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HP: H/R: R: The Immortal Game

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Dec. 27th, 2007 | 07:17 pm

Title:The Immortal Game

Author:gibson_fic

Rating: R

Summary: Harry and Ron are playing more than one game.

Disclaimer: The characters in this work of fiction are both: of legal age and not mine. The moves depicted in the game are from this game, and are also not mine.

Warnings: None

Author's Note: Thanks, as always, go to my lovely betas (and to C, who talked me through it and deciphered the notations. All mistakes remain my own. I've done my best with this fitzette; I do hope you enjoy it. :D This fic was part of the bestmates_xmas exchange 2007 it was written for fitzette and originally posted there.



Red Pawn to F 4


White Pawn to F 5


(Red Pawn Captured)


The red and white chess set was striking. The red pieces depicted the life cycle of a phoenix, the white the life cycle of a snowy owl. Harry only used this set for his weekly games with Ron, which was fitting as Ron had made the set for him.

Their weekly chess game was something both of them looked forward to—and never missed. Their games could last weeks and months, but tonight Ron had sent his fledgling phoenix to King 4, the start of a new game for them.

They'd both been busy this week. Harry'd finally sorted out a tricky stabilization charm on the Seeker Select 7, Ron'd finally finished Kingley's commission.

Ron handed Harry a bottle with a grin.

"I brought the Firewhiskey. If I'd known commissions would be so much work, I'd never have started taking them. I've got a job already." Ron shoved his hand through his hair then grinned again, "But it's good Harry. You'd like this one. Traditional chess pieces—but in African Wizarding gear—it's bloody fantastic!"

Harry laughed, "I like them all, you know that. Glad you got the Whiskey, I finally sorted that stabilization charm out!"

The pieces moved around the chess board at their bidding, the conversation flowing through and around the game they were playing. Ron was stretched out in his chair—using his six foot two frame to take up the maximum space—one hand idly holding a nearly empty glass of Firewhiskey, when their timer went off. They never played past ten, choosing to extend their games rather than finish them in one night.

Harry stood and stretched, his soft t-shirt pulling up at his stomach, then quickly dropped his arms.

"Think I might have had a bit too much of that Whiskey, or sat too long." He shook his head as if to clear it, "I'm feeling a bit pissed."

Ron swayed just slightly, "Me too mate, reckon I'd best Floo home tonight." He rubbed at his arm distractedly, "Don't want to get splinched again."

"Can't," said Harry, "Remember? I'm not on the Floo. Too many bloody reporters trying to stick their heads in my fire. Had to get taken off the network. You can sleep on the couch though."

Ron looked skeptically at Harry's secondhand couch. It was comfortable enough to sit on, but he wasn't sure about sleeping on it. Still, it beat splinching.

"I'll get you a blanket, and a pillow," said Harry, going into his room and pulling an extra blanket and pillow off the bed.

Ron shrugged and kicked off his trainers, pulling his t-shirt over his head. He was unzipping his trousers when Harry came back in the room with an armful of bedding.

"Thanks," said Ron, his voice muffled by the shirt obscuring his face (and keeping him from seeing the thorough look Harry gave him).

"No problem, get some rest." Harry headed back to his room, hoping Ron hadn't seen his flushed face.

%^%^%^

Harry was dreaming of long, lean bodies and warm, strong arms, which was why he didn't immediately realize that the firm pillow under his cheek was actually a firm pectoral muscle, and that the warm duvet wrapped snugly across his back owed as much to the arms that were holding him for its warmth as it did to its down filling.

Instead his first clue that he wasn't alone in his bed was the shifting of legs against his own. His second was the sea of freckles that met his newly opened eyes.

Despite the fact that he was certain he'd left Ron on the sofa when he'd gone to bed, Ron was currently and unmistakably serving as Harry's own body pillow. One with arms that refused to let him go and leave this bed with composure, and acres of soft, strokable skin.

Harry started to smooth his hand against Ron's ribs then he realized what he was doing and stopped. It was simply not on to be found sleeping on top of your best friend, groping him while he slept, even if you were certain that he'd inserted himself into your bed.

Harry tried to roll off of Ron, but his efforts only caused Ron's arms to pull tighter against him, pressing his cheek firmly into Ron's chest. Harry had a brief, mad moment when he wondered if he was going to find the imprint of Ron's nipple on his cheek when he finally extracted himself from this bed. The hysterical giggle that escaped him at the thought caused Ron to shift and grumble, signaling the end of Harry's opportunity to observe his best mate unnoticed.

