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FIC: Life to Live (Ray/Chris, Brown Cortina)

Title: Life to Live
Author: Me...yup, again.
Spoilers: None
Rating: Brown Cortina
Word Count: 6438
Pairings: Chris/Ray
Summary: Keep your fears to yourself and share your courage with others.
A/N: Bunny bit me. Wicca kept me sane whilst I satisfied the gnawing.

Ray shoved open the door to CID, already in a foul mood before the day had even properly started.

He’d had a sleepless night, his body half running on adrenalin from the previous day’s shoot-out and half kept awake by the intense pain radiating from the large gouge a bullet had made in his right bicep.

It didn’t help that the country was in the middle of a heatwave which had led to everyone leaving their windows and doors wide open and being robbed blind by any enterprising crook in the city. They all had piles of case files on their desks which were growing by the day, and whilst all Ray really wanted to do was sit at home with a cold beer and a lot of painkillers he had to make do with a stuffy smoky office and a mug of tea.

He slumped at his desk, hoping that he was looking in a shitty enough mood to discourage anyone from bothering him, and opened his first file. Then he looked up. Something – someone – was missing from the room. He looked over to Sam, who was working quietly at his own desk.

“Boss?” Ray called, not willing to move. “Where’s the div?”

Sam frowned at the insult. “I’ve no idea where DC Skelton is, I’m afraid.”

Ray frowned. Chris’s absence didn’t improve his mood one bit. Mind, Chris had been totally shit-faced when he’d staggered out of the Railway Arms the night before. Ray had only had time for a few, once the hospital had stitched him up and set him free, so he’d got to the pub to find everyone else already three sheets to the wind.

By the afternoon there was still no sign of Chris, and Ray had begun to make a few discreet enquiries to find out if he’d called in sick or taken the day off. In the end he knocked gently on Gene’s door.

“Yeah,” Gene called.

Ray slipped into the office. “Guv…you know where Chris is?”

Gene looked up. “’E still not here? Remind me to dock his wages.”

“’S not like Chris, Guv, not to call.”

Gene shrugged. “He weren’t great down the pub last night. Depressed like. ‘E just needs a few days. You know what Chris is like, soft as shit when it comes to the rough stuff.”

Ray nodded. He’d lost track of Chris somewhere between picking up the bullet and being carted off to the hospital, but the nurses had assured him that he was the only casualty from Manchester’s finest that day.

“’Ow’re you, anyway?” Gene gestured to Ray’s arm.

Ray shrugged. “’S just a scratch.”

“That’s the spirit, eh? If you see Chris, tell ‘im I want a word. If you can make it in, ‘e’s got no bloody excuse. No bollocks that kid, sometimes.”

Ray nodded, but felt bad that he’d somehow landed Chris is more shit just by trying to find out if he was okay.

The next day Chris didn’t turn in again. Ray spent the day alternately growling at anyone who came close to him and worrying about Chris’s whereabouts. His case files remained firmly in his in-tray, his mind wandering from the task at hand.

As soon as Gene called time on the working day Ray was out of the station and on his way to Chris’s tiny flat. Ray had only been there a couple of times, and always at Chris’s invitation. He banged on the door hard enough to make plaster fall from the ceiling, but there was no answer until a young woman appeared at the top of the stairs.

“’E ain’t in – gone away, I reckon. ‘Ad a bag wiv ‘im, like,” she said, chewing gum loudly. “Whachoo want anyway?”

“Jus’ tryin’ to find ‘im,” Ray answered. “Nothin’ important.”

He left the building, slamming the front door behind him. Where the fuck had Chris gone? He lit a cigarette as he stood on the front steps of the building, at a loss of what to do. He wanted to find Chris desperately. From what he’d gathered by the gossip around the office Chris had been very upset after the shoot-out. He’d been stuck on his own, hiding behind a car, when it had started. Eventually Ray had got to him, picking up his wound on the way. As Ray had thrown himself down next to Chris, arm slick with blood, gun smoking and sweat running off him, he remembered the look of horror in Chris’s eyes and the cold, unfired gun that Chris held, his knuckles white.

They’d been lucky – the robbers had been caught totally by surprise and once they’d realised that there really was no way out they had surrendered and been arrested. Ray had been one of the ones who approached them, gun drawn, as they came out and gave up their weapons. He didn’t remember where Chris had been. He assumed now that Chris hadn’t moved, had stayed cowering behind the car. He wished that he’d waited to check the younger man was all right.

He headed back to his car, trying to tell himself that Chris would be back in CID the next day. There was nothing sinister about his disappearance. The girl from upstairs had confirmed that Chris had just gone away somewhere. Without telling anyone. Without getting leave.

