Henry wakes up to silver light filtering through the bedroom curtains. Well, that’s actually a lie— he woke up because Alexander’s hands are absolutely freezing, and he’s just stuck them beneath his shirt to warm them up, but the silver light was the first thing that caught his attention upon opening his eyes. It’s still dark outside; guessing by the unforgiving bite in the air, it’s going to be a cold and rainy day. It’s been this way for the past three days now, but he hasn’t minded it too much. It reminds him of what used to be home for him, albeit much more cozy, and with much less empty space in his bed.
He feels a soft, subtle press against his thigh and hums, shifting forward to set a hand on the soft, fleshy jut of Alexander’s hip. The skin isn’t as cold there, covered by boxers and one of his old jumpers that Alex likes to use as a nightshirt. His fingers skim just beneath the opening, and the chill bumps that he’s left with have him weak; correction— the thought that his touch could leave Alex, a young, god-like creature of warmth and sunlight, practically shaking is what really has him weak.
There’s that press against his thigh again, and icy, calloused fingers have tangled into his hair. He groans, stretches, and tilts his face down to press feather-light kisses to the side of his face. Alex’s eyelids flutter, as if he’s in the midst of a dream, and his short, bitten nails start to scratch lightly at Henry’s scalp.
“Good morning, beautiful,” Henry murmurs against the skin of his neck, cherishing each silent intake of breath. “Did you sleep well last night?”
Alex hums, soft and low. “Yeah,” He replies, voice froggy and laced with lingering sleep. “It’s chilly this morning.”
Henry makes a huffy little noise, nosing along his jawline. “It is. Your wee hands are about to fall off.”
“I know,” Alex says, the smile in his voice enough to warm up the whole room. “Come shower with me?”
“Sure,” He replies, sitting up and ignoring the ache in his ribs and his back. He pulls his shirt off, and immediately regrets doing so when he hears the overdramatic gasp that rips from Alex’s chest.
“You’ve gotta stop sleepin’ in this, sweetheart.” Alexander scolds when he sees that Henry’s spent yet another night in his binder. “You’re gonna fuck up your ribs.”
“A bit hypocritical of you, innit?” Henry teases, sighing when a pair of chapped, wet lips are pressed to his right shoulder.
“I don’t do that so much anymore,” Alex declares, helping him out of his binder. “You should take a break today, let your body rest.” He continues, fingers tracing the shy outline of Henry’s spine.
His breath catches in his throat. He knows it’s only logical to give it a break— he doesn’t want to ruin his chances of ever getting too surgery— but his binder’s become this odd entity that’s constantly attached to him, like a security blanket or a second skin. He doesn’t understand how Alex can even stomach the process of removing it at night, much less go without it on the weekends. It makes him utterly uneasy to think about.
“It’s only a day,” Alex croons, pecking the nape of his neck. “Everything will be okay.”
“Right,” He sighs in response, rising up from the bed and shuffling into the bathroom to turn the taps on.
Warm water rains down onto him and Alex as they hold each other beneath the shower head. There’s not much cleaning being done, but the mornings of their shared days off always start off slow. It’s a rarity that they’re off together; between Henry’s caseload down at the shelter, and the campaign that Alex is working on for the up-and-coming representative of New York’s ninth congressional district— they hardly see each other during the day. Evenings consist of rant sessions, microwaved pad Thai, back massages, and falling asleep on the couch. Their friends and family curse them for not taking better-paying, less-strenuous jobs, but they’ve found their respective niches after years of schooling and slotting themselves into every possible online job opening they could find.
After massaging conditioner into Alex’s curls, and the both of them scrubbing at their dry skin, they’re hit with a shock of cold water. He yelps, and Alex lets out a litany of colorful, filthy swear words as he scrambles backwards to slam the heel of his palm down on the stopper of the faucet.
“Fuckin’ well water,” He spits, and Henry snickers, pecking the tip of his nose.
“At least we got the shampoo out of our hair fast enough this time.”
Alex grumbles again, before being ushered out of the shower with gentle kisses and touches. They dry off, and get dressed, and Henry helps Alex blow dry and brush his curls out before they brush their teeth. He feels like a wet rat, but Alexander is a beacon of beauty with his damp eyelashes and glowing, soft skin.
Because he was asked nicely— and because he doesn’t want to make Alex angry on their only day off together— he doesn’t put his binder back on. Alexander doesn’t his on, either. It’s like a silent, peculiar way of standing in solidarity; he doesn’t question it. Last night’s clothes are tossed into the hamper to be washed at a later time, and Alex pulls on a pair of horribly mismatched socks before they schlep from their bedroom into the kitchen. He makes tea and coffee whilst Alex tinkers with the thermostat and feeds David, kissing his sweet face and telling him what a good, handsome boy he is; if only every day could be so comfortable and pass by so slowly.
