Just a City Boy

Part 1

John leaned on the horn.


Goddamn Federal Plaza. Why the hell’d he take this gig?


“So you could pick me up every morning and complain about it for forty-five minutes?” Farrell yawned.


Apparently John had been talking out loud. And apparently that last horn blast had woken the kid from his customary nap next to him in the passenger seat. Matt always slept better in the car than in his bed at the hotel. John didn’t know whether it was the lull of the motion, or the drone of news radio, or just the fact that there were no distractions here like his laptop, or John’s dick, to keep him awake. And he wasn’t gonna ask.


Regardless, being groggy in the morning never stopped the kid from having something mouthy to say.


“Seriously. How can it take this long to drive four miles?” Matt rolled his head back on his headrest and gave a whimper of impatience. “This city, McClane, I’m telling you. These living conditions, they’re inhumane. No wonder everyone here is such an –”


‘ASSHOLE!’ John yelled out the window at the brake lights of the yellow cab in front of them.


Matt made a smartassed gesture of confirmation like he couldn’t have said it better.


“So New Yorkers are all assholes now?” Matthew had been getting pretty comfortable recently, hanging around the Village and demanding things like bagels from Murray’s, and Irving Place coffee, to be taking that attitude.


“Did I say that?” Matt asked, with a tone of exaggerated innocence. “That assessment – which was charming by the way – was all yours, Agent McClane. I was just trying to get some sleep after…”


Matt trailed off. They never spoke about what happened at night when the sun was up. Diversionary tactics were required here.


“Gonna have to ask you not to call me ‘Agent’, Cyber Crime. It’s Detective. I’m still NYPD. Dammit. JERKOFF!”


This last to the bike courier cutting through traffic, dangerously close to their front grille.  


“Technicality,” Matt grumped, like they didn’t just narrowly miss causing fatal injury to a cyclist. He hated when John called him by his division now. Little too on-the-nose for him, John figured. 


It had been nearly eight months now, since Bowman had called Clemino with a lot of convincing statistics, and an even more convincing salary, wanting to talk to John about the Joint Terrorism Task Force. And then called again. And refused to stop calling.


“Guess our new handles both suck. It was way cooler when you used to call me ‘Intelligence’.”


“Well then I guess you need to stop being such a good little whiz kid and quit getting promoted.”


John knew from Lucy that Matthew had taken the same call a couple months earlier, but it had had little or nothing to do with John's decision. His latest promotion back at the Department had moved him up to ‘Sergeant Detective Supervisor’ – and right out of the field. Seemed like the damn fire sale was still changing everything. Throwing Farrell into his path and putting a desk in his future, whether John wanted them there or not.


“Maybe I will.”


Kid was about as subtle as a trip-hammer sometimes. John hadn’t forgotten Farrell was fully capable of stopping ‘being good’ and getting downright dangerous any time. Nor that there was pretty much nowhere left for him to go from where he was now at the Bureau here. He’d done real well.  John was both surprised and impressed. If what he wanted was for John to say so…well then he’d have to shut up a second first.


“Although it is an improvement over when you got to call me ‘Counter-Intelligence’ for three months,” Matt was saying.


John smirked at the memory and forgot to yell “watch yourself Wall Street, I’m a cop!” at the guy with the Armani and the cell phone, who thumped his fist on the hood as he hurried illegally across the street not 30 feet away from a cross walk. 


God damn paperwork. Fuckin’ FBI. John missed his cruiser.


~ ~



The ceiling was stained yellow with years’ worth of nicotine. John stared up at the sinuous curl of smoke as it serpentined its way upward, and wondered how many of the cigarettes to come before this one and leave those traces had been smoked alone, and how many of them had been lit by the person lying next to their owners. He wondered what they talked about, stretched out and fucked out, sharing that post-coital buzz in a bed that was not their own. He was pretty sure none of them had been doing what John was doing now. 


Which was playing glorified coffee table to a techno-genius from Jersey with a sugar addiction. It didn’t seem to matter how many times John reminded the kid he didn’t eat chocolate, it always started the same way.


