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Dog Days

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Boss, as a guy, is kind of thin, kind of pointed. Above the waistband of his underwear and the low sag of his sweatpants, his hip bones jut out in a noticeable way. Gat would maybe call him svelte, or something, but svelte had connotations of a thinness and a plushness, too. Like velvet poured over the stages the girls walked, manicured nails tapping over the poles. 

There's nothing really plush or soft on him. He's been running on forties and gas station beef jerky sticks and the occasional combo meal of chicken bazooms. It’s been far too long for him to have any softness left, all hard angles against the shiny pole.

His body doesn't move the same like theirs, like the strippers partying with the gang downstairs, but its a good copy. A really good copy. Kind of lazy, with no finesse, head tilted back as he walks himself boneless around the pole in the tricked out office of Purgatory, one-handed. The other is hanging heavily, with very little regard to the open bottle he’s clutching; with the tilt of his body, he’s just shy of the angle that would make him pour the rest of his forty out onto the floor. The purple carpet has been in here for only a few months, and it’s already well-tred but, as of now, has just avoided being thoroughly trashed.

Johnny sips at his lukewarm beer. Boss's off-white tank top is pulled up, bunched up to his armpits, staying up due to the adhesive power of sweat alone. Dark pit stains down the sides.

It's late summer, and the AC is broken, and they're bored. What else is there to do, but drink? Even if the air conditioning isn't working, it's still cooler twenty feet under the city than it is on the surface where everyone is cooking sunny side up on the pavement. More money than they’d ever seen in their lives was poured into Purgatory, and here they were, like they were still living back at the church. Except, at least the church had a window unit they could stand in front of, vying for real estate in front of the tepid air blowing out the fan.

Boss tries to haul himself up on the pole again; he keeps trying to jump up, wrap his legs around, and then he keeps slipping down, ankle bones clattering against the metal with promises of bruising. His arm strains, flexes. Some liquor sloshes from his bottle, swallowed up in the color of the carpeting.

Gat hides his smile behind the mouth of his bottle. “You know, it’d be easier if you had two hands.”

“Oh, fuck off.” Boss drawls, just as he pulls the bottle up to his mouth. Throat working, he chugs the rest for “One, two, three, five, eighteen, sixty-nine,” seconds that Gat nonsensically counts down aloud, his shit-eating grin widening as Boss’ brows furrow in irritation. 

If he had the hands free, there’s no doubt he’d be flicking him off. It doesn’t take long, though. Can’t handle his loa, but alcohol in genuinely impressive quantities has always been fine. Some of it spills from the corner of his lips at the end, and he wipes it off with his forearm and whips the entire bottle through the open-air window of the office, behind the pole, in one quick motion— there’s a faint scream that coincides with the glass shattering a floor below.

Gat chuckles, “Asshole.”

“Aw,” Boss deadpans as he resumes his slow walk around the pole, still only using one arm. His throat works, and he hiccups out a wet belch, flinching as he does so. “You love it.”

The corners of Johnny’s lips twitch, falter. “Yeah,” But then he’s grinning easily again, his sunglasses slipping down the bridge of his nose. "So, you ever actually going to get up that thing? Or you just gonna keep dicking around?" Gat asks. 

Boss frowns, and stares at the pole, quietly reassessing. He takes a step back. 

Throwing his arms over his head, Boss’ back audibly cracks, his shoulders rolling animatedly to a new set of popping creaks and snaps of his joints. He throws his tank top to the ground. Gat isn't sure he's going to do it, but then his arms swing down, and immediately he's hooking his fingers into the band of his sweatpants, shoving them down in one go. 

They pool around his feet, and he stumbles out of them. Catching himself on the pole, he uses the momentum to swing around it. Boss is wearing boxer-briefs— saints purple, like always— the kind that cling to his ass and frame his package. And they're cut high, shorter than short, so his thighs are practically bare except for the thin patches of wiry hair that dust up and disappear under the leg of his underwear.

Now with both hands, and bare thighs, he suddenly grips the pole and hauls himself up, more firefighter than dancer; Gat laughs, but he still watches unabashedly, the way Boss's arms flex and tremble, the sight of the brass between his flushed thighs. He holds on tight, so that his entire body is wrapped around the pole. 

It looks cold, if Boss' nipples are any indication, pert and pierced with gold.

"You think I can let go?" Boss asks, his elbows bending outward, flapping them in and out against his body. “Like. Just use the strength of my legs?”

