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Heat Haze

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fandom: jpiii, fic fandom: jpiii, fic genre: slash, fic pairing: alan/billy

This was the reality of the Badlands of Montana - barren, arid land that stretched for miles, the only variation in the landscape provided by the heat haze that hung over everything. The weather, always changeable, had gone from warm to hot in the blink of an eye. Unbearably hot, somewhere in the high eighties and the landscape provided no shade. The air was heavy, so still and laden with dust that Alan could barely breathe. He remembered, years before, reading that light had weight and wondered why it had taken those in another field so long to realise what he and his ilk had always known. Light did have weight. There was no escaping that fact out here with the sun beating down on him until he felt he would buckle under its pressure.

He sat back on his heels, tugging impatiently at his bandana where it clung to his damp neck. He used it to wipe the sweat from his face before shoving it into his pocket. It wasn't doing anything to keep him cool, providing little in the way of protection from either the heat or the sun. It was just another place for the sweat to pool and another piece of fabric to cling uncomfortably to his skin. At least his hat provided some shelter, shading his eyes and face from the sun's unremitting glare even if it couldn't stop the sweat from running down the planes of his face, obscuring his vision. For that relief, limited though it was, he'd put up with the tight and sweaty band around his forehead.

It provided no protection against the dust though. Nothing could stop the dust that seeped into everything, chafing skin, coating face, hands and throat until the forms of those working on the dig site were almost indistinguishable from the rocks they stretched out on.

He knew he'd look just like them. His face and neck would be coated with the fine particles, mercilessly outlining the creases around his eyes, the crags in his face that hadn't been there just a few, short years before, and turning his skin the colour of clay. The desert was a harsh mistress and she had no pity, stripping away delusions and flesh alike.

He cast his eyes around the site, checking on the students under his care as he did several times a day, noting who was working, who seemed at a loss, automatically searching for Billy's familiar form and not finding it. He'd probably be over at the other side of the dig, chivvying along the lingerers as Alan intended to do now. The few students who still remained, crouched over their finds, were the young ones, the ones new to the dig and new to the whole experience, to whom common sense hadn't yet taught to pace themselves. The older, more experienced hands who'd seen it all before were already packing up shop, putting tools away carefully, bundling up small fragments as though they were as precious as gold, placing down protective coverings in case of rain, however forlorn that hope may be. The new ones, however, had yet to learn that if there was one truism in this profession it was that the rocks didn't go anywhere, not in the short term. They still thought of time as something measured in years rather than millennia, still had that desperation, that raw newness and enthusiasm that said things had to be done and done now.

It was an attitude that was alien to Alan, who preferred to take his time.

He refused to worry about it. The heat would knock it out of them eventually, tempering them until they finally grasped that time stretched out around them and that rushing achieved nothing except dehydration and sunburn. That the tortoise was ideally suited to a landscape like this whilst the hare was not and that slow and steady was not just the preserve of long dead beasts.

He rose to his feet, by now almost inured to the cloud of dust that swirled about him, billowing up from his clothes when he moved, choking him further. It was just another facet of life out here, another irritation that he endured, that they all endured. It rose in the wake of the battered jeeps and trucks they drove, leaving a trail in the air that you could track for miles. It rose from the painful process of chipping fossilised bones from rock that was just as hard. It rose from Billy's hair whenever his lover ran impatient fingers through his curls or swiped an arm across his face in a vain attempt to keep the sweat and the dirt out of his eyes.

They were fighting a losing battle against it. They always were, but they fought it still, trying to keep it out of the food, trying to keep it out of the tents, out of clean clothes, out of the trailer he and Billy shared.

Another irritation to add to the many. The current heat did nothing to ease tempers but at least that selfsame heat meant that the frequent flare-ups were kept to words, and brief ones at that. No one had the energy for anything more, all of their attention needed for the wearying tasks of coaxing the past from rock and simply breathing. That heat induced lethargy affected even Billy, whom Alan had always considered an inexhaustible source of energy and good humour, at least until the first time that, as a grad student, he had invited Alan to 'kiss his ass' at the end of another particularly hot and heavy day.

The shadows were starting to creep across the landscape, small boulders transformed into wavering, dark hued towers by the sinking sun. Time to call it an evening before the heat of the day was replaced by the bitter cold of the night. Time for a long cold shower and a colder beer to wash away the lingering taste of dust in his mouth, which the tepid water he swallowed religiously during the day never got rid of entirely.

He needed it.

There was still no sign of Billy as he shepherded the last few lingerers through the final stages of the day, trying not to be too grouchy, too irritable as they dawdled. He knew his reputation for being a curmudgeon, one he'd more than earned but then he'd never suffered fools gladly. It was one of the reasons he was grateful for Billy's input, since Billy had a way of smoothly insinuating himself between Alan and the too fragile egos of those around him, buffering Alan's bluntness with his usual good natured charm. Provided, at least, that the heat hadn't frayed Billy's temper to breaking point. From the speed with which Billy's section of the site had been cleared, Alan suspected that today was one of those rare days when Billy's control had snapped. The man had an even sharper tongue than Alan when he finally lost his grip on his temper. A sharper tongue and a better aim. Billy in full fury was, Alan reflected, an utter joy to see, slicing thin strips off undeserving undergraduates who had pushed even his seemingly limitless patience too far.

It was a rare occurrence. The last time he'd really exploded had been at Mitch Somerfield, two summers ago, the last time the summer had been as hot as this one. Somerfield, Alan recalled, had been on a football scholarship and mistakenly believed that Palaeontology would be an easy option to keep his grades up while he played ball. Alan despised that kind of attitude and Billy, as in love as he was with the sports he played, appeared to share his opinion. He'd flayed Somerfield alive; his patience, already frayed by hospital appointments and physiotherapy and the lingering strain between he and Alan in the wake of Isla Sorna, had snapped so suddenly that Somerfield hadn't seen it coming and the rest of the site workers had tiptoed around him for days. Billy hadn't seemed to care that the man had four inches and forty pounds on him and in the end it hadn't mattered; Somerfield had meekly taken everything that Billy chose to dish out, Billy's fury leaving even him shaken to the core despite the number of times he'd had abuse hurled at him by coaches, team mates and the opposition alike.

He sincerely doubted that Somerfield had repeated the mistake of underestimating anyone else the way he had Billy that day and the resulting uneasiness around the camp had lasted until the weather had broken. He doubted that he was the only one who had been relieved when the next summer brought the odd flurry of snow rather than heat.

He finally found Billy in their trailer, stretched out on his back on one of the worn seats, his arm flung over his eyes and one dirty boot resting on the faded fabric.

"You're getting dust everywhere," he observed mildly, already heading towards the small fridge in search of a beer. "You're getting the seat dirty too," he added when his remark was greeted by silence.

"Bite me."

"I'd rather not," Alan said, turning around with an ice-cold beer in his hand and gazing dispassionately at Billy's supine form. "You reek."

Billy didn't remove the arm from over his eyes. "It's hot out there."

"I noticed." He cracked open the beer with the palm of one hand, using the table top as an opener. When he looked back up again, Billy was holding out a peremptory hand in his direction, his other arm still shielding his eyes. "What did your last slave die of?"

"I pinned him out in the desert and left his body for the buzzards when he wouldn't bring me a beer."

Alan couldn't hold in his snort of amusement, and retrieved another beer, repeating his unique bottle opening method. It was something he was sneakily proud of, a revelation he suspected Billy would find intensely amusing if he were ever dumb enough or drunk enough to reveal it. "Nice."

