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"Romantic Shenanigans in the Fourth Floor Elevator"
Raj's eyebrows fapped wildly in the wind, and Howard couldn't believe his eyes. Raj continued to chew on his bottom lip, completely unaware of his disposition. As the man across from him continued to work to his paper, Howard couldn't help but stare. It was just another typical day at the Aperture Science laboratory, and although the stacks of reports continued to pile up on Howard's cluttered desk he couldn't help his gaze from zeroing in on a certain Indian man.
Raj was studiously scribbling away, nipping at his bottom lip every so often in concentration. Every time he did so, it sent a shiver up and down Howard's spine. The clock was ticking by excruciatingly slow, and Howard hadn't completed a single piece of work. Finally, 5:00 rolled around, signalling that it was time to go home. Howard cleared his throat as he sloppily stuffed his unfinished reports on molecular combustion away in his briefcase.
"Oh thank god," He snorted, stuffing his hands into his trouser pockets. "You need a ride home?" He asked haphazardly, glancing at Raj out of the corner of his eye.
"Yeah sure, thanks!" said Raj enthusiastically. "Do you mind if we take a quick detour on the way?" he asked as the two men filed out of the cramped office.
Howard stopped in the exit doorway and looped his thumb in his belt loop, pointedly looking at his best friend.
"Not if it's gonna be like last time, I don't want to make another impromptu trip to the emergency room again." Raj's faced rosied up - which was a great feat for a man of his particular complexion - remembering only too vividly the dark gas station, the smell of sweat and smoke and the group of burly bikers it came from.
"It'll only take a second," he said bringing his mind back to the present.
"Well c'mon already, let's go," Howard drawled, ushering Raj out of the cramped office with a wave of his arms.
"Alright, alright," Raj grumbled easily jabbing his finger into the down arrow for the elevator.
"You don't have to be so snippy." He pouted, his words seemingly rushed by his accent. Howard shrugged his shoulders pointedly, following Raj into the dingy elevator.
The rickety elevator doors opened with a ping, and Raj and Howard squeezed into the impossibly small space. Raj's pudgy finger punched the button for the first floor, the doors closing soon after. Once the last sliver of light from the hallway was gone, Howard realized just how close he was standing to his friend. His palms began to sweat as the elevator jolted into motion. The speed of the elevator multiplied by the velocity at which it shot into motion, squared with the close proximity of their bodies, equalled in a mess of tiny testosterone piled on top of an Indian.
Howard shuffled to the corner of the tiny box, attempting to distance himself from his best friend. The electricity he felt between them made the hair on his arms stand up. Howard, being a scientist, came to the conclusion that it must be the wiring in the elevator, though a small part of him doubted it. He breathed deeply and comforted himself in the fact that they would soon be out of the tiny lift. Just as this thought came into his mind, the elevator jerked suddenly, dropped a couple feet, and shuttered to a stop.
The sheer momentum of the elevator shaft sputtering to a halt sent Raj toppling towards Howard. The Indian caught himself just in the nick of time against Howard's chest.
"S-sorry!" Raj mumbled, tripping over his words. Howard shoved Raj gently away, embarrassed by how the mere proximity of his best friend was making him blush. Somewhere in the back of his mind he remembered all the instances where he and Raj were teased about being romantically involved and he cringed internally. He wasn't gay, and even if he was, which he wasn't, he would never fall for Raj.
"Holy shit, did the elevator just stall?" Howard groaned, pacing the small space in a panic.
Raj slumped against the elevator wall, gripping his left arm in pain. A deflated look came over his face, his big brown eyes beckoning Howard in.
"Oh God, I didn't push you that hard, now let's find a way outta here." It killed Howard to shovel his emotions deep within, to be honest he felt so bad for hurting his best friend but in no way was he gonna let it show.
"You know, you're a real jerk sometimes. No, most of the time," Raj sputtered out. "Or..." Raj stopped, noticing a sullen look had crept into Howard's eyes. He wasn't used to this, this build up of emotions - perhaps it was the stuffiness of the air in the elevator but something was definitely changing in Howard's demeanour, Raj could tell something was up.
Howard looked at his increasingly flustered friend. He couldn't help but smile a little. Raj was just so cute when he got frazzled.
"Just calm down, Raj. We're scientists, we can figure this out!" Howard said enthusiastically, attempting to lift Raj's spirits a bit. He could tell Raj was still slightly mad at him because his eyebrows were turned down in an adorable frown, but getting the hell out of the elevator was first priority.
