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Best Buddies (Can Be Something More)

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Being famous for the fourth time was the best, and John knew the credit went to Matt.

He'd been young and arrogant the first time, and made an ass out of himself on national television, back when national television was still the most important forum for communication and entertainment, and thankfully before his stupidity could be spread to thousands of websites.

He'd tried to avoid all of it the second time, and mostly succeeded. He was too wrapped up in Holly and the kids to care about book deals or TV rights. He'd made Garbo look like a wimp.

The third time, he'd been recovering from what turned out to be the final break-up with Holly, alcoholism, and smoking, and hadn't much given a shit one way or the other. 'Surly' and 'disinterested' had been the kindest words reporters used to his boss in their attempts to get him to perform like a trained monkey. So they'd turned to Zeus, and heard way more about 'the white man' than they'd ever wanted to know, and the story died out quickly.

The fourth time… the fourth time was surprisingly cool. It was a new century. The world seemed different, and John felt more true to himself than he'd ever been. He'd didn't have to be arrogant or defensive, because Matt was by his side, somehow managing to be flippantly charming one minute, ridiculously passionately liberal the next, effortlessly capturing the bulk of the attention. The focus on Matt allowed John to hang back, to be the quieter half of the duo through press conferences, receiving the keys to the several cities from their mayors, and appearing on Letterman and Regis & the current blond chick.

The only time John took the lead was receiving a medal from the President. Matt bitched all the way to DC and back about conservative Republican assholes. But John had given him a look when they were being escorted into the White House, and Matt had kept his mouth shut, except for a few "Yes, Mr. President"s, and John could have kissed him.

Except that Lucy was the one who was supposed to be kissing Matt, so it was weird to open his door the Saturday before Christmas and see her standing there with another young woman.

"Hi, Dad. This is my friend Sonia. Sonia, this is my dad, John."

"Where's Matt? You were supposed to bring Matt."

"Maybe you should have told Matt that."

"You haven't become a lesbian, have you?" Sonia looked like a nice young woman, but John had reached the stage of his life where he'd started to think about grandchildren, and he'd rather have a young man than some random sample from a sperm bank as their father.

"No, Dad. I'm not the one who's had a spontaneous change of my sexual orientation. Now are you going to keep us freezing to death, or are you letting us come in?"

"Yeah, come in." John stood aside, letting Lucy and Sonia enter, and shutting the door behind them. Lucy wasn't kidding about them freezing to death, because it was freaking cold outside. He hoped that the weather didn't discourage anyone from coming to his first Christmas party, not since Matt had spent so much time helping him organize it. "What do you mean, you're not the one having a spontaneous change of sexual orientation? Your mother hasn't become a lesbian, has she?" Though that would certainly help to explain the continual ups and downs of their married life.

Lucy gave him a curious look, as she and Sonia started to remove their heavy coats, boots, gloves, and hats, revealing they'd both been wise enough to wear festive sweaters and slacks, not skimpy dresses. "No, Dad. Mom's still straight. Jack is too." John knew he still looked suspicious, because Lucy sighed. "I promise, Daddy. We're not going to neck under the mistletoe. She's a friend."

"It's an honor to meet you, Mr. McClane." Sonia offered her hand. "You helped save the world."

John took her hand, shaking it. "Just the country."

"Where do you want us to put our stuff?" Lucy asked, her outer gear bundled in her arms.

"Guest bedroom. Drinks are in the kitchen," he added, letting them leave him. He pulled out his cell phone, hitting Matt's name in his contact list, getting his voicemail. "Where are you?" John demanded. "Lucy's here with some girlfriend. Call me." The doorbell rang again, and John relaxed. Matt probably hadn't answered because he was walking up to the door. "Hey," he said, smiling as he opened the door, but it was Zeus, not Matt.

Zeus arched his eyebrows as John's smile dropped. "You not happy to see me, white man?"

John made himself smile again, ignoring Zeus's baiting. He extended his hand, tugging Zeus into a hug. "Hey, I'm glad you could make it."

Returning the hug, Zeus said, "John McClane, hosting a party? Being sociable? It's the eighth wonder of the modern world. But you don't look happy."

"Sorry, I thought you were Matt. He was supposed to come with Lucy but she brought a friend. A girlfriend."

