Title: Foam (Beware! RPS!) Part 3 of "Season 3"
Author: Janet F. Caires-Lesgold
Feedback to: jfc@freeshell.org
Archive: Mailing list archives only--others please ask permission!
Category: Romance, angst (Tom's side)
Timeframe: During the filming of "Asylum"
Rating: NC-17 for language and m/m sexual interaction
Pairing: Michael/Tom
Summary: Unwinding

DISCLAIMER: This story is just for the entertainment of my online friends and myself, not for any profit. It is pure fantasy and does not intend to reflect on the actual behavior or personalities of the people named herein. Please do not sue me for my little bit of fun!

AUTHOR'S NOTE: "Season 3" is a multi-story arc of my Quantum Fics series, which can be found on my webpage at http://jfc.freeshell.org/stories.html - Enjoy!

DEDICATION: For Tiff, who doesn't like baths, but might, were MR involved!

COPYRIGHT: (C) Janet F. Caires-Lesgold, April 1, 2004, jfc@freeshell.org

Please don't redistribute or alter this story in any way without the express permission of the author. Thank you very much.



There's a clock in the rehearsal studio, not that it does you any good at the moment. The fight choreographer has called a special session to work out the blocking of your scene in the tunnels of Belle Reve with Shawn and Jonathan, which would have been yesterday had you not been stuck doing the movie promotion crawl in the states. Back in Vancouver now, you, your two co-stars, and the stand-ins walk through the moves of the scene step by step, as the guy in charge counts out loud like you're all learning dance steps.

Mike had said that he was filming at three, but here you are, watching the hour hand creep right past the four, and missing your chance to watch your lover work.

It's nearly four-thirty when you're released for the day, so after a quick slap on the back to JTT and Shawn, you step into your flip-flops with bare feet and hurry across the building to the soundstage. Rounding the corner, you curse silently when you see everyone huddled around the playback monitor, apparently observing the afternoon's completed scenes.

Curiosity draws you to the group, though you mostly hope that Mike is hidden in the crowd. Allison waves you over from her spot in the back, so you go to her first.

"'Sup?" you whisper, sliding into her outstretched arm and wrapping your own arm around her shoulders.

"Where were you? I tried to call you."

"I turned off my phone. What'd I miss?"

"Watch," she hisses, directing your attention to the monitor screen. "I couldn't really see while the camera was running, so I stuck around for this."

The board claps, and "Action!" is called over the speaker, when a figure appears lying on a table. Since his scalp is covered by some sort of head protector and he is wearing a mouth guard, it takes you a moment to realize that that is Michael onscreen. At the director's mark, he hesitates a moment, then shakes all over like he's having a seizure. Alse stiffens in your grasp as she watches "Lex" get electroshock therapy.

There were more takes recorded than you want to count, and they get more difficult to watch as they go. The girl under your arm finally curls in and buries her face against your chest to hide her eyes from the disturbing visual. Petting her hair, you cannot stop watching the man you love torture himself in the name of art.

Finally, the playback is over, and everyone seems pretty shaken by the performance they've just witnessed. Allison pulls away a little and looks up at you, so you turn toward her. "Rough, huh?" she asks, a weak smile on her pale face. At your puzzlement, she reaches for your cheek and brushes away what you realize is a teardrop.

Assuring yourself that you just hadn't blinked in too long, you straighten your shoulders and prepare to let go of your friend, though you're not exactly sure you want to do that just yet. "Is he here?" you ask to keep her beside you for a little longer.

"I think he left, and that I'd better do the same," she asserts, pulling away at last.

"Are you okay?" you ask quietly.

"I'll be fine once I go puke," she answers with a crooked half-grin. "Go. Find him. See you tomorrow," she promises with a wave as she grabs her coat and disappears among the flats and equipment.

As hard as it would have been for you to sit still and watch Mike put himself through that realtime, it hurts to think that he had to do it without you here supporting him. Suddenly you have a new mission: follow Allison's instructions and find your friend. Grabbing your parka and boots, you bundle up to face the Canadian December.

