Sapphire (kitty_trio) wrote in pac_con,
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Slash Fic: Deny Me Not 1 of 3

TITLE: Deny Me Not 1 of 3
AUTHORS: rufferto and kitty_trio
EMAILS: rufferto9@yahoo.com and kittyTsapphire@yahoo.com
PAIRING: Craig Parker/Karl Urban, others
RATING: NC-17, eventually
WARNINGS: Slash, angst
FEEDBACK: Yes please!
DISCLAIMER: It’s Fiction! It never happened. All lies from troubled minds. We don't know Craig Parker or Karl Urban or their sexual preferences. In short, nothing in this story is true regarding any real person mentioned. This is all fiction. No money made from this fantasy.

A/N: Yes, another new fic when we have so many needing updates. *sighs* Hopefully we’ll soon return to the Bébé boys. Poor Karl has been languishing alone with his injury. Craig & visiting Marton off to work/interviews. Mari-provided gay porn on the telly. Kitty is beginning to worry about the ideas & cheesy lines swirling in his pain-med soused head.


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SUMMARY: Once again a peek forward into the lives of our Mate With Benefits boys. Approximately 1997 during the adventures/productions of Xena/Herc/Young Herc. This is what happens when Ruffy wakes one weekend very cranky, in need of writing older Bébé K & C with much more angst than fluff. We’re still not sure if this is an odd turn to their story or not. *shrugs*

"We Belong" By Pat Benetar

"Many times I've tried to tell you
Many times I've cried alone
Always I'm surprised how well you
Cut my feelings to the bone

Don't want to leave you really
I've invested too much time
To give you up that easy
To the doubts that complicate your mind




Craig was watching Karl from across the set of Xena. He had tried not to, and knew that having Karl around was going to make it hard for him to concentrate on the role. It was especially hard since they had officially broken up. He had been avoiding Karl in his wings for a while waiting until it was absolutely necessary to do the scene. In fact, he wasn’t sure that Karl even knew he was there. Since the two sets were so close, he’d also met the Hercules stars too as he played in that show. Kevin Sorbo had found out he was around and had come to check up on his old mate. Kevin was a character, nice guy, good attitude and not too subtle about wanting Craig in his bed.

So far, he’d managed to fend off Kevin, but he wasn’t sure if he wanted to anymore. He was fooling himself that Karl would come back to him. The flat was going to be sold soon, and Craig would need to find a place to stay. He’d much more money now than he used to have and had of course kept in touch with Karl’s parents. Karl’s mum had effectively adopted him. On Xena’s set he was having a tough time avoiding the very obvious attentions of Bruce Campbell.

Bruce had just finished a scene and noticed Craig cleaning one of his feet from the mud. “It’s just going to get worse you know with the weather. Might as well just clean when the scenes are done for the day.” He flashes Craig a cheeky grin.

“Hi Bruce.” Craig sighs. “Not that, I’ve got a blister.” He indicates his left pinky toe. “Damn boots are too tight.”

Karl is not in a pleasant mood. A three day filming break spent surfing with his good friend Kieren Hutchison, should have been relaxing. Instead, a hard tumble and encounter with the reef severely curtailed catching many more waves. He’d been stuck fending off the ‘comfort’ offered by the bevy of girls that always surrounded Kieren.

Granted, during their stint on “Riding High” together, after their on screen love affair on “Shortland Street”, Karl at first enjoyed the feminine attention. He’d been feeling restless as his local acting career took off. Domestic bliss with Craig became strained the more time Karl spent away from the flat. Finally tired of the lies of avoidance, Karl made the decision to move out of the flat and closer to the studios he was filming in.

The scrapes and bruises under Cupid’s wings itching like crazy, Karl rounded the mess tent. His breath hitched, and blood rushed from his face. Kieren had mentioned Craig was filming some Young Hercules episodes, but did it have to be while Karl was filming Xena next door? Gods, he’s still gorgeous, played through Karl’s head. He’d never stopped loving Craig, he just got caught up in his new-found celebrity and Kieren and the myriad girls…

A growl irrupts when he notices the lech, Campbell leaning over Craig. Flicking blond fringe out of his eyes, he approaches the pair. “Parker, good t’ see yeh mate.” his gaze lingers on the long dark wig Craig is wearing. His dark green eyes narrow as he turns to Bruce with a brief nod, “Campbell”. He’s unable to keep the irritation from his voice. The man has chased and harassed all the locals in the combined productions.

