Work Header

Live Free in Death Valley

Work Text:

Being contrary usually worked for John McClane. Pissing people off, particularly bad guys, had ultimately resulted in saving his life, the lives of his ex-wife and many strangers, and winning the day.

So when his Captain, as stressed and balding as John himself, yelled, "Christ McClane! Go take a vacation! Have some fun! Drink! Gamble! See a show! Don't come back until you've laughed at least once!", John had stalked out of the station, gone home, shaved his head bald, booked a flight to LAX and a motel room in Death Valley. The clerk insisted he was lucky to get a cancellation, which John figured was a line to make the location sound desirable. How many people could want to vacation in the desert?

Yeah, he'd obey the Captain. He'd go on vacation, but to the most extreme and remote place he could reach without having to get a visa or shots for exotic diseases.

Escaping LAX and inching through Los Angeles had been hell, making him wish he'd followed the Captain's directive by zooming off to Atlantic City. East Coast traffic could be horrible, but he'd forgotten the special hell that was southern California gridlock. Still, he persevered, because John wasn't one to wimp out, and kept driving until the traffic thinned, the strip malls and subdivisions giving way to barren land.

He and Holly had talked about visiting Death Valley when he'd been living in Southern California. They'd talked about a lot of places they should see, trips they should take. But mostly they only succeeded in visiting all the amusement parks, Holly's schedule too full to allow real vacations. John was dedicated to his job but Holly never turned off her workaholic tendencies, a trait that had become a huge wedge in their marriage. Working late to catch a killer made sense to him; he was protecting people and finding justice for innocent victims. Abandoning the dinner table to write proposals for overweight executives who spent half their working day on the golf course seemed like misplaced priorities.

Death Valley was quite amazing, John decided, as he stopped at the first few sites on the tourist map, the Ashford Mills ruins and Badwater. He'd expected bleakness, wanted a stark and unforgiving landscape to correspond to the lack in his soul, but Death Valley only half-delivered on that promise. Yeah, it was harsh, rugged and dry, but there was such beauty and color too. Not artificial, man-made beauty or glitzy neon, but the endurance and muted color of a land created millions of years ago.

Feeling fanciful, he wondered what it would be like to be a painter, to stand under the thankfully-not-too-burning sun of early spring, dressed in a white linen shirt and trousers, to hold a palette and try to mix all the colors to match the landscape, the whites of the salt deposits on the valley floor, the many shades of creams, reds, browns and grays of the rocks, the bright yellows of the desert wildflowers along the sides of road, the greens of the scrubby bushes struggling to survive, the shadowy purples and blues of the mountains ringing the valley.

As if, he snorted to himself. As if a McClane could ever be bohemian and carefree, fussing over dabs of paint on a canvas. If this was the desert heat creating madness in his brain, it was a damned good thing he was visiting in spring. He'd never survive full summer. John walked away from Badwater, and got into his rented SUV, heading toward the motel at Stovepipe Wells.

Darkness fell as he drove, and it all so odd to his city-bred soul, only two lanes on the road, no traffic or street lights, few others cars. How had anyone ventured here on a mule or in a wagon? It must have seemed like an unending barren wasteland, the end of the world.

He found Stovepipe Wells easily, since it was hard to miss the only civilization for miles. The hotel was on one side of the road, the general store, gas and ranger stations on the other. John wondered if such isolation would drive him mad, but right now it seemed very comforting, no one to hassle him, no criminals to catch, not even any choice to make about where to eat, as there was only one restaurant.

Even the selection in the menu was limited, John noted with amusement, after dumping his bag in his room. One fish, one ribs, two meat, three chicken, and one vegetarian. He ordered one of the chickens and sipped on his beer, looking idly around his fellow travelers. It was a mixed blend, with a few families with kids, some couples, several pairs of men and women. Whether they were friends, siblings, or gay or lesbian partners, John couldn't tell. When he was young, he'd never have wondered if two people of the same sex were lovers, but these days it could be any of those options.

A kid approached, standing nervously by his table. He was active in a way the mountains were not, hands fidgeting, feet shifting, and John idly noted that his skin was creamy, with golden undertones, a suntan waiting to happen, while his eyes, hair, and eyebrows were all very dark. But brown or black? And he couldn't just use the tubes of brown or black if he was going to paint the kid's portrait, could he? Artists always mixed weird little bits of color. Purple to make the eyes appear even more shadowed, or some such nonsense.

This place was getting to him.

