They take the high rise balcony at a run, Harry first and then Eggsy half a step behind him. Eggsy drops his arm back to let off a shot at their pursuers without looking, more for the sake of confusion than anything else. An answering bullet sings past him and clangs hard off the railing as he jumps up, balances for one precarious second, and then flings himself over.
For a moment all he knows is the free fall. They're ten stories up and he hasn't exactly got a plan for what to do next. But Harry had jumped, so of course Eggsy was going to follow him.
His body takes over automatically, ducking into a roll, and he lands on the roof of the next building over with no more than a slight thump. He twists around into a crouch, ready to carry on the fight against anyone who comes after, but a quick glance tells him neither of their pursuers has been bold enough to follow; both men skid to a stop against the railing, one of them heaving out an uncomfortable 'oof' noise that's audible even nearly a story below. The other one raises his gun to take another shot, and Eggsy has just lifted a hand to cover his face with the bulletproof arm of his suit when—
The roof of the high rise bulges briefly upwards, then begins to crumple in on itself. The two men on the balcony stagger, then cling to the railing as the whole side of the building slides sideways and down. An immense cloud of dust mushrooms up from below, and a moment later the two men are lost from sight entirely.
Eggsy gapes for a second, then lowers his arm a little and looks over at Harry, who is watching the building's destruction with a smug, satisfied expression on his face. When the rumbling finally begins to die down, Harry turns to him.
"I said pursuit wouldn't be a problem, didn't I?" he says mildly.
Eggsy cracks up. "Yeah, bruv, you did," he says. "You sure told 'em." Harry doesn't seem even vaguely worried about blowing up a ten story building, but then again, it was only half-finished and owned by a Spanish mafioso to boot, so fuck it.
Harry's smirk eases into a smile. He puts down a hand to help Eggsy up – a hand he certainly doesn't need, thanks, but it's the kind of thing that Harry keeps doing, like it makes him feel he's being gentlemanly or something. Eggsy takes it, setting his palm against Harry's warm, slightly dusty one, and—
Oh, fuck me, Eggsy thinks. I am attracted to Harry Hart.
He's always known that Harry was attractive, of course he has. But there is a difference between knowing it with his head and knowing with with his bones and his fingertips and his cock. A difference between knowing it and feeling it.
And right now he is definitely feeling it.
"Are you quite all right?" Harry says, and Eggsy realizes that he is staring, that he's made no move to get up or do anything useful or even anything except look at Harry Hart's stupid, gorgeous face.
"Yeah," he says, scrambling to his feet. "I mean, yeah. Fine." He dusts himself off, perhaps a bit more briskly than is strictly necessary. "Shall we go?"
It's Merlin who says it first, or at least says it first in Eggsy's hearing. He and Harry are halfway up the side of a mountain in the Alps – seriously, what is even up with megalomaniacs and mountain lairs? – and for the past hour, the conversation has consisted almost entirely of things like:
″Yeah, yeah, here.″
″You're going to have to—″
″Lift up on the left, yes, I see it.″
″Please tell me you brought the— ah, brilliant.″
When they reach three quarters of the way up, they pause in unspoken agreement on a rough outcrop that might possibly be called a ledge, if someone were feeling generous. Or if the lack of oxygen had gone to their brain.
″Since you've stopped moving, I'm guessing this might be a good time to check in,″ Merlin says over the radio.
Eggsy can't see Harry's eyes behind his goggles, but he can make a good guess at how energetically they're rolling just about now.
″If you must,″ Harry says. ″What do you want?″
″Oh, mainly to know why you've stopped moving,″ Merlin says.
Harry cocks his head to one side, and both he and Eggsy lift two fingers up in front of their goggles.
Merlin sighs. "Arthur, please stop teaching Galahad all your bad habits. The world doesn't need two of you."
"The world should be so lucky," Harry says.
″Ha,″ Merlin says. ″Look, do you actually need me for the rest of this? Or should I go and put the kettle on?″
″I might need you if we have a pressing sarcasm deficit,″ Harry says. ″Which will be, oh, precisely never.″ He's shifting his weight, though, which tells Eggsy that their brief rest is probably over. It's just as well – if they don't move soon, he might actually freeze his arse onto this rock, which would be a tiny bit inconvenient.
"C'mon, then," Eggsy says. "Let's hurry up and get up there so we can set fire to something."
Spoiler: Eggsy is not fine. He is not even in the same post code as fine, actually. He is in Spain (well, in the air above Spain, anyway) and 'fine' is in fucking Australia, that's how far from fine he is.
The flight home is basically agony. Harry carries on as usual, chattering on (he'd never have called it that, of course, but Eggsy had been taken to enough of his mum's friends' houses for tea as a child to recognize chattering when he heard it) about old missions to far-flung places, about feats of his own derring-do that he may or may not want Eggsy to reenact. On a normal day Eggsy would have sat there drinking it all in, maybe giving some cheek whenever he thought Harry was getting a bit too pleased with himself.
