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It begins, much in the same way as the other important piece of Harry's life, with the flooded bed chambers of the startled Kingsman proposals. 

“I'm not sure why you need me here,” he complains to Merlin, nevertheless standing shoulder to shoulder with his friend, hands shoved into his water-resistant overcoat. Merlin grunts and continues tapping at his clipboard, pulling up the commands to release the sealed tiles on the floor and pump water into the room. “May I remind you I have a mission of my own to account for? Regarding the death of our friend?”

Merlin heaves a sigh and levels a glare at Harry out of the corner of his eye. “Come off it,” he scoffs, and flicks at the valve activation switch. The floor shimmers as the tiles shift out of place, the water rising quickly. “You couldn't stand James for more than twenty minutes at a time and you know it. You're just being a maudlin twat. As I recall, you said he was too cock-sure and flashy. You, Harry Hart, criticising someone for being a show-off.”

“I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the dulcet sounds of panic,” Harry sniffs, watching through the two way mirror as Eggsy shoots awake, hand slapping to the wall and hitting the lights. Any panic that may be occurring is, admittedly, muffled, but he remembers the fear he'd felt when he'd taken this test for himself, and memory is a heady thing.

(Admittedly, his own experience with the flooding had been to wake up in a daze, pants wet and cold, and have a brief crisis about whether or not he'd soiled his own bed in a manner he'd rather thought he'd outgrown since infancy. Then he'd registered the water lapping at his chest and the world had come into alarming focus.)

Chester and Percival's recruits gesture wildly over towards the shower area, clearly on the same page with their survival techniques. U-bend snorkels, of course. The easiest solution. Still, Harry can't help but smile when Eggsy looks around, bewildered, and gestures towards the door while his companions swim in the opposite direction.

“Interesting,” Merlin mutters, making a note of it on his clipboard. “Your boy is the only one to attempt to find an exit. Everyone else is focused on saving their own hide.”

The water reaches the top of the chamber, and Eggsy's pulling futilely at the door. Harry feels a flash of disappointment when he swims past Amelia—twice—and does nothing to help her despite her flailing struggles. She has a discreet oxygen line feeding her air into her nose, but Eggsy doesn't know that, and still he swims by. Damn.

Eggsy pauses in the middle of the room, taking a moment to tread water and survey his surroundings. Harry, for his part, takes a moment to admire the boy's lung capacity and his ability to go a terribly long time without taking a breath. He feels his brows quirk with interest.

“Don't even think about it,” Merlin says without looking at him, gaze alternating between his tablet and the view on the other side of the mirror.

“Too late,” Harry admits, unabashed, and proceeds to openly ogle the tight cord of Eggsy's muscles as he pushes forward towards the glass. It makes him feel like a dirty old lech, in some distant recess of his mind where he's buried all his shame, but mostly it just makes his libido awaken when Eggsy plants his feet on the wall beneath the mirror, giving Harry a perfect view of the way water presses his pyjama pants into the contours of his legs. His abdomen and chest are well defined and his shoulders strong, despite their slimness. His biceps bulge and his forearms tense when he drives his fist forward, into the glass.

“Clever lad,” Merlin praises, turning his mouth down in consideration. He makes another note and steps to the side.

Harry allows himself a moment of indulgence, eyes running over all the areas in Eggsy's body where his compact power is most visible, until the glass begins to splinter beneath the boy's knuckles and Harry's forced back to Merlin's side in the corner, lest he want to be swept away by the release of pressure.

The glass shatters, pouring hundreds of litres of water into the room along with a haggard, soaked group of twenty-somethings. They all slowly sit up, coughing and spitting and wiping water from their eyes and noses, and eye Merlin and Harry with no small amount of distrust.

“Well,” Merlin says, folding his arms over his clipboard and staring them down. “That was certainly...eventful.” He nods to Percival and Chester's candidates. “Roxy, Charlie, good thinking with the shower heads. If you can get a hollow tube around the U-bend of a toilet, you have an unlimited air supply. Simple enough, but vital to learn.”

“Eggsy,” Harry chimes in, despite his promise to keep silent. He doesn't have to look at Merlin to know the other man is rolling his eyes toward the ceiling and praying for the strength not to kick Harry in the ankles. “Bloody well done, spotting that was a two way mirror.”

“Yeah, well,” Charlie snots, wiping at his face and smirking. “He's probably seen enough of them.”

Harry bristles. He immediately and intensely dislikes the little berk; he's already moulded himself in Chester's image, and it isn't a pretty picture. Snobbery is a dying aesthetic, Harry knows, but there's something more primal and protective that flares up when he sees the way Eggsy's jaw clenches at Charlie's comment, the way his eyes cut away with shame.

Merlin inhales and opens his mouth to speak, but Harry cuts him off. This time he can feel the full brunt of the other man's glare burning a hole into the side of his face, but he's long since become used to such acidic stares. “Drunk and disorderly,” Harry snaps, hitting the consonants with a click. “Seventeenth July, Twenty-Ten.” He lifts his eyebrows and Charlie flushes angrily, face twisting into an embarrassed sneer. “And that's not the last of it.”

“Galahad,” Merlin says, too loud and staring at Harry as if he could light him on fire with pure will alone. “Are you quite finished?”

Harry continues to stare down Charlie, making sure his eyes hold a manic glint. He sees Eggsy suppress a snicker over the little shit's shoulder, and when he flicks his eyes up to meet the gaze of his own proposal, Eggsy stares back, amused and surprised.

Harry most definitely does not watch the bead of water that trails down from his temple, curving over the sharp line of his jaw and down his neck, before pooling in the divot of his collarbone. He absolutely does not entertain thoughts of following that same path with his tongue, because such a thing would be wildly inappropriate to think about whilst standing in a room full of people to whom he acts as a superior.

“Galahad,” Merlin hisses. Harry blinks once, twice, and tears himself away from Eggsy and the luscious temptation of his damp skin.

“Oh, by all means,” he says, pulling a hand out of his coat pocket and sweeping it forward. “Do continue.”

Merlin grumbles a series of invectives underneath his breath for a moment, before gathering his wits and facing the recruits. “As far as I'm concerned, every single one of you has failed.”

The faces before them all go indignant...except for Eggsy. Eggsy's smile dims away and he hangs his head with resignation, as if he knew failure was his fate. It's the heavy slump of a person who's been told they're a perpetual disappointment, no doubt a sentiment driven into his brain by that vile step-father of his. Regardless of its origins, Harry finds that it's a look he doesn't like pulling down the set of Eggsy's shoulders, and resolves to do something about it.

After, of course, they've convinced a group of young adults that they're responsible for the neglectful death of one of their peers.

“You've forgotten the single most important aspect of being a Kingsman agent,” Harry informs them mildly, but allows a touch of steel to undercut the words. The group sprawled across the wet floor shifts, uncomfortable. “Would you care to tell them what that is, Merlin?”

“Teamwork,” Merlin says firmly, and jabs his pen in the direction of the broken window. Amelia's in position, perfectly draped over the bench that separates the toilets from the beds, body angled with just the right amount of drama that ensures the image is going to strike a chord.

The lot of them shuffle to their feet, wary and aching, and cross to the shattered frame of the mirror. “So much for classic army technique,” Harry hears Eggsy mutter to Roxy. From this angle, Harry has the perfect view of his obliques, well-defined and toned and looking so lovely, dripping wet and slick.

Merlin discreetly pokes him in the side with his pen. Hard. “You'll be assigned to temporary quarters while we get the place dried out and remove the body,” he instructs, voice smooth. He digs his pen harder into Harry's side. “If you'll follow me, I'll take you to your bunks for the night, where you'll place your wet clothing into the laundry hamper and find yourselves dry pyjamas.”

The pressure of the fountain pen leaves his ribcage and Harry exhales slowly through his nose, narrowing his eyes just a touch in Merlin's direction.

Merlin glares back. 'You fucking wouldn't dare,' his eyes threaten, flicking briefly between Harry and Eggsy.

Harry's eyes narrow a hair further, conveying the message of 'the hell I wouldn't,' loud and clear.

