title: A Man's Man
fandom: Down With Love, Matrix
characters/pairings: Catcher Block/the Merovingian, Peter
rating: Mature
warnings: BDSM
summary: Catcher Block does what he has to in order to get the story.
notes: none

The restaurant was nothing less than the most stylish, trendy little eatery in all of New York, its shining black lacquered tables elegantly dressed with dully polished silver accruements. The food was highly praised in every trendy publication that only the hippest of Manhattanites perused. The appetizer that sat perfectly in the center of the table was their signature dish - bites of raw oyster with an olive oil and ginger sauce sprinkled on the plate. The wine in their glasses was an old Cabernet, selected because of its robust bouquet. And Catcher himself was bedecked in nothing less than his most flattering, stylish, and modern suit.

In the pursuit of a story, there were no boundaries that Catcher Block could not leap gracefully over with a dashing grin.

The man sitting across from him was the story of the century. Known enigmatically as the Merovingian, he was decadently rich, famous only amongst the famous as more resourceful than God, and equipped with the most refined sensibilities Catcher had ever encountered.

This man was rumored to have connected the White House with information that had allowed the president to get Russia to remove their armaments from Cuba. He was also rumored to have introduced Khrushchev to Castro.

Catcher Block would be the first person to have ever interviewed the most powerful man behind all the powerful people in the world.

"So, shall I call you the Merovingian, or is there another moniker that you prefer?" Catch smiled charmingly at his dinner companion, knowing full well that charm was what had gotten him this meeting.

The man raised an elegantly shaped brow in amusement. "I do not care what name you choose to use, Mister Block. A rose by any other name, eh?"

Catcher winked back in agreement. "Very well, then. I hope you are enjoying the oysters?"

The Merovingian smiled, a sinisterly playful smile. "There is nothing quite like the experience of fine oysters, would you not agree, Mister Block? The moment it first touches your tongue, the explosion of flavor across your taste buds, the texture as you chew, and then the swallow... knowing full well that soon the components of the oyster will be rushing through your body, in your blood, it's passion making your heart beat faster, your nerve endings jangle. It is exquisite. Would you not agree?"

His French accent was hypnotic, drawing in the senses and carrying them away with him as his descriptions gained momentum. Catcher manfully resisted the urge to break eye contact. "I have always found them to be... most potent."

"Indeed?" The Merovingian ran his thumb over his lips, his eyes trailing over Catcher like a caress.

Catcher swallowed hard. "I suppose we should start with the most obvious question, to break the ice. Are you really royalty, as your name implies?"

Chuckling, the Merovingian raised another oyster to his lips. "Are you questioning my breeding, Mister Block?"

Catcher flushed involuntarily, and he silently berated himself for such an obvious disclosure. "You are French, though."

The Merovingian smiled. "I love the French language. It is guttural and passionate; it is life, Mister Block. Do you not agree?"

Catcher laughed nervously, hiding his discomfort. "You aren't playing fair, sir. It isn't nice to dodge all my questions. These are supposed to be the easy ones."

"Nothing in life is easy, Mister Block." The Merovingian leaned back in his seat, eyeing Catcher critically as he grinned. "I did not agree to this interview so that I could be interrogated like a criminal you see. No, I have no intention of just giving you any information. I agreed for the sole purpose of meeting you, Mister Block."

"Me?" Catcher replied incredulously. "There are easier ways to meet my acquaintance than to arrange such contrivances, sir."

"Ah, yes, but you see," the Merovingian leaned forward with glee, "I had to dangle that carrot before you, did I not? I had to offer you something... rare, something you would desire from the bottom of your shallow, self-obsessed soul. Otherwise," he leaned back, smiling with satisfaction, "how would I entice you?"

Catcher placed his hands in his lap, under the table. All humor left his face. "Entice me? Entice me to what?"

"To..." The Merovingian leaned forward, speaking in hushed a whisper, "whatever I desire."

Catcher felt the heat of sweat on the back of his neck. "Desire?"

