Nips
DISCLAIMER:  The characters from THE INVISIBLE MAN do not belong to me.  If they did, then Alex Munroe would never have existed. TITLE:  A NIPPLE THING (Copyright September, 2001) AUTHOR:  Swordqueen RATING:  "R" for m/m sexual situations PAIRING:  Darien/Bobby of course! SPOILERS:  None SYNOPSIS:  I think the title says it all. ARCHIVE:  All you have to do is ask. FEEDBACK:  Absolutely! swordqueen@hotmail.com A NIPPLE THING (Rated "R") By SwordQueen Copyright September, 2001

"Can you believe we actually got away with that?" Bobby asked his partner excitedly. "Tell me, my friend, what were the odds that the police would've shown up like that? Whoo Hoo! Bobby Hobbes is feeling lucky today!"

As Bobby swung his van into overdrive and skidded away from the scene as fast as he could, his unusually subdued, and currently visible, partner, Darien Fawkes, sat quietly next to him, an expression of shock and confusion on his face.

Sparing his friend a glance, Bobby nudged him in the arm. "Fawkes?  Fawkesey? Are you listening to me?"

 "Hmm?" was the only reaction Darien seemed capable of giving at the moment. He was way too occupied staring out into space.

Bobby grew concerned.  "Fawkes?  Fawkes, what's with you?  You okay?"

With a quick shake of his head, Darien looked down at his hands, "Uh, yeah. Yeah, I'm ... I'm okay … I think."

Bobby looked more closely at his partner. "What do you mean you 'think?'  What is it? What's wrong with you?"

Darien scratched at his head. "It's just …"

"Just what?" Bobby pushed.

"Just … well … you … you …"

"You, you, yo, yo, what, what?  WHAT, Fawkes? WHAT?" Bobby pressed, frustrated.

Darien winced and turned to look at Hobbes.  As he took in his partner's comparatively calm demeanor, he found his initial shock quickly turning into anger. "Okay, Hobbes," he began, his voice growing louder. "You really want to know what's bugging me?  You're what's bugging me, Hobbes -- YOU!"

Hobbes was stunned, and a little hurt by the hostility in his partner's voice.  "Fawkes, what are you talking about?  What did I do?"

Darien couldn't believe what he was hearing.  "What did you do?" he asked with chagrin. "What did you doooo?" he repeated.  "HOBBES, YOU WERE SUCKING ON MY FUCKING NIPPLES FOR CHRISSAKES!!"

Bobby slammed on the breaks roughly and pulled the van over. "Is that what's got you all in a tizzy? Aw, come on, Fawkes!  We were on the verge of getting caught. I had to do something!"

"And the best you could come up with was shoving me up against a wall, ripping my shirt open, latching on to my nipples and sucking like a Hoover?!"

"Well you're alive aren't you?" Bobby asked, indignantly. "If Bobby Hobbes hadn't 'made like a Hoover' on those precious nubs of yours, then we'd both be dead by now!"

Darien shook his head impatiently. "Don't you go trying to Bobby Hobbes your way out of this one, my friend. You and I have been in tight situations before and I don't ever recall your getting off on my nipples being a vital part of the escape plan!"

"We were stuck in the middle of an alley, for chrissakes!  Chrysali were all over the place, and there was nowhere for us to go.  I had to think fast."

"Think fast?"

"Yes! Think fast. Think about it, Darien.  You're Chrysali, and you see two guys like us standing around in the alley of a warehouse that just happens to be one of the places your organization uses to house weapons. Now, given that scenario, don't you think you might find things to be just a little bit suspicious?"

Darien considered the question and shrugged. "Maybe."

"But," Hobbes continued, "If you look at it from a different standpoint and, instead, see two guys like us not just standing around but groping at each other like two dogs in heat, then you might what? Assume we were a couple of perves having a little illicit fun?" he suggested.

"Not necessarily," Darien responded stubbornly.

"Oh, come on, Fawkes! Considering the way you happen to be dressed today, it would hardly be an odd assumption." Hobbes persisted.

Darien's mouth flew open and stayed that way for a few beats.  "And just what is wrong with what I'm wearing?"

"Well … look at you."  Bobby stammered, waving his hand up and down in front of his partner.   "What's with that outfit you got on anyway? You look like a two bit street hustler."

Darien looked down at his clothes. "I do not!" he protested loudly.

