Rating: R
Pairing: Vecchio/Kowalski
Thanks: Ooodles of thanks to Sage and mergatrude for beta
Notes: For saintmaybe1121 for the DS Holiday Party 2006

A Push in the Right Direction

by china_shop

Ray slumped back against the unforgiving edges of shelves, shut his eyes and caught his breath, carbon paper and Wite-Out mingling with the smell of sex. The rustling of clothes in front of him almost drowned out the bustle of the world beyond the supply closet door.

"Shhh," he said, suddenly nervous, cold at the thought of being caught out.

A shuffling footstep, and then hot fingers landed clumsily on his neck and patted their way up to his cheek.

"Don't worry," whispered Kowalski into the space between them, and then Ray was being kissed, hard and lewd, making his knees wobble. For once Kowalski was clean-shaven, and Ray had to resist the temptation to lick his way along Kowalski's jaw and down his neck. He kept his eyes shut and didn't move. This never happened. Yeah, right. How long was he gonna keep telling himself that?

Kowalski's hand dropped away, and then he broke the kiss. A second later, the black behind Ray's eyelids flooded red, and then it went dark again. Ray straightened his tie, ran his hands over where his hair used to be, and squared his shoulders. He pushed through the door just in time to see a vaguely familiar weasel-faced guy point at Kowalski and say, "Hey Vecchio, your shirt's on backwards!"

Ray edged sideways away from the door, trying to make it look like he'd just walked out of the breakroom—and saw Jack Huey standing beside weasel-face. "He's not Vecchio anymore," said Huey, and pointed at Ray. "He's Vecchio."

Kowalski was looking down at his t-shirt, which was, indeed, on backwards.

Weasel-face—who Ray remembered now was Tom Dewey—swaggered over and tucked the tag in where it was sticking up, then patted Kowalski's chest. "What's the matter, Kowalski? Your mom didn't have time to come by and dress you this morning?"

Kowalski stuck his chin out and countered with, "You guys are back? What happened to your high-flying comic careers?"

"We're on hiatus," Huey told him.

"Welsh begged us to come back," added Dewey, stretching plausibility to well past breaking point.

"Riiight." Kowalski was apparently too self-satisfied to fight about it. He raised a hand to Huey and slouched off toward the squadroom without looking back.

"Hi, Ray," said Huey in passing, as he and Dewey headed in the other direction toward the back door. "How's it going?"

"Aw, you know." Ray struggled not to blush. "Still fighting the good fight. You wanna get a beer sometime?"

"Yeah," said Huey, following Dewey down the hallway with a wave. "Later."

Ray watched them turn the corner, and only then let himself relax. They hadn't seen. They hadn't figured it out. Thank Christ!

That had been way too close for comfort. Ray couldn't keep doing this—making out in alleys and fucking in closets. He was nearly forty and he was a cop, for Chrissakes. It was time to make a choice: either walk away from this thing he had going with Kowalski and kid himself it was an aberration, some strange post-Stella rebound—or accept it and take it to the next level: couches, beds. Somewhere private. Somewhere with the lights on.

He wondered if Kowalski would go along with that or if he was only in it for the adrenalin and the mindfuck. There was only one way to find out.

And just like that, the decision was made.

Ray went into the squadroom and sauntered over to Kowalski's desk, too aware of the other people in the room. It was a push to keep it casual. Kowalski was bunched up inside his t-shirt and was twisting it around without taking it off, pushing first one long arm through the proper armhole and then the other. He straightened it up, dropped into his chair and carelessly arranged his hair, then slid his slow warm gaze up Ray's body.

Ray resisted the impulse to scan the room for witnesses and rested his hip against Kowalski's desk instead, nudging aside Kowalski's scrappy heap of an in-tray. "That was too close."

Kowalski leaned back in his chair and stuck a toothpick in his mouth. "Nah. Just Dewey being a dick."

Ray tried not to notice how Kowalski's lips were still a little swollen from sucking Ray's dick, how his eyes were a little too bright. "Still," he said, "we gotta be careful. Maybe we should—"

Kowalski's eyes narrowed a fraction, but other than that, he didn't move. "What?"

"We should go somewhere else," said Ray. He wondered wildly for a moment whether he ought to suggest a hotel. A motel. One of those sleazy pay-by-the-hour places on the southside. He couldn't bring himself to. "Maybe your place?"

"Maybe." Kowalski's eyelids drooped even lower, more sultry than suspicious now. A smile played at the corner of his mouth. The toothpick twitched.

"Yeah," said Ray, feeling like he had to make his case now, and kind of resenting it. "I mean, they could've—if they'd seen me coming after you—" He ground to a halt, picturing what could've happened. "It's a good thing they didn't put two and two together," he finished. "That's all I'm saying."

Kowalski nodded lazily, and slouched even further down in his chair. "A good thing," he repeated. "Oh yeah. I mean, Huey and Dewey—they couldn't add two and two if you gave them a calculator and a math professor to work it for them, but—You know what's really a good thing?"

Ray couldn't stop his gaze dropping to that toothpick nestled in the corner of Kowalski's mouth. He licked his own lips and asked, hoarsely, "What?"

There was a gleam in Kowalski's eye. He let his chair thump to the floor, leaned forward, and said softly, "It's a good thing they didn't notice your fly's still undone, Vecchio. 'Cause, I mean, that combination of events—that might've really given the game away."

He got up and reached around the water cooler to grab his jacket from the coatstand. "Come on," he said. "Let's get out of here."

Ray quickly zipped up, checking to make sure no one was watching.

And Kowalski started to lead the way to the back door—the parking lot. But not before Ray caught a glimpse of the biggest, brightest shit-eating grin in the history of forever, spreading across his face.

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