Late Night Observations

Disclaimer: Sam and Al do not belong to me. Sad but true. No money made, no infringement to copyright intended.

Summary: This is my answer to the challenge I set recently on Alia's Updates. 'Al likes to watch.'

Warnings: This is slash. Interactions of the same sex variety. Best to consider it R.

Author's notes: This story is written from Sam's point of view and it turned out a little more contemplative than I had intended when I first started writing it. It's kinda 'a day/night in the life of' sort of fic.

Thanks: To PJ for betaing.

Comments: Can be sent to my email address aliajones1999@yahoo.com

----*----

Worlds apart. Bonds unbroken. Love divided. But not forsaken.

Alia 2003

Taking up residency in the homes of complete strangers, no matter how temporary my stay is going to be always requires some getting used to. Borrowing personal items for instance, isn't a preferred habit of mine but one that I have discovered can't be avoided sometimes if I want to give the right impression.

I turn on the faucet and rinse the razor I have borrowed as soon as I'm finished and then return it to the tumbler from whence it came, pausing momentarily to steady both as they teeter precariously close to the edge of the sink. It occurs to me that my theory to leave everything as is simply is not practical some leaps, but as I have plans for the rest of the night, I decide that tempting fate can be left for another time. - Satisfied that all is secure for the moment I cup my hands and bend low over the vanity to wash any remaining lather from my freshly shaved cheeks.

The cool water stings a bit but it feels good, so good in fact that I allow the excess to trickle through my fingers and to create a wet path down my neck and bare chest as I stand up. It is all for effect mind you. I have an audience and even though Al is still to announce his arrival, I work to impress.

Stretching in a way that is not really necessary given the distance I have to reach for the towel hanging along side of the vanity unit, I make certain that every exposed muscle in my back and shoulders flex as I move. I use the clean terry cloth to pat myself dry next, regarding my reflection with curious interest as I pay special attention to each waking nub on my chest and wondering as I do about the man standing behind me. What is he thinking? And does he like what he sees?

The face in the mirror isn't mine. It hasn't been for sometime now. Not that it matters I guess, because in spite of what others might see, Al knows me anywhere. I offer him a knowing smile as I replace the towel, hoping he is enjoying the show so far. Unlike myself though, he casts no reflection at all and I have to wait until I turn around to see his expression.

As I had hoped Al is grinning appreciatively when I do turn to face him, his cheeks slightly flushed, his dark eyes shinning brightly as he finally nods his greeting. "You're up late." He informs me as I lean back against the vanity.

It's difficult to keep the smile off my face but I try to all the same. "I was waiting for you to come back." I explain, folding my arms across my chest and doing my best not to show just how pleased I am to see him. I don't have much hope though, considering that the second towel I have wrapped around my hips isn't very large and because it's damp, it clings in all the right places. Something, that judging from the way Al is looking me up and down, has not escaped his notice.

"You're sounding pretty sure of yourself, Sam." He announces as his eyes travel upward once more to meet with my own, the dark brows above his arching suggestively as he adds. "What if I hadn't shown up?"

That will be the day I think, and then stop myself, not willing to let the very real possibility that there might come a day when Al will not come, spoil the time we have together now. Instead I shrug my shoulders, determined to remain unfazed by his teasing. If he wants to play then I'm in just the mood to show him I can give as good as I get and with that I drop my arms back down to my sides and reach for the opening on the towel, gently caressing the edge as I answer him.

"Well as you know, Al, I can be pretty resourceful when I need to be. I am sure I would of come up with some way to entertain myself if you hadn't."

The grin on Al's face broadens at the innuendo I add to my voice, the various ways I might find to pass my time no doubt formulating in his over active imagination. "Yeah." He smirks. "I'm sure you could of, Sam."

Despite the bravado I try to exude with Al I still feel the familiar heat of embarrassment begin at the base of my throat and then slowly rise to my cheeks as his gaze sweeps lower again.

I glance away, recalling a night not so long ago when Al had returned to me much as he has tonight. On that occasion his visit had definitely not been anticipated, and he had quite literally caught me with my pants down, indulging in the only release I could think of given the distance between us. It had been then, in the darkened bedroom of my hosts' small apartment that we had first explored what has now become the latest way we have found to bridge the gap space and time has placed in our way.

Okay, so the fact that Al likes to watch me was not exactly a revelation, but I guess the full extent of his interest has become something akin to an awakening for me.

Up until that night, I had always considered Al a man who was more interested in being an active participate in life's many pleasures, rather than someone who was happy to simply be a spectator in them. Of course with me leaping around in time things between us have had to change quite a bit. So I guess it is understandable then, that my opinions of him, along with the ways we continue what we had started long before I stepped into the accelerator chamber that had ultimately separated us from one another, have changed also.

I have never been much of an exhibitionist though and the fluorescent globe over heard makes me feel like I'm standing under a spot light and does not help my feelings of self-consciousness at all as Al's scrutiny continues. I do my best to keep up my confident front however, aware that he is studying every gesture I make, both of us knowing just where this is leading.