As soon as Chris didn’t turn up at the start of the day Ray headed straight for Gene’s office.

“Guv, it’s Chris…” he started.

“Little wanker’ll be lucky if ‘e’s still got a job when ‘e shows his face again,” Gene growled unsympathetically.

Ray swallowed. “I…no one seems to know where he is, Guv.”

“An’ I for one don’t care. This is a team. You don’t leave yer mates in the shit like this.”

Ray backed out of the room slowly; pretty sure he’d managed to make things worse for Chris. If he ever came back.

And that was what was really scaring Ray. The thought that maybe this was it. Chris had always been sensitive, had always found certain aspects of the job hard to deal with. Maybe this last gunfight had pushed him over the edge. Ray couldn’t imagine getting through each day without the younger man anymore. Yes, he gave him grief and took the piss out of him, but he still cared for Chris – always had. And until now he had thought that Chris would feel comfortable about talking to him about any problems he was having – they often moaned about the state of the job over a few jars in the Arms.

Ray closed the door behind him, his gaze coming to rest on the empty desk.

Sam looked from Ray to the desk. Ray looked like shit – as if he hadn’t slept for a week, his forehead creased with worry. And it wasn’t hard to work out the source of his concern.

“Sergeant,” Sam beckoned Ray over.

Ray hesitated. Sam was bound to give him more work to do or make some smart-arse comment about his lack of progress on his cases. But he didn’t have a choice or the energy to do anything except to obey his summons. He trudged to Sam’s desk.


“No news on Chris?” Sam asked quietly.

Ray shook his head. “’E’s gone away, so says the bird who lives upstairs from ‘im.”

Sam nodded. “Know where he’s gone?”

Ray shook his head silently.

“Reckon you could find out?” Sam pushed.

Ray felt a glimmer of hope. “Probably…yeah, yeah, I could.”

“Go on then,” Sam waved a hand.

“But…the Guv…” Ray started.

“Leave him to me, Sergeant,” Sam gave a small smile.

Ray couldn’t quite believe what he was hearing, but he nodded slowly, then smiled. “Cheers, Boss.”

He grabbed his things and left the office, moving faster than he had since the shootout.

Fewer than ten minutes later he was standing outside Chris’s parent’s house. He didn’t exactly know what to say – he didn’t want to alarm Mr and Mrs Skelton, but he hoped that Chris might have given them some clue as to his whereabouts. Otherwise Ray would have to begin an entire investigation, which would take time.

He pushed the doorbell, pulling at his tie to try to straighten it as he waited. The sun beat down on his back but he knew only half of the sweat on his skin was from the heat – the other half from the worried anticipation.

Ray recognised Chris’s Mother when she opened the door and he quickly plastered a smile on his face. He’d never really met her, just seen her when he’d picked Chris up for work and taken him home drunk, before Chris had moved out.

“Uh…Mrs Skelton, I’m…um, I’m looking for Chris,” he said.

“Oh, he ain’t here, love,” she smiled.

“No…I kinda thought he wouldn’t be. I wondered if you knew were ‘e was, though?” Ray asked, trying to keep his cool and be polite.

“Why don’t you come on in, Ray? He’s told me an awful lot about you, y’know,” Mrs Skelton smiled.

“If…it’s okay with you, I just…I need t’find Chris. Maybe some other time…”

“What’s the hurry? Christopher isn’t due back until the day after tomorrow – or at least, that’s what I thought ‘e said.”

“I just…there’s somethin’ I need to speak to ‘im about. Urgent, like. I just need…want to find him, if you’ve got a number, or address or owt?” Ray pleaded.

“Well, I’m not sure exactly where he is – now he’s all grown up he doesn’t tell us things like he used to. But he was askin’ all about where we used to go on our holidays, sometimes. Near Talacre, on the north Wales coast. Beautiful, it is, lovely. I took it that ‘e was headed there. Nice empty beaches an’ all, this time of year. Feel like you’re away from the world, there. A perfect spot for a break.”

Ray found he was nodding. It did sound like exactly what Chris probably needed.

“It’s only a small place…I’m sure you can phone round and find ‘im – you bein’ the police an’ all.” She wrote down the name of the village on a piece of paper, handing it over to Ray. “There you are, love.”

Ray nodded, already planning the journey in his head. There was nothing he wanted to say on the telephone.

He thanked Chris’s mother, then headed back to his flat. He changed out of his work clothes, pulling on his jeans and a short sleeved shirt, then headed straight back to the car, intending to put his foot to the floor and not let up until he’d reached the small coastal town. He just hoped that he would be able to find Chris once he got there.

