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Fic: "Second Time Around" for angiepen in the 2009 Lotrips Slashababy fic exchange

Title: Second Time Around
Recipient: angiepen
Author: by azewewish
Pairing: Karl Urban/Lawrence Makoare
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Lawrence always drove Karl crazy, but that was part of his charm.

Disclaimer: This is a non-profit, non-commercial work of fiction using the names and likenesses of real individuals. This fictional story is not intended to imply that the events herein actually occurred, or that the attitudes or behaviors described are engaged in or condoned by the real persons whose names are used without permission.


The nicest part about having a rare day off while everyone else was working was that Karl could go to his usual pub for dinner at a decent hour and not have to worry about being interrupted by either his co-stars wanting to join him or the WETA crew dropping by for a raucous pint or three. Karl loved his friends, absolutely, and loved the close bond of brotherhood they'd all forged, but sometimes it was just nice to have some time to himself.

"Thought I'd find you here."

Or maybe not. Karl jerked his head up from his plate with a confused frown. Lawrence was standing next to his table, casually dressed in his usual black jeans and black t-shirt, hair pulled back into a loose ponytail, sunglasses on top of his head. He should have known that Lawrence would have found him, no matter where he was. Man had a sixth sense about Karl's whereabouts. It was a little uncanny. And sort of odd. "So you did."

Lawrence swung a leg around the stool next to Karl's and made himself at home, immediately stealing some of Karl's chips, the way he always did. "I always did love this place," he said, licking the grease off his fingers, and giving him a shiny, sunny smile. "We had our first real date here, remember?"

"I do," Karl admitted, somewhat grudgingly. It had also been their favorite restaurant when they'd been together. They'd spent most of their Sunday mornings together here, having the breakfast special and reading the paper – nothing special, but something Karl found himself missing these days. Not that he'd ever admit it out loud. No sense in giving Lawrence more ammunition to tease him.

"A lot of good times here," Lawrence said, looking around before turning his gaze back to Karl. For once, Karl couldn't figure out his expression. "So, who's the mystery person?"

"Sorry?"

"The mystery person," Lawrence repeated. "The one you've got a thing for? And don't tell me you don't, because I know the signs. You've been distracted all week, repeating yourself, staring off into space with that little smile you always get when you're thinking about what someone would look like naked..."

Karl groaned. He should have known that Lawrence would have figured it out. No one on set knew him better, after all. But then, no one else had the history with him that Lawrence did. "Lawrence..."

"Don't Lawrence me." Lawrence stole another chip and jabbed it in Karl's direction like a weapon. "Can't I be a decent ex-boyfriend and ask about your well-being?"

"Exactly." And, thankfully, Lawrence had been the one to bring it up this time. "Ex, if you'll recall, and one of the reasons you are an ex is that you never knew when to leave well enough alone." Of course, there were a host of other reasons, too, but Karl wasn't about to have that argument again. They'd had it often enough over the past few endless months since they'd ended their relationship.

"Male or female?"

"I'm not answering that," Karl said, and returned to his dwindling plate of chips in the vain hope that Lawrence would give up and move on and possibly leave the table (or the pub) altogether.

Lawrence nudged Karl's shoulder with his own, the gesture innate, friendly. "Oh, come on, it's an innocuous enough question."

Of course, he knew better. Lawrence never gave up when it came to something he wanted - whether it was a person or information. Once upon a time, Karl had found that trait rather exciting. Once upon a time, Karl had thought a lot of things about Lawrence were exciting. "Fine," Karl finally said, just to get it over with. "Male."

"Thought so," Lawrence nodded, sounding satisfied. "There are enough new good-looking men running around these parts these days. One of 'em was bound to get you hard."

Karl really did not need to be thinking about Lawrence and hard in the same sentence. "There are worlds where inappropriate rules and you are their king."

"What can I say, I like to lead." Lawrence gave another wide, toothy grin. "You gonna make me guess who, or are you just going to tell me?"

The problem was, Karl knew Lawrence well enough to know that he'd never leave it alone until he had an answer. He was sort of tenacious like that. Sort of like a dog with a bone, if a dog was built like a Maori warrior and had the sort of smile that could make even hardened criminals talk. Lawrence knew all of his weapons, and could wield them all to get what he wanted. It was best to bow to the inevitable. "It's Sean. Bean," Karl clarified, lest Lawrence get the wrong idea about his friendship with Astin.

"Interesting."

"I'm afraid to ask what that means."

