Yes, hello! A bit of humor for you all. First off, there needs to be more Clinks. They are my OTP. So sue me. W13 is not mine.
It wasn't until Steve was driving home did he realize the implications of what he had just bought.
Pete had touched a fertility statue that caused the ladies to have "periods from hell," so he and Jinks were volunteered to go get more Tylenol and chocolate. Pete had protested in disbelief, but once Myka had thrown both shoes and Abigail broke down crying, he practically ran from the house.
That's how they ended up in the supermarket.
He was just looking for shampoo. Honestly, he was. But the condoms caught his eye and he just grabbed a pack without thinking about it.
Pete had patted him on the back and said "Alright! Jinks, my man!" but he didn't really think about what it meant until they were driving back to the B&B.
He had had his "incident" with Claudia over a week ago, catching them off guard. They both had been wasted and neither of them remembered who started it, just that the lines blurred until she was straddling him and they were feverishly kissing.
But he was gay. He was gay. So whatever happened between them that night had been wrong. Clearly, it had been a fluke.
They had immediately neutralized themselves and went on a search for any sexual attraction artifacts they may have touched. It got awkward when they came up short.
That's when it had happened again. She was pacing the floor and he was rubbing his eyes and somehow he was pulling a willing Claudia towards him and moving his lips against hers. It was even better the third time. Fantastic the fourth.
Then came the awkward discussions. The "I love you, as a friend," and how this probably didn't mean anything. That they worked so closely together that maybe they were mistaking platonic love and adrenaline for something more. He specifically avoided her eyes through the entire conversation. He didn't want to know if she was lying.
A decision had been made not to overanalyze it.
Claudia, for her part, was well practiced in the art of denial. This caesura didn't seem to bother her. She acted entirely normal around him, best friends as they were. Indeed, the only indication something had even happened was the way she threw herself into computer updates and her increasingly frequent outings with Pete.
He tried. He honestly had tried to be as accepting as she, pretending to act normal, but really he had just made it awkward. Every time she laughed or slid up next to him, he remembered the way her body felt against his, his tongue in her mouth.
The worst part about it, or the best part depending on who you ask, was that it didn't feel wrong. In those moments, it was only her and he and them and nothing hurt.
He had had a particularly painful coming out. His mom had stared at him for about 5 minutes then said it didn't matter, and Olivia certainly hadn't cared, but he lost a lot of friends that day. Not immediately of course, but one by one they distanced from him, until they had all gone.
Small towns were merciless.
So he had moved to a different town and joined the ATF, and never made a big deal out of it again, for fear of getting hurt.
But now, if he was straight? All that pain that could have been avoided? No.
No he wasn't straight. He definitely still liked guys. He tried one mission this week, to be attracted to Myka. Logically, he knew she was a beautiful woman. He wrapped himself in her scent, envisioned himself in her curves, but to no avail. Girls had always just been friends to him. Nothing more.
Except now, with Claudia. It was a problem wrapped in an enigma. Maybe he was bi all this time, but just really preferred guys. Maybe it was just her. Maybe…Maybe…
He had told Liam that if he couldn't make it work with him, then he couldn't make it work with anyone. But that wasn't strictly true. He had been making it work with Claudia for years, just without the romance.
Now they had that too. They had found an easy rhythm in this, as in everything else.
Maybe it would all work out. And maybe it would burn to the ground, scorching everything about their relationship, their friendship, their workmanship. He couldn't lose her.
"Jink-sy" Pete dragged his name out in a song, dragging him out of his reverie. "What are you not telling us? You got a boyfriend?"
Steve shook his head with an ironic smile. If Pete knew who he'd been thinking of when he picked up the condoms, well... it was good thing Steve could run fast.
They arrived back at the B&B and carefully ascended the stairs. Pete carried a plate of double chocolate chip cookies in front of him like a sacrifice and Steve brought up the rear, carrying Tylenol and raging his inner battle.
The ladies had decided to hang in Pete's room (it was the biggest) and watch a movie. Or so they were told. What was actually happening was Myka and Abigail were lying face down on Pete's bed, and Claudia was curled up with her computer in an armchair.
All three looked horrible. The artifact that Pete had touched was an Aztec fertility statue; it caused not only periods from hell but flu-like symptoms as well.
"You know what we need?" Steve heard Myka say as they pushed open the door. "Sex."
"Mm." Abigail replied, half-smothered in pillows. "I agree."
"Long, drawn out sex with a man who knows just what to do." Myka continued.
Pete flushed, turned and wagged his eyebrows suggestively at Steve.
"We're back!" he announced loudly entering the room, "Here- cookies as requested. Now what's this about sex?"
"Shut it, Lattimer." Myka growled at him, reaching for a cookie. "Claudia, you do a lot of inventory. Got any artifacts like that?"
Claudia paused mid reach for a cookie. "Mm. One or two." She considered, "The original Playboy makes you keep orgasming until you pass out."
"Wow." Abigail said, "I wouldn't even care."
"Me either." Myka agreed.
Pete looked as if he had just walked into a catfight at a wet t-shirt competition.
"Speaking of that!" He looked with a wicked grin at Steve. "Jinksy here has got a boyfriend!"
Steve inwardly groaned as Claudia lifted her head up out of her computer and met his eyes.
"What?" Myka turned to look at the blushing man. "Who is it? Are you back with Liam? Do we know him?"
Steve shoved his hands in his pockets.
"No! Guys, I don't have a boyfriend!"
"You're lying!" Pete sang through a cookie. "Stevie bought a box of condoms today!"
"I... ran out?" he offered.
"Maybe Steve would be the perfect solution." Abigail mused, putting her hands together, "He's thoughtful. And even if you said "Wow, this feels so good" he could tell if you're lying."
Myka snorted at Steve's expression.
"Hey!" Pete complained. "Why does Jinks get to be the sex machine? He's gay!"
"Exactly." Myka pointed out, "He'd do what would need to be done and wouldn't rush through it, struggling to get his. The perfect lover."
Claudia laughed genuinely at that. "This is the strangest conversation we've ever had."
Pete pouted and Steve didn't know if he was more relieved or scared of the change in topic.
But now Claudia knew about his box of promises.
"Come on, Steve" she said, standing up and pulling him out of the room, "I'll save you."
Fun fact, ladies. Orgasm through intercourse is supposedly an effective method of getting rid of cramps. Look it up, some university (Columbia, maybe?) did a research study on that.
Anyways, I will definitely be updating! Please let me know what you thought or if you have any other ideas! Thanks so much for reading!