Jack McCoy gets advice on his love life from an unexpected source.
Dreams, Reality, or Both
McCoy's heart began to beat faster in anticipation when he felt two strong hands on his chest. At first, the fingers went lightly over his stomach and he whimpered, needing more contact. His wish was granted when the arms rested on either side of him, taking possession of him. Then he felt a hot, wet tongue start kissing his stomach.
McCoy kept his eyes closed, relishing the sensations, as the tongue traveled up his chest. It lingered on his neck and he inhaled the scent of Old Spice. He was about to open his eyes to see who was doing this to him when he woke up. He was sweating and had kicked the covers off.
McCoy stared at the ceiling of his bedroom. He cursed silently under his breath. That was the third time that week he'd had that dream and he always woke up before he could see the person. The only thing he knew for sure was that it was a man. The hands were always sure and strong and he could still smell the Old Spice.
McCoy shivered as his body temperature dropped and the cool air made contact with his sweaty skin. He got up to take a shower, trying to dispel the images from his dream.
McCoy closed his eyes as he looked into the stream of water and the images came flooding back to him. He rested his forehead against the cool shower tiles, willing himself to calm down. He needed to focus on something else.
McCoy got to the office as fast as he could. The sooner he could bury himself in work, the better.
"Good morning Jack," Carmichael said as she came into his office.
McCoy just grunted in response. How could she be so cheery in the morning?
"Did someone get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?" Carmichael asked with a small grin.
You don't know the half of it, McCoy thought. He didn't want to dwell on his night and changed the subject. "What have you got today?"
Carmichael recognized when her boss wasn't in the mood for any silliness. She quickly filled him in on her morning schedule and left.
McCoy watched her leave and then picked up a file from his desk. He looked at his watch. He had an hour to kill before his first meeting. The file should keep his mind busy until then.
After forty-five minutes, he closed the file and put it back on top of the mountain of papers on his desk. He scowled at it. It hadn't really kept his attention. The dream kept resurfacing in his mind. The contents of the file were pale by comparison. He thought that anything would probably pale by comparison.
McCoy couldn't understand why this dream was getting to him so much. He'd had wet dreams before but never like this. He kept having this dream over and over again and the images stayed with him.
McCoy wasn't sure what to do. He didn't feel comfortable telling anyone about it. The only person he ever would have thought of telling was Kincaid. He could tell her anything and she'd understand. He sighed. Why did you go and do that for, he asked himself. Why did he bring her to mind? Because thinking of her makes you smile, stupid, a small voice answered.
The two of them had been close. Everyone thought they'd been sleeping together but they weren't. Kincaid was the only one who knew of McCoy's attraction to men as well as women. She helped protect his reputation and listened to him talk about every one and everything.
McCoy shook his head. He had work to do. He couldn't daydream. It didn't do any good. He looked at his watch again. Then he double-checked his calendar. He nodded. His first appointment should get him out of this weird funk he was in. Detective Briscoe was usually all business. The tough cop would get him on track.
Briscoe knocked and then went into McCoy's office. The prosecutor nodded towards him and he sat in the chair in front of the desk. He looked at the other man, who was checking a notepad. He sat back, waiting for McCoy to start talking.
McCoy knew that the detective's patience weren't going to last forever and he was eager to start doing something productive. He thought that the meeting shouldn't take long. Briscoe's testimony for the current case would be straightforward.
McCoy was just finishing looking over his notes when the scent hit him. He closed his eyes for a second. He had to be imagining this.
"Are you all right, Counselor?" Briscoe asked.
McCoy glanced at the man who sat across the desk from him. He set his jaw and nodded, "Yeah. Let's get started."
Briscoe shrugged and let McCoy start the meeting. He could tell that something was wrong with the lawyer but let it drop. He had to admit that he was curious but didn't want to get involved in something that wasn't his business. That tended to get him into trouble.
McCoy managed to get through the meeting with the detective. When they were done, he got the other man out of his office as quick as he could. He was having trouble keeping his mind on his work. Briscoe's Old Spice kept his dream at the front of his mind. He had to exercise all of the control he had to keep himself together.
McCoy went through the rest of the day as best as he could. At least for a time, court helped clear his mind of personal matters. He declined Carmichael's suggestion of dinner and went home.
