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Michael almost never asks, but he's usually game when Sam does.

A long time ago this had ceased to be something strange with them, something to be analyzed and turned around and puzzled over and picked apart. They liked it better that way. They had enough to deal with daily without theatrics between them. It's why it started in the first place and why it's still in place.

So when Sam can't sleep sometimes and he's at the loft there's a certain process to it. First he'll get up and move around unsubtly and fetch a beer, so that Mike knows it's him and he's awake.

Any attempt at making sounds of subterfuge and sneaking towards said beer will result in Mike's gun approaching unwavering from the dark. So he gets a beer and cracks it open with panache.

Drinks down half, too easily. Dutch courage. By now Mike will be awake if he was sleeping at all.

Mike's the type who can fall asleep on a dime -- they teach you that in spy school, to rest when you can -- but they also taught him the hair-trigger response that makes deep sleep damned near impossible. Sam thinks that even in a fortified bunker on the moon Mike would still have one eye propped open.

But he doesn't have Sam's dreams. Mike's are different -- exploding cafes instead of bullet-torn bodies, maybe, seductive faces with foreign tongues instead of faces fading in battle, guttering, dying.

Mike can close his eyes and drop off as long as there's a gun snug under his pillow, while Sam holds onto the blanket with white knuckles, staring into black and afraid of what he'll see.

So sometimes he goes and gets a beer from the fridge and drinks half in a couple of swallows. Some nights Mike will still be up too with his little bedside lamp and a dense file folder spread open. A few evenings Sam has caught him with the rare indulgence of a book that isn't technical.

Whenever he's on again with Fi Sam obligingly makes himself scarce, or puts on an act of great snoring and tossing to drown out the sounds they make. Other nights Mike will have gone to bed early but his eyes are open and tracking by the time Sam reaches the refrigerator.

Sam remembers the first time pretty often. How it was Mike, surprisingly, who'd started it, years ago, lives ago. They had been different people then, but still close enough for the instinctive trust of a real friend, a soul kindred not in personality but in sympathy and shared understanding. They'd gotten along like a house on fire from the beginning.

Their jobs fun-house mirrored one another's; they knew similar hardships and very different ones. They knew what it was to give everything, to give up everything and everyone, to strange employment, to obscene duties for their country.

A bad day, a very long while ago, one of the worst days. Two good men lost -- two friends -- two of the best -- in a botched-to-hell mission, with him and Mike getting out by the scorched skin of their teeth.

A worse, wretched night, and Mike as broken-down as Sam had ever seen him, broken enough to let emotion be present on his face.

His face had been agonized, thankfully dulled by the faint flicker of their military-grade lantern in the green confines of their camouflage tent.

Mike had drunk down some of the whiskey Sam insisted on, but it hadn't numbed him enough. He'd begun to weep, angrily, as terrifying and fascinating a sight as Sam had ever witnessed and enough to be embedded in his brain forever.

“Hey. Buddy,” was what Sam had said, nearly over the edge himself. Failure and grief were the two states most debilitating to their abilities. Seeing Mike's normally mask-perfect composure all cracked up like that hurt even more. Sam wanted to wipe it away, scrub hard until Mike was Mike again, Mike's grinning veneer re-polished and restored.

“Hey, buddy,” was as far as Sam got, because then Mike's hands had scrabbled suddenly at Sam's shirt-collar. Sam had been faced with the abrupt decision to remove his shirt or be strangled by it, and he wisely chose the former.

Sam guessed he'd been open enough to the idea before, had entertained it, maybe even winked a joke or two while too drunk to care.

Mike wasn't stupid; Mike was the opposite of stupid; Mike was kind of a genius actually. He had to have known then that Sam would understand and maybe Sam would want this so that it wasn't just about numbing and taking.

Mike had kissed by the spy-book, perfect and passionate, just enough tongue. Then, because he was desperate, he'd grown desperate, desperate and reckless, and without saying anything pushed Sam down with the green tent around them and the thin sleeping bags underneath.

“Let's make it stop,” he'd murmured. “Let's make it stop.” And his eyes were intently on Sam while he said it, lashes still triangled by wet.

“Gotcha,” said Sam, because he did.

That was all that Mike needed. He was good at this like he was good at everything, professionally trained probably, but his hands shook a little at first, shaking off the shock of what had happened.

Sam, shirtless (he tried not to think about the firmer state his stomach had been in those days) took his pants off, and turned willingly, and Mike had seized on him and teased him and then fucked him to within an inch of his life.

All of his fury, all of their shared loss, all of his need, all of it he drove out against Sam, who rocked beneath him towards his own relief of the same symptoms. They moved together and sweat in the absence of tears.

