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“How the hell did they score this spot? What's their name again?”

The sounds of stage setup and an impatient/curious Times Square crowd surrounded Rory Stone, but Sam Champion had a trained broadcaster's voice and the púca had supernaturally keen hearing. Though spoken quietly, the Good Morning America weatherman's words carried clearly to Rory's ears, pulling his attention from preparations for his band's first nationally televised performance.

“They're called Breaker Street. Serptichore Records snagged them off the club circuit.” He could hear the shrug in the production assistant's tone.

“Serptichore ... so they're Rob Fellowes' new darlings, huh?” Out of the corner of his eye, Rory spotted the blond presenter taking a swallow of his coffee as he scanned the stage. “He must have called in some favors. We'll see if they're worth it.”

Thinking that was the end of the conversation, Rory focused again on tuning his guitar. A low snicker from the weatherman distracted him again. “So which one do you think Fellowes is screwing? My money's on either the lead singer or that little piece of fluff at the keyboards.”

The tall Irishman felt tension tighten his spine when the PA laughed in response. “We are talking about the Robbie Fellowes, right? Could be any of them. Or more likely all of them.”

“At the same time, no shit.”

Taking a deep breath through his nostrils, Rory forced his fingers to relax on Cliodhna's vulnerable neck. Damned if he'd damage his favorite guitar because of the snide speculations of a couple of smarmy media hacks. They'd learn. Breaker Street would give them their first lesson very soon now.

“You okay, Rory? You look tense.”

Deliberately unclenching his jaw, he gave his bassist a cheerful smile. “I'm fine, Nil. Just ...” He gave a nod to the still-growing crowd of spectators. “I've been spoiled by our club gigs, I think. They know how good we are already.”

“And this crew is about to find out.” Nil dropped a hand on his shoulder and squeezed. “C'mon auld boy, this is your element. They'll be eating out of your hand before they know it” Scanning the crowd, he chuckled and pointed at a couple of banners being raised among all the Hi Mom signs, one that read WE LUV U RORY and another that proclaimed BREAKER STREET 4EVER. “Besides, it looks like we have a good-sized contingent from the clubs anyway. Young Mr. Webster must have gotten the word out on the website.”

“He did.” Rory's smile relaxed into something less forced at the thought of his friend Peter. “He was sorry he couldn't make it himself, but his sister Grace threatened to bring a gang of her school friends.”

“We'll have to thank them. Must be more than a thousand people out there.” With a quick slap to his front man's back, Nil wandered back toward Kreske and his drums.

More than a thousand. More than five times the size of the largest audience Breaker Street had yet played for. Rory sighed as Nil's words forced him to confront the real source of his nerves. All those people waiting to be entertained. All that energy tugging at his consciousness, aggressive and demanding.

Doesn't matter. This is what you came for. This is what you committed to when you signed your name on that contract. This is what you wanted ... isn't it?

A sudden surge of warmth flowed from the medallion under his dark burgundy shirt. Pressing one hand to it, Rory lifted his eyes to find its source. Cait stood several rows back from the front of the crowd, bouncing lightly on her toes and grinning at him, Da and Abby beside her. Tension easing, he waved to his family, grinning himself when Cait held up a sign reading Go maire tú an lá!*

“Heads up, people!” The PA had turned all officious and businesslike, waving the band over to where Champion was now giving them the same affable smile that millions saw on their TV screens each morning. “It's almost show time. Mr. Champion will introduce you, and then he'll have a few questions for you after the song. We've got a limited amount of time, so keep it tight and to the point.”

“Rory ... Stone, right?” The weatherman scanned a card as he shook Rory's hand. “And then we have Jenny Cabriano--”

“Junie,” sighed the second guitarist, tossing her dark hair back from her face.

“Junie, of course.” Champion's eyes narrowed slightly at the correction, but his voice showed no signs of irritation. “And Nil Cameron ...” The bassist nodded. “... Dave Rackley ...” Dave grinned and bowed slightly. “ ... Sascha Brockmann ...” Unaware that the man had called her “a little bit of fluff”, Sasch flashed a bright smile. “... and Marcus – Kreske, is it?” Kreske gave a salute with his drumsticks.

