Chapter 11: The Things He Loves

Warnings: Drum roll please!...SLASH! (throws confetti) this is the ONE people! WEEE! God, I had so much fun writing this chapter! XD BTW, this chapter is rated M. Gah, I'm still blushing from writing that one scene…meh, you've been warned! Okay? Don't bitch me out because I GAVE YOU FAIR WARNING. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: If I owned this, I wouldn't be on writing fanfiction. I'd be a rich little biyotch, and we all know that isn't true. So don't sue, cuz I don't have any money.


From the offices of Dr. Joan McKenzie, psychological therapist:

Excerpt: from the journal of Francis J. Stone, June 12, 20—, two months following his release from Dakota Penitentiary.

To be fair, I guess I do miss them. Saying that my experience with them didn't change me in some way would be an outright lie. I didn't even get to say goodbye.

But things are different now. I'm a free man, living my life to the fullest. Okay, trying to, anyway. I got a job as a mechanic after getting my GED shortly after getting out. I was surprised to see some of the guys from my old gang and Wade's gang working together in the same place and not trying to kill each other. Danny Chen, a tough-looking Chinese dude that used to run with Wade's crew, is my boss.

He's an okay guy—he has a wife and kids and all happy shit like that. He told me he doesn't judge people like he used to. He's born again Christian, if you'll believe that. I don't; but that's just me. He told me lots of things at the interview: one of them being that Wade had gotten mixed up with drug dealing and had gotten two plugs to the head after a bad deal a few years back. Not to sound heartless, but he had it coming. I'm not gonna miss him, I know that much. Danny also told me they were looking to hire some guys who knew cars and motorcycles…he hired me on the spot.

It's refreshing to be working with the old crew. Most of them have moved on though, got families, girlfriends, fiancés, and all happy crap. They keep asking me why I'm still single, and why don't I settle down? I tell them to fuck off and mind their own business. So they do.

Okay, I admit I wasn't so…belligerent (thank you, Word-A-Day calendars) when Danny asked me the same question one day, in passing. "You're gay, aren't you?" he asked, just like that, like it wasn't a big deal. And actually, it isn't. I said yes, I was gay. What was his point? He only shrugged and said, "I've got a friend—guy friend—who's trying to forget a bad relationship. Think you might wanna give him a chance?"

Yes, I did date other guys—about five in all. Nothing special, just a small casual dinner, maybe a couple beers at a bar then proceed to my place and have sex. I guess I'm a pretty good partner, if what they tell me is any indication. With girls, I noticed they'd say anything just to gain a guy's favor. With men, I don't get that.

'Sex is like pizza', one of my dates told me once, 'when it's good, it's really good. When it's bad, it's still pretty damn good'. I realized he was right—and if that were the case, then I've been making the best pizza Dakota's ever had. How's that for an ego boost?

I learned from experience that guys won't say anything unless the sex was really good—and every partner I ever had always said the same thing: "WOW."

That's it.

Just 'wow'.

No, I'm not kidding.

Guys aren't verbal creatures, and women never shut up.

I'm kidding, I love women. A little annoying sometimes, but still, I know I have a lot in common with them. Gay guys and women both like women, but lust after men. So in that way, we aren't that different.

Aw, fuck it. The only reason I'm keeping this journal-thing is because my therapist wants me to. She says it'll help her understand me better and help me to understand myself better. Good luck with that, doc.

How do I feel right now? Simple…

I feel empty.

Empty.

As in, devoid of fullness, not full, blank, vacant. I haven't felt any real emotion for a long time. No rage, elation, none of that. I've been taking everything in stride, taking it easy. I wonder if they've been slipping anti-depressants in my food. I've never felt so…hollow.

Shut up, I know what you're going to say. I miss them. That's why I feel empty…hollow…

Alone.

Okay fine! I'm lonely! There. I said it—there it is in black and white. I. Miss. Them. Hell, I even think I love them. So what's my problem?

They don't want a damn thing to do with me.

Think about it, why would they want an ex-convict and hothead around them when they have each other? Does that make any sense? No, its best I move on, forget about them, let them live their lives in peace. I'll just be a spot on those memories…

I'll move on. There's plenty of guys out there for me—plenty. Okay, not all of them are gay (in my case, the good ones are either already taken or they're straight). But there's someone for everyone. Right?

