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11 May 2009 @ 07:55 pm
FIC: Knight-verse 2: How To Defend Your Chosen Damsel (pt 2 of 2)  
title: A Practical Guide for Knights: How To Defend Your Chosen Damsel
authors: rosalyn_angel & newtypeshadow
characters: Harry Lockhart, Perry van Shrike, Harmony Faith Lane
rating: R
warnings: Cursing
notes: We call this pre-slash. And of course, this is a roleplay in which rosalyn_angel played Harry, and newtypeshadow played Perry.
summary: Harry's on the case, and Perry's the suspect.
Knightverse 1: Gallant Escape
Knightverse 2: Your Chosen Damsel – part 1/2
Knightverse 2: Your Chosen Damsel – part 2/2


Perry hadn’t gone on a stakeout. Harry had been forced to ask to work late, after Perry and Carl and Chandi had left. He thought about asking the last two if they knew anything—they worked for Perry and handled a lot of papers, after all—but he didn’t want them to blab about his investigations to anyone, especially Perry, who looked at him weird when he asked to stay after and fuck he still didn’t find anything in the computer or paper files; why was Perry such a neatass? By the time Harry was rolling his forehead along the computer screen, his eyes closed and muttering to himself, he was convinced that something had gone down, like the lack of evidence was evidence enough. Perry had done something, he knew it. There had to be something somewhere—Perry was too organized not to have something. Where would it be? Maybe somewhere Perry knew he wouldn’t look. Maybe his—his room. Perry’s room. Of course! If it were anywhere, it’d be in Perry’s room!

This was, yes, a suicidal thought: if Perry caught him Harry would dead at least twenty times over, but a strange fever had taken over him; he had to find this out. Besides, Perry was out late on some job or party with Dabney, so that’d give him a few hours, at least, and he’d put everything back where he found it and Perry would never find out.

The idea gave him a rush. He was doing something forbidden again, like stealing, but first he needed a ride home. Perry wouldn’t be done yet, so that left Harmony. And Harmony, of course, was his long-time partner-in-crime, so he could ask her to help him and he’d get done doubly-fast that way and this was a great idea. He’d definitely find something to use against Perry and Harmony would back him up and he’d find out why the fuck Perry had gone out of his way to ruin Monagman and most of all, if his suspicions were right, why for Harry?

Harry fumbled with his cell phone as he punched the button for Harmony’s number. She didn’t take long to answer.

“Hey, Harry, what's up?” Harmony asked, sounding a little strained, like she was half-shouting. Her voice was obscured by the sound of thumping bass and drunken revelers. “Are you here? I saw Perry just a minute ago—”

“Yeah, no, I’m at the office,” Harry said; the excitement made him talk with his hands. “Listen, could you give me a ride home and possibly do something life-threatening with me? It’s important.”

The sounds around Harmony grew suddenly quiet, as if Harmony had moved somewhere private. “Is it a case?” Harmony asked, voice hushed, excited. “'Cause if you need me to do something, I'm there, just—wait, you said drive you home. What's home have to do with a case? ...Does Perry know about this?”

Harry glanced around the dark office, the computer lighting his face, and held the phone between his shoulder and ear while he gathered his stuff. “Well, that’s the thing. He doesn’t. See, he’s the suspect. Could you hurry? I don’t want him coming home while we’re still snooping around his room.”

“His room?” Harmony nearly shouted it into the phone. “It's—” quieter then, “the case is in his room?”

Harry shut the computer down. “Well it’s not in the office; I already looked. Just trust me with this, all right? I think he did something to take down Monagman—you know, the sex traffic guy? And I don’t mean just bring him to the police.”

“Oooh,” Harmony said, making a sound somewhere between understanding and curiosity. “Alright, I'm on my way. But I swear to God, Harry, if we get caught I am blaming you.” Then, as if in afterthought, she said, “I heard about the pictures. Why do you think it was him?”

For a second Harry didn’t really know. It had been so clear earlier that morning, so fucking obvious, but now he thought about it again all he had was an instinct and a half-remembered conversation in the hospital. “He just—he said something,” Harry said. “It was suspicious. I mean, I think it was. I don’t know, I was a little high at the time, but we’ll find something, trust me.”

Harmony sighed over the phone. “If you say so,” she said. “I'll call when I'm outside.”

Fifteen minutes later, Harry's phone rang: Harmony.

