Okay, écoute, I am going to climb on the table now.” Gene explains. “I need to hold you down while I get the bullet out.”
“I can hold still.” The guy snarled through gritted teeth.
“Ouais, c’est ça. I promise you that you can’t. If I weren't the only one here I would pull at least two nurses in for this.” Gene opens a few more packets.
“No morphine?” The guy sounds a little desperate and confused, a strained quality to his voice.
“Not in this building.” Gene shakes his head. “Best we got here is the liquid nitrogen we use on warts. You want that?”
“No.” The guy snaps.
Gene pulls the cart over next to the table and then climbs onto the table so that he is straddling the guy’s abs. They are really nice abs, covered in some truly brilliant ink. Gene has always been a sucker for tattoos but this is an impressive array of work on a single man, especially one who came in wearing a suit that expensive.
It’s the ink nearest to the bullet wound that finally clicks as ‘something’ other than just some damn fine tattoo work. Gene has seen this particular design before; it’s in a style called American classic - thank you Ink Master’s marathon. That’s not the interesting part. The reason he is frozen with his thighs around this guy’s abs and his gloves inches above the guy’s skin is because that is a Screaming Eagle.
Gene isn’t from Five Points originally. He came up to the East Coast for medical school and stayed afterwards because it was where he lived now. Everyone in town - hell everyone north of Washington and east of Ohio - knows about The Screaming Eagles.
There was an HBO special about the gang just last year. The largest organized crime unit in the East Coast. The FBI has never been able to crack anyone higher than street level. Half the neighborhood considers the guys heroes, with all the money they put back into their community through anonymous donations. Or at least that’s the rumor.
Now Gene sees all of the ink for what it is. That’s not a mandala on his peck, at least it's not only a mandala. The Latin down his ribs is an old Irish prayer and Gene knows the Eagles have roots in the Irish ghettos.
“There a problem?” The guy - the mobster - asks after Gene has been still for too long.
“You never told me how you got shot.” Gene doesn’t phrase it like a question. It isn’t a question. Now that he is looking for it he can see the imprint of a shoulder holster on the guy’s skin. He must have removed it before he came to the clinic. Removing a holster with a bullet hole in his shoulder would have been incredibly painful, and something only someone hiding something would think to do.
“Some kid wanted my wallet,” the guy offers in what has to be the worst lie Gene has ever heard. The guy doesn’t even try to sell it.
“Who were you expecting to find here?” Gene asks as he digs the forceps into the guy’s shoulder. The guy lets out what can only be called a growl as Gene works. The guy takes hold of Gene’s thighs with a death grip, Gene can practically feel the finger shaped bruises form on his legs.
Gene gets the bullet out and washes the wound out with saline before going for stitches kit. The guy has loosened his grip on Gene’s thighs, but he hasn’t removed his hands from their hold.
“You didn’t answer my question,” Gene says and the guy looks at him with an angry glare.
“You have terrible bedside manners,” the guy growls back.
“Who did you think was going to be here when you opened that door?” Gene asks again, taking his curved needle to the guy’s skin. “You had the code. We change the code regularly because we do keep some prescription drugs here and as it turns out there’s a drug epidemic in America.” Maybe he shouldn’t be this angry at the guy, but his adrenaline has finally kicked in and Gene is amped up and annoyed. So what if he makes the clearly high ranking gangster angry, Gene is the one holding the sharp things right now.
“What are you accusing me of?” the guy asks with a pained intake of breath. It does great things of his abs, something Gene really needs to stop noticing.
“You weren’t fucking robbed,” Gene punctuates his sentence with a pull of the thread. The guy winces and squeezes Gene’s thighs again. “We both know that, so cut the crap.” He reaches for the gauze. “Does your gang own this clinic or something?”
“I’m not in a gang.” Ten points to Slytherin for the sheer sincerity this guy displays in saying that. Gene pauses what he is doing to look the guy square in the face with what Heffron calls his ‘disappointed teacher’ face. The guy frowns for a brief second. “We don’t own the clinic. I have a friend.”
“And you were expecting your ami to stitch you up after you got shot threatening some pauvre petit business owner,” Gene snaps, taping down the gauze.
“You watch too many mobster movies, Doc.” The guy clearly has his composure back, because he sounds practically relaxed now. “I don’t threaten anyone, business owner or otherwise.” He smiles and it's pure sex. Gene actually feels his blood flow experience a conflict of interest; half of it wants to go to his face and the other half would really enjoy a trip down south.
