John McClane's Secretary

John McClane never thought the day would come when he had a secretary. It was apparently one the perks of what Bowman called “A Man in His Position”. His preferred position was leaning over Matt giving it to him real good, not being some high muckety-muck. He also hated wearing a tie all the assistants expected him to wear. John-Fucking-McClane didn’t do ties unless he was going to court, a wedding, or a funeral.

Back in his NYPD days, the good old boys in the squad room used to joke they’d love a cute little secretary to do their bidding. They had thought it would be great to have some chick to do their paperwork, fetch their coffee, and wear low cut shirts. Those were the same guys who would sneer if they knew about Matt. John didn’t have use for assholes like that anymore.

An old dog like him could learn new tricks though, because one of the first things he learned was you didn’t call them secretaries anymore. They were called Administrative Assistants these days. Call them Late-For-Supper for all he cared, John knew he hated them all. They either looked at him with disdain, fear, or worst of all, pity.

His latest assistant had started this morning. This was the seventh one in a row. She was newly graduated with some fancy degree and arrogant, thinking she could succeed where all of the others had failed. The girl was also pretty with a perky set of boobs that the Geek Squad thought were her only redeeming quality, except Nana-chan. He was pretty sure Matt had also hated her on sight.

Bowman walked into the open office where John had his desk set up. To get to the geeks, you had to get past John. His desk was situated where traditionally an assistant’s would be. It worked for John perfectly because it was close to the coffee pot and easy to catch any wayward geek who tried to sneak past him. The pompous office intended for him had been turned into a geek quiet room with video games and a couch where he sent one of them when they needed to cool down or a time out. He currently had his feet up on the desk, knowing that someone had come into his territory.

Bowman glanced around the office, looking for John’s new assistant. “McClane, where is she?”

John smirked and tilted his chair back. He took a big gulp of cold coffee from his chipped NYPD mug.

Bowman groaned and a vein his forehead pulsed. “You didn’t.”

“It’s part of the job description,” John chuckled like the smug son-of-a-bitch he was. “Making nice with the natives. Freddie likes her a lot, or at least parts of her.”

“You know his name is Freddie, right? Or, Warlock. Not Frankie.”

John shrugged and scratched his chin. He finished off the cold coffee and put the mug down on a pile of papers knowing Matt would fill it up sooner rather than later. Matt liked to think John didn’t know it was that Starbucks stuff and John liked to indulge him. If the kid felt he was being sneaky, what did John care as long as it made Matt happy.

“It’s Frankie to me.” John tapped his temple with his fingertip. He felt slight stubble and made a mental note it was probably time to shave again. “I even think of his name in my head as Frankie.”

“It pisses him off.”

“I’m supposed to be the Master Geek Tamer and Wrangler. Warlock has a big ego. This reminds him who’s the boss.”

Bowman glanced down at his watch and sighed. “How long do you give her?”

“Two minutes tops. They were extra riled up this morning about some sci-fi show they watch. I tuned them out after they mentioned demons.”

“Not even two hours. That would be a new record, even for you.”

The door from the geek’s main playground flew open and the young woman in question stumbled through. “Hey there, Ms Hairpin.”

“It’s Halpin! Haplin, not hairpin.” She screamed, but screeched even louder when a tiny pink blur of woman, launched herself onto the outsider’s back.

The pink blur was the only female hacker on John’s team and probably the most feared by the team itself for her temper, or at least for her possession of an XX chromosome. Ms Halpin had a good size advantage on the five-foot-nothing Nana-chan, but it was Nana-chan who had the upper hand.

John made no move to help Ms Halpin. “Ten bucks on my girl.”

“Get this bitch off of me!” Ms Halpin screamed and twirled around, trying to buck Nana-chan off of her.

“Oh, you shouldn’t have called her a bitch,” John called out. “She hates that.”

Nana-chan pulled at Ms Halpin’s hair. “She unplugged my system and let Warlock touch her tits!”

Bowman stepped forward to intercede, but stopped when John shook his head. “I got this.”

Slowly John stood up and stretched, giving Nana-chan time to have a little fun. He liked the girl. She had spunk. Ms Halpin’s perfectly coiffed bun was in a shambles and her glasses dropped to the floor to be crushed underfoot by her expensive stilettos.

