In The Morning, After The Night Before
Disclaimer: I don't own them, or the show they rode in on. I wrote this for fun, and no profit is made from it.
Archive: Starwinder's, You Want Fries With That?, EBOS and The All-Ezra FanFic Archive --- all others, please ask.
Summary: A late night encounter starts their new relationship, but misunderstandings nearly end it in the morning.
Warnings: Strong language, strong lovin'(male/male)
Author's Note: My first Magnificent Seven Fan fic! This was my introduction onto several lists.
Category: Stand Alone
Completed: August 2001
Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org welcomes comments
Ezra woke suddenly, blinking away sleep and staring blearily at the ceiling. A warm pressure over his chest pinned him to the bed. His bed. Crushing his eyes closed, then opening them widely, he managed to get the world in focus, or at least the ceiling fixture. Nervously, he stole a glance to his left. There was a tousled blond head on the next pillow, face turned away, all he could see was his boss' rumpled hair. Chris Larabee was in his bed, intimately entwined with his body. While this was not necessarily bad, it was unforeseen and rather offsetting. He could feel Larabee's rump pressed against his hip as well. Um, well, things could be worse and usually were. Usually, it would be Chris' forearm, pressed against his throat, whilst his body was ground into some warehouse wall and Chris hissed curses and threats to his face. That was normal. This was not.
Casting his thoughts back in time, Ezra tried to recall the events leading to this unusual set of circumstances. He did not move for fear of waking the sleeping menace at his side. The long length of the blond was a reminder that Larabee had a good 4 or 5 inches on him and the lean muscular weight to go with it. A surreptitious touch or two confirmed that not only were both men in bed, under the bedclothes, but both men were totally naked too. Well, that was unless Chris had retained his socks, Ezra couldn't reach down that far without waking his bed partner… associate? Um, no, that word just didn't work for this scenario. And, socks were a trifle unlikely anyway.
With a soft exhalation of breath, Ezra Standish closed his crystal green eyes and tried to think. A stray thought kept him from focusing. What would it hurt to lay his own forearm over the one draped across his person? Putting action to thought, he ever so gently rested his flesh against the other's. Nice. A tiny smile curved the corners of his mouth. Now, what had he been trying to do? Oh, yes, discover the reason why he found himself like this.
He was allowed another moment of fuzzy warmth and contentment before the memories of the night before crashed in on him. Like a cinematic take, he saw himself rise from his settee, put down his evening scotch, and go to answer the door to his townhouse. The thundering fist on the oaken door was not encouraging. Beretta in hand, he'd sidled up to the door and peered through the spy hole. Larabee. Looking desperately angry and disheveled. The rain, a steady drenching downpour that had been going on all day left the bedraggled man sopping wet as well. Ezra had stuffed his pistol in the back of his waistband. He tugged open the door to find that Larabee had left off hammering on the door in favor of leaning on it. As the door swung open, Ezra found himself with an armful of wet Larabee who promptly collapsed on top of the smaller man.
Struggling to stay upright was a losing battle. Ezra sank to his knees clasping his boss with both arms, trying to support him. Chris was a dead weight, unconscious. Scared, Ezra eased his burden to the tile floor and kicked the door shut with one extended leg. Turning his attention to the man now sprawled on his lap in his entryway, he searched the body for signs of damage. Aside from the rain soaked clothing, however, he could find nothing. No punctures from gun or knife, no gashes or bumps, nothing seemed to have struck or bounced off the man's cranium, no sign of needle marks or burns or even bruises. As Ezra carefully tilted the heavy head so that Chris was facing him, the smell of liquor wafted upward. Shaking his head, Ezra stared down at the unconscious and probably drunken man in his arms. Wet darkened eyelashes lay across high cheekbones, dark circles echoing the shape of them. Even in repose, the man looked unhappy.
The 'morning' Ezra thought about what had followed on that night before.
He'd struggled to half-carry, half-drag Chris into the kitchen where he'd stripped him of the cold wet clothing and boots. Moving quickly, he had retrieved a large fluffy bath towel and wrapped Larabee in it. Moving the cocooned man on into the guest bedroom had been a chore with Chris remaining limply unconscious throughout the exercise. Ezra had panted as he tucked the blond into the queen-sized guest bed, heaping quilts and blankets atop the shivering form. He'd carefully towel-dried the dark blond head and wiped the relaxed face, gentling as he studied the man who meant more to him than anyone else in the entire world.
