It's times like this that make Peter feel (invincible) like they could go on forever. Late afternoon catnaps, waking up without a clue as to the time or day or anything but the two of them, folded together on their narrow bed, spines twisted into the imperfect indents made by bodies other than theirs. Carl, fever-hot, dressed only in old, worn bedclothes, heavy and pliant under his arm, snuffling into his shoulder without show or self-consciousness or even awareness, just a curl of softened limbs and charcoal hair that wants to be smudged away.
He could do anything he likes, Peter feels; pull Carl closer, touch back his hair, trace his fingers along the cut-glass edges of his features until his hands hurt and scar and learn them forever. He doesn't though, doesn't even move, like a statue of himself, waiting for the Carl-ivy to wrap around him on his own until they become unrecognisable, incomplete without one another. Peter closes his eyes so he can see the afterimage of Carl's face etched into the black underside of his lids - wants to keep it there, permanent company in the dark - but curiosity begins to tickle as it fades (What if Carl's changed since he's been alone? Become something different, something more?) and he has to open them again.
He loves them best like this, warm, alone, silent in the half grey-light - he loves Carl so much sometimes he aches, like in grief (which it's like, sometimes, forgetting yourself to the swollen tides of feeling) so much feeling and want and need-more-now, that he might crack along the edges of himself and burst.
A breath escapes from behind the wet cage of his throat, an accidental overflow of emotion, perhaps, but it stumbles across the skin of Carl's face and breaks the moment, stirs the sleeping beauty as effectively as any charmed kiss.
Carl's eyelids open, dream-bruised and sleep-slow, flicker back and forth like a peepshow while Peter holds his breath back, waits for the blue to reveal itself from behind gummy lashes. Carl begins to shift.
'What time is it?' he mumbles - not to Peter though, because Peter never knows - pushing at Pete's arm as he moves to prop himself onto his elbow; squints across the room, trying to divine some truth from the clock's dusty face that he can't find in Peter's. His movements are imprecise though, uninspired and half-hearted and all it takes is two of Peter's fingers hooked into the collar of Carl's hoodie to bring him back down, heavy and sighing against the pillow.
'Hn,' Carl says, letting Peter draw him closer, pet his hair from his eyes and press hushing fingertips into his lips. Carl's eyes shiver close, and his hand stirs to curl beneath the slope of Peter's ribcage, but otherwise he keeps still as Peter's touch rearranges him, remakes him into art, boy-shaped and resplendent for his eyes only.
Carl has rhymes hidden in the whorls of his hair, poetry tucked in the unobtrusive fold of skin behind his knees, verse in the shadow of his voice and the downwards sweep of his fingers and sometimes Peter thinks, this is too easy, he doesn't deserve praise for this trick, shouldn't get to make a living off of licking salt and song from the skin of Carl's belly when all he does is collect the words already there, like Carl'd sweat them just for him to find.
'Peter.' Carl's eyes have grown soft, dove grey-blue, yielding like clouds parting against the sky. Peter shakes his head again. 'What is it--?' Carl almost says, but Peter exhales against his lips and steals his next breath from Carl's lungs. Their lips are dry from sleep, tongues clumsy from disuse.
When Carl pulls back his lips are kiss-swollen and when Peter opens his mouth, his words are kiss-bruised: 'I'm going to write a song for you,' Peter says, whistling through his Ts, 'and you're going to live forever. I'm going to write all my songs for you, so every time I sing them you'll know why, and every time you sing them, you'll remember.'
Carl sighs and looks away. 'Don't give me that,' he snaps, sudden and incongruous. 'You're putting it all on me again, you know, and I don't want it.'
'Putting what on you?' Peter asks, gazing up through the grey twilight-nether.
'This...' Carl says in a voice so vague he might as well have gestured it with his hands. 'You making me into your... I don't know, muse, Pete and -- don't laugh! -- I don't want that responsibility, okay?'
Peter moves to hide the absurdity of this accusation into Carl's neck and this time, Carl's hands hook behind his shoulders and bully him to where he wants him. 'I won't make you dress the part, Biggles,' he tells him, voice muffled against soft cloth and warm skin.
Carl huffs again, but locks his arms around Peter's so that they're curled together like fingers in a fist. 'I don't mean that. It's just... Musehood is for dead people you'll never meet, or blonde birds who won't look twice at you. You can't... It's not the same, Pete, if you can touch it.'
Peter laughs this time, open and undisguised, and he can feel his own vibrations in Carl's chest against his. 'But Carlos, how could we ever be the same as anyone?' Peter can't see his eyes, but he can feel the question tense in the vertebrae of Carl's spine.
He rolls his head on the pivot of his neck until his face is tilted up towards Carl's, his eyes languid slits of gentle humour. 'We're Biggles and Bilo, Carlos and The Pigman, fuckin' Pete and Carl. We're going to be fuckin' forever,' and this time, it's Carl who crushes his mouth to Peter's, fills it with all those dirty rhymes and pretty melodies he keeps tucked under his tongue.
'Sing me something, yeah?' Peter murmurs when he gathers himself into Carl's chest, closing his eyes. Carl's voice bone deep in his ear, eyes squeezed closed against the last crooked shred of today, Peter falls back into darkness and dreams of tomorrow.
Pete falls asleep again, easy as waking, as dreaming, and Carl falters into silence. His last mumbling hum is more speculative than musical as he ruffles his fingers through the mess of Pete's hair and lets the warmth tug him slowly back into sleep.
'You silly giffer,' Carl tells him finally, affectionately, before closing his eyes one last time. 'They're just songs.'