Happy birthday jooles34! Thought you might like a little Lester/Connor fic. I'm afraid there's no smut, but there is some shower sharing involved :-)
Title: Letting Go
Disclaimer: Not mine. ITV and Impossible Pictures own them.
Word count: approx 990
Summary: Every time he closed his eyes, the images were there.
The hot water cascaded down onto his body, and Lester closed his eyes. All he wanted to do was relax, but even now he was home, his brain wouldn’t shut down. Every time he closed his eyes, the images were there.
He turned the dial on the shower a little more, and the spray increased, pounding down onto his shoulders and chest so hard that it hurt. As he watched, his skin started to turn pink and steam swirled around him, condensing on the sides of the shower cubicle and running in rivulets down the patterned glass. The back of his throat burned with every breath.
And still it wasn’t enough.
Five fucking people. One of them hadn’t even been part of the field team, wasn’t even supposed to have been near any creatures. And yet her blood was still streaked across the floor and walls of the science lab when Lester had finally left several hours later. Her blood was still soaked into his other clothes, the ones he had been wearing when he went to work that morning, the ones he had been wearing when he had found himself trying to stem the flow of blood while Becker and his men fought a running battle through the corridors of the ARC.
Lester shook his head, trying to will the images away.
Abruptly, the shower cubicle door opened, and a blast of cooler air hit him. Lester shivered, and turned to glare at Connor. The young man glared right back, and reached into the shower and turned the dial back down a little, before he shoved his way into the cubicle and closed the door most of the way behind him.
“Does the concept of privacy mean nothing to you?” Lester sighed, but his voice was devoid of any anger or sarcasm. He wanted to snap, wanted to use his words like others used a knife, but right then he just... couldn’t.
Connor shuffled until he was behind him, and then Lester felt hands settle on his shoulders, and Connor’s thumbs begin to rub little circles on the back of his neck. For a moment he tried to pull away, but Connor held on and tugged him back, and the shower was too small to really get away anyway and they both knew it.
Connor’s thumbs resumed their work, gentle at first, and then slowly pressing harder as they sought out the knots of tension and tight muscles. Lester had known it was a while since he had last truly relaxed, but he hadn’t realised just how tightly wound he had become over the last few weeks. Not until Connor’s deceptively strong hands were there; kneading, rubbing, fingers softly circling and stroking skin until Lester’s head dropped and he reached out and placed his hands flat on the tiled walls in front of him and simply closed his eyes again and let Connor work.
“It wasn’t you fault,” Connor said. His voice was quiet, and yet sounded too loud in the enclosed space.
The images resurfaced, and Lester squeezed his eyes closed even tighter, knowing it wouldn’t do a damn bit of good.
Connor was right; what had happened today wasn’t his fault. But it was his responsibility. The lives of everyone in the ARC were his responsibility.
Lester didn’t ever want to forget that fact.
A particularly tight knot sent a sharp stab of pain through his shoulder, and Lester hissed. Connor hesitated, and then very gently rubbed the spot again, gradually applying more pressure until the sharp pain was replaced by a dull ache as the muscles finally let go.
Lester head a soft moan, only belatedly realising he was the one who had made the sound.
He felt Connor’s breath on his back, and then Connor kissed the spot he had just been working on, his lips lingering even as his hands stroked down Lester’s back.
“Stop thinking,” Connor whispered. “Just let go, James.”
Lester wished it was so easy.
Connor sighed, and Lester could almost hear the frustration in his huff of breath.
Connor resumed his ministrations, and Lester’s ribs and spine received the same treatment as his shoulders had. For someone normally so clumsy, Connor’s hands made no mistake now. Every knot and ache melted away beneath his touch. Wherever he finished working and moved on, the nerve endings cried out for more of his attention. And no matter how much Lester didn’t want to let go, he was powerless to resist the effect of Connor’s skilful touch on him. He lost track of time, and his mind finally began to drift. The water hitting his skin was now soothing where Connor’s hands had already been, a warm caress instead of a scorching punishment.
Connor’s fingers finally returned to his neck, and then up into his hair, massaging his scalp until Lester felt himself overbalancing as drowsiness overtook his limbs.
“Hey,” Connor murmured, his arms wrapping around Lester’s waist and supporting him. “I think maybe it’s time I took you to bed.”
They stumbled out of the shower together. Lester tried to shake some life back into his lethargic limbs, but didn’t quite manage to reach the large fluffy towel before Connor got to it. Nevertheless, when Connor flung the towel around Lester and tried to dry him Lester snatched it away and made it quite clear that he wasn’t entirely incapable thank you very much. Connor just watched him for a few moments, before he retrieved another towel, and they dried themselves in a not uncomfortable silence.
As soon as they were in bed, Connor snuggled up to Lester, his arms worming their way around him, and his head nestling on Lester’s chest. Lester slipped an arm around Connor and pulled him a little closer, and placed a soft kiss onto his damp hair.
This time, when Lester closed his eyes, there was only darkness and welcome sleep.