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[personal profile] bibliothekara
Fandom: John Adams (HBO Miniseries)
Disclaimer: John and Thomas and Abigail, as portrayed here, belong to  HBO, David McCullough, the creators and writers of the  miniseries, and especially to Paul Giamatti, Stephen Dillane. and the divine Laura Linney. I only play with them naughtily and put them back when I am done.
Rating: FRAO. There be sexins ahoy. Seriously: I am about do to your civic myths what other kinds of fic do to your childhoods.
Genre: PWP/Friendship/Angst/OT3
Spoilers: The whole damn miniseries, really, but especially up to episode 5.
Pairing: Thomas Jefferson/John Adams/Abigail Adams

Notes: 1) Set during "Unite Or Die", specifically the night of that big fight John and Thomas have in the pub.
2)  Written as  a sequel to "Something That Is Mine", and will make a lot more sense if you read that one first.
3) This was variously known during its writing as "that damned fic", "that god-damned fic", and especially "The OT3 of Doom." But I love it dearly, and it would not have gotten finished without the gentle and pointed encouragement of [personal profile] lilalanor and [personal profile] kelachrome . This is dedicated to you, darlings.

Summary: Everything seems to be falling apart, John's stuck in Philadelphia again, and Thomas is leaving for Virginia the next morning.  But sometimes Lady Fortune has other plans.

You are my sweetest downfall
I loved you first, I loved you first
Beneath the sheets of paper lies my truth
I have to go, I have to go
Your hair was long when we first met
- “Samson”, Regina Spektor

*******

The dog would not stop barking.

John would have been perfectly happy to surrender to the tender mercies of sleep, but that dog would not stop barking.

He knew the dog well; a feral beast, surviving off scraps thrown by the men who haunted the tavern across from their lodgings. Abbey had warned him about the neighborhood, God knew she had. But this had been the best combination of distance, amenities, and cost, and John would not be dissuaded.

None of them would. Thomas wouldn’t. Thomas was going to leave, he was going back to damned Virginia, and neither of them would move an inch.

Because this is how their relationship worked. This is how it had worked, lo these many years;  never of them would move an inch, until that time when they realized that the world had shifted around them without either knowing it. Perhaps their own shifting would have made things easier; in ‘76, in ‘83, in years after that. But John and Thomas were men of vigour, men of principle, and that was the important thing.

Was it possible the dog had gotten louder while John had been lost in thought?  That the creature sensed the dynamic environment around it, and adjusted accordingly? Clever cur.

John paced around their sitting room, again, and then headed towards the window. The moon was half-full tonight. A perfect geometric shape, casting its melancholy light over this rented, dingy furniture. He recalled, unwillingly, a similar moonlight over a field in Braintree, so many years ago. When Abby was young and even more beautiful, and he was...well, younger, at least.

John Adams had many flaws of character, but no one could ever have said he thought himself beautiful. He had only been fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful things, beautiful ideas, beautiful people. Fortunate enough to appreciate beauty when life bestowed it upon him in the form of Abigail Smith.

And in the form of Thomas Jefferson...John stared determinedly out the window again. He would insist to himself that it was Thomas’s mind he admired, nothing else. That it was the words coming from that quicksilver wit, the prose that the man could write with so little effort...no, it must be *that* which quickened John’s pulse.

Not the kind eyes; not the slender jaw, the dimples that formed in those pale cheeks when he so rarely smiled. Or his lanky form, the way he could invade one’s personal space with ever meaning to. No, not that, certainly.

It was friendship, it had to be, that alone formed the palpable ache in John’s chest when he thought about Thomas on that long coach ride back to Virginia. Nothing else. It couldn’t be anything else. Or chaos threatened to reign down over the imperfect but perfectly controlled world of John Adams.

But then again, what else was his world but chaos, unrestrained, or merely held at bay a while?
No sane man would have designed a life like his, separated from wife and children and friends for months and years at a time. Why couldn’t he, at least for a night, release himself from self-made bonds? Give himself up to that control that lesser people claimed the anthropomorphic moon held over beings? Why not?

