AUTHOR: Nikki Harrington
PAIRING: A. J. Raffles/Harry 'Bunny' Manders
SUB-GENRE: First Time
SUMMARY: Set during their school-days. Bunny surprises both himself and Raffles. As a result Raffles ends up having to explain something to Bunny.
WORD COUNT: 2,207
AUTHOR'S NOTE: With huge thanks to caffyolay for giving me the courage to post this. Thank you, my dear.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
I don't quite know what made me act as I did on that evening. Maybe it was the texts we had been reading in English, maybe it was the fact that it was a beautiful warm but not hot spring evening, maybe it was the recent talk in the dorm, maybe it was just that I was bored, maybe it was something else. Whatever it was it gave me more courage than I believed I possessed.
I was in Raffles's study sitting on the floor by his chair, my side pressing against his leg. I had long finished my tasks, which that night had been to polish his shoes and dust the pictures, and I was now waiting for him to put his book down and talk to me. I'd finished the book I'd brought with me and as happy as I was simply to be in his company, especially as from time to time his hand would seek out my head and rest there for a moment or long fingers would move through my hair, I was now beginning to grow a little tired of his silence.
So I decided to be the one for once to break it. "Raffles?" I said, putting my head back on the chair seat so I could look up and see his face.
"Yes, Bunny," he answered, his tone only slightly distracted; after a quick glance up from his book to look down at me, his attention returned to the page.
However, that was good enough for me. Had he not wished to talk to me, he wouldn't have raised his eyes and looked at me at all. "What would you do if I kissed you?" I asked, as I watched him.
For a long moment he said nothing, nor did he move. Then he lowered the book and stared down at me, his eyes wide, his eyebrows raised. He continued to simply stare at me in silence for so long I had to force myself not to fidget. "Well," he finally said, as he put his book down on the table. "I imagine I would kiss you back."
I straightened my head so I was no longer looking at him and waited for him to speak again. I didn't have to wait long. "Why do you ask, Bunny? Are you thinking of kissing me?"
"Maybe," I said. Then added, "Actually, yes, Raffles. I believe I am." The next second his hand was on my forehead, pushing my fringe back. "Raffles?"
"I was just making sure you hadn't got a fever," he said, letting his fingers move back into my hair. I sat there and let him stroke my head again waiting for him to speak. "Well, my rabbit," he said, gently tugging on my hair until I let my head again fall backwards and I was once more staring at him. "I see you aren't quite such the rabbit I always thought you were." I felt my cheeks begin to flush and I tried to move my head away from his grip.
Instantly he was contrite. "I am sorry, Bunny. I should not have said that. I didn't mean it as it sounded. Come here," and he bent down and tugged on my arm until I scrambled from the floor onto his lap where he put his arms around me and waited until I gave up sitting upright and rigid and let my head rest against his shoulder.
"So what brings this on, Bunny?" he asked, as he lightly stroked my back.
I shrugged. "Does there have to be a reason? Can't I just want to kiss you?"
"And do you want to kiss me?"
I nodded. "I think so. Yes, I do."
"Which?" he asked, his tone was soft. "Which is it, Bunny? Yes or you think so?"
I thought for a moment. "Yes," I said. "I do want to kiss you, Raffles. Would you mind if I did?"
He didn't answer for a moment, but his grip on me became a little tighter. "But why, Bunny?" he asked finally. "Why do you want to kiss me? And why now?"
I sighed. I hadn't expected to have to talk about it, especially when I wasn't certain of the answer to either question. But I knew he would make me answer him. "I like you," I said finally, although the truth was 'like' didn't come close to expressing the depths of my feelings for him. I wasn't even certain there was a single word that could.
"Bunny, you like other people. You like Urquhart. Do you want to kiss him? Or Charlie, you like him. Do you want to kiss Charlie?"
"No!" I said, sitting up so sharply I hit my head on his chin and he winced. "Sorry," I said, sitting quite still again and I watched him blink several times as he rubbed his chin. He smiled at me and ruffled my hair as he continued to look at me. "Does it matter, Raffles?" I asked, when he again said nothing. "Isn't it enough that I want to kiss you? Look if you don't want me to, just say so." I wriggled in an attempt to get off his lap, but he held me firmly in place.
"I didn't say that, Bunny," he said softly, as he pushed a strand of my hair back behind my ear and let his fingers slide down my ear, I quivered a little at the touch. He touches me all the time, he barely keeps his hands off me, but never had the touch seemed quite so intimate.
"So you do want me to kiss you?" I demanded.
He didn't answer; it was getting very annoying. Then he frowned, "It isn't some kind of bet, is it, Bunny? You don't want to kiss me just so you can tell your dorm mates all about it?"
I felt my eyes widen and my mouth fall open. "Raffles!" I exclaimed, when I finally found a way to speak again. "How could you think that? How could you?" I began to blink very quickly as I felt tears beginning to threaten, a second later he pushed my head back down onto his shoulder and wrapped his arms more tightly around me.
