mattlauercansuckit: (I'm really hungover Obi-Wan)
[personal profile] mattlauercansuckit
title Suits 2/3
author [livejournal.com profile] patientalien
word count 3,447 (this part) 13,268 (total)
rating R
summary Earth-AU; Ferus and Anakin are ad execs at the same firm, working on a campaign for PR-guru Obi-Wan. When Anakin's past - and present - catch up with him, Ferus tries to unravel the threads and make things right.
notes Thanks, as always, go to [livejournal.com profile] citizenjess, who listened to me blabber about this far more than it deserved and gave some amazing suggestions. ♥ It's three parts, but I'm going to post them all at once. :)
warnings substance addiction, non-graphic dub-con, implied underage (barely-legal!Ahsoka)

-----



Ferus didn't see Anakin the next day, or the day after. He saw plenty of Kenobi, though; the older man was surprisingly hands-on about the campaign ideas, and had set up shop in a spare office. Ferus was spending most of his time talking through TV spot ideas, drafting up print ads, and discussing options for different designs. Ferus couldn't help but notice every so often Kenobi would mention Anakin in passing, sounding almost wistful when he did so. Ferus was struggling not to ask him for more details, but figured it would not be professional.

His workload on other campaigns was reduced, so he found himself with somewhat more free time than usual. It was nice, he thought, to be able to go home at a reasonable time; Kenobi had provided an iMac for him to do work at home, so Ferus was taking advantage of the new-found schedule freedom. He wondered, idly, as he tapped away on his new toy, if this was how it had started with Anakin's career too. He hoped not; he never wanted to be in the position Anakin was now in.

He was in the middle of editing one of the TV spots when there was a knock on the door. He half-expected it to be Anakin, but when he pulled open the door, he found his sister, Siri, on the other side, an over-sized duffel bag slung over her shoulder. "Heya broseph," she said, pushing past him. "Me and Quin broke up."

Ferus stared at her back as she flung her bag down on the floor beside the couch. "Again?" he asked, closing the door. It seemed like every three months Siri was at his doorstep because she and Quinlan Vos had 'broken up'.

"He stole my car," she replied with a shrug, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Which, Ferus supposed, for her it might be. "I told him if he wanted to steal anything, he should steal the stupid empty tip jar." For reasons Ferus could not quite figure out, Siri and her boyfriend ran a coffee shop together; a coffee shop that, really, had the shittiest coffee Ferus had ever tasted.

"Well, okay then," Ferus said, not sure what else there was to say. "Your toothbrush is still here from last time, and I made sure to keep your labeled food separate, so, uh, make yourself at home."

Siri sprawled out on the couch and grabbed his iPad from the coffee table. "Whatcha working on?" she asked.

"It's a campaign for this major PR firm in LA," Ferus replied carefully. "You're not supposed to be looking at that."

"Who's this guy?" Siri asked, tilting the device towards him so he could see a picture of Anakin, taken in a bathroom mirror - Ferus scowled at the implication that Anakin had absconded with his iPad for at least long enough to take a picture of himself.

Ferus tucked himself into the chair opposite the couch. "That's Anakin," he said. "He works with me. He's an asshole." An asshole Ferus currently felt bad for, but an asshole nonetheless.

"Well, he's cute," Siri announced, tossing the iPad onto the cushion beside her. "Do you like him?"

Ferus sputtered for a moment. "What... no!" He had absolutely no interest in Anakin Skywalker, not one bit. The other man was an asshole, was surrounded by drama, and had no consideration for other people. He told Siri this, trying not to sound too defensive.

"Mmmhmm," Siri replied, not sounding like she believed him one bit.

-----


Ferus didn't see Anakin again until the following Monday. He was in the conference room with Obi-Wan, and saw Anakin walk by, hands shoved in his pockets, shoulders hunched slightly. "May I ask a personal question?" Ferus wondered.

Obi-Wan nodded. "Of course." He spread out the latest billboard printout and taped the edges to the table. "What's on your mind?"

"Why did you really keep Anakin from working with us?" His stomach knotted, and he suddenly regretted blurting it out. "I mean, you want something daring, and Anakin's ideas are... well, he's won a ton of awards for the stuff he's done, he's completely on the cutting-edge, he's part of the demographic you're trying to reach. I guess I'm not sure why you picked me instead."

Obi-Wan leaned back in his chair and took a deep breath. "I am aware of Anakin's professional accomplishments," he said. "He's a very talented young man." He paused for a moment. "But given our personal background, I felt that he... that we would not be able to remain professional." He sounded regretful.

