Title: "The Party Never Ends"
Rating: hard R
Summary: Things aren't always as they seem. A few months in the life of a police officer who is trying to keep his sanity, doing his job and fighting the uncontrollable attraction to his colleague. SLASH
Disclaimer: Title from These Are Our Children by I Monster. Lyrics from Sunrise Sunset by Bright Eyes.
A/N: This came virtually out of nowhere, fueled by my bottled hunger for writing an original and this song. The 'mental cartoon' is inspired by the video and, in turn, by the works of Mark Ryden which really conquered me.
THE PARTY NEVER ENDS
You are either coming or you just left
But you are always on the way.
It starts out as a pretty dirty secret affair between the two of you – it's the last thing you want your friends or colleagues to know about you. Because when you suck him off messily in the office loo and then go home and try to drown the salty taste of him out with deep swigs of cheap booze, you feel the least like yourself.
It's the fucking scariest thing in the world to lose yourself in someone so completely.
You remind yourself that you are both grown men and you can be responsible for your actions. It's not relationship, not even a passing flirt, nothing you could really be ashamed of. Just a stress relief. That's how you excuse yourself.
Until you remember that 'responsibility' and what you do in toilet rooms (closets, the lounge, hell, even under the table in the chief's office once!), hiding from the world and living by the moment, really don't match.
He smokes too much. Sometimes cigarette smoke curls off of his clothes, and you choke on it, take it in with every brush of your lips against his skin, and then you can't get rid of it. You hate nicotine. But that's part of him now, his taste. So what, you're supposed to like it now?
You tell him. He laughs. Says he can't just quit smoking because it bothers you. Why should he? It's not like you mean that much to him.
You remember the first day he came to work at your station. He seemed very young when he walked through the door and greeted everyone, gulping down nervously. Hell, you thought he was a trainee. It was a few weeks later that you learnt he was actually four years older than you and had two major public rewards.
He made the team in the end, though none of them ever found out why he chose to transfer here as a detective inspector. You asked him of course, somewhere between the third and the fourth base. He smiled at you and said nothing.
You don't remember how it all began. You were drunk. Yes, that must be it; otherwise you'd have never put your sanity in jeopardy the way you did. There must have been some celebration: Christmas, or someone's birthday, or just the regular alcohol-consuming contest after the closing of some particularly hard case.
He kissed you first. In the loo after all the booze had made you sick and you had secluded yourself and splashed what seemed like gallons of cold water in your face. It seemed you were drowning on dry land. His reflection flickered in the mirror behind your own. He squeezed your shoulder and said you couldn't drink and if that was the case you should give up on it. You turned to tell him off, and he pressed his lips persistently against yours, parted them with his tongue and sucked you into one smashing, intense kiss. The edge of the sink ground into your back, but the feeling of him, bold and unstoppable, ravishing your mouth, smothered the sensation of inconvenience and the small thought buzzing in the farthest corner of your mind: 'What the fuck is this!?'
You threw up after he left. You doubled over the toilet and almost missed, feeling starbursts exploding behind your eyelids. You miscounted how much you had actually drunk. You considered staying in the office for the night, but one of the sober colleagues was nice enough to give you a ride home. You curled up on the sofa and fell asleep, hoping you'd forget everything by morning.
You might have. But he didn't.
You had to work late the other night and you understood what he wanted by the look on his face. Blank. Even more blank than usual. But there was something else. Something so expressive that even though you had planned on giving him a piece of your mind before you found yourself unable to protest.
Besides, you sort of wanted to know what it would feel like to kiss him without the whole alcohol daze to cloud your mind.
If he were a place, he would be a perfect crime scene. He tasted of cigarettes and some cheap mouthwash that didn't work one bit. His lips were chapped because he had a nasty habit of biting them every time he was lost in thought. The vague scent of shampoo clung to his hair; his skin was sleek with sweat and glossy like asphalt after the rain. Everything about him was intoxicating in the most dizzying sense of this word.
You wondered how anyone could survive long enough, being exposed to him, because he was lethal and hypnotizing like an exploding nuclear reactor.
So it began. And now you sit at your desk and glance at him over the paperwork every once in a while, secretly despairing that he doesn't look back, and you loathe yourself for it because it's not manly, or reasonable, or simply not you enough.
When it's time to go home you seek stupid pretexts to linger until the station's fully cleared except officers on duty and then you pretend you don't care. You keep going through files, testimonies, evidences – anything to keep you busy until he finally walks right up to you, rips your clothes open and touches you in the way that will make you scream and groan and beg for more wordlessly.
