Change In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes by MonaCK, Cathy Roberts
Summary: It's a slashy A/U story about how Season 8 might have been and contains no spoilers for the current season. By MonaCK and Cathy Roberts
Categories: Regular Characters: Dave Malucci, John Carter, Luka Kovac, Other-Female, Other-Male
Genres: General
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 31 Completed: No Word count: 177069 Read: 446557 Published: August 30, 2004 Updated: September 10, 2007
Chapter Thirteen by MonaCK
By MonaCK and Cathy Roberts


The following days passed slowly for Dave and John, but the nights seemed to pass far too quickly. Dave fell into the habit of arriving at the suite around midnight and then staying until shortly before six to return to his own cabin to get ready for work. Each man was happier than they had been in a long time, and it was noticed by those around them.

Randi and Maggie decided to not discuss the merits of Luka versus Dave with regard to John. Instead they shopped, swam, sunned out on the private balcony and enjoyed each other's company.

Luka fell into a shipboard romance with Mike after letting the other man know that he wasn't looking for any kind of a committed relationship. Since Mike's sister and her friends had the run of their suite, Mike ended up staying in Luka's room most of the time, often arriving at the same time as Dave every evening. Luka still had thoughts about John, and his concern that Dave was going to hurt him again didn't disappear, although John's obvious happiness was doing quite a bit to allay those concerns.

When the ship arrived in Hawaii, Dave went with them for the first afternoon of sight-seeing. They visited the memorial at the USS Arizona, paying their respects to all who had died during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After that, they roamed the island, not returning to the ship until nearly midnight. The next day, Dave had to pay up on his deal to be available for that dinner at the Captain's Table. Stuck serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Dave insisted that John go off with the others and enjoy an authentic luau, as already arranged. John's reluctance to leave Dave behind on the ship was only deepened when he discovered that Mike's sister Susan was also included in their little group.

John had thought the woman would have had a clue that the majority of the men on the cruise were gay or bi, but she certainly didn't behave that way as she clung to him the entire morning and into the afternoon, talking his ear off about anything and everything that popped into her head. Escape for John came when he, Susan, Mike and Luka met up with Randi and Maggie for a late lunch in Chinatown, and he volunteered to walk around with Randi and Maggie. Suzie was about to invite herself along, but a leering gaze and ribald comment from Maggie made her change her mind. Her friends were lesbians she knew, Maggie wasn't, and Suzie wasn't interested in being picked up by another woman.

After thanking Maggie and Randi profusely for the rescue, John treated them to a few souvenirs and then they spent some time on the beach before the luau was to begin. Mike and Luka met them there, after having returned to the ship for a 'nap', and leaving Susan behind since she had a headache. The luau was everything it had been promoted to be and then some, and they all had a great time.

It was slightly after midnight when the group returned to the ship, their stomachs full, their feet tired, but their libidos high. Luka and Mike disappeared first, then Maggie and Randi, leaving John alone in the sitting room as he wondered when Dave would arrive. To John, it seemed as if days had passed since he had last seen Dave rather than the hours that had elapsed.

Dave, meanwhile, had spent a 'wonderful' day serving up grub in the dining room. He was beginning to wonder if it had all been worth it -- he couldn't remember when he was last this tired. It did give him a new found respect for the wait staff -- not since he worked in his uncles restaurant in NY had Dave last waited tables...and though he quickly got back in the swing of things, Dave quickly remembered why he had gone to medical school in the first place.

Finally, at 11pm, the tables were cleared from dinner, and Dave was given the okay to take off for the night. He went down to his cabin long enough to peel out of his clothing. He got changed into a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, and then pretty quickly made his way upstairs. He was *craving* Carter at that point...not so much for the sex...but because he was hungry for his companionship.

A few minutes later, he found himself outside of Carter's door. Very softly he knocked, hoping that he wasn't' disturbing anyone. Not that he cared. He needed to see Carter, but it was always better to not have the others pissed off with him.

