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Heard the general whisper to his aide-de-camp

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“I dunno,” Hap says, when Leonard finally gets around to asking him what the hell his problem is. “I… s’nothing.”

Which is some bullshit, clearly, so Leonard has to keep staring at him, head turned sideways, face pointedly blank. Hap stares back at him, with that terrible poker face he has, and does a little shrug.

“It’s…” he says. “Nothing. I just, I’ve been… y’know. Thinking.”

“Thinkin’,” Leonard parrots back.

“Yeah,” Hap says. “‘Bout… y’know.”

Leonard is about one hundred percent positive he doesn’t know, and demonstratively crosses his arms to convey as much.

“No, I don’t,” he says.

They’re slumped on the couch, watching some TV after dinner – Hap got to pick the program this time, except he’s been distracted, which always means he ends up choosing something stupid neither of them cares about. It would be fine if his heart was in it, because it’s not like he never picks something stupid on purpose, solely to annoy Leonard. 

Except that would be different, would be a whole other situation, because when they end up having to watch something dumb and pointless just because Hap wants to mess with him, at least he tends to be pleased as punch about it. Keeps looking over out of the corner of his eye with that stupid grin on his face, thinking he’s being oh so subtle about it – waiting for a reaction, trying to gauge how long it’s gonna take Leonard until he’s irritated enough to say something.

Nine times out of ten, they just end up making out on the couch anyway, which is what it means to compromise, Leonard supposes. It’s an important skill to have, or so people keep telling him. Not this time, though, because this time, Hap has been distracted – fiddling with the remote, with his sleeves, with his beer can, with some loose thread on one of the couch cushions. 

“Just,” he says now, before he takes a deep breath, apparently deciding to man up. “You remember that time with… nevermind. This is stupid.”

“Never stopped you before,” Leonard says, but it comes out sounding a lot nicer than he intended. 

Hap seems to hear it, too, because he grins at him, corner of his mouth pulling up. 

“Awww,” he says. It would sound mocking coming from anybody else, but from Hap, it only sounds sincere.  “Bet you say that to all the girls, don’t ya.”

“Haven’t said that to any girl ever,” Leonard says, but he can feel himself starting to smile back. Goddammit. “Anyway, don’t change the damn subject.”

Hap does this big, deep sigh, seeming to deflate a bit, and takes a sip of his beer.

“You remember that time the crazy drug dealers shot up your house,” he says then.

Leonard blinks at him. Whatever he expected to hear, this isn’t even close to any kind of ballpark. Maybe Hap’s upset about it, he thinks, maybe he had a dream or something. Hap has some weird-ass dreams sometimes; doesn’t like to talk about it much, but it’s true all the same. 

“Nooo,” Leonard says, as sarcastically as he can. “Did that happen? Must’ve forgotten all about it.”

“Well, that’s old age for you,” Hap says, easy as anything and hastily pulls his leg away before Leonard can kick him, snickering. He’s got good reflexes, Leonard thinks, not for the first time. The thought always makes him weirdly proud, in a strange go Hap! sort of way, and also maybe… turns up the heat, low in the pit of his stomach, just sometimes, just a little. Some weird kind of predatory reflex, he figures. Goes to drink some beer and realizes his can is empty. 

“Here ya go,” Hap murmurs, handing over his can. It’s warm as piss, because he can’t put it down somewhere to save his life, always has to keep it in one hand, but Leonard drinks it anyway.

“But you remember, right,” Hap says. “You remember them drug dealers?”

Leonard rolls his eyes at him, decides to forgo the sarcasm. “I do, yeah.”

“D’you remember… when they… when they was chainin’ us together…” Hap says, before he trails off, looking sheepish. Leonard can’t tell where he is going with this at all. It’s not a pleasant memory and it was a god-awful, terrifying situation, but Hap doesn’t seem… all that broken up about it, which is unusual. If anything, he seems embarrassed.

“And wasn’t that a goddamn bucket full of fun.” 

It’s the wrong thing to say, Leonard realizes that immediately, because Hap’s face just... falls.There is no other word for it. God, he has no poker face at all.

