Title: He Shall, From Time to Time...
Author: The Spike
Fandom: West Wing
Pairing: Leo McGarry/Lord John Marbury
SPOILER WARNING: Some spoilers for West Wing eps 'Lord John Marbury' and 'He Shall, From Time to Time...'
Summary: On his worst day ever, Leo gets a visit from Lord John Marbury
Rating: NC-17, cuz there's men having sex in it. With each other, even.
Disclaimer: "The characters are the property of John Wells Prod, WB TV and NBC and whoever else may have a hold on them. The situation is totally mine, and I do not mean to infringe upon any copyrights."
Feeback: please? to <spike21@home.com>
Archive: Yes to Rareslash, anyone else just let me know?
Website: http://avalon.net/~nonie/spike/spindex.htm
Notes: Okay, in the most recent ep of West Wing, the one where the president gets the flu anyone else notice that there was kind of a neat change in relations between Leo McGarry and Lord Marbury at the end? From the moment Marbury arrived last week there have been great sparks and a clear indication of a history between him and Leo. And right up until the pre-State of the Union Address party they were sniping at one another. To wit:

Leo (deadpan): Lord Marbury, under our constitution the president is not empowered to create maharajas.
Marbury: Yes. Thank you for clearing that up, Leo. Having been educated at Cambridge and the Sorbonne I am, as you know, exceedingly stupid.

And yet at the party they were smiling at one another and looking deep into one another's eyes as they shook hands. Now I'm sure there's some perfectly acceptable gen reason for this, but...

He Shall, From Time to Time... by The Spike

Leo McGarry rested his elbows on his desk and let his head fall into his hands. Not despair -- not even close. This was a fight; he was fighting it. And just like he kept telling everyone, he was good. He was fine. He was just, at this point, at this late hour of this very long day, a little tired.

And maybe a little empty. Not in the old 'jaws of the black dog' way that used to drive him to drink, but in an 'all his decks were cleared' way. Battle strategy. All future plans put on temporary hold. All wishes, dreams and hopes packed safely away until the storm passed and there was some chance they might be pulled out and used again. His 'healthy' way of coping and it kept him clear, kept him light, served him well while he was out in the shitstorm.

But back here, alone in his office it left him anchorless. This place that was his place -- once he stripped away the context of future and past, of expectation -- became a room, any room. Anyone's room. Like his home had become since he had moved out. Been moved out.


And there it was. He was, despite all his hard work, adrift alongside the life he'd been so dedicated to making strong and good.

The surprising thing was his desire for a drink was almost non-existent. A reflex only. He didn't actually *want* a drink, only it had for a long time been part of that coping strategy and his mind still skidded over it like an item on a checklist. Feeling the strain? Have a pickmeup and a bringmedown and get on with it. A functional addict to the end. Or at least until he wasn't. And here he had to stop and chuckle into his hands at his own damn pathos if he didn't want to drown in it.

//You're a big boy, Leo. Those were all choices and you made 'em. //

"Gallows humour?" Leo winced. The voice from the doorway was exactly what he thought was described by the word 'plummy', the tone too arch to be taken entirely seriously. "Or have you merely found a rousingly witty cartoon combining anthropomorphic dogs and office politics?"

Leo found his smile still pressed into the palms of his hands. He shook it off. Raised his head. Lord John Marbury stood in his doorway, cigarette in one hand, bottle of VSOP dangling from the other. Collar and silk tie askew. Like something out of Jewel In The Crown. In the, dark doorway Marbury's age was indeterminate. He could be twenty-five, peddling it for opium on the streets of Tangiers...

//And oh no, we do not go there, Leonard Liam McGarry. Not now, not ever.//

"The party's down the hall," he said. "Third door on the left. Just past what we call the Oval Office. I'm sure there are people there who would be happy to see you."

"No doubt," said Marbury. He stepped into the office //...anyone's office...//, perused the place in a slightly bored and languid manner and then plopped himself on the couch. Sprawl of long limbs. Insouciant, too-bright smile. Leo gritted his teeth. Stopped himself. Took a deep breath that set his head to pounding a little.

"I'm not one of them," he said.

