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One of the inevitabilities of working in the Lexington office of the U.S. Marshals Service was that Raylan Givens would sleep with someone involved in the case. Sometimes a witness. Sometimes a criminal. Sometimes government or law enforcement personnel. It was such a constant of his professional existence that Tim had actually developed a system wherein any women involved with the case were casually asked about their relationship to Raylan Givens, and there was a section his reports reserved just for that. Because somehow it was his problem that Raylan exercised poor judgment at the appearance of a pretty face.

It should not have been a surprise, then, that once again they were called into Art's office to explain why a particular witness could not give reliable testimony in the Tucker Bradshaw case.

"There were security cameras in the hallway, Art," said Raylan. "Bradshaw is literally caught on tape discharging a firearm in my general direction. I didn't figure on us needing any witnesses this time."

"And if there hadn't been?"

"But there were," said Raylan, "and our witness was a little shook up, Art. Some might say that spending the night with him was downright gentlemanly of me."

Art looked up from the case file. "Him?"

Raylan looked at him steadily and shrugged. "Sometimes I just go that way, Art."

Art grumbled and looked down again. "Try to keep it in your pants once in a while, would you? One day it's going to do irreparable damage to one of our cases." Tim could argue that it already had, a time or two, if he was willing to speak up at all at the moment. Which he was not.

"I'll do my best," said Raylan. But then, he always did. Sometimes a person's strengths just lay in other areas.

"And you, Tim, you keep a closer eye on that one."

"Yes, sir, maybe even two," he said, because of course this too was somehow now his problem.

He resented Raylan a little, as they headed out side by side, that his coming out was apparently as easy as that. A casual word dropped to Art like it was nothing at all. Tim'd reached sexual maturity under the full force of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He was not going to be walking into his commanding officer's office and telling him that he slept with men, no matter how comfortable with himself he'd become in the years between.

"I got a call before Art got his hooks in us, someone spotted Tucker in some no-tell motel a couple of blocks up from where we last laid eyes. You want to come with me?"

"You're passing up the chance to do your solo act?" said Tim, as if Art hadn't just ordered him to do exactly that. "Art really got under your skin this time."

"Just figured we might as well both see this one though," he said. "And having an angel on my shoulder once in a while probably wouldn't hurt me anyway."

"I'm going to remember you said that," said Tim, "and years from now, when you least expect it, it'll somehow serve as ammunition."

"I'll deny everything," said Raylan. "So is that a yes or a no?"

"Just let me get my coat," said Tim. If he let Raylan go out the door without Tim riding his ass this time, Art was going to come down on him with the full force of a thousand glares the moment Raylan made it to the elevator.

Raylan didn't wait, and Tim was left trying to look like he wasn't trying to catch up as he headed out of the office at doubletime.

"So about that thing in the office," said Raylan, during the elevator ride.

"There are other ways in which you compromised the case?" said Tim, like he didn't know what Raylan was talking about. "Should I be taking notes, or is this for Deputy's Ears Only?"

"You know that's not it."

"Do I?" said Tim. "Maybe I need you to spell it out for me, Raylan." Maybe he was a little more resentful than he realised, but that wasn't Raylan's fault. Raylan was just used to the world rearranging itself to suit him; Tim was used to reinventing himself to suit his world. "We don't actually need to talk about this."

"Don't we?" said Raylan. "Because I'm starting to get the feeling like maybe we should."

"We really don't," said Tim. "It's your business."

"Are we gonna be okay here, Tim?"

Because it was Raylan and not Art, and because they were in an elevator and not in the middle of the office, and maybe because Tim'd had to keep it inside as long as he had when Raylan just blithely put it all out there, he turned and looked Raylan in the eye in the moments before the elevator hit the ground floor and said, "We've been working together this long and you haven't figured out yet that I'm queer?"

He timed it perfectly. The elevator doors opened and he strode off, leaving Raylan to play catch up this time.

They didn't say anything else till they were in Raylan's car.

"So, uh."

"You forgot how to drive? We can always take my ride."

Raylan started the car. "So we're good?"