Harry was already waiting outside; when his phone buzzed he looked for her car and waved his hand as she drove close. She stopped and he hopped in, dumping his jacket in the backseat and pulling out a smoke. At least she let him smoke in the car.

“Thanks,” he said around the now-lit cigarette. He blew smoke out the open window. “Okay, we gotta do this fast. Did Perry see you leave?”

“I don't think so. He looked pretty cozy talking to some guy. Adrian or Adam or...whatever, some guy.” She talked with her fingers, though her hands never left their positions at ten and two on the wheel. “So, what're we looking for? Pictures, records, receipts...” She grinned. “A signed confession in a diary?”

Harry snorted a laugh through his nose. “Honey, I don’t either of us would be brave enough to read his diary. But seriously, look for anything that might be useful. I mean anything. If Perry’s stashed something in his room, something he’d normally keep in the office, then there’s a reason.” Which was why Harry was never allowed inside. What kind of things would Perry have to hide from him, anyway? Dildos? Harry shuddered. Maybe Harmony should look through the dresser drawers.

They arrived at the apartment soon after. Harmony followed Harry up to the stairs, giggling nervously when they got inside the dark apartment and Perry was clearly absent. While Harry hit the lights, she took off her shoes in the hall and dumped her jacket over the back of the sofa. She surveyed the apartment with hands on her hips then, and then grinned impishly back at Harry. “So is Perry paying you palimony when you move out? He's definitely improved the style to which you've become accustomed.”

“Move out?” Harry asked, stopping short of Perry’s room: the door was closed, but looming. He’d never been inside, no matter how much he wanted to snoop around, but this time he had a fair reason. Then he realized something: “I wasn’t planning on moving out.”

Harmony giggled again, and patted Harry's shoulder with something that looked like understanding. “Alright.” She turned to the door. “Let's go.” And then, after a moment, “You go first.”

Why was that funny? But whatever; they had a job to do. “Okay,” Harry said, nodded, and steeled himself. He put his hand on the knob, held his breath. Turned it. Opened it and—saw a very normal bedroom. For some reason, he had expected more gay.

He shook his head and tried not to think how much action that king-sized bed than seen—more than his double-sized one probably had, fuck—and walked straight to the sliding-door closet. “I’ll look through here. You check out the drawers first.”

“What do you think will be in his closet?” Harmony asked, amusement in her voice. She pointed, seemingly unconscious of her actions, at the chest of drawers, and the cabinets in the private bathroom, and then the nightstands. Finally, she nodded and went for the nightstand on the right.

A moment later, Harmony whistled. “This is a forty-pack. Not many left, either.” She dropped the mostly empty Trojan box back in the drawer and rifled further.

Harry poked his head out from the closet he had immersed himself in. His face fell when he saw the condoms. Jesus, how many times had Perry brought someone home while Harry was out or sleeping? “Maybe he’s had them for a while,” he reasoned, because no one got that lucky that often. Did they? Fuck.

He disappeared back into the closet and ignored any snide remarks Harmony made about that, choosing instead to push aside the dry-cleaned suits and root around in the back. Shoes, boxes of shoes—so gay. Harry had like three pairs and that was all he needed. Why did Perry have a box of handcuffs? Nevermind.

Finally, to the right, in the far back, sat a clear, plastic box with a lid, and in it a stack of folders. Bingo. That was worth looking through. “Hey, hey,” he called, “I think I found something."

Harmony closed the second nightstand drawer—only a mini tape recorder, paper, pens, chargers, and random books that would probably freak Harry out in it anyway—and joined Harry in the closet over the plastic box of files. “So,” she said, sitting down and opening the tub without preamble, “let's see what Perry's hiding while you tell me his motive.”

“Motive, shit, right,” he said and knelt next to her. She wore a gray dress that really was just a glorified shirt—it barely covered her ass—and a big black belt, low on her hips, that had no purpose but to give the illusion of decency. Being close to her, seeing her legs in those silver stockings, made Harry remember how her lips left—but fuck, no, not the time, never the time. Fucking condoms, fucking Perry. Fuck fucking. “Sorry, what?”

“Harry, pay attention! What's his motive? What are we looking for?” She pulled out the first file and started sifting through it. Bills, bills, bills. She dropped it and pulled out the next file.

Right, right, Harmony plus sex never equaled anything good. “Yeah, uh,” he said, blinking, remembering. “During the hospital visit, after Monagman’s men beat me up.” You know, the one I didn’t tell you about. Shit. “He was really pissed off. I mean, brooding. Sulking, even.”

