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The nights were mainly made for saying things that you can't say

Chapter Text

“You are distracted.” Said Mako as her bo staff came into contact with his shoulder for the third time in their kwoon session.

“Sorry, it’s just…” Raleigh rubbed his shoulder.

“You are thinking about Chuck again.”

“What? Erm, well…”

“I do not need to drift with you to read you sometimes. The pair of you have been… insufferable lately.”

Raleigh winced. Were they that bad? Mako raised an eyebrow. Okay, they were that bad.

“Yours is not the most conventional relationship.”

Admittedly beating the shit out of each other was not the greatest start to any kind of relationship.

“Communication isn’t the best.” Raleigh admitted.

This was what happened when his boyfriend was emotionally constipated. Not that he was much better; five years was a long time to shut people out. It wasn’t as if they were in a bad place. Yes, the sex was amazing. Mind-blowing, even. Intense was definitely an accurate word to describe Chuck. But more often than not he was just so difficult to talk to. Raleigh just wanted to shake him sometimes. So what if he just wanted to curl up with Chuck or go out on dates? That’s what other couples did, right? Then why the fuck couldn’t he just come out and say it? With Mako he didn’t need words. Perks of the drift he mused.

“Maybe you two should actually talk about it.” Mako said as she headed for the showers. “Then maybe we can actually spar in a fair fight.”

It wasn’t long before he found himself in the kwoon with Mako again. So he hadn’t actually had a serious conversation with Chuck yet; they were both busy. And contrary to popular belief he was not spending an excessive amount of time training.

His mind had wandered and he left himself vulnerable again but rather than move in for the kill, Mako took a wide step back. Raleigh didn’t get a chance to question her as his line of sight was rapidly shifted sideways and he was slammed full force into the mat.

Raleigh groaned and shoved at the familiar weight on top of him but the thick pair of arms wrapped around his waist would not allow him any movement.

“Why?” he rasped.

Chuck laughed in response and released him. He untangled himself from Raleigh and looked down at him with a smug grin plastered on his face.

“Mori mentioned you were feeling unloved.”

Raleigh directed a murderous look in her direction. Mako failed to hide the smile behind her hand. Well, Raleigh thought, she no longer had to worry about his participation in their sparring sessions now.

“Later, Raleigh, We can hold hands and cuddle later.” Chuck smirked at him and sauntered off. Raleigh closed his eyes. Oh, he was going to be insufferable about this.

Chapter Text

Cute was not a word you would use to describe Chuck Hansen. Especially if you wanted to keep your face intact. Except that was exactly the word that entered Raleigh’s mind at the sight before him. Adorable too. Sweet, even.

Mako and Raleigh had been curled up on an old couch watching TV when Chuck wandered in covered in dirt and grease. He let out a long yawn and rubbed at his eyes and managed to smear more dirt across his face.

“You look like you’ve been having a good time.” Said Raleigh.

“Unlike you two lazy fuckers, I like to keep myself busy.” Chuck retorted.

Raleigh could attest to that. The man could not sit still for long. He had often sent Chuck away to do some work or tinker with machinery when he started drumming his fingers, tapping his foot and huffing and generally driving everyone around him mad. Although, Raleigh had to admit, Chuck’s seemingly endless energy had its upside and was certainly appreciated in the bedroom.

“We saved the world.” Raleigh replied. “We’re entitled to some down time.”

“Join us.” Mako patted the couch.

Chuck merely grunted in response and slumped down on the couch next to Raleigh. The three of them fell into a comfortable silence

Raleigh felt a weight on his shoulder and an arm snake around his waist. He rested his head on top of Chuck’s and settled his arm around him.

This was new. He and Mako shared a look. Affectionate was another word you would not use to describe Chuck Hansen. At least not in public.

“I’m seeing a whole new side to you Chuck.” Said Mako.

“Fuck off.” Chuck murmured into the crook of Raleigh’s neck. “Tired.”

“I like it.” Raleigh smiled. “It’s cute.”

“I will punch you.” Chuck yawned again. “Tomorrow.”

Raleigh just shook his head and stroked his thumb over Chuck’s side.

Chapter Text

“Come on, Chuck.” Said Raleigh through gritted teeth. “Answer the fucking phone.”

He had lost count of the number of times he had been greeted by Chuck’s voicemail. Raleigh had just walked through the front door when his phone alerted him to the text. He had been expecting it all day. It seemed that Chuck had finally decided to send some form of apology, no doubt accompanied by an affectionate insult, after storming out on their earlier argument on living together. Sure it was cheaper, but they had only been together for sixth months Raleigh had tried to reason. But trying to get Chuck to come around to someone else’s view was like trying to beat Mako at kickboxing; it just wasn’t going to happen. When he read the text, however, all thoughts of their fight left his mind.

There’s blood. There’s a lot of blood.

Two lines. No follow up text. No explanation. Raleigh called Chuck but got no reply. He waited and then he called again. He called over and over. Nothing. If this was his idea of a joke then he was going to make sure there would be a lot of blood.

Raleigh had called around everyone he could think of in the hope that someone knew where the hell Chuck was. Yancy, Tendo, Mako, Sasha, Aleksis, Cheung, Hu and Jin. No one had heard from him. He hadn’t called Herc yet. If there was anything worse than Raleigh worrying about Chuck, it was Herc tearing the town apart in search of his son.

There was no way of tracking him down. Raleigh had gone straight to Chuck’s apartment but there were no lights on. He pounded his fist on the door and called out to Chuck until one of his neighbours threatened to call the cops on him. Mako had told him Chuck had left campus after their study session in the library. He stopped by every single place he could think of that Chuck regularly visited. He wasn’t at any of them.

Raleigh found himself back at his own apartment sitting at the table with his phone in his hand willing it to ring. When it did start ringing, he almost dropped it. Chuck’s name flashed on the screen. He hit the answer button hard enough to break it.

“Chuck?”

“Is this Raleigh?” A female voice asked.

“Yeah, who is this? Is Chuck okay?”

“My name is Dr. Wells. We have Chuck here. We asked who he wanted us to call and he just kept saying Raleigh.”

“Shit, what happened?”

“Nothing serious. Seems he got into a fight. A few bruises and stitches and a slight concussion. He’s been asking for you.”

Raleigh was already up and heading for the door. “I’m on my way.”

Chuck was sat up on the hospital bed. His face was adorned with a freshly formed black eye and stitched up cuts across his cheek and forehead. His shirt was ripped and bloody and no doubt hid further bruises underneath.

“Hey.” Chuck breathed.

“Hey.” Raleigh took a seat next to him. “You want to tell me what the hell this is all about?”

“You know me. Got mouthy to some cunts. They jumped me in an alley.”

“You had me worried, you asshole.”

“Sorry.” Chuck rubbed a hand over his face. “Must have text you while I was all dazed.”

Raleigh wrapped his arms around Chuck and buried his face in his hair. “Don’t ever do that to me again.”

“Sorry.” Chuck murmured into his chest.

Chapter Text

LUCK. I MEANT LUCK. LUCK AUTOCORRECT.

It was fairly obvious what Chuck had meant, but that didn’t mean Raleigh couldn’t have fun with his blunder.

Well, that is one way of taking my mind off things though.

They’d met through Mako and at first Raleigh had wanted to punch the kid and it wasn’t too long before they had ended up rolling around the floor throwing actual punches. Mako had pickpocketed both of their phones, exchanged their numbers and refused to talk to either of them until they apologised and acted civil toward one another.

“You don’t have to be friends.” She had said. “Just please refrain from violence when you are around each other.”

Raleigh was the first to send a message in the attempt to make peace and Chuck eventually responded with a stiff and sarcastic response. It wasn’t the greatest start but at least he had actually responded. They didn’t form an instant bromance and their replies were few and short to begin with. But they would send the odd message occasionally; Chuck usually complained about something or Raleigh would send terrible jokes just to get a reaction. Eventually their messages increased and brief exchanges became full on conversations.

They had been texting about finals when Chuck made his typing error; Raleigh had been stressing out about his upcoming test since it was a huge chunk of his grade. It wasn’t as if it hadn’t happened before either. They’d both been a victim of autocorrect in the past but so far nothing with this level of embarrassment.

Raleigh checked his watch. His phone had been silent for a full forty-five minutes; Chuck must have been really struggling with the witty comebacks today. Another ten minutes passed. He couldn’t have actually taken him seriously he thought. Shit, he might have. Chuck always got weirdly quiet or performed a complete u-turn in the conversation whenever the topic of sex came up. Raleigh’s boyfriends or casual flings were something he had learned to avoid since Chuck’s replies were instantly reduced to one word responses. He wasn’t homophobic, was he? Shit, shit, shit. Had he just scared him off?

Raleigh’s phone alerted him to a text.

Your place or mine?

Chapter Text

Raleigh stared down at his phone, not quite sure how to respond to the most recent text from Chuck.

I may have accidentally handcuffed myself to the stairs.

It was astounding that his genius – Chuck’s words, not his – boyfriend could display such feats of pure stupidity sometimes. A certain incident involving a broken window, some bagels and a live goat came to mind. The Wei triplets were a bad influence.

How?

The details aren’t important!