Ron shrugged, sighed, and stretched his arms over his head.

"Time's it?"

Harry looked at the Muggle alarm clock on his dresser, "'Bout eight."

"Hmm." Ron started to snuggle back down, his arm coming to rest on Harry's back again. Harry, despite having a momentary window of time in which to make his bid for freedom, had stayed on Ron's chest.

Ron was startled for a moment, then said, "Er, mate, you're lying on me."

"Right, well, you're in my bed. What do you expect? I 'spect I thought you were a pillow." A warm, firm, sexy-as-hell pillow.

"Erm, but I'm not."

"Well, no, but you were holding me, couldn't get away." Harry rolled off of Ron and sat up, getting out of bed and heading for the loo.

"Need to shower or are you going to Apparate?"

Ron just stared after him, aware that Harry really hadn't explained why he hadn't shoved off when Ron had first woken up.

White Pawn from C6 to B5


(White Pawn captures Red Bishop)


Harry knew that Ron had a strategy, Ron always had a strategy and, despite his efforts, Harry was never able to see the moves as far in advance as Ron was. So, despite the certain knowledge that he was playing into Ron's carefully laid trap, Harry sent his pawn to capture the red Bishop. It was okay if he lost this game, he almost always lost to Ron. It was comforting in a way.

They were sitting in their familiar places, still working on the game they'd started That Night. It wasn't original, but that was the only way Harry could refer to That Nightin his mind. The night that he'd woken up wrapped around Ron like he was the only life raft and Harry was a drowning man in the ocean. Actually, that probably wasn't a bad description, in many ways Harry knew he would be a drowning man without Ron in his life, which was why he'd never tell him how much he wanted to wake up next to him again, maybe tomorrow, or the day after that, or, maybe, every day.

"You awake there, Harry?"

"Er, yeah, just thinking."

"Maybe we should stop there for tonight. Before you take anymore of my pieces." The last was said with a grin that only increased Harry's certainty that he'd walked down the path Ron had cleared for him. Damn it. He was never going to win this game.

"Yeah, maybe. Want to see what's on the telly?"

Ron's eyes lit up. He wasn't quite as bad as Mr. Weasley about Muggle devices, but he did love the little telly that Harry'd decided to get.

"Right, that'd be brilliant. What's on?"

%^%^%^

It was dark, and Ron was cursing, and there was someone nattering on about firming their buttocks.

"Harry, come on, wake up you git, I can't carry you and I can't turn this bleeding bint off."

Harry realized that Ron was tugging on his arm, trying to pull him off the couch. There was some late night advert on the telly, and Ron was scowling at it as he yanked at Harry's arm.

"Right. Okay. I'm up." Harry struggled to sit up, they must have fallen asleep at some point, during Dr. Who maybe. He reached for the remote, turning off the T.V. and plunging the room into darkness.

"Right, time for bed," he said and started stumbling down the hall. What he needed right now was a piss. It wasn't until he was shucking off his trousers and climbing into his bed that he realized Ron was already in it.

"Too tired. Splinch m'self. Couch is brutal." Ron muttered against Harry's other pillow as Harry crawled into bed.

Harry didn't question it when Ron rolled over and pulled him against his solid chest, or when he felt the lightest pressure against his forehead. He was probably just dreaming it anyway.

%^%^%^

This time Harry immediately knew that he was sleeping on Ron. In retrospect, he didn't know how he could have missed it the first time. Ron smelled terrific, certainly better than anything Harry washed his linens with. Ron was spicy and earthy and warm and delicious, and Harry wanted to see if he tasted as good as he smelled. But that would definitely be crossing the line.

Harry was so focused on the way Ron smelled, he didn't realize he wasn't the first to wake up this time. Well, not if the hand that was lightly combing his hair was anything to judge by. It was probably standing on end, poking into Ron's chin, and tickling his nose. That was why he was trying to flatten it; Harry could have told him that no number of strokes of Ron's large hands would make it lie flat.

"Mornin'," mumbled Harry into Ron's clavicle.

"Mornin'," mumbled Ron, his hand stilling against Harry's hair.

"Sorry 'bout that," said Harry, carefully avoiding looking at Ron's face as he sat up and ran his own hand through his disastrous hair.