Merlin lets out a low growl, a bitten out oath, and then he's herding the proposals through the door with a sharp, “Let's get a move on, then!”

“Eggsy,” Harry calls, grabbing the young man's attention. He approaches Harry slowly, bare feet slipping on the wet tiled floor, but looks up at him with that same attentive stare, jaw cocked off to the side. Harry takes a risk and brushes his fingers against the back of Eggsy's arm, slipping against the skin just above his elbow. His jaw clicks straight in surprise. “Walk with me, will you?”

“Sure thing, bruv,” Eggsy stutters, and falls into line with Harry as they exit the small room. They're a number of paces behind the larger group, and if Harry keeps his hand curled around Eggsy's elbow, well, it's simply to keep the lad from slipping on the small pools of water his fellow recruits have left behind.

That, and so that Harry may enjoy the feel of muscles shifting, tensing beneath his fingers every time Eggsy's wet pyjama pants catch beneath his heels and send him sliding forward. He leans into Harry's grasp, drifting further towards his body, and the sway of him is intoxicating. They walk along the corridor, a dozen or so strides behind Merlin and the other candidates and a few of them shoot furtive, curious glances at Eggsy and Harry over their shoulder. Merlin leads them around a corner, and when the last soggy pair of pyjamas disappears from sight, Harry very carefully veers to the left.

Eggsy stumbles over his own feet and mutters a swear under his breath when Harry pulls him along. “Am I in trouble or summat?” he asks, and when Harry pauses in front of one of the smaller, more private rooms and turns around to face him, there's a worried furrow creasing the skin between his brows.

A single bead of water trickles down from his hairline, curving around the outside of one eye and over the sharp edge of his cheekbone. Harry's mouth goes dry.

“I suppose,” he says, and pushes the door open, ushering Eggsy inside, “that depends on your idea of 'trouble'.”

Eggsy steps past him and into the room with an apprehensive look back at Harry, who's slipping off his glasses and slipping them into his pocket. He takes an assessing glance around, taking in the single sized bed and the small bureau that houses a first aid kit and fresh linens. “When it comes to you?” he says, eyes cutting to Harry before the rest of his head follows. His eyes trace a long path up and down the line of Harry's body. “I got no fucking clue, bruv.”

Harry smirks and begins unbuttoning his overcoat, noting the way that Eggsy inhales through his nose, eyes fixed on Harry's fingers. He slips the coat from his shoulders and drapes it carefully over the top of the bureau, then makes a show of fixing his cuff links as he takes slow, methodical steps into Eggsy's personal space.

When they're barely more than twenty centimetres apart, Harry drops the act and meets the mossy green of Eggsy's eyes dead on. “Eggsy,” he says carefully, deliberately. His fingers twist the buttons of his suit jacket from their holes. “I am going to do something quite...rash. And I want you to promise to stop me if it's unwelcome.”

Eggsy's eyes are stuck on the movements of his hands when he croaks out, “What?”

“Promise me,” Harry says firmly, and undoes the last button. His hands, now free, come up to Eggsy's face. One spreads across the hinge of his jaw, thumbing at the sensitive space beneath his ear, and the first two fingers on the other hand curl together beneath Eggsy's chin to tilt his face upwards, dragging his gaze back to Harry's.

“Yeah, alright,” Eggsy breathes, eyes darting around Harry's face. A fine tremble shivers through his body, and Harry feels the movement run beneath his hands.

“Excellent,” he murmurs, and then pushes his mouth against Eggsy's.

The boy opens up to him immediately. Enthusiastically. His hands, smaller than Harry's own but strong enough to punch through glass, rise up and clutch at his lapels, at the back of his neck. They fist into his hair and pull Harry's mouth harder into his own. He senses the way the young man raises up onto his tip-toes to accommodate their height difference, and something in Harry melts.

His spine goes nearly liquid, and he drops the hand beneath Eggsy's chin to wind his arm around his naked waist and haul him in tightly. He digs his thumb into the spot by Eggsy's ear a bit harder, and for his effort he gets the reward of the mouth beneath his opening with a small gasp. His tongue dips in, eager, and licks against Eggsy's own.

Eggsy makes a desperate, keening sound that's lost to the space where their faces press together. His hips push in, lining up with Harry's own, and the still sopping wet fabric of his pyjama pants is an unwelcome shock. Harry inhales sharply through his nose and tilts his hips away. Eggsy's mouth slips from his own, a faint sounding apology drifting up to Harry's ears.

“No need to be sorry,” Harry admonishes, and can't resist pressing a laving kiss to his upper lip. He bites at the jut of Eggsy's pouting bottom lip when he pulls away, and there's that beautiful, needy sound again. “Though I think that perhaps the two of us are wearing too many layers of clothing.”

“Fuck yeah,” Eggsy breathes, pulls at the knot of Harry's tie and has it slipping form beneath his collar before the words are even finished. He leans up and scrapes his teeth along Harry's lip, smashing their noses together and breathing hard before giving Harry a long, wet kiss, one hand fisted in his collar and the other twined into his hair.

Harry isn't wearing a waistcoat today, which he's eternally grateful for once Eggsy begins deftly slipping apart the buttons of his dress shirt. Less fastenings to deal with, after all, and the press of Eggsy's hands against his collarbone comes quickly. His fingers trail lightly over the thin skin of Harry's neck before he smooths his palms across his shoulders, shoving the open dress shirt, the gun holster, and Harry's suit jacket off in one go. He keeps his fingers circled loosely around Harry's wrists.

Eggsy breaks their kiss when the sound of fabric and a (mercifully unloaded) gun hitting the floor reaches their ears, and pulls back enough that he can run his eyes over Harry's torso.

“Jesus,” he breathes, and Harry can't help the way his chest puffs up in response. Over two and a half decades of service to Queen and country has left him with his fair share of scars, true, but it's also left him lithe and toned even as he edges into leaving his forties behind forever. He's by no means any sort of spectacular specimen, but the way Eggsy's eyes drink him in and go hooded, molten, is certainly gratifying. “Fuck, of course you're fucking fit.” He tightens his grip and pulls Harry's hands up to his mouth, pressing furtive kisses to the backs of them. His eyes are bright and so beautifully green, peering up at Harry from over his knuckles, lashes thick and smudging.

“You tart,” Harry chides, but it's ruined by the mild affection in his tone and the smile pulling at his lips.

Eggsy grins at him and sucks Harry's index finger into his mouth, hollowing his cheeks with the suction. He pulls all the way up to the tip, tongue laving, and then pushes his mouth back down with a twist of his neck and a gentle scrape of teeth.

“I misspoke, earlier,” Harry manages, sounding strangled through the sheer, blinding arousal crowding up inside every inch of his body. “You are in trouble.”

He regretfully pulls his finger from Eggsy's mouth, eyes fluttering at the faint 'pop' as the boy lets him go. Breaking the hold on his arms is easily done, freeing up his hands to pull at the button fly of his trousers. Eggsy's hands find their way back to his shoulders, slipping over lightly tanned skin and dragging over the fur of Harry's chest hair. His nails scrape over Harry's nipples, gentle, and any progress with the state of his swiftly tenting trousers is halted.

“Eggsy,” he grits out, abandoning his task in order to curve his fingers tight over the sharp jut of his hipbones. He pulls him in those spare few centimetres, shoving their groins together much in the same way he'd shied away from earlier. Wet pyjama pants be damned, he thinks furiously, and thrusts into the hard line of Eggsy's cock.

The hands teasing at his pectorals scramble for purchase against Harry's flank, digging in for dear life as the younger man's head tilts back in a wanton, throaty moan. Harry thrusts again, and his head falls back the other way, forehead nudging into Harry's collarbone.

He allows them a few more rocking, grinding thrusts before forcibly pulling their bodies apart. Eggsy's mouth opens in protest, face flushed and tilting up, and Harry comes at him, all teeth and tongue. He delves into Eggsy's mouth, one hand drifting from his hip to cup at the back of his neck, and between long pulls at his lips, Harry finds the breath to say, “Remove your pants, for fuck's sake.”

