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Good nights [Charlie/Val]

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Offline Beejoux

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Good nights [Charlie/Val]
« on: September 12, 2020, 08:15:42 PM »
It'd be closer to four hours before Charlie would hear the sound of the key in the lock and the knob rattling before the door opened and Val walked in with his arms loaded with bags. More than he probably should have been able to carry on his own, but the how might have become evident as he straightened his arms out and the bags drifted off to settle themselves on the counter and kitchen floor. "Honey, I'm home," he announced as he tossed his keys on the counter, and toed off his shoes.

He had, at some point, settled sprawled face down on the couch -- chin pillowed on his chin and attention turned intently onto the television. When Val came in he tensed, and then relaxed again, slowly. "Oh. Already?"

Val blinked at him, lips drawing back in a crooked smile. "Yeah, it's been almost four hours. You like the show?" He looked comfortable laying there. He set immediately into unloading the grocery bags, setting food and drinks on the counter. More than what Charlie had asked for.

"I don't know." He refocused on the TV, then finally -- with a breath of a sigh -- shifted to hunt for the remote and fumbled to stop it.

"Oh?" He glanced back over his shoulder at him before moving to stick the coke and a few bottles of sweet tea in the fridge.

"It's...weird." He licked his lips -- looked relaxed, right now, in a way he hadn't when Val left.

Val laughed. "Yeah, it is. Even by horror standards it's weird," he agreed easily, tucking some boxes of popcorn away before tossing a bag of cheese popcorn and another bag of chips on top of the fridge.

"I don't really understand what's going on, exactly." But he didn't sound as bothered by that as he could have been. "Pretty people, though."

"Gorgeous cast, I love Jessica Lang. The woman that plays the neighbor, Constance," he clarified, stashing the empty bags and grabbing the ones still on the floor so he could set them on the fold out. This close his pupils looked a little blown out. "Half of them are dead, in the show. Ghosts that are trapped in that house."

"Oh." He cocked his head, mulling that over, but maybe it still didn't quite click. "Okay."

"You're on the 3rd episode...or the 4th? So that'd be the gay couple, and the maid, and there probably more but it's been a bit since I've watch it." He was pulling out shirts, long and short sleeves. Plain, but soft to the touch.

"Maybe what I need is for you to just sit and explain it all." He shook his head; it was casually self-deprecating, in a familiar way.

A couple of pairs of jeans and a comfortable pair of sweats followed, along with a pack of socks and a few pairs of boy short cut underwear. He laid it all out on the bed before tucking the bags together and tossing them at the kitchen counter. "I could, if you wanted."

"It probably wouldn't be very exciting for you." But he watched Val lay things out, head cocked to the side. "Everything's okay?"

"It wouldn't not be enjoyable." He smoothed a hand down the front of a shirt and finally looked up to smile at Charlie. "Yeah, I think so. Hopefully these fit, and if they don't we can fix it."

"Oh." He paused again, pondering that over. After a moment, he also reached out to touch the shirts. "I'll have to cut them, though."

"They're yours, so that's fine. I'm pretty sure they'll fit, it's the pants I'm a little less sure about." With everything laid out Val finally shifted over to flop down into a comfortable slouch beside the other man.

He thought about it a little, his head cocked to the side. He hadn't actually bothered to change back into scrubs -- had been too distracted -- but now he eyed the pants thoughtfully. Especially the sweatpants. "I should change I guess?"

Val tipped his head back against the couch, lazy smile stretched across his face as he slipped a hand up under the edge of his shirt to rest on his stomach. "Sure, get comfy."

He thought it over for a moment, then shifted to tug at the mess of his back: slashed bits tied carefully around his wings. Only experience let him find the bits to loosen the shirt.

"Do you need help?" He said it thoughtfully, watching him tug at the fabric.

He shrugged a little bit, wings spread so that he could catch the end -- and finally pulled it free, with a slow sigh out. "Someone must have a better design than this, somewhere."

"Probably there is." But it was distracted, dark eyes on the spread of wings, lingering admiringly. "Or a tailor in the market that could do some modifications."

"It took us a while to figure this out, even." He shook his head, shrugging the rest of the way out of the shirt.

"You aren't the only one in the city with wings." He mulled it over before he held his hand out. "Let me have that and I'll take it to someone in the market, see if they can design something."

He hesitated, the thing turned in his hands, then leaned back to offer it to Val. His back was largely unscarred, but his chest -- it looked like he'd been just about vivisected, at some point. Taken apart and put back together, with a ragged line down his chest, scars over important organs.

It was hard to drag his attention away from Charlie's wings, but once he saw the scars he really couldn't look away from them, and dark eyes widened before his brows drew down into a worried, puzzled crease. He took the shirt, but it was an afterthought now.

Charlie blinked at him, then down, and grimaced as he put a hand over the seam down the middle of his chest -- rolling up to stand and grabbing a fresh shirt. And the sweatpants.

He made a move like maybe he would have caught Charlie's hand, but he was quicker than that, and Val had to push himself up as well. Though once he was standing he didn't know what to do. "Charlie, what were they doing to you?"

He shrugged just a tiny bit, flustered and flushed again as he went searching for the scissors. "Trying to figure it all out, I guess."

He blinked, head cocking to the side as he made a small, baffled noise. "Like-what? Like they were just digging around? That's barbaric. Jesus."

He shrugged again, sharper this time, scraping hair back out of his face. He'd gone a little shaky. "They paid for it."

Val swallowed, hands lifting to drag fingers through his hair as he pulled in a deep breath and let it out all in a rush. "Good." It was soft, but his tone was heated and firm. Not understanding properly.

"Not me, of course." It was hollower, touched with something unhappy that didn't suit him.

He walked quietly across the room until he was next to him but didn't quite reach out, he didn't want to spook him. "Is there anyone left that hasn't gotten what's coming to them?"

He shrugged, sharply, uncomfortably. "No ones...that's not how the world works."

"It can be." If he didn't sound so sure about it might have been laughable. His arms folded, weight shifting to his left hip as he looked up at Charlie.

A breath out; he looked down at Val. "Talking about it is uncomfortable."

And that seemed to be all it took for Val to let it go, at least for now. He rolled his shoulders back as he sighed, licking his lips before he stepped back. "Alright." Not even twenty-four hours yet, he reminded himself. Charlie had just barely been away from whatever Hell he'd been living in. "I'm sorry you had to endure that. I'm glad you're out."

He shrugged, shirt still crumpled between his hands and feathers -- puffed. Uncomfortable for sure. "Where did the scissors go?"

"I don't..." He frowned looking back towards the couch before walking over to see if they were still in that general area. When he didn't find them in the cushions he crouched down beside it to see if they'd fallen under the bed.

It at least gave Charlie a moment to catch his breath. They were probably tucked between cushions on the couch; he sagged against the wall and closed his eyes while Val looked.

When he found them he held them up, turned to let Charlie know, but closed his mouth when he saw how he was standing. Instead he rose up to reclaim the spot on the couch he'd sat in before, and let Charlie take a moment to himself.

It was a bit before he realized -- cracked his eyes and focused on Val and almost immediately went self-conscious again, straightening to come fetch them. "Sorry."

Val shook his head as he handed them over. "You don't have anything to apologize for."

Charlie didn't argue, but he did shrug, taking the scissors to sit -- perched on the edge of a chair -- to slice up the shirt. Carefully, and like he'd done it a hundred times

He watched him for a minute or two, maybe just to see the process, but the quiet was strained and he couldn't seem to simply sit in it. "Do you want some popcorn?" A peace offering, for reacting like he had.

"Okay." He kept his head down; it was a matter of cutting two long slashes, making bits he could tie up again. It wasn't tidy, but it worked.

"Classic butter, or do you want to be adventurous and try one of the other flavors?" Maybe if he just pretended it hadn't happened things would settle again.

He hesitated just a breath, like he was thinking, but..."Butter?"

He just nodded and stood again to go grab down a box from the cabinet so he could toss a bag into the microwave. Then he was walking down the hall, sock covered feet quiet on the hardwood and rugs.

It left Charlie to breath again -- to finish his shirt and then pull it on over his head, leaving the straps loose around his wings in the back, for now. While he struggled, thoughtlessly, out of the too small pants and into fresh sweats.

The microwave finished before Val came back, but not by much. He'd changed too, the pants he'd slept in the night before replacing the dark jeans, and the rust colored shirt swapped for something basic and black. He had the vape pen again, but he stuffed it in his pocket as he moved to pull a large bowl down from over the sink.

He'd catch Charlie still hauling the sweatpants on, with the shirt in loose tatters around him. He fumbled with the laces to pull them tight, eyes flicking up onto Val.

No lingering stares this time, despite the temptation. He'd glanced, then busied himself with getting popcorn out and open to pour it into the bowl.

A breath, and then Charlie cleared his throat. "....could you tie it? It's kind of a pain in the ass...." which was, maybe, a peace offering.

That had him glancing back, and whatever thoughtful expression he'd been wearing melted away into something softer. "Yeah, of course. Just a sec." The bag was crammed into the garbage as he passed it, palms rubbed along his thighs to make sure there was no butter on his hands.

Charlie only half-turned, all the same, and kept his head cocked so he could watch Val out of the corner of his eye -- still tense.

He met those strange colored eyes as he stepped up behind him, then dropped his gaze to the strips of shirt, fingers light as he lifted them off Charlie's back.

Charlie was very still, arms folded over his chest, still watching Val -- "Can you tell what you...you just tie it around."

"I think so." He shifted the fabric, head tilted. "At the bass, right?" He used the tips of his fingers to gently slide feathers aside so he could bring the strips of fabric up beneath them, flush to the base.

Charlie shivered again at the touch, feathers lifting up out of the way. He dragged a hand through his hair. "....yeah. Just around it."

The feathers were warm -- Charlie's whole back was warm, and Val let out a little sound that he managed to turn into an affirming hum. Eyes very pointedly on the strips of fabric in his hands as he tired them together. Then he moved into the next set.

His wing fluttered and resettled carefully into place, Charlie's eyes closed for a moment -- maybe not exactly immune to the touch either. "That's not bad. Not too tight."

His hands stilled when the wing fluttered, captivated for a moment, the tips of his fingers resting on Charlie's back. "Good, I wasn't sure..." Then again, the soft brush of his fingers between feathers and skin as he got the ties in place.

He bowed his head just a little, swallowing. "It's not complicated, really."

Dark eyes flicked over Charlie's shoulder, watching his face. "No, it's pretty simple. I just didn't want to tie it too tight."

It was an odd sort of tension, self-contained, focused even with his eyes closed. He'd probably notice if Val lingered even a moment longer than required. "Okay."

The second bow matched the first. He settled the ties and then touched the center of Charlie's back lightly. "All done." Dark eyes took in the sweep of his shoulders, the narrowing of his hips, and how well the sweats fit. He blinked as he realized and took a step back.

Charlie breathed out, not exactly relaxing as he reached back to adjust, awkwardly. "Thank you."

"You're welcome." He went back to get the popcorn, as well as a couple of cokes from the fridge.

He fussed with the ties at his waist again, breathing out shakily. "Someone should come up with something better."

"I'll take the one you gave me to the tailor at the market, I'm sure one of the ladies there can come up with an easier design." Or point him to an already existing one. He folded himself down onto the couch, legs tucking up, and set the bowl on the center cushion.

Charlie shrugged, flicking a look up to Val again, lingering where he stood. He'd forgotten the underwear -- it still sat draped over the corner of the couch. "...do you know other people with wings?"

Val was itching to dig the pen out of his pocket again, and instead curled his fingers tighter around the can of Coke in his hands. "I've got an acquaintance that's a pixie, she's got pretty iridescent things. And you see them around, especially in hidden places."

He stayed another moment before crossing, carefully, to sit on the couch again. Feathers twitched as he did, resettling around the shirt.

He offered over the other can, head tipping to look over at him as he settled back on the couch.

Charlie took it with just a brief flash of a smile. Whatever else Val did, food seemed to be what won him over.

The answering smile was small and quick before Val was sinking down into a comfortable slouch and grabbing a couple of pieces of popcorn.

Charlie cracked the can, slowly easing into the corner of the couch, trying to find a comfortable position. "That's all you had to do?"

"Mmhmm," he hummed around a mouthful of popcorn, one of his nails tap-tapping softly against the edge of his soda can. "I have a bar shift tomorrow night though."

Charlie thought about that -- after a moment leaning in to steal some popcorn as well. "Can you show me your gym?"

"Yeah." He popped his soda open to take a drink. "Right now, or like tomorrow?"

"I don't know." He picked through the popcorn, sighing a bit as he took a bite. "...good."

"Let's do it tomorrow." Now that they were settled in with snacks Val was reluctant to get up again, but he smiled at the comment. "You want to keep watching the show?"

