You're a Good Man, John McClane

Part 2

John waited for a time when he was less riled up to bring up the subject. But it just wasn’t happening. Something was going on with Farrell. The kid had taken to wandering the house half-dressed, and John couldn’t be sure if he was imagining things or whether Matt had always been so handsy.


Either Farrell was in the middle of a pretty serious laundry crisis, or he’d gotten the completely wrong idea. Or the right one, really, but that didn’t make it any less wrong.


The things that were going through John’s head…


At first, John had tried to drink his inappropriate thoughts into submission with a couple more beers than he probably should have after dinner, given the pain meds he was still on. This backfired in a big way when John made the mistake of letting Matt give him a back rub one night.


Sure his shoulder was still pretty tight most of the time, and yeah, it helped. But he got so loose and uninhibited when he’d felt the kid up close and warm behind him, that he’d leaned into the touch maybe a bit too much. And when he turned around on the couch afterward, he’d practically pulled Farrell into his lap to return the favour, running his hands up and down Matt’s leg, avoiding the healing scar and gently kneading the taut, skinny little calf muscle wherever Matt indicated it was needed with little nods and grunts of encouragement.


That hadn’t been so bad actually, but if John remembered correctly, he’d also manhandled Matt up off the couch and into a hug, of all things, when he was done. And, jovially proclaiming that it was way past his bed time, he might have slapped the kid on the ass for good measure.


John tried a new tactic after that. He avoided Farrell.


It was easy enough. There was always a shit load of paper to push around at the precinct. Sure, the rookie Desk Sergeant did keep coming in to check if John wasn’t doing too much often enough to annoy the shit out of him, but in the end, they couldn’t make him leave.


When John finally came through the door Friday night, Farrell was at it again. Spread out at the kitchen table with his models, a bunch of tiny little pots of paint, a can of that mad-man caffeine soda he never seemed to be without, and no shirt.


“You’re home.” Matt had hopped up out of his chair and was shifting restlessly from foot to foot like he couldn’t sit still even though it probably hurt him.


“Yeah. You’re up late.” John shucked his jacket, and felt wide, brown eyes flicking over him. Jesus, kid. No more fuel for the fire. Please.


“Well I was kind of…waiting… Hey – um. McClane?” Matt bounced a little on the balls of his bare feet, and John wondered how many of those caffeine thingies he’d had. “Can we talk?”


He counted two more empty cans on the kitchen counter, and for a second he was tempted to check out the recycling for more evidence. John was tired and his eyes felt gritty. He rolled his shoulder a little, instead.


“Sure, kid.”


Matt limped over to join him in the hallway, the light from the streetlamp outside the window painting a pale stripe down the smooth skin of his shoulder and chest. Great. John’d been home thirty seconds and he was already losing his damn mind.


“Shoulder bothering you?” Farrell reached out, like he was about to touch him, but he stopped and let his hand fall back. John wasn’t sure how to feel about that.


“Nah. I’m good. Just sat at the desk too long.”


Matt nodded, flopping all that silly brown hair all over the place, and making John want to touch it.


He would just try and tame it, comb his fingers through it so it was neat and all went the same way. Tuck it behind Matt’s ears maybe, so he could see his eyes when he talked. That’s all.


Yep, he was crackin’ up. John just kept his hand where it was, firmly wrapped around the coat peg where he’d just hung his jacket.


“S’a matter?” John asked, gesturing vaguely at Matt’s sparse clothing, “You shrink all your shit in the laundry? You need me to take you somewhere to pick up some more tshirts tomorrow?”


“Ha, that’s funny. Laundry, no. But that’s kind of what I wanted to talk about. Well, not that. But…”


John stood up a little straighter. This was it. Farrell was going to suggest maybe it was time for him to find a place of his own. John was glad. Really he was, he’d been trying to tell the kid as much for a week.


So why didn’t he feel glad? There was a little dissatisfied lump somewhere between his chest and his throat. He swallowed around it, as Matt fidgeted unhappily, pushing his bangs out of his eyes before speaking up.


“So – why is this a problem, John?” John cocked his head by a fraction, still waiting for Matt to get to the point. “This. Me. Not wearing a shirt.”


 “Hey, it’s not my problem. You’re the homeless hacker street-urchin. People will just think I’m not takin’ care of ya.”


“So, the problem is what people will think?”


“What? Kid, it’s late, and if you’re not gonna start making sense – ”


“I thought I was the one taking care of you?”


Right. That’s what they were supposed to be talking about.


“Yeah.” John took a breath in, the kid was right, he couldn’t deny that. “You’ve done a good job of that, with the apron, and the cooking, takin’ the garbage out when I can’t deal. And now I’m workin’ more, an’ I know you probably want to get back to Jersey soon…”


 But Matt kept interrupting him. 


“So it’s not a problem. It’s not a problem if I stand right here?” Matt was way too close. And John really wished he was wearing more clothes.


He felt like there was an invisible bubble around Matt. Danger. And the closer he moved, the more the barriers of it pushed against John. Squeezed him, so his chest felt tight and constricted.


“It’s not a problem if I do this?” Matt was touching him now, settling his hands on either side of John’s beltline.


Oh there was a problem all right, and it was growing by the second.


“Matt.” John had to concentrate to talk, by now. Those nimble keyboarding fingers fiddled nervously with the edges of his shirt where it had come untucked during the long day of desk work. John was coming undone just as easy. “You don’t want…”


“I dunno. I think I might.”


Not good. Encouragement like this was not good. There was only so much a man could take, and John had probably had it days ago. But this was a bad idea. A very bad fuckin’ idea. He was sure it was. There had to be a million reasons why, and if John could just think for a goddamn minute, he could explain it.


But he couldn’t think, not with Matt’s skin, and Matt’s hair, and Matt’s deep, brown eyes just watching him. Waiting. He couldn’t think. But he had to try.


“I’m old, kid. And I’m a man, for fuck’s sake…and I’m not…Look, I want you to be…”


“I know.” Matt cut in, quietly. “That’s what makes you that guy.”




And in the end it wasn’t a bullet, or an exploding plane, or an airborne car that brought down John McClane. 125 lbs of hacker moved in under his arm, and with a vague tumbling sensation, John was lost.



They say your life flashes in front of your eyes at the end, and John expected this right here was gonna make the big slide show. He knew this feeling. The out-of-body jolt of the universe jabbing a finger in your face and reminding you it was bigger, and you were just lucky to be invited. He recognized it from his wedding day, and the first day he’d held his little Lucy. And then tiny Jack, whose miniature feet barely reached the crook of his elbow if he stretched him along his forearm, head cradled in his open palm.


So if this was the highway to hell, then John was giving up the wheel. He knew that whatever it took, whatever Matt wanted, John would provide. A new apartment, or to stay here and piss him off forever, or even this, John thought, as he let his arms come around Matt’s waist and laid his cheek against Matt’s ridiculous hair, and fought to just keep breathing.


It was dark in the hallway and John’s senses were full of Matt – the faint, warm scent of him, the soft brush of his hair under John’s jaw, the heat of his smooth, pale skin – so he missed how it happened.


They’d been standing there, wrapped in their own world, bantering about something or other; all soft laughter and the feeling of Farrell grinning against his chest.


The next thing John knew, they were kissing. Or at least, Matt was kissing him. And not just once or twice. Matt worked fast it seemed, he’d already moved them past that awkward start-stop phase and was speeding up the action now, breathing harder, and tugging at him impatiently.


John’s hands came up, just a reflex really, but before he could stop it, his fingers brushed the tips of Matt’s hair. Matt shivered against him and made this tiny sound – barely audible, but it brought reality back in like a battering ram and John froze. His eyes opened.


Then Matt was talking again, but it wasn’t so annoying when the words came out pressed against John’s mouth the way they were right now.


“You can touch me, McClane, I’m not gonna break. Touch…fuckin’ touch me, McClane.”


There was a brief scuffle as John tried to oblige by reaching for Matt’s shoulders, and it was clearly not what Matt was after. Matt caught a rough hold of one of John’s hands. He jammed it toward his crotch, but John managed to veer to the right so Matt just ended up mashing John’s palm against his hip.


It was jarring enough, the hot silken skin stretched tight over the bone where it jutted out of the waistband of Matt’s sweats, and John gasped sharply. Jesus. This was insane.


Matt was slowly dragging John’s hand where he wanted it. Once he got it there, it was all John could do not to shove the kid away and nip this whole crazy shit in the bud. They were skipping a couple bases, John was sure. But then how did you count, really? He turned his head away, trying to get some distance, sanity, a second to think. But he didn’t move his hand.


“McClane?” Matt was saying, “...John.” He brought his free hand up, gripping John’s chin and turning his gaze back so they were looking each other in the eye.


Even in the dim light John could see Matt’s eyes had gone liquid and his mouth was kissed red. Matt wanted to be touched. John raised the fingers of the hand Matt wasn’t pinning in place. He traced them over the sensitized lips and Matt’s eyes fluttered shut in response for a second. But he opened them again, intent on something.


“Okay?’ Matt asked him. And suddenly, it was.


Because, sure, maybe John was a dirty old man, and he was corrupting this kid eight ways from Sunday. Maybe this thing between them was going deeper than John wanted to admit, and it would bite him in the ass later down the road. But it was Matt who was in control here. Matt wanted this. Matt was the one who had the wherewithal to stop and make sure John wasn’t losing it.


Matt was going to be just fine. 


Instead of an answer, John curled his fingers where Matt wanted them, and was rewarded with the kid tipping his head back and making a moaning sound that John could definitely get used to. He squeezed.


“Oh!” Matt’s head snapped up. “That. Yeah, that’s…that’s very…wow. Oh, yeah.”


Then John dove forward and brought their mouths together again. Because shutting Matt up in the best way John could think of was just another reason why this whole thing might actually work.



Part 1 ~~~~~~~~ Back to Live Free or Die Hard ~~~~~~~~          



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