Author's Beginning Note & Obligatory Beg For Reviews:

I have been wanting to write for this pairing for a long time. I think, oddly enough, they are my favorite one, even though they are very different people. If you squint though, they have similar qualities. Similar things in their background. And well, you can't deny that Barry talks about him all the time, in pretty much any episode Barry is in. Was there a reason for that? I don't know. But I sure like to think there was.

whether you love it or hate it, swing me a review. I worked hard on this, and I'm literally begging to know your thoughts on it. Thanks, loves. In advance.

Any flamers will be fed to the Houndooms. If you don't like slash / yaoi, well, I ain't holding you down and making you read this.

and now that I've said my peace, or alternatively, piece, on with the story!

x-x-x

Let The Right One In

It was a dark, cold morning. The sky was thick with heavy black clouds that threatened to cry down upon the stone streets of Veilstone. The weather was more than enough to keep people sheltered in their houses, but not everyone was hiding from the imminent down-pour. A young man sat alone at the corner on one empty street, his back pressed up against the cold stone wall of the old Team Galactic building. He knew that few people came around this area anymore - not that they had even when the building was in use - which is exactly why he was here. Knowing this, you'd understand that he was surprised when he heard footsteps echoing down the way just as the cold, drizzling rain began to fall. He had thought, and hoped that he would have his solitude that evening.

Another young man came into view, marching along as if he had not a care in the world, like a parade of fucking sunshine, Paul mused. This would have been bad for him anyway, but the identity of said character made things all the more worse. If he'd known someone so veritably irritating was let loose on the streets, he would have rather stayed inside under Reggie's brotherly, concerned watch. Because this guy was indeed the last guy on earth Paul wanted to see this afternoon.

This man was named Barry.

Paul instinctively stayed still against the wall, his gaze planted on his feet, knowing that he had a mediocre chance of not being recognized.

But mediocre was not guaranteed, and sure enough, luck had run away screaming from him this day.

"No way! I didn't actually think I'd find you!" the only other person on the street yelled gleefully. Paul felt a sinking weight upon his chest, and as if it'd help, he started repetitively chanting no-no-no in his mind, his hands clenching out of habit.

There was a blur of blond hair and long legs, and suddenly he found his personal space very much intruded upon. His assailant had both arms thrown around Paul, and at the same time seemed to be positively bouncing on his feet with the joy of success. It was made even more contemptible by the fact that Barry was some measure taller than he was. Paul didn't like to think of how red his face was at the moment. He wasn't blushing like a girl, mind you. He couldn't help getting red in the face when he was growing madder, and this man had provoked him with his unwanted, undesired hug. If he didn't let go, Paul had a mind to punch him in about three seconds.

He didn't get a chance though - regretfully. It would have served the punk right.

"Gosh, I forgot you aren't really the touchy feely sort!" Barry jumped back just in time to avoid a knuckle sandwich. "It won't happen again. Anyway, hi Paul!" He beamed.

Paul just glared back as his form of hello.

"Who are you again?" he snapped, not sure why he did that.

"Barry! Don't tell me you don't remember me! We battled in the Sinnoh League..." He waved his hands around wildly as if to showcase his look to jog Paul's memory. As he did, there was a loud ringing noise, and he stopped to turn on his Poketch, where it seemed someone was trying to call him. Turning away from Paul, he answered it. To Barry's chagrin, his big sister was the caller, and he had already told her - he did NOT need her advice!

"Not now, Diana!" he hissed, his mouth right against the Poketch screen to try and prevent being overheard. It would be too embarrassing if Paul heard all of this, since what Diana was trying to give Barry advice about did acutely feature Paul.

Meanwhile, the grump in question was watching this display with the most disdainful expression he could muster, which was incredibly disdainful.

"I'm fine. Yeah, I love you too, sis. No, I'm not!" was followed seconds later by, "Ack! How did I forget that!" It seemed that Barry's sister talked just as fast as he did - not so much a surprise. Must be a family trait. No doubt their parents were the same way, whoever they were.

And with that observation, Paul had officially lost interest, and felt he had no business left in this area of the city.

He took this as the gift of diversion it was, and promptly started walking up the street, headed home. His soujourn of solace was clearly not going to be allowed to continue, so it was better to go home and be with someone slightly less irritating - his brother. At least it would be dinner time soon, and then Reggie would leave him alone for the rest of the evening. He'd gotten through the worst part of the day already. Now he just had to ditch-

"Paul, wait up!"

He blinked his eyes shut once, and then again, resisting the urge to begin running. It didn't seem like he was going to shake his fan-boy anytime soon.

Barry was off the phone now. Great. Company.