"Oh you don't, do you?" Bobby said, looking Darien up and down. "You've got on a white, tight fitting tee shirt with the phrase 'Do Me' on it, that rides up so high when you move your arms that I could swear your belly button's been winking at me all day. Add to that, those bright red, high-water pants, that sissy looking beige leather jacket, those filthy, beat-up sneakers you're always so fond of wearing, and you could easily bag a role as a walk-on in a gay porn movie! And don't even get me started on that hair."

Darien had absolutely no idea how to respond to that. So, frustrated, he turned away from his partner and stared huffily out the window. "Well at least I've got hair!" he stated.  Then, after a few moments passed, he said "You have absolutely no idea just how freaked out I am here, do you?"

Bobby dismissed Darien with a wave of his hand and restarted the van, shaking his head as he pulled back onto the road. "Freaked out," he mumbled under his breath.  "Freaked out, my ass, Fawkes!  You've been flaunting those babies in my face ever since we first started working together.  At first I thought you were just one of those guys who liked to show off his body, see how much attention he could get. But then I noticed your shirts getting tighter and tighter and it seemed that every time I turned around, there they were, right in my face. Tell me something, my friend. Do you even own a shirt that doesn't show those things off?"

"Now you're being ridiculous, Hobbes!"

"Don't try that coy act with me, my friend. Bobby Hobbes has been around the block a few times.  In fact, Bobby Hobbes was the guy who invented the block. I know when someone is trying to get my attention."

Darien flung his head back with exasperation. "You have got to be kidding! You can't possibly think that I … that I was actually trying t-to … seduce you?!"

Bobby laughed mirthlessly as he shrugged. "Whether you were trying to seduce me, or the Keep, or even the Fat Man … it doesn't matter. The point is that those nipples of yours are dangerous, my friend." Bobby furrowed his brow and paused. "Tell me something? Did those things get you into a lot of trouble in prison?"

Flabbergasted, Darien reached for the van door just as Bobby pulled the vehicle into the Agency garage.  As the van paused at the entryway, Darien tried to open the door and get out.  Unfortunately, he was too late. The van began to roll again before he could even pull the lever.

Bobby glanced over at his partner and smirked. "Trying to run away, huh? It's no use, my friend. I know this first hand. You can't escape 'em. Wherever you go, there they are!"

Darien ignored him and pulled his jacket closed.

Hobbes didn't say anything further until the van was parked and they were in the elevator on their way to the Official's office.

"You know, I been thinking …"

"Bobby!  PLEASE!  Don't!" Darien protested, raising his hand up in warning.

"No. No. I'm serious here, Partner.  I think we really need to discuss this. We have to work together and I don't think it's good for us to have your nipples coming between us like they are.  We need to clear the air about this. Seriously."

"Oh yeah. Like you're going to be able to take my nipples seriously?" Agonized, Darien threw his hands up in the air. "This is ridiculous! I can't even believe we're having this conversation!" Rolling his eyes, he turned around and banged his head, none too gently, against the elevator door. Unfortunately, he was only able to get two bangs in before the door opened and he was forced to step out.

"Look, Dare," Bobby said, reaching out and grabbing his partner by the arm, inadvertently loosening Darien's jacket in such as way that he once again found himself face-to-face with the objects of their discussion.

"I am NOT discussing this any further with you, Hobbes. Understand?" Darien practically shouted, shoving Bobby roughly away.  Taking hold of his jacket, he pointedly pulled it shut again. "This insane discussion is OVER!"  With that, he stormed angrily down the hall and onward toward the Official's office, leaving his partner staring morosely after him.

_____________________

The next few days were really weird.  Although the partners continued to interact as they worked their cases, there was no hiding the fact that the nipple issue still hung heavily between them.

Bobby really wanted to talk about the matter but every time he tried, Darien would shoot him a look that made it clear he was through with it.

As the days passed, however, Darien was becoming more and more confused. After spending some time going through his wardrobe he realized that his partner had been right -- he really didn't own any shirts that did not show off his nipples or outline his physique in some way. So what? He tried telling himself. He worked hard to keep in shape. Why shouldn't he show off a little?  But then again, if he really felt that way, then for whom was he showing off?  Certainly not for the Official, or Eberts.  Then there was the Keep, who, attractive as she was, was more of a sisterly figure to him than anything else.  There was also Alex, whose dominatrix-like appeal was intriguing, but otherwise did little for him, which left only Hobbes -- short, bald, paranoid Hobbes!  Nah! Darien told himself.  Although Hobbes was not classically handsome, he had to admit that he did indeed find his little friend attractive is a weird, offhanded, sort of way.  But Hobbes was his partner, and he loved him way too much as a friend and colleague to ever seriously consider "fishing off the company pier" with him. But still ….

