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David peeled his face off his keyboard very carefully as he raised his head, wincing at the pull of the keys on his skin. He groaned and rubbed at first his cheek and then his eyes, hoping to dislodge the grittiness in the corners. He hadn't meant to sleep, especially over his desk, but the deadline for this particular piece of work was only days away now. When he sat back, he groaned anew, understanding why his dream--nightmare--had consisted of him being beaten up and then stabbed in the stomach. His whole body ached from the bad sleeping position, and his stomach ached from being hunched over for the last three hours.

Someone once told him that dreams were the subconscious mind's attempt to deal with physical discomfort...and the deep-rooted problems worried over during the day. Certainly, he recognized some of the faces transposed into his nightmare. There was the angry guy, Quentin, who always bugged him at the coffee machine at the end of the hall, threatening to punch him that one time when Quentin was convinced David had stolen some of his coffee. A new girl, Joan, had taken up residence in the next cubicle only last week, and she was both young and incredibly smart. Perhaps too smart for her own good because Holloway and Kazan preferred more conservative designs for the homes and gardens of their rich and famous clientèle. He sighed. He had been idealistic once upon a time, believing he would design the most amazing houses but, instead, they had him working on the mundane.

His current assignment was creating a modern structure that mirrored a Rubik Cube, though the client didn't expect the identical cube-shaped rooms within it to move around. David knew that part of his nightmare was simply his mind fixating on the actual Rubik Cube but giving it a nasty twist. He only had to stand up to see why cubes--or cubicles--were part of his worst nightmare. When he accepted a position at Holloway and Kazan five years earlier, he had come in full of enthusiasm, believing he was in for great things but the reality was far different, and now he felt more like a rat caught in a maze along with all the other rats. He spent up to ten hours, six days a week, in this tiny cubicle on a floor that was mostly below street level, so the only daylight came from the strip of windows high on the wall. The rest of the light came from fluorescent tubing that did little except add to his eye strain.

He rubbed at his eyes again.

David could approach some of the other rats caught in this trap, one like Kazan, who was a good guy despite being one of the bosses--strange and often lost in his own small world, but a good guy nonetheless. Other's bordered on psychotic--like Quentin, who sent sharp daggers from cold eyes into anyone who spoke above a whisper in his vicinity, convinced they were destroying his concentration. Holloway was paranoid. She thought everyone was out to steal her ideas, and Alderson tended to shuffle around while Rennes always managed to escape all the boring tasks.

Just thinking about the others occupying cubicles in this underground office made him sigh in bitterness. Oh yeah, David could recognize why his subconscious mind constructed those lethal cubes inside his nightmare. Sadly, he could also feel the apathy within him that his subconscious had also picked up on when he'd found that one chance to escape, though he had to admit that he felt sadder for not managing to save Joanie from a grisly fate in his nightmare. Perhaps that was a reflection of his talk with her at the coffee machine only yesterday, when he tried to give her a strong hint to keep on looking for her dream job before she burned too many bridges and ended up here for the rest of her career.

A commotion at the end of the office had everyone sticking their heads above their cubicle walls like prairie dogs, and David was no exception. Any respite from the mediocrity of his life was worth checking out, if only to try to counteract the apathy for a short time. His eyes widened when he saw a good-looking couple talking with Kazan--probably clients. They seemed comfortable with each other, like a married couple, and David couldn't help but wonder why all the hot looking guys were straight. The equally hot-looking woman looked right at him, smirking as if she had read his mind; he ducked back down, stared at his coffee mug for a few seconds before realizing it was stone cold, and decided to make the trip for a fresh mug as it would mean sliding past the couple standing by Kazan's cubicle.

As he approached, mug in hand, he saw the man appraise him with far more interest than he expected from a straight guy. David knew his face was heating a little in embarrassment, especially as hot-guy was even more gorgeous close-up.

"Excuse me," he murmured as he moved by, giving the good-looking man plenty of room--and yet their bodies still brushed. It was as if the guy had leaned in to close the gap between them at that last second.

"Oh, David! Special Agent Dean would like a word with you," Kazan stated with a reassuring smile.

David froze, feeling like a rabbit caught in an eagle's keen sight. He swallowed hard and forced himself to look at the hot federal agent, plastering on a cocky smile to hide his insecurity.

"What can I do to help you?"

"Mr. Kazan mentioned that you designed the main structure for the Trenton place."

"Um. Yes."

"We're going to need those plans...and you."

****

Brendan glanced at the architect through the rear-view, smiling as he caught the wide blue eyes staring back at him nervously. David Worth was an enigma--cynical and yet hopeful in equal measure. He seemed more than a little relieved to get out of the office despite complaining about a tight deadline that Kazan had shrugged off. Brendan smiled again, because he could still see the tiny indentations from where Worth had obviously fallen asleep on top of his keyboard, though they were growing less pronounced with each passing minute.

