Summary: Brendan and Emmett meet while in Vegas.
A/N: This was written for the 2008 exchange for reluann. I hope you like it. Beta by the usual suspects (not on LJ).
“I’m sorry sir, the last cabana has just been taken.”
Disappointed, Brendan turned to look at the guest following the employee into the pool area. The tall, handsome man who had just turned back around.
The other man studied him briefly, then spoke. “I could share. That is, if you wouldn’t mind.” He smiled, “I promise I’m not an axe murderer.”
Brendan laughed. “That’s great, since I’m all alone, and have no one to defend me.”
“Emmett,” his savior introduced himself, reaching out a hand.
“Brendan,” he returned, shaking the proffered hand.
As they were shown to their cabana, Brendan found himself studying the interplay of muscles in Emmett’s strong legs. It’d been a long time since he’d been able to appreciate a good pair of legs, even one as white as Emmett’s. Not that he was any better, he thought, looking down at his own pale legs.
All too soon, they stopped, and the lady was pointing out the features and freebies available. Saying she’d be back in a while to check on them, she left them alone for the first time.
Suddenly shy, Brendan played with the TV remote while Emmett started dragging the lounge chairs into the sun. “So Emmett,” he began, somewhat unsure how to proceed, “just let me know when you pay, and I’ll get my share.”
Emmett gave him another assessing glance, then smiled. “I know you’re good for it.”
Brendan looked confused. “How?”
“You scream law enforcement.” Noticing Brendan’s pointed look at his brightly colored shorts, Emmett added, “even without a uniform.”
Brendan smirked. “For your information, I am not a uniform.” He paused for effect, receiving only Emmett’s raised eyebrow in return. “I’m with the NSA, we don’t have uniforms,” he finished almost petulantly.
Emmett laughed. “It’s okay, Brendan. I’ve done a lot of work for the three letter agencies, and can spot one a mile away by now. In fact,” he continued, “they’re paying for our relaxation today.” He waved his hand around, indicating the cabana.
“They are,” Brendan deadpanned.
Emmett shrugged. “There was a not so slight mishap the last time I helped them out. Paying for this conference is one of the ways they’re making it up to me.”
Not quite sure what to think of the story, he latched on to the one thing that did make sense. “You’re here for a conference, too, then?”
Emmett smiled at the obvious statement.
“I’m guessing it’s not the law enforcement once, then.” They both laughed.
“Nope,” Emmett confirmed. “I’m here for the herpetology conference, specifically ophiology.”
“Ophiology,” Brendan muttered, thinking. “Ah,” he exclaimed, “snakes.”
“Well done, Agent Brendan.”
Struck with the ridiculous urge to stick his tongue out at Emmett, he gave in, then laughed.
Chuckling along with Brendan, Emmett adopted a frown, twinkling eyes belying his sternness. “You should know, Agent Brendan, that I am also chairing one of your panels, so you’d better behave.” He waggled his finger at Brendan.
“One of my panels?” Brendan asked. “The only one I’m actually on is the cooperation with civilian experts….you’re Doctor Emmett?”
“Yep,” he confirmed with a shrug. “My first name is a travesty; no one uses it.”
Brendan shook his head, smiled shyly up at Emmett, and raised his water bottle. “Well, here’s to agency-civilian cooperation.”
Emmett smiled back, and raised his in return.
Brendan woke to the sounds of splashing and giggling. He lazily opened his eyes, looking out of the shaded cabana he was ensconced in to see Emmett sitting up to talk to two bikini-clad girls at the edge of the pool. Suppressing the sudden disappointment, he tried and failed to not listen in.
“Hey boys,” the one in pink sunglasses called Emmett’s way.
Emmett smiled and nodded from his perch on one of the lounge chairs.
“You’ve got that whole cabana to yourselves?” Blue sunglasses asked leadingly.
“All to ourselves.” Emmett confirmed with a confidant smirk.
“Aawww…” Blue sunglasses pouted, while sticking her chest out.
“Aawww…” Pink sunglasses commiserated. “Would you like us to keep you company?” She smiled and winked.
Emmett smiled back, then frowned. “Thanks for the kind offer, ladies, but we’re good on our own.”
“Are you sure?” they asked almost in unison, pouting prettily.
“Your friend hasn’t said anything,” Blue sunglasses mentioned, looking past Emmett to Brendan as he moved back out to his lounge chair.
“We’re sure, right Brendan?” Emmett asked, glancing his way for confirmation.
Wanting to give a victory cheer, Brendan settled for a slight nod to Emmett. “I’m good with just us.”
The girls huffed, and swam off muttering as they looked for better prospects.
Emmett shook his head, and turned to look at Brendan. “What were they, twelve?” He watched Brendan shrug, then added, “Besides, the one looked like my ex-girlfriend.” He shuddered, “not an experience I’m looking to repeat.”
Brendan briefly raised his beer in sympathy. “I’m not into women, anyway,” he quietly added, sneaking a glance at Emmett. Reassured at not getting anything more than a shrug, Brendan finished his beer, settled back on the lounge, and fell back to sleep.
Later that afternoon, Brendan and Emmett were still out on the chairs, when a soft voice brought Brendan out of his daydreams.
“Do you know how hard it’s going to be to sit through the sessions with a sunburn?”
Brendan groaned, and opened his eyes to see Freya smiling gleefully.
“Of course you’re going to whine about it to me the whole time, so maybe I shouldn’t laugh too much.”
“I thought I had…” Brendan craned his head to look at his back, “…damn, missed a spot.”
Freya smirked at Emmett, “You mean you didn’t have hottie here put it on for you?” She winked.
“Freya,” Brendan admonished, then looked over at the sleeping Emmett. “Just met him today, and I think he’s straight,” he sighed dejectedly.
Freya leaned closer to Brendan. “Not straight.”
“What,” he whispered back. “You’re not prying, are you?”
“You know better than that,” she smacked him on the head for emphasis. “He’s thinking it so loud I can barely hear my own thoughts. Something about me looking like your girlfriend, but you said you weren’t into women, and being very disappointed you lied.” She winked, and turned to Emmett.
“Hi,” she opened brightly, waiting for the not sleeping Emmett to open his eyes.
When he finally quit pretending, he sat up, gave Brendan a brief disappointed glance, then turned to Freya. “Hello,” he replied stiffly.
“Very good to meet you, Emmett,” she smiled, shaking hands with him. “I’m Freya, Brendan’s work partner.” Ignoring the mental cheering from Emmett, she continued, “I promised to leave Brendan to his tanning today, but as you can see,” she pointed to a bright pink spot on his back, “he’s not very good at taking care of himself.”
“Freya,” Brendan growled.
Cheerfully ignoring her partner, she continued talking to Emmett. “We were supposed to have dinner tonight, but I got a better offer,” she winked at Brendan. “Do you think you could watch him the rest of the evening for me?”
“Freya, I do not need a keeper,” Brendan growled, embarrassed.
She talked over him. “Just return him to the room fed and sunburn free, “she looked at his back again, “well, as much as possible, anyway.”
Emmett looked from Freya to the pouting Brendan, then back again, then broke out laughing. “Freya, I’d love to.”
She winked at him, and tossed him her sunblock. “You’re a good man, Emmett.”
As Emmett poured some lotion out, and started working on Brendan’s back, Freya caught the thankful look on her partner’s face. “Have fun, boys.”