Title: Catch me when I fall (Or Second Base)
Pairing(s): Don Eppes/Ian Edgerton, Don Eppes/Pete Fox
Summary: Everyone thinks he never mentions his past with Pete Fox until they ran into each other again because he's weirdly private about his past in general. The truth was much worse.
Notes/Warnings: A sort of sequel to First Base, but can be read independently. Mainly based on watching Friendly Fire, and deciding that there had to be more to Don and Pete's relationship in the past, based on actions and that I couldn't see him ending up in the same situation with Coop (Remember he couldn't shoot Edgerton in Ultimatium)
Warnings for references to an abusive relationship, but nothing too specific.
A big thank you to cerealkiller0 Who despite her intial doubts, betaed and nutured this fic, while working on her own. Big Hug to her.
“Edgerton.” The other agent stared at him. “Didn’t know you were in the area.”
Ian shrugged. “Command thought you could use a hand,” he said. His eyes looked everywhere except at Peter Fox and the strange young man behind him, who he hadn’t being introduced to. There was something about Fox that put him on edge, something about the other man that made him defensive, more than usual at least.
Pete’s agents had the same effect on him too. They tended to be silent hot heads, taking stupid risks. The nearest he’s ever come to seeing something similar was about three year ago, ironically while working a case with Pete. It was a hostage situation. An abused teenager took his abuser and classmates - possibly also victims - hostage. It took Ian a couple of minutes after the adrenaline had worn off to figure out why the gunman’s haunted eyes looked so familiar, and he admitted he only realized it because he was being confronted by them, in Pete’s junior agent. The agent transferred a couple for weeks afterwards and Ian lost track of him. He’s noticed that Pete’s juniors never stick around for long.
“Let’s do this.” Pete offered with a wolf’s smile.
Everyone thinks he never mentioned his past with Pete Fox until they ran into each other again because he’s weirdly private about his past in general.
The truth is, he’s done his best to avoid thinking about Pete Fox, to put that year of his life right out of his head.
Fox likes control. The profiler in him recognizes this and understands that’s why Fox slept with him. He suspects if they’d dug deeper, or if the other agents had been alive, they’d have found he’d slept with all the agents under his command. It’s a control thing. Nothing more.
He was a mess; he’s honest enough to admit it now, by the time they run into the strange man that Pete calls Edgerton. At the time, it felt like he was dealing with two different men, two different situations.
One was the guy who he tracked fugitives with; a cowboy who skirted the line, but never (at least as far as Don knew back then) crossed it. The other was the guy after hours in strange motels; who fucked with Don’s body and his mind.
Ian always had a good memory for faces, but it took him a while to figure out where he’d seen Pete’s sidekick (eventually begrudging introduced as Eppes) before.
It was hard to connect that guy, who met Ian’s stare equally aggressively, who fought Ian in the motel room for control and dominance of the situation, with the zombie - and there is no other word for it - that follows Pete around, barely speaking.
Ian let himself think that maybe he made a mistake; maybe the man from the bar had a twin, because he doesn’t remember smelling cordite that night, but he knew deep down he hadn’t.
What pushed Don to the edge was a t-shirt of all things.
Fox chucked it at him, just before he was supposed to head out for a stake out with Ian.
“Put it on,” he said, not even bothering to look up. It was just another piece of control. Fox’s silent threat - Wherever you are and whomever you’re with, I can find you.
Fox had vocalized those threats enough and Don was well aware that he knew too much to leave. Pete was dirty even back then, and he liked to talk, if whispered threats and insults count as pillow talk, afterwards. He knew where Don’s family was, where his old team was, and Don was certain that Pete would have had no problems with using that information to his advantage.
He stripped off his own shirt and pulled Pete’s one on, trying to ignore the way it felt like a collar around his neck.
Eppes was completely silent.
Normally, Ian wouldn’t have minded too much. Too many guys talked too much on stakeouts, but this wasn’t Ian’s silence, where you’re focused on the house, on the fugitive.
No, Eppes kept fidgeting next to him, his hand running around the collar of a black T-shirt, breath coming in short sharp gasps like he was being strangled.
“Hey.” He reached out a hand to touch him, but Eppes jerked away.
“I’m fine,” Eppes muttered, in a way that made Ian half raise his hands and raise one eyebrow.
“O.K. Eppes,” he said softly.
He tore the shirt off the second the motel door closed behind him and sunk down on to the bed, gulping in huge mouthfuls of air. The thing had felt like a corset all night, and he was certain that Ian Edgerton, FBI’s chief tracker and sniper god, thought that he was nutter.
