Lemonade (In the Summer, In the City)

Since the dawn of Man, the traditional remedy for appeasement of a wrathful god has been the preparation of some offering or gift.
Matt’s not exactly sure why he’s convinced McClane is going to get pissed when he brings up the subject of moving out to a place of his own. Maybe it could come off as ungrateful, or like he doesn’t enjoy the man’s company, or…well, it’s gonna be awkward, that much is a given.
All Matt knows is, this is what his mother used to do whenever she had something truly suck-tacular to tell him. Or, actually, she used to make tea. But it’s way too fucking hot out for that shit.
Which is why Matt is clutching a tinkling glass of lemonade in each hand when he steps into the garage; palms pressed to the cool of the glasses in a vain attempt to ward off the heavy, overbearing city heat that seems to surround and press down on him the moment he leaves the almost-cool of McClane’s ancient and laboring window-mounted AC. 
As usual, McClane is completely hidden from view behind the raised hood of his hulking junk heap of a ‘classic’ car, but Matt knows he’s there, from the sounds of the rock beat crackling through the speakers of the old radio McClane keeps out here. True to form, it’s The Spoonful, growling enthusiastically about their necks getting ‘dirty gritty’ like the DJs share McClane’s opinion of what constitutes humor. Basically it’s the musical equivalent of walking around saying shit like ‘hot enough for ya?’ and obviously somebody never got the memo that it’s a really fast way to up your douche quotient.
There’s nothing funny about this heat. One would think it would be cooler in here, out of the sun, but it’s almost worse. It’s not like there’s any breeze to speak of outside, but in here it’s stifling, close. …Sultry.
The faint strains of gasoline and sweat in the air grow stronger as Matt picks his way over cardboard boxes full of old tools and engine parts past the long, low-slung body of the Buick. Not that the rusty old death-trap is recognizable to him as anything in particular. The only way Matt knows it’s a Buick is the proud   B    U    I    C    K   across its nose in loud, all-caps badging.
It’s a mild surprise, once Matt can see him, that John isn’t working on the car at all – sprawled under the hood, streaked with engine grime and elbows-deep in the mechanical innards, muttering to himself or scowling irascibly into the whole works, like he can cow it into giving up all its secrets with just a look, the way he can with Matt.
No, instead he has a good old fashioned pollution-powered gas lawnmower upended on a kitchen chair that’s seen better days. It looks like half its guts have been removed and laid out on the workbench behind him.
McClane is rubbing at one of the pieces with a cliché of a tattered, oily rag that looks like it was once red and white, like some kind of poster boy for the Don’ts of fire safety. There’s a cigarette dangling loosely from his lips, and he’s dressed in a pair of pale, battered blue jeans and one of his countless favored wifebeaters.
Like he does every time he gets the opportunity, Matt takes a second to study John’s freaky skull and top-hat tattoo, watches the muscles shifting under skin made shiny with a sheen of sweat that’s been building long enough to start beading in places.
Matt moves his gaze away and clears his throat.
“I knew it,” he says, to announce himself. “You don’t come out here to work, you come out here to sneak a smoke.”
There’s no reason for either of them to point out it isn’t lit.
McClane flicks a look at him without stopping what he’s doing, and Matt watches the smoke pressed between his lips angle upward slightly as his mouth taughtens in just the barest hint of a smile.
Jesus, fuck, it’s hot out here.
McClane shoves the rag into the back pocket of his jeans and pulls the smoke out of his mouth. His gaze lingers on it, held up between his thick, engine-blackened fingers for a moment before he tucks it behind his ear and turns that gaze on Matt.
“Some of that mine?”
“Oh!” Matt says, only catching on when McClane raises an eyebrow at the lemonade in his hands. The heat – and maybe John’s eyes – are doing not-smart things to his brain.
“For you,” Matt says cordially, recovering enough to flash a smile and hand John one of the drinks, ice chiming saucily in the glass. Then he lifts his own glass to his mouth, to keep anything even more not-smart from coming out of it.
Matt draws off a little of the tart-sweet liquid, savouring its chill and analyzing the flavor. He may have gone just a little heavy on the honey. McClane doesn’t appear to be concerned, though.