That it had been good was a welcome if unnecessary addition. Afterward they had lain together a little bit and talked about the two good men they'd known until that day; and after that Mike had gone to his sleeping bag, and they never indicated it again until the next time.

After the first it was almost always Sam who raised the question.

Mike, good at sex, bad at relationships, impossible with romantic attachments, hadn't seemed to mind being propositioned. He had needs like anyone else, though he took pains not to display them, and when he'd had a falling out with Fi or whatever flirty friend of the moment was occupying his life Sam was a distraction he indulged.

For Sam, Mike was a known entity, familiar, trustworthy, extraordinary and untiring in bed when his interest was piqued.

Mike was easier to figure out and fuck around with than Sam's own line of lady-friends and disparate buddies, and there was never any wringing hands or bouquets to send on Valentine's. It didn't hurt that Mike was hot as hell and whipcord-fit, with the tantalizing sex appeal of someone keenly aware of it yet disinterested in flaunting.

It was all just fine. Mike was an excellent fuck buddy in every sense of the idea, best he'd ever had, really, and Sam had a libido that liked to have a lot.

So tonight with Mike's light still on Sam lies in bed without clothes (it's freakin' hot, dammit all, and Mike'll never spring for proper AC – Afghanistan entirely ruined his ability to evaluate heat) and contemplates getting a beer from the fridge. With things on the live-wire with Fi lately and Mike's life even crazier than usual it's been a while since Sam asked.

Not ages, but long enough that it feels a little odd, like Mike might look surprised on Sam's approach, like maybe Mike forgot they did this sometimes with everything else he has to think about. They'd both been preoccupied, really, never enough time.

But it's too goddamned hot tonight, restless heat that doesn't broker sleep, and Sam is horny and strung-out from a day spent watching the front of a roach motel for their latest client. Effortlessly glamorous as he might make it look, staking out was tedious, difficult work, and and at least five bodily places were aching complaints from sitting in the car.

The beer he drinks in two-and-a-half minutes. Wearing boxers now, Sam paces Mike-wards. Mike is pretending to still be reading from his file while doing nothing of the kind. Mike is good at both multitasking and pretending.

Between them it has always been casual and straightforward. Neither liked to play games in their off-hours.

Sam leans his hip against Mike's desk-chair and says, “Want to fuck?”

Mike seems amused by that address, generally, and he quirks a little grin now after a beat. His eyes are bright, which is a good sign. “Have to be up early for the dawn trade-off tomorrow,” he reminds, not discouragingly.

Sam is encouraged. “Want a fast fuck?” he amends.

That almost nearly gets a laugh from Mike. It's even better when he closes the manilla folder and stretches like a long sleek cat with a double black belt.

“Yeah,” he says, straight to Sam's cock. “Sure.”

Sam had thought Mike'd probably be okay with it again, but the easy affirmation is considerate, for Mike. What others might consider brusque words make Sam's blood rush straight to the fucking-place.

Mike sits up and starts to strip off his shirt with brisk efficiency. Sam has him beat already in his bright-colored boxers, only one article of clothing to shake free and there's his own cock backing up the statement that he does indeed want to fuck.

Mike says, “You've taken your time. Thought maybe you wouldn't--”

Mike starts, and stops. Sam drops to his knees by the bed -- pretends not to hear his knees' pissy groan of protest -- and silently unhooks the tongue of Mike's belt. Mike rolls his hips to help.

Sam deals with the zipper, tugs and pulls until Mike is naked too. Mike naked is always a very good thing unless it's because he's been shot or kicked bloody or pulled out of swamp water or something.

Mike naked and healthy is a pleasure. His body is lithe and well-made, wiry like the cat whose stretch Sam had seen him make. Trim and yet muscled by perpetual training, shaped and honed into the ideal tool for any action, Mike naked is damned near perfect for sexual purposes.

With his sharp eyes less guarded and his hair tousled, his look is more underwear model than undercover operative.

Sam, as always, is appreciative of beauty. He palms the confident curve of Mike's cock. Mike's cock is also damned near perfect for sexual purposes. “Thought I wouldn't what?”

Mike's lips press together, which is silent shorthand for the sound normal people express by moaning.

Even with Sam, even with the long-established ease of this, Mike plays everything close to the vest, doesn't like to give hints away. His small shrug barely lifts his shoulders, though he deigns to close his eyes when Sam's grip on him firms and starts to speed.

“It's been almost a month, Sam.” A true statement, only that. Sam knows from experience that Mike can calmly go over complex battle-drills and complicated mission plans with far more happening to his cock, so the flat way Mike delivers that fact doesn't put him off.

Sam perches next to him on the bed, hand still moving, stroking. The heat of the apartment settles intensified around them, but Sam has stopped caring about climate: Mike's face, the high cut of his cheek bones, the rare sight of him vulnerable with eyes shut and lashes a dark line above expressive lips. “Yeah. I know.”

