Tangible Schizophrenia


Calling Collect

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: NC-17.
Pairing: John/Gabe, John/Midnite
Feedback: Good lines, typos, etc.
Disclaimer: The Constantine characters do not belong to me and I make no claim on them. Notes: AU. Balthazar doesn’t exist. Gabe is an OMC of my creation who looks like a twenty-year-old Gavin Rossdale, and I would appreciate being asked before you use him, as per answer 7 here.
Summary: John Constantine, the cheapest phone line to the underworld.


“Ow,” John muttered. He lazily nudged and twisted till he could get his chin up and onto Gabe’s cheek.

The warm tongue probing the cut on his jaw paused. “The pooka on Thursday?”

“No, shaving yesterday morning.” John winced again as the tongue resumed poking around his various bruises and scrapes. After the fourth time, he wriggled a hand between them and pushed around the sheets till he felt a hump that gave slightly when pressed. A little more pressure and Gabe was shoving his prick into John’s hand, biting open-mouthed at John’s neck. “Son of a bitch. Ow. Get off of there.”

“Mmmm.” Of course, Gabe was into that sort of thing and wasn’t at all put off. He squirmed some more till John finally took hold of him, then settled into a nice, slow rocking that was just about right for a weekend morning after a lousy week.

There were a couple muffled thuds in the distance. John lifted his head to check the bathroom door, but nothing came rampaging out of there so it wasn’t the relic he’d temporarily stashed in the tub. He dropped his head and gave the curve of Gabe’s ear a couple licks. Rolled over onto the other man as Gabe spread his legs. Damn sheets were in the way, but Gabe was working his way towards urgent and would get that sooner or later.

More thuds. Someone was knocking at the door.

“Bloody fucking bastards.” Gabe tossed an arm over John’s neck and insistently pulled downwards. His cock rose up, sliding through John’s hand till John just had to curl his fingers a little to tickle the delicate skin of Gabe’s balls. “What fucking time is it?”

“Nine-ish,” John grunted. Something bumped his side and he moved so Gabe could get that knee up, then bent to suck on Gabe’s earring. A couple months and the way Gabe arched beneath him still got to him, a tight snap that yanked in all the nebulous warmth slowly cruising through him into a deep coiled heat in his belly.


John stopped where he was. Then he pulled off Gabe, reluctantly ignoring the whine and nuzzle the other man desperately gave him, and dragged himself off the bed. “It’s Midnite. Goddamn it.”

“Can’t we tell him to fuck off till tea-time?” Gabe plaintively said.

But John was already well on his way out of the bedroom, since if he didn’t answer the door the next thing that’d happen would be him wasting a perfectly good leisure weekend on warding up a new door. And even with Gabe and Beeman helping, that’d be a bitch to do.

It was a good thing John knew how to dress and walk at the same time, because when he opened the door, Midnite sure as hell didn’t look like he was in the mood for nudity. He looked more like he was in the mood for putting some wheels on hell. Though he did take the time to glance at John’s bare chest before pulling out his best disgusted face.

“He’s got my shirt,” John explained, nodding over his shoulder. He didn’t have to take an actual look to know that Gabe had stumbled after him, tousled and grumpy and indeed having swiped John’s clothes. Again. When his newly-bought wardrobe took up two-thirds of John’s closet.

“I see.” Not really, because Midnite had closed his eyes. He seemed to be struggling hard to suppress a sigh. “I need you to come down tonight and assist me.”

John leaned against the doorframe. A second later, Gabe smacked into him, then nosed at the spot between John’s shoulderblades while John was half-heartedly batting at the insatiable little shit. After a couple tries, John gave up and just pretended Gabe wasn’t trying to grind against the back of his thigh. “I thought tonight’s a raising. And anyway, I already cleared my to-do list with you for the week. On Wednesday.”

Midnite looked sour, but it wasn’t entirely at John. “I know. This will count extra. I need you to act as a medium.”

Since they were such good old friends, John did Midnite the courtesy of faking a moment to think it over. Then he reached behind himself and grabbed at Gabe’s ass so the other man started moaning and stopped nibbling distractingly at John’s neck. “I think I’d rather stay home and fuck Gabe.”

