"Are you sure then? You won't change your mind?"
Alan Bradley sighed and pushed his glasses back up on his nose. "Yes, I'm sure. I don't want some cushy job trying to run the company. I want to do what I'm best at and continue writing programs. Especially now that I've got full access again, and can be sure that my programs will still be there when I come back the next day."
"All right, if that's how you want it." Flynn slid off the desk and adjusted his suit. Very strange, after three years of wearing whatever he wanted, to be stuffed back into the businessman's uniform. "Just remember, if there's anything you need, don't hesitate to ask, okay?"
"Whatever, Flynn. Now don't you have a job to do?"
Flynn grinned. "Hey, is that any way to talk to the new VP of ENCOM?" He reached out and messed up Alan's hair. "But you're right. The company's all in a blasted huge tangle after the demise of the MCP. I'm off. Say hi to Laura for me."
Whistling cheerfully, Flynn strode out of the cubicle and nearly knocked down Alan's neighbor. Papers scattered everywhere and Flynn bent to help pick them up, then straightened, offering a handfull to the flustered young man.
"Sorry about that, I wasn't looking" Flynn's voice stopped. Those eyes... he was abruptly back on the grid. Flickering blue light reflected from dark eyes, pleading with him, begging him to give life meaning... "Ram," he whispered.
"Sorry, I was in a hurry, I didn'twhat did you say?"
Hazel eyes. They were dark hazel, seen in proper lighting, not black as they'd appeared in the surreal computerscape. "Ram. Or at least, you must be Ram's user. I mean, I'm sorry, I know Ram didn't make it...oh hell."
"I beg your pardon?" Sandy hair, curly and tousled in a careless way that defied business style demands, hazel eyes, a familiar face that had haunted his thoughts ever since Ram had de-resed in his arms... and he was looking at Flynn like he'd lost his marbles. "Are you talking about my actuarial RAM program? It got wiped when the MCP went down."
"I know. I was there when he died. He wanted to believe so desperately..." Flynn swallowed hard. "Look, I'm sorry. It's just that Ram was a good friend, and seeing you startled me badly."
Ram's user shook his head. "I have no clue what you're talking about. You were acquainted with my program?"
"Yes, yes I was." Flynn ran a hand through his hair, tangling his fingers in it and tugging. "Look, I know this sounds crazy, butwhen are you off? I'd like to talk to you. Over coffee or something, maybe a little... hell. You think I'm crazy already."
"Ah... not crazy, necessarily. Different, definitely. Interesting? Yeah. Okay. I'm off at five."
"Great!" Flynn grinned and the man finally took the rest of the papers back. Flynn watched him go into Alan's cubicle, then turned and went down the aisle, exuberance giving his step extra bounce. Silly, he knew, but he felt as good as if Ram had come back to life. In a sense, he had, since the programs reflected their users.
What was the guy's name, anyway? He'd have to remember to ask.
Five o'clock. Well, quarter till, anyway, but who really cared about a few minutes? Flynn knocked on the cubicle panel and went in without waiting for a response. "Hey, you about done in here?"
"Oh!" Ram's user jumped and spun his chair around. "I, uh, was just finishing up."
"Well, hurry, then!" Flynn grinned.
"Yes, sir." He turned back to his computer, clicking away busily at the keys.
Flynn laughed. "Sir? No one calls me that. What's up with you?"
"Alan told me who you are. I'm sorry I didn't recognize you earlier, but I didn't work here when you left before."
"Well, then, you're one up on me. I'm afraid I didn't think to ask your name. I was too surprised to see Ram again, in the flesh..."
"Will Kinney. You sure it's okay to shut down early?" Will glanced up, hazel eyes gone dark.
"'Course I'm sure. You really think fifteen minutes is going to make a difference to the life or death of this company?"
"Okay, then." Will hit the return key and the system powered down with a whine. He stood up, but wouldn't look directly at Flynn.
"Right, then. Come on." Flynn set himself to be his most charming self, and ignored the part of himself that was saying this was a bad idea. "I know where there's a great little diner, right around the corner. Or at least it used to be there, when I worked here beforehey Alan," he yelled suddenly.
"No need to howl, Flynn. I'm right here. What do you want?" Alan's voice drifted over the dividing panel.