A month nearly exactly since the last time they'd done this -- Mike, hornier than he usually let on, frustrated from a fight with Fi, hassled by his family, clients up the wazoo, screwing Sam against the kitchen counter before Sam could even make it to the beer.

Sam taking him in the near-dark vastness of the loft. Sweat and bitten-off sounds the only noises they could make.

He's oddly flattered that Mike has so precisely measured the time between the last time but Mike's brain is like a steel trap that never lets out anything useful. Sam is useful, then, at least. He knows this.

But he's curious about how Mike started out speaking so he teases, “Afraid I wasn't up for fucking anymore, Mikey?” Sam tries on a pert smile, one that the ladies tell him is charming. “Don't you know your old buddy at all?”

Mike's echoing smile is smaller, and thus more genuine, than the reflexive pull of muscles he shows to people to hide his true intent and reactions -- a blinding turn of lips and white teeth so dazzling as to serve as an impenetrable mask. “I figured she was blonde, with an enviable check-book, legs that reached Fort Lauderdale and as many owned beach-houses in between.”

Sam isn't about to knock his own prowess or long-established tastes, but the truth is that he's been too exhausted as of late, too deep in Mike's schemes, for rich leggy blondes to have been very much of a pursuit in the last month. So he only volunteers, “Nah,” and is pleased by how hard Mike's gotten under his hand. “What, you miss me?”

It's only the expected Sam Axe sarcasm, and Mike knows that; so he answers steadily. “Curious, is all. Was starting to wonder if I'd need to ask you. Maybe you were playing coy.” He returns the sarcasm, then arches, back an exact curve, into Sam's abruptly speeding-up hand.

Admits, voice struggling a little around the friction Sam makes,“It's been a tough few weeks. I--”

Sam's been good, for a long time now, at finishing his friend's sentences. In this he more than understands. “You need to blow off a little steam,” he supplies for them both. “Yeah. Me, too. But Fi--”

“Fi is good at blowing things up. Sex with her is the same.” Mike's voice is still flat, dispassionate, a debriefing. “It's not what I would call therapeutic. Cathartic, maybe. Psychotic, often.”

Sam is tickled and strangely pleased by this intelligence, though the times he's overheard Mike and Fi go at it had long made clear Fiona's proclivities. Mike was game; he was, as Sam observed, extremely good at sex; but he didn't go easily for the pain-games and fiery melodramatics Fi liked best in bed.

He accommodated her, which always worked for a while until it didn't. Even with their history -- especially with their history -- accommodation eventually breeds resentment on one side and disappointment on the other.

Sam knows how Mike best likes to start out sex, when there's any leisure time given to them in the act; and so without responding he moves to take Mike's cock into his mouth.

He's too close to Fi himself these days to want to hurt her, but he's confident that he's better versed in ways of helping Michael Westen blow off steam.

Sam swallowing him down gets the first unguarded sound out of Mike, something low between a pleased purr and a deeper growl, and his hand fists reflexively into Sam's hair.

Sam likes Mike's taste, Mike's long proud cock, the clean smell of him mingled with earthier urges. He knows exactly the pressure Mike prefers, how Mike likes it best when he's being deep-throated, balls against Sam's free hand.

It's been too long, so Sam's rather more thorough in blowing him than some days, relishing the sounds he can drive from Mike, experimenting with teasing licks and sucks before taking him back all the way in. Sam's hand at the base of Mike's cock multitasks (Sam's learned at that skill, too -- SEAL school) and works him toward further distraction.

Mike never really, entirely loses control of any situation, but with Sam he lets himself relax more than usual, and it's the most fun Sam's had in four weeks to push him to the point where Mike's nails are scratching into the bed-sheet for purchase.

“Fucking god,” Mike swears, the well-carved jut of his hipbones blindly thrusting.

Sam pulls back for a moment. “I know I'm good, Mikey, but that good? What you're saying here is I'm divine?”

Mike fully aroused is as fun as he is dangerous. He has Sam flipped and down on his back, Mike a-straddle, before he can even finish the jibe. They trained the kid well, Sam admits, but then stops thinking when Mike's tongue is in his mouth, twisting, seeking after his own taste mingled with Sam's.

Sam looks up at him with an expression he hopes is bemused. He's panting when Mike pulls back, then panting harder when Mike's too-slow hand finally makes its way to Sam's straining cock. “What I'm saying is you're an asshole, Sam,” he says cheerfully, wrapping highly skilled fingers with exquisite care.

Sam, never one to suppress a sound or keep his volume down, merely groans agreement. It feels so good to have Mike back on him, confident over him, the playful mood a bonus.