Maybe I'll give Chris a call back, see if he's interested in another date. Or maybe Will. Definitely not calling Jack—he's way too clingy, he'd make a girl flinch. Maybe I'll just call Will; he seemed like a cool enough guy. Good sense of humor, smart, funny, nice smile…

Though he's not as smart as Richie, and his smile isn't as dazzling as Virgil's…


One year later…

Friday, 12:30 pm. Chen's Body Shop, Dakota City

He was working late that night. Or planning to at any rate. Danny had called him into his office around noon and said, "Frank, go home."

It had become customary around the garage that they called him 'Frank'. He hated being called Frankie (or Fran-kay), and having a guy named 'Francis' working in a garage seemed so…wrong. Luckily, Francis let it slide—he actually liked his boss, or tolerated him at least.

"Why should I go home?" he challenged.

"Because I'm your boss, and I said so."

"Dan, I gotta pay the bills…"

"Then I'm giving you a raise starting now," he said quickly, his face buried in the newspaper's Auto section.

"That's great but…"

"Frank," he said, turning in his chair, put down the paper and sighed tiredly. "You have an amazing work ethic—and I don't say this lightly. I know you from middle school, and you were never this hard of a worker. You need some time off before you kill yourself."

"What am I supposed to do with the free time?"

Danny shrugged. "Chill out?" he offered. "Rent some movies, order take-out, do whatever—just unwind. You've been really tense lately—everyone's noticed."

"I've got a lot on my mind."

"I'll bet," Danny said with a smirk. "If I had as many lovers as you, I'd look a bit stressed too."

"Screw you, too." He allowed himself a smile. Alright, you win this round, you wry bastard. "See you tomorrow morning?"

"Actually," Dan said, standing, "I've decided to give you an extended vacation."

"Meaning…?"

"You're going on vacation—I don't think I can say it any plainer than that, Red."

"How long?"

"One week," he said, throwing his arm over the taller man's shoulders, leading him to the door of his office. "One week to get out of the city and travel. Go to the mountains, the beach, skiing, whitewater rafting, whatever floats your boat."

"Do I look like I ski?" he asked skeptically.

"I'm only bouncing ideas off you. Listen," he stopped him. "Your probation is over starting tomorrow. You really will be a free man then—go enjoy yourself! You helped Static and Gear defeat the Dakota Destroyer, and you've been working your ass off since then to become a model citizen—if anyone deserves a vacation, it's you."

Francis wanted to believe him—really he did, but there was something behind Danny's eyes, a slight mischievousness that went unchecked across his gaze. "What are you planning?"

"Me?" he blinked. "Why would I plan anything?"

"Fine, don't tell me," he huffed, shoving his hands into his grease-stained jeans. "So the deal is I leave for lunch and don't come back until…"

"Monday the 8th," Danny answered, stepping back towards his desk. "Why not go to DC for the Fourth of July? That should be exciting."

"Yeah, I'll think about it," he said unenthusiastically. Once Francis had left his office, Danny waited five minutes until he heard him saying his goodbyes then finally walking out the door.

Danny Chen picked up his phone and dialed the number he had written down earlier and waited patiently as the other end rang, the man leaning back in his chair.

"Hello?"

"He's coming…" Danny said in a sing-song voice. He couldn't help but grin. He loved pulling jobs like these. He was setting up F-stop to get just what he deserved… "You guys ready for him?"

"Ready and waiting."

"Good—now, he'll stop for lunch, maybe hit a couple bars, but he'll definitely stop at the store and pick some stuff up. He should be getting back around dinner-time. So be ready. Don't let me down, boys."

"Don't worry—it's all taken care of."


Dakota, 410B Cornerstone Ave. 9:34 pm

The minute he walked out of the garage, his mind had gone blank. Well how the hell am I going to spend the next 6 hours until dinner? An even better question was what he was doing for his vacation. At midnight tonight, his probationary period was up, and he could go anywhere he wanted.