“Ladies,” John’s tone was amused, not pissed off. “Ladies, please. I’m sure we can have a reasonable, respectable dialogue, like that healthy workplace bullshit manual says.”

Matt had come out from the hacker’s main domain. He was leaning against the doorframe watching the carnage. The other hackers were hovering behind him and watching the girl-fight intently, all but drooling. Matt was their real leader, even if Warlock liked to claim he was the Master Hacker.

“You read the manual?” Matt snorted.

“I had to read something on the shitter.” John shrugged and winced when Nana-chan managed to steer Ms Halpin into the water cooler. The water was bright orange with the added Tang that was the rule here. The 5-gallon bottle wobbled dangerously and then tumbled to the floor, spilling onto the stained rug. “You’re gonna mop that up, girl!”

“Sure thing, boss,” Nana-chan chirped and grabbed onto Ms Halpin’s ears. “Just let me…”

Bowman pointed at the women. “McClane, stop this before we face another lawsuit.”

“Hairpin isn’t in any real trouble,” John reasoned. “If Nana-chan wanted to do her real damage, she could. She’s a second degree black belt in Hapkido, ya know. The girl’s having a lil’ fun.”

“McClane, I swear…”

“Fine, fine. Okay,” John sighed and raised his voice. “Nana-chan, playtime’s over! Drop the civvie.”

Nana-chan had managed to wrap her arm around Ms Halpin’s throat in a complex sleeper hold. “Sure!”

John knew exactly what she was planning when she didn’t let go. He heaved another sigh and rubbed a hand over his scalp, turning to Bowman. “You’ve gotta be so goddamn literal with these kids. She’s gonna drop her with that sleeper.”

The vein on Bowman’s forehead started to pulse more, and he had developed a fine sheen of sweat. “Oh, good God, no.”

“Your loss. You could use the security footage in self-defence training. Nana-chan. Off the civvie. Down, girl!”

Nana-chan whacked Ms Halpin on the back of the head, then jumped off her back with ease. The interloper was dishevelled and shaking, but otherwise unharmed. Nana-chan really had been playing with her. Their tiny terror of a hacker tilted her head to the side and made what Matt called “chibi eyes”. All John knew that it was same expression when he caught Lucy with her hand in the cookie jar. It hadn’t worked then and it sure as hell wasn’t going to work now.

“Yes, boss?” Nana-chan put on her best innocent face and straightened her pink sweatpants and matching crop-top.

“I want her arrested!” Ms Halpin shouted and scrambled away from the other woman.

“I didn’t see anything.” John exchanged glances with Matt and other male members of the team. “Did you boys see anything?”

“Nothing,” Matt agreed and bit his bottom lip to keep from bursting out laughing.

There was a chorus of behind Matt of, “We saw nothin’.”

Ms Halpin grabbed her purse and found that one strap was broken. Then she stepped in the pool of Tang and sputtered, “The video…”

“Really?” Matt sniggered and licked his lips.

Matt only got that look when he was either horny or facing a very challenging hacking job. This woman was all but daring him to sign her up for every bestiality mailing list there was. John couldn’t let him loose with Bowman right there, even though he was sorely tempted.

“Farrell,” John growled. “No.”

“Ah, c’mon.”

“We’ll discuss it later.”

“You’re all crazy!” Ms Halpin was already at the door. “You’re a bunch of pathetic freaks, and he’s a big, knuckle dragging faggot ringmaster for this nasty sideshow.”

John stalked over to Matt, not sure who he was holding back more, himself or Matt. His hand came to rest on the back of Matt’s neck, thumb rubbing behind his ear. “You really shouldn’t have called them freaks, lady. Bowman, get her out of here before I let Nana-chan use her for a scratching post.”

“You shouldn’t have involved McClane. Now it’s personal. I like him,” Matt warned, leaning into John’s touch. He was already running scenarios in his head on what electronic carnage he was going to do to her. She was done for in new and exciting ways. “I don’t like you.”

“Big mistake,” Warlock snickered.

Nana-chan flexed her fingers in imitation of a cat and meowed loudly. “You can call me Miss Kitty.”

