Title: When Joe Met David - posted June 28, 2007
Author: Lacey McBain
Pairing: Joe/David
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: ~7000
Summary: They’ve had a little trouble casting the part of African-American astrophysicist Dr. Ingram.
Author Notes: Set before “Rising” although I'm using some of the dialogue from that episode as an audition scene.
Disclaimer: Absolutely and completely made-up. I am reasonably sure the actors’ lives aren’t like this at all. I’m reasonably sure most people’s lives aren’t like this.

When Joe Met David

Joe stretched out on the couch in the room Martin Gero was using as an office in L.A.. It was hard to believe that in a matter of a few months they’d be in Vancouver full-time, and Joe hoped he was doing the right thing, uprooting the family and dragging them up to Canada so he could run around and play intergalactic soldier in a science fiction series. It wasn’t what he’d pictured for himself when he’d decided to put the writing on hold and start going to auditions. He’d imagined plays and serious dramatic roles that really said something, roles that would push him as an actor; instead he’d gotten fifteen failed pilot episodes, and now he was signing on for a season of shooting aliens and flying spaceships. In Vancouver. Where it reportedly rained more than anywhere else in the world.

At least it was a paying gig.

A production assistant stuck her head through the open office door. “Mr. Flanigan?”

Joe swung his legs off the couch, dropping his head lightly into his hands. “Let me guess. Martin wants me to read with yet another hopeful.”

The P.A. grinned and nodded. “He’s waiting for you in 316.”

“Tell him I’m on my way.”

The blonde nodded again and headed off down the hallway. Joe stood and stretched, trying to ease some of the tension his shoulders had been storing up with every audition. It wasn’t that the men who were reading weren’t good—they were—although, Joe had read with guys from twenty-five to fifty and everywhere in between. It seemed more like Martin couldn’t decide exactly what he wanted from the character, and his “I’ll know it when I see it,” wasn’t much consolation for Joe, who’d played this scene at least thirty times already. After all that, they didn’t seem to be any closer to casting the Chief Scientist.

Joe stood in front of 316 for a moment, readying himself to become Major John Sheppard, when the door was suddenly flung open, and he stepped back just in time to avoid getting hit in the face. The step barely gave him any maneuvering room, though, and half a second later he had a sandy-haired guy in a brown button-down shirt, gripping him by the arms, asking him if he was all right, and apologizing all at once.

Joe shook his head, as much to clear the sudden volley of noise as to indicate he wasn’t hurt, but the guy just backed him up against the wall and kept talking.

“Seriously, man, you should say something because if you’ve suffered some kind of brain damage—I mean, I came through the door pretty hard, and I really didn’t expect someone to be just standing there, and it’s not like it’s got one of those little glass windows so you can see who’s on the other side, but you’re not bleeding and you seem—” the guy snapped his fingers in front of Joe’s eyes twice, “—like you’re tracking, but help me out here, say something, or else I’m going to have to assume that I should take you to the hospital and that’s seriously going to blow my chance at getting this job, although I’ll do it. I mean, I’m not the kind of guy who hits another man with a door and just leaves him to slowly die of an aneurysm in the hallway.”

The guy was looking at him with bright blue eyes and a mouth that seemed to slip into worry at the corner. His one hand was holding Joe’s arm, and the other was reaching up to turn his chin, obviously looking for signs of swelling or bruising, and Joe had never been man-handled in quite that way. The hand on his face had long warm fingers that were gently probing his jaw line, and Joe couldn’t help the small shiver he felt. It had been a long time since anyone had touched his face like that. It felt strangely intimate.

“I’m fine,” Joe said, and he couldn’t keep the smile off his face. “You didn’t actually hit me.”

“What?” The other man dropped his hands, his look of worry giving way to something closer to annoyance. So much for sharing a moment. “You let me think—”

“You didn’t give me a chance to say anything!” Joe wondered if the guy would feel better if Joe was bleeding from the mouth. Probably. “Seriously, did you even breathe during that?”

Blue eyes narrowed at him. “Do I look like a fish?”

“If the gills fit.”

“Look, I walked out and thought I hit you with the door, and you weren’t saying anything that would lead me to conclude there was intelligent life on your planet—”


“—and it’s possible that I’m a little nervous about this audition—”

Joe cut him off, suddenly curious. For the last week he’d been reading with mainly African-American men, with the occasional other visible minority thrown in for good measure. This guy was white and round-faced, a solid build, and nothing at all like anyone Joe had read with so far. “What part are you reading for?”