“Right. Like Leo said, we're a bit pressed for time.” That practiced smile took on a bare hint of regret. “I may not get to introduce each of you, depending on when they insist we cut off after your song. But we'll definitely work in a shot of your CD and a few questions for Rory here.” Beaming at them impartially, he collected his mike. “So wait for your cue and knock 'em dead!”

“Typical. Everybody wants to talk to the front man,” Kreske chuckled, giving Rory a nudge as Champion moved to his corner of the stage.

“Okay, places everybody!” The PA made herding gestures intended to get them on their marks, then headed offstage. Rory heard the director's voice in his earpiece. “Mikes live, cameras rolling, we go live in five ... four ... three ... two ... one--”

The crowd, sensing that something was about to happen, surged forward slightly. The hungry focus of all those people washed over Rory, over senses attuned to the energy of an audience. He felt it buzzing in his chest like something alive, reducing the hoots, cheers and even Champion's introduction to something heard from the other side of a wall.

“All right, people of New York and the US of A! We have a new act for you this morning, fresh from the clubs with a single from their debut CD. Playing 'Sweet Rhythm Overload', let's hear it for Breaker Street!”

A roar rolled over him, through him. Every voice, every eye, every heart with the same demand: Show us something. Give us something. You think you're up for this? Prove it – now!

He answered them with a raised hand and a beat counted in a low, lilting baritone. When his hand dropped, the first bars of the music erupted. Junie's guitar, Nil's bass, Sascha and Dave's keyboards and Kreske's downbeat, rushing forward to merge with his own notes. Their support surged into Rory, balancing the audience demand, answering it.

You want something? Here. It. IS.

Circuit closed, energy flowing, Rory turned his focus back on the crowd and launched into the first verse.

Sun's low, gotta go
Never found your way to no
Sun's down, hit the town
Searching for the magic sound

(You're feeling restless tonight, so very restless tonight)

Back beat, so sweet
Makes you wanna move your feet
Back door, on the floor
Burning for a little more

Fight it, hide it,
You know you can't deny the rhythm
Rhythm on overload
Ohh yeaaaahh, sweet rhythm on overload

Affirmation from those who had heard Breaker Street before mixed with the oh hey of realization from those who hadn't. Already people were bouncing and swaying, turning to dance with those next to them. More. They wanted more. Entreating, compelling, hypnotic. Rory moved with their motion, reached deep into his gut and gave it to them.

Tight jeans, closet queens
Making plays and making scenes
Tight moves, in the groove
Know you have it all to prove

(You got the hunger in you, can't kill the hunger in you)

Sweet eyes, sexy thighs
Selling truth and telling lies
Sweet touch, not enough
Need it just a little rough

Play it, say it
You know you won't escape the rhythm
Rhythm on overload
Ohh yeaaaahh, sweet rhythm on overload

Sam Champion's eyebrows were climbing to his hairline. Out of camera range, the PA was bopping in place and grinning like a maniac. Rory barely noticed as Junie and Nil stepped up to either side of him. Thirty fingers, eighteen strings and three hearts joined in the bridge to the final verse. Rory felt his own manic grin, saw it echoed on his friends' faces, and knew they felt the moment as he did. They owned it.

(You don't know why to fight it, don't even try to fight it)

Hot sound, getting down
Gotta feel your pulses pound
Hot lights, take a bite
Gonna take you home tonight

Drop it, cop it
You know you'll never stop the rhythm
Rhythm on overload
Ohh yeaaaahh, sweet rhythm on overload

(don't even say it baby)
Yeaaaahh, rhythm on overload
(you gotta play it baby)
Oh yeeaaahhh, sweet rhythm on overload
(you feel the yearning for it)
Yeaaaahh, rhythm on overload
(your blood is burning for it)
Oh yeeaaahhh, sweet rhythm on overload

The cheering hit its crescendo as the song came to a close and Breaker Street came forward to take their bows. All doubt, all uncertainty washed straight out of Rory in the wave of approbation from the crowd. Their approval hit him like a drug to his bloodstream, burning bright in his eyes and smile. Still applauding, looking as smug as if he'd discovered them himself, Champion started toward the six musicians for his interview. It didn't matter. Nothing mattered to Rory but the audience. They were his.

