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baby, take a ride with me

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“I can’t believe Thomas left us. Well, he left you,” John says, watching his feet kick back and forth as he sits on a table. “Your husband is a dick.”

“Hey,” James scolds, while tapping away at his phone. Most likely relaying a similar message to Thomas. John rolls his eyes. Hypocrite.

“Did you get your things?”

John pats the messenger bag next to him. “Yes. I grabbed it when my shift actually ended. You know, over an hour ago.”

James frowns, looking at the bag and then John. “Oh, that’s right.”

“Yeah, that’s right.”

Thomas and James had come to the circulation desk at the library to both pick up materials they had on hold for their respective classes and to meet John for the end of his shift. Then he and James had begun an argument. As usual it was over something benign.

This time it was over the next book James would be teaching his class. It started with a disagreement over the ending, then to the moral ambiguity of one of the main characters. John had quoted something and James insisted they look it up in the book. This had gone on, back and forth, in a full on debate until James stopped suddenly. He looked around. “Where’s Thomas?”

But Thomas, as they now know, had left. John can’t blame the man. In fact he thinks it’s brilliant that Thomas just fucking left without attempting to get them to stop. They have John’s car, at least. Which, if he understands Thomas Hamilton at all, is another part of the punishment.

John smiles brightly at James, draping his arm over his shoulder. He leers at James’ profile. “I guess this means that you get the joy of being inside Betsy tonight.”

James groans. “Do not phrase it that way.”

The car park is mostly empty, so even though employees are meant to park in the back of the lot, Betsy is already visible.

“God, I hate that car.”

“Oh, come on,” John says, removing his arm from around James. “She isn’t that bad.”

The harsh light shining above the car does not help John’s case at all. In fact it seems to highlight everything that’s wrong with it.

James makes sure to level John with a flat, unimpressed look. “No, she’s worse.”

John pouts. He knows that James isn’t wrong. He does. Betsy is truly a terrible little car. Sometimes the engine stalls, she’s rusting in spots, and the lock doesn’t always cooperate. In fact, he’d be better off getting a steering wheel lock than actually locking the car. Not that anyone would want to steal her. He knows Betsy is a piece of shit, but he’s rather fond of her.

“The oil’s been changed recently,” John reminds James as they approach the car.

“Oh, that’s good. No longer smells like it’s about to combust?”

“I really don’t think combustion was ever a possibility.”

“Thomas had thought otherwise.”

John snorts. “Yes, well, Thomas exaggerates.”

He knows the look that James is giving him without even having to turn-- he can practically hear the raise of his eyebrows. It’s a look that seems to say, Oh? Please tell me more about your opinions on my husband.

It takes John by surprise when James slides his hand into his and says, “Thomas would have been upset, too, had something happened to the car with you in it.”

John’s step falters.

They’ve drifted into uncomfortable, potentially serious, waters with that comment. James seems to understand this going by the reassuring squeeze he gives John’s hand.

John has hinted, subtly of course, that he wouldn’t be opposed to Thomas joining them. (At least once. It would be a tragedy if this all blew up before John had the chance to tap Thomas’ truly inspiring ass.)

The point is that James knows, which means Thomas knows. And John doesn’t know what to do with that information. He isn’t expecting anything to come into fruition, least of all any kind of care and compassion from Thomas. He hardly knows how to react to the way James looks at him sometimes. The thought of something as soft as concern from Thomas is a foreign, overwhelming concept, one that makes John’s skin feel too tight.

John clears his throat. It isn’t a subtle transition, but James doesn’t call him on it. “Did I tell you the passenger seat is broken?”

He looks over in time to see the pleased look on James’ face slide into one of near horror. “How broke is broken?”

“It isn’t terrible. There’s something with the lever, I think?” John says, casually. James’ hand is still holding on to his own and it makes John’s chest feel warm. He shrugs, a picture of nonchalance. “The seat occasionally flies back if I make too sharp of a stop.”

“You’re telling me this now?”

“Do you have another option? I think the next bus is in an hour.” James only glares at him. “Besides the seatbelt works fine.”

As they approach the car, still holding hands, a thought comes to John’s mind as he looks at the sad, little car. “You know, I’ve never had sex in a car.”

James looks at the car, eyes landing on what appears to be a new splotch of rust, then back at John with a skeptical squint.