He hesitated over that -- because yes, but also -- "I feel like I need to...do something. Move around."

That got a blink, and Val shifted to set his can on the side table. "Oh. Okay, sure." Being careful of the popcorn he pushed up to stand again.

He hesitated over that, chewing on the popcorn for a moment. "Did you say you could do something about the wings, too?"

"Yeah. I can make you a charm that'll throw up glamor to hide them from view." He scratched at the side of his neck, looking at the bookshelf. "I'll need to see if I have everything I'd need for that, though."

"If not, I can just....you don't have any weights?" He could just mess around here. So long as there was something physical.

"I think, somewhere, but..." He looked at Charlie's arms. "They're not that heavy." Assuming he still had them. Val turned, frowning thoughtfully as he looked along the walls, the various odds and ends, looking for something that could stand in.

"That's okay. You can make up for weight with repetition, much of the time." He stole more popcorn, watching Val move around.

"You can?" Clearly he didn't make a habit of working out. "Then let me see if I can find them. I think they're in my closet." He'd started walking before he'd finished talking, disappearing down the hall.

Charlie stayed where he was to drink the coke and eat the popcorn -- and, basically, to counter whatever physical activity he was about to do.

Much to Val's surprise they were indeed at the back of his closet, and after a few moments of digging he managed to drag them both out. They were on the nicer side, probably something else left behind by someone in the past. He floated them out in front of himself as he walked back out into the living room. "They're only ten pound weights, is that good enough?"

It brightened Charlie's expression; he swallowed and stood, stepping forward to take them, carefully, out of the air. "Yeah, those are great."

That brightening expression made it worth the effort to dig them out and Val smiled crookedly as Charlie took them, making sure to hold them very still as he did. "Good. You want them? I'm never going to use them."

"I'll use them, at least." He tipped his head just a little, testing the weight. "Is there a good open space?"

He shrugged, and then looked around the room again with a thoughtful hum. "If I move the chair and the coffee table will that be enough room?"

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Offline Beejoux

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Re: Good nights [Charlie/Val]
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2020, 08:16:51 PM »
He blinked at Val, and then around the room, considering. "I can move them."

"I can just..." He flicked his hand as answer, the other coming up to smooth his hair back. "I guess it doesn't matter. They can go up against the wall." His head tipped, nodding towards the wall beside the door.

Charlie nodded, set the weights down against the couch, and then set to moving everything in a careful, deliberate way. And maybe this was the right choice, because Val got to watch him haul things around for a bit.

For a moment he just stood there and watched, but when it became obvious he wasn't needed he returned to the couch, curling into the corner with the bowl of popcorn pulled up close enough to grab from. Watching, certainly, as Charlie hefted the chair and the table out of the way. "Do you want me to put the show back on while you're doing your thing?"

He shrugged a little, but then paused again. Val had asked, so he actually thought it out. "I don't think I can focus on both at once."

"Do you mind if I put something else on, then?" He'd found the remote in the couch but hadn’t done anything with it yet.

"Whatever you'd like." He stretched carefully, raking a look over the space. "I'm not in the way?"

"No, you're fine." He turned it to Criminal Minds, then brought up his right hand with a little flick. A book from the far shelf slid free and drifted over into his fingers.

Charlie watched the magic for another moment, debating -- and then he settled in, slowly, to work himself as hard as he could. He obviously had a routine well suited for a small space like this, and easily adapted to the little weights.

Val had fully intended to read up the spell work that'd have to go into the charm for Charlie but that resolve had only lasted so long before a noise would draw his attention up to watch the bigger man working.

Maybe for once he'd be focused on something other than the wings; the careful workout of arms and shoulders, the pushups, squats. Charlie didn't seem self-conscious, but maybe just because his mind was caught up in the work.

He watched on with a distracted, appreciating look in dark eyes and a very subtle darking in pale cheeks. Realizing, every couple of minutes or so, and blinking back down to whatever page he was trying to look over, only for his attention to drift back up again.

It was definitely not a bad show, nor a short one. Charlie went until his arms were so weak that he had to lie down on the ground, sweaty, with hair stuck against his face and shirt gone damp around the edges.

Val hadn't so much as moved the entire time except for the occasional bite of popcorn. When Charlie stopped he let the book lower. "Do you want some water?" He was still a little pink across the nose.

"In a minute." It was half mumbled into the floor; Charlie drew in a couple deep breaths. "I still have to stretch."

He swallowed, looking down at the open book and closing his eyes.

It was still another moment before he pushed himself up into a sitting position and set to stretching out the worst of it, carefully; arms, shoulders, bent in over his legs. Sore and worn thin but he felt better all the same.

Again, the sound of movement was enough to draw Val's attention, and he watched the other man out the corner of the eye a little helplessly.

Wings got in the way here, too; it would have been easier if he could sprawl out on his back, a knee pulled up to his chest. But, clearly, Charlie had practice. Eventually he settled leaning in over his knees to stretch his back, sighing against his arms.

He made a small sound, half muffled against the palm of his own hand as he brought it up to press against his face, cheeks gone back to full pink.

That finally made Charlie blink and look up, scraping the hair off of his forehead. And maybe Charlie was clueless about a lot of things, but he took one look at Val and then shot a look down at himself, carefully folding his knees together.

Val froze like a rabbit that'd been caught by a fox, book pressed down over his lap and throat gone dry. He swallowed, looking down. "I, um..." His voice was a little hoarse and he had to clear it. Not that he knew what to say.

Charlie blinked up at him again, tipped his head, scratching at the line of his throat. And then, all at once, he stood up. "I'm going to take a shower."

He nodded without looking up, fingers lacing through the back of his hair.

"Right." He paused just one more moment, and maybe for once he looked just a smidge amused. Then he dragged himself away, fussing with the ties of his shirt as he went.

He didn't look up again until Charlie had passed him, watching his fingers as he worked at the ties. Shifting a little uncomfortably where he sat.

The door closed, water ran -- and then there was a pause. With a breath of a sigh -- shirtless and quiet -- he re-emerged to go hunting for the garbage bags.

When the door had closed Val had sank back against the mound of cushions with a heavy, shaking sigh. One hand stayed pressed over his face, skin pink between his fingers. The other had drifted down to adjust the front of his pants, pressing the half buldge down, trying to will himself to calm the fuck down. Which is when Charlie walked back out.

At least he did it with his head down and attention focused intensely on the kitchen -- crouched to dig out plastic bags, hair loose around his face.

The sound startled him, he made an inarticulate sound as he jerked his head up to see Charlie looking under the sink, and then rolled up and off the couch to retreat down the hall, headed for his room.

Charlie tipped his head to watch him go, considering, maybe still just a smidge amused. It would have been easier to cover his wings with help, but he'd manage.

He nudged the door as he went in so it was left cracked open, then leaned heavily against the wall, listening to the sounds of Charlie moving around in the apartment with his head back and his eyes closed.

Running water; crumpling plastic, as Charlie fought to cover up his back. He'd take a good, long shower, at least, which gave Val some time.

The wall he'd leaned up against was the one that joined up with the bathroom, and maybe, just maybe Charlie would hear something that sounded suspiciously like the start of a moan before it was cut off abruptly.

By the time he was finished, at least, Valarie looked fine again. Calm and composed and just as self assured as he usually did. And he'd been busy. The pile of clothes on the end of the couch was gone. The table and chair had been returned to where they'd been, and Val was standing beside the oven with a towel in his hand, watching the timer as it ticked down. His shirt had inexplicably disappeared.

He came out damp with his hair scraped back, shirtless himself -- because he remembered there were other shirts, and if he could not put the sweaty one back on, that'd be better. But he still had on the sweats.

Val looked up when he heard him, gaze lingering on his chest and the sweep of his shoulders for a moment before he looked back at the oven with a small smile playing at the corners of his lips. "I realized I forgot to bring burgers back, so I threw a pizza in while you were in the shower."

"Oh, pizza's good too." He rolled his shoulders, rubbing at a tight spot on one side, before pausing. His fresh clothes were missing; not where he'd expected them to be. "Ah."
He blinked at the sound, and then gestured at the chair. "I folded everything and put it over there." Charles new things were in neat piles on the chair. Val's things were gone. Apparently put away, or at least not laying out in the living room anymore.

"Oh. Right." He went to dig through the shirts for a soft one, long-sleeved. It made him smile, just a tiny bit, like a proper shirt was a luxury.

It was the sort that clung, but wasn't restrictive. Val watched him pull it free before the timer went off and it was time to pull out the pizza. Just cheese, something from the freezer aisle that tasted best at odd hours after drinking or even smoking. He pulled it out and set it on the stove top to cool.

Charlie perched on the edge of the couch, just smoothing fingers over the shirt for a moment before he hunted down scissors to ruin it thoroughly.

Val let him do his thing, busied himself with finding the pizza cutter and cutting the pizza into eight uneven slices. He had noted though, the way Charlie had been feeling the fabric of the shirt.

He finally hauled it on -- and, in the end, it actually didn't take him that long to tie it around the base of his wings. Experience made quick, if annoying, work -- and belied the fact that asking for help had maybe just been for Val's sake.

Of course not asking now might have sent another message as well. Val watched him tie the shirt up before he turned to pull a couple of plates down.

He pondered the jeans and underwear for a moment before deciding it wasn't worth the effort right now and half-twisting to look up toward Val. "Smells really good."

He'd grabbed a slice and then turned to lean against the counter as he ate, plate balanced on his fingertips. "Help yourself." He was looking up at him, maybe trying to read something in his expression while he chewed.

He seemed -- fine. More relaxed, again, like getting some of the energy out helped. He hesitated just a breath then pushed himself up to come get a piece, studying the pizza. "Just cheese?"

"Mmhmm." He nodded as he swallowed and took another bite, chewing slowly, mind working even if his expression was neutral.

"Oh, good." He leaned back against the counter to stand and eat a piece, folding it awkwardly to take a big bite.

Val's bites were a lot more dainty, and it'd take him a while to get through that one slice. But before he'd finished he set his plate down so he could retrieve the coke he hadn't finished before. "Do you want yours, too?"

"Oh." That brightened him, too, speaking around a very big mouthful. "Yeah."


He'd grab both then, offering Charlie's over as he got close. The popcorn bowl was already on the counter.

He took it, his expression still relaxed and pleased -- a mix of some of his favorite things clearly made him feel better. "Thank you."

"No problem." He'd pull himself up to sit on the counter again, legs crossing and plate balanced on his knee. Taking in that pleased expression before looking down at his pizza. "There's another in the freezer, I can make another one tomorrow before I have to go to work, if you want."

Charlie thought that over, shoving a decent bite of crust into his mouth while he considered. "You could show me how to do it, too?"

He looked at the panel on the stove then back up at Charlie. "Sure, it's not too hard." Twisting where he sat, he reached back to point to a button. "When you're hungry you hit this to turn the oven on, then turn it up to three-fifty and hit start so it'll pre-heat."

He cocked his head, looking back at the panel, slowly reaching for another piece of pizza. "Ah. How long does that take?"

Val shrugged. "About ten minutes, depends on the temperature." He shifted to reach farther to show how the timer worked. "It'll beep when it's ready, then you put the pizza on the same pan, I can leave it out, and then set the timer for fifteen."

"I've seen it in movies." He watched the stove appraisingly for a moment, though, before his attention resettled onto Val.

He turned the timer off again and straightened, shoulders rolling to loosen them back up. "Use a towel or a mit to get it out, the pan'll be really hot. And then just make sure you turn the oven off again when it's done." He looked back at him, right about at the same level with Val sitting on the counter.

"Uh huh." He took another big bite of pizza, feathers twitching against each other and settling. "I might try it."

Val smiled, he couldn't seem to help it. "Go for it." He picked up his plate again, lifting his pizza, but he paused before he took a bite. "Oh, top rack, not the bottom one."

Charlie mulled that over as he chewed and swallowed. "What happens if you put it on the bottom?"

"It won't cook as evenly. Might be cold in the middle still when it comes out." He was talking confidently, like he really knew, but Val had never really learned how to cook properly.

Charlie hummed around another mouthful, like it was wisdom and not bullshit. "Like my mom did."


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Offline Beejoux

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Re: Good nights [Charlie/Val]
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2020, 08:18:09 PM »
"She made pizza that was cold in the middle?" He took another bite, leaning back to rest his head on the cabinets as he chewed.

"Sometimes burned around the edges, too. And her burgers..." He shook his head a little bit.

Val gave an amused little hum before he swallowed. "My mom could cook, but she never taught me. I can't really cook either."

Charlie made an agreeing sound. "The cookies were good, though. Mostly because she just gave me the raw dough."

