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Literature Text

This was a good idea.

This might not be a great idea.

This hadn't seemed like a bad idea to start with, but that had become the motto of Daniel's life lately, and any concerns he'd felt had been swept up and away with Tennant's drawling charms and promises of whiskey. He was a pretty cheap date, these days.

Now, with the liquor heavy in his stomach and his mind starting to clear, he could calmly admit to himself this had, in fact, been a terrible idea. It was too late to change his mind now -- everything was done and if this was the worst that happened in the aftermath, he was still going to walk away a winner.

He wished the beer was closer -- it was just far away enough that if he reached he'd disrupt the figure hovering above him, and that would be a dick move under the circumstances. The drink and the man might both start out looking good, but the whiskey wasn't the one giving him a place to crash.

As soon as Tennant pulled back, Daniel had to consciously remind himself not to lunge for the bottle -- he counted to three, and then casually reached over to pick it up. He couldn't stop himself glancing at his boss as he did so -- even the grin he wore didn't change the fact there was blood on his cheek and his knuckles were red and raw.

The blood was someone else's.  The weight of the bottle was comforting in his hand.

Daniel had been a little less lucky in the festivities, which meant things had still turned out better than if Tennant went it alone. The bloody rag that had been wrapped around his arm was on the floor, but the bleeding was more of an oozing now and as long as he didn't move around too much there would continue being more pain than blood.

He was stuck on the couch, but his jacket hung neatly on the coat rack... with a hole in the sleeve, and blood stains down the arm. There had been no discussion of hospitals, and it was only after they had arrived in Tennant's apartment that he had even thought of one.

What did that say about him and his new life, Daniel wondered, without much interest. It was more important not to drip blood everywhere -- it would cost more than his life was worth to clean the carpet, even as lousy as it was.

"Bad news," Tennant drawled, oozing smug self-satisfaction. He had a habit of winning, yeah -- he was good at getting his own way -- but this time had been fun. It didn't seem to bother him that things might have gone horribly wrong just as easily as they went right. "You appear to have been shot a little bit."

Daniel wondered if he was meant to laugh.

"Not the first time," he uttered, looking away -- not because he was looking for an excuse to break eye contact or anything, but because in that moment the only thing he wanted was a fucking cigarette. If Tennant noticed the lie he didn't say anything, and wasn't that just thoughtful.

It was amazing what you got used to when you put up with it long enough.

Most of a first-aid kit was scattered across the coffee table -- a sea of bottles and glasses and plastic packaging, spilling over the edges and sprawling across the floor. Tennant swept it all aside, searching for something, and when it rattled through the air towards him, Daniel didn't even try to catch it -- that way lay only further humiliation, he suspected, as the painkillers slapped off his cheek and into to his lap.

"Take a couple," his boss ordered. He paused, glancing over his shoulder to eye his patient curiously. "Maybe more than a couple," he amended, idly.

The relative silence that followed was tense enough to make Daniel wary, and that feeling only grew as Tennant spun back around with the tweezers held up triumphantly -- they weren't big and they sure as hell weren't clean, and nothing about them made him feel any better.

Tennant's eyes gleamed.

"Don't worry," he assured the other. "We'll just pull it out."

Daniel downed the rest of his beer, snatched the bottle off the table, and took a swig of that, too. He got the impression Tennant was laughing at him, and decided the lurching increase in his heart rate could only be a symptom of blood loss. The alternative was too much to consider.

It's not like he'd expected this to progress in any other way, anyway -- you kill a guy, you get shot, you get the bullet removed. He'd know exactly what he was doing when he walked in the door.

He gripped the whiskey bottle tightly as he glanced at his arm again, checking it was still attached -- it was crusted in dry blood, but that was more of a threat than an improvement. It looked worse than it was, he thought privately, but it hurt worse than it looked so it was pretty lousy trade-off. His only consolation was that Tennant seemed to know exactly what he was doing.

...But then again, that's what got them into trouble to start with. It certainly didn't make the way he was unceremoniously tossing the tweezers into a glass of alcohol look any more reassuring.

It was then that Daniel decided getting shot was a mistake, and he wasn't going to do it again. He probably should have avoided it this time, too, but you couldn't win 'em all.

