There's something about coming home early, even just by a slight amount, which everyone can appreciate.
An extra hour or so after a long day can be a lifesaver, a reprieve from that last stretch of time wishing you were done -- and that is exactly what Anders is thinking when he comes in the door, when he takes off his coat and relishes the warm air that surrounds him in the comfort of his home.
It's one of the rare occasions in which Diggory finds the drive to actually complete something, and today, he can't thank him more for it, whether he deserves it or not. It's just one of those days, the ones we all know that make us long for the simple comfort of house and home and the leisure that comes with it. He doesn't see Fenris when he walks through the house and into the bedroom, noting the still fully-made bed and lack of dirty clothing in the hamper.
Perhaps he isn't home yet, Anders thinks, and proceeds instead to the bathroom, turning on the shower to a degree that is possibly far too hot, and finally has the chance to loosen the tie that has been strangling him since he put it on earlier that morning.
It isn't long before he's undressed and stepping into the steam of the shower, the shock of the hot water a bit much at first -- but soon he's relaxing, letting his shoulders fall slack against the soft pressure of the water working the tense muscles in his back loose. It's all a very basic indulgence, but one Anders finds himself lost in before he realizes it.
That's probably why he doesn't hear the footsteps on the tile floor outside the glass doors, the pelting water providing just enough noise to drown out and distract him from the new presence; but when Fenris steps in behind him, strong arms wrapping around his middle, his first instinct is to startle, to jump -- though when there are soft kisses at his shoulder, and soon the rumbling purr of a familiar voice in his ear, it's all he can do to melt into it.
"You're home early. I wasn't expecting you."
Anders can't help but smile softly, leaning back into his lover's hold and sighing. "I wasn't either. I didn't see you when I came in, though."
With that, there's a pause in the gentle affections, replaced with a skeptical stare and a raised brow that tells Anders he's obviously missed something.
"I was napping on the couch. You passed me on your way to the bedroom."
Despite it, Fenris chuckles quietly, moving his hands upward to rub circles over the knots in his back. "Your attention to detail never fails to amaze me, Anders."
He merely scoffs in response, turning to face Fenris and grinning through the wet strands of hair that seem intent on sticking to the sides of his face. "In my defense, it's been a long day," Anders begins, smoothing the now quite dampened, silvery hair out of Fenris' eyes and taking in the alluring shape and curve of his cheeks and jaw, finally resting on the slight curve that's settled on his lips at the gesture. "But you've no idea how glad I am to see you. The shoulder rub wasn't bad, either."
"Yes, well. So long as that's not the only reason you're glad to see me."
There's the usual hint of dry sarcasm Anders has grown so accustomed to over time, and he appreciates it, recognizing it for what it is even when it's often lost to others.
By now, it's difficult to see clearly through the water and steam -- but he manages it, letting his gaze take in the white tattoos that stretch far beyond where Fenris shows them at other times, delicate lines that wind around him and contrast with his dark skin in a way Anders finds difficult to take his eyes off of easily. If Fenris notices the attention, he says nothing initially, focusing his efforts instead on working Anders' hair into a lather with the shampoo that had been abandoned at some point during his distraction.
When he notices Fenris' attempts at covering his face with the bubbles produced from the wash, that's when it's clear that his half-formed effort at being nonchalant was anything but ignored. It seems to be forgotten, however, when slick hands are scrubbing gently at his chest, along his arms and around his neck, eliciting a soft groan from Anders, a relief and pleasure that is far more enjoyable than it has any right to be -- but he takes it regardless, every touch and caress of careful hands, washing away the stress from the day, the week, so effortlessly.
When the shower has rinsed the shampoo away and Anders can see again, Fenris has already begun work at his own hair, much to his dismay; such things would be 'unacceptable', as Fenris would put it, had they been in opposite positions; that's what he thinks when he pulls him closer, working his own fingers into the thick layer of foam matting Fenris' hair together.
Anders knows by now it's something he enjoys, something only made better when he scrubs gently behind his lover's ears, drawing forth a low, rumbling hum from the back of Fenris' throat, appreciative and relaxed.
When they've both washed and rinsed, taking turns in providing the effort for one another or themselves, Anders isn't sure what time it is or how long they've spent milling about in the warmth of the water -- but it doesn't quite matter, not when this was the reward, an intimate gesture between them that doesn't come often enough. It's the lithe form standing at the sink, brushing teeth and toweling off droplets of moisture that reminds him of this fact, and he's moving before he knows it, slow strides to stand behind Fenris and nuzzle into the soft skin of his neck.
He smells of soap and mint, but beyond that, inherently of Fenris, and Anders recognizes it more than anything. It's comforting, safe, familiar in a way that it surprises him at first, but in the end it is simply a small fact that makes him feel closer to this man, this man inextricably bound in every way he never thought possible. He can feel the cold contrast of the metal band wrapped around Fenris' finger when Anders twines their hands together, when he places soft kisses to the back of his neck, and it's terrifying -- the thought that soon, everything they've become will be permanent, official -- but with the unease, Anders knows he's never felt anything so exhilarating, never felt as at home and happy as he does standing by Fenris' side.
When they've dressed and climbed into bed, together for the first time he can remember in ages, Anders tucks himself protectively around Fenris, a ritual he's grown accustomed to when climbing into bed long after his lover has fallen asleep. But tonight, it's different, both of them close enough to share a pillow and breath, and close enough that it's impossible for either one to steal the larger portion of blankets.
It's that thought that makes Anders smile when their arms wrap together around Fenris' waist, when their breathing slows in time, and long after they've both drifted off to sleep.