A/N: Wow, this is weird… The only real Christmas story I publish this year is with a whole new pairing: Hoffman and Strahm! In my defense, though, it's written as a Christmas gift, so if you need an explanation why I write something funny and light with Hoffman and Strahm rather than something sad and heavy with Adam and Lawrence, that's it.
Dedication: To Erika. HOFFY-BUNNIES! XD
Coworkers Don't Have To Like Each Other
Yes, he was a Jigsaw apprentice. Yes, Peter had failed to catch him. Yes, he'd been let go despite overwhelming evidence and yes, that was a sure sign that the American justice system was corrupt and sucked in every possible way, which should make him worried about the decay of western society. But none of that bothered Peter as much as the fact that Hoffman was fucking annoying.
It'd be one thing if there'd been other people here. Then he'd at least have some reasonable distractions. Lindsay had always been good at taking his mind off of bastard sitting by the desk next to his; last night, she'd managed to get him to talk about what X-Men character he'd rather be, just as an example. And Erickson usually dumped a new case (always under the condition that Hoffman didn't work with him) on his desk if he noticed that Peter was getting so frustrated that smoke was basically coming out of his ears, but he didn't have any of those options tonight, because seriously, what cop in their right mind would work voluntarily on Christmas Eve?
The answer is this: The two cops on the force with less to do with their lives than a damn opossum.
It's amazing what annoying habits you noticed with your desk neighbor when there were no other distractions. Peter was still surprised that he got any work done with all the time he spent counting silently to ten to keep himself from punching Hoffman in the face with his desk lamp, but it probably walked hand in hand with the whole not-having-a-life-thing. At this point, he probably could've written a damn essay on Hoffman's behavior pattern.
When he took a pause in his writing, he tapped his pen against the paper.
When he thought about getting up and getting coffee, he put his pen in his mouth and sucked on it, making an annoying noise.
When he noticed that Peter was glancing at him with lust for murder in his eyes, he put his hands behind his head and smirked in a way that also made the desk lamp look real friendly.
Well, either way. That was not going to get to him now. It was Christmas. He was working on a case. He was balanced. Harmony with the universe. Jingle-fucking-bells.
Peter took a deep breath and put his pen to the paper. Hoffman was not going to get to him.
A little pen-tapping over there. That was okay.
He was clearing his throat. Of course he was entitled to that.
And now he was quiet. Peter continued to pretend to work on his report.
Pen-tapping. Peter glanced over at him. Hoffman didn't notice at first, but when he felt the holes starting to burn in the back of his head, he turned to him. Peter wanted to slap that smirk from his face.
"Just because Jigsaw fell for that lovely smile, doesn't it mean I will," Peter said more calmly than should be physically possible when he was this mad. "Meaning that if you don't shut the fuck up and get to work, I will shove that pen up your ass."
Hoffman raised his eyebrows in fake surprise.
"I didn't say anything, Strahm. Are you sure you didn't accidentally jam that pen into your brain instead of your throat?"
Strahm pressed his lips together and exhaled through his nose. He was going to be the bigger person here. Not snap back. One, two, three, four…
"I assume you're still here at Christmas Eve because not even Jigsaw wants to celebrate Christmas with you?" Well, he tried.
"He's celebrating it with Amanda. I can't stand her."
"Oh, that's what'd be awkward if you were with them tonight? Not the Christmas tree in a pile of dead bodies, or the giving away torn-off limbs as gifts for each other? Or the most feared guy of the decade dressing up in a Santa's beard? Jesus, Hoffman, is there some kind of limit on your psycho-tendencies?"
"Joke's on you. We're here together. Technically, we're celebrating Christmas."
"Yeah. The Christmas spirit is overflowing. Do you want a real funeral as a Christmas gift, or is it enough if I chop you into pieces and bury the remains so they don't come back to life?"
Hoffman snorted. There was a pause. Peter looked down on his reports and slowly exhaled. There was no way he was going to get any work done now.
"I should be out getting laid right now."
He mostly said it to himself, but Hoffman mumbled something in agreement.
"You should be the one celebrating with John. Amanda would totally do you."
