All My Little Words
Danny wakes up with his head full of words, half-formed sentences running through his thoughts like he's been lying awake all night thinking of what to say, or else has been practicing for some kind of speech in his sleep. It's not as if the inside of his head is ever really a quiet place, he thinks, as he turns on the shower and holds his hand under the spray, waiting for the water to warm up, but this is getting ridiculous. It's been like this for him for over a week now, sentences like Hey, wanna come over to my place sometime and -- colliding headlong with much more basic, or maybe that should be base, seduction scenarios, wordless fantasies in which he just grabs Mac by the lapels of his jacket and backs him up against the nearest wall and kisses him again, only this time they don't stop at kissing.
At this point the scenes in his head generally become much more disjointed, and his thoughts are filled with vague sense memories of tongues and teeth and wet mouths, of hands and cocks and thrust, moan, there; and he takes these sense memories of other places and times, and transfers them onto Mac, onto what little he knows of what Mac is like when he's not being all business, when he's not being the cop or the scientist or Danny's boss. Of what he's like when they're sitting at a table together talking and drinking, when they could just be two friends out for an evening of catching up, or of what he's been like the two times he and Danny have kissed on dark street corners. When his mouth's been up against Danny's and his hands have been on him, not to hold him back or to get him to move over so that Mac can get a look at a piece of evidence, too, which in the past have been the only other times Mac has ever touched him, but just to touch him, to hold him and even to stroke a little while they kept on kissing.
This Mac, Danny thinks, isn't an entirely separate person from the boss and the cop and the scientist, but is just another facet of that man: the private Mac, the parts of himself that he doesn't let just anyone get to see. But they haven't gone any farther than kissing yet, and nothing has happened between them since that last time they kissed late that night -- the last time Mac kissed him, because even though it was all Danny's doing the first time, more or less jumping Mac on the street in front of that antique store, the second time it was very definitely Mac who kissed first, make no mistake about it. And the reason, or one of the reasons, that nothing more has happened between them since that night just over a week ago is that they haven't been out for drinks again since then.
Under different circumstances, this might inspire Danny to paranoia; he can remember his worries in between the first time they kissed and the second time, when he was halfway convinced that this wasn't what Mac wanted from him at all, that at some point Mac was either going to start avoiding him or that they were going to have to have a very uncomfortable conversation about how Mac was flattered and all, but really didn't think of him that way.
As it is, though, despite the good case of nerves he's got going, Danny really can't, even in his most idiotic moments, chalk this up to anything other than a devilish combination of circumstances. What it boils down to, as it almost always does, is the job. He and Mac have both managed to pull a couple of particularly nasty cases in the past week, and those cases have kept both of them pulling long hours, either hunched over microscopes in the lab or canvassing for evidence in the far reaches of the outer boroughs. He pulled two all-nighters in a row, and Mac got stuck with something similar. On the second evening of this ongoing nightmare, when Danny felt like he was walking through a swamp with every step he took and was beginning to hallucinate flashes of light and scurrying movements out of the corners of his eyes, Mac had grabbed him and they'd gone down the street to an all-night diner, and had sat there in silence blinking wearily into cups of black coffee.
Danny had been grateful for that, and glad of the chance to be with Mac for a little while outside of the lab, even if both of them had been too exhausted to talk much. Just the fact that Mac had noticed the state he was in, and that he'd not only wanted to do something about it, but had made an effort to spend that time with Danny, says a lot, or at least Danny thinks it does.
But their cases are closed now, and Danny went home the night before last and fell into a dead sleep on the couch that lasted for about twelve hours, and tonight they're going out for drinks again. He'd asked Mac yesterday afternoon, trying not to blink too much or look too nervous, and Mac had accepted without hesitation, although Danny thinks there might have been something a little anxious in his eyes when he said yes. If there was, and it wasn't just something he'd projected or imagined, he understands why: he's pretty sure that something more is going to happen between them tonight, that something more has to happen. No more circumlocution or dancing around the issue: it's time for them to put up or shut up, and that means that tonight is going to be all about seduction.
It's for this reason, Danny thinks, stepping out of the shower and shaking water out of his hair, that his head has been so full of words lately. Words and images both, really, but mainly the words.
And what's seduction built on, after all, but words?