"Yeah, well," said Billy, finally uncovering his eyes and reaching for the bottle Alan held out. He sat up, slouching back against the wall of the trailer and leaving his foot on the seat. The position left his legs spread, the fabric of his pale pants, paler now thanks to the dust, stretched tight across his thighs, and Alan swallowed hard, a mixture of beer and dust and lust. "I figured it was poetic justice since he expected me to die of thirst."

Alan treated him to a distinctly old-fashioned look. "Fridge, Billy. Billy, fridge," he said, miming an introduction.

Billy paused in the act of taking a drink, the bottle resting against his bottom lip in a way that sent shivers of sense memory through Alan and his expression slightly pissed. "Bite me," he reiterated, enunciating each word clearly before taking a well-earned swallow of beer, his eyes closing in pleasure.

Alan leant back against the worktop, crossing his calves so that the fabric of his pants, much looser than Billy's, bunched up and hid the fact he was half-hard just from watching Billy drink. He continued to watch Billy from beneath the brim of his hat, eyes fixed on the way that the muscles of Billy's bared throat moved like silk underneath his skin as he swallowed. He tried not to think about the way those same muscles moved when Billy went down on him, the way that Billy watched him from underneath heavy lids while he did so, narrow eyed and hungry.

The way Billy was watching him now.

The air was still heavy, redolent now with everything that sang between them. Billy put down his bottle and wiped the back of his hand carelessly across his mouth, his eyes never leaving Alan's face. It sent a frisson of heat through him, making his skin tingle pleasantly, his cock harden further, brushing against the rough fabric of his underwear. He perfected his nonchalant lean, taking a swallow of his own beer and not responding to the blatant invitation in Billy's eyes, in the lines of Billy's body, splayed for his delectation.

Patience, after all, was a virtue and one palaeontologists had in spades.

"I refer to my previous comment," he returned dryly. "You reek."

"I'll shower in a minute," Billy said, reaching for his discarded bottle, seemingly unconcerned by the criticism. His reaction, or lack of it, made Alan want to push that little bit harder, to subtly twist the knife just to see Billy's eyes flash in his direction, to earn that half irritated, half amused look.

To see if Billy pushed back.

"I would if I were you," he said, his tone deliberate and measured. "You're filthy too."

That got it, the sidelong flash of eyes in his direction, Billy's lips thinning ominously. Still Billy said nothing and he just couldn't leave it like that, pushing himself away from the worktop and sauntering past Billy to the open trailer door, knocking against Billy's leg as he did so, so that dust rose from Billy's clothes.

Billy watched him go, his eyes narrowed and his expression giving nothing away. The planes of his face seemed thinner, more angular in the orange of the fading sun and the shadows hid the scar on his neck, the one that Alan liked to trace with his thumb when they kissed, just to feel Billy's pulse thrum underneath his touch.

Alan leant against the doorjamb, crossing his legs again and watching as their charges moved around the campsite in the lulling late afternoon light. The conversation that drifted over to him was muted, hanging in the still air, as languid as their movements. The heat of the day had yet to dissipate and for a brief moment he closed his eyes, tilting his head up so that the sun, not so burning bright now, could fall on his face. Somewhere to the east of him he could hear a lone cricket start up, scrubbing a vicarious and solitary existence in the dry, yellowish grass that still clung on this late in the season in spite of the heat.

It was a strangely mournful sound and he opened his eyes again, stared out over the campsite and reminded himself that there was life out here, and plenty of it.

He heard Billy coming up behind him but didn't turn around until there was a soft thump to the side of him and a fine cloud of dust swirled up around his face. He waved his hand irritably in front of him, clearing the air, and turned his head to catch amused hazel eyes watching him. Billy held his black t-shirt in one hand, his bare torso streaked with the same pale dust that had covered his clothes. There was a dark ring around his neck, where the dust had combined with Billy's sweat to begrime his skin and dust was also caught in the laughter lines around his eyes and the dip of his dimple in the cheek closest to Alan as Billy turned away to look out over the vista. His body, however, was shaking with suppressed mirth as he took another swallow of beer before casually tossing his dirty t-shirt behind him, onto the floor of the trailer.

Pushing, always pushing, as relentless in his own way as the desert. He'd always been stubborn but Alan suspected that he'd picked up the habit of pushing back boundaries from Alan himself. But then, given what Billy did for pleasure, for the pleasure that didn't involve sweat and semen and Alan himself, perhaps that trait had always been there too.

Across the campsite a water fight was breaking out as a slight breeze picked up, stirring the sluggish air, and people started to come alive again, shrieks of laughter carrying to where the two men stood, side by side, both leaning in the narrow doorway. Billy was standing so close to him that Alan could feel the heat rising from his body, smell the sharp tang of fresh salt sweat overlying the dark, musky odour of old. The scars on Billy's shoulder shone silver in the light, taking on a life of their own as Billy stretched and Alan's fingers itched with the need to reach out and trace them, sliding his thumb over the smooth ridges.

He couldn't. Not here, in full view of the rest of the dig site staff, volunteers and students alike.

Another shriek, louder now as the fight headed towards them, two of the boys cornering Cheryl and hurling water from the buckets they held in her direction. It arched through the air, as silver as Billy's scars, and she twisted away, laughing and cursing, the bulk of it missing her. Her top was already wet through, clinging to her curves and outlining her taut nipples, peaked by the cold water. Her hair curled at the nape of her neck, water sliding down her spine to dampen the fabric further.

She laughed again, the sound high pitched and theatrical, drawing admiring stares from around the site as she had intended, and darted away, her tormenters in hot pursuit. As she passed them, she flashed a look in Billy's direction and laughed harder, long limbs flashing in the waning sun.

Billy watched her go, his gaze trailing the length of her fit, young body down to fix on her ass as he took a long, slow swallow of beer. Alan had learnt long ago that it was pointless feeling jealous but that didn't stop him from shifting position until his leg was pressing against the back of Billy's, a subtle reminder of his presence.

"And how was your day, dear?" he asked.

Billy chuckled, the sound low and throaty, and slid his eyes sideways, peering at Alan from underneath his lashes. His earlier irritation appeared to have evaporated as he sipped the cold beer. "Cheryl's annoying me," he said, turning his attention back to where the co-ed was still shrieking and laughing and courting attention.

"Oh?" He kept his voice even, suppressing any sign of the slight, unworthy feeling of triumph that surged in him. She wasn't a rival, no matter what his insecurities whispered to him when he watched her flirting with the man beside him. "In what way?"

Billy shrugged, his eyes roaming restlessly over the rest of the site. His hair was dull in the sun, the dust matted strands dark and grimy. Alan told himself that was the only reason he didn't lean forward and nuzzle at Billy's temple, where the hair had started to curl in the heat, but a sullen resentment towards those they shared their camp with stirred in the pit of his belly.

"That 'please explain this simple concept to me, Billy, while I bat my eyelashes at you' schtick was cute when she was a freshman," his lover explained. "It's not cute any more. It's just... annoying."

"She's flirting with you," Alan deadpanned, earning himself a flicker of irritation from Billy. It was a victory of sorts and he took it and ran with it. "Try not to be too hard on her."

He watched Billy from under the brim of his hat, not surprised when Billy turned to face him, folding his arms and leaning back against the doorjamb, his expression challenging. The sunlight highlighting the contours of his face and chest, spilling over his shoulders from behind and turning him into hard planes and angles, as though he'd been carved from the rock. Sweat glistened in the hollow of this throat and, as Alan watched, mesmerised, a single drop slid free, cutting a path through the grime until it got lost in the dark hair scattered over Billy's chest. When he looked up, Billy was watching him still, a small, secretive smile playing around the corners of his mouth.