Because that was  just not how his mind worked. Whenever he attempted to change that fact, the chaos merely grew worse.

The dog had stopped. John looked out the window; the dog was now chewing on a mutton bone, apparently provided by some over-kindly passerby.

Since he was intent upon the dog, the knock at the door made John jump at least four feet. He knew it to be four, because he had very nearly knocked his head on the dormer ceiling. Fortunately, he did not appear to be significantly injured, and was well enough to answer the knocking. It had grown more insistent.

When the door finally opened, John saw a letter. This was not unusual, as the all-hours business of politics provided good money for Philadelphia’s corps of messengers and errand boys. But as he looked up, this was no errand boy.

“Thomas. I would have thought you asleep at this hour. Or packing for Virginia.”

“You as well, John. Not Virginia, obviously. But...”

Thomas trailed off. He looked somewhat the worse for wine than when John had seen him earlier. Fatigue tinged his usually crisp elocution. But there was something else. Or a lack of something else. The defiance that had overwhelmed their first conversation, now gone. While his left hand proffered the letter, his right hand grasped the doorjamb. With what John worriedly identified as stress.

“Thomas, it’s late, please, come sit down.”

“I will come in, but only to deliver this letter. I cannot stay.”

John’s attempt at understanding paled before the usual frustration Thomas Jefferson tended to engender in him.“Then why sir, would you knock with the manners and tenor of a wild boar? Why not slip your missive under the door, and slip out of town, as you said you intended to?”

That produced a reaction. Thomas’s eyes flashed with something indescribable. John was regretful, but simultaneously thrilled. There was no pleasure in their conversations when Thomas played the saintly martyr. It was when both were angry, when both could marshal their considerable intellect; that was when John’s passion threatened to overwhelm him.

Thomas’s voice rose in volume.  “Perhaps, John, because I knew if I did, then you would have considered you’d won. That you had browbeat me out of town. That I had retreated, tail between my legs, back to the farm.”

A brief thought of awakened Abbey nagged at John’s consciousness, but he forced the thought down. He stepped closer, emphasizing their difference in height, but strengthening his resolve.

“You mean you weren’t? You hadn’t? Indeed, then, I have gravely misjudged the situation, Thomas. For I have won, and lost at the same time.”

“Ah, yes. That is the story of your life, isn’t it, John? Never taking any joy in your victories, and always finding some validation in your failures.”

“At least I face my failures, Thomas. I stand with them, and I have stood with them, my entire life. Can you say that of yourself?”

They were toe to toe, and eye to eye now. And that, later, was what John deemed the point of no return. For Thomas’s bravado suddenly failed him, and he looked away towards the moon.

He looked back. “I...I wished to say goodbye, John. To put my true feelings on paper, where they always seem to find their home. I did not wish our last meeting to leave so black a stamp.”

Thomas pressed the letter into John’s hand. He moved to back away. But something, some force of the tides or vagary of the moon, caused to John to catch the letter-hand in his own. “It has not, my friend. It...” For one of the very few times in his life, John Adams found himself at a loss for words, but he tried to babble on. “I know your talent; I know even more of your talent for correspondence.” It was a faltering phrase, an attempt at avoidance, and both of them knew it.

A smile began to creep across Thomas’s face. One of those smiles that only his few true friends ever saw. “That...that is a lovely compliment, John, though I do not half deserve it.”

John was lost. He was utterly lost, and he knew it, even as he tightened his grip on Thomas’s hand. But what was that phrase he’d always hated at Harvard? “Fortune favors the bold?”

It echoed in English and Latin in John’s mind, as he pulled his friend toward him. “Cease your self-deprecation, Thomas. You know I’ll never believe it.” Cupping Thomas’s cheek with his free hand, he kissed him as deeply as he possibly could. No breath but what he had within him, as he embraced those shy lips with his own.Then John’s heart raced at an even faster tempo, as he realized that Thomas was not pulling away. The unread missive dropped to the floor, as the empty hand moved to grasp John’s shoulder.

Fortune didn’t favor the bold. Fortune favored those whom Fortune chose to favor. It was also a pagan affectation to make her into a lady at all.