A soft chuckle was muffled into John’s shoulder. Apparently Gabe peeked around it, because Midnite shot a glare at that body part. “I take back what I said about him being good for you.”

“Yeah, you tend to do that. Makes me wonder why you keep giving me advice in the first place,” John said. He was kind of hoping that that would be it.

But nope, Midnite was still standing there, and now he was getting that stiffness in his shoulders and the tilt of his chin that meant he was going to—“John, it’d be a favor. I would highly appreciate it.”

Well, fuck. That was about as close as non-possessed Midnite ever got to ‘please,’ and if he got that far, then it was serious.

John rested his head against the doorway and absently squeezed at Gabe’s buttock. He enjoyed the slow, teasing slide of their bodies over each other a moment longer, and then he gave Gabe’s ass a light slap before he let go. Predictably enough, Gabe took that for the dismissing gesture it was and bit hard into his shoulderblade. He slouched around to lean more on John’s side, exuding a cloud of huff so thick that John could see it with his face still smushed into the door-frame.

“Who is it?” John sighed. “Who the hell couldn’t you handle by yourself, and want me to do instead?”

“I could handle—there are two of them,” Midnite abruptly said. “And they’d want to kill each other as soon as they were both in the room.”

Okay, that explained…not much. “You’ve got other people you could call in.”

“It’s Gabriel and Circe.” It sounded like Midnite had had to practically kill himself to say it.

Then again, that was understandable. John didn’t even try to hide his disbelief, or his sudden certainty that Midnite had turned into one of the mindless zombies he used as servants. “What? How the hell—oh, fuck. Right. They got busted down to mortal and died that way, so they could turn into ghosts.”

“Of a former angel and a former demon?” Gabe hissed. “Are you mad?”

“Got to second that,” John said. He stared at Midnite, and Midnite stared crankily back. Fuck. “You know, you better never give me a lecture on self-destructive tendencies again, because this just takes the whole fucking banquet table.”

Midnite almost did something interesting, but at the last minute, he reined himself in and just stepped backwards. “Be there at eight sharp. We have to start preparations earlier this time.”

Gabe pushed off John and leaned out the door to watch Midnite go. This was the back stairs, but that didn’t mean the occasional lost bowler didn’t end up in it, so John pulled the other man in before he got cited for indecent exposure. Then Gabe shut the door and slewed around to put his back to it, shirt-tails flapping like crazy so both his heads were cocked at John. “You aren’t seriously going to do it. John, I might not have harrowed hell or whatever, but even I know this is completely idiotic.”

“And we’re real poster children for intelligence. No, look—Midnite wouldn’t bother asking unless it was going to fuck with things, and in a really, really bad way. I don’t show up and I guarantee that within the week, we’ll have Lords of Hell shoving spiked dicks up our asses,” John said. He shrugged at Gabe and dug into his pants pockets, where he found his cigarette pack but no lighter. “Plus he’ll be even crankier.”

Clickety-click, and Gabe was blowing out the flame just as John was poking a cigarette towards it. He looked pissed for a second longer before his shoulders started to slump and he dropped his eyes to the floor. “We better not have to swing by his place for the rest of the month, then.”

“That’s pretty much a given. Going to take that long just to feel normal again,” John muttered. He looked at the thin white cylinder poking up between his fingers, then at Gabe. Looked lower. “God, you’re hopeless. Even with an impending apocalypse.”

“Well, that’s about the norm for hanging around you.” The shirt-tails flapped some more as Gabe braced himself against the door and started sliding his feet apart. He flicked the lighter on, then off. On and off. “Eight…that’s eleven hours.”

John stuffed the cigarettes back in his pocket, then undid his fly and stepped out of his pants. Gabe turned off the lighter for good just before they would’ve gotten their stomachs burnt on it. He reached around to toss the lighter—presumably onto John’s trousers—and his hand never really made it back to the front. Which was fine as far as John was concerned.

* * *

The drugs were well and truly out of the picture, but occasionally Gabe still got a spastic attack. He was having one now, sitting on the benches that ringed the sawdust pit Midnite used for services. When he wasn’t drumming his fingers on the wood, he was kicking his heels into the ground, or bobbing his head, or…

“John.” Midnite got up from where he’d been putting the final touches on his altar. He was a little slow in getting off one knee, which made John smile sourly. Badasses or not, nobody ever could beat time.

