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On the Back of Your Mind

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“It’s not even gonna work, Marv.”

“Is that a challenge?” Marvin asks, smirking down at Chase from his spot on the counter. He swings his legs up, blocking the coffee pot the other man was trying to use.

“No, it’s a statement. Hypnosis is a load of crap - now let me get some damn coffee. I have editing to do,” Chase says. His patience is clearly already running thin, Marvin notes. He really is a bastard when he’s sleep deprived.

Marvin rolls his eyes, “It’s 2am, dumbass. The only thing you should be doing is sleeping.”

“Yeah, well not everyone can just dick around doing magic tricks all da-” Chase is cut off by a hard flick to his forehead. “What the fuck, dude?” he says sharply, rubbing the red mark made by Marvin’s sharpened acrylics.

“Stop being such a prick. It’s not my fault they decided to lay off the whole kitchen staff again.” Marvin is… admittedly between jobs at the moment. He had barely managed to survive the last round of firings, only for his boss to cut the staff in half a second time a month later. Just another event in the same streak of bad luck that ended with his apartment catching fire. While there are certainly worse things than having to move in with your boyfriend and his hot roommate, Marvin still isn’t up for joking about it just yet.

To his credit, Chase at least looks somewhat ashamed. “Sorry, man. I’m just really tired and it’s putting me in a shit mood. Now can I please make some coffee?”

“Nope,” Marvin responds with a pop. “You’re gonna get some rest so you stop being such a bastard.” He grabs Chase’s shirt and pulls him closer, then immediately begins fluttering his fingers in front of the man’s eyes.

He smirks when Chase’s eyes immediately begin to glaze and droop. Too easy.

“You need a break, freckles. Just a short rest couldn’t hurt right?”

“I - I mean-”

“Of course it won’t,” Marvin says, cutting Chase off. He needs to keep him off balance for this to work. “You can just let yourself chill and recharge and then you’ll be ready to get back to work, right?”

“I... guess?” Chase’s eyes still haven’t left Marvin’s glitter coated nails. Every time he seems like he’s about to look away, they catch the light and distract him all over again.

“Good, so why don’t you relax for me? Just for a minute.”

“Yeah but just… for a minute.” Chase says as he blinks slowly.

“Just a minute. Or a couple? You really do look tired, you know,” Marvin says quickly, voice just above a whisper, “And one can so easily turn into five which can drop to four, three, two, one - sleep!” Marvin snaps in front of Chase’s eyes and they close, head following the line Marvin traces in the air down to the man’s chest. He catches Chase when he falls forward, scooting along the counter to situate him between his legs.

If Chase was awake he’d probably be a flustered mess. Not that he’d ever admit to enjoying it.

Marvin pulls Chase forward to lean against his chest. “You really fall quickly for being such a stubborn cunt,” he says with a fond chuckle. He runs his hands through Chase’s tangled, greasy hair. “You need to take better care of yourself, freckles. Why don’t you go take a nap on the couch? Then you can shower to wake yourself up.”

Chase responds with a sleepy hum and nuzzles against Marvin’s chest.

Marvin’s heart does a backflip. This is so unfair.

“Come on, lets go. I’ll even get you a pillow.”

“M’kay,” Chase mumbles. He steps back, eyes barely open and a sleepy grin on his face.

Marvin hops down from the counter with practiced grace and leads Chase into the living room of their tiny apartment. The couch is old and worn, and definitely not suited for a full night’s rest. A short nap shouldn’t mess up Chase’s back too badly, or at least that’s what Marvin hopes as his entranced friend flops down on it without even needing to be told. He almost immediately starts snoring.

“Damn, you were exhausted.”

“You actually got him to lay down?”

Marvin looks up and sees Jackie leaning against the wall, a soft smile on his lips.

“More like coerced, but at least he’s out,” Marvin replies, sitting on the edge of the couch and once again beginning to run his fingers through Chase’s hair, “Has he always been this difficult?”

Jackie pushes away from the wall and walks over, plopping down on the floor in front of the pair. “You have no idea,” he groans, “I would come back at 6am after a patrol and find him still up on his computer, surrounded by empty beer bottles or energy drinks, depending on the night.”

Something squeezes in Marvin’s chest at the way Jackie looks at Chase with so much pained affection. Those two have really been through some shit since they moved in together. Marvin just wishes he had been around to help.

The least he can do now is lighten the mood.

“He’s a fuckin’ hazard, you know.”

Jackie looks up, snapping out of his daze, “Oh yeah?”

“Yes!! All I had to do is wiggle my little magic fingers for a sec and he was out . But hey, that’s what he gets for making a bet he couldn’t win!” Marvin says with a wide grin, flashing his abnormally sharp teeth.

Jackie can’t help but smile back, “Go easy on him, babe.”

“You wish. He’s way too cute not to mess with.”

“Okay, fair,” Jackie says. He’s pretty close to laughing now, which Marvin counts as a win. He stands up, stretching before leaning down and effortlessly scooping Chase up into his arms. “I think he deserves some real rest. Especially after being attacked by some big bad villain,” Jackie teases, sticking his tongue out at his boyfriend before starting down the hall.

Marvin bounces up after him, giggling, “Yeah, yeah - I’m the bad guy here. It’s not like he was antagonizing me. Trying to kick me off of the counter… he’s a monster, baby.”

“Be careful, next time he might bring a nerf gun with him,” Jackie laughs. He nudges Chase’s bedroom door open with his foot and carries the sleeping man inside.

“I’d kill him before he got a chance to shoot me,” Marvin deadpans from the doorway.

“Oh I’m sure.”

“And he’d deserve it.”

“Sure would,” Jackie smiles down at Chase before pulling up his blankets and brushing the hair out of his eyes. He walks back over to Marvin and leans in for a kiss, then gently pulls the door shut behind them. “Come on, babe, we should get to bed, too. It’s way too late.”

Marvin kisses Jackie again, warmth blooming in his chest. “Only if you carry me, too.”

Jackie laughs, then scoops Marvin up in his arms, “You’re lucky I love you.”

“Oh, I know.”

-

Chase wakes up to sun streaming through his blinds. He rolls out of bed and walks to the bathroom on autopilot, flicking on the lights and starting the shower without even thinking.

After a few minutes under the water he realizes that he… doesn’t actually remember falling asleep. He was working on videos, then went to make coffee, and then…

“Goddamnit, Marv.”