Categories > TV > CSI: Miami > Losing Control

Part 3

by sunhawk 1 review

Pre-"Nailed", Eric struggles to figure out why things between himself and Ryan are getting so out of control.

Category: CSI: Miami - Rating: PG - Genres: Angst - Published: 2006-05-24 - Updated: 2006-05-25 - 2744 words


Once again, Eric found himself hanging around the lab long after all the sensible employees had gone home. While he would definitely take a bullet for Horatio, Eric was starting to regret his promise to his boss that he would have a match for the aquatic plant sample they had grabbed from the bottom of the victim's shoe. It wasn't a case of an obscure species, in fact it was the opposite: there were just too many places you could find Halimeda algae.

Eric sighed and rubbed his tired eyes. He decided a coffee break was in order and then maybe the green cells on the slide in front of him would stop dancing and start looking distinct again.

Trying to mentally recite the differences between regional subspecies of algae, Eric didn't even think to look around as he made a beeline for his caffeine fix. He had nearly made it to the coffee machine before he realized he wasn't alone and caught sight of Ryan slumped at the breakroom table, his head pillowed on one of his bent elbows and slanted to the side. At the sound of Eric's entrance, Ryan briefly looked up but he did not react with quick avoidance that Eric had come to expect from him. He was fully prepared for Ryan to make a smooth and quick retreat back into the hallway, but for once Ryan seemed too worn out to do anything more than blink and then return his gaze to the black tabletop.

Eric took his time preparing himself his coffee as he processed this unexpected opportunity.

"Long day, huh?" Eric started out cautiously.

"Hmm." Ryan made a non-committal noise, partly muffled by his arm.

"Heard you made an arrest today." Eric sipped his coffee, taking care to not look at Ryan for longer than a few seconds. Ryan's reply was soft but didn't have that lack of inflection that meant he didn't want to talk to Eric.

"Yeah. Dan Whitby seemed to think 'Stop, police!' meant 'Play hide and seek for an hour in the bog beside the plant.' I believe you are the one who is supposed to do all that slogging through green mush."

Eric chuckled quietly. "That's not actually written anywhere in my contract."

"Funny, not in mine either."

"How long it take you to get the smell out?" Eric grinned. Ryan closed his eyes and sighed like one long-suffering.

"Long enough."

Casually moving to a few feet from Ryan, Eric opted not to sit but rather just leaned his hip against the stone's edge. Part of him didn't want this fun little conversation to end, since he couldn't remember the last time he had seen Ryan this relaxed, but Eric couldn't think of a better opportunity to try to get Ryan to be honest with him.

"What are you up to tonight?" Eric asked. Ryan looked at him with a little more alertness.


"You're off the clock now, right? I'm this close to giving up on these damned algae slides and packing it up for the night. Want to go grab a beer?" Eric replied with more studied casualness. Ryan was now completely alert and was starting to lose that relaxed look that Eric had been enjoying.

"I don't think that's a good idea, Delko." At least Ryan was being polite. Eric mentally sighed and barrelled on.

"Don't you think this has gone on long enough?" Eric tried with all the friendliness he could muster.

"I'm not sure I follow what you are saying." Ryan replied slowly, though the cold look in his eyes said he knew exactly where Eric was trying to go. Even though he could see the granite walls going back up around Ryan, Eric decided, right there on the spot, that it was now or never. Mentally taking a deep breath, he leaned forward and took the plunge.

"I think there's something going on between us. " Eric said.

"Excuse me?" Ryan replied, frost gilding the end of each word. Eric gave him a friendly little smile, trying to counter that cold with a little warmth.

"Come on, Wolfe. You think I don't recognize evasive maneuvers when they happen right under my nose?"

"You have no idea what you are talking about." Ryan stared at him as if he could force Eric to back off by the sheer weight of his darkened gaze.

"I think I do. You are trying to push me away, keep your distance, but it's not going to work anymore, Ryan. I know what you want." Eric simply said, letting his voice become just a little bit husky. He slowly moved to the very edge of Ryan's personal space and watched him, wondering if he had completely misjudged Ryan and was going to get that long-overdue slug in the face. And watching Ryan's jaw muscle jump, Eric started to think he was right to worry and that the headlines they were about to make wouldn't be pretty.

News at 11: Eric Delko fired from Miami Dade CSI department for inciting a lab brawl with co-worker. Supervisor Caine to make a statem-

Before Eric's mind could finish its sarcastic litany, it was rudely interrupted by Ryan's abrupt and deliberately measured step forward until he was nearly nose to nose with Eric.