Craig stiffens hearing the hated word come from Karl’s lips ‘mate’ as if he was never more than just a friend to mention when necessary. He has already bent his leg so that he can clean off his toes. He takes a bit of iodine from a medkit that he had brought with him to the water pump. He didn’t even have to know that it was Karl, the voice and presence was enough. Don’t come closer, please don’t come closer.

“Yo … Urban, isn’t it?” Bruce was often prone to forgetting the names of people he didn’t have scenes with. “Love the wings, nicely done.” He puts his fingers into an ‘ok’ symbol and grins toothily. “Craig here needs a visit with wardrobe, boots don’t fit right. Those lame ass costume designers just give people any old thing.”

Craig shrugs, “I can deal with it.” He doesn’t want to make a fuss, and has not yet lifted his head to look at Karl. He slowly applies the iodine and winces slightly as skin pulls since the blister had already popped. “Hi Karl,” he responds flatly.

“Yeh mean give the local talent…” Karl cuts off the rest of a gripe about treatment of Kiwi vs. American actors on the shows.

“Shit luv!” Let me do that!” He kneels at Craig’s feet, oiled muscles rippling in the sunlight. Only when he has Craig’s foot and the hand holding the swab does he realize what a bad idea this is. His fingers shake as the unique scent that is Craig’s alone fills his senses.

Keeping his head bent and thankful the leather ‘skirt’ hides his body’s reaction, Karl takes the swab and dabs and blows to lessen the iodine’s sting. He has to clear his throat before angling his head to the American, “Can yeh see a plaster in the kit?” He doesn’t dare look up at either man, knowing the arousal being this close to his first and only love will be evident on his face.

Campbell snorts, “Yeah, there are a few band aids and crap here.” Bruce’s cell rings and he grunts into it. “I said I’d be there and I will be. I know. Right. Keep your pants on.” He hangs up and shrugs. “Got to go, management calls. Craig, I’ll check up on you later.” He winks at the other man, giving him an appreciative glance. “Preferably without the wig.” That said the American bounds off.

Craig swallows and shifts slightly as he feels the familiar touch. He has to steel his body and his breathing while he lifts his gaze to look Karl in the eye. He has to catch his breath at the glorious sight before him. The producers had used Karl’s body to the best of their advantage and he certainly had been working out. “It’s just a stupid blister.”

Dumb-arse, stupid git… Karl silently calls himself every name in the book for looking up when the older man left. Midnight blue eyes snare him, “Erm…Ki…Lo… erm…” he stutters, tongue-tied. A shudder of need wracks his frame. The wings glued to his back pull on the abraded skin beneath, making a pained scowl cross his face.

As if burned, he drops the swab and foot, and nearly falls on his bum trying to crab-walk backward. A hand out to steady himself lands on the medkit. “St…still needs a plaster.” Karl grumbles, scowl deepening.

Craig sighs, calm as always, even when Karl is acting like this. He reaches for a plaster and wraps it around the now cleaned wound. “Nice costume.” He says gruffly, voice low and as impersonal as he can make it even though all he wants to do is grab Karl’s belt and pull him closer. “You look good.”

He shakes out his sock and sighs when he sees the hole that rubbing the blister raw had created. He gives a short laugh. “Well, more than good, but that’s the point, isn’t it. You’re the God of Love.” The thought strikes Craig as funny and he has to snicker. He doesn’t feel like being nice, not right now. Running right into Karl like this was the last thing he wanted.

The irony is not lost on Karl, nor is Craig’s dispassionate demeanor. “Thanks, the gym work and healthy diet cuts into me playtime,” he shrugs, getting to his feet. He can be as dispassionate, and act the party-boy Craig once accused him of. “But the girls seem t’ like the look.”

