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28 December 2012 @ 11:59 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Second Nature  
Written for numb3rs_newyear 2012
Crossposted to numb3rs_slash

Title: Second Nature
Pairing/Characters: Don/Ian/Billy
Rating: NC17
Spoilers: Sniper Zero, Man Hunt
Summary: A cabin, a secret, a past remembered, a future offered
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

Other comments (Part 1/Part 2) are housed at numb3rs_newyear.

'Saturday 7/25 2PM'

Don checked his watch; he was right on time or rather he was on time precisely because he'd gotten here early and planned his approach to the remote mountain cabin to ensure he would be.

He looked at the business card sized paper in his hand. It bore the date and time on one side and GPS coordinates on the other. With his access to satellite imagery it wasn't hard to scope out the cabin ahead of time, but all he knew was that it was privately owned in the middle of a national forest - one of a handful of properties grandfathered in when the park was created.

The note had been placed on his bedroom pillow during a case wrap up party at his apartment - left behind with a fortune cookie from their takeout Chinese food - so he knew it had to be from one of the team members who'd been there. He wasn't certain who exactly, though he had a better than educated guess given the location.

He knocked on the door, adopting a casual pose, and waited for it to open.

"Hey, Ian."

Whether Ian was surprised by his lack of surprise, Don couldn't tell. One couldn't tell much from Ian's expression at the best of times; the man had the world's best poker face when he was focused.

"Don..." He stepped back from the doorway and gestured in welcome. "Come on in."

He barely had to take two steps into the cabin to spy Billy kicking back on the sofa.

"Welcome to Decompression Central!" Billy held up the beer bottle in his hand in greeting and salute to Don. "What took you so damn long?"

"Hey, his invite was for 2PM." Ian shut the door behind them and ushered Don further in with a gesture. "I only told you noon because you're always running late."

"So I got here at 1PM for no reason?" Billy looked playfully petulant, no real malice behind his words.

"I rest my case," Ian said with a snicker. "Okay, now that Don's here we need to pick him out a beer to get started." Ian picked up a list and brandished it with a flourish. "My present this year: a case of microbrewed beers. Only my parents and my sister each got me one so now I've got two cases that need drinking." He turned to Billy. "What do you think we should give him to start? An IPA? A Hefeweisen?"

"To work him up to a porter or stout later?" Billy pursed his lips, in thought. "I'd go with the Hefeweisen."

Don peeked at the label in Billy's hand.

"Or is that because you're drinking the IPA already?"

"I take the fifth!" Billy proclaimed, topping it off with a long swallow.

"Fifths come later - after the beer," Ian joked. He headed for the small refrigerator in the kitchen wall of the mostly one room cabin and pulled out a bottle which he handed to Don. "Give this a try."

Don used the bottle opener on his key chain Swiss army knife and took a swig.

"Oh, very nice!" After another drink he looked at his host and fellow guest. "So we're here to drink then?"

Ian's husky chuckle sent a little jolt through Don, part anticipation and part worry.

"Oh, there's so much more planned for this weekend." He ducked into a side room that was likely a bathroom and emerged with three thick white robes, tossing one each to Don and Billy. "The hot tub's all warmed up and ready go to."

Don fingered his robe. It was definitely high quality, soft but absorbent.

"I didn't exactly plan for this," he told Ian, "so it's not like I packed swim trunks."

Ian waved him off with a gesture. "First, it's not like we all haven't seen plenty of each other naked in the locker rooms and second, there's no one for miles around here. I think we can risk being naked outdoors for the second it takes to get in the water."

"Works for me." Billy got up and started disrobing.

Ian tossed his robe over his shoulder and picked up his own beer bottle. "I'm going to go turn on the outdoor sound system so we can have some music."

Don watched him go, Billy stripping in his peripheral vision.

Beer, tunes and some hot tubbing. It sounded innocuous enough, but there was a prickling of the hairs on the back of Don's neck that told him this wasn't all that lay in store if Ian was running the show.


"If this is unwinding? Consider me unwound." Billy toasted Ian lazily as he polished off his bottle of beer.

Don had to admit he'd unwound fairly well himself and not all of that was due to the fact he was on his third beer. He'd snagged the last IPA before Billy could get to it and found it was worth coveting. He'd worked his way up to a nice Bavarian Eisbock and as he sloshed it a little in the bottle realized he'd be done with that one fairly soon as well.