"I haven't had raw cookie dough in forever. I kind of forgot about it." He never made cookies though. He took another bite, then set the crust and the plate down and grabbed his Coke.

"Next time you go out, then." There was another flicker of a smile, as Charlie worked through the second slice of pizza.

"Should I just pick up a tub of cookie dough?" He twitched a brow up, lips pulling up in answer to that smile.

"God. Yes." There was a more real smile, lingering just a moment. He shrugged and polished off the pizza.

Val grinned, ducking his head as he wrapped both hands around the soda can, holding it on his knee. "I can do that."

He shook his head just a little, too, smiling to himself as he eyed the pizza, maybe considering a third slice.

"There's a little note pad around here somewhere, I can find it, and you can just write things down that you might want as you think of them." It was easier than trying to remember all at once, on the spot.

"That makes this sound pretty long term." He risked a glance up at Val again, giving up to steal another slice.

"It's what it needs to be, I guess. No pressure to go, no pressure to stay." He didn't assume Charlie would want to stay there forever, but the poor guy had nothing.

He scratched along the line of his jaw, shoving a huge bite of pizza into his mouth as he shrugged.

"No reason not to be a good host while you are here." He brought the can up and took a drink, glancing down at the pizza crust on his plate like he was thinking about finishing it off.

He didn't say anything in response to that, though his expression went more introspective as he worked his way through the slice of pizza.

Val didn't try to break the silence. He broke a piece of crust off and nibbled at it instead, focus down. More so something to do than because he was still hungry.

A contrast to Charlie, who downed the third slice of pizza and then looked up at Val again. "I'm going to eat the rest of this, if you don't stop me."

"I was totally serious when I said help yourself. It's not a big pizza." He smiled when he said it. Amused and not really surprised. "I'm full."

A little tip of his head and then he gave in and launched himself into the rest. To be fair, he was a big guy.

A big guy that was physically active. Val had been expecting him to finish it off. He took another small bite of his crust before setting it aside and just focusing on his Coke as he watched Charlie eat.

He looked content -- and unconcerned -- still leaning against the counter next to Val. Not stressed out, or nervous, or shy. "It's pretty good, though."

Right now Val was just as content to sit and talk about food. It was easy and uncomplicated. He smiled, nodding. "Yeah, it's not bad for processed, frozen pizza."

"Best I've had in years." He shook his head a little bit, reaching for the last piece.

"Really?" Not that it was so surprising. "I'll have to bring you back something from one of the little pizzerias in town."

"Okay." He cocked his head as he chewed, watching Val thoughtfully.

"Thin crust, toasted crispy around the edges. Mmm." He leaned his head back against the cabinets with a soft hum. "It's been a while since I've had it, but it's damn good."

The enthusiasm made him smile again, shaking his head. "What about mac'n'cheese?"

"There's a couple of boxes of Kraft shit in the cabinets, spirals of course." He lifted a hand to tap a knuckle against the one his head was resting against. "But we can order some really good stuff from this place downtown that uses blended cheeses and adds, like, baked breadcrumbs on top."

"Oh, but I love the kraft..." Enough that he almost regretted all the pizza, looking up at the cabinets.

"It's great in a pinch, and I love it, too. I just like the made from scratch stuff more. But it's rich." He looked back at Charlie, then smiled, amused. "If you want, you can have it for lunch tomorrow."

"I don't know if I've much experience with the non kraft kind." He shrugged, crookedly, offering Val another of those quick smiles.

"There's a whole world of mac n' cheese out there. Personally, I like mine with lobster in it, or asparagus, or even bacon." His foot was swaying gently back and forth, and he brought the can up for another drink after returning that quick smile.

"Oh, bacon sounds good." He thought it over and then shook his head. "I don't know about lobster."

"I like shellfish quite a lot." His grin broadened, and as he set his can aside he slid off the counter easily, and made a move to collect the plates.

"Shrimp's okay." He watched Val go, head tipped. "Fried."

"Lobster is pretty close to shrimp, just a bit more...buttery, I think." He shrugged, rinsing the plates and putting them in the dishwasher, then gesturing back towards the pan, fingers flicking, to bring it over so he could add that as well.

"They look so..." He hesitated, gestured vaguely, pulling a face. The shape was, apparently, a deal breaker for Charlie.

"Shrimp, prongs, lobsters..." He waved a hand in the air. "They all look very similar to me, but especially out of the shells." It came with a chuckle as Val added soap to the dishwasher and closed it up.

"They always give you lobster in the shell, don't they?" He shook his head a little. "In movies they do."

"If you order a whole one, sure, but that's a lot of money and a lot of work when you can just get a lobster tail, or bits of the meat in other things." He turned after starting the dishwasher, drying his hands on a dish towel.

"Maybe, then." But there was still a skeptical edge. He shook his head a little at Val.

Val shrugged, head ducking as he smiled, but he looked up a Charlie as he turned to drape the towel over the handle on the front of the oven.

Charlie shook. his head again, finally pushing away from the counter to grab his coke. "Do you want to watch something on the TV?"

He considered it for a moment before shrugging again. "Sure." How much trouble could he possibly get himself in watching a little tv?

Charlie scraped his hair back, still watching Val. "What would you do if I wasn't here?"

"Depends. Out dancing or drinking if I was feeling restless." Trying to hook up with someone. He held back from admitting that one. Not ashamed, really, but just reluctant to see what Charlie thought about it. "Or hanging out here and watching movies or tv if I just wanted to unwind and relax." He grabbed a cup from the cabinet, filled it with ice and water.

He hesitated just a little over that, thinking it over. "You're not staying in because of me?"

He paused before answering, actually thinking it over before just dismissing Charlie's concern. "Maybe a little, but not because I feel obligated to." He walked with his water over to the couch to sink down against one corner, head propped on his hand as he tipped his chin up to look at Charlie. "I'm not itching to get up and go. You're pleasant company."

He thought about that too, rubbing at the back of his neck, the can turned over in his hand -- then finally sank back to sit on the couch. "Okay."

Val watched him thoughtfully, the way moved before sinking down. "Unless you'd like the alone time. Which is fine. I could find something to do."

Charlie closed his eyes, working to settle back on the couch. "I just don't want to mess up your life."

"I can assure you you aren't messing up my life." He sank down a little lower, heels resting on the edge of the cushion. "Shaking it up a little, but that's not a bad thing."

"I'll need to go...eventually." He stretched his own legs out slowly, slouching to rest his shoulders against the back of the couch, back bowed to protect his wings. "Do something?"

"Eventually," he agreed. "When you figure out what that something is." And again, tone made it clear there was no pressure to hurry that along.

"Honestly, I don't even know where to start." He turned the can around in his hands, thinking it over. "I don't have a license or anything."

Val ran his thumb along the stubble on his jaw thoughtfully. "I have a lot of connections. I can make things really easy for you."

He took a long sip of the soda, still sprawled out on the couch, attention turned up for a moment. Then he refocused frankly onto Val. "What would you do with me?"

He blinked at him, teeth snapping closed around the answer that popped into his head before it could spill out his mouth. "Do with you? Do in what way?" Nope, that didn't help. "Like how can I help?" That was better. He brought his glass up for a long drink.

"Like..." He frowned a little while he thought it over, can resting on his knee and legs sprawled out. "If I worked for you. I guess."

"Oh." He thought that over, fingers trailing along the back of his ear and into his hair. "Well, you wouldn't really be working for me, but my boss." One of them. "I still think you'd do great as a bouncer, but if you're not keen on crowds....maybe not the club I work at. Something quieter. Personal protection even, maybe." His gaze had drifted off, gone thoughtful.

"You mean like a bodyguard." He tilted his head a little bit to the side, tucking a hand up into the small of his back; leaning like that couldn't be comfortable.

"Yeah, something like that. There's a lot of high powered figures in Tearmann, and they like to feel protected." His gaze dipped down to Charlie's hand at the small of his back. "Would it be more comfortable to lay on your stomach?"

"Probably." But he sighed as he said it, looking up at Val. "Chairs are terrible."

"Do you want to lay on the fold out?" He sounded sympathetic. "Or I could move to the chair and you can stretch out here."

"There was this one stool..." He sat up again, slowly, perched on the edge of the couch -- and swiped a hand across the small of his back. "Only came up to about here, in the back. It was amazing."

His gaze lingered where Charlie was rubbing before flicking up to his profile. "Are you sore?"

"Usually." He shrugged a little bit at Val, shooting him another look. "It is what it is."

"I have some ointment, if it's really bad. It heats and chills at the same time, takes the ache out." He shifted a bit, like he was getting ready to get up to fetch it.

Charlie blinked at that, like he was surprised, then considered. "That doesn't sound bad."

"It feels nice, helps a bit." He rolled up to his feet, gliding around the couch to head down the hall to the bathroom so he could look through a basket in one of the drawers at the sink. He was back a moment later with a tube of Biofreeze. "I think it smells nice, too. But it might just be me."

"I don't know." He shrugged one shoulder, rolling up to stand so that he could take it.

*

Offline Beejoux

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Re: Good nights [Charlie/Val]
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2020, 08:19:44 PM »
"It doesn't do anything else, just soothes." He shrugged as he handed it over, looking up at Charlie.

He turned it over between his hands, then cracked it to take a sniff -- and then he grimaced a little. "Oh. Yeah. I know this smell."

"Menthal." The grimace had him ready to take the tube back. Charlie didn't seem to like medicines at all really.

He shifted where he stood, for a moment, screwing the cap back on. Then he shot a look up to Val. "How much does it help?"

"Pretty well, I think. I use it on my legs sometimes when they get really sore." To be fair he usually paired it with some other pain killer or stimulant, but...

He tapped it against his hand, slowly, still chewing that over. "The smell just...gets to me, a little."

"Not everyone likes it." He shrugged, tucking his thumbs into the waist of his pants. " It reminds me of this chest rub stuff my mom used to use when I was little and had a cold."

"I've used this, I think, is all." He shook his head a tiny bit, and then offered it back to Val. "I'll survive."

His hand came up to take it with a small frown. "Alright." Not really a surprise. his chin tipped up to look up at Charlie as he turned to put it back.

He looked just a little pale, restrained, shrugging down at Val. "Thank you, though."

"Are you sure you're alright? You look a little pale..." He'd paused, tube of ointment slipping into his pocket.

"It's just the smell." He waved it off, taking a stiff step back toward the bathroom.

He was quiet for a moment, watching. "Triggered memories?" Then he stepped well out of the way, leaning back against the wall. "I'm sorry."

"Why? You didn't know." He just wanted to wash his hands -- stepped in and scrubbed them down, quickly.

He'd shrug in answer as he followed him in so he could drop the tube back into the drawer beside the other man. In and out. He'd curled comfortably in the chair by the time Charlie had come back out. "Go ahead and stretch out at least."

He hesitated a little, looking at the couch -- but then he sighed and sprawled out, feathers curled in against his back. "Sorry."

"Naw, it's fine. Chairs comfy too." He smiled at him. "And I'd hate for the pain to get worse, not when there isn't really much I can do to help with it." He gave an amused huff, head giving a small shake as he glanced at the TV. "Not unless you want me to work the knots out."

"Heat, maybe." But it was absent, shifting until he was settled with his head pillowed on his arm, working to relax.

That made him go a little thoughtful, gaze slipping up to the books on the shelf before he was rolling to his feet again. "If heat helps, I can do something with that." It was just a little distracted as he moved past Charlie and down the hall.

He made a little sound, shifting again so he could watch Val go. "I'm okay..."

"You're sore," he called back from his room a minute before footsteps announced his return. He had a scarf in his hands -- a hand knit one, made by someone that didn't really know what they were doing.

He frowned the tiniest bit up at Val, still sprawled on the couch. "It's just muscular."

"This is one of my first uh...I guess you could call it a fuck up, as I was learning. It was supposed to just keep you comfortably warm, but it gets hot." He shrugged, folding it neatly. "Not useful as a scarf, but you can put it on your back."

He blinked again, then reached up to take it from Val, curious. "You made it?"

"Yeah, years ago. It's not great." There were skipped stitches and extra loops in odd places. "You just have to say 'heat please' while holding it."

He stared at it for a moment, and then Val, and said -- very seriously -- "Heat, please."

It got warmer almost at once, then gradually went from warm to hot. Not quite to the point of burning on contact, but it could possibly cause minor burns if left directly against bare skin for too long. Val waited, looking down at the scarf in Charlie's hands.

He hummed a bit, eyes brightening as he looked up at Val -- clearly duly impressed. "That's amazing."

He looked pleased in spite of himself, head ducking. "It's...thank you." Maybe it had been a failure once, but if it was useful.  Now that was something at least.

And maybe it was little magic, but Charlie hadn't seen enough little magics to be bored by them yet. He tucked it carefully in against his spine as he sprawled out again.

