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Love and Luck

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1. On a Job

“I could be at a gallery opening in Paris right now,” Jacob mutters as he creeps across the roof on Ezekiel’s heels.

“Well, if you want to get the pharaoh’s stone from this git, I need your help,” the thief replies with a smile. “This is the best way in, just help me move this glass and hold the rope.” He kneels down at the edge of the skylight in question and gets to work on cutting it out of the frame.

“Pain in the ass,” Jacob mutters with a shake of his head as he grabs the edge of the glass panel and helps shift the heavy sheet of glass aside.

Ezekiel snickers under his breath. “But you love me.”

“Lucky for you,” Jacob retorts.

“Ah, I don’t believe in luck.” Once they’ve opened a narrow enough gap for him to get through, he hands off the end of his climbing rope to Jacob. “Tie me off.” The historian stares at him with an eyebrow arched, and he smiles. “Please.”

“Better.” He loops the rope around an exposed piece of rebar and ties it off with a trucker’s hitch. “Hurry up. I’ll feed you slack.”

“Cheers, mate,” Ezekiel says, then slides through the gap into the dark building.

 

2. During a Prank

“Oh, bollocks.”

Jacob hears Ezekiel’s voice from behind the cloud of rainbow glitter that’s currently spilling over his head. “What the actual fuck, Jones?” he growls, reaching up with his free hand and wiping some of the glitter out of his eyes to see his boyfriend standing a few paces away.

“I’m sorry, love, that was meant for Flynn. He put a Mentos in my Diet Coke yesterday,” Ezekiel explains. His mouth curves up into a smile, and he lets out a hoarse snort, bending over double as he howls with laughter. “Oh, my God, you—you look you got attacked by PCP-crazed strippers!”

For a moment, he almost wants to throw his damn coffee all over that smug face since he won’t be drinking it now that it’s full of glitter. But then his lips twitch up into a smile, and he shakes his head. "You can be such an ass, Jonesy," he mutters, shaking his head as he tries not to laugh.

Ezekiel chortles merrily, sidling over to wrap both arms around Jacob's neck and tug him down into a kiss, apparently unbothered by the glitter getting on his clothes. "But you love me."

"Lucky for you, I do," he replies, curving an arm around the thief's back to pull him closer and returning the kiss.

“I don’t believe in luck.”

Jacob rolls his eyes and pinches Ezekiel’s thigh lightly. “C’mon, help me clean this shit up or you’ll be lucky that Jenkins doesn’t skin you alive.”

 

3. On Date Night

“I bet you’d look good in heels,” Ezekiel murmurs as he reclines against Jacob, arms tucked around his waist as the watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show on his absurdly large flatscreen. They’d had a date night at his place; since he was balls at cooking, dinner had consisted of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and some pickles, but Jacob was perfectly happy with it and said it reminded him of his bachelor days.

“Yeah, right. I’d probably fall on my damn face,” Jacob replies with a snort. “I’ll stick with my boots, thank you very much.”

“Aw, c’mon, cowboy, you’ve never felt the urge to put on some fishnets and sequins, rock out to the Time Warp?” the thief teased, wriggling suggestively.

Jacob rolls his eyes. "You're a punk."

The thief drops his head to his shoulder with a sleepy laugh and curls up further into Jacob's chest, mumbling drowsily, "But you love me."

He plants a kiss atop the shock of dark hair under his chin. "You're lucky I do," he replies, eyes already closing as sleep crawls over him.

“Don’t believe in luck,” came a half-coherent mumble.

“Sure you don’t.”

 

4. In the Aftermath

“Oh, my God,” Jacob pants as Ezekiel rolls off him, both of them gasping and sweating.

“If Jenkins ever finds out,” Ezekiel says, “we are both dead men.”

Jacob laughs softly as he looks around the Constellation Room. “Or Cassandra. She’ll murder us for violating her favourite room,” he agrees.