"Well, then!" Ian polished off the last of his own bottle and reached for his towel and robe. "That means it's time to get out the massage table!"

Don was still staring at Ian in disbelief and was still too stunned to shift his gaze when Ian got out of the hot tub, catching an unintended glimpse of his bare ass. The sudden visible nudity made him shift in his seat in the water, feeling a flutter down low reminding him just how long it had been since he'd had sex.

"He's kidding, right?" he finally asked Billy once Ian was back inside the cabin.

"Nope." Billy did indeed look fairly liquid at his point, arms draped lazily over the sides of the hot tub. "Ian's got amazing hands, but then that's not too much of a stretch knowing what he does for a living. He turns me into butter every time."

"You do this often then?"

"Not often enough!" Billy let out a little chortle. "He started inviting me when a fellow tracker moved away. And when Tim King bowed out..."

"Wait, you guys invited Tim and not me?"

"Ian invited," Billy clarified. "It's his place, man. He can invite whoever he wants and apparently him and Tim go back a ways, which I didn't know. Anyway, Tim's taking an instructor position at Quantico - his new wife wants him out of the field apparently - so Ian asked me if I thought you'd be up for hanging with us... If you'd be into it."

"Still not sure what it is." Don glanced back to the door, but Ian hadn't returned yet. He lowered his voice. "I thought it was just beer and hanging out, but I get the sense that Ian's got more on his mind."

"Is that such a bad thing?" Don blinked at Billy as he raised one eyebrow and gave him a sly grin. Ian reappearing was the only thing that stopped Don from pursuing the matter further.

Ian set up the folding massage table quickly and efficiently, covering it with fresh towels before gesturing Billy up onto it.

"You're up first, Coop."

"My lucky day." Billy got out of the hot tub and briefly toweled off the majority of the water on him before climbing onto the table on his stomach.

Despite Don having shared motel rooms for years with Billy back in his Fugitive Recovery days he had to notice that Billy was still in fantastic shape despite both of them being much older now. And Ian, older than both of them, would have had a flawless physique if not for the myriad of scars Don caught sight of when he looked closer. He'd kept up his own athlete's body: part for keeping swift on the job and part vanity.

A memory flashed back into his mind. He'd been working with a personal trainer at his gym and jokingly said he worked out hard to impress women. The trainer had surreptitiously pointed out the number of eyes watching him in the all mens gym and suggested women weren't the only ones being impressed.

He'd stifled a moment of panic then, afraid somehow the man could tell he wasn't as perfectly straight as he'd pretended to be. Now he was fairly sure Billy had let slip - or at least implied - that the two of them had 'passed the time' as Billy put it while they were partners. Billy had a way of making even the most questionable acts seem innocuous. Busting down a door without a warrant was almost always done with Billy's version of 'reasonable cause', not Don's.

Watching Ian's talented hands skate over Billy's bare form, Don had a hard time clamping down on his arousal, hidden for now under the bubbling water. Ian certainly felt no compulsions about being naked in the late afternoon sunlight and Billy was certainly enjoying being worked on if his pleased little humming was any indication.

"I've got to hit the john." Don was up and out of the tub and into his robe as fast as he could manage, hoping neither man would notice his condition.

"Don't get lost on the way," Billy called after him cheerfully.

"It's a two room cabin," Ian intoned. "Kind of hard to miss it."

"Not if you're drunk!" Don heard Billy say as he headed inside.

Closing the door behind him he made a beeline for the bathroom, locking and checking the door and making sure the small window was shut tight. Dropping the robe he took his now straining erection in hand. Clearly it had been too long since all it took was some firm strokes and the visual of Ian and Billy fucking in his imagination to get him to come.

Embarrassed, he cleaned up quickly and grabbed the beer list before he left, walking out reading it as if he'd been perusing it a while.

"I'm torn. Do I jump to a stout after the eisbock or a porter..." His voice trailed off when he looked up and realized what he'd walked in on. Billy had flipped over onto his back and Ian was lazily sliding his fist up and down Billy's cock.

"Your call," Ian said, as if he wasn't in the midst of jacking Billy off. "If you're going for two more I'd say stout first, then porter. If you can handle more? I just had a nice brown ale..."