And he was theirs.

* = Congratulations!

Also, my apologies to Mr. Sam Champion. I'm sure he's not that smarmy in real life. *^_^*

Muse: Rory MacEibhir / Rory Stone
Fandom: The Grey Horse by R.A. MacAvoy
Word count: 1654

Date: 2009-04-28 07:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pate-a-choux.livejournal.com
Not having to work until mid afternoon had advantages. For Pat Kalinska, that meant after his leisurely early morning drive back from Providence, he could return his sister's car and then take the train back to Time's Square to check out a local band on the verge of making it big. He'd gotten the email and laughed.

He remembered Breaker Street. Vaguely. It was more apt to say that he remembered a certain die-hard fan of the band. A pretty little redheaded waitress he used to flirt with to no avail. She was probably over the moon at her friends' fortune. Maybe he'd even spot her in the crowd, that hair was hard to miss and she'd probably be center front anyhow.

And then the band played on...and were better than he remembered from the occasional mid-week gig he'd heard. Wow. Then again, his own incredibly good mood could have something to do with his impression here. Pat was happy, smitten...possibly quite taken with the reason for his upstate drive in the first place. Life was good. The music was good. Why shouldn't everyone get what they wanted?

There was no redhead that he could locate. Oh, well. Big crowd. She was probably there and he just couldn't see her, even with his height advantage over most of the audience.

And the lead signer was from Queens, or at least currently living there. Pat gave a loud hooyah at that and a fist bump. Boys from the 'hood should stick together.

Date: 2009-04-28 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Rory's fey awareness drenched him in the emotions of his audience, their wants, needs, drives and desires. Full mental contact with a given individual required circumstances that normally didn't come up in the course of a gig. Fortunately. Had he somehow been made aware of Pat's thoughts, however, Rory would no doubt have understood the other man's minor preoccupation with Pippa Kerr.

Intellectually, at least.

What did make it through to impact his decidedly elevated state of consciousness was the fist bump and cheer, delivered as they were by one of the tallest members of the audience. Rory barely had time to register the man's height and attractiveness, then return a raised fist and grin of his own before Champion swept up for the interview.

Date: 2009-04-29 04:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pate-a-choux.livejournal.com
Pat might have objected to the notion of preoccupation with Pippa, no matter how minor. It was merely memory association and the reason he remembered Breaker Street at all. He did laugh though, when the singer returned the gesture.

The broad shouldered man in the audience hadn't considered the fact that anyone on stage would actually notice, let alone acknowledge the brief flare of support. It amused him enough to wonder if Sarah would ever want to catch these guys in concert sometime.

He stayed in the dissipating crowd long enough to hear the brief interview, yup. Definitely the same guy he'd heard addressing a much more intimate crowd in a small bar on Staten. Pat wondered if he'd stay so humble once the star treatment started.

Date: 2009-04-28 08:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rein-it-in.livejournal.com
Well, they weren't at Time's Square, weren't even in New York, but there were other MacEibhirs cheering on Rory and his band from the warmth of a living room in Montana. Laine and Margene spent most of the brief performance looking in the crowd for Cait and Ruairi, making a "Where's Waldo" sort of game out of it, but they did listen to the music.

And Laine liked it. They ain't ever goin' to be no Rollin' Stones, she offered towards her husband, but then who was?

Afterward, the lead singer's sister in law picked up the phone and dialed the number for the rocker. She knew it'd go to voice mail but it didn't matter. "Congrats, darlin', y'all look real good on t.v. Margie wants you to know that the camera loves your ass. I think your brother is lovin' his hand over his face at that one. We all love you though."

Date: 2009-04-28 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
"Oh-my-GOD." Sascha hid her face behind her hands, then spoiled the effect by peeking. "My hair looks insane there. I knew I should have pulled it back ..."

The rest of the band reassured Breaker Street's youngest member that she looked gorgeous, really she did, and continued commenting on the DVR recording of their live performance. It was a few hours later, they were strewn all over Nil's living room, and Rory finally realized he hadn't checked his voice mail all day.