“Dr. Ingram.”

“The Chief Scientist of the Atlantis expedition? That Dr. Ingram?”


“The African-American astrophysicist Dr. Ingram?” Joe asked with an eyebrow raised.

“Yes. Any problems with that?”

“Not a one.”

“Good.” The guy stopped and looked him up and down in a way that made Joe feel like he should have worn something nicer than jeans and a white shirt.

“What?” Joe asked.

“I suppose you’re here for an audition too.”

“Something like that.”

“You don’t look like the scientist type, so I’ll figure you’re manly soldier guy or doomed alien extra.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing. I’m sure you’re very good at what you do.”

“I am,” Joe said, matching the guy’s gaze, and suddenly it didn’t feel like they were talking about acting anymore. He wasn’t sure what they were talking about, but it felt monumentally important and extremely intense, and Joe couldn’t remember the last time someone had gotten under his skin so fast.

“Well, good luck,” the guy said softly, giving Joe one last appraising look before turning and walking back into 316. Joe stared at the closed door for a second, almost afraid to reach out for it in case this time he really did get hit in the head, but he could hear Martin’s laughter coming through loud and clear from the other side, and God only knew what the other guy was saying about him.

Joe pushed into the room with a quick nod to Martin, and there were blue eyes glaring at him again.

“I’m not finished yet,” the guy said, and Martin was laughing so hard Joe knew there was no point looking to him for clarification. Joe opened his mouth to explain, but the guy just kept going. “We’re waiting for the guy they’ve already cast, and who knows how long he’ll be, so you might as well get yourself a bottle of water or something and settle down in the hallway. Away from the door this time.”

“Thanks. That’s good advice.”

“Don’t mention it.”

Joe wandered casually over to the tub with bottled water sitting in ice, and casually twisted off the top of a Dasani. He drank slowly, waiting for Martin to get it back under control, partly waiting to see what his new friend would come up with next.

Martin rubbed at his eyes, still shaking his head, and said, “David, I’ve missed you. You’re absolutely insane.”

“You told me you wanted McKay, so that’s what you’re getting, but honestly, the character’s a jerk, and not even a likable jerk. I don’t see how—”

“Just trust me, David, okay? We’ll do a read-through and see how it goes.”

“You’re the boss.” The guy, David, seemed to realize Joe was still in the room and looked at him impatiently, arms crossed and foot tapping. “You’re still here? Don’t you have somewhere else to be? Like the hallway? And honestly, Marty, where’s your star? I thought you said you’d already cast some pretty face to play—”

Martin made a kind of strangled sound into his coffee mug as Joe held out his hand. “Joe Flanigan, pretty face.”

David had the good grace to look slightly embarrassed, but recovered quickly and shook Joe’s hand with a firm grip. It somehow seemed too formal after what had happened in the hallway, David charging through his carefully constructed perimeter of personal space as if it hadn’t even existed. The thing was, Joe hadn’t even minded; he’d been too busy being intrigued.

“David Hewlett, foot in mouth.”

“I was just going to call you Smashes-With-Doors.”

David raised a finger and grinned. “Ah, but I didn’t actually hit you.”

“True,” Joe conceded.

Martin was smiling already, pulling out his notes and the script sheets. “I had a feeling this might work. I just had a feeling.”

“Martin?” Joe looked at him expectantly. “You want to fill us in on the master plan, or you want us to wing it.”

“David guested on SG-1 playing a character named Rodney McKay.”

“Dr. Rodney McKay,” David interrupted. “Canadian astrophysicist, genius, and all around pain in the ass.”

“I thought Canadians were supposed to be polite,” Joe said.

“We are polite. It’s just that McKay isn’t—well, he isn’t your typical anything.”

“And because of that,” Martin chimed in, “McKay might be exactly what we’re looking for to shake up the show. We don’t want to just do a replay of SG-1. John Sheppard’s not Jack O’Neill, and the scientist character, well, we don’t need another Sam Carter or Daniel Jackson. We need—”

“Rodney McKay,” David finished.

