“I can’t believe you actually took that judge to dinner.”
Too busy struggling to remove his tie from where it’s making a valiant attempt at strangling him, Katsumoto doesn’t bother looking up. He can tell without doing so that Magnum is pouting, and as far as he’s concerned, the other man has no one to blame for this but himself.
“I told you,” he says, grunting irritably when the tie refuses to come free. “It was the only way to convince her to let you go. Or would you rather still be sitting in a jail cell because you don’t know when to keep your mouth shut?”
Magnum sighs effusively enough that Katsumoto peers over at him just to make sure he hasn’t strained something. “I would rather,” he sniffs pointedly, “that you had gotten me loose without going on a date with someone who isn’t me.”
“It wasn’t a date,” Katsumoto replies through gritted teeth. “And I would have preferred not to have done it either. However, you made it very clear that an innocent man’s life was on the line.”
“Which it was,” Magnum points out, going from affronted to smug in the blink of an eye. “And now said innocent man is free like he should be.”
“Yes it was, and yes he is,” Katsumoto agrees. “So stop complaining about what it took to get him there. Aren’t you the one who’s always on about bending the rules when necessary?”
Magnum scowls at him, clearly not liking having the tables turned on him this way. “You took her out to a fancy restaurant. You paid for her meal despite the fact that she makes considerably more money than you do. You wore a tie,” he adds, practically spitting the word like it’s something nasty he doesn’t even want on his tongue. “You never do those things for me.”
“That’s because you’re a total reprobate, and any kind of class is wasted on you,” Katsumoto says. “You wore a lemon print shirt to jury duty.”
“Because I was trying to get out of it!” Magnum insists, as if this somehow makes it better.
“Right,” Katsumoto mutters, turning back to the mirror he’d previously been facing. He groans when he sees the mess he’s made. “I actually think I’m going to have to cut this damn thing off.”
“Don’t nick yourself in the process,” Magnum suggests helpfully.
Rolling his eyes heavenward, Katsumoto backs up and shoves his way out of the bathroom, heading for the kitchen in search of a pair of scissors. He’s not even remotely surprised when Magnum trails after him, still venting his litany of complaints.
The litany continues to grow as Katsumoto rummages around in one drawer after another, repeatedly coming up empty in his quest while Magnum pontificates on all the ways he’s been hard done by in the past twenty four hours.
It’s right around the moment where Magnum declares that Higgins would have found another way of getting him out (one that didn’t involving selling herself, it is heavily implied) that Katsumoto reaches his breaking point. Slamming the latest incorrect drawer shut with more force than necessary, he whirls around and pierces the other man with a steely eyed glare.
“For Christ’s sake, Thomas. I have known Marjorie Nakama for over a decade. She was a DA until she was called to the bench last year, and she’s been after me to catch up with her over a meal for months now, but I kept brushing her off due to being too busy. Often, might I add, because I’m helping you out on cases I shouldn’t be. I offered to take her to dinner because I knew she’d go for it, if only for the chance to grill me on what I’m doing hanging around with you.”
“Oh,” Magnum says sheepishly, for once having the common decency to look ashamed. “So, you’re friends?”
“For quite some time now,” Katsumoto confirms. “And because we’re friends, I know that Marjorie likes high-end restaurants with ridiculous dress codes and menus with prices it hurts to look at.”
“You still didn’t have to take her to one of those,” Magnum points out.
“Maybe not,” Katsumoto shrugs. “And if it was only a regular meetup I might not have. However, since it was instead a thank-you-for-letting-my-idiot-boyfriend-out-of-jail meetup, I figured a bit more panache was needed.”
Magnum, god help him, preens at this. “Did you actually put it that way?”
“As a matter of fact, I did,” Katsumoto replies.
“What’d she say to that?”
“That you still committed perjury by claiming I was your best friend on the stand, and you’re lucky she’s not coming after you for that too.”
“Eh, everybody’s a critic,” Magnum says, his eyes crinkling at the corners as he smiles. “I’m not afraid of her.”
“I’m so proud,” Katsumoto drawls sarcastically. “Now, if you’re done acting like a jealous twit, would you be so kind as to help me find the scissors so I can be free of this noose before it’s the death of me?”
Magnum gives him a long look, but rather than move away to do as he’s been asked, he chooses to shuffle closer, not stopping until he’s effectively trapped Katsumoto between his body and the countertop. “You don’t have to ruin it,” he declares. “I’ll get you out.”
Katsumoto feels his face heat slightly, but tells himself to ignore it. Resting his hands on Magnum’s hips, he leans back just enough to give the other man better access. “If you think you can do it, be my guest.”
“Of course I can do it,” Magnum says confidently, bringing his hands up to slowly tug at tie’s knotted base. “It just needs a little patience is all.”
Katsumoto snorts harshly, and finds himself fighting a sudden urge to pinch the bridge of his nose in frustration. “Thomas, you think patience is something that happens to other people.”
“Not always,” Magnum disagrees. “There are definitely situations where I think it’s important to take your time with what you’re doing.”
“Yeah. Well. I only own two ties, so if you think you can save this one, be my guest. I like to keep at least a couple on hand for when situations arise that need them.” His point made, Katsumoto falls silent while Magnum begins carefully working the silk fabric in his hands.