Ms Halpin fled without another word, but she was gaping like a fish as she slammed the door behind her.

Matt leaned into John’s touch even more and commented with a smirk. “It’s a shame really.”

Bowman was not pleased in the least. “Losing her? You hated her.”

“No, it’s a shame what we’re going to-” Matt squeaked when John tightened his grip on the younger man’s neck. “Oh, um. Right. Shame to lose her. John has to do all his paperwork alone. Damn, shame. Really, a big monumental shame. She was such a nice, young woman. Shame. Shame. Shame.”

Bowman pinched the bridge of his nose, feeling a migraine coming on. He had no idea how John put up with them. Hell, he didn’t know how the geeks put up with McClane. They all deserved each other and, as crazy as it all was, they got results. The solve rates for the Cyber Unit had skyrocketed since McLane and Farrell put their team together. Despite that, an early retirement was looking more appealing every day.

“I have an idea,” Matt suggested and pushed his bangs out of his face.

“God help us all.” McClane grunted when Matt elbowed him.

“If I find someone that’ll tolerate John’s shit, will you hire them?”

“No sane person would tolerate McClane’s shit.” Bowman narrowed his gaze on Matt when the younger man made an indignant noise in the back of his throat. He knew about Matt and John. For the most part they kept it at home and Bowman prided himself on not being prejudice. He would turn a blind eye to whatever Farrell was planning for revenge. “Like I said, no one sane. You get someone even vaguely qualified who passes all the background checks, then, yeah, I’ll hire them and personally wish them luck.”

“I don’t need an assistant,” John insisted. He’d thought that once they got rid of this last one, that Bowman would give up.

“I need you to have an assistant.” Bowman waved at Matt and the other reformed hackers. “Another set of eyes on this crew would never hurt.”

Nana-chan crossed her arms over her chest and huffed. “I take offence at that.”

“You do your job,” Bowman admitted. “Unorthodoxly, mind you, but you do your job. You also reprogrammed the vending machines to give you free junk food, and I won’t even mention what you lot did to the photocopier on the third floor.”

This time it was Warlock who puffed out his chest. “We didn’t do it simply to get free Twinkies. Anyone who uses that machine without knowing the proper code won’t get what they ordered. It’s a statement against the man!”

“I’m the man, Mr. Kaludis. I suggest you don’t forget that. If I want a Twinkie, I’d better not get a Snickerdoodle instead.”

Warlock licked his lips and his eyebrow arched. “The vending machines have Snickerdoodles, now?”

Bowman’s response was to snort in disgust and left the room before his blood pressure got any higher.

Warlock looked at the other hackers and shrugged his shoulders. “What?”

“Get back to work, Frankie.” John pointed to the computer room.

“It’s Warlock! And, for the record, that dragon lady didn’t let me touch her tits. I have standards. She fell after Nana-chan tripped her and I merely caught her... Ow!” Warlock rubbed his arm where Nana-chan had hit him hard. “That’s gonna bruise. What was that for?”

Nana-chan smirked and twirled her finger in the tip of her pigtail, sauntering past Warlock.


An older woman came around the corner. She looked like Warlock in drag, but two feet shorter, wearing a loud floral dress and carrying a plate of cookies.

John automatically straightened his posture. “Mrs. Kaludis, what are you doing here?”

“I brought cookies.”

“I can see that.”

John had learned that Mrs. Kaludis was the closest thing Matt had to a mom. She was an unfortunately plain woman who had almost as much facial hair as her son and she could shriek loud enough to cut through the surround sound video game blasts in her son’s basement. She was a wrecking ball of a woman, but meant well and was always good to Matt. That’s what was important to John.

While John and Matt had recently enjoyed a raucous meal at her home with yelling over the German lasagne, it was a mystery why she was here. Still, any woman who could make sauerkraut and kielbasa in a lasagne taste good was fine in his books.

“What can I do for you?” He could be somewhat charming when he needed to be.

She grinned at him and John noticed she had a blob of lipstick on her teeth. “Start by eating a cookie, dear. It’s probably a good idea to take a few before the boys get into them. Bottomless pits.”