He winces again just before turning away. “You’re looking good too. Even under all those robes can tell yeh’ve added some muscle tone.”

“I’m sure they do.” Craig’s voice cuts through the air between them. He puts the sock on anyway and tries to stick his foot into the boot. He frowns noticing a reddening at Karl’s back near the wings.

“Karl, you’re bleeding.” He notes. “I don’t think they intended that.” He shoves his foot back into the boot.

“We need to get you out of these. Something’s rubbing you there in the wrong way.” He picks up the med kit.

“Fucken ‘ell. No ‘m not taking em off ‘til my scenes are done.” Karl frowns back, noticing Craig put his holey sock and the ill-fitting boot back on. “It’s just a scratch on me back, and I’m not about to go through another three hours of being pinned t’ the wall while they glue the fucken things on.” He knows he’s grouching childishly, but the stance he has to adopt whist being ‘winged’ is uncomfortable.

Craig moves closer to inspect the damage. “Christ, Karl.” He leans one hand on Karl’s shoulder to force him to turn around. “It’s really rubbing raw down there. You’re going to get it infected. Don’t be stubborn.”

He stares at it with a frown. “I’m sure when they see this they won’t want it to get worse.”

Irritation was not just at what Karl had done to himself, but because he was so close to the man he loved in spite of everything. He’d never stop, but god, he was infuriating. And sleeping with women and god only knows who else. “Come on, you whining ninny. Taking you to the medic tent. I have to return this kit anyway.”

Karl flinches from Craig’s touch, his nipples instantly tightening. ‘Fuck!’ Craig’s scent is bad enough, but his touch… every nerve ending in his body stands up and screams for more. Blindly he’s following in Craig’s wake before he even realized. Obeying the command, that was never there before, in the smaller man’s voice.

“No… wait… no.” Karl stops in his tracks, staying Craig with a hand on his shoulder. The stutter-stop of the other makes his fingers graze against his old love’s neck.

“No?” Craig eyes Karl. “Don’t be stupid, C’mon.” The sound of determination in Craig’s voice is clear. He isn’t going to let Karl go off without getting tended to. Craig puts his hands on his hips and eyes Karl.

He then grunts and opts for a ‘business like’ tone. “You can’t do the scene without something to stop the pain or you’ll look like a pissy lord of love. And you don’t have to worry, I’m not going to stay and watch. I’m just going to give the doc this medkit and then I’m gone.”

The touch of Karl's hand had made him stiffen again and he desperately needs to get -away- from the younger man.

“’Pissy lord of love’?” spinning to fully face Craig and his air of ‘holier than thou’ indifference, Karl scowls fiercely. How dare Parker be so calm, when Karl is fairly twitching, and actually was stuttering in arousal?

Then he straightens, rolling his shoulders back with a ripple of muscle and flutter of wings. The scowl changes to a leering sneer. A toss of bleached blond fringe, and he’s fully in ‘Cupid’ mode, “Luv, ‘tis only a scratch and I’ve sucked it up,” the tip of his tongue flicks out to wet his lips, “and acted my way through more serious wounds.” Karl steps closer, leaning in to purr, “You are more than welcome to come…” he rakes the smaller man from head to toe, “and watch, if you’re so concerned about the integrity of my abilities.”

Karl spins back around and swaggers off, thankful he received the reaction of Craig’s impossibly blue eyes widening at least. Fucken hell, he’s so hard, and so fucken squashed behind two layers of thick, hot, leather. His recent bout of celibacy due to whatever odd malaise he’s been in the last year is definitely not conducive to running into the one man who knows his body best. Shite! It’s taking all his effort not to go back and beg for one more chance with the only man he’s ever loved.

“In your dreams.” Craig shoots to Karl’s retreating back, fuming. Craig is only frozen in his tracks for about a half a minute as he watches Karl swagger off. The Jerk, he thinks he can snap his fingers and… Ugh. In full huff mode, Craig stalks into the medical tent and deposits the kit to the astonishment of a very surprised doctor who stares at him. “What’s eating you?”