Every night after they were done, Matt would squirm away from John. He’d struggle out of his grip, pull on his discarded shorts, and trudge across the room to call down for room service. He’d ask John if he wanted anything. Weird shit, like warm milk. John always felt like it was some kind of test.


If he said the wrong thing, Matt would climb onto the opposite bed with his little picnic when it arrived. It had taken him seven months to be able to sit cross-legged, so he did it all the time now. With a plate between his knees and flicking through all the crappy basic cable channels on the room’s tiny television, until John got up and grabbed his smokes off the table by the door.


He would sit in the chair next to the bed and watch Matt’s mindless parade of George Foreman infomercials and phone sex hotlines. When he was done with his smoke he’d finish getting dressed and tell the kid he’d see him in the morning. And Matt would nod emphatically, happy as you please, and say ‘see ya, McClane’ around a mouthful of something insanely sugary to be eating at midnight, like waffles or apple pie. No wonder the kid couldn’t sleep.     


If he got it right, Matt would bring John his smokes and stand over him with his plate and offer him some. Which was still weird, because on those nights it was always chocolate cake, and John always said no. And then, without fail, Matt would gesture impatiently for John to spread his arms so Matt could balance the plate on his chest and crawl onto the bed so he was straddling John’s hips.


He’d stay there. Eat his cake like using another human being for furniture was the most natural thing in the world. Watch John have his smoke like it was better than TV. Which, given the cable situation, maybe it was. 


It was strange, but not uncomfortable, being studied. Perceptive brown eyes followed his fingers when he flipped the cigarette around to tap off the dangling ash, watched the little plate balanced on John’s sternum rise as he drew the smoke into his lungs. Matt liked looking at John’s mouth on the exhale, pupils dilating slightly when he let the vapors drift and curl out slowly between his lips. He didn’t like it when John puffed the smoke out his nostrils though, and would wrinkle his own nose in disapproval and focus on his plate again.


They never fucked twice, but sometimes they’d fool around a bit after that and Matt would come again. Grinding and spilling into John’s hand or over his thigh, with a stifled moan and something trapped between his teeth, like one of John’s fingers, or his lower lip, or once, his ear lobe.


“You taste like chocolate.”






“Freak. Everybody likes chocolate.”


Matt never told him he tasted of smoke.


And no matter how many times John did it, just to hear the sharp sound slice through the heavy layers of dark quiet settling around them, Matt would laugh in indignant surprise at the quick slap to his ass.


“Go to sleep.”


And he would. But John would wake up a couple hours later, at three or four. Always with the rough hotel sheets gone cold next to him, and the blue glow and rapid-fire tapping of Matt’s computer a quiet taunt from the corner.


There would be some kind of wordless goodbye those nights, that was somehow better than the usual incongruously bright ‘see ya’.


 If he wasn’t too engrossed in whatever he was doing on the tiny laptop screen, Matt would watch John dress silently. Then, before making his way out the door, John would stop next to where Matt was sitting hunched over his work and make his first attempt.


Matt would never let him get away with a tender thumb over his cheek, or rub of his neck. He would always jerk away or shake his head – even threaten to bite John’s fingers if they looked like they might be destined for his face. But the second time John reached, Matt would grin and let John get in a little tug on his hair, or soft rap of knuckles on the kid’s arm.  


And John would go home, the way he always did, to shower off the clandestine stain of their nightly bad habit. But on those nights – the nights he got whatever it was right, and the undertone of sweet cocoa mingled with the clinging scents of tobacco and sin and Matt – he did it with a secretive little smile.


He would grab another hour’s sleep if there was time, and be back in the hotel Lobby for Matt, both of them clean and pressed and respectably caffeinated, by eight fifteen.


09:00 would see them at Federal Plaza – the glossy veneer over their dirty little secret intact, and the foundations of everything underneath just that little bit more cracked and chipped away.


Business as usual.


~ ~



John jingled the keys in his hand impatiently.


“C’mon, get your bag.”


