Thanks: Thanks to Sprat for beta
Notes: For Pearl_O's Five Kisses meme
Kowalski turned the corner, but Ray, who was two steps behind, heard the faint click-click of a safety going off and grabbed him, yanking him back hard, just as a bullet CRACK!ed into the brick, chipping off a dime-sized red chunk that skittered across the sidewalk.
Kowalski staggered back into Ray, smacking him into the wall and knocking all the air out of him. For a moment, Ray was sandwiched there—rough warm brick at his back, rough hot Kowalski pressed to his front—and he blinked, and time
stopped. (Kowalski's hair was curled damp with sweat, tapered down to the stubble at his hairline, where the skin glistened and smelled hot and sexy, and
when did Kowalski get sexy? Ray had a flash of panic, and then another
tiny fraction moment
when his lips heated and parted, tingling, and he realized what he wanted to do was to lean forward and taste the back of Kowalski's neck.
He even bent his head a fraction, before)
CRACK! Time started up again.
A day later, after a briefing session with Welsh, Ray strode out of the bullpen with Kowalski on his tail. "Jesus Christ, Vecchio," Kowalski was saying. "It's not that big of a deal. It's just a stakeout. We all gotta take our turn."
"Fuck off," said Ray. "Just fucking—" leave me alone. But Kowalski grabbed his arm, slammed open the supply closet door, and practically threw him in there, sending him sprawling against the shelves of notepads and toilet paper.
Ray spun around and yanked on the light cord, and Kowalski slammed the door shut, and then they stood there, glaring at each other under the 60 Watt bulb, both of them clenching their hands at their sides. The air between them fizzed.
"Would you stop—" said Kowalski, and took a deep breath. "What the hell is wrong with you?"
Ray jerked away, trying to step back, and knocked a box of ballpoint pens onto the floor. "What do you mean?"
"It's not a complicated question," said Kowalski. "You've been acting weird since yesterday. What gives?"
And fuck, was it that obvious?
"It's nothing," Ray told him. "Get outta my way."
But Kowalski held his ground, and when Ray tried to push past, Kowalski stepped sideways to stop him, and narrowed his eyes. "Vecchio—"
And Ray couldn't help himself. He leaned forward and pressed his lips to Kowalski's.
Right away, Kowalski's hands came up and shoved him back.
"You," said Kowalski staring at him. "You?"
Ray closed his eyes, feeling his cheeks flush with heat. "Sorry," he said. "That was—I didn't mean—"
Kowalski cut him off—
—with his lips.
And there was that freeze frame again.
(Kowalski tasted of coffee and gum, and his lips were warm and sure. Ray's knees weakened, and he grabbed Kowalski's shoulders, and hung on. Kowalski's fingers brushed his cheek, and Ray didn't know what he was doing, didn't know what he was doing,
didn't care that this was a terrible, terrible mistake, because jesus, he was thirty-six, he was old enough to make some stupid mistakes if he wanted to.
And he needed this. And it wasn't like Kowalski was complaining. In fact, he)
—and then everything happened too fast:
Kowalski pulled away. "Who's there?"
"It's Frannie," said Frannie, and the door started to open, and Ray ran a hand over his face and glanced at Kowalski, and he looked just the same, the same as always. Like nothing had happened.
That night after the stakeout, both of them breathing hard, up against Kowalski's kitchen counter, Kowalski slid his hand into Ray's pants.
Ray grabbed his wrist. "Fuck, Kowalski. What is this?"
Kowalski looked down at their hands, and blinked. "It's sex, Vecchio. What does it look like?" And kissed him hard before Ray could answer.
Kowalski sucked Ray off, and Ray held onto the counter and tried to keep from groaning too loud, and tried to keep from falling down. Afterwards, he pulled Kowalski to his feet, and they went over to the couch and sat there side by side. Ray leaned his elbows on his knees and couldn't look at Kowalski. "I, uh," he said. "I don't know if—I can't do that. I'm not—"
"Hey," said Kowalski. "Did I ask you to?" He twisted around on the couch and put his hand on Ray's shoulder. "You don't got to do anything, Vecchio."
Ray looked at him then, and saw that Kowalski was serious. Not angry, not laughing at him. "Okay," said Ray. He took a deep breath. "Okay, but can we—?" He covered Kowalski's hand with his own.
So Kowalski smiled and kissed him, and it was warm and sweet, and when Ray leaned back, he tugged on Kowalski's t-shirt, so Kowalski ended up half on top of him. Ray stroked down Kowalski's back, and held him, and thought maybe he could get used to this.