Shadow of the Templar: November
On timeline: November, between The Morning Star and Double
When Jeremy shows up again in Double Down, he and Simon don't quite behave like two people who had sex once, seven months ago, and haven't seen each other since. There's a good reason for that.
November in DC was a long straight slog out of nowhere, a downward slide into the dull grey limbo of winter. Simon didn't like it. It was better than February, but only by a hair's width, and at least in February there was Rich's frothing dislike of Valentine's Day to look forward to. No one on the team particularly cared for Valentine's Day, but Rich hated it with the fire of a thousand suns, a nice, warm hate that added a pleasant glow to the tail end of the season.
But, no, November was basically fall flipping you off before it slithered away for good. Simon hadn't bothered with the actual Thanksgiving holiday in years and yearsnot since college, now that he thought about itso there wasn't even that to break up the monotony. Not that he'd ever liked Thanksgiving anyway, but it would have been something to do. As things currently stood, Thanksgiving only meant a four-day weekend (which Simon was grateful for, make no mistake about it) and Simon would have to find some way to entertain himself while the rest of the country pretended to be thankful for things.
In fact, as he headed home on Wednesday evening, Simon was thinking that maybe he'd go out and try to get laid over the holiday weekend. He hadn't gotten any since Augustand that had been that thing with Jeremy Archer, what had he been thinkingand this time off seemed like as good a time as any to break up his dry spell. Hell, even if he didn't get laid, he could at least spend an evening out at a bar and have something perilously close to a social life.
It was an idea with some merit, Simon thought. It was an idea that gave him a pleasant little knot in his gut. Not a hard-onhe wasn't so desperate to get laid that he'd pop a boner just by thinking about sex, particularly not when half his attention was devoted to getting himself home safely despite the cold rain blatting against the windshield and the other idiots on the roadbut something deeper and anticipatory, something that thought that going out on Saturday night and knocking himself off a bit of something sounded like a fine idea. Something to be thankful for. Simon had pretty much decided to do it by the time he tucked the Jeep into its assigned spot. There was bound to be someone else in this town uninterested in the rah-rah-family-turkey-football fest that was Thanksgiving.
The complex's parking lot was a morass of puddles, banked on all sides by sodden heaps of dead brown leaves. Simon ducked his head into the collar of his jacket and ran for the stairs; he was damp by the time he let himself into his apartment, but it didn't matter, because he was home, and home was dry. He stripped off his jacket and spread it out to dry over the chair by the door, then kicked off his sneakers, then went to see about dinner.
He opened the fridge and stared into it for a while, then opened the freezer and did the same, in hopes that something interesting might appear if he stared hard enough. This worked about as well as it ever did, so Simon settled for microwave chicken parmesan and a still-green banana out of the bag on top of the fridge. It wasn't particularly good, but it'd keep him from starving to death for another couple of days, and that was really all Simon wanted out of life. Simon was standing in front of the open fridge again, considering the merits of having a beer for dessert, when someone tapped on the front door.
Simon lifted his head and frowned in the general direction of the front door. Sandra? He supposed she might come by, if something important had come up, but she'd be more likely to just call. Still, he couldn't think of who else it might be, particularly at this time of night. Whoever it was tapped on the door again. "Yeah, yeah, coming," Simon said, and he shut the refrigerator door.
Opening the front door let in a skirl of cold, wet air. Simon only sort of noticed. They looked at each other in silence for a minute, Simon standing frozen in the doorway in his stocking feet, Jeremy Archer with his hands in his pockets and that aggravating little smile on his face. The longer Simon stood there, the more twisted that smile got. "Hallo, Simon," Jeremy finally said. The breeze lifted the end of his scarf and flipped it at Simon like a come-hither gesture. "Are we going to stand here all night, then?"
"Yeah," Simon said. He was rooted to the spot with surprise. "I mean... wait. What?"
Jeremy only laughed and took a swaying step forward. Simon fell back a step to match it. Once he'd started falling back, he kept going, backing up until he was standing warily in the doorway to the kitchen, like he was taking shelter from an earthquake; Jeremy stepped in and closed the door behind himself, locking it without looking away from Simon. "What?" he said. "Are you running away from me?"
"No." That didn't seem strong enough. "Asshole."
"Good." Jeremy unwound the loose scarf from about his neck and let it fall onto Simon's drying jacket. It looked nice. Everything he owned was nice. "I don't know where you'd go, precisely, as that's the kitchen."
"... Archer, what the hell are you doing here?"
Jeremy raised an eyebrow. "Checking in? Which you asked me to do, the last time we spoke?"
"Yeah, I just..." Simon shook his head to snap himself out of it. "I didn't think you'd actually be suicidal enough to take me up on it, Jesus. I mean, hello? Law enforcement?" He waved a hand.
