Honest Skin

007/006  |  pre-GoldenEye  |  threesomes  |  words  |  explicit
Two times James and Alec shared absolutely everything, and one time James chose not to.

2. Tangier

James remembers how those same green eyes had bored into him in a hotel room in Tangier, a cool breeze from the Atlantic brushing over their naked bodies as Alec's hand, warm and steady, caressed his lower back.

It began with a call that come through a secure channel in his bedroom. "I know how much you like to combine business with pleasure," Alec had said in lieu of a greeting, his voice deep and sonorant even over the scratchy mono line. "How would you like to enjoy some sun and warm water while doing me a small favor?"

"I seem to recall you're in the Mediterranean," James said, leaning back into his pillows and thinking of the last time they met at the office, Alec heading out for a mission just as James had come in from one. Seems I'll be getting a tan, Alec had said, showing him an airline ticket with the destination Mohammed V International Airport. "I know 004 is in Algeria. Much closer to your location than London, if I remember my geography lessons."

Alec laughed. "Won't do. Not nearly pretty enough."

James paused for a moment, tossing the morning paper he had been skimming onto his bedsheets. The word spun around in his mind. "You think I'm pretty," he said, trying and likely failing to keep amusement from sneaking into his voice.

Alec's tone was deadpan as he replied, and James easily imagined the mock exasperated look on his friend's face as he spoke. "Now, James, let's not pretend you don't know. Your cockiness is plenty insufferable as it is, there's no need to add false modesty on top of it."

James couldn't hold back the chuckles shaking his shoulders. Alec always had this effect on him whenever they spoke. "So what would I get out of this 'small favor', where you apparently intend to exploit my devilish good looks?"

He heard Alec sigh on the other end. "Oh, I know how fond you are of London in the springtime, those sudden showers that leave your suit drenched, the beautiful morning smog, how cafes insist on outside seating although the temperature drops below ten in the evening, it's all very lovely and all that..."

James laughed and interrupted Alec's sardonic droning. "Alright, I get your point, you can stop."

James could see Alec's pleased smirk as clearly as if Alec had been there in the room with him. "Meet me at Le Mirage," Alec said, and the line was cut.

The hotel was perched on top of a cliffside projecting over the Atlantic, its chalk white columns rising from the ocean like a mirage. It was beautiful, and certainly luxurious, but struck James as a rather populist choice for Alec. Its faux-Graeco interior and peristyles, mixed with Arab influences in its archways and domical architechture, seemed perfectly designed to orchestrate exoticism to the tourists he passed on his way to the bar — but James knew Alec, and knew Alec usually preferred dusty crumbling hotels in the old city center, enjoyed mingling with the rabble of locals during the day and to sleep with the background music of incessant rustle and chatter flowing in from windows flung wide open.

Still, the bar was well-stocked. James ordered a dark rum with soda and stepped out of the building, onto the sand-colored stones framing the large turquoise basin stretching out before him. High noon had passed, and patrons lounged in the shadows cast by the tall palm trees adorning the perimeter of the pool, no doubt intended to evoke the palm forests of Crete or Lesbos. The sky was a crisp cerulean blue and the early afternoon air warm rather than hot. A tortoise about the size of a grown man's head was crawling out from the bushes under the palms. The ocean waves crashed just within earshot.

"Ah," James muttered into his glass as he followed the gaze of a statuesque woman in a burnt orange bikini lying on a lounge chair, paperback in her lap. The book was forgotten as her eyes fixed on a man walking slowly out of the water, blond hair glimmering in the sun as long fingers brushed it out of his face. Alec Trevelyan. True to his words his usually pale skin was now a light tan, and his lean, practical muscles flexed under the water running over his body. His broad shoulders tapered down to narrow hips covered by a pair of earthy green swin shorts, its short legs cutting off an inch or so below his pelvis. He was something to look at, which James could only assume was entirely intentional.

"James," Alec said as he stepped out of the water and grabbed a fresh white towel from a neatly-stacked pile by the pool. "So glad you could make it." He squinted in the sun as he dried himself off, but James could still see the amused twinkle in his eyes, like he had invited James here to share a private joke.

"Not exactly laying low, I see," James quipped, and Alec laughed, drawing even more attention to himself; he then tossed the towel away and picked up a white shirt thrown carelessly across the back of a lounge chair.

"Let's catch up, shall we?" he said, pulling the shirt over his head and gesturing towards the tables lined up just outside the bar.

Alec caught a waiter and ordered what James was having, then leaned back in the wooden deck chair, one leather slide sandal dangling from his angular foot as he crossed his legs. The white shirt had its sleeves rolled up and its first three buttons undone, and its cotton fabric stuck to Alec's still damp skin in half-transparent patches.

"I'm here with a woman," Alec said, slowly turning his drink in his hand, listening to the ice cubes clang against the glass as the dark rum swirled.

"I assumed as much," James replied, although he hadn't altogether disgarded the notion that Alec might be honeypotting a male mark. James had no access to any of the other double-O agents' files, of course, but Alec had let it slip to him just once, almost as casually as he might share his dinner plans. EDIT THIS DIALOGUE Off to suck a wrinkly's prick for her majestry, he had said, one eyebrow raised in dry amusement. Who knew my penchant for buggery would end up coming in handy after all?

"A bored housewife," Alec continued, pulling back James' attention, and let out a chuckle. "Aren't they all? Only this one is the wife of a Venezuelan diplomat, and he runs a lucreative side business of illicit drug trade and exclusive whores. Petty crimes, really."

"Ah, yes, the most popular career choices of seedy characters when gambling is legal." James took a sip of his drink. "And M is bothered because..."

"Because he is blackmailing government officials into selling state secrets," Alec said simply, returning his glass to the table and resting his chin on his hand, little finger playing at the upturned corner of his lips. "Of course, M cares only insofar as some of these state secrets are ours."