Title: Bring Me Closer
Fandom: Law & Order
Pairing: Michael Cutter/Jack McCoy
Author's Note: Spoilers for the Law & Order episode "By Perjury".
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own Michael Cutter or Jack McCoy, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.
***Mike leaned his head back against the comfortable cushions of his living room couch, trying to breathe deeply. He wasn't going to let himself break down; he hadn't done that when he was in the hallway of the courthouse, and he should be calmer now.
When he closed his eyes, all he could see was the barrel of Winston's gun pointing right at him; he'd thought for that fleeting few seconds that he was as good as dead. It was as though time had stopped; all he'd been able to think of was the imminent fact of his own death.
The shot had seemed to ring in his ears forever; it had taken him a few moments to realize that he hadn't been hit, that Lupo had deflected Winston's aim and the bullet had gone ringing harmlessly off the tiles of the bathroom wall.
But he'd been so shaken that he'd barely been able to stand, and Bernard had to help him out to the hallway and let him sit down on a bench. It had been several long minutes before he'd felt that his wobbly legs could hold him up.
Of all the things he'd been subjected to in his career, he'd never been shot at before. It wasn't anything like what he might have expected; it hadn't made the adrenaline rush through him, and he hadn't had any flashbacks of his own life playing out before his eyes.
All he'd felt was fear. The fear that he would lose his life and leave so much left undone -- and the fear that had been first and foremost in his mind, the fear that he would never see Jack McCoy again and be able to pour out his feelings to his lover.
That was what he'd seen flash before his eyes in those few seconds before Winston had pulled the trigger. He'd seen Jack's face, Jack's smile; he'd seen Jack when he was angry, happy, annoyed, amused, worried -- and at the height of passion.
What was Jack going to think of what had happened? Would he be angry that Mike had put himself in such a position? Or would he merely be relieved that he hadn't lost his EADA and wouldn't have to find someone to take Mike's place?
Jack had to think more of him than that, now that they'd become so intimate. Maybe the other man wasn't in love with him, but he had to be more to Jack than just a co-worker, or a sex toy that kept him occupied during his off hours.
Mike looked up at the clock on the living room wall, wondering how long he'd been sitting here. It was full dark outside; he wasn't aware that time had gone by since Lupo and Bernard had escorted him home and he'd sat down here alone with his thoughts.
Bernard had asked if there was anywhere else he wanted to go, if he'd feel better staying with a friend for the night and not being alone. He'd almost wanted to tell them to take him to Jack's house, but that wouldn't have been a good idea.
Of course, Jack wouldn't have been home at the time, anyway. He was out at some campaign function, so there was no way to turn to him for comfort, even if they could have taken their relationship public. All he could do was go back to his own apartment.
He raised a hand in front of his face, surprised to see that it was still shaking. Why should he be shocked by that? He'd nearly been shot. He could have died. The words kept going around and around in his brain, replaying themselves on a continuous loop.
He'd nearly been shot. He could have died.
It was hard to wrap his head around that. What had happened in the mens' room seemed like a dream, something that he'd seen on tv, or one of the cases he tried in court. It didn't feel as though it had actually happened to him.
A knock on the door took Mike's thoughts away from contemplating what had almost happened to him; his head jerked up, his eyes widening. Who would be knocking on his door at nearly ten o'clock at night? He never had visitors this late.
The knock came again as he got up and hurried to the door, almost sounding frantic. Mike frowned as he reached for the deadbolt; who would be knocking like that? No one other than the detectives knew what had happened in the courthouse today.
He pulled open the door, his eyes widening further when he saw who was standing there. Someone who he hadn't expected to see, at least not tonight. Someone who he wanted to see, but who he wouldn't have thought to see at his door for any reason.
Jack McCoy. His boss. His lover.
Mike couldn't make his voice work; he swallowed hard, trying to think of something to say but unable to do so. What was Jack doing here? That was the only thing in his mind, the one question that he needed to be answered.
"Can I come in?" Jack's voice sounded strained; his face was pale, his eyes riveted on Mike's face as though he was afraid that the other man would disappear if Jack didn't keep his gaze firmly fixed. Mike stepped back, letting his lover walk into his home.
He closed the door quietly, checking the deadbolt before he turned around to face Jack. He still wanted to ask the other man why he was here, but the words stuck in his throat; he could imagine all kinds of reasons why Jack might be standing in his living room at this moment.