Two hours later he pulled up on the main street of the small village. He looked up at the array of guesthouses and bed and breakfasts with a sinking feeling. He parked the car and got out, stretching. His shirt was sticking to him with sweat, the sun unrelenting. The street was quiet though, a midweek day in term time meant that few families or holidaymakers had ventured out.

Ray locked the car and headed for the local shop, hoping that someone might know something.

He tried to keep his usual interrogation style toned down as he spoke to the old lady behind the counter. She listened to his description of Chris, then frowned slightly.

“There’s the young boy,” she mused. “I think ‘e’s from Manchester, you know. Young Christopher, he’s been comin’ here since he were knee high. Lovely lad, he is. Maybe he’s who you’re lookin’ for, love?”

Ray almost kissed her. “Yeah – I mean, yes, Chris Skelton. He’s here?”

“Oh yes, dear. Why didn’t you just say his name to start with? Nice boy, he is, stayin’ over in the caravan park down the way.”

“The caravan…right…thank you, thanks,” Ray turned to leave, overjoyed that he was so close to finding Chris.

“He’s not there now, though, dear. Went along the beach, I think. Leastways, I saw him walkin’ up toward the point when I was out with my Sammy here,” the lady bent down and ruffled the fur of a small dog that began yapping in the most annoying way. Ray couldn’t help but think of its namesake and his annoying yapping too.

“That way?” Ray pointed.

“Yes dear. I mean, that was an hour or so ago now, dear.”

Ray nodded and left, heading to the walkway that led to the beach. As he headed along the beach his trainers sank into the soft sand. He stopped for a moment and kicked them off, rolling his jeans up to halfway up his calves and heading for the damp sand at the water’s edge. After walking for around half an hour he unbuttoned his shirt and took it off, throwing it over one shoulder. His shoes were already hanging around his neck by the laces, so he trudged on, only passing a few people and none of them looking at all like Chris.

As he approached the end of the beach, where the rocky cliff rose high out of the water, his heart sank. His arm was pulsing with waves of pain, he’d wasted most of the afternoon and found nothing. The old woman was obviously wrong, or Chris had headed to somewhere else. There were plenty of places that he could have left the beach, walked back up to the road or into the fields. Then he saw a lone figure sitting up on the rocks, staring out to sea and he instinctively knew it was Chris. He picked up his pace, finally clambering over the rocks, feet slipping on the weeds.

Chris was pulled from his thoughts by someone approaching him. He ignored them, not wanting to speak to anyone. He kept his gaze firmly fixed on the horizon whilst his thoughts wandered all over. He was well aware that soon – very soon – he would have to go back to the city. And if he still had a job he had some hard decisions to make.

He suddenly realised that the other person was almost next to him now, and he jumped a little, turning to tell them to go away. Except that the person who flopped down beside him on his rock wasn’t a stranger, but they were one of the last people Chris had expected to see.

“Nice place,” Ray said softly, dropping his shoes beside him and rubbing his shirt over his body to rid himself of some of the sweat.

Chris just stared.

Ray glanced at him. “Wha’?” he asked.

“What…why’re…how’d you get here?” Chris asked.

Ray shrugged. “You disappeared. What did you think I’d do?”

Chris was lost for words. He moved his gaze from Ray’s face to the bright white bandage that was swathed around his arm. Then he turned back to stare at the sea. “Didn’t think anyone’d care,” he said softly.

Ray stared at him. “You…you div, Chris. ‘Course we fuckin’ care! You should’ve said, the Guv would ‘ave give you some time off.”

Chris shook his head. “’S…I don’t know if…dunno ‘f I want to come back,” he admitted.

Ray felt as if he’d been punched in the stomach. He had guessed that Chris would be feeling that way, but actually hearing him say it made it suddenly real. Chris was really thinking about leaving him. About leaving the force, he quickly corrected himself.

“You…you’re a good copper, Chris. Why’d you want to leave? What’d you do?” Ray pushed his hand through his hair, not having a clue what to do to try to convince Chris to stay.

Chris stood up, suddenly needing to move. He stepped over a few of the rocks, distancing himself from Ray.

“I’m not a good copper, I’m shit. I can’t even do the fuckin’ job. Not…not like I should. I don’t wanna do it anymore, I hate it, I hate it.”

Ray felt something grip at his heart. Chris was so distressed, so worked up. All Ray wanted to do was help the younger man.

He stood up slowly, not wanting to crowd Chris, but needing to offer his support.

“You’re not shit. Just…just cos you do things more like the boss than maybe me or the Guv…it don’t make you no worse. ‘S jus’…different.”

