Title: Good Work Today
Author: Amy Fortuna (amyfortuna@yahoo.com)
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Roy/Chon
Archive: Shanghai Slash, please.
Feedback: Please, as this is a first in this fandom for me.
Summary: Roy wonders about Chon, and gets up the nerve to ask.
Notes: Thanks to sidewinder for the vid that made me watch the movie....


He looks at me as though I'm something special. Someone who has done more than waste a good youth stealing from trains and riding like the wind over the plains.

The way he touches me sends sparks through my body. That should feel wrong, but instead it feels so, so right. The way we looked at each other when we first met -- I should have known I was going to meet him again.

We've been caught by the winter night far from the lights of town, and I've remembered an old hideout, just a small cabin, that my gang used once upon a time.

It's deserted, looks like it hasn't been so much as glanced at for years, so we're safe here for the night. I step into the cabin as Chon puts away the horses in the tiny adjacent stable.

Whew! Even the spiders have died out, looks like. It's just the ghost of a cabin, spider-web covered, but it's got a working fireplace and what looks like a mattress in the corner. We're good to go.

I start a fire. One thing I *can* do, seeing how I grew up in the West and all. Chon, for all that Eastern mediation shit he does, hasn't learned how to start a decent fire. Frankly, I haven't bothered teaching him. It's a good feeling to be better than Chon at *something.*

"Want some beans?" I ask Chon as he comes inside. He just nods, and continues looking around the cabin.

"Strange," he says, still looking around, looking at me.

"What is?" I ask.

"Me," he says. "I have been here for three years, and I do not feel at home yet."

"I'm not surprised," I answer, stirring the beans. "It would take a lot longer than three years for me to feel at home in the Forbidden City."

He breaks out laughing at that, and I smile back, glad to have broken the odd mood he seemed to be in. I hand him a plate of beans, dish up my own plate, and sit back against the wall to eat.

"Good work today," I say at last, simply to watch the firelight play over his face as he considers.

"Not good enough," he says. "When we "get them where we want them," as you say, then it will be good work today."

I nod, quietly, and eat, hardly taking my eyes off his face.

He's beautiful, the thought suddenly spins across my mind, knocking my fragile peace to tatters. What had prompted that? Was I thinking of Chon like I would think of a woman, and what did that mean?

Beautiful. A certain part of my body suddenly seems to wake up, and I cringe, shrinking back against the cool wall, as though that would make it go away. I have to share a bed -- or a mattress anyway -- with this man, later on, I can't be thinking this way.

He'd laid aside his dish a few minutes ago, and now he is just sitting, staring into the fire, seemingly oblivious.

Would he? I can't believe I'm even thinking this, but the words come out of my mouth before I can reconsider.

"Chon," I say. "Did you ever..." I feel myself blushing, and continue hastily. "Kiss a man?"

He turns to me, his face suddenly questioning.

"Why do you want to know?"

I do not answer, and he looks away.

"Yes," he says finally. "I have."

"Oh," I say, because I can think of nothing coherent.

"Did you want...?" He looks dubious.

"No," I answer very quickly. "Just...wondering."

"Of course." He is looking straight at me, and I know he sees right through me.

"I can't fool you," I say, after a long silence. "I've been more than just wondering."

"You've never? Even when you were drunk?" He sounds like he doesn't quite believe me.

"Never," I say. "But this, this is different."

"How?" he says. "I'm a man."

"But you," I begin, and then am suddenly cut off.

"Are just a Chinaman," he says coldly, standing up and moving away.

What? Does he still think I...?

"No!" I get up too, laying my own dish aside. "I was going to say, you're my friend."

"Ah," he turns back to me. "In that case...why don't you just ask?"

I take a step toward him. "Chon, can I...kiss you?"

"Yes," he says, and takes a step toward me. In a moment, my arms are around him, almost naturally, and I tilt my head downward, even more naturally.

The kiss is better than a woman's. I can't help but be conscious that it's a man I'm kissing, that it's Chon, but I don't care, he tastes so right.

From all accounts, he's also enjoying the kiss, and suddenly a thought breaks through the cloud in my head.

"Did you want this?" I whisper, after breaking the kiss.

His smile and his words leave not a doubt in my mind. "Oh yes," he whispers, and slides back into my arms like he belongs there.

The only thing I can think of to do is kiss him again.

So I do.

He breaks off the kiss this time, and smiles up at me.

"Good work today," he says.

And we're, suddenly, both laughing.