Work Toward The Middle

A/N: For [info]baritoneslur, [info]cigarettelover, and one other. Unbeta'd.

"I'm old enough." Anton's usually innocent face is marred with a scowl, but that's fair because Zach's been telling him no for the last half hour. In Paris, they'll serve wine to anyone with facial hair, not that they'd check; Anton, having just turned twenty, has been taking full advantage. He's got a taste for red, which has turned his lips cherry.

Pun not intended, Zach thinks wryly. "Go pick up someone your own age," Zach tells him, sipping at a pinot gris. "You're a fucking movie star now."

Anton rolls his eyes and leans back in his chair. It makes him look like a teenager. "You're hilarious, Zach. We might be in France, but it's still a press tour."

He might say more - he'd probably say more, because he hasn't shut up about this for a week or more - but Chris and John stumble back from the bar. Chris slumps into the chair beside Zach and slings an arm over his shoulder. He smells of a warm Paris night and excellent wine, of the spicy cologne he favors. "I fucking love France," he murmurs, and lets his forehead rest against Zach's temple.

His heat, his closeness, his fucking intimacy... Zach's breath catches in his throat. He lays a hand on Chris's thigh under the table, thinking maybe this time. Maybe.

Against Zach's ear, Chris laughs deep in his throat. He takes Zach's wrist and holds it for a count of three, then moves it away.

Fucking tease, Zach thinks, fuming.

"Don't wanna go back yet," Chris smiles at the table. John's gotten into an animated discussion with Zoe and Simon about the French media, so they don't notice, but Karl looks over with a smile. Chris jerks his head, and the two go wandering off in the direction of the dance floor.

Zach follows their progression with heated jealousy simmering in his gut. Nobody even notices Chris's endless flirting with Zach anymore, not in the cast. They just assume it's the way Chris is - he does it with everyone. But they never see the hidden touches Chris gives him, under the jacket, when nobody's looking. They're not in the press rooms every day with him, they don't kiss him upstairs when it's done, and they don't get shoved out the door before anything fucking happens. They don't know Chris half so well as they think they do.

Someone's right beside him, and Zach startles for a second before he realizes it's Anton. The kid gets right up in his space, right where Chris's heat still lingers on his skin. The light voice in his ear is whispery, almost inaudible. "You should call me Chris when you fuck me," Anton says. "It'd be hot."

Zach stares at the scarred table for a count of three, and then stands up. "I'm gonna take Anton home," he announces to the table. "Before we have to explain to his mom."

"See you tomorrow," Zoe says, the others waving a goodbye. Zach drags Anton out of the bar by the wrist, and doesn't even care if anybody notices.


"How'd you get his key card?" Anton asks, a delighted smile on his lips. He tiptoes into the room like somebody's going to catch them, kick them out.

Zach tosses the card on the table and shrugs out of his jacket. "He always gives it to me when he drinks. He knows I'll give it back in the morning, and it keeps him out of the papers if he decides to hook up."

Anton comes up and hooks his thumbs into Zach's belt loops. He lowers his lashes, which is intended to make him look innocent and sweet. On anybody else, it wouldn't work at all. "Isn't he afraid you'll take advantage? Sneak up on him in the shower or something? He'd deserve it, what he puts you through."

"Well, I wouldn't, so it's a tease," Zach scowls. He grabs Anton by the hips and jerks him forward so they crash together, both of them hot and ready. The kid sighs and pushes into Zach, eager but aimless. "You'll understand when you're older," Zach adds.

Anton gives him a withering look. "Are you planning on fucking me sometime tonight? I'm sure as hell not getting any younger."

"A fair point," Zach grants, and walks him backward through the room. Pushing him down onto Chris's bed is hotter than it has any right to be. Zach's throbbing when he pulls the shirt and jacket off Anton's slender frame, even though it's a little bit off from the fantasy.

The kid is on fire. He jerks at the slightest touch, he moans and clutches at Zach's shoulders and arms, nails biting at skin.

"You've done this before," Zach guesses, his hands slowing. "With your other co-stars."

Anton glares at him. "Very good, Sherlock." Then, abruptly, his demeanor changes. Zach watches him smile, open and sunny and wide. "You're not here to get in my head," he says, and Zach is shocked to hear a near-perfect imitation of Chris's Californian accent come out of the kid's mouth. Anton rolls his hips, slow and serious. "You came here for something else."

