AUTHOR: Nikki Harrington
FANDOM: Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman
PAIRING: A. J. Raffles/Harry 'Bunny' Manders
SUB-GENRE: First Time
SUMMARY: Bunny is tired of waiting for Raffles to act, so he decides to take matters into his own hands.
WORD COUNT: 3,333
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
It was about two o'clock in the morning when I returned to Mount Street after yet another frustrating evening spent in the company of Raffles. Don't get me wrong, I love being with Raffles, I could spend every waking and sleeping minute in his company and it still wouldn't be enough, but it is often so very exasperating for me. I do not know why he has not acted on what he so clearly feels by now. I do not know why he hasn't kissed me; why he hasn't taken me to his bed.
He wants to, of that I am quite certain. I can see it in the way he looks at me, the way his eyes follow me around the room, the way they come to rest on me and barely flicker away even when someone else is talking to him. I can see it in the way he smiles at me, his soft, lazy, seductive smile; the one that promises so much. I can feel it in the way he touches me, a hand on my shoulder or arm, his arm through mine or him offering me his arm, his arm around my shoulders, his fingers brushing my fringe back or touching my cheek; he seems almost incapable of keeping his hands off of me - which is very reminiscent of our school days. Indeed looking back I would swear he touched me even more during those two years, than he does now. I see it is in the way he stands close to me, even when there is plenty of space around us. I can see it in his face, in his body; I can hear it in his voice when he speaks to me, when he calls me 'my dear Bunny' or 'my own rabbit'. I know it from the way he takes me virtually everywhere with him, to dinner parties, to balls, to his cricket matches, in all these things, in all these public things, I am his constant companion.
Oh, yes, I know he wants me as I want him; so why has he not acted upon it? After all, he is the one with the experience; I am the one who managed nothing more than the odd furtive touch and chaste kiss with my closest friend at school (once Raffles had left) and then it was always whilst we were both clothed.
And I know he knows I want him; he has to know. He told me within days of our first meeting at school that I could never keep anything from him; even if I didn't speak of it, he knew - and he did. I was never a sneak at school, I never told him of all the suggestions or threats made to me, yet somehow he knew about them and dealt with them. Thus, I am certain he must know of my love for him now, of my desire, of my want, of my need that he kisses me. So why hasn't he?
I spent two years at school waiting for him to kiss me, wanting him to kiss me - all to no avail; and I have now spent six months since that evening when we were reacquainted in his rooms for the first time in ten years waiting for him to kiss me, wanting him to kiss me - all to no avail. How much longer do I have to wait? How many more nights do I have to lie awake aching with my want and need of him? How many more nights must I be forced into seeking solace from my own hand rather than his? How many more nights must I spend in his rooms waiting for the moment he acts on his desires, only to be dismissed with a pat on the back, an arm around my shoulders, a hair ruffle, a fond, intimate smile and a 'goodnight, my dear Bunny, I shall see you tomorrow'?
How much longer will he go on thinking I am still the small, innocent, naïve, very young even for his age, prone to tears thirteen year old? The thirteen year old of whom he made a pet, protected and possessed? For that is what I think it is; he still sees me as the boy I was then, not the man I have become. Then he would not allow himself to kiss me, to touch me beyond the fraternal touches he bestowed on me constantly for two years, even though I believe he wished to do so, and most of the school thought he did! But I am not that boy, so why is he still not allowing himself to kiss me?
Well, I am tried of waiting for him to act - tomorrow will be his last chance. If he does not make the first move, if he does not do what we both want him to do, then I shall. And he will see I am not the boy he met twelve years ago, but I am now a man with the wants, the needs and the desires of a man. He may not have been able to kiss the boy I was, but he will kiss the man I am.
THE NEXT DAY
I made my way from Mount Street to the Albany, the decision I had made the night before which, it has to be said, was made somewhat under the influence of fine wine and whisky, was unchanged even with the cold light of day and a non-influenced head. I waved and called 'hello' to Parker as I hurried past the Porter's lodge and up to Raffles's rooms.
"My dear Bunny. It is good to see you," he cried, as he threw open his front door and stepped back to let me pass. From his greeting, one would not have thought that he had said goodnight to me less than ten hours earlier. He put a hand on each of my shoulders and smiled down at me. For a blissful moment I thought he might kiss me as he moved a little closer than even he normally did and his head seemed to be bending towards me slightly, as if by its own accord. But the moment passed and after briefly cupping my face between his hands, he guided me into his sitting room, pausing only long enough to divest me of my hat and coat.
Once in his sitting room he poured two glasses of whisky, added soda to both and handed one to me. Then next moment he offered me a Sullivan, striking and holding the match to light it for me. Then he threw himself down on the sofa and gazed up at me. "What shall we do today, Bunny?" he asked. "Lunch at the club, maybe? Or the Savoy? Or somewhere else?"
