Body Heat

by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

Mac grumbled unhappily as he struggled with a set of tent poles. "This is just as pointless as the Agency awards, you know," he said to Li Ann and Vic, who were having a little more success with their sections of the tent. The three of them stood on the edge of a clearing in the forest. Other groups dotted the clearing, erecting their own shelter.

"Yeah, I know," Li Ann sighed, "but the Agency says we're going on a camping trip, so we go."

"Yet another attempt at stress relief," Vic offered.

"If they're trying to relieve stress, I don't see why they make the teams go together," Mac scowled.

"Oh, give it up, Mac," Li Ann said, exasperated. "We know you don't dislike Vic nearly as much as you pretend you," she stopped whatever Vic was going to say and added, "and we know Vic doesn't dislike you that much either. You just enjoy fighting."

"That's not true!" Vic said, doing his best to sound injured.

"Oh, right, just like you two are above discussing, oh, say, who would win in a steel cage fight?" Li Ann said, smiling mischievously.

"Well, I'm done," Vic said abruptly, snapping the last section of his part of the tent together. "I'm going to go see what they've got cooking on the barbecue." The ex-cop took off, leaving his partners with the two-thirds collapsed tent.

"Ah, the cave man in his element," Mac intoned, grinning. "That man has no sophistication."

"You really have to learn to see under the surface, Mac," Li Ann admonished.

"Vic has a lot of good qualities. He's honest, and sweet and generous-"

"You call those good qualities?" Mac said, sounding incredulous but grinning again.

"Give it up, Mac," Li Ann said, exasperated. "I can tell you like him. I just can't figure out why you're so touchy about it. It's not a bad thing to have a friend, you know. Even if he did used to be a cop."

"I'm not touchy about it," Mac insisted. He looked around to make sure Vic was nowhere within hearing range before going on, "I know he's a good guy. He's great to have at your back in a fight, he's loyal, he's a good shot and he can do a hell of a job with his bare hands, even if he doesn't do it the way we do. I just don't like to inflate his ego too much."

Li Ann looked at him hard. "That's all true," she agreed, "and I can tell you believe it. But you are still touchy about it. Care to explain?"

"Nope," Mac said simply, finishing his part of the tent and turning to find the barbecue himself. //I couldn't ever explain it to you, Li Ann, // Mac told her silently, //Even if I eventually manage to explain it to Vic. How do you tell the woman you wanted to marry that you don't want her anymore because you're in love with the man she was planning to marry? Oh, sure, she broke it off with both of us, but she still freaked when I nearly got married to someone else. Not to mention that Li Ann has no idea I've ever been interested in guys. Wouldn't that be a shock to her system! //

Li Ann, completely unaware of Mac's inner turmoil shrugged and finished her part of the tent before following the boys to the barbecue that would provide dinner. As she walked, she cast an eye up at the dark, heavy clouds overhead and wondered if the Agency had checked the weather before setting the date for the trip.


Vic finished his hamburger with a satisfied sigh, sighing in a more resigned way when he glanced out of the shelter at the snowflakes that had begun to fall. "The Agency really planned this badly," he commented, pulling his leather jacket around himself more tightly as a gust of wind drove into the open walled shelter. "I mean, it's snowing out there!"

"Well, I'm going to get back to the tent," Mac said, standing. "I'll be a lot warmer in my sleeping back, out of the wind."

"I think I'll come with you," Vic stated.

"I'm going to stay here," Li Ann informed them. "It's snowing pretty hard out there, and I don't want to be buried. I ought to be warm enough if I can get Dobrinski to let me near the barbecue."

"Don't be too long," Vic cautioned, concerned, "if you don't get back to the tent you'll be stuck out here in the cold all night. It's not just the snow - it's that wind."

"I'll be fine," Li Ann insisted, waving them on, "go ahead. I'll join you later."

Shrugging, Vic followed Mac out of the shelter and through the snow to their tent. The white flakes were falling thickly now, to the point that Mac almost missed the tent in the white out. The wind, now blowing fiercely, didn't help much. "Hey," Vic called out as Mac unzipped the tent door, "our tent spikes aren't holding very well."

"Then pound them further into the ground," Mac said, rolling his eyes.

"I can't," Vic replied, sounding frustrated, "the ground is frozen solid."

"I'm sure out weight will hold the damn thing down well enough," Mac responded from inside the tent. "Come on, get in here before snow gets inside." Vic gave the tent spikes one last dubious glance before shrugging and crawling into the tent.

The two of them spend the next few minutes layering on clothing and crawling into their sleeping bags. They'd only been settled comfortably for a moment when a sudden gust of wind struck the tent. There was a flapping sound, and Vic realized that one of the tent pegs had pulled up. He didn't worry until the next peg came up. When the third and fourth pegs went, and the tent started moving around a little he got upset.

"I think we're going to be blown away!" he exclaimed, worried.

"Literally," Mac said, sitting up. "Seriously, Vic, how is this tent going to move with both of us- Woah!" Mac exclaimed as he, Vic and the tent slid a good two feet to one side.

"Ice," Vic managed to explain. "Our body heat probably melted the first layer of snow, but there must be enough out there now that it's freezing the water. Without the tent pegs, we're pretty much mobile."

He'd no sooner finished speaking than the tent, taking them with it, began sliding in response to another hard gust of wind. Suddenly, the entire tent tipped onto an angle, pushing Vic up against one canvas wall and throwing Mac against him. They slid down the icy slope for a long moment, bouncing over rock and roots, before smashing into what felt like a large rock.