There was also the fact that Hobbes seemed to be unusually fascinated by his nipples. During the course of their partnership, he had caught Hobbes checking out his buds on several different occasions.  In fact, the more he thought about it, the more he realized that this wasn't a new habit that Hobbes had developed either, but one that the other man had formed a long time ago.

Even more, he recalled, that on the day that the "incident" took place, his partner had seemed particularly preoccupied with them.  And, although he had noticed, it hadn't really bothered him much until the guy had made the decision to get up close and personal. Why was that? He wondered to himself.  Did Hobbes have the hots for him?

Feeling the need to get an outside opinion on the matter, Darien decided to go and talk to the Keep.  Claire had known Bobby longer than he had and was familiar with the other man's psyche (unstable as it may be).  Perhaps she could offer some insight into what exactly was going on.

_____________________

Claire tried her best to keep a straight face as she listened to Darien tell his tale.  It really was ridiculous, but she could certainly understand how it could cause problems between the two men. After all, they did have to work together, and having this kind of awkwardness between them could prove detrimental in the long run.

"If you don't mind my asking, Darien. Why is it that you are so skeptical about Hobbes' ability to discuss this situation rationally?"

Darien raised his brow in surprise as he looked at the tall blonde scientist. "You're kidding me, right, Claire?  I mean, you did hear what I just told you, right?  You do know that this is Bobby Hobbes we're talking about here, right?"

Claire smiled warmly. "Yes, Darien. I am quite aware of whom we are speaking of. That is exactly why I find it hard to understand your attitude."

"What do you mean?"

"You forget, Darien. I'm not just your doctor, but Bobby's as well.  Although there are several other doctors he deals with, I am his primary physician, so to speak.  Despite his paranoia and all around strange behavior, his loyalty to his job and this Agency, in particular, is unquestioned. Not only are you a part of this Agency, but you're his partner as well. If you believe for even a minute that Bobby doesn't take you seriously, then perhaps you really don't know the man nearly as well as you may think you do."

Darien nodded thoughtfully as he considered what Claire had said, and it didn't take him long at all to realize that she was right.

"So you think that if Bobby really sees this as a problem for us, then he'll do whatever he can to try and resolve it?" 

Claire smiled and nodded. "Yes.  I do."

Darien got up from the chair and went to go pick up his jacket. "Thanks, Keep," he said sincerely. "I appreciate your advice."  Then he headed toward the door.

"Oh Darien?" Claire called after him.

Darien stopped and turned around. "Yeah?"

Claire approached him carefully, her expression somewhere between solemnity and sympathy. "There is one more thing I'd like to add, if you don't mind?"

"Sure. What is it?"

"Before you speak to Bobby, you might want to consider … well … that the problem might be more delicate than either of you may fully realize."

Darien began to feel strangely uncomfortable and actually found himself beginning to blush slightly. "What do you mean?"

Claire crossed her arms over her chest and tried her best to give her friend the most reassuring look she could. "It's just that, as someone who has had the chance to observe you and Bobby – objectively, of course – I couldn't help but notice a certain amount of 'flirtatiousness' in your behavior with one another."

"Flirtatiousness? Oh, come on, Keep! You know how Hobbes and I are? We like to joke around and stuff, that's all."

Claire looked skeptical. "Well, yes, of course you do. But there's an … shall we say intimacy to your banter."

"Intimacy?"

"Yes.  Neither of you seems to be aware of the concept of personal space when it comes to the other, many of your jokes have strong sexual overtones to them, and there are times when it seems like you can't stop … well, touching one another."

Darien was appalled. "Oh come on, Claire? You make Hobbes and me sound like a couple of horny teenagers or something!"

"Well …"

"You know, I should have known better than to come here and talk to you. I figured that as a doctor you'd be able to look at this objectively, not turn it into some kind of gay fantasy!" Angry, he turned to leave.

"Darien?" Claire called out to her departing companion. "I didn't mean to insult you. I just thought it was something you should think about before you talk to Bobby!"

Darien ignored her and continued down the hall.  Clair considered going after him, but decided against it.  She had always believed that her two friends would figure things out sooner or later.