Gat laughs again, "Yeah." He shrugs, gestures with his bottle, "And if not, I can drive you to the hospital. I've only had, what, five beers." He says wryly. As if they’d ever go within fifty feet of a hospital, unless they were bleeding out, half-dead.

Boss' grin is wolfish. He lets his arm extend fully, but slowly, unzipping his spine by the vertebrae, unfurling his body. His fingers go, one by one, until it’s just his pointer against the metal, thighs tensing— there’s a second that Johnny thinks he’s going to fall and crack his skull open. But Boss’ last two fingers peel off of the metal, and he lets go entirely. It takes a moment for him to adjust, his ankles crossed, thighs flexed. His back arches, his stomach goes concave, hanging mid-way down the pole by the trembling strength of his thighs alone.

Gat puts two pinkies to his mouth and whistles loud and long, echoing against the high ceilings.

Boss stretches his arms out, fingers wiggling. "Look ma, no hands!"

Gat’s grin spreads. He can feel his face heating up, laughing under his breath, hiding his smile behind a swig. "Alright. Now how long can you hold that?"

"Not long," Boss’ voice is definitely strained, that clipped tone he takes when he's been running from the cops but is trying to play it cool. His face is ruddy, his tiny little pony tail hanging upside down. Playa’s always been vain, but ever since he took the helm of the Saints, the influx of money has taken it to other heights; the patterns shaved into the sides of his head are complex and need upkeep every week or so. "But I think I'm fuckin' stuck with sweat. I'm gonna peel my skin off if I try and move my legs."

"You need help?"

"Nah." Boss answers too-quick, tries to lean up— curling his body, abdominals shaking— and when he swipes his hand toward the pole, to pull himself up, he's an inch too short. He would have to curl up more, but there's no way, with the way he's already shaking, he has the core strength to do that. He sucks in a shaking breath, tries it again. He flops back, upside down, hanging limper than before. "Yeah, maybe.” He admits. “Fuck it."

Gat sets his drink down and stands. The head-rush from the alcohol and the heat clinging tight to his wifebeater staggers him, just a slight stumble, and he has to steady himself on the arm rest on the chair as Boss sweats and trembles from the pole. 

“You alright?” Boss asks, voice a little tight from the effort of staying upright.

“Yeah,” Gat brushes it off, shakes his head. His knee throbs a little with his first step. “You remember last time it was this hot?”

“Never been this hot.”

“Yeah it has. It was a few years ago. We were back at the church.”

This close, Boss smells like cheap beer, stale sweat and mall-kiosk cologne. Johnny presses a clammy palm to Boss’ sweaty back and pushes him up, until he’s sitting up far enough that he can lunge for the pole. 

“Oh, yeah,” Boss wheezes a little. His stamina was better when he was out helping Legal Lee, taking skinned knees and bruised ribs diving under fenders over on 295. It feels like a century since either of them had anything that hands-on to do. He manages to grasp onto the pole, though, before his legs lose all their strength and he falls hard on his tailbone. “Your ass was always in front of the fan. Never shared it, neither.”

“You never asked.” Gat points out. Boss cracks a grin. Even after he’s safely anchored, Gat keeps his hand on his back. Lets it slide down, tracing the slide of the sweat slicking down, pooling in the exaggerated concave of his lower back.

Beyond him, it’s just open air, no safety rails or glass to encase the office; there are a few bangers downstairs, a few girls dancing, but nobody is hanging out on the second floor, so Gat can only assume they can’t see Boss or him. He can hear Kish from KRhyme on the radio downstairs, tinny and far away.

“You good?” Johnny asks, nails scratching against his skin. He’s much tanner than Gat, heavily tattooed, though some of the lines have started to blur with time and scars. Johnny runs his fingers across an older one, some blurry stick and poke fleur-de-lis nestled almost forgotten in a tangle of flourishing cursive script. Boss shivers under his touch.

“Yeah.” Boss sounds hoarse. The first time Gat heard him talk in a year plus, with a face that wasn’t even really his, he spoke like that. Trying to shore up strength behind the wreckage, raw from the energy and effort of being actually alive after months, years straight in a coma. Gat’s hand trails off, hesitant to leave the warmth of his body, sticky as it is under his fingers.

 Boss loosens the grip of his thighs. He slides down he pole, into a crouch, though the way he does it, it looks more like a squat. Less stripper, more addled homeless wandering in from the old city ruins behind the doors of Purgatory, here to take a loa-strained shit on the carpet. There’s no finesse to his movements, no softness, still, even swaddled with alcohol. It’s all jerking movements, hips twitching as he arches up and grinds his groin against the pole.