Zach considers for a moment the moral implications of doing this, of what it'll mean for his young, talented friend. Then Anton starts on Zach's belt, and the decision is made. He gives the order as much with his hands as his mouth, pulling at Anton's arm. "Turn over. Face down."

Anton flips immediately, and tenses his shoulders so they look broader.

Letting the idea take him over, Zach coasts his fingers across the bare skin. "Your pants," he instructs. "Undo them."

"Say my name first," Anton coaxes, with clipped consonants and elongated As.

Zach drags his tongue up the depression at the center of Anton's back, all the way to the fringe of dark hair on his neck. When his lips are at the delicate ear, he bites softly. "Chris," he answers. And he lets himself pretend it, too, hands hard on Anton's slight hips to push fabric away.

Anton rushes to get rid of what he doesn't want, already panting with need. Zach lets his tongue drag lower, over the fine curve of his ass, and thinks of the way Chris looked in the red cadet suit. "I swear he does it on purpose," he mutters.

When Anton struggles to kick his feet free, Zach gets up to help him. It only takes a moment, and since he's up he reaches automatically for the nightstand. The room looks just like his own, and that's where he keeps his supplies.

In the drawer is a half-full bottle of lube and a fresh strip of condoms. Zach stares at them for a long moment, heat ripping through him.

"I bought 'em for you," Anton says, warming to his role. He spreads his legs wide and braces on his toes. "Wanted you to fuck me before we ever got here."

It could be true. Right now, that's all that matters.

Zach strips the rest of his clothes away and readies himself with Chris's stuff. It makes him a little dizzy, drunk on the scent of him in the room, the presence of his clothes in the drawers. It's fucking creepy, an invasion, but he's just pissed off at Chris enough to do it anyway. He climbs on the bed and presses two fingers inside Anton's body without so much as a warning.

Not that he needs it. Anton groans and arches into his hand, fingers clawing at the pillow. "God yes," he says, and it's his own voice now. That's okay, Zach thinks, working his wrist in hard, heavy thrusts. Fucking Anton in Chris's bed is almost as perverse as fucking Anton pretending to be Chris. It'll do, either way. In some muddied blend of his own voice and Chris's, Anton begs. "Do it now, quit fucking around. God, Zach, God."

Sinking into him is as sweet as revenge. Zach pushes until his balls touch down, until Anton is whining and writhing against him. It's really fucking good, and he lifts the boy up onto his knees just to make it all that much easier. "Chris," he says again, and this time he's not addressing Anton so much as giving a nice, deep fuck-you to the man who ought to fucking be here.


The sound is so light that Zach isn't sure he heard it. He figures it's the radiator or the AC. Habit makes him turn to look, even in the middle of this.

Cool as you please, Chris Pine is seated in a chair not four feet away. He's looking straight at Zach, and without so much as blinking, he lifts a finger to his lips. Shh.

Zach blinks. He must be imagining things or hallucinating, because that is impossible. He shakes his head and aims his eyes back at Anton: lovely, writhing Anton impatiently rocking his hips to get what he wants. His dark hair curls like a cherub's, which is such a lie - for a boy, he's much beyond his years. Zach threads his fingers into that hair and pulls, thrusts his hips hard.

"Oh fuck me," Anton gasps, bracing himself against whatever he can reach, breathless. "You want to, come on, please..."

Zach throws himself into it, harder than he would have if he could think. The sharp slap of their hips together fills the room, and Anton's cries roll over that in blazing counterpoint. Zach is close so much faster than he knows, and when he can't stand to keep his head still anymore, he looks over at the chair again.

Chris's palm is resting softly over his cock, his thumb stroking lazily up and down. His face doesn't bear description: heated, possessive, jealous, angry, smug, loving, all and none of these.

"Chris," Zach huffs out, his heart almost stopping in his chest.

"God yes," Anton cries, and reaches back with one nerveless hand to jerk Zach's wrist around, to touch his cock. "Zach, do it."

The real Chris's eyes are shockingly, piercingly blue. They rivet Zach's; though his body moves on its own, he can't tear his gaze away.

Fuck him, Chris mouths, slow and clear. Harder.