McCoy flipped on the light in his apartment and threw his coat onto a chair. He went into the kitchen and poured himself a stiff shot. The scotch burned its way down his throat and he leaned against the counter. Despite his efforts to stop them, the events of the day replayed themselves in his mind.
Pull yourself together, Jack, McCoy sternly ordered himself. He went into the bathroom and splashed some cold water on his face. "No," he told his reflection. Briscoe was not the man from his dream.
"Why not Jack?"
McCoy recognized that voice but it couldn't be. Kincaid was gone. He looked around and didn't see anyone in the room with him. He pretended he didn't hear anything and went into the bedroom. He undid his tie and heard it again.
"I said, why not Jack? Are you deaf?"
McCoy turned to see Kincaid sitting on the edge of his bed. He took a doubletake. It looked like her but there was something off. This woman stared at him as if she could see straight through him. "It can't be." He'd have to throw that bottle of scotch away.
"But it is," Kincaid answered. "Or don't you believe your own eyes?"
"How can you be here?"
"I was always with you Jack," Kincaid stated and stood up. She walked over to him. She stopped inches from him and watched him squirm under her gaze. She smiled. McCoy didn't squirm very often. "You can call me your conscience."
Conscience? McCoy had always called Kincaid his conscience. He figured he was probably just seeing things but he might as well play along. "Ok. So why are you here conscience?"
"Answer my question," Kincaid said. When McCoy didn't answer, she continued, "Did you forget it already? I'll refresh your memory. Why can't Briscoe be the man from your dream?"
"He just can't," McCoy answered. He knew it was a weak response, one that he'd tear apart if he heard it from a witness on cross-examination. He was afraid of what it would mean if it was the detective. He tried to dismiss the idea. He'd never had any indications that Briscoe's tastes ran towards men. Even if they did, the other man probably wasn't interested in him anyway.
Kincaid crossed her arms and stared at McCoy like she was about to cross-examine him. "Did the man seem familiar?"
"And who else do you know wears Old Spice?"
McCoy desperately tried to think of someone but couldn't. He finally admitted, "No one but that doesn't prove anything." Again, his voice didn't sound very convincing, not even to him.
"Oh come off it," Kincaid stated, "You can't fool me."
"Why do you look like Claire?"
"You're more inclined to listen to someone who doesn't look like you. I needed to get your attention. I'm tired of you ignoring me."
McCoy turned his back on her. He let out a frustrated sigh. "So?"
"So what are you gonna do?"
"He's probably not even interested in me. His reputation with the ladies is almost as good as mine." McCoy said. He never had any trouble in the female department. Most women found him attractive and he'd gotten serious with more than one. His ex-wife came to mind. He'd done his best to give as much of himself to her as he could but it was never enough to satisfy either of them. He shook his head. Those relationships never lasted. No woman had ever truly made him feel complete.
McCoy thought back to his first crush on another guy. It was back in high school. Catholic school was good for something at least, he thought, but not what the old priests intended. He'd kept his feeling secret because he knew they wouldn't be accepted. He was thankful when he finally started finding women attractive to the point where he wanted to be more than friends.
Kincaid's voice broke into McCoy's thoughts. She knew when he was trying to avoid an issue and answered, "The fact that you just compared him to you weakens your argument. You're a ladies man with a secret attraction to men. Besides, it wouldn't hurt to test the waters. You might be surprised."
McCoy turned back to see Kincaid's smile. She no longer seemed as threatening but he could see that she had him beat and she knew it. No wonder he usually tried to avoid his conscience. "My life was so much easier this morning."
"No it wasn't," Kincaid stated and put a hand on his shoulder. "At least think about it. I'll be around if you need me."
Briscoe wasn't looking forward to meeting with McCoy that afternoon. For the past couple weeks, he'd noticed subtle differences in the other man's demeanor. The changes weren't big enough for him to say anything outright. He hesitated to use the word nice but it was the best one he could come up with. The prosecutor was less argumentative with him and seemed softer around the edges. Their conversations also took on a more personal note.
The detective wasn't sure what to make of McCoy's change in attitude. He didn't really have anything against the changes themselves. It was more of how they made him feel. He began wondering what McCoy was like outside of the office. He found himself curious about the other man but that could be dangerous. He didn't want to misinterpret McCoy's intentions and put them both in an embarrassing situation.
