Also, thanks to Elizabeth, Will and Cyn for their help.
Part one: The End
Their last time, Jesse goes to Brennan. Pads down to his room in the dark because he knows the route by heart even in inky blackness. He knows there's no need for this caution since Shal has already left, Emma is meditating and Adam is in his lab. But he prefers the safety, the cocoon the darkness offers him.
The word is a whisper, rough like the stubble on his cheek as long arms draw him in to a shower warmed body. Jesse twists in the hold easily, because they're in the hallway, and out here...they don't belong. That much he knows. He pushes Brennan into his room, shuts the door with a soft click. Mouths, eager, urgent, seeking, meet and it's like this every time.
He has no illusions as to what they are, to what this is between them. Jesse presses against Brennan, his hands sliding the sweats down easily. No underwear, Brennan catches his gasp with a kiss. Jesse knows he shouldn't be surprised, but he is. Brennan, of course chuckles lowly before he brings Jesse's hand against his cock.
This he agrees with, whole-heartedly. Strips efficiently under Brennan's gaze before Brennan propels him backward to the bed. The back of his knees hit the edge and he falls back before. Brennan settles over him quickly, their cocks hard against each other.
He meets Brennan's eyes, in the shadows, hungry. He knows they are nothing more, nothing less than this...
Brennan thrusts against him in the dark. Whispers his name, like a dirty secret.
But he doesn't mind, he never has. He'll take what he can get because Brennan has asked for nothing in return. This is his folly borne out of that first time, a blowjob in the Double Helix and then he let Brennan in. It would have been easy for him to go with Adam to New York, while Shal and Emma were transporting a New Mutant out of the city. But he hadn't. He'd stayed with Brennan alone.
He threads his hands through Brennan's hair as he thrusts harder. Never meant for it to get this far, but it has.
"Look at me..."
The words filter through to him and Jesse does without thinking. Stark now like a deer caught in the headlights, both of them, he suspects. Because Brennan's eyes are impossibly wide and knowing and ...this time he moves. He knows what'll do it, what'll bring Brennan off quickly. Brennan groans, low, guttural that brings Jesse closer to the edge, like he knows Brennan is.
"Come on..." he mumbles, grinds harder until he feels the orgasm wrack Brennan's frame before he does the same. Brennan collapses next to him. Tucks his head against Jesse's shoulder. Breathes.
Jesse closes his eyes. They'll pretend after this, be the best of friends, teammates. Something he knows they're both good at.
First there was Ingrid. And Jenni and Natalie. And possibly Charlie, but Charlie flirts with them all, even as Emma tries to explain what his new life will be like in the Underground. Jesse joins in when Emma and Shal tease Brennan about Liam.
"Top," Emma says, cocks her head to one side considering.
"Oh hell, yeah," Shal purrs as they look over Brennan appreciatively. He's back late and pays the price.
"Of course," he says.
"They were talking about Liam," he supplies. Liam, who's just begun handling one of the underground's safe houses that doubles as a cafe. Who's almost slender in comparison to Brennan and still manages to bring him to heel with the quirk of an eyebrow.
Brennan sniffs haughtily, while Shal and Emma break into hysterics. He meets Brennan's gaze over their laughter and it's easy to pretend.
Faces blur in the flickering light of Rosa's where he can succumb to the adrenaline, even if just for a night. The rough scrape of brick against his skin, sweat, the feel of a body against his...that isn't Brennan's, but that's been over for months now. Here everything fades, until that part of him that's buried deep surfaces. That part of him that flares to life like an animal let out of cage as he threads his way through Rosa's this night. Orders lemonade because he needs a clear head.
Forces himself to sit, to search out the crowd until he can't bear to sit still anymore. Until his hunger rises along with his need to choose.
"Let me get that..."
A voice low, charmingly uncertain next to him. A lean body settles on the stool next to him.
Clean shaven, blonde hair and startlingly dark eyes meet his. Almost familiar, but the feeling fades quickly as uncertainty flickers across the other's face and he remembers to answer.
"Sure," he says easily. The man pays, orders another round. The filled glasses appear with practiced efficiency. He sips, the man gulps.
"I haven't seen you around here before," the other says. Nervously, Jesse notes.
"I come in when I can," he answers non-committantly.
"Ummm...me too. What with work..."
Small talk that grates on his nerves and drags them further into awkwardness Jesse knows they will not recover from. Deliberately he rises, presses close. Eyes wide, the other twists in his seat, draws Jesse between his legs. Hunger in those dark eyes and it's good.
A kiss that's urgent, desperate as the hands that knot in his jacket.
"Can we...can we..." the man whispers, eyes on Jesse's lips.
"God yes," Jesse replies hungrily. "Anywhere you want..."
"My car...I'm just parked outside..." the man rambles.
Escape is easy.
The air is cool against his skin and it earns a small gasp from Jesse after the cloying heat of the bar. The man looks over at him eagerly and gestures across the street. He nods, follows him across. A few cars down, away from the bar, the other grabs him, thrusts him against a car.
Their mouths lock together and it's frantic and messy with no option but to kiss back. A breath finally, sharp like the needle in his neck.
Like the words that register before the darkness swallows him whole.
There is no mistaking the cold that Jesse feels, that slithers over his skin like something alive.
"Ah, Mr Kilmartin..."
The smooth voice flows over him, makes him turn.
Eckhart. Impeccable in a white suit, studies him.
Rage builds, explodes as Jesse lunges, uncaring that the gown falls away. But he doesn't get far and is slammed back onto the bed immediately. The blonde, the fucker from the bar looks down at him. Recognition now because he was there, a face in the background during Charlie's extraction.
"Mr Kilmartin," Eckhart begins in cultured tones, "there's something you need to see."
He steps aside and a shadow materializes from the background. Shal's Dr Frankenstein, or rather Harrison appears, pushes a monitor next to the bed.
"Sam..." Eckhart nods at the blonde who lets Jesse go but stays close.
Harrison takes over then, gestures at someone else.
"Nathan, if you will..."
A small bespectacled man appears on the other side of the bed next to Sam. He pulls the shoulders of the Genomex issue gown down. Jesse fights to stay still, bites down on the fear. Sam still clamps down on his shoulders.
"Don't," he offers quietly, his grip tightens briefly. Jesse obeys, only just. Nathan produces a tube and cold slick gel on his skin makes him jerk reflexively.
"Look..." Eckhart says with pride. With awe.
He stops struggling.
Five months later
Gabriel Ashlocke was dead.
Or rather they could always hope, Brennan thinks. Gone, like Jesse before him.
The name weighs on him, like the dozens of little things he should have done differently, like the look in Jesse's eyes.
Instead there is no ring or signal. Just a fucking silence that eats away at them slowly. They got as far as Rosa's and a myriad of faces that Emma picked up from the bartender. But they led nowhere.
Adam's contacts have been of no help - with Jesse or Ashlocke. One consolation in all this is that Eckhart is laying low as well.
Shal still searches when there's a lead and Brennan tries to help. So does Emma, but there's only so many dead ends they have the heart for before...and a traitorous thought springs to mind too easily.
Before they have to admit that this time Jesse isn't coming back.
Shal won't, that's why he'll always love her. But, he won't travel that path again. Not after Jesse. It's just the three of them now and the unspoken agreement that it always will be.
Sanctuary is still. More so than usual. Adam has a late meeting with a contact while Shal provides back-up. Emma, he knows, is working out. More than usual these days, because they have to be better. Because all they have to rely on is themselves.