Now, though, all he can think about is the crisp edge of Harry's collar and the way it occasionally touches Harry's neck, just there, just where he'd like to put his mouth (lips first, softly, and then tongue, and then teeth). Or that one curl on the right side of Harry's face above his right ear that doesn't stay tidy anymore (not since Kentucky), the one that looks like it'd be soft if Eggsy caught it between his finger and thumb. Or the long stretch of Harry's legs, his muscles strong under Eggsy's palms but maybe trembling a little as he kisses his way up the inside of one thigh—
"Are you feeling all right, Eggsy?" Harry says, and Eggsy jerks back to himself just in time to realize he has been staring again. Still.
"Fine," he says. The word has lost all meaning by this point, but it'll do for the purposes of hopefully not making a tremendous arse of himself.
"You look a bit flushed," Harry says. He leans over and puts his hand to Eggsy's forehead, and Eggsy nearly does himself an injury jumping to his feet.
"Really fine," he says hoarsely. "Just… need a slash." The crudeness works as intended – distracting Harry with something he can disapprove of is always a good strategy – and Eggsy escapes to the jet's impossibly posh toilet so that he can put his head in his hands and remember when it had all started to go horribly wrong.
It's Bors next, a couple of days after they get back from the Alps. Harry had brought Eggsy along to a meeting of some of Kingsman's financial backers and so he's in his best suit and best accent, still mostly on his best behavior while they walk back through the base. As they come around a corner, they almost collide with Bors and Kay coming the other way.
"I do beg your pardon," Harry says, dodging nimbly to one side.
Eggsy tries the same maneuver but doesn't manage to be as smooth about it, and he ends up ramming his shoulder into Harry's just a little bit. "Pardon," he echoes politely, and then winces internally when he sees the smirk slide onto Bors' face.
"It really is remarkable, Kay," says Bors, in his best maliciously-offhand manner. "Do you know, I sometimes wonder which of these two is Edgar and which is Charlie." It takes Eggsy a moment to place the reference; when it dawns, he nearly laughs.
"That is absolutely—" Harry starts, but Eggsy reaches back out of sight and touches a quick fingertip to the jut of his elbow, one of the signals they've developed, and Harry lets him cut in.
"—the poshest put down I've ever been on the receiving end of," Eggsy finishes. He trades in the proper talk for an exaggerated version of his normal accent – if Bors wants a chav, he can have one. "Jesus fuck, Bors, were you born with that silver spoon stuck up your arse or did someone 'ave to come along and stick it up there 'specially?" He can hear Harry stifle a laugh into a cough.
"What comparison should I have used, then?" Bors says, all disdain. "Something earthier, I presume." Kay is beginning to look vaguely uncomfortable at this, but he doesn't actually move to interrupt.
"Well, I'd'a said Harry and Sooty, myself," Eggsy says, gesturing between Harry and himself. "Or were you going for classic double acts? Fry and Laurie would've been choice in that case."
His finger traces a circle on Harry's arm, once, and Harry slips back into the conversation. "Perhaps the two Ronnies?" he suggests.
"Or," Eggsy says, tapping with his thumb, "you could've gone with good old Gred—"
"—and Forge Weasley," Harry finishes, just as Eggsy had known he would. They'd watched Order of the Phoenix only two nights ago.
"At your service, gentlemen," Eggsy says, tipping an imaginary hat at Bors' gobsmacked expression. In unison the two of them about face and stroll jauntily off in the other direction. Eggsy manages to hold off until they're around the corner and out of earshot (probably) before he bursts into laughter.
"Did you see— his face?" he gasps out.
"That was magnificent," Harry agrees. He's smirking. "Honestly, I don't know what he was more shocked by, the comeback, or the fact that you understood his reference in the first place."
The comment sobers Eggsy a little. "That was you, back when we first met," he says, and then, when Harry looks blank, "Or don't you remember Pretty Woman and My Fair Lady?"
He half expects Harry to bristle at the reminder, to get irritated at any suggestion he might have behaved in a less than gentlemanly manner. But when recognition dawns on Harry's face, all he says is, "True enough. I'm glad to know you better now. Though I'd like to think I wasn't quite that much of an ass, even back then."
Eggsy finds himself taken a little aback by the easiness of the reply. It isn't that he wants Harry to get angry, not exactly. In fact, he's not sure why he'd even brought it up at all, really, except that it had rolled off his tongue like it had been sitting there for months, just waiting for some opportune moment. He wrestles with what to say next, and in the end he just shrugs and slaps Harry on the back. "Nah," he says. "You were only about half as much of a twat as Bors." And then, "But I know how you can make it up to me."
"How?" Harry says, warily.
"You can start by buying me a nice bottle of beer," Eggsy says, popping the consonants. Harry's answering laugh warms him right through.
After a while Eggsy manages to get control of himself, and he slumps back out of the bathroom. Harry eyes him over the top of the newspaper, but he seems to sense that Eggsy doesn't want to talk, so they spend the rest of the trip home in silence. Eggsy plays Candy Crush on his tablet and tries not to look over too often, lest he catch sight of some terribly attractive part of Harry's body (which, let's face it, is every part of Harry's body), or start thinking too much about whether Harry really knows what's going on in his mind just at the moment.
