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05 November 2012 @ 03:34 am

(awesome pic by little_sister)

Title: What Are The Odds?
Author: later2nite
Genre: Gale and Randy RPS
A/N: Written for my dear friend pet0511
for her birthday. (I didn't forget your request. ♥)

Randy Harrison peered out the window of the 747 as it made its rapid descent into the neon fantasy land below, vibrant hues shining up at him against the dark backdrop of night. Recognizing the mammoth emerald green MGM Grand and the great pyramid-shaped Luxor with the strongest beam of light on Earth projecting skyward from its apex, Randy looked forward to his week of sightseeing and relaxation in the storied gambling mecca.

Not that he was a betting man. Not that he cared one whit for the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas. But he'd returned home to Brooklyn after his vacation in Paris still feeling restless, the City of Love bidding him farewell with a sense that his journey was only beginning.

He'd loved being there, just as he always had, yet he'd not disagreed when the Countess had remarked how unsettled he'd seemed to her during their trip. "Of course, I miss him," he'd answered when she'd broached the subject of his recent break-up and flat-out asked him the stupid question. "But it's ultimately for the best," he'd been quick to tack on, lest she feel the need to discuss it further and ruin the otherwise perfectly nice meal they were finishing up at their favorite bistro. "It wasn't meant to be, I guess. Brian just wasn't my destiny," he'd curtly confirmed, promptly calling, "Garçon," over his shoulder and ordering in impeccable French a bottle of the house's finest Bordeaux. He'd simply shrugged when the Countess had wondered what his destiny might actually be, adding, as if he'd somehow forgotten, that his 35th birthday loomed just months away.

"Thank you for flying American Airlines. Enjoy your stay." The flight attendant's voice brought Randy back to the present as he filed out of the plane, having made a rather spur-of-the-moment decision to continue his vacation someplace he'd never been, this time alone, when he'd not been able to shake his feeling of discontent after a few weeks.

"Thanks," he smiled at her, an overwhelmingly uncomfortable wall of heat his first greeting from McCarran International as he stepped onto the Jetway that led into the terminal. 'It's this hot at night?!' was the prominent thought in his head, hoisting his carry-on bag over his shoulder and questioning why he'd chosen to visit southern Nevada at the end of summer.

The sound of bells ringing at intermittent intervals filled the air as Randy neared the end of the Jetway. He knew he'd hit a few casinos and try his luck at the tables once or twice during the week, but he wasn't expecting to walk straight into a bank of slot machines only a few yards into the airport. Crowds of people who couldn't wait to part with their money sat on stools in front of the one-armed bandits, punching the 'play five credits' buttons and losing their paychecks five times faster than they had back in the days of dropping their coins in the slots and pulling the handles.

When a group of rowdy guys in the center of it all abruptly burst into shouts of unbridled delight, Randy took a few steps closer to the action, the bells suddenly pealing out at a frenzied pace and corny, carnival-like tunes bombarding his senses. High fives, back slapping, and good-natured name-calling by the jackpot winner's envious friends intermingled with their boisterous laughter, the full-on partying, no doubt, to ensue shortly.

"You lucky son of a bitch!" was distinctly heard above the din, obscenity-trading all around adding to the noise factor. "Only in Vegas ten minutes, and you win a couple thou!"

"Hey! I've got the fucking magic touch! What can I say?"

Randy's eyes widened into saucers when the velvety smooth tone cut through the commotion and reached his ears. He'd never mistake that voice in a million years. Breaking into an unstoppable grin, he spied its owner's familiar face beneath the baseball cap that partially concealed it.


Gale Harold and his friends fell silent, turning to look at the guy who stood beside them, blank stares emanating from all but one.

"Randy! What are you doing here?" Gale closed the gap between them with a loping stride, thrusting his arm out toward his former costar and shaking hands with him for a second before leaning forward and drawing him into a tight hug with his other arm.

Randy responded in kind, clapping Gale happily on the back several times. "My plane landed and I walked into the terminal just as you hit the jackpot, apparently. What are you doing here?"

Gale shook his head as they unhanded each other, adjusting his cap and running a hand over his scruffy three-day-old beard. "Just doing a Vegas weekend with these assholes." Nodding at said assholes, he dove into the introductions, gesturing to each one as he named them off. "This is Steve, Ryan, and Zack. We just got in a few minutes ago, too. This is Randy Harrison, you guys. We worked on Queer As Folk together."

"God! That seems like a lifetime ago." Randy shook hands with Gale's friends, acknowledging each of them. "How's work in L.A. going for you?" he asked Gale.

"Fucking nonexistent, at the moment. How's New Yo -?"

"Shit! Is this gonna turn into some goddamned actor's convention?" Zack bellowed, tipping the scale at the slightly inebriated level as he cut Gale off mid-sentence.

