When Geordie agreed to go on this case, he wasn't aware that him and Sidney would be stuck sharing a bed- that's right a BED, not just a room- in the last room available at the nearest B&B at short notice. Sidney doesn't seem fazed by the predicament but that's the problem, Sidney doesn't mind because he thinks they're two very straight, very mature adults that have to share a bed in an odd situation. Geordie however disagrees.
Having a 'thing'-he doesn't say crush as they're not in school anymore-for Sidney hadn't been planned. When is it ever? Cathy thinks Sidney likes him back but Geordie isn't sure. No, isn't sure is too mild, he's CERTAIN he doesn't. He's a man of God for Christ sake, not that the bible hates being homosexual but it's definitely not allowed by the church. Or the law for that matter.
Going back to the situation at hand, Geordie is being forced to share a bed with the man he's attracted to and has formed a...uncertain bond with. Christ on a bike.
"Don't look so grumpy, I'm not that bad to sleep with," Sidney breaks the unusually tense silence in the room, letting out a laugh when Geordie glares at him, "you know what I mean. Look, I'll draw a black line down the middle of the bed if you want and I give you my word that I'll stick to my side."
"It's not that-it's just strange," Geordie answers, busying himself with searching for nothing in his overnight bag, "anyway aren't you vicars against this sort of thing."
"Which part? Sleeping in the same bed before marriage or two men laying down in a bed together?"
"Both, I supose," Geordie shifts on his feet, he's already in his nightwear and brushed his teeth and he's absolutely exhausted, but he also doesn't want to get into the bed first.
Sidney looks to be contemplating the question, "the first one, yes, but there's nothing in the Bible that specifically states the second is wrong. I'm sure Leonard gets along just fine with it."
Geordie winces, trying his hardest not to stare when Sidney pulls his shirt off his shoulders in a gesture that he can't help but compare to a stripper trying to be appealingly attractive, Sidney doesn't have to try though. Sidney hesitates and glances at Geordie before going over to the right side of the bed and getting in. Geordie chastises himself for mentally cheering at the choice (and thinking 'it's mean to be'). He's always preferred the left.
"Look, Geordie, if this makes you uncomfortable, I can sleep on the floor. It's not much trouble-"
"Don't be stupid," Geordie replies, shaking his head and going to his newly elected side of the bed, "just don't snore."
Sidney huffs, laying his head down on the pillow, "that would be you. The worst you have to worry about is me waking up early morning and panicking that I've missed a sermon," Geordie gives him an odd look, "I blame Mrs M, honestly. I'm too use to being told off when I'm late or slack off my vicar duties."
"Well, you're the most unrestrained, easygoing vicar I've ever met. Doesn't bother me much," Geordie jokes, moving down on the bed to get more comfortable or as comfortable as possible on the very edge of the bed with no chance of touching Sidney. Accidentally or on purpose.
"I'm one of a kind," Sidney grins at him, before leaning to the side to turn off the lamp with a light snap.
Geordie closes his eyes, thinking about Sidney's tone of voice as he'd made that off handed comment. Less joking and more serious, almost negative, which contradicts the smile he'd sent his way. He wonders what it is that Sidney thinks is bad about himself and why, before shaking his head briskly to rid the though. Geordie is almost definitely looking too far into this.
The night draws on but Geordie can hardly sleep. He can hear Sidney's breathing beside him and its terrifying him that the sound is so relaxing. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. His mind is soon drifting, falling into a calm induced sleep. However, it's short lived. Sidney's breathing is suddenly strained, like he's panicking, coming out in shallow gasps. Geordie shifts carefully to face him, mindful of waking him up or triggering a reaction. It's not that he thinks Sidney's violent or dangerous in anyway but flashbacks, especially war ones, can fog anyone's judgement. Sidney doesn't move. His expression merely arranging itself, in response to an unseen pain.
Geordie shifts closer, unsure what to do, he's never been on the receiving end of this as it's usually him with the messed up past that haunts him, "Sidney, Sidney. It's okay. Hey, shhh it's okay. Calm down for me, please."
Sidney doesn't react to his voice with familiarity, flinching away when Geordie touches his arm. Geordie is sudden hit with that fact Sidney has no one to help him at these times usually. At least Cathy will come into his room to check on him and comfort him when he's having one of his 'bad days'. Geordie can guess Mrs C and Leonard have wanted to but saw it as an invasion of privacy and it wasn't their place. He shuffles closer, resting his hand on Sidney's hair and gently stroking it, remembering how he'd once told him that it soothed him as a child. He pushes down the feelings that well up in his stomach, concentrating on making the movement as soothing as possible.
"Calm down, Sidney, you're safe. You're with me, Geordie. You're safe. I won't let anything happen to you, just calm yourself," Geordie murmurs, smiling softly when Sidney's breaths start to even out and calm down.
"Geordie? Geordie, wake up," Sidney's voice penetrates his sleep gazed mind, "Geordie!"
Geordie blinks his eyes open, swiftly closing them again however when the light assaults his eye. His arms are clasped around something soft and warm but he can't work out what it is. Keeping his eyes closed, he grips the object closer with a hum of contentment.
