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"Your eyes aren't bloodshot."

John stared at Charlie and wished he'd go away. "Of course my eyes aren't bloodshot. Why would they be?"

Charlie took off his mirrored sunglasses, revealing his own dark eyes, surprisingly concerned. "You called in sick. You're never sick. I figured the boy toy had dumped you."

"And what gave you that genius idea?"

"Oddly enough, John McClane on a bender because his boy toy had dumped him seemed much more likely than John McClane with the sniffles."

"We're not dating," Matt's voice called from the living room. "We're just having sex. He told his daughter so."

"The boy toy is here?"

John sighed. "Matt is here, yes. And stop calling him a boy toy."

Charlie stepped forward and John gave him space, letting him come in. Charlie didn't hesitate, walking straight into the living room where Matt was curled sideways on the couch, laptop balanced on his lap, Gatorade and Vicodin on the coffee table. "You've been beating the boy toy?"

"Asshole," John commented, walking around Charlie, resuming his place on the couch, tucking his arm around Matt's chest as Matt leaned back into him.

"Wow. He comes in and is offensive. This must be a good friend of yours," Matt noted, continuing to peck away at the keyboard. The cast definitely slowed him down, but he still typed faster than John.

"Matt, this is Charlie. Charlie, this is Matt."

"It's good to meet you," Charlie said more civilly, offering his hand and shaking Matt's.

"Hey, if I'm his boy toy, does that make him my sugar daddy?"

John hooted. "I wish I had the money to be considered a sugar daddy."

Charlie sprawled back in the recliner. "So I'm glad we've got that established. You're a boy toy and he's not a sugar daddy. Who's been beating you up if he hasn't?"

Matt's body gave a little squirm against John's, like he really didn't want to tell last night's saga again. John squeezed back with the arm he'd slung around Matt and answered. "He's not a boy toy and he got into a fight with an armed robber at a convenience store."

Charlie whistled. "Risky. Not a wise thing to do."

John couldn't see Matt's eyes, but he could almost sense they were rolling. "Wow, really? Huh. I guess I should have thought about doing a risk assessment before the armed robber walked in and waved a gun at me."

"Snide, too," Charlie said approvingly. "No wonder you two get along well. Does the perp look as bad as you do?"

"The perp ran off." John glared at Charlie, because he figured Matt probably felt he'd failed, since he'd stopped the robbery but not the robber.

"So when did you start discussing your sex life with your daughter?" Charlie asked, apparently getting the hint to drop the subject of last night. "You forgot to mention this detail."

"You're the one who thinks I worship John," Matt said slowly.

"Hey, we all worship McClane. He's one of the most decorated officers on the force, and the only one to be decorated in three states."

Matt twisted enough to see John's face. "You are?"

John shrugged. He never understood the fuss people made about shiny bits of ribbon and metal. "Yeah. A couple of the guys are decorated in two states."

"When they got decorated before they moved to New York," Charlie clarified. "John's the only one who gets decorated on vacation. So, Lucy?"

"I told you that she showed up."

"You didn't say you discussed your sex life with her."

"We didn't discuss my sex life."

"The boy toy says you did."

"He's not a boy toy," John said with irritation. Charlie's doggedness could be very effective with questioning suspects, but it was annoying when directed his way. Or Matt's. "And I told her we were having sex, that's all."

"And she was fine with that?"

Matt put the laptop on the coffee table, settling into paying full attention to the conversation. "She seems to think anyone who can date her dad deserves her sympathy."

Charlie laughed. "I have to agree. So what smells so good?"

"Lasagna."

"You made lasagna?"

"Mrs. Marconi made lasagna. She gave it to us for dinner."

"Mrs. O'Reilly makes a really great chicken soup too," Matt offered. He'd had two bowls, the first thing he'd eaten after sleeping the morning away, which gave him strength to charm several of John's elderly female neighbors during the afternoon. Who knew old women would flock to him?

"You've been cadging food off the neighbors?"

"They really like him," Matt answered for him, with an irritating amount of surprise in his voice. "They even like him gay. They think I'm cute. And will be good for him."

