[text] I know you're right down the hall and all, and I can just peek my head in the door.
“Y’mean like when you’d creep your hand up my thigh under th’table?”
Connor rolled his eyes, but there was a smile on his face. Tilting his head forward, he brushed his nose against Dallas’, eyes closing as he let his mind drift back to simpler times. Back when his biggest worries were his grades and whether or not he was getting a swirly between classes.
“Nah, I did well enough t’get into college and th’academy.”
He let out an amused huff through his nose, eyes still closed as he relaxed against the fingers in his hair. Ah, one of his favorite things. It was easy to doze off while Dallas played with his hair, but he did his best to stay in the present, brows lifting in a drowsy expression of contentment.
“Mm, I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in th’world.”
“Fair enough, because it’s too late to reverse it.” He couldn’t put into words how comforting it was to have Connor this close. It was amazing how their protective roles had switched, but he guessed it was natural enough. Considering that he stayed tiny and breakable while Connor had turned into Godzilla. He chuckled softly at the thought. Perhaps if his powers kept evolving he could protect his friend again. Ideally, he’d never have a reason to, but he couldn’t help but think that their troubles weren’t over.
But there was no need to focus on the future when he had this at the present. Safety, a place to stay, people who cared about him. He may be going just a little bit stir crazy but when he thought about it he didn’t know if he’d want to be out and about anyway.
“You, sir…” he leaned in just slightly to plant a kiss on his best friend’s brow, “…are stuck with me. For life.” His eyes slipped closed and the hand brushing through Connor’s hair just fell limp, resting on his head. “And you’re forbidden from leaving the bed tonight. I’ve got you.”
Connor dragged in a breath at the feeling of those nails going down his back, letting it out slowly through his nose as he opened his eyes to look at Dal. God, it was wonderful to see his best friend smiling again—really smiling. Knowing that Dallas now had this ability certainly did put Connor’s mind at ease. After all, this meant that Dallas pretty much could never be trapped anywhere if he was prepared.
Slowly, he smoothed his palm against Dal’s side, just petting him as he listened to his best friend talk. There was a hint of a flush coloring Connor’s cheeks then, ears going pink as well. He couldn’t help giving Dallas a flat look, though he made no effort to scoot away.
“Oh please. Your hands have been dangerous t’me since high school.”
He continued to pet against Dallas’ waist and hip, his own lips curling in a tiny smile, even as his cheeks and ears still felt heated—both from the way Dallas had been teasing him right then, and back in their high school days.
“Chemistry. D’you know how difficult it was for me t’keep a passing grade? It was all your fault.”
He tapped his fingers idly against his friend’s shoulder and laughed. Now memories were rushing back. Despite how groggy and detached he felt from the present sometimes, his memories from the past didn’t seem to be affected by the head traumas he’d sustained. The classes he’d had with Connor were the ones that ended up being more enjoyable, and not just because he had fun teasing. It was because he knew if Connor was there, he had a friend who wasn’t a giggling girl desperate to latch on to a gay best friend. They were nice, but not real friends. The evidence was in how none of them bothered to stay in touch. And here Connor was, during the lowest moment of this life.
“That’s funny because I remember Chemistry being pretty simple. And fun. Entertaining.” He clicked his tongue and narrowed his eyes. “You just had concentration problems. I don’t know how that’s my fault.”
He knew damn well how that was his fault, but he’d never admit to it.
“Didn’t bother you, did it?” His hand moved just slightly to fiddle with his friend’s hair. “I know I was terrible. Still am. I’d just hope I didn’t ruin your mortal life during school.”
He felt the nails, but he didn’t pull away. If anything, it made it all feel that much more real. Pain was a reminder that you were still alive, after all. So dig your nails in Dallas, make him bleed, because right then it would almost be welcome.
With Dallas pulling away, Connor wanted to protest, but he kept himself quiet instead. However, what followed made his eyes burn because it felt so familiar. So much like old times that for a brief, shining moment, he thought it was. Closing his eyes to hide the way they watered, he simply smiled instead, his hand slipping away from Dallas’ back to instead curl his fingers against the delicate ones against his cheek.
