Disclaimer: I don't own Northern Exposure and no profit is being made from this.

Realisations

Joel carefully poured two glasses of wine, before corking the bottle and placing it gently back on the counter. The room was silent, save for the crackling of the small fire in the hearth.

Chris grinned and accepted the beverage as Joel slid onto the couch next to him. "Special occasion?" he whispered, slowly sipping the wine and staring into the fire.

"Why does everyone think that everything I do has some kind of hidden agenda?" Joel grumbled good naturedly, his hand resting on the back of Chris' neck, toying with the DJ's hair as he spoke.

Chris shivered a little and leant into his lover's familiar touch. "I'd like to think it's because I know you, Joe." He smirked and finished his wine, "Better than most people know you."

The doctor nodded his head in agreement, remaining silent as he studied Chris' reaction to his touch. The other man's head had fallen forward of it's own accord and his eyelids were slowly lowering. Joel grinned to himself as he brushed Chris' long hair to the side, exposing the other man's elegant neck.

Chris shivered lightly when Joel leant forward and pressed a kiss against his skin. "I knew you had an ulterior motive behind wining and dining me," he murmured, allowing the New Yorker to push him back onto the couch.

Joel smirked, moving to straddle the taller man before lightly pinning his hands against the cushions under his head. "Are you complaining?" he whispered, tugging on the DJ's pierced lobe.

Chris groaned and pressed his wakening erection against the other man's groin, drawing an appreciative moan from Joel. "Does it feel like I'm complaining, Joe?" he panted, arching into the Jew's touch when two able hands slid under his T-shirt.

Joel silenced Chris with a passionate kiss, pulling the majority of breath from his lungs until the tall man was flushed and panting underneath him. No matter how many times they encountered each other and felt the other's touch, Joel knew he would never tire of Chris' intoxicating aura.

Chris ran his now freed hands around his lover's waist, sliding his fingers under Joel's waistband and pulling the doctor closed as he continued to devour his mouth.

Able hands slid down his chest to the Harley Davidson belt buckle he was wearing. He whined when Joel stopped his ministrations, mere inches from Chris' hard, aching cock. "Don't tell me you've changed your mind?" he growled, pushing himself up onto his elbows as he glared at Joel.

The brown eyed man grinned widely, the corners of his eyes crinkling in amusement. "Don't worry," he assured him. "I just like hearing you make that noise."

Chris' glare intensified and he wrapped his legs around Joel, pressing their bodies together. He ran a hand through the doctor's curly hair as he kissed him hotly, whilst his other slid down Joel's back to his ass.

Joel's hand was curling around Chris' straining erection when he heard a nervous cough from behind him.

"Erm, excuse me, Dr Fleischman?"

Both Chris and Joel stopped in their tracks, locking eyes in horror as they recognized the voice.

"Ed?" Joel choked, releasing Chris' cock and turning to face the Indian.

Ed's face was flushed with embarrassment and his eyes were looking at anything beside the couple on the couch. "I'm... I'm sorry, I should have knocked," he murmured, turning on his heel and bolting from the house, leaving Chris and Joel staring after him.

Joel moved to go after the younger man, but stopped when he felt Chris place a hand on his hip. "Leave him," the dark haired man whispered.

"But... He... What if he tells someone?" Joel stammered.

Chris shook his head. "He won't say a word," he assured the other man. "But that conversation is going to be embarrassing enough as it is. Do you really want to talk to Ed just after he's caught us almost having sex?"

Joel sighed and lowered his head. "Yeah, I guess," he murmured. He smiled down at Chris apologetically. "I'm sorry, Chris. I'm suddenly not feeling..."

Chris placed a finger over Joel's lips, silencing him. "You don't have to apologise for not being in the mood after being interrupted." Joel grinned and slid off of Chris to sit on the couch next to him. "Despite common misconceptions, I am completely able to be in the same room as someone I'm attracted to without having to sleep with them."

xx

"Good morning, Cicely. You're listening to KBHR's very own Chris-in-the-Morning. The temperature outside is a chilly twenty-six degrees, so remember to wear your thermals. Ruth-Ann has asked me to remind folks to pick up their mail on a regular basis; her mail slot is getting pretty packed."

Chris looked up when the door opened and he waved Ed into the room as he continued, "Here's a cool classic from the seventies to wake up to. Enjoy, folks!" He grinned and stuck a vinyl on the turntable as he flicked the 'On Air' switch to off. "Morning, Ed," he greeted cheerfully.

"Morning, Chris," Ed waved happily, before pulling his gloves off.

"You've come to talk about last night?" Chris whispered quietly, his cheerful demeanour vanishing rapidly. If he were truthful with himself, he had hoped Ed would choose Joel to talk to first.