“Yeahhh,” he says, looking chastised. “Yeah, you’re right. It was.”

“Hap,” Leonard says, very stern, to hide that fact that he could kick himself. Hands the beer can back. “Out with it. Come on.”

There is long moment of silence before Hap finally says, “Handcuffs came from your bedroom.” all in a rush, in a weird mix of accusation and... relief, probably, for finally having arrived at his point. 

“Ermm…” Leonard says, not quite sure if he’s reading this conversation correctly or not. Which is ridiculous, really, because Hap is so damn easy to read, most of the time. Even for a perfect stranger, and more so for Leonard, who doesn’t even have to look at him to know what he’s thinking. “They did. Yeah.” 

“Could we…” Hap says. “I mean, maybe… those things, I dunno what… you used ‘em for, before, or, or for what specific… purposes-” 

“Yeahhh, you do,” Leonard drawls. “You know for what… purposes.”

Hap nods at that, all businesslike, failing horribly at appearing to be casual. Raises the beer can to his mouth and has to tip his head all the way back to get at what’s left in it. Leonard watches him do it, watches his neck move as he swallows. 

“So what you’re sayin’ is, you wanna be handcuffed to the bed?” he says, bit of a calculated risk, and Hap chokes on the rest of his beer. Yeah, Leonard thinks, he’s definitely got a handle on the situation now. 

“Maybe,” Hap says hoarsely and clears his throat. “M’not entirely… but yeah. Yeah, maybe.”

The t-shirt he’s wearing is old as sin, frayed and with a few holes in it. The neckline is worn out and uneven on one side, revealing part of his collarbone, the fleshy part where his neck meets his shoulder. Leonard thinks of putting his mouth there, biting down, maybe leaving a mark. Hap always says “Hey!” when he does, always goes for indignant, except he sounds breathless, each and every time.

“We can do that,” Leonard says. Tries not to imagine what Hap would look like with his arms stretched over his head and fails miserably. “Just… I’m gonna need a few days, to go get some. ‘Cause you know, the old ones, they got...”

“Cut,” Hap says, dry as anything. “Yeah. I remember.”

“We got… rope, though probably,” Leonard says, not even sure if that’s true. He’s pretty sure he’s got a bunch of cable ties lying around somewhere. “If you want.”

Hap shrugs. “Sure,” he says, agreeable as the blue summer sky, rolling his beer can between his palms.

“But you want the handcuffs,” Leonard says.

Hap shrugs again, swallows and then says “Yeah” so quietly it’s almost inaudible over the sound of the TV. He’s studiously not looking in Leonard’s direction.

“Handcuffs it is then,” Leonard says, something fiercely protective coiling itself around his lungs until it feels a little hard to breathe. Bumps their shoulders together. “S’ for the best anyway. Been meanin’ to repurchase.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

It’s not strictly speaking true, because it’s not like he’s had any concrete plans or anything. Has been vaguely thinking about it now and again, with long stretches of time in between where it hasn’t crossed his mind at all… but it’s not like Hap has to know about that, does he, and anyway, it’s definitely a priority now.  

 


 

So Leonard goes and gets a new pair of handcuffs, practically identical to the old ones, and then, inexplicably, he needs a few days to work up the nerve to bring it up again. Hap doesn’t ask, which isn’t surprising, since it was a very definite leave it with me kind of conversation they had. 

He leaves it until Friday, which isn’t… date night, exactly, because they don't really do anything different. But usually, Friday is the day someone might make… some kind of effort. On Fridays after work, for example, Hap keeps bringing him cookies – which should be cheesy and stupid, because it's so very unnecessary; they go grocery shopping together, after all, and they buy Leonard's cookies together all of the time. 

Still, for whatever reason, Hap keeps doing it. 

Sometimes there’s even some dumb card taped to the front of the box. It’s never anything romantic, thank God. Leonard’s honestly not sure what he'd do if Hap ever handed him anything with a pink heart on it, but he’s pretty damn certain it wouldn't be a good reaction. But it's always something completely nonsensical and inappropriate, anyway; congratulating Leonard on his Bar Mitzvah, wishing him a totally terrific twentieth birthday, welcoming him to retirement, that sort of thing. Hap thinks he’s being funny, even though Leonard keeps telling him he really isn’t. 