_____________________

As Darien headed toward his car, he heard someone calling him. Turning around, he saw Hobbes driving along side him in his van.

"Need a lift?" The shorter man called out to his partner.

"No!" Darien yelled back, none too friendly.

"You might want to reconsider, my friend," Bobby persisted, dangling his hand out of the window.

Still angry, Darien glared up at his partner, ready to rip him a new one, when he noticed Bobby pointing at something.  As he turned his head around, he barely caught sight of the tail end of his car as it turned the corner, attached to the back of a tow truck.

"Hey!" he yelled loudly as he began chasing after the truck. "Hey! That's my car!"  He might as well have been talking to himself. Slowing down to a stop, all he could do was stand there looking silly as he watched his car being taken away. "Aw Crap!" he exclaimed out loud.

"You sure you still don't need that lift?" Bobby called out to him.

"Shut up, Hobbes!" he groaned as he grudgingly headed toward the van.

"Whatever you say, my friend," Hobbes said in an unexpectedly reasonable tone. "Where to?" he asked after Darien was settled in beside him.

"Home," Darien replied, morosely.

"Then home it is," Hobbes said.  "Uh … which home? Yours or mine?"

Darien looked at him glaringly. "Mine!"

"Okay," was all Hobbes said.

Twenty minutes later, the two men pulled up in front of Darien's apartment building.

Not even bothering to say goodbye, Darien climbed out of the van.  It wasn't until he reached the lobby door that he realized he had company. Turning around, he glanced back at Bobby and sighed wearily. "Hobbes? What do you want?"

"The same thing I've wanted for the last several days – to talk, my friend," Hobbes stated in a no-nonsense tone.

Darien sighed as he opened the lobby door. "Hobbes, I'm really not in the mood."

"Well, get in the mood," Hobbes said as he stepped in front of his partner and held the door open for him. "Because I'm not going another day working with you until we do!"

There were times when Darien knew not to mess with Hobbes – this was one of them.  Silently, he led the way up the steps and to his apartment.  After entering the place, he waved Bobby toward a seat and went to the refrigerator to get a couple of beers.  Offering one to his friend, he sat down and unscrewed his own with his teeth.  After taking a chug, he looked pointedly at his partner and said, "Okay, talk!"

Bobby nodded as he shifted, somewhat uncomfortably, in his chair.  "You've got nice nipples," he said, hesitantly, before giving his partner a look as if that should explain it all.

Darien waited a few beats and then shook his head with confusion. "That's it? 'You've got nice nipples?'"

"Yup," Bobby replied with a nod.

"So what am I supposed to do with that, Hobbes?  What? You want me to say thank you or something?"

Bobby looked disappointed. "Ya see? Now there you go getting all sarcastic!" He leaned in closer to Darien and fixed him with his gaze. "I'm trying to be serious here, and you're not willing to give me the same consideration. Is our partnership so insignificant to you that you can't even discuss this seriously with me?"

"Bobby, usually a discussion involves two people talking to each other in a way that lets one play off of what the other is saying.  Your telling me 'Hey, Darien, you've got nice nipples' is not my idea of a good conversation opener!"

"Well what else do you want me to say?" Bobby protested indignantly. "I'm telling you that you have nice nipples. That I find them … and, by default, you … attractive!  I would think that you would be able to find something in there to respond to … conversationally speaking."

Darien put the beer bottle down and took a deep breath. As he ran his hands across his face, he couldn't help but think about what Claire had said to him earlier regarding he and Bobby's relationship.  He supposed that in some ways she was right. There was indeed a certain intimacy in their interactions, but could it really be more significant than just two guys goofing with each other?

"Hobbes …" He started to say, before he even knew what it was he wanted to say.

"Wait a minute, Dare. Let me finish." Bobby said, inhaling deeply before continuing. "I've always pretty much been into chicks, you know. But, I've never been adverse to playing on the other side of the fence every once in a while, you know what I mean?"

Darien didn't dare answer.

"What I'm saying is that while I'm not some kind of pervert or anything, I am only human, and as such am not impervious to certain kinds of stimulus." Looking up, he pointed a finger directly at Darien.  "And your nipples, my friend, are a good example of those 'certain kinds of stimulus.'" He paused. "Or is that 'stimuli?'" he asked before shaking his head with confusion and continuing on.  "Never mind. Now, as I was saying … as much as I'd like to think that I can constantly maintain a sense of professionalism with you, recent events have proven otherwise."

