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Two Worlds Collided

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Diego was on the floor with a hand around his neck before he was ready to admit he’d made a mistake. His vision blurred as the fingers tightened, squeezing the breath from his body. Turned out he should have waited for that back up after all.

His and Eudora’s shift had already ended when the call had come in a little after midnight. They had argued in the car that day. Not an uncommon occurrence following the break-up, but it always put Diego in a foul mood. He had just dropped her off at her apartment when the radio crackled. A bar fight in Greenwich Village, with unconfirmed reports that shots had been fired. He had been less than two minutes from the scene. Decision made, he turned the keys in the ignition and sped off into the night.

He’d followed the first person he’d seen fleeing the bar, jumping out of the car and pounding after him along the street. A tall, broad shouldered man with his hood up and his head down. Diego had chased him into a darkened alley a few hundred yards away. The alley ended abruptly in a dead end, blocked off by several metal trashcans and a tall brick wall. There was no sign of his target.

Diego had scaled the wall and landed neatly on top of a dumpster at the other side when a hand fastened around his ankle. He was pulled to the ground with a sickening crunch from his leg, his head hitting the corner of the dumpster as he fell. The impact had blinded him for a second, pain shooting through every inch of his body.

At least he’d got in a few good punches, Diego thought grimly, his face pressed into concrete. The hand around his neck loosened, and he gasped for breath, lungs burning. His stomach turned as he felt the cold barrel of a gun being pressed into the back of his head. He could hear the sound of sirens blaring in the distance, too far away to help him.

At that moment an almighty clattering announced someone else’s arrival in the alley. His assailant’s grip loosened and Diego lifted his head in time to see a bizarre, cat-like figure tumble from the wall behind them onto the dumpster at their side. As the figure fell, he scrambled for purchase, one hand landing on the assailant’s broad head and cracking it sideways into the wall.

Diego’s would-be killer slumped to the ground, knocked unconscious by the fall.

Diego squinted up at the man now standing before him, his vision spinning. The man’s cat like appearance was the result of a giant, black coat that seemed to consist solely of ostrich feathers. His thin legs appeared to be bare beneath it, and looked scrawny beneath its bulk. Dark hair fell into his eyes as he squinted at Diego. In the moonlight, his face was exceptionally pale and worryingly out of focus.

“Whoops,” the man murmured, his eyes very wide as he took in the sight before him. His eyes skittered from Diego, to the gun on the ground, to the man he had just unwittingly knocked out cold.

“What are you doing down there, buddy?” the stranger asked him. His breath smelled strongly of alcohol, but his tone was soft. He leaned in to grab Diego’s arm, pulling him to his feet with surprising strength. “We gotta go.”

The man pulled Diego’s arm around his shoulders and began to haul him away, down the alley. The sounds of sirens had reached a crescendo, and the blue lights of cars were flashing beyond the wall behind them.

Diego felt distinctly woozy; his nose was dripping blood where his attacker had head-butted him. He wanted to turn around, to return to the familiar commotion of sirens and lights, but his legs were refusing to cooperate. The man half carrying him from the scene was buckling under his weight, his slight build obvious even beneath the bulk of his feathered coat. Despite their size difference, he continued to drag Diego along with surprising determination.

“You can’t laze around on the ground now, you know,” his saviour told him, hurrying him down a narrow passage between two tall buildings. “The cops are coming.”

“I am a cop,” Diego said, his head still swimming. It was only after the words had left his mouth that he realised they weren’t his wisest choice.

The man stopped. His head snapped around. As he stared at Diego, his face swayed suddenly into focus. His wide eyes were ringed with thick black eyeliner, which stood out starkly against his pale skin. His eye lashes were unnaturally long, and seemed to be adorned with miniature black feathers to match his coat. His mouth had fallen partly open in surprise.

“Christ on a cracker,” he hissed, wriggling out from beneath Diego’s arm. He started to back away but dived forwards again as Diego wobbled on his feet. “Are you really?”

"Think so,” Diego said woozily. He wasn’t too sure about anything any more. The man’s hands had settled reluctantly on his waist, holding him upright.

“Well, shit,” the man said, watching him with conflicted concern. “Now what am I gonna do with you?”

He turned his head and began muttering to himself, eyes fixed on a point just beyond Diego’s left shoulder.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” he shook his head vigorously, and the feathers of his coat collar quivered at the movement. "I can’t go carrying a cop around with me.”

Even in his half-conscious state, Diego was beginning to seriously doubt the man’s sanity. He made an effort to release himself from the stranger’s grasp, falling back to lean against the wall behind him instead. He glanced up at the sky and took a great gulp of cold night air. The stars were swimming in the sky above him, then slipping… and falling.

No. Wait. He was falling.

He was vaguely aware of his head hitting the floor. A pair of wide, pale eyes blinking above him. A hand tugging his phone from his pocket. Then black.

 

 

Diego awoke to the sound of a rhythmic beeping. His body ached fiercely and his throat felt scratchy and sore. Opening his eyes, he blinked in the bright white light. He was in a hospital room bed, covered in scratchy white sheets and a waffled blanket that looked like something he might find in his grandmother’s sitting room. He plucked at it in disgust and it snagged on an IV taped to his wrist. Averting his eyes, he tugged the needle from his arm with a shudder and forced himself up into a seated position.

“I’d stay lying down, if I were you,” came a voice from the corner of the room.

Eudora was sat on a small plastic chair, a cup of takeaway coffee in her hands. She surveyed him coldly, eyes narrowed.

“Morning, Dora,” he winked at her as he settled back to lean against the bed frame. His head throbbed as he looked around, eyes still bleary in the artificial light. As he surveyed the room his gaze fell on a vast arrangement of flowers on the cabinet by the bed. He frowned.

“You’re an idiot,” Eudora said. She had stood up, clutching her coffee cup to her chest. There were dark circles under her eyes. “You shouldn’t have been there at all. Never mind alone. You could have died."

Diego was still distracted by the flowers. “Is this some kind of a reconciliation thing?" he asked warily, gesturing at them. “Cause you know I think you’re crazy cute, but I don’t think getting back together is the best idea.”

Eudora’s nostrils flared. The hand holding her coffee cup twitched as if, for a second, she had considered throwing it in Diego’s face.

“And now you think I want to date you again,” she said, flinging her arms in the air in exasperation. Coffee sloshed over the sides of her cup, splashing the bed sheets. She headed towards the door. “I’ll let the nurses know you’re still concussed.”

Diego watched her go, the corners of his mouth twitching into a smile. “You’re the one who bought me roses,” he shouted after her.

Eudora’s voice reached him easily, despite the fact she must now be half way down the corridor. “Not from me.”

Diego raised an eyebrow, turning back to view the extravagant array of flowers. The mass of pink and red blooms was interspersed with strange leafy stems that reminded him strongly of cabbages. His eyes followed a string rising from the centre of the bunch and ending in a small pink balloon. It had Get Well Soon written on it in garish yellow letters.

Just as he was about to sink back down into the pillows, he noticed a small card peeking out from the midst of the arrangement. He reached out a hand and plucked it out, warily. A short message had been scrawled on the back.

Glad you didn’t get shot
– Klaus x
p.s. borrowed twenty bucks

Diego’s wallet was lying open next to the flowers. Diego let his head drop back against the bed frame, then winced as pain shot through his skull.

Klaus.

He had a distinctly blurred memory of a lithe man in a giant, feathered coat leaning over him on the ground. He frowned, remembering the man dragging him away from the police cars. Then he sat bolt upright when he remembered the same man’s boot colliding with his attacker’s head.

“Eudora,” he bellowed, wincing at the volume of his own voice. His lip had cracked at some point during the fight and as he shouted it reopened, sending a drop of blood trickling down his chin. He wiped it away impatiently on the back of his hand.

She appeared less than a minute later, entering the room with a harried looking nurse in tow.

"You lost name-screaming privileges when we broke up Diego,” she informed him sharply.

The nurse made a noise of stifled amusement and Diego glared at him. He dropped his head apologetically and scribbled something on his clipboard before setting about trying to reinsert the IV. Diego shook him off.

“You seen a crazy looking guy in a coat made of feathers?” he asked Eudora,

She raised an eyebrow and turned to the nurse conspiratorially. “See. Definitely still concussed.”

“Oh, no, he was here. Left just before you arrived,” the nurse said, addressing Eudora rather than Diego. “He was the one that called the ambulance. Bit odd… jumpy looking. He was bleeding but wouldn’t let us anywhere near him.”

“Did he leave a number? A surname?” Diego asked, snapping his figures in front of the man’s face in an attempt to tear his attention away from Eudora. “Any way of getting in touch with him?”

The nurse grabbed Diego’s hand from in front of his face and forcibly reinserted the IV, before returning it to rest on the covers with a gentle pat. “That’s better,” he said. “No, just the flowers. He couldn’t decide between them and the balloon, so he got both.” He glanced at the open wallet on the bedside table. “I think he used your money though.”

Diego raised a hand to scrub through his hair, frowning at the realisation that it was still matted with blood. He closed his eyes and sank back down into the pillows with a groan. So the crazy guy in the feathered coat had saved him from getting shot, half carried him away from the crime-scene, and then called him an ambulance. He had presumably then ridden alongside him in the back of it, hung around to buy flowers, and come within just a few minutes of meeting an array of disgruntled police officers.

This struck Diego as unusually risky behaviour for someone who, he was now convinced, had been high as a kite. Presumably the man had also been involved in the armed bar fight that took place just a few minutes before they’d met. He rolled on to his side and glared at the flowers. Even accounting for the twenty bucks Klaus has taken, it seemed Diego was significantly in his debt. It wasn’t a feeling he appreciated.

“You’ll be okay to leave later,” the nurse told him, pulling him from his thoughts. “Don’t scratch at your stitches, and keep that cast on your ankle. We had to realign your nose, so keep that dressing on too. You’ll need to take antibiotics for the next couple of weeks. Don’t leave without them and don’t forget to take them. Drink lots of fluids- not alcohol- and no strenuous sports for at least three weeks.”

The man stood up, ignoring Diego’s deep scowl of irritation. His eyes were back on Eudora, who had been watching the whole exchange smugly, arms crossed. She looked more relaxed now than when Diego had first woken up, although still slightly messy. Her hair was sticking out on one side as if she fallen asleep against the wall.

The nurse smiled at her hopefully, straightening his scrubs. “Can I get you another cup of coffee?”

Diego was barely aware of them disappearing off together. Staring up at the ceiling, he stubbornly ignored the pounding in his head. He was still struggling to think straight, but one thing had become imminently clear. He turned the card over again in his hand, examining the messy writing.

He needed to find Klaus.

Chapter Text

It was another week before Diego was able to leave the house without that damned cast on his ankle. As for the dressing covering his broken nose, he had removed it immediately. He had a reputation to uphold. Not that there was much left of it at this point. The man who had almost shot him had been long gone by the time Diego had made his statement and armed officers returned to the alley.

Diego hadn’t even managed to get a good look at the bastard’s face. He blamed the blood in his eyes for that. Meanwhile, his boss, Detective Chuck Beaman, had not taken kindly to his impromptu solo mission and was keeping him under a tighter rein than ever. He had spent the days since returning from hospital sat at his desk in the station, filling in paperwork, and glowering at Eudora whenever she returned from a job.

“Chuck’s still really pissed, huh?” she said, on the Friday that marked a week since the incident. She sat down on the edge of Diego’s desk, looking at him without sympathy.

Diego was grateful. He didn’t need it. “He’s pissed,” he agreed.

Eudora sighed and ran a hand through her hair. It was tousled from the wind outside. Unlike Diego, she had spent the day out and about in the city.

“At least it’s Friday,” she said. They were both scheduled for a weekend off. “You got plans?”

Diego did have plans. Plans revolving around a crazy guy in a big feathered coat. He had never been able to thank the man for saving his life and the thought had been hanging over him all week. An irrational anger stirred within him at the thought that Klaus had disappeared before he could speak to him. He had even tried running the name Klaus through the computer system when no one was looking. Unsurprisingly, without a surname, it hadn’t been enough to go on. But now the cast was finally off his ankle and he could move more freely, he was going back to Greenwich Village. He had a vague idea of hanging around near the bar in case the man was a regular.

“Quiet night in,” Diego lied breezily. “You?”

“I’m seeing Colin actually,” Eudora answered, looking a bit sheepish. Her cheeks were slightly flushed, and she was fidgeting with the papers on Diego’s desk to avoid meeting his eye.

“Who the fuck is Colin?” Diego asked, more weary than annoyed. Eudora had started seeing other people not long after the breakup. A whole four months had passed now. He thought it was probably time he started doing the same.