John was still at a loss. “Um, okay.”

Then, he saw the identification tag clipped to her dress. It didn’t say VISITOR like he expected, but rather had EMPLOYEE over her picture. John’s stomach sank.

“Freddie, come get a cookie!” she bellowed and whipped off the saran wrap. She whistled as if her son were a Golden Retriever.

Despite his shock, John grabbed two cookies. Mrs. Kaludis might not be a looker, but she was one hell of a baker. Warlock came out of the computer room with a stunned expression, but still zeroed in on the cookies she set on John’s desk.

“Ma, what are you doing here?”

“I work here.” She slapped his hand when he went to take more than one cookie. “Save some for everyone else.”

Warlock pointed an accusing finger at John. “He got two!”

“He’s our boss and he’s older than your punk behind. Show some respect.”

“Your boss-” John didn’t get a chance to finish before Matt came into the room.

“Matty!” Mrs. Kaludis headed straight for him and wrapped him in a big bear hug with his arms trapped at his sides. She squeezed him tighter and soon his untied shoe laces were dangling off the floor. “You’re too thin.”

“Hello, Mrs. Kaludis,” he grunted and tried to squirm out of her iron grasp. His face started to turn red and he turned a pleading glance to John, who only smirked.

John had been a cop too long not to see through Matt’s scheme. Matt had gone behind his back and hired Mrs. Kaludis as his assistant. If all she did was bring baking once a week, then he was game. If she could bring baking and make her son look like he was going to have an aneurysm at least once a day, then it would all be golden. Most of his geeks came from bad home environments. John knew because he had checked each and every one of them with a fine tooth coomb. It couldn’t hurt to have a mother figure around.

John decided it was time to sick Mrs. Kaludis on Matt. “I try to encourage him to eat, but he nibbles like a bird. You’ll need to fatten him up.”

John’s smirk turned into a full grin as he threw the kid to the wolves. When Matt remembered to eat, he devoured quantities of food that would have made John sick. Eating like that, he would have developed a gut, but Matt never gained an ounce. John didn’t bother to stop his chuckle when Mrs. Kaludis let Matt down, but then poked him in the stomach.

“Poor boy,” she all but clucked and tussled his hair. “We do have to put some meat on your bones.”

Over Mrs. Kaludis’ shoulder, Matt mouthed the words, “I hate you.”

John’s morning got a whole of a lot better. “So, Mrs. K, I’m glad you’ll be joining our team.”

Mrs. Kaludis let go of Matt, but only before patting his cheek and ruffling his hair. “Glad to.”

Warlock gaped and kept looking back and forth between John and his mother. “No way.”

“Fredrick Gustoff Kaludis, don’t you take that tone with me!”

“But, Ma…”

“No. This is exactly why I didn’t tell you I took the job. You don’t tell me anything about your life.”

“You took the job to spy on me?”

“No, I took the job because I wanted to. I ran the books and did all of the administrative duties for your father’s construction business for over twenty-three years. I’m qualified and I wanted to get out of the house.”

“I make enough money so you don’t have to…” Warlock stopped when his mother held up her finger in warning. “But, this is my job. My job. My homeboys.”

“You can start by calling me Mrs. Kaludis when we’re in the office. Now, tuck in your shirt.” John’s chuckle had turned into a full blown snort. Mrs. Kaludis whirled around and smiled dangerously at him. “Don’t you get all cock sure with me, Mr. McClane. Mr. Bowman warned me about you at the interview.”

The woman did not seem fazed in the least by John’s glare. “What exactly did he tell you about me?”

“From my lips to God’s ears. Eat your cookies and then, take Matty out for a break. He can have chocolate milk, since by the way he’s jittery he’s had way too much coffee.”

Matt loved the way Mrs. Kaludis didn’t back down from John. What he hadn’t expected was her dictating anything to do with him. He had expected to fall off her radar between her pestering Warlock and John.

Matt tried for his most charming smile. If he had a Redbull, that wouldn’t be a coffee and he would still get his caffeine fix. “I promise I won’t have a coffee.”

“No Redbull, or anything with caffeine.” Mrs. Kaludis waggled her finger at him.

