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Aug. 15th, 2007 @ 06:40 pm Working it out
Cosmic!Rays AU, Part 11

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

"I can't believe he's gay. Why does this always happen to me?"

"It's not happening to you, Frannie. It's happening around you. Kowalski didn't wake up one morning and think 'I know, I'll like guys because one day it's going to piss off a frizzy-haired mechanic who sticks her nose where it doesn't belong.'"

"But I-"

"If you're going to tell me you already named your children I don't want to know."

Frannie shot Ray a glare.

"I'll just go and check the engines then. After all, I'm just a frizzy-haired mechanic with a healthy sense of curiosity."

"You do that."

Frannie made another failed attempt to kill him by stare before letting herself out of the cabin and clattering noisily up the ladder. Ray shrugged. He was antsy. He knew he should be kinder to Frannie but he wasn't in the mood. Must be all that floating about in space leaving him restless. A run would do him good. Clear his head – with all the thoughts that were bubbling away in there he felt like one of Frannie's potluck casseroles. He dressed in comfortable sweats and an old, faded t-shirt that bore the legend 'Have you seen the size of my weapon?' It had been a joke gift from Stella a long time ago and Ray had never been able to bring himself to throw it out. It was a reminder that they'd been able to joke. Once.

Grabbing a towel, Ray headed up to the gym. At the back of the rec room the floor and ceiling sloped upwards as the wings rose to meet the pods. A set of steps were set into the floor on each side, leading to the gym. This was a simple metal platform suspended over the curved part of the room with railings bordering all sides and supported by two pillars. The equipment was basic: a treadmill, rowing machine and exercise bike, a weight bench next to a locked chest full of free weights and, often most importantly, a punch bag. Everything was bolted to the platform as randomly floating equipment could play havoc with an exercise regime.

Climbing the stairs, Ray realized he wasn't the first to have the idea to work off some energy. If the thwaps and grunts he could hear were anything to go by he had to feel sorry for the punch bag. Briefly he wondered if this was going to be awkward and his foot paused fractionally over the next step before he told himself to be a man and grow a pair.

Kowalski didn't acknowledge Ray's arrival and the scowl Ray could see even from his profile was as effective as a ten-mile quarantine. Ray laid his towel over the railing and started the treadmill, jogging slowly to warm up. Usually he would plug himself into a playlist of music appropriate to his mood and how far he wanted to run. Today he didn't, distracted by Kowalski's grunts and yells, distracted by the sight of him, dancing on tiptoes, attacking the bag like it had badmouthed his mother. Zero points for style, Ray decided, but ten out of ten for enthusiasm.

Kowalski was dressed in singlet and shorts and Ray found himself appreciating the view this afforded him. It was years since Ray had studied a guy the way he was studying this one. The way it ended with Frankie had seen to that. But it was as if Kowalski's confession had unlocked a door so buried that Ray had almost forgotten it existed. So now, faced with a subject that was well worth hours of study, Ray looked. And looked and looked.

A skinny guy was Kowalski. Not that wilt-when-you-put-it-in-a-pot-of-boiling-water kind of skinny, more wiry. His body wore muscle in exactly the right places. Ray could see the curves and shadows of them as his arms moved, saw his calves bunching and relaxing, thighs that were solid and strong without being heavy. An ass that-

Woah! Ray stopped himself there. It was one thing to maybe find a colleague aesthetically pleasing; it was another to be fixating on his ass. Maybe running was a bad idea. Maybe the tanks on the pressure suits had been depleted and now he was oxygen-deprived and just making things worse by running. Yeah, that made sense. He hit the button to stop the treadmill and stood, hands on hips, trying to gulp in some air. He didn't feel out of breath, but bodies were tricky things.

Ray didn't know how long he'd been standing there when Kowalski reached out with both hands to still the bag, his own body going as rigid as the pole the bag rested on.

"You like what you see?" His voice was low with a hum of threat.

Ray cursed internally; there was no graceful way out of this.

"I was just-"

"What?" snarled Kowalski, spinning on his heel and taking a step towards Ray. "You think just because I fell in love with Fraser I'm gonna drop to my knees in front of any guy that wants a piece?"

Ray bristled but he told himself to stay calm, that Kowalski was probably regretting ever opening his mouth and that Ray had, in all honesty, been staring at his ass. Accidentally, but there it was. He held up his hands in a placatory gesture.

"Yeah, okay, I was looking," he admitted. "But I wasn't planning to bend you over the nearest available surface and fuck you into next month if that's what you're worried about."

Kowalski stepped closer, eyebrows pulled down in a frown, lips curved in a snarl. Lips that Ray didn't want to be thinking of different uses for at the moment, thank you very much, libido.

"Although, on a good day I'm told I can manage next week."

There was a twitch at the corner of Kowalski's mouth and he seemed to be having trouble maintaining the frown. Ray took this as a good sign.

"Seriously, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have-"

But Ray was interrupted by a guffaw from Kowalski and two fingers jabbing towards his torso.

"No. Can't say I have," he said and it took Ray a moment to figure out he was looking at the slogan on the t-shirt. He hoped he wasn't blushing.

"We could always do something about that," said Kowalski, getting right up in Ray's personal space, pointing fingers turning into a flattened hand on Ray's chest. His voice was low again, this time with a seductive edge.

Ray was totally wrong-footed. Could this guy turn on a pinhead or what? He looked at Kowalski and Kowalski looked back, chin up, eyes challenging. This was wrong, this was all kinds of wrong and much as Ray's mind tried to lead him astray with crystal clear images of Kowalski's mouth doing things to Ray that he hadn't had done to him in more time than he cared to remember, he was not going to help Kowalski damage himself more than he already was.

"Well?" demanded Kowalski, moving so close to Ray that he could feel the heat pouring off of him.

Ray couldn't stop himself licking his lips as he tried to get his mouth caught up to his brain. What was he supposed to do now?

"Ray! Ray!" Ian's excited voice came over the speaker. "I see them. Subura. I have visual confirmation. We got them!"

In a flash, both men were running down the stairs and Ray had only a second to spare for relief before he was back in command.

Part 12
Current Data
the riviera
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Date:August 16th, 2007 01:49 am (UTC)
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Not that wilt-when-you-put-it-in-a-pot-of-boiling-water kind of skinny

I love that VERY much.
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Date:August 16th, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC)
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Why, thank you, ma'am. *tips hat*
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Date:August 16th, 2007 03:56 am (UTC)
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Oh, good, now we're getting somewhere!
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Date:August 16th, 2007 05:25 pm (UTC)
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HA! That's what you think.
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Date:August 16th, 2007 05:17 am (UTC)
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This just gets better and better. And eeeee, cliffhanger!
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Date:August 16th, 2007 05:25 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! I should really get on and write the rest of today's.

I'll ... just go do that then.
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Date:November 22nd, 2007 12:27 pm (UTC)
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"Although, on a good day I'm told I can manage next week."

Heeeee! And wow, RayK's mood swings are like mine. ;P

Much better chapter/section to end on right before bed!

..that could be taken in a way I did not mean.
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Date:November 22nd, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
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Happy bedtime = happy dreams.

*hearts mood swingy RayK*

Thank you again for all the comments. Made my day, they did. (also your various icons also made me happy)