Written for the LS - Thunderclaps and Whispers Valentine Challenge

Picture Me
    By Rusty

"I can't believe I let you talk me into this phone. My cell worked perfectly fine." Jack said, as he tossed his keys on the counter, then opened the frig door, pulling out two cans of coke. He sat the cans on the counter and pointed to the two new cell phones they had just brought home from the mall. "It's just another gadget. We have tons of gadgets lying around this house that we never use."

"Jack, your cell phone was a relic. The only reason you didn't want this phone, is because you have to figure out how to use it." Gavin laughed. He grabbed two plates out of the cupboard, before plopping down on the barstool. Then he began unpacking the bags of Chinese they'd brought home from the food court. "You had a hard time entering a new phone number in your old address book."

"Well, that's true." Jack chuckled, he was technically challenged, he'd admit that. On the way home from the mall Gavin had transferred the phone numbers from his old cell into his new address book for him, something that would've take him hours to do. "But we didn't need the `picture' part of the phone."

"Jack, how many times have we seen something and thought….", Gavin smacked his own forehead with his palm, "Damn! Wish we had a camera!' Well, the next time that happens, we'll have *two* of them!"

"Yeah," Jack snorted, "and it's gadget, so you just had to have it.

"This time doesn't count. It was time to update our cell-plans anyway. I didn't just randomly decide to buy it." Gavin smiled, remembering how Jack had grumbled about `cheaper phones' as they stood at the booth in the mall. Sometimes Neanderthals just liked to grumble and his Neanderthal could be a little on the practical side. "Besides Mr. Tight-ass, this plan was cheaper than our old one, so we aren't actually losing money by paying a little more for these phones."

"So we updated our plan in order to save money, and then chose the more expensive phones, thereby saving none?" Jack smacked his own forehead with his palm. "Damn! That makes perfect sense!"

"Very funny." Gavin bit the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing. "If you weren't such a Neanderthal, you'd be able to see all of the advantages in the picture phone. We can send pictures of each other back and forth during the day while we're at work. Its sort of romantic, don't you think?"

"Yeah...romantic." Jack chuckled, shaking his head. He took a bite of his fried beef and potato cakes. He was a meat and potatoes guy, and it was the only Chinese food that he liked.

"Now that you've entered the 21st century by updating your phone, maybe you'll change your mind about buying that Roomba vacuum cleaner?" Gavin's asked, his eyes dancing with excitement, his arms flung out wide. "It has infrared sensors! It navigates around obstacles! It's the vacuum cleaner of tomorrow! It cleans your floors while you enjoy life!"

"Gavin…" Jack paused, scratching his head. "That's a bunch of…malarkey."

"Oh my God!" Gavin's eyes went wide. "Tell me you did *not* just say that!"


"Marlarkey?" Gavin asked, horror stricken. "Who *says* stuff like that?"
Jack chuckled at the look on Gavin's face.

"Anyway," Gavin rolled his eyes, "I didn't know that you had such strong feelings for our vacuum cleaner. This wouldn't really replace the old one, you wouldn't be hurting its feelings if we bought a Roomba. Just think of it as a………."

"... another gadget, one that you wouldn't use again after the first week. Just like the 7-inch DVD player and the….."

"I do so use that," Gavin interrupted him, not wanting to be reminded of his list of more….impulsive purchases. "…and it fits perfect in my van."

Jack's raised his left eyebrow a notch and growled. "I told you what would happen if I ever catch you watching DVD's while you're driving."

"You know I won't do that!" Gavin HMPFED. "Anyway, when we go on a trip, whoever's *not* driving can watch DVD's."

"The picture is so small, we have to use a magnifying glass to watch it." Jack said, not exaggerating. "It's impulse buying, Gavin.  You're in advertising, you're an expert on `spin'."


"So, you should be an expert on how to avoid the impulse."

"Being impulsive can be a good thing, Jack." Gavin held his hands out, palms up and shrugged. "Why, it's the very backbone of the American economy....."

"Gavin, that's a bunch of …."