"Hello, law enforcement," Jeremy said dutifully. "How are you?"
"So I see." Jeremy leaned back against the door.
Simon couldn't really think of anything else to say, so things got quiet. Simon had had plenty of time to second-guess himself since August, plenty of time to kick himself for giving in to the whims of his dick, and in those three months he'd scourged himself plenty, at occasional moments, when he didn't have anything better to do. (He'd also had sporadic bouts of fuck you, it was awesome, because it had been, and after all it had been a one-time thing, a momentary failing, right?) He'd had Jeremy's file closed, because he'd said he would, and Simon was in the habit of keeping his promises, no matter how stupid they werebut he'd figured that was the last he'd ever hear on the subject of Jeremy Archer. He'd figured that was a good thing.
The problem was that Jeremy was wearing a sleek turtleneck under his jacket instead of the usual t-shirt, and Simon kept looking at it and wondering if Jeremy had worn a high-necked shirt specifically to cover a multitude of potential sinsif Jeremy had put it on this afternoon while thinking ahead to tomorrow morning. It was thinking that 'tomorrow morning' that screwed Simon right over. "Okay, no," Simon said, slashing a hand through the air in negation of Jeremy's presence. "You know what, I said a lot of things last time that I shouldn't have"
"Possibly," Jeremy said, pushing himself up off the door and coming upright.
Simon stepped away from the kitchen and headed for the hallway opposite, that led to both bedrooms. "and I made a lot of noises that might have sounded like promises"
Jeremy took a step forward, then another. "That you did." The little smile hadn't budged.
"and if you took me seriously, with everything you stand to lose by doing so, then that is your problem," Simon said. He was standing in the hall now, watching Jeremy draw closer. Simon's heart thumped hard against his ribs twice and then subsided back into its normal rhythm. "I'm going to go get my phone now," Simon said, taking a leading step backwards. "And I'm going to call the police, and I'm going to have them come arrest you."
"I suppose I'd best do something about that, then." Jeremy drifted to a stop a good five paces away. "Although I find it hard to believe that you'd actually do such a thing."
"Well, you are a felon."
"Granted. But I meant that I have a hard time envisioning you cooperating with local law enforcement."
Simon twitched out half a smile at that, despite himself. "Art Theft, then. I'll call Art Theft."
"I find that even harder to believe. And even less threatening."
"This is me, going for my phone," Simon said. He held up both hands, then stepped backwards into his darkened bedroom. "I'm going for my phone, right now. I'm going to pick up my phone"
"Really, Simon, now you're starting to insult my intelligence," Jeremy said, slipping into the bedroom after Simon. Simon could still see the shape of Jeremy silhouetted against the lights from the main room, but that irritating little smile was lost to the darkness.
Simon blindly skirted the foot of his bed, still backing up, still letting Jeremy back him up. He only stopped when his shoulders brushed against the wall. "Trying to keep me away from my phone, huh?"
"Am I?" The shadow-shape of Jeremy glanced to the left, to where Simon's phone lay on the bedside table, glowing a placid blue in the dark as it recharged. The shadow looked back at Simon. "So I am," Jeremy said, and he moved a little closer.
"I'm warning you," Simon said. "Once I get my hands on my phone, I'm definitely going to call the authorities and have you arrested."
One last step and the physical reality of Jeremy hit Simon like a slap to the face: the warmth and scent and sheer psychic weight of him, all at once. "I appreciate the warning," Jeremy said, reaching out to lay his hand on Simon's chest. His fingers were still cold from the November weather, but they warmed quickly from the contact.
"Because it's my duty as an officer of the law," Simon said solemnly. "And I always do my duty, Archer."
"Sooner or later," Jeremy said. He stepped in, noiseless as a ghost, and his hand dropped to cup Simon through his jeans.
"Sooner or later," Simon agreed, his voice a little hoarse now.
They were inches apart, so close that when Jeremy turned his head, the smell of his froofy hair stuff smacked Simon across the nose. Jeremy's fingers rippled, idly weighing Simon's balls through the denim of his jeans. Despite the undeniable promise in that touch, Jeremy seemed mostly thoughtful, removed into a little world of his own; Simon went quiet, unwilling to break Jeremy out of it, particularly if that would mean losing the hand, as well. "Well," Jeremy finally said, his hand lifting to tweak open the button of Simon's jeans. "I suppose that's a risk I'll just have to take."
"Don't say I didn't warn you."
Simon's zipper shuddered down, something that he felt more than heard. "I couldn't say that, no," said Jeremy, still holding himself aloof, save for that one hand which eased Simon's jeans down around his hips and slipped stealthy fingers underneath the elastic waistband of his shorts. "No," said Jeremy, "I couldn't say that at all."
