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Fic for rileyc

Title: The Middle
Pairing: Beecher/Keller
Notes: This takes place in my ‘Two Wrongs’ universe. Not much you need to know: Chris owns a bar, Toby is a teacher. Afer a rocky start they’ve been very happy together for ten years.

I started this story for the Oz 10-year Anniversary Challenge, but as with most of my recent writing, didn’t finish it. But then rileyc mentioned that today marks seven years since she posted her first B/K fic, and thought perhaps someone could write a little something to commemorate. So I brought this out and finished it up. Hope it works for you, R! And I know I speak for a lot of people when I say how much pleasure your writing has brought these past seven years.

A little angst had been requested, but there is none! (Surprising if you know my tastes.) Sex only alluded to - just a fluffy bit of not-much.

Not beta’d – please let me know of any errors.

ETA: I've changed a few lines from the original posting to keep the continuity with the prequel, Two Wrongs Make a Right. Nothing major at all, just talk about the basketball game.

The Middle

There was knock at his office door. “Come in.”

The door opened and Jay, the new bartender, stepped inside. At least Chris assumed it was Jay – the man’s entire upper body was obscured by a huge bouquet of yellow roses. “Where you want ‘em?” the voice behind the flowers asked.

“The middle of the dance floor? I don’t think there’s enough room anywhere else. Here.” Chris pushed the clutter on his desk to one corner and Jay gingerly set the cut crystal vase down.

“Either he’s been very bad or you’ve been very good,” Jay said.

“We take turns. I can’t believe he did it.”

“Did it?”

“Yeah.” Chris came around the desk and arranged a few of the flowers that were off balance. “A couple months ago Toby and I were talking about all the flowers he’d sent to his wife when he was married , so I told him I’d send him some on our anniversary. I didn’t know he was going to do this!”

“It’s your anniversary?” Jay patted Chris’ shoulder. “Congratulations. How long?”

“Ten years since he moved in with me, couple years before that.”

“Cool. You guys seem good together.”

“Yeah,” Chris grinned as he fished out the card, “we are.”

Jay left and Chris read the note, smiling at the endearments and getting hard over the suggestions. A half hour later he was still trying to concentrate on paper work when the phone rang.

“Keller’s Den of Iniquity, what can I do to you?”

“What if it wasn’t me?”

Chris leaned back and put his feet up on the edge of the desk. “There’s this new thing, Caller ID. You should try it.”

“Smart ass. So, you went through with it.”

“I said I would.”

“Perhaps I should re-phrase. I can’t believe you sent them to me at work! The delivery guy took them to my office, but since I wasn’t there my lovely, soon-to-be-ex-T.A. directed him to the classroom.”

Chris laughed out loud. “Is it a big bouquet? I told them I wanted big.”

“It’s enormous! I know you outdid me. All the girls thought it was just the sweetest thing.”

Chris smiled at the thought. He knew a lot of the girls had crushes on Toby and, according to Toby, some of them had become even more attentive after finding out he had a boyfriend.

“Brandon – you know, the Shecky Greene of ‘Law 101’ – says to me as---“

“Wait a minute,” Chris interrupted, “Shecky Greene? What are you, a seventy-year-old Jewish man?”

“Annnyhow! Brandon says, as he’s leaving the class, ‘You really are gay! Not that there’s anything wrong with that!’ "

“That would be Seinfeld, Beecher. Where the hell did Shecky Green come from?”

“Are you done disparaging my comedy references?” Toby huffed.

“For now, but this isn’t over.” Chris grinned at the long sigh coming from the phone. “Thank you for the roses, baby. They’re beautiful.”

“You’re welcome,” Toby answered, sounding appeased. “And thank you. So, what are you doing now?”

“I’ve been giving serious thought to locking the door and jerking off. You think the people at the flower shop read that card?”

“I’m sure they did. A man sending roses to another man - it’s highly likely. Now listen, no jerking off! I want all that sexual tension.”

“Don’t worry, when it comes to you I’ve got sexual everything to spare.”

“You don’t have time anyhow – I’m coming by to pick you up. Happy Anniversary, I’m taking you away for the night. We’ll be gone most of the day tomorrow so take care of anything that you need to take care of.”

“You gonna tell me where you’re taking me?”

“"The Philly-Knicks game.”

“In Philadelphia?”


“No shit.”

“No shit. And we're flying.”

Chris sat up quickly, his feet slapping the floor. “Jesus, Toby, I don’t know what to say! That’s incredible!”

“I’m glad you think so. Just don’t ask what I had to do to get the tickets. I’m leaving right now. I’ll go by the house, throw some things in a bag and be there in an hour.”