When they get home, Merlin's debrief is mercifully short ("Have you got what I asked for?" "Yep, here." "Lovely. You can piss off now."). Eggsy makes an excuse about a text from his mum and escapes as soon as he can.
Being at his mum's place helps some; when Daisy's clamoring for his attention and JB's slobbering all over his feet it's hard to think about anything else. But eventually she's in bed, sacked out clutching a disturbingly large-eyed doll; JB has progressed to drooling on the carpet in front of the window. Eggsy's drunk all the tea he can possibly drink and then another cup on top of that, and his mum's starting to look like she'd rather be in bed, too, actually. Which means Eggsy has to actually go home to his own flat.
It suddenly seems very empty, in a way that it hadn't before. It's not that he's never here, but he splits his free time between his mum's house and Harry's, more often than not. He tends to end up coming back here just to sleep between missions, or as a base for a night out with Ryan and Jamal. He keeps his clothes here, and the basics in terms of food, but the décor is just remnants of his old life, comforting in their own way but a bit alien, now. Whereas the guest room at Harry's is plush, luxurious, in a way that Eggsy could never manage for himself. Probably because he still hasn't managed to believe that he deserves it.
But Harry obviously does, or he wouldn't keep inviting Eggsy round for movie nights, wouldn't keep making up the guest bed and pressing him to stay over rather than walk the four blocks home.
Stop thinking about Harry, Eggsy chastises himself.
But it's Roxy who really drives the point home.
"Aw, you should'a seen him, Rox," Eggsy says, leaning his head back against the back of their usual booth in the King's Head. He's feeling pretty good right about now, the result of coming off a successful mission plus a solid nap on the plane and now the application of several pints of beer. "There was, like, six of them thugs and Harry just took 'em out, wham. He even did that sick move he showed us in training, y'know, the one with the hands on the table and the kicking." He makes a sideways twirling gesture.
"You know you don't have to keep talking him up to me, right?" Roxy says. "I like your boyfriend just already."
"What?" Eggsy says, sitting abruptly upright. "Roxy, no, we ain't like that."
She raises an eyebrow at him. "Then why do you always go on about how wonderful he is?"
"Because he just is!" Eggsy says. "You can't tell me you don't think he's cool."
"Eggsy, you let him pick out your clothes."
"Just the suits! Because he knows shit about suits!"
"And you talk like him," Roxy says. Eggsy wants to object to that, but she carries on without letting him get a word in. "You do. And you do your hair like him, all slicked up and— you should really consider easing up on the gel, you know. Sorry, sorry, I didn't want to say that but I've been holding it in for months now, and—"
"Right, right, sorry. Look, my point is, you're crazy about him, whether you realize it or not."
Eggsy opens his mouth, then shuts it again. Because the thing is…
Being like Harry – it had been a defense mechanism at first, when he was heading into Valentine's lair trying to save the world with nothing but a handful of gadgets and an irritated Scotsman in his ear. He had put Harry on, mannerisms and melodramatics and all, just like he'd put on the suit.
And then after, when they found Harry in one of those cells, bloodied and bruised but still breathing, it had been a sort of superstitious tribute, as if he could take whatever shit the universe wanted to put on Harry and put it on himself instead. As if he could keep Harry alive by being some sort of cosmic decoy.
By the time Harry woke it was habit for Eggsy to ask himself, ″What would Harry do now?″ It made it easy for the two of them to work together – their mission success rate was fantastic. And so he'd just carried on, because it was easier to do it than not, these days. The fact that it sometimes made Harry get that proud little smile on his face didn't hurt, either.
"It ain't like that," he says finally, circling one finger around the rim of his glass. "Yeah, of course I fucking look up to him. Of course he's, y'know, the person I want to be like. You know what he did for me." Roxy nods. "But that don't have to mean I want to fuck him. Or that I'm… crazy about him, or whatever."
Roxy raises an eyebrow.
"Just think about it," she says. "While you're in— where are you going next?"
"Spain," Eggsy mutters. "Leaving tomorrow."
"Think about it while you're in Spain," Roxy says gently. "All right?"
"All right," Eggsy says, and privately resolves to not think about it again ever.
The conversation comes back to him in excruciating detail now, as he stares up at the ceiling of his bedroom in the dark.
Christ, what a fucking idiot he'd been not to have seen this coming. When had it even happened? Because it hadn't started there, with that hand clasp on the roof. It hadn't started the night before, when they'd gone for dinner at a little tapas place Harry knew, where the chef called him by name and kissed him on both cheeks, and he'd made Eggsy taste plate after plate of tiny, lush food. It hadn't started with any of those comments from Merlin or Bors or Roxy, or from the first time he and Harry had run a mission together, sharp, seamless, as easy as breathing. It hadn't even started from the moment, ten days after they'd brought Harry back from Valentine's lair, when he'd opened his eyes and groaned and said, "Ah, Eggsy. Kindly remind me to never do that again.″
No, it had been from before that, back to that first conversation in The Black Prince when Harry had seen something in him worth saving, back to when they first met outside a shithole police station, with Harry posing himself against the wall, umbrella and crossed ankles and all, just to look cool for some punk he didn't even know.
