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When You Say Nothing At All

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The forth time Magnum lets out a tiny, pointed sigh, Katsumoto huffs one right back. Keeping most of his attention on the tv and the movie they were supposedly watching, he peeks over at Magnum out of the corner of his eye, not really surprised to find him sitting with his arms crossed over his chest and a not-quite-pout twisting his features.

Against his better judgement, he turns more firmly towards the other man. “What is it?”

“Nothing,” Magnum mutters, and wonderful, the not-quite-pout has morphed into a full blown one, all hunched shoulders and downcast eyes as its owner sags lower on the couch.

Figuring he can either humour this or ignore it and see if it goes away, Katsumoto opts for the second choice. Without saying anything further, he turns back to the screen, idly wondering if he’s missed anything important, but doubting it. It’d been Magnum’s turn to pick the film, and he tends to go for visuals over plot.

A fifth sigh rings out.


“What?” Magnum asks, raising his hands protectively, like that might somehow ward off Katsumoto’s ire. “I didn’t do anything.”

“You know what you did,” Katsumoto disagrees. “And since I know you well enough to know you’re just going to keep right on doing it until you get what you want, why don’t you tell me what that is?”

“I don’t want anything,” Magnum insists, which is even more of a bald faced lie than usual. “I’m fine.”

The way he says the word fine sets warning bells off in Katsumoto’s head, making him think this might be something slightly more serious than Magnum being in a mood to be a pest. Deciding to tread carefully, he digs around in the couch cushions for the remote, pausing the movie when he successfully finds it.

“What did you do that for?” Magnum wants to know.

He’s picked up a throw pillow from somewhere while Katsumoto wasn’t looking. Balancing its plush red fabric on his lap, he fiddles with a seam, twisting it back and forth between his fingers rather than meet Katsumoto’s eye.

“I didn’t want to be distracted,” Katsumoto replies, answering the question at face value. “Do you want to tell me what’s bothering you?”

“Who said anything was bothering me?”

“You did,” Katsumoto says with all the patience he can muster. “The constant sad sighs are more than enough of a tip off. What’s wrong?”

Magnum shrugs, not looking up from his pillow. “I just - had kind of a bad day, is all. Nothing huge.”

Maybe not, but if it was bad enough for him to bring it up, it was likely more than ‘kind of’ a bad day. Feeling a little guilty for snapping at him, Katsumoto rests a hand carefully atop his left wrist. “Do you want to talk about it?”

Now Magnum shakes his head, and Katsumoto has to try hard not to bite his lip in frustration. He’d known Magnum was working a new case - he’d been told as much over dinner - but the details had been annoyingly scarce, and since it hadn’t in any way intersected with an HPD matter he didn’t really have the right to press for more.

Telling himself he’s not annoyed by the fact that Magnum’s staying out of his hair professionally, he strokes his thumb gently over Magnum’s pulse point, hoping the physical contact might help. “What would you like then?”

Magnum turns to look at him, finally, and his brown eyes are ... tentative. He knows what he wants, Katsumoto realizes abruptly, but he’s afraid he’s going to get told to go take a hike if he asks.

“Thomas,” he tries, hoping something a little more informal might spur him on. “Just spit it out.”

While that’s normally not a problem for Magnum, tonight apparently it is. His mouth works a couple of times, like he’s legitimately trying to speak, but then he shakes his head, clearly frustrated with himself if his expression is anything to go by.

Refusing to fall into the same trap, Katsumoto decides to try a different track. “Can you show me?” He offers. “Would that work?”

An intrigued look crosses Magnum’s face, and he nods thoughtfully.

“Alright,” Katsumoto says, more relieved than he’d care to admit. “Go ahead then.”

He’s not sure what he’s expecting, but Magnum dropping his purloined throw pillow in favour of leaning over to rest his head in his lap definitely isn’t it. Startled, he tries not to move while the other man makes himself comfortable, eventually rolling so that he’s facing away from the tv screen with his face pressed up against Katsumoto’s stomach.

“...okay,” he says then, because what else can he? They’re not really the cuddliest of couples, but it’s hardly the end of the world if Magnum wants a little physical affection after a rough day, is it?

Belatedly realizing he’s been holding his breath, Katsumoto shifts to run a hand carefully through Magnum’s hair, repeating the motion when it brings out a happy little hum in response.

“You’re not going to be able to watch the movie like this,” he murmurs, feeling an unexplainable need to keep his voice low as he continues stroking Magnum’s hair, twisting the dark strands around his fingers as he does so.

“‘Ve seen it before.” Magnum’s voice is muffled due to the way he’s now sprawled out, but he shows no sign of discomfort. “You can change it if you’d rather watch something else.”

“How ... magnanimous of you,” Katsumoto says dryly, the corner of his mouth curving up when Magnum snickers at his weak attempt at a pun. “Why’d you put it on if you didn’t want to watch it?”

Magnum shrugs one shoulder, the motion slightly jostling the hand Katsumoto’s still petting him with. “Figured it’d be a good way to get you to come curl up with me.”

Now Katsumoto rolls his eyes. “There are plenty of ways you could have done that,” he says firmly, “and you know it.”

“I’m too tired for sex,” Magnum grumps, “and my back hurts.”

