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"Can I borrow a pen?"

Sam looks down at his neat line of pens, then back at the rather un-neat man who'd plopped down beside him. "Sure," he says. He starts considering which pen he can best spare, when the man reaches across Sam's workspace and snatches his nicest, most ergonomically shaped pen.

"Thanks," the man says, slouching back in his chair, twirling the pen carelessly in his fingers. "Who are you?"

Sam stares at him, taken aback by the man's directness. "DCI Tyler," Sam says, nudging forward his conference nametag. He glances at the man's lapel, but instead of the official badge he wears a "Hello, My Name Is" sticker, with "Peter" scrawled on it in green marker. Apple-scented.

Peter raises his eyebrows. "DCI, eh? You must be an ambitious little prick."

"Excuse me?" Sam gapes.

Peter grins and elbows him in the arm. "Just joshin' ya," he say, his Scottish accent making the words run together. He gestures towards the stage where a man in an ugly tie is fuming at his laptop for refusing to show his slides. "You like this stuff? 'Demographic Analysis and Computer Profiling in Twenty-First Century Policing'?" he reads from his programme; the margins of the pages are covered in scribbles and doodles and... is that gum?

"It's informative," Sam replies, hoping that idiot up there will figure out how to use PowerPoint sometime in the next hour. Someone goes up to help him; he's wearing jeans and a t-shirt that says 'No, I will not fix your computer.' Sam puffs out a sigh and slumps a little in his seat.

"Lollipop?" Peter says, offering one.

Sam looks at it dubiously, then shakes his head. "No, thanks."

"Your loss," Peter says, crumpling off the wrapper and giving the red lolly an eager suck. He rolls it against his tongue, and then drags it out with a wet sound, before slurping at it obscenely.

"You sure you don't want one?" Peter asks, waving the wet lolly in Sam's face.

"Uh, no," Sam stammers, feeling suddenly flushed. Too many people in the cramped auditorium, with its struggling central air.

"Chocolate centre," Peter says, and winks at him.

"'m not hungry," Sam mumbles. He stares desperately at the stage, and is relieved when the projector blinks to life, and the title slide appears above the stage. "Finally," he breathes, and straightens up.

Peter frowns around the lolly stick, and slouches lower, spreading his long legs to keep his knees from hitting the chair in front. His left thigh presses against Sam's right. Sam tries to pretend he doesn't notice. Focus on the presentation, he tells himself. You're here for your job, not for back-of-the-classroom antics. Ignore him.

The lights dim as the presentation starts. Slides flash by, with meaningless charts and mindless bullet point lists. Sam tries to stay focused, to be diligent, but the room is warm and the speaker's voice is a droning monotone. Peter's body heat soaks into Sam, and the afternoon begins to tell, making Sam struggle to keep his eyes open. He rubs at his face, takes deep breaths. He should have had a coffee.

He feels a hand on his arm, and blinks awake, blearily. Peter is looking at him, laughter in his eyes. "I don't mind being your impromptu pillow, but you were drooling on my suit."

"Oh," Sam says, dumbly. "Sorry," he mumbles, awkwardly wiping at Peter's shoulder. He straightens up, and wipes at his mouth.

"Told you to have a lolly," Peter says, his own long since finished. His breath smells faintly of sugar and chocolate.

The audience suddenly breaks into polite applause. The presentation is over, and the house lights brighten.

"Can't take much more of this," Peter says, looking disdainfully at his conference programme.

Sam is carefully putting his pens back into his briefcase when Peter stands and tugs at his arm. "C'mon, let's get out of here."

Sam shakes his head. "The next one's on Miranda rights."

"Oh Jesus," Peter says, rolling his eyes. The audience mills around them, most of it leaving. "You think you'll get through that without sugar?"

"I'll grab a coffee."

"That muck?" Peter makes a face. "Wouldn't pay my mother to drink it."

Sam cracks a smile at the absurdity of that.

"Ahh, there you go," Peter says, grinning. He slaps Sam on the back. "Knew there was some life in you." He plucks Sam's briefcase from his hand and begins to shuffle out of their row.

"Oi!" Sam cries, and hurries after him. All his things are in there. His notes are in there.

But Peter keeps ahead of him until they leave the lobby of the conference centre, dangling the briefcase from his long, slim fingers. The moment they step outside, the cool ocean breeze hits them, and Sam has to admit it's a relief.

Before he can demand his briefcase back, Peter drops it back into his arms. Sam clutches at it, then feels foolish.

"C'mon," Peter says again, walking off with long strides. "I know just the place."

Without understanding why, and for once not trying to, Sam follows after.

They end up in a little restaurant whose walls are covered with plastic dolphins and old, black and white photos. Peter insists on ordering them both ice cream.

"Sweet tooth," Sam says, looking at him and wondering.

Peter just smiles. He sprawls back in his chair, the picture of relaxation, and watches the people passing by.

The quiet gives Sam a moment to ask himself what he's doing. I don't know, he replies, but isn't satisfied with the answer. He'd come alone to the conference; no one else was interested, even with the chance to take a long weekend in Southport after the conference ended. Not that he'd really had anyone to ask; his rush to the top hadn't left him with many friends. He'd passed thirty, made DCI, and ended up alone in a hotel room.

"So what are you, then?" Sam asked, breaking the quiet.

"What am I?" Peter echoed, amused. "Nothing so fancy as you. I've been told that a lack of diplomacy will stunt my growth." He leans forward and holds out his hand. "DI Carlisle, at your service."

Sam shakes it. "Lack of diplomacy?"

"I don't keep my pens in line," Peter says, blithely.

Sam fights the urge to flinch. Before he can get properly annoyed, the waitress returns with their ice cream. Peter tucks in, but Sam just pokes at the whipped cream with his spoon.

"Not hungry?" Peter asks.

"I should go," Sam says, and pushes himself up. Peter's hand on his arm stops him.

"Wait," Peter says, suddenly imploring. "I'm sorry."

Sam hesitates, caught by Peter's unguarded apology. He looks out at the afternoon tableau, and thinks about being stuck in an uncomfortable chair in a stuffy room, and is inclined to forgive. He sits down again, and as a peace offering takes a spoonful of ice cream.

"This is actually pretty good," he says, surprised, and then surprised at himself as he realizes how long it's been since he had ice cream. Since he treated himself at all. Since he did something that wasn't about proving himself, wasn't about promotion. Hot fudge and cold ice cream, sweet and rich. He has a flash of memory, of his childhood in Manchester. Lying in bed with a bowl of ice cream, a treat after being ill.

He makes it through half the bowl before he sets his spoon aside. His stomach grumbles a bit, not used to the rich cream, after his usual austere meals.

Peter holds out a roll of antacids, already half-gone. Sam takes two; he chews on the chalky tablets, and washes them down with some water. His stomach settles. "Thanks," he says, self-conscious. He doesn't like to impose on people, to depend on anyone. But Peter simply offered, without even being asked.

Peter scrapes the puddle of ice cream and toppings from the bottom of the bowl, and licks his spoon clean. He tosses the spoon back with a clatter, and drops some money on the table. He stands and stretches, and gestures for Sam to follow.

"Let's take a walk," Peter says, guiding Sam from the restaurant with a hand on the small of his back. The touch is like a spark up Sam's spine, making his breath catch as he's guided to the street. Oh, he thinks, realizing, and suddenly Peter makes more sense. Suddenly he understands what's going on, and if he has any sense he knows he should leave, should excuse himself and get back to the conference. Back to safety and speeches and bad hotel food and an empty room and some deep part of him rebels.

"Okay," he says, the words making themselves, his feet walking themselves, taking him along with Peter to the promenade. What is he doing, what is he doing?

Shut up, he tells the panicking part of himself, shoving it down until he can mostly ignore it.

Peter touches his arm, and again it's like a live wire on his nerves. The panic flares up again, and then goes very, very quiet. He hears his heartbeat pounding in his head.

"You all right?" Peter asks, concerned.

"Yeah," Sam says, and it's true but it isn't true and his head is spinning. He doesn't want to stop, doesn't want to think about what he's doing, because if he thinks about it he'll stop and he doesn't want to stop.

He reaches up, and takes hold of Peter's arm. His grip is too tight, but he can't make his hand relax.

"Shh," Peter says, somehow knowing, somehow understanding. He reaches up and brushes Sam's cheek with the knuckles of his fingers, and then steps back. The ocean breeze is stronger here, and the cold air drags some of the fog from Sam's head.

"I don't--" Sam begins. He doesn't. He doesn't.

"Go," Peter says, softly, words for only the two of them to hear. "If that's what you have to do. Go back and pretend that you don't want this. Pretend you're happy, when I know you're not."

Sam shakes his head. "I don't know you."

"I know you," Peter says, with such belief that it must be true.

Sam's eyes prick with sudden tears. His chest feels tight. It's all too much. And then without warning, and yet so slowly, Peter leans in, and they kiss.

They kiss. Not Peter kissing him. They kiss.

A whimper rises from Sam's throat as he stumbles back. He feels ill, feverish, his body unable to cope with this sudden richness: the taste of Peter's lips, the feeling of being held. "I'm sorry," he rasps, shaking his head, though his very skin is haunted by that touch.

Somehow he makes it back to the hotel. It's a miracle he isn't hit by a car, the way he stumbles blindly through the streets. His hand trembles as he swipes into his room, and he falls back against the door, collapses to the ground. He can't stop shaking.

He barely makes it to the toilet in time to throw up. His mouth tastes of bile and ice cream. Idiot, he calls himself, over and over.

He showers, scouring himself with hot water, as hot as he can make it. It doesn't wash away the memory, or the need, or the fear. He doesn't want to see anyone, doesn't want to go to the conference dinner. He lies in bed and watches television until he falls asleep.

He wakes up with a sour taste in his mouth, and the television cycling through the hotel adverts. He turns over and stares mournfully at the bedside clock. Nine PM. His stomach grumbles at him. He pulls himself together, dresses in the most casual clothes he'd packed, and slips out of his room.

The hotel bar is full from the conference. He walks out into the night, not sure where he's going, or what he wants. The promenade is still lit up for Friday night festivities, neon and flashing lights, people laughing and shouting. His stomach rumbles again, reminding him that he hadn't had any real food since lunch, and he follows his nose to a fish and chip shop on the strip.

Inside, the light seems too bright, too revealing. He quickly takes his food and goes; it's hot and greasy, and he only eats half of it and throws the rest to the seagulls, who squawk and flap over each precious chip. He passes a bar, and decides to go in.

Unsurprisingly, it's a "modern" pub, full of noise and cheap beer. He doesn't really care, and takes his drinks to a small table near a window. He stares out through the dirty pane, watching people walk by in couples and groups. He feels stupid and jealous, and full of regret. He gets drunk enough to blunt the pain, but not enough to be self-destructive. He's seen enough disastrous benders to moderate his self-medication.

His head is buzzing by the time he leaves the pub. The night air is chilly enough to fool him into thinking he's more sober than he is, and so instead of going back to the hotel, instead of sulking alone in his room, he keeps going, further along the strip. He doesn't think about Peter, except when he does. He imagines going home, back to Manchester, back to his lonely flat and his desk and his computer and it all seems utterly pointless. It's all so stupid, what he's done with his life. All that focus, all that ambition, always playing by the rules because he didn't know how to break them, and he has nothing that matters, nothing to hold him.

He turns away from the noise and the lights, and walks out onto the long pier. Looks out at the darkness, the pinprick lights of distant ships. Listens to the waves against the piles, the wind through the metal arches that decorate the pier.


Sam turns around. For a moment, he thinks the shadowed figure is Peter, and his chest goes tight with hope. But the man isn't as slim, isn't as tall. It isn't him, and the disappointment is bitter.

"Hey," he replies, the copper in him sizing the man up, wondering if he's going to be trouble. Probably not a mugger, but he's no tourist.

"Not much here once the tram stops," the man says.

