Michael Biehn Archive

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The characters belong to various production/film/TV companies. No profit is being made and no copyright infringement is intended.
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Author's Chapter Notes:
My Vin Muse is being stubborn, so in revenge I stuck his ornery behind in a cheesy Xmas story. Any comments appreciated.
Cute kitty cat. ATF. First Time. Mush. Eeek! I wrote a Christmas story! *Thud*
Christopher Larabee stalked like a black-coated wraith down the middle of the snowy sidewalk with a scowl that caused more than one shopper to step hastily aside, choosing ankle deep sludge over sidewalk space. Larabee was in a mood, and the snow practically melted in his wake. For the fourteenth time he ran his list through his head. He should be done by now dammit! Christmas shopping was supposed to be a chore dealt with quickly and efficiently like everything else in his neatly organized, micro-managed life.

Book store gift certificates for Josiah, Nathan and Ezra. Check. Best Buy gift certificate for JD. Check. Gift certificates to Hooters and The Pink Pussycat for Buck. Check. Bottle of expensive booze for Judge Travis. Check. For Vin...zilch. THAT was the problem. He had absolutely no clue what to buy for Vin. His own best friend and he couldn't even decide on a simple gift. It pissed him off, and sent him into a foul mood of Grinch-like proportions.

Scowling he plowed on, hands jammed in his coat pockets, determinedly ignoring the cheery Christmas music that blared from every shop he passed. If he heard 'Santa Baby' one more god-damned time... well, he was packing a sidearm, and wouldn't be responsible for his actions.

It wasn't that he didn't want to buy a gift for Vin. Hell, he had plenty of ideas...the handcrafted, silver-studded black saddle and bridle set in Leeds's Saddle Goods. The butter soft, thick, sheepskin-lined leather coat that would keep the scrawny Texan warm. The antique rifle in Grafton's Pawn. That silver Zuni bracelet set with a tiny onyx horse fetish that would just fit Tanner's narrow wrist...the blue denim shirt that exactly matched the sharpshooter's eyes...or even better, that heavy, cobalt blue silk robe to wrap around that lean body....

Larabee braked abruptly and turned to stare blindly into the nearest shop window. THAT was the root of the problem. He wanted to buy stuff for Vin. Hell, he wanted to buy Vin anything the man wanted! And he was pretty damned sure a straight man wasn't supposed to be having such lascivious thoughts about his best friend's body. He scowled into the window. A glittery flock of particularly imbecilic looking angels beamed back at him.

He could just imagine how a conversation about THAT would go over with Vin. Short. Very short. Vin I want you. BAM! He ran a mental epitaph through his head:

Here lies Larabee,
dead from a slug from
Tanner's .44,
No less, no more.

At least Buck would mourn. After he stopped laughing. Larabee groaned and closed his eyes. Not only was he talking to himself again, but he was reciting really bad limericks to himself. He really, really needed to get laid. The problem was, he had already tried that avenue. When he first realized that he was spending a bit too much time fondly dwelling on a certain tangle-haired Texan's ass...attributes, he had cut a swathe through the women of the ATF building that had Buck beaming with pride.

He had also left a long string of purring, sexually sated, bewildered and ultimately furious females behind. Pissed off because he never dated them more than once. He flinched, remembering the ten-minute diatribe that Lydia in Accounts had subjected him to, without once repeating herself. Maria, in Payroll had satisfied herself with a stinging slap and screwing up his direct deposit paperwork for six months. He didn't even want to THINK about Mary Travis. One quick, half drunken fuck, and the woman was hearing wedding bells.

He blinked. An object in the window catching his eye. Looking up at the overhead sign, he realized it was the Native American-owned store that sold Zuni, Hopi and Navajo jewelry. Glancing down at his watch, he decided to go for it and buy the bracelet. He was due at Vin's apartment for supper and the game in two hours anyway, and he needed a gift. He pushed open the door, grimacing at the cheerful jingle bells that announced his arrival.

A half hour later, he was on his way to Vin's, the small, neatly wrapped purchase tucked in his coat pocket. It was snowing again, heavy, fluffy flakes that stuck to everything. He found himself secretly hoping to be snowed in at Tanner's and made a mental note to call his near neighbor to check the horses if he didn't make it home for the night. He was pleased to find a good, well-lighted parking spot halfway on the block between Vin's building and the neighborhood bodega.