More laughter abounding, Gale collected his voucher from the winning slot machine. "No, asshole. This isn't gonna turn into some actor's convention. See why these guys are assholes?" he said to Randy. "I'm gonna get my money and then we're gonna find the bar. Randy's gonna join us."

"Hell-O Vegas weekend!" Ryan approved of the immediate plan, Randy getting the picture that Gale and his cohorts had evidently purchased a few of those miniature liquor bottles on the plane.

"I need to get my stuff first," he said, just as a gaming official showed up to make Gale's payout.


Down at the baggage claim, Randy went to find his flight's carousel, the others waiting for him out of the way of the crowded area.

"So that's Randy Harrison," Steve said as nonchalantly as he could, not caring all too much that he did nonchalant very badly.

Gale did a double take in his direction. "Yeah, that's Randy," he snapped. "I thought you were in love with Matt Damon."

Steve pondered about a half of a second before he rationalized the switch in his preference du jour. "A Randy Harrison in the hand is worth ten Matt Damons in the bush." He nodded at Gale with one eyebrow raised.

Momentarily speechless, Gale wasn't exactly sure why that didn't set right with him. His friend Steve changed crushes so regularly that he could barely keep up, half-listening most of the time while he raved wildly about each one.

"Don't set your sights on Randy, Steve. He's not interested in you." Reaching for his cigarettes, Gale tried to think of a reason to support the groundless warning.

"Says who? I think Randy should be the one to decide whether or not he's interested in me."

"Listen. He's off-limits, okay? I mean, you're just not his type." Gale took off his baseball cap and then put it right back on for no reason whatsoever, wishing with a vengeance that airports didn't have fucking No Smoking policies.

"So what is his type?"

"Not you."

Randy caught back up with the group, pulling his rolling bag behind himself. "Traveling light?" he laughed when he saw the four of them standing around with only the clothes on their backs.

"We usually stay up the forty-eight hours," Ryan volunteered, "making the rounds to all the blackjack tables in town that have been good to us in the past and then stumbling dazed and penniless onto our flight home."

"I'll have to give that a try sometime." Randy scratched at a phantom itch on the side of his head, which was kind of good because no one thought anything about it when he winced at the moronic idea a moment later.

"I end up buying a T-shirt in the gift shop on the second day," Steve was quick to explain, Randy totally seeing how he was the one out of the four who wouldn't wear the same shirt two days in a row. When he held Randy's attention for just a tad longer than necessary (in Gale's view), Gale casually threw his arm around Randy's shoulders.

"We gonna hang out here at the airport all weekend, or what?" Leading the way toward the exit with Randy safely under his arm, Gale flagged down a cab outside. "Where are you staying?" he asked Randy as the five of them climbed in.

"The Mirage. I'm here for a week."

Zack was all over that one. "Ah . . . New Yorker does Vegas in style! The Mirage is a classy joint!"

"So that's where we start. Let's go there for a drink," Gale suggested to his buddies. "It's really great to see you," he told Randy as soon as the cab pulled away from the curb. Engaging him in shop talk about the various projects they'd worked on during the last few years, he didn't leave a lot of room for the others to join the conversation.

Somehow, that suited him just fine.


"Gale, I didn't mean to steal you away from your friends. They're gonna think I'm a rude asshole," Randy laughed. He'd checked into his room and come back down to the hotel bar to find Gale waiting for him alone.

"They couldn't wait to get to the tables. They'll get their drinks comped while they're playing. It'll give us a chance to, um, tie up loose ends, you know?" Gale took a swig of his beer, nodding at the tumbler the bartender had set in front of Randy. "You still drink Seven and Seven, don't you?"

"Uh huh. Good memory." Randy smiled after taking a sip of his cocktail, a few loose ends just happening to be roaming around in his mind, too. "Thanks." He stalled for time, scratching again at the side of his head out of nervous habit. "Gale, that last time you called me . . ."

"It was late. I'd been drinking. I wanted to hear your voice." Gale fidgeted with his cigarettes and lighter. "I'm sorry if I caused trouble for you and Brian. But, uh, I read recently that . . . you guys, um -"

"It's over."

Gale didn't even try to mask his grin. "That's too bad," he made himself say.

"You never could lie with conviction." Randy's grin rivaled Gale's. "What about you? Still fooling yourself? And that pretty girl?"

Taking Randy's hand, Gale squeezed it affectionately. It reminded Randy of a time in his past - twelve years earlier, to be exact. He'd been young and dumb and madly in love. Gale had been wild and free and unafraid to explore new horizons, returning the emotion tenfold. Working together during the day and spending passionate nights in each other's arms, they'd owned the world.

"Haven't fooled anyone for a long time," Gale murmured close to Randy's ear. "I miss you every day."