It does not happen often. God, not nearly often enough I think as the thought of what I had planned for when Al came back tonight takes form once more in my minds eye and the imagines alone force me to adjust my stance. I need to relocate us to more comfortable surroundings, and soon.

I clear my throat gently to draw Al's attention and then make the necessary adjustments to the front of the towel as his gaze drifts back up to mine. His grin has faded completely over the last couple of minutes I realize, and his eyes are now filled with a depth of longing that makes my heart still momentarily and then ache in sympathy. It's intense, having him looking at me the way he is now. Seeing him how he used to be. Utter rogue one minute and then as the only man who could take my breath away the next. Far more intense than I had wanted for tonight. Keep it light I tell myself. This is meant to help us remember that we can still find a way to share one another, not remind us of what we can not have.

It is not easy but for both our sakes I force myself to swallow over the emotion that my last thought inspires, pushing aside the sorrow that threatens to spoil the mood I had been hoping for tonight, and then ease myself away from the vanity unit.

Al seems a little surprised when I approach him, as if he had been like myself, lost in his own thoughts. It is okay though, I know how to deal with this and very carefully I raise a hand towards him, years of practice allowing me to know just where to stop so the illusion is not ruined as I cover the area where his cheek would be.

"Where are you?" I whisper, not quite sure at this point where Al's daydreaming has taken him.

"With you." He answers softly, his dark eyes never leaving mine as he tilts his head ever so slightly toward the image of hand. "Always with you, Sam"

There had been a time I reminisce, when I might have thought that I had misheard Al, but I know very different now. In fact, no matter what others might think of it, I know that in his mind we were always together, if only in spirit. A technique he told me once he has fine-tuned over time and had first been developed when he was a prisoner of war.

"Do you want to tell me about it?" I query, conceding that whatever was on his mind, talking played more than a small part in occasions such as tonight.

There is only a brief moment of indecision before Al shakes his head and I withdraw my hand again. "Nah." He tells me, and then just as quickly seems to shake off any remaining melancholy as he offers me one his more playful grins, adding. "I think I'd rather hear about what you were planning."

I nod, even though I am not completely convinced that I should not try to encourage Al to share whatever had caused his brief lapse into despondency. His grin, like the spark of mischievous interest now brightening his expression is somewhat difficult to ignore however and it's only a second or two before I find myself returning it, ready and willing if that's what he wants, to let go of everything else and concentrate only on us. "Okay." I finally agree. "But I think I've got an even better idea."

"Yeah, Sam? He prompts with more than his usual amount of boyish enthusiasm. "And what's that?"

As if you didn't already know I think to myself, but I don't say so. I'm too busy rolling my eyes. Besides I decide, it doesn't pay to appear too obvious with Al. Instead I calm myself and simply tell him what I know he is waiting to hear. "How about I just show you?"

I do not wait for Al to answer me or to see if he is going to follow me as I then slip past him on my way out of the bathroom, turning the light off as I go. He wouldn't be the man I think he is to decline my offer, and frankly, having known him intimately for many years now, I know that in fact Al will follow me, and that even without good reason to do so, he would accompany me to the very ends of the universe and back again.

----*----

My current host lives alone, thank goodness. So there are no family members or room mates to contend with as I make the short journey from the bathroom to the bedroom and as expected, Al is already there waiting for me when I reach the threshold.

Standing in the doorway I watch in silence as he takes note of few preparations I had made in anticipation of his return tonight. Several lit candles casting a warm glow over the entire room along with his pleased countenance when he finally turns to greet me.

"It looks like you had something specific in mind." He says, waving his hand absently in the direction of the neatly turned back bed and the candle placed carefully beside it as I step forward.

"Very specific." I breathe taking up my place in front of him and mentally steeling myself for what comes next.

Al knows I feel a lot less self-conscious with the room in semi darkness, more able to relax and to let go of my inhibitions. Years of keeping what I am about to do completely private, is not discarded without some effort, and thankfully he is very patient with me.

If we are lucky, Al and I will have the rest of the night to ourselves. The outside world can do without us until morning and as we both know there is no reason to rush the proceedings for the next few moments we simply stand regarding one another, his dear face further illuminated by the hand-link he is still holding in his hand. It blinks and squeals intermittently, demanding attention until Al breaks eye contact with me, muttering his usual string of obscenities as he slaps the small device and then stores it inside his jacket pocket for safe keeping. He offers me an apologetic grin as the hand-link finally falls silent but says little else.

It is up to me now and I know that he is waiting for me to say something, but words I have come to realize, could never convey the true depths of my feeling for him. God only knows that I have tried in the past to tell Al how much he means to me. How his faith in me, gives me the strength to go on, day after day when to be truthful we both know there maybe no end to my traveling in time. That this might be all we ever have together.

I sigh; it was a sobering thought. Not one I have not considered before mind you. But if this really was all Al and I could hope for then I knew it would have to be enough and I needed to play my part to the fullest.

"I love you." I whisper, still feeling as I did often, that my declaration, no matter how heartfelt, was not nearly sufficient to express myself.