The walls and domed ceiling of the room are all the same velvety purple-black darkness of a night sky, flecked all over with stars, with bright swirls of colour near supernovas and star clusters; the sky they were looking at was currently the one visible over Australia in late March. The map and calendar on the wall next to the door controlled the sky.

“C’mere,” he murmurs, holding up an arm, and Ezekiel scoots closer to him, resting his head on Jacob’s shoulder. Both of them spend a moment looking up at the magically-replicated sky. “It’s beautiful,” Jacob says.

“Just like being home,” Ezekiel agrees. “Sex outside without the actual outside part. Y’know, cold ground, pointy rocks and sticks, not to mention the deadly snakes, giant spiders…”

“Yeah, yeah, I get it, punk,” he laughs, squeezing him lightly around the shoulders.

Ezekiel reaches up to lace their fingers together tightly. “Maybe you should switch it over to Oklahoma, huh? Then we’ll just have to worry about coyotes, scorpions, rattlesnakes, shotgun-wielding homophobes—”

“Oh, shut up, you’re such a smart-ass,” Jacob laughs, rolling over, pinning Ezekiel to the floor and kissing him hard to quiet him.

The thief smiles up at him cheekily, hooking his knees over Jacob’s hips. “But you love me.”

“You’re lucky I do,” he replies, sinking down into another kiss.

“I don’t believe in luck,” Ezekiel sighs out, his words trailing off into a groan as Jacob’s mouth trails lower.

 

5. After a Close Call

“Ezekiel! Ezekiel, where are you?” Jacob shouted, coughing hard as he waved away the dust that was kicked up from the tunnel collapse. “Jonesy!”

A dusty grey arm pops up out of a narrow gap in the tunnel’s mouth, holding a stone the size of a baseball, the dust doing nothing to conceal its surreal glitter. "Ha! Got it!" the thief crows victoriously as his head and shoulders appear over the edge of the hole. "Now, was that impressive or wh—" He's cut off abruptly as Jacob seizes the back of his jumper and hauls him bodily up out of the hole, shoving him back hard against the wall.

"Jesus H. Christ, Jonesy, are you out of your mind? Don't you ever do something like that again!" Jacob half-shouts, holding the thief by the shoulders and giving him a firm shake for emphasis. His eyes are wide and anxious, his face sheet white. He gives him another shake and then lets go of his shoulders, taking a small step back. "You're fucking insane, you know that?"

Despite his layer of grey dust and cobwebs, Ezekiel gives him a pearly white smile and lightly tosses the sacred stone from one hand to the other. "But you love me," he replies with a smirk.

Jacob grabs him by the lapels again and pulls him into a hug instead, ignoring the grime that's probably getting all over his clothes. "You're lucky I do," he mutters in his ear.

The thief slides both arms around his waist and rubs his cheek against Jacob’s shoulder, leaving a smear of dusty grey on his sweater. “I don’t believe in luck, cowboy.”

“Oh, shut up,” Jacob whispers, kissing his temple.

 

+1. When They’re Alone

The Library is dark and quiet this time of night, with the only exception being the theatre where Jacob and Ezekiel are stretched out on one of the large, squashy sofas.

The historian opens his eyes and yawns, blinking hazily in the flickering dimness. The end credits are rolling; he’d fallen asleep less than twenty minutes in, so he hasn't the slightest idea what’d happened. Glancing down, he sees Ezekiel is asleep too, lying against his chest and snorting softly.

A small, fond smile spreads across his face as he lightly cards his fingers through the silky black hair. “Oh, Jonesy,” he murmurs. “Dunno what I did right in a past life, but I’m lucky to have you now, darlin'.”

The warm body shifts slightly against his, and Ezekiel’s head lifts, eyes opening as a lazy smile creeps over his face. “You're lucky I love you, too. Even if you are a know-it-all cowboy,” he replies, voice husky with sleep, then stretches up to kiss him deeply.

"I thought you didn't believe in luck, punk,” Jacob says when they break apart.

“Oh, whatever. You love it,” Ezekiel counters, leaning in for another kiss.

He does.