"Hey, it's a good thing to have a cop in the neighborhood," John defended his neighbors' appreciation of him, not sure why he had to.

"He fixes things. And harasses city officials about pot holes and stuff," Matt explained, still sounding surprised.

"John's a good man to have on your side. And not just when someone needs to be dropped off a building."

"Yeah, I noticed that," Matt agreed nestling in closer to John, who was torn between pleasure that Matt was so impressed by his relationships and irritation that he'd obviously assumed he'd be a bad neighbor. Just because he'd fought regularly with Holly and sometimes with his kids didn't mean he'd be a jerk to people on his block, people who were happy to have a police officer in their midst.

The doorbell rang before John got to answer, and with a sigh, John broke away from Matt's body and stood.

"I hope it's Mrs. M with the baklava she promised. She understood no walnuts, right? I'm allergic to walnuts."

"She understood," John reassured him, sliding his fingers through Matt's hair in a lingering caress. "You gonna stay for dinner?" he offered to Charlie as he walked to the door. He'd rather Charlie went away, but he had a bad feeling the other man was being too entertained to be dislodged. Besides, it was interesting to see the two interact, and if Matt stayed around as John hoped he would, they'd be seeing each other regularly anyway.

"With a smell like that? Wouldn't miss it for the world."

John opened the door, hit instantly by a bright light. Instinctively, he raised his hand to shield his eyes as a cheerful voice chirped, "Officer McClane!"

"Yeah, I'm John McClane." He recognized the light on a camera, closing the door slightly and blocking the opening with his body. He'd dealt with these assholes enough to know not to give them any more access than necessary. "You want to turn that light down?"

"Jimmy, turn the light down. Officer McClane, I'm Chelsea Kramer from Channel 3."

"Yeah, I've seen you. This is a private residence of a peace officer. You put anything identifiable on the air and I will have your ass."

"Jimmy, make sure you stay nice and close on Officer McClane's face. It's such a handsome one."

"You know it, honey," he smirked, using the endearment deliberately, because professional blondes were always striving for respect and she might go away faster if he could piss her off.

"Officer McClane, did you know that Matthew Farrell was involved in a confrontation with an armed robber last night?"

Fuck. Of course someone had leaked that information, one of Matt's friends that he'd called today or even some grunt in police dispatch or one of the EMTs or nurses. John had avoided the press after the fire sale day, but Matt was young, adorable, photogenic, and had given several big interviews. People would remember him and know he was newsworthy. "Really? Who told you that?"

"You know I can't disclose my sources, Officer McClane. The word is that he's staying with you."

"Really? That's the word? That's an interesting word." He wanted to tell her to go to hell and shut the door, but outright aggression tended to encourage these vultures. Well, unless you decked them like Holly had done with that Californian pipsqueak, but call him old-fashioned, John tried not to hit women until they threw the first punch.

"Is Matt Farrell staying with you, Officer McClane?"

"I don't discuss my home life with the press."

"May I speak to Matt?"

"I didn't say he was here."

"You didn't say he wasn't. May we speak to Matt?"

"I'm about to have dinner, so I'd appreciate if you'd leave my front porch."

"Maybe you should ask Matt if he'd like to speak to us."

"Maybe you should go find a real story, honey." John shut the door gently. Matt was standing close to him, but angled enough to be out of sight. "Did you want to talk to her?"

"Not particularly." He hesitated and he wanted to say more, but his head twitched toward Charlie, still in a loose-limbed sprawl in the recliner.

"Come on." Capturing Matt's hand, John tugged him into the kitchen. "What?"

John knew that look, that 'I'm unhappy' look that Matt gave when he was uncomfortable. Puppy dog eyes, pouty lips. "You said you didn't hide your relationships."

"There's a difference between hiding my relationships and opening my life to those vultures. That Nakatomi thing, that asshole put my kids on the evening news. He endangered Holly's life even more it already was."

The distinction didn't seem to please Matt. John slid his arms around his waist, pulling him close. "Look, I know it's going to come out, okay? You want to go out and neck in front of the camera, we can do that now. But later is better than sooner with these guys, okay?"