"Bobby …"

Hobbes held up his hands. "Wait a minute, Fawkes. I'm not through yet." He took another deep breath. "Now.  I'm willing to admit to my part in all of this, but I have to say that I think it's only fair that you admit your own guilt in this as well."

Darien wanted to kick himself.  Bobby actually had him up until that minute. "My guilt?" he asked.

Bobby nodded. "Yes."

"Hobbes! I wasn't the one sucking on your nipples!"

"Oh no! You were just the one flashing those babies in my face all the time. It was almost like you were daring me to suck on 'em!"

Darien stood up and began pacing the room. "You are unbelievable!"

"I'm unbelievable?" Hobbes said with chagrin. "You are some piece of work, Fawkes, you know that?  You're so busy focusing on what I did, that you're not even willing to acknowledge your own behavior in all of this."

"What do you mean my behavior?"

"Ha!" Bobby exclaimed. "I guess you couldn't see your role in this could you?" He paused. "Come to think of it you really couldn't see yourself at all – could you?"

"And what is that supposed to mean?"

It means that in the few minutes that went by with us 'pretending' to grope one another in that alley you were getting so caught up in me sucking on the twins that you began to lose control and started going see through!  It's a good thing those trash cans were partially blocking the view, or you and I groping in the alley wouldn't have been the only sight to see – or is that not to see?"

Darien was speechless.

Bobby started nodding as he saw the confusion spread over his partners features. "See?  See? You can't even deny it, can you?"

Darien's heart fell as he realized that he couldn't. "You were sucking pretty hard there, Pal!" He protested weakly. "I happen to have very sensitive areolas!"

Bobby smirked. "Yeah? Well Those areolas of yours were so sensitive that you were practically trying to ram my head through your chest in an attempt to get me to work those babies over even more."

Darien wanted so desperately to deny it, but realized suddenly that he couldn't.  He had spent so much of his time trying to figure out where Bobby was coming from, that he never once stopped to consider his own feelings. In truth, it may indeed have been his partner who had started things in that alley, but it was he who was the one trying his damnedest to finish it.

Not knowing what to say, he slumped down in his chair, moaning into his hands and feeling about as helpless as a newborn baby.

Things were quiet for a minute, each man lost in his own thoughts. Finally, Hobbes got up from his chair and went to stand in front of his partner.

"So. What are we gonna do about this?" He asked, calmly.

Darien barely heard him. "Did I really go see through?" He asked, miserably, his head still in his hands.

Bobby leaned down slightly until he could look his partner in the face. "Yeah," he said gently. "You did."

Darien peeped through his hands and looked at Bobby then, really looked at him for the first time. As he did, he noticed how close the man was standing to him, the deep, soulful brown of his eyes, the gentle affection evident on his face. Suddenly, he wasn't looking at his short, bald and frequently annoying partner, but at someone else entirely. Someone whom he knew would give his life to protect him, would be there for him when he needed him to be, would do almost anything that he asked. And just like that, he realized that he was no longer looking at the face of just his partner, but at the face of a man he had grown to like, respect, and care for far more deeply than he had ever cared for anyone else before.

For Darien, it was the epiphany of a lifetime.

"So," Darien asked, his voice softening. "You gonna jump my bones now, or what?"

Bobby chuckled. "'Jump your bones,' Fawkes?" he asked with amusement.  "Maybe it would be better if we just try and put this all behind us for now, huh?"

Darien shook his head. Bobby was good at masking his feelings when on assignment, but not with him. "No," he said. "I don't think that's going to work. I'm thinkin' it would be better if you just jumped my bones."

Bobby looked surprised, but definitely interested. "You do?"

"Yeah. I do."

"B-But why?"

"Because," Darien began softly, barely believing what he was about to say.  "I'm thinkin' that my nipples couldn't handle being around you, knowing just how good you can make them feel." He smiled salaciously then. "And you just admitted to being attracted to me …" he shrugged and stared wantonly at his friend.

Bobby grinned slightly, yet he still looked somewhat skeptical. His body, however, was quite obviously all ready for a night of bone jumping. "Are you messing with me here, Fawkes?" he asked.

Darien smiled lasciviously as he glimpsed down at Bobby's bulging crotch before reaching up and grabbing his partner's shirt so that he could pull him down closer. When their faces were barely an inch apart, he let go of the shirt and instead took one of Bobby's hands and placed it underneath his own shirt so that it covered one of his nipples. "Does this feel like I'm messing with you, Hobbes?" he breathed out softly. His mind could hardly accept what he was saying … or doing … but already his body was reacting to the smaller man's touch.