Chuck had been sitting on the staircase when he opened the package containing his newly arrived gift to Raleigh. He had frowned at how flimsy the handcuffs looked and thought they couldn’t possibly stand up to what he had planned for Raleigh. Deciding to test them out Chuck handcuffed himself to the stair railing and gave them many rough experimental tugs.

And then he had dropped the key through the railing when he went to take them off. With yet another violent tug Chuck had come to the conclusion that the handcuffs were indeed fit for what he had originally intended to use them for.

Why do you even have handcuffs?

Max had trotted over when he heard his master roaring profanities at inanimate objects. Chuck had tried coaxing Max into retrieving the keys for him but the dog had only wagged his tail and titled his head in response. His attempts to turn Max into a rescue dog ranged from promises of treats and new toys to threatening to have him neutered. Max had ended up sitting on the keys and, because Chuck refused to come down from the stairs and play with him, eventually falling asleep on top them.

My old man is gonna be home soon!

The scene played out in Raleigh’s head: Herc returning home and laughing his ass off at the sight of his very red faced son. It was almost worth leaving Chuck to the mercy of his father, but he knew Chuck would punish him for it. He’d once made Raleigh go three weeks without so much as a touch in retaliation for allowing Yancy and Tendo to duct tape him to a table after he had passed out at one of the Wei’s parties. And all the provocative photos Chuck had sent him in those three weeks were nothing short of cruel and vindictive.

It was going to be a surprise, dickhead.

You’re not helping your case here, you know.

Please.

Raleigh could see that pleading look on Chuck’s face that had succeeded in making him give into his whims on far too many occasions and felt his will bend to Chuck’s once again. Also, he really didn’t want to go a month without sex.

I’m on my way.

Chapter Text

Raleigh was a morning person but even he had trouble getting out of bed to attend a nine am lecture with the knowledge that everyone else in the house was still sound asleep in their beds. It didn’t help that Yancy, Chuck and Tendo had talked him into playing Borderlands into the early hours because they didn’t have classes that day. He never used to have such an issue with rising early, but having to force himself out of the warmth and comfort of Chuck’s embrace on such mornings may have had something to do with his newfound dislike of early lectures.

On route back home all of his previous thoughts however, of an afternoon spent putting off impending assignments in favour of video games, TV and whatever else he could think of that equated to not studying, were drowned out by the sound of his phone.

When you get home, remember this. It wasn’t me.

If this was Yancy’s attempt at being reassuring, it did not have the desired effect.

You and Chuck only had to get groceries today, what the hell could have possibly happened?

If Chuck had broken something again, he was not chipping in for a replacement this time. How does someone even break the door of a refrigerator off anyway?

Raleigh checked his phone again, but there were no further texts from his brother. He opened the door tentatively and gave the hall a quick glance; there seemed to be no visible damage so far. And it was quiet. In any other household that might seem normal but he lived with Yancy, Chuck and Tendo; quiet was not their thing in the middle of the day when none of them had classes.

It wasn’t long before Raleigh found the source of Yancy’s cryptic warning. Chuck was sat in the middle of the living room and laying between his legs receiving a belly rub was a bulldog.

“What is that?” He demanded.

Chuck didn’t take his eyes off the animal. “It’s called a dog. You know, one of those animals with four legs and –”

“I know what it is.” Raleigh snapped. “What is it doing in our house?”

“I found him.”

Raleigh looked around in search of backup.

“Where’s Yance and Tendo?”

“They went out.”

“Of course they did.”

Raleigh pinched the bridge of his nose. Those traitors would run away and leave him with this. He just knew that Yancy hadn’t even tried to fight Chuck on the decision to bring the dog back with them. When it came to confrontations his brother had an unnatural ability of no longer being in the vicinity. And Chuck was, as Yancy often stated, Raleigh’s problem to deal with.

“We can’t afford a dog.”

“His name is Max.”

“Aw shit, you named him.”

“He’s got nowhere else to go.”

Raleigh knelt down beside him. They could not keep a dog. They were all working part time jobs; Raleigh had even picked up extra shifts on weekends he could have been spending with Chuck. Not to mention their landlords were a pair of very intimidating Russians who both looked capable of killing a man with their bare hands. He did not want to entertain the thought of their reaction to a dog shitting all over their carpets.

 “Chuck…”

Chuck’s hand stilled and he looked over at Raleigh. The soft look he had been directing at the dog seconds ago was replaced by a cold, dark stare. Max whined, but Raleigh wasn’t sure if it was from the ceasing of Chuck’s stroking or the intense hostility radiating from him. He found himself fighting the urge to whimper under Chuck’s glower.

“Some wanker left him tied up behind some bins. Just threw him away like rubbish.”

Chuck had always been strangely fond of dogs. Like a small child he’d always get distracted when he saw one walk past and had no shame in waltzing up to people and lavishing attention on their pets. Dogs seemed to give off some smell that triggered something within Chuck similar to that of those people who became affectionate around babies.

“Please?”

The dog and Chuck both gazed at him with wide, pleading eyes. Max’s tail rapidly thumped against the floor and if Chuck had one Raleigh was certain his would have been too. The dog righted itself, shuffled closer and pawed at his leg. Raleigh groaned.

“Fine. But you’re paying for him.” Raleigh stated. “And cleaning up after him.”

Chuck’s face lit up and he launched himself at Raleigh and kissed him.  

It was quiet when Yancy and Tendo finally decided to show their faces in the house again. They found Raleigh and Chuck asleep on the couch together with the dog tucked between them.

“Told ya.” Yancy smirked and held out his hand.

Tendo sighed and opened his wallet up. “Yeah but encouraging Chuck to bring the dog here instead of an animal shelter and convincing him that Raleigh had always wanted a dog is cheating, you know.”

Chapter Text

Unlike Chuck, Raleigh was an early riser and would usually leave him drooling on the pillow for an hour or two before Chuck finally crawled out and joined him. And even then it took a shower and coffee before he was functioning as a human being. Raleigh had become more and more fluent in Chuck’s morning grunts and had given up entirely in expecting a higher level of communication.

And then there were the mornings Chuck did not make getting out of bed an easy task for him. Raleigh always woke with Chuck’s arms wrapped around him and he would simply dislodge himself from the tangle of limbs. But sometimes Chuck’s grip would tighten like a vice and refuse to let him go and he would nuzzle into Raleigh’s and neck, placing soft kisses down to his shoulder. Raleigh would put up a half-hearted struggle and mumble things about responsibilities and obligations but he always gave in within minutes.

As Raleigh began to stir Chuck pulled him back against his chest and kissed along his neck. He was not getting out of bed this morning. He rolled over and kissed him. Chuck’s fingers brushed along his chest and down his side before coming to a stop on his hips. Raleigh’s ran his fingers through Chuck’s hair and gave the occasional gentle tug which pulled quiet moans out of him.

Chuck nipped at his bottom lip and Raleigh opened his mouth in compliance. Very few words were exchanged in these wakeup calls; they communicated through touch and taste instead. Raleigh moaned when Chuck sucked lightly on his tongue. The kisses became deeper, messier. Hands roamed all over, tracing every inch that had become so familiar. Chuck knew every part of Raleigh’s body just as well as his own; knew just where to caress, kiss and bite to draw those enthralling sounds out of him.

Chuck pushed Raleigh onto his back and climbed on top of him. He pushed Raleigh’s legs apart and slid between them and ground against him slowly. Raleigh gasped and bucked his hips into Chuck’s.

Raleigh’s hands were just sneaking into Chuck’s boxers when the sound of knocking made him freeze.

“Dad!” A muffled voice called through the door.

“Daddy!” A second joined in.

“Aw, crap.” Raleigh sighed and withdrew his hands from Chuck’s boxers causing him to let out a low growl at the loss of contact.

“We should probably–”

Chuck silenced him with a kiss. “Don’t let them in.” He continued downward, peppering Raleigh’s throat and chest with kisses.

“But–”

“Just pretend we’re asleep.” he murmured between kisses. “They’ll get bored eventually. Go watch cartoons or something.”

“What if they –”

Chuck covered his mouth with his own again. “Door’s locked.”

The knocking continued. “Open up!”

“Angie’s hogging the remote!”

“Yancy’s being a dumb butt!”

“Am not!”

“Are too!”

There was a sound of scuffling followed by Max barking and scratching at the door. Chuck groaned and buried his face in Raleigh’s chest.

“S’not fair.” He whined.

Raleigh chuckled and stroked Chuck’s hair in an attempt to sooth. “Duty calls.”

Chuck merely grumbled incoherently into his chest and refused to let Raleigh out from under him.

“Feed the kids first.” Raleigh said. “And then…maybe we go take a shower.”

Chuck was off him and falling out of the bed in an instant. “Kids, come on, breakfast!”

Chapter Text

“He’s late.” Yancy said. He was leaning against the jeep and kicking at the dirt.

“I’m sure he’ll be here soon enough.” Raleigh replied as he rummaged around in his backpack for bug spray; he’d gone out and bought it in bulk when he found out he and Yancy were going to be doing a show in Australia. Not that he thought the bug spray would be very useful from what he had heard of the wildlife here.

“We could just leave without him. It’s not as if this is our first time staying in a hostile environment.”

“Yeah, but we’re now in a country where pretty much everything around us can and probably will try to kill us.” Not to mention that he was the one who somehow ended up with injuries on their excursions while Yancy always got through them without a scratch. “Look, there’s Mako with him now.”

