Title: A hell of a long way from Harvard
Fandom: JAG/The West Wing
Pairing: Clayton Webb/Danny Concannon
Summary: Two friends meet again, remember their college days, and talk about the present.
Archive: yes to all list archives. I hope that covers it. Anyone else who wants this, please ask me.
Web Page: Mareen's Den, at: http://www.fortunecity.de/lindenpark/vogelweide/216/main.htm
Disclaimer: Clayton Webb belongs to CBS and Belisarius Productions, and Danny Concannon belongs to Aaron Sorkin and NBC and John Wells Productions.
This is set during the first season of The West Wing, and therefore the fifth season of JAG. General spoilers for both those seasons for episodes with these characters.
Quick summary for all of you who may know one show but not the other, or neither: Clayton Webb is a special assistant to an Undersecretary of State who is also a CIA agent/operative; and Danny Concannon is a reporter who covers the White House.
Blotto is a real band, and yes, they are very loud, but they always make me smile, and I couldn't see even Danny Concannon deciding that Fear of Strangers (the other Albany band I love) would be a good research topic. For the record, the other music he's using for the project is: Bach, Rachmaninov, David Brubeck, Miles Davis, Rolling Stones. Classical, jazz, rock and roll. The classics. Blotto's the one that doesn't fit in.
The Bow and Arrow and Bartley's really did exist in 1984 in Harvard Square.
This one's for Laura and Kyra, both of whom told me that my idea would work loudly and with feeling, with special thanks to Laura, who read it in draft and kept asking how it was going. She's a wonderful friend.
Mareen read this over and encouraged me to keep going, even though she hasn't seen The West Wing yet; Alex gave me heart by agreeing to beta early in our friendship and loving the idea of slashing dearest Clayton with Danny; and Greg read this over and made copious notes that helped me get back to it.
A hell of a long way from Harvard by Gail
(Washington, D. C., a bar, late at night)
The man sitting at the table pushed a strand of brown hair out of his eyes and picked up his glass, then heard a familiar voice.
"Hi there. Why are you drinking alone?"
Clayton Webb looked up from his scotch to see Danny Concannon in a comfortable outfit that also looked good on him. He fingered his suit jacket. Some things never changed. "A bad day. What about you?"
"A bad week. Want another one?"
He shook his head and watched the tall redhead fold himself into the opposite seat. "If you're here for something on the Mendoza story, I'm not someone to talk to." He knew about the judge's arrest, but he didn't tell secrets to the media. Even if the media was an old friend.
"I already filed that one." Danny set down his glass. Clayton wondered what he was drinking, then sniffed and knew. Bourbon, of course. "What I could get on it."
Clayton's smile was brief. "More than the White House would like, I'm sure."
"Enough for a good story. Not enough for a great one."
"Razzing the White House about having gold-plated silver isn't going to get you great stories."
Danny shrugged and gave Clayton a half-smile. "But it was fun to bait C. J."
"I'm sure you enjoyed it." Clayton lifted his glass and drank. It was empty when he put it back down.
"You all right?" Danny asked quietly.
Clayton sighed. "Managing."
"I was surprised to see you here."
Clayton's smile was faint. "In a bar. Yeah. You, too. I thought you and C. J. were a thing."
"As much as she'll let us be, which isn't much right now. I've got hopes that will change. You found anyone?" When Clayton didn't answer, Danny leaned over the table. "Clay? It's a reasonable question between friends."
"You do not want to know." Clayton sighed. "I am an idiot."
"Just tell me you're staying away from the uniforms..." Danny's face dropped as Clayton looked down. "Oh, shit, Clay, no."
Clayton nodded, still looking at the table. In another minute, Danny's hand was across the table, trying to take Clayton's.
"Don't worry." Danny's voice was soft as Clayton pulled at the grip. "No one's watching."
Clayton nodded, but his eyes darted around the room before he visibly relaxed.
"Who?" It was Danny's best sympatico voice, known to draw out the reluctant response.
"Does it matter? It's out of the question." He hesitated, then continued. "A Navy guy."
"You're right. I don't want to know." Danny's mind raced. What was that story he'd heard, something about Webb being in Russia a while back with members of the Navy legal group, the same ones who'd helped him retrieve the Declaration of Independence? He'd heard that Webb worked with them a few other times as well, but hadn't thought anything of it. The man Clayton wanted had to be one of them. He'd put it all together later. "You done anything?"