Buck. Chris always went to Buck when he got drunk. Or to Vin, but usually to Buck. What had happened this time? Why had he come here? Greedy for these few private moments with the object of many a dream, Ezra traced the handsome face with butterfly light touches, his hand hovering over the beloved features of the object of his desires. With a sad tightening of his lips, he pulled away. He was stealing something that wasn't his to take. Do not touch, he chastised himself. Not yours. Never has been, never will be.
Lurching to his feet in a movement jerky with emotional pain, Ezra backed away from the bed and retreated to his living room. There he located his cell phone and punched one of his fast dial numbers, one of six.
"'Lo, the Buckmeister here, at your service."
"Mr. Wilmington, it's Standish."
"Ez, ol' buddy, what's up?"
Ezra could picture his friend smiling affably, probably laying back on the lumpy sofa in his and JD's apartment with a beer in his hand. "Just called to see if Mr. Larabee is having any difficulties of late."
"Hold on." There was a long pause, Ezra could hear Buck murmur excuses and then walk through some place with muted conversations and muffled noises. Okay, he wasn't at home, there were new sounds now, the sounds of a busy night street sidewalk and Buck was back on the line. "Chris? Why?" There was an alertness to the sharp response.
"He's just arrived at my doorstep, inebriated to the point of unconsciousness."
There had been another moment's silence and then a kind of snort, a sharp, sad laugh. "Well, Ez, congratulations! You've just graduated to a new level with the old dog. He trusts ya enough ta home in on ya when he's had too many brews."
"But, Mr. Wilmington, what should I do? I mean, I thought he usually was with you or Vin when he felt the need to overindulge…" Ezra had trailed off at that point, realizing it sounded rather like a plea and a pathetic one at that.
"Ez, Chris has been having a rough time this week. His son Adam's birthday woulda been yesterday. Me and him been t'gether a lot this week, talking about it, drinking. I thought he'd dealt with it. I'm out with a lady friend just now, and JD's out with Casey. If he came over, he woulda found the place empty. Vin's up in the high country on a trail ride. Guess he just figured you'd be a good backup."
"Me?" Damn, he'd squeaked.
A soft, kind laugh answered him. Buck's voice, when it came on, was warmly confiding. "Ez, you mean a lot ta Chris. You and he are a lot alike, same time you two act like fire and tinder. He trusts you. So do the rest of us. You just relax, stick him in a bed and let'm sleep it off. He'll be fine." There was a chuckle, then, "Oh, and leave a wastebasket by the bed, he sometimes ain't too healthy the mornin' after the night before, if you get my meaning."
"I do and I will." Ezra paused in his thoughts, trying to ignore the warm feeling in the pit of his stomach at the words of friendship from this man, he then continued, "Thank you, Mr. Wilmington, I shall see to it that Mr. Larabee makes it safely through the night and is fit to return to work in the morning."
"Know you will, pard. Only, don't make it too early in the morning. He'll need to sleep it off a bit. I'll make sure everyone knows that you two will be late." A laugh followed. "'Course, with you Ez, we 'spect you to be late anyway."
"Of course, Mr. Wilmington, of course. We shall arrive at the office at a civilized hour, and until then, adieu."
From that point on, the evening should have been predictable. But it was not. Ezra found himself unable to leave the guest room, drawn like a magnet to the man sleeping in the bed. Finally, he'd left to put Larabee's abandoned clothing into his dryer, rolling newspaper into the tall tops of the leather-dampened boots. Back in his own bedroom, he found some loose sweats that would provide Chris with something to wear should he waken and wish to leave the bed before his clothing was ready. He left a wastebasket by the bedside and went in search of aspirin and a glass of water to set out for his boss.
A low moan brought him back to the bed from the guest bathroom where he'd been adding more towels. The blond was tossing in the bed now, restless and uttering small moans and cries of distress. Knowing the cause thanks to his conversation with Buck, Ezra sat down on the edge of the bed and put a hand on the sweaty forehead. "Easy there, Chris, easy. It's alright." The first name came easily at this private moment. He stroked the clammy skin and decided to get a warm cloth to wipe away the chilling sweat. Returning to Larabee's side, Ezra sat up onto the bed beside the sleeping man. He rested his back against the backboard and grappled with the sweat-slicked shoulders and arms of the bigger man, finally settling him partly up on to his chest and lap, letting the shaking head rest on his shoulder. He folded his arms around his patient and started to murmur soft calming words of comfort.