"Hey! I wanted the other brown ale!" Billy protested.

"Stout it is." Don turned on his heel and went back into the house trying to ignore the soft needy pants he could hear Billy making in the ensuing silence. Once inside he paused, just out of sight, trying to get his racing heart back under control. He'd suspected Ian had more in mind than the typical man cave getaway, but it was a whole other thing to be faced with proof.

Walking over to the refrigerator, he couldn't stop the visuals assailing his mind: Billy's blissful expression on the massage table, the first time Billy had showered in front of him as a purposeful display of his nude form, that fateful stakeout where they'd traded hand jobs for the first time... All it had taken was Billy teasing him about being a prude and they'd graduated quickly to alternating blow jobs.

The bottle of stout felt cool in his hand and he held it to his forehead, overheated from both the hot tub and his body's blatant ignoring of the release he'd just given it.

He jumped slightly when he heard the back door open and set about opening his bottle as Ian - now wearing his robe - went to the kitchen sink and washed his hands.

"Grab me one of the Black Jack Porters, will you?" he asked, drying his hands.

Don opened the refrigerator and quickly found the label he was looking for, handing the bottle to Ian.

"Here you go."

"Thanks." Ian opened it and took a sip, nodding his head in appreciation before leaning back against the counter. "So, you freaked out?"

"No," Don answered a little too quickly. He took a drink to give him time to come up with a better answer. "It's not what I expected," he said carefully. "Any reason why you didn't want to, I don't know, just tell me?"

Ian winked at him. "Where's the fun in that?" He headed towards the door again. "Table's free. You're up." He glanced back over his shoulder. "If you're up for it that is."

Don sank down into a nearby chair, mind overflowing with possibilities. He stared at the door, knowing before he went through it he'd have to make a decision.

He took a long drink of the stout, no longer tasting it.

Liquid courage, people called alcohol, but he'd had enough this afternoon to handle any normal hesitation.

This, though, was something completely different.


Ian solved the problem for him as he came back in a few minutes later, Billy in tow, also in his robe now.

"Damn campers," Ian scowled. "Someone put out a campfire wrong and now the wind's full of ash."

"I'd be tempted to go down there and give them a piece of my mind," Billy added. "Except I'm naked and barefoot." He gestured to his body beneath the robe. "Not sure they'd take me seriously."

"Take your badge with you then," Ian joked, settling himself on the sofa with his porter.

"Well, that makes it all work out then!" Billy let out a jovial chuckle and joined Ian on the sofa, nudging him. "So what's for dinner, Jefe?"

"In honor of Mr. Carnivore over here?" Ian cocked his head towards where Don hovered, still in the kitchen area. "Rib eye."

"Nice..." Billy nodded. "You putting me to work?"

"As always," Ian replied. "You can fight with Don over who does the potatoes and who does the green beans."

"I call green beans!" Billy smirked at Don. "Is that like the 'shotgun' of vegetables or what?"

Don couldn't help but laugh, letting his worries go now that the tension of deciding - at least for now - had passed.

"Great," Don fake muttered. "I'm like the private in this private army then? Peeling potatoes..."

"Nah," Ian said. "We're going baked." He gestured to a brown paper bag on the kitchen counter. "Which means you're up first. Potatoes are in the bag, scrub brush and soap are in the cabinet under the sink."

"Fine, I can earn my keep." Don set himself to work, actually grateful for the distraction. While he washed and cleaned each of the large russet potatoes in the sink he found himself throwing glances over to where Ian and Billy were lounging on the sofa, drinking in companionable silence.

He had to admit to himself that the time with Billy had been fun and good stress relief. The fact that Ian - who essentially killed people for a living as a sniper - needed a level of relief that involved a secluded mountain cabin and not one but two men? Somehow Don started to see the logic behind it. That he was Ian's choice to replace a long time trusted partner? And Billy's choice as well, clearly.

He'd trusted these men with his life over and over and they'd done the same. What was a secret like this - which he knew he'd keep even if he chose not to participate - compared to life or death?

It all fell into place in those moments: Don's attitude towards his time with Billy, his understanding of Ian's motivations and his own need to find an outlet off the clock other than adrenaline fueled sex with women who expected more than he was willing or able to give.