In fact, Matt can’t be sure he even tastes it, with the way he takes the whole glass in one go; Matt watches his head tip back, the muscular column of his throat working rhythmically. His own glass is sweating in his hand, and his fingers must have gone a bit not-smart too because it slips a little in his grasp, before he catches it.
See, this is the kind of thing that’s got him standing here in the first place. It’s not sane. And it’s not going to stop. Matt’s mind has pretty much worked this way from birth; he’s a solver. Once something gets in there, like a riddle, or a logic problem, he can’t stop thinking about it ‘til he’s worked it through, and all the constraints are satisfied. It’s what keeps him up at night, why he does the job he does.
And the things that have been keeping him up at night lately, he just can’t have.
So, out of sight out of mind, that’s how it works. Or at least so they say.
John drags the hand with his now-empty glass in it over his forehead before thrusting it back at him with a nod Matt chooses to take as a ‘thank you’. So much for a civil chat over drinks.
“McClane, I…look, I came out here to talk to you.”
“Yeah? So talk,” John says efficiently, placing a casual hand at the small of Matt’s back and sliding by him in the cramped, airless space to get at the mower again. “And hand me that screwdriver, wouldja? The big one, the Phillips.” McClane aims a nod back over his shoulder at the workbench.
Matt is starting to get sticky with the heat himself and his thin t-shirt clings to his skin where John’s hand was. It’s probably a mark of how bad he’s got it, that he leaves it that way instead of straightening himself out, like he’s unwilling to give up that little reminder of McClane’s touch. He swears he can feel the spots where each individual fingertip landed as he moves to the workbench to put down McClane’s empty glass and pick up the screwdriver.
Matt takes a steadying breath before he turns back to lay the handle of the screwdriver over McClane’s left shoulder – avoiding the right out of sheer habit by now – so he won’t have to look up from what he’s doing to grab it. Then he stands beside McClane in the tight space to watch him work on the mower and try to pick out the words to broach his intended subject.
McClane doesn’t move over to put any space between them – Matt’s not even sure there’s anywhere for him to move to in here – and he can feel the temperature of the air ratchet up another few notches from standing this close.  
Matt gulps more of the lemonade from his glass, appreciating the brief cooling effect that spreads from his throat and down as he swallows. He presses the glass to his forehead next, where his hair is starting to dampen and stick now, and wills himself to come up with anything to say that doesn’t include the word ‘hot’. 
Nothing comes, but it feels like it might be helping unfry his cerebral cortex, so he takes another drink, letting one of the ice cubes tumble into his mouth even, and this time his glass is empty enough that he can raise it up over his head and press the cool edge to the back of his neck.
There’s a drop of sweat trickling down between his shoulder blades. The tickle is distracting.
He closes his eyes, breathes, tries to think how to start. But when he opens his eyes McClane is watching what he’s doing with the glass, eyes focused like a lazer beam, and whatever he was going to say is gone. Dumbly, he bites down on his piece of ice, cracking it loudly between his teeth, and McClane’s eyes snap to his mouth.
Yeah, it’s not the heat that keeps doing that to his brain.
“You want some of this?” is what he ends up asking, and the sharp look in McClane’s eyes when they move back up to meet Matt’s, is unquestionably a question.
The last sliver of ice melts on the side of his tongue, and Matt’s sure if it weren’t for that, his mouth would be going dry.
Instead of trying to explain himself, Matt drains the last of his drink, catching another ice cube in his teeth so he can drop it into his palm. He’s probably pushing some major boundaries with what he does next, but John doesn’t move away from it when Matt reaches out to press the ice to his nape, and Matt figures if he’s going to be leaving anyway, why not go for broke.
John blinks at the surprise of the ice against his skin, but then he shuts his eyes and drops his chin, arching his neck into Matt’s touch like a prize stallion, and that image is something he can take with him when he goes, at least. Matt thinks briefly that he’s glad those eyes are closed because he’s sure his face is a veritable slideshow of everything he’s been thinking about, all the things he wants.
