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The worst part of San Diego this time of year is the heat. Except—no, the residents have more or less grown impervious to the heat. They’re Californian, for Christ’s sake, heat is what they do. And to be fair, it’s not all that hot here at all. It’s the humidity that’s the real wet blanket, enveloping the city and causing con attendees to sweat profusely beneath their costumes, making Sharpies slippery in the hands of the men and women who have to rely on the mercy of table fans at the signing booths, causing makeup to run and shirts to stick to backs as people try to carry bags of merchandise for hours on end.

It’s the humidity that Henry positively despises, and unrelenting though the sun is once the morning clouds begin to clear, it’s the humidity alone that has Henry eager to return to his hotel room, lock the door behind him, and begin peeling himself out of his Darth Vader mask and the rest of his damp clothing.

Kal, at least, is happy to see him once he returns. Kal has also been waiting since his last walk in a luxurious, air-conditioned hotel room with none of the seething crowds that Henry has been wading through all morning and afternoon. Once Henry’s mask has been pulled off, Kal greets him eagerly with a series of licks and playful whuffs. Henry ruffles the fur on top of his head and makes sure that there’s food and water in his dish before he kicks off his shoes and pulls off his socks, tossing them across the room for Kal to chase after. Only a cold shower and a quick meetup with a few friends are keeping him from an evening of relaxation now, and once the night is over he’ll need to make his way back to the other side of the world.

He loves this time of year, he really does, but with a schedule like his, it’s hard to find time to do much of anything.

He’s barely managed to start unbuttoning his shirt when Kal’s ears perk up, and as Kal trots toward the door he’s greeted with the quick rap of knuckles on the other side. Henry pauses, fingers still working at a button, and stares at the door as the person on the other side knocks again. He’s not expecting visitors just yet. In fact, he’s supposed to have another hour before the real owner of his room returns, but it’s entirely possible that someone has followed him back, or is looking for him to go back out into the fray for some unspecified reason.

Kal sits in front of the door and stares intently at it with his head cocked. With his ears twitching and his eyes locked on one particular spot, it's almost as if he can see through the polished wood. Henry follows warily, nudging Kal gently out of the way so that he can look through the peephole and see for himself.

The good news is that it’s not paparazzi, hotel security, or some stray fan who’s managed to wander into the hotel and is looking for a celebrity encounter.

The other good news is that it’s Ben.

Henry cracks the door, nudging Kal aside again with his foot. “You’re early. I just got back, I haven’t even gotten in the shower yet,” he says, as if that’s supposed to change Ben’s mind about joining him while he’s still hot, sticky, and incredibly uncomfortable.

Ben takes that as an invitation to step into the room, leaning down to rub Kal’s head before Kal can start begging for attention. Currently, he’s just as sweaty as Henry is, forehead shining with perspiration despite being the sort of LA resident who’s somehow capable of wearing leather jackets in blistering summer heat. At least Henry isn’t the only one who’s suffering here.

“Hey, yeah, that’s fine. I thought saw you trying to make an escape after the signing. I just wanted to come and see if you were dead yet.”

“I was drowning in that mask,” Henry informs him. It seems inhumane to force people to pay so much money only to corral them like animals. He’d been wearing a simple plastic half-mask with a light shirt and shorts, and even dressed down he feels as if the humidity has conquered him and made the hotel room is a welcome relief. As much as he loves seeing all of the attendees in their costumes, it’s hard not to feel bad about the overcrowding, overheating, and the lack of air circulation in the place. “I don’t know how you live here.”

Ben makes an amused sound and leans in to press a quick kiss to Henry’s temple. “I don’t live here, you know where I live.”

“Yes, and I know people are melting on the street out there. You’re all absolutely crazy.” Henry turns and returns to his shirt buttons while Ben kicks off his own shoes and steps further into the room. Ben must have snuck away from everybody else as quickly as possible; Henry recalls that his schedule was supposed to include a couple of photoshoots and interviews after the signing booth. Even with everything so hectic and fast-moving at the convention, Henry wasn’t expecting him until later in the evening. “Also, not that I mind the intrusion, but I thought the plan was to meet in Ray's room for socializing, not rendezvous here first,” Henry points out.

Ben is now crouched down on the floor, kneeling at Kal-level, though his face is tilted up and away from the tongue bath that Kal’s trying to greet him with. “I know you’re only here until tomorrow so I’m gonna forget that you just called me an intruder, and that you keep being so dramatic about the weather—”

“Because there’s absolutely nothing dramatic about global warming,” Henry says mildly. “You know I was in Queenstown, right? It’s half as warm in Queenstown. It’s winter in Queenstown.”

“Well… okay, it’s not my fault you spend all your time hiding from the sun.”