(And if Leonard keeps every single one of those stupid cards, well... that is between him and that one loose floorboard alone.)

So when Hap gets home from the garage empty-handed, looking a bit defeated, and murmurs “Didn’t have time to go by the shop t’day”, Leonard just fists the front of his dirty overalls and fits their mouths together. Hap melts into it instantly, while clearly trying to maintain some distance between them at the same time, to keep the grease away from Leonard’s clothes. He tastes like stale coffee. They make out against the kitchen counter, messy and slow.

“I’m gonna forgive you,” Leonard tells him eventually. 

“Yeah?” 

“Yeah.”

“Gonna go... get a shower, then,” Hap drawls, voice pitched low. “Yeah?” 

His hair is sticking up at odd angles, from sweat and dirt, probably, and he’s a little pink in the face, clearly sunburned. He wouldn’t know subtlety if it hit him in the face, Leonard thinks. Couldn’t be more obvious if he tried. God, Leonard already wants to kiss him again.

“You do that,” is what he says instead and watches him wander off in the direction of the bathroom. Today’s the day, he decides.

 


 

Hap, clutching at the towel around his waist, stares at the handcuffs like he doesn’t recognize what they are at first. Then he clears his throat. Then he says “You gonna arrest me or somethin’?”

Leonard has one single, horrified moment where he actually thinks that this is the direction Hap might want this to go in – some kind of police role playing scenario. Which is quite frankly one of the least hottest things Leonard could ever imagine. Ever. Except… Hap is just messing with him, he realizes a second later, because for whatever reason, he’s under the impression that he’s a funny guy.

“Shut up,” Leonard says. “Get over here.”

Hap pads over, still in his towel, and sits down next to him on the bed, close enough so they’re pressed together from shoulder to thigh. His skin is warm from the shower, wet hair sticking up worse than before, because he always scrubs his towel over his head first, before drying anything else. They look at the folded handcuffs together, contemplating. Almost look unassuming, like this, Leonard thinks, except… in a minute, they’re gonna fix Hap to the bed, so Leonard can do with him whatever he damn well pleases. 

“Still want to?” he says quietly. Doesn’t even know why he keeps his voice down, except that for some reason, it feels appropriate to the situation. Hap puts a warm hand over the back of his neck, moving down a bit, fingers curling into the fabric of Leonard’s t-shirt.

“Yeah,” he says. “Really think I do.”

“Okay,” Leonard says, turning his head to get a good look at his face. “Just one thing, Hap. Yeah? Just one.”

“What?”

“Promise me you’re gonna say somethin’,” Leonard says, and for some reason, this is the moment that feels like his heart is going to beat right out of his chest. “Yeah? If you… if something’s the matter. You don’t like somethin’. You tell me, you hear?”

“Yeah,” Hap says immediately, with a solemn expression, like he is taking an oath or something. “I will, Len, swear I will.”

“Good,” Leonard says. “Right. Get on the bed.”

Hap makes a big production out of looking around, seemingly confused. “Thought I already was.”

“Christ,” Leonard says, rolling his eyes while Hap grins at him. Thinks to himself, other people probably take this kinky shit a lot more seriously than they do. He pushes at Hap’s shoulder, which makes him flop backwards onto the mattress dramatically. 

“Get up. The damn. Bed,” he says again, as authoritative as he can. Hap blinks at him, eyes going wide, and then he swallows, and then he actually fucking goes. Huh, Leonard thinks, trying not to let it get to him. That’s good to know. 

Hap settles on his back in the middle of the bed, eyes fixed on Leonard, so they’re looking at each other when Hap slowly pushes his arms above his head. 

Something hot and possessive starts to unspool inside Leonard’s ribcage. He clambers up the bed, realizes that Hap isn’t even making fists, hands open, fingers curling loosely towards his palms. On whim, he traces two fingers from the crook of Hap’s arm up to his wrist, lacing their fingers together when he gets there. Hap smiles up at him and everything about him so is achingly, wondrously familiar, from the curve of his mouth to his eyes crinkling at the corners, that Leonard almost falls down on top of him, can’t even stop himself, and crushes their mouths together. 

