we invented the remix 5

the turbulent mating cycle of the north american snarkbeast by dizmo: the intergalactic mix by patchworkdragon

Lance found Chris in the access hall behind the bridge, with lots of open panels and wires everywhere. The urgency of his mission paled at the sight, and he let out a whistle of appreciation. "That is one fine ass," he said.

Chris jumped in surprise, banging his head on something technical that made quite a loud noise when banged with a human skull.

Chris swore. "Bass, if you have a fully functional Q-36 Modulator for me I'd drop to my knees."

Recognizing that despite the joke Chris really was upset, Lance refrained from pointing out that Chris was already on his knees and up to his elbows in the mechanics of the weapons system.

So instead he patted at his pockets. "Damn, I left it in my other pants."

"And here I thought you were happy to see me," Chris said with an attempt at a pout.

"Actually I'm just here to tell you to forget about the onboard comm system, and if you don't get the weapons system working in the next hour we're all going to die. Or rather, we're going to miss out on the spiffy target JC just found, and the Captain will toss you out an airlock, and then the rest of us will die because you're the only one who can keep this bucket of duct tape from leaking air."

"I cannot believe that."

"What, that the captain would space you? Or that we'd never make it without you?"

"That you just said 'spiffy'. Pirates don't say 'spiffy'. I've lost all respect for you, Bass." Chris shook his head sadly, then held up a dangerous looking wire. "Now just bend over, so I can shove this up your modulator."

"Whoa, hang on. I said it was in my other pants."

"Then go get them."

"Could you take the one from the shuttle? Or does it even have one?"

"Bass, you're a genius. I could kiss you." Chris started to extract himself, then frowned. "Here, come here."

Lance blinked. He couldn't have meant it about the kiss? "Are you stuck or what?"

"No, but if this bit here touched this bit over here, which it will if I let go, then we'll need a lot more spare parts than what I can scavenge from the shuttle. So I need you to hold onto this," which appeared to be bundle of wires giving off faint sparks, "and keep it from touching that."

"From touching what?" Lance asked as he gingerly held the wires.

"From anything that’s... well, it's probably safest if you keep it from touching anything at all. Human flesh is a good insulator."

"What?" Lance stopped his instinctive jerk back with a great effort, holding onto the wires and eyeing the sparks suspiciously. "Come back here, Kirkpatrick!"

Justin slipped into the access hall, and did a double take. He'd expected to find Chris fixing the weapons system, with Bass ogling his ass and trading sarcastic remarks. The usual, except when it was the other way around. Instead Bass was sitting with his arm up behind a panel, surrounded by tools and important looking parts.

"Bass, what are you doing here? I thought you weren't allowed to touch Chris's hardware anymore after the thing with the lift." Ha, everyone knew just how much Bass wanted to touch Chris's hardware.

"Fuck off, Timberlake. Kirkpatrick told me to keep these wires from touching until he came back."

Justin laughed. Chris had played that joke on him his third day on the ship. "Here, give me that," he said, as he grabbed for the ever-present roll of duct tape on his belt. He tore off a piece with his teeth, and quickly wrapped it around the wire Bass held. "There, all set. Since when do you believe everything Kirkpatrick tells you? Or were you too busy flirting to think?

"Fuck you." Bass said. Justin smirked. He knew Bass didn't really hate him, he just hated that Justin was Chris's apprentice and spent most of his time with him while Bass was stuck on the bridge as first mate.

"No time for that now, even for someone with your stamina. Captain wants to know why you're taking so long to deliver a simple message and you'd better get your ass back on the bridge to prepare your boarding party."

The door to the access hall opened. "Justin, man, what are you doing? I want Bass's ass right here where I left it."

Bass scrambled to his feet, giving Justin one last glare. He turned and found himself nose to nose with Chris. Surprised, he stepped back, bumping into Justin. They needed a wider access hall back here, not that Justin was going to complain about anyone bumping such a cute ass against him.

Bass stepped forward again, practically plastered against Chris. "Why, Kirkpatrick, did you find your modulator, or are you just happy to see me?"