“We just might. I’m not making any promises, David. I’ll have to sell it to the producers, but let’s see how you and Joe do because the Sheppard-Ingram—”


“—whatever, relationship is going to be extremely important, and we just haven’t found the right combination of skills and chemistry yet.”

Joe cut in before David started a rant on why he was ideal for the job. “Do you want us to do the scene?”

“Yeah. Start with Ingram’s exposition about the ZPM. I’ll fill in Weir’s line, and just go to the end of the scene. It’s short, I know, but the way you play it sets up a lot about their characters. Okay?”

Both actors nodded, and Joe barely had a moment to slide into John Sheppard’s persona before David was rattling off his line of dialogue like it was the most natural thing in the world. “The last Zero Point Module is depleted, but we’ve got limited power. Turned out that our generators aren't going to hold back an ocean. Life support systems are working but the planet's atmosphere's breathable -- well, notwithstanding the inevitable allergens.”

Joe almost rolled his eyes at the last bit. David had pulled his body up into an almost defensive stance, not quite getting in a sniff at the air, but somehow conveying the action all the same. Joe had known guys like that—stiff and pretentious and yet, David was somehow giving off the vibe that he was afraid, and Joe—or John Sheppard—could sympathize with that. He was new to this whole “travelling the galaxy” thing, after all, and it made him feel a little better to know he wasn’t the only one terrified, even if he wasn’t allowed to show it.

Martin delivered Weir’s line, although not half as well as Torri would’ve done, and Joe had to admit, he was glad they’d cast Torri. She seemed like she would be a professional on set, but a lot of fun to work with too. “So now can our naqahdah generators supply enough power to the shield for defensive purposes?”

“Not even close,” David responded as if he were talking to someone that just couldn’t keep up with his brain.

“On the surface without a shield? We're target practice.” Sheppard was all about protecting his people. Joe tried to convey that with everything he had. Protective stance, concerned face. He took a step closer to David without even thinking about it. Physically he was a little taller, although David was broad-shouldered. When Joe had done this in other readings, the scientists had typically stepped back, dropped their eyes away before responding. David looked him in the eye and stepped closer.

“I'm acutely aware of that, Major, but thank you for reinforcing it.” The tone was biting. It said “I’m doing the best I can, and aren’t you supposed to be on my side?”

Joe knew the characters didn’t know each other all that well at this point in the script, that they were still trying to figure out their boundaries, and Joe figured Sheppard would push the military thing as much as he could, even if he wasn’t all that comfortable with it. A guy like Sheppard would fall back to his default position. Training. Bring it back to specifics. Orders. Try to shut down someone like McKay and make him come up with answers. Short ones.

“When can you tell me where the Wraith took Colonel Sumner and the others?”

“Even with the six symbols Lieutenant Ford provided there are still hundreds of permutations—”

Joe had heard the line delivered so many times he knew it by heart. “Seven hundred and twenty,” he heard himself saying, stepping forward again, getting closer to David’s personal space. It wasn’t his line, and Joe had to swallow down the urge to apologize for stepping on David’s words and hoped David would just roll with it.

“Yes. I—I knew that of course.” David was watching him carefully. Something like grudging respect in his eyes, something like a secret shared between them, and Joe let his grin spread, let it be cocky and full of swagger, 100% John Sheppard with a warning not to underestimate him.

“I'm just surprised you did,” David finished, and there was a challenge in the words and in the thrust of his chin. Joe wondered what it would be like to take that chin in his hand the way David had touched him in the hallway. He looked good like this, slightly flushed and a little manic, and Joe wasn’t sure if it was him or John Sheppard that was wanting to reach out and touch. They weren’t exactly working off the script anymore, but it didn’t matter because in their minds they were standing in the control room of Atlantis and somehow, in that moment, they’d connected.

“Take away the coordinates you can't get a lock on, and that's your one. When you find it, send a M.A.L.P.”

David was nodding at him, and Martin was crowing triumphantly in the background, but all Joe could think was that they’d found their Dr. Ingram. Or McKay. Or whoever. If Martin let David walk out that door without throwing a contract at his feet, Joe was going to have something to say about it.

“That was—honestly, that was fantastic, guys. The ad-lib worked fine, and, yeah—this is going to work.” Martin was frantically scribbling notes on the corner of his script sheet and Joe reached for his bottled water and took a drink. David was grinning madly, practically bouncing on his toes, and Joe was pretty sure he was restraining himself from doing a dance of joy right in the middle of 316.