“Nothing.” Craig snarls, and storms out. He’s willed his body to keep calm through the entire exchange, an effort he really had to force himself to maintain. What Karl may have forgotten is that he’s doing scenes that day too.

Once he finds his way to the set, Bruce comes up and puts an arm lazily about his shoulder. “What’s up, Parker?” He croons. “You look like you want to chew nails. I can think of better ways for your energy.”

“Just getting into character.” Craig grunts. “Hands off, Campbell.” He tells the man shrugging out of the touch. There’s no messing with Craig when he’s in this kind of mood. He refuses to even –look- for Karl. He won’t let –that man- do this to him. He won’t.
~~~

Rounding the group of trailers, Karl’s swagger changes to a stalk and the leer back to intense scowl. Alexandra Tydings, Cupid’s mum, Aphrodite, stops on the top step of her coach. Tightening the belt of her terry robe, she starts giggling madly.

“Cupie!!!” She squeals in character, “No son if mine should look or move like that!”

Karl takes a deep breath and then smiles at Alexandra. “Sorry luv, ran into my old…well… never mind.” He shrugs off further musings. He helps the tiny woman down the steps and guides her to their outdoor set. Later, much, much later, possibly after numbing himself with plenty of alcohol, he’ll figure out why he cannot move past thoughts of Craig.

“Old girlfriend?” Aphrodite titters gaily, getting completely into character. “Fess up, hon or you’ll ruin the day with that crab face.” She makes an imitation of his scowl. “You know if you’re not careful it could freeze that way.”

“Mommm!” Karl whinges in character, “We’re too beautiful for ‘crab faces’.” Alexandra’s bubbly spirit is infectious, and the tall Kiwi is soon grinning and bantering with his costar. During a break when someone does notice the trickles of blood on his back, the two pick up their earlier conversation.

“Seriously hon, tell mommy all about it.” She reaches over to squeeze Karl’s hand where it’s braced on a chair arm, supporting his weight while leant at the correct angle for the makeup crew to work. “You’re not the type to maintain such an ill humor.”

Karl sighs, determined to quit dwelling on the past, on how good Craig looked, on reawakened dreams of being part of his only love’s life again. “Just someone I wasn’t prepared to run into so soon, I’ll be fine.”

Alexandra nearly bounces out of her seat, “Oh! That reminds me, there’s some new blood on the set! Soon as we’re done here… let’s go check ‘em out. New conquests are always good for what ails ya.”
~~~

Lucy Lawless had already come across Craig, having spotted Bruce hanging around the man. Marton had told her something of Craig ages ago and she had promised to look out for him on set. “Hey, Craig.” She looks him up and down. “Who in gods name put a turban on you? Purple no less. And how is it fair that you can look so damn hawt in it.”

“Luce.” Craig grins, having heard much of the actress from his friend. “When y’ve got it, flaunt it.”

Lucy laughs and slips an arm around Craig’s waist. “It’s been a while honey, but you’re looking much better than the last party I saw you at. Except for that frown, I’d rather see your smile. Ooooh. You saw him didn’t ya?” Lucy guides Craig away from Bruce. “Bah, ignore the bugger, he’ll not bother you. I’ll see to that.”

In fact, she had promised Marton just that thing on the phone a few hours earlier.

Craig had some tips from Lucy on this scene; the trick was to simply let it flow. The script was not always the best; all that mattered was the emotion and character development and the action. Show the character and the audience will love it. The girls wanted to practice the kissing scene first which didn’t surprise him. He always ran into that for some reason. He knows he’s a good kisser and Mandie was fun to work with. She is bubbly and precocious.

“Craigie..” She puts her arms around Craig’s shoulders. “You need to put more effort into it, honey. This is the reunion of true love. Sweep me off my feet.” Of course she was just angling for more attention but the little pout she gave him did the trick.

As Lucy grins to herself, Rene nudges her, “Exnay on the isskay.” And jerks a thumb at who is coming down the pathway.

“Too late.” Lucy chuckles as she watches Craig sweep Mandie into a full blown kiss that has every woman in the vicinity wishing they were her.

