Quantico isn’t the first time he and Don Eppes cross paths, it’s just the first time he actually meets him.Beta: cerealkiller0
Notes/Warnings: This has existed in some form or another for ages, but life has been crazy. I hope people like it. References to steriod abuse
Quantico isn’t the first time he and Don Eppes cross paths, it’s just the first time he actually meets him.
The first time he sets eyes on him, he’s just got back from Afghanistan. Three weeks, just trying to figure out what to do with his life, when he wanders into a bar, just looking for some companionship, someone to rub the scent of the desert off him.
He’s drunker than he should be, drunker than he’s been for a long time, when he spots him across the bar. Dark hair, dark eyes that meet his, making it clear that the guy is here for the exact same reason Ian is.
He drops a couple of twenties on the bar and walks over.
The bar was exactly what he needed.
Far away from the hotel, from the stadium, from anyone who might recognize him. Loud enough to provide a distraction, but quiet enough to think.
Not that he was certain that was a good idea.
He signalled to the bartender, and sat down on the stool, nursing a beer and pretending to listen to the jukebox. The song was talking about being a fool for love.
Don Eppes snorted. Yeah, he knew exactly what the singer was talking about.
Edison Thomas-Don’t blame me, my mom thought it was cute-transferred into the Stockton Rangers the year after Don did.
Slightly shorter than Don, with sandy brown hair and unusual blue eyes, he made all the feelings Don had pushed down inside himself since he started taking baseball more seriously-since Nathan if he’s honest- come rushing to the surface.
The first time, they rationalize it as adrenaline after a game. Just two guys helping each other out, nothing gay about it.
The second time, beer’s to blame. They’re in New Orleans, and Remy persuades them to come to a bar his uncle owns and to try his uncle special brew. Don isn’t one hundred percent sure exactly what happened after that, but he knows it ends up with him and Edison in a cabin in a river boat, with both covered in feathers. In hindsight, Don was simply grateful that Remy’s uncle wasn’t selling in Vegas, else they might have been married, and that would be difficult to explain to his dad.
The third time was beer as well, though less than the second time, and after the fourth time, they gave up trying to rationalize it. They were sleeping together, and that was that, even if they were careful to keep it discreet, even though he was fairly certain everyone on the team knew. Baseball isn’t one hundred percent homophobic, but it’s not overly welcoming either. But providing they kept it quiet, no one was going to seriously object.
Until the majors start sniffing around. Edison is good. He's not quite the power hitter that Don is, but he plays mid field like he was born there. Don snorted at himself as he heard, echoing in his head, the conversation they’d had nearly 3 weeks ago.
“I can’t. I can’t. There’s too much at risk, you understand.” And of course he’d understood, of course he’d backed off. Edison had started dating one of the cheerleaders, and Don did as he’d done in college, getting a reputation as a guy up for a good time, but not looking for commitment.
It hurt, he wasn’t going to pretend it didn’t or at least, not in the privacy of his own head, but he put up with it. Until that morning, when he’d found out the real reason
He’d stayed late after practice, running rings trying to clear his head. Edison was alone in the locker room when he got there, showered and fully dressed.
“There any hot water left?” he’d asked, his memory mocking him for not thinking it odd that Edison was still around, that he looked guilty, but he’d thought that maybe Edison wanted to talk. Edison had spun around at the sound of Don’s voice, dropping a tiny bottle that was in his hand. It rolled over to Don’s feet. He picked it up, confused, until he read the label.
“Andriol. Is this....?”Edison’s face had answered his question.
The rest of that interview wasn’t something he wanted to think about, so he looked around the bar, again. It was fuller now, most groups of friends, some college kids, a group of moms on a night out laughing loudly at some story one of them had told.
There was only other person here on their own. A man, sitting alone at the other end of the bar. Don let his eyes run over him, trying to get an idea of who he was.
Tall, probably at least as tall as Don, dark hair almost shaved off, sitting there staring into his drink, but at the same time watching everyone in the bar.
Military or ex military, he thought, and it seemed confirmed when he noticed a flash of silver around the neck.
Not likely to be interested in him then.
He sighed, his mind running over the problem again and again. He knew what he should do, Turn Edison in for steroid abuse, but he also knew what that would do.
