The house is quiet.
He can barely think like this, with the dark all around him. It's been four months since Clara packed up more than half of his house - their house - and had told him, tears in her brown eyes, I'm taking the kids and we're going to my mother's. She never came back.
He wonders if he should be more heartbroken about it. He just simply can't find the energy to hurt anymore. Every time he closes his eyes he can see Beaver's eyes in that last moment, telling him to run, telling him to save himself. When he can shake the image, drink it away with a beer or two, Pete's right there in his place, with his stupid cocky bullshit and why had he pushed. It tears him up. Each and every second of remembering. His friends are dead.
He knows he pushed Clara away. He knows that it was his unspoken grief that tore his family apart. But he can't live with himself, how could he possibly live with people who need him to be there, to be whole when he'll never be whole again.
He stares down at the papers he's grading. The words have all blurred together, twisted into an indistinguishable mass. It's hard to concentrate on essays when his life has become a whirlwind of grief and stony faced government officials asking - what did it feel like, what did he say, how did you throw him off, what did he want, how much control did he have, could you regain control at any time...
Shaking his head, he leans over the table and presses his pen to the paper. Solid B, he writes, his hand shaking. Solid fucking B for writing an essay on shit that doesn't matter, kid. He laughs to himself and thinks for a moment that he heard it echo. His house isn't that fucking empty, is it?
The late hour is getting to him. He's been alone with his thoughts too long. Somewhat desperately, he wishes Henry was closer, not secreted away to explain what the hell he'd done. It seemed that the government would never have enough answers. Henry didn't mind it, said it gave him time to sort through things in his head, having his own answers was never a bad thing. Jonesy disagreed but they never fought these days. Not even over little things.
He sat back in his chair, wincing a little when it put far too much strain on his hip. His eyes are drooping now, it's getting harder to stay awake. Maybe he should just turn in for the night, grade the papers in the morning after his first cup of coffee. They didn't have to be done today and --
Softer than a whisper and louder than a prayer there is a sound. It's like a word that decided to be something else but it certainly didn't come from him. There is no one else here. Heart racing he tries to convince himself it must've been Henry. He's just picking up a stray signal that's all. His friend would be stressed, it was easy enough to slip up.
Even as he thinks it he knows it isn't true, but he's tired. He's heard that trauma can do all kinds of things to a person's brain. Mess them up so that no one recognizes them anymore. If all he's suffering from is a stray fake whisper - he's okay.
However, he can't stop shaking. Fumbling, he pulls out his phone, knowing that Henry probably won't appreciate the wake up call but needing to hear his voice.
"Jonesy, what's wrong?" The concern in his voice is calming, and he relaxes a fraction.
"I uh. It's nothing. It's nothing, go back to sleep."
"I can't sense him." The words startle Jonesy enough that he pushes back away from the desk and his chair squeaks loud and harsh in the quiet.
"I wasn't, uh, that's not why I called, Henry."
"Take your pills, get some sleep. Call me in the morning. I get back Tuesday, try and stay in one piece. But I promise you Jonesy, he's not there. Go to sleep."
He laughs and rubs his jaw, thankful for Henry in ways he can't really articulate. "Yeah, yeah sure buddy."
He listens to the dial tone for a moment after the call has ended before laughing at himself and shaking his head. He really is losing his mind. It only takes a second to swallow down the pills and head up stairs, with each passing second he feels more assured.
Stepping into the bathroom he begins to make notes in his head; call Clara to talk about custody arrangements, finish the papers, arrange a conference with Mary-Anne Bowser about using the supply closes inappropriately - the daily rush. He's preoccupied with thoughts as he leans over the sink to splash his face, it's why he almost doesn't notice.
All of a sudden his body feels stiff. His movements are a fraction too late to be normal. Maybe the pills have hit him harder than he thought, he thinks, but the dread from before has already come rushing back. Slowly, he raises his head to the mirror.