"Oddly that doesn't impact upon me in the least," said Marbury. He drew on his cigarette making the tip cherry-up and fade. The toasty smell of tobacco rolled across the desk filling Leo with unwanted nostalgia. It filled the waiting silence, making it almost comfortable. Making Leo's irritation rise again.

"I don't mean to be rude, your Lordship," Just the slightest extra emphasis, barely noticeable. Hardly satisfying. "But is there something that you need from me in an official capacity? Because if not, I'm really not in the mood for company."

Lord Marbury tsked. "You Americans and your Isolationism. How many minor skirmishes will you let become a threat to global survival before you admit that it's not a viable strategy?"

"As far as I can tell the world's still intact."

"The world, if such a conceit extends beyond the geological, is currently held together with rubber bands, string and a generous helping of international debt." Marbury took another drag off his cigarette and bounced to his feet again. He seemed to have only two modes of existence, frenetic and idle. Either way he tended to make Leo nervous, particularly as he had moved outside the range of the desk lamp and was perusing Leo's bookshelves in the dark.

"I have work to do," Leo said to the shadows.

"You do not," said Marbury without turning around. That surprised a snort of angry laughter out of Leo.

"Are you calling me a liar?" //Oh please, *please*... Just give me a reason. // But Marbury didn't reply. Instead turned around, leaned back against the bookshelf, regarded Leo from the shadows. Leo could only see him as a patches of dark and light, the twinkle of movement from his eyes, the dim ember of his cigarette.

"There's a particular tribe in Micronesia," Marbury began, in that musing tone that reminded Leo, annoyingly, of Jed. "Who believe that the world was destroyed at 8:15 in the morning of August 6, 1945 and that these are the after days." He moved forward again, abruptly. Came to rest a bony, tailored-silk-trouser clad hip on Leo's desk. Placed the bottle of brandy on the leather surface with a sound that told Leo, with his extensive experience in such matters, exactly how close to empty it was.

"That would make us all ghosts." Marbury leaned in as he spoke. The smell of brandy filled Leo's nose, wound round with threads of tobacco, silk and aftershave. It seemed to hook deep inside of him, warming. Searing. Marbury was too close, looming over him. Leo's instincts said 'back off'. He didn't feel like listening. Looked straight into Marbury's eyes.

"You're drunk," he said, flatly.

"You're not," Marbury replied. And kissed him. On the mouth. Leo thought: I really should stop this. And didn't. Marbury's hands //soft, cold, delicate as a woman's // cupped his face. Marbury's tongue traced the line of his closed lips, and Leo...

//choices. Make one. Now!//

...opened to it. Marbury's mouth -- brandy, tobacco and heat -- like breaking all his vows at once. He pulled away. A

little breathless. //A *little*?//

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" he asked.

"Helping," said Marbury. Utterly serious. "It's what I do."

"And you're thinking... what... I don't have enough scandal on my plate...?"

"I'm 'thinking', to use your truly hideous vernacular, that you are right not to share this burden with friends who are also your colleagues, but that it is a burden that nevertheless, must be shared."

"And you're oh so nobly volunteering to take the burden on? No thanks."

"No thanks necessary," said Marbury. And kissed him again. Leo might have laughed at the sheer audacity, but the kiss was too good. As searing, as intoxicating, as *damning* as the first one. As his first drink had been. Maybe. Jesus.

//Choose, Leo. *Choose*. Don't pretend it's just 'happening'...// Snap decisions. What he was good at. He chose. Closed fists in the smooth silk of Marbury's lapels and pulled him close. Kissed back. Was more rewarded than he probably should have been by the Englishman's gasp -- first payment on the debt of every smooth riposte and snide rejoinder of the last few weeks. Of years before.

//I'd really like to hear him whimper,// Leo thought and smoothed one lapel and slid his hand underneath it to find silk and more heat and the tiny button of a nipple through layers of cloth. He pinched it. Lord John Marbury arched and whimpered softly into Leo's mouth.

//I can live with this,// he thought. Reached around to cup Marbury's neck. Was intercepted by a sudden, sharp white pain in the web between ring and pinky fingers.