No strings attached, a chance to be with a man again without worrying about the FBI brass finding out, an opportunity to thank Ian in particular for breaking the rules to save his life...

He glanced back over at the two men, seeing them with less critical, less judgmental eyes.

"Coop! Get your ass over here! If I have to veg out you better be doing the green beans with me."

"Don't get your panties in a bunch," Billy drawled, rising slowly. "I'm coming." He nudged Don aside with his hip and dumped the green beans out of their bag and into the sink beside Don's potatoes. They worked side by side, Billy prepping the beans as Don finished rinsing the potatoes.

"Hand me the towel." Don accepted a kitchen towel from Billy and started drying off the clean potatoes.

"You know," Billy said under his breath. "You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. That's not what this is about."

"I get it." Don looked up to find Billy looking at him closely. "I get it," he repeated, holding Billy's gaze so he knew he was serious.

He was rewarded with a brilliant smile and it hit him that even though Billy was always an easy-going guy at work the tiny lines of stress around his eyes and mouth were erased, leaving behind a truly relaxed expression.

"If I remember right there should be oil and salt in the cupboard." He gestured to the cupboard on Don's other side.

"Sure it's cooking oil and not massage oil?" Don asked teasingly.

It was Ian who laughed out loud rather than Billy at his joke.

"Good one!" He raised his beer in salute. "Though I might have to pilfer it if I run out of my normal massage oil."

"No thanks," Don joshed. "I'll pass rather than leave here smelling like Crisco!"

Billy dropped his knife in the sink as he burst out laughing.

"Shit, you guys are always so much funnier when I'm drunk!"

"All right..." Ian got up and put his beer aside. "That's my cue to get the grill ready and put the steaks on. When Billy's punchy he needs to eat before the next round of alcohol."

"Feed me!" Billy blurted out, chortling. "Feed me!"

Ian gave Billy a fake smack to the back of his head as he passed.

"You keep going like that this will turn into a Little Shop of Horrors!"

This time it was Don's turn to crack up, envisioning a man-eating plant with Billy's face on it. For the first time since he'd arrived he felt truly free to be himself, among friends.


Dinner, once consumed - and thoroughly enjoyed - had transitioned into an evening of drinking quite different from their beer guzzling afternoon.

Ian brought out some 12 year old single malt scotch and each man had stuck with their original glass, making the scant two ounces last.

Apparently, Don surmised, evening was the part of the retreat where they talked about what was going on with work - the cases that haunted them.

Ian had gone first, as host, and Don and Billy had listened attentively, offering their silent support - the best gift they could offer. Don privately wondered how bad other weekends had gone. Ian's last kill hadn't been that unusual, even by his own standards, but it obviously still weighed on him based on his scotch fueled confession.

A pregnant pause filled the air with companionable silence until Billy spoke up, claiming his turn.

"There was this woman - a waitress in a mom and pop diner, in Tehachapi. My fugitive spotted some rookie undercover cops closing in even though I'd told them to stay back. So he grabbed her to use as a shield, held a gun to her head." The few seconds he halted were enough to tell Don the part coming next was what bothered him most. "I'm trying to diffuse the situation. The man's yelling, the woman's crying and the idiot cops are threatening to shoot..." Don watched as Billy's free hand tightened into a fist and his other gripped the glass tumbler in his hand so tightly he feared it would shatter. "And then I hear this kid's voice. This little boy - couldn't have been more than like five years old - runs out from the back room, calling for his mother. Heads right for her, stupid kid."

"Crap," Ian muttered under his breath, clearly seeing where the story was going.

"Yeah... It all went down so fast... The perp aims his gun at the kid and one of the cops pops him in the head. The mom gets splattered with brains and blood and the kid has to see a man get his head blown off right in front of him." He slammed down the last of his scotch and put the glass down on the coffee table with a thunk. "Damn newbie cops. Thanks to them that kid's fucked for life and the mom's screwed too."

Another quiet moment passed where neither Ian nor Don acknowledged that Billy needed the time to compose himself before they continued.

"What about you?" Billy finally asked Don, his cue that it was all right to move on. "Bad cases galore, but what's the worst?"

Don didn't even have to think. He'd spent the last three days trying to talk Charlie out of the garage for the one he had in mind. It was always worse when it was kids.

