When he saw the name on the file John brought home, he said nothing. When he scanned the list of charges, he didn’t ramble on. He didn’t even open his mouth. He merely left John sitting at the table and walked to his laptop in the living room and booked the first flight to Moscow. Through some not-even-slightly-impressive hacking, he upgraded the flight to First Class.
In silence, he walked to their bedroom and began packing a light bag for John. He only packed a few shirts, a pair of pants, underwear, thick socks and an extra pair of boots, knowing the type of ‘vacation’ he usually ended up having. He didn’t need the extra weight bogging him down.
Without thinking, he accessed the false bottom that was invisible to x-ray and packed John’s extra weapon with additional ammunition and cash, even though there was no indication that it would be needed.
He knew his lover well.
He called Lucy while getting John’s passport who quickly agreed to take John to the airport once hearing about Jack. Matt hung up the phone and walked back to the table where John had barely moved, packed bag in hand. He set the bag on the floor before reaching in his pocket and pulling out the long chain he had put there while in the bedroom. A small red ball of fire rested on the end of it; a nod to their first adventure together over 5 years ago.
Matt pulled on John’s shoulders, making him sit back in the chair, leaving enough space for Matt to straddle his lap with the kind of ease he didn’t expect 5 years ago after being shot in the leg by Thomas Gabriel. He was thankful Gabriel didn’t hit the kneecap. There were many enjoyable activities he would’ve had to forgo if that bullet had been even 2 inches lower. The sort of activities that they didn’t really have time for now.
Matt grasped John’s left hand from his hip where it had settled and pulled it level with his face. Without taking his eyes off of the man in front of him, Matt folded down all the fingers except one and sucked the ring finger into his mouth. He saw John’s eyes dilate slightly and his breathing became a bit heavier as he worked his mouth over the finger with barely half the considerable skill he possessed. He knew, given enough time he could get John hard and dripping from just this small act, but that wasn’t the goal here.
He slowly pressed the finger deeper into his mouth until he was able to wrap his lips around the round piece of metal encircling the base. In no particular hurry, he pulled the gold ring off his beloved’s thick calloused fingers until it was free. A frown crossed John’s face but he made no move to speak. He simply watched Matt.
Holding the ring between his lips, Matt slid the chain between his fingers until he encountered the clasp, which he quickly undid. He took the platinum ring from his own left hand and John’s ring from his mouth and with a series of complicated moves, he joined the rings together until they looked like one ring again, the gold twisted around the platinum. It had been a surprisingly romantic design but War1ock explained his thought process that day at the chapel. He told them that even though they looked like a completely mismatched pair when apart, when joined they were a beautiful and unending unit. Basically, with no rhyme or reason, they just fit. Just like Matt and John.
Matt took the united ring and threaded the chain through the center. He then joined the two ends and held it up so he could slip it over John’s head. Once settled on his chest, Matt arranged the ring and the charm until the ring completely encircled the ball of fire. With a short jerky breath, he bent his head until his forehead met John’s in a small, non-verbal affirmation of concern and love.
All of Matt’s life, he talked. He was always looking for things to talk about even if there was no one listening. John usually listened. Or at least he didn’t interrupt. But he knew John well enough to know that this wasn’t the time. This wasn’t the time to spout trivial facts and conspiracy theories about Russia politics or prisons. Knowing the exact length of the Garden Circle and all relevant facts wasn’t important right now. Hot, sweaty, really athletic sex would be appreciated, but unneeded. This is what they needed. After 5 years of sweat, blood, gunpowder, cables, codes, threats, rescues, and long nights retracing well-known and well-loved lines, dimples, and scars, they didn’t need sex to feel the love they had. Sex would be saved for the homecoming.
Shared breaths and folding their bodies around each other was what the situation called for. This was personal. This was John’s son. Matt knew that he would only be a liability on this mission. Even though he could keep up with John on the shooting range with a multitude of weapons and the hand-to-hand he had been trained in as soon as he could stand for more than a minute without a cane. This was time John needed with his estranged son. The time alone with Jack so that he could figure out what happened to his son that he found himself in this situation and how to get him out of it.
So he would do what he did best and watch from in front of his computer. No matter where John went, Matt would go with him. Between satellites, security and traffic cameras, and hacked feeds from their friendly neighborhood FBI, he would always be able to follow John.
And if that fails, the custom-made GPS transmitter built into the ball of fire hanging around his neck would find him 2 miles below the ocean.
No matter what, John was not leaving Matt and Matt was never letting John go, even if he had to go to Russia and drag his ass out of a crater.
It was a morbid thought but both Lucy and War1ock both had instructions for their joint funeral arrangements. It was a promise they made to each other. One goes, the other follows. Yeah, it was unhealthy but nothing else about their relationship was normal so it felt right to them. But even though they had plans for it when it ultimately did happen, Matt had no desire to have it happen anytime in the next 25-30 years.
So this was a silent promise between the two of them. Matt was going to stay behind where John couldn’t be distracted by him, and John was going to bring his ass home and put that ring back on his finger where it fucking belonged.
They stayed like that, Matt straddling John’s lap, John’s hands on Matt’s ass, their foreheads touching until they heard Lucy’s car horn from outside. They slowly separated themselves and took a deep breath. When their lungs were empty, Matt stood up and removed himself from his husband’s embrace. As John stood up, he grabbed the duffle bag by the chair and walked to the door. He unlocked it and put his hand on the knob. Before he could take a breath, Matt was there, giving him gentle but no less knee-weakening kiss, for once letting the kiss do all of his talking.
As far as John was concerned, nothing else need be said.
His eyes crinkled as he looked at his love and smiled the smile of a happy man. The kind of smile he hadn’t smiled for over 15 years before he met Matt. The smile of a happy man who knows without a doubt that he is well-loved and he that had that love waiting for him to return. The kind of love that a happy man would topple mountains to return home to. Matt smiled back with a proud look in his eyes.
John opened the door and with a wink, he left Matt in their home to go get his son out of whatever mess he found him in. He left with a reassuring weight around his neck and the knowledge that Matt would be following him in every electronic way possible and would kick his ass if he didn’t come home.
That was a feeling worth better than gold.
Later, when Jack destroyed his cell phone, John did nothing but give a slightly amused look. He tilted his head slightly until he could feel the chain around his neck shift. On their way out of the alley, John noticed a traffic camera that they couldn’t avoid. His eyes crinkled. His hand moved to the center of his chest to where the charm and ring rested under his shirt. He looked directly at the camera.
And he winked.