Title: The Night of the Chance Occurrence

Author: Olivia Sutton

Fandom: The Wild Wild West (Jim/Artie)

Categories: Romance, Slash, Angst

Rating: M, R

Archive: Fanfic Net, The Depot

A/N: Previously published in Gentlemen Never Tell 4, (Copyright 2000), under a different pen name. I used a different pen name for this, my very first slash story, ever, for the print zine. I changed my pen name when I started pubbing on-line, but rest assured it is my story. No significant changes have been made to the printed version, just checked for typos, and I fixed the puncuation that didn't import right from the original Word Perfect file.

Disclaimer: I don't own Wild Wild West, CBS Network, Paramount, and Micheal Garrison do. I'm not making any profit from this. This is for the enjoyment of other fans. Feedback and reviews are most welcome.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Summary: After the events of "TNOT Death Masks" Jim and Artie come to a surprising realization about their partnership and friendship. Can it become something more?

The Night of the Chance Occurrence

by Olivia Sutton

James West and his partner Artemus Gordon sat on the silk brocade divan in their private rail car. Both men had a leg propped up on the coffee table that sat before the divan.

"Jim?" said Artemus, hesitantly, quietly. He was afraid of what his partner's reaction would be but he knew he had to make his confession, now, before losing his nerve.

"Yeah, Artie?" responded his partner.

"Jim, about what happened in Paradox- I..."

James West smiled, quietly, "Artie..."

Artemus sighed, "No Jim! I have to get this off my chest. I have to tell you the truth. I... Jim, I... God, when I thought I had shot you... That is, when I saw the disguise on my face, and I realized what was going on, and I thought, I thought..." Artie stumbled over his words.

Jim listened, as Artie became more and more flustered, unable to get the words out. "Artie, I know."

"No, Jim. God, no, you can't. It wasn't just friendship, or a partnership that I saw disappearing on that street. I...God, Jim, you can hate me, but... I love you."

"Artie?" Jim asked quietly.

"I had killed you, Jim. For a minute, I thought I had killed you. And God help me, I know I couldn't live with that." There, he'd said it.

Jim's blood turned to ice water in his veins. He knew that Artemus was much more in touch with his emotions than himself. It was what made him such a good actor. But the raw pain in his partner's voice wasn't acting and Jim knew it. God, he didn't know what to do. "Artie, it's okay. We both made it out of that hell-hole."

"Jim, I... Oh, God, Jim." Artie put his face in his hands, turning away.

James moved forward, his instincts taking over. Carefully, oh so carefully, he gathered his older partner into his arms. With one gentle hand, he turned his partner's face towards himself. "Shhh, Artemus, shhh. It's okay, it's okay, it's over." James cooed, his voice soft. He didn't even think, he just murmured quiet reassurances into his partner's ear as he held him close.

"Jim," Artie murmured, "I, there's something else you should know. I meant it. I love you."

Jim nodded his head as he held his partner close. "Yes, Artie."

Artemus pulled back, separating himself from his partner. "I mean it, Jim. God help me. I love you. I... I've had male lovers in the past Jim, in the theatre, as a sailor, hell, even in the Army, but you... my feelings for you are stronger than any of those. You are the other half of my soul. Do you hate me for it?"

"Never. Artie, I... Back in Paradox, I didn't know what was going on. I was drugged most of the time. When people started shooting at me I shot back. Then you threw your gun. Oh, thank God, you did something so..." Jim sighed. "Your initials were on the gun. I knew it was you then, so I kept under cover, and when I could, I made myself a target and dropped. But Artie," Jim grabbed his partner's shoulders and forced his attention on his own face, "Artie, in an instant I knew. I want you Artie."

"Want?"

"Yes. God. I was going to play dead longer. But your voice, just the sound of your voice, I couldn't let you experience that pain for another minute. So I took a chance, and winked, then... But now… Now, Artie. Knowing how you feel, God, Hate you? I could never hate you! You're my best friend, my partner, and I swear, yes, maybe we could be something more."

