Caught In You

Roscoe caught his eye today. He's pretty sure no one noticed, even though nobody would think anything of the Sheriff catching the eye of one of the Duke boys. Nobody expects anything but trouble between them, so they wouldn't see what's really there. They never have.

He knows he's safe enough, catching Bo's eye for a second before they pass each other by or before one of them turns around and pretends there was nothing there. Sometimes it's short enough he thinks he shouldn't bother. Then he sees Bo again and his decision gets re-made all over, because all he wants is more than catching his eye.

Sometimes he gets it - for a second, Bo starts to smile, and Roscoe feels warm all the way through. He has to be careful not to smile back, because folks would notice that and pretty soon someone would ask questions he can't answer.

Just exchanging a glance isn't enough to get anybody into trouble, but it's always enough to make Roscoe think it might be worthwhile. Waiting. Hoping that he can have more soon -- tomorrow or
next week or maybe, if he's really lucky, tonight. Roscoe starts to review his schedule and who expects him to be where, one more time, and thinks about how to work in more.

He catches Bo's eye again, and he almost smiles. Sees a look on Bo's face that says he sees it and doesn't dare risk smiling back. But that's OK, because next time it'll be the other way around. Soon it'll be neither of them too afraid because they'll catch more than each other's eye, for just a moment.

Until then, he catches what he can.


Roscoe was glaring hard at the car ahead of him. He was annoyed, but not because of anything the car was doing. Oh, he should have been - it was speeding like no one had ever invented a speed limit, and was completely failing to pull over despite the police car behind it that had its sirens blasting.

He was annoyed because Luke was the one behind the wheel.

Roscoe had been sitting at the bend in Corner's Lot Road, knowing that the General Lee would be by sometime that morning. He'd overheard Daisy talk about a quick errand to the old Bixby place to see Ma Bixby and drop off a care package from Uncle Jesse. The road between the Duke farm and the Bixby place was little traveled, and a sure temptation for any Duke to drive faster than necessary. It made a perfect set-up.

If it had been the right Duke driving. Roscoe glared again at the car ahead of him, and thought about just letting Luke go. Thought about arresting him just to get his frustrations out. The second had more appeal -- certainly made him feel better -- so he pressed his foot down on the accelerator and aimed his car for the General.

It took a bit of maneuvering, and the presence of a convenient new pothole in the middle of the road. Luke swerved to avoid it and Roscoe caught up, slamming on the brakes as he whipped around ahead of the other car. Between Roscoe's vehicle and the trees, Luke was trapped.

When Roscoe got out of his car, he didn't even bother pretending. He glared at Luke. Luke just grinned as he came around to meet him. "Sorry, Roscoe--"

"Uh-huh. Save it, Luke. Speeding, resisting arrest--"

"You ain't just mad because it's me, and not Bo?" Luke grinned.

It took Roscoe a second to even be able to reply. Despite what Bo had said, he wasn't used to the idea that anyone knew. He wasn't surprised it was Luke who'd finally found out; he'd always half-expected Luke to show up one day to confront him. On guard, he just looked back and didn't respond to the question. "I'd consider just writing up a ticket, except for the fact the last three haven't been paid."

Luke's eyes went wide. "What?! Not paid--"

He was only pretending to be surprised, Roscoe knew. He'd checked their files just yesterday, and seen three -- mostly legitimate -- tickets unpaid, on their records. Not even the fake ones he wrote up for Bo, as an excuse to say *anything* to him, even words he didn't mean. He got out his handcuffs, and Luke's expression of surprise turned genuine.

"You're kidding. You're arresting me? For speeding?"

"I'm taking you down to the courthouse where you can pay your tickets. Including today's." He spun Luke around, got the cuffs on with practiced ease. It helped that Luke was too stunned to resist, until it
was too late.

"Roscoe... is this just some plot to get Bo to--"

"This ain't about him. You think I'm suddenly not required to uphold the law because I'm in love with someone?" He narrowed his eyes at Luke's expression, feeling suddenly more annoyed. Bad enough he had to miss seeing Bo, now he had to spill secrets that weren't secrets anymore.

Irritated now at himself, as well as at Luke, Roscoe hauled him over to his vehicle, pulled the back door open, and helped Luke inside. Then he shut the door a little harder than necessary, and went up to radio for Cooter to come tow the Dukes' car in.

"You're in a bad mood, aren't you," Luke said casually as Roscoe got his car into gear and began heading back to town. Roscoe ignored him. A moment later, Luke sounded a bit surprised. "Wow. You *are* in a bad mood. Not even giving me a hard time."

Roscoe could hear Luke moving around in the back, and wished -- briefly -- that he hadn't bothered arresting him. But had it been anyone else speeding with unpaid tickets, he'd be doing the same, so he wasn't about to give Luke special treatment. Especially not if he didn't shut up.

"What's wrong, Roscoe? You feeling snippy because I ain't my cousin?"

Roscoe didn't even look in the rear view mirror. "This isn't about him. I'll thank you to leave my relationship with Bo alone." Such as it was -- or wasn't. He didn't feel like talking about it. He'd lain awake too many nights, thinking about Bo, to want to discuss it with anyone... except Bo, and that was just never going to happen, was it?

There was a sound of surprise. "You want *me* to stay out of my own cousin's affairs? I don't think so." There was a second or two of silence, then Luke asked, in a calm, and very serious tone, "What do you intend to do about him?"

Surprised, Roscoe glanced into the mirror. Luke was watching him, carefully, as though he were sitting at the kitchen table instead of handcuffed in the back of a police car. Interrogating him.

Roscoe had to stifle a laugh. It was a little late for the protective older cousin to defend Bo's honor. "I got no intentions," he said simply, hoping that would be the end of it. He knew it wouldn't be, but if he drove fast enough he could get to town and get rid of Luke before anyone said anything they'd regret.

