Title: Come Out and Play
By: angstytimelord
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Law & Order
Pairing: Michael Cutter/Jack McCoy
Author's Note: Spoilers for the Law & Order episode "By Perjury". Continuation of No Time This Time.
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.


Now that he was standing in Jack's office, Mike wasn't sure of what to say or do. He didn't realize that he'd locked the door behind him until he heard the slight click that told him they had privacy, and he could say whatever he needed to get out.

But he couldn't bring himself to ask the all-important question that had haunted him ever since he and Jack had started on this strange relationship of theirs. What if the answer was something that he didn't want to hear? What if he'd be crushed by the truth?

"What brings you here so early?" Jack asked, looking up from his desk with raised brows. Mike knew that his lover wasn't annoyed with him for showing up in his office out of the blue; he often did that when he was working on a case that he wanted to talk about.

But the reason he was here had nothing to do with a case, and he could sense that Jack knew it didn't. The other man was leaning back in his chair, crossing his arms over his chest, looking up at Mike with a curious expression.

"I-I think we need to talk," Mike stammered, not sure of what to say. He wished that he'd rehearsed this before he'd come into Jack's office; he shouldn't be going into this blindly, with no idea of what he wanted to say or even how to begin saying it.

This wasn't a case that he needed advice about, or anything that he could argue glibly in court and let someone else make the ultimate decision. on. This was his relationship, his life, and, as he saw it, his future happiness depended on what he said here today.

Jack indicated the chair in front of his desk, a comfortable leather chair that Mike had sat in many times before. "Then let's talk," he said, looking amused. "I don't know what this is about, but I'm willing to listen if you've got something you need to say."

Settling himself in the chair, Mike took a deep breath, words suddenly tumbling out before he could stop them. "What ae the parameters of our relationship, Jack?" he asked, his gaze locking on the other man's. "What exactly do I mean to you?"

Jack looked startled for a moment; obviously, he hadn't expected this kind of question. He took a while to answer, but he didn't look away from Mike's gaze. When he did speak, his voice was measured, his words slightly clipped, though his tone was calm.

"You're a friend, a colleague, and a lover. You're also my slave, and I can do whatever I want with you. In a sexual sense, of course. That extends out of the bedroom into the office. You belong to me, Mike. You've agreed to that, and you knew the rules."

"I need more than that." Michael's voice was flat, and he was the one to look away first. "I need to feel like I mean more to you than just some plaything you're going to throw away without a second glance once you decide you're tired of me and want something new."

Silence met his words, and Mike could feel his heart sinking to somewhere near the region of his feet. He'd done it now, he told himself regretfully. He'd said the wrong thing, and any second now Jack was going to tell him that their personal relationship was over and done with.

"Mike." Jack's voice, when he spoke again, was soft -- and to Michael's surprise, he didn't sound angry at all. "Do you really think I'd want to have this kind of a relationship with you if I didn't care about you? It's based on trust, after all."

"From what you said just now, it doesn't sound like I'm anything more to you than something you intend to play with for a while and then move on from," Mike told him, trying to keep his voice calm. Now was not the time for his voice to tremble or sound weak.

"I know what you want to hear -- and I'm not ready to say those words out loud yet," Jack told him bluntly, crossing his arms over his chest again. "It's not that I don't care about you, Mike. You know I do. But I'm not going to let you push me into something I'm not ready for."

"You're not ready to fall in love with me?" Mike challenged, looking Jack directly in the eye. "If that's how you feel, then why don't you just admit that I'm noting but a sex toy to you? You might consider me a friend and colleague, but at the root of it, I'm just a plaything."

"That's not true!" Jack got to his feet, slapping his palms down on the desk and leaning over it to face the other man. "Do you seriously think I could do all these things to you if there wasn't complete trust between us? Do you think I'd even want to?"

It took a moment for Mike to fathom just what Jack meant. His lover wasn't only talking about the trust they had in each other concerning the sexual side of their relationship -- he meant that he had to trust Mike not to tell anyone else about them.

Or at least, that was what he thought Jack meant. He was sure that the other man was referring to the physical trust that Mike put into his hands as well -- the trust that Jack wouldn't do anything to harm him, that he would know when to pull back.

"I know what you mean," he faltered, looking down at his hands clenched in his lap. "But that's not what I was asking. I don't expect you to say you love me. Not if you don't mean it. But I need to know that what you feel for me goes deeper than just a surface attraction."

To his surprise, Jack moved out from behind the desk; Mike stood up slowly, wondering what the other man was going to do. For all he knew, Jack was going to slap him, or order him out of his office. He seemed to have a talent today for inviting disaster to come out and play.

Jack stopped in front of him, his eyes meeting Mike's, their gazes locking and holding for what seemed like an eternity. Neither of them spoke, simply standing there and staring at each other as though they were each for something in the other man's eyes that they couldn't find.

Mike was the first to drop his gaze; the moment he did, Jack reached out to take the younger man's face between his hands, leaning forward and brushing his mouth against Mike's, gently at first, then with a firmer, more insistent pressure.

After the first shock of being kissed like this -- a lover's kiss, not something he'd expected to receive from Jack -- Mike almost let himself melt into the other man's arms, almost unable to believe that Jack was actually kissing him so warmly, so passionately.

When Jack's mouth finally pulled away from his, Mike was left breathless, panting, his gaze unfocused. He didn't know what to say; there really wasn't anything he could say, so he simply stood there, trying to catch his breath and waiting for Jack to speak.

"I hope that takes away any anxiety you might have about how I feel," Jack whispered, his gaze still on Mike's face. "I might not be able to say the words you want to hear yet, but you're a lot more to me than just an attraction, Mike. You always have been."

"That's all I needed to hear," Mike told him, his voice husky. He had to swallow hard before he could speak again. "I'm sorry to come bursting in here like this and laying this at your feet, but after everything that's happened, I had to know."

"Didn't the fact that I spent that night with you tell you how I feel?" Jack asked him, a wry smile on his lips. "I'd have thought that would have given you some kind of peace, but I guess it didn't. Anyway, you know now. At least as much as I'm willing to say."

Mike nodded, still feeling somewhat nervous and keyed up. He knew that Jack would probably expect some penance of him from forcing this issue, and he was waiting to see if it would be exacted here in the office, or later tonight, at Jack's house.

"I think you owe me a little something for coming in here like this, don't you think?" Jack told him, his voice becoming more clipped and businesslike. "It's a good thing you closed the door. I don't want to be bothered during this little session."

Mike swallowed hard and nodded, his nervousness starting to show; he already knew what position Jack expected him to take. He moved his hands behind his back, grasping his wrists, slowly turning so that he was facing away from the other man.

"Good boy," Jack said, his tone approving. "Bend over the desk, Mike. Hands behind your back, legs spread. I think you need to be punished a little for overstepping the bounds of being a slave. You might have a hard time sitting down for the rest of the day."

Mike didn't question Jack's command; he did as he was told, bending over the desk and spreading his legs as wide as he could. Jack's quick, nimble fingers were already at the buckle of his belt; his pants would be down in seconds.

It was definitely a good thing he'd locked the door behind him, Mike thought as Jack pulled his pants down to his ankles and he stepped out of them. Otherwise, he would have had to wait for this until he'd gotten to Jack's house tonight -- and at this point, waiting was out of the question.