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To Be Here With You

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Clyde came out of stasis to the sensation of Elijah pressing his face awkwardly into the space between his shoulder and neck. Well, that wasn’t the only point of contact. Really he was being blanketed entirely by the man, his arm flung across Clyde’s chest and his legs tangled close with the android’s. He had a feeling that if he could, Elijah would be lying entirely on top of him, for maximum contact between their bodies. And Clyde couldn’t exactly complain, it felt...peaceful to wake up and be able to feel his boyfriend’s heartbeat thumping against his chassis. Comforting. Especially with the additional sensation of Elijah’s soft breaths huffing into his neck.


The only problem with this situation was that it was not, in fact, a weekend. Instead, it was a Wednesday, which meant that Elijah was sleeping far past the alarm he usually set to get up and get ready for work in a timely manner. Clyde generally let himself stay in stasis for a little bit longer, since he didn’t need to shower or eat breakfast, not to mention he was much faster at ‘waking up’ in the mornings. On this particular morning he had been in a bit deeper of a stasis cycle than usual - trying to purge some persistent anxieties that had been building up over the past few days.


“Elijah, you’re going to be late for work.” Clyde murmured, one arm wrapping loosely around the man’s waist, and the other coming up to gently gather the long hair fanned out around his head. Clyde always enjoyed playing with Elijah’s hair, feeling the strands running through his fingers, and listening to the soft pleased noises that the motions elicited. He loved it almost as much as when his boyfriend ran his fingers through his own raven hair, twisting the locks loosely around clever fingers. When that gentle reminder simply got a muted grunt in return as Elijah tried to wiggle closer, Clyde chuckled in exasperation and tried again.


“Your stakeholders aren’t going to disappear if you’re late, dear. They’ll just move the meeting back.” It was an educated guess, based on how much Elijah complained about how much he hated those stakeholder meetings. And true or not, it did get the man to slightly raise his head, one unruly strand of hair falling over his eyes. “‘M not going to work today. And neither are you.” He mumbled, a lazy smile spreading across what Clyde could see of his face. “Oh really?” Clyde countered, raising one eyebrow, “And why is that?” A quick check of both their schedules confirmed that Elijah had, in fact, cleared them for the day and put in for a day’s worth of leave - all very official and proper. But no less mysterious, especially when the only answer he would give was “Is’ a secret.”


Clyde couldn’t bring himself to worry all that much when Elijah began to press gentle kisses along the column of his neck. And he certainly wasn’t going to complain when the man rolled over and propped up over him so he could cup Clyde’s face in both hands and look down at him with that now-familiar besotted look. Elijah’s hair fell down around them like a curtain, and Clyde was grateful, because it made the soft blue flush across his cheeks less noticeable. Well, not unnoticeable enough, because Elijah grinned and leaned down to kiss along the blush lines, murmuring ridiculous things about how handsome he looked like this. If his stomach hadn’t let out an annoyed gurgle, Clyde was certain Elijah would have been happy to lay in bed all day and just be close to one another, and well...he couldn’t say he would have complained.


But his human needed food, and Clyde herded them up out of the bedroom and into the kitchen, ignoring Elijah’s whined protests of not needing him to do this and that he was fine, really! Instead, Clyde set them both to work - himself operating the fancy coffee machine he had no idea why Elijah owned, and Elijah making himself toast and eggs. Maybe bacon, if Clyde could find some that wasn’t suspiciously old. As someone who didn’t eat, cooking really didn’t have much appeal for Clyde, but what came after, the sitting and watching Elijah quietly enjoying himself as he gobbled up runny egg yolk and greasy bacon...well, that was alright. Clyde couldn’t help but smile to himself as he watched his boyfriend continue to burn his tongue on coffee he already knew was too hot. It was just oddly charming.


With some food in him, Elijah’s energy levels were up much higher, a mischievous twinkle in his eye as he pulled his hair up into a messy bun. “Alright boy, we’re going to decide this once and for all!” He announced, grabbing Clyde’s hand and pulling him towards the living room, “Who is really the best at Mario Kart.” Clyde barely had time to let out an affronted gasp before a controller was being thrust into his hand. He opened his mouth to protest, to say something about it not being too late for Elijah to go to work, or at least do something productive, but the words died on his tongue. There was just no way to resist the excited grin plastered across his boyfriend’s face. Clyde had no option but to puff up his chest and level a determined glare at Elijah, announcing “Game on!”


Soon enough, the mansion was filled with the sound of their excited chatter, neither of them particularly quiet gamers. Occasionally, Elijah would lean over and try to bump Clyde’s arm as they came around a particularly tricky corner, and the android would retaliate by turning and blowing warm air right at the ticklish spot under Elijah’s ear. Both of them were intent on winning but far too distracted by having fun, and pretty soon it didn’t matter that it was 1pm on a Wednesday and they were still in their pajamas. All that mattered was that Clyde couldn’t stop grinning, watching Elijah wiggle excitedly over his little victory.


They lay there on the sofa for a long time after that, the energy of the video game match leaving them both tired and craving a bit of quiet. Elijah ended up leaning with his head on Clyde’s lap, a tablet in one hand as he caught up on technical news for the week. Clyde was more than happy to relish the silence together, internally reviewing case files as his fingers idly braided the hair he could reach on Elijah’s head. By the time the sun set and the lights in the mansion turned on automatically, both of them were startled by how much time had passed. It was pleasant, really, to be able to sit with someone and not worry about having to fill the silence. Instead, all they had to discuss afterwards was how dashing Elijah looked with his new hairstyle. He laughed and promised that next time he would return the favor for Clyde.


With lunch a distant road sign they had both ignored, Clyde managed to wheedle Elijah into ordering takeout and actually eating dinner. Besides, pizza and a movie was a classic human evening activity, or so he had heard. Elijah laughed at that, admitting “Alright, you got me. I suppose I’m responsible for educating you on human traditions, after all.” The little wink he added was adorable, and Clyde basked in the glow of it just the same as the satisfaction of taking care of his human. Besides, pizza and a movie turned out to be wonderful. It was just another excuse to cuddle up on the sofa, Clyde taking the initiative this time to tuck his head onto Elijah’s shoulder as they watched some sort of drama unfolding on the television.


Really, Clyde couldn’t care less about the film. More interesting to him was watching the slow tick of Elijah’s heartbeat as he dozed off in a post-pizza food coma. Clyde didn’t blame him, really. Today had been...well, it had been wonderful, and a slow drift off into sleep seemed like the perfect ending. Unable to help himself, he murmured, “What was the secret, dear? The reason we stayed home today?” Clyde could only imagine it was something to do with work, maybe a new release Elijah had wanted to surprise him with. Instead, Elijah simply smiled and cracked open one eye to look down at him, replying “Just wanted to spend the day with you. Without you worrying about it.” His voice was low and soft, and sleep was slurring the edges of his consonant sounds, but there was genuine warmth in what he had to say. 


Clyde felt as though his thirium pump regulator may burst out of his chest from dealing with the swell of positive emotions that flowed through him at the realization - Elijah had noticed how stressed he was lately, and had quietly and carefully done his best to cheer him up. He swallowed hard, willing himself not to cry and ruin the moment. Clyde’s hand found Elijah’s and twined their fingers together, giving it a soft squeeze as he murmured “Well...I won’t keep how much I loved our day together a secret.” The answering spike in Elijah’s heart rate was all the answer he needed to know his boyfriend understood what he really meant. They fell asleep like that, the soft pulse of I love you traveling between their palms.