"'S alright," said Ron, "'s not like you drool." Harry hoped the heat he felt in his face didn't flush his cheeks.

Ron stretched and stood up himself, looking over at the clock on the dresser.

"Bugger! I've got to open the store in fifteen minutes! Can I get ready here? I can Apparate home after for a shower and change of clothes."

"Sure," said Harry, already rummaging in a drawer, "I don't have any trousers that'll fit you, but here's a clean shirt that should do."

With a grateful grin, Ron hurried into the bathroom. Harry heard shuffling and then he called out, "Mind if I borrow your razor?"

"No, go ahead." Harry walked toward the bathroom and saw Ron standing at the sink, lathering his face then slowly clearing the foam and hair off with Harry's razor. Something went tight in his stomach and he hoped he wasn't getting sick—he'd nearly finished with the new broom and the Nimbus people were hounding him for it.

Ron splashed his face, cast a quick, emergencies-only, mouth cleaning charm and headed back into the bedroom.

It would never have happened if Harry wasn't watching Ron move like a hurricane through his flat, or if Ron wasn't so much taller than him, but nonetheless, Harry noticed the strip of red hair going in a line up the column of Ron's throat and over the side of that sharp jaw.

"You missed a strip."

"What?" Ron stopped in his frantic search for his other trainer, "Missed what?"

"When you were shaving, you missed a stripe, here." Harry motioned vaguely at the band of hair on Ron's neck.

Ron, standing there, one shoe on, his wand in his hand, just looked frazzled.

"Hold on." Without thinking about what he was doing or why, Harry walked into his bathroom and picked up his still-damp razor.

"Don't move."

Ron stood stock-still as Harry ran the razor against the line of this throat. Harry was very intent on his task, he couldn't let Ron leave half-shaved, but couldn't cut him either. Finally satisfied with his handiwork, Harry turned away. He was feeling a bit feverish and didn't want Ron to think any shortness of breath was because Harry had enjoyed the feeling of Ron's chin in his hand as he shaved him.

"Thanks, mate," Ron's voice was hoarse and bit breathy. He was going to be late.

Harry Accio'd the missing shoe and thrust it and Ron towards the door.

"You have to hurry; you're going to be late."

White Bishop from F9 to C5


(An attack on the Red Rook)


They'd shortened the time of their normal chess game tonight, but Ron assured Harry it was for a good reason. They were celebrating the successful release of the Seeker Select 7 to rave reviews, after all. Most people didn't know what Harry did for a living and he liked it that way, they'd assume what they wanted to regardless of what he told them anyway. Even the Nimbus manufacturers didn't know that Harry Potter was the "genius" behind their highly successful Seeker Signature Line.

Harry hadn't started out to become a broom designer; he'd started out to try and recover from the war and what it left him. He'd started tinkering with some brooms he'd found at Grimmauld Place, making them faster, lighter, more stable. Making them better for a seeker. When he realized that it was possible to craft a broom that would respond directly to a seeker's needs, well, he made one. And then he sent it to Nimbus, just to see what they'd say.

And now he was an incognito broom designer. It suited him.

Still, Ron, Hermione, some of their old circle, knew what he did; he'd eventually had to tell them. Seamus's suggestion that he was a Muggle underwear model had pushed him over the edge and he'd confessed. Which was why he and Seamus were facing each other over shots of Old Ogden's, some old Irish celebration tradition Seamus had said. Harry wasn't sure he believed him. Then again, Harry wasn't sure he cared.

The war was over, they were okay, and he'd accomplished something for himself. He deserved a celebratory shot or ten.

When Harry's hand passed though the glass he was attempting to pick up, Ron intervened.

"When you can't see the glass, you can't have anymore."

"'S my celebrashion."

"I know, and now it's over." Ron got a hand under Harry's arm and pulled him to his feet.

"Come on, up you get. Time to get you home."

"How's he going to get home? He doesn't have Floo." Hermione sounded worried.

"I'll take him; I can get through the wards."

Harry chose that moment to pitch forward, nearly kissing the table with his nose.

"Right then, time to go, bye all." Ron waved and pulled Harry tightly to his side, so as not to splinch him and Disapparated.

They landed with a crack! in Harry's flat and Harry tottered as his feet hit the floor. Ron pulled him tighter and helped him find his balance.

"Bed then, Harry." Ron kept an arm around Harry's shoulders, supporting him as they walked down the hall to Harry's bedroom.