“How did you-”

Nana-chan rolled her eyes. “She’s Warlock’s mom, dude.”

Warlock shifted from foot to foot. The pit stains under his arms had spread. “She knows all and sees all! It’s spooky.”

Without missing a beat, Mrs. Kaludis pointed at the computer room. “Get back to work, Freddie.”

“If I have to call you Mrs. Kaludis, then you should have to call me Warlock here as a professional courtesy.”

“I’ll professional courtesy your behind.” She had already grabbed a stack of papers from John’s desk, shuffling through them. “Get back to work. March.”

“You heard the woman.” Nana-chan crowded in on Warlock, shooing him back to the doorway. “Freddie.”

“What a nice girl,” Mrs. Kaludis beamed at Nana-chan. “Why didn’t you tell me about her, Frederick?”

Warlock kept gaping as Nana-chan preened from the compliment. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Kaludis. If you need anything, please, let me know.”

“Thank you, sweetheart.”

It was no secret that Warlock harboured a terrible crush on Nana-chan. Her interaction with his mother was more than his wounded psyche could handle. He gulped and stumbled into the room, followed by Nana-chan.

Mrs. Kaludis kept looking over the paperwork and merely pointed at the hallway door, silently telling John it was time to get while the getting was good. He grabbed Matt by the wrist and dragged him out. John waited until he was down the hall and around the corner. He had been married too long not to respect and fear a mother’s hearing. Leaning against the vending machine, he watched Matt punch in the secret code that would get them their treat of choice. For whatever reason, the secret code was all zeros and ones, and dozens of characters long. Matt claimed it spelt out ‘yippee-ki-yay-motherfucker’.

“Frankie’s mom? Really?”

Matt didn’t have to ask what John wanted. He punched the code in for a plain Hershey Bar. Not simple. Uncomplicated and classic like John.

“Who else would put up with our shit?”

“Good point,” John capitulated.

“It’s pretty hard to be an ass to someone’s mom,” Matt punched in the code to order, but hesitated between the Twix and Butterfinger. “Especially Mrs. K.”

“Get the Butterfinger already and give me my goddamn chocolate bar.”


His desk was clean. Not only clean, but the wood had been dusted and polished to a shine.

There were neat stacks of papers in his inbox and his outbox. John hadn’t even known the trays were under there. His outbox had been the shredder on a good day. On a bad day, he dumped the incomprehensible paperwork on Bowman’s desk to deal with. He had done his due diligence at the NYPD because he wasn’t about to let some perp get off because he didn’t dot his i’s or cross his t’s. He’d been slow, grumbled, sworn, and threatened both animate and inanimate objects, but he’d gotten his share of the red tape done. The FBI had developed the art of bureaucracy to an extent that made the NYPD appear to be amateurs when it came to red tape. Some days he felt like he couldn’t even fart without getting an authorization form signed in triplicate first.

“I can see my desk.”

Mrs. Kaludis was carefully opening and sorting mail. He didn’t think his department got mail except for the email kind. “Generally, Mr. McLane, clean desks are standard practise in a workplace.”

John kept staring at his desk. He had a shiny brass name plate that read ‘Special Agent J. McClane’. He didn’t remember having a name plate.

“I’ve never trusted anyone who had clean desk.”

“Close your mouth unless you’re planning on catching a fly.” There was another new addition to the main office. A second desk sat kitty corner to John’s desk. Resting on top of a doily was another shiny new brass name plate. It read ‘Mrs. Kaludis’, and John wondered if even her late husband had called her Mrs. Kaludis. Hell, he wondered if she even had a first name.

“I guess that means you don’t trust yourself, Mr. McClane.”

“It wouldn’t be the first time,” John sighed and eyed his name plate with trepidation. “Don’t call me Mr. McClane. My name’s John.”

“I’m sure it is, Mr. McClane. I’d prefer to call you Special Agent McClane, but I won’t because Mr. Bowman told me what happened to the third assistant would did that. Please sign the stack of requisition form in your inbox.”

“Do I want to know what they’re for?”

“There’s an itemized spreadsheet attached.”

