Hi! Obviously I have been a bit busy recently. Work has been eating my life, and when I finally got a couple days off my incomplete Walt/Vic Valentine's fic just wasn't cooperating! Still, I had the bug to write something, and this is what came out between yesterday and today.

I'm kind of a sucker for 'what if' fic scenarios, in case nobody had noticed (LOL). This one was a bit tricky to work through, but I'm happy with how it turned out even if 'Of Children and Travelers' AUs are a dime a dozen.

Warnings: Little bit angsty, some language (Vic style), descriptions of sexual situations (nothing terribly graphic), themes of an adulterous nature (oops). My hope is that it's all done tastefully, but that decision is best left to the reader.

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One
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19:45

"We've only got just the one room left. Think it has double beds, at least- take it or leave it."

Walt's mouth opened, for argument or protest he wasn't exactly sure. As was not uncommon, she beat him to the punch quite handily.

"Whatever. It's not like we've got a ton of options here in bum fuck nowhere, right?"

He found himself tilting his head in acquiescence. Vic forged ahead.

"It's fine. Two key cards, please," as if they would actually need both of them.

Two beds, two key cards, an invisible line drawn in the perilously blowing sand of the desert between them.

20:30

The bar was typical, the food achieving a level of edibility somewhere above a prison cafeteria but below the better trafficked establishments closer to the main highway. At least the beer was cold.

What stuck in Walt's mind, apart from the soft, unguarded look in his deputy's eyes, was the whole round, full-bodied concept of what it meant for her to be a 'bad girl' and exactly how that could come to affect him in his daily life.

The images filled his senses, nearly blacking out his vision and cognition to the point where 'That's my beer' was the pinnacle of his verbal capabilities.

It was certainly easier than saying 'Don't do this. Don't make me want you so badly that it hurts.'

22:00

The room didn't have double beds. It had one strangely small looking, oddly intimidating, entirely unconscionable but technically king-sized bed. The teasing atmosphere forged by Walt's inability to operate a key card had evaporated as they took in the scene and he found himself hyperaware of Vic's nearness, which was by no means intentional but suddenly seemed to be of monumental importance.

In his mind, Walt was sure he could feel the heat of her arm six inches from his own even through every layer of clothing they both had on. He knew it was impossible, a trick of his imagination, but all of life suddenly felt like smoke and mirrors with no clear path to freedom.

There had to be an end to the charged silence, eventually. It had been at least 30 seconds since they'd looked at each other. Seconds that felt like years. Vic cleared her throat, sounding about as brave as he felt.

"So, you want the right side or the left?"

22:45

Walt lay awake and imagined that he was posing for a sort of macabre aerial painting, or maybe staging a crime scene so that some green recruit could practice their chalk outlines. That was well apart from the fact that he felt like a damn rookie himself, anxious and stock still on his back beneath the unpleasantly textured sheets and faux-Navajo bedspread.

Vic was to his right, where she almost always was, curled on her side facing away from him and quite possibly sleeping. He thought about her, his right-hand woman, his deputy, his… something more that she could only truly be within the landscape of his dreams. The stuff of dreams was a volatile substance, and being next to Vic in bed brought all of it floating dangerously close to the surface.

The wedding ring was off Vic's finger. Walt hadn't seen her remove it and set it on the bedside table, just as he hadn't watched her take off her jeans and crawl under the covers while he used the poky little bathroom to strip down to his boxers and t-shirt as they readied themselves for a scant few hours of necessary sleep.

So many of their barriers were down, nearly all his own carefully built defenses hopelessly compromised, but that line in the sand remained.

01:00

Clearly he had nodded off at some point in time, lulled by the miracle of exhaustion. A subtle sense of movement drew Walt halfway up from the abyss of a sleep which had thus far been mercifully dreamless. There was an unexpected warmth against his side and beneath his hand, a warmth that shifted closer and spread down the length of his mostly bare leg.