"Is Jason's still there?"
"You know it. Or did you forget already that you went there last week?"
"Actually, I had. Good. At least it's still there. Did I like it when I went?" Flynn scratched his head, trying to remember. He'd be more concerned about the memory lapse if he hadn't been so phenomenally busy the last few weeks.
"Oh, would you shut up already and just go? Some of us are still trying to work, you know."
"Fine, fine. C'mon, Will, there's no need to stay here and put up with this."
Flynn led the way to the small diner, glad it wasn't far. Will was incredibly ill at ease, in direct contrast with how he'd been earlier. Even while embarassed and flustered, he hadn't been as on edge as he was now. Flynn sighed and went into the diner. He'd definitely have to fix that.
"So, how long have you been working for ENCOM, anyway?" Flynn smiled, hoping to put Will more at ease. They found a booth and sat down.
"Almost two years, now," Will said, finally looking at him. "Long enough that I remember a time before the MCP got sowell, so controlling."
"Yeah, that program was definitely a nasty unit." A waitress came and they ordered soft drinks. "I got lucky, going up against him."
Will frowned, just a small puzzled wrinkle over his eyes. "You sound like you did before, as if the program was real in some way."
Gotcha! Flynn thought. Now let's see if I can keep you thinking of me as a person, and not as your boss. "He was. How much do you know about the digitizing laser studies?"
Damn. The wariness was back, stronger than ever. "Not much. All I know is that it exists."
"Well, let me tell you, it works. It works real well, in fact. So well, that when I pissed off ol' Master Control, he went and digitized me. I was trapped in the computer system for at least ten minutes, in real time. That's days, when life is measured in nanoseconds."
"In... the computer?" Will's skeptical gaze only made Flynn's grin widen.
"You got it." The waitress returned with their drinks then and Flynn was quiet until she left. "Look, I know it's hard to believe, but it's true. Even Alan and Laura had a hard time with it, and they were there. Laura even went back and checked the system logs."
"And what did the logs show?"
"Activation of the laser, target acquisition and composition, and the saving, running, and subsequent deletion of a program called 'Flynn.exe'."
"You were in the computer." Will's eyes were still full of disbelief and he shook his head. "So. Okay. Assuming you're not completely wacko and this really did happen, why did you want to talk to me?"
"Because you're Ram's user," Flynn said softly, feeling almost shy. He'd felt so close to Ram, but now he wasn't too sure how to deal with the program's real world counterpart. "Ram was my friend, and, well, you wrote him."
"This is really weird," Will muttered, barely audible over the sounds of the diner. Then he raised his voice a bit. "So what was it like in there?"
The question was enough to set Flynn off on a long, rambling description of the computer world. He was in the middle of telling how he, Tron, and Ram had broken free of the game grid when he realized Will wasn't listening, wasn't even pretending to pay attention. "Hey, what's wrong? I've lost you."
Will jumped and focused on Flynn, looking startled. "Look, I know you're my boss and all, but it sounds like you're just plain crazy. Like you really believe you were in the computer system, and it was all like your stolen video games... I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it."
"Of course it was all like my games, I wrote enough of the programming in that systemhey, where are you going?"
Will slid out of the booth and stood up. "I've got to go, okay? Been nice talking to you."
"Yeah," Flynn said, disappointed. "Hey, look, you ever decide I'm not totally nuts... well, you know where to find me. Okay?"
"Yeah, sure, whatever." Will turned and walked away quickly.
Flynn watched him go, then mimed a plane crash with his hand. "Crash and burn, Flynn, crash and burn. You should have known better anyway." He sighed heavily. "Yo, waitress! Check please."
...this strategy has proven unacceptable... profit margins narrowing... projected third quarter earnings off three and three-quarters percent...
Flynn swore and pushed away from his desk, letting the chair roll back towards the windows. He'd taken the same office Dillinger had used, but had totally redecorated it. Now it was done in oak, rather than black and dark grey. The office no longer looked like an airport terminal. The wood grain was peculiarly relaxing, warm and mellow and... "And contemplating the way the light reflects off my desk isn't getting my work done. Why did I ever want this job, anyway?"
He glared at the heap of papers. Damn, but he hated paperwork. But his team of accountants insisted that he had to review all this crap. Seemed old Dillinger had been screwing up more than just the computer system...
