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Alex doesn’t consider booking a room to be a particularly difficult task, but apparently he’s wrong in that, because Roland manages to fuck it up.

“He only got three beds,” Lincoln explains, annoyance laced through every word. Roland steps away from him as he says it, moves closer to Michael like it’ll protect him. “Someone’s gotta share.”

An awkward silence follows, the four of them standing in the corridor between both rooms. Alex watches Roland divert his gaze, uncomfortable; watches Lincoln square his shoulders, like he’s prepping for a fight. He can’t help but roll his eyes.

He snatches the key card from Roland’s hand, takes hold of Michael’s arm, and says: “Grow up.”

He turns in the direction of their room, Michael following without complaint. From the corner of his eye, Alex can see him grin; an odd quirk of lips that would barely pass as a smile had it been anyone else.

“We should have brought Sucre,” he says once the door shuts, dumping his bag on the edge of the bed. “They’re like five year olds.”

“And now they have to share a room,” Michael says. “Punishment enough.”

“Think they’ll last the night?”

Michael shrugs, puts his bag next to Alex’s and unzips it. “We’ll be the first to know if they don’t.” He pulls a charcoal suit from his bag, tilts his head to look at Alex. “You want the first shower?”

Alex shakes his head, eyes the bed. “Take it.”

*

“I’m just saying, it’s not fair that you three get to go out a--”

“Your only use is up here,” Lincoln interrupts, pushing Roland in the direction of his open laptop. “You tell us if we get the card, got it?”

Alex catches Michael’s eye when Roland falls back into his seat, smirks when the other man just shakes his head. “Come on,” he says, patting Lincoln on the arm. “Before Scuderi decides to leave.”

Alex grabs the device from the table, pockets it as he follows Lincoln and Michael from the room; carpeted steps sounding as they walk through the hall. “We sure he’s gambling?”

Lincoln presses the button for the elevator, looks at Alex from over his shoulder. “You come to Vegas to swim?”

“I try not to come to Vegas at all.”

Lincoln dips his head. “Like Michael,” he murmurs, stepping inside the elevator when the doors open. “You two don’t do fun, do you?”

“I can have fun,” Michael says, tone defensive. Like it’s an age old argument. “I just don’t like the crowds, or the li--”

“Yeah, yeah--Sensory overload. I know.”

Alex leans against the elevator wall and listens to them fight, smiling when Michael eventually huffs, annoyed. Lincoln looks like he wants to egg him on more, draw the sigh out to an exasperated smile, but the elevator stops before he can, a group of twenty-somethings piling in, and then they’re all too preoccupied with not being recognised to talk much.

It had already been darkening when they’d arrived, but when they step out onto the main floor, the sky’s black and the city’s alive beneath it. Crowds upon crowds of people surround them, bodies mostly blurring together in a sea of suits and upscale gowns.

Alex scans the area, lets out a low whistle. “We’re gonna be here a while.”

“Yeah,” Michael breathes, head moving in a slow nod. “We’ll have to split up,” he says, looking to the both of them. “Take a different area and call if you find him.”

*

Overcrowded areas, loud people, being pulled into random conversations-- it’s not something Alex has ever enjoyed. Still, he walks the floor, keeps his eyes open for their target, and tries to ignore his steadily increasing irritability.

He’s been out for close to an hour when his phone rings, Michael’s caller I.D. bringing some relief. He flips the phone open, walks away from the crowd.

“Yeah?”

“Linc found him,” Michael tells him. “One of the Blackjack tables, close to the bar on the left side.”

“Got it,” he says, shutting the phone and making his way there. He meets Michael on the way, sees Lincoln moments later. “There room at his table?”

“Not yet.”

“Wonderful,” Alex sighs. He pulls the device from his jacket, holds it out in his hand. “Who’s playing?”

Lincoln reaches out, takes it. “This was always my game,” he says. Alex hears Michael snort, watches Lincoln roll his eyes. “It was.”

“You always cheated,” Michael insists, but he’s still smiling, like the memories are fond ones. “You got Luke Robinson to deal you the right cards and then you split the winnings.”

Lincoln grins, tongue held between his teeth, and claps Michael on the shoulder. “Sore loser,” he teases, laughing when Michael just shakes his head.

“Try and sit next to him,” Michael says, changing the subject. His eyes stray to Scuderi before falling on Alex. “We’ll wait at the bar. I’ll let you know if we get it.”

Lincoln nods, steps away from them to hover closer to the table, and waits for an opening.

“We allowed to drink on the job?” Alex asks as they move to the bar, looking at Michael from the corner of his eye.

Michael smiles, takes a seat at the end of the counter. “I’m not gonna stop you.”