In the end, it comes down to the body, of course, to animal attraction and instinct, but before that there are the building blocks, the foundation and the bricks that a person is ultimately laid on. Danny knows the process, loves the process. It's something that he's been good at for a long, long time, and as much as he loves sex, sometimes he thinks he loves the art of seduction even more. It makes him feel smart, for one thing, makes him feel in control, and figuring out what makes someone tick sexually, and then applying that judiciously in order to get them into bed, causes a rush not entirely unlike the one he gets when the puzzle pieces of a murder fall into place in his head. It's about power, but not entirely, because this particular skill is something that also makes people happy, and that's the other part of sex that Danny really likes: not just getting someone off, and getting off himself, but making them smile, making them gasp and plead and beg for more.
That process, then, the process of seduction, is all about knowing the right words to say -- and sometimes about knowing not to say anything at all. He knows he can do this with Mac, too, realizes now that all these words that he's had in his head every morning have been all about that: dry runs, maybe, for the actual work involved in getting Mac into bed with him. He still doesn't know exactly what those words should be, but for all the thinking he's been doing about it, it's not anything he can plan out in advance, not completely and not in any kind of detail. It's too dependent upon the human element, and therefore too unpredictable, for anything like that, and anyway, a seduction that comes from a script is a shitty seduction, no two ways about it.
Something else that bothers him about this, too, Danny realizes as he steps into a pair of pants and then starts to button up his shirt: he's not so sure he should be thinking of this thing he's doing with Mac in terms of seduction. Because, yeah, seduction may be the name of the game, and it may be what he's good at, but maybe it's just not appropriate when it comes to Mac. After all, seduction implies a kind of deceit, or at least that someone is being inveigled into something. The person being seduced is the object of the sentence, not the subject; and it's Danny, as seducer, who gets to have that active role. He doesn't think he wants it to be that way with Mac. He'd rather know that Mac is going into this with his eyes open, rather than somehow having the wool pulled over his eyes or getting into something that he doesn't want just because Danny knows what buttons to push and how to play on his weak points. It should be a mutual thing.
Danny just hopes that it is, and hopes to God he's doing this for the right reasons.
"Where do you want to go?" Mac asks that night. They've just gotten off shift, and they're standing at the corner of 47th Street.
"I dunno," Danny says. "You got any place particular in mind?"
"Not really," Mac says. "Anywhere you want is fine with me."
Anywhere? Danny thinks. Mac shouldn't make such broad offers; it could be dangerous. Aloud, he says, "Let's see. I'm kinda tired of the usual places. You know, Failte, Jack Dempsey's, we do those all the time. Feel like trying a different bar tonight?"
"Good. Okay, well..." Danny takes a deep breath. "There's this new bar that just opened out in Queens. It's pretty decent, which is surprising for the neighborhood, but I guess Astoria is moving up in the world. If you don't mind taking a subway ride, I was thinking we could go there."
"Astoria," Mac says, sounding thoughtful. "Isn't that where you live?"
"Yeah. Yeah, it is." Danny pretends to be studying the window display of the store they're passing. "It's right near my place, actually. That's how I found it -- felt like a beer one night, and stopped in there on my way home."
"Well," Mac says, and Danny holds his breath. "We'll want the uptown R, then, I think."
"N, actually," Danny says. He looks at Mac, and is relieved to see that Mac is smiling a little.
"Either way," he says, "we should probably cross here if we want to go to the station."
Danny glances at where they are and sees that the light has changed in their favor. "Oh, yeah," he says, and steps off the curb; Mac keeps pace with him.
Danny hasn't picked this bar with the sole purpose of getting Mac in close proximity to his apartment. He chose it with some care, chose it for the same reason they've chosen all the other bars they've taken to frequenting: because it's a dimly lit, relatively quiet place where they can get beer and talk without having to shout over music, or without getting jostled every two seconds by screaming drunks playing pool or air hockey. It's not impossibly trendy, although Danny thinks that it may get that way yet, and that the place was probably opened with this goal in mind, but right now it's still just a comfortable neighborhood bar. Mac is looking around as they settle down with their beers, and he gives an approving nod.
"Not a bad place," he says to Danny.
"Naw, not at all," Danny says. "Like I said, I kinda like it. And I figured it'd do us well for a change of scenery."
"It does at that," Mac says, and takes a drink of his beer. You kissed me last week, Danny thinks, and they're both quiet for a minute. Then Mac asks him a question about how his cases have been going, and Danny tells him, and they fall into one of their usual comfortable conversations.