"Don't say it!" Gavin covered his ears.


"God, who *says* stuff like that?" Gavin laughed, shaking his head. He took a few  bites of eggroll. After thinking for a moment - his mind was always brimming with interesting thoughts -he leaned his elbows on the counter, his eyes sparkling, his grin teasing.



"I read somewhere ...that one way to judge the size of a man's....uhm.." Gavin looked down at his own lap, then leaned forward and peered over the other side of the counter, "....is by the number of gadgets he owns?"

"Is that right?" Jack growled, his eyes gleaming.

"Hey, I'm only telling you what I read." Gavin grinned, hands held out in front of him, palms up. He looked down again at his own lap. "There's always a little grain of truth in theories, you  know?"

Gavin's grin slid into a satisfied smirk, when Jack slowly stood up.  "What are you doing?" 

"I'm going to prove to you..." Jack stalked around the counter "...just what a bunch of...."

"Don't say it!"

"....malarkey that is!" Jack finished, laughing as he chased Gavin down the hall and then up the stairs.

Martha watched as her guys ran out of the kitchen. Not that she was the least bit interested in what they were planning.

She had grown quite used to their strange 'wiggling ways'. 

Footsteps clattered up the stairs and then faded down the hall...a door slammed shut. Tail wagging, eyes dancing, she peered over her shoulder.....just to make sure the coast was clear.

Then she stood on her hind legs, her front paws resting on the counter, her tail waggling with excitement, her eyes gleaming in anticipation and gazed down upon the feast laid out before her.

And it was ALL spread out so nicely too....ready and waiting... just for her.

She didn't know where to begin!

She briefly nosed a few of the containers, before deciding on the fried beef and potato cakes that the Big Guy had SO obviously left for her! And on a Real Glass Plate, too!

Her guys, they were such generous sorts. They really were.


"We can develop marketing strategies, sales materials, web sites, ad-campaigns. I know we can write the plan to get you where you want to go." Gavin said with confidence to the man on the other end of the phone. When Jeff stuck his head inside the door of the office, Gavin hooked the phone under his chin and motioned for him to come in. "I think so too." He continued. "Yes, we'll work with your team and help find the outsourced specialists you need to fill in the gaps."

After wrapping up the conference call, Gavin hung up the phone and gave Jeff a thumbs up sign. "I think we got it."

"Great!" Jeff laughed, leaning across the desk, they doubled high-fived each other.

"There's only one hitch," Gavin said, taking a deep breath. "They want someone out there, in the San Diego office, for a month or so, just to get it set up and everything in place."

Jeff groaned, "A month...?"

"..…or so." Gavin added, not any more thrilled about this hitch than Jeff was.

"But why? We would only need to fly out there a couple of times, and only for a few days. We can do most of what needs doing from right here."

"You and I know that." Gavin said, trying to appear more enthusiastic than he was actually feeling. "But we're going to have to prove that to them. And we can - we will. We'll just have to think of this as our chance to prove it, and then we'll have the proof we need to show other companies as well."

"Gav, this is a really bad time for me to be away." Jeff admitted, his forehead creased with worry. "Lisa's in her last month of pregnancy. I need to be here for her. I *want* to be here for her.  Miranda's still just a baby and Lisa's so tired right now…and…"

"I know, I know." Gavin waved his hand in the air, completely understanding. Professionally this was the opening they'd been waiting for, but he also knew where it needed to be on the importance scale. "Like you said, we don't need to be there. "You can stay here; work on the websites and ads. I can work on the marketing strategies and build up their team. And we'll both work on building their confidence in us. We'll have emails, faxes and the phone."

"Are you sure?" Jeff looked across the desk at his partner and friend. "You hate being  away from home as much I do."

"Yeah, but Jack isn't pregnant." Gavin laughed as he leaned back in his chair, clasping his hands behind his head. "It's only temporary. I can come home on weekends and since Jack isn't  pregnant *yet*, maybe he can fly out there for a few days. We'll have fun, San Diego in February isn't exactly torture."