"She's not stupid. She's not going to get between you two."

John frowned. "What does that mean?"

Zeus gave a sigh, pulling off his glasses, which had fogged up in the warm house. John noticed that he wore them more often these days. Getting old was a bitch, but he'd been close enough to the alternative enough times to not get too grumbly about his age. "Aren't you going to offer me a drink? A hot drink? Do you know it's cold enough to freeze a polar bear's nuts out there?"

"It's New York at Christmas time. What do you expect? Leave your coat in the guest bedroom, second room on the left, and drinks are in the kitchen." His phone rang, and he checked it, seeing Al's name. "Hey, Al! Merry Christmas."

"Hi, John. I wanted to wish you a good Christmas."

"I'm glad you called, but I'm having a party here tonight and I'm expecting Matt to call. Can I call you tomorrow?"

"Sure, John. Tomorrow would be fine."

There was an odd note in Al's voice that made John hesitate. "Al? Everything okay?"

"Look, I just wanted to say it's okay by me, you got that? You and Matt. Don't let anyone hassle you."

"Me and Matt what? Someone's ringing the bell. I'll talk to you tomorrow. Give my love to the wife and kids."

"Sure, John. Say hi to Matt for me too."

The next few people were cops and their spouses, and John welcomed them in, feeling antsy the whole time. He hadn't planned on hosting this party all by himself. He wasn't even sure where the idea had come from, just that suddenly they were discussing it, and it seemed appropriate. Participate in the festive season, offer some hospitality to people who meant a lot to him, and who had supported him during his troubled years. At least, as much as he'd ever let anyone help him.

"Matt! Where the hell have you been?" John asked when Matt finally showed.

"Hey." Matt was as bundled as everyone else had been, and followed the same routine of entering and removing layers, revealing he was dressed in a red sweater and black slacks. Red was a good color for him, and it amused John that they looked coordinated for the season, since he was wearing a green sweater and black slacks. "People are supposed to be socially late. It's considered polite nowadays."

"Yeah, I'm not really a 'nowadays' guy. I've been waiting for you."

"Everything go okay with the set-up?"

"Yeah, fine. The drinks and food are out, music's playing." They'd bickered a lot about what to serve and what kind of music to play. John thought Matt had been mostly joking when he'd suggested Red Bull and music that made John want to bang his head against the wall. "Where have you been?" he said, taking Matt's coat from him.

Matt draped his scarf and gloves over the coat. "I just had a few things to handle. I didn't know you expected me early."

"Of course I did." John jerked his head toward the living room. "Go make sure everyone's got drinks. I'll put your clothes in the guest bedroom."

"Aye, aye, sir," Matt said cheekily, offering a salute, but his eyes looked distracted. John made a mental note to pin him down after the party and make him confess whatever was bothering him.


As best as John could tell, his first official party as a single man was a smashing success. Holly had been the one to orchestrate all the party-giving when they'd been married. She'd been concerned about the niceties of schmoozing with family, friends, and co-workers. John was more inclined to have a drink in a bar with his buddies after work.

John hadn't even thought about entertaining since he and Holly had broken up, but Matt had encouraged him, and John was glad he had. It was nice to wander through his house, to see friends and family eating and drinking while smiling and chatting. He may have gotten a little enthusiastic with the numbers, as people filled the living room, dining room, and kitchen, and a few were gathered around the computer Matt had helped John set up in the guest bedroom.

Well, everyone except Matt was having a great time, John thought, watching him from across the room. He was talking to that ass Buckley, who John would have been happy to leave off the invitation list. Curse too many years of listening to Holly and her concerns about not excluding people. John had felt obligated to include him, even though Matt had rolled his eyes and suggested it was John's party, and John should invite only cool people he liked. Buckley's girlfriend was holding something in her hand, though John couldn't see what it was.

He began elbowing his way through the crowd, curious to see what made Matt look so unhappy. Lucy caught his arm as he passed her. "Dad, this is a great party."

"Thanks, honey. I'm glad you're having a good time."

"It's just pepper spray," John could hear Buckley say. "It's non-lethal. You're not worried about a little pepper spray, are you?"

"Yeah, I know it's no big deal, but is it even legal to carry that?"

