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02 October 2013 @ 01:45 pm
Fic: Voice  
Title: Voice
Fandom: Donald Strachey Mysteries (movieverse)
Rating and word count: About 1,600, PG
Disclaimer: Don and Tim belong to Richard Stevenson.
Notes: The random-word generator was kind to me this time. No beta because I felt bad for telling Nyteflyer the story would be done about a week ago.




I like sports. I played basketball in eighth grade, but when I came back from summer vacation to find everyone a foot taller than me, I switched to baseball.

I was a decent player in high school, good enough to start every game but not good enough for a scholarship. I played pick-up games in the Army, and after that I only played when my friends were desperate for a shortstop.

However, I don’t like sports enough to spend hours in a bar, watching game after game on the big screens, with people yelling loud enough to break my eardrums. Still, it was better than sitting at home alone, drinking and wondering why my life was so boring.

So there I was, surrounded by my temporary softball team, listening to the guys alternate between cheering and insulting the New York Yankees. I tried to get into the spirit of the thing, but I really didn’t care. After a while I tuned out the yells and screams and just took stock of my surroundings. I did that sometimes, even when I wasn’t on a case, just to keep my senses sharp. I studied faces, picked out voices from nearby tables, read body language, and speculated about the lives of the people around me.

Two chairs were pulled out from the table behind us. I closed my eyes for a minute, imagining who the new guys might be. Probably two more sports fans, just digging in for an afternoon of boozing and yelling at the TVs.

As it turned out, I was half right.

“I know this isn’t your thing, but could you at least pretend to have a good time?” The voice was harsh, impatient. “We can’t go to art galleries and concerts every weekend, Tim. I like getting together with the guys.”

“We don’t go to art galleries and concerts every weekend.” The voice was deep and cultured, and it made my toes curl. “The last concert was two months ago. I told you I’d go to the gallery alone, but you insisted on coming with me.”

“That’s because I didn’t want you to get lost in there. If you had your way you’d be in that fucking place until it closed.”

“There’s nothing wrong—”

“With a little culture, I know. But every now and then I just want to have some fun. Drink some beer, get a little crazy. Watch some baseball. Is that too much to ask?”

“Of course not. But—”

The door opened, letting in another noisy crowd.

“That’s them.” A chair scraped back. Mr. Irritable tried to keep his voice down, but it was still loud enough for me to hear. “For God’s sake, Tim, try not to go on and on about impressionism or realism or whatever the hell it was we saw today. They won’t get it, and you’ll reinforce everything they ever thought about fags.”

Tim's voice turned to steel. “Do these people know you’re gay? What should I do, pretend I’m your brother?”

I clenched my beer bottle, ready for trouble. If the bar was filling up with bigots I wanted to get myself — and the guy with the gorgeous voice — out of there in one piece.

“Of course, they know I’m gay. They don’t care as long as I don’t act like some kind of fairy.”

“You mean, like me.” The voice shook a little.

“Tim, I don’t have time for this. I’ll get us some drinks and bring the guys over. Just act like… I don’t know. Act like a guy for a change.”

It was all I could do not to stick out my foot and trip the asshole as he walked past me on his way to the bar. His friends greeted him, slapping him on the back and shoving a beer into his hand. He didn’t order anything for Tim, and it didn’t look like he was coming back to his table anytime soon.

He was good-looking, I had to give him that. I knew guys like him, guys who traded on their looks, who thought a smile could buy forgiveness. Trouble was, those looks didn’t last forever. He’d be a has-been loser before he turned forty.

But, that was the future. Right now, Tim was still sitting behind me. God only knew why. I wouldn’t have taken that treatment from anybody. What kind of guy was Tim, to sit there and watch while his boyfriend forgot all about him?

Good-looking, because the guy at the bar wouldn’t be seen with anyone who wasn’t. Educated, since his idea of a large afternoon was spending time in an art gallery. And that voice — he could probably charm the pants off anybody, including me.

None of that told me what kind of man he was. The only way to figure that out was to see him for myself. I turned around. My jaw dropped.

He wasn’t just good-looking — he was beautiful. Dark hair, a gorgeous mouth, a perfect profile, and dressed like he’d just stepped out of a catalog. His boyfriend had to be an idiot.

I watched him for a few seconds. He just sat there, his hands in his lap, looking everywhere but at the bar. He was hurt, embarrassed, and pissed off, and probably well-mannered enough not to leave without saying good-bye.

Luckily, that wasn’t my problem.

“Hey,” I said.

He turned to look at me, his blue eyes wary behind his expensive glasses. “Yes?”

I tipped my head at the bar. “What are you doing with a jerk like that?”

He squinted at me. “What were you doing, eavesdropping?”

“Yep.”

Tim glanced at the bar. His boyfriend’s laughter drifted over us. A blush crept up the back of Tim’s neck and stained his cheeks. I told myself the next time he blushed it would be for altogether different reasons.

“I don’t really know.” His gaze dropped to his hands. “I thought … well it doesn’t matter what I thought.” He gave me a brief, sad smile. “You don’t want to hear it, anyway.”

“I’d like to hear anything you have to say. Hell, I’d listen to you read the phone book.”

I would have, too. I imagined that voice in bed at night, low and soft, telling me all the dirty things he wanted to do to me. Then I imagined his voice first thing in the morning, hoarse with sleep, urging me to make love to him. I broke out in a sweat.

“Your face is all red.”

I jumped, startled out of my thoughts. “Um…”

“Is it too warm in here?”