“I’m not hiding from the sun.”

“Oh, like any city in England ever gets a sunny day.”

Finished with the last button and unwilling to dignify Ben’s jabs with any sort of response, Henry pulls off his shirt and starts with his belt. Ben is still kneeling on the floor with a hand buried in Kal’s fur, but he’s watching Henry like a hawk. Henry had expected that, and he would be lying if he said he wasn’t pleased to have captured Ben’s attention, even if it’s taken all afternoon to finally do so. “So you came back up to break up with me because I won’t live in the desert from Mad Max?”

“Well,” Ben says. Henry shoots him a sharp look and he grins, holding up a placating hand. “No, c’mon. The hall was full of people upstairs. Kinda looks like they were waiting for Gal and Ezra and everyone else to show up. They didn’t look like they were going anywhere and I didn’t want you to have to wait all day for them to leave. Or for people to think I was sneaking a Sith Lord into my room.”

Ah, paparazzi. As if there weren’t enough autograph hunters and people with cameras buzzing around the airport and outside the hotels, but they seem to enjoy swarming every recognizable face at the convention and aren’t shy about sneaking past hotel security, either. The mask may have caused him a small amount of grief, but Henry’s glad that he wore it.

“So you alerted them to your presence and brought them all down with you?”

Henry’s down to his underwear now, and Ben’s still watching. It hasn’t escaped him that removing his clothing is as much a performance as it is a relief, at this point.

Ben pushes himself to his feet, giving the pile of sweaty clothes on the floor an amused look before stepping forward. “Just a couple. I thought it’d be nice if I let a few of them in, you know? Let them snap a couple photos, get a few autographs, maybe take a video or two…”

Henry hasn’t made any progress with removing his underwear, and he answer’s Ben’s slow, advancing steps with a quizzical look. He’d love to take this show on the road—right into the shower, in fact— but if he’s going to rinse himself off, it’s likely that Ben will want to join him, and Ben doesn’t look as if he’s in any rush to take off his own clothing. In Henry’s opinion, it’s downright criminal that he manages to wear more than one layer in weather like this.

He remains still as Ben reaches for him, half-hoping that he’s about to be dragged off to the shower, and he relaxes as Ben’s fingers curl around his wrists. “This would be a better reunion for both of us if I could just dry off,” he points out, looping his arms around Ben’s neck. Ben’s skin is still sticky, too, and the hair at the nape of his neck is damp when Henry drags his fingers through it. He presses closer until Ben’s chest is pressed against his, and rather than arguing, Ben simply gives him a lopsided smile and leans in to kiss him.

Henry had managed to steal a few kisses a couple hours before the panel, though the men’s room hadn’t offered nearly as much privacy as he’d hoped it would. It’s not as if he hasn’t flirted with the idea of encouraging Ben to engage in something extremely lewd in a semi-public space, but he knows he would never get away with it in a place as crowded as the convention. Even with people bustling in and out, they’d never be able to accomplish anything without a disguise and a locked door. That's not even mentioning the risk of being discovered.

Being found that way would be a problem for more reasons than one; technically, he’s not even supposed to be on this side of the world, but something inside him had known that he would regret not attending, even if it meant that he had to remain in disguise for the day. Being away from Ben for so long has been a positively painful experience. Last year's Comic Con had been a blast, comparatively, when they'd been surrounded by friends and cheering crowds and disguises weren't a must. But despite being unable to take part in the fun with the rest of his friends, it’s been absolutely worth the trip—even if he’s had to deal with utter torture of waiting through interviews, photographs, the panels, the signing booth, and even more interviews and photographs without being able to plaster himself to Ben’s side.

In his defense, it’s been a very long and very dry number of weeks for both of them, and any time that he's able to spend with the man he’s meant to marry is time well spent.

Henry slides his fingers through Ben’s hair and sighs against his mouth. He relaxes against the solid warmth of his chest while Ben's broad palms rest on his waist, hot and dry against his bare skin. Neither of them seem to mind that they’re still just standing in the middle of the room, trading lazy kisses while Ben’s thumbs rub along the lines of Henry’s hipbones and the sweat cools on their skin. It’s enough to just be close, and it doesn't particularly matter where they are.

But soon Henry finds himself tugging Ben’s lip between his teeth, a gesture equally playful and equally demonstrative of the fact that neither of them are very good at pretending they’d like to keep things chaste when they’ve been apart for so long. Before he knows it, Henry’s back is flat on his lush king mattress and Ben is crawling between his thighs with a grin, the charade of self-restraint all but forgotten as he pins Henry down and kisses him again with fervour.