Howard tried prying the doors open, which proved useless because of his 'tiny little man body' according to Raj. He searched the roof for a hatch that they could climb out of. They quickly discovered that the ceiling was hatch-less. There was no emergency call button like there normally was in elevators. Sighing with defeat, the two men slumped back against the thin walls.
Raj looked at Howard with enormous puppy dog eyes.
"No, no, no, no, no," Raj repeated under his breath, his tiny umber eyes welling up like little planets. "I-we can't be stuck in here!"
Howard blew a stream of annoyed breath out, crossing his arms across his scrawny chest in defiance. "Sorry to break it to you champ, but we have a date this Saturday night in the fourth floor elevator." Howard rubbed his face tiredly, sinking to a cross legged position on the dirty carpeted floor.
Raj pouted, his lower lip protruding as he whined, "There isn't even any cliché elevator music!"
The Indian man leaned up against the cool metal wall of the room, sliding his back down until he sat propped up in one corner. He eyed Howard curiously as he pulled his long legs up to his chest in a hug, "Are we going to die?"
"Don't be stupid Raj, we just have to kill time until Sheldon and Leonard realize we're missing."
"Oh right, okay," Raj mused nodding his head comically, "So what should we do?"
What should we do? - That phrase rang out in Howard's head as he thought of all the things he wanted to do. A graze upon the thigh, a tickle under the chin, a peck on those sweet lips. It took him a while to realize that those fantasies were not about Bernadette but rather Raj Koothrapali, Ph.D. Where was this coming from, why now and why Raj? If he was gonna be gay, and admittedly he had thought about it, he certainly wouldn't have pictured it being with his best friend. Harder his thoughts quickened; had I always felt this way? Does this mean our friendship is over? Is Raj secretly a woman? His brain tumbled with queries until a sharp pain clenched hold of his arm.
"Ooww," Howard wailed. Awkwardly pulled from the shambles of his mind to this hard, wooden box.
"I was calling you for like five minutes," Raj responded, "Leonard's on the phone."
Raj's hand was extended, prodding the cell phone in the Jews face, but Howard only stared into his chocolate eyes.
Raj snapped his fingers in front of Howard's face.
"Howard come on!" Raj yelled. "Don't you want to get outta here?"
Howard tore himself back to reality, blinking rapidly as his eyes emerged from Raj's delicious brown face. Raj frowned at his best friend as he punched the speakerphone button on the latest iPhone model.
"... and then he left his cereal in the bathroom. I tell you he's out of control." Leonard's odd sentence grounded Howard to the task at hand.
"Leonard, Leonard," he commanded trying to get his friends attention (who was still yammering on about the latest antics of Sheldon).
"What?" came the response from the receiver.
"Well don't panic, but..." Howard glanced up at Raj, his eyes weary. He continued, "Well, you know the elevator in the new Aperture Science building? It's kind of broken. And we're in it."
He waited for Leonard's usual pessimistic response but all that came was a laugh.
"Oh, yeah. I forgot to warn you guys. It does that every so often, ya just have to kind of wait it out I guess." A pause. "Was that it, because I really have to go check our wunderkind." And with that the phone went out.
"Seriously?" Howard shouted at the now silent phone.
Raj sighed and slumped back against the cold metal wall of the elevator. "Great," he said in a defeated voice, "Now what do you want to do?"
Howard looked up at Raj in disbelief. "That's it?" Howard said. "We're giving up?"
"I'm tired dude," Raj grumbled. "Let's just play a game or something." He closed his eyes and tilted his head back, exposing his Adam's apple.
Howard's gaze was drawn to the soft brown skin of Raj's neck. He was suddenly overcome with a burning need to mark that perfect skin. It was then that Howard came up with his best idea yet. He licked his lips nervously and uttered the words that would change his whole relationship with his best friend.
"Wanna play 'Are You Nervous'?"
Raj narrowed his cautious eyes, suspicion etching lines onto his otherwise smooth face,
"What, right now?" He exclaimed as if the suggestion itself was dirty.
Howard shrugged his shoulders inwardly, trying to downplay the mutiny of emotions that threatened to come bursting out of his seams. "Sure, I mean we're not going anywhere anytime soon."
"Yeah, I guess so."