Alex hums, eyes the bar. It’s been months since he’d had anything more than a stray beer, and the thought of hard liquor is more than a little appealing. He rests his elbows on the counter, thumb brushing his bottom lip, and turns to Michael. “I bet you’re a lightweight.”

Michael laughs, the noise a quiet huff of air. “Depends on your standard,” he tells him. “I used to be able to hold it.”

“And then?”

“And then I graduated college,” Michael says, fingertips trailing over the countertop. “Stopped drinking almost entirely.”

“Definitely a lightweight,” Alex comments, looking up at the bartender as she moves to their end of the counter.

“What can I get you?”

“Water, please,” Michael says, and the women nods, turns to Alex. He eyes the bottles that cover the wall but decides against it, sighing as he repeats Michael’s answer.

The bartender smirks, eyebrow raised. “Wild night, huh?” she asks, but turns to grab two glasses.

Michael laughs, smiles at her in a way Alex knows is meant to both charm people and make them leave him alone. “Something like that.”

“Well,” she says, passing over their drinks a moment later. “You two boys have fun.”

She leaves them with a wink, most likely not hearing Michael’s quiet you too over the hustle of the casino.

Alex takes hold of his glass, turns just in time to see Lincoln take a seat next to Scuderi. He takes a drink, free hand smoothing the fabric of his pants. “Here we go,” he murmurs, watching as Scuderi says something to Lincoln.

Michael nods, pulls out his phone to send a message to Roland. “Here we go.”

*

“What now?” Alex asks once they finally retreat back to their room.

Michael sighs, raises a hand to rub at his eye. “We wake up early,” he says, exhaling slowly. “Get him at breakfast.”

“You think Roland knew it’d fail?”

“Probably,” Michael admits, fingers playing at the button of his blazer. “He probably wanted to find out when the slots would pay out so he could go make some quick cash. Lincoln will keep him out of trouble until we get the card.”

Alex nods slowly, glances around the room. “Just so you know,” he says. “I’m not offering to sleep on the floor.”

Michael snorts softly. “I didn’t expect you to.”

“Good.” He sits on the bed’s edge, kicks off his shoes, and looks up at Michael. “Because it’s been weeks since I’ve so much as seen a proper bed, and I don’t give a shit about sharing.”

Michael grins, pulls his jacket off and folds it over his arm. “You prefer a side?

“Couldn’t care less.”

“I’m taking the left, then.”

Alex nods, shifts to the right, and watches as Michael pulls at his tie, lean fingers unbuttoning the first few buttons of his shirt. Alex expects to see a hint of inked skin, to see the still far too familiar design, but instead there’s only a flash of bare flesh.

Michael stops at the third button, brow furrowing as he looks to Alex. “You want a show?” he asks, voice heavy with sarcasm.

Alex grins. “That a serious offer?”

Michael sighs. “Stop staring,”

Alex drops his gaze, stands to retrieve his own bag. “Why’d you get rid of it?”

Michael doesn’t need to ask what it is. “No need for it now,” he says. “Why do you care?”

“Would’ve liked to see it,” Alex admits, fingers plucking the buttons of his own shirt. “Pretty sure photos of it still cover my basement wall.”

“That’s not creepy at all.”

Alex laughs, sighs. “Had to be done.”

Michael hums but doesn’t say anything. From the corner of his eye, Alex can see him move to his bag, watches as he pulls his dress shirt off and replaces it with a loose sweater. He turns back to his own bag before he’s caught staring for a second time, grabs the pair of sweats he’d brought to sleep with.

“I didn’t bring a shirt to sleep in,” he says, chucking parts of his suit in the bag without care. He wouldn’t need it tomorrow, anyway.

“I think we’ll manage.”

“You say that now,” Alex jokes, stepping into the sweats. He lets them hang low, shoves the rest of his clothing in his bag, and drops it to the floor before pulling the bed cover back. “Are we really going to bed at nine?”

Michael moves to turn the bedside lamp on and shut the main light off. “This used to be normal for me.”

Alex slips under the covers, groans at the soft feel of the mattress. “You’re one of those people who made sure they got a full eight hours of sleep, aren’t you?”

Michael crawls under the cover, makes sure to leave a gap between the two of them. “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

“I can’t even imagine it.”

“Didn’t always work.” Michael shifts on the bed, turns on his side to look at Alex. “But I do like my sleep.”

Alex hums noncommittally, stares at Michael’s bare arm. “No scarring,” he says after a moment.

“Hm? Oh.” Michael looks down, rotates his arm. “There’s some on my stomach,” he admits. “Rib cage. Not too bad, though.”

“You miss it?”

Michael’s lips twitch, like he might laugh. “Not as much as you seem to.”

Alex sighs, shifts on the bed. “Sorry,” he says. “It’s just…”

“It’s okay,” Michael assures him.

