Fic: Out of sync at the beginning (Gen Kill, Brad/Nate)
by asimplechord & why_me_why_not
Generation Kill || Brad/Nate || Adult || ~3300 words
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction based on the portrayal of characters in Generation Kill by Alexander Skarsgard and Stark Sands, and is meant to imply nothing about the real people who bear these names.
Summary: When Ray tells Nate to fix whatever's between him and Brad, Nate has to figure out if Ray's fucking with him, and if not, how to get Brad where he wants him.
A/N So, we accidentally created a 'verse based on a random comment. Isn't that the way it always seems to go with us? Oh well, at least it's fun. This is the beginning of... something. Originally written mostly in txtfic. We beta'd it ourselves, so hit us up with any mistakes. Title paraphrased from The National's Slow Show.
Nate knows something’s Not Right when he gets home, but he’s certain he can defend himself against whatever it is that’s causing the uneasy feeling. He’s not sure why Person and Hasser have been putting their recon skills to use breaking into his apartment – maybe they’re feeling rusty? Do they need more practice drills? – but Ray is sitting in Nate’s favorite chair, leafing through the book Nate had left lying on the side table and acting like he’s the reincarnation of The Godfather – from the movie, not Godfather, although Nate would find that pretty comical.
Walt’s wandering around behind him, but Nate is aware Walt is completely tuned in to the entire conversation.
“So, Nathaniel.” Ray’s smile really isn’t friendly. “We need to talk. Have a seat.” He gestures at Nate’s own couch.
Nate complies, mainly because he wants to see where this is heading.
Ray carefully replaces the envelope Nate was using as a bookmark and sets the book aside before leaning forward and resting his arms on his knees. “You’re breaking Brad’s heart.”
Nate’s laughing before he thinks about it, but then realizes that Ray isn’t laughing, and Walt has stopped his pacing and is staring at him solemnly. “Wait, what?”
“Brad,” Ray repeats, like Nate might’ve missed that part. “Colbert? Tall, scary motherfucker, best team leader you’ll ever have?”
“I know Brad,” Nate says patiently, hoping that at any moment Ray might start making sense. “What do you mean I’m breaking his heart?”
Ray’s gaze darkens, and for a second Nate’s a little worried about what’s going to happen, but Ray just shakes his head. “I know you’re an officer, but you’re not fucking retarded. Brad’s been giving you all sorts of signs that you’ve been blowing off.”
Nate isn’t unobservant, okay, but he figured he was misreading the signals Brad was giving him and putting his own spin on things. Besides, Brad is pretty hard to read when he wants to be, fuck if Nate could figure him out in the middle of the clusterfuck of OIF.
“Don’t tell me you believe that bullshit about Brad being the Iceman, because underneath that, he’s a sensitive soul. And he’s got trust issues, like a fuckton of them, but at some point he’s gotta get past that betrayal and try again. Being in a relationship is like riding a fucking bike, you never forget how to do it, and if you fall off you gotta get back on again at some point, right? And Brad should be really good at that, lookit all the time he spends on his bike!”
Walt walks up and lays a hand on Ray’s shoulder just as Ray’s getting geared up. Ray stops and glances up at Walt. Apparently Nate and Brad aren’t the only ones who have mastered nonverbal communication.
“Just fucking fix it, Nate,” Ray says, sounding tired.
“Or what?” The words are out before Nate even realizes he’s going to say them. He doesn’t know if he actually believes this bullshit anyway, but he’s not sure he wants to push Ray either.
"Do you remember that time we all went to Tijuana? You may not have been involved with the donkey show, but a few well-placed phone calls and Lilley's photoshop skills could mean your mother's next Christmas cards include her favorite Marine in the middle of that near-international incident."
Ray’s wrath may well be like the Eighth Wonder of the Natural World, but Nate’s even more worried by Walt’s silent, emphatic nods. He takes them seriously.
Only now, he has to convince Brad that he's interested without mentioning that Ray and Walt told him anything. He’s never responded to any of Brad’s standing, repeated invitations to go surfing, and has endured a lot of good-natured teasing about his fear of drowning and about Brad’s resuscitation skills, but calling Brad at 5am on a Saturday to ask if the waves are good for surf lessons seems like a good place to start.