Henry manages to get a hand up Ben’s shirt and tugs at it until Ben catches on and sits back to pull it off. He doesn’t particularly enjoy the momentary loss of Ben’s weight, but the skin-to-skin contact that comes after makes it worth it. Now that they’re both shirtless, Henry takes advantage of it and digs his nails into the muscle of Ben’s shoulders, trying to get his fingers over as much of Ben’s skin as possible. Ben seems more than happy to grope him in return; he lets his hands slide over Henry’s sides, his chest, and back down to his hips, and where his hands go, his mouth follows.

It’s not long before Henry’s arching up against the warmth of his tongue, fingers threaded through Ben’s hair while he tries unsubtly to encourage Ben’s mouth to settle over one of his nipples. “Jesus, that’s it,” he hisses, cock twitching with interest. “God, that feels good.”

Ben closes his teeth over him, soothing the quick sting of a bite with his tongue while Henry makes a low, appreciative sound. Ben’s usually quick to catch on to what he’s requesting, though this time he might be paying careful attention because Henry has started rocking up against him. The plan is to use Ben’s body weight to create friction, and it usually works spectacularly for as long as Ben allows it.

Luckily, Ben doesn’t seem to mind; he’s actually taking the opportunity to show off, it seems, teasing with playful kisses and licks as he makes his way down Henry’s abdomen, beard scratching against his skin. Henry’s breathless with anticipation, cock straining against the fabric of his underwear as he thinks that maybe he could get off to this alone.

“Shit, Kal,” he says suddenly, fingers curling in Ben’s hair. Ben glances up at him, hands frozen on Henry’s hips, looking mildly confused by the sudden change in topic. “Damnit. That’s what we were supposed to do.”

Now Ben sits back on his knees and glances around the room, searching for the culprit, and Henry follows his gaze to the dog bed in the corner. Kal isn’t even paying attention to them right now, having wandered away since everybody in the room has ceased to pay attention to him, but hotel rooms have limited space for dogs like Kal. There’s nowhere near enough room for him to pad around and explore, not like when they have the luxury of staying at each other’s homes, and Henry has suddenly found his toes being licked by a mystery guest a few times too many to want to chance it now.

Ben glances back down at him, then crawls off of the bed with a sigh, giving Henry an unintentional but welcome glimpse of the outline of his cock in his pants. Once again, Henry finds himself pleased to know that he’s not the only one who’s been suffering. “C’mere, Kal. Sorry, buddy, I hate to lock you out like this…”

Kal is delighted to have the spotlight back on him for a moment, so it isn’t difficult for Ben to lead him into the bathroom with the promise of belly rubs once they’re finished. Henry almost feels bad about leaving him on his own again. Almost. His desire to roll around uninterrupted with Ben for half an hour far outweighs his guilt over giving Kal an entire bathroom to himself.

When Ben’s finished closing the door, he turns back to Henry and gives him a long, thoughtful look. Henry knows exactly what sort of a picture he must make, sprawled out on the bed in nothing but his underwear and palming over his cock as he waits for Ben to take over. It looks like Ben’s thinking similar thoughts, too; he wets his lips, eyes following the slow movement of Henry’s hand as he steps toward the foot of the bed.

“I think it would be fun if we just cuddled,” Henry suggests playfully. “We haven’t tried that before, have we? No reunion sex, just reunion cuddling?”

Making quick work of his belt, Ben shoves his own pants down, boxers and all. Henry lets his gaze fall slowly down his body, happily reciprocating Ben’s ogling as Ben takes his own cock in hand and gives it a few slow strokes. It quite effectively removes any doubts that Henry may have had about whether or not he’s got Ben’s full attention, and it's not a terrible thing to look at, either.

“So is that a yes on the cuddling or a yes on the sex?”

“You know, we haven’t tried role playing,” Ben points out, crawling back onto the bed and settling between Henry’s parted thighs. “We could do that. I can be the… oh, I got it. I’ll be the sexy criminal who broke into your hotel room while you were trying to relax after a busy day at the convention…”

Henry laughs breathlessly, splaying his thighs as Ben kneels between them, both palms sliding over his skin and stopping at the point where his thighs meet his hips. “Oh, that’s a new one. So I’m… lying in bed with my clothes off, and”—he waits for Ben’s nod before continuing—“suddenly I see this very sexy, broad-shouldered criminal with an amazing body and a massive cock coming toward me…”

Ben leans in and presses a kiss to Henry’s stomach, scraping his teeth through the trail of hair leading downward. When his fingers curl beneath the waistband of Henry’s underwear, Henry lifts his hips up so that Ben can tug them down enough to free his cock. “Mmhm, yeah, he’s pretty ripped. He’s big, too. All over. Like, it’s kind of intimidating, he’s so big. You’re shocked, but you’re not scared. You’re kinda turned on because you like what you see.”

