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Unbuckle

by zvi

Date: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 2:24 PM

     Title: Unbuckle
     Author: zvi (witchqueen@poboxes.com)
     Betas: LaT and Tiriel. Danke, ladies.
     Fandom: Fastlane
     Pairing: Van/Deaq
     Distribution: The Candy Store, GO, and my website. All
     others please ask.
     Notes: This is a post-ep story for the episode Strap On.

"Did you know that when Billie said, 'No rules la la, no paperwork la la,' she just meant the paperwork that went to her bosses? Because I kind of thought she meant all paperwork all the time, and maybe, if we took a united stand, we could stop with the case reports. Because I hate them. I hate case reports and computers and Microsoft Word especially. The spellchecker is out to get me."

Deaq rolled his eyes and waved his partner ahead of him up the stairs. "Are you still on that, man? Every time, every time we do a post-mortem on a case you want to stage a great paperwork rebellion. I keep telling you, man, I'm with Billie on this one. Writing about the case and then talking our mistakes over with her helps us to be better cops. I know it and you know it, or you would, if you'd get over your stupid spellchecker fear."

"I am not afraid of the spellchecker." Van took the last step into Billie's office. "And I think the case post-mortems are good things. I just think writing reports is time that could best be spent."

"Is he still trying to start a paperwork rebellion?" Billie was seated behind her desk, rather than on it. She was wearing a jacket, too, and had her hair in a bun.

Deaq nodded and smiled. Billie was wearing blue, not black or red, her 'mad' colors.

"Van, I've told you, we have access to the secretarial pool; I can requisition someone to proofread your case reports if the spellchecker is this traumatizing. Just stop fucking whining about it, okay?"

Van flopped down into the chair on the right, legs spread wide. There was a hole in the knee of his jeans and he picked at it. "I'm not whining."

Deaq sat on the left, crossed his legs and picked invisible lint off of his sports coat. "No, now, you're sulking, partner."

"Gentlemen." Billie cleared her throat.

Van sat up a little straighter, but he kept his eyes on his knee. Deaq rolled his eyes at Van, then turned and trained his gaze on Billie.

"You guys didn't have much to do on this case, so that seriously cut down on the amount you could screw up. Getting the cash from a high stakes gambler with a bet was a pretty good idea. Even if you lost, you'd be able to cut your losses and move on to the next big idea. But gambling without setting terms." She shook her head and tssked. "You'll never do that again, huh, Deaqon?"

Deaqon pinched his lips together hard, but he nodded.

"There's really only one part of the way you handled the whole thing that concerns, and that's when you got bounced from Girl Bar."

Van looked up. "What was wrong with the way we handled Girl Bar? We figured out it was a lesbian club so we couldn't approach the targets, we started to leave, and when the bouncer caught us we left."

"No, when the bouncer caught you, you said you were a couple and then you had some sort of heterosexual freak out and refused to kiss each other." Billie's frown was deep, her eyes cold. Her hands were folded on top of her desk, fingers laced together.

Deaq shivered and Van scratched at his neck.

"You are undercover cops. You make people like you, make people trust you, make them believe you're something you're not all damn day, but you can't pretend for five minutes to be a couple and kiss one another. This is not good, guys. Not at all."

"Sir, it's not like you're planning on sending us undercover as a gay couple." Van stopped, looked at Deaq, looked back at his boss. "You're not planning on sending us undercover as a gay couple? Because that wouldn't work."

"What with us being two very straight, dare I say extremely heterosexual, guys, Billie," added Deaq.

"Well, I wouldn't want you to pretend to be something you're not for work. Except, wait a minute. That's what you do every damn day!" Billie leaned forward, and she was angry now. "There are a bunch of crooks I've had my eyes on, some people I've wanted to take down, who live a very, very gay lifestyle. And the only way to insert your asses into the scene and not have you forced to put out with the suspects is for you to be a couple. So, there's nothing on the immediate horizon, but I need you two to wrap your heads around the possibility. I'm not letting criminals get off scott-free because you two are a pair of twelve year old boys. Get the hell over yourselves."

Van paled under his tan and Deaq looked unsettlingly gray, but they both hung their heads and mumbled, "Yes, sir."

"Good, very good." Billie's smile was wide and pleased. She was practically purring. "I want you two to kiss before you leave my office."

"What?" Van.

"No!" Deaq.

"Oh, yes." Billie smiled and reached in her desk. "You can kiss, a convincingly romantic kiss, or you can take your badges and give me the keys to your places and get transferred back to your old departments. The choice is yours, gentleman. If I were you, I'd pucker up." She dropped two shiny detective badges on her desk. They clattered very loudly in the silence of the Candy Store.

Van stood up and twice snapped his fingers at his partner.

"What?"

"Stand up." Van didn't turn and look at Deaq, he was looking straight at Billie.

"What are you--? What do you--? You can't be--!"

"Stand up. I'm not bending over to kiss your punk ass, and I'm not losing this gig because you can't get over your homophobic stage fright." He turned to face his partner. "A chick nearly blew my balls off and a cripple nearly took out your kneecaps and you want to flip out over a kiss. No. Just, no. This is the best time I've ever had as a cop, and the most effective I've ever been, and you are not going to screw this up for me."

Deaq stood up, but he also backed up. His hands were out in front of him and his stance was wide-legged, defensive. "The most effective you've ever been? You haven't changed, man. I'm the variable, I'm the guy who saves your ass every other week, and I said no. I've got limits and this is one of them. I do things for you, but I'm not doing this."

Billie stood up and held out Deaq's badge. "If you won't do this with him, then you're welcome to leave, Mr. Hayes. I'm sorry to see you go."

Deaq looked at his badge. It was really big in Billie's hand, filled her palm and touched her fingers.

Van stepped towards him, put big hands on Deaq's shoulders and turned his partner to face him. "This is the best gig ever." His expansive wave took in the whole building. "The best." He squeezed, hard. "You want to give it all up for nothing?"

"I just--. I can't--. I'm not like that, man." Deaq closed his eyes and turned his head to the side.

"And I'm not a pimp or a drug dealer or a forger. Don't stop me from acting like one to get the job done. It's all a part of the game." Van grabbed Deaq's chin, made him face forward again.

Deaq opened his eyes. "Just part of the game, huh?"

Van nodded, eyes big and mouth just a line, smooth and blank.

"Let go of me."

"Huh? Oh." Van dropped his hands from his partner's face and shoulder, shaking his fingers as if he'd been burned.

Deaq bent forward, brushed his lips over Van's. Came back and pressed this time, and Van opened up to him, mouth hot and wet, tongue licking out and into Deaq's mouth.

The two men touched nowhere except their mouths, but they stayed connected there 15, 30, 45 seconds. After a minute, Billie made a noise, picking up the badges, and a space crept in between them. It took them a long time to look away from each other.

Deaq was first. He turned to face Billie. "Good enough?"

She flushed and turned away, walked towards the vault where she normally kept the badges. "That was just fine. Both of you. Glad you decided to stay with the team."

Van ran a hand over his face. "I've got a thing. With a girl. Date thing. Man-woman type thing. I'll see you." He turned and headed for the stairs.

Deaq shook his head and sat back down. "Punk ass bitch." He looked towards the stairs, his partner's retreating back. "Plays the game like a motherfucking pro."


http://witchqueen.livejournal.com/ -- zvi -- http://www.slashx-files.com/Because you know, kids, fandom is like the dark side. Watching leads to reading and reading leads to contemplation and contemplation leads to fiction. -- Copracat


If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to zvi

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