"I'm not talking." He frowned and pulled his hand away from Danny's. "You wouldn't write about it." He stared into Danny's face.
Danny shook his head. "No. I wouldn't do that to you."
"Good," Clayton said grimly. "Because I would break you."
Danny's smile didn't touch his eyes. "I know you would." He had some of his bourbon. "This is dumb for both of us. Wanting people we can't have."
Clayton looked at him. "You have a better idea?"
"I have a bottle of scotch at my place. The one you gave me. Unopened. Want to see how it's kept?"
"I have bourbon at mine."
The two men stared at each other until Danny broke the silence. "Hell of a long way from Harvard."
Clayton sighed. "Yeah. A hell of a long way."
(Harvard, fall 1984)
Clayton Webb glared at his roommate, who had his head dangling over the edge of the bed while reading, whistling, and scratching notes all at the same time. How was it that he could do all kinds of things at once, and all of them very well, without any seeming effort, while Clayton had to concentrate and study to get his work done? And then there was that messy desk of his. He didn't know if he was going to be able to handle this, but it was definitely time to assert himself.
"Concannon, make up your mind what you're doing and do it," he snapped.
The red hair swished and came up with the rest of the body in its worn denim shirt and jeans. Clayton glanced at his own v-neck sweater and gabardine trousers. Concannon dressed like a sailor.
"I can do what I want," Concannon announced. "But you're in luck. I'm meeting some people at the Bow and Arrow, so I'll be out of your way in a little while."
Clayton breathed a sigh of relief. "Try not to break your neck coming back in, if you wouldn't mind?" The last time his roommate had gone out drinking, he'd managed to trip over air and land on the floor. When Clayton had put on the light to see what the hell had happened, Concannon was sitting up and grinning like some kind of demented leprechaun. Clayton had glared and shut it off again, and ignored all further sounds. He didn't want that again.
"I'll even try and be quiet," his roommate said with a grin that showed off his dimple. "Hey, you want to come?"
"I have work to do." The short answer didn't put off Danny.
"It's Saturday night, man! Come have some fun."
"Drinking with the people you call friends is not my idea of fun, Concannon."
"Would it kill you to call me Danny?"
Clayton looked up at that. Concannon's face was tight. "No. It wouldn't. Sorry, Danny."
"Can I call you Clayton?"
"Clay." He'd always liked the shorter version of his name.
Danny's smile lit up his whole face. "Great. Then come on, Clay." His hand was around Clayton's wrist, tugging him to his feet before he could stop the motion. "We'll go by ourselves if you don't like Chuck and Tim and Martin."
"I don't know them."
"Well, then, you'll have to meet them first, won't you?" Danny was still tugging him. It was good to be included, and he was lonely. So he nodded, and was rewarded with another smile.
"Danny, just...come on. I have to study." Clayton put down his book to give the other man a look. Danny was playing a tape, and as far as Clayton was concerned, it was not music. It was noise, and intolerable. "Shut it off."
Danny looked up at him and grinned, his eyes twinkling at the expected response. "I'm doing a paper on the influences of various musical styles on studying. So how's this one?"
"Horrible." Clayton closed his eyes. "Who are these people?"
"I got the tape from a friend who's at SUNY Albany. Blotto. Hey, we could take a road trip and see them. Mike likes them. He'd drive if we could do the gas money. How about it?"
Clayton sighed. "You never give up, do you? I've gone drinking with you, met your friends, talked to your friends, and face it, I do not fit in. And I don't want to."
Danny's eyes were shrewd. "You do want to. You don't know how."
"Just shut up, will you?" Clayton stood. "You are so full of shit, I can't believe it."
Danny stood up, too. "Clay, it's O.K. It just takes some people longer."
Clayton reached over and hit the stop button on the tape recorder. The motion overbalanced him and he fell on the bed, which happened to be Danny's. Danny broke out in laughter and sat down next to Clayton's sprawled form.
"If you would just relax like that when we went out," he teased, "you'd be a star." He put his hand on Clayton's back. "No, come on, stop. Take it easy."