A car pulled up and Mako climbed out. As always she was clutching her trusted PDA with Yancy and Raleigh’s entire lives stored at the touch of a button.

“I am sorry to keep you waiting. This is Chuck, he will be your guide.” She gestured to the man emerging from the passenger side of the car.

“Well fuck me, if it isn’t the Becket brothers.” The man said as he approached them.

Raleigh stared. “No way, you’re our guide?”

“Aw fuck.” Yancy groaned. “Of all the Australians in this country and you pick the most annoying one imaginable.”

“Fuck you, Becket one.” Chuck shot back.

Mako glanced between the three of them. “You know each other?”

“Unfortunately yes.” Yancy replied. “This asshole used to live near us back in Alaska.”

“Fuck. It’s been so long.” Raleigh continued to stare at Chuck, appreciating how much the other man had bulked up over the years. He was definitely no longer the self-conscious and awkward teenager who used to make out with him and gave him his first hand job. Chuck stared back with a predatory grin on his face. Yancy was not liking where this was going.

“We should go over the schedule once more, Mr. Becket.” Mako said gesturing to the PDA. If she had noticed the charged atmosphere between Raleigh and Chuck, she was ignoring it. Wise choice, Yancy thought, but then again she wasn’t the one who was going to be spending three weeks in the middle of nowhere with the two of them.

“Right.” Yancy reluctantly turned away and listened while Mako listed off items from their itinerary. He found it difficult to concentrate when flashbacks of walking in on Raleigh and Chuck fooling around half naked started cropping up. He had only wanted to borrow a video game, not have the image of Hansen’s ass assault his retinas.

“Since when did you become a travel show host?” Chuck flicked Raleigh’s chest. “You, of all people? I seem to remember a kid who pissed his pants when a baby bear came sniffing round our tent all those years ago.”

“I didn’t actually piss myself. And it was an adult.” Raleigh frowned. “Besides, we’re adventurers, survivalists, whatever you want to call it.”

“Whatever, I’ve seen your other shows. You guys are glorified travel guides. Your audience probably consists of tourists who’ve never set foot in anything remotely resembling actual nature.”

“Yeah well, that’s why we’re here. To show them the adventurous parts of the world most people don’t experience.”

Chuck snorted. “You got a camera crew following you around and me babysitting you.”

“You’re our guide. All you’re doing is showing us the lay of the land so we don’t get lost.”

“That isn’t adventuring, mate.” Chuck folded his arms. “Throw me out into the wilderness with nothing but a knife. Now that’s survival.”

“You know, it wouldn’t surprise me if that was an accurate description of your childhood Crocodile Dundee.” Yancy said on his return to collect his brother and their guide, and to make sure they both still had their clothes on.

“Oi, fuck off with the nicknames.” Chuck glared at him.

Oh yeah, thought Yancy, this trip was going to be so much fun.

“Still, I am glad you’re our guide.” Raleigh smiled at Chuck.

Chuck eyed Raleigh in return and took a step closer to him. “I don’t think this trip will be a complete disaster after all.”

“Mako!” Yancy called. “I want my own tent!”

Chapter Text

Chuck frowned when he entered the bar and failed to see any of his friends. It was bad enough that he was being dragged out against his will, but Mako had text him the address of some bar he’d never even heard of before and refused to give him any other details.

“Yo, Chuck!” Newt waved from across the bar. “Over here.”

Chuck crossed the room and leaned against the bar next to Newt. “I don’t see why we couldn’t go to the usual place.”

Newt rubbed his neck and Chuck’s eyes narrowed. He only did that when he was nervous; Newt was the least subtle person he knew.

“Well. I figured… trying new things and all, right?”

“What are you…?” Chuck looked around the bar. Tables had been set up in a purposeful formation as opposed to being dotted around where there was room. Cards and pens were being handed out. People were wearing name tags. “What the fuck is this Geiszler? Where is everyone?”

“They’re not coming…”

Chuck turned to him. “What?”

“It was Mako’s idea! Okay, it was mine, but she encouraged me to sign you up and–”

“Sign me up for what?”

Newt laughed nervously. “Speed dating.”

“Speed…” Chuck’s eyes widened. “What the fuck?”

Chuck turned and started heading for the exit. Newt grabbed his arm but when Chuck glared at him he quickly dropped it. “Why don’t you stay for a little while? If you don’t like it you can totally leave whenever you want.”

“Not a chance in hell, mate.”

“Aw come on. You’ve been such a downer since your break up. Isn’t it time you put yourself back out there?” Newt looked around. “Plus I bet Mako twenty bucks you’d stay.”

Chuck knew he was being baited. He didn’t care about the money but the thought of Mako lording this over him was too much. She wouldn’t say much on the matter of course, but that look she’d give him would be far worse than anything she could say. There was no way he was going to let that happen.

“Fine. But I’m getting half.”

“But –” Newt started but quickly changed his tune when Chuck glowered at him. “Yep, right. You got a deal. Now let’s do this.” His face broke out into a grin and he ushered Chuck towards the tables.

Chuck groaned. He was going to choke Newt to death for this, and Mako too. “You’re both dead to me.”

“That’s the spirit, dude.” Newt tried to hand him one of the cards but Chuck didn’t take it.

“I won’t be needing it.” Chuck roughly pulled out a chair and dropped down into it. Just because he was doing this, did not mean he had to enjoy it.

It was a downward spiral from there. Chuck was sat back in his chair with his arms folded and a scowl fixed on his face so intense that two people actually hesitated before sitting in front of him. Three arseholes, two absolute bores and one creep who was old enough to be his father later and Chuck was ready to call it a night. Five minutes in the company of each of these people was far too long.

Chuck looked over at the neon exit sign which he could have sworn was glowing brighter like a welcoming beacon. Normally he’d feel a little bad for ditching Newt, but the bastard had played a key part in this abysmal evening and squashed any feelings of guilt he might have felt.

The buzzer to signal for everyone to move along sounded again. Looks like he’d have to suffer through one more awkward and uncomfortable encounter. The neon exit sign seemed dimmer in disappointment. Or it could just be the scotch he’d been consuming in generous quantities to numb the pain of this evening screwing with his vision.

“Forced here against your will too, huh?”

Chuck turned his attention to his next potential suitor. The hand that reached for his glass stilled and dropped back into his lap. The guy was hot. Really hot. Ridiculously hot. Blonde hair, blue eyes and wearing sweater that clung to him in all the right places. Maybe the night was not a complete train wreck after all; not something he would ever admit to either Mako or Newt for as long as he lived.

“So called friends. They think I need to meet new people. Maybe I’ll find their replacements here.” Chuck shrugged.

The blonde – Raleigh, he learned from his nametag – chuckled. “My brother. He thinks he’s hilarious.”

“And you still came?”

“He had good intentions, I think.” He sighed. “I’m kinda hopeless when it comes to dating.”

“I find that hard to believe.”

“Well, it’s why I’m here.”

“Have you seen yourself?”

Raleigh coughed. “Well, you’re not too bad on the eyes yourself.”

Chuck snorted. “That was so fucking cheesy.”

“Sorry.”

“Didn’t say it was a bad thing.” Chuck leant forward and rested his arms on the table.

“So… what made you agree to this?” Raleigh asked. “You don’t look like the type to have trouble in dating either.”

“He doesn’t know it yet, but the friend who dragged me here is paying for all my drinks.” He flashed Newt’s credit card around and pocketed it again.

“Oh, that’s mean.” Raleigh laughed again. Chuck could listen to that sound all night.

“Fucker deserved it. I might pay him back a small percentage depending on how the evening goes. And well…” Do not mention your ex, Hansen. No one wants to hear about that. “Play your cards right and I might just let you in on this sweet deal I’ve got going.”

“Are you offering to buy me a drink?”

“Well, Newt is. But you get the pleasure of my company.”

“Tempting…”

The shrill sound of the buzzer made them both start. Chuck had never wanted to smash an inanimate object as much as he did in that moment. Fuck, no. He needed more time. Who the fuck thought five minutes was a reasonable enough length of time for this?

“Looks like our time’s up.” Raleigh smiled. “It was nice meeting you…?”

“Chuck.” He hadn’t bothered to wear the stupid nametag.

 “Chuck. Really nice.” He got up from his seat and then he was gone.

“You too…” Chuck slumped back in his chair.

“See, that wasn’t so bad now was it?” Newt said when Chuck re-joined him at the bar.

“Shut the fuck up and hand me one of those cards.”

Newt handed him the card and Chuck snatched it from him. “How the fuck does thing work?”

“Well, you write down the name of whoever took your interest tonight and if they also write down yours then the organisers give you their contact details.”

He quickly scribbled onto the card. Newt thought it was wise to not point out that he was no longer under a time limit. Chuck forced the card into the hands of one of the passing organiser and then joined Newt back at the bar. “How long’s this supposed to take?”

“Erm, not that long, I’m sure.” Newt decided against commenting on Chuck’s incessantly tapping foot.

A few minutes later one of the organisers approached them. “Mr. Hansen?”

“Yeah.” She handed him a card with contact details on it. Raleigh’s contact details.

He was too busy staring down at the card to see Newt’s fingers furiously typing away as he sent a text to Mako.

Newt patted at his pockets as they left the bar. “Hey dude, have you seen my wallet?”