"I'm always happy to see you, though disappointed you're not on your knees anymore. Actually yes, this is the modulator."

"I'm relieved. It seemed a bit more... angular than I'd expected for the other."

Justin rolled his eyes, not that either of them were looking. "Look, could you feel his angles some other time? The captain is screaming for Bass and the target will be in range in ten minutes."

Chris shoved Lance against the wall and took his sweet time sliding past. Justin was sure he saw some hip action in there as they passed one another. "Go on Bass, tell him I'll have the guns up in nine minutes."

Bass went.

Justin sat behind Fatone, looking over his shoulder at the screen showing the layout of the target ship. The little blue dots representing Chris and Bass moved around, picking off the red dots of the enemy crew. They'd only had to take out two so far, the rest were restrained, with a transmitter clipped to the bonds that changed their little dots to yellow. On a lower deck, two more blue dots headed for a pair of reds, Carter and MacLean. Justin counted swiftly, four red dots, seven yellow, and still no alarm over the target's communication channels.

He watched as one more red dot blocked out and then a yellow dot popped up in its place. The two blue dots moved along, out of line-of-sight of their latest conquest. They stopped suddenly, so close together that they were a larger blue dot instead of two normal-sized ones.

"How long do you think before they just... you know?"

To his side, Chasez turned, frowning. "What? Take the ship?"

Justin rolled his eyes. "No, moron. Unless the last three red dots are smarter than the first ten put together they'll be done soon. I meant, you know. The flirting?"

"Flirting? With the ship? Or the crew – are there women on the crew? Wait, how do you know if they are flirting over there?" Chasez peered at the screen as if he expected the dots to be color-coded by gender.

Fatone rolled his eyes, shaking his head and grinning at Justin. "Fuck, Chasez, how can you be so dense. Bass. Kirkpatrick. Flirting. With each other."

"They're not flirting they're... snarking."

"How long have you known them?" Justin asked, and Chasez's eyes crinkled in concentration. "No, not literally, I don't give a fuck when you met them. Haven't you been around them long enough to know that snarking is flirting for them?"

"Maybe they've already done it, and just are keeping it to themselves." Fatone said thoughtfully.

"I hope they do keep it to themselves." Justin grumbled.

"I don't think so." Fatone said.

"What, you think they're exhibitionists? They'll be making out in the corridors?"

"No, I don't think they've done it yet. They never make eye contact when they are... snarking."

"Flirting?" Chaesez repeated in disbelief.

"I'll bet they go for it soon." Justin said, thinking of the hip thrusting in the access hall earlier.

Fatone raised an eyebrow at him, grinning. "How soon and what are we betting?

"What the fuck happened over there?" Justin shouted as he ran forward. "You were down to just three red dots, and then all hell broke loose!"

"Make yourself useful Timberlake," Chris shouted back even as Justin slipped an arm around the other side of Bass's waist, taking some of the weight. "He's heavier than he looks."

"Fuck you," Bass gasped as they stumbled down the corridor towards Medical.

"One day," Chris growled breathlessly, "you'll be a big boy who goes out on boarding parties, and you'll learn all about the dangerous things like automated weapons that can get you hurt when you aren't near any little red dots at all."

Justin scowled at him over Bass's big stupid bleeding head, but Chris failed to notice or care.

Chris stomped angrily out of the Captain's quarters. He'd wanted to stay in Medical with Lance, but Doc Littrell had thrown him out for shouting at the patient, and he had to report anyway. They'd taken the cargo ship relatively smoothly; three enemy casualties, the rest secured without injury awaiting ransom by their employer. But the Captain had been more interested in how Chris had 'damaged' his first mate.

Not that Chris wasn't just as angry, both with himself and Lance. He smacked his hand on the door panel outside Medical, already drawing a breath to continue shouting at the patient.

But only Littrell was there, cleaning up his instruments of torture. "I've sent him to bed, Kirkpatrick. He needs to sleep off the headache from banging into that wall. His leg should be out of the cast in a few days, once the bone is set." He held up something sharp and shiny. "And what about you? Any injuries to report?"

