Pairing: Charlie/Gabriel Ruiz
Disclaimer: not mine, I'm only taking them out for a spin just for fun. I promise to give them back in working order afterwards.
Warnings: spoilers for "Assassin", episode 2x05.
Author's Note: thank you to alinewrites who cheered me along and helped me make sure I wasn't writing chinese, lol. Thanks also to nessa_t—the most nit-picky beta I've ever had, and that's a compliment—and anatsuno for another helpful beta and making sure I had Charlie's voice ok.
Feebdack: oh yes, please! Any type, good or bad, short, constructive... Anything, really. :-D
There are a lot of variables in his and Don’s lives that Charlie chooses to ignore, whether consciously or not. He immerses himself in numbers, in theories and research, in multicolored chewing gums and his father’s cooking because it’s easier, safer and a lot less overwhelming than thinking about what Don’s job entails or what simply living could do to himself or their dad.
Not to mention of course that Don needs him, or so he thinks; needs him to solve those problems Charlie has always had the ability to solve much faster than Don’s team and the FBI’s computers put together. He’s consulted with the NSA, seen things his brother probably never even dreamed about, he can understand assassin speak better than any expert in that field… Yes, he’s familiar with the kind of job Don does, with the gruesome details and the violence lurking behind some of his prime numbers…
Only he’s clearly not.
Charlie’s job isn’t about running after the bad guys, but more about running after those elusive numbers that keep escaping most people. Charlie makes calculations, comes up with equations and probabilities, ways to help or hinder but maybe most likely ways to hide. Applied mathematics as his very own safe house, a safe house where even life can’t reach in and destroy what Charlie’s built out of common denominators and comparative thinking.
No matter what an equation stands for, numbers are not as deadly as the gun of the person Don’s after on any given day. Charlie realizes that—he remembers his own flirting with death, sniper bullet zipping by his ear and prompting Don’s frantic screaming, and later, more of Dad’s overbearing concern.
But Charlie tries, wraps himself tightly—tighter—in the routine of researching, consulting and teaching. Chalk and blackboard, and Don’s very safe surroundings within the FBI building, are as far as Charlie is willing to let his mind go. That is, until Larry points out that there’s the word “field” in “field research” and Charlie can’t crack this particular case without diving in, going forward and meeting Gabriel Ruiz himself. So he does, goes out and while still trying to hide himself behind probabilities, he can’t keep the human element at bay. When he looks into Gabriel’s eyes, he witnesses first hand exactly what his numbers can do to hope: they’re killing it behind Gabriel’s eyes.
Gabriel is no longer data, no longer a collection of variables for Charlie to work with; Gabriel is Don, or Dad, or even Charlie. Gabriel is Amita and Larry and he’s just as exposed—well, more exposed—to life and death than any of them.
When Charlie looks into Gabriel’s eyes he sees beyond the numbers, beyond the equations and the codes, and it hits him hard, how everything he’s been relying on to get him through everyday life isn’t real. He thinks about Amita, about every calculation he’s made to make sure their relationship would evolve past its student/teacher foundation, about the fact that despite every number pointing towards success, they’re still not together, not working through the kinks or even getting closer to what Don and Dad and Larry have been trying to convince him would be ideal for all of them.
When he goes to visit Gabriel Ruiz again after the case is closed, he doesn’t quite know what to expect. He doesn’t really understand either why he’s going, why he needs to meet up alone with someone who is essentially just a case subject, but for once he feels he has to do something that is a little out of character, out of range from his usual calculations. Gabriel himself doesn’t look surprised, welcomes him happily like he would an old friend and smiles, bright and worry-free; much in contrast to when Charlie first came to see him.
“I appreciate you coming to see me.”
“I wanted to see how you were doing.”
And that, Charlie realizes, is the simple truth. He wants to know how Gabriel is doing, wants to know what he’s got planned—whether his numbers and probabilities have changed Gabriel’s life, whether they’ve touched him and made things different. He’s a little—a lot—surprised when Gabriel reveals to him his plans for going back to Colombia, for following down his brother’s and his father’s tracks with a camera. That is not a logical step, not a choice Charlie can explain, not a future that he can deduct and quantify and yet, when he looks into Gabriel’s eyes for the second time in just a few days, what he sees there makes him realize it is just right.
“You know, I told your brother that Colombia was not my country anymore.”
“You did? What about now?”
“I was wrong, I think. Angry maybe? This… this changed everything. I realize I am Columbian. I was always Columbian just like my father and brother. I bet you think I’m crazy for going back, though, uh?”
Charlie smiles ruefully, a small admission that he did maybe think that at first. But not so much now, not when he thinks about his own choices, his brother and his father and the concert tickets he’s just given up in order to follow his dad to a family reunion he’d rather not set foot at. It’s not the same of course. Nonetheless, he thinks he gets it.
“I admit I thought you were being… irrational for whole of five seconds.”
“And you don’t think that now?”
“Well… your choice is not the logical choice if we look at what just happened and the fact that you’re more likely to be in danger while in Columbia than here, but…”
“You can’t base a life on numbers and logical choices, Dr. Eppes.”
There’s a twinkle in Gabriel’s eyes that Charlie didn’t see before and part of the weight he’s been feeling on his shoulders since he first came to this place only a couple of days ago is lifted, leaving him with more room to breathe, with a smile that comes more easily.
“I know, you’re right. I’m just… used to calculating my odds, I guess.”
They’re standing on Gabriel’s doorstep now, and Gabriel frowns, looks right at Charlie, catches his eye and keeps it.