"I want to get up." Clayton pushed off the hand and got himself back to sitting. "Listen, Danny, just stop it. I came to Harvard to study, not to party. Leave me alone."
"But I could do a great paper on you," Danny wheedled. "How to turn a shy guy into a popular one...hey." Clayton was standing now, eyes blazing. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."
"You didn't." Clayton's voice was tight and controlled. "But fuck off. I don't need your help. I don't want your help. Just leave me alone."
Danny slowly shook his head. "You're stuck with me, brother. But we'll take it slow. It'll all work out."
Clayton turned away and sat back down at his desk. "Get out."
"It's my room, too."
"No." Danny leaned back on the bed. "Make me."
"Are you out of your mind?"
Danny shrugged. "You want me out, Webb, throw me out. That's the deal."
"Fine." Clayton stood. "You want it, you got it."
But he hadn't done more than reached for his roommate when he felt himself being pulled down on top of Danny.
"That's better," he heard Danny's satisfied voice murmur. "Now, let's work on relaxation." Clayton tensed as he felt Danny's hands stroke his back. "Hey, that's not how this works."
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?"
"Having fun. It's the weekend." Danny's lips were on Clayton's neck. "I figured out something about you, and now I'm going to test out my theory."
Clayton was very glad that the door was closed. "You're crazy." The moan he made when Danny's tongue found his ear made his statement a lot less convincing.
"No," Danny breathed, "I'm desperate. I don't know how else to get to you. And I want to get to you. Now shut up and enjoy it." He shifted his weight, pinning Clayton under his strong body, then reached over and hit the play button. The sounds of Blotto singing about wanting to be a lifeguard filled the room. "No one will hear anything, no one will know anything, no one will care about anything but us. Hell, it's Saturday night, Clay. No one's even here."
"What's your theory?" Clayton got out.
Danny laughed and nipped Clayton's ear. "That you like me. And I'm beginning to think that I'm right." He got a hand down to Clayton's crotch. "Oh, you like what I'm doing, that's for sure."
Clayton bucked up into Danny's sure grasp, and Danny laughed again and got Clayton's pants undone. "It's stupid to be going out when what you want is right here. What I want, and what you want. I should have done this before," his fingers were tight around Clayton's shaft, stroking it, getting him even harder, "but I thought I wouldn't have a chance in hell with you."
"You're so popular."
"And you're so...Clayton." The laugh in Danny's voice this time was soft. "What does it matter? It doesn't."
Any answer Clayton might have made was lost in the rush of pleasure Danny's hand on him brought. He moaned as Danny kept pumping him, and came soon.
Clayton found himself looking up into a pair of pleased eyes. "You interested in experimenting on me, Professor?" Danny teased, pushing his bulge down against Clayton.
Clayton smiled and reached for the buttons on Danny's shirt. "Very interested." He got the shirt undone and his mouth on a nipple that was almost indistinguishable from the freckles that spotted his roommate's chest. Danny let out a cry and tensed. "You like that," Clayton murmured and went back to sucking. Soon Danny was thrusting down against Clayton's body and letting out a low and continual moan.
"Clay, please," he begged.
Clayton took his mouth away. "What do you want, Danny?" he teased. "You're so good with words. You tell me." His finger brushed the other nipple, and Danny shivered, then managed to speak.
"You've done this before."
"I do know how to have fun, Concannon. I just didn't think you were the type who'd want it with me."
"I definitely want whatever you'll do, Webb." Danny rolled onto his side, still facing Clayton. "Go ahead and show me."
Clayton's eyes glittered. "Only if you promise to return the favor." His hands were down at Danny's crotch, undoing his jeans, then taking the hard cock out. He stroked it, then slipped down so that Danny could feel Clayton's breath against the head. When he looked down, Clayton was looking up at him, and he knew what he was waiting for. The promise.
"Oh, god," Danny moaned. "Yeah, I'll do that for you. Just...come on, Clay..." His voice died away as Clayton opened his mouth and took in the head and some of the shaft, then licked and moved his mouth up and down, finally ending up with most of the erection down his throat. Danny trembled and bucked and finally came when one of Clayton's hands came up to stroke his balls in an insistent rhythm that, combined with the sucking, was too much for him.