Harmony paused in sifting through a file of dinner receipts. “You think it's because Monagman put you in the hospital.” She sounded skeptical. “That's really chivalrous, Harry, but...” Then she stopped. Frowned. Picked up the file folder she'd put down and sifted through it again. “You didn't happen to bill a Ms. Toulman for a...uh...sixty-four stitches and three bruised ribs, did you? Or a, uh...” Her hands began to shake. “This one.” She held up the bill. “This one's from when that asshole broke your fingers. Didn't he end up, uh...blacklisted, he raped some actress and got blacklisted—kinky shit, she wasn't the first one, but she wasn't gonna press charges until...until someone talked to her. Perry must've talked to her. Shit. This all makes sense!” She made a sound that was half-laughter, half-shock. “Wow, that guy at the party was lucky.”

Harry squinted his eyes and yanked the folder from her hands: yes, the hospital bill to Ms. Toulman, the one about the fingers, that one where he got shot in the leg—he’d never get used to being shot—even the one where some guy at a party beat him up pretty good and at the next party Harry saw him the guy had obtained a black eye and a missing tooth.

“FUCK!" Harry shouted, although he didn’t really know why; it really did make sense, and here was the proof, here was Perry’s Revenge Against People Who Beat Harry Up Box. Who the hell did Perry think he was? Who the—“Wait, what guy?” he asked. There were a lot of guys.

“The one who was—you know, with the—” Harmony puffed up her chest and made herself look hulking, which was probably why she was an actress—she could do that stuff— “and the leather jacket, and was all—you remember, he grabbed my ass! That guy!”

“Oh, that asshole, yeah, I talked him down,” Harry said and felt the brief moment of triumph again.

Harmony gave Harry an “are you serious?” look. “No, Perry was behind you brandishing an empty beer bottle.”

Harry’s eye twitched, blinked once, twice. “No he wasn’t.”

“Uh, yes he was. I should know—he even brushed off Dabney when I told him you—uh. Never mind, let's just drop it. You had sixty-four stitches and you didn't tell me?”

“I was fine, no need,” Harry said and brushed that off, went right back on this, because now he was hung up on it: “You went to Perry while I was defending you? Why did you go to Perry?”

“Why would you not tell me this was why you went to the hospital?” she asked, waving the bill in his face. “Jesus, Harry, do you know how long bruised ribs take to heal? Oh, wait, I guess you do, you asshole!” She smacked him on the arm. “I can't believe you!”

“Look, they’re fine, see,” and he breathed in, giving her the “Just drop it, this is dumb” eyebrow raise. “Can we stay on the matter at fucking hand, please? Like, why you thought it a great idea to go get Perry when I was handling the guy for you? Christ, don’t you trust me?”

“Look, I trust you, it's just—you just got out of the hospital, and I was worried, and—” She froze.

Harry gave her a sidelong glare. “Yeah. You didn’t even fucking know I just got out of the hospital. You found that out afterward. You’re lying, Harmony! What the fuck?” Then he stood up, the folder still in his hand, and he waved it around while he paced. “I mean, this thing with you, and then Perry’s doing all this shit—for me? For me? Jesus Christ, my two best friends are apparently, actually my baby-sitters!”

“Shut up, shut up!” Harmony hissed, slapping papers back into the folder in her hands and throwing them back in the box. “I heard something!” She scrambled to her feet, box in hand. “Where did you find this?”

“No,” Harry said, and grabbed one end of the box, yanking it away from her. “This fucking stays with me. Because it’s going in the trash. Because it’s crazy. And you’re crazy, and Perry’s crazy.”

Harmony yanked at the box. “Shut up! If Perry finds us in here he'll murder us!”

Harry kept his grip. “Oh, yeah, right, what’ll he do then? Get revenge on himself for beating me up?”

“N—wait.” Harmony paused. Then she yanked hard and stumbled backward, box in hand. “He'll kill me, you idiot—and he might kick you out!” She slammed the box under some suits and dashed out of the closet—

—and straight into Perry's chest.

Harmony jumped back. “Perry! We were just, uh—”

Harry stood glowering between the dry-cleaned suits. “We made out in your closet,” he said stiffly. “Used a pair of your handcuffs. It was very kinky.”