"Jacomuzzi. He made bail and disappeared."

Both Ian and Billy blinked at him.

"No way he got bail!" Billy exclaimed, eyes wide with shock. "Four kids they nailed him on! Four!"

"Who fucked up?" Ian asked. "Someone had to if he got out of jail - ever."

"Depends who you ask," Don said, feeling suddenly weary at having to tell the tale again, at having the weight of guilt and failure back on his shoulders. "The AUSA assigned to the case - some new guy imported from San Diego - blames everybody but their own department." Don turned the glass of scotch in his hands around and around, his gaze disappearing into the amber liquid. "All I can think about is wherever he is, he's scouting fresh victims already. I'm sure of it." He let out a long breath, fighting down the tightness in his chest and trying to shunt away the images of the crime scene photos vying for images of new mangled children unknown somewhere far away.

"He wins."

Don looked up to find Ian gesturing to him.

"Agreed." Billy nodded.

"Uh, guys? To me it sounds like I had the shittiest week."

"That's how you win," Ian explained. "Whoever needs a break the most gets the most attention." He glanced over at Billy, sharing a look of understanding. "Plus, since you're a new guest to our little escape from reality weekend, you deserve a proper and mind-emptying initiation."

He finished off his glass and rose, leaving it on the coffee table.

"Should we clean up now or later?" Don asked.

"Screw the dishes," Ian said. "This isn't camping. It's not like there are bears around. They can wait until morning." He headed over to the large quilt covered bed, beckoning to Don to follow. "Come on. I still owe you a massage."

Don cast one final look into his glass and then drank the last of the scotch in it.

"Be right there..."


Ian, to Don's surprise, was the most amazing masseur he'd ever encountered and in his athletic career he'd worked with dozens upon dozens.

The lethal hands had talents far beyond sniping and it took little time before Don was melting into the mattress as Ian worked him from neck to ankles and out to his hands as well, evaporating the tension wherever he found it.

"Man, you are in the wrong line of work," Don muttered into the pillow. "You should do this for a living."

"Tell me about it," Billy said, chuckling from where he sat keeping them company, sitting on the edge of the bed.

"Sorry," Ian told him. "Shooting people pays better."

"That's wrong on so many levels," Billy complained.

"True, but that doesn't change anything." Ian smacked Don lightly on the ass. "Done with this side. Turn over."

"Can't," Don joshed, acting sleepy. "You turned me into a sloth. A very sleepy sloth."

"No sleeping yet." Ian gave him a slightly harder smack on the ass. "Billy give me a hand."

Don went ahead and rolled over and Billy gave the impression of helping Ian reposition him.

"Got two of them," he said after. "Feel free to put me to work."

"Well, you are the one who knows Don best..." Don opened his eyes enough to catch Ian's smirk and Billy's answering grin.

"Why am I suddenly worried?" he asked, eyeing them both.

"Eyes shut!" Ian admonished without any animosity behind it. "You're supposed to be relaxing, remember?"

"Yes, sir!" Don fake saluted before settling back down again. He closed his eyes and felt Ian's hands return to his skin, working his arms and chest. A second set - Billy's - touched him lighter, less of a massage and more of a caress. Those fingers skated over the sensitive spots near his hipbones; Billy did indeed know what Don liked.

Don should have known what was coming, but he felt so good he found his mind floating away, just enjoying his body's reaction to their efforts. Still, his body jumped just a little when Billy's hand skimmed over to brush against the base of his cock, short fingernails scratching lightly through the coarse hair there - something else Don had forgotten he liked in the time since he'd last been with Billy.

He waited for some comment, but nothing came. It seemed the time for joking was over and they really were serious about helping him let go and forget.

As Billy's hand wrapped around his shaft he let out another long breath, willing the last of the tension to leave his body.

Ian's attentions moved down to his legs, massaging his thighs as Billy lazily jacked him off. The massage oil Ian used had only a slight natural fragrance to it, but Don found it oddly entrancing, inhaling it and letting it help soothe him further.

He began to feel like he could float away, but something inside him bound him, kept him in the present more than he wanted.

"Sometimes it's hard to let go." Ian's voice surrounded him, low and warm. "We know."

"This might help."

