Pairing: Stephen Hendry/Ronnie O'Sullivan
Summary: evening and night after Ronnie's 2005 WC quarterfinal with Ebdon
Disclamer: all lies, never happened
Word count: 2752
Ron’s lips are soft. Yielding under his, soft and full, and it’s the way this kiss goes. Ronnie was kissing him just a minute ago, violent, a bruising kiss almost to the point when the taste of blood could be felt – and the same Ronnie is almost unresponsive now, as if this sudden outburst took all of his energy away, lying limply in his arms, and only lips are moving under his, making the kiss last. How long? Some minutes already maybe. He’s lost count.
He’s simply lost. Surrendering – it’s the new concept to him, even the word that never appeared in his vocabulary for his whole life, much less surrendering to his own desires… Which is not the point now, his wishes and his needs. He knows in his mind that he never should’ve let Ronnie kiss him…
He’s dreamed – when he’s dreamed – of being kissed by this man, of being touched – in passion or with tenderness, the unfulfilled wish that was… that is never to be realized.
Ronnie’s lips taste bitter. He tastes bitter, the almost-but-non-completely faded taste of smoked a long time ago cigarettes – or maybe not too long a time, because in the agony of nightmare there is no counting of minutes and hours that pass by. If it’s night or day – he has no clue. How long he’s spent in front of his TV, how long he is already in this locker room, holding Ronnie in his arms, how long does this kiss last – no clue. He should have counted by the beating of his heart. He sees no reason.
He’s dreamed – when he’s dreamed – but that was it. He’s never wished to be kissed by Ronnie – because he’s always known it won’t come true. He’s never wished to hold him in his arms, trying to warm his body – but not the body, his soul. He’s never wished for something that will never be his to take, and when he’s dreamed – everyone is guilty of dreaming sometimes.
He runs his fingers over the buttons of Ronnie’s waistcoat, undoing them swiftly. He knows in his mind that he never should’ve let Ronnie kiss him, and in a way he never did. Because whomever Ronnie is kissing now – it has nothing to do with him. Whatever Ronnie feels, if he feels anything at all – does he? – is this a reality or does the horror that started in the middle of the match, two steps away from snooker table, continue for him now?
If his wishes have mattered – he would never agree to this happening. Not like that. Never like that.
Kissing Ronnie’s cheek, feeling the stubble tickle his skin. Ronnie’s body tastes of bitterness and sweat. If his wishes had mattered, he would have preferred not to know how it feels – to run his fingers along the dark curly hair covering Ronnie’s chest. Not like that. Not like a thief stealing a treasure that he shouldn’t have ever laid his eyes upon. Ronnie didn’t invite him here, nor did he ask to be held, nor does he see who it is who is holding him, nor does Ronnie care.
If Ronnie cares about anything for the moment, if any part of him is still able to feel something – he doesn’t know. But he tries. Licking the nipples, leaving a bitemark right above the collarbone, making Ron moan quietly. Making him whisper the words. Three words, falling from these soft, full lips. ‘I love you’.
In a way it doesn’t even hurt. He’s dreamed – when he’s dreamed – but this is what he’s never dreamed of. These words would have shattered his world if Ronnie ever said them to him – but he won’t. So no reason to feel like something is dying inside him, and in no way it seems like teasing. It’s simply an excuse to say these same words back, and his voice is steady when he says ‘I love you’ and bends to kiss the tip of Ron’s cock, making the man moan again.
“I love you”, once more, just for the sake of repeating it. If Ronnie remembers this one – tomorrow, in a couple of days – a big ‘if’ judging by Ron’s state – he’ll have a good explanation, this old reasoning of ‘doing whatever was needed at the moment to help’. That he means what he says – this will never cross Ron’s mind in a hundred years. That he’s using his only chance to say the words in Ronnie’s face – that will be his own secret.
‘I love you’, moans Ronnie when he takes his shaft in the mouth as deep as he’s able to. It’s not so easy to adjust as it probably seems to be. He’s never done it to the man before, and then he’s highly unlikely to do it ever again, but it surely is not a rocket science – to bring pleasure to the man who was already hard even before he’s touched him. Sucking steadily, moving a soothing hand over his hips, just to make Ronnie come out of his reverie and feel alive, alive again after dying slow and painful death in front of the cameras to entertain millions of people watching and not caring… Do something, anything, this is why he’s here, this is what he’s doing right now. Something. Anything.