John looked over in alarm, wondering how the hell they'd gotten into a discussion of something like pepper spray.

"Yeah? No big deal is it? Tough guy like you, you faced down terrorists. Even got shot by one. A little pepper spray wouldn't matter to you."

"Yeah, I'm sure it would be – "

"Dad, what – " Lucy said, turning to where John was looking, as Buckley sprayed Matt in the face.

Matt yelled, clutching at his face, instinctively doubling over to protect himself from further spray. John pushed through the people separating them, shoving himself between Matt and Buckley, grabbing Matt's hands and forcing them down, away from his face. "Don't rub it! You'll make it worse."

Matt was crying, tears streaking down his face, gasping with the pain. "Christ, John. It burns."

"Cry, Matt, go ahead and cry. It's the best way to get it out of your eyes."

"Yeah, crying. I'm crying. That's easy to do. Christ. Fuck."

John was conscious that the room had gone almost quiet, the Christmas music the loudest noise as people watched Matt in pain. Matt, in pain, because some asshole, in John's own house, had hurt his... friend. The guy who'd helped him save the entire fucking country from anarchy and financial bankruptcy. His Matt. He twisted, letting the momentum build from his turning feet, legs, hips, torso, and into his arm, and then his fist as it slammed into Buckley's stupid face. Buckley reeled back into a couple of people, who made startled noises, and reflexively pushed him away, toward McClane.

Buckley staggered to keep his feet under him. "Christ, McClane! What the hell is your problem?"

"My problem?" John didn't have momentum this time, but he did have strong muscles, a bad temper, and a protective nature. Buckley flailed back again, this time a satisfying amount of blood pouring from his nose, which was likely broken.

"You fucker! You broke my nose!" Buckley grabbed his nose with one hand, throwing a sloppy punch with the other.

Fuck, some people didn't understand when they needed to be grovelling with apologies instead of complaining about receiving what they justly deserved. John blocked with his left, hit Buckley again with his right, this time hitting higher on his face to avoid the hand on his nose. Before Buckley could fall back, John grabbed him by his sweater, his hands twisting in the wool weave, and yanked him off his feet. Buckley was only a few inches shorter than John, but John had righteousness on his side. "You attacked Matt in my house. I could fucking put you in the hospital."

"Christ, it was just a joke!" Buckley seemed to be finally comprehending the depth of his error, if the terror in his eyes was any indication. "It was only a little pepper spray!"

"We were just talking about the dangers of New York," his girlfriend babbled. "I was only showing them my protection."

John ignored her, shaking Buckley, who was going to have a black eye to go with his broken nose. "That shit can kill. There is no 'little' about attacking someone with a lethal weapon."

"Pepper spray doesn't kill! Jeez, not unless it's an old lady with a heart condition."

"John." Matt put a hand on John's back, and John twisted his head to look at him. "Not that I don't appreciate you defending my honor, but can I wash this off? Soap and water?"

Matt's eyelids were puffy, his eyes red, his face streaked with tears, and he was what John needed to focus on.

"Lucy, go to my car. There's some wipes in the emergency kit in the trunk. My keys are in my jacket."

"Yes, Dad." Lucy rushed out of the room, and John was thankful that she visited enough since July 4th that she knew where he kept things.

John shook Buckley one last time, almost tossing him toward the two closest cops. "Get this asshole out of my house." Buckley stumbled as he fell, but Ricks and Weaver caught him, hoisting him up and starting to drag him toward the door.

"Don't leave town, asshole. I'll let you know if we're going to press charges."

"Jesus fuck, McClane – " Buckley's words were hushed by the other two as they hustled him out.

"You should go with him," John said to the girlfriend, who seemed to be standing in a daze. Watching violence did that to a lot of people, but the order got her scampering out.

John placed a hand protectively on the small of Matt's back. To Sonia, he said, "Tell Lucy we're in my bedroom."

As John escorted Matt out of the crowded living room, Matt gave a weak wave. "Everyone keep partying. We'll be back."

"You won't." John pushed Matt down the hallway, hearing the revival of conversation behind them.

"Oh, Jesus." Matt collapsed on John's bed, blinking his eyes fiercely. "This shit hurts."