Goddamn black cock didn’t want to come out of its cage. It didn’t look especially bright, so maybe it just didn’t like the smell of cigarettes. Not that John particularly cared; he just wanted the damn thing out so they could get started and get it all over with. “What?”

He stuck his arm deep into the cage, but the chicken did a run-around and came flapping at his face. John cursed and threw himself backwards, then blindly snatched at the flurry of feathers and sharp claws that burst out above him. He snagged something, managed not to prematurely break the rooster’s neck, and rolled over to get the twine. A couple seconds later, the cock was pissed off, but wasn’t going anywhere, and—

“Hah!” John snorted, yanking away his hand. The green-gray blob of chicken shit plopped on the ground instead of on his sleeve. “How many times do you think I’ve done this?”

“Never,” Midnite sighed. He had the look on his face that meant he’d been making all kinds of expressive gestures and eye-rolls and whatever, only John had missed them all so now he felt compelled to talk it out. He stooped and scooped up the sawdust around the bird shit, then tossed it out of the ring. “Did you properly prepare him?”

The rooster looked just as puzzled as John did. He passed it to Midnite and got up to shake off all the dust. “Yeah, he’s cleaned and anointed and everything.”

Now Midnite just looked constipated. “No. Gabe.”

Gabe blew out an irritated, derisive breath and flopped over to lie on his back. “Oh, my God.”

“Yeah, really. I thought we were raising the dead here, not putting on a show for you,” John drawled. He slapped at his pants a few more times. Then he walked to the edge of the ring and checked everything out. It looked fine, so he took off his coat and flapped it at Gabe. Gave him about ten seconds before tossing it onto his face. “No, seriously. I told him to ask the questions we gave him and write down anything coherent that we say, and that things will be weird, and not to do anything stupid like step inside the ring before we’re done.”

“Believe me, I’m perfectly happy to let you two be the idiots. When I said I wanted to learn what this was all about, I didn’t mean I wanted to commit suicide,” Gabe muttered, batting John’s coat off of him. He shot John a glare, but didn’t waste much time shrugging himself into the coat. His fingers started sneaking towards the inner pockets.

John glared back. “Hey.”

Big, innocent eyes from Gabe.

“Beeman’s not going to have a new shipment of my cigarettes till Tuesday and I’m running low. Stay the fuck away from those—God knows you could buy your own if you didn’t blow your share on pretty boots.” Though they weren’t actually that pretty to John’s eye. They were expensive black leather and shinier than Lou’s mirror, yeah, but they were also built like industrial trucks. Them on Gabe, with his less-than-rugged features, were…well, funny, but also…

“John,” Midnite said again.

Rolling his eyes, John swung himself back around and got in place. He started unbuttoning his cuffs. “Well, just in case you forgot what I’d rather be doing.”

“Amen,” Gabe grinned.

“And I was hoping he’d improve your sense of responsibility.” Midnite shook his head and squatted with the rooster in one hand and a knife in the other. He made a few slow passes before the bird with the knife, but it squawked loudly and struggled.

Frowning, Midnite got up and resettled himself. He stretched out one foot and nudged a nearby bowl till it was resting just in front of him, then moved the knife in hypnotic circles before the rooster. This time, it fell silent and almost seemed dazed.

John heard a sharp intake of breath behind him, but couldn’t afford to look. His lips were on the dry side and he gave them a lick before he started chanting. He really wished he could do this with a cigarette, but the non-Latin parts of the liturgy didn’t have any convenient pauses for taking drags. And yeah, because it’d piss off Midnite just that inch beyond the safety line.

He and Midnite were both adepts, and while John wouldn’t say both of them were really on familiar or friendly terms with the loa, they were definitely on close terms. The air got very thick and sweet very fast so it was like standing in steaming clouds of sugar-water. Everything went hazy as well, even though there wasn’t actually any fog rising. It was more like John’s vision was slowly being eased into two.