“The nurse,” Eudora shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly. “You met him in the hospital.”

“Oh,” Diego recalled the man with the messy hair and hipster glasses who had forcibly inserted a needle into his arm. “That asshole.”

“He didn’t think much of you either.” Eudora stood up and headed over to her own desk, where she set about tidying her paperwork and pulling on her coat. When she reached the door to the office she turned and shot Diego a brittle smile over her shoulder. “Have fun at The Academy.”

Diego cursed under his breath as she left, his eyes springing back to his desktop computer, where he had left the webpage for the Greenwich Village bar open on the screen. He scrambled to close it down, glancing warily over his shoulder in case Chuck appeared from his office. The homepage for The Academy was a riot of pink and black, featuring artsy photos of scantily clad men adorned with make-up and sequins. Klaus’s flamboyant outfit would have looked almost tame within its walls.

The previous week’s bar fight did not seem to have damaged The Academy’s reputation. As Diego watched from across the street a steady stream of flamboyantly dressed men- and the occasional woman- passed through the bar’s doors. The exterior was shabby and gloomy; not really noticeable unless you knew it was there. A bulky doorman stood in the shadows in front of an unmarked door, nodding people through with an unmoving expression of disdain on his face.

It was a little after midnight when Diego decided he was going to have to approach the bouncer. The man was several inches taller than him and, despite Diego’s toned physique, considerably more muscular. He scowled down at him, assessing his drab outfit of dark jeans and a leather jacket. When he held out a hand to collect the entrance fee, Diego ignored it. He had no intention of going inside.

He cleared his throat, debating whether or not to flash his police badge. He decided it was better to keep a low profile. “I’m looking for a guy in a feathered coat,” he said, feeling incredibly stupid.

“Klaus. Yeah. Half the men in there are looking for Klaus,” the bouncer said. He clicked his fingers impatiently at Diego. “You gotta pay for the privilege, bro.”

“He works here?” Diego asked, mind spinning back to the images on The Academy’s website. The men in the photos had all been scantily clad, and their faces were mostly obscured by artful angles and carefully placed lights.

The man withdrew his hand, shoving it back into his pocket. He regarded Diego with narrowed eyes, then shrugged. “They took him off the rota.”

Diego did not think he wanted to know what rota Klaus had been on. Or, in fact, what he had done to be removed from it.

“You think he’ll come back?” He asked, stepping aside to let a group of college students squeeze past them through the door.

The man ignored him while he checked IDs and collected a wad of five-dollar bills.

“Maybe,” he shrugged. “Kid doesn’t know what’s good for him.”

Diego thanked him and returned to his vigil on the opposite side of the street, drawing his jacket more closely around himself in an effort to fight off the January chill. He reclined against the brick wall of a building, half hidden by shadows, and fixed his eyes on the doorway. He waited for over an hour, until his swollen ankle was starting to screech in protest and his fingers were burning with cold.

On the third consecutive night of standing watch, thick grey cloud began to gather in the sky above him. He stood still as the first drops of rain fell, watching them shatter on the pavement at his feet. The cold air was harsh on the exposed skin of his face and neck. Across the road, the bouncer was watching him, arms folded. Diego crossed his own arms, mirroring the man.

He waited until the rain was pounding down around him, water seeping through his clothes and sticking them to his skin.

He was on the verge of leaving when a skinny teenager with dark hair slipped out of the shadows on the other side of the street, approaching the bouncer. The boy was dressed in a suit and tie, but didn’t look any older than sixteen. Diego stood up a little straighter, squinting through the rain. The bouncer waved the kid through without checking for ID and Diego’s lip curled in anger. He hesitated before pulling out his police badge and setting off in a jog across the road.

The blaring of a taxi’s horn caught him off guard, and he staggered back, as the bright lights of the car washed over him. He landed one arm on the car’s bonnet and was throw onto his ass by the force of the blow. The taxi continued, screeching around the corner and out of sight.

When he staggered to his feet, the child was back outside the nightclub, grasping a bundle in his arms. The bouncer pointed over at Diego and leant down to say something in the kid’s ear. Nodding, the boy set off at speed, glancing warily at Diego as he hurried down the street.

“Oi,” Diego shouted after him, breaking into a sprint, his swollen ankle burning.

He expected the kid to run, but he turned on his heel and stood his ground. His lip curled as Diego approached. “Can I help you?”

Diego’s eyes fell to the bundle in the kid’s arms. It was an assorted mess of brightly coloured fabrics, sequins and furs. Diego couldn’t imagine this smartly dressed child, with his condescending sneer, being caught dead in any of it.

“You know a guy called Klaus?” Diego asked, eyes lingering on a feathered shirt cuff peeking out from amidst the heap of garments.

“I’m currently holding half his wardrobe,” the kid said, narrowing his eyes. “He doesn’t work here anymore. And he’s flattered by your attentions, but he’s not interested.”

“He knows I’ve been looking for him?” Diego said, taken aback.

The boy raised his eyes to the sky and reached forward to pat Diego on the arm sympathetically. “Klaus gets a lot of guys following him around.”

“No,” Diego reached after the boy, grabbing his shoulder as he turned away. “Hang on. I’m not just some guy.”

The child made a small snorting noise, in the back of his throat, shaking Diego’s hand off him.

“I met him at the hospital,” Diego forged on. “I need to talk to him.”

The boy’s expression changed, eyes widening minutely, the corners of his mouth twitching. He looked Diego up and down in renewed interest. “So you’re the cop.”

“Diego,” Diego said. “He mentioned me?”

The boy continued to look him over, now smirking outright.

“I need to speak to him,” Diego repeated. The kid’s attitude was beginning to grate on his nerves. “It’s important.”

“He’s a little tied up at the moment,” the child told him, lips twitching as if Diego were missing out on a private joke.

Diego scuffed the ground with the toe of his boot, his hands involuntarily tightening into fists. He glared up at the sky, cursing the rain falling relentlessly down on him. The kid was walking away.

“Wait,” Diego shouted, his conscience catching up with him. He gestured awkwardly at the door to The Academy behind them. “You don’t… work there too do you?”

The child shot him a look of outraged disgust over his shoulder. “I’m fourteen.”

“Oh,” Diego said stupidly.

The child reached the end of the street before turning back to face him. “I’ll tell my brother you want him,” he called. He gave an exaggerated wink and then disappeared around the corner, just as lightning split the sky in a flash of bright blue light.

It was the early hours of the morning when Diego returned to his cramped apartment. He had never bothered to decorate the place, and after three years, there were still unpacked boxes in the corner of the room. It didn’t bother him much. They fitted in well with the peeling paint and the creaking floorboards. Grabbing a towel from the bathroom, he collapsed onto the couch and scrubbed it through his hair.

He glanced over at the stained coffee table where the last of the flowers Klaus had left him were beginning to wilt. He didn’t own any vases and they were languishing in an empty coffee can. Reluctantly, he went to collect a trash bag and scooped up the remaining stems. Petals cascaded over his fingers to the floor as he dropped the dying blooms into the bag.

He paused before tossing the bag into the trashcan, reaching in to retrieve the small white note. His eyes ran over the scrawled words once more and he smiled properly for the first time that week, before tucking it safely into the pocket of his jeans.

Chapter Text

Nearly four weeks had passed since the near-death incident before Detective Beaman allowed Diego back out on the streets. It was an immense relief to be out of the dull, cramped office and back doing the work he loved.

The first crime scene they attended was a miserable place. It had started to snow, but the flakes could not disguise the ugliness of the street, its sidewalks lined with litter and shadowed by the imposing bulk of high rises. Even so, Diego had to fight to contain his enthusiasm, biting back a grin as he interviewed an elderly witness.

The street was bustling with activity. A few feet away, Eudora was dealing with a witness of her own. Chuck was shouting orders in the distance and forensics were still clearing the last remnants of broken glass from the ground. A few nosy onlookers had gathered at the end of the street, just shy of the yellow tape separating them from the crime scene.

Diego’s witness was not exactly a mine of information. She repeated herself frequently, sighing dramatically between sentences and clearly enjoying having his full attention. He was nodding sympathetically and tapping his pen against his notepad when a movement at the end of the street caught his eye. He glanced up and his heart rolled over in his chest.

It was Klaus.

The man had joined the group of onlookers of the edge of the crime scene, saying something that caused them to speedily disperse, casting worried looks over their shoulders. He was now reclining elegantly against a wall just a few feet beyond the yellow tape. He was watching Diego astutely, lips pursed around a lit cigarette. He was wearing the ridiculous ostrich feather coat again, but Diego was fairly sure he would have recognised him without it.

“And that’s when I heard the screaming,” Diego’s witness trailed off, her voice catching theatrically on the last word.

“Okay, great,” Diego nodded, making a random scribble in his notebook without moving his eyes from Klaus. He felt sure that if he looked away, the man was bound to disappear. “I think that’s all I need, thanks.”

The woman regarded him with disappointment as he stuffed the notebook into his pocket and ushered her back towards Eudora. Finally free, he cast a wary glance over at Chuck. The man seemed distracted and Diego risked breaking away from the scene, ducking surreptitiously beneath the yellow tape to approach Klaus.

“Hey there,” Diego said, wincing at the banality of his own greeting.

Klaus lifted his cigarette away from his lips and smiled slowly. “Hi, Diego.”

The aura of chaos that had surrounded him that night was less intense in the bright light of day. His eyes, while still rimmed with black liner, looked more contemplative than wild. They surveyed each other in silence for several moments. Klaus continued to smile at him as he lifted the cigarette back to his lips. He drew in a long breath and then exhaled gently without turning his head.

Diego’s screwed up his nose. “Is that weed?” he asked incredulously.

Klaus smirked cheekily. “Are you going to arrest me?”

“Probably not,” Diego admitted.

Klaus hummed approvingly. “Yes, that would be bad manners after I saved your life.” His eyes widened. “Wait… does that mean you’re corrupt now? Have I corrupted you?”

Diego snorted in response.

“It does,” Klaus sighed, waving the joint in the air, and gesturing between the two of them. “This is a dangerous relationship.”

“This is not any kind of a relationship,” Diego retorted. He pulled the joint from the man’s hand and leaned over him to stub it out against the wall he was leaning on. Klaus made a slight squeaking noise at their suddenly increased proximity, and Diego had to remind himself that he wasn’t supposed to be enjoying this.

Klaus watched regretfully as Diego stepped back to stamp the joint into the concrete. “You look more like a cop today,” he said, “In your uniform.”

The man’s eyes were lingering on the handcuffs at his belt.

“That’s the idea,” Diego grinned. He suspected he looked a hell of a lot better than he had that last time they’d met, covered in blood and rolling on the ground. “Does it suit me?”

He mentally kicked himself as soon as he’d spoken, but it was almost worth it to see the flash of surprise in Klaus’s eyes. To watch the slow smile lifting the corners of his lips.

The man seemed to take his question as permission to look him up and down appreciatively. Which, Diego supposed, it kind of was.

“I guess you pull it off okay,” he shrugged, reaching out to straighten the collar that Diego knew was already perfectly neat. The man’s hand lingered on the fabric of his shirt, millimetres from his skin.

Eudora shouting his name broke the moment.

“Your lady-friend wants you,” Klaus told him, withdrawing his hand but continuing to gaze at him intensely. There seemed to be glitter swathed across his eyelids.

“Colleague,” Diego corrected him automatically. It had become a force of habit since the two of them broke up, and his reply came out sounding more forceful than he had intended. He glanced back around to see the woman in question waving him over insistently, a cardboard tray containing two takeaway coffees in her hand.

“Is that so?” Klaus batted his lashes at him.

Diego shrugged, avoiding the man’s eye now. “I should be getting back,” he said, making no effort to move.

He was still pressingly aware that he hadn’t yet thanked the man that had saved his life. At the beginning of the conversation the words had been on the edge of his lips. But somewhere along the way the moment seemed to… have passed.

Klaus pouted at him. His stance was still wary, but his eyes danced playfully. “But I was enjoying corrupting you.”

“I’m not that easily corrupted,” Diego said. He glanced over his shoulder again. Chuck was now watching him with narrowed eyes. “Listen, I can’t stop, but I wanted to talk to you...”

“Yeah, Five said you did,” Klaus interrupted, his eyes flicking between Diego and his waiting colleagues. “Call me.”

“I don’t have your number,” Diego pointed out.

Klaus smiled at him sweetly. “It’s in your shirt pocket.”

Diego glanced down and, sure enough, there was now a scrap of paper in his top pocket, where Klaus’s fingers had been lingering a minute before. Shaking his head, he ducked back beneath the yellow tape, putting a healthy distance between them. He glanced back over his shoulder as he headed away towards Eudora.