Edison’s career would be over. So would probably most of the teams. So what should he do? Speak to the coach, try and get Edison some help. The question is who is the guy most likely to be supplying Edison?
He doesn’t like the answer to that. Even if it isn’t him, it’s unlikely that the coach will do anything to try and protect the other players.
Which is, of course, is his third option. Keep his mouth shut and ignore what’s going on. Except he doesn’t think he can. He still cares for Edison, a lot, and he’s seen enough of his father’s old friends to know how this ends. That plus a million don’t do drugs lectures in school and college.
He sighed again, and felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. Glancing around, he noticed that army guy’s eyes were on him.
Don swallowed and locked eyes with the other man. The intense dark gaze left no doubt as to what the other man was offering, and Don was surprised to find that he was agreeing.
He paid the bartender, and stepped out into the cool night air.
“You got a place?” He asked. He’d already decided that he was probably drunk, as this was as far from his normal behavior as was possible. He’d never been the guy who picked up strange men in bars, and he can hear Charlie reciting the statics for his behavior in his ear. He’s surprised to find that he isn’t that bothered. He wants to be fucked. He wants someone to wipe the scent, the feel of Edison off him, so that he can think clearly.
The army guy nodded, slowly. “Yeah. I got a place.”
Ian doesn't get any more than a first name, 'Don,' and it’s obvious that the other man wants to keep it that way. He doesn't even bother to ask for Ian's. But Ian does seek a peek at the driver’s license afterwards, when the other man is too spaced out to care.
Don Eppes. No other information, just an address in California. Nothing to tell him if the guy does this regularly, or if Ian is the first guy he’s picked up in a bar.
Definitely not the first guy Eppes had been with, but something about the whole thing felt off.
Not that he was disappointed. After a fairly hectic make out session outside the bar, Ian had driven him to the motel where he was staying.
It was a shabby, cheap place that he was almost astonished didn’t charge by the hour. Don was silent though, so either he does this more often than Ian thinks or he’s drunker than he reckoned.
The first possibility looks more likely though, as Don launches himself at the other man. Despite the surprise, Ian can feel himself grinning. This guy isn’t going to make things easy for him.
When they crash though the door of Ian’s room, Don is completely in control of their movements, and at that moment, Ian was O.K. with it, he wanted the opportunity to get more information about the man.
Unfortunately, the other man only tasted like the beer he’d been drinking, and his scent was that masculine sweat, the kind that you get from repeated work outs, with too short showers in between, the kind of scent that belongs to a thousand jobs.
Groaning, as much with frustration as anything else, Ian all but tore the light blue shirt off the man and ran his fingers over hard nipples, using a technique he knew all was all but guaranteed to the send any guy wild with desire, and it certainly worked on Don, whose eyes all but rolled back in his head.
Laughing to himself, Ian pinned Don under him, keeping his movements controlled, desiring to keep Don on edge, but not send him over, not that Don makes it easy for him. He knows the power of his own body, and uses it to maximum effect.
Ian definitely laughs to himself, this time.
This is better than he ever hoped for.
Don always thinks better after he’s been fucked.
Lying there, looking up at the ceiling of some cheap motel, for the first time since he discovered that Edison was using, for the first time since they broke up, there’s a kind of calm in his head. He can think clearly.
Briefly, he wonders if this is what it’s like for Charlie, all the time, but puts his brother out of his head, cause he needs to figure out what he’s going to do.
He lies there, quite still in the dark, letting the other man clean him off with a wash cloth and think that he’s just zoned, when actually he’s thinking clearly for the first time in weeks.
He can’t turn Edison in; he cares about the other man too much for that. Beyond that, it would achieve nothing.
At the same time, he can’t stick around and watch the way he knows this will end. So why the heck is he?
Quickly, decision made, he gets to his feet and pulls on his clothes. He left the application form half completed back at the hotel, but he feels wide awake and strangely relaxed now that the decision has been made. Like this was the way it was meant to be all along.
Which is why he kisses the guy briefly on the cheek and mutters “thanks”.
The other guy looks completely and utterly confused, but he can’t bring himself to care. He knows what he has to do.