"Can you get it where you want it alright?" He hovered.

He rumbled, eyes closed, head tipped, considering the placement. "...I'm okay." Which wasn't exactly a yes.

"Okay. If you want it spread out differently, up higher..." He walked back to the chair, sinking back down as he grabbed his glass of water. "We can watch more of that show, if you want."

"Whatever you want to watch." Charlie might fall asleep, though, if it wasn't something interesting -- melting slowly down into the cushions.

It was still queued up, so Val just hit play as he sank down to drape his legs over the arm of the chair.

Charlie sighed out slowly, tipping his head so that he could watch the TV, cheek pillowed on his arm. And he did look more comfortable, now.

Val pillowed his cheek against the back back of the chair, dragging part of a throw blanket over his lap and stomach as they watched. Eyes half lidded and looking very relaxed.

Despite himself, Charlie probably was going to fall asleep -- breathing deep into his arm, feathers twitching just a little as he nodded off.

The smaller man didn't last much longer, not even to the end of that episode. His eyes kept fluttering closed, and remaining that way for longer stretches of time until his breathing had evened out and he was out.

The episode ending was going to be what jarred Charlie up again -- blinking, surprised, with the hot weight on his back and drool down his arm. He swiped at his mouth, roughly, flicking a look back to Val.

When Val slept he slept deeply. He didn't so much as move when Charlie jerked awake. The blanket spilling over his lap, a hand resting on his bar stomach.

Charlie licked his lips and looked around the room, assessing where they were, and breathed out slowly. After a moment, he struggled back up to sitting, pulling the scarf off of his back to speak to it quietly. "Please stop?"

Charlie'd said the magic words, literally. The heat started to fade a little at a time until it was just a scarf again.

He hummed a bit, rubbing at the spot on his back -- and then working to very quietly stand, to get the remote to stop the TV.

It was somewhere in the chair with Val. It'd slipped out of his fingers at some point, maybe gotten lost in the blanket or dropped down between Val and the back of the chair.

He made a little sound, stared at the TV -- and then gave up. sitting on the edge of the couch nearest Val and trying to gather his thoughts.

The smaller man just slept on, head lulling against the back of the chair, fingers twitching in his sleep against the bare skin of his side as he let out a little sigh.

"...Val." He said it quietly, though, carefully, scratching fingers through his hair. Subtle. Too much so, probably.

It'd get a hum in response, but it was unconscious, Val shifting just enough in his sleep to slouch a little further down in the chair until his head was resting on the arm.

He puffed out a little breath, and decided to let Val be; sliding away to go wash his face, to putter around the apartment a little. To poke through Val's things again.

He'd rolled onto his side by the time Charlie had finished washing his face. One leg sticking out past the arm of the chair, one arm dangling down so fingers brushed the floor. Blanket just barely staying put.

Charlie shot him a look, shook his head, and then went to poking through cabinets absently. Not even subtly -- not sneakily -- not hiding it. Just curious.

In the cabinets in the living room there were a lot of containers with various herbs or powders inside. Dried flowers, minerals, vials of liquids in varying colors. There were also rough pours of rings, cuff bracelets, charms. As well as colorful threads, the beginnings of woven bracelets.

He didn't pull anything out, at least; didn't grab or steal anything. Just looked, head tipped to the side, thoughtfully, and closed cabinets, and wandered around in circles, slowly. It was a bit like a tiger in a cage.

It wouldn't be Charlie looking through things that eventually woke Val up, but the restless wandering back and forth. And he wasn't entirely sure what about that had done it, since the big man moved around very quietly. He blinked up at him as he watched, drawing the blanket a little closer as he sat up finally.

He'd be crouched in front of the TV, rifling absently through drawers, when Val woke up. And he didn't start, like he might be in trouble.

It took a moment for Val's mind to catch up to what he was seeing. When it did, instead of looking annoyed or even angry he just looked tiredly amused. With a yawn he drew the blanket up around his shoulders. "Find anything interesting?" there were old dvds and bluray in there, as well as some games for a Switch that was tucked up behind the tv, and dusty. Like it didn't get used much at all.

"What is that?" He pointed at the Switch, half-twisting to look back at Val. Still completely unconcerned about his snooping, like he didn't know it was bad.

"Hmm?" Val had to get up and walk around Charlie to see what he was pointing at, and he kept the blanket draped over his shoulders. "Oh. It's a gaming system." It ended in a yawn, and a hand coming up to rub at lined eyes hard enough to smudge the liner.

He cocked his head, watching Val with an amused little noise. "You have..." He gestured vaguely at his own face.

He blinked down at him, brows arched. "Have..?" Dark eyes dipped to his hand, the dark smears on the side, and it clicked. "Oh. Shit. Is it bad? I probably look like a racoon." He ran a finger under one eye, like he meant to clean it up, but it didn't really help. "I forgot I was wearing it."

"A little racoony, yeah." It made Charlie smile again, somewhat helplessly. He looked back down to the Switch. "How does it work?"

He tried again, laughing softly under his breath, and again it didn't really help so much as move the darkness around a bit. "I'll have to wash it." He shook his head, then looked back down at the Switch. "Uh, let me make sure it's still hooked up. I haven't touched it in a while."

Charlie sat back, brushing hands down his legs, attention following Val. "You don't have to for me."

"If it's already hooked up then I just need to switch the input on the TV and it should be fine." He couldn't think why he would have unplugged it. With a soft hum he slid around to peek behind the TV, following the cord up with the tips of his fingers. "Looks good." Before he stepped back he bent to get the joycons off the base and offered them back to Charlie. "Here, hold these a second."

He rolled up to stand, carefully, to take the controllers out of Val's hand, thoughtfully. "I don't know how this works."

"It's not hard." He crouched down to grab a couple of the slides from one of the drawers Charlie had been poking it. "I don't have many games though. Mario Kart, and..." He paused, looking at the cases in front of him. "Zelda, and Super Mario."

He shrugged, thumbs smoothing over the joysticks in a curious sort of way. "Okay."

"How long was I asleep?" He glanced back over his shoulder as he stood, hand coming up to seek out the input select on the side of the TV.

"Don't know, I dozed off." He shook his head, slowly sinking back down to sit.

"So much for watching tv, huh?" He laughed, head shaking as he switched out the input and turned the switch on.

"I have no idea what happened, and I couldn't find the remote." He shrugged a tiny bit at Val, still watching him in his crouch.

"I was probably laying on it." He absolutely had been. He stopped at the chair to find it quick, and just hit the home button to stop anything from playing more. Then he sat down on the couch beside Charlie, holding a hand out for one of the joycons.

He twitched his eyes away briefly as Val turned around, as if to obscure his staring, and looked down again to the controllers again before he handed both over.

Val fumbled with them for a moment to get the backs on, making it pretty obvious he wasn't really used to the things at all, but he managed, then handed one over before selecting his profile. Mario Kart was the game in the system, so he just selected that. "This ones just a racing game. Did you get to play games at all in...before?"

"We had cards, and some checkers." He cocked his head to the side. "Lots of cards."

"Slim pickin's," he mused as he set up a quick circuit with easy settings. Not just for Charlie's benefit, but his own. Val wasn't terribly good at the game. "Go ahead and pick a racer." He grinned, holding the controller up so the other man could see how he was holding it, then flicked down to Princess Rosalinia.

He cocked his head a little and then started to meticulously pick his way through all the characters, eyebrows knitted. Eventually, he'd settle on Toad.

It'd bring them to their cars next, and Val just went for whatever looked fun. He probably didn't even realize you could pull up the vehicle stats. But he did know how to turn on the things that'd help keep him on the track. "Here, let me just..." He leaned over to press a button on Charlie's controller so he could do the same for him, leaning against his arm for a moment as he did so. "This'll help a bit."

"Will it?" His tone was dry, joking, as he poked through -- and, ultimately, picked a motorcycle that looked cool.

"Yeah, it'll keep you on the track so you don't go flying off the edges." Val, at least, found that really annoying, and took the fun out of playing. He'd pick the motorcycle designed after elements from the new Zelda, then it was on to tracks.

He made a little sound, halfway amused. "Oh. Sure, then."

Again, he picked purely based on aesthetic. One of the ones with a rainbow road in it. "Okay so, you hold down A to make the car go, and if you hit the sparkly boxes you get items to use against other racers. You hit, um..." He leaned again, nudging Charlie's finger up on the left trigger. "That one."

"Sure." But it had that amused edge, still, because damned if Charlie knew what any of that meant. But he'd push the one button.

He sat back, looking up at the other man. "I'm not very good at this." But he smiled, hit the button to start the animation leading up to the start. When the count down rounded down he spun out, before getting his racer moving.

Charlie spun out too, and it'd be a moment before he could get back on track, get moving. It'd be about that level of skill, too. Going backwards, at one point.

Of all the people to learn with, Val was a good choice. His racer was quick, but he wasn't good at keeping her on course, or at utilizing his items well. He lingered in the bottom five.

Charlie managed in eleventh. Once. Only once. And he didn't exactly take it well; a couple losses had him huffing and scowling at the TV.

Val did maybe a little better over all. Not great, but he didn't seem nearly as affected by the poor score as Charlie was. He was still smiling before he looked over at the other man, and dark brows arched as she noticed his expression, smile slipping.

He didn't break the remote, so there was that at least. But he shot Val a look and then he flushed, angry and embarrassed. "I don't think I'm meant for this."

"Okay." It was soft and automatic, and Val looked down at his lap, turning the controller in his hand before thumbing the home key to power the system down.

He loosened his own grasp on the controller and sat back, brushing roughly at his hair.

*

Offline Beejoux

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Re: Good nights [Charlie/Val]
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2020, 08:26:54 PM »
"I'm told it gets easier, the more you play it, but I never got around to playing it enough to get good at it." He shrugged, pulling the blanket up around his shoulders again after setting the controller on the table beside him.

Charlie dropped his own controller next to it and then scraped both hands up through his hair, roughly. "Sorry."

"It's okay." He shrugged, palms running along the tops of his thighs under the blanket. "You tried it and you didn't like it. It happens."

He huffed out a sharp breath, that annoyance still lingering. "I was really bad at it."

"You've never played it before, I think you did alright considering that." There were people that could pick up games and just had a natural knack for it, Val knew that, but it wasn't everyone. It certainly wasn't Val.

Charlie stood all at once, shrugging again; just needed to move, maybe.

Val's gaze flicked up as Charlie stood, lips parting in a little breath before closing again. He looked back at the TV, stood himself so he could scoop up the remotes so he could put them back in the drawer, crouching again.

"Sorry." he said it again, rougher this time, rumbly. Pacing in a slow circle.

He slid the drawer closed again. "It's alright." He sounded like it was alright, at least. As he stood he put the TV back to the other setting.

His jaw jumped, though, a tense muscle there, and his shoulders were tight too. "I was better at cards."

It was an unexpected level of emotion that Val didn't entirely know what to do with. He stayed where he was, one hand holding the blanket on his shoulders, the other loose at his side, watching Charlie pace. "...I'm sure I have some around here, somewhere."

"... not much better." It just put his teeth on edge, obviously. Charlie shook his head and retreated to the bathroom to wash his face.

Not much he could say to that, so he just watched Charlie retreat to the bathroom, the running water reminding him he had make-up smeared across his eyes. He rubbed at it again, suddenly wishing for a shower.

He just needed a bit to sit and catch his breath, ill equipped for even the little failures, maybe. Long enough to cool off and then to go embarrassed, lingering in the bathroom a good long time.

As he waited he folded the blanket up to drape it back over there back of the chair, smoothing it out before he grabbed his water and walked into the kitchen to set the glass in the sink. Then down the hall to his room.

Charlie still didn't come out: the water gone quiet, now, no longer washing up. Just hiding out, maybe.

Val waited a bit longer before coming back out to knock softly in the door. He'd stripped off the sweats, down to just the short cut underwear. "Charlie, are you okay?" He leaned against the frame.

There was just a little pause before he cleared his throat. "Yeah. Right, yeah." He fumbled his way up to stand and get the door.

A hand resting at the side of his neck, head tipped in against the wall, Val looked up at Charlie as the door opened, expression quietly concerned.

He looked flushed and embarrassed now, caught in his shit. At some point, he'd turned the lights out in the bathroom, too; he fumbled them on again, as if that would cover up the dark. And then he blinked down at Val, in just his boxers, and got distracted from whatever he'd been about to say.

Darkness smudged around his eyes, hair in disarray after falling asleep on the chair, Val probably looked a bit of a mess, a little debauched even if there'd been nothing exciting happening to get him to that state. His gaze flicked up to the lights as they switched back on, then back down to the other man's face.

His own eyes flicked back up to Val's face all at once -- they'd been turned downward, decisively. "....didn't mean to...sorry."