“Right,” Alex clears his throat, shifts again. “So how do we do this? Back to back like an angry married couple or do we cuddle like real men?”

Michael laughs, the sound loud in the otherwise empty room. “You’re joking, but there’s every chance you’ll wake up with me on top of you.”

“Lucky me.”

Michael shakes his head, turns to switch the lamp off. “Goodnight, Alex.”

*

When Alex wakes, it’s early morning “ the sky is still shades of navy and grey, a hint of orange on the horizon “ and Michael is mostly on top of him.

He covers at least half of Alex’s body, their legs a mess of limbs, the blanket tangled around them. Michael’s face is pressed against his shoulder, breath tickling the skin. It should be uncomfortable, but it isn’t. Alex just feels like he’s cocooned in warmth.

He shifts, tries to get his dead arm out from under Michael’s torso. He’s not gentle enough, though. The movement makes Michael’s body slide against his, makes Alex very aware of the hardness that had nearly been pressed against his leg. He stills, looks down at Michael’s stirring form. 

“Alex,” Michael murmurs, lips moving over skin. The name is breathy, sleepy. Like’s he’s not quite awake. And then, before Alex can even react, he shoots up, eyes wide, voice panicked when he repeats, “Alex.”

He tries to move away but Alex stops him, hushes him; curls an arm around him and makes him resettle. “Stop,” he whispers, squinting to make out Michael’s embarrassed face in the low light. “Stop. It’s alright. Kind of flattering.”

“But--”

“And not entirely unwelcome.”

That seems to settle him, or at least shut him up. Michael exhales slowly, releases some of the tension in his body. “Really?”

“Mmhm.” Alex shifts against the mattress, fixes their blanket. He’s still half asleep. “‘s long as I’m not getting you in trouble.”

Michael rolls onto his back, lets his eyes fall shut again. “You’re not,” he says slowly. “I asked.”

“You asked?” Alex asks, and it sounds like he’s about to laugh. He shifts to his side, reaches a hand to rest next to Michael’s hip. “You thought something would happen?”

Michael shakes his head against the pillow, doesn’t open his eyes when he says: “No. But Sara did.”

That Alex hadn’t expected. He’d thought that maybe the others were starting to pick up on… whatever it was he and Michael were doing, but for Sara to suggest it. To give Michael permission… He laughs quietly, more air than anything else. “And so you asked if you could?”

“Yes.”

Alex pushes his hand under the fabric of Michael’s sweater, lets his palm rest against warm flesh. “Because you wanted to?” He’s teasing, drawing it out.

“Yes,” Michael breathes, eyes parting slightly to look at Alex.

Alex hums, low in his throat. Uses his hands to shift Michael on his side, so his back is pressed to Alex’s chest. “Wha…” Michael starts, but Alex shushes him, pushes his sweater up to expose his lower stomach.

“Only fair to give you what you want,” he says, hand ghosting over the exposed skin. Michael holds his breath, leans into the touch.

Alex starts slow; soft, barely-there touches meant to both relax and excite Michael. He starts at Michael’s navel, brings his hand up to trace the lines of his chest - fingertips brushing over sensitive nipples, the caress barely a tease - and then brings it back down.

He runs his finger along the strip of skin above Michael’s waistline, chuckles quietly when Michael’s body jerks away, ticklish. He shuts his eyes, presses his face to the lines of Michael’s back; presses a kiss to the nape of his neck. He repeats the movement, dips his fingers below the waistline, and smiles when Michael’s breath hitches.

“Didn’t think you’d be ticklish,” Alex says, the words mumbled against skin, his voice low and harsh with sleep. “‘s cute.”

He trails his fingers up to Michael’s navel, traces it over lines he can still see in his head. The edge of an angel’s wings, the leg of a demon. The blueprint of an unimportant room back at Fox River. Michael squirms, small movements that barely rustle the sheets.

“What do you want?” Alex whispers it just below Michael’s ear, makes sure he can hear him clearly. He drags a finger over a hipbone, presses it into the soft skin and drags it back. “You gotta tell me, Michael.”

Michael exhales slowly, softly. Leans into the touch but doesn’t say anything.

“Want me to stop?” Alex asks, hand flat against Michael’s lower stomach.

Michael jerks his head, breathes a barely audible no. Alex smiles, brushes his lips against the line of Michael’s shoulder.

“Want me to go lower?”

It’s said in that same deep, raspy tone. The one he’d used equal parts in a bedroom as he had an interrogation room. The one which now sends a shiver down Michael’s spine.

Michael nods, pushes his hips up into Alex’s touch. “Please.”

The word is barely formed, barely there, but Alex catches it. He kisses Michael’s neck again, drags his lips over the skin as his hand moves lower. He keeps it above the fabric of Michael’s pants, works his palm over the lines of an obvious erection. It draws a groan from Michael, makes him press against Alex’s hand.

