serene_quill: (Default_Gen)
[personal profile] serene_quill
Title: Dead Bodies Are Never Part of the Plan
Author: [ profile] serene_quill
Pairing: Esposito/Ryan, the usual hints of Castle/Beckett
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: ~10K
Disclaimer: Don’t own them!
Warnings: AU, slash, Spoilers for Season 2/set somewhere in “Season 3” time but no spoilers for current eps
Summary: prompt, from [ profile] castlekink: What if Ryan used to work undercover trying to expose a drug ring? Oh, the possibilities... It could come up in a current case. Or perhaps an AU where Esposito first meets Ryan while undercover. Expanded from my original short ficlet, found here.

Dead bodies he recognized were never part of the plan.

Detective Kevin Ryan knelt next to the familiar woman, sighing as he recognized the pale skin and long blonde hair. “That’s Kayla Petrova,” he said, shaking his head. “Cop with vice,” he added, seeing Beckett and Castle both wince, knowing this is going to get messy.

Esposito, though, drew up short, catching the significance and neatly adding up the pieces. “Shit, she was under during the case where you and I met, the one you ran with occasionally as part of your cover.”

“That’s her,” Ryan confirmed, barely stopping himself from reaching out to touch the body. “She brought down a major ring of human trafficking from countries that used to be part of the USSR,” he explained for Castle and Beckett’s sake. “Prostitutes mostly, some workers too though, being funneled through a strip club where the dancers did some side work. Her clients were all cops or undercover, like me. She was undercover for almost two years. And I thought I had it rough.”

“You were undercover?” Castle latched on to that detail, naturally, Ryan thought, though he sounded almost impressed.

“Yeah, bro was under for almost ten months,” Esposito put in, and Ryan definitely caught an undertone of bragging then. “Was so good he fooled me, I hauled his ass in for questioning and everything.”

“Why do I not know this story?” Castle demanded as he followed them up the alley. “Come on, Ryan, spill.”


Dead bodies he recognized were never part of the plan.

Officer Kevin Ryan crouched down next to the body, doing a quick analysis, two bullet holes, one to the head, one to the heart. 38 caliber, he guessed, quick and professional, which told him nothing about which one of Franklin Tempest’s enforcers had done the deed. It was both a boon and a disaster. The corpse, Louie Jamison, had been part of Tempest’s inner circle. He’d been in Kevin’s way, preventing him from gaining access to the circle because Kevin was working as his right hand, but also had given him access to quite a lot of information narcotics needed to pull down the entire drug ring.

He zipped his ragged jacket a little tighter and stood, heading up the alley. He’d have to play this carefully, he thought to himself, already plotting out his next four moves. He needed to call his handler, warn her he’d be off grid for a few days while he secured the position. Also make sure his alibi was tight, he realized, so he decided to swing around to a Ukrainian flop house, make sure Kayla, a long undercover vice detective who was looking to bring down a ring of human traffickers, had the evening free.

Kayla had been a blessing, their undercover social circles overlapping. Kevin O’Malley, his undercover ID, had become her best “client” and helped him maintain certain appearances that had endeared him to Louie. It also had helped keep Kayla and him both sane, having a few hours a week where they got to be themselves.

Early the next morning, he found himself at Tempest’s office cum loft apartment, flashing his trademark troublemaking grin at the big man guarding the door. “Hey, I got Jamison’s money, payment for the week, and all the numbers,” he groused to the guy. “Ain’t my problem Louie probably got himself left cuffed to a bed by one of his birds ‘cuz he forgot to take cash with him.”

“Let the kid in, Sean,” Tempest called from his desk, looking amused. “What’s this about Jamison?”

“Fucker didn’t show this morning, and I ain’t got time to hunt down which one of his tricks he stiffed or bail him out if he went on one of his benders,” Kevin replied cockily, sliding the metal case across the desk to Tempest. “I just wanna be sure the books are square so I can get back to work, ya know?”

“I get you, kid,” the older man replied, grinning as he carefully checked the cash and books inside. “You the one handling all the money and papers for Louie now?”

“Yeah, he brought me in about six months ago,” Kevin sniffled slightly, thumbing his nose a little twitchily. “Was just pushing before that, but I got a thing for numbers, and an eye for business. Used to keep books for my uncle before the feds took his pub, scum sucking bastards.”

“Yeah, he said you were good,” Tempest agreed, finishing his checks of the cash. “And he was right, had no problems from his area for going on… let’s see, six months now, I’d say.”

One of the men in the shadows, an uptown kingpin under Tempest named Liam chuckled at that. “Sounds like Louie should be watchin’ his back,” he said in a heavy Irish brogue. “What’s your name, lad?”

“Kevin O’Malley,” he answered, and the man nodded at him, flashing a grin.

“If you ain’t running Louie’s turf in a month, I’ll be damned surprised,” he joked, making Tempest laugh. Kevin let the joke roll over his head, as he wasn’t supposed to know that Louie was dead. “And if’n you’re not, come see me. I’ll give you more of a challenge worthy of a smart Irish lad.”

Kevin left the loft feeling like the situation couldn’t have gone better if he’d scripted it himself. He was definitely poised for the promotion he needed and the chips were falling just right so that he might just be looking at taking down the whole organization. Ten long months, all about to pay off.

His puffed up confidence lasted only until he turned the corner, a big bruiser stepping in his way and flashing a badge. “I was having such a nice day,” he complained, checking out the guy. Good looks were ruined by the no nonsense glare, add in a bit of a military ramrod posture, and the suit… detective, Kevin decided. Homicide, he guessed.


“Whoa,” Castle said, grinning as he scribbled notes from where he was installed in the backseat of Esposito and Ryan’s unmarked car, giving Beckett a break from his presence that had made her grin like a mad woman. “You really thought Ryan had killed the guy?”

“Hey, you’re looking at him now,” Esposito remarked, shrugging. “All handsome and dolled up. Back then, bro was strung out looking, best guess put his age at 20 at most, and he had a bad ass street rep that said he’d easily have put a bullet in the guy’s brain if it meant he’d get to take over Louie’s turf. So of course I start by questioning him.”

They pulled into the station garage, Esposito leading the way into the elevator while Castle finished the last of his notes. “I don’t get it,” Castle put in, using the interruption for clarity. “Once you started sniffing around Ryan as a suspect, wouldn’t his handler tell you to back off, let you know who he was?”

“Hell no,” Ryan objected, shaking his head. “That’d be more suspicious, and as far as my handler, a Miss Diane Lim was concerned, my cover was four billion times more important than the damage I’d do to his pride.”

“Damage to who… to Esposito’s pride?” Castle asked, lighting up. “You mean he didn’t catch on?”