The other young man managed to catch up to him in mere seconds thanks to his long stride, and when he did, he glanced at Paul, and then appraisingly up at the sky. The rainclouds there were as menacing as ever, and as if Barry had willed them to himself, they began to shower the city with thick droplets of rain. With his luck today, Paul thought, the river nearby was going to flood. He could feel unwanted raindrops stinging his nose, and Barry's eyes on him once again, and he felt as if he was missing something important. But, before he could give the subject undue consideration, his equally unwanted companion opened his mouth again.

"Let's get going before we're soaked! Come on Paul, can't you move a bit faster than zero? You're such a Slowpoke!"

And when he recovered from this statement - people knew better than to tease Paul normally - the boy in the green scarf was gaining on a full block ahead of him. Grimacing, he stopped messing around and followed after Barry. It was miserably cold outside now.

They walked the remaining seven blocks and ended up at the gate in front of Paul's house, whereupon Paul realized that he should be incredibly concerned that Barry knew where he lived. It was a very questionable thing. He turned to give said stalker a piece of his mind about it, and was faced with a grinning, slightly-manic Barry. Wondering what this expression foretold of his own fate, he glared back and dared the other man to say something first.

"Race to the front door?" Nothing more needed to be said about it.

Paul considered this. If he could beat him to it, he could easily go inside, slam the door in Barry's face, and lock it, thus being solved of the fanboy problem. At this notion, one corner of his lips turned up in the closest thing Paul had to a genuine smile.

"Fine."

He wasn't going to lose.

The two boys took off at the same time, Barry jolting ahead for several reasons. However, Paul really was not kidding when he said he wasn't going to lose. Elbowing the other man in the ribs and subsequently knocking him back a few pegs, he gained the advantage. Stumbling himself, Barry grabbed Paul by the wrist and brought him down with him into the mud. He knew in the back of his mind - though he clearly tried to ignore it - that Paul didn't want him here, and if he lost this last race, he would be spending another lonely night in Veilstone while the downtown sector flooded. He did not like the sound of that!

You see, Barry had been trying to track down Paul for the past two days, knowing that this was his hometown. Like many other things in his life, the search had been an impulse decision made on a day when he was feeling very lonely, and hurting for the sort of companionship he'd never had. Oh, he'd had friends before, but never best friends; he never seemed to have enough time to settle down and make lasting bonds. And he'd especially not had any feelings going deeper than friendship for any human being on this planet prior to... you guessed it - Paul.

There was just something about the guy that he was drawn to, even if he couldn't put his finger on exactly what! It didn't help that Paul was just so attractive. Yep, if he had ever had a crush, this would be it. And so, contrary to his nature, he was more than willing to take the time to get to know Paul, even if this would take months. If he couldn't be his boyfriend - Barry was more or less certain Paul wasn't that way - he wanted to be the best friend Paul ever or will ever have.

Subconsciously, he saw a little of himself in Paul, and figured that due to his personality, Paul probably didn't have any friends. Thus, this would be the perfect solution. Paul needed a friend, Barry wanted to be his friend, and everything would fall into place naturally.

That had been the plan, anyway. Instead he'd let himself get carried away on the high of actually spending time with Paul, and he'd made a vital error when he'd instigated the foot race. Getting locked out of Paul's house in the middle of a torrential downpour was not part of Barry's plan, and so he was going to fight hard to beat Paul to the front door. If he didn't, the plan would never even reach Phase Two!

With two such strong senses of determination opposing each other, there could be only one outcome.

"Dammit."

Paul found himself suddenly caked in mud and seething in silent rage. The nerve of that boy!

He lunged for him with unchecked fierceness, and there was much kicking and flailing in the grimy mud. Also more than a few swear words at loud volumes, which in a quiet neighborhood, was sure to attract some attention. All he knew was he had Barry in a choke hold one moment, and the next he was blasted with a jet of cold water that sent him flying a few feet away. He landed belly-up in the yard with a very sore neck and an even worse temper brewing.

Someone was going to pay for that.

"Are you all right?"

"Oh yeah, I'm good," he heard Barry say, and he closed his eyes for a moment to keep from losing his sanity. It was annoying to have his fight broken up at all, let alone his brother taking his enemy's side and blasting him with the Water Gun that should have been aimed for the stupid head full of blond hair and hyperactivity that was Barry.

"I'm sorry about my little brother. He isn't a very good host, but we'll work on that. Bibarel, return!"

More plaisant words, and his brother hadn't even asked how he was. The average person might have supposed that this just went to show that Reggie knew how tough he was; that a little scuffle wouldn't damage him, but Paul, being a pessimist, cared to interpret differently. Barry had dragged him into this mess, and he was the one getting all the sympathy. It was completely unfair. And since when did he have to be a good host to anyone? That was new news to him!

