Title:Charlie is my Darling
Entry for the Shot in The Head contest
Warnings: Yaoi, some limey/lemony bits, really bad puns
Charlie is my Darling
He concentrated on his breathing,slowing it to normal as he crouched in the shadows. Just a little bit longer, to be sure he had evaded pursuit and he could make another quick dash. The waiting was always harder than the running, there was no room for thought when he ran.
His breathing had evened, his heart beat had steadied. He listened intently but heard nothing to alarm him. He gathered himself for the effort, rose fluidly and launched himself away from the safety of the shade.
A grave error as it turned out.
The impact was surprisingly harsh, the blow to his temple threw him sideways and he staggered, close to falling. There was thick fluid over one eye and he wiped it away with a suddenly shaking hand. He swung about to confront his attacker.
"Orange, you sodding bastard! Orange? In my hair! And on my shirt, my purple shirt! I love this shirt! You heartless wretch! How could you?"
Grey sighed. He should have known Sky would make high drama out of the situation.
The slight young man shook his head, sending his mop of black hair into further disarray as he approached his victim.
"Sky, why did you wear it for splat ball if you didn't want to risk it getting ruined? I wondered about that this morning."
"I thought that knowing it was one of my favorites, guilt would stay your hand. I obviously overrated your nobility of spirit."
Grey reached out and brushed a few drops of paint off Skys cheek.
"It washes out. I'm pretty sure it does, anyway."
"Well, if it doesn't your domestic life will be taking an abrupt and painful downward spiral."
The paint spattered half-elf turned his back to Grey, arms crossed over his chest and his posture rigid with outrage. Grey swore he could even see the delicate pointed tips of his roommates ears trembling with emotion.
"There's a stream not far from here. You can wash there, okay? So you won't have to walk through the campus like that."
"I'm surprised you don't insist on marching me back naked in chains as your captive."
"I don't want to bore everyone."
Sky spun around to face him, Grey had to jump back to avoid being slapped by long, multicolored dreads, a sizable patch of them dripping orange.
"Are you implying that I'm boring naked or that I'm boring in chains or both? Talk about adding insult to injury, doesn't the Geneva Convention come into play on something like this? Verbal cruelty or some such thing?"
"I don't think so. And I was trying to imply that everyone has seen you naked already. The stream's this way."
As he headed off Sky followed, still talking.
"Well, maybe so but they weren't bored, I can tell you that. And besides, naked and naked in chains are two different things. And no ones ever turned down a second look.I improve upon acquaintance, unlike some people I am forced to share a domicile mentioning any names ,mind you."
Grey let the words flow over him.
Skys chatter had served as background music the entire time he had spent at Fairhaven School and they were starting their second year now. At first he had found it distracting and sometimes maddening, now he was afraid he actually needed it to concentrate.
His parents had dropped him off for his sophomore year just yesterday. They had spent half the vacation arguing that Grey should put in for a transfer away from the gregarious half elf. Their strict religious views made them unsure which they were more irate about, Skys ancestry or his sexual preference.
Grey had spent most of his vacation missing Sky fiercely and miserably sure the his roommate was having the time of his life and hadn't thought about Grey once.
The surprise he felt when he arrived back to their room to be greeted by an effusive Sky who had, wonder of wonders, actually located the small oven in the kitchenette and baked a cake to celebrate his return was beyond words.
True, the cake showed a distinct tendency to list to one side and the occasional splinter of egg shell tended to bring one up short but still and all, it had been a lovely gesture.
Grey had been further cheered by Skys participation in the splat ball game. While Sky loved to spend time outside he had never shared Greys interest in playing war, as he referred to it. A spirited game of red rover or statues was more in his line. Sky seemed to know every childhood game and loved to coax people into playing with him, especially if it could be done around dusk on a fine evening.
So the fact that he had consented to running around at the crack of dawn with his roommate seemed to indicate that perhaps he had missed Grey as much as Grey had missed him.
The object of these conjectures was slowing down as the sound of running water got louder.
"I never knew this was here."
"I found it toward the end of last year, I thought we could have a picnic here sometime."
"Sounds lovely. A jug of wine and all that."
"Even better. Have you taken to strong drink over the summer or are they all for me?"
"Someone has to stay sober to carry you home."
"Pass out just once and some people never let you forget it. And I wasn't that drunk, I was over tired. That was during the last rehearsals for Midsummer Nights Dream and I was going on no sleep at all."
