Charlotte Ruocco >> Invisible Man Slash >> Routine Disclaimer: This story contains adult content and language, which includes a romantic relationship between two men. If you are underage or live in an area where this is illegal or you just plain dislike it, well, here's your out, my friend.

Although she may be in denial about it, Darien Fawkes and Bobby Hobbes don't belong to Chalie; she's just borrowing them for a little while. Darien, Bobby, The Keeper, Alex Monroe, Eberts, The Official, and any other characters mentioned are the property of Stu Segall productions. No copyright infringement is intended, and no profit is being made.

Notes: Feedback is, as always, incredibly appreciated. I'm a feedback junkie and I've got it bad. I can be reached at chalie@saintly.com, and would really love to hear from you.

Darien and Bobby's potential in the together-y sense fascinates me. This is something I like to call Fun With Exploring Darien and Bobby's Relationship. Because things happen between the hot sweaty sex and the dodging of gun-happy bad guys. No, really. So here's a peek.



Routine
By Charlotte Ruocco




"Fawkes?"

A whisper. The voice was quiet, weighed down by the darkness that surrounded it.

Darien was hovering on the edge of dreaming, a step away from losing the troubles of the day to whatever outrageous fantasies his mind could dredge up; that murmur tugged him back. He moved his lips, but it was a moment before he could muster the concentration to reply.

He made a sound: small, inconsequential, there.

Hesitation's pause. "You asleep?"

"Kinda sorta." Darien burrowed down into his pillow.

"…Yeah. Sorry."

Quiet again. Only now that delicious edge of dreaming had risen beyond his reach.

Darien's pillow let out a breath. He felt the world dip under Bobby's sigh. "Go back to sleep, kid. I'm sorry. Didn't mean to…"

Darien turned his head, slanting a curious look upwards. Bobby was on his back, and though it was too dark to see from where he'd scooted down to rest against his partner's chest -- a rather satisfactory pillow, all things considered -- Darien knew that Bobby's eyes were open, open and staring at the ceiling.

"Nah." He tried to pull himself together, make his tone of voice convincing. Push the exhaustion away. "Sleep's overrated. What's going on, man?"

Silence. Bobby was still staring at the ceiling. "Nothing much." Another pause. "Just…I don't know. Checking that you were there."

Bobby couldn't see his expression in the dark, but Darien felt his eyebrows go up and his sarcasm re-emerge from wherever it usually went to hibernate at night. "Because you can't feel me down here trying to do my very best blanket impression?"

It was true: with his head on Bobby's chest and one arm slung out comfortably to curl around his partner, the rest of Darien, long and lean, was half-draped across the body beneath him.

Bobby's smirk was in his voice. "Yeah, I can feel you, Fawkes. I can feel you good."

Darien grinned, inched himself closer. "Then what's the problem?"

He could practically hear the gears turning in Bobby's head. "Dunno. Wanted to hear your voice, I guess."

Darien swallowed; swallowed a smile, too. "This from the man who spends half the day telling me to shut up--"

Bobby cut in, offered, "You and your big mouth, my friend, they're gonna get you in trouble one of these days--"

"--and then half the night enjoying the trouble me and my big mouth get, well, into--"

Bobby swatted at him, laughing. The sound slid through Darien: touched his toes, warmed his blood, made him lose the tone of long-suffering that he'd pulled.

"Low blow, kid. That was a low blow."

Darien's turn to laugh. "If the game's innuendo, man, that one's just way too easy. I'm not even gonna reply. Come on, Hobbesy, you're not even making it hard."

Bobby's arms came around to hook across Darien, tugging the younger agent up against him. "So in summation," he said dryly, edging back a wicked grin, "We've got 'mouth', 'blow', 'come' and 'hard' tossed out there, and you, my friend, are giggling like a sixth grader--"

"Summation. Ooh. That's a pretty big word there, Hobbes. Have you been studying your SAT vocabulary?"

"Punk." Bobby's hands. Bobby's hands sliding along the curve of his spine.

Darien blinked innocently. "Right. So. Did you have a...point?"