The guy’s thumbs move in small circles on Gene’s thighs. How long has he been doing that?
Gene finally becomes acutely aware of their position. Medical care regardless, this is a rather intimate pose. There is a rubber band of tension between them, now that he is looking for it.
“And yet, you still got shot,” Gene offers with a wave of his hand as he pulls off his gloves and throws them to the trash across the room. He still hasn’t moved; they both know this. His lack of movement hangs between them stretching the tension tighter.
“Well, you are taking care of me now, Doc. I’m in good hands.” The guy’s hands move upwards, as he leans forward his mouth slightly open and glistening.
Gene becomes aware of six things at once. One, he is turned on and his scrubs aren’t hiding that, damn his anger response. Two, they are alone in the clinic after hours. Three, this room has a security camera. Four, while this guy is hot - burning - , he has very questionable employment. Five, Gene doesn’t even know this guy’s name. Six, he smells - not so - great after working a full day and foregoing a shower this morning.
Gene practically leaps off the guy.
He really has to stop calling him ‘the guy’, but Gene is not about to ask his name at this juncture. Gene looks at the ink on the guy’s ribs again, Irish prayer written in blocky Latin and one thing comes to mind with that information.
“Listen, Connor , you need a sling for that shoulder and then you need to go home, because the clinic closed maybe...” Gene looks at his watch, “thirty minutes ago and I am off the clock now for real. They don’t give us overtime.” Gene turns to get one of the arm slings out from the lower cabinet.
“Connor?” the guy asks with a raised eyebrow when Gene turns back around. Gene point’s at Connor’s chest tats.
“Irish prayer, cross, bullet wound,” Gene shrugs. “I heard you guys went to war with the Cartel a few years back.”
The smile Connor gives him is nearly blinding in its heat. Gene is too gay and tired for this shit, he doesn’t need this right now.
Getting the sling on Conner proves to be another act that pushes Gene close to his limit. They are of a height, but Connor can’t really move his left arm, so Gene has to reach over him to secure the straps around Connor’s neck. There is a lot of naked skin in the mix and Connor seems to know how good looking he is and has real evidence that all of this is affecting Gene. Connor also has more ink on his back. Ugh .
“Thanks,” Connor smiles as Gene walks him out of the clinic, “you really saved my ass there, Doc.”
“Don’t get shot, s’il-vous-plait” Gene tells him before trudging to his car at the far end of the parking lot. He will deal with this in the morning. Gene doesn’t have the blood flow or the energy to deal with any of this now. Things will feel less intense in the morning.
“What the fuck, Ron.” Carwood is in a stink when he finally comes into the office that night. “Where have you been?”
“There was a complication.” Ron has to resist the urge to roll his shoulder from the pain. He did throw his spare jacket on before coming in, but it’s clear he is shirtless and injured. “Have Grant tell his boyfriend if he changes nights at the Clinic, even if it’s last minute he needs to tell us.”
Carwood pauses at that, his eyes narrowing.
“Do we need cleanup?” Carwood asks after a long moment.
“No,” Ron answers quickly. The Doc won't talk; he has too much sass in him to run to feds. That clinic treats half the neighborhood, so the doc probably knows all about the rules in Five Points. Besides, Ron has plans for the kid. “In fact, tell Grant to bring his boy and all his friends to the club next week.”
“Oh good, that sounds like a wonderful idea,” Carwood snarks. Ron ignores the sarcasm and heads to his desk. Things went sideways with the Chinese, so he is going to have to spend the rest of the night making some calls.
“Oh, and tell Muck and Penkala to look into all the doctors at that clinic,” Ron throws out as Carwood heads back to his own office space.
“How much intel you want?” Carwood raises an eyebrow in clear challenge. He isn’t always a fan of when Ron finds new fixations.
“Everything they can get,” Ron waves Carwood off. “Stop that, we need more surgeons.”
“Not what your smirk says.” Carwood grumbles and then finally leaves. Well, he isn’t wrong. Ron has plans to recruit the Southern doctor - in more than one way. It’s always more fun to mix business with pleasure.
Gene puts the interaction out of his mind. He works at an emergent care clinic; he has lived through a lot of weird experiences. Like that guy who came in with what looked like an infected human bite on his neck and put down ‘drinks blood regularly to stay young’ on his medical history. Or the ever memorable couple who came in with a vibrator stuck in one of them and only sought out medical attention on hour ten.
Not to mention that when Gene goes to ask Doctor Bryan about the security tapes from the other night, there turn out to be none.