Chapter Text

“I’ll be in my office down the hall. I don’t want to hear a sound from either of you.” Mr. Pentecost paused at the door and turned back to them. “Is that clear?”

Chuck stared at Mr. Pentecost in defiance with tight lips. Even Raleigh begrudged responding but kept a solemn look on his face; clearly not wanting to provoke the already greatly exasperated principal even further.

Mr. Pentecost leaned forward and tapped a finger against his ear. “I said, is that clear?”

He got a ‘yes sir’ from both of them; Raleigh’s was quiet and directed at his desk while Chuck’s was spat out through gritted teeth. 

“I’ll be back in one hour.” Mr. Pentecost gave them a long hard look for a few more seconds before turning to leave them. “Either of you try to repeat your actions and you’ll both be in Saturday detention for the rest of the semester.” The door closed behind him.

Chuck kicked the leg of his desk and Raleigh sighed.

“The fuck are you sighing for, Becket?” Chuck glared over at him. “It’s your fault we’re stuck here.”

“My fault?” Raleigh stared at him.

“You threw the first punch.”

You provoked me!”

“What happened to ‘being the bigger man’, huh?” Chuck raised his hands to air quote one of Raleigh’s previous attempts at trying to stop himself from punching Chuck in the face.

“You make it really hard to do that.”

“Not my fault you’re an infuriating wanker.”

“Just leave me alone, Chuck.” Raleigh turned away from him and doodled absentmindedly on a piece of paper. “If I have to be stuck here with you, the least you could do is keep your mouth shut.”

If Raleigh sat there quietly and ignored Chuck he figured that he could get through this detention and be on his way home. Just be the bigger man he told himself in his head over and over again. It’s not worth it, he added, Chuck Hansen is not worth it.

“I’m the one stuck here with you.” Chuck said.

Raleigh turned back. “You’re the one who always starts it!” So much for being the bigger man.

The pair froze at the sound of the door as it creaked open. Shit, Chuck thought, Pentecost was going to stick him with this arsehole every weekend for the rest of his high school life. The thought of sleeping in on Saturday mornings being taken from him upset him the most. 

“Wow, you two must love hanging out with each other.” Yancy said. He had nudged the door open and leaned in. “Look at you both, studying after school together like best pals.”

“Fuck off Becket.” Chuck glared at him but both he and Raleigh breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of the older Becket sibling. As much as Chuck hated him, he was a more welcome sight than Pentecost in that moment.

“What do you want, Yance?” Raleigh asked.

“Not much. Just thought I’d gloat a little; make fun of you in your state of misery. Standard big brother duty and all.” Yancy smirked at him. Raleigh wanted to punch him too.

“I already have to deal with one asshole today.” Raleigh sighed.

“Oi! Who are you calling an areshole?” Chuck cut it.

Raleigh ignored him. “Please don’t add to my misery.”

Yancy laughed, but took pity on his little brother. “You kids stay out of trouble now.” He dodged the book Chuck had aimed at his head and it bounced off the wall and hit the floor with a thud. He shot Chuck a triumphant look and ducked out of the room.  “See you at home, Rals.”

Raleigh sighed and rested his head on the desk.

“Your brother is an even bigger arsehole than you.”

“For once we have something to agree on.” Raleigh muttered into the desk.

“Must run in the family.”

“Mmmm.”

Chuck frowned. Becket was no fun when he didn’t react to his provocations.

Raleigh’s silence continued as he sat there with his head on the desk. Surely he couldn’t have fallen asleep. Chuck had heard the stories that circulated of Yancy’s ability to fall asleep in any class; a talent which pissed off every one of his teachers. But it couldn’t have run in the family too. Raleigh was always alert and active in classes. The fucker could never sit still. He was always tapping a pencil on the desk or holding whispered conversations with Mako or Tendo. The younger Becket was like a puppy that had been forced to sit at a desk and kept trying to wriggle his way out.

“Becket.” Chuck said.

He received no response.

“Becket.” Nothing. “Raleigh.”

Chuck began to tap his pen on the desk. “Raahhhlllleeeighhh.” He decided to butcher the pronunciation of Becket’s name in the way he knew the other boy couldn’t stand. Chuck also threw a balled up piece of paper at the back of his head for good measure.

“What?” Raleigh sat up abruptly and directed a pissed off look at him. “What do you want, Chuck?”

“I’m bored.” Chuck leaned back in his chair. He could see that Raleigh was holding himself back from getting up and punching him in the face. The flared nostrils, the whitened knuckles as they gripped the back of his chair and the soft pink lips just barely parted in an outraged expression.

Wait, what?

“And whose fault is that? If you didn’t want to get stuck in detention on a Friday afternoon then you shouldn’t have picked another fight with me.” Raleigh’s voice was beginning to rise and his face was turning a shade redder.

 “Can’t help myself.” Chuck leaned back in his chair.  “You’re just too easy, mate.”

He could see Raleigh’s rage building still and rather than stop pushing him beyond his breaking point like any sane or rational person would, it only spurred Chuck on further.

“You’re a great source of entertainment.” He grinned.

Raleigh abruptly stood up, knocking his chair over, and loomed over Chuck. He slapped his hands down on the desk and leaned down so he was at eye level with him. A few inches closer and Chuck could brush his lips against his.

 “What is your problem with me?” Raleigh demanded.

Chuck didn’t meet his eyes. He was too fixated on those lips. He wasn’t even hearing Raleigh anymore. That wasn’t what made him snap.

He flew out of his chair and gave Raleigh a shove backwards.

“Get out of my face Becket.” He warned.

“Why?” Raleigh was in his face again. Chuck backed up until he was against the wall and Raleigh advanced on him until there was barely any room between them.

“No. I won’t. You want a reaction out of me? Well you got it.” He flicked Chuck’s chest. “This is what you wanted, wasn’t it?”

The kiss was far more surprising to the two of them than Chuck’s fist in Raleigh’s face could ever have been. Chuck Hansen was known around the school for his impulsive acting before thinking attitude, infamous for it in fact, and in that instant he had fully given into it.

When Chuck’s brain did start functioning again all it could focus on were Raleigh’s lips; how they were just a warm as he had imagined but also drier and thinner than he had thought they would be. It was exactly what he wanted but he remembered where he was and who he was with and what he was doing.

And then it was over and Chuck was looking at Raleigh like someone had just run over his dog. He was tripping over chairs and knocking into desks and out the door before Raleigh had time to even process what had just happened.

Raleigh remained where he was and stared at the space Chuck once occupied.

Huh, he thought, so that’s what his problem with him was.

Chapter Text

“I thought I’d find you here.” Raleigh leaned against the wall and watched Chuck at work.

Chuck was, as usual, down in the engine room tinkering with the ship in one way or another. It wouldn’t have come as much of a surprise to Raleigh if he one day walked in on Chuck sleeping in there. He was pretty sure he had spied a blanket stashed behind some tools and machinery on more than one occasion.

“Where else would I be?” Chuck asked, not looking up from a control panel as he fiddled with some wires. Raleigh wondered if Pentecost knew that Chuck was fucking around with his ship; the other man probably didn’t really care so long as she was still flying. Chuck’s upgrades had worked wonders on the old girl so far and he wouldn’t be surprised if Pentecost was turning a blind eye.

But it wasn’t the work on the ship that Raleigh had come down there to admire.

Chuck had stripped down to a tight fitting tank top that may have once been white but was now covered in a layer of grime. His pale hands and arms were smudged with dirt and grease and he only managed to spread it further as he wiped the sweat from his brow. If anyone knew how to wear dirt and make it look damn sexy it was Chuck Hansen.

“You know, the whole point of shore leave, is actually leaving the ship.” Raleigh remarked as he continued to watch Chuck and admire the shift in the muscles of his back as he worked.

“In case you haven’t noticed, mate.” Chuck said. “But we have a fucking invasion to deal with.”

“Not right now, we don’t. Even the commander is down there.” Raleigh sighed. He knew he was fighting a losing battle. Chuck very rarely ventured outside the ship, unless it was for a supply run or a mission. Raleigh sometimes wondered if he knew what fun was. “We all need to blow off some steam every once in a while.”

“Yeah well, we don’t all have the luxury of getting to enjoy all the perks that come with Pentecost’s reputation.”

Raleigh rolled his eyes. “Come on, Chuck…”

“I don’t have time for this shit, Becket.” Chuck turned his back on him. “I’m not leaving the ship, and that’s final.”

“Fine.” Raleigh turned to leave. “Spend all your time with the machines. They’re all you really care about anyway.”

“The fuck is that supposed to mean?”

He turned back and Chuck was frowning at him like he knew he had done something wrong, but couldn’t quite work out what. It wasn’t an unfamiliar look; Chuck was one for running his mouth and then wondering why others looked so offended or pissed off. Anyone who knew him knew that he wasn’t one for sugar-coating anything. He tended to go for blunt and brutal honesty which often ended in flying fists or bullets. Raleigh usually found his social ineptitude cute and endearing on most occasions, but not this time. Now it was just infuriating.

Raleigh wasn’t entirely sure what the thing between him and Chuck was. It first happened after what the crew had since dubbed the ‘suicide mission’. Some people still questioned Pentecost’s sanity in choosing to go through with it. At the time Raleigh had figured it was down to that ‘we could die tomorrow’ mentality. It had certainly felt that way at the time; they had been all over each other in a frenzy. They’d stripped each other of their gear and fallen into bed together, tangled in a mess of limbs.