His reflection is smiling back at him. He raises a hand to his mouth but the reflection doesn't copy. Frozen by horror Jonesy can only stare as the reflection continues to smile, as though everything is alright with the world. The reflection doesn't move but he can feel the whisper again, all around him, growing louder and louder. He wants it stop but he can't move or think.
In the dark, a familiar voice, thickly accented and cheerful whispers, as though he is breathing it right into Jonesy's hear.
"I thought we were friends, Jonesy."
He wakes in the morning with no recollection of anything that occurred after those words. Nothing but the dread that had settled in his stomach and the sick feeling that had washed over him like a tidal wave. He jerks upwards from his bed, tossing aside sheets in desperation, eyes searching his body for any sign of wear and tear, checks his fingernails for gore, but he's clean. Perhaps cleaner and neater than he had been the last he could recall.
He can't stop his harsh breathing, and he knows at once he has to call Henry. Has to call him and tell him that he's back, that he was wrong, call the fucking military, the armored cars, everyone, fucking everyone and before the panic can truly cause him to hyperventilate he realizes his alarm is blaring.
It's anticlimactic. He leans over and presses the snooze button, staring at it in a bewildered fashion. Morning. He has work in an hour and Clara at four. He reaches for his cupboard, avoiding his mirror and dresses in total silence, afraid that if he opens his mouth it won't be his voice that comes out.
He continues this right up until he gets out of his car and locks it, greeting a student as he passes. Normal. He breathes and it feels like the first gulp of air he's gotten in hours.
The rest of the day passes as ordinarily as it had started and he is beginning to chalk it all up to some horrific black out nightmare when his phone rings.
He knows before he answers that it's Henry and he smiles before pressing the call button.
"Henry, how are -"
"Jonesy, stop. Listen to me. Do you remember anything about last night?"
His blood runs cold. "I called you." The blankness in his own tone would have startled him, if he thought he could feel.
"After that." Henry sounds anxious, and Jonesy swallows hard.
"Nothing." It's not a lie. It's all in his head. Has to be.
"Jonesy." A harsh breath on the other side of the line. Jonesy knows what he's going to do even before he says it. "I'm an hour from your house. I need you to meet me there. Don't stop anywhere on the way. Do not get out of your car until you get home. Understand?"
He nods mutely and hopes Henry's not too unfocused to miss it. He doesn't. The dial tone echoes in his ears shortly after.
Henry stares at his friend across from the couch. Jonesy has been shuddering every so often for half an hour now and Henry doesn't think he's even noticed. He reaches over and stills his knee, stopping it from bouncing. He's going to hurt himself if he doesn't stop.
Although he feels unnaturally calm, there is a storm raging inside of him that he can't seem to still. His friend is in danger; again, and this time there is no Duddits to swoop in with his Deux ex Machina and save them from it. Henry will have to do it himself.
Jonesy has stopped and is now looking at him. He has to hand it to him, he hasn't said a word, nor asked any questions, not since Henry had got here. Instead they are sitting side by side, drinking slowly from their glasses and waiting. Henry knows he just simply doesn't want the answer.
After a long pause, Henry finally speaks, hating that he has to. "Last night, you called me. After the first. An hour or two later, I guess. I'd gone back to bed and woke up suddenly feeling as though you were - I don't know. It was the same feeling we had before your accident."
Jonesy is tense, taught enough to snap but Henry forces himself to keep going.
"You called me and you told me that you knew I knew something. You said I'd gone and made a mess of things, that I would be instrumental in the reparations. You laughed."
Jonesy closes his eyes and Henry reaches over to put a hand on his shoulder, expression pained.
"He's back. He spoke to me last night. I thought it was a dream, a nightmare, one of those traumatic flashbacks you know, what do they call it? PTSP? It doesn't matter. I blacked out and woke up in bed. Nothing was weird, I thought. I thought I'd gotten lucky."
"PTSD," Henry corrects, more out of not wanting to really address anything else Jonesy had said than anything. He sighs and presses his face into his hands.
