A bitter wind howls through the exposed rafters of the dance hall. The suspect is long gone, if they’d ever come in here at all. There is nothing here, except you and the Lieutenant, shivering in the gloom.
It’s a sorry sight when you ease it gently out from underneath the trash and fragments of partially collapsed ceiling.
Dignity tarnished, it glitters dully in your grubby hands. The beam of Kim’s torch picks out the dark voids of lost tiles like missing teeth. It smiles a fractured smile at you.
It whispers, though Kim can’t hear it. Wistfully dreaming of better days, when all this decayed space was alive with life and light and Disco, baby!
It’s an act of mercy. Not even ghosts dance here now.
He doesn’t say anything as you brush away bits of debris and deposit it into a mouldering cardboard box, but he does hold the light steady. When you stumble slightly on a broken beam, hands full, his grip is warm and steady at your elbow.
You wonder absently when he started keeping an old tarp in the back of the Kineema to accommodate whatever weird and questionable shit you might pull into his orbit next, but he never mentions it, and neither do you.
Next day, the case picks up, and the box sits forgotten in a corner for over a week. It looks out of place in your apartment- still shabby, but now clean and neat. You wonder what to do with it.
The morning after the dust settles, you shuffle out of your apartment to locate your mail. It’s your first proper day off in a month, yet you’re wide awake and at a loss for what to do with yourself.
The old crone from 14B glares venomously at your worn out robe and vulgar-ass werewolf slippers. You sketch her an elaborate bow. She slams her door. Almost a year clean and sober, causing no major disturbances in the building, and this is still the customary attitude of your neighbours. Ah, well.
The little packet feels light when you pull it from the battered mailbox. Light and brittle. Full of strange angles.
The precise letters of your name on the outside betray the identity of the sender. A drop of ink before the H betrays a moment of slightly awkward hesitation. You are swamped with giddy curiosity.
When you open it to peek in, the morning sun shatters, sending a hundred shards of light jumping across the cracked ceiling. Illuminating your face.
Your laughter booms and echoes off the walls. Fuck it, they all think you’re mad anyway. But he knows how your brain works.
It’s early evening by the time you make a decision, staring up in wonder at the little globe in all its restored glory. Some of the replacement tiles are a little uneven, and cleaning has exposed a few cracks that careful glue-work have mended but not erased. A fiddly afternoon’s work, but a labour of love, tile by tile. A meditation on something you’ve been carefully not-acknowledging.
Bit by bit since the day you met, he’s been helping you put yourself back together with quiet, subtle kindnesses.
The flat is clean. The tiny fridge is stocked with food and sensible beverages. Disco plays, but quietly. The sheets are clean, the bedroom tidy. You are clean and tidy. Clean and sober.
Silk purses and sows ears aside, it’s not going to get any better than this.
Do not fuck this up, Du Bois.
Heart beating, you dial his number.
Saturday night, baby.
Dangling from the crooked ceiling fan, the disco ball glitters like a phoenix.
For a full second, he seems taken aback when he when he realises you’ve hung it in the bedroom. He stays very quiet in the doorway, face still. You both watch the little lights drift patterns across your faded duvet. A red flush creeps up his neck.
Surprised, then perhaps not so. It’s you, after all. Harry Du Bois, eccentric extraordinaire. Where else would you put a disco ball but where the magic happens, after all?
Don’t lose your nerve.
You step close behind him and start to kiss his neck lightly, hands hovering around those slim hips. The clumsiness of uncertainty. His skin is so warm. The faint smell of his soap and aftershave. Against your cheek, the shorn hair behind his ear feels absolutely indecent.
Your nerves are on fire.You are on fire, desperately hoping this doesn’t burn everything down around you.
The universe waits with bated breath.
He makes a noise. A tiny, wanting noise that might echo in your head till the world ends.
And then he’s moving. Turning. Kissing you fiercely on the lips, pressing you back against the door frame, clutching at your shirt. It seems the Lieutenant has come to a decision also. He kisses you like this might end at any moment.
If the end of days decided to come now, odds are you probably wouldn’t fucking notice.
The slide of his tongue against the crease of your lips, startles you, but it’s the slender thigh slipping forward to press between your legs that derails any remaining train of thought completely.
Uncertainty has gone too, and your big, rough hands have clamped themselves firmly onto his backside. Kim doesn’t seem to mind, panting against your lips, rubbing against you with focus. Your cock aches.
When he moves away slightly, you can’t help but sway after him. He chuckles.
You walk him backwards until he sinks gracefully down on the edge of the mattress.
“Kim, for the love of-”
That little private smile is lurking at the corner of his mouth.
“Harry, then.” You want to lick it off, but he’s reaching for your fly, and when his bare hand slips inside, skin against skin- well.
Whatever you were going to say is lost in tight, wet heat when takes you in his mouth. Blood roars in your ears. Lieutenant Kim Kitsuragi is between your shaking legs, and you’re not hallucinating. Has anyone else done this for you before? You wouldn’t know, but it scarcely matters. It only matters now, because it’s him.
Strong fingers stray lower to cup your balls, then lower still, stroking and gently probing. He moans around your cock, running his tongue over the head, opening his lips slightly. The edge rushes towards you, and you pull back rather clumsily. Oh shit, not yet.
He’s looking up at you again, eyes wide and dark behind the lenses, breathing unevenly.
You have no idea what you’re doing, but isn’t that the theme of your entire existence? Geronimo, Harrier.
Pushing him back against the mattress, you resume the kissing, trying to see if you can get him out of his clothes at the same time. The experiment has mixed success. His mouth tastes of faintly of coffee but not of tobacco. Yet. Just coffee, and musk. The taste of you.
Lying back in the dimness of your bed, lit by the orbiting sparks from above, he looks like something supra-natural. Something divine within the mundane is caught in the sharp slant of his cheekbones, the tendons of his neck as he tips his head back, the long lines of his body. Everything has taken on a dreamlike quality.
You can’t speak, so you kick free of your trousers and climb over him to chase the lights across his skin with your tongue. He pants when you nip at the side of his neck, and almost cries out when you lave your tongue across a nipple, rocking up against you with increasing urgency.
His cock is hard and leaking against your stomach, smearing moisture through the thick hair as you move lower to kiss the ridges of his hip bones, the slight softness of his belly.
Dimly, you wonder if you’re going to have a heart attack. Hopefully not today.
“Harry-” the look on his face is almost enough by itself.
He pulls you back up to kiss him, wrapping his legs around your hips. You match him, thrust for thrust, lost in the small sounds and the smell of him, until he bucks up, groaning, and you fall off the edge of the earth.
He’s lying on his side, watching you a little warily when your remaining wits return.
You grin at him like a madman, waggling your eyebrows, hair mussed, mutton-chops sticking out in all directions.
He snorts, and whacks you in the face with the nearest pillow. And, just like that, all is well.
You lie side by side, smoking the daily cigarette and listening to the radio. He doesn’t suggest leaving, and you practically vibrate with the hope that he won’t. The smoke curls up hypnotically through the fragmented light.
He looks at you for a long moment when returns from the bathroom.
“Do you snore, Detective?”
Dice roll: success.
You pounce on him and pull him, chuckling, back into bed.