"We're peachy," said Tim. He thought telling Raylan would change something but it hadn't, not really. Even though he was pretty well closeted at work, and work was just about all he had, he was still a little resentful Raylan really hadn't noticed. And he didn't even care that there wasn't a whole lot of logic behind that.

"All right," said Raylan. If he thought they weren't, which he pretty clearly did, he didn't say another word about it.

The motel owner sent them up to the second floor, room number fourteen with the four gone askew and an old paint color showing through behind. There were voices on the other side of the door, which was promising. Tim positioned himself and nodded at Raylan to take lead, at least partly because Raylan liked the sound of his own voice.

"Tucker Bradshaw?" he said, banging on the door with one fist. "U.S. Marshals. Open this door." The conversation stopped for a moment, then started again. Raylan banged his fist against the door again. "You have five seconds before I'm kicking this door in. Five...four..."

The door swung open. "Jesus, okay, okay, don't kick anything down!"

For a second Tim thought Tucker just opened the door to them, easy as that. Case closed. Then he realized it wasn't Tucker.

"Shit," said Raylan.

The resemblance was uncanny. But once you've been shot at by a guy, you tend to be able to pick him out of a lineup.

"Okay, well, I'm still going to need to see some ID," said Raylan. "What's your name?"

"Simon," he said warily. "Can I ask what this is about, officer?"

"It's deputy," Raylan corrected him. "We're tracking a federal fugitive named Tucker Bradshaw, with whom you have the misfortune of sharing a face and haircut. So as soon as you show me some ID and I make sure that Tucker isn't in that room with you, we'll be on our way."

Tim's weapon was lowered, but it didn't leave his hands. His eyes were steady on Simon and on the doorway and on everything else that might possibly happen or go wrong. Raylan could keep on talking. Tim had his back.


Raylan looked to the heavens for strength. "Unless you've got a dead body in there, we don't much care what you're doing, we just want to make sure you're not the guy we're looking for."

Simon hesitated only a moment longer, glanced at Tim's gun, then opened the door and let Raylan in. Tim moved in to the doorway in just a couple of smooth steps, kept it open while Raylan took a look around and waited for Simon—and his guest—to produce some identification. If they were doing anything of an illegal nature, it wasn't on display.

"All right, gentlemen," said Raylan, handing back Simon's driver's license. "You may now carry on with your day."

He gave Tim a nod, and he finally holstered his weapon again and moved out of the doorway so Raylan could step back into the hallway. They were quick to close the door behind him.

"They say everyone's got a doppelganger out there," said Tim. "Hell of a wasted trip out here."

"I don't know about that," said Raylan. "Art won't be expecting us back for a while yet. We could take advantage of our current circumstances."

Tim didn't get it at first. Then, when he did, he almost laughed in Raylan's face. Not to say no, but because of course. Of course Raylan was going to pull this shit right now.

"Are you really propositioning me in the bedbug capital of Lexington?"

"We could do it in the car," said Raylan.

"In the car?"

"It's a big car."

"Not that big," said Tim, but then Raylan smirked and him and fuck it all anyway. Tim always did have terrible taste in men, and Raylan was the king of bad ideas. Together they ought to be able to really fuck everything up. "Maybe big enough."

"It's not like I'm proposing to screw you in the back seat," said Raylan, but that was just about exactly what he'd implied so Tim didn't know what the hell he was talking about. Maybe Raylan had a different idea about screwing than Tim did. Maybe the fact that Raylan'd been with a lot of women gave him a different sexual vocabulary.

"Better there than here," said Tim, like those were their only two options. Maybe they were. He wasn't sure this proposition was ever going to come again. "If you're serious."

"I never joke about sex," said Raylan, which Tim hoped wasn't true because over the time Tim'd known him Raylan'd said all kinds of crazy shit about sex and about half of it Tim always assumed was deadpan humor. "We're done here, right?"

"We're done," confirmed Tim. "Guess there's nothing wrong with a quickie before we head back to the office."