Alex isn’t sure why he’s dragging it out. It’s been weeks since he’d last got off, and even longer since it had been with someone else. But there’s something appealing about making Michael fall apart, about being the one to make him lose control, thread by thread.

His own cock is hard, straining against his sweats. He nudges one of Michael’s legs forward, follows it with his own, and rocks his hips against Michael’s ass. He bites his lip against the moan, listens to Michael’s breath hitch again.

He tightens his grip on Michael, rubs his palm over the head of his cock, and repeats the motion. His shaft rocks against the cleft of Michael’s ass, the pressure both overwhelming and nowhere near enough.

“I’ve wanted to do this for so long,” Alex says, because he can’t help himself.

Michael exhales slowly, pushes back against him. “Sona?”

“Before that,” Alex admits, adding more pressure to his hand. He remembers the long nights spent staring at Michael, following the intricate lines of his tattoo, fingers tracing photos filled with soft looking skin. It hadn’t been a romantic thing, not anywhere near it - he still remembers the hours spent trying to pick apart Michael’s brain, remembers how irritated it had made him at times - but it had been something he wanted. Not the same way he wants it now, but still something he’d thought about. “You drove me mad.”

Michael sighs, presses back against Alex’s cock. “You mean I don’t now?”

Alex huffs, lifts his head to nip at Michael’s neck. “You still do,” he murmurs, and now his voice is rough with arousal. His tone deeper than usual. “Always will.”

Alex quickens his pace a little, pulls his hand away and answers Michael’s quiet whimper by finally, finally, dipping it under his briefs and wrapping his palm around Michael’s shaft. He circles the head, collects the drops of precome and twists his wrist, rubs down.

“Pity we didn’t bring anything for me to fuck you,” Alex whispers, presses a kiss just below Michael’s ear.

Michael whines, breathlessly admits, “I don’t think I’d last.”

“Mm,” Alex answers, thumb swiping the slit of Michael’s cock before he pulls his hand away again. “Maybe another time,” he says, and rolls back onto his back. He pushes the cover off, taps his lap when Michael turns to see what he’s doing. “Come here.”

He doesn’t have to ask twice. Michael sits up, crawls the short distance and places a thigh on either side of Alex’s waist. He shifts up, sits back so he’s pressing his ass right against Alex’s erection. If the look on his face is anything to go by, he knows exactly what he’s doing.

“Like teenagers, huh?” He rocks gently, tests a rhythm.

“Nothing bad about basics,” Alex murmurs, hands reaching for Michael’s torso. He prompts him forward, pulls the sweater up over his head and drops it on the bed next to them. “Better.”

Michael smiles, sighs softly when Alex places his hands on Michael’s hips, fingers squeezing gently. Michael rocks his groin again, and Alex uses his hand to add more pressure, to make their cocks grind together.

“Fuck,” Michael groans, gasping. He leans forward, holds on to Alex’s arms to steady himself.

Alex trails a hand up his back, over his spine. He stops when he reaches Michael’s neck, tightens his hold of the nape and uses it to pull him down. He presses their lips together, preps Michael’s mouth with small, open mouthed kisses before pressing harder, tongue slipping over the other man’s.

Michael’s nails dig into Alex’s skin, his breath quickening. He lets Alex kiss his mouth, his jaw, his neck. Lets go of one of his arms and uses his free hand to get the rest of their clothing out of the way. He pulls his erection from his trousers and does the same to Alex; tries to wrap his hand around the both of them and uses a mix of spit and precome to ease the way. Alex groans loudly, reaches out to hold on to Michael’s ass, fingers squeezing the flesh.

“God,” Alex moans, catching Michael’s mouth again. “Michael--fuck.

Michael smiles against his mouth, squeezes his hand. It’s messy and uncoordinated but it works, it feels good, and Alex can feel his body nearing the edge. Can feel the familiar build up in the pit of his stomach. He rocks his hips in the rhythm of Michael’s movements, holds on to him hard enough to leave a lasting mark.

Michael kisses him when he comes, swallows the loud groan with his mouth and then follows him seconds later. Come splatters both of their stomachs, sticky and uncomfortable, but Michael pays it no attention as he collapses forward, lays like a dead weight on top of Alex.

He’s breathing heavily, they both are. Quick, near synchronised pants filling the hotel room. Alex shifts them, nudges him until they’re laying side by side, Michael’s larger frame tucked against his.

Alex glances at the window, notes the lighter sky, and sighs. “Think we have time for a nap?”

He can feel Michael smile against his skin. “Doubt it.”

“Fifteen minutes,” Alex says. “Then we move.”

Michael hums, snuggles into Alex’s side. “Fifteen minutes.”