Specs: Tron, Kevin/Alan, Kevin/Tron, 2800 words
Every time Kevin re-entered the Grid, he closed his eyes and just listened. The soft purr of the light cycles, the crystal-clear sound of solar sailors slicing through the air high above, the low murmurs and laughs of Programs near and far, and under it all the pervasive, never-changing hum of the Grid itself - all of it combining to make a music sweeter than any he could listen to back in the real world. Kevin closed his eyes, let his chin drop to his chest, and listened. Every time he returned, it sounded more and more like coming home.
Kevin walked down the middle of the streets, heading in the general direction of the Sea. The cycles wove around him with careless grace, and he never once glanced up from his feet. He was running it all through his head again, as he'd done and nothing else for two days; every look, every word, every gesture. Cold lead heavy in his gut, and when Tron's voice rang out he didn't hear Tron at first, he heard Alan, Alan's voice filled with welcoming and joy. He'd never hear Alan's voice like that again.
"Flynn!" The Program jogged up to him, those long, lithe legs making short work of the distance between them. Kevin forced a smile to his face, seeing how it amplified the smile on Tron's face, which didn't seem possible. It was a grin that couldn't help but sink hooks in his heart, and Kevin felt the cold lead lump warm up despite himself.
"Flynn, I'm glad you're back. We've been having some glitches I'd like you to look at." Tron's hand rested on his back for just a second, guiding Kevin. Warmth there between his shoulder blades, and his whole body tensed immediately. It was like he was a pile of metal shavings, and Tron was a great magnet. Kevin glanced over at the Program, and saw nothing but Alan's bright hazel eyes, Alan's broad shoulders, Alan's soft, inviting mouth.
He grabbed Tron's arm, pulled him into a dark alcove between two buildings, away from the lights and the busy bustle of Programs hurrying along their appointed paths. He could sense Tron's surprise, could feel his curiosity as though it were something physical, pulsing along the circuits under his hand. But Tron said nothing, and allowed Kevin to drag him deeper and deeper into a hidden corner of the Grid.
Finally Kevin found the right place. A nook that seemed designed for this moment - and it may very well have been. Perhaps Kevin had created it as he walked, the Grid fashioning itself along the patterns and blueprints of his subconscious. They stopped, and Kevin put his hands on either side of Tron's face, looking up at the Program. Tron waited, patiently allowing Kevin to study him, his eyes only betraying a simple curiosity and nothing else.
“Is there anything you can’t do?” he asked Tron, who tilted his head a little bit in thought. The corners of his mouth drew down, the exact look Alan wore when he was working on a problem, mulling something over in his mind.
“I can’t Create. I can fix broken code, quarantine viruses, defend the system. But I can’t write a Program of my own.”
Kevin let the Grid melt away, stared into Tron's eyes until he saw only Alan. “Can you do this?” he whispered. Then he leaned up the little bit necessary to bring his lips to Tron's. He had never done this before, but he had kissed Yori, who had then kissed Tron, so it wasn't completely new for the Program.
And, in fact, Tron pulled back just enough to whisper against Kevin's lips. "This is something Users do." A warm smile. "I can do this." Kevin nodded, kissing him again, deepening the kiss and moaning when Tron didn't push him away. He imagined that it was Alan's hands coming around and resting on his back, Alan's tongue, wet and slick and warm, moving sensuously against his own. Kevin was already painfully hard, and his hips jerked forward on their own. Tron made a sound, probably wanting to ask a question, but Kevin didn't release his mouth; he kept a hand on the back of Tron's head, fingers tight in his hair, sucking Tron's tongue into his mouth, grinding his hips against him hard.
Two days ago, Kevin had invited Alan over to the arcade to work on something - it was all pretense, of course. He wondered that Alan didn't know that before he arrived, but it didn't seem he thought anything was up. Kevin followed him up to the office he still kept upstairs; it had become a refuge in the months after Jordan's death, and now he did more work here than he ever did at the Encom building.
How he'd tried to do everything the way he was supposed to. Got married, had a kid, bought a suit or two. Sometimes wore them. But it was no good - at night his mind taunted him with thoughts of Alan. Alan in his bed, Alan's body beneath his own, Alan's hands moving over him with rough familiarity. He'd done his best to ignore these thoughts. He didn't mind being attracted to a man - it wasn't the first time. But Alan was his co-worker, his friend, his confidante. Alan was also married, and not the type of man to stray. Was still married, though it was a technicality now; Lora had moved out a month ago. There hadn't been any final fight, Alan had told him, late at night at his place, beer bottles empty all around them. She just wanted to try something new. Wanted something different. Kevin had nodded, remembering when she'd said the same thing to him.