“I’m… better. Better now. I just… god, Dal, I missed this. Missed you.”
He didn’t think as he leaned closer, lips gentle as he pressed chaste kisses against Dallas’ forehead and cheeks, before eventually making his way to his best friend’s lips. Time had made them comfortable with each other, so with each kiss Connor felt no embarrassment, no shame. It was simply a sign of his love, and between them, there was nothing wrong with it.
“It’s just… it’s better now, babe.”
On a better day, Con’s attentive little kisses would have made him laugh. They usually did, mainly because between them there was usually a hint of silliness hidden beneath it. This time, though, he just melted into them and sighed pleasantly. What he wouldn’t have given to have just a fraction of this on those nights alone at the warehouse.
It wasn’t worth thinking about anymore, and he had to try and learn not to.
“It is better now,” he softly reassured his friend, moving his hand back to Connor’s torso and dragging his nails slowly across his back. “Now…” he paused, a genuine relieved smile curling on his lips, “…if, god forbid, anything happens to me again, I can run. Once I’m up and walking again, I mean. I’ll be safe from getting hurt if I can see it coming.”
Biting his lip thoughtfully, he huffed out a laugh while he seemed to look over Connor a bit. “Wonder if I could make you intangible as well. Seeing as how I could… easily… duplicate you if I wished.” The hand on his back now moved to his shoulder, gripping it tight. He was teasing now, and it was very apparent in his voice. “Be careful. My hands are becoming progressively more dangerous.”
Connor was more than glad to wrap an arm around Dallas, to help him scoot closer until they were flush against one another. Like this he could feel just how cool to the touch Dallas was, a fact that made him frown and bury his face against that dark head of hair.
For a moment, Connor felt a flash of bitterness come over him. If Dallas had known he could do this before, so much could have been prevented. Connor wouldn’t have stained his hands. There wouldn’t be a body sharing a grave with no headstone to prove he was there. However, as quickly as that bitterness came it was gone, instead replaced with no small amount of self-loathing. How could he pin this on Dallas, when the blame was fully on the person that had started it all? Taliesin, that bastard, was still out there and god, it’d be a terrible lie to say that Connor didn’t imagine wringing his neck on a daily basis. The normally innocent and gentle Connor wished every possibly instance of pain and death on that man, and he rarely felt bad about it to boot.
The description of how it was with the basilisk had a shiver going down Connor’s spine, curling a little closer against Dallas, a little tighter. His palm was flat against Dal’s lower back, rubbing in small circles in an attempt to soothe. How could Dallas act so calmly, while Connor himself was shaking? There was fear in Connor’s trembling, to be sure, but there was also anger. And impotent fury that wouldn’t be quenched until he had his heel over Taliesin’s throat. Still, that would do him no good right now so he breathed deep in an attempt to relax, pressing a kiss against the crown of Dal’s head.
“Well, the doctor’s checked y’over completely. Got every kinda scan done, so there’s nothing there at least. Not that it makes it any less, y’know, real or scary… but at least he’s gone.”
He felt the trembling. Perhaps he should have expected it. Sometimes the whole ordeal seemed to bother Connor much more than it did Dallas. In truth, he had been the one who dealt with the most of it. Arguably. At least, that’s how Dallas felt. His hand tightened against Connor, clenching the material of his shirt and pressing his nails slightly into the skin underneath.
“I know. I know it’s fine. It’s just the memory of it, I think.”
There was little left that he felt like he had to say. He’d gotten it out, and it was a relief. It allowed him to relax, which unfortunately also let a level of emotion flood back into him. He’d been methodical moments before, but now he was just in Connor’s arms, realizing how vulnerable he was, but knowing he was protected. His heart clenched in his chest.
He pulled away enough to look his best friend in the eyes again, his eyebrows furrowing in concern. A hand curled against his cheek, his fingers reaching back behind his earlobe. “Are you okay, love? I’ve been… detached. I know.”