"No, I'm fine," Chris said as he backed out of the room. "Great actually, never felt better. In fact, I think I'll go um... away."

He practically ran around the corner, up the ladder to the crew deck, past his own door and right to Lance's. Suddenly hesitant, his hand hovered over the door panel. The sleep light was on, meaning only an emergency code would let the door open. He could leave a message, but maybe he should just let Lance sleep.

The comm panel buzzed, lighting up with Chris's icon. Lance hit the button. "Kirkpatrick, I swear if I don't get out of this bed today I will kill the next person I see."

"Now, now Bass. I just saw Fatone filling you up a tray of food. You wouldn't kill your best friend, would you?"

"Well, not if he's bringing me food. You I might kill though, if I ever see you again. What are you so busy with that you haven't visited even once?

"I never knew you cared. It's only been a day-and-a-half, Bass. Besides, the Captain had me assigned to secure the booty. Do you know how many of those automated security thingies I've dismantled in the last thirty hours?"

"I just. I hate being trapped in here with nothing useful to do. He disabled my system access, Chris." Lance knew he was whining, but really. It was just a concussion, he could handle getting a headache from reading the screen.

The door icon flashed once, a warning that it was about to open. After the initial period of drugged sleep, Lance had left it set to open for anyone, hoping for company. And this must be Joey with his food.

"Hey Joe, thanks for bringing... Chris!" Chris. In his room. While he lay nearly naked under a thin blanket.

"No, I brought myself." Chris grinned. "And food," he added. Lance grinned back at him, reaching up to fold down the table over his bed. Chris set down the food, and then flipped up the blanket over Lance's legs.

"Hey, what are you doing?" Lance asked as he carefully sat up enough to reach the food.

"Just making sure I don't sit on the injured leg." Chris said. He gently lifted both of Lance's feet and set them on his own lap.

"I'd appreciate that. The Doc won't give me any more happy pills. Something about the concussion."

Chris frowned, though that didn't stop him from picking over Lance's food. "He said you were fine, that you just need peace and quiet."

"Is that what he's telling people? No wonder no one is visiting me. Joe just drops off food and runs out, and the only other person who has been in was the Captain."

Chris gave him a crooked smile of sympathy, and Lance tried to not to wonder what it would taste like. "I'll bet that was about as fun as my last few talks with him have been."

"Probably. He seems to think I did something reckless over there."

"Because you did. What kind of a foolish stunt was that?"

"The kind that saved your useless life, Chris. I saw the laser move, out of the corner of my eye, I knew it would hit you." Hit Chris, his Chris, in the back, he had to do something, had to.

"Well, next time you push me out of enemy fire do you think you can avoid throwing yourself three decks down a ladder shaft?"

Couldn't the bastard at least be grateful? Head aching, Lance pushed the tray towards Chris and slid back down to his pillow. "Next time I'll just let you get hit." He shut his eyes. Maybe Chris would go away and leave him alone now.

"Hey, you ok?" Chris was moving, shuffling, making sounds. The tray being set on the floor the floor, maybe, definitely the table folding back into the wall.

"Yeah. Tired, sore, bored." Lonely.

The bed shifted, and Chris's voice was suddenly right there by his face. "I could maybe help with some of that," he said in a whisper. "Especially that last one."

Lance opened his eyes, and looked into Chris's, searching for something. "Yeah? You think you can keep my... 'interest' up"

Chris smiled evilly and let his eyes trail down Lance's body. "Oh, I don't think that will be a problem." Lance's eyes drifted closed again as Chris's lips met his.

The kiss started out gentle, but didn't stay that way for long. It was every bit as deep and dirty and perfect as Lance had ever dreamed of. Finally he had to pull back, let his head drop against the pillow and just breathe. "You have terrible timing, Kirkpatrick," he said. "The worst headache of my life, and you finally decide to make your move."

"Does your head hurt that bad?" Chris asked in a small voice.

