A/N: A little ficlet based around the ending of S1E08's "Green Thumb Burglar" because all that innuendo, it was just too much for me to resist. AND REALLY, why isn't there more Jon/Ponch slash out there? It needed to be done.

Candles Are a Must


Jon was used to doing anything for his partner.

It was second nature to him at this point; he spent most of his work week and a sizable portion of his off-duty hours catering to Ponch's whims. So much of his time, in fact, that when Ponch would ask him things like, "Why didn't you ask that girl over?" or, "Something's gotta be wrong with you, partner. You didn't even look twice at that beautiful blonde babe back there, did you?" He knew that answering truthfully to any of Ponch's plentiful questions would come as too much of a shocker to his decidedly-hetero partner.

But when Jon had answered that phone call from Georgia earlier that afternoon, a part of his heart had broken for Ponch. He knew how much this date meant to him—how much this girl meant to him—and she'd asked him to break the news to his partner the way he was often called in to handle difficult cases at the station. It wasn't fair to Ponch, and it wasn't fair to him, but he would do it, if only to be there to offer his support. The girl wasn't worth it, if she'd be willing to break his partner's heart with a flick of her bouncy blonde hair.

But when the time came, when Ponch was knocking at his door, roses in hand and unbridled joy tingeing his eyes, Jon wasn't sure he could do this. He'd hesitated long enough for Ponch to start making assumptions about the table settings and begin rifling through his kitchen cabinets on a quest for candles, claiming something along the lines of, "you can't seduce a date without candlelight," and that's when it struck him.

He was recreating Ponch's date, casting himself in the role of Georgia.

And after a moment's more hesitation, Jon decided that he was okay with that. If it would cheer Ponch up, he would play the role for the evening.

"I don't have a formal date," He'd tried to explain. He wondered if Ponch would hang around once he discovered Jon's intentions. It was unlikely that he'd leave, but the possibility was always there. He found himself hoping that it wouldn't be the case—he was actually looking forward to a night—a date, even, with Frank Poncherello.

"You got that right, without candlelight you don't." He watched as Ponch began to set up two candles on his small table, stopping only when he burned his fingers while trying to light one of the candles. It was only then that Jon realized just how much that Madame Butterballs had gotten to his partner. He had been concerned with breaking the news to Ponch about Georgia, but that psychic they ran into was just as potentially dangerous to Ponch's psyche it seemed.

"She really got to you, didn't she?" Jon asked quietly, meeting Ponch's eyes when they turned to him from across the room.

"Who?"

Jon sighed, stepping closer to where Ponch was still cradling his injured fingers at the table. "Madame Butterball."

"What do you mean?" Ponch asked, still unsure where Jon was going with this. It was entirely possible that he hadn't realized just how much that fake psychic had gotten to him in the first place, but Jon was almost sure that somebody like Ponch must have known what that woman was doing to him. He had to have been putting on this act of not knowing for Jon's sake, although who knew why he'd go through all that trouble.

"You know," Jon began to explain, "Danger of fire, and uh," He hesitated here, knowing the time was right to bring up Georgia. "I hate to tell you this, Ponch, but, uh, a certain person called and when I answered the phone, I..."

"Who? Georgia?" Ponch immediately perked up at the mention of his date, and Jon knew he had to get it over with already.

"Yeah, she got engaged to Sergeant Maloney today," Jon blurted it out all at once, feigning a laugh at his partner's response when Ponch threw himself down in the chair at the table and clenched the flowers in his hands so hard that he destroyed half of them. It wouldn't have been hard to get them out of his hands and into a vase before they got ruined, Jon realized belatedly.

There was nothing to be done about it now, though, and Jon cuts his losses, stepping closer to where Ponch is sitting upset at the table. He was prepared for this much, at least, and pulled the lid off of the huge silver platter revealing a "feast fit for a king" according to Ponch. It's just the sort of thing to distract his partner, and he knows he's succeeded when Ponch grins up at him and goes for the Twinkie he's bought just for Ponch. Lord knows Jon can't do sweets like that, and even though Ponch is aware of it too, he offers a bite to his partner anyway.

"Gee, Partner, this sure was nice of you to set all this up when you found out Georgia bailed on me," Ponch said after a few minutes of stuffing his face contentedly. He was talking around the half-eaten mouthful of beans in his mouth, and still Jon found the way Ponch's gaze lingered on Jon's through those dark lashes of his attractive in some strangely masculine way. He hadn't realized how much he'd actually wanted this—wanted Ponch—before tonight.

"Just wanted you to see that you don't need a girl like that to have a good time on a date," Jon responded, closing his eyes and turning away from the table, and Ponch, before he could see the questions in Ponch's expression.

"So... is this some kind of date, then? Is that what you're getting at?"

It would be entirely too easy to say no; to leave things the way they were and never speak of the evening again, but the solace for his partner he'd been aiming for would be lost if he chickened out now. Ponch would end up going home and he'd still be conflicted with the thoughts of Georgia and Sergeant Maloney and all of Jon's efforts thus far would be meaningless.

Jon turned back towards the table, leaning his weight against the counter—he was pretty sure his legs would give out otherwise—and set his face to something he hoped portrayed a neutrally decisive attitude. "I've done a lot of thinking on the matter," his voice cracked toward the end, and Ponch was giving him the oddest mixture of looks, as if he knew what this meant to Jon—although how could he know, really, when Jon himself had only been aware of it for the past ten minutes. Jon forced himself to continue. "And I think this could be...well, whatever you need it to be, partner."

That was all Ponch needed to hear, apparently. He was up quicker than Jon could blink, and then he was down, rolling on the ground in pain. "Dang it, Jon. That table—"

Jon dropped to his knees, reaching tentatively for Ponch's leg, which he was still cradling in both of his big hands. "I'm sorry—"

"No, it's my own fault," Ponch stilled, looking up at Jon with wide, brown eyes, "I, uh, didn't realize how much I wanted this, old buddy. You... understand?"

"Yeah, I know the feeling," Jon laughed, nerves making the words catch in his throat and his cheeks bloom brightly with color under the ugly lighting of his dining room. Ponch's eyes caught his for a brief second, and then flitted back down to him hands which had now mostly stilled, rubbing only halfheartedly at his injured knee. It all seemed so obvious to Jon now; as his mind worked backwards through his memory banks, through all of his cataloged memories of Ponch, and Jon almost wanted to sock himself with frustration at how obvious it had been this entire time.

Jon didn't want to waste another second of his time reminiscing when he's got Ponch on his dining room floor, ready and willing, and swooped in for that sweet meeting of lips. And what he gets is so much more than that—his senses are overwhelmed with Ponch. Lips part and their tongues clash; one of Jon's hands catch in Ponch's carefully styled hair and he tugs, drawing a deep groan from his partner and he pulls Ponch further into his space.

He smelled like spice, must have been that cologne he put on in preparation for Georgia. Jon wasn't kidding earlier when he said he didn't believe he'd had a formal date—if he'd known things were going to end up going the way they were, he might have prepared a little more. But the way things stood now Jon wasn't sure Ponch cared one bit.

Their mouths parted and Ponch immediately fell into a grin. "Well, it looks like Madame Butterballs was wrong about one thing after all."

"I guess so," Jon can't help but agree. Whatever this thing was with Ponch, it was going to need some further investigation, and Jon couldn't wait to dive in wholeheartedly.

Jon can't think of a better time to begin than immediately; and when he crushes Ponch to him, his chest swells when his partner meets him halfway and brings their lips together once more.