Simon coughed out a breathless laugh and put his hands on Jeremy's shoulders as his cock rose to attention in the coil of Jeremy's fingers. His head dropped until his forehead just barely brushed against Jeremy's, and Simon closed his eyes. "What, you going to do something with that?" he asked. It sounded stupid even before he'd finished saying it, but some basic stubbornness made him finish what he'd started.
"I'd thought I might," Jeremy said, after a brief pause that seemed to be all sarcasm. "It would keep you away from your phone, I suspect."
"Ohhh yeah," said Simon. He laughed again, under his breath.
Jeremy flexed his wrist outwards and Simon's briefs slipped down a few crucial inches, joining his unzipped jeans in an awkward bunched-up band around the tops of his thighs. Simon considered helpingconsidered kicking some of this extraneous clothing offbut he didn't, mostly because he wanted to see what Jeremy would get up to, if left to his own devices. He fell back against the wall again, though, bracing his shoulders against the plaster. His feet slid apart.
What Jeremy got up to wasn't very much. He deftly scooped Simon's balls out of his underwear, then went back to toying with Simon's cock, fingers here, fingers there. It wasn't much of a handjob, but it did finish getting Simon hard and then nudge him on down the path of wanting to do something with his brand-new hard-on. By the time Jeremy's hand went still again, Simon wasn't exactly desperate, but he was more than just interested. "I don't suppose you have any nasty diseases," Jeremy said, his voice offhand.
"Clean as a whistle," Simon said, after a moment of groping after his voice. "Doctor said he'd never seen a healthier-looking dick in his life." The corner of Jeremy's mouth quirked up; Simon snickered a little despite himself. "Always did wonder about that guy," he added, under his breath.
"Good to know," Jeremy said lightly, and before Simon could wonder what was good to know, Jeremy rocked back half a step and dropped gracefully to his knees.
Simon caught his breath, waiting for it. The moment of anticipation stretched out for what felt like hours before Jeremy delicately lifted Simon's cock and ducked in underneath it, pressing his mouth to its base and sucking a tingling little spot there; his fingers slipped and caught along the shaft, cradling it against his cheek. Simon coughed out his caught breath in something that was half a laugh and half a profanity: "Ha ha oh fuck," he wheezed, curling forward and catching Jeremy's head in both hands. Jeremy's mouth was a single point of wet heat in both the right place and entirely the wrong spot. It concentrated Simon's attention nicely, like a lit match in the same place mightSimon wasn't sure where that thought had come from, and he didn't like it much, but he forgot it pretty quickly in any case.
Jeremy hummed softly in answer, adding yet another layer of interest to that single point of contact. Simon's cock jerked a little against Jeremy's cheekJeremy had shaved recently, but not that recently, and the subtle bite of light stubble flushed Simon's nerves with static. At some point Simon's grip on the sides of Jeremy's head had turned into two fists knotted in his hair. Some fading sense of proper blowjob etiquette forced Simon to unknot his fingers, although he left them sunk deep into Jeremy's formerly-perfect hair, just in case he needed to make fists again.
Jeremy's tongue flicked out, pointed and perfect and hot as a welding torch, tracing an incomprehensible little design on that little patch of skin that he'd claimed before he leisurely mouthed his way upwards. He'd always been a goddamned teaseno, Simon corrected himself, a fucking teasebut Simon only sort of minded. Simon had never been much for anticipation or delayed gratification (to Simon's mind the operative word in that phrase was 'delayed') but still, it wasn't so bad, letting Jeremy find his own way up. It was making one of the muscles in Simon's lower belly shudder and jump like someone was running current through it. Maybe someone was.
"Ha, fuck," Simon said again, this time with more than just a hint of a groan underneath it. Something about getting blown generally reduced Simon to hapless profanity. There was just something about itone of Simon's otherwise-straight college friends had once opined that the details are always irrelevant, that the best blowjob is always the blowjob that you personally are enjoying right now, and Simon had not only agreed but had, later on, proven itSimon was pretty sure that nothing was better than this, although he'd gladly entertain alternatives as they were suggested to him.
A hundred years later Jeremy's wandering mouth finally found the other end of Simon's cock. Simon caught his breath again, concentrating on the shadowy shape of Jeremy on his knees in front of him. Simon had always been so pale that he damn near glowed in the dark, and indeed the length of his dick was the brightest thing he could see down there, his skin catching the light from the main room and throwing it back. Jeremy was a half-hidden, darker shape, nearly lost in the dimness. Jeremy's eyes were two sparks of light, though, and they flicked up to catch Simon's gaze as Jeremy first rolled his tongue luxuriously over the head of Simon's cock and then swallowed it down, extinguishing that faint light inch, by inch, by inch.