“No, I haven’t been fantasizing about having sex in this car.” Although, he has thought about it at least once. Or twice.

James sends him a doubtful look as they part to their respective sides of the car. John just shrugs. James will think what he wants to think.

Now that he’s brought it up, though, John isn’t sure why he said anything about it in the first place. It’s not like he’s actually angling to get fucked in Betsy tonight. Although if it did occur John would consider it one of the better accomplishments in his life. Which might say something unsavory about him... Besides, it’s not like it’s some wild and crazy fantasy. John has thought about doing worse things with James than fucking in a car.

He’s about to say as much, but when he looks over the top of the car it seems James is giving this whole thing more thought than he really needs to.

“James, we don’t have to fuck in the car.” Honestly, he’s hoping they can just drop this whole thing and get on with their ride home.

“We don’t have to,” James agrees easily, “but we could.”

John looks around briefly. There’s hardly anyone parked near them, leaving no reason for foot traffic their way. He doubts anyone would notice, but the thought of being caught does send a spike of arousal through him.

When he looks back over the car he finds James’ eyes still on him, a mix of mischief and challenge, and undeniable want.

A slightly pathetic wheeze of laughter escapes him. “I can’t believe you.” He shakes his head. “I can’t believe we’re actually going to do this.”

“Come on, then.” James opens the passenger side door, while John struggles with his own. The goddamn lock has stuck. Of all the times to be fucking difficult, he thinks. With just a little more pressure he can— The lock clicks just as James lets out an undignified yelp, discovering the broken seat for himself.

When John finally gets in the car and over the console they discover that, despite how far the seat has reclined, the car is too small to properly fuck in. He can’t really settle himself in James’ lap, instead opting to drape himself over his upper body. The angle is awkward and terrible. John could probably reposition himself better, but James’ hands are in his shirt within an instant pulling him closer. John opts to leave a trail of sloppy kisses down the front of James’ throat-- neck ache be damned.

John feels a nerve pinch. “Fucking car,” he breathes out, frustrated. James just laughs.

“It’s fine,” he says before bringing John in for a kiss. James’ mouth on his own is a divine gift he will never grow tired of.

John readjusts himself, pulling away without actually breaking from the kiss. James’ hand remains at the base of John’s neck, a heavy presence that tethers him to this moment.

He’s able to have both knees planted on the driver’s seat with one hand on the console, the other hand roaming down James’ front until he grazes the hard line of James’ cock through his jeans. John applies just enough pressure to make James gasp into their kiss.

James pulls away briefly, head resting against John’s forehead. “Perfect,” he murmurs. John isn’t sure which part he’s praising, but takes it as encouragement to grind his palm against James’ cock, making sure to catch the moan in another kiss.

“Arguments over literature and an empty car park is all it takes, huh?” he asks, cocky and a little too breathless.

James has a hand in John’s hair again, but this time he pulls sharply, causing John to bare his neck. “I guess so,” he says before grazing his teeth along John’s neck.

If John wasn’t fully hard before, he is now. “Fuck, James.”

He isn’t sure if it’s the setting or the fact that what they’re doing is absolutely teenaged, but they’re both so fucking eager for it. All gasping breaths and hurried touches. Praises, half-frenzied and murmured in the close spaces between them— in the crook of John’s neck, the hollow of James’ throat, on their lips before they close for another kiss.

Then finally, fucking finally, James reaches between John and the console so he can unzip his jeans and get a hand around John’s cock.

“Oh fuck, darling, that’s brilliant,” John gasps into the small space of the car. His eyes are open briefly, but he sees the windows are well and truly fogged.

The setting isn’t ideal, of course. They’re both cramped. John’s ankle is digging into something sticking out of the door, and he is a little worried they might actually run out of oxygen, but then James drags his hand up John’s cock and he feels like he could come any moment.

It’s not perfect by any means, but it is fucking fantastic.

Once John’s brain finally catches up with the present activities he begins to undo James’ fly. “How is your cock not in my hand already?”

Any retort James is about to say dies in his throat and a beautifully low moan is born. It makes John’s head spin. He squeezes the base of James’ cock once, then makes a show of licking his hand. James feigns exasperation, his face flushed and stunning, eyes falling closed as John begins to stroke his cock.