"You were kind of wired. It was worth it though, you were a wonderful Puck"
"I love it when you talk dirty."
Grey groaned and brandished the gun.
"I can always shoot you again you know."
Sky laughed, turned toward the stream and pulled his shirt off. He dropped gracefully to his knees and leaned over the water.
Grey watched silently as Sky bent to rinse out the shirt and then closer still to wash the paint from his hair. He attempted to sluice water up over his head, the shirt in one hand considerably interfering with the precision of his aim.
"Let me help?"
"Seems only fitting penance for your sins."
Grey froze where he had knelt behind Sky, close enough to feel the heat rising from his skin.
Sky peered back over his shoulder, puzzlement clear in his gaze.
"I was referring to assault with tasteless color, but I seem to have struck a nerve. Perhaps you've fallen from grace under the influence of balmy summer nights? Are we to expect some irate farmer to arrive, blunderbuss in hand, to avenge his offsprings honor?"
Grey blushed and looked away.
Sky returned to his ablutions without comment, giving Grey a moment to compose himself.
Of course, more than a short silence was not in the cards when Sky was involved. His next words were abnormally serious though.
"I meant not to discompose you. I'm sorry. I gather I was too close to the mark in my jest?"
"No! Well, yes and no. It's complicated."
"It usually is."
Skys voice sounded as close to pensive as he ever got.
It wasn't that Sky was immune to deep feelings or thoughts. It was just that he rarely gave voice to them. He was, underneath the flurry of words and laughter, a strangely private person. Grey had been surprised when he came to this conclusion, and a little put out. He had confronted Sky, in a mild way, with using his patter to the same end as a stage magician, to misdirect the onlooker and hide what was actually going on.
Sky had nodded and smiled, as though the comment was a compliment. Grey hadn't pursued the point but he had noticed that since then Sky would occasionally let the more serious side peek out when in Greys company. It had made him feel privileged, trusted and in retrospect, he was pretty sure that this was the moment when liking had turned to something more.
For him, at least.
Sky was by this time wholly engrossed in the thorny problem of getting the paint out of his waist length dreads. He'd given up on the one handed method and opted to grip a corner of the wet shirt in his teeth while bending precariously over the low bank, rinsing his hair with both hands.
Grey leaned down to help him, coaxing him to let go of the shirt, which was set on a nearby rock, and trying to reach over the taller boys head to help with his hair.
Sky sputtered as his face came up out of the drink.
"And now you're going to drown me? And in water? I'd always hoped for a cask of something expensive. You've no sympathy for my sensitivities at all do you? And here I thought we were friends, boon companions, bosom less buddies."
"How about I just brace you while you deal with the hair?"
Grey wrapped his arms around Skys slim waist, hands splayed out flat against his skin. This left his chest pressed tightly against Skys back and his face resting against one bony shoulder.
Skys skin was warm and Grey closed his eyes to savour it better. He rubbed his cheek against the silky firmness a few times and felt Skys' breathing hitch for a second.
"Sorry, I had an itch."
"Ah, I'm so glad I could help. One likes to feel one is a comfort to ones friends."
Grey waited for Sky to continue but he seemed to have run out of words. Grey was suddenly afraid of the silence, as long as Sky kept talking there was little chance that he himself would blurt out something stupid. He held his breath, Sky would surely start up again before he ran out of air. The world got distinctly dark at the edges before he gave up, exhaled gustily and drew in a much needed breath.
"I missed you so much."
"I missed you too. Did you enjoy your time back on the old homestead? Did you bring back pictures? I hope not, I always imagine the place as prewar Tara or Twin Oaks, minus the slaves and hoop skirted maidens. I'd hate to be disillusioned."
"Someday you'll have to visit, you can flutter a fan about and flirt outrageously with all the southern gentlemen vying for your attention."
"If they become a nuisance I can have you challenge them to a duel. I've always wanted someone to defend my honor."
There was a long silence.
"Grey? You're not going to let that comment just lie there are you? Are you ill?"
"I would, I'd defend your honor at the cost of my life."
"Grey? You sound a bit..."
" I mean it, Sky, I really would."
Sky tried to twist far around enough to get a look at his would be knight.
"Grey, could you let me go long enough for me to turn around? Please?"
"No, if you turn around you'll look at me and if you look at me I won't be able to, be able to..."
