This is slash (C/R), if you don't like the idea please don't read it and get offended. No offense is meant. Thanks to fh20s for letting me borrow her idea and for being my beta.

This is a follow up to 'The Hard Way' by fh20s. No copyright infringement intended.

Healing

by Roa1

Richard lay as close to Craig as he dared and watched him sleep.

Sharron had left an hour ago and, since then, Richard had been trying to calm down. At first he had paced around Craig's apartment trying to find something to hit that wouldn't get him into trouble in the morning. In the end he'd settled for the sofa and had beaten the crap out of it. Once he'd worked that particular emotion out of his system he'd sneaked into bed as quietly as he could.

He liked watching Craig sleep. Normally Richard would wake up first and lie there waiting for the slight smile that would appear on his friend's lips when he was just between sleep and consciousness. Sometimes he couldn't resist the temptation to wake him up. Right now he just wanted him to sleep.

Richard would have liked to have slept too, he felt emotionally drained, but it was only eight in the evening and he wasn't used to going to bed that early. Try as he might he just wasn't tired enough. It didn't help that he felt a little guilty about what had happened.

They had tossed a coin to see who was going to be the bait while the other took care of the gang. Richard had won, ending up with the less dangerous task. He had been relieved; he'd lost the last three times and thought he could use a break. He'd been worried about Craig of course but hadn't really considered the risks until he felt the beating begin and, all of a sudden, would have done anything to swap places. He clearly remembered his escalating fear as he and Sharron proceeded through the building incapacitating the gang. Eventually he'd got to the room that held his friend. He'd burst in, felled the one remaining guard with a single blow to the back of the head and set about the boss. Then he'd seen Craig and he'd lost it.

He was relieved that his friend had stopped him. He wasn't sure that he could have stopped himself. He'd killed men before, but that had been out of necessity not anger. This was something else entirely and it worried him that Craig could affect him like this.

It wasn't Craig's fault of course. It's just that their relationship was still in its infancy and Richard felt like he was on drugs sometimes. Good drugs admittedly, but this was messing with his mind.

He'd been attracted to his colleague from the start. Generally speaking Richard fancied women but, every now and again, he saw a guy who knocked his socks off and Craig had been one of them. Sadly, it quickly became apparent that his friend was rather more interested in chatting up every girl he saw so Richard had put him out of his mind and got on with his life. Then Tremayne had teamed them up together and Richard had spent the next two years in a state of frustration.

He'd dropped hints to see if he stood any kind of chance at all, but Craig seemed oblivious to them. Sometimes he thought that maybe he was having an effect only to have the American turn up to the next party with a pretty blonde on his arm, crushing Richard's hopes yet again. Even after Tibet, when he began to sense Craig's emotions, he still wasn't sure. His friend didn't spend much time thinking about his feelings and when he did he seemed confused, which didn't really tell him anything.

Until that night. And what a hell of a night that had been.

Richard rolled on to his back; he didn't trust himself not to touch the man lying next to him. He wanted to. God, he wanted to, but there was barely an inch of his body that wasn't covered in cuts and bruises.

He wondered, not for the first time, 'why Craig?' other than the obvious fact that he was drop dead gorgeous. He supposed it was, in part, the way his friend oozed self-confidence. Sure, it was irritating sometimes and, on more than one occasion, he'd been tempted to punch him, but Richard had to admit it was a hell of a turn on. Plus, it didn't hurt that he laughed at Richard's jokes. Mostly it was the way Craig looked at him when he had only one thing on his mind.

He thought back to a party they'd been at a few weeks earlier. Nobody knew about their relationship, except Sharron, and Richard had been in a mischievous mood. Richard had looked over at his friend and then spent rather longer than he should have sucking on his bottle of beer. Craig had stared back, his jaw slack, until Sharron had elbowed him in the ribs and he'd glanced worriedly around the room to see if anybody else had noticed. Richard had spent the next morning sewing the buttons back on to his shirt, while Craig told him it was all his fault. It was of course. He'd known exactly what he was doing.

Or maybe it was his spontaneity?

Last Saturday Craig had been round at Richard's apartment. Richard had just folded his laundry in to a neat pile on his bed ready to put away. His friend was supposed to be making lunch. The first clue he'd had that the sandwiches had been abandoned was when he'd found himself face down on the mattress with Craig sitting on his legs, pinning his arms to his sides.

He'd put up a token resistance, complaining bitterly about the pile of shirts now scattered across the floor, until he'd felt a light kiss on his neck. By the time Craig had moved, ever so slowly, to his ear, Richard's remonstrations had become unintelligible moans and he wasn't sure he'd ever been more turned on in his life.

He just had to accept it; he had a thing for alpha males.

He was replaying the events of that night in his head when he felt his friend move next to him. Richard rolled on to his side and saw the tension in his face. The muscles in his arms twitched and it was obvious he was in some distress. Richard shuffled upwards so his mouth was close to Craig's ear.

"It's OK," he whispered as quietly as he could, "you're OK."

Gently he ran his fingers through his lover's hair, hoping to calm him down, but it was obvious that Craig was caught in the grip of a nightmare, re-living the day's events. Richard wondered if he should wake him up. Then he had another idea.

Cautiously he leaned forward and kissed Craig's cheek. When he was certain he hadn't woken him, Richard slowly kissed his way down his face, as softly as he could. From there he moved on to his neck. He could sense his friend relaxing beside him as he ran his lips over the skin under his jaw. Unable to resist any longer, Richard kissed his ear, tracing its outer edge with his tongue. He could hear Craig's breath quicken, though not from fear this time. With a slight smile on his lips, Richard sucked his ear lobe into his mouth, slowly licking the underside. Sensing that his lover was becoming more aroused by the minute Richard pulled away, gently scraping his teeth against the sensitive skin.

They were both breathing hard now and Richard was desperate to continue but stopped for fear of waking his friend. He looked at his lover's face; a small smile played on Craig's lips. Richard rolled on to his back, satisfied that he'd replaced the dream with a much more pleasant one. He just hoped he was in it.