He blinked, hand sliding down from his shoulder to hook his thumb in the band of his boxers. "Didn't mean to do what?" At this point Val didn't think there was anything Charlie needed to apologize for.

"Worry you." The hand drew his attention down again, Charlie sagged a bit against the doorframe. "I guess."

He shrugged, noting the downward dip of the other man's gaze. "You don't need to apologize for needing a little time to yourself."

He bent his head, dragging fingers up the back of his neck roughly. "I guess not."

Val reached out with one hand to touch Charlie's elbow softly, like he could see the tension in his arm as he rubbed the back of his neck.

The touch made him shiver, slow, and his eyes flicked up onto Val's face. "Did you need to get in here?"

He let the tips of his fingers linger there, maybe just to see how Charlie reacted to it. "I was thinking I might take a shower, but I also wanted to make sure you were alright."

Goosebumps, and he wet his lower lip absently, shifting where he stood. "I'm not used to this much time with people."

No jerking away. Val tipped his head, eyes flicking to Charlie's lips as he wet them, following the crease in his arm with his fingers until he could coax the bigger man's hand down from where he was digging into his neck. "It can be an adjustment, cohabitating," he agreed, voice on the softer side. "I can give you more space..."

He let his hand fall slowly,fingers uncurling. "It's your place."

A little shrug, fingers curled lightly around his wrist like he wasn't really aware he was still holding on. "It's big enough I don't have to be on top of you all the time when I'm home."

He let his hand fall open in Val's grasp, puffing out a little breath. "But it's your place."

"You're my guest," he shrugged again, gaze dipping to his fingers on Charlie's wrist. "I can give you space if you need it." Words said one thing, but he was still holding on lightly, thumb sliding along warm skin.

He breathed out slowly and closed his eyes; it was a lot like taming a wild creature, that tension fading slowly. "I don't know."

He flicked a quick look up to his face, then down again, grip shifting just a little before his other hand lifted to trail his nails lightly over the back of Charlie's hand and down the lengths of his fingers.

He shuddered again, slow, sagging against the doorframe. And let Val do it for the moment, with his eyes still closed.

The shudder pulled Val's gaze up to rest on Charlie's face as he stroked over the back of his hand again, then up over his wrist and lower arm.

He cracked his eyes, finally, and went very pink as he looked at Val -- clearing his throat.

"Does it bother you?" He'd slowed the soft trail of his fingers, but hadn't let go.

"No." His voice crackled just a little as he said it; Charlie had to close his eyes again, clear his throat. "Just been a bit."

"Do you want me to stop?" It came with a slow trail of his nails along the inside of Charlie's arm.

He breathed out, resting his head against the door frame. "I might need to sit down."

Val took a step back, using his soft grip on Charlie's hand to draw him away from the door and back down the hall towards the fold out.

He trailed after Val, a little wooden, his hand limp in Val's grasp. Eyes cracking open again. "You don't want the bathroom?"

He gave an amused hum as answer, which really didn't answer anything, and then nudged him down to sit on the edge of the pull out.

He sat -- roughly but surprisingly quietly, for his size, head tipped back to look up at Val as he did.

He let go of the other man's hand finally, but only so he could drag his nails up the length of his arm and over his shoulder. Head tipped to watch Charlie's face out the corner of his eye. "When you say it's been a bit, do you mean since anyone touched you at all, or...?"

It made him shudder again, hands falling into his lap and head tipping, absently. "Not nicely."

Not exactly what Val had been asking, but it was answer enough. He stepped between Charlie's knees, nails gliding along his other shoulder, movements mirrored on both sides. "Is this alright?"

"Yeah." He swallowed, cracked his eyes again to look up at Val. His skin prickled, all goosebumps again.

Dark ringed eyes were half lidded as he looked down at Charlie's face and he wet his lips, drawing fingertips across broad shoulders and up along the back of his neck, playing through soft hair.

He made a small sound, half swallowed, tilting his head into the touch. Wings shifted, fluffed, and settled again behind him.

They pulled his attention easily, and Val watched as the wings settled against the bigger man's shoulders, lip caught in his teeth as he considered. He took another step closer, close enough that Charlie's hair tickled against his chest, and trailed his hands back down his neck following the line of his spine.

He bowed his head under the touch, slowly, so that his forehead rested against Val's stomach -- and a bit jerkily, his hands came up to rest on Val's hips. Light.

Val's turn to make a soft sound, fingers twitching lightly against Charlie's back before they spread, hesitantly, to slip through the downy feathers at the base of his wings. "Can I untie these..?" He gave one of the shirt ties a very gentle tug, voice gone a little rough.

His fingers tightened around Val's skin as he shivered again, the touch making his pulse hammer in his throat. "Okay."

Another sound, and goosebumps spread in a tingling rush up his back and over his shoulders. "Okay," he echoed softly, absently, pulling on the ties to free the simple bows that held them to the wings. Fingertips slid in where they'd been, smoothing the feathers, stroking the skin beneath them.

Charlie blew out a sharp breath over Val's stomach, shifting under the touch -- wings spreading, feathers shifting, inviting. "God."

He shivered, grunting softly as he bent over Charlie to smooth his hands over the soft feathers that rested close to the wing joints, following the contours and curves as far as he could reach. Pulse just as quick, a soft flush spreading across his chest and up his neck, and if Charlie happened to open his eyes it'd be very obvious that he was enjoying this as much as the bigger man was.

He could probably tell anyway. His hands smoothed over Val's hips and around to the small of his back, drawing him in close, breath short and shaky against his skin. Almost absently, the tips of his fingers caught at the waistband of Val's underwear.

His hands slipped under Charlie's shirt, nails prickling as he felt hands smoothing around the small of his back to pull him closer. He stepped in closer, dragging his hands up to curl around the base of each wing again as he rose on tiptoe, hips shifting up encouragingly against the fingers catching on his underwear.

Charlie breathed out again, a sharp little breath, and then half-tipped his head to look up at Val. He was flushed, and his pupils were blown; he looked wrecked, already. "This is definitely a sex thing, now, isn't it?"

He'd closed his eyes, features slack and color creeping up and over his cheeks, but he looked down at Charlie as he asked, nodding as he let out a shaky breath. "It can be." Hiss knee bent forward, gliding along Charlie's thigh and up against his groin.

[ Redacted ]

It was kind of adorable just how much Charlie reacted to the simplest gentle touch. Adorable and just a little sad, as Val recalled what the other man had said. "You don't have to, but if you wanted to sleep in here..." There'd certainly be more gentle fingers and soft touches. He stroked a fingertip along the soft skin just behind his ear, gentle and ghosting.

He hummed, tipping his head under the touch -- it made him shiver again, tongue brushing over his lower lip. "I'm not a very good person to sleep next to."

Val smiled, the edge of his thumb playing along the short hairs along the nape of his neck. "It's a very big bed, and I'm a heavy sleeper." His tone was light though, not demanding at all. "And very small."

He bowed his head into Val's shoulder, still half on him. Charlie was heavy, too. "Maybe."

Fingers played down the line of his spine. "You can think about it. I definitely need a shower now." He chuckled, head tipped to rest his cheek against Charlie's hair.

"Yeah." He sighed, though, and didn't move for another moment. When he finally did, it was slow, sliding down off the end of the bed.

Hands lingered as Charlie slid down, nails drifting over the big man's skin as he slipped out of reach, and Val just lay there for another moment before lifting himself up to his elbows. His stomach and chest were a miss, but he didn't seem to mind as he pushed up the rest of the way and slipped carefully down, a hand on Charlie's arm for balance.

Charlie puffed out a breath but caught him easily, a hand around his waist. "Didn't hurt you?"

"No, not at all." Any lingering ache was a good one. Val lay a hand on Charlie's chest, reassuring. "My legs are just a little shaky still."

He brushed hair back out of Val's face, slow, humming again as he did. "You look even more of a mess, now."

He lifted his head, tipping with the touch and eyes closing with a soft hum. "Does it look bad?"

"Just a mess." He licked his lips and then kissed Val again -- stealthy, while his eyes were closed.

*

Offline Beejoux

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Re: Good nights [Charlie/Val]
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2020, 08:30:12 PM »
It startled a sound from him, curled his fingers against Charlie's chest before he lifted up on his toes to kiss back.

"You're still very pretty." He brushed at Val's jaw as he tipped his head back, considering. "Legs steady?"

They were, but... "If I say no will keep saying nice things and hold me up?" He was joking, the grin made that clear, but maybe it wasn't entirely in jest.

"I'll do that anyway." He brushed at his mouth, too, light, just a pass of thumb over his lips.

He blinked up at him, like maybe it was sweeter than he was used to hearing, but he smiled against Charlie's thumb. "Do you want to share the shower with me? It might be tight, but I don't mind."

"I don't think that's a great idea." He sounded apologetic about it, though, just a bit -- guiding Val along toward the bathroom.

Val moved easily, leaning against Charlie as he was led, because he could. "If you're sure." With the wings it definitely would have been a tight fit.

"It's okay." He smoothed a hand down over Val's hip, light, and nudged him toward the bathroom.

All the tension had bled away and Val was loose, hips rolling as he walked, as a hand slid along pale skin. He looked back at him as he walked in and crossed to turn the water on. "Do you want a wet washcloth or something to clean up with?"

He nudged him toward the shower, shaking his head a little bit. "Don't worry about me."

"Okay. I won't take too long." He checked to make sure he had a towel handy and then stepped inside, closing the glass door behind him.

Charlie stood in front of the sink and scrubbed himself off carefully -- washing his hands and considering himself in the mirror with just a twitch of a smile.

There were stripes of clouded glass across the door, but Charlie would be able to see Val in the mirror over his shoulder as the smaller man tipped his face into the spray, smoothing his hair back before grabbing shampoo, expression lazy and at ease.

"You bought food..." It was almost absent, as he scrubbed down his stomach too.

Fingers worked soap through his hair he turned to look over at Charlie by the mirror. "Yeah, some. Not a lot. Snacks mostly."

"Hungry." He flicked a look back toward Val, avoiding himself in the mirror now.

"If you want to go hunt down something to eat that's fine. Help yourself. I got you some sweet tea too." He flashed him a smile before he stepped back under the water to rinse his hair.

Charlie hummed a little, thinking it over -- and then left him to his shower, to find the sweatpants, giving up on the shirt for now, to go dig through food for something salty.

There'd be chips and cheese popcorn on top of the fridge, and assorted other things in the cabinets and in the fridge itself. Val didn't dawdle in the shower, lingering just long enough to scrub himself off and make sure his face was clean before he wandered into the bedroom to grab his sweats again, then walked back out into the living room. "Find something?"

He had a good mouthful of popcorn, leaned up against the counter -- and more in his hand -- and he blinked at Val over it. But Charlie did look a bit more relaxed, right now, if maybe a smidge guilty.

Fresh faced and hair slicked back Val looked a bit younger, and the lingering smile didn't hurt. He walked over to help himself to a small handful himself. Eating the pieces one at a time.

He hesitated, just a moment, before shoving more popcorn in his mouth, swiping his hands on his pants. And struggled to chew around it.

Val chuckled under his breath and tugged a paper towel off the roll to offer it over. "It's really good, isn't it?"

"It's a weird color." He was still chewing a bit; struggled to swallow. "But it's good."

"It's orangy cause it's cheese." He popped a piece into his mouth, chewing slowly. "I think this is my favorite kind, then kettle corn."

"Uh huh." He frowned a bit at his hand, then gave up and licked at his fingers.

"It does tend to be messier than the rest though." He ate a couple more pieces before licking off his thumb and grabbing another paper towel.

"It's also not real food." He shrugged just a bit as he said it, looking down to Val. And he reached for another handful, all the same. "You'll be hungry again in an hour."

"Me?" That wasn't likely, but it probably meant Charlie was still hungry. "There's probably..." He frowned looking over his shoulder at the cabinets. "Mac and cheese?"

He blinked at Val even as he popped another piece of popcorn into his mouth. "You got some?"

"Mmhmm." Turning, he opened a door to pull a box down. "You said you liked the Kraft stuff, right?"

"Yes." He brightened, leaning in over the counter. "...I could maybe make it."

"Sure." He offered over the box before sinking into a crouch to pull out a pan and a colander to set on the counter.

Charlie turned the box over to briefly scan the back, and then hesitated again. "...maybe."

"I can help if you want." He pulled himself up, then hopped up to sit on the counter, out of the way.

"I only ever really had a microwave." He flicked a look up to Val, then down to the pot. "So we had the....microwave kind."

"Easy Mac." He grinned. "This isn't too complicated. Just a couple more steps. Go ahead and fill the pot about halfway with water and set it on the stove."

