by Evil Jacquie
May '08 - "Write a story using the following words and phrase: map, wagon, and I'm not kidding...."

"Honey, I'm home!" Buck shouted the warning every day when he got home, mostly to annoy Chris. His hands were so filled with the bags of groceries that he didn't see the obstacles in his way till he'd nearly fallen in the entryway.

"Dang, Honey Bun, what have you been doing? Mud wrestling?" Buck nudged the boots to the side and glared at the trail of drying clods that led further into the house.

"What the fuck! Chris, what the hell have you gone and done?" Buck left the bags on the counter in the kitchen, still fuming over the mud his lover had tracked through the house. It wasn't like Buck was a neatness freak, that was solely Chris's domain, but he'd left a clean house this morning and now . . . Now, it dawned on him that Chris still hadn't answered him. Not even his usual, 'Big fucking deal,' when Buck had hollered that he was home. That teasing sarcasm that, coming from Chris, made Buck feel all warm inside.

"Chris?" Buck wasn't really worried. The truck was in the drive, the muddy boots and all the rest of the mess was proof enough that Chris was home and able to walk, so no problem, right? Except, why would Chris leave such a mess, and why the hell wasn't he answering Buck's calls. The shower wasn't running, Buck would be able to hear the pipes rattling in the old farmhouse. Buck didn't bother trying to be quiet. Anyone listening could hear the thud of his running footsteps rattling the windows as he rushed to the bedroom.

"Chris!" Buck slammed the door open and stopped. Filthy, torn clothes were scattered across the floor leading to the closed bathroom door. "Chris?"

"In here." Clearly through the bathroom door, the splash of water and Chris's voice. Buck relaxed. Okay, Chris was taking a bath, not that odd, but still . . .

Buck picked up the black jeans with a huff. "How did you manage to get mud inside your britches?" Moving to the rest of the ruined clothing Buck grabbed the once white undershirt and noticed the blood. Way too fucking much for just a scratch. Going through the bathroom door, Buck didn't bother to knock.

Chris jumped at the sudden invasion. "Jesus, Buck, can't a man take a bath in peace without you knocking the door down?"

The water in the tub sloshing over left the floor awash; Buck didn't care. "Where are you hurt?" He reached out and almost pulled Chris to his feet, would have done just that except Chris flinched.

"Damn, Buck, take it easy." Chris lay his hand over Buck's and eased himself back into the tub. "I'm not hurt, not bad anyway."

Buck stared at his lover. "Not hurt? Chris, you're as banged up as I ever seen you! Including the time we rolled that Jeep in the Navy!" There were bruises all over Chris's arms, back, and shoulders. Buck couldn't see his legs in the cloudy bath water but there seemed to be at least one deep scrap across his chest, not wide but still weeping.

"It's not as bad as all that." Chris scolded. "Don't go crazy on me, now."

"Don't go crazy? I come home and find you battered and bloody and saying you're fine, but I'm the one that shouldn't go crazy!" Buck wasn't sure what was making him more angry, the blood and bruises or the matter-of-fact attitude that Chris was shoving in his face. "You want to tell me just what happened, or do I have to back track you?"

"I ain't kidding here, Bucklin, I'm fine and you need to settle down!" Chris, naturally, tried to fight his way out of telling Buck anything he didn't want him to know.

"Fine!" Buck turned on his heel and strode out of the room, water dripping from the soaked bottoms of his jeans, slamming the door behind him. He realized he was still holding the bloody tee-shirt in one hand and dropped it. Fuck Chris Larabee! He could clean up his own mess if that was the way he wanted it!

Buck headed into the den and poured himself two-fingers of Kentucky bourbon and tossed it back in one swallow. One more to take with him and he stomped into the kitchen still feeling the heat of his anger. He assaulted the bags of groceries, taking much of his frustration and fear out on the canned goods and cabinet doors. He shoved and slammed cans and doors, and then somehow the first aid kit was in his hands, and he was hurrying back into their room armed with Neosporin, hydrogen peroxide, and gauze. He swung the bathroom door open hard enough to bounce off the wall.

"All right, let's get you bandaged up." Buck didn't try to hide the anger he still felt pounding through his veins.

"Buck, I told you . . . " Chris was just climbing out of the bath.

"Just get in here and sit down, Larabee." Buck interrupted, he was in no mood for arguments.

"Fine." Chris glared.

"Yeah, fine." Buck glared back.

In a silence that nearly crackled with tension, Buck carefully washed out each cut and scrape he found on Chris's chest and shoulders with the peroxide, then dabbed Neosporin on them, before covering them with bandages.

Chris watched his stony-faced lover tending to his injuries, even while angry Buck's hands were gentle. He wouldn't allow Chris to catch his eyes, and his lips were tight with the fury he so obviously felt, but the warm hands were careful, almost tender in the way they cared for Chris.

"Buck?" Chris understood exactly why Buck was so angry, had to admit he'd have probably been worse. Though the smell of the bourbon reached Chris, he knew it was no more than a shot or two. Not even half of what Chris would have downed if the situation had been reversed. "Buck, I'm sorry I scared you. I shouldn't have let you walk in on all that without some warning."

Buck's dark blue eyes rose to meet Chris's. "Yeah, you are a sorry, inconsiderate sonofabitch, Larabee."

"Never said I wasn't." Chris grinned. "Never seemed to bother you before."

"The hell it didn't!" Buck wasn't quite pacified yet. "So, what did you do this time?"

"I was helping Miss Nettie."

"With what? Mud wrestling her livestock?"

"Not exactly, her car got stuck and I was trying to get it out."

"Did she run over you?"

"No, Buck, course not."

"Well then how'd you get all cut up?"

"I'm trying to tell you! Now, hush and listen for a change." Chris put one finger over Buck's lips. Buck's tongue flickered out, sending heat all through Chris.

"Chris?" Buck's voice had gone low, that tone he got when he knew Chris was going to see things his way. The tone Chris heard most every night when they climbed into bed.

"We got the station wagon moving, I slipped. I was covered in mud from head to toe." Chris closed his eyes, Buck had moved closer, licking up the column of Chris's throat to where it met his jaw.

"Got all dirty, did ya? But how'd you get cut up?"

"Didn't want to dirty up the interior of the truck, so I walked up to her house. I was gonna hose off the worst of the mud." Chris explained.

Buck nodded and nuzzled into the short silky blond hair. "Uh huh."

"I didn't see the rabbit. Dogs must have scared it, I kind of jumped when it ran in front of me and when the dogs ran into me I was already off balance. I fell."

"Did the dogs claw you up?" Buck had pulled back now. He looked so concerned.

Chris hated to tell him the rest. "I fell over that new fence Vin put up for her."

"The one to pen up the . . . Oh, Chris, tell me you didn't fall into the pig pen!"

"Yeah, that one." Chris lowered his eyes and waited for the laughter to ensue, but there was none. He raised his eyes to meet Buck's. They were shining, but not with laughter.

The big gentle hands stroked their way over Chris's body. Buck had long ago thoroughly explored and marked every erogenous zone of his lover's and now he made use of that map.

Chris tried to resist. "Stud, I'm not exactly up for this, you know."

Buck never slowed down the assault, added to it his cunning mouth.

"Buck, I'm not kidding . . ."

Buck latched onto the hardening nub of Chris's left nipple. Chris arched back and moaned. Buck pulled at the towel that Chris had wrapped around his hips.

"You really want me to stop?"

Chris managed to opened his eyes. "Not yet."

Buck smiled. "I'll be gentle." That tone was back, deeper than before, and Chris knew better than to argue with him.

Buck of the Borg, resistance is futile.

The End

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