Of course, Freya was really enjoying it, and her casual asides and digs with her elbow told him all he needed to know about Worth's sexuality. She only did that when it was another guy having sexy thoughts about him, deliberately shutting it out if it was a girl.

Freya leaned over and whispered, "His are definitely sweet and sexy, and all about you."

He thought back hard, "I can do Scooby Doo again."

She laughed aloud at the familiar threat, much to Worth's bemusement.

Once they reached the office, Worth lived up to his name by providing every detail they needed to infiltrate Trenton's estate, and more besides. The plans had changed since the initial construction was carried out and Worth saw details on newer plans that were meaningless squiggles to the untrained eye but which gave Brendan and his team greater insight. Brendan changed their infiltration plans accordingly. When Brendan and his team were finally given the go, the mission went ahead without a hitch and, hours later, Brendan returned to the NSA headquarters with a terrorist cell destroyed and its members either dead or in custody.

"Where's Worth?" Brendan asked one Agent Maldry.

"Harper sent him home as soon as you called in a success."

"Right." He glanced at his wristwatch and realized that it was almost three in the morning. He still had reports to write up but that wouldn't take him long. He figured he would be finished in a couple of hours. Brendan smiled as a idea formed in his head, and quickly, he got into those reports.

Three hours later, he sent the last one to Harper and sat up straight, stretching out the kinks in his back. He grabbed his spare set of clothes and made his way down to the NSA showers, humming happily to himself as he washed away the grime from yesterday's operation. After drying off, Brendan dressed quickly, eager to reach his destination.

At this time of the morning the traffic was already building but he managed to cross the city in good time. As he parked outside the apartment building, he felt the first knot of tension in his gut. What if Freya had been wrong? What if Worth wasn't as interested in him as Brendan hoped? Gathering his courage, he pressed the button below David Worth's name and waited. Moments later a sleepy voice answered.

"Who is it?"

"Special Agent Dean."

"Oh! Hang on." The entrance buzzer sounded and Brendan pushed the door open, making certain is closed fully behind him. Worth was on the second floor and Brendan took the stairs two at a time to find Worth--David--waiting at his open door.

"Hey!" David smiled shyly. "I wasn't expecting..." He trailed off, pushing a hand through his hair self-consciously even though the short strands could hardly get too mussed from sleep. His left cheek was a little red and Brendan guessed he had slept on his left side. Lots of other small details caught Brendan's eye immediately too, quickly filed away in his eidetic memory, including the slight tenting of David's boxers that was apparent even beneath the baggy t-shirt that David had slept in. Brendan felt his own eager reaction and licked his lips as he concentrated on getting his libido back under control.

"Coffee?" David asked.

"Sure."

Brendan followed David into an apartment that looked drab on the outside but was amazing inside. It managed to be both light and airy while still retaining a well-lived in and comfortable feel. The whole place was open-plan with the furniture marking the change of function for each area, and colors coordinated throughout--and if that wasn't the greatest giveaway to David's sexual orientation then Brendan would be amazed. Most straight guys didn't know or want to get in touch with their feminine side. They threw furniture and furnishings together haphazardly, or chose standard male colors rather than experiment with the millions of other shades out there. Low open shelving separated the bedroom from the rest, providing a glimpse of rumpled sheets and covers on a large bed, and paintings on the wall that didn't look like they were prints bought out of a local department store or Sears catalog. Mirrors were placed to reflect the light from the windows around the whole place, supplemented by up-lighters on the walls. Brendan took it all in, noticing the contrast between this place and the claustrophobic office that David spent too much of his life working within.

"Did you design all this?"

David looked around as if noticing his own home for the first time. "Um...Yes. You like it?"

Upon catching sight of the massive TV screen hanging in the wall, perfectly lined for viewing from what looked like a very comfortable couch, Brendan gave an emphatic, "Oh yeah!"

David flushed with pleasure. "Thanks," he replied softly.

"What I don't get is why you're working exclusively on exteriors when you can create...this!" His hands encompassed the whole apartment.

David turned back to the kitchen but Brendan heard the murmured, "Some of us don't get much of a choice."

Recognizing that it might be a trigger subject, Brendan followed David and talked of the case instead, thanking him for his part in making it go so smoothly. It bothered him that someone so obviously creative and talented like David was being stifled but he knew it wasn't his place to admonish him or push him to change his life. Having known him for less than a day, he simply didn't have that right.

"Actually, I came over to take you out for breakfast," he said as David opened the refrigerator and stared inside.

"I make a mean omelet." David smiled shyly over his shoulder as he began to pull out eggs, milk and cheese. He set to work, waving the spatula to give permission for Brendan to take off his suit jacket and loosen his tie.