Matt was slow this morning. John could never figure it out, it was like the more sleep he got the more the kid seemed to want.


He’d slept the whole way through the cross-town traffic, only lifting his head when the car crawled into the dim dank of the underground lot. He had a vivid pink splotch on his forehead from sleeping against the glass, and his hair was making impossible shapes John was pretty sure he’d seen already on a MOMA billboard.


When they were alone in the dark, John would simply reach out and fix it. Matt would close his eyes at the touch, even if it was clumsy and John’s fingers caught and pulled. But here, in even this dim daylight, John might as well have been in cuffs. Chained like a Rottweiler, all he could do was bark.


“Fix your hair, mop-top.”


“You got everything? Check the back seat? There’s a book back there.”


“Now move your ass, Cyber Crime. I got a meeting with the guy from Westchester County branch in eight minutes.”


Matt made full use of those eight minutes.


“You know that book I left in the back, McClane? Okay. Ever read up on Greenpeace? Get ready for this: Total. Scam. So not kidding, there’s this one dude…”


They made their way out of the shade of the lot into bright sunshine. And the strange, silent kid trotting to keep pace with him shook off the sleep of the morning and the shadow of the night before, and babbled his way back into being Matt again.


~ ~



The one perk of the desk-jockey gig was weekends. They were about three months into the whole hotel business by the time John first recognized this opportunity and brought the kid home with him instead.


“…even exist in nature,” Matt was saying. “It’s not even like it’s hard to make stuff without it. The hydrogenation process is, like, this whole extra step that they’re actually adding into – whoa, that was Pearl, McClane. McClane? That…you missed Pearl. You’re gonna have t– Okay, and now we’re taking the bridge.”


“Knicks game tonight,” John said, like it explained everything. Which it absolutely did. “That shit-hole the Feds got you staying in doesn’t have ESPN. Pizza okay with you? I got beer, we won’t need to stop. Should be there in time for tip-off.”


John could feel the kid looking at him, but he kept his eyes on the road. Last thing he needed was to look over and see Matt struggling for the words to turn him down.


Seconds passed and John heard Matt move restlessly in his seat. He’d always had an active imagination, and John half expected him to be pulling out his cell phone and dialling in an Amber Alert. But when John finally chanced it and glanced over, Matt was turned away, looking out his window again.


“No olives, “ he said.


And the sun began its slow descent over the city that never slept, taking with it the loud colours and garish banter, and leaving the laconic and standoffish dusk to its purposeful pursuit of the evening’s diversions.


~ ~



They nearly didn’t make it to the bed at all tonight, not with what Matt had been doing in the elevator.


Hands jammed deep in his pockets – the lascivious wiggle of thick eyebrows a clear indication of what he was about to start doing with them. And then, in case John somehow managed to miss that, the eyes falling shut and the constant worrying of teeth over the lower lip were definitely enough of a hint.


No respect for the security cameras. John almost felt bad for the guy in the guard room, but then again he was enjoying the show, so who knew, maybe it was like a perk of the job. At least he’d be spared Matt’s enthusiastic sound effects. 


By the time they gained the hallway he had already lunged at John’s mouth, and found new tasks for those busy hands. They tangled and tugged, necked and nipped – struggled their way down the hall, rather than break apart. At some point, they piled up against the wall, and John was so intent on getting his hands up and under all the layers of tucked-in office clothes that it took some time – he had no idea how much, really – to register that Matt had gotten them to the door.


That was apparently where his focus gave out though, because he showed no sign of even thinking about digging out his key card. John felt around, aiming his little pat-down at the pocket were Matt usually kept it. 


Matt took John’s fumbling as an invitation, or maybe just an opportunity, to catch hold of John’s hips and jam their crotches together.




They were in the hallway for fuck’s sake. Anyone could come through a door, or out of the elevator at any second, and John should have been the grown up here. He was bigger than Matt, and he could definitely shove him away; get him by the scruff and make him behave long enough to get the door shut behind them.


But he didn’t. Matt’s impetuous groping just made his lips go tight against the kid’s mouth, in a smile he didn’t have time to indulge. Matt wasn’t wasting a second. He rolled his hips and made a little grunting sound.