Don cracked an eye to see Billy pulling the sash from his robe off. He held it up as if in question. Don hesitated a moment, but saw the point. He was always in such control. The best way to let go was to let go of that control.

He nodded, closing his eyes again.

"Do it. Do whatever you think will work."

With that he surrendered, waiting to see what they would do, trusting that he was safe in their hands.

As Billy bound his hands with the soft sash to the headboard, Ian's hands sped up, crossing his body in a way that was more energizing than calming now. After a few minutes his skin was humming with sensation, making him focus on feeling rather than thinking.

Strong hands moved him to lay on his side and he went willingly, almost breathless with anticipation once all hands were off him and he was left waiting.

The first sensation he experienced knocked the wind from him: Billy's mouth enveloping his cock.

He'd forgotten how much he missed this, missed a man's understanding of this intimate act. No one but Billy had ever gotten it just right - the perfect amount of force, the right speed...

And then Ian's long oiled finger was slipping inside of him, probing, grazing that spot inside that set his body sparking every time.

He couldn't help but tug on his bonds, the knowledge he couldn't reach out to stop them helping him along.

His body relaxed a little when Ian withdrew, but the pleasurable tension returned when he felt Ian's naked body pressed against his back, his strong hand reaching around to teasingly thread fingers around the base of his cock as Billy laved the head with his tongue.

"You sure you want this?" Ian purred low in his ear, all danger and heat and want and Don couldn't say no even if his body wasn't screaming with need. On some level this was what he'd expected Ian to do for him and he was doing it exceptionally well.

"Yes," he answered breathlessly. "All of it. Now."

He felt Ian's throaty chuckle resonate from Ian's chest to his back, the heat of his breath on the back of his neck giving Don a little rush.

"Greedy are we? Just wait until it's your turn to be on the other side."

And with that Ian shifted position and started rubbing the slicked head of his cock against Don's primed entrance.

Trying not to stiffen, Don was surprised when Ian didn't just shove his way in all at once. He taunted him by pressing in just the head repeatedly, the same way Billy was measuring his efforts to not let Don come too soon.

Rather than let impatience ruin his encounter, Don welcomed the slow pace, letting himself relish each sensation. The two of them worked in tune so well, Don felt like Ian was the conductor leading them into a building crescendo with each inch he sank deeper into Don's welcoming body.

Blind, Don's senses tuned into the environment around him: the scent of Billy's aftershave - the kind he'd always worn, the soft sounds of sex mixed with the rustle of wind in the trees just outside the window, the difference in pressure between Ian's firm grip and Billy's lighter touch, the occasional brush of Billy's bristly short hair against his heated skin...

It filled his mind, all of it, and left him in a swirl of sensual pleasure that swallowed him up like an eddy, drowning him in mindless bliss. If he was to forget something he wasn't sure what it was and realized he shouldn't even try to remember. A tug of his tied hands reminded him to let it go and to stop even trying to categorize the moment. 'Just feel' became his internal mantra until even words fell away into the impending nothingness of beautiful oblivion.

As they built into a gentle seesawing motion, Don started to falter, caught between the growing forcefulness of Ian's thrusts and Billy taking him ever deeper, sucking less carefully - hands roaming over his thighs and hips and occasionally taking a detour up to rub a hardened nub of a nipple with a moistened fingertip.

At some unnoticed signal, they both sped up their efforts greatly, catching Don by surprise.

A helpless little cry escaped him and he strained at his bonds as every cell of his being vibrated with the ricochet of ecstasy that flooded him each time Ian nailed his prostate.

Billy swallowed him down all the way, pinching a nipple hard as he did, and Don was lost: body going taut with a primal shout that rang out in the quiet room until drained, he collapsed back to the bed, all his energy dissipated at once.

His heart kept on pounding, taking its time to slow as Ian carefully withdrew and Billy pressed a kiss to his hipbone before moving up to mirror Ian laying next to him on the other side.

The room held the sound of all of their breathing, all at different rates, but somehow all making a rhythm of its own.

Eventually Billy undid the sash and let Don free as Ian pulled the covers up over all of them.

"You better not have stretched it out too much," Billy mock grumbled.

"Why?" Don managed a weak smile, still recovering. "You getting so short in your old age you're worried about it dragging on the floor?"

"Hey, watch what you say about old age," Ian joshed. "I've got both of you beat."