One beeline to his trailer later, you find the door standing open and a chubby lady with a large bunch of keys at her belt running a vacuum cleaner in the main room. "He's gone home, sir," she calls in a vaguely eastern European accent.

You nod your thanks and trudge off to your own trailer, switching on your phone as you go. Six messages: A thank-you from the MTV people. Two from Jamie reporting in from errands, asking you to call her when you get home. Alse saying, "Get your ass over here!" in two recordings that are nearly identical except for the increasingly frantic tone of her whisper. And ultimately, Mike, saying simply, "Call me."

Taking a quick check of your space, you try not to dwell on the footage you've just seen for fear of feeling more sick than you already do at missing his performance as well as his departure. Out to the car, with a stab to his speed-dial code as soon as you're behind the wheel, you swear out loud when his voicemail picks up. The accelerator refuses to let the vehicle fly over rush hour traffic, so you bang the heels of your hands on the steering wheel in frustration.

Eventually, you pull up in front of his building and bleep the car alarm as you sprint up the yard to the door. Far too agitated to try the bell, you let yourself in with the key he gave you about which Jamie knows nothing.

The rooms are dark except for a light far in the back, but "Colour My World" blares from the sound system. "Chicago's Greatest Hits"--Michael's favorite album. He needs comfort, and you just hope you can provide it in sufficient amounts to make up for your absence.

You follow the glow to his bedroom, which you are surprised to find empty, until you hear movement in still water from the bathroom. You kick off your boots and toss your parka on the floor, then open the bathroom door.

There, reclining in the collarbone-deep tub with his head propped on the edge is Michael, holding some sort of glossy celebrity gossip rag just above the bubbles. He doesn't look up or even acknowledge you except to ask, "Did you see that this geek from that nighttime soap is reportedly dating his co-star? Do you believe that?"

Your pent-up anxiety fumbles around in your chest for a moment until you sit on the closed toilet lid, taking and releasing a deep, calming breath. "What?"

He folds the magazine's pages out to the appropriate picture, then flings it over to you, where you catch it flat between your hands like a Frisbee. "See that photo? Look at them. They look so damned happy."

Confusion is interfering with the normalizing of your pulse now that you are here and can see that Michael is apparently just fine without you. You study the shiny people in the color spread. "He's cute. She's pretty. What's wrong with them?"

"I hate them," he seethes quietly, not telling you what's really upsetting him.

"Why?" you ask with an undisguised relieved chuckle.

"They're not us." His gaze is downcast into the pale-green, richly-scented water.

Swallowing any amusement when you suddenly reinterpret his tone of voice, you put down the tabloid and move to sit on the floor beside the bathtub. "Do you want it to be?" When he doesn't answer at first, you continue more quietly, "Do you think the studio would appreciate that kind of publicity?"

With a frustrated quirk to his mouth, he raises his head to look at your hand where it has grasped his against the porcelain. "I wish it didn't matter," he mutters after a long pause. "I wish it wouldn't hurt anybody--not you, not the show, especially not Jamie," he adds, glancing up into your eyes at last. "It sucks to have to hide this thing that means so much to me."

Your thumb strokes over his knuckles carefully. "I know what you mean," you reassure him. "It feels like I'm lying when interviewers ask me about my real life and I can't say anything about you, about *this*."

"Do you think we'll ever be able to be open about this, Tom?"

You shift again, this time up on your knees, and, cradling the back of his head in your hand, lean in to kiss him. "I don't know," you answer, sitting back on your heels. Trailing the fingers of your other hand through the suds, you add, "Just so we have 'this' long after it becomes acceptable to talk about it, okay?"

"Of course," he insists softly, seizing your hand from under cover of bubble bath and dragging it into the water playfully, still keeping your sleeve dry.

Letting him tug your hand back and forth under the surface for a moment, you brace yourself for the conversation you came here to have. "I'm sorry, babe."