They read through a couple of other short scenes, and each time it was the same. Connection, chemistry, and Joe found himself moving differently to compensate for David’s natural energy. He slowed down, relaxed. Before when people had delivered the lines rapid-fire, Joe had felt the need to respond with equal urgency. Tension. Only now he was realizing that didn’t work. The faster David talked, the more he moved his hands, the more Joe wanted to slow him down. He slouched against the wall. He leaned in and paused before he did his line, and McKay’s impatience came out in snapping and foot-tapping and eyes that seemed to flare the way jet engines did at night. Joe was having way more fun than he’d ever had running lines.

“This is great.” Martin was beaming. “This is going to change—well, everything. We’re going to have re-write the Ingram scenes, I’ve got to talk to Marty and Peter, and—”

“So, I’ve got it?” David asked, clearly so excited he was having trouble containing himself.

Martin clapped a hand on his shoulder. “Nothing official, David, but as far as I’m concerned, yeah, you’ve got it. Let me talk to them and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. You’re staying at the Hilton, right?”

“Yeah, Room 1014.”

“So am I,” Joe said, then shook his head when he caught David’s raised eyebrow. “I mean, I’m staying at the Hilton.”

“Don’t you live in L.A.?”

“Malibu, actually, but it was easier to be nearby for a couple of days.”

David nodded as if imagining the snarl of traffic that was L.A.. Joe had no idea what Vancouver would be like, but he figured it couldn’t possibly be as bad as Los Angeles.

“Look, I’ve got to run,” Martin said. “David, I’ll be in touch. Joe, good work. Talk to you both soon.” He pushed through the door, cell phone already out and they could hear him talking before the door had closed behind him.

“Well, congratulations,” Joe said. “Guess we’re going to be working together.”

“Looks like.” David leaned against the table and opened a bottle of water. “I can’t believe they want McKay. I mean, if someone had told me that character would turn out to be popular—well, not popular exactly, but at least, interesting to people—I never would’ve believed it.” He cut himself off with a drink. “Of course, it’s just going to make you look better.”

“Excuse me?”

“It makes sense, doesn’t it? Rakish soldier guy with five o’clock shadow at two in the afternoon or slightly rotund scientist geek with an attitude problem and an allergy to citrus. Who would you want?”

Joe opened his mouth to speak, but dissolved into laughter instead. “I—”

“Clearly you’re going to be Major Sheppard, Sexy Hero and Super Pilot, who gets all the space babes, and I’m—”

“Space babes?”

“There will be babes. Space babes. I have no doubt. And you’ll get them. All of them.” David’s face looked so dejected for a moment, Joe slung his arm around David’s shoulder. It wasn’t something he did with strangers. Hell, it wasn’t even something he did with friends, and yet David seemed to invite it.

“We’re a team. There’ll be enough space babes to go around.”


“Promise.” Joe gave his shoulder a friendly squeeze. “You want a ride back to the hotel? Grab a beer or something?”

“Sure, that’d be great,” David said, looking at him carefully, and Joe swallowed awkwardly, glancing away. He was married. He was straight. And for the first time in a long time, he wanted to spend the next few hours completely absorbed in someone who wasn’t his wife, and he didn’t even feel badly about it. He wanted to listen to David’s steady stream of chatter, laugh at his jokes, bask in the sheer energy that was rising off the man like summer heat. He was unlike anyone Joe had ever met and he found himself waiting to see what would come out of that crooked mouth next.

“Maybe we should just take a raincheck on that drink,” David said, knowingly.

Joe knew he was being given an out if he wanted it. He was surprised to realize he really didn’t want it. “I’m good.” He pulled out his keys. “Besides, you can fill me in on this whole Stargate thing. I’m really not much of a science fiction fan.”

“You’re kidding.”

“I swear I’m not.”

“But you’ve seen the show.”

“Well, yeah. A few episodes.”

David stopped. “You do know it’s been on for seven seasons, right?”


“A few episodes. Jesus, how did you get this job?”

“Pretty face,” Joe said, completely deadpan, and David snorted with laughter.

“I suppose you haven’t seen the episodes I was in?”