You're not doing it because you want it. That's what you tell yourself every goddamned day. You're doing it because you both need it.
You catch yourself thinking about him so often that one day you decide to sum up the things you know about him. Just to make sure there's nothing couple-y about your relationship. Couples tend to know details about each other's lives, and you find with a mixture of relief and disappointment that you know nothing about him. Not his birth date (you could look it up in his file, but what for?), not where he was born (his accent is featureless, unspecific, and he speaks in a very reserved tone, so it gives no clues about his origin), not his family state (he's single; you bothered to learn that much), certainly not the small bits like his favourite colour or food, or his toothpaste of choice, or his dentist's name.
That means you and him aren't even friends. You might as well be strangers.
You consider another issue: would you trust him with your life? Yes, you suppose you would. When it comes to work, you know the lot about him. He's an excellent detective who for some inconceivable reason resigned himself to the position that leads nowhere. He may be facing a career dead end, but he is still irreplaceable. He is smart, fast and uncompromising in everything he does. So yes, you would trust him with your life.
You dub him your drug and proclaim yourself a hopeless addict. You could be cured, you think, only through electroshock or some severe lobotomy. Or memory wipe. For a brief moment you regret not living in a sci-fi world where such a thing could be possible.
In your futile attempts to analyze the way things unravel between you two you attempt to see him through women's eyes. There are a few ladies at the station; you observe them whenever they end up in the vicinity of him and try to figure out whether they find him attractive. His appearance has never mattered to you. If someone asked you if he was handsome you'd fail to answer. This isn't about the looks. Even with women, you know better than to judge by appearance (except if it's clearly a one-night-stand).
Obviously he does attract attention. They make eyes whenever he passes by, giggle and flirt with him. He doesn't seem to be particularly interested, but he dismisses their advances politely and somehow even looks a bit guilty.
Suddenly you feel such a surge of pride and triumph that it nearly sweeps you off your feet. Because you are the king of this jungle. It's your abdomen he scrapes with his nails; it's your earlobe that he catches between his lips; it's your dick that he runs his tongue over; it's you who makes him scream.
Right now, while you are experiencing all this, you know you must put a stop to it.
"If I wanted to quit…" you say to him in the evening when you are alone in an empty office. Your voice wavers; he flashes you a questioning look. "Say, drinking. D'you reckon I could?"
It's cowardly but it's as close as you can get.
"Yeah," he says thoughtfully, "but you'd have to start something else. Like smoking." He exhales puffs of smoke against your collarbone, then bends to lick off the sweat that has accumulated there. "Or drugs. Ever done drugs?"
"No, and don't plan to start. Why do you–?"
"'Cause I know people like you. You're an addict. You need something to control your life. You get enough of it at work, being in charge. Off duty you want someone else at the steering wheel."
He slides on the floor, kneeling in front of you, and unzips your fly. As you thrust into the wet warmth of his mouth, his words settle in and you begin to loathe both of you. him for being so right; yourself for being exactly the way he described.
He bends you over the table. It's the recent addition; you wouldn't dare go so far before (it had never actually crossed your mind).
You feel so tight, encasing him completely, and with every thrust he bores deeper into you, into your mind, your soul, filling you from the inside like bubbles when you've had too much champagne.
He lets you do it to him, too. Lets you bury yourself within him, rocks his hips, claws at your back in agonizing passion until the sound of your ragged breathing drowns out every other sound in the room.
The first time you do it he comes all over some important papers in the chief's table, and you rush about the station, trying to break into the secretary's computer to re-print them. You get caught on the security camera and have a shitload of explaining to do the next day. To your surprise, you realize in the middle of it that you couldn't care less: the night was every bit worth it.
How do they call it? You squeeze your eyes shut and tell yourself that you will go on pretending nothing is happening because nothing is happening.
One day the drug department requests your assistance. There is some large-scale operation which hits several major trafficking points in town; they detain a few couriers and shut the places down. Everything's ship-shape, and there is a guy among the small fry who can definitely lead you to the big bosses. You are content until he walks into the room, glances at the courier's face and stands stock-still.
"I ain't talking to any of yeh lot," the man declares smugly. "I'll tell all right. But I'll tell to the handsome over there only. He knows me."
You turn around and look inquiringly at him. His face goes dark; you have never seen him so close to losing control. Clearly, something personal is about to resurface. You are both morbidly curious and apprehensive.