He hummed, took a step in to fill the pot, oddly serious about it. "Microwave or electric kettle. I've done it with the electric kettle, kind of."

"I lived off Easy Mac and ramen for a bit when I was younger." He chuckled, but it probably wasn't a joke. "Turn the dial all the way until it clicks and lights, then back down to medium-ish. It's gotta boil before you add noodles."

"Like the kettle." He flicked the oven, fought with it a little, got it lighted. Still frowning just a bit. "...I've definitely eaten just the noodles, uncooked, though."

"Me too, they're crunchy." He rested his hands on the counter beside his thighs. "It'll take a couple minutes to boil."

Charlie leaned back against the counter, thinking that over. "....mostly just I was hungry, and my mom wasn't always...great about her timing."

Val reached over to run the backs of his nails up Charlie's arm as he leaned against the counter next to him.

It got another of those satisfying shivers, Charlie's attention flicking back up onto him immediately.

"There was a lot of bagel bites and pizza rolls in my house. Things that we could make ourselves." Fingers hooked around Charlie's arm, tugging gently.

He let Val pull him in, without any resistance. "Peanut butter and jelly?"

"Had a lot of that too. I think there's some here, too." He wasn't positive if there was bread...

Fingers rested lightly on either arm. "Is this alright?"

"Yeah." He set his hands on either side of Val, slowly, leaning into him. "What about just peanut butter, with a spoon?"

"That's a really good snack. Or on apple slices." He tipped his head up as Charlie leaned in, running his lips along the point of his chin.

Charlie breathed out shakily, eyes closed. "It's not my favorite."

"Peanut butter and celery?" Hands moved up to drape lightly over Charlie's shoulders. Legs shifting in against the other man's hips.

He pulled a little face at that one, bowing his head. "No, definitely not that."

Val grinned up at him. "With crackers?" Ankles hooked behind his thighs loosely.

"Maybe crackers." He nosed in against the side of Val's face, light.

He hummed lightly, eyes closing. "Have you ever had a fluffernutter, or a peanut butter and banana sandwich?"

"No, I don't think so." His jaw was prickly against Val's skin, just a hint of stubble.

"Do you like marshmallows?" He rubbed his cheek along Charlie's jaw, enjoying the soft rasp against his skin.

"I like s’mores." His tongue brushed against Val's ear again, light. Teasing.

It made him shiver. "It's marshmallow fluff and peanut butter," he explained, but his voice was going a little distracted. He definitely didn't notice the water starting to boil.

"Okay." He skated fingers up the outside of Val's legs, light.

His legs tightened around the other man's hips, giving a low hum as he rested his head on Charlie's shoulder. Only then did he notice the water, eyes opening after a moment. "..waters ready for the noodles."

He straightened a little bit -- but only a little bit, with palms still settled on Val's thighs. "You want me to get that?"

He thought about it, actually debating if he did or not before reluctantly lifting his head. "Add'em, set a timer, stir, then come back."

Charlie sighed, stepping back with a pat to Val's thigh to do as told. He dumped the pasta in, and then paused, looking at the clock. "I don't actually....how?"

He shifted on the counter, leaning over to rest on his elbow to point at the button. "Push the up arrow until it says seven minutes, then hit start." He grabbed a wooden spoon from the vase beside the stove, holding it ready for Charlie.

He leaned over to push the button as instructed, fumbling just a bit. Charlie scraped hair back out of his face as he took the spoon. Stirring, he could do.

"Now we can ignore it until it beeps at us." He straightened back up, pushing his hair out of his face.

"Seven minutes?" He tipped his head a little as he settled back in between Val's knees.

"Mmhmm." He smoothed his hands up Charlie's chest and over his shoulder, fingers slipping up into his hair.

"That's not very much time." He cocked his head a little, stretching under the touch.

"We should make it count then." Heels pressed into the backs of his thighs to drag him in closer, fingers at his nape to coax his head down.

He made a little sound of amusement against Val's mouth, as he curled fingers around his sides.

Val gave an approving rumble into the kiss, back arching under strong hands and nails gliding along his scalp.

He curled thumbs into the inside of Val's thighs, nail tracing upward, thoughtfully. "Again?"

Teeth pressed into the bigger man's lower lip. "Uh-huh." He licked over the lingering indents. "After dinner?"

Charlie made a very quiet sound, pressing in against Val. "I might be able to manage something with seven minutes."

It made Val's breath hitch, color rushing up across his chest. "Shit, yeah." He breathed it against the other man's mouth, arms tightening around his shoulders.

Charlie smiled against his mouth, suddenly, those thumbs finally creeping up over his hips. "I've done more with less, I think."

He shuddered, whining softly against full lips, nails prickling against his back. "Fuck, show me."

[ Redacted ]

Nails prickled against the back of Charlie's head, sliding over his scalp as the big man sat back on his knees, hands a warm weight on cool thighs. "My God..." Val was strung out, breathless and shoulders resting heavy against the cabinets.

He swallowed again, tipping his head to press a kiss to the inside of Val's thigh, light, catching his breath. "How long was that?"

He tipped his head to glance at the timer like it was a huge effort, heart pounding in his chest. "About six minutes. Shit," he chuckled, head thumping softly back, nails combing through Charlie's hair.

He tipped his head into the touch with a breath of a laugh -- just barely there, not enough to even really count. "Well."

Dark eyes closed as he felt Charlie's breath against his thigh, sighing out in satisfaction as he played the fingers of both hands through soft hair.

He stayed there, comfortable, for another twenty seconds or so -- until the timer started to beep and he startled a little.

Val knew it was coming but even he jumped a little, then laughed, grinning down at Charlie before he leaned heavily against the counter to switch off the burner.

He fumbled up to stand -- using his grip on Val's thighs to haul himself up. "Put the powder in?"

"Not yet." He'd pressed on Charlie's hands, like that'd help him get up, and then moved up to his shoulders so he could slid down off the counter, tugging up the sweats when he was steady on his feet.

"Oh." he hesitated, blinking at the pot. "Oh, drain it first?"

"Uh-huh." His movements were loose and sedate, and he leaned in to press a kiss onto the big man's shoulder. "Then we add some butter and milk with the powder, and stir."

"Do you have a drainer?" He tipped his head, fathers twitching again, not quite against Val's cheek.

He trailer the back of his hand along the edge of a feather as he moved to the fridge to pull out butter and milk. "In the sink already. The pot handle might be warm."

"Right." He touched the handle lightly, frowned, and then just picked it up. It probably was hot. Charlie didn't seem terribly bothered, though he dumped it quickly.

Val set the stuff from the fridge on the counter, then stepped to the side and out of the way. "After they drain they go back into the pot."

Charlie could take care of it, swiping his cheek on his shoulder and just flicking Val a sideways look as he dumped them back into the pot. "And then the dust."

"Mmhmm." He leaned in against the counter, content to sit back and watch Charlie moving around the kitchen. Shirtless. It was a nice view.

Not bad at all, no. He raised his eyebrows as he grabbed the packet, tearing it open with his teeth. "And the butter and milk."

"Yeah, little bit of butter, little splash of milk." He slid the spoon across the counter towards him.

"Just a little." He cocked his head, brushing hair back out of his face as he reached for the spoon.

"Like quarter sized." Val half turned to open the cabinet behind him so he could pull down a couple of bowls, setting them out for them.

Charlie definitely dumped in too much milk. Not a lot too much milk, but too much milk. He stared down into the pot, hesitant, and then closed the milk quickly. At least Val's back had been turned.

He was busy getting spoons out of the drawer, so he'd definitely missed it. "Then just stir until all the powder is gone." Fingers brushed along Charlie's hip as he grabbed the milk and the butter to put away.

"I remember this part." He stirred, slowly, carefully, head cocked to the side. Probably longer than he had to.

He pulled out a bottle of sweet tea while he was in the fridge, and opened it to take a quick drink as Charlie stirred. "I don't need too much of that." As he came to stand next to the other man he offered him the bottle.

"I could eat the whole bowl." He said it slowly, dryly, one shoulder raised in a shrug.

"You can have most of it." A few spoonfuls and he'd be fine. If not for Charlie being hungry there was every chance Val wouldn't have eaten again before going to bed.

"God, I'm not sure I've ever been full." He said it absently, as he stirred, looking down into the pot.

"A few bites in and I'm usually good." He chuckled, setting the tea on the counter and sliding the bowls closer.

He shook his head a little in reply, thinking it over. "Bowls? I could just eat out of this..."

Val shrugged. "If you really want to, that's fine." It didn't really matter to him either way.

"It seems kind of dumb to dirty a bowl." He flushed a little bit, shrugging back at Val -- surprisingly calm, all things considered. "Spoons?"

"I agree, but not everyone likes eating out of pots. I didn't want to assume." The bowls were tucked back in the cabinet before he handed over two spoons. "Do you want sweet tea or something else?"

"Another coke?" He asked it a little hesitantly, almost embarrassed, as he lifted the pot up off the stove again.

"Sure." Val smiled up at him, and there was no judgement there. He didn't have a leg to stand on where indulgences were concerned. He grabbed a Coke, cracking it open as he walked up to stand before the taller man, head tipped up and mouth opening for a bite.

He made a sound, scooping out a good amount of mac'n'cheese to offer Val. "We gonna sit?"

*

Offline Beejoux

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Re: Good nights [Charlie/Val]
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2020, 08:32:03 PM »
"Mm." He swiped his thumb along the corner of his mouth and licked it off as he grabbed his bottle of tea. "Yeah." He grabbed Charlie's Coke too, and a few paper towels, before heading for the couch.

Charlie shook his head a little bit, following along in Val's wake. As he walked, he gave in and took a huge bite of mac'n'cheese himself.

There was a small table, but it was covered in odds and ends. Val would have to clean it off before they could use it. For now, the couch would work fine. The smaller man took a seat at one end, putting the drinks down.

Charlie propped the pot on his knees anyway, leaning back awkwardly again, spoon in hand. "It's been so long since I had this."

"What else do you miss eating? He leaned in close to Charlie's side with his own spoon so he could take another bite.

He had to think about that a little, head cocked to the side -- and then his expression brightened again. "Warm brownies."

"Those are pretty easy to make." Even Val could manage it. "I can pick up a mix, we can make them."

He thought about it more, then: things he didn't often get, things that were hard -- "Wonton soup."

"We can definitely get some of that the next time we get Chinese. I like it too." He wasn't writing anything down, but he would remember. He took another bite before just settling in at Charlie's side.

Charlie ate more slowly, now, methodically; working through it thoughtfully, big bites. He spoke around them. "I've been able to bribe for little things along the way, like Milky Ways, chips, you know."

Val licked his spoon clean as he sat back, a small, warm weight at the bigger man's side. Content to just relax, listening. "When was the last time you had anything like cake?"

His expression slipped at that, going a little bit flatter. "A bit. A few months."

"Do you want some? Or cupcakes? Or pie?" He tipped his head back to look up at him, flicking the spoon against his own thigh idly.

He blinked a little bit, focusing up at Val as he took another big bite. "Do you have cake?"

"I think I have some Little Debbie cake...things in a drawer, but I can get bakery level cake easily." If Charlie couldn't recall ever feeling full, Val was going to take that as a personal challenge.

He stirred the mac'n'cheese, mulling it over. "....I'd rather the brownies, I think."

"You wouldn't have to choose one over the other, but I like brownies better, too." He drew his legs up, head tipping to the side until his temple rested against Charlie's shoulder.

"But warm." He looked down at Val, considering.

"Warm with vanilla ice cream," he offered thoughtfully, thumb smoothing along the handle of the spoon.

"God, yes." He smiled again, brief, a twitch. "Just really hot fresh food in general is great."

He could hear the smile in Charlie's voice and he tipped his head up to see it, cheek rubbing against pale skin.

He blinked down at Val, scooping up another good amount of mac'n'cheese. "What?"

"You have a really nice smile." He had a really nice everything.

It made him blink and then flush a little, setting his fork back down. "Okay."

That flush brought a satisfied little smile to Val's lips, eyes closing after a moment.

He shoved the mac'n'cheese into his mouth, then, a little roughly. It was maybe slightly too much to fill his mouth.

Val had eaten his fill, small as it'd been, and Charlie could have the rest to himself. He yawned, softly, as he shifted enough to grab his tea, taking a quick drink before settling again.

He ate, still, leaning in over the pot. "Do you need to sleep?"

The honest answer was probably yes, but Val gave a little shrug. "Not just yet." At the very least he was reluctant to move, comfortable. "Are you staying out here tonight?"

He hesitated just a breath, blinking -- he hadn't even thought about it -- "...is that okay?"

"Of course." Whatever disappointment he felt he hid well. "Whatever's the most comfortable for you. But you're welcome to join me if you get lonely out here."