Yeah, in retrospect? It'd probably been then.
The ceiling of the bedroom mysteriously doesn't contain any actual answers to his problems, but he still lies there staring at it for a good long while before he manages to fall asleep.
He sulks and pretends to be busy and subsists entirely on shit takeout for nearly two days before Merlin calls him in.
Harry is there, of course he bloody is, but thankfully Merlin is all business and Eggsy can get away with just a cheeky wink as he slides into a chair and readies himself for a briefing that, like most of Merlin's briefings, can be boiled down to 'this is a picture of [the head of a terrorist group/a mafia boss/a mad scientist/just some rich asshole, choose as appropriate]' and '[he has a thing we need him to not have/he really needs to die/etc.]'
In today's briefing, the role of 'just some rich asshole' is apparently being filled by Stephan Caron, third son of a minor alcohol dynasty, and the role of 'thing he needs to not have' is being filled by a bottle containing roughly a pint of something called E647. Which is a mind control drug.
Brilliant, Eggsy thinks. Just what the world needs.
This, at least, is something he can actually do something about.
Six hours after the briefing he's in a villa on the outskirts of Paris, on his knees on the ugly green and gilt carpet, using one of Merlin's handy gadgets to crack a safe.
It had proved easy enough – in the briefing, on the jet with the building plans and security schedules spread out on the table between them, on their silent sneak through the opulent gardens and over-decorated hallways – to forget about his stupid thing for Harry. Easy enough to fall into the rhythm of plan, act, react, to focus on getting the job done.
So why is it that now, in the middle of the fiddliest part of the whole business, suddenly the only thing he can think about is Harry, sitting on his haunches six inches to Eggsy's left? It's not like Harry's even doing anything, not really, other than watching the door and the window. But somehow him just sitting there is enough to draw Eggsy to him like a planet orbiting the sun.
″Sometime tonight, Galahad,″ Harry says, with a touch of humor in his voice, and Eggsy startles back to himself with the realization that he has zoned out thinking about Harry. Again.
″What's your hurry?″ he says, automatically. ″Got a hot date or somethin'?″ What the hell am I saying? he thinks, but it's too late, the words have already come out.
″I was planning to take you to this little place I discovered back in the seventies,″ Harry says. Is it Eggsy's imagination, or had he hesitated just slightly before replying? ″It's got the most wonderful coq au vin.″
″Oh, well,″ Eggsy says, scrambling to recover. ″If that's the kind of thing you had in mind. It's just, you know, I was really having such a nice time hangin' out here, just you and me and twenty thousand quid worth of ugly carpet.″ He takes a firmer grip on the safe cracking device and slides it to the right, trying to remember where he was in the pattern. Really the device is doing all the work – all he has to do is let it get a good ultrasound of the inside of the safe.
″Far be it for me to suspend any pleasure of yours,″ Harry says, and he's obviously smiling now – Eggsy can tell that much without even looking over.
The radio in his ear relays Merlin's sigh. ″Can you two cut out the old married couple act and get on with it?″ he says. Eggsy feels more than sees Harry go still beside him, and he knows – somehow he just knows – that this is it. This is Harry's moment of realization.
Ah, shit, he thinks. He doesn't dare turn to look – partly because he doesn't want to look away from the device and partly because he doesn't think he wants to see Harry's face just now. Instead he slides the thing up and drawls, ″What's the matter, Merls? Upset you didn't get an invite to the wedding?″
Merlin snorts. ″If you two ever really do get married, I'll have to organize the wedding myself, most likely.″
″I hope you'll at least ask my opinion on the color scheme,″ Eggsy says. He pauses instinctively, waiting for Harry to chime in, but after a beat of silence he says, ″I mean, I was thinking yellow. Maybe a lil bit of bling.″
″Were you? Well, I am surprised,″ Merlin says, sarcastically.
Luckily, the safe cracking device whirs and hums and the lock clicks open before the conversation can go any further. Eggsy tucks the device into his pocket and swings the safe door open. ″Right, what am I looking for again?″
Harry leans past him and snatches up a bottle from the top shelf. ″This one,″ he says. ″Let's go.″
Eggsy bites the inside of his cheek and says nothing, but as Harry turns away he gives himself half a second to stare into the safe and mouth 'oh, fuck my life' at its contents. Then he grabs a diamond necklace and stuffs it down the front of his shirt, because hey, if you're already burgling a billionaire you might as well do the thing right.
″And put that back,″ Harry says, without looking up from the specially padded case where he's securing the bottle.
Eggsy makes a face at him, but after a moment he shoves the necklace back into the safe and follows Harry out the window.
They pick their way back across the garden, hugging the ivy-draped walls for cover. At one point, Eggsy catches sight of a guard – Harry isn't looking, so Eggsy grabs him by the arm and swings him back into the corner formed by two walls where the ivy is heaviest, letting it drape down over their faces.
