I wake to the sound of tapping.
Constant, persistent, beating out a fucking symphony next to me as I blink my eyes open.
It has to be late; it’s dark outside, and still raining, but the room is still lit in a soft yellow light. Did I fall asleep with the fairy lights on? I always do this. Penny put them up (“Your boyfriend is uncomfortable with the dark. Haven’t you noticed?”) but somehow I always manage to leave them on, even when he’s not here. They’re going to burn down the flat one day, probably.
I hear the tapping again like gunfire, and I groan as I turn over to investigate the noise.
I didn’t even know he was here. He definitely was not here when I went to sleep.
He’s crosslegged in the bed next to me, hunched over his laptop, his fingers darting across the keyboard. He glances at me briefly, then looks back to his computer.
“I didn’t mean to wake you,” he says, reaching a hand out to brush through my curls absentmindedly before resuming his typing.
“When did you get here?” I mutter, shifting myself so I can press a kiss to the cool thigh next to my head. I don’t think he brought pyjamas, because he’s just in his pants and a jumper, which is not even close to his usual sleepwear.
“A few hours ago. I needed to finish my essay,” he says. His voice sounds hoarse. I squint through the dim light to see the clock on the far wall. 3 a.m.
“Why did you come here?”
I pull myself into a sitting position, painfully, and lean over to kiss him. He doesn’t stop typing, just turns his head and meets my lips, his fingers still moving even though he’s not looking at the screen. How the fuck does he do that?
“I needed to focus. I couldn’t concentrate at Fiona’s,” he says. I smile through my fog of sleep. He constantly tells me I’m a distraction, that he can’t get anything done when he’s at our flat. I’ve always figured he was lying.
“How many pages do you have left? You need to sleep,” I mumble. I feel like there’s sand in my eyes.
“Just ten more. And the bibliography.”
With another groan I stretch the sleep out of my limbs and push back my blankets.
“You need tea,” I respond to his questioning glance, and I shuffle out of the room.
The rain is louder in the kitchen, echoing off the window and causing the glass to steam up a bit. Someone left the stove light on, thank Crowley, so I can see my way around the cabinets to get Baz’s mug. My head feels heavy as shit as I wait for the kettle, and I drag it off the burner just before it goes off. Penny will slaughter me if I wake her.
I can barely stay awake while steeping the bags, adding the milk and the sugar and then more sugar, and then a bit more, for safe measure. Maybe I should have made myself some.
I grab the biscuit tin as a second thought on my way back to the room. He gets hungry when he’s working.
I pause in the doorway and let my eyes readjust to the dim light of my room. Baz is washed out by the electric glow of his computer, and with his hair pulled up from his face he looks even sharper and more severe than usual. His mouth looks fuller, and I can tell he’s lost in thought and sucking on his fangs. He looks annoyed, and way too tired, and absolutely fucking gorgeous.
“Scoot forward,” I grunt as I put the tea and tin on the tray next to him. He does so without arguing — Crowley, he’s really invested in this paper — and I slide in behind him, pushing my legs to either side of his folded ones, and wrap my arms around his waist.
“Is this too distracting?” I whisper as I lean my face into his neck. Merlin, I could fall asleep right here.
He takes a sip of his tea and then shakes his head, and a few soft strands of his hair hit my face.
“You’re going to destroy this paper,” I tell him, kissing his neck again. “You’re going to tear its fucking heart out.”
This is the best I can do for a pep speech at 3 a.m. I’m not good with words at the best of times.
I spread my fingers on his stomach and rub gently, and he shifts.
“You’re crossing into distracting territory. I only came over because you can’t annoy me in your sleep,” he snaps. I can tell his heart’s not in it though.
“Give me another kiss and I’ll leave you alone,” I whisper. I feel delirious and lightheaded just from the act of being awake right now.
He sighs dramatically (always dramatically, he’s always like this) and moves his computer off his lap for a moment so he can turn. I sigh a bit as he cups my jaw with his hand and leans in to capture my bottom lip. He tastes like Earl Grey, and his lips are still warm and sweet from the heat of the tea. I love it when his taste matches his smell. I hum happily and try to deepen the kiss and push against him, but I feel him laugh.
“Stop it Snow. I have to work,” he says, brushing his lips across my jaw gently. Then turns away. His hair hits me again.
“Fine, fine,” I mutter, shifting and leaning back on my pillows. He’s still in my lap. “I’m going to sleep. Good luck,” I say. I brush a hand against his thigh and then close my eyes.
“I don’t need luck,” he responds sharply. But he squeezes my leg.
I fall asleep to the sound of rain and Baz typing and the metallic rasp of the biscuit tin being opened.