"I don't know what you think you are doing." Ryan hissed in a sharp whisper, his mouth twisted in a snarling grimace. "Who you talked to, who put you up to this, told you it was what you wanted. But I repeat: you have no idea what you are talking about." Each word was so precisely uttered that it became a tiny dagger, pinning Eric to the spot. "You have no idea what I want, and even if you had the smallest clue, you are not the slightest bit prepared to be the one to give it to me." And then, with a fierceness that was shocking, Ryan's mouth crashed into Eric's to deliver a liplock that could only be described as punishing. While Eric stood motionless and wide-eyed, Ryan brutalized Eric's unsuspecting lips with sharp nips and lashing tongue. Then he broke off and stalked backwards so fast that Eric staggered, gasping for air and seeing stars.

Ryan watched him with bitter satisfaction, roughly wiping his mouth with the back of his hand in a quick, savage gesture. While Eric struggled to recover his equilibrium and process what had just happened, Ryan took in his silence with a crooked smile that held no humour at all.

"Stop deluding yourself Delko. Stick with the ladies; all those pretty little club girls with the short skirts. I'm not here to stroke your ego or help you flatter yourself. You don't want me. You don't want what I want. Just leave me alone."

Stunned by Ryan's ruthless words, Eric watched Ryan turn and stalked his way out of the room without a backward glance. Mind racing furiously, Eric was certain of three things in the midst of his mental turmoil. One, that despite Ryan's obvious anger and violent rejection, there was a hopelessness to his demeanor that gave lie to every grimly-certain statement he had just made. Two, that Ryan's kiss, though painful and meant to frighten him off, had still sent Eric's whole body humming in sympathy to the desire he felt smothered deep in Ryan. Three, he needed to somehow convince Ryan of this.

He could only think of one thing that would persuade his embittered coworker, that would get past Ryan's mistaken belief that Eric had been scared or sickened by Ryan's kiss. He needed to find Ryan as soon as possible.

With an efficiency and thoroughness worthy of his calling, Eric rapidly eliminated all the rooms on the floor and was on his way to the elevator when a feeling in his gut made him pause in front of the men's washroom. He couldn't hear anyone on the other side of the door but Eric had been raised to trust his intuition and working with Horatio Caine had only strengthened that. Careful to push the swinging door open with as little noise as possible, Eric eased himself into the room and past the short sheet-metal barrier. The room had only cheap lighting and one window, but the white tile that lined the washroom from ceiling to floor took the lone sunbeam streaming through the window and gently lit up every stall, sink and urinal. Ryan was standing at the sink in the exact middle of the row, his forehead leaning up against the mirror with his eyes closed and his hands clenched around each side of the white porcelain sink. Anger had abandoned him; left Ryan bent and heavy-limbed under the weight of this burden he had been carrying for much too long.

After a length of time that Eric could not begin to guess how long, Ryan's eyes opened but he didn't look behind him, didn't yet notice the tall and dark figure watching him. Moving mechanically, Ryan turned on the sink and began to wash his hands like someone sleepwalking. Each movement was slow and sure, yet there was something in the way Ryan was twisting his soapy hands together that made Eric feel like Ryan was trying to strip away something from himself. It hurt to watch, gave Eric an ache like a bruise in his breastbone, made him want to reach over and take Ryan's hands, stop Ryan from this repetitive penance.

Before Eric could figure out a safe way to get Ryan's attention, the younger CSI turned off the taps and moved towards the paper towels only to discover Eric leaning awkwardly against them. Eyes wide for a split second, Ryan paused then quickly snatched a loose paper towel and used it with unnecessary force.

"I thought I made myself clear." Ryan's voice was too devoid of any emotion to be believed. Dropping the used paper carefully in the garbage, Ryan tried to walk around Eric only to find himself stopped by a single fingertip right on his solar plexus.

"You did, Ryan. But you didn't give me a chance to be clear. Just give me ten seconds."

"Ten seconds for what? We have nothing to talk about. Your reaction to me told me everything I needed to know."

"Now who is jumping to conclusions, Wolfe?" Ryan seemed startled by Eric's suddenly warm, teasing tone. Before he could recover, Eric pressed his advantage and let his arresting fingertip gently slip down Ryan's shirt until Eric could get a hold of the hem. Pulling slowly, Eric eased the wary Ryan closer to him until he had Ryan beside him, leaning against the barrier by the exit door.