"Ow!" They both jerked back. Embers from the mashed cigarette sparked up and died on Marbury's pants. Leo's desk. The rug. He stepped the last of them out with his shoe and inspected the burn. A small, red, ashy round on the ball of his hand. He brushed it off, handed Marbury a used coffee cup for the last of the butt.

The British Lord dropped the butt in, watching Leo speculatively. Back in the circle of light his age showed. Features that had obviously been British schoolboy pretty had gone definitely craggy and the first serious traces of dissipation -- the little pouches under the eyes, the folds that would be jowls if he were anything but thin -- were just setting in. And even so... And even so, his rueful smile said he knew what Leo was thinking. All of it.

"I suppose you'll be taking that as a sign from God that this is a mistake?"

Leo rolled his eyes, got to his feet. Stalked to his door.

Shut it. Locked it.

"I'm taking it as a sign that I'm as certifiable as you are," he said, going for gruff. The expression on Marbury's face was pure delight. "The couch is marginally more comfortable than the desk."

"Ah well," said Marbury, getting to his feet. "I'm all for comfort."

Which proved to be both truth and lie. They came together with tenderness that surprised Leo. Standing, Marbury still leaned down to kiss him. He was fresh shaven, for all his dishabille, his cheek almost baby smooth against Leo's. His mouth just as ardent as before. //I thought the Brits were...// His thought lost as Marbury's mouth found his throat, neck. As long-fingered hands unbuttoned his shirt. He got some of his own back, sliding off his Lordship's jacket // 4-button cuffs! //, unbuttoning *his* shirt. They were both wearing undershirts and Leo gave up on undressing, settled for tugging free and sliding his hands first over, then under the heavy cotton.

Marbury's skin was smoother than silk to the touch. The softest skin Leo had ever felt, woman or man. //Pampered bastard probably takes milk-baths...// but he thought it with a kind of fond irritation tempered with what he had to admit was one surprisingly strong shot of lust. He was hardening, they both were, their sheathed cocks coming together erratically but with definite purpose. Leo reached down, experimentally, palmed Marbury's length and squeezed a little.

Marbury's 'oh...' broke over his shoulder. //Yes!// Triumphant. Leo knew suddenly *exactly* what he wanted, the picture painting itself across the inside of his skull. Marbury naked on some plush, linened bed, face down, ass in the air. Himself kneeling naked between Marbury's spread thighs, slick thumb broaching that aforementioned ass and Marbury moaning. Wailing. Begging loud and desperate to be pleasured.

"I'll make you feel so good," he murmured. Vaguely embarrassed at hearing his own words spoken aloud. Meaning them anyway and still a little shocked when Marbury answered, breathless:

"Do it." Not the time, not the place. Not for that... volume... unless he *wanted* to end both their careers? //Quick check. Do I? No, I do not.//

But he didn't really need it to be exactly that. Sitting on the couch, he turned Marbury to face him. Undid the silk trousers, slid them down. Slid the silk boxers down over the balky length of erection. It sprang free. Long, slim, uncut. Leo considered it for a moment. Held the slim hips, thumbs over the bumps of hipbones, fingers cupping that slightly too-small ass. He looked up to find Marbury watching again, hair fallen across his eyes, lower lip held between his teeth.

"What is it you want from me, John?" Leo asked.

"Oh you Americans *are* slow." Almost. But the glibness was sheathed by the obvious strain in the man's voice.

"Humor me," Leo said. He could almost feel the man cut his engines. Not all the way, but enough to get his voice under control.

"Well, aside from the obvious," Marbury said. "Which in case it isn't obvious enough, entails at this point my cock and your mouth and, with luck, jolly good orgasms all 'round --"

"Aside from the obvious, John." Long pause. And Leo felt himself smiling again. And damnit if the bastard hadn't been right all along. What he needed. What he damn well *needed*.

"I like you, Leo. I was hoping we could be friends."

"Thank you, John," Leo said. "I'd like that very much."

"I'm going to beg you to suck me off now," said Marbury.

"Please do," said Leo and before his Lordship could respond he did it anyway. Just because he wanted to. And the sounds Lord John Marbury made when he came in Leo's mouth //Not just *anyone's* damn mouth...// were just as satisfying as Leo had imagined anything could be.


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