"Shit!" Hobbes gasped out, watching Darien very closely.  "You're not on the verge of going redeye on me here, are you?"

Darien leaned in and kissed his friend, gently, on the lips. "Could I be this gentle with you if I were?"

Bobby's breathing increased and he lifted his free hand up to caress Darien's cheek. "No. I guess not," he said, before leaning in and covering his partner's mouth with his own. "You taste so good," he whispered after a while as he pulled Darien even closer.

The action nearly toppled over the chair the taller man was sitting in. So Darien kicked it aside and stood up so that he could use his whole body to maneuver his partner over the short distance to his bed.

Both men happily fell back onto the soft mattress and immediately began undressing one another.  Not surprisingly, Darien was the first one to bare it all. Bobby stopped what he was doing and stared down at his friend, his face a mirror of emotions.

"Fawkes, you know this could get real emotional for me," he said nervously.

"So," Darien replied, sitting up and nibbling lightly on Bobby's ear.

Bobby shut his eyes with bliss. "All I'm trying to say is that we should really think about this, that's all."

Darien moved back to Bobby's mouth, his hands reaching to pull the last of Bobby's clothing (his underwear) slowly down his legs.  "I've spent the last few days doing nothing else but thinking, Bobby," he said between light kisses.  "Right now, all I want is to feel you up against me, touching me …" he paused and looked his partner right in the eyes, "… fucking me!"

"Are you sure about this, Fawkes?" Bobby asked weakly one last time, all resolve virtually gone.

"I have never been more sure of anything before in my life!" Darien breathed out as he reached down and took hold of Bobby's engorged penis.

"Oh shit, Fawkes! What are you doing to me?" Bobby whimpered.

Knowing his partner wasn't really looking for an answer, Darien leaned down quickly and engulfed Bobby's ample dick fully into his mouth.  *This ought to shut him up for a while,* he thought to himself.

_______________________

(Much later …)

"Bobby?"

"Hmmmmm?"

"Bobby, could you uh … could you get off of me please?"

"Wha? You say something, Fawkes?" Bobby asked groggily.

"Yeah, I did," Darien responded uneasily as he sat up abruptly in the bed and practically shoved Hobbes off of him.

"Hey!" Hobbes protested. "What the hell—"

Darien was up off the bed and more than half way to the bathroom before Bobby's head cleared up enough for him to realize what was going on.  "Oh," he finally said to himself when his brain resumed normal function. "Why didn't you just say you had to go to the bathroom?" he murmured under his breath.

Relaxing back down on the bed, he smiled contentedly to himself.  Him and Darien lovers! Wow!  Who would have thought?  He closed his eyes and sighed happily, a self-satisfied smile on his face.

Several minutes later, Darien emerged from the bathroom, still naked, and wiping at his face with a damp towel.  "You comfortable?" he asked, indicating his partner's compact form spread out leisurely across the bed.

Bobby opened his eyes and smiled broadly.  "Very," he replied with a wink. "What about you?"

"Well," Darien began, leaning over the bed and gently pushing his lover over so he could have some room. "Once you move your horny little ass and give me some room to lay back down, I will be."

Hobbes gave his partner the once over, twice over, before skirting over and patting the bed in invitation.  "I don't know. I kind of like having you standing over me naked like that. You are one sexy piece, Fawkes, you know that?"

Darien smiled. "Yeah?  Well you're not so bad yourself."  He said warmly as he settled himself in the bed.  As he did so, he gave a slight moan.

Bobby grew concerned. "You okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine," Darien assured him.

Bobby looked closely at his partner. "Look, Dare … um … if I did anything … well, you know, to um … hurt you … you being a virgin and all--" 

"Whoa!" Darien exclaimed, cutting his partner off.  "What are you talking about?  Exactly when during the last couple of hours did you come to that conclusion?"

Hobbes colored slightly. "Well, you know what I mean.  I'm not saying you're a virgin virgin! I'm just referring to the fact that you've never been with another guy before, that's all."

Darien nodded as he considered his friend's statement. "Ahh!  So I ask again, my friend … exactly when during the last couple of hours did you come to that conclusion?"

Startled, Bobby focused closely on Darien, trying to find even the slightest hint that the other man was teasing him. He found none.  "Y-You mean this is not your first time with a guy?"

