by Alexa C.
Summary: Beecher has something for Ryan. Follows "Solace."
Notes: Beta by Heph. Written for ADT on the occasion of her birthday. Originally posted Jan. 31, 1999.
"Close your eyes."
Tobias Beecher waited, studying the other man in the rays of sunlight slanting though the bars on the stairwell window, meeting the look of frank skepticism with deceptive placidness. He knew what he was asking, knew that a request - a demand - that Ryan O'Reilly trust him or anyone was likely to be met with resistance. His plan could go to hell in a minute by the other man's simple refusal.
But Beecher had to know how far their trust extended, had to believe in its reciprocity before he could offer what he had planned. His own scars were still too raw, the risk to his own peace of mind too great.
"What the hell are you doing, Beech?" Ryan finally asked, feet planted stolidly on the last step of the stairs, arms folded across his chest.
"C'mon, man, just close your eyes," Beecher wheedled. "And c'mere."
O'Reilly had shaken his head with a long-suffering sigh and lowered his lids, but he tensed as he felt Beecher's hand on his arm, pulling him toward the blond man.
"Beecher, dammit, not here ..."
"Will you fucking relax?" Beecher hissed. "Jesus, try to do something nice for you ... Your virtue is safe for now, O'Reilly. I'm not going to ravish you on the landing. It's not like we wouldn't hear the door in plenty of time if someone was coming, anyway."
Still tense, Ryan allowed himself to be led to the window and turned to face the panes of reinforced glass and steel bars that hemmed them in. Warm sunlight washed across his face, and Beecher knew the light behind the eyelids would be rosy as it filtered through the delicate skin. He resisted an urge to run his finger across the folds of tender flesh. Not here, not yet. As always, O'Reilly would have to be seduced, convinced that he truly needed the other man's touch.
Beecher felt a small pang of guilt - when had he become such a manipulator? - but he pushed it away. They both needed the stolen moments they shared - damp flesh pressed together behind the door of a janitor's closet, a taste of spice from another mouth as they hid among rows of canned beans and peas in the kitchen, brief caresses in empty grey hallways. And for once, Beecher was the stronger of the two, unwilling to hide from the knowledge that he needed the contact, needed it with a fierce desperation that sometimes made him feel like a man clutching to the only tree branch that kept him from finally falling over a cliff's edge.
And it had hurt three days ago when Ryan had shoved him away - again - in the kitchen, hurt as surely as a kick to the gut. Fueled by the memory of another rebuff, months ago, before they had come to an understanding, the resentment and anger had left him breathless and angry, hearing the the other man's voice traveling down a long, dark tunnel of despair: "I can't fucking do this, Beech."
"What?" he'd snapped out, feeling his own walls inexorably rising. How many times were they going to have to play this game? How many times until Ryan got tired of him, grew too wary of a relationship with another man, until Beecher could no longer hold O'Reilly with promises of solace and comfort? Fear and anger had turned outward, a defense sharpened by the harsh lessons of Oz. "What the fuck can't you do that you haven't done before, O'Reilly?"
"That's it," Ryan had hissed, bolting up from where he sat slumped against a table and advancing on the other man. "Not one more time, not here, in this kitchen, or in that fucking closet with the walls closing in, or in that goddammed cell with just my pants unzipped ... Do you even remember what's it's like, to be able to take off your clothes and leave them off, to feel another body pressed naked against you? That's all I fucking want, Beecher, to be able to curl up with someone and fall asleep and know that I'm going to wake up the next morning with them on clean sheets and breathe fresh air that hasn't been cycled through the vent system and see the fucking morning sun come through the window."
And now here they were, three days later, standing in the stairwell, dust motes dancing around them, facing a window on a freedom that Beecher could never give the other man, no matter how hard he tried.
All he could do was hold O'Reilly again, until Ryan stopped fighting off his touch - again - and accepted the comfort.
"Ever been to the Mediterranean?" Beecher asked, leaning close as he stood behind the other man, his breath a warm brush of air on O'Reilly's cheek.
"Yeah, Beech, we used to go there every year," Ryan said, twisting to look at the blond man. "I've got a cruise booked when I get out of this luxury resort."
"Didn't I tell you to keep your eyes closed?" Beecher draped a hand over O'Reilly's eyes, using the excuse to move closer, and shivered as he felt the brush of eyelashes against his palm. "Close them."
"What are we doing here, Beech?"
"Just shut up for a few minutes, OK? Do you think you can do that?"
"You told me to shut up, Beech."
"Asshole," Beecher said affectionately. "Just shut up and listen. I went to Europe one summer, spent a few days in Greece, down on the coast, and it was just amazing. You can't imagine how blue the ocean was, just this clear, deep blue that let you see down forever, especially when the sun was shining on it. And the light was golden and warm on your face, like it is now. Feel it? The way it sinks into your skin, warms up your bones? Can you feel that, Ryan?"