I shook my head and joined him on the sofa. "I don't want to go out," I said.
He blinked at me and put down his glass on the table behind the sofa. "Oh, well, I can call down to the Albany kitchens and see -"
"No!" I said, interrupting him, something I almost never did. "I don't want anything to eat."
He had one arm along the back of the sofa, as did I, and at my words he caught my hand and I felt his fingers move to my pulse. I suffered his sudden switch to doctor mode and waited until he turned his hand and rested it on mine. "Well, my dear rabbit, what do you want?" he asked, his tone soft as he watched me carefully.
This was it; this was the perfect opening. Now I had my chance, now I had the opportunity to act. But how to act? It was all very well deciding I would make the first move, that I would kiss him if he did not kiss me, but thoughts and deeds are quite different. And suddenly the thought flashed through my head that maybe I was wrong, maybe I had been wrong all those years ago at school and maybe I was still wrong. Maybe he didn't want to kiss me; maybe he didn't want to touch me as a lover; maybe he didn't care for me, didn't love me in the way I cared for and loved him. Maybe the looks, the smiles, the touches, the closeness, the constant invitations to attend thing by his side were merely made out of the intimate friendship we shared. Maybe my desire of and for him was so strong, I was projecting my wants and wishes onto him.
What if I kissed him and he was repulsed? What if I kissed him and he not only pushed me away, he told me he never wanted to see me again? What if he even turned me in? I pushed that thought away as quickly as it flashed into my mind. He wouldn't do that; in all honesty he couldn't, because if I were already under arrest, why would I keep quiet about his illegal activities? Except I would and I know he would know that. No, I didn't believe for a second he would turn me in; not because of what I might say, but because of everything we had shared. No, he wouldn't turn me in, he would allow me walk away unthreatened by the police, he would give me that amount of dignity - of that I was quite certain. But I had no desire to walk away from him. Wasn't what we had enough? Couldn't I simply go on spending days and evenings with him? Couldn't I just go on accompanying him to dinners, parties, balls, cricket matches? Couldn't I go on being his partner in crime? I had so much of him already; I shared so much of his life, was that not enough? Could it be any better?
I sighed softly as I realised as wonderful as all the time I spent with him was, it wasn't enough - not any longer. I wanted more and more I would have - or I would have nothing. I jumped slightly as he cleared his throat in the way one does when one doesn't actually need to clear one's throat and I looked at him. He was still sitting with his arm along the back of the sofa, his hand was still on mine and he was still looking at me in his ever fond way, his lips slightly turned up at the corners and as I stared back I realised I hadn't answered his question.
Before I had a chance to he spoke again, his tone low, sensual; he seemed to be inviting me to speak the truth. "I ask again, Bunny, what does my rabbit want to do today?"
I took my hand from beneath his, grabbed my glass, drained it, stood up, threw my only half-smoked Sullivan into the fire, turned around and took two steps until I was standing in front of him. He looked up at me; he appeared faintly surprised but also expectant. "Raffles, "I said.
"Yes, Bunny." He smiled his indulgent, encouraging smile which matched the tone he had used. It was so like the tone and smile he had used on me at school; so like it, I had to prevent a groan from escaping - he did still see me as the boy he'd comforted on more than one occasion; the boy who was far too young to be kissed by anyone - especially by A. J. Raffles.
"Raffles," I said again; this time he merely looked up at me, his eyes slightly wider than usual, in what looked like an encouraging way. "Raffles," I said for the third time, silently cursing myself for being able to do nothing than repeat his name. "I am not thirteen any longer," I finally managed.
His eyes widened a fraction more before his gaze travelled slowly up and down my body. "I am quite aware of that, Bunny," he said softly.
"And we're not at school."
"No, we are not."
"And I'm not going to burst into tears or blush or stammer or trip over or -" I broke off, unwilling to catalogue anymore of my shortcomings, the ones he had not only put up with, but looking back indulged, encouraged even, for two years. "Or anything else I did at school," I finished.
"Are you not?" he said, after a moment or two when once again his gaze travelled up and down my body.
"No!" I said forcefully. "I'm not the barely thirteen year old, innocent boy you met twelve years ago."
"Twelve years, six months and three days, I believe," he said softly.
"What?" I said, staring down at him. "You remember the exact day?"
He shrugged, turned away from me and reached for his glass, took a swallow of the contents and looked back at me. "Do forgive me, my dear Bunny, he said, "I quite rudely interrupted you. Now I believe you were saying something about not being the innocent boy I met twelve years ago?"
But my mind was still on the fact that he recalled exactly how long it had been since we first met. "No," I said somewhat distractedly. "I mean, yes. I mean - Raffles!"