After the girls had gone to bed, John decided to shower away the sun block, sand and other reminders of the day. Leaving his clothes in a pile on the floor, he was just about to head into the bathroom when he heard a soft knocking through the open bedroom door.

Dave. It *had* to be Dave.

John grabbed his bathrobe from the foot of the bed and put it on as he hurried through the sitting area to the main door of the suite. Holding the bathrobe closed in case it wasn't Dave, John answered the door.

"You're earlier than I expected," John said, grinning as he took in Dave's 'civilian' attire. "No uniform tonight? I'm getting quite used to seeing you in your uniform, you know. You look so damn good in it."

Dave walked inside, letting the door shut before taking his lover in his arms and planting a soft kiss on his lips. "Yeah, well...if you want, I can go back to my room and get my uniform on...but trust me...you didn't want to see me in my stinky food serving clothes. Man, I have to tell you...you passengers are a demanding bunch," he teased, as he placed a delicate kiss on Carter's neck. "The only thing I didn't get a chance to do is shower..."

Feeling the terrycloth robe under his fingers, Dave smiled.

"Hmm...were you gettin' ready to go to bed or something? You're all changed..."

Not that Dave was complaining one *bit* about Carter bein' in nothing but a robe...

John smiled. "I was about to jump into the shower. I didn't think you'd appreciate me half as much with the smell of sun block on my skin and sand plastered to me."

He ran his hands up under the back of Dave's shirt. "I think we should shower together, I hear it saves water or something like that, and it's been a long time since I had one of your 'lessons' in how to get clean without using a washcloth." His robe had come open and John could feel Dave's hands against his bare skin, searching for something, and finally finding his hard cock. John ginned as he thought about how easily that word came to him -- days, or rather, nights, of 'talking dirty' to Dave had ingrained those words into John's brain and they now permeated his thoughts. Although not usually in relation to his own body. It was mostly that John thought about Dave's cock and Dave's balls and all that he wanted to do with Dave and not so much about what he wanted Dave to do with him.

As Dave's hands stroked Carter's dick, he brought his eyes up to meet Carter's. "Yeah, I think showering together...a lesson or two in cleanliness...that might be just what the ship's doctor ordered. Ya know, proper hygiene is very important..,I haveta make sure that my favorite patient is doin' all of that up to proper standards," he said, as he continued to stroke Carter.

"And I think...we'd better take this to the bathroom sooner rather than later...or you're gonna have a hard time gettin' me to move away from your body at all."

Amazing what a little dose of Carter did to Dave's libido...and exhaustion. While he had barely been able to keep his eyes open, he now was wide awake...*all* of him was wide awake. His cock pressed against the front of his jeans -- a feeling that Dave hadn't felt in a *long* time since he spent most of his waking hours in the slightly looser uniform trousers. It begged to be freed.

"You know where my bathroom is," John said with a grin. "Lead the way and I'll follow, even though I don't come with a leash," he joked.

Dave had to laugh at that. And with a grin, he looked down at Carter's cock.

"Oh...I think if I pulled a *certain* something, you'd definitely follow me, but I'll settle for grabbing your hand," he teased, as Dave stopped stroking Carter and laced their fingers together instead.

Pulling him into Carter's bedroom, Dave shut the door behind him, and then turned to face Carter once more. He dropped Carter's hand and drew his hands up the side of Carter's body, just under the fabric of the robe. Reaching his shoulders, Dave drew the garment down, letting it fall onto the floor as his hands completed the journey by running down the length of Carter's arms before he reached for his lover's hands once more.

"That's better. I love ya clothed...and I loved ya naked...but hmm...right now...naked is the way I want ya."

John could only grin as he looked at Dave. Their reunion on the ship had been beyond words, and John felt as if he were the king of the world whenever Dave looked at him or touched him. He had said that to Dave, too. Said many things to him over the past days, and now he couldn't seem to find anything at all to say.

So instinct took over for intellect, and John gently pulled his hands away from Dave's, then began to undo Dave's jeans, slowly lowering himself to the floor as he pulled them down Dave's thick and muscular legs, taking the boxers with the denim and revealing Dave's rigid cock.