The only tiny snag, Danny realizes awhile later, when Mac is telling him a story about one of the first cases he ever worked after he joined CSU, is that he's not hearing one goddamn word that Mac is saying. It's not like it's a boring story, either; he doesn't think Mac has ever been boring, and for something like this, getting to hear about back when Mac was a rookie? Hell, normally he'd be all over something like that, would be eating it up with a spoon. But just right now, he seems to be having this little problem with concentration, and he suspects that there's nothing he's going to be able to do about it, either, except, well, to do Mac. Not in the middle of the bar, of course, but...yeah.
He's nodding, though, and making comments here and there, and he must be making sense, because Mac is still talking, and not giving Danny any funny looks.
It's not until a few hours later, when they're walking out the front door of the bar, that Danny tunes back into the conversation in any significant way. He knows that they've been talking for all this time, just like they normally do, and he knows that he's been participating and even sharing some anecdotes of his own, so it's not like he's been a mute tonight, or completely socially inept. It's just that, if he were asked, he wouldn't be able to recall one damn thing about anything that either of them said.
"This was a good choice of bar, Danny," Mac says, glancing up at the sign over the door. "We should come here again."
"Yeah, we probably should." Danny looks around. "Like I said, not a bad little place. And convenient."
"So you mentioned."
"Right, um, so. Listen." Danny runs a hand through his hair, and then decides what the hell: why beat around the bush any more than necessary? "Since we're here, you wanna stop by my place, see what it's like? It's just a coupla blocks, and you ain't never been there, so..." He shrugs, hoping the movement looks casual.
"Yeah," Mac says after a moment, and nods. He looks thoughtful again, the way he did earlier in the evening, when they were standing on Broadway and talking about where to go. "I think I'd like to." His eyes meet Danny's, and Danny remembers one other thing from their conversation in the bar: Mac, in the middle of making a point about something or other, God alone knows what, and he'd touched Danny's wrist to emphasize what he was saying. Only he hadn't just touched it and gone on; his fingers had rested there for much longer than was really necessary, and even after he'd finally moved his hand, the ghost of the touch still burned into Danny's skin like a brand.
They walk the two blocks in silence, and Danny tries not to worry too much about how he's going to pull this off. He'll just play it by ear, the way he usually does. Let it happen naturally, that's always the best way to go about it. Seduction really is the name of the game, after all, and he can't let himself be uncomfortable with that term or its implications, not now. Even if this is Mac.
Danny unlocks the front door and flips on a light, then stands back a little to let Mac walk in. "Here we go," he says. "Mi casa and all that." He does a quick scan of the living room, trying to make sure he hasn't left anything embarrassing lying around. There's the usual mild clutter, jackets draped over chairs and shoes on the floor, and newspapers wherever he happens to have dropped them, but it doesn't look like he's left any porn DVDs sitting near the TV, or nudie magazines on the coffee table. Thank God for small favors.
Mac is looking around and not saying anything, and after a moment Danny leaps in, needing, he thinks, to say something to fill up the silence, to find some way of bridging the gap in between now, where they're just standing here and not doing much of anything, and where they'll hopefully be later, in bed -- which is the real point of this visit, after all. "So, this is it. I'd give you the fifty-cent tour, but I'm not sure it's worth more'n a quarter."
"It's a nice place, Danny," Mac says.
"Yeah. Good location, too." Danny would swear that Mac isn't paying complete attention to the words that are coming out of his own mouth. He paces a bit, looking around the living room again as Danny watches, and then stops where he is and turns around. Danny stands still, waiting to see what's going to happen next. "Danny..." Mac says, and takes a step toward him and then hesitates.
Danny understands then, or thinks he does: there's a subtle pleading note in Mac's voice, like he's asking Danny, without actually saying the words, to please make the first move here. As if, maybe, he's forgotten some of the nuances of how to negotiate this particular part of the dance.
Of all the things Mac has ever asked him for, this is one of the easiest to do. "I'm glad you like it," Danny says, and then he closes the gap between them and kisses Mac on the mouth. Mac leans into it and kisses him back, and it occurs to Danny that maybe he's not going to need a lot of words for this after all. They both know what this is about, and why Danny asked him back to the apartment in the first place; that much is clear, and has been since Danny first issued the invitation -- hell, probably since Danny first brought up the idea of going drinking in Astoria tonight. And it's more than clear that Mac is okay with all of this, as Danny kisses him deeper and Mac strokes a clumsy hand down Danny's spine. A little anxious, maybe, the way Mac always is, but that's all right. Danny may be working overtime right now to project an aura of aplomb, but truth be told, he's a little jumpy about the whole thing himself. In a good way, of course.