Brendan hadn't really known what to expect when he first made a decision to go and see David. He'd indulged in a couple of fantasies on the way over but the reality was far better. With neither of them expected at their respective offices that day, Brendan made no attempt to leave and David made no sign of wanting him to go. They ended up on the couch in front of that big screen, having discovered a shared passion for animated shows, and when Brendan dropped his arm casually across the back of the couch, David leaned in and kissed him. Brendan had forgotten how easy it was with guys, how they didn't expect to be romanced and taken out to dinner before sex came into the picture. He groaned as David's hand edged beneath his shirt, playing with his chest hairs and scratching lightly over one nipple, sending a jolt of desire zinging through Brendan. He pulled back and yanked off his tie, sending it sailing over the back of the couch where it was joined immediately by David's t-shirt. Agile fingers worked the buttons on his dress shirt, and Brendan moaned as the halves fell aside and a hot mouth began to suck and lick across the nipple that David had played with earlier. He wriggled uncomfortably as his erection strained at his pants, needing to relieve the pressure; David pulled back with a wicked smile playing about his lips.

"Let me," he whispered, and Brendan leaned back as David's nimble fingers made short work of the fastenings, freeing him from the tight fabric prison. He raised his hips at David's urging, glad he had kicked off his shoes earlier in the day. Forced backwards across the long couch, he was happy for David to take the lead, looking down at himself as David pushed down the waistband of Brendan's favorite Scooby Doo boxers to release his hard cock. He grinned as David chuckled at the boxer's design.

"I want a pair like this."

"You can have mi...Oh!"

The touch of David's tongue lapping the length of his shaft was so good, but the wet heat of his mouth closing over the head was amazing. Brendan rocked up into the heat, wanting desperately to fuck that amazing mouth but David's hands on his hips restricted his movements. David pulled off with a loud and obscene slurp and looked up at Brendan through sinfully long, light-brown lashes. His eyes were blown--bright blue corona around enormous pupils, and his lips were red and swollen and glistening with saliva and precome. He was beautiful, and Brendan wished that David was like Freya, that he could read Brendan's mind and see just how beautiful he was at this moment.

"I want you to fuck me," David stammered softly.

"Fuck, yeah!"

David stood up and slowly dragged down his boxers; he kicked them aside, standing naked before Brendan with his erection bobbing with each ragged breath. He held out a hand to help lever Brendan to his feet. Leaving his pants and boxers on the floor, Brendan allowed David to lead them to his bed, ignoring the soft apology for the already rumpled state of the sheets. He really didn't care. All he wanted was to get David on that bed with his legs spread wide and his ass open and ready to be to taken. David fumbled for lube and condoms, scattering them across the top of the bedside cabinet, and Brendan reached for the lube immediately, flipping the cap and squeezing plenty onto his fingers.

When David started to turn onto his hands and knees, Brendan stopped him. "Want to see you."

With an eidetic memory, every moment of his life could be brought back to him in glorious Technicolor, and not all of it was good. Some moments haunted him in nightmares, and other moments took his breath away for their sheer beauty. He knew this memory would be one of those; one of the memories he could replay when the ugliness of life played across his vision.

David flopped onto his back and drew his legs back at the knees, exposing himself for Brendan's eager touch. Wasting no more precious time, Brendan eased the first lubed finger inside the tight hole, loving the way David moaned and arched into his touch. A second and third finger joined it swiftly, pushing in and out to loosen him quickly, yet Brendan was still shaking with need by the time he fumbled on the condom, lined up his lubed cock and pushed inside.

He pushed in to the hilt in a series of short strokes and gasped as the tight heat surrounded him, momentarily swept up by the incredible pressure along the length of his shaft. David's legs wrapped around him, holding him tighter, body rocking upwards to deepen each forward thrust.

"Fuck! More. Harder!"

It was so easy to obey, to start slamming into the strong body as the sensations flowed over him, knowing he was hitting the sweet spot every time by the mewling cries and obscenities falling from David's swollen lips. Fingers were digging into his biceps and he saw the moment of release a split-second before he felt David's body tighten around him. He saw the way the mouth slackened; the eyes glazing over in ecstasy before the force of David's ejaculate splattered between them, the heat searing his oversensitive skin. Two more thrusts and he was coming too, pouring more than just his semen into the now boneless and pliant body lying beneath him.

Brendan collapsed over David, breath ragged and muscles turned to Jello. With a groan, he obeyed the half-hearted shoves and rolled off David, holding tight to the condom still covering his softening cock, hating the loss of David's heat and pressure around his cock.

"You don't happen to read minds, do you?" Brendan teased as he peeled off the condom and dropped it into the wastebasket that David had fumbled from the side of the bed.

David snorted softly and laid back, stretched out on the bed all relaxed, with a soppy grin raising one corner of his mouth. He sighed in pleasure as Brendan kissed the corner of his mouth before dropping down beside him and slinging one arm across David's waist possessively. He nuzzled against the sweat-slicked throat, wondering how long it would take before they could start on round two.

"Please tell me this isn't a one-time only," David murmured.

"This isn't a one-time only," Brendan dutifully replied, and he meant every word.

END