Karl stops dead in his tracks, Alexandra’s arm nearly pulled from its socket with her foreword motion.

“Ouch! You oaf,” the tiny blond spins plucking her hand from the tall Kiwi’s bicep. Her face screws into a scowl until she sees Karl’s thunderous face. “Ooo, it is an ex!” she squeals. “C’mon, c’mon, spill!” she tries to tug the growling man away. “Tell mommy all the sordid details about her.”

Mandie gazes breathlessly up at Craig and her fingers touch his neck with an amazed expression. “That’s more like it.” She murmurs as he sets her up right and she leans on his chest. “Whew.”

Craig slips an arm around her shoulder to steady her and grins at Lucy who is clapping and whooping. “That’s what I call a practice!”

The director laughs and shakes his head, “Perfect, Parker. Knew you had it in you, now make sure you do that for the cameras.”

“Yes sir.” Craig grins as Lucy bounds over to give him a hug and turn him away from being able to see Karl.

“C’mon love, you need a drink after that. Doesn’t he Mandie?”

Only when the kiss ends does Karl come up from the haze of jealousy. Blood still roaring in his ears, small growls still coming from his throat, he looks down at his ‘mum’ tugging at his vambrance.

“Welcome back Lover boy,” Alexandra rubs at Karl’s dark brows lowered in a frown. “Let’s go grab a drink before you knock that guy’s head off.” She winks and affects a simpering pose, “though young, he could kiss me like that any day of the week.”

Lucy steers Craig completely away from Karl’s direction though something tingles in his head and he glances over his shoulder to see Karl in the distance. He doesn’t meet Karl’s eyes; instead he turns away, slipping his arm around Mandie’s waist which of course gives the girl pleasure.

Rene just shakes her head.

The trio prepares to go get some drinks at the mess tent to give the ‘hero’ of the hour their full approval.

“Did he?” Craig begins, looking up at Lucy.

“Yeah, he did see. Forget it.” The tall woman shrugs. “Forget him, lets just get you a drink, ok?”

“Thanks.” Craig murmurs, sighing exasperatedly.

“Sugar, you are going to explode, feathers and baby oil flying, if you don’t unclench and stop shaking!” Hand on hip, Alexandra pokes Karl in the sternum. “Now tell me how she broke your heart,” Successfully this time she leads Karl the long way around to the mess tent.

Karl continues to glower, barely listening to the chatter from the woman clutching his arm. Fucken hell, he knew it was just a screen kiss. Mind blowing and body tightening, but just a screen kiss. How many fucking times had he seen Craig and Steph kiss like that, without reacting? That doesn’t stop the desire to wipe the dreamy, smug look off the girl’s face.

At the doorway of the tent, Alexandra’s words finally penetrate, ‘You really need to not beat up Baby Blue-eyes hon, those lips are made for kissing, and I plan on getting my fair share.’

“What? Who? Parker! Yer daft if yeh think I want anythin’ t’ do with him!” He protests loudly. “Excuse me…” He softens the furious expressions playing over his face, “me back is starting to hurt, I’ll catch up with you on our set.” After the quieter explanation, he leans in to kiss Alexandra’s brow, and walks off. Unaware the others could hear and see the whole exchange.

Craig stiffens as he hears Karl’s voice, clenching his fist around the glass. In his mind he plays the words over and over again, “I hate him I hate him. It’s over.”

Lucy slips out and follows Karl.

