Eggsy's phone is buzzing again, but he's comfortably squashed up on the sofa bed with Roxy and the dogs -- JB on their laps, Churchill being a footrest, since the bed part is pulled out -- and it's all the way over by his keys and glasses. They're off duty for the night anyway, old pajamas and all, watching the Bake-Off with bowls of popcorn and beer.
"Bet you it's Arthur," says Roxy, cuddling deeper into her quilt. "Bet you -- two loads of dishes."
Eggsy thinks about it for a minute. "No bet," he says finally. "Yours would be ringing too if it was something he was calling about as Arthur."
"Hmm," says Roxy, conceding the point.
The contestant on the show talks about the difficulty she had with the fondant. Eggsy chews his way through another mouthful of popcorn. JB snort-snores and Churchill's left hind leg twitches a bit, as if he's chasing ducks in his sleep.
Eggsy's phone stops buzzing, almost resentfully, and then the text chime goes off.
"Do you ever worry about it?" says Roxy, watching as another contestant almost bursts into tears, while the judge comforts him.
"About what?" says Eggsy.
"Well, he's a bit older than you," says Roxy, with the understatement that had reduced Hamilton, from the American branch, to hysterics. "And he's technically your boss. And he's a bit mad, isn't he?"
Eggsy just stares at her. "Did you just say we aren't?"
"Well, that's fair," says Roxy. She looks at the telly again. "No -- don't--"
Both of them groan as the fondant flops over the cake and rips in half.
Eggsy and Roxy share a tiny apartment just outside a trendy area of London: there's barely enough room to stand in the living room together without knocking elbows against the walls, and the bedrooms fit a bed each and a narrow dresser and Eggsy, for one, had more closet space living with his mum in the council estates. His mum doesn't quite understand why he doesn't live with her and Daisy more than he does, but he can't very well go back home with bruises and stitches.
Harry had made it very obvious, without actually saying anything, that Eggsy could pack up his things and move to his, but the single shred of sanity that Eggsy clings to is making him dig in his heels.
For one thing, if he lived with Harry there would be no cozy nights using the dogs as pillows and watching cooking shows while eating crisps and dressed in disgusting pajama bottoms and paper thin shirts. Harry does not own a telly. Harry owns a laptop that he sometimes streams BBC or watches pirated classic movies on, but he does it at his desk. Mostly though Harry reads books, real books, and listens to a baffling mix of classical music and really fucking old school punk.
For another, as Roxy had pointed out, just imagine how beastly Harry would be if he got everything his own way.
It's not so bad, is it, this new life.
Eggsy wakes up in Kingsman Medical -- which is not, contrary to what Harry tried to tell him and Merlin pretended to agree -- actually codenamed Avalon. It's just Medical, run a bit like the NHS if the NHS was properly funded and the nurses all had paratrooper qualifications. The lead doctor is called Morgaine, though, in a bit of cosmic irony: she's very nice, a dumpy middle aged woman with the ability to glare even Harry Hart back into bed muttering meekly he just wanted a tablet so he could catch up on his shows.
Eggy sat and laughed he entire time, too, a low mean chuckle.
"She's just angry that I didn't join Avalon," said Harry, without his tablet and with a horrendous pout on his face. He looks handsome even with half his face wrapped in bandages and dressed in a hospital gown and pink fluffy robe (from Merlin, who hadn't forgiven him yet).
Eggsy remembers saying, "Bruv, if you think that's why she's angry, I got another load of bad news for you."
Now, though, he's the one lying in the bed. When he turns his head Harry is sitting in the armchair beside him, flicking through his tablet with an almost convincing look of unconcern. His jaw is a little tighter than it should be, is all, his muscles a little too tense, like he's waiting to find out what he can beat the shit out of. It's ridiculous how much Eggsy loves him, all of a sudden, all over again: Eggsy hurts with it and his injuries all over, all at once.
He fumbles out his hand with the least amount of lines in it, reaches over the vast exhausting distance between him and Harry, and manages to touch Harry's sleeve. Harry's eyes snap over, and he drops any pretense at looking at the tablet. "Eggsy," he says.
