Kyle knows from the start that taking the kid in is a bad, bad idea. He doesn't realize the scope of his mistake until the night when he gets ready for bed, goes to his room, and finds the whitest boy on the planet in his bed.
Jason beams at him and says, "Hi!"
Kyle stares. "What the fuck, Chickenhawk?"
At least the kid's wearing pyjamas. But he's also giving Kyle a stern look, like he's old enough to yell at him for not eating lima beans. "You need a *hug.*"
"I do not."
Jason crosses his arms. "I'm not leaving 'til you hug me."
Kyle raises an eyebrow at him. "I can pick you up and throw you out of this room in five seconds, boy."
The little snot has the temerity to look smug. "But you'd have to hug me to do it."
"I am not going to hug you."
Jason tugs the covers up to his chin. "Then I'm staying *right here.*"
It would be a pain in the neck to carry a kid that size to his room and try to keep him there without sedatives -- and sedatives might have a weird effect on Chickenhawk, with his brain chemistry. Kyle throws up his hands. "You do that."
"Okay!" Jason snuggles down on the pillow and says, "'night, Kyle."
Kyle wakes up in the middle of the night with Jason snuggling him and has to go take a shower to feel clean again.
The next night, Jason shows up again. Kyle glowers. "Out. Now."
Jason pouts. "But you cuddled me *last* night."
"I didn't fucking cuddle you, Chickenhawk. Get outta my bed."
"You did, though. I woke up and you were hugging me and it was really nice and I think it made you smile in your sleep. Please can I stay? Please please?"
"Hug me and I'll go away."
Kyle rolls his eyes. "That didn't work last night."
"Sure it did!"
"I am not going to fucking hug you."
"Then I'm sleeping here."
Kyle puts on his meanest face. "No, you're not."
Jason just smiles and pulls the covers up. "'night, Kyle."
"Chickenhawk, I'm gonna carry you outta here by your ear."
Jason yawns. "It's Sparrowhawk. G'night." And with the skills of the exhausted teenager, he falls immediately asleep.
It's too much trouble to take the useless brat back to his own room, so Kyle grits his teeth and goes to sleep.
At six in the morning, he wakes to find Jason's head pillowed on his shoulder. His first response is one of comfort; his second one of abject self-loathing. He immediately pushes the boy away and tries not to feel guilty when Jason blinks those damn Aryan eyes at him and says, "Sorry."
This continues for a week, through several arguments with Hyperion, a villain set on blowing up the world, and Blur taking Chickenhawk on an overnight trip to Korea.
While the boy is gone, Nighthawk has trouble going to sleep, but he admits it to no one.
On Jason's first night back, he isn't there when Kyle goes to bed, but there's a little knock at the door about five minutes later. Kyle debates pretending to be asleep, but eventually says, "Come in, Chickenhawk."
Jason's wearing a t-shirt with Hyperion's symbol and some lettering that's presumably Korean. His blond hair is all tousled. He says, "Do you want a hug?"
Kyle frowns at him. "No."
Jason sighs. "I guess I should go ask Mark for one."
"Don't you ask him for anything." Kyle scowls. "I'm not going to listen to that self-righteous prick tell me I can't take care of my own -- partner."
Jason blinks. "But --"
Kyle grits his teeth, again, and blesses the circumstances that have allowed him good dental care. "Get over here, snowflake. You want a hug, I'll give you a damn hug, but you gotta take that damn-fool shirt off first."
It makes the kid blush, but he takes off the shirt. Looking at him is like being slapped in the face with Wonderbread. And when he sits on the bed and hugs Kyle --
It feels -- nice.
Not that he's ever going to admit it.
Jason makes a happy little noise and squeezes him. "You ready to go to bed now?" Kyle asks.
"I guess so." Jason gives him a huge, bright smile. "Can I hug you again tomorrow?"
"Don't come in here wearing any *Hyperion* crap."
"I won't! I promise!" Jason bounces on his toes -- and turns a handspring. Damn kid. "See you tomorrow!"
"Go to bed, Chickenhawk," Kyle says. Once Jason has bounced off down the hall, he sets himself to firmly ignore the warm, fuzzy feeling in his heart.