After chuckling over Laine's message-- I hope the camera was loving more than my arse, really --he hit a couple of buttons to dial Laine back. Stretching out his long legs, Rory wondered idly if the larger crowd or the television audience might be responsible for the fact that he still felt seriously energized this long after the performance. Perhaps both, but he was feeling too good to worry one way or the other.

Date: 2009-04-29 03:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rein-it-in.livejournal.com
"Darlin' you tell me to go lay down one more time and I am going to shove my pregnant foot so far up your ass you'll be able to taste the laundry detergent I used to wash my socks--hello, this is Laine, what can I do you for?" Of course she'd flipped open her phone the moment it rang and then proceeded to chew out the unwise soul who wanted her to rest before bothering to actually answer the call. She quickly checked the display and grinned, "Oh, hey there sugar. Wrong phone, you tryin' to get a hold of your brother--Anrai where the blue hell are you!?"

It was a loud morning at Flint Creek.

Date: 2009-04-29 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
So it was, and Rory couldn't help but chuckle. His sister-in-law was a firebrand at any time, and pregnancy clearly had only made her more so. "Actually, Laine, I just checked my messages and wanted to thank you for the congratulations. Though I suppose I could talk to my brother if he absolutely insists.

Because speaking to Anraí would be such a trial, of course.

Date: 2009-04-29 04:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rein-it-in.livejournal.com
Had she called him? Oh, yeah...she had. Pregnancy brain and the absent-mindedness it inspired. Not that having a bunch of aggravating people being distractions helped any. "You're welcome, darlin'. Ain't watched Good Mornin' America in years...never liked their weatherman, always bugged me the way he says Butte."

Yes, Laine...picking on someone's pronunciation. "Anywho, y'all were great and you can tell your sister we saw her hittin' your daddy's girlfriend with that sign of hers. You think you'll still be lowly and humble enough to come see us this summer?"

Where was Anrai? Not that she didn't want to talk to Rory, but she needed both hands free if she were to choke the shit out of Margene, who was currently making fun of Laine's belly.

Date: 2009-04-29 05:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Rory wasn't exactly equipped to critique other people's pronunciation either, unless it was in Gaeilge. Or Fae.

"Of course I'll be there," he replied cheerfully. "I wouldn't miss seeing my new niece-or-nephew for anything. Speaking of whom, how are you and Bump doing?"

Date: 2009-04-29 05:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rein-it-in.livejournal.com
"I'm...we're doin' fine. Margene, I will kill you if you drop that melon on my floor. Sorry, sugar. Trifflin' bitch seems to think I look like an over-ripe casaba." She walked out of the kitchen so she'd stop holding two conversations at once.

"We're fine, be nice if I could have this critter tomorrow though. Ten months ain't never seemed so long." It wasn't really a complaint, she was smiling as she spoke. "How are you doin' though, Rory? Pretty big deal goin' on for you there."

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Date: 2009-04-28 08:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abbytude.livejournal.com
"Eh, they aren't bad..." The petite physician offered as she stood between Cait and Ruairi. Cait and that damned sign. Abby'd tried to get her to write something vulgar as hell on the placard but not knowing how to read Irish or god forbid, Fey, she was pretty well s.o.l. on that front.

She was being sarcastic and contrary anyhow. She liked the music even if it was a little too happy for her personal tastes. She also liked the obnoxiously tall man on stage who was smiling pretty for the cameras trained on him. Fucking elf...man, if Dimples were here maybe she'd have herself a fellow good-natured heckler to have fun with.

Date: 2009-04-28 09:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-chaitlin.livejournal.com
In point of fact, Cait had tried to convince Abby that she'd written all sorts of nastiness on that sign of hers, but the inherently suspicious doctor had declined to bite. Ah well. Cait was currently far too wrapped up in Breaker Street's performance to worry about lost opportunities for taking the mickey out of her roommate.

"You liiiiiike it. Admit it!" she laughed, ducking and dodging a bit to avoid the young man next to her who was flailing a little too enthusiastically in time to the music.

Date: 2009-04-28 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abbytude.livejournal.com
"No." Abby answered with a grin, ducking around Ruairi's other side and giving his waist a bit of a squeeze. "Do you have thoughts for the peanut gallery?"