That being the case, words would just ruin all of it. If they end up having to talk about it, they're just going to screw themselves before they even get started. And what is there to discuss, after all, when Mac is right here and kissing him, and not only willing, but eager? For just a moment, Danny wonders why, after all his little conversations with himself, he hasn't had to work tonight to come up with the right sweet words to say to talk Mac into going to bed with him, but then Mac shifts against him and his erection presses into Danny's hip. Danny gasps a little and pushes back against him, and forgets all about the history of seduction, at least for the time being.
Danny wonders briefly if Mac has ever done this before with another guy. There's something subtle about his reactions that suggests this isn't entirely foreign territory to him, like maybe he's been here before, even if it was a long time ago. Danny isn't about to ask, though; for all the time they've spent talking to each other for the past month, this just doesn't feel like something he can bring up casually. Not yet, anyway. If Mac has screwed around with other men in the past, there'll be time enough for them to discuss that later on if they feel the need; and if he hasn't...well, he seems to be doing okay with the whole situation even so. Hell, he's probably a fast learner.
So Danny can't ask that, but he figures that he can make sure that it's all good, even so. He kisses Mac again and slips a hand under the shoulder of his jacket, pushing it down a little. "This okay?" he asks.
"Yeah," Mac says, and then shrugs out of the jacket as Danny pushes the other shoulder down.
"Good," Danny says, and lets his own jacket fall, then starts to work on the buttons of Mac's shirt as they keep kissing.
By the time they get into the bedroom, pausing now and again on their way down the hallway to kiss some more, Danny has managed to get Mac out of his shirt, too. It's on the floor and Mac is barechested in front of him, and he watches as Danny slowly undoes the buttons of his own shirt and tosses it aside. He's about to take off his undershirt, too, but then Mac backs him into the wall and kisses him again, and he sort of gets distracted. He wants to make this good for Mac, though; that's first and foremost, and he tries to concentrate on that in spite of what Mac is doing to him with his mouth. He needs to be in charge here, he thinks vaguely, if he's going to be able to make this as good for Mac as he wants it to be.
"Sit," Danny mumbles after awhile, and pushes Mac down to the edge of the bed. He goes willingly and then Danny drops to his knees in front of him. Smiling, he teases a hand up Mac's thigh, feeling the muscles contract under his palm, and then reaches for his belt buckle. Mac is very still as Danny undoes his belt and then his zipper, and even as he reaches inside his pants and begins to stroke his cock in a nice, slow, unhurried rhythm. His head is bent at first, watching Danny touch him, and when Danny looks up at his face, there's no worry there, no hesitation or denial of what's happening. His eyes squeeze shut every few seconds and then open again, wide, and his mouth has gone slack with arousal, a light blush rising in his cheeks.
"That's good, that's good," Danny says softly, and then he bends forward and slides his mouth over the head of Mac's cock, and Mac gasps out loud and arches into it. Danny goes with it, moving with him so he won't choke, and then Mac mumbles something that sounds like an attempt at an apology and settles back down on the edge of the bed. "Don't you worry 'bout that," Danny says, and slides a caressing hand over Mac's hip and thigh, then settles into a more comfortable position and starts to suck hard. He licks at the head and tastes pre-come in his mouth and tries not to let it make him too dizzy, tries not to get overwhelmed by the fact that he's here with Mac and that they're really doing this. Instead he cups Mac's balls in his other hand and strokes his thumb up the shaft as he runs his tongue along the length, and listens to Mac's gasps dissolve into inarticulate little whimpers.
He sucks and strokes, and lets his teeth touch Mac's dick, too, not hard enough to hurt, but just enough so that he can feel it, a swift not-quite nip at the skin just below the head. Mac's fingers knot in his hair, and if Danny had a free hand, he'd be jerking himself off now, too; as much as he's been wanting to do this, it's all he can do not to just push Mac back onto the bed and climb on top of him and grind against him until he comes, until they both come. This way, he reminds himself, this is what he's been waiting for. It's slower and better and he can wait a little longer, just a little bit longer if it means he gets to go on listening to the keening sounds Mac is making and tasting Mac's dick on his tongue, in his mouth, Mac pushing against him and into him in this uncontrolled way.
So he nuzzles and kisses and applies just a little bit of pressure as he slips his tongue into the slit at the top, and then Mac is gasping, "Oh, Jesus," and shivering all over as he comes. Danny stays with him until it's over and swallows, trembling a little himself, because even though he hasn't come yet, this feels better than anything has in a long time, and then lets Mac slide out of his mouth. He rests his forehead against Mac's thigh after he does, breathing hard, listening to Mac's slowly-steadying breath above him, and when Danny thinks he's got it more or less under control, he opens his eyes and looks up at him.