A sharp, coppery scent filled the air and John lazily glanced down to see a small arc of bright, bright red. It looked beautiful and ripe, inviting him to just pluck it out of the air. But by the time he got down to that level, it’d trickled away. His limbs seemed to obey, and didn’t. No, they were listening to him, but they seemed so much longer that he took extra care when moving them, and then he was too slow.

“Legba, allez-vous…” Something or the other. Midnite, John’s mind dredged up. He was asking Legba for help, asking him to find something.

Whatever. John wasn’t really listening. He was too interested in the slow sensuous sway of color above him. He was all the way down on the ground now, and vaguely aware that he should probably slide his feet out from under him to spare his back, but it wasn’t painful for anything. It was okay. Nice and warm, and some smoky voice whispering sweet poison in his ear, and—

--fuck fuck fuck. Right—he hated this part.—

“Oh, ho. I like this body.”

* * *

No! No, I’m not leaving—I’m not done—no!

“Who the fuck isn’t?” John gritted. Oh, good, he had control of his mouth back.

And not good—Circe wasn’t letting go of his leg. She whiplashed him around, then made him bend almost double in an attempt to break his concentration. Fucking bitch. Fucking idiot bitch, like he wasn’t—used—to—

John’s back and legs suddenly relaxed, sending him face-down into the sawdust. Particles of it got up his nose and tickled like hell, but he forced himself to just blow out and not to sneeze. He sank his nails into the ground and arched up, trying to get a grip on the rest of his body. Circe’s screech temporarily got hold of his throat, but he gave her the spiritual bitch-slap of her damn life—alive and dead—and rolled over.

He looked around for a sand-sigil that was still intact, but between him and Midnite, they’d all gotten pretty messed up. Speaking of, Midnite seemed to be having a hell of a time getting Gabriel out of him, if the way his voice kept gliding into enraged shrieking was any clue. Well, served the bastard right for—

“I want to kill that bitch first!” John’s mouth said, and his hands skidded a foot towards Midnite. “Kill her, and then I’ll go—then—I’ll—oh, fuck this for a Saturday night. Midnite! Midnite! Get your stupid houngan ass over—fuck—”

Clatter at the side. John glanced over and saw a wide-eyed Gabe scrambling up, pencil slanted in his hand like a dagger. Circe’s lustful appreciation was so strong John nearly licked his lips…except Circe was thinking about whether a red wine reduction or a lemon-butter sauce would go better, and to hell with that. Literally. She needed to go back to hell. Now, thank you.

“John—call—” Twisting and grimacing, Midnite made it half of the way over. He reared up with blazing eyes the moment John made a move towards him, then slammed back down. He obviously didn’t have any spare energy to get the rest of the way across.

Neither did John, and that was bad because he needed to get over to Midnite and they needed to call the loa down on these goddamn cunts, but he couldn’t get an inch nearer to Midnite without Circe going nuts. But he’d have to. He’d…right, this was a stupid idea but it’d probably work. At the very least, it’d give him some entertainment before everything went to shit.

He held back as long as he could, then let go when Circe was just about ready to start ripping him apart from inside out. Damn near broke a wrist scrambling over to Midnite and yanking him up by the shoulders. The other man’s eyes bloomed, one brown and one green: the brown one was terrified and scolding, the green one triumphant.

Then John smacked Circe down long enough to turn the strangle-hold into a kiss. He couldn’t see Midnite’s eyes anymore, but he had a feeling they were both brown now. Maybe it was the outraged noises Midnite was making, or the fact that Circe had suddenly gone pretty fucking quiet. Or maybe it was the huge rush of warmth that came into John and completely swept that bitch back to where she belonged.

They tipped over and John’s muscles gave out. They were sore as hell from the internal tug-of-war, so he didn’t really feel like pulling them back in line right away. Plus he supposed that the loa that’d helped him deserved some worshipful thanks. “Even if you took your fucking time,” he muttered.

He got the impression of a giggle. Beneath him, it looked like Midnite was adamantly refusing to let his loa get enough of a hold to laugh as well. “Not this again.”

