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It's the middle of the night, and Scott is keeping his hands occupied playing with a cheap drugstore ring while watching a Wakandan infomercial selling what he’s only mostly sure is some kind of coffee centrifuge. He's seen those in American infomercials, but, to be fair, this one's prettier and, more importantly, appears to make various drinks that are not coffee. It definitely doubles as a blender, and now he's waiting with baited breath to see if it can do juice too.

Scott watches as the host stuffs a bright red fruit he's never seen before in his life into the coffee maker/blender/juicer (?), and wonders what the hell it is. The only description he can think of is, 'like dragonfruit, but hardcore'.

There's an explanation for why Scott's curled up on a sinfully expensive sofa in the wee hours of the morning, watching an infomercial, and not all of it has to do with the fact that he had one hell of a nightmare. (Shrinking smaller and smaller until he's nothing, Cassie's screams ringing in his ears, but he's helpless, always. Scott Lang, failure. He could probably put that on his resume: Scott Lang, M.A., Failure. At least he'd be honest for once.)

Scott is trying to learn Xhosa, and though he wishes he had slightly better vehicles for language-learning than Wakandan newscasts (depressing as all news is everywhere, barring the fluff pieces), soap operas (usually historical dramas that may or may not be wildly inaccurate), and infomercials, he's learning something, and hey, at least he's trying to make the best of his sleepless, lonely nights. Of course, right now, none of that actually matters, because this particular infomercial is not in Xhosa, but in what Scott is 99.9% sure is Swahili, so he's kind of useless. 

Scott's always been pretty good at picking up languages. He learned Spanish because most of his neighbors were Latino, Italian because he worked in an Italian restaurant growing up (because the owner felt bad for his undernourished ass and was probably trying to keep him from a life of crime, which—it was a good effort), ASL because he fell in love with a Deaf girl in college and then kept hanging out with her and her friends after their amicable breakup, and bits and pieces of several other languages because he was around them and is really good at mimicry; but even he can't manage to parse Swahili when it took him twenty minutes to realize that the infomercial salesperson was even speaking it as opposed to a dialect of Xhosa that he didn't recognize. He's kind of disappointed in himself. 

Scott's really unhappy with, just, his life in general right now, if it wasn't obvious. It might not have been.

"Tic Tac?" Someone/the only person who calls him that says.

Scott jumps about a mile out of his skin. He is relatively sure it counts as an out of body experience. He turns around to look at Sam, who is leaning on the beautifully shiny counter of the kitchen island, and gasps out, "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Warn a guy."

Honestly, Scott is baffled at himself for not noticing Sam come in, warning or no. Scott's been awesome at knowing his surroundings since he was a small child hiding from Brent, but people keep getting the jump on him lately. Fucking superheroes. 

"Did you just swear by saying 'Jesus, Mary, and Joseph'?" Sam asks, because apparently that's what he's going to focus on.

"My uncle's wife was some flavor of Christian and she used to say that all the time. It just found its way into my vocabulary, okay? And I have a kid, Sam," Scott points out, discreetly slipping the drugstore ring into his pocket. "I don't swear as much as I used to."

"I've heard you swear."

"Well, yeah, the clean language thing is residual. I can swear, it's not like Cassie's here," Scott says with a bitterness that surprises even him. He usually tries to be a lot more happy-go-lucky in front of other people. 

He guesses it's different with Sam. 

Sam's special. Scott's known Sam from the beginning, so he’s the one Scott talked to most and got info from before he could get up the courage to actually have meaningful conversations with the other fugitives, who were hella intimidating at the time; even Wanda, who's literally over twenty years younger than Scott, not that he'll ever admit that. Sam, on the other hand, lost most of his intimidation factor when Scott beat him up. The others hadn't, because back then they were superheroes. They have by now, though, obviously, because now they’re…well, they’re still superheroes, but he’s on a first name basis with them, has seen them in pajamas, and has seen them cry.

Every single one. 

It's not that any of the others are big criers, it's just that people confide in Scott, and a lot of the time they get to a breaking point.

It’s not a confiding in a close friend kind of thing, because Scott would say he’s friends with all the people living with him, but not close to any of them except for Sam. It’s more of a confiding in a Rabbi kind of thing.

Scott’s just the kind of guy people open up to, and he's been that guy since he was a literal child. It’s not against his will. He hates other people’s pain, and he hates it when things aren’t okay, so whenever he gets a chance to make things better, he jumps at it. When there’s conflict, Scott gets anxious, and he wants to fix it. When people are unhappy, Scott gets guilty, and he has to make them feel better. (When things get difficult, Scott runs, or hides, or both.) 