It was all just stalling and pretending to consider the his options -- there was no doubt in his mind that he was going to follow the advice eventually. He grabbed the lid of the painkillers in his teeth and ground down, twisting -- it hurt his face more than the bottle, but the lid came free and he spat it to the side. Tennant watched with something close to amusement as he tipped a few into his mouth, and threw his head back to wash them down with a gulp of whiskey.

There was a cold splash on his shoulder, and Daniel was confused for the whole second it took for the pain to hit -- the alcohol drenched his wound, just as shocking as it was agonizing, and his only thought was Should have kept my eyes open. He expected his boss to be laughing when his vision cleared and his ears stopped ringing, but he wasn't.

"You okay?" he asked, instead.

"A bit of warning would be nice!" It wasn't that Daniel wasn't grateful but, well, he kind of wasn't happy. His arm hurt again and it kept on hurting, and it didn't seem like his entire arm being on fire was really the best option. He was pretty sure there had been something else they could have done -- like a cream or something? There was a first-aid kit right there.

"Does it hurt?" Tennant was still less amused – he was less everything than he should be, and it threw Daniel off-kilter.

"I can handle it."

"Can you?" It was more a challenge than a question, and it occurred to Daniel that what he had taken for concern could just as easily be wariness -- his boss wasn't nearly as transparent as he was himself.

"Yeah." And despite this -- despite what he'd been part of all night -- he had no problem meeting Tennant's gaze.

They stared at each other for a long moment.

"Good." There was only approving agreement, now -- the steely undertones replaced once again by playful smugness. The night had gone well, and this little setback wasn't going to stop the celebrations. Gone, too, was any confusion about how sincere Tennant had been when he threatened to dig the bullet out.

Daniel tried not to choke on the whiskey as the blood was wiped away -- easier to wash it now, when it was loosened and diluted -- but the mind-numbing pain was fresh enough that his teeth still throbbed and this was nothing in comparison.

"Good," Tennant uttered again when he was done, tossing the cloth onto the floor. He looked back to his faithful bodyguard, and added -- "It's cleaner than the rest of you."

Thanks, boss.

That was all the concern Tennant offered -- he didn't care about the look Daniel gave him as he pulled the tweezers from the glass, wiping the handle on his pants to get a better grip, and he didn't glance up to double-check all was well before he jabbed them into the hole. Daniel swore and if it wasn't for the back of the couch, he would have instinctively flinched away -- and as far as he was concerned, Tennant probably would have just chased him and smacked up around a bit to make him sit still.

He could feel it, as the tweezers pressed down, and his teeth ground against one another with the effort of staying still. Tennant opened them as he hit the bullet -- small favours he wasn't so eager in his questing that he shoved it deeper -- and Daniel grunted as they forced his flesh back to get a grip on the flattened slug.

It got stuck the first time, and Tennant muttered as he tried. By the time he got a good grip on it -- Daniel could feel it coming along even through the burning, he could feel the tweezers gouging new grooves -- the blood was flowing freely, slicking the passage and making the progress smoother. That didn't stop him being worried about dripping everywhere, though.

"Look at it," Tennant remarked, holding the bullet up to the light critically. Daniel hadn't even noticed he was done, and his nostrils flared with his muttered cursing. Honestly, he didn't give a shit what it looked like -- it's not like he was going to keep it for a souvenir. "It felt bigger, you know."

He shrugged and tossed the bloody tweezers towards the table, leaning in and pressing his fingers against Daniel's arm as he squinted at the whole. What the hell was he looking at -- was he checking if there was a second one in there somewhere? If there was, it could fucking stay.

Tennant couldn't have disagreed, because he shrugged again and grabbed the bandage from the table. He let the end drop to the couch, unraveling, as he started wrapping the wound -- a jerk of his head was all he offered to suggest that maybe the guy with two arms should pick up some of the slack here, but that was all he needed. It's not like Daniel was going to argue.

He pressed his fingers down, pinching his skin under his ruined nails, and his head swam again. Tennant leaned in close -- too close -- and took an unfairly long time to wrap the length around just once. It was another few rotations before it was nestled firmly enough beneath layers that Daniel could pull his own hand away and stop the slow grazing of skin on skin, and even then all he could see were the bloody fingerprints he left behind.