“That’s okay. I can make you copies.” David was grinning again and Joe knew that for better or worse, his life was never going to be the same.


A steak sandwich, four beer, and a rundown of seven seasons of Stargate later, complete with digressions on the wonder of Dr. Who and a debate over who was the best captain of the Enterprise, Joe wondered exactly what he’d gotten himself into.

“How do you say it?”

“Goa’uld.” David dragged out each syllable. “Although, honestly, everybody on the show says it differently. Thank God we’ve got a villain we can all pronounce and that isn’t grounded in Egyptian mythology.”

“Go-a-uld.” Joe tried it, but the syllables felt awkward on his tongue. He shook his head. “It sounds extremely complicated. This is probably why I never got into science fiction—too much to keep track of.”

“You don’t know what you’ve been missing. Dr. Who, Battlestar Galactica—”

“I watched that when I was a kid!”

“I’m shocked. Anyway, they’re re-doing it, and it looks like it’s going to be good, although I’m not convinced the new Starbuck is going to work.”

“Why not?”

“She’s a girl.”

“Starbuck’s a girl? I thought—”

“Starbuck’s a girl, Boomer’s a girl, the Cylon’s a girl.”

“Well, hooray for more space babes,” Joe said, and raised his bottle.

“Remember you promised to share.”

“I remember.”

David grinned and clinked his bottle against Joe’s.


It was almost eleven and Joe knew he should stay in his room. He’d left David outside 1014 after they finished having supper, and they’d agreed to meet up for breakfast before David’s flight back to Vancouver. Joe tried to get his mind back on the important things, but he kept getting distracted by the thought of blue eyes and a deep laugh. He phoned home, said goodnight to his boys, and tried to explain to his wife how well the audition had gone.

“So, he’ll be good?” she said. “That’s good.”

“Yeah, he’ll be great. He’s got—” Joe struggled to find the right words to describe David. “Energy. A lot of energy. And he’s fun.” Joe knew that wasn’t even close to being accurate, but he had no idea how to say David had gotten him excited about the job, about acting, without sounding like an idiot.

“Fun? I thought you said he was around your age.”

“Well, he is. That doesn’t mean he can’t be fun, does it?”

“No, I didn’t mean that.” Kathy sounded tired, and the boys were getting restless in the background. “I just mean—he’s a serious actor, right? You were worried that these sci-fi types wouldn’t take stuff as seriously as you do.”

“Nobody takes things as seriously as I do.” And maybe nobody should, Joe thought. “Look, I just meant he seems like a nice guy. Fun to work with.”

“Okay. I’m glad you made a new friend.” She didn’t mean it to sound patronizing, but it felt that way all the same, and Joe rubbed a hand through his hair and lay back on his bed.

“Yeah. Well, it looks like the auditions are done, so I’ll be back tomorrow.”

“Can you stop on your way home and clean the van? You’ve been promising to—”

“I know, Kathy!” Joe closed his eyes. “I’ll try to remember. I’ve had a lot on my mind with this show.”

“I know.” There was a pause on the other end of the phone that meant Katherine was weighing whether to slip in another not-so-subtle reminder about something Joe had forgotten to do.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, Kath.”

“Okay.” Joe started to move the phone away from his ear when he heard his name. “Yeah?”

“If you could stop and pick up those tickets? The box office has been holding them for us for almost a month, Joe, and—”

“I’ll try. Goodnight.” He set the phone back into its cradle, rolled off the bed, and headed for the door. It was probably a mistake, but right now, he really didn’t care.


David opened the door on the second knock, still wearing the brown shirt and khaki pants he’d been wearing earlier. There must have been something on Joe’s face because he just moved aside and let Joe in without a word. He pulled open the mini-bar fridge, and tossed Joe a whiskey, which he drank in one long swallow. David helped himself to a small brown bottle and settled on the edge of the bed.

“Fight with the wife?”

“Who said I was—”

“Joe, you drove me here in a mini-van with a child-seat in the back. Either you’re married with children, or your biological clock is way out of control.”

Joe let out a laugh. He leaned back against the door and let his head bang lightly against the wood. He was so stupid. He’d come here for—something—he wasn’t even sure what, and David was making him laugh, making him feel better with every word out of his mouth. Joe knew without a doubt he should leave and not look back. He put one hand on the cool brass knob of the door, but couldn’t bring himself to turn it.