Except that ladies were currently the furthest thing from John’s mind at the moment. Thomas was what was on his mind. Thomas occupied his every thought; even beyond the growing arousal he felt. The obvious reciprocation he sensed in every movement. More than obvious; aggressive, as Thomas moved his other hand to caress the back of John’s neck. One swift movement, and the ridiculous wig was knocked to the floor.

John’s natural modesty caused him to blush, to pull back and look into his friend- his lover’s- soft brown eyes. “You have me at a disadvantage, Thomas; that is, you see me as I am, and not  as what I would wish the world to believe I am.”

Thomas’s gaze softened, and he leaned his forehead against John’s. “It is not a disadvantage, love; you have always had that advantage of me.  Even when I resented it. We are now merely equal.”

Even in the throes of passion, the bastard managed to be the more eloquent of them. John chuckled. For that sin, Thomas would have to pay dearly. John leaned- nay, threw himself into Thomas’s embrace, so hard that the other man stumbled backwards. But John caught him. He caught him, and in an instinctual process that he had never quite outgrown, directed the situation. The hand that had fumbled around Thomas’s shoulder now moved downwards. To the curves- oh the glorious curves- of his ass. The impudent youth moaned, but in a most encouraging tone.

As they always had verbally, John and Thomas moved physically in unison. In a minute that seemed shorter, Thomas’s back was braced against the slanted wall. The slanted wall next to the dormer window caught only half of the moon’s silvery light, but it was enough. John gazed at Thomas, leaning, panting, waiting for him. Utterly trusting.

At that moment? John judged that Thomas might have done anything John  wanted. But what John wanted was Thomas. Thomas, joyous, Thomas, smiling, Thomas, unabashedly happy. Like he had been so few times in John’s experience.

Pressed against the other man, John knew...felt, a means to that end. Thomas would never say it, never ask for it, but John would give it anyway. He pressed one more kiss to those so-pleasant lips, and then eased downward. It was not easy; nothing physical was easy these days. His feet, his knees, all his joints protested.

Thomas’s eyebrows shot upward, and he looked as if he would say something. But John insisted on at least reaching a kneeling position before responding. He said nothing. He hoped the love in his gaze would speak for him.

His lover and friend, likewise, did not need to say anything. The merest of nods, and John’s spirit rose. His fingers, still nimble, easily untied those extravagant trousers. The pressure of Thomas’s arousal only aided in the procedure. Then all was done, and only the enjoyable part remaining. A mischievous grin expanded upon John’s face, as he took Thomas’s ready member between his lips.  The gasp that Thomas released at this only increased John’s own passion, and he increased his speed. His rhythm  was at first uneven, but grew more certain.

The voyeuristic moon  was their only witness. The only witness to John grasping both of Thomas’s hips so firmly as he guided Thomas to the height of pleasure. The mouth of John Adams was not simply meant for verbosity. For once, it was quiet Thomas who exclaimed the loudest.

“God...god damn you, John...god damn, you,  finish it, finish it now.”

John would have reprimanded Thomas for his blasphemy, but he was somewhat occupied at that moment. And those particular reprimands had never done much good anyway. So he did finish it, choking as Thomas came, but simultaneously shuddering in his own pleasure.

Thomas lay, boneless, against the well. Then he slid downwards, in a manner John’s meaner instincts might have named a Jezebel. But with the eyes of love, he could speak nothing, only gaze at his partner. Kneeling, Thomas took John’s face in his hands, caressing it gently.

“You are much too good at that to be an amateur.”

A softer, higher voice intruded upon their interlude.

“Indeed, he is not that.”

The two men stiffened at the sound of Abigail’s voice; if John was capable of it, he would have shot to his feet. But he had hardly been able to do that at 35, so he did not even attempt it now.  He felt Thomas’s whole body tense beneath his hands, but he could not stand that at the moment. John steadied his resolve, looking towards his Abigail, his love. Preparing himself for the world to fall down around his shoulders.

Yet it did not, and that, he felt, might be writ down a miracle. The all-encompassing gaze, that had been for years his comfort and salvation, merely took in the scene before her.