“They only record if there is movement in the rooms. Did you go into one of the rooms after close?” Tim asks.
“No, I didn’t.” Gene answers, because he isn’t going to talk.
Where Gene is from, you don’t talk. It’s one of the things he liked about Five Points when he first moved here; it felt a bit like home. Sure, the community is Irish and not Cajun, but there’s the same kind of old men on stoops and old women at church that he remembers from his childhood.
The point is that Gene moves on and forgets, sort of, about the stranger with the gang tats he helped.
“You’re coming, right?” Heffron asks. Gene looks up from his lunch in utter confusion. He hasn’t been daydreaming about tattooed abs. At all. He was simply looking at his salad intently.
“Where?” Gene replies, which makes Ralph and Babe look at him like they think he needs a hug. Great, they’ve caught on that something is off.
“The club, tonight. Chuck knows one of the bouncers and I happen to know a bartender. We can get in and have night out.” Babe elbows him. “You could use it, Gene.”
“I don’t know,” he shrugs, “it’s been a long time since I went out to a club. I don't think I have anything to wear.”
“No problem, I’ll come over after work and help you pick something out,” Babe offers with a smile.
“That’s not really…” Gene realizes as he says it that he will be going out with his co workers whether he wants to or not and fighting isn’t going to make his night any better, “gonna make an improvement, but you can try.”
“You were not kidding about your wardrobe,” Babe says with horror in his voice. Gene, laying on his bed half buried in an ever growing pile of clothes, pulls a pillow over his face in an attempt to smother himself. “It’s all scrubs and southern frat boy clothing.”
“Hey!” Gene feels like maybe he should defend his clothes. He is actually from the South and all.
“I’m calling Chuck,” Babe explains as he pulls out his phone. “We cannot take you to Easy with these clothes.”
“Or,” Gene removes the pillow to try and put some power behind his words, “meilleure idée, I don’t go clubbing tonight because I am not in my early twenties anymore. We just drink my beer on the couch and watch Dirty Jobs on Nat Geo.”
“Chuck,” Babe squints at him in annoyance as he speaks into the phone, “bring everything you have that’s club appropriate to Gene’s place. We can’t be seen with him otherwise.”
“You look…” Carwood tilted his head and considered Ron “Overtly sexual.” Good. Mission accomplished. “Is there a reason for your shirt being painted on and practically see through? Not that I don’t appreciate the view.”
“Yes," Ron answered truthfully. Grant had confirmed the Doc would be at Easy tonight.
“You going to behave yourself tonight?” Carwood asks with a tired sigh. “Wait, no, don’t answer that. I’m going to deal with the boss. Enjoy your night off.” Carwood clicks several guns into his holsters before throwing his suit jacket over them, hiding the cache of weapons he’s wearing.
“Say Hi to Dad!” Ron calls out with a smile as his friend left the office.
“Only your insane ass could get away with calling him that to his face,” Carwood snaps back before picking up a briefcase at the door out their joint office space.
This is true. The boss really only lets Ron and a few others get away with that nickname. And Ron is the only one allowed to use it outside the inner circle; he’s just special that way. The perks of being the best wet works guy on the east coast.
Gene had been to clubs in college. Mostly they had been less fun raves filled with people in tight clothes, jello shots, and music he could feel more than hear. This is a much, much nicer version of that. He now understands why Babe and Chuck have been giving him such a hard time about his clothes.
Granted, what he’s wearing right now is just the most expensive, tight pair of pants and t-shirt Chuck managed to squeeze him into.
“You are going to thank me for this later!” Chuck had given Gene a reassuring back slap after it had taken literally jumping - several times - to get into the pants.
Gene doesn’t even want to know the cost of the drink in his hand. The place is packed and the line outside had been rather daunting. Gene always thought lines for clubs only happened in movies. Yet, they had walked to the front and then Chuck had been waved in with Gene, Babe, and Ralph.
“Let’s get our drink on and then get our dance on!” Babe shouts over the thump of the music and then throws back the shot in his hand, Gene and the rest of the group following suit.
What the hell, he doesn’t have to work tomorrow, time to break loose a little.
Ron had spent a long time picking out his clothes for tonight. He had learned many things in his tenure under their boss, a man who adored planning and details. One of those things was to maintain a standard of style. Before he had joined The Eagles Ron hadn’t much cared what he looked like, now the concept of presenting a picture of respectability was too deeply ingrained in him.
Carwood had been correct in his assessment. Ron had dressed to impress. Others noticed.