“Keep up, bro,” Esposito put in, rolling his eyes. “Kev made it his mission to make sure I didn’t catch on.”

They stepped off the elevator, and Castle was forced to a stop when both Ryan and Esposito came to an abrupt stop in front of him. “Speak of the devil,” Ryan murmured, as a pretty Asian woman standing next to their desks talking with Captain Montgomery turned, smiling as she spotted them.

“Oh, now that’s a devil I wouldn’t mind knowing,” Castle observed, straightening his lapels as they joined her.

“Hey, Di,” Ryan greeted her with a warm hug. “You remember my partner, Esposito?”

“Who could forget you, Detective,” she greeted him wryly, shaking his hand. “And this must be the infamous Richard Castle. We’ve been hearing stories down in Narco about his tag-along antics.”

“Nice to meet you,” Castle replied, offering her his hand.

“Is this about Kayla Petrova?” Ryan asked as he sat at his desk, and Lim nodded.

“Her, and Anthony Demarco. He was killed a week ago in his home in Syracuse, in what looks like a professional hit. Same MO as the prelims from Officer Petrova’s murder.”

“You’re thinking someone leaked the names of the department’s old undercover ops,” Esposito filled in quickly, sitting up straight, looking over at his partner.

“Short list, just one guy left on it,” Montgomery put in, a worried frown marring his expression.

“I’m hoping you can help us fill in some blanks, Kevin,” Lim explained. “You gotten any threats?”

“No, but…” he hesitated, but then admitted, “I’ve barely been home the past couple of days. Waiting for my now ex-girlfriend to finish getting her stuff out.”

“Dude, you and Jenny?” Esposito asked, tilting his head curiously. “Why didn’t you say something?”

“It’s not a big deal,” Ryan answered, shrugging.

“Well, it means I can’t ask you to stay with her for a few days,” Lim interrupted, dark eyes flashing. “And I’d be more comfortable if you were staying somewhere other than the address listed in your file. Whoever leaked the undercover op list has to have leaked a lot of personal data on our cops for them to have tracked down Demarco.”

“He can stay with me,” Esposito answered automatically, shaking his head. “You’re there often enough as is, and your only other option is staying with Castle or one of your sisters.” Esposito’s eyes widened, exaggerating his horror at that idea.

Ryan’s older sister Karen and her lover, Patti, had adopted a six year old boy who was square in the middle of an ‘I hate you all’ phase, and his two year old sister, equally terrible in her own toddler terror. His baby sister, Stacey, had recently given birth to identical, noisy, screaming, twin baby girls. “You’re a lifesaver, man,” Ryan said, with equally exaggerated relief. “I could not take a night with my nieces right now. I’m just hoping they’ll get cuter and quieter.”

“Not a chance, they just turn into teenagers,” Castle reminded him, a shudder going through him as he remembered whatever trouble Alexis had recently created for him, Ryan guessed.

“And I’ll get a uniform on your building,” Montgomery told Esposito, who nodded.

“Yeah, just warn them not to accept brownies from the girl in 4B. Girl means well, but some people should not cook,” he told the Captain, and Ryan shuddered.

“Like eating chalk, then you’re sick for a week,” he confirmed, and Montgomery smiled as he walked away.

“You sticking around, help us solve this?” Ryan asked Lim, but she shook her head.

“Don’t really need me, this is still homicide not narcotics or undercover business,” she reminded him. “I’m revisiting all the files. Any name that pops in common on any two of your cases, I’ll have up to Beckett as soon as I spot it.”

“I’d imagine it’ll be a longer list for Kayla and I,” Ryan mused, looking to the murder board where a picture of Kayla in her dress blues was posted. “Our ops had similar social circles. But Demarco was after both of us, embedded with an Italian mob family for a year. Any chance they were just cleaning up their mess?”

“That’s what Syracuse PD was originally thinking, but it doesn’t look that way anymore,” Lim replied grimly. “Kayla wasn’t connected to Demarco in any way we can see.”

“She was still under when Demarco went in, wasn’t she?” Esposito asked, thumbing through a file on the desk. “Any chance he ran with her for a bit the way Ryan did, took her in as arm candy once or twice?”

“It’s always possible, though I don’t remember seeing anything in the files,” Lim replied, looking thoughtful. “Let me check with both their handlers, see if anything pops for them. Maybe they kept it unofficial for some reason.”

She strode away, and Castle turned with childlike glee to Ryan and Esposito. “Italian mobsters, Irish drug runners, and Ukrainian prostitutes? This is awesome!”

“Yeah, as long as Ryan doesn’t take one between the eyes,” Esposito reminded the writer, scowling slightly as he tapped Castle hard on the forehead.

“Nah, he’s got you watching out for him,” Castle dismissed it easily. “So what happened with Esposito and the whole questioning you about the murder thing?”


“How can I help you, Officer?” Kevin asked insolently, flashing a grin.

“Detective Esposito,” the man corrected him, and Kevin bit back a grin, already figuring out how to play the guy. “I have some questions for you, Mr. O’Malley.”

“Oh, I might have an answer or two for you, Officer,” Kevin replied, surprised when his flip response didn’t provoke quite the frustration level response he’d predicted. “You want ‘em now?”

“You know a man named Louis Jamison?” he asked, and Kevin nodded.

“Sure, I know Louie. He get in another bar fight? Cuz I ain’t bailing his ass out again,” Kevin replied.

“Your friend was found shot last night,” Esposito told him, and Kevin stopped, forcing himself to look shocked.

“Shot? Shit, really? He dead?”

“You telling me you just came from Tempest’s loft and no one told you that your boss is dead?” Esposito pressed, and Kevin went for blank.

“Who? I just dropped by to see a friend on 12th, Pierce Connors,” Kevin lied easily, knowing exactly what any runner from Tempest’s group in this position was supposed to say.

“Just for laughs, where were you last night?” Esposito asked, and Kevin shrugged.

“In bed,” he answered, flippant again. Esposito just raised an eyebrow, waiting expectantly. “Picked up some company on my way there, around 10. You want her number, or is your ‘just for laughs’ not up to checking alibis just yet, Detective?”

Esposito stared at him for a long moment, then pulled a card from his wallet. “Look, you hear anything, decide you wanna help your friend get some justice, give me a call.”

“Yeah, sure,” Kevin replied, a little rattled as he shoved the card into his jeans. The detective seemed to have a little insight past his carefully projected exterior to make that overture, he guessed, turning up an alley, making a note to ask his handler to check out Javier Esposito when he checked in a few days later.


The phone ringing interrupted Ryan’s narrative, which was being watched with wonder and frantic scribbling from Castle, and a surprisingly engrossed and amused looking Esposito. “Lanie, she’s got something for us,” Ryan told his partner, who matched his pace easily, leaving Castle to collect Beckett from her desk and join them.