"This," John finally said as he ran his fingers lightly over Dave's erection, "is the way I want you."

"Anytime...anytime you want me...I'm yours...don't ever forget that...don't ever...God..." Dave was beyond any thought as emotions and feelings completely took over his body. All Carter had to do was touch him...or even look at him a certain way...and all resolve of any kind went out the window. While on the way up he had said he would have been happy to just -be- with Carter...now he wanted so much more.

"I think we have to get in that shower now...or all we're gonna do is get dirty right here on the floor," Dave said, grinning from ear to ear.

Yeah...Dave was pretty sure this was heaven on earth.

John nodded, then looked down at the floor, where Dave's pants were puddled around his ankles. "Lift up your foot," John said as he grabbed the double layer of material, wanting nothing more right then than to get Dave completely naked. They were once more in their own world, the world that existed only in John's bedroom -- a place where no one dared intrude, no matter how loud or wild they became. A sanctuary of sorts for them both, and a place where being dirty on the floor just wasn't done.

Unless Dave wanted it. After he tossed Dave's pants aside, John looked up the length of Dave's body, his eyes lingering for but a moment to watch Dave's cock bob up and down in the air. "Do *you* want to get dirty right here on the floor?" John asked.

Dave looked down at Carter, a smile still playing on his lips. "I wanna get dirty...oh Hell...it doesn't matter *where*. I just wanna get *dirty* with you...so we can get clean..."

Dave collapsed on his knees as well, and wrapped his arms around Carter's neck, drawing the taller man as close to Dave as possible. "I want *you*...every way, anyway..."

And within a moment, Dave covered Carter's mouth with his, tongue probing...hands reaching...touching...

Never before had Dave been as compatible with someone.

John slowly sucked on the tip of Dave's tongue while his hand slid up and down Dave's cock. Dave's moans were obvious, despite the fact that their mouths were attached to one another. It felt good -- it all felt good, almost too good. Each time they were together seemed to be better, hotter, steamier than the previous one, and in the back of his mind John wondered if they would ever reach a time when that wouldn't happen. Would it then go in reverse?

Dave's cock seemed to swell inside of John's fist and he pushed his questions away so he could concentrate on pleasing Dave. His entire reason for being seemed to narrow down to the man in front of him, John realized as their kiss ended, leaving them breathless as always.

"I need your cock in me, Dave. I don't care where, as long as it's there." John said, his voice demanding, although he was ready to make it sound pleading if Dave wanted him to beg. As long as the end result was what he wanted, John didn't much care what he had to say or do to reach that point.

"And I wanna be inside you...and I wanna suck on you...suck on your cock until you come...screaming my name...the question is...do you wanna do it out here...on the bed where we'll be comfortable...or in the shower where we can get clean afterwards...man...John...I just want *you*..."

Dave's hands roamed Carter's body once again...his hands feeling this skin under his fingers...his mouth touching the base of his lover's neck, enjoying the way Carter seemed to squirm...a finger touched Carter's pulsating cock, and once more Dave had to moan.

"You'd better...make a decision...soon...or I'm...gonna...make love to you...right...here," Dave finally eeked out as his mouth made it's way to Carter's ear.

As if John could think when Dave was hitting all of his most vulnerable spots. "Mmmm," he moaned, bending his head to the opposite side just in case Dave wanted to lick on his neck or bite him or...anything.

It seemed that Carter was *completely* incapable of making the decision, so Dave made it for him. Lifting himself up, he pulled Carter up along with him. And grabbing his hand, he pulled him towards the bathroom with a mischievous glint in his eye. "I wanna do this in the shower...I want there to be hot water falling down on us when we do this...and I wanna make love to you...right in the shower...me...pumping my hard cock inside you..."

Dave released his hand from Carter's...long enough to go over and begin to run the water. He was bent over slightly, and he knew that his ass was in full view of Carter.

