Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Kier and Ian

Title: Kier and Ian
Authors: Rolf and Ranger

"Kier! We need more bricks."

Kier put down his hammer and ran his forearm across his dripping forehead. He bent over and grabbed his thermos and downed a good amount of the ice cold water before he headed over to the pile of bricks. He hoisted a couple of loads onto the dolly and dragged it through the construction site to the platforms where Mike and Edward were quickly piecing together the front of the building. He loaded up the bucket and waited until Ed had pulled it up and emptied it out on the platform next to himself. He loaded it five more times, giving them enough bricks to keep them busy for the next hour or so.

"Thanks. How's the door coming?" Ed asked, sitting down to rest a moment after unloading the last bucket.

"I should be done in another hour or two. Everything has been cut and prepared; now it's just a matter of piecing it together and getting it set up in the frame."

"Going to be able to get it done before you leave?"

Kier scowled, never liking to have to watch the clock. Ian had a hospital fundraiser to attend that afternoon, and he wanted Kier to attend with him. Looking back down at his watch, he saw he barely had an hour.

"Oh, I'll get it done, no worries," Kier said, walking back over to the door and picking up his hammer again.

He was disturbed some time later by the ringing of his cell phone in his breast pocket. Kier sat back on his heels and shook off heavy, dusty gloves before he pulled it out, glancing at his watch with a silent and passionately hissed curse. Ian sounded patient but the fact he was calling at all was a reproof.

"Kier, I expected you home by now, where are you?"

"On my way," Kier said shortly. "I'll see you in-"

"Whereabouts on the way home?"

Kier was silent for a few seconds, trying to find a good way to put it. Ian interrupted before he found the phrasing.

"Are you still on site?"

"I was trying -"

"Are you still on site?" Ian asked, voice clipped.

"Yes, but I'm -"

"You have exactly thirty minutes to walk in the front door. No excuses. Clear?" Ian interrupted.

Kier snarled quietly to himself while managing a somewhat sincere, "Yes, sir," before hanging up. He grabbed his hammer and tool kit and stalked over to the trailer, stowing his materials away. He went over to the platform where Ed was. He really hated to leave in the middle of the door project, but he had no choice.

"I've gotta run. That stupid fundraiser. I'll finish up the door tomorrow, okay?"

"No problem," Ed said, stopping for just a moment. "Cheer up. Good food and wine in the afternoon sure beats this."

"I suppose," Kier said. "Take it easy, see you tomorrow."

"Later," Ed said, turning back to the brickwork.

Kier hovered for a moment, taking a few steps back to look at the progress of the day. He was still peering when Ed grinned, banging on the brick work.

"Hey! Go!"

He had a point. Ian didn't like being kept waiting. Kier gave up, took the rest of his own tools with him to the truck and locked them into the back. The traffic would be hell on the way home. It always was at this hour of the day. It was a stupid time to TRY to go home, all the lunch hour rush still happening. It would be worse still in town when they went to this ridiculous fundraiser. Why Ian wanted him there was beyond Kier. It would be long, boring, involve a lot of speeches and being polite to people- all things Kier freely admitted he sucked at. Ian would shine far better alone, leaving him up a ladder doing what he did best and enjoyed doing with a Wednesday afternoon.

Kier stepped up into the truck and shut the door, enjoying the short, jarring ride across the undeveloped lot far more than the smooth roads, full of traffic. He wanted to turn right but the traffic didn't clear before his patience ran out, and he squealed off the lot in a cloud of dust to the left, finding a place to turn around and head back in the other direction just down the road.

Kier fumed all the way home. He was hot and dirty, and traffic was never something he had much patience with, and the hotter it got the hotter he got. He kept watching his watch and cursing everyone on the road that took more than a split second to get out of his way. He watched as his thirty minutes dwindled to five, and he had a good five miles yet to go – half through the worst of the traffic. By the time he pulled into the driveway and slammed the truck into park, he was five minutes late and in a foul temper. Ian standing at the door didn't make him feel any better.

Ian read his face, nobly didn't jump at the slam of the truck door and merely held the door for him, saying nothing. Kier ran upstairs, shedding clothes and flinging them down on his way into the shower. The sight of dress clothes laid out on the bed and waiting for him didn't help any, either. The shower was too hot, the soap got in his eyes and eventually the muttering grew enough that Ian got up from his seat on the bed, pulled aside the shower curtain and LOOKED at him.