Brad’s clearly suspicious, but Nate would never have expected anything less. He doesn’t turn down the offer, and the morning chill is still heavy in the air when they hit the beach.
Nate uses the innocent choir-boy look that got some of his most egregious fact-stretching past Godfather when Brad eyes him suspiciously after a series of deliberately light touches and double-entendre comments. Brad’s obviously not fooled, but he lets it slide in favor of catching a good set.
Brad does, however, get visibly flustered when Nate keeps finding ways and reasons to touch him. Brad doesn’t fluster easy, and that alone would be incentive for Nate to keep it up. He admits, though, he likes the fact that Brad’s reacting to him. That skin-tight wet suit? Doesn’t hide a thing.
Watching Brad, the image that is at the forefront of Nate's mind is being able to peel that wetsuit off of him, being able to taste each newly revealed bit of skin, to take his time and tease him...
Thinking about that instead of what he's doing distracts him enough that when the next wave crests, sooner than expected, Nate imbalances and tumbles off his board. Brad, of course, is right there to haul him back up, sputtering and spitting salt water. The smirk on Brad’s face tells of thoughts Nate probably wouldn’t be too fond of.
Nate maybe pushes a little closer than necessary, holds on to Brad's steadying touch longer than he has to, but he's still trying to get Brad to cross that line first. Ever since his talk with Ray, it’s like his subconscious was given free rein to bring up all the thoughts he'd tried to avoid thinking about Brad. As much as he's enjoying this time in the water, the quiet calm of early morning, just the two of them as friends and equals, there are other things he'd like to be doing. Like taking advantage of the seclusion of the spot Brad picked - that's probably his least favorite scenario, though; he's had quite enough of sand in uncommon and uncomfortable places. Or heading back to Brad's place, spending the rest of the day making up for lost time.
Point is, there are several ways today could play out to his advantage. Still, he doesn't want to face Brad's wrath if he acts on any of these thoughts and finds out he's wrong. What if Ray was just fucking with him?
"Did one of the guys put you up to this?" Brad looks as suspicious as Nate feels.
Nate tries, "Put me up to what?" but Brad just shakes his head.
"Nothing. Whatever. Are you alright?"
"No, really, what do you think I'm doing?"
At this point, Brad's trying to stay blank and expressionless, but his eyes give him away. His nickname has always struck Nate as peculiarly inappropriate, but no moreso than it does right now.
Then, of course, it occurs to Nate that Brad had done all that he felt comfortable doing before, with veiled comments. What else could an enlisted man say or do to clue in an officer, especially an officer in his chain of command, under the current UCMJ?
If anything more is going to happen, Nate's going to have to abandon his desire to prod Brad into action, and act himself.
That's fine. He's good at taking the initiative.
And Nate is all for taking the initiative and doing some heavy duty convincing, especially now that he's a little more confident in the outcome, but he'd feel more comfortable doing it somewhere away from a public beach. Secluded doesn't mean private, and there are already a few other surfers trickling in to steal the good waves. Besides, he doesn’t exactly trust that Ray’s not going to jump out from behind a rock with a video camera and fall on the sand laughing.
"Breakfast?" he offers.
If Brad is confused by the abrupt subject change, he doesn't show it. He's still good about hiding some things, or maybe he's just so used to non sequiturs that they don't even make him blink. "You buying?"
"Depends on whether or not that constitutes a date, and if you're going to put out if I buy." Nate does his best to appear nonchalant, ready to laugh it off like the joke it could be, but his heartbeat sounds loud in his ears as he waits for Brad's response.
Brad is slow to reply. He uses the distraction of pulling themselves out of the surf and standing his board up before speaking.
"My mom always said that boys don't respect you if you put out before the third date."
Nate can't decide if that's a deflection or confirmation until Brad adds, "But we've shared MREs and humrats how many times? I think they count."
The breath Nate didn't realize he was holding leaves him in a rush, and he's simultaneously relieved and knotted up again. Brad, for his part, reacts to the rush of Nate's breath with a grin that Nate barely catches before Brad smothers it.
"But if you insist on the hippie vegan place that Rudy always recommends, you're not getting past first base."