Sam nods, not interested in conversation, but being polite, because he doesn't have to think to be polite.

The man steps closer, and Sam straightens up, a spark of adrenaline clearing his mind. The man holds up his hands.

"No harm, man," the man says, and Sam realizes that he's a boy. Maybe nineteen. What he's doing out here, on a dark pier, talking to-- oh. Oh.

Sam laughs, feeling as though the world is out to make a point to him, today. He could tell the boy the truth, that he's propositioning a copper. Flash his badge and let the boy run off. But something stops him. He relaxes, and the boy steps closer again. In the pale glow of the stars and the far-off streetlights, Sam can see dark eyes, dark hair, pouty lips. The chin is all wrong, too square, and the nose too broad. But in the darkness...

He's thought about it so many times. It would be so easy, to give in, to rent some anonymous room, press flesh against flesh. If he'd come out, he'd never have made it to DCI. He didn't have a choice. Had to pretend, had to deny, had to push it all away. But he knew he could always have had this, if he wanted. A dirty secret, but better than nothing, better than living like a monk, pretending to be just one of the guys. Not that he was ever any good at being one of the guys. But he was never that brave.

The boy steps closer again, sensing opportunity. He smiles, and drops his shoulders, pushes his hips forward. Blatant, Sam thinks, staring, breathing shallow. He's grateful for the darkness, the waves, shadowing him and silencing him and making everything unreal. His hand reaches out, and rests upon the thin cotton of the boy's shirt. His palm feels the heat of him, the muscle underneath. Not as thin as Peter, no, but slim and wiry. Living on the streets will do that. For a moment, Sam feels such pity for him.

Sam closes his eyes, and kisses him. The boy kisses back. Sam opens his eyes, and the boy is knowing, seductive. Sam hesitates, draws back, but the boy follows, presses against him. Sam's back hits the railing.

"Oh, yeah," the boy moans, in a mockery of love. "You like that. You want it."

"No," Sam says, suddenly feeling the wrongness of this, wanting to go home and forget, forget. "I'm sorry--"

The boy reaches his hand down, and cups Sam's crotch, rubs and squeezes the hardness there. "Big boy," he says, smirking.

"No," Sam says, angrily, and pushes him back.

"Fuck you!" the boy snarls, all pretense vanishing in an instant, and he shoves Sam back hard. Sam smacks against the railing, his breath lost, and struggles to fend off the boy as he grabs roughly at Sam's pockets.

"Oi! You there!" someone shouts, and the boy freezes. Looks up, and then to Sam's shock jumps from the pier into the water. He goes down with a splash, and noisily swims away. Sam grabs the railing and pulls himself back to his feet, the back of his head smarting where it clipped the railing. He hears running feet, and looks up. Stares in astonishment.


"Are you all right?" Peter asks, frantic with worry, his hands patting Sam's body in the familiar way of First Aid.

"I'm fine," Sam insists, even as he rubs the back of his head. "Just bruised."

Peter looks at him in amazement. "I didn't think you had it in you!"

Sam gives him a look. "A moment of insanity," he grumbles, and pats at his pockets. "Damn it. I think he got my wallet."

Peter snickers. Then laughs. Sam glares at him.

"Aww, c'mon. You have to admit it's funny. Who goes to a police convention and gets mugged?"

"Me, apparently," Sam mutters. Then he frowns at Peter. "What are you doing here?" he asks, suspiciously.

"Ah, right," Peter says, and has the grace to look ashamed. "I was sort of, ah, following you."

Sam stares at him. "You what?"

"I was worried, all right? I saw you go by the hotel bar, and I thought I'd keep an eye on you. Good thing, too."

Sam sputters at him. "And what if," he says, working up a good outrage. "What if I'd gone with him? What were you gonna do then?"

"I'd have done what any good police officer does when observing a breach of the peace," Peter replied, smoothly. "Arrested him for soliciting and taken you downtown."

Sam's eyes narrow. "Arrogant prick."

"What'cha gonna do about it?" Peter says, and leans close.

And very much without thinking, Sam punches him. Hard, on the chin. Then winces, holding his hand, because damn if Peter's jaw isn't harder than it looks.

"You bastard!" Peter whines, cradling his jaw. "I can't believe you did that!"

To his surprise, Sam finds himself smiling. He laughs, and then keeps laughing, until he loses his balance and lands on his arse, still laughing.

He's still giggling when Peter plops down next to him, rubbing his jaw. "This is going to bruise, you know," Peter says, pouting.

"Should I kiss it better?" Sam asks, before his brain can stop his mouth.

"Yes," Peter says, suddenly sober, suddenly focused, as if Sam is the only thing that matters. It stops Sam's breath in his chest.

They kiss, again. Oh, they kiss. Sam's hands grip at Peter's coat, as if gravity has left them behind, and Peter is his only anchor. He doesn't stop, refuses to stop, won't let go until there's no regret left in the world.

"You're crying," Peter says, gently. His brow wrinkles, a little frown, and he brushes the tears from Sam's cheeks.

"I don't care," Sam says, voice catching on a sob. "I'm sorry."

Peter smiles fondly. "You have nothing to be sorry for," he says, and they kiss again, sweet and long.

Peter's fingers brush the back of Sam's head, grazing the forming lump, and Sam hisses.

"Let's get you back to the hotel," Peter insists, helping Sam up. "I want to get a look at you."

"Do you now," Sam says, feeling daring. Feeling brave.

Peter laughs, and gives an exaggerated leer. "Oh yes I do," he insists, but his hands are gentle on Sam's body as Sam steadies himself, and Peter stays so close as they walk back together.

Chapter Text

There's a moment as they try to decide whose room to go to, but then Sam remembers he lost his key card along with his wallet. Rather than face the scrutiny of the front desk, they go to Peter's room.

The most obvious difference is the mess. Where Sam neatly unpacked, and put everything in its place, in the proper order, Peter sprawled. There are things on every surface, as if flung blindly and without concern. Peter shoves the clothes and paperwork that cover the bed into a single pile, and dumps it all in a corner, because there's nowhere else to put it.

"How do you live like this?" Sam marvels.

"Very easily," Peter says, unfazed. He plops himself down, bouncing a few times, and then pats the bed for Sam to join him. Sam shakes his head, then sits down next to him.

"Off with it," Peter says, tugging at Sam's shirt.

"Think a lot of yourself," Sam retorts, starting on his buttons. But he needs Peter's help to ease off his shirt, as his back protests the movement.

"This'll be nasty," Peter murmurs, running his fingertips along the forming bruise. He presses gently at the edge, and Sam hisses. Peter's fingers brush up his neck, combing through his hair to find the lump. "I should put some ice on this. You," he says, with caring sternness, "lie down on the bed. I'll be right back."

Sam watches him go, and again wonders what he's doing. This isn't something that can work. Sprawling, messy Peter doesn't fit into the neat lines of his life. But he can't bring himself to regret this. Can't force himself to walk away. He can't stop needing it, and for once he refuses to be ashamed.

He lies down on his front, and breathes out a long, old sigh. A minute later, the door clicks open, and Peter returns, ice bucket in hand.

"Gonna have to improvise," Peter says, grabbing towels from the bathroom. "No, don't get up," he says, when Sam pushes himself up to look. "Just relax."

"Bet you say that to all the..." Sam says, and trails off, the word caught in his throat. He doesn't know what this is, doesn't know what kind of man Peter is. If this is just his weekend treat. If Sam is just a conquest, someone to use the way that boy would have used him, and the way he would have used the boy. What was he thinking, how desperate was he for any sort of affection, that he turned to a prostitute?

Peter presses a towel full of ice to the lump on his head, and Sam tells his brain to shut up for once. He's sick of worrying, sick of being afraid: of taking a chance, of being found out, of being happy. Even if it's just for one night, he wants to be happy. He doesn't think that's so much to ask.

"Hold this," Peter says, guiding Sam's hand to hold the small lump of ice in place. Peter shifts back, and rummages through the ice bucket. A moment later, Sam breathes in sharply as Peter drags ice along the line of the bruise.

"Cold," Sam protests.

"That's the point," Peter says, fondly.

Sam grumbles. After a few minutes of the ice being dragged back and forth, the throbbing in his back begins to ease. "Thanks," he mutters, his voice muffled against the blanket.

"You're welcome," Peter says, a smile in his voice. "Oh, I almost forgot," he says, and drops the ice back into the bucket. The bed shifts as he clambers off, and Sam listens to him putter about the room. Peter returns with a glass of water and some painkillers. Sam trades him for the ice towel, then lies down again, the ice replaced.

"What you need," Peter declares, "is a patented Peter Carlisle massage."

Sam snorts. "Yeah?"

"Oh yes," Peter says, climbing back onto the bed, and straddling Sam's back. "You are the most stressed out, wound-up person I have ever met. And I meet a lot of stressed-out people in my line of work."

"Flatterer," Sam mumbles, then groans as Peter's hands begin their work at his shoulders. It hurts, but it hurts so good. "Jesus," he groans, as Peter's knuckles work out a tight knot near his shoulderblade. "Don't you dare stop."

Peter just chuckles, a rumbling laugh that Sam feels up his spine. Inch by inch, Peter turns Sam into jelly, dragging the tension out of muscles that had forgotten how to relax. And Peter's hands, oh his hands, squeezing and caressing, and Sam's body soaking up every touch like a sponge. It's been so long since he's been touched like this, so very long.

The towel at the back of his head is sopping, the ice nearly melted away. Peter takes it from him, dropping it into the bucket, and kisses the bruise. Kisses down and down, a trail of kisses down the back of his neck, down his spine. A trail of kisses along the line of the bruise, soft and tender. Sam fights the lump in his throat, because it's that tenderness that's so hard to take. He takes a shuddering breath, and turns over beneath Peter, wincing a bit as the bed presses against his bruises.

"You all right?" Peter asks, touching his cheek.

"Yeah," Sam says, and for once it's not a lie. He stares into Peter's eyes, stares until he's lost in them. Until he has no choice but to pull Peter down so he can kiss him over and over, so he can be kissed and kissed. Peter is hot above him, against him, through their clothes. Peter's thigh is between his legs, pressing deliciously against his aching crotch. Sam frots against him, pulls him closer, greedy for more and more and more.

They finally break, breathing hard, lips tender and eyes dark. Sam looks down to see the forming bruise on Peter's jaw, and kisses it. "I'm sorry," he says, regretting causing him pain.

"I'm not," Peter says, so certain.

Sam looks at him quizzically.

"I'm not sorry," Peter explains, "because you wouldn't have had anything to kiss better." He grins, and Sam laughs, and Peter kisses him again.

"I love it when you laugh," Peter says. "I will make it my mission in life to make you laugh."

Sam giggles, and his stomach tumbles. "Don't say things like that," he protests, anxiety creeping back.

Peter gives him a look, and then says, "Okay. But you have to turn off that worry machine for a while. Nothing bad is going to happen here."

Sam squeezes his eyes shut, opens them again. "How do you know?"

"I know," Peter says, with the same confidence as he had when he said that somehow, somehow, he knew about Sam. Knew what he needed, knew what he craved. Sam doesn't know how to trust that knowledge, doesn't know how Peter works. How he can just know when Sam has to think and think and still isn't sure.

"I'll try," Sam says, roughly, because it's all he can do.

Peter kisses him again. "Good," he says, as if that put an end to it.

Sam tries to do what Peter does. Tries to focus on the moment, to center himself there, and let the future take care of itself for now. "You're wearing too many clothes," he says, his chest suddenly light.

Peter looks down at himself. "So I am," he says, in mock surprise. "Gonna do something about it?"

Sam narrows his eyes, and springs, tackling Peter and pinning him to the bed. His face splits into a wide, devilish grin. "Try me," he dares, giddy with joy.