"Hard on her, Alan?" he asked mildly, mischief dancing in his eyes.

Alan snorted and took a swig of his beer, ignoring both the deliberate double entendre and the light of battle in Billy's eyes, and thought of Mitch Somerfield. "Just try not to reduce this one to tears. You're getting quite a reputation."

It was Billy's turn to snort, the sound inelegant in the early evening air. "I'm not going to ask what kind of reputation, Dr. Grant," he retorted, his tone tart. "But it's not like I make a habit of it."

Alan leant his head against the doorframe, tilting his head back so that Billy would get the full benefit of the smirk that crossed his face. "Maybe not," he agreed. "But I've never managed to reduce a student to tears, and I'm supposed to be the bad tempered one."

Billy snorted again, apparently unappeased.

"I've never reduced you to tears," Alan said pointedly, gesturing with his beer bottle. That earned him one of those strange sidelong looks that Billy gave him sometimes, when he could see that the gears were turning but had no idea what was going on behind that beautiful, expressionless face. "Have I?" he asked, suddenly uncertain, not quite sure where the question had come from or why it was now so important to him.

Billy turned away, his face still unreadable, and took another swig from his beer. His gaze was opaque, seemingly unfocused on the mayhem taking place around them as the water fight spread across the site until even the older, more experienced hands were caught up in it. When he turned back to Alan, his eyes were deep and still, but that small, familiar smile was back, mysterious and full of promise. He leant forward, invading Alan's personal space and Alan found himself instinctively leaning forward too until he could feel Billy's hot breath on his face.

"Kiss my ass, Alan."

He pulled back, that smile transforming to a full smirk and took another, smug swig from his beer, his eyes watching Alan challengingly the whole time.

Alan didn't take offence. There had been no heat in Billy's pronouncement, no genuine ire, just pushing back and pulling Alan towards him, all at once, an offer lurking in the depths of those hazel eyes. An offer he'd take up. Eventually.

With one last smirk in his direction, Billy moved away and Alan's eyes were drawn irresistibly to his ass. He'd kissed that ass more times than he could count, pushing Billy's legs up into the air and running his tongue over the puckered flesh while Billy twitched and moaned and made those greedy, gasping sounds that went straight to Alan's dick. The first time he'd done it Billy had come with Alan's tongue up his ass and lain there afterwards, wide eyed and shell shocked, his parted lips wet and shiny where he'd caught them between his teeth to hold the cries in, swollen like a newly ripened plum. Alan hadn't seen much point in resisting, had taken Billy's mouth as ruthlessly as he'd plundered Billy's ass, then pushed Billy's head down where he wanted him, sliding his aching dick in and out of those lips while Billy continued to watch him, his eyes still wide and disbelieving.

By now he'd introduced Billy to everything he'd ever done, and they'd tried some new things together, but still, sometimes, he woke in the middle of the night to find Billy watching him and, in the few seconds before Billy closed his eyes and pretended to sleep, the look on Billy's face was just as disbelieving, just as open and vulnerable as it had been then.

Just as precious.

He took one last look at the mayhem outside and then stepped back into the trailer, closing the door behind him. Billy was turned away from him when Alan came up behind him, his hands already busy stripping himself of his clothing, agile fingers working at his belt. He pressed a light kiss against Billy's skin at the juncture of his throat and shoulder, just above one of those scars on Billy's back, unsurprised when Billy tasted of dust and sweat and near-exhaustion.

"Well, there's one benefit to all this," Billy said, jerking his head towards the whoops still coming from outside. His hair brushed against Alan's nose as Alan slid one hand over the taut muscles of Billy's stomach, feeling the skin twitch underneath his fingertips just like his nose twitched and itched from the dust.

"What's that?"

He pulled Billy back towards him, unsubtly grinding his crotch into Billy's ass and feeling his lover shake again with silent laughter.

"We can send them for more water tomorrow and they won't be able to bitch about it."

He let out a snort of laughter and pulled Billy closer, nuzzling at the back of his neck. "They'll still bitch."

"They can bitch all they like," Billy said carelessly, turning his head to treat Alan to one of those warm smiles of his, tinged with more than a touch of mischief. "Still means we can have two showers tonight with a clean conscience."

He pressed back briefly against Alan, just hard enough to send a spike of lust through the older man, and then pulled away, sliding effortlessly out of Alan's grip with the ease of long practice. The smooth skin of his abdomen slid under Alan's fingertips, hot and slick with sweat.

Damn it.

"Two showers?"

He tried to keep the disappointment out of his voice and failed dismally. Two showers when he'd hoped, planned on pressing his body up against that promising expanse of skin in the tiny shower cubicle they had in this outdated trailer. Too small for anything complicated but who needed complicated when you had cool water and warm bodies? Just the thought was enough to send a hot shiver of lust through him. There was something about the idea of 'Billy' and 'wet' that always did this to him.

He didn't think about Isla Sorna. He'd never been cruel enough to ask Billy if he connected the two. All he knew was that for a while Billy hadn't gone swimming with the other students in the sink hole to the east of them, in the early part of the season before it was nothing but mud. Scars or memories, he was never quite sure and besides, the two were inextricably intertwined in Alan's mind.

Billy didn't answer him at first, just kept on moving until he was sprawled out on the seat, tugging impatiently at his boots, the undone fly of his pants now gaping open and revealing his boxers, still white in spite of the dust that begrimed everything else. Alan moved past him with an impatient tut, tugging at the blinds over the dirty windows. He couldn't be sure that the thin layer of dust that covered the trailer's windows was enough to obscure the view, and he was damned if Billy was going to be part of that view.

Billy, on the other hand, had long since stopped caring who saw him, stopped hiding the silver lines that curled over his torso. He didn't quite wear them with pride but he no longer disrobed only in the still dark of the night. He'd reverted to his former, careless ways, comfortable in his own skin. Alan liked to think he had something to do with that, that his desire for Billy, scars and all, and the worshipful attention he'd paid to each and every inch of Billy's coveted skin had paid dividends and soothed whatever lingering fears and shame Billy had.

He suspected he was fooling himself. No fool like an old fool after all. It was probably simply a side effect of Billy's natural resilience.

"Yes, Alan." Billy rose to his feet, tugging his pants down over his slim hips. "Two showers." He paused in the act, taking in Alan's avid expression and smiled, flashing those dimples again, his teeth very white in his dusty face. His look was distinctly flirtatious before it changed into one of too perfect innocence. "Why?"

Oh. So that was the game they were playing. They'd segued from pissy to playful in the blink of an eye. He sometimes thought that Billy did it in a vain attempt to keep him off balance, to pay him back for all of the times he'd neatly turned the tables on Billy, and not always in a fun, harmless way either. He'd kept Billy off balance for far too long in the wake of Isla Sorna, so even if this was payback of sorts it wasn't anything near what he deserved.

It was more than likely, however, that it wasn't intentional at all, that the beer and the shade of the trailer were simply improving Billy's mood.


Billy was waiting expectantly for an answer, watching him with that familiar half-smile curling the corner of his mouth, and that more than familiar devilment curling in his eye. He decided to play along.

"I think the principles of water conservation shouldn't be discarded quite that easily, Dr. Brennan."