Scott digresses. Scott always digresses. Anyway, Sam. 

Sam’s amazing. He’s the quintessential superhero. Pararescue to social worker to the Falcon. More than that, he’s funny and caring and kind even if he’s not always nice. He and Scott tease each other, but it’s never cruel, and Sam is always trying to keep everything in order and everyone reasonably alive, even if he and Bucky do have that intense(ly stupid) frenemies thing going on. 

Still, Scott has to thank Bucky, though only in his head, because it was when he came out of the ice that Sam started spending more and more time with Scott. 

Scott knows that it’s silly and childish to be grateful for that—haha, he likes me better and he and Steve have been growing apart, how great for me—but he was lonely, he and Sam had already hit it off even after their disastrous(ly awesome) first meeting, and when Sam suddenly asked Scott if he wanted to take a walk with him, Scott finally had someone again.

Scott likes people, and he hates being alone. It's hard, being here, because he is alone a lot of the time. He’s the odd one out. 

Except when he’s with Sam.

Things are comfortable between them. Scott even lets Sam touch him, though he usually hates being touched, and Sam listens to him talk, lets him babble about every topic under the sun. Sam’s not really a chatty guy, but Scott will take sometimes-stony silences over people leaving the room when he speaks any day. 

He and Sam take walks together, and they spar, and they watch movies. Sam still has everybody else more than Scott will ever have them, but he doesn’t mind. He has Sam, and he'll always tell himself that Sam is enough. Sometimes he'll even believe it.

No matter what, Sam’s enough to the point where sometimes Scott hears "Lovesong" play in his head when he's around, like a leitmotif for their nonexistent relationship, which is so pathetic it's funny. 

But right now Scott’s just feeling vaguely grumpy and tired and sad, and unfortunately for Sam, he's the only person Scott can fully relax around and here, so who can blame him for being a little more loose-lipped than usual?

…But definitely not loose-lipped enough to confide in Sam or anyone ever about his kid. So, to keep Sam from running with the topic of the daughter Scott loves more than anyone else in the world and has abandoned yet again, Scott says, in his best imitation of Wakandan patter, impaired by his halting Xhosa, "Did you know you can buy stupid thing for the low, low price of money?"

Sam raises his eyebrows at Scott. He makes it look elegant, even in an honest-to-God pajama set (it's plaid too, what a nerd) and while casually leaning against the front of a counter. "Are...are you learning...Swahili from infomercials?"

"Xhosa, actually," Scott replies. 

"You know that's in—”

"Yes, I know it's in Swahili," Scott says, vaguely irritated by the fact that he's pretty sure that everyone thinks he's kind of stupid. Is it the social awkwardness and the spaciness? It's the social awkwardness and the spaciness, isn't it? Scott's usually better than this. "I just stumbled on an infomercial in a language that isn't Xhosa and I—” couldn't find the energy to change the channel “—thought it was interesting. I'm pretty sure this makes coffee, smoothies, and juice. Plus it's one of those centrifuge things that doesn't ever spill. Isn't physics great?"

Sam smiles at Scott with the air of a guy who wants to be cool but is too amused to keep up the act. make me feel like I am fun again...

Shut up, Scott thinks at The Cure. 

Sam's smile disappears and is replaced by a probing look as he takes in Scott's appearance.

Scott would like to think he's being checked out, but:

1) He's sitting on a couch, contorted so that he can see Sam, and thus it's mostly his face that's visible, and his face is nothing special.

2) Sam is Sam, Scott is Scott, and thus Scott really needs to kick this whole infatuation deal, because he kissed adolescence goodbye a depressingly long time ago and shouldn't be nursing a hopeless crush on a guy ten years younger than him, even if that guy is hot and cool and smart and snarky and fun and...

Sam asks, "So, any reason why you're not in bed?"

"You're not in bed either."

"I had a nightmare," Sam says easily. "Your turn."

(Another adjective to describe Sam Wilson: brave.) 

Scott shoots Sam an exaggerated frown. "I never agreed to commiseration."

Sam snorts. "You're all about commiseration, don't lie."

Scott doesn't point out that he himself never talks about his problems. He's been with Sam some nights when Sam's been tired and out of it and sad, sitting at the kitchen table in the dark, whispering insecurities Scott had to strain to hear, but Sam's never been with it enough to inquire about why Scott's awake too.

