7 November 1998
Break Time V: Payback
A Burnt!Te Production with Pares
Disclaimers: How I long for them to be mine...
Spoilers: Not a single one.
Summary: A party, a whoopsie, etc.
Ratings Note: PG-13 for poor language and mild m/m fun.
Author's Note: I was whining at Pretty Pretty Dawn Pares and this happened. Starts off weird, goes from there.
Acknowledgments: To the fine and wonderful Spike for beta, and to my Sister Blue in the hopes she never, ever uses this as a morning after textbook.
Feedback: Yes, please! Please, please, please. Daddy793@aol.com and kormantic@yahoo.com would surely love to hear from you.

Break Time V: Payback
A Burnt!Te Production with Pares
Daddy793@aol.com and kormantic@yahoo.com

Pares: Dear Te, lemme say that you should write an L/B. Really. Cheer yourself up. I'll tell you the beginning,
Daddy793: <snicker> Your altruism knows no bounds.
Pares: The evening had been a nightmare of geek pretension.

If Byers never saw another man in a long brown robe claiming to be Elfred the Mage again, he could die happy. The same went for women in lace up doeskin boots.

Magic the Gathering. God help him.

"It'll be fun," Langly had insisted.

This from the same man who freely admitted going on the six year plan at college solely so he could finish a particularly rousing game of D&D. Fun. It had been as far from fun as Langly had been from popular in high school.

But it was Halloween, and Langly wanted him to "mix."

"Byerses don't mix."

There had been no response.

As far back as he could remember, all Byers damned well went through life as alone as they possibly could. To the point of marrying badly for the sole purpose of never having to come up with breakfast table conversation.

A harsh system, but fair.

Langly didn't agree.

"It's Halloween, man!"

His speech patterns tended to degrade when he was particularly excited and there was no one to impress. Byers wasn't sure whether to be flattered by that label for himself or not.

On the one hand, it was a good feeling to know that Langly was comfortable enough with him to let his guard down. On the other...

"C'mon, narcboy. I'll let you go as a man in black. You can wear that nice Armani Mulder gave you."

On the other hand, it may have only been a sign of continued contempt for Byers' former way of life. Once a suit, always a suit, and suits were no one to put yourself out for.

But still...

"John..." The rasp in Langly's tenor was nothing to be scoffed at. "I'll make sure you have a good time."

So he had gone. Even stolen some of Frohike's shades -- A mysteriously husky-voiced "Chris" had called him off to some sort of Samhain festival, they hadn't asked -- to complete the look. And the only mirror he needed to tell him he looked good was the hungry gleam fully visible through the eyeholes of his lover's mask.

Ringo the Raccoon. Byers hadn't had enough time to work up a good belly-laugh before Langly had demonstrated all too briefly just how good that fake fur could feel.


"Oh, really?"

Byers was almost positive that the combination of beard and shades was enough to hide his flush.

And so the evening had started well enough -- there was certainly nothing to complain about in letting the curves slide him right across the leather seats of the Cordoba and into Langly's lap --- but his mood had died hard.

It had been immediately obvious whose friends these were. Gleam of paranoia, sallow complexions, and the overwhelming sense of "you don't belong here" Byers had previously only associated with an unfortunate drunken stumble into a ladies' room.

//Why the hell *do* they need couches?//

And there were too goddamned many elves and fairies. Byers found himself looking for iron before too much time had passed. Sure, a mass fairy-killing spree wouldn't make him very popular, but it would sure be soothing.

Langly had promised to make sure he'd had a good time. Langly had disappeared into a clutch of ostentatiously hooded figures. Langly hadn't been seen again until well after two, when he'd reappeared to lose his assorted beverages into the potted plant Byers had been admiring.

Langly was going to pay.


Byers' plan started right after tucking Langly into bed, still reeking of things Byers didn't care to think about. He carefully and quietly opened the blinds wide, and set the alarm clock for 7:45 a.m. To the country music station.

Before he went to bed, he also made a point of hiding every coffee filter and bottle of Tylenol he could find, turning off the hot water heater, and locking his door from the inside.

The final touch was to insert his earplugs firmly, savor the light chamomile of his Sleepytime tea, and smile his way to dreamland.