Oh, God...John closed his eyes, trying to block out the sight that was threatening to make him come right there and then, without Dave even touching him. John loved to play with Dave's body, even his ass, although the thought of actually fucking Dave hadn't really been foremost in John's mind. Sure, he'd thought about it a time or two, but only when Dave was away from him and never when they were together. No, when they were together, John had different plans for his cock, and putting it into Dave's ass wasn't one of them. Letting Dave suck him dry definitely *was* though, John thought as he opened his eyes and saw that Dave had turned around and was looking at him, his expression lustful, as usual.

John wondered if he had the same look on his face and if his eyes held the same wild passion as Dave's did?

As Dave finished adjusting the water, he turned around with a grin on his face, intent on pulling Carter into the shower by his cock if he had to. But his grin became softer as he looked towards the man he loved. Man. That...that emotion...that...whoa...his face...even without his eyes open, he was so expressive in how he felt.

And those feelings only intensified as Carter's eyes fluttered open, sure that Dave's own expression matched Carter's. And taking a step closer to Carter, Dave wrapped his arms around the man once more.

"I could get used to this...Hell...I already am used to this."

After planting another soft kiss on Carter's lips, Dave reluctantly released him -- but only because he was aching to be in the shower with the guy. "C'mon John, let's go get clean..."

He turned to walk towards the shower and stepped in, confident that Carter would be right behind him.

John's lips were still on fire from the kiss as he watched Dave step into the shower. The man did such incredible things to him, and John grinned as he imagined their future. Sure, it would be rough for the next four months or so, with Dave stuck in his contract with the cruise line, but John knew that their times together during that wait would be all the sweeter because of them not being able to be together all of the time.

His feet walked across the cool tile floor, following where Dave led, because there was no other choice but to follow. As the slightly hot water stung his skin, John wrapped his arms around Dave, hugging him from behind and savoring the warmth of Dave's body.

"I love you," John said loud enough to be heard over the relentless stream of water that cascaded over them both. "I'll always love you."

As soon as Carter wrapped his arms around him, Dave sighed, and placed his own hands over Carter's, feeling the skin under his fingertips as Dave leaned against him. "I love you too...God...more than I thought I could ever..."

Yeah...he was in big...big trouble. Dave wasn't quite sure how he was gonna get through the rest of his contract without being with Carter. The months that they were apart seemed to melt away during this past week...and it was hard to believe that there was only a week left of their reunion. How the Hell were they gonna get through it? It wasn't like Carter could even visit him during the few days off a month he had...as it was, he only had one more full week off before the end of his contract. And man...if Steve ever caught wind of exactly *who* Dave was in love with.

Man...he couldn't be without his brother. His brother was the only family he had left.

Slowly Dave turned around, trying to force all horrible thoughts out of his head. Carter was still here...Dave couldn't dwell on the negative, or it was gonna ruin their fun time.

"So what was that you were sayin' about me having my cock somewhere inside ya?"

John slowly smiled as his hand reached out to stroke Dave once again. "I was saying that I needed to have your wonderful and magnificent specimen of a cock in me. Anywhere. I don't care where, I need it that bad, Doctor Dave. Maybe I could have it in more than one place?" he asked, the idea of sucking on Dave's cock and stopping to let Dave fuck him hitting him out of the blue. But he'd have to make sure he didn't suck too long or hard, or Dave wouldn't last long when they reached the second part of the plan. And that wouldn't do at all.

"I think...I think that sounds like a very good plan...a mighty good plan...what do you say about...me making you come...while I'm fucking you...I wanna feel what it's like for you to come with me inside you..."

He moaned once more as he felt Carter's hands on him. For Dave, it was like a treat that never ended. Carter was like an endless sea of pleasure for him. And all thoughts about what would happen when they reaches the shores of California again completely left Dave's mind as Carter's strokes became more insistent. Dave's hand's found Carter's cock, and he began to mimic his lover's motions -- wanting Carter to feel as good as he was making Dave feel.

"Hmm, I like that idea, too." John said, but he didn't move. What was the sense in moving when Dave's hand was touching him? Dave's cock chose that moment to twitch within his grasp and it reminded John that he had a mission to complete.