“What’s with your interest?” Ryan asked as they stepped into the elevator. “You were there.”

“Different hearing you tell it,” Esposito replied with a shrug. “I like seeing it all from your perspective, reminds me you’re tougher than you look, Honeymilk.”

“Hey, low blow,” Ryan objected, aiming a light punch at his partner’s arm and getting himself locked into a tight headlock, hair ruffled for his trouble. The elevator dinged open as he was still squirming to get free, Lanie raising an eyebrow at their rough housing.

“If you boys are done,” she said archly, leaving them to clear their throats and straighten their shirts as they followed her meekly.

“Two shots, 38 caliber, etched with something I thought you should see,” she told Kevin, handing him the evidence bag. On the base of the bullets was a familiar design, a four leaf clover, heart-shaped leaves locked around a crude letter R.

“That’s the mark Bryan Kelly’s assassin used to etch on his bullets,” Ryan remarked, shaking his head. “Tommy Riordan. Bastard’s been dead for going on three years now.”

“Yeah, I’m pretty damn sure of that,” Esposito confirmed grimly. The door to the morgue opened to admit Castle and Beckett, and Ryan handed the bullets over to Beckett wordlessly.

“That’s Tommy Riordan’s mark, isn’t it?” she asked, frowning.

“You sure he’s dead?” Lanie asked Esposito, who rolled his eyes.

“Positive,” he agreed grimly.

Ryan nodded, his voice quiet. “He was there when I put a bullet in Riordan’s head.”


“This sucks,” Ryan groaned, collapsing on Esposito’s couch later that afternoon. “Kicked off our own case by a ghost.”

“Hey, you’re kicked off,” Esposito corrected him. “My ass is on the line for making sure that ghost doesn’t put a bullet or two in you.”

“Sort of backwards from three years ago, huh?” Ryan groaned as Esposito sat on top of his legs, not bothering to try and move his partner to get some room. “Jerk,” Ryan complained halfheartedly, tugging his legs free and then letting them fall in Esposito’s lap.

“So…” This had Ryan cracking open a wary eye at Esposito. “You and Jenny.”

“Told you, no big deal,” Ryan said gruffly. “Just one of those things. She hated being worried all the time, couldn’t hack dating a cop. I’m sure you called it weeks ago, huh?”

“Maybe, but wasn’t my business,” Esposito replied, voice almost a little too indifferent. Ryan smiled.

“It’s just killing you that you can’t say I told you so, isn’t it?” Ryan guessed, laughing a little.

“Whose lame ass idea was it to make a three day rule against saying I told you so’s?” Esposito demanded, hands suddenly landing on Ryan’s shins, a pleasant warmth seeping through his jeans to his skin.

“Yours, after the thing with that lawyer you dated,” Ryan reminded him. “You date really boring men, Javi.”

“You date really weird women, Kev,” Esposito returned easily. “So how long till Castle shows up to demand we tell him more story?”

Ryan glanced at his watch. “Another twenty minutes, tops.”

“Madden?” Esposito offered, and Ryan shook his head.

“Mind if we just… I need a bit of quiet, get my head on straight again,” he admitted, and the hands on his shin tightened a little, before Esposito shifted, sliding out from under Ryan’s legs and standing.

Ryan opened his eyes to look up, surprised to find Esposito shifting down to his end of the couch, pushing his shoulder gently so he sat up enough to allow his partner to sit behind him. Esposito slowly began kneading his fingers along tense muscles in Ryan’s shoulders, making Ryan fight a groan. “Sorry about Kayla,” Esposito offered quietly, working his fingers up Ryan’s neck.

“Thanks,” Ryan managed to say, then his words dissolved into a groan as Esposito hit a tough knot, nimble fingers working it loose easily. “God, remind me to send your sister wine and chocolate for teaching you how to do that,” he mused aloud, the sound of Esposito’s chuckle rolling through him and leaving a little trail of lust in its wake.

“You do that again and she won’t believe me when I say there’s nothing going on between us,” Esposito warned him, and Ryan lolled his head back to rest against his friend’s shoulder.

“That’s okay,” his voice sounded husky to his own ears, and he pressed his lips gently to the nearest bit of Esposito he could reach, the pulse point just below his ear, making the other man shiver.

“Rebound rule,” Esposito managed to gasp, pulling away from the touch.

“Dumb rule,” Ryan replied, suddenly feeling grumpy. “Don’t know why I made it up. By the time either of us has been single for a month, the other one is dating someone else.”

“True,” Esposito agreed, pulling away again when Ryan tried to repeat the action. “There’s also the mortal peril rule.”

“Hey, I was glad you weren’t shot, and you should just be glad I waited till we got back to your apartment to try to jump you,” Ryan objected.

“You were dating Jenny at the time,” Esposito reminded him, and Ryan shrugged, settling back in.

“So, you’re going to make me wait a month?” Ryan asked, hating the disappointment in his voice, even though it made Esposito wrap his arms around him.

“How ‘bout a new rule?” he suggested.

“I’m listening,” Ryan conceded.

“Slow down, not stop,” Esposito told him. “A proper date before a kiss, five proper dates before sex, whatever kids do nowadays.”

“You been with many people who waited that long?” Ryan asked skeptically and felt Esposito shake his head.

“Haven’t been with anyone I wanted to get it right with either though.”

Anything further he might have said was cut off by demanding buzzing through the intercom to the beat of what Ryan thought he recognized as “Eye of the Tiger”, fitting for Castle. “Fine, you’re on,” he agreed, sitting up fully so Esposito could buzz Castle in.

“It won’t be so bad,” Esposito smirked at his partner, and a sound like a large herd of cows tromping on hard wood echoed in the hallway outside. Esposito opened the door, lifting an eyebrow. “Could you make any more noise?”

“Surprisingly, yes, much more,” Castle replied, flouncing down on the recliner across from Ryan. “You cannot just leave me hanging that way during a good story!”

“Kind of a nice turn about, don’t you think?” Ryan asked his partner, who shared his grin.

“Come on!” Castle whined, and for a moment, Ryan was reminded of his six year old nephew.

“All right,” he gave in.


He wasn’t surprised that a few hours after Tempest officially had him installed in Louie’s position, a squad car pulled up alongside him on the street and Detective Esposito stepped out. He offered up a big grin, mentally cursing that he hadn’t had time to call his handler since their last encounter. “You just live to ruin my good moods, Detective,” he greeted the man, wondering if it was time to take a new tactic with the man.

“Want to ask you some questions down at the station,” Esposito replied, and Kevin offered up his wrists dramatically.

