True Player
by Te
May 3, 2003

Disclaimers: Not mine. I'm not even upset about that.

Spoilers: Much of S1.

Summary: Undercover.

Ratings Note: NC-17.

Author's Note: Two solid days of Fastlane and the gay
has had its way with me.

Acknowledgments: Love to my Webrain for getting me
into this, and to the Spike and Jenn for audiencing.

Feedback: Always.


Van knows people.

It's a function of what he does for a living, yeah, but it's
also the way he lives.

The way he's *lived*.

Once upon a time, there was a little boy who figured out
early that the one person he could trust the least was the
person he wanted to trust the most. And yeah, that was
a lot of childhood angst, and the source of most of the
reasons why he really thought he'd end his life in therapy,
but... it's also not really the point.

The *point* is what he did with it. Some people wind up
following in the footsteps of the parent who did them the
most wrong, some people wind up following themselves
right down into the bottle or the bong or the needle.

*Van*... he can just about remember making a decision
one day that no one was ever going to play him again. It's
not that he wanted to be on the other side of things -- the
image he gets in his head is always of a kid with a fat lip
giving some other poor bastard a fat lip -- it's just that
it's... safer when you can see where the other guy is
coming from.

So he wasn't exactly shocked to wind up in undercover,
and he isn't even especially shocked to wind up *here*.

Here is behind about six square miles of mosquito
netting -- and who the fuck buys mosquito netting for a
place in the *desert*? -- on a bed once owned by some
purveyor of urban pharmaceuticals long since put away.

On a bed next to Deaq, actually, who always seemed to
wind up with these pads while he got stuck in the same
damned hotel room, week after week. It didn't matter
that he knows better. Deaq's cribs always looked like
home, even if the man himself was still living out of a
duffle bag. Something about how they were always
different. The way you could tell a personality -- a
*person* -- had been behind the design choices, even
if that person was a pretentious fuck who wanted to
pretend he was in the jungle.

Mosquito netting, Van has learned, feels not-quite-scratchy
enough on your fingertips. Like the kind of sandpaper
someone would use for really fine work.

A part of him files that away, a detail he can use should
he ever wind up having to play some pith-helmet-wearing
wannabe explorer.

Van laughs to himself and looks over to his right. Deaq is
asleep, and probably wouldn't appreciate the joke, anyway.
Or... he would, but not right now. Deaq takes sleeping
seriously, in a way Van respects. He thinks maybe his
partner has some nasty awakenings in his past. Two a.m.
phone calls or something.

He knows he'll hear about them one day.

He knows Deaq will be pissed off about telling him, too.

He knows Deaq.

Van, in fact, knows Deaq well enough that he saw this
coming. It's more than just being unsurprised, it's...

There was one point, early on, when he looked at Deaq
and realized that the reason he made everything hard is
that he needed it that way. He needs someone who
actually feels like -- no, *wants* -- to do the work to get
through to the contrary ass son of a bitch. Because then
he can trust.

It's fucked up, and Van suspects it has a lot to do with
Rosaria not following Deaq to New York, and that's even
*more* fucked up -- who expects an eighteen your old
to follow them across the *country*? -- and there's
probably more there, but that's the way it is.

Deaq bitches constantly about the way Van pushes, about
the way he uses personal information to *get* personal
information, even about the fact that Van *wants* that
personal information.

But he doesn't do a goddamned thing about it.

Deaq knows Van as well as Van's let him -- forced him,
at times. Van knows that *Deaq* knows how to get him
to stop. A few well-placed insults here, an honest request
there. He never does, though, and Van thinks he maybe
never will.

A lot depends on what happens when Deaq wakes up,
but even that -- even *this*...

No. Deaq may be the man with the plan, but Van's the
guy who makes those plans work. Because Deaq doesn't
know half of what he thinks he does, especially about

Deaq has the world separated out into... abstractions and
categories. Black men don't surf, pimps have no souls...
whatever. It's all the same to him, in the end, and Deaq
doesn't really care if it actually isn't.

It'd get him trouble if Van didn't have his back.

Not that he'd ever admit that.

Of course, there are times when he *does* defy type --
even the one he has set aside for himself -- but Van
thinks that has more to do with the job than anything else.
He doesn't really want to be the Black guy who knows how
to line dance -- or surf for that matter. He wants to be the
guy who can do those things to get a job done.

Van wants him so badly sometimes it makes him stupid.

The way he licks his lips, the way he makes looking good
effortless, like style was something he inherited along
with his ass. The way he fights Van and practically begs
him to keep pushing, keep...


And Van's not an idiot. He knows this isn't going anywhere.
It isn't as fucked up as winding up in bed with a mark, and
it's a little more permanent and... okay than most of the
sex he's ever had, but, well, he knows Deaq.

It doesn't matter that he kisses Van like he needs him, or
that he lets Van do things that Van *knows* he's never
done before.

Deaq has his issues, like everybody else, and that means
that they won't be retiring to San Francisco anytime soon.
Or ever.

If he was as smart as he's supposed to be, he'd take all
that wonderful knowledge and do something with it, like
claw his way out of the mosquito netting and into his
clothes and out the door.