"As good as your hand feels, I'm going to have to leave it for a bit," John said as he slowly lowered himself to the now warmed porcelain floor of the tub to take Dave's erection into his mouth. As he slowly sucked his way down to the base, taking all of Dave in, John's thoughts went back to that morning when they had last showered together, and Dave had shaved him bare. John had no idea how many days could pass before he'd need to shave his groin area because Dave had decided that it was something that needed to be done every morning. Not that John had any complaints about that new habit, especially since he always ended up coming when it was done because Dave's nearness and touches kept him on the verge of orgasm the entire time.

Maybe one day Dave would be the one being shaved, John mused as his nose was tickled by water droplets that beaded down Dave's pubic hair. It would definitely be nice to see how it felt to lick Dave's skin and not feel any hair there at all, the way Dave did to him.

"Mmmm...yes...that's it John...that's it...suck me...suck me John." Dave's voice was hoarse with emotion and desire as he lowered his hands to the other man's shoulders. He was doing it both to have something to use for leverage, and also because he had an intense desire to feel some part of Carter under his hands. And Carter's shoulders would have to do for now.

Dave thrust his groin upwards slightly, wanting to feel Carter's mouth around as much of him as possible. Man. Carter never failed to leave him wanting more, even when he was given the world already.

Dave's words of encouragement pushed John onward, and his oral assault moved from Dave's entire cock to just the head, the most sensitive part. John's tongue flicked over it quickly, then he licked his way to Dave's balls, sucking on the skin for a bit, teasing Dave with the idea that he was going to draw each one into his mouth to suckle on.

"Mmmm, yes...that's it...yes." It seemed like his entire world was focused on one person...the man kneeling down in front of him who seemed to know Dave's body better than Dave knew it himself. Every touch...every motion...seemed to be on a different level than the last. Each one increased desire.

His eyes fluttered closed as desire mounted. Man...Carter was gonna have to stop soon...or he wasn't gonna be able to keep it under control. Much as Dave was enjoying the sensations...

Hearing Dave's permission for him to go further, John tenderly sucked a testicle into his mouth, carefully positioning it before sucking. He wanted to once more stroke Dave's cock, but John that doing so would push Dave past his endurance, and John couldn't and wouldn't allow that to happen. As it was, the sounds coming from Dave's throat and the way his body squirmed under his touch were telling John that Dave was getting close.

The desire to have Dave inside of him drove John to his feet and he kissed Dave briefly on the lips before turning around. He bent over slightly and braced his hands against the wall of the tub. "Now, Dave. I need you in me now." God, but his own cock was pulsating with the urgent need for release and John had to fight back the urge to stroke himself to completion.

He moved himself in position. Dave's hand found Carter's opening, and he inserted it, knowing that Carter wasn't gonna need much stretching due to all the activities the two of them had participated in all week long. Man. It was like he was ready to burst, and he hadn't even entered Carter yet. Finally, Dave pressed the tip against his opening, and he pushed himself fully inside the man, groaning as he felt Carter's muscles envelope him.

One hand was steadied on Carter's hip, for leverage, more than anything else. And Dave's other hand moved towards the front of Carter's body, finding Carter's hard cock with his fingers.

"God, yes..." John sighed as he pushed his hips backward, taking Dave all the way in with that quick motion -- he never felt as...complete, as he did when Dave was buried to the hilt inside of his body. "Yes," John sighed again as Dave's hand began to stroke him -- fast and hard, because he knew they both needed to come so very badly.

"Yes."

Pure instinct took over as Dave continued to press himself in and out of the man he loved. He was beyond any coherent thought at that moment -- knowing that very soon he was going to be the utmost of satisfied.

Yeah...yeah...this felt *great* to Dave. And yeah...it wasn't gonna be...

Dave pressed himself against Carter's most sensitive spots...knowing that he had hit Carter's prostrate when he felt Carter's dick twitch in his hand...and he wondered if they would be able to come together. Because Dave already knew that when Carter came, he wasn't gonna be able to hold off.