Larabee subsided into a quiet sleep with the change. His breathing evened out and he snuggled closer, snaking arms out around Ezra's short sturdy frame, pulling them even closer together. For over three hours, Ezra sat there holding his boss, held tightly in return. Every time Chris began to dream, crying out or muttering darkly, Ezra would begin his litany of soft words. "It's alright, Chris. Everything is fine. You are safe and warm and with a friend." Erza hoped that would still be the case in the morning. He was fiercely fighting off his own baser instincts to clutch the man and kiss his with abandon. Consume him. Devour him. Shifting uncomfortably, he realized he was getting hard.
At that moment, Chris Larabee's eyes snapped open and met Ezra Standish's. Hazel met green. One dark with pain, the other with passion. Nothing was said for a moment. Then Chris wriggled experimentally and his eyes widened. Ezra blushed as he realized that Chris also had felt Ezra's growing hard on. Egads. In a panic, Ezra started to push away the tall blond, intent on freeing himself from this embarrassing position.
The word was just a whisper of sound but Chris' long arms tightened around Ezra's waist and he leaned in to touch the green-eyed man's frozen lips with his own. His warm wet tongue delicately teased the small mouth, licking first one way, then the other on the lower pouty lip, then up to paint the narrow, bowed upper one. Ezra gasped and as his lips parted in surprise, Chris found entry and sought out Ezra's tongue. Pushing out, Ezra managed to force out Chris' tongue and then pull back from the intimate kiss completely.
"Ezra. I need…" Hazel eyes closed, but not before Ezra saw the defeat in them, the pain.
"What do you need, Chris?" he asked softly.
At the sound of his first name, Chris' eyes opened again and he smiled into the green orbs which looked back with tenderness and fear. "You, Ezra. I need you. I need your kindness tonight."
"My… my 'kindness'?"
"Yeah. You have one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know. Please, tonight I need a little piece of it."
Ezra stared into the honest eyes that spoke to him. "Chris." With a gulp that was audible, he raised one hand to cup the quiet face so close to his own. "You have had all of my heart since the first day I met you. Tonight, take of it what you will. It's yours, all of it."
Hazel eyes warmed and crinkled. "God, Ez, that is the most beautiful thing anyone's ever said to me. Thank you, darlin'." And before Ezra could recover from the shock of that endearment, Chris moved back in to kiss him even more thoroughly. And this time, Ezra let him.
The morning after the night before. Ezra could now recall in minute detail every moment of the quietly intense lovemaking that followed that second kiss. He had given himself up to Chris Larabee heart and body. The man had loved him as no one ever had before, gently but thoroughly. He'd covered Ezra in kisses and intimate touches, removed Ezra's clothing with deft fingers and then pulled the chestnut haired man under the bedcovers with him. They'd had their first orgasms almost simultaneously as their stiff shafts rubbed sensuously together. Chris had used some of the cum to lubricate Ezra, preparing him for a climb into heaven's front parlor. In utter abandon, Ezra had ridden Chris's pole as the blond thrust deeply into the smaller man. When they both came again, so soon after their first peaking, they collapsed in each other's arms for a deep sleep. Chris had awakened Ezra twice more during the night, once to suck him off and be sucked in return, each lapping the other's stomach clean of earlier residue as well as laving the erections and slurping the hard towers into the warm, moist caves of their mouths.
Ezra's tentative touches in the 'now' of the late morning became surer as his recollections of the night before filled in the blanks of waking memory. His tiny smile grew as he remembered Chris panting and crying out, "Ezra, love me, love me forever." The cry became a repeating chant throughout the long night of lovemaking. Each time he said it, Ezra had replied, "Yes, yes, Chris, forever." Ezra felt so happy, he felt like shouting out to the world that he was loved! And by such a lover. Oh, the world would forever envy him.
But, Chris was still asleep. Suddenly Ezra wanted his lover awake so that he could smile into those knowing hazel eyes, kiss that wry mouth and lick his way across that broad chest. He leaned down and lick-tickled the nape of his lover's neck. "Chris?"
