Oh, The Places You'll Go

A Necessary End

Notes: Missing scene from the Special (in my slash-filled little world). Written for lordessrenegade's Weekend of Upholstery Abuse. Not quite sure it meets the criteria, but hey, the thought was there.

It's late. It's too late. The bar is almost empty and the table in front of the two men, one dark, one fair, is littered with used pint glasses and crumpled packs of peanuts.

"You're dying," says Guy after an extended period of silence.

"Effectively, yes," says Mac.

"Can I ask you a question?"

"I see no way in which I could actually stop you, but yes, you have my full permission."

"Is there anything that you wanted to do — you know — before you–" Guy's voice hitches and he coughs to clear his throat. Bit of peanut stuck in there, that's all. "Before you shuffle off this mortal whatever. Bucket."

"Classical scholar, aren't you? Shakespeare would be so proud." Mac turns his glass round in his hands, staring at his beer as if it holds the secrets of the universe. It doesn't. Guy's checked. Well, not that particular pint, but lots of others.

"Yeah, there's things. All sorts of things. Like ride my bike round the Hammersmith roundabout the wrong way during rush hour. Never done that. Always wanted to. Or actually get to be a consultant without undergoing personal injury or deep-seated trauma. Or ... have a family. A real one with no hair dye allowed." Mac shrugs. "There's a whole list. I wrote it down somewhere when I was–"

"Wallowing?" supplies Guy.

Mac's lips curve in a faint echo of a smile.

"Wallowing," he nods. "I wrote it down somewhere when I was wallowing in self-pity about the fact that my life — which I thought I'd just started getting used to, quite frankly — was going to be somewhat shorter than planned. About forty years shorter according to life expectancy tables. There may have been one or two things I hoped to get done in that time. Perhaps. Maybe even three or four."

"Yes," interrupts Guy, because he isn't interested in the specifics or the sarcasm. "But are any of them to do with me?"


"Me. Me. Guy Secretan. Are any of them to do with me?" Guy swings round so that his face is just inches away from Mac's, his shoulder pressing into the leather of the bench. He can't focus properly, the freckles on Mac's face merge into a blurry mass, but Mac's eyes are still blue, still brilliant and Guy finds that if he focuses on them the nagging pain that has settled on his chest since Mac dropped his bombshell eases a little.

Stupid fucking Mac. Dying? Always has to upstage everyone, doesn't he? Guy fucks his mother and is psychologically scarred for life; Mac ends up in a coma for eight. Fucking. Weeks. Getting all the attention as per bloody usual. Who cared about Guy's pain? Mac got sponge baths from hot nurses every day and Guy got to wear a hair net and paint walls with nutters that wanted to kill him. Guy gets engaged to Caroline, whose name contains an 'A' and an 'E', Mac gets diagnosed with some fatal condition whose name contains an 'A' and an 'E'. Show off.

Well, now Guy's going to one-up Mac for sure. There's no way he's going to see this coming. Guy didn't. Not until approximately two hours and seventeen minutes ago when Mac said, "there's something I have to tell you." And Guy knows that he's many things, but a coward isn't one of them. No, wait, a coward is one of them but today it seems that the double D cup of drink and death have conspired to make Guy brave. Maybe even braver than Mac.

"About you?" Mac is saying. "I did write that I'd like for once to see you admit that you were wrong about the relative genius of the Kinks versus Queen but I don't see that happening, do you?"

"That's it?"

Mac's breath is beery and warm on Guy's face.

"Of course, there's always the unwritten hope that one day you'll become less morally reprehensible and become a fully contributing member of society, but if that came true then they'd be granting wishes and I'd probably throw in one or eight for me first."

"So nothing like this then," and Guy leans away from the bench, lifting his forearm from his own thigh and placing it across Mac's, hand brushing against creased denim. To be this close — it gives him a jolt. He trusts that Mac is pissed enough not to punch him in the face if he's too far over the line.

