Author: Guede Mazaka
In the city, fall is crisp burning rubber in the air and newly-shattered glass on the ground. While Paul’s in his apartment, which comes with a good security system and a neighborhood that’s decent enough to do their crimes indoors, he doesn’t have to stretch his imagination much to know what it’ll be like down in the slums. First milestone in the holiday season is nothing but a harbinger of drunken looting and frantic parents regretting the moment of neglect that let little princess or Jedi or whatever the fuck costume’s chic this year wander off.
Scrooge had it right, he thinks as he finishes knotting his tie. Throw ‘em all in prisons and poorhouses, and reform them that way. The TV in the corner is blaring the standard warning about checking candy bars for needles and shit, and he absently clicks it off on his way to the door. Hopefully, Greenly isn’t trying to shirk the night shift again.
In fact, Greenly is standing at the door. Leather jacket, wrinkled khakis, and a godawful puke-orange plastic thing that looks suspiciously like a bucket. “Trick or treat, man.”
“Only if you’ve magically lost your balls and about fifteen years,” Paul snorts. Fucker. It’s barely dark out and he’s already being denied his caffeine in favor of human stupidity.
“Oh, for…” The other man brings his other hand out from behind his back and deposits a steaming cup of java in Paul’s hand. He pushes past and ambles into the apartment, swinging his bucket from two fingers. “Christ, lighten up. You didn’t even go to the office party, and they gave out some good shit this year.”
Thanks to the cup, Paul can pretend his lips are merely following the rim as he tips back a cautious sip. Good shit, indeed. He quickly runs over the open cases, the assignments he’s given Greenly in the past few days, and starts ranking all the possible fuck-ups in order of increasing likelihood. And comes up empty as to what trouble out of which Greenly’s trying to bribe himself this time; the man’s been suspiciously competent of late. “One, I’m FBI, not BPD. Two, why would I want to go watch Boston’s finest get stone-drunk and humiliate each other in celebration of Cocktober?”
Greenly only sputters for a few seconds, mainly because he’s busy unwrapping a bite-size Snickers and throwing it down his throat without even a cursory glance. For all he knows, the thing could be filled with potassium cyanide.
That stops Paul and makes him backtrack the reference. Then he honestly has to roll his eyes at himself for stooping to the level of some cheapass murder-mystery paperback.
“One,” Greenly parrots, and then nearly chokes because the jackass still can’t multitask. “One, you might as well admit that you’ve turned into the token Fed; even the repeat offenders know your name now. Two—two—you know, you’ve got a really fucked-up sense of humor. Cocktober?”
“I see you’re dodging the question.” The coffee’s cooled fast in the chilly air of the hallway, so Paul can down the remainder in one long swallow. He has his hand on the doorframe and is about to swing out when he senses the amusement. It’s like throwing water on a cat, and Greenly had better have a damn good explanation for just standing there like the grinning idiot he actually is. “What, you don’t want to do Beggars’ Night with the druglords?”
With a careless movement, the other man sprawls out on Paul’s couch and pops another piece of candy in his mouth. His hand almost goes to wipe itself off on the sofa arm, but at the last minute, it detours to his pants. It’s far too easy to see the beer-bellied slob in Greenly’s future; oddly enough, that irks Paul not in his resigned, street-hardened cynicism, but in his expectations. Greenly could do better. He does have brains in between the dick-slinging moronic pride.
“Smecker, man, sit down. You’re making me tired just looking at you.” Then again, when the prick’s smirking like he’s even remotely near to having the upper hand, it’s also clear just how far he has to go. Wheel of fortune, round and round, and the best that can be done is running in place on the top of it. Of course, everyone gets tired eventually.
Paul raises an eyebrow and turns to lean against the door, waiting.
“Duffy owes me for…” Greenly coughs and wiggles his hand, as if that should translate into something. It probably does, but Paul’s never felt the need to learn fratboy or any of its related languages. Not when he can predict everything just from observing the belligerent ignorance in action. “So I called it in. And we’ve got the night off.”