A month to let Kevin slowly shape a plan. Decide more and more that it was no coincidence that Alan called him more often, the conversations straying from shop talk to other, more personal matters. Alan was lonely, the husky voice on the phone confided to him. I'm just lonely, Kevin. I don't understand it. I never had any problem being alone before. But now it's like I can hardly sleep at night. I keep waiting, listening for something. I don't even know what. It's not that I miss Lora exactly, just... Alan's voice died away, and Kevin let himself hope.
He invited Alan over to the arcade, making up some excuse as transparent as could be. Alan was there in no time; he had to have left his house thirty seconds after Kevin had hung up the phone. Kevin followed him up the stairs, his cock already twitching, pressing against the zipper of his jeans. He watched Alan's ass just above his eyes, imagined sinking into it, claiming it; imagined the feel of it around his cock as he fucked him, slow and deep and it would be so good.
He'd planned to seduce him, to draw the evening out. He'd rehearsed half a dozen different things to say, ways to broach the topic; he'd imagined half a hundred responses, all of them finally leading to one inevitable conclusion: Alan on his back on the couch, Kevin resting heavy on top of him, plundering that lovely mouth mercilessly. That was the plan. But when Kevin closed the door behind him and Alan turned around, a question in his eyes, every ounce of self control he had fled immediately. Kevin pressed his mouth against his, hard, hands clutching at Alan's jacket. He expected a moment of surprise, a moment where Alan did nothing at all; he didn't expect the moment to pass into another, and another, and another.
Tron whimpered, and Kevin pulled away. The Program stared at him with wide eyes, his lips wet. It was enough to make Kevin reach down and unzip himself, give his erection room to breathe. Tron stared down, drawing two fingers down Kevin's length. Kevin couldn't stifle his moan, didn't want to. He reached out and groped his hands over Tron's chest. "Where is it?" he asked, hearing his own voice rough with desire. Tron knew exactly what he was asking and pressed one of the many little circles of light that covered his suit, indistinguishable from the rest, but this one made the suit melt away, revealing Tron's body. Hard muscles everywhere, and Kevin drew his fingers over them. Alan wouldn't have muscles like this, but beggars couldn't be choosers. Kevin wanted to turn Tron around, press the Program's face against the wall, and bury himself inside. Instead, he dropped to his knees. Took a good, long look. Then laughed.
Tron had a penis, and it was hard. He didn't know why Tron had a penis. He certainly hadn't designed Clu with human genitalia, let alone functioning genitalia. Maybe Alan hadn't always been sober when he programmed like he always claimed; maybe the Grid reshaped its Programs, as it did itself, to Kevin's desires. He decided it didn't matter. "What is it?" Tron asked. Kevin didn't know if he was asking why Kevin had laughed, or why he had an erection - and a sizeable one at that - in the first place. Kevin decided that didn't matter, either, and licked Tron from base to tip. Tron moaned, and Kevin looked up, up into that face so much like Alan's.
"Does it feel good?" he asked, and when Tron slowly nodded, Kevin took Tron's cock in hand and studied it. A drop of fluid at the tip, glowing just slightly. Kevin tasted it - cool, sweet wine that made his tongue tingle. A gasp from Tron, and Kevin wrapped his lips around him, swirling his tongue around and around. Tron's hands came down, one on Kevin's shoulder, the other on the back of his head, his fingers gently rubbing against Kevin's scalp. He let his eyes close, let his mind wander; the Grid disappeared, and his arcade office built itself up around him instead. Not Tron's hand on his head but Alan's; not Tron's deliciously hard cock but Alan's in his mouth. Kevin sucked it down, bobbing his head, one hand squeezing Tron's (Alan's, not Tron's, Alan's) ass, the other stroking his balls. Then Kevin reached down to touch himself, and Tron must have been watching carefully, because he heard a low moan, and then Tron's hips started rocking back and forth.
Two days ago, Alan hadn't tangled his fingers into Kevin's hair, hadn't brought his hips flush against the other man's. He had jerked back from the kiss, eyebrows crawling up toward his hairline. "Kevin, what are you doing?" Kevin heard the surprise in his voice. He ignored the dismay. He ran his hand down Alan's face, the stubble rough against his palm. "I want you," he whispered, and kissed him again. Again Alan did nothing, and then, for a few glorious seconds, he kissed Kevin back.
Then his hands were hard on Kevin's shoulders, pushing him away. "Please," Kevin moaned, knowing he sounded weak and desperate, not caring at all. "Alan, please." Alan's face was flushed, his eyes dark - they dropped to Kevin's mouth, his gaze lingering there even as he shook his head.
