And The Beat Goes On
(Project Enhanced Encyclopedic Knowledge - PEEK)
Pairing: Ezra / Chris
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em, or the show they rode in on. I wrote this for fun, no profit is made from it.
Archive: At my regular archives --- all others, please ask.
Summary: The persistence of the Persian boy.
Warnings: Male/male loving; special note: Ezra is VERY young in this, just past his majority --- he was 18 in the first story, now about 19.
Author's Note: This is the third story in my PEEK A/U.
Completed: 5 November 2004
Feedback: welcomed by firstname.lastname@example.org
Back to: Alexandria Revisited
Vin tugged at his turtleneck, uncomfortable with the costume choice that Josiah and he had chosen. It had looked better than other options when they did a scan of potential wardrobe selections. Feel like I'm being strangled. He was glad that at least this time he'd not had to wear a wig or headgear. His shaggy hair fit in with the subculture they were examining.
Chris glanced over at his partner and smirked at the persistent finger hooked in the rolled collar. Vin looks like he'd like to crawl right out of that. Larabee dismissed Tanner's itch and peered through the gloom. The coffee house was ill-lit but that seemed to be part of the milieu. They were hoping to capture the essence of this beatnik era that would soon blossom into flower children.
Just the two of them had gone infocus on this PEEK into the past. Ezra had not been happy to be left behind but JD enticed him into sitting in the ob-deck control center. Ezra was absorbing knowledge so quickly that the whole team was beginning to adopt him, each vying for time to sell the merits of his own particular specialty to the young man.
"And now, LENNNNY BRRUUUUUUCCE!" A bright spot flicked onto the tiny stage where a single microphone stand made a dark vertical line.
Chris twisted around to take in the audience, all looking worldly and wan in dark colors, drooping hairstyles, and half-lidded eyes. Back on stage, a thin, dark man twitched into the spotlight and snatched the microphone free. Trailing the long, snaking cord, he began to pace. And talk.
Vin stared in fascination, suddenly very sorry he hadn't convinced Josiah to come along. Bruce was rattling off his words at high speed, nearly every third word seemed to be an obscenity or smear, yet as Vin leaned back and let it wash over him, he began to sense the underlying rage that masqueraded as acid humor.
Chris fingered the burning twist of tobacco. A cigarette. Mild compared to the other addictive substances being inhaled in the smoky room. Even as he gazed at the plume sifting out from the woman slumped at the next table, a column of smoke thickened at his side. Shit! Chris sat up straight, ignoring Vin and his subject, watching Ezra infocus beside him. Twinkling up at him, all dressed in black leather.
"Who let you-"
"Buck understood why I have to be with you." Ezra leaned up against Larabee and turned to look toward the performer, through the haze of the fumes in the dark room. "This is an importance person, Chris."
Larabee frowned and sat up, wrapping one arm possessively around his smaller companion. "Ezra, we are going to have a conversation when we get back."
Green eyes squinted up at him as inquisitive fingers coaxed the nearly burned out cigarette from his hand. "And this is-"
"Not," Chris snatched the thing back and ground it into the stone ashtray on the old dark blue laminate tabletop, "for you." He tilted his head down to press his forehead against Ezra's just as the audience erupted into hoots and laughter, shocking both of them.
Both turned to see Vin whistling and clapping madly as the comedian on stage continued to speak non-stop, waving his own cigarette in wide arm circles as he moved restlessly across the tiny stage. Chris reached over with his free hand to tap Vin on the shoulder.
Vin looked around and nearly fell out of his seat. Ezra was there, hugged close to Chris' side. Holy ---! Before he could speak, Chris was hissing at him.
"Vin! Have you got enough now? We need to outfocus."
Reluctantly Tanner nodded. He adjusted his recorder and looked back up just as Bruce dropped the microphone back onto its stand and gave a single bow before moving erratically off the stage. Around them, several young women and men were snapping their fingers to no discernable rhythm.
Gray took them. Out focus.
In focus, Larabee stood, still sheltering Ezra against him. Tanner stood at their sides, looking vaguely dissatisfied, studying his handheld recorder and ignoring the ob-deck and the rest of the team gathered beyond the circular bar. He looked up and nodded, following Chris and Ezra out at Larabee's signal. They left the focal field and passed outside the rail to rejoin the team.
Buck was rapidly fading back through the standing men, clearly ready to avoid Chris who was looking like a thundercloud ready to rain. And, perhaps throw a bolt or two.