The smile deepened, dimples coming into play as Billy pulled his pants down the rest of the way and kicked them aside. "Oh?" he queried, still watching Alan as his thumbs began to trace around the top of his boxers before sliding slowly underneath the fabric in a way that made Alan's mouth start watering. Billy's expression grew quizzical. "What did you have in mind?"

Ball back firmly in his court and his balls were tight and aching, the result of all of that bare, enticing flesh. "I think we should set an example, don't you? In the face of this profligate use of water by our students. I still remember the drought of 2001." The last phrase tumbled from his lips, full of false prissy virtue before he remembered what else 2001 had brought and could have kicked himself for even kidding around like that. All in all, 2001 had been a bad year.

Billy didn't seem to notice. He tilted his head to the side, appearing to give this matter careful consideration, apparently unaware that his thumbs were still moving over his skin. Alan's eyes were drawn irresistibly down to them, swallowing heavily at the sight. "You mean crack out the old standbys? Don't leave the tap running while cleaning your teeth or shaving, reuse the washing up water to water the plants?" His voice lowered as he added, not bothering to hide the lust in his eyes any more. "Showering together?"

As he spoke his hands finally came into play, whipping his boxers off with a flourish. Alan would have laughed at the sheer absurd theatricality of it all if he'd had the breath. As it was, the sight of Billy, his skin glowing in the dim evening light, was enough to steal it away entirely. The sight of Billy naked usually had that effect but now, the light slipping through gaps left by Alan's hurried closing of the blinds and caressing Billy's form, the smudges of dirt and the scars just enhancing his beauty and providing a reminder both of how precious and how resilient he was, he was something else entirely.

And Billy damned well knew it too.

He settled for that act of nonchalance again, leaning back against the thin metal wall and shoving his hands deeply into his pockets so that Billy couldn't see how they shook with the need to reach out and touch. He peered at Billy from underneath the brim of his hat, letting a small smile play around his own mouth.

"I like the way you think, Dr. Brennan."

Another smirk. "I thought you would, Dr. Grant."

Billy stalked towards him, all clean, flowing lines and dark intent. He paused briefly in front of Alan, leaning in slightly to breathe into Alan's ear an invitation that Alan had no intention of turning down. "Coming?"

Alan had too much pride to come back with the obvious comeback - that he hoped so - and so settled for watching in silence as Billy moved past him, brushing against him and raising dust from his clothing in a repetition of his own manoeuvre earlier. It wouldn't do to rush; it was still too damned hot to rush apart from anything else but he certainly didn't want to give the impression of being overeager and increase the size of the smirk on Billy's face. He waited until Billy was safely ensconced within the small cubicle before he moved. His hat he placed on the worktop, his neck kerchief joined the pile of Billy's dirty clothing on the floor, and then he was standing in front of the table which formed the base of their bed.

He ran his fingers across it meditatively, listening as the shower started up, its motor humming erratically as it pumped spurts of lukewarm water through the pipes. He wondered if Billy had even bothered with the water heater, or whether he'd be content with water straight from the container lying under the trailer, which would probably be tepid rather than cool thanks to the sweltering heat.

The surface of the table was warm underneath his palm, heated by the sun that had poured in through the windows all day, and dust motes danced in the air around him. The shrieks of laughter had died down and all he could hear was the pulse of the shower, reminding him that Billy was there and waiting for him.

He'd taken Billy against this table, the first time. He remembered it vividly, could still taste the surprise on Billy's lips as the fake wood grain snagged now at his calloused fingertips. He could remember the taste of bitterness too, a thousand regrets, mostly his. He'd pushed Billy too hard, too far and for once Billy hadn't been pushing back, retreating into that still, pained sphere of silence he'd existed within back then, when his scars had still been livid against his pale skin and his face too thin, leaving Alan beating on the outside. He'd snapped, gone from snarling in Billy's face with the kind of genuine venom that had shamed him even then to burying his hands in Billy's hair and his tongue in Billy's mouth in a matter of seconds.

That had finally been enough to get through Billy's hastily erected and shaky defences and Billy - strong, self-reliant and frustratingly opaque Billy - had clung to him and moaned in a way that only inflamed his passions. It had been such a helpless sound, full of all of the pain that Billy had tried to keep hidden, that it had hit Alan hard, like a sucker punch to his belly, and driven him, literally, to his knees to tear at Billy's belt and zipper while Billy shook above him as though caught in a storm.

He'd made Billy come, crying out his name as his fingers dug into Alan's scalp and the salty taste of him filled Alan's mouth, Billy's whole body shaking with the force of his orgasm. And he had continued to shake while his fingers fumbled with Alan's zipper to return the favour, his eyes fixed on Alan's face, in search of reassurance or redemption, Alan still wasn't quite sure which. He'd been too blown away by the realisation that Billy, for all his flirting pre-Isla Sorna, was all fingers and thumbs when it came to giving head, making up for what he'd lacked in skill with mingled enthusiasm and desperation. And throughout it all he'd watched Alan, as though Alan had all the answers, was everything that mattered in this crazy situation they'd found themselves in. It had been Billy's eyes on him, as much as Billy's clumsy tongue, that had forced Alan over the edge, spilling into Billy's mouth and watching his lover gag and gasp at the unfamiliar sensation, Alan's come running down his chin.

The sight had made him want to do it all over again.

He'd had many chances as the scars faded to the pale silver lines they were now and Billy slowly regained his former enthusiasm for life. In that time this table had seen more than its share of firsts, both as their bed and, on more than a few memorable occasions when they hadn't been able to wait long enough to fuss with cushions and ledges, in its unaltered state.

He moved now on autopilot, his mind on the past and the future; lowering the table to its resting place on the ledge between the seats and pulling seat cushions around to form the crude mattress. The need was there, lurking in the back of his throat, tightening in his pants, and he knew Billy well enough to know that if he didn't make the bed now he wouldn't get a chance later. Billy would push and keep on pushing and that when Billy was like that Alan himself was powerless to resist.

He pulled the worn sleeping bag from the storage bay beneath one seat, pushing it around to cover the cushions. It was still too damned hot for quilts, but they were under there too, ready for the temperature to drop as it did every night. The last thing he did, before he started pulling his own clothes off, his impatience growing beyond even his ability to keep it under control, was to smooth his hand over the makeshift mattress.

It had been in this bed that Billy had first told him he loved him, stuttering it out breathlessly in the darkness of the night as though it were a revelation when Alan had known for years. Known and still lashed out at him on Isla Sorna. It had been in this bed that he'd first slid achingly slowly into Billy's tight heat, after weeks of introducing Billy to the nerve endings in his ass with fingers and tongue and mere days after Billy's confession. He'd watched the mingled pain and pleasure bloom in Billy's eyes and felt twenty again. It was in this bed that Billy had returned the favour and it had been Alan's turn to whisper fractured confessions of his own, driven out past tight lips by the feel of Billy's cock in him, of Billy's sweat dripping onto his skin. By the look in Billy's eyes.

He wanted to see that look again, craved it like he'd never craved anything before in his life, not even the pristine line of ancient bones in rock. That need had him stripping off the rest of his clothes in double quick time and slipping into the small shower with Billy.

The water was tepid, but it did nothing to cool his ardour. He pressed up behind Billy, sliding his hands over skin slick now with water rather than sweat and burying his fingers in the dark, thick hair that covered Billy's chest and arrowed down to his groin.

