The voice warned him a split second before the pillow impacted with the back of his head. He grunted. "Go 'way."
"I can't go away. I live here, man." This time, the pillow thumped him across the shoulders. "Wake up."
"What's your problem, anyway?" Tom Hanson pried a single bleary eye open and tried to focus it on his roommate. "I'm trying to sleep here, Dougie."
"Hey, watch it, man." Doug Penhall took one more swing with the pillow, then threw himself onto the bed.
"Why should I?" Hanson made a massive effort, pried himself out of his pillow and shoved his body into a mostly upright position. "And what the hell, man? It's three am!"
"So it is, so it is." Penhall grinned at him, unrepentant.
"Look, Dougie," Hanson said, the acid bite to his voice sharp enough to shave with, "just because you aren't out getting laid doesn't mean you can wake me up."
"Oh, and I suppose you were out getting laid, weren't you." Penhall made a sour face.
"Actually," and Hanson stretched for a moment, promising his weary body sleep later, when he'd gotten Penhall off his bed, "I was out at a party, until about an hour ago. And before you say it, you know damn good and well I was on assignment."
"Oh yeah, sure, rub it in... pretty boy gets all the good assignments, with all the little rich bitches flinging themselves at your feet, suckers for your big brown eyes..."
"Penhall? You drunk?" Hanson actually felt a faint stirring of concern.
"Wasted, man... totally wasted." Penhall grinned at him.
Hanson sighed heavily. "All right, so you're wasted. Wanna at least shut the light out? And then you can tell me what's eating at you."
"Nothing's eating at me, man. I'm up on top of the world." But Penhall got up and shut the light switch off, then crawled back onto the bed. Hanson arranged his pillow so he could lean back against the headboard, resigned to hearing his friend out.
"So what is it this time, bud?"
"Nothing, really," Penhall replied, arranging a pillow for himself with elaborate casualness.
"I ain't buying it. You never get wasted without reason."
"You don't say..." Penhall settled himself against his pillow finally. "And what if there is a reason? Like, the usual reason?"
"Your father?" Not really a stab in the dark there, Penhall's father was a frequent source of upset.
"Bingo, got it in one." Penhall picked at the rumpled sheets.
"And what's up?" Great, looked like he was going to have to drag every scrap of information out of him tonight.
"You don't really want to know." Penhall slid a bit further down in the bed.
Frustration and annoyance gave Hanson enough energy to flip sideways and grab his friend's shirt. "You lousy bastard, wake me up in the middle of the night and then pull this shit... you're gonna tell me what's wrong."
Penhall's confused eyes blinked at him for a long moment, visible as a gleam in the dim light, then the energy ran out and he collapsed back against his pillow, letting his hand drop. "Just spit it out, okay buddy?"
Penhall sighed. "Nothing, really. He was just ripping on me again, for being a loser, for not doing anything with my life, for not being rich..."
"What in hell's he want from you, anyway? You're a cop. You're working undercover. You're helping kids. Ones who, sometimes, no one else gives a shit about."
"Beats hell out of me, man." Penhall sighed. "I have no idea what he's after. If I knew that, maybe he'd lay off me and I'd finally make him happy."
"Maybe you'd better just give up, face the fact that he's never gonna be happy." Hanson's eyes drifted closed.
"Nobody gives a shit, man... not him, not the kids, not even you."
"Knock it off, man," Hanson said. He lifted a hand, heavy with lack of sleep, and reached out blindly. It landed on his friend's neck. "You know better than that."
"Do I? Do I really?"
"Yeah." Hanson was a little worried. Penhall must be farther gone than he'd ever been before. Not that this was a regular occurance, but usually Penhall didn't get quite so morose. Usually he just ranted and raved for a while about his father, or whatever else was bugging him, then mellowed out.
"Can't tell. You're always giving me shit."
"It's when I don't give you shit you've got to worry. And what do you mean, I'm always giving you shit? You're Mr. Attitude, remember?"
"C'mon, man," Penhall protested, "I'm a sensitive guy, you know? Maybe sometimes I just want a hug, or something."
"Huh?" Hanson opened his eyes, made an attempt to focus on his friend in the dim light. His heart skipped a few beats. "A hug? Easy enough to fix."
So he did it. He wrapped both arms around Penhall, who clung to him almost desperately, face buried in his hair. Then he tried to move away, tried to back off to a safe distance, but Penhall wouldn't let him.
"Tom," he said, voice low and nearly strangled. "Don't let go."
"Okay." Hanson rested his head on his friend's shoulder. This was dangerous, this was very dangerous, but he didn't care. "What's wrong? You're not usually like this."
"And how would you know?" Penhall's hands eased off their frantic grip, began wandering. Hanson's breath caught painfully when a hand found its way into his hair.
"Penhall-" He swallowed. "Doug. What are you doing?"
"Just wondering..." oh god those hands were going to drive him insane "Just wondering, that's all."
Oh shit, those were lips, Penhall was kissing his hair and he turned his face up to meet those lips 'cause he couldn't help it and then they were kissing and
"Knock it off, Doug," he panted, breaking away a long and breathless moment later.
"Why?" Penhall's hands held him closer, daring him to move. "Thought you cared so much?"
"Dammit, Doug, don't do this...!"
But then they were kissing again, and his body was definitely taking an interest in events, and oh god was it good.
"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't." Penhall's voice was soft, devoid of its usual edge of attitude.
"You're drunk, man," Hanson said, trying desperately to get a full breath. "Don't do this. You'd hate yourself when you sobered up."
Hanson shivered. "C'mon, man, give me a break. You really think you could live with yourself if you woke up in my bed?"
"Fine, then. See what happens. Stay here. But keep your damn hands to yourself until you're sober."
Penhall chuckled. Hanson shivered. "You think I'm joking, don't you?"
"I think you're wasted, just like you said."
Penhall inched his way further down on the bed, pulling Hanson with him. "Maybe so. But I think you'll be surprised."
"Damn you, Penhall." But Hanson snuggled closer. This may end in a disaster in the morning, but for now... Oh, yeah.
The last thing he felt before returning to his interrupted sleep was Penhall's hand running through his hair again.
* * * * * * * *
He was warm.
Then the reason for the warmth insinuated itself into his mind, and Hanson became completely aware in less than a heartbeat.
He was wrapped up in Penhall's arms, a hand still tangled in his hair, even his legs were twined with Penhall's.
But before he could move, before he could disentangle himself from that dangerous embrace, Penhall stirred.
"Good morning to you, too." Penhall chuckled. He moved, more quickly than should have been possible first thing in the morning, and rolled over.
"Uhh!" Hanson blinked in surprise, looking up from his new position on his back, with Penhall on top of him. His mind refused to work.
"That all you can say?" There was a smile on his face, that rare expression that made the world stop spinning for a moment.
"Uhh.... you didn't change your mind..."
"You didn't give me any reason to," Penhall said.
Hanson stared, wide-eyed, for a long moment, while his thoughts chased each other round his head like frightened mice. Then he shook off his better judgment. "Ah, screw it," he said. He freed an arm from Penhall's grasp and pulled that shaggy head down for a long kiss. "You're not still drunk, are you?" he asked, when the kiss had ended.
"Not from alcohol," Penhall responded, then proceeded to make all rational thought fly out the window.
Thank you, god, was all Hanson had time to think, before he gave himself over completely to Penhall, body and soul.
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