And then.

And then she smiled.“If you’re quite finished there, perhaps you might remove to more suitable quarters. That floor cannot be comfortable, or warm.”

She was holding Thomas’ gaze as well. There passed between them something that John was conscious of, yet could not name. It was born of years, and conversations and intimacy, and other inexplicable things. John tried to be jealous. Tried and failed, finding only the warmth of these two people he loved most in this world.

John had no time to name this something, either. He felt Thomas’s strong arms grasp him and raise him to his feet. As a man accustomed to shaping, to controlling his life, it was a somewhat unnerving feeling to let himself be swept along by others. Yet here he was, following as Thomas grasped his hand strongly, affectionately. Leading him him towards the bedroom.

Abigail wasn’t standing in the door any longer. John panicked slightly, fearing this all to be a dream. Something that would presently pass away, removing the gossamer from his eyes. But  as Thomas and John reached the doorway, his fairy queen, his Titania, revealed herself to them yet again. She had removed her outer garments, clad in her night gown. It was simple, only white cotton. Yet he would take it at that moment over any fantastic millinery concoctions or purpled sheaths of Eastern silk.

He felt Thomas pause in his progress behind him. John turned,  looked questioningly at him. But the other man was still smiling. He took a seat in a convenient chair, and nodded towards Abby. Again, John felt the unfamiliar pang of being directed, but by George, he was determinedly indifferent to it. Especially when such a radiant vision now lay before him on the most inviting double bed.

With what could only be described as a growl, John dove toward Abigail. Hands, frantically searching through her hair. Mouth, tongue, first entwined with hers in a throbbing and intensifying dance. Then, as his fingers made sincere efforts to remove the interfering clothing, his mouth followed suit. Caressing her glorious breasts, taking one nipple and then the other in turn, teasing until they both stood red, wet and erect. He found his breath rapidly increasing, with exclamations lacking his usual wide vocabulary.

Not that Abby stayed silent during the process. Oh quite the contrary; even after decades of marriage, Abigail always told him exactly what it was that she desired. John almost wished he could have turned behind, to see the inevitable surprise on Thomas’s face. Not that Thomas should be surprised, really. Why should a woman so verbal and direct in all other realms of life be different in the boudoir?

John caught Abby’s eye with a lascivious gaze, proceeding further down the bed. He felt her tense in anticipation, but spread her knees apart with ease. She was wet, and she was waiting, and John lost all sense of time. He had always loved the smell of her, the taste of her, this shared wantonness that was solely their own. Abbey had joked that John was no amateur in the ways of pleasure, and surely she had provided him with sufficient practice. But somehow, tonight was different. There was something new.

Something they shared, in the man who (if John’s skilled hearing did not deceive him) was taking as much in this display as they were. In Thomas. Yet somehow, John could not find in it in himself to be jealous. So, he found it in him to be cruel. He found it in himself to bring Abbey to the very verge of climax, and leave her wanting more. John knew from experience when this was nigh, very aware of the baleful glare that Abbey was now sending in his direction. But he would redeem himself.

John turned, turned away from Abbey writhing on the bad in front of him, turned to be vulnerable to Thomas, provide the unavoidable proof of his own arousal. Turned to extend a hand, and invite a man who shared their intimacy in every other sense, into their bed.

The light from the tiny oval bedroom window shone on all three of them. There was a pause that gave John some of the greatest terror he had ever felt. That Thomas would regret, reject him and Abbey, reject him, leave him in such abject humiliation as he had known.

The pause ended. Thomas stood, and stepped towards the bed. He cradled John’s face in his hands, then (slowly) (carefully) laid him down on the prepared linen. ( John’s brain would have sung Abbey’s organizational praises to the high heavens, but it was otherwise occupied.)

Every bit of John’s body was twitching, singing, reacting. First he was kissing Thomas, then stroking the younger man’s now-naked body up and down, tracing all those scars and sinews with his fingers. Then Abbey joined in; her familiar warm touch threaded through his thinned and thinning hair, reaching around his ready member, stroking the shaft up and down. For once in his life, John Adams could not make a decision. Rolling back and forth, he started laughing, if only as a paltry attempt not to weep. Soft, and warm, between the two people he loved most in the world, he was completely at a loss.

