Title: A New Hobby: An Excerpt from Libera Nos a Malo
Author: Gil Grissom
Characters: Brian O’Conner, Dominic Toretto, Ronon Dex, Jason Doyle, Joaquin Lizardi, Daniel Boone, David Crockett
Rating: FRT (language)
Summary: Brian’s picked up a new hobby.
Timeline: June-ish 2009
Dom parked his car in its usual spot in the garage and slid out of the driver’s seat, his mind drifting from the minor suspension issues his car was still having to his Mates, wondering where they’d wandered off to.
He hated to admit it, but Josiah had been right. They’d needed to let everything go for at least a week or two before diving back into the their horrible task. Brian had been stressing himself out to the point where he was snapping at everyone, including Lucas, who he spent the most time with.
When he’d heard Lucas muttering about borrowing the Black Pearl from his father so he could actually keelhaul Brian, he knew it there was a real problem. Brian’s stress and moodiness had also exacerbated his own to the point he was glaring at anyone who crossed his path. And Ronon…
Well, Dom really didn’t want to find out how Ronon reacted to intense stress, considering his background and what he’d lived through. He had no doubts that it would be extremely unpleasant, and everybody might not make it out alive.
Josiah had seen the issues as well, and he’d ordered a mandated vacation from their grim reality and they weren’t allowed in any of their offices. The one time Brian had tried to sneak into the research facility, Lucas had laughed in his face and had Spike and Harkness grab him by the arms and throw him into the ocean. As Dom and Ronon had both warned him not to go there, they’d simply watched and pointed and laughed at their sputtering, indignant Mate.
The first few days of their mandatory vacation was spent feeding, sleeping, having an obscene amount of sex in between the other two activities, and reminding each other that they really did love one another and didn’t actually want to shower each other with bricks to the head.
This was the first day they’d gone their separate ways to pursue hobbies and such, and Dom had taken the opportunity to work on the car he suspected Han had deliberately sabotaged on Josiah’s orders. After four hours, he’d fixed the mechanical problems with the engine, but he had no idea what Han had done to fuck up his suspension. What he did know was that at some point, Han was going to pay for it.
He strolled toward the main house, intending on looking to see what Ronon and Brian were up to, when he slowed to a halt as Ronon came into view. He was in between Daniel and David, surfboard under one arm, board shorts riding low on his hips, his bare torso glistening from the water that still dripped from his hair. He was laughing at whatever David was saying as one arm flailed this way and that with his storytelling. It struck him just how beautiful his Mate was, and how lucky he and Brian were to find this man. The very idea that Ronon might still be in another galaxy, running from monsters that ate someone with their hand, if it weren’t for John Sheppard made his heart hurt. He sent up a prayer of thanks that that wasn’t the case as he not-so-subtly checked out his Mate.
“Have fun?” he asked when the three men neared, glancing over with a frown as a car all but screeched to a halt about thirty feet behind him.
“Spent more time wiping out than surfing, but I’m getting better,” Ronon told him before glancing over Dom’s shoulder. “What’s his deal?”
Dom turned to see Joaquin getting out of his car. He was clearly disheveled and looked well fucked out, which wouldn’t be a concern if they weren’t well aware of who his Mate was, and it was clear as day what happened by the expression on his face. “You okay, Joaquin?” he couldn’t help but ask.
“I’m a horrible human being,” Joaquin muttered as he strode by, heading toward the house that held his quarters.
David blew out a heavy sigh. “I’ll go and talk to him.”
“Because our week was a little boring without a touch of drama,” Daniel said, taking David’s board so David could go and chase down Joaquin.
“It was bound to happen sooner or later,” Dom said, staring in the direction of Joaquin’s house with sympathy. “Santa Anna’s been staying in Salina Cruz more than he usually does, and Joaquin has always acted as our go between, as the least volatile one for each side.”
“Maybe that was a mistake on our part,” Daniel murmured. “Throwing the two of them together.” He frowned. “You think this is why he’s still here? Trying to wear Joaquin down?”