John grabbed a pen from his newly ordered pen holder stocked with all different kinds and colours of pens. It was set next to a neat pile of colour coded sticky notes. Matt would love the fluorescent coloured ones. Supply hadn’t let them order anymore after the last sticky note war.

“Do I have to sign in my blood?”

Mrs. Kaludis didn’t look up from slicing the mail open with a very sharp and pointy letter opener. He probably shouldn’t bitch and moan if he valued his manhood.

“I’ve put ‘sign here’ notes right next to where you have to sign. No blood required… yet. I’ll let you know when I get that memo from Mr. Bowman.”

John used his thumb to gesture to the door. “I’m just gonna…”

“Sign the paperwork before you go annoy Matty.”

John had to admit the woman was good and was way scarier than his old Precinct Sergeant. He signed the paperwork and then skulked away.


Matt was playing a video game in the time out room. John had literally dragged him away from his computer during an important project, then left to attempt to get him a treat from the vending machine.

Mrs. Kaludis fluttered into the room with an actual silver tray. On it was a steaming mug and a muffin. “I brought you some warm milk, Matty.”

Matt hit the pause button. It really didn’t matter to him since he wasn’t sure what game he was playing. His mind was still grinding on in overdrive, trying to solve some computations and coding. “Warm milk? We have milk?”

“I brought some in after I de-fumigated the fridge. You need to learn to check the best-by-dates. Whole milk for you and Nana-chan, skim milk for Frankie and Mr. McClane. It’s better than all of that slop you lot drink.” She set down the tray on the coffee table. “I also brought you a fresh carrot and apple muffin I baked this morning.”

Matt noticed that the muffin had been sliced in half and buttered. He wasn’t used to anyone fussing over him like this. In foster care, he had been lucky some mornings if he got stale no-name Cheerios. He quickly grabbed the muffin as if it might grow legs and run away.

“Thanks,” Matt mumbled through a mouthful of delicious muffin.

Mrs. Kaludis sat down on the couch next to him. “It’s nice to see you taking a break.”

“Not my choice.”

“Mr. McClane was right to encourage you to walk away from your thingy for awhile.”

“My thingy,” Matt hesitated. It was probably easier to go with that descriptor than trying to describe cryptovirology to her. “My thingy is at a pivotal point.”

Mrs. Kaludis patted Matt’s knee and smiled like he was playing with lego. “Which is why you needed a quick break. Mr. McClane worries about you.”

“He doesn’t need to.”

She gave him another indulgent smile. “Of course, dear. He has nothing but good things to say about you.”

The last bit of muffin hovered outside of Matt’s mouth in his grasp. “John talks about me?”

John was by nature a reserved man. It battled at times with his possessive nature. Matt had been abandoned so many times, John’s over-protective tendencies signalled to Matt that he was wanted. They weren’t advertising their relationship, but John was more open than Matt ever would have thought.

“Yes. He called you the…” She paused for a moment trying to recall the exact phrasing and tapped her chin. “The most brilliant White Hat technobrain the FBI was lucky to get their grubby Feeb hands on. He also likes to call you his Evil Genius.”

Matt was surprised that John was using hacker terminology at all. It meant the man was listening to Matt’s many rants. He also considered it downright romantic that John had called him his Evil Genius.

“But, sometimes it’s more about what people do than what they say.” Mrs. Kaludis got a wistful expression on her face. “Mr. Kaludis was something like that. That man ate everything I ever made, even when I burnt it. He made me the kitchen of my dreams. Mr. McClane watches you. That means something.”

Matt sipped at the warm milk. “Some people would find that creepy. Hell, our landlady thinks I’m some kowtowed, walking punching bag.”

Mrs. Kaludis snorted under her breath. “Some people don’t understand. Now, I’m not a raving beauty…”

“That’s not…”

“Hush up and drink your milk. Mr. Kaludis looked at me like I was one of Charlie’s Angels. When we started dating we ate supper before we said grace, if you know what I mean. Our boy was born five months after we tied the knot.”

Matt sputtered at the mention of Mrs. Kaludis knocking boots with Mr. Kaludis and nearly spit out his milk. It was weird knowing she knew about him and John. It was even more amazing that she didn’t appear to have a problem with it.

“Um, okay.”

