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Orange Post-Its and Other Moments

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The neon orange sticky note stands starkly out of place against the dark wood of Martin’s impeccably tidy desk. It has a case number written on it in Jon’s messy scrawl.

Helpfully, it’s another case about the Extinction. He whispers, “Thank you,” into the recorder.

More sticky notes follow. Some are case numbers. Some are mundane observations like Daisy went for a walk alone today or I’d kill for a decent cup of tea.

One says, I miss you.

Martin doesn’t respond, but he doesn’t throw the notes away. He keeps them in a small stack in his desk drawer.

* * * * *

Martin doesn’t expect to come back, but here he is, on his back on the floor of the archive, aching all over but definitely alive.

The reason why becomes quickly apparent; Jon, shadows beneath his eyes darker than Martin has ever seen them, mouth thin and tight with fear, that damn lighter clutched in his grasp.

Martin opens his mouth to say something, You idiot, or Do you know what you’ve done? But then Jon’s mouth is on his, desperately seeking reassurance, and Martin throws his arms around Jon’s neck.

For the first time in far too long, Martin feels.

* * * * *

Martin kisses another of Jon’s worm scars and doesn’t think how many ways he could have lost him.

Jon’s cock is hard and red and Martin wants to swallow it down and suck every drop of come from it, but he also doesn’t want this to end. He slides big hands up Jon’s creamy thighs and presses more kisses into his pubic hair.

When he finally takes Jon’s cock into his mouth, Jon moans so filthily that Martin thinks he could come just listening to it.

He thinks maybe he’s dead after all, but if he is, he doesn’t mind.

* * * * *

It seems unfair to come back from near-death to a pile of paperwork. Apparently, there are forms for “Interdimensional Travel,” “Entity Interaction - Official Mediation,” and “Resurrection via Ritual (Revived Participant).” Martin’s only consolation is that Jon’s pile is bigger, and Maintenance is still on him about the wax stuck in the carpet.

Martin really