Locking the Ram, he paused then headed into the tiny grocery store. Mrs. Ruiz beamed at him over the counter, and wished him a cheerful Feliz Navidad, he nodded back politely and grabbed a hand basket. Prowling the cramped aisles, he randomly selected items; a carton of eggnog, a six-pack of Corona, a package of brightly iced Mexican pastries, a king-sized chocolate bar, a bag of tangerines, homemade salsa, a couple of bags of chips. Plain for him, and jalapeņo for Vin.

When he dug out his wallet at the counter to pay, she refused to charge him for the candy and pastries and deftly added a foil tray of homemade enchiladas for "Senor Vin's dinner." He grinned. Every plump little mamacita in the neighborhood was determined to fatten Tanner up. As he walked up the street, he found himself idly wondering if it was the custom to fatten up Hispanic men like Christmas turkeys--Mr. Ruiz was almost as round as he was tall.

He had just started up the stairs to Vin's building when a plaintive "Meep" from a cluster of nearby garbage cans caught his attention. Pausing to look inside, he found a pair of bright blue eyes in a small, wet, bewhiskered face peering expectantly back. He scowled. The shivering, fluffy, orange-striped kitten blinked and purred at him.

Larabee swept the area with a green glare, hoping to find someone to foist the little creature off on. No such luck. He turned a gimlet glare back on the feline. He didn't DO cute and fuzzy critters! He was a macho, badass ATF agent, dammit, not a damned kitty sitter!

Still, the snow was coming down heavily now, and the little cat would be trapped in the garbage can. He took one last, quick look around then freed one hand from his bulky grocery bags long enough to pluck the kitten out of the garbage and pop it into his coat pocket.

He grinned evilly to himself. He would turn the cat loose in Tanner's warm building. It would find a home fast, no woman in the building seemed to be able to resist a pair of wide, dark blue eyes. He shouldered his way into the lobby then used his key to check Vin's mailbox. Hmm. Nothing much. A gun catalog, two Christmas cards, and a utility bill. He stuffed the mail in the top of a bag then remembered his small passenger.

He fished the now warm, happily purring cat out of his cozy pocket and plunked it unceremoniously down in the small foyer.

"You're on your own, kid."

He strode off towards the stairs, the hem of his long, black coat swirling enticingly behind him.

The kitten stared after him for a moment, gave the feline equivalent of a scowl, ears flat against its small skull, then shot off in hot pursuit of his new meal ticket. It managed to jump up and snag the hem of Larabee's heavy cashmere coat just as the man started up the first flight of stairs and hung on for dear life, unnoticed, as Chris bounded jubilantly up the stairs.

By the third floor, Larabee had slowed his pace, and kitty had steadfastly managed to climb as high as Chris' knees. By the fourth floor, a frazzled but determined kitten had nearly reached the warm refuge of a coat pocket. Distracted by greetings from Vin's elderly neighbors and hampered by his armload of groceries, Larabee never noticed the slight weight that crept back up and curled down inside his pocket.

Reaching Tanner's door, he thumped at it impatiently with his elbow. He was gonna drop the beer on his foot any damned minute; he heard Vin opening various locks and groaned with relief when Tanner finally opened the door and neatly relieved him of the sagging bags. They exchanged happy grins, pleased as always to be in each other's company.

"Hey, Cowboy!"



Vin Tanner prowled around the small, neat kitchen restlessly. He checked the contents of the oven for the eighth time. He scowled to himself. You'd think he was getting ready for a date, the way he was acting, instead of spending the evening crashed in front of the TV watching the football game with Larabee.

Hell, it wasn't as though Chris never visited. He shook his head at his own foolishness and then sighed wistfully, as he prowled over to the living room window that faced the street. Leaning against the sill, he stared blindly down at the snow--if only--Nah. Vin had given up on Christmas wishes a long time ago.

Nervously he crossed the bare, wooden floors of his small living room to plug in the lights on his tiny Christmas tree. It was a live, miniature blue spruce tucked inside a white ceramic pot and decorated with tiny gold and silver acorns, white doves and a single strand of clear fairy lights. Miss Nettie had ordered it for him from a fancy holiday catalog when she realized she was going to be out of town for Christmas. A single gift, wrapped in shiny emerald paper with a red velvet bow lay beside it.

Vin had already delivered his gifts to the rest of the team. He grinned to himself. Ezra would be having a conniption fit trying to figure out how he had bypassed the Southerner's state-of-the-art security system and left the bottle of fancy wine on the mantle, complete with card. Not to mention wondering how he had gained access to Ezra's fancy condo in the exclusive gated community.