It didn't take Walt very long to determine that the warm object pressed against him was actually Vic's body. He hadn't become sheriff for his looks, after all. Apparently his hand had deputized itself while he was slumbering and had chosen to undertake an investigation of its own beneath the hem of Vic's flimsy grey undershirt, fingertips searching for clues at the small of her back.

One of her arms was slung across his torso, her head nestled into the crook of his shoulder. They'd gravitated equally toward each other in their sleep, having met somewhere near the middle of the bed. Of course he didn't remember the part where his arm had wound around her or when she had snuggled against him but here they were, left with the consequences just the same. Her hand moved, traveling up his ribcage to rest at the left side of his chest, directly over his heart. Beyond the clattering jumble of his thoughts, Walt was all too aware of the symbolism, the implications.

Her fingers clutched gently at the cotton of his t-shirt, and he knew she was awake. She raised her head, peering down at him in the dim orange semi-darkness and the never-quite-silence of the room, and he knew that she knew that he was awake, too.

Vic's left arm, which had been pinned beneath her body while she was curled against him, was now being used to prop her up as she hovered with quiet intent. Walt's hand, apparently a traitor to both propriety and reason, slid up the warm expanse of Vic's back as her face slowly moved closer to his own. Walt felt like he was in a trance, almost an out-of-body daze, watching the scene unfold from afar. At the same time, he was incredibly present inside of his skin. He could even feel the flutter of his own eyelids, drifting shut above his cheekbones as Vic's lips pressed gently onto his.

The sensation of her mouth caressing his was entirely paralyzing, which Vic seemed to interpret as an invitation to continue. Tilting her head, she increased the pressure, and he felt a small puff of air on his face as she breathed out through her nose. His palm flattened against her spine as she pulled at his bottom lip with both of her own, trying to coax a response. After that he couldn't stop himself from responding.

As was the case with most aspects of their relationship, they worked well together. Their lips molded seamlessly, Vic's hand sliding up to the bare skin of his neck and caressing the side of his jaw in perfect time with Walt's tongue pushing forward to finally taste the inside of her mouth. He wasn't sure which one of them was in control of this situation or if they both had finally lost their grip, but the small noise Vic made when his arm pulled her even closer shot straight down to pool beneath his belly button like a hot pit of pure arousal.

Soon Walt's hands were everywhere they shouldn't be, where he'd wanted them for longer than he'd be willing to admit. The curves of Vic's body arched into his touch as their kiss grew wetter and deeper and Walt knew— he knew without a doubt that she'd been wanting the same thing. Their lips broke apart as she shifted and slung one of her legs over both of his own, settling herself atop his lap and releasing a shaky breath upon encountering the incontrovertible evidence of the effect she was having on him.

It suddenly felt like it was about a thousand degrees under the covers. Vic rolled her pelvis, rubbing against him slowly and deliberately, testing. Walt gasped and stretched beneath her, fingers sliding up the outsides of her thighs until they encountered the edges of the cotton bikini underwear that rested at her hips. Their eyes locked, and Walt was transfixed by the sight of Vic biting her lip as she reached for the hem of her own shirt, arms crossing at the wrists, dragging the fabric upward.

Walt's heart hammered in his chest, and he could swear for just a moment he completely forgot how to breathe. Vic was still in the process of peeling her shirt off, and how many times had he imagined a moment like this?

And yet, he felt the stirring of his conscience. Battered and beleaguered, maybe, but still present and suddenly spurring him into action. One of his hands reached forward, covering both of hers to still their enticing motions.

01:10

"We can't do this."

Her hands on his shoulders. Hair from her loosened ponytail tickling his face as she leaned in.

"I don't want to stop."

A kiss, which he permitted for far longer than the last remaining shreds of his honor considered wise.

"It… this isn't right."

"Yes it is. I know you feel it too…"

Her chest pressing against his own, lips placing more kisses on his face, down the side of his neck to the edge of his t-shirt.