Billy chuckled, the sound shaking his body and sending droplets of water cascading over Alan's skin. His head pressed back against Alan's shoulder and neck, rubbing there restlessly, his hair now dark and matted to his head rather than pale with dust and sweat. His skin, now that Alan ran his mouth over the tantalising curve of Billy's throat, tasted of shower gel rather than the sour and salty flavour of a hard day under a hot sun.

"I wondered where you'd got to," Billy murmured, the sound rumbling against Alan's lips. "Thought you'd got lost."

"I had things to do, Dr. Brennan," he teased, sliding his fingers further into the hair that covered Billy's groin, tugging slightly at the thick strands just to make Billy arch against him and moan. His other hand roamed over Billy's chest, locating one taut nipple amongst the dark hair and rubbing his thumb over it.

Billy's voice was shakier as he asked, "All done?"

"No. Not quite."

He wanted more than the taste of Billy's skin; he wanted Billy's mouth, Billy's lips, Billy's tongue. The hand stroking over Billy's chest moved up, catching hold of his lover's face and turning it towards him so that he could ravage his mouth. He tasted of lukewarm water, all other flavours rinsed away by the shower and Alan made an impatient sound, sliding his tongue deeper, seeking that indescribable taste of Billy.

Billy chuckled again, shivering against his skin, and wriggled in Alan's grip, twisting around until they were pressed chest to chest, lips locked together. His tongue was as impatient in Alan's mouth as Alan's was in his and he was making those little sounds now, not quite needy - those would come later - but demanding none the less. Hungry. Pushing Alan for more.

His hands were just as hungry, sliding up and down Alan's wet skin, pulling him closer until he thought he'd end up in Billy's skin with him. He tried to ease it down, just a notch, just enough so that he could rinse the dust out of his own hair, away from his own skin but Billy was having none of it, pressing him back against the cool wall until he imagined he'd form an Alan Grant shaped dent on the outside, like he'd seen in a thousand Warner Brother cartoons in his youth.

The thought made him laugh against Billy's mouth, finally find the strength to pull away long enough to reach for the shower gel. Billy didn't give up that easily, mouthing mindlessly against his skin, his hands still roaming possessively over Alan's form, nothing if not determined, even when the odds were apparently stacked against him. Not that Alan had any intention of fending him off for long.

He snagged hold of the bottle, held it out to Billy.

"Wash my back?"

"I'd rather wash your front," Billy said bluntly, his strong, slim fingers sliding down to grasp Alan's burgeoning erection. The soapy water let his palm slide easily along the length of it, bringing another gasp of pleasure to Alan's lips.

"Patience..." he began.

"Is far too fucking overrated," Billy completed, pressing against him again, a hint of teeth behind that bright, feral smile. There was no disguising the hunger in his kiss this time and his hips moved restlessly against Alan's, seeking friction and heat.

"Not a good trait in a palaeontologist," Alan protested, murmuring the words between sloppy, open-mouthed kisses, slipping them out in the brief snatches of freedom Billy allowed him. Billy was back to pushing again, restless and needy and greedy.

"I've been a good little palaeontologist all day," Billy panted out, jerking his hips against Alan so that Alan could feel the hot tip of Billy's erection sliding over the skin of his hip. "I've put up with the fucking heat and the fucking dust. I've listened all day to the whining from fucking students and I've dug up bones. And now..." He grabbed again at Alan's crotch, harder this time to get his point across. "I want a different kind of bone."

It was a terrible, terrible pun but Alan let it slide, far more interested in the way Billy's fingers danced over the sensitive head of his cock. "You want fucking?" he murmured against Billy's mouth, knowing damned well the effect his use of the word would have on Billy simply because it was so out of character for him that it cut through all of Billy's defences, laying bare the aching need and vulnerability underneath.

Bang on cue, Billy shivered against him, the pupils in his hazel eyes dilating with lust. He nuzzled at Billy's mouth, hands sliding down Billy's back to rest on his ass, teasing him. "Is that what you mean?" he asked, pushing back, wanting to hear Billy say it. Needing to hear it.

"Yes." The word was hissed out, and Billy caught his bottom lip between his teeth, the look in his eyes now half-defiant, determined not to let anything else out.

Alan leaned forward again, pushing his advantage. "Let me have my shower in peace and I promise I'll fuck you through the mattress, if that's what you want."

Another shiver of lust from Billy but Billy, being Billy, wasn't going to back down, was going to push back at least as hard, leaning in towards him until his lips were a mere hairsbreadth from Alan's. "I'm going to hold you to that." On the word 'hold' he tugged lightly on Alan's cock in emphasis and it treacherously betrayed him, twitching in Billy's hand at the promise elicit in those words. Billy's answering grin was brilliantly white in his tanned face and, his point made, he backed away, that slightly smug expression back on his face. He leant against the wall, his pose casual while the look in his eyes was anything but, and folded his arms, waiting for Alan to finish washing.

Alan snorted and relented, squeezing a generous portion of gel into his palm, highly conscious of the fact that Billy was mere inches away, watching him again, the small cubicle suddenly seeming even tinier. It made him feel a tad self-conscious, which was ridiculous when he thought about everything he and Billy had done over the course of the last eighteen months or so but still had him turning away, concentrating on lathering himself up rather than on the fact that Billy's eyes were on him and that Billy, even now, was probably staring at his ass.

He was, and he was remarkably blasé about being caught doing so when Alan turned around again, reaching for the gel. Alan sighed, admitting defeat. "Here," he said, thrusting the bottle towards Billy. "You might as well make yourself useful." He reached for the shampoo instead, determined to rinse away the grit from his scalp where the dust seemed to have snuck under his hat.

Billy's hands slid over his skin, slowly now, showing little of their former impatience, teasing rather than demanding. It distracted Alan, probably as Billy intended, and he had to rinse away the shampoo bubbles sliding down his face as Billy pressed butterfly kisses on his shoulder.

"Okay. You win."

"Hmm?" murmured Billy, rubbing his face over the back of Alan's neck. He hadn't bothered to shave again and the bristles scratched against Alan's skin.

"I'll hurry up."

He felt a soft chuff of warm air against his shoulder as Billy shook with silent laughter. "I prefer to think of us as both winning," he said. "But, you know..." His hands slid lower, resting tantalisingly on Alan's stomach, just above his groin where his dick was demanding attention. "Don't let me rush you or anything." His thumb circled lightly over Alan's skin.

"Water conservation," Alan managed to get out, ducking his head under the weak spray to rinse away the last of the shampoo from his thinning hair and, from the splutterings behind him, managing to splash water into Billy's face. He turned around, just in time to wipe away a globule of bubbles that was sliding down Billy's forehead towards his eyes. "It's very important out here."

"Hmm mmm." Billy leant closer, licking the water droplets from his lips, his eyes fixed on Alan's mouth. "Any other survival tips, Alan?"

Playing again and Alan was happy to play along. He'd missed this, this kind of teasing banter, after Ellie and he had split up and he'd been too damned short-sighted to realise that he and Billy had fallen into the same pattern until Isla Sorna and its aftermath had proved a hell of a wake up call.

"Well," he said, pretending to give the matter some thought while he simply drank in the sight of laughter in Billy's hazel eyes. "There's making sure that you stay hydrated during the day."

"Drink lots of water," Billy repeated. "Got it." He leant forward, as quick as a whip, and licked up the side of Alan's wet face. When he pulled back he was grinning widely.

Alan fought the urge to roll his eyes, reminding himself of that dark time when Billy hadn't played at all. This teasing, lame though it was, was infinitely preferable to hollow eyes that watched him with trepidation rather than with love. Besides, he knew damned well how agile Billy's tongue could be under the right circumstances and the sense memory of it sent another shiver down his spine. "I don't suppose that it would go down too well if I pointed out that one of the key things you should do is to cover up, would it?

