Rating: FRT
Pairings: Mainly Indy/Older!Shorty, past Indy/Marion, thwarted Indy/OFC
Disclaimer: I own nothing

Her name is Tracey, or possibly Stacy, but it hardly matters. Within a week she'll be just one more name on an ever-growing list, one more face in an endless sea of faces; neither ever connecting to the other in any meaningful way. No woman - save for the hard-drinking hellcat Marion - has ever managed to hold his attention for long.

It's not as if he's looking for true love anyway. Just a night of harmless fun - no expectations, no regrets.

Stacy - or was it Lacey? - might be pretty, but she isn't the most thrilling conversationalist he's ever known. Later he will realise how lucky this is, that she causes his attention to wander. He catches a glimpse of a startlingly familiar-looking face in the crowd. There is a young man watching him: untidy dark hair, nondescript and practical clothes; yet he stands out anyway, those delicate oriental features unusual in this part of the world.

He's familiar, so familiar. The gaze fixed on him, though, is sharp and adult in a way he doesn't associate with that face. Surely that can't be Shorty. But then when their eyes meet he knows: no-one else has ever looked at him like that, with such absolute, unquestioning trust.

'Not always, Indiana. Do you remember seeing the world through the unholy haze of Kali's blood - the look of betrayal and heartbreak in innocent eyes?'

He ignores the voice of guilt, his companion for so long, and says hopefully; "Shorty?" And the stunned joy of finding something he'd thought lost overrides any regrets as the younger man grins and touches an invisible hatbrim and replies; "Doctor Jones."

In a heartbeat he's crossed the bar to pull the kid into a crushing hug. Lacey (Or perhaps it's Lauren, wasn't Lacey the one last week in La Paz?) is forgotten. He holds on tight - half afraid that if he lets go the kid will disappear again like he did when they hit Delhi all those years ago. Even when he finally releases his grip he keeps an arm slung around the younger man's shoulders. Not going to lose him again.

Lauren or Maureen or whatever-her-name-is-who-gives-a-rat's-ass has gone off in a sulk, but he couldn't have cared less if he'd tried. He steers Shorty towards the stairs, somehow contriving to maintain physical contact the whole time. "Can't hear a damn thing," he says in answer to a questioning look, waving a hand at the crowd; "Got a room upstairs."
"Sounds good to me," the kid replies. The voice is deeper now, older, but the accent and inflection are unmistakable. The strange tightness in his chest feels almost like homesickness.

Upstairs he sprawls on the bed, produces a bottle of whiskey and two glasses. The situation feels surreal - what're the odds? He pours the drinks and grins at Shorty, and a shock runs through him at the knowing smirk he receives in return. Sometime over the last six years, Shorty's grown up: he's dealing with a man now, not a boy.

This is going to be interesting.