"Doesn't matter. You—"

His mouth was saying no, but his body wasn't cooperating. He groaned mid-sentence as her teeth pulled gently at his earlobe, mouth hot against the sensitive flesh.

"Vic, you're married."

She paused at that, but only for the barest, slightest moment. Then her hand was on his face, fingers feathering over the stubble on his cheek as she whispered to him.

"Can't we just have one night?"

"I don't think it works that way."

Her lips brushing against his own.

"Please, Walt…"

It was his undoing. He couldn't deny her anything.

The sandstorm had finally roared in and obliterated the last remaining boundary between them. The line hadn't been blurred, it had been completely blown away.

04:00

It had been everything he'd ever imagined it could be, and more. It still was; the sweat was cooling on their tangled bodies as they recovered from a second session of intense lovemaking, with Vic sprawled over his chest exactly where she'd fallen after driving both of them to another shattering climax. One of his hands was resting at the natural home it had found at the small of her back while the other rose up to brush a few wild strands of hair away from the side of her face.

Her lips were pressed against his collarbone, face half-buried in his neck as she released a contented sigh. She seemed perfectly happy to use him as some sort of whole-body pillow, and Walt couldn't say that he minded. Tucking the flyaway hair behind her ear, he allowed his fingers to wander down her arm. It was a little too dark to see, but he ran his thumb over the smooth skin of her inner forearm where he knew she had a tattoo. It was rarely visible, carefully concealed on a day to day basis, and yet he was always aware that it was there.

It reminded Walt of his feelings for her, which he kept hidden so deep inside. As cheesy as it sounded, it was like they were tattooed on his heart, invisible to the naked eye. Right now those emotions were all out in the open, and he'd spent the last couple hours using his mouth, his hands, and his entire body to make sure Vic knew exactly how powerful they were. If they were going to go back to the way things were after this, he needed her to understand. He'd stopped short of saying the words, because he knew once they came out of his mouth there could be no going back.

He wasn't sure if either of them had gotten a wink of sleep.

The first time had been quick and passionate. Vic had wanted to feel all of him, and the way she'd twisted and bucked beneath him with all her limbs urging him closer, drawing him deeper, well… Walt had his work cut out just to hold on long enough to make sure she reached the heights of pleasure before he totally lost it.

He couldn't even remember the last time he'd had an orgasm that mind-numbingly potent— maybe he never had. It was vocal and untamed, shaking Walt down to the bone with the need to clutch her against him. At first he was afraid he might have scared her a bit, but Vic simply held on just as tight and whispered soothing words until his breathing calmed. Then she tilted his face up toward hers and kissed him ardently, providing reassurance that Walt hadn't even realized he'd needed. 'I'm right here with you,' she seemed to say, 'I feel the same thing, too.'

For a long time they'd simply laid in the bed, wrapped around each other and lost in a world of their own creation. No words were necessary; in fact they were probably both worried that speaking would break the spell. He thought she had drifted off to sleep in his arms at one point, but five minutes later her fingers were stroking over his bicep and up to his shoulder, leveraging his bulk to pull herself upward and scraping her teeth over the tender skin just below his ear.

That action, coupled with the sight of the tousled blonde locks framing her face and the intoxicating sensation of her naked form sliding alongside his own, was the catalyst that started them in on round two. The mere fact that she wanted him again already had him half-hard even before she started touching him, and from there it was all hunger and motion and the slow and meticulous exploration of heated flesh.

The way she felt under his hands, how she responded to him and didn't hesitate to show that she needed him just as much, these were things that Walt wouldn't forget any time soon. He didn't want to forget— but it did make him wonder whether they were kidding themselves in thinking that they could keep their distance after this. These physical expressions only seemed to strengthen their bond, and he found himself re-evaluating a conversation they'd had so very long ago.

'I don't know how people live with themselves.'

