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Written for the fanfic100 challenge.

New Acquaintances

by Riley Cannon

Anyway, this is for Ana Paula, and everyone else who has asked for a sequel to Happy Accidents, and anyone who might be able to use a pick-me-up of sappy, romantic, make out fic. And I have to single out Sue Spur, for providing the final nudge to returning to this little universe, because a few weeks ago she sent me an adorable little plotbunny for it, but I realized if that bunny was to be pursued a few earlier bits of their story needed some adressing first. So, that's what this is, picking up just about a week since we left them kissing on that park bench in the snow.

~New Acquaintance~

Three ... Two ... One!

On the television, the crowd in Times Square erupted in jubilation as the ball dropped and officially welcomed in the new year. Over here on the couch, I slipped a hand around the back of Chris' neck and drew him closer, both of us whispering, "Happy New Year," in the moment before our lips met.

This wasn't the first kiss we had exchanged tonight. Oh no, there had been a kiss at the door when I opened it and found Chris standing there. There had been another in the kitchen, starting with him standing behind me and nuzzling the nape of my neck while we waited for the popcorn to pop. And just a little while ago there had been some lazy smooching while black-and-white images flickered on the television screen and everyone came to Rick's.

And if these kisses were anything to go by, Chris and I were off to a lot more than a beautiful friendship.

Those earlier kisses had been good, but this one -- as I pushed him back against the cushions and slipped my tongue in his mouth -- was extra special. Hearing him moan as my tongue flicked the roof of his mouth, I repeated the action and got even more excited as his hands, wound in my hair, gripped and pulled. My echoing those needy, desperate sounds must have gotten to him the same way because he was trying to take control of the kiss from me.

We wrestled for it, grappling on the couch. Hands roaming, fingers impatient with buttons and pulling shirttails out, shoving the cloth up so we could touch bare skin. Groaning louder as fingers stroked bellies and ribs -- Chris arching into my hand as I caressed his spine and the massaged the small of his back. Kissing his throat, his face, I shifted him around, breath groaning out of my lungs as he hooked a leg over mine and ground our crotches together.

"Chris..." I thrust against him, craving more delirious friction, hands squeezing his waist.

Biting my ear, licking it, he murmured, "What?"

"We're gonna," oh lord that felt good, "fall off the couch any second." Or knock it over; I'd already felt a precarious teeter. Either way, the introduction of slapstick comedy seemed likely to be a mood killer.

Then again -- Chris worked his hand into my pants, hardly even touching me, the barely there tease of his fingers making me squirm and whimper -- maybe not.

Nuzzling his throat, up under his chin, indulging a new-found kink for scratchy stubble, my hands slipped underneath his shirt to fondle his amazing chest. Anyone who thinks only a woman can be voluptuous just hasn't had the pleasure of holding Chris Keller in their arms and exploring every luxurious, sensual inch of him. His body's a treasure; his responsiveness to even the slightest touch, never mind this kind of ravenous groping, was a treat that fed my own desire.

So we might wind up tumbled on the carpet, big deal. As I pinched a nipple and heard his throaty groans, both hands cradling my head as his tongue filled my mouth, all I could think was how fantastic he'd look sprawled out in front of the fireplace, its light painting his body.

Not, you know, that I've spent a lot of time this last week dwelling on that sort of thing.

"You keep that up, Toby," he was looking at me with a softer focus than his usual piercing gaze, flushed with color, lips even more kissable, "I'm gonna be past the point of no return."

I made a claim on those lips, tender and easy now. "Me too."

Blue eyes sharpened ever so slightly and he ran the back of his hand along my cheek. "Meaning what?"

I caught his hand, pressed my mouth to the inside of the wrist, such an incongruously delicate spot. "Meaning ...There's a really big, comfortable bed upstairs."

Those eyes were wide now. "There is, huh?"

"Mmm hmm. Want to try it out?"

Both arms wrapped around me, just holding me close, Chris sighed, "Yeah, I really do, Toby."

Mind you, what we would get up to when we actually slid between those sheets was up in the air, but I had a really good feeling about us being able to figure something out. This last week, we had been seeing other every chance we got. Neither of us called it dating, but it was a fuck lot more than merely two guys hanging out together, the heat between us climbing higher every time. This would be the first time we slept together, though, and we were both conscious of every ounce of meaning invested in that.