“Uh, yeah!” Harmony's smile looked petrified on her face as she slowly backed into Harry. “We were just—you know how it is, Harry's got those 'magic hands' and—”

“Actually, I don't,” Perry said, voice like chips of ice. “Now which of you wants to explain why the fuck you are in my closet. Going. Through. My. Fucking. Things.”

“Oh, good, we’re giving explanations now,” Harry said, charging right the fuck in, because he had his pissy look going on, the one where his lips pursed and his face tightened, but still in the eyes hurt lingered. “Maybe you can explain why there’s a box full of all my hospital bills, and don’t tell me it’s just being organized, because bullshit, you’d just keep it at the office if you were doing that."

“You know what? I'm gonna go,” Harmony said quietly, “I can see you two need to have a—”

“Out,” Perry growled, stepping aside just long enough for her to dash past.

Harmony didn't run out of the apartment, but she came close, and nearly left her jacket behind in the process.

Perry thundering, “You want an explanation?” rang out as the front door closed behind her. “What in the seven hells makes you think you deserve one? Get out of my closet! Jesus—do you respect anyone's privacy that isn't yours?” Perry was so angry he was shaking, and his face and neck were actually turning red. He grabbed Harry by the shirt and started hauling him out of his bedroom.

Harmony had shot out of there as soon as Perry opened his mouth, the traitor, and left Harry to stand against this foe alone. Harry grabbed Perry’s wrists with both hands, tried to wrench him away, and dug his heels into the carpet; even if it stretched out his nice shirt, or tore the buttons off, he didn’t intend to move. Fuck if Perry threw him out by hand; Harry’d never been so pissed at him before. He wanted answers, he wanted his fucking explanation why Perry thought he had to do all that shit for Harry when Harry never asked him to.

“Fucking let go!” he said, trying to pry Perry’s fingers off, stumbled one step forward, dug his heels in again. “Who do you think you are? I know what you did to Monagman, what you did to all the other poor bastards. It was you! I can’t believe you’ve been doing this shit!”

In response, Perry let go with one hand and grabbed the back of Harry's neck, effectively forcing him out of the room. “I refuse to talk about this. What the fuck were you thinking going through my room?”

Harry struggled the entire way, and when they had left the room he flailed, knocking Perry’s hands away, and whirled around seething, chest heaving, finger pointing. “Yeah, you refuse to talk about it because you know it’s fucking true. How else was I supposed to get you to admit it? You never would if I didn’t find something to prove it, because apparently you never fucking tell me anything, even when you go on stupid revenge missions!”

Perry slammed his door shut and whirled to face Harry. “I tell you plenty! Jesus, why the fuck should I tell you things when what little I do tell you ends with you—going through my room? That's why you stayed late at the office, too, and why Harmony left early, isn't it? Ugh!” He shoved Harry aside and strode to the kitchen. He threw open a cabinet and made himself not slam the glass he got out onto the counter top. Then he sighed and put the glass back into the cabinet. His hands clenched and unclenched on the counter top. He couldn't fucking believe this.

Harry winced when Perry shoved him aside, but stormed after him anyway: he wasn’t going to run from this, not like he had so many things before: this he wanted to confront, wanted to figure out, because fuck it all but Perry was his best friend. He wanted to understand, if the prick would just—!

“Clearly,” Harry said, lifting both arms, “what you tell me isn’t enough! And what little you do tell me is a lie, anyway—I thought you agreed to drop Monagman and leave it to the police!”

“I didn't agree to drop it—you fell asleep,” Perry bit out. His face was marginally less red when he turned and leaned against the counter, arms crossed. “And if you'll notice,” he continued, “I did leave him to the police.”

“No,” Harry pressed, and pointed at him again. “What you did was leak the photos and ruin him. And that other guy, the one who broke my fingers, you ruined him, too. How many people have you fucked over, Perry?”

“Oh, you were glad I did it—or did you forget your reaction this morning?”

“Fuck!” Harry said and scrubbed his hands through his hair, messing it up more than it already was. “You admit it! Okay, great, those guys deserved it, they did, I agree, but why did you have to do it yourself?” Suddenly his hands fell to his sides and he let out a great breath and just stared, like all the anger had drained out and left him pale and confused. “I mean,” he said, quieter now, “it was because of me, wasn’t it? It wasn’t that they were horrible people, which they were; you did it because of me.”