His intercom beeped. "Mr. Flynn?"
He rolled hastily back to the desk and pressed the speaker button. "Yes, Margie. What is it?"
"There's someone here to see you, Mr. Flynn. Shall I send him in?"
Funny, he could tell even through the tinny speaker that Margie disapproved of this visitor. "Damn. I didn't particularly want company, but... who is it?"
There was a pause, then, "He says his name is Will Kinney, from programming."
"Will!" Flynn's eyebrows shot straight up. "Yes, yes, by all means, send him in!"
"Very well, Mr. Flynn." Margie shut off the intercom with an authoritative click.
Flynn had enough time to shoot a semi-panicked look at the disarray on his desk and wonder if he should rebutton the top two buttons of his shirt before the door opened and Will Kinney walked in. The contrast between the bright light behind him and the darkness of the night outside the windows outlined him in a brief glow, heightening his resemblance to Ram painfully. "Uh," he said, around the stab of loss.
"Hello." Will closed the door and crossed the wide expanse of floor. "Um, I was working late, and I know you work late sometimes so I thought I'd see if you were here."
"Here I am," Flynn said flippantly, recovering his composure. "Something I can help you with?"
"Actually, I'd like to apologize." Will gestured towards a chair. "May I?"
Will sat down and cleared his throat. "I was terribly rude before," he said, all in a rush. "I'm sorry I didn't believe you and took off like that. But you have to admit, it's a pretty hard story to swallow."
"I know. And it's all right, really it is." Flynn shoved his papers into a pile. "What made you chage your mind?"
Will squirmed. "Alan, actually. He asked me what you'd wanted, and I told him what happened, and he called me an idiot."
Flynn chuckled. "Certainly is direct, isn't he?"
"Yeah, he is. And, well, I finally decided you had no reason to lie to me, but then you were gone all that time."
"Yeah. Work sucks, sometimes." Flynn sighed and glanced at his desk.
"Well, I can see you're busy, so I guess I'd better"
"No!" Flynn lurched forward, hand outstretched. Will paused, hands on the arms of his chair, and raised a questioning eyebrow. "Don't go yet, I'm not really busy. At least, it's nothing that can wait. I mean can't wait."
"Okay," Will said slowly, settling back in his chair. "I won't go then. I'm just... nervous, I guess."
"Why? Nothing to be nervous about. You've just come to visit a madman in his lair." Flynn grinned, eliciting a faint chuckle from Ram. Er, Will.
"That's enough reason to be nervous, in my book anyway. It's justjustthis whole vice president thing. I mean, I'm just a nobody, a lowly programmer, and first the VP wants to talk to me, then I blow him off and call him crazy... is it any wonder I'm nervous?"
"Hmm." Flynn leaned back in his chair, a smile teasing at the corners of his mouth. "Bet I know how to fix that. I'm not the VP now, okay? Just a guy. Just Kevin Flynn. Got it? Good." He stuffed his paperwork into his desk and locked it. "And just to prove it, that I'm not the VP right now, come on. Let's get out of here. I still want to talk to you. You up for it?"
"Suppose so, or I wouldn't have come up here. Kevin, huh?" Will rose from his chair.
"Yeah. Just plain Kevin."
"You could never be plain."
That was so quiet that Flynn decided to let it pass without comment, but he could feel a goofy grin trying to make an appearance on his face as he headed for the office door.
Outside, Margie shot him a puzzled look, then smoothed her features back into her usual secretarial mask. "Done so early, Mr. Flynn? I'd thought you were planning on staying very late tonight."
"Plans change, Margie," Flynn said. "My friend here has reminded me that there's an existence outside of the office. The work'll wait until tomorrow."
"If you say so, Mr. Flynn."
Margie disapproved. He could tell by the way she peered at him over the tops of her glasses, green eyes sharp with reproach. But he didn't care. "Bye, Margie. See you tomorrow."
"Good night." Margie had returned her attention to her filing before he'd even started moving again.
Flynn shook his head resignedly. Margie was a good secretary, but sometimes she was just a hair too controlling. Sometimes it felt more like he was her employee, rather than the other way around. Almost like working for his mother...
"So where are you taking me?" Will asked, while they waited for the elevator.