“You make it sound like I let you talk me into this all the time. Let me tell you, I’ve got better ideas about how to get to this point than letting some fucking demoness into my head.” John tested his arm muscles. They weren’t any closer to normal, so he just stayed put where he was on Midnite’s chest. He could hear the other man’s heartbeat, and smell his sweat—salty, with pungent herbs mixed in. It didn’t taste so bad. “I think I’ve got a ghede. You?”

Midnite muttered something and turned his head to the side. His hands moved beneath John, sometimes pushing at John’s sides and sometimes stroking them.

“Hey…hey. Are you guys…done?” Gabe had lost the notebook and pencil and now was edging around the ring, staring warily at them. He looked a little nonplussed, too. “John? Um…you in there?”

“I’m—” John started.

Then he stopped, because Midnite had turned his head again to look at Gabe and damned if that wasn’t a look of deep interest. And a hand undoing John’s fly.

“Erzulie again? Jesus. And I thought your patron was Ogou,” John snickered. He stretched, felt his prick slide out of his pants and into a good, firm grip, then bent to lick from Midnite’s collarbone to his jaw.

“Hey! Get the fuck out of his head!”

Both John and Midnite sluggishly looked at Gabe, who went sort of red and had a sudden coughing fit. He backed up against one of the benches, beating a nervous tattoo against his hip. John licked at Midnite’s throat again, then let his body sort of slide off and over so he was lying right at the edge, grinning up at Gabe. “No, it’s okay. It’s loa, not fucking asshole ghosts—by the way, you got through all the questions, right? Because I’ll be damned if I do that again…?”

Someone was nuzzling at his ass. And was continuing upwards while his hands massaged over John’s hips and then downwards, alternating in slow strokes that gradually rubbed the sawdust off John’s cock. Which had been starting to get gritty and itchy. John hummed and pushed up so Midnite could get further down.

“This is…this is so weird. This is—you two were fucking! That first day after you took me home!” Gabe yelped. His feet did a little dance towards the door, then came back, and finally he just stood there shuffling them. He pushed one hand through his hair and sat down so hard the bench rattled. “Shit. John…”

“Handjob, blowjob. Not—hmm, down farther—really fucking. Midnite’s usually too much of a cold bastard, and I’m just plain rude,” John murmured. His pants were down around his knees now, and Midnite seemed determined to wetly mouth off his shirt. Wasn’t really going to work, but sure as hell felt good. Like having little electric bursts going off beneath his skin, followed up by a soothing lave. “No, come on. Come on, come on…this is what it’s like, too. Wouldn’t put up with shit if there wasn’t any payback.”

“Okay, that does sound like you.” Gabe eyed John. He had a hard time keeping his eyes on John’s face and not letting them drift back to whatever amazing thing Midnite was doing to John’s ass. His hands were clenched into fists, and when John lifted up so if he’d been able to cross the ring barrier, he could’ve nosed them, the fists went white-knuckled.

The ghede was getting irritated, wanting to give up and just move on to Midnite, who apparently had come round. Stupid spirits—they were more short-sighted than people sometimes. John told it off and willed his grin to soften a little, dropped his lashes like he hadn’t done in ten years. He probably looked ridiculous to any objective observer…but Gabe wasn’t really one, judging by the way Gabe’s flush renewed itself.

“Are you coming home with me or not?” John drawled, letting his head roll. Then he sank back, and had the damnedest time not letting out the ghede’s rough laugh when Gabe hesitantly stepped over the barrier to follow him down.

Had to grin though, because Gabe remembered to mutter a quick prayer to Legda and Damballah before he crossed. He’d barely finished before Midnite was on him; his hands and feet went flying and his damn boot nearly clipped John’s jaw.

John was a little annoyed, and not just because Midnite had fucking dropped him like a rock: he’d ended up taking the trouble to bring in Gabe, and he was the one that put up with the little shit’s less endearing habits, like fidgeting if the wind blew wrong. He grabbed Midnite’s ankle and shook it, and when that didn’t do it, crawled up to yank Midnite the hell off.

“Fuck!” Gabe gasped. The moment he was free, he was around and behind John, and Midnite…

…okay, Midnite was just way too repressed nowadays, because he just attached himself to John’s mouth like they hadn’t even paused. When he drew back, John got up an arm between them and checked out the other man’s pupils: dilated like a cokehead’s. Erzulie wasn’t just along for the ride like the ghede was with John, but was damn near grinding Midnite completely out of the picture.

