The prompt I wrote this for is: The first time Tony met Lee, he was hustling for a little extra cash; the second time, Tony's first day at CB Productions, was a little bit awkward.
Title: Like The Shiver Of A Passing Train (also here on AO3)
Pairing: Lee Nicholas/Tony Foster
Warnings: prostitution and allusions to past dubcon.
A/N: with huge thanks to elucreh for fixing my commas and the places where I flatly contradicted myself!
A/N 2: the teenaged modelling career for Lee is stolen from some extra backstory that Tanya Huff once gave on twitter.
It was getting late and Tony Foster was getting cold. Toronto was a shitty place to be working the streets on a winter’s night; he should have been born in Miami or Los Angeles or somewhere with sun. He was sure they had johns looking for underage ass there too.
A car swept past his corner, slowing to a crawl and Tony turned automatically, angling his hips into the glare of the headlights. The car rolled on.
“Well, fuck you too,” Tony muttered. “It’s not like I can’t do better either.”
Across the street, a door slammed shut and Tony shivered, wrapping his arms across his chest as the wind picked up. A couple of flakes of snow started dancing in the streetlights and Tony cursed; it was too early in the evening to give up without earning anything and he didn’t fancy trying to get to sleep in a snowstorm without having eaten.
His ears caught the almost-imperceptible brush of shoes against standing snow and Tony straightened, dropping his arms and trying to think warm thoughts. Misery wasn’t a turn-on - for most people, anyway - so it was best to look like he was having a great time.
“Tony?” a voice said and Tony sighed, dropping the act before he turned around. It was Marta, the girl about his age, maybe younger, who worked the opposite corner. She was wearing a heavy faux-fur coat, which would have looked warm except for the giant holes ripped into it and the fact that it was open over a tiny skirt and a sleeveless vest top thing.
“Hi,” Tony said, trying to smile a bit, even though he didn’t want her on his patch and they both knew it. “You okay?”
She shook her head, dark curls sticking to her lipgloss before she knocked it free crossly. “There’s a car idling over on my side. The dude keeps looking but he’s not getting out and he’s scaring away our customers.”
What do you want me to do about it? Tony thought, but he didn’t say that; if they couldn’t help each other out, no one else was going to. “Looking at you or over here?” he asked, already guessing the answer.
“At you,” Marta sniffed which yeah, figured. Guys always parked by the girls when they weren’t quite ready to head over into the world of big gay sex.
Tony rolled out his shoulders. “Okay,” he said easily, because this was his thing. He was good at this, at least. “I’ll sort him out.”
Marta smiled tightly. “Thanks,” she said, throwing him a smile over her shoulder before leaning into the road, looking both ways before tottering back to her own side. Tony had no idea how she could stay upright on those heels in the snow. Or in general. “I’ll pay you back.”
“Sure,” Tony agreed, since they both knew she didn’t have anything he wanted. He rubbed his hands together and then followed Marta across the road, keeping his steps slow and his hips loose even though it was so fucking cold that all his muscles wanted to lock up and make him lumber like an arthritic zombie.
The car Marta was worried about was a big, ugly thing with tinted windows and totally unnecessarily huge tyres. Tony contemplated kicking them, just on principle, but didn’t.
He raised his eyebrows slowly at the driver’s side window and lent casually against the side of the car, waiting. It didn’t take long for the window to roll down.
The inside of the car was dark, but Tony could just make out dark hair and bright, wary eyes.
“Hi there,” Tony said, leaning in a little closer, but not too close, in case this guy got grabby. “Looking for something?”
The guy coughed and then there was a pause. Tony really hoped he wasn’t a cop; he hadn’t done anything really obvious but sometimes cops didn’t need obvious. Vicki would kill him if he got taken in tonight.
“No?” Tony asked smoothly, pushing back from the car. He sucked his lower lip into his mouth, looking up from under his eyelashes. “That’s a shame.”