Eggsy lets out a low growling moan, which Harry feels against the back of his teeth, and then separates long enough to shove the wet material down his thighs and into a soggy, sad lump on the floor. He straightens up, shoulders back, naked as the day.

His cock is a lovely thing, Harry notes with no small amount of pleasure, and runs the back of his fingers against the satiny stretch of skin. All flushed and turgid, rosy head peeking out from beneath the sheath of foreskin. He isn't quite as long as Harry, though—not to sound horribly egotistical—that isn't particularly hard to do, but Eggsy is deliciously thick, flaring a hair wider at the base and curving gently to the left. He's going to feel so lovely one day, Harry muses, imagining the stretch and burn such a cock would give his arse.

All in good time, he thinks, and Harry lets his finger catch on the extra skin and pull down, exposing the head further. He watches hungrily as a drop of pre-come gathers and beads away.

Eggsy's hips stutter forward with a ragged gasp, and between one hitching breath and the next, Harry finds his own trousers and pants shoved unceremoniously to his ankles, Eggsy's hands a gentle pressure on his thighs. “If you'll spare me the indignity of tripping over my own pants,” Harry says, cocking an eyebrow at the delectable sight below him—Eggsy, stark naked, kneeling before him and nosing at the crease of his thigh, good Christ—and somehow keeping his cool. “I would like to remove my shoes so that you and I can move ourselves to the bed.”

Eggsy hums, nose still running a gentle line in the space where Harry's hip meets thigh, and curls his hands over the sensitive hollows behind his knees, running down his calves and hooking fingers into the hems of his socks and dragging down until he's providing a firm pressure against the backs of Harry's Oxfords. His feet tug free easily, and he sets them down, bare, against the cool tile of the floor. Eggsy's cheeks nuzzles into the fine hairs above Harry's femoral artery, breath skimming over his cock.

“Fuck,” Harry bites out when he leans closer and licks a broad, wet stripe up the line of him, mouth closing delicately over the head. He feels Eggsy's smirk, the way his lips twist in amusement around his prick, and drops a hand to his still damp hair. Eggsy takes this as his cue to swallow Harry all the way down until his jaw is hinged open wide and his nose is pressed firmly into the coarse thatch of pubic hair in Harry's groin. “Shit, you bloody—demon.

Eggsy swallows around him, eyes glassy but staring up at Harry, unabashed, and the world goes alarmingly white for a moment. He pulls off slowly, with a maddening drag of his tongue along the underside. He carefully pulls down his foreskin, and spends an agonizing few moments suckling at the exposed, weeping head until Harry's knees tremble. Just the once, really, but they tremble all the same, so he fists his hand into Eggsy's hair and pulls him off.

This proves to be a mistake, because no sooner is the boy's mouth free than he's spouting off utter filth, voice rasping from the pressure of Harry's cock down his throat. “Been thinking about this since the pub,” he admits shamelessly, mouth glistening and pink. His own erection, straining upwards from between dark blond curls, is very nearly painful for Harry to look at, but Eggsy doesn't touch himself in favour of touching Harry instead. His hands smooth back to the space where Harry's buttocks meet thigh, thumbs sweeping into the slightly sweaty creases. “When you took down all of Dean's goons, fuck, man, I thought I was gonna go off then and there.” He hunkers down further, letting the backs of his thighs touch his calves, and presses a kiss to the inside of Harry's knee.

It's not a place on his body by which he'd ever imagined being horribly, irrevocably filled with lust, but Eggsy has proven himself to be a study in surprises.

“Wanted to crawl under the table,” he murmurs in between sucking kisses that head towards Harry's cock again. “Open up them fucking trousers, get my mouth on you, yeah, suck you off. 'S fucking hottest thing 've ever seen, bruv.” He bites and laves a dark mark into the spot just below Harry's hipbone, holding his hips to his mouth with those strong, able hands. “Never had no one do nothin' like that for me,” he says, low, like an admission he just barely means to say aloud.

Harry's fingers clench in his hair and pull, dragging Eggsy up from the floor. As appealing as the sight had been, he wants Eggsy closer to his level, wants his mouth near so that Harry can kiss him deep and taste himself on the back of his tongue. So he does just that, with great enthusiasm. He nudges his thumbs into the spaces beneath Eggsy's ears, and the younger man shudders, eyes rolling up and then shut. He's needy, keening, and so fucking beautiful Harry goes a bit breathless.

“You are remarkable,” he tells him, panting and leaning their foreheads together. Eggsy lets out a small whimper and shivers at the praise.

A light goes off in Harry's head as an idea sparks.

“Such a good lad,” he murmurs, and places careful kisses upon Eggsy's eyelids.

Eggsy's breath stutters, and Harry's gut churns with a brand new excitement.

“I admit I had my doubts,” he tells him, and kisses away the frowning wrinkle that appears between his brows. “But you've so far proven them inert. So unflinchingly loyal to a man you'd just met, even when a knife was held to your neck. I can't tell you how pleased I was.” He mouths at the underside of Eggsy's chin, knees bent and one slipping between the hot gap of Eggsy's thighs. He nudges the both of them back, heading towards the modestly sized bed. “And tonight's test, despite the admittedly great misfortune of your fellow candidate,” Eggsy sighs at that, but it isn't a happy one. It's subdued, weighted down with guilt at the thought of Amelia's body, and Harry wants none of it. He knows that Amelia's probably in medical, making sure there's no water in her lungs and that her breathing is regulated, and that Eggsy's going to find out all of this in due time.

Now, however, he wants the boy naked and shivering beneath him.

“You performed so well,” Harry praises lowly, letting his voice rumble out into a purr. Eggsy's knees hit the mattress and Harry's careful when he lays him down and blankets his body with his own. “Your first priority, your first instinct, was finding an exit so that everyone could be removed from immediate danger.” He pauses to line up their hips, sliding their cocks together in a firm, hot glide. Eggsy arches wonderfully below him, the defined muscles of his stomach straining and brushing against Harry's own. “And despite what Charlie may have to say about your various run-ins with the police, you are the only one to have recognized a viable means of escape.”

He allows himself to lay fully on top of Eggsy, sliding his arms beneath his back and holding them more closely together. The space between them where skin touches skin is already deliciously too-warm, growing slick with sweat and the steady, pulsing drip of pre-come.

“You were so lovely,” he grunts, thrusting into the splayed open crux of Eggsy's legs, teeth pulling at the lobe of his ear. “So resourceful and strong. I did so enjoy watching you swim, seeing the way your pants clung tight.” He smooths a hand down the strong muscles of Eggsy's back, curving over his oblique and trailing down his abs. “Your body is gorgeous, darling.”

“Fuck!” Eggsy chokes, body curling up so he can bury his face into Harry's neck when his long, graceful fingers wrap their way around his cock and stroke. “Oh, shit, Harry.”

“So lovely, my boy,” Harry repeats, twisting his hand on the upstroke and running his palm over the head. “How you broke through the glass in so few punches, fighting against the water. You held your breath for so long, I feared I may ruin my pants in front of Merlin.”

“'ve got,” Eggsy bites out, the words hard against the corded muscle of Harry's shoulder, “good lung control.”

It's Harry's turn to shudder now. “That is dangerous information,” he rasps, and bears down on Eggsy with his hips and with his mouth. He kisses furtive and deep, licking into Eggsy's mouth and drawing his own tongue out, until Eggsy chases him back and kisses in, just as passionate, swiping at the roof of Harry's mouth.

“Fuck me,” he says, ripping his mouth away to bite a line across Harry's jaw. Initially, he believes it to be just another oath, but when Eggsy pulls back and opens his legs wider, intent, he understands. “Fuck me,” he urges again, and rolls his hips up.

“Fuck,” Harry swears. “Oh, darling, you've no idea how desperately I want to.”

“Then shut the fuck up and do it,” Eggsy grunts, reaching back to fist at the pillow beneath his head, body still writhing and riding the pressure provided by Harry's thigh.

“I would,” Harry tells him, ragged and wanting. His cock twitches at the thought, at the mere imagining of opening Eggsy up around his fingers, hot and tight and slick, and sliding in, rutting the boy until he's a trembling, needy thing and Harry can come inside him, messy and deep. “But we're rather lacking in supplies, my dear.”