But this is fine, really, as long as he can remember to breathe, as he moves his cupped hand down and over the roll of the broad shoulders, following John’s spine until his fingers touch the yoke of fabric stretched across his back. And then, since it would be officially weird – and probably qualify as a psychotic death wish – if he went any further, he moves up instead. John’s mouth twists in a wry smirk and he straightens up when he feels Matt drawing the cube up over the curve of his skull. The stubble on his scalp feels rough, the skin underneath greasy and glossy with sweat, and Matt’s ice cube travels all the way to the summit of that shiny dome, where he plans to leave it, to balance and drip and melt away.
But the second it reaches its destination, McClane shakes his head like a Great Dane tormented by kittens and Matt has to jerk his hand away, laughing, to keep him from sending the ice flying, skittering away on the concrete flooring to be lost forever, because it’s fucking hot, dammit, and ice is too precious today for him to allow those kinds of hijinks.
It’s a joke now, and Matt can have this, he thinks, if he keeps the movement casual. He brings what’s left of the ice cube to his mouth, feeling like he could almost taste the salt of McClane’s sweat in the icy water dripping from his fingers already. But McClane sees what he’s doing and gets there first, catching his wrist and ducking forward to suck the ice from his fingers.

An expression of triumph for successfully being the bigger jackass flashes predictably across his features, but then McClane’s eyebrows twist up into a contortion that would put a pretzel to shame. 

“Were you touching the Fast Orange?” John asks him, around the cube of ice. He’s still holding onto Matt’s wrist.
“Did I touch a what?”
“The hand soap over there.” John jerks his head to the side to indicate the workbench. “You taste bitter, like chemicals, or citrus peel, like...”
And then crap, Jesus, holy fuck, mother of– something, John pulls Matt’s hand forward and touches Matt’s fingers to his tongue. Detectives. Do they all need to know everything as bad as McClane seems to?
“Lemons,” Matt says, voice catching a little, but it’s steady again before he goes on. “I was squeezing lemons, remember?”
“You made that from scratch?” McClane widens his eyes on the word, like the concept is unthinkable.
“Nice dick work, Magnum,” Matt says, partly because he really needs to get some kind of control on himself, partly because he’s been dying to use that one on McClane for days now, but mostly because: “Wow, how else would I do it? It’s your kitchen McClane, do you remember buying frozen lemonade and putting it in there at any time? "
“Huh,” McClane says simply. “Multitalented. Go figure.”
And Matt gets that this is just McClane’s way of thanking him for the drink, or paying him some kind of compliment for his ability to mix water, lemon, and sugar together in the same container, so Matt is really proud of himself for not saying “you have no idea” or anything else that would be equally bad/wrong/No.
“Heh, lemons,” McClane says, like it’s the most far out thing he’s ever heard, and pulls Matt’s fingers toward his mouth again.
“Oh God,” Matt says. Or, it’s more of a squeak, to be brutally honest, and Matt knows, knows he’s just totally, fully, given himself away.
But John just smiles, like Matt is the one who’s slow to catch up, and says, “call me ‘John’.”
“How about ‘asshole’?” Matt asks. He knows when he’s being fucked with.
McClane goes right ahead and does it anyway, angles his head and slides his tongue slowly along the underside of Matt’s index finger. It’s a surprise even when he knows it’s coming, the slick stroke of it, the way the chill of the ice makes John’s mouth a tempting refuge from the muggy air.
But this stopped being funny after ‘dick work’, and Matt figures he’s spent long enough trying to come up with a way to explain himself. So, what better explanation than the truth?
“John,” he says, just like McClane asked him to, tone low and serious now. “You’re killing me.”
“About damn time.”
The glass in his other hand slips again and this time it’s John who catches it, like he’s ready for this, for Matt to literally lose his grip. About time? How much time? Matt should ask what that means but his voice seems to be about as good at following orders as his hands right now.
McClane leans down to place the glass carefully on the garage floor. It gives Matt time to finally get his fingers in his mouth, because 1) they’re actually pretty cold, and 2) oh my god John’s tongue was just on them. He regrets it immediately, though, when John straightens up and his eyes go to them like he would have put his mouth there if Matt’s fingers hadn’t beaten him to it.
But then it’s okay anyway because John dispenses with the niceties, grabbing him around the waist – like he would actually fucking go anywhere now – and diving for his neck instead.