“I - ” the guy said. “No thanks, I’m good.” He had a good voice, deep and a little rough. Not that it mattered, but Tony wasn’t exactly immune to shit like that.
“Okay then,” Tony said, shrugging but slowly, still inviting. He pointed over at his corner, puffing his chest out a little. “I’ll be just over there, if you change your mind.”
The guy didn’t answer but he also didn’t roll up his window until Tony was safely back on his corner.
The car rolled away soon after and a couple of others came past, but custom was slow and those who did come by were only interested in Marta’s side of the street.
Tony was getting colder and hungrier as the minutes dragged by. He was starting to think that even going to bed starving might be more fun than this when he realised that the car was back. It was parked on Tony’s side of the road this time and the engine was off.
Tony sauntered a little bit closer, just to show that he was still available. Before he could get any closer, the guy stepped forward, caught in a puddle of light halfway between the car and Tony. Tony realised that he was young, Tony’s age or a little older; he was tall, slim beneath his leather jacket, and hot in a wannabe-biker-boy kind of way, all swept-back black hair and wide green eyes.
Tony didn’t need to find his johns hot, but it didn’t hurt, and this guy was definitely not hard to look at.
“Hi,” the guy said, rubbing the back of his neck. His voice was soft, uncertain, and even if all the hesitation and the fucking greeting hadn’t tipped Tony off, he’d still be able to tell that this was the guy’s first time. Maybe ever, but definitely with a hustler.
“Hey.” Tony kicked one foot up onto the curb, tipping his hips forward just a little to display the merchandise. “Ten bucks for a blowjob, thirty if you want to fuck me.”
The guy raised an eyebrow. “Thirty to fuck you?” he asked. Before Tony could tell him to find someone else if he wanted to haggle, he added, “That doesn’t seem very much.”
Tony shrugged. “It’s just sex. You want it or not?”
The guy opened then closed his mouth. “I... Yeah,” he said. “I think so.” He stepped forward then stopped again, sticking his hands in his pockets. “How much to go to a motel? I don’t want to do it here.”
Tony didn’t do that. He had more control on the street, more than he did in a car anyway and a fuck more than he would behind a locked motel room door. “Nah,” he said, shaking his head. “Find someone else.” It was a shame but Tony liked being alive and, besides, he’d promised Vicki he’d stay safe.
“A hundred bucks?” the guy asked and Tony feels his eyebrows climb.
“Wow,” he said. “That’s really not making me any more inclined to trust you, dude.” He didn’t normally say shit like that to johns, but he wasn’t planning on this guy being one of his johns, so he figured there was no harm.
The guy bit his lip. It was a very nice lip and he had very straight, white teeth. He probably wants to eat you, Tony reminded himself firmly. Jack the Ripper probably had a great smile too.
“How about dinner?” the guy asked and Tony felt his eyebrows climb. “God, no, I didn’t mean that to sound like I was asking you out on a date, just. We could grab some food and then you can decide if you still think I’m going to murder you?”
“I never said I thought you were going to murder me,” Tony said, because he hadn’t. He couldn’t decide if it was a very good or a very bad sign that the guy clearly knew he was thinking that anyway.
“Still,” the guy said. It wasn’t fair that he could be so clearly nervous yet still kind of charming. “Free food?”
Fuck it, Tony though. Free food. He was so hungry it was hard to think of a reason to say no.
“Okay,” he said, “it’s your money.”
Tony was a big fan of food. He was an even bigger fan when it was warm food, paid for by someone else, and served at a table rather than scavenged out the back of a dumpster.
He basically inhaled one whole pizza and two glasses of soda before he even bothered to look up at the guy who’d brought him here, who was picking cheese off the top of his pizza and studying it in a really weird way before setting his jaw and swallowing it down.
Tony really didn’t think that pizza should require that much resolve.
“It’s good,” he said, kind of trying to make conversation even though he wasn’t sure why he wanted to.
“What?” the guy put down his pizza and Tony eyed it hungrily. “Yeah. Yeah, it’s great. I don’t usually get to eat this - ” He interrupted himself by tearing off a chunk and eating it as if to say see?
