Gift Horse

by Persephone

Many thanks to Spooks for beta.

Tequila. Lovely tequila.

That was the thing about these record company junkets, Kirk thought. You had to press the flesh, make nice with a load of people you'd never met before and would never meet again, but at least there was plenty of free booze.

Money means as little to me, Kirk thought, as it does to anyone who has enough of it. But strangely enough free alcohol never quite loses its charm. He tossed back his latest shot, and smothered a grimace as the raw spirit hit the back of his throat.

Amazing, he thought, how you could drink so many of them that you lost count, but they still made your throat burn.

He hitched himself up a little higher on the stool. The PR girl opposite smiled at him. What was her name again? She was a pretty little thing, although he noticed that her eyeliner was smearing. Then he blinked again and her eyeliner looked fine. Her long red hair shone in the dark bar. Its swing was like a curtain, concealing and then revealing the occupants of the table across the way. Why had he wanted to sit with her alone, anyway? He tried to remember but the tequila clouded his memory.

Across the room, surrounded by journalists, James and Lars held court. Kirk peered at them past the red curtain of the girl's hair. The tequila gave the light a golden tone, and allowed it to spark off James's eyes and teeth, glitter off his blond stubble. As Kirk watched, James looked up and saw him watching. With his eyes on Kirk, James moved to put down his shot glass on the edge of the table and missed. The PR girl stopped saying whatever she had been saying at the sound of glass smashing.

"Fuck," James said, and laughed a little too loudly.

Kirk rolled his eyes. "Better get him back to the hotel before he starts breaking furniture," he said by way of apology. He slid off the stool as if gravity was giving him a rather heavy helping hand.

The back of the taxi was warm and the windows were misty from condensation. Kirk sat in one corner, while as usual James, arms outstretched expansively along the back of the seats, took up most of the remaining space.

The tall bastard, Kirk thought, scowling. He dragged his eyes up the black jeans James was poured into. They emphasized the ridiculous length of his sprawling legs, which were currently taking up nearly all the legroom. Kirk kicked James lightly in the ankle, enough to make him hitch over a bit.

"Went pretty well, didn't it?" James said.

"For a freak show." Kirk huddled inside in his leather coat, and folded his arms across his chest. He'd noticed the PR girl's not-so-discreet glances at all the places he was known to be pierced in, and a few he thought were pure speculation on her part. Or speculation on his parts. Whatever. "I was expecting a bearded lady to show up any minute," he said.

"Price we pay for being out of the mainstream," James said, idly scratching his chin.

"I'm supposed to be grateful that there was no guy with a whip and a chair?"

James punched him in the shoulder playfully. "I knew Lars wanted to stick around for something!"

"Very fucking funny."

They sped past more flood lit monuments. "Another night, another anonymous city," Kirk said.

James nodded.

"Where the hell are we anyway?" Kirk said.

James shrugged.

Irritated, Kirk sat up fast to look out the window, and wished he hadn't when his stomach roiled queasily. "I'd even be grateful to know which fucking time zone we're in," he snapped.

James looked at him. "After midnight and before dawn, it doesn't matter."

"Yeah, right," Kirk said. Out the window he saw a statue that looked vaguely familiar and turned to look back at it, rubbing the mist off the inside of the window. But the taxi was traveling so fast, the statue was already far behind, and the lights that illuminated it were just a distant blur of brightness.

We could be anywhere, he thought. I feel so lost.

He slumped back in his seat. James's forearm was behind his head and he was too worn out to bother moving away. Instead, with his head supported, he felt his eyes start to close.

"Be there soon," James said in his ear, warm breath puffing against his cheek. When had he got so close?

Kirk opened his mouth to ask where there was, but before he could say it, he was drifting off.

The lurch of the taxi stopping woke him up, but a bar across his chest prevented him smacking his nose off the taxi driver's back. He looked down at the bar, saw it was James's arm, and blinked. He pushed the arm away, clambered out of the backseat, and did some more blinking, this time due to the glare of the lights from the hotel lobby. He looked around, trying to figure out where he was. Nothing looked familiar, but that could be because he'd never been here before, or because here looked the same as everywhere else. Behind him, he could hear James arguing cheerfully and peeling off bills of whatever currency they were currently using, to pay the taxi driver.