Nate deliberately doesn't turn away when Brad strips off his wetsuit when they clamber back to his truck, in order to tug on a pair of shorts. He... probably should do the same, or at least offer to help Brad stow the boards in the back, but he's too busy watching the flex of muscle in Brad's abs and the way his tattoo seems to ripple.
They quickly decide that the best course of action is to head back to Brad's house to change before they go to breakfast. Because if they don't have to be salty and sandy, both would prefer not to be.
Nate tries not to think about how perfect the guestroom shower would be for sex, and turns the water cold because he thinks it might be a bit rude to jerk off in Brad's house while thinking of Brad in the other shower. He's holding out for a less solitary orgasm later. Hopefully later today, but either way, he's optimistic that it'll happen soon enough.
Nate hears a knock, but it's just compulsory, and then Brad's pushing the door open. Nate only has the cold tap turned on in the shower, but the room might as well be a sauna, what with the way his breath catches and his cheeks heat up. It crosses his mind to throw out a comment about conserving water and showering together, but that's about as subtle as the toothbrush in Brad's hand.
He grabs the edge of Brad's towel, encouraged by the warmth of Brad's skin beneath his fingertips, and pulls him further into the room. Brad uses that momentum to push Nate against the wall. There's cold tile at his back, warm skin against his front, and he's finally getting his first taste of Brad Colbert's salty skin under his tongue.
There is going to be a huge puddle of water on the floor by the time they're done, because neither one remembers to close the shower door. Brad barely has the presence of mind to drop the toothbrush and grope for the spigot, to change the water to not-shrinkage-inducing.
Now that they're doing this, apparently Brad has decided he's doing this and takes control. Nate goes easily enough, letting fingers under his chin lift his face to the spray before Brad blocks it with his own. Brad kisses like he does everything else: with concentrated skill and absolute confidence.
Nate releases his death grip on Brad's towel so he can get both hands on skin. It clings, held up between them, until it's completely saturated. When it finally falls, landing on his feet with a sodden plop, Nate looks down, and even though he's felt Brad getting hard against his hip, seeing it is another matter entirely.
He licks his lips, feels how they’re swollen from Brad's lips and teeth, and stills when he feels Brad's shuddering breath and focused intent, aimed where his tongue just swiped.
Brad starts to say something, and Nate catches whatever it is with a bruising kiss of his own. He'd be fine with words if Brad's just going to say his name, but he doesn't want to risk questions or a mocking "sir".
Brad seems to take the hint, and brings his hands up to rest on either side of Nate's neck, holding him where he wants him. Nate has a fleeting thought that he shouldn't be so willing to let Brad take charge, but he dismisses it just as quickly as it comes. He trusts Brad.
Nate would happily stay here, swapping spit and feeling the hard press of Brad's body against his, until the water runs cold again, until their mouths are both swollen and sore from the nips and licks and kisses, but they've got a lot of time to make up for and Brad's got an entire house to play in.
Brad's thumb is rubbing lightly over Nate's jaw, and when Brad pulls his mouth away, Nate shifts enough to nip the pad of his thumb before sucking it into his mouth, enjoying the groan it earns him from Brad.
Nate is anything but graceful as he works his way down, the hotneedydesperate feeling combined with the slickness of the shower making progress even more difficult, but he's determined to have his way. As much as he'd like to, he doesn't let himself linger over the smooth, hot skin; a couple of well-placed bites, a few swipes of his tongue, open-mouthed promises to mark the territory he's going to come back and explore later.
He presses a quick, hungry kiss against the skin of Brad's hipbone, changes it into a bite that's hard enough to bruise. He's steadying himself, because even though he'd never admit it, it's a little overwhelming to be on his knees for Brad Fucking Colbert after months of pretending he didn't want this very thing.
Nate wraps his hand around Brad's cock, getting a feel for the hot, smooth weight against his palm. He kisses the skin of Brad's inner thigh, transitioning into a swipe of tongue and shifting over to lick the underside of Brad's cock before sliding his lips over the head of it. He smiles to himself at Brad's sudden intake of breath, turns it into a smirk when he pulls back to look up at Brad.