Raleigh had woken up alone the next morning. They had geared up without a mention of the previous night with only the mission on their minds. He figured they had a pretty slim chance of making it out alive anyway; there was no point in trying to figure Chuck Hansen and his intentions out. He’d need a hell of a lot longer than that anyway.

Chuck never really brought that night up again and as much as he wanted to neither did Raleigh. That was until he’d ended up in Chuck’s bunk again after another mission where he had nearly had his head blown off. Since then it had become a kind of ritual; they would go out on one mission after another that somehow always ended in a shootout and then the two of them would fall into bed together. Chuck had called it a post-mission stress relief and in a way it was. But to Raleigh it was more than that. So much more.

It was why he never questioned Chuck’s intentions out loud; why he never tried to broach the subject of what this thing was or where it was going. He was too wrapped up in Chuck to let it end by opening his mouth and bringing his feelings into the mix. Raleigh was well aware of the stupidity of his actions, but he was willing to risk it all and cling onto Chuck for as long as he could. Before Chuck was done with him.

He’d ended up confiding in Mako after one drink too many down on the Shatterdome. Although to her it was already obvious. She pointed out how he couldn’t keep his eyes off the other man and how the two of them would disappear at the same time for hours on end. Maybe he really was that naive.

Mako had rolled her eyes at him when he had told her that he had decided to remain behind on the ship that night. She didn’t bother to lecture him. He had heard it enough times before.

“You need to either break this off or talk to him.” Mako had chastised him. “Before one or both of you gets hurt.”

“We’re both adults, Mako.” Raleigh had huffed and folded his arms.

“More importantly.” She continued, ignoring him. “Before it starts to affect our work.”

“I wouldn’t ever–”

“I know that.” Mako’s expression softened. “I just don’t want you to get hurt, Raleigh. Chuck is a good person, but you may have to face the fact that he may not be as emotionally invested as you.”

She was right. Of course she was right. But still, Raleigh had done nothing. He had a good thing going and he was damned if he was going to give it up before it reached its end date. He knew it was a stupid mentality to have. This thing, whatever it was, was going to end. And it would blow up in his face.

Raleigh didn’t know why he was still on the ship. He could have still salvaged his evening; could still take Mako up on her offer to join her for drinks. Although he didn’t much feel like being the third wheel with her and the Asari she’d gotten pretty cosy with recently. And yet there he was, still on board and pining after the man who saw him merely as a good lay.

He clenched his fists. Well fuck him.

“You know what it means.” Raleigh fixed him with a hard stare. “I’m tired of this, Chuck. I’m done.”

Chuck’s frown morphed into a look of genuine confusion, and that hurt Raleigh all the more. His fears had been confirmed, but at least now he knew where they both stood with whatever it was between them.

“The fuck are you saying, Becket?”

“I’m done screwing around, Chuck. If that’s what this is to you then…then I’m done. I can’t do it anymore.”

Chuck’s eyes widened but he didn’t say anything. Raleigh turned and left him there.

*

“Thought I’d find you here.” Chuck leaned against the door frame of the starboard observation deck with folded arms and watched Raleigh.

“Where else would I be?”

When Raleigh wasn’t fooling around with Chuck, he’d usually be found there gazing out into the infinite expanse of space on his down time. As a kid whenever he felt small or lonely he’d look up at the stars; something which had never changed throughout his life. You’d think a guy who spent most of his life among them would get sick of stars, but not Raleigh.

He heard Chuck sigh but made no move to look at him. He didn’t trust himself not to crack if he did.

“You gonna look at me?”

“Got a better view right here.”

He didn’t hear Chuck approach but the next thing he knew his arms were around his waist and Chuck’s solid chest was pressed against his back.

Raleigh made to push him off but Chuck’s held him place. “Chuck, don–”

“I ain’t screwing around, Raleigh.” Chuck breathed against his ear. “Not now, and not before.”

“Could’ve fooled me…” Raleigh murmured and felt himself relax in Chuck’s embrace. He cursed himself for giving in so easily but Chuck had that intoxicating effect on him, and he was sure he knew it.

Chuck pressed his face against his neck. “You know me, better with machines than people.”

Raleigh scoffed. “That’s putting it mildly.”

He didn’t need to see Chuck to know that he was rolling his eyes. They both lapsed into silence.

“So…” Chuck drawled. “Everyone’s down on the Shatterdome having a good time.”

“Yeah. I’m aware of that.” Raleigh sighed. “You don’t need to remind me.”

“Which means…” Chuck continued. “That we have the whole ship to ourselves…”

A sly grin appeared on Raleigh’s face. “That we do…”

“So, tell me Raleigh.” Chuck turned him round and pulled him towards him by his belt with a predatory smirk on his face. He nodded towards the window. “Ever been fucked under the stars?”

Chuck’s lips latched onto his neck and Raleigh’s hands shot up and fisted Chuck’s shirt. “Or how about in an engine room?”

Chuck trailed kisses along his throat and up to his jaw. “The mess hall? Doc’s office?”

Raleigh returned the look with a grin of his own before pulling Chuck into a kiss. “Ask me again in a few hours…”

Chapter Text

Chuck stared down at the piece of paper he had just been handed by a customer and then looked up at the idiot stood in front of the counter grinning at him.

“Oi, mate,  you may not know how this works, but you’re supposed to hand over money in exchange for goods and services, not a scrap of bloody paper.”

“Oh, I’m aware of how this works. “ The guy smirked at him. He made a gesture with his hand. “Turn it over.”

Chuck felt his other hand twitch in annoyance and curl into a fist, ready to sock the guy in his finely chiselled jaw, but he did as instructed.

He blinked at the digits scrawled across the paper. Underneath was a name: Raleigh. “Are you trying to be funny?”

“Just responding to today’s special.” The guy, Raleigh, winked at him. He actually fucking winked. Did people outside of cheesy commercials and terrible music videos actually do that in the real world?

Chuck stared at him. “What?”

Raleigh stepped aside and motioned towards the chalkboard sign by the door which should have had the day’s special advertised. Instead, in suspiciously familiar handwriting, it read: ‘Today your barista is: 1. Hella fucking gay. 2. Desperately single. For your drink today I recommend: You give me your number.’ The message was accompanied by a crudely drawn stick figure of what Chuck assumed was meant to be himself.

Chuck’s initial reaction was anger. Rage was probably a more accurate description. But his fury cut short when Raleigh cleared his throat. He leant on the counter and shot him an expectant look.

“I…”

Holy shit this guy was serious. He was genuinely hitting on him. He was actually giving him his number.

And fuck, he was hot.

“That was… I didn’t…” Chuck spluttered. “

His mouth flapped open and closed like gasping hooked fish but still nothing came out.

Get it the fuck together, Hansen, his mind screamed at him. There is an incredibly gorgeous blonde flirting with you right now and you sound like a fucking simpleton.

He was in deep shit.

He could feel his face burning. Raleigh smiled at him. The arsehole was enjoying this. And infuriatingly that just made Chuck like him even more.

And then he saw Jin.

The fucker was sitting at a table watching him unashamedly with a shit-eating grin on his face. When Chuck met his gaze Jin’s grin widened further and he waved a stick of chalk in the air.

He was a dead man.

Chuck’s eyes narrowed. “You…”

Raleigh turned and followed his gaze to the man who in turn waved at them.

“When you tell the story of how you guys met at your wedding, please remember my vital role in making this happen.” Jin stood up and took a step backwards towards the exit. “Also, can I be shirtless in this story? I feel like it would be more impressive if I was shirtless.”

Chuck came round from behind the counter and made his way towards Jin. “How about I tell it at your funeral instead?”

Jin laughed nervously. “You wouldn’t kill a guy in front of your future husband, now would you?”

Chuck made a grab for him but Jin stepped back and then turned tail and ran out of the door. He ran out after him.

Raleigh stood at the counter staring at the door. A moment later Chuck rushed back into the coffee shop and snatched up the piece of paper with Raleigh’s phone number on it and gave him a nod.

Before Raleigh could respond, Chuck turned and was out the door again.

Raleigh leaned on the counter and frowned. He was just reconsidering his decision when his phone vibrated in his pocket. He pulled it out and a small smile worked its way onto his lips as he read the message:

So am I keeping that sign up or what? 

Chapter Text

“What the fuck are those?”

“They’re called dice, Chuck”

“I can see that, fuckwit.” Chuck frowned down at the three small cubes sitting in the palm of Raleigh’s hand. “What are you doing with ‘em?”

Raleigh shrugged and placed them down on the desk. “I found them outside my door this morning wrapped up with a note saying they were from my secret santa.”

Chuck picked up one of the dice and inspected it. Instead of numbers, there were words etched onto each side. He looked up at Raleigh with an expectant look.

Raleigh rolled his eyes and plucked it from his fingers.

“They’re novelty dice. They uh… give instructions with a body part and an action.” He cleared his throat awkwardly. “For adult purposes. You know, like spicing things up in the bedroom.”

Chuck snorted. “Don’t think we need any help in that department.”

Raleigh felt his face burn and thought back to the previous night he had spent on his back, writhing and sweating and…

He shook his head.

No, they certainly did not need any help in that department at all.