Seeing as how no one would help him nor would he let them if by some miracle they had tried, Paul made himself stand up, and while in the process of picking himself up, he spotted the other two. Barry was up again, just as dirty looking as himself after a long mud-bath, and was trying to push some of the excess mud off of his clothes with his hands. Nearby was Reggie, in his usual good mood, though he shot quite a stern look Paul's way when he saw his little brother eyeing them. The look said all he was probably thinking. It's all your fault, Paul. I'm so disappointed in you, Paul. Typical thoughts like that.

"Paul, why didn't you just invite your friend in? It would have been polite, given the weather being what it is today."

And for a moment Paul thought to explain that Barry was not his friend, but kept silent. It wasn't as if that answer would do him much good anyway.

"What's your name? I'm Reggie, Paul's brother." He held out a hand to Barry, who shook it with an sycophantic (in Paul's opinion) smile on his face. As if he'd won this round, or something.

"The name is Barry."

"It's so nice to have a visitor. Please, come inside. I'm sure you're wanting to get cleaned up now. You can use my shower."

"Gee, thanks!"

"Don't mention it. And after that, you can have dinner with us. Probably stay the night too," Reggie added on as he eyed the rainstorm in progress. "It's going to flood without a doubt, so it'll be hard getting out of the city tonight, so we'd love it if you stayed here so that we knew you were okay."

This had snowballed way out of hand.

"What you mean is you'd love it if he stayed." Paul was already tired of being spoken for, and he had just about snapped. Did Reggie really want to torture him with this boy's presence for a full night in their house? It was just as easy to let him go to a hotel or something. They didn't need to play host to anyone, and especially not someone like Barry. Had he been in charge, the arrangements would have been settled quite differently, and had he been in charge, life would have been much less headache-inducing. Unfortunately, he wasn't born first, and so he had little say in the matter. What he could do, however, is voice his honest, un-sugarcoated opinion, whether the rest wanted to hear it or not.

And with that said, he headed inside on his own to get cleaned up before dinner. It was going to be such a long night.

Barry had mentally winced at the attack on him just seconds ago, but he was determined not to let this get him down! He was going to change Paul's attitude about him, and that was going to be accomplished tonight!

"Sorry about that."

"Oh no, you don't have to apologize. I don't mind. I know that's how Paul is." Barry waved off the issue. He was already over it, and his mind was working already on how he could press ahead. He headed for the house, figuring that putting one foot in front of the other was a good way to start. Off to the side, Reggie was finding himself pleasantly surprised. Call him a crazy wishful thinker, but he thought that this boy might actually have a chance at charming his wayward younger brother.

And though he'd never express it aloud, Reggie was on his side.


After a relaxing shower, and a delicious dinner, he was in good spirits once more. Nothing Paul could say to him was going to get under his skin, he vowed. If anything, you could say he had a winning attitude going into this.

But one could only stay positive for so long. Paul certainly made it obvious how he felt, and as positive as he wanted to be, it hurt.

They were both in his bedroom. Instead of being a cause for joy, the situation made Barry awkward.

He couldn't sit on the bed because that's where Paul was, and he already knew the guy wasn't going to share that space, and that if he tried to, he'd make Paul dislike him even more than he probably did already. So, he was stuck royally. He just about gave up and was going to settle for gazing out the window and watching the storm progress when blessed inspiration took hold in him.

Turning back around, he spoke up.

"Do you really think the river's going to flood tonight?"

Small talk was probably lame and not in the least dashing, but strangers did it all the time. There was no way even Paul could take offense at something as everyday as small talk. About the weather, no less, and that was assuredly the safest of all small talk topics.

"It usually does any other time, so... yes." He didn't even set down the book he was engrossed in to answer, turning a new page mid-sentence. But at least he had him engaged, Barry told himself. There is hope.

"I've never seen a flood before. We never had them in Twinleaf Town. No river there."

"You don't say." Paul didn't even miss a beat with the sarcasm.

"My dad was in one though, at the Battle Tower. I mean, he was fine, because obviously he was the top of the tower, and the Frontier in general is up high, but the town where the ships come in; that was flooded. He said it was scary, but also kind of fascinating. Nature's really powerful."

He wouldn't lie. Finding out who Barry's dad was intrigued him. He wasn't about to be all friendly with him because of it though. Barry wasn't his dad, so the connection didn't matter enough for him to feign interest in the rest of what Barry was talking about.

"You can go stare at the river right now if you're that fascinated."