Kirk regarded the steps up to the hotel entrance with distaste. Where was the disabled ramp? Made it much easier to stumble into places, without the effort of actually lifting your feet, he thought. He should have never have let himself fall asleep. Fanfuckingtastic. He was supposed to be minding James, and instead James was dispensing tips to Tunisian taxi drivers... and, fortunately, grabbing Kirk around the waist just before he pitched over into the tastefully manicured flowerbeds. Kirk straightened up carefully from a too-close encounter with some kind of pink flower, blinked some more, and yawned.

"Your bed is calling." James said.

No shit, Kirk thought. James hadn't let go of him and Kirk was suddenly grateful. He was totally capable of getting into the hotel without any assistance, of course, but it was easier with James by his side.

Remarkable how plain, common-or-garden tequila acts like acid if you drink enough of it, Kirk thought, feeling the white marble of the steps become spongy under his feet. James half-dragged, half-carried him up the steps. Kirk's toes caught on the softening edge of the top step and if it wasn't for James's supporting arm, he would have taken a header - right into the cleavage of an old lady with ice around her neck and, judging from the sour look she gave him, a stick up her ass. The old dame and her equally geriatric friend displayed matching wrinkly sneers, bookends on the shelf of hell, until James gave them his patented wide insane grin. Then they sensibly backed slowly away.

A wise move, Kirk reflected, as he was towed across the acreage of thick carpet that constituted the hotel lobby's floor - at one point, he was fairly sure that the tips of his boots were dragging - and unceremoniously bundled into one of the elevators. He hit the back wall with only a slight thud, and slid down slowly to the floor. There was a pause while his eyelids got heavier.

This is fine, he thought. This carpet is very plush; you could nearly break an ankle walking on it. Sleeping on the elevator floor would probably be more comfortable than some of the dives the band had crashed out in, during the early days. Hell, the elevator car was *bigger* than most of the dives the band had crashed out in, during the early days. Not to mention cleaner. He could handle passing out in the elevator just fucking fine.

But then James got in the elevator too, and punched buttons. The quiet whoosh of the elevator rising made Kirk's brain trampoline a little inside his skull, and the contents of his stomach slosh around. He stifled a belch, contemplated James's boots, which weren't that far below eye level, and repeated a little mantra to himself.

I am *not* going to barf on James, he thought. I am *not* going to barf on James...

James's iron grip on his shoulder hauled him abruptly off the floor and over to the door of a room, where Kirk leaned against the doorjamb and felt cold sweat break out over his skin.

Wonderful doorjamb, Kirk thought. It was a fine and upstanding item, the only thing keeping him from sliding to the floor again. He closed his eyes and repeated his mantra over and over. James swiped the keycard, swore, and swiped it again. Kirk began to pray silently. At last the lock bleeped and opened.

Thank Christ, Kirk thought.

Kirk made a desperate lunge for the bathroom as, out of the corner of his eye, he saw James drop onto the bed with a sigh.

A long unpleasant time later, Kirk got up from his knees on the cold marble bathroom floor, flushed the john, and took a leak that seemed to last for fifteen minutes and drain all the remaining fluid from his body. He flushed again, and since he'd be stripping to get into bed in a minute, he didn't bother refastening his jeans. He washed his hands, swilled out his foul-tasting mouth, and cupped his hands to drink lots of water straight out of the tap. He splashed some on his face for good measure and the coolness felt so good on his hot face, he didn't bother wiping it off. Dripping, he shoved his curls back off his forehead and went out into the main room, pulling his shirt off over his head and dropping it on the floor as he went.

James was snoring on the bed, of course sprawling in the dead center, and of course on top of the covers. Kirk's lips tightened. He tried shaking him by the shoulder but there wasn't so much as a twitch in response. He pushed him but it was like pushing a mountain. The only result was that he muttered a curse and rolled away from him.