"Yeah, okay." Matt leaned forward, tilting his head, and John took the hint, kissing him.

"I thought I'd see if I could help set the table," Charlie said, making them break apart. "I didn't realize you guys were moving onto after dinner activities."

"Asshole," John returned, but went to the cabinet, getting out three plates, while Matt retrieved silverware.

"You're repetitious," Charlie told John, turning to Matt. "And he can be surly and disagreeable. You sure you want to hook up with this guy?"

John was tempted to smack Charlie, but Matt smiled and said, "Yeah, I'm sure," and then maybe he would have kissed Charlie except he had to set the plates down and kiss Matt again instead.

~~~

John was relieved when Charlie didn't hang around for long after dinner. He enjoyed talking to both of them, having company for dinner, but Matt's eyes were getting tired, and he was ready to spend time alone with him.

Escorting Charlie to the door, he checked the street for any sign of the news van. Chelsea had given up for the evening, but he knew she'd be back. Vultures always circled a few times before they landed.

"You're a lucky man, John McClane."

"Yeah. I know."

To his surprise, Charlie kissed him on both cheeks. "You're gay now. That's how we say goodbye."

"Don't label me," he objected automatically.

Charlie gave a laugh, amused by him. "See you tomorrow?"

"Nah. I called this afternoon and took the rest of the week off."

Charlie laughed again and shook his head.

"What?"

"Nothing. Have a good vacation." He walked off toward his car. John watched him for a moment, then stepped back into the house, locking up behind him. Returning to the living room, John sat on the couch, putting Matt's feet on his lap.

"You want to watch TV?"

Matt shook his head. "I'm tired. I'm not interested in the pap used to pacify the masses and keep them consuming unnecessary toys." He yawned. "Besides, there's nothing on tonight."

John stroked his feet, conscious of his bruised ankle. "You need anything? More Gatorade?"

"I would never have pictured you as a good nurse."

"I'm good at taking care of people." He'd actually taken care of the kids when they were sick as much as Holly, who was too career driven to stay home if she could avoid it. Not that getting time off was easy for him either, but he'd never worried about being labeled as not committed and denied promotions because of it.

"Yeah, I just – thought of that more in the context of killing other people."

That attitude stung a little bit, but it didn't surprise John. The softer side of McClane wasn't something a lot of people got to see, something that he wouldn't ever reveal in front of people like Thomas Gabriel and his goons. "Even Holly would admit I gave great backrubs." At least, she would have admitted it during the good times. It didn't much matter what she'd say now, as he didn't figure she and Matt would ever meet.

"That sounds good."

"You want a backrub?"

"Full body massage, if you can manage it."

"Come on." He swung Matt's feet off his lap. "I'm going to make you feel like a wet noodle."

"Competitive massage. Now that's John McClane."

Pulling Matt off the couch, he said, "If we're making this a competition, that means you have to return the favor. And do better."

"Show me what you can do." Matt yawned, stumbling toward the bedroom. "And as soon as this is off," he waved the cast, "I'm going to top it."

"You think you can top me."

Matt stopped in the middle of the bedroom, stripping off his shirts and sweats. "Oh, I plan on it," he promised, but his smile was more hopeful than cocky.

John retrieved the oil from the bathroom before taking off his jeans, leaving his tshirt and boxers on, waiting as Matt, all naked limbs and pale skin, arranged himself on the sheets. "Let me show you what you have to measure up to." He cracked his knuckles, pouring oil in his hands, warming it in his palm as he swung over Matt's body, one knee on each side of his hips. He started with long, slow sweeps, bringing his hands from the top of Matt's shoulder blades to the small of his back and up again. At least on his back there weren't any bruises to work around, only lean muscles to knead into relaxation.

"I think I could purr."

"Purring's allowed," John said, continuing on Matt's back, smiling as Matt gave a rumbly sound very much like a contented cat. He worked quietly, focusing on Matt's sore spots, knowing the kind of tenseness that unexpected physical activity, like a fight, could create.

