Summary: Inviting James to the party was the stupidest idea he ever had.
Note: Written (FINALLY) for foxxcub's birthday. This was all her idea anyway and would never have seen the light of day without her invaluable help. She owns J/J. (Well, you know, after JJ and Damon.) I just take them out and play with them sometimes. Set after her fic Trice. Also for the fanfic100 prompt "Weeks."
He’s not going to drink tonight. He doesn’t need to. Just walking into the party he’s already got a natural buzz going. It’s the first party he’s been to since his accident and everyone is glad to see him, running their hands across his arms as he walks past, patting him on the back, lifting beers up and shouting his name from across the room.
It feels good. Feels like he’s been away for months.
He can’t believe how packed it is. He’s already had beer spilled on him and someone elbows him as they shove past and for a second, he winces, but it doesn’t hurt. He’s fine. He takes a deep breath, takes it in. The Clash is on the stereo. Everyone is shouting along to “Should I Stay or Should I Go.”
Christy, he thinks that’s her name, leans up and gives him a kiss on the cheek as she hands him a beer. She smells good and she presses up against him a little too long but he starts talking to Marc, so she drifts away. There’s nowhere to put the bottle down, so he just hangs onto it. It’s handy to clink against everyone else’s as he weaves through the crowd.
After a while, it feels weird to just be holding the beer, so he takes a sip and before he knows it, the bottle is empty. He finds himself looking at the door, so he grabs another beer, just to keep busy. Keep his mind off things. The room begins to blur a little, but instead of relaxing him, it just makes him more antsy. He starts wondering why he came. He doesn’t feel like talking to anyone, just leans against the wall, drinking and smoking. He’s going to leave in a little while.
“Hey, where’s Cindy?” Benson, sidles up to him. His eyes are glassy and he smells like a one-man party -- beer, sweat and pot. He’s holding two Heinekens and he hands one to him.
Jack just makes a face as he takes a swig from the fresh beer. He’s glad she’s not here, but he doesn’t want to talk about her either. “Oh man, she was hot,” Benson says, shaking his head.
“Too clingy,” Jack says, with a shrug.
“Yeah, who needs that?” Benson nods. “But at least she put out, right?”
Jack looks up and away, laughing. “None of your fucking business.”
“Fucking business. Funny.” Benson punches him in the arm. “Hey, all the girls here are dying to show you a little love. Poor widdle hurt Jackie.”
“Yeah, I guess.” Jack shrugs again. He can’t help looking toward the door. He’d mentioned the party to James. Just casually mentioned it in passing, like it was no big deal, which of course, it isn’t.
He isn’t particularly expecting him to show up and isn’t sure what he’ll do if he does show. He keeps going back and forth about whether it'll be worth it just to see him when they won’t even be alone.
“You waiting for someone?” Benson, all beery breath and leering smile, has caught him staring at the door.
“No. Who would I be waiting for?”
“Got a new piece already? That was fast, Shephard.” Benson actually elbows him.
“Yeah, again, none of your business.”
“What’s her name?”
“Later,” Jack says because just then the door opens and James walks in. His hand tightens on the bottle and the room suddenly feels close. Fuck, he actually came. James is scanning the room and his eyes pass right over him, as if he didn’t see him. But he knows he did. Even across the room, he can feel James’s heat.
Jack drains the bottle and heads toward the kitchen, wanting the cooler air in there. Now that James is here, he’s suddenly wishing he weren’t. No way he can play it cool and ignore him all night. Maybe he could do that while they were both on the basketball team but here there’s no game, nothing else to focus on.
He opens the fridge and pokes around, not really looking at the different varieties of beer and wine coolers in there, but just to clear his head. He checks the freezer and he’s in luck because there’s a half full bottle of Stoli lying on its side. He takes a few swigs, closing his eyes as it burns down his throat.
It’s just so stupid. They never really make plans to see each other. They just wait until they can’t stand it any more and just show up at the other’s house or something. It’s kind of crazy. Definitely crazy.
He stays in the kitchen, waiting for James to come to him. Because the kitchen is the first place anyone heads in a party. He’s not wrong.
“I see you found the good stuff,” James says as he comes closer, a rare grin spreading slowly over his face.