"Excuse me, I couldn't help but overhear when you checked in, not that I was trying to listen or anything, I was in the gift store next to registration, and I know that you got a room with two beds. I was with friends, but I got left behind and I really need some place to sleep tonight. I can pay only they're fully booked so there aren't any rooms. So…" he shrugged carelessly like John's response didn't matter, only his eyes said differently. "I'd really rather not sleep on the ground. I don't snore."

Left behind? Or ditched? And could he pay, or was he trying to play John? John raised one eyebrow.

"Look, if it's a bother, that's okay. But I could really use a place to sleep."

"Sit down." John nodded his head toward the opposite chair, and the kid did, dropping his bags from his shoulder to the ground by the table. He had two bags, a larger rucksack that must be his clothes, and a smaller one that looked like it might hold a laptop. "What’s your name?"

"Matt. Matthew Farrell. So can I stay with you?"

"I didn't say that." Matt started to rise, and John repeated, "Sit down. I didn't say you couldn't."

Matt rolled his eyes a bit. He wasn't very good at groveling when needing a favor that was for sure. "I'm sorry, am I on trial here?"

John gave him a deliberate once-over, the kind he gave to suspected criminals or anyone being an asshole. His brown hair was straight, cut long to fall into his eyes. His cheeks were stubbled and one patch of hair decorated his chin under his lip. "You think I should just trust you?"

"Come on, man. Cut me a break. We're in the middle of nowhere. What could I do?"

"Cut my throat and steal my car," John suggested, though this kid could never get the drop on him.

"Yeah, because I'm sure I would be such a danger to you," the kid said, and the look he gave John, particularly his shoulders, almost made John wonder if he was being cruised. But no, surely the kid was only commenting on the fact that John was significantly taller and slightly broader than him.

"You never know what people are capable of."

There was that eyeroll again. "Are you totally paranoid or a cop?"


"Wow. Seriously?"

"Yeah. Seriously." He offered his hand. "John McClane, NYPD."

Matt took his hand, his shake firm but not aggressive. "Did you do something? Your name sounds familiar."

The woman at the rental booth had made the same comment, which had John appreciating the fact that he'd shaved his head. The lack of hair seemed to prevent people from recognizing him. He still popped up occasionally in press articles on terrorism or crime as 'the Hero of Nakatomi Tower,' which had a catchier ring than 'the Hero of Nakatomi Tower, Dulles airport, and running all around Manhattan.' "I've done lots of things. How about you? You done anything I should know?"

"Nothing worth talking about."

John recognized evasion, but it mirrored his own, so he let it slide. "Yeah, sure, you can stay in my room. You hungry? I'm waiting for my dinner."

"Starving, and thanks." Glancing around, Matt waved his hand at the waiter. "Hey, menu please? Thanks." He turned back to John. "So what's it like, working as an enforcer for a socially and morally corrupt system?"


Dinner had been... lively. The kid was severely naive, idealistic and challenging, which John had found oddly enjoyable. Holly's forthrightness had always intrigued John, making him want to throw her on the table (desk, bed, whatever close available surface) and fuck her until she couldn't argue. That is, until she'd dwelt too much on his flaws as a husband. Matt was more focused on The System, which was less personal and threatening. Not that he wanted to ravish Matt on the table.

Ten minutes in the hotel room convinced John he needed to occupy himself in some way for the rest of the evening. The room was simply furnished, with no television and no mini-bar, not that John needed to drink. He'd restricted his alcohol intake severely after the bender when Holly divorced him. The only decorative item being Matt sprawled over one of the beds, engrossed in his laptop even as he bitched about the lack of wireless or Internet.

"I'm going swimming," he said, tossing his suitcase on the luggage rack and digging through for his swimsuit, grateful that he'd thrown it in at the last minute. Swimming had never been a big part of his life, but it had been a useful way to entertain the kids on the few family trips they'd taken, and Holly and his tendency to overstrain his body had convinced him of the joys of hot tubbing.

"I'll join you in a sec," Matt muttered as his laptop made weird zinging noises.

John wasn't interested in being closer to his unexpected company, but he didn't argue, figuring that Matt would forget that promise. As a child, Jack had gotten absorbed in his video games, having to be dragged away from them, and Matt had the same transfixed look.

The pool was plain, a standard rectangle with lots of warnings about not diving, but the peace and calm of the night made it special. John swam laps, washing away the physical stiffness from driving most of the day and the mental exhaustion of his fucked-up life.