The game was perfect; close all the way to the last two minutes until the Knicks hit three three-pointers in a row and won by five.

In the cab Toby gave the address of the hotel to the driver and leaned back into Chris’ arms.

"Just like our first date.” Chris murmured into Toby’s curls.

"Only we didn't know it was a date."

"I did."

"Mmm, I'm not surprised."

"When did you arrange all this?"

“Just a few weeks ago. And I was serious when I said don’t ask how. By the way, I’m taking over Jen Draper’s night class while she’s on vacation. Three nights a week. For three weeks.”

“Toby, you whored yourself out as a substitute for me?” Chris smacked a loud kiss on Toby’s cheek, and waggled his fingers at the cab driver’s raised eyebrows in the rearview mirror.

They made out in the hotel elevator as they rode to their room on the eighth floor. They stood a moment, admiring the large, luxurious room, then Chris headed to the floor to ceiling window while Toby investigated the bathroom.

“Chris, this tub’s big enough for both of us!”

“Great! Now kill the lights and come here!”

Toby found the light switch and crossed the dark room, wrapping his arms around Chris from behind and resting his chin on his shoulder. The city lights went on forever with a high, full moon completing the scene.

“Beautiful,” Toby breathed.

“It is. This is a remarkable night, Toby. Thank you so much for giving it to me. I feel bad that I don’t have something for you.”

This earned him a hard squeeze. “I think a brand-new, state-of-the-art, fully-loaded laptop qualifies as ‘something.’ “

“That was months ago.”

“When I needed it.”

“But I want to give you something today.”

“You gave me roses.”

“You gave me roses.”

“Yours are bigger.”

“I’d thought you’d be used to that by now.”

That earned Chris a pinch to his right nipple.

“Ooh, baby, I love it when you hurt me!”

He turned and walked Toby backward until they fell onto the bed.

“Wait, wait!” Toby protested. “I want to try out the tub!”

“Oh, we will,” Chris growled, shoving his tongue in Toby’s ear and his hand down Toby’s pants. “I’m just gonna get you nice and dirty first.”

An hour later they were relaxing in the tub, Chris lazily dragging a washcloth across Toby’s chest and belly as his lover leaned back against him.

“We should get a hot tub,” said Chris.

“We’ve had this discussion before, remember? We’d never get out. They’d find us water-logged and pruned to death, with our dicks the size of those little cocktail weinees.”

Chris slid his hand between Toby’s legs. “I don’t think there’s much chance of that happening with you.”

“Uh huh,” Toby sniffed. “You’re just trying to make up for that ‘mine is bigger’ comment earlier.”

“I thought I made up for that about 30 minutes ago.”

“Hmm. Yeah, guess you did.”

Chris pushed Toby forward and began washing his back. “How’d your class go this morning? You do that list thing?”

Toby perked up. “It was very interesting. I gave them objectionable cases and they made pro and con lists to help them decide if they would take them.”

“And what was the verdict?”

“Oh, they all ended up saying they’d take the cases, no matter what. Everyone deserves a fair trial and none of them disputed that. But it was great listening to the arguments.”

Chris rubbed his mouth across the top of Toby’s shoulders. “I love the fact that you go from teaching an ethics class in the morning to sticking your tongue up my ass before the day is through.”

“Making love to someone you’re in a long-term relationship with really isn’t a matter of ethics.”

“But it sounds dirty.” Chris breathed heavily into Toby’s ear. “I’m doing the teacher.”

Toby shivered and climbed out of the cool water. “C’mon, ya juvenile delinquent.”

After they dried off Chris went to the bed, pulled back the blanket and sprawled nude across the sheets. Toby slipped on a pair of boxers and grabbed the ice bucket. “I’ll be right back.”

“You’re gonna get molested going out like that.”

“The machine’s right down the hall. I’ll whistle if I need you.”

When Toby got back Chris had pulled on some sweat pants and was watching a repeat of the evening’s news. Toby set the bucket, now complete with ice and bottled water, on the nightstand.

“Tobe, you missed it. We were on the news!”

“What?” Toby got into bed.

“When they were talking about the game they showed the Jumbotron and your picture was on it!”

“You’re so full of it.”

“Fucking serious!” Chris bounced up and straddled Toby’s legs. “And you know how they put up those funny captions, like what the person is thinking?”

“Yeah?” Toby answered skeptically.

“Yeah! You were looking at me and it said, ‘I wonder what he looks like naked?’ ”

Toby shook his head. “This is why I stuck by you all these years – your refined, rapier-like wit.” He pushed Chris backward, grabbed an ice-cube from the bucket, and pounced.

They wrestled on the bed for several minutes until Toby had Chris pinned. “Give up?”

