"See," Matt said. He wasn't slurring yet, but he sounded fantastically relaxed. "This is great. This is awesome."
He took the drink Vicky handed him on her way to the couch. She flopped down at one end of the couch and curled up, tucking her legs beneath her. Greta had claimed most of the couch, stretched out with pillows cushioning her back. It had been a few months since she got shot, but she still got sore. Vicky pulled Greta's feet onto her lap and wrapped a hand loosely around Greta's ankle while she sipped her bright blue drink.
Matt held his own blue drink up and swirled it around, watching the color. "We've got the alcohol," he said.
Bob was lighting a cigarette as Matt said it; Matt stretched to reach Bob from his chair and poked him in the arm.
"The tobacco," Matt continued. "And we're all fucking armed even though we're just fucking sitting here in Bob's living room where absolutely nobody is in any kind of danger whatsoever." He smiled contentedly, and a little damply. "We're a bunch of psychos, you know that?"
Bob snorted a puff of smoke and shook his head.
It had been years since he worked with Matt -- since they were both in the Chicago PD Narcotics division -- and he'd forgotten what a huge dork Matt was.
He hadn't realized he'd missed it, either, but apparently he had. He could hardly take his eyes off Matt, draped over the chair, all long legs and receding hairline and gorgeous eyes and easy smile. Bob had expected some of the sexual tension to bubble back up when he heard the undercover Fed they'd be teaming with was Matt, because, Jesus, Matt.
He hadn't figured that Matt would just slot right back into his life, though, like...Bob didn't even know. Maybe like his favorite old hoodie that got lost in the endless boxes during his last couple of relocations. Like how when it turned up again Bob remembered why it was his favorite as soon as he put it on, because it was the most comfortable thing in the world.
Bob sat for a moment, squinting at the little stream of smoke curling up in front of his face, and thought about what he'd been thinking about. He determined that he sucked at analogies tonight.
But whatever; he mentally waved it off and got back to the point. Which was that Bob was seriously about half a second from sliding off his own chair and crawling into Matt's lap. Like a cat or something.
Of course, that might have been because Bob was a little fucking drunk. And as soon as he was not drunk he was going to forget he ever had such an urge because that shit was embarrassing.
"My point is," Matt was saying. "That we're like the embodiment of our organization. AT-fucking-F. All right here in this room."
There were a couple of things wrong with that statement, one of which being that Matt was actually FBI, and while the FBI and ATF were supposed to be one big happy family these days, generally that was not the case.
But Matt was family as far as Bob was concerned, even though he hadn't seen the son of a bitch in something like five years. Plus, Bob's team was having their traditional pre-big-operation party, and Matt was working the op with them and therefore was at the party, and that made him family too. Or something like that.
So Bob let that slide and addressed the other wrong thing.
"That is not alcohol," Bob said, pointing to Matt and Victoria's cocktails with his own good old honest American bottle of real beer. "That's..."
For a moment he blinked, trying to come up with an appropriate insult. He had just shy of an empty six pack collected beside his chair; that turned out to be enough to not only fuck up his analogies and logic but also hamstring his insults. Finally he looked helplessly at Greta.
She had beer too. Bob liked Greta. She could drink him under the table. Or, she could before she got shot; he had no doubt she would again.
Greta toasted him with her beer and said, "It's not alcohol, it's a fucking wine cooler."
"Wine cooler," Bob repeated emphatically. Genius. He gave Matt a superior raised eyebrow. "Yeah."
Matt just laughed at him.
"Okay, we've got the A, the T and the F," Vicky said. "But what about the explosives? I don't know about you guys, but I didn't have any room in my purse for C4 tonight."
Matt got as far as raising a finger and opening his mouth when there was the rattle of a key in Bob's apartment door and Brian kicked the door open. He had a stack of pizza boxes that he was thisclose to dropping. He glared at everybody and snapped, "Yeah, nobody get up and help me or anything."