"Yeah. They sprayed us in training." John sat on the bed, taking off Matt's shoes. "You're doing okay. Keep crying."

"Yeah. It's hard not to."

There was a tap on the door, and Lucy slipped in, wearing his black leather jacket, her cheeks red from the brief visit to the cold outside. "Here you go, Dad."

John took the wipes from her hands, efficiently ripping the package open, pulling out one, and gently sponging Matt's face. "Thanks, honey."

"Sonia's encouraging people to leave."

"Jeez, they don't – "

John cut through Matt's words. "It's close to midnight anyway. Time for the party to break up."

"Great," Matt said, but his tone indicated he thought otherwise. "Great way to end a party. Let's all see Matt scream like a little girl."

"What's that asshole got against you anyway?" John had known enough assholes to tell when one was being personally vindictive.

One side of Matt's lips twitched upward in a grimace. "He's been irritating a couple of times when I was waiting for you at the station. He's just jealous at the attention we've got."

"He never bothers me."

Lucy gave a quick laugh, taking the used wipe from John's hand as he opened another package. "No one's that stupid. I'll toss this and help Sonia." She disappeared out the door. Damn, she was probably right. If any of his fellow cops were jealous of the publicity, they knew not to mess with him. Matt was the vulnerable one, and John wondered if Buckley had been the only asshole.

"I could do that myself," Matt offered.

"It's easier if I handle it," John said, and Matt didn't argue. John was glad that experience had led him to keep every type of emergency equipment in his car, even the specialty wipes for chemical sprays. He hadn't been a Boy Scout, but he was always prepared.

Matt was looking less pained, more relaxed, as John patted at his face with the wipe, being sure to cover all his skin, cheeks, nose, forehead, eyelids. There was another knock on the door, and Lucy slipped in again, putting a glass of water and a cup on the nightstand.

"Water to replace what you lost through crying, and a hot toddy."

"I wasn't crying," Matt muttered, inching into a sitting position, as John helped him, placing one of the pillows between Matt's back and the headboard. "I was copiously wetting my face," he added, drinking the water.

"Sorry. I missed that distinction," Lucy corrected herself, but her voice was sympathetic, so John didn't reprimand her.

"You should drink the toddy," Matt suggested to John. "I'm too tired to risk more alcohol. I don't want to fall asleep on the subway."

"You think you're going home? You're spending the night here."

Lucy brushed her lips on John's bald head. "You boys have fun arguing it out."

"We're not going to argue!" John yelled at her as she walked away, a statement that earned him an eye roll before she shut the door behind herself. "We're not going to argue," he repeated to Matt, "because you are not going home."

"I can't stay here. I'm fine anyway. It just startled me, that's all."

"He hurt you," John disagreed, anger rushing over him again, anger that he pushed aside. Now was not the time, but come Monday morning, that fucker would learn to regret messing with anyone who was under John's protection. "And pepper spray can be lethal. Yeah, yeah, the asshole was right, probably not for you, but we're not taking the risk. You are staying here, so I can look after you."

Matt waved toward John's guest bedroom. "I could have a coronary and you wouldn't even hear me. I can go home."

"You can sleep in my bed."

"Jeez – no. I can't put you out of your bed."

"It's big enough." John reached out, unbuckling Matt's belt. "We can sleep together." And Holly always claimed he didn't know how to compromise.

"Whoa." Matt tried to skitter backwards, but he had no room to move. "I'm not a kid. I can undress myself. If I needed to. But I should go home."

"Do you really think you're going to win this discussion?"

Matt thunked his head on the headboard, eyes shutting in resignation. "No, I guess not."

"Drink your water, drink your toddy, get undressed, and get into bed. Now."

"Christ." Matt curled his legs up. "Maybe you should check on Lucy and your guests."

Something about Matt's reaction was weird, and John thought maybe he was getting it. But maybe not, and this was the wrong time. Bad timing was the curse of his life.

"Okay. But I expect you to have obeyed when I get back."

"Yes, sir."

Matt sounded sarcastic, but also like he was surrendering, so John left him. Almost everyone was gone, only Lucy, Sonia, and the Captain in the kitchen, stacking dishes in the dishwasher and putting the last of the food away.

"Hey, thanks for this."