Carmichael told Briscoe to wait in McCoy's office and that her boss would be back in a minute. He didn't feel like sitting down and walked over to the window. He stared at the busy people below and heard McCoy come in softly. He felt the lawyer's eyes on him but the other man didn't say anything. He felt his body temperature rise a little and he turned to face McCoy. "Counselor."
McCoy nodded, "Detective." He mentally kicked himself for staring. He hadn't meant to but Briscoe standing at the window with the light all around him made quite a picture. He walked over to his desk and pulled out some papers. He laid them across the surface of the desk and motioned for the detective to take a look. Briscoe looked at him warily for a second but then did as he was asked.
McCoy honestly wasn't trying to start anything. He'd "tested the waters" and came to the conclusion that the cop could be interested but might get spooked if he came on too strong. McCoy sighed. He wasn't exactly known for his patience.
Briscoe put in hands on the desktop and leaned down to look at the documents. He was acutely aware of McCoy's presence next to him. He did his best to ignore the mounting tension in the room.
McCoy ordered himself to keep his mind on his work. He briefly shut his eyes and let the scent of Old Spice fill his senses. He fought the urge to touch the other man, who was so painfully close.
When Briscoe straightened, he found himself face to face with McCoy. He looked straight into the other man's eyes and said, "This looks fine." He was grateful that his voice didn't crack.
"Good," McCoy answered, keeping eye contact. He leaned in slightly; hoping the detective would get the message.
Briscoe's control was dangerously close to slipping. He turned his head away. This couldn't be happening. He had to be misreading the situation. Part of him was screaming to get out of there but he couldn't make himself leave. "Is that it?"
McCoy lightly ran his fingers down Briscoe's jaw and pulled the detective's head to face him. He didn't take his hand from the other man's face and asked, "Well Detective, is that it?"
Briscoe felt the heat from McCoy's touch. From the look in the lawyer's eyes, he thought the other man would eat him alive. An involuntary shiver ran up his spine at the thought. He focused on McCoy's mouth, which was only a couple inches from his. He ached to find out what the lawyer's sharp tongue tasted like.
McCoy watched the conflicting emotions flicker over Briscoe's face. He made himself wait and put his hand down. If something was going to happen, he'd let the detective initiate it. A few seconds seemed like an eternity and the silence was unbearable. Just when he thought he wouldn't be able to take any more, Briscoe's mouth was on his. He opened his mouth to allow the other man's tongue free and complete entry to his mouth.
Briscoe felt McCoy pull him closer as he pushed his tongue deeper inside the other man's mouth. He hadn't kissed anyone like this in a long time. McCoy was lighting a fire inside him that he wasn't used to experiencing.
Both men heard the sharp knock at the door. It brought Briscoe out of what he was doing and he stepped away. He turned back towards the window, trying to collect himself. McCoy glared at the door and fought the urge to kill whoever was out there. He waited until he thought his voice would be normal and called, "Yes."
Carmichael stepped in and looked from one man to the other. The detective was rubbing the back of his neck and ignoring her. Her boss's face was slightly flushed even though he was pretending that everything was normal. "Sorry if I interrupted anything."
Briscoe turned to her and answered, "No. That's ok. I was just leaving." He didn't give McCoy another look before he left, closing the door behind him.
McCoy watched Briscoe leave and turned to Carmichael, "What is it?"
Carmichael was surprised that he wasn't yelling at her. It didn't take a genius to figure out that she'd interrupted something important. All of the energy seemed to drain out of him and he sat down behind his desk. "You said you wanted this as soon as it came in," she said and handed him a sheet of paper.
"You're right. I did," McCoy answered and took it from her. "Thanks."
Before turning to leave, she asked, "You wanna talk about it?"
McCoy shook his head, "No thanks."
As soon as his assistant left, McCoy leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. He slowly licked his lips. He'd been so close and still had the detective's taste in his mouth. "What do I do now Claire?" he whispered to the empty office.
"It wasn't that bad."
McCoy had only half-expected to get a response. He still blamed the scotch for the last time. He could throw that theory out the window. He opened his eyes to see Kincaid sitting on the edge of his desk. "Hello conscience."
"I assume you saw everything."