Harry sat down on the edge of his bed and haphazardly toed his trainers off, giggling as they flew through the air and bounced off the dresser and the wall before coming to a rest. He had his shirt off and winged it at Ron, then shucked off his trousers.

Ron was about to turn out the light and leave when Harry said, "Don't."

"Don't what?"

"Don't go."

"You need something?"

"Want you stay." Harry's hand smacked the pillow next to him.

"Harry, I think you're drunk."

Harry sat up, his eyes meeting Ron's.

"'m not drunk, I'm happy. And, I want you to stay." Ron could see the stubborn set of Harry's jaw and something that might have been desire, if he'd been anyone else, in his green eyes.

Before he could say anything, or even decide what to say, Harry added, "Want to wake up with you again."

Ron had his trainers off and his shirt over his head in a thrice, his trousers pooled next to the bed, and he climbed in next to Harry. Harry slid back down, and turned to Ron.

Without his glasses things were blurry, but he could see enough for what he wanted to do. With a smile, Harry brought his face down to Ron's, brushing his lips against Ron's jaw in his spot, the spot he'd shaved, then moving to kiss Ron. Their lips met, Harry's dry and soft, Ron's slightly damp from the way his tongue had swiped against them when Harry'd kissed him.

It as soft kiss, chaste almost, just a brush of their lips, but Ron was hard.

Harry pulled away and slid down, wrapped an arm across Ron's ribs as he pillowed his head on Ron's chest.

"Want you," he murmured as he went to sleep.

"Bugger."

Ron was still hard when he fell asleep, his arm firmly around Harry's back.

%^%^%^

Ron knew where he was the moment he woke. There was the now-familiar weight draped across his chest. He only woke up with that pressure and warmth pressing against him when he was in Harry's bed. Which seemed like an awfully intimate thing to say, but this was the third time this had happened.

This morning was different than the other two though, this morning Harry might not want to speak to him. After all, last night they'd kissed. And that was definitely something that best mates didn't do. And they were best mates he and Harry, and it was all they were. Even if maybe he wanted more. Because you didn't tell your best mate that you thought you were in love with them. And you certainly didn't tell your best mate you wanted to sleep with them. Though, last night Harry had; that was why Ron was afraid this morning.

"Ngh hmm." Harry's fingers skittered across his chest, one of them grazing his nipple and Ron took a deep breath. It was emphatically not okay to get a stiffy because your mate, who you were sleeping with, platonically, except for that kiss, accidentally slid a finger across your nipple.

"Hmm mmrg." Harry arched and then settled back against Ron, pulling his leg up higher, nearly sliding his knee against Ron's twitching, but not interested, cock.

That tore it. He couldn't take it; a slow death by unconscious seduction was no way to go.

"Harry, Harry, mate, it's time to get up."

Harry shifted again, and Ron almost groaned as, this time, his knee made contact with Ron's bits. Ron tried to slide out from under Harry's weight, but the movement caused Harry to grasp at Ron's sides, refusing to give up his "pillow". Prying Harry's fingers off his side, Ron shook him lightly.

"Harry, wake up."

"Mmm, what?"

"You've got to let me go, I need to get to the loo."

With a reluctant sound and motion that was petulant, Harry released Ron. As soon as Ron slid out of the bed, Harry curled into his vacant warm spot with a happy sigh.

Already aching, Ron mumbled something about Owling Harry later and Apparated home for a wank.

White King to D8


Harry realized that no matter what he did, he was going to lose this game. There was no way that he would be able to protect his Queen.

However, he fully intended to drown his sorrows in Firewhiskey. And if he kept refilling Ron's glass before it could empty, there was no motive in that. They were just drinking together, they were adults, there was nothing nefarious about a few drinks between friends.

And, if he kept thinking about how well he slept when Ron stayed over, that was because he'd always slept better when was Ron around—that didn't mean anything either. After all, Ron had always been good at noticing his nightmares and waking him up, he was a good friend. Harry felt safe with him. There was no other reason he kept dreaming of having him spend the night. (Harry never thought too much about the night he'd asked Ron to stay, or the way he'd kissed him before going to sleep--that didn't fit his best mates theory very well.)

The timer went off, and Harry's crushing defeat was saved for another day. They both could read the inevitable on the board, but Harry was more than willing to hold it over until the next week. Plus, they were both well beyond sober.