"The kid going to be okay?" The Captain asked.

"Yeah, he's okay. He's going to stay the night so I can look after him." He frowned at Lucy, who had picked her coat up from where it was draped over a chair, and begun putting it on. "You two should stay in the guest bedroom."

"I said I'd run them home," the Captain volunteered.

"Thanks," John said, and maybe that was for the best. He wouldn't have to worry about Matt being disturbed in the morning, or feeling obligated to socialize.

"We can talk Monday about what to do about Buckley."

Beat the crap out of him some more, was John's main thought, but he only nodded, knowing that wouldn't be the Captain's preferred course of action. He'd either want that co-worker counselling bullshit or an official complaint and the formal process. "Yeah, okay," he said, hugging both the girls and shaking the Captain's hand, wishing them a merry Christmas as he let them out and locked the door behind them. He did a quick check around the house, turning the lights off and the heater down, before returning to his bedroom.

Matt was already asleep, curled on his side, the covers pulled up to his neck. The wipes had made his face shiny, and he looked vulnerable and way too fucking young. John didn't know what he wanted more, to track down Buckley and break his entire face, or get into bed with Matt and do things he shouldn't even be thinking about, not with someone young enough to be his son.

The house was already getting cold. John couldn't leave Matt, so he accepted the inevitable, taking off his sweater and slacks, and wearing his undershirt and boxers, got into bed, turning his back to Matt. Trying to not think about what tomorrow would bring, he fell asleep.


John woke up in the morning and knew he was screwed. His body was spooned to Matt's, one arm around Matt's waist, Matt's arm over John's. His morning erection was nestled in the cheeks of Matt's butt, and his head was buried in the back of Matt's head. He smelled Matt's hair, which blissfully just smelled like hair, and not all that goop Holly had used on hers.

Moving slowly, John shuffled out of the bed, tucking the covers around Matt, who made a little snorting noise and relaxed back into a deep sleep. He grabbed some clean clothes, took a quick shower and dressed. After brewing a pot of coffee, he sipped a cup, staring out his kitchen window at the snow. Lots and lots of snow, which would make getting Matt home hellish.

If Matt needed to go home today…

"Wow, this place isn't a disaster area. You must have been busy this morning."

Matt stood in the doorway to the kitchen, stifling a yawn as he spoke, the ends of his hair damp, dressed in jeans and a blue sweater, part of the clothes that he left stored in John's guest bedroom. He'd started keeping extra outfits at John's house a few months ago. It had seemed to make sense, considering all the travelling inflicted on them by the police public relations office and a public hungry for heroes.

"Lucy and her friend did most of it last night. You want breakfast?"

"Yeah, that would be great. I'm starving."

John got out bacon, eggs, and bread, starting the bacon first since Matt liked his bacon crunchy and his eggs soft. Matt poured himself a cup of coffee and began making toast. The coffee was decent stuff, not that crappy lead that John had drunk all his life, because Matt bought the beans now.

Fuck. How had he not realized? Not understood?

"So the party was good. Until the end there."

"Yeah, the party was great. I've never thrown a better one."

"You've never thrown any at all. Not by yourself."

"That one wasn't by myself. You did most of the work."

Matt flashed him a smile. "Gotta bring you into the new century."

John snorted. "Drink, food, friends, and music. Parties have been like that all my life."

"Yeah, but let me guess. The appetizers were chunks of orange cheddar on toothpicks, with tuna casserole for the main course and Jello for dessert. Oh, and the salad was made with iceberg lettuce."

"Iceberg lettuce is back. They had it at that place you dragged me to last week."

"Jeez, and cut into a wedge. Can you believe that? Chop a head of lettuce into six pieces, pour some blue cheese on it, and call it gourmet." Matt went off into a rant about food, beginning with the pretentiousness of popular gourmet cooks, because Matt could be a snob about essentials like coffee, but he was scathing about anything remotely associated with reality shows, eventually working himself around in true Matt fashion, to American obesity and the inequality of food distribution in the world. John finished making breakfast, served it, and ate, grunting from time to time, occasionally tossing out a remark designed to be annoying, because it was fun to watch Matt be passionate, the cascade of his thoughts like quicksilver.