It’s almost funny. It should be funny, crude and crass, but Gat’s eyes are pulled downwards. Boss is hard; almost comically so, grinding against the unflinching metal, sweat-slicked and shining.

Gat wants to go back to his seat, but he doesn’t want to take his eyes off of Boss, off of Playa, twirling like an artificial slice of pie behind the diner counter. He can see the outline of his cock in those purple briefs, so tight he can see the very precise outline of his head as he drags himself up it. When Gat’s eyes flit up, they meet Boss’ gaze. Watching Gat unapologetically stare. 

For some reason, it still feels embarrassing to get caught. Even though its been months since. It’s late summer now. Like the weather is giving one last final surge before fall sweeps them all up in its embrace. Purgatory is just only a few months old, in its full glory. Carlos and Aisha never got to see the Saint of all Saints but, Dane Vogel did, go figure. They’re all dead now, though Gat’s pretty sure they ended up in different places. It’s about as hot as hell in here. Boss’ hips sway, jerk side-to-side, as he rounds the stripper pole.

“Johnny.”

He says it slow like that, with too many syllables, loud enough to grab his full attention again. 

Gat swallows, finally answers, “What?”

Boss picks up the pace around the pole, jumping to grip at it again with his thighs; he circles down and around, as smooth as can be. Gat feels like there should be more resistance, given the hair on Boss’ thighs, but then again, there’s enough sweat dripping down. It’s hot and humid, has been all day, all night, perpetually this entire month of September. Suspended in this eternal summer, with everyone wondering when it’s going to end. 

He doesn’t realize he’s been backing away from the pole, and Boss, until the backs of his knees hit his armchair. He sits back heavy and sinks boneless into the purple plush, until it swallows him up, the decadent fabric and the hard, imposing arms of the chair rising at his sides. His skin pricks with sweat again as soon as it collides with the velvet of the chair. He doesn’t take his eyes off of Boss.

“Wish I had some cash to throw,” Johnny muses, more to himself, though he catches a grin on Boss’ face as he undulates. 

Boss spins around, his feet touching the ground, body unfurling away until he’s only just touching the pole with one hand. He twirls around it, once, then lets go, hop-skipping his way off of the platform.

Boss approaches Gat with less of a hips-swinging sexiness, and more of a prowl. Languidly making his way over, but there’s a house cat hunger underneath his heavy lids as he slinks up to Gat, stopping only when he’s standing with his leg touching the chair, the spot between Gat’s own. Gat shifts, spreads his legs further. He doesn’t break eye contact, but he does take the last sip of his beer, runs a hand absently down his pinstripe pant leg.

Boss leans in, cages Gat with his hands on either armrest. Presses his thigh inward, upward, rubbing warm against the inside of Gat’s own thigh, close to his groin. Johnny’s mouth goes dry.

Boss’ eyes flit down to the bottle loosely held in Gat’s grip. His eyebrows shoot up. “You finished?”

“Yeah, sure.” Gat croaks.

Boss plucks it from his hands— makes sure it’s completely finished by tilting the bottle back into his mouth, though he’s sure anything left is mostly backwash— and then flings it haphazardly over his head. This throw doesn’t clear the open space, instead crashing into the walls, plinking loudly down the eccentric baseboarding and onto the floor. Like all things Boss does, he dives in without much ado; the arms to either side of him slide up the armchair, around to Gat’s shoulders as he clambers atop his lap, his thighs going to either side.

Boss reaches for Johnny’s sunglasses, but he bats his hands away and grabs them himself; Boss doesn’t wear glasses, so he always smudges them when he pulls them off, ham-handedly holding onto them by the lenses, bending the arms. But it’s always better to take them off now, before Boss manages to crush them with his own face, accidentally fling them somewhere in the moment. He folds them up careful and sets them onto the armrests, even as Boss starts to grind his ass down against his lap.

Gat exhales a shaky chuckle. Boss’ arms wrap around, a hand settling warm against the back of his neck, scraping his nails against the nape. His hips swivel, dip and drag as he grinds down. He knows Boss can feel him half-hard in his slacks, especially when he cants his own hips upward, chasing the fleeting friction.

“Where’d you learn this, huh?” Gat asks idly, reaching out to pinch one of Boss’ nipples, twist it and the body-warmed barbell between his fingers. Boss sucks in the tiniest of gasps. “You were hitting the books every time we went out to Tee n’ Ay?”