"Let me guess. You've had her."
Hoffman scratched the back of his head.
Peter's head snapped up, and he made a disgusted sound.
"Okay, it's one thing that you tried to kill me, but I will not be a rebounder for your rejects!"
"Why not? She's pretty hot, puts up a fight… If that's your thing."
"She was probably thinking of Jigsaw the whole time. And I don't trust your judgment, considering that you're doubtlessly the most sexually frustrated one of the two of us."
"Don't pull me into this. You're the desperate one. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if you started coming onto me."
"I would not. And if I did, I'd go on top."
Hoffman turned his chair to face him. That was apparently a soar spot.
"Strahm, let me make this very clear. If we had sex, you would not go on top if my life depended on it."
Peter grinned, even though he was starting to hear just how weird this conversation was becoming.
"You'd not only be on the bottom, you'd also be moaning like my little bitch the whole time."
"You mean you would. You've seen mine in the shower here; you wouldn't last five minutes."
Peter made a face and tensed his shoulders.
"Let's drop this conversation."
"Because you know I'm right?"
Pause. Peter put his pen to the paper for what felt like the zillionth time. He was not going to get sucked into this. He was not.
"Okay, let's say you did go on top," he finally snapped and stood up from his chair. "If you did, it'd be an act of mercy, to spare you from the degrading experience of being my bitch."
Hoffman smirked and stood up, too. A little too close.
"If I'd ever be your bitch, it'd be just for the ride. It'd be interesting to see how long you'd be able to go on top without feeling too masculine for yourself."
Peter took one step closer. It was to be intimidating, not because those damn muscular shoulders suddenly seemed so appealing.
"Are you trying to make something out of this, Hoffman?"
Hoffman shrugged in a way that probably was supposed to be nonchalant, but he was blushing a bit too much for that.
"Not unless you want me to."
But he was.
It'd been nice if it'd been a bit more Disney-like, with soft, gentle lips, tinkly music and pink fairies in the background. Not because that's what usually got Peter going, but just because it'd show that they'd learned something from the whole experience. Hell, if they would make out, they might as well do it for the greater good, such as in the future not wanting to kill each other if they were within ten feet away from each other for more than five minutes. After all, Peter couldn't remember the last time he had sex for fun. It was usually either to make sure that he still remembered how to do it, or for revenge.
As it was, though, they didn't seem to have learned much from it. In fact, rather than making out to prove that they didn't hate each other, it seemed to be more to really emphasize it.
Unfortunately, they were closest to Peter's desk, and before Peter managed to come up with some far-fetched conspiracy theory about Hoffman planning their position all along just so he'd be able to go on top, Hoffman was in fact on top, Peter heard his jar of pens fall to the ground with a clattering noise and the case file he'd been working on crumpling underneath them when Hoffman pushed him onto the desk, clutching to his sides, probably attempting to hurt him, but Peter was a little busy with the odd, tingling sensation lingering on his lips to be bothered with such trivialities as pain.
"Would you mind telling me what the fuck you're doing?" Peter grumbled between kisses as he put his hand on the back of Hoffman's neck.
"Shut up," Hoffman bit back, and as much as Peter would've liked to fire off a burning comeback, Hoffman shoved his tongue even deeper into his mouth, and if he tried to keep the words from coming out, he was definitely succeeding. Peter thought about asking him again, but to his horror, he felt the question why becoming less and less important as their touches became more intimate.
Hoffman started pawing at Peter's chest, there were brief clinks when his shirt buttons hit the floor around them. Peter subtly sneaked one leg around Hoffman's, rubbing up against him, thought that he might be becoming a bit too girly, but then he heard Hoffman's throaty moan and decided that it was definitely worth it.
Hoffman didn't seem too happy about the brief moment of submissiveness, though. He responded by biting down on Peter's bottom lip, smirking at the damn near yelping that it caused. In normal circumstances, he may have been considered biting too hard, but damn it, this was war.
"You're such a girl," he murmured and threw what was left of Peter's shirt away.