"I know you do, kid." Al returns, as eager as always to reassure me. "Don't ever doubt that, Sam."

It is difficult to argue with Al when it comes to matters of the heart, especially ours. I remember a time however, when he had not been so sure of himself, or me.

"You didn't believe me the first time I told you." I tell him, raising a hand to my face to gently touch the area where I recall he had cupped my cheek with so much more than friendship on his mind for the first time.

Such a long time ago now I muse, but despite everything that has happened since the night I finally found the courage to tell Al how I really felt about him, it is a good memory. One we both share and which I can see brings a nostalgic twinkle to his expressive eyes and a slightly sheepish smile to his gentle mouth.

"Well no, Sam, but that's because I thought you were drunk." He informs me in a voice that is lit with affection though it is obvious his focus is clearly on the path of my hand is taking.

"I was." I answer, smiling to myself and relaxing a little as I then use the tips of my fingers to trace the surface of my lips. "I don't think I would have ever gotten up the nerve to tell you if I wasn't." I add, remembering each kiss that had been bestowed there that same night as my hand slips to my throat. I splay my fingers as I continue downward, arching my neck slightly and pausing briefly at the base to feel the steady beat of my pulse before I venture lower still to my chest.

With Al as my inspiration and some very concerted efforts made towards self-stimulation it is not very long before I feel the familiar waking of my body for the second time tonight. The faint prickling of my skin and the pooling of heat in my groin, urging me onward.

"God." Al exclaims as my ministrations grow slowly bolder and I run my hand over one very well developed pectoral muscle while I raise the other to smooth across my abdomen to toy with the line of hair that begin just below my navel. His dark head shaking adamantly as his eyes continue to track my movements. "I should never have doubted you, Sam. I should have known that you'd never say something you didn't mean."

"I never will." I promise, drawing Al's gaze once more. Then with only the flickering of candlelight to see by and my hands gradually beginning to shake with a mind all of their own, I fumble to the front of the towel wrapped firmly around my hips. A part of me wants to prolong this as long as possible and yet another wants only to show Al that despite the distance between us I am still true to my word.

Broadening my stance to accommodate the involuntary trembling of my legs I carefully stroke along the rising flesh beneath the towel, moaning softly from the relief my hand offers. I keep my eyes firmly fixed on the man in front of me as I work myself slowly, but all too soon it is too much.

"Talk to me." I say, relinquishing the hold that I have on the front of the towel, knowing that if I was going to provide Al with all I could, then I needed to pace myself. "Tell me what you remember, Al?" I add, reaching now for the place where the folds of terry cloth meet. "Tell me what it feels like to love me?"

Al has always a man of few words. Actions he would often remind me spoke louder than anything he could possibly say, so what was the point of wasting them. Of course that was before Al's actions could speak louder than words and we were both able to enjoy them.

"Like nothing else on earth, Sam." He begins slowly, breathless and clearly searching for the right words to make up for the loss of physical contact. "Loving you and touching you with my heart is like finding the most precious gift there is, and I never want to stop." Al's last statement comes out sounding somewhat choked and I work, as he has always with me, to reassure him.

"You don't have to." I whisper, wanting more than anything I can think of right now to able to feel Al's hands slowly unwrapping the towel from around my waist. I remember, in amongst a number of other sensations that do not make a lot of sense, what it felt like when he touched me. The warmth of his hands and the smoothness of his body pressed against my own. It is not going to happen though, because no matter how much I might want it, necessity requires that I take care of this myself and without further thought on the matter or comment I release the thin restriction, allowing it to fall to my bare feet.

I close my eyes as I stand in front of Al; arms hung loosely at my sides, shoulders back and my head held high so that nothing is concealed from his gaze. My heart beating so rapidly in my chest now, that I almost feel faint from the rush of blood coursing through my veins, only opening my eyes again when I know that he has mapped every inch of my body.

Al's expression is one of complete adoration; loving and appreciative in a way that I am very aware only comes along once in a lifetime. I do not speak. What would I say to him? That I regret leaving you? That I wish I had never built the accelerator chamber? Or decided to use it? It has all been said before and I turn away, both of us remaining silent as I bend to retrieve the towel from the floor and take the few steps to the bed.

Placing the towel within reach, I stretch out on top of freshly changed sheets, enjoying the way they feel against my back and bare legs. Unlike earlier though, Al does not follow me straight away. Instead, he stays in his original position watching me closely while I make myself comfortable. I close my eyes when I have, knowing that he will close, at least the visible distance between us when he is ready.

I take a deep breath and then let it out slowly; thinking as I draw my knees up and reach for the turgid heat between my legs to begin the slow steady pumping of my shaft about what Al had said to me. How he always wanted to be able to love me with his heart. It is not surprising I guess then that of all the things I still had some difficulty remembering about us I have always felt his love transcending time and space to reach out and touch me when he couldn't.

I open my eyes on that thought, my hand still working me towards my inevitable completion to find Al standing over me. Watching me.

"I love you." He whispers. "I will always love, Sam."

The End

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