“Okay, take me away, Officer,” Kevin replied cheerfully. “You wanna cuff me? ‘Cuz I might be up for that.”

That got an actual quirk of a grin, so Kevin marked flirting off his list of ways to ruffle the detective, a little sad given that the other man was nice to look at and he would have enjoyed playing that game. It usually worked with the military types, but it seemed Esposito wasn’t among the usual caliber of ex-military cops. Hit ‘em hard and low then, he decided, once Esposito got back in the car.


“You are way cooler than I give you credit for,” Castle mock-whispered to Esposito, interrupting Ryan’s story. “I totally would have bet on the flirting cracking you.”

Ryan and Esposito exchanged a baffled look. “Okay,” Esposito said slowly, dragging the word out a little. “Why?”

“You’re all macho and military, don’t ask, don’t tell, right?” Castle looked from Esposito to Ryan, who was poorly hiding a smile. “What am I missing?”

“Think I should tell him?” Esposito asked Ryan, a smirk turning up the corners of his lips.

“Tell me!” Castle insisted, so Ryan decided to make a show of thinking it over.

“Your call, bro,” Ryan said at last, when Castle looked like he was about to burst.

“Castle, dude, I’m gay,” Esposito told him, shaking his head slightly.

To his credit, Castle absorbed it well. “Well, that explains why you were totally surprised that I gave Ochoa a wife in the book.”

“I thought you’d figured it out a while ago, bro,” Esposito admitted. “I’m not out at work or anything, but you’re pretty good at reading people, so I just assumed. Hell, I didn’t even think twice about it till Ryan told me you had me married in your book.”

“Yeah,” Castle appeared to ponder the whole matter for a moment, then nodded. “Sorry ‘bout that,” he decided finally, shrugging it off.

“It’s cool,” Esposito replied, equally blasé about shrugging it off.

“So, if the flirting didn’t work, how’d you get to him?”Castle’s focus shifted back lightning fast, and for a moment, Ryan had a brief moment of pity for the various nannies Castle must have gone through because of his own weird form of ADD.


“Did you see the Red Sox kick Yankee ass last night?” Kevin asked enthusiastically. “Man, that was an awesome game.” Yup, he grinned, seeing Esposito grip the wheel a little tighter. Never failed to piss off New Yorkers, himself excluded. He continued to rattle off stats and less than complimentary observations about the Yankees as they drove, wondering if maybe it was a good thing he was in the backseat and out of reach.

He was being lead by a uniform officer to an interrogation room when he overheard Esposito mumble to a pretty brunette woman, “Punk would not shut up about the Red Sox the whole ride over.”

“Aww, Esposito, you want me to take first crack at him, before he insults your precious team anymore?” she teased him, and Kevin had to hide a grin. He liked the woman automatically.

He grimaced when he caught his reflection in the mirror in the interrogation room, raking a hand through his grimy, too long hair, reminding himself that in just a week or two, he’d have enough dirt that Narco could finally pull him out. If he didn’t get held up too long on the murder rap, he mused, knowing that could scare Tempest off fast.

To his surprise, both the female detective and Esposito entered the room. “Detective Kate Beckett,” she introduced herself, and Kevin wiped his hand on his jeans before offering it to her. She looked at it with a bit of disdainful amusement, but ignored it as she sat at the table. “I hear you’re a Red Sox fan,” she remarked idly, and Kevin pegged her as ‘good cop’ quickly.

“Yeah, your boy Esposito here seems to be pretty solidly stuck in Yankee territory, but how ‘bout you, Detective?” he asked, and she grinned.

“Oh, you know us girls, I pick based on the prettier uniforms,” she replied, and Kevin forced a grin. She was good, he mused.

“A Red Sox fan then,” he quipped. “How can I help you, Detective?”

“Where were you three nights ago, around 11pm?”

“This about Louie?” Kevin asked, tilting his head. “I already told your partner, I was with a girl. Kayla. One of the Ukrainian girls, you can usually find her at a flop off 19th.”

“Interesting, because we’ve got your prints on the case Mr. Jamison was carrying,” Esposito broke in, and Kevin shrugged.

“Probably because I worked with the guy,” Kevin replied easily. “I’ve handled his briefcase dozens of times.”

“Pretty convenient, given that word on the street has it that you’re no longer playing second fiddle to Jamison. Stepped up into the big man’s shoes.” Esposito continued, turning his glare up.

“And if you had proof of that, I wouldn’t be sitting here, free to walk out at any time,” Kevin replied, leaning back in his chair and lacing his fingers behind his head. It couldn’t hurt him to point them in the right direction though. “You’re rattling the tree, but nothing’s falling out. Hypothetically, let’s say I may have heard it was a pro hit. So all the alibis in the world don’t do shit for me. But here’s the thing. Rumor has it whoever stepped into Louie’s shoes would be inheriting a mess from some bad dealings he had with Bryan Kelly, if you catch me. Hypothetically, and all.”

“You’re saying,” Beckett grimaced slightly as she played along, “hypothetically
of course, that we should be looking at Kelly? Why should we believe you?”

“If, hypothetically,” Kevin was enjoying the way saying hypothetically was making Esposito roll his eyes. “I was the one who had inherited Louie’s business, and hypothetically inherited the mess with Kelly, maybe I’d want someone breathing down his neck, give me time to get my feet under me solid.”

“You’re a real piece of work, you know that?” Esposito grumbled, making a note.

“Aww, I think you’re pretty cute for a Yankees fan too, Detective,” Kevin replied, falling back on flirting, which definitely made Beckett smirk. “You ever wanna catch a game, you seem pretty good at finding me. I pitch,” he added with a wink.

“Okay, thanks, Mr. O’Malley,” Beckett put in quickly, coughing down a laugh, seeing Esposito fold his arms menacingly. “We’ll be checking on your alibi and information. Don’t leave town, we may want to speak to you again.”

“I’ll look forward to that,” he quipped in Esposito’s direction, rising and heading out. He made it out to the street, deciding he needed to find a quiet place to make a call on his second burn phone and get his handler to make sure the investigation got held up a little if it swung back around to him. He was too close for this to get sour.


“Love it, love it, love it,” Castle muttered, scribbling notes like mad. Ryan left him to it for a moment, looking over to see Esposito lounging on the couch, half smiling at the memory.

“You really did look bad back then,” Esposito admitted, catching Ryan’s gaze. “Not just the hair and bad clothes. Took you months to get the weight and muscle back on so you didn’t look like a teenager in a grown-up’s uniform.”

“You know, looking back at it, I dunno how I managed it,” Ryan told him, shrugging. “I don’t think I’d be able to do it now.”