“Hey.” Joe heard a creak as David got up from the bed. “You don’t have to leave.”

“I really do.”

“No. You don’t.” David wrapped a warm hand around Joe’s bicep and squeezed. “It’ll be okay.”


David’s hand was sliding lightly over Joe’s arm now in what Joe knew was supposed to be a comforting gesture, but all it was doing was scrambling his brainwaves and making it harder to think about anything that wasn’t David’s low voice, David touching him.

“Why don’t you come in and tell me about your child-seat issues. Why the mini-van is the ultimate symbol of masculinity.”

“I thought the ultimate symbol of masculinity was anything with a V8 engine, a stick shift, and a candy-apple red finish?”

“I had a Volvo wagon like that, and I promise you, my friend, it takes more than that to be a man.” David was close enough that Joe could smell the scotch on his breath, the slightly spicy aftershave he’d noticed at dinner. Joe wanted to bury his face in David’s neck and just breathe for a while. It seemed as good a place to hide as any.

“Joe, I know you don’t really know me except that I talk a lot—all the time, in fact—but honestly, I make a hell of a good listener.”

Joe closed his eyes. David thought he’d come down to talk. Of course. It was only logical. He’d had a fight with his wife, although it wasn’t really a fight, and it wasn’t anything different than any other conversation they’d had lately. Joe was just tired of it, of everything. He was tired of being tired all the time, but what other choice did he have?

“You know, that’s exactly why I came down, but it’s late and we’re both tired, so I think maybe I should go.” He fumbled for the knob, but David stopped him. Blue eyes held his for what felt like a long time, and Joe felt his breath coming in short, shallow swells.

“That’s not why you came down,” David said, and Joe knew he hadn’t been misreading things earlier. There was something between them, something sharp and tangible, and he wanted so badly to feel a spark of the guy he used to be. The guy who took chances. Who had fun.

“Sure, it is.”

“You suck at lying, Flanigan.” David took a step closer, hand settling on Joe’s waist. “I’ll bet you my first pay cheque that talking was the last thing on your mind when you knocked on my door.”

“You’re wrong,” Joe said softly, but it didn’t sound convincing even to his own ears, and David grinned and slid his fingers into Joe’s front pocket.

“This says I’m right.” David pulled out a square of foil and held it up between two fingers. “I’m flattered, really, but we should probably stick to—”

“Shut-up,” Joe said, grabbing David’s face in both his hands and hauling him close. There was a hard mash of teeth and noses, but only for a second, and then Joe connected with David’s mouth, tongue pushing and probing into the wet warmth, and David sucked back, dragging Joe’s tongue against the top row of teeth so that every thrust was a little ragged, a little rough. David was moaning, half-muttering sounds that weren’t quite words—“yeah” and “oh,” or it might’ve been “Joe,” but Joe didn’t honestly care because David’s hands were pushing under his white shirt, sliding down the front of his jeans, and pressing, pressing, just enough to drive Joe mad.

He fumbled sideways for the light switch, plunging them into the sudden dark of hotel rooms, the strip of light under the door giving them enough guidance to avoid the luggage stand as they stumbled towards the nearest bed, still kissing, rough desperate kisses that were going to leave beard burn on both their faces as their chins pushed against one another, mouths opening wider, letting one another lick and bite at tender swollen lips.

David’s knees hit the back of the mattress and he sank down, pulling Joe with him. They kicked off shoes that hit the floor with soft thuds and Joe settled his weight on top of David, hips pressing into the space between David’s spread legs, denim sliding over cotton, and Joe thought it was exactly like being twenty-two again, drunk and reckless and not having a clue what he was doing. He felt large hands on his ass, huge hands, cupping and squeezing, dragging him into a rhythm and Joe saw no reason to resist, grinding down into the hard bulge of David’s erection, zippers and seams only adding to the friction between them. David was biting kisses into his neck, and Joe threw his head back and let him do it, held himself up just enough to keep the angle good for both of them, and there was something about having David’s broad hips thrusting underneath him with a steady counter-rhythm, wide hands spread across his ass that made Joe feel he wasn’t in this alone, and it had been a long time since sex had felt that way.