Matt hisses in a breath and bites down on the fingers still in his mouth, to prove to himself he’s not dreaming as much as anything. That’s John’s tongue he can feel, in the hollow of his throat, he’s pretty sure, still slightly chilled with the ice but warming fast with the heat of his skin. Matt feels like he’s about a million degrees.
Clothes suddenly seem ridiculously unnecessary, and Matt wants out of his in the worst way, but John is holding onto him too tight to do anything about it so he starts with McClane’s first. The angle is awkward but Matt gets his hands on him, pulling at the soft, flimsy cotton undershirt and lifting. John gets the hint and moves back enough to strip it off, and by the time John has peeled and tossed the bit of white cloth haphazardly behind him, Matt is already working on losing his own t-shirt.
“Yeah,” McClane says, with an urging edge of encouragement like this is the best idea Matt’s ever had, and then takes over for him, tugging the shirt up and over his head.
For a brief, idiotic second, Matt almost wants to snatch it back again and cover up, because McClane is looking at him like maybe he’s never really seen him before. The lazer beam gaze is back, raking over his body and back up to his face. But then John steps forward, raising both hands and using his palms to smooth Matt’s hair down – it must have come out of his shirt a wild, sweaty clusterfuck – and then those same big hands are tipping his head back so McClane can go to work on Matt’s throat again.
McClane moves slower this time, exploring, and this time his mouth is like a brand – open and hotter, impossibly, than Matt’s skin feels, sliding over the length of the tendon in his neck, stretched tight with the angle McClane is holding him at, blunt fingers twisted into his hair.
His hands scrabble uselessly at John’s sides, the pads of his fingers sliding over the sheen of sweat on the hard flesh. John’s teeth scrape down the side of his neck and sink into the place where it curves into his shoulder, just hard enough. He feels his fingernails catch the skin as his fists close spasmodically, and just has time to wonder if he’s left scratches that will last long enough to remind McClane the next morning of whatever it is they are doing here. The thought makes his cock throb painfully where it has been pressing insistently against his zipper for some time now, just dying to get loose and get him in all kinds of trouble.
The garage door is open, anybody could see this. McClane’s neighbours…old Mrs. Christensen next door…little Kevin Peterson down the street walks his dog right past the house just about this time of day.
He only has time for the thought because, Matt realizes, McClane has stopped what he’s doing. One of the big, square hands grips the waistline of Matt’s shorts, two of the fingers disappearing below the waistband like it’s nothing, like they belong there, keeping him from moving away while McClane reaches out his other hand to lower the hood of the Buick. He’s back right away though, hands moving over Matt’s skin, and lips at his ear.
“C’mere,” John whispers, then nips at his ear lobe. 
Matt might have mistaken the cue, moving closer and reciprocating with a line of little kisses along the edge of John’s jaw, and a graze of teeth along the spot under his ear. He can’t really be blamed for being distracted, though, because John makes a low groaning noise in response. The sound makes him feel giddy, almost light-headed.
His mouth is busy too, licking, tasting, cataloguing the feel and the flavour of McClane’s skin on his tongue – and unsuccessfully stifling a humiliating moaning sound when McClane starts pushing him backward toward the car, and it comes home to him what it is that John wants.
The hood of the car should feel cool, he thinks, here in the shade, but even the Buick’s metal skin is dully warm in this ridiculous weather, like something not quite alive.
The suspension complains a little as Matt clambers awkwardly backward onto the bumper, keeping as much of his body and his mouth pressed against McClane as possible all the while. The second his feet are off the floor though, John is pulling away to work at getting Matt’s shorts off him.
It’s the strangest moment, because it’s not like John hasn’t seen it before, but his hand goes to Matt’s knee; palm covering the scar that scoops under the kneecap and runs down the top of the shin, thumb moving tentatively over the raised, foreign notches of screws under the skin.
“Okay,” Matt says, still breathless with the things they’ve been doing, and not quite sure why he needs to say it at all. “I’m okay.”
But it seems to be what McClane needs to hear, because then he’s running both his hands up Matt’s thighs and doing all kinds of unnecessary, but none the less appreciated, things to the blood flow in that general region. Matt reaches for the button on John’s jeans, but John stops him, pushing him back, laying him flat so he can get his mouth and his hands on him.