"Now, I think we had a misunderstanding a moment ago," Eric continued in that warm tone, but now let his voice drop an octave. "Because I'm not exactly used to anyone being so ... aggressive with me." Moving with deceptive minuteness, Eric brought his head closer to Ryan's while he kept their gaze locked. "..But that doesn't mean I didn't appreciate the gesture..." His mouth was now so close to Ryan's that his words could be felt dancing along Ryan's lips as well as heard. "...or that I don't want to return it, you just didn't give me a chance to, Ryan." Letting his eyes drop to Ryan's slightly parted lips, Eric then slanted a look up at Ryan through his lashes and closed the remaining distance for a soft but sure kiss.

Ryan's eyes fluttered closed for a brief moment, then he opened them again and pulled back, looking at Eric with a mixture of disbelief and even a little fear.

"You don't want, you can't just...don't tease me like this, Eric. This isn't funny to me." Ryan whispered, his stone face momentarily lost in his confusion.

"I'm not laughing Ryan." Eric replied solemnly. Ryan followed the tug on his shirt again for another kiss, this one slightly longer but before Eric felt Ryan truly relax, he pulled back again and gave Eric a look of desperation.

"I'm gay, Eric. You're not. If you want to experiment, if you're curious, think you need to question what you want, let someone else help you figure out you really do like women after all." Ryan's words were so self-depreciatory and pain-filled that they painted a scene for Eric so vivid it made that ache in his chest return and twist deeper, crawling right for his heart.

"I know what I want," Eric pulled Ryan closer, sliding one hand along his shoulder and neck to cup the back of his head so that Ryan was forced to look into Eric's brown eyes, and willed Ryan to see his conviction. "You're right that I'm not gay but I don't need to find out who I am. It's not about men and women, Ryan. It's about you. I do want you." Eric could see the denial in Ryan's eyes, felt him try to pull away but he kept a firm grip on his neck and waist.

"Do you have any idea what you think you are telling me?" Ryan tried again, and Eric once more thought of that summer years ago; the boy, the starfish and his trembling fear of being hurt. Ryan wanted to believe, wanted to trust Eric, but he needed something solid, he needed some real evidence.

And if there was one thing Eric was good at, it was providing evidence.

Eric tightened his grip on Ryan until they were pressed nearly flush against each other. Hoping actions could convince where words couldn't, Eric kissed Ryan again and put all the desire behind it that he could. He wanted to overload Ryan's senses the same way Ryan had overwhelmed his, but with skill and intent this time, rather than brute force. Eric used his teeth to graze rather than bite, his tongue coaxed along Ryan's shy lips rather than demanded and Ryan slowly began to return his kiss with tentativeness. While his mouth kept Ryan distracted, Eric carefully moved his hand from Ryan's waist and took a hold of Ryan's thin wrist. Before Ryan could think to pull free, Eric took the back of Ryan's hand and thrust it between their warm bodies until he had it placed in unmistakable contact with the erection that Eric had straining in his black jeans. Ryan broke their kiss to gasp in surprise and then a shaky moan escaped him. His hand made a careful exploration that left Eric humming in appreciation, then Ryan's hands slipped over to grip the waistband of Eric's jeans like he needed help staying upright.

Their foreheads resting against each other, both men tried to catch their breath in short gasps. Eric tilted his head to the side and favoured Ryan with that lazy, sloping grin he was prone to sporting.

"See, I know exactly what I'm getting into, Wolfe." Eric drawled, moving his hands with equal laziness along Ryan's waist. He leaned forward so that his mouth was right at Ryan's pale ear and dropped his voice to a whisper as his hands touched Ryan with a confidence that was undeniable.

"Not only that, I'm looking forward to it."

Eric punctuated his statement with a gentle squeeze to a part of Ryan that Eric was unmistakably eager to touch. He watched with lusty amusement as all the air seemed to go out of Ryan's lungs and he collapsed against Eric's muscular shoulder. Eric gave him a minute, enjoying the sensation of Ryan's cheek against the cotton of his shirt and the warm exhalations against his neck. Then Ryan steadied himself and raised his head so that his gaze met with Eric's, his expression completely unguarded for once, with his green eyes verdant with relief and the beginnings of hope. Eric grinned again, immensely cheered by how Ryan was slowly relaxing in his arms.

"So.." Eric pulled Ryan gently towards the exit of the bathroom with a teasing smile. "Ready to come home with me so I can prove it?" Ryan's eyes widened at the frank invitation and Eric could see the younger CSI's old fear of pain and rejection trying to regain ground, but then Ryan just simply smiled back and nodded. It was a small nod, but it opened up a whole new world for the two of them, one where Eric fully intended to show Ryan just how good it could be to finally lose control.

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