“Obviously, so does he,” Henry murmurs, then exhales slowly as Ben licks briefly at his cock and pulls the head into his mouth. He lets his eyes flutter shut and rubs his fingers against the base of Ben’s skull; Ben’s mouth is hot and warm, his tongue soft as velvet against Henry’s skin, and it’s not difficult to melt into the sheets and mindlessly narrate Ben’s story.

“So I tell him how lonely I am… mm, then I tell him how long it’s been since I’ve been intimate... so long I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to be with… somebody… god, do you want me to keep going?”

Ben hums around him, swallows, and takes him in deeper, rubbing his tongue against the underside of Henry’s cock. Henry takes that to mean that he’s satisfied with the plot thus far.

“Okay, I... invite the handsome, very muscular criminal into my bed, and I let him touch me… he has the most amazing mouth I’ve ever felt, the most amazing body… mm, he’s just perfect. His cock is perfect, and I would be so glad to fuck him…”

“Mm-mm,” Ben disagrees, the vibration temporarily making the air leave Henry’s lungs. He pulls off slowly, letting Henry’s cock rest against his lips while Henry tries to catch his breath. “Not today.”

It takes a moment for the thought to catch up to him. “He’s going to fuck me?”

“Well… I guess. I mean, he’d like to,” Ben says. He presses a wet kiss to the side of Henry’s cock and smiles hopefully up at him, all warm brown eyes and red lips. “If you don’t mind. He’s also happy to stay down here for a while, if it helps. He wants to celebrate.”

It’s not as if Henry could ever say no to him in the first place. Looking like that, it’s hard for Henry to even think about disagreeing.

“I think I’ll make him very happy, then,” he tells Ben, letting his hand drift back down so that he can thumb over Ben’s cheek. “You didn’t bring lube with you, did you? There’s some in my bag.”

He feels just a bit guilty about forcing Ben to get up to do everything for him, but he knows that realistically, Ben isn’t going to be put off by having to get lube out of his travel bag. He waits for Ben to climb back onto the bed to tug him down and kiss him softly, making a satisfied noise as Ben settles his weight atop him. There’s no real rush, which is the nice thing about having the rest of the evening to fool around, but Henry will be leaving early in the morning and their schedules won’t allow for a lot of extra time together in the next little while. So technically, there is a sort of rush, but it’s still not enough to keep Henry from taking his time to enjoy a thorough kiss.

“I love you,” he murmurs against Ben’s mouth. He kisses Ben again and this time Ben smiles into it, abandoning the lube on the duvet to slide his fingers between Henry’s and pin both of his hands to the mattress.

“Love you too.”

Eventually Ben does make use of the lube, slicking up his fingers and working them into Henry one at a time. At first Henry is so impatient that the steady motion is practically agonizing, but as time passes he begins to lose himself in the rhythm of Ben’s hand and the slow, indulgent kisses that Ben grants him. With Ben braced over him, working him open slowly with a finger, then a second, then a third, he even nearly manages to forget what they were originally planning to do. After only having his own hands to rely on for so long, he can’t help but focus solely on the way Ben’s fingers move in and out of his body, curling inside him to make him shudder, preparation paced in such a way that it feels as if it won’t ever end.

Honestly, Henry wouldn’t mind if it didn’t.

It seems like an eternity has passed by the time Ben actually removes his fingers. Henry arches his back and stretches his arms out with a satisfied groan, then rolls onto his side to watch while Ben begins to slick himself up.

“Mm, is it over already?”

“I think you slept through most of it,” Ben tells him. He’s smiling, though, not offended by Henry’s gentle teasing in the least. He sets the lube aside and Henry grins up at him, this time stretching out his legs. “So this is what we’re doing? On your side?”

“However you want,” Henry replies amicably. He stretches his arms again and rolls onto his stomach, pushing his hips back a little to present himself with a coy wiggle of his hips. “How’s this, does it look appetizing?”

“Eh, I don’t wanna put strain on your knee. How about…” Ben reaches for him and Henry turns easily onto his back, lifting his knees up so that Ben can maneuver himself in between. He didn’t expect Ben to make any outrageous demands. He's actually quite comfortable in almost any position, but he doesn’t mind having his legs in the air if that’s what Ben’s interested in. “How’s that?”

Henry lifts a foot and drapes his leg over Ben’s shoulder, using his calf to draw him closer. He cocks an eyebrow, as if to ask how do you think it is? and Ben laughs before leaning down to kiss him firmly.

It only takes a couple of seconds for Ben to get himself lined up and ready to go. The lengthy preparation seems to have paid off; it’s hardly uncomfortable at all once he begins to press in, and Henry can’t help but encourage him with a nudge of his foot and a quiet groan each time Ben slides deeper. It seems to take forever for Ben to finally settle fully inside of him, but the wait has absolutely been worth it.