"Calm down and take your time. It's all right. I'm here and I'll even listen for once. Okay?"
"I thought about you all summer. I couldn't get through one day without worrying about whether you were eating right, whether you were drinking too much, whether you were enjoying wild nights of torrid passion with dangerous worse yet, old flames. I would wake up in the night and realize I was missing the sound of your snoring ! It was terrible!"
"I was with my parents in New Jersey, trust me, the only dangerous strangers I encountered were on the roads. And I don't I don't have any old flames."
"What about that green haired guy who turned up last year? He followed you around like a puppy. And called you Bonnie Charlie for some weird reason, and intimated that you two went way back. I think his term was 'all the way back' and he leered at me when he said it."
"Leo? He used to live a few streets over from my folks house. And we were hardly an item. Unless you count one kiss in sixth grade. He had braces and I had braces and I thought the fire department would have to lever us apart. And the Bonnie Charlie thing is a joke. You know, Bonnie Prince Charlie? It was a nickname he gave me after we had to sing a song about the doomed prince in chorus. He thought it was funny and somehow it stuck."
"Why is it funny?"
"Several reasons. One is that, for some bizarre reason, some lack wits thought I was a tad affected in school. And my height, the song has some reference to height in it and it matches mine. Along with a line that might be read as a comment on attributes that are generally on view in gym locker rooms. And,well, Charlie is my name."
"Look, I haven't used it since I was nine. Could we move on now?"
"Personal attributes? What the hell kind of songs did your chorus teacher make you sing?"
"It was an old folk song, we were just at that age where any possible reference to anything even remotely sexual is hilarious. To the coarser brats, at least."
"I don't suppose you'd care to sing a few stanzas? Just to humor me? Chuck?"
"If you promise to never call me that again I'll do it. Once."
"Okay, I promise. Now, give."
Sky cleared his throat and sang, at a breakneck pace and in such a small voice that Grey had to strain to distinguish the words.
"My love was six foot two, without stocking or shoe
In proportion my true love was built"
"Sounds about right."
"You peeked? I thought you were a southern gentleman. Now I'm all disillusioned, and before breakfast too. That's extremely cruel of you."
"I couldn't help peeking, and besides, you peeked at me. I caught you, remember?"
"How could I forget, it's not everyday someone brandishes a cross at me. If I was a vampire it would have been more effective though."
"Sorry about that, my upbringing got the better of me. I've pretty much gotten over that though."
"I've noticed. I got back a few days ago and decided to air the my surprise to find such a treasure trove of lurid literature lurking under yours."
"Sky, that was just, I was only, umm, I never really read much of it. "
"Me neither, I just leered at the illustrations. You may find some of them slightly drool smeared. I didn't even know there was a gay kama sutra."
"Yeah,well, Mins' cousin runs a book store and when I visited...well, there it was."
"Along with such classics as: 101 Ways to Drive Your Man Wild in Bed, Heat, I especially like that one by the way, and a virtual cornucopia of yaoi manga. Must be some store, I assume Mins cousin is a little bit that way?"
"Yeah,but actually he has a very nice book store, very respectable. But some of his friends who work there have started ordering things for him. Two of them, Taz and Faun, seem to have ordered all kinds of kinky stuff. At any rate, the store is making loads of cash so I think it's okay with him. Although he tends to blush when he cashes certain things out."
"I must go there. Maybe you could take me next time you go? We could browse the nasty section together for immoral support. And to avoid having you spend money on anything I already have."
"It's a date. And Sky, I really wanted to say, I wanted to ask...would you go out with me? Not just to the bookstore but, in a more exclusive, romantic way? Because I think I might be falling in love with you."
"I always knew that at heart you were a man of impeccable taste. And yes, I would love to go out with you. I missed you more than I can say. And I was hoping that your recent literary choices were indicative of a weakness for me, rather than a general curiosity. Or an interest in anyone else. I worked myself into quite the tizzy over that possibility. I was planning on moonlight seduction in an attempt to purge anyone else from your mind, or heart. Once I got my nerve up, at any rate."
'If there's one thing you've no shortage of, it's nerve. But does this mean I don't get the full moonlight romance? Because it sounds lovely."
Sky arched back a little, pressing against Grey in interesting ways.
"Why wait for moonlight? We've got this lovely spot all to ourselves right now."
Grey kissed the side of Skys' neck while his hands moved slowly over Skys chest and belly, shyly stroking along the waistband of his jeans.