Chris span around. “It ain’t that…look, look what ‘appened th’other day. I couldn’t do it. We were all in that together – we’re meant t’look out fer each other and…” he turned away again, fighting tears back. “An’ ‘stead you got hurt, cos I was too scared to even shoot an’ you ‘ad to come an’ rescue me, like some…girl or summit.”

Ray carefully stepped across the slippery rocks and put his hand on Chris’s shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze.

“You were all right, you div. You were fine, tucked up where you were. I jus’…I made a bad choice ‘a all. I should’ve stayed where I was an’ let you be. ‘S no one’s fault that I got ‘it other’n mine, okay?”

Chris looked up at him, his eyes bright with moisture. “Yer jus’ sayin’ that,” he mumbled, wiping his eyes.

“No, I’m not.” Ray took a deep breath. “Sometimes, it’s ‘ard, y’know, an’…it ain’t just you, thinks that. It don’t make you any less of a copper jus’ cos you get scared an’ that. We all get scared.”

Chris moved, stepping back down onto the soft sand, his hands deep in his pockets. His feet were bare, his trousers rolled up the same as Ray’s were and he walked down to the water’s edge. The sun was rapidly sinking away to the west, the sparkle on the gentle waves shimmering.

“You don’t get scared,” he said, almost accusingly. “The Guv don’t, neither. ‘E told me I was pathetic, an’ he’s right, i’n’t he?”

Ray grabbed his shirt and shoes and followed Chris. “That ain’t true. ‘Course I get scared – and the Guv, too. It’s…” Ray waved his hand. “’S different, y’know. How we was brought up.”

Chris shook his head, not believing him and began slowly walking along the shoreline, feeling the sand stick between his toes and the gently lapping waves wash it away again.

“When…when I were a kid, I got scared, a lot,” Ray began. “When I got put in the home – orphanage, whatever, I used to cry all the time, in the night.”

“You were a kid,” Chris answered. “’S not the same.”

“’Ey, lemme finish. There was this woman, looked after us. She were all right, y’know? She’d lost her old man in the fightin’ and she were good to us. She sat me down, ‘bout a week after I got there, asked me what were wrong. I was scared of the bombers comin’ back, and what would ‘appen to me an’ all sorts. She told me not to be. Told me ‘ow we all had a duty, it was up to us, kids like me as well as everyone else, not to show that we were scared. Not to let it rule our lives. She said to me that people ‘ave only got power over you when you’re scared of summit, an’ usually, whatever they’re scarin’ you with, it’s what they’re scared of ‘emselves. So Hitler, the Germans, they weren’t so scary, not wi’ our boys over there, fightin’ them, an’ winnin’. Them blokes up in the bombers, they weren’t nothin’, not if I didn’t let ‘em be. And she said it were my duty – all of us older kid’s duty – not to be scared, cos if we were, then the little ‘uns would be. If we showed we was brave, then they would be too.”

Chris nodded, unable to even imagine what Ray had gone through as a child. Chris had found that the imaginary monsters under his bed was enough to paralyze him with fear on a regular basis, let alone the very real threat of bombs blowing everything to smithereens.

“An’ it’s like that now, see. We’re scared, right? Me an’ the Guv an’ the others – but we ain’t ‘alf as scared as them bastards what’re shooting at us. An’ we just gotta show that. So when yer heart’s going a million miles an hour an’ yer sweatin’…imagine what them cunts are feelin’, cos they know we’ll beat ‘em.”

Chris nodded, looking across at Ray.

“How’s your arm?” he asked, gesturing to the bandage.

“Fine – ‘s a scratch,” Ray answered without a second thought.

Chris gave a small grin. “An’ really?”

Ray laughed. “Hurts like all fiery fuck. An’ it’s all your fault, so stop smirkin’.”

“You said it weren’t my fault,” Chris frowned.

Ray shrugged. “’Alf an’ ‘alf then. ‘S your fault I was dumb enough to run out like I did, same as it’s your fault I’m ‘ere now, risking the Guv shootin’ the other arm once we get back.”

Chris walked on in silence for a short way.

“You want me on the team? Even if you get shot cos of me?”

“You know what scared me most in the last coupla days?” Ray asked, picking up a pebble and throwing it out into the waves.

Chris shook his head.

“Thought of goin’ to work every day an’ you not bein’ there.”

Chris stopped dead.

“Really?” he asked.

Ray nodded, amazed that he’d just admitted such a thing. He shook his head as if shaking off the sudden charge of emotion, but when he looked up Chris’s eyes were still wide with disbelief, as if he found it impossible to believe that anyone could possibly care.