Klaus was watching him go, another joint now in his hand. He waved goodbye with it dangling between his long fingers. It was a blatant invitation for Diego to return and remove it. He resisted, ducking his head to hide his smile as he took the steaming paper cup of coffee from Eudora’s hand.

 

 

Klaus’s number sat, untouched, on his fridge for several days. Amidst the random assortment of takeout menus and postcards from his mother’s vacations, it was the only thing on there that came close to a social engagement. He had spent the last few evenings alternating between staring at it with the phone in his hand, and ignoring it altogether.

When he eventually worked up the courage to ring it, a rough male voice answered that definitely did not belong to Klaus.

“Viper Bar,” the man hollered down the phone, over the sound of pumping bass music.

Diego lifted the phone away from his ear and frowned at it in confusion. He was about to hang up and assume Klaus had given him a fake number, when he hesitated. It occurred to him that the man might not have his own phone.

“Yeah, um, is Klaus there?” he asked, slightly irritated. That seemed to be the only thing he was asking people these days.

“Hang on,” the voice on the other end of the line shouted at him.

There was silence for a minute, save for the distant beat of music, and then an excited chattering, followed by a high-pitched giggle. Then, finally, Klaus’s voice on the other end of the phone.

“Diego,” the man began, his voice lightly scolding. He drew out the vowels in Diego’s name, as if he were particularly enjoying using it. “When I said call me, I didn’t mean a whole week later.”

Diego raised an eyebrow, drawing his feet up on to the couch and holding the phone closer to his ear. “It’s only been four days,” he protested, then immediately winced at the admission that he’d been counting. “How d-did you know it was me?”

“I don’t go giving out my number to every cute cop I meet,” Klaus said, sounding both extremely pleased with him and slightly tipsy.

“Well, I want to talk to you,” Diego told him, ignoring the man’s flirty tone. He resisted the urge to point out that the number didn’t actually belong to Klaus. From the other end of the line there came the sound of glass shattering, accompanied by loud cursing and hoots of laughter.

“So you keep saying,” Klaus said. “I’ll pick you up from work tomorrow. And…” he paused dramatically, “if you’re very nice to me then I’ll let you buy me a drink.”

His announcement was followed by a clicking sound, and then silence, as the line went dead. Diego made an incredulous huffing noise and slowly lowered the phone. He wasn’t sure how a request for a quick word had suddenly become something that seemed suspiciously like a date. He frowned, wondering if he should call back to clarify. His head was starting to throb from the tension of a long day at work, and he decided against it.

Instead, he tossed his phone onto the couch and wandered over to the fridge to get a beer. He held the cold bottle against his head, letting the icy condensation soothe the ache. He wondered vaguely if Klaus would wear his feathered coat again tomorrow, and couldn’t help grinning as he twisted off the bottle cap and took a gulp.

 

 

The next day at work felt like an especially long one, the hours dragging by painfully slowly. Diego got lumped with the bulk of the paperwork and spent the day at his desk, trawling through it. On more than one occasion he found himself staring at the clock. As the hands inched towards five, his stomach began to churn. The idea of Klaus meeting him at work felt increasingly worrying. He had no idea when or where Klaus would appear. Each time the door to the station opened, he jumped slightly, and then glanced around guiltily to check no one had noticed.

At four fifty-five, he decided he could reasonably call it a day. He used the restroom to change out of his uniform into a pair of well fitting jeans before spraying deodorant liberally and raking a hand through his hair. He was back at his desk pulling on his leather jacket and ignoring Eudora’s inquisitive glances when Chuck came bursting into the room. He pointed at Diego and Eudora in turn.

“Body found in the East Village,” he told them, grabbing the cruiser keys from behind the desk. “Get in the car, kids. We’re going.”

Diego pointed at the clock before he could think better of it. “My shift’s over.”

Chuck spun around and pressed his forefinger forcefully into Diego’s chest. A vein was pulsing in his temple. “Not yet it isn’t. Get in the car, Hargreeves.”

Diego was relegated to the back seat, and spent the ride brooding. He turned his phone over in his hands, wondering if he should call Klaus to cancel. He didn’t want to, not while trapped in a car with his boss and ex-girlfriend. Then it occurred to him that the number was still stuck to his fridge at home, and that Klaus would probably already have left the bar anyway.

Diego gave a low groan of frustration. Klaus hadn’t actually given him a time, so Diego reasoned that he couldn’t be blamed for not being there when the man decided to show.

“You got somewhere better to be, Diego?” Chuck asked him, twisting around in the passenger seat to glare at him.

Eudora glanced at him curiously in the rear view mirror as they pulled up alongside several other cruisers, blue lights still flashing. The scene was already a riot of activity, surrounded by harried looking cops and curious bystanders.

“No,” Diego said, shoving his phone back into his pocket. He pushed open the car door and stepped out into the rain. “Let’s do this.”

Hours passed before there was any chance of leaving the crime scene. The rain pelted down all evening without a break. Diego, restricted to the space outside of the white forensics tent, was soon soaked to the skin. The zip of his leather jacket was broken, leaving the front of his shirt open to the elements. He glowered up at the sky, regretting his decision to change into jeans before leaving work. The fabric was sticking thick and heavy against his thighs when Eudora finally gave him the thumbs up. Chuck waved the car keys at him. They were leaving.

“Shot to the head,” Chuck said, as they crossed the street, leaving the forensics tent behind, still aglow in bright white lights. “Looks like was on his way to an overdose anyway though. Still had a needle sticking out of his arm.”

“Forced?” Eudora asked.

Chuck shrugged. “We need to wait on forensics.”

On their way back to the car, silent and trudging through puddles, Chuck suddenly stiffened. He stopped and made a disgruntled noise in the back of his throat.

“Diego,” he growled, in a low and distinctly dangerous voice.

“Chuck,” Diego replied, mimicking the man’s tone.

“Tell me.” The man turned to impress upon him the full force of his glare. He flung a hand out and pointed in the direction of the car. “Will your groupie be attending all of our crime scenes from now on?”

Diego’s eyes followed the man’s pointed finger to find Klaus sitting primly on a bench not far from the cruiser. The man was dressed in skin-tight leather pants with a kind of elaborate lacing up the sides, revealing an almost indecent amount of bare skin. His ostrich feather coat was gone, replaced with a ruffled black blouse that Diego was pretty confident could only have been picked up in the women’s section. He was clutching a clear plastic umbrella over his head and had his legs tightly crossed to ward off the cold.

At the sight of Diego he brightened and stood up, giving a little wave.

Diego frowned at Chuck’s disparaging tone. “Hey. He saved my life.”

Chuck shook his head, calling out after him as he headed away towards Klaus. “He’ll be doing it again if you don’t get your ass in gear.”

Against his best instincts, Diego ignored him, heart beating a little quicker as he jogged over to join Klaus.

“Hi,” Klaus said, a little breathlessly, his eyes roaming over Diego’s body as he approached. He clutched his umbrella a little tighter. “You look nice.”

Diego snorted. “I’m soaked.”

“Mm,” Klaus nodded enthusiastically, eyeing his shirt, which was now clinging to his chest from the rain. “Yeah.”

Diego glanced back over his shoulder at the sound of a car door slamming. Chuck was back in the passenger seat looking murderous. Eudora was hovering by the driver side door, watching Klaus with trepidation.

“You need a ride home, Diego?” she called.

Diego shook his head, gesturing awkwardly at Klaus. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” he shouted. Klaus beamed.

She nodded, eyes flickering between them as she slid into the car and started the engine.

“You’re getting me in trouble,” Diego said, as the two of them drove away. He couldn’t help but smile as he spoke. True though the words were, he still found himself wanting to lessen their impact.

“Yes,” Klaus sighed, looking momentarily regretful as he watched the car pulling out of sight. “I do that.”

Chapter Text

Diego took Klaus to a sports bar he knew, about a ten minute walk from the crime scene. The man followed him without question, trotting along next to him to try and keep up with his long strides. The rain was easing off, falling now as a light drizzle, but Klaus remained glued to his side in an effort to hold the too-small umbrella over both of their heads.

He chatted without pause for the entire walk, telling Diego enthusiastically about the bagel he had for lunch (peanut butter and pickles), where he had found his new umbrella (outside a children’s toy shop), and how he had chosen his outfit for that night (the lacing made his legs look longer).

Diego paused for a moment at the last comment, holding open the door to the bar for Klaus to pass through. The man beamed at him and closed the umbrella, shaking it enthusiastically and covering them both in a fine smattering of rain drops.

“You know this isn’t a date right?” Diego said awkwardly.

Klaus slipped past him into the sports bar, looking around with the air of someone who had just discovered something incredibly exotic. The place felt pretty ordinary to Diego. A little run-down perhaps, with scruffy leather seats and battered wooden tables.

The bar served exclusively burgers, fries and beer. It was quiet. They were the only patrons save for a few lone men in jeans and t-shirts sat around with their eyes glued to the screens, watching the game.

“Do you always wear your tightest jeans for not dates?” Klaus asked him brightly, choosing a booth table in the far corner where they were hidden from view.

Diego slid onto the bench opposite him. “These aren’t my tightest.”

Klaus’s eyebrows nearly disappeared beneath his mop of tangled dark hair. “Oh really? Are you saving those for our second date?”

Diego rolled his eyes and stood back up. It seemed like a good point to escape to the bar. He pointed over at the line of taps behind it. “What do you want to drink?”

“I’ll have a margarita,” Klaus said. He paused to glance at the short menu on the table-top. “And a bowl of curly fries. “

“They don’t do cocktails,” Diego said, wondering why he had thought bringing Klaus to a sports bar was a good idea. He turned his back on the man and headed over to the bar, calling back over his shoulder. “I’ll get you a beer.”

“Look,” Diego told him as he settled back down at the table, two cold glasses of beer in his hands. He’d chosen a dark ale for himself, and something light and fruity for Klaus. He geared himself up, not sure how to express the magnitude of what he was about to say. “About the whole… stopping me getting shot in the head thing-”

Klaus waved a hand in the air breezily.

“Oh, it was nothing,” he said. He took a suspicious sniff of the beer. “I can’t believe there are bars that don’t make cocktails.”

“No,” Diego shook his head, frustrated. He reached over the table and grasped Klaus’s arm in an effort to impress upon him the importance of what he was trying to say. “You saved my life, man.”

Klaus did not reply, staring down instead at their hands on the table. Diego followed his line of vision to see that he was still grasping the man’s arm. He looked impossibly tanned in comparison to the man’s milk white skin, his rough fingers thick around the slim wrist. He let go slowly.

The man continued to stare at him in silence for several long seconds before suddenly launching into an intense soliloquy, ranking his favourite cocktails from one to ten and discussing the merits of cocktail umbrellas over fruit garnishes. He continued to talk at Diego for the next half hour, eating his way merrily through a bowl of curly fries to which he applied liberal amounts of ketchup.

Diego finished two pints in quick succession and picked at his burger, allowing Klaus to filch the pickle from his plate even though he had, actually, been saving it. He was unwilling to make sustained eye contact with the bizarre man in front of him but somehow found himself completely incapable of looking away. He put it down to the beers and ordered another one, enjoying the beginnings of a pleasant buzz.

Klaus had a habit of leaning over the booth and invading Diego’s personal space. Their legs were brushing repeatedly beneath the table.

“Tell me,” Klaus began. He had just returned from a trip to the restroom where, Diego was fairly confident, he had been applying lip-gloss. His pupils were blown wide and Diego wondered for a moment if he’d taken something, before pushing the uncomfortable thought to the back of his mind for later examination. “Do you date men often?”

“No,” Diego said. He hadn’t dated another man since college. And he wasn’t entirely sure a weed infused weekend fling even counted. “And I’m still not doing. We’re not on a date.”

Klaus pouted as he leaned in closer, gesturing around the bar conspiratorially. “And is this really what you do for fun?”

Diego shrugged. “I guess. Why? What do you do?”

Klaus smiled predatorily and Diego had the distinct impression he’d just fallen into a trap. The man stood up and held out a hand, collecting his umbrella in the other. “I’ll show you.”

Diego batted the offered hand away, but stood up willingly. If this was a trap, it was one he was prepared to fall into.

Klaus’s idea of fun, it turned out, was a bar a few streets away. He linked an arm through Diego’s on the walk over, tutting and tightening his grip when Diego half-heartedly tried to shrug him off. As they approached, Klaus still hanging heavily on his arm, Diego could hear thumping music and raucous shouting.

He was relieved to see the bar looked less imposing than The Academy. The door was brightly lit, and groups of young men stood huddled in the glow, smoking and laughing. A lime green neon sign hung over the door, spitting and hissing, in the shape of a snake. A man in heavy eyeliner looked up and high-fived Klaus as he pulled Diego towards the door. The doorman nodded at them in recognition and waved them in.