"Gale . . ." Randy hesitated, not quite convinced that unchaining his long pent-up feelings for Gale was a good idea. The concept started to sound a little better to him, though, when Gale leaned in and placed his lips softly on the side of his face for a brief moment before retreating. Grappling with the possibility that he might be altogether powerless to keep them under lock and key at all, he pulled Gale close again, kissing his mouth. "I've missed you, too," he whispered.

"What the fuck have we been doing all these years?"

"Hell if I know." Randy stirred his drink and took a couple of long swallows, wistfully thinking of their years in Toronto: long talks, leisurely dinners, falling asleep with his head on Gale's chest. "I thought we'd last forever."

"What time is it? These places never have clocks."

Randy glanced at his watch. "Ten-fifteen. Why?"

Gale draped his arms over Randy's shoulders, the odds that night clearly in his favor. "Because forever starts right now."

The End
techgirl_on_ijtechgirl_on_ij on November 5th, 2012 02:07 pm (UTC)
Oh wow! That was amazing! The last line almost made me cry, so much love and emotions in just five words.

Great RPS!
later2nite: 206later2nite on November 7th, 2012 03:58 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! This is new territory for me, so I'm glad you liked it.

smooch ♥
mander3_swishmander3_swish on November 5th, 2012 02:29 pm (UTC)
You really captured the feeling, the setting of Vegas.
Pet's one lucky lady! ;)
later2nite: 206later2nite on November 7th, 2012 04:00 am (UTC)
Hi Mander! Pet asked me awhile back if I could write her an RPS, so I thought her birthday would be a great time to do it. Thanks for this great feedback. I'm happy you liked it.

Hugs ♥
pet0511pet0511 on November 19th, 2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
Yvonne Reidyvonnereid on November 5th, 2012 03:04 pm (UTC)
Very enjoyable Linda ~ Yvonne xx
later2nite: 206later2nite on November 7th, 2012 04:02 am (UTC)
Hi Vonnie! Thanks for reading and these kind words. I'm so happy that you liked it.

hugs ♥
Pam81: G/R: MFEO ♥pam81 on November 5th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
RPS from you, yeah!!!!
This is soooo good! Loved it madly, Linda ♥
I'm sure their forever is going to be simply fabulous!

Well done!

later2nite: 206later2nite on November 7th, 2012 04:05 am (UTC)
Hi Pam! Your comment makes me so happy. I've never done RPS before, so I was worried how it would turn out.

But yeah, I picture them having a forever - and it will be totally fabulous!

Hugs ♥
tera10tera10 on November 5th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
I wish it were true. Thanks for the story.

A hug
later2nite: 206later2nite on November 7th, 2012 04:07 am (UTC)
It would be so mind blowing if it were true. But we can dream, right? LOL

Thanks for this sweet comment.

Hugs ♥
shenova: The Kissshenova on November 5th, 2012 11:23 pm (UTC)
Sweet the guys found each other again. Gale made sure his friend knew that Randy is off limits to him. Nice ending line.
later2nite: 206later2nite on November 7th, 2012 04:10 am (UTC)
Yeah, Gale was spurred into action by another guy's interest in his Randy... had to tell him "Hands off!" LOL

I'm happy that you liked the ending line. Thanks for this sweet feedback.

Hugs ♥
urugwajurugwaj on November 19th, 2012 08:52 pm (UTC)
How is it possible that before I missed it?
It's fantastic!
I feel hungry for more!!!
later2nite: 206later2nite on November 20th, 2012 03:52 am (UTC)
Hi! I don't know how you missed it before, but I'm so glad you saw it now. Thanks for this great comment. I might write more to it. I've been thinking about that.

Hugs ♥
ebo_loves_bkebo_loves_bk on November 19th, 2012 09:44 pm (UTC)
If only...*sigh*
later2nite: 206later2nite on November 20th, 2012 03:54 am (UTC)
I totally agree. It would be so hot... if only... *sighs with you*

Hugs ♥
kinwad on November 20th, 2012 12:24 pm (UTC)
Loved it, Linda! Very realistic & well-written! *hugs*
later2nite: 206later2nite on November 20th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Kin! Yeah, I thought something like this scenario might be possible for these 2 great guys. Now, if only they would get with the program! LOL

I love your icon so much. You're so good with the manips. It really looks like they're standing there together! And love Gale's arm around Randy.

(P.S. I'm gonna PM you with a question I have. Hope you can help me.)

*hugs back*
kinwad on November 20th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
Ask away! Hope I can!
Hike: Brian&Justinhikinggirl70 on June 21st, 2014 05:20 am (UTC)
That was great!
later2nite: 206later2nite on June 23rd, 2014 03:10 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so happy you liked it. ♥