"How can he back? We saw him die, Henry. We saw him die. Duddits killed him."
Henry looked up, the fear in Jonesy's green eyes unmistakable. He knew his friend was strong enough to keep Gray at bay, but he sure as fuck didn't want to put him through it again. He'd do anything to keep him safe.
"Maybe he isn't. Maybe it's just a fragment of him left, roaming around. We don't know jack about how they operate. But if he's revealed himself now, after six months, maybe he's figured something out. Whatever it is, Jonesy, he won't win. I promise. I won't let him get you."
Jonesy laughs, shaky and broken and shakes his head, looking at his hands. "This is, really, really different shit."
Reluctantly, Henry pushes himself to his feet, pulling his phone from a pocket. "I need to call the government. Tell them we've got a problem, see if this has happened before. I'll drive over tonight and -"
"No!" Jonesy interrupts, eyes wide, his hand reaching out to grasp Henry's elbow. "No, fuck, you can't leave me where I can't be watched. You need to make sure you can stop me if he takes over. We. We saw his...body die, right? That thing. The teeth. We saw it die, right? If he's only got me to move around with now, you can chain me up and he won't be able to get out."
Henry pauses to think, moving to sit back beside Jonesy so he'll stop tugging at his elbow as though afraid he'd leave him despite having asked him to stay. Henry's expression softens and he pulls Jonesy forward, an awkward half embrace that they both pretend isn't happening.
"I'll stay, just. I still need to make some calls. I won't let you do anything you'll regret in the morning," he jokes and it's almost enough. Jonesy cracks a smile and seems to relax a little, enough to lean into the embrace slightly before pulling away with a yawn.
"You do that. I'll make coffee and call Clara." Jonesy hesitates before walking away but doesn't say anything further, just disappears into the kitchen. Henry watches him as long as he can, praying to whatever God is listening that they make it through this alive. In tact.
Henry's lying on the still made half of Jonesy's double bed, half propped by the cushion while he watches his sole remaining friend sleep. In any other instance, he'd feel beyond awkward. Though the four of them had seen each other in every possibly undignified pose or position, it was still weird to be like this. But there was only the two of them now. Henry was loathe to waste any of the time they had left.
In sleep Jonesy was careless. The lines of his face settled, mouth slightly parted. He breathed, deep and easy, as though there were nothing in the world he'd be getting up for.
Henry turns his face away after a moment, knowing that if Gray's going to make an appearance tonight it's not going to be something he'll miss, watching or not. Still, he shuffles closer, close enough that Jonesy's thigh is touching his knee, just barely, beneath the covers. Enough for reassurance.
The clock on the bedside table flickers over from two thirteen to two fourteen and Henry blinks, reaching for his cup of coffee. Only a few more hours. Just a few. He would save Jonesy from this, if it was the last thing he did on this earth.
In his dreams, Pete and Beaver are alive. They're being idiots about something in the kitchen of the cabin. Shoving one another, looking at him and grinning like they'd gotten laid by the homecoming queen. Twice. It makes him laugh, too. These dreams are always so easy and the worst to wake up from.
His dream self stumbles out from the living room, making his way slowly over to the table where he slips into his own place easily. There is nothing but laughter, talking, old jokes. No shadows here.
The dream goes that way for what seems like hours and then somehow, without his noticing, there is a fifth person at the table. It takes him far too long to notice, he feels as though he's been there from the beginning, he's even laughing with them, as though nothing is strange.
Beside him sits his double, down to every last freckle and part in his hair. The doppelganger turns to him when the conversation gets louder and tells him with a quirk of his lips. "These get togethers are quite fun, Jonesy. We should do this more often!"
And as suddenly as he'd been sleeping, he's awake, skin slick with sweat and a scream raw on his tongue.