After that it doesn’t take long for either of them to climax. It’s nothing but their shallow breaths and broken moans as they work each other. Each exchanging messy opened-mouth kisses, until John finally feels himself tense. Then he’s boneless, draped even further over James as he continues to work his exquisite cock. One last tug has James groaning into John’s neck, his hot release spilling over John’s hand onto his exposed stomach. John continues to pump his fist as James rides out the last of his orgasm.

John peers up at James, his head thrown back as he pants. James must feel the weight of his gaze and reaches his free hand over to stroke John’s cheek. When he opens his eyes, James’ expression is far more soft and open than John was expecting.

If John were a different man maybe he would say something in response. If he were an honest man, a brave man, maybe then. Instead, he is saved from making any comment as a car alarm begins to sound in the distance.

“Shit,” James says, pulling John closer to him. The edge of the center console digs uncomfortably into John’s side, but he doesn’t voice his complaints. A few more minutes pass without John’s notice, then James presses one last kiss to the top of his head. “I think the coast might be clear.”

John hums feeling all too content, focusing on the steady thump of James’ heartbeat.

“Come on,” James says as he gently nudges John away.

They finally untangle themselves and take stock of the mess they’ve made. “It isn’t too bad,” John says, as he watches James pull napkins out of the glove compartment. He hands a few over to John before wiping at his still exposed stomach.

Once they’re all tucked away and as clean as they can be James smiles warmly. “Next stop: home.”

John’s matching smile falters and his grip tightens on the steering wheel at the word home. It’s James’ home, obviously, the one he shares with Thomas and Miranda, but John is still figuring out where he fits in there, let alone if he even belongs.

As if he can hear John’s train of thought, James tugs sharply on one of John’s curls. “Ow.

James raises his eyebrows in response and John can only shake his head.

“Are you going to start the damn thing, or are we supposed to pick it up and run?” James asks.

“Ha-fucking-ha.” John rolls his eyes, but is pleased to feel James’ hand resting on his thigh where it stays the entire car ride.

-

The following week finds John sprawled out on the Hamilton’s couch, one arm thrown over his eyes, the other crossed over his stomach. John’s comfortable here, which always takes him by surprise when he thinks on it. Which is why he tries to avoid thinking on it whenever possible.

He can hear Thomas and Miranda coming in through the kitchen and above him, the occasional creak of the ceiling as James moves about upstairs. It’s almost enough to lull him to sleep, but John can’t bring himself to let his guard down that far.

Footsteps are approaching, then someone is standing beside him, jabbing his shoulder with something.

“Are you asleep?”

It’s Thomas who asks, so John is more inclined to answer with a, yes, keeping his arm over his eyes.

“Oh good,” Thomas says and then something drops on top of John’s face. He smells ink before he notices the feeling of the newspaper that’s been dropped on his face. “Read that.”

John doesn’t have to look at it to know that the page is folded to an advertisement for a car.

“Why does John have the paper on his face?” James asks as he enters the room, taking the paper from John’s face as he passes by.

“Because I’m asleep.” John says.

“Ah, I see,” James says, amused. He leans over to press a kiss to John’s forehead. If John were a cat he’d purr.

“He needs a new car,” Thomas says, not at all amused.

John sighs as he moves farther up on the couch allowing James room to sit. He opens his eyes in time to see the end of a chaste kiss between James and Miranda. Thomas hovering nearby with a small smile, momentarily distracted from his crusade. In moments like these John can’t help feeling like an intruder, but he pockets these moments all the same. Something to look back on when he is inevitably out of the picture.

Once James is done he finally sits on his end of the couch. John stretches out once again, enough so that he can push his toes under James’ thigh.

Thomas and Miranda take their own seats on opposite ends of the other couch, a casual distance between them that speaks to the amount of years they’ve been together.

“You need something practical. Something that doesn’t look like it’s one strong wind away from falling apart,” Thomas continues, looking pointedly at John, almost disappointed. As if the look alone could convince him to get rid of the car.

He’s about to defend Betsy, his little blue piece of shit, when James actually speaks up. “It isn’t that terrible, Thomas.”

This makes Miranda raise her eyebrows and cast a sideways glance at Thomas.

“Oh?” he asks,tone changing so quickly John thinks he might have endured minor whiplash.

James, however, refuses to take the bait. Instead he unfolds the paper still in his hands, pretending to read something. It only makes matters worse.

“You have mentioned, on multiple occasions, that John’s car is a death trap that should not be trusted.”