Ronnie’s eyes are huge. Big green orbs on a pale face, and if Ronnie sees him – he’s not sure. It’s too dark in here to see anything in other man’s eyes. But at least Ronnie is looking at him and hot in some outer space like before, and maybe what he is doing now is really what it takes to hold Ronnie on this side of madness – and if this is the case than he’ll feel himself a happy man.
‘I love you’, this is what Ronnie repeats between moans, and he has to steady the buckling hips under his hand, and fumbles with the buckle of his own belt. He needs the release as much as Ronnie does now, and there’s no reason for holding back anyway – everything will be forgotten in a couple of hours. How it feels to touch this body, how does Ronnie look on the brink of ecstasy, how the heart stops for a moment to a sound of barely audible ‘I love you’ – he has no intent of remembering any of this. He won’t even have to pretend that this never happened – because in a way it never did.
When Ronnie comes, he comes with a moan that sounds almost like a sob, and his semen tasted bitter too, when he swallows the warm liquid. His knees hurt because he’s spent too long kneeling on the floor, and he lifts himself up to lie down on the cot, taking Ronnie in his arms again. And again and again he whispers “I love you”, kissing these lips again, kissing everywhere he can reach.
“I love you, Stephen”.
And the world does explode, like the stained glass bursting into a shards of colored crystals. And the main color is green – deep faded green of Ronnie’s eyes that are suddenly alive.
‘I love you’, said Ronnie and called him by the name.
Ronnie called him ‘Stephen’.
He opens his eyes to see the darkness around. For some moments everything is completely dark, just a black mist surrounding him. Then the sight adjusts to the lack of light, and slowly the shapes start coming into view. The pale square on the wall is a window - large expanse of glass that is a wondrous sight in the light of day, but now only shadowy silhouettes of the nearby buildings can be seen, and like a beacon shines a light on top of the TV tower. In the darkness he can see the bulk of the armchair that is standing at the door, and his jacket hanging on the rack, and the bedcover lying in a heap on the floor.
And the darkness is almost silent - almost, save for the quiet breathing of a man in bed beside him.
'I love you', is the first thing he remembers. And then...
And then he remembers the nightmare that wasn't a dream.
It all comes crushing down on him, and he closes his eyes, squeezing the eyelids past the point where it begins to hurt, trying to hide back in the darkness from everything that happened in the evening, and still he remembers everything too clearly, though part if him wants so badly to believe that it didn't didn't didn'tdidn'tdidn't happen.
And Ronnie is lying in bed beside him. Sleeping. Breathing.
He lifts himself up on one elbow, trying to see the face in the darkness. Ronnie is sleeping. After this match, after this evening, after this horror Ronnie is sleeping. Not moving, absolutely, completely still, but he is breathing.
Sleeping. Breathing. Alive.
And the night is dark and quiet, though he doesn't know how late it really is. He only knows it was well past midnight when he's finally left this damned locker room and walked past the row of light-blue doors, walked past the men who were standing outside, and nobody dared to stop him or even try and talk to him when he walked towards the exit through the Crucible's maze, holding Ronnie close, almost carrying him, and wanting only for one thing - to get him as far from this place as possible.
Bizzarely, he's noticed the time on Ken's wristwatch, when the man stepped in his way right in the middle of the foyer.
In the darkness Ronnie's face is almost invisible. There's not enough light, but still he bends down as close as he can, trying to see... To find in this pale face something, anything that will convince him that it - whatever 'it' is - will be alright.
And Ronnie is sleeping, his sleep deep and peaceful. In the darkness there is no seeing of the deep scratches running down his cheeks, and if they still are bleeding.
But he could trace them even in this darkness, these lines across Ronnie's face. He did trace them, running his hands up and down the scratches, touching with his lips where his fingers were just a second ago, and the water was falling down on them both, washing everything away, washing everything down the drain, washing the bitter-tasting sweat off Ronnie's skin. And Ronnie was kissing him, standing in the shower, back against the wall. And he was kissing back, and he was holding Ronnie, helping him stay upright, and kissing - again and again, between whispers, every meaningless word he wasn't aware he was saying, and then kissing again. And Ronnie whispered 'I love you' - and looked at him, really looked. And it was real. Blissfully real. Hot water streaming down his back and shoulders, wet tiles under his feet, Ronnie's eyes in front of him and Ronnie's erection pressed to his hip, his own state of arousal and the kiss that tasted of smoked-long-time-ago cigarettes - everything was real.
