The only possibly good thing about having your show cancelled was the party you got to throw afterwards, on the network's dollar. It meant being able to consume a vast assortment of alcoholic beverages and cry a lot of tears on a lot of shoulders before saying goodbye.
In Alan's case, it meant heading to Nathan's house afterwards for more beers and a drunken Halo tournament. Eventually, Nathan's brilliant plan to shoot at everything that moved failed miserably because their aim was fucked. But they could still drink, and they could still trash talk.
"See, I still think Wash could've been a good captain," Alan was saying. "No, hear me out," he insisted over Nathan's scoff. "We could've gone exploring. See the sights, the stars. More 'brave new world' and less 'hey, everybody, let's all die over a herd of cattle.'"
"Ahhh, and what's that?" Nathan tilted his head up and inhaled deeply through the nose. "Oh yes - that would be the sweet smell of starvation--"
"The scary as fuck view up your nostrils, more like," Alan told him.
"--'cause how would we pay for these little journeys we'd be taking?" Nathan rapped his bottle affectionately against Alan's fingers.
"Well, this is the genius part of it," Alan said. He leaned forward and raised his eyebrows. "How come we never got into the drug trade, huh?"
"'Cause Fox isn't HBO?" Nathan guessed.
"Exactly," Alan said, toasting Nathan. "Another reason to fuck Fox, 'cause the drugs are where it's at, my man."
"Aww," Nathan drawled sweetly. "It'd be just like high school again for you."
Alan held up his middle finger without looking at Nathan, and drank from his bottle. Neither of them said anything for some time, and it seemed that silence would lead nowhere good at a time like this. Especially not when there was beer involved.
"Hey," Nathan said softly, and Alan glanced over at him, looking, he knew, like he was thinking of crying. "Hey!" Nathan said, a bit more sharply. "We're not thinking about this tonight. This party is for merriment, and for drunken Halo only." He held up a warning finger. "You wanna cry in your beer, do it on your own time. Also," he tilted his head, "you thinking of crying makes me think of crying."
"So we're gonna keep on doing this, yeah?" Alan asked, swirling the bottle thoughtfully from the neck. "Halo, getting together, hanging out?"
He wasn't really looking Nathan's way, so Nathan made a show of sighing and rolling his eyes before he answered. "Al, you're like, number three on my speed-dial." He counted off on his fingers. "I've got Mom, Fire Department, You."
Alan made a noise of protest, putting a hand over his heart. "I'm number three?" he asked indignantly. "You're number one on my speed-dial!" He shook his head. "I don't see how this can possibly work between us. It's like you just told me I'm only your third best friend."
"You are," Nathan nodded. "After my mom and the fire department."
Alan threw up a hand, palm facing Nathan, and turned his head away. "It's too late," he said. "There's no trying to save it now."
Nathan ignored him. "Of course we're gonna keep doing this," he said, then paused before taking a sip from his bottle. "Possibly with less drinking in the future." He had to tip the bottle further back than he'd expected to drink, and when he glanced down at the liquid level, found he'd drained it. He rooted around behind him for a fresh bottle and saved the appreciative sigh for until he'd opened it and had another cold swallow.
"Well, just a bit less drinking," Alan agreed. "I mean, we can't get our show cancelled every weekend."
"But we can still play every weekend, is my point," Nathan went on. "And then our weekly Halo sessions will turn into nightly Halo sessions--"
"Hey, some of us are gonna have work--" Alan said.
"No, no, this is about me," Nathan held up a finger. "There will be no work. There will only be Halo." He lowered his hand and continued. "And then, after we've alienated our significant others and been reduced to--"
"We're having significant others, now?"
"Me," Nathan said. "Been reduced to sitting in our own filth," he went on, "sticky fingers clinging desperately to--"
"Our dicks?" Alan suggested.
"--the controls, molding them to the shape of our hands... then, and only then, will you move up to number one on my speed dial. Wanna go again?" he asked Alan, nodding towards the TV screen.
"In a bit." Alan took a huge swig from his bottle and swallowed it carefully. "I wanna wait 'til I can feel my thumbs again to be sure."
"Really? You don't sound too bad," Nathan observed.
"Well, you sound completely wasted," Alan said.
"Your pants haven't even come off yet." Nathan patted Alan's shoulder, only a little clumsily. "You're doing way better than most nights."
Alan glanced over at Nathan, not buying the act. "Hey," he said gently. "Hey, you'll get work." When Nathan tossed his head dismissively, Alan sat up straighter and gripped Nathan's bicep. "What, you don't think you'll get another pilot deal? You'll have your own show again, just like Firefly." Nathan gave him a bleak, knowing look. "Or," Alan amended, "longer lasting than Firefly, at least. You'll be Mal in sitcom form, for, like, twelve years, making a million an episode down the line."