"So you going to your parents for Christmas?" John finally asked when Matt had wound down. They'd eaten sitting side by side, because part of the kitchen table was covered with dishes that hadn't fit in the dishwasher. John would have used paper plates, but a little extra clean-up time was worth not agitating Matt over environmental degradation. His fingers idly toyed with the clumps of mistletoe piled on the table. Lucy and Sonia had been thorough in their clean-up.

"They're going to my brother's in Florida. You must be having Lucy over?"

"Nah, she's going to her grandparents in Chicago. Holly and Jack are going to be there."

"So we'll both be alone," Matt said, and waited.

John knew what he should say, a casual invitation to spend the day together. They could buy some groceries together, and look up holiday recipes on the Internet, bickering all the while like an old married couple. But John McClane had never been a coward, or hesitated to deal with issues. He picked up a piece of the mistletoe, holding it over Matt's head. "Someone must have brought some mistletoe."

Matt tilted his head, his eyes flicking up to the small green cluster in John's hand. "Yeah, it looks like it."

"We're supposed to kiss now."

"Yeah," Matt agreed. "If you want to."

"I do," John said. And he'd never thought he'd say that about a guy, but he'd spent most of the last six months with Matt. How could he not want to know more about him?

Matt leaned forward, hesitantly. John leaned forward too, tilting his head, and their lips met in a first kiss. Nothing urgent, only the lightest of touches. Matt's lips were soft and dry, and John wanted to learn more. He cupped Matt's cheek with one hand, feeling the faint stubble, holding him in place as he deepened the kiss, slipping his tongue between Matt's lips. Breakfast was even better when tasted in Matt's mouth. Matt made a noise in the back of his throat, needy and yearning, his tongue pushing strongly against John's, not to repel, but to embrace.

"John, please," Matt said, yanking his head away. "Don't fuck with me."

"And if I want to fuck you?"

"Christ, really?" Matt smiled, like he'd received the best Christmas present ever. "Then I'd say, it's about fucking time."

John thought of Matt as less strong than him, but he wasn't weak, which he proved by shoving the table away from John's chair, making a few of the glasses rattle. He swung onto John's lap, his hands holding the back of John's head as he kissed John, a no-holds-barred, let's-have-sex kiss. Christ. Maybe the predilection of the young to leap without looking wasn't such a bad thing.

Slipping his hands under Matt's sweater, John learned the shape of his slim back, his waist and shoulder blades, before his hands wandered down to Matt's ass, cupping it, holding him in place as John stood. It was a nice ass, round but not too plump.

Matt laughed against John's lips, his legs squeezing John's waist, the heels of his sock-covered feet digging into John's back. "You cannot be strong enough to carry me."

"Yeah, I can."

Then John had to kiss Matt some more, because he hadn't had near enough of his lips. He wasn't sure when he ever would. Matt didn't seem to disagree, kissing back eagerly as John carried him out of the kitchen, down the hall, and into his bedroom. "Let go now," John ordered, and Matt did, letting himself be dropped onto John's bed, laughing as he bounced. "When did you become so hot?" John asked, pulling his shirt over his head.

Matt sat up, stripping his own shirt off. "When did you finally start looking?"

"When I wanted to break every bone in that asshole's body for hurting you."

"Wow, that's so... retro. Almost caveman-like. Primordial. Like tapping into man's most basic instincts, the need – "

John grabbed Matt's head, kissing him hard. "Can we not have a sociology discussion?"

"Less talk, more action. That is so very John McClane,"

"That's why you like me, right?" John asked, dropping his jeans to the ground, pulling off his undershirt, pushing down his boxers.

Matt sat watching John, contemplating his answer. "One of the reasons." He leisurely studied John's naked body, and John let him. He wasn't embarrassed about his body, knowing he was in shape, and his penis was of average length and thickness. As for the gray hairs mixed with the black on his chest... well, Matt knew he wasn't getting a spring chicken. "Your incredible hotness may have something to do with it too."

"Yeah?" Getting impatient with Matt's undressing, John pushed him down onto the bed, covering his body, working on the fly of Matt's jeans. "You think I'm incredibly hot?"