“You look good like this,” he says apropos of nothing. “All dressed up. Your work suits are usually way more rumpled.”
“Thanks,” Katsumoto mutters. “That’s just what a guy likes to hear.”
“Hey, I’m trying to compliment you,” Magnum insists.
“Then you’re doing a piss poor job of it,” Katsumoto retorts. “Now, either finish what you’re doing, or get me a knife or some scissors and I’ll deal with it myself.”
“Oh no,” Magnum says. Leaning forward, he stops when their mouths are barely an inch apart, and murmurs. “If anyone’s cutting you out of anything, it’s going to be me.”
Whatever reply Katsumoto might have made gets stopped by lips closing over his own. He groans involuntarily, and Magnum takes the opportunity to lick his way into his mouth with a pleased hum.
It’s good, of course, it always is. In the brief time they’ve been doing ... whatever this is, physical compatibility has not been a complaint Katsumoto has had to put forward. On the other hand, it’s not bringing him any closer to his desired goal.
“Thomas,” he protests when Magnum pulls back far enough to let him speak. “We’re in the middle of the kitchen for crying out loud, and you made me a promise a few minutes ago.”
Magnum’s eyes are bright, and his mouth curves up in a wicked grin. Then he pulls at Katsumoto’s tie one last time, sliding it free with a dramatic flourish. “You were saying?”
Katsumoto glares at him. “We’re still in the middle of the kitchen,” he says, sounding sulky even to his own ears.
Magnum’s grin gets even broader. “Are you saying if we were somewhere other than the kitchen you’d let me peel you out of the rest of this monkey suit?”
Flexing his hands where they’re still spread over the curve of Magnum’s backside, Katsumoto shifts purposefully. “What do you think?”
Magnum’s eyes go dark. Discarding the tie he’s still holding down on the kitchen island, he fists his hands in Katsumoto’s dress shirt - effectively crumpling it in the process - and hauls him backwards towards the bedroom. “I think you should have led with that.”
Later, when they’re laying spent and sated in Katsumoto’s bed, Magnum rolls over and jabs him in the side with a bony finger. Then he does it again when doing so gets him no response.
“Why?” Katsumoto groans, cracking one eye open when the jabbing continues to grow more insistent. “What is it now?”
Pulling his hand back, Magnum props himself up on one elbow, giving him a look that’s far too serious for this hour of the night. “Do you not want to take me on a fancy dinner date?”
Katsumoto stares at him for several long moments. Then he reaches out and pinches him sharply on his nearest forearm.
“Ow!” Pouting theatrically, Magnum flops over on his back and rubs protectively at the spot. “What was that for?”
“Just making sure I didn’t hallucinate you saying that,” Katsumoto says.
Magnum blinks at him. “You’re supposed to pinch yourself when you think you might be imagining something, not another person. How does that help?”
Katsumoto shrugs, unconcerned.
Finally dropping his arm, Magnum cranes his neck around to look at him. “You didn’t answer my question,” he says accusingly.
“The answer’s no,” Katsumoto says flatly. “Not,” he continues on quickly when Magnum makes an indignant noise, “because I’m embarrassed to be seen with you or because I think you’d make a nuisance of yourself - although, there’s a solid chance that you would - but because I, personally, hate that kind of thing. I vastly prefer something more laidback.”
“Which means,” he adds, just in case Magnum isn’t picking up what he’s putting down, “that I like the way you’re fine with a more relaxed atmosphere when we get together. I don’t have to pretend to be something I’m not.”
Magnum appears to consider this. “Alright,” he says, seemingly coming to a conclusion. “I’m going to accept that in the spirit it was intended. However, I’d like to state for the record that if you ever wanted to get all spiffed up again, you know, for a special occasion, I wouldn’t be opposed.”
Katsumoto has a sudden horrifying vision of being dragged to a black tie affair sometime in the future, and tries not to shudder. Magnum had sounded genuine when he’d spoken, meaning he probably meant what he was saying. “If I promise to keep that in mind, will you drop it for now?”
“Sure thing,” Magnum replies. He proceeds to spend the next few moments wriggling around to get comfortable, before reclining back with a happy sigh. “You want to get the light?”
Katsumoto doesn’t remember asking him to stay, or even telling him he could for that matter, but he also finds himself not opposed to the idea. “Fine,” he agrees, “but don’t even think about hogging the covers.”
“I would never,” Magnum gasps in mock indignation.
He stays quiet until the room has descended into darkness. Then there’s a rustling of blankets, and Katsumoto finds himself with a warm line of private investigator pressed up against his back.
“Thomas,” he sighs, torn somewhere between exasperation and fondness. “It’s too hot for this.”
“Shhh,” is the reply. “We’re sleeping, remember?”
“I will put you on the couch. Don’t think I won’t.”
An arm tightens around his waist reproachfully, and he can practically feel the waves of disproval radiating off the man behind him. “I’m kidding.” He promises. “Mostly.”
Magnum’s silence takes on a decidedly sullen cast, so Katsumoto bites the bullet and laces their fingers together. “Stop sulking, Thomas. I could be anywhere right now, but I’m here with you, aren’t I?”
The silence turns speculative. “Suppose that’s true,” Magnum admits. He does not, Katsumoto notes, even slightly relinquish his hold. “I guess I can live with that.”
Privately, Katsumoto guesses he can too.