When he was finished coming, he opened his eyes and saw Clayton back up next to him, a serious expression on his face as he wiped himself off with some tissues. "No one can know about this, Danny," he said very quietly. "It's really important."
"No one," Danny managed after he'd caught his breath. "I promise."
"All right." Clayton's rare grin flashed out. "So when can we do this again?"
"As soon as we get some food. I'm starved." Danny sat up and grinned as well. "Come on, I'll buy you a burger at Bartley's."
"And fries. And a frappe."
"You're not as cheap a date as I thought. Only here, Webb. Only here," he added hastily as he saw Clayton's face darken. "Joke, O.K.? I'll be good."
Clayton sighed. "Don't joke, please. I," he hesitated, "can't have that kind of reputation. And it's not that I'm ashamed, it's that it...might hurt me later."
"What, you going into politics?"
Clayton was standing, getting out of his now-sticky pants with an annoyed noise and putting on new ones. "No. Intelligence. And don't laugh, Concannon."
"Well, then someday I'll be writing about you, when I'm a reporter in Washington."
Clayton laughed. "No way anyone would let you write a story."
"No way anyone would let you be a spy."
"I'll buy my own food if you'll just get going."
"Ready, Bond. Wouldn't you rather have a martini?"
"Oh, shut up, Winchell."
"I am not going to be that kind of reporter. More like Woodward and Bernstein."
"I can tell you're going to be trouble."
"You'd better believe it."
They were both laughing as they left.
(Danny's apartment, Washington, D.C.)
Clayton stared at Danny, tilting his head up to do so. Danny had taken their coats and gotten them both drinks, but for some reason they were still standing. "You think we'd ever end up like this?" He gestured around the bright, cheerful living room with its comfortable-looking furniture and bold prints.
Danny laughed. "Yeah. Well, me, anyway. You? Never."
They sipped their drinks, Danny grimacing over the taste of the scotch.
"Clay," Danny hesitated, "you do know that I'd never write anything that wasn't true."
"I know that, Concannon. It's one of the things that makes you dangerous."
"And I wouldn't say something if I weren't worried."
"All right, tell me whatever it is you're worried about."
Danny shook his head. "You've got to be careful, Clay. You've got people who'd love to see you smeared. Stay away from JAG for a while."
Clayton froze. "I have done nothing wrong." His voice was clipped.
"There's no proof of anything, but you've got to be careful. Just stay away from a while. Let them handle their own cases, find some other help."
Clayton sat down. "My news about the Navy guy wasn't news."
"It was." Danny's voice was gentle as he took a seat next to him on the couch. "But I'd heard rumors about how much you go there. And if I can figure it out..."
"It doesn't mean anything," Clayton said fiercely. "You know me. They don't."
"They can guess. You need a guy, come here." He smiled and pointed at himself with both hands, raising his red eyebrows.
Clayton put down his glass very carefully. "You think that's all it is, that I need sex? You know me that little?"
"I know you need a friend," Danny said calmly. "I know you need someone to give a damn. I fit both requirements. I can even get a uniform, if that's an issue. And dye my hair."
He held Clayton's eyes until the other man sighed and dropped them. "You're right."
"I usually am."
"That's what's so damned annoying about you," Clayton retorted.
Danny smiled. "Hey, it's late, and I haven't shown you my bedroom yet." He winked. "Come on." He stood and held out his hand. "For old times."
Clayton didn't move. "Is it safe here?" There was desperation in his voice.
"I would never let anything like that happen to you," Danny said very quietly. "Yes, it's safe here. Come on. No one knows you're here, no one's going to know."
"So you want to recreate Harvard here?"
"Hell, no." Danny was smiling again as Clayton stood. "I want to do better. I've got a real double bed."
"All right, then. Let's see if we can figure out what to do."
"I can. Can you?"
"I remember what you like."
"Yeah, and I remember what *you* like, Webb."
The two men walked out of the living room and into the bedroom. They stopped and looked at each other gravely, then Danny reached over and loosened Clayton's tie, his fingers stroking the other man's neck as he did. "Fun, Clay. That's what it's all about."
Clayton nodded and started in on the buttons of his shirt. "So you've always said."
"And I've always been right."
Clayton's look was mischievous. "You always say that, too."
Danny grinned. It was looking like it was going to be a good night after all.
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