“We?” Since when did Greenly have any pull with the FBI? Contrary to the man’s narcissistic delusions, Paul does not sit around waiting for pretty Irish boys to fuck the local law enforcement into his dark little realm. He has mounds of other shit he needs to shovel.
And he’s feeling unsurprisingly ambivalent about that, because when all’s said and done, he doesn’t like pulling night shifts any more than Greenly does. Maybe age brings more waking and less sleeping, but there are better ways to spend insomnia than browsing post mortem reports or sidestepping bloodstains.
He reaches behind himself and closes the door.
Already impatient, Greenly shoves the bucket between his knees and leans forward, trying and failing to reflect Paul’s contemptuous disbelief. “Yes, we. Jesus, I go out of my way to keep your grumpy highness somewhere you won’t scare all the little trick-or-treaters, and this is—hey!”
“Michael, shut up.” Paul puts the bucket on the table behind him, where he doesn’t have to have his eyes peeled by its glaring ugliness, and uses his other hand to undo his belt and fly. He steps out of his trousers, straddles Greenly, and is neither flattered nor astonished when he finds a sizable erection already swelling the crotch of the man’s pants. “Sometimes I really have to wonder whether you ever finished going through puberty.”
The size of Michael’s eyes are past eggs and on par with shotglass bottoms, and they don’t shrink during all the time it takes for Paul to get fingers up his ass and work it open. By the time he tugs out Michael’s prick and sinks down on it, he’s just about expecting the man’s eyes to pop out.
It’s both relieving and secretly disappointing when they don’t. Instead, Michael squeezes his eyes shut, then opens them and stares. “What the hell have you been taking?”
“Aspirin and my daily shot of whiskey.” Been almost too long since Paul has done this, and he should have remembered the hurting part. Takes a minute, rocking and shifting, before it starts smoothing out into an alcohol burn. “I hope you’re planning on doing something, because I don’t do fucking lapdances.”
“Could’ve fooled me,” Michael mutters, but he’s already shrugging out of his jacket—an easy roll of the hips, and he gets momentarily tangled and moaning so Paul can lick at his neck without having to deal with Michael’s awareness—and yanking at Paul’s tie.
It’s not all flowers, though there is a faint smell of chocolate around. There’s none of that caressing and petting and considerate ‘is this what you like?’ bullshit, because frankly, Paul was always too old and Michael’s got problems just coordinating his hands with his elbows. But then, they don’t have to deal with any of the stupid illusory preliminaries, either. Michael can clutch at the line of Paul’s hip, can garble swears into the sweat soaking Paul’s collar, and he can fuck so the pressure rams into the bottom of Paul’s spine and makes it twist with the reality of the moment. His hands never make it past Paul’s waist, but that’s fine because he does know how to beat off a guy, if nothing else. And if he’s being too damn careless with his teeth, or fucking up the angle, goddamn overeager puppy, Paul can whack him on the head and shudder at the resulting jarring without feeling much of anything except the fracturing crescendo of his coming.
“You messed up your suit.” First thing Michael says, once they’ve gotten past the mindless slumping and then the slightly awkward untangling. He sounds awed. As if he hasn’t seen worse stains before.
Paul shrugs, tweaking the ache that’ll be a while going. Shithead that he is, he needs to remember that the body is one of the things that don’t improve with age. “I’d swipe the come off my shirt before I said that. You know where the bathroom is.”
“Fucking ungrateful son of a bitch,” Michael snorts, getting off and wandering out of the room. When he comes back, changed into the sweats that he left behind the last time he was here and that Paul pretended not to notice because order is just a shade away from sterility, he says the exact same thing. “Hey, I got the night off for you. I didn’t bring the candy for you.”
“Shut up and sit down before I’m forced to irreparably damage your ego.” Paul tears open a Pixie Stix and lets the tang sear the inside of his mouth, closing his eyes. The cushion next to him sinks down, and then there’s a tongue stealing his sugar.
When he looks, Michael is already digging back in the bucket, half-grin bouncing around his face. “Figures you’d like those,” he says, tossing another one over. “Sour as hell.”