Mike's hand on his cock, knowing just where to grip and squeeze. Knowing especially how and where Sam is sensitive. Smart guy, Mikey. It's good. Always damned good. Yes. There.

Sam wonders how he'd let a month go by.

Mike straddling him with those thighs, looking down at him with eyes keenly piqued and expression inscrutable. Intrigued. Intent. Introspective, a flickering shadow, hidden.

Mike's hard cock ready next to Sam's, Mike glistening a little with sweat from the heat and Sam's lips and hands.

Mike looking hot and primed for action and looking a way that made Sam entirely impatient with foreplay. He's more than ready for it himself and starts to say so but then Mike is talking.

It's always been casual and straightforward with them, so Mike's voice, when he speaks, is as breezy as Sam's was on approach.

“Want to fuck me?” Mike says.

Sam blinks for a little too long around the words. Mike just looks at him with his hand ghosting Sam's cock, posture straight and head held at an angle.

Sam knows then that if he keeps on blinking Mike is going to rescind the offer like it never happened because his confidence is not as impervious as he makes it seem so Sam says, “Yeah. Yes,” and then he swallows with a dry mouth and wants beer and says, “You sure, pal?”

“Sure.” Mike shrugs a little, because he's Mike, and only looks intrigued again. He looks like he's about to pull on a Mike-smile but then he doesn't.

They had taken positions in this since the first and it was always easy, good, made sense. Sam had thought about it, of course, a few thousand times, but it wasn't like he'd felt dissatisfied with the state of things. Mike was too interesting in bed for that.

Sam is back to blinking. Watching Mike watch him think. “Now?”

“Before the dawn trade-off, preferably,” Mike answers, droll, a smirking statue above him, perfect body marred only by the scattered scars where knives and bullets and shrapnel had been.

Sam reaches up and traces some of those raised lines and angry, incongruous pinks. Mike's body could be read like braille under his fingertips, tell and retell too many stories.

Mike's eyes track Sam's hands. “Okay,” Sam says.

He sits up and pushes Mike down in the opposite direction. Ends up back on top of him, Sam's body fitting and covering him. Sam has no pretenses as to the poorer shape he's in, but his arms are stronger than Mike's, and bigger, and quite frankly -- let's be honest, here -- his cock is, too. Hard and happily screaming at Sam with opportunity.

For a moment Sam wants to ask, in between sucking on Mike's neck, if Mike has done this before. He's never asked. It hadn't come up, exactly. But Sam knows that Mike's done pretty much everything that needs to be done for a job, and Mike will tell him, so he doesn't ask.

Sam wants to ask why now, why tonight out of years, wants to see behind the shadow of Mike's strange expression, but Mike maybe won't want to tell him that, so Sam is quiet, licking. Mike's pulse at the curve of his neck jumps under Sam's teeth.

Mike's moving now like he's impatient but Sam has all the time in the world.

This time is different somehow and it's not going to be the fast hard fuck Sam had proposed when he stood at the desk-chair facing Mike's amused sprawl. Now he gets to look down at Mike pressed underneath, Mike caught under Sam.

It's hard for Mike, Sam knows, damned near impossible, to be the one less certain in any situation. His hands are restless, seeking. He gets the lube from the bedside table like he's ready to go, but Sam isn't now, not yet.

This time's different and Sam draws it out of them.

He moves down Mike's body very slowly, and every part of Sam that's touching him shows its admiration. Sam's lips are wet and tongue busy on Mike's tanned skin, his graceful limbs. His hand can't stay away from Mike's cock. His other hand traces circles into Mike's hair, trails fiery pressure across his head and neck.

Now Mike's the one blinking, the lube in his slackening hand's grip, watching, arching. Mike doesn't say anything, but for once Sam Axe is not in the mood to chat.

Between Mike's thighs Sam spends some time getting excellently reacquainted with Mike's cock. Then he hooks his arms under Mike's legs and pulls him up, pulls him closer. Mike slides unresisting along the sheets.

Sam meets his gaze once with Mike's cock deep in his mouth and then lets him go and goes lower.

It's always the best kind of fun to catch Mike out, to surprise him with something he hadn't anticipated, and Sam particularly relishes that sensation now. Mike tenses up at first, unprepared and inclined to dislike unpreparedness, but Sam's tongue makes up for it by being quite astonishingly clever. He eases and teases Mike open, spreads him open, readies him with this first.

Sam's tongue cleaves close and Mike is talking he thinks but the speech is disordered and not meant for anyone in particular and not particularly polite, anyway, laden as it is with swear-words and curses. Sam smiles against him and silently retorts.

Even better than catching Mike unprepared is making Mike gasp, one of Sam's preferred sounds, and rare.