Tony was confused. But then it also wasn’t his business to care about this guy’s fussy eating habits so whatever.
“So,” Tony said, wiping his oily hands on his jeans and wondering if dessert was included in this deal. “You do know you got to pay me if you want to go any further, right?” He raised an eyebrow. “Pizza doesn’t count.”
The guy looked down at the table top then back up at Tony. “Yeah,” he said, “I know. Don’t worry, I can pay.”
“I wasn’t worried,” Tony said easily. “I haven’t agreed to go anywhere with you yet.”
“Can you really afford to pick and choose?” he asked, then looked sorry. Tony wasn’t offended. He was a hooker; he wasn’t fucking coy about it.
Tony felt an unplanned smile curl the corner of his mouth. “What’s to say I’d pick you?” he asked and then wondered what he was doing. You didn’t flirt with johns; that wasn’t how it worked.
The guy blushed. It was kind of pathetic and kind of adorable but Tony would give him points for the way he still met Tony’s eye. “So you haven’t made up your mind, okay. That doesn’t mean I can’t still talk to you, right?”
It meant that Tony didn’t understand why he wanted to talk to him. He shrugged. “Knock yourself out,” he said, reaching across the table to steal a slice since it clearly wasn’t going to get eaten.
The guy put down his knife onto the plate and wiped his fingers on his napkin, leaning back in his chair like he was telling Tony the rest of the food was for him. Tony didn’t need telling twice. “How old are you?” he asked after a long enough silence that Tony had started hoping he didn’t want to talk after all.
Tony glanced up at him under his eyelashes. “Old enough,” he said, which was true. Mostly.
That earned him an unimpressed face. “I’m eighteen. And I think you’re about my age? But if you’re really twelve or something then can you like. Can you tell me so we can stop this here?” He was tapping his fingers against the vinyl, nervous, like he was half-hoping Tony would turn out to be a kid so he could go home.
“I’m not twelve,” Tony told him. If he wanted to back out, he was going to have to say so; Tony needed the money and he was starting to think that maybe a night in a motel wouldn’t be so bad. At least he’d be warm.
Tony had been expecting a sleazy rent-by-the-hour kind of joint, but what he got wasn’t even a motel. It was a proper hotel. Even more than that, it was clearly the hotel that this guy was staying in.
“You’re really bad at this,” Tony told him frankly, as soon as they were inside his hotel room. It was a really nice place. Tony kind of wanted to bounce on the bed or go and see if there was a hot tub.
“Yeah, I know.” Apparently he wasn’t offended, just rubbed the back of his neck and looked sheepish. “But, look, I’ve got...” The guy fumbled in his pockets, pulling out a rolled up wad of bills, so much money that Tony felt his eyes bug out.
“Holy fuck,” he swore. “Put that away, oh my god. Are you stupid? I could knife you and run off with the lot.”
He frowned. “Do you carry a knife?”
Tony rolled his eyes. “I live on the streets, what do you think?” He rolled his eyes when the guy went pale. “Oh come on, I’m not actually gonna knife you.”
“Yeah, no, I know.” The guy stuck his hands in his pockets, awkward. “I just... I didn’t want you to think that I wasn’t good for, you know, whatever you’re going to do. I’ll give it all to you if you want, no knives necessary.”
Okay, now Tony felt a little bad. Just a little, mind. “What’s your name?” he asked, earning a suspicious look. Tony huffed. “C’mon, it’s not like I’m ever going to see you again. You can make something up if you like.”
He swallowed. “Right. Right, sure. I’m Lee.” No last name, but then Tony hadn’t really been expecting a first.
He also wasn’t going to tell Lee his name. That wasn’t what he did. Except, “I’m Tony,” he said and why had he done that? That was so stupid. Just because Lee looked lost and scared and like he was trying hard to be brave, that was no reason for Tony to try to bond with him.