For that, John had to kiss him some more as he finished taking off Matt's clothes, a little complicated since they were both lying down, but Matt helped by arching his shoulders and hips when needed. When Matt was naked, John took his chance to give Matt the same leisurely scrutiny. For someone who pretended to never work out, Matt was in good shape too, his lean body attractive, his dick very happy about being examined. The hair on his body wasn't excessive, but it was very dark and noticeable. John wrapped his hand around Mat's dick, appreciating the good size, and the drops of pre-ejaculate already forming. "I haven't had sex with a guy before," he admitted.

Matt thrust his hips into John's fist. "You could have fooled me."

"I'm used to this." It was even hotter to masturbate someone else, to know that Matt was turned on because of him. "I know how things are supposed to work."

"Yeah, well this? This isn't going to take long if you don't slow down."

"I want to see. I want to watch you come."

"Fuck." Matt grabbed his head, kissing him hungrily, and John didn't get to watch Matt come, but he did get to feel it, Matt's legs winding around John's, his body shuddering as he spilled in John's hand. "That was embarrassingly fast," he panted. "But all your fault."

"I'll take that credit," John said, because John's discomfort with public acclaim had been a private joke as they accepted all the many awards they'd received. He was just a guy who did what needed to be done. But turning Matt on and making him come in something like five minutes? John was proud to be responsible. "You want to return the favor?"

"I could." Matt curled his hand around John's dick. "Or you could fuck me."

Matt's hand felt so good. Maybe there were some advantages to being gay. "I don't think I'm going to last either." His stamina was usually better, but fuck, it had been a long time since John had sex with someone he felt as close to as Matt.

"Then let me at least – " Matt pushed on John's hips, encouraging him to lie flat, and slithered down the bed, licking on John's shaft, before taking him deep into his mouth.

John stroked Matt's hair, accepting the pleasure that started in his dick but spread throughout his body. "Jesus. Christ. You are - " His words were interrupted by his orgasm, and he was too busy gasping to speak.

Matt crawled up the bed, lying on top of John, kissing him, letting John taste his own come on his lips, and that was so dirty bad wrong and totally perfect.

"Too fast," John said when he could speak. "That was all too fast."

"I've been waiting for six months. You can't expect too much patience from me."

They had been, hadn't they? Waiting, dating for six months. No wonder Lucy, Zeus, and Al had all made such cryptic comments. They had seen the obvious while John was busy being dense. "You could have given me a clue. We could have been here earlier."

"I moved clothes into your house. I buy your coffee. We planned a party together. What more did you want?"

His obliviousness made John want to blush, so he glared instead and gave Matt's butt a little smack. "Have a little respect for your elders."

Matt gave a little shiver, ducking his head, licking on John's nipples. He'd never had a woman spend much time on his nipples, but Matt's tonguing felt good. "You like being spanked? Ordered around?" John asked, remembering how Matt had curled up last night. Covering an erection?

"Yeah, like I'm going to admit something like that. Your tendency to be domineering doesn't need to be encouraged."

"Huh," John said, putting that subject aside for later exploration. "So why were you late to the party? Getting tired of waiting for me?"

"I was getting a little discouraged." Matt gave a rueful smile, resting his chin on John's chest. "I wasn't sure I wanted to come and help host your party as your best buddy."

"Hey, I'm sorry." John stroked his hands over Matt's skin. "Don't be afraid to kick me in the ass if I don't get it. I can be a little hard-headed."

"Yeah, I noticed. I'm sorta glad Buckley is such a dickhead."

"I'm still going to kick his ass on Monday."

"I wouldn't have you any other way." Matt started to bend his head, to return to John's nipples, but John flipped him over, and rolled on top, making himself comfortable between Matt's thighs.

"My turn." He licked on Matt's nipples, learning what each nub tasted like. The fine, dark hairs on his chest made for an odd texture, but Matt's breath quickened, which was hot and satisfying. Matt stroked his bald head and shoulders in return, and John thought he'd be happy to lie here for hours, exploring Matt's body and learning what turned him on. "I wouldn't have you any other way either," he murmured, blowing air on Matt's nipples, watching them perk up.

"We're perfect for each other," Matt agreed, and his voice had a light flippancy typical of Matt, but underneath was intense emotion.

"Yeah," John agreed. "Perfect."

~ the end ~