Hap makes a low sound, and kisses him back hungrily. 

And he has to notice Leonard letting go of his hand and feeling around, has to feel the metal of the cuff fitting round his wrist, but he doesn’t react to any of those things until the cuff clicks into place. Then he takes a shuddering breath and twists his head away, cranes it to the side to look. 

Leonard thinks of saying something, and then doesn’t. Pulls the long chain through the headboard instead, not even wrapping it around, so it’s a more than comfortable fit, not very restricting at all in certain ways – except Hap won’t be able to move his arms down, not past his own head at least. Leonard secures the other wrist as well, slides the lock into place. Tries to keep his breathing even when he takes the key from the nightstand and demonstratively holds it up.

“Right here,” he says. “Yeah? Case you need it. S’right here.”

Hap nods without even looking, eyes fixed on Leonard’s face. He’s flexing his hands now, Leonard realizes, still not quite balling them into fists, but just… moving the muscles, probably, to feel the restriction of the cuffs. Leonard goes down again, presses a careful kiss to the corner of his mouth, except… Hap retaliates by licking over Leonard’s lower lip, and all bets are off after that. 

Leonard kisses him, pushing his tongue deep into Hap’s mouth until they’re both breathless with it. Got his hands all over him, too, because he just can’t not, it’s impossible to resist. When he thumbs a nipple, Hap makes a soft, impatient sound and Leonard has to pull back a bit. Does it again, watching Hap’s reaction – petulant twist of his mouth, brow furrowing.  

Because the thing is… Hap doesn’t like the soft touch. They both know it. He likes it just fine when Leonard presses down a bit more, firm touch, maybe even a hint of pain from time to time, but this? Gentle, barely-there, whisper of a touch? Makes him restless and twitchy like nobody’s business. And Leonard can see it in Hap’s face, both of them arriving at the exact same conclusion at the exact same time: There’s absolutely nothing Hap can do to stop him, now. God. It’s feels like the best kind of power rush, honestly, just the realization all by itself.

Leonard can feel himself getting hard, presses up a bit more against Hap’s thigh. His stupid towel is still there, a bit askew, but hanging on. Hap is staring up at him with an expression that’s half expectant, half defiant. 

“You’re gonna love it,” Leonard says, voice pitched low and intimate.

“I’m not… you can’t… Leonard,” Hap says, clear whine in his voice, because he knows what’s coming, they both do, which makes it infinitely better somehow.

“Think you’ll find I absolutely can,” Leonard murmurs, and then, before Hap can protest some more, Leonard pushes his thumb against his lower lip, before slipping it inside. Hap’s breathing speeds up, and then he’s sucking it into his mouth, lapping at it with his tongue, getting it nice and wet.

When Leonard pulls it out, Hap makes another protesting sound and then they both watch Leonard’s hand move, as he carefully starts touching Hap’s nipple again, rubbing over it and circles around it, soft as he can. There’s the metallic clinking of the handcuffs, suddenly, because Hap just tried to bring his arm down… probably to grab Leonard’s hand or something, which is what he usually does, except… he can’t. God, he can’t, he can’t do a damn thing.

“Leonard…!” he whines again and Leonard just hums, kisses him again; Hap kissing him back so desperately sweet that Leonard involuntarily rocks against his thigh again, then fumbles blindly for the towel with his free hand, to tug it off and away. 

Hap is really moving now, more and more the longer Leonard keeps going with his thumb, squirming around, trying to twist away. He’s mostly hard already, Leonard realizes, wrapping his fingers around Hap’s dick. Hap freezes for a second and then he moans, eyes fluttering shut. 

“Now, Hap,” Leonard says – and he doesn’t even know where this is coming from, but fine, he thinks, they’re gonna see this through for a bit. See where it takes them. “You manage to hold still for me-” 

“Oh, come on,” Hap says, flushed and breathless. He’s drawing one of his legs up already, even though nothing is happening yet, Leonard is just holding him in his hand, not moving at all.