"True. Lisa would have loved that." Jeff laughed, feeling a little more relaxed. "Before we make any final decisions about this though, maybe you should talk to Jack about it? Lisa would still hate for me to be away that long, even if she wasn't pregnant."

"God, you are so p.w.'d." Gavin teased.

"Hey, I can't help it that my wife is hot for me." Jeff laughed, pumping his arm and flexing his muscles. "And look who's talking, I'm not the only one 'p.w.'d' around here."

"True...," Gavin chuckled, "..but it's only temporary." He wasn't thrilled about this, but it was  something he needed to do for Mc2. And Jack wouldn't be any more thrilled about it than he was. But he also knew that Jack would see the opportunity in it and be supportive of it. And Gavin was confident enough in Jack's answer to celebrate a little.

He grinned over at Jeff as he hit the intercom button - they both knew how much Missy hated  that damned intercom.

"Mrs. Walters, please bring in the champagne and glasses. We have some celebrating to do."

"OH MY GOD! YOU DID IT!! WE GOT THE ACCOUNT!" Missy squealed, intercom-less from the reception area, a high-pitched-ear-splitting-squeal.

Gavin laughed along with Jeff, then hit the intercom button again.

"Mrs. Walters, this is a place of business. Now that we've hit the big time, you really need to start using a little professional decorum around here."

"Put a cork in it, McCourt!" They heard her laughing as she yelled from down the hall. Then they laughed out loud when her voice came over the intercom, "Besides, if we had any professional decorum around here, you guys would have to stop drooling over porn during business hours."

Gavin laughed, leaned back on his chair, put his feet up on his desk and crossed his arms over his chest. "God, I love this place."


"A month...?"

"...or so. That part sucks." Gavin agreed, knowing exactly what Jack was thinking. He hated the thought of being away from home, away from Jack, for any length of time. A month seemed like an eternity. And he knew Jack felt the same. "What do you think?"

"I think it's a great opportunity." Jack said honestly, trying really hard to sound excited, and not having much luck. "It's a pretty big company, I read where they were expanding. We have some of their weight equipment downstairs. I know what this could mean for your portfolio, attracting other companies and all."

"Yeah, I know." Gavin agreed, that part was exciting.

Or at least he had been excited about it - until he'd thought about it a little more. He loved his job, he enjoyed what he did, but there was more to life than work. And the best part of his life was being here with Jack. He knew that this was a great opportunity, one that he needed to take advantage of. But the *being away for a whole month* part of it - sucked! And there was a little part of him that sort of wished.... that Jack would just veto the whole thing for him?

"But what do you think?"

"Well, I know you'd do a great job. They'd be lucky to have you." Jack said this with pride, there wasn't a doubt in his mind about that.

Gavin was the best at what he did. If someone had something to they wanted to sell Gavin could figure out who would buy it, why they would buy it and how much they would spend on it. He appreciated interesting, creative marketing and understood the impulses of the average consumer. And because Gavin was a very interesting, extremely creative and more-than-your- average-impulsive man, he knew just how to wrap it up so that the average consumer - just had to have it.

"Yeah, I mean, I'm a little nervous about it, but I know once we get our hands on it we can do the job." Gavin shrugged, he was a always a little nervous at first, although he never admitted that to anyone but Jack.  "But what do you think?"

"I think..." Jack said, smiling over at Gavin, "what you're really asking me, is to *tell* you not to go?"

"Well, for crying out loud, Jack, I've never had to *ask* you to tell me *not* to do something!" Gavin sputtered, arms flung out wide in exasperation. "For that matter, I've never had to *ask* you to tell me to *do* anything. You've never been the least bit shy about bossing me around before!"

"And I'm not the least bit shy about it now." Jack growled, as he reached for Gavin's hand, tugging him closer. "But you want to use me as the coin in a coin toss, and that's not the way we make decisions around here, Gav."

"What's this *we* business?" Gavin asked, shrugging his shoulders, hands held out in front of him, palms up. "*I* don't make the decisions around here. *You* do!"