"Three blocks south, one block east." Flynn grinned. If his place couldn't get Will to quit thinking of him as an exec, nothing could.
"Three blocks south, one block east? But that's..." and Will paused, searching for the right words.
"A bad part of town, I know." The elevator chimed and they went in. Flynn punched the ground level button and the elevator took off in a hurry. "But I told you, I'm not the VP right now."
"Whatever you say... Kevin."
Something warm and squirmy slid through his insides. Normally he hated his name, but somehow, hearing Will say it was different.
They talked about work as they walked. Flynn would rather have talked about anything else, but what the hell. At least Will was talking to him, and not staring with wide, freaked-out eyes. But he got quieter as they rounded the last corner before Flynn's place, looking around nervously.
"Where exactly are you taking me?" he asked.
"My place," Flynn said.
"Your place?" Will shot him a startled glance.
"Yep, my place. In fact," and Flynn craned his neck, straining to see down the block, "there it is now!" He pointed to the corner of the building, becoming more visible with every step.
"That's your place?"
Flynn chuckled at the disbelief in Will's voice. "Yep. At least, it's got my name on it, so I hope it's mine." The neon sign was visible now, proclaiming to the world that the arcade teeming with teenaged lifeforms was Flynn's.
"I don't believe this," Will said.
Flynn chose to ignore that comment and darted across the street, narrowly avoiding an encounter with a crazed cab driver. "You coming?" he called, then plunged into the arcade.
Will caught up to him in a hurry, looking around at the chaos with disbelief.
"C'mon, follow me," Flynn said, weaving his way through the crowd with practiced ease.
"Hey, Flynn!" A familiar voice shouted over the blare of pop music and video game sound effects.
Flynn groaned. There was Kelly, bearing down on him with an outraged glare for Will. "Not now, Kelly, okay?"
"What is up with you, man? First you bring in those two losers, and now this one"
"Can it, Kell," he interrupted. "Like I keep trying to convince you, my life is none of your business. Now butt out and get back to work."
Kelly threw her hair over her shoulder and flounced away, all outraged dignity. Flynn sighed.
"What was that all about?" Will asked, one eyebrow raised.
"Nothing," Flynn sighed again. "Just your usual case of a teenager with a crush, only this one's gone on for way too long now, and I can't get her to realize I'm only interested in her as a good worker."
"Wonderful." They reached the stairs and started up. "Do I dare ask about the other two she mentioned?"
"Laura and Alan," he replied, making a mental note to get someone to repair the stairway. Several treads sagged alarmingly. "They came out here looking for me the night I got digitized."
"Digitized..." Will shook his head. "Still hard to believe, man. You going to tell me about it?"
"You going to listen?" Flynn teased. They reached his door and he fished the key out of his pocket, giving the door its customary thump to jolt the lock all the way open.
"I asked, didn't I?"
That warm and squirmy thing was back. "Yeah," Flynn said softly, "you did."
He got the door open and went inside. The studio apartment was in its usual state of disarray, with the rumpled bed dominating the left side and the wraparound futon couch taking over the right. Arcade sounds and lights came through the open blinds on the windows overlooking the main floor. At least he'd done laundry yesterday so there wasn't a heap of dirty clothes in the corner.
"What the hell is that?"
Will was staring in disbelief at the cactus skeleton beside the door. "That? It's saguaro bones. I picked 'em up down in Mexico. Pretty cool, huh?"
"Saguaro bones? You mean, like, a cactus?" Will poked at the skeleton. "What's it for?"
"Nothing, really. Just there 'cause it looks cool. Hey," and Flynn headed for his small refrigerator, a relic of the sixties. "Want a beer? I think I still have some in here."
"Yeah, sure," Will agreed, still shaking his head over the skeleton. "But first, can I borrow your bathroom?"
"Sure, just make sure you put it back when you're done with it. In there," and he pointed to the far corner, past his pedestal bed. He opened the fridge and pulled out a couple beer bottles, then dropped them on the low table by the couch and made a dive for his dresser. Moving quickly, he stripped off the respectable suit and clambered into more appropriate attire for the setting: sweats and a t-shirt, one of the black ones he knew looked good on him. By the time Will came back out of the bathroom, Flynn was sprawled on the couch, beer in hand.