"Would you come with me?"

"Why would I go with you?"

"Yeah, I guess not." Barry knew in his gut that it had been a stupid question, but he couldn't stop himself from blurting it out anyway. This really was turning out to be a sucky conversation on the whole. Paul hadn't even pressed him for more information about his dad, which was what most people did when they found out. And yet, that was maybe the only good thing about this conversation. Paul didn't care about his dad more than he cared about Barry, which as the latter amounted to nothing, should have been an easy leap to make.

Come to think of it, his dad was probably why he'd never had real friends. They had just used him to get close to his famous dad. The truth hurts. And, to top it all off, he'd officially lost any sort of confidence he'd had in his plan in one fell swoop. Maybe it was time to part while he still had most of his dignity in tact.

About the same time, Paul finished reading his book. He set it aside and then, after glancing at the clock, decided that maybe it was just late enough to go to sleep early.

He heard the other boy heave a great sigh, and then plop down on the bed next to him. Glancing to the left, he was just in time to see Barry fold his hands on his lap in a defeated sort of way, and then meet his gaze. It was the kind of pose Paul associated with when someone had something important to say to you. All he could do is sit there in numbness, waiting to hear whatever that was. Was he going to try and tell him off for his rudeness? That would be typical. He expected that. He could continue being cavalier about that.

"I think I should leave," Barry announced, all sincere and downcast sounding. His eyes were another story as he spoke. They dared Paul to stop him, as if to say, could you even have the balls to do it? They were challenging him while his words spun a different line on things. Paul wondered which he should believe, or if he should even say anything to change his mind.

"You don't want me here. And I guess I just don't care to be in a place where I'm not wanted. So I'll go."

It was madness; he literally couldn't pull his attention off of the other boy's face right now. But why? He was staring at it like a fool, trying to ferret out the information that would determine his next move. It compared to a battle in that way, and it was obvious to anyone that Paul hated to lose when he knew that he could win. It seemed liked Barry was showing restraint; holding something back that he either didn't know how to phrase, or simply didn't want to say. So he did have some maturity buried within him, after all.

For some reason Paul was then taken back to a very long time ago, long before today. Even before he'd ever met this guy, or became a trainer. He was young to the point where these memories were misshapen; parts and important points were missing, and it seemed like a whole other world. Only the most random moments seemed to be the ones that stood the test of time. But he guessed that this time, the recollection had its place and its purpose.

He remembered coming home after school and knowing he was in trouble. For what, he didn't know, but he knew he wasn't affected. He remembered that it was a stormy day like this; it must have been winter because it was dark outside so early in the afternoon.

Reggie was supposed to be watching him while their parents went to a conference with Paul's teacher. Any normal teenager would have complained and thrown a tantrum over being stuck with their little sibling when they had so many better things to do, but one of Reggie's things was that he had never been much of a whiner. He went with the flow of life, and Paul supposed—though he liked to pretend he didn't know—that Reggie did love him, and that's why he never minded watching him. Never harangued anyone about how he had to raise Paul after the acci…

His stomach suddenly felt like it might drop out from under him at any moment. No, it hadn't been that day, had it? He suddenly couldn't remember. No. Don't let it be.

He remembered Reggie pacing around the living room while he played video games by himself. Apparently the conference wasn't supposed to have taken this long. Paul hadn't been sure at the time; he was too young to know those sorts of things. The only clue he had was when Reggie turned off the game and told him to go put his coat on, they were going outside, and he'd be cold without it. The next thing he knew they were walking towards the school. It was about a mile away, and this had been the first year their parents had let Paul walk there and back with the other neighborhood kids; Reggie's school was farther away, and he was old enough to drive.

So they went, Paul walking slower because he felt like it, and anxiety had driven Reggie to walk so fast that if he was honest, he couldn't have kept up if he had wanted to.

They were approaching the final stretch when Reggie turned a block, and there was no more walking then. Something should have warned them. Weren't ambulances supposed to have sirens that blared? There were only many people, many flashing lights, and very little hope. The school was in sight; this was the final crosswalk before reaching the campus. The responders were gathered on the other side of the road around a dark-colored sedan with their cameras and radios. Paul remembered how Reggie's voice went all stern when he ordered him to stay on their side of the road, to not follow him.

Paul crossed the road seconds later. Reggie shouldn't be the only one who gets to know what's going on. Who died and made him the boss of everything?

In no time flat, Paul would rue the fact that he'd ever said that. It hit too close to home after he understood why Reggie had been so worried and why he should have stayed on their side of the road. But for right then he crossed the road, and, unnoticed by the adults, slipped into the fray of the crime scene, where he saw entirely too much. Their faces were indistinguishable, but he recalled that she'd worn a flowered dress that day, and well, Dad always wore the same jacket whenever he went somewhere with Mom, whether it was a date or a trip to the supermarket.