"Yeah, I make the final decisions." Jack agreed. "But you've never been the least bit shy about sharing your opinions, or for that matter, complaining about any decision that you don't like. In order for me to know how to make the best decisions for *us*,*we* have to talk to each other. This is an equal opportunity dictatorship, remember?"

"Okay." Gavin laughed, leaned his head back on the couch and folded his arms over his chest. He was starting to feel better, he always did after talking to Jack. He took a deep breath, finally able simplify his dilemma without the creative hysterics. "I want to go, I need to go, but I don't want to leave."

"And I don't want you to go." Jack admitted, honestly. He loved having Gavin close by, within reach, knowing where he was, what he was doing, how he was feeling. Jack didn't have any problem admitting that and he sure as hell would never make any apologies for it. He liked it that way. And he knew that Gavin felt that same way about him. Jack patted his lap, motioning for Gavin to rest his head there. "But that would be a pretty selfish reason for me to tell you not to."

"You can be selfish if you want to, Jack. I won't mind." Gavin said, as he plopped his head down on his favorite pillow and stretched his legs out on the couch.

"I'll remind you that you said that, the next time you call me an over-protective, controlling Neanderthal." Jack chuckled, as he combed his fingers through Gavin's blond waves. "This is a great opportunity, Gav. I know how much you hate being away from home...away from me, but it's only temporary."

"I know."

"And if you don't go, you'll be kicking yourself in the ass for it a few years down the road." Jack said, knowing Gavin well.

"I know." Gavin sighed.

"I'll miss you." Jack smiled down at Gavin. "But this is only temporary, it's not like you're going to be traveling all of the time or forever. It's good strategic planning, really. It'll put you in a better position to the call the shots in the future."

"Yeah, that's what I thought." Gavin smiled up at Jack. "I'll miss you, too."

"I don't want you working all night while you're gone, you'll burn out if you do that. And I don't want you flying home every weekend; that would be too exhausting." Jack said, rubbing his chin, knowing the decision was already made and already thinking of the best ways for it to work. "Maybe you should stay out there the first weekend, come home the second weekend, I could fly out on the third and then you'll be home on the fourth? I don't know? We'll have to compare schedules to see which would be best. And I don't……."



"I just wanted to remind you, in case you'd forgotten?" Gavin grinned up at Jack. God, he loved this man. "You *are* an over-protective-controlling-Neanderthal."

Jack laughed out loud before rolling Gavin off his lap and onto the floor, then joining him there

"Yeah, and I can still be one three thousand miles away." Jack growled, nuzzling Gavin's neck."So don't *you* forget it."


"What does your hotel room look like?" Jack asked, holding the phone under his chin as he propped his pillow against the headboard. He was already feeling lonely.

"It's not the Ritz." Gavin answered, leaning back against the headboard of his hotel bed. He was feeling even lonelier. "It fits the budget though. I'll send you a picture."

"Send me one with you sitting on the bed."

"Uhm.....kinky phone sex?" Gavin chuckled. "I knew that phone would grow on you."

"I'm growing as we speak." Jack laughed along with Gavin. "What kind of rental car did you get?"

"Saleen S7 coupe. She goes zero to 60 in less than three seconds." Gavin grinned, imagining the mock scowl on Jack's face. "It's a race car. But don't worry, it's a street-legal."

"No you didn't."

"No, I didn't." Gavin chuckled. "They don't rent those out for one thing and even if they did, Mc2's budget wouldn't cover it."

Jack laughed. "And you know that I would kill you if you did."

"That goes without saying." Gavin laughed. "It's just a boring Taurus, I won't look nearly as cool in it, cruising up and down the coast."

"Good. I wouldn't want you looking too cool without me."

"Miss me already?"

"As soon as you got on that plane," Jack whispered into the receiver. "You better get some sleep, traveling always knocks you out. And you have to be up early."

"Okay, bossy." Gavin smiled, the sound of Jack's bossy voice, making him feel loved and safe.  "I'm sending you a picture of me sitting on the bed. Send me one too."

"I will." Jack chuckled, "Uhm, how do you send pictures again?"