They’ve got to be crazy, it’s too hot out for this shit. They will probably die of dehydration and be found by one of McClane’s cop buddies, wrapped around each other in a tangle of crazy, sweaty, ill-advised nudity.
McClane is grabbing him, pulling his ass forward with a hand on his hip, the other wrapped around his thigh. The hand he was using to work on the mower leaves greasy black smears where it slides over the sweat-slick skin. John stops and looks down at the place where he’s marked Matt’s hip with this raw, surprised, laid-open expression, like he gets off on the way it looks.
Which he probably does. Territorial fucker.
The stupid part is, that whole possession notion should annoy the fuck out of Matt, but all that happens is that the thought of McClane getting even more hot and bothered sends thrills through him. Stupid, fluttery things happen in his gut and tingly things happen to his extremities and up his spine and Matt doesn’t know quite what it is he wants, he just knows he wants. Bad.
He scrambles forward the rest of the way, and the steel of the Buick is a jarring squeak and drag against his skin. He’s sure he will have friction burn, but he doesn’t care. Just as long as he can hook one ankle behind John’s hips and yank them closer, struggling to communicate all the want thrumming through him, the hurry hurry hurry, now now now humming along his nerve channels on a loop.

He goes for John’s jeans again and this time John lets him. He helps a little even, once Matt gets the zipper open, shoving them down over his hips to let him see what he’s getting.
He’s not disappointed either, oh wow. McClane’s dick is just as impressive as the rest of him, and Matt takes it eagerly in hand, testing the heft of it in his palm before twisting his wrist and running his thumb along the shaft.
John gives a little grunt and surprises him by putting a stop to it, shoving Matt back down on the car. But this time John comes with him, leaning over him to wrap his broad palm around him and put his mouth to Matt’s neck again like it’s his new favorite hobby.
It’s still working though, that’s the thing. John seems to keep finding new spots to rile him up. Lips, blazing their way along his clavicle, teeth in the soft flesh under his jaw. John’s nose nuzzling into the short hairs at the nape of his neck making him shiver, hot breath in his ear. All of it winding him tighter and higher, until he’s sure he could snap like a kite string.
He can’t seem to keep quiet, cursing a blue streak and fucking up into John’s hand, to the sound of softly muttered encouragement. It starts low; muscles clenching in his stomach and thighs. Matt arches his back and tenses all over – close, so close.  
“Jesus,” John says. “Matthew.”
And it’s like something does snap, and Matt slips over that narrow edge – everything in him breaking and going soft and easy and liquid-molten, in time with the hot flare of red behind his eyelids. 
When he can, Matt lifts his head – as high as he can manage with his neck feeling like it’s made of rubber – to survey the damage. Most of his come has spilled up and over John’s hand, and pooled in the side of his groin.
John is looking at it too. Not just looking, Matt realizes, with a little lurch of his stomach, but positioning himself just right. So that he can push his thick cock into the little gap beside Matt’s balls, sliding it through the slick of gathered sweat and come. The sight is nothing short of filthy scorching hot, and if Matt hadn’t just come all over himself, he’s sure he would do it right now.
John levers Matt's thigh up, squeezing himself tight into the little cleft he’s made for himself, and thrusts his hips, testing the friction. From what Matt can see, it’s good, because John bites his lip and the hand that isn’t pressing in on his leg closes in a tight fist on the surface of the car’s hood.
Matt puts a hand out for John’s wrist in what he hopes is an encouraging grip, because he’s truly, utterly spent and it is pretty much all he can do for a bit. He lets his head finally fall back with a metallic thunk to watch, enthralled, as John gets a slow rhythm started, thrusting into the little rut until his movements pick up and John’s grip on his thigh goes punishingly tight. Matt watches John’s hips buck a couple more times, as if he’s not actually in control of them any more, then he stiffens and goes still with a rough noise like he’s been sucker punched, and Matt feels the throb and pulse of his release against his belly. 
And maybe it’s really that easy, because that’s all there is. There’s nothing but the two of them left panting and sticky on the hood of the car. The only noises around them are the harsh sounds of their breath and the radio; The Lovin' Spoonful having long ago given way to The Stones insisting that they’re free, to do what they want, any old time.