Sometimes, when Chris wasn't right there in front of me, to see and hear and touch and taste, everything about these last few days would take on the aura of a dream. Waking in the morning, the world outside still dark, I would reach out for him and find only cool sheets against my fingertips, and wonder if it had all been a fantasy. Had I really tracked down a handsome, blue-eyed stranger Christmas night and sat there kissing him in the snow?

It hardly seemed like it could be real; my restless mind must have conjured him out of hazy, secret desires. And then, heart beating fast with anticipation, and a tiny pang of fear, I'd pick up the phone and call him, ask if he wanted to meet me at the coffeehouse. He would say yes, and the brief alarm would vanish, only mouth-watering anticipation coiling in my belly then -- and not for those apple-cinnamon muffins, tasty as they were.

That was our pattern. Meet at the coffeehouse where everything had started, spend as much of the day as possible together, and then go our separate ways once more. A couple of times we had spent the evening together, gone out to dinner and a movie, and two nights ago back to his place. Him sneaking me up to his room had added an extra kick of excitement and we had raised the temperature considerably, tangled together on his narrow bed. If I could have, I would have stayed the night.

Tonight, there were no responsibilities calling me away. Mother and Dad had been happy to have the kids stay over and give me some time alone. Yes, they weren't fooling me. I had told them I was seeing someone, told them I hoped it was serious; hadn't clued them in on a few other crucial details, however, and knew crossing that bridge couldn't be postponed too much longer. Especially not after tonight.

"You're thinking," Chris said, mild censure in his voice, soothing it away with fingers stroking the hair at my temple.

"Get used to it," I returned, getting to my feet, pulling him up with me. "So -- upstairs?"

Arms wrapped around me and holding me close, sighing as if this was a amalgamation of every dream he'd ever had, he nodded. "Yeah, upstairs sounds good."

Best thing I'd heard in a long, long time, that's for sure.


Outside, the snow was falling again, Christmas lights still strung up and twinkling off in the distance. Couldn't have been warmer or cozier in here, though, so I was pretty sure Chris shivering had something to do with my arms slipping around him from behind, my lips grazing the nape of his neck as we stood in front of the window and watched the snow.

"Tell me what you're thinking," I whispered.

"Right now?"

I smiled, kissed behind his ear, earned a deep and appreciative sigh. "No, ten years from now."

He tilted his head to give me better access to his ear, and where it met his jaw, and I wished we were standing in front of a mirror so I could watch his expression as my tongue teased him there, over and over, and he squirmed restlessly in my arms. The way he moved, ass chafing against my dick, was making me twitchy too, in a really great way. His words gave me pause, though, answering me so seriously --

"In ten years? That I want to still be here, with you, Toby."

-- that I was actually at a loss for words.

Hey, had to happen sometime.

And I'd waited a second too long to answer, because I could feel him turning stiff in my arms, and not at all in a good way.

"Not what you had in mind?" he said, like he was trying to make light of it, and I knew what I'd see in his face now. His expression would be shuttered, guarded, a smile in place that never found its way to his eyes.

I held him tighter, kissed his neck, reminding myself this was going to take some work and patience. "Actually, exactly what I had in mind." I didn't add, you big nut job, but I was thinking it.

"Toby..." He sighed and turned to face me, longing and trepidation mingled in those eyes that could keep so much hidden away, or show you a lifetime of hurt and sadness. Fingers brushing along my face, he shook his head. "Maybe this is a bad idea."

Both hands curved around his throat, my thumbs stroking his jaw, I gave my head a firm shake. "Keller, don't you even think about trying to fuck this up."

"I don't want to. It's just..." Exhaling a note of wordless frustration, Chris ran his hands up and down my back. "I never believed dreams came true, not for me. That's all."

"So, that will be one of those new tricks you're going to learn."

The smile reached his eyes this time, that soft and wistful one that made me want to kiss him until all of the sadness was gone. "Maybe if we took things one step at a time?"

"I can get behind that."

Most of the wistfulness was gone from his eyes now and he sighed again with the release. "Nice room."

I went with his transition. "Thank you," I said, watching him check it out, guessing he was thinking there weren't a lot of feminine touches in evidence. "After Genevieve died, I thought a new coat of paint and stuff might help me move on."

Watching me again, he asked, "Did it work?"

My smile was pensive now. "Not a lot."

Still thoughtful, still touching me -- hands kneading the small of my back now -- he asked, "Too many memories in here?"