"Telly?"

"Sure."

Harry flicked the set on and clicked through the channels trying to find something to watch.

"Actually," he said, "I'm thinking of heading to bed early. Had a bit too much maybe."

"Yeah, mind if I stay over? Splinching, you know."

"'Course, don't bother with the bloody couch though, we can share." Harry said it as though it was the first time they'd shared a bed, though, obviously, it wasn't. Ron padded down the hall behind him, his trainers long since gone.

They got ready for bed in amicable silence, taking turns in the loo and shedding their clothes. It was as they pulled back the duvet and got into bed that the air in the room began to get a bit heavy. Harry was sure it was only the Firewhiskey that had him wishing that they weren't sharing a bed because they'd been drinking, or because they were tired, or because they were mates, but rather because they were something more. Something more permanent, something more intimate, something more physical.

Harry laid against his pillow, trying not to wish for something more substantial, something with a rhythm of its own to lure him into sleep.

"Get over here, you git." Ron's voice was raspy and deep, and Harry thought for a moment that he'd just imagined it, but Ron's arm tugging at his assured him of its reality.

With a grin, Harry rolled over against and on top of Ron, settling down into his spot, his fingers tentatively curled under his chin until Ron dragged them out and set them against his chest, where they belonged.

Everything about this moment was perfect.

Except for Harry's hard on. He tried to surreptitiously pull back from Ron's thigh, attempting to pretend that this was about comfort and maybe something as girly as cuddling, but not—never--about sex.

Only, Ron's arm was solid and hard around Harry's back and there was really no way shift himself without drawing attention to the fact that he was shifting, which would draw attention to the fact that his cock was hard and he wanted nothing more to kiss his best mate, again.

This was a problem. Harry supposed that ,while it hadn't technically been a plan, because it was nowhere near conscious enough to have been planned, he had hoped some how, when he was buying the Firewhiskey, that this could, or would, bring them back to this state.

They hadn't talked about last time at all, Ron had Owled from the Wheezes like he'd said he would when he'd left, but they'd never talked about The Kiss. Harry supposed that was fine and in the grand tradition of these now, somehow, almost-common sleepovers. They never talked about things in the mornings, or really any time after. They just seemed to accept them.

Which was why, now, instead of shifting away from Ron, he squirmed slightly closer. Not enough to be a real perv, but close enough that Ron would have an idea, and an option.

For a moment, nothing changed. They laid there together, breathing and soaking in the feel and smell of each other. Then, Ron shifted.

His arm, which had always before stayed above the waist, slid down and cupped Harry's hip, the slight pressure bringing Harry infinitesimally closer to Ron.

Like chess, this game was reciprocal—a move for a move.

Harry's turn. He slid his hand up from where it rested lightly against Ron's ribcage, arcing up over his chest and grazing his nipple.

Ron squeezed Harry even closer, shifted, moving his legs further apart. Their movements were precise, slow and entirely silent. There was no discussion—just move and counter. This was about need and desire, but also caution and calculation.

Harry, holding onto the pretense that they weren't both fully aware of the game they were playing, sighed then slid closer to Ron, his leg covering Ron's, his groin now pressed fully and unmistakably against Ron's thigh.

Harry was achingly sober. The Firewhiskey may have provided the catalyst and the courage, but this was desperately real and sincere. Harry hoped they weren't about to risk the best thing in his life.

For a moment Ron did nothing and Harry wondered if he'd misunderstood what they were doing, if Ron was really only shifting and settling and into sleep as Harry was trying to find a way to show Ron, with his body, what he wanted their relationship to become—as he was finally trying to admit, in an incontrovertible way, that he was far beyond mates. Harry froze with terror as he realized that he may have finally overcome his fear, only to lose Ron entirely.

Then Ron moved again, rolling, dragging Harry under him, reversing their positions. Harry was smothered in Ron, he was all Harry could smell or see or feel, and he was sure, if he opened his mouth, Ron was all he'd be able to taste. The terror drained from his limbs, this was proof that he wasn't imagining things, that at least for this moment, Ron wanted this as much as he did.

Harry did what he'd wanted to do since that first, innocent, morning. He raised his head and ran his open mouth along the column of Ron's throat, wishing he was able to reach Ron's chest from this position.