Seeing Harry deflate, hearing the reason he'd done it from Harry instead of himself, made Perry inexplicably calmer. In an even voice, Perry said, “Do you remember when I told you I wasn't a nice man, Harry? I wasn't lying.” He paused. Swallowed. “Do you know what it's like to see you get the shit beat out of you? Or electrocuted in the fucking balls?” His voice hardened. “Nobody fucks with you. Period.”

Harry seemed to fold in on himself, hugging himself, as Perry spoke. He glanced around, sniffled. “What, are you like—my protector? Or something?” he said, still quiet. “My white knight?”

What was he supposed to say to that? 'I'm Perry van Shrike, your gay guardian angel?' Despite seeing a lot of the same things Perry'd seen in the past year, Harry still thought in black and white, good and bad. He believed in Harmony and Perry despite both of them screwing him over, and he believed in third and fourth and seventeenth chances. Harry was a good person. And Perry...Perry wanted to keep him that way. So he finally scratched his face and said, “Or something.” He pursed his lips, a considering look on his face. “Or maybe Vindictive Best Friend? Overprotective Roommate? ...Fuck it, I'm the fag with the gun. You look like you need a drink.” Perry waved Harry toward the living room and opened the cabinet once again. “Go sit down.”

Harry laughed a little, wiped at his eyes, and tucked his arms in again, then trudged his way to the couch. He stood for a while longer, his sleeves hiding his hands, watching Perry reach into the cabinet, until he let out a sigh and just sort of collapsed onto the couch. “Yeah, sure,” he said and leaned his head back, his eyes closed. “A drink sounds great.”

Perry poured them each a glass of scotch on the rocks and carried the glasses into the living room. He put one on a coaster on the table in front of Harry, and then sat down on the couch, being sure to leave Harry a few feet of personal space. “You solved a case,” he said after a moment of uncomfortable silence. “Congratulations.”

Harry chuckled and then rubbed his face with both hands. Slouching forward, he grabbed his glass and took a generous gulp, coughing afterward. “You know what, Perry?” he said after he calmed. “I really don’t know what I think right now.”

Perry nodded, turning his scotch in his hand and studying it without seeing. “I can leave you alone for a while. If you want.”

Harry took another drink. The ice clinked. His scotch was almost gone. He still wouldn’t look over. He coughed again and said, “No. I want you to stay. I’m going to sit here, and you’re going to sit here, and I’m going to ask questions, and you’re going to promise to answer them. All right?”

This was such a bad idea. An idea-only-Harry-would-agree-to-or-think-up bad idea. Fuck. “Fine.” Perry took a long pull of his scotch, pulled over a coaster, and set his empty glass down. “Hit me.”

“Promise,” Harry said. “You have to promise first.”

Perry glared at Harry. “If I promise, then you can't ask anything I wouldn't normally answer.”

Harry finally snapped his head to him. “Well that just leaves out about, oh, I don’t know, everything.”

“Don't get cute,” Perry snapped. “Just ask your questions.”

“Geez,” Harry said and wondered if they’d really get anywhere with this, if Perry wouldn’t promise—he could twist his way out of any question if he tried, and Harry would be left with nothing again, but at least Perry was still here, which was more than Harry had honestly expected.

It was then when Harry realized he didn’t even know what to ask. Maybe something like, Why did you do it? or, Why me? What makes you think I’d want that? Why do you, and Harmony, think I need protecting? Why can’t I help you guys without needing help myself?

Harry really didn’t know what to ask. So, laying his glass down, he turned fully to Perry and settled on this: “Do I really mean that much to you?”

Leave it to Harry to want the most painfully obvious, embarrassing question answered point blank. Perry sighed and leaned back against the couch. And looked Harry straight in the eye when he said, “I let you live in my apartment and, apparently, you've gone through my room and aren't dead. Yes, you fucking do.”

For a second Harry felt warm all over, and he smiled. Hearing that from Perry happened about once every few years, and between the name-calling and sarcasm, sometimes Harry found it hard to remember, although he never really forgot. He held onto it, and it helped him to move on, to turn serious again and say, “Then I want you to stop doing all that stuff. The revenge stuff.”

Perry's jaw clenched. “That's not—” He paused. Winced. When Perry heard people complain about fairness, he laughed because nothing was fair. He reached for his scotch, saw it was empty, and sat back again, fuming. “Look. I'll stop fucking with these people—who, you agree, deserve to be severely fucked over—when you can do the fucking over yourself. Which you won't. Because I would kill you. Deal?”