"Faster," John urged, meaning both Dave's cock and hand. "Faster, Dave...oh, God...yes...Yes!!!!" he finally screamed as he crested the peak of desire and exploded into Dave's hand. Head bowed, John watched through half-lidded eyes as Dave's hand milked his cock and the creamy liquid splashed against the wall, lingering there because two bodies blocked the water from the shower.

And then there was nothing more left to come out of John's body, but he felt the weight of Dave's body against his back and instinct told him that Dave had also come. Had it been at the same time? Had Dave felt those ripples as John had come -- had they sent Dave over the edge?

John put all his weight against his left hand so his right hand could hold Dave's hand in place around his now limp cock. "Did we do it?" John asked, his voice slightly hoarse from his scream of delight. "Did we come together?" They had to have, he thought. Dave wanted it so much, so it just had to have happened.

At about the same time that Carter's world exploded in his hand, Dave's cock exploded in Carter's ass, filling him with his love as quickly as he was pumping it out of his lover's body. Yeah...yeah...that was pretty fucking awesome. The way that Carter's muscles had gripped around him when Carter came hadn't given Dave much of a choice.

Not that he wanted it to be any other way.

"Yeah...yeah," Dave finally said. "yeah, we came together...God...do you have.. any idea...how...fucking amazing...you are?"

He didn't want to withdraw from him, but the desire to kiss Carter overwhelmed him, and Dave found that in one motion, he was out of Carter's ass, and his arms were pulling Carter up so he could hold him close.

Pulling his lips down onto Carter's, Dave kissed him, moaning as their mouths met once more.

Dave's praise for his sexual prowess sent a thrill down John's spine. If he could keep Dave pleasured, then he could keep Dave, it was that simple, really. And he was determined to do all he had to do to keep Dave pleasured and sated and wanting him.

When the kiss ended, John smiled into Dave's eyes. "I love you," he said again, wanting Dave to get used to hearing it often, so that he wouldn't miss it so much in the four months to come. The four lonely months until Dave could return to Chicago where he belonged.

"I love you too, my insatiable sex kitten," Dave joked, as he kept his arms wrapped around Carter, returning the smile. Yeah. They'd get through it. Somehow, they'd get through being apart until Dave could get out of his contract. They had to. Dave belonged with Carter. There just wasn't any other way to describe it. Dave hadn't felt this way about anyone before, and the time apart had told Dave that he wouldn't feel this way about anyone again. Carter...John...John was it. John was it his soul mate.

"You got me thinkin' about mushy stuff now," Dave teased, as he planted a kiss on John's nose. "I hope you don't mind, but I have this urge to keep telling you that I love you so that you never think anything else."

The shower water continued to pour down on them, but it was gettin' a little bit cooler. "What do you say we shut off this water, and crawl into that warm bed?"

"I think that's good," John said, a smile on his face. But inside he was frowning as he wondered how Dave knew that other's had called him 'sex kitten'? John definitely had never told that to Dave, but he obviously knew -- but how?

His thoughts were brought to a stop when the water ceased flowing and then Dave was drying him off. John wanted to ask him, but he didn't. He was too afraid that if he did, then Dave would ask him about *who* it had been who had called him that, and John wasn't in the mood to talk with Dave about Jenny.

Dave was smiling as he continued to dry Carter off, remembering how after their first time showering together Carter had told him the best way to go about drying him.. starting at the top and working his way down. It seemed like something wasn't quite right, though. Though Carter never said anything, his expression told Dave that Carter's mind was elsewhere. That he was thinking of something that Carter didn't wanna talk to Dave about.

Dave didn't want to push him...but man...if Dave had done something to upset him...he needed to know.

"Hey," he said, after he finished drying his lover off. "Are you okay? Did I hurt you?"

Bringing his hand up to the side of Carter's face, Dave wiped off a droplet of water that was running down the side of his cheek.

Shit! Dave had noticed something was wrong. John didn't want to get into a discussion, not right then. Not ever, really. Thinking fast, he chuckled and shook his head. "Not that I know about. Why? Am I bleeding or something?"

Dave furrowed his brow. "No...I don't think so...why... are you hurt? Man...I didn't use any lube...I thought it was okay because we were in the shower..."