To his surprise, Matt did join him, easing into the pool with a few shocked exclamations about the water temperature, which was still pleasantly warm from the being heated by the sun. He swam laps too, and damn if the kid wasn't faster than John, gradually catching up to him and almost overtaking him until John sped up.

"I did swim team," Matt explained, keepng pace with John. "And baseball. I played first base."

"I was into football," John said, revising his initial opinion of Matt as a geeky, intellectual type. Coupled with the many technological issues Matt had raised during dinner, and the way he'd immediately dove for his laptop as soon as they'd entered the hotel room had indicated a nerd, but he must be more well-rounded to have some jock in his background. John rolled to his back and floated. The sky was clearer here than in New York or Southern California, the stars much easier to see without the pollution and lights of human civilization.

Matt stopped swimming and rolled to his back too, joining John in watching the stars. "The quintessential American game."

"I would have said baseball was," John contradicted, not caring much one way or the other, listening as Matt went into a rant on the commercialization of sports. He was glad that he'd agreed to the kid's request to stay with him. Death Valley was so vast, beautiful but intimidating, but Matt's constant buzz of conversation was a reminder of civilization.

"Are you listening to me?" Matt asked, sounding a little like Holly.

"Both have been ruined by greed and endorsement deals." Privately, John agreed, though he found the discussion another example of Matt's naivety. People would always want more and more. There probably had never been a way to stop athletes from demanding raises, or to stop owners from jacking up prices in reaction. Or vice versa. Railing against human nature seemed pointless.

"Oh." Matt sounded surprised to realize that John had been paying attention. He was silent for a while, as if John's lack of response made the subject uninteresting. "It feels like we're the only survivors of a zombie apocalypse, doesn't it?"

"It's definitely not like living in New York City."

"I bet you'd do well in a zombie apocalypse. You look like the kind of guy who could learn how to use a shotgun."

"Cop, remember? I know how to use a shotgun." Handguns, shotguns, submachine guns, machine guns... weapons weren't a mystery to John. "How about you? You ever fired a shotgun?"

"I've never even held a handgun. My parents don't like guns and there's not much call for them at college."

"I'll teach you if the zombies come," John offered, feeling absurd but also pleased to share in the ridiculousness, the thought of hideous zombies so fanciful compared to the human scumbags he arrested every day. "If you were good at baseball, you'd probably be a decent shot."

"I was decent," Matt admitted. "Not fabulous. I was a kid who liked to play, not a jock." His voice warmed as he added, "I'd really like a have to sword." He treaded in place as he swung his arms with a fast, swishing motion through the water, like he was wielding a machete. "Just slice zombie heads off and send them rolling across the ground."

John pictured a zombie apocalypse, cities deserted, the survivors scattered, he and Matt in a pick-up truck, driving... to find and rescue Jack and Lucy, or to a secure location. Though knowing John's luck, his destination would be where humanity was making its last stand. They'd have to stop to scavenge food and gas, never knowing when a zombie might shamble out and attack them. John knew he could handle the danger. Plant his feet, raise the shotgun to his shoulder, aim for a head shot. Matt would cover his back, a reliable companion who would have learned to use his weapon quickly under the fear of having his brains eaten.

After their escape, they'd stop somewhere remote, where they could see approaching zombies for miles, and John would drag Matt out of the pickup, shove him against the hotel metal, kissing him with the pent-up fear and aggression of surviving. Matt's lips would be soft, his body yielding to John's. He'd rip down their jeans, shove Matt until he was bending over the hood, use something to lube him up, gun oil if he had to, and fuck him, glorying in the victory, as the sun beat down and Matt cursed for more, harder.

John gave a laugh at his fancifulness. He'd been a wreck after rescuing Holly at the Nakatomi Tower, only capable of limping to the ambulance. Chicago hadn't been as hard on his body, but there hadn't been any frantic screwing in his in-laws' house. After killing Simon, he'd gone home, eaten some leftovers, and gone to bed. Fucking Matt was some crazy Hollywood dream, the kind of fantasy that only happened in the movies, where the hero was artfully beaded with sweat, the heroine's make-up never smeared, and their reserves of energy were inexhaustible.

"I'm going to bed," Matt said tersely, making John realize the kid thought he was laughing at the vision of him with a machete.

"Hey, Matt," he said drifting his wet fingers over Matt's arms. "Zombie apocalypse, shotgun training for you first thing on my to-do list. Then we can figure out machetes together."

Matt gave him a suspicious frown before relaxing. "You don't know how to use a machete?"

"Amazing, isn't it?"