One of the first things I noticed about him was how tactile he is; from the moment we meet right up until we say goodbye, he's in almost constant contact with me. To check I'm really here and he's not dreaming? That's one of my reasons for indulging in this laying on of hands. Another is loving the way he feels, tempting me to more adventurous explorations. "Just enough," I answered him. "Plenty of room for new ones." I slid my hand up to cradle the back of his head and draw him close, our foreheads pressed together for a moment before I kissed him there. "Here's to new acquaintances," I whispered and kissed his mouth.

Hands pressing harder at my back, Chris returned the kiss, drew his lips away an instant. "More than that, I hope."

"Oh," I nuzzled his jaw, "count on that. But I'm sorry we couldn't toast it with champagne."

"I'm not." He kissed me cheek, between my eyebrows, the tip of my nose -- and made me laugh with that one. "This is better."

"You know what?" I finished unbuttoning his shirt and slid it off his shoulders, down his arms. "You're right, this is better."

"No hangovers in the morning, either." He obligingly tilted his head just a bit, so I could more easily draw my mouth along his throat, interspersing kisses with infinitesimal bites.

"You gonna eat me, Toby?" he purred.

"Mmmm," I nibbled some more, "could be. You do taste better than my grandmother's fruitcake." That made him laugh, rumbling up out of his chest, and that was something else to treasure.

Chris got my shirt all the way off and put his hands on my chest, caressing the hollow of my throat, fingertips stroking slowly along my collarbone. "You got great bones," he said, and bent his head to kiss that hollow.

"Yeah?" My eyes drifted shut and all he could feel was the wet warmth of his tongue licking me there. "You..." oh man, "you like my clavicle?"

"I fucking love your clavicle," he replied, his amazing tongue exploring along the ridge of bone now, each swipe shooting to my dick.

Funny, I'd never thought of that as a particularly erogenous spot, but I could feel some enlightenment coming on.


He'd made me leave the lights on, the lamp on the nightstand anyway, and if timidity had briefly reared its head, I was glad it had been as quickly vanquished and sent packing, because the sight of Chris lounging against the white sheets, the light warm on his skin, was something not to be missed. Ogling for all I was worth, I reached out to touch, skimming my fingers through his hair, so soft and smooth, along his cheek, enjoying the contrast of rough stubble.

We hadn't gotten quite this far before, not completely naked like this. I'd known his body would be a wonder to behold; I hadn't been prepared for how badly it would beckon me to touch and taste, leave no crevice or expanse of flesh unmapped. Better? I also hadn't been ready to be the one ogled so hungrily, each article of clothing painstakingly stripped away as if on the verge of the most breathtaking revelation since King Tut's tomb.

Looking in the mirror, I had never seen a guy likely to set hearts aflutter, make pulses quicken with desire. I was ... serviceable; clean and tidy, perfectly respectable, but nothing remarkable. Laying back against the pillows as Chris leaned over me, however, mapping me with his eyes, retracing the path with fingers and tongue, it was abundantly clear that I was fucking sizzling.

With a hand fondling between my legs and making my breath hitch in my chest, kissing my mouth, he said, "You're looking pleased with yourself." The hot brilliance of his eyes told me that was another good look on me.

"Well, let's see," my hands kneaded his chest, rolling stiff nipples, "I've got you in my bed and the night's still young. That's grounds for feeling pretty good," I told him and got a firmer grip, rolling him onto his back and stretching out on top of him.

"Guess so," he agreed, massaging my back, going lower, squeezing my ass and looking awfully smug himself as I groaned out my pleasure and rubbed against him.

Ruthless in my retribution, I licked and bit his neck again, feeling a delicious satisfaction in knowing he would have some marks tomorrow, that he'd look at them in a mirror and know I'd made a claim on him. How did he do that, make me want all these things I had never imagined? Didn't matter. Let him weave his magic spell, one that only grew stronger with a kiss; I was a willing apprentice to his splendid sorcery.

I kissed his face, his mouth; caught hold of his hands and held him still while I worshipped his lips and chased his tongue, breathless and craving to crawl right inside him, to have him fill my body the way his tongue fucked my mouth as he wrestled control back. Cradling my face in his hands, Chris just looked at me, looked at me with naked wonder in his eyes; looked at me with the reverence of a true believer who has found a prized and precious object. Eyes drifting shut as if they were sun-dazzled, he kissed me again, almost too tenderly to bear this time.

Holding him close, kissing him back the same way, I didn't have to whisper that I loved him. He felt it, tasted it on my lips, and said it back to me the same way.


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