"We need this filth," chief says in a low voice. "He can point out exactly who and where–."
The courier bristles up. Half of his teeth are prosthetic and pseudo-gold.
"How's dear Susie?" he asks mockingly.
And you have to watch him lose it. He darts up to the table and punches the bastard in the face violently. Two officers pull him away. The courier laughs even though the blow might have broken his nose.
"Her name," the detective says listlessly, "was Sarah."
After fruitless attempts to make the guy talk the chief surveys you eloquently and urges you to beat some sense into your colleague. You don't want to talk to him now; you are too scared to see what was hidden but may be rising now. But you have always put work above your fears.
You enter the office and promptly identify his presence by the papers scattered on the floor. He is sitting in the corner, amidst the mess he's made, staring blankly at his shoes. You place a plastic coffee cup next to him, saying he could use some of it now.
"I want him out of here," he growls. "Out of my sight and out of our jurisdiction."
You squat near him and attempt to look him in the face. His expression is frozen, but the fervent glimmer in his eyes alarms you.
"Look. We've got them all. He's ready to talk. All you need to do is question him."
"How the hell would I know? But you heard him! He wants you. We've been trying to crack him for the past hour. Fat chance!"
You pat his shoulder lightly, not sure if you can comfort him or if he needs it at all. You feel his muscles stiffen. He releases a strained breath, gets up and heads to the door. You hear him mutter, "Okay…" under his breath before he exits.
"Who's Sarah?" you call after him hesitantly. No response comes.
You spend the rest of the day dashing between your desk and the interrogation room, checking information and watching him question the witness through the one-sided glass. He looks composed and efficient as ever; no trace of his inner turmoil is visible. You begin to doubt whether you have seen it at all.
He comes by your desk later and seats himself in the chair behind you. If you turn around you will see his face, but you are not sure you want to.
"She was my girlfriend," he says expressionlessly. "Sarah."
You listen. Wait for him to continue. He takes a deep breath to collect his thoughts and goes on:
"Back in the old department, I was sort of at war with one of the city drug barons. Big wheel among those of his kind. We came square out of every scuffle. Loads of sacrifice from each side. Back then I thought this was how it worked. I was conceited about my position, police officer and all. Thought the town belonged to me.
"One day we had an operation going, pretty much the same as today. Flushed out a lot of scum. He was furious, felt he was losing. We took his right-hand man and believed we had already won. It was only a matter of time till we would have cleared all the streets and put him behind bars.
"And then… they took Sarah." His voice breaks. You incline your head slightly, suddenly feeling guilty and not knowing why. His life before you shouldn't concern you this much. You hold your breath, waiting almost anxiously to hear the rest of the story, and tell yourself it is mere curiosity.
His tone acquires a steely edge as he utters: "And it was this dirtbag that is sitting in one of our cells right now that singled her out to get to me. I'd always tried to keep her away from all that shit. She was a school teacher… He knew how to get me, he really did. They made a body packer out of her." He exhales shakily, clenches and unclenches his fist, trying to shove back the barely containable anger. "Three balloons filled with heroin."
You force yourself to turn around finally and sit still.
"We nailed them in the end," he adds in a more reserved voice. "All of them. A trainee got shot and died on his way to the hospital. I couldn't even make myself look his mother in the eye. All in all, the job was as clean as it could get. I did everything by the book. Yet I felt I'd let it all go to hell."
"What happened?" you risk asking. "To Sarah."
He looks up at you, and the hurt in his eyes is so raw and intense that you lean back in your chair silently, preparing for the worst.
"One of the balloons broke. She died."
You shouldn't be surprised. It happens all the time. You just never expect someone close to you to wind up in the morgue with dust all over their insides.
"I'm sorry," you say quietly.
He nods. "Yeah."
You got the rest of them off the street last night and damn you if it doesn't feel like Batman winning over any supervillain that might stand on his way. It's a victory; in this dirty desperate world such days should be valued.
Yet you've grown uneasy. You haven't spoken to him for ages, and you are uncertain whether it is you who is trying to distance yourself from him, or vice versa.
The room is stuffy, permeated with lingering scents of food and varnish (there is renovation going on in the hall; all those chemical smells leak in beneath the front door). An opened bottle of whiskey lies near the keyboard. Your fingers flit lazily over the keys, but you can't focus on typing, so most of the time you just stare at the tattered Ramones poster above the desk which is there for the sole purpose of covering up the ugly hole in the wallpaper.