″Egg—″ Harry starts, but Eggsy reaches up in the dark and clamps a hand over his mouth.
He leans up and murmurs in Harry's ear. ″Guard.″ Harry goes still, and Eggsy suddenly realizes just how his action might have been misinterpreted. He can feel the heat coming off of Harry, soaking into him where their skin is pressed together. It's not the first time they've been this close – working together has meant they've been crammed together under desks and in closets and behind filing cabinets any number of times. But that was all… before.
For a moment, he lets himself pretend this really is some romantic encounter, some hurried, laughing tryst in a garden. Maybe they'd've been at a party, maybe a little bit tipsy as they stole out into the night (a little too cool for the party to spill outside, like tonight, but warm enough if they were wrapped around each other). Maybe his mouth would be at Harry's ear, like now, but pressing soft kisses to his earlobe and the curve of his jaw instead of just conveying information. Maybe Harry's hands would slide down his back, tugging him impossibly closer, cupping the curve of his arse and digging in, fingertip by fingertip.
The guard passes. Eggsy drops his hand from Harry's mouth. After a moment Harry pushes aside the hanging ivy and steps out; by the time Eggsy's eyes adjust to the moonlight, Harry's already turned away so that Eggsy can't see his face.
They go back to the hotel without speaking. Even Merlin is silent; Eggsy doesn't know whether it's because he can sense the tension or he's sick of them or both, but he's grateful for it. In the room, Harry sets the padded bag carefully on the desk, then looks at Eggsy for the first time in nearly an hour. ″About that dinner,″ he says gamely.
Eggsy briefly considers making him actually do it, just out of sheer bloody-mindedness, but he's too tired to face a couple of hours of awkward small talk. ″I'm beat,″ he says instead. ″Rain check?″
″Certainly,″ Harry says. It's gracious, almost easy – but he ruins it by snatching up his bag and disappearing into the bathroom to change, instead of just stripping off casually like he normally does.
Eggsy blows out a breath.
It had been bad enough, thinking about it but knowing that Harry wasn't thinking about it. Knowing that Harry thought of him as a friend, a colleague, and nothing more. But it was worse, somehow, to be thinking about it and knowing that Harry was also thinking about it. Knowing that Harry could actually decide once and for all whether he wanted it, instead of being safely oblivious and thus leaving the question open.
The sound of the faucet in the bathroom turns on. There is a click in Eggsy's ear, signaling that Merlin has switched over to just his own channel. ″Eggsy?″ he says.
″Leave it, will ya?″ Eggsy says. He swipes a hand over his face. ″We got the bottle. I'll sort out the rest of it.″ He has no idea how, but he'll think of something. Just not now, not when it all still feels a bit raw. ″I'll sort it out in the morning.″
In the morning things are no better. They fly home in awkward silence, interrupted only for pleasantries of breakfast and tea. Once, they reach for the milk at the same time and their fingers brush; Harry jerks away like he's been burned.
Eggsy tries to focus on filling out all the bullshit paperwork that Merlin insists is necessary, but periodically his eyes drift sideways, helplessly, to Harry's wrists where they poke out from the rolled up sleeves of his cardigan, or his crossed legs, or the way he bites his bottom lip when he's concentrating. Half the time he finds that Harry is watching him, too, and then they both hurriedly look away, blushing.
By the fourth time it happens, an idea is growing in the back of Eggsy's mind. Because there are certain things Eggsy knows about Harry – that he is absolutely gooey about dogs no matter how he tries to hide it, that he is picky as fuck about how to make a martini (but he doesn't want it the way James Bond does it, oh hell no), that he puts out a full formal place setting at the table for breakfast whenever Eggsy stays over and has been known to deliver a lecture about silver polishing at the drop of a hat. Quite aside from all of that, one of those things that Eggsy knows is what Harry looks like when he's freaking out.
This is Harry freaking out.
And it surprises Eggsy, to be quite honest. Yeah, he can buy that Harry might have been surprised by the idea that people think there's something between them. He can buy that Harry might have had to reconsider the dynamic of how they interact. But for Harry's unease to hang on this long – it could mean (he wants it to mean) that there's something more to it. It could mean (maybe, possibly, hopefully) that Harry wants Eggsy, too.
Back at base, they drop off the bottle with the science team and ride the bullet train into the city. There's a cab waiting at the shop and they slide into the back together. All of this is routine, habit (why have two cabs when Eggsy's place is only a few blocks from Harry's, and when half the time he's going to Harry's anyway?) but it takes on a new, weighty significance today. How many times had they done this, and Eggsy had thought nothing of it? It would be so easy to weave their lives together, if Harry wants it.
The trouble is, for once Eggsy really doesn't know what Harry wants. Harry's hand is resting on the seat between them; Eggsy keeps flicking his eyes down to it, thinking about putting his own hand on top of it and curling his fingers into the little hollow space beneath, but he doesn't quite dare.