And if he didn't, could he at least serve as a warm and squishy shield against flaily arms. She worked in an ER, she didn't want to visit one on her day off.

Date: 2009-04-29 04:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sonofgranite.livejournal.com
Ruairí laughed and slipped an arm around Abby's shoulders, snuggling her up to his side. "I don't know, love. Part of me is still trying to fit the singer up on that stage with the little boy I used to hear singing in the church choir on Sundays." His words did nothing to hide the gleam of pride in his eyes. "He deserves to be up there, though. They all do."

Another part of Ruairí felt more fatherly concern than fatherly pride, and wondered if he should have insisted that Tadhg be here to keep an eye on what was happening to his brother. Whatever it was Rory was drawing from the crowd, he nearly blazed with it.

Date: 2009-04-29 04:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abbytude.livejournal.com
She wrinkled her nose at the mention of choir singing. Of all the...eyes rolled and she let him hug her close, more because it suited her immediate need of not being crushed in the mob and less to do with wanting any sort of public display of affection. Hard work pays off for some people."

And others just get to go back to being puked on later. The universe was not fucking funny. Really.

Date: 2009-04-28 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lighthealer.livejournal.com
Beth had been on her way to her Irish dance class when she saw the crowd. After putting in a phone call to her instructor Ryan, she slowly made her way through the crowd to get as close as she possibly could to wstch the performance, clapping when the song ended. They were good, she decided. Not the kind of music she usually listened to, but she liked them.

Date: 2009-04-29 03:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Being a band's front man came with certain requirements attached. For example, it was Rory's job to interact with the audience, to draw them into the emotion created by the music. With a fast, slightly sexy dance tune like Sweet Rhythm Overload, a little flirtation never hurt. And since he couldn't flirt with an entire crowd ...

He wasn't entirely sure what drew his eye to the blonde near the front. Maybe it was the fact that she was pretty but not in a cookie-cutter fashion, or perhaps that she seemed to really be listening to the song instead of just getting caught up in the crowd reaction. Either way Rory made a point of singing a chorus directly to her. When Breaker Street took their bows, he gave her a wink and a grin.

Date: 2009-04-29 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lighthealer.livejournal.com
Beth blinked and covered her mouth, stifling a giggle when the lead singer winked at her. Then casting a glance at everyone else, she took a deep breath and waved back to Rory, convinced he wouldn't notice, but hell, she'd be polite anyway, right?

Date: 2009-04-29 05:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] half-whole-pw.livejournal.com
Peter loved his job, his work. Really. And, more to the point, he was very good at it. Graduation looming just around the corner, he was putting in as many hours as possible at the hospital, tying up loose ends, finishing projects,trying to tell himself that being accepted at another institute post-grad wasn't the end of the world. Sloan Kettering was amazing but it wasn't the only research hospital. Besides, he could always apply the moment a slot became open in the department.

Today though, he was a little less focused on career goals and a little more upset that he wasn't free to do what he wanted. He would have loved to see Rory and Sascha (and the rest of the band) performing live for a television audience. It'd been a while since he'd actually heard the band all play together, listening to their CD didn't quite count. He'd gotten the word out though, knew other fans would make a good showing to support the local guys gone big. And Gracie...she'd be at his place when he did get home from work.

The girl had ditched school with a bunch of friends and come into the city to see Breaker Street--to get on t.v. themselves, more likely. She'd already texted him a dozen times with such insights as "OMG PEOPLES" and "RORY HAWT". Gee thanks, sis.

Date: 2009-04-29 06:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Some time after his phone call to Laine, Nil's daughter Andi had run into the room yelling that people were already putting videos of Breaker Street's performance that morning up on YouTube. Checking the site uncovered five vids, including one clip ripped from a DVD recording of the show. After watching one or two of the results, Rory left the rest of the band commenting on the grainy camera phone vids and let himself outside for a breath of (for New York) fresh air.

He had been unable to shake the restless buzz coursing through his body, and now he was starting to understand why. An audience was an audience, it seemed, even if they watched a digital reproduction of an event. Their focus still fed his energies, not much, but enough to prolong the post-concert high. Maybe even intensify it slightly.