There was no more time for deliberation, for measuring and weighing. This was the time for trust. Harry had to believe that Ron was with him now, moaning deep in his throat as Harry mouthed his jawline, that he was with him because he wanted this as much as Harry did, and that they were in this together, the way they'd always been.

Ron lowered his head bringing their mouths together. There was nothing chaste about this kiss, they were both too hard, Ron's cock pressing down against Harry's own told him that, and they'd both wanted this too long.

Ron's tongue swept into Harry's mouth, thoroughly seeking out and categorizing each texture, each subtle change in taste. Ron kissed like he played chess, with precision and passion. If Harry hadn't already been almost incoherent with desire, that kiss would have done it.

With a groan of his own, he arched, pressing up into the delicious strength and heat of Ron's body, feeling the rasp and glide of their bodies against one another, the catch and tug of the cloth against their cocks. His hands came up, scrabbling at Ron's back, this was more than he'd imagined or dreamed or thought he could ever have and it still wasn't enough. He needed more.

He wanted to feel the full press of Ron's weight against him. He wanted to lick Ron's nipples and nibble along the edge of his ribcage. He wanted to push the barriers between them away and for the first time feel the drag of another body against his, of Ron's body against his. He wanted everything.

“More.” His voice was shaky and hoarse, and it was the first word either of them had said since they started this. For all they both knew what they were doing, somehow this word made it real. Ron's groan was deeper this time.

Slowly, he lowered himself on top of Harry, succumbing to Harry's hands, which were still pressing and pulling him down, putting his full weight on Harry's slighter frame.

Harry gasped with the effort of drawing that first heavy breath. This is what he'd been waiting for.

They were, finally, both fully and firmly committed to this moment.

At first, they just lay there, bodies pressed together, hearts beating in harmony, feeling each other.

Harry shifted, reveling in the press of Ron's long, lean body against his, and felt Ron twitch. This wasn't why they were here precisely, but it was part of it and now Harry wanted it.

He kissed Ron, his tongue exploring his mouth as his body arched up into and against Ron's. Ron kissed him back, their tongues mimicking the call and response of their bodies and they pushed and slid against each other, their movements forceful… they wanted to feel this on a visceral level. They wanted to remember it in their bodies as well as their minds.

Harry, intoxicated by the way Ron completely surrounded and totally engulfed him, was the first to come. His pants, now damp, clung and rubbed against him in a way that was just shy of painful, but it was worth it to see the intensity of Ron's face as he thrust against Harry, his movements steady and unmistakable. Ron came with a shudder and a sigh and seemed to lose all composure, collapsing against Harry, snuggling into his neck and pressing a soft kiss into the damp skin there.

It was Harry's turn to be the caregiver, to be the pillow, to hold Ron. He muttered a quick cleaning spell, there was no reason for either of them to wake up sticky, and then pressed a kiss of his own onto the top of Ron's head.

This was precisely where he wanted to be he thought as he followed Ron languorously into sleep.

Red Queen to F6
Check

White Knight to F6


(Queen's sacrifice)


Harry had woken up warm, comfortable and completely swaddled in Ron. It was unquestionably the best morning of his life. That wouldn't have been much of a distinction until recently, but since he now had three previous mornings where he'd woken up wrapped around Ron, it carried some weight.

The best part had been Ron himself, already awake and lightly tracing patterns on Harry's chest. There was no awkwardness or apparent regret—just calm acceptance.

Except it had been an entire week and they hadn't talked about it. They'd talked about Quidditch and wheezes and Harry's plans for a broom designed specifically for a Keeper and Ron's decision to finally make himself a chess set, but they hadn't talked about that night, or what it meant. Or what they meant.

And Ron hadn't slept over since then.

Harry'd heard, during Muggle primary school, that some drugs were so dangerous that it took only one time to get addicted, or to kill you. Ron was twice as dangerous as those Muggle drugs. Harry was already addicted, and right now Ron was bound to be the death of him—be it by overdose (he needed Ron more than food, or air) or by withdrawal (if Ron didn't want him, if it was a one-off, Harry was finished).

It was a rather sad statement about his heroics, mused Harry, that he could defeat Voldemort but had absolutely no defence against his best mate. Against his lover?

He watched as his Knight smashed Ron's Queen. At least he could count on this. Ron would come once a week to play chess, and ultimately Harry would lose. His Knight may have captured the Queen, but it didn't take a chess master to see that Ron would have him in the next move. That was like Ron, Harry thought, he was willing to make sacrifices to get what he wanted, even if meant going against conventional wisdom.