"I just....I'm really bad at sleeping with other people." He shrugged a little bit, turning his attention down into the food.

"It's alright." He reached up to stroke a hand down Charlie's arm. "Are you going to bed after you finish eating?"

"I don't know. I slept a lot." He blinked at Val, slowly, turning the fork in his hand.

Val was tired, obviously so, but Charlie had done a wonderful job of wearing him out. He licked his lips, thinking it over. "I think I'll go lay down after this, I don't think I'd last very long if we started watching anything or got any more comfortable than this." Not without being distracted.

He tipped his head a little, taking one last generous bite of the pasta. "...okay. I can be quiet."

He gave a softly amused hum, fingers gliding along his upper arm. "You don't have to worry too much, I can sleep through a lot."

"Maybe I'll put something on the TV again, then?" He cocked his head a little, licking his lower lip.

"Sure." He lifted his head finally, pushing still damp hair back from his face and lowering his legs again.

Charlie smoothed a hand down his back, light, shrugging. "You don't have to go, either. Whatever's....I don't know."

He paused, eyes closing at the light touch and goosebumps trailing up the lengths of his arms. "I can stay if you want me to." He'd wanted to give Charlie the choice.

"Doesn't matter to me so much." He shrugged a tiny bit. "Just. When I go to sleep, probably better you curl up on your own somewhere."

There was every possibility that Val would fall asleep first, but if Charlie nudged him towards the bedroom when he wanted to go to bed that'd work. "Okay." A little moving around probably wouldn't hurt. He glanced at the pot. "Are you finished? I can clean up, since you cooked for us."

There were four or five bits of pasta left. He looked down at them, hesitated, and then quickly stabbed them to eat those as well. "I can clean up."

"Are you sure?" He set his spoon lightly in the pan, turning the bottle of tea in his hands as he looked up at Charlie.

He hesitated, not quite standing up. "I mean, if you're not...I can try to clean up."

The smaller man sat back again. "Thank you." He unscrewed the cap of his tea so he could take another drink. "I think the dishwasher is full, and clean. So if you just rinse the pan out and leave it in the sink that'd be fine."

"Oh." A dishwasher. He seemed -- well, impressed, actually, as he rolled up to stand. "That I can do."

"I'll empty the dishwasher in the morning." He shifted to set his bottle down again, stretching out a little on the couch as he settled back again. "Then rinsed things can just go right in there."

"Sure." Charlie would probably have done it, if he knew where stuff went; as it was, he didn't offer. Just set to rinsing out the pot and setting it aside with all the dishes tucked into it.

Given more than the day and a half Charlie had been there, he'd probably figure out where things were or went the more he poked around. With another yawn the smaller man stretched from the tips of his fingers down to his toes.

Maybe he was more like washing the entire thing -- distracted, a bit, slowly -- before he set it aside and scrubbed his hands dry and settled back down to perch on the couch next to Val.

Val shifted as Charlie came back to sit down so he wasn't taking up the entire couch anymore. "Do you want to lay on your stomach again? That's more comfortable, isn't it?"

He cracked his neck while he considered, stretching slowly himself. "It's okay."

"Are you sure? I know I'm little bony, but you can lay your head on my stomach..." He smoothed his hands down his chest, fingers tapping against his own hip bones.

He thought that over, quiet for a moment -- "Okay." And then he'd shift, carefully, to sprawl out on the couch. Very gentle.

He tried to make it easier, shifting as Charlie stretched out so the bigger man was half between his legs, and he could lay his head on the flat of Val's stomach. It probably wasn't the best position to be in, if they both fell asleep, but it was warm and comfortable, and it let him comb his fingers through Charlie's hair after he offered him the remote to put something on.

The fingers in his hair made him close his eyes and stretch again, slowly, rumbling; Val'd have to poke him a few times with the remote to get his focus enough to take it.

It made Val chuckle, and he tapped him gently on the shoulder with it. "Unless you want to watch Criminal Minds, you should take this from me."

"I don't mind." It was absent, blinking slowly at the TV. "It's okay."

Well, in that case. Val navigated through the menu quickly to get the show on, then set the remote up on the back of the couch and out of the way. Then the second hand joined the first, nails running lightly up and down the back of the big man's neck.

He still prickled and shifted with the touch; goosebumps still came up under Val's fingers. Sensitive. He looped an arm around Val's waist, loose. There was another scar, there, up the back of his neck and tracing into his hairline.

He stroked the side of his thumb along the scar absently, head tipping to look down at it before he splayed his fingers along broad shoulders. "Warrick Valentine," he said after a quiet moment, nails gliding up the back of his neck again.

He made a little sound, faint and questioning -- in a lazy, and distracted kind of way.

"It's my name. Every calls me Val, or Valerie, but it'd be good for you to know, since you're staying here for now." He doubted Charlie would have need to know it until after he regained a bit more independence, but it didn't hurt to tell him, either.

He was quiet for another long moment, and then actually opened his eyes to look up at Val. "Charles Harkins."

The movement had small fingers sliding down the side of Charlie's neck and he smoothed his thumb along the stubble coming in along his jaw. "Nice to meet you, Charles Harkins."

"Charlie." He said that somewhat firmly, still looking up at Val.

Val smiled down at him, slow and lazy. "Charlie." He liked that better anyways. Felt better on his tongue.

He mulled it over, though, still considering Val. More seriously. "Why Valerie?"

His thumb slid up along Charlie's cheekbone. "Because I wear makeup, like men," he shrugged as he said it. "I'm not very masculine, and also I think it just rolls off the tongue easily."

Charlie made a sound at that, closing his eyes again. Considering. "You chose it?"

"No." He smoothed a fingertip along one brow, gaze sliding along handsome features with open appreciation. "The first person to call me that was trying to be an asshole, but it takes more than a girl's name to get under my skin."

Charlie shrugged a tiny bit, expression relaxing under Val's touch. "Just words."

"Mmhmm. I kinda liked it though, and some of the girls I work with use it for me." Which just pissed the other guy off more. Bonus.

"Okay." Charlie fundamentally didn't seem to worry about it; to care one way or the other, aside from the fact that Val did.

His smile brightened, gone a touch impish as he slid his thumb along the full curve of Charlie's lower lip. "You can call me whatever you want to."

The tip of his tongue came out, thoughtless, to catch Val's finger. "Val's good."

Dark eyes lingered on his mouth, thumb gone still after the lick, then slid down slowly along his chin.

He looked relaxed, sprawled out; needed to shave, for sure, though. Given two or three more days, he'd probably be approaching mountain man status.

Val had his own stubble coming in along his jaw, but it'd be gone the following day. His fingers rasped softly along pale skin as he followed his jawline back.

His arm flexed idly around Val's waist, in a lazy and comfortable way, feathers fluffing and settling. After a moment, he cracked his eyes again.

Fluffing feathers drew his gaze back up and the fingers still resting at the back of Charlie's neck twitched, like he wanted to touch. He resisted about a minute before letting his hand wander down to brush fingertips along downy feathers.

That made him shudder again, attention sliding up onto Val again immediately. He cleared his throat, a little roughly. "They're sensitive."

He'd figured as much, but even knowing, he didn't draw his fingers back just yet. He tipped his head as he looked down to meet Charlie's gaze. "Should I stop, then?"

"It's okay..." But he shivered again as Val's fingers pushed. "Just not...hard. Or the wrong way."

He nodded, palm warm on Charlie's cheek as he gently worked fingers between feathers and skin, tracing a slow circle where wing met back, feeling the way they joined.

It made him breath out and then shift, curling in around Val and pressing his face into his stomach.

"They're so soft..." he said quietly, legs shifting along Charlie's sides and the hand on his cheek sliding back through his hair to rest on the back of his head. He followed the curve, the backs of his fingers stroking along the natural flow of the feathers.

He made a very quiet, weak sound of agreement, his hand curling against Val's back.

His back arched with the curl of fingers, something soft and encouraging spilling from his lips.

He breathed out again -- forced his hand to relax, trying to settle. "Just a lot."

"It's okay." It was more than okay. Nails slid along Charlie's scalp as he brought his hand back up to where wing and back joined. The feathers softest there, warmest. "I can stop if it's too much..."

His wings spread out over Val's hand, slow. "Depends, I guess."

He made a small sound, fixated for just a second or two on the lovely markings before looking back down at Charlie. "On..?" He thought he knew.

"What you're trying to do to me, I guess." He mumbled it against Val's stomach. eyes narrow.

He smiled down at him, chin tipping up. "Maybe I'm trying to get you hot and bothered again," he admittedly shamelessly, shifting under the bigger man.

Charlie didn't argue with that; just curled his arm a little tighter around Val's waist. "I thought you wanted to sleep."

"I wouldn't say want." The smile brightened into a full on grin, impish and eager. "Just very relaxed." Charlie had left him very relaxed after the speedy orgasm in the kitchen. "I'm not tired now."

He made a very small sound, face pressed into Val's stomach again. "If this is about earlier, you don't have to."

He breathed out, amused but shaky. Then shifted his hips so Charlie could feel the press of his cock against his stomach. "This is about spending all day wanting you."

That sound again; low and whimpery. All Val would have to do was dig fingers a little. "That's a bit extreme."

"Is it?" He trailed his fingers down from Charlie's scalp. "I disappeared earlier because watching you work out got me so hot I had to take care of it." His tone was flat, like he wasn't sure how Charlie hadn't realized that. Or maybe he had. Either way... Val's fingers disappeared under banded feathers, mirroring the other.

"Yeah." He definitely hadn't missed that. He twitched at the touch, the breath all puffing out of him, and arched into Val's hands.

"I didn't think you were interested," he admitted, stroking the base of Charlie's wings as he slid a foot up over the back of a muscular thigh.

He made another low noise, his hand tensed against Val's back again. Not words, and not really agreeing or disagreeing now.

Another shaky breath, and Val arched against his hand again, heel pressing into the curve of his ass. "Come here."

"Hmm?" He cracked his eyes again, flushed and blurry and unfocused.

Nails dragged over Charlie's back and shoulders as Val reached to cup his cheeks, trying to get him to crawl up closer. "Up here."

He shuddered again, one more time, and then caught Val's waist to pull him down, instead, so that Charlie could catch his mouth -- rough and desperate, this time.


*

Offline Beejoux

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Re: Good nights [Charlie/Val]
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2020, 08:34:15 PM »
[ Redacted ]
Charlie's hand went gentle over his hip and side, though, light touches, reassuring. And finally he could lean in enough to really kiss Val.

He stretched under that light touch, twisting to meet Charlie for a proper kiss. slow, and exploring, and soft. A hand sliding up to cup his cheek.

After all that, it was still soft, sighing, with his hand still tracing a soothing path up and down Val's side.

He hummed into the kiss, smiling, goosebumps rising under Charlie's fingers as they slid along his side.

He didn't push Val into the wet spot, or let him fall; his hands were shaky, now, but he kept a grip on his waist, sighing into his mouth. "Good?"

Gravity was going to make the choice for them soon, if the tremble in both their limbs had anything to say about it. But Val flicked his tongue against that full mouth again, eyes cracking open to look up at Charlie's face. "Perfect."

He made a very quiet sound, cracked his eyes, and looked flustered by the comment. He sat back slowly, a hand still on Val's waist to steady him.

Fingers stroked gently over Charlie's cheek, reassuring, before he reached down to drag the towel in to clean himself off, leaning back against a strong chest. Then he tossed the towel away.

"Thirsty." He swallowed, thinking it over, then half-turned -- they had sodas here, somewhere. "You?"

"Yeah." Fingers stroked along Charlie's thigh before he rose up on his knees again to grab the arm of the couch, leaning against it so he could grab Charlie's soda, offering it back to him.

Charlie sat back, slowly, leaning against the arm of the couch so he could spread wings out over it -- just watching the way Val moved. "You dance, you said, right?"

He grabbed his tea, and crawled back towards Charlie, just kicking the sweats off the rest of the way, for now. "Yeah. It used to be my job, years ago. Before I started bartending."

It showed in how he moved. Charlie just watched him, huffing out a breath as he took the can. "What kind of dancing?"

"Exotic," he answered with a dip of his head, crawling in to kneel between Charlie's thighs. A hand coming up to smooth his hair back before he twisted off the top of his tea.

Charlie sprawled his legs out, a hand settling on Val's hip again. "What does that mean?"

He took a quick drink, then replaced the cap and set the bottle on the couch behind him. "It means I'd take my clothes off while I danced, and people would give me money." Dark eyes flicked up to Charlie's face, curious what he'd think of that.

"Oh." He blinked down at Val, licking his lower lip, like he was thinking it over. And then he took a long drink of the coke.

"That's the basic idea, anyways." He rolled one shoulder in a little shrug. "Sometimes it was more about dancing and less about taking anything off." The tip of his finger traced the rise of Charlie's hip bone.