The cab pulls up in front of Harry's house. Eggsy hesitates for a moment, then follows him up the walk before he can talk himself out of it. They'll have to talk about this sometime, won't they? Might as well get it over with. Harry unlocks the door, holds it open for Eggsy to come in behind him, and something settles bright and warm in Eggsy's chest. No matter how awkward things are, no matter what else happens, Harry wants him here. It's enough to make him brave.
He follows Harry into the hall, locks the door behind him. Then into the sitting room – Harry sets his briefcase and umbrella down on the side table. When he turns, Eggsy can see that some of the lines in his face have eased, just from being home.
Eggsy steps in close, puts a hand on Harry's elbow. Then he leans up and presses their mouths together in a soft, swift kiss.
Harry stiffens, sucks in a sharp breath, takes a stumbling half step back until he hits the bookcase. Eggsy braces himself for disappointment, for a gentlemanly let down. But Harry doesn't push him away. Instead one hand comes up, curling at the nape of Eggsy's neck but softly, as if it isn't sure of its welcome. Eggsy takes his chance and crowds in close again, lets the gentle touch of that hand gather him in. He sets his palms to the edge of the bookshelf on either side of Harry's hips.
"My dear boy," Harry says roughly. "My dear, dear boy."
Eggsy tips his head down so that his forehead rests against Harry's shoulder. "If you want," he says. He presses a kiss to the bit of Harry's chest that's closest to his mouth. He can feel the warmth of Harry's skin even through the fabric of his shirt. When Eggsy looks up again he can see that Harry's cheeks have gone pink; it's desperately attractive, and he can't resist leaning up to kiss Harry again, just once more, even if that's all he ever gets.
The stiffness goes out of Harry's body all at once, and then he's kissing Eggsy back, a bit shakily but no less intense for that. Harry's tongue darts out to touch at Eggsy's lips, then away again, shy, and Eggsy has to chase him. It's not like anything he'd expected – Harry is trembling a little, and his thumb is brushing slow circles on the back of Eggsy's neck – but it's good. It's really good.
Eggsy kisses the corner of Harry's mouth, his cheek, his jawline. Then Harry tips his head back with a sigh and Eggsy kisses the long curve of his neck, warm and flushed red. "Oh," Harry says, and then, "oh, oh goodness," and Eggsy's cock twitches in his trousers. He's barely half hard but that won't last long, not if Harry's going to keep making noises like that.
Harry's hand lifts away from the back of Eggsy's neck but it's only to fumble off his glasses and drop them blindly down on the side table next to the umbrella. Then it's back, sliding up into Eggsy's hair. Eggsy shudders, licks a long stripe up Harry's neck to keep from rutting himself against Harry's thigh right here and now. He grips the edge of the bookshelf even more tightly, kisses his way back up to Harry's ear just where it had been the night before, kisses the lobe, catches it between his teeth and tugs gently. Harry gasps and the hand on Eggsy's waist clutches at him, fingertips digging in. Eggsy tugs on his ear again, sucks it into his mouth and laves it with his tongue until Harry groans, long and low.
"Harry." He lets his breath brush over damp skin, hesitating while he figures out what he wants to do next. If this were anybody else he'd be on his knees already, would be all 'let me show you some prime skills, yeah bruv?' and unbuckling and unzipping and getting his mouth to cock as soon as he fucking could, but this isn't anybody else. This is Harry. "You like this?" Eggsy says finally.
"Yes," Harry groans, and then, "F— fuck." He turns his head, catches Eggsy's mouth with his own, and all of Eggsy's good intentions just melt in the face of that bare, honest desire. Before Eggsy quite realizes what he's doing he's crowded Harry back against the bookcase, pressed a knee between Harry's thighs and muscled in close. He kisses Harry's mouth open, plunders him, tastes every fucking inch of him, slick and heated. Harry makes little helpless broken sounds in the back of his throat with each gasped breath, kissing Eggsy back with sloppy fervor. He's getting hard against Eggsy's thigh, the length of him thick and promising.
"Tell me what you want," Eggsy says, tearing his mouth from Harry's to let the words come spilling out, all in a rush. His hands have gone to Harry's waist, spreading broad and possessive over his hips. The cardigan is soft against his palms, and he can feel the taut stretch of Harry's muscles beneath it. "Lemme give it to you."
"I—" Harry says. His eyes are heavy-lidded with desire, pupils blown wide and dark beneath. "I— Eggsy—"
Eggsy rocks their hips together, a slow grind that leaves them both gasping. "I could take you upstairs," he says. "Could take them clothes off nice and slow. Could put my hands on you, put my mouth on you. Could open myself up nice and slow with my fingers, let you slide right in if you fancy that sort o' thing."
He'd offer the other way, too, because he likes it just as much, but the sharp intake of breath he gets tells him Harry very much does fancy that sort of thing.
"Oh Harry love, I'd be so good for you," Eggsy promises. He kisses the corner of Harry's mouth again, open-mouthed and as sweet as he can make it. "That what you want?"