"Just that you've got good taste," Lawrence replied, then waggled those expressive eyebrows. "Although, you should know that, since you hooked up with me."

"And then had the good sense to break up with you," Karl stated, because Lawrence tended to need the reminder these days.

"Sense is what you make of it," Lawrence rejoined, with a weird sort of Zen-like calm. "But I do approve, for what it's worth. Sean's got a great set of legs on him."

"I really don't need to be talking about Sean's legs with you." The last thing he needed to do with any ex – most especially this particular ex – was talk shop about the next potential person on the list.

"I could mention his incredibly nice ass," Lawrence mused, tapping his finger against his lips the way he always did. "Although it's not as good as mine."

Which was true (Lawrence had an indecently superb ass), but not at all the point. "No."

"Or his excellent chest. Also not as good as mine, but nice enough for a white boy. Muscled and hard in all the right places. And he's got a tattoo, which I know you like."

Karl had a sudden, vivid memory of Lawrence's wide, tattooed, bare chest and him running his hands over it, then immediately tamped it down. He was totally not doing this. There was a reason he no longer had the right to Lawrence's chest, clothed or not. "I'm ignoring you now."

"His well-built arms?" Lawrence asked, then flexed his own. Karl couldn't help but stare for just a second before he stopped himself.

"Still ignoring you."

"Did I mention he's hung like a tree trunk?"

Karl was definitely not thinking about Lawrence's tree trunk. In any capacity. He had to draw the line somewhere. "Please don't tell me you've..."

"No, rest easy." Lawrence patted Karl's hand, the touch warm and affable. "But I have seen him naked. And you could do far worse."

"Doesn't matter." He didn't ask how Lawrence had managed to see Sean naked. Mostly because he knew Lawrence wanted him to ask. "We're friends, and I'm not about to fuck with that. And he doesn't swing that way. It's just a harmless crush."

"I didn't swing that way either until we met."

Karl set down his beer mug with a thunk, sloshing liquid onto the table, and stared at Lawrence in surprise. "You never told me that."

Lawrence didn't move. Those pretty brown eyes of his (and his eyes really were pretty – there was just no other word for it) never even so much as blinked. "You never asked."

"I didn't know I had to." Christ, all this time, Karl had been Lawrence's first... Although, thinking about it, it made a certain sense. Not that Lawrence had ever hesitated at anything they'd done together. But that was Lawrence to a tee – game for just about anything, heedless of consequence. It was both his most endearing and exasperating quality.

Lawrence just shrugged. "It's not important."

Karl opened his mouth to argue, then thought better of it. This was how it always started. He would say something ridiculous to get a rise out of Karl (which always worked), then they would argue about it until Lawrence wore Karl down by sheer will. But not this time. He was done letting Lawrence get the upper hand. "So, what is important, then?"

"You getting the person you want," Lawrence replied, in a far too serious tone of voice.

"Meaning?"

"I just want you to be happy. And if that's not with me, then so be it."

"I don't know why you still care." Sure, they were still friendly and all, but it's not like they'd been bosom buddies before they'd hooked up, and it certainly wasn't like they'd been best friends since Karl had ended things between them.

"Yeah, you do." Lawrence rose and put a hand on Karl's shoulder, then squeezed. The heated touch lingered a shade too long. "You know perfectly well."

Karl watched him saunter out the front door without even glancing back, mind whirring with possibilities. Lawrence couldn't really have meant what Karl thought he meant? Could he? They'd driven each other utterly insane when they'd been together. They'd argued constantly, and Lawrence had done his level best to drive Karl into an early grave with his antics, and Karl had spent most of his time either gritting his teeth or sighing in exasperation.

Of course, in all honesty, Lawrence had his good points. They wouldn't have made it past the first month, let alone a year, otherwise. There was no one more loyal, who was always there for him, even after they'd parted split up. Karl always knew that, no matter what, he could count on Lawrence. And no one could make him laugh like Lawrence could. Or steal his breath with a simple touch. And the sex had been... Well, mind-blowing was too mild a word. Lawrence had discovered erogenous zones that Karl hadn't even known he'd had, and had been the most generous lover he'd ever had, as well.

But that didn't mean it would be a good idea for them to take another spin around the dance floor. Even if Lawrence had always made it clear that he'd welcome another chance to put things right. Even if Karl's bed was empty and his life had a little less laughter in it, it was worth it for the peace of mind, wasn't it?

Wasn't it?

***

Tags: stories 2009
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