Inside, the place was packed with a mass of people, moving and grinding together on the dance floor. The room was dark save for the intermittent flash of strobe lights that swept over the room reflecting, bizarrely, off an enormous crystal chandelier that dominated the ceiling. Seating booths lined the walls, decked out with green velvet couches and gauche gold tables.

Diego couldn’t help laughing as Klaus took his hand and led him over to the bar. He couldn’t imagine a place where Klaus might look more at home.

It was too loud to talk to each other over the pounding music, and when they arrived at the bar Klaus had to lean over and speak directly into his ear in order to be heard.

“I hope you’re not laughing at me,” he said, breath brushing against Diego’s skin, causing goosebumps to rise on his neck.

The barman greeted Klaus by name, eyes drifting curiously to Diego as he poured them two shots. He shook his head when Diego got out his wallet, and winked at Klaus before he left.

“Do you know everyone in here?” Diego asked, his hand on Klaus’s shoulder as he leaned forward to shout into his ear.

“I work here,” Klaus said, as if it were obvious. Their arms pressed together as they got close enough to speak. “But I’m thrilled that you think I’m cute enough to get free shots for no reason.”

Diego let the flirting go unchallenged this time. It had been a long week, and he didn’t have the energy to protest. Besides, it was doing good things to his ego. He allowed Klaus to ply him with another shot and then found himself being dragged on to the crowded dance floor.

“I don’t dance,” he protested, slightly unsteady on his feet as he tried to tug his hand out of Klaus’s own. The man tightened his grip firmly, refusing to let go.

“That’s alright,” Klaus told him, mouth actually brushing his ear this time. “I do. You can just stand there and look handsome.”

He wrapped his arms around Diego’s neck and sunk into him with a smirk, rolling against him to the rhythm of the music. It didn’t feel much like dancing to Diego, and though his every instinct was telling him to push the man away, he found himself moving closer instead.

Klaus’s hands were insatiable: running over his back, then drifting up his neck and disappearing into his hair. Diego was soon moving against him, retaliating when the other man’s hips ground into his own. When the song ended and Klaus moved to pull away, breathing heavily, he could not help but tug him back in, hands sliding down to rest on the plush curve of his ass.

“Is this a date now?” Klaus shouted into his ear. His hands were still embedded in Diego’s hair, tugging gently at the short strands.

Diego ignored him. After his three pints, the shots had left him feeling more than a little drunk, and he let himself forget that tonight wasn’t supposed to mean anything. Klaus smelled incredible, sweet yet slightly smoky at the same time. The man’s lips fell on to his neck and Diego actually groaned out load as Klaus began mouthing at the sensitive skin.

“Fucking hell,” he grumbled, his hands coming up to Klaus’s hips in order to push the man back slightly. His tight jeans were now significantly uncomfortable, stretching across the crotch. The way Klaus kept grinding in to him was not helping at all. He could feel that the other man was hard against his thigh.

“You want to head off?” Klaus asked, not hesitating to nip at his earlobe when he spoke this time.

Diego nodded. He was so turned on he couldn’t think straight. It felt as if all the blood in his body had rushed south. He needed fresh air, needed to clear his head, or he was going to end up doing something outrageously stupid. Possibly something involving Klaus and one of those dark booths with the plush velvet couches.

He took a deep breath of the crisp night air as they left by the back door. The side street they’d come out into was deserted, blissfully quiet but for the muffled thump of music behind them and the hum of the occasional car from the main road.

Diego sank back to lean against the cool brick wall. He had just closed his eyes for a moment to recover when Klaus draped himself back over him. The man’s hands moved restlessly up and down over his chest. He tugged on Diego’s shirt collar, pulling it open enough to start nipping at the skin over his collarbones.

“Fuck, Klaus,” Diego groaned, unsure if he was protesting or encouraging, his hands coming up to rest on the man’s narrow hips. He could feel the bare skin beneath the lacing of the man’s leather pants, and couldn’t help running his fingers over the exposed flesh.

“You gonna take me home with you, Officer?” Klaus asked him, lifting his head to stare Diego in the eye. His pupils were blown wide and his thick eyeliner heavily smudged. Like this, he looked much more like the wild creature Diego remembered from the night they’d met.

“No, I don’t think…” Diego began, shaking his head. He was starting to sober up in the cold night air.

For a split second Klaus’s face fell, then he was smiling again. “Ok,” he murmured, his hands finding Diego’s belt buckle and tugging it open with nimble fingers. “Yeah, ok. We can stay here.”

Diego gripped his hand and pushed him away, shaking his head. “Klaus, no. I didn’t mean that. This is a bad idea.”

The man stepped back and looked at him incredulously for a few seconds. Then his eyes dropped and he shrugged, scuffing the ground with the toe of his shoe.

“Fine, ok,” he shrugged. He ran a hand through his hair, staring up at the sky and determinedly not looking at Diego. “I just thought you wanted…”

He trailed off and turned to stare into mid-air. He flung his arm out to point victoriously at an empty spot of wall and nodded firmly. “Thank you. Not just me, right?”

Then he turned around and walked away at speed.

Diego swore softly, refastening his belt buckle and hastening to follow the man back out onto the road. Klaus could walk incredibly fast with those long legs, and he was halfway up the road before Diego caught up with him. He reached out a hand and spun him back around to face him.

“K-klaus,” he protested, wincing as he stammered over the name. “Wait.”

The man went to shake him off, and Diego growled in frustration. Desperate not to lose him, he pulled him back fiercely and caught his lips in a biting kiss.

Klaus made a little squeaking noise of surprise, before going limp in his arms and, finally, retaliating. He pressed his tongue into Diego’s mouth, his hands fisting in the fabric of his shirt. Diego had one hand on the man’s waist, the other still clinging fiercely to his arm. He released his grip as Klaus melted into him, bringing the hand up to cup the man’s face, relishing in the sensation of stubble against his fingers.

The screeching horn of a taxi caused them to jump apart, and they were both caught in a heavy splash of water lifted by its wheels.

“Wow,” Klaus regarded him warily. “Ben’s right. You’re really giving out some mixed signals here.”

Diego didn’t ask who Ben was. There was enough to think about between the two of them. He really didn’t need to add a third person into the mix. “Look, I’m sorry. Things were just getting a bit heated back there.”

“That was the plan,” Klaus said, still frowning a little in confusion. He trailed a hand up Diego’s chest, playing with the top button of his shirt, and looked at him with wide eyes. “Are we going back to yours now then?”

“I don’t know,” Diego said, slightly distracted by the way Klaus kept trying to undress him in public. Did Diego want to sleep with the man? Apparently. Did he think it was a sensible thing to do? Not in the slightest. “Maybe I could take you out properly first. Get brunch or something?”

Klaus raised both eyebrows. “Let me get this straight,” he said, slowly. “You want to buy me breakfast before you sleep with me?”

Diego shrugged, his cheeks turning hot despite the night’s chill. “Well, yeah.”

The man let go of his shirt collar and dropped his hand to interlink their fingers together. “I do like waffles.”

“Ok. Waffles,” Diego said, relieved. He pulled Klaus in for another kiss, keeping it slow but firm and then nipping his lower lip before pulling away. “How are you getting home?”

“Subway,” Klaus told him breathlessly. He was looking at Diego as if he had found something particularly strange that he wasn’t entirely sure how to handle. “Why?”

Diego rolled his eyes. Klaus was clearly capable of looking after himself but Diego still didn’t want to let him walk off alone. “I’ll walk you to the station.”

The walk to the subway took only a couple of minutes, and they spent it in complete yet companionable silence, with Klaus gripping Diego’s arm. Over the course of the evening, Klaus seemed to have lost his umbrella and Diego made a mental note to buy him a new one. The man turned towards him as they reached the turnstiles but leaned away when Diego tried to kiss him again.

He tutted loudly. "Now, now, Diego,” he said. The sparkle had returned to his eye. “I’d really rather wait.”

Diego gave him a light push towards the barriers, rolling his eyes. The man winked at him before jumping straight over the turnstile. He wiggled his slim hips as he walked away before disappearing around the corner and out of sight.

Chapter Text

Eudora cornered him in the break room at work the next morning. It was the first time they’d been alone together since she’d left him with Klaus the night before. Diego had, admittedly, been hoping to avoid her. When she saw him, her mouth set in to a tight line, shoulders tensing. She walked straight past him and set a cup beneath the coffee machine.

“I don’t know what you think you’re doing,” she said to him. She had her back to him but her voice was dripping with accusation.

“Eating a doughnut?” Diego replied, hardly able to get the words out around his mouthful. The chocolate icing was sticking to the roof of his mouth. He swallowed loudly.

“The man you left with last night,” Eudora continued, icily. She stabbed at a button on the coffee machine. “That was the same guy Colin saw at the hospital.”

Diego frowned at her back. “Who the fuck’s Colin?” he asked. As he spoke his own question jogged a memory. “That nurse you’ve been screwing?”

“At least I’m not screwing some junkie I picked up at a crime scene.” Eudora spun around to face him, her expression fierce.

Diego choked on the remains of his doughnut. He reached for a swig of coffee to try and clear his throat and burnt the top of his mouth on the scalding liquid. He spluttered, sending a mess of soggy crumbs flying across the table.

“I’m n-not screwing him,” he said, eventually managing to get the words out. He ignored the voice in his head adding yet. “He saved my life. I can’t just turn my back on him.”

“Well you two looked pretty cosy when we left you last night,” Eudora told him, though her expression had softened slightly.

“I can’t help that,” Diego shrugged. “He’s just that kind of a guy. He doesn’t really do personal space.”

His own words provided him with an unhelpful flashback of Klaus grinding up against him outside the nightclub. The man’s hands roaming up his thighs. He cleared his throat and rubbed a hand over his eyes, willing the image away.

Eudora sighed heavily. “All I’m saying is I didn’t see him trying to get up close and personal with Chuck.”

Diego chuckled at that. “Yeah well,” he said. “Who would?”

“I don’t think you realise what you’re getting yourself into,” Eudora told him. She had settled down in the chair across the table from him, looking as if she was about to break particularly difficult news. “Look, Diego… just… don’t be surprised if he tries to get you into bed.”

Diego smirked. At this point he was pretty much counting on it. “Oh, I won’t be.”

Eudora glared.

“I mean… I will be?” he offered tentatively.

He was rewarded with a light smack around the head, before she walked away muttering angrily under her breath. Diego distinctly heard the word ‘men’, uttered with intense exasperation.

Shortly after their argument in the staff room, Diego and Eudora were called into Chuck’s office. The room smelled strongly of stale coffee and the man’s desk was covered in paperwork. He was rifling through it with a harried expression when they entered the room. His pen had leaked and his fingers were stained with blue ink giving them a bruised appearance.

“I need you both on the bar fight case,” he told them, setting his paperwork aside as he spoke.

“Which one?” Eudora asked, glancing sideways at Diego as she spoke.

“The Academy,” Chuck said. He pulled out a cardboard file from the top drawer of his desk and began thumbing through its contents. “We know two shots were fired that night. No fatalities, but the ballistics report found a match between the bullets found in the bar and the one that killed our friend from last night.”

He pulled out a photo of the East Village murder victim and gestured unnecessarily at the gaping hole in the man’s head. Flicking through more photos, he withdrew one that showed the needle sticking out of the man’s arm. Diego looked away.

“We’ve had forensics back and the fingerprints on the man’s neck match those on the needle. That was a lethal dose and he didn’t inject it himself. All the evidence points to the involvement of a major drug cartel.”

Diego’s heart sunk. He remembered the way Chuck’s eyes had landed on Klaus at the crime scene the night before. There had been a deep-rooted suspicion there that it now seemed would be impossible to shake. As far as Diego was concerned, Klaus was a cute boy who flirted too much and wore daft clothes. He might have dabbled in drugs and worked for dubious people, but that didn’t make him a criminal.

“You got a surname for that groupie of yours, Diego?” Chuck asked him. He had dragged his eyes away from his paperwork and was watching him carefully for any sign of a reaction. “The drugged up boy from the club. Claude, right? We might want him in for interview.”

Diego opened his mouth to make an angry retort and then closed it again when Eudora stamped, hard, on his foot. He made a non-committal noise in the back of his throat instead.

“Yeah,” he agreed, “Claude. I don’t know his last name.”

“We’ve been circling these fuckers for months,” Chuck continued. He stood up and pulled a thick dossier out of his filing cabinet, pushing it across the table towards them. Eudora opened it and Diego watched her flicking through grainy photos of men in dark hoodies, their faces turned away from the light. “But they’re getting sloppy. I reckon if we can just get an ID on the ringleader, we can bring them down.”