“-you manage to do that,” Leonard continues, unmoved. “I might keep going with my other hand, too.”

He tugs at Hap’s dick, once, root to tip, twisting his wrist at the top, just the way he knows Hap likes it. 

“Oh,” Hap says, to no one in particular. “Oh, God-”

Leonard starts to move his thumb again and Hap bucks immediately. They both snort a laugh at that, can't seem to help themselves, Hap looking sheepish, clearly amused at himself, and Leonard feels unbearably fond and really turned on at the same time. 

"Wow," he says. "That's real impressive, Hap."

"Shut up," Hap mutters. "Do that again."

He honest to God holds still after that, even though he's practically vibrating with tension. Leonard, true to his word, is jerking him slow and steady, graciously ignoring the odd little twitch here and there, because hell, Hap's really trying, here. Keeps it going until the last trace of amusement is gone from Hap's eyes and he's panting, muscles in his arms bunching from holding onto the chain, flush creeping down to his chest. 

Eventually, Leonard bends down, and flicks his tongue against Hap's oversensitized nipple and Hap makes a shocked noise, chain chinking, and bucks up from the bed again. 

"No, no, no," he says immediately, craning his neck to see what Leonard is gonna do with his hand, the one still wrapped around his dick. "Don't stop. Leonard? Do not… that doesn’t count, you can’t just, come on… I, you can't -" 

"You tryin' to tell me what to do?" Leonard says, amused. 

"Yeah," Hap says, petulant. There's a trace of humor in his voice, but there's real need underneath, Leonard can tell. "Yeah, I am, actually. Please tell me it's working?" 

"Maybe," Leonard says, reaching for the top drawer of the nightstand, "If you say that again," and Hap blinks at him, clearly confused.  

"Again...? You mean, me tryin' to tell you what to- oh." 

His gaze is fixed on Leonard's other hand now, the one that just pulled out the lube. 

"Please?" he says immediately, voice low and hoarse. Seems to go completely pliant, all of a sudden, relaxing into the bed, eyelids heavy. He's got no damn poker face and no shame about being in this position, about being needy, and for whatever reason, he trusts Leonard with all of it. 

God, Leonard wants to fuck him into next week. 

"Please, Leonard?" Hap says, right on cue. 

"You want to?" Leonard says, holding up the lube and Hap nods slowly, head loose on his shoulders, with that dazed look on his face, like he doesn't even know what's going to happen, just knows that he wants Leonard to deal with it for both of them. Leonard carefully bends down, kisses him again.

They get lost in it for a while, Leonard rolling on top of him, settling down between his legs. He fumbles the lube open while kissing. 

Takes his sweet time opening him up, too, because first of all, it's been a week since the last time and second of all, Hap's shamelessly responsive about it, which… it's impossible not to get turned on by that, because it is hot as all hell and selfishly makes Leonard want to draw this out for his own benefit, just to enjoy the show a little while longer. 

“Len…” Hap murmurs eventually, soft and pleading. He’s rocking back onto three of Len’s fingers carelessly at this point, trying to get the right sensation out of it, since Leonard keeps carefully avoiding his prostate. 

“What?” Leonard says.

“You know what…”

“Hmm,” Leonard says. “Be nice about it again.”

“M’always nice,” Hap mutters, clearly aware of what Leonard’s asking for, and then he wants to say something else, but Leonard moves his fingers inside of him, curling them just right, and whatever it was turns into a moan instead. 

“Right,” he pants after that. “Okay, fine, okay, it’s, you… just, please? Len? Please?”

“Hmmm,” Leonard says again, like he actually has to think about this, which is bullshit and they both know it. 