"Whoa." Will paused, blinking, before continuing across the room. "Now I believe you're just a guy. Somehow I never expected your place to be like this."
"Hey, what can I say," Flynn shrugged. "It's my home. I started it from scratch, I lived here for three years, and I just don't want to give it up, you know?"
"If you say so." Will snagged the remaining beer off the table and sat down gingerly, eyebrows rising as the couch tried to swallow him.
"I say so. Trust me, I get tired of being all dressed up and well-behaved all the time. If I don't get a chance to come home and relax I get really cranky."
Will chuckled. "Can't blame you there." He peeled off his blazer and tossed it across some pillows.
Flynn bit the inside of his cheek to hold back a comment. Damn, but Will had lousy fashion sense! The vest lurking under that blazer looked like it had come straight from the seventies, an era of style that was best forgotten and left behind as soon as possible. At least Will was relaxing a bit.
"So, mind if I ask what happened? I mean, I know you turned up with evidence that Dillinger stole your games and all, but how?"
"Ask away, my friend, and I'll tell all," Flynn said, settling back into his corner seat. "It's like this. I was young and foolish in those days..."
He paused, and raised an eyebrow when Will didn't respond. "What, no comment?"
"Sorry, man, afraid I don't know you well enough to pass judgment on if you're foolish or not."
"Huh." That's going to change. "Anyway, I started going in nights and weekends, working on my own programs. Had a private directory, all sorts of filesSpace Paranoids, Matrix Blaster, you know the rest."
"So I get 'em all finished up and ready for production, about to line up some cash and set off on my own, when along comes Dillinger." Flynn grimaced. "Lousy rat bastard broke into my files and cleaned 'em out. I tried to get in one day and found my entire directory empty."
"Sucks, man." Will had a long drink from his bottle. "Ahh, now that hits the spot. And how'd you prove it? Must have been good, you went from nobody to VP overnight."
"Pretty much, yeah." Flynn looked at Will, smiling faintly. The way the lights flashed outside was almost like the abstract lighting of the computerscape. "Laura dragged Alan here one night, after I'd tried to hack into the system. Lost my CLU program, best sniffer I'd ever written, and alerted the MCP that I was out there. Anyway, Laura figured out that Group 7 had been locked out because of me, and insisted on warning me. Alan wasn't too thrilled with that, believe me! But between us, we worked out a plan to get inside the building and into the system. Laura let me use her work station, which happened to be right in front of the new experimental laser. I got into the system, MCP recognized me right away, and..."
... and he was back in the timeless instant of digitization and transport. Lights, patterns, things that made sense now but hadn't then... freaky, surreal, and tremendously exciting.
"And he activated the digitization program. It was so wild, I had no idea what was happening, and when I landednow I know I landed at the base of an input-output tower and was picked up by the Warrior Elite, but then... damn." Flynn shook his head. "I had no idea what was going on. All I knew was that suddenly I was blue, and everything was weird. Dark, with glowing lines, and these really big guys in weird uniforms were poking at me with these cattle-prod things and making me walk down a hallway. Really weird. Then they shoved me into a holding cell and called me 'program.' That was my first clue as to what had happened. Then I met Ram..." He smiled, and looked at Will. "Yeah, especially in this light, put you in one of the video warrior's uniforms and you're exactly like him."
"Huh?" Will looked puzzled. "Oh, you mean my program. You mean our programs look like us?" He shook his head in disbelief. "Man, that's hard to believe. But no harder than that there's a whole world in there, or that you were in it. So tell me more."
"Okay, I will." Flynn smiled again. It occurred to him that he was smiling an awful lot tonight, but that was a good thing. So was having Ram's user here on his couch. "There really is a whole world in there. It's really cool. Looks kind of like a city at night. There's no direct lighting anywhere, it's all just indirectly lit by power going along circuit pathways. Makes me wonder what it looks like now, you know. Bet it's different now that it's a free system again. But even under the MCP it was incredible. But anyway, these guys, the Warrior Elite, were really pushy buggers. They made us all go out and play video games, only these weren't just games. It was all for real. You mess up, you die."
"Is that what happened to my program? Died during a video game?"
