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Story Notes:
Set in S03E10, though you’d have to apply fic logic to the episode for this to fit into canon. Title taken from Richard Siken’s poem ‘You Are Jeff.’

They’re digging, have been for a while. Their bodies covered in a sheen of sweat, dirt clumped under their nails, loose inside their clothes. It’s just the two of them, now. Whistler is somewhere else, something about a book. Alex doesn’t really care where he’s gone, doesn’t care about much more than getting out of here. Not looking back.

Michael isn’t far from him, digging almost absentmindedly, like it’s muscle memory. His jaw is clenched, only slightly; an attempt to keep every grunt and groan that wants to spill, stifled. They have to be quiet, can’t afford to draw attention. If Sammy finds them... Alex would rather not think about it. Failure is not an option, he thinks. Not now, not ever.

“We need more boards,” Michael announces, some time later. He looks across to Alex, wipes the back of his hand across his face, his long sleeves gathering the sweat along the way. His skin glistens in the low light, and Alex almost wishes he’d pull a sleeve up, take the shirt off. The tattoos, he still has a fascination, a fixation. There’s still a part of him which itches to touch, to trail his fingertips across the pattern, ingrain it into his memory.

“Outside,” he murmurs. It’s the only option and they both know it. Alex stands, watches as Michael drags himself to his feet. His shirt clings to him, the dark blue damp with sweat. He imagines he doesn’t look much better.

They’re barely out the door when there’s a bang, a thump of footsteps, a murmur of voices. Alex halts, reaches out, curls a hand in the fabric of Michael’s shirt to pull him back. He shuts the door as softly as he can, presses Michael against the nearest wall on instinct, holds him there. They both listen, barely daring to breathe as they wait. Alex can hear Sammy talk, can hear the thud of a box as it hits the ground. It’s accompanied by more shuffling; boots against dirt, clothes against walls, boxes against boxes.

He looks up at Michael, a silent exchange that says more than words can. He has his hands planted on the wall, right above Michael’s shoulders, next to his face. It’s not unlike the last time, though it’s less malicious, now. No knife. No threat.

More talking, the muffled voices slowly fading, as if they’re moving away. Alex breathes a sigh of relief as a door shuts, listens to Michael do the same. He can hear Sammy back above them, yelling, celebrating. He doesn’t want to know what they’re happy about.

Michael looks at him, his expression one Alex can’t place. It’s inexplicable, intriguing. It stirs something in the pit of Alex’s stomach.

“We keep ending up here,” Michael murmurs, low and soft, like it’s some sort of secret; like it’s a confession, something meant only for him. Alex watches as the tip of Michael’s tongue peeks out, swipes across his bottom lip. He can’t help but wonder if Michael enjoys this, if he gets off on the danger, the suspense.

“Almost as if we’re working toward something,” Alex says in response. He shifts, moves closer. Only inches separate them, the space between their bodies burning with a simmering heat. Alex feels a flicker of arousal, feels it light up every vein in his body. Almost like a drug, he thinks, and then Michael is smiling--a small curl of his lip, barely discernible, the expression more prominent in the blue of his eyes than the curve of his mouth--and Alex thinks fuck, thinks yes, definitely like a drug.

Their eyes lock, and there is a heat there, Alex thinks. He’s seen it enough times to recognise it, is somehow not surprised to see it now.

“There’s only so many things pushing you against a wall can lead to, Michael,” he adds, enjoys the way Michael shivers. His voice is a low growl, almost; breathy, rough. A mix between his bedroom voice and the one he uses in an interrogation room.

How fitting, he thinks. He would expect nothing less for Michael.

The kiss, when it comes, is heated, desperate. Alex presses forward, captures Michael’s mouth, and they don’t have time for this, he thinks, but he also thinks fuck it, thinks they deserve a bit of pleasure, no matter how fleeting. Michael’s mouth is wet, warm, the press of his tongue slick. Alex curls his fingers in Michael’s shirt, twists the fabric, pulls him closer. The heat is stifling, here. Pressed together in a tunnel, surrounded by dirt and dust. But Alex doesn’t care, has grown used to it.

He slides his hands down, pushes them up under Michael’s shirt. Fingers scratch against skin, cling to the waist, rub against flesh. Michael groans against his mouth, whines, and then Alex is pressing him against the wall with a newfound ferocity, is dragging the hard length of his cock against Michael’s thigh. He can feel Michael, too. He’s just as hard as Alex is, straining against the denim of his jeans. Alex trails a hand down, makes quick work of opening Michael’s fly, curling his fist around Michael’s shaft. He doesn’t think about himself until Michael is doing the same to him, is curling his spare hand around the base of his neck, bringing him forward to kiss, lick, suck. He nips at Alex’s bottom lip, hums as a thumb slides over the slit of his cock.

It does not last long. It’s rushed, desperate. Their actions clumsy and careless. There’s no time to be considerate, no time for Alex to do everything he wants, everything his body has craved for weeks, now. He wants to lie Michael down, to drag his tongue across every inch of Michael’s body, to discover everything he can. Michael is a puzzle, has always been a puzzle, and Alex wants nothing more than to figure it out, to be offered the chance to.

But this is enough, he thinks, as Michael spills in his hand, as his eyes flutter shut, his mouth open in a silent cry. It’s more than enough, he thinks again, only moments later, as he follows Michael’s lead.

There is barely a moment to bask in the afterglow, to look at each other while they breathe heavily, the sound of their pants loud and harsh in the otherwise empty tunnel. Alex leans forward; one last kiss before the chaos resumes. It’s softer, this time. Says everything he can’t put into words.

There is no need to wonder if Michael understands what he’s trying to say. Alex knows he does.

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