John suppressed a sigh, told the ghede to enjoy the way Gabe was pressing up, and took Midnite’s face between his hands. Sucked on his lower lip, then leisurely worked his way around to Midnite’s neck. He was tugging at Midnite’s earlobe when Midnite’s hands finally got back to his dick.

“Hey, Erzulie,” John muttered. “Knock it off. Ease off a little, or at least respect the fact that Gabe’s no horse of yours.”

Midnite made a weird pouting sound, which would’ve made more sense coming from Ellie, but his hands didn’t slow down. Gabe muffled something in John’s shoulder that sounded like ‘so fucking bizarre, drug-dreams weren’t this bad.’ The ghede gave the impression of eye-rolling. John agreed, and twisted around to hook his arm around Gabe. He dragged the other man around and went straight for the earring, which turned Gabe’s protest into a long whine and nuzzle.

“Horse?” Gabe said. Squeaked, actually, because Midnite had slid up and gotten John’s coat and the shirt under it off of Gabe in less time than it took to wink. Now he was mouthing at Gabe’s shoulder and Gabe was looking sort of…

Yeah, not good if Gabe punched him. John tightened up his grip on Gabe’s waist and pulled him till he was flush up to John’s chest. Fell over while he was doing that, but hey, sawdust was soft and Gabe’s ass was nicely cushioning John’s prick. “It’s just voodoo lingo. Pretty fucking funny sometimes, but so’s everything else.”

Gabe moved uncertainly, like he was still thinking of making a run for it. He relaxed a little when John stroked one hand down his thigh, then stiffened up again when Midnite’s mouth drifted further down his chest. His ass shoved back hard so the pressure went from good to painful, making John buck. Midnite grunted—John’s foot had hit him—and squeezed one hand back to let it ride on the dip of John’s side. He moved back up to Gabe’s neck while John nibbled at Gabe’s neck and wiggled his other hand around till he found a nipple ring.

That never failed, and it didn’t now. A couple of twists and Gabe was whimpering and boneless, head thrown back so his lips were grazing the underside of John’s chin. This time, he let Midnite go down without a protest. And Midnite kept going down, till suddenly Gabe jerked hard against John and John had to grab his hips to keep him from sending them all askew. John glanced over Gabe’s shoulder and watched the world haze around Gabe’s pale, slender prick going in and out of Midnite’s mouth. Dark lips, steadily reddening skin, drums pounding somewhere way, way off in a land almost—almost as hot and steaming as this one.

“What—what are you saying?” Gabe gasped. “Is that English?”

John blinked, then shook his head. He nipped at Gabe’s ear, sliding his hands down Gabe’s arms till he’d pried them away from Midnite’s head. Erzulie didn’t generally like being pushed, and if she thought someone was being presumptuous, she had a hell of a temper. “Sorry. That was the ghede.”

“The…” Gabe didn’t finish, but he managed to shoot a look back at John. It had enough dislike in it to penetrate John’s pretty preoccupied consciousness.

Midnite-Erzulie noticed, too, and flicked eyes up to tell John fix it. Bastard. But okay, John didn’t mind it this time. He got Gabe’s wrists in one hand and pinned up them against Gabe’s breastbone, then flailed behind him till he tipped an oil bowl over his other hand. John craned around and got hold of Gabe’s mouth with his own, and kissed Gabe hard enough for there to be no damn ghede in it. No, the loa was busy playing hell with John’s prick, which had gotten started up and abandoned twice and wasn’t all that satisfied with just snuggling up to Gabe’s buttocks, however firm and round they were.

He bit down on Gabe’s lip, then slipped his tongue into the other man’s moan and fucked him there while sneaking fingers down between Gabe’s thighs. Gabe bucked suddenly and John had two seated in him to the knuckles, all wrapped in hot silk tightness, and then Gabe groaned and arched so the hot band of heat that ran through John’s center snapped like a plucked guitar-string. He was squirming so much that he pretty much opened himself up; John forewent any more fingers and just got his knee braced beneath them. He slipped out the fingers, giving Gabe a crack on the ass as he did, and when Gabe was jerking away from that, pushed in his prick.