He persists until Mike does it again, a noise wrenched free from tightly-held self-control. Then every high-strung muscle in Mike's body relaxes at once and for a rarer moment he's like kneaded clay to be shaped under Sam's hands.

Sam moves away and sits back on his haunches with Mike spread in front of him. Mike's face is a little lust-wild and impatient again and threatening questions. It's a good look for him. Sam takes the lube and coats his fingers but keeps rubbing and teasing until Mike demands, “Jesus, what the fuck are you waiting for?”

Sam pushes a finger in, two when Mike doesn't protest. But Mike's head goes back against the bedspread, the line of him drawn taught, and Sam still doesn't say anything, just keeps his fingers in and then puts his free hand on Mike's cock. He strokes him back to straining, meticulously.

Somehow Mike is watching him now, one eye open, halfway coherent.

But he writhes when Sam twists his fingers. Sam still won't move and then Mike says, “Please,”

and it's a word he's never said to Sam without clothes. And it's what Sam's been waiting for and wanting, better to hear than he'd hoped it would be. He urges his fingers toward the best place, rewarding Mike again and again for saying so.

Finally Mike breaks into the strangled silence. Sam can see the pulse leaping on the long column of Mike's throat. The sound of his voice struggling is like music and martinis. “Will it help if I say it again? Is that what you want, Sam?”

Sam still says nothing, though the sound of his name nearly-pleaded from Mike's lips shivers all the way down his spine. Keeps up his careful contrived frenzied motion, driving Mike on.

Mike says, “You're a son of a bitch.” Then: “Please, Sam.”

That does the trick. That's the ticket, kid.

That works for Sam. Oh, how good that works.

“Sam. Please--”

Sam's fingers disappear, and Mike makes an unabashed growl, delicious to the ear. He starts to turn over but Sam's hand on his shoulder catches him halfway and stops him. He pushes Mike back down.

Mike's brightly interested eyes, horny to hell and back now, watch from against the less-bright sheets.

“Let's try it like this,” Sam suggests.

His slicks his all-to-willing cock. Under him Mike is staring up, open, and his is the slightest of nods.

Sam presses in close, using all the strength in his arms and too many years of training to keep it slow. Mike is hot tight heat, expected and not, welcomingly resistant.

Underneath Sam, Mike groan-growls again and then his legs hook up over Sam's shoulders and Sam goes deeper.

They struggle with it at first together. Mike moving and trying to take him in, Sam trying with every ounce of battle-tested willpower to ease himself and not give in to the loud brash shouting pushy part of him that wants to grab Mike's hips, Mike's elegantly muscled hips, dig his fingers there and thrust with reckless abandon.

Sam is breathing hard with all that but he looks down at Mike whose jaw is starting to clench and set like it does when he's not been properly debriefed so Sam just pushes slow and carefully and cups his hand around Mike's neck where his hairline ends.

And then he takes Mike's earlobe between his teeth and teases it with his tongue and says why didn't Mike maybe try chilling the fuck out for once, just maybe, buddy, and the speech surprises Mike so much that he actually laughs and pulls Sam closer and then Mike's stubborn ass (San might have guessed) lets him in.

Hot tight heat, slicked with lube and Sam's efforts, enveloping Sam. Mike impossibly tight, so much so that Sam knows then that if he's done this before, it's been a long time since the last.

Mike is moaning now which is exceedingly important but so is how Sam's cock can slide deep until his balls touch Mike's ass and OhJesusLordYes were the sentiments of both Sam and his cock and balls.

“Jesus, Sam,” echoes Mike, like he's psychic or something, and for what seems like a long time they stay like that, Sam balls-deep with Mike tight around him and Mike's knees over his shoulders and Mike's grip on Sam's biceps, fingers clenching hard enough to bruise.

Even with the continued invocations of divinity Sam Axe is very far from a saint. He can't stay like this forever, not that he'd exactly mind; but his over-boiling body and biology both demand that he pull away and thrust back in, make a pattern out of them.

Drive down into Michael Westen again and again so that Sam can hear him moan like he had before, like he never had before.

Sam on his knees rocks back and then thrusts deep, and the sounds that elicits from Sam makes Mike's right eyebrow climb up.

But Mike can't tease because now Sam is expertly ramming into him, sparking against his prostate, and Mike's body jerks pure pleasure.

So Sam does that some more. Mike's fingernails are starting to scratch.

Sam's thrusts are speeding up unbidden. Mike's taking every inch of him, rocking up and against Sam, grown silent again but with his breath coming quick and fast.

This is where they've always been at their best, in their element, locked in pure physicality, the lessons that made their bodies well-oiled killing machines kicking in to find an even more primeval rhythm.