His eyes landed back on Diego. “Ask Claude,” he told him, “then get shot of him. He might be involved.”

Diego nodded, his eyes fixed on the clock hanging above the Detective’s desk. He was taking Klaus for waffles that weekend, whether Chuck liked it or not.

Diego spent the days following Chuck’s announcement alternating between furiously denying his attraction to Klaus and desperately longing to get his tongue back into the man’s mouth… among other places. It seemed that every time he closed his eyes an image of the man’s long legs laced in leather would arrive, uninvited, in his mind.

The fact that their relationship had now been inexplicitly forbidden was doing nothing to dissuade his interest. In fact, he strongly suspected it was making things worse.

On the morning they were due to meet he attempted to distract himself, flicking through images of topless women on his computer. None of them looked as good as Klaus had, fully dressed, with his mouth open and pressing against Diego’s collarbones. He groaned in frustration and slammed the laptop closed, going to take a cold shower.

They met outside Griddy’s, a tiny little diner in a run-down street that Diego had never been to before. A broken neon sign buzzed repeatedly on and off over the entrance. Through the glass door he could see brightly painted walls and glass counters piled high with doughnuts.

The location had been Klaus’s choice, but the man arrived twenty minutes late. Diego was on the verge of leaving when he hurtled around the corner. He was wearing his feathered coat again and it billowed out around him as he ran.

“Oh, thank fuck,” he groaned, barrelling into Diego, and holding on to his shoulders as he gasped for air. His eyes were rimmed in silver liner that gave him an ethereal appearance. “I thought you might have left.”

Diego’s wounded ego was soothed by Klaus’s obvious state of panic. “I nearly did. Bet you would’ve missed me, huh?”

Klaus shook his head, still panting. “I’m just here for the waffles,” he said, ducking instinctively to avoid Diego’s clip around the ear. He stuck his tongue out and disappeared through the door, leaving Diego to trail in after him.

They sat at a table in the corner, covered with a slightly sticky plastic cloth. Diego took the seat opposite Klaus and then rolled his eyes when the man moved to sit next to him. Klaus was wearing his lace-up pants again, and he pressed one thigh purposefully against Diego’s own.

“Nice outfit,” Diego told him, eyeing the skin beneath the lacing of the man’s pants. He had paired them with a black shirt, adorned with a repeating pattern of bright pink flamingos.

“Thank you, yes. I thought you might like it,” Klaus said. He propped an elbow on the table and leaned his head on his hand, looking up at Diego from under his lashes.

A middle-aged waitress in a pink apron approached them, holding a steaming pot of coffee. She smiled at them as she took their order. “Now,” she said, pocketing her notepad, “aren’t you two just the cutest couple?”

Klaus beamed at her, wrapping an arm around Diego’s shoulders. “Isn’t he handsome?” he asked.

The woman opened her mouth to answer, before catching sight of Diego’s scowl. She hurried away, clutching the coffee pot to her chest.

“You are,” Klaus filled in for her. “That was my very first thought when we met.”

Diego’s mind provided him with a vivid flashback of Klaus peering down at him from atop a dumpster as he lay stunned and bleeding on the floor. “Seriously?”

Klaus shrugged, playing absentmindedly with the collar of Diego’s jacket. “In my defence, I was a little…” He waved his free hand in the air by his head. “Out of whack.”

“You were high,” Diego corrected. Chuck’s accusation was still ringing in his mind: that Klaus was involved in a drug-cartel. “You were working in the club right? Is that where you were getting your fix?”

Klaus removed his arm from around Diego’s shoulders and gave him an assessing look. “Didn’t Five tell you? I’m not using anymore.”

Diego couldn’t help the way his chest swelled hopefully at that information. “What’s Five?”

“My brother,” Klaus said impatiently. “The cute kid in the suit. He said you were trailing around after him like a lost puppy.”

Diego ignored the insult. Little brother or not, he had found Five deeply irritating. And not at all cute. “So you’re sober?”

“Been clean for five weeks,” Klaus beamed at him, raising his coffee cup as if toasting himself. He drank deeply.

“And what brought that on?” Diego asked.

“Oh, I got mixed up in a bit of a rumpus,” Klaus said. “Just a misunderstanding with the gentleman I was buying from. He turned out to be a bit of a drama queen… shots were fired...”

He trailed off, and then winked, forcing a smile. “Then I met a cute cop, had to hide from all my contacts and decided I’d take a shot at living life sober.”

“But how did you do it?” Diego asked. He couldn’t shake the doubt in his mind that Klaus, a self-confessed addict, could have got clean so quickly.

“Oh,” Klaus looked a little taken aback by the question. “Well, I had Five tie me up until the withdrawal passed. I needed someone to take away my options, y’know?”

Diego grimaced at the image. He hadn’t much liked the kid, but he hated the thought of him being forced to physically restrain his own brother. He leaned in and gripped the man’s hand where it rested on the table top. “You wanna tell me your supplier's name? We can take him down.”

“Diego,” said Klaus. “I find your poetic justice obsession deeply, deeply attractive. But I can’t tell you that. He’d kill me if he finds out I’m sleeping with a cop.”

“You’re not sleeping with me,” Diego pointed out.

Klaus smiled coquettishly and took a long slurp of coffee. “Who says I was talking about you?”

Diego had just lifted a to clap him around the head when the waitress re-appeared with their food. She glanced between them with a worried expression, and patted Klaus gently on the back as she placed a huge plate of waffles in front of him, festooned with strawberries and whipped cream “There you go, honey.”

“She gave me an extra waffle,” Klaus pointed out, beaming after her as she walked away. “I think I’m her favourite.”

“Yeah well,” Diego shrugged, taking a mouthful of his doughnut. “She doesn’t have to put up with all your weird ass shit.”

Klaus ignored him, his eyes lighting up as he picked up his knife and fork. He tucked into the waffles with fervour, all his attention on the plate in front of him.

Diego let him eat in peace for a few minutes. “So how long were you working in that club?” he asked, taking a sip of coffee.

Klaus stopped chewing and frowned at him. The effect slightly lessened by the strawberry sauce clinging to his lips. He wiped his mouth on the back of his hand. “Why do I feel like I’m being interviewed, Diego?”

“Hang on,” Diego grumbled, leaning in to steal the man’s last strawberry. “I’m just trying to get to know you here.”

“No, you’re not,” Klaus said, watching with narrowed eyes as Diego popped the fruit into his mouth. “You’re trying to decide if I’m good enough for you.”

“That’s not true,” Diego said.

“Well, spoiler alert,” Klaus said brightly, ignoring his denial. “I’m not. I’m an ex-addict. I like pink cocktails and German house music and I dance in trashy clubs for money. Oh, and sometimes I see people who aren’t really there.”

Diego spluttered on the last of his coffee as Klaus placed a hand on his thigh, several inches too high up to be appropriate in public.

“But, sweetie,” the man continued. “Don’t kid yourself. You don’t care. You still want me.”

Diego watched him, open mouthed, unable to protest. His annoyance was rapidly turning into arousal.

“Oh, and you have whipped cream on your fingers,” Klaus continued in the same breezy tone. He reached over and fastened his hand around Diego’s wrist, before sucking one finger into his mouth. He moaned around it, not breaking eye contact. “Mm, tastes good.”

“Fucking hell,” Diego stood up abruptly. He pulled his finger from Klaus’s mouth with a vulgar popping noise and scrabbled in his jeans for a couple of ten dollar bills to throw onto the table. “Get up. We’re leaving.”

Chapter Text

Klaus was insufferable for the entire taxi ride, rubbing his hand up and down Diego’s thigh. As they pulled up outside the apartment building he leaned over and latched his lips to Diego’s neck, causing the taxi driver to glare at them in the rear view mirror.

Diego kept him firmly at arms length as they rode the elevator up to his apartment. When they finally reached his front door and he fumbled in his pocket for his keys, Klaus pressed in closer. His chest was warm against Diego’s back, his arms coming round to begin undoing his shirt buttons.

It took Diego three attempts to get the key into the lock. As soon as they were through the door, he grabbed Klaus by the waist and pushed him firmly back up against it.

“Behave yourself,” he growled, then leaned down to start sucking on his neck.

“Yes, Officer,” Klaus breathed, his head falling back against the door to offer better access to his neck. He pressed a thigh between Diego’s legs and rocked forwards.

“Detective,” Diego corrected, groaning at the friction. His cock was now straining against the tight denim of his jeans. He grabbed the man’s thighs and lifted. Taking the hint, Klaus wrapped them tightly around his waist. He giggled, his arms fastening around Diego’s neck to keep himself in place. They stared at each other for a second and then Diego leaned in to catch the man’s mouth in a kiss.

Klaus responded teasingly, moving one hand to cup Diego’s jaw so as to control the pace, preventing him from deepening the kiss.

“Alright,” Diego said. He tightened his grip on the man and lifted him away from the door, carrying him across the room to the couch. “You think you’re in charge, huh? We’ll see about that.”

He stumbled as he tried to set the man down and they landed heavily in a tangled heap on the couch cushions. Klaus didn’t seem to mind. He stopped trying to tease Diego, and pulled him insistently closer, pressing their mouths together with renewed fervour.

Diego bit at the man’s lower lip, eliciting a low moan, before pressing his tongue into his mouth. Klaus’s hands were roaming over his chest as they kissed, when the man froze, his body stiffening. He pushed Diego off him with surprising strength, and then swung his legs around to straddle him. He was staring down at Diego’s chest, fingers slowly tracing the outline of his nipple ring through his shirt.

“Well, hello,” he said. He tugged gently, smirking as Diego’s eyes flickered closed in pleasure. “This is a nice surprise.”

Klaus leaned down and licked a wet stripe over the fabric of his shirt, tongue flicking at the ring through the thin material. Diego groaned, fisting his hands in the man’s hair in order to hold him in place.

Klaus laughed against him and began undoing his shirt buttons at speed. As he unfastened the last button he pushed the garment open and ducked his head to start lavishing attention on the bare skin with his tongue.

“That’s good,” Diego managed to huff out. Klaus’s hands were now running over his stomach, tracing the lines of his muscles. The man’s tongue was working insistently at his nipple ring. He caught it gently in his teeth and looked up at Diego from beneath lowered lashes. Diego instantly found himself wondering what the man might look like with his mouth wrapped around his cock.

Klaus ran his hands down the last few inches of his stomach, tracing the dark trail of hair that led to his belt buckle. He pulled back to meet Diego’s eye. His eye makeup was smudged and his hair was sticking up wildly. He raised an eyebrow as if half expecting Diego to pull away. Diego thought the man was wildly overestimating his self-control.

“May I?” Klaus asked, putting on an air of exaggerated politeness that didn’t quite disguise the flicker of uncertainty in his eyes.

“You’d fucking better,” Diego said.

“Well that’s a relief.” Klaus tugged furiously at the buckle, pulling his belt open. “I really thought I was losing my touch.”

“Losing your touch?” Diego scowled at him in mock annoyance. “You telling me you’ve done this before?”

“Never.” The man batted his eyelashes, an expression of utmost innocence appearing on his face. “I’m a blushing virgin. Be gentle with me.”

“Things taste better the longer you wait for them,” Diego said. He let Klaus get as far as unzipping his jeans then flipped them around on the couch and lay the man down underneath him. He grinned. Klaus looked pretty fucking good down there.

“Do they really?” Klaus smirked wriggling his hips. He gestured crudely at his crotch. “You want to test that theory?”

Diego snorted in amusement. “Your blushing virgin act is wearing a bit thin.”

Klaus’s arms snaked up to encircle his neck, pulling him down to lie flat on top of him. His lips brushed Diego’s ear, and his hands slid down his back to slip under the waistband of his open jeans. “I’ll be whatever you want me to be, baby.”

Diego thought that statement turned him on a bit more than it really should have done. Or maybe it was the way Klaus’s hands were groping his ass. Or maybe it was just the man’s very existence that was doing it for him. He groaned slightly. Yeah, that was probably it.

He set about unfastening the buttons of Klaus’s blouse, kissing the skin as he uncovered it. He paused half way down to lavish attention on his nipples, running his tongue over each in turn.

“I have no fucking clue how to get into these pants,” he said, when they were all that was left to remove. He tugged at the lacing in frustration. “Do I have to undo this?”

“No, no, no,” Klaus sat up rapidly, batting his hands away. “It’ll take me ages to do them up again.”

He lifted his hips off the couch just enough to be able to peel the tight fabric down, before lying back again and kicking his legs free. Diego stared unapologetically. Klaus wasn’t wearing anything underneath, his engorged red cock falling back to lie heavily against his stomach. The man was slim, but the outlines of hard muscles were visible through his pale skin. His eyes were wide as he looked up at Diego, reaching out an arm to pull him closer.