Katsumoto freezes. “Why does your back hurt?” He asks. He hadn’t noticed Magnum favouring any parts of his body tonight, but that means nothing. If there’s one thing Magnum’s good at, it’s putting on a brave face in light of adversity.

Magnum shrugs a second time, and reaches up to tug at Katsumoto’s wrist until he resumes what he’d been doing. “It’s probably from falling out of a moving car,” he says, like that’s a perfectly normal thing to have happen. “Either that or from getting shoved down a flight of stairs.”

“Thomas ...” Katsumoto says worriedly. He almost stops the motion of his hand again, wanting to check the man over for injuries right away, but there’s a glint in Magnum’s one visible eye that says his doing so will not be appreciated. He sighs. “Did you at least go to the hospital?”

“Higgins looked me over,” is the reply. While that’s not a doctor, it’s probably the next best thing under the circumstances, so Katsumoto supposes he’s going to have to live with it. “I’ve got a few bruises, but that’s all.”

“Why didn’t you call me?” The words are out of his mouth before he can stop them, and Katsumoto curses inwardly. On the one hand, he’s been trying to break Magnum of the belief that he can just call up HPD whenever he feels like it for a job, but on the other, today sounded fairly serious.

Magnum doesn’t answer at first. “I knew I’d be seeing you tonight,” he says finally, which doesn’t help much, but is at the same time likely the best response he’s going to get.

Katsumoto sighs, and then runs his hand over Magnum’s back, wanting to see for himself if this gets any reaction. Magnum flinches slightly at one point, but otherwise appears unharmed. “You need to get better at staying out of trouble.”

“I’d be boring if I did that,” Magnum quips. “Admit it.”

“Boring is not the first word that comes to mind,” Katsumoto replies. “Did you at least have backup when you were out doing ... whatever it was you were doing?”

“I told you, Higgins was there,” Magnum says, which is not quite the answer Katsumoto was hoping for. Though he supposes having at least one person know what the nuisance is getting up to is better than none.

Still. “Maybe next time you can wait until you have proper support before launching yourself into the fray. It sounds crazy, I know, but it’s just a thought.”

Magnum makes a noncommittal sound in the back of his throat. Katsumoto chooses to take it as acceptance instead of the denial it very likely is. He figures the former will help him sleep better at night.

“You should be lying down in a real bed,” he decides then. “Crashing out here isn’t going to help your back feel any better.”

“Tv’s out here,” Magnum says. After a beat, he adds, “And so are you.”

Katsumoto will deny the way his stomach swoops at those words until his dying day. “Oddly enough, I am capable of migrating from one spot to the other,” he points out. “And I’m paying even less attention to the movie than you are.”

Magnum cranes his neck around and squints at the tv. “It’s Mission Impossible,” he says accusingly. “It’s a classic.”

“That’s not necessarily the word I would use,” Katsumoto replies. He taps Magnum purposefully on the shoulder, nudging him a second time when he doesn’t move. “Come on, your back isn’t going to thank you for staying out here, but it will probably appreciate spending some time with the mattress in your room.”

“How about a massage?” Magnum suggests, grinning broadly when he catches Katsumoto’s resulting eye roll. “Is that a no?”

“What do you think?” Katsumoto asks.

“Aw, come onnn,” Magnum wheedles. “I’m in pain.”

“You are a pain,” Katsumoto shoots back. “Now, get up. If I’m staying here tonight, I’m not doing it on the couch. All that’s going to accomplish it leaving us both stiff and uncomfortable.”

“Fine.” Sighing dramatically, Magnum rolls over and climbs to his feet. He stumbles slightly, the motion the first real sign Katsumoto’s seen that indicates he’s not feeling one hundred percent, but rights himself with barely a break in his stride. “I guess if that’s the best I’m going I’m going to get, I might as well take it.”

The bruise, when Katsumoto finally sees it, is serious enough to make him wince. Sitting directly between Magnum’s shoulder blades, it stands out as a particularly violent shade of red, one that has to be uncomfortable no matter how he angles his body. “Christ, Thomas.”

“I know,” Magnum agrees, twisting around so he can see it in the mirror. “It couldn’t be helped though. The bad guys were getting away.”

“The bad guys are always getting away,” Katsumoto mutters. “Learn to pick your battles.”

Magnum shoots him a grin as he climbs beneath the covers. He waits for Katsumoto to join him, and then rolls over to sprawl on top of his chest, effectively pinning him in place with his body. “This is nice.”

“So is breathing,” Katsumoto grunts. Or at least he tries to. “Move.”

But Magnum ignores him, of course, and eventually Katsumoto adjusts to the weight. “God, but you’re a pain in the ass sometimes,” he grumbles, only to immediately ruin it by brushing a kiss over the top of Magnum’s head and once again starting to stroke his hair in the same way he had been out in the living room. “You always get what you want, don’t you?”

“Not always,” Magnum disagrees, breathing the words into the crook of Katsumoto’s neck. “But I’ll admit my track record’s been pretty good so far tonight.”

“And all without technically saying a goddamned thing,” Katsumoto notes.

“What can I tell you?” Magnum says, and even with the lights out it’s obvious he’s smirking. “I’ve got skills.”

“Shut up, Thomas.”