Title: The Man

Author: Tsutsuji

Fandom: The Prisoner (1967)

Pairing: 48 x 6

Rating and Warning: T/PG13, for UST and implied slash. Not beta'd.

Word count: 831

Summary: Even a rebel needs something worth rebelling against.

Notes: Uh. I can't believe I've written The Prisoner slash. (Pre-slash, anyway.) For the "Authority Figures" square on my Kink Bingo card. I had a list of about 30 pairings I could have used for that kink, and this, of all things, was the one that decided to get written. wtf brain? Comments appreciated, as always!

The young man formerly referred to as Number 48 stuck his thumb out and counted the cars that didn't give him a ride. Maybe it was the natty top hat and the ruffled, open shirt, badges of nonconformist youth gone wild, that made every driver avert their eyes and swerve far out around him, or maybe it was some lingering aura of the nightmare-wonderland of The Village he'd so recently escaped. When it got up to 6+8 total cars gone by, he decided to take the product of that as A Sign. He dodged his way across lanes and started hitching back toward London instead.

There was no mistaking the house after seeing it on the video screen back in The Village. That sweet little Lotus 7 that had been parked outside in the vid screen was missing, but The Butler appeared on the doorstep and ushered him inside, just as placid and predictable as ever.

The Man himself, so far only known to him as Number 6, returned a while later. He seemed only mildly surprised, if at all, to find the young man there, after having dropped him off at his own request far outside the city earlier. He barely quirked an eyebrow, just silently regarded him as he paced across the room. The Butler appeared with a cocktail glass on a tray, which the man accepted as calmly as if he'd had the perfect little servant at his side for his whole life.

The kid sat there where he was, sprawled across the sofa as only a lanky, cocky youth can sprawl, and grinned up at him, head tilted to one side, one hand idly fluttering through with the ruffles on his shirt, the other waving in the air in time to the song still running through his head.

"Don't you," The Man said, waving his glass in the air as if searching for words, "have some kind of Establishment you should be out rebelling against, or something?"

He said it with that smug little, all-knowing grin that the kid had decided he liked and wanted to see a lot more of. Didn't matter if he'd been a prisoner in that trippy gilded cage called The Village for more days, weeks, months than either of them could ever hope to account for. He'd always been The One In Charge, really. He didn't know it, but he'd been the kid's inspiration for a long time now.

He would have held out against them as long as he could anyway, in his own crazy way. Like the Judge had said, it was the nature of youth. He couldn't help it. But sometimes, even a crazy, mod, anti-everything young man like him wanted someone to look up to. Just as long as that someone was worth the bother.

He stood up and took the couple of jazz-dancing steps that put him right in front of The Man. He didn't bat an eyelash, of course, just regarded him with that quirk of his lips, and that "aha, I'm on to you" gleam in his eye. So cool he was hot. But the kid had noticed that about him a long time ago, too.

"Well, you know, old man," he drawled - letting his gaze slide down the length of the man's body and then back up again, nothing wrong with being obvious after all - "even rebels need something to rebel against."

"Old man?" That eyebrow shot upward.

"That's right, old man! You're The Man!"

"Am I - Young Man?"

"You got it!"

"Do I?"

"If you can get it!"

"Can I? Young Man?"

He'd taken a step closer, closing the space between them to almost less than nothing. That clear-eyed gaze of his never faltered, appraising the kid and gauging his intentions in an instant. Somehow that lilt in his voice morphed the query into something more like an order, a command, a warning. Even the kid wasn't cool enough to hide the little thrill that gave him.

"You're certainly," the kid drawled, as he lifted the drink out of his hand, "welcome to try!"

He didn't even have to glance aside to know the tray was right there under his hand; those cool blue eyes flicked to the side, but The Man stayed still as a statue. The Butler padded silently out of the room and the door snicked shut behind him.

"Am I? Welcome, that is," that querulous, challenging, lilting voice said quietly, the smirk becoming a smile that was even more of a warning than the question had been.

He knocked the funky top-hat with a flick of his finger, then reached out and wrapped the thin chain that hung from the kid's neck around his fist. The little bell on the chain jingled softly as he tugged on it like a leash.

The kid grinned, and went right where he was led. For once, for now at least, he didn't even rebel - much - at all.

~~ the end ~~

(Respectfully dedicated to the memories of Patrick McGoohan and Alexis Kanner - both so cool they were hot.)