"Mumpfh?" The blond grunted into his pillow and then stretched, twisting and stretching again, his arm dragging away from Ezra's chest in the process. With another grunt, Chris threw himself up, on to the edge of the bed, feet bracing him on the floor, hands clawing firmly at the edge of the mattress. Totally ignoring the man behind him. "Garrgh…" With a groan and a hacking cough, he tilted forward and was sick into the waiting wastebasket, then stumbled to his feet, wiping at his mouth with the back of his forearm. Half-blind with hangover and sleep-stuck eyes, Larabee staggered toward the beckoning bathroom door only feet from the bed, deserting his bedmate without a backward glance.
Ezra sat up in the bed. His hands clenched at the edges of the coverlet. He had tried to lay a comforting hand on Chris' back as the man vomited but the shuddering body had shrugged it away. Ezra stared down at his hands, fists knotted in tension. Shit. Chris was drunk last night. DRUNK. Fuck. Damn. Shit. Chris was drunk. Last night, Chris Larabee was stinking, fall down, pass out, don't know what you are doing or saying drunk. Quietly, face composed, almost serene, Ezra Standish slid out from beneath the covers of the bed and gathered his clothing from the floor where Chris had flung it. He could hear Chris being sick again in the bathroom. He hesitated, then fled the room.
With a leaden heart, Ezra padded quickly down the short hall to his master bedroom. With record speed, he showered, shaved, and donned new clothing. Fresh and as ready as he could be, he strode back down the hall to the guest room and looked inside. Larabee was not in sight. Cautiously, Ezra approached the bathroom door. "Mr. Larabee?"
When there was no immediate answer, he tried again. "Mr. Larabee, are you alright? Do you require assistance?"
Again, silence. Then the tall, naked blond appeared in the door, obviously unconcerned with his nudity, wiping his face with a washcloth. He looked wet, probably just out of the shower himself. "Ezra?"
"Good morning." Ezra tried to maintain a neutral façade, keep his desolation contained within. God, the man was incredible to look at in the morning. He willed himself to keep cool, but could feel heat rising traitorously from his groin. "Ah, are you in need of any assistance?" He gestured to a side chair, "Your clothing has been dried, it's here ready for you. Or, if you prefer, I left out some sweats as well. They may be a bit short but they are loose on me so you should be able to wear them. Um, your boots were also quite wet, I left them in the kitchen to dry. I put newspaper inside them to help them dry to shape." Realizing that he was quickly reducing himself to inanities, Ezra shut up. When Chris did not immediately respond, he began to back out of the room once more.
"Ezra." Chris ignored his own nudity and walked across the room with long, easy strides, mesmerizing his audience in the process. Reaching his friend, Larabee stood close up beside the smaller man and looked down into glistening green eyes. Softly, Chris repeated, "Ezra." Then he captured the stiff shoulders and holding tight, he leaned in to whisper against the cool face, "Good mornin', Ezra, darlin'." And he kissed his green-eyed lover.
"Ah, Chris?" Ezra spoke so low that it came out more like a breath of air than sound, "What just happened here?"
"I thought we figured this all out last night?" Chris tugged his reluctant lover close, shoving the suit jacket off tight shoulders so that he could splay his square hands across the tempting back. Nuzzling Ezra's neck, he continued, "Ezra, one thing you should know about me. I may be a mean drunk, I may be a quiet drunk, I may even be a piss poor passing out drunk, but Ezra, I never am so drunk that I don't know what I'm doing and I always remember it later."
"You remember?" Ezra felt like he was caught in a fast moving current, unable to control his speed or direction.
"And you regret…?"
"Nothing." Chris' tongue and lips were marching up Ezra's jawline now, moving back toward their earlier target, his delectable lips.
"Ezra, darlin', I love you. I thank god that you love me back. Last night, I needed you. I came here because I needed YOU. I've wanted you for a long time, but last night I needed you." A wet, lavish kiss, then Chris spoke again. "And you gave me everything I needed, you gave me all of you. I love you. Now don't you dare try to back off on me."
"Mummphf." Whatever he'd wanted to say was blocked by an assertive, marauding tongue. Somehow, it didn't matter anyway. He arched up against Chris, wantonly aroused by the naked man holding him so closely. Nothing else mattered. Chris remembered! And Chris loved him. He'd said it again. Sober. In the morning, after the night before.
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