“Speirs,” Buck greets when he came into the office at the back of Easy. “Are you actually here for fun? Like a human being?” Ron does not smile back at his general manager. Buck just laughs and goes back to typing on his computer.
“How we doing tonight?” Ron asks after a moment.
“We had three call offs at the bar, so I have new people getting trained in the middle of a shift. Not ideal but Tipper is running the bar tonight so we should be fine.” Buck flips a page on a notebook in front of him. “Oh, next week we need to talk about ordering. I don’t think Sobel Shipping is the way to go for towels anymore. Their new manager just shouts a lot and we haven’t gotten the correct number of towels back in three months.”
“I’ll see what other vendors in the area can match or beat their prices,” Ron agrees, “who knows, maybe I will be willing to pay more if it means better service.”
That gets Buck to stop what he’s doing and stare Ron down.
“Leave my office and go make bad choices you are clearly here to make.” Buck points to the door. “I don't need your sense of humor ruining my night.”
Ron flips him off on his way out of the office and onto the walkway overlooking the dance floor.
He stands at the overlook watching the dance floor. He doesn’t think of the press of bodies as enticing or enrapturing; mostly he finds it to be chaos.
His eyes find the one thing in the room he was looking for, the doctor, quite quickly. He’s standing to the side of the dance floor, doing shots with Chuck Grant and the redhead Chuck is dating. Ron notices that in the lights of the club, the Doc’s skin glows in a rainbow of soft light, his dark hair contrasting against the colors. He looks ethereal and magical as his skin glows blue and then pink, it’s captivating.
“You want me to get intel?” Liebgott asks from beside Ron. He had heard the other man coming down the hall a moment ago but hadn’t acknowledge him right away. Clearly, Liebgott is feeling chatty tonight.
“I have intel,” Ron explains.
“Sure, you know his name, but do you know if he even plays for the right team?” Joe asks lighting up a cigarette.
Ron thinks back to that exam table and the erection he had felt as the doc snapped at him and stitched him up. He had been a gentleman and not said anything, but he was pretty sure that he had all the relevant information needed for this particular mission.
“Go have fun with your boyfriend,” Ron says, pointing at the tall man who just came in through the front door. He stands out in his thick glasses and cardigan, not at all dressed for the club. The man looks around the room awkwardly before pulling out his cellphone, and opening it to full brightness and using the screen to scan the crowd.
“This fucking guy,” Liebgott exhales fondly. He stubs out his cigarette on the railing and marches off.
Ron doesn’t move from his spot overlooking the dance floor. It’s nice being able to watch people without being watched himself. He notes the number of people moving off to the back hallways to get their night started, he’s gonna have to tell Compton to have the back hallways scrubbed more often.
His eyes stray back to the doc, Gene Roe, who appears to be having hesitant amounts of fun with his friends. Speirs clocks them doing about three shots before the redhead drags Gene out onto the dance floor. For a moment or so Gene resists attempts to get him to throw up his arms and dance; then the song changes and he seems willing to participate.
Watching the pale man get into the flow of the dance, swaying his hips to the beat is an experience. It’s effective.
Ron realizes it was time to go downstairs and actually attempt interacting with the other man.
“Have you met our friend Liebgott before?” Chuck asks, introducing Gene to a tall, thin man who Gene does recognize. They had met a couple of months ago, when he had come in with another man to get an anal probe. Well, not really an anal probe, but rather someone having something stuck up their butt. Gene semi hated days when that those cases showed up, but right now he’s pretty drunk and he is in the mood to have a little bit of fun.
“Not personally, but he came in with his boyfriend a few months back because they got…” Gene starts, but there’s a hand in the way of his continued story. Aw. It was a good story too.
“Don’t finish that.” Liebgott orders with a snarl.
“No!” Chuck looks somewhere between heartbroken and giddy. “You can’t threaten Gene, he's my friend and he is going to tell me what trouble you and that college twink got into.”
“Chuck, you’re drunk and so is the good doctor,” Liebgott explains when he finally pulls his hand away from Gene’s mouth. “Go dance, and stop talking about my sex life.”
“Lame.” Chuck says, blowing out a raspberry, “I’m going to go grind on my boyfriend.” Gene watches Chuck chug the last of his drink, set it down on the table and make a beeline for Babe on the dance floor.