The ghede enjoyed the scream. A little more than John really liked, he hazily thought. And he was going to do something about that, except he had a tongue coiling in his mouth and Gabe definitely was still keening. Okay, Midnite apparently wasn’t in the mood to finish anyone else. Fucking tease, as usual.

Whatever. John nuzzled away from Midnite’s mouth and rolled so he could get a little more push against the floor, getting down to someone he knew wasn’t going to perpetually leave him on the hook. The ghede approved and so did John, because hell, Gabe spreading out, shoulders shaking and head down, was always a good thing.

Midnite muttered irritably, which John ignored. If John had had hands free, he would’ve given him the finger. But his hands were very busy moving over Gabe, and working on bringing that white-hot spark closer and closer, and taunting was fun but plain pleasure was even better. Fuck. Fuck--Gabe’s neck arched and John’s muscles tensed, and everything went off down the line like—

--no. Shit. It’d almost gotten there—it sure as hell had for Gabe, looking at how he flopped down, half on his side so John could see his gasping mouth—but someone had yanked John back at the last minute. And someone was…fuck, it’d been awhile—okay, this hurt a little and goddamn it, if Midnite’s fingers would just get the hell up there—ah.

Yeah, there, and then there again with something blunter and wider but a hell of a lot hotter, and all right, John did remember why he sometimes loved this, too. He dropped down on his elbows, bumped his head on Gabe’s chest, bumped his mouth on Gabe’s nipple and latched on. Gabe hadn’t stopped shaking and now he let out an exhausted, pleading whine, his hand feebly pushing at John. After a long suck, it turned to curl loosely in John’s hair.

Midnite pushed John and John pushed his knee against Gabe’s slack prick and Gabe mewed. It was a goddamn good chain of events, and it quickly ratcheted John back to where he’d been, and if Midnite didn’t goddamn shove John that last inch he was going to—never—mind—

--no mind. Blissfully.

* * *

“So when does he remember you’re an annoying asshole and I’m only good for keeping you marginally polite?” Gabe mumbled to John’s jaw. He cooed and wiggled when John shifted one hand to lie further up his back, then went boneless as jelly again. “Is this why you’re always less snappy at him after the monthly rites?”

Midnite put one hand up to his face and groaned into it. He jerked away when John tried to pat him on the shoulder, which answered Gabe’s first question. “Are you going to pull out some speech on monogamy and mutual trust on me?” John asked. “Because I’m not fucking dealing with that right now. My back feels like it’s gotten hit in a thousand places.”

“I’m not getting off you. Don’t feel much more in shape.” Gabe pushed at the underside of John’s jaw. He sounded lighthearted enough, but he had tensed up beneath John’s hand. “You’re an asshole. I’ve gotten that lesson by now.”

“He’s been remarkably patient with your incessant questions,” Midnite snarled, shakily sitting up. He stared around the ring, then rubbed at the sides of his face. “We live in a world of symbols. Whether or not they actually have meaning is an entirely different issue from what they’re supposed to stand for. Most people never understand that.”

John closed his eyes. “You always get depressing and philosophical afterwards. One time—one fucking time—can we fuck without you acting like you get a hang-over from it?”

“Shut up,” Gabe muttered. After a moment, he lifted his head and stared down at John. His eyes were bleary but amused and oddly understanding. “Fuck, you should’ve just taken me along. You have no idea how boring it gets waiting for you to get home from those.”

“You don’t have to wait,” John said. He and Gabe looked at each other a little longer before John got too tired of it, or too burned by it. Usually ended up the same, anyway. “Mouthy son of a bitch.”

Gabe snickered and dropped his face into John’s neck again. “Remind you of that every morning, don’t I? Take me next time, or else that’s it for the nice wake-up—”

“When you two are done.” Swear to God, Midnite could make the archangels sound like they really were paragons of light and virtue when he got pissy. “You should bring him, John. It’s about time he was ridden properly.”

On second thought, better pissy Midnite than mocking Midnite. John dragged up his arm and used his last bit of strength to give Midnite the finger. Fucking smartass.