"At least the frame held," Vic said, picking himself up painfully.

"Yeah, thank God for small favors," Mac agreed, somewhat sarcastically.

Managing to move into a crouch, Vic felt the walls of the tent with his hands. "I think we came to rest in a small cave," he finally reported. "Unfortunately, the door isn't facing what seems to be the entrance to the cave."

"I don't think it would do much good in any case," Mac commented, poking at the least solid side of the tent. "The opening is getting clogged with snow pretty fast. We'd freeze to death before we got out of here and back to the Agency campground."

"I guess we're stuck here until they find us," Vic concluded, sounding resigned. "It'll probably be awhile, even if they notice we're gone soon. It's snowing hard enough to cover up signs of our slide pretty fast, and we're getting buried just as quickly."

About ten minutes later, the two men were both wrapped in every article of clothing they'd brought and their sleeping bags. The stone walls of the cave were even colder than the snow that pushed at one wall of the tent. "This is stupid," Vic burst out suddenly. "We're going to freeze to death anyway if we don't figure out some way to warm up."

"Let me guess," Mac said, resignation in his voice, "shared body heat." //This is not going to be easy, // he thought to himself. //You're going to have to cuddle up to the guy you love for the express purpose of heating up, and yet you can't even let him know what you're feeling. Damn this snow to hell! //

"Well," Vic said, responding to his verbal comment, "body heat is about all we've got to work with right now." Mac just nodded. It took them a couple of minutes, but they finally got their sleeping bags zipped into one huge sleeping bag. By unspoken understanding, they stripped down to their boxers and shoved the clothing into the sleeping bag as extra insulation. After only a brief pause, they slid into the bag together.

Mac bit back a gasp as his bare skin came into contact with Vic's. There was an awkward moment as they figured out how to share body heat without making their contact too personal. The partners eventually just gave up on the idea and settled into a loose embrace, chest to chest. Mac closed his eyes and took a couple of calming breaths, hoping Vic would think he was only trying to get to sleep.

Closing his eyes was not a good idea. The absence of light only drew attention to the soft rasp of skin on skin, the pressure of Vic's nipples against his own chest, the warm puff of breath as Vic exhaled, the subtle scent of the other man, the soft hiss of his breathing… Mac's eyes snapped open again, and he found himself staring into Vic's emerald green eyes.

"Mac?" Vic asked, sounding concerned.

"What?" Mac asked, snapping out of his daze and wincing at his overly harsh tone.

"I asked you if you were okay. You seemed upset a moment ago."

"I'm fine Vic, really," Mac said, trying to keep his voice even. //I wonder how Vic would react if he knew why I was really upset…//

"Right," Vic said, sounding doubtful. But he accepted Mac's word on it and laid off the questions.

Mac thought he was going to be fine then, but Vic started to get restless. Which meant he started squirming and moving around inside the sleeping bag. Mac bit his lip and, ironically, tried to think cold thoughts. It didn't work; he couldn't hold back a gasp when Vic brushed one leg lightly across his groin.

"Mac?" Vic asked again. Mac's eyes snapped open, though he hardly remembered closing them.

"Oh, to hell with it," he mutter fatalistically and, sliding one hand up to the back of Vic's neck, kissed his partner firmly on the mouth.

Under his lips, Vic's were still with shock. Mac pulled away from the kiss with a quiet curse and started to apologize to his partner. The apology was abruptly cut off when Vic bent his head and kissed Mac back. After his own startled moment, Mac returned the kiss eagerly. The kiss grew passionate as restrained tension was finally expressed, and their arms tightened about each other.

"Vic, I thought-" Mac started to say.

Vic placed a finger against his lips, "Don't think. Just feel," he murmured, and kissed his partner again. Mac sighed a little and gave himself up to the kiss, allowing his body to melt into Vic's embrace. The confines of the sleeping bag limited how much they could move, but their hands roamed freely, lightly moving over buttocks, thighs, backs, shoulders … Mac moved his hips in slow, firm circles against Vic's hips, drawing a groan from the other man. Vic kissed his partner slowly and deeply before moving his lips to nip and kiss down Mac's neck and along his collarbone.

The pace of their loving was relaxed, almost lazy. They made love as if they'd been together for years, groins moving together easily, lips claiming each other over and over again. When they finally came, together, with a final thrust and each other's names on their lips, Mac opened his eyes to find Vic regarding him with a pleasantly satiated expression. Mac smiled, and Vic smiled back at him. The moment was so perfect, and he felt so complete, that Mac couldn't hold back the words. "I love you." He held his breath for a tense moment, hardly able to believe he'd let that admission slip out.

Vic kissed him tenderly and responded, "I love you, too."

Smiling again, Mac kissed Vic and relaxed into the other man's embrace. They held each other for a long moment before slipping into a comfortable slumber. The sound of voice and the crunch of snow woke them. The partners blinked confusedly for a moment before realizing the rest of the Agency was in the process of digging them out. By mutual, but unspoken, consent, Mac and Vic crawled out of the sleeping bag and got fully dressed. Just before the search team broke through, Vic whispered to Mac, "I do love you, you know."

"I know," Mac grinned, "I love you, too."


In her office at the Agency, The Director leaned back in her chair and fingered a cassette tape thoughtfully. Despite the snow, the camping trip hadn't been a total disaster. The microphone sewn into the lining of Mac, Vic, and Li Ann's tent had salvaged the whole thing nicely. The Director smiled predatorily. Now, what to do with this little tidbit?

The Director smiled again.