Chuck flicked the remaining dice on the table. “Kinda insulting really.”

“I’m sure whoever it was, meant it as a joke.”

“This has Jin written all over it. That bastard thinks he’s hilarious.” He brushed the dice aside. “Whatever, it’s not as if we’re gonna use them.”

“Yeah…”

Chuck turned and stared at him. “Do not tell me you are thinking about it.”

“Well, it would be a shame to let them go to waste…”

“No.”

“Aww come on, it’ll be fun.”

“It’s stupid.”

“It’s just a bit of harmless fun. What have we got to lose?”

“We don’t need ‘em.” Chuck folded his arms. He was not going to be swayed on this.

Raleigh smirked and picked up one of the dice and turned it over on his hand.

“That’s a shame.” He looked up at Chuck with a sly smile creeping onto his face. “I could certainly make it worth your while with just the roll of a dice.”

Chuck licked his lips.

Okay maybe he could be moved on this notion.

“Shut up.” He mumbled in response to Raleigh’s smirk.

He snatched the dice up from the table and dropped them in Raleigh’s outstretched hands. “Right, I supposed we could give ‘em one roll.”

Raleigh sat on the floor with his back against his bunk and Chuck took a seat beside him; his eyes never left the dice.

Raleigh rolled the dice.

Chuck leaned forward, his gaze following the dice as they tumbled across the floor, but pulled back when he caught Raleigh watching him. He failed miserably at putting on an air of nonchalance.

The dice came to a stop and both of them leaned down and stared down at the words on the small pieces of plastic that would dictate their next actions.

Needless to say what they rolled on the three dice was neither romantic nor sexy in any sense: ‘Rub my,’ ‘Face’ and ‘On the floor.’

“This…” Raleigh stared down at the dice. “Is not what I expected.”

Chuck was silent.

“Uh… maybe we should just roll again?” Raleigh turned to Chuck. “Second time’s the cha-”

Raleigh’s face met Chuck’s open palm and was then introduced to the floor. After brushing his cheek across the cold concrete floor a few times Chuck let Raleigh up and snickered like a child.

Raleigh glared at him.

“Was it good for you?” Chuck asked.

Raleigh was going to smack the smug grin of his face so hard.

“I hate you.”

“Nah, you don’t.”

Chapter Text

They stood facing each other in Raleigh’s trailer. Chuck folded his arms and glared at him. He had begrudgingly agreed to a private rehearsal session because Pentecost would, as he put it, ‘throw them out on their asses if they didn’t get their act together.’ They both knew that he was a man of his word. Chuck wasn’t about to give up a career changing role because of the arsehole standing in front of him.

“It’s just a kiss.” Chuck reasoned. “We’ve both done it hundreds of times before.”

“Right.” Raleigh nodded in agreement.” “We do this for a living. It’s not hard.”

“Exactly.”

“Right, no different from any other job.”

“We can do this.”

“Right-”

“Could you stop saying right?”

“Righ– sorry.” Raleigh rubbed the back of his neck. “I have no issue with kissing guys. You’re not my first you know.”

Chuck frowned. He’d seen all of Raleigh’s movies – a fact that he would deny until the day he died – but he couldn’t recall him getting hot and heavy with another man on screen. Oh, he thought, when it finally clicked.

“What? You’re…? But I thought you and Mori were…?”

“Publicity stunt.” Raleigh shrugged. “Gossip magazines eat that shit up. Boosted ticket sales. I never confirmed any of those rumours.”

“Unbelievable.”

“You do remember that we pretend to be other people for a living, right?”

“Shut up. Are we doing this or not?”

“Yeah.”

“Fuck, let’s just get this over with.”

“Don’t worry.” Raleigh smirked. “I’ll be gentle.”

“Do you want me to kiss you or punch you, Becket?”

“Sorry.” Raleigh held his hands up in surrender and exhaled. “Okay, let’s do this.”

Chuck went to take a step forward but stopped himself when he caught Raleigh attempting the same thing. They both stared at each other. When Raleigh raised his eyebrows at him, Chuck surged forward, grabbed a fistful of his shirt and pulled him in close enough that their noses brushed. Damn, Chuck thought, what kind of cologne was that? It smelled good.

Raleigh smirked. “You looking to kiss me or start a fight?”

“Still haven’t quite decided yet, mate.”

“Let me help you out with that.”

Raleigh placed his hands on either side of Chuck’s face and guided him forward until their lips met. The kiss was soft, slow and tender. Chuck’s grip on Raleigh’s shirt tightened.

It was like someone had found a switch on Chuck and flipped it off. The instant their lips connected all insults and smart comments died before they could take form. And just as quickly that switch was flipped back on and he was reeling as his mind rebooted and struggled to process. Raleigh’s lips were so much softer than they looked. Shit, he thought, he was making out with Raleigh Becket.

Chuck had made out with a lot of women who ranged from clumsy beginners to masterful experts, but kissing Raleigh was an experience in itself. He found himself hungrier for more and the kiss became sloppier. It felt as if every kiss in his life so far had been practice and this was the real thing at last; what he’d been waiting for. Raleigh tugged slightly on his bottom lip with his teeth and Chuck fought the urge to moan. Shit, he thought again, he was making out with Raleigh Becket.

When they pulled apart Chuck’s face was red and he took a sharp intake of air he hadn’t realised he had desperately needed. He stared at the hands that still clutched at Raleigh’s shirt. The only sound in the trailer was that of their panting as they fought to regain control of their breathing.

Raleigh cleared his throat. “Well…that was…”

Like a punch in the face the reality of the situation came rushing back. Chuck wasn’t the star struck teenager who hero worshipped the Hollywood legend that was Raleigh Becket anymore. He was the heartthrob bad boy who the media loved and the paparazzi stalked. They were the rival actors pitted against each other for every major role and talked shit about each other in interviews. And Raleigh wasn’t that good of an actor to convince Chuck of anything else.

“You call that a kiss, Becket?” He sneered and released his grip. “We’re gonna need a lot more practice if you have a hope of making that performance look convincing.”

 “Is that so?” Raleigh’s voice was low. “Well, I’m all about rehearsing 'till I get it just right.”

Chuck trembled. He could feel Raleigh’s breath on his lips, but when he moved in again Chuck took a step back. The trailer felt so small. Raleigh was too close.

“Woah there, let’s not get ahead of ourselves now.” Chuck eyes darted around the trailer, looking in every direction but Raleigh’s. “Don’t want you falling for my good looks and charm.”

“Chuck…”

“That’s enough for today.”

He shouldered past Raleigh and practically fell out of the trailer. He didn’t look back. He didn’t see Raleigh watch him go from the doorway. He didn’t see his face fall into hurt and then confusion.

Chapter Text

“I still don’t think this is a good idea.” Raleigh stood to the side, watching Yancy and Tendo set up. If you could call wheeling kegs of beer into his kitchen as ‘setting up’.

“Well it’s a bit late for that now.” Tendo remarked as he dropped a case of yet more beers onto the counter.

“Chuck hates parties, especially surprise parties.”

“Tough shit, your boyfriend’s turning twenty-two and we all need an excuse to get drunk and make terrible decisions.” Yancy stated. “He’s getting a party.”

“Well, at least there’s enough alcohol here to make him forget how much he hates them…” Raleigh mused.

“That’s the spirit-“ Tendo started, but all three of them froze when they heard the sound of a car pulling up outside.

“Oh shit, he’s home.” Yancy paled. “What the hell is he doing back this early?”

“How the hell should I know?!” Raleigh was starting to freak out now. None of the other guests had even arrived yet. It wouldn’t be much of a surprise party without all those people to shout surprise and scare the shit out of the guest of honour.

“Stall him! We’re not done setting up back here.” Yancy hissed and pulled out his phone and started dialling.

Raleigh wasn’t sure how in the hell he was meant to stall him, especially long enough to get the damned party started.

He made it to the door just as Chuck pushed his key into the lock and turned the handle. He was a little taken aback to find a slightly out of breath Raleigh waiting for him right at the door.

“Hey! You’re back early.” Raleigh greeted, a little too loudly.

“Err, yeah… class got cancelled…” Chuck eyed him suspiciously.

Raleigh flinched when he heard the distinct sound of a can hitting the floor. He made a mental note to throw it at whoever was guilty of dropping the damned thing.

Chuck’s eyes narrowed. “The hell was that? Is someone back there?”

He made to move past him but Raleigh stepped in front of him and blocked his path.

“What? No. It’s just you and me here.”

“What the fuck is going on Ral-”

Chuck was abruptly cut off by Raleigh shoving him up against the door and crashing his lips onto his. It was the first thing he could think of and well, it hadn’t failed at distracting Chuck in the past. And he couldn’t deny that it was working now too. Chuck’s hands were in his hair and his tongue was in his mouth, tasting every inch of him.

Normally Raleigh was the one who was shoved against walls or various pieces of furniture and having his mouth devoured by Chuck. This was certainly a pleasant surprise for him. One he could definitely get used to.

Raleigh barely gave him enough opportunity to breathe; he lips were back onto Chuck’s after every brief break for a quick gasp of air. Chuck’s hands trailed down his back and came to rest on his ass.

“Gross, dude.” Raleigh broke off the kiss and stared back at his brother who had leaned out of the kitchen door. So much for the distraction.