The sudden kiss was sharp, amused, and Darien's lips trembled under the weight of his partner's suppressed laugher.

"...Ah. A rather pressing one, I see."

Warmth abruptly gone as Bobby's supporting arms abandoned Darien and tumbled him to the side, where he curled up, fetal-like, because Bobby had also seized a pillow and was wielding it threateningly.

He tucked his head in protectively. "Hey! Watch the hair!"

Bobby's voice dropped. He loomed over Darien, pillow in hand. "You admit defeat, then?"

Darien shivered. His partner's voice shouldn't be able to do that at will, shouldn't be able to slither all over him like sensuality personified. It wasn't fair.

Darien's hand snuck out, made a desperate grab for the nearest pillow. "You wish, pal. I've got moves you've never seen. You'll never take me alive, I'm the Invisib--"

Another unfair thing was the fact that trained spies tend to move faster than ex-thieves with, well, big mouths. Darien never even made it close to the pillow; Bobby's arm shot out and pinned his wrist to the bed while he swung up over Darien in one smooth, fluid motion. His eyes flashed dangerously. "What was that about taking you, Fawkes?"

Darien's free hand lodged itself at the back of Bobby's neck, yanking him down and practically smashing their lips together. Bobby grunted, complied, pressing the force of his body hard against the lanky frame arched up underneath him.

"Jesus Christ." Darien flung his head back as his partner practically attacked his neck, working the tender skin there with lips and teeth and...sucking. Oh, yeah. Mustn't forget the sucking. From this oh-so-pleasant position, he could clearly make out the numbers of the clock over the slope of Bobby's shoulder.

4:43.

"Oh, fuck. Shit, Bobby."

His partner's eyes flicked over, questioning, mouth hot against his skin.

Darien swore again. "We have to be up and in the Official's office in three hours. Fucking god."

Bobby swung his head around to the clock. Breath hissed out through his teeth. "Shit. Well, no sweat, kid. Rain check, huh?"

Darien flashed him a disgruntled look. "Here I was, peaceably trying to sleep, and I get woken up, forced to think up witty innuendo, attacked and mauled and then handed a fucking rain check--"

"Did you just actually use the word 'peaceably' in a sentence?" Bobby dropped down next to him, slipped a leg across Darien's body to pull him closer.

Darien squeezed his eyes shut and settled in against his partner with a minimum of grumbling. "Do me a favor. Next time you want to hear my voice, go listen to the answering machine recording."

"Yeah, yeah." Bobby's arms tightened for a moment, then relaxed.

Ah.

Blessed silence.

Darien drowsed with the taste of Bobby Hobbes in his mouth.

Then.

"Fawkes?"

Aw, crap.

Half-delirious now, Darien quietly debated the merits of tape, ties, superglue -- anything -- that might effectively impede his partner's ability to speak and thus enable him access to his decent three hour's worth of sleep. He mulled over rolling Bobby out of the bed onto his ass, getting up to stuff his ears with cotton, murder. Unfortunately, all of these options involved far too much by way of activity.

Darien mumbled something that sounded vaguely like English. "Isweartogod, B--"

"Fawkes, I…"

Shit.

Shit, shit, shit.

It took a lot of self-restraint -- it'd been a long day, and a longer night before even that, and fuck it all, he was tired -- but Darien slowed his own jumble of words at the tone that Bobby's voice abruptly took on. Some internal danger-monitor sparked just slightly, and despite his exhaustion he practically perked his ears forward to try and analyze the sudden strange inflection.

He waited, his cheek pressed to the hollow of Bobby's shoulder.

Bobby was staring at the ceiling again. Darien couldn't see that, but he knew that his partner's eyes weren't on him. He would have felt that.

"Fawkes, what are we doing?"

What were they doing?

Too much. Involving noise. That was the issue, Jesus. He just wanted to sleep. Sleep was good.

"Some of us," Darien replied, "Are trying to sleep, while the other contingent seems to have decided that 5am is happy-fun-torment-Darien-time."

Bobby had apparently activated his sarcasm shield, because his usual acidic riposte was lacking. Instead, he merely exhaled, pushing out a breath like it could dispel Darien's obvious disgruntlement. "I mean seriously, Fawkes. Seriously. Fawkes. What the hell are we doing, man?"