“Didn’t think you were coming.” Jack holds the bottle out to him and James reaches for it, fingers brushing over his. They stay like that for a second, James’s hand is warm, the bottle still cold underneath. And then Jack lets go and James brings the bottle to his lips, tips his head back, and drinks. Some of the vodka spills down his chin and Jack wipes it away without thinking. He licks the alcohol off his fingers, mouth open, tongue teasing for any trace of James there.
James’s eyes follow Jack’s tongue and he wipes his own mouth with the back of his hand. He leans closer, until he can whisper in Jack’s ear. “What are you tryin’ to do to me?”
All Jack can think about is grabbing James and kissing him. He wants to hear his breath come faster and feel his pulse quicken under his fingers, but even though they’re alone in the kitchen, he’s not quite drunk enough for that.
He knows James is thinking the same thing and he has to look away or he’s going to lose control. And it’s a good thing he does, because Benson is coming in now. He eyes narrow when he sees James. Jack grabs the bottle back and shoves James away, like they were only this close because they were fighting over the vodka.
“What the fuck is he doin’ here?” he says, jerking his thumb in James’s direction. He’s belligerent and several degrees drunker than when Jack last saw him.
Jack’s not looking at James, but he can feel the anger radiating from him, knows that unless he says something right now, James is going to launch himself at Benson and it’s not going to be pretty.
“Would you chill the fuck out?” Jack says, leaning back against the counter. He takes a swig from the bottle, like they have all the time in the world, like there’s no crisis to defuse. “Everything’s cool, OK?”
Benson continues to glower but he doesn’t make a move toward James. “Yeah? He beats the crap out of you and you don’t care?”
Jack glances at James casually -- his body is poised like an arrow about to fly -- and shrugs. “’s cool. He said he was sorry and all. If I don’t care, why should you?” He glances back at Benson, who looks from to the other and shakes his head.
“You’ve got strange taste in friends,” Benson mutters, opening the fridge and grabbing a Coors.
Jack’s head falls forward as he breaks into a helpless giggle. “You’re on that list, Benson.”
“Whatever.” Benson gives James one last disgusted look and leaves, ignoring their laughter.
“Hey, I should...” James is saying when Christy and some of her friends come in. She smiles at him and as Jack’s attention is diverted, James takes the opportunity to steal the bottle of vodka back.
“Later, Prep,” he says with a smile bordering on a smirk as he saunters out into the living room.
He can’t help wondering if he’s just going to leave now, but Christy is already sidling up against him and one of the other girls, pretty with dark hair, is asking if he has any scars from the accident and he sighs and lets it go.
Christy’s friends disappear and she’s rubbing her hand over his arm, the one that was broken and he knows she wants him to kiss her. But he tells her he has to hit the bathroom, which isn’t a lie.
She smiles but he can tell she’s disappointed. Or mad. Or both. He thinks maybe he should have kissed her, should keep up appearances. Maybe he’ll ask James what he thinks, if he’d mind. Well, of course, he’d mind. He doesn’t want to go through all that again.
As he looks for the bathroom, he realizes he’s drunker than he thought. Funny because he hadn’t planned on drinking at all. He just remembers fragments of conversations, somehow finally ending up in the hallway line for the bathroom, and then the rest of the evening is a blur.
Until he walks into the living room and sees James’s arm around Christy. They’re on the couch and she’s practically sitting in his lap. While he tries to get his head around this, James sees him and gives him the oddest smile. And then he leans into her and... fuck, he’s kissing her. His eyes close and he swears he can hear that little noise he makes in the back of his throat all the way from here.
His heart thuds against his ribcage. Feels like he’s on the freeway, unthinkingly speeding along when suddenly there’s red taillights in front of him and he has to slam on the brakes.
He’s hot and cold at the same time. He wants to be sick as James’s hands run through her hair. He doesn’t know whether to go over and punch his fucking lights out or just walk away.
His hand snakes up under her shirt and Jack has to look away. He’s not going to create a scene, he’s not.
James must still be mad over Cindy. Or he’s mad about what Benson said. It doesn’t make any sense.