Before he knew what he was doing Ray stepped forward and slid his hand along Chris’s jaw, fingers twining into his floppy hair and Ray kissed him, just brushing his lips against Chris’s. Then he stood, still holding Chris, and waiting. It felt as if time had stopped as he stared into Chris’s mismatched eyes.

When Chris didn’t move away or punch him Ray took a step closer, pressing his body against Chris’s and kissing him again, this time sliding a hand around his waist and holding him tightly. Chris responded this time, the fingers of one hand digging into Ray’s buttock, the other on Ray’s back, the naked skin smooth to his touch.

When they broke the kiss Ray held onto Chris even more tightly, resting his chin on Chris’s shoulder. “Really,” he whispered.

Chris stood, happy and unmoving, feeling himself draw strength from Ray as their feet sank into the sand, water lapping at their ankles. And he knew that he had to go back to Manchester, to the station, to the job. He had to show himself that there was nothing to fear but fear itself. Ray had risked his life for him three days ago, and was now risking his livelihood by trying to convince Chris to return.

“I…I di’n’t know,” he said softly, nuzzling his face into the curls of hair around Ray’s ear.

Ray stayed silent, not entirely sure he’d known himself. Then he finally moved as the sun slid down past the horizon.

“C’mon, let’s go ‘n get a beer or summit,” he smiled, sliding his hand down onto Chris’s hip.

Chris nodded, smiling widely for the first time in days. He tried to take a step forward but his feet were so firmly glued into the wet sand he just flailed his arms, tried to grab hold of Ray and ended up bring them both down in the shallow water. He laughed uncontrollably at Ray’s surprised yelp and rolled onto his back, the cold water already having soaked straight through his shirt and trousers. The water tickled as ripples lapped at him and he found he just couldn’t stop laughing, the three days of mental torture he’d put himself through giving way to manic giggling as he turned his head to see Ray sitting next to him, wet sand sliding out of his hair and down his still-naked back.

Chris got onto all fours and launched himself at Ray, pushing him back down onto the sand and kissing him, pressing his body down onto Ray, tangling their legs and feeling the grainy sand between his own thin shirt and Ray’s chest.

Ray kissed back, feeling his cock filling out, making his wet, tight jeans even more uncomfortable. He reached up and put his hand on Chris’s chest, laughing and trying to push the younger man off him. Chris responded by grabbing his wrist and holding it down, once again sinking into the cold wet sand. Ray didn’t put up much of a struggle, enjoying the feel of being pressed against Chris from head to toe, the warmth of his body a perfect counterpoint to the cold water.

A particularly large wave washed over their legs and Chris shivered. Then Ray jumped underneath him, his whole body tensing.

“Jesus fuckin’…”

Chris rolled off Ray quickly, all sorts of images of sharks or other vicious sea-dwelling creatures assaulting his mind, he looked down at Ray who was sitting up, still swearing under his breath.

“What? What?” he asked, panicking.

“Bloody…bastard…” Ray had his hand clamped over the bandage on his arm. “Fuckin’ salt water!”

And Chris couldn’t help but giggle again. “You said it were just a scratch,” he accused.

Ray frowned, but despite the biting pain in his arm he couldn’t help but smile, the joy at seeing Chris so happy again far outweighing any other concerns. “Yeah, well…an’ that time was hundred per cent your fault.”

Chris jumped up, reaching down and pulling Ray to his feet too.

“C’mon, there’s showers ‘n all back on the site,” he said still laughing.

Ray nodded, wiping himself down with his shirt again, then handing it to Chris who also used it to get rid of most of the wet sand and scrub most of the water out of his hair.

Chris handed the shirt back and took hold of Ray’s hand, shooting him a quick look to make sure the action was acceptable.

They walked through the surf, giving in to the fact that neither of them could get any wetter, so kicking up great sprays of water in front of them, venturing in almost up to their thighs. Chris was taken back to being a child, coming to the beach and meeting other kids – the inevitable water fights that ensued as they all threw themselves into the ocean, friendships that were unbreakable for one week and forgotten in another.

He tugged on Ray’s hand, pulling him back against him and kissed him on the lips again, smiling.

“What?” Ray asked.

Chris shrugged. “Jus’ happy. You…you came all this way, an’ found me…just cos you missed me?”

Ray shrugged. “Was worried about you, ya daft bugger.”

“I…di’n’t think anyone’d miss me,” Chris admitted.

“’S cos you’re a div,” Ray answered, softening the insult by dragging Chris into a one-armed hug as they walked. “An’ cos I’ve been lustin’ after your arse for years now an’ve been too shit scared to say so.”