David’s fingers slid under Joe’s pants, under the thin cotton of his boxers, and it took nothing more than the suggestion of a finger sliding down his ass to make Joe come with a cry of surprise, his body shaking through orgasm, wet heat soaking the fabric of his pants, and David held his face between his hands and kissed him until his breathing evened out.

“Does this make me the first in a long line of space babes?” David asked, and although it sounded like a joke, Joe knew it wasn’t.

“No.” He rolled away from David and stripped off his wet jeans, the clinging shorts, his socks.

“What are you doing?” David leaned on one elbow, clearly confused.

“I’m taking my clothes off.” He unbuttoned the white shirt that seemed to glow in the semi-dark and dropped it on the other bed. Completely naked, he crawled back up beside David and started to undo his shirt.


“And now I’m taking your clothes off.”

“I can see that, but—”

“And then you’re going to find the condom you took out of my pocket and whatever passes for lube in this hotel room, and you’re going to fuck me until the people next door complain.”

“Jesus!” David’s head flopped back against the pillows, but he didn’t protest when Joe took his shirt and started to remove his pants. Joe let his fingers linger over the outline of David’s cock, a small damp spot already visible where it had started to leak. “All right, all right!” David arched up as Joe leaned down and breathed out against the bulge in David’s shorts. “I’m going to have to get up to grab the stuff.”

“You’re already up.”

“Oh, very funny.” David knocked Joe’s elbow out from under him and rolled them both over. Joe couldn’t get over the feeling of being moved by someone else, someone just as strong as he was, and he kissed David back hard until David pulled away saying, “If you want me to fuck you, stop doing that.” David slid off the bed with one last kiss, not quick at all, a kiss that made Joe’s spent cock twitch in satisfied anticipation. He heard the sound of items being tossed around in the bathroom, mild cursing, and then a triumphant, “ah-ha” before David bounced back onto the bed and straddled Joe’s hips.

“You’ve done this before, right?” David asked as he moved back enough so Joe could spread his legs. Joe felt warm breath along the base of his cock, fingers massaging his balls, and then something warm and wet licking at his sensitive skin. Joe pressed back against the pillows and let out a deep moan. “You have done this before, Joe, right?”

Joe closed his eyes and spread his legs further, David’s hands kneading his thighs, and when he felt the first push of a tongue against his hole, he thought he was going to come apart. It had been a very long time since anyone had touched him there.

“Joe, I’ve got nothing against instructing a man in the ways of a good fuck, but I really need to know if—”

“Yes, I’ve done this before. It’s just been a long time, okay?”

“Okay.” David went back to swirling his tongue around and into the opening of Joe’s body, alternating steady pressure with quick flicks, and Joe was so busy squirming with each new sensation he barely noticed when David slipped a slick finger inside him, and the sudden fullness of two fingers gave way quickly when David crooked a finger inside him.

“Fuck, David,” he said, pushing himself onto those probing fingers, fucking himself even though it hurt, but he wanted it so badly, he didn’t care. “Get inside me. Now.”

“There’s a difference between a woman’s fingers and a man’s fingers, and there’s a hell of a big difference between fingers and a cock, you know,” David said, and Joe felt the uncomfortable pressure of a third finger pushing into his ass, and David laid a soothing hand on his belly and rubbed circles there until Joe could breathe again. “Don’t even try to tell me you’ve done this with a man because I won’t believe you.”

“Fine,” Joe said, exhaling around David’s fingers, his body relaxing a little more with each moment, each movement, and when David stroked his prostate again, Joe thought he was going to strain something in his back if David kept it up. Long, blunt fingers rocked into him gently, and Joe started to get used to the slide, the pressure inside, and his own cock was rallying again when he finally felt David withdraw.

David kissed him then, slowly and thoroughly, not letting Joe push him on to other things. David slid his fingers through Joe’s hair, traced the edge of his ear, his chin, and finally settled back between Joe’s legs, cock bobbing against Joe’s belly as David slipped the condom on.

“You’re the most fucking beautiful man I’ve ever met,” David said hoarsely, and while Joe was still reeling from the surprise of that statement, David spread Joe’s legs and pushed just past the tight puckering hole. Joe was hot and sweaty, and it felt like someone was trying to pry him open with a crowbar.