Whatever was causing it, Rory's body responded like a vibrating string on his own guitar, taut with potential. He felt almost fever-hot, though he wasn't sure if that was actual temperature or a psychosomatic reaction to having absorbed all that want from the crowd. Desire circulated through him as surely as his own blood, desire with no ready outlet.

Though maybe ... he knew of one possibility.

After another minute of should-I-shouldn't-I, the Irishman pulled out his cell phone and punched up Peter Webster's number. Hopefully he wasn't interrupting his friend in the middle of something important, but truth to tell, such concerns weren't at the forefront of Rory's mind.

Date: 2009-04-29 06:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] half-whole-pw.livejournal.com
He didn't look at the display, he simply reached into his lab coat pocket and pressed the button that would let him answer the phone via the blue tooth ear piece he was wearing. His attention was focused on the magnified slide he was studying through the eye of a microscope, not on who he assumed was bothering him yet again. Minor irritation colored his non-greeting, "For the love of God and all that is holy, Grace. Stop. Calling. Me. Go play in traffic or something. 59th and Lex should be really busy this time of day."

Date: 2009-04-29 06:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Rory's lips curved at the sound of Peter's voice, irritated or no. And if said smile had a hint of the predatory about it, there was no one there to see.

"Sorry to bother you, Peter," he chuckled softly, "but I think I may be legally obligated to avoid getting hit by cars. For the duration of my contract, at least."

Date: 2009-04-29 06:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] half-whole-pw.livejournal.com
Oh. He blinked, stood up and did a quick survey of who was standing nearby before he even attempted to say anything to the Irishman lilting away in his ear. Funny how quickly a mood could change sometimes. Smiling himself, easy, warm and deeply dimpled, "You aren't a bother. Unless Grace has somehow managed to enlist you in her goal of driving me crazy today."

He leaned against the counter and reached to turn off the scope. Work could wait a few minutes. "Shouldn't you be...I don't know, celebrating or something, and not calling me for...um, why are you calling me?"

Clueless and adorable at times, maybe a little flustered too. The man had just been on national television this morning and now he was calling him? Did he run out of people to brag to already? "Not that I mind...never mind. How'd it go this morning? I'm in the land of the media deprived for a while yet."

Date: 2009-04-29 07:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Oh, Peter. Celebrating was just what Rory had in mind. Among other places.

"Mm, it went very well, thank you." Just the memory of that morning brought the heady rush of energy back to mind and body. Rory's eyes drifted shut at the sensations running under his skin. "I'd say that we definitely got their attention." Was the singer's voice a little lower than usual, a touch huskier? Entirely possible.

"As for celebrating, we decided that getting together tomorrow night would work better for everyone's schedule. You'd be welcome if you'd like to come, of course." Leaning back against the wall, Rory tried to picture Peter as he likely looked right now, lab coat and all. "We're debating between The Columns and Lucid."

He opened his eyes and stared into the night, choosing his words carefully. "But for tonight ... I wondered if you might like to get together. Just the two of us. I have a disc of the show if you'd like to watch it with me." One deliberate pause, then Rory dropped what he suspected would be the bombshell. "I also finally found that RAF uniform."

Date: 2009-04-29 07:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] half-whole-pw.livejournal.com
Celebrate with the band. Get together with Rory one on one tonight and watch the--Peter's eyes went wide and he leaned a little more heavily against the counter, having to clear his throat before he squeaked his surprise at Rory's not so subtle implication. "Ah...um...er...ah..."

Yeah. So he didn't squeak, he just managed a serious of incoherent noises instead. Jesus.

Trying that again, Peter ran a hand over the back of his suddenly very hot neck and nodded. "That um...I mean. Yeah. Sure. Okay." He was at work, what else was he supposed to say to that? "I ah, I can get out of here in about an hour?"

Not that the next forty-five minutes or so would be productive. He was effectively derailed and more than a little stunned at the prospect of anything to do with spending time alone with an obviously interested Rory Stone. The more rational side of his mind warned him to not get his hopes up too high, they'd gone down a similar road before only to have Rory put on the breaks because the other man just couldn't bring himself to go there, yet.

Then again, he argued with himself, it had been months now and it was Rory who was initiating it this go-round. RAF uniform or no, Peter Webster wanted to be all over that.

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