"That ain't how Bo says it. He says he loves you."

"Yeah." Roscoe wished he hadn't started this. Seen it was Luke this morning and let him get away. "Yeah, he does."

There was a longer silence, then Luke sounded angry as he demanded, "Well? Isn't this the part where you say you love him, too?"

"Does it matter?" Roscoe felt defeated. Tired, and sick of facing the same things he'd been facing and ignoring and doing nothing about for the past seven years. "Luke, you know there ain't nothing can come of it. It doesn't matter if I love him - and it'd be a damn sight easier if I didn't."

The silence lasted longer this time. Roscoe was almost hoping it would stay that way for the rest of the trip, then Luke spoke again. "Wow. I... had no idea you felt that strongly about him."

He had no idea what he'd said to make Luke think he could see just how desperately Roscoe did love Bo. How much he missed him, how much he just wanted to spend time with Bo. Any sort of time -- arguing over a stupid plan of the Boss', trading pointless insults and taunts, barely saying a word as they just stood in the same room pretending they weren't watching each other.

"You know, he was talking about heading up to Cotton Creek Pass, tomorrow. We've been working on Daisy's Jeep, and he wants to test the shocks."

Roscoe didn't respond.

"I guarantee he'll be speeding."

Slowly, Roscoe smiled.


Bo climbed out of the General and walked around to sit on the trunk to wait. He'd pulled over as soon as he'd found a good spot, where there was a break in the trees just big enough to squeeze a car through. After pulling forward, he'd parked where his car was hidden from the road. There was plenty of room for another car -- which was parking, even now, right behind his.

Roscoe got out of his own vehicle, and began walking forward. "Hey, Roscoe." Bo grinned.

Roscoe returned the grin -- looking like he'd been intending to keep things serious, or brief, but now he just looked mostly happy.

"Did you want something?" Bo asked, casually, teasing him, as Roscoe drew nearer. "I wasn't speeding... much." He'd figured Roscoe would stop him, today. Luke had come back yesterday from an errand in town -- hadn't said what he'd been doing there, but mentioned seeing Roscoe, and mentioned that he'd told Roscoe that Bo might be up on Cotton Creek Pass today, driving too fast.

Bo appreciated his cousin's assistance, even if he wasn't sure why they'd been set up, to meet. Roscoe hadn't said he'd wanted to talk to him, or anything, the last few times they'd seen each other. He waited to find out why Roscoe had wanted to see him.

But Roscoe just kept walking up to him, until he was right in front of Bo. He took his hat off, and tilted his head to one side. Bo barely had time to raise one eyebrow, before Roscoe kissed him.

Surprised, but not at all disappointed, Bo opened his mouth and let Roscoe's tongue slip inside. The soft kiss turned instantly hungry, desperate for everything as their tongues pressed against each other. Bo closed his eyes and placed his hands on Roscoe's waist, feeling Roscoe's hands on his head, holding him, pulling him closer as if inside his lover's mouth was not close enough.

Even if they weren't, anymore. Not really lovers -- kiss notwithstanding. Though Bo felt pretty sure this kiss would do as much as stripping down and bending over if it lasted any longer. The thought -- or maybe it was the way he knew he couldn't pull free - made him instantly hard. Moaning, he slid down off the trunk of the General and pressed himself up against Roscoe.

The movement jolted them, and Roscoe pulled away, jerking himself back as if scalded. "I--"

He looked scared. Bo smiled, and held out one hand for him. "It's all right, Roscoe."

But Roscoe shook his head. "It ain't all right. I wasn't gonna do this."

Confused, Bo frowned at him. "Do what? Kiss me?" He started to grin. "Don't reckon you minded too much." He'd felt Roscoe's arousal in that moment they'd touched.

But Roscoe nodded. "I was just... wanted to talk to you. See you for a bit." He was already regaining his composure, his entire stance changed without his moving a single inch. Bo recognised the stance, and the expression appearing on Roscoe's face. It was the one he always saw in public, when other people were around.

It felt like a strip was torn out of his heart. He knew he'd been the one to talk Roscoe into this -- into talking, again, into no longer pretending. His lover had told him it wouldn't work. Bo hadn't believed him. But now he could see his lover fading away behind those sharp, hard eyes.

He spun away, running the few steps to the driver's door. Looked like Roscoe had been right. Again.


He stopped -- because it was his lover's voice, and not the caricature of the man he loved. He didn't turn around, though, not sure he wanted Roscoe to see his face. He heard Roscoe walking over, flinched when Roscoe placed his hand on Bo's arm. But he relaxed, without even meaning to, when Roscoe slipped his arm around Bo's waist.

Roscoe whispered in his ear, "I love you." Roscoe pressed his forehead against the back of Bo's head, and stood there, motionless.

Bo closed his eyes, and, after a moment, he smiled. "I love you, too, Roscoe."

They stood there for a few minutes, Bo waiting for Roscoe to let go and move away. But he didn't. Bo couldn't feel any tension in him, nothing like someone who's about to move, or knows he should but isn't. After another minute of remaining as they were, Bo put his hand on Roscoe's arm. He didn't have any intention of pushing him away, or of hanging onto him should Roscoe decide he should go. He just stood there, holding on, and wishing he dared ask for more.

He felt Roscoe move, slightly, shifting the weight on his feet and picking his head up. He pulled on Bo, however, leaning him back and putting his chin over Bo's shoulder. Bo grinned, but didn't say anything.

He could wish for a dozen things, but he knew better than to say so. The peace and love he felt right now, the comfort and rightness of being here like this, would be gone as soon as they got into their vehicles and drove away. It would be gone the next time they saw each other, next time they spoke.

But it would be there the next time they stole away and hid behind the trees.

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