Midnight Run

A/N: So, I've been in my mom's place for a week now, enjoying myself and managing to survive on just a few minutes of time on her computer a day. Now, I finally get my laptop to connect to her internet and I go off to look for my 'running projects' USB so I can get back on track, and you know what I find when I look in my bag?

IT'S NOT THERE!

T_T

Buttons and Ties? Gone. My SpyFest fic? Gone. Chapter 13 of Malagosto? Gone. Malagosto/Repentance re-write outline? Gone! Night Cast rewrite outline? Gone! My prompt fic for The Firm's Monthly Challenge? GONE! Not to mention the outlines and clippets for about half a dozen other fics I'm in the process of writing…and the chapters for my HP fics!

*sobs*

So, where does this ficlet come in?

Oh…I wrote it in my notebook while on the plane. *shrugs* I was too lazy to try and get my laptop out of the overhead bin.

Anyway…*sniffle* While I do my best to mentally salvage what I can from my lost USB, and try and remember that at least the main back-ups for my writing is still intact, here's a little ficlet finally all typed up.

No, not beta'd. Yes, Jusmine, you can send me my mistakes, and yes, this scene is pulled from Beautiful Thing.

Summary: Tom and Alex are playing football in the park. Or maybe tag. Or maybe just 'kick the ball'. Or…something, at any rate. Short, sweet, Tom/Alex fluff. K+ for language, because they're teenage boys. Not enough 'heavy' content to warrant a T, though.


Tom lobbed the football at Alex, who whirled around the tree to kick it back before slipping behind another one, smiling as he heard Tom's yelp at being hit by the ball directly in his arse.

"Fuck you, Alex!" Tom yelled.

"That's the idea," Alex yelled back, before slipping behind another line of trees, Tom still squinting into the distance in the opposite direction to look for Alex.

"E'lo," Alex breathed into Tom's ear, backing up just as the boy whirled around.

"Bloody hell, don't scare me like that!"

Alex laughed, forgetting the ball completely and just running off, Tom chasing after him.

"Oh, c'mon, Tom!" Alex yelled back, barely breaking a sweat, himself. "I've shown you how to do this stuff! Come and get me!"

Tom growled (god, how Alex loved when he did that), and sped up, tracking Alex's body movement, and trying his best to predict the turns so he could cut the curve.

Tom could tell he was making it easy for him.

"Don't go easy on me, Alex Rider!" Tom called out, swerving almost in time with the teen spy ahead of him. He nearly ran into a tree again, the moonlight fleeting in this thicket of forest, but managed to slip past it, and find himself closer to Alex yet again.

Alex, having his fun, finally slowed, and let Tom catch him, namely by the boy grabbing his shirt collar and pulling him back, and just smiled serenely as Tom whirled Alex around.

"What?" Alex as innocently.

Tom glared. "Don't pull that on me."

Alex raised an eyebrow and smirked. "Oh?"

"And don't do that eyebrow thing at me or smirk like that at me."

"And what are you going to bloody do about it?"

Tom cocked his head to the side in consideration, before smiling and saying, "This."

Alex really wasn't all that surprised when Tom leaned forward and kissed him.

There were times when Alex wouldn't do this in public, either for their safety, or just because he didn't want to share. But then there were times like these, where he wanted the whole world to just sit back and watch. The moon shone off the glitter gel Tom always used to spike his hair, and the football lay just beyond their sight's reach, forgotten, as the world melted away with their lips.

Alex barely even registered the bark against his back as Tom pressed them closer to each other and to the tree, as his arms wrapped slowly around Tom's waist, pulling them even closer, just for the comfort of feeling the other boy's body against his own.

After a moment, their lips parted, and Tom rested his forehead against Alex's chest, the spy placing his chin on the other boy's head, simply breathing, their chests brushing as they did so, both hardened with muscle, if some often completely different sources.

Alex saw something move in the slight distance, and immediately wrapped his arms protectively around Tom, despite seeing right off that it was just some other kids enjoying the park in the middle of the night, dimly lit by the streetlights but easily visible, nonetheless.

"Now, what?" Tom asked.

"Nothing," Alex said, just pulling a little tighter, one hand reaching up to cup the back of Tom's head, soothing and guarding at the same time.

"M'kay," Tom mumbled in the hardened flesh, just above Alex's heart and blow his collarbone, right near his bullet wounds. He's rather learned, over the course of his friendship, that when Alex says nothing, it's always something, but it's not worth the battle to try and find out what, and that it's easier to just go along with it.

But he also knew Alex a little more than the boy would willingly admit to or about himself, and squeezes his hands, still gripping Alex's hips, one last time, before also slipping around to encircle Alex's waist, bringing them flush together, just resting there.

But he felt Alex's muscles tense, and looked up to see the slight dip in the corners of his lips. "Alex?"

"If you still care about your reputation, you'll want to let go," Alex said. "I think those blokes and that bird, over there, are from our school."

Tom immediately dislodged, and looked over just in time to see those kids looking at them, and apparently considering coming over.

Alex sighed. "Sorry…"

"It's okay," Tom said, quietly. "I know how much fitting in matters to you."

"It's not the fitting in," Alex said. "I never did that well, and it's certainly become a hopeless cause since MI6. But…I just worry about you, that's all. I don't want you to be attacked…especially when and while I'm gone."

"Why when you're gone?"

Alex shifted slightly.

"Alex?"

"Because while I'm here…I can make sure no one hurts you."

Tom smiled. "My knight in shining armor?"

"More like your body guard in hard Kevlar. I did go to SAS training, you know, and body guarding is part of their job."

Tom laughed. "So you'll use the government's world class military training just to protect me?"

Alex rolled his eyes and nodded, just as those distant kids decided to start making their way towards the two boys.

Tom shook his head. "What am I going to do with you, Alex?"

"You should probably step away," Alex said, mournfully. "Like I said…"

Now, Tom just laughed. "I've grown up quite a bit in the years since you got those bullies to back off from me. I think I can take care of myself. Besides, look at where our school is – it's all children of neo-hippie liberals, remember?"

Alex nodded slowly. "They're almost here."

Tom paused in thought, before making his decision. "Good. I want them close enough to see."

And with that, he stepped forward again, wrapped his arms around Alex, and kissed him again.

Alex's eyes widened, as did those kids who were, indeed, from their school, before he melted shut, again, letting all the rest of the world drift away as Tom snogged him senseless into the tree, to the point where he really didn't care if some sniper came up and shot him right now – he'd die happy.

Gasping slightly as they parted, Alex said, "They look fairly shocked."

Tom grinned. "Good…now, I do believe that we have better things to get our breathing up over…"

"Oh, yeah?" Alex asked.

"Yeah…like catching me!" Tom yelled, before immediately slipping out of Alex's grasp, running past and ignoring those kids, grabbing his ball off the ground, and running for dear life…or at least, Alex's attention.

Grinning, Alex started running at something more along the lines of an easy jog, happily setting off on chasing his Tom on a nice, midnight run.


A/N: *shrugs* I don't know what came over me, but there it is. Now…*shameless authorly begging* I'm going to be hiking while ya'll are reading this, so please, leave some reviews to cheer me up about the USB and my poor feet for when I get back. *drops to knees and begs and grovels for reviews*