"I bet you could figure it out fast," Matt said, giving that vibe of cruising John again, but then he switched to calculating the force needed to sever a head in gory detail, and the moment was gone.


As a cop, John had trained himself to sleep when needed. Stake-outs could be long and tedious, and the ability to block out distractions for a catnap was a vital skill.

Still, he was surprised that Matt's presence gave him no trouble sleeping. He dropped off to the sound of Matt humming in the shower, taking his turn to wash off the chlorine. He woke once during the night, needing to piss and momentarily disoriented, not knowing where he was. Matt's soft breaths from the other bed clued him in. He used the bathroom and fell instantly asleep again.


The flowers were even more beautiful under the morning sun. They were scattered all over the desert, most of them yellow, with a small sprinkling of purple and white along the roadway, where the rain would have collected before sinking into the ground.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" Matt took another bite of his omelet. "I'd heard that flowers could grow in the desert but I didn't believe it until now."

"I'm going to drive around to the different sights. You want to come with me?" John offered. He was still surprised that Matt had woken when John got out of bed, but there hadn't seemed any reason to not have breakfast together. Sharing a meal was always John's preference anyway. His tendency to solitude had been caused by Holly's desertion more than his own inclination.

"Sure. I guess."

John shrugged. "Unless you want to hitch a ride out of here with someone else. Otherwise I'll take you when I go on Monday."


"Wow, I can't believe how gay this couple was," Matt said under his breath - or at least, as much as Matt ever said anything under his breath - as they followed the tour guide through Scotty's Castle, so named for Walter Scott, the man who had pretended to be the owner.

"They were just friends. Men can be friends without sex being involved." Scotty's Castle was quite lovely, a no expense spared mansion built in the 1930s in Death Valley. John had never imagined living in such a luxurious place. He'd been raised lower middle class and known for as long as he could remember that he wanted to be a cop, an honorable but not high-paying profession. He was too practical to yearn for a lifestyle he'd never achieve. Holly had angled for the high-powered career with the fancy Rolexes, but John hadn't lasted long enough in LA to be comfortable with the required ass-kissing. But now the long-suppressed daydreamer in him woke again, wondering what it would be like, to own a castle with plenty of servants catering to his every whim.

"This rich guy builds a castle and lets a scam artist pretend it's his and you don't think they were having sex?"

Maybe along with the servants catering to his every whim, he'd have a lover too. Not Holly, though Holly would love being Queen of the Castle and she'd do it well, ordering servants and entertaining rich friends with ease, but John was not going to fantasize about the woman who'd dumped him after he'd saved her life. Twice.

Matt then. Matt as his boy toy, at his beck and call...


"Well what?" John asked in response to Matt's impatient question as the tour group crossed the courtyard and entered the music room, where Scotty and his rich friend liked to be entertained in the evenings. The lighting in the room was dim, causing John to take off his mirrored sunglasses, hanging them on the v-neck of his t-shirt.

"You really don't think Scotty and the rich guy were lovers? Are you that blind?"

"I'm a cop. I deal with facts, not speculation."

"So if you were called to a homicide here in the 1920s, wouldn't you speculate that their relationship should be investigated for a possible motive? A lover's triangle or jealousy?"

Huh. Matt was daydreaming of the past too, only John couldn't reorient himself to being a cop in the 1920s, still fixated on being the castle's owner. As a boy toy, Matt would certainly be a mouthy one, and John definitely did not want to speculate how good it would feel to shut him up. His eyes dropped to Matt's mouth, to the softness of his lips, to the ridiculous soul patch of hair on his chin. The visual of his cock, fully hard, the veins rich with blood, shoved into Matt's pink lips, silencing his ranting, sprang full-bore into John's brain. Matt's eyes would darken with desire as his lips tightened around John's cock, his mouth sucking greedily, so happy to be serving his lord. "If one of them was the victim or a possible suspect, I'd investigate all their relationships," John said harshly, louder than he'd intended, earning him a reproving glare from the tour guide.

What the hell was he doing, fantasizing about this kid he barely knew? Maybe he should have taken the Captain's advice and gone to Atlantic City, someplace bright and lively, where he could have gotten laid. Anywhere but the desert that seemed to be baking his brains straight out of his skull.


"I didn't take you for a homophobe," Matt said as the tour group began breaking up, most of the people heading to the gift store for souvenirs, the rest going directly to their cars.

"I'm not a homophobe."

"Let me guess, some of your best friends are homosexuals."

"I don't have a lot of friends and the ones I do are mostly straight, divorced cops." That was a fun fact to admit, but it was honest.