The pair fell silent, exchanging awkward glances at each other in the small space of the elevator. Every time Howard managed to make eye contact with the bumbling Indian, Raj would always drop his gaze and fiddle with his thumbs in his lap. It made Howard angry for reasons he couldn't quite fathom, but either way he was determined to get the game rolling.
When Howard finally remembered how to speak his voice cracked slightly with anticipation, "You can go ahead and start."
Raj shook his head feverishly, raising his hands in his defence, "It was your idea!"
"Alright," Howard said reaching out an eager hand towards his best friend, his fingers trembling slightly as they came to rest against a bent knee. When Raj didn't flinch or stiffen under his touch, Howard knew things were bound to get more interesting in the fourth floor elevator.
Howard let his hands travel up Raj's thigh at a steady pace. As they passed half-way his hand began to shake uncontrollably. Both Raj and Howard stared at the Indian man's crotch area, awaiting the moment when either one would chicken out or the other would ultimately win the game.
But Howard's hand didn't make it that far. The trembling escalated to a point where he just couldn't move it any farther. Defeated, he pulled his hand away, but not before Raj extended his own hand. Grasping Howard's.
"Here, let me help you," Raj whispered.
Raj slowly dragged Howard's hand fractionally closer. Neither one dared to breathe as time seemed to slow down. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity to Howard, Raj released his hand and leaned back. Howard stared at where his hand was, not trusting himself to look up.
Raj, noticing the trance like state Howard was in, began to gently push his hips forward. His breath hitched as the pressure on his groin increased. In a moment of intense courage, the kind reserved for talking to beautiful women or playing paintball, Howard snaked his hands up to Raj's waistline and unbuckled his superhero belt. Well, Howard thought to himself. Here goes nothing.
Raj couldn't suppress the meep of surprise that escaped his parted lips at Howard's advances. Raj felt his cheeks flush and burn as he stammered, "What, here right now?"
Howard's hands were still busy shimmying Raj's pants down across his ankles before he realized Raj was speaking and faltered.
"Well yeah, I mean..." He trailed off embarrassed at the very thought of Raj, of all people, rejecting him. The tightness of his own pants at the moment didn't bring him any dignity either. "We don't have to, but our boners might make things a little awkward."
"No, no," Raj said quickly. "So I'm guessing it's your turn then..."
"My what?" Howard started but Raj answered his question instantly, gripping Howard's belt buckle. He struggled to unhinge it, his face contorting into a state of impatience.
The batman belt buckle flew off, hitting the fluorescent light bulb overhead. The two men were plunged into complete darkness for the briefest moment before the emergency lights kicked in.
"Who knew the shadiest elevator in the universe had emergency lights?" Howard murmured to himself.
The red emergency light glowed softly; illuminating the small space just enough so Raj and Howard could see each other. Raj had a mischievous grin on his face, the one Howard had seen him wear when he's about to pull a snaky move in Risk.
A chill went up Howard's spine despite the hot heat in the elevator. Suddenly, Raj pounced on Howard, slamming him into the cool metal doors. Howard's pants were off before he could blink.
It might have been the intimacy of being submerged in the dark so close to another human being, but something in Howard snapped. The emergency light casted vibrant red flickers of colour across Raj's smiling face, barely visible in the dim lighting. Whatever was holding the pair back before was broken with the overhead light above them.
Howard started forward, his hands desperately holding Raj's face against his own as their lips crashed together clumsily. Teeth clanged at the initial impact, but Howard was too preoccupied with the enticing, almost spicy taste Raj had to offer him to care.
"What are we doing?" Raj asked breathlessly, his dilated pupils flickering across his best friends face which hovered only inches away from his own. "Howard?"
"Shhh," Howard shot back, trailing his hands lazily down the stray hairs that curled around the nape of Raj's neck. He fought through his haze of lust and wracked his brain for a plausible answer to the infamous question.
"I don't know," He admitted honestly, his voice catching in his throat.
"Me neither," Raj whispered back, the half-assed answer seemingly enough for him. He leaned in forward his hands fumbling with the tangled tie left haphazardly on Howard's work shirt.
The knotted tie had tightened during their questionable romps around the elevator. Raj finally gave up and went down to spend the rest of the time on the finicky button of Howard's shirt. Howard's breath hitched as Raj breezed against the pale skin beneath his top, relieving his arms of the soft fabric. There Howard lay, his hairy legs open to encompass Raj's person, wearing just his superman briefs - which didn't leave much to be imagined - and the impossible tie. Raj's eyes swooped over the raw-boned body beneath him, each second adding a further depth to his breathing. His brown, stubby fingers reached down to the thin elastic holding the Cotton in place.