“You were younger and stupider,” Esposito replied with a grin. “Only way anyone gets talked into undercover shit like that.”

“So this Bryan Kelly you told them about, he’s the one whose assassin had the fancy clover bullets?” Castle clarified.

“Yeah, that’s him,” Ryan agreed. “He’s been in jail, for going on two years now, along with most of his family.”

“What about Riordan’s family?” Esposito asked, sitting forward, suddenly focused.

“He had a kid sister, she’d be in her early 20’s now, I think,” Ryan answered slowly. “You thinking the apple doesn’t fall too far from the family tree?”

“I’ll call it in to Beckett,” Esposito pulled his phone out, walking into the kitchen as he dialed.

Castle, meanwhile, turned his attention back onto Ryan. “So, what happened when you got back to the big bossman? Was he worried about you chatting with the cops?”

“Just wait for Javi to get back in here,” Ryan said, and Castle tilted his head slightly, his eyes narrowing.

“You two do flirt quite a bit,” Castle observed suddenly, and Ryan felt his face heat up, giving away Castle’s unasked for answer. “Why the hell haven’t you made a move?”

“We have rules,” Ryan started, and Castle snorted.

“What, you’re actually listening to the whole precinct fraternization code?” Castle asked incredulously.

“No, our rules,” Ryan replied. “Rebound rule, dire peril rule, bad significant other rule, three day window on I told you so’s rule…”

“Just a bit of advice,” Castle broke in, shaking his head. “The best plays often involve tossing the rule book out the window.”

“Okay, Beckett’s going to look into Tamara Riordan,” Esposito told then, drawing up short when he realized the other two had stopped talking when he walked in. “Do I want to know?”

“Probably not,” Ryan admitted.


“Heard the cops hauled you in, O’Malley,” Tempest puffed cigarette smoke, almost to a comic effect as he spoke.

“They’re running in circles,” Kevin replied, sounding bored. “Minute I told them I had an alibi, they start sniffing around Travers. Then it’s Kelly. Then I got bored.”

Tempest chuckled, amused. “Heard you walked out mid-questioning.”

“Like I said, they got nothing. Wasn’t worth hanging around for once I was sure of it,” Kevin explained, and Tempest nodded.

“You got a good head on your shoulders,” Tempest praised him. “It’s why I want you with Travers tomorrow night.”

Kevin listened carefully, all the while doing a happy dance on the inside. He had everything he needed to feed his handler, and the ring was going to come crashing down. Best of all, he had Tempest outlining the whole thing.

“One more thing,” Tempest said, as he stood to go. “Make sure you got a solid for tonight. That cop, Esposito, is getting too close to Kelly. Kelly ain’t got your head for throwing him off, made too many slips. I got a guy taking care of it, but I don’t want it coming back on our new wunderkind.”

“Got it,” Kevin replied, brain scrambling for a way to cover his bases.


“He sent the assassin after a cop?” Castle had pretty much abandoned the concept of note taking now, completely engrossed. “Things had to be falling apart pretty bad.”

“Yeah, what I didn’t know is that Kelly had been slowly taking over more and more of the business, and if Esposito had taken him out, Kelly could have brought the whole thing crashing down with him. Tempest was trying to avoid exactly what I was already doing,” Ryan explained.

“And Kelly screwed up royally when I’d questioned him,” Esposito put in, shrugging. “Kev comes in and I’m half ready to believe up is down, but this guy can’t decently alibi himself? Should have known you were a cop.”

“Yeah, I know I always think the scumbags we haul into interrogation might be cops,” Ryan shot back, rolling his eyes. “Give it up, Javi, you played it by the book.”

“So, Tempest, assassin, hanging out on the edge of the cliff here!”


“Lim, you gotta do something,” Kevin hissed.

“Look, how do you suggest I tip off the guy without dropping your investigation?” she hissed back through the phone. “Tempest will know it was you if we send people to arrest the guy or put someone on Esposito. Then the whole operation is a wash, no drop tomorrow, no drug ring on a platter.”

“What if the guy Tempest sends screws up?” Kevin suggested. “Gets himself shot, maybe. Didn’t realize the partner was coming over for dinner. Whatever it takes, Lim. I’ll go back the guy up myself.”

“You’re gonna risk this going south,” she warned him, but he knew she was going to back his play.

“Look, Esposito’s sharp, and Tempest is an idiot to send one guy,” Kevin retorted. “As long as you make sure it gets out the right way, no one will look too hard, not till it’s too late.”

“All right,” she said finally. “You wanna run it this way, we will. Tail the guy, and I’m not joking, Kevin. You get a shot on this guy, you shoot to kill. You be ready for fast extraction if it goes wrong, you hear me? It’s great you want this guy warned, but if you’re not reading it like you think, you’ll be dead instead.”

“Careful, you’re sounding concerned,” Kevin chuckled, hanging up and tucking the burn phone back into the fake panel in his kitchen. He sighed heavily, waiting for his pounding heart to settle again.


Esposito’s phone rang, and he stood, shooting Castle an apologetic look as he left the room. Castle suddenly remembered he was supposed to be taking notes and began scribbling madly, so Ryan stood, stretching, deciding to find some beers for himself and Castle. He ducked into the kitchen, taking two bottles from the fridge, the open door to the hall and open bedroom door beyond allowing Esposito’s half of the conversation to drift to his ears.

“You able to confirm her location?”

“What about her apartment? Got it.”

“Uh huh. He’s ensconced here, taking notes like crazy. Kid in a candy store.”

“Can you fax me a picture? So I know who to look for.”

“I’ll keep them safe, Kate, I promise.”

Ryan stepped away, sighing as he intercepted the fax and stared at the image of a young woman, dark red hair pulled into a ponytail, pale features screwed up into a scowl above a blue uniform. He double checked the name, but knew already what he’d find.

“Hey, bro, you eavesdropping?” Esposito asked, stepping back into the kitchen.

“Beer for Castle and I,” he replied absently. “So, she’s looking for the undercover cop who killed her big brother. Being in records and requisitions gave her access to our identities and addresses, but not the case details.”

“Hey, if you hadn’t been there that night, I’d have been toast. Don’t go putting anything on yourself that doesn’t belong there.” Esposito’s tone was firm, and Ryan needed it at that moment.

“Thanks,” he said softly, stepping closer to his partner and sliding his arms around the taller man’s waist, taking a moment to steady himself. “Maybe you should tell Castle the next part,” he suggested, quirking a small half smile when his partner shot him a curious look. “I’d like to know how you saw it.”

Esposito was ready to drop from exhaustion by the time he came home that night. He and Beckett were pretty sure they had nailed down a solid case against Bryan Kelly, they just couldn’t pin which one of Tempest’s trigger men had actually done the deed, which they desperately needed in order to finally get the DA on board.