The beach? No, he didn't like the sand. Mountains? Too cold. Nope, looked like he was going to be staying in town. Or maybe he'd go to New York for a few days—or maybe take Danny's suggestion and see the nation's capital. Those seemed more promising. Cities always did. They were his natural habitat, and he felt severely out of place anywhere else.

So Washington DC it was. He'd take the next plane there, which he found would leave the next day around 3:30 pm. He booked his flight with the cheapest tickets available, went to get some supplies for the trip, then went home.

It was pretty late, and he was starving. Hunger aside, he was also drained. Emotionally, physically, mentally…he hadn't been getting much sleep lately (mostly thanks to Will, the guy he was dating). Will had recently said they "needed some space". Easy translation: "I want to date other people."

Francis shrugged. Okay, no big—not a problem. He didn't feel like they were going anywhere anyway. The sex was great, he had to admit, but it always made him feel…used. He hated that feeling.

He climbed the stoop to his apartment building, a grungy soiled-looking red brick edifice with dark, lime-painted windows. He arranged the bags of groceries in his arms and dug into his jacket pocket for his keys. Turning the lock to the rusty cast-iron front door, he walked past his landlord, completely ignoring the obese, hairy and smelly old man.

"Stone! Where's the rent?" he demanded.

"I paid you yesterday."

"I don't see money…show me the mon—'"

"You really need to stop watching 'Jerry McGuire' so much," Francis said. He cocked his head in the direction of the mailboxes along the wall. "The envelope should be in its usual place." As he climbed the stairs, the landlord heckled him,

"If I don't see rent, you're gonna see the street, kid."

"Duly noted," Francis said blandly, ignoring him. He opened the door to his apartment and stepped inside, dropping the brown paper bags at his feet. He closed the door and fit the locks, and once he was satisfied, he picked up his bags and proceeded to the tiny kitchen, if it could be called that.

It was a very modest two-room apartment, not including the bathroom. The kitchen and living area was practically in the same room. Francis' kitchen was merely a tiny refrigerator, microwave, Foreman grill, and an aged electric stove that refused to work. Whenever he needed to boil something, he just used his own powers for cooking. Francis had learned early on that if it didn't taste right, it wasn't cooked well enough, and that normally resulted in his getting violently ill. He had taught himself to cook, mostly by trial and error, and mostly error. That wasn't to say he wasn't a good cook—he just thought too much. An oxymoron in itself; Hotstreak…thinking…it didn't seem feasible.

He started putting away his meager groceries silently, mellow, depressed. Okay, maybe I should have asked for anti-depressants, he thought. He shook himself out of it. The last thing he needed was for everyone to think he'd lost it. He'd just gotten his freedom; he didn't need to be committed to an institution.

Suddenly he was aware of something. Two somethings. One, he could smell something…cooking—it smelled great. Two, that great-smelling food was coming from his oven.

He opened the creaky oven door a crack and, sure enough, the inside light kicked on and Francis saw a rotisserie chicken warming on the middle rack. As a matter of fact, there was even a bottle of Merlot on his counter, and three wine glasses…

What the hell? Suddenly he was aware of something else in his apartment. Sitting on the lumpy old couch right across from him were two figures…

Panicked, he switched on the overhead light and he stood stock-still. Sitting there on his couch were Virgil and Richie. They weren't smiling, nor were they frowning, and they were dressed nicely enough, like they had just come from a respectable party. They watched him expectantly, Richie raising an eyebrow and pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose. The blond man was still in his work clothes, beige slacks, light blue shirt and navy blue tie. He cocked his head. "Well?" he asked.

"Well what?" Francis asked back.

"Don't you have something to say?" the genius asked.

"What are you doing here?"

Virgil chuckled and sat forward. He was wearing a dove-gray suit, the jacket thrown over the back of the couch, the crimson tie and first two buttons of the white shirt undone. "Not one to beat around the bush, huh? How've you been, Francis?"

"I can't complain."

"Uh-huh…"

"Really, I can't—I'm a free man, I've got a job, my own place…"

"A crappy place," Richie noted, his blue eyes roving over the place. There were places on the walls stained with god only knew what, and he didn't want to think about it. "Is this how you've been living for the past two years?"