This time he is, though, and because it's Sam and it’s also fuck o’ clock at night and Scott doesn’t give a damn anymore, he admits, "I had a nightmare too." Then he adds, "But it's not like everyone don't--doesn't have nightmares, so…”

Sam smiles sadly. "Just because it happens to everyone doesn't mean it doesn't matter when it happens to you."

Scott huffs. "Yeah, serenade me with the world's smallest violin, will ya? I ain't been through shit compared to all of you." 

"A rough childhood, mental issues, a life of crime, prison, superheroing, and going on the run ain't shit?" 

Scott looks up at Sam in surprise, stomach dropping. "How do you know that?"

"You're not the only perceptive person here, y'know. You hoard food, which makes me think you've spent time without much of it, you put everyone else before yourself because you don't like dealing with your own problems, you get freaked out when people fight because a part of you still thinks someone's gonna get hit, you're an orphan who grew up with a mom and no dad, you've always been anxious, you're hyperaware as hell, driving that guy’s car into his pool was not the product of a sound mind, and the rest you knew I knew."

"And you grew up in a nice family until you lost your dad young and your mom when you were an adult. Then you spent ten years as one of the toughest guys in the Air Force, saving lives in war zones; but you couldn't save everyone, including your closest battle buddy, and it's still killing you, especially since seeing Rhodes fall out of the sky. You've seen violence civilians can't imagine and you went into superheroing a little because you fell a tiny bit in love with Captain America but mostly because you were relieved that you could be saving lives and under constant threat again, 'cause it's what you're best at and you're still not used to civilian life, and social work? Man, you were over that before you even started." 

It's Sam's turn to look surprised. "Damn. You sure you didn't read my psych eval?"

"What psych eval?"

"Yeah, thought so. You could be one of those phony psychics, man." 

"You too. Actually, you’d probably be better than me, because you told me a bunch of the stuff I just threw back at you.” Scott pauses after pointing this out, and then admits, "I was, actually. A fake psychic, I mean.”

Sam's eyes widen and his jaw drops. "No way!"

"For a few months when I was nineteen and needed the extra money. Eventually I moved on to street magic." 

"That's wild, man."

"It really was." 

"You've had some life, haven't you?"

Scott smiles and hopes it doesn't come out sad. "I really have. A lot has happened." He sighs. "Sometimes it feels like enough."

Scott freezes and his eyes widen. Shit. He didn't mean to say that. That sounded so bad, he didn't mean to say that. He twists himself back around so that he's sitting on the couch like a normal person, facing forward. There’s a new infomercial on, and this one is in Xhosa. Scott never did find out if that thing was also a juicer.

He inhales, but all he manages is a shallow gasp. Oh, fuck. He doesn't want this to happen. He's been having more panic attacks and crying jags than usual, but no one's ever seen. He's been careful. Everyone’s cried in front of him, but he hasn’t cried in front of anyone, or even really freaked out, and he’s not giving up that winning streak, because he likes winning. He takes a few seconds to try to center himself, and then drags in a deep breath. This time, he manages it. Crisis averted, he thinks a little desperately as he takes another one.

Sam comes to sit next to him. They're shoulder to shoulder, and Sam feels warm and safe. Scott wants to lean into him, but doesn't. 

"Should I be worried?" Sam asks in a gentle near-whisper.

"Nah," Scott says honestly. "Just being maudlin. I'm not gonna..." He pauses. "Y'know."

"Okay," Sam replies, and Scott is grateful that he believes him. Not that many people believe him, not anymore. At least, they think they don't. He's a good enough liar that, even though people know he is one, he still gets away with twisting and fabricating the truth.

"I'm just..." Scott trails off helplessly. "Sometimes I don't even know. My brain’s always on overdrive and keeping up…it’s hard. I think about the people I left behind—about Cassie—and I can't believe myself. I made this decision on impulse, because it was the right thing to do, but it was a shitty choice in a lot of ways."

Sam is silent next to him, but Scott can feel that it's because he knows it's his turn to listen.

"I knew what I was getting into," Scott admits, because saying what he feels is surprisingly cleansing, with Sam at his side, never mind all the things he was taught about being a man in the seventies and eighties: don't share, don't break, don't be a fucking pussy. He was never the manly kind anyway. "Breaking parole. Going on the run. Fucking everything up. I just...when Clint came to recruit me...he caught me on a bad day. I was worried I could never be a good dad to Cassie or make anything of myself and then he was there and I have trouble saying no and it' was a way out of...I don't know. Everything. It's hard to be a person. It's always been, for me. Maggie's mom, she called me flighty, and she was right. The guys in San Quentin called me J-cat, kinda affectionately sometimes, but most of them just meant it." 