“It ain’t hard.” He replies, a little mush-mouthed already, distractingly aroused, “It’s jussst...” The word trails off in a hiss as Gat pinches hard, and Boss’ body lurches against him, arching into the touch. Johnny can feel himself twitch in his pants, jerking into the junction of Boss’ thighs.

“Just what?”

“Just nothing.”

“Yeah?”

“Fuck you,” Boss spits, weakly, for lack of a response.

Gat grins, flushed. “Maybe.”

Johnny thinks he’s witty. He’s always made Aisha laugh, and he can make Boss do the same, an ungainly cackle though it dissolves into a moan as Gat tugs on his nipple again. Boss rolls his hips, grinds his ass down against Johnny’s lap. A surge of arousal spikes through him; he can feel Boss shift his weight, careful not to put too much pressure on his bad leg as he leans in and crushes their mouths together. He’s never careful, neither of them are, so it strikes him anew every time he does it: Boss carefully shifting himself so as not to jostle his leg. His fingers hard, groping points against his chest, his sides that suddenly ease and flutter over the tender, still-healing sword scar through his gut. 

The first time he did it, it was easier to get mad. Gat stormed out. He wasn’t something fragile, still the acting second-in-command of the Saints, despite the jabs on Pierce vying for his title.

The next time they came together, Boss threw his weight around. Johnny popped a stitch. Blood smeared on his stomach, and when Boss pulled back he instantly traveled six years back, clamming up mum. And that hurt more than the haphazard drive to Amberbrook with Boss tight lipped behind the wheel, and Dr. Lucas’ irritated re-stitching of his wound in the back of her office.

“Fuck,” Gat mumbles against his lips, sucks the bottom one into his mouth just to hear Boss moan. He’s lost any little coordination he previously had, mostly writhing on his lap as opposed to a controlled grind. 

“Johnny,“ Boss reaches up, runs his fingers through Gat’s gel-hardened hair, runs his nails against his scalp in a way that makes him shiver. “Johnny—“ He seems distracted, overwhelmed with the possibility of things he can do with Johnny Gat under him, suddenly sucking on his tongue for one moment, grinds his hips again the next— pulls back with his hands on Johnny’s shoulders, dark eyes staring down, exhaling a stream of air, “Fuck.”

Johnny’s breath catches in his throat as Boss’ slides his hand up Gat’s neck, smooths over his tattoos, up to his jaw. Tilting his head back, Gat lets himself be manhandled, Boss’ thumb rubbing over the pulse point under his jaw. “Your best speech yet,” Gat quips, flushing as Boss rolls his eyes.

“Shut up.” Boss says it so fondly it makes Gat’s teeth hurt, his face cupped in his hands.

Boss kisses him hard, grips his face even harder, all teeth and lips and tongue. And that shuts Gat up, because even if he could form any words, Boss swallows them all like they’re the only sustenance he needs. His hands slide down Boss’ ribs, his waist; he tries to slip his fingers beneath the band of his underwear, but it’s sticking fast to his skin in the heat, adhesive via sweat. Johnny has to scrape his nails down, bunch the band up to catch the fabric— and by that point, in his ham-fisted pawing, Boss’ underwear is halfway down, so he lifts up his ass and Gat just continues the motion to pull his briefs fully down his thighs.

Boss slides his hands over Johnny’s, lifts and shifts his legs— he only knows by the feel of his hands on Boss’ body, the way Boss moves over his lap, because his own face is fully occupied with kissing— and by the time Boss is pulling away with a gasp, his underwear is gone. Somewhere unknown, probably for some poor wannabe banger to find later on, but that’s the last thing on Johnny’s mind.

“Johnny,” Boss moans, somewhere near his cheekbone, arches his hips. His cock bobs as he thrusts forward, just brushing against the front of his shirt, leaving a smear of wetness in its wake. Gat fumbles with his belt, his buttons and fly; he pulls out his cock, achingly hard, too hard to think straight, too distractedly hard to ask Boss to get his ass up so he can drop his own pants. Then again, they’re sitting in the middle of the open-door office, so maybe he doesn’t want to be completely naked from the waist down. Boss, Boss couldn’t give less of a fuck; he never did, not about things like this. What was some low-level going to do? Point and laugh? Like they haven’t seen him dismantle rival gang members with a chainsaw, painting his wild-eyed grimace with blood and viscera?