"Has it really been that long?" he asked, leaning against the wall, still looking at them. He sighed, "It has, hasn't it? Damn."

"We missed you," Virgil said truthfully.

Francis frowned. "You're just saying that."

"No," the darker man said, standing and crossing the distance between them. "I'm not just saying that. Rich and I missed you. We want you to live with us."

Taken aback, he had no idea how to answer that. He only looked into Virgil's eyes sorrowfully. Breaking the eye contact, he pushed against the wall and paced. "Virg, listen…I know that…the whole me finding out you were Static and vice versa, that was pretty fucked up. I mean, it's been messing with my mind for…"

"What are you saying?"

"I don't know!" he whirled on him. "Shit, I don't know whether I love Static or Virgil!" he said suddenly. Then he waited. He waited for anything, for Virgil to say anything at all. Laugh at him, yell at him, hit him for his stupidity, he didn't care. What he didn't expect was to feel Virgil's lips on his own.

It was a simple, chaste kiss, sweet and caring. It was so completely foreign to him, but in a good way. When Virgil pulled away, Francis saw in the other man's eyes what could only be attributed as…love.

"It doesn't matter whether you love Static or Virgil," he assured. "So long as I love you and so long as Richie loves you…"

"So long as we love you…" Richie corrected, rising and stepping over to them. "That's all that matters."

Francis was speechless. Here he was, faced with the very thing he had been dreaming of for the longest time, and he couldn't think of a single thing to say. He wanted to say something romantic, sexy even. Instead, he opted for embracing both of them.

"Jesus Christ…I love you too. Both of you."

"We love you too, Francis," Virgil whispered in his ear. He felt their arms tighten around him and Richie's lips kissing his neck, while Virgil's lips claimed his own. The darker man leaned his forehead against his own and said, "That's for last time."

"Thanks." He didn't know why he said it, but it felt like the right thing to say. Besides, he couldn't really concentrate with Richie doing that.

The blond man's hand had reached down and lightly brushed against his crotch. Francis hissed in appreciation as he felt Virgil's tongue travel up his neck, leaving a hot trail of moistness, the hero pausing only long enough to kiss just below his ear.

"Oh god…" he gasped, arching his body into him, the blood rushing south. His head was swimming from the close physical contact, and he was drowning in pleasure already. He felt Richie pulling back on him, the blonde's fingers turning his head to face him. He tasted his lips gently at first, then Richie's kisses became rougher, more passionate. He pulled back again, leading him away. Virgil whined in protest. Richie paused long enough to gasp out, "Bed. Now."

"Good idea," Francis concurred, enthusiastically.

He disengaged himself from them, taking one hand from each and led them into his sparse bedroom, furnished with only the queen-sized bed, bedside table and lamp. A mirror hung opposite the bed and Virgil couldn't help the suggestive smirk that crossed his lips when he saw it. Francis noticed the queer smile. "What's so funny?"

"This," Virgil leaned forward and dug his hand into Francis' abdomen. The redhead shrieked with laughter, then promptly covered his mouth, staring between the other men with a panicked look on his face.

Richie and Virgil shared a wicked grin, and then looked wolfishly at Francis. "Hey Frank," Richie asked, "Are you…ticklish?"

"No," he answered abruptly. Maybe too abruptly. He saw their grins widen. Aw hell…

Richie attacked him first, clawing at his sides, and Francis burst out laughing, screaming for him to stop. Virgil took over, finding even more ticklish spots and Francis roared with laughter. "Oh God STOP! Haha…I'm serious…HAHA! Stop!"

"You want us to stop?" Virgil asked innocently, breathless from his own laughing. Richie also looked flushed and bright from his own hysterical laughter. They were quite a pair. Francis nodded enthusiastically. "Yes! Please stop!"

"Okay, we'll stop," Virgil consented. Then, casting a furtive glance at Richie, who winked back at him, the darker man said, "Okay, we lied." then they attacked the ticklish redhead again.

Breathless from laughing, Francis didn't realize he had been thrown on the bed until he felt the mattress sag beneath their weight. They continued to tickle him until he finally pushed against them. "Okay, OKAY! I give up—stop, please…hahaha—stop…" he was breathless and laughing still. Virgil pinned him down and Richie lay next to him on his side. Richie grinned, "Give up?"