Lance opened his eyes, and smiled reassuringly. "Only when it moves." He reached up and tangled his hands through Chris's braids, pulling him close for another kiss. "Do you think you can handle that challenge?"

"I'm not sure," Chris said. "Not moving your head limits the possibilities."

Lance pouted. "There has to be something... your hands maybe?"

"You mean I have to do all the work?" Chris complained, running a hand down Lance's chest. Lance shivered at the touch, glad he was wearing almost nothing.

"I did get injured saving your life, you know." Lance said reasonably. "That should be worth a hand-job at least."

"Oh, I think it's worth a bit more than a hand-job,":Chris said with a feral grin. "You just concentrate on keeping your head still, and I'll take care of the rest."

"Would you just stop that?" Justin grumbled. How the hell was Chris so cheerful while they serviced the sewage treatment equipment? And how did he always end up helping Chris when the captain gave him the shittiest jobs?

"Stop what?"

"Glowing. Giggling, sighing. I swear it's like you got laid."

"Very observant of you, Timberlake," Chris said.

"Was it Lance?" Justin went over the betting pool in his head. "When, this morning?"

"Who else, yesterday afternoon, late last night, and this morning. Twice. Though maybe the second time doesn't count since Lance fell asleep halfway through. Not that that's any reflection on my skills of course, he does have a concussion."


"No, not until his head feels better," Chris said mournfully.

"You couldn't have kept it in your pants till morning, could you?" Unless... what was the exact wording of the bet? Was it when they had sex, or admitted it, or actually fucked? Justin stepped over to the computer screen on the wall, intending to check his notes on the bet.

"Timberlake, how exactly is messing around online related to changing out this filter?" Justin sighed and went back to work.

Lance found Chris in the access hall behind the bridge. Like everyone else on the ship, he was working shirtless, sweat dripping down his back. Lance stepped up behind him licked a little at the moisture on his shoulder. "What'cha doing?" he asked.

"Trying to fix the environmental controls so we don't die of heat stroke," Chris was trying to sound annoyed at the interruption, but Lance noticed that he relaxed and lowered the tool he was using.

"Mmm," Lance agreed, letting his hands skim lightly over Chris's sides to meet up at his belly. "You're so hot when you're saving us all." He licked Chris's other shoulder.

"Everyone is hot right now, if you hadn't noticed," Chris grumbled.

Lance ran his fingers up through the damp hair on Chris's chest, grinning into Chris's shoulder when Chris arched up to meet his touch. "Yeah, it's hard not to notice all the half-naked men.

Chris turned in his arms, pushing him back against the wall. "Wait, you shouldn't be looking at any half-naked men that are not me," he said with a scowl. "Or were you thinking of trading up?"

Lance let his knees go soft, sliding quickly down the wall. "I was planning on going down," he said as he roughly opened Chris's pants.

"You always have the best plans," Chris gasped.

"Can I get that in writing?" Lance asked, then did that thing with his tongue that always shut Chris up.

They were lying entangled on the floor when the comm flashed. "Kirkpatrick, how are the repairs coming along?" Chris struggled to his feet, doing up his pants. Lance slowly rearranged his own clothing.

"Everything's coming along just great, Captain," Chris said. "I've isolated the problem, and I just need to get some parts from storage and then I'll have us cooled down."

"Good. And if you're done with my first mate, send him to my office."

The comm light blinked out, and Lance stood up. "Are you done with me?" he asked.

"Never," Chris answered, already picking up his tools. "But I suppose I can loan you to the captain for a while."

Lance kissed him one last time, and said softly into his ear, "Love you." Chris froze, and Lance kissed him again and left him standing here, staring into the wiring.

Justin whistled as he made his way down the corridor carrying the parts Chris needed to fix the environmental controls. He'd grown up on a world significantly warmer than average, and it felt almost like home. He passed Bass, who looked even more rumpled than the rest of the crew. Also, his pants were undone, but given the silly grin on his face Justin just smiled at him and said nothing.