As Bob pushed to his feet and managed to walk a mostly straight line to Brian, Matt said, "Hah! Explosives, right on cue."
They were all a bunch of losers who had to work in the morning, so the party broke up at a tame hour. Vicky poured herself into a cab with Greta before the clock broke double digits; Brian was clinging steadfastly to the wagon so he drove himself home when he headed out a little later.
Eventually Matt was the only one left. He didn't say anything about leaving, or even about staying. After a moment of ear-buzzing, beer-hazy silence when the door closed on Brian, Matt said, "Shit, I gotta piss," and Bob pointed him in the direction of the bathroom down the hall.
When he came out, Bob had mostly got the living room cleaned up. Bob was pretty solidly inebriated, but he still couldn't stand the thought of waking up to bottles, glasses, paper plates and half-eaten pizza strewn everywhere.
Matt laughed and shook his head. "Dude, are you still OCD about cleaning up?"
"I am not OCD," Bob said. He tried to pull a garbage bag out of the box on top of his fridge, but the slippery plastic refused to be grabbed. He got the whole box down and finally fumbled a bag out. "I am just obsessive about keeping my place clean and must compulsively clean up after a bunch of slobs stop by."
"Because that's not the definition of OCD or anything," Matt said, starting to gather up the stack of paper plates and greasy paper towels Bob had collected on the counter.
Bob just grinned at him as he shook out the bag. He held it open for Matt to dump all the trash into. He stopped Matt from dropping the bottles in, though. Matt laughed again, that goofy, loose laugh he always did when he was buzzed, when Bob pulled the recycling bin out from under the sink.
"Shut up," Bob said. He added, as seriously as possible, "I'm trying to reduce my carbon footprint."
That made Matt laugh harder. He sagged against the counter and wheezed, "Oh my god, California turned you into a fucking hippie."
Bob said, "Hey, it turned you into a fucking surfer."
Matt got the laughing under control, down to a few helpless snorts, and shook his head. "No way. I was always a surfer. Just wasn't a whole lot of opportunity to figure it out in Chicago. The Great Lakes are awesome, but they've got shit for good waves."
Bob stashed the recycling bin back under the sink -- without washing the bottles first; he wasn't that anal, and that shit could wait until the next day.
And then he couldn't think of anything to say in response to Matt's comment, so there was a lull in the conversation. It made Bob uncomfortable for some reason. He found himself standing there not knowing what to do with himself, where to look, what to do with his hands or even his expression. Even though there was none of the hero worship or unexpected and desperately repressed attraction Bob had felt about Matt the first several months they'd worked together in Chicago, the self-consciousness Bob felt right then was disconcertingly similar to the way it had back in the day.
Or maybe there was a little bit of the old repressed attraction, because what Bob found himself thinking as he tried not to stare to hard at the way Matt's mouth still quirked in an easy smile was why hasn't he left yet? Is he planning to stay? Would it be okay if I asked if I could kiss him?
Not that having a relationship with someone you worked with was ever a great idea in their line of work; but that had never stopped them before.
At any rate, Matt didn't seem bothered by the pause, but his amusement slowly faded. He was watching Bob with a curious expression, equal parts drunk-stare and...something Bob couldn't identify.
Suddenly Matt laughed once, softly to himself, and dropped his head to rub his eyes.
"I don't know, man," he said. His smile when he looked up was more subdued. It looked like an afterthought to the thoughts Bob could see clicking away behind his intent gaze. "It's kind of crazy, isn't it? That we both lived in L.A. for two years without running into each other."
Bob let himself sway a little sideways, enough to lean against the sink. He stuffed a hand in his pocket and shrugged. "I don't know, it's a big town. I mean. Los Angeles. Not hard to get lost in the crowd around here."
Matt nodded. Bob couldn't tell if it was a simple nod of agreement or a 'yeah, good, that'll work as a reason to never connect again after this op is over.'