Simon growled deep in his throat, a wet sound. Seriously, there was nothing better than this, a hand cradling his balls and a second hand holding his cock steady, the incredible soft wet heat and the pull of it, the tongue curled about the underside of his cock to rub a secondary, demanding pattern here and therehis hands were definitely in fists again, but Jeremy only huffed out a vague laugh and caught Simon's bare hip in one hand, tugging it forward. Simon didn't need to be told twice. Steadying Jeremy's head he thrust forward into the waiting heat, once, then again, then over and over, falling into that rhythm. Not really jamming himself into Jeremy's mouth (not yet, anyway), not exactly fucking anyone's face here, but... working on it. Definitely working on it.
At least Jeremy knew enough to stop messing around at that point. The time for teasing and nifty little tricks ended when the two of them found a rhythm, and Simon was dimly glad that he didn't need to stop and hammer that point home. His conscious mind fadedit was safe to say that Jeremy had his undivided attention by this pointand, proving Simon's friend's maxim once again, nothing but the fact of the blowjob's existence mattered now. Everything else was just details, including the owner of the mouth in question. Simon was pretty sure that thinking that made him an asshole, but... blowjob now, uncomfortable personal realizations later.
Christ, the pull of itSimon shuddered out a breath, let his eyes close, and flexed his fingers in Jeremy's hair. Jeremy's mouth was tying his gut in knots, and Simon's breathing gained a harsh edge. Somehow it went from Jeremy going down on him to Simon driving into Jeremy's mouth, holding his head still with both hands, and the fact that the transition was so easy, that Jeremy didn't mind... it'd be something to think about later. Something to revel in now.
Jeremy's hands curled over his hips. The November cold had been well and truly banished by now, and Jeremy's fingers were warm against Simon's bare skin, and there was nothing for it but to let those hands pull him forward and to gasp out a heartfelt "Fuck" and to comeJeremy's mouth dragged it out of him, then dragged it out of him again and again, hitting Simon like multiple blows to the gutSimon's vision momentarily blurred out, like he'd been rubbing his eyes too hard, and then he found himself slumped back against the wall and catching his breath while Jeremy sucked him clean. It almost hurt a little, in the best way. Simon was vaguely glad when Jeremy let him go, rocked back, and rose to his feet.
Simon fumbled at his underwear, pulling it back up, then gave up on the whole 'clothing' thing and woozily put his arms around Jeremy, who seemed equable enough about it. "I'd been planning to go get laid this weekend," Simon said.
"Well," said Jeremy. He lifted his head and nipped at Simon's jaw.
"Yeah," Simon said. Almost as an afterthought he dipped his head and caught Jeremy's mouth with his, claiming a vague and bitter taste of himself off Jeremy's tongue. "Your timing is"
"Impeccable?" Jeremy finished for him, with a little quirk of a smile.
"Yeah," Simon said again. He laughed a little, then let his arms drop. Jeremy didn't move away, thoughjust stayed right there, far too close, one hand looped around Simon's waist and his mouth tracing clever little patterns over Simon's jaw. Simon shut his eyes and let him stay. "Christ, this is so stupid."
Jeremy laughed against Simon's cheek. "I suppose it is," he said.
Simon sighed. For a moment he didn't say anything and didn't think about much, just stood there like a lump and let Jeremy do whatever he wantedeventually Simon found himself thinking about how he hadn't done anything for Jeremy yet, and how Jeremy probably could use a little something right about now. "So," Simon said. Even that half-whispered word was loud enough to startle him. "How much longer were you planning to keep me away from my phone?"
Jeremy's lips moved away from Simon's jaw as he glanced towards the bedside table. "An hour or two, perhaps," he said.
"That's about what I figured."
"Of course..." Jeremy trailed off there and moved up against him, half-straddling Simon's thigh and pressing his own cock against Simon's hip, so hard that it felt like a lead pipe trapped between them. "I'd thought I might come back tomorrow and... keep you away from your phone again."
Simon's head went a little light. "Yeah?" he said. "How long do you intend to hold me hostage, you bastard, et cetera?"
"I expect that if you try your best, you might be able to reclaim your phone by Sunday," Jeremy said.
Four more days of this"What if I don't try so hard?" Simon asked, his head spinning.
Jeremy chuckled under his breath and rolled up against Simon like a breaking wave. "Still Sunday," he said.
"I'll take it," Simon said. He grabbed Jeremy's ass in both hands and dragged the thief up against him. "Christ, I'll take it."
I cannot for the life of me put my finger on why this story used to bother me, but it did. It felt a bit off somehow. Not quite up to my usual standards. However, with the intervention of distance, I've lost most of my distaste for it. It's not bad. Not the best thing I've ever written, but not bad.