Ferus nodded his understanding. He'd seen a glimpse of that the previous week, and supposed Kenobi's reasoning was sound. "He really seems to care for you," he ventured carefully.

Obi-Wan frowned slightly. "I never did stop caring for him," he admitted. "But there are some things that... seemed to matter more to him." He cleared his throat. "Now, let's talk about the color scheme we're looking at."

-----


"What do you think about trying to get them back together?" Ferus mused to Siri that evening while they spread out on the living room floor, eating Chinese food out of the take-out containers they'd come in.

Siri winced. "No, no, no," she said. "Never mix business and pleasure, that would be a disaster." She shoved a wad of lo mein into her mouth and chewed noisily.

"Right. Because you are exactly the right person to weigh in on that," Ferus replied, rolling his eyes. "What if I didn't try to get him back on the campaign. What if I just tried to get them back together?"

Siri shrugged. "Well, why do you think they broke up in the first place?" she asked, leaning against the side of the couch, splaying her long legs out in front of her.

Ferus considered, realizing he didn't know, exactly. He had slight hints, but nothing he could say outright was the reason. He didn't know either of them well enough to truly speculate. "Obi-Wan said that some things mattered more to Anakin," he said, finally.

"Well, like what?" Siri prodded, grabbing the last egg roll before Ferus could and shoving it into her mouth.

"I don't know," Ferus admitted. "But I'm going to try to find out." He wasn't sure why he was so invested, now. He'd never liked Anakin, particularly, and really didn't want to get dragged into whatever mess was going on in the other man's personal life. But the look on Anakin's face when Kenobi had made his announcement made Ferus think that maybe there was more to Anakin than he thought. He wanted to find out, and he wondered if that made him crazy.

"Have fun with that," Siri said, and tossed a fortune cookie at him.

-----


Kenobi had to return to LA for a press conference with the promise to return the following week. Ferus was almost relieved, because he was having a very hard time not just blurting out all of his questions. He knew it was silly to get so involved in the personal life of someone he hardly knew, but he found he was unable to help himself.

He'd barely seen Anakin, and was beginning to wonder if the younger man still even worked there. He supposed he must, with his grandfather owning it and all, but still. One day mid-way through the week Obi-Wan was gone, Ferus was washing his hands in the bathroom after lunch when Anakin came out of the far stall. "Oh, hi," Ferus greeted, surprised at how glad he was to see Anakin.

Anakin walked over to the mirrors and adjusted his tie, blinking and rubbing his face. "Hey," he replied, baring his teeth at his reflection. "So Obi-Wan went home, huh?" He sounded like he was trying not to sound interested.

"For the week, yeah," Ferus replied, nodding. "Where have you been?"

Anakin turned and gave him a half-hearted glare. "I've been doing some special projects for my grandfather," he replied. "Plus I just needed to get my head together." He glanced in the mirror again, running his hand under his nose. "So. Now you know, and you don't have to ask again."

"Are you, y'know, okay?" Ferus asked awkwardly, grabbing a handful of paper towels.

Anakin looked at him like he'd sprouted two heads. "Uh, yeah?" He sounded confused. "Why wouldn't I be? You're weird."

"Just wondering..." Ferus replied as Anakin left. Without, Ferus noticed, washing his hands.

-----


Siri had decided that Quinlan deserved a second chance, so she was gone for the evening, supposedly allowing her boyfriend to grovel at her feet for forgiveness. Ferus didn't mind having the apartment to himself; he didn't mind his sister's frequent co-tenancies, but it was nice not to have to make conversation with anyone. He was tired. His phone kept ringing, but he ignored it, focusing instead on a documentary about bears he'd found after nothing else seemed to be on.

He was just dozing off when he heard a pounding on the door. He knew it wasn't Siri; he had given her a key. Groggily, Ferus padded to the door, peering through the peep-hole to see Anakin standing, unsteadily, on the other side. He was wearing fashionably-torn jeans and a tight t-shirt, and Ferus realized he'd never seen Anakin out of his work clothes. He pulled the door open. "Uh."

"I was callin' you," Anakin announced, and Ferus winced at the smell of alcohol that was basically oozing out of his pores. "Why did... Why won't you answer your phone?"

"Do you want to come in?" Ferus asked, opening the door wider and moving out of the way. Anakin stumbled in, bumping into the table next to the door, nearly falling on his way to the couch. "Jesus Christ, don't tell me you drove here," Ferus moaned. "What are you doing?"

Anakin turned to him, swaying. "Well, how'd you get here?" he asked, and blinked. "Wait. I had to get here somehow, din't I?" He shook his head and stumbled sideways. "S'fine, no worries. Jus', y'know, whatever." He covered his mouth, making a sound halfway between a burp and a hiccup.