At least that meant he didn't have to worry about walking in on any flagrant displays of affection.

Instead he found Chris banging his head on the wall in the access hall. "Chris, what is it? Are you not going to be able to fix it?"

"The enviro-controls will be fine, if that is the new flux capacitor I told you to bring. But he's going to dump me."

"Bass?" Maybe the heat was getting to Chris. Or the overdose of sex, Justin thought, wrinkling his nose at the smell in the small space.

"He said it, I knew he would, and now he'll be waiting for me to say it back. But I can't, I can't go there, I can't be like that. I don't have the strength, Justin. It would kill me to give him that and then lose him."

"So don't lose him."

"I lose everyone." Chris wiped his face. "Just hand me the capacitor."

Things were surprisingly quiet for the next month or so. They took two cargo ships and a small private luxury yacht in that time, and Lance was that much closer to his goal of his own ship. He hadn't told anyone yet, not even Chris, but he was sure Chris would be happy to go with him.

At least he had been sure. He'd even thought of suggesting that they pool their savings and be co-owners, but whenever he tried to broach the subject of the future Chris had joked it away.

They were alone in the shuttle, returning to the ship with a load of supplies and engine parts. Lance ran his hands over the controls, imagining his own ship, his own crew. "You ever think of leaving Captain Richardson?" he asked.

"Every time he makes me muck out the sewage system."

"No, I mean. Setting out, being your own master. Being in command."

Chris snorted. "Can you imagine me in command? Any halfway sane crew would mutiny within a week."

"What about. Do you think I could?" Lance looked into the screen, but no matter how hard he started Chris's reflection was only an expressionless silhouette.

Chris stepped forward and put a hand on Lance's shoulder. Biting his lip, Lance looked up at him.

Chris grinned happily at him. "You could take over the galaxy if you tried, Lance. Commanding a privateer would be child's play for you."

Lance swallowed, trying to steady his voice. "And you? Would you join me?"

"Hey, if you can match what Richardson pays me, why not?" Chris kissed the top of his head. "I always wanted to be a captain's kept boy."

The comm flashed, and Chris settled back into his seat while Lance spoke with Fatone. He didn't say another word to Chris, instead concentrating on docking the shuttle while joking with Joey. He left Chris unloading his precious equipment and stalked off to report to the Captain. He wasn't sure what hurt more, that Chris was so flippant about the future, or that he apparently didn't notice that Lance wasn't speaking to him.

After leaving the Captain two hours later, Lance went back to his own quarters. The door panel showed sleeping, not away, which meant Chris was in there waiting for him. He took a deep breath, centering himself as if he was about to go into combat, and opened the door.

The lights were dim, and it took him a moment to adjust. The table was unfolded over the bed, and a meal laid out. Chris sat to one side, smiling at him. "What took you so long?"

Lance melted inside, just a little and let Chris seduce him.

Lance woke a few hours later, sticky and just a little sore in the best possible way. Chris's nose was pressed into his collarbone, and he could tell by his breathing that he was awake. Lance kissed his forehead. "I love you," he said quietly. Chris held his breath, stiffening in Lance's arms.

Lance cupped Chris's head, tipping it so that he could see his face. "I love you," he said again, firmly, and Chris winced, looking away.

Lance's sleepy contentment boiled away in a sudden rage. "Get out," he said, pushing Chris off him, out of the bed. "Get the fuck out of here, just go. I can't do this anymore, I just."

Chris reached a hand out, and Lance slapped it away. "Please Chris, just. If you can't love me just leave." He rolled over to face the wall.

He listened while Chris pulled on his clothes. The door slid open, and Chris whispered, "I'm sorry."

Lance did not cry.

Lance stepped around the corner on his way to the kitchen, and saw Timberlake walking towards him. He nodded a greeting, surprised when Timberlake narrowed his eyes in anger and shifted to block the corridor.

"What the hell is wrong with you, Bass?"

"Me? You're the one acting crazy here."

"You know, I respected you. I've followed you into combat, I thought I could trust you as a leader. As a friend even."