The shock of sensation flooded heat through him, and the noises Matt started making made the back of John’s neck prickle, even if there hadn’t been any hair there to stand on end for years. John’s fingers completely lost the dexterity to find what he was looking for, and his mouth was busy, way too busy, to get out anything more complicated than a gritted “key”.


Matt’s mouth never had that problem though. Kid was a regular multi-tasker. He didn’t even interrupt what he was doing to reply. The rhythmic friction was starting to make John’s pulse stutter, but Matt’s voice came out smooth, if a little breathy.


“What’s your hurry, Detective?”


God, John was in no mood for games.


“Could say the same,” he opened his mouth over the pulse point at the junction between the tendon in Matt’s neck and his clavicle, warming and moistening. “…to you.”


And then he sunk his teeth into the spot he’d prepared. Just hard enough, the way Matt liked.

Matt made a new noise, like he’d been punched in the gut, and they were pressed so close together John could feel the throb of response against his thigh. Things were going to be over pretty fast if John didn’t get them through that door, and the thought was enough for him to pull it together and back off far enough to let Matt get at his own clothing.


Even then, John had to repeat himself. Matt was just staring at him, mouth kiss-swollen and eyes unfocused under the wild disarray of dark hair.




John let Matt toss his laptop bag on the bed – he would pitch a hissy-fit if touched the floor – and took advantage of the moment to lose his jacket, before he had Matt up against the wall again. Matt made up for lost seconds, got zippers open, skin against skin.


He would’ve fucked Matt like this, one leg hooked up and over John’s hip, hanging on for dear life and preferably chanting John’s name like he’d lost every other word in his vocabulary. But his shoulder just wasn’t up for those sorts of tricks any more. By now, John wasn’t sure when, or if, the day would come that he could hold the kid up for any length of time. One surgery too many, he figured.

Besides, the lube was all the way across the room, and John wasn’t about to move right now. Matt must have been thinking something similar, although it took John a second to figure out what he was up to when he turned his head away and spit in his hand.


John didn’t know if this was going to work for him, but he was fascinated anyway, watching what Matt was doing. Working his palm over each of them in turn, spreading the slick of saliva and pre-cum before wrapping both of them in his long-fingered grip.


John’s hand was bigger, and he used it to cover Matt’s – matching his pace and pulling a moan from him that made John’s balls draw up in anticipation. Maybe this was going to work just fine.


Turned out John was right about how close Matt had been in the hall. He found that spot on Matt’s neck again and went back to work with lip, tongue, and teeth. It was just the ticket. Matt came after mere seconds, panting and pumping his release over both of their hands, dicks, and probably their shoes.


Things were plenty slick now, and there was sure as hell no more question of whether this was working. It didn’t take more than three or four more strokes before John was following after. He broke off their shared grip and crumpled forward. Both hands slamming the wall on either side of Matt’s head, hips bucking into Matt’s groin out of any voluntary control. Just like this, like idiot teenagers, half-clothed and messy. With knees threatening mutiny, jaw clenching, and eyes sliding shut or vision blacking out, John wasn’t sure which.


He could see just fine now, though. Could see Matt watching him, looking for an answer before he even asked – eyes trained on John’s the entire time he was dragging his shorts back up, and wriggling casually out of both his shoes and his trousers where they were slouched at his ankles.


John worried sometimes this setup was no good for the kid. He treated the whole assignment like a vacation. He never had to clean up his room, and he couldn’t seem to get enough of ordering high calorie room service on the FBI’s dime. John’s taxes were feeding Farrell’s carbohydrate habit.


John looked right back. Like there was anything else to do. Like he could ignore the challenge in those eyes – some unnamed intention, some message he was supposed to decipher.


There was no way he could simply ask. John didn’t even know the question. Besides, there were rules, and that was not how the game was played. It would be cheating on the test.


“You want anything?”


         ~~~~~~~~ Back to Live Free or Die Hard ~~~~~~~~ Part 2



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