“Up here,” Chris gestured to a pathway off the beach, trying to deal with Ray’s latest revelation. “Why were you scared?”

Ray looked at him. “You jokin’? Why ‘d any sane man be scared of crackin’ on his best mate? You might’ve told me ‘xactly where t’ get off an’ never spoken to me again.”

“You di’n’t look scared back there,” Chris gestured over his shoulder.

“What’d I ‘ave to lose? You weren’t gonna come back anyways, were you?”

Chris shrugged. “Might’ve. Maybe.”

“Wouldn’t be the same, wi’out you,” Ray said, looking at his bare feet in the gloom as they walked across the scrubby grass toward the campsite. “Know I give you stick an’ all…but…only cos I care.”

Chris nodded. “An’ you don’t mind that I’m no good with the guns?”

Ray shook his head. “I ‘ope no one’ll ever pull a gun anywhere near you ‘s long ‘s we live. But if they do, I’ll be there, ‘kay?”

Chris pulled his hand out of Ray’s. “No – no, that ain’t the point. That’s why I di’n’t want to come back. I don’t want you puttin’ yourself in danger ‘cause of me. If I ain’t good enough to look after meself I shouldn’t be out there, I shouldn’t be a copper.”

Ray grabbed hold of Chris’s wrist. “That ain’t true. I can’t spell for fuck, does that mean I shouldn’t be a copper? Jus’ cos I’m no good at the reports?”

“Spellin’ ain’t gonna get someone killed,” Chris answered.

“An’ neither are you. We work together. One of us is found wantin’ the other makes up for it – that’s ‘ow it works, ‘s how it’s always worked. The force needs coppers like you ‘n the Boss just as much as it needs my sort, right? ‘Sides I di’n’t come here for the fuckin’ job, I came ‘ere for you.” Ray had hold of both of Chris’s arms now, and his bright blue eyes seemed to see straight into Chris’s soul.

Chris nodded, lost for words.

Then he looked at the sand covered bandage around Ray’s arm. “C’mon, need t’ get you sorted,” he said softly.

Ray nodded, his emotions torn between wanting to shake some sense into Chris and drag him back to work and wishing he could take Chris away from all the horror and violence they were exposed to on a daily basis and keep him safe somewhere. He allowed Chris to lead him to one of the small caravans. Now the sun had gone there was a chill wind blowing in off the sea and Ray shivered, glad when Chris opened the door and gestured him inside.

“Get out of them wet clothes,” Chris said, already undoing his own shirt. “There’s towels in that cupboard there.”

Ray undid his jeans and slid out of them, the sticky salt water and wet cloth combining to make the task more difficult than usual. He retrieved two towels from the cupboard, handing one to Chris and slipping his underwear off before slinging the other around his hips. Chris tried not to look at Ray’s naked body – but years of averting his eyes in communal showers and at the urinals for fear of being called a poof or a fairy had been overridden the moment that Ray’s lips had touched his on the beach. He grabbed a bottle of shampoo and beckoned Ray back out of the caravan.

“C’mon, shower, ‘fore we catch a chill.”

Ray followed him the few yards to the small shower block, feeling very silly running around in a just a towel and finding it very hard to keep his eyes off Chris’s backside.

The block was silent and empty, so Chris dragged Ray into one of the stalls, locking the door behind them. He stood in the small dressing area, reaching in and turning the shower on to let it warm up before turning back to Ray.

“Here, lemme,” he carefully undid the safety pin that was holding the bandage on Ray’s arm and gently unwound it, removing the thickly wadded padding which was now soaking wet. He frowned at the pink bloodstains, worried, then moved Ray’s arm into the light. The gouge was large and deep, dozens of stitches holding the edges together. Chris opened his mouth to scold Ray about playing down the wound, but thought better of it. Instead he examined the stitches.

“Shouldn’t ‘a got them wet,” he commented.

Ray took Chris’s hand and stepped toward him, pushing Chris back against the door of the stall. “An’ whose fault was it that we ended up in the water?”

Chris grinned. “Get in that shower,” he said, keeping his voice low. He knew that if Ray pushed he’d be in no state to put up any kind of a fight, which would doubtless lead to them doing something in the shower room that would be a lot more fun – not to mention comfortable – if they saved it for the bed.

Ray kissed Chris very briefly then turned, dumping his towel on the small bench and stepped under the spray, hissing as the hot water first ran over the wound, then turning, water dripping from his hair and holding out a hand to Chris. Chris needed no second invitation, quickly moving in next to Ray, sliding their bodies together under the hot water.