It didn't seem to end, even though he was standing there… maybe under a minute. It didn't matter how long, because he saw everything. The next moment, he was being plucked away from the sight by his brother, who in that time of desperation, had only been trying to shelter him from the worst of it. He realized that now. The hands on the shoulder that turned him the other direction, they were filled with good intent, but they were too late. And they still turned him around anyway, knowing that they were too late.

The other hand was placed under his chin so that he was forced to look his sibling in the eye, to prove that he was listening. If he had been a more sensitive child, he probably would have bawled at being treated like he was about to get put in time-out. But not even when he was little had he ever been that type of person.

"You can't always go around and do whatever you want, Paul!" Reggie had finally screamed, with no trace of patience in his voice. It was brutal honesty, it wasn't sugar-coated, and the younger version of himself had recoiled violently at such words.

"You just can't! You got that?"

He remembered running home in the rain and locking his brother out of the house. Reggie slept on the porch without noticeable complaint, but halfway through the night Paul had woken up and unlocked the front door. He'd had a bad dream about what he'd seen that night, and he had run to his big brother to try and seek comfort. Something in him though, just couldn't do it, and after unlocking the door, he'd turned tail and gone back to his room. No restful slumber followed, and in the morning, it was the first day of a life that had forever changed.

That is exactly what he remembered.

"You can't always do what you want."

He would always disobey this statement later on, whether it was a random impulse, or if he disagreed with his brother (which was nearly all the time), and so he did things his way. But what he remembered most strongly out of all of this was that in his heart, he knew Reggie was right. He just couldn't admit it to anyone else, and he felt it was too late to change his relationship with others now. The best he could do is try to change it with this one person, and if he failed, well, then it was most likely he'd never try it again.

"You'd be stupid if you went outside right now. People are going to be driving like children in this weather, and with your luck, you'll pick the wrong street and get swept away in the flood when the river crests." He didn't mean for it to sound so scathing, but he was unaccustomed to this sort of discourse. It was honestly the best he could do up on short notice.

Barry's ears perked up at that. And oh, did he wonder.

There was just one last thing he needed to add to drive his point home; make Barry stay. Unfortunately, it was the hardest of the bunch to say. He opted to say it before he could talk himself out of it, albeit quietly.

"I wouldn't want you to drown."

There. Now it was out there in the light of… not day, but that was just mental stalling. He allowed himself to relax. He had done all anyone could have asked of him. Certainly more than anyone expected of him.

He hadn't looked at the other man while he said it. Honestly, he didn't even know what possessed him to give Barry any reassurance. They weren't friends. They weren't anything at all. More than strangers since they had known each other for some time, but what else? He didn't have any friends, nobody wanted to be his, and he didn't need friends. He had decided that a long time ago. He didn't even really care that much, but...

Farther down the bed, Barry was grappling with whether or not he should do something. His heart was soaring after this comment - which was about as near to a compliment as he suspected Paul ever got - and he felt utterly relieved. Maybe he wasn't as stupid as some would call him for getting attached to Paul. Maybe there was a little hope after all. He'd like to believe that. Hell, he'd like to believe had a chance, and well, things were currently at their most optimistic. When it came down to it, he couldn't stop himself from wanting to do something with that kind of opening. So he did.

Wetting his lips slightly, he moved in close, and with only a split-second of hesitation, he pressed his mouth against Paul's, shutting his eyes tight. He remained entirely still, not wanting to scare his crush any more than he guessed he already was. Barry was almost certain Paul had never kissed anyone before, let alone another guy. This was either going to go good, or very, very bad. He was hoping for the former, because it felt so awesome to be doing something he had dreamed about for a long time. His imagination had been decent, but there is nothing like the real thing.

His heart sunk a little when he felt no response after a few seconds. But darn it all, he was determined! Pulling away, he gave no time for recovery, and kissed Paul again, a little more forcefully than the first time, his mouth crashing onto his with the hunger that only an unrequited lover could supply. It felt like at any time his heart could break into a million pieces. The slightest rejection; it would send him reeling, but at the very least, he had this last moment of unadulterated bliss. With the theme in mind, Barry hopped up from where he had been sitting, and straddled Paul's lap. Paul must have still been in shock because so far, Barry hadn't been pushed onto the floor in a heap.

He was succeeding… for now. The littlest hope came into existence with the fact. Could it be that maybe, just maybe, Paul liked what he was doing? Oh Arceus! Even the supposal of such emotions was turning him into a puddle of mush!