And there it was: the fucking roadblock of Perry’s frustration and righteousness. Harry let out a puff of air. “No, there’s no deal,” he said. “What makes it okay for you to do all that when I can’t do shit for you? When I can’t even,” he tried to explain with his hands, “I can’t even help Harmony out when a guy gropes her, because you get all pissy at me for it. What’s the difference between me getting beat up at some party and you going against a guy like Monagman who could order some guy to shoot you while you’re walking down the fucking street?”

“The difference is I'm not getting shot, and you're still getting beat up.” Perry huffed. “What's—you like taking care of people. I get that. But you act like you're not worth taking care of, and that's fucking scary. Don't you think Harmony would rather let some guy feel her tits than see you with a black eye?”

“Well, yeah, but,” Harry started, stopped. Glanced away then back. Muttered, “You guys are my friends. You’re worth it.”

Perry gave him a look. “And you're not?”

Harry didn’t even bother to open his mouth this time; he just let it part a little while he stared. Because, honestly, he hadn’t really thought about it before. Friendship was everything to him; he’d do anything he could for them, no matter the cost. So why wouldn’t he let them do the same for him? Why did it bother him so much?

A tiny flinch, and he looked away.

And now Harry was zoned on his own thoughts. Perry didn't know what to do. Let him think? Touch his shoulder? Give him a hug? No, Harry hugged Harmony, not him. Jesus. Perry scrubbed a hand down the side of his face. “Look,” he said, curling his fingers and then, hesitantly, putting his hand on Harry's shoulder. “Friends do stuff for each other they wouldn't want other people doing for them. It's...how this shit works. So just...when you go off playing Whitey the white knight—” Perry skipped the obligatory remark about how dumb and strangely racist that name was, “—me and Harmony are gonna be behind you. With guns. And a baseball bat.” He paused and raised an eyebrow. “And feminine wiles.”

Harry slowly looked back to him, at his hand, at him. Then, a shaky smile: his own hand rose up, patted the one on his shoulder, and then gripped it there. “Feminine wiles, huh?” he said, voice a little tremulous. “Can’t decide whether those are Harmony’s or yours.”

Perry closed his fingers around Harry's, and gave his best look of flamboyant regret. “You clearly haven't seen me in a pair of stilettos,” he said. Then he grinned. Maybe he hadn't screwed up the cheering-up thing too badly. This time.

Perry’s fingers were strong and wide. Harry didn’t really know why he hadn’t noticed them before. He didn’t know why he noticed them now, but there they were. They were comforting. Call it as gay as he liked, but they were comforting.

Harry laughed. His mind still got caught on what they had been talking about, about him being worth it, about them and friendship; but today had been exhausting. He could work on it later.

Instead, for now, he would concentrate on this: Perry, one of his best friends, and joking. “I think I saw a pair in your closet,” Harry ventured, and his dark eyes dared. “Wondered about that. They can’t be comfortable.”

Perry raised an eyebrow. “It's just a matter of getting used to something new. And then looking fabulous.” His grin widened. “Remember the time I said Harmony had done some work for me?”

Wonder crossed Harry’s face. “Yeah, yeah, I remember—at Dabney’s party. I always wondered about that. What did she—?”

“Took me shopping with the accountant I had before Chandi, taught me to walk in those fucking shoes without killing myself, then dressed me up like a hooker—in a thong, mind you—and took pictures of our target soliciting me for prostitution.” He nodded to himself. “I looked damn good in those shoes.”

Harry’s mouth quivered at the corners. He tried really hard not to laugh, he really did. But that was just too much. “Okay,” he said between giggles, “that? Gayest thing ever.”

Perry raised a challenging eyebrow and yanked Harry into him by their joined hands, then cupped Harry's face and looked with mock longing into his eyes. “You've barely scratched the surface of gay,” he said with a lisp.

A year ago this might’ve freaked Harry out; now, he was just amused, even if his hands had landed on Perry’s broad shoulders and Perry’s hands surrounded his face. The lisp was always funny. “I think you’ve scratched deep enough for both of us,” he said, grinning.

Perry wiped the smile from his face and stroked Harry's cheek with his thumb. Leaning close enough to kiss, he said, “Oh, but have I scratched deep enough for you?” There was no lisp this time.