“Well, I-“

But he isn’t quick enough. John grins widely, still thinking of their delightful escapade from the other night. “It does have a few nice features. Doesn’t it, James?” He nudges James’ thigh with his foot and grins, he can’t help it.

John,” James warns, but the delightful shade of pink on his cheeks diminishes any malice he was trying to convey with his glare. It’s too late anyway, the damage is already done.

Thomas looks between the two of them, eyes bright. A look that John can’t help but find endearing and possibly even attractive. “Did something happen recently with that sad blue egg?”

While James is pointedly not looking at anyone, John watches his profile. He knows he has a stupid smile on his face, John can feel it, cracking his face open and spilling out far too much emotion. John nudges James again, just so he can look at his face when he turns. No glare this time, just a soft smile. More of a slip up than anything else. John’s stupid, treacherous stomach swoops.

Miranda clears her throat, bringing their attention back to where she and Thomas were both watching them. Miranda has a mischievous gleam to her eyes. A look that John both admires and fears.

It’s John she watches when she says, “You two fucked in that horrendous car.”

John, always one for a challenge, holds her gaze and shrugs as if to say he can neither confirm, nor deny whether they did have sex in his car.

“We did not fuck, in the car,” James insists, voice high and strained.

This causes Thomas to practically double over in laughter. Miranda looks far too pleased with herself.

“How could you even manage in that thing?” Thomas wheezes. “It’s like a tin can.”

John grins. “Oh, you manage.”

James definitely looks like he wants to kill him now. “For Christ’s sake. We did not have sex in John’s car.”

Thomas looks thoughtfully at Miranda. “What do you think, dear? Would you say that car is better or worse than an airplane restroom?”

Now, it’s John’s turn to look scandalized. Before he can comment, Miranda responds, rather seriously. “You know, I’m not sure. The size is comparable, but I think the altitude is a real differentiator. James, what do you think?”

John looks at James who, bless him, is doing his best to ignore them all.

“I can’t believe it,” John says, processing this new, and wonderful information. “The two of you in the mile high club, really? I would have expected that behavior from Thomas, but not you, Mrs. Hamilton,” he says, peering over at Miranda. Her returning smile is just short of wicked.

Thomas musters up a rather impressive pout. “For some reason James hasn’t felt as voyeuristic in our sexual escapades. Despite my many requests James won’t help me make use of the very lovely desk in my office.”

“Oh, please,” James sighs loudly, finally giving up the act of reading the newspaper. “First off, you’ve asked twice, and second, you’re all being ridiculous.”

Thomas’ pout turns mischievous as he looks to James. “I bet John wouldn’t wait to be asked twice, would you?” At the last moment his gaze slides over to John.

The playfulness and teasing from before has shifted ever so slightly into something charged. There’s much John still needs to learn about Thomas Hamilton, but he does know enough to realize his question is more of challenge than an actual inquiry.

He’s also been on the receiving end of many, many come-on’s and they all start with a look very similar to the one that Thomas is giving him now. It’s different than their usual flirting disguised as casual banter, but very similar to looks he’s received from James.

And while it may be a hollow question, John has never been one to look a gift horse in the mouth. He makes sure to hold Thomas’ gaze when he says, “Oh, I think I’d be a fool to wait that long.”

Thomas’ grin grows wider. “You are a very smart man, John Silver.”

A rush of butterflies fill John’s stomach, but he shrugs, trying to keep a neutral facade. He barely catches the face James makes that says he sees right through him. John digs his toe into James’ thigh in retaliation.

Besides, John isn’t a smart man, he knows this, especially not in this current situation. But he does like having Thomas’ attention on him. In fact, he thinks he could get used to it, even hopes he gets the chance to.

“So does this mean John gets to keep that little, blue abomination?” Miranda asks, breaking the silence amongst them all.

James lets out a sharp, surprising laugh, right as Thomas says, “Oh, absolutely not.”

The rest of the evening is spent bickering over Betsy and exchanging a variety of anecdotal evidence as to why John needs a new car. Some of which John assumes are absolutely false. James’ hand rests on John’s ankle the whole night, keeping him grounded in the moment when he feels like he’s on the outside of their conversation. Even Thomas sends him sidelong glances John doesn’t know what to make of.

In fact, there are times John doesn’t know what to make of any of this, but he figures there are worse ways to spend an evening.