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“Is this fucked up?” Hughie suddenly says, staring up at the ceiling.

Butcher turns his head against the pillow to look over at him. “Be more specific.”

“Uh— This.” Hughie just barely stops himself from saying us. It’s so cliché, but it feels taboo. It doesn’t feel right. He keeps staring fixedly at the ceiling. “Th- The fact that this— this is… happening, that we met, because my girlfriend got murdered and you pretended to be fucking FBI and got me to bug the goddamn Vought tower. And then I blew up a goddamn supe’. And now I’m on the run with professional— fucking— I don’t even know what to call you. What to call us.” He cringes at accidentally saying the word, even if he meant him and Butcher and Frenchie and MM as a whole. But it still feels too— personal. Too close. He puts his hands over his face. “So much shit is happening. Jesus christ, I’m a murderer. And I’m fucking a murderer. And, and the worst part is—” He gasps in a breath. He drops his hands back onto the bed and screws his eyes shut. “The worst part is…” He stops again. He can’t even admit it out loud. He opens his eyes, finally turning to meet Butcher’s gaze, and he can see it on Butcher’s face, that he knows what Hughie can’t say: I don’t really care. I’m even a little grateful. I’m even a little happy. 

Butcher just looks at him for a long moment. Then he says, “Yeah, it’s fucked up,” making Hughie wince. But he continues, “All this shit is fucked a hundred ways to hell and back. No denying it. Just how it is.” He slides a hand over Hughie’s bare shoulder, slow-like and warm, stopping at the back of Hughie’s neck and pushing his fingers through the mussed curls there. “But not this. The circumstances were, yeah, less than fucking ideal.” Hughie smiles just a little at that, and Butcher glances down at his mouth, watching, before looking back in Hughie’s eyes. “But this—us, we’re…” He trails off, like also can’t bring himself to admit it out loud. But Hughie hears what he can’t say: This is good. We’re good.

Hughie doesn’t bite down on his grin. Butcher looks a bit rueful—but also glad. A little grateful, a little happy. So Hughie just says, “Kiss me,” and leans in to taste just how good they are.