Mac looks down at Guy's hand, then up at Guy's face, then down, then up, down, up. Guy feels like he's watching a ginger nodding dog. He stifles a nervous giggle — Secretans don't giggle. Secretans don't get nervous. He tests this theory, flexes his fingers against Mac's groin. The material is thick and his fingers rest only lightly against it, he's not sure he can feel anything except denim. Except the promise of something. Mac's speaking. Guy thinks he should probably listen.

"You know, I always thought you had surgeon's hands," he's saying. "Or a pianist's. You have these long fingers. Wasted on an anaesthetist."

"You've thought about my hands?"

Mac lets his head tip to one side.

"Purely professionally," he says.

"Right," agrees Guy, letting his professional, long, surgeon/pianist's fingers press a little harder into Mac's groin. Mac shifts and Guy's sure he's going to get up and walk out. Only he doesn't. He starts lining up pint glasses around the farthest rim of the table. Maybe his thing with an 'A' and an 'E' has caused him to become autistic. Guy wouldn't put it past him — there's always something disturbing about the amount of time surgeons spend washing their hands. Autism is only one step up from OCD in Guy's book. Admittedly Guy's book is mostly do-it-yourself colouring in porn pictures, but there's maybe a paragraph or two on mental health in there.

Now Mac is pulling his bag and coat close against his side and then leaning back, leather squeaking under his weight. He spreads his arms out along the wooden ledge of the bench, lets his thighs fall further apart. Guy's hand is washed with heat. He licks his lips, unexpectedly thirsty. He's about to explore further when he is stabbed with guilt. He snatches his hand away. Mac jerks his head round, a puzzled frown on his face.

"I. She. I. It's not cheating. It's different. I can't explain. I do love her, really I do. But you're dying, Mac and I can't. I won't. I don't." Guy stops and tries to form coherent thoughts. He fails. "I have no idea what I'm trying to say right now."

"When do you ever?" Mac's tone is affectionate and Guy's pathetically grateful for that even as he hates himself for being such a fucking pansy. "I get it. I do. And this is about us; let's leave her out of it, shall we?" He smiles, swift and brilliant and gone. "I'm fucking dying. Might as well die fucking."

Guy slams himself back against the bench. If he tips his head back he'll be able to feel Mac's arm underneath him. There's no one watching. He tips his head back and the weight of it causes Mac's elbow to bend so now his thumb is brushing Guy's shoulder. What Guy would like to do is reach up and take Mac's hand, but he's not fifteen nor a girl so he doesn't do that. What he does is place one hand ostentatiously on the table (nothing to see here, move along), whilst the other creeps back into Mac's lap and finds ... Alright! Finds the beginnings of something very interesting.

"So," he says very loudly, fingers fumbling with the stiff buttons of Mac's fly. "That, er, that new nurse in ENT's pretty hot, don't you reckon?"

"Who? Brian?"

"Maaaaaaaaaaac!" Guy's got every button undone now. He slides his hand inside. His heart speeds up as the heat on his palm increases. His fingers find soft material.

"Flannel!" he twists his head round so he can see Mac's profile. "Really? Do you think you're a student? Do you live in Seattle? Are you a lumberjack?"

Mac responds by pushing his hips forward just enough to press his hardening cock against Guy's hand. Guy shuts up. He went to an all-boys' boarding school so this is not new. But this is Mac, so it's as new as it gets. He finds the opening, turns his hand round and slips his fingers through the gap and underneath Mac's developing erection, letting them curl around the shaft. Mac's pubic hair is thick and springy under the back of his hand. That's unexpected, but good. He purses his lips and lets out a long breath.

"Not bad," he says, "and this way I don't have to look at your puny ginger pubes. Only turns out they're not so puny after all. You never told me."

"Oddly enough, the defence of the quality of my pubic hair never acquired priority status with me. Funny that." Only someone who knows Mac as well as Guy does would notice the faint tremor in his voice that suggests that his customary calm is somewhat disturbed.