"You said that I was not playing fair. For us to play, we need to have rules to the game, do we not? So here we are. You want to ask me questions. You want answers that will shock your readers; you want answers that will gain you glory. Such things are not free, Mister Block. You can get what you want. You can get what you want as easily as I can get what I want from you. The only question is...

"How far are you willing to go for your story, Mister Block?"

Catcher did not hesitate in replying. "However far I need to go."

The Merovingian grinned with manic glee. "Exactly what I expected of you, Mister Block. Exactly what I expected..."

Catcher inhaled and exhaled slowly. All he had to worry about was inhaling, and exhaling. One, two, one, two...

One of the Merovingian's ghostly assistants tied down the last restraint. Smiling matching sickly smiles, he and his partner backed off, their hands outstretched in an invitation to their employer. They sat down together on a low, black velvet couch, seemingly quite content with one another's company.

Catcher fixed his gaze on a spot on the ceiling, concentrating on his breathing.

He was completely naked, lying down on a contraption that could only generously be called a table. His feet were raised up, resting in stirrups, his legs spread wide enough apart for there to be no secrets that he could hide from the Merovingian. His arms were stretched out from his body, and his head was pulled down. His arms and legs were tied down with thin leather straps that wound around several times, ensuring that he would not be able to release himself, and his head was held into position by another thin leather strap. The only support for his back was a rectangular, cushioned section that started just above his ass, and ended just below his neck.

The Merovingian was still fully dressed, and in fact had donned black leather gloves for the occasion. There was a table next to Catcher, with all sorts of toys lines up. Everything gleamed as if freshly polished.

Catcher continued to control his breathing, and clamped down as hard as he could on his arousal. He did not want to reveal too much too soon.

"What a sight, what a sight... You know, in general, I prefer the female form. It is curvaceous, and giving, and wet... Ah, well, I know that you know." The Merovingian smiled benignly, his gloved finger tracing a line up Catcher's inner thigh. "Women are passionate, and emotional. They can carry you along on the tide of their emotion, or consume you with their fire. But you know what they say...

"Variety is the spice of life." The Merovingian picked up Catcher's balls idly, rolling them in his gloved hand, the leather kissing and seducing Catcher.

It was not his fault if he responded.

"And you are a man's man, are you not, Mister Block? Yes, it is plain to see that you are. So. We will play a game. There is something that you want from me - information. And there is something that I want from you - pleasure. You will ask a question, and I will take my pleasure from your body. You may not like my answers," the Merovingian smiled as circled a finger around Catcher's bellybutton. "But they are the answers that I will give. The game ends when you stop asking questions. No safe words, Mister Block. I will take pleasure for every scrap of information. You will bring an end to the game when you bring an end to the interview.

"My assistants will cheerfully take notes for you, d'accord?"

Catcher swallowed hard. He had already made his choice; the Merovingian knew that. It was time to start. He would be the one to get the ball rolling, so to speak.

"Where do you live?"

The Merovingian smiled gleefully, and picked up a cock ring from the table. Attaching it cruelly, he pumped Catcher violently to make sure that it was properly attached.

"I have homes around the world. I am a citizen of no country, and to tell the truth, there are no birth records, no marriage certificates, and no passports to confirm my identity. Simply, I am who I need to be for wherever I am."

Catcher squirmed on the table, trying to thrash in his restraints. "What role did you play in the negotiations between Kennedy and Khrushchev?"

"Ha, good, get to the meat of it while you still have stamina. I'm impressed." The Merovingian grinned as he applied clamps to Catcher's nipples. "My role is so simple, always so simple. I talked to one man here, another man there... History, Mister Block, is so painfully simple, that only a historian can distort it into meaning. It is just the day to day lives of men like you or I."

Catcher bit his tongue, and squeezed his eyes shut. "All right then. Did you introduce Khrushchev to Castro?"

The Merovingian picked up a long metal rod, previously oiled and lubed, and twisted it gently until it filled Catcher's anus, going in nearly four inches. "I have many friends, Mister Block. Some of my friends are from here, some from there. When I have friends over, they meet." He shrugged. "It is not my concern."

Catcher tried to gain purchase on the table, to push up somehow. His body ached to thrust. "Did... did you facilitate the Soviet arming of Cuba?"