"I can't," he said. Not I won't, but I can't. He touched Kevin's face, then, just the barest graze of his fingertips down Kevin's cheek. "I'm sorry." Then Alan pushed past him, down the stairs and out of the arcade. Kevin had stood there for God knew how long, feeling the stuffy stillness envelope him, his hands growing numb at his sides; finally he'd made it to the couch, collapsed on it, and stayed there all night, replaying it over and over.
Now he was on his knees in the Grid, sucking a Program off. It was as close as he'd ever get to knowing what Alan would feel like, taste like, sound like. Tron's gasps and moans grew louder and louder, and Kevin had long ago abandoned any hope of lasting. He tugged hard on his own cock, rough, almost painful strokes; he relaxed his throat as best he could, letting Tron fuck his mouth. It was all too much, each sensation digging into him like needles. As Tron came with a shout, Kevin followed a second later, aware of tears on his cheeks.
Kevin sank back on his heels, wiping off his chin. Tron rested against the wall before him, tall and beautiful and glorious, sucking in gasps of air he didn't need. Then he smiled at Kevin, bright and guileless, and Kevin felt slow, sick guilt bloom in his stomach. What had he done? If Alan ever found out... And of course Alan would find out. Tron was his program, after all. No doubt the next time Tron checked in, or Alan installed an upgrade, Tron would tell him all about it. And that would be the final nail in the coffin, if Kevin hadn't hammered it in already.
"Clu wanted to see us," the Program said lightly. His suit was reforming over his body, and he reached down and helped Kevin up. Tucked him back into his pants and zipped him up with quick, nimble fingers. "Will we show him this?"
"No," Kevin muttered with a shiver. Then Tron brushed his fingers against Kevin's cheek, the gesture almost identical to that of Alan, and Kevin had to bite his lip. "Thank you, Flynn," Tron said gently, warm affection clear in his voice. His hand on Kevin's back again, leading him out, but this time the hand didn't move; it was a warm, welcome weight, and Kevin felt some - but not all - of the guilt recede. He didn't care about the glitches, or what Clu wanted. He just wanted to take Tron somewhere, anywhere, and lose himself. Wanted to do nothing but feel; wanted hands and lips and tongue to torment him until his brain quit working and he could know a few moments of peace.
But he didn't. He followed Tron through the Grid, past the Programs he had come to know like the employees he worked with at Encom; some acquaintances only, some valued co-workers, a few he considered friends. Kevin thought it wouldn't be such a bad thing to stay here, at least for a little while. It would be hideously unfair to everyone back home, of course, but just the thought of ignoring everything he'd just fucked up, curling up against Tron's warm, solid body, and sleeping for a day or two was almost too tempting to pass up. He wished he could just stay.
He was walking with Tron, already feeling lighter listening to Tron worry about one of his glitches, when Clu‘s voice rang out. "Flynn!" Before Kevin could even make sense of it, it was all over. Tron fought, and fought magnificently, but it wasn’t enough. Hearing Clu's disc driving down into Tron's head, hearing the bright, beautiful sound that had to be the Program derezzing behind him, Kevin ran.
As the cycles wore on, Kevin spent a great deal of time thinking about that final wish.
Alan unlocked the door to Flynn's office, that little apartment at the top of the arcade. He stood there for a moment just inside the threshold, remembering. Ten years Flynn had been gone, but the knowledge of it still cut him as sharply as it had from the beginning. Alan drew in a deep breath, making himself smell the stale dust in the air. It smelled the same as it had last week, and the week before that. He'd tried to keep the place in order for awhile, thinking that Flynn wouldn't want to see it in a shambles when he came back - but he'd never come back, and it wasn't long before Alan gave up. He still came every week though. To stand vigil, to hope, to pay his respects; it depended on the week. Sometimes it felt like all three at once.
And sometimes it was to mull, to weigh his regrets in his mind. Regret that he'd never gone with Kevin to the Grid, hadn't learned its secrets. Regret that he hadn't called him that night to make sure he was okay. Mostly regret for the anger he'd let seep into his voice, the way he'd pushed Kevin away, the way he'd bolted and never looked back.
Alan sat down on the couch, plastic crinkling as he did. He stared at the spot at the top of the stairs, as though he'd see Kevin's ghost appear. Whether or not their relationship would have changed, he didn't know; it might have been a one-time thing, a casual friends-with-benefits hook-up now and then, a real romance. It could have been anything. It could have been nothing but a kiss, shared for a few moments between two men who loved each other, and were lonely. Whatever it might have been, it never was, and Alan sat and let the guilt eat him up inside, wondering if he could have saved a man's life with a kiss.