Sky smiled and rested his hands over Greys.
"I take this as assent?"
Grey paused in licking Skys shoulder and cleared his throat.
"Yes, but, I don't want to rush things. I do want you, but could we start slow? This is so new to me, I've never even really kissed anyone before."
Sky nodded and squeezed Greys hands gently.
"I wondered. Slow is good, we can go as slow as you like. I do want a chance to touch you though. Could you give me that?"
Grey slid back, loosening his grip as he did so. Sky turned, cupped Greys crimson face in his hands and kissed him, first lightly then more firmly when Grey showed no signs of pulling away.
In fact, Grey leaned into the kiss as though he were starved for it, when Sky opened his lips Grey explored his mouth with such deep, thorough intensity that it left Sky breathless and shaky.
Not so shaky that he stopped working Greys shirt off his slender frame though.
When the material had been pushed aside Sky pulled Grey closer, eager to share the sweetness of skin on skin. Grey moaned into the kiss, arms tightening around Sky in response to the heady,new sensation.
Both rose to their knees as if on a signal,pressing still clothed groins against each other, rocking together in growing need. When Sky drew back Grey shivered, small noises of protest rising from his throat.
Sky soothed him with murmured nonsense while he unzipped first Greys jeans and then his own, impatiently shoving the material down to free them. This brought more sounds from Grey, and when Sky ran his finger tips over Greys length the sounds became words.
"Please, let me touch, need to..."
He reached for Skys' length, fingers closing around it and gently squeezing. Sky mirrored the action, both boys panting now, hips moving in jerky unison.
The exploratory touching became stroking, a shared rhythm emerged and carried them swiftly to release amidst a flurry of whispered and gasped endearments. Grey collapsed against Sky, who obligingly unfolded long legs and leaned back until he was reclining on the grass with Grey resting atop him.
They rested there for quite a while, then Grey raised his head to look at Sky. The sleepy smile of contentment on Skys' face lifted his heart even higher and he reluctantly broke the silence.
"Sky, that was amazing. Thank you."
"Same here. Do you suppose we can just stay here for a day or two, I hate the thought of moving. This is too perfect, you know you fit exactly right in my arms. Although I suppose that it would be difficult to call for some sustenance to be delivered here. I'm uncertain the delivery boy would be up to blazing a trail to leave off a pizza. Or chinese, that sounds good too."
"This is the cue for me to get you back to the room and reward you with breakfast, isn't it?"
"You should have been the drama major, your timing is flawless."
They sat up, Grey brushing futilely at the evidence of passion dried onto his belly and chest.
Sky noticed and motioned him to wait while he wriggled back to the streams edge. When he returned he grinned at Grey.
"Brace yourself, this is going to be a bit on the brisk side."
Grey gasped at the cold of the wet cloth that ran swiftly over him, goose bumps rising instantly.
"Damn, now I'm wide awake again. Sky, that's your shirt! You shouldn't use that!"
"This old rag? Don't be , the choices are a bit limited at the moment. And
I can keep it as a memento of the occasion of our first act of passion. I'll place it in a shadow box and we can read the future from the patterns of mold that form on it."
"I can't decide whether that's romantic or gross. Or both. I love you."
"And I you. I'd go so far as to say worship isn't out of the question, after a good meal."
"The way to a mans heart really is through his stomach?"
"With interesting detours along the way, yes. Are you ready to go?"
"I guess. We can come back soon though? I like this place."
"Me too, although I fear your fondness for it may wane considerably in the near future."
"No, it won't, it's our place, I'll always love it here. How could you even think otherwise?"
"Your romantic streak is heart warming. The fact that even poison ivy can't dim your ardor speaks well of you."
"What the hell? Oh,no, I'm really allergic too, I'm going to swell up like a balloon. Damn, I'm itching already! I can't start classes like this!"
"Come on, stiff upper lip and all that. We'll head back to the dorm and I'll slather you with calamine lotion. Pink becomes you, it'll be fun."
"Easy for you to say. I gather elves don't get poison ivy? Or half elves?"
"Of course not! We are at one with the natural world, linked intimately to the web of life, in tune with all expressions of the bounty of the land."
They spent the first three days of classes soaking in oatmeal baths and smearing each other with soothing lotions. Grey noted that Skys reaction to the toxic plant was even worse than his, but he didn't comment on it. Some things are better left unsaid, even between new lovers.