Babe had been dancing with his hands in the air trying to get Ralph to stop standing so still. At the sight of his boyfriend Babe goes from ‘going with the flow dancing’ to ‘how close to sex can two people get fully clothed on the dance floor’. The answer is ‘pretty close’, because Chuck’s hand is down the back of Babe’s pants as they grind to the beat. Gene realizes he’s staring with a spike of regret and looks away quickly. They are a really nice looking couple; it made him ache a little to watch.
When Gene looks up, Liebgott is watching him with curious eyes.
“You into Chuck?” Liebgott asks, no preamble.
“No.” Gene isn’t.
“No,” Gene responds again.
“Then what the fuck was that look all about?” Liebgott asks in exasperation. He seems to be itching for some kind of confrontation. Gene shrugs; it leaves him feeling kind of wobbly. The shots are finally starting to actually hit his brain blood barrier.
“I’m the lame single in a group of couples, va savoir” Gene waves at the table and the guys out on the dance floor.
“What about, what's-his-face, came with you? He’s single,” Liebgott points with his cup at Ralph Spina who is looking progressively more grossed out by Babe and Chuck’s antics on the dance floor.
“Ralph’s ace,” Gene explained.
At that exact moment, a guy in a cardigan and a v-neck shirt slides into the booth next to Liebgott. Gene remembers this guy; the boyfriend who had the difficulties with the toy. The guy hands Liebgott his drink and then looks up at Gene and goes gob smacked.
“What are you doing here?” The guy hiccups on the last word. Liebgott snorts his drink out of his nose. Gene giggles.
“Jesus, Web!” Liebgott exclaims, trying to wipe off his nose.
“I thought your name was David?” Gene asks with a smile. He tries to make the smile teasing, it might just come out silly because he has gotten his drink on for sure. David’s eyes are huge behind his thick rims.
“Oh god, you remember us!” David exclaims forlornly. Liebgott rolls his eyes at this before pushing David’s drink into his hands.
“Have a drink Web, you’ll feel less embarrassed that Doc remembers we got something stuck up your butt.”
“Not just something,” Gene reminds them, “a purple glittery egg vibrator. Très mignon.” Gene drives the knife in with gusto. Liebgott seems unembarrassed and completely proud, because he winks at Gene. David looks ready to kill himself with the glass in front of him.
“What’d you do to Shark Week?” Babe asks as he comes over with Chuck. The ginger takes Gene’s drink and downs it in two chugs.
“How many names do you have?” Gene asks David.
“One.” David answers right as Liebgott says, “six.”
They look at each other with a glare. David scrunches up his nose and opens his mouth, but Liebgott simply leans forward and kisses David square on the mouth. David appears to take this as an apology, because he leans into the kiss as well.
“Gross!” Babe exclaims.
“Who exactly is the Ace in this group?” Ralph asks as he pushes into the booth next to Gene. “I was just subjected to you and Chuck trying to have sex with your clothes on.”
“Yeah you did!” Chuck laughs.
“Gene! It’s time for you to dance!” Babe reaches across the table and drags at his arm. “There’s a guy with huge arms out there I think you should climb.” Ralph slides back out of the booth with a frustrated noise, because Liebgott and David are making out.
“Let’s all dance!” Gene agrees, pulling Ralph away from the make out session, which is slowly turning into dry humping. At his words Beyoncé’s Partition comes on, like the universe is telling them it’s time to dance.
“GET US SHOTS!” Someone had shouted and put a fifty in Gene’s hand before pushing him towards the bar. It had probably been Babe, that kid really was the bad idea bear of the group no matter what his face said.
The bar is packed. Not a surprise. Gene shoulders his way to a corner where there’s space next to one of the occupied stools. Getting the bartender’s attention is another thing. Gene has his hand up, making pleading eyes, trying to make eye contact without being a complete asshole for several minutes. The three bartenders are swamped and don’t see him.
Until one of them looks up, his face half stricken in fear and rushes over to Gene’s corner of the bar. The guy in the stool next to Gene has also raised his hand.
“Sorry about the wait, what can I get for you?” The bartender asks.
“Any shot specials?” Gene isn’t exactly the king of alcohol, so he will just get whatever the bartender recommends.
“He’ll take two rounds of Tequila shots,” says the man in the stool next to Gene. The bartender is gone before Gene can even think to counter this statement. Then his brain realizes he knows that voice. He knows who is sitting next to him.
It’s not like Conner The Hot Mobster is hard to miss. He stands out, even here in a sea of attractive people.
“What are you doing here?” Gene asks Connor, affronted. What is he doing here? And how hadn’t Gene noticed him when he first walked up to the bar?
Connor, raising an eyebrow, motions to his drink like it explains everything. It almost does explain things, but also not really.