Chris closed his eyes and tipped his head back under the spray, trying to rid himself of all the sand from his hair. He felt a hand skim over his stomach and then head straight for his groin. He gasped as Ray cupped his bollocks and gave them a gentle squeeze before gripping his semi-hard cock and holding it in a tight fist. Chris could feel his dick filling out and twitching. He opened his eyes to see Ray watching him intently, his bright blue eyes holding Chris’s green-blue gaze. Chris couldn’t help but give a small whimper, his mouth falling open as he panted. Ray’s hand was barely moving, but just the thought of it being Ray that was holding him so tightly, and Ray’s body that was pressing up against him was enough.

“You’re fuckin’ gorgeous,” Ray said, his voice low and gravely.

Chris tried to fight his instinct, tried not to give in to the animalistic need inside himself, but he failed. His hips bucked into Ray, his hand wrapped around Ray’s fist, urging the other man to move, the other slipped around the back of Ray’s neck, into the soft wet hair, pulling Ray closer.

Ray smiled. Chris looked completely wanton, his mouth hanging open as he panted, his mis-matched eyes were dark as his pupils dilated, his muscles quivering against Ray.

Ray leant into him, beginning to pump his fist around Chris’s thick cock. He kissed Chris, feeling the younger man panting into his mouth. He gently bit down on Chris’s lower lip causing Chris to moan deep in his throat.

Ray could feel Chris’s balls tightening so he slid his mouth over Chris’s wet skin, kissing around his neck until his lips found Chris’s ear. He sucked the water off the soft lobe, then breathed over the exposed skin. “Come for me,” he commanded.

Chris felt his eyeballs rolling back in his head. He bit his lip hard as he tried to push even further into Ray’s grip, he could feel his legs shaking like mad as his muscles tensed further and then suddenly wave after wave of pleasure crashed over him, his muscles relaxing. He pushed even harder as he felt Ray’s teeth grazing over his shoulder, Ray’s cock, also rock hard, sliding against his own cum-covered thigh. He grabbed Ray’s shoulders as all the strength seemed to drain from his body, his breaths coming in shuddering gasps.

Ray kissed him hard, the water running over and between their bodies, washing away Chris’s semen and sweat.

Once Chris had finally gathered himself enough to breath evenly and stand up on his own he opened his eyes. Ray smiled gently.

“Back wi’ me?” he asked.

Chris nodded, still lost for words.

Ray let go of him, reaching for the shampoo and squirting some into his palm. He lathered up his hair, then rubbed the suds over his chest.

Chris reached out and ran his hands through the bubbles, leaving trails across Ray’s chest and stomach. Ray’s cock was still hard, pointing directly at Chris, but Ray seemed to be ignoring it, standing with his head back and eyes closed, rinsing his hair out. Chris realised that he’d never even touched another man’s dick, let alone do anything else, but somehow, instinctively, he knew what he wanted to do.

His hands still slippery with shampoo he reached out and ran his palm up the underside of Ray’s cock, watching as it jerked in his hand at the touch. He closed his fist around it, just a little bit tighter than he thought he probably should, and pumped. Ray groaned and Chris smiled, the sound sending shivers over him. He slid his free hand down to Ray’s balls and gently rolled them between his fingers, feeling them tighten almost immediately. Then he bent his head, swiping his tongue over on of Ray’s nipples, then moving sideways and gently biting the other.

“Chrisssss,” Ray felt his body let go as Chris’s teeth fastened onto his hardened nipple. He grabbed for Chris, dragging him closer, feeling the hot semen between them, slick between their stomachs.

Chris tightened the hold, the feeling of Ray’s solid muscular body so different to that of his past girlfriends, but so right. He found he was panting again, caught up in Ray’s pleasure.

Finally Ray moved, shifting away from Chris. He washed the now-sticky cum off himself and passed Chris the shampoo bottle, sliding his hand down between Chris’s bum cheeks, following the trail of shampoo suds. Chris yelped at the intimate touch, turning on Ray, but Ray escaped out of the shower tray, grabbing his towel and rubbing it roughly over his hair.

Chris quickly rinsed himself off, suddenly desperate to get Ray all to himself in private.

As they ran across the grass, towels clutched around their waists, both shivering in the chill sea wind, Chris wondered for a second what anyone would think if they saw them, and he realised in a wonderful moment of revelation that he didn’t care one bit.