"I heard about what happened." Jack's voice was quiet, obviously strained. "I would've been over sooner, but I just heard when I checked my phone for messages. You should have called me, Mike. I'd have gotten the hell out of that campaign meeting."
"I wasn't thinking about calling anybody," Mike confessed with a sigh. "I think I was in shock until I got home and sat here by myself for a while. My mind wasn't working the way it should have been. I'm just starting to come out of it now."
"You shouldn't have been alone," Jack told him, his voice soft. Mike was surprised to hear those words; he hadn't thought of Jack as a man who would want to be around others in the aftermath of any kind of traumatic experience.
"I-I needed to be alone for a while, I think," Mike said, his voice trembling a little. His knees were feeling wobbly again, too; he needed to get to the couch before he collapsed and Jack might have to run the risk of catching him because he couldn't stay on his feet.
But he didn't fall; Jack was sliding an arm around his waist, guiding him down the short hallway from the living room to his bedroom and over to his bed. The older man sat down beside him, starting to unbutton Mike's shirt, pushing him down on the bed.
Mike had never felt so confused in his life. Jack wanted sex .... now? He was in no mood to make love, or to do anything sexual at the moment. He still felt too shaky. He would have thought that Jack, of all people, would be able to understand that.
His shirt was being pushed off his shoulders; he shrugged it off, blinking as Jack unzipped his pants and began to pull them off. Not knowing what else to do, he lifted his hips, letting his lover remove his pants and his boxers, leaving him lying naked on the bed.
Jack stood up, pulling back the covers and obviously expecting Mike to slide under them. He complied, wondering what Jack had in mind. He didn't seem to be angling for sex; was he going to go make soup or something as if Mike was an invalid?
He watched as Jack left the room, hearing his soft tread down the carpeted hall. What was he doing? Was he just going to leave? Mike strained to hear, but everything was hushed; within a few moments, he saw the light in the living room go out and heard Jack coming back.
The other man didn't say a word as he stripped off his shirt, then kicked off his shoes and removed his pants. Mike held his breath as Jack approached the bed; could he seriously expect sex to bring them closer tonight, after what had nearly happened to him today?
Jack slid under the covers, reaching over to the table by the bed to switch out the lamp. With a quiet sigh, he turned toward Mike, taking the younger man into his arms and pulling him close. "Try to get some sleep," he murmured, his voice low and husky.
Mike couldn't have been more surprised if an alien spaceship had suddenly landed in the middle of his bedroom. This was unlike Jack; he knew that his lover could be gentle, but this kind of tenderness was something completely unexpected.
"Why are you doing this?" he whispered, unable to keep the question from coming out.
Jack tilted Mike's chin up with one hand, his dark eyes searching Mike's face. "If you have to ask me that, then you're probably not ready to know my reasons. Even though I think you might be able to guess at them," he said, his voice still soft.
Mike closed his eyes as Jack's arms wrapped around him, the embrace both comforting and loving. There was no urgency about the way Jack was holding him; he didn't feel that he was being pressed for sex, or even that Jack wanted him.
No, all he felt was a sense of comfort and safety. He'd always thought that Jack's arms could feel like that, but he'd never seen this side of his lover before. He'd never dared to think that Jack could show such tenderness towards him, that they could be this close.
The horror of those few moments when he'd stared down the barrel of that gun receded into the past; when he closed his eyes, he no longer saw that gun pointed right at him. All he could see was Jack's face, his smile, all he could feel was those strong arms holding him.
Mike snuggled closer to Jack, reveling in the feeling of being held. What had Jack meant by what he'd said? Could it be possible that he had stronger feelings than he'd revealed? And if he did, would he ever admit to those feelings aloud?
He wasn't going to push. He didn't need any declarations of true love from Jack. That would be unlike the man he knew, the man he'd fallen in love with. If Jack loved him, he would say it sooner or later. But the fact that he was here spoke louder than words.
After today, he wasn't sure just how much longer he could be patient. Anything could happen to either of them, at any time. Something sudden and unexpected, something that could leave one of them broken and grieving within the space of a heartbeat.
He wasn't going to wait forever for Jack to say what he needed to hear. But he knew that his lover was getting closer to saying it. The look on his face when Mike had opened the door and seen him standing there had shown him what was in Jack's heart.
Jack had broken a barrier by being here tonight. bringing them much closer to each other. And for the moment, that was good enough for Mike. It opened a door into the future that had been closed before -- a door that he was more than willing and ready to step through.