They stare at each other for a few seconds; Mac's eyes are still glazed over, but Danny is sure that he's well aware of the situation, of what's just happened between them, and in those few seconds that they look into each other's faces, Danny figures one of two things is about to happen: either Mac will pull him up on the bed and give him a chance to get off -- this is what will happen if he's lucky, Danny figures -- or Mac will push him away and stand up and fix his clothes. Danny fears the latter, and he doesn't really think that could happen, not after everything, but there's always the possibility. Maybe Mac has now, finally, come to his senses about everything.
Neither happens. Instead, Mac reaches down and cups Danny's face in his hand and, looking a little uncertain again, draws his thumb across his cheek in a caress. Danny ducks his head a little and kisses the back of Mac's knuckles. Mac nods and then slides off the edge of the bed, and sinks down in front of him so that they're both kneeling on the floor, facing each other. Danny is surprised by this at first, but not so surprised that he doesn't kiss back when Mac wraps an arm around his shoulders and presses his mouth against his. They kiss; Mac traces the outline of Danny's lips with his tongue and kisses him slow and deep, and the hand that's not around Danny's shoulders is suddenly at his waist, and then inside his pants.
Danny stutters a gasp into Mac's mouth and presses himself into his palm. Mac's fingers wrap around his dick and he starts to work him, not gentle, but slow. Danny is so close to the edge already that he thinks he's going to come in seconds, but somehow Mac manages to keep him on the verge for what feels like forever, his tongue in Danny's mouth and his fingers moving up and down his dick in an agonizingly steady rhythm. Danny can feel his heart beating fast, his undershirt soaked with sweat, and there's a roar of blood in his ears by the time he finally tenses and bites Mac's lip, just barely managing not to draw blood, and comes hard into his hand.
After that he sort of collapses against Mac's shoulder and just stays there for awhile, breathing hard, pressing little kisses into Mac's collarbone whenever he can muster the energy. Mac's hand rests on the back of his neck, stroking up and down, and he's breathing hard, too, quick gasps against Danny's ear. Eventually Danny manages to get to his feet long enough to crawl into bed, and Mac joins him without saying a word, stretching out next to him.
"Hey," Danny says, after they've been lying there for awhile. His hand is resting on Mac's chest.
"Hey," Mac says.
"So. Um." Danny rolls onto his side and fluffs up one of the pillows under his head, trying to make himself more comfortable. "We good with this?" he asks, before he can lose his nerve.
Mac looks mildly surprised. "Yes, we're good," he says, and turns toward Danny.
"That's nice to hear." Danny leans in and gives him a quick kiss. "Just wanted to make sure and all."
"I'll tell you if we're not."
Mac slides one hand over his hip. "So is this all part of that plan to figure me out you were talking about awhile back?"
"The plan...? Oh. That." Danny shrugs. "Well, I didn't exactly plan it that way, but I guess so."
Mac has that thoughtful look on his face again. "That's good," he says. "Seems to me like I might have a few more things to figure out about you, too."
"Figure away, my friend," Danny says, nodding, and as he does, something occurs to him. Maybe he didn't need the usual words, the usual sweet-talking seduction methods, because this is what he's been doing all along, ever since they started going out for drinks together and sharing all those little bits of their background: seducing Mac with words right from the beginning, even if he hadn't known, exactly, that was what he was doing.
And if that's the case, he realizes, maybe Mac has been seducing him, too.
"What?" Mac says, looking suspicious, and Danny blinks. He's been staring.
"Sorry," he says. "Just woolgathering for a second there. Was thinking about the whole figuring-out thing."
"Oh?" Mac asks, and his suspicion is shading into amusement now.
"Yeah." Danny props himself up on one elbow. "See, you should just know that figuring me out is gonna take a lot of work. I'm not a total closed book, but I'm like...I dunno. The Library at Alexandria or something. You're gonna have to earn it."
"Danny, the Library at Alexandria was lost."
Danny grins at him. "What, you're gonna pick at my analogies now?"
"If they're not accurate, then yes. You're setting up a false dichotomy, and I think that -- "
Danny shuts Mac up in the simplest way possible, by rolling over on top of him and kissing him. If they're already this far beyond all the seduction stuff that Danny was so worried about, then it's not like they have to talk all the time, either.
To hell with words, he decides, at least for now.