Title: "Catch Me a Catch"
Author: monimala
Fandom: Dawson's Creek
Rating/Classification: SAC, slash, angst, Doug/Jack, language
Disclaimer: *snerk*. Yeah, I own them...not.
Summary: A prequel to the series finale of "Dawson's Creek." How exactly DID Jack land a certain closeted sheriff?

You stared at him until he started fidgeting in what was probably "Mr. Witter's chair." The head-of-the-family chair. The bottle of beer in his hand fit into a groove on the arm and it began to shake just a little as you settled into the couch for the long haul.

Pacey was blessedly clueless, fiddling with the connections on the t.v., promising the satellite feed would be up and running by the time the game began. Or, maybe, he wasn't so clueless. After all, it had been *his* idea for you to come over and "hang with the guys" some Friday night because you were probably sick of hanging out with sixteen-year-olds five days a week. You hadn't realized that included Deputy Doug. Er...Sheriff Doug.

From his vaguely terrified expression, neither had he.

You had the distinct feeling that Pace was match-making.

There was only one problem...

Doug, despite being mindnumbingly hot and chiseled and fuckable, had no idea he was gay. Or, if he did, he wasn't anywhere near admitting it ...much climbing in your window like Joey and Dawson.

And, frankly, talking about "Romeo & Juliet" and the comedy of teen love affairs all week had left you a little burnt out on holding hands and leading somebody, tentatively, into a whole new world.

Teaching kids, you could do. Teaching somebody who looked amazing in tight jeans and kept blushing under your scrutiny...?

You had to wonder if you'd done something to Pacey in recent history that warranted this kind of punishment. Hanging out with his hot, closeted, brother on a Friday night instead of driving into Boston and picking somebody up for a no-strings, no hassles, good time. You were crazy. Football, pizza, and beer...? Jen had warned you. Amy crying in the background, she'd laughed and said, "Watch it, Jack...you're going straight on me." Oh, she didn't know the half of it.

If Sheriff Doug didn't quit fidgeting, you were going to pounce him and make Mr. Witter's chair the next hotbed of the gay lifestyle.

You were having this massive urge to lick his neck and you were pretty sure that as much as Pacey was playing yenta and singing a subtle chorus from "Fiddler on the Roof", neither he nor Doug were ready for the firsthand Big Gay Jack McPhee experience.

There wasn't enough beer in the world to make this a smart idea.

But, damn, Doug's eyes were really beautiful.

Even more when they stopped flitting away and finally kept contact for more than three seconds.

You watched him swallow, clear his throat, twist the bottle of Bud between his fingers as he said, lamely, "Any progress yet, Pacey?"

Pacey grinned, hands full of wires, dark eyes dancing. "You tell me."

Doug sputtered and turned red. The beer bottle tipped over onto the faded carpet and your hard-earned eye contact flew straight into the creek. "What are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about love, Dougie. True love. Hearts, flowers, Vermont."

Oh, great. He wasn't even *pretending* this was platonic guys' night, was he? Had Jen called him beforehand? This was some kind of plot, wasn't it? Lifted straight from Dawson's t.v. show. Hell, maybe they were all in on it. A big conference call with the Hollywood producer, the New York book editor, and maybe even *Grams*. "Let's set up Deputy Doug and Jack! Wouldn't it be so great?"

This was great. Yeah.

Pacey made a far better restauranteur than he did a yenta.

You sighed, kicking at the coffee table with the side of your shoe as you stood. "Did you take apart the dish wiring this morning just so you could put it back together tonight?"

"No, of course not," he lied, altogether too easily, looking disheartened that his repeated viewings of "Queer as Folk" had, apparently, taught him nothing about how to successfully facilitate gay hook-ups.

At least the mortification was fading from Doug's skin, turning back into it's glossy "I go jogging every morning, thank you" tan. He was staring at his brother, fists clenched. You wondered if he would hit something if you told him he looked like Rock Hudson.

There was still time for you to drive to Boston. The night didn't have to be a complete disaster.

Unfortunately, all you could think about was love. True love. Hearts, flowers, Vermont.

And fucking Sheriff Doug Witter on the nearest flat surface.

The tightness of his jaw as he muttered obscenities at his soon-to-be-dead kid brother only served to accentuate his mouth. He had a great mouth. Almost better than his eyes. And not quite as good as his ass.

Suddenly, you couldn't remember the last time you'd gotten laid.

And Boston felt like it was oceans away instead of miles.

"I should go," you sighed, grabbing your jacket off the arm of the couch and heading for the door.

"Wait...!" Doug said, quickly, spinning around and balancing on the balls of his feet. He had tube socks on, the kind with the stripes across the top, and they were down around his ankles. Where his jeans and shorts could be if you exerted some pressure. "Jack, I'm really sorry," he continued, the epitome of polite, repressed, hot, yuppie-hood. "My brother's being an asshole. Just ignore him."

You'd spent a good part of the last nine years ignoring Pacey. You were an expert at it. Shrugging off his dumb jokes, tuning out when he waxed poetic about your sister and then Joey and then Audrey and then Joey again. However, at this juncture, ignoring Pacey seemed impossible.

No...ignoring *Doug* seemed impossible.

"Don't be sorry," you whispered, staring all over again...glad that, this time, he didn't flinch or fiddle with something. *Fuck me*. *Kiss me*. "Have dinner with me."

It was the worst request out of the three.

And it was too late to take it back.

"I'm going to...uh...make myself scarce." Pacey laughed, nervously, and it was like a distant buzz under the blood rushing against your eardrums.

You wish he'd been scarce instead of calling you up asking, "Hey, Jack-o, wanna watch the Packers get creamed?"

For one thing, who the Hell called you "Jack-o"? That should've been your first clue that the House of Witter was going to swallow you up before it fell.

But no...

And now you were watching the muscle in Doug's cheek jump as he shook his head...and looked away.


"No, it's okay," he murmured, gruffly. "I...I think I'd better get some things done at the station."

"Doug..." you began, feeling sixteen and stupid and awkward. Thoroughly embarassed. Vaguely homicidal. Contemplating killing Pacey and then getting bent over in the prison showers by men named Butch and Tiny.

"Thanks for the invite, Jack," the Sheriff said, remembering his manners. Because, at that moment, he really *was* the Sheriff. Stern and removed and picturing himself in a police-station-sized closet where Big Gay Jack couldn't reach him. "Maybe another time."

Which meant "not in this life."

You'd heard it often enough before.

But you still held his gaze and sighed, "Look...just give me a call sometime, all right?" before you fled.

"You, my dear brother," Pacey was saying as the door slammed shut behind you, "are a complete moron."


Your cell was taunting you from its lofty position on the dash. The display screen refused to light up and the boyband song Jen had programmed in on her last visit refused to chime. "'Quit Playing Games With My Heart'," she'd announced, victoriously brandishing the little Nokia phone. "Every fag needs a pop anthem."

Ha, ha. Very funny. And, at this juncture, very true.

Although, it wasn't your heart being played with quite yet. Just your dick. And that was easily solved. You'd driven home, changed into tighter jeans and a tighter t-shirt. Black. No glitter. You weren't glittery. And now you were doing forty-five in a forty-five mile per hour zone on your way out of Capeside.

Which was why the red and blue lights in your rearview and the blaring siren made absolutely no sense.

Probably a cop on a crusade. Nabbing his quota before he bellied up to the bar. Either that or Doug had murdered Pacey in a fit of identity-conflicted rage and somebody was picking you for being an accessory before the fact.

Fratricide, you figured, was a perfectly legitimate reason for Sheriff Doug to keep from calling and telling you that you were irresistible and he couldn't stop thinking about you and wanted you to be the reason he stopped lying to himself about who he really was.

You slumped down in your seat as the SUV with the bar across the roof pulled in behind you on the shoulder, preparing the typical "Honestly, Officer, I didn't know I was speeding" response. In this case, it was actually *true*. But, hey, you were driving a red sports car and Dudley Do-Right had a quota and...and the odds of you getting laid tonight were about as nil as they had been back at Pacey's.

The steering wheel and your forehead made weary contact as the door slammed and footsteps echoed to your open window.

To top it off, the cell phone was still mutinously silent.

No football. No beer. No pizza. No Boston. No dramatic, eleventh-hour calls from Doug Witter.

You would've been better off grading papers.

"Where were you going in such a hurry? Forty-five in a 45 zone? Fancy yourself a speed demon?"

Or maybe not.

The horn blew as your head thunked again instinctively. And you were glad because Sheriff Doug wouldn't be able to see the stupid grin that was suddenly dominating your face. "There was this guy, actually," you said, chuckling as the grin faded enough to be respectable and just a little flirtatious. "We were kind of set up by his idiot brother and it didn't work... so I was fleeing the state in shame and dishonor."

Maybe you were imagining it...maybe you weren't...but Doug's eyes were twinkling. "Well, you know, I *am* legally bound to pursue any dangerous fugitives..." he said, shifting from foot to foot before leaning against the car, one arm draped along the edge of your window.

"Does that mean you *are* going to pursue?" you countered, releasing your seatbelt with tingling fingers and trying to pretend that neither your heart nor your other parts were leaping at the thought.

"Why don't you step out of the car?" Now they weren't twinkling, they were *glinting* and you were caught between wondering if you were going to join Pacey behind some dry wall for eternity and hoping for frisking and handcuffs.

He stepped back to allow you out and when your feet landed on the road, you stumbled. Totally graceless. Whoever said gay men had natural rhythm was obviously full of shit. "You...uh...want my license and registration?" you asked, keeping up the charade of contrite speeder as you leaned against the door, wishing he'd put his arm back...because then it would be right across your waist.

"No." He sighed, dragging a hand through his hair and you were mesmerized at how even in the dark it was this appealing mix of blond highlights and his natural color. Eyes, socks, and then highlights...oh, you were in trouble all right. "Why?" he wondered, softly. "And don't tell me it's because Pacey invited you over. Why *me*?"

There were several answers to that question. And "because you're unbelievably hot and I want to fuck you" was liable to make him hop right back into his shiny SUV and drive away. So you settled for a weak laugh. For something less suave and more stuttering. "Capeside...isn't exactly overrun with gay men," you pointed out, staring down at your hands and willing them to stay away from his belt loops. "So, there you were...sitting in that chair... and you're gorgeous, Doug. I'm...I'm not going to apologize for making you uncomfortable."

You waited for the requisite "I'm not gay!" The denial. The recriminations.

But they didn't come. He glanced around, presumably making sure the road was nice and deserted. Then, there were fingers curling into *your* belt loops, yanking you forward, as he choked and said, huskily, "You're the gorgeous one, Jack."

Oh...so, he was admitting to being gay. Possibly perfectly fine with being gay. Judging by the brush of stubble against your cheek and the feel of his jaw against your mouth, very *very* gay. And his hands trailing down to your ass as he leaned in and brushed a tentative kiss against your lips. Soft and tender and orchestrated like every first kiss on a teen soap opera.

"Doug..." you moaned, winding your fingers in his hair and rising up to taste his mouth again. Your tongue traced his lips, going beyond. Harder. Longer. Until he was clutching at you and covering you and the driver's side mirror was digging into your back. Not a teen soap, no...more like the prelude to hardcore porn.

"Have dinner with me?" he wondered, hoarsely, eyes bright and hungry.

You stared.

He fidgeted.

And it felt pretty damn amazing.

"How about breakfast?"



May 16, 2003.

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