That Thing
by Te
May 5, 2003

Disclaimers: So very much not mine. I bow before McG and

Spoilers: Vague ones for bits of season one.

Summary: Fiiiiiiiire. Dun dun dun, dun dun dun. FIIIIIIIIRE.

Ratings Note: NC-17.

Author's Note: Bone put the idea in my head. Chronic Kilo
helped. Deb put on the spanky pants.

Acknowledgments: To Deb and Jenn for audiencing, and
even more love to Deb for giving me cool stuff to swipe.

Feedback: Always.


Before L.A., Deaq had never seen a car blow up outside
movies, much less had one of his own -- or, okay, one
the LAPD was letting him pretend was his own -- go all
mushroom cloud on his ass. Now, he thinks he's in danger
of losing count. Beyond the inconvenience, beyond the
ball-crawling terror, it's wrong.

Those cars were too pretty to die.

*More* wrong is this thing with Van. Not the partnership
thing -- which, all things considered, is working pretty
well -- and not even the get-Deaq-into-situations-where-
his-cars-explode thing, because there's always a decent
enough reason. Traffic, bikers, strippers, gay arsonists...
this is just part of the life they're living.

Though, if he's honest with himself, the Van thing has a
lot to do with all of the above. It's all interconnected in a
twisted, inescapable knot like something out of scary

Which just brings him back to this, right here:

Walking -- because his car is smoking rubble -- through
West Hollywood with a limp he's doing his damnedest to
turn into a passable gangster lean while Van walks at
his left, doing the same damned thing.

Deaq is warmed, as ever, by the fact that his is much

But no, that's not even it.

Van's got his babble on, talking some shit about Billie, or
maybe about the relative combustibility of Porsche 911s
versus American sports cars. It doesn't really matter.
Tuning Van out is just another survival mechanism, as far
as Deaq's concerned. Somewhere between keeping an
extra clip on hand and not lying to Billie. Failure to do
any of the above would just lead to pain and suffering.

The thing is that there's...

Well, the thing is that it's Van, and Van knowing him, and
Van working his way into every part of Deaq's life like
sand or something. Something evil, wrong, and otherwise
just wrong.

And he's going to deal with it, just as soon as he figures
out how to avoid it entirely.

"You're not even listening to me."

"No, I'm not. I'm *walking*, with a *limp*, because
*someone* decided to play 'let's get burn-y!' with a
bunch of arsonists."

Van just smirks. "I seem to recall a certain *other*
someone getting the gas can."

"Only after -- I hate you. I'm not even having this
conversation. I'm just going to say 'I hate you' and leave it
at that. See that? That's me leaving it."

Van nudges his shoulder with his own, familiar and warm.
"Admit it. The Porsche burned pretty."

"Burned -- burned *pretty*? Are you high? Were you
sniffing the gas fumes? Because I can take you to detox."

"All orange and yellow and... flamey."

"You know, I take back everything I've ever said about you
getting too deep. Because clearly, knocking boots with
every mark in a skirt is just the tip of the iceberg with you.
Did you set fires in your backyard when you were a kid?"

"We didn't *have* a backyard."

"In the bathroom? Is this some kind of weird kink with you?
As your partner, I need to know these things."

"I wouldn't say it was *that* weird. I mean..." And Van
stops in the middle of the sidewalk, hands moving as he
flails for just the right words to convince Deaq that he isn't,
in fact, the crazy motherfucker he so clearly *is*. "It's
like... *fire*, man. The most major discovery humanity
has ever made! Light, heat, food preparation and, and...


Van rolls his eyes. "Work with me here, man. Smoked
foods! Before refrigeration, that was like the only way
people could preserve their food for more than a day or

Deaq pinches the bridge of his nose. "Okay, so let me get
this straight. You're telling me that it's not weird for you
to get hot for explosions that nearly *kill* our asses
because of beef damned *jerky*? Do I get to slap you

"Like you don't eat Slim Jims."

"That's *different*. That's not even the *point*!"

Van crosses his arms and glares. "So what *is* the point?"

"The *point* is... the point... dammit, you made me forget
the damned point, you sick, fire-humping dumbass!"

Van keeps glaring for another moment, two, then starts
to snicker. Then falls down in a crouch and laughs, and
that's really too much. Deaq hasn't slept in two days,
nearly got his ass *literally* blown off, and this motherfucker
is squatting in the middle of the damned street laughing
*his* ass off.

Deaq gives up and laughs with him, offering his hand so
Van can get up.

"Ow, ow, easy man. I'm singed."

"Is it my fault you got your narrow white ass burnt in your
*own* fire? No, I think not."