Zach does exactly that. He has no choice. He strokes Anton fast and hard, pulls him up to his knees so Chris has a good view. Maybe that will help this, somehow. Anton fucks himself back and forth between hand and cock, wild and abandoned the way only someone like him could be. Little wunderkind Anton, who knows exactly what he wants and is smart enough to get it. Zach feels a swell of affection for him and bites his shoulder, presses a tender pink nipple and murmurs, "Come."

Anton stiffens and shudders, his mouth wide open as it all comes pouring out of him. Zach watches Chris stand up, covered by all the noise, go over to the door and pick up Zach's jacket. Then he leans there, watching as Anton comes down, shivering and shaking, helpless and so, so good. Zach's belly is tense and demanding, but he needs to wait until...

Chris isn't leaving.

Zach looks at him helplessly, pleadingly, but Chris only mouths one word. You.

It's unconscionable, but the thought of it is enough. It's more than enough. Zach presses into Anton's body, aftershocks hitching through him. The low moan it brings is so good to hear, and Zach thrusts into him faster, working toward his release.

"Again," Anton pants, reaching back to stroke Zach's hip. "Say it one more time."

Zach shakes his head. He can't. Not when he's right here. Not when he's watching.

"Say it," Anton insists. His other hand comes back to wrap in Zach's hair and he arches his back, so sweet. He mimics Chris's voice again, talented little bastard. "Zach, I want you to come inside me. Come in my ass, come on."

It bubbles up in his throat before Zach can stop it. "Chris," he chokes, meaning it for the man behind him and for the one in his head who'd actually fucking follow through on something. "Oh, Chris, oh God..."

He collapses against Anton's shoulders, body wracked with tremors. He's completely destroyed, he can't think of anything except the sharpness of blue, and unidentifiable emotions playing across a perfect red mouth. Anton strokes his hip, his arm, anything he can reach, and for a second it's almost perfect.

When Zach dares to lift his head and look toward the door, there's nobody there. Nobody in the chair, when he looks, and no indication that anybody ever was.

But his jacket has disappeared.


Zach pulls his tie open with fingers so tired they're almost numb. The junket has been completely exhausting. Maybe later he'll look back on it and think fondly of all the crazy shit he did, but right now he just wants to sleep his way across the Pacific Ocean and then crawl into his own bed. He's got one more day of interviews before he gets to do that, but he'll make it somehow.

A jarring knock on the door makes him twitch, and he storms over to it with every intention of kicking the shit out of whoever's there. It's fucking three in the morning, and that's late even in Tokyo.

The door reveals Chris's excited face, and he pushes Zach into the room without ceremony. "Zach, Zach, listen, go hide in your closet."


"Trust me," Chris rushes to say, and then he fixes Zach with those unfair eyes of his. His face is completely serious. "You owe me this."

They've never spoken of what happened before. Zach didn't have the balls to ask, and his jacket turned up in his bedroom later without a word said by anybody. He's tried a few times to not fuck Anton anymore, but the kid is persistent and the junket is boring. Makes him feel like kind of a pervert, but whatever. Better Zach than whatever asshole Anton might pick up at a bar, at least until they get home. Chris hasn't said a word, hasn't changed a bit. Still the same teasing motherfucker he always was, only now Zach can take it with a little more humor because he has someone to take the frustration out on.

"You owe me," Chris says now, pushing at him. "Now get in the closet and shut your face. This is gonna blow your mind."

Zach's just shutting the door when he hears a second knock at his door, this one much more tentative. Chris pushes the door closed, so Zach figures this is what he was waiting for and cocks the wooden blind things on the closet door so he can see the room. Might as well.

"Chris?" says a familiar voice.

"Yeah, come in. Quiet."

The door closes. "Where are you?"

"In the bathroom," Chris answers. "Go on in, I'll just be a sec."

Zach closes his eyes, but he's too late to stop himself from seeing Anton's slender body cross the floor.

He's never been here before. They always fuck in Anton's room, so Zach can leave when he wants. The way Anton looks around now, a little wondering and a little cocky confidence, takes Zach instantly back to that night in Chris's room, breaking in, doing wrong.

You owe me this, he'd said. Zach bites his lip so he won't sigh.

"There you are," says Chris, and Zach opens his eyes to see Chris come right up behind Anton, grab his arms and haul him back. The two press against one another, Anton with his eyes closed and a smile on his face, squirming against Chris's body.

