Title: No Time This Time
Fandom: Law & Order
Pairing: Michael Cutter/Jack McCoy
Author's Note: Spoilers for the Law & Order episode "By Perjury".
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own Michael Cutter or Jack McCoy, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.
***Mike glanced up at the closed door of Jack's office, swearing beneath his breath and throwing his pencil down onto the brief he was working on with such force that it bounced off the papers and off the edge of his desk, finally rolling to stop directly under his foot.
He hadn't had the nerve to ask Jack the question that had been burning in his mind when he'd woken up in bed with his lover on the previous morning; he'd only nodded and kept quiet as Jack admonished him to stay at home and get some much-needed rest.
Jack had been right about that, much to Michael's surprise. After the older man had showered, dressed, and left the apartment on his way to the office, Mike hadn't felt like getting out of bed -- and when he had, he'd felt weak and disoriented.
Nearly being shot in the mens' room of the courthouse shouldn't have affected him this much, should it? he asked himself, cursing at his own weakness. But at least he had a day off to pull himself together; he hoped that he'd be able to show up at work tomorrow with no problems.
Maybe he was simply having a delayed reaction to all that had happened between himself and Jack in the past weeks, and nearly being murdered had brought all of his emotions to the forefront. If that was so, it was a hell of a way to make himself face his emotions.
Having Jack McCoy come to his apartment and spend the night with him, holding him close throughout the night, had actually been more of a shock than staring down the barrel of that gun had been. He'd never thought that Jack would behave in that way.
Ever since their relationship had started, he'd been careful to stay away from the subject of emotions. He knew that Jack wasn't comfortable with discussing his feelings; his lover took care to hide them away, only letting them show in cryptic words and veiled smiles.
But he couldn't go on like this. He might have backed down from asking Jack that all-important question yesterday morning, but he had to get an answer. He had to know if he was doing the right thing by staying in this relationship and hoping that it would turn into more than it currently was.
Mike leaned back in his chair, looking at the closed door of Jack's office. He wanted nothing more than to walk into that room, lock the door behind him, and ask the question that burned in his mind and on his lips, the question that never quite left his mind.
Do you love me?
Why did he need an answer so badly? Why couldn't he just let their relationship stay on the level that it was already on, cloaking it in the shadows of his life, withdraw his emotions and simply enjoy the physical gratification that he had from what the two of them shared?
Jack had almost given him the answer he wanted to hear when he'd come to Mike's apartment that night of the near-shooting and silently put him to bed. But the words he'd spoken hadn't really been an answer; instead, they'd only raised more questions.
Just what were Jack's motivations in this relationship? Was he only looking for a submissive rather than a boyfriend? Would he get tired of Mike eventually, end what he'd started, and move on to the next person who happened to catch his fancy?
No. Michael shook his head, pushing that thought away and burying it in the shadows at the back of his mind. Jack wouldn't simply end what they were building between them. He hadn't started this just for fun. He'd wanted to fulfill a need, a need that had grown into much more.
He'd gone along with everything up until now, Mike thought, his gaze still fixed on that closed door. But he had to draw a line somewhere. He had to know whether this was more than just fun and games to Jack, and if he intended to let it deepen into something permanent.
Mike knew that Jack had taken other lovers amongst the people he'd worked with. There was nothing wrong with that, if he could manage to keep his professional and personal lives separate. But as time went on, it was becoming increasingly harder for Mike to do so.
This time, Jack would have to make a decision. Mike wasn't going to let his lover keep playing a game that dangled him on a string, asking him to settle for what he could have and keeping him at arm's length. The time for games was over.
Nearly losing his life in those few seconds when he'd been staring into the barrel of a gun had changed his attitude towards his relationship with Jack, Mike though, sighing as he ran a hand over his face. He couldn't keep his feelings hidden in the shadows any longer.
The time for hesitation was over; there would be no time this time for Jack to sidestep, or to hide behind those walls that he was so good at building up. Mike rose to his feet, taking a deep breath and heading for Jack's closed office door, feeling as though he was walking directly into a lion's den.
He opened the door, taking another deep breath and stepping inside before he could make himself stop.
***Next story in series - Come Out and Play.