"Turn the cold water on more, or I'll be sure to make one part of your anatomy as hot as your temper," Ian said.

Kier turned the hot water down and the cold water up, feeling his face flush at Ian's threat. He breathed slightly easier as the curtain swung back into place, leaving him in peace. He concentrated on trying to calm down himself, not knowing if Ian was upset with him for being five more minutes late after the initial thirty. Rinsing the last of the soap from his face, he turned the taps off and grabbed the towel that Ian was holding out for him.

Ian watched him stalk across with more defensiveness than defiance, scrubbing at his hair, and once more took a seat on the bed, reassured that Kier was somewhat in charge of his temper.

"What made you late?"

"The TRAFFIC made me late, I left on time and I TOLD you that the traffic would suck at this time of day-"

"Hey, don't growl at me please."


The apology was still more of a growl. Ian watched him scour off his shoulders, then pick up his shirt and try to pull it on in a way likely to rip it.

"Kier, that's enough. You can stand in the corner for a few minutes and work on calming down," Ian said mildly.

"We'll be late," Kier muttered darkly.

"Would you like your mouth washed out?"

"No, sir," Kier said, turning and going to the appointed corner, throwing his shirt on the bed on the way. Life was SO unfair. He'd far rather be working instead of the stupid fundraiser. And he'd far rather be at the fundraiser than staring at the paint in the corner, with an unhappy lover in the room. Things couldn't get much worse.

Kier stared at the corner, not really feeling a good deal calmer. In fact the magnolia paintwork bored him to the point of still more agitation. A moment later he felt Ian's hands rest on his shoulders and rub, gentle in contrast to the sternness of his voice.

"Kiernan. It does NOT kill you to leave a job in the middle of the day. OR to drive through traffic. So stop winding yourself up."

"I'm NOT," Kier said sharply.

"You are," Ian said just as sharply. "Cool down."

Kier took a deep and exasperated breath and stared into the corner. Ian's hands continued to rub.

"What are you so stressed about anyway? Was the driving really that bad?"

"I don't DO schmoozing well, you KNOW that," Kier said in a rush. "I work in construction; I can't rub shoulders with the elite and be able to talk to them!"

Ian turned Kier around. "You have a hand in building beautiful things. They have a hand in running businesses. You all do practical, creative jobs, you have a lot in common."

"I DON 'T do the chit-chat well," Kier complained. " NOR do I ever know what to talk about!"

"Ask about their families. Their cars. What they've seen at the theatre. The weather."

"You can DO that kind of stuff."

"Only because I practice."

Kier pulled a face. "I don't WANT to practice."

"Well you're coming anyway and you're going to be polite," Ian said firmly. "And we're going without pouting, stamping, whining or anything else I could call fussing. Is that clear?"

"Yes," Kier ground out between clenched teeth.

Ian LOOKED at him, waiting. He saw the conflict of emotions cross his lover's face a split second before he realized he was going to detonate.

"WHAT?? I SAID yes!" Kier said, pulling away from Ian's hands. He only got about two steps away before his arm was taken and he was pulled and unceremoniously dumped across Ian's lap, face down. He struggled for a moment, particularly when Ian quickly removed the only piece of clothing he had on.

"Let me down! How am I supposed to go to this stupid dinner with puffy eyes! Let me go!"

Ian simply held on, waiting for the rant to end. "Finished?"

Kier struggled harder, trying his best to turn around, then finally went limp and put his hands to the floor, shoulders tight, voice still tighter and harsher.


He jumped at the single, sound swat across his upturned bottom. "Excuse me?" Ian said politely.

"YES!" Kier snarled again, louder.

"Guess we need a lesson in manners, then," Ian said, before raising his hand and landing a flurry of solid swats, quickly turning Kier's milky white skin a rosy hue. He stopped when Kier's breathing signaled he was just about ready to listen, as he was fighting the tears hard.

"I don't feel as if I'm being unreasonable here. We're a couple, and as such, we both do things for the other that we'd really not prefer, given a choice. This afternoon I've got an event for the organization I work for. I need to go and I would appreciate your support with it, without it being a fight beforehand because you had to leave work."