Darien smirked. "Hobbes, I've been actively bi since I was 14 years old!"

Bobby was stunned.  For a few moments he didn't even know what to say. Then, suddenly, he flashed Darien a hateful look and said, "You son of a bitch! You fucking son of a bitch!"

Startled, Darien watched helplessly as Bobby scampered quickly out of the bed and reached for his clothes. "Hey!  Hey!  Bobby?  Bobby what's up, man?  What's this all about?"

Bobby hardly heard him he was so furious. "Tell me the truth, Fawkes.  What was this … a mercy fuck or something?"

"'A mercy fuck?'  Aw crap, Hobbes!  What are you talking about?"  Darien was genuinely in the dark about what was going on and the look of hurt and disappointment on his friend's face was causing a tightening in his stomach that was becoming almost impossible to bear. "Hobbes … Bobby, please!  Tell me what's wrong?  What's going on?"

"What's wrong?" Hobbes asked with a mirthless laugh. "You tell me, Fawkes?  What is it … the height?  The lack of hair?  What is it, Fawkes – BUDDY ?  You tell me what's wrong?"

After everything that had gone on between them the last several days, the only reason Darien didn't become hysterical himself was because he could see that Bobby had already beaten him to it.  As he got out of the bed and headed over to his partner, he held both hands up, palms facing outward, in an attempt to calm the smaller man down. "Bobby please, calm down. You're scaring me, Buddy.  You're really scaring me here."

Angrily, Bobby turned his back on Darien and pulled on his undershirt.

"Bobby, what are you talking about?" Darien persisted as calmly as he could. "What did you mean by 'mercy fuck?'"

"For days now I've been watching you freakin' out.  For days, Fawkes!"  Hobbes shook his head in disgust as he sat down on the edge of the bed and began to put on his shoes. "All this time I thought it was because you couldn't handle the fact that Bobby Hobbes was a guy, and that the idea of being with a 'guy' was a little more than you could handle.  Now, after a night of some of the best sex of my life, I find out that it wasn't the idea of being with Bobby Hobbes the 'guy' that was freakin' you out, but just the idea of being with Bobby Hobbes -- period!"

"Well, yeah, I mean even you have to admit that you and me together might not be the best idea in the world, all things considered," Darien argued.

Having finished with his shoes, Bobby stood up and looked at him, shaking his head with hurt and disgust.

Darien couldn't think of another time when he had seen the man look so sad.  Instinctively, he reached out for him.  "Bobby, please, talk to me here.  I don't understand what's upsetting you so much."  He choked on that last word as Bobby roughly pushed his arms away and took a step back.  Darien was heartbroken.

Hobbes almost lost it.  But in an attempt to get a handle on his anger, he took a deep, claming breath and looked more closely at his friend.  Could it be that Darien really didn't understand?  "You really don't get it, do you, Fawkes?  You really don't get how much this hurts me, do you?"

Darien just stared helplessly at him.

"Look, Fawkes, I know I'm not the most attractive person.  And I suppose there are those who would find me to be a bit … weird, but I never thought that you, of all people, would let that stand in the way of our relationship.  We've known each other for what? Two years now?  And during that time I've come to trust, care and respect you in a way that I've never done with anybody else before."  Bobby paused, his eyes moist with feeling.  "What happened tonight wasn't just some roll in the hay for me, Fawkes.  This was the real thing.  This was me showing you how much you mean to me."

Hobbes wasn't the only one misty-eyed at that point. Sniffing slightly, Darien slowly approached Bobby and gently cupped his face in his hands. "Aw, Bobby, you got this all wrong, man!  This was the real thing for me too! Yeah, I was freaking out about getting involved like this with you. But it wasn't because I thought you were too weird to be with – even though you are.  It was because I didn't want to screw things up …'fish off the company pier' as you like to put it.  Hobbes, man, you are way too important to me as a partner and a friend -- my best friend, by the way!  And I don't ever want to do anything to screw that up."

Hobbes began to relax a little as Darien continued on.

"Bobby, my life's been a virtual nightmare ever since I let Kevin put this fuckin' gland into my head. Being dependent on the counteragent … being forced to work for the Agency … having practically no personal life … all of it's been really hard.  But you … you were the one thing keeping me sane through it all. And I can't even begin to tell you how invaluable that's been to me … just knowing that you're there for me."  Darien paused and then pulled Bobby into a deep embrace, "Bobby, I don't know what I would do if I lost you."