Thomas and Abbey, as always, came to his rescue. Kissing him softly, first on the forehead, and then on the lips, Thomas then rolled John on his side, so he was facing Abbey.  Another pause; John was no expert in these matters, but he wordlessly deduced Thomas’s unspoken question. He stretched backwards, and reached towards Thomas’s cock.

Yes. I trust you.

The feel of Thomas’s finger exploring, stretching his hole, made John gasp. However, he was now distracted by Abbey’s insistent attentions; he spoke breathlessly.

“You know....know, I could never refuse you any---oh, Thomas---”

John Adams would have a particularly impressive account of his own intellectual functions. But he was utterly undone at this moment, attempting to manage all the sensations he was feeling. The feel of Abbey’s breasts beneath his fingers, the insistent signals from his cock, the new and unusual feeling of  whatever Thomas was... His brain was almost overloaded.

John Adams was nothing if not a man of control, a man of direction.  With a few insistent thrusts, he and Abbey were one flesh once more, familiar pleasure coursing through his body. But he had very little time to concentrate, as he felt the new sensation of Thomas, filling him completely.

He had no words. No words, whatsoever...the great John Adams, reduced to grunts that he’d have sworn were less than human.If he’d been an egotistical man (and indeed, he was), he would have sworn he could feel the look Thomas and Abbey exchanged over his shoulder. Their relationship, all of their relationships, were based on words, but words now played no part. Thomas stole kisses from Abbey, Abbey from John, and somehow John found the gymnastic prowess to meet Thomas’s gaze several times. And then...

And then, that was when John’s memory went some what hazy, as his vision went white and pink and yellow and many colors. He was relatively certain he was not the only one to share in this, as he felt Abbey and Thomas tense around and within him, gasping in ecstasy.

John’s memory returned in full later, first with the soft sensation of running his hands through Abbey’s hair. She looked half-asleep. John, despite his body’s protest, twisted onto his back; it was then he saw Thomas’s intent gaze, laid upon the two of them. Those dark eyes which could ever and always lay him bare.

But Thomas would never be the first to speak, and John knew it.“Tell me.”

“Tell you what, John?”

“Tell me of Virginia. Of your farm. Of that fantastical university you think you shall build, with the gardens, and the buildings, and the plans.”

“Well, we can’t all spring from a college started in a Cambridge kitchen, John.”

John was speechless for a moment, but then felt the familiar comforting pressure of Abigail, coiled around his back.

He deferred to her opinion, as it was often advisable to do, and was silent as she spoke. “Oh, Thomas. Isn’t that the glorious nature of America? Of this chimeric thing that you and John and Franklin have built?”

The glint in Thomas’s eye returned, and he hugged his two bed mates even tighter. “Why, whatever do you mean, Mistress Abigail?”

John smiled as well. “I believe the lady is implying, that you may plan and landscape and garden as much as is possible, but there are glorious things that grow in even the most unexpected soil and  exotic climes.”

“She may have a point there, John.”

“She usually does.” John knew that this patronizing tone would usually be rewarded with scorn, and he was not wrong. However, it was gentler than usual, only a small slap upon his bare shoulder.

Silence fell; the sliver of moon that had peeked through the bedroom window grew smaller. John could feel Abbey’s breathing slow, grow more regular against his neck. Thomas’s eyes had closed long ago. As usual, it was John’s fevered brain alone in the night, left to ponder the complicated fractures of tomorrow. But for now, in the arms of those he loved most, the fever was calmed somewhat.

Thomas would return to Virginia;  he and Abbey would suffocate, die a little more each day in these cramped rooms. Life and history would go on as it had been. These things were certain.
But for this one night, Lady Fortune had bestowed on them this boon, lying in the moonlight in peace between his beloveds. And for once in his life, John Adams would not question her judgment.

****
Oh we couldn’t bring the columns down
We couldn’t destroy a single one
And the history books forgot about us
And the Bible didn’t mention us
Not even once...

*fin*

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January 2012

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