"Fuck," Harry says, the word no more than a breath. He closes his eyes, and if Eggsy didn't know already how far gone he was on Harry Hart he'd know it now, just by the way he wants to kiss Harry's pretty eyelids. When Harry opens his eyes again, they're fastened on Eggsy's face like it holds the secrets of the universe. "Yes," he says. "Please."
Oh, fucking Jesus, Eggsy thinks.
He tugs Harry up the stairs, their progress uneven as they stop to kiss practically every third step, Harry's mouth opening wet and wanting to the press of Eggsy's tongue and the scrape of his teeth. In the bedroom he presses Harry back against the wall and kisses him again, cupping one hand beneath Harry's jaw and angling their mouths together just so. His other hand begins unfastening the buttons of the cardigan and then the shirt underneath, slipping each one through its buttonhole as quickly as he can manage before he moves on to the next. Harry's hands are clinging to Eggsy's biceps, fingers digging hard into fabric and skin as they kiss and kiss again.
Eggsy gets the last of the buttons undone and parts the two halves of the shirt, setting his palm to skin. "Fuck, you look incredible," he says, breaking the kiss to lean back and let himself just look for a long moment. The flush has spread down Harry's chest, all mottled pink over cream. "Jesus, Harry." Harry's been through so much, fights and assassination attempts and comas and shots to the head, and yet none of that has done anything but hone him into a weapon, sleek and strong and beautiful.
It makes it all the sweeter that Harry isn't treating this like he'd treat a honeypot mission. Instead he's let his guard down, has let himself be nothing more or less than flesh and blood. He's giving Eggsy something raw and real here, and Eggsy's determined to show Harry just how much he treasures it.
He slips the shirt and cardigan over Harry's shoulders and down, dropping them to puddle at Harry's feet. "You're gorgeous," Eggsy says. He slides his hands across the newly-bared skin, teasing a nipple gently at first and then harder when Harry groans and tips his head back against the wall.
"Eggsy," Harry breathes, and then, low and carefully precise, "May I see you?"
It's the first thing Harry's actually asked for, and Eggsy nearly injures himself with how hard he goes at that thought. "Yeah," he says. "Fuck yeah, Harry, you can definitely have that."
He steps back just far enough that he can tug his shirt off over his head, abandoning it vaguely in the direction of the closet. Harry's eyes are locked with gratifying intensity on his bare chest, so Eggsy slides a hand down over himself, scraping his fingernails across his skin and arching his back a little in a practiced show-off move he's used a time or two before. Harry makes a strained noise, his hands flexing against the wallpaper. Eggsy thumbs open the button of his trousers but doesn't take them off, not yet, cupping his hand over the bulge where his cock strains against the fabric.
"You can have," he says, punctuating the words with a squeeze that leaves him half breathless, "anything you want."
Harry jerks his eyes up. "How could I possibly endeavor to deserve you?" he says, voice cracked, and Oh, hey, fucking none of that, Eggsy thinks, dropping his pose to get his arms around Harry's neck and press their foreheads together.
"All you ever got to do was ask," he says. "Harry, you got to know what you done for me."
"It's a far cry from gratitude to wanting some broken old man who didn't even realize how much he wanted—"
"Shut up," Eggsy says. He grabs Harry's left hand, tugs it down between them and curls it over his cock, still hard and aching. "You think this ain't real? You think I don't know the difference between respecting someone and wanting to get their cock in my mouth? Merlin's the fucking govnor but it sure as fuck ain't him I want here. It's just you, Harry."
Harry's eyes flutter shut.
"It's just you," Eggsy says again, more softly. ″And anyway, it ain't like I wasn't a bit blind to the obvious, too, for almost as long as you. But I'm here now. I know what I want.″
"Eggsy," Harry says, and then, with a huff that's almost a laugh, "Do you know, it's really quite difficult to remember all my sensible objections when I've got your cock in my hand."
"Sure you don't mean it's really hard?" Eggsy says, his best cheekiness, and is rewarded for it when Harry's laugh is loud and genuine this time.
"Indeed," Harry says. He opens his eyes, deep brown and beautiful, and Eggsy feels the bob of his throat as he swallows. "Are you quite sure?"
Something fierce and glad rises in Eggsy's chest. "Yeah, Harry," he says, holding Harry's gaze. "I'm fuckin' sure."
A beat, and then Harry surges into him like a spring uncoiling, like all the weeks and months of unfulfilled potential between them is loosing itself all at once. They tumble down together onto the bed, kissing open-mouthed and sloppy. Harry's hand is still trapped between them and he rubs at Eggsy's cock until Eggsy is groaning and shuddering, pushing up into the touch. It doesn't take long – Harry's apparently as good at half-clothed hand jobs as he is at everything else – and eventually Eggsy has to roll them both sideways, get a little distance between them so that he doesn't just come in his pants like a teenager.
It takes the two of them working together to get them both naked, kicking shoes and trousers and pants off the side of the bed all into a heap. Harry's got a nice-looking cock, thick and solid. Eggsy's mouth goes dry.
