fredbassett: (Lester - Lyle 6)
[personal profile] fredbassett
Title : Watersports
Author : fredbassett
Fandom : Primeval
Rating : 15
Characters : Lester/Lyle
Disclaimer : Not mine (except Lyle), no money made, don’t sue.
Spoilers : None
Summary : Lester has a headache, Lyle has a bet to win, the ARC has a lake.
A/N : Written for the ARC week on [livejournal.com profile] primeval_denial. This is set during my Stephen/Ryan series, about three months after the team move into their new building.

“You need a break, James, you’ve been working on that sodding budget proposal since 4am.”

Lester looked up to see Lyle lounging in the doorway of his office, dressed casually in a pair of dilapidated jeans with more holes in them than material, and a teeshirt that looked like it had been recently pressed into service to clean a rifle. Lyle had come off a three-day continuous shift that morning, they’d spent a grand total of about six hours together in the past week and, to be strictly accurate, most of that time had been spent asleep.

Lyle’s use of his first name meant Lester couldn’t fall back on their usual habit of deflecting inconvenient emotion by means of humour. That would be against the rules.

For want of a better reply, he indulged in a small sigh.

Lyle’s frown told him he’d just come dangerously close to breaching another rule, the one that forbade the use of theatrical sighs and eyerolls when play had been suspended.

“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that,” Lyle said. “How close are you to finishing the fucking thing and how bad is your headache?”

The second question was easier to answer than the first. His headache hadn’t quite reached migraine proportions, but it was now bad enough to be affecting his concentration. “Pretty bad,” he admitted. He waved a hand in the direction of his laptop. “As for the proposal, maybe half an hour, then I need to give it a good read through…”

“You’ll be better coming back to it with a clear head, and you know it. Drink this.” Lyle plonked a bottle of chilled water down on the desk. “I bet you’ve drunk nothing other than coffee all day.”

“I’m on decaf during the day,” Lester said weakly, but he picked up the bottle and downed its contents in half a dozen long swallows.

“That’s a good start. Come on, it’s nice outside and you need some fresh air. We’ll take a walk, then you can finish that crap, then we’re going home and I’m getting some proper food down you.”

His lover was right, and Lester knew it. He also knew how persistent Lyle could be when he set is mind to it. Full capitulation seemed like the only sensible course of action. “Yes, my little pygmy shrew.”

Lyle grinned. The game was back on again.

The outside world was rejoicing in a beautiful late spring day, with not a cloud in the sky or a breath of wind anywhere. Lester pulled his tie off and stuffed it into a pocket. They walked in companionable silence towards the enormous lake in the grounds of their new building. In the three months since they’d moved into the Anomaly Research Centre, Lester had walked around the lake only once, as part of a security review with Ryan. The building was set in its own extensive grounds, not easily overlooked from anywhere. The perimeter fencing had cost the equivalent of the national debt of a minor country, but eventually Ryan had declared himself satisfied with the arrangements, much to Lester’s relief. With the usual overspend, they’d be lucky if they could afford to change so much as a lightbulb for at least a year, but with large parts of the building still standing empty, that probably wouldn’t be too much of an issue for a while.

The building had been started as one of the government’s much vaunted public-private partnerships and had originally been intended for something to do with science and technology, but halfway through the project, the private part of the partnership had gone unexpectedly and spectacularly tits up, leaving the government with a potentially embarrassing white elephant on its hands. The vultures had started circling immediately, with the MoD and the newly-formed National Crime Agency leading the charge.

Lester had done some fancy political footwork and, much to his amazement, had managed to get in ahead of the other candidates. Saving the Home Secretary’s favourite niece from an attack by a flock of raptors during an incursion at her expensive private school had helped. Money had been found from somewhere and the building had been turned over to the anomaly project. Lester just hoped the necessary funding would be made available for the building to be properly staffed. For now, they were rattling around in there like two dozen peas in a drum, but with the cloak of secrecy the government had thrown around the anomalies, at least their spending wasn’t open to wide scrutiny. Now all he had to do was get the latest round of budget proposals accepted and they might even be able to start some real work rather than just fighting fire all the time.

They crossed the grass to the lake and started to walk around the still water. The reflection of the grandly-named Anomaly Research Centre – the ARC for short – fell across the lake in a long shadow, but elsewhere, the water reflected the blue of the sky, with only a few high, white wisps of cloud riding high above them.

“Wonder if it’s got fish?” Lyle said, bending down to skim a flat stone across the surface.

“I imagine so, but if it hasn’t, I doubt we’ll get fish past the minister…”

The sun was warm, and when they reached the far side, in the shadow of a small copse of trees, Lester looked wistfully at a tree stump and wondered if he dared risk his suit by sitting down.

A moment later, Lyle pulled his teeshirt off and draped it over the wood. “There, sweetie, don’t ever say I’m not a gentleman.”

Deciding it would be churlish to refuse the gesture, despite the number of stains on the grey cotton, Lester sat down and stretched his legs out, feeling his headache start to diminish now he was away from the building’s artificial light and air-conditioning. The view outside was better, as well, especially now he had a half-naked boyfriend to look at.

Lyle promptly toed off his trainers, thumbed open the button on his jeans and started to slide the zip down. Before Lester even had chance to register his surprise, Lyle shimmied out of his jeans, underwear and socks and waded into the water.

“Jon, what the fuck are you doing?”

“Going for a swim,” Lyle announced.

Even though the water was no doubt fucking freezing, Lyle walked out into the lake up to his thighs and then launched himself into a low dive, coming up a few moments later, several body lengths further away from the shore and treading water.

“Cold?” Lester enquired.

“Cold,” Lyle agreed, before setting off across the lake at a fast crawl.

After ten minutes in the water, including several duck-dives in search of the bottom, Lyle finally made his way back to the shore.

Lester stood up and tossed the teeshirt over to him. “Sorry, darling, I draw the line at letting you use my jacket to dry off on, and my pocket handkerchief wouldn’t do more than dry your balls.”

Lyle looked down at himself and grinned. “What balls?”

“That cold?”

“Yep. That cold. Bet it’ll be nice when the weather warms up a bit more, though. It’s at least 20 feet deep out in the middle.” Lyle quickly dried himself as best he could on the teeshirt and pulled the rest of his clothes back on.

Lester ran a hand through his lover’s wet hair. “Thanks for dragging me out, Jon. You were right, it has helped.”

Lyle’s cold lips covered his in a quick, almost chaste kiss. “It’s won me the pot on who’d go for the first swim, as well.”

Lester’s lips twitched with amusement. “Are you sure it wasn’t a bet on who’d be the first to try watersports?”

The look of mild uncertainty on Lyle’s face gave Lester a much-needed laugh as the last dregs of his headache finally drained away. But his lover’s uncertainty didn’t last long, and quickly gave way to a hint of speculation. “Never tried it, but it might help me warm up…”

Lester lightly swatted his lover’s backside. “Maybe later, darling. For now, you’ll just have to make do with a hot shower.”

Not caring who might be watching, Lester caught hold of Lyle’s cold hand and together, they made their way back to the ARC.
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