“I mean what are you doing HERE?” Gene tries again. Not to quote a classic, but of all the clubs in all the world Connor The Hot Mobster has to be at the one Gene has come to.
This time Connor smiles and waves his hand down at his outfit. Which, honestly. Yeah. Gene could get it. Connor is wearing a rather sinful pair of jeans. Having only seen him in a pair of tailored slacks before, Gene had not really been able to get a look at his thighs, not in the way these jeans allow. Ils sont vraiment ... Nice. Gene is buzzed. Really nice is the adjective he is sticking with.
The icing on top is the painfully thin white button down shirt Connor is wearing, with the sleeves rolled up. Offensive.
“Where’s your sling?” Gene’s brain and mouth ask at the same time. Because going into full Doctor Mode in the middle of club with one of the hottest guys here is really what he needs to be doing right now. The bartender sets down a tray of shots with lime slices in front of Gene, enough for the whole group back at his table and then some.
“It didn’t go with the look.” Connor shrugs, with one shoulder because he has a still healing bullet wound on the other, the one that should be in a sling right now.
“Because caring about your visual impact is more important than healing from getting shot, c’est pas possible.” Gene has a bit of a temper when it comes to patients not following through with their aftercare.
Connor runs his tongue along his lips and makes a face that says ‘what can you do?’ Fuck, he looks good. Gene huffs and grabs the salt shaker. He looks up and glares at Connor over his left hand, as he licks the strip of skin between his thumb and index finger. Connor’s eyes follow the action. Good.
Gene tips the salt shaker onto his damp skin, until enough clings there to take the first edge of the Tequila off. He picks up the shot and holds it in a salute to Connor.
They hold eye contact as Gene licks the salt off his hand and throws the shot back. A challenge. An invitation. When Gene sets the shot down, Connor holds a lime slice out to Gene’s mouth. He takes it, feeling fingers brush his lips as he bites into the lime.
That small touch had been enough. Gene feels tight in his too tight pants just from the brush of fingertips to the swell of his lips. He’s drunk though, he shouldn’t be able to get this turned on. The science is against him. Yet pressed in close to Connor with the impression of heat from the other man’s body just inches away, Gene finds that all the alcohol in the world wouldn’t have slowed down his attraction.
“Thank you, Connor.” Gene says because he has a terrible idea.
“Speirs.” He corrects.
“First name or last name?” Gene asks half curious, half teasing.
“Last.” Speirs answers sharply. “Wrist.” Gene knows where this was going now, he has basically made the map and wrote out the directions. He holds out his wrist obediently. Speirs brings Gene’s wrist up to his mouth and sucks a slow, wet kiss to the spot. It’s mesmerizing; Gene barely feels the salt sticking to his skin and then Speirs hands him a lime wedge to hold.
Gene can practically taste what he knows is about to happen. From the look on Speirs’ face, he also knows exactly what they are doing.
Speirs licks the salt off Gene’s wrist with a flat tongue and a trailing lower lip, leaving the promise of the kiss coming. He takes the shot in one swift motion, his throat bobbing with the swallow, calling attention to the long line of skin.
When Speirs leans forward for the lime, Gene realizes he isn’t waiting for this to tease out a moment longer. He pops the lime wedge in his own mouth and pulls the pulp from the rind and tosses the peel on the bar, grabbing for the top unopened button on Speirs shirt.
The kiss is open mouthed and tastes of tequila and lime. Juice runs out the side of his mouth and Speirs almost bites his tongue off trying to get what’s left of the lime. It’s both a bit of a mess and the hottest kiss Gene has experienced in years.
They are pressed flushed from knee to collar bones. Gene can feel an answering erection in Speirs’ pants next to his own. He hooks his fingers into Speirs’ belt loops and uses the advantage to grind into the kiss. His lower lip receives a bite in response to this added aggression.
“This is a bad idea.” Speirs tells him, pulling back slightly to run his lips along Gene’s jaw.
“You’re reading my lines.” Gene tells him.
Isn’t this backwards? Gene is supposed to object. State moral objections. The sins of drugs and guns and money laundering on the economy and humanity at large. That’s how this scene is supposed to play out.
“Then tell me, what are my lines?” Speirs punctuates this by sucking a kiss into the corner of Gene’s jaw.
“My work doesn’t have to matter, it’s just sex.” Gene gasps as the beat of the song playing changes, something lower and slower, hitting him in the back of the spine. It feels like he could already see them naked, taste the orgasm he’s going to have. “Then later you tell me you’ll call.” Gene teases.