Nathan snickered. "I'd be Inara in sitcom form for a million an episode," he told Alan.
"You'd be Inara in sitcom form for three bucks and a soda cracker," Alan said. "And I," he sighed, holding his bottle up in front of him like it was a crystal ball. "I will get a role where I'm not the sensitive gay character." He took a swig, then tilted his head back to watch Nathan.
"Yeah, I don't know why they keep thinking you can pull that off," Nathan said, bottle poised to his mouth for a sip. "You're the least sensitive gay character I know." He glanced at Alan through lowered eyelids, fluttering his lashes as he drank.
"You saying you didn't buy my heterosexual love for Zoe?" Alan turned to face Nathan more fully. "No, seriously, I ask because I'm interested."
"Buy it?" Nathan sniffed. "Mal was totally jealous. Of you and your..."
"Hairy chest, yes," Nathan said, nodding. "Wanted to be Zoe, more than once. Sometimes, Mal would put on a tight leather vest when he was alone in his bunk and have some sweet, sweet fantasies."
"Ooh," Alan raised his eyebrows, sidling closer. "Tell me more."
Nathan shook his head. "Nope," he said. "That's it." Alan was so close that he had to wedge his arm between the two of them to drink this time. When Alan didn't back down, Nathan pursed his lips. "Al," he said.
"What?" Alan asked innocently. "I'm listening, I'm interested. This drinking thing is giving me all sorts of ideas."
"Alan, I'm not--"
"I know," Alan said in a low voice, watching Nathan carefully. "That's why it's funny," he explained slowly, like Nathan needed it spelled out.
"--as straight as you think," Nathan said.
Alan blinked, easing off a bit. "You're--" his mouth twitched into the beginnings of a smile, or a laugh, which looked like the same thing. "You're drunk," he declared.
Nathan widened his eyes. "Well, yeah." He shrugged, looking down. "But the other thing is true, too."
"You just never thought to mention it before," Alan said flatly.
"It wasn't important before."
"But it is now?" Alan moved away like he was going to stand up.
"Well, you were kind of hitting on me," Nathan's voice rose as he, too, got to his knees. "So I thought you might like to know."
"Why," Alan said hotly, "because you thought something could--" Nathan stared at him pointedly, and he cut off. Alan snorted in disbelief, his shoulders slumping with realization. "Oh, you'd better bump me up to number one after this," he said, shaking his head as he sat back down.
"After this?" Nathan smiled at that. "There's gonna be a this?"
"Hey," Alan gestured to himself. "Good lookin' guy comes on to me, I gotta ask myself, am I gonna look a gift horse in the mouth?"
Nathan gazed at him for a long moment before finally breaking into a grin. "So, you're saying I'm good looking?"
Alan rolled his eyes. "Number one on your speed dial," he said emphatically.
"I'll think about it," Nathan said, leaning in until they met in the middle.
"I'll want that in writing," Alan murmured, setting aside his bottle without looking as Nathan kissed him, awfully confidently for a guy he'd thought was straight five minutes ago. Nathan was a pretty good kisser, which Alan knew from having seen his on-screen kisses, but Nathan also didn't slip in the tongue right away, which made Alan think he maybe wasn't so interested in this after all.
It turned out he was just getting started, though, because after pulling back for a quick breather, Nathan brought his hands up between them, cupping Alan's face, and kissed him again, gently tasting him. Then not so gently. Their noses collided awkwardly, teeth clashing more than once, as they rearranged themselves to face one another more fully. Alan's back was to the sofa and Nathan was trying to push him further into it. "Wait," Alan said, putting up an arm to keep them apart for a moment. He was aware that he had to take several breaths before he could get the word out. "Can't go back further," he finally pointed out, jerking a thumb over his shoulder.
Nathan looked where Alan was pointing. "Oh," he said, just as breathlessly as Alan had been. He nodded his understanding. "Floor's okay?"
"Yeah," Alan said.
"Great--" And when Nathan reached out for him again, Alan tackled him, rolling them so that Alan was on top.
Nathan caught on quickly, barking a laugh like he got the joke before pulling Alan down for another kiss. He freed a hand from somewhere to topple a few throw pillows from the sofa, and Alan worked his way down Nathan's body, then inside of Nathan's crew-necked shirt, pushing it up to his armpits. Alan mouthed the smooth skin over Nathan's ribcage, and Nathan arched up into the touch, breathing harshly, fingers clutching at Alan's beltloops.