Henry's guiding him backwards, murmuring something he can't quite understand, though he's sure he's speaking English. His heart feels like it is going to walk right out of his chest, beating so fast he can scarcely breath with it. It only takes another few moments before he can open his eyes and see clearly again and then he comes to the realization that his head is pressed to Henry's chest, fingers twisted in the white of his undershirt and Henry is still murmuring words of comfort, deep and reassuring in the dark.
Despite the fear, heat rushes to his face and he works to disentangle himself, pushing himself up slowly as his breathing evens out. His embarrassment is ignored however, as Henry merely looks at him, concerned, when he can finally raise his head.
"You all there?"
Jonesy manages a nod and a wavy smile. "Yeah. Yeah, I uh. Just a dream. Slick bastard's popping up all over the place."
Henry slips into what Jonesy privately calls 'Doctor Mode' where his expression goes serious an he leans forward on his elbows, intent on whomever is the victim of his questioning. "Did it feel like he was gunning for control? What happened?"
Jonesy shakes his head, no. Mr Gray hadn't tried anything, he'd just been there. "No. It was like he was just taunting me. Showing me that he was there. He didn't even seem angry, just present. I don't know, Henry, I don't know what he wants, I don't -"
Henry looks at him strangely and Jonesy tries to will him to understand what he's just discovered himself, hoping to everything that Gray isn't paying attention.
"Henry." He speaks, voice low and uncertain.
"Do you think he knows yet?" Henry asks, clipped and official.
"If he did, we wouldn't be sitting here. I wouldn't be sitting here."
Henry nods and gets to his feet, pushing a hand in the middle of Jonesy's chest to force him back. "Lie down. I hate to ask this of you, Jonesy, but if he gets close. You need to distract him. You need to keep him from searching or trying. Please."
Henry closes his eyes briefly and when he opens them again his expression is determined, eyes cold. "Make the calls."
Henry lingers a moment longer before ripping himself away, leaving the room to make the calls where he can't be heard.
Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Henry can't stop combing his fingers through his hair, messing it up fantastically in his stress. This isn't good at all. Jonesy had it figured out and now he had to somehow un-figure it out so that the monster didn't get his hands on the knowledge.
Two months ago, the two had been at a meeting with the military. They'd been informed that they had a few live captives and were studying them. The Ripley's, Henry remembered. Exactly what Mr Gray apparently needed. Foolishly, the General had told him with pride where the creatures were being kept. At the time it hadn't seemed like a problem; Henry and Jonesy were invaluable now, having been inside their heads. They would be at the particular base often, talking tactics, information.
It hadn't seemed dangerous.
He balls his hand into a fist and smacks it against his forehead.
The appropriate people had been informed. They were going to have the creatures moved but it would take time. Couldn't exactly just airlift the fuckers out, they were too damn good at escaping and spreading.
That didn't help either of them. It would take another half hour at least before any military personnel could get to Jonesy's house to barricade them in, just in case. He isn't sure what can happen in half an hour.
He isn't sure if they've got it.
There has been two groans from the room inside, one pained, one ...different. Henry is afraid to go in. He knows he should, if he can stop the monster in his best friend from lashing out, he should go in. But he can't feel Mr Gray in Jonesy's head. He can only feel Jonesy, fighting. The anger rolls off him in waves, the air around Henry is thick with it.
He'll wait another second. Then all bets are off and he's going in.
Gary Jones and Mr Gray
It hadn't taken Gray long to make his appearance, shuttering into existence on the third level of his memory warehouse, smug expression perfectly intact. He's been practicing, Jonesy thinks and doesn't know if that disturbs or amuses him. That Gray's had time in here enough to practise expressions.
"Oh you're back! So soon? I've not even had enough time to go through all these files yet!" As if to demonstrate, Gray tosses the folder in his hand into the air, letting the papers flutter to the ground.
"Tell me what you're looking for. Maybe I can help." He can't quite keep the sarcasm from his voice but he wasn't really trying in the first place.