Kirk looked around for another keycard, but couldn't see one. He looked at the couch, which was a painted wood and curlicues contraption, more for decoration than comfort, and looked back at the bed, which was the size of Uganda.

They'd shared beds before on tours, he thought, back in the old days. "Fuck it," he said aloud. He pulled up his zipper, shrugged, curled up on the largest free space available and passed out.

Out of habit, Kirk woke up without opening his eyes. Early and bitter experience had ingrained in him the wisdom of trying to figure out where he was before he alerted anyone watching that he was awake. He could hear the toilet flushing, and then the click and slick swish of a door opening, followed by the whirr of curtains closing. The bed dipped as someone sat down beside him.

Kirk struggled to keep his breathing slow and even as the other person leaned closer. Then he could detect the scent of soap, sweat and, faintly, the clean odor of tequila.

James. It's only James, he thought. Breathing calmly became no effort at all.

James's fingertip trailed down his face, and when it traced over the moisture left from his face washing earlier, he heard him suck in a breath. Then the bed moved a little as he lay down. Kirk tensed again, but there was no further movement and before long he fell asleep once more without ever opening his eyes.

Kirk was still in the hotel. He could tell from the scent of the laundry detergent. No one had come in the night, lifted him bodily and put him on the damn tour bus. It couldn't be much later than the last time he woke up, he thought fuzzily. No tour manager or maid service banging on the door, no increase in the traffic noise from outside.

He was lying on his left side, three quarters of his face tucked into the soft hotel pillow. The faint remaining traces of moisture on his face combined with the warmth of his slow breath to form a slight humidity between his skin and the pillowcase. His head was sore, and his stomach felt chilled and nauseous from his hangover. His right fist was bunched under his chin, and his left arm, folded awkwardly under him, was starting to ache. But that wasn't what had woken him.

Someone was touching his back. Strong fingers were rubbing slow small circles on either side of his spine at his lower back. This same someone was breathing warmth on the chilled skin right between his shoulder blades. It tickled.

Kirk's brow furrowed. The memory of the little red-haired PR girl surfaced. Had he agreed to meet her, maybe given her his room number? He didn't think so, but as he thought about her, he remembered getting back to the hotel and he recalled that he didn't even know which room he was in.

Probably James's, he thought, remembering his close personal relationship with the doorjamb of this very room - wherever the hell it was. Kirk was probably going to catch hell from him later on for passing out and hogging the room. Wouldn't be the first time that had happened. It also wouldn't be the first time he'd woken up with an enterprising groupie in the sack with him; although it was more common to find one curled up in his bed upon entering his hotel room. The room change wouldn't have fazed her - often the groupies knew where the band was sleeping better than the tour manager or the band did. Kirk sometimes envied them that.

The careful hands slipped from his back to his stomach and continued the circling motion there. Thank fuck she's only going lightly, Kirk thought. If she pressed hard on his stomach right now, there was a fair chance he'd puke on her.

Whoever it was traced the tattoos on his hips accurately, even though the room was still dark.

Groupies had all that shit memorized. Not that he was going to be all that much good to her, Kirk thought. After that much tequila, he'd be lucky to get it up for quite some time. He wasn't sixteen any more. She'd just have to forgo adding the notch with his name on it to her bedpost. Tragic.

The trailing fingertips eased down to his waistband and followed it to Kirk's fly. The zipper eased down one little metal hook at a time. Kirk realized that he was holding his breath and forced himself to breathe normally.

The fingers eased his fly apart. The girl's fingertips were gentle but a little rough textured, as though she worked with her hands, and as he felt himself stir, Kirk chalked up another one against the likelihood of it being the PR girl. She fumbled slightly as she took him out of his fly and then he felt her warm mouth envelop him. He moaned softly into the pillow at the sparks of pleasure prickling up his spine and decided that it was definitely a groupie. An expert blowjob was an excellent way to start the day, as any professional rock star knew. Kirk moved his hips towards the warm, easy satisfaction.