Raylan gave him a slow grin and resettled his hat and led them back out of the building, to where he'd parked out back where no one was gonna see. Lincoln Towncars weren't inconspicuous, but they were spacious. Raylan wasn't wrong about that.

Tim would say he hadn't made out in a car since he was a teenager, but that had been with Becky Smith, and it had been for show, and he never figured on enjoying it in the first place, so it didn't count. So the truth was, he'd never made out in a car, teenager or not, and he felt a little ridiculous now. Turned on, because it was Raylan Givens and Tim did have a pulse so of course he'd thought about it, but ridiculous.

"Go on," said Raylan, holding the door to the back seat open, and as soon as Tim was inside Raylan was closing the door behind himself and locking it and moving in so fast Tim barely had time to be ready for it.

Raylan was a man who always acted like he knew what he wanted—in the rest of his life, anyway, and apparently now in bed too—so he didn't hesitate to claim it from Tim, kissing him with teeth against his lip and undoing his top buttons. Tim was glad he'd stopped bothering with a tie a long time ago because it would have been nothing but in the way right now. Raylan finally took the hat off, tossed it in the passenger seat up front and curled a hand behind Tim's neck.

Tim was usually the one who did the claiming. He was very rarely claimed, and never like this. He gave in for a few moments, but his instinct was to push a little for dominance and that instinct started to win; he pressed Raylan back against the door and took control of the next kiss, exactly as hard and as deep as he wanted it.

When he backed off to start unbuttoning Raylan's shirt, pushing his jacket back off his shoulders, Raylan was giving him a crooked grin and what looked almost like an approving look, if approving was anything anyone should have been feeling when they were halfway to getting undressed with someone for the express purpose of getting off. Approval wasn't something Tim was looking for. Just consent, and maybe a little submission.

The power went back and forth, Raylan against the door, Tim against the seat, Raylan's jacket tossed on the steering wheel, Tim's shirt hanging open, Raylan's belt in the back window, Tim's shoes half buried beneath the driver's seat. The spot on his neck just below his ear already had a spot of stubble burn, he could feel it, and after so long being careful about shit like that of course it was Raylan Givens who did it. Of course it was. Because Raylan just did whatever the hell he wanted, and worried about the consequences afterwards.

He got his own back, leaving little finger bruises on Raylan's upper arm, and on his hip as Tim finally straddled his body and rubbed their dicks together through what remained of their clothing. All clothing and body parts were still intact. This was still a recoverable situation afterwards, without making a quick run to either of their homes.

"You know I'm pissed off at you, right?" he said, teeth grazing Raylan's throat. It was at least part of the reason he was even doing this.

"An angry fuck is still a fuck," said Raylan, which pretty much summed it up.

Tim's instincts and training ran deep. He might have been eyeballs deep in Raylan's presence right now, but that didn't mean he wasn't aware of everything that was happening outside the vehicle. If anyone or anything got anywhere near them, Tim would know it long before they got there. He might not be able to do much about it, but he would know it.

"Right here," said Raylan, holding Tim's chin and then holding his gaze as Tim gripped him harder and rolled his hips. He was proud that he made Raylan's eyes flutter closed like that, if only for a moment.

"I'm not coming in my damn pants," said Raylan. They didn't have a whole lot of other options, but at least they could get the rest of the way naked. Tim felt vulnerable that way, and being with Raylan Givens was not exactly something that ever made a person safe, but Tim trusted him all the same. It didn't feel weird to get naked, or at least it didn't feel any weirder than the rest of this already did.

Nobody was getting fucked in here, though. Not fucked fucked, no cock was going in anyone else's body. Tim didn't exactly carry around protection at work and god only knew where Raylan had been sticking his lately. Blowjobs were likely off the table too, given the obscene angle they'd have to get into to do it properly and the backache that Raylan was probably going to complain about afterwards because he was getting 'too old for this shit'.

Stroking each other off maybe, or carrying on just like this, body to body in the spacious but still the back seat of a vehicle car, bracing feet against the front seats and grinding against one another. When the pants came off Raylan was suddenly on top and showed no sign of wanting to go anywhere. But at this point Tim didn't give a fuck about that, he'd shown his teeth a little, done all the right posturing. Now he was ready to let Raylan do the lion's share of the work and just ride it on in to the finish line.