“Uncle,” Chris gasped.

“Thank God.” Toby flopped onto his back, panting.

“Christ, we’re getting old.” Chris pulled himself up and leaned against the headboard. He took a long drink from one of the bottles of water, passing it to Toby.

“Uh-uh,” argued Toby after taking a drink. “We worked half the day, flew to another city, went to a basketball game, had a very energetic round of sex, and then took a long, relaxing bath. We may be tired, but we’re not old.”

“Fine. Christ, we’re getting relaxed. Better?”

“Will you still love me when I’m 64?”

“Yes. I’ll also still need you and even feed you.”

“Cause you do so much of that now.”

“Hey,” Chris protested, acting insulted. “You said you could live on my omelets.”

“So I did. Your omelets are one of the things I love best about you.”

“Interesting. What’re some others?”

“Some others what?”

“Things you love about me. Let’s do a list – give me four more.”

Toby propped himself up on his elbows. “You give an amazing blow-job.”

Chris held two fingers up. “Three more.”

“You’re a good listener.”


Toby smirked. “Ha ha. Like when I come home, talking about my students or bitching about administration you sit there so politely and don’t fall asleep.”

“Just like you do when I complain about suppliers or the books.”

They were quiet for the next few minutes until Chris nudged Toby. “Can’t come up with two more?”

Toby sat up, moving closer to Chris. “The thing I love most about you, Christopher Keller, is what a good man you are.”

Chris looked surprised. “You serious? You could have stopped with blowjob. I would’ve been happy with that.”

Toby briefly touched Chris’ cheek. “I’m very serious.” He moved his hand to rest on Chris’ chest. “I’ve known a lot of people, Chris, rich, successful, ambitious - some of the most respected people in the city. But none are as deep down good as you.”

Chris shook his head. “You’re a crazy fucker, baby. The things I’ve done –”

“I’m not talking about things you’ve done,” Toby interrupted. “I’m talking about the kind of man you are now.”


Toby silenced him, pressing his fingers against Chris’ lips. “Take the damn compliment, will you?”

Chris pulled Toby’s hand down. “Thank you. Happy?” Toby nodded and Chris leaned forward to take his mouth in a short, sweet kiss. “I want to be a good man because of you, Tobias Beecher. I want you to be as proud of me as I am of you. And if you didn’t know, I’m very, very proud of you.”

They slid down, lying face to face. They stayed that way long into the night, kissing, touching, reminiscing about their years together. Finally, after the third huge yawn from Toby, Chris sat up. “Let’s call room service!”

“What?” Toby grabbed his watch from the nightstand. “It’s four a.m.! I can hardly keep my eyes open, Chris.”

“I know, but I’m starving,” Chris argued. “And if we fall asleep now, I’ll wake up in a few hours and I won’t be able to go to back to sleep until I eat and then we’ll have to check out—“

“Okay, okay,” Toby held up his hand in defeat. “I guess I could eat something, too.”

Chris grinned and kissed Toby’s nose before finding the menu.

“But we don’t have to worry about checking out – I paid for two nights.” He went on before Chris could say anything. “Not to spend the night, I know we need to get back. But this way we can have the whole day…”

“To eat, and sleep, and engag in general debauchery?”

“Plenty of debauchery. Now pass that menu!”

They sat at the small table and watched the sunrise, eating a delicious breakfast of ham, and waffles with strawberries and cream, and even champagne, compliments of Toby’s colleague, Jen Draper. “She’s feeling guilty about suckering you into subbing for her,” Chris decided.

“She’s a sweetheart,” said Toby as Chris poured. “She and her husband have been married ten years, also. I think you met him at the Christmas party last year.”

“I’m not sure.” Chris held his glass up, clinking it with Toby’s. “To us, baby.”

“To us.”

Chris squinted in concentration. “Was he the really tall guy?”


“Jen’s husband – was he tall?”

“No, no, he had red hair in a ponytail, told a lot of corny jokes.”

“Oh, right. Nice guy. I liked him in spite of his lame sense of humor.” Chris took another drink and barely got it down before he started laughing.

“What?” Toby smiled.

“We are so fucking married! We’re sitting here, in a beautiful hotel room with room service and champagne and we’re talking about the faculty office party!”

The combination of wine, lack of sleep, and general giddiness set the two men off, laughing until they were gasping.

“Okay then,” Toby asked when he’d caught his breath. “What did you imagine yourself doing at this time in your life,” he swept his arm over the table, “instead of this?”

“I’ve got no idea, but it sure as hell wasn’t anything like this!”