And now Ronnie lies here quietly, sleeping. Sleeping. Breathing. Alive.
And he just listens to this sound that is almost hypnotic, to this slow steady rhythm - till he himself is breathing in synch. Bending even closer, as close as it's possible without really touching.
Sleeping. Breathing. Alive.
He wants to scream. It rises and rises from the inside, and he puts his palm to his lips, as if this will help.
The silence is too heavy, and he suddenly, desperately wants to break it. To shake Ronnie awake, to see his eyes, to ask and to see for himself if he is alright. Even if Ronnie won't remember... anything.
The whole day - this dreadful last session, their seemingly endless way through the Crucible, and this almost eerie ride back home, when Ronnie was asleep on his shoulder, and the lights were blinking, and it seemed like the road will never end. Maybe it would have been better if Ronnie could just forget - and maybe he will. Maybe for Ronnie it will be no more than a bad dream when he wakes up tomorrow.
But he can't even bring himself to feeling guilty for wishing that Ronnie would remember.
He's never dreamed, for dreams are useless, but hearing Ronnie say 'I love you' was much more than he could ever dream of.
But still he wants to shake Ronnie awake and make sure that he is alright. That everything is over, and no matter what Ronnie will remember when he wakes up.
But Ron is sleeping, and for all intents and purposes he should be sleeping too, and tomorrow will be a time to worry about tomorrow.
But he can't.
He can't even move. There is not enough light to see, but still he tries. Still leaning over the man who is sleeping unaware of the attention, supporting himself with one arm, hovering above. And it's too dark in the room, and very quiet, just like it should be in the deep of the night.
He wants to scream. He can't even close his eyes, because when he does - he sees it all again, those pale-blue walls of seemingly endless corridors, anger - rage almost - in Doherty's demeanor and the moment it disappeared - when Ronnie for some brief seconds came to himself, and it was his turn to feel anger wash over him - because Ronnie called the other man's name, but Ronnie's head was still lying on his shoulder, and it was... How come he never noticed that the theatre is so big? He doesn't know how long it took them to get to the exit. Seemed like a long, long, long time...
But now Ronnie is here. Sleeping. Breathing. Sleeping. Hopefully - without dreams.
He wants to touch. To feel, to convince himself that everything is still real. And that it will somehow be alright.
The whisper is rough, too loud, and he flinches. But Ronnie doesn't react. His sleep is deep and undisturbed, like it should be. Like it's supposed to be.
He forces himself to sit up on the bed. Really forces - it takes all of his will to make even the simplest of movements.
His hands are shaking.
All his body is shaking, the tension that has build over these long hours taking its toll. He hides his face in his palms, but as soon as he closes his eyes it all begins again...
Once more he manages to shake himself out of it. No use going over and over everything again. That's what he tries to tell himself.
He turns around to see Ronnie lying in bed next to him.
Digging his nails into his palms - it hurts, but it helps in some way - helps to stop from doing something so... Was it what Ronnie was doing, leaving red lines across his face, trying to keep himself from going mad?
He stands up - jumps up off the bed, overcome with the need to move. Thick carpet is muting the sound of his steps when he stumbles towards the window - just to turn around again to stop two steps from the bed, hovering over Ronnie. The need to touch, to feel is overwhelming, and the sensible thing - to leave in peace, to let him rest - doesn't matter for a moment as he bends down... He catches himself just in time, hand just millimeters away from Ronnie's shoulder.
His fingers are shaking, he notices. It takes all of his will to step back, because all he wants is...
So that is how hysterics feels like, he wonders. The room is too dark, too quiet, and he knows he's going to do something mad right now, because it all is just too much.
And Ronnie is sleeping. Sleeping. Breathing. Alive.
He turns abruptly and rushes out of the room, almost tearing into run - just to get out before he breaks apart - because the last thing Ronnie needs is dealing with his nerves. If... Ronnie is going to deal with him at all.
And the last thought brings almost satisfaction. It's painful enough and egoistic enough that he is able to get mad at himself.
Not falling out of stride, he bends down and grabs a pack of cigarettes from Ronnie's discarded jacket. And focuses all his attention on shutting the door quietly.
The cigarette tastes of the kiss, tastes bitter, and smoke is filling the lungs, making it impossible to breathe. He welcomes it, as if it will give some relief. It won't. But it doesn't matter.