Richard knows how maddening it is to be faced with someone who leans so close to you and yet never touches. Invades your space as closely as they dare, breathes hot breath against your face or neck, before moving back with a twitch of their lips and a suggestion in their eye of 'next time'. Mortal women (and men) have done it to him often enough over the long millennia that by observing he has perfected it into an art.
It's only natural he subjects Zak to it (and Daniel, before him, and before that, oh, so many names – the angel now known as Zak has ever been Richard's favourite being to tease) whenever he possibly can. He enjoys the way Zak's body always moves towards him despite Zak's attempts to control the impulses of his flesh, the way his eyes darken when Richard whispers into his ear before pulling away and the way Zak's breath goes shallow when Richard slides past him.
Zak isn't foolish enough to offer a hand to Richard the way Tom does, the beautifully innocent chorister deserving to see what Richard had shown him through his own stupidity, and always traps his arms at his sides when Richard goads him. Fighting temptation, as always, as if he's sure that this time he won't give in.
(Zak always gives in.)
It's a dangerous game to play with someone else of angel stock, of course, they may play for different teams but he and Zak share a great many similar abilities – the playing of influence by touch is only one of them – and as much as Richard's encouraged to toy with Mountjoy's little pets he knows he walks a fine line between play and fall. There's always the possibility that one day Zak will turn the tables on him, finally having learnt the lesson that Richard's been half-heartedly teaching him for so many years, and Richard's not entirely certain what he'll do on that day.
Of course, at the rate Zak's going, it's much more like the the end of days will come first. It's almost a pity.
Zak steps into his space outside the pub, droning on about some case or another that Richard genuinely couldn't care less about beyond how much it irritated Zak that he was involved, and Richard recognises some of his own tactics. As is becoming common for these little chats Zak has his hands in his pockets, and the tensing of his arms suggests they've been balled into fists (wouldn't it be fascinating if Zak actually hit him? That hasn't happened for at least five centuries), and Richard mimics him. As much as Richard is loathe to admit it the temptation to touch Zak can at times be a little overwhelming; the urge to poke and prod and manipulate as powerful as the sense of sadness that always hangs in a little cloud over Zak's head in these ever so troubled times.
There's a hint of whiskey on Zak's breath as his words puff harmlessly against Richard's cheeks and Richard lowers his eyes to watch Zak shaping them with the alluring mouth Mountjoy gifted him with this time. Honestly, if Mountjoy wanted his children to be more capable of resisting temptation he would be better off not putting them in such irresistible flesh forms. Any human would delight in the attention of Zak's latest, as Hannah is proving (despite being endlessly confused by Zak, as she had confessed to Richard one evening, she was fond of him), and Richard had enjoyed many an evening's pleasure thinking about bending this flesh to his will.
It's night time, a time when one man shouting at another outside a pub is more common than uncommon, and Richard enjoys the sensation of eyes sliding over them as people hurry past, desperate not to be drawn into anything. He touches his tongue against his teeth as Zak lowers his voice, tastes Zak's annoyance and irritation hanging in the air (and, as always, the low hint of arousal that pulls between them everywhere they go), and curves his mouth into a smile. He thinks of saying something to stem the tide of pointless words but Zak's eyes flick down to his mouth as he smiles and he changes his mind.
Goad Zak into touch without even speaking? That's a challenge worthy of Richard's talents at last.
Richard lets Zak's anger drive him back against the wall, in doing so Richard pulls his hands from his pockets and splays them against the rough brick, making himself small in the face of Zak's emotion. Zak's shoulders twitch and Richard can feel the heat coming off him in the bare inch of space between their chests. He lowers his eyes to Zak's neck and smiles, pressing his teeth into his bottom lip just enough to suggest the arousal pooling at the base of his spine.
“Will you bloody listen to me?” Zak demands, his hands flying out of his pockets to slam against the wall on either side of Richard's head. They're the first words Richard's bothered to hear properly in the entire ten minutes Zak's been talking and he likes them, the frustrated edge and deep, throaty timbre that Richard knows so very well.
He lifts his head enough to look at Zak through his eyelashes, curling his fingers against the wall in lieu of curling them into Zak's shirt, and lets the smile drift a little bit, his mouth slackening open and inviting. He sees Zak's hands become fists against the wall, hears the soft noise Zak can't stop from escaping, feels the way their chests are nearly touching with every breath Zak draws. It's intoxicating, almost dizzying, and Richard drags his tongue slowly across his lip, fixing his eyes on Zak's mouth and thinking 'if only'.
Zak's whole body twitches at once, his hands coming away from the wall to fist into the lapels of Richard's jacket. Another of those desperate little noises escapes Zak's throat as he drags Richard so close that Richard can't even focus on him any more. Their breath mingles, their noses separated by time rather than distance, and Richard has to press his hands hard against the wall behind him.
“Why,” Zak says, one word hanging solitary in the barest of spaces between them. Not why anything in particular, Richard knows that, just why to all the things that try Zak's finite practice. Of which Richard has always been top of the list. Richard tilts his head and brings their mouths into perfect alignment, tastes the deep want Zak is breathing into him, and waits.
He doesn't wait long. (Zak always gives in.)
The next desperate noise is cut off by Zak's mouth closing over his own, tongue pressing in hot and insistent, and Richard opens with ease, lets Zak push him back against the wall again, gives Zak the impression that he might have won. That heady first touch of dyed-in-the-wool angel is always a killer, knocking Richard on his arse for longer than he'd ever admit or show, but that Zak touched him first means Richard has the upper hand.
Zak's hands come away from Richard's jacket, one sliding up to cradle the back of his head and the snaking inside his jacket to curve hotly against his side. Richard finally lets himself touch, pressing his palms against Zak's sides to draw him in, allowing Zak to slide one leg between his own, before running his hands up and into the ridiculously fluffy hair Zak sports in this form. He strokes his thumbs down over Zak's ears and jawline, extends some of his influence there and swallows the moan that shudders through Zak's body.
“Get a bloody room, why don't you?” some bright spark of humanity shouts at them, to the accompaniment of laughter from his fellows.
Zak breaks away as if burned (close enough) and Richard finds himself letting out a sigh of resignation before Zak even has time to turn his favourite accusing stare on him. Richard presses his fingers against the bricks again, revelling in how the texture is heightened from his brief touch of Zak's essence, and meets the stare with his favourite smirk.
“Why not,” he says, shrugging his shoulders smoothly.
Zak turns on his heel, his coat splaying artfully behind him, and for the briefest of moments Richard sees Zak's wings outlined against the orange glow of the streetlights. Then Zak is marching away down the street, and force of his determination not to look back is almost palpable in the air.
Richard starts laughing when Zak is finally out of sight, pushing himself closer to standing using the wall as a support, raising his hands to run his fingers through his hair. His legs are trembling slightly and his blood is fizzing from twisting his fingers ever so briefly into Zak's power.
It's been two hundred years since he cracked Zak so hard that Zak kissed him, which only serves of a reminder of how desperate and on edge Mountjoy's lot are, he'd actually forgotten how incandescently good it was.
Now Richard's determined that it won't be another two hundred years until the next time. He straightens entirely, trusting his legs to support him, and strolls down the road, whistling something that'd been playing in the pub before Zak asked him outside.
It's Friday night, there's bound to be some unhappiness he can wallow in somewhere in York.