Peter spreads his arms wide. His lips part, his tongue peeking through tantalizingly. Sam gives a swallowed whimper, and kisses him fiercely, devouring his mouth like a candied sweet. Behind his closed eyes he sees the memory of Peter’s red lips wrapped around the gleaming lolly, pursed and sucking, and he groans against Peter’s mouth.

He breaks the kiss, has to or he'll never stop. Stares down at Peter, at his large, dark eyes. With the slightest shift, they change from impenetrable, inscrutable, into windows clear as glass, showing every thought, every emotion. Sam touches Peter's face, gentle over the forming bruise, caressing his pink-flushed cheek. Thumbing over countless freckles, and he wants to count them, wants the time to lay entwined and learn every spot. Maybe it's because he's resisted for so long, or maybe it's just Peter, and what Peter does to him so, so easily.

With exaggerated concentration, because it's the only way he can focus, he opens each button on Peter's shirt. Parts the fabric and spreads it like wings, revealing a thin, worn t-shirt underneath. A bit of madness flares in Sam's head, and with a crazed grin he grabs the collar and rips. Peter squeaks in surprise, drops his head back and laughs, delighted, as Sam rips and rips until the t-shirt falls away.

"You are full of surprises," Peter rumbles, and gives an eager thrust of his hips. Sam can feel him, hard and wanting, and it's a rush, the forgotten thrill of lust, of being in lust, of being desired. He grinds down against him, and Jesus, how had he lived without this? He must have been mad, all these years, to survive without this.

He runs his hands over Peter's chest, his stomach. Folds himself down and drags his mouth against skin, tasting him, breathing in the scent of him, soaking up every ounce of sensation. Peter's hands reach up to tease at his hips, fingers questing past his waist, dragging circles on the small of his back, the soft skin of his sides. He giggles against Peter's belly, and squirms as Peter tickles him in earnest.

"No, no!" Sam gasps, laughing, falling back as Peter tackles him. He shrieks and laughs, the two of them rolling and bouncing on the bed, and Sam counters, finding Peter to be equally vulnerable.

"I surrender!" Peter yelps, tears of laughter in his eyes, as Sam tickles him mercilessly. He throws up his hands, relenting, conquered. Sam gives him one last tickle, and collapses beside him, half-over him.

"That'll teach you," Sam declares, victorious. He climbs on top of Peter again, a little breathless, and rubs full against him, his thigh between Peter's legs, his mouth on Peter's neck. Peter wraps around him, frotting against his moving thigh, hands again at Sam's waist. A slim finger sliding against Sam's abdomen, and then the button thumbed open, the zipper tugged down. Sam's breath catching as Peter's fingers slide inside.

Sam breathes in sharply, going still as Peter's hand moves deliberately down. The waist of his trousers slips an inch, and Peter's fingers cup Sam's cock, his balls, still covered by his pants. Sam's eyes lose focus, his mouth hangs open as Peter squeezes, and oh god, oh god.

Peter purrs, a murmuring, rumbling, arrogant sound. Sam can feel his eyes, sharp and intent, predatory, and he feels caught, so caught, and his heart races. Please, he wants to say, to beg, but he can't speak. He feels lost and found and fast and slow and god, god, everything.

His trousers slide away, pushed by Peter's certain hands. His pants stripped off, and he is naked, naked, and he opens his eyes only when he realizes he had closed them. He fears he'll feel exposed, but when he sees Peter beside him, when he looks into his window-clear eyes, he is only safe. He doesn't understand it, but lets it be.

"You're still," he says, voice rough, "wearing too many clothes."

Peter smiles at him, pure and radiant joy, and Sam feels as though he's making love to the sun. He smiles back, and grabs at Peter's shirts and yanks, pulling frantically, and then Peter is squirming out of them, the two of them desperate to be rid of any barrier. Sam drags at Peter's jeans, tears the seam of his pants, and there, there, Peter's cock jutting out, hard for him, flushed and hot and Sam claims it, wraps his hand around it, and thinks yes, yes, fuck yes.


"Oh," he breathes, simply holding. Peter's fingers touch his chin, and guide his face up, and they kiss, kiss, Sam's hand wrapped around Peter's cock.

"Tell me what you want to do," Peter murmurs, gently. As if Sam might shatter, might break.

"It's been... a while," Sam admits. He laughs, bitterly. "My career."

"Yeah," Peter says, a little sadly. "But let's not worry about that, eh? This is just us, nobody else. Just us, right now."

"I know," Sam says, and wants that so badly. Wants it to be that simple. Wishes the world could be easy, could let him breathe, let him fit within it. Maybe he was born too early, or too late. Maybe it would be the same, because he does it to himself. He wonders what it would take to feel like he belonged, to stop feeling alone.

"Hey," Peter says, drawing him back. He taps Sam's forehead. "Thought I told you to turn that off."

"Wish I could," Sam admits. He sighs, and just falls into Peter's arms, curls into his embrace and hides himself there, against the crook of Peter's neck. Peter strokes his hair, his back, soothing him, hushing him. Kisses his head, and sighs.

It's so good to be held. Just to be held. He's starved for this, wasted away without it. Spent countless nights alone, regretting his choices but certain he was trapped by them. Remembering what a fool he was, when he kicked out the man he loved because he thought it would be easier. That life would be easier alone, that he could hide what he was and his job would be enough. And with every year, every promotion, the world seemed a little more empty and bleak.

He suddenly realizes what scares him most. Not to have this joy, this happiness, but to lose it again. To go back to his old life, to loneliness and grey. He holds on to Peter so tight, gripping with his whole body.

"Ow," Peter says, half-kidding. He looks down at Sam with bemusement. "What brought this on?"

"I can't," Sam begins, and stops. "Lose this. I can't lose you."

Peter looks at him, and softens, smiles gently. "C'mon," he urges, loosening Sam's grip. He lays Sam down on the bed, and covers him with his body, and kisses him. Sam blinks rapidly, his nose prickling with emotion.

"I want to fuck you," Sam says, in a hurried hush.

"Do you now?" Peter murmurs, warmly. "I think that can be arranged."

Sam gives a sob of a laugh. "Bastard," he says, fondly, and finds himself smiling tearily. He laughs roughly, shakes his head, and rises up on his hands. Leans his forehead against Peter's, and closes his eyes.

"How long has it been?" Peter asks, surprising Sam.

"Oh. Um." Sam pulls back, ducking his head.

"Couple years?" Peter offers. "Four, five?"

"When I became a DC." His first year in the CID, after training. He'd told himself he had to get serious about his life, his ambitions. "I gave it up."

Peter touches his side, reassuring him. "What, teetotal?"

Sam laughs. "Fell off the wagon once or twice," he admits. Going to the wrong bars, to noisy clubs, for one night stands that he regretted in the morning. The appeal soon wore off. "Nothing serious."

"Poor thing," Peter says, teasing but meaning it, too.

"Don't," Sam warns. The last thing he wants it to be pitied. He kisses Peter roughly, to shut him up, to prove he isn't fragile. Just because he feels, because he isn't some mindless, testosterone-fuelled thug, he isn't weak.

"All right, then," Peter murmurs, and takes it as a signal to stop holding back, stop being careful. Peter is full of wiry strength, which somehow manages to be strangely elegant. Sam feels foolish for his anger, because he can't see Peter as ever being one of them, the people who fit in, who find normality so effortless. Not sprawling, sweet-toothed Peter, with mischief in his eyes, and a quirking grin. Dangerous, Sam thinks, and loves it.

They roll on the bed, tussling and rubbing and kissing. Someone thumps on the wall, and Peter laughs and groans with loud abandon. He gives Sam an utterly filthy look, and tackles him, pinning him to the bed with his weight. And then his mouth is on Sam's cock, and oh, oh. Sam moans, thrusts up, and writhes in sudden, wonderful pleasure.

Peter laves Sam's cock as if it is the sweetest candy, lapping and sucking with an eager mouth. His slim fingers squeeze and press, rolling Sam's balls, rubbing the sensitive skin behind them. They wrap around Sam's shaft, and thumb at his head, as Peter's tongue and lips move wet and slick. Sam drags his fingers through Peter's wild hair, claws the bedspread with his other hand. Wraps one leg across Peter's shoulders, because fuck if he wants to let him ever, ever stop.

"Oh!" he cries, eyes wide as Peter works one slick fingertip into his arse. "Peter," he slurs, and moans as the finger crooks and rubs. Slips out, and then back again, slicker. "Peter," he moans, eyes almost closed.

Peter hums around his cock, a smug, self-satisfied sound. He has Sam as putty in his hands, and knows it, just as with the massage. Sam clenches around his finger, relaxes to let him press inside, and clenches again with a fresh spark of pleasure. And then Peter stops, actually stops and Sam whimpers in protest, pawing at him to try and push him back down. But Peter eludes his grip, and for some reason starts tearing his room apart.

"What are you doing?" Sam asks, pushing himself up on his elbows.

"Need things,' Peter mutters, rifling through a carry bag. "Stuff. I know I packed--Aha!" Victorious, he pulls out a handful of condoms, and a half-empty container of lube. He bounces back onto the bed, crawls onto Sam, and kisses him breathless.

"Sure you don't want me to fuck you?" Peter coos, sultry, promising.

Sam swallows. "Didn't say that," he says, stomach twisting nervously. It has been a long time; it's not like he's forgotten how it works, but he doesn't want it to hurt. He remembers his first time, being so nervous and tense, one of two stupid boys who didn't have the sense to take things slow. The memory of that never quite faded, always left him reluctant to be fucked.

Peter draws him back again with a touch. "You said what you wanted," he assures Sam, and waits for Sam to nod. He grabs one of the packets and rips it open with his teeth, tugging out the condom. Sam breathes a sigh of relief.

"Maybe we could... Later," Sam offers, because it's not that he doesn't want to. It's not that he's afraid.

But Peter just smiles. "I like the sound of that," he says, voice thick with desire. "Later."

"Yeah," Sam says, though 'later' has so many dangers. Fortunately, before he can start worrying again, Peter pops the condom between his lips and lowers his head over Sam's cock and oh Jesus, oh Christ. Sam flops back with a long, low groan, as Peter's mouth and hands work down his cock, as Peter takes him deeper and deeper, and fuck, fuck, oh fuck yes.

When Peter finally rises up again, leaving Sam's aching cock fully sheathed, Sam grabs him and kisses him, and laughs. "I don't believe you."

"I am perfectly believable," Peter insists.

"You're mad," Sam declares. "Completely, one-hundred-percent certifiable."

Peter just grins. He crawls forward on his knees, and smirks down at Sam. "I want you to touch me," he says, and gives his hips a thrust.

Sam laughs. "What do you think I've been doing?"

But Peter just looks even more devious. He bends down, curling over Sam to whisper in his ear. "I want you," he says, low and sultry, "to get me ready. All soft and slick," he purrs, making Sam shiver with lust. Peter moves to Sam's other ear. "Put your fingers inside me. Your mouth on my cock. You going to give me what I want?"

It takes a moment for Sam to speak, because all the blood has rushed down to his cock. He swallows, his mouth suddenly dry. "Gnh," he says.

Peter leans closer, and sucks at Sam's earlobe. "Is that a yes?"

"Fuck yes," Sam breathes, and Peter's cock is right there, right there, and Sam just takes it, takes it, pulls it into his mouth and sucks. In his haste he knocks Peter off-balance, and they fall back onto the bed, Peter's cock slipping from Sam's suddenly-wet mouth. Peter grins and grabs Sam and kisses him, sucking at Sam's tongue, cheeks hollowed with the vacuum of it. Showing Sam just what he wants, what he's going to have because Sam is going to give it.

"Just like that," Peter rumbles, and lets go. Sam leans hard on his hands, dazed with lust, and Jesus god, he's going to have to think of something or he's going to come before either of them gets fucked.

He spies the ice bucket on the floor next to the bed, where Peter left it. He shoves his hand in and scoops out what remains of the ice, a few melty chips. Biting his lip, he presses the ice to his balls, and whimpers.