John is still there, with his hands splayed wide on either side of Matt’s shoulders, head dropped and hanging like he can’t quite move yet, and there’s a place on Matt’s collar bone that’s throbbing with a glow of almost-pain. He prods at it and looks uselessly at his fingers as if to check for blood.
“When I get to a mirror I’m going to find a wicked hickey there, aren’t I?”
McClane turns to look at him - he can move his head it turns out – and his complete failure at looking innocent is answer enough.

“Territorial fucker,” Matt says. Out loud this time. 

John gives this low, pleased chuckle like he actually likes the sound of that.
“You wanted to talk to me about something?” he asks, and it’s just all kinds of unfair that his voice can be so steady.
“Uh. Yeah.” Matt’s comes out sort of wobbly. “I was going to tell you that I should probably start finding a new place to live soon. Because of how I’m too attracted to you to stay in the same house with a straight guy who would never in a million years be interested in…” Matt sends a meaningful look down at their softening cocks, resting happily together on his stomach. “Oh wait.”
John is laughing. Hard. Like really laughing. Matt’s not entirely sure McClane hasn’t actually lost it altogether but the thing is, it’s kind of contagious.
He resists the urge to snake a hand in between them and press it to John’s abs but he’s totally taking the excuse to rest his palm over John’s bald head when he tucks it against Matt’s shoulder – elbows buckling a little while he shakes uncontrollably on top of him. Matt gives into it, letting the awkward post-coital moment bubble and flow over into heady, buzzing afterglow and joining in with laughter of his own that probably sounds equally, if not more, nuts than John’s.
“But seriously,” Matt says, when he thinks they’re both done giggling and snorting like fifth-graders who swiped one of mom’s Harlequin paperbacks. “I can still go. If you want. If. If it’s weird.”
“Kid,” John says, with an expression of deliberate patience like he’s talking to the slow kid in class,  “it was weird before. Now everything finally makes sense.” John’s fingers come from out of nowhere to smooth a damp chunk of hair off his forehead, like it gets in the way of John looking at him properly. “But I think you’re right, it’s probably time for you to move.”
“Yeah. No. Right. Totally. Makes sense,” Matt says, even though it fucking well doesn’t. “It would be weird now. Me, sleeping on your couch and everything.”
“Totally weird.” McClane agrees. But now he’s got that look. The one that says you’re an idiot and he’s John fucking McClane. “My bedroom’s way too big for just one guy, anyhow.”
Maybe Matt doesn’t know when he’s being fucked with after all.
It’s more than he could have ever expected. To not just be staying at John’s place, but to be here to stay; to live here…to sleep in John’s bed. Matt feels strange and giddy again, fragile, like he could shatter like glass right here on the hood of the car. But not with John here, above him, holding him together.
John still has that stupid cigarette tucked behind his ear. Matt reaches up, thinking to snag it and say something – anything – dumb about having a light, or smoking after sex, or the general art of changing awkward subjects, but all John must see is Matt reaching for his face, because his features take on a look Matt doesn’t think he’s ever seen there before.
It’s a weird sort of relief, or reprieve, like he’s been waiting for permission. And then John is kissing him.
Matt has an instant of stunned wonder when he realizes they haven’t done this yet. They should have. It’s a whole new kind of overwhelming – a soaring, filled-up feeling, like something in his chest just might get too big to stay in there.
John tastes of the salty tang of Matt’s own skin and of something that might be motor oil, but also – ever so faintly – of lemonade.
And very definitely of promises. Not all of them sweet.
“Besides,” John says, as soon as Matt will let him use his mouth to do anything except that nasty, super hot stroking thing he seems to be able to do with his tongue. “I want my couch back.”
“It’s all yours,” Matt promises him right back. “…Territorial fucker.”
He doesn’t bother to explain that he’s not just talking about the couch.
But this is McClane, and by the way he’s looking at Matt with a way-too-pleased, predatory sort of leer, Matt’s pretty sure he’s already figured that part out. So he just slings an arm around John’s neck and pulls him closer.
If he’s lucky, maybe he can get him to do that thing with his tongue again.




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