"I'm just saying, the gift of fire is a two-edged sword."

"Aw, man, you need your ass whupped so bad it has a sign
on it. 'Whup me,' it says. 'Open up your can of whup-ass
and pour it all over me. Like syrup.' That's what it says,

"Like *syrup*? Is this a kink of yours, Deaq? Took "Pour
Some Sugar On Me" a little to heart when you were a kid?"

"Aw, man, why'd you have to bring hairbands into it?"

"I'm just saying. I would never *judge* you for it. You put
on a little Ratt, maybe some Guns 'n' Roses, whip out the
Mrs. Butterworth and a spatula..."

Deaq pauses, the red light a natural conversation emphasis.
"A *spatula*?"

Van looks at him seriously. "Well, you have to spread it

"I'm never eating pancakes with you again."

"You bitch *every* time we eat together."

"And if I'd known about the spatulas and the fire? I
would've bitched *more*."

Van snickers. "I never talked about sex this much with your
brother. Is there something you want to tell me?"

"Damn. Did you *have* to put the words 'sex, me, you,
and Dre' in the same sentence? Because I don't think that
was called for."

"Oh, it was totally called for. He wired my ass so many
times I got mic bruises  --"

"And now your *ass*, and you have the nerve to wonder
why I don't listen to you --"

"-- *still* never talked about sex this much. I think you
have a thing."

" -- because you're *insane*, and you -- what?"

And Van puts on that smirk -- *that* one -- and stops
entirely. Leans against the wall. "You've got a thing."

"Oh, I know you're not *even* going there."

"You don't want to get too close --"

"Because you *scare* me, Van! You have *issues* like
other people have shoes!"

" -- and yet you're always jealous of the action I pull --"

"Okay, see, that's wrong on more levels than I count. I
haven't had enough higher *math* to count that high.
And *you're* high --"

Van puts up a hand and starts to tick points off on his
fingers. "You let me talk you into everything -- "

"You're not talking me into *this*!"

" -- you practically *beg* me to dig inside your hard ass
head to get to all the secrets --"

"You *are* on crack, aren't you?"

" -- we talk about sex *all* the time --"

"Can I help it if my sexual peak lasted longer than yours?"

"And last -- but certainly not least..." Van trails off,

Deaq thinks he'll maybe have to kill him. If he'd thought
to tape this conversation, he'd get off for justifiable
homicide. He *knows* it. In the meantime... "What? What
you got? No, wait, what do you *think* you have on me,

"You sure you want to hear this?"

"Van, I swear to God, if we *had* a car I would've kicked
you out six blocks ago."

"I mean, I just want to make sure you're *ready*, Deaq,
that it wouldn't break your self-image into a million tiny
pieces. I don't want to give you *issues* or anything."

He could be in New York *right* now. On a court, behind
a desk, whatever. There would be no Van, and no West
Hollywood -- and could Van *pick* a better neighborhood
for this? And most of all, no Van. "Spill."

"First off, I want you to know that I don't judge you --"

"Donnie *Ray*."

"Oh, now that's cold. And low, I might add."

"Would you just tell me what the hell you're talking about
so we can get back to walking our asses home so I can
be back in the Candy Store when I kick your *ass*?"

A mouth twist and Van shifts against the wall like he's
thinking of getting the fight started right *here*. Hustlers
and passing cars and all. And then he's just looking at
Deaq, steady and weirdly...

It makes something twist in Deaq's stomach, because
suddenly he knows Van isn't going to be talking any
more trash. Whatever he's gonna say, he believes.

"You look at me. All right? You *look* at me, Deaq."

Ah, shit. "What the hell are you talking about? I look at
*everyone*, Van. It's the way it works, me being a
*sighted* person, and you being a part of my everyday
scenery. Jesus, man, I thought you were --"

Van takes a step forward. Pokes Deaq in the chest hard
enough to move him and locks his eyes with Deaq's own.
"And now you're babbling. I already told you that was
one of your tells, man. When are you going to do
something about it? It's funny. You even manage to tell
the truth when you're lying like a rug. That's probably
profound. I should think about more, work it up for my
personal Deaq profile."

Deaq sucks his teeth and stares right back. "Now who's
got a thing?"

Van spreads his hands. "Never said I didn't."

And Deaq nods and Van nods and it's a whole conversation
in head shakes, because Deaq knows everything Van says
comes down to an unspoken dare, and Van *knows* Deaq
knows this. And they're walking into the alley, Van looking
left and Deaq looking right and it's good.