This is your apartment, and you can't remember the last time you were here.
One of those mental cartoons is playing on TV at the background. You squint up at the screen. Some weird animal (probably a squirrel) armed with a chainsaw is advancing menacingly towards a loopy five-year-old in a sailor's suit, holding a bunch of balloons looking like ham and sausages. You won't eat meat for a long time now.
You shut your eyes and take a deep breath. The memory of his touch haunts you; so does the pain in his eyes when he was telling you about Sarah. Something in the way he spoke about her makes you wish you knew her. From now on she will forever be there between you like a ghost. She has always been.
You take a gulp of whiskey. Its strong taste stings the roof of your mouth. Your limbs stiffen. It's hard to breathe in the room. You run your hand up and down your shaft, giving yourself over to your delusions.
The sharp trill of the telephone tears through the waves of trippy music and your heavy exhalations. You lean heavily over the table, giving yourself the final squeeze, grit your teeth and reach out for the receiver.
"Yes?" you blurt out breathlessly.
It's quiet on other side, but you can hear someone breathing. You wipe your hand briskly and wait, struggling to calm down.
You curse softly under your breath. It's him. He's never called your home number before; you didn't even know he had it.
You greet him in return. Your voice sounds shaky. There is another lengthy pause. You break the silence by asking: "What's up?" and you make it sound far more strained than you'd like.
"What would you say if I told you I wanted to quit smoking?"
You hem thoughtfully. "That would be, uh… healthy."
It's probably a stupid thing to say, but at the moment it's the best you can come up with. He snorts in response. You hear a lighter buzz and smirk to yourself. 'Quit', sure.
The next day you are meeting your sister at a small café not far from the station. You order a piece of pineapple cake for her and coffee for you and sit back, watching her slice it with a small dessert fork. She's wearing a pastel yellow blouse, and her pale blonde hair is tucked behind her ears which gives her a very teenage look.
"Don't you ever get tired?" she asks.
"Of this job. Of all the wrong things you fail to put right. You're not Superman. Don't you hate it sometimes?"
Your lips curve into a small smile. She is as shrewd as ever. You can't lie to her, so you say honestly, "Every day."
"You look tired," she observes.
"Well, that sort of comes with the package. Saving the world 24/7 for laughable money, seeing things you wish you've never seen…"
"We hardly ever see you at home anymore." She drills you with her eyes full of undisguised reproach, and you shift uncomfortably on the chair. Now that's dirty play! "Mom's tuned in to a police wave and keeps listening to rounds-up all the time. She's worried sick about you! Could have called once in a while."
Some people just have a God-given talent for making you despise yourself. The worst thing is that you can't tell her you don't visit Mom because your life is too much of a mess right now. No family of your own, no friends outside work, sleep disorder, questionable sexual orientation…
"Tell her I'll drop by," you say automatically. "How about Sunday?"
Your sister nods, smiling. Unlike you, she hasn't come to realize how seldom you keep your promises.
You stay at work late as usual. One of the constables taps on the display of his watch to remind you how late it is already.
"No, thanks," you smile politely. "I still have a report to finish. Don't fancy doing that at home."
The constable bids you goodbye and leaves. The lights in the hall are out. Somewhere at the post the orderly officer is watching the recording of the football match that aired earlier on TV. The sounds echo faintly in your ears.
He walks in. You flash him a weary look and your trademark grin and wait for him to utter a stock remark that would state his intentions and explain nothing at the same time. He slumps in the chair next to you, glances at the computer screen, makes a face and piles more papers in front of you. You silently curse the chief. He has to be mad at you and this is his idea of torture.
He leans into you suddenly and kisses you. You haven't expected this after days of estrangement. You react slowly, parting your lips against his and letting his tongue in. He tastes of chocolate and vanilla (he loves those, you think unexpectedly, and your heart skips a beat: so you do know something about him!).
He pulls away, brushes his fingers against your cheekbone with odd and slightly awkward affection. You frown, but he doesn't notice it. His touch is gentle like he is a blind man trying to memorize you.
"You," he murmurs huskily, "give me a new meaning."
He leaves immediately before you have collected yourself. The door swings – and he's gone. You sit frozen in your chair, unable to make your brain work, to figure out if it was goodbye or hello. It could only be one of the two, no variations.
You smile self-consciously as your guess is leaning dangerously towards the latter.
September 11–14, 2008