Billy shrugged. "You could, but where's the fun in that?"

"Perhaps I should concentrate instead on the many benefits of using lots of sun cream," Alan said dryly. From the sudden grin that lit up Billy's face he could tell that he wasn't the only one who thought of non-traditional uses of the product, particularly if two people happened to be horny and surveying away from the campsite and were driving a convenient flat bed pick up truck.

On that occasion Billy had made him howl like a coyote in heat, something that Alan had yet to live down.

"I like the way you think, Dr. Grant."

"I thought you would, Dr. Brennan."

"I'd like it better if you thought about your promise to fuck me through the mattress instead. Ah ah." He cut off Alan's protest, stopping just short of wagging his finger. "Don't tell me again that patience is a virtue because it will not be pretty." He reached behind Alan and turned the water off with a decided snap that brooked no argument.

"Palaeontologist beaten to death with own bone?"

He could just tell from the look on Billy's face that Billy was trying to think of a neat way to segue from 'bone' to 'boner' and knew that it most definitely would not be pretty. He circumvented it by kissing Billy firmly before he got a chance to do more than open his mouth, sliding his tongue past Billy's parted lips and neatly circumventing Billy's brain in the process. He slid his hand down Billy's wet back, squeezing his ass and feeling Billy buck against him.

"Now?" asked Billy shakily when they finally pulled apart.

"Now." Alan reached out to open the small, mirrored cabinet over the sink, retrieving the packet of condoms and tube of lubricant, hyperaware of the hot body pressed up against his.

"Hallefuckinglujah," said Billy in his ear, the impatience creeping back into his voice as his hands swiped restlessly over Alan's body. He finally moved away long enough to snag one of the towels down from the hook on the back of the door, using it to rub roughly at his hair. "I've been horny as hell all day."

The heat hit him again as he followed Billy out of the tiny bathroom, still trying to think of an intelligent remark to make to Billy's revelation. It seemed to hit Billy too, his lover dropping the useless towel onto the pile of clothes on the floor and running his hands irritably through his damp hair, making it curl even more. "Sometimes I hate this heat," he grouched.

There was nothing intelligent that Alan could say to that either, and so he moved closer to Billy, leaning down to kiss his droplet bedewed shoulder while continuing to wipe at his own torso with his towel. It wasn't doing much good - the towels were too old, too threadbare, another thing in this battered trailer that they'd never got around to replacing. There were days when Alan thought that living here for effectively five months of the year was strangely appropriate for him, one battered thing among many but then he saw Billy, as at home here as he was in spite of his youth, and wondered.

Billy, who was even now watching him with hungry and impatient eyes.

Alan dropped his towel and reached for him, only to have Billy twist out of his grasp and head towards the bed.

"Damn it, Billy. You're still wet," Alan protested, hating the fact that he sounded like a particularly grouchy kindergarten teacher. His patience was evaporating away in the heat, so much so that Billy's sudden frown at his tone made the tension in his gut increase. For a split second he wished that he were outside, cooling off with the others and then Billy straightened up, folding his arms and glaring at Alan over the top of them, every line of his body telling Alan that he was back to spoiling for a fight. Alan's eyes were drawn inexorably to the dark hair on his chest above those folded arms, automatically following the narrowing line, down over his stomach to where Billy's thick erection bobbed beneath his belly. When he tore his gaze away Billy's eyes were fixed on his again, challenging, pushing, always pushing, the heat in them greater than anything the Badlands could throw at him.

"So? I'll dry."

There was a definite note of challenge in Billy's voice now and it merely stoked the fires of Alan's ardour higher. He moved forwards more slowly now, every step measured and deliberate, watching Billy's chin rise as he approached, Billy's eyes glittering in the dim light with mingled lust and irritation.

"On the covers, no doubt," he muttered, hardly aware of what he was saying. They were just words now, no heat behind them, not when all of the heat was contained in Billy's eyes. Not when it sang between them in the still, dusty air, trapping them there like flies in amber.

"The covers will dry too. It's hot enough." He wondered if Billy was as caught up in this as he was, the words spilling rote-like and unheeded from his mouth. Just a means to an end, gasoline on the fire. "But if you're that worried about it..."

Billy turned slowly and deliberately, the move screaming of pissed one-upmanship, and bent over to place his hands flat on the bed. Courtesy of the cramped space his ass was virtually in Alan's face and, when Alan didn't move, he slid his feet slightly apart, planting them more firmly on the ground, the act both a dare and an invitation. His skin glowed in the golden evening light, water droplets scattered like diamonds over his back and thighs, drawing Alan's eyes down to where his dusky rose scrotum hung low between his legs.

Alan wanted to lick those droplets off, each and every one, keep on going until he was kneeling at Billy's feet, drawing those musky orbs into his mouth, one after the other, until Billy twitched and moaned and begged.

"What are you waiting for?"

"Patience, Billy."

He could have sworn that Billy twitched his ass at him, the lines of his body screaming of the same impatience that coloured his next words. "Just fuck me already, Alan."

My pleasure, he thought, mouth drier than the heated air could account for. He licked his lips, meeting Billy's eyes as his lover turned to look over his shoulder. There was a wanton wickedness in Billy's look, and the smug knowledge of the effect he was having on Alan and that pricked his pride, got him moving forward, fingernail flicking open the top of the small, white tube as he did so.

Billy turned away again, bracing himself as Alan ran his free hand down his back, tracing over the faded, puckered scars. The raised flesh swirled under his fingertips, leading him down to the hollow at the small of Billy's back where the sweat was already beginning to pool. His fingers slid easily against the slick skin and he rubbed his thumb across Billy's tailbone, teasing him, tormenting him the way that Billy had tormented him in the shower. Billy growled, low in his throat, his hips bucking back into Alan's hand, an unsubtle hint to get a move on, and Alan laughed silently.

Now the tables were turned and, if Alan recalled correctly, Billy had said something about kissing his ass.

His other thumb joined his first in tracing over Billy's skin, gliding over the small, perfect globes of Billy's ass, coming close to the dimpled cleft but no further, not yet. He could hear Billy panting as he rocked back into his touch, the motion of Billy's hips restless, greedy. He leant forward, kissed Billy's shoulder where the largest scar curled over from back to front, talon marks on beloved skin. Licked the sweat from it, salty and musky, and slid one of his thumbs down to trace over the puckered entrance to Billy's body.

Billy growled again, the sound primal and going straight to Alan's dick, making it throb and ache. He let his tongue trace down Billy's back, mouthing along the fluid line of his spine while his thumb still teased, pressing and retreating, feeling Billy's body give under the pressure.

He loved the hollow at the bottom of Billy's back, the skin here unmarked and still soft. He rubbed his face there, feeling the bristles on his cheek scratch over it and breathing in Billy's unique scent. Billy made another sound, low in his throat, this time more a sigh than a growl and his back arched like a cat's, seeking more of Alan's touch, wanting to prolong it.

But Alan had already moved on, his thumbs now spreading Billy wide so that he could access that place where Billy's scent and taste were strongest. The first flick of his tongue against the firm flesh had Billy gasping, his hips twisting in Alan's grip, and he probed deeper, wanting to hear Billy moan, to beg, to prove himself the slut he always was when Alan did this, stripping away the veneer of civilisation they clothed themselves with and leaving nothing but fighting and fucking and feasting.