Darien balled a fist and rubbed at one eye. "My translator's offline, pal. I don't speak Hobbesian in the middle of the night. I count sheep. You're gonna have to clarify what the hell you're going after if you want some kind of response."

"Everything," Bobby answered, succinctly, gesturing with one hand.

Darien flung his arm up to cover his face. "That really helps. Thanks."

Bobby went on ceiling-watching. "In the morning," he said quietly, and that strange, tense tone was back again, "After you stop bitching about how unfair it is that we have to get up so early for the meeting when the actual assignment doesn't start until the afternoon, after I've yanked the blankets away for the third time, you'll get up. You'll get up, kid, and get water from the kitchen, and then you'll spend all the time you can grooming in the bathroom until I drag your lazy ass back out here for breakfast--"

Darien pressed his lips together. "Look, as astounding as your precognizant powers are, partner, I really don't think--"

"Fawkes. Look, I'm lying here, trying to sleep, thinking about the morning, and it hits me. It just fucking hits me. I know what we're gonna do when we get up, exactly how it's gonna go. We…we have a routine, for fuck's sake."

Darien blinked. Attempted to process. "Oh."

"A routine." Bobby said it like he might not have caught that the first time around.

Darien tried, realization slowly dawning, "And -- and then, I'll read the front page of the newspaper, and you'll--"

"Get dressed--"

"Get dressed, tell me how I'm going to make us late, go outside to pull Golda around--"

"--Come back and yell at you for still dragging your ass--"

"--Kiss me, because it's the last time we can before--"

"Before we go to the Agency," Bobby finished smoothly, stealing the words from Darien's mouth before he could even begin to form them.

Shit.

"We have a routine," Darien breathed. "Jesus Christ, when did that happen?"

"I have no fucking idea." Bobby's voice was low, dangerous again, and it sent a sudden thrill of anxiety through Darien.

Who was trying to figure it out himself. "Is that -- bad?"

"What are we doing, Fawkes?" Bobby repeated, not answering. "What are we playing at?"

"Playing at?"

"This." Bobby flexed his arms, which were closed around Darien. "Everything."

"We're playing?" Darien lifted his head, rolled over so that they were face-to-face. Bobby's expression was, well, nonexistent; he had his neutral 'I'm a Federal Agent, don't you fucking mess with me' mask pulled.

"You tell me, kid."

"Christ, Hobbes, if you're going to keep me awake and be infuriating at 5am, at least try and make some sense. What are you asking?"

"I...I don't know. Didn't get that far yet."

That strange quality to Bobby's voice, Darien suddenly decided, was uncertainty. Uncertainty mixed with hesitancy and maybe a dash of fear, mixed on high and baked at three-hundred-fifty degrees.

Crap. Crap crap crap crap crap.

Darien sat up a little, then ducked to touch his forehead against his partner's, blocking Bobby's dead-on stare at the ceiling.

Bobby's eyes flicked to Darien's, startled.

Moving slowly, Darien brushed his lips across Bobby's cheek, then slid that same soft contact past his partner's lips to his jaw line. Through the feather-light touch, he could feel Bobby's jaw unclench, some of the nervous muscles loosen at the familiar feeling of Darien moving in such intimate proximity. Darien trailed a lingering kiss along the stubbly length of skin marking Bobby's chin, then pressed in gently against the yielding warmth of his mouth.

Bobby didn't respond, but his eyes were open, open and watching Darien.

Darien was watching the 'Federal Agent' mask crumble in front of his eyes.

It had never ceased to startle him how much Bobby could harden his features, keep emotion at so far a distance that his expression would be bland, vaguely menacing, all business. It was unsettling; it was supposed to be. It was a face meant for criminals and anyone else who got in Bobby Hobbes' way, which, these days, was turning out to be a lot of people.

Around Darien, the mask was usually down. When it wasn't, it was an interesting challenge to force it away and bring his partner, in all his paranoid and expressionistic glory, back.

"Fawkes," he started, quietly, as Darien's lips pulled slowly away.