"You're the one to talk, Girl-lips," Strahm spat back and inhaled sharply when Hoffman responded by finding a good spot on his neck and bit down there, instead.
Peter had his own methods, though. As soon as he'd recovered from the feeling of those girly, albeit enjoyable lips, he found his hands traveling down Hoffman's body, down to his hips, and the sound of their heavy breathing was interrupted by the click of Hoffman's belt being unbuckled.
That even seemed to catch Hoffman off guard. He broke their kiss and stared down at Peter, his girly lips flushed, and having a kind of "I wouldn't have done this if I'd known you were going to go that far"-look on his face. Peter smirked cockily and lingered with his fingers on the rim of his boxers.
"What's the matter, Hoffman?" he said and hoped that his voice wasn't trembling. "Are you scared?"
"Of you?" Hoffman scoffed, before Peter subtly slipped his hand into his boxers, and he had to bite his lips to keep from moaning before he came to his senses. "No…"
It only took a second of Peter fumbling around in his boxers to make him seem willing to take that back.
Eventually, letting himself go, Hoffman threw his head back and moaned weakly. As for Peter, he put most of his energy into keeping that smug look on his face, and making himself think thoughts like: No big deal… Jacking off co-workers you hate is completely normal. Hell, I do this every day. Totally.
He seemed to put a little too much energy into those thoughts, though, because Hoffman apparently saw that as a good time to take back the little leverage Peter had by pulling his hand away, kiss him fiercely while clutching to his shoulders so tight that Peter could swear he felt his body leaving the surface of the desk for a second, before unbuckling his belt, a lot more unceremoniously than Peter had unbuckled his, and swiftly pulling his pants down. Peter saw where this was going, and suddenly, being on the bottom didn't seem like that much of a problem anymore.
"This is way too easy," Hoffman mumbled into Peter's ear as he turned him around.
Peter could almost hear the smirk in his voice as he put his hands on the desktop to brace himself.
"You're right," he said and grinned mischievously. "If it's so easy that you can take me, it must be fucking child's play."
Hoffman got his payback seconds later. And once more later that night.
"What exactly happened while I was away last night?"
Erickson put his hands on his hips and eyed Hoffman and Strahm up and down. The fact that they were both alive after spending a whole night in the same room was disturbing enough, but the fact that they were now leaning over the same case file, obviously working together on it, and looked like Erickson was insane for thinking that this was weird, was disturbing on the level that Erickson was honestly considering the option that he was participating in an episode of Punk'd.
"What do you mean, officer?" Strahm asked politely, exchanging a look with Hoffman.
"What do you mean, what do I mean?" Erickson snapped back. "I was surprised that the police station was still here when I came this morning, and now you're acting like you're best buds!"
"Oh, that," Strahm said and put a hand on Hoffman's shoulder. "Hoffman and I bonded in some crazy desktop-sex last night, and it did wonders for our relationship."
Hoffman smiled sweetly and slipped his arm around Strahm's hip.
"Strahm demonstrated to me that he will always be my bitch," he said, completely oblivious to Erickson's half shocked, half nauseous expression. Strahm smiled, too.
"And Hoffman demonstrated to me that for a tall guy, his dick is miraculously small," he said while petting Hoffman's cheek demonstratively.
Erickson exhaled furiously through his nose, watching from one smirking face to the other. He waited for their act to drop, the outraged cries and the beating each other's faces with nearest staplers, but when none of that came, he just turned on his heel and walked back to his office. He had no idea what kind of sick game those two were playing on him, but as long as they did their work and didn't kill each other, he didn't really care what they did. And the more nights he could have them working next to each other without a bloodbath, the better. He might as well have them working the same shifts more often.
It took Erickson almost a year to see the pattern of how little work Hoffman and Strahm got done the nights they worked together. It'd been easier to see if they'd during the daytime had shown any kind of sign of what they were really doing when they were working, but as it was, they were going at each other's throats just as much as before. And the truth was, even after he found out, Erickson had a hard time to stop assigning them with the same cases, now that he saw that they could in fact work together.
After all, they were both still the best cops he had. Despite of how many times they had to scrub their desks now days.