"Yes," he nodded, closing his eyes tiredly. Jeez they wore him out… he felt Virgil's fingers interlacing with his own. He opened his eyes and stared into the depths of the other man's eyes, hooded over with desire. Leaning in close, he asked seductively, "Give in?"

"Yes."

Virgil claimed his lips passionately, and Francis' mind traveled back to that one kiss back on the Watchtower. This kiss blew that one away. Virgil broke contact only long enough to ask, "Richie, you don't mind?"

"Not at all," he said nonchalantly. "It might be a welcome change to watch."

"What about you?" Francis asked. Richie captured his lips and ran his hand down his side. "What about me, hottie? I'll get my turn, you'll see."

In light of this, Francis was certain he was going to have one hell of a night. If the landlord complained, the hell with him.

Francis ran his hands over Virgil's clothes and frowned. "Did you have to wear so much?"

"I thought you'd enjoy taking them off."

"Oh. Well in that case…" he made short work of disrobing the electric hero, and watched out of the corner of his eye as Richie seductively took of his own clothes, running hands over his own body, knowing full well what effects he was having on the other two men.

"Does he do this a lot?" the pyro asked, feeling his arousal grow. Virgil nodded wearily, his body under similar effects, "He's such a tease."

"We'll have to punish him later," he said wicked. Virgil smirked. "Absolu—ah!" he arched his back and he felt Francis' teeth graze the collarbone. The redhead soothed the tender flesh with a kiss, then trailed kisses all over the dark pillar. He suckled, nipped and kissed all the right places, emitting moans from his new lover. Meanwhile, Richie was watching the whole thing, getting hotter by the minute.

Virgil had enough and shoved Francis into the mattress. "Uh-uh," he stopped him. "Tonight, I'm exploring you." He proceeded to tilt the redhead's head back, the talented tongue drawn to his neck like a magnet, tasting the sweet skin, already glistening from sweat. Francis released a wordless sound that only increased his passions. Virgil's hands were all over his body, and he even added a few sparks in selected places. Francis was squirming beneath him, wild with desire.

"Do that again," he pleaded. Virgil conceded, adding minor shocks near one the more sensitive areas. Richie watched the display, his own member hardening. It took all his willpower to not go and ravage the both of them. But, his fun would have to wait…unfortunately. Or maybe not…a sinful idea sprung into his head. Thank god for super genius brains—sex lives would never be the same again.

Francis was aware of what Virgil's hands were doing to him, but he became faintly aware of someone's tongue flicking across his nipple… "Ah, Christ!" he gasped.

"Nope, just me," Richie whispered conspiringly. He returned to his ministrations, relishing in the welcome sight of the squirming man beneath him. Francis ran one hand through Richie's short flaxen hair, chest heaving, eyes hooded over with lust. Then he felt moist warmth close in around him.

"Oh GOD! Virgil!"

He felt Virgil's lips twist into a smile. If I had known oral sex with him was so damn good…Francis thought. But his thoughts were abandoned as he sensed how close he was… oh, Jesus

He groaned in protest when Virgil pulled away. The darker man sent Richie a look, but Richie consented, "You go first."

He didn't need to be told a second time, stroking the other man's body, leaving small shocks in desired places. Francis gripped the sheets, arching wildly from the onslaught of his more sensitive areas, letting out a deep groan when he felt the preparation and finally, the sweet intrusion.

Richie was beside himself. It took all of his self-control not to give in to temptation, throw Virgil off Francis, and take him himself. Both heroes had waited for too long for this moment. But, Richie reasoned, you waited two years, you can wait a few minutes, right? Right…? Yeah, didn't think so. Resigned to this cruel, torturous fate, he laid out next to them, watching hungrily.