"It's that why it's so hard for you to imagine Scotty and the rich guy having hot gay sex? You don't know any homosexuals?"

Jesus, did the kid ever give anything a rest? John didn't need to be thinking about hot gay sex right now. "I know homosexuals and I know what's involved in homosexual sex. I just don't assume two dead guys must have been lovers."


"Yes, really," John snarled. It was hot, he needed to reapply the sunscreen on his bald head, and Matt's persistence in talking about gay sex was becoming annoying.

"So you wouldn't deck me for impugning your masculinity if I - " Matt curled one hand around the back of John's skull, tugging him down as he rose on his toes, mashing their lips together. It wasn't the best kiss John had shared, too unexpected and awkward. But Matt's lips were soft and his body rested against John's, lean and muscled and as appealing as John had dreamed. John clamped his hands on Matt's hips, lifting him so their groins pressed together and deepened the kiss. Matt's hands landed on John's shoulders, strong fingers flexing before digging into muscle and bone.

"No," John said hoarsely when he finally released Matt. "I wouldn't deck you."

Other tourists were walking past them on their way to their cars, glancing curiously at John and Matt. They were probably thinking John was a dirty old man, an opinion he couldn't refute. Matt may have initiated the kiss, but John had prolonged it, accepting that he wanted to do more to Matt. Much more.


The drive back to Stovepipe Wells was quiet, John grateful when he finally pulled into a parking space by their room. He needed to escape Matt's presence so he could stop thinking about him and that kiss. "I'll see if there's another room available. If not, I'll drive back to LA this afternoon."

"You're just going to abandon me?"

Oh fuck, Matt didn't have a way to return to civilization. John slammed out of the car, Matt leaping out the other side. "Let me see what registration says." If he could get a room by himself, that would fix the problem.

"No." Matt circled a hand around one of John's wrists. "I thought you were a cop, not a coward."

"I'm not a coward," John denied, even as he bitterly acknowledged that he was glad for his mirrored sunglasses hiding his eyes. This kid was too disturbing to his peace of mind.

"Then don't just run off. Come talk to me." Matt tugged him toward the room. With a frustrated sigh, John let himself be led.

"You kissed me back," was Matt's opening as the hotel room door shut behind them. "I was trying to prove a point and you kissed me back."

"You proved your point, okay? I'm a bitter divorced cop having a middle-aged crisis. I've never been attracted to guys before and you - " he waved one hand up and down Matt's body, "make me want to strip you naked and fuck you."

Matt stared at him while John waited for him to run screaming out of the room. The press would have a field day with the hero of Nakatomi Hero Tower arrested for sexual harassment in California. Instead of fleeing, Matt pulled his shirt over his head, which was incredibly startling given the circumstances. "I don't know that I want to get fucked. I haven't done it before. But I'll give you a blowjob."

"What the fuck are you doing?"

"I don't have a lot of clothes with me. I don't want to get these messy." He kicked off his sneakers, and took off his jeans and underwear, dropping both on his suitcase in the corner. John watched, fascinated, unable to move. His dick liked the sight very much. Matt's skin looked silky, smooth, only lightly shaded with hair on his chest, legs, and curling around his half-hard dick. He sat on the edge of the bed, tucking his thumbs into the belt loops on John's jeans, trying to tug him closer.

"You don't have to do this. You don't owe me anything."

"I know that. I'm not a female victim of our society who thinks she has to repay favors with her body." Matt's eyes flicked upwards, looking at John through his thick lashes. "I like giving blow jobs. And you're pretty hot for a bitter, divorced cop."

"Christ," was the only word John could manage, as he stepped forward in response to Matt's urging, bringing his groin close to Matt's face. Matt undid his belt and fly, carefully easing his jeans down until they bunched around his thighs.

Matt ran his hand up and down John's dick, which was all the encouragement it needed to get as stiff as a billy club. "You're cut."

"Is that a problem?" It had better not be, because the thought of Matt stopping now was painful.

"Just an observation." Matt's tongue darted out, licking the head of John's dick. John salivated at the thought of Matt taking him deep into his mouth, but he held his hips rock steady, allowing Matt to control the pace. He allowed himself the luxury of running his fingers through Matt's hair, which was straight and fine, with no nasty product making it feel gunky.

Matt acted like he had all the time in the world, patiently licking every inch of John's dick and mouthing at his balls until John's thighs were quivering with the urge to thrust.

"I've always known I was bisexual," Matt said, his tongue busy keeping John's dick warm between words. "But most people think it's wrong, you know? Like it's better to be restricted."