Peter laughs loudly, and drags Sam back for another round of kisses. Some of the ice falls from Sam's hand, dropping on Peter's thigh, and Peter squeaks into Sam's mouth.

"Oi!" Peter whines. "That's bloody cold."

Sam snorts, and tosses the slivers of ice back towards the bucket. "Baby," he taunts.

"Gonna give me a spanking?" Peter taunts.

Sam thinks about that, and wishes he had more ice. "Later," he groans, gritting his teeth and trying not to picture it. At least the ice took the edge off. He doesn't want to screw this up. He really, really doesn't.

Sam runs his finger through the melted water on Peter's thigh. He leans down and laps at it, licks it all up, and hears Peter's breathing go satisfyingly shallow. Peter leans back onto his elbows, his head fallen back, long neck arched. His throat bobs when he swallows. Sam shifts back, and pushes Peter's legs wider, and follows the trickle of water down between Peter's thighs.

"Ohhh, yes," Peter moans, hissing out the yes as Sam's tongue laps against his balls. Peter spreads his legs wider, tilts his hips. Sam smirks against Peter's skin, teases him with fingertip-traces along his inner thighs. He could swear that Peter tastes sweet, beneath the musk and sweat. Sweet from candy and ice cream and chocolate. Greedy Peter, hungry Peter, probably never an indulgence he didn't take.

He grips firmly at Peter's cock, and squeezes to get his attention. Stares into Peter's hazy eyes.

"There's going to be a later," Sam decides, telling him.

Peter blinks at him, and smiles that crooked smile. "Good," he says, voice rising just a hint, that fraction of question in it.

Sam closes his eyes, opens them. Makes a decision for himself. He doesn't care if it's rash and foolish and quick. He doesn't care if it ends in disaster. He makes a leap of faith, trusts his gut that this could be something real, something worth fighting for. But most of all, he knows that he can't go back to that grey, grey world.

"I want you," Sam tells him, feeling like he's falling, like he's flying. "I want this. Do you?"

Peter seems to realize this is about more than just one night, or one weekend. That Sam is telling him he won't be an indulgence. His eyes sober. "Tell me what you want."

Sam wants so much that it hurts. His heart is racing, and the earth seems to be rushing up to greet him. "Maybe it's impossible," he says, too afraid to push, to force the matter.

"No," Peter says, certain. "Nothing is impossible. But you have to stop being afraid."

"I'm not," Sam says, angrily, but it isn't Peter he's angry at. "Fine. I'm afraid. How do you..." He shakes his head.

"I don't hide it," Peter says, realizing what Sam is trying to ask. "It's not easy but it's a damn sight better than lying. To myself. My friends." He runs his hand down his face. "Have you even told anyone?"

"No," Sam says, feeling like such a coward. He could never bring himself to say it, so certain it would break his mother's heart. Would make people turn away from him and sneer. He saw it happen as a boy, saw how cruel the world could be. If he'd been anything else but a cop, maybe he'd have found a way, but the job is in his blood. He thought he'd found a way to live with being both, but it had been only lies.

"Hey," Peter says, moving to sit with him, beside him. "You don't have to do this alone."

"Sorry," Sam says, dizzy with the tumult of emotion. "I haven't even..." He looks up to Peter with reddened eyes. "You probably just thought I'd be some... quick shag. A closet case."

"No," Peter says, firmly. Then he smiles. "Not to say I didn't want you. Because I really, really do," he says, voice warm and deep.

Sam can't help but smile at that. "Can't resist me," he says, lightly.

"Absolutely not," Peter says. "Moment I saw you, I knew you'd be trouble," he says, gently to take the sting out of it. "The best kind of trouble."

Sam laughs and shakes his head.

"Don't think for a moment I didn't choose you," Peter says, with such intensity, such honesty, that Sam can only marvel.

"You are," Sam says, staring at this mystery in front of him, "possibly the strangest man I've ever met."

"Yes, I am," Peter preens. "Compared to me you're practically normal. Lucky for you you're so cute," Peter says, and gives him a quick, confident kiss.

Sam laughs again, feeling so strange himself. Feeling overwhelmed, overloaded, shell-shocked by affection. "I'm still going to fuck you," he says, finding the courage.

Peter lounges back again. "Don't keep a girl waiting," he says, and winks.

"Turn over," Sam says, surprising himself with the need in his voice. The sudden certainty in his chest, that this is something he will have. That Peter is something he will have. He's flying, not falling, and realizes he's already made the leap. And having made that leap, the fear just... fades away.

Peter smoulders at him, purses his lips and licks them. With one last look he turns onto his front, surrendering himself to Sam, to his control. Sam looks at the long, lean body before him, the narrow of his waist, the curve of his arse, and wants this, wants this, sharp and pure.

The lube is at the corner of the bedspread, somehow not having been knocked astray. Sam takes it, and his fingers only fumble a little, his hands only tremble faintly, as he flips the cap and pours clear liquid into his palm. He rests his dry hand on the small of Peter's back, and tilts his palm, letting the lube drip slowly onto the crack of Peter's arse. Peter squirms, muttering into the bedspread, but Sam ignores him. Drags the flat of his hand along one cheek, spreading it, and then the other. The clear lube glistens in the shadowed cleft, slowly gliding towards Peter's balls. Sam catches the trail with his thumb and drags it back, presses it against the tight bud of Peter's arsehole. It relaxes, and Sam's thumb sinks in to the knuckle, and Sam barely breathes.

"Jesus," he whispers, closing his eyes but still seeing it, still feeling it. Peter gives an impatient squirm, and Sam opens his eyes, snorts.

"You want this?" Sam taunts, hooking his thumb, rubbing at the taut ring.

Peter groans low and gives a rumbling chuckle. "Want more than that," he slurs. Clenches at Sam's thumb, and squirms again.

"Yeah," Sam says, watching his thumb slide in and out, slick against soft, hot flesh. He brings his other hand to tease at the rim, fingers pressing and pulling, reddening the skin. He grabs at the bottle, fingers slippery on the plastic, and squeezes out more, dripping it into Peter's arse. And then again.

"You making a swimming pool down there?" Peter asks, bemused.

Sam makes a face at him. "I know what I'm doing." But he does feel a bit foolish. Too much caution, that's always been his problem. He swipes some of the lube to slick himself with, and finds his condom has slipped halfway down. "Damn it," he curses, pulling at it to tug it back up.

"Like a woman with a stocking," Peter snorts. He rises up and grips at Sam's cock, stroking him firmly to the root, squeezing hard enough that Sam gasps and grabs at Peter's shoulders. "There, all better." He presses a kiss to Sam's belly and lies back down, smug.

Sam narrows his eyes, and decides he's going to make sure Peter thinks of him every time he sits down for the next week. No more caution, no more playing it safe. He presses three fingers firmly into Peter's arse and Peter makes a very satisfying squeak. And then an even better moan.

"More of that," Peter slurs, pushing back against Sam's hand, and giving a rut against the bedspread.

Slut, Sam thinks, and flushes at the word. But it's all he can think as he sees how his fingers press and pry, how easily Peter's body takes him in. He thinks about his cock sinking into that space and hisses through his teeth. The way he opens. The way he takes and gives at the same time.

Sam's whole body thrums with the need to take this man, to take him, to hold him and drive into him and mark him, claim him. To feel that wildness, that abandon, full against him, around him, inside him. Even as one hand stretches and delves into Peter's arse, the other wanders, grabbing flesh, pawing and stroking, coaxing out red marks and moans. God, he needs to feast on this, to drown in it, for the tide of it to drag him down forever.

It's Peter who stops him, who turns to him with blazing dark eyes. Who seizes him and kisses him with bruising force, who grabs at his cock and squeezes, who presses Sam down, down with all his weight. Peter who takes, who claims Sam for his own, who rises up high and then sinks down, down, impaling himself on Sam's aching, aching cock.

"Peter," Sam gasps, grabbing at the bed, at Peter's thighs, at his waist. Grabbing for something to hold on to, to steady himself against the storm in Peter's eyes. He could never tame that, never hold it, but oh, he could fall forever. He takes in a sharp breath and thrusts up, as Peter drags down, and oh, oh, fuck.

Sam tries to speak, tries to beg or ask or command, but he's struck mute, voiceless against this moment. He whimpers as he thrusts into Peter's heat, his clenching tightness; rides and is ridden, Peter's body lithe above him, hips rocking, body flushed with arousal and heat. Peter's open mouth, his red tongue peeking past red lips, and the hint of gleaming, bared teeth. Sharp breathing and the wet sound of fucking, of flesh slapping together and sliding. Peter, Peter, Sam moans, without sound, without voice.

And then Peter grins, Peter laughs, a rough sound through his panting, and the everything snaps back, Sam snaps back, and he wants. He grabs at Peter and topples him, falls onto him, so that Sam is on top, Sam is in control, and he pushes into Peter and it's bloody fucking good.

"Fuck," he hisses, thrusting sharply, pushing deep.

"Yeah," Peter breathes, grinning like a bastard. "Fuck me." Sam gives an extra hard thrust, and Peter groans.

The bed rocks, creaking loud, thumping against the wall, and whoever's next door thumps back in annoyance. Peter laughs, and so Sam can laugh, the absurdity, the sheer and simple joy of it. Their neighbor thumps again, and then gives up, turning the telly up loud. Peter laughs again, and snarls with lust, snapping his hips up and pulling at Sam with his legs.

Sam braces one arm against the headboard, and drives himself into Peter. Pounds into him, no finesse, no subtlety. Years of frustration pour out of him and make his hips snap sharp, and he stares down at Peter, stares into his eyes, gritting his teeth and panting and gulping air. His hand is slick on the headboard, sweat and lube, and he switches hands, leaning it down to grab at the bed, and press against Peter's side. But no matter how hard, how rough, Peter takes it, staring back into his eyes, grinning and gasping and muttering for Sam to fuck him, harder, do it, do it.

"Greedy," Sam gasps, lightheaded. "'ll show you."

"Show me," Peter growls, daring him, full of dark delight.

Sam snarls, teeth bared, and the sound ends in a gritted cry. Whatever is left of his control cracks and breaks, and he is wild against Peter, grabbing at him and shaking and juttering-fast thrusts, short and sharp and pressed so deep. Take this, teach you, show you, blurs in Sam's head, and it's so good, his body one sharp pain of release, of a taut band snapping. He's distantly aware of Peter yowling, clenching and bucking beneath him, the smell of come sharp and strong between them. His mouth waters and he curls himself against Peter, pulls him so close, Sam wrapped around him like a rattling shield.

And it's when Peter goes soft beneath him, when those dark eyes calm, that Sam feels that final release. When all the tension, all the frustration, the anger at himself and the world and the whole bloody mess finally stops, and it's like his heart is breaking. He keens, eyes stinging with sweat and tears, and shudders into Peter's body, quivers and shakes. And there at the heart of it, past the whirling and the pain and so much need, he can suddenly breathe. Peace.

He comes back to himself a minute later, collapsed and tangled with Peter in a sweaty, sticky pile. Peter is gently stroking his hair, and Sam feels... right. Safe. Happy.

"Hey," Peter says, softly. Tired.

Sam blinks at him, and finds it hard to open his eyes again. "Hmm?"

"Can't move," Peter says, but doesn't seem very bothered about it.

"Okay," Sam says, yawns once, and falls asleep.

Chapter Text

Sam wakes to the morning light through the window. He grumbles and shifts, and for a moment his brain fails to understand why his body is wrapped around a person. Then his sore muscles begin to protest, and he realizes the state of himself, and remembers very, very clearly.

He's not too proud to admit he has a bit of a panic. He'd had sex with another man, a man he barely knows--very good sex, yes, absolutely--but all the same he must be entirely out of his mind. Maybe that's a good thing, says the voice in his head, that little voice that he's tried so hard to shut up, the one that says well, why can't you be happy? and incessantly reminds him that fear is such a convenient excuse for never taking any risks.