"Maybe?" Artie's voice sounded like a small child's.

For an answer, Jim gently held his partner's jaw, then moved in for a kiss. Artie's eyes widened in surprise. Jim continued, deepening the kiss, his tongue reaching into Artie's mouth. Instinctively, Artie responded in kind. Then Jim pulled away enough to speak, "Artemus, I do love you. And if you want to take our friendship to another level... I can't lose you."

"Are you sure, James?"

"I'm sure. I know I'm sure. You mean so much to me. I just, I guess I never knew it before. I took you for granted. I'm so sorry for that."

Artemus nodded, accepting the apology and the offer with one movement. He moved his head towards the sleeping quarters. "Perhaps?"

James returned the nod, "God, yes, Artie."

Artemus slowly got up, then offered a hand to his partner. He led the other man to his sleeping compartment. The two moved slowly, collapsing on the narrow berth in a heap. Artemus began to unbutton his waistcoat, then Jim stayed his hand. Slowly, James undressed his new lover, first the waistcoat, then the cravat, then the collar and shirt. James began to caress Artemus, and to kiss his dark, hair-covered chest.

"Oh, God, James!" Said Artemus, as Jim stroked his chest then covered the areas warmed by his touch with burning kisses.

"James, let me, let me..." Artemus trailed off, giving in to the ecstasy of having his clothed partner lavishly covering him with kisses.

"Artemus, I... no, let me reassure you, I want this as much as you." Jim smiled wickedly. Then he moved lower down, loosening the fastener of Artie's pants.

Artie became too aroused for speech as Jim began to lick and stroke his erect penis.

"Jim! Oh, god, Jim! Yes!"

James continued, stroking his partner's manhood with his hand and licking the tip with his tongue, then he placed his mouth around the erect penis and began to move up and down its pulsing length.

Artie thrust his manhood into Jim's mouth. He arched his back, alternately thrusting and falling onto the bed. He felt himself on the brink, then with a powerful last thrust he came. Artie fell deeply onto the bed.

Jim sighed, collapsing against his partner's sweaty body. Jim sank into the warm musky smell of his partner, breathing deeply.

The two enjoyed the moment in silence.

Then, "Jim?"

"I'm all right, Artie. God. I never imagined it could be that good."

Artemus looked at his partner in amazement.

"Artie, I've dreamed of being with you like this."

Understanding broke in his partner's expression. Still waters did run deep, and Artie, in a flash, knew that none of his partner's dalliances with women were serious. "God, Jim. I love you so," he added, stroking Jim's hair with his hand, "Let me."

Jim nodded, still too spent to say much.

Slowly, mindful of their respective injured legs, Artie and Jim switched positions.

"Just a second, Jim, on your stomach, and let me get something."

Artie rose from the bed, not bothering to dress, and limped over to the water closet, retrieving a small bottle.

He returned to find Jim on the bed, shirt and pants on the floor. Artie climbed astride his partner and poured vanilla-scented oil into his palms from the bottle. Setting the bottle on the nearby table, Artie worked the oil in his hands. He then began to knead his partner's muscular shoulders. After a minute or so he stopped.

"Don't stop!" urged Jim.

Artie moved closer to his partner kissing Jim's neck and oil-warmed shoulders.

"God, that's wonderful!"

Artie poured more oil into his hands and continued, working his way down his partner's back, kneading, pressing, working the muscles until they were relaxed.

Jim nearly fell asleep as Artie's hands relaxed him.

Then Artie moved to one side of his partner. "Flip."

Jim smiled, "I'm not a flapjack," he cracked, but he followed Artemus' orders.

Taking his cue from Jim's earlier ministrations, Artie lowered himself onto his partner and began to caress and kiss the man. He kissed Jim's neck, then moved along one shoulder blade to Jim's shoulder. Carefully, Artie licked the pink and white scar on Jim's shoulder from where he had been shot during the War. Then he worked his way back, tongue flicking in and out in a trail of kisses and minuscule licks crossing past Jim's neck along the shoulder blade to the other shoulder.