"Yeah, but you've got something else that would drag on the floor if you got shorter," Billy tossed back.

"Jealous?" Ian taunted.

"Only if it's not my turn next," Billy countered gleefully.

Don couldn't help but laugh, the sound floating up out of him - so light and free he almost didn't recognize his own voice.

"Don't worry," Ian drawled. "Don gets put to work tomorrow."

"I have to earn my keep, I suppose," Don said. He let it come out as a bit of a joke, but he meant it. He was prepared to return the favor, especially now that he'd seen how good a job they'd done at helping him get out of his head for a while - something he had a lot of trouble doing on his own at home.

"Well... That is, if you want to stay..." There was a hint of hesitation in Ian's voice that Don had never heard before and it surprised him until he put it in context. What he was asking? It wasn't something one got asked everyday. "I mean, keep coming up here," he explained.

After a second, Don shifted backwards so his body would be up against Ian's chest again and then put an arm around Billy to draw him back against him, the three of them comfortably melded into each other. He did it so naturally, as if he'd done it before, as if it were second nature to him.

"I'm staying."


The next morning Don woke to a warm yet empty bed, but was welcomed by the smells of coffee and pancakes coming from across the room.

"Hope you like coffee that isn't battery acid," Billy said once he saw Don was sitting up. He lifted a coffee mug in invitation. "Or did the Bureau spoil you?"

"Ha! No," Don said, pulling his robe on. Billy had his on, but Ian just had a pair of black jeans on and no shirt. His tawny chest brought back memories of the night before and Don realized they had most of the day to work on Ian and on Billy. What they had done for him, he now owed them in return - a thought that didn't trouble him in the least.

"Hope you like blueberry pancakes," Ian said, setting out plates. "They grow wild down the hill so I picked some for breakfast."

"Good, because I'm definitely hungry." He took a place next to Billy at the table and teasingly snuck his hand beneath his ex-partner's robe, running it suggestively up his thigh.

"Ian!" Billy called over to the stove where Ian was cooking. "I am so going first today!"

"Food first," Ian admonished playfully. "Fucking brains out comes later."

He put pancakes on both their plates then his own as Billy filled the mug at Don's place setting with coffee.

"How did you sleep?" Ian asked as he sat down.

"Honestly? Best sleep in years." Until he said it, Don hadn't quite realized how true that was. And good sleep was rare in his line of work.

"So now you get it." Ian took a bite of pancakes, looking thoughtful. "You know, we don't tell anyone about all this."

"I understand," Don said solemnly. "Your secret is safe with me."

"Our secret," Billy corrected him. "You're one of us now."

A feeling of camaraderie gave Don a flush of warmth he felt deep inside. He'd missed having someone this close, missed the support that came from someone who understood so clearly what he was going through in his life. He truly did belong here, with them.

"Oh, I think he's been one of us for a while now," Ian said, eyes meeting Don's with a show of approval he hadn't realized he'd wanted or needed. "We've just made it official."

Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on January 1st, 2013 07:21 am (UTC)
This fic was written for penguingal for the 2012 Numb3rs New Year's Challenge at numb3rs_newyear. The reveal took longer than normal so I guess I forgot to post this! (I have several ficathon fic this year that I submitted on time and never got around to publishing on my LJ so I guess I fail at organization this year. /sigh/)

Prompts included:
Dirtier and kinkier the better, but with real emotions, too (PWP, h/c all okay). Prompt words/phrases (use any or combinations of): anniversary, geeks are sexy, black, turtleneck, bound, flush, needy, punishment, pants, blueberries, pancakes, sunlight, chalk

Very special thanks to betas melissima and t_vo0810 for their assistance with this fic.


Emma DeMarais
Ayesha: me sortabrowngirl on January 1st, 2013 05:10 pm (UTC)
*melts into a little puddle*
fractalmoon: black and white fractal imagefractalmoon on January 3rd, 2013 09:54 pm (UTC)
"that fateful stakeout where they'd traded hand jobs for the first time"

Now that's the police procedural I want to watch! This is fun.

Edited at 2013-01-03 09:55 pm (UTC)
draoichtanghra on January 6th, 2013 07:44 pm (UTC)
Hi, happy new year and a fantastic story. Thank you! :D