Eggsy's head falls back with a groan, and the motion of his body calms into helpless little twitches, still a rolling wave of muscle against Harry's own. The press of his hipbones is sharp. “I thought a gentleman was always s'posed to be prepared,” he grouses, eyes irritated but still hooded with arousal.

“You're thinking of the Scouts,” Harry corrects him, feeling his mouth twitch. “And while it doesn't hurt to be prepared for any and all situations, it doesn't mean that we can't...” In one swift motion, he heaves his body off of Eggsy and flips him over, leaving the taught strength of his back exposed to Harry's hungry gaze. He presses down again, chest nudging into Eggsy's shoulder blades, and gives an easy thrust against his backside. Any tension in Eggsy's body at the unexpected change in position melts away. “...improvise,” Harry finishes.

“Jeeesus,” Eggsy slurs, humping down into the mattress and back against the glide of Harry's cock. Harry allows it, the soft and smooth skin of Eggsy's arse a soothing balm on the angry flush of his erection, but after a few furtive, desperate moments of this, he somehow brings himself to a bracing crouch over Eggsy's body.

He whines at the loss of contact, but Harry has other plans.

“Put your thighs together,” he murmurs, placing a hand against Eggsy's ribs. His fingers glide and ripple over them, the bones easily found beneath his touch. He spares a moment to frown, concerned at the protrusion of them, before Eggsy's lifting up his bum and doing as he's been asked. “Perfect,” he says, and strokes himself lightly, his other hand palming at Eggsy's bum. His thumb pries apart his cheeks as best it can, revealing the dusky pink clench of his arsehole. Eggsy moans into the pillow, shoulders dropping down when Harry brushes over it lightly.

“Next time,” he promises vehemently, and slips his cock between the press of Eggsy's thighs. “Now clench together, darling, make it nice and tight for me.”

“Swear down,” Eggsy grits, legs trembling as he pushes his inner thighs together the best he can and Harry's cock bumps against his bollocks. “You better be comin' inside me next time, yeah? Fuck my arse til I can't even stand no more, Harry, til I'm walkin' funny the next day. Want your cock,” he moans, fisting his hands into the linens and driving back into Harry's next thrust. The friction is uncomfortable, at first, but sweat and pre-come soon ease the way and it isn't long before Harry is able to set a brutal pace.

He hauls Eggsy up to his knees, elbows still perched on the mattress, and reaches around to fist at his cock. On every few downward strokes, he bumps the underside of his hand with the head of his own prick, and it's driving him mental.

“Harry,” Eggsy whispers, face turned to the side. He reaches up and hooks a hand behind Harry's neck, using the push of his other hand against the mattress to haul himself up until they're pressed, back to chest, Harry still shoving between the closed crux of Eggsy's thighs. “Harry,” he murmurs again, and catches his mouth in a kiss.

Harry spreads the entire expanse of his hand against Eggsy's cheek and jaw, feels his pulse thrumming hard and fast beneath where his fingertips press into his neck, and gentles the kiss into something soft. It's a contrast to the rough, desperate motion of their hips, but there's something rising up in Harry's chest that isn't just the need to come. He very genuinely likes Eggsy, he realises as he sucks the lad's lower lip into his mouth and tongues at it. He likes his loyalty, his fire, his innate need to protect. He likes the way that Eggsy urged him out of the pub, willing to face a mob of angry brutes alone if it meant sparing a man he'd only just met. He likes the spark of wit and dry humour Eggsy had exhibited during their time on the bullet train between the shop and HQ, and the strong lines of his body as he threw all of his force into finding an escape through a two way mirror.

He likes Eggsy, Harry realises, and comes violently with a strangled shout of the name on his lips. It's on a downward stroke, so he cups his hand beneath himself and catches the thick, roping dribbles of come while he shudders and twitches into the hold of Eggsy's body. He's still coming, albeit in smaller, less viscous bursts, when he uses the mess in his hand to slick up the pulls he takes on Eggsy's cock. His come glistens, wet and gleaming, on the length of him.

“Fuck, that's hot,” Eggsy grunts, nosing into Harry's jawline. Harry slips from between his legs, still drooling from the tip of his erection and smearing it down the backs of his thighs, but Eggsy pays the mess no mind. He thrusts into the sloppy, firm grip that Harry has on him, and it only takes half a dozen or so undulations of his hips before his biting at the hinge of Harry's jaw and coming, making a wet disaster of Harry's hands and his own thighs and the sheets below them.

When the last tremors have left his body, he slumps forward into the looping hold Harry has around his waist. Harry very carefully diverts the both of them away from the wet spot, which forces them to spoon on the section of the bed that they haven't very thoroughly ruined. Housekeeping is going to be raving, Harry thinks bemusedly, and runs a hand down Eggsy's side. His other arm, the one with the filthy come-streaked hand, is trapped beneath him, curled into a loose fist by Eggsy's elbow. When the boy catches his breath, he twines the fingers on both hands around Harry's wrist and pulls his palm to his mouth for a kiss.

“That's horrible,” Harry informs him, tone mild even as his cock makes a valiant effort to firm up again. Eggsy hums in agreement, but bathes Harry's fingers and hands with his tongue until he's mostly clean, if still a bit sticky. His libido is bemoaning his age by the end of it.

“So what's this mean, then?” Eggsy asks after five minutes of being pressed together in silence, Harry skimming kisses against the gorgeous smattering of freckles and beauty marks across his shoulder. It's taken him three tries to get the words out, Harry hearing the quiet click of his tongue in his mouth each time they faltered in his mouth.

“It means,” Harry informs, propping his head up onto his mostly clean hand and staring down into Eggsy's upturned face. He runs his thumb along the pronounced arch of one cheekbone, across the plush of his bottom lip, and uses it to tilt his chin up so that Harry can catch his mouth in a whisper-soft kiss. “That we are two consenting adults, engaging in a sexual relationship despite an admittedly skewed working power dynamic, and damn the consequences.”

“Really?” Eggsy asks him sceptically, even as he leans up for another gentle press of mouths. “That simple, huh? You ain't gonna be in trouble or nothin'?”

“Oh, I suspect I'll be in a great deal of trouble,” Harry contradicts, gazing thoughtfully up towards the ceiling. His thumb strokes over the prominence of Eggsy's collarbone. “But I've known Merlin for too many years for him to stay angry for long. He tends to run hot but burn quickly, that one. And it's been years since I gave a damn what Arthur thinks of me, the curmudgeonly old cunt.” Eggsy lets out a shocked laugh, and the way his eyes crinkle when he does so is beguiling, so Harry nuzzles into them with the tip of his nose. “Now, not to be terribly rude, but you are required to spend each night in the recruitment dormitory.”

Eggsy lets out a little groan and buries his face into the pillow, and clutches at the hand attached to the arm Harry's had draped around his waist for some time. “Yeah, alright,” he grumbles, and carefully extricates himself from Harry's grip and goes to sit on the side of the bed. He rolls his head across his shoulders, and when he turns to look back at Harry, the bloom of love bites up his neck is stark and a tad embarrassing, but something possessive rears its head in Harry's chest all the same. Eggsy reaches out and pokes at a spot on Harry's chest, and then his own neck in a spot just above where his shirt collars fall. “You sure you won't be in trouble, guv?” he asks, “Cos I've left you a right mess.”

“Well then,” Harry says, and pulls himself upright so that he can press his fingers into the marks he's left behind on Eggsy's pale skin. “That makes us even.”

Eggsy grins at him and shakes his head. “I am gonna get so much shit for this,” he declares as he stands and moves to begin rummaging through the bureau. “Roxy seems alright, but the rest of them...”

Harry heaves himself out of bed and crosses to take Eggsy in his arms, teeth scraping over the already bruised-up side of his neck. Eggsy inhales sharply and clutches more firmly at the clean, dry Kingsman issued pyjamas he's scavenged from the chest of drawers. “Pay them no mind,” Harry says firmly into the shell of Eggsy's ear. “And believe me when I say that you are more Kingsman material than any of them.”