“You want to move to the bed?” Diego asked him, breathing heavily.

“Only if you’re planning to carry me again,” Klaus said.

“You’re gonna be a bit of a pillow princess, aren’t you?” Diego asked pulling the man to his feet.

Klaus wrapped his arms around him, allowing himself to be hauled across the room towards the bedroom. “And you are going to love it.”

As soon as he was pushed on to the bed, Klaus reached out to pull him in close again. “I want you back on top of me. Now.”

Diego stayed standing for long enough to kick off his jeans and briefs. He was aware of the other man’s eyes roaming up and down his body, and took his time getting on the bed. He braced himself on his elbows above the man, purposefully lining up their hips.

Klaus moaned wantonly gripping Diego’s ass and digging his fingers into the flesh. He bucked up to meet him, sliding their erect cocks together, both already slick with precome.

Diego cursed in pleasure, glanced down to watch their cocks rubbing against each other. He dropped his weight onto one elbow and reached down to wrap a hand around both of them. When he looked back up at Klaus, the man was biting his lip and visibly sweating.

“You good?” Diego asked. He tugged gently on the hot flesh in his hand. Together, they were too wide to get his hand around fully, so he gave up and focused on Klaus instead.

The man moaned when Diego’s hand fastened completely around him, throwing his head back and covering his eyes with his hand.

“Fuck, sorry,” he groaned, words muffled. “You’re gonna need to slow down or I’m going to…” he trailed off, his cheeks flushing.

Diego sped up instead, lifting his own hips slightly in order to get better access to Klaus beneath him. He pumped his hand roughly up and down the man’s length, ignoring the fingers fastening around his wrist and trying to pull him away.

“Diego,” the man moaned. “Seriously, I can’t… I…”

Thick spurts of come coated Diego’s hand and both their stomachs. Klaus lay panting beneath him, eyes squeezed close, cheeks flushed a rosy shade of pink. Diego lifted his fingers up to the man’s face and tutted at him.

“You’d better clean that up, baby,” he told him.

Klaus opened his eyes, and huffed a laugh. “You play dirty,” he complained. He took hold of Diego’s hand, and slid the index finger into his mouth, cheeks hollowing as he did so.

Diego rutted against his stomach, achingly hard, as the man sucked on each of his fingers in turn.

“Can you really not think of anywhere else you want my mouth right now?” Klaus asked him conversationally. He licked lazily at the pads of his fingertips, watching him with a smug expression on his face.

Diego rolled on to his back and pushed purposefully at Klaus’s shoulders, encouraging him to shuffle down the bed. He wrapped a hand around the man’s neck and pulled him in.

“Say please,” Klaus murmured, already running a hand up and down the length of Diego’s cock. He leaned in without waiting for an answer and fastened his lips around the head.

Diego growled, tangling his fingers in Klaus’s hair and pushing him down to meet his hips as he lifted upwards. The man gave a low moan, looking up at him, as his lips were forced wider apart.

“You like that?” Diego asked, voice low and rough.

Klaus nodded, his lips still wrapped around Diego’s cock, before beginning to bob his head.

Diego’s hands tightened in his hair, holding him still while he took over setting the pace, fucking the man’s face. His eyes were fixed on Klaus’s, who continued to stare up at him as he moved.

“Oh, shit,” Diego growled, his rhythm stuttering. He was so close. He gestured for the man to pull off. “You might want to…”

Klaus pressed downwards, taking his cock almost completely into his mouth and then hummed, the muscles of his throat vibrating around him. Diego’s release shot down the man’s throat, and he groaned Klaus’s name, running a hand through the curls of his hair.

Diego lay on his back, allowing his eyes to drift closed. It was past midday now and the pale winter sun was hitting the bed through the window. The sheets beneath him were twisted and crumpled, made slightly damp with sweat.

His fingers carded through Klaus’s hair, tugging gently at the tangles. The man rolled into him despite the warmth of the room, throwing an arm over his stomach and pressing a light kiss to his bicep.

Diego pulled him in, ignoring the sticky sheen of sweat covering both their naked bodies. “That was amazing,” he kissed him on the forehead. “You’re amazing, baby.”

He drifted into a light doze with Klaus’s arm still wrapped around him. He hadn’t expected this level of intimacy from either of them, and if he hadn’t felt so content he might have paused to consider whether or not it was a good idea. But he was warm and comfortable, cocooned in post-orgasmic bliss. Klaus’s fingers were trailing pleasantly through the dark dusting of hair on his chest.

Diego woke to the sound of clothes hangers scraping along the rail of his closet. Klaus was stood with his back to him, rifling through his closet and muttering to himself as he did so. He was still naked, but dripping wet and smelling strongly of Diego’s black pepper shower gel.

The room was misted with a light haze of steam and the sound of dripping water drifted through from the bathroom. Diego groaned as the man began tugging things off their hangers.

“Your wardrobe needs serious work,” Klaus told him, without turning around. “I can’t find anything to wear.”

“Good,” Diego propped himself up on his elbows to get a better view of the man. His eyes lingered on the plush curve of his pale ass. “Stay like that.”

Klaus ignored him, pulling aside the last few items in the closet and then letting out a low gasp. He pulled out a short, satin dressing gown in dove grey with a black lace trim. Diego groaned, rubbing a hand over his eyes. It had belonged to Eudora, and he had completely forgotten it was still in the wardrobe.

“Now this I like,” Klaus pulled the garment on, glancing over his shoulder at Diego as he did so. He raised an eyebrow. “But it doesn’t seem like your usual style.”

“She… we broke up,” Diego said, unsure why he felt the need to explain himself. “I forgot it was there.”

Klaus turned to face him, tying the belt loosely, and placing one hand on his hip. He pouted. “Who wore it better?”

Diego grinned. That was not a question he wanted to answer. Klaus looked way better than he should have done wrapped in the silky fabric. He sat up fully and lunged forwards, grabbing the ends of the belt and pulling the man back towards the bed. Leaning in he tugged the gown open wide enough to press soft kisses to the man’s stomach, hands running up and down the silky material at his sides. He lazily licked up a droplet of water as it ran down Klaus’s hip bone.

“I think that’s my answer,” Klaus murmured, rubbing a hand through Diego’s hair and looking down at him intensely.

“I’m gonna shower,” Diego said, pulling away reluctantly. His stomach and hands were still decidedly sticky.

Klaus flung himself down on the bed as Diego stood up, watching him cross the room. “And then we’ll get your handcuffs out,” he said.

Diego stopped on his way into the bathroom. “Uh… we will?”

Klaus stretched out slowly on the covers and lifted his hands above his head to press against the headboard, wrists pushed purposefully together. He winked.

“Yeah, ok,” Diego said. He resolved to make his shower a quick one. “That could work.”

Diego had just turned off the shower when the doorbell rang. He grabbed a towel to wrap around his waist and paused briefly to glance in the mirror. Klaus had left a bright red hickey at the base of his neck. He rolled his eyes and threw another towel around his shoulders before heading back into the living room.

He paused in the doorway. Klaus appeared to have made himself a milkshake in his absence. The cramped kitchenette that took up the corner of the room had been left in a state of complete disarray. The blender was out, with a softening tub of ice-cream at its side, and a milky puddle was spreading slowly across the counter. Klaus had gone to answer the door, still dressed in the silky robe and sipping at his drink through a straw.

“I’ll get it” Diego protested, even as the man pulled the door open.

His stomach lurched when he saw who was standing behind it.

Chapter Text

“Oh… wow.” Eudora stood in the doorframe, still dressed for work and holding a thick cardboard file in her arms. She looked Klaus up and down coolly, eyes lingering on the dressing gown. “Well I wish I could say I was surprised.”

“Oh, jeepers,” Klaus said, as he held the door open for her to enter. He gestured at the gown. “I’m sorry. Is this yours?”

“Keep it,” Eudora said, stepping through. Her eyes moved away from him to fall on Diego, who stood frozen in the bedroom doorway. He crossed his arms over his bare chest and gave a slight shrug.

“Thanks.” Klaus looked genuinely delighted. He ran a hand over the folds of fabric. “Can I ask where you got it? ‘Cause this satin feels ah-mazing.”

“Klaus,” Diego rubbed a hand over his forehead. He moved further in to the room and pulled him to one side, pulling the loose robe in to cover the man’s bare chest and tightening the belt at his waist. “Go and wait in the bedroom.”

“Oh God,” Eudora shook her head, averting her eyes. “No need, I’m leaving.”

“Why are you even here?” Diego rounded on her, feeling an unreasonable surge of anger at her presence. He was painfully conscious of his own semi naked state, of the hickeys marring Klaus’s pale neck, of the clothes still littering the floor. Klaus’s lace-up leather pants were lying in a heap at her feet.

Eudora narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips. Klaus had settled down on the couch, watching the exchange intently. He slurped loudly at his milkshake.

“Not by choice. Chuck wants you to look these over before tomorrow.” Eudora gestured at the file in her hands. She glanced back at Klaus. “They’re confidential.”

“Fine,” Diego said, pointing her towards the door.

She dropped the cardboard file on the kitchen counter, narrowly avoiding the spreading puddle of melting ice-cream, and turned to leave. At the door she paused and looked back over her shoulder, meeting Diego’s eye.

“Ask him for the name, Diego.”

“You left the ice-cream out,” Diego said, as soon as the door had closed behind her. He crossed over to the kitchen counter and shoved the file into a drawer, causing the cutlery to rattle loudly.

When he turned around, Klaus had folded his arms over his satin-enrobed chest and was watching him with narrowed eyes. “What name, Diego?”

Diego raised his hands defensively. “Don’t look at me like that, Klaus. I already told you. We need your dealer’s name.”

“Oh,” Klaus clutched his hands to his chest, eyes widening. He pushed himself up off the couch. “Silly me. I thought you were asking because you cared.”

“I do care,” Diego said. He leaned back on the kitchen counter and regarded the man steadily.

“No. You were asking because you had to.” Klaus jabbed a finger at the door by which Eudora had just left, moving closer. “Because the lady cop wanted you to. You’re still working on The Academy case aren’t you? Is that why you…”

He trailed off, blinking up at the ceiling, clutching his empty glass tightly in his hands. He span around, turning his back on Diego.

“Don’t,” he snapped into the empty room, gaze fixed on a spot a few feet above the coffee table. “Don’t you dare say I told you so.”

“Look, K-Klaus.” Diego reached out to him, gripping his shoulders and forcing him to make eye contact. “Yes, I’m still working on the case. But that’s not what this was about.”

He gestured between them and Klaus’s expression softened slightly.

“And it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.” Diego forged on. “We can help each other here. If you just give me the name we can be done with the case. I’ll keep you out of it.”

“I’m trying to restart my life, Diego,” Klaus groaned. “And it’s going to be pretty fucking difficult if I get killed because of some cop I’m screwing.”

“Is that all I am to you?” Diego asked, stiffening. “I’m t-trying to protect you, Klaus.”

Klaus laughed shrilly. “Diego, I have been protecting you from, quite literally, the moment we met. You are not in control here.”

Diego took a deep breath, resting his clenched fists on the kitchen countertop. His heart was hammering in his chest, and the blood pounding in his head. “You know, getting high and accidentally saving my life doesn’t make you a hero, Klaus.”

Klaus threw his empty milkshake glass at the counter top, inches from Diego’s hands. It smashed on impact and shards of glass shattered across the floor. The anger left the man’s face at the sound of the crack and he fell to the floor, eyes welling, as he scrambled to collect the shards.

“Klaus.” Diego crouched down next to him, pulling the man’s hands away from the sharp edges. “K-Klaus, stop. I’m sorry. Stop.”

Klaus pulled his hands away and stood up shakily. “Fuck you,” he spat, before turning on his heel and walking out of the door.

… 

An entire week passed with no word from Klaus. Diego spent his evenings alone, drinking beer on the couch and trying to block out his memory of Klaus reclining on it. His attempts to forget weren’t aided by the man’s clothing, which he had left strewn over the floor.

Diego folded the leather pants and hung the blouse in the back of his wardrobe, occupying the spot where Eudora’s dressing gown had once been. He called Viper Bar at midnight every night, only to be told in an increasingly rough tone that Klaus wasn’t there. On his fifth attempt the barman had actually growled down the phone at him.

“He doesn’t want to talk to you, man. Stop calling.”

From this angry outburst, Diego gathered that Klaus was there after all. He spent the next few days debating whether or not to try turning up one night. The man at the other end of the phone had made it plain that he wouldn’t get past security.

