B&R81: Pillow Talk
by Dee Gilles
Disclaimer: For Entertainment Only.
Benny & Ray 81
Exhausted, Ray Vecchio let himself into the apartment. It was late, and his joints ached. What a shitty day; he was happy to be home, and out of the cold hell of the streets on the South Side of Chicago.
Another kid got shot tonight. It was a goddamned epidemic over there. He and his trainee, Dotson, were practically down the block when it happened, on routine patrol, complaining about how boring a night it was. All of a sudden, it got a lot more interesting when the call came through. They made it on scene in less than four minutes. It was another ten minutes before the EMT arrived; Dotson got to practice his skills in rendering first aide.
Lucky for the kid, the bullet got him in the muscle of his upper arm. If he had been turned a few degrees more toward the shooter, he would have taken the bullet right through his heart. But he got lucky tonight. He'd be back out on the streets in no time, life on the line once more, just to sell a few more bags of weed. Dotson was fast on his way to becoming a GSW and firearms expert already, he had seen so many shootings. Ray'd forgotten over the years how strenuously life on the beat could be. He kind of missed his detective days.
Ray bolted the door behind him, throwing his keys on the entry table. The apartment was dark, so Benny was in bed. Ray heard a distinct whine as Pearson approached him in the dark. She nuzzled at his outstretched hand curiously, and finding no treat, she moved away again, mumbling her disappointment. She went back to her corner resting spot, circled twice, and settled herself back down.
Ray stripped off his wool overcoat, gloves, and knit cap. Man, it felt good to be warm to the bone. It was down to three below out there, and they'd spent the last hour outside in the freezing cold. He sat on the couch and pulled off his boots.
Like he always did, Ray went to the bedroom to check on Benny. It was 10:35. He silently padded through the dark apartment. Sometimes, if he was lucky, Benny was still awake when he got in at nine-thirty. There wasn't much chance he would be up tonight; sometimes Benny went to bed as early as seven o'clock. He just wasn't a late night kind of guy. When Benny was ready to drop, he dropped. Ray had known his lover to fall asleep on the way home on the El, in the car on the way back from the Bulls games, at parties or dinners at the house, and once on a city bus, missing his stop. Ray had to drive out to Rogers Park and retrieve him, since it was the last run of the night.
A while back, Ray was stuck at work late, and so he had called to let him know and say goodnight. He got caught up in some story about he and Paul as kids, feeling nostalgic because it was Paul's birthday at the time, and Benny had fallen asleep on him, right in the middle of his story. When he arrived home two hours later, Benny was still crashed on his side of the bed, lamps on, phone still clutched to the side of his face. A little bit of drool leaked from the corner of his wide-open mouth. Ray thought it was one of the most endearing things he'd ever seen. He must have laughed for a good five minutes.
He smiled, remembering, as he crept into the bedroom. To his surprise, Ben turned over, sleepily eying him.
"You're up," he said unnecessarily. "I didn't wake you, did I?"
"No, I wasn't sleeping."
Ray bent over Benny, and they exchanged a kiss.
"Anything the matter?" he asked.
"I'm worried about Officer Dudley."
Ray began stripping for bed. "What's going on with Papa D?"
"He's in some trouble with Captain Briggs."
"Won't say. Commander Mendez called us both in at noon, and we were sent to separate offices. He questioned me at great length about Dudley and my working relationship, how things were going."
Ray pulled on his pajamas, and crawled in next to Benny. He groaned a sigh of relief. "And how are things going?" Ray asked, settling in.
"Extremely well. I really like Dudley, Ray. I'm afraid they are going to split us up."
Ray scowled. "What did Dudley have to say afterwards?"
"That's the thing. He wouldn't tell me anything. He said he didn't want to make things worse for me by involving me, and to leave it at that."
"That's strange. You want me to do some snooping?"
"Would you mind?"
"Do you even have to ask, Benny?"
"Thanks, Ray." He moved close to Ray, wrapping his warm arms around him, squeezing.
"Mmmm, you feel good, Benny," he murmured, squeezing back.
"And how was your day, Ray?"
"The usual, Benny. Murder and mayhem. All in a day's work." He let his hands roam down Benny's arms, and across his chest. His palm encountered a long row of tiny buttons. Benny was wearing his goddamned long johns again. Ray was going to sneak them into the trash on of these days, or cut them up to use as washrags for the car. He unbuttoned several buttons at the waist and slipped his hand in. Ben sighed softly.
"Not that I want you to lie awake and worry, but I'm glad you're awake, Benny. I miss you, you know," Ray whispered. "I miss having dinner with you every night, and falling asleep with you."
"Me too, Ray. Any luck in getting on first shift soon?"
"Nah, nothing. There's a bunch of guys in front of me who have already called `dibs'."
Ray had been exhausted when he got into bed, but all of a sudden, he felt like he could hang for a while. He sat up with renewed vigor, and began to unbutton the rest of Benny's buttons.
"Perhaps I could request second shift, too," he said. "So we can be on the same schedule again."
"Benny, I don't want you out on the streets late at night."
"Ray! I'm a grown man and a perfectly capable officer of the law."
"Ray! You're not being reasonable."
"So? Who says I always have to be reasonable all the time? I don't want you on the streets at night, Benny."
"But you and I were out at night all the time on cases, stake outs."
"Well, you were with me. I always knew how to protect you."
"Ray. You make me feel like a child."
Ray leaned down and kissed Benny's mouth after he finished with the buttons. "Benny. I love you. I wanna protect you. I'm sorry-sue me. And besides, we got a kid on the way. We can't both be in imminent danger all the time."
Ben sighed in defeat. "You're right, but--
"Yeah, I know I'm right," Ray cut him off. He pulled at the shoulders of the long underwear, and Benny obediently lifted up, allowing Ray to remove the offensive clothing. Benny was a hot as a boiler, and Ray caressed the smooth expanse of skin.
"But Ray! I--
Ray smothered any further protestations with a kiss.
End B&R81: Pillow Talk by Dee Gilles
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