Eggsy turns in his arms, pyjamas crushed between them, and leans up and in for one more thorough, lavish kiss. “Damn the consequences, aye?” he mutters, then steps away to slip on his pants and shirt. Harry watches the skin disappear with a feeling akin to sadness, already missing the warmth of it beneath his hands.

“Precisely, darling,” Harry says, and slips his own silk briefs up his legs with as much grace as he can manage. A blush heats the tips of Eggsy's ears at the endearment, a pleased smile pulling at his lips and creating those lovely crinkles by his eyes.

Damn the consequences, indeed, Harry resolves, and swoops in for one last kiss.

 

ooo

 

Chester King regards him over a full English breakfast with barely concealed anger and no small amount of disgust. “Am I to understand,” he says, voice tremulous with irritation, “that you and your proposal disappeared together, privately , for over an hour and a half, only to re-emerge smelling of...indecent activities and covered in love bites?

“Good news travels fast, I see,” Harry muses, and takes a bite of his wheat toast. It leaves crumbs clinging to his tie, and he brushes them away with a frown.

“This is completely inappropriate!” Chester hisses, clutching at his cutlery like he yearns to jam a spoon into Harry's jugular.

“I don't see how.” Harry cuts away a portion of his sausage and spears it together with a piece of fried egg. “Considering that Eggsy is, in fact, twenty-four years old and more than able to offer his full and...” he pauses, considering which word will most make Chester's face screw up into an unpleasant caricature, “...enthusiastic consent.”

Chester flushes, infuriated. Mission accomplished.

“Not to mention that there are, in fact, no fraternization rules to speak of, which is admittedly rather short-sighted of the organization, truth be told,” Harry says with no small amount of glee, thoroughly enjoying the way Chester is getting increasingly apoplectic. “I'm fairly certain this has more to do with his social class than anything. Would you rather I were bumming Charlie?”

Chester slams his hand down on the table, causing their fine china and silverware to rattle. Harry doesn't so much as blink or flinch, and instead takes a forkful of beans and scoops it onto his toast, teeth crunching into the crisp bread as he meets his boss' steely gaze head on. A step too far, perhaps, Harry considers, since the older man's recruit is his oldest and dearest friend's grandson.

If the lot of them weren't classist, racist, misogynistic twats, Harry would maybe feel worse.

Maybe.

Probably not.

“You,” Chester seethes, wizened old hands paling at the knuckles from how tightly he's gripping his silverware. “Are henceforth removed from the investigation into Lancelot's death.”

Harry pauses, mug of tea halfway to his mouth. He sets it back down on the table with a hard 'clank.' “Don't be absurd,” he requests, eyes flicking over Chester with wariness. Indignation is a heady thing, he finds, and squares his shoulders. “I'm the only agent in-house, and I'm going to pay a visit to Professor Arnold this morning.”

“Bors arrived last night while you were busy fraternizing,” Chester informs him acidly, stabbing at his own fried egg and sending yolk everywhere across his plate. “I'm turning over the mission to his equally capable hands.”

“You're being petty,” Harry says, wiping at his mouth with his cloth napkin, “and I have lost my appetite. Good day, Arthur.” He stands, chair scraping noisily against the hard wood flooring, and takes his leave amidst the indignant huffing and puffing coming from the head of the table. He shoves his hands into his trouser pockets and strides from the room, down the hall and down the stairs, giving a polite nod of greeting to Leodegrance before pushing open the door to fitting room one. He's practically vibrating with irritation by the time the elevator settles on the ground floor, the bullet train blessedly empty.

“Bloody bastard,” he curses as the door slides shut and the train begins moving. Truth be told, it's just as Merlin had accused him the night before: he hadn't been terribly invested in James' death beyond mourning the loss of an excellent agent. For all his pomp and excessive flair, James had made an excellent Lancelot, successfully executing hundreds of missions and thwarting (or carrying out) numerous assassinations. Under any other circumstance, Harry thinks he may have actually been fond of James, but there's a larger part of him—the part that had grown close to the loyal, spirited man who'd become a father at the young age of nineteen and was trying to do right by his son and wife and then thrown himself onto a grenade to spare three lives—that was bitter and resentful.

By the time he reaches HQ, he's calmed considerably, at ease with the fact that Chester has proven himself, yet again, to be a bastard. Nothing he hadn't known already, after all. He smooths down his jacket as he stands and exits, nodding to Minerva as she swivels from side to side in her chair in front of the security monitors. “Desk duty today, then?” he implores as he passes. She wiggles her fingers in a small wave, then points her pen at one of the screens.

“Merlin's on puppy duty,” she says, Irish brogue rolling. She smirks over the lenses of her horn-rimmed glasses. “And they're picking out their dogs th'day.”

“You are a veritable fountain of wit,” Harry says drily, smiling all the same, and pushes through the door as she sticks her tongue out at him. He makes his way through the halls and out onto the grounds, content to stroll the paths and breathe in the grey, damp, English air. A bit of a walk is just what he needs, and if he happens to run into Eggsy on his stroll, well. Happy coincidences all around.

As a matter of fact, he does indeed encounter Eggsy on one of the numerous running trails, looking resigned and slowly shuffling alongside a tiny, trembling puppy.

“Good Lord,” Harry says, and Eggsy starts, not having noticed his presence. His smile comes easily enough after the flinch, and he picks up the pup one handed and jogs over to where Harry is standing by a small thicket of trees. “And who is this fine canine specimen you've chosen for yourself?” He pinches one small, triangular ear between his thumb and index finger and rubs at the silky fur.

Eggsy groans and stifles it into the quivering pug's head. “This is JB.” At Harry's raised eyebrow, he elaborates. “Jack Bauer, innit? I thought he were a bulldog, to be honest.”

“You know nothing about dogs, do you?” Harry asks, bemused and terribly endeared by the sheepish eyeroll Eggsy gives him. He pulls the puppy from his arms and accepts the wet, furtive licks at his chin and mouth. “Well, you are a friendly little man, aren't you, Mr. Bauer?” he coos, unable to resist the lure of an affectionate, tiny dog. JB lets loose a string of plaintive whimpers, small paws pressing into his tie and snug face burrowing into Harry's warmth. Eggsy leans against a tree, arms crossed over the chest of his tartan boiler suit, and smiles.

It's a temptation that Harry has no hope of resisting. He crowds Eggsy further against the tree and feels the last remaining tension leave his shoulders when their mouths meet, open and soft. JB snuffles up between them, licking at their noses, and they each withdraw with a huffing laugh. “I see I've a rival for your affections,” Harry teases, passing the pup back into Eggsy's careful arms.

Eggsy beams down into the silky fur of JB's skull, looking up at Harry through those dark and lovely lashes. “So you really meant it, bruv?” he asks, reaching up to pull at Harry's lapel. “About you'n'me. Y'ain't changed your mind?”

Harry just barely resists the urge to roll his eyes. “Darling, if there were ever any hope of letting you go,” he tells him, tone brooking no room for an argument, “I'm afraid it disappeared the minute you let me come between your thighs.”

“Jesus, Harry,” Eggsy breathes, going wonderfully rouge at the tops of his cheeks and around his ears. He takes a quick glance around to make sure that they're alone, presumably, and sets JB down on the still dew-wet grass so that he can reach up with both hands and haul Harry in for another searing kiss.

They part, unfortunately, not long after; the risk of one of Eggsy's fellow proposals wandering upon them is too great, and Harry has probably pushed enough of Chester's buttons for one day that he doesn't particularly feel up to pressing his luck even further. There is one pleasant side effect to his being booted off of the investigation into James' death, however. “My schedule has rather unexpectedly cleared,” he informs Eggsy on a murmur, smoothing the younger man's short hair away from his face. “I'm afraid you'll have to endure my presence with an increasing frequency, since I think Merlin could use some assistance in training you and your fellow candidates.”

“Shame,” Eggsy says on a sigh, a teasing smile lifting the corners of his mouth. “Guess I'll just have to get used to bein' kissed by fit blokes, then.”

“Just the one,” Harry corrects, feeling that possessive beast stirring in his chest again. He leans in for a final kiss, luxuriating in the way Eggsy drifts into him, eyelashes fluttering. “Now, off with you, before I do something terribly indecent like fellate you against this tree.”