"Wait," Howard breathed.
But Raj paid no heed to his protest, and ripped them downwards. Howard's bony ass lifted, against his will, to aid the underwear away from his private area.
"Heh," Raj smirked, looking down at Howard's manhood. He placed a tentative finger atop the dark treasure trail, tracing a path downwards.
Howard shivered with delight as Raj's hand moved lower and lower.
"Are you nervous?" asked Raj, hand now resting directly on top of Howard's quivering member.
Howard, who was currently incapable of proper syntax, shook his head slightly. Raj closed his hand and began to slowly move it back and forth. Howard let out an approving moan and arched his back, his breath now coming out in short puffs. Raj, overcome with a wave of confidence, began to lower his head.
Howard's eyes snapped open as soon as he felt the warmth of Raj's mouth envelop his pulsing beef whistle. Raj looked up at him; mouth full, with enormous brown eyes. Howard couldn't help but think that it was a picture-perfect moment.
It should be awkward for two long time friends to give out free blow jobs in their dingy workplace elevator. But on the contrary, Howard couldn't have schemed a more perfect scenario if he had tried. Maybe this was what the duo wanted all along, maybe this was how things were meant to be, maybe Howard couldn't string a coherent thought regarding the matter as Raj was on his knees before him.
"Oh," Howard murmured, threading his fingers through Raj's thick dark locks absentmindedly. Howard lolled his head backward, ignoring the thud his skull made against the elevator wall. His breath quickened in broken gasps as Raj continued to impress him with his mouth, humming a tune in the back of his throat.
Howard was a goner; he wasn't sure how much longer he could hold out against Raj the almighty fellator.
Apparently not long. No soon had Raj started his decent into what he thought was quite a sticky situation, than he was jerked back to reality as a slimy substance attacked the back of his throat.
Raj slowly let his lips slide off Howard's cock, watching it flop back to between his legs. He still had Howard's cum in his mouth, and not knowing what to do with it he quickly willed himself to swallow it before Howard reappeared from his Bj-coma.
Bad idea. It stung all the way down, feeling as if his were taking the whole inner layer of his throat into the depths of his esophagus. He waited for the uncomfortable feeling to subside, Howard still not quite of this world. After a few seconds it was gone and he was left with a rather delightful aftertaste and an insatiable thirst for more. He brought his mind back to those three minutes where he was in control of the pleasure, the friendship and relished at a job well done.
"Uhhh," Howard groaned as he leaned his upper body towards Raj's contemplative face.
"That was...umm..." Howard couldn't even finish the sentence, he was smiling too much, "Your pretty good," He gleamed into his best friends eyes.
Raj grinned goofily. "Thanks!" He said enthusiastically, feeling quite proud of himself. Howard slumped against his best friend's hot, sweaty chest. Raj turned his head slightly and planted a small, affectionate kiss on Howard's forehead. Howard's eyes fluttered open with surprise, a small smile forming on his lips.
Raj was thoroughly enjoying this moment. With Howard flopped against his chest and the intense heat of the tiny elevator creating water droplets on the metal walls, Raj was in heaven. Slowly, he became aware of a dull throb coming from below. He realized he still had a boner! That would have to be taken care of, and quickly.
"Uhm..." Raj cleared his throat. Howard sat up a little and looked at Raj, who in turn looked down suggestively.
"Oh, ah - I'll take of that," Howard stuttered, his cheeks stinging with embarrassment from leaving his best friend in such an uncomfortable situation, he had left Raj literally hanging. "It's only fair, and what are friends for!" He rambled on, absentmindedly stalling for time.
Raj nodded eagerly his head resembling a bobble head with the vigorous gesture, "Yeah okay, if you insist." Raj shamelessly rolled his hips forward, indicating, with a lack of composure, that he very much wanted Howard to go to town with the little problem nestled in between his legs.
Just as Howard was reaching a trembling hand towards Raj's impending package, a shrill mechanical beeping arose around the two, filling the elevator with the pre-recorded, "Stay Calm, Emergency Personnel are on their way, I Repeat -"
Howard's eyes widened in surprise as a red overhead light suddenly illuminated the elevator bringing light back to the buttons and signs within the lift.