"What for?"

"I wanted to be there today. I had to rehearse the fight scene, and when I got done, I watched you vibrate on a table for twenty minutes."

"Did it work? Did it read okay?" he asked, suddenly swept up in his craft.

"Absolutely. It hurt to watch you, man."

"Really? It came across as real?" He doesn't bother to hide his enthusiastic grin.

"It made Allison sick to her stomach, and I've gotta say I didn't feel too well myself..."

"Cool..." he drawls, settling back in the tub.

Now you're *really* confused. "You're okay after all of that?"

"Me? I'm fine. Maybe a little sore, but that's what the bath oil is for. Today was a piece of cake compared to getting hung upside-down all day. Wow," he continues, almost to himself. "I made people nauseous."

You yank your hand out of his in exasperation, making bubbles spray up a little. "She felt bad for you, Michael--so did I. I should have been there to watch out for you."

"It's okay. I was working. I was in the moment and it clicked. Viewers will believe it. I'd call that a good day."

"I'm just usually there. You didn't need me to help when you were done or anything?"

He watches you with a warm smile. "I *always* need you, dude. You had work to do, so I got along without you for a little while. I knew you wouldn't go far. You're always there for me, whether you're in the room or not."

Placated by his adoring words, you ask, "You're sure it's okay that I missed your big scene?"

"Hey--just a little life imitating art. Clark gets there too late to save Lex, so it's only fair. Don't beat yourself up about it. You've got stunt guys to do that for you." His dimpled grin makes you feel a lot better about the way the day has gone. "So, they gave you a tough workout, huh? I think you need a bath."

You tug on the collar of your sweatshirt, preparing to stick your nose inside and sniff. "That bad, huh?"

"No, dumbass." For the second time today a finger reaches up to your face and sweeps something away, this time presenting you with the glob of suds that must have landed on the tip of your nose when you jerked your hand out of his bath. "*You*," he murmurs throatily, pointing at you with the foamy fingertip, "need a *bath*." He doesn't twitch his eyebrows up suggestively, but with that voice, he doesn't have to.

Gladly admitting defeat, you shake your head and start disrobing as he adjusts the tub level, replacing some of the water from the hot spigot and adding seconds on the foaming oil. Moments later, you slip naked into the warm receptacle behind your lover's smooth back before he settles solidly against you. He turns his head and inches over so you can kiss him deeply as you've wanted to do all day.

His body is limply relaxed from his previous soak, and his skin is softer than you've ever felt it before and just a little slippery. The touch of your hands on him in the slick water match that of your tongue in his mouth, and your cock hardens quickly under the pressure of his velvety ass.

"Fuck me, Tom," he sighs against your lips, making your breath catch in your throat.

"Oh, god," you groan in surrender, sending your fingers to find his hardness jutting up in the water. As soon as you wrap your hand around him, he repositions his feet for leverage and thrusts his hips upwards. With your other hand, you find his warm hole and coax it open with skilled prodding.

Soon, the head of your cock breaches his opening, and he settles back onto you gradually, your exhalations coinciding when you are fully sheathed within him. You don't even have to move as he raises himself just enough and lowers down, fucking himself slowly on you with the warm bathwater caressing your bodies, eddies tickling your ribs and swirling between your legs.

The scented oil in the bath silkens the flesh of his hardness in your hand, but you have no trouble holding on and applying pressure as needed. His voice keens in pleasure and desire, coasting up the scale until he nearly sings with release as the water around your hand thickens and becomes even hotter than his scalding skin. Pulses within his backside squeeze you in exquisite rhythm, and you cannot hold back any longer, coming in waves like the laps of the soapsuds around your shoulders.

Michael pillows his soft head back against your neck, shuddering with aftershocks and murmuring loving words, which you reaffirm with a comfortable yawn. Your day may have found you tripped up in conflicting schedules as you raced the clock, but now you rest and revel in each other happily, because you have all the time in the world.



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