Of course, he could get inside by flashing his police badge. But then what? Maybe the grumpy barman was right. Maybe Klaus just didn’t want to talk to him. Or, maybe he’d already moved on to someone else. He groaned to himself and rubbed his fingers into his temples.

“Man up, Diego,” Chuck said, dropping a heavy pile of files on his desk. “I don’t give a fuck about your tension headaches.”

The man disappeared back into his office, shutting the door forcefully behind him. They had just returned from yet another unsuccessful stakeout. Three hours of sitting and waiting at a suspect’s apartment block, all because of an anonymous tip-off. They were rapidly running out of leads, no matter how many times Chuck said otherwise.

Eurdora glanced up at him from the next desk. “Diego, do you-“

“No,” Diego snapped, not waiting to hear the rest of the sentence. He had been unaccountably furious with her since she’d arrived uninvited at his apartment. Logically, he knew the fall-out with Klaus hadn’t been her fault. He’d fucked it up of his own accord. But that didn’t make accepting it any easier.

“I was going to offer you a cup of coffee,” Eudora finished, lips pursed. She stood up and took half the files from the pile on his desk, moving them on to her own.

“Oh,” Diego said. “Right. No, I’m good.”

She turned back around to face him, and perched on the corner of his desk, adopting an expression that Diego was all too familiar with. It meant he was about to get a lecture.

“I’m busy, Eudora,” he told her, picking up his pen and flicking absentmindedly through the stack of paperwork.

“You’re being a dick, Diego” Eudora said. She took the pen out of his hands. “But, I’m going to make allowances, because I know why.”

Diego sighed and leaned back in his seat. He crossed his arms over his chest. “Ok. I’ll bite. Why?”

“Klaus.” She lowered her voice, glancing over at the door to Chuck’s office. “You actually liked him, didn’t you?”

“When you walk in on two people half naked together, Eudora, you can generally assume they like each other.”

“Well that’s not true,” Eudora said. “He’s a good looking guy, in a skinny, deranged kind of a way. And you haven’t been getting out much recently. I thought you were just… scratching an itch.”

“Christ.” Diego stood up abruptly and headed off towards the break room. He was suddenly developing the tension headache which he had been blaming his bad mood on for the past few days. “I am not having this conversation with you.”

“Look, I don’t want to get involved either,” Eudora continued, following him in to the room and closing the door behind her.

She set a cup under the coffee machine, and waited for the loud buzz of grinding beans to begin before she continued talking.

“It’s your own fault for sleeping with a suspect. But you look like shit. And you’re being fucking miserable. And it’s driving everyone insane.”

“Potential suspect,” Diego corrected. “He’s done nothing wrong. He’s not even using anymore, been clean for weeks”

Eudora sighed. She lifted the cup of coffee from the machine and pressed it into his hands. “I can’t believe I’m saying this. But have you tried sending flowers?”

Diego grimaced. “I don’t do flowers.”

“I dated you for three years, Diego,” she said, rolling her eyes. “I know you don’t do flowers. You might want to think about changing that.”

Diego spent twenty minutes inspecting bunches of flowers at the gas station on his way home from work that night. He had never been a particularly romantic person but he was pretty sure a wilting bunch of sunflowers was not going to persuade Klaus back into his life.

He gritted his teeth and paid for his fuel before jogging across the road and into the florist opposite. He sneezed immediately, assailed by the scent of several hundred different varieties of flower. The shop was a riot of bright blooms, wrapped up in twisting ribbons and cellophane that sparkled in the light.

He glowered down at the different arrangements as he tried to decide what kind of flowers might appeal to a guy like Klaus. Eventually, a nervous looking sales assistant took pity on him, asking if his girlfriend liked roses. And was she a pink person?

He emerged with an extravagant arrangement of burgundy roses, interspersed with fronds of fern and black feathery stems which had reminded him of Klaus’s coat.

An elderly woman cooed at him as he arrived back at the gas station, and he scowled fiercely at her as he bundled them into the back of his car. Back in the drivers seat he hastily scrawled a note on the card the florist had handed him.

Klaus,
I’m sorry.
You’re my hero.
-Diego

He scrawled a kiss then hurriedly crossed it out again. Then, after a moment’s pause, he added three more. The pen broke and he growled in frustration as ink blotted the card, before giving up and stuffing it into its satiny, white envelope.

He left the flowers with a bulky looking doorman outside Viper Bar. The man had a heavily scarred face and scrutinised him as he approached.

“You Klaus’s boyfriend?” he asked, when Diego reached talking distance. “I can’t let you in.”

“Yeah, I know,” Diego handed him the flowers, holding back a grin as the stern-faced man accepted them reluctantly. “Can you just make sure he gets them?”

“I’m not a fucking courier service,” the man told him, without any real anger. He examined the feathered fronds with deep confusion.

“Thanks, man,” Diego said, walking away. He paused, something occurring to him, before looking back over his shoulder. “Did you say boyfriend?

Chapter Text

The next few days passed painfully slowly. Diego was convinced the flowers hadn’t worked. He had heard nothing from Klaus. His stomach lurched every time he thought of the note he had left for him. He pictured the man laughing at the words, reading it out to the grumpy barman… tearing it to shreds.

Alongside Chuck and Eudora, he spent a long, dull Wednesday in The Academy, which had now been forced to close as they continued to scour it for evidence. The club was divided into a bar, a dance floor and a stage. The floors were unpleasantly sticky and the paint was peeling from the walls.

Diego did his best to ignore the silver metal pole on the centre of the stage, but still found himself contending with mental images of Klaus, upside down and half naked, with his legs wrapped around its length. After a full day’s work, they found nothing more incriminating than a couple of used condoms in the corners of the grotty bathroom.

Diego called the Viper bar from the passenger seat of the cruiser when Eudora drove him home after work. He had stopped trying to hide his investment in Klaus, and in return Eudora focused steadfastly on the road, pretending not to hear his conversation. The grumpy bartender answered, but laughed when he heard Diego’s voice.

“Nice flowers, man,” said the gruff voice, rich with amusement, before the line went dead.

“Asshole,” Diego grumbled, shoving the phone back in his pocket. He wondered if Klaus had slept with the man, and his hands closed involuntarily into fists.

Eudora bit her lip, frowning, as she pulled up outside his apartment building. “At least you tried,” she offered.

“Bye, Eudora,” Diego said pointedly, climbing out of the car. He slammed the door behind him and trudged into the building. He entered the lift with his key already in his hand, pulling off his leather jacket.

When the doors slid open on his own floor, he froze. Klaus was sat cross legged on the stained, grey carpet outside his apartment.

The man had earphones in and was humming along to the music with his eyes closed.

“Klaus,” Diego said, approaching him slowly. His heart seemed to have stopped, stuttered, and then started again at double speed.

The man didn’t hear him. Raising his hands he conducted the music blasting in his ears, oblivious to the world around him.

Diego couldn’t help grinning. He crouched down and gently removed a headphone from the man’s ear. “Hi, Klaus,” he repeated, gently.

Klaus opened his eyes and regarded him steadily. He removed the other headphone and rolled the wires into a ball, before stuffing them into his pocket. He was wearing a fluffy jumper and a light, floaty pair of pants that looked suspiciously like pyjamas and hung low on his waist. His usually thick eyeliner was smudged and faded, as if he hadn’t bothered to reapply it for several days. His hair was a tousled mess, falling in light curls around his face.

The man stood up and took a neat step backwards, putting space between them as he gestured at the door. “Are you going to let me in then?”

“Yeah,” Diego dragged his eyes away from the man’s face and hurriedly turned the key in the lock.

As soon as they were through the threshold, he reached out to Klaus, grasping the man’s shoulders before he was shrugged away. The man glanced around the apartment, eyes lingering on the empty beer bottles on the coffee table and the unwashed dishes in the sink.

“I’m only here to give you this,” Klaus said. He fiddled with the hem of his jumper and extracted a crumpled brown envelope before thrusting it into Diego’s hands.

“What is it?” Diego asked, frowning. He stepped in to bridge the distance between them.

Klaus took a deep breath, refusing to meet his eye, but didn’t move away. “It’s the name you need,” he said. “The one you asked for.”

Diego stared down at the envelope in his hand, then looked back at Klaus. They were no more than a few inches away now, close enough for him to watch the way the dusk light reflected in Klaus’s green eyes.

“Anyway,” Klaus said. His gaze had dropped to Diego’s lips. He cleared his throat, eyes flickering back to the door. He reached past Diego to grasp the handle. “I’m sure you’re just dying to exact justice. I’ll leave you to it.”

Diego ripped the envelope in two. He placed the two halves on top of each other and tore again, and again, and again, shredding the paper into illegible ribbons. Klaus’s eyes widened as he watched, his hand falling from the door handle.

“Fuck that,” Diego muttered. He tossed the scraps of paper aside and lifted a hand to cup Klaus’s jaw. “Come here.”

Klaus made a low whining noise in the back of his throat, and then they were kissing. The man’s arms had wrapped immediately around Diego’s neck, and he clung to him as their mouths moved together. Diego bit down gently on the man’s bottom lip and then licked into his mouth where their tongues tangled.

“I‘m not supposed to be kissing you,” Klaus told him breathlessly, when they parted for air. He began undoing Diego’s shirt buttons. “Ben said to just give you the envelope then leave. You’re a very bad man.”

Diego grinned, running a hand through Klaus’s hair, relishing the feel of the soft curls springing apart beneath his fingers. He pressed soft kisses to the man’s forehead, his cheekbones, his jaw. “Did you like the flowers?” he asked, mouth against the man’s ear.

Klaus cold hands were suddenly under his shirt, rubbing up his chest. “Shut up,” he said, cheeks going slightly pink.

Diego complied happily, latching his lips on to the man’s throat and sucking gently. Klaus smelled like sweet perfume and cigarettes. He lavished attention on the man’s neck and fumbled at the hem of his jumper. The material was soft and fluffy against his hands. He pulled it slowly up the man’s torso, allowing himself to be pushed forcibly towards the bedroom. They stumbled for a minute in the doorframe, as Diego pulled the stretchy fabric over Klaus’s head.

Free from the jumper, Klaus’s hair was a fluffy mess. His cheeks were pink and his eyes bright. Diego lifted him by the waist and spun him around, depositing him on the bed.

“Diego?” Klaus said, watching him with dark eyes as he fell back against the pillows.

“Mm?” Diego shrugged off his open shirt before clambering on top of him.

“I’m gonna need you to fuck me now,” Klaus told him, pushing his hands under the waistband of Diego’s jeans, his fingers digging in to bare skin.

Diego lifted himself into a kneeling position, knees either side of Klaus’s thighs. The light fabric of the man’s pyjama pants was distended, the outline of his hard cock visible underneath. He ran a hand along the silky length and thumbed the slight damp patch at the head.

Klaus whimpered, and began hastily undoing Diego’s belt buckle, long fingers fumbling against the metal clasp. Diego batted his hands away impatiently and reached over to pull lube and a condom from the bedside table. He shuffled down on the bed until his face was on a level with the man’s crotch. Hooking two fingers beneath the loose waistband of the pyjama pants, he pulled the material slowly down. Klaus had propped himself up on his elbows and was watching him intently.

“You know,” the man told him, voice shaking slightly. “You don’t have to-“

He stopped talking abruptly as Diego took the head of his cock into his mouth, falling back against the pillows and biting at his fist.

Diego smirked around the man’s cock, lowering his mouth to take as much as he could. He moved too quickly and the head bumped abruptly against the back of his throat. He pulled off, trying and failing to suppress a cough.

Klaus giggled, running a hand through Diego’s hair. “You don’t do that very often do you?”

“Shut up,” Diego complained. As a matter of fact, he hadn’t done this since he was a teenager, during a drunken fumble with a friend. He moved back in regardless, fastening a hand around the hard flesh at the base of Klaus’s cock. He lavished attention on the head with his tongue, and felt an immense surge of satisfaction when Klaus began whimpering again.

“When I said I need you to fuck me now,” Klaus said slowly, words interspersed with huffing breaths. “I did mean now.”

Diego pulled back and tugged hurriedly at his belt buckle. His own cock was pressing uncomfortably against the tight denim of his jeans. He groaned in relief as he pushed the fabric down and his erection sprang free. Klaus ran his hands over the bare skin at his hips, mouth slightly open, as he stared at him. Swinging regretfully away to sit on the edge of the bed, Diego kicked the jeans off and onto the floor. He reached down to pull off his socks and then fumbled with the packaging of the condom, eventually tearing it open with his teeth. When he turned back around, Klaus had the bottle of lube in his hands and two fingers deep inside himself.

“Fuck,” Diego grumbled. He slipped the condom on and hastened to position himself between the man’s bent legs. “You don’t hang around, do you?”