Once they were back in the small caravan Chris shoved Ray backwards onto the bed, clambering on after him. He pulled the cover up over them both, giving a theatrical shiver. Ray lay on his back, propped up on the pillows. He settled Chris against his chest, tracing patterns on Chris’s back with the tips of his fingers. Chris slid a hand between Ray’s thighs, the steady beat of Ray’s heart loud in his ear. He sighed contentedly, allowing Ray’s soft touch to drive away all thoughts of ever having to go back and face the Boss, the Guv or the criminal population of Manchester, but secure in the knowledge that when he did have to face them he would do so with Ray at his side.


( 17 people have informed on me — Spill your guts )
Jun. 23rd, 2007 11:13 pm (UTC)
Hey baby, okay this was extremely hot, so very sweet and gorgeous. Really beautiful. Love that Ray reveals so much about himself to Chris but doesn't really want to and can't help it (that's how it felt to me,lol) and these two are jut so sweet together.
All the little bits you sent were fantastic but reading it together is even better. Oh, ps..yahscrew is being, well screwy so I'm off for the night, unless it starts behaving itself..*hits her pc*
Jun. 23rd, 2007 11:19 pm (UTC)
Ah, yahpoo sucks.

Thank you for your kind words. I hope yahell not playing means you're concentrating on getting those boys inked XD And Ray didn't want to say that much, but words kept falling out of him until he thought Chris had got the message.

The Yankees have just tied the game at the top of the ninth in the baseball. ALL I wanted was for this game to run the nine innings and be over...but at this rate it could go on forever (if it's tied after the bottom of the ninth they just keep playing until someone actually wins...zomg...it could *actually* go on *forever*)
Jun. 24th, 2007 01:12 am (UTC)
Another excellent Chris/Ray :)
Loved the 'From Here to Eternity Bit' in the sand, and how you spoiled it for them with the salt getting into Ray's wound :D Exactly what would happen in real life.
And HELLO! The shower scene? Exceeeelllent :)
Esp. just how incredible SWEET Ray is with Chris, esp. him sitting next to Chris all semi naked and sweaty, sexy much? Yes! :D
I want to take your Ray and put him in a box of chocolate cookies he's so sweet :)
Jun. 24th, 2007 11:18 am (UTC)
I'm not at all sure Ray "The Rottweiller" Carling would appreciate being called sweet (sexy, yes...he wouldn't mind that!). I'll have to write something where he's a bastard to redress the balance. (but omg, yes, he is sweet!)

The shower scene wrote itself...they weren't meant to get down n dirty until they were in bed. What can I say, I have NO control over my muses.

Glad you enjoyed. There will be more coming...
Jun. 24th, 2007 08:43 am (UTC)
The shower scene... mmmm .... hot!!

You write Chris and Ray so well. I'm just a sucker for good porn and excellent writing ;)

Hope to see more from you when the bunnies bite.
Jun. 24th, 2007 11:19 am (UTC)
Thank you! You will defo see more...I have no control over these boys at all now!
Jun. 24th, 2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
Just to say this was extremely moving and really well written. You seem to have such a great handle on these characters.
Jun. 24th, 2007 08:58 pm (UTC)
You're very kind xx I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Jun. 25th, 2007 10:42 am (UTC)
This was great Elf!
Jun. 25th, 2007 10:53 am (UTC)
This was incredibly well written, and so incredibly sweet - I love Ray's concern over missing Chris, and the way that Ray confided in Chris - they were both so incredibly in character, and so sweet with one another. And it was incredibly hot as well :)
Jun. 25th, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you. I'm glad you thought they were in character. I'm worried that I see Ray through rather rose-tinted specs! But poor Chris...who wouldn't be worried about him?

Jul. 12th, 2007 12:04 am (UTC)
*fans self* So hot! I love a bit of hurt/comfort in fic. Ray is always such a sweetie, in a 70s manly sort of way... :)
Jul. 12th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
Glad you added the manly bit...he's being called sweet far too much recently XD I'm not sure he'd approve, even if we all know he's soft on the inside.

Ta for the fb xxx
Jun. 16th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
Phew- that was lovely- romantic even....

you do write slash very well- and you're the only person who's slash I will read!

Going off to read more now........

Jun. 16th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
Well I'm very honoured. I do tend more towards the plot/romance than just a shagathon, so I'm glad you enjoy :)

Feb. 12th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
That’s the first believable Ray/Chris slash I’ve ever seen. I will never be able to look any given LoM episode again with quite the same eyes but it’s for the better. Now I like Ray a whole lot more than before. Thanks. ^^
Feb. 13th, 2009 01:57 pm (UTC)
I'm very glad you enjoyed it! I hope you read some more Ray/Chris and get to love Ray like I do!

Thank you for commenting

( 17 people have informed on me — Spill your guts )

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