Worse, Narco and Vice were dodging his calls, directing him to the voicemail of a Detective Diane Lim, who seemed completely averse to taking his calls. A suspicion was niggling at the back of his mind, but as much time as he’d spent the past few days digging into the various lowlifes of Tempest’s organization, he sure wouldn’t lay money on a single one of them being an undercover cop. That was the point though, he supposed, no sense in getting caught or exposed because you were too clean cut. It was definitely an avenue closed to him ever since he’d watched the nasty business with his old partner, Ike, deconstruct violently.

He hopped off the subway, beginning his usual search of his coat for his keys. He loved his Mama, but the Christmas coat she’d given him had, at last count, 14 pockets, and they just kept spawning more little hidden pockets. He was most of the way to the building before he realized he’d picked up a tail.

A discrete glance at a traffic mirror high above told him Kevin O’Malley wasn’t far behind him. The kid looked worse than he had earlier in the day, darker circles under the eyes, and for a moment, Esposito wondered if the kid had taken grief for the repeated questioning.

In the next though, his weary brain processed the longer, dark coat and right hand tucked into his pocket, almost too casually. Something didn’t add up, he told himself, ducking into the corridor that lead to the back entrance to his building and pulling out his gun.

He crouched in an alcove, breathing shallowly, waiting for the kid to catch up, but the crunch of footsteps on dead leaves didn’t echo in the alley way. Esposito waited for a long moment, but then, dimly, his ears caught the sound of a buzzer. The front door. Someone had buzzed O’Malley into his building.

Cursing, he sprinted to the rear awning, swallowing two steps at a time in his stride, and then in his haste mistyping the entry code on his first attempt. The second took, though, and he crept slowly into the hall, just able to make out the branch hall where his apartment was located. The light was dim, the landlord as usual unfailing in his promises of new lightbulbs but also unfailing in his inability to carry out said promises.

Esposito hesitated when he reached the side hall, listening for any noise. He heard the door open, then, before he could choose his next move, the report of two very different guns. He leveled his gun, coming around the corner, spotting a bullet hole in the wall but no blood spatter in the hall.

He carefully pushed open the ajar door, enough to get a clear view, and saw O’Malley bent over a bleeding man, a cold look on his face. The kid raised his gun, and a moment later, a shot went straight between the bleeding man’s eyes.

“Freeze!” Esposito yelled, swinging around the door, but the movement gave O’Malley time to duck through the open fire escape window, running faster than Esposito would have expected. He darted out the window after the kid, carefully cataloguing that the safety bars on the outside had been pried off, probably how the first man had gotten into his apartment.

He made it to the end of the alley, the street now busy and full of after work subway traffic. He looked around, flashing his badge when one woman looked warily at his drawn gun, but he saw no sign of O’Malley. “Son of a bitch,” he cursed, heading back into the apartment to call in the dead body.

Beckett arrived shortly after a short Asian woman with a commanding presence. She ordered CSU to pack everything up, and wordlessly handed Esposito orders that indicated the case would be handled by Narcotics and herself, Detective Diane Lim, personally.

“What’s the deal?” Beckett asked him, and Esposito shook his head, lowering his voice for her ears only.

“Pretty sure they’ve got a guy on the inside of the Tempest drug ring,” Esposito told her. “Protecting him. Good news is I saw that kid Kevin O’Malley here. He’s the one that did this guy, one to chest, one to head. Sound familiar?”

“You’re thinking he’s actually the hit man we’re looking for,” Beckett summed up, forcing a polite smile as Lim joined them, the dead man’s gun and bullets in bags.

“Good news for you, Detectives,” she told them, handing over the bag of bullets. “Marking look familiar?”

“Same as our vic,” Beckett said, looking stunned at the bullets with the clover surrounding an R. “What about out other shooter?”

“First bullet was through and through, we recovered it,” she replied, flashing it quickly at them. No marks. “He wasn’t your killer.”

“So why’d he come after this guy?” Esposito demanded, folding his arms. “I saw him kill…”

“Tommy Riordan,” Lim supplied helpfully. “From what we know of this particular operation, Detective, Bryan Kelly is making a play to pull the strings, but Kevin O’Malley is loyal to Tempest. Tempest probably sent him to thwart Kelly and clean up the mess over Louie Jamison in one fell swoop.”


“And you bought that?” Castle asked, sipping his beer.

“Couldn’t exactly go digging much deeper,” Esposito replied. “Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to, but I was starting to get pretty damn sure they had a guy somewhere on the inside. Digging could have hurt his cover, and I knew I couldn’t risk it. Never put two and two together that the guy in my apartment stopping the hit might have been there to save me, not just get a rival out of the way.”

“You weren’t supposed to,” Ryan reminded Esposito. “You knew something was up the next day though.”

“Fucking papers printed that I was the one who shot Tommy Riordan,” Esposito told Castle with a scowl. “Not by name or anything, but ‘cop at the scene’, in his residence, the usual shtick.”

“Because Lim was protecting Ryan,” Castle filled in, grinning. “Damn. So when did you finally find out who he was?”

“All you, bro,” Esposito told Ryan, sitting back to listen.


Narco had borrowed a few homicide detectives, Kevin noted as he was cuffed, trying hard not to grin like an idiot as Esposito cuffed him and began patting him down. “You still looking for that murder confession, Detective?” he couldn’t resist getting in a couple of final barbs while he could. “Try my front pocket.”

What was actually in his front pocket was a directive from the precinct for his undercover op and his ID, the get out of jail ticket Lim had insisted he would need to have on him. “Yeah, right there,” he suggestively teased the other man as he reached into Kevin’s pocket.

“Son of a bitch,” he heard the detective curse, sounding half amazed.

“You’ve been a good sport, Detective, don’t spoil it by punching me now,” he joked as Esposito turned him around roughly so he could look him in the face.

“Where’s your handler?” Esposito demanded quietly. “You shouldn’t be down here without backup.”

“Right here, Detective,” Lim flashed her own paperwork at him, nodding to the cuffs. “Sorry, Ryan, I got held up confirming Tempest is in custody. We’re good, got all the players.”

“Hey, who’s good?” Kevin insisted, grinning once Esposito had the cuffs unlocked. “Thanks, man. Officer Kevin Ryan, by the way.”

“Nice to meet you,” Esposito replied, shaking his head. “Even if you’re a Red Sox fan,” he added, and Kevin laughed.

“Man, can’t believe you fell for that, Yankees all the way,” he brushed it off, accepting his ID back and the clean jacket and badge Lim offered him. “Nice to meet you on this side of the weapons,” he quipped before turning and following Lim up to check in.