Fuck. It has been a really long time since he got laid and he could really use this. It’s going to be a perfect hit of something he normally doesn’t indulge in. Overly dark chocolate too thick to eat regularly but ecstasy once in a blue moon. Guilty pleasure sex. The perfect one night stand.
Only Speirs is stopping. He pulls back from the kiss and looks at Gene with a frown on his face. It makes Gene pause. Speirs unhooks Gene’s hands from his belt loops and holds Gene’s hands in his own.
“Have a nice time with your friends.” Speirs offers, leaning in for chaste kiss on Gene’s lips. Then he turns and leaves, cutting a path through dancers and people talking, all the way to the front door.
Gene does not understand what just happened. He stands there, gaping like a fish, for several long alcohol addled seconds. What the fuck? Later, he’s going to be annoyed about this. Later, he’s going to figure out who exactly ‘Speirs’ is and talk to him about party fouls and leaving a guy with blue balls.
In the meantime, he tries to pay for his tray of shots.
“They are covered,” the bartender insists.
“Mais par qui?” Gene wonders. He hadn’t seen Speirs pay for anything. No money on the bar and he hadn’t stopped in his exit to close out his tab. The bartender gives Gene an annoyed look and marches off to help other customers. Gene leaves the fifty dollar bill under the glass Speirs had been drinking before the shots arrived, picks up the tray of shots, and heads back to his friends.
Chuck finds him out front smoking. Ron doesn’t move, taking his time with his cigarette and also trying really hard not to move his injured shoulder. It had been vanity and pride that had forced the sling off his shoulder. He’s gonna feel tonight in the morning.
“You really ducking out already?” Chuck asks halfway through his own cigarette. Ron flicks his bud into the cigarette disposal stand next to him. He doesn’t litter in front of his own club.
“I got shit to do.” Ron tells Chuck. There are security tapes to go over, pay rolls to sign. A million little details he has to do to keep this place and his other places running. Chuck squints at him, searching his face for an answer. He must see something because his face slowly morphs from interest into clear surprise. Ron needs to stop making friends; they get good at seeing his tells.
“Fuck. You like him.” Chuck gasps.
“I’m leaving.” Ron tells him.
“You really fucking like him!” Chuck calls after Ron.
“Edward, you are from Five Points right?” Gene asks three days later at work. He is not that thirsty. He can restrain himself, but the mystery of it all has turned into an itch under his skin.
“Jesus Christ Gene, we’ve been over this,” Babe curses.
“I ain’t calling you a nickname at work,” Gene points out.
“Alright, alright, Mr. Professional.” Babe holds his hands up in surrender. “Yeah, lived here my whole life.”
“You know a lot of people who know people?” Gene asks, trying to hedge his bets in the easiest possible way.
“Just tell me who you are looking for, okay? If I don’t know the guy, my brother Bill probably does,” Babe motions with his hand for Gene to get on with it. They both have patients to see.
“He said his name was Speirs.” Gene explains.
“Oh, did he?” Babe teases. “You sly dog, meeting guys and not even getting their full names. Not like you at all Mr. Southern Gentleman.”
“Just ask, you dick,” Gene chuckles and goes to exam room 1, where he had what he knows is going to be a double ear infection. Time to get screamed at the moment he touches the toddler’s ears.
Harry Welsh throws open the office door with a bang. Carwood barely registers the entrance over the general noise of the floor below, but Ron goes stiff at his desk, pausing his hen pecking at the computer.
“What’s this I hear about a boyfriend?” Harry yells by way of greeting.
“Hey, Harry,” Carwood greets idly, not looking up from his paperwork.
“Hey Lip,” Harry waves, marching right towards Ron. “You start dating some guy and I have to hear about it from the fucking knitting circle? I am crushed! I thought we were friends.”
“Not dating,” Ron corrected. The ‘yet’ at the end of the sentence is heavily implied and Harry smiles at him like Ron has just done something amazing.
“Tell me about your boo,” Harry instructs, taking a seat at one of the chairs across from Ron. Harry doesn’t even have the grace to sit properly and instead flips the chair around so he looks like a popular kid from an 80’s film. Ron attempts to display his displeasure with an extremely blank look, but sadly Harry Welsh is immune to blank looks.
“I think I can hear one of your fighters slacking off downstairs,” Ron throws out in an attempt to dodge this. Harry, ever the trainer he is, actually pauses and looks out towards the window that overlooks the gym.