Harry froze. He might’ve, instinctively, tried to pull away a little. He hated that he did. He remembered suddenly the forty-pack of condoms Harmony had found. He wondered why. Perry was just joking, after all. Harry tried to play along, but sometimes—“Deep enough,” he said. “Not a big fan of scratches, even less of cuts.”

Perry gave Harry's cheek a final stroke and let go with a smirk. "You flinched."

Harry let go of a breath he hadn’t known he held. “Well, pardon me if I can’t stand up to the awesome might of your gay.”

Perry couldn't help laughing at Harry's reaction to the impromptu game of gay chicken. Harry always thought he could win—even though he was ridiculously straight. “Am I magic now, too?” he asked when he'd mostly composed himself. “Or just gay?”

Harry realized he still had his hands on Perry’s shoulders and pulled them away with a little jerk. He leaned back in the couch and crossed his legs. “Hey, hey, being magic is my thing, remember? Don’t take my thing, it’s my thing.”

“Right—don't quit my gay job.” Perry reached for his glass and Harry's. “You want more, or you done?”

Harry relaxed into the couch. He felt safe. “I’m all right,” he said. “Good scotch, though; I’ll have to drink more later.”

“Don't kill my scotch,” Perry said, and strode into the kitchen. “You still owe me for the brandy.”

“Oh, you haven’t heard? Sharing a home also means sharing your alcohol.”

“What are you, my wife? Because you're doing a shitty job.” Perry rinsed the glasses and slid them into the dishwasher. “Unless you're going by heterosexual standards, since I understand you people fuck less after the marriage than before.”

Harry twisted around on the couch and leaned his elbows on its back to watch Perry in the kitchen. “Why am I the wife? You’re the one who’s always cleaning things up and bitching at me.”

“Yes, but you're the one who needs taking care of.” Perry walked out of the kitchen and leaned over the couch next to Harry. “And since this is still a heteronormative, male-dominated society, me taking care of you means that you're the wife.” He paused. “Bitch.”

Harry did the little headshake he did whenever he tried to keep up with something. Then he glowered up at Perry.

Perry smirked and patted Harry's cheek. “Get some sleep, chief. You look like you need it.”

Harry allowed a quick smile and then hopped off the couch. “What, do I look bad?”

Perry straightened up and started turning off the lights. “Are you asking my professional opinion as a gay man?” he asked, turning out the light in the entryway.

Huh. Harry hadn’t expected that. He followed Perry wherever he went, the lights clicking off one by one. “Sure, why not? What’s your verdict, am I hideous?”

Perry turned off the kitchen light. “If you were hideous,” he said, switching off one living room lamp, then the other, “Dabney couldn't have passed you off as his golden boy.” He reached for the overhead light and smirked. “Idiot.” Then he flooded the room with darkness.

That was Perry’s way of saying he found you attractive enough, or at least a little, and Harry didn’t know why it made him so happy. Someone calling you good-looking was always nice no matter who they were, but this made his face split into a grin, which flashed bright right before the last light left.

Harry felt the grin even afterward, when he was lying in bed. He wondered if Perry had caught it.
Ne invoces expellere non possiskijikun on May 12th, 2009 02:12 am (UTC)
Can't wait the next story in this series!
Jess: harrycsi_sanders1129 on May 12th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
Seconding kijikun's statement. Can't wait for more, this is epic. :D
noctuabunda: by not_last_resortnoctuabunda on May 12th, 2009 08:46 am (UTC)
Ooh, I love this. Funny and sweet and, in places, almost heartbreaking.
"Idiot Harry, idiot Harry, idiot Harry, vanish, I'm gay" <-- instant classic!
What a beautiful last line, too.

So, there's gonna be more?
Alejandradieewigenacht on May 12th, 2009 01:53 pm (UTC)
There has to be more right?

I can't wait, as simple as it sounds :P
ilerailera on May 13th, 2009 11:50 pm (UTC)
Just wow) Can't wait too)
gragerty: Sometimes words are unnecessarygragerty on May 17th, 2009 08:47 pm (UTC)
More! You do a great job with this universe, it feels pretty much like watching a sequel. Also yeah Harmony! I really liked her in this.
(no subject) - bloodyfandom on August 30th, 2009 06:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
shadythoughtsshadythoughts on January 6th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
More please! ^__^ My favorite KKBB fic to date.
tooquickly: ~deep penetration~tooquickly on January 30th, 2010 08:35 am (UTC)
Awww, that was so fucking sweet.