“How long do you think this will take?” Raleigh asked, looking at the long lines of plugged-in Christmas lights they had laid out, and then up at Gipsy Danger. Yancy slung an arm over his shoulder, then squeezed his shoulder, not able to resist it.
“C’mon Rals, don’t worry about it. We’ll get it done before the Marshall can find out.”
Raleigh laughed and picked up the first end. “Right, and when he sees all the lights he’s going to think it was my idea, like when we tried making that witch hat for her for Halloween.”
“I think he had a problem with the hat falling off, not it just being there,” Yancy replied. “And the witch hat was your idea.”
“You just hide behind your responsible older brother act,” Raleigh said dramatically, going over to one of the repair harnesses and strapping himself in. “I, the reckless younger brother, will take the fall for your devious plan.”
“Putting Christmas lights on our Jaeger isn’t that devious,” Yancy pointed out, double checking the clips before patting Raleigh’s chest. “All right, you’re good to go. Start with her head.”
“I know, Yance,” Raleigh replied, rolling his eyes, then pressing the button on the harness to start going up. Yancy fed the lights up to him, making sure they didn’t get tangled too badly.
“I’m about halfway,” Raleigh called down, still pressing the ‘up’ button. Yancy looked out at the spread of lights they had, all the colored variety, some blinking, some not, and grinned; all the hoarding they’d done to get this many lights was going to be so worth it. He followed the trail of lights up, after his baby brother, and smiled. Raleigh’d been so excited when Yancy had jokingly suggested doing this, that the joke immediately became serious. No matter how angry the Marshall was, it was so going to be worth it.
“Almost there,” Raleigh called again. Yancy checked the lights again, making sure there weren’t any tangles in the lights that were going up soon, and then they stopped getting pulled up.
“At the top!”
“Remember to give her a crown,” Yancy shouted back, cupping his hand around his mouth to make sure the sound would carry. From Raleigh’s ringing laugh raining down on him, he knew it did. Yancy grinned as he stood there holding the lights, watching as Raleigh slung them around the top of Gipsy’s head, making it look like she was wearing a crown.
“Good enough for our lady, Yance?” Raleigh yelled down to him.
“Perfect, Rals,” Yancy assured him.
There was a sudden slack in the lights as Raleigh repositioned himself, dropping the lights down the back of Gipsy’s head so he could drape them around her neck and shoulders. Then he started moving in a slow back and forth in front of their jaeger, hanging the lights in long arcs around her.
“Looks beautiful, Rals,” Yancy shouted.
Raleigh didn’t respond; Yancy figured he was too focused on hanging the lights in exactly the right way. Raleigh always had that laser-focus when he was really involved in something, and it was one of the things Yancy loved most about him.
Not that he’d ever tell him that. Raleigh probably knew it, anyway, because of the Drift.
“Did we ever decide how we’re doing her arms?” Raleigh called down, once the lights had reached the edges of Gipsy’s shoulders.
“Nope,” Yancy shouted back cheerfully, popping the P. Raleigh laughed, making Yancy grin wider. “We could wrap the lights around her arm, disconnect it, reconnect at the plug at her other shoulder, then do her other arm, disconnect, reconnect and do her torso and continue down.”
Raleigh considered it for a moment, then started wrapping the lights around her arm, moving as much around it as he could and throwing the lights around the rest of the way. It was a lot harder to keep the lights from tangling, but at least it gave Yancy something to do besides picturing his brother with all those lights shining on him and that ridiculous, amazing grin on his face.
The arms and torso were easier than either of them thought they would be, even if the lights got tangled a few times, and Raleigh wouldn’t let Yancy forget it as they moved down to draping lights over her hips.
“We should do her legs like her arms, right?” Raleigh asked, not having to shout as loud now that he was closer to the ground. Yancy spread out the lights again, like he’d done to keep the second arm from getting tangled.
“Yeah, think so,” he called back, feeding the lights to Raleigh as he started twining them around Gipsy’s left leg, working closer and closer to the ground. When he was dangling only a little above Yancy, he reached up and grabbed Raleigh’s foot, pushing him to the side like he was on a swing.
“Yance!” Raleigh protested, but when he looked down at Yancy he was laughing, so Yancy grinned back and swung him the other way. Raleigh laughed harder, trying to kick his hands away while still keeping a hold on the lights.
Once Raleigh landed a solid kick to Yancy’s forearm, he stepped back and went back to guiding the lights to Raleigh instead of antagonizing him.