"I'm no GOOD at this kind of thing and I just get bored!" Kier said pitifully. "I REALLY don't want to, I've been dreading it all week Ian. I hate it. PLEASE, I want to stay here, just this once-"

Ian paused, rubbing his back deeply and gently, light beginning to dawn. Along with patient exasperation. "Kier, if you're really not comfortable about this, why on earth didn't you SAY so this morning, or yesterday or last week when we arranged this, instead of just acting like it was a chore?"

"I didn't want to let you down!" Kier said unhappily. Ian shook his head and pulled him upright, holding his shoulders.

"You need to TALK to me about these things, not strop about them."

Kier looked down, miserable. Ian gave him another brisk swat and helped him pull his pants up.

"I don't want to see that kind of attitude or stropping again. Put something comfortable on and don't get the kitchen in a mess, I'll be home around eight I'd think."

"Yes, sir," Kier said, going over to the dresser to pull out a pair of sweat pants. He quickly shed the dress slacks for them, while Ian finished getting ready. Not knowing what to do, Kier stretched out on his stomach on the bed. Somehow knowing he'd won didn't make him feel any better.

Ian finished straightening his hair and walked back out to the bed. He kissed Kier quickly. "I'll see you later," he said as he walked briskly down the stairs.

Kier rolled over onto his back, looking at the ceiling. He was already starting to feel bad that Ian was leaving, even though he didn't want to go. He could almost SEE the disappointment in Ian's face, even without having looked at it.

His feelings got the better of him before the front door shut: he rolled up and ran downstairs, catching Ian on the doorstep. Ian looked around, surprised, and caught an armful of Kier, wrapping itself tightly around his neck.

"I'm sorry, don't be mad, please?"

"It's all right," Ian stooped and hugged him tightly. "It's fine, I just didn't understand. It's all right, Kier, don't worry. I don't mind, you just need to tell me these things."

"Are you sure you don't mind?" Kier said uncertainly.

"Very sure." Ian kissed him again, firmly. "It's fine. You have a good afternoon and I'll be home when I can."

"Okay," Kier said, trying to convince himself. He watched as Ian backed out of the driveway, and waved when Ian looked back at him.

Kier shut the door behind himself and flopped onto the couch, turning on the television. He looked up at the clock and saw that it was almost two. Flipping through the channels aimlessly, he couldn't find anything that would hold his attention. Ten minutes later he looked at the clock again, and tried to imagine what Ian was doing, if he'd made it to the hotel or not.

Ian arrived to several calls of welcome, picked up a glass of wine and gravitated slowly into a group of senior doctors he knew from the clinic, joining the chat there. Somewhat with an effort. He never liked this kind of thing without Kier- Kier wasn't by nature a socialite, he didn't enjoy crowds but he was always easy to talk to, always nearby and always able to turn the most boring event into a private joke between them. And it felt odd. This was a place where everyone's partners were present. Ian wondered if Kier understood yet, at his age, what that meant to him, or how important it was. There was plenty of time for him to learn it yet, but Ian still missed him.

His reverie ended when someone tapped him on the shoulder. Kier looked plaintive in the dress suit and the look he got was flat out appeal.

"Can you help with my tie?"

Stifling the urge to kiss him here, now and publicly, Ian smiled and took the mangled tie, fastening it deftly and sliding it into place under his partner's chin.


"Hi." Kier returned the smile somewhat shyly and Ian squeezed the long fingers that slid into his hand, pulling Kier close.

"You know you look stunning in a dress jacket?"

"Tie a knot in it, Dr. Robertson," Kier said just as quietly, grinning back at him. "Behave and introduce me to someone, this is for charity remember?"

~The End~

Copyright Rolf and Ranger 2010


Key said...

Kier and Ian are such a great couple, I have loved reading these stories I only wish there where more of them

Lady in Red said...

Seconding Key's comment.

Most of the artwork on the blog is by Canadian artist Steve Walker.

Rolf and Ranger’s Next Book will be called The Mary Ellen Carter. The Mary Ellen Carter and other works in progress can be read at either the Falls Chance Ranch Discussion Group or the Falls Chance Forum before they are posted here at the blog. So come and talk to the authors and be a part of a work in progress.

Do you want to read the FCR Books
and Short Stories on your E-Reader?
Well, lucky for you, e-book files can be found in
both the Yahoo Group and the Discussion Forum.