"I have no fucking clue if I should always have been bi or if I'm just gay for you." He groaned as precome leaked from his slit, Matt licking it into his mouth, tasting it. "Stop teasing."

"I think you should fuck my face. You want to, don't you?"

"Fuck." They moved at the same time, Matt's eyes closing as he tilted his head back, mouth opened wide, John cupping the back of his head with both hands, holding it where he wanted, surrendering to the urge to thrust between those perfect lips. He kept his thrusts shallow and steady at first, but Matt stayed so still, so accepting that he found himself speeding up, going faster and deeper, fascinated and aroused by the sheer carnality of his thick cock almost completely buried in Matt's mouth. Matt began breathing harder, though John wasn't sure if he was turned on or struggling or both. His eyes remained closed, peaceful, lashes forming dark crescents on his skin.

Giving a last shove, John came, groaning with the pleasure of emptying his balls into Matt's mouth, immediately pulling out so Matt wouldn't be forced to swallow, his come dripping out of Matt's lips and down over the soul patch on his chin.

"You okay?" John asked hoarsely, surprised that he was even able to remain standing.

"Wow. That was hot. I don't think anyone's ever wanted me that much." Matt's eyes opened, blinking.

Relieved by Matt's answer, John looked between Matt's legs, where his dick was leaking too, hard and lying on his thigh. Kneeling, he caressed it, appreciating how it felt in his hand, a primed weapon ready to be fired. "You need to come too. Come on, Matt. Give it up to me."

Matt arched his back, moaning, and obeyed, his come spurting on John's t-shirt, white on white. He reached out, holding onto John's biceps like he'd collapsed on the floor without support. Grinning, he said, "You should have taken your clothes off too."


After a nap, they cleaned up and went to the restaurant for lunch, John regretting the lack of room service. Eating in bed would have been his preference. Instead, they ate with the other tourists while Matt ranted about every subject under the sun. When his diatribes got too intense, John shoved a French fry between his lips, loving the way Matt would lick the salt off his fingers.


Later on, Matt tossed a tube of lube to John and pushed the covers off the bed, lying down on the sheets naked, his legs spread. "You want to, don't you?"

The lube felt like a promise of heaven in his hand. "You barely know me."

Matt propped himself on his elbows. "You'd save my life in a zombie apocalypse."

"But it should be..." Someone you know and love. Someone special.

The look Matt gave him was a cross between fondness and exasperation. "You're really retro, aren't you? Sex is sex, not love, and I'd rather do this with someone who won't screw it up."

John swallowed. Mostly the people in his life only trusted him to be annoying. "If you're sure."

"I trust you."

"I'll make it good for you," John promised, conscious of the need to take Matt's virginity so that he would enjoy every moment. He spent a long time playing with Matt, massaging his back and butt. Every touch was slow, deliberate, rousing Matt's desire until he was reduced to constant whimpers and shaking limbs. John stretched him wide, until three of his fingers were in Matt's ass and then his cock, which had never been sheathed so tightly or sweetly.

When it was over, Matt trembling in his arms as he fell asleep, John held him securely, thankful that he hadn't gone to Atlantis City. This relationship was madness, a crazy and transitory middle-aged male fantasy, but he was going to love Matt for the rest of their time in the desert.

He was going to make every minute until Monday count.



John took a moment to collect himself, which was bullshit, because if there was one thing John McClane didn't do, it was take time to collect himself. Ever. But the name was right, and the age, and certainly the interest in technology. Could it be the same kid that he'd loved for a weekend? Spent days seeing tourist sites and nights having wild and crazy sex, while spinning increasingly ridiculous apocalyptic fantasies?

He rapped on the door hard, and after a few seconds, it opened the width of the door chain. "John," Matt said in surprise.

"Open the door, Matt."

The door shut again before opening all the way, Matt stepping back to allow John into his apartment. John stepped forward only enough to cup Matt's face in his hands, bringing their lips together for a kiss that wasn't going to end until Matt was pliant and panting in his arms.

He didn't know why the FBI wanted to question Matt, but it had to be serious to require a senior officer on a holiday weekend. He didn't know if Matt had done something wrong, or if the FBI had their heads up their asses again. He didn't know what Matt had been doing in the last two years, or even if he was in a relationship.

But he did know that he'd made a mistake last time, dropping Matt off in Los Angeles with only a hard kiss and a flippant, "See you when the world ends." This time he was going to fight to keep him.

~ the end ~