Lance held up his hands in prtest. "I don't understand."

"You used him. That man would give his life for you, and you just threw him away like a piece of garbage."

This was about Chris? "I love him. Loved him. He doesn't even know what love is."

"It's all about your fucking pride, isn't it? You said the words, and it made you feel weak when he didn't say them back." Now Timberlake just looked sad. "You know what he's been through, what he's lost. Why those words hurt him."

Lance looked away. "That's not it. You don't understand."

"No, I don't understand how someone as smart as you could be such an idiot." Timberlake pushed past him, leaving Lance standing alone in the corridor.

Lance moved mechanically through the darkened corridors, letting Joe lead him over the comm. "Ok, there's a door to your left, two people in the room."

"Understood," Lance replied, readying his weapon.

"Chris is coming from the other direction, he'll be there in two minutes."

"I don't need him," Lance said calmly as he checked the door panel. It was set to privacy. He pulled the data key from his pocket and held it up to the slot under the panel.

"There's two of them, don't go in there alone."

Lance tapped off his comm and opened the door.

They didn't even try to resist, probably because they were not only unarmed but naked. Lance got the man restrained first, trying not to look too closely at the woman who was clearly afraid of his plans for her. He pulled the second set of bonds out of his pocket, and turned towards her. "I don't want to hurt you," he said, trying to look as un-rapacious as he could. She wiped the tears from her eyes, and then held out her hands.

Things got a little confusing at that point, what with the blinding pain. Curled around his aching balls, Lance looked up into the wrong end of his own sidearm. "I do want to hurt you," the woman snarled at him.

"Look out," called the man, and her eyes moved to look over Lance's head, and the open door behind him. She raised the weapon and tensed her hand. Chris, it had to be Chris. Without any further thought Lance threw his arms around her legs, pulling her to the floor as she fired. He pinned her down and bound her hands before he dared to look behind him.

Chris lay in the doorway, not moving.

Chris woke up and wished he hadn't. One arm burned like fire, and he remembered standing in the doorway, the naked woman with a weapon in Lance's face, he'd screamed at her and taken aim just as she fired at him. He cracked his eyes open, and saw the familiar ceiling above his bed. Safe then.

Painfully, he lifted his head to look around the room. Lance sat on the floor, head bowed and one arm stretched up towards the bed. Foot, there was a hand on his foot. With a great effort, Chris twitched that foot. Lance looked up and smiled at him. He looked terrible. Chris closed his eyes and drifted away.

The next time Chris woke up the Doc was poking at his arm. "Ow, you fucker, that hurts."

"Nice to have you back to your usual sunny disposition. How do you feel?"

"Like my arm was burned off and my mouth was used for a sewage filter."

"I can't answer for what you may have put in your mouth, but your arm wasn't quite burned off. The plas-skin is taking. You've lost your tattoos and it will take a few months for your arm hair to grow back though."

"When can I get out of this bed and back to work?"

"Whenever you feel like it," the Doc shrugged. "Just don't bang or scrape the arm on anything, if you damage the plas-skin too soon I'll have to peel it off and start over."

"Maybe after this is healed you can do the other one – I'm getting tired of that tattoo."

Littrell shrugged. "I don't really care how you mange to loose your skin, as long as you pay to have to replaced." He smiled wickedly. "And if your so eager to start on the other arm, the pain must be under control. So you won't be needing any more of the good stuff."

He stood, ignoring Chris's half-hearted protests, and leaned over to tap the comm panel. "Hey. He's awake and lucid, if you want to come down here."

"Hey, I resent the implication that I am lucid."

The Doc just raised two fingers to his forehead in a little salute, and left the room. Sighing, Chris tried to rearrange his blanket so he looked less helpless or something. Since the Captain was probably on the way to yell at him.

When the door opened he looked up, ready to defend himself. His carefully prepared and, if he said so himself, witty speech fled his mind when Lance stepped in.

He looked no better than the last time Chris had seen him, that barely-remembered moment while he was drugged asleep. His hair was flat, his eyes shadowed. His smile looked fragile, as if one wrong word could break it into pieces.