“I almost died giving birth and couldn’t have any more kids. Mr. Kaludis never cared even though I knew he always wanted a big family. He said I was too important to loose. The point is, it only matters if you’re happy.” Mrs. Kaludis got up and patted Matt’s cheek. “And, I think you’re very happy. Don’t you fret about the other things. I can take care of some of those. That’s my job.”

Matt kept sipping his warm milk and watched the formidable woman toddle out of the room, leaving him with a lot of things to think about besides his coding. When John came back with a stale Twinkie from the vending machine, Matt pretended it was exactly what he wanted.


The radiator in their apartment was a piece of shit. It pinged when you wanted heat and hissed when you were trying to sleep. There were two options. Sweat lodge or meat locker, and the ‘on’ option didn’t work half of the time.

Mrs. Weathers, the landlady John preferred to call The-Old-Bat-Across-The-Hall, thought he was an abusive bastard. She treated Matt like the victim he wasn’t and John like an asshole. Sure, John was an asshole, but he wasn’t that kind of asshole. So John and Matt’s radiator stayed broken. It stayed broken until John and Matt came home to a pleasantly heated apartment. John walked in and scowled at the radiator.

Matt poked him with the cane he would use for the rest of his life. “What?”

“It’s room temperature.”

“Yeah, rooms tend to be that. Ya know, being rooms and all.”

“Not here.” John nudged the radiator suspiciously with his shoe. “You know how it’s like.”

There was a knock on the front door and it flew open before either could say ‘come in’ or ‘fuck off’.

“Toodles!” The-Old-Bat-Across-The-Hall wearing a cobalt blue leopard print housedress was standing in their doorway.

“Were you in our place without permission?” John growled and moved so he was standing protectively in front of Matt.

He was expecting The-Old-Bat-Across-The-Hall to snap some accusation at him, but she kept smiling. She looked ridiculous with a mismatched pair of oven mitts, holding something wrapped in three layers of tinfoil.

“Oh, hush up now.”

“Did you tell me to hush up?”

Mrs. Weathers nodded and held out the tinfoil covered casserole dish. “I know you’re all bark and no bite. Mrs. Kaludis told me not to worry and to go ahead and fix whatever I needed to in your place to make you comfortable. I’ve been meaning to-”

“Mrs. K?” Matt choked and nearly dropped his cane.

“Oh, yes.” Mrs. Weathers nodded ridiculously like one of Matt’s Star Trek bobble-heads. She came further into the apartment and set the casserole dish on the kitchen counter. “She called me up and explained everything.”

“Everything…” John repeated back because none of this made any sense. He was starting to wonder if maybe the geeks had drugged him with that caffeine crap they swilled. This could be a caffeine and sugar induced hallucination.

“You’re heroes and here I am treating you like, well…” Mrs. Weather’s slipped into a guilty expression that John had never seen on her before. “That’s neither here, nor there. I’m mending my ways.”

“Um, that’s great?” Matt exchanged a confused look with John. “When exactly did you talk to Mrs. Kaludis?”

“Oh, she phoned me up on Friday.” She took off the tinfoil. “We had coffee on Saturday morning. Turns out she goes to the same church as my cousin, Mildred. Wonderful lady. Mrs. Kaludis, not Mildred. My cousin Mildred’s a cow. Small world, isn’t it?”

“Okay, that’s great.” Matt plastered on his fake smile and shuffled past John over to their landlady. He started to shoo her towards the door. “We can always use more friends. John’s a big pussy cat, really. Nothing to worry about there…”

“Shut up, Farrell!”

When Mrs. Weathers would have accused him of verbal abuse before, she gave John an amused once over. Leaning closer to Matt, she whispered loudly, “She explained about that, too.”


Mrs. Weathers patted Matt on the cheek and grinned. “Enjoy your beenie weenie casserole, boys.”

With her purple furry slippers sliding on the floor, she left the apartment with a giggle and slammed the door behind her.

John gapped and motioned at the door. “Did she…”

“She did.” Matt secured the deadbolt with a quick snap.

“Mrs. K?”

Matt leaned his cane against the wall and limped back to the kitchen. He stuck his finger into the brownish muck and squinted at it. “Yep, Mrs. K. Though this isn’t Mrs. K’s cooking.”