“How,” Eggsy asks, head thumping back against the bark. “What the fuck, Harry, how is that supposed to make me wanna walk away?”

“It isn't,” Harry says, but takes a step away all the same. “It is, however, meant to entice you into meeting me in the same private room this evening, if you're amenable.”

“Depends,” Eggsy bites at his lip, running molten eyes over Harry's face. “You gonna be prepared this time?”

Harry thinks of the night before, of slipping his cock between the firm and satiny grip of Eggsy's thighs, and imagines opening him up one finger at a time, slick and flushed and wanting. Imagines sliding his cock into the clutch of his arse, and rutting there until he makes Eggsy shatter apart beneath his hands. He allows his mouth to curl, predatory. “Be thorough when you shower this evening,” he advises in lieu of a proper answer, and relishes the way Eggsy's gaze grows even hotter. “Until then,” he says in farewell, and turns to walk down the path.

Behind him, he hears Eggsy let out a quiet swear, and he can't quite bite back on the smile that rises up.

 

ooo

 

The next morning, Harry is far too relaxed and satiated to even pretend to be chastised by Merlin's scowl when he greets him by the stone benches in the back garden. The recruits are a steadily moving line of blobs in the distance, running in full gear and with their new companions by their side. He spares a moment of pity for Eggsy, who had been thorough during his shower the night before and was no doubt currently suffering the brunt of Harry's full and thorough attention.

He holds out a mug of steaming breakfast tea, made exactly to Merlin's tastes. The magician scowls at him but takes it carefully from his hands, shoving his nose into the steam and taking a hearty inhale. “You're a fucking menace,” he says in thanks.

“You are lovely in the morning, Sunflower,” Harry says serenely, tempting fate. Merlin takes a pointed, vicious slurp of his tea, eyes sharp over the porcelain of his cup. He's going to pay for that one later, he knows it, but pays his friend no mind. He's too busy keenly tracking the line of candidates that grows steadily closer. He frowns when Eggsy comes to a stop on the path, body language tense and voice raised enough that they can hear him even at this distance, though the words themselves are lost in the wind. Alarmingly, he appears to aim his rifle straight at JB, and Harry can't quite stop the way that he takes a step forward.

“Don't,” Merlin says, holding out a hand, gaze also intent on Eggsy's movements as he bends at the waist and hefts the minuscule blob that is JB into his arms. When he begins to run, however, both hands are clearly clutched around his gun. “Interesting,” Merlin murmurs, and jots a note down on his clipboard with his stylus.

Then Eggsy jogs by, JB bobbing in and out of the neck of his vest with every jostling stride, and Harry can't suppress his bark of laughter. Eggsy turns, running backwards for a handful of metres, and grins back at him.

“The two of you are nauseating,” Merlin informs him blithely, alternately flicking through pages on his clipboard and scribbling with his stylus. “But, the lad is resourceful, I'll give him that.”

“I certainly have high hopes for him,” Harry agrees, turning back to Merlin and taking a sip of his coffee. “Truthfully, the only real competition he seems to have—in my opinion—is Roxanne Morton. Lovely girl,” he adds, taking a seat beside Merlin on the bench. “Percival's sister, is she not?”

“She is,” Merlin confirms without glancing up at Harry. “Though I'd keep an eye out for Charlie. Ruthless little bugger, that one. Has it out for Eggsy, as well, since he definitely seems to agree with Arthur on the issue of social class, and—” He's frowning down at his clipboard when he stops mid-sentence. “Ah, fuck,” he swears, and starts gathering his things as quickly as possible.

“What is it?” Harry asks, alarmed.

“Bors,” Merlin grunts, slipping his overcoat on around his shoulders. “It seems his meeting with Professor Arnold didn't go exactly to plan, considering he's unconscious in the medical ward as we speak, and Professor Arnold has been rather thoroughly exploded.”

Harry blinks.. “Shit,” he says, with feeling, raking a hand through his hair. “Is Jon going to be alright?”

“That remains to be seen,” Merlin says with a meaningful glance at Harry as he leans down to pick up his still hot cuppa. “It seems that, on top of the smoke inhalation and the rather hard knock to the head he took when he detonated his hand grenade, he was exposed to some sort of...unknown chemical.”,

Shit,” Harry swears again, pulling his glasses off to pinch at the bridge of his nose. “That should have been me.”

“Aye,” Merlin agrees gravely, and nudges at Harry's slumped shoulder with one elbow. “And not to display my blatant favouritism, but I'm mightily grateful that it isn't.”

Harry lets out a weak chuckle and drops his hand to his leg, digging his fingers into his knee in order to hide the minute tremble of them. “You do say the sweetest things, Sunflower.”

Merlin's scowl darkens anew. “Nevermind,” he growls, turning his back to Harry and taking loping steps toward the manor's rear entrance. “I wish you were unconscious, you daft wanker.”

“I'll just stay here and supervise, shall I?” Harry calls back to him, and smirks into the rim of his mug when he gets a two-fingered salute in response. His eyes gravitate back to the distant figure of Eggsy, still jogging steadily and apparently still keeping JB nestled in the confines of his vest, since there's no sign of the little beast beside him.

Harry allows himself a wistful moment to think back on the days of his own training, of the shaking, feather-light Mr. Pickle with his tiny legs doing their best to keep up with Harry's long strides. He'd wound up tucking him into the deep pockets of his boiler suit, where he'd happily stayed, safe and warm.

The larger group of proposals jogs fast, some doing their best to glance at him discreetly from the corners of their eyes, and others—like Roxy—giving him a blatant and assessing look as they go past, puppies tripping happily over their own feet beside them.

A moment later, Eggsy passes by again, slowing down enough so that he can give Harry a crooked grin and a cheeky wink.

“Later, Eggsy,” Harry tells him, and shoos him back onto the path with a flick of his fingers.

“Promise?” Eggsy shouts back, but doesn't wait for a response. Harry supposes he should feel mildly offended that the lad just assumes Harry is a sure thing, but anticipation eats away at any offence and warms him more than his coffee could ever hope to.

'Later,' however, comes at a rather inconvenient time, when Harry is meandering through the halls towards the train back to the shop and comes across a soaked Eggsy and a shivering, nervous JB.

“Did you forget to strip before showering?” he inquires as Eggsy begins to storm towards him.

Eggsy lets out a humourless laugh and curls JB closer to his body. The pug laps noisily, breathing heavy, at the beads of water gathered in the hollows of Eggsy's neck. “Charlie's a fucking prick,” he spits instead, vehement and furious. “Threw a bucket of water on me an' JB, called me a pleb, and stashed all the pyjamas and bedsheets so that I couldn't change 'em. Swear down, Harry, I'm gonna shoot him right in the cock one of these days.”

He gives a non-committal hum and reaches out to pull the trembling puppy out of Eggsy's damp, chilled arms and into Harry's warmer, dry embrace. “Well, I wish you luck on that excessively violent endeavour, assuming that you're able to find the microscopic phallus in question.” The laugh that shakes out of Eggsy at that is more real, less strained, and some of the ugly tension drains itself out of his shoulders, leaving him merely hunched and shivering. “Come along, then,” Harry says, and holds his hand out for Eggsy to take in his own. “We'll find you a fresh set somewhere.”

Their hands slot together perfectly, Harry notes with no small amount of satisfaction, and pulls Eggsy to his side, wet pyjamas and all. Eggsy comes willingly, and his body curves into Harry's perfectly, too.

JB snuffles into the crisp edge of Harry's collar, and when Eggsy reaches up to pet at his head, his fingers brush against Harry's neck.

Harry leans down and steals a gentle, brushing kiss across his knuckles, and feels that knot of warmth in his chest grow larger, hotter, at the easy crease of Eggsy's smile.

 

ooo

 

The months ease by with a remarkable quickness to the days, and Eggsy's training continues and JB grows (marginally) larger until he's a properly snub-faced and wheezing beast who nearly never leaves Eggsy's side and, quite frankly, adores Harry. Which admittedly makes their private rendezvous a bit difficult, until Eggsy cajoles Roxy into watching over JB while he and Harry take an hour or two every other day to rut each other like adolescents.