They're quiet a long while except for sex-sounds, the surprised grunts Sam can't hold back, the sharp intakes of air when Mike feels it most. The push pull and pull and push deep thrust hips ass tight flesh friction and deeper heat hot breath, Sam's mouth covering Mike's so he can taste what Mike's moans taste like, finding that better even than hearing them.

Sam shudders to a stop before he comes then and there, running through seasonal baseball rosters in his head and that unfortunate time he saw Janet Reno in the buff and hanging on by his teeth.

Under him Mike's eyes are open and curious and so is his mouth, a little, so Sam, who has to talk or he's gonna come any second now, murmurs, “It's good,” which is half one of the truest statements he's ever stated and half a tenuous sort of question.

And since Mike nods, Sam blesses his rather comprehensive training in these matters and keeps himself together and goes back to fucking Mike through the mattress and the floor and maybe into downstairs.

Sure Sam's thought about it a couple hundred thousand times or so but this was different than wet dreams and fantasies to pass long hours. He couldn't have known what it would feel like to be in Mike, to be let slowly into Mike. To have Mike spread apart beneath him and taking him and asking Sam please. What it was like to watch Mike take his cock for the first time and what his face had looked like.

How Mike had learned to take Sam's considerable size and to accommodate him and push back against him and move with him like they had done this so many times before and never.

How Mike had learned with him to be good at this like he was good at everything, and how Sam could drive noises into him that were returned from Mike's mouth.

Then Mike looks up at him, all rushed breath and mussed hair, and says, “Sam. I want you to fuck me like you've wanted to fuck me,” and Sam wonders if he's moved on to full-on hallucinating now, or if Mike's gone psychic again or is too easily reading the intent of Sam's expression like they taught him in interrogation school.

The sentence is clear enough, but Sam still blinks out its syllables. “Yeah?” he says, which seems like a safe word.

“Yeah,” Mike says. “I can see that you've thought about it before. Show me how it goes.”

Sam swallows hard, pulses, hard, in Mike. Says, honest, “Buddy, there're lots of ways.”

“The latest,” Mike offers. Sweat makes him slippery against Sam. He tilts up to pull Sam deeper and then lowers his legs; his able thighs slip around, inquisitive toes on Sam's back and ass.

Mike finishes his thought. He's never not thorough. “I want you to fuck me like that, and then I want you to come in me, Sam.”

“Yeah?”

“Yes.” Mike is starting to groove red lines with his fingernails across the skin of Sam's back. From anyone else the exchange would have sounded like something from a porno or a phone-sex line -- not that Sam's ever called those -- but from Mike it's a flatly delivered, generously erotic statement of fact.

“You got it, Mike.” Sam can't clear his head to think clearly, but it's not hard -- not as hard as his cock -- to recall the last fantasy he'd fantasized. It had been this afternoon, after all, cramped in the stake-out car with only his binoculars for company.

For a while Sam slows his own turn of hips, thrusting with the sure, almost gentled movement that women always seem to love and men never complain about. His strokes are confident, fully realized, slow enough to make the brush against Mike's prostate a focus but without the greater friction to get them off.

While he's doing that, moving as carefully and skillfully as far too many decades of practice have wrought, Sam surprises himself and Mike both by kissing Mike. It's an intimate sort of kiss, by the spy-book they both studied, designed to quite clearly indicate desire.

That Mike kisses back is a better coup than any Sam had helped arrange in South America.

“So what you're saying,” Mike says, eyebrow tipped and tone sardonic, when Sam lets him up for air, “is that you've wanted to fuck me like a lady on her wedding-night?”

It's a tease and a challenge mingled with the obvious pleasure Mike's body can't conceal from Sam's ministrations, but Sam never ignores a tease and is incapable of passing up a challenge.

“Not quite,” Sam says into Mike's neck, before sinking his teeth there, not delicately. Mike starts and jerks a little, and the movement goes from Sam's cock straight into his brain-stem. “I like to keep you on your toes. It usually goes something like this.”

Mike's arms are up and twisted together over his head with all the quickness of action Sam's ever been taught and tried in.

Mike's good too, better than him even, but for once he hadn't been able to predict and counter the motion. His muscles react on instinct to confinement, though, and for half a glorious breath he tests Sam's strength.

Sam knows that if truly threatened, there's at least two hundred and twenty-seven ways Mike can contrive to break free; but the expression on Mike's face is more interested than endangered.

Sam's fingers cinch to the pressure-points of Mike's wrists and he holds him down. Holds him down harder than he's ever held anyone before in bed, but everyone else hasn't been Michael Westen.

With the weight of his upper body keeping Mike pinned, Sam's attention moves back down and his thrusts are not gentle now.