As soon as the thought crossed Bob's mind, he felt fantastically, though at least privately, ridiculous. I am fucking drunk and over-thinking things, and he's just here because we're old friends who are going to be working together and I need to just...stop thinking.
"Well," Matt said. "And my focus is still on narcotics. And I am also in the FBI, whereas you went and joined those dicksmack losers in the ATF."
Bob felt his eyebrows shoot up, and he stifled the snort that would have totally ruined the effect of his arch reply. "Oh, so says the agent of the Federal Bureau of We Love Ourselves So Much We'd Suck Our Own Dicks If We Could Bend Far Enough."
"Ooh." Matt laughed. "Them's fightin' words, asshole."
"Bring it on, douchebag."
He made the words a lie with a grin, and Matt grinned back.
And then Matt did that thing he always used to do. He got that thoughtful look on his face and crossed his arms, and stroked his bottom lip lightly with his thumb.
Bob tried not to let the grin freeze on his face, but hell. That had always turned him on so hard. He didn't know why, but damn. It made him want to take Matt's hand and lick his thumb, suck it into his mouth and stroke it with his tongue. And then move on to that lip, that mouth.
Shit, Bob thought. He sighed and gave his head a little shake, like he could shake out the alcohol buzz that fucking refused to keep thoughts like that out of his head. It didn't work, but it did make the room wobble a bit, and he had to scrub a hand down his face and stand really still until it passed.
"Seriously, though," Matt said. "Why did it take that long for us to hook up? Five years, and then two in the same city." He paused, and then said, a little more quietly, "Dude, think of all the sex we could have been having since you transferred out here."
It caught Bob with his face in his hand, rubbing stars in his eyes. For a second he thought he'd thought it himself, because that was exactly the stupid sort of thing he couldn't help thinking at the moment. Plus, no kidding, they could have been having so much sex.
Then it struck him Matt had said it. He dropped his hand and looked at Matt through a squint, and said, "Huh?"
Matt's voice was still quiet, and his eyes briefly cut to the side and away from Bob's gaze, when he said, "You know, I didn't realize how much I'd missed you until I walked into that meeting with your team last week and saw you sitting there."
After an awkward pause Bob said, "Um."
Bob knew he should respond more coherently, but it was so bizarrely like hearing his own thoughts narrated back to him that he was having trouble parsing what it meant that the words were coming from Matt and not his own brain.
He rewound back to Matt's first unexpected comment and decided he could definitely address that.
"Yeah. Well. The sex was pretty good. Back in the day. And." He blinked for a second at Matt. "Yeah."
"The sex," Matt repeated with a soft, odd little laugh. "Yeah, the sex was good."
He pushed off the counter and crossed the two steps to Bob. His gaze from so close up was assessing, and his hand drifting up was slow and hesitant.
Bob cleared his throat. "So we can agree the sex was good and we should have been having some between now and two years ago," he said, just to make sure they were on the same page.
"Absolutely," Matt said.
He stopped being hesitant, and wrapped his hand around the back of Bob's neck and kissed him.
Bob hooked his fingers in Matt's waistband and pulled him in even closer. Definitely on the same page. Thank fucking god.
"I forgot how weird you are."
Bob slid a hand down Matt's side, slowly, and then back up again, feeling the sharp angle of Matt's hip, the hint of softness at his waist, the subtle landscape of his ribcage.
Matt's laugh was just a breath puffing against Bob's forehead. "I'm not weird."
He said it as he drifted his lips over Bob's eyebrows and then over further to press a soft kiss to Bob's temple. Then back again, to drop a kiss on the bridge of Bob's nose. Bob hadn't opened his eyes, so there was no need for a warning or pause before Matt started brushing the lightest kisses over Bob's eyelids again. It made Bob's eyes and cheeks feel tingly.
"Yes you are," Bob said. "You and your weird thing for eyes."
