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Sometimes A Pickle Is A Cigar

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John Sheppard was running through the rain, firing his machine gun, diving over a railing, and John McClane was happy he'd never had to fight the bad guys in a torrential downpour. The snow at the Chicago airport had been bad enough, and that time he and Zeus had been shot out of the tunnel by a blast of water, but he would hate to try to aim a gun with rain in his eyes.

Of course, knowing his luck, he'd be in a monsoon the next time he tripped across a gang of organized criminals pretending to be terrorists.

He finished off the broccoli beef and contemplated the remainder of the take-out dishes spread over his coffee table. What next, the single enchilada? The two pieces of pizza? He really needed to cook more, but his job often left him too tired in the evening to do anything except grab a bite on his way home. "You finish the pasties?" he asked Matt.

"The pasties and the fettuccine," Matt answered, the direction of his eyes never leaving the TV screen. They were taking turns introducing each other to what they believed to be classics, which meant Matt was working through everything with 'star' in its title, while John was gleefully inflicting black and white films on Matt in return.

"You're eating a pickle," John accused, because Matt's lips were wrapped around a large dill pickle, as if he was enjoying sucking the juice off.

Matt paused in his sucking to answer, holding the pickle disturbingly close to his lips. "You said you wanted everything out of the refrigerator."

"I wanted the leftovers. A pickle isn't a leftover."

"It was the only one in the jar and I like pickles."

"I needed the leftovers out to fit in the Christmas dinner." Catered, because John wasn't skilled or crazy enough to try to cook that much food, not with both his kids, his parents, Matt, the deputy captain, and two guys from Vice on the guest list.

Giving him a sideways glance, Matt crunched down on the pickle, sharp teeth cutting cleanly through its crispness, chewing it and swallowing before replying. "And now you'll also have the space of one pickle jar." Matt gave him an odd look before asking, "What? Why are you looking at me like that?"

"Christ." John stood up, his jeans uncomfortably tight, and grabbed the empty containers. "You want a beer?" He headed into the kitchen without waiting for the answer, hearing the volume on the television stop abruptly as he shoved the containers into the garbage can. Matt followed him, still eating that damned pickle, nodding his head in negation when John held out a bottle. Popping the lid, John took a long drink, the alcohol settling on top of the mixture of foods in his stomach.

"What's wrong with my eating a pickle?" Matt asked, looking confused with a subtle undertone of mutinous. It was a familiar look for him.

Leaning against the kitchen counter, John surrendered to the inevitable. He and Matt had become good friends in the six months since defeating Thomas Gabriel's plans, and Matt had amply demonstrated that his bulldog tendencies equaled John's. "You're not eating the pickle. You're fellating it."

"I'm - " Matt appeared startled more than anything, holding the pickle away from his face as if it would confirm or deny John's assertion for him. "You have an unhealthy obsession with phallic symbolism."

Oh, hooray. For once, John couldn't disagree with Matt. Why did it have to happen on this of all subjects? "I'm a guy. We all have an unhealthy obsession with phallic symbolism."

"But... with me?"

"Don't tell me Mr. Counter Culture is homophobic."

"Don't tell me divorced dad who still misses his family is a homosexual," Matt shot back.

John shrugged, uncomfortable with admitting the truth, but they'd already gone too far to stop now. "I miss seeing my kids more often. I don't miss Holly. We weren't good for each other for a long time. And no, I'm not a homosexual. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to react when someone is fellating a pickle right next to me. Someone who - " Then he had to stop, because talking about his feelings wasn't easy.

"Someone who?" Matt prompted, his tongue swirling around the half-eaten pickle, and damn him if he wasn't being deliberately provoking.

Moving almost unconsciously, John set his beer on the counter, grabbed the pickle from Matt's hand, removing it from between his lips, tossing it toward the sink, cupping the nape of Matt's neck and the small of his back, raising him and tilting his head so John could stick his tongue into Matt's mouth, chasing the taste of dill and Matt. The combination was exquisite.

He wanted to yell hallelujah when he felt Matt's arms twist around his shoulders, one hand on the back of his bald head, Matt's thighs clenching on John's hips. "Someone whom I care about," John confessed when their lips finally parted.

"It took you long enough," Matt complained. "Take me to bed, McClane."

John didn't respond immediately, his brain frozen by Matt's complete acceptance.

"McClane?" Matt eyes widened in concern. "You are going to take me to bed, aren't you?"

"Oh, hell yes," John said, holding onto Matt's hips with both hands, starting toward his bedroom. It might be insane to get involved with someone half his age, but reckless had always worked well for John.

Stepping into the living room gave Matt a view of the television and the coffee table, with the remains of their meal. "Should we put the rest of the leftovers away first?" Matt asked.

"We can do that later," John responded, carrying Matt down the hallway and into his bedroom, falling onto the bed on top of Matt, pinning him down with the weight and strength of his larger body. "Much later."

Food could wait. He was going to enjoy filling up on Matt first.

~ the end ~