Lee smiled; it went all the way up to his eyes. “Hi, Tony,” he said. He put his hand out like he wanted to shake then dropped it again. “I guess you’d be totally surprised if I said this was my first time?”
Tony grinned. “Totally,” he promised. He brought his hands up his the hem of his shirt, toying with it, trying to decide if Lee would relax or just run away if he got the party moving along a little.
In the end, he decided that Lee could probably handle a shirtless dude so he shimmied his t-shirt up and over his head, letting it drop on the floor behind him. Lee’s eyes fixed on his chest and Tony smiled.
“So,” he said slowly. “Ten dollars for a blowjob, thirty to fuck me. Remember?”
Lee swallowed visibly. “How, how much to blow you?” he asked.
Tony was surprised but he rolled with it. He’d had guys who were into that. “You probably don’t want to do that,” he said, thinking about how long it was since he’d showered and where his dick had been in between times.
Lee’s mouth flattened, like he was disappointed, but he nodded. “I don’t know what I want,” he said then seemed to decide that was too honest because he cleared his throat and said, “I mean, I haven’t quite decided. Sit on the bed? Help me decide?” He flashed Tony a small, genuine smile and fuck, if he ever really got the hang of the gay thing, he was going to break some hearts.
Obligingly, Tony sat down, waiting (mostly) patiently for Lee to do the same. Lee squared his shoulders and Tony was about to tell him that no, seriously, sitting on a bed together was not a scary thing to do, when Lee’s hands went to the top button on his shirt and he started to strip himself out of it.
Ah. Okay. Maybe that took a bit of courage.
Lee had a really nice chest. Kind of skinny, but his shoulders were broad and Tony could totally see the potential there for one insanely sexy dude to emerge when he was a bit older. There was a little smattering of dark hair just below his collarbones and around his nipples and Tony was surprised by just how interested he was in touching it.
“That’s okay, right?” Lee asked and Tony couldn’t do anything but laugh. Lee seriously did not get that he had all the power here. Which was okay; Tony wasn’t about to clue him in.
“Sure,” Tony told him, patting the bed invitingly.
Lee sat down, closer than Tony had been expecting and put his hand on Tony’s jaw, fingers four warm points on Tony’s cheek. “Do you, um. Can I kiss you?”
Tony forced himself to roll his eyes. “This isn’t Pretty Woman, dude.” He didn’t have any rules about kissing – mostly because no one ever usually tried. Lee still waited and Tony sighed, put-upon and loud. “Yes, you can kiss me.” If Lee was going to ask permission for everything, they’d be here all night. Which didn’t sound too bad actually; it really was cosy-warm in here.
Then the kiss came and oh, wow, apparently Lee wasn’t going to ask for permission for everything because that was quite some kiss, nothing shy about that. Lee flicked his tongue into Tony’s mouth, curling it around Tony’s, and it was all Tony could do not to groan. Then he remembered that Lee might like to hear him groan so he did, the sound vibrating between them.
Lee cupped the back of Tony’s neck, pulling him closer and tilting his head back slightly. It was too intimate, Tony was too vulnerable with his throat bared and Lee’s thumb pressing just below his adam’s apple.
Tony swallowed convulsively and moved his head slightly, sitting up just enough to feel comfortable again. Lee’s fingers dipped to his chest, tracing his collarbone and Tony shivered helplessly, far too turned on for his own good.
This wasn’t supposed to be about him, he reminded himself. Lee didn’t want him to have a good time; that wasn’t what he was paying for.
“That’s great,” Tony told him, kneeling up on the bed. He put his hands on Lee’s shoulders, sliding them down over his chest. “C’mon, tell me what you want me to do.”
Lee reached up, hands curling around Tony’s wrists and Tony thought he was trying to stop him, but apparently Lee just wanted to touch him while Tony carried on exploring his chest.
“Kiss me some more?” Lee asked, actually asked like he didn’t understand that he was buying a service here; he could tell Tony what to do. “How much for kissing?”