The last thing he remembers is passing out on top of Peter, but as he orients himself he finds they're actually under the blankets, and not quite the sticky mess he would have expected. Sam is oddly touched at being taken care of, even if it was for Peter's benefit as well. He also realizes he must have wrapped himself around Peter again as he slept.

He pushes himself up on his elbow. Peter is still sound asleep, his chest rising and falling, and a bit of drool on his cheek. Sam smiles, feeling besotted, and the strength of it scares the hell out of him. He crawls out of the warm bed and staggers to his feet, and heads for the bathroom. He's already having a very relieving morning piss when he realizes Peter also took off the condom.

Sam gives himself a quick rinse with a washcloth, and takes a swig of the hotel mouthwash. He leans against the sink and stares at his reflection. He looks like he feels, which is very well-fucked. Well, sort of. Peter looks well-fucked, he thinks, smirking.

He's not freaking out about this nearly as much as he'd expected. He doesn't know what to make of that. Maybe it just hasn't sunk in yet.

He goes back to the bed, and Peter has turned over and sprawled, his long limbs practically taking up the whole bed. Sam gives him a cautious shake on the arm, and Peter grumbles and buries his face against a pillow. One bleary eye cracks open, then squeezes shut.

"Come back to bed," Peter mumbles, and unsprawls a little to entice Sam back beneath the covers. "'s too early."

Sam eyes the bedside clock. He's not some crazed morning person, but he doesn't generally like to lie in. Obviously for Peter, nine AM isn't late enough. Sam leaves him for the moment, and goes to stand at the window. He leans against the frame, and looks down at the people milling on the street.

"Giving the ladies a thrill?" Peter says, voice wry despite being thick from sleep.

Sam takes a step back, trying not to blush. He'd actually managed to forget he wasn't wearing his usual sleep attire. Fortunately, the window stops above the waist. He turns to face Peter, and immediately has to laugh.

"You have the most amazing bedhair," Sam says, and neglects to mention Peter's impressively disarrayed bedface.

Peter rubs at his head, trying in vain to smooth down his wild hair. "It does that," he says, and rubs at his face. "Ugh," he groans, and flops back again. "Need coffee."

Sam sits down on the bed. "We'll have to get dressed for that. Unless you want the stuff you wouldn't pay your mother to drink."

Peter grabs the other pillow and throws it limply at Sam. Sam catches it, and tosses it back, landing with a flumph on Peter's face.

"Ack!" is the muffled complaint. Then Peter tosses aside the pillow. "We could stay here and have more sex."

"In case you forgot, I had my wallet stolen," Sam reminds him. "Should have reported it last night." But he had other things on his mind. And on his cock. "I don't need some street kid putting half of Southport on my credit."

"Let him," Peter grumbles. "I'll buy the other half. We'll arrange a trade at midnight."

Sam laughs. "Sometimes you make absolutely no sense."

"It's part of my charm," Peter assures him. Then he sighs, surrendering. "Fine. But one, you owe me a very lazy morning in bed, and two, you have to kiss me first." He purses his lips and thrusts out his chin.

Sam snorts, bemused, but kisses him anyway. The kiss goes on for a bit, and then longer than a bit. And then somehow he's flat on his back, with Peter on top of him, still half-tangled in the sheets. Peter smiles victoriously, and gives a rumbling laugh against Sam's mouth.

"Thought you needed coffee," Sam murmurs, between kisses.

"Just need you," Peter says.

Sam melts a little at that, and finds he has no resistance as Peter pulls him close, as their legs entwine. Peter's cock is hard between them, a morning hard-on that Peter seems inclined to put to good use.

"We have to go," Sam protests, weakly, incredibly tempted to give in, to stay in this room and shag the day away.

"S'not fair," Peter whines, and thrusts impatiently against him. "Want you."

"Oh yeah?" Sam says, as an idea occurs to him. He reaches down and takes hold of Peter's cock, and begins to tease and stroke. Peter stops trying to cling to him and gives a broad, smug smile, hums and lies back, hips thrusting shallowly against Sam's fist.

Sam had thought perhaps to tease Peter, to use his arousal to get him out of bed. But once he's started this, he doesn't want to stop. His hand moves automatically on Peter's cock, and he simply looks, watches as Peter reacts. As Peter shifts with restless pleasure, and his breathing changes, and his hands paw aimlessly at the sheets. Sam finds himself hypnotized by it: by Peter's head thrown back, his teeth bared against his sharpening pleasure. And then Peter's hand grabs Sam's, wrapping around it and moving him, making Sam's hand move harder and faster, faster, until Peter groans and shudders, leaving Sam's hand sticky with come.

"Ohh, that's better," Peter sighs, and a moment later he springs from the bed, alert and on his feet.

Sam stares at him.

"Hut two," Peter urges, striding to the bathroom, grabbing clothes from the floor seemingly at random. He throws back a shirt, then ducks inside to wash. It's Sam's shirt, looking rather the worse for wear.

Sam stares at his messy hand, and finds he wants to dive back under the sheets after all.


They make a quick trip to the front desk, Sam self-conscious about his appearance, and certain everyone can tell that he's wearing the same clothes twice because he was shagged senseless the night before. Peter's presence doesn't help, with his afterglow smugness, general air of insouciance, and blatant leering. But the hotel staff are polite, probably used to worse, and Sam thanks them for the new key card and scurries back to his room, Peter at his heels.

Once inside, Sam heads for the closet. Peter looks around the room, and scratches his head.

"Looks empty. You sure this is your room?" Peter asks.

Sam cocks an eyebrow at him. "Course it is," he says, pulling out his luggage. He opens the tiny combination lock to an inside pocket, and extracts a set of photocopies. "Always keep these," he says, holding up the copies of his credit cards, driver's license, and the rest.

Peter looks at him as if he's an alien. "You mean people actually do that?"

Sam ignores him, and starts calling the numbers on each card. While he deals with hold music and customer service, Peter pokes about the room, opening drawers and rifling through the contents. Sam lets him have his fun.

Not surprisingly, it takes a while to sort out the credit cards. By the time he's finished, Peter is browsing through the TV channels, having lost interest in Sam's wardrobe.

"All done?" Peter asks, hopefully.

"Almost," Sam says, rubbing at his ear. "Still have to report it at the station, but we can do that after breakfast."

"Breakfast!" Peter says, perking up. He rolls off the bed and bounces to his feet, clicking off the telly and tossing the remote on the bed. He's already halfway out the door before he realizes Sam isn't following. "C'mon, waffles, pancakes, strawberry jam!"

Sam tugs at his shirt, making a face. "I need to change," he says.

Peter lets go of the door, letting it click shut. "Okay," he says, leering.

"One track mind," Sam mutters, and gets a clean change of clothes. He has to neaten all his drawers, after Peter's rifling. He wonders when he got so bloody OCD.

There's no point in trying to be modest, so he changes as Peter watches, and tries not to feel like he's putting on a very odd striptease. He avoids Peter's eyes until he's buttoned up again; when he looks up, Peter is slouched against the wall, a half-smile on his lips, and some mix of fondness and speculation in his eyes.

"Let's go," Sam says, shoving the photocopies in his pocket. "I'm starving."


It seems that Peter has already staked out all the eateries in Southport, and unerringly leads Sam to a quaint little restaurant that serves more than just the usual Full English. Sam opens the menu and blinks at the variety of sugary breakfasts on offer. He orders a small orange juice, eggs, whole wheat toast, and bacon. Peter orders a huge platter of waffles and chocolate chip pancakes, with a few token sausages for protein. The waitress briefly returns with their drinks and a small container of amber syrup.

"Ahh, the good stuff," Peter says, dripping some onto his finger and sucking it clean. "Best breakfast in all of Merseyside. Only place you can get maple syrup for miles."

Sam takes the little bottle, curious. He drips a tiny amount onto his finger, and tastes. "Huh, weird."

"Philistine," Peter says, stealing back the bottle. He thunks it back down, then shifts in his chair. "Don't remember the chairs being so hard last time I was here."

Sam nearly spits out his orange juice. He grabs a napkin and covers his mouth, struggling to swallow.

Peter winks at him, then shifts again. "Proud of yourself?" he says, dryly.

Sam clears his throat. "No comment."

"Very professional." Peter squirms some more, then finally gives up and settles down. "So, DCI Tyler. Where do they keep you?"

"Manchester. You?"

"North Lakes," Peter replies. "Only been there a few years. Before that, Newcastle, before that, Edinburgh, and before that, good ol' Glasgow."

Sam stares at him. "Who did you piss off?"

Peter gives a wry grin. "I've a habit of sticking my nose in. When I was a very green PC, my commanding officer tried to blackmail me into doing some very dirty work for him. Instead, I stepped proudly out of the closet, and turned half the station over to the IPCC."

"Jesus," Sam breathes, shocked.

"Once the press got wind of it, I was too much of a local-boy-done-good for them to fire me. Wouldn't look right at all, not when the brass were trying to show how everyone left was squeaky clean. So instead I got an instant promotion and a one-way ticket out."

Sam leans back in his chair, amazed. "What happened at Edinburgh?"

"Well," Peter says, shifting in his chair again, "after that I had a bit of a reputation. I tried keeping my head down, but that was closing the bag after the cats'd squirmed out. I decided to go with 'out and proud and watch your back' instead. And as I am very good at my job, the top brass decided I was useful. Transfer me, and see if the rats start scurrying." He grins darkly at that.

"And do they? Scurry?"

"Oh yes," Peter says, eyes distant with memories. Then he sighs. "Doesn't make me many friends, as you can imagine. But it's honest work. And I can sleep at night, which is more than most bastards can say."

Sam finds himself considering Peter in a new light. Peter seems so casual, so unconcerned with what anyone else thinks. But that's how he'd have to be, to survive all that. To thrive in it. Sam thinks about his safe, neat little life, and feels ashamed of his self-pity. He raises his glass. "To an honest copper," he says, respectfully.

Peter clinks glasses, and takes a long swallow.

The waitress makes a timely arrival with their food. After one bite, Sam realizes how hungry he is, and finds himself doing a passable imitation of Peter-with-an-ice-cream. Peter offers him a piece of his waffle, soaked in maple syrup, and Sam gives it a try. The flavour is like dark treacle, except not. He finds himself sucking it off his fingers, and Peter licks his lips in approval.


After stuffing themselves at breakfast, Sam is tempted to go back to the hotel, curl up with Peter, and sleep it off. And do other things, some of them inspired by the sight of Peter gratuitously licking syrup from his fingers. But instead they trudge over to the local station, where Sam gets to fill out some paperwork and get amused looks from all the officers involved.

"What kind of idiot starts mugging people in the middle of a police convention?" asks yet another officer.

"A successful one," cracks another.

"Yes," Sam sighs, wondering when the joke will get old. He casts Peter a despairing look, and Peter takes pity.

"Speed it up, all right?" Peter says, testily.

The second officer gives Peter an irritated look. "Yeah, yeah. Done here anyway. Just sign here, and we'll call you if the wallet turns up."

"Thanks," Sam grunts, and scribbles his signature on the form. The officer hands him a photocopied set to keep, and Sam is so eager to leave that he practically drags Peter back outside.

"Pricks," Peter mutters, once they're safely back on the street. He gives a disdainful sniff. "Probably all bent anyway."

Sam snorts at the double meaning. When they reach the promenade, he slows down, then stops and leans against the railing, and stares out at the sea. "Ever think you're in the wrong job?"

Peter looks at him in surprise. "Do you?"

Sam shakes his head. "I don't know. Maybe." He huffs. "Sometimes I hate it. If it's not endless regulations, it's arrogant shits who think the rules don't apply. When I was a kid..." He shakes his head again. "I wanted to be the good guy. Save the day, you know? Not like me old man. I wanted to be there. To make things right in the world. Instead it's this," he snarls, and throws the photocopies into the air. The wind carries them fluttering into the waves, like crashing birds.