On some *fucked* up level it's good, because at least it's
something he knows Dre hasn't done before, even if every
criminal ho in L.A. *has*. At least it doesn't involve

Even if Deaq neither knows nor really *wants* to know
what Van's reasons are. He doesn't want to know why he
kisses like he'd rather be biting Deaq, why he seems to
think he has to push Deaq back against the wall only to
climb him like a tree.

Knee up against his waist and hand wrapped around his
head and Van's mouth on his own and -- there's the bite.
Van holds Deaq's lower lip between his teeth and just
*looks* at him.

Another dare, and Deaq realizes he hasn't been doing
anything but taking it. Fuck. Not *even* going out like that.

Deaq shakes himself out of Van's grip just hard enough
to jostle him and rearranges them: one arm under Van's
leg and the other one around his waist. He wants to touch
more, but he wants to keep Van where he is more than
that. Wants to be the one keeping him there, holding him
close and tight and --

"Fuck --"

First sound Van's made other than noisy breath, and it
doesn't look like he's going to try for more. Kisses Deaq
again and rolls his hips up and *in* and that just kicks it
up a notch. This thing, this *thing*, and Van's tongue in
his mouth and his tongue in Van's mouth and their hips
working like something out of a badly chaperoned high
school dance.

"I want --"

"Need to --"

Simultaneous shift and they're working on each other's
flies and Van is pushing Deaq's head aside to get past
the beard and Deaq's going for Van's long, pretty neck
and Van's not wearing underwear but Deaq is and
Deaq can't decide who won or lost whatever fucked up
race they were playing.

But *fuck* Van's hand is good on his boxers, pushing
hard and working at him with the heel of his hand. Makes
Deaq's rhythm on Van's cock shift, judder --

"Oh God, Deaq --"

And apparently Van *likes* it off-time and out of rhythm,
which makes so much sense his head hurts. Or maybe
that's because he just banged his head against the wall
because Van stops playing and slides *in*.

Into his boxers and around his cock and --

"Do you like it hard? Come on, tell me." Van's panting in
his ear and kissing around it and licking in --

"Jesus, can't you shut up even for *this*?" Squeezes
Van's cock and he doesn't know which one of them is
moaning, because that's Van's thumb on the head of his
cock, rubbing and rubbing and getting him wet and --


And Van's laughing and pumping into Deaq's fist and
groaning and generally making them even more public
than they already are.

Quick glance at the mouth of the alley and there are
people passing by, and that's terrible, but none of them
are actually turning around, and that's good enough to
keep Deaq going. Not that he has any real chance of
stopping, not with all the *heat* between them and the
smell of smoke making it hard to smell all the Van and

Making him have to push closer, bury his face against
Van's throat and lick it all off. Push up into Van's fist
and wish he could get his other hand into it, make Van
hold him tighter, stroke faster --

"Deaq, oh God oh fuck Deaq --"

Messy kisses dragged across his face and finally making
it to his mouth, and Deaq always thought tongue-fucking
was damned unsubtle and bad form, besides, but it
makes Van push even closer, makes him swell and twitch
in Deaq's fist. Makes Deaq think about all the other things
he could do if he can keep himself from killing Van first.

And okay, so he understands the impulse to laugh in the
middle of sex more than he wants to admit, but mostly
what he understands is that he's going to make Van
come in the middle of a skanky alleyway in West

More than that, Van's going to make *him* --

"C'mon, c'mon dammit --"

Hot. Tight. *Van* --

And it's wet between them, and he can't stop thrusting,
can't stop jerking, and then it's even wetter and Van's
making a noise so high and raw that it gets even *wetter*
and if he makes a noise, he's pretty sure it's too
embarrassing for him to think about.

And Van's still kissing him, over and over with the kind of
blind, mindless inattention that Deaq can't help responding
to. Sticky hands and public indecency and all. When he
does stop, it's with his head on Deaq's shoulder and his
hands slid up under Deaq's t-shirt, stroking and squeezing.




And that's pretty much... "Yeah."

"We're not talking about this, are we?"


Van bangs his head on Deaq's shoulder once, then staggers
back a step. "Good." Does up his pants and pulls his
over-shirt over the worst of the mess.

Deaq pulls his own t-shirt up over his head and lets it bunch
behind his neck. "Yeah."

Out of the alley and back on the street and one of the basic
rules of undercover is to make yourself know -- *know* --
that people aren't really staring at you any more than they
normally would. Deaq gets busy working on that.

Knows Van's probably doing the same thing.


Or not. "What?"

"Slow down, man, I got brick burn."

Deaq squeezes his eyes shut and slows down. "You know I
hate you, right? Like, *really* hate you? The way hippies
hate water?"

Van claps him on the shoulder. "Of course you do."