Klaus pouted at him, removing his fingers as he kicked his legs into the air, resting them on Diego’s shoulders. “I did tell you to hurry up.”

“I will if you behave yourself,” Diego told him, gripping the man’s thighs and pulling him down the bed so they were pressed more firmly together.

“You’ve done this before, right?” Klaus asked.

“Yeah, ‘course,” Diego said. “…with women.”

Klaus opened his mouth to respond, but then moaned loudly instead as Diego pushed slowly inside. He reached forwards and pulled Diego down until they were pressed chest to chest, his legs sliding down his back to encircle his hips.

Diego braced himself on the bed, not wanting to crush the man, and pulled out slightly, breathing hard. Klaus was gazing at him with wide eyes and a parted mouth, and he had to close his eyes for a moment to avoid coming immediately into the tight heat.

“Fuck, Klaus,” he complained, as the man pulled at his hips impatiently.

“Are you planning on moving at all?” Klaus asked cheekily. “Or is it too much for you?”

Opening his eyes, he began a slow, rocking rhythm that caused Klaus to moan and loop his arms around his neck. The man’s fingers ran through his hair, tugging gently at the short strands. Diego leaned in and nipped at the man’s neck and Klaus made an appreciative noise before grappling for his hand and bringing it up to cup his throat. Diego squeezed gently and the man groaned beneath him.

As he increased his pace, Diego forgot about bracing himself above Klaus, falling forwards until his full weight was resting on the man. Klaus made a slight huffing noise, but preventing him from pulling away, kissing him deeply.

“Stay there,” he murmured. “S’nice.”

Diego could feel the man’s erection trapped between their stomachs. His every thrust caused him to rub forwards against it, and Klaus was beginning to make loud gasping noises every time he did so. It occurred to Diego that he really should not have expected the man to be quiet in bed. Klaus never shut up outside of the bedroom, he was bound to be noisy inside as well.

“lf you want to go harder,” Klaus told him, panting. “That’s absolutely fine.”

“Demanding, aren’t you?” Diego huffed out. He wasn’t sure how long he’d last, but obediently deepened his thrusts, pushing his hips forward in sharp staccato bursts. Every few thrusts he had to pull Klaus back down the bed towards him.

“Much better,” Klaus gasped. He caught Diego’s mouth in a kiss, fingers fastening around his neck and holding him there, with their faces millimetres apart.

Diego kissed him enthusiastically in return, pressing his tongue deep into the man’s mouth and then pulling back to bite gently at his bottom lip. He could feel Klaus’s hand moving on his cock between them, his knuckles rubbing against Diego’s stomach as he did so. Their kisses were getting increasingly messy, teeth clashing occasionally, until Klaus turned his head and bit down hard on Diego’s shoulder instead.

Diego cursed and pounded into the man, not hesitating until Klaus called out his name, and he felt the man’s release shoot up over his chest. He managed another dozen hard thrusts until Klaus clenched around him, smirking wickedly.

“Klaus,” he gasped out, hips juddering. “Fuck.”

He slammed into the man, thighs shaking, as he came. He continued to rock back and forth, wringing out his orgasm until it was almost painful. Finally, when the sensation was too much, he pulled slowly out, and crashed down onto the bed at Klaus’s side.

There was a long silence, filled only by the sounds of their heavy breathing.

“I enjoyed that,” Klaus said eventually, as if Diego might not have noticed. He was looking suddenly a little lost.

Diego pulled off the condom and flicked it into the trashcan. They were both coated in sweat and Klaus’s come was drying stickily on his chest. He pulled the covers over them regardless and dragged the man closer, wrapping an arm around him.

“Yeah,” he murmured, letting his eyes drift closed as Klaus sank into his embrace. “Me too.”

Chapter Text

Diego woke up to a light scratching sensation. Klaus was sat cross-legged on the bed next to him, wearing one of his tatty old gym shirts. He was writing something across the length of Diego’s arm in permanent marker.

“Klaus,“ Diego murmured, watching him with his eyes half open. The man seemed to glow in the morning sun, which was streaming in through the open curtains. “What’cha doin’ baby?”

Klaus set the marker down with an air of satisfaction. He nodded at the name he had written across the length of Diego’s arm. “You can’t tear that up. I want you to know.”

Diego wrapped his arms around the man’s waist, not stopping to so much as glance at the name scrawled across his skin. “Thank you,” he murmured.

He was late to work that day. When he announced he was going to take a shower Klaus seemed to take it as an invitation, immediately wriggling out of the gym shirt and following him into the bathroom.

They spent a pleasant half hour under the pounding water, which began innocently enough, with Klaus massaging shampoo into Diego’s hair. But ended with them crushed together against the tiled wall, gasping in each other’s breath in the steamy room.

Diego left the man lounging on his couch, undressed save for a small towel wrapped around his waist, water still running in slow rivulets down the contours of his chest. He leaned down to kiss him before he left, and got caught up in a wrestling match on the couch which had ended in him needing to change his pants before he was fit to be seen in public.

“Where’s my goodbye kiss?” Klaus asked, pouting, when he tried to leave the second time.

“I’m not making that mistake again,” Diego said. “You’re insatiable.”

It was nearly ten o’clock by the time he arrived at work, carrying a cardboard tray loaded with coffees and a large box of glazed ring doughnuts. He couldn’t hold back his grin as he stepped through the building’s door. Eudora was stood side by side with Chuck, hunched over the desk in his office, matching dark circles under their eyes as they pored over the same photographs that they had been staring at for weeks. She took one look at Diego and rolled her eyes.

“The flowers worked then?”

Diego rolled up his sleeve and presented his arm, with the name still scrawled across its length. He grinned.

“What am I looking at?” Chuck asked, frowning slightly.

“This is it,” Diego jabbed his finger into his own forearm. “I know who we’re looking for. This is the guy we need.”

Chuck stood up so quickly he knocked over the tray of coffees Diego had brought in with him. He stepped over and slapped him hard on the back, grinning. “You’re sure?”

“I’m sure,” Diego said. He sat himself down in Chuck’s chair and kicked his feet up onto the desk, selecting a doughnut from the box and trying not to look too pleased with himself. “I’ve got a reliable source.”

“Claude?” Chuck asked him.

“Yeah,” Diego nodded. “Claude.”

“Excellent,” Chuck clapped his hands together in satisfaction. “I’m kicking you off the case. Conflict of interests.”

Diego sat up abruptly, spluttering on his mouthful of doughnut. “But I got the name!”

“Yeah,” Chuck agreed. “By getting off with one of the suspects. Not a generally accepted method, Diego. You’d better thank Claude. If he hadn’t given you the name, I’d be firing your ass.”

Diego turned to glare at Eudora.

She raised her hands in the air defensively. “I didn’t tell him.”

Chuck scowled at both of them, though the corner of his mouth was twitching slightly. “I’m a detective. I didn’t need telling. And Diego is one of the most obvious people I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet.”

“I’m not obvious,” Diego grumbled. He pointed the remains of his doughnut aggressively at Chuck. “And I want him kept out of this. He’s helping us out here.”

Chuck met his eye and, after a moment’s hesitation, nodded. “I’ll do what I can. But tell him not to expect an invite to the Christmas party.”

 

 

Eudora and Chuck tracked the suspect down in one week, and extracted a full confession in two more. Diego remained behind his desk, reviewing cold cases and pretending to be grumpy but secretly feeling too cheerful to bear any real resentment.

Klaus had brushed off Diego’s attempts to get him to stay safely within the apartment while the search was underway. But the man appeared most nights regardless.

Diego enjoyed the nights when Klaus came straight from work and knocked on his door in the early hours, dressed in outlandish outfits and slightly tipsy from free shots. They got the handcuffs out on one of those occasions and Klaus seemed to decide that this was a good time to Talk.

“So,” the man began, tugging his wrists against the constraints binding him to the bed. He lifted a foot and pressed it against Diego’s chest, preventing him from getting on top of him. The man’s toenails were painted a soft shade of shell pink. “Is this just a sex thing?”

“Um,” Diego didn’t think Klaus could have chosen a time when there was less going on in his brain. He dragged his eyes up the splayed out body of the man below him and made a valiant effort to focus solely on his face. “What?”

“I mean,” Klaus rolled his wrists again, making the handcuffs rattle against the metal bars of Diego’s headboard. “Would you say we’re romantically involved?”

Diego grinned. He rested his hands on Klaus’s smooth thighs, resisting the urge to pull them apart. “Are you asking me to be your boyfriend?”

Klaus raised his eyebrows, but his look of disdain was undermined by a blush creeping up his neck. “I’m literally chained to your bed, Diego. Are you really going to make me ask?”

“No,” Diego leaned in and kissed him on the forehead. “You don’t need to ask.”

 

 

Their late night trysts soon evolved into entire evenings spent together, wrapped around each other, first on the sofa and then under tangled bed sheets. On more than one occasion Diego arrived back at his apartment to find Klaus already waiting outside. He began leaving a key under the mat for him.

The day he heard Eudora had succeeded in getting a confession, Diego stopped on his way home to pick up a bottle of wine and a bunch of flowers for Klaus. Gas station sunflowers this time. He wasn’t totally whipped.

He arrived home to find the door to his apartment slightly ajar. The sound of loud giggling drifted out from within. He had quickly become accustomed to Klaus’s habit of talking into mid-air, so when he pushed open the front door, he expected to find the man alone.

Eudora and Klaus were stood in the kitchen together, already halfway through a bottle of red wine. The apartment smelled strongly of garlic and a pot of pasta was bubbling on the hob. Klaus was wearing a translucent black mesh top and a pair of floaty, floral patterned pants. His hair was curling slightly from the steam, his cheeks pink as he laughed, keeping up a constant stream of chatter.

“But did he ever do that with you?” he was saying, lips stained red from the wine. “Because we were in bed last night and-“

“Oh,” Eudora noticed him standing in the doorway, stifling her laughter. “Sorry, Diego. I just came by to say thanks to Klaus.”

Diego raised an eyebrow. “I could have given him a note.”

“He’s grumpy because he doesn’t get me all to himself,” Klaus told Eudora. He turned back to Diego and looked stern. “Eudora brought us wine so I invited her to dinner.”

Diego rolled his eyes as he kicked off his shoes and threw his jacket over the back of the couch. He crossed to the kitchen and handed Klaus the flowers, kissing him on the cheek. “Of course you did.”

Eudora watched the exchange open mouthed, then took a large gulp of wine. “Christ,” she said to Klaus. “You’ve got him well trained.”

“Oh, I can give you some tips,” Klaus told her brightly, examining the flowers. “To use on Colin. The key with men is to always leave them wanting more. Diego absolutely loves it when I-”

“Colin?” Diego interrupted, “You’re still seeing the hipster nurse? I didn’t like him.”

I did,” Klaus said, picking up a large knife and beginning to hack at a bunch of basil leaves in a haphazard fashion. “He helped me decide which flowers to buy you. I might have made a move myself if I wasn’t already smitten with the unconscious cop I found in an alley. I thought he was cute.”

“Yeah? Well he thought you were nuts.” Diego removed the knife from Klaus’s hand and finished chopping the herbs. He peered into the pot, which had begun bubbling over on to the stovetop. “Why is the pasta black?”

Klaus sighed, and pushed him out of the way, poking a fork into the boiling water to separate the congealed mass within. “It’s squid ink spaghetti, Diego.”

“Of course it is,” Diego said. He wrapped his arms around the man’s waist from behind and began placing kisses on his neck.

The man relaxed into his arms and let out a soft sigh of pleasure, his head dropping back to rest on Diego’s shoulder as he twisted his neck for an awkwardly positioned kiss.

Diego ran a hand down the man’s stomach and toyed with the tassels tying his pants closed.

“Diego,” Klaus tutted. He shrugged him off. “We have company.”

The both looked around, and found they were alone in the apartment. Eudora had disappeared, closing the door behind her.

“You scared her off,” Diego told him with a grin, hauling the man in for a proper kiss.

Diego could feel the man smiling against his lips.

“What you smiling at?” he asked, their mouths still brushing together.

Klaus tightened his grip on Diego’s shoulders. “She said you nearly got fired for me. Am I worth it?”

“Yeah,” Diego cupped the man’s face in his hands, pulling back slightly to hold his gaze. “You’re worth it. You saved my life. Twice actually. I’m pretty sure Chuck would have killed me if you hadn’t given me that name.”

Klaus leaned in, close enough for his nose to brush against Diego’s. “I’d give you anything you wanted, Diego.”

Diego shook his head, pulling the man into a tight embrace, luxuriating in the feel of warm, soft skin against his own. “I only want you.”