They stand together with their backs and hips pressed against the counter, sipping from their mugs as they stand in silence. Alex has stolen yet another jumper from him, and the fabric completely swallows him up; he’s got the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, as of this moment.
“When’s the last time you called Catherine and Arthur?”
Henry hums. It’s been a month, give or take a week or two. They just went up to Wales for Christmas and New Year’s, and, as one might be able to imagine, it didn’t end too well. Not with Philip berating Henry for “surrounding himself with the wrong people” and seeking hormone treatment after years of waiting, and therapy, and waiting, and medical consultations, and even more waiting. Then, there was Gran, who didn’t say a word to him, until Mum pulled the photo album from when he, Pip, and Bea were all children. She had pointed to a picture of a smiling rosy-cheeked Henry, taken on his second Halloween, and said, “What happened to that sweet little girl that I used to know?” That had resulted in a row so nasty and mean-spirited that Henry and Alex had to find a hotel to stay in for the rest of the trip. He’d made a point to not say goodbye, too.
“It’s been a while,” He admits, grabbing Alexander’s hand and squeezing tightly. “Why?”
“No reason,” Alex replies, returning the squeeze with one of his own. “Just curious.”
“Curiosity killed the cat, you know.”
“Well, it’s a good thing that all cats have nine lives, then.”
Henry sets his mug down on the counter, and leans forward to cup Alex’s face in his hands.
“Must you always act this way?” He asks, and Alex laughs softly, pulling Henry down by the front of his jumper to crush their mouths together.
“Yes,” He answers, kissing Henry’s lips once again. “Because you, my baby, are so precious when you act annoyed with me.”
He scoffs, and Alex kisses him again.
Henry’s not exactly sure how it came to be, but Alex is currently fucking the living daylights out of him. Well, the previous statement isn’t entirely true— he knows exactly how it happened. An hour into The Social Network— probably the least sexy movie that Henry has ever seen— that subtle-yet-insistent press against his thigh had returned, and a hand had slipped up his shirt, and it only continued to escalate from there.
Now, after being rutted against until both of their bodies were heaving and shaking from pent-up pleasure, Alex is fucking him with a type of drive and determination that he’s never physically seen before, only felt beneath the covers with all the lights off. It’s frantic, and desperate, like his sole mission in life is to drive Henry to orgasm again and again, until he’s begging to stop. The thought’s just as beautiful as it’s intimidating.
He can feel himself slipping off the couch, so he reaches behind himself, grabbing the arm to keep himself steady. Alex’s grip on his thighs only grows meaner; there will definitely be ripe bruises there within the hour. With his opposite hand, he reaches down, and starts rubbing his cock between two fingers. His speed doesn’t quite match up with Alex’s thrusts, and it leaves him feeling more frustrated than anything else.
“You’re so pretty like this,” Alex grunts, fingernails digging into Henry’s thighs. “Soaking wet for me and playing with yourself. Fuck, baby.”
“Oh, fuck—“ Henry moans in a low, shaky voice, shockwaves of piercing pleasure sparking in the pit of his stomach. “Alex, harder, please—”
And, by God, Alex starts thrusting harder, nailing that spot that has Henry shouting and seeing sparks behind his eyelids with every thrust. His hand speeds up, and everything is white hot, right on the precipice of being too much to handle. He sounds like a wounded animal, with all the feral noises that he’s making, but they only seem to spur Alexander on.
“So good for me, sweetheart,” He pants, brown curls stuck to his forehead with sweat as continues fucking mercilessly into the wet heat between Henry’s legs. “Tell me what you need.”
“Fuck—“ Henry whimpers, grinding his hips up to meet Alex’s thrusts halfway. He’s at the borderline of too much and not enough, and it’s so bloody overwhelming that he thinks he might cry if he doesn’t come again soon.
“C’mon baby, talk to me,” Alex soothes, his never-ending barrage of canting, grinding hips making Henry’s legs turn to jelly.
“Choke me,” He demands in a breathless, thoughtless gasp, whining pitifully when Alex’s hips stutter to a much slower pace. His wobbly, useless legs are helped back down, and his feet are planted against the mattress as Alexander makes his way up his body with gentle nips and touches.
“Are you sure?” Alex asks, his thumb rubbing slow, soothing circles into Henry’s hip. “I mean, I know we’ve talked about it before, and you just asked for it, but I don’t want you to feel pressured to do anything—“
“I don’t,” He promises, getting a few deep breaths in while he can. “I want you to do it, darling. That’s why I asked.”
“I know,” Alex replies, but it sounds like he’s trying to reassure himself more than anyone else. “Just checking in, is all.”
“How considerate of you,” Henry snarks, pleased when Alex rolls his eyes and leans down to kiss him. It melts into a messy clash of tongue and teeth from there, and Henry feels like his heart’s hit pavement after falling from the roof of a skyscraper. They kiss like they’re dying, and in an entirely dramatic way, Henry feels like he is. Alexander pulls away, pinning him to the couch by his shoulders when he tries to chase after his lips.