“Relax. Breathe.” David murmured over and over, rocking his hips minutely with each word, and Joe matched his breaths to David’s and concentrated on touching every inch of pale skin within his reach. After what really wasn’t very long at all, David was fully sheathed and Joe felt like he had an electrical storm raging through his body, spine tight and aching, but every brush of David’s cock inside him felt like lightning and as the rhythm grew faster and deeper, David’s hips thrusting with more force, less grace, Joe wrapped his legs around David’s waist and pressed his heels against the soft flesh of his ass, pushing him to do it harder, harder, until Joe was begging to be fucked through the mattress.

David didn’t need much encouragement and Joe watched his face as he came, smile splitting his face wide, and Joe reached up and pulled him down so he could kiss that smile. It was “thank you” and “wow” and a hundred other things Joe knew he’d never find the words for, and when David laughed softly into his mouth, tongue reaching out to playfully tease, Joe knew no matter what else happened, he wouldn’t ever be able to think of this as a mistake.


It was light outside when the alarm went off, clock radio cheerfully informing them it was 5:45 and a beautiful day in sunny California. David groaned and hit the snooze.

“God, don’t you people get tired of it always being a beautiful day in sunny California?”

“Guess we’re just gluttons for punishment,” Joe said, stretching his arms over his head, feeling the residual soreness in his thighs and ass, but the tension was gone from his shoulders and he felt surprisingly relaxed considering he hadn’t woken up to a face other than Katherine’s in a very long time.

“You’re going to hate Vancouver,” David mumbled into the pillow. “It rains. A lot. But at least there’s some variety.”


“Heavy rain, light rain, freezing rain. You never know what to expect.”

“Maybe that’s not a bad thing.”

Joe slid out of bed, gathered up his clothing from the floor, and headed for the bathroom. He turned the shower on as hot as he could stand, and let the spray wash over him. He liked long showers—never had the luxury of them at home—so he took advantage of the unlimited supply of hot water until his fingers started to feel wrinkled at the tips. He shut off the taps, dried himself with one of the hotel's fat white towels, and slipped into his clothes from the night before, minus the underwear he rolled up and stuffed in the pocket.

The first thing Joe noticed when he stepped out of the bathroom was the smell of coffee. David had tugged on a pair of sweats and a t-shirt and was propped up against the pillows with a steaming mug.

“I ordered breakfast for us. Hope you don’t mind, but I can’t miss that flight, and I didn’t know how much time we’d have.”

“No problem,” Joe said, and poured himself a cup of coffee. He’d never been a big fan of morning after conversations, but it wasn’t exactly like he was going to be able to avoid David in the future. “So, um—”

David glanced up and glared at him. “No. We’re not having that conversation, okay? We’re going to be seeing a lot of each other in the future, and maybe it wasn’t the smartest thing we could’ve done, but honestly, I’m not feeling bad about it. If you are, that’s going to have to be your problem, but—”

“I’m not,” Joe interrupted. “Feeling bad, that is.” He grabbed a piece of bacon off the tray in front of David and settled on the bed beside him. “Actually, I’m feeling pretty good, and you’re right, my marriage is my problem, but this—last night—isn’t a problem.”

David looked at him over the rim of his coffee cup as if he couldn’t quite believe what Joe was saying. “You surprise me.”

“Wait till you get to know me. I’m full of surprises, David.”

“I bet you are.” David handed him a piece of toast and grinned. “And really, Joe, I feel like I know you already.”

“In a biblical sense, you mean,” Joe said, pleased when David choked a little on his toast. “What time’s your flight?”

“Nine-twenty.” David flipped through channels, finally settling on The Weather Network where they were predicting clear skies for the next week.

Even if nothing happened ever again, it had been a good night for them both, and Joe had a pretty good idea he could trust David to keep this between them. Joe already knew in his gut that there weren’t going to be any awkward conversations or hurt feelings, and he couldn’t explain why they were both okay with this when clearly they should have been freaked out. He decided for once in his adult life not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

“You want a ride to the airport?” Joe asked, stealing another slice of bacon off David’s plate.

“Sure.” David grinned. “I’d like that.”

“Me too,” Joe said, and suddenly Vancouver didn’t seem like such a bleak prospect anymore. Maybe it did rain every day up there, and maybe he was doing a science fiction show he probably had no business doing, but he had a feeling things were going to turn out all right anyway. He wasn’t afraid of a change in the weather. Truth be told, he’d always liked the rain.


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