“Geez, Rals,” he complained, rubbing the place Raleigh had kicked through his thick sweater. “You didn’t need to kick me that hard.”
“You didn’t need to swing me around like a piñata,” Raleigh replied, letting the light strand go and sitting there in his harness. “Now you finish this leg and I can go up and do her other leg.”
Yancy took the lights and started jogging around Gipsy’s leg, pulling the lights taut so they had a chance of staying in place. When he got back around her foot for the last time, he saw Raleigh yawning into his hand.
“You want me to go up?” Yancy asked, a bit concerned, disconnecting the next strand of lights from the one he’d just wrapped. “You can stay down here and rest.”
“Nah, I’m good,” Raleigh replied with a smile, taking the lights from him. “See you in a bit!” He started going back up, so Yancy shook his head and started sorting out the remaining lights.
The second leg went faster, probably because there were fewer lights to get tangled on the floor, giving Yancy the chance to grab the bag he’d stashed behind Gipsy’s foot before they’d started. He spread out the blankets a few meters from her toes, but brought the bottle of whiskey back over to where Raleigh was dropping down the last few feet to the floor.
“Finish up this leg?” Raleigh asked, already undoing the straps of his harness. He knew Yancy wouldn’t say no. Yancy just handed him the whiskey with a grin, then picked up the lights.
“You get started on that, then,” he said, then jogged off.
By the time he made it back around Gipsy’s foot, Raleigh had found the blanket pile, and was lounging back with the whiskey in one hand. Yancy tucked in the last end and walked over to him, flopping down next to him and grabbing the bottle, taking a swig.
“She’s beautiful,” Raleigh said, looking up at Gipsy and reaching for the bottle. Yancy handed it to him and looked up at her as well. She was beautiful; the colored lights reflected off of her magnificently, blending together in a swirl of light that bled out into the darkness of the rest of the Jaeger Bay.
The bottle nudged his hand, and Yancy glanced down to grab it. Once he had it in his hand, that, of course, led to him looking at Raleigh.
He knew Raleigh would look gorgeous with all the lights on him. There were so many that even this far away, they light up his smile and sparkled in his eyes. Yancy took a large gulp of whiskey, but couldn’t make himself look away, and couldn’t force the small smile off his face.
Yancy wanted to kiss him. That was a normal state of being for him, but here, with their Jaeger the only witness and the lights shining down on them, the temptation was almost too much. Almost.
But Raleigh must have sensed he was being stared at, because he looked over at Yancy. Raleigh’s eyes widened a little, and his lips parted. Yancy froze, he needed to look away, he needed an excuse for looking at his baby brother like that—
And then Raleigh’s hand cupped the back of his head and pulled him into a kiss. Yancy stayed frozen for another moment, but Raleigh was kissing him, and there was always the possibility that this was going to be the only time this would happen, so he kissed him back.
Raleigh pressed closer, making a quiet noise against Yancy’s lips that he hoped was a good sign. Yancy put the whiskey down as far away as he could, then put his arms around Raleigh’s waist and pulled him as tight against him as he could.
Then Raleigh pulled away. Yancy tried to kiss him again, but Raleigh dodged it, and laughed when it landed on his cheek.
“Thank God,” he murmured, running his fingers through Yancy’s hair. “I thought you didn’t…”
“Feel the same?” Yancy finished. Raleigh nodded, and Yancy kissed him quickly, before Raleigh could dodge again. “Of course I do, Rals. How could I not?”
Raleigh smiled brightly, brighter than the lights beside them, and Yancy hoped that thought never came up in the Drift because Raleigh would never let it go.
“I kept thinking you wouldn’t want me like that,” Yancy added, rubbing a small circle on Raleigh’s hip with his thumb.
Raleigh rolled his eyes. “How could I not?” he echoed. Yancy chuckled and kissed him again. Raleigh didn’t try to avoid it this time; he deepened the kiss, sliding his tongue into Yancy’s mouth when a tug on his hair parted his lips.
Then Raleigh urged Yancy down on his back, rolling on top of him and pressing against him from chest to thigh. Yancy groaned into his mouth, one hand sliding up Raleigh’s back and the other staying around his waist. Raleigh rocked his hips against Yancy’s, making Yancy moan and break the kiss.
“Rals,” Yancy said, meeting Raleigh’s eyes. “We shouldn’t do this here.”