"I like the routine," Darien whispered. "The routine is good."

Bobby's mask was coming apart at its seams now, flickers of emotion touching his face at random points like Darien's kiss had chiseled through iron to reveal something beautiful hidden underneath.

Bobby paused. Captured a breath like it could help restore some of his composure. "You think?"

From Darien: "Yes."

This was worth being awake for.
.
Bobby's arms were close, fierce in their sudden crushing embrace, but it was a feeling that Darien both knew and needed. He felt his own hold on his partner become something more desperate, felt the muscles in his arms bunch and tighten.

They were holding on to each other as if some unseen force were attempting to rip them apart. Clinging to each other in the darkness of Darien's apartment as the clock ticked towards 6am.

"Darien." Bobby's head was pressed to his shoulder now, pressed in tight and unrelenting. Darien could feel his name spoken across the line of his collarbone. "Do you ever wonder why?"

"Why?"

"Yeah." Bobby hesitated. "Why we work."

Oh.

"Yeah," Darien echoed. "Yeah, I do."

He could practically sense Bobby's surprised smirk forming against his skin. "...You figure it all out, then, Einstein?"

"Wouldn't you like to know." Darien put his shoulder into the bed and rolled over, using the momentum of the movement and his tense grip on his partner to settle Bobby down on top of him. It was his turn to stare at the ceiling. "What do you think?"

"You're a smartass punk kid is what I think, my friend."

Darien grinned. "Guilty as charged. Not a bad lay, though, huh?"

"Nah." Bobby seemed to be agreeing. "I've had worse."

The feeling of his arms around Darien betrayed the teasing note to his voice; at least, Darien reasoned, it was no longer so scarily uncertain, so off-kilter, so un-Bobby Hobbes.

"I didn't expect all of this," Darien answered, choosing to answer his partner's previous question rather than respond to the taunt as to his sexual prowess. That was just too easy. "But I guess it makes sense. I had to trust you, Hobbes, like I can't and won't trust anyone else. So if you know someone's got your back, trusting them with your body's an easy thing when you already trust them with your life."

Bobby turned his face up, chin to Darien's chest. "Yeah?"

"Yeah."

Bobby paused. "When I think about it…Well. I guess you get it, kid. You get it. You get me as much as anyone could. As much as I'd let anyone. More. So I don't have to be something I'm not."

Strange how the most simple statements from Bobby Hobbes had a way of squeezing at his heart until it burst. In a good way.

As strange as that mental imagery was.

Darien swallowed into the sudden silence. "God, Bobby, I--"

"Yeah?"

Darien stopped. Smiled. "Yeah."

Bobby loosed his arms, pushed himself up so that he could meet Darien's eyes. "And you know you're the best," he admitted grudgingly.

"The best?"

Bobby rolled his eyes impatiently. "Lay, you stupid schmuck."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah."

Darien's grin was attempting to split his face in two. "I'm glad we could have this little conversation. So I'm the best ever, huh? Bobby Hobbes' number one? El numero uno? The. Best. The man. Oh, heck yeah, Darien's the man."

"Darien can go fuck himself," Bobby supplied, voice now all silken menace and ill-concealed amusement.

"Cool. You wanna watch?"

"Fawkes." Darien could feel his partner's silent laughter under his fingertips. "Okay, screw all this philosophical trust crap. We work because no one else in their right minds could fucking stand us, my friend."

"Their loss," said Darien, and kissed him.

Amazing, huh, the truths that can be discovered when you're dead tired and the sun's rising outside the window but your insane partner who by the way you can't stop touching has decided that this is his chance to be introspective and screw the fact that you haven't slept in two days.

Bobby pulled away, just a little, leaving Darien with the intense desire to press that trademark smirk away with his mouth as well as cash in a certain rain check that had been promised him. His partner grinned. "...Yeah?"

Murder, tape, and superglue had all been ruled out as unsuitable ways to shut Bobby Hobbes up. Darien's big, well, trouble-making mouth provided a far more effective and utterly agreeable solution.

Who needed sleep, anyway?

Yeah.






End.