Gray strolls lazily down to meet him, laughing as he goes, though the edges of his smile seem fractured. "Oh you are in a clever mood. I like that. But I really don't have time for you today, Jonesy, you see I'm on a rather important mission. You can go on back outside if you wish. Have a little fun with your companion. I can help myself to these, you don't mind, of course?" As he speaks he's digging into another box, sifting through things lazily.
He's already searched everywhere, Jonesy thinks, he's going to try and break into the office.
At the though, Gray's head snaps up, smile gone.
Fuck he heard that.
"Oh yes I did." Gray says slowly, taking a step towards him. "How did you know that, friend. I don't recall telling you. Ah but we're closer now, aren't we. Closer than before. I wonder if that little bond of ours will help me out any."
They stare at one another for a long time, waiting on a reaction, a movement. Just when Jonesy thinks he's not going to try anything Gray darts, racing towards the locked door. Jonesy has enough mind to reach out, chasing after him and trying to grip him back his shirt. He can't let him try. He can't let him get in, not until he's sure Henry's fixed things. He's careful not to think anything, just in case Gray picks up on that too.
"You won't stop me, you know," Gray says, going for conversational but coming out rather out of breath instead. It seems his copy has Jonesy's own injury and for the second time in his life, he's so thankful he got hit by that car he could cry.
"I may be stuck with you, for all of time, but I'll do what I came here for. You'll help me, won't you Jonesy. With this nifty little room of yours - oof." He won't stop talking and Jonesy only barely manages to grab him and swing him around, only scant inches from the office door. He shoves him up against the bare space of wall, trying to keep him there with one arm while he reaches for the handle.
But Gray is having none of it, he struggles enough that Jonesy can't let him go, can't risk him getting himself free.
"Well this is a pickle." Gray says, sounding put out and petulant and not at all like the fucking monster who ate his best friend and killed Duddits. It's for that reason alone he even considers what he does next. Because if he can't keep Gray here, out of his mind, if he can't stop him, everyone will have died for no reason, and he refuses to let that happen. He refuses to let them be meaningless.
The kiss is brutal, because Jonesy can't stop hating him even as he tries to pretend he doesn't, just for this. Gray stills beneath him and then starts laughing, even into the kiss. "Oh Jonesy," he says, lips and breath warm against Jonesy's own mouth. "I never knew you felt this way. Haven't done this since college, have you. I'd love to help you out but I'm really quite busy."
Jonesy doesn't reply. He doesn't have to. It only takes a moment to gather his thoughts enough, to pull every fragment of desire he's ever felt about anything or any one, every moment of on-the-edge, every hot summer day and he takes it and forces it into Gray's thoughts, all of it, overpowering and fierce.
Gray isn't fighting any longer, isn't laughing. He's moaning, utterly lost in thoughts that aren't is and he won't be digging his way out if Jonesy can help it. He ignores the feeling deep in his gut, the one that's telling him he's going to have to break away to throw up. He can't. He needs to wait until a sign from Henry, anything.
The kiss drags on now Gray's forgotten himself and returns it, his struggles turned into agonizing little whimpers and fingers threading into his hair. He doesn't think about how he's listening to himself, how the mouth beneath his is his own, instead keeping up the steady stream of thoughts.
He can feel Gray beneath the waves, struggling to get to the surface, to find himself again but like fuck Jonesy is letting that happen. He sends another sea of thoughts over; his first night with Clara, his first kiss, frantic sessions under his bed sheets at night, palms slick with lotion and gasps swallowed down over bitten fingers, the way Henry looks at him sometimes when they're both so broken they don't know how to reach and -
"Stop!" Gray gasps and that's Gray's voice, but he hasn't gotten free yet but almost, he can't seem to stop him and then there. There, like a light in the darkness.
Jonesy steps back suddenly, leaving Gray worse for wear and furious. Gray opens his mouth and Jonesy grins, wide and brilliant, opening the door the office and shoving him in, closing the door soundly behind him.
The pounding starts, sounds that aren't human at all, outraged cries and demands. He ignores all of them. He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and stoops to pick up the files that Gray had strewn everywhere.