He notices a girl with long, dark hair watching him and he flushes, thinking she’s onto him. And then he realizes she just thinks that he’s jealous of James. And that makes him smile. Everything’s cool. He walks over to her and puts his hand on the wall next to her, casually leaning in.
“Christy’s an idiot,” she says, swaying towards him, and he realizes now that she’s one of her friends. The one who asked if he had any scars.
Jack shrugs. “Her loss,” he says and trails a finger over her lips. He doesn’t know if James is watching but it doesn’t matter. She’s leaning up now to meet him -- damn, she’s short -- and she sighs as he pushes her up against the wall. She tastes sweet, like strawberries or something, and he almost forgets why he’s doing this as she moves against him and he loses himself in her soft, wet mouth.
She moves her hand up under his T-shirt, grazing his stomach and, like that, he’s hard. He grinds up against her, getting closer, and she moans a little and damn, Benson was right. She wants to fuck him. He wants to take her in some back room and just fuck her brains out, bury himself in her soft curves, make her scream his name so everyone hears it.
He breaks their kiss, wanting to look at her face, to see if she really does want him. But his glance goes right over her head, to the couch a few feet away. Christy’s nuzzling at James’s neck -- probably giving him a hickey, the bitch -- and James’s eyes are on him. They’re half-closed but the expression is unmistakable. He’s amused.
Jack can only glare and then James actually winks at him, the fucker. Heat spreads through him as James’s tongue darts out and he licks his lips suggestively. This is some kind of game to him, isn’t it? Well, Jack’s not going to lose. For the first time, he thinks maybe he hates James. Really hates him.
“You’d rather be kissing her?” The girl, man he wishes he knew her name, looks their way, then nips at his lower lip.
“No. No way,” he says and he grabs her, hands sinking into her upper arms. He runs his tongue over her lips and she smiles and opens her mouth wide to him. His hands are tugging at her hair and it’s good, it’s all good, but he can’t stop picturing James instead. Can’t stop thinking of the last time they kissed, rough and hard enough to draw blood and never long enough ... never enough...
There’s a sharp gasp and the girl draws back. “Ow, fuck!” she yells. Her lip is bleeding. She puts her hand up to cover her mouth and she’s shocked when her hand comes away red. “What’s wrong with you?”
He starts to say he’s sorry but then it suddenly seems like the funniest thing in the world. He starts to laugh and she stands there, getting madder and madder. She slaps him hard across the face, face crumpling in anger and outrage, and storms off. Around the room, people are murmuring and staring in his direction. Christy jumps up, and with an accusing glare at Jack, she runs after her friend.
James stands up lazily and he’s still grinning and Jack just wants to wipe the smile off his face.
“You kinky sonofabitch,” James calls out as Jack bulldozes aside the one or two people dumb enough to get between them.
He doesn’t even hit him, he just tackles him, bringing him down hard to the floor. He thinks maybe he’s knocked the breath out of him.
“Fuck you,” Jack snarls. He’s straddling James and he doesn’t know whether to hit him or choke him or ...
James purses his lips and makes a kissing noise and Jack just loses it. “That’s it, Ford!” he yells. “I’m gonna fucking kill you.”
His hands are around James’s throat and his eyes go black. Suddenly, James isn’t kidding around anymore either and he thinks if he lets go, maybe James will kill him. The look on his face -- like some fucking stranger -- scares him and he lets go.
He gets to his feet and finds everyone is just staring at him. “I’m outta here,” he announces. It’s over before it started and no one even interfered.
He doesn't even look at James, just walks out the front door, slamming it behind him and he has no idea where he’s going to go. He’s too drunk to drive, he knows that. He can’t go back in there, so he sneaks around the back. He finds a spot under the deck and pulls out a cigarette. He really fucking needs one. It’s dark under here, just a few slits of light breaking through from between the wood planks above. The party’s still in full swing and he thinks James is probably fucking Christy by now.
What the fuck happened in there? What the hell was James playing at? He tries to think how long it’s been good between them, no jealousy, no secrets, none of the bullshit that’s been there since day one between them, and he realizes it’s only been a couple of weeks.
