For all that they never stop arguing, they never really talk about it.
York isn’t sure how, anyway, and Wash sure as hell doesn’t seem inclined to offer much on the subject. It’s easier to just collapse against each other, afterwards, and mumble half-formed curses into sweat-damp skin, usually with an insult or two about the other’s mother thrown in. York teases him, usually, about how easy it is to get Wash to fall apart for him, to work him up so badly that it’s all Wash can do to throw himself at him only to get pushed right back down on the bed (or the wall, or the desk, or the locker room bench, but that had been a mistake they hadn’t repeated since) and have to fight for breath against York’s lips. He fights back because it’s what he does, never satisfied with the answers he gets, and York’s back is almost always a tapestry of nail marks and bruises from where Wash has latched on.
It’s always a bitch to clean up, afterwards, because Wash never can seem to hold out long enough the first time, and York’s always too interested in seeing just how much he can wind him back up to worry about the inevitable mess, but even in the showers there’s little but grunts and groans as the hot water pours over their sore muscles, and more often than not they end up making a few new bruises while they’re in there just because they can.
It’s a stupid idea to spend too much time together, generally, because all it’s gonna end up with is the both of them in trouble for even considering this in the first place, but sometimes they don’t even bother moving once they’re done, shoving each other around to get comfortable in too-small beds.
They don’t talk about it because there’s nothing to say -- they both know they can’t afford anything more, not in Freelancer, and neither of them are dumb enough to go fucking things up with words when everything they need to convey comes through in the way York cups Wash’s hips with his fingertips and draw him close, the way Wash flops against him on the couch after a long day of training, long limbs sprawling all over him just for the way York grabs his head and musses up his hair. It’s there in every drag of teeth over skin, every kiss York steals from Wash’s lips, and when it comes down to it, it’s all they need.
Sometimes, though-- sometimes, when they fall against each other just for a moment to remember how to breathe, York thinks about letting more than the familiar little murmurs fall past his lips, more than the vestiges of the mindless dirty talk they both indulge in so often, something real, something for them both to hold on to, if only for the moment -- but this is Wash he’s talking about, and no matter how content the man seems to curl up against him and smear lazy kisses over the side of his neck York doesn’t trust him not to bolt for the door in two seconds flat.
So he says nothing, and just listens to the cadence of Wash’s breath, smiling into his shoulder as he hears the other man breathe out a laugh. “God.”
“Just York’s fine, thanks,” he says, and Wash elbows him in the side as much as he can, though it’s a tricky thing when York’s still tight in his arms. He hears Wash curse against him, but York’s hardly even listening, too busy dragging his hands up Wash’s sides to trace the bruises he’s already left. “Nngh. You got any idea how good you feel, man?”
“You might have mentioned it once or twice,” Wash says dryly, and he sinks back into the pillow with a sigh, absently running the side of his foot over York’s calf. “What happened to staying quiet?”
“Not that, dumbass-- though, yeah, you feel pretty damn amazing, if I do say so myself.” York gives him an shit-eating grin just for the way it makes Wash roll his eyes, and he settles on top of him right where he is, not moving one inch. “I mean like this. Think I like you a lot better than these crappy bunks.”
“Yeah, well, you’re heavy, dumbass.” Wash gives him another shove, but he knows York won’t budge an inch until he wants to, and he’s too worn out to care enough to move him himself. “Come on, move.”
“Nope,” York says, and really, it’s not like he can’t take the opening Wash is giving him. He snuggles up right next to him, making a production of dragging the covers over the two of them and curling up close. Really, for all the shit he throws at him, Wash really is a warm, comforting weight beside him, and though York had long made his peace with the sacrifices a life in the military required, he can’t say it’s not nice to have a little piece of that again. “There. Much better.”
“Moron,” Wash huffs, but York’s been listening to his bullshit long enough that he knows what he means by it, and he settles into the warmth of Wash’s body with a little hum, entirely ready to doze off for the couple of hours they have before he has to slip out of Wash’s room and steal back to his own. It’s the kind of peace they’ve never had enough of, and though he knows it won’t last, he sleeps better with Wash than he ever does in the silence of his own room.
York’s just about dozed off entirely when he feels Wash shift beside him, running a warm palm over the marks on his back, and he hears a breath of a sigh slip from Wash’s lips as he draws nearer. “I like you better too.”
They don’t talk about it, and they never have -- York knows that, knows why they don’t, and he’s entirely ready to pretend he didn’t hear it, just to keep up this facade of theirs, but he can’t help the snort he lets out, one that shifts into a yelp as Wash elbows him again.
“Shut up--” Wash hisses, before York has the chance to say a word, and he doesn’t bother-- he just drags the other man in for a wet, sloppy kiss, laughing at every mumbled protest Wash tries to get out against him. “If you say one-- mmph-- word--”
“Who, me?” York laughs and tugs Wash under the covers with him, hands sliding over warm skin and familiar scars. “I got nothin’ to say, man. Not a thing.”