He continued trailing his fingers across Matt's skin, this time up Matt's back. When he reached Matt's shoulder, Matt caught his hand and pressed it to the bed. With that he had both of Bob's hands pinned. Bob relaxed into it, drawing in a deep breath partly from contentment and partly to feel more skin-against-skin as Matt shifted to lie atop Bob entirely.
Between the fading edge of the alcohol haze and the post-sex relaxation, Bob felt cozy and pliable. He let Matt skim his mouth over his face, lazily nipping back the rare times Matt left the forehead and eyes area to give Bob's mouth a quick lick or wet suck.
"I don't have a thing for eyes," Matt said. He ducked down to nuzzle Bob's throat, nudging Bob's head to the side. "I have a thing for your eyes."
Bob shook with a quiet laugh. "Okay. That's either really creepy or really sappy."
Matt lifted up then, looking down steadily at Bob.
"I like your eyes. They're so blue," he said, simply and without any apparent concern that it was the cheesiest thing in the world to say. "And you have freckles on your eyelids -- did you know that?"
For a moment Bob didn't respond. He studied Matt's expression, or at least what he could see of it in the near-darkness. He knew that if there was more light he'd be seeing openness, unselfconscious sincerity. He wondered if it would weird him out the way it used to. Matt always looked like that after sex -- and also looked like that when he was working an undercover job. Matt was good at being earnest; he was good at being uncomplicated. He earned his marks' trust with that face, and then became their friend by being ridiculous and a good time and capable of shocking violence when necessary.
It didn't bother Bob, it was just weird. It made him wonder what kinds of things he himself faked for marks that were a dead ringer for when he really meant them.
"It's a little dark in here," Bob said. The only light in the bedroom glowed around the nearly closed door to the hall. "How the hell can you see freckles on my eyelids?"
"I remember from before." Matt's solemn expression broke suddenly with a grin. "You also have freckles on your lips." He kissed Bob again, on the mouth, slow and dirty. When he finally let Bob's mouth go he added, "I like the way they taste."
Bob snickered. He fully intended to tease Matt about that, but the laugh made the bed shudder; it also made him shift a little beneath Matt so that suddenly their groins lined up.
The sensation of their soft cocks pressing and sliding together was breathtaking in a different way than it was when they were hard -- breathtaking in a way that means Bob wasn't going to be soft for long.
He shifted some more, just a light grind up. It had been plenty long since round one. They'd both slept a little; Matt getting up for a snack a bit ago was what woke Bob up in the first place. He could taste a hint of chocolate when he slipped his tongue into Matt's mouth.
"Mmph," Bob said, twisting his head to break the kiss for a second. "Fucker, did you find my chocolate pudding stash?"
"Maybe," Matt said. He pressed down against Bob, starting a light, rhythmic thrusting. "Were you hiding it?"
"It was in the fucking bag of lettuce," Bob said. His voice hitched and he gasped at the friction between their cocks. The heat and hardness he felt told him that he clearly wasn't the only one ready to go again. "What the fuck do you think?"
"I thought," Matt said. His teeth skimmed Bob's jaw and found his earlobe, and he paused to bite down. Not too hard; just hard enough to make Bob go still and send a shot of heat through Bob's groin. "I thought, wow, Bob is one weird motherfucker if he eats his pudding with lettuce."
He caught Bob's mouth again before Bob could respond, even though his response wouldn't have been anything more than a sharp laugh. For a long moment they stayed like that, sucking at each others' mouths and thrusting against each other.
When he first woke up a bit ago Bob had been chilly, groping half-asleep for a bed sheet before Matt climbed back into bed and started distracting him with touches and kissing. Now he was getting warm, and his skin was starting to slick up with sweat, and fuck was he hard.
He twisted his arms to try to get a hand free, but Matt threaded his fingers through Bob's and tightened his grip.
"Again?" Matt said against his mouth.
"Yeah," Bob whispered breathlessly. He pulled his knees up so Matt could settle between his legs. "Fuck yeah."