He slides deep into Mike, plunges into Mike, plunders him with a cock so rock-hard Sam would scream bloody murder and call it prolonged torture and cite the Geneva Convention if it weren't so goddamned good.

It's a pretty cool thing to be with someone Sam doesn't have to worry about hurting or breaking, someone who can take care of himself just fine. So he holds Mike down and shows him how Sam Axe can fuck when properly motivated.

The little glimmer of shock in Mike's eyes and appearing briefly on his lips' quirk is a most excellent reward. It seems to take another moment for Mike to fully get it but when he does he's in it too and he starts rising to meet Sam, strong thighs tightening, giving back as good as he gets.

Mike's cock is caught and pressed between them and their frenzied movement. He groans when Sam buries himself to the hilt and stays like that, and even though Mike's groans are nearly as encrypted as Mike it's a sound Sam can well recognize.

Mike's close. Such a tiny phrase, so important.

He transfers the hold on Mike's wrists into one hand. Mike's arms stretch and flex like he might break free but the ring of Sam's fingers is unrelenting in its pressure, nearly hard enough to hurt. Sam enjoys the little struggle immensely, especially the way he succeeds in keeping Mike down.

When you've forcibly restrained enemy guerillas and pissed-off terrorists and prissy double agents a lot angrier than Mike with a lot less to lose, this is like a piece of tasty cake.

Sam's now-free hand moves down and fists around Mike's cock. He jerks him in excellent accompaniment to the rhythm Sam's own cock has set.

Mike looking fully wild and almost unguarded is a fine sight indeed. Even around Sam he wears remnants of his professional mask, too deeply entrenched to be fully dropped; but a man being restrained and jerked off and fucked every which way from Sunday is excused a little emotion.

Mike is gasping, twitching, and he says, somehow, “I lie corrected--”

And Sam laughs and tugs fluidly at Mike's cock and gives him a thrust to remember and then Mike arches up against him and comes.

Warmth spreads across Mike's stomach between them, pools in the marble-carved V of his hipbones.

Mike is breathing hard, his head lolling back and staying like that, eyes closing. When he opens them Sam thinks his look is dazed the way Mike looks when an unexpected bomb goes off only better. Much, much better.

Mike's still trying to catch his breath and is shaking with the attempt but this is no time for friendly banter. Sam lets Mike's wrists loose and reestablishes the leverage of his arms on the bed.

Mike tensing around him and exploding against him and the disappearance of the shadow from behind Mike's eyes when he comes is more than enough to make Sam come with him.

But Sam holds on, holds Mike through it, and then he resumes his cock's relentless drive to fulfill the second part of Mike's suggestion.

I want you to fuck me like you want to, and then I want you to come in me, Sam, Mikey'd said, or something thereabouts, and now that's all that Sam can hear repeating in the still-silent space where he fucks Mike.

It feels too good to ever want to stop, but Sam has a fondness for orgasms equal to the acts that gain them. Mike is lying pliant now beneath him, head still back like his own orgasm was a particularly good one.

So Sam gathers Mike's lithe body in closer one more time and threads his fingers into Mike's hair and thrusts as deep as he can go and comes harder than he has in years.

Well, in a month, at least, if we're being honest, but it's better than usual, better than Sam expects or lets himself think about when fantasies are being concluded.

He doesn't care that he says Mike's name while he comes in him; some would call that polite; and Mike's earned it anyway. Sam's not embarrassed to let him know.

He's reluctant at first to roll away and leave Mike's heat behind, but he does it when biology makes him.

Sam drops down beside Mike. The bed is damp with them.

After the shock and awe of it rolls through his muscles his body gets back to bitching and complaining, lambasting Sam for thinking he can have gymnastic sexcapades with a man a decade his junior for half a night without repercussions.

His knees creak dangerously, his arms have jellied and even his cock, beyond content, pleads exhaustion. Sam tells his body to kindly shut the hell up and focuses on regaining air.

Five, ten minutes maybe of comfortable, sated warmth, and then Mike's fingers are hot on Sam's forearm.

Sam cracks one eye open. “Was that good for you, buddy?”

Mike's smile in response is one of his blinding ones, a touch too dazzling, odd and alien after the expression he showed Sam only a little while ago. It's instinct, self-defense, Sam knows, self-protective, past selective, so he tries not to let the smile shake him.

“I'll get us some beers,” Mike offers then, instead of answering. He slips naked from the bed, naked and hot and sweat-slick and come-sticky and marked in places from Sam's lips and teeth and tongue.

“Ever told you,” Sam says, trying to regain sarcasm but not even trying to lift his head, “That you're an angel sent from god?”

“A strange god, yours,” Mike returns over his shoulder, before padding out of sight on bare feet. Sam watches his ass unabashedly.