After Gavin explained, again, how to send a picture, they chatted for a few minutes longer before saying their good nights. After hanging up the phone Gavin took a picture of himself propped on the pillows of the bed. Three thousand miles away, Jack did the same.

They sat waiting in their beds. Not until their phones beeped and the pictures arrived, were either of them able to sleep.


"I hate it here." Gavin grumbled into the phone. "They sit in meetings all day. I've been here four days and nothing has been accomplished. They just like to talk to hear themselves talk."

"Welcome to the world of Big Corporations" Jack said, not unsympathetically. "You knew that going in, Gav, you used to work for a big company. It's the main reason you went out on your own."

"Well, you should've reminded me of that and told me I couldn't come." Gavin bitched, mainly just to hear himself bitch. "Now I'm stuck here."

"It's only temporary. Once you get this job finished, they'll trust you to call the shots from home." Jack voice lowered. "And if I were there, I'd remind you of that more clearly."

"Sorry. I'm just feeling bitchy. I know its not your fault." Gavin sighed, deciding to try one more time. "I just don't see why I can't come home for the weekend. I could leave......"

"Because it would take you six hours to fly home tomorrow, just to turn right around and spend six hours flying back there on Sunday. I'm flying out on Wednesday anyway." Jack reminded him again. "I miss you too and I'd love for you to be here. But this schedule is grueling enough without adding time changes and jet lag to it."

"Yeah, but I'd have one day to be at home."

"Yeah, one day that you would feel needed to be spent with Jeff working." Jack's voice was firm. "You'll have more time to get more work done if you stay there, which will bring you home faster. And you'll have more time to relax."

"Yeah, but I could relax better at home."

"Because I said so."

Gavin Hated that answer. But it usually worked. And those rare times when it didn't work, Jack had always been able to convince him, pretty quickly, that it did.

"That works."

"I figured that you would see it that way." Jack smiled, hearing the wry grin in Gavin's voice. "I'll be there on Wednesday. I'm staying until Sunday. Then you'll be home the next Wednesday. You'll have two days to work with Jeff and the whole weekend just to hang here at home."

"You should've been an Activities Planner, Jack." Gavin had to chuckle, he was feeling better already. "You missed your true calling."

"Being *your* planner is my calling." Jack chuckled, "and it's a full time job, thank you."

"Did you get the pictures I sent you today?"

"Yeah, they were great." Jack chuckled. "What was that guy wearing?"

"I haven't a clue." Gavin was grinning, Jack could hear it in his voice. "There are some really strange people in California, Jack."

"The one with you sitting on that rock by the ocean was beautiful."

"It's a great place. We went to this cool cafe that overlooks it for lunch today. I'll take you there when you come." Gavin laughed, remembering the pictures Jack had sent him. "I got the picture that you sent of Martha. Where did she get the pink bow?"

"Jenny picked her up from the groomers for me." Jack laughed. "She thought Martha needed a little feminine influence."

"She didn't look happy."

"She wasn't. The bow lasted about ten minutes."

"Good girl. She knows she isn't a sissy-poodle."

They talked for a few minutes more, laughing over the pictures they had sent back and forth that day.

"Feeling better?"


"I'll talk to you tomorrow."

"I'm sending you a picture."

"I'm sending one too."


"I can't believe it's raining." Gavin grumbled for the tenth time, his nose pressed against the sliding glass doors of the hotel room. "It never rains in Southern California. There are songs written about it and everything!"

"It's supposed to clear up later." Jack said, for the tenth time.  He was sitting on the bed watching the weather channel.

"I've had to work since you got here. I wanted to show you the sites." Gavin continued complaining - it was part of his charm. . "California is supposed to be sunny. If a person wanted  crappy weather, they could stay in Ohio. You have to leave tomorrow, there isn't much time.."

"It's supposed to clear up later." Jack repeated, becoming less charmed by the minute. "I went to the beach yesterday while you were working."

"That is *not* the same thing. I wanted to be with you and...."

"We can still see the sites."