“Kissing’s free,” Tony told him recklessly, even though it wasn’t, nothing was free.
Lee groaned, stroking his hands up Tony’s arms and around to his back, pulling him down with him onto the bed. They rolled around a bit, kissing, until Tony somehow ended up on top, Lee pinned to the bed beneath him.
To be fair, Lee really didn’t look like he minded.
“Okay?” Tony asked, just to check.
Lee nodded. He looked a bit shaky, but his cheeks were flushed and his chest was heaving; he was definitely having a good time.
The fact that Tony was, too – well, that wasn’t something they needed to discuss, was it?
Tony sat back a bit, shifting so he was straddling Lee’s thighs properly. He leaned down and kissed Lee’s sternum then carried on down. Lee’s stomach twitched when Tony bit it lightly, but then Tony turned his attention to Lee’s zipper, catching it between his teeth just to show off, and his breath started to get loud.
“Oh Jesus, god, wait,” Lee groaned, “Stop.”
Tony stopped. He’d never been in the position where he was the one in control before, but that didn’t mean he was going to be an asshole about it now.
Tony rubbed the flat of his palm over Lee’s hips. They were sharp, standing out in relief; he was almost as skinny as Tony, and Tony some days didn’t get to eat.
“I think I shoulda let you have more pizza, dude,” Tony said. Not concerned, because it was none of his fucking business, just making conversation while he waited for Lee to catch his breath.
“Mm,” Lee agreed, blinking up at Tony with dazed eyes. “I’m a... I was a model. They don’t let you eat much.”
Tony didn’t say anything but at least that explained why Lee had so much cash to flash about. Tony had been worried he was deflowering the heir to a multinational or something. Well, not worried; that sounded kind of hot, actually.
“Yeah?” he asked. “I seen you anywhere?”
Lee shook his head. “Just some fashion magazines. I was up a billboard back home,” he added. “It was embarrassing as fuck.”
“Where’s home?” Tony asked automatically then, “No, shit, don’t tell me that. I don’t need to know that.”
“Vancouver,” Lee said, ignoring him.
Huh. Okay. There was no way that someone who looked like Lee and was as sexily nervous as Lee could possibly have needed to travel right the way across the fucking country to get laid, and he definitely shouldn’t need to pay for it.
“All right now?” Tony asked, because it wasn’t like he was going to ask Lee to tell him his life story.
Lee blew out a breath, smiling lopsidedly. “Yeah,” he said, “sorry. I just. It’d be totally fucking lame if I came before you touched me.”
Tony’s cock throbbed, sudden and unexpected. Shit. Shit, he wasn’t sure he liked being this involved.
“Come as many times as you like,” Tony told him, leaning down and kissing him softly. “That’s kind of what we’re here for.”
“Yeah,” Lee said. He shifted, dropping his hand to his own zipper. “Can you blow me? Is that okay?”
Oh fuck, finally. Now they were back to business and Tony could stop with this nagging feeling like he was somehow on a really nice date.
“That is more than okay,” Tony told him and shifted backwards, dealing quickly with getting Lee’s pants and boxers out of the way.
Lee had a nice cock and he didn’t grab Tony’s hair when Tony sucked the head into his mouth. He also didn’t come immediately, which Tony was pretty impressed by considering how hard he was and how deeply he shuddered at the first brush of Tony’s mouth.
“Fuck,” Lee muttered, low, then again, a little louder. The next sound was muffled and Tony glanced up to see that Lee had stuffed his fingers into his mouth. Tony reached up instinctively and pulled them free.
“Make some noise,” he advised, since he’d kind of figured Lee didn’t or couldn’t let himself have this thing, the gay thing, back home. “No one knows you here, right?”
“Right,” Lee breathed and then, “Fuck, Tony,” when Tony scraped his teeth carefully along the thick vein down his cock. It was loud and Lee laughed shakily, like he couldn’t believe what he was doing.