Kincaid nodded, "Of course."
"And what? He's interested or did you not notice him kissing you?" Kincaid asked sarcastically.
"Then he got out of here as soon as he could."
"You have to admit that Carmichael startled you to."
"I think I may have scared him off," McCoy said.
"You'll just have to find out won't you."
McCoy sighed. She had an answer for everything. She should if she was his conscience because he had an answer for everything to. He responded defensively, "It's not that simple."
"Because..." McCoy trailed off. He didn't have an answer. The truth was he was scared of what he'd gotten himself into. The heat and intensity of that exchange was much more than he'd expected. It was ten times more than his dreams.
"Give yourself some time to calm down and then talk to him. You have to find out where he stands, even if it's just for your own piece of mind."
McCoy saw Kincaid's sympathetic smile and nodded, "You're right."
Briscoe had almost lost himself in McCoy's office and he almost wished that he had. He was distracted the rest of the day and Van Buren let him go early. He gave vague answers when she asked him what was wrong.
"You gonna be ok tomorrow?" Van Buren asked.
"All right. Go home and relax."
Briscoe swallowed his response to that. He didn't know how he was going to relax. He nodded and left. In the safety of his apartment, he could think about what happened.
Why did you kiss him? You promised yourself that you'd never get involved with another man again. Briscoe made that vow after his ex-wife, Gloria, found out about that single relationship he had with one of his old friends, who happened to have been starting linebacker on his high school football team. It was over before he even met her but she threatened never to let him near his daughters again if he got involved with another man. She didn't care about him but how it would reflect on her.
The detective let out a bitter laugh. When he was young, he thought it was good that he was attracted to both women and men. He thought that meant he would never have to be alone but his experiences in the real world shattered those illusions.
Briscoe ran his fingers over his lips. He had to admit that kissing McCoy felt good. In fact it was better than good. It was great but how far could they even think about going. When Carmichael came in, she scared them both. He didn't know if he was prepared to deal with this. You don't have much of a choice, a voice in his head stated. Once he'd kissed the other man, their relationship could never be the same.
The phone's insistent ringing brought Briscoe out of his thoughts and he picked up the receiver. "Yeah."
Briscoe was glad that McCoy couldn't see him tense. "Counselor."
"We need to talk."
"Do you feel up to doing it tonight?" McCoy asked seriously.
Briscoe decided not to comment on the double meaning McCoy's last statement could have and answered flatly, "Sure."
"Ok. I'll be getting off here soon. Where should we do this?"
Briscoe heard the nervousness in the lawyer's voice. He was feeling it to. "It should probably be some place with a little bit of privacy." He didn't relish the idea of strangers hearing the two of them talk about...He wasn't sure how to describe it...sex...a relationship? He needed to know what McCoy wanted from him. He didn't think to ask himself why he needed to know.
"You could come back here. Everyone would be gone by the time you got here," McCoy suggested.
Briscoe didn't want to go back to McCoy's office yet. He didn't think he'd be able to think there. He probably wouldn't be able to think when he was in the other man's presence no matter where they were but that was beside the point. "I'd rather not."
Briscoe couldn't believe he was saying this, "Why don't you drop by here."
There was a long pause at the other end of the line before McCoy finally responded, "Are you sure?"
No, was the first thing that popped into the detective's head. He pushed it aside. He had to meet with the other man and it might as well be at a place of his own choosing. "Not really, but it seems to be the best idea."
McCoy stopped outside Briscoe's apartment. He stood outside the door, working up the nerve to knock. He almost turned on his heel to leave and he heard Kincaid's voice in his head, Just do it you big chicken. His conscience wasn't going to leave him alone until he did this and he knocked softly.
Briscoe opened the door and waved for McCoy to come in. "Counselor."
McCoy looked around the apartment. He'd never been there before. It was messier than his place but the style mirrored that of the occupant.
Briscoe noticed the lawyer giving his place the once over and said sarcastically, "My cleaning lady hasn't been in yet this week."
McCoy eyed the other man, shook his head, and chuckled softly. He didn't want to let an uncomfortable silence fall over the room and cut right to the subject on both their minds. "About earlier..."
"You sure don't waste any time do you."
"I've wasted enough time," McCoy responded. He walked up to Briscoe and looked the other man in the eye, daring the detective to disagree with him.