His vision's distorted by the droplets of water clinging to his eyelashes, by the reflection of light off the water on Brad's skin. Still he's rewarded by the sight of Brad looking back at him, eyes dark and intent, mouth slightly open, cheeks flushed. It's like a page straight out of Nate's own imagination, only more.
Nate teases for a bit, alternating sucking on the head of Brad's cock with licking between his own fingers, before swallowing Brad down in earnest, press of tongue and just a hint of teeth as he pulls back. He twists his hand a little as he runs it over the length he can't cover with his mouth, moaning a little himself because Jesus nothing about this situation isn't hot.
Brad's touch is less-than-gentle, his fingers restless as they skim across Nate's neck and shoulders, his blunt nails scritching through the short hair on the back of Nate's head. That's one advantage Nate hadn't considered about growing his hair back out - giving Brad something to hold on to, twisting his fingers through it, guiding Nate the way he wants.
Nate likes the idea maybe more than he should.
He runs a hand up over Brad's stomach, around his side, down over the back of his thigh. He can feel the quiver of muscle there, the way Brad's working to hold himself up or hold himself back, the same way he's working to hold back the breathy little moans that keep slipping out. They're the kinds of sounds that Nate would give him shit for under different circumstances, but as things stand, he's quite pleased that those sounds belong to him.
Nate thinks they're going to have to do this again, when he can properly appreciate the sounds Brad's making instead of having them tempered by the sound of the shower.
He feels the extra tension in Brad's muscles just before Brad pushes at his shoulder, a warning. Nate pulls away, pressing his forehead against Brad's skin and keeping up the rhythm of his strokes as Brad comes.
He can feel the sticky mess on his skin, warm in contrast to the water that's bouncing off Brad before it hits him, and he glances up. He almost expects Brad to have his eyes closed, lost in the moment, but Brad is focused on him.
Good. Nate's pretty sure he deserves a reward.
Brad falls back against the tile and drags Nate up, to his feet, plastering them together so that his lips are pressed to Nate's ear, the rest of their bodies aligned.
"I'm going to return the favor, but I'm going to do it when I can spread you out on my bed, so I catalog each and every reaction, every sound you make when I put my lips here" - his teeth drag down the tendon in Nate's neck - "or my tongue here" - his fingertips slide from Nate's collarbone down his sternum - "or my teeth here." His fingernails catch on the arch of Nate's hip, and Nate pushes forward reflexively. Brad turns into him, giving Nate his hipbone to rut against while he chases the taste of himself from Nate's mouth.
"I don't think you can wait, though," Brad murmurs when they part for breath. "And I don't want to, I want watch, I want to see you come, come undone for me." He puts enough space between them to wedge his hand down, around Nate's dick to jerk him off, slow and tight. Brad presses his forehead to Nate's temple and does exactly what he says, watches the way Nate's hips push up and forward, the head of his cock peeking, dark red and glistening with water and pre-come, through the circle of his fist on the downstroke. Nate's breath is loud in his own ears, but he can't help it.
Nate's panting turns to whispered words, a quiet murmur of yes, Brad, fuck, more, as he pushes forward more insistently. He tucks his head against Brad's neck and lets himself go. It's not intentional, but he can't quite stop himself from marking Brad: he feels his grip on Brad's bicep tighten enough to bruise and his teeth set in the cord of muscle below his neck, even as his come splatters Brad's skin.
Nate's boneless, limp and relaxed afterward, and he leaves it to Brad to hold them up enough to rinse off in the cooling water. They dry each other cursorily and stumble out of the bathroom and down the hall to the bedroom Brad indicates is his. He tugs the blankets and sheets back, but Nate doesn't say anything except an incredulous, "You made your bed even when I got you out of it at ass o'clock for surfing?" before he climbs in.
When Brad crawls in, Nate immediately slides close and throws a leg over Brad's hip, curling an arm under the pillow and closing his eyes.
Brad is still, and Nate can almost hear the gears in his brain turning, wondering about sleeping and fucking and what the hell they're doing in the middle of a sunny summer morning.
"Nap now. We'll talk later."
"Talk?" Brad's hand curves over Nate's hip and cups his ass, and Nate wonders if Brad even realizes.
"Talk. Fuck. Whatever. We'll get to it. Sleep now. We had a busy morning."