Several hours later, showered till his skin was raw, in his own clothes, and only in need of a haircut to get back to himself, Kevin was back at his desk, eyes starting to blur as he worked on his reports. He barely looked up when someone dropped into the chair next to his desk, then did a quick double take when he realized it was Esposito. “Hey, what’s up?” Kevin asked, rubbing at his eyes.

“Realized I forgot to say thank you,” Esposito replied. “Lim told us you took a pretty big risk to make sure I had backup when Tempest sent a goon after me.”

“Hey, you’re the first New Yorker I’ve ever seen not crack when I do my crazy Red Sox fan imitation,” Kevin deflected easily. “Anyone that cool I gotta keep an eye out for.”

“Not to mention the flirting,” Esposito remarked wryly.

“You just don’t crack, do you?” Kevin complained. “Any other cop would have lost it, gotten me my ticket out the door.”

“Nope,” Esposito replied, grinning. “You’re a pretty cool customer yourself.”

“Anyway, glad you’re okay,” Kevin managed, stifling a yawn. “Look, I should probably finish up.”

“It’ll keep,” Esposito replied, standing up. “Come on, I’ll buy you a drink.”

“Uh, I don’t…” Kevin started to protest but looking up at Esposito, his resolve wavered. “All right, one drink.”


“Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” Castle quipped, smiling to himself. It had gotten dark, street lamps flickering on outside.

“Yeah, I got promoted right after that, made Detective, had my choice of pretty much any assignment I wanted. Transferred to Homicide pretty quick, maybe four months after the whole thing went down,” Ryan said, shrugging. “This guy decides to leave Beckett to partner me. Said he had to keep an eye on me.”

“And Beckett went through the craziest revolving door of partners till Montgomery decided the department ran just fine with the three of us the way we were,” Esposito added, suddenly grinning. “Actually, Castle, that officially makes you her longest lasting—”


A shower of glass registered as Ryan shoved Castle down to the floor, making sure the author was covered before he came up to a low crouch, removing his backup gun from the holster on his ankle.

“Whatcha got?” he whispered to Esposito, who had moved slightly to get an angle on the street outside.

“One shooter, car for a shield, no sign of the uniform who should be on the building” he replied quietly, shaking his head as a wide shot shattered another window and thunked harmlessly into the plaster of his kitchen wall. “Also, the desire to move into a penthouse apartment.”

“Told you to get the hell out off the ground floor,” Ryan shot back, inching forward enough to look for himself. “Castle,” he hissed, tossing the man his phone. “Call for backup.”

He kept his eyes trained on the car, impressed when Castle made the call with precision and clarity, probably having heard Beckett make that call herself a few dozen times. He could see a faint shape on the far side of the car, but nothing good enough for taking a shot. “I don’t have it,” he told Esposito, who grimaced.

“She takes another shot, I might be able to get her,” he told his partner. “Take out her windows?”

“Done,” Ryan agreed, rocking his body up enough to make the easy shots and shattering both driver and passenger side windows on the front with two shots. “Want the windshield?” he asked, a little doubtful about how much it would take to shatter it, but willing to try.

“Nope, just hang on,” Esposito ordered, sight lined up, waiting, sniper patient. Ryan sighed, glancing at his watch, noting four minutes had passed since the shooting had started.

“She must be desperate to try shooting through a window,” Ryan mused, shaking his head.

“Uh huh,” Esposito agreed in a quiet murmur. A moment later, the girl came up, gun leveled for a shot, and Esposito took his first. A cry in the night, then she slumped down behind the car.

“Castle, stay here,” Ryan barked at the writer as he and Esposito sprinted out the door, not bothering to check if the author obeyed.

Hitting the street, Ryan did a quick visual sweep, confirming no civilians were in sight. Esposito signaled him around the hood of the car, taking the tail. Ryan slid slowly around, stepping into the line of sight in step with his partner. “Don’t move!” he shouted, stepping in and kicking the gun away from her.

Her fingers were clenched to her ribs, blood trickling through them. Ryan checked to make sure Esposito had his gun on her before holstering his and kneeling down to help control the bleeding. “Okay, okay,” he said reassuringly, pressing his own hands over hers.

“You killed my brother,” she hissed, gasping air unsteadily. Ryan pressed down a little harder, trying to stop the bleeding.

“Yeah,” Ryan admitted, glaring at her. “He was trying to kill my family at the time.” He met Esposito’s eyes briefly, the flash of affection there making him feel steadier.

Sirens were drawing closer, and Ryan fervently hoped they had brought an ambulance. “You become a cop just to track me down?” he asked her, and she nodded, coughing as she gasped. “Whole lot of wasted potential,” he said, a gentle reprimand in his tone.

“Fuck you,” she gasped, coughing blood this time. “At least I’ll be with my brother now,” she finished, her breath rattling her chest painfully.

Paramedics had arrived, and Ryan stepped back, letting them take over the effort. “Lung’s punctured, she’ll need surgery, but she’ll probably make it,” one of the paramedics pronounced a short while later as he helped Ryan clean off his hands.

“Hey,” Beckett greeted them, Castle now in step behind her. “I just checked with crime scene, looks like they want to comb the place, seal it up for the night. You got a place to stay?”

Esposito started to answer, but Ryan cut him off easily. “Looks like my place is up now,” he offered easily, and Esposito nodded his acceptance.

“So what happened to the uniform who was supposed to be out here?” Ryan asked Beckett, looking around. “Any word on what happened to him?”

“Riordan faked a call, lured him away,” she told them, shaking her head. “That’s on me, I should have had Montgomery tell them only to leave on his orders. She tracked your location through your watch assignment too. Those papers go right through her desk, so we led her straight to you. She tried to get herself buzzed in, but it seems your neighbors are still leery from the last guy they buzzed in for you, Esposito,” she added, giving Ryan a pointed look.

“Oh, come on, that was almost three years ago!” Ryan objected.


Ryan unlocked the door, flipping on the light and sighing, relief settling in that all of Jenny’s belongings had been removed and they wouldn’t be disturbed for the night. “Okay,” he said, closing the door behind him. “You want a beer or—”

His back hit the door, Esposito pressing against him, mouths sealed together. He had a brief moment of madness where he almost thought about bringing up the rules, then gave in, melting into the embrace.

“Rulebook out the window?” Esposito suggested roughly when he finally managed to break away, hands still gripping Ryan’s waist tightly.

Ryan reached out, tugging gently on Esposito’s tie to pull him back down closer. “You still gonna be serious about me in the morning if I say yes?”

“Hell yes,” Esposito gasped, claiming a quick kiss, teeth tugging gently at Ryan’s lower lip. “I’ve wanted you for ages, Kev, not giving you up.”