“Yeah,” Tony hummed against Lee’s cock, sucking hard again and this time Lee did come, letting himself moan up toward the ceiling, hips arching hard off the mattress.
Tony didn’t swallow, because Tony didn’t do that, but he did take care to spit into the comforter rather than onto the floor, which was kind of a concession for him. He figured they’d be done now, but apparently they weren’t: Lee’s hands caught him under the arms, urging him up clumsily and Tony went, careful not to knee Lee anywhere important.
“That was great,” Lee breathed, dopey, post-coital smile predictably in place.
Tony raised his eyebrows, hoping they conveyed the duh, professional that he’d rather not say. Lee dropped his hand, cupping Tony through his jeans then stopped. “Can I?” he asked.
No, Tony thought, because he usually hated it when clients wanted to get him off. It was way harder to pretend to be having a good time when his dick was still soft and uninterested. He wasn’t having anything like that kind of problem now though so, “Yeah, sure,” he said. Then he genuinely fucking moaned when Lee squirmed a clumsy, inexpert hand into his pants.
Tony grunted harshly. Lee’s grip was too tight and he’d obviously never jerked anyone else off before since his hand was all the wrong way around, like he was doing it to himself.
“Sorry,” Lee said, sounding it. “I don’t know what – ”
“It’s good,” Tony said because it was, kind of. It could have been better, but it wasn’t terrible. It was embarrassingly nice to be touched by someone who didn’t make his skin crawl.
“I can do better,” Lee said, almost like he was reading Tony’s mind. “Can I do better?”
Tony laughed. “I don’t know, dude. You tell me.”
Lee kissed him, which wasn’t the way people usually rewarded Tony’s smart mouth. “I meant, will you let me try?”
His thumb was rubbing circles over the head of Tony’s cock, almost like a caress, and, “Yes, yeah, sure, whatever,” Tony mumbled, worryingly sure that he didn’t sound as disinterested as he wanted to.
Lee grinned brightly and rolled him over, onto his back. He pushed Tony’s pants down, out of the way and rearranged himself so he was comfortable, head ending up on Tony’s stomach and his grip changing on Tony’s hard-on, improving all the time like apparently Lee was the world’s fastest learner.
It turned out that Lee could definitely do better.
Afterwards, Tony let Lee get him naked, even though he should have been doing the opposite, should have been pulling his clothes on and leaving.
“Come on,” Lee said, coaxing him under the covers. “It’s too late to go anywhere tonight.”
“Um,” Tony said, “hooker? We kind of walk by night.”
“Isn’t that vampires?” Lee asked and Tony laughed even though it wasn’t funny. Vampires, right, they were the last things that Tony’s life needed.
Lee was looking at him, watching him laugh. He touched Tony’s hair, tucking it behind his ear, and Tony closed his eyes. That wasn’t fair.
Tony kind of wanted to ask him what the fuck he was doing, paying to get his rocks off with a boy he didn’t know, when he was clearly the kind of romantic who should have been doing this with someone special.
Instead, he found himself saying, “Don’t,” and turning his head away.
“Sorry,” Lee said softly, “I didn’t mean – ”
Tony shook his head. He was tired and the world was getting swimmy at the edges the way it did when he either had to sleep or fall down on the spot. He could grab an hour here, he bargained with himself, then head back to his usual spot under the bridge. There wouldn’t be much of the night left by then, and at least he’d eaten.
“Can I ask – ?” Lee started.
“No,” Tony interrupted. He dragged his eyes open, looking up and down at the parts of Lee he could see that weren’t hidden under the comforter. “Unless I can too?” Making it a challenge.
Lee shook his head, which was fair; Tony hadn’t expected him to agree to share secrets in the dark like a couple of kids at a slumber party.
Tony yawned, completely unexpectedly, and groaned a little, pressing his face into the pillow. He tensed when Lee’s arm snaked around his waist, but didn’t try to shake him off again. He rolled over, letting Lee spoon up against his back. It felt okay, he supposed, not terrible to have someone warm and solid at his back for once.