"Okay." He didn't seem bothered by it, really; just accepted, shrugging a little. "Like a stripper."

"Yes, exactly that." He chuckled, shifting like he meant to lean in against Charlie's chest again but paused, looking up at him. "Would it put too much pressure on your back or wings if I leaned against you?"

"I'm okay right now." He tipped his head, adjusted so the arm of the couch was low on his back, wings spread over it. "This isn't terrible."

He watched him shift, waiting until he'd settled before turning to rest his back against that broad chest, humming at how warm he felt. "I bet I could find a stool like you mentioned before at a second hand store."

"It'd be better if I could just get rid of them." He tucked his face down, rubbing a thumb absently over a mark on Val's hip. "But my back would be fucked up."

"They're beautiful," he offered softly, head tipping up to rest his brow against Charlie's jaw. "But I can see how troublesome they could be." Not just as a matter of comfort, but in everything. "Give me a few days, and I'll make something that'll let you hide them without having to cover them up." Not as good as making them gone, but it was something at least.

"That'd be nice." He licked his lips, looking down at val. "I think you'll have a bruise."

He blinked, head tipped to glance down at Charlie's hand. "Where?" Curious, rather than concerned at all.

He smoothed his thumb over Val's hipbone -- and then cocked his head a little, with a rumble, and touched a spot on his shoulder. And then his throat.

Val looked down at the blossoming bruise on his hip before going still as Charlie touched his shoulder and the side of his throat, a hand lifting after to stroke fingers along discolored skin. "Oh my, that's a lot." He giggled, head falling back against Charlie's chest, grinning.

"I'm sorry. I'll be more careful, next time." He sounded genuine about it, fingers lingering against Val's throat.

His hand drifted up to touch fingertips to the underside of Charlie's chin. "I really don't mind."

He blinked up onto Val's face, and he did look slightly concerned, still. "Are you sure?"

"Mmhmm." He stroked his thumb along his jaw, feeling the soft rasp of stubble. "I'd have stopped you before if I wasn't okay with it."

"It's hard. It was easier when I wasn't quite so strong, but..." He had to swallow against some thought, there.

"I liked everything we did, and everything you did to me. It all felt amazing." Fingers drifted up to ghost along his cheek, trying to chase whatever that thought was away.

He wrapped both arms in around Val's waist, then to give him a little squeeze, holding on. "Okay."

His other hand rested on one of Charlie's, head settled back against the big man's chest. Content and comfortable and utterly relaxed.

He sighed as he relaxed back again, thinking -- quiet, for a moment -- "I'm terrified to go outside. Can you do something about that, too?"

He could definitely suggest something to help with the attached anxiety, but Charlie seemed entirely adverse to it. He stroked the tips of his fingers along the backs of Charlie's as he thought about what, if anything, he could do about the fear. "I'll see if I can come up with something that might help."

His arms were still loose around Val's waist. He tucked his head, watching the movement of fingers low on Val's shoulder. "I used to love going outside."

He was quiet for a moment, apparently already trying to brainstorm up something that might help. Then he moved his head to look up at Charlie. "What happened?"

He hesitated over his answer, giving it a thought - and eyes unfocused. "... I guess if you spend enough time in enclosed spaces.... I mean I hadn't been outside in a long time."

That would do it. "How long?" He almost hadn't asked, because it didn't seem like Charlie liked to talk about it at all, and he didn't want to push him, not after just getting away from all that. "Sorry. I know you don't want to have to keep thinking about it, I'm just trying to understand." He stroked his fingers over Charlie's again, reassuring and comforting.

He made a little sound, fingers tracing up over Val's ribs. "...well, Daniel and I broke out maybe...two years ago? But it didn't go well..."

There was a lot to unpack with that simple response. Val gave a thoughtful hum, fingertips sliding between big knuckles. "Have you been running this whole time, or..?"

"No." He blinked down at his hands, slowly. "We only ducked out for a day or so. He was just starting chemo."

"Oh." He wondered if Daniel had been the one that'd passed two months ago, or If Charlie had just been having an even rougher go of things. "I can't even imagine everything you've had to go through."

He shrugged a tiny bit, closing his eyes while he thought it over. "We didn't make it far at all."

Val looked up at him, touching his cheek softly. He didn't want to ask more questions that might dig deeper into painful memories, but he wouldn't try to stop Charlie from talking about it.

He didn't, though. Instead he pressed his face into the curve of Val's neck, all wrapped around him, wings twitching.

He combed dark hair back from Charlie's face, hand pressing the bigger man's arm tighter around him. "You're here now."

"For the time being, anyway." He tipped his head a little, considering. "I'm at least twelve hours ahead of last time."

Val gave an agreeing hum that could have gone with either of those statements, or both. He wasn't going to make Charlie leave, not when he had nothing and nowhere to go. Especially not now.

He brushed his cheek against Val's shoulder, hiding behind the mess of his hair -- and brushed fingers in little circles against his stomach. Quiet, now.

He curled his hand around the back of Charlie's head, the other one of his arms just holding him close. Nails gliding softly along scalp and skin in soothing lines.

He made a tiny little sound, eyes still closed. "If you're trying to get me going again, I don't think it's going to happen."

"No, not that." He eased back on the nails, just a bit. "Trying for comforting, or just something that feels good."

He made a little tiny sound of agreement, and he did relax, just a little bit. "Okay."

His legs drew up as he hugged Charlie's arm around him, fingers combing through his hair still. "I don't think I have anything left anyways. Not tonight." He sounded distinctly satisfied about it though.

That made him shift, finally, to take another long gulp of his Coke -- reminded to hydrate, maybe. "When do you have to go somewhere?"

He'd need some water for that, but Val wasn't the paternal sort. Caring, but not terribly responsible. He took the loosened grip to grab his own tea, twisting it open to take a drink before answering. "Tomorrow evening, I have a bartending shift at nine." He tipped his head back to glance up at him.

"That's a ways off." He finished the coke off, then, quick, and leaned around Val to set the can down.

"Mmhmm." He waited for Charlie to set the can down before stretching a little, humming softly at skin moving against warm skin. "I can look into what I need for the charm tomorrow."

"Charm?" He settled, feathers twitching and adjusting, his eyes pressed closed again.

"Yeah, the magic that'll let you hide your wings. It'll be in a charm. Something to wear, and you'll be able to activate it when you want." He looked around for the book he'd had earlier, then gave up and extended a hand, fingers curling and wrist twisting, until it popped up from under a cushion and into his hand.

"Oh." Charlie didn't budge; he sat, quiet, wrapped around Val like a blanket. "That sounds nice."

It was an old book, leather bound and worn until the title was unreadable. He set it against his legs and opened it to the page he'd been on earlier, fingertips skimming the old parchment. "It can be a ring, or bracelet, or a necklace. Something like that."

Charlie didn't even look up -- just nodded, a tiny bit, against Val's shoulder. "Sure."

He moved his head just enough to sort of see Charlie's profile, and reached up to stroke his cheek softly.

He looked comfortable, there, quiet, with his eyes closed and his focus turned downward -- halfway to dozing, warm around Val. "Anything's okay."


It was nice, this. Val let his gaze linger on him a moment longer before dark eyes dropped down to the book in his lap, fingers gliding along Charlie's jaw.

He rumbled, but didn't say anything else. Much more of that and he might doze off, still wrapped around Val.

Back and forth along the short stubble, his head resting comfortably against Charlie's, gaze half lidded as he read through a few lines, reread them, and then gave up. Too worn out to be trying to do any sort of research. He closed the book and set it aside.

The movement made Charlie blink back into focus, waking up some. "....bed?"

"Probably should. If we stay like this much longer we'll both pass out and you'll wake up with a really sore back." It was half joking. His palm settled warm against Charlie's cheek.

Still. He didn't move, for the moment. "I do sleep very badly. I'm not just...making excuses."

He played his fingertips along the fine hairs at Charlie's temple, not making any move to pull away. "What does that mean?" Not incredulous, just curious. "Like, night terrors?"

"I have nightmares, sometimes." He flicked a look up to Val, and then shrugged just a tiny bit. "But mostly it's being woken up that's the problem."

"Wake up swinging?" He flicked his eyes up to Charlie's face again, what he could see of it, features relaxed.

He hesitated -- then shrugged, just the tiniest bit, which was maybe an agreement.

Fingers slid down to follow the line of his jaw down to his chin, turning his face so Val could steal a soft kiss.

He blinked, relaxing into it a smidge, his fingertips light on Val's stomach. "I'm just really strong."

"It's okay." Fingers lingered on Charlie's chin, soft and feather light. "The invitation is still there, you can come and cuddle for a bit and come back out here. Or stay out here, and I'll understand."

He mulled that over too, his hand going in slow circles. "I could do that, maybe."

Val couldn't help the pleased smile, soft that it was. "Shall we, then?" He tipped his head towards the hall.

He looked up and sighed a bit, but finally let go of Val, brushing at his hair.

He stole a ghost of a kiss against Charlie's chin before he could move too much, and before Val shifted to get to his feet, setting the book on the side table before bending to pick up his sweatpants.

Charlie lingered another moment, looking around them, and then levered himself up - grabbing his own pants.

Val waited at the hall, pants slung over a shoulder, and took just a moment to send the dirty towel back into the bathroom and into a hamper.

His eyes raked over Val as he approached, appreciative, and Charlie rubbed at the back of his head. "Could you...do something, to me? I mean, if I'd been.... violent, or something...."

His head cocked, looking up at him. "Could I defend myself from you if I'd needed to?" Just to be sure he understood the question.

"Yes." He blinked seriously down at Val, fingers shifting around his pants.

"Yes." It was just as serious, dark eyes focused on the bigger man's face.

"So you're not just.... trusting." He fumbled with the words, frowning a bit down at Val.

One small hand reached out to brush Charlie's hip. "A bit of both. Knowing I can defend myself if things get tricky affords me the luxury of giving people the benefit of the doubt."

"With the magic." He waved a hand a little, stiffly. "That stuff. You could get a knife or something."

"I could," he answered honestly. "But I wouldn't need to." Nothing so bloody as that.

He frowned again, a little, harder, really thinking about that. "... okay."

His free hand came up to smooth a finger between furrowed brows. "I'm not helpless or defenseless, I promise."

"Okay." He struggled to relax the expression but didn't quite get there.

He did it again, a subtle smile tugging at his lips before the hand on his hip took his hand instead, leading him down the hall towards his room.

He went along without hesitation, fingers sliding in with Val's. But just a hint if that frown lingers.

He didn't bother dragging the pants back on when they reached his room, he just tossed them on a chair in the corner before drawing Charlie towards the bed. Letting go only to drag the blankets down.

Charlie lingered, looking around the room again, curious - a hand on the back of his neck.

Big, a little cluttered, with a TV on the wall and a long dresser under the window made from dark wood. "I could put the tv on for background noise." He'd crawled up to sit on the edge of the bed.

"I can't believe you have two tvs." He looked back to Val. as he said it, and then started after with a sigh. "Both so big."

He looked up at him, remote in his hand, just turning it idly. "I kept falling asleep on the couch. It seemed like a good idea to put one in here, so I'd start using the bed. I like the noise," he clarified.

Slowly, Charlie sprawled out next to him, curled carefully on his side. "It's nice."

With a little hum of agreement Val slid down beside him, dragging sheets up over both their legs before rolling in close. "Is background noise okay?"

"Yeah. It's good." He wriggled a little so that he could turn his attention vaguely toward the TV.

He flicked it on, got a show going involving a British man and micro-expressions and knowing when people were lying. Val reached up to set it on the top of the headboard, within easy reach if Charlie wanted to change it. Then shifted, turning to tuck himself in against the bigger man's chest again.

It was awkward; Charlie's wings got in the way, made it hard to settle quite right. But he had enough experience to bend them into a position that'd be comfortable enough.

Val stayed loose, moving easily as Charlie shifted until it seemed like the bigger man had found a comfortable way to lay, and then relaxed against him. Eyes flicked up, briefly, to the tv before just closing.

Charlie carded fingers loosy through Val's hair, light, eyes narrowed to slits on the TV. He might doze a little, but he wasn't about to drift off. He'd linger until Val seemed well and truly asleep before working to detangle himself.

Fingers in his hair, the warmth of Charlie beside him, the sound of the TV, all the excitement from earlier... All of it combined meant Val didn't last very long before drifting off, and true to his word, once he was out he was out hard. As Charlie started to slip free he'd give a faint sound of protest, fingers curling loosely around one arm as it drew away. And then he sighed, settling into the sheets.

He could sleep. peacefully alone while Charlie exiled. himself to the other room, sprawled out under the blankets, down well into the morning.