"Yes, Bunny?" he said brightly.
"You must know what I'm trying to say."
"Must I?" he murmured, his eyes blazing as he stared up at me, before he ran the tip of his tongue around his lips.
That was it; with a bitten off snarl, I dropped down onto his lap, straddling it rather than sitting on it in the way I used to do from time to time during our school days, put one hand on his shoulder, the other I slid around his head where I tangled my fingers in his black curls and I then I kissed him. I kissed his lips, his chin, his cheeks with a fervour I knew not that I possessed; I went on raining kiss after kiss on him, as I pressed my lower body down more firmly onto his.
As I felt both my own body and his begin to react to the closeness, I centred my kiss on his mouth, pressing my lips against his, kissing him with a passion of which I wasn't aware I was capable, until for a glorious moment he kissed me back.
But then just as I was about to relax and let my lips part beneath his, he pulled his mouth away and put his hands on my waist, using his greater strength to hold me still. Nonetheless I struggled, even though I knew it would be in vain. "Bunny, Bunny, Bunny," he said, letting go of my waist to capture and hold my hands. "Oh, Bunny," he murmured. "Are you quite certain this is what you want?"
"Yes!" I said forcefully. "Yes, Raffles. Yes. Yes, I am quite certain this is what I want. I am more than certain."
"But, Bunny -"
"Look Raffles I waited for two years for you to kiss me at school. I've waited another six months since the night I first came to your rooms for you to kiss me. If I simply went on waiting, how many more months or years would I have had to have waited until you kissed me?"
"I wasn't prepared to go on waiting any longer for you to forget I was no longer that innocent thirteen year old boy you prom-"
"Ah, but you are still innocent, are you not, my dear rabbit?" He spoke softly as he held my hands in his and his gaze softened even more as he stared at me.
I felt my cheeks begin to burn and l looked away from his all-knowing gaze. "Well, yes," I stammered. "But that doesn't mean I don't know what I want. And I do know what I want, Raffles."
"Do you now, my dear Bunny?"
"Yes! I want you, Raffles. I want you to kiss me. I want you to touch me as more than just a friend. I want you to take me to your bed and make love to me. I want you to . . ." I ran out of words to tell him what I wanted, so I just fell silent and sat still straddling his lap, the evidence of my desire still pressed against his.
He let go of my hands and cupped my face. "Oh, Bunny, my own sweet Bunny, do you really know what you are saying? Do you really know what my making love to you would involve?"
"Yes!" I said heatedly. "In case you have forgotten you are the one who told me about it, well at least . . . Well you know - and if you remember to the day we met, you must remember that evening in your study! And I didn't walk around with my eyes and ears completely closed once you'd left the school."
He smiled. "I never for a moment thought you did, Bunny."
"Didn't you?" I demanded, as I realised he'd glanced away from me as he'd spoken. He looked back sharply at me and I saw a very faint touch of colour on his cheeks. "Raffles!" Then I gentled my voice and put my hands on his face. "I love you, Raffles. I have always loved and I always will love you. And I want to show you how much I love you. And don't bother wasting your time telling me it's a crime, I am fully aware of that fact. I know what could happen if we're caught. But six months ago I told you to name your crime and I would be your man - I meant it, Raffles. I meant it then and I still mean it. Make me yours, Raffles, make me yours in the way you've always wanted me to be."
"Bunny, I . . ."
"Raffles; you made me yours at school, you took possession of me from that very first day. I was yours and no one else could get near to me. Yes, you protected me but you also possessed me, and I firmly believe that even if I'd wanted to kiss one of the other boys, you would have found a way to prevent me from doing so. You wanted me, you may not want to admit it, you may not like to admit it, and maybe you never even admitted it to yourself. But you wanted me and if you couldn't have me, if you wouldn't allow yourself to have me, then no one else could. And it's no use you trying to deny it, because I know it to be true. Just as I know you still do want me. So stop making excuses; stop seeing me as the thirteen year old and kiss me and truly make me yours in the way we both want. Please," I added.
His mouth had parted a little and his eyes had widened during my impassioned speech. "Bunny," he said his tone far from his usual confident one. "I -" He silenced himself by pulling my head down with one hand and claiming my mouth with his possessive one, whilst his other hand pulled me down even further into his lap. "I love you, Bunny," he murmured, taking his mouth away from mine in order for us both to breathe.
I smiled. "I know," I said softly. "I've always known. Now will you or will you not take me to your bed and make love to me?"
He laughed, managed to manhandle me in a surprisingly graceful manner off his lap onto the sofa, before standing up, taking my hand to pull me up and, pausing only long enough to take me into his arms and kiss me once more, he indeed did take me to his bed and make love to me.