Raleigh pouted and tried to kiss him again. This time, even though it was almost physically painful, Yancy dodged the kiss. “Come on, Yance,” Raleigh replied, peppering kisses over his cheek and down his neck. “No one’ll know.”
“The Marshall’s figure it out somehow,” Yancy told him. “Besides, don’t you want to do it in a bed?”
Raleigh sat up, and Yancy thought he had won. That thought, along with every other, flew out of his mind when Raleigh shifted back so his ass was pressed against the bulge in Yancy’s trousers. “I want you to fuck me here, with all the lights.”
“Rals—” he tried, voice weak even to himself.
“Just let go of that responsible older brother shtick for a little bit, all right? Let me be the reckless younger brother,” Raleigh told him, grinding his ass back against him, and Yancy couldn’t really fight against that.
Then Raleigh tried pulling Yancy’s sweater up, and Yancy winced and pushed it down again. “Yeah, no, that’s not coming off.”
“Why?” Raleigh pouted, fisting his hands in Yancy’s sweater and circling his hips.
Yancy bucked up against him, but kept his grip on his sweater. “It’s fucking cold, Rals. You try taking yours off.”
Raleigh rolled his eyes and started pulling his sweater up, bending back a little with the intent of giving Yancy a show. He got the sweater halfway up his stomach before cursing and curling in one himself. “Shit, you’re right.”
“Let me be the responsible older brother for a minute,” Yancy told him, pulling him down against him and then rolling them over again. Raleigh wrapped his arms around Yancy’s neck and grinned up at him.
“Well, when you make it look so good…”
Yancy chuckled and nosed along his Raleigh’s neck, kissing a few spots. Raleigh hummed and bucked up against him. Yancy started grinding against him, shifting his position a little until he and Raleigh were perfectly aligned.
Raleigh moaned and gripped the back of his neck, hooking a leg around Yancy’s hip and bucking up against him. Yancy groaned and sucked at the side of his neck, pulling Raleigh’s leg higher and grinding harder against him. He slid a hand up under Raleigh’s sweater, making him shiver at the burst of cold air, but he covered any accidentally bare skin with his body.
He rubbed his thumb over one of Raleigh’s nipples, and Raleigh moaned loudly, his hips jerking up. Yancy grinned and did it again, then pinched lightly, making Raleigh cry out.
“How’d you know I liked that?” Raleigh asked breathlessly, wrapping his legs around Yancy’s waist so they could grind together harder.
“Drift,” Yancy replied, nipping at one of the marks he’d left on the side of Raleigh’s neck. “Seen flashes of you jerking off.”
Raleigh flushed and his grip on Yancy tightened. “I’ve seen you too.”
Yancy grinned and circled his hips, making Raleigh buck harder against him. “Once we get in bed, there’s so many things I am going to do to you.”
“Right back at you, Yance,” Raleigh gasped, his head tilting back and hips jerking up. Yancy thrust against him harder, resting his forehead against the curve of Raleigh’s neck. “Yancy, I’m…”
“Come on, Raleigh,” Yancy groaned, biting down just above the collar of his shoulder, pushing Raleigh over the edge with a cry. Raleigh’s legs clamped around his waist, shivers jumping up and down his spine. Yancy lifted his head to watch him, still thrusting against him, and his rhythm stuttered.
He knew Raleigh under the lights was beautiful, and he expected that Raleigh orgasming would be spectacular, but the two combined was almost too much for one person. He was biting his lower lip, his eyes shut but fluttering, like he desperately wanted to look at Yancy but was too overwhelmed to manage it.
Yancy ducked his head, focusing on chasing his own orgasm.
He tightened his hold on Raleigh’s hip, bucked against him harder, but then Raleigh was pushing him back.
“Yance, stop,” he rasped, and Yancy frowned.
“Why? Are you all right?”
“I want you to fuck me,” Raleigh told him, a lazy, satisfied smile on his lips. “Let’s go back to our room.”
Yancy groaned and forced himself off of Raleigh, rolling onto his side. “You’re lucky I want inside that ass so badly.”
Raleigh grinned wider and kissed him quickly. “I know. Now come on, it’s almost dawn.”
They capped the whiskey and gathered up the blankets, then stood together looking up at Gipsy one last time. They knew that, come morning, the repair techs would be tasked with taking the lights off. This would be their last chance to see her like this.
“She’s beautiful,” Yancy said again, putting his arm around Raleigh’s waist and pulling him close.
“Yeah,” Raleigh said, and kissed Yancy.