Lee kissed the back of his neck. “Good night,” he said softly.
Tony wanted to say it back, just lie to himself and pretend that this boy in this bed was a part of his life. “You’re seriously lucky I’m too tired to shank you,” he said instead and felt rather than heard the rumble of Lee’s laugh against his skin.
The fact that Tony was warm when he woke up instantly triggered alarm bells. His eyes shot open and he sat up, looking around wildly.
Then he remembered where he was and flopped back onto the bed, groaning. He’d stayed the night. He couldn’t believe he’d stayed the whole fucking night. If Lee had decided to murder him, it would have been his own fucking fault.
“Hey,” a soft voice said and Tony looked over to find Lee standing in the doorway. He was dressed, hair curling into wet cowlicks around his ears and something warm in his eyes. He was incredibly hot and ridiculously charming – Tony wished there were real boys in Tony’s real life like him.
“Morning,” Tony said, praying none of that sentimental crap had crept into his expression. He sat up again. “Give me ten and I’ll be out of your hair.”
“Yeah,” Lee said, “I mean, no. That’s cool. I want to say there’s no rush but I have to be at the airport in an hour so there kind of is.”
“More modelling?” Tony asked even though it was none of his business, because he was still kind of out of it from having slept in a real fucking bed for so many hours.
“No.” Lee shook his head. He was clutching a Danish pastry in his hand and he held it up like evidence. “I finished a shoot here yesterday and that’s it. No more modelling, never again.”
Tony smiled, because it was clearly something Lee was happy about. He stretched, listening to the pops of muscles unkinking in his back. He could smell steam and shower gel in the air and it was just too tempting to resist.
“Can I grab a shower?” he asked. “I’ll be real quick.”
“Yeah,” Lee said, stepping back and waving toward the bathroom. “Sure. Take your time.” Someone had drilled some really excellent manners into him, Tony thought, and didn’t even feel like mocking him for them.
“Thanks,” he said, because he had manners of his own. He bent down, collecting his clothes off the floor and wishing – stupidly, fruitless, he never usually let himself wish for anything – that they could miraculously be clean by the time he had to put them back on.
“Towels are in the bathroom,” Lee told him, stepping back to let him past. His fingers trailed Tony’s over Tony’s wrist like he couldn’t quite stop himself then up his arm to his elbow. He stopped, frowning, and then his eyes widened, just slightly, as he obviously saw the track marks.
“I’m clean,” Tony told himself because they hadn’t really done much Lee needed to worry about, but he still felt like being kind. “It’s been a few months.”
Lee nodded. His eyes were still a little wide, like apparently he hadn’t really thought about the implications of picking a random hooker off the streets. Tony started to feel a little cold; there they were, the walls were going back up between them, everyone back to their proper places.
It wasn’t like he’d expected any different, not for one minute.
Lee didn’t let go of Tony’s arm though; Tony would have expected him to throw it away like it had burned him. He kissed Tony’s shoulder – if he’d kissed Tony’s scars Tony might have punched him – and then his mouth, just as soft as he’d tried to be at the end of last night.
“I might be gone when you come out,” he said quietly. “The uh, the money’s on the table.”
Tony nodded. He didn’t ask how much, even though the business sense part of his brain was telling him he should.
“Thanks,” Lee said, kissing Tony again, “Thank you.”
“It’s – ” Tony cleared his throat. “It’s no big deal. It’s my job.” Dinner first and making out and staying the night and barely any sex wasn’t really his job, but whatever, it was unlikely Lee knew that.
“Yeah.” Lee smiled, but it looked sad. “Still, it was nice meeting you.”
Tony nodded. “You too,” he said, because he didn’t want to lie about that.
Lee was gone when Tony got out of the shower. There was a pair of boxers on the bed, folded and lying next to a slightly faded Vancouver Canucks t-shirt. Tony fingered them both; they felt clean, smelled clean, and he couldn’t even pretend to be too proud to take them; pulling them on felt too fucking good for that.