″Have you got some—″
″Yes.″ Harry turns over and scrabbles in the drawer of the bedside table; Eggsy takes the opportunity to slide his hands up the backs of Harry's thighs and over the curve of his arse. God, he's gorgeous; Eggsy wants to put his mouth there, too, let his nose press into the hollow beneath each muscled arse cheek so he can smell Harry's musk and sweat. But Harry is turning back already, with a condom and a little tube of lubricant in his hand.
Next time, Eggsy thinks. He reaches for the lube, but Harry closes his fingers around it in one swift gesture.
″You wouldn't deny me the pleasure, would you?″ he says, sliding one finger over Eggsy's left thigh in unmistakable implication. Eggsy flushes.
″Knock yourself out,″ he says. None of his previous boyfriends have ever actually wanted to do this, though he shouldn't be surprised that Harry does, gentleman and sensualist as he is. ″How d'you want me?″
″Any way I can get you,″ Harry says, but he manhandles Eggsy up onto hands and knees above him, legs spread to either side of Harry's hips. ″Lovely.″ Harry's hands go from Eggsy's hips to his thighs and then back, until his fingertips just brush against his hole. Eggsy finds himself quivering, though he isn't sure whether it's because of the touch or the word. No one's ever been so careful of him during sex, ever treated him like he was something precious. No one's ever called him lovely.
"H-Harry," he stutters, breathy and desperate. Harry strokes him softly, teasing around the rim in soft circles until Eggsy is properly trembling. After a while he slicks his fingers, only to go back and do it all again, still teasing but wetter now, softer. Eggsy is dripping precome down onto Harry's stomach; his cock practically aches, he's so hard. If this were anyone else he'd probably let his head hang down, close his eyes. But Harry's eyes are locked onto his face and Eggsy doesn't want to – can't – look away.
At last Harry presses a finger into him, slowly, working him open bit by bit. Eggsy bites his lip and groans and tries not to come; he probably could, just from this. Harry murmurs praise to him, calls him gorgeous and sweet, tells him he's doing so well as he adds another finger.
″Please—″ Eggsy chokes out, ″please, Harry, c'mon, 'm ready—″
Harry's other hand strokes over his side, soothing. ″Are you sure?″
″Yeah, fuck, please.″ He fumbles for the condom and manages to get it out of the wrapper (abandoning that off the side of the bed as well), then rolls it down over Harry's cock in one smooth movement.
″Eggsy—″ It's almost a moan. Harry's cheeks are properly red now, feverish, and his hair is tousled by the pillow, sticking up every which way, especially that curl above his right ear. Eggsy wants to just fucking wreck him, make him forget how to talk or think, make him forget his own name. He curls one hand around Harry's cock, holds him steady so that he can sink down and take him in.
"Shit," Harry says, the final consonant clipped short between his teeth. His hands go to Eggsy's hips, clutching him hard. ″Eggsy. Are you—″
Eggsy's chest is heaving as he sucks in great gasps of breath. ″Yeah,″ he manages. ″Yeah. Harry—″ He grinds himself down a little further, getting Harry nice and deep. ″God. You feel— so bloody good.″ He hitches up a little and slides down again, slowly at first and then faster, beginning to fuck himself on Harry's cock in earnest when he finds the right angle so it hits his prostate with every thrust. ″You all right?″
″Never better,″ Harry says, with a little gasping laugh. His hands stroke over Eggsy's thighs, his chest, his face. ″Darling,″ he says, and emotion bubbles up in Eggsy's throat. He turns his cheek into Harry's palm, suddenly overwhelmed.
Harry grips him fiercely for a moment, then curls his arm around Eggsy's back and rolls them over so that he's on top. Eggsy sputters, but Harry leans down and kisses him, hard, and somehow it's just what he needs, letting Harry take the lead. He gives himself up to it, wraps his legs around Harry's waist and hangs on. At this angle Harry's thrusts are a little shallower, but it's just as good – maybe better, because he can enjoy it without feeling like he's going to fly apart any second.
For a while they don't speak, though it's nothing like the awkward silences of the morning and the previous night. Instead it's Harry kissing his mouth, his throat, sucking bruises into the skin. It's Eggsy with one hand cupped to the back of Harry's neck to pull him closer. It's Harry gasping when Eggsy clenches hard around him, Eggsy groaning when Harry shoves into him hard and sharp. It's the two of them moving together, in unison, as easy as anything they've ever done.
Eventually Harry reaches between them, curls a hand around Eggsy's cock and starts to stroke him, and after that it doesn't take long. They come together, or as near as makes no difference; Eggsy keeps his eyes on Harry's face the whole time, and thinks it's probably the best fucking thing he's ever seen.
Afterwards Eggsy curls himself up against Harry's side and draws idle patterns in the sweat still beading Harry's chest. They probably ought to talk about what happens next, what this will mean for work and the future. But he doesn't think it'll be hard to figure it all out – they've been partners for months now, in almost all the ways that matter. They'll work this out, too.
He presses a soft kiss to Harry's shoulder. Harry hums and turns his face into Eggsy's hair. Neither of them says a word.