Sam grips the railing until his knuckles are white, and bows his head. "Sorry," he says, embarrassed at his outburst. "Don't know why I said that."

"Yes, you do," Peter says, calmly. Certain. "You can say it, you know. Actually admit that you're miserable."

"I'm not--" Sam begins, then stops because that's a lie, and he doesn't want to lie anymore. Not to himself, not to Peter.

"The two of us," Sam says, shaking his head. His grip eases, but he still holds on. He imagines going back to his old life and it killing him, one day at a time. Draining out all the colour in the world until there's only endless grey. It terrifies him, terrifies him. "I fucking hate it," he sobs, voice breaking with pain. He swipes at his eyes. Someone walks past, and he turns his head away, feeling obvious and exposed. But Peter is there, beside him, solid and real and Sam feels for once he has somewhere safe to hide, even here.

And then Peter puts his arms around him, and draws Sam close, and Sam freezes, horrified because they'll be seen and people will know and he isn't ready for this, he cannot deal with this. He pulls sharply back, away from the circle of Peter's embrace.

"You think the world's gonna end?" Peter asks, not angry but disappointed, as if he'd expected better.

"I can't do this!" Sam shouts, feeling as if everything is unravelling, swirling apart into chaos. He tries to calm himself. "I can't just throw my life away." Like you, is the unspoken coda. That Peter can throw it all away and start over and over and over and it doesn't touch him.

"What life?" Peter says, spreading his arms. "The one with the job you hate? The one that makes you so damn miserable--"

"Yes!" Sam shouts, right into his face. "Yes," he says, shrinking back. He wraps his arms around himself, feeling like he can't breathe, like his chest is being crushed. He's certain that he's fucked this up, too. That Peter will leave, because anyone with sense would leave, because Sam's such a fucking mess. But he forces himself to look up, and Peter isn't gone. Is still there, somehow, waiting.

And before Sam can stop him, Peter leans in and kisses him, right there, right in front of everyone. Kisses him and no one could think it was innocent, or pretend it away. A town full of coppers and Peter kisses him.

Peter lets go, and Sam stumbles back, open-mouthed, shocked and gasping. He looks around, but no one's sneering or rushing over to chase them away. No one even cares. An old lady feeding the pigeons gives him a little wave.

"I need a drink," Sam mutters, running his hands through his hair.

Peter seems satisfied by this. He nods. "I know a place."

Chapter Text

The place is Peter's hotel room. Room service must have been in, because the room is very slightly neater, and the bed has been made. From the tiny fridge, Peter pulls out a full bottle of wine, and a supermarket container of strawberries.

"When did you get all that?" Sam says, surprised and a little suspicious.

"Yesterday," Peter says, blithely. He drops both in Sam's hands, and grabs the plastic cups from beside the ice bucket.

Sam snorts. "Cheeky."

"I didn't say it was for you," Peter says, and drops onto the bed with a bounce.

Sam isn't sure whether or not to be outraged. He gives it a miss, and hands Peter the bottle. "You open this," he says, and goes to the sink to wash the strawberries. The past two days have already maxed out his surrealism quotient for the decade, and maybe it's time to try and go with the flow. At least it'll be a change.

He puts the strawberries on the nightstand, and Peter hands him a plastic cup of wine.

"Cheers," Sam says, and takes a heavy swig. It's sweet but dry, and settles warm in his belly. He finishes off the dregs, and lies back on the bed. He fancies he can feel the world spinning, though it's too soon to be the drink. He's just tired: of hiding, of lying, of the awful, hollow loneliness of his life. He worked so hard, gave up so much, to get where he is today. And for what? For what?

"You okay?" Peter asks, gently.

"Not really," Sam admits, with a bitter laugh. But he looks up at Peter and the world can't be so bleak, not with him here. He reaches up his hand, and Peter takes it, holds it to his cheek. Sam feels the prickle of stubble against his palm, and his heart hurts. "I don't know what to do."

To Sam's relief, Peter doesn't push him, doesn't start offering suggestions or opinions. He just takes Sam's hand and kisses the palm of it, and quietly understands.

"We'll work it out," Peter says, certain, and lies down beside him. Traces his fingers along Sam's cheek, the line of his neck.

We, Sam thinks, and wonders how it could be that easy, how Peter could just stroll into his life and sprawl himself around Sam's heart. How he could make Sam fall in love so hard, so fast. Sam reaches out with his whole body and holds Peter so tightly, clings to him the way he did the night before. Peter hushes him, stroking his back, planting sweet kisses on his head.

And then all of a sudden Sam can breathe again. He releases Peter, pushing himself up to sit. He's not going to drown anymore, not going to be afraid. "Okay," he says, as much to himself as to Peter. He starts running through the choices in his head: quit the force, or either could transfer, or both, or they could join the bloody Gay Police Association for all he cared. "Together," he says.

Peter gives a slow, wide smile. "Yeah. That's the spirit."

Sam feels a rush of excitement. Anticipation. They could change everything, move anywhere, be fucking happy. He feels a bit giddy, and feels his own face splitting in a grin. He takes the empty cup from the bed and throws it to the floor, silly and defiant against the suffocating neatness of his life. Let there be mess, let there be sprawling.

He grabs Peter and kisses him, wild with kisses, with abandon. Peter laughs against his mouth, and Sam starts tugging at his clothes, wanting to touch, to feel. Peter joins in, and the two of them are a laughing, frantic tangle of hands and buttons and sleeves. Sam gives a shriek of laughter as Peter gooses him, and covers his belly with raspberry kisses.

"Stop, stop!" Sam pants, giggling helplessly. Peter pins him down before he can retaliate, and they're both half-caught in their own clothes and laughing and Peter's hands are everywhere. Peter collapses over Sam's back, chest rumbling with giggles, cock hard against Sam's bared arse. And then the giggles turn low and wanting, and Sam gives a long, quiet moan as Peter's cock ruts between his thighs.

Sam goes still as Peter moves against him, tickles turned to hungry caresses. Peter alternatively grabs at Sam's body and his clothes, caught between getting Sam completely naked and feasting upon what he already can touch. Sam's shirt is bunched awkwardly up on his chest, and he rears up against Peter and yanks it off himself, throws it carelessly to the floor. A dark urge flares in him to destroy it, to burn everything, all his old clothes, his old things, his old life. Leave it all in ashes and never look back. He knows it won't be that simple, but for now he can pretend.

Sam kicks roughly at his lowered trousers, almost stomping them off. The moment he is freed, he turns on Peter and forces him onto his back, and god, he just needs, has to yank it all away, tear off everything between them. Peter helps him, catching on as quick as ever, and then it's just them, just skin, cocks hard against each other's hips, hands rough and grabbing. They snatch breathless kisses, Sam delving to taste Peter's mouth, nipping at those full, tender lips. They can't get close enough, and Sam keens.

"Sam," Peter whispers, hoarse and cracked with love. He kisses him, kisses him, rolls Sam down and covers him, embraces and surrounds Sam with all of him, with everything. Sam is wild beneath him, climbing him and dragging him down and holding him so tight it pushes the air from Sam's chest. Sam sobs for air, for Peter, laughs out his breath and sobs again. He wants this forever, wants to be greedy and take and take and take everything Peter will give him.

"Fuck," Peter hisses, a sharp breath in Sam's ear. He bows his head against Sam's, and shoves one hand between them. He grabs Sam's cock and pulls, strokes hard and rough and Sam has to scream it's so good. Sam's hands clench at Peter's back, his thighs strain at Peter's hips, and he keens in one long, low stream as Peter drags him to climax one sharp stroke at a time. It seems to go on forever, his body straining and juddering, all control gone, long gone. He whimpers wordless as his body slows, as Peter's strokes soften, still dragging out jumps and quivers from Sam's heat-flushed body.

Sam is limp and gasping, reeling, his mind still boiling with lust. Peter collapses beside him, and the cool air hits Sam like a balm. He finally focuses his eyes again, and looks up to see Peter grinning at him, proud and delighted.

"Wild man," Peter rumbles, grin widening even further.

Sam gives a shaky laugh. "Didn't know I..." he pants, "had it in me."

Peter just gives a thoughtful hum, and kisses Sam, long and sweet. Peter's erection burns against Sam's thigh, but Peter is unhurried. His morning climax probably took the edge off already.

"I think you," Peter murmurs against Sam's mouth, "should suck my cock."

Sam breathes in sharply, almost certain his own cock just twitched back to life. "Yeah?" he breathes, faintly.

Peter gives another speculative hum, and continues kissing him, steady and claiming. At this rate, Sam thinks, his mouth is going to be too busy for anything lower. As he recovers, Sam matches him, and they roll slowly back and forth on the bed, holding and kissing, Peter's irregular thrusts the only distraction.

Finally, Sam breaks away, rising up onto his knees, breathing fast and lips tingling. He looks down at Peter, at the arcing curve of his erection, the dark bruise of his lips, darker than the one on his chin. Peter's cock is flushed and impossibly full, straining to be touched, and Sam's mouth wets with desire. He glances up and sees the shallow scratches and mottled reds from his desperate grasping, and knows he must be covered in them himself. His cock twitches again.

Peter's eyes are dark, so dark, all the glass of them swallowed down. Sam can't look at them or he'll be lost. He drags his gaze down again, and licks his tingling lips.

When Sam doesn't move, Peter does. He pulls himself up to lean against the pillows, and spreads his thighs lewdly. He wraps one hand around his shaft and squeezes, giving an obscene moan. Sam whimpers, mouth aching to suck.

Come here, Peter says, without words. Bend low.

Sam tries to breathe. He lowers himself slowly onto one hand, eyes locked on the swollen head of Peter's cock. He licks his lips again, breathing shallowly through an open mouth. He bows his head, dizzy with hunger, and slowly, broadly, licks.

Peter hisses in, sharp through his teeth. He pulls his hand away, fingers brushing across Sam's cheek. Sam curls closer, pressing his tingling lips to the head of Peter's cock, and planting light sucks and kisses. Tasting him, his tongue sliding to explore, gliding and wet. He hears a soft whimper, and smiles against Peter's cock.

Got you, he thinks, darkly, wanting to make Peter beg, to make him gasp and squirm. He wraps his hand around the shaft, just where Peter's hand had been. Runs his teeth bluntly against the underside of the head, and feels the shift as Peter clenches his stomach muscles. Sam closes his lips and hums against the same spot, nuzzles and kisses, hums and gives small, delicate licks. Peter's hands curl against the bedsheets.

Sam raises his eyes. "Like that?" he murmurs, lips still pressed to that spot.

Peter's eyes are lidded, but darkness glitters beneath his lashes. "That all you got?" he says, voice rough with need.

Sam just chuckles, and lowers his eyes. He slides his mouth up against the very tip of Peter's cock, and slides slowly down, letting his lips part against the pressure of the head. He stops at the edge, wrapping his lips around, his tongue writhing slickly against the soft, trapped skin. Peter makes a strangled sound, and Sam chuckles again, his mouth full of low vibrations.

Smugly, Sam pulls back, the better to gauge how far he has to go to push Peter over the edge. He gives another satisfied lick of his lips, enjoying the way it makes Peter bite at his own. Peter is so cool, so in control, that Sam needs to do this, to drag him down and crack his shell, to know that Peter's need for him is just as sharp, just as raw. He needs to leave Peter ruined, needs to hear him beg. Nothing less will be enough.

Sam opens his hand, cupping the shaft of Peter's cock. He traces up and down with his fingertips, learning the curve of it, the bumps of its veins. He rubs firmly at the underside with his thumb, and as he listens to Peter's swallowed moans, he sees the first drop of moisture at the head. He doesn't touch it, but keeps going, with both hands now, rubbing and caressing all along the shaft; nothing heavy, but not merely a tease. Sam's mouth is so wet, and he swallows and he aches to taste but he waits, has to wait. Has to watch as the drop slowly swells, clear and perfect... and falls, sliding from the slit in a glistening trail. Sam gives an involuntary whimper, and swallows again.