A little more squirming got Nathan's shirt off the rest of the way, then Alan's button-down, and then Alan was straddling Nathan's waist, propped up on his elbows with Nathan's hands roaming up and down his sides. Alan let Nathan continue to take the lead with the kissing, in part because it was good, and in part because he wasn't willing to give up control anywhere else. Nathan worked one hand down between them, bucking up at the same time that he groped at Alan. "I have lube," he said, using both hands now, to unfasten Alan's belt. "K-Y, in the bathroom. Do you have any--"
"Yeah," Alan muttered against Nathan's neck. Condoms, yeah, he had those, though he wondered, as he fumbled with Nathan's button-fly, if what he wanted more was to fuck Nathan or suck him off. He could always do both, but these things took some planning and he wasn't thinking entirely clearly at the moment. "Is that what you want?" he asked, reaching inside Nathan's underwear for Nathan's cock, giving a few short tugs and enjoying the groan he got in response.
Nathan nodded with his head tilted back against the carpeting. "Yeah," he said, his eyes closed. "Oh, yeah." His eyes flew open. "I'm gonna," he breathed, "get the, um." He gestured weakly behind him.
"All right," Alan said, releasing him, and Nathan wriggled sideways to get out from under Alan, getting to his feet while holding his jeans on with one hand. While Nathan jogged off to the bathroom, Alan got his pants off the rest of the way and rummaged through his things for a condom. He didn't open it and put it on right away, just set it aside, and waited for Nathan to return.
When Nathan did return, he was fully nude, a little more together, and brandishing the K-Y triumphantly. His gaze dropped to the condom wrapper Alan had retrieved. "Just the one?" he smirked, raising his eyebrows.
"Just one at a time," Alan corrected him, as Nathan dropped to his knees and sat back. "We can cross the next bridge when we get to it," he added against Nathan's mouth, when Nathan had laid back down beneath him.
"I don't know, I'm pretty drunk," Nathan said, returning the kiss. "I might pass out before we get there. What are you-- oh," he muttered, as Alan began to kiss his way down Nathan's body.
"How long's it been for you?" Alan asked, kissing that same spot that had made Nathan so happy earlier.
"Uh," Nathan threaded his fingers through Alan's hair, "kinda," he traced a hand down Alan's chest as far as he could reach. "Kinda never."
Alan pulled back from his position right around Nathan's belly-button just enough to shake his head. "That's all right," he whispered, mouth hovering over Nathan's cock as he reached out for the tube of K-Y. He tongued the head while he got the lid off, dousing his fingers and then putting the tube aside so he could get a grip on more important things. Sex made Nathan quiet and this was a good thing, good for concentration, for focusing on how far down on Nathan Alan could comfortably go, or how soon Nathan got used to having a finger up his ass.
Alan got up to two fingers inside and a hard, steady sucking rhythm on Nathan's cock before Nathan brought a knee up and came with a hoarse cry. Alan swallowed quickly, adding another finger for good measure, before he pulled out entirely and reached for the condom.
"Jesus fuck," Nathan gasped, thumping his head back onto the throw pillow he'd set down. "I'm like, done."
"Well, I'm not. A little help here?" Alan asked, tearing the condom package skillfully with his teeth. He rolled it on and lined himself up. "Lift your hips a little," he said. "Maybe we should put a pillow under--"
"I got it," Nathan slurred, reaching over and grabbing one to place beneath his hips, and Alan pushed in, slowly and steadily. Nathan winced, once, and Alan paused to make sure they were all on board with him continuing.
"Everything okay?" he asked, when his hips met Nathan's thighs.
"I'm fine," Nathan said, blinking rapidly, his expression only slightly strained as Alan began to move. It hadn't been a long time for Alan, but he'd been turned on for a while, and feeling Nathan slowly open up to him, arms stretched out above him as he rocked his hips in time with Alan's thrusts, brought Alan quickly to the edge. Nathan's mouth fell open in pleasure, and Alan kissed him, reaching his own orgasm in a few short thrusts.
They fell apart, gasping, and Alan tossed aside a throw cushion he randomly encountered when he rolled over. "Well, Jesus fuck," he said, mimicking Nathan, and Nathan began to chuckle. They both laughed a bit, nervous, as their breathing slowed to normal.
"That Zoe's a lucky, lucky woman," Nathan finally said, satisfaction lacing his words as he folded his arms behind his head.
"She's married to the best," Alan agreed. "So... is this gonna be part of our Halo weekends?"
Nathan turned his head to look at Alan. "You want it to be?" Before Alan could respond, he added, "number one, you said? On the speed-dial?" he mimed reaching behind him for an imaginary cell phone.
"Hey, you make it happen," Alan pointed, "and it's a deal."
"It's a deal," Nathan agreed. A slow grin spread over his face. "That nightly Halo thing isn't looking like such a bad idea, now, is it?"