“C’mere,” Henry mumbles, curling his arms around Ben’s shoulders. He kneads at the muscle in his back and slides his legs around Ben’s waist, resting his heels against him while he waits for Ben to start moving. “You’re not there already, mm? I hope this isn’t going to end before it starts.”

Ben braces himself over Henry and grunts quietly. “Nope, just beginning.” He presses his forehead, damp again with perspiration, against Henry’s shoulder. “Goddamnit.”

“Mm?”

“Condom,” Ben sighs.

Henry snorts and presses his nose into the still-damp hair at Ben’s temple. Looks like he’s not the only one overlooking things in his enthusiasm. Truthfully, he hadn't even considered telling Ben to put a condom on. The thought simply hadn't crossed his mind. “Really? You didn't do it on purpose?”

“I was gonna wear one, but…”

“But you're horny and you wanted to put your cock in me, yeah. Don't blame you,” Henry says. He drags his fingers through Ben’s hair and tilts his hips up, trying to encourage Ben’s cock deeper. “It’s not too late, if you really want to…”

“No, it’s too late,” Ben says without hesitation, mouth pressed against Henry's skin. “I already started.”

It’s definitely not too late, but Henry will let him use the excuse this time. “Mm, get going, then, and don't make me regret it.”

Never one to back down from a challenge, Ben braces himself over Henry and starts to rock against him with slow, shallow thrusts, but once he settles into a careful rhythm it doesn’t take long for him to pick up the pace; Henry lifts his knees up to his chest to be helpful and grips at all the parts of Ben that he can reach, encouraging him with groans and other eager sounds.

“You have no idea how much I missed this,” he murmurs against Ben's ear. Ben’s working on reddening a patch of Henry’s skin, and Henry’s fairly sure it’ll still be red in the morning. “You, your cock… god, I've wanted this for so long.”

Ben groans and rolls his hips, then turns his head so that Henry can kiss him with a low moan. If there’s one way to get Ben going, it’s to stroke his ego, and Henry has no problem doing that.

“I think about this every day,” Ben whispers. He shifts his weight and presses his palm against Henry’s face, brushing the pad of his thumb tenderly over his cheekbone. “Think about you, how I can't wait to touch you, hold you…”

“Marry me…”

“And marry you,” Ben agrees. He kisses Henry again and Henry melts into it, looping his arms around Ben’s neck so that he can hold Ben in place and trade slow, soft kisses with him.

When they finally need to part to catch their breath, Ben pushes himself up and runs his hands up the backs of Henry's thighs. Following his gaze, Henry can see that he's looking down between them, fascinated by whatever it is that he’s watching.

“Mm, like what you see?”

Ben’s smile is shy, despite the obvious desire with which he’d just been watching his cock moving in and out of Henry, but he rubs his hands over Henry's thighs and pretends to think about his answer all the same. “Yeah, I think it, uh, it definitely has its pros and cons. You like being watched?”

“I like being fucked,” Henry says. Ben laughs and rolls his hips, pushing Henry’s thighs against his chest so that he can thrust in deeper, and it feels so good that it makes Henry's toes curl.

It feels like they’re just starting to get into it when the knock on the door comes—and this time Henry’s really into it, both legs hooked around Ben’s waist and a hand fisted in Ben’s hair, his mouth gone slack as Ben fucks him steadily—but the knock is rapid and firm and Henry is so startled that he nearly knees Ben in the ribs.

“San Diego Police! Open up!”

The voice behind the door is loud and deep, and when the man that it belongs to knocks again, Henry can hear Kal barking from inside the bathroom. Ben’s thrusting stutters to a halt and he looks toward the source of the noise, panting while Henry braces a hand on his chest to steady him.

“Police?” Henry asks breathlessly, wincing as Kal barks again. Ben looks just as confused as Henry feels, staring at the door with an expression of uncertainty. The person behind the door knocks again, harder this time, rattling the wood in its frame. “D’you think they have the wrong room?”

He can’t think of many reasons why the police would be at their door. The first thing that runs through his mind is Kal, but he’s always been allowed to keep the dog with him, and he'd make sure to clear it with the hotel beforehand. Next is Ben, but Henry can’t imagine that Ben has done anything to warrant a visit from the local police. He nudges Ben with his leg but Ben stays frozen in place, half-braced over Henry and looking toward the source of the noise like a watchdog as the door rattles again.

“Let’s go! SDPD, open the door!”

Henry knees Ben again, frowning. “What the hell do they want? You don’t think somebody complained?”

“No, we, no—that wouldn’t be them, we weren’t even that loud, it would be hotel security if it was just—”

“Don’t make me break this thing down!”