“S’gonna be so good,” Hap goes on, unprompted, like he has to sell this somehow, like Leonard’s dick isn’t twitching already at the mere thought of fucking him. “You know it’s gonna be good-”

And the thing is… Hap looks impossibly, desperately earnest for somebody chained to a bed with three fingers up his ass, dripping lube, like this isn’t about sex at all, but something else, something much bigger and more important, and Leonard forgets whatever else he was gonna say. Pulls his fingers out of him instead and mutters “Turn over, yeah? Just…” 

He’s helping him along, Hap pretty damn limber for somebody complaining about getting old on a regular basis. The chain is more than long enough to do this comfortably, and Leonard grabs one of the pillows for good measure, uses it to help Hap raise his hips by stuffing it underneath.

Probably will make him come too, Leonard thinks, hot flash of arousal coursing through him; because Hap has never been able to come completely untouched just from being fucked, but when he’s really worked up, the tiniest bit of stimulation is usually enough. 

“You okay?” Leonard says, as he’s putting the condom on himself, hoarse as anything; finally letting on how much this is getting to him as well. 

“Yeah,” Hap says, muffled, which is all the confirmation Leonard really needs at this point. “Yeah, I’m- Christ. Oh, Jesus, God-”

He trails off with a choked noise as Leonard sinks into him, slow but inexorable, and it’s tight and hot and perfect. Leonard bottoms out, breath already shuddering in and out of him, forcing himself to hold still.

“Tell me when,” he manages after a few seconds have passed, his whole entire body screaming at him to move.

“When,” Hap says immediately. 

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

The first stroke makes Hap groan, face turned downwards, muffled against the mattress. He sounds almost incredulous about it. 

“Oh, hell,” Leonard breathes. Lets himself fall forward to cover Hap with his body and then everything suddenly kicks into overdrive – because at first, he’s fucking into him as measured as he can, trying to get the angle right, but he can see the damn handcuffs, can see the chain reflecting light every time he moves, cuffs holding onto Hap’s wrists, keeping his arms stretched over his head, Hap making this low, frantic noise on every thrust now, and any intention of maybe taking this slow goes out the damn window. 

Leonard snaps his hips, rocking him down against the bed and Hap just… takes it, back arching, moving into it as much as he can, moaning with his face turned sideways now, mouth pressed against his own arm to keep quiet, hands fisted in the bedsheet.

"God," he keeps saying in between the noises. "God, oh God-" 

“No, sorry,” Leonard pants, basically on autopilot. “Not available right now. Try again.”

And Hap… fucking laughs at that, just starts snickering in between the desperate sounds he’s making, and it should be insulting, is what it should be, Leonard should be insulted, here – except he can’t, because all of a sudden, he’s this close to coming, pulling himself away from the edge by the skin of his teeth as he listens to Hap’s breath hitch over that dumb joke.

He grabs him by the hip with his his free hand, forcing him to tilt up a bit more, presses himself impossibly close and just grinds into him, well aware that he’s got it right when Hap’s entire body seems to tense up, muscles straining, and then Hap whines, “Oh… fuck…” like he hasn’t even got enough air in his lungs for that much and starts coming.

Leonard falls over the edge right behind him, because Hap is pulsing around his dick, hole clenching and releasing, pleasure flooding through him like a dam broke somewhere, everything all at once. They ride it out together, suffering through it in the best possible way, until they’re just sluggishly moving against each other, completely spent.

Leonard settles half on top of him, once he’s pulled out and got rid of the condom – as always, the trashcan is right next to the bed, because seriously, why not make life easier on themselves – and Hap turns his head in his direction, smiling at him, looking utterly content.

His face is red and sweaty, hair still a mess and he’s also still chained to the bed. Leonard kisses the back of his neck, his ear, the side of his jaw. Pushes a hand into the hair at the back of his head, scratching his fingers over Hap’s scalp. Hap makes a soft noise. 

“Len?” he says and Leonard tries not to grin at how he sounds half-asleep already. 

“What?”

“Thanks.”

“Ohh, yeah,” Leonard says. “Did that solely for your benefit, out of the goodness of my heart.”

“...goodness of your dick, maybe,” Hap says and then he’s snorting a laugh, amused at his own idiocy. And Leonard wants to roll his eyes at him, because goddammit, this should be insufferable, but it isn’t, of course it isn’t, because… well. It’s Hap. 

And really, that explains everything.