There was a choking sound and the wet heat around him disappeared. Kirk froze and bit his lip; and then sighed as a hand curled around the base of his cock, and the mouth made a triumphant return, taking him in deeper and deeper gradually with each stroke, until eventually the tip of the girl's nose brushed Kirk's abdomen with each rhythmic downwards movement. Kirk moaned as the suction increased.

He was fully erect now, and his left hand moved up to fist in the pillow, where his head was more than half-buried, magnifying the rush and ebb of his own breath in his ears. The chill in his stomach melted away as heat began to gather fast at the base of his spine.

The girl stopped briefly. His heart pounding, Kirk smothered his whine of protest in the pillow, and then felt her wet velvet tongue swirl around him. He groaned in relief and felt her suck him back down, suck him harder, but it wasn't hard enough. He couldn't stop his hips making tiny thrusts, but his fingers clenched and unclenched in the pillow as he fought the urge to cup his hand at the back of the girl's head and use the leverage to get deeper, thrust himself down her throat, fuck himself silly in her mouth - anything, anything at all to ease the driving need.

He contented himself with sliding a trembling hand down the side of her steadily bobbing head, stroking her soft hair. She took him a little bit deeper in response and even the pillow couldn't quite muffle his cry of pleasure. He traced lightly over her ear, bringing his fingertips down towards her jaw, exploring her soft skin, and feeling her - stubble!

"What the fuck?" Kirk yelled. His eyes flew open. In one motion he leapt out of the bed and across the room and felt his back slam up against the wall. His horrified gaze fell on James.

James, who was sitting up buck naked in the middle of the bed.

James, who had an erection.

James, who'd just been sucking his cock!

"Jesus Christ!" Kirk yelled. James was staring at him with pleasure-glazed eyes, and as Kirk watched, James's gaze dropped to Kirk's groin. Kirk looked down at himself, gulped, and yanked up his fly without due care and attention, narrowly avoiding causing himself an injury. James's face showed the ghost of a smirk. He licked his lips and to Kirk's horror, Kirk felt his trapped flesh throb.

"Jesus Christ!" Kirk said again in an appalled whisper. It was the tequila, he thought frantically, it had to be. He pinched his arm, pinched it hard, and blinked several times, but the obscene vision of James naked and aroused and looking damn smug and damn sexy refused to disappear.

Did he think James was sexy? Did he just think that? He was even more fucked up than he thought.

"I didn't know," Kirk said blankly, watching as James got up from the bed. Kirk flinched. His eyes flicked to the door but were irresistibly drawn back to James's body, as he prowled across the room towards him. He swallowed as James stopped in front of him, so close he could feel the heat from his skin, skin that looked sculpted from silver in the cool pre-dawn light. Kirk pressed his body to the wall and tried to become one with the wallpaper.

"I've seen the way you look at me," James said in a very normal sounding voice for a man - a man - who'd just had Kirk's dick down his throat.

"So fucking what!"

"You were in bed with me," James pointed out mildly.

"I hardly knew where I was!" Kirk's hands scrabbled against the wallpaper.

"I pushed you away earlier. When I came back from the can, you'd been crying," James said, still in an ultra reasonable tone.

Kirk shook his head mutely, mesmerized by the play of the light on James's collarbones. Then what James had said penetrated his fog. If he hadn't been too busy panicking, then he probably would have laughed. "You thought I was *crying*over you? Are you insane?"

"You want me right now," James said softly.

Kirk opened his mouth to argue and looked up into James's eyes. What he saw there, the heat, the hunger, made him suck in a deep breath - and it came out of him in a huff of surprise as James dropped gracefully to his knees, taking his hips in his hands. Kirk did nothing, could do nothing, except gape down at his bent head. He felt the buzz kick in again at the base of his spine as though it had never been interrupted.

James slowly lowered his zipper and pulled the two sides of the fly apart again, exposing him to James's gaze, as his knees wobbled from the intense lust flashing along his nerves. He shuddered as cool air hit his wet skin, wet from James's mouth. Even the fucking air-conditioning was conspiring against him, he thought desperately.