I tugged at the collar of my softball shirt. “You have no idea.”

Tim glanced at the bar again. “I guess I should call a cab. Kevin drove us here, and he doesn’t look like he’s ready to go.”

“Fuck him. I’ll take you home. Just give me a second.” I turned around and poked my friend Jerry in the ribs. “I’m taking off. Talk to you later.”

Jerry was staring at the TV, his mouth hanging open a little. “Sure, Don. Whatever you say.”

I got up from my chair, took a deep breath and looked at Tim. “You ready?”

He stood up. He was a couple of inches taller than me, but just about everyone else was, too, so it wasn’t a problem. He’d make a perfect dance partner. My head would fit nicely against his shoulder.

We left the bar together, not saying anything, and for once I was comfortable with silence. I’d never put too much stock in fate, but there was something about that walk to the car that made me believe this guy might be around for the rest of my life.

He stopped, though, before opening the passenger door.

“I don’t know your name.” He held out his hand over the top of the car. “I’m Tim Callahan.”

I didn’t so much shake his hand as hold onto it. “Don Strachey.”

Tim smiled. “Do you like art galleries?”

I smiled back. “Not particularly.”

“Classical music?”

“Can’t stand it.”

His smile widened. “You’d go to a concert, though.”

“Absolutely.”

Tim squeezed my fingers. “Good.”

I drove him to his apartment and stayed there for the rest of the weekend. Two weeks later, on a sunny July afternoon, I broke my lease and moved in with him. While we were unpacking, Timmy told me some story about sirens and how they tricked horny sailors into wrecking their ships. I knew he was making some kind of point, but I didn’t bother asking what it was.

I just listened.

Ten years later

“Donald, if I’ve told you once I’ve told you a million times. Do not kick your dirty clothes under the bed. Put them in the laundry hamper.”

I leaned against our bedroom doorway, watching as he got down on his hands and knees. One by one, he yanked out sweat socks, dress socks, and pair of boxers I thought I’d lost forever.

“Honestly, Donald, how hard is it?” He stretched out on his stomach, and the movement did great things to the seat of his jeans. He pulled out a paint-stained T-shirt. “I can’t believe, after all this time, I still have to do this.”

He glared up at me. “What are you up to? Why aren’t you helping me?”

“I’m admiring the view.”

He rolled his eyes. “I can't believe this. Are you even listening to me?”

I thought about the phone book I kept on my bedside table. We’d left off in the middle of government listings.

“Honey, I heard every word you said.”

*Crossposted from Dreamwidth*
 
 
 
candyjbshsccandyjbshsc on October 2nd, 2013 10:12 pm (UTC)
I love this!! I've always thought one of Timmy's sexiest features was his voice. And, of course, Don is his knight in shining armor. :-) Love him telling Timmy he'd listen to him read the phone book. I'm with him.
storyfanstoryfan on October 6th, 2013 04:59 pm (UTC)
We kind of talk about this, didn't we? :)

I imagine Don likes to eavesdrop as much as I do. I'm rather terrible about it, but I've overheard some very interesting conversations. Maybe I should be a detective …

Glad you loved it. That means a lot to me.
Three Days of Violence Against Vegtables: Donald Strachey Mysteries - DonaldxTimmylil_1337 on October 3rd, 2013 12:51 am (UTC)
This was lovely. I can easily picture Donald kicking his socks under the bed just so that he can admire the view when Tim drags them out. They are very different people, but it is that hearing - really listening that helps to bridge the gap.

It made my day to log on and see new fic from you!
storyfanstoryfan on October 6th, 2013 05:02 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I made your day. It's been so long since I wrote anything that I was a bit nervous about posting. The story turned out better than I expected.

You're right. Listening goes along with hearing, and that is what bridges the gap between people, especially people who are very different.

<3
sleeper6: Keirasleeper6 on October 3rd, 2013 02:03 am (UTC)
Absolutely lovely! I adore Don rescuing Tim from that jerk in the bar.

And the idea of Don loving Tim's voice is so sweet. :)
storyfanstoryfan on October 6th, 2013 04:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!

I, myself, could listen to Sebastian read anything at all. There's just something about that man's voice…
NyteFlyernyteflyer on October 4th, 2013 02:11 am (UTC)
Silly woman, I wasn't timing you with a stop watch. Your writing is always worth the wait, and this little gem is no exception!

I'm with Don, btw. Tim has a voice like pure, liquid sex, and I could listen to it forever....
storyfanstoryfan on October 6th, 2013 04:56 pm (UTC)
I know you weren't timing me, but I always feel terrible when I tell you I'll send something and then I don't do it.

*blushes* I'm so glad you like my stuff. It's been awhile since I've written anything, so I was a bit worried how this one would turn out.

<3
ursula2: Don Tim - evening outursula2 on October 4th, 2013 11:42 am (UTC)
Great little story. Good for Timmy that Don likes sport but isn´t fanatic about it and has a sharp eye and ear for his surroundings. That was love on the first sound and I can understand Don because Tim has a beautiful voice. You have written the boy´s IC as always and I love Don´s thought that his head would fit nicely on Tim´s shoulder. The last scene with the socks is so Don and Timmy and the phone book made me smile. Thank you for writing!!!
storyfanstoryfan on October 6th, 2013 05:03 pm (UTC)
Love at first sound — I like that!

Thank you for telling me what you liked best. I'm glad the boys were IC because I always strive for that. Sometimes it's hard to do, but in the end, the effort is worth it.

<3