Briscoe's outer shell remained intact. He kept his face passive even though his emotions were raging on the inside. "What do you want from me?"
"I thought that was obvious."
"I don't mean that," Briscoe said sharply. "I mean after that. Where do you want this to go?"
"Are you asking if I want more than sex?"
Briscoe nodded and crossed his arms.
McCoy looked away. He hadn't asked himself that question. There was no question that he wanted sex but there was so much more that could come after that. He'd been alone for a long time. The emptiness he felt inside had become his constant companion. It was more of a comfort than any of the one-night stands he'd had. The thought of someone else getting close to him was new. He wondered if the detective actually wanted to get close to him. You know what you want. Accept it, Kincaid's voice rang in his head. He swallowed and looked the detective in the eye. "Yes."
Briscoe sighed. Now he knew what McCoy wanted. Part of him was glad that the other man was more interested in more than just the physical. That fact also scared him. Whenever he let someone close to him, he got hurt. At least this person could never divorce him. He let his doubts speak for him. "Do you really think it could work?"
"We won't know if we don't try."
Briscoe didn't know how McCoy did it but the other man managed to get even closer without actually touching him. His response died on his lips. He couldn't think of what to say to this person who seemed to want to be with him. Gloria's threat was no longer an issue. If he did get involved with the lawyer, there was no way for her to use it against him. He hadn't been looking for a relationship and McCoy was one of the last people he'd expected to show an interest.
"Don't you want to at least try?" McCoy asked. He could tell that the detective was tempted. The other man had brought up some valid points but he just didn't care at the moment.
Briscoe stared at the floor. McCoy's closeness was getting to him. He had to make a choice. He was either going to fuck the other man or throw him out and try to forget about the whole thing. He didn't know if he wanted to live with the regrets if he didn't at least give it a try.
"You know where I stand. I'm leaving this up to you," McCoy stated.
Damn you, Briscoe thought, Why are you leaving this up to me? He looked back up into the lawyer's flashing eyes. Then he made his choice. He cupped McCoy's face in his hands and kissed the other man with an intensity that rivaled their earlier kiss.
McCoy wrapped his arms around the other man's waist. He pulled himself as close as possible to Briscoe's body. He wanted to feel as much of it against him as he could. He let the detective's tongue plunder the depths of his mouth. He moaned when Briscoe's arms went around him and tongue moved to his neck.
Briscoe felt McCoy's body mold itself to his. He wanted to totally lose himself in the lawyer.
"Wait," McCoy said and waited for Briscoe to look up at him. He gave the detective a grin and asked, "Where's your bed?"
"I love it when you're pushy," Briscoe said and pointed down the hallway.
McCoy took Briscoe's arm and began dragging the other man in that direction.
"A little impatient aren't we?" Briscoe asked.
"You'll thank me later."
McCoy woke up a few hours later. He had his head on Briscoe's chest. He propped himself up on his elbow and looked down at his sleeping lover. He grinned and slowly ran his hand through the graying hair on the other man's chest. That was the most intense sex he'd had in years. It blew his dreams away. Before, He'd had no idea how much stamina the detective had. He knew he'd be sore in the morning but that didn't matter.
McCoy got up to use the bathroom. He couldn't help but smile at himself in the mirror.
"So how was it?" a female voice asked.
McCoy was wondering when his conscience was going to show up. "You mean you don't know?"
"I just want to hear it from you," Kincaid answered.
"It was great."
"See what happens when you listen to me."
McCoy laughed, "I'm sorry I ever doubted you."
"You should be because you're just doubting yourself. So what now? Are you two going to stay together?"
"I hope so."
"Do you think it can actually work between a lawyer and a cop?" Kincaid asked with a twinkle in her eye.
"We want to try."
"That's all you can do," Kincaid replied, "Now go back to bed."
"Yes ma'am," McCoy answered. He crawled back into bed and laid his head back on Briscoe's chest.
"Who were you talking to?" Briscoe asked softly, half-asleep.
"Ok, just checking," Briscoe answered before drifting off again.
McCoy grinned and breathed in the other man's scent. He never thought he'd like Old Spice so much. He listened to Briscoe's even breathing and let the rhythm of the detective's heartbeat lull him to sleep.