A barely perceptible nod answered him.
"There was always a breeze coming in off the water - probably cold in the winter, but with the way the sun was shining, it just painted the warmth all over your skin." Beecher had dropped his head, was speaking into Ryan's neck, and the lanky Irishman shivered as the heated breath caressed his skin.
"You could feel it running all over you, lifting your hair and wrapping around you and tickling you." Beecher ran the fingers of his free hand up Ryan's arm, over corded muscle, and delicately traced across the thin flesh over the collarbone before flattening the hand to sweep down Ryan's chest and rest on his stomach, feeling the firm skin and the rise and fall of the diaphragm through the thin tank as the other man's breath quickened. Heat was building in the inches between their bodies, and Beecher finally closed the distance, pressing his chest against Ryan's back.
"On parts of the coast, there were these cliffs, huge charcoal-grey rocks topped by these lush green trees, and the cliffs dropped straight down into the water, and the waves would crash up against them, and the salt spray would lace the air. You could feel it on your skin, sort of drawing up tight, even though you hadn't even been in the water yet, and when you opened your mouth, you could taste it. You taste like that sometimes, Ryan, did you know that?"
Beecher lowered his head and traced a shoulder with his tongue, tasting the sharp bite of sweat. Ryan's head was back against his own shoulder now, and Beecher cradled it there, supporting the rangy body against his own, still keeping his right hand over Ryan's eyes. He studied what he could see of the other man's face, flushed in the buttery light pouring through the old window, lips slightly parted and moist where the Ryan's tongue had darted out in unconscious imitation of Beecher's tasting.
"Have you ever made love on the beach, Ryan?" Beecher chuckled, his chest vibrating against O'Reilly's back. "It's damn uncomfortable. People say it's supposed to be so romantic, but sand sucks. It gets into places you don't even want to think about. So what you really have to do is make sure there's a cottage nearby. Come on."
Beecher would have liked nothing more than to turn Ryan's head, taste his lips in the warmth of the sun filtering in on their faces. But he couldn't do that to the other man. Ryan was too twitchy about being seen, being discovered, and he had placed his trust in Beecher so far during this encounter. And Beecher had to admit that it wouldn't do his own reputation any good either, if they were discovered. It was time to get this under wraps.
So he guided the other man to the closet under the stairs and shut the door behind them.
He had been in here earlier, shoving boxes out of the way to form a clear space big enough for both men, and he pushed O'Reilly back against the wall at the edge of it. The other man kept his eyes closed, although Beecher had taken his hand away. Ryan's chest was heaving, and Beecher could see O'Reilly's cock straining against his pants.
"You walk into the cottage, and it's shadowed after the sun, so dim and cool that you can get goosebumps. Can you feel how cool the plaster walls are, Ryan?"
Another barely perceptible nod.
"It's almost damp, and you can feel it against your back, and meanwhile, there's another body pressed against you in the front, still warm from the sun ..."
Beecher pulled back and slipped his own T-shirt over his head, leaned in again as he skimmed Ryan's tank off. He took the other man's face in his hands as Ryan remained curiously passive, still wrapped in the images Beecher had woven.
Beecher kissed him, running his tongue lightly across the seam of those soft lips, teasing them open, and Ryan moaned into his mouth and bucked against his hips. Beecher drew in a sudden breath and pulled away as the action rubbed the other man's sharp pelvis against his own burgeoning erection.
"Can you taste the sea, Ryan?"
Without waiting for an answer, he dropped his head, planting small kisses along O'Reilly's scratchy, stubbled jaw, traveling down the swell of chest and placing small nips on the sweat-sheened skin where he knew no marks would show under Ryan's shirt. He nuzzled the line of hair sprinkled down the other man's belly, dipped his tongue into the well of the navel and felt Ryan's hands moving through his hair.
On his knees now, he unzipped Ryan's pants, hooked his thumbs in the waistband and tugged on both pants and underwear, looked down and noticed ... dammit. The pants weren't going to come off over those clodhoppers. So much for seduction. He hastily bent to untie the other man's clunky shoes, pulling them off as Ryan passively allowed his feet to be lifted, then tugging the pants again. He saw O'Reilly's erection spring free, the head already slick, and felt flutters in his stomach. Breathing deep, catching the musky scent of the other man, he turned his attention back to the pants.
"Step out," he murmured, and O'Reilly blindly obeyed, to stand naked in front of him. Ryan was shivering, and Beecher knelt back up to place warm hands on the sharp hips, leaning in to breathe across the head of Ryan's cock. The stomach in front of him rippled and Ryan let out a long, husky breath.
"Oh, GOD ..." The voice was ravaged. "Beecher, Toby, don't. You don't have to ..."
Beecher eyed it, trying to dampen his inner turmoil. Could he do this? He had never taken another man's cock willingly, and memories were crowding in, tying his stomach in knots. How bad could it be? He had tasted other men. He had even tasted himself - salty, slightly bleachy - on Gen's lips, in her mouth, and she had seemed to enjoy this. She had mentioned once the sense of power she felt, looking up and watching him abandoned in ecstasy as her lips moved on him.
He had never felt anything but powerless on his knees in front of a man. Except for one brief moment when he struck back ...
He stroked the fingers of one hand down the curve of Ryan's hip, grazed the tender flesh in the crease of Ryan's leg and touched the other man's balls. There was a hitching breath above him, and Ryan spread his legs further, rolling his hips. Beecher watched in fascination as the drooling cock swayed in response to the movement. Steeling himself, he leaned in and licked delicately across the head.
Ryan squeaked. That was the only word for it, and if Beecher hadn't been so tense, he would have grinned. He licked again, just to hear that noise, then carefully sucked the end of the cock into his mouth, probing the tiny slit with his tongue. Ryan's head was moving back and forth, his lips murmuring soundless words, and Beecher suddenly began to understand what Gen had been talking about. He swirled his tongue - just like a giant lollipop, he thought with a touch of humor - and moved further down onto the organ.
Ryan bucked, hands clenched in Beecher's hair. And as Beecher felt the other man's cock hit the back of his throat, felt the pulling at his scalp, he also felt the panic surge up in him.
*Jesus Christ, what are you doing? You're down on your knees in front of another man, you said that would never happen again, and you got down on your knees willingly and opened your mouth and ... and ... Oh holy God, oh sweet Jesus, and what about AIDS, what about safe sex - yeah, that was a laugh when you were being raped, but you aren't being raped this time and what are you thinking and why the fuck are you worrying about that now, closing the barn door a little too late. You sure didn't worry about it when you bit down, felt that warm blood fill your mouth, savored the coppery taste, what kind of sick bastard are you ...*
He pulled off of O'Reilly with a sobbing breath and pressed his forehead into the other man's bare hip, breathing in his tangy scent. His own huge shuddering breaths were reflected back at him from the other's skin *he thought he could do it, he thought he was past this, dammit, he trusted O'Reilly and O'Reilly trusted him* and he felt Ryan pulling at him, tugging his head up, and he heard the other man's voice: "Toby, Toby, STOP!"
"No, I want to, Ryan, just give me a minute."
"Toby, get the fuck up here now." Strong fingers gripping his shoulders, strong arms pulling him up, and he heard Ryan hiss as Beecher's cotton pants rubbed against his erection. Ryan's eyes were still closed, his head thrown back, and one of his hands came up to trace Beecher's face, tickling touch over a brow, across a cheek, down to Beecher's lips. Ryan's voice was ragged.
"I need to see you."
And he opened his eyes and stared at Beecher.
"How blue was that ocean?" he murmured.
And then he caught Toby's chin in one hand, captured his lips, biting, kissing, sucking until Beecher's jaw ached. Beecher felt another hand at his waistband, impatiently yanking down his zipper, and he tried to toe off his shoes without losing his balance but stumbled into Ryan, and finally, he was blessedly naked, body pressed full against hot flesh, sticking and rubbing, chest to chest, thigh to groin, and this, yes, this was familiar, this was as sweet as he'd remembered those other times with Ryan. He felt fingers wrap around his cock, their grip almost brutal, and he thrust himself into that tight channel, and he reached his own hand down, felt sticky moisture from the other man coating his fingers, felt that velvety soft skin over iron that was becoming as familiar as his own erection. He scrabbled at Ryan's shoulder with his other hand, losing purchase on the slick skin, and felt the sharp sting as the other man's nails scraped down his back. And the whole time Ryan's eyes were boring into his own, until Beecher came with a wail, throwing his head back, still feeling those eyes on him. And then O'Reilly's face was washed with anguished pleasure, and Beecher pressed the other man against the wall with his own body, too drained to support them, himself.
Afterward, slumped on the floor, Beecher shifted in an improvised nest of discarded clothing and pulled Ryan against him, shivering at the soft brush of hair as the other man's leg slipped between his.
"So, how was it for you?" he asked with a wry grin.
"Better than those travel magazines, I'll give you that, Toby."
"Get some sleep, Ryan."
"Can't." The word was muffled in Beecher's shoulder. "Someone will miss us sooner or later."
"Just for a little while. I'll wake you up."
Ryan mumbled again, but his body was already slackening against Beecher's, and Toby ran a hand through the other man's sweat-damp hair.
"Happy birthday, Ryan."