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That Ends Well

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This wasn't what he'd meant when he asked Creegan if he wanted to go get a beer. Or maybe it was, because he'd been thinking about it for awhile, so it wasn't like he was going to turn down Creegan's offer.

He's not even sure it was an offer – he doesn't know what to call it, if it was desperation or some fucked up experiment or just what Creegan meant by 'alcohol makes me violent'. The words flashed in his head as Creegan shoved him up against the wall, beer on his tongue and rough hands pushing at his holster and his eyes wide open, dark and determined in a way that sent a shiver down Rivers' spine.

It hadn't been that long since Creegan was looking at that Russian – Ukrainian – chick like she was his own personal ticket to redemption. It had been even less time since Rivers found him sobbing over his kids' swimming pool, of all things, and he doesn't think Creegan knows he saw, but he's not sure Creegan would care if he did. He's not sure about anything except that he wanted this, wanted it enough not to care why Creegan went along with it.

He's not even sure how it started. One minute it was beers in a dark bar and more of Creegan's psychobabble, talking in circles until Rivers gave up trying to follow him. Then Creegan was standing up, letting Rivers pay the tab before he ran out of the bar after this crazy guy who's not even his partner, terrified he was going to do something stupid like walk into traffic just to see if he really was immortal.

He remembers the sigh he let out when he found Creegan leaning against his car, wearing that little kid pout that always makes Rivers want to hit him. And maybe Creegan's the one who started it, because he's the one who climbed into the truck and leaned back against the seat like he belonged there, eyes open and staring straight ahead when he said let's go back to your place. Just like that, and he didn't even turn when Rivers stared at him like he was crazy.

He's probably used to people looking at him like he's crazy. Hell, he is crazy, Rivers has known that much since before they met. He heard what people said about Creegan, the ones who weren't charmed by his maverick act. He saw how frustrated Branca was to be saddled with an unpredictable partner – saw how protective she was, too, and long practice helped him ignore the jealousy. But everybody knew Creegan was crazy, and now Rivers knows exactly how crazy, and even that doesn't stop him from wanting.

It was obvious from the start that Creegan didn't really know what he was doing. He knew how to use his mouth, sure, but once they got past clothes and hot, frantic kisses and the stumbling to the bed part, it was pretty clear he didn't know what happened next. And it was weird, being in control like that with Creegan, of all people, but it was…hot. So hot he didn't really mind that Creegan didn't touch that much, that he let Rivers push him back onto the bed and watched with that curious expression while Rivers rolled a condom over his cock and straddled his hips.

His eyelids fluttered a little when Rivers sank onto his length, taking him all the way inside in one slow stroke and when Creegan let out a little moan he smiled, because that was exactly how he'd imagined it. He braced his hands against Creegan's chest, fighting the urge to close his own eyes because he wanted to watch Creegan arching under him. He wanted to see those parted lips, to hear each little moan and watch those eyes open to look up at him.

Creegan's hands were flat against the mattress on either side of him, pressing down hard and Rivers could tell how focused he was, cataloging each sensation even as he arched up off the mattress. And he's never been stupid, so he knew even then that it was all some crazy experiment, but at the time he didn't care. All he cared about was the warm body under him, the cock buried inside him and the low moan that escaped Creegan's throat when Rivers tightened around him.

He reached down to stroke his own cock, closing his eyes against the first wave of not-quite-pain that rolled through him. When he opened them again Creegan was watching, gaze fixed on Rivers' hand as he stroked faster and faster and if his expression was a little detached Rivers didn't notice. All he cared about was that Creegan was watching – watching him, and that was something else he'd thought about for a long time.

Creegan came first. He closed his eyes for that, letting them roll back as he arched one last time and came deep inside Rivers. Just for a second he regretted the condom, but then he was coming too, wet heat hitting his hand and Creegan's stomach and he forgot all about regret.

It took him a few minutes to catch his breath, but when he did he opened his eyes to find Creegan looking down at his stomach, fingers pushing through the sticky mess on his skin. And even then Rivers wanted more – he wanted to lean in and kiss Creegan again, to keep kissing him until they started all over again. Right back at the beginning, and it wouldn't even be hard to pretend it was the first time, because Creegan still didn't know what he was doing.

Only Creegan was wearing that expression, the one that meant he was a million miles away, and Rivers swallowed a sigh as he climbed off the other man and collapsed onto the mattress. He remembers saying something stupid and pathetic like you can stay if you want, like they were going to wake up in the morning and bond over coffee and toast.

And he knew better, so he wasn't surprised when Creegan said, "No, thanks," like Rivers had just asked him if he wanted the last donut. He wasn't surprised when Creegan climbed out of bed and disappeared into his bathroom, then reappeared only to start pulling clothes on. He didn't even argue when Creegan said something about calling a cab, but he pulled his pants back on and followed Creegan into the living room, watching Creegan pace until the cab honked outside.

That was exactly fourteen hours ago, and now…now he still feels a little hollow. It's not his first one-night stand – probably won't be his last, not in his line of work. It's not even because they work together, although that part doesn't really help. The worst part is when Creegan catches up with him on their way to the morning briefing, gives him that kicked puppy look and starts making excuses.

"Look, I'm still trying to figure out which parts got rewired," he says, tapping the side of his head and just for a second Rivers wishes he'd stayed dead. "I thought maybe…"

"Forget it," Rivers says, turning on his most casual grin and it's easier than he expected it to be. "Doesn't matter."

"Yeah?" And he looks so hopeful that Rivers really does want to kick him.

"Yeah," Rivers answers, smile slipping just a little and he tells himself he knew this was how it would go. He knew it was just an experiment, just another misfire of Creegan's damaged brain, and he doesn't care that it's never going to happen again. He's not even sorry, because he got what he wanted. "Never happened."

For a second Creegan looks like he's going to argue, and Rivers can just imagine that speech. Something about scientific theories and invalidating data by tossing it out, but he's not in the mood. So he picks up his pace, and before Creegan can say anything he's pushing open the conference room door and sliding into his usual spot at the table. There's a picture up on the screen already, and for the first time in his life Rivers is grateful for the death of a stranger.