“Take that shit some place else, guys.” Tendo called from the kitchen.

“Oi, the fuck are you two doing in my kitchen?” Chuck let go of Raleigh and moved past him and marched out there to kill his brother and friend.

So much for that particular surprise.

Chapter Text

Raleigh’s head fell back on the pillow. He laid therebreathing slightly heavily and feeling a little gross and sweaty but overall completely satiated. All of the stress from the long hours he had put in at the office had completely drained away. And he was content just to lay there with Chuck draped across his chest.

Although Chuck seemed to have other plans in mind. His fingers were tracing random patterns across his stomach and he pressed kiss after kiss along his neck.

“How can you still have any energy left?” Raleigh asked. “After all that?”

“Dunno.” Chuck murmured against his throat. “Just not done with you yet, I guess.”

“You were a little more forceful than usual.” Raleigh mused, enjoying the feel of his lips. If Chuck wanted to lavish more attention on him then he wasn’t going to complain.

“Guess I was just really into it.” Chuck smirked, and pressed another soft kiss against his neck. He bit down on that one sensitive spot on his neck that had Raleigh biting his lip to suppress the moan begging to escape from him.

“That’s an understatement. You-” He froze and then sat bolt upright, pushing Chuck off. He traced his fingers along his neck. That bite was just one of many that night. Chuck’s teeth had been nipping and scraping at his skin the entire time. “You little shit! I have a meeting tomorrow!”

Raleigh leapt out of bed and rushed into the bathroom to assess the extent of the hickies Chuck had adorned his neck with. He hadn’t even thought about it at the time. He was far too wrapped up in Chuck and the things he was doing with his hands.

Chuck snickered in response. “Couldn’t help myself, love. You just get me all riled up.”

“Did you have to go so high?! Oh my god I can’t even hide all of these!” He could hear Chuck’s laughter from the bedroom. He was going to make him pay for this tenfold.

Chapter Text

“There’s a hole in your sweater.”

“Huh?” Raleigh looked down and found Chuck’s observation to be true; there was indeed a small hole there. He wasn’t sure how that had happened. He could have caught it on something, or more likely Max’s claws had gotten into it when he had attempted to climb into his lap the other day.

Raleigh shrugged. “It’s barely noticeable.”

“I noticed it.” Chuck retorted.

“I can patch it up or something.”

“Or you could throw it out.”

“That seems like a waste, it’s only a little thing- Hey, stop that!”

Chuck had leaned over on the couch and shoved his finger into the hole and pulled at it. Raleigh slapped his hand away but the damage had already been done and now he had an even bigger hole in his sweater.

“Whoops, too late.” Chuck smirked. “Better get rid of it.”

“You ass.”

“Oh come on. Why do you even wear that tatty old thing any more?”

“It’s comfy, and I like it, and- would you stop that?!”

Once again Chuck had dove in and pulled at the hole in his sweater, widening it even further. “You can’t bloody keep it now.”

“I swear, if you do that one more time-” Raleigh made to shove him off again but Chuck pushed him down and pinned him to the couch. Before Raleigh could react, he gripped the edges of the hole in his sweater and tore it apart. “Dammit, Chuck-”

Chuck pressed his lips to his now exposed stomach and kissed along the top of his hips peeking out from his jeans.

Raleigh groaned and gave in. He knew he was a goner the second Chuck’s lips made contact with his bare skin. The shiver that went through him as he felt his tongue trace a line across his hips when Chuck tugged his jeans a little further down only confirmed it.

“Maybe getting holes in your ugly sweaters ain’t such a bad thing after all.” Chuck lifted his head and grinned up at him.

“You’re still an ass.” Raleigh replied, but the insult lost most of its bite as it came out in a sigh when Chuck sucked on the patch of his skin just above his hip bone.

Chapter Text

“We are so lost.” Raleigh groaned as they trudged along through the trees. They’d been walking for what felt like hours. Neither of them had any signal on their cell phones to call for help and no clue of where they were or how far they were from the nearest town.

“We’re not lost.” Chuck snapped. “We just… don’t know where the hell we are. Okay, yeah, we’re lost.”

“We’re gonna die out here. There’s probably a serial killer out there watching us as we speak.”

“Well, I’m pretty sure this is how most horror movies start.” Chuck agreed. “Two poor bastards’ car breaks down, leaving them stranded in the middle of nowhere. Right next to the creepy looking forest. So of course the idiots decide to get out and search for help on foot. Did I miss anything out?”

“And, at least we decided to stick together rather have one of us stay with the car? I never got why people did that.”

Chuck snorted. “’Cause they’re fucking idiots, that’s why. Not as if the car’s going anywhere. Who’s gonna steal it?”

Raleigh shrugged. “Maybe the guy who fixes and steals your car can give us a ride into town.”

Chuck swatted him on the arm. “Arsehole can keep it. That thing’s more trouble than it’s worth.”

“It can’t be much further.” Raleigh said, although even he didn’t believe his own words.

“Let’s never plan a weekend away again, yeah?”

“It’s not all bad.”

“How could this trip get any worse?”

“Well, at least it’s not ra-” Raleigh started.

Chuck glared at him. “Don’t you dare finish that fucking sentence-”

As if on cue, the dark clouds that had been hanging over them all day finally burst and the two of them were quickly drenched in the downpour that followed.

“…raining.” Raleigh finished his sentence lamely.

“I hate you. I hate you so much.” Chuck groaned. He looked around, but there wasn’t anywhere for them to take shelter.

“Maybe this is why they stay with the car?” Raleigh suggested.

“Too bad for our serial killer, because I’m going to do the guy’s job for him in a second.”

They both stood there in the pouring rain, in the middle of nowhere, wanting to do nothing more than just cry or yell in frustration in the face of their current predicament.

Instead Raleigh just started laughing. Laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the hopeless situation they had found themselves in. At how only they could find themselves in such a shitstorm. How only their romantic weekend could turn into such a complete disaster.

And Chuck had never loved him more.

He took a step forward, cupping Raleigh’s face with his hands, and pulling him in for a kiss. Although neither of them could stop from laughing as their lips pressed together.

“I think I see a car coming.” Raleigh said, pulling away and pointing to some approaching head lights.

“Here’s hoping it’s not an axe murderer.”

Chapter Text

To say that Chuck was a wreck when Angela came into their lives was an understatement. Raleigh knew that there was more to Chuck than just the loud and brash jerk persona. He knew Chuck could be gentle and affectionate. He had experienced it first-hand. But fatherhood revealed yet another side to Chuck that Raleigh had not expected. This was a level of vulnerability new even to him.

He thought he had seen overprotectiveness with Max, but this was a whole new experience. Chuck hovered around her constantly, checking in on her and adjusting her blanket to make sure she was warm. Raleigh had to pull him away before his fussing woke her up and caused more problems than solving.

Raleigh watched Chuck as he held Angie in his arms for the first time. His every movement was slow and deliberate as if he were handling a bomb that could go off at any second as opposed to a sleeping baby.

“Just relax. Find a comfortable position for both of you.” Raleigh assured him.

“I don’t want to break her.” Chuck mumbled as he looked down at her.

Raleigh fought the temptation to laugh. He didn’t want to provoke Chuck in his newfound emotional instability because he really wasn’t sure if he’d get angry or emotional. Anyone would have thought he had carried the baby and given birth to it himself from the almost hormonal response Chuck was displaying. Raleigh had heard of sympathy pregnancy but he was pretty sure that didn’t come from adopting.

“You won’t break her.” Raleigh smiled and helped Chuck adjust Angela so that she rested more comfortably in his arms. “See, you’re doing fine.”

“Fuck.” Chuck whispered. “She’s so tiny.”

Raleigh wrapped an arm around Chuck’s waist and leaned into him, resting his chin on his shoulder and gazing down at their daughter. “Yeah, she is.”

*

Chuck was a deep sleeper. Raleigh knew that from experience too. Getting him out of bed in the morning was a challenge. He slept soundly through the night when Raleigh got up and tried to distract himself on the nights his insomnia played up. He had been afraid that he would wake him but even after stubbing his toe on a chair, knocking it over and swearing loudly, Chuck had kept on sleeping through the ordeal.

That all changed when they got the baby monitors. Chuck insisted on putting it on the table beside his side of the bed so he could hear her if anything happened. Raleigh suspected that Chuck was afraid he might sleep through it and neglect their daughter. His fears were unfounded.

As soon as Angela cried Chuck was falling out of the bed and stumbling through the dark to check on her.

After too many times of running himself ragged taking care of Angela, Raleigh had moved the baby monitor to his side of the bed once Chuck had fallen asleep so he could take the night feeding duties.

*

Back when they found out that their adoption application had been accepted Chuck had gone out and bought the entire contents of a baby store. He had even started baby proofing the house a few weeks later.

“We’re getting a baby not a toddler, Chuck.” Raleigh said as he watched him installing baby proof locks on the cabinets. “We don’t have to worry about this stuff for a while.”

“Can’t hurt to be prepared.” Chuck shrugged.

“She can’t even reach the cabinets up top.”

“Yeah but she can get under the sink.” Chuck countered. “Have you seen the shit we keep under there? It’s all fucking poison.”

Raleigh just rolled his eyes. There was no stopping Chuck once he had set his mind on something. Their child was going to be the most protected baby on earth. He would put his foot down if Chuck started trying to dress her in bubble wrap though.

