Billy was lying on his bed, sulking, when it started. At first it was so quiet he assumed he had imagined it; after a while, though, he noticed that the faint tapping noise came at a rate of about one every thirty seconds from the direction of his window.
Curious, he wandered over and parted the blinds with his fingers. Four floors below, he could just make out Teddy using his super-strength to throw stray bits of gravel at the glass.
Billy drew back and the blinds closed with a snap. He wasn't ready yet, he told himself, not if Teddy was going to keep acting the way he had for the past week. As long as he acted like that, Billy had no reason to forgive him.
Tap. Pause. Tap. Pause. Tap
As if that stupid trick would work. It might have on the shallow people Teddy dated in the past -- the ones that hadn't noticed his massive gayness, and how blind could they be, really -- but Billy wasn't them. That was the problem, wasn't it? Teddy wasn't used to dating people who could take care of themselves, or even ones that regularly found themselves in life-threatening danger at the hands of novelty-themed super villains. Teddy thought he was supposed to protect his boyfriend, like a knight in a spandex jumpsuit, when Billy protected himself fine, thank you.
Tap. Pause. Tap. Pause--
Billy stomped over to the window and threw it open. When leaned over the fire escape to get a good look at Teddy, a rock sailed by his ear. It clattered when it landed amongst his carefully positioned action figures.
"Do you have a boombox, too? Are you going to sing?" he called. "Because even 80s power ballads would be less annoying than the tapping!"
From what Billy could see of Teddy's expression in the harsh shadows of the streetlights, he looked sheepish. "I wanted to talk to you!"
"Normal people use a phone!"
"Normal people answer their phones!"
Billy didn't dignify that with an answer. Of course he hadn't answered his phone, he didn't want to talk! Some boyfriends couldn't take a hint. He glared down at Teddy, letting the silence grow long and awkward enough that Teddy cracked. Billy had known he would.
"Look, Billy -- this is stupid. Can I come up?"
Billy wavered and was immediately annoyed with himself for it. Teddy had to admit he was wrong, he reminded himself, and that he had almost killed the two of them. Billy wouldn't forgive him or forget about it until he did.
"It's after eleven," he said, without committing to a 'yes' or a 'no.' Teddy shrugged and Billy heard the tell-tale rustle of shapeshifting. A hand latched onto the escape railing and pulled the rest of him up by returning to regular proportions.
"Hey." Now that he actually stood face-to-face with Billy, Teddy's shyness showed. He rubbed the back of his neck and studied his shoes. Billy flicked his eyes downward and confirmed that nothing interesting was going on down there.
"Bill, I'm sorry."
Teddy sighed and scrambled through the window. Billy hoped that his parents wouldn't barge through the unlocked door to come check up; the thump that Teddy made when he came through the window was surely loud enough to wake them. They'd been extremely accommodating about Billy's moping so far, and it had begun to annoy him.
Pacing back and forth, Teddy marshaled his thoughts. That annoyed Billy, too, and he thought of shoving his boyfriend out the window.
It wouldn't hurt him. Much.
"Right." Teddy stopped pacing and flopped down into Billy's computer chair. "I'm sorry for treating you like you were incompetent, or like you need protection. I know better than anybody that you're the most powerful guy on the team and it was dumb to put the plan in jeopardy because that idiot started waving a gun around."
The speech, spoken quickly and in a near-monotone, sounded rehearsed. Billy stayed firm. "Do you actually mean that, or do you just want to stop fighting?"
The pause before Teddy answered was enough for Billy, but he kept quiet and let his boyfriend dig himself deeper. "Can't it be both? I do want to stop fighting, seriously. I don't like fighting with you. We've never done it before!"
"There's a first time for everything."
Teddy growled. "Well, I don't like it! And I can't apologize for wanting to protect you, for fuck's sake!"
"Shhh! My parents are downstairs." Billy pushed him down into his desk chair and walked away so that they could both cool off. He counted backwards from ten and took deep breaths until he felt he wasn't going to hit anybody anymore.
Teddy hadn't done the same. As soon as Billy turned around to face him again, he started up on the same line of argument. "He had a gun, Billy, and you were distracted. I don't care how powerful you are, you can't survive a bullet through your skull. I can."
At least he's quieter this time, Billy thought with a sigh. "I saw him. I had a force field up before you threw yourself in front of the bullet."
"But I didn't know that!"
"You shouldn't have been -- Look." Billy rubbed his forehead, trying to think of a way to explain things to Teddy that he hadn't tried before. "You were supposed to be three blocks away. We all agreed to stick to the plan."
Teddy fell into a sullen silence and refused to meet Billy's eyes. So much for getting through to him. "You're more important to the plan."
It almost made Billy drop it, because that was sweet, but: "You could've gotten people killed."
"You could've gotten killed!"
"But I wouldn't have. If you still haven't learned anything, you should leave." Billy opened the window for Teddy and gestured out. "Come back when you're ready to start treating me like an equal."
To force him out, Billy followed Teddy to the window. Their hands brushed and a spark of electricity passed between them, enough that Teddy started and looked over his shoulder at Billy.
Billy's expression remained determined and hard, but he could see Teddy struggling. In a blink, Teddy turned and pushed Billy away from the window. Billy opened his mouth to ask what the hell Teddy thought he was doing, exactly, but Teddy only covered it with his own.
It wasn't fair, Billy said to himself as he let Teddy walk him backwards through the room. Teddy could always do this to him, kiss away his perfectly valid anger until whatever it was didn't seem important anymore.
"You--" he tried, when at last Teddy came up for air, but Teddy was speaking:
"I really am sorry." His boyfriend was all bruised, pouting lips and bright blue eyes shining in the meager light. Nobody, or at least no gay teenage boy with a libido, could stay angry at that face; Billy's eyes focused so intently on those lips that he missed what Teddy said entirely and had to rewind the conversation in his head to understand. It didn't help that Teddy had returned to kissing whichever bits of bare skin he could reach between words. "You're right, I fucked up. Eli yelled at me about it, if it makes you feel better."
Even with Teddy's hand pushing up his shirt and then down into his pants, Billy managed to smirk. "That does. A little."
Teddy scowled, but Billy ignored it in favor of pushing until Teddy gave in and rolled with him. That left Billy sitting on top with Teddy sprawled out across the lower half of his bed. From the look on his face, Teddy didn't mind.
"Forgive me?" he asks, and Billy answered with a kiss.