Man, all Dave could think about was getting his rocks off...and his mind inadvertently went back to their very first time together...at least...the first time they fucked...when Carter was drunk...and Dave had inadvertently made him bleed.

"I'm sorry, man...I won't try it without lube again..."

John pulled Dave to him and hugged him tightly. "No. I'm fine, Dave. Completely fine. You can even check me out if you want, I won't stop you. But it was great and it didn't hurt and I'm fine." John looked intently into Dave's eyes. "Do you understand me, Dave? I'm fine."

God, Dave had to believe him because it was true, and because John didn't want a repeat of the argument that had broken them apart for such a long and lonely time. This time, no matter how many times Dave asked, John would answer, and not with his own fears and accusations, but with the truth -- that he was fine.

Dave nodded, hearing nothing but the truth in Carter's voice this time when he spoke. "Okay, I believe you...I promise...I'll never doubt you again, okay? I'm sorry that I doubted you before...man...you have no idea..."

Shutting his eyes tightly, Dave continued to hold Carter close to him. No way. No way was he gonna let there be a fight over this same issue...it was all too close for Dave...too much like that horrible fight which sent him away from Carter the first time.

"Please," Dave finally said, pulling back slightly from Carter's embrace. "I might not always say the right thing...but you gotta believe this...I love you so much...and nothin's gonna change that..."

John smiled, and then planted a kiss on Dave's forehead. "I know. Now, how about that bed? I don't know about you, but I'm one tired man."

Dave nodded. "Yeah...I'm pretty tired myself. You know, I've gotten so used ta sleeping next to you again, I don't know how I'm gonna sleep when I have to go back to my own cabin," he said, as he followed John back into the bedroom. Man. He was thinking of him as John again...just like he had before he left Chicago all those months ago. John. *His* John.

He climbed into bed, and waited for John to join him, conforming his body to John's as soon as the other man was settled. Dave wrapped his arms around him and sighed contentedly.

"Mmm...yes. I'm definitely used to this..."

"Me, too. I am so looking forward to running up my frequent flyer miles, but even without that perk, flying to California as often as possible will be well worth it, just as long as we get to sleep together like this," John said as he rested his head in the crook of Dave's arm. "What's your place like? We haven't talked much about where you live? Do you have the same bed?" John asked with a grin, remembering how perfect Dave's bed had been for their 'games'.

"Well...you know that I'm gonna have to spend most of my time out here on the ship...I only get a few hours off between cruises...and I think I've only got one more full week off till my contract is up. Uh, I live with my brother out here...I think I told ya about him...he's into construction and makes a pretty penny. His place is really nice.. not...uh...not too private. I...man...I'd *love* to see you before I move back...but I don't know if it's gonna be possible...you'll see...the four months will pass before ya know it...and I'll be back in Chicago.."

No...no way would John be able to stay with Dave. Dave's brother...man...if Steve ever found out...Steve would throw Dave out on his ass so quick that Dave knew his head would spin.

And he couldn't lose his brother. No matter how much Dave loved John...there was no way he could lose his brother.

John yawned deeply. "Sorry. I think I'm too tired for our usual pillow talk. We can find a way to work things out, Dave. You'll see." And with another yawn, John's eyes closed and he drifted off to sleep, images of he and Dave together dancing through his brain.

Dave sighed, and pulled John close. For once the feeling of his body pressed against John's not enough to allow him to fall into a peaceful sleep. No. He had too much on his mind now. How the Hell would they be able to cope bein' so far apart...without any hope of visitation?

It wasn't that Dave didn't trust John...he knew that John would never cheat on him...but still...man...he didn't wanna cause John any undue angst...or any more trouble then he already had. By the same token...there was *no* way Steve could find out what was going on. No way.

Cause then he'd lose his brother. He'd have John...but he'd lose his brother.

If Dave could keep John a secret from his brother...then he'd have both.

Finally, after pondering over this in his mind for a long while, Dave fell into a deep...but, still slightly troubled sleep.


To be continued....
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