"Why don't you sit down?" Ferus suggested, heading to the kitchen to get some water - and a bucket, just in case. When he returned, he saw Anakin had made himself at home on the sofa, but had also managed to find Ferus' one bottle of hard liquor. "I don't think that's a great idea," he said as Anakin lifted the bottle to his lips.

Anakin blinked at him blearily. "Well, you're th' idea man," Anakin said, and giggled. "How's Obi-Wan treatin' you? He tol' you he's disa... disappoin'ed in you yet? He's really good a'that." He took another swig from the bottle.

"He cares about you, you know," Ferus said, sitting on the couch beside Anakin and prizing the bottle from his hands. "He wants you to be happy."

Anakin giggled again. "D'I look like I'm not happy?" he asked, draping an arm around Ferus' shoulders and leaning towards him.

"Well, kind of," Ferus offered. "I mean, you..." But he was cut off by Anakin's lips smashing against his. He struggled for a moment, but then sank into it. He didn't know why he was giving in to this, wasn't sure what was going to be gained. He knew he was trying to get Anakin and Obi-Wan back together, but Anakin had come to him, had obviously wanted something, was obviously, Ferus realized, lonely. He wrapped his arms around Anakin and deepened the embrace.

After a period of fumbling groping, they had managed to get undressed. Ferus was still somewhat dumbstruck at this development, but Anakin seemed so desperate, so needful. "Do, uh, do you have condoms?" he asked.

"Wallet," Anakin replied, stretching out languidly.

Ferus glanced at him, his tanned, fit body spread out all over Ferus' sofa. He found the wallet in Anakin's back pocket and opened it up. He was surprised to find that, in addition to the various credit cards, there was a picture of two young children, no older than two or three; one with sandy-blond hair, the other with dark brown curls and a serious expression. Ferus glanced back at Anakin, and found the condoms quickly, closing the wallet and putting it back. He'd bring up the picture again, but now was not the time.

It didn't take long to realize that Anakin was too drunk to do a whole lot. Still, he got onto his hands and knees invitingly. "Is cool," he informed Ferus. "Fuck me."

Ferus did. He still had no idea why he was giving into this, why he hadn't said no, called Anakin a cab, or at the very least just let him sit on the couch alone. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he wondered at the wisdom of leaving Anakin alone at all. It was all of these things, plus a wave of pleasure, running through his head when the apartment door opened.

"Holy shit!" Siri exclaimed, dropping her shopping bags.

"Fuck!" Ferus choked and came in spite of himself.

"Hey, hi!" Anakin was the only one completely nonplussed by the situation.

Ferus fumbled for the blanket on the couch and wrapped it around himself. Anakin had no such modesty and just rolled into a sitting position, back pressed against the couch. "So does this mean I get to sleep in your room tonight?" Siri asked, raising an eyebrow.

Ferus threw Anakin's pants at him. "Get dressed," he hissed. Anakin made a show of being very insulted by the suggestion, but eventually managed to get his clothes back on.

"You must be Anakin," Siri said with a smirk, crossing her arms over her chest. "I've heard a lot about you."

"I've got no idea who you are," Anakin informed her, pulling himself off the floor with some difficulty. "But Ferus' already, he's already fucked me t'night," he continued, pointing a wavering finger in her general direction, "So if he can't fuck you, don't feel too bad. You're really pretty."

Siri busted out laughing. "Oh, shit, Ferus, you've got to be kidding me!" She gasped for air and eventually calmed enough to address Anakin. "He's my brother, but thanks for the complement."

"You can sleep in my room," Ferus sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. Beside the couch, Anakin leaned over and puked loudly into the bucket. "Why is this my life?" Ferus moaned.

Siri waltzed by and patted him on the shoulder. "Because you suck," she offered helpfully. "Have a good night!"

Ferus sighed again, and led Anakin back to the couch.

-----


When Ferus woke the next morning, he realized Anakin was already gone. He frowned slightly, glanced at the clock, reached for his phone. He deleted the messages Anakin had left the previous night, but dialed his number.

"'Lo?" the voice on the other end sounded groggy, and probably still somewhat drunk.

"Hey," Ferus said, feeling awkward. "I just wanted to make sure you were okay. You didn't wake me up before you left or anything, so..." He trailed off, realizing he sounded like a jilted lover.

"I'm fine," Anakin replied. "I've got a brunch-thing with my grandfather today, so I needed to leave."

"Oh yeah?" Ferus asked, realizing he wanted to see Anakin again, to make sure he was okay himself. "Where serves brunch on a Saturday?"