I felt his lips against my ear and felt as much as heard him whisper, "I'm sorry, Bunny. I didn't mean it. I know you would never do anything like that."
His breath was warm on my ear and his face was close to mine and I decided I'd had enough of talking. I raised my head a little, taking care this time not to bang his chin, and kissed him. Outside of kissing Mother and my aunts, I had never kissed anyone before; as such the kiss was nothing more than my lips briefly pressing against his, before I pulled back and looked at him. I couldn't read his eyes or understand the look on his face, so instead I put my arms around his neck and put my lips back on his. This time I didn't pull back quickly, this time I kept up the pressure until I felt his lips move slightly beneath me and he was kissing me back. Or rather he'd taken control and was showing me just what a kiss really was.
One of his hands was tangled in my hair; the other was holding me behind my back, pulling me closer to him that he'd ever pulled me before. I was pressed right against him, I could feel his heartbeat, could smell his scent which I already knew well as it wrapped around me along with his arms. His mouth parted and I felt his tongue tentatively touch my lower lip. It wasn't a conscious act, I would swear to that, but under the touch I parted my lips and I felt his tongue inside my mouth. I gasped and shuddered as he gathered me even nearer to him.
Then I cried out in horror as I felt my drawers dampen. I pulled my mouth away from his and jerked my head back so hard I felt a clump of hair come out in his hand and in desperation and fear I tried to get off his lap.
However, he is much stronger than I and he held me firmly as he ran his hand again and again over my head, "Bunny," his said, his tone soothing, gentle and reassuring. "It's all right, Bunny. Did I scare you?"
I shook my head. No, he hadn't scared me, but he had to let me get off his lap before he knew my shame. I couldn't bear to see the disgust he'd no doubt have for a thirteen year old boy who had - I didn't even want to think of it.
I struggled again, wriggling on his lap, until I heard a half bitten of gasp and his hands gripped me even more tightly, holding me still. "Sit still, Bunny," he said through gritted teeth. "Please sit still, my rabbit, or I think I shall scare you. It's all right, Bunny," he said again as I froze; my concern for him was even greater than my fear that he'd soon know what I'd done. Carefully he shifted me slightly until I wasn't sitting quite so much in his lap and there he held me whilst I tried discretely to get away.
"Please, Raffles," I said. "Please let me go."
He shook his head. "No, Bunny. Not until you tell me what I did to scare you."
Why couldn't he just let me go? Why did he suddenly want to talk about everything? "Nothing. Just let me go." But he shook his head and once more rearranged me, pulling me back to where I'd been moments before.
I gave up fighting him and instead I buried my head on his shoulder and began to cry. "Bunny!" His tone was full of anguish and concern and it was clear to me even in the state I was in that he was convinced my desperation to get off his lap and now my tears were due to something he had done. I loved him too much to let him suffer thinking he'd done something wrong. No matter what the cost to me, I had to take away that tone and reassure him. Even if it meant I did see and hear his disgust, even if it meant I'd never get to spend another evening alone with him; even if it meant he'd replace me as his fag, I had to.
My head still buried in his shoulder I told him as shame made my cheeks burn. I expected him to immediately push me off his lap, but instead he said softly, "I don't think so, Bunny, I believe I would know about it."
I shook my head where it was still buried against his shoulder. "But," I managed. "I'm - Raffles, I can . . . My drawers are wet, Raffles," I finally said.
"Ah," was his reply. Gently he pulled me upright and looked at me. "Bunny," he said. "Do you trust me?"
I nodded. "Of course I do."
"Then believe me, trust me, when I say it's not what you fear."
"But what is it?"
He put his head back a little, looking up at the ceiling and I heard him sigh. "Has your father never spoken to you, Bunny?" he asked gently, now once again looking at me. I frowned. Of course Father had spoken to me; he spoke to me every day I was at home. However, something told me that wasn't what he meant, so I shook my head slowly.
"What about the other boys in your dorm? Some are quite a lot older than you? Have they not ever said anything? If not directly to you, then general talk?" Again I got the feeling we were not talking about things like 'get out of the way, Manders' and 'what does Raffles see in you, Manders', and other such things. So again I slowly shook my head.
He sighed again and once more looked upwards. "Very well," he said. "I suppose it has to be me, doesn't it?" I didn't think he was actually talking to me, so I kept quiet. "I admit I never thought I'd end up . . . Bunny. It's like this . . ." And he told me things I had never heard before. Part of the way through his talk, he was the one to push my head back against his shoulder and I stayed there, my cheeks still flushed.
Finally when he fell silent, I slowly sat back up and stared at him. "Well, I'm never going to kiss anyone ever again," I declared and to my surprise and horror, he laughed. "Raffles! Don't laugh at me. I mean it. If that's what happens when you kiss someone, then I'm not going to."
He shook his head and stopped laughing. "Oh, Bunny," he said, his tone gentle as he traced my cheekbone with his fingertip. "Oh, my dear, sweet, innocent Bunny, I do -" And he pulled me down so he could kiss me lightly on the lips.