Breaths finally coming more easily to him, he noticed an envelope on his bed. Slowly, he picked it up, easing the letter out. Pete had already torn it open, but he couldn’t bring himself to mind about that.
At the top, he read slowly, ‘Transfer Orders.’ He couldn’t read the rest, the paper was shaking too hard. He’d know this was coming. That Fox was planning to take up the tactical instructor position at Quantico, but he hadn’t really believed it.
Yet here it was, the proof in black and white. It was over; he was getting out.
So why didn’t he feel better?
Probably because he still smelled Pete all over him. He just wanted someone to take the scent away, and if the looks Edgerton had been giving him though out the whole case were anything to go by, he wouldn’t be too adverse to the idea.
Plus after that shot Edgerton made, anyone would be riding an adrenaline high.
Ian had just finished placing the last item in the case, when he heard knock on the door.
He opened it, surprised to see Eppes standing there. Automatically, his mind went to the worst possible scenario, that there was another body. That he’d shot the wrong man.
“Eppes. What’s up?” he asked, deliberately keeping his voice calm. He was unsure how to react when his mouth was captured, other than to slam the door shut.
As Eppes maneuvered them into the room, in complete control of their movements, he allowed himself a small smile. He knew he hadn’t been mistaken about the other man’s identity.
“Turn the lights off.” Don muttered, as Ian’s hands slid up under his shirt. With the room the way it was, a single light bulb burning, there’s no way Ian wouldn’t see the bruises, no way he wouldn’t guess.
If the lights were off, Don thought he might manage to escape with his dignity in tact.
Snipers have a reputation for being loners.
However, that doesn’t mean that Ian was stupid when it came to people, and since his time in the army, this wasn’t the first time he’d been used to wash off the scent of another - a commander, a junior, sometimes even a friend.
Slowly, he slid his fingers under the shirt, undressing the other man. He could feel where the bruises were, where the other man winced or pulled away from him. He kept his touches gentle, making a mental catalogue of the injuries.
From the look of the man, you’d think he was a predator, an animal in bed.
A part of Don argued that he could be, he just wasn’t right then.
Instead, his fingers were all over Don, stroking, kissing until his body was singing with want. Ian took so long prepping him, that for an instant Don thought he’d come from that alone.
Then Edgerton was inside him, moving so slowly, almost agonizingly, and Don was gone, lost in a maze of touches and kisses that left him feeling right for the first time in months.
It was good.
But it also highlighted the screwed up mess that his life had become.
And as he came, it’s like a flashlight went off in his brain and he saw everything he hated about himself, about the bureau, and it was personified in Peter Fox, and he bent over the toilet heaving.
When Edgerton checked on him, in the light of the bathroom, there’s no way he could miss the bruises, the bite marks that Kevlar and darkness no longer hid.
The disgust was clear in the other man’s eyes, as he handed over a cup of water.
“Rinse your mouth out.” It’s an order and Don obeyed.
He couldn’t stop himself from flinching as Edgerton stepped around him, turning on the taps.
“I’m not using my room tonight,” he said predatorily. “Don’t go back there tonight, Eppes.”
Don nodded, even though he had no idea what he was agreeing to.
Pete froze as he felt the cold edge of a gun pushed against his temple.
“Edgerton.” The voice was equally calm.
“I spoke to Don.” The voice was calm. “This ends now. He’s got a transfer. You’re going to let him go. And if you ever come near him, ever do anything to hurt him or his career, ever go near his family, I will know and I will end it.”
Pete’s laugh almost made him pull the trigger. “Looks like talking wasn’t the only thing you did.” He turned slightly to stare at the other man. “He’s good isn’t he? So willing, almost desperate for it--”
He was so focused on the gun, that he didn’t see the fist that hit him.
“That was personal.” Ian’s voice had the same calm quality it had through out the conversation. “Now this is professional. You will leave the students alone.”
“Who’s going to make me?” Pete’s voice was harsh. “You got nothing, Edgerton.”
Ian nodded, “Yeah, but you forget one thing. I’m still active. I can come, and go as I please.” His voice was a whisper, ghosting across Pete’s neck. “And you’re stuck there. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. And Quantico is a small place, especially with me there.” The voice is soft. “We understand each other?”
Pete nodded slowly. “Sure.”
Ian withdrew the gun, and stepped back in the shadows. Within a second, Pete’s hand was on his gun, but Ian was quicker.“Come on,” he said, voice challenging. “I dare you.”