There was two hundred dollars on the table by the door and a scribbled note with a cell phone number on it.
Tony stared at the money then back to the note. “I can’t,” he said to the empty room. It didn’t matter if he wanted to or not; he couldn’t call Lee. He picked up the money and stuffed it into the pockets of his jeans, along with his dirty t-shirt and underwear.
Then he balled up the note and dropped it into the trash. Like he’d said last night, this wasn’t Pretty Woman and the street-rat hustler was never going to end up with the gorgeous model; that wasn’t how life worked.
He pulled a twenty out of his pocket and sniffed it. It wasn’t a new bill but that didn’t matter. He was fucking rich. He let himself out of the hotel room and downstairs to find a payphone. He had no fucking idea where he was, but Vicki would know. He’d been meaning to check in on her anyway, find out if the doctor had worked put what was wrong with her eyes yet. Maybe, just this once, he could be the one to buy her lunch.
Eight Years Later
“Okay, no, wait,” Tony said. It was actually fucking painful to say that considering Lee was sucking hickies into his throat and after the last few months of waiting, he didn’t want to delay this any more.
“What?” Lee asked, pulling back and looking grumpy. Or maybe just horny. He looked good anyway, even if his dressing room wasn’t the best place for this, especially not with Zev and Amy and Amy’s stapler waiting for them down the hall.
“Sorry,” Tony said, swiping his hair out of his face. “I’ve just got to know, do you remember me or not?”
Lee’s eyebrows drew together. “Okay, I know my memory’s a bit fucked up, but what are you – ?” Then his eyes widened. “Oh.”
Huh, apparently he did remember. Tony had genuinely thought he couldn’t; he’d never mentioned it not once during their whole will-they-won’t-they farce.
“I thought we weren’t talking about that,” Lee said.
Tony huffed out an unamused laugh even though of course, of course Lee fucking Nicholas, network TV's (and, fuck it, Tony’s) darling didn’t want to talk about that one time he bought sex off a Toronto street hustler.
“No, hey,” Lee said. He caught Tony’s chin and made him look up. One corner of his mouth quirked up, almost questioning. “I thought you didn’t want to talk about it.”
Tony frowned. “I’m not ashamed of anything,” he said, tipping his chin up independent of Lee’s grip because if Lee thought he needed to be embarrassed about his past then they were going to be over before they started. Which would be a total fucking shame, but there you go.
“Okay.” Lee nodded quickly. “I’m not either.” He laughed at himself, scratching the back of his neck awkwardly. When he looked back down at Tony, he looked shy, which he never did these days. “I waited months for you to call me, you know? I liked you then and I like you now. I’m not sorry that we met like that, I just wish we could have stayed in touch.”
Tony shook his head quickly. “We couldn’t, not then.” He waved a hand at this, them, himself. “None of this would have happened if we’d stayed in touch.”
He’d been half-way in love with Lee after that first night. If Lee had lived in Toronto, Tony would probably have kept seeing him, missed the chance of meeting Henry. And Henry had been the one who’d helped him save himself, not Lee, which was just something Lee was going to have to live with.
“Okay,” Lee agreed. He still looked regretful, but not upset, not angry. He dropped his hands down to Tony’s hips, pulling him forward to close the tiny distance that they’d accidentally migrated apart. “I get to keep you now though, right?”
Tony laughed. That was so fucking cheesy. It was a good job he lived in the world of network TV where cheesy equalled romantic. “Yes, yeah, sure. You get to keep me now.” He thought about keeping quiet but had to admit, “I still have your t-shirt, after all.”
Lee pulled back, smiling and incredulous. “Seriously?”
Tony shrugged. It wasn’t a big deal. It was a totally normal thing to have kept. “What of it?” he asked, challenging.
Lee shook his head, still grinning. “Nothing,” he said and pressed his lips to Tony’s ear, whispering, “We’re going to have a great how-did-you-meet story.”
He kissed Tony again before Tony could finish laughing.
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