Boss is already stroking himself, quick, jerking movements. Gat pants, staccato, and when he realizes how heavy he’s breathing he forgets entirely how. 

“Man, c’mon. Boss...” Gat’s voice is strangled and foreign in his own ears.

Boss lets go of himself, swiping his palm over the head of his own cock to collect the precum beading there, and then spits in his hand for good measure; he cants his hips, shifts so that their dicks are touching and takes them both in hand, smearing his makeshift lubricant down. Boss’ hands move in time with Johnny’s heart beat. Boss’ cock is hot against his, nudging up against the underside of Johnny’s head with every slick stroke.

His breathing is loud in his ears, echoing in his head; Johnny wishes it wasn’t, because he’d rather listen to Boss, the soft sounds he makes pressing his face to his neck, the wet slide as he jerks them off. He was quiet for so long in life, and then the near-death of his coma, and now that he’s here again— every noise that comes from Boss’ throat feels like an eruption of sound. 

Johnny could hear Boss whisper in the middle of the Ultor dome during a good season home game. He can’t ever fucking stop talking now and Johnny would still listen to him talk until the end of time. He grabs the back of Boss’ neck, pulls him forward, their foreheads crashing together. Boss shudders, squeezes, stroking at a punishing pace, almost too fast, Johnny twitching into his grasp.

“Fuck!” Boss moans, lips to Gat’s cheekbone, open-mouthed. They don’t last long, sharing each other’s air; Johnny feels his fingernails bite into the nape of Boss’ neck, hard enough to mark, groaning out his release.

His ears are ringing, all heartbeat and their heavy, off-sync breathing. The heat of the room comes rushing cloyingly in, and Boss clambers sweaty and shambling off Johnny’s lap, tripping over the underwear caught at his ankles. “Fuck!” Boss swears, preemptively answering Johnny’s unasked question of where those had ended up.

“Christ.” Is all Johnny can reply, throwing his arm over his eye. He’s exhausted. He’s surely sweat a gallon of sweat in this chair. They’re going to have to bronze it, or torch it, or both. “Fuck. Playa—“ He waves just his hand, still leaving his arm draped over his face. His forehead feels slick. “Shii-it.” He exhales.

“Yeah.” He mumbles back, inferring from the vague hand movements, “Gimme a second, man.”

“Alright.”  

Decency isn’t a word in Boss’ vocabulary, but he does stand away from the open window to collect his discarded clothes in some sort of attempt at modesty, instead of presenting himself for the gang down below. He cleans himself up with his tank top, and then throws it to Gat, who does the same. They’ll throw it away after. It’s not like they don’t have the money for new clothes. Boss could use twenties, hundreds as cum rags, if he wanted. (Did, actually, until he got a paper cut, and then Johnny was the one who got to rag on him and his sore dick about hepatitis.)

Johnny glances up. Boss has his arms thrown above his head, finger-combing through his hair before he ties it back up— Johnny tries to be subtle about it, reaching for his glasses, his gaze flicking back and forth. Just watching his body move as he stretches, bones and muscle under the seams, the ink over his skin. When Boss meets his gaze, he doesn’t look away this time, meets his drowsy expression with a crooked grin.

“Yeah?” Boss mumbles lowly, eyebrows raising. Gat feels it in his chest, the way Boss looks, the way he’s looking back at him. 

“Yeah.” Gat replies.  

It’s still too hot, six, eight, twenty feet underground, or however far down Purgatory is. Hotter still now that they’ve fogged up the office. So they change and resolve to go out. The Saints— Boss— has a dock or two, and he’s not fond of boats but jet skis are fine by him. They could make it to the University docks in less than an hour. 

It’s a short lived plan. That’s why Gat never likes making them. The elevator rises and they can hear it, first, a steady patter that reflexively makes them both reach for their waistbands, even though it sounds nothing like gunfire. But when the elevator jolts to the top with a ring, the door parts and its pouring, soaking rain out, steam rising off the pavement. Boss laughs in his ear, clamps both hands on Johnny’s shoulders. He uses him as leverage to bound past him, but he’s steady and solid under Boss’ grip.

Johnny stands underneath the Purgatory awning. He spins around once in the parking lot, laughs and turns to Johnny with his arms splayed out. Already, his clothes are darkening as the rain comes down, rivulets of water sliding down his face, water dripping off his nose.

“Small miracles, right?” He shouts.

Johnny smirks. “Yeah,” He almost believes it. “Something like that.”