Matt buried his face briefly against Bob's neck, muffling a moan. When he lifted his head up, and at the same time lifted his hips and maneuvered so that his cock slipped between Bob's ass cheeks, he said, "Yeah, the sex was definitely one of the things I missed."
It was still dark the next time Matt woke Bob up. This time Matt was sitting at the end of the bed pulling on his shoes.
He'd cracked the door to the hallway a little more to let in extra light; Bob could see he was fully dressed.
"Heading out?" Bob said. He rolled onto his back and stretched, and dragged the covers up to his chin.
Matt turned. "Hey, yeah I am. This time day after tomorrow I'll be somebody else. I gotta do one last check over the details today. You know how long that always takes."
Bob hummed agreement. His eyes were starting to drift shut again.
"Thanks for inviting me to your team shindig."
Matt's voice was right beside Bob's face when he said that. When Bob dragged his eyes open he found Matt crouched beside the bed.
"Yeah," Bob slurred. "Yeah. No problem." He cleared his throat and tried to wake up a little more. "Your team too for a while, you know?"
He could see Matt's smile, and he had the sudden urge to kiss it. He pushed the thought aside automatically. Just as he remembered, oh right, there was sex, so kissing is probably okay, Matt leaned in a brushed a kiss over Bob's mouth.
"No telling how long this thing will go," Matt said. "But when it's over let's try not to let years go by before we hook up again. Okay?"
Bob's eyes had fallen shut again, but he couldn't help smiling. He wasn't drunk anymore, but being half-asleep could take the blame this time for how warm Matt's words made him feel. Even if it was just hooking up, just sex, had always been just sex, Bob was okay with that.
Warm breath in his hair before a kiss dropped on his forehead, and then at the corner of his eye. Bob turned into it accidentally, some kind of weird sleepy reaction, and got the last kiss whisper-soft across his eyelid.
"Weirdo," he mumbled.
He thought Matt might have laughed at that.
His alarm started its combination ear-blistering screech and cranked-up A.M. radio show racket -- it was pretty much the only thing he wouldn't sleep through -- at seven.
Bob flailed out from under his covers and scooted to the other side of his bed on his stomach so he could smack at the clock until he hit the snooze button.
In the blessed silence, he huddled back under the covers. His head felt a little dry-achy, but it wasn't pounding, and he didn't feel queasy; that was good. No hangover after getting slightly wasted was always awesome.
He was sore, though, in all kinds of places. The good kind of sore. And as he noticed that he also noticed that the silence in his apartment was complete. Morning city noises filtered in from outside, but that was it. No one in the bed with him, bitching about his psycho alarm; nobody rattling around in the kitchen.
It felt weird for a moment, until he remembered that Matt had left before Bob got up because he had a long day-and-a-half worth of last minute undercover prep to get started on. He was glad he'd woken up when Matt left, instead of waking up to a note, or to nothing at all.
It still felt a little weird, though. He'd always lived alone, since he'd transferred out of the CPD and into the ATF, but he'd never felt alone. He'd had people spend the night before, too, and he'd never felt like the silence was too big after they left. He thought it was probably not a good sign that it was different with Matt. He'd managed not to fall too much in love their first time around in Chicago. It would be completely idiotic to do it now.
Bob sighed and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes while he kicked the covers off. If he didn't want the fucking alarm to go off again he needed to get up. And anyway, he had work to do, too. They already had an organization marked on the narcotics side of the operation, an in for Matt, but they were still working on finding the in on the illegal arms sales side. There was one possibility who looked pretty solid; if he turned out to be their guy it would mean Vicky would take point, and Bob would go along as the boyfriend. But they still needed to do a more checking, and then work on build their covers, and just...a shitload to do.
Let's try not to let years go by. Bob made a face at himself and thought, Yeah, maybe.
He got up and headed toward the bathroom. No point thinking too much on it right then, though. Bob told himself that it had been awesome to hang with Matt again, and amazing getting to fuck again too; and then put Matt out of his mind.