When Mike's back with the beers, he gets back into bed, too. Sam accepts his bottle and doesn't forget to cheers and drinks it sideways lying down, which is a skill it took years to properly master.

Mike sips more slowly. “Why didn't you tell me, Sam?”

Tell him what?

That it had been better than Sam'd had the temerity to imagine, and Sam's imagination is particularly wide-ranging and hasn't seen a censor since the Reagan Administration?

That he'd wanted to nail Michael Westen down with his cock long before their first night in the camouflage tent? That it was some of the best sex he's ever had, and he has more than five guys' (OK, maybe make that closer to fifteen) fair share? That if he were ten years younger he'd be back over Mike and doing it again?

Tell him what?

Sam waits for Mike's mind-reading to kick in or maybe just waits.

Mike has another swallow and then says, “That it could be like that, I mean.” That's a lot of information out of Mike, so his next swig takes down two-quarters of the beer. “That you wanted to do that to me.”

That it could be like that. Sam's ego is doing a fantastically energetic version of the can-can. But it seems a difficult thing to address the first part, trickier than this has felt between them, so Sam and his sarcasm only answer the latter. “Everyone who looks at you wants to do that to you, Mikey.”

Mike settles against the headboard, looking more relaxed by Sam's snark. He brushes off the compliment with trademark ease, though Sam's glad to see the false-front smile is gone, replaced by Mike looking extraordinarily fucked and maybe a little smug about it.

Sam's grin at least, when Mike scans his face, is genuine.

Mike says, “Wanna stay?” He finishes the beer, and Sam hears it clink down empty on the floor.

“Sure,” Sam says, like it's not a big deal. It isn't. It shouldn't be. Not the first time they've shared a bed past sex.

Rare, sure, but they both have bad dreams improved by proximity of another person's body heat. And it was rarer still for either of them to have a bed-mate who didn't run at least a four percent risk of turning tail and slitting their throat in the night. Shared comfort, is all.

Sam isn't going to tell Mike that he probably couldn't move even if he wanted to, that his eyelids are heavier than his whining son of a bitch of a body, that the afterglow is still glowing and Sam's all wrapped up in it.

Mike adjusts his pillow the way he likes it and lies down. He reaches across Sam to turn off the lamp. There's space between them on the sheets now but not a lot of it.

For another space they lie breathing in the dark. Neither seems to want to be the first to surrender to rest, but it's a much slighter battle of wills after what the bed has just witnessed.

Mike's voice is quiet when he speaks. “Let's not go another month again, okay, Sam?”

“Gotcha,” Sam says, because he does.

In the dark Mike can't see how wide Sam's grin is now. And for once, Sam finds that he can drop off easily enough, so he does, slipping into sleep and leaving Mike the one awake to think about it.

If he dreams he doesn't remember.

For trained operatives a highly-attuned internal body clock is more than essential considering the range of situations where an alarm is entirely lacking or more dangerous than a handgun should it go off.

So when Fiona arrives at the loft just before dawn he and Mike are up and showered and dressed to impress the client and Sam is making scrambled eggs.

Mike gallantly offers Fi a coffee. He Mike-smiles at her. His teeth are blindingly white.

While Mike's pouring Sam feels Fiona's all-too-attentive gaze casing the joint.

“And why in hell are you two so cheerful at this ungodly hour?” Fi demands, taking her coffee, and Sam only realizes then that he's whistling over the eggs.

Fiona doesn't look cheerful: her sexy dress is more hastily tied-on than usual and her hair's pulled up and back in a messy bun. It's enough to make her even grumpier, even if she still resembles a runway model. Fi is not exactly what one would call a morning person.

Mike waves a half-empty plastic cup. “New yogurt flavor. Great. You gotta try it. You want one?”

Fi nods, and Sam, who's closer, starts to fetch the yogurt. Fiona with coffee and a yogurt in her will be vastly improved in mood by the time the eggs are ready.

Fi's eyes narrow on Sam's motion. “And you?” she snaps. “You look like the cat who got the cream and that stupid yellow bird it's always chasing after besides.”

“Sylvester and Tweety have a complicated relationship,” Sam begins, but Fi's looking at him too closely so he just lifts his shoulders in a shrug. Shakes her off Sam Axe-style. “Hot date last night, baby, what can I say? Beautiful and easy, just like I like 'em.”

That gets Fiona's eyes to go from narrow to rolling with exasperation, so she turns away and starts chattering instead about the upcoming mission and the best tactical places to set up guns.

From behind the counter, Sam immensely enjoys the sight of Mike trying not to choke on his spoonful of yogurt.

Sam's closer to the fridge, so he goes to get a cup for Fi; and when he ducks his head inside, hidden from sight by the door, he smiles, really smiles, for him and Mike both.