"Chris. Can I talk to you?"

"I was never the one who didn't want to talk," Chris replied.

Lance frowned at that. "I distinctly recall several occasions..." He drew a deep breath, closing in his eyes in what Chris recognized as his pre-battle centering. "Chris. I came to apologize to you. I know how you feel – how you felt about me. You showed me every day. It was incredibly selfish of me to demand that you put it in words, knowing how hard that is for you."

"I want to know, can you forgive me? Will you?" Lance sat carefully on the edge of the bed, taking Chris's uninjured hand. "Will you let me try again?"

Chris was very confused. But even as disoriented as he was from the painkillers, and as unbelievable as it was for Lance to be apologizing him for Chris's own faults, he managed to rub two brain cells together and say something intelligent for once. "Yes. Damn it, yes, Lance, please try again."

Lance smiled at him, a real smile this time, and kissed him sweetly. They came together slowly, gently, different from every time they'd had sex before. Maybe Lance was afraid of hurting him. For Chris, it was a gift to be allowed to touch again, to kiss and taste what he’d been sure he’d lost.

In the afterglow Lance's head was pillowed on Chris's good shoulder, his fingers tracing ticklish patterns in Chris's chest hair. Lance whispered to him of his dreams, of a ship they could take to wherever they wished, a small crew, no one to order them around. Chris brought Lance's hand up to his lips and kissed it softly, and was rewarded by a grin.

"Hey," he asked idly. "Have you thought of what you want to name our ship?"

"Not much. Maybe Diana for my mother."

"Do you really want to be thinking of your mother in combat?" Chris frowned. "Or in bed?"

"I suppose not. This may not be the best time to be thinking about this; Well Fucked wouldn't give the right impression."

Chris laughed. "The Bass Ass?"

"We are not naming anything after my ass. Fine Kirkpatrick Ass maybe."

"Booty Call? It's got the whole pun about pirating going for it." Chris suggested. "Ow! No biting the wounded man."

"If we wanted to be totally insane, we could find a way to combine our names."

"Like what, the The Kirkpatrick-Bass?"

"No, too unbalanced. Yours is too much longer than mine," Lance said.

"Well, not everyone can be as well endowed as I am, but I'm willing to be satisfied with what you've got," Chris said smugly. "Of, I said no biting."

"I mean your name is too much longer than mine. Bass Trick? The Tricky Bass?"

"I think I like it better when it's less obvious. What kind of a name is Bass, anyway?"

"I think it's some kind of a fish or something. Tricky Fish?" They looked at each other, then burst out laughing.

"Yea, stupid I guess," Lance said. "We'll keep thinking about it."

"So, who do you want on your crew?"

"You of course," Lance said. "I haven't talked to him yet, but I think Joe is ready to move to a smaller crew where he can do more. And you know Chasez wants to get away from Richardson."

"How about Justin?" Chris asked. He knew that Justin and Lance rubbed each other the wrong way sometimes, but the kid was sort of his protégé and he didn't want to abandon him.

"Well, I don't know," Lance said, as if it had never occurred to him. "I guess I could find something… useful for him to do."

"He's ready to be on boarding parties, if Richardson would just stop saying he's too young."

Lance's hand slid up between Chris's legs. "Mmm, yes, I think he's getting… mature enough for… boarding."

Chris smacked Lance on the back of his head. "Hey, stop fantasizing about the pretty child! I thought I was your kept boy."

Lance lifted his head and looked down at Chris. He looked serious and almost nervous. "I was kind of hoping that we could, you know, keep each other?"

"Yeah, that sounds good," Chris said, pulling Lance down for a soft kiss. "I love you," he whispered into Lance's neck.

Chris felt like he had just stepped out an airlock into vacuum. He held his breath while Lance pulled back to look at him, shock evident on his face. Then Lance laughed, not unkindly.

"There, was that so hard to say?"

your name:
your email address:
your feedback

main page stories faq participants questions