Rene puts a comforting hand on Craig’s shoulder. “You were great hon.” She tells him fondly.
~~~

“Urban, hold it right there.” Lucy barks flatly when she catches up with him. “Craig Parker is only on the set for one or two episodes, and you can’t even handle that, Christ. Get it together, or I’ll whip it into you. Are we clear?” Her eyes spark with warning.

Obviously, Marton’s been busy.

Wings quivering, Karl stares down one of the few women who can look him in the eye. With distance from the blocked out scene between Craig and the girl, defeat for what he’ll never have again is evident in his voice. “What’re yeh on about, Luce?”

The one problem with a small country and small close-knit acting community, everyone knew everyone else’s business, and thought nothing of inserting their opinion. “If someone would’ve told me we were working the same episode, instead of plotting behind my back, I would’ve been fully in control.”

He paces away a few steps, “All Kieren knew was Craig was filming some ‘Young Herc’. Who was it? Mark or Marton? Ever making sure I don’t cock-up his life again. Fucken hell, don’t any of yeh get it? I’d sell me soul to undo what I did.”

He meets Lucy’s contact-blue eyes and snorts, “Now Alexandra thinks that simpering girl is me ex, and I’m wantin’ t’ beat up Parker for stealing her.” He rakes a hand through his bleached blond locks.

“Karl.” Lucy reaches over and massages his neck gently as she’s wont to do when she knows he’s upset. “You can’t control yourself even when you do know he’s going to be around. If I trusted that you could hold your instincts in and face him with it then I’d let you. But I know you, one look from his blue eyes and you’re jelly. You ran from your feelings. Just like us. Fortunately, I knew what you were going to do before you did it, so my heart wasn’t involved. Craig’s is. I believe a man can change, but you’re not ready for that change, not yet. You’re still bouncing around on a high from the art. He needs someone grounded, Karl. He’s come a long way, and his friends are not going to let him backpedal. I want you to know, I love you like a brother. I’d love to see you happy, when you’re ready for it. But don’t try and patch things up with Craig when you’re not.”

In the bar, Craig glances at Renee when Mandie goes to the powder room. “Damn cupid costume.” He mutters, taking a drink. “Did they have to have him all oiled up too?”

Renee laughs, “Ignore him. I have ex boyfriends too, Craig. They always pop up when you least expect them to.

Ex, Craig sighs and rises. “I’m going to head to the hotel. I’m a little tired.” He makes his way out of the tent and fingers his cellphone thoughtfully.

“Yea, so yeh keep saying,” Karl sighs, touching his forehead to Lucy’s. “Yeh better go find Alexandra ‘fore she makes a move on our purple turbaned friend. I’m not sure which of them will get more embarrassed. Now I really need to get these fucken wings off. See yeh tomorrow, eh?”
~~~

Craig finally makes it to his hotel room, out of costume and a long sigh escapes him when he pulls off his shirt and wanders out onto the balcony to try and clear his head. Karl Urban. It just wasn’t fair how easy he brought up so many emotions. Craig knew that Karl had a new life now, new people, new friends, new girlfriends. He was the past, not the present.

Hours later Karl enters his hotel room. Though not the three hours it takes to don the wings, getting them off does take time. The glue has irritated his skin, and the scratches are slightly inflamed. Rolling his shoulders carefully, he shrugs out of his shirt. There’s no way they can safely glue the wings on for a few days. A small shuffle of schedules, some creative script changes will have him working wingless tomorrow for a few minutes, then the rest of the week off.

Shit, his back is already stiffening, and a shower is out of the question because of the medicated balm slathered over the wounds. He digs in the tiny fridge for a beer and pops the top on his way to the balcony. Barefoot and jeans riding low on his slim hips, he steps outside to take in a deep calming breath. Fuck! He didn’t need down time on top of seeing Craig. Only immersing himself in work would he be able to not dwell on all his mistakes, all the hurt he put in Craig’s gorgeous blue eyes.

Craig sees Karl first, his eyes focusing on the tired figure standing with the beer in hand. The first thing he notices is how red Karl’s back is, visible even from afar. His heart aches and he sighs. Karl was one floor down, and one balcony away, but Craig could still see him. He thought about just moving back through the balcony door and pretending he didn’t see Karl, but it was like getting off a drug you were addicted to, Craig was addicted to Karl Urban, no matter how much pain he caused.

He sighs and wonders if Karl still had the same cell phone number. He plugged in the numbers and waited, biting his lower lip nervously.

His pocket vibrating, Karl pushes off the balcony he’s leant on. He turns to set the beer on the rail and digs out his ‘phone, the front of his jeans pushed dangerously low. He wonders who could be ringing so late. “Yeh, Urban ‘ere.”