"....walk with you on the beach, and ....."

"We can still walk on the beach."

".....I wanted to take you to that cafe and sit on the rocks,

"We can do that later, it's supposed to clear up."

"....it's just not the same when it's raining. And...."

"You can't control the weather, Gavin."

".....we could have....."

"Enough." Jack growled softly, before his ears went completely numb. He clicked off the tv, pushed himself up from the bed, pulled Gavin away from the sliding glass doors and sent him towards the bathroom with a, very firm, swat. "Not another word about the rain."

Gavin sputtered as turned around inside the doorway of the bathroom. "Just *what* am I supposed to do in here?"

"Stick a toothbrush in your mouth?"

Gavin looked insulted.  "I already brushed my teeth."

"Yeah, but if you stick something in your mouth, it might stop you from bitching." Jack cocked a brow. "Because if you don't stop bitching, I'm going to spank you."

"Oh." Gavin's smile was a wry one. "Brushing my teeth again sounds like a really good idea."

"I figured that you would see it that way." Jack smiled wryly in return. When Gavin disappeared into the bathroom, Jack walked over to the dresser and sorted through the brochures on things to do in the area. San Diego wasn't a place where a little rain could prevent someone from having fun.

Being away from home was getting to Gavin, Jack understood that and he could relate to it.  And he knew that Gavin missed working in his own office. It was a small, comfortable place and together, Gavin, Jeff and Missy had created an atmosphere of trust, and the relaxed, playful environment kept Gavin's creative juices flowing in a way that a larger corporate atmosphere couldn't. However, there wasn't a doubt in Jack's mind that Gavin could get  through this and do damned good job of it in the bargain. It was only temporary.

Jack scanned a few of the brochures, trying to think of a way to help relieve a little of Gavin's stress. Then he glanced down at the dresser and smiled.

Gavin came out of the bathroom, teeth brushed and he didn't say a word when a thunder clap rumbled the room. He walked over to the bed and tossed his shaving kit on it.

"What are you doing?"

"Looking at brochures."

"Find anything interesting to do?"

"Lots of things."

"What did you decide on?"

"Stress relief."

Gavin grinned.

Jack grabbed the Do Not Disturb sign from the dresser and headed for the door. After hanging the sign on the outside knob, he closed door tightly and turned around. His eyes gleaming, he made his way over to where Gavin stood with a purpose. And then Jack pushed Gavin down on the bed......and dived in after him.

They were 'Two Really Easy Guys' after all. And sex *was* the Ultimate Stress Reliever.


Gavin was so ready to go home. Myerson was droning on and on. God, the man could turn a five minute meeting into five-tortured-filled-hours.

"I think that about covers it." Rand Myerson said, finally, bringing Gavin out of his musings. "You can make the final revisions from your office."

"We'll have it back to you by the middle of next week." Gavin promised. The whole damned thing would have been finished last week if he and Jeff had been able to work on it together in their own office. He missed Jack and he was tired of the five-hour long meetings that never accomplished anything. He just wanted to go home. He looked at his watch. "I think I'm going shoot for the red-eye tonight."

"Our Boston branch has a project coming up, Gavin." Rand smiled, thinking how pleased Gavin would be to hear that they wanted Mc2 for the job. "We won't be ready for a few months, but I'll keep you posted."

"Thank you Rand. I'll keep in touch too." Gavin said, smiling. He was pleased. And proud that they wanted Mc2 to take on this new project. They could handle it, there wasn't a doubt in his mind.  And they could do it between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, over emails, faxes and phone calls, in three or four day trips every other month or so. Because he sure as hell wasn't spending a month-or-so - in Boston.

"Excuse me a minute."  Gavin pushed himself away from the table and headed for the men's room. He looked at his watch and mentally went over the list of things he needed to do. His clothes were pretty much packed, it would only take a few minutes to dump the rest in his bag. He knew the flight schedule by heart; he could catch the nine-o'clock flight, one layover in Denver, he'd be home by six a.m. - Ohio time.