Guy tightens his grip, feeling the flesh harden under his hand. There's not enough room. He lets go and, with a dexterity that supports Mac's Guy-as-surgeon assertion, he frees Mac's cock from its flannel misery. Guy glances down, but Mac's untucked shirt is hiding everything from view. It's a startlingly erotic image and Guy feels his own penis straining uncomfortably against the seam of his trousers. He ignores it and begins to move his hand on Mac, slow and tight, foreskin sliding over damp head. Mac lets out the smallest moan. For some reason it makes Guy want to cry, which is ridiculous because he doesn't do that and, for fuck's sake, he's just wanking the ginger twat off in a public place. A little bit exciting, a little bit dangerous, a little bit pervy maybe, but not sob-worthy. They must have put something odd in the beer.

Guy's mouth is open and words are coming out but he's not listening to them and he's damn sure Mac isn't either. He may or may not be reciting the rules of rugby union. He is rubbing his thumb over the head of Mac's cock which seems to be more pressing right now and Mac's thumb is rubbing circles on Guy's shoulder in time with it. There's a part of Guy that wishes Mac's thumb was about three feet further south and a few inches to the left, but the bigger part of him knows that this is about Mac, this is actually about someone who is not Guy. It's quite a shock to the system.

Guy speeds up a little, still talking, still watching Mac's profile. He doesn't think about Mac's pale skin and how that would look stretched out against the dark sheets of his bed. He doesn't think of how Mac's set of long, surgeon's fingers could reach far inside Guy, and how his knowledge of anatomy could be just what the doctor ordered. He doesn't think of his own kissing skills and how those could be highly transferable and might earn him that rarest of things; the full beam Mac smile. He doesn't think these things because his fingers are slippery and Mac is a statue, hot marble under his hand. He doesn't think these things because his mouth is spewing inane trivia and pointless boasts just so he doesn't have to think. So he never has to think.

Mac is trying to nod in the right places, trying to stay with Guy when in reality Guy knows he's already far away. He's almost gone. Guy can sense him at the edge and gets ready to tip him over. A crashing sense of loss hits him in the chest and he pauses mid-diatribe and mid-stroke. Mac turns to face him and Guy isn't quick enough to hide his expression.

"It's okay," says Mac. "It's going to be okay." He lets his arm drop properly around Guy's shoulder and squeezes his arm. They both know he's a liar but Guy smiles and resumes. He's telling Mac the fifth reason why he was cheated out of his rightful place on the 1996 Olympics Swiss Sailing Team when Mac comes, sitting bolt upright — crushing Guy's hand in the process, and grabbing his half-empty glass and downing it.

"Fuck!" he says, slamming the glass back down on the table.

Guy extricates himself and looks at his sticky hand, millions of potential baby Macs dying or dead all over it. Shit. Wasn't this supposed to make him feel better?

"Thanks," says Mac, quiet and sincere. And then Guy does feel better.

"I'm afraid that now you've seen what the Swiss can offer, you're going to find it hard to go back. I operate at a higher standard, you see."

"No, I operate; you perform the chemical equivalent of A Week in Westminster."

"Sure. Play it cool," says Guy, tapping his nose and immediately regretting it. "Er, I should–"

"You should."

Guy stands up. A barmaid is collecting pots on the far side of the room. She has short dark hair. Guy is jolted back to reality.

"Mac," he says. "What happened in the bar, stays in the bar, yeah?"

"No, I'm pretty sure drinking and not particularly secret drug taking happen in other places too."

Guy frowns.

"Sorry. Yeah. This whole thing is too fucking complicated as it is. We shall never speak of it again."

"Right. Thanks." Guy takes a couple of steps towards the toilets and pauses. He turns back. "I mean it. Thank you." Mac smiles and Guy holds his gaze for a little longer than necessary. Mac won't be there when he gets back.

He's right. Where Mac was is now an empty seat. Guy supposes he's going to have to get used to that. Fucker. Dying. That's one hell of a plea for attention. He picks up his jacket and starts for home. Home where Caroline will be asleep in bed. Caroline, whom he loves. Who almost definitely still loves Mac. Who Guy also loves, he thinks. Mac, who loves Caroline, and maybe, just maybe loves Guy too. Mac's right — it's fucking complicated. There must be something he can do about that. He'll start thinking about it tomorrow. Probably. For now he's going to go home, crawl into bed and dream multi-coloured dreams about fucking and laughing and fighting and living. Because there's nothing else left to do.

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