“Right.” Chuck stood when he was done. “Gotta install the baby gate on the stairs.”

Raleigh groaned. He already had visions of himself walking into the damned thing half asleep at night.

*

They both sat in the living room surrounded by various pieces of a new crib when Angie’s old bassinet was getting a little too small for her.

“Where the fuck are the English instructions?” Chuck demanded. He threw the sheet of paper to the ground and started searching for any other instruction manuals he might have missed.

Raleigh picked it up and turned it over. “They’ve got to be here somewhere. They wouldn’t not include them.”

“I’m telling you, they’re not bloody here.” Chuck insisted and gestured to the assortment of wood and screws and tools surrounding them.

Raleigh peered down at the instructions again and inspected the images. “Alright, so according to this we have to connect piece A with the screws provided in bag G.”

“I don’t see them.” Chuck replied. “I’ve been looking for ages.”

Raleigh looked around, searching through all of the pieces. “Well, they must be here.”

“They’re. Not. Here.”

Raleigh bit back any kind of response he wanted to throw Chuck’s way; he knew they would both end up fighting over the damned crib and it would never get built.

“Whatever, we don’t need the bloody instructions anyway.” Chuck waved the instruction manual away. “We are not leaving until this bastard is built. I survived a nuclear explosion, I will not be beaten by a few pieces of fucking wood.”

His last statement was proving to be difficult to live up to.

“I’ve worked in construction for years. I built a giant fucking wall. We both worked on jaegers.” Raleigh folded his arms and surveyed the barely constructed crib. “So how the hell can we not put this crib together between the two of us?”

Chuck gave the crib a gentle shove to test the strength of the thing and a piece fell off onto the floor. Raleigh had to pull him away before Chuck started kicking at it.

Almost an hour later they both sat back and surveyed their work.

“Okay, we’re done.” Raleigh paused and frowned down at several parts still on the floor. “What are those parts for?”

“Oh fuck, we are not putting her in this death trap.” Chuck proceeded to take the crib apart with the intention of starting all over again. 

After another argument over the safety of their daughter in the crib that involved several pieces of it ending up broken, Chuck stormed out without another word.

Thankfully he remembered not to slam the door on his way out like he used to. Raleigh sighed and picked up Angie and rocked her in his arms.

“You’ll get used to your dad’s moods.” He told the tiny sleeping form in his arms. “He means well, he’s just new at this. And he’s a big softie deep down.”

It was when he woke up in the chair a few hours later by Angie crying for her next feed that Raleigh started to worry. He wandered around the house with the baby on one arm and bottle in the other feeding her but found no sign of Chuck.

Chuck was a stubborn asshole but he never sulked for this long, especially over anything concerning Angie.

Max was the one to give away Chuck’s hiding spot in the end. When Raleigh approached the garage Max had jumped up, wagged his tail and barked at him. The dog ran over and pawed at his leg. Looked like Angie wasn’t the only one who had been in need of feeding.

Raleigh paused and watched Chuck at work. He had cut, sanded and had almost finished constructing a crib from the spare wood they had left lying around from half-finished or not even started projects.  

“Chuck, this is…” Raleigh approached the crib and ran a hand along the smooth wooden surface.

“Yeah, yeah I know, it’s still a work in progress.” Chuck groused as he bent over the crib.

“It’s perfect.” Raleigh breathed and pulled at Chuck’s shirt with his free hand so he could pull him into a kiss.

*

“I don’t want to go back to work.”

Raleigh looked up from his book to see Chuck watching him with a hesitant expression on his face. Angie was still sleeping soundly in his arms.

“What?” Raleigh asked, wondering where this sudden outburst had come from. Chuck had taken time off work to take care of Angie, as had Raleigh and they were both due to start up again in just a few weeks’ time.

“I know we talked about this but…” Chuck stared down at the child bundled up in the blanket in his arms. Their child. “But, I just can’t.

Raleigh closed the book and set it aside.

“I know it sounds selfish and it’s asking a lot from you, to be the sole provider and all...” Chuck looked up at him and that hesitant expression became a pleading one.

“Chuck–” Raleigh tried to interject but Chuck kept going.

“It’s just. Dad was never around, you know?” He sighed. “Even before the kaiju. He was away a lot for work. We were never close to start with.”

“Chuck, you’re not-”

Chuck was babbling. He knew it, but he couldn’t stop himself. “Things are better between us now but I don’t want to screw this up. I want her to have all the things I never had. A proper childhood. Parents who are there for her as she grows up.”

Raleigh stood and motioned for Chuck to put their daughter down. Chuck set Angela down gently in her basket. His knuckles turned white from gripping the edge as he looked down at her.

“I don’t want things to be like they were between me and dad.” Chuck’s voice grew quiet. “I don’t want her to hate me…”

“Chuck…”Raleigh could feel his heart breaking as Chuck poured out all of the worries and insecurities that had followed and never stopped haunting him since the day his family and home were torn apart and broken. “Hey...”

“Look at me.” He cupped Chuck’s face in his hands and made him look at him. “You are not going to screw this up.”

“How do you kno-” Chuck began to ask but it was Raleigh’s turn to cut him off.

“You are going to be an amazing dad.” Raleigh assured him. “You already are.”

Chuck couldn’t hold his gaze and his eyes dropped down to his shoes. “I’ve only ever been good at breaking things. I don’t know how to do anything else.”

Raleigh forced him to look at him once more. “We both know that’s bullshit. No one loves this kid more than we do. You’ve already shown that.”

His tone softened and Raleigh smiled warmly at him. “A lot of people raise puppies before they have kids as a kind of test, and from the way you’ve raised Max I’d say you’ve passed with flying colours.”

Raleigh kissed his forehead. “You’ve got this.”

Chuck looked down at Angie when Raleigh let him go. He reached down and gently lifted the stirring child in his arms.

Raleigh watched Chuck as he held Angela in his arms and he could see a glimpse into the future. He saw himself with Chuck and Angela. The two of them were going to be there for her; she wasn’t going to know a world without loving parents.

Chuck was going to worry. He was going to freak out and panic the first time she would get sick, and the first time she would fall down and get hurt. There were so many firsts and experiences that Chuck was going to worry over. Her first day of school, getting her heart broken and the day she would leave the nest and go out into the world.

Chuck was going to worry about their daughter, and that was okay because Raleigh would be there by his side every step of the way.

Chapter Text

“Trick or treat!”

Chuck stared at the kids standing on the porch with a blank expression. He managed to refrained from kicking the kid who had the audacity to dress up like a Kaiju. The poorly made costume that was hanging at the seams was punishment enough. Not to mention that he was about to disappoint the little ankle biters anyway thanks to someone who couldn’t keep a handle on his sweet tooth.

“Yeah, yeah, great costumes or whatever. Real scary.” Chuck grumbled, just wanting to get this over with. They’d had to pause their movie three times already that evening thanks to the stream of kids inhabiting their neighbourhood. Why the hell had they moved to the suburbs again?

The greedy little buggers already had their bags held out, waiting for him to dump the free sweets into them. How in the hell did giving free shit to kids relate to Halloween again?

“Sorry kids, you’ll have to make do with these thanks to the ars–”

He stopped short. No way was he losing more of his money to the swear jar reserved exclusively for expletives within the earshot of the neighbourhood kids again, especially when it was at the fault of Raleigh this time. And why wasn’t that coward answering to these kids instead of him anyway?

“You’ll have to make do with these because someone ate all damned the sweets.”

Damn didn’t count as swearing.

His voice had risen at the mention of said culprit and in answer Raleigh’s voice carried out from the living room. “I said I was sorry!”

“Tell that to them!” Chuck called back, and then turned his attention to the kids once more. “Enjoy the paper clips, kids!”

He slammed the door on them before they could react and headed back into the living room to slump down on the sofa next to Raleigh, who was wearing a well-deserved guilty expression on his face. As he should.

“You’re such an asshole.” Raleigh whined.

“Says the bloke who ate all the kids’ sweets.”

Chapter Text

Raleigh couldn’t work out the reason for all of the amused looks and stares sent his way that morning. To be honest he didn’t really care all that much; he was far too tired and hungry to pay them too much attention. He figured word had probably spread about Chuck and his childish antics and he just rolled his eyes in exasperation and continued on his way. Sure, go ahead and laugh at the poor sap dating the guy with the mental capacity of a small child.

It was Mako’s wide eyed stare and the hand that shot up to hide the shocked expression that quickly morphed into guilty amusement that finally aroused Raleigh’s suspicion when he sat down beside her in the cafeteria.

“Okay, what has he done now?”

Mako just shook her head in response and reached up and peeled the label that he hadn’t even known had been stuck to his forehead. He let out a long drawn out breath and closed his eyes.

“What does it say?”

Mako was silent.

“Mako…” He opened his eyes and shot her an accusatory glance as if her silence made her an accessory to the crime somehow.

“Perhaps it would be best to just throw it away…”

“Show it to me.”

Mako’s resolve crumbled under his gaze and she reluctantly uncurled the fingers around the now crumpled piece of paper. Raleigh peered down at it in disbelief.

“I’m going to kill him.”

There in bold black lettering which had up to that point been on his forehead for the whole Shatterdome to see was the word ‘DICKHEAD’.