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Luxury Accommodations

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Kid sank into the hot water with a deep, heartfelt sigh, and from behind his newspaper, Heyes smiled. They'd had to pay extra, but when the desk clerk said "Bath?" and Heyes saw Kid's eyes light up, he wasn't about to complain about the added cost, no sirree.

Not that Heyes himself was averse to soap and water, but really, any washing up that didn't take place in a frigid stream was good by him. He’d seen a perfectly respectable-looking bathhouse—a much cheaper alternative—only a few minutes' stroll from their lodgings. There was, however, a lot to be said for the luxury of having a bathtub right in their room, the convenience and comfort of it... and the privacy.

Kid was taking full advantage of that luxury at the moment: reveling in it, in fact. The big, tough gunslinger was practically purring in delight as he splashed with cheerful abandon. Heyes tried to concentrate on what he was reading, but he would've had to be more than human, or less, not to be tempted by the sight of a reveling Kid. He allowed one corner of the newspaper in his hands to droop. Over its edge, Kid met his gaze with eyes full of mischief and a grin full of promise. Grinning back, Heyes abandoned the paper, slid low in his chair, and propped his feet up on the table to enjoy the show.

Leisurely and with obvious pleasure, Kid scrubbed himself thoroughly all over until his skin glowed pink, and washed his hair with the same careful attention. When he was done, he sank down, ducking his head under to rinse off. His curls were dark and dripping wet when he surfaced. Brushing away the water streaming down his face, he leaned back with his eyes closed, utterly relaxed. At peace, if only for the moment.

"I could get used to this fancy hotel livin', Heyes," Kid said, his tone low and lazy.

"Yeah, well, that's probably not the best idea," Heyes said, as matter-of-factly as he could manage. Kid was just talking, hadn't meant anything by the casual statement, but Heyes felt a pang of regret nonetheless. "We have to meet with the boys tomorrow and head back to Devil's Hole." Kid made a noise which Heyes translated to shut up, don't remind me.

Accommodations at Devil's Hole were… well, "adequate" was putting it kindly. Granted, he and Kid had been in far worse places since they'd both lost their folks, starting with the Valparaiso School for Waywards they'd been forced into. That "valley of paradise" had been a true hellhole. Driving cattle on the Chisholm Trail had been no garden party either. All things considered, the gang's spartan hideout was decent enough; still, it wasn't luxurious by any stretch of the imagination, being neither very comfortable nor in any way private.

Heyes knew that Kid stayed with the gang only because Heyes stayed with the gang. And Heyes stayed with the gang because… hell, he wasn't sure why, not anymore. Becoming the leader had just sort of happened, with most of the men simply turning to him after Big Jim Santana had been caught and hauled off to prison. He wouldn't deny that he had coveted the role at first and had liked being able to do things his own way, but that liking had waned considerably of late. Maybe it had something to do with the rising price on his head. Maybe it had even more to do with the one on his partner's.

If only their luck could hold out long enough for them to scrape together a decent stake. Then they could quit outlawing and maybe buy some land somewhere, build a house. Probably wouldn't be very fancy, but it'd be a place they could call their own. He'd even make sure it had a bathroom built right in.

If only they didn't get caught and hauled off to prison first. Or worse.

"What's the matter?" Kid had opened his eyes and was considering him thoughtfully.

"Nothing," Heyes said, shaking himself out of his pensive reverie. There had to be a way for them to get out of their predicament, a way to beat the odds. He'd have to think on it, come up with a plan. Later, though. Right now… he brought his focus back to where it belonged, as Kid stepped out of the tub.

"You were thinking awful hard for it to have been about nothing," Kid said skeptically.

"Thinking takes effort when you do it proper," Heyes said as he watched Kid dry off, "even thinking about nothing." He held back a laugh as Kid rolled his eyes.

"Is that the same as not thinking?" Kid asked, deadpan. "'Cause I reckon you can do that without any effort at all."

"Hell, no. That's completely different. You ought to try doing it sometime." Heyes rose and closed the gap between them before Kid could reach for his clothes. "Unless you'd rather be doing… something else."

Instead of the lye soap they were used to, the hotel had provided a bar of pure white soap—another luxury. Kid's warm, slightly damp skin smelled nice. Heyes ran his hands over as much of it as he could while he nosed the still-wet hairline along Kid's neck. Felt nice, too. "You clean up real good," he murmured as he ran his lips along the line of Kid’s jaw and down to the quickening pulse below.

Kid hummed approvingly, but pointed out, "The water's gonna get cold."

Heyes had no doubt that the bath water was already lukewarm at best, Kid had been dallying in it for so long, but that wasn't anything he cared about. He could always order extra hot water later, after all. At the moment, he was more interested in the other luxury their fancy hotel room had to offer. He pushed Kid backwards, kissing him all the while, until they both fell onto the crisp sheets of their big, soft bed. Kid didn't raise any further objections after that.

They were going to own a house someday, Heyes vowed to himself. An honest-to-God home. And it was going to have the biggest damn bathtub money could buy.