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Connor groans and shifts restlessly, slightly dazed from his rude awakening. It felt like Satan himself was ripping his insides apart, and his right temple throbs with the beginning of a nasty migraine. He cracks one eye open, which he immediately regrets as the harsh morning light causes him to feel dizzy with white hot pain. He grimaces and rubs some of the tiredness out of his eyes, squinting as he adjusts to the brightness. Glancing over at his phone laid face down on the side table, he flips it over to check the time; Just past ten in the morning, and he smiles weakly upon seeing Hank’s name.

[9:32 A.M.] morning gorgeous

Leave it to Hank to make a horrible morning bearable.

[10:04 A.M.] Good morning, my love.

[10:04 A.M.] You’re up early.

He sighs and hops off the bed to gather his clothes for the day. Sweats and Hank’s jacket that he may or may not have stolen, easily two sizes too big; Lazy days were practically a requirement in these situations. He heads to the bathroom and does his business, making sure to take medication for both his migraine and the awful cramps. He’d usually shower, but he isn’t sure he can bear it right now. He lays back down in bed and checks his phone for Hank’s reply.

[10:13 A.M.] yeah, i wanted to make some extra time for us today. it’s beautiful outside, maybe i could finally take you to that dog park i always harp on about?

That felt like a knife to the gut. Hank didn’t usually get weekends off, and even though it was out of his control, Connor couldn’t help but feel guilty.

[10:15 A.M.] I’d love to, but I’m afraid I don’t feel up to it today. I’m sorry.

Hank starts typing almost immediately.

[10:15 A.M.] oh honey, you don’t need to apologize

[10:16 A.M.] i’m sorry you don’t feel good. do you think you’re sick?

Connor thinks for a moment before responding. They’d been together for nearly two months now, and although he trusts Hank more than anyone, there was still a deep, visceral part of him that wanted to conceal the true nature of his predicament. It was silly, Hank would understand more than anyone, but he still couldn’t help the shame and disgust that coiled in his stomach when he thought about him seeing him like this.

Even so, he trusts Hank. He wants him to know, to let him in. He’s the only person he’s ever been with where he actually feels he has that option, that he doesn’t need to hide these parts of himself like a dirty secret. His hands shake as he types.

[10:20 A.M.] Code red.

[10:20 A.M.] Again, I’m sorry.

He swallows hard as he sees Hank typing.

[10:20 A.M.] don’t you dare apologize, darling. no wonder you feel terrible

[10:21 A.M.] what do you need? i’ll get you anything you like. we can spend the day watching movies or some shit, or if you need to be alone i’ll drop whatever you need off. just say the word

Connor lets out a breath he didn’t even notice he was holding. He can’t believe he doubted Hank for even a second.

[10:22 A.M.] I just need you here.

He can’t muster up the strength to say anything more, but it’s all he needs.

[10:22 A.M.] of course baby

[10:22 A.M.] are you sure you don’t want anything? i can swing by the store on the way over

Connor worries his bottom lip. He’d be lying if he said he hadn’t been thinking of downing the entire bottle of chocolate syrup he had sitting in the fridge since he first woke up.

[10:23 A.M.] Well, if you insist. I can send you a list, just to give you options.

He types out a fairly sizeable list, all carbs and sugar of course.

[10:25 A.M.] ah, i see you’re a man of taste, babe. i’ll be over soon

[10:25 A.M.] Take your time, I’m gonna take a quick nap. Door will be unlocked.

[10:26 A.M.] got it. love you

[10:26 A.M.] I love you too.

Connor sets the phone back down and cocoons himself in blankets. It doesn’t take long for him to doze off to the thoughts of Hank running his fingers through his hair.




Connor isn’t sure how long he was out when he hears the door creak open, but it was enough for his migraine to clear up at least. He sits up just in time to see Hank appear in the doorframe, three large plastic bags hanging from his arms.

“Oh sorry, I didn’t mean to wake ya.” Hank whispers.

Connor snorts. “Don’t worry about it, I was sleeping pretty light anyway.”

Hank nods and sits at the foot of the bed, carefully setting the bags down next to him. “You feeling a little better at least?”

“Physically? A little. Headache is gone at least. What’s all that?” He nods towards the bags.

Hank shrugs. “Just the things you had on the list. You wouldn’t believe all the hoops I had to jump through to get those neopolitan Oreos, though. Had to go to three different stores.” He chuckles.