That was a hell of a Gordian metaphor, but Tim didn't have any pretensions of being a literary genius. His write-ups explaining just how Raylan closed his cases were as close to writing fiction as he ever planned to get.

And honestly, Raylan really was fucking good at this. All that practice probably. He gripped Tim's shoulder—another red mark was bound to show up there, but at least it would be covered as long as he was wearing a shirt—and the intensity of it felt good. Tim never did have a totally fixed line between pain and pleasure, both things swayed a little either way when it came down to it.

He was thinking about fucking Raylan now, holding him down against his bed and having his way with him, because seeing Raylan submit was a magnificent thing indeed and being inside him would make it even better, but the current reality was that Raylan's grinding down against him was straddling that line between pain and pleasure that was going to get Tim off any moment now. Between the fantasy and the reality he was well covered.

Ride 'em, cowboy, he thought, and for a half a second wished that Raylan left the hat on before he was coming, arching his back and digging his fingers hard into Raylan's sides.

"Christ," said Raylan, and Tim couldn't tell if he was turned on or pissed or both or something else entirely. That one word could convey a whole world of things. Even though the flare of orgasm was fading, Tim could still feel a heat up his spine, something that still prickled at him.

Raylan reached behind him and gripped the seat and rolled his hips forward even harder, the pressure against Tim's softening cock making him gasp, then he was coming over Tim's stomach. Tim was surprised by the heat of it, and not as prepared as he should have been for the effects of gravity, the drips of come down to the crease between his body and his thigh, then further onto the seat between his legs.

And yet. And yet. It was really fucking good. It was really fucking good, messy sex in the backseat of his coworker's car behind a shitty motel.

"Are you still pissed at me?"

"A little," said Tim, rolling his head back and feeling a wave of relaxation go through him. Raylan rolled off him into the seat beside, crowded up against the door, and let out a long, satisfied sigh. "You really do get everything you want, don't you."

"In between the people shooting at my head," said Raylan.

"Be fair," said Tim. "They shoot at other parts too."

Raylan chuckled and tossed Tim his pants. He cleaned himself up with his underwear and figured he could go without for the rest of the day. Wouldn't be the first time. He'd dressed and undressed in much more awkward places than this, and was done up before Raylan'd even found his shirt. Then again, Raylan didn't seem to be in a particular hurry.

Tim left his underwear on the floor at his feet. This was all Raylan's idea, after all. He could deal with the consequences. Raylan watched him do it and just smirked and shook his head.

He put his hat back on his head before he got out of the car again, which somehow felt like it summed him up.

"So tell me," said Tim as he got into the passenger seat, the front passenger seat which was cool and dry, unlike the spot he'd just vacated. "You ever proposition Rachel?"

"Rachel's married."

"She's separated."

"That's true," said Raylan. "Are you saying I should?"

"I'm saying she's a good looking woman, and you seem to have a weakness for those."

"Not sure I'd call it a weakness," said Raylan. Tim sure would, though. He'd call it Raylan's biggest, in fact. "More of an affinity."

"And don't tell me you never did because you work together, because you've just blown that one out of the water."

"No, it really was the married thing," said Raylan. Not that he had a flawless track record there, but Tim was sure he tried. "And the fact I think she'd laugh in my face."

"Yeah, that seems to be going around," said Tim.

"So I don't think I'll be telling Art about this one, if it's all the same to you," said Raylan.

"I would kill you in your sleep if you did," said Tim. He could do it, too. From the next block over. And Raylan would never see it coming.

He liked that they both knew that without him having to point it out.

"Nobody's business," said Raylan. "Nothing to do with the case. Nothing to do with our jobs."

"Not a thing," said Tim. "It's not like we're dating."

"God forbid," said Raylan, and started the car. "Well, all right then. Tucker Bradshaw's still out there somewhere. Let's go get our man."