“Nice try asshole,” Harry chuckles, “I left Toye in charge of the rookies. That teddy bear will have them all practicing and know their star signs by the end of our talk. Now spill.”
“There’s nothing to talk about.” Ron opens up the document he had been working on with a click of his mouse. It’s taking twice as long to get anything done at work this week because he’s wearing the sling any time he isn’t seen by the public.
“Oh really?” Harry’s smile is manic and frankly a little scary. That’s saying something; after all it takes crazy to know crazy and Harry Welsh is the type of crazy that enjoys getting hit in the face for fun on a regular basis. Ron doesn’t trust that kind of crazy. “So you didn’t ask Malarkey to pay off his buddies for a full and federal background check on this guy?”
“No.” Ron answers smoothly. Harry’s face turns disbelieving, his eyebrows condemning Ron’s words. “Carwood had an appointment with Don, I didn’t see the point in both of us going.”
Harry laughs so hard he nearly topples off the chair, full body leaning backwards. Ron glares at the other man. From the corner of his eye, he can tell that Carwood has a hand over his face. Traitor .
“The guys all say you don’t have a sense of humor but they are just blind to your genius, Sparky.” Harry giggles, wiping at his eyes.
“I hate that name.” Ron quips, not that it would do any good. Harry never listens to that kind of information.
“You seen your boy’s Instagram yet?” Harry asks with a toothy grin. Ron opens his mouth to respond with ‘not my boy’ again when his brain fully catches what has just been said. He frowns at Harry. “Oh right, I forgot that you were raised by our industrious leader for long enough that you don’t like social media on principal.”
“It’s bad business to be traceable online.” The words come out of Ron’s mouth without him even thinking about them, like a reflex. Harry waves his hand at Ron like this is the expected response.
“Yeah, yeah, your mouth opens and Dick’s words come out.” Harry makes an exaggerated waving off motion and pulls out his phone. “Ooh, check this out!” Harry pushes his phone under Ron’s nose. “Your boy seems to be into motorcycles.”
On the screen in front of him are a series of small squares and a few of them were nice older motorcycles, clearly taken at the auto show that had been in town a few months back. They are good pictures. The other pictures interest Ron more; Roe smiling with friends. He has a cheesy smile in pictures, nothing like the small private smile Ron has seen so far.
“He also looks adorable with a bunny filter, but I don’t think you have one of those lying around. Unless you bought an app recently,” Harry rambles while Ron stares at the phone.
“Why are you showing me this Harry?” Ron asks finally. Sure, Harry and him are friends, but this is practically an attempt at match making. Harry takes his phone back and puts it in his pocket, glancing over at Carwood briefly before looking back at Ron.
“I know we aren’t suppose to talk about….” Harry scrunches his mouth to one side of his face, “she-who-will-not-be-named.” Ron huffs out a breath. He never exactly put on embargo on talking about The Ex, the guys had just noticed that he didn’t want to talk about what had gone down and apparently made some kind of pact amongst the group to not talk about it, ever again.
His high school sweetheart had broken his heart. Ron had thought she would be the one and then she ran off with some guy to England of all places. He hadn’t taken it well. Ron hadn’t known how to deal with disappointments back then. He was better now, but at the time a third of the cartel had felt his wrath.
“But you haven’t really gotten back on the horse since. It’s been a long time,” Harry shrugs. “I think I speak for all of us when I say, we want to see you happy.”
“Okay,” Ron answers.
“The rest of us, me and the guys, the gang down at the shipping department, everyone from back in the day, we are here to help if you need us. Not that you need us. You are the most attractive person we know. Like god damn if I didn’t have Kitty I would let you fuck me.” Carwood snorts at that. “I’m serious Ron!” Harry exclaims at the things Ron’s face must be doing. “I am the straightest man you know and I am still convinced that your dick might be magic. I have heard great things about prostate stimulation. Kitty isn’t into it, but I would love to try it some time.”
“Please go back to your job and stop telling me about your sex life with your wife,” Ron groans. Harry laughs with his whole body, hands on his stomach. Thankfully he does turn to leave.
“I am serious though!” Harry calls back once he’s at the door, “If this doesn’t work out with the Doc, you and I should talk. I am sure we can get Kitty on board. Pregnancy hormones have really opened her up to new ideas.”
“Welsh, get out of my fucking office.” Ron snaps. Harry finally leaves and Carwood manages exactly three seconds before collapsing in a fit of giggles himself.
“I hate you.” Ron mumbles as his friend wipes away actual tears.