"Nah," Flynn shook his head. "Ram was good. He'd survived the games for ages, over two hundred microcycles I think he said. I think he was better than anyone out there but Tron. He didn't even de-res when we got hit by the damn recognizer. He held on for hours afterwards, but finally let go..."
"What happened?" Will shifted a bit closer, eyes locked on Flynn.
"We'd decided where to go, and all three of usRam, Tron, and mewere heading for the I/O tower so Tron could get through to Alan. But the recognizers spotted us. Tron got free, but Ram and I got shot down. Ipulled him out of the wreck and" Flynn swallowed hard and finished off his beer. "Damn, that was hard, especially afternever mind." He looked at Will, wondering if he was up to hearing how Ram had shared his identity disc so freely. Quite an intimate gesture, in a world where physical contact was hardly known and identity discs were everything. "Anyway, I got him out of the way, and the recognizers couldn't find us. We holed up in a wreck and both of us passed out. Damn, but that was uncomfortable, sleeping in a busted-up recognizer. So, at some point, I must have rolled over and touched a power interface, because things started powering up. Woke both of us up. Lights started flashing, pieces reconnecting themselves... talk about user power! I was able to rebuild the thing just by thinking about it. Ram couldn't believe it, kept saying I shouldn't be able to do that. So I get the thing flying, and he says come here. So I did." Flynn decided to take a chance. What the hell, programs reflected their users, so chances were Will wasn't all that different from Ram. He scooted closer across the couch cushions, shoving throw pillows out of his way. "He held out his hands," and Flynn felt a bit of satisfaction when he saw Will's hands move a bit. Good, he wasn't different from Ram. "And I took them, like this," and he took Will's hands in his own, first setting the half-empty beer bottle aside. Those hazel eyes were locked on his, warm and living, not like poor Ram. "And he asked me if I was a user. He wanted to believe, he wanted so desperately to believe that users were real... you should have seen him when I told him that yes, I'm a user. But then... then he started flickering, his blue lights dimming and going red, then blue again. Last thing he said was to tell me to help Tron. Then he was gone, and he de-resed right in front of me... went all red and dissolved. Couldn't do anything about it. And I knew right then that I had to meet Ram's user."
"Why?" Will breathed, leaning even closer.
"Because I never got the chance to do this," and he kissed Will.
"Mmm," Will freed one of his hands from Flynn's and slid it up the back of his neck, tangling his fingers in Flynn's hair. "Thought you were straight," he murmured, breaking away briefly.
"Not entirely," Flynn chuckled. "Bet you got that idea from Alan, didn't you."
"Yeah," Will agreed, then kissed him again, pushing him back against the numerous pillows.
"That's even better than drinking from the pure source," Flynn said, when he got a chance.
"Is that good?"
"Better than good. Better than I ever imagined." And then he couldn't talk anymore, because Will had captured his lip between his teeth, nibbling gently. Flynn was pleasantly surprised, since he'd expected Will to be a bit, well, less aggressive, given how he'd acted earlier. But he certainly wasn't acting shy or reserved now...
"So how'd you know about me?" Will asked, in between licks and nips.
"Programs reflect their users," he managed to say. "I guessed."
Will sat back, leaving Flynn wide-eyed and breathing heavily. "And who do you see now? Me, or a dead program?"
Flynn gathered his scattered wits. He sensed the importance of his answer. Well, who couldn't tell that this was an important moment? Everything rode on his answer and Will's response. "I see you, Will," he said softly, touching Will's face lightly. "A young programmer, whose face is very familiar to me, but who I know very little of. Well, except that you're a good kisser," and he flashed a quick grin, seeing a sparkle of response in Will's eyes, "and that your fashion sense sucks. I'd like to know more, though, if you'll give me the chance. Something tells me that Ram was just a pale reflection of the real you, and that the closeness I felt for him and the pain I felt when he died influenced me to want to talk to you in the first place, but are not part of what made me kiss you. So what do you say? Can I have that chance?"
"Well, gee," Will said, with a faint smile. "I don't know about that, it seems I have quite a bit to live up to. And what do you mean, my fashion sense sucks?" He pulled away.
Flynn made an incoherent sound of protest and Will laughed. "I just don't want to be a substitute for my own damn program, got that?"
"Of course not," Flynn said. "I meanyou know what I mean."
"I know," Will breathed, pulling Flynn close again. "One thing, though."