"The Plaza," Anakin replied, as if it should have been completely obvious. "Anyway. I gotta take a shower and stuff. Bye."

Ferus stared down at the now-blank phone in his hand. "Hey Siri!" he called.

Siri poked her head out of the kitchen, where she was buried elbow-deep in a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. "You rang?" she intoned.

"You want to go to brunch at the Plaza with me?" Ferus asked, wondering why on Earth he was doing this. He had no idea why he cared so much all of a sudden.

Siri snorted loudly. "I'm not a lesbian." She disappeared back into the kitchen.

Ferus sighed for what seemed like the millionth time in the past twelve hours. "I'll pay," he offered.

Siri reappeared a moment later. "I'm in!"

-----


When they arrived at the Plaza, Ferus felt sufficiently awkward that he almost turned around and went home, but by that time, Siri was crowing about how much French toast she was going to jam in her mouth and he figured it was the least he could do for her after what she'd had to witness the previous evening.

He spotted Anakin almost immediately, slunk down in a chair by the window, seated across from an elderly man in a rich burgandy suit. He wanted to go over and say hello, but realized how weird that would be. "Go over there," Siri hissed, pushing him towards the table.

The old man was talking when Ferus approached the table. "What are you doing here?" Anakin asked, plucking his bloody Mary up and sticking the straw in his mouth. "Are you stalking me?"

"Don't be rude, Anakin," the old man admonished. "You must be Ferus Olin. I've heard a great deal about you from Mace and Obi-Wan. I don't think we've been properly introduced; I'm Frank Palpatine."

"It's an honor to meet you, Sir," Ferus replied, taking the proffered hand and shaking it.

"Come, join us," Palpatine offered, gesturing towards the empty seats at the table. Anakin rolled his eyes and sipped his drink.

"Oh, no, thank you, but I'm here with my sister, I just wanted to..." He honestly didn't know what he'd wanted to do. "Well. I just wanted to say hello, that's all." He winced inwardly, sure he sounded like a huge moron. Judging from Anakin's expression, he wasn't far off in his assessment.

"Well, it was nice to meet you," Palpatine said, graciously. "Feel free to stop by my office anytime."

"Yeah," Anakin said, with only a hint of sarcasm, "stop by anytime."

As Ferus walked away, he heard Palpatine's exasperated, "Honestly, Anakin, is this behavior necessary?" He frowned slightly, returning to Siri's table, which was covered in plates. "Really?" he asked, incredulous.

"You said you were paying," Siri shot back. "Some of this is for you." She pushed a plate of eggs benadict towards him. "So. How did that go?"

"Uncomfortably," Ferus replied, swirling the hollandaise sauce around with his fork. "I was supposed to be figuring out how to get him and Obi-Wan back together, not... not..."

"Fucking him in the middle of the living room?" Siri offered. "Yeah, that seems kind of like a conflict of interests." She shrugged. "You both seemed to be enjoying it, if it's any consolation."

"Not really."

The conversation turned towards Siri's attempted reconciliation with Quinlan, which had apparently ended in in her kicking him in the groin and storming out again. Eventually, Ferus excused himself to go to the bathroom, if only because he didn't want to hear Siri's graphic description of the event again.

While washing his hands, he noticed a Blackberry sitting on the sink, blinking with a received message. Ferus looked around, but didn't see anyone else; he picked up the device determined to bring it to the host's station in case someone came looking for it. He glanced at the screen and realized that the sender of the message was Padme, Anakin's apparently-ex-girlfriend.

That's what Hazelden was supposed to do, but apparently that didn't happen, the message read. Ferus frowned slightly and, feeling immensely guilty for prying, opened up the rest of the messages.

Obi-Wan told me how smashed you were. You really think that's gonna make me change my mind?

If it's a one-time thing, I don't see what the big deal is.

Keep telling yourself that.

Ferus jumped as the door to the bathroom swung open and Anakin sauntered in. "You're seriously stalking me," he commented. "Is that mine?" He held out his hand and Ferus handed back the Blackberry, heart racing.

"So, uh, last night..." Ferus began.

"What about it?" Anakin asked sharply.

"In your wallet," Ferus said, not sure he'd get another chance. "Those kids. I didn't know you had kids." The more he'd thought about it, the more he'd come to believe the children were, in fact, Anakin's, even though Anakin was the last person he would expect to have any kind of responsibility to another human being.

Anakin's expression darkened, and he scowled. "It's a long story, and it's none of your business," he replied, going towards one of the stalls. "See you on Monday or whatever."

"Yeah, sure," Ferus replied, hushed.




Part 1

Part 3
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