Summary: Tom and Danny’s first meeting wasn’t on the Grid.
Notes: Not sure if this is at all accurate, but my brain wanted pre-series 1, and I tried to get a feeling that they were all still feeling their way around one another, as it were. Also was gen, became slash. And many thanks to perverseparagon for the beta.
The first time they met was nothing like the second time.
The first time was neutral territory, some bar on some street in some distant postcode. Tom wasn’t really looking for anything, he told himself, but that was a lie. If he wasn’t looking for anything, he wouldn’t have been here in the first place. He would admit to himself, however, that he was sick of trying so hard, of keeping up the act with Ellie every time he saw her. Maybe it was all a mistake. Maybe it would be kinder to just walk away. He hadn’t walked away completely, though, not just yet; he’d come this far, and hadn’t decided to go any further.
Stephen made the next stage of the decision for him, as soon as he came into Tom’s eye line. Stephen was an accountant with a fantastic smile and a body that Tom wanted to worship. He hinted as much, and got another grin and a nod in return. They left together, no fuss, no misunderstandings, no surveillance operation to think about.
Stephen took him back to his flat - Tom hadn’t even offered his as an option – and started undressing him as soon as they got in the door, pushing him back against it, unbuttoning his shirt and pulling it back off his shoulders. Tom got the feeling he was comparing them, so he reciprocated, revealing Stephen’s very toned body. Stephen just raised an eyebrow and [smirked].
Tom pulled him into a kiss – not gentle, not careful, not caring - before Stephen could say anything, pulling them closer together, taking the opportunity to touch rather than look. He ran his hands over Stephen’s skin, loving the solid feel of Stephen’s muscles under his hands. Stephen just kissed him back with as much force, tongues meshing, and ran his hand down Tom’s chest and went straight for his cock, palming it through the front of his trousers.
They pulled apart when he started to undo Tom’s trousers, and Tom realised he was breathing fast, that he was hard and that Stephen still looked like he’d just stepped out of the bar. That, he decided, would have to change.
Stephen kissed him again before he answered. ‘Right now.’
The second time they met was on the grid. Tom’s home ground, somewhere he was comfortable. Somewhere Stephen wasn’t. Except he – the guy, Stephen the accountant who had a gym membership and actually used it – was in fact
‘Danny Hunter. The surveillance guy. You know; the Chelsea thing.’
Tom knew. Everyone knew, and from the tone in Zoë’s voice when she introduced them, Danny himself had told her again.
Danny was grinning, cheerfully cocky, still high on his own success. It looked good on him, the same way it had looked good in bed. The grin didn’t even fade when he clocked Tom. Zoë was in slightly behind him, thank God; she didn’t see the slight change in expression. Tom kept his features carefully neutral.
He had the distinct feeling Zoë wasn’t impressed with the boy wonder. She rolled her eyes behind his back and walked away, leaving them facing one another.
‘Tom Quinn.’ He put out his hand for Danny to shake.
Danny nodded his head, shook Tom’s hand. It felt like he’d been practising. ‘Danny Hunter.’ He met Tom’s gaze just as evenly as Tom met his. Tom was impressed. Danny was skilled, but he was also young. He’d have expected something to give him away.
‘You’ve impressed a lot of people.’
The grin was back. ‘I try.’
‘It was good work. Are you looking for a permanent home?’
‘Might be.’ He might be good at his job, but Danny had a long way to go before he sounded nonchalant.
‘We’re looking for someone here. If you’re interested.’
A hint of uncertainty came over Danny’s face for the first time. ‘Because of the surveillance?’
Tom nodded. ‘Because of the surveillance.’ He thought he could probably leave out the bit about the bar when he told Harry.
Another smile. ‘Great.’
Zoë came over to him a little later as he watched Danny leave through the pods, having stayed away while they were talking. She was leaning against the desk in a way that looked casual but really was anything but. He didn’t really think Zoë did casual.
‘That was Stephen, wasn’t it?’
‘Stephen the accountant.’
She fixed him with a look, arching her eyebrow and looking straight into his eyes. It was hopeless.
‘I thought so.’ Zoë said, as usual not revealing how or why she thought what she thought. He really had to have a word with her about that. Just not right now. ‘Did you talk to him about the job?’
‘And he’s going to take it?’
‘I think so.’
‘Could be awkward.’
‘He knows the score.’
‘Still. It might be nice if someone had a word with him. Explained certain things. Certain female things who you really don’t want to screw up a relationship with.’
Tom sighed. He hadn’t told Zoe he wasn’t sure about that any more; he was still no closer to a decision. But she was right. It could be awkward. ‘Fine. I’ll –‘
‘You? I meant me.’
‘I want an excuse to hold him down – I mean to keep him at reception. Nothing harsh, just worry him a little. Like you said to me, it’s character building.’
‘And once he’s had his character built sufficiently, what are you going to do with him then?’
She stood up, started walking away and turned her head to look back at him.
‘Well, I thought I’d take him out. Get him very, very drunk, and find out all your dark secrets.’
‘Ah, Zoe –‘
‘Oh, don’t worry, Tom.’ She said, reaching the pods and winking at him. ‘Someone has to. And I can be very discreet.’