Harry learns all of the places on Eggsy's body that make him tremble when they're kissed, that make him arch when they're gripped, and that make him shout when they're bitten. He comes to memorise the exact cadence of breath that means Eggsy is about to come, and the way his own name sounds, bitten-off and wondering, falling from those parted lips. He knows what Eggsy tastes like, from the depths of his mouth to the heavy weight of his cock against Harry's soft palate, from the sweaty crease of thigh and groin to the pure essence of Eggsy that he tastes beneath the faint bitter tang of soap-clean skin when he presses his tongue into his arse.

More importantly, however, Harry learns Eggsy. Not just the enticing clutch of his body, but the marvellous surprise of the depth of his wit. He comes to cherish every anecdote that Eggsy is willing to share about his childhood, and shares the memories he has of Lee in kind, because Eggsy listens hungrily to stories about a man whom he just barely remembers. He very quickly comes to admire the ease and agility Eggsy shows with his firearms and in his hand to hand combat training, old gymnastic abilities unrooting themselves and assisting Eggsy in his ascent to the top of the class. He's second only to Roxy, and by a thin margin of points where she edges past in their NLP training, but he seems chuffed enough.

“Of course Rox is top,” he insists when Harry tells him one evening, chin perched upon his sternum. They're each still breathing more heavily than usual, and covered in a fine sheen of sweat. Harry's hips are aching pleasantly, thighs trembling from how tightly they'd been clutched about Eggsy's waist. “She's fuckin' aces.”

Harry runs the flat of his palm up the dip in Eggsy's spine, coming to a rest between his shoulder blades and rubbing back and forth in the manner he knows Eggsy finds soothing. “You're quite remarkable yourself,” he tells him honestly, and Eggsy goes predictably and delectably red. He laments both his age and the already too-sensitive arse that's just received a very thorough buggering, because Eggsy is nigh on irresistible. The body is willing, but the flesh was weak, and so on. “You really must stop selling yourself short, Eggsy, or you'll never truly be aware of your own potential.”

“Yeah, well,” Eggsy deflects, leaning up for a kiss. “That's what I got you for, innit?”

“I mean it, darling,” Harry says, accepting the kiss regardless of its attempt at distraction. “I have the utmost faith in you. I've no doubt you'll be a Kingsman yet.”

Eggsy just sighs and lowers his head until his ear is pressed against the thrum of Harry's heart beneath his ribcage. “I s'pose.”

A few weeks later, Harry takes it upon himself to steal Eggsy away from the dormitories for a private dinner in his office in the hopes of properly celebrating both the 99% he'd been awarded on his written examination, but also the top marks he'd received in his sniping training, completely blowing Charlie and Roxy out of the water. The intent alone is worth the way Eggsy's face transforms when he saunters into Harry's office, falling from his usual subtle smirk into something soft and surprised, nearly bashful, when he takes in the covered dishes and the lit candles.

“What's this, then?” he asks, running his fingers along the fine linen tablecloth, touching lightly at the silverware. He peers up at Harry, and that unsure quirk to his brow just won't do. Harry presses in and burnishes a sweet kiss to the apple of his cheek.

“Consider it a congratulations, of sorts,” he advises, crossing behind Eggsy to pull out his chair. He waits until the boy is settled, seat nudging forward, and moves to his own place across from Eggsy with one last sweep of his fingers over the line of his shoulders. Before he takes a seat, he removes the coverings from the food, revealing the meal to Eggsy's eyes.

A luscious cut of filet mignon, cooked to Eggsy's preference and topped with an exquisite bearnaise sauce; a small pile of sautéed asparagus, tossed on a skillet with olive oil and finely minced garlic; a healthy portion of potatoes dauphinoise, creamy and fragrant. There's a bottle of champagne next to the table, chilling in an ice bucket, and Harry reaches for it with a smile at the gobsmacked look of gratitude on Eggsy's face. He tucks a napkin carefully around the top and twists at the wire until the cork pops safely into the constraints of the cloth, liquid fizzing gently in the neck of the bottle. He pours Eggsy half a flute, unsure of how he feels about the sparkling wine, and does the same for himself. Once the bottle is back in the bucket, Harry raises his glass for a toast.

“To you, Eggsy,” he offers, “for a job bloody well done.”

Eggsy scoffs and shakes his head, but clinks their flutes together all the same. When he takes a cautious sip, nose wrinkling as the carbonation flickers at his nostrils, he looks at Harry with an expression of pleased surprise. “That ain't half bad,” he says, and takes another sip before setting the glass down and holding his hand out across the small table, palm up.

Harry slips his hand into Eggsy's and smiles into his champagne when the younger man traces circles into the delicate skin of his wrist.

“No one's ever done nothin' like this for me before,” Eggsy says, voice pitched low and soft. He stares at Harry with those gorgeously peridot eyes, gone limpid with an emotion Harry's never seen them hold prior to this moment. He feels smile dim a bit, thoughtful. “No one's ever treated me as good as you, Harry.”

“A grave oversight on their part.” Harry sets down his glass and squeezes Eggsy's hand before withdrawing so that he can unfurl his napkin and spread it out across his lap. “And it's certainly my pleasure to remedy such a misfortune.”

“But why?” Eggsy presses, dropping his hand into his lap. Harry can perfectly envision the nervous knot he's twining his fingers into, out of sight and below the table.

“Well, for starters,” Harry begins, picking up his cutlery and motioning for Eggsy to do the same. “There's the matter of your test scores, which were better than I could have ever hoped for, I'm a bit ashamed to admit. A-stars all around, in fact, very impressive. Merlin was quite eager to point out that you scored higher on your written examination than even I did, back in my day.” He watches the corners of Eggsy's mouth dip in happy surprise, eyebrows going up his forehead and eyes crinkling. He curls those lovely, strong hands around his knife and fork and carves a careful, small section of beef from the main cut. Harry pauses in his own ministrations to watch, gratified when Eggsy lets out a low, involuntary moan.

“There's also the matter,” he continues, slicing off a thin and delicate portion of steak and dabbing it into the excess juices, “of my rather selfish desire to share a private moment with you that doesn't involve the removal of clothing and a tryst in a single sized bed, wonderful as those times may be.” He takes a moment to chew and swallow the portion of meat, then adds, “It's just that you look particularly lovely by candlelight.”

Eggsy ducks his head and grumbles. “Come off it, bruv. Y'ain't gotta butter me up, Harry, I'm a sure thing, yeah?” He sips again at his champagne.

Harry inhales slowly through his nose, praying for patience. He sets down his cutlery with regret, having only indulged in the single bite, and wipes at his mouth with his napkin before pushing back his chair and standing. He takes the few, small steps to Eggsy's side, and then sinks down to his knees.

“Put down your fork,” he commands, wishing to wrap his fingers over Eggsy's left hand. Eggsy does, and so Harry does, and it's a lovely clasp of skin of which he'll never tire. Harry runs his thumb in a line over the knobby protrusion of knuckles and looks into Eggsy's eyes, dead on, from his place crouched on the floor.

“When I say you're lovely by the candlelight,” he begins, allowing his eyes to trace along the curve of Eggsy's cheek where the shadows jump and flicker. “It isn't because I'm trying to...'butter you up.' It's because I think you're lovely. At all times, in fact, but more so in particular moments. Such as when you're across from me, warm and enjoying dinner. Or when you're at the firing range and you change your clip with an ease and grace that still escapes a few agents. Or when you're studying with Roxy, and she says something that makes you laugh so hard your head tilts back.” Eggsy sets down his knife, as well, and leans over the arm of his chair so that he can smooth the backs of his fingers down Harry's temple and the edge of his cheek, then runs them beneath the cut of his jaw. Harry leans into the whispering touch, relishing the extra contact. “I find you perfectly wonderful when you aren't even nearby, Eggsy, because you are wonderful. Exemplary, even. And to be completely frank, I'm honoured that it's my company you choose to grace most nights.”