Harry Accio'd his Firewhiskey and two glasses. Ron was going to finish this game in one move. Then, he'd either stand and go home or stay. Either way, Harry was preparing to get pissed. If Ron left tonight, what had somehow become their night, the night that they acted on the things they never said, Harry didn't want to remember it. And if getting Ron drunk was what it took to get him to stay, Harry was weak enough to do it. At least he knew that sometimes Ron wanted him, maybe tonight would be one of those times.

Harry poured them both a glass as he watched as his King toppled over. He'd honestly never really understood the magic behind Wizard's Chess, but he was glad for it all the same. This chess set, the first Ron had ever made, was one of Harry's most treasured belongings.

“Don't pour me a glass.” Ron's voice was tired but firm.

So that was going to be it. Whatever they'd been doing, whatever Harry thought they'd been building to, it was finished. He quickly drained his glass, telling himself that the tears in his eyes were a reaction to the burn of the Whiskey.

“Okay. You heading out now?” Harry tried to keep his voice casual, light. He tried not to scream, to say, “I love you” or “I thought you loved me too.” There was really nothing he could say that wouldn't expose him now. Nothing that wouldn't reveal how much he needed Ron, how much he wanted him.

“If you want me to.” Ron toyed with the Red Queen, the Phoenix practically a statue of Fawkes, tripping it along his fingers and catching it in his fist.

With a sigh, he set the piece in front of Harry then lifted his head and caught Harry's eyes with his own.

“If you want me here, you're going to have to tell me.” Ron paused, staring at Harry, his eyes wounded. “I can't pretend that it's because of something else. If I stay, if we're doing this, we're doing it because we want each other, because we need it, because we accept it. It can't only be because it started as something else. Just this once, we have to say it.”

Harry's breath was somewhere in his throat, he knew that because he distinctly remembered swallowing when Ron had begun to speak. Only now, he could find it, couldn't find the air to tell Ron that he was the only thing Harry wanted, now or ever. Harry couldn't find the breath to tell Ron yes.

Dammit, he wasn't a girl. He wasn't going to sit here and nod stupidly at Ron.

“I want you,” he rasped, his voice hoarse from its disappearance. “I want you. I love you. I want you.” He forced himself to stop. He wasn't going to babble either. Ron knew now, he had to know.

Ron paused and looked at Harry again, "This isn't a once-a-week thing, right? This is real. This is always?"

“Yes.” Harry’s throat was tight with fear and relief and the last vestiges of his earlier grief.

Ron looked at him again, nodded, then poured himself a finger of Whiskey and knocked it back. “Well then, that's sorted. Telly?”

Harry boggled at him. That's it? That's all? All it took was “I want you. I love you.”?

“That's it? We're okay?”

“Well, yeah. More than okay I hope. I'm not going to say no to some of that snogging though. I've missed that."

Harry just nodded dazedly at him. Their courtship hadn't been all that conventional, why should this moment be? They were together now, and they were both secure in that knowledge. That's what mattered. Harry looked at red phoenix in front of him, Ron had knowingly sacrificed everything when he'd told Harry what he'd needed, he'd risked everything in the way only a true strategist could or would. Harry could recognize the brilliance of the move even if he couldn't make it himself. And, Ron knew that; that was the point really.

They were perfect together, they belonged together, and now, finally, they were together.

Red Bishop to E7


Checkmate

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Comments {19}

unomesowell

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from: unomesowell
date: Mar. 25th, 2008 06:46 pm (UTC)
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Ron and chess are always intimately linked in my mind as well. *sigh*

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gibson_fic

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from: gibson_fic
date: Mar. 30th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
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Thank you so much! I'm glad that you enjoyed the story. I think sometimes we have a tendency to buy Ron's facade--he comes off sometimes as the well-intentioned but unremarkable sidekick and that's totally unfair to him. He does have a brilliant tactical mind when he's willing and ready to use it and I wanted to see how that would mature with him and how it might bring them together.

:D

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unomesowell

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from: unomesowell
date: Mar. 31st, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC)
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Thah and he is breathtakingly hot... :)

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firefly_124

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from: firefly124
date: Apr. 13th, 2008 01:20 am (UTC)
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Here via crack_broom. I don't normally read this pairing, but something about the rec compelled me to click, and I'm very glad I did. I love the careers you chose for both Harry and Ron, and I love your Harry's voice and your grasp of Ron the strategist. This just works so very, very well!