"What's that?" Flynn asked, heart frozen. Oh no, don't let him change his mind now...
"I just want you to know, I don't do one night stands."
"Good," Flynn had time to say, before warm lips prevented further speech.
Flynn's mind turned to instant mush. Hands were everywhere, in his hair, under his shirt... oh god... down his pants, easing off his clothing to allow fiery lips to reach his skin and the world was melting... "Bed?" he managed, gasping for breath.
"Good idea," Will panted. They made it across the room to the bed, shedding clothing as they went.
"Shit," Flynn said, glancing at the windows. "Forgotthe blinds are open." He started back across the room to close the blinds, but was stopped by Will's hand on his arm.
"Can anyone see in here?"
"No, we're up too high."
"Then leave it." Will tugged him onto the bed. Flynn didn't argue. "Got lube?"
"Drawer," Flynn gasped, skin tingling. Wow, but it was a million times better without clothing in the way.
Will fumbled around in the drawer until he turned up a jar of Vaseline. He tried to open it, but Flynn stopped him. "Wait. My turn to drive you nuts."
Will fell back on the bed with a moan as Flynn put his mouth to good use. Flynn explored Will's body, learning the tastes and textures and what made Will feel good. But he was stopped, long before he was ready to quit, by hands in his hair, pulling his mouth away from eager flesh.
"No more," Will said, voice roughened by pleasure. "I want you." And he reached for the jar of Vaseline again.
Flynn felt a small stab of apprehension. Usually that was his line... but at this point, who cared? Plenty of time in the future for having his turn. "Go slow, okay?"
"Trust me," Will said. "Now roll over."
Oh holy shit, Flynn thought, but did it anyway. Will surprised him again, taking the time to make sure he enjoyed it, before sending both of them over the edge into howling bliss.
Afterwards, they lay tangled together, both panting for breath. Flynn couldn't think of anything to say, and Will seemed content to just lay there. Eventually, Flynn drifted off to sleep.
Will's voice woke him from a deep sleep. The room was dark and quiet, all the arcade lights and noises gone, so it had to be after one am. Flynn sat up quickly and flipped on the little bedside reading lamp. "What's wrong?"
"Kevin..." Will looked at him, eyes wide and panicked. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean..."
"What the hell?" Flynn frowned, trying to ignore the little thrill he'd felt when Will said his name. "What are you apologizing for?"
"I don't know what got into me, I swear I didn't mean it, I'm so sorry..." and Will started to slide out of the bed.
Flynn caught his arm. "Not so fast. What do you mean, don't know what got into you? And if you really didn't mean what you said about not doing one night stands, I'm going to be very upset."
"You mean..." Will blinked. He shook his head suddenly, like a dog. "You're not mad?"
"What the hell, man?" Flynn frowned, then pulled Will into his arms, laying down again. "Of course I'm not mad! What ever gave you that idea?"
"Oh, shit," Will said again. He laid his head against Flynn's chest and relaxed. "I think I was having a dream, a very bad dream. I'm sorry."
"Tell me about it," Flynn said quietly. He considered turning the light back off, but didn't want to move.
"I thought I was at work, and you were yelling at me, because of what happened, and then you fired me. And then I woke up enough to realize it was just a dream, but then you were here, and I kind of freaked out."
Flynn laughed. "Oh, that's a good one, Will," he said, and kissed the other man's forehead. "Like I'm going to fire you for a night like that. Give you a promotion, maybe, but definitely not fire you. Lighten up, man, okay? I wanted you as bad as you wanted me."
"Good." Will sighed. "Sorry to wake you. I guess I'm just paranoid."
"That's okay, I suppose," and Flynn summoned enough willpower to move and turn the light off. "Or at least, it can be okay. I can always prove to you that I'm not mad about finding you in my bed."
"Oh, can you, now?" Will asked, hands already wandering.
"I can try," Flynn replied, around a mouthful of neck. "How long will it take before you believe me, anyway?"
"One night's not enough," Will said, with a chuckle underlying his words. "It's going to take way more than that to convince me."
"Okay, then, stubborn man," and Flynn laughed, suddenly completely happy for the first time since Ram had died. "I'll try to prove it for as long as it takes. Justno more nightmares, okay? I need my beauty rest."
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