But... well. It's good here. Right now. Even sitting up
awake and listening to Deaq snore in a way that -- surprise --
he'll never admit to in the morning. Even knowing that
when he *does* wake up, it's going to be awkward, and
weird, and...

Well, he's going to have to play that this is just fine with
him. More, that it's something he'd do with anyone, that it
doesn't have a thing to do with the fact that Deaq's the
closest thing to home for Van in about a million miles.

And he knows just how fucked up *that* is, but shit. When
you're undercover, you can't trust *anybody*, no matter
how well you think you know them. No one but the guy
who's backing you up. Who *has* your back and won't
let you down and... shit.

See, once upon a time, Van knew full well that he'd never
fuck around on the job. He had a plan and everything.
He'd keep it in his pants until the job called for it to be
out, or until he'd reached a place in his career where it
was *safe* for him to have somebody to go home to.

Until it was safe to *have* a home.

Deaq isn't the first partner he's had. He's not even the
first fucking *hot* partner he's had. Not even the first
hot partner who it felt this good with, this natural.

But it's still different. *Special*, if he really wants to make
himself sick. He hit a groove with Deaq so fast he missed
the golden moment. He doesn't just want to spill his guts
to get Deaq to spill his -- no matter how well that works --
he wants to do it because he wants Deaq to look at him,
and *know* him, and want what he sees.

He wants to know what Deaq looks like when he comes,
because Van always sucks dick with his eyes closed, and
he missed it. He wants to twine his fingers with Deaq's
the next time Deaq jerks him off, wants to show him how
he likes it and have Deaq do it his own way *anyway*.

He really, really wants to get inside that ass. Not just
with his fingers, or even his tongue. Deaq's ass -- scar
and all -- deserves worship *and* debauchery. And
possibly even poetry. The sheet can't hide it. All round
and tight and *there* like an invitation to sodomy.

Van knows he probably shouldn't voice any of that
*quite* yet. But still. No harm in looking.


Watching Deaq breathe and he *knows* what that feels
like, the rise and fall, the flex of muscle and the breaks
in the smooth line of it. Scars.

Van knows exactly how bad he's got it. How good, and
fuck this.

Takes his cock in hand and it only takes a few strokes to
get hard, a few sighing breaths next to him, and yeah,
his cock is a little chafed so maybe he licks his hand.
Licks it again to get it good and wet and just --

"You are *not* jerking off."

Van grins, high right hand in motion. "No, I'm not."

"You're shaking the *bed*."

Van doesn't really have an answer for that, because the
sheet has slipped down *right* to the swell of Deaq's
ass and that's just --

"Fucking Energizer Bunny *motherfucker* --"

And Deaq's got his hand right there, and it's just one
twist to get his fingers tangled with Van's own and he
can't hold in a moan. Only it's less a moan than a needy
little gasp from the back of his throat. His cock is
spitting pre-come and his body is in the sex groove,
arching and tensing up and it shouldn't be this easy.
*He* shouldn't be this easy.

"Do I even wanna know what you were thinking about?"
But it's not Deaq's normal voice at all. It's his chest-deep
gonna-touch-you voice, which makes sense, because
he's got his fist wrapped around Van *real* tight and
he's bracing himself up on his other hand like he wants
Van under him.

Like Van isn't the only one hard and ready. "Just... you,"
he manages, and gets his other hand into the action,
cupping his balls and squeezing just a little.

"Jesus, Van. You're just..." But he doesn't finish. Strokes
Van a little faster. Sits up and shifts and straddles his
legs so that they're face to face and the head of Van's
cock hits Deaq's abs every few strokes and it's good, too

Has to throw his head back and cry out again. Again when
Deaq strokes his free hand up over his belly and chest up
to his neck and for a breathless heartbeat, two, the only
things that matter are Van's cock and Deaq's thumb
rubbing his throat. Up and down and stroke and
*squeeze* --

Comes gasping and jerking, feeling like an idiot and feeling
so good he thinks he could maybe just die like this, like
some old man's cliche of perfection.

When he opens his eyes, Deaq is... looking at him. Really
looking, like maybe Van had just shocked the hell out of

His dick doesn't look shocked at all, though.

Van licks his lips, some part of him cataloguing the effect
and saving it. The rest of him just... wants. "Wanna do
something about that?"

And Deaq kisses him, slick hand over Van's heart, pushing
him back against the wall, other hand cushioning his head,
or maybe just holding him still. Fuck, yeah. Van flips them
sideways and pants into Deaq's mouth. He can't meet
those eyes, but he can stare at that mouth and it's...
*fuck* it's good.

"What do you want, Deaq? C'mon, tell me what you
want me to do." Bites Deaq on the chin and doesn't wait
for an answer, just drags his mouth down, like a kiss he
can't be bothered to complete. Deaq tastes like sweat,
tastes like something he doesn't have words for and
Van doesn't care.

Van knows there are ways to avoid a morning after.

It doesn't feel like cowardice with his mouth on Deaq,
with Deaq's hands moving all over him like he just hasn't
figured out what he wants to do yet.

Van knows Deaq'll work it out. And *that* makes this
just one more necessary step to getting what he wants.

"Christ, Van --"

He doesn't want to play anyone.

It's just the way he lives.