He turns Eggsy's hand over and kisses at the fat of his palm, then curls the lad's fingers shut, as if to keep the press of Harry's lips trapped inside.

“You soppy shit,” Eggsy breathes through his watery, beaming grin. “How many fuckin' rom-coms you watched before you got that down, huh?”

“Too many,” Harry confides drily, and slowly levers himself out of the crouch so that he can lean in and lick his way into Eggsy's mouth. He tastes of champagne, and Harry chases the flavour of it across every inch of his tongue.

“Now then,” he murmurs when he pulls away, body humming with satisfaction. “Shall we continue our meal, or do you require more convincing of your own desirability?”

Eggsy pushes him away, playful, a flush high on his cheeks and the glint in his eye pleased. “I'm starved, me,” he declares. “Fuck off and let me eat this fancy dinner, else I'm gonna end up blowing you under the table.”

“That's a terrible incentive,” Harry notes, settling back into his chair. “Though I suppose, either way, you won't be leaving on an empty stomach.”

Eggsy laughs just as he bites into a spear of asparagus, eyes still sparkling and warm. The steeled toe of his boot nudges at the inside of Harry's Oxford beneath the table, and he presses back. They spend the next half hour slowly finishing their meals and the bottle of champagne. The conversation flows between them, natural and never stilted, the pauses always comfortable instead of awkward. Once their plates have been emptied, their chairs seem to gravitate together until their knees knock together and Eggsy's half in Harry's lap, leaning up and in to run his fingers through the wave of his hair. They are, rather absurdly, discussing the reality and semantics of having an invisible car, when a familiar and heavy-handed knock sounds at the door.

Eggsy jolts and begins to withdraw, but Harry keeps him close with a hand clasped around his inner thigh. “Merlin,” he reassures, then louder and toward the direction of his office door, “Come in.”

The door ekes open and Merlin's bald head peers around slowly, as if he's afraid one of them is going to have their trousers round their ankles. Which, considering the hilarious number of times that he's walked in on the two of them sharing a passionate moment, is a reasonable concern for him to have. He looks relieved at their full state of dress, but still vaguely nauseated when he takes in the intimacy of their body language and the melting candles, burnt halfway down and puddling wax in the holders.

“Eggsy,” he greets, standing in the doorway with his hands clasped around his clipboard. “Sorry to interrupt, but I need a moment alone with Harry.”

Harry feels more than sees Eggsy's sigh and the way he starts to retract himself from Harry's personal space, and he tightens his grip in kind. “Nonsense,” he refutes, “Let the boy stay. He may learn a thing or two.”

Merlin's jaw clenches a bit in the way that means he wants to argue, but isn't in the mood. Harry sits up a bit straighter, but doesn't distance himself from Eggsy in the slightest. Merlin walks up to the large, ornamental mirror that's perched above his fireplace, and depresses a protruding knot in the frame. The screen flickers to life, Kingsman 'K' rotating round until Merlin taps quickly on his clipboard and brings up a video.

“It may interest you to know,” he says without looking up, fingers still flying over his tablet, “that Bors woke up two hours ago, long enough to provide us with the password for his personal transmission feed. This,” he gestures towards the mirror with his stylus, “is what we were able to pull from his glasses.” He raps his stylus against the clipboard, and the video begins to play.

Eggsy flinches when Bors strikes Professor Arnold across the face, swearing invectives about how his colleague died in an attempt to rescue him, and jerks back even further when the thin tissue of Arnold's neck flares bright and red just before his skull explodes, scattering brain matter over the lenses. “Fuckin' hell,” he gags, and Harry silently agrees. “He blew up his head? Bit much, innit?”

“Something tells me that Bors didn't do anything of the sort,” Harry says, patting Eggsy's knee in reassurance, lest he believe that decapitation by explosives is a Kingsman standard. Too messy, clearly. Harry's much more fond of poisons, personally.

“Harry's right,” Merlin says, and rewinds to zoom in on Professor Arnold's neck just before the explosion occurred. There's a bright fissure sprawling across his neck and jaw, like his veins are made of fire. At the centre of the sprawling, spidery weave of them, there's a small section in the shape of a square that's a hot, bright colour. “There was some sort of device, beneath this scar on his neck, that killed the professor and released some sort of toxin that was responsible for keeping Jon under as long as he was. Fortunately, we were able to get a trace on its signal. Unfortunately, we traced it all the way back to the Valentine Corporation, one of the most heavily protected software companies in the world.”

Eggsy sucks in air from between his teeth, calling Merlin and Harry's attention back to him. “Richmond Valentine's going 'round blowing up heads? Bit not good, bruv. And just this morning I were thinking he's a proper genius, too.”

Harry shifts a little further towards Eggsy, curious. Merlin is far less patient, eyebrows jolting up his forehead and hands gesturing for him to come out with it already. Eggsy's brows come together as he glances between the two of them, confused. “What...you ain't seen the news?” he asks, and when they both shake their head with varying levels of exasperation, the look on his face transforms into something pleased. He makes a motion towards Merlin's tablet, eyebrows cocked in question, and when Merlin hesitates, fingers curling around the edges, Harry rolls his eyes and snatches the clipboard out of his hands. He places it into Eggsy's outstretched palm and gets a small, grateful smile for his trouble.

Eggsy's fingers fly over the clipboard and pull up a video on the mirror's screen. Richmond Valentine paces across a stage, addressing an audience, and Harry feels a growing knot of dread as the man details his plans to release free sim cards to everyone, everywhere, in an effort to revolutionise the technological world. He's charismatic, approachable, and it makes him seem all the more dangerous in Harry's eyes. People will trust this man easily, implicitly, happy to jump at the opportunity for the free luxury he's offering to them while he brutally kills a man out of their sight.

“Y'see?” Eggsy presses, pausing the video as Valentine begins to stride off stage. Merlin snatches it back as soon as it becomes apparent Eggsy is finished with the tablet. “He's going 'round, blowing up people, and handing out billions of free sims? Something don't feel right.”

“I agree,” Harry mutters, and pulls the newly reclaimed clipboard back out of Merlin's hands. The Scot crosses his arms over his chest, petulant, and scowls at Harry and then towards the mirror. Harry flicks at the image, zooming in and enhancing until the neck of Valentine's assistant comes into focus.

A scar, thin and slivered, cuts a pink line behind her jaw. Merlin's hands fall to his hips and he and Harry share a significant look. “You may have a point about these sim cards, Eggsy,” Harry says, and hands the board back over to Merlin with care and a nod of thanks.

“I'll be sure to inform Bors and Arthur.” Merlin presses the disguised switch for the mirror again, and the screen flickers off, the surface becoming reflective once more. “In the meantime, I'll let the two of you get back to playing footsie until curfew. Which,” he says with a pointed, stern look towards Eggsy, “is in an hour and a half. Don't let this one be a bad influence, Eggsy. He'd be late for his own bloody funeral.”

“I'm not late,” Harry sniffs. “I merely build anticipation for my presence.”

“You're merely a wanker, is what you are,” Merlin tosses back over his shoulder as he moves towards the door. “Remember, Eggsy, an hour and a half. If you're so much as a minute over, I'm confining you to the dormitories for a week.” He gives their indignant faces a nod, smirk growing on his own. “Gentlemen,” he bids in a goodbye, and then the door clicks shut behind him.

“Twat,” Harry notes affectionately, then turns his body fully into Eggsy's, one hand curving back over the top of his thigh and the other slipping along his neck. He draws their faces together and kisses Eggsy's top lip between both of his own, then does the same with the pout of his bottom lip. “An hour and a half,” he muses, then dips back down for an open-mouthed kiss, Eggsy's tongue slipping into his mouth. He drops his hand from his neck down to his hip and pulls, dragging Eggsy out of his chair and into Harry's lap. “Whatever shall we do in that amount of time?”

Eggsy grins into the next kiss, body shifting until he's straddling Harry in the antique chair. “I can think of summat,” he says, and undulates his hips down, grinding them together. 

Harry inhales sharply through his nose and slips his hands around Eggsy's waist. “You see?” he tells him, pulling their groins more sharply together. He whispers the praise into Eggsy's cheek:“Remarkable.”