"J-cat?" Sam asks.

"Prison slang for crazy person. I was bad, when I was there. Used to scream at night, lash out at the guards during panic attacks, have these horrible crying jags, draw blueprints on the walls in pen, ramble at people while changing the subject like...well, like I do now, and, I mean, even when I'm not in a bad place, I think I just come off as weird, sometimes." Scott turns to Sam, who looks thoughtful, and asks, "Do I come off as weird?"

"Are you gonna be offended if I say yes?"

"I'm not easily offended."

"Then yes."

Scott gasps in fake hurt. "How dare you, sir!"

Sam snorts with laughter, but then goes quiet, and they sit in pensive silence until Sam says, "I don't think it's a bad thing. That you're weird. Different. You said some of the guys called you that affectionately, right?"

"Yeah. I rode a car that was a bunch of sucker duckers and programmers, and they liked me 'cause I was smart and friendly, even though I was crazy. And white. They were already a mixed group anyway, not exactly your average dudes."

"I didn't understand half of that, man."

"The group of people I hung out with in prison were a bunch of guys who stayed out of trouble and took a lot of prison classes, tried to improve themselves, y'know? Even the lifers. So I got in with them because of my celly Luís. He wasn't there long, but everyone likes him, and it wasn't different there. He got me in with the other guys." 

"Huh." Sam pauses. "It's weird to think you've been in jail." 


Sam looks over at Scott with a fondness that makes Scott's heart skip a beat. "You're so gentle."

"Well, the two aren't mutually exclusive, and mine wasn't a violent crime. I'm a cat..."

"Cat burglar, not a robber. I know." 

"I was, I mean. I was a cat burglar. I’m not anymore.” 

Sam doesn’t respond, and Scott shoots him a questioning look. Sam looks conflicted, and Scott’s a little nervous now. “What?”

“You’re not a cat burglar anymore, man, I know you’re not, but now that we’re talking about this, I mean…you know we’ve noticed, right?”

Scott frowns, and then realization hits him and his stomach goes cold with dread.

“That stuff’s been disappearing, I mean. Wanda’s ring, one of Clint’s old arm guards, that purple colored pencil Steve had, Bucky’s hair tie from my pocket…”

For a second, Scott considers lying, saying he doesn't have a clue what Sam's on about, but he feels sick with guilt, and for once he doesn't want to bullshit his way out of this. It's just that stealing is second nature to him by now, like cheating at cards. Sometimes he doesn't even think about it. 

Is this really who he is? 

Scott remembers the first time he ever stole something. His mom’s boyfriend, Scott’s favorite, Greg, told him that smart people stole from the people who had and gave to the people who didn’t, including themselves, if they counted.

Scott was already a pro at sneaking around, he'd been playing around with magic tricks since he could understand what sleight-of-hand was, which was early, and he had a strong sense of justice that told him that what Greg was saying made perfect sense. If some people didn’t need everything they had, why shouldn’t he take what they wouldn’t appreciate? Why wouldn’t he give it to the people who needed it?

So he and Greg had gone to a supermarket, one of those chain places, not a bodega or anything, and Scott had turned out to be a natural.

The rest, he guesses, is history.

Except at some point things got twisted around in his head and now even when Scott doesn’t have a reason to, he just ends up taking things. He sees something small, shiny, pretty, maybe connected to someone he knows; something that his brain categorizes as unnecessary but interesting, and he lifts it without a second thought. It’s easier than not doing it, than ending up with burning fingers and his brain bugging him to just get that tiny little rush, it’s so simple, so harmless, come on. 

And Scott always does what’s easy.

He didn’t think it was a big deal, didn’t think anyone would notice, but of course they noticed, they’re smart, they’re attuned to crime, they're all hyperaware, one of them's even a fucking telepath. God, this is humiliating, they probably hate him, him and his impulse control issues, probably think he’s fucking pathetic for not being able to just give it up, but it’s his own damn fault, it’s always his own damn fault.

Painfully aware of Sam's presence and power, Scott shoves himself into the corner of the couch, pulling his knees to his chest and wrapping his arms around them, so fast that Sam looks discombobulated for a second, and then a little alarmed. 