"You look tired," Eggsy says -- whispers, actually. Must have got his throat somehow. Come to think of it, there might have been an explosion involved. Can't remember. Too much of the good stuff in his system, too much worry about how Harry is lifting his hand to his mouth and putting his lips to the curve of Eggsy's palm.
"I'm fine," lies Harry instantly. "I'll just go for a kip after I get Morgaine."
Eggsy thinks about calling him a liar but he's too tired. And it's nice, isn't it, lying here with Harry holding Eggsy's hand to his face, like he's too fond of it to let it go.
It's good. Eggsy falls asleep like that, as Harry lowers his hand down but keeps it, twining their fingers together and rubbing the side of Eggsy's hand absently.
"That," says Merlin, looking at Eggsy like if he had any hair left to tear he would be tearing it out and in lieu of tearing his own hair out, he was willing to consider tearing Eggsy's out instead, "that, my lad, was the stupidest thing you could have done."
"I got the mission done, didn't I!" says Eggsy as indignant as he can be, considering his state. Everything bloody well hurts, especially when Nimue makes an irritated noise at him and wrenches something in his leg. Eggsy yelps. Something clicks. Everything suddenly hurt much, much less.
Merlin waves that aside impatiently. "The mission is fine, I don't give a hell about the mission, but why did you let Harry Hart sit at your bedside, you fucking idiot?"
"Shit," says Eggsy.
"He was drugged," says Nimue. "And it's all very well to blame him, when you're the one with the access codes, sir."
Merlin opens his mouth, closes it again, and makes a face like he can't be bothered to argue with Nimue -- which meant she's right. "He's insufferable now," he says. "Absolutely out of his mind."
Eggsy just stares at him, because it had taken Eggsy about three seconds to realize that about Harry, and Merlin had known him for at least thirty years.
"More so than usual," corrects Merlin.
"If he thinks he's going to keep me away from missions," begins Eggsy.
"Worse," says Merlin, "he's talking to your mum."
"What," says Eggsy.
Michelle and Harry have an uneasy sort of truce based mostly on neither of them wanting Eggsy to get angry at them for not getting along, and also because Harry is terrifyingly fond of Daisy, fortunately not in a weird way, even though he does things like agree without hesitation to have tea parties and in fact bought a tea set with kittens on it. Eggsy has failed to ask where he got the tea that he pours for Daisy, reasoning that if he knew he would probably end up drinking himself senseless again.
Even so, Michelle is more than eighty percent convinced Harry is going to kidnap Eggsy and probably sexually devour him somehow, which is a fair cop, to be honest. Harry likes to pretend to be a normal human being but he is extremely poor at it.
Anyway the point is that Eggsy is swearing and limping and swearing and hobbling his way as fast as he can across Avalon, praying Harry hasn't said something terrible to his mum or that his mum hasn't aimed a richly deserved slap at Harry's face and --
"I'd hurry up," shouts Roxy, holding the Tube door open. "It's fine, only I think your mum is going to smash the good teapot on his head and he'd probably get a short."
"Why the fuck did they think it was a good idea to give him a cyborg eye," says Eggsy.
"Mum!" says Eggsy, brightly as if he's just coming down the shop from the sewing rooms instead limping in, obviously beat all to hell, and more or less being supported by Roxy.
His mum looks him up and down and then turns and looks at Harry, who is sensible enough to take three smart steps back.
His mum points at Harry with a shaking finger. "He lets you get into trouble like that," she says, "and I suppose you want me to invite him for dinner!"
"God forbid," says Eggsy reflexively, and Harry glares at him.
Roxy and Eggsy let Harry watch the next episode of the bake off with them, because Eggsy's mum hadn't half let him have it. He sits in the corner of the couch, with JB spread out on his lap and Eggsy's, and he only aggressively nuzzles Eggsy's ear during the commercials. In honor of the occasion, he has broken out a pair of scrubs and a RAMC tee shirt under a cashmere cardigan.
He even brought cupcakes, fancy ones, that match the theme of the day on the show.
"Suppose I'll keep you," says Eggsy.
"Thank you," says Harry, quite gravely, and Eggsy hides a smile.