Touching the inside of Matt's legs, he encouraged him to spread them, shifting to sit between his calves, working on his legs. His muscles were well defined for someone who seemed so sedentary, though John knew Matt was a decent jogger. "You play sports?"

"Just about everything when I was growing up. I loved baseball. My brother's the real jock, though."

"Yeah?"

Matt gave a sleepy murmur of assent, as John worked on his calves, careful to stay away from his ankle. "You made fun of me watching sports."

"That was because you said computer games weren't sports."

"They're not," John protested, which earned him a half-hearted flailing kick in his side. "Hey, no abusing the masseuse."

Matt made another sleepy noise, presumably of agreement. His profile was peaceful, eyes shut, head resting on the pillow.

John stopped the talking, moving up to Matt's thighs, slow sweeps again at first, blending into a more vigorous kneading, his dick perking up as he remembered how these strong thighs felt squeezing his hips. "Turn over," he instructed.

Matt opened one eye. "What about my butt?"

"You want – yeah, okay," he said quickly, because massaging Matt's butt was going to be torture enough without talking about it. He drizzled more oil on his palms, cupping each perfect cheek with his hands, squeezing with determination.

"John, come on." Matt spread his thighs further, exposing his hole.

"You should rest."

"I will. After you fuck me."

John ran his thumbs down the crevice. "Such language," he admonished. "Your mother would not be happy."

"My mother's not going to be happy for a long time," Matt countered, which was heartening to hear, that Matt pictured this relationship as long-term. "But I'll be very happy if you fuck me."

With the oil on his hands, dipping a finger into Matt's hole was easy. "I haven't done your front yet."

Squirming, Matt tucked his knees under him, lifting his butt up, forcing John's finger deeper. "John, Jesus, fuck me. Don't make me beg."

"I like you begging," John teased, but he inserted another finger, beginning the scissoring motion that would stretch Matt enough to take him.

"Then please John, please. Fuck me – ow!" he ended, as John nipped at his ass, the smooth roundness too tempting to resist. "Cannibal," he grumbled, turning his head to mock-glare at John, his fine brown hair falling forward, almost obscuring his eyes.

"I could eat you up," John agreed, opening his mouth wide, scraping his teeth on Matt's skin. "Suck you dry." He speared in a third finger, which Matt accepted easily. "Give me a condom."

Matt reached over, grabbed a condom out of the drawer in the nightstand, and flipped it toward him.

"Stay open for me."

"Like I would close up," Matt muttered, as John withdrew his fingers, dealing swiftly with the foil packet.

"I'm going slow," he warned, aiming his dick at Matt's hole, thrusting in.

"As long as you do it," Matt grumbled, pushing back with his hips.

John caught them, holding Matt steady. "My pace." With an excruciatingly leisurely thrust, John pushed his dick into Matt's ass. "I thought you were tired."

"Good sex energizes me. Isn't that what you say?"

John snorted. "Good sex knocks you out."

"Yeah, and I'm ready for a good night's sleep." Pushing with his good hand and his cast, Matt arched up off the bed into a sitting position, forcing John to sit up or risk having Matt's back slam into his face. "God, this is good," Matt moaned, sitting in John's lap, still impaled, the new position allowing him to take control, to raise himself up and push back down, which he did, making happy noises.

John curled his fist around Matt's dick, pumping it with a sure grip, his other hand spread out on Matt's flat stomach, just riding with his motion. This wasn't what he'd planned, not at all. He'd thought no sex or slow sleepy sex, but even John McClane knew when to surrender to the inevitable.

"Fuck yourself on me. Take me," he ordered, and Matt obeyed the coarse suggestion, rocking up and down, his ass swallowing John's thick cock.

Burying his face in Matt's hair, John breathed in his scent, his skin, his sweat, kissing through the hair to the nape of his neck, and let himself be used as Matt fought to come. Matt gave a yell as he slapped down a final time, his semen pouring through John's fingers. John caressed Matt's dick, encouraging him to spill everything, before thrusting up, feeling the pleasure of every nerve in his body overloading as he came.

"God," Matt sighed, his eyes shutting as John helped him lie down, arranging him so his casted arm was comfortable. "Guess I'm going for – " he drifted off to sleep before he could finish the sentence.

"I'll do your front tomorrow," John promised.

~ the end ~