Now Henry’s starting to get somewhat nervous, the adrenaline and pounding of his heart starting to twist from arousal into something that isn’t quite fear. Kal’s panicked barking behind the door isn’t doing anything to help, either. The last thing he wants is for some policeman to barge into the wrong room and find Ben on top of him… well, aside from a policeman barging into the right room and putting one (or both) of them in handcuffs. That, or trying to take Kal away. He’s really not sure which would be worse.

He nudges his leg against Ben’s side again. “Get up, go to the door and see what they want,” he hisses, pushing at Ben’s chest until he eases himself out and sits back. He waits for Ben to get off of the bed before shifting further up on the bed and pulling the sheets up over himself, while Ben hurriedly pulls his boxers back on and half-jogs to the door. The door rattles again with another firm series of thuds, and Henry frowns as Ben squints through the peephole.

He watches with baited breath for several seconds, heart pounding in his chest with a new rush of adrenaline, easily prepared to jump out of bed at a moment’s notice to make a quick getaway with Ben and Kal. After what feels like an eternity, Ben runs his fingers through his hair and lets out his breath in an exasperated sigh.

“Jesus Christ.”

Henry doesn’t even get a chance to ask what Ben sees before he’s pulling the door open, and instead of a policeman in uniform, Henry’s greeted with—

“Oh, no fuckin’ way. Please tell me I didn’t just ruin your big sexy reunion,” Jason says as he shoulders through the door, looking like a child who’s just entered Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory for the very first time.

Henry lets himself fall back on the pillows with a groan and closes his eyes, rubbing his hands over his face and trying to will his body to relax. Every single person in the hotel has likely been alerted to their presence, now… and their big sexy reunion. Hotel security will probably be dropping by any moment to lecture them. If Henry’s lucky, maybe the real police will simply come and arrest him, and hopefully save him the embarrassment of having to admit that he’s fallen rather spectacularly for another of Jason’s pranks.

Henry doesn’t answer him. Ben just clears his throat. The silence yawns in the room and seems to be answer enough.

“Shit, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you guys were getting busy already. I swear I didn’t even see you two come back here. Damn.”

Henry hears a door open, and he opens his eyes again to find Ben at the bathroom door and Kal bounding through to meet Jason, who laughs and leans down to rub his side. Ben looks as thrilled as Henry feels, which is not at all, and it doesn’t seem to escape Jason that the mood in the room has radically changed.

“Yeah, maybe I should go, you guys look pretty pissed. I swear I had no idea you were both up here…”

Ben makes his way back to the bed, shrugging a shoulder as he tugs back the sheets and sits next to Henry. “Don’t worry about it, I’m just glad it’s not the real fucking police. Jesus, that was the worst fucking prank,” he says, laughing now. Henry chuckles too, relieved beyond measure, and Jason grins at them both, reaching nearly to the ground to rub Kal’s belly while he rolls on the floor.

“You gotta admit, it was pretty fuckin’ good, though,” he says. “Scared the shit out of you, yeah? Probably scared your dick off, so my apologies to your”—he gestures vaguely in the direction of their pelvises—“you know. And for scaring your dog. Sorry, little man.”

“He has my permission to kill you in my defense,” Henry tells him. Jason simply laughs, patting Kal on the side before straightening up and pushing his hair back out of his face. “It’s good to see you, though. You guys did really great up there."

"Thanks," Jason says, grinning. "Did you hear about the, uh..."

"Poor kid you traumatized? I heard," Henry replies. Jason makes a helpless expression. It had been kind of funny, in the end, like most other things that Jason does. He's a real people person. "So are you leaving tonight?”

He makes his way over to the bed while Ben draws his legs up. Ben’s still wearing his boxers, but Henry’s less concerned about preserving his modesty now that he knows he isn’t about to be put in handcuffs. He settles against Ben, tucking himself against his side with a sigh as Jason takes advantage of the empty space and sprawls across the foot of the bed. “Yeah, going back down under tomorrow. What about you, you get to stay overnight? Celebrate for a couple hours? ‘Cause you were in... where were you, New Zealand?”

“Yeah, I was, but I’m back in London now.”

Jason nods, watching as Henry shifts again, trying to find a more comfortable position underneath Ben’s arm that doesn’t involve having his cock shoved up against Ben’s leg. The situation at large doesn’t seem to bother Jason at all, nor should it; he’s seen a great deal more of both Henry and Ben than he’s seeing now, and he’s personally been responsible for putting both of them in far more compromising positions than they’re currently in. “Ah, got it. Still too far away, though, right?”

“Just a bit,” Henry says. Ben makes an agreeing noise and traces his fingers lightly over Henry’s shoulder before pressing a kiss to his temple. Jason smiles at them, expression turned soft and understanding. He’s been one of the closest friends they’ve had over the course of the past few years. They haven’t made a secret of their relationship but Jason has always been especially close with them, which means that he’s more sensitive to the problems that they often have with distance and scheduling conflicts.