As Gavin stood in front of the urinal he thought about calling Jack to let him know that he'd be home in the morning. But then he remembered that Jack was at his monthly open meeting. Then he thought about sending a picture - but bathrooms were sort of universal things. And San Deigo bathrooms ....were about the same as Cleveland ones.

Well, he could send a picture of himself, couldn't he? Jack hated those open meetings, they were boring as hell. And Gavin knew how much Jack was missing him, so sending a picture of himself would be a bright spot in an otherwise boring meeting. It was the least that he could do.  After zipping his pants, Gavin washed his hands, then dug his cell phone out of the inside pocket of his jacket.

Then he grinned.

He looked around the room, then under every stall, before opening one of the doors and locking it tightly behind him.

He unzipped his pants again, fumbled around a bit, held the cell out
in front of him and……Clicked!


Jack leaned back in his chair, half listening to Ed Burns, bored but not really looking forward to going home either. The house was just too quiet without Gavin there. God, he missed him. Maybe when this never ending meeting was over he'd go home and load Martha in the car, they could go for a drive, stop by the park or something. Although it wouldn't be nearly as much fun without Gavin, nothing was. And he knew that Martha would agree with him on that. She missed Gavin almost as much as he did. She'd done nothing but mope around the house for the past month.

Jack could relate to that.

Well, just a few more days and then things would be back to normal. And it was going to stay that way. There was more to life than work, and selfish or not, Jack had no intentions of living it with the best part of his life…. three thousand miles away.

Jack felt the vibration of his cell phone, which normally during a meeting he'd ignore. But he didn't want to miss a call from Gavin, so he slipped it from the inside pocket of his jacket. He smiled when he saw that a picture message had been left for him. He was glad that Gavin had talked him into this phone; they were having a lot of fun with it.

He fumbled around with the buttons, still not as proficient as Gavin was with it and read the text message over the picture.

It simply said - "Red eye Tonight!"

Jack smiled, a dopey looking smile, happy that Gavin was coming home. Then he squinted his eyes trying to bring the dark image of the picture into focus.

"Argh!" Jack choked, before covering his mouth with his hand and coughing until his eyes watered. Face flushed, eyes stinging, he quickly flipped the phone shut before anyone else could see!

After giving a red-faced-silent nod to his colleagues, Jack pushed his chair away from the conference table and quietly excused himself from the room.

A small grin turned the corners of his mouth, as he headed out the door ..... towards the men's room.


"It's so good to be home." Gavin sighed, propping his feet up on the coffee table, Martha's head resting on his lap. She had become his second skin since he'd walked through the door.

Jack had picked Gavin up from the airport at 6:00 a.m. that morning, excited, happy and wishing like hell that he didn't have to go into work.

They were both huge fans of..... Welcome Home Sex.

Not that either of them ever needed an excuse.

But Gavin had been red-eyed, in need of a shave and too tired to do anything but sleep. His feet were dragging by the time they made it home. As soon as they had walked through the door after driving home from the airport, Gavin had sprawled out on the floor in the living room, too tired to make it up the stairs, Martha practically lying on top of him and neither one of them had been willing to budge.

Jack had cut out of work a little early though and by the time he'd gotten home, Gavin had been showered and shaved, ready and waiting to welcome *him* home.

Welcome Home Sex....worked either way.

"It's so good to have you home." Jack said, propping his feet on the coffee table next to Gavin's. "Martha thinks so too."

Gavin smiled, patting her head. Martha nuzzled a little deeper in Gavin's lap, just to make sure he wasn't going anywhere.

"She missed me."

"I can relate to that."

"Hey...!" Gavin's eyes lit up, "What did you think of the picture I sent you last night?"

"Oh, God! " Jack threw his head back laughing, he'd forgotten all about that. "I could've strangled you! I was right in the middle of a meeting, I nearly choked."

"Yeah, but you can't tell me it didn't make that meeting a little more interesting." Gavin laughed, wishing he could've seen Jack's face. "But I'm glad you got it. Since you didn't say anything, I was afraid I'd sent it to a client or someone by accident."