Barry nibbled lightly on his bottom lip, hoping to coax him into this. At the same time he pushed his hips against Paul's, figuring a little extra sensation really couldn't hurt at this point. He himself was already getting worked up, and he knew that if he had the opportunity, it wouldn't be long before Paul was feeling just as good as him. That was the plan, and after all, he wanted him to want to do this sort of thing more often. If he didn't like it, then there would be no next time.

Paul… did not know how to handle this. He had never been good with affection, and now this had been - literally - sprung on him. You couldn't blame him for having a delayed reaction to it all. But where his mind was lagging behind, his body most definitely did not! It was enjoying this a little too much for Paul's comfort.

And apparently something in this confusion had been a go-ahead signal, because the next second he found himself pushed back on his own bed in a very compromising position, and after that point, he kind of lost track of the reasons why he shouldn't be letting Barry do this to him. Somewhere between him wrapping his arms around the other and Barry managing to get his tongue someplace interesting, he just let go.

And if you think Barry had missed that change of heart, think again.

Failing at keeping the smile off his face, he sat up for a moment, and pulled his tee-shirt up and over his head, tossing it to the floor somewhere. Blushing at the eyes now fixed on his naked torso, he laid back down and stole his love's lips for another kiss. The giveaway smile only grew larger when slightly trembling hands made their way down his sides, feeling the warmth of his skin. He moaned slightly against Paul's lips, hoping that would encourage him. He certainly wouldn't object if said hands moved just a few inches downward.

Where they were sitting, ahem, laying, was pretty sweet already, but he wanted to make this even better.

He made eye contact with Paul, who was watching him with so many questions in his eyes, and then gingerly pushed side the waistband of his jeans and slid his hand down the front. He almost died and went to heaven when his hand closed around his partner's erection. Pumping his hand experimentally, he was assured that things were going completely his way from here on. And yet, because he knew Paul's persona so well, it was only half-surprising when his hand was removed and he was pushed off his lap and made to roll away from him on the bed. Barry laughed breathily and exclaimed, "Well that was exciting!"

And then a second later, "Are you sure you don't want me to finish?"

Paul was staring determinedly at the ceiling with the funniest expression on his face, and a little red tint to his cheeks. He was clearly fighting some sort of inner battle on the matter, and his libido was putting up a good stand. Barry, not even knowing that he was taking that side, didn't help matters when he slithered just a inch or two up the mattress, and whispered into his ear, "You know, I'll do anything you want me to. Just tell me what it is you want, and it's yours. Anything," he intoned, drawing out the word in his most suggestive voice. Paul mused bleakly that despite the fact he would never admit to such a thing, not even under threat of an imminent, violent death, Barry had a talent for being pretty damn sexy when he tried to be.

"Oh, come on! I am practically half naked and you can't say anything, Paul? Sheesh!"

Did he mention Barry also had a special talent for talking very loudly at some of the most inconvenient times just because he also happened to get impatient quite rapidly? Yeah, that would probably explain why two nanoseconds later, he had tackled Barry with a hand placed firmly over his mouth. Had he not been so turned on at that minute, he would have resorted to usual methods and just punched him in the face. That would have dealt with the problem. He thought.

"Will you be quiet?" he spoke for the first time during this little romp, sounding out each word individually in a tone of voice that was obviously restrained, both in volume and in feeling. He was trying to be nice, but nice was not a mantle that sat especially well on or with Paul. He had zero practice at it, but he especially did not want to deal with the catastrophe that would be getting walked in on by Reggie, who would be delirious with glee at the situation. Paul would never hear the end of it, not even when he went back on the road again. Every time he tried to make a transfer or other business transactions, he would get an earful of gushing and questions about his boyfriend. Arceus, even that word sounded dark to him in a way.

"If you wanted to be on top, you should have just said so, geez!" Barry had somehow wiggled out of the vice grip on his mouth, but seemed perfectly content to be laying underneath him. He winked at Paul, who was not really in the mood for such foolishness by this point, and subsequently had nothing to say when he was absolved by, "But there's no fine. I liked it, so I'll let it slide this time, just for you, Paul."

As if he would have paid him anyway. That would have felt suspiciously like prostitution, and that was a road no one in their right mind should want to travel down. But wait, what did he mean he liked it? What did he expect him to do right now? The answer came to him, unbidden, but he chose to ignore it, not wanting to give it much thought. Whatever ended up happening, it was not going to be premeditated. He wasn't out to fuck him, he really wasn't, because if he was, then that said something about his romantic preferences that unnerved Paul to consider, particularly when he was laying on top of another guy who was as fully aroused as himself. Yeah, it was wholly better not to give it any consideration.