He takes a deep drag on the cigarette, wishing he had another drink. “So, that’s it,” he says out loud and he doesn’t even know why. Inviting James to the party was the stupidest idea he ever had.
James is walking under the deck to meet him, bent over because there’s not much room under here.
“What the fuck do you want?”
“Followed the smoke.”
“Great. You found me. Now you can just fuck off.” Jack’s own voice sounds dead to him. Suddenly, he’s tired. He’s too tired for this.
“Didn’t think you’d get so mad.” James sits down next to him and plucks the cigarette from his fingers. Jack doesn’t even care, just watches him put it to his lips and suck in.
“You were kissing her.”
“Yeah, I know.” James cocks an eyebrow at him, like he’s just said something really stupid.
“What is this, payback?”
A shadow crosses James’s face. “No.” He shakes his head. “No. I thought...” he stops and licks his lips. “I thought it would get you hot. A game. You know. Didn’t mean anything.”
Jack winces to hear his own words thrown back at him. “Well, didn’t fucking work, did it?”
James drops his head and laughs lightly and that just makes Jack madder.
“You’re an ass. You don’t treat people you love like this.” The words are out before he can pull them back in. Fuck. That is so not what he meant to say.
There’s no answer right away and he gets that sick feeling in the pit of his stomach again.
“You think I did this to piss you off?” James tosses the cigarette away. He sounds angry now, that edge creeping into his voice that always make Jack tense up.
“Why the fuck would I do that?”
“I thought you were still mad at me. About that girl.”
“So I just waited this whole time to get back at you. After ... after everything?”
“What was I supposed to think?” Jack says as loud as he dares. He’s angry and confused and he can’t stand how James is looking at him, like he’s the one who’s hurt.
“That I’d rather be kissing you, you dumb fuck,” James snaps. “But I couldn’t exactly do that up there, could I?”
Jack just sits there, wanting to hang onto his anger. He’s not going to just let James talk himself out of the hole he’s dug.
“That’s all I ever want. Just to fuckin’ kiss you. I think about it and I just ...”
His lips brush Jack’s cheek and his thumb is rubbing the spot just under Jack’s jaw line that makes his mouth fall open. He finally turns his head into James’s kiss, and for a second he balks as he thinks he tastes lip gloss but then he gives in, pushes past to James, his mouth hot and familiar and his.
“I fuckin’ hate you sometimes,” Jack gasps as they break apart. He can’t look at James right now, so he just buries his head in his shoulder.
“How ‘bout now?” He can feel James grin as his lips graze over Jack’s mouth.
“And now?” Jack’s heart speeds up as he cups him through his jeans.
“Yeah.” It’s all he can do to say the word as James undoes his fly.
James bends over and runs his tongue over his cock, coaxing it into hardness. “Now?” his voice is quieter, deeper.
Jack doesn’t speak, just groans, shifting his hips up. But after one more swipe of his tongue over the tip, James stops.
“I’m going to kill you,” Jack moans, but he’s helping James off with his jeans and then he’s laying back and James is straddling him. “You want...?”
“Shhh,” James says. He rubs his cock along Jack’s, sending a shudder through them both. “Let me ...” Jack arches up and James has them both in hand now, bracing himself on his other hand. He bends down, nipping at his mouth, and then he starts to move. His thrusts are maddeningly slow, his hand teasing up and down their lengths and Jack has to bite his lip.
“Fuck... James, Christ!” he moans, and he just grins at him and keeps going. “God!” he cries, the sensation building and building with each thrust until he’s shaking.
“Shhh,” James whispers again and Jack loves the way his mouth looks when he does it. God, he loves everything about him right now, loves watching him move, the way the light falls on his face, how he sees only a glint of eye and wet mouth and how it catches the frenzied movement of his hand and cock and he hears the roar of the party and it sounds like the cheers from the crowd that night under the bleachers and fuck he’s jerking up and coming in a hot spasm and he thinks maybe that’s the moment he first knew he loved him.
James collapses on top of him and even though they’re both out of breath, they have to finish this with a kiss, a long, slow meeting of mouth and tongue. He hates it when they finally pull apart.
“We good?” James says, chin resting on Jack’s chest and staring into his eyes.
Whatever that means.