“Good,” Ryan managed to reply, before succumbing to the kisses. “Got a bed,” he tried to say, pushing a little, but his groin brushing into Esposito made him reevaluate just how far away the bed was and instead start angling for the bright red couch in his living room.

He’d just managed to push them there when Esposito reasserted control, shoving Ryan down onto the couch and sliding down to cover the smaller cop’s body with his own. “Always thought it’d be fun to fuck you on this couch,” Esposito growled in his partner’s ear, making Ryan shudder pleasantly under him.

“God yes,” he agreed, fingers fumbling at Esposito’s shirt buttons, scrabbling to get them undone without tearing them. Esposito had no such patience it seemed, because once he’d gotten rid of the tie, he popped off four buttons in his haste to get remove Ryan’s dress shirt. “You’ll owe me for the seamstress,” Ryan warned, tugging at Esposito’s shirt, managing to remove it without doing any damage.

“Maybe we can work something out,” Esposito replied teasingly, lower his head to taste his way up Ryan’s throat, making the detective squirm. He made quick work of Ryan’s slacks and boxers, lifting his own hips a little so Ryan could slide himself free of the clothes.

Ryan fumbled to catch up, and Esposito helped, easily popping the buttons on his jeans and shimmying out of them, bare skin suddenly pressing against bare skin, making Ryan hiss at the sensation. “Javi,” he groaned as his partner trailed fingers along his abdomen, tracing light lines between them, his touch contrary to the frenzied force that had carried them so far. Ryan’s breath caught, suddenly feeling as though he’d missed a step on a staircase, sensations tumbling through him uncontrollably.

“Okay,” Esposito managed to whisper, breath hot on Ryan’s skin as he pressed quick kisses along his throat. “Slow, right? I said slow earlier, do this right?”

“You fucking back out on this now and I’ll…” Ryan barely managed to groan the implied threat, making Esposito chuckle as he wrapped his fingers reassuringly around Ryan’s erection, stroking once.

“No, not stopping,” he murmured, bring his eyes up to Ryan’s, slowly studying what he saw there. “But doing this,” he emphasized with a slow stroke to Ryan’s cock, “right.”

“Okay,” Ryan managed, curling up into a slow, searching kiss before sliding up off the couch. “Come on,” he beckoned, tugging Esposito behind him, stumbling into the bedroom. Esposito stretched out on the bed, trying to pull Ryan down with him, but Ryan slipped free of the reach, tugging open a drawer in his bedside table. He tossed first a condom then some lube to his partner, smirking at the surprise on Esposito’s face.

“You really are boy-scout prepared,” Esposito teased, and this time Ryan let himself be draw into a kiss.

“I don’t think they give merit badges for this,” Ryan replied dryly, letting his partner roll him slowly onto his back as they traded quick kisses. “Want you in me,” he murmured, ducking his face into Esposito’s shoulder, scraping teeth gently over the line of his collarbone.

“You sure?” Esposito asked, cupping his jaw and forcing him to look up again. “Not something you’ve done, I have,” he reminded Ryan, though his free hand was already tracing a line around Ryan’s hipbone to cup his ass.

“Trust you,” Ryan managed to stammer, hissing as Esposito deliberately rubbed their erections together. He let himself get lost in the sensations, half in the friction from the slow slide of hips and half in the searching kisses that fed into each other. He’d relaxed enough that Esposito had a finger slid into him before he had time to tense and think about it. “Mmm,” he hummed, nipping at Esposito’s lip, testing the foreign feeling by rocking into it a little, surprised at the not unpleasant result. “Interesting,” he managed to murmur, then let out a strangled cry as Esposito slid his finger just right along a tangle of nerves.

“Little better than interesting, don’t you think?” Esposito teased him gently, easing in a second finger as Ryan gasped, riding the shivery shocks of sensation. “Relax,” Esposito reminded him, nuzzling gently at his jaw when Ryan tensed a little as the fingers inside him scissored gently. The next few passes Ryan suspected deliberately swept fingertips over his prostate, making him groan and start to rock into the stretching, rather than fight it.

A third finger slid in, easier than the second, and before long, Ryan was squirming, trying to fuck himself back onto the too slow moving digits. “Shit, please, I need more,” he gasped, his groan of disappointment when the fingers withdrew altogether swallowed by a hard kiss.

He heard rather than saw the crinkle of the condom wrapper, felt Esposito moving above him, arm brushing against knee as he stroked lube over his erection, and Ryan blew out a quick breath of air, willing himself to relax. “Shh, I’ll go slow,” he heard Esposito murmur in his ear just before teeth closed hard on his neck, the hard, bruising suction distracting him for a moment as Esposito slid the head of his cock in, ever so slowly.

“Oh,” Ryan managed, sighing slightly at the sensation. A little burn and stretch, but the oh so slow slide in was making his heart pound dizzyingly. It took a few minutes, but Esposito finally bottomed out, rolling his hips slightly as he did, making Ryan’s head fall back to the mattress with a satisfying thud.

Esposito slid out just as slowly, then slid back in quicker, making Kevin gasp. “Do that again,” he demanded, groaning when Esposito complied, just a little quicker. “Nnngh, more,” he managed, and this time, there was a little force in the thrust, almost as though Esposito was teasing at giving him enough.

He didn’t need to prompt the next thrust, his hips rocking into it eagerly, the speed slowly picking up. Ryan clenched a little, experimenting, drawing a harsh groan from his partner and was rewarded by a hard thrust that hit home perfectly, making him cry out. “Like that, huh?” Esposito observed, his hips snapping in the same way, his caution suddenly lost under a hit of urgency.

Esposito’s hand closed over Ryan’s leaking cock, starting to jerk him off in the same strong tempo as he was using to fuck him, and Ryan bit his lip hard, suddenly afraid he would scream as he came, orgasm blindingly tearing through him.

He felt his muscles shiver as he went limp, Esposito continuing to push into his too sensitive body, rougher and more erratic now. Through slitted eyes, he watched as his partner’s usually staid expression shattered as he came with a groan. Esposito slid out carefully, tying off the condom and tossing it into the trashcan next to the bed before sliding back down to spoon up against Ryan’s back.

“Hey, Kev?” he heard Esposito mumble sleepily, and Ryan managed to turn his head inquiringly back and blink his eyes open. “You still have that leather jacket you used to wear undercover?” Ryan swatted at him, shaking his head.

“I don’t even wanna know what you’ll end up talking me into,” Ryan mumbled his reply, knowing he should get up, clean up the sticky mess and sweat, but too content to be bothered. In a little bit, he reasoned, settling in. Or maybe after round two.

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March 2011


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