“How did she…”

“How do moms ever know?” Matt reluctantly tasted the goo on his finger. “Interesting flavour profile, but it needs ketchup.”

“Did you actually say flavour profile?” John playfully punched Matt in the shoulder. “Stop watching the Food Network. That casserole could be poisoned.”

“Why would she poison us?”

“To get us out of the building.”

“She could simply, I don’t know, um, evict us being the landlady. Besides, she wouldn’t want to poison us. She’s always liked me.”

John stalked closer and glared at the dubious casserole. He laid his hand on Matt’s lower back. “Everyone likes you.”

Matt snorted under his breath and shook his head in amusement. “It’s nice that you think that.”

John hiked up Matt’s sweater and slowly caressed the warm skin beneath. “Has anyone been giving you trouble?”

“No, caveman,” Matt chuckled and this time it was him who punched John in the shoulder. “You do know I can take care of myself?”

John crowded Matt against the counter and nuzzled the back of his neck. “I know you can.”

“I did trip that creep from the image analysis department with my cane when he tried to fix the vending machines…”

John nipped Matt’s earlobe. “Very resourceful.”

“Ow.” Matt’s complaint wasn’t very convincing especially when he pushed back against John.

John managed to manoeuvre so he stayed pressed to Matt, but his foot was able to step on the nearby garbage can pedal. He kept kissing behind Matt’s ear and simultaneously, swept the casserole into the garbage.

“She’ll probably want that dish back,” Matt warned and then groaned as John got his jeans unzipped.

“Dig it out later.” He worked his hand in past Matt’s jockey shorts. “I must’ve lost my touch if you’re worrying about some ol’ lady’s Tupperware.”

“No, no, you haven’t lost your touch. Keep touching. In fact, if you stop touching I’ll do you grievous bodily harm. Touch away. You have free reign.”

Matt babbling was a good sign when it came to this. John wrapped his free arm around Matt’s waist, pulling him back against his chest and supporting Matt’s weight.

“C’mon, let go,” John whispered and twisted his fist over the head of Matt’s cock.

Matt rested the back of his head against John’s shoulder. “What about you?”

“Later,” John promised. “We’ve got all night.”

There were times, a lot of times actually, that John loved to make Matt the complete focus of his attention. He would touch and kiss him slowly, watching intently. Ambushing Matt throughout the apartment was a regular activity they both enjoyed. Even though John was far from verbal, when he did talk during sex, it was a definite kink for Matt. John rubbed his thumb in slow circles, making Matt whimper and curse.

“Later, I might suck ya off,” John growled and squeezed extra tight.

Matt was so far gone he didn’t even snark back. He simply let himself be overwhelmed and come with a low moan. It was sweet and easy. John continued to stroke him, knowing by the way Matt shivered that he was oversensitive.

Keeping his arm firmly around Matt’s waist, he held his hand in front of Matt’s face. “Lick.”

Slowly Matt took John’s fingers into his mouth and licked them clean. He worked his tongue over the calloused skin and kissed the centre of John’s palm when he was done.

Matt sagged backwards; confident John could support his weight. “That was awesome.”

John turned him around, still keeping Matt in his grasp. Cupping Matt’s cheek, he leaned in for a kiss. It was a slow and deep kiss. Neither one was in control. After minutes of making out, they simply held each other even though John muttered something about freaking EMO crap.

Matt thought when they got together that it was going to be a disaster considering their pasts and everything against them. Baggage was an understatement. But, they had settled into a real partnership against all of the odds. Things would probably always be tumultuous, but they respected and balanced each other. One of the seven assistants John had fired had called them co-dependent before John threw him out.

Matt was fine with that. They had been called worse.

Co-dependent. Jealous. Possessive. Needy. Fucked up.

Whatever. It worked for them.

“Are we keeping Mrs. Kaludis?” Matt mumbled and rubbed his cheek against John’s stubbled cheek.

“Like she would give us a choice?”

“Ya know, she’s set her sights on Nana-chan as a daughter-in-law?”

John sort of groaned and chuckled simultaneously. “Should be an interesting next few months…”




This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola