Fandom: Battle Creek
Characters: Milt Chamberlain/Russ Agnew (Slash)
Summary: It was always inevitable that something like that was going to involve a dare.
Author's Notes: For writerverse, and the prompt of, "I Think I'll Be Evil Today."
Russ had always hated the yearly fundraising carnival. The stupid games and screaming kids were bad enough, but working a booth made him feel like some kind of circus attraction. Police officers needed the community's respect to do their jobs well, and putting on a clown costume or running the ring-toss game did not exactly further that.
What it did was help the budget. A department that couldn't pay for a decent supply of batteries needed all the help it could get. That mean Russ and all the other off-duty members of the Battle Creek PD had to show up at the downtown park once a year and humiliate themselves for money.
At least this year, he wasn't working the dunk tank.
"Three darts, kid—take it or leave it," he told the pissy-looking ten-year-old who was holding up the line.
"What's the prize again?"
"You pop three balloons, you get a stuffed toy. Two balloons, you get a Tootsie Pop."
"What a rip-off," the kid said.
"I don't make the rules, pal. Why don't you let the girl behind you go while you make up your mind."
Niblet had gotten dunk-tank duty, which seemed almost criminal except that they'd all drawn straws for it, and Niblet had lost. Jacocks was stuck at the petting zoo, and Funkhauser and Font were on the afternoon shift. Russ had agreed to cover his booth in the morning and again later in the afternoon, because he was some kind of sap or maybe Guz had just made him feel extra-guilty. Holly was running the cake walk, and Guz herself was working tickets and admission. Russ' old partner from the East Side district was across the way, helping kids fish for plastic milk jugs and looking homicidal.
One more hour, Russ thought. Guz' voice blared over the loudspeaker, encouraging everyone to buy raffle tickets. The high school band launched into a badly-rendered march, and a little boy standing next to Russ dropped his teddy bear in the dirt and started bawling. Russ almost felt like joining him.
Finally, Russ' mid-day replacement arrived. Russ showed her the setup, and then slipped through the crowd in search of something to eat.
He looked around as he walked, trying to see what the rest of his friends and colleagues had been roped into. Two of the guys from the beat squad were running the batting cage, and Meredith was doing face-painting and actually smiling. Huh.
Russ bought a cold soda, and weighed the question of whether to have a hot dog or burger for lunch. He strolled over to the far side of the park, in case something better was over there. There was a Whac-A-Mole game (Probably should've picked that instead of darts, he thought), a couple of fun-house mirrors, and a kissing booth.
Wait a second. There had never been a kissing booth at the carnival before, not that Russ would have offered to work there in a million years, but it would have been nice to have been asked. Who in the Hell would—
Oh god, he should have known. Milt, that's who. Of course.
The guy was probably pulling down money hand over fist. There was a good-sized line of old ladies, college girls, moms, Font and Funkhauser, Holly, and two little girls in ballerina costumes.
Russ found himself standing in line before he even realized he'd moved. "Holly," he hissed.
"Hey, mister, no cutting," one of the girls said.
"Yeah, yeah, I know the rules."
"Oh, Hi, Russ," Holly said.
"I thought you were at the cake walk."
"I was, but my shift ended at noon. So I thought I'd see what else was here, and look at this. Can you believe it?"
'Uh, yeah," Russ said. "Are you really going to kiss Milt, though? Do you think that's professional?"
"Well, why not? Everyone else is. And now's the time, right?"
"Hnnhhh," Russ said. Fine. If that was the case, he'd just stay in line, too. See what Milt thought about that.
The old ladies picked cheek kisses—surprising, Russ thought—and it appeared one of the college girls tried for tongue and failed. (Russ was glad to see that Milt at least had some standards.) One of the moms held up her baby for a kiss, and Milt looked delighted (Well, who wouldn't be—it's a baby, for crying out loud). Font went for the forehead. Funkhauser offered up a cheek, which was probably very fluffy—not that Russ had ever had occasion to think about such a thing, nor did he care. Holly's lips seemed to glue themselves to Milt's forever, so by the time the two kids in front of him had finished, Russ was seething.
"Oh. Hey, Russ," Milt said. He seemed surprised that Russ was still standing there.
"Milt," Russ said, tightly.
"Come to see what all the action's about?"
"Sure," Russ said. "I can't wait."
Milt's smile seemed to turn mocking. "Going to put your money where your mouth is?"
"You bet." Russ slapped a five-dollar bill down on the counter, and pointed to his own lips. "Lay it on me," he said. "If you're man enough."
"All right," Milt said, "but just remember—you asked for this."
"And so did you."
Milt leaned forward, and gripped Russ' collar with his fist, pulling him closer. Then he kissed Russ, nice and slow—no holds barred—until Russ felt half-dizzy.
"Okay?" Milt asked when it was over.
"Yeah," Russ breathed. "I, uh, yeah, I just… yeah." He blinked and tried to get ahold of himself. Geez, was that why he and Milt butted heads so much? Some spark between the two of them that wasn't fighting at all?
"Good," Milt smiled softly. "Another satisfied customer."
Russ smiled back, his lips still tingling. "I guess so." The challenge he'd thrown down had become something completely different, something he hadn't even known he'd wanted.
"So Russ," Milt said, putting Russ' money in the cash box, "what would I win if I visited your booth?"
Russ shrugged. "A Tootsie Pop or a tiger."
Milt grinned. "I think I've already met the tiger," he said.
Russ laughed, all of his self-assurance back. "Damn right you have."
"I like Tootsie Pops, too, though. Will you still be there at three?"
Russ nodded. "Sure thing."
"Then save me a cherry one. Those are my favorite. Next in line?"
Russ was still smiling as he walked over to the snow-cone booth, where red seemed like just the flavor he'd been looking for.
He passed right by Holly at the candle-making station, but for once, he didn't even notice she was there..