"The backup generator must be kicking in," Howard exclaimed jumping to his feet and stuffing himself back into his pants. All thoughts of jerking or sucking Raj off were seemingly thrown out the window with the newly operating elevator. "We're going to be rescued!"
"That's great and all," Raj said, clearly less excited by the prospect of being saved so soon, "But I still have a boner."
Howard ignored him and started banging his fists against the elevator door. (Raj had other ideas for that fist.)
"Help! We're in here!"
Raj slowly buckled up his belt. His face was practically on the floor from disappointment.
"Why the long face? We're getting out!" Howard refrained from beating the metal door and whipped around; sensing Raj's mood did not reflect his. He placed his hands on either side of Raj's forlorn face.
"Hey," Howard said softly trying to meet his eyes, but Raj was having none of it.
"Hey." He said more forcefully.
Raj's big eyes locked onto Howard's. "It's just that-"
"I know. But I'm not sure if-" Howard tried to explain.
"Not sure if what?" Raj broke away from Howard's grasp. "If you like me like that? You sure liked it when I was giving you one hell of a blowjob. You should have seen your face," his volume rose as he gained momentum.
"And now that it's my turn, what?" He flapped his arms in annoyance, "You know it's always like this with you. You just take whatever you want from me, but when I want something you're too busy or your mum wants you to help her out of the bath. You don't care about me. Not really, you just use me."
Howard just stood there staring at Raj. His Raj who never raised his voice, couldn't even talk to women let alone shout at this ungodly decibel with such vigour. But he was right. As Howard stared into Raj's inflamed eyes he realised that every word he said was true, he did take him for granted, he did lean on him to do all of the boring or tedious things in life, but whenever Raj had a problem Howard always managed to be busy. Wells of guilt opened inside of him, and flowed throughout his entire, albeit tiny, body. Howard clasped his hands together in front of him, wallowing in shame as Raj's harsh words lapped at him. He had to change things, make them right, and show Raj what exactly he meant to him.
"Stop." Howard whispered. His voice a mosquito against Raj's booming tongue.
"What?" Raj breathed, obviously tired from venting all of his feelings in such a small space.
"Just stop." Howard grabbed Raj's hands, intertwining fingers.
"You're right. You're right!" He grew more confident. "About me taking advantage of you, hanging you out to dry and stuff. But there's one thing you're wrong about: That I don't care. I do care." He took a deep breath, gathering all of his strength to say the next few sentences.
Howard couldn't look Raj in the eye, it was just too embarrassing.
"I have always cared. But -" he sighed. "Over the past few weeks that caring had kind of changed" He winced, waiting for Raj to spew some more venom on his person. But when no reply came he stared into his best friends eyes which were willing him to go on.
"They have changed, because I have developed these feelings. For you."
Raj just stared back in amazement at Howard's confession. "What kind of feelings?"
Howard took a deep breath, "I love you." Suddenly it all just poured out like word vomit.
"Not like friend love, but like Brokeback Mountain stuff. Except without the horses. And the women. I love you like two friends shouldn't. And I don't know how or why I'm feeling these things; all I know is that it scares me. And going back to what just happened between me and you - it's not that I don't want to reciprocate the youknow but that I don't know if I can. I mean I'd thought about you and me, me on top, you on top, all different ways but what just happened was so far past my expectations that -"
He looked down as his voice changed to a whisper. "- it caught me off guard and had me doubting my abilities."
Howard kept his eyes glued to his shoes as the elevator broke the silence as it began to rumble. It jerked down, then up, and finally down again as it resumed its decent to the ground floor. Howard backed up, reaching down to grab his jumper, stealing a glance at Raj as he straightened out.
Raj, who had remained silent throughout Howard's entire declaration, slid his body over to Howard's. He tugged at the Jew's waist pulling him closer, and planted a tender kiss on his best friend's love-struck lips.
As he pulled away, he whispered in Howard's ear "I love you too."
Normally when Raj did this it was because there was a girl in the room and he couldn't vocalize his thoughts but there was no girl, and Howard thought, there wouldn't be one for a very long time.
The two awkward lovers melted into each other in an embrace, as the elevator completed its decent. And as the doors opened, they did not break, even when five burly firefighters snickered at the sight. Nothing could tear them from such ecstasy.
Howard turned his head so that his lips just grazed Raj's earlobe. "Next time I'll be more prepared." he promised. Raj simply chuckled into Howard's neck, as he imagined what naughty things they might get up to that night.