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gibson_fic

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from: gibson_fic
date: Apr. 30th, 2008 09:18 am (UTC)
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I'm so glad that you took a chance on the pairing and on my fic! There's a lot of good stuff in this pairing, I hope you look around for more! :D

Thanks for the lovely feedback, I spent a lot of time making sure I knew who they were in this fic and why they were where they were, I'm glad that it worked for you!

Ron, to me, has always been far more astute in some areas than he's given credit for and I'm glad that worked for you! :D

Thanks again for your lovely feedback and please pardon my late reply--this was eaten by my email. :(

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polpolaris

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from: polpolaris
date: Apr. 13th, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
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The shaving scene was just perfection. It's a really lovely intimacy.

Great story!

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gibson_fic

(no subject)

from: gibson_fic
date: Apr. 30th, 2008 09:16 am (UTC)
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Thank you!

I'm sorry for the really late response, this was filtered by my email! :(

I'm glad that you enjoyed the fic and the shaving scene, I'd never done something like that before so it's nice to know that it worked for you! :D

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Chris

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from: estioe
date: Apr. 16th, 2008 08:34 am (UTC)
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What a lovely story! I very much enjoyed every word. :)

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gibson_fic

(no subject)

from: gibson_fic
date: Apr. 29th, 2008 02:32 am (UTC)
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Thank you so much for your lovely feedback ;).

I'm sorry for my late reply :(.

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spidermoth

(no subject)

from: spidermoth
date: Apr. 17th, 2008 04:15 am (UTC)
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How wonderful! The boys' voices were so perfect and I loved how Ron was so accepting of Harry's insecurities in the end. Lovely, lovely, lovely...

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gibson_fic

(no subject)

from: gibson_fic
date: May. 3rd, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
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Thanks so much!!:D

I worked really hard to make sure their voices came off well in this so I'm glad to hear it worked for you! :D

(sorry for the late reply--your comment was eaten by my email. :()

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your royal pie-ness

(no subject)

from: entrenous88
date: Jul. 5th, 2008 12:28 pm (UTC)
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I love this! The careful deliberations and moves were compelling, and the slow progress towards the conclusion felt rich and lovely.

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gibson_fic

(no subject)

from: gibson_fic
date: Jul. 5th, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. :)

I just see them being a bit slow to shift into something else, so I'm glad that seemed like a natural progression ;).

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lotus_lizzy

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from: lotus_lizzy
date: Nov. 5th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
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Wonderful story. I really think this will be the Ron/Harry story for me.

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gibson_fic

(no subject)

from: gibson_fic
date: Nov. 6th, 2008 10:38 am (UTC)
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I'm so very glad you enjoyed it! :D

I can't imagine that this is the story for anyone (wow!), but thank you. :D

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beowulf

(no subject)

from: bookofjude
date: Dec. 13th, 2008 09:39 am (UTC)
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Thank you. That really cements in my mind the following things:

1) The reason why Harry/Ron is quickly becoming my one-true-pairing.
2) Some people just *get* it and manage to represent a relationship perfectly. (Of course, that implies that there are people out there who don't get it and don't represent it well, but it's safe to say, you are not one of those.)
3) Relationship stories are better without sex, or with story before and after the sex. Something to help you start breathing again, I guess.

I can't think of anything else to say. That about sums it up.

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gibson_fic

(no subject)

from: gibson_fic
date: Jan. 20th, 2009 06:26 am (UTC)
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I'm so, so sorry to be replying so late to this! I'm normally much better about these things! :D

1) They're very definitely OTP-worthy. :D

2) Oh, thank you so much!

3) I struggle to write sex, so I'm glad that you think this didn't need it, or didn't need much. Thank you!

Thanks for your comment! :D I really appreciate the feedback, especially since you hit on some things that I typically struggle with. :D

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(no subject)

from: anonymous
date: May. 7th, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
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What a wonderful story! Liked how you built the progression of their relationship through chess. I really enjoyed your characterizations of Ron and Harry - their physicality waking in the morning and their discussions (or lack there of).

Ruth0007

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gibson_fic

(no subject)

from: gibson_fic
date: Jul. 1st, 2012 09:14 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! The format of this story was a challenge, but one I really enjoyed. Glad it worked for you! :D

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