"God, Artie! That feels incredible!" Jim encouraged.

Artie smiled, his soft brown eyes smoldering with passion. Next, he followed Jim's breastbone down, kissing, licking, teasing. He moved to Jim's left breast and taking the nipple in his mouth he worked and sucked, as Jim gasped in astonishment. Artie repeated the same treatment on the other side. By now Jim's penis was hard and ready, pushing against Artie's own hard manhood.

Artie moved lower and began to lick his partner's manhood.

"Oh, God, Artie!" Jim fairly screamed, "Yes, please!"

Complying with his partner's order, Artie put his mouth around Jim's manhood. Eyes closed in passion, Artie licked and sucked, and played, moving up and down. Jim responded instinctively, thrusting himself deeper into Artie's mouth. Time stopped as the universe narrowed to himself and his partner. Artie continued his ministrations, and Jim's back arched, as he grabbed the bed above his head. "Yessss! Artie, God!" Jim cried, as he came. A second later, Artie came a second time.

Artie loosened his mouth from Jim's wilting member, and half rose from the bed, supporting himself on one elbow.

Smiling he asked, "Was it good for you?"

"Good? God, Artie, I have never felt like that before," said Jim, then he saw the smile in Artie's eyes. "Artie?"

"Sorry, Jim. I couldn't resist. You are so cute when you're confused."

Jim smiled back. "Come here, Artie. Hold me."

Artie moved up to eye level with Jim. Jim held out his arms, and Artie slipped into the embrace.

"Artie, I love you. Do you understand me?"

Artie nodded.

"Can you forget about Paradox? About what Stark did to us?"

Artie froze, moving away, shrinking into himself. "Is that the only reason you did this?"

"No, God, no Artie! Damn it." Jim sat up "Do you really think I'd go this far in some trick? No, I really do love you. I thought it was friendship, comradeship, but after tonight I know it's more. I want to be with you, Artie."

Artie nodded, "Then why the question?"

"Artie, what you said out there scared me. I care about you so much. But we are in a dangerous business. God help me for saying so, but one of us could die tomorrow, or on our next assignment. What you said, I..." Jim sighed, "Artie, I need to know that you can go on if something happens to me. I won't be responsible for your death too. You're too important to me."

Again Artemus nodded. "Jim, I..." Artemus looked into his partner's blazing green eyes. "God, I just can't promise anything. All I can tell you is that I would do my best. I'd know that you would want me to survive, and I'd do my best. But what happened in Paradox... Jim, I thought I had killed you!" Artemus whispered the last sentence.

Jim nodded; he remembered all too vividly seeing Artemus die in the Pistoleros affair. If he hadn't been so determined to catch the killers, and so caught-up in preventing a war, who knows what might have happened. "Would being lovers make it harder on you, Artie?" Jim asked softly, as Artie's arms again closed around him.

"God, no, Jim! Being lovers, that would make things bearable, if, if I lost you. I'd have memories." Artie had a faraway look in his eyes. "Yes, Jim, please say yes."

Jim nodded, knowing what his long-term partner meant. "A marriage, then?"

"Of sorts, hell, being partners is like a marriage anyway, but with no sex. Well..."

Jim just smiled.

Artie returned the smile and moved in to kiss Jim firmly on the lips.

The End

A/N: BTW - now that I'm re-watching WWW on DVD it comes to my attention that "TNOT Pistoleros" is AFTER "TNOT Death Masks" in original air order. I had always watched The Wild Wild West in syndication, so I never paid attention to any particular order for the episodes. If you must consider that a continuity error, do so, but please don't complain. Thanks! After all, Artie's thought Jim dead at least twice (the other time being "TNOT Big Blast") but until "Pistoleros" I don't think Jim ever thought Artie out-and-out dead.