"Hell!" Everyone turned back to look at Vin. Then normally quiet historian was looking with dismay at the data already playing out on one of the monitors. "We missed Kerouac! He'd have been in the same neighborhood within an acceptable time frame."
Josiah Sanchez, sitting at the monitor, shook his head. "You got Lenny Bruce, Vin. That was very good." He pressed some coding into the panels at his fingertips, then continued, looking back over his shoulder, "the Beat Generation was a short lived phenomenon. Catching Jack K as well would have been incredible but we'll shoot for a bit later and find him on the road."
Tanner nodded. "We had to cut it short." He didn't say anything else, just looked over at where Ezra was looking up at Chris with a most sincere face.
Larabee, who wanted nothing more than to throttle his young lover, sighed. Ezra was turning out to be a real surprise. Totally brilliant, he'd stunned Nate on repeated intelligence and creativity tests. But he was also displaying a penchant for stubbornness and for loyalty. Once the young man set his mind on something, moving him was like trying to shift a mountain. This late 'addition' to their time-peek had been dangerous and - Chris sighed - endearing. Ezra desired nothing more than to be near Chris at all times, IN all times.
Chris' muted anger, already sliding off into resignation, met Buck's hesitant apologetic helplessness. The men's eyes locked and both read their underlying humor at the situation. Two sets of eyes were drawn off to settle on the smaller man at Chris' side. Ezra was glowing up at Chris, dimples deep, green eyes nearly matching those of Hyacinth, his new kitten.
"Chris, I -"
"Boys, we're going to have to talk about this." Josiah shook his head at the unrepentant Persian in their midst. Ezra was deftly removing his leather biker pants, jacket already on the floor. He had the zip undone on the tight pants and was tugging a white tank top up off his torso as he simultaneously shimmy his hips to force the open waistband down to his thighs. It was immediately obvious that the boy had nothing on under those two items.
Josiah sighed and raised a polite hand to cup it in front of his face, a small smile quirking at his lips as he swung away from the erotic sight. Ezra had no shame, but then, that was to expected, Josiah supposed, considering that they'd found him in a Sultan's harem, the prettiest little eunuch any of them had ever seen. Momentarily, Josiah paused in his train of thought, wondering if any of the rest of them would have had a chance with Ezra if Chris hadn't seen and made contact first. Of course, none of the rest of them would ever have thought to extract a living person from his / her time. Except Chris.
Guess they deserve each other, Josiah decided with a smile as he watched a now naked Ezra stretch against Chris' long shape. Distracted again, Larabee was looking down into their mischievous sprite's gleaming eyes and was clearly lost. Damn, no wonder we call Buck lucky, Josiah thought. Buck just got away with it because there's no way Chris can stay angry with Ezra. Josiah's small smile grew into a great toothy grin and he slapped Buck on the back.
"Buck, looks like you'll make it out of this one alive." Josiah's chuckle was low and earthy.
Wilmington, admiring the play of light on the Persian's smooth golden ivory skin, relaxed more completely at Josiah's words. "Yeah," he breathed out as he watched his old friend Chris once more succumb to their Ezra's charms. Safe to screw up another day. Buck grinned and pivoted away from the couple and headed for his machines. Need to recalibrate. He hitched his trousers to adjust the room in the 'basement' and decided he might just be ready for a more permanent distraction of his own.
Ezra, who'd actually been very interested in the peek-period, had lost track of the whole adventure. His Chris was here and still not naked. Nothing else truly mattered.
Larabee, manfully resisting scooping up his playful mate and disappearing, tried to straighten away from busy fingers. "Vin, we need to review your recording."
Tanner laughed out right. "Now, Chris, that won't be happening soon. Least not with you." He shrugged a shoulder in the direction of the intent Ezra, limpet-like against Larabee's chest, fingers picking at buttons. "You have something else to get done first." He put down his meter and recorder, both small devices sensitive yet durable, and grasped the roll of his sweater neck. With a great yank, he hauled it off over his head and shook himself out with relief. A big hand settled on his back. He smiled up at Buck.
Chris grabbed Ezra's slim shoulders and pushed out to stiffen his arms. Holding the now wind-milling man at arms' length, he looked around the pod area. To his surprise, in the few moments that he'd struggled to remove Ezra from his body, the room had emptied. "Ah, boys?" Only a dull echo and Ezra's mutterings answered him. "Ah, what the hell." He looked back at his enthusiastic lover. "Come here, you." The rest could wait for later. He needed to have a firm discussion on safety procedures and policy with - with - with Ezraaaaah ahhhh, hell. Later.
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