|02:21 pm - The Very Thought of You|
How time flies when you're not having fun. I've been just swamped but have been saving this to post. Going back a couple of months from my previous story--to when Ralph talks Laurie into doing something he doesn't want to do. This is based on characters in Mary Renault's The Charioteer. They belong to her and I make no profit from them.
When Ralph opened the door to the flat, Spud was standing at the radiogram. He was already in his shirtsleeves.
Ralph loosened his tie as he closed the door behind him. "I could use a drink. You want to mix and I'll find something to play?" He'd escape Mozart even if it meant having one of Spud's drinks.
Spud raised an eyebrow at him.
Ralph smothered a smile. Spud would never know how much those blue eyes showed exactly what he was thinking. "Mix the bloody drinks and try not to drown mine." He took off his uniform jacket. As he hung it up, behind him Spud muttered about his taste in music.
"We don't have to listen to that French singer, do we?" Spud said over the clink of glasses and bottles.
"Piaf. Her name is Piaf." Ralph flipped through the records. "No, I'll find something else. No opera though. Here." He put on a Ray Noble record and 'The Very Thought of You' began to play. When Spud pursed his lips, Ralph took his chin in his hand, kissed him firmly, and then took the drink. He gave it a suspicious glance before sipping it. "Only half drowned."
"You could have mixed them." Spud slid a sly glance in his direction.
Ralph had always suspected it was Spud's eyes that had made him fall in love with him, but he never mentioned that. "And have you choose the music?" He finished half the g and t and set the glass down. He'd make it up to strength later.
Spud had gone back to the cupboard and was opening the cigarette box.
"Never mind that. Close the curtains, will you?" Ralph wondered if he should buy a house after all with the money from the books, but the shortages of housing made that difficult. The privacy would be nice though. Now he thought of it, blackouts had had their advantages.
"Why?" Spud asked but closed the box and drew the curtains closed.
Ralph restarted the record and dropped another onto the auto-changer. "Because I want to do this." He stepped over, took Spud's hand and pulled him close. He knew Spud expected to be kissed, but instead he held Spud's hand and put his other on the small of Spud's back. "We're going to dance."
Spud took a little step back against the pressure of his hand. "I can't dance, Ralph." He sounded a little panicked.
"Nonsense. Of course, you can. Put your hand on my shoulder."
Spud was wide-eyed and shook his head. "My leg..."
"You don't limp at all unless you've over-done things. No reason we can't dance." He tugged Spud closer. "It's not going to kill you to dance with me."
Spud slid his arm around Ralph's shoulder with obvious reluctance. After a moment, as Ralph moved slightly to the music, he relaxed a little in Ralph's arms, but he was still frowning and biting his lower lip. Ralph settled him closer, Spud's hair brushing his cheek. "I'm not going to bite, you know."
Spud's body trembled with smothered laughter. "You did last night."
Ralph laughed. He stopped, laughing too hard to dance. "You stop that." He firmed his arms around his lover and said, "Now relax. Let me lead."
Then Spud really laughed, leaning his forehead on Ralph's shoulder. "I can't. You're making me laugh too hard."
The song changed to Maybe It's Because I Love You Too Much. "We're going to do this if it takes all night," Ralph said, so Spud let out a long breath and finally relaxed into his body.
"Anyway, you always want to lead," Spud muttered under his breath.
"Is that a complaint?"
"Mmmm." Spud tilted his head back to look at him under his eyelashes. "Not exactly."
"Ah. You had me worried for a moment."
"I did not." He rested his cheek against Ralph's and his fingers brushed the nape of Ralph's neck. "As though you have any reason."
Now that Ralph had him distracted, Spud was following perfectly well so he made a small spin. "Just checking to be sure, love."
The music stopped and Ralph let him go with a brush of the lips across his mouth. "Anyway, I like dancing."
Spuds' forehead wrinkled in a frown. "I didn't know that about you."
"You do now." He smiled smugly.