“Not everything in life has to be logical or quantified.”
Tension sparks between them then—or maybe it was there from the start and Charlie was too obtuse to notice it—like the line separating the top and bottom figures of a fraction. Charlie hesitates, lets Gabriel move ahead, open the door to his place and step inside before turning around, poised and waiting, an invitation silent and clear. Multiply and equalize, Charlie thinks, move from the fraction to a sum and he steps forward, crosses the divide and drops down into an unexpected kiss that feels as natural as adding two and two. It’s clumsy but it’s certain, short but never-ending and when Charlie stumbles against Gabriel it only serves to bring his need into sharper relief.
Gabriel is kissing back without question, all inquisitive tongue and biting teeth, nibbling at Charlie’s mouth voraciously, turning Charlie on and on and on… Like dancing, Charlie thinks, which makes him think of Aunt Irene and he laughs, breathless and hot against Gabriel’s cheek. They’re turning and twisting, following a trajectory that sends them in anything but a straight line from the door to the couch, and Charlie’s busy tracing Gabriel’s cheekbone with his tongue, and it’s all feeling fast and inevitable and like falling… to the cushions below, the weight of Gabriel’s arms and limbs and desire pushing him inexorably forward.
There’s nothing soft or hesitant about this dance though; no slow music or cautious moves and Charlie pushes a hand under Gabriel’s T-shirt, right at the V of the collar, scratching his nails against the skin there and not even stopping when he hears the rip of fabric. He thinks briefly that he’s going about it the wrong way—the illogical way—that he should push his hands under the hem, even take Gabriel’s shirt off first and go about this in a practical way so he can get to the skin faster, can feel Gabriel’s hard dick directly on his own skin rather than through several layers of clothes. Yet he can’t do that. Or won’t. Doesn’t want to do what would be best, most efficient, just wants to grab and push and pull and thrust his hips harder against Gabriel’s thigh trapped between his own legs.
They fumble and roll, still kissing hard and relentless, grabbing at clothes, ripping more than Gabriel’s T-shirt but Charlie no longer cares, no longer thinks in terms of exact and precise and clean lines. They fall to the floor but don’t stop kissing and Gabriel’s teeth bite harder into Charlie’s mouth, drawing a little blood, a sting and a whimper. Clothes are still not off but they’re as much out of the way as they’re going to get for now, because Gabriel is pulling Charlie to lie on top of him and slithering a hand along Charlie’s back, nails like the worn-out tip of a pencil, drawing geometrical patterns down to Charlie’s ass.
Charlie whimpers and hitches his hips up higher, finds a better angle, a better way for his cock and Gabriel’s to fit together and they thrust up and down, easily finding a common rhythm to give them both the relieving friction they need. There’s no finesse to their mating, just harsh brutal coupling, need against need, tense muscles and hard dicks, lips mashing together and slipping in lust and saliva.
Gabriel’s hand dips lower, between Charlie’s buttocks and to the tight ring of muscle there. His fingers push against that opening while his other hand slips between them and manages to wrap around both of their erections, squeezing and jerking and Charlie tenses, cries out as one of Gabriel’s fingers breaches his asshole.
Charlie comes then, taken by surprise and blinded by pleasure, squeezing his eyes shut and his ass around Gabriel’s fingertip. He tenses and releases, shouts once before dropping forward, only dimly aware that he’s the only one who came and that Gabriel’s lips and teeth are marking a bruise on his neck. He’s too boneless to move, protest or ask for more though, lets Gabriel mark him, lets Gabriel push up against his hip urgently…
“Come on, Charlie, Come on…”
Gabriel sounds rough and desperate and Charlie squirms to the floor, lifts his ass up and waits. He’s got his eyes trained on the swirling patterns of the rug, lines and curves swimming and bleeding into each other and he traces a nail along one bright red curl until the slow thrust of Gabriel finally pushing in gets his nail off track, his mind offline again. There’s nothing but the feel of Gabriel’s hands tight around his hips, nothing but the feel of the rug leaving burns on his elbows and his knees while Gabriel fucks him relentlessly. Charlie’s breathing is harsh, in time with the rhythm of Gabriel’s movements, in synch with Gabriel’s warm puffs of air exhaled against Charlie’s nape, hot and moist, sticking like the mess on Charlie’s belly and the tips of Gabriel’s fingers marking Charlie further. He can feel his heart beating fast and furious in his chest, can feel it like an echo at the juncture of his neck and shoulder where Gabriel left a hickey and he finds himself counting mindlessly… one beat, two beats, three, four…
Gabriel’s orgasm shakes him forward, his arms giving out so that Charlie is the only one still holding them both. He drops his forehead to the rug, locks his elbows and waits for the aftershocks to die down and for Gabriel to stop trembling so hard against his back before he pushes up a bit—just enough to get Gabriel into motion again. There’s the sting of Gabriel’s dick sliding out of his ass and then he’s sprawled out face down once more, the colors and patterns of the rug too close now to be visible so he shuts his eyes. He reaches one hand blindly to the side and finds Gabriel’s shoulder, clings to it until Gabriel rolls over and comes to rest against his back, throwing an arm around him and pushing his face against his shoulder blade. They’re both on the verge of sleep but Charlie starts thinking again, about patterns and logic and Gabriel’s finger writing Braille on his skin. He thinks about straight lines and curves, about tangents and numbers and he smiles, laughs softly and whispers against the rough wool under his cheek.
“We’re just the sum of our parts…”