To be fair, it’s probably because he’s slept with both of them.

“So what brought you up? Were we supposed to have plans?”

“Think he just came up to get his rocks off,” Ben murmurs, pressing another kiss to the side of Henry’s head. That makes Jason chuckle, but he just shakes his head and rights himself so that he can get a better look at them.

“Nope, I came up to watch you guys get your rocks off. I actually just wanted to make sure I caught you before we left, ‘cause I didn’t know if you had any plans to come out and visit everyone else.”

“Of course I do. I wanted to stick around longer and wait for everybody but the humidity got me,” Henry admits. He hadn’t managed to get close to Jason or anybody else after the panel, due to both time constraints and the sheer size of the crowds surrounding them, but he knows that the rest of his friends are very well aware of his presence.

Jason simply laughs and reaches for Kal, who has decided to join them at Ben’s feet now that all of the excitement has moved to the bed. “Bro, you’re never gonna last if you decide to move out here. You’re gonna have to get used to it someday. You gotta acclimate, man, it’s what people do when they love each other.”

There’s no doubt that Henry loves Ben, but he can think of at least a dozen other places that would provide a happy medium for them both, if they were willing to move. “Even if I move here, and I won’t, I’m not going to live in a home that doesn’t have air conditioning.”

“That’s rude,” Ben says. Henry tips his head and glances up at him, offering him a guilty grin and a kiss on the chin while Ben tugs him closer. “Why should I have to cater to all your needs? I told you we could get another dog, and you just insult me by staying in London.”

Henry bites at the corner of Ben’s jaw, light enough that it won’t leave a mark, and slides his arm around Ben’s waist. “You’re not doing a very good job of catering to my needs right now, that’s why. Satisfy me, and maybe I’ll talk about moving to California.”

Henry’s demand pulls a booming laugh out of Jason. “Unsatisfied needs? If he wasn’t making you scream before I got here, maybe it’s good that I interrupted you.” He doesn’t wait for either of them to confirm but that’s alright with Henry. Jason can use his imagination. It’s not like he doesn’t know what they do behind closed doors… or how loud they can be from the other side of one. “Listen, I can head out if you guys need a few minutes to get your groove back. You can do a reset, finish your business, and I’ll come back when the water’s a little cooler, you know?”

Henry makes a sound of protest. He’s barely seen Jason at all since arriving, and it might be a while before they get to meet up again due to scheduling conflicts and reshoots. “You don’t have to leave, you can stay here with us. Right?”

“Yeah, you can stay and watch if you want. But you are gonna have to help out after that police shit, I haven't—I swear I haven’t lost an erection that fast since, like…” Ben trails off, laughing while Henry snickers and slides a hand down to confirm. Ben’s actually still half-hard in his boxers, though he makes a sound of surprise and grabs at Henry’s wrist when he finds Henry trying to wrap his fingers around the outline of his cock. It probably wouldn't take much encouragement for him to get back to where he was pre-Jason, but it does take a moment of making innocent doe eyes for Ben to finally release his hand.

Jason’s still watching them, eyebrows nearly up to his hairline with amusement and faux incredulity. “Help out, are you serious? You got the third hottest fuckin’ guy in the world sitting in your bed, and you have the biggest dick in San Diego, and you still need my help? You know what, your wedding gift’s gonna be a lifetime supply, one of those fuckin’ big-ass pallets of Viagra, all the boxes wrapped up so you gotta unwrap each one.”

“Yeah, I don’t think—”

“No, no, not you. That’s gonna be my gift to you,” he says, pointing a finger at Henry before burying his hand again in Kal’s fur, “so if this guy wants to get it up bad enough, you know, he wants to prove that he’s ready to do it over and over, like, a dozen times a day, he’s gotta open up his fuckin’ Viagra one by one and work for it. He doesn’t even have to say his vows now. His dick’s gonna prove to you just how much he loves you for the rest of your life. And you can laugh all you want but that’s just a fuckin’ fact.”

Henry’s laughing so hard that he’s all but shaking silently against Ben’s side. but Ben hasn’t laughed at all, which is even funnier. He’s always a good sport about jabs like this—and there have been plenty of them—and Henry and Jason both know that his seriousness is more for comedic effect than anything.

“You know, man, I... I love you, I really do, but I hope you hit forty-five and your dick just stops working. I hope it stops fucking working.”