He could do it too, he knew it. He'd experienced it before, sliding past each and every one of Billy's defences and leaving the man helpless under his hands and mouth and tongue. It was a heady sensation, shattering Billy's laid back and laconic persona and reducing him to this; head buried in his arms to muffle the sounds that Alan was driving from him, legs spread as wide as possible, the muscles of his thighs stretched so taut that they quivered under Alan's fingers. Ass in the air, asshole exposed shamelessly, rocking restlessly into Alan's touch. Any second now he'd be begging, and straight after that he'd be on his back, legs in the air, all Alan's for as long as Alan wanted.

God he loved this. Loved the feeling of power it gave him but most of all loved the trust and love and everything else that would be in those hazel eyes when he rolled Billy over. Even loved the way that Billy would push back, never giving in entirely even while he was begging because even then, even with his legs in the air and his dick twitching each time Alan drove into him, there was that almost fierce joy in Billy's eyes, the one that said he knew damned well what he did to Alan too. That he knew and that he gloried in it.

No taming this boy. Not entirely, for all the doctorate and façade of academic respectability.

Bang on cue, Billy stuttered out, "God... Alan..." Minute shudders were running through the muscles under Alan's hands, mute testimony to what Alan's tongue had reduced him too. "Please..." His head, when Alan looked along the sleek line of his back, was thrown back, his neck bared and Alan experienced the brief, savage desire to feast upon it, to add another mark to Billy's skin, this one born of heat and hunger of an altogether different stripe. He settled for standing up again, running his thumb over the slick, loose opening in place of his tongue, feeling it give further until his thumb slipped easily inside.

Suddenly impatient he reached for the small tube, abandoned on the bed beside Billy, and squeezed some of the contents onto his fingers. He slid two into Billy with no preamble, feeling a sharp surge of fierce possessiveness at Billy's strangled cry. If there was pain, Billy didn't show it, backing into Alan's thrusting fingers with something akin to violence. His body opened up easily to Alan's questing digits and sweat streaked his skin, making it glisten in the low light. His hair curled against the nape of his neck, where his head was bowed and his panting breaths were now close to whimpers, full of need.

It was the same need that filled Alan, zapping from the balls of his feet to thrum in his balls, making his dick hard and aching and glisten too, putting a tremor into his hands as he rolled the condom over his length. Not even Ellie had made him this hungry, hadn't come close to making him as hungry as a single look from Billy could. He'd loved her, wanted her, respected her and desired her but she hadn't had this heat, this hunger, this restlessness beneath the surface and so hadn't been able to generate this same heat in Alan.

It had to be Billy. He refused to believe he was going through some pathetic excuse for a mid-life crisis. Didn't really care if he was if it got him this - the feeling of slowly sliding into Billy, inch by tantalising inch, feeling Billy's flesh gripping him tightly. Feeling Billy's ass pressed right up against his groin as he slid home. There was nothing like it, never had been and he didn't have to hold back with Billy the way he'd always felt he had to with Ellie. Didn't have to rein in his prehistorically primal urges or his strength when Billy was twisting and cursing under his grip, rocking back against him hard enough that the slap of flesh against flesh rang loudly in Alan's ears.

He braced himself, slid his legs further apart to balance himself as he pulled out and then slammed into his lover, hard enough to push Billy forward so that one of his knees ended up on the bed, the other foot still on the floor as he met each and every one of Alan's thrusts with a backwards jerk of his own. This new position gave Alan better access, let him rotate his hips so that each movement scraped over Billy's prostate, loosening Billy's tongue enough so that words fell unheeded from his lips, a steady litany of lust and love and need.

"Oh... God. Alan. Yeah... there, baby, there. Just there... Fuck me. Fuck me hard. Yeah, like that, like you mean it. C'mon."

He'd long since given up on teasing Billy about what he said during sex, because Billy just gave him that enigmatic little look and said nothing, smiling that half smile, the hunger in his eyes not abated any. And Alan liked it, liked the way that the words came out of Billy, fragmented and breathless, the little gasping catch in his voice hotter than hell. It made him do it - give Billy everything he wanted. Harder. Faster. Just like that. Yeah, baby. Oh God.

He was close, could feel the encroaching orgasm in the tightening of his balls, in the pit of his stomach and it was too soon. He wanted it to last, wanted to see Billy's face when he came. Wanted to see Billy come, see the semen splash over Billy's belly and chest, white against the lightly tanned skin and dark, thick hair. Wanted the scent of Billy's come in his nostrils when he finally emptied himself into Billy's body.

He had enough control left to pull out of Billy, ignoring the snarled protest from his lover. He didn't have enough control left to speak and was left pulling impatiently at Billy's hips until Billy got with the programme enough to roll over onto his back. Billy scrabbled backwards to make room for him on the small bed before bringing his knees up to his chest and staring at him with dark, feral eyes.

He followed as he'd followed where Billy had led so often, sliding possessive hands down the length of Billy's long, lean legs before jerking Billy towards him, lifting his hips to line up his erection with Billy's ass and slide in. He didn't stop until Billy's ass was flush against his groin and he was buried in that tight, silky heat.

Billy's eyes fluttered shut, a long, low groan torn from his throat as Alan filled him. The muscles in that same throat flexed as he swallowed and Alan's eyes were drawn to it like a moth to a flame, fixated on the smooth, golden skin marred only by the pale scar on the left hand side. It begged for lips and teeth to nuzzle and nip at it, worry at it until the skin was as red and swollen as Billy's parted lips. He leant forward, both hearing the sharp, needy sound Billy let out as he slid in deeper and feeling it reverberate throughout Billy's body. He bowed his head and licked at the hollow of Billy's throat, tasting salt and sweat and pure, unadulterated lust. Billy reached up one shaking hand and ran it through his thinning hair, tugging at it impatiently until Alan lifted his face again and Billy could drag him down until their mouths met. The angle was all wrong; mouths sliding over each other, sloppily, messily, stubble catching and rubbing, wet heat rather than dry now, and it sent another surge of lust straight to Alan's dick, set it twitching in its velvet sheath.

There was nothing holding him back now and he broke away from Billy's demanding mouth, sucking in gasping breaths as his hips jerked forward, jolting Billy further up the bed. Soft sounds escaped Billy's arched throat with each hard thrust. Never quiet or passive in bed, this time Billy was constantly in motion, his hands roaming over Alan's flesh, which may not have been as firm or smooth as Billy's but was apparently no less desired. His mouth dragged over Alan's shoulder, a hint of teeth behind those narrow and surprisingly soft lips, just enough to give the sensation a frisson of danger that sent shivers through him. He gave Billy what he wanted, rocking in as deep as he could, the movement smoother now, all long, slow slides with a twist of his hips when he was buried as deep inside Billy as he could get without crawling inside his skin with him, just enough to rake across that sensitive gland. Just enough to have Billy's blunt fingernails digging into his flesh, more incoherent sounds falling from Billy's kiss swollen lips.

He pushed himself up, locking his arms rigid so that he could stare down into his lover's face, take in the look in Billy's eyes, the flushed skin, the tensed, bared throat. So he could see the pleasure cross Billy's face with each smooth glide into him. God, he was fucking beautiful, never more so than when he was being fucked. Billy was made for this - for sex, for heat, for desire. For living in the moment and damning tomorrow.

For him.

The possessive thought had him jerking forward again, the movement harder this time, bordering on harsh and needy and Billy's eyes flew open, his whole face suffused with pleasure, his expression dazed.

