Title: The Unrequited Hypothesis
Series: Big Bang Theory
Character/Pairing: Howard/Raj
Author's note: - Big Bang Theory, Howard/Raj; touching while they think the other one is asleep - No one will ever know. Takes place during the camping trip. A bit angsty. At first, at least.

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The high is gone, the munchies and even the teasing is over. Leonard is snoring a few feet away (even though he swears he doesn't) and Howard is on his side, eyes shut. Sleeping peaceful, Raj thinks. He remembers why they were out there now, and it's only a faint disappointment, for he can always YouTube it. Not every day does he get to be King Of The Rabbits for a short while. That's something you just can't go to an internet site and live vicariously through.

And of course he knows why he's been harping and teasing on Howard: he's jealous. He wants to be the one Howard is reminded when looking at a bean casserole or Turbrisket. He's withstood the worst of the Wolowitz family fights, even mediated them. He's stayed on the High Holy days and broke Chavah with him enough that he can almost pronounce it right.

It's not that he doesn't like the girls, it's more that he realized that once the girls are gone, once they're sober enough to realize they've bedded a pair of geeks. There's always that look as they gather up their clothes. The I can't believe I slept with someone like you look.

Howard finds it a triumph, but Raj can't help but feel a little dirty, seeing himself in their eyes as a lifeform not unlike a dung beetle.

And when it's through, when they're gone, the condoms thrown away and the orgasm past Howard is the one who knows all the little things. Howard is the one he calls when he's bored. Howard is the one he shares jokes with, the one he asks when women are around and he's sober, the one he asks for all those Holidays, from Jewish, to Indian to American.

He runs his fingers over Howard's shoulder. It isn't really fair to treat him like a worm. He isn't so bad looking, not Johnny Depp, but most people aren't. Sure, he could hit the gym more, but Raj always thought he was a catch. He's funny, for one, and smart. Leonard is a nice guy, but there's not the click, the instant understanding he has with Howard. Leonard won't grab the phone and do an Apu-from-Simpsons voice just to keep him from being embarrassed and having a phone disaster. Leonard won't slip in mid-talk with his parents to tell them just how steady he and 'Lakashimi' are. (He even jokingly refers to her as 'his girlfriend who lives in Canada')

He lets his fingers run over Howard's throat, his chest. If he was sleeping with Howard, he'd not kick him out. He'd even make him breakfast and save him hot water in the shower. He'd never look at him like some insect form, or mold under the refrigerator. He'd just look at him the same way he always has, like his closest friend. The person he whispers his secrets to, the person he trusts and the person who really knows him.

But in the end Howard won't know, and they'll go right back to meaningless casual sex with girls. (Howard always manages to make it so much better than that, like every holiday put together ever with sugar and orgasms on top.) Raj can't help but be a little tired of the scene, even if they scored with twin porn stars who like short Jewish boys and think mutism is hot, and specialized in threesomes.

"You're a douche, Howard," Raj says softly in a way that manages to be both sad and affectionate at the same time. He pulls his hand away. He turns away, his eyes glimpsing stars as he does.

As Raj closes his eyes, sleeping off what he rationalizes as post-high downs, (never mind that it's come many times while he wasn't high) Howard's eyes open.

He's always been very good at faking sleep, so good that not even Raj ever guessed despite all the times they've slept over like thirteen year olds. He turns and watches Raj fall asleep.

Above, one last lonely meteor falls.