Barry, forever a total minx, knew that he was going to have to push Paul a little bit if he wanted more from him. So being his speedy self, there was no time for small talk before he stole another kiss, simultaneously threading his arms around Paul's middle, effectively keeping the man just where he wanted him. And where the man in question was beginning to understand he liked being.

"Now," he broke their contact, "Don't freak out on me, but um, maybe take off your clothes and lay down? On your back? I promise this will be good."

Paul's expression practically screamed "Hell no" so he repeated himself slowly and calmly. "You'll like it. Trust me. I'm honestly not going to do anything if you end up not liking it."

It took that extra coaxing, but the guy actually did what he'd asked, even if he was muttering "But I don't trust you" while he did it. Barry was pleasantly surprised. The position wasn't the easiest to work with, but he wanted Paul to be comfortable. Well, as comfortable as Paul could be with something like this. He suspected that he was already testing waters that were well beyond Paul's usual comfort zone. The motives as to why Paul would let him, he'd have fun figuring out later. He needed to concentrate.

He pressed his lips there tentatively. Even though they'd gotten this far, he wasn't sure that Paul would want to keep going, and so this was his way of letting him have an out if he wanted one. While he waited a moment, he took one last look at Paul's body, committing the image to memory. His stomach was doing flips right now, and he couldn't have been more turned on if he wanted to be. In hindsight, he felt a little silly for feeling this way, but he supposed that's just how it was when you really liked someone. And that was definitely the case here.

"Is this… okay?" he asked finally, his voice barely more than a whisper. He glanced at Paul, who seemed a bit dazed for a moment before giving him one stiff nod.

The first time he went down on him, and it was fully obvious what was going on, Paul relaxed. He hadn't known what to expect, really, but well, this was interesting.

Ignoring all the little voices that tried to unnerve him in his mind, he got settled. He wet his lips a bit, and bobbed his head, going off of pure instinct. He sucked gently as he pulled up, and he was rewarded with a rather satisfying groan as he did so.

To his surprise, fingers tangled themselves in his hair, and tugged hard at the roots. He found himself moaning around Paul's cock and he pushed down again, trying to deep-throat it all. It was becoming hard to ignore the throbbing of his own lower body, but he couldn't deny he was enjoying this, too. He found himself desiring more of the rough treatment. It stung, but only a little. The pleasure he felt much keener than any pain. The risk was worth the reward.

This wasn't about him though. It was about Paul.

He ran his tongue against the underside of Paul's member experimentally, just to see what would happen. To his delight he heard a loud exhale of breath that had clearly been held back on, and he just knew that Paul was doing his best to be quiet. But darn it all, he didn't want him to be quiet. Barry wanted to know exactly how he was making Paul feel. He didn't care if the whole world heard.

Call him selfish, but at this point he really didn't care. He knew what he wanted and he knew exactly how he was going to try and get it. He slid Paul's dick farther in his mouth and sucked none too gently while he established a rhythm, up and down. He imagined out of pure frivolousness what it would feel like if their situations were reversed right about now. It would never happen, but the mental picture of Paul getting him off was as inspiring as as anything he knew to keep going.

The fingers in his hair were gripping particularly hard now, and in tempo with Paul's cock hitting the back of his throat, they pulled. And whenever they pulled or tugged, Barry mentally froze. He was on the brink as it was, but if this got even a little bit better, he was likely to cum without even touching himself. In all, he had to do this more often. Two was clearly better than one.

And then, he heard it. It was simply wonderful. An unbridled sound that was every bit as loud as he'd hoped for, a "Ngh!" that was of no recognizable language. A sound that let him knew that he was doing this right. Oh Arceus, he could not like Paul any more than he did right now unless they slept together, and since that wasn't likely to happen, he would take this. He would take it, fix it in his memory, and undoubtedly, re-imagine it later when he was horny and by himself. To be blunt, it was the sexiest thing he'd ever heard, and he could get off to that.

He could feel hips trying to push upwards, trying to thrust inside of his warm, wet mouth, and he couldn't have that. Using his hands, he kept both legs pinned exactly where he wanted them and re-doubled his efforts. It couldn't be long now, and he would see it through to the end on his own terms, thank you very much.

It pleased him to no end to hear the sounds Paul was making, and to know that he was the cause for that. It was all the encouragement he would ever require!

Hollowing his cheeks, he went down on him again slowly, finally managing to fit the entire length inside his mouth. Having achieved that goal, he pulled up again, gliding his slick tongue against Paul's cock as he went. He felt it pulse slightly, and, mentally prepared, he swallowed as soon as he felt the first jet of cum. Later he would muse that it didn't taste all that much, but at the time it was like the sweetest thing because while he was tasting it, Paul's amplified groans rang in his ears, and his own lower body ached wantonly with need.