"Huh." Tennant leaned back again, holding the end in place with two fingers as he scrutinized the end result. As with all things he did himself, he found his efforts perfectly adequate, if not idly perfect in general. "Good enough."

He looked at Daniel. Daniel looked at Tennant.

"Thanks," uttered the bodyguard finally, when he couldn't think of anything more eloquent to say.

Tennant hadn't escaped unscathed either, he remembered -- as smug and triumphant as he was, still riding the rush of his success, there were bruises under his shirt and the blood still on his face. The irritating thorn in his side was gone, but in the morning he'd probably still be more annoyed his suit got ruined than his hand did.

A wise man would have worried about Tennant assuming he was indestructible, and a wiser man would have worried that the universe didn't seem to be able to prove him wrong. The wisest man, of course, never would have got caught up in this situation to start with.

"We won." Tennant was oblivious to his brooding, and picked up his glass from the table before dropping onto the couch -- not right in his lap, but not far enough away to imply deliberate avoidance. He tilted his hand towards Daniel in a silent toast. "Good job."

It would be rude not to toast, so his bodyguard nodded and took three quick swallows from the bottle. Tennant matched this with a single sip, but that didn't mean anything -- only the one of them was trying to drink. The longer they sat there, Daniel thought, the bigger that bloodstain seemed to get.

He wasn't the only one watching carefully, though, and the amused scrutiny from his friend wasn't something he was used to. It threw him off-kilter. It should have made him nervous.

"You're hurt." Daniel spoke suddenly, ramming the bottle between the cushions so he could lean forward. The blood stain was going to drive him up the wall if he didn't get rid of it -- he knew where it had come from.

He'd seen it happen.

"I'm fine." Tennant was grinning as he waved his glass, trying to dismiss the concern. "They're scratches, at most."

"Right." Daniel looked away long enough to locate a cloth; his head was buzzing and his sense of balance was a bit dodgy, but this still seemed like a great idea. Tennant was still amused enough by his sudden attack to just go with it. "Let me help."

The blood wiped off easy from his cheek -- almost like it was wet, he barely had to scrub at all -- but the blood on Tennant's shirt was much more stubborn. Without thinking, Daniel went to unbutton it and toss it into the wash -- but his fingers had become large and clumsy, somehow.

"You haven't even bought me dinner yet," his boss chastised, not at all thrown off by this development. He took Daniel's fingers in his own, pulling them away--

--and so Daniel sighed, bent down, and kissed him. It seemed like the logical conclusion to the sequence of events in the moment.

It seemed like a really good idea while it was happening, too -- the fact he clearly wasn't the only one that thought this only encouraged him further. There was a faint screeching in the corner of his mind pointing out he was drunk, and that Tennant was drunk on his victory, and this really wasn't the time -- but that voice was practically silent compared to the one pointing out that Tennant's hand was on the back of his head, urging him closer, and he was a really good kisser and he didn't taste anything like the cheap, bitter alcohol Daniel had been living on and--

--and then they weren't kissing anymore, and Tennant was just staring at him with both brows raised. Daniel became very aware of how his hands were twisted in his shirt again, and how it wasn't buttoned all the way now -- not because he'd managed to wrestle the clasp free, but because there was a button missing, and the next one hanging by a thread.

There was almost certainly no chance of passing this off as an accident.

"Your bandage came loose," Tennant frowned, swiping Daniel's hands away again so he could lean forward and pull it closed. He acted as if this was completely normal and nothing was out of the ordinary. "There."

"Thanks," Daniel said again, but his words were muffled by the fact he was currently being dragged into another kiss -- this time, a bit more aggressively. He was okay with this -- gratitude and lust weren't mutually exclusive, right? And it's not like he was going to try and stop it when he'd tried to hard to start it, and...


...and it was good. It felt good, and he wanted this, and Tennant wanted this, and this was a really bad idea, he realized in a moment of clarity, just before Tennant succeeded in getting his shirt over his head. Okay, so this wasn't a good idea, but this was the best one he'd had all night. He didn't even mind when they tumbled to the floor, because it gave him more freedom to move.

Tennant might be dangerous, and he might be attractive, and his attraction to him only made him more dangerous, but Daniel didn't see why that mattered anymore.

Not every bad idea had to be bad, he justified, and stopped thinking at all.
trade / glace leau @ gaia
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