Virgil ran his hands all over Francis' body, the redhead's legs entangled in his own, arms wrapped around him, clutching at him, both crying out as their pleasure peaked. Virgil planted sweet kisses on the redhead's moistened face, brushing away a damp lock of hair from his forehead. Francis relished in the embrace,

"My turn…" Richie said suggestively. He pulled Francis up to a sitting position, kissed him roughly, pulling on his hair, hearing him moan into the open-mouthed kiss. Straddling his hips, he suckled on his ear, moving down to nibble the chest and stomach. Their bodies slick with sweat, driving each other crazy, faces flushed, hearts beating wildly, breaths raggedly escaping their lips… Richie pulled away, then laid them down. Francis had decided he'd had enough, then pinned the other man into the mattress, kissing, nibbling, nipping and licking all over the blond man's neck, shoulders, and face, stopping long enough to kiss just under the ear.

Richie was gasping with pleasure, his face flushing furiously from passion. Seeing him close to screaming was a more than welcome sight. Francis leaned down, their tongues dancing, battling for control as he gently pushed himself inside, feeling Richie arch his back beneath him, trying to get as much physical contact as possible. Any resistance fell along with any inhibitions, any doubt, as they made sweet love. Francis whispered his name and wrapped his arms around him closer, increasing rhythm, fingers raking into his back, but the pain only added to the pleasure. Both were surprised when they simultaneously convulsed, Richie crying out his name.

Virgil pulled them into an embrace and kissed both of them, breathing in their unique scents, all three men breathless and tired. They curled up together, slick with sweat, and fell fast asleep, but not before Francis gasped out to both of them, "I love you."


Later, 12:35 am

"So, we're agreed?" Richie asked.

"Yeah, I think so," Virgil said.

"Tell me this," Francis started.

"Shoot," Virgil answered.

"Did Danny set me up?"

"Now why would he do a thing like that?" the darker man asked with mock innocence.

"Remind me, next time I see him, to deck him," the pyro requested.

"You know you're grateful…"

"I know, and I am."

"You're very good, by the way," Richie complimented, scooting in closer.

"Thanks. Glad you gave in this time?"

"Definitely. So you're moving in tomorrow?"

"You got enough room?"

"We're all sleeping in the same bed, so I'm guessing that would be the case."

He smirked at snuggled up closer to Virgil, Richie curling up next to him, draping an arm over his waist. Francis rested his head against Virgil's shoulder and asked, "How long did it take you guys to realize…"

"Two days," he replied. "But we weren't sure about you. We wanted to wait until you got out, and when you had settled into your new life."

"Besides," Richie said, leaning forward to kiss the flame-haired man's cheek. "We wanted to be sure you could support yourself."

"You're renting the place aren't you?"

"Leasing. It's better than this one—hell of a lot cleaner."

"Who does the cleaning?"

"It'll be all of us," Virgil said. "All of us responsible for chores, as much as we hate them."

"Do we get lots of visitors?" Francis asked. Virgil smiled knowingly, "'We'?"

"I will be living with you from now on, won't I?"

"Yes."

"So there's a definite 'we' involved here."

Francis felt Richie's grip around him relax as the super genius drifted off again, a sweet adoring smile on his face. Francis couldn't help but smile himself, and laid his head against Virgil's shoulder again, sighing contentedly. Before he drifted off to sleep, Virgil poked him, "Hey."

"Yo."

"I've been thinking."

"Shouldn't do that—it's dangerous."

"Smart ass."

"That's me."

"Look, Wonder Woman once said to me that you'd make a good addition to the League."

Francis was silent. "She's kidding—she has to be."

"I think she was serious."

"What do the others think?"

"Largely opposed, but you're gaining favor. Lucky you…"

"Lucky me," he snorted. Draping an arm around his middle, he said to Virgil, "You really think I could be a hero?"

"You were a hero when you saved us from the Destroyer. So what do you think? Maybe there'll be a Hotstreak superhero?"

"Eh, maybe." He left it at that and drifted off to glorious sleep, a smile on his lips. Virgil gazed down at him, then kissed his forehead, before settling down as well to enjoy the remaining hours of the night, locked in their embraces.


Finis.

A/N: (Throws confetti and cheers) w00t! Would you believe this is my first completed fanfic? Wow, I need to continue the trend. Thanks to all my reviewers, and all my readers for helping this story to keep going.

Lucky for you, I've been contemplating writing a sequel to this bad boy—a romantic comedy, if that's so hard to believe, given my track record. But let me know what you think. Should I write a sequel? Let me know!