Pale hands open wide over Chris's thighs. "This is kinky," he murmurs. "I thought you were all talk."

"You're about to find out different," Chris tells him, and bends his head to Anton's neck. Zach can't see him licking or biting, but he knows. He's sure.

Anton sighs, boyish and warm, and tilts his head to make room. "You gonna prove it on my body?"

"Maybe you'll prove it on mine," Chris murmurs to him, and then there's a flash of motion as he pushes Anton down to the bed.

There are a dozen times when Zach almost busts out of the closet and puts a stop to everything. He holds onto it when Chris tears Anton's shirt, and when Anton tries to hold Chris's wrists to the bed and gets leglocked for his trouble. When Chris makes Anton suck his cock, that's a near thing; Zach has to not look at it, just listen to the wet, needy sounds.

But he won't give in to this. This latest torture Chris has devised is not going to beat him, no, he is stronger than this. He's suffered worse.

"Finger me," Chris moans, his legs spread wide and his head back. Zach's eyes fly open and he can't help but look - Chris's jeans are slung over the TV and Anton's looking up the length of Chris's belly with wide eyes.

"...Say that again?"

Chris rolls to the side and opens Zach's nightstand, takes Zach's own highly personal lube out of the drawer and slaps it down on the covers. Zach only stays in the closet by digging his fingernails into his palms and remembering that he did the exact same thing to Chris. This is no different.

"I said," Chris repeats, slow and serious. "I want you to fingerfuck me when you blow me, Anton. Think you can handle that?"

Challenged, the kid sets his jaw and grabs the lube. His shoulders ripple when he works his fingers inside, and even though Zach can't see it, it's still unconscionable because he can see Chris's red mouth open and panting and lush. He can see the spread of lashes on his cheeks, the pink flush on his chest and neck, the way he works his hips against fingers and tongue like a completely shameless wanton, and if Zach grinds the heel of his hand against his cock, he thinks that nobody could do less.

"C'mere," Chris grits out, guiding Anton up and around to kneel among the pillows, over Chris's face. They go to work on each other just like that, a perfect circuit, and Zach can't close his eyes. Anton's hips work steadily, urged on by Chris's strong, broad hands, and Zach would fucking swear he's pushing too deeply but Chris doesn't do anything except moan around the cock in his mouth like he's been doing it all his life.

In the end, Anton is twenty years old and in bed with the fucking Joy of Gay Sex, so he shivers and moans and is so, so beautiful when he comes. His thighs shake and he flops down onto his side, and when the light hits the pink in his cheeks and his perfect curls, he looks like a freshly fallen cherub.

Zach easily tamps down the poetry, the affection, in favor of blind rage at the grown man who fucked him and put Zach in this closet to watch him do it. Cooling down is for later. Cooling down is for suckers.

Chris slaps one of Anton's slender thighs. "Off to bed, boy genius," he smiles. "Early day tomorrow."

"But you," Anton pants, bliss-clumsy fingers reaching for Chris's reddened cock.

Chris shrugs. "I got it covered, don't worry. I'll break out Zach's handcuffs and dildos when you're tucked safe in bed."

"Fucker," Anton grins, and slaps Chris back. There's a bit of a frankly embarrassing slapfight, and then Anton grabs up his clothes, kisses Chris lightly on the mouth (jealousy, sharp and wrenching) and leaves.

The door closes with a click. Zach opens the closet door with a precisely measured gesture - he'd hardly put it past Chris to have disappeared along with the kid, even naked into the hall, and so there may not be any need to stay this furious.

"Gotta hand it to him," Chris says, padding past Zach and flopping onto the bed. He crosses his hands behind his head and stares in a vague kind of way toward the ceiling. "He's pretty good at that. You taught him well."

Zach crosses his arms over his chest, glares out the window at the chaotic neon below, and says nothing.

"If you're not gonna fuck me, do you mind if I smoke?"

Not dignifying that with an answer appears to be tantamount to acceptance; Chris grumbles a little as he forces himself up off the bed and pulls his pants off the TV. The wheel rasps on his lighter, and the scent of tobacco drifts across the room. The mattress springs creak again, and there's that little pained unh.