“I know the feeling.” Toby finished off his champagne, holding his glass out to Chris for more. “I was raised and prepared for a life nothing like this.” He smiled tenderly at Chris. “And neither were you, were you?”

Chris looked down at his plate, slowly shaking his head. He finally lifted his gaze, meeting Toby’s eyes with sudden serious ones of his own. “I grew up on the streets, and you grew up with the people that owned those streets. “ This prompted an eye-roll from Toby, but he didn’t disagree. “But somehow we met somewhere in the middle, and that’s when my life finally, finally had meaning.”

Toby reached across the table and grabbed Chris’ hand, squeezing tightly. “I love you so much, Chris. So much.”

Chris’ eyes glistened. “I know, Toby.” He studied his lover’s face closely, a grin forming, getting bigger and bigger. “And you know the best part of all this? Thinking about how much fun we’re going to have getting through the next ten years. And then the next fifty after that.”

“Sixty more years, huh? Sounds wonderful.” Toby got up and pulled Chris to his feet. “But we better get a little sleep before we start on that.”

They headed toward the bed, Chris stopping to remove his sweat pants.

Toby looked slightly dismayed. “Aren’t you tired?”

“Exhausted,” Chris admitted as he slipped beneath the covers, curling onto his side. “I’m just preparing for when we wake up.”

Toby silently agreed that that was a good idea and followed suit before spooning up behind Chris, their naked bodies pressed together as closely as possible, Toby’s arm wrapped around his partner.

Chris took Toby’s hand in his and kissed it. “I love you.” Toby pressed his lips against Chris’ shoulder in response. “I just have to ask you one thing – where the hell did Shecky Greene come from?”




( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 20th, 2007 10:38 pm (UTC)
Squeeeee! And I just re-read Fuzzy Slippers this afternoon!

Now maybe you can work on the *actual* middle part of the story, the part after they meet but before they move in together... *g*
Nov. 26th, 2007 03:37 am (UTC)
And I just re-read Fuzzy Slippers this afternoon!

Did you? Awww, that makes me feel good. :) I just might have to go re-read that one myself.

Now maybe you can work on the *actual* middle part of the story

I know! I've never given up the idea that I'll finish it, but it just never happens. *sigh*

Nov. 20th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC)
It was lovely to meet the 'Two Wrongs' guys.

' Now maybe you can work on the *actual* middle part of the story, the part after they meet but before they move in together...'

I wrote something like this once, Lisa. No surprise, it seems I share a brain with
Sue. *g*

Nov. 26th, 2007 03:40 am (UTC)
It was lovely to meet the 'Two Wrongs' guys.

Thanks,Luci. *g*

Now maybe you can work on the *actual* middle part of the story...'

I wrote something like this once, Lisa.

I remember! You were always such a supporter of this story, I'd love to be able to finish it Some. Day.
Nov. 21st, 2007 12:48 am (UTC)
Awwww, this was really sweet. LOL, but I'm worried about you because it was totally angst free. The apocalypse isn't starting or something like that, right? ;-)

Wonderful story. Thanks for putting a smile on my face. :)
Nov. 26th, 2007 03:43 am (UTC)
Thanks for the lovely comments, Cat! This story originally was going to have a patch of angst, with Chris doing his self-deprecating act. But the "Take the damn compliment," line was direct from TobyMuse and I decided to take his advice. *smirk*
Nov. 21st, 2007 05:19 am (UTC)
That was an awesome story...I havent ever read anything in your universe here...but that was great...where can i find more??

Want to be friends??
Nov. 21st, 2007 11:07 am (UTC)
If you're a member of TS, you can find directions to her universe here.
Nov. 21st, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC)
i am a member...Thanks...
Nov. 26th, 2007 03:46 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Nov. 26th, 2007 03:45 am (UTC)
where can i find more??

Thanks for the fb, I'm glad you liked the story. And I'm grateful to suespur for directing you to more of the series, since it's taken me forever to get back to you!

Want to be friends??

Nov. 21st, 2007 10:04 am (UTC)
This is lovely! I especially enjoyed their banter. And Keller's Den of Iniquity. *g* Great story.
Nov. 26th, 2007 03:47 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! I had lots of fun with the dialogue - pleased you enjoyed it!
Nov. 21st, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC)
What a great piece. The dialog was wonderful. Loved the humor.
Nov. 26th, 2007 03:47 am (UTC)
Thank you very much!
Nov. 26th, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
I love the Two Wrongs stories. I wish you would write more.
Nov. 27th, 2007 01:58 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I wish I would write more, also!
Nov. 3rd, 2010 10:33 pm (UTC)
i'm so excited that i read the big bang story and it led me here. i really love this series so far and plan on reading them all.

i love how playful they are together. ;)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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