Swirling his tongue around the head, he cleaned off whatever he hadn't got on the first try, and was left smiling with the pure awesome of the situation. Never in his wildest dreams did he think he'd ever get to pleasure the only person he'd ever crushed on, not while that person was such a grump on any normal day!

But right now, what he seriously needed was to get off himself.

He flopped back onto the bed, eyes skyward, and one hand curled around his own erection. He doubted this would take very long, so he rushed things a little with jerking motions that were not particularly graceful. He closed his eyes and replayed the last few minutes in his mind. Just how Paul's face had been before they had begun consumed his attention. Or at least, it would have sufficed had he not jolted right out of his dreamland when he felt a warm, rough hand close around his. The two moved together for the briefest of seconds before he risked taking his out of the equation for the sake of proving himself right. Delightfully, he was not wrong, and soon it was Paul's hand working him up into a frenzy as he approached climax.

He wasn't even sure it was healthy for someone to be enjoying themselves this much. But if that was true, he could hardly care, because this was a dream to him, and he couldn't have imagined it better than it was happening right now. In his previous fantasies - and yes, there had been many - if he'd even had any success at all, the scene had played out with him pleasing Paul; there had been no paying back for his favors. This change in the order of things caused him to go completely slack, his body flat against the bed in exultation. Time slipped through his mental grasp like grains of sand and he forgot where he was for a moment, forgot even the storm brewing outside. Rain was pounding harshly against the roof, but he would have had to train his ears to find the sound, so distracted was he.

Just to be touched anywhere, to feel the warmth of another body near his own was pure pleasure. But to be handled so intimately by someone you loved, respected, and yearned for… why, there were no words! It was the best experience he could have crafted in his mind, and no matter what occurred afterwards, he would remember it poignantly.

It was true that he had been the instigator, but now he found himself the blushing participant as he struggled with the desire to watch what Paul was doing to him and the urge to close his eyes and just take it; he was so overwhelmed that he couldn't almost bear to look at how things had turned out. His confidence had been replaced with an odd mixture of modesty and nerves. His brain reminded him again and again that it is one thing to explore your body by yourself, and quite another to do it with someone else involved in the fray. The truth was, he hadn't said it, but this level of intimacy wasn't something he'd experienced with another person. He wondered if that would have made any difference; it wasn't like there had been an opportune moment to tell Paul that, so could he really catch any blame for not fessing up?

There was no time for thinking it through. He was on the brink as it was, and as if Paul had somehow known what Barry liked, his motions had changed. Now the strokes came fast and rough, and Barry found himself suddenly a lot more vocal than he had been in the beginning. Moans ranging from incomprehensible grunts to ones sounding suspiciously like his partner's name were the music of choice, and the pace was allegro. His body was warm all over, and that was a sure sign that it was almost… over.

It seemed to hit him all at once. One second he was there, and the next, he was gone. His mind drawing blanks, seeing stars, the whole nine yards, but oh hell did he like the going! His entire self felt at peace with the world, and maybe he was romanticizing a bit, but this was totally…for lack of a better word, awesome!

He took a short breather to gather his sentiments, and then plunged right in.

"Thanks," he murmured quietly, marginally sad for the knowledge that he could never express all he truly meant by that. He knew it was a grand gesture on Paul's part, but there were no words that could match up to that. He could try repetition.

"Thanks, I wasn't expecting all that, you didn't have to..."

"Stop."

It was all he had to say, really. Barry understood him perfectly. If he hadn't wanted to do it, he wouldn't have. No one could ever truly make Paul do anything he was set against. Which, if Barry really got down to interpreting, boded favorably for him. There had to be some small part of Paul that had wanted to be close to him, even if that tiny part was deeply buried under all of Paul's usual bullshit. Damn, well, he'd take whatever he could get.

They cleaned up a little, Paul being beyond paranoid about his brother wandering in here sometime during the night or even next morning and seeing the evidence of what had been going on. Luckily, he didn't have much time to let that worry stew, because as soon as every thing was ship-shape, he was ambushed by Barry, who murmured a brief something about a goodnight kiss before stealing one for himself.

He already had designs on a "good-morning" kiss - and maybe more - in that think-tank of his, too.

And with each boy on his designated side of the bed, they fell asleep, happily exhausted with this evening's activities.

Barry supposed that cuddling was just something they'd have to work up to. Ah, well, Rome wasn't built in a day. He could afford to have a little patience.

End.