He dreamed of bunnies. He liked bunnies a lot.


Much of Langly's morning suffering was lost to Byers due to the earplugs, but he doubted the denizens of Arlington cemetery slept through the shower-shriek. Byers may have woken with an unpleasant start -- the bunnies' ears bled --but the image of a sodden, smelly Langly waiting his customary two minutes before stepping into a shower that *should* have been the perfect temperature made him feel all warm inside.

Byers snuggled into his sleep warm covers and waited.

"Jesus. Fucking. Christ!"

Ah, the joys of a shave in cold water.

"Who used the last coffee filter?!"

It was entirely possible Langly would learn this lesson.

"Owwwww... my head hurts so *bad*..."

All Saints' Day had never been so lovely. Byers decided to go to church.


Creeping out of Headquarters had been shockingly easy, what with Langly curled in that cute little ball. And there were few things more satisfying than feeling enough joy to praise the heavens for sending it to you.

He wondered if there was a patron saint of schadenfreude... but the image of himself in jackboots was just a little too gigglesome for worship.

Byers made his way home leisurely, stopping to chat with his favorite librarian, and picking up a loaf of sourdough. The variety had the benefits of being Langly's favorite...

//I forgive you...//

... as well as quite possibly being a little too harsh for his currently delicate stomach.

//Suffer, Hairboy.//

Byers whistled merrily all the way down the last two blocks before headquarters.



"Oh, you poor guy! Does your head hurt very much?" Byers' voice dripped with sensitivity. He knew Langly would be able to tell -- he was speaking *very* loudly.

Langly winced in reply, brought trembling fingers to his head. His hair was still damp from his dip into the waters of Iceland. Byers was willing to bet the friction of terry cloth had been too much to bear.

"Awwwwwww... I'll fix some tea. Have you taken any painkillers yet?"

"No... couldn't find any..."

Byers clucked sympathetically, and put the kettle on.

"You know, Langly..."

The answering groan was utterly incomprehensible.

"I bought you some sourdough bread. I remember how much you --"

Byers was cut off by the sound of pounding footsteps on the way to the bathroom.

//Suffer it is, then.//

Humming happily, he fixed two mugs of Grandma's Tummy Mint, and slipped downstairs to reset the water heater. No need for the *full* extent of his evil to be discovered.

When Langly reappeared in the kitchen he was a sorry sight indeed. Hollow eyes, a visible shudder, little bits of toilet paper glued to his face with blood... Byers could nearly *see* the hair tangling. The urge to comfort the man was abruptly overpowering, and he set his own tea down to slip behind his lover and begin to gently rub his temples.

"Oh, John... please don't stop."

"I wouldn't dream of it." And he slowly worked his way down to the other man's hunched shoulders.




"You were a very, very bad boy last night." Byers dug his fingers into the spare meat of Langly's shoulders for emphasis.

"Umm... she's nothing to me, I swear?"

"Uh, huh." Another dig. "That *wasn't* what I was talking about."



"I... I don't think I remem--"

Byers leaned over Langly, brushing lightly, dipped his finger into the now just pleasantly warm tea and ran it over the other man's mouth. He pulled away before Langly could begin to suck.

"Let me see if I can refresh your memory."


"'I'll make sure you have a good time.' Sound at all familiar?"

Byers could feel the wince under his palm.

"Oh, man..."


"Oh, *man*."

"You betcha."

"Would an 'I'm sorry' get me a Tylenol?"

"A quarter of one."

"I'm really, really sorry?"

"You're up to a half, Langly."

"I'll never, *ever* drink again."

"Liar. Back down to a quarter."

"Jesus! Owww..."

"Don't shout. You'll only hurt your head."


"Whining? You don't really *want* that Tylenol, do you?"

"Oh, God. Oh. God."

"What was that, love?"

"John, I swear, I *swear*, I will never, ever treat you that poorly again. I'm an asshole, and a drunk, and I don't deserve you."

John purred happily, and led Langly toward his bedroom and the painkillers.

"And, John?"


"As soon as the walls stop wiggling I'll show you *precisely* how much your heretofore untapped capacity for evil turns me on."

"You're so sweet, but..."


"Who says it's untapped?"