Craig does a voice mimic the best he can to imitate the director’s voice. “Urban, we’re going to need you bright and early tomorrow morning, around 5:30am. Change of plans. You need to be alert. No late night parties, Got it?”

Then he adds, “And certainly you shouldn’t be doing any drinking.”

Fucken Hell, can the day get any worse. “Yes sir,” Karl sighs, wondering at the slight echo. “I’ll be there. We changing the changes, eh? Sorry ‘bout the glue thing,” he shrugs physically, a tiny groan escapes from stiff muscles and pulling skin. “The doc said four days, but should be good to go day after tomorrow.”

“Well,” The ‘boss’ seems to grumble a bit. “The producers are breathing down my neck Urban. Perhaps I can get that bloke, Parker to fill in for you for the scene he’s not in. Would take a bit of work, but could happen, some minor make up changes of course, but the audience won’t care. You’re both sexy as hell.”

Having just taken a swallow from his bottle, Karl chokes. Beer spurts from his mouth and burns as it sprays from his nose. “P—Pardon?” he gasps, eyes wide. The echo seems to happen only for the other side of the conversation. Clearing his throat once more, he cocks his head to the side. Above and over a bit…

“Fucken Hell yeh bloody wanker!!!” He calls up to Parker leaning over a near balcony, ‘phone pressed to his ear and suppressed giggles shaking his frame.

Craig grins and waves from above, killing himself laughing. “Gotcha! Guess you forgot I can mimic. But too bad you’re down there and I’m up here and you can’t get back at me.” He sticks his tongue out down at Karl and shuts the cellphone off as he ducks back into his room, knowing full well what's going to happen next.

“Oh no you don’t! Parker! Get yer arse out here!!” Shit! Parker will have the door locked and bolted, leaving Karl to rant and rave in the hall. Judging the distance, he climbs to the railing and reaches for the balcony above. The extra workouts for Cupid’s bode come in handy as a chin-up pulls him up. Carefully he works sideways to Craig’s room.

Quietly he throws one leg over the rail. The slider is still open a bit, and his feet soundlessly hit the floor as he creeps to the doorway.

That of course wasn’t what Craig was expecting because he’s focused on the door, his back is turned to the balcony. He stares at the door expectantly, “C’mon Karl, I know you’re on the way.” He mutters to himself.

His stealth is absolute until Karl tries to squeeze through the opening. He’d not slid it open more, in case it squeaked like the one in his room. The extra muscle was great for climbing, but the extra depth to his chest… a moan flows from his mouth as his back scrapes on the door jam.

Craig looks back, startled, nearly about to jump out of his skin. Then he tries to keep a smile from his face when he sees Karl trapped. “Oh Karl.” He shakes his head and comes over to open the slider and help him in. “What were you thinking? You could have fallen!” He tries to keep the worry out of his voice as he pulls Karl inside.

“Shut it, Parker.” Karl grumbles, his grand sneaky entrance a shambles. A blush suffuses his face and upper body, being this close to a shirtless Craig. Fuck, he has been working out himself. Gone are the lean lanky limbs of youth. Instead, the fit and trim body of a man is before him.

“Erm,” Karl backs away as soon as he’s fully into the room. His gaze skitters from Craig to the bed to the far wall. “That was a low trick yeh played, luv,” he tries to regain his ire at the prank.

Craig does notice Karl backing away and smiles to alleviate the mood. He laughs, “I –did- convince you, though. I was just trying out one of my new talents, voice acting.” He winks. “I knew you’d eventually realize it was a prank.”

His voice then turns to a more serious tone. “Karl, let me see your back. I brought some oils with me that might help.” Knowing Craig, he’s brought more than one type. “I saw the damage earlier. And don’t run off, okay. I’ve missed you. Sit.” He pulls a beer out of the fridge and puts it in Karl’s hand. “We don’t have to talk about anything. It’s just nice to see you.”

“It’s fine, just inflamed a bit from the glue.” Karl waves off Craig’s concern. No way is he letting this man put his hands and one of his oils on his skin. He acknowledges the beer with a tip of the bottle and sips carefully. “Yea, missed yeh too.” He replies, strangely tongue-tied. Pacing to the small table with two side chairs, he perches on the edge of one.