"I didn't mean to disturb you and Dr Fleischman last night," Ed began.

Chris shook his head. "It was an accident; we should have locked the door."

"How long have you and Dr Fleischman been boyfriends?" Ed questioned, sitting in a nearby chair as Chris nearly fell out of his own.

"B... Boyfriends?" he stammered. "We... We're not... What makes you say that?"

Ed frowned in confusion. "You are going out with each other, aren't you?"

"Well... we get together every so often," Chris shrugged.

"How often?"

"Every few days... maybe five times a week."

Ed nodded knowingly, his dark eyes studying Chris intently as the DJ took in what the Indian was saying.

"Oh... my... god," he whispered, covering his mouth with his hand. "We are, aren't we?"

xx

Joel yawned wearily and leant back in his chair. After a hectic day the waiting room was now blissfully empty and he was more than willing to do absolutely nothing as he waited for the next patient. He grimaced and stretched his neck painfully. He and Chris hadn't gone any further the night before, they had simply stayed up until the early hours talking before falling asleep leaning against each other. As a result, the doctor had woke with a crick in his neck which he couldn't get rid of.

The door opened and Joel forced himself to suppress a groan. His closed brown eyes opened slowly, unwilling to see who was in his office now. He let out a sigh of relief when he saw Chris standing in the doorway looking at him with a surprised look on his face.

"What?" Joel demanded after a long period of silence.

Chris remained silent as he closed the door, firmly sliding the lock over before crossing the office and kissing Joel deeply.

"Erm, okay," Joel murmured, breathing heavily as his lungs struggled to regain oxygen. "What brought that on?"

Chris smiled shyly. "You... Me... Us..." He waved his hands around him as he spoke.

"You've lost me." Joel shook his head in amusement as he watched his lover who was now beaming from ear to ear.

"Ed came by the radio station earlier," Chris informed him, straddling Joel's lap.

"You seem awfully chipper for someone who's just had a very uncomfortable talk."

The DJ smirked, resting his hands on Joel's shoulders, his fingers toying with the New Yorker's curly hair. "He made me realise something." At Joel's questioning look, he continued, "I've been with a lot of girls... and several guys, actually. But they've always been short relationships or one night stands. You and me... well, we've been doing this for over a year and... well, I've never really thought about what that meant but..."

"Is this conversation going to require a stiff drink?" Joel asked hesitantly, drawing a laugh from Chris.

He shook his head, his long hair falling in front of his face. "I was thinking and realised we've never made this official. Never talked about it. So, maybe it's time to go all the way."

Joel ran his hand up Chris' thigh, teasingly brushing his fingers over the other man's groin. "We've already gone all the way, Chris. Several times actually," he reminded him.

"No, I mean... Joe, I guess what I'm trying to say is, will you be my boyfriend?" he asked, blushing to the roots of his dark hair.

Joel couldn't help his jaw falling open in surprise. "I... Did you just say what I think you did?" Chris nodded and the corners of Joel's mouth turned up in a smile. "I wondered how long it would take you to realise," he whispered, tangling his fingers in Chris' hair and drawing him closer, kissing him softly.

Chris kissed him back for a moment before pulling away with a frown on his face. "What do you mean?"

Joel grinned widely. "You've been my boyfriend for a year, Chris. I just didn't want to tell you in case I freaked you out."

He leant forward once more, kissing his lover hotly. As they kissed, his hands slid around Chris' back, groping his ass until the taller man put a hand in the centre of his chest, pushing him away. "Don't you have patients soon?" he breathed.

"Probably," Joel murmured, leaning in for another kiss.

Chris laughed and pushed him away again. "Tonight," he promised. "It's my turn to wine and dine you."

"At your trailer?" Joel raised an eyebrow.

"Okay, at your place, but I'm still cooking," Chris advised him. He kissed him once more before getting to his feet and moving across the room.

When he was at the door, Chris was at the door, he turned when he heard Joel call his name. "What did Ed say about last night?"

"Congratulations," Chris shrugged, unlocking the door.

Joel's eyes widened in surprise. "That's it? He didn't want to know why or how?"

He shook his head. "Ed's an Indian, Joe. They're a very understanding and accepting race of people." Chris opened the door, revealing Marilyn about to enter. "Afternoon Marilyn," he greeted cheerfully.

"Hello, Chris," she replied in her usual monotones. "Dr Fleischman, Holling's here to see you."

"Well in that case, I'll catch you later, Doc. Marilyn," he nodded to the short Indian woman before leaving the office.

Joel sighed and picked his glasses up, telling Marilyn to send Holling in. As he continued his day, he couldn't help grinning at the though of an evening along and, hopefully, uninterrupted with his boyfriend.

The End