"Now that would be a little hard to explain...." Jack laughed, holding his sides. "But since I sent you ....my picture, I figured that you would know I'd gotten yours."

"Wouldn't that be a really great idea for a picture phone commercial?" Gavin's asked, laughing, He was always interested in creative marketing ideas. "It would sell …..?"  






"Never again..." Jack fluffed his pillow against the headboard, then leaned back against it. "Thank God it went to that website. Are you sure that no one else saw it?"

"I'm sure." Gavin answered, for the tenth time. His shoulders were shaking, the look on Jack's face had been priceless. "I explained the website to you when we got the phones."

"I don't remember that. And I still don't know how I did it. I could swear that I pushed the same buttons I always pushed." Jack rubbed his face with his hands. "God, I could've sent that picture to my mother!"

"Jack..., " Gavin laughed, "..your mother doesn't even have a picture phone."

"It doesn't matter." Jack chuckled. "I know I'm going to have recurring nightmares about it. Our cyber-porn career is officially over."

"It was a nice picture though. Really... nice. And I still can't believe you sent it." Gavin grinned over at Jack. "Sort of romantic when I think on it."


"It was impulsive and sort of out of character for you." Gavin smiled, thinking that the picture would make a nice little screen saver for his personal computer. "I've always told you that being impulsive was a good thing, Jack. It can be very romantic."

"Gav, when has being impulsive ever done you any good?"

"Well....", Gavin paused, looking over at Jack. He had to think on that one for a minute.

Jack did have a point. Being impulsive usually didn't bring him anything but trouble. And Gavin really didn't have a whole lot of evidence that could be used for defending 'Impulse' - so it was probably a damned good thing that he wasn't the lawyer in this family and that he would never have to defend it in a court of law.  Poor, misunderstood Impulse would more than likely be sent straight to the Big House!

Hell, who was he kidding! Impulse would be lucky not to be sentenced to Death by Lethal Injection!

But Gavin had an ace in the hole, one piece of evidence that would leave reasonable doubt in the minds of any romantic-minded juror. Well, at least it was enough evidence to convince Gavin, that `Impulse' was something worth defending, no matter how much trouble it had caused him.


Jack looked a little confused. "..1994?"

"You asked when being impulsive ever did me any good?" Gavin answered, grinning. "It was 1994."

"Oh, yeah?" Jack smiled, remembering. 1994 had been a very good year. "What part did impulse play.. ..in 1994?"

"I had a secret crush on this really hot guy I'd seen around campus. He had just about the tightest ass I'd ever seen. And I just had to meet him." Gavin smiled, remembering. "So I.. impulsively...threw something at his car in order to get his attention."

Jack chuckled. "Lucky for you that it took `this' guy two months of knowing you, before he finally figured out that hadn't been an accident."

"Well, this guy,.....he was a little slow. But he had a certain charm about him." Gavin's eyes were teasing. "And I only wanted to get his attention. The 'cracking his windshield' part? Well....that part *was* an accident."

"Oh yeah?" Jack rolled over on top of Gavin, pinning him to the mattress. "That was probably the only thing that saved you."

"Yeah, but it took *me* a lot less than two months to figure that out." Gavin laughed, happy to be home. "I might be impulsive, but I'm pretty quick about some things."

"You're pretty quick about *most* things." Jack chuckled, always amazed at how fast Gavin's mind worked. "But I've learned, from years of Gavin-experience, how to stay on my toes in order to keep up with you."

"True,' Gavin scrunched his nose, "and you've always been really good at it too."

"Exactly. And the impulse that drove you to throw something in order to *get* `this' guy's attention, might have been because you thought he was.. hot?" Jack's grin was cocky "But it's the fact that he could more than keep up with you, that's *kept* `your' attention all of these years."

"That is so not true." Gavin laughed, wrapping his arms around Jack's neck. "I'm much shallower than that."

"Now that *is* a bunch of …."

"Don't say it!" Gavin laughed, quickly unwrapping his arms and covering his ears.


"God, who *says* stuff like that?"

the end.