“Karl.” Craig spreads his hands in exasperation. “You’re hurt, and I have stuff that will help. When are you going to stop being like this and just let me help you?” He stubbornly walks into the bathroom to rummage through his toiletries. Eventually he comes out. “We were friends once, Karl. We can be friends again, if you would just let it happen.”

Lucy’s words from this afternoon play through Karl’s head. I shouldn’t be here, but fuck I miss just being in his presence. “Yeah, I’d like that,” he says quietly. Craig’s friendship, almost as much as his love, more than the sex, is what Karl misses most. Silently ordering his body to behave, he moves to perch on the corner of the bed so he can, quickly hopefully, massage in the oil.

Craig puts the oils down and starts to examine the damage. He takes a pillow and piles it with the others. “Lean your arms on this, and rest your head. Let me take a look.” He’s already got a warm cloth prepared and begins to carefully apply the heat in spite of any protests. “You need to be looked after.” He tsks, “Doesn’t anyone do that anymore?”

Moving as Craig directs, Karl leans forward, the back of his jeans gap, displaying the soft down and twin dimples low on his back. “It’s just from wiping out against some coral, Cupid’s wings exacerbated the scratches is all” he equivocates. No one has shared his life other than superficially in years. Hell, no one has shared his bed since his malaise about where he was headed with his life started earlier this year.

Craig gives Karl another pillow to lean his arms on in order to make him more comfortable. “I guess not, huh.” He applies the warm water over the irritated area, cleansing it gently. “You were surfing, that’s cool. I had heard you got back into that. You’re wound up tighter than a drum, Karl.” He shakes his head and dries the area a bit. Spreading the healing oil onto his hands he begins to work the sweet substance into the irritated area. “This stuff is supposed to help ease the pain. It smells a tiny bit, but it really does work. I have been all over the place, actually. I went scuba diving with Mark and his kids in Sydney during the last holidays. It was an experience.”

It’s an effort, but Karl remains still through Craig’s ministrations. His lower body screams for release. Gods, innocent though the touches are, Craig’s fingers ply every erogenous zone. Relishing the pain of his trapped arousal, Karl focuses on anything other than what else Craig’s talented hands can do.

“Good on yeh, mate! Though fuck me, how’d yeh survive seeing his skinny arse in a wetsuit?” Karl giggles and lets a shudder of need, not the imagery wrack his frame. He turns his head, prepared to share in the teasing of their taller gangly friend. He gets a whiff of the substance seeping into his knotted muscles. “Shite! What is in that stuff?”

“Just something that I got in Southeast Asia. Actually, he was kinda cute. And his butt is not THAT skinny.” Craig leans forward, voice tickling Karl’s ear. “His kids got a laugh out of me getting spooked by a dolphin, though. Feels good, doesn’t it?”

He is sitting behind Karl on his knees, but they are starting to hurt, so he adjusts himself slightly. His hands move down to the small of Karl’s back and work diligently.

Karl’s honestly trying to stay unaffected, and hangs on to the inane conversation by a thread. All his body wants to do is turn over and feel Craig’s heat and fingers on his front. A low moan escapes when the smaller man leans in again, his voice sending shivers over his skin. Silently he begs Craig not to move closer. The bed shifts, and Karl can feel firm thighs straddling his own.

Fucken hell, he needs to get out of here before he embarrasses them both. His cock is full and trapped uncomfortably, his nipples are painfully taut. “What?” he squeaks, and then clears his throat, “Did’ya think the fin was a shark’s?

“Yeah,” Craig laughs nervously. “Should show you the picture that Mark took of my face. He said he didn’t know anyone could scream underwater.”

“Karl.” He slides his arms around his lover and rests his head against his ex’ shoulder. He can feel the want and need that is surely for him. So Karl wasn’t indifferent as he claimed. His hands map the muscular frame of his first love’s strong stomach. So different from the boy he was. This close to him after so long apart, Craig can’t help but touch Karl. “Karl, I want you to stay here tonight.”

TBC

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