'Cheaters have a way of rationalizing what they do. Sometimes you just realize you married the wrong person.'

Was that how Vic felt, what she had done? Had she been trying to tell him that she wanted this, even back then?

Sleeping with another man's wife was something that went against everything Walt believed in, what he thought he stood for. But if that were the case, why didn't it feel wrong? There was nothing more fitting than the weight of Vic in his arms, every inch of skin pressed as close as it could be. How was he supposed to detach that absolute sense of rightness from all of their future interactions? Was one night really supposed to be enough to encompass the enormity of what they felt, to pay the proper respect to the mislaid possibilities of what they could have been to each other?

04:10

"Walt?"

"What?"

"I can actually hear you overthinking."

"Sorry."

"You don't have to apologize. It's so… you."

"Not sure what to say to that."

"So don't say anything."

"We really oughta get some sleep."

"Are you gonna dream about me?"

"I think I already am."

"I dream about you all the time."

"Don't say things like that."

"Why not?"

"This is hard enough already."

"Mmm, it certainly is…"

"You need to stop."

"Sorry."

"Don't apologize."

"Why?"

"Because it's just… you."

06:00

He knew the moment would come eventually, but Walt found that he couldn't welcome the break in the case. That made him feel more guilty than anything else; the selfish impulse to stay in this room, with Vic, for as long as possible instead of carrying out his duty to pursue justice for Polina. The contrary voice in his head seemed convinced that if he kissed Vic once more, touched her just one more time, it would be enough to keep him sane on the other side of this.

Vic spoke to Branch in clipped tones as she slid her legs into her jeans. Walt allowed himself the luxury of watching her pull the tight denim up over the curve of her ass, knowing that his freedom to look so openly could not be extended beyond the walls of this room. He watched her, buttoning his shirt and feeling the muscles in his jaw tighten as she retrieved her wedding ring from the bedside table.

Ending the call, Vic lowered the cellphone and carefully avoided eye contact as she considered the ring. It was a brand of avoidance fully loaded with obviousness, so he pretended not to notice the way one of her changeable dark eyes peered sidelong at him as she slipped the gold band into the front pocket of her jeans.

"Got a hit on Norwood Young's credit card, at a motel 30 miles north of here. Branch, umm…"

Eye contact. The fluttering of dark lashes as she tried her damnedest to maintain it.

"He's been trying to reach us for a while. The line to the room wasn't ringing through and we must not have… heard my phone."

They should probably be ashamed of themselves, but right now there simply wasn't time for it.

"Guess we'd better get moving, then."

"Yeah."

They gathered the last of their belongings, which was a speedier process than either of them probably would have liked. Looking every inch the consummate professional in her boots and duty jacket, Vic squared her shoulders and grasped the door handle.

Walt reached out. How could he not? His large hands framed her face, appreciating the smooth texture of her skin as he kissed her soundly. One last time. Her fingers encircled his wrists, thumbs dipping beneath the cuffs of his jacket and shirt for a final taste of bare skin. The connection stretched on until neither of them could breathe, noses bumping softly as he leaned his forehead against hers.

"Ready?"

Vic's eyes, which he'd learned to read so clearly, said 'Hell no. I'll never be ready. Nothing could have prepared me for this shit storm. What the fuck were we thinking?'

She nodded.

Walt's heart was trying to force its way out of his body through his throat, unwilling to live with the devil's bargain that his brain had allowed him to strike. He swallowed it down, retrieving his hat from the bedside table and perching it over the crown of his head.

"Okay. Let's go."

xxxxx

Let me know what you thought of this! It's intended as a one-shot, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility of a sequel at some point in the future. Not exactly the happiest of endings, eh? Gotta wonder how Walt and Vic would ultimately handle this type of situation… no wonder I'm so fixated on AUs and 'what if' fics!

Drop me a line with thoughts, concerns, ponderings, ideas, abuse, diatribes, or general good-natured waffling. :D