Connor’s jaw drops. “I- Did you buy everything?”

“Absolutely. Wanted to give you a lot of options.” He smirks.

“I remember saying that the list’s purpose was to give you options. Christ, Hank.” He shakes his head.

“Hm, must’ve missed that part.” He winks. “You need anything, though? Like a glass of water or anything?”

“I actually have a hot pack in the medicine cabinet, if you don’t mind could you heat that up for me?”

“Of course, darling.” He says softly, giving Connor’s knee a tender squeeze through the covers before bounding out of the bedroom.

He sighs contentedly and brings one of the bags closer to him. He usually would avoid eating in bed, not particularly keen on sleeping among crumbs, but desperate times call for desperate measures. It only takes minimal rifling to find his primary craving; Six packages of classic Kit Kats. Hank had really gone above and beyond.

He tears the packaging and wastes no time snapping it into individual bars, making a borderline pornographic noise when he plops one in his mouth. Satisfaction in its purest form.

Just as he takes a bite of the second bar, Hank is sauntering back in with a freshly heated hot pack in hand. He glances over at Connor and smirks. “I see you’re enjoying yourself already.”

“You could say that.” He responds slightly muffled, mouth still full. He sets the remaining pieces of the Kit Kat bar down on the side table to avoid any melting.

Hank snorts and hops up on the bed, sliding next to Connor. He grabs hold of the sheet and glances at him as if asking permission, to which he nods in response. He peels it back and places the hot pack on his lower belly with the gentleness one would possess when handling glass. He pulls the blankets back over and gives his tummy a soft pat.

“Hey wait a second… I’ve been looking everywhere for the jacket.” Hank squints.

Connor shrugs, shooting him a smug look. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Hank rolls his eyes. “You’re lucky I love you.” He mutters as he starts moving the plastic bags to the floor.

“I am… That means I can keep it, right?”

Hank chuckles as he slips back next to Connor. “Of course, doll. I’d be a fucking liar if I said it didn’t make you look cute as a button.” He smiles adoringly. “Can I touch you?”

“Please.” Connor tries, and fails, not to sound desperate.

The rumble of Hank’s laughter warms Connor to the core, imbuing him with the strongest sense of safety he’d felt in a long time. Gently pulling him to his chest, he wraps his arms securely around his waist. Connor practically purrs when he starts planting featherlight kisses in his hair.

He nuzzles into his chest and sighs contentedly, focusing on his soft touches. His warm, safe embrace, his scent. He lets his mind rest for the first time that day.

“You wanna talk about it?” Hank murmurs.

“Mm, not now. Maybe tomorrow.”

“Whatever you need, darling.”

Connor shifts to look up at Hank. “Do you think you could stay overnight?”

Hank smiles softly. “I think we could arrange that. I’ll have to head back later today to take care of Sumo, but other than that I’ll be here as long as you need me.”

“Sounds like a plan.” He rests his head against Hank’s chest once more. “Thank you for being here.”

“Wouldn’t be much of a partner if I wasn’t.”

“I know but… It still means a lot to me. I was actually too scared to tell you, at first.”

Hank sighs. “Oh Connor…”

“Don’t worry, I knew logically you’d understand. It’s still scary I guess. And uncomfortable. I don’t know.” He mumbles.

“That makes sense. I’m still getting used to the idea of being able to be open like this too. It’s nice, though.” He brings one of his hands up to tenderly card through Connor’s hair.

His eyes drift closed, feeling his muscles begin to relax. He felt a sense of safety and calm settle deep in his bones.

“It really is…” He whispers.

As he gets pulled into a deep slumber, he can hear Hank quietly hushing him, deft fingers massaging his scalp with all the care in the world.




Later, when Connor wakes up, the two of them will have spent the afternoon watching old noir films. Hank will hold him and tell him how handsome he is, how lucky he is to have him. When dinner rolls around, he manages to make him his favorite dish with what he has in his apartment; Shepherd's pie, and Connor would tell him stories about how his mother used to make it for his birthday every year.

When night falls, it will all become too much. Hank will hold Connor close and let him process everything. Wiping away each tear with calloused thumbs and placing chaste kisses on his forehead. When the eye of the storm inside him finally arrives, he feels sleep come to him quickly. He knows he isn’t alone, that he was secure in Hank’s grasp. The next morning wouldn’t be easy, but knowing he’d be waking up to those bright blue eyes, it didn’t seem so scary.

Not anymore.