Jason barks a laugh and grabs Ben’s foot, likely in lieu of wrapping an arm around his head, then rolls off the bed and springs to his feet. “Ah, come on, you know I love fuckin' with you guys. Listen, I'm gonna take your little man for a walk so you guys can wrap up in peace, so”—he grabs Ben’s face in both hands, plants a firm kiss on his mouth, and reaches for Henry to repeat—“I love you both, I'll be back soon, I'll make sure this guy has fun outside, and… seriously, congratulations. I wish I could've been there to see the proposal."

"It was beautiful," Henry tells him.

Jason smiles warmly. "Yeah, I bet it was. You guys deserve this.”

“Thank you,” Ben says, somewhat sheepish and still a little pink in the face, while Henry points Jason toward the table where Kal’s leash is coiled. Jason whistles until Kal abandons the bed and dances eagerly at his feet while he tries to hook the leash to Kal’s collar. “Alright, Superdog, let’s get outta here, your dads need some alone time.”

“Thank you,” Henry calls. Jason is already halfway through the door with his back to them, and he flashes them a black-polished peace sign before shutting the door.

Ben and Henry sit in silence.

“I was genuinely afraid for my life,” Ben admits. Henry makes a noise of agreement, then leans his head against Ben's shoulder.

“I mean… it wouldn't kill you if we just cuddled now, would it?”

“Mmm,” Ben says. It’s thoughtful, but pitched in a way that suggests that it would probably be quite painful if he couldn’t put his cock on or around some part of Henry. He doesn’t need to say that he’s not disappointed Jason has given them privacy, either; Jason’s company is always welcome, but with less than half a day left before they need to part ways, a little bit of privacy is always appreciated.

Henry chuckles fondly and kisses the corner of Ben’s mouth, then slides his hand back down to where he’d previously tried to rest it on Ben’s groin. He’d been polite enough to leave it alone while Jason was in the room but now he squeezes Ben with purpose, tracing his fingers around the outline of the head of his cock and rubbing gently at him through the fabric. “Oh, I’m sure there’s something we can do. Do you have any special requests, or should I spread my legs for you again?”

It’s easy to tug down the waistband of Ben’s boxers and pull his cock out, and easier to get him pushing his hips up into the loose circle of Henry’s hand, groaning against his mouth while Henry strokes him from root to tip. He’d expected it to take a bit longer than this to get Ben worked up again, but he’s definitely not complaining.

“You can fuck me again,” Henry murmurs. Ben exhales, just unsteady enough to make Henry smile against his lips. Honestly, it’s never been difficult at all to get him like this. He’d probably get the same reaction even if he didn’t have his hand on Ben’s cock. “Mm? You wanna do that? Or do you want something else?”

Ben groans and kisses him firmly, which makes the offer feel like a done deal until he breathes against Henry’s lips, “Why don’t we just cuddle?”

Henry considers lifting his hand away and cheerfully announcing that the official plan is now to spend the rest of the evening cuddling, but Ben’s practically squirming under his hand and he can’t resist making him squirm some more. Opportunities like this don’t come along as often as he’d like. Henry wants to drag this out for as long as possible.

“Why don’t you tell me—?”

“I wanna sit on your face,” Ben says bluntly. It takes Henry by surprise, and he finds himself laughing and kissing Ben again, rubbing his cheek against Ben’s own stubble as Ben continues, “That’s the special request. I’ll marry you if you let me.”

“You’ll marry me anyway.”

“I’ll marry you extra hard. I’ll move to London,” Ben promises. He doesn’t even wait for Henry to respond, just shoves the sheets down and starts working himself out of his boxers while Henry sits next to him and watches. “God, I love you. I can’t wait to limp out of here in the morning.”

He rolls onto his stomach with a satisfied groan and pulls a pillow beneath his head. Henry continues to watch him, and he stretches his legs out and only looks back expectantly when he realizes that Henry hasn’t yet made any move to sit between them. Ben opens his mouth to say something about it, but he stops when he notices that Henry’s gazing at him with utter adoration. After a moment, an uncertain smile spreads over his face.

“What?”

“You’re spoiled rotten,” Henry informs him fondly. He only has himself to blame for that, of course, but Ben already knows it. “I love you so much.”

“Love you too,” Ben replies happily. He’s watching Henry over his shoulder, his eyes big and brown and warm, crinkled in the corners. Henry can’t help but lean down and kiss his shoulder, then the side of his cheek, then his forehead, and everywhere else that he can reach until Ben buries his face in the pillow with a muffled laugh. “Stop. You gotta put your tongue in my ass so I have something to jerk off to for the next few months.”

The image is a spectacular one. Henry can almost see it if he closes his eyes. They would have to spend a few weeks apart to reach that point, but he can see Ben reclining in his bed with his head tipped back and his cock in his hand, breathing Henry’s name into his phone with Henry groaning at him on the other end of the line.

For the first time all day, Henry shivers.