The Merovingian's hands spread over Catcher's body, his right hand going up to tug violently on the clamps on Catcher's nipples, his left hand going down to shove the metal rod into Catcher's body by another six inches. "I did nothing more than to have some friends over. Nothing more, nothing more, Mister Block."

This interview was going nowhere. It was clear to Catcher that when it was done, he would barely be able to fill a page with what he had learned. And none of it would be printable in Know.

"Have you had sexual intercourse with the President of the United States?"

The Merovingian laughed, and he pulled out a riding crop. He stood between Catcher's legs, sliding the crop up and down the metal rod, and then over Catcher's erection. With sudden fury, he slapped it down on Catcher's thigh.

Catcher screamed until his throat was raw. He howled, and tried to resist, tried to thrash, tried to free himself. The pain was gorgeously exquisite.

"No, Mister Block, I have not."

The Merovingian stood there between his legs, tapping the riding crop in his hands, his expression amused and expectant.

Catcher asked another question. He asked about the Merovingian's parents, about his favorite restaurant in New York, about his favorite book, about his interpretation of the Iliad, about his breakfast habits, about his skin care regimen.

In turn, the Merovingian slapped Catcher's thighs with the riding crop until they were bright red. He pulled the metal rod out of Catcher's ass, and had it replaced with a young man. He yanked on the clamps on Catcher's nipples while telling Catcher all about where he had found the young prostitute to fuck him. He put his tongue in Catcher's mouth as Catcher screamed, his cock being sucked on by the prostitute. He took a knife and ran it over Catcher's skin, and Catcher had to hold very, very still while the Merovingian cut his name into Catcher's belly with precise surface cuts. He released the clamps on Catcher's nipples and had the prostitute suck on them as the Merovingian put four gloved fingers into Catcher's ass. He stroked Catcher's cock until Catcher nearly died from the need to come, and then he finally released the cock ring. He then picked up Catcher's semen with the same gloved fingers that had been in Catcher's ass, and made Catcher lick them clean.

It only stopped when Catcher could no longer think for the pleasure.

The Merovingian chuckled as his assistants helped to dress Catcher, and handed him his 'notes.'

Catcher could still hear him laughing as he was assisted out of the room.

Peter bounced on his feet outside of Catcher's office. He was either going to get the story of the century in the next few minutes, or he was going to get the aneurism of the century.

Either way, his mind was about to be blown, and Peter was looking forward to it.

The mousy, brown haired secretary waiting with him looked particularly earnest, in that Maine librarian sort of way, and Peter wondered a little if Catcher was planning on bedding her soon; she looked like the type who would be replaced sooner rather than later.

Catcher made them wait for another twenty minutes before he made his appearance, uncharacteristically with none of his usual panache. No one minded, although his secretary was already calling the pharmacy as Peter and Catcher entered his office.

"So? Catch, don't keep me in suspense... Did you get it?" Peter fidgeted nervously as Catcher fixed them both a drink.

"You could say that... Here," Catcher tossed Peter a manila folder as he handed him the martini. "These are my notes. I wrote them up a bit last night. I'll tell you right off, though... they're shite. I've got nothing. You'll have to go with Steinbrook's exposé on shellfish."

"What!" Peter couldn't help his shock; in all the years that Catcher Block had worked for him, he had never been let down before.

Catcher collapsed on the sofa. "I wouldn't have bothered, even, writing anything up, it was such a bust. But I thought you might enjoy it, you know, for your personal collection. Now if you don't mind, I need to sleep. I've had a hard night."

Peter leafed through the notes, confused. Catcher turned away, burying his face in his arm. He was just about to fall asleep when Peter exclaimed, "Oh!"

ok, now the obvious question is, why would anyone slash Catcher Block and the Merovingian? and i honestly can't answer that, except i did like the Merovingian much better in the second viewing of the Matrix Reloaded... also, did you know that Merovingian means 'belonging or relating to a dynasty of Frankish kings that was founded by Clovis I and reigned in Gaul and Germany from about AD 500 to 751, or, as a noun, a member of the Merovingian dynasty.' well, i didn't. =p