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Morning After

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James wakes up sweating, sheets tangled around his limbs, sticking to his skin unpleasantly. The air is thick, late morning sun pouring through the window unobstructed by curtains, turning the bedroom into a sweltering box of heat and light and James gasps for breath, staring uncomprehendingly at a ceiling that isn’t’ his, his middle weighted down by an arm that isn’t his either. For a moment he panics, the feeling of suffocation overwhelming as he flails, trying to free himself.

Then the arm around him lifts off, Robbie’s face swimming into focus above him. “Hey,” he says, voice sleep rough but kind, unbearably kind. “You’re alright. Hold on, let me…” And then he’s pulling the covers off, tossing pillows and rumpled sheets right to the floor without a moment’s hesitation until there’s nothing but the mattress touching James’ overheated skin and he can breathe.

“Slept in, didn’t we?” Robbie notes, though he doesn’t sound slightest bit upset by it. He gets up to open the door and window both, sitting on the edge of the bed afterwards. He lays a careful hand on James’ thigh, squeezing gently.

“Better now, lad?” Robbie asks and James nods, his throat clicking audibly as he swallows. The room is still hot but now there’s a soft breeze from the outside and the air is free to circulate.

“Good.” Robbie smooths a hand down James’ leg, then up again, all the way to his side, fingers petting idly before curving around ribcage, slotting into the slight hollows between the bones like they were made to fill the empty spaces in James’ body.

“How about some breakfast?” Robbie asks. “You’re far too skinny.” He pokes at the dip below James’ ribs where skin is stretched taut, sloping toward his stomach.

James nods again mutely, still trying to process the situation, including the fact that they are both naked and his body is too sluggish – shagged out, his brain helpfully supplies – to feel even a little self-conscious about it.

“Pliant the morning after, aren’t you?” Robbie observes, grinning at him. “Not that I’m complaining, mind.” He leans over to drop a brief kiss on James’ slack mouth before getting up.

“Makes up for the rest of the time,” he adds cheekily from the doorway and disappears down the hallway, presumably in the direction of the kitchen.

James tries and fails to muster up energy to voice his indignation. It’s too warm and he’s far too content, lying in Robbie’s bed, the distant humming and clatter of dishes lulling him back to sleep.