"God," Peter groans, face red with the effort of keeping still, of holding back. He bares his teeth, his breath hissing through them, and his fists strain against tight-gripped sheets.

Yes, Sam thinks, and keeps going, does not relent in his barely-soft touches. Holding the shaft still, he leans close and licks, barely the tip of his tongue, just enough to taste the thin trail before it dries. Peter's body clenches beneath him, and shudders, and another drop appears.

"You taste sweet," Sam murmurs, a warm chuckle in his voice.

"Fuck you," Peter gasps, brow creased against his pleasure.

Sam just laughs, and then takes a sharp breath as the words sink in. "Later," he says, forcing himself to be brave because he wants that, wants Peter inside him, wants to let him in. He wants it, and he won't be afraid.

Peter's eyes open from their narrow slits, and he manages a promising look beneath his lust. And then his head falls back again as Sam licks up the second trail in little tastes, from the root to the tip. When he reaches the slit, he moves down again, wrapping his lips against the shaft, kissing and sucking so slowly, while one hand continues its own tease. He takes his time, ignoring the demands of Peter's gasps and moans, refusing to allow him any sort of control.

Long minutes pass, leaving Peter's cock shining with spit, and the drops of precome become a sticky line down to his balls. Sam carefully avoids it, wanting to wait, to let it drip and pool on Peter's swollen balls. His mouth comes to rest at the opposite side of the head, where he can taste and taste and savour the salt and sweet of Peter's skin until Peter breaks with a desperate growl and grabs at his hair.

"No," Sam says, sternly, tugging Peter's hand from his hair. He rises up and presses down, forcing Peter's hands to the bed. He needs this, needs Peter to understand, to obey.

"Turn over," Sam commands, beyond requests. He needs to know if Peter will heel. And after a dark, dark want of a stare, Peter moves, turning onto his side before Sam's hand stops him.

Sam runs his hand along Peter's arse, feeling the faint traces from the night before. From his hands pawing and desperate on Peter's skin. He barely breathes, the sound so loud in his head. His fingers slide along the crease of Peter's arse, and all he can think of is fucking him, pushing into him again and again, the heat of him and the tightness and the slick slide of the lube. It hurts how much he wants that again, how much he aches for it, for Peter, to take and take and be taken whole.

With clumsy hurry, Sam wets his fingers, coating three with spit. He slides those wet fingers into the crack of Peter's arse, and finds the tight clench of his hole. It feels warm, and when Sam presses two fingers to it, Peter takes a soft hiss of breath. Tender, Sam thinks, and it only makes him greedy. Gently, so gently, he pushes one fingertip inside, and then the other.

After a tight clench against his soreness, Peter's body slowly opens. Sam doesn't breathe as he lets his fingers sink inside, working them a little against the friction. He plants a quick kiss to Peter's hip, and spits on his fingers, spits again until his fingers can glide. He spares a glance up, and Peter's eyes are closed tight, his brow tight, his mouth opening and closing as the pleasure and the ache each spike. Peter grips cruelly at the bed, muscles trembling as he holds himself back, as he lets Sam take.

Sam falls a little more in love, when he sees that.

And now he doesn't just want to take, to torment Peter with pleasure. He wants to feel Peter writhe and buck, wants to make him helpless and wild. Fingers still inside, he pushes at Peter's hip until Peter is almost on his back, body held up just enough for Sam's hand to move. Precome has pooled on Peter's thigh, and now drips down towards the bed. Sam catches it with his free hand and drags it up, smears it on Peter's balls, on his shaft, spreading the wetness already there. Sam brings up his hand and licks it, moaning around his fingers, against his palm. Peter sobs, and it's beautiful, beautiful.

Without hesitation, he brings his mouth down, finally allows himself to suck. He laps up every trace of the salty-sweet of Peter's precome, tasting and tasting until his lips once more ache and tingle. And then he takes the head into his mouth and suckles, pulling the sweetness from it as his fingers plunge and press. Holds there, holds and sucks and listens as Peter's sobs climb high and fast, reedy, choked-off gasps that build and build. Yes, he thinks, Come for me, show me, let go, let go.

And finally, finally, Peter lets go. He bucks hard against Sam's mouth, Sam barely holding on, lips taut and fingers curled. Bucks and shudders and wails, body clenching over and over as come spurts onto Sam's tongue. Sam sucks hard against Peter's shudders, come pooling in his mouth, so much that it drips back out at the corners.

When Peter collapses, Sam tugs his fingers free, and swallows around Peter's cock, takes down all his sweetness. He comes up with a gasp, Peter's cock bouncing to smear against his face, and Sam smiles and then catches it with his lips. He slowly laps and laps as Peter's cock softens, twitching from the extra stimulation. Sam presses his face down into Peter's groin and breathes in, the scent all musk and sweat and come. He rises again, smirking and pleased at his success.

Peter is a happy ruin beneath him, utterly limp, eyes barely open and hazy with afterglow. He's still breathing hard, and seems too addled to speak. Sam crawls over him and kiss him, still tasting of Peter's come. Kisses and kisses him, and rubs aimlessly against him, both of them soft and sated. And even now, even now, Sam wants more. Wants to glutton himself upon Peter, wants an endless feast.

"God," Sam breathes, overwhelmed by how much he needs, after all that.

"'s my line," Peter mumbles, opening his eyes a little more.

Sam closes his eyes. "I can't stop wanting you," he says, hoarse with the admission. He needs so much it hurts, a pain in him he can't stop, can't soothe.

Peter's arms come up around him, and hold him close. Sam keeps his eyes shut, and Peter doesn't speak, and it's easier, with a little time it's easier.

Chapter Text

Sam must have dozed a bit, because he opens his eyes to a noisy, wet slurping. He looks up, and sees that Peter is devouring the strawberries that he'd left by the bed. Peter sees that he's awake and smiles, mouth red and wet with juice, and leans down and kisses him.

"Still taste sweet?" Peter rumbles.

Sam blushes a bit, and laughs against Peter's mouth. "Sweeter," he says, his own mouth now tasting of strawberries.

Peter breaks the kiss, rises up and plucks out another berry. It's red and ripe, and he holds it out for Sam to bite. It's as delicious as it looks. Sam gives a little moan as he chews.

"Do that again," Peter growls, his other appetites awoken.

"Make me," Sam taunts.

"Big mistake," Peter says, smirking. "Never dare a Carlisle."

"Stubborn lot?"

Peter climbs onto him, strawberries in hand. "Unbelievably," he assures him. "Legendary in five counties. Now suck."

Another, larger strawberry is presented, and Sam obeys, nipping and sucking at the berry as he did Peter's cock. Peter's eyes darken with lust as Sam's lips brush his fingertips.

"Your mouth," Peter begins, and trails off, eyes suddenly unfocused with recall. He shakes his head to clear it and feeds Sam another berry.

Sam gives a happy sigh, content to let Peter feed him. And then to let Peter kiss him, when the berries are all gone, Peter's tongue delving into his mouth to taste the last traces of that tart sweetness.

"Mmm, sticky," Peter murmurs.

They are rather sticky, with berry juice and spit and sweat and come. "Shower?" Sam asks.

"I could lick you clean," Peter leers.

Sam snorts. "Shower," he decides, and squirms out from under Peter and stumbles off the bed. He starts the shower, making the water as hot as he can, and steps inside. The hot spray beats down on his skin, and feels unspeakably good.

The curtain twitches, and Peter steps in behind him, immediately wrapping himself around Sam's back. He kisses the crook of Sam's neck, and sighs. They stand under the spray together, slowly turning to share the water. After the heat has soaked them through, they take turns with the tiny hotel bottles and soaps, washing each other with roaming hands. It's so good simply to be close, for everything to be hands and bodies touching, unhurried and gentle.

I love you, Sam thinks, but can't yet say. It's all so new, so sharp, and even now it scares him. He fell in love like plunging off a cliff, and he can't see the bottom, can't trust that he won't crash. He barely knows Peter, yet feels like Peter has always been there, a part of him that Sam simply couldn't see. He presses his hand to Peter's chest, over his heart, and wishes he could see, wishes he could tell if Peter feels the same, if he's in Peter's heart the way Peter is in his. He looks up at Peter's eyes, and oh, oh, his chest tightens because there's love. There's love, and it turns off the gravity, it makes him stop falling and rise.

Sam smiles, his tears hidden by the spray. He kisses Peter hungrily, and Peter responds, as if finally given permission. After everything, Sam's lips are so tender, every touch to them brings a low, lovely ache. His whole body is the same, sore in the most wonderful ways, ways he'd forgotten he could feel. He wants Peter to remind him, and never let him forget again.

But Peter breaks away, leaving Sam to whimper, leaning after the ghost of his touch. Sam opens his eyes and can't breathe, can't breathe because Peter has sunk to his knees and is staring up at him and it makes Sam weak. There's a handicap railing against the shower wall and Sam grabs it with one hand, and leans heavily against it as Peter's hands return to his body, trailing soft caresses up the inside of his thigh, soft and yet so loud to his nerves, so sharp to his senses. All he can feel is the pounding of the steaming water against his back, and the back and forth of Peter's hand, those elegant fingers gliding, slipping.

Sam reaches out one hand for Peter, to grab him and hold him and end the torment of his teasing, but this time it's Peter who grabs his wrist, who makes it clear it's now Sam's turn to take, to accept. Sam takes a ragged breath and swallows, and forces his hand to relax at his side. Perhaps as a reward, Peter finally brings his touch higher, squeezing Sam's balls with exquisite pressure, so good, so good. And then Peter's mouth is there, taking in Sam's still-soft cock, lips wrapped around the very root of it. Sam groans and bucks as Peter's tongue works him, undulating and faintly rough against oversensitized skin. Sam whimpers, begging incoherently, hot water pouring in rivulets around his waist and splashing against Peter's mouth, pouring over his gripping fingers. Sam's cock twitches in Peter's mouth, struggling back to erection against the unbearable stimulation.

"Peter," he chokes, groans, pleads. He curses, moans, teeth bared as he's driven mad, as his cock slowly, slowly swells in Peter's eager mouth. He humps shallowly against Peter's face, and as he hardens it makes the pleasure worse, makes it better. A squeeze to his balls forces him to still his hips, and Peter slides back on Sam's growing cock, already too long for his mouth, and then slides back and Jesus, Jesus fuck, Sam curses and curses as Peter expertly swallows him down. Sam squeezes his eyes tight and sees stars sparkling against the reddish black, the head of his cock pressing into Peter's throat as Peter suckles him.

And then it stops, it stops, and Sam is gasping, trembling, knuckles white as he grips the railing. He opens his eyes and Peter is smirking up at him, the cat with the cream, and licking his beautiful, swollen lips. Sam makes a garbled, desperate sound as fresh need spikes through him.

"Turn around," Peter growls, his mouth curling with delight.

Sam makes another incoherent sound. He can't move, can't even let go of the bloody railing. Peter touches him and he whimpers, but it's only to his hips. The hands urge him to turn, pressing until Sam releases his death-grip on the railing and staggers around. He leans heavily against the wall, reaches back to grab at the curved end of the railing.

Peter reaches past him, and leans hard against the shower knob, stopping the water. The bathroom is suddenly quiet, the air thick with steam. Peter's hands return, sliding to the small of Sam's back, and then down again.

"Ask me what I want," Peter says, strangely sober, voice echoey in the quiet.

Sam swallows, and struggles to speak. "What do you want?" he rasps.

Peter's hands spread and pull, spreading Sam's cheeks. One thumb slides into the crease, making Sam's breath catch, his stomach tighten. Peter's hands relax again, caressing in a soothing motion. Spread him open again, so wide, and then Peter kisses him, there. A gentle kiss, and then a deeper one, his tongue coaxing at the rim. The easy pleasure uncoils Sam's nerves a bit, and he doesn't protest as Peter laps and sucks, as one finger crooks inside him to press and push. Doesn't resist, because it feels so good, and it's only pain that he's afraid of.