James leaned forward, opened his mouth to take him inside again - Kirk groaned so loud at the picture this made that James looked up, his lips wet, his eyes glittering - and Kirk cried out in pleasure and surprise, and came, in sharp separate spurts. He was still coming when James fastened his mouth on the jerking tip of Kirk's cock and sucked hard while the pleasure ripped through him.

Kirk's thighs went to jelly and he folded down over James's broad back, out of breath. "Okay," he gasped, over the rushing of blood in his head. "You may have a point there." James hugged him around the waist and slowly let him slip out of his mouth as he softened. When Kirk had his breath back, he straightened up, balancing himself with a hand on James's shoulder.

There was come on James's lips, and a trickle of it on his chin.

"Oh god," Kirk said. "James, I'm sorry, I -" He lifted a trembling hand and wiped it away with a fingertip.

"Don't apologize," James growled. He captured the fingertip in his mouth, looked Kirk right in the eye, and licked the come off.

Kirk made a sound that he was mortified to realize sounded very like a helpless whimper.

When Kirk stopped shuddering, he took James's hand and led him to the bed, pushed him down, flat on his back on the white cotton expanse. Kirk stood by the side of the bed long enough to shove his jeans down and off, and then with no more ado climbed on top of James, grinning with a dizzy feeling of triumph.

I wish I had a flag to plant, he thought. I feel like Neil Armstrong must have: one small step for mankind, a giant leap for Kirk. James's erection was hot and rigid, sandwiched between their bellies, and James winced when he shifted on top of him. As Kirk lifted himself up just enough to slide a hand down between them, he heard him gasp and looked up fast enough to catch an expression of longing and disbelief crossing his face.

"Never thought I'd see the day," James whispered, breathing hard.

"It's not day yet," Kirk said, and then frowned as he saw a flicker of fear in James's eyes. He looked down at his hand. It was hard to believe that only a few hours ago, he would have put serious money on the only cock he'd ever touch being his own. He began to stroke the tight satiny skin until James groaned and looked away.

"S'okay?" Kirk asked.

James nodded vehemently, his eyes shut tight. Kirk tightened his grip a bit, feeling James tense under him. "Give it to me," he whispered softly in James's ear. "Give it up," he said and moved his hand a little faster - and James groaned deep in his throat and came. Semen splashed over Kirk's knuckles and stomach and chest.

When the spasms eased, James relaxed bonelessly. He kept his eyes shut as he muttered "Sorry."

"Don't apologize," Kirk growled, and smothered a laugh in James's smooth shoulder. He sighed happily as he wrapped himself around James. Sleep was reaching out for him and for one moment everything was perfect, just perfect... then he groaned in protest as James wriggled out from under him.

"Where the fuck are you going?" Kirk said. He flopped onto his back and shaded his eyes, which were starting to water from the harsh daylight streaming through a gap in the drapes.

"Just making us more comfortable." James snagged Kirk's discarded shirt from the floor and carefully cleaned them both down. Then he tugged some covers up from the tangled heap at the bottom of the bed and covered Kirk up.

James saw him squinting in the light, and turned to the drapes to close the offending gap. "Dawn," he said. He turned back to the bed and approached it slowly. He stood by the bed, his head down, fiddling with the edge of the covers.

Kirk narrowed his eyes. "Get in the damn bed," he snapped.

James's head shot up and he smiled. "Since you asked so nicely," James said, and slid in under the covers. Kirk tugged at his shoulder, trying to pull him closer, until, after a second's hesitation, he draped himself over Kirk, pressing him into the soft bed. Kirk squirmed for a moment as James's weight settled, anchoring him to the mattress.

The heavy bastard, he thought, grinning.

He shifted another little bit, for deeper comfort, and then relaxed. He raised his hand to James's face, cupped his strong jaw in his hand, and met James's eyes with his own steadily.

"It's okay," he said. "Don't worry. I know where we are."


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