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The Communication Game

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Nick's lost count of the girls he's put on the act for. This one's no different - blond, sweetly pretty, too much eyeliner, and flirting with him like he's the greatest catch on earth.

He's all charm, giving her his best smile, getting her a glass of pale wine, putting aside his plate of food to take her to the dance floor. She's giggling, pressing close, stepping on his toes with her high-heeled shoes, but Nick figures it's all part of the bargain. You want to look the part, you got to take the rough with the smooth.

Cody's on the other side of the room, lounging at the bar, and to anyone else, he looks like he's having a good time. But Nick can see the stiffness in his shoulders, the tension in his smile. He can feel Cody's eyes on him, watching as he pilots the girl around the floor. He can feel what Cody's thinking, and it hurts.

Nick's about to tell the chick he's got someplace to be, go join Cody at the bar and to hell with keeping their cover, when he sees his partner head for the dance floor with a cute-looking brunette in a short, tight skirt. Nick knows what it is - hell, he's doing the same - but his heart lurches as he takes in the lady's figure, her curls. She's exactly Cody's type.

Although the tough-looking marine coming up on Cody's other side looks like someone Nick needs to deal with. The guy taps Cody on the shoulder, and Nick's just turning to tell the girl goodbye when a punch comes out of nowhere and takes him upside the head.


It's a quiet drive home. Cody's still pissed at Nick for laughing about their broken noses, and it had been a hell of a long wait at Casualty to get them seen to. Nick had been all for going home and taping them up himself, but Cody remembers Boden in their unit who'd done that, and come out with a nose that looked like a cabbage on a bad day. Wait or not, he's not risking that, and Nick, looking at him sideways, admits he's got a point. Cody'd still be hot with a bent nose, but given the choice, Nick'll have him exactly the way nature intended.

He slides his hand to Cody's thigh, and chuckles low when Cody snorts impatiently.

The boat's dark and quiet when they arrive, and they creep aboard in silence. There's a computer and an empty potato-chip packet on the table in the salon, witness to Murray's big night in, and Nick wonders for the thousandth time how a guy can find so much pleasure in wires and motors that can't take you anywhere.

Cody touches Nick's arm, a finger to his lips, and Nick nods, grinning as Cody rolls his eyes in the direction of the table. Cody's right: having a roommate's taking some getting used to. They both like the Boz, but having him aboard has certainly made them more cautious.

And Nick, for one, is getting tired of it.

Touching Cody's something he needs to do - like he needs to eat and breathe. Having to limit that to friendly pats and nudges, not just on the pier but even after lights out, is more than hard. It's impossible.

The Armed Forces reunion they were at tonight was meant to be an excuse. A couple of hours at the party, a couple of hours in a cheap motel, and Murray never the wiser. But the Marines put paid to all that, and Nick realizes suddenly that he cant go without it - not anymore.

Nick grabs Cody hard, pulling him down - gentle with his broken nose, but kissing him rough and urgent, letting him know how bad Nick needs him. Cody resists him for a moment, then gives in, just as hungry.

Silently they creep down the aft stairs, struggling out of clothing. At last Nick's got Cody naked on the bed, eyes gleaming in the dim light. Nick can see the glint of his teeth, the wanting, anticipatory grin.

It's better than good. It's the first time they've risked more than a hurried handjob since Murray's been aboard, and broken nose notwithstanding, Nick counts the night a success. Judging by the way Cody's panting, he thinks so too, and Nick bites him wickedly, knowing how badly Cody wants to yell.

Cody grips him so hard Nick knows he'll bruise and rejoices in it. Then Cody bites back, low down where the mark wont show, the way they'd learned years ago, and Nick's choking on his own scream as he flies over the edge.


"What if he heard?"

"He didn't."

"I don't know how much noise we made. I know we tried to be quiet but - "

"We know how to be quiet, man. We did it for years. There was nothing to hear."

"But what if - "

"Cody, I'm telling you. No-one heard anything, okay? Just go to sleep, babe."

Cody turns his shoulder in a huff. "I'm not sleepy. Think I'm gonna read for a while."

"You are, huh?" Nick kisses his shoulder and settles himself in the bed. "Well, if you're not sleepy - " He reaches for Cody's cock.

Cody bats his hand away. "Nick! Not again! What if Murray - "

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry." Nick cuddles in closer, moving his hand to wrap around Cody's stomach. "I'm being good, okay? You read, and I'm just gonna lay here and sleep, that all right with you?"

Cody doesn't answer, just picks up a book with a black cover from the nightstand. He's giving Nick the silent treatment, but he snuggles into Nick's arms, turning and aligning their bodies, just the same.

Nick presses a kiss against Cody's abdomen and closes his eyes. Cody's nerves notwithstanding, it's been the best night in a long time. Nick smiles, wondering if he'll be able to talk his partner into a morning repeat. Cody will protest, Nick knows that already, but Nick has a trick or two up his sleeve...