“You really wanna give this a try?” Alex asks again, concern lacing his voice in a way that makes Henry shiver.
“Okay,” Alex whispers, fingers trailing across every dip and slope and ridge of Henry’s body. Henry isn’t nearly as close as he was a few minutes ago, but that doesn’t matter anymore. Alexander’s intent on being as thorough as possible, now. Coaxing tremors out of him with fingers dancing along the insides of his thighs and tracing light scars left by stretch marks in his teenage years.
His warm, rough hand finds Henry’s throat, and Christ, Henry has never felt so helpless in his life, never felt so willing. He closes his eyes, and he feels the slightest bit of pressure on the sides of his throat, right where Alexander’s positioned his fingers. With the lightheaded sensation comes an angry stab of sharp arousal, and his eyes flutter open.
Alex’s facial expression morphs from curiosity to pure panic in mere seconds. “Is it too much—“
“I swear on all that is holy, if you don’t fuck me right now, I will pin you down to this couch and get the job done myself.”
There’s a strangled, surprised noise that leaves Alex’s lips, and just like that, he’s fucking Henry in earnest, holding him stable with a hand gripping one hip. Henry doesn’t think he’s ever been this aroused before, not to the point of frenetically pawing at his dick to get off, at least.
“Look at you,” Alex coos, applying just a bit more pressure as his hips snap forward again and again and again. “Such a pretty boy. You’re close, aren’t you, baby?”
Henry nods rapidly, bucking into his hand at this point.
“I need a yes or no, sweetheart.”
“Yes, Christ, yes—“
“Come for me,” Alexander tells him, his tone of voice leaving no room for disobedience. “Be a good boy for me Henry, c’mon—”
In a truly mortifying display of shaking, and sobbing, with the added overstimulation of sweltering heat, Henry’s second orgasm of the day washes over him like a tidal wave. He feels like he’s fucking drowning as he grasps at Alex wherever he can to keep himself tethered down to reality. Alex immediately removes his hand from his neck, and crashes their mouths together, kissing Henry as he fucks him through his climax to the very end.
They pull apart, and Henry is still shaking, everything around him feeling fuzzy as exhaustion and ache seeps into his bones. Alexander’s hands are smoothing down his sides as he whispers sweet nothings against his skin, and Henry melts into his tender touch.
“You were so good, baby,” Alex muses, pushing his hair back before cupping his face and pressing a peck to the space between his eyes. “How’re you feelin’?”
“Good,” Henry whispers, reaching blindly for him, hands skimming along the length of his body. “Tired.” He tugs at the red leather strap of the harness that’s covering his hip. “Take this off so we can lay down together.”
“What, no third round?” Alex teases, and Henry snorts.
“Not this time, unfortunately.”
There’s a brief sliver of time where Alexander leaves, and Henry finds himself, in his state of incoherence and fatigue, unable to believe that this is his life. There’s no logic there, no rhyme or reason as to why he’s been rewarded with with a job he loves, a wonderful man to come home to, a decent apartment, and a sweet-but-loud dog. He remembers a time, in his life, where he thought he might die in Wales. He’d wear the wrong clothes, go by a name he doesn’t even recognize anymore, take up a career suitable enough for a ‘promising young woman’, and work until he dies. He remembers introducing himself to the world in a blaze of fear and fury. He remembers the tears and the screaming and the absolute refusal to step back down. He remembers Bea helping him back his bags. He remembers leaving for America with Pez on a whim, his heart splintering in his rib cage, his mind a catalyst for dark delights. He remembers sitting in a university common room, and meeting a boy with a perfect smile and gorgeous curls with just the right amount of attitude beneath his belt. He remembers writing poems about him in his private journal. He remembers falling in love with him, and how it had felt like the most terrifying, horrible thing a man could ever do— falling in love.
And now, he’s here, and the apartment is still cold, and it’s raining harder than it has in months outside. He hears the soft thud of approaching footsteps, and before he can open his eyes, there’s a dip in the couch, and a warm body shrouded in soft fabrics slots against his own. There’s a hand on his chest, a socked foot tickling the back of his leg while a pair of lips mouth lazily along his collarbone. He drapes his arm over the mass that’s swaddling him, bone-weary and content.
“When’s your appointment, babe?” Alex asks suddenly, slicing through the silence in the room.
Another kiss to his collarbone, coquettish and wet. “The one where you figure out whether or not you qualify for top surgery.”
“Oh,” He replies, ever-so intelligent as he sorts through the fluff and fuzz in his head to come up with the answer. “Next Friday, I think. Maybe next Thursday. Need to check the calendar.”
Alex hums, a mellow, comforting sound. “Want me to take off work that day? I could come with and provide moral support.”
He smiles, tightens the arm around Alexander’s midsection, and kisses his hair. He smells like mango body butter and leave-in conditioner; he smells like home.
“Might as well, love.”