It delighted Vin to practice his covert skills on his friends at least once a year. Not that it wasn't a piece of cake in the first place, with the majority of them. Josiah's old Victorian house barely had a functional lock. Access to Buck and JD's cluttered apartment was easy. He had hidden their presents in their own bedrooms weeks ago. It would be fun to see how long it took them to find them. Nate and Rain's gift was tucked securely in the medic's own wallet.

He absently fingered the bow on Larabee's present, staring blindly at the framed picture on the old mantle above the bricked in fire place.

In it, he and Chris knelt, arms slung around each other's shoulders, beaming at the camera as they proudly held up an engraved silver trophy. They were both dressed in Kevlar and black work gear and had just whipped the rest of the regional ATF division teams' collective asses in covert ops exercises. The rest of the boys flanked them, all sporting proud, toothy grins. Tanner smiled at the happy faces. Looked like a bunch of grinning alligators. They were his family. The only one he had.

Sometimes it amazed him. How had he gone from being nothing more than an abandoned, dirty little street rat to a member of Denver's elite ATF squad?

One day he had been scavenging in a dumpster behind a Pizza Hut, the next tucked up warmly into a safe bed in Nettie Well's own home. The retired social worker had scooped him up off the street and dropped him firmly into her household almost before he could blink. He had been all of seven years old and nearly mute, all wide eyes in a narrow, elfin face with skinny, coltish limbs, bewildered, awkward and as feral as any alley cat.

Vin smiled wryly, remembering his first Christmas in the Wells household.

The sheer disbelief followed by shock and amazement that Santa Claus had actually brought him presents after years of neglecting to do so. Nettie had cleverly explained that Santa had met some trouble finding Vin after his mama had passed away because he had no address, and had left a few extra items to make up for those lost Christmases. Suspicious, but desperate to believe in something good, after two years alone, little Vin had accepted her story.

Wistfully, he lifted a finger and traced it over Larabee's smiling face in the picture. Chris was the finest man he knew, both inside and out, and Vin cherished the fact that they were friends, but God help him, sometimes he longed for more with every fiber of his being. What would Chris do if he were to reach out and cup that handsome face with both hands, lean forward and press his mouth to his?

He gave a snort as the impatient thump on the door jolted him out of his pleasant daydream. Yeah, right. What would Chris do after he shot him for being stupid enough to kiss him? Shaking his head at his own idiocy, he hurried to answer the door. Time to put such foolishness aside. It was enough that Chris had chosen to spend Christmas Eve here with him.


Vin chuckled as he relieved Larabee of his sagging grocery bags and they carried the haul into the tiny, antiquated kitchen. Working swiftly and silently together, they unpacked the snacks and put the beer in the old fridge.

It was Chris who broke the comfortable silence as he cleared his throat and removed his coat, hanging it neatly on a brass hook behind the front door. His tie and suit jacket quickly followed. He hesitated for a moment, then removed the small gift from the pocket and walked across to place it under the tiny tree.

"Something smells good."

Vin grinned, "I thought a pot roast would taste pretty good for dinner. Was a mite sick of turkey."

They chuckled together. After a huge Thanksgiving dinner with the rest of the team, they had all had turkey leftovers for lunch from the enormous bird for a week afterwards. Finally Chris had enough, tossed his umpteenth turkey sandwich in the trash and announced that he was going to Inez' saloon for lunch, and did anyone want to come with him? He had nearly been run over in the stampede to the door.

They dished up plates of pot roast and vegetables and settled in front of Vin's modest TV with cups of hot coffee to wash it all down, only to find themselves watching one of the dullest games in football history. By the time it dragged into overtime both men, warm and comfortable with full bellies, were nearly comatose on the ancient, overstuffed sofa. Outside, the snow grew heavier, thick, wet flakes falling steadily onto the streets. Tanner stretched and yawned then clicked the game over to the weather station.

"Looks like ya might wanna stay here, tonight, Cowboy. Got a winter storm warning going here." He frowned at the overly perky weatherperson on screen. Silly woman looked delighted to announce that snow was piling up asshole-deep outside. Maybe she didn't have to drive home in the stuff.

Beside him, Chris nodded and dug his cell out of his jeans pocket.

"I set the timers for feed and water tonight, but I better call Clayton and see if he can check on the horses tomorrow."

Vin nodded amiably. Larabee's near neighbor was always willing to lend a hand if the ATF agent ended up stranded in town. In return, Chris allowed him to cut the hay on one of his bottom pastures for his cattle. The simple arrangement worked well for them both. Besides, old Clayton would be up bright and early anyway, fussing over his prized purebred Angus cows.

"You want dessert, pard?" Tanner stood, picking up their empty plates and carrying them to the kitchen sink. Chris made his call and followed Vin into the kitchen.

"Naw. I'm stuffed. Good dinner. Thanks." He leaned back against the counter and idly watched as Vin quickly soaped, rinsed and racked their few dishes. They exchanged warm smiles, comfortable in their silences, content to be together.

After a while Vin slanted a mischievous look Larabee's way.

"Buck done bought Ezra a jug of Mad Dog and wrapped it up in a fancy gift basket along with a few other things he thought he might like."

Larabee snorted and grinned. "Such as?"

"Oh, a can of Cheese Whiz, a box of Twinkies, Beef Jerky, Gummy Worms, ramen noodles, a can of Spam, Fruit Rollups, Nerds, stuff like that."

Chris chuckled, picturing the look of pure dismay on the elegant Southerner's face when he opened that gift. Ezra P. Standish considered himself a gourmand of the first degree. He wouldn't touch Buck's snack basket with a ten-foot pole unless forced to do so.

Vin finished the few dishes, considered the roasting pan of generous leftover portions of beef and vegetables and decided to leave it on the kitchen counter for the time being in case they decided on more helpings later. He closed the jars of mustard and relish and replaced them in the ancient, humming fridge. Bent over, head deep inside, he was unaware of the admiring gaze Larabee directed at his denim-clad behind, or the unconscious, hungry flick of the blond's tongue over his lower lip.

He gave a grunt of satisfaction as he found the chilly bottles of Corona and hauled them out.

"Beer?" Turning he offered one to Chris with a smile and wink.

Larabee blinked and shook himself out of the brief, lusty space in his head that he had been inhabiting and returned Vin's smile.

"When have I ever said no to beer?" he joked.

"Can't say that I remember, Cowboy, at least not to me." Tanner replied with a raspy chuckle.

They meandered back into the cozy living room. Vin scowled at the TV.

"How ‘bout a movie? Casey gave me a new batch when she cleaned out her bookcase."

He moved over to a side table to rummage through a stack of DVD cases. Chris grinned at the childlike anticipation on Vin's face. He had no doubt that the new movies were films that he had already seen, but Vin had missed a lot of everyday things that most took for granted growing up, and movies were one of them. He could sit mesmerized through anything from old Japanese monster flicks, through classic westerns, to film noir.

Larabee himself preferred a good book, but Vin's dyslexia made reading difficult most of the time, and as a result it was something he labored over, even with the poetry books he enjoyed. Tucked onto his small bookshelf were worn, well-loved volumes of Yeats, Shakespeare, Kipling, Basho and Oliver. The hefty leather-bound Shakespeare had been Chris' last birthday gift. It held the place of pride on the center shelf.

Smiling indulgently, Larabee sat back and prepared to enjoy himself as Vin gave a hoot of triumph and held up a copy of Pale Rider. He popped it into the DVD player and joined Chris on the sofa, remote in hand and beer within reach.

Both men kicked off their shoes and got comfortable.

As the movie progressed, the two men unconsciously sank deeper into the old couch, slumped shoulder to shoulder with Nettie's Lone Star quilt pulled over their legs. The only illumination came from the glowing streetlights outside the tall old-fashioned windows, Vin's tiny tree and the flickering TV screen. The antique radiator rumbled and rattled under the tall window while the wet snow piled up on the sill, but it was cozy and warm in the small apartment.

By the time the closing credits scrolled up the screen, both men were dozing, heads together. Vin's head had slipped down onto Larabee's shoulder, and the blond's warm breath stirred light brown curls as they slumped together, instinctively curling into each other's warmth.

In the living room, inside Larabee's coat pocket, something else stirred, yawned and awoke with twitching whiskers, and sniffed the pot roast scented air with interest. A fuzzy head popped out of the coat pocket and the small stowaway climbed awkwardly down to drop to the polished floor. Sniffing eagerly, it padded towards the kitchen and the source of the enticing aroma.

Chris woke slowly, mouth buried in silky hair, and realized he and Vin were curled together under the quilt. Tanner's head was on his shoulder, his arm wrapped loosely around Chris' narrow waist. Larabee's own arms were wrapped snugly around the Texan. It felt more than good. It felt wonderfully right. He kept still, with his eyes shut, wanting to prolong the moment as long as possible. It had been a long time since he held someone he loved while they slept, safe in his arms.

Vin awoke abruptly, warm breath against his cheek. Sleepily he turned his head and found himself lip to lip with Chris. It was too great a temptation with that wide mouth so close, the divot in the bottom lip beckoned. Carefully, heart pounding, he gently pressed his mouth to Larabee's in the softest of kisses.

It was the most natural reaction in the world to Larabee to smile against the tentative touch and turn his head and deepen the kiss, tongue delving tenderly into Vin's mouth to seek and tangle with his. He opened his eyes to the sweet sight of Vin's blissful face as he reacted to Larabee's kiss.

He smiled into wide blue eyes. Carefully he wrapped his arms around Vin and shifted so that the smaller man was beneath him and bent to take that lush mouth hungrily. Tanner responded eagerly, sliding his hands around Chris' neck and answering him kiss for kiss. Shifting together, legs tangling they slid down into the depths of the sofa, under the quilt.

For a long time the only sounds in the apartment were the soft smack of lip against lip, the slide of skin against skin punctuated by sighs and breathy moans, the occasional laugh and the creak of the ancient couch. This first time between them was as simple as their first meeting. They didn't question, they just loved each other, doing whatever felt right, a slow joyous meeting of hearts and bodies, a slow glide into love. There would be time for fiercer passions later when they were more accustomed to this new, physical aspect of their relationship.

Sometime later, they were still entwined, resting together on the couch, naked now, except for Vin's socks. The heavy quilt had slid off onto the floor. Chris was sprawled over Vin again, keeping him pinned warmly beneath him, lazily nuzzling sleepy kisses against the sniper's throat. Vin couldn't seem to stop smoothing his hands down Chris' broad shoulders and back. He could hardly believe he had gotten his most fervent, hidden wish, could hardly believe they were here.

Neither of them noticed the pair of curious blue eyes that popped up over the arm of the couch.

Kitty had made good use of his exploration of the kitchen and his small belly was stretched taut with purloined pot roast. He had happily washed his paws and whiskers, and now he was curious about the soft noises that had emanated from the living room, so he crept up onto the end of the couch and peered over.

From this angle he had a superb view of Larabee's pale ass--as well as other enticingly dangling appendages. Fascinated, he watched as the men began to move together again, and when the blond tilted his pelvis, bucked up and thrust against the man beneath him, the temptation was simply too much to resist.

So, he positioned himself carefully, furry behind quivering in feline anticipation… and pounced.


Chris shot up off the couch with a howl of pain, clutching at his behind, and Vin watched in astonishment as his lover lurched across the floor, swatting at his backside, a small orange kitten dangling from both paws, with claws dug deep in both ass cheeks, well, like a tail. It took him two seconds to process what he was seeing before he fell off the sofa himself--nearly rupturing himself with laughter.

It took a lot of sweet talk, kisses and antiseptic to eventually talk a sulking Larabee out of shooting his small assailant. Tongue in cheek, Vin had promised to find a new home for the small hitchhiker soon (he had no intention of doing so; as far as he was concerned Cowboy was the best present he had gotten in years). Chris would get used to him eventually. Vin would hide the kitty at Nettie's for a few days if necessary.

While Chris was in the kitchen cleaning up the mess that was formerly two-thirds of a good-sized pot roast; now they would have enough for sandwiches tomorrow only if they were lucky. Vin hid Chris' gun and got better acquainted with Larabee's purring nemesis.

The kitten chirruped and kneaded Vin's lap happily, purring like a small motorboat, skinny tail held high--his small stomach so rounded that it looked like he had swallowed a golf ball. Vin gently scratched the small chin and examined him for injuries. Despite being a bit small and on the undernourished side (Vin could feel each tiny vertebrae) the little guy appeared uninjured. Vin made a mental note to lock Larabee's Colt .45 in the gun safe tonight just to be on the safe side. He would take the cat to a vet later in the week for shots and a check-up and stop at a pet store for supplies.

"Don't worry, Chris ain't so bad once you get used to him. You just gotta remember to keep your claws out of his backside no matter how tempting it might be." He winked at the little feline. "You let me worry about Larabee's behind."

They finally settled to sleep together in Vin's old iron bed, the newly named Cowboy firmly exiled to the bathroom, tucked in a cozy nest of towels in the laundry basket with a small space heater nearby. As he closed his eyes, arms firmly around his grumpy lover, Vin smiled in the dark. He had everything he had ever wanted right here.


December 4, 2010