"No, no. No sleeping. Geordie, I need to get up."
"Five more minutes," Geordie replies, gruffly, voice like sand paper in his throat.
Suddenly it hits him what Sidney just said and a sinking feeling falls into his gut. He yanks his hands away from the warmth and almost throws himself backwards. He's well and truly awake now. Sidney's propelled forward at the sudden movement, falling off the bed and hitting the ground...hard.
"Jesus Christ, Geordie," Sidney curses from the floor, Geordie can mentally see him cringe at his own curse, "what was that for?"
"I-I-well-," Geordie stumbles over his words, watching Sidney drag himself up from the floor.
"Got too clingy?" Sidney questions, pulling his shirt over his broad shoulders, Geordie feels the blood run to a worrying place, "did you have to launch me off the bed?"
"No, I-I just wasn't expecting-"
"-it to be me?" Sidney says with a grin, fastening his buttons, "I know. Had an incline you though I was Cathy."
"Cathy-" Geordie winces, wondering whether he should just agree and avoid any other revelations, "You had a nightmare...last night."
Sidney's body tenses, his face constricting in disdain, "N-no. You must be mistaken, Geordie. I always-I always wake up after and-"
"You were 'aving a nightmare so I-stroked your hair. That's-thats what you said soothes you as a child so I though-and it worked," Geordie explains, fumbling over his words.
Sidney swallows, his adam's apple bobbing, "I-thank you. I hoped nobody would have to see me like that."
Geordie resists the urge to grab the vicar and pull him into a hug, "I didn't think you were Cathy, Sidney. We've not-in a long while."
Sidney looks suddenly alarmed making Geordie tense, "Are you and Cathy having problems again?"
Oh, of course that's what he's worried about. Bless his oblivious and kind heart.
"Sidney? If you really liked someone and have for a very long time, would you tell them? Asking for a friend," Geordie questions, suddenly getting a burst of courage.
"Geordie...I cannot condone adultery. It's against everything I stand for-" Sidney answers, clipping his collar on, with careful, practiced hands.
"It's for a friend-"
"All due respect but I seem to be you're only friend. Geordie, whatever's happened- it can be fixed."
Geordie gets off the bed, walking over to Sidney, who almost flinches back, likely expecting a full blown shouting match. Instead, Geordie kisses him. There's a millisecond where Sidney kisses back, his lips tasting salty and dry from sleeping, but then Sidney pushes him away with so much force he trips over his own bag and falls to the floor.
"What the flipping hell do you think your doing?" Sidney chokes out, he looks borderline terrified, Geordie doesn't get up waiting for the inevitable insults that will be thrown at him, "You're married Geordie. What about Cathy? She deserves-she-"
"Knows. It's an-agreement we have. She goes out with the women she likes and I-"
"Does marriage mean nothing to you? I can't believe- Geordie, you-whatever you think we are-"
"You don't like me, I get it. Loud and clear," Geordie answers, pushing himself up, "I'm sorry."
Sidney shakes his head, clenching his eyes shut against the panic welling up in his chest. Geordie watches him concerned, wondering whether going nearer will be more of a help or hinderance. One things for certain, Sidney's about to have a panic attack.
"Sidney, calm down, okay. Take a deep breath, I'm sorry, but you need to breath," Geordie coaches, shifting on his feet in eagerness to get to his friend, "please, Sidney. Calm yourself or let me-"
"It's not meant to be like this-" Sidney chokes out in an almost sob.
Geordie nods, "I know it's not right but I can't help that-"
"That's not what I mean. I'm a vicar, I shouldn't want to- do anything untoward with a married man. I shouldn't- I can't."
Geordie feels hope bubble in his chest, moving closer to his friends position, "talk in a minute, you need to settle down first."
Sidney glances over a Geordie sat beside him. Hating the happiness that wells up in his chest that his-feelings aren't totally unrequited. Geordie catches him looking, studying his face.
"Cathy knows?" Sidney inquires, licking his lips.
"She knows everything that woman. About me being-like I am, about every relationship, about you."
"Me? There's very little of interest to know about me," Sidney answers, moving to sit up straighter on the bed.
"She knows I like you. That I've wanted to do what I just did for months," Geordie tells him, running his eyes.
"Do it again-" Sidney blurts out, watching Geordie's eyes closely.
"Kiss me, again," Sidney repeats, not waiting for Geordie to oblige, leaning into him and capturing his lips against his own.
The kiss is slow, unfamiliar. Both of their lips are dry and tinged with the tang of sleep. But Sidney doesn't mind. Geordie's mouth tastes sweater than he expected accompanied by the trace of yesterday's whiskey still lingering on his lips. Sidney isn't sure where he's meant to put his hands at this time but opts for resting one on Geordie's arm and the other on the bed between them.
Sidney is the first to pull away, smiling slightly when Geordie follows his lips for a few moments.
Geordie smiles back, "You sly old dog Sidney."
His smile grows, turning into giggles then into full blown laughter. Geordie follows soon after, basking in the almost unreality of the situation and immense happiness he's now feeling. Sidney's mirthful face warms his heart. He's rarely carefree but in this moment, in this room, nothing can dampen that.