"I was not expecting this," Matt says. His face is buried in a pillow while he lies face first on Arthur's bed. His voice muffled and there's a seriousness to his tone that has Karen look up from pulling off her boots - because she's lovely and does things like take her shoes off before crawling into Arthur's bed (unlike some) - and she laughs.
Karen rocks backward from the edge of the bed so she's lounging across Matt's back while little giggles make her chest jump.
Her cheeks are pink when she chokes out, "I was not expecting this!"
Her hands make mocking jazz fingers before she clasps them over her chest, body still shaking with laughter. Matt just grumbles beneath her, wiggling his lower body and dragging another of Arthur's pillows into his clutches.
"You've been to Comic-Con before. The only one of us that ought to be shocked is me," Arthur says.
He's still standing by the door to his hotel room, wrapping the complimentary robe tighter about him while he eyes the state of his occupied bed. Matt has his loafers on beneath the sheets and Karen is shimmying her bra off from beneath her dress, having slid off Matt's back and into the space between him and the wall.
There's some room on the bed, if Arthur shoves aside his co-stars' snaking, octopus limbs. He wants to get back to sleep; he'd shuffled off to bed while these two went gallivanting off into the night life of San Diego, promising he wouldn't open his door for them when they came stumbling in after midnight. He had, though, and Matt had maneuvered his way through the doorway and Arthur's body by performing a sort of interpretive dance number with his gangly limbs. Karen had just given Arthur a kiss and pushed him out of the way.
"I wasn't talking about the convention."
"We know," Karen replies, kissing the back of Matt's neck before stretching her arms above her head and sinking into a comfortable position to sleep.
Arthur stares at them, watching as Matt lifts his hand to tangle his fingers with Karen's, and he silently agrees with Matt. He hadn't predicted any of this either, this them, when his agent had snagged him an audition what feels like ages ago.
After researching the show, which consisted of curling up on his couch to marathon the first two series, Arthur anticipated Rory would go the same way Micky had - quietly pushed out by the Doctor's grandeur. Instead he gained a permanent place, his name in the opening credits, and a sense memory that left him remembering filming the episodes by the perfumes and colognes Karen and Matt were wearing at the time.
Arthur shuffles towards the bed watching the curl of Karen's lips a she watches him sleepily. She crooks the fingers of her free hand lazily.
"Oi," Matt mumbles, lips catching on the pillow case leaving his mouth open. "Come to bed instead of staring like a creepy, staring thing."
"Yeah, you creep," Karen giggles, leaning up to grab at the tie to Arthur's robe and pulling him down, undoing the tie and Arthur's balance in the process. Matt groans when Arthur falls belly first across their bodies.
Arthur is murmuring apologies, trying to push himself up while Matt rolls over beneath him and Karen runs her fingers over Arthur's arms. Matt's fingers are worming between the folds in the robe to pull at Arthur's undershirt. He's squinty-eyed and close enough for Arthur to see the hairs of his eyebrows.
"Why're you wearing this?"
Matt with his blazers and bowler hats gives Arthur a look of mild frustration, like the robe is an affront to his very nature, as he fumbles to disrobe him.
"You're even wearing a shirt and boxers beneath it!" Matt cries aghast, lips down turned in disapproval; Karen presses her cheek to Arthur's and whispers against his skin while Matt mumbles and tries to get Arthur naked.
"Are you becoming a nun on us, hmm?"
"Yes, that's what a robe means," Arthur quips. Then he shivers when Matt's slide over his stomach to rest low beneath his belly button.
"That's not rock-n-roll."
"Yes, exactly! From here on out it is forbidden for members of Karen & the Babes to wear robes!"
"Then so are capes."
Matt pouts, but at least he doesn't remove his hands from Arthur's skin. Karen's giggling again, eyes wet and shining behind her lashes. There's mascara smudged under her eyes and Matt is starting to yawn; his fingers curling in the short hairs beneath his fingers to make Arthur groan.
Burrowing his nose in the available pillow space between their faces, two soft cheeks beside his five o'clock shadow, is normal. An unexpected normal. For Arthur.
Arthur can't help the melancholy he feels with filming for the seventh series wrapped, the Centurion cape hung up (only metaphorically, Arthur knows it's under Matt's bed at his flat because he saw him steal it from set.) Falling into bed like this was easy in Cardiff, his sleepiness on set made out, by Matt, to be because Arthur's a club rat. Arthur doesn't know how it will work now, and it's terrifying. Karen and Matt are bound for stardom and neither are very good at secrecy or keeping their hands off him or each other -
"Shhhh, I can feel you thinking when you should be sleeping," Karen whispers. This close her freckles are even prettier.
"We should be The Rolling Stones instead," Arthur tells them. The hands on him run comforting circles on his skin. "Our farewell tour could be when we're seventy and if none of us die on stage we have another one."
"What are you going on about?" Matt asks, half asleep and his lips brushing Arthur's brow because he turns to address the question to Karen, instinctively.
"I think he wants Karen & the Babes to sell out." She yawns halfway through the statement, trusting them to understand her un-enunciated words.
Matt makes a distressed note in his throat and it makes Arthur want to kiss his bobbing Adam's apple. Fingers curl possessively on his hip and Arthur wiggles in closer, even though he's too warm to sleep.
He lies awake thinking of them being puzzle pieces or peas in a pod, trying to come up with a not-cliche one just for them, with Matt and Karen's limbs tangled with his. They make soft snoring noises and only shift a little bit while they're asleep