"Why do you do this?" Zach asks softly, not really expecting an answer. "Do you just like to fuck me over, or is there some deeper, mystic purpose to it?" He makes a vague gesture, intended to indicate the vagueness of Chris's presumed intentions.

Chris drags off the cigarette and exhales through his teeth. Zach can hear the low-grade hiss. "You mean before tonight? Nobody values what they don't have to work for. I was just... protecting my investment."

Zach nods, like that's in any way sensible and not totally inane. "And tonight? Why would you drag Anton into it?"

"I didn't," Chris snarls, suddenly fierce. "You did, Zach. You're the one who dragged that kid into it, so don't pretend you-"

Zach whips around and practically leaps on him, he's on the bed so fast. He grabs the cigarette from Chris's fingers and tosses it into the ashtray, shoving Chris down with his body and forcing him to meet his eyes. "Why tonight?" he demands, livid and so turned on he can hardly see straight. "Why now, why all of a sudden you're here in my bed instead of shoving me out your door, why? You fucking tell me!"

"I'm shit at waiting!" Chris fires back, and pushes his hands up under Zach's shirt. "I want what I want, why is that so bad?"

It's like five points of fire wherever Chris's hands go. Every piece of skin he touches has been dying for touch for hours. Zach grinds down against him, ruining his slacks completely. "Do better," he snarls, mouth so close to Chris's that he can almost taste.

Chris flushes hotly, eyes fluttering closed as Zach presses them together. "It... it was him," Chris whispers, and Zach has to strain to hear. "When Anton was here, I was only thinking... I only wanted to... God, Zach, please be naked now."

It's vastly irritating to have to stop just to take away clothes, but Zach does that all the same. He grabs a condom from the drawer while he's at it, and rolls it down over his dick.

Chris watches, heavy-lidded, from the bed, which pretty much makes it the best ten seconds of dealing with latex that Zach has ever endured. Lying between those thighs - finally, those perfect thighs, naked of cadet red or carefully ripped jeans - is like finally going home after years of absence. Pressing inside him, so open and ready, is the same feeling twice as strong.

"Zach," he sighs, blue eyes deep and terrifyingly open, like one might fall in and never emerge. His hand comes up to cup behind Zach's neck, draw him down. "Kiss me."

"You'll make me stop," Zach blurts, startled into it by a surge of unnameable emotion. "That's what you do."

Chris lifts up, bracing against the bed with his elbows. It makes him shift under Zach, around Zach, and it's earthshaking. "Kiss me," he says again, so close, so near.

Unable to stop himself, Zach touches his mouth against the picture-perfect curve of lips under him. Chris tastes like smoke, like sex, like sin, and exactly as Zach knew he would. But the way he opens, reaches up and presses himself close, is all a terribly humbling kind of surprise.

Zach takes it, though. He's not too proud to take it.

They fuck, and it's sweet and loving and nothing like Zach thought it would be. He holds Chris's face while he kisses him and Chris moans, like light, into his mouth. Making Chris come is a privilege, stroking him with even, steady pressure and telling him how beautiful he is, how good, how hot. He makes almost no sound when he shivers in Zach's arms, but he holds Zach to his pounding heart like he's afraid Zach will disappear if he doesn't. "It's okay," Zach says softly, kissing his temple and his hair, fucking him faster, harder. "It's okay, baby."

Chris stays the night, and is still there in the morning. They get breakfast with everyone else and Anton asks Chris to join him for a smoke. They disappear together for maybe five minutes, and Zach talks to John about who he's teamed up with today. They usually pick Anton, if he's there, but sometimes it's Karl. As it turns out, they just want him on his own - as Chekov was the superstar in Moscow, in Japan they love Sulu. Go figure. Zach feels silly for having asked.

On their way to the interview room, Zach bumps Chris's shoulder with his. "What'd he say?"

Chris laughs, rueful and dry. "He wanted to know if it worked." Zach stops and stares, but Chris raises his hands. "I had no idea he knew, man, I didn't tell him shit. He must have figured it out on his own, but he definitely figured it out."

Zach shakes his head. "That little shit. What'd you say?"

With a shrug, Chris smiles. "I told him it worked great," he says, and turns around to head for the interview room.

Zach stares after him for a full two seconds before giving chase. The crew in the interview room raise their eyebrows at the wrestling match that knocks over a chair, but they wisely say nothing, and all's well that ends well.