Peter's mouth. Sam can barely stand it, the way his tongue and his lips and everything, everything. Peter tugs at his hips and Sam finds himself pressing his arse back and out, unable to stop himself from wanting, because Peter's mouth. Sam can say nothing except groaning, strangled whimpers, his chest aching, his mind long-drowned in arousal.

"I want this," Peter murmurs, speaking with his lips against one cheek, and two fingers and a thumb spreading and pressing and teasing shallowly inside of Sam. He rises up, and the thumb is gone but the two fingers push deeper, press flush, and Sam gives a wanting gasp.

"I want this," Peter rumbles, low at Sam's ear, wrapped against Sam's back. The fingers won't stop moving, rubbing and spreading and making Sam clench, drawing out high, whispering keens. "You want it, too."

Sam tries to turn to face him, shivering in the humid air, his body steaming with heat. He tries to speak, but there's only air. And those fingers, those fingers, feeling so deep inside him, slim and long, knuckles grazing places that make Sam's knees bend.

"Stop," Sam rasps, unable to think, unable to parse this unless he can make Peter stop, to let him breathe. To Peter's credit, he relents, easing his fingers out. His hands now only steady Sam, only hold him.

Sam tries to clear his head, to catch his breath. He does want this, he does, it's just... it's just... "I don't want it to hurt," he says, soft and worried.

Peter sobers, and hushes him. "Never," he promises, and the hold becomes a hug; Peter's arm wraps around him, and his hand rests over Sam's heart.

Sam laughs, quiet and strained, and then looser, easier. He holds against Peter's arms, stupidly grateful to have found Peter, to have been found by him. For this stupid conference that he almost didn't go to, because he'd felt so alone. He's almost missed this, almost lost it, and knows if he hadn't, if he hadn't...

Peter pulls at him, turns him around. He wipes the tears from Sam's eyes, and kisses over each eye in turn. He grabs a towel from the wall rack, and wraps it around Sam, swaddling him and patting him dry. He grabs another for himself, and together they leave the steamy bathroom and somehow tumble back into bed.

They push their damp towels to the floor, and wiggle back beneath the sheets. Their erections are for the moment ignored, pressed between their bodies. They touch each other for comfort, for reassurance.

"Nothing bad will happen here," Peter reminds him.

"How can you know that?" Sam asks, pleads. Wondering if there's some secret, some trick to learn.

But Peter just smiles, gentle and loving. "Because of you. Because of how you make me feel."

Sam's chest goes light. "And how's that?" he asks, somehow casually.

Peter's smile fades, and suddenly he seems so bared, so vulnerable. "Like I've been missing somebody all of my life, and it's you."

Sam searches Peter's face for pretense, for lies, because it's so hard to believe those words are true. That they could be so much what Sam needs to hear. But there's only truth in Peter's eyes, all window-clear.

"Damn you," Sam says, closing his eyes, heart aching because it hurts to be loved. It hurts. And that's the worst pain, deeper and more real than anything physical. It hurts like a dead limb dragged back to life, but a million times worse. And he could turn away from this, could go back to being dead, but he wants this pain like nothing else in the world. Wants to hurt because it means he can feel, wants his heart to break in his chest because it means he can love, can be loved. "Damn you," he whispers, and it means I love you.

They kiss for a time, and it's sweet and right. They hold each other, and Sam feels safe, and believes.

"Turn over?" Peter asks, not demanding but asking permission: to touch Sam, to give him pleasure, to fuck him.

Sam turns over, his stomach fluttering. Anxiety tries to creep back, but he refuses it, swats it away. It doesn't belong here, in this bed. Their bed. Doesn't belong with them.

Sam hears the familiar flick of the cap, and the cool slickness of lube against his arse. Peter's fingers return, pressing back inside him, and he opens for them, clenching and relaxing, trusting, finally trusting. That Peter will make it good, that he will be careful and gentle when he needs to be, and drive hard and deep when Sam begs him. Sam clenches against the thought, trapping Peter's fingers as they press deep inside him. Peter chuckles and wiggles his fingers, rubbing them against the holding muscle, until pleasure makes Sam open again.

"Feels good?" Peter asks, unnecessarily.

Sam just gives a happy moan, and a shallow thrust back against Peter's hand.

Peter chuckles. "Told you. Never dare a Carlisle."

Sam snorts, and wiggles his arse impatiently. "Have to do more than that," he challenges.

Peter's eyes narrow, and he gives a wide, devilish smirk. "Oh, I will," he promises. He tugs at Sam's hip, prodding him to rise, and reluctantly Sam moves, pushing up onto all fours. He looks back, only to see Peter kneeling behind him, and then to feel the familiar slick of Peter's probing tongue.

Sam closes his eyes, and hangs his head, and his body relaxes under Peter's slow, easy invasion. Peter's hands spreads his cheeks, and his fingers probe and spread his hole, but most of all it's his mouth, his tongue, licking and lapping until Sam's skin tingles, until his arse is just as flushed and red as his mouth. Oral fixation, Sam thinks, abstractly picturing Peter licking his lolly, licking his ice cream, licking Sam's cock and his arse and it makes Sam growl with want.

"Stop," Sam chokes, voice thick with lust.

Peter slurps his mouth from Sam's body. "Mmm?" Even his hum sounds pleased with itself.

"Fuck me," Sam rasps, staring at the pillows with glazed eyes.

"Say it again," Peter rumbles.

"Fuck me, you bastard," Sam hisses.

"You only had to ask," Peter chuckles.

Sam would make him pay for that if it didn't mean stopping. He kneads at the bedsheets as Peter prepares, opening the crinkling condom wrapper, and then slicking his covered cock. Nervousness curls low in Sam's stomach, despite his efforts to keep it at bay. He's about to turn around, to say something, when Peter's hand stops him. It rests on Sam's hip, steady and certain, and somehow it instantly settles the nervousness, makes it fade away.

"Do you want to turn around?" Peter asks, as he settles into position.

Sam shakes his head. He could go on his back, or ride Peter's cock as Peter did his, but somehow this is easier. Not just physically, but because he doesn't have to look at Peter's face, doesn't have to be so exposed. If he turned around, it would be too much, and he feels like he would shatter.

"Okay," Peter says, touching him again, reassuring him, letting him know when things will happen. No surprises, not for this. Sam feels stupidly grateful again.

And then Sam doesn't think about anything at all, except for the blunt press of Peter's cock. It feels too big, too much, and panic steals Sam's air. But Peter's touch brings him back, steady circles, soothing and relaxing. Peter pulls back, stretches Sam again with his thumbs. Rubs inside until he finds the places that make Sam whimper and go loose.

"That's it," Peter murmurs, voice low and calm. "Open up for me. 's beautiful."

Sam smiles. "Not beautiful."

"You are," Peter says, too certain to be argued with. He kisses Sam's back. "Every part of you. Beautiful," another kiss, "and soft," another kiss, "and open." He presses his fingers inside, three of them, and spreads them wide, shows Sam how soft and open he can be. Sam breathes in sharply and clenches against them, and then relaxes again. Clenches and relaxes until his body accepts the force of them, accepts being so opened, accepts the invasion.

"Just like that," Peter rumbles, approving. "I'm going to slide into you so easily. Push right inside, until you're all around me."

Sam lets the words carry him, wrap around him with their soothing certainty. "Yes," he breathes, relaxing, relaxing. Wanting to let Peter in, with all his heart.

"You ready?" Peter asks, turning his spread fingers in slow arcs.

"Yeah," Sam says, and swallows. Easy, he thinks, hearing Peter's voice. Open and soft. Slide inside.

"Oh," Sam sighs, as Peter's cock is there again, there and with that steady push. But this time he doesn't fight it, doesn't tense up. He lets it happen, lets himself be speared and spread and opened, and oh, oh.

"Perfect," Peter mutters, voice tight with effort. "Sam." He hisses in through his teeth, pulls back and thrust in again, so slowly.

Peter's cock is slick with lube, and Sam stays loose, but Peter's cock feels so wide, feels impossible inside him. He tightens up, reflexive, clenching tight, and Peter groans.

"Fuck," Peter hisses. He gives a sharp whimper and grips at Sam's body. "You feel so good," he groans.

And suddenly, Sam can breathe again, can relax. Peter is inside him, and there's no pain, no reason to be afraid. This will only feel good. He opens, and Peter eases back, eases forward. Fucks him so slowly, opening Sam up with such patience. And the deeper Peter goes, the easier it is to let him in, the more Sam's body moulds itself around the shape of his cock.

Their bodies rock together, slow and steady, and Sam loses himself in it, in the back and forth of Peter's thrusts, in the sweaty grip of Peter's hands. He almost doesn't realize how far they've gone, until Peter stops. Peter stops because he's all the way in, buried to the root, their balls pressed together, and Sam shudders all over, body clenching in amazement and desire and joy. He clenches around Peter over and over, until Peter groans against his back, until Peter quivers against him.

"Just like that," Peter slurs, drugged with lust. "Fuck. You're so sweet. So sweet."

"Fuck me," Sam tells him, clenching again. "I want this. I want you."

Peter's hands tighten on Sam's body, and Peter gives a hard thrust of his hips, pushing Sam's forward as there's no way to get any deeper. "Gonna fuck you so good," he slurs, chest rumbling against Sam's back.

"Do it," Sam growls. Thrusts forward on Peter's cock, and then back, gasping at the force of his own impalement. Peter groans with pleasure, and returns the favour, pulling back and giving Sam a sharp, strong thrust. Sam gives a gasping whimper, but doesn't stop, doesn't want to stop, ever. "Again," he moans.

Peter says nothing, seemingly unable to speak because all of him is intent upon giving Sam exactly what he asked for. Peter fucks him, and it's good and hard and right, and somehow Peter doesn't lose control. Peter knows exactly what he's doing, knows how hard to thrust, how deep to push, how to drag the gasps and moans of pleasure from Sam's chest. The steadiness lets Sam be wild, lets Sam buck and writhe and clench, all sense gone from his head. It lets him fall apart and still be held together, lets him crack but never shatter. It makes him whimper Peter's name, begging him and praising him and keening out for more.

But then Sam runs out of words, and it's nothing but action, the two of them locked together, Peter pounding into Sam, who is so open now, making the drops of pre-come scatter from Sam's swinging cock. And then something changes, Peter shifts and starts a new rhythm, and then Peter's hand is wrapped around Sam's cock and every thrust turns his grip into a stroke, and Sam feels his body rushing towards release. It all feels so good, so good, heart racing and skin flushed from head to toe, every inch of him full of sharpening arousal.

"Come for me," Peter hisses, sharp and breathless. "Show me. How good. Sam."

And Sam wails. Keens as Peter drags him over the edge, and finally breaks Sam apart. Sam comes so hard, balls aching as they tighten, cock straining in Peter's slickened grip. He shatters, shatters, sobbing and moaning and all of him just falling apart. His heart breaking and his throat tight and it's okay, it's okay, because Peter is all around him, inside him, holding him in so many ways, catching all the pieces before they can get lost.

And he's soft as Peter still fucks him, soft and easy as Peter finds his own release, muscles jerking as he thrusts wildly against Sam's quivering body. Peter collapses against him, sliding half onto the bed, cock still inside Sam, and not yet softened. Peter shifts up against Sam's back and kisses him there, sloppy and aimless, over and over to Sam's back. Thrusts a little in the aftershocks, moaning contentedly, bodies steaming together.

Sam does turn then, pulling from Peter's cock with a gasp, and turning around to kiss him properly, to look into his eyes and be whole. They curl together, limbs entwining, pressing ever-closer as if languidly trying to merge into one. Peter gives a lazy grin, and sighs contentedly.

I love you, Sam wants to say, but it will take time. He's not ready, but he will be. He will be.