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Chris dropped onto the couch next to John who was working on something on his PADD, weight on his arm which was braced on the armrest, their legs pressed close; but that was nothing new.

A soft, “Hey, John” came from Chris, prompting the other man to turn away from his work. Clearly he hadn’t expected Chris to be leaning in so close, let alone the hand that came to rest on his thigh or the warm press of lips against his own. His PADD dropped to the floor with a clatter but neither man even spared it a glance, both too caught up in their short moment of eternity.

Both of them kept still. Chris had his eyes closed; eyebrows pushed together in a small frown of concentration as though he feared what would happen if they were to move on from this moment to the next. John on the other hand had his eyes wide open in surprise and was obviously holding his breath, unsure whether this was real or not. Neither man moved to deepen the kiss.

Finally, Chris withdrew, his eyes still closed and frown still present while John had yet to move.

Or breathe for that matter.

A short moment of silence followed, longer than their kiss, where both sat and simply tried to decide what their next course of action should be.

John acted first, simply by releasing the breath he’d been holding in a long audible exhalation. Chris took that as his cue to do something; his eyes opened briefly to flicker at John face and parted lips before he once again shut them and leant forwards on his hand, which had remained on John’s leg, towards the other man again. But this time he had his head bowed and shoulders hunched, stopping a good three inches before his forehead could come into contact with John’s chin.

Not that it mattered, because John’s next move was to place the hand that wasn’t on the armrest at the back of Chris’ neck and pull him forwards until a hard kiss could be pressed to his hair, his eye shut hard as well, against emotions that had suddenly made themselves very obvious within him. Then he turned and pressed his cheek to Chris’ hair instead pulled the other man in that much closer. His thumb slowly caressed the fine hairs at the back of Chris’ neck the whole time.

Chris finally broke the silence.

“I’m sorry it took me such a long time to realize.”

John let out a short breath that could have been amusement but held so much.

“Nonsense, I should’ve acted years ago. Decades. I should’ve told you. Guess I didn’t want to make an ass of myself… even though I knew you felt the same as me.” There was a deliberate beat of silence. “Beneath all that heavy-duty denial, that is.”

That earned John a soft laugh which he replied with a pleased grin. All the tension in both men suddenly bled away with the laugh. Once again, silence fell, but this time more comfortable. Both men content just to breathe in each other’s scents for a little while.

Then John began moving, pulling up a socked foot, first between them, then between Chris and the back of the couch and then leaned back to rest his back on the armrest. Chris, who had moved away for John to perform the maneuver, was once again pulled into an embrace. He resisted briefly reaching over John to the arm chair to grab the pillow that rested there.

“Don’t want to hurt that back of yours, do we, old man?”

“Well… I can think of ways more worthwhile to do that.”

He was rewarded with the pillow being swat at his head. He laughed and grabbed it, obediently tucking it between the armrest and himself before once again leaning back to stare at the other man in wonder for a moment, a much softer smile gracing his lips. ‘Shy’ was never a word associated with Christopher Pike. But in that moment, kneeling on the couch, hands clutched together in nervousness, and a soft blush creeping up his cheeks, that was the only word that stood out from John’s usual thoughts of ‘intelligent, brave, gorgeous, stubborn’ when it came to the man. Well, that and ‘adorable’.

He told Chris as much.

There was an indignant “Hey!” and further reddening of cheeks. And laughter on John’s part.

Shortly after, John decided that there’d been enough delay and tugged Chris towards himself. This time it was the other man who wasn’t expecting it and promptly fell forward onto John’s chest. Not that either one minded.

There was some squirming to get comfortable, but once they did, the result was Chris on his side, John’s legs bracketing him, one hand rested on a strong shoulder, the other loosely curled around John’s neck. His forehead was pressed to the other side of that neck.

Meanwhile, John had wrapped an arm around Chris’ middle while the other rested higher up so that he could once again brush his thumb through the soft hair at the back of the man’s neck. His nose was once again pressed to greying hair but that was fine, he enjoyed the scent of shampoo mixed with… Chris.

Other than that, their legs were tangled in a mess but comfortable enough that neither paid any mind.

The moment they were comfortable enough to simply lay like that, John quietly spoke into Chris’ hair, “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do this.”

Then came Chris’ cheeky reply of, “Decades?”

This resulted in the hand caressing his neck to slide up and ruffle his hair.

Chris’ dry response to that was, “You know, that was borderline acceptable when I was twenty-two… I’m pretty sure I’ve grown out of hair ruffling now.”

“Nah, it’s still acceptable,” John assured.

“Only when it’s you, asshole.”

“That’s okay with me.”

They lapsed into silence again, but this time it went undisturbed; both men were content to just hold each other and bask in the warmth around them, listening to each other breathe. Eventually, both fell asleep, happier than either had been in a while.