When Scott was a kid, twelve, thirteen, he'd steal little bottles of whiskey from his mother’s boyfriend Brent’s pockets, pour the alcohol down the sink, and then stash the pretty little glass bottles in a pillowcase under his bed. He did the same with the full-sized bottles he stole. Brent was Scott’s least favorite of his mother’s boyfriends, but he was the one who stayed the longest. Scott’s mother never used to drink before she met him.

Brent figured it out, eventually. Why his alcohol kept disappearing. Scott doesn’t like remembering what happened when he did. Scott's heart thump-thump-thumps, rabbit-quick, and his breaths are shaky as he bites his lip hard to keep himself from blurting out something pathetic like "I'm sorry, please don't hurt me".

Sam looks concerned, and Scott hates himself for thinking that Sam, of all people, would ever hurt him, but he’s still wary. He knows what can happen to thieves, liars, con men. People like Scott. No one likes a thief. Everyone wants to teach them a lesson.

Scott almost never gets caught—if he got caught a lot, he'd be dead—but this was just stupid; stupid and impulsive, stealing shit from people he’s living in close quarters with, because they may not notice when he takes something, but they notice it’s gone. 

“It’s fine,” Sam says. “We…I don’t even know why I mentioned it. Maybe I’m just nosy. It’s really okay, man. You’ve never taken anything important, have you?”

Scott shrugs. “I don’t think so,” he mumbles. 

“Hey, the only reason I had Bucky’s hair tie in my pocket at all was because I stole it when I was messing with him.”

“I know,” Scott says. “But you don’t actually steal. It’s like…I can’t help it. It just happens. I get stressed, and it happens. It’s easy, and…it’s nice to be good at something.” Scott lets out a broken chuckle. “I have a very particular skill set. Usually, I can talk my way out of it, when I get backed into corners, but…who gives a damn, right? You already know.”

“We just see it as a quirk, Scott. We probably haven’t even noticed most of the time, because the stuff you take isn’t important. If it was a problem, it’d be a problem, but it’s not. It makes you feel safe, we get it. I get it.”

“I’m not like you guys,” Scott whispers. “I’m…I’m not good like you. I panic and I hide and I’m a world-class fuck-up. I do whatever people tell me to, even if I give a few token protests. I’m easily persuaded, and when I’m not, I do it anyway. I’m not brave like you guys, I’m just agreeable. I’m just scared. I can never measure up to you, I can never be good enough for you. For you guys. Not you. Not just you, I mean. All of you.” 

Mortified, Scott cuts himself off and buries his face in his knees, fingers threaded behind his head, sinking into the messy, usually almost unnoticeable curls that have become frizzy and soft in the Wakandan humidity. 

Sam doesn’t do or say anything, as far as Scott can tell. Scott’s ruined everything. Sam’s not going to want to be his friend anymore, and then Scott will just be extra again.

Scott feels the couch move as Sam’s weight leaves it, and braces himself for the sound of Sam’s footsteps walking away, leaving him behind. 

He’s surprised when he feels Sam sit down again, right next to him, close enough that Scott can feel his body brushing up against his folded-up legs.

Scott peeks at him over his knees. Sam’s looking at him, eyebrows raised. 

Scott hides his face again.

“You’re a good guy, Scott,” Sam says in a low voice, and Scott could cry, Sam’s so sincere, Sam’s so wrong. “One of the best I’ve ever met. You care about people, you do all you can to help them. And…man, you find a bright side to everything, you try to make the most of all these shitty situations you've gotten into, you hide out in Wakanda and try to learn Xhosa from fucking infomercials. And yeah, you have flaws. Who doesn’t? You’ve fucked up. Who hasn’t? You steal useless shit to feel safe, fine. You’re scared, I’m scared too, we’re all scared, you gotta know that.”

Scott does. He’s heard variations of I’m scared from every single one of the friends he’s played confidant to.

But they’re scared for a reason. He’s just confused all the time, and it makes him nervous and lost. He always feels lost.

“You don’t get it,” Scott says into his jeans.

“Yeah, well, sorry I don’t think you’re a piece of shit,” Sam snaps, making Scott flinch, so fucking delicate right now, such a fucking sissy. “‘Cause you’re not. I know I can’t magically convince you you’re actually worth more than your very specific skill sets, or that you don’t deserve to be battle fodder, but I’m gonna fucking try, ‘cause I’m one of the dicks who used you for your skills without thinking about you. That wasn’t fair. You’re more than that, but I didn’t know it when I called you in, so I just did ‘cause we needed another body for the fight, and that’s not an excuse, and I’m fucking sorry.”

Scott looks up in surprise at Sam’s heated, frustrated words. “What?”

He didn’t know Sam was sorry. He didn’t think Sam had any reason to be sorry. He still doesn’t think that, so he says it, because sometimes he does say what he thinks, a brutal impulsive honesty that he's mostly trained himself out of. “You don’t have to be sorry.”

Sam throws his arms in the air and says, “Yes, I do!”

Scott flinches at the sudden movement, and Sam leans back and crosses his arms over his stomach. “Sorry.”

“It’s okay.”

“Yeah, isn’t it always?” Sam mutters bitterly to himself. Scott ignores him.

“Seriously, I made my own choice. I knew what I was getting into. Mostly.”

“But it’s not about how it turned out. It’s about how I asked you to get into it in the first place. I used you. I didn’t even think about the family you might have, or how hard it must've been to turn your life around after going to jail, or how impossible it would be to say no to someone knocking on your door and going, hey, let’s go fight for the personification of a better America, your childhood hero! I just knew a guy, and I was like, sure. Let’s throw him in.”

Scott’s shaking now, confused and distressed. “I don’t get it,” he says. “Why are you suddenly hating on yourself?”

“‘Cause I was tired of hearing you hate on yourself, and then I realized I was part of the problem!”

“I was just flattered that you thought of me,” Scott says, embarrassed.

“Don’t be! Jesus, have you ever gotten a compliment in your life? ‘Cause getting drafted into a dumbass war ain’t one!”

Scott frowns. “Ouch.”

“Okay, here’s a compliment.” Sam takes a deep breath, an expression of utter determination on his face, and Scott looks at him in wide-eyed horror, because if Sam says another positive thing about him, he might get smothered, he’ll be so touched, and he’ll have no idea how to respond, and it won’t be true, and it’ll all be so awkward. 

“Don’t do this to me, Sam Wilson!” Scott blurts out. “Don’t you dare!”

“You’re awesome in every sense of the word,” Sam says, stumbling a little but sounding impossibly earnest.

Scott scrunches his face up in disgust. “Ew.”

“You are,” Sam says stubbornly.

“Am not.”

“Are too!”

“Am…” Before Scott can finish his very original and adult retort, he sees Sam’s jaw quivering as he attempts to hold back a smile, and can't help but cut himself off to throw his head back and laugh.

Now Sam’s laughing too. He doesn’t laugh often. It’s a beautiful sound.

Scott unravels from his folded-up position because, despite everything, he feels safe again, and he ends up with his head in Sam’s lap as they both convulse with laughter. When he’s done, he lies there gasping and grinning before realizing that he’s in Sam’s lap, and he shoots into a seated position, eyes wide and cheeks burning. He scoots away a little from Sam before swinging his head to look at him, trying to gauge his reaction to what exactly is fucking going on here, because Scott feels wired and breathless and elated even through the embarrassment. 

Scott wants Sam, and looking at him, at his pupils blown wide and his mouth half open and his body leaning closer and closer, Scott thinks that, for some ridiculous reason, Sam wants him too. 

Scott acts on impulse and surges forward to give Sam a sloppy kiss. When he pulls back, panic building in his chest as he wonders if he’s read this situation completely wrong, Sam follows him, and it doesn’t take long before Scott’s arousal burns away the fear. Sam tastes like cinnamon candy and smells like mint body wash and his lips are warm and insistent against Scott’s. Scott skims his fingers over the back of Sam’s scalp, and Sam lets slip a little moan of pleasure as his fingers sink into Scott’s hair and grip way too tightly, but Scott doesn’t mind the burn at all.

When they break the kiss, Scott’s lying on the couch with Sam on top of him, staring at him like a deer in headlights, and Scott can’t imagine his own expression is much different.

Sam’s lips are shining and swollen, and wow. 

“Wow,” Scott says breathlessly. “That was great.”

Sam grins. “Wild night for wild lives.”

Scott bites his lower lip in nervous habit, and doesn’t miss how Sam’s eyes travel down to look. “We could always make the night…or the morning...I'm not sure if it's morning yet…whatever...we could always make it wilder.”

“I’m listening,” Sam says, low and teasing.

“Let’s go to my room. Or your room. Anyone’s room, really. That’s yours or mine. No one else’s room, 'cause that'd be weird.”

Sam’s off of Scott in a second, and Scott follows so quickly that he gets dizzy.

“You didn’t have to say most of that, but I agree with all of it,” Sam replies as he takes Scott’s hand and starts pulling him to whichever bedroom's closest, and Scott can't help but laugh.