Dom shook his head. “No, I think it’s the Rogue activity that’s been the problem in the last several years that keeps him here. He acts as a spy for them while he passes us the information he gleans from them. His intention is to protect Joaquin. They know he’s not good for Joaquin, and Santa Anna knows that their Mating is impossible if he wants Joaquin to remain with our Clan. Too much has happened and he can’t be trusted with anything but his Mate’s well-being. Going against the Clan in any meaningful way would hurt Joaquin in more ways than one, especially if it meant we had to hunt Santa Anna’s ass down.”
“So basically a moment of weakness,” Daniel murmured. “Well, if anyone can get through to him, it’s David. Out of all of us, his history with Santa Anna is the most volatile. I’m going to shower. My skin’s starting to itch.”
Dom wrapped an arm around Ronon’s waist and walked with him to the storage area where they kept their surfboards, following Daniel at a more leisurely pace. “You know where Brian is?”
“Last I saw him, he was inside talking to Doyle,” Ronon told him. “Don’t know what about, though. Figure if it’s anything interesting he’ll let us know.”
Dom nodded and leaned back against the wall, watching with undisguised interest as Ronon wiped his board down and set it in his proper slot. He smiled when Ronon turned around and looked at him curiously. “You’re really hot in nothing but your board shorts.”
Ronon growled and stalked closer. “I’m even hotter out of them.”
“You’re telling me something I’m well-aware of,” Dom replied, pulling him in for a slow, deep kiss. “Wanna go find Brian and see if he wants to play with us?”
“Sounds good to me.”
Dom and Ronon walked toward the house hand in hand, running into Missouri down one of the hallways. “You seen Brian?”
Missouri grinned broadly and then said, “He’s in the living room with Jason.”
“Thanks!” Dom said, bemused by her reaction. “Let’s go see what it is he’s gotten up to that’s clearly got her amused.”
They wound their way through the house to the main living room and Dom stopped short in the doorway. He could feel his eyebrows trying to crawl their way up to the top of their head as he took in the picture Jason and Brian made.
Jason was sitting on the chaise lounge with Brian sitting between his legs, Brian’s back to Doyle’s chest. Jason had his arms wrapped around Brian as he helped instruct him manipulate the yarn and needles that Brian had in hand. “Are you learning to knit?”
Brian looked up at him and beamed. “Yep! Jason’s teaching me the basics right now.”
Dom nodded slowly. “Okay. Though I don’t remember him teaching his other students this way,” he commented, motioning to their current position.
“Well, Brian is both hot and legal, and I don’t feel like a dirty old man,” Jason said, almost primly, as he corrected Brian’s hands.
Beside him, Ronon cocked his head. “You think you can teach me?”
Jason’s grin could only be described as wicked. “I’ll be more than happy to teach you anything you want, Ronon.”
Dom looked between the three and shook his head. “You know what? You three do whatever weird projects you want to do. Just remember that I don’t even want to know,” he said, amused as Brian stuck his tongue out at him.
“You’re just jealous because you’re all thumbs when it comes to working with yarn,” Jason called out.
“Yeah. Real jealous. I don’t know how I function with this level of envy I have at your ability to twist and loop yarn into usable products,” Dom said dryly as he leaned against the doorway, watching Ronon with amusement as he pulled a chair up next to Brian and Jason to watch.
“Hey, your favorite sweater is one of my creations,” Jason said, pointing a knitting needle his direction. “No dissing the needlecraft going on in this house.”
Dom held his hands up, resigned to the fact that he was going to have to wait to get his Mates into the bedroom for awhile. “Not dissing anything. I’m simply refuting the claim that I am in any way envious of your talent. Now, since you three are busy, I’m going to go hunt Han down and make him fix my car.”
The three waved at him distractedly, and with a snort Dom left the room, rolling his eyes. His Mates and Clan Members we so weird sometimes.