"So this wasn't just a mercy fuck then?" Bobby inquired with uncertainty into Darien's shoulder. He could feel the taller man's body move as he let out a loud sigh.

"No fucking way, man!  If there was any mercy in it at all, it was from you to me, not the other way around."

"You're kidding me, right?" Bobby asked, leaning his head back so he could get a better look at his partner.  "I mean, look at you? You're beautiful! And not just on the outside either!"

Darien smiled humbly at Hobbes, his eyes reflecting so much emotion and warmth that Bobby thought he was going to end up with sunburn or something.  "Come on, Bobby.  I was a thief remember?  And still would be if I hadn't gotten caught like I did. A little over two years ago I was rotting away in a jail cell, and I'd probably still be there if it weren't for Kevin making me an offer that I couldn't refuse.  I'm no prize, Bobby.  If you decide to stay with me, you'll realize that soon enough. Goodness knows I've screwed up more than a few relationships in my time."

Bobby laughed lightly.  "Well, don't look at me to give you any pointers there, my friend.  Everyone whose ever dared to love Bobby Hobbes has left Bobby Hobbes! So I'd say we're about even in the relationship department."

Darien leaned over and kissed the top of Bobby's head. "That's only because they didn't know how to love Bobby Hobbes, that's all. Bobby Hobbes is the kind of guy you've got to love with your heart, not your head. Cause Bobby Hobbes is not the kind of guy to be taken at face value.  A person's got to look deeper with Bobby Hobbes. And when they do, they'll see what I see – a loving, caring, strong, kind, and sensitive man … a man whose love and support can make you believe in magic!"

Bobby blushed against his lover's lean chest.  As he did, he moved his mouth slightly and realized that he was right near the left nipple.  He tried really hard to control himself, but he just couldn't suppress the desire to give the nub a nice sweet lick. Slurp!

"Hmmm.  That feels nice," Darien said huskily, breathing in slightly at the sensation.

"You like that?" Bobby asked, now nibbling gently on the small dark peak of flesh.

"Ooooh yeah!"  Darien breathed out slowly.  "Can't you tell?"  He pressed up more closely against his lover.

Even with the barrier of clothing between them, Bobby could feel his partner's cock beginning to swell.  "Oh, I can tell alright.  Maybe I should get out of my clothes and then we can get back in bed and work on getting you to go see through again. I just love going see through with you!"

Darien laughed as he began eagerly tugging at his friend's clothes.  "First my nipples, now invisible sex … geez, Bobby, what other little kinks do you have?"

"You'll find out soon enough, my friend. Soon enough."  Bobby grinned at Darien then. "What about you Mr. 'I've been actively bi since I was 14 years old?' You must have picked up a few kinks there yourself."

Darien smiled lecherously as he physically guided Bobby back to the bed and shoved him, back first, down on it.  "Well, there is this one thing …"

"And what's that?"

"Well," Darien began as he relieved Bobby of his underwear and started a slow crawl up the length of the smaller man's sprawled out body.  "I just can't seem to shake this fixation I have with short, bald, guys with big dicks!"

"Whoo hoo!" Bobby hooted happily. "That's my I-Man!"

Leaning down, Darien caught Bobby's mouth in a soulful kiss.  He rested his body lightly atop his partner, supporting most of his weight on his knees, while Bobby wrapped both his arms around him and began a slow, gentle caress down his back and sides before going even lower and firmly grasping his ass.  Bobby ran his fingers lightly down Darien's crack teasingly, never deeply penetrating him very far.  "Oh man!" Darien groaned as he began bucking excitedly against his friend. "Add unbelievably good in bed to my list of  'Things to love about Bobby Hobbes.'"

"I've got to tell you, man," Bobby gasped out, lifting his head up slightly to take a breath.  "This has gone way past emotional, my friend!  Waaaaay past!"

Darien paused briefly as he leaned down and kissed his lover gently. "You noticed that too, huh?" he asked softly, right before losing control and suddenly going invisible.

Bobby didn't reply, he just leaned his head back up and captured his invisible lover's mouth in another, longer, deeper kiss.  "I love you," he murmured against Darien's long, supple, and now completely transparent neck when he finished.

"I love you too, Bobby," Darien replied breathlessly, seemingly from out of no where.  "Now shut up and fuck me!"

Bobby was more than happy to oblige.

_________________________

THE END