It only takes a moment to put them all in place. He stands back and surveys the warehouse. He can still hear Gray struggling.
But there is something in the real world tugging him back, like the string on the edge of a can phone and he follows it, lets it guide him home.
Jonesy won't open his eyes. His face is screwed up, and his body keeps twisting like it's in pain, fighting against an unseen enemy. Every time Henry grows near, Jonesy lashes out, voice rough like sandpaper and his fingers so gnarled that they don't look human anymore, not fisted in bedsheets the way they are.
Henry wants to reach out to him with his mind, take some of the brunt of this, but he can't risk it. Can't step forward until he knows the information Jonesy has in his mind is outdated, useless. But he can't stomach this either.
"Henry!" Jonesy gasps, only it's not Jonesy's voice. Gray. Henry takes a step back, reaching for the lamp in case Jonesy has lost this battle and he needs to do what. He needs to do the unspeakable. But his eyes don't open and he makes no move to follow him, as trapped as he had been before.
"Henry, listen to me!" He's not even attempting to hide his accent, and Henry knows he's in pain. Fight him, Jonesy, he thinks viciously, fight him, you can. "Look this is a really bad situation we're all in and I really think - oh - you should stop your friend here, oh fuck.That's a- That's a really useful word, you know!"
He sounds. Well he doesn't sound like he's in pain but he couldn't be in anything else. He stares, he's not going to help him either way. Jonesy must know what he's doing.
"Ngh, is this how you fight on this planet? So very underhanded. I expected better of you! Henry you should be ashamed! Ah, ashamed of your dear friend here!" He doesn't speak for a while after that, lost in a tumble of wordless, aching sounds.
The fear and danger of it all doesn't stop Henry from feeling uncomfortable in a way he'd rather not consider. It's still Jonesy's body, writhing around like that. But it's Gray. It's Gray who's apparently going mindless with whatever. Whatever is happening on the inside.
"There are some really lovely thoughts in here you know. You showed up. I don't think he meant that one - oh fuck, please stop.. just stop... you naughty man." Gray's laughing but he sounds as though he wants to tear everyone and everything apart, fury deeply ingrained in every inflection, chased only by agonized pleasure.
Henry doesn't want to watch anymore but he needs to be here, to catch Jonesy when he falls.
There's a beep in his phone, the message short and to the point and he doesn't waste a second, reaching out with everything he's got, screaming out for his friend. Calvary's come through.
Gray gives an inhuman scream of rage, back arching up entirely off the bed, neck craned back before he comes crashing down, all sounds immediately quieted.
There is a pause and deadly silence, no one daring to move, and then Jonesy opens his eyes.
"Henry?" His voice is hoarse, overused from Gray's efforts and Henry laughs because he can't think to do anything else. He's beside him on the bed before either of them can blink, slapping his back and just grinning. Jonesy's laughing with him, looking for all the world like he can't believe what's just happened, and Henry feels exactly the same.
They sit there together, sweat damp and breathless, for a long time.
"I've got a SWAT team drinking coffee on my porch." Jonesy says the next morning and his tone is incredulous.
Henry grins and butters his piece of toast.
"Would you rather they were in your kitchen?" The atmosphere between them is easy, almost too easy, and they've still not spoken a word about what happened the previous night. It's just too comfortable like this, side by side at the kitchen bench, doing ordinary breakfast things.
Things the both of them have been floating through the past six months, merely mimics of a normal life. But now; now it's simple. Hell, Henry doesn't understand why it's changed, for all he knows Mr Gray is still in there - Jonesy sure as fuck didn't tell him one way or another - but he can't make himself probe deeper.
Just as he's thinking that maybe he'd like peanut butter on this toast instead, Jonesy leans over and very seriously takes his hand.
He lifts it from the table, takes the knife and sets it down, tugging Henry forward, until there is barely an inch of space between them.
As suddenly as it had arrived, the easy simple feeling is gone, replaced with thick tension and Henry's not sure how he feels about it.
Jonesy's eyes are clear and his smile is soft, so it's not going to gut him whatever he plans on saying, but that doesn't put him anymore at ease.
"There is a SWAT team on my porch drinking coffee, Gray's having a tantrum in the office after I more or less molested him, Clara's decided to go for full custody with the kids, and you're still standing in my kitchen, you haven't even brushed your hair, but you're standing here and you don't care."
Henry swallows and doesn't question any of the statements overly, because, well, firstly he's now positive he doesn't want to know what went on in Jonesy's head and secondly, because he really doesn't know what Jonesy's saying this time.
"Course I am, you're my best friend. I told you I wouldn't leave."
"Yeah you did." Jonesy's leaning closer, and there are fingers touching his cheek, not gentle but firm. He seriously can't be thinking of acting on this, not when they're both still bruised raw but oh. No. He is.
The kiss isn't anything special, or fancy. He doesn't feel fireworks, his toes don't tingle. He has no urge to rip off his clothes and throw Jonesy at the nearest wall or table (....well he does now.) But he feels. Safe.
It's the easiest thing in the world to kiss back.
Gray's stopped screaming but now he's started messing about with everything. Jonesy's is fairly sure he's writing rude letters on post it notes and sticking them everywhere, just to give Jonesy a headache when he accidentally comes across them. He knows this tantrum probably won't ever end, and he knows that Gray probably isn't going anywhere now. Not out, not free, but the part of him trapped there won't die either.
It doesn't terrify him like it had.
Henry's warm and pliant in his arms; and there's something he never thought he'd ever think. He hadn't premeditated this at all, he didn't think when he woke up 'I'm going to kiss my life long and only remaining best friend silly in the kitchen', but here he is doing it anyway.
Henry, were he not otherwise occupied, would probably tell him it was a natural response to grief and pain. That it wasn't strange for them to seek comfort in another physical presence, especially when it was someone who had gone through the same circumstances. Henry could say a lot of shit about why and what they're doing.
Jonesy doesn't care.
It's the easiest thing in the world to slip past the SWAT team, now moved on to nibbling chips and telling dirty jokes, and get upstairs. They tumble into bed laughing, not making any real effort to remove clothes or do anything more than touch mouths to throats and palms and jaws. It's nothing he's thought about doing before, but now that's he's here he can't think of anything he'd like to do more.
They wrestle for a moment, before Jonesy gives in easily and lets Henry pin him against the sheets, grinning down at him like maybe this is all he needs too.
"You sure you want to do this?" Henry can't help but ask anyway, a teasing quirk to the corner of his lips.
Jonesy looks serious for the flicker of the second, like he's contemplating every loss and every grief and weighing them. He smiles instead but his eyes are darker, staring at Henry in a way that makes him feel undressed though they've barely started. "You wanna buy me a ring too? Or can we skip the -"
Henry doesn't let him finish. It's the easiest thing in the world to let go.
It's dark now. He can feel the after shocks of what the great and noble Jonesy had been getting up to outside. He hates the dark, but he can operate far more quickly in here.
It had been a breeze to interject himself into the walking dreams before, but he hasn't been able to open the damn door no matter what he's tried, and screaming doesn't seem to bother Jonesy any.
But it's no matter. He can operate like this. It'll only take him a moment. Just a moment.
He wipes away some of the post its he'd taken to sticking against every surface, a childish tantrum perhaps, but any win is still a victory.
"Now, now Jonesy." He purrs to no one in particular, kneeling down to peer beneath the bottom of the door, before sliding a blank white sheet of paper underneath.
There is a long quiet wait in which nothing happens and Mr Gray holds his breath.
Then, a quiet click and the door swings open, light flooding in and Mr Gray quirks his head and grins.
"Honey," He chirps, jauntily breaking free of his prison and stepping out into the open, stretching his arms and breathing in deep. "I'm home."