"God... Oh, God, I love your dick. Fucking love it, Alan." He bent his legs back further, a silent plea and Alan complied, picking up the pace, driving into him until Billy's hands slid from his body, falling onto the bed behind his head and gripping fabric of the sleeping bag, fingers convulsively twisting in it. His face was red, sweat sliding down it, his eyes squeezed tightly shut, his lips parted, sucking in panting breaths each time Alan pounded into him.

He wasn't going to last much longer. He knew he didn't need to when Billy freed one hand to slide down his own body, over his chest to circle around his nipple, almost buried beneath the dark hair. He loved this. Loved watching Billy touch himself while he came, masturbating himself to orgasm while Alan took him like this. Loved the fact that Billy timed his rough strokes to Alan's, loved the way that he drove Billy to this, to movements that lacked finesse, no rhythm, no smoothness, just focused on one thing only - coming with Alan inside him.

He straightened up, his hands sliding beneath Billy's ass to take Billy with him, hips clear of the bed, calves over his shoulders, heels digging painfully into his back as Billy tensed up, his hand speeding up on his dick. The new angle was almost painful, squeezing his dick so tightly he feared he wouldn't be able hold on for Billy but at the time so brain fryingly, ball tighteningly wonderful he couldn't resist it, couldn't resist that rolling motion that had Billy close to whimpering as the pressure on his prostate increased. It was too much for Billy, who cried out, his hips jerking hard enough that Alan almost lost his grip on him, white semen spilling over his hand to mingle with his sweat, coating his stomach and chest.

Once again Alan followed where he led, his dick spasming as pleasure coursed through him, the heat curling in the pit of his belly as he emptied himself into this lover. It was intense. It always was and through it all Billy watched him from beneath narrowed lids, his eyes lazy and sated.

He eased out of Billy's body, feeling the sigh that shuddered through Billy as he did so, before lowering Billy's legs to the bed. He slumped down beside him and watched through drowsy and half closed eyes as Billy ran a meditative hand down his body again, his eyes fixed on the ceiling while his fingers swirled through semen and sweat, leaving slick trails behind on his skin. It was so tempting to reach out and join in, just to feel the heat of Billy's skin, to know that it was Billy's come that made his fingers slip and slide but he was too damned tired and it was too pleasant to lie here and doze, for all that the sweat was cooling uncomfortably on his own skin.

They should shower again, he knew. The trailer was small, and it wouldn't take long for the smell of sweat and sex to permeate everything, especially when there was no breeze to dissipate it. But that would mean moving when all of his muscles had turned to liquid, and more importantly that would mean taking his eyes off Billy, lying there golden in the low, evening sunlight.

He summoned enough energy to nudge Billy with his toe, watching as Billy turned his head slowly towards him. Billy's eyes were languorous, sated and satisfied, that small smile playing around the corners of his mouth. It made him wish he were twenty years younger, when he'd been at the mercy of his hormones and his dick, just so that he could fuck Billy all over again and watch his face while he did so.

"You do know what you said, right?" he teased gently, his toes continuing to brush against Billy's ankle.

"Haven't we had this conversation?"

"Apparently you love my dick." The words were dry and Billy snorted, turning his head away towards the ceiling and closing his eyes sleepily. He couldn't resist teasing further. "You do realise it comes with the rest of me attached, right?"

"Nothing's perfect, Alan."

It was his turn to chuckle, low under his breath, and watch as that small, secret smile deepened until Billy's dimple appeared. "Smart ass."

"Yeah," said Billy, reaching out absently and patting awkwardly at Alan's thigh, his eyes still closed. "And you love that too."

He did and thanked God every day that he hadn't blown it, lost his chance to fear, to misplaced rage or to theme park monsters. He'd come damned close, and thinking about just how close sobered him.

"I never made you cry, did I?"

The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them, and Billy opened his eyes, turning his head slightly to give him an inscrutable look.

"Not by yelling at me, no," he said, his tone carefully even, before turning away again, his eyes drifting closed. The dimple was gone and the slight stiffness in Billy's form, the thin lines around his mouth that bespoke a certain tension told Alan that this was one matter that would not and could not be pursued. He settled for lightly tapping his closed fist twice against Billy's hipbone, a mute apology for all the things he'd said and all the things he hadn't and had needed to.

Billy's eyes opened again and slid sideways in his direction although his face remained carefully expressionless. "Get me a beer?" The words were soft, half a demand and half a request.

Apology accepted.

He roused himself, ignoring the aching in his back and thighs as he rose to his feet and padded in search of his peace offering, dealing with the discarded condom and tube en route. He'd claim to be too damned old for this but turning around and seeing Billy again, the way that the sunlight gilded his skin, the way that Billy watched him he knew it for a lie. He could be twice as old and still want this, thanking his stars every day. He couldn't say so, though, the words freezing on his tongue, never managing to make it past his lips. Sometimes wished he could but he suspected that Billy knew anyway. Suspected that Billy had known before he had, certainly before he'd admitted it, stubborn old cuss that he was.

He hoped that Billy knew.

He held out the beer, just out of Billy's reach so that Billy had to half sit up, his muscles moving smoothly under his sleek skin. Old, stubborn and decidedly lecherous. Billy raised one eyebrow at his sudden smirk but he didn't feel like explaining, not when the heat and the sex had mellowed him out to the point where he could barely form words. He settled for lying back down beside Billy, placing a light kiss on Billy's shoulder as his lover turned away to place the condensation-dewed bottle on the ledge that ran along the wall.

Billy snuggled down into the bedding, already drifting back into that light dozing state that he always fell into post-coitally. He wrapped himself around Billy's back, his hand stroking over Billy's stomach where the semen was already starting to dry, flaking slightly beneath his fingers. "I love your dick too," he whispered self-consciously. It wasn't the admission that was needed, but it was close enough and he knew Billy would get it because Billy understood that he was lousy at this part of a relationship - the bit where the fighting and the fucking were over and sweet nothings were required.

Billy made a drowsy sound, twitching beneath his fingers like a sleepy cat. "Let me sleep for a bit," he murmured, the words close to indistinct, "and you can have it."

He let out a chuff of amusement, feeling it ghost over Billy's skin, an echo of it coming back to brush over his own face. He'd have said more, teased and tormented more just to get a feel of that heat again but Billy was already boneless beneath his touch, his breathing evening out. He pressed himself closer, knowing that he didn't have long to enjoy this. In a few minutes Billy would wake up just enough to push him away irritably, complaining again about the heat, and the moment would pass.

There would be time for this later, though, when the day was gone and they were left with the cold desert night. Then it would be Billy's body pressed against his, Billy's cold nose against the back of his neck and Billy's cold feet insinuated between his calves, sucking the warmth from Alan's skin like a leech.

That was the way of the Badlands, a land of extremes. Hot then cold, dark nights and bright days, strangely and comfortingly familiar and yet dangerous enough to be a challenge all at the same time.

It was no wonder he had grown to love it, the mystery and grandeur of it, the harsh, golden beauty and the scars that littered the landscape; rough rocks and smooth sand. And hidden beneath it, hinted at in tantalising glimpses on the surface, a thousand mysteries, his for the excavation if he had enough courage to reach for it.

He'd found the courage somehow, for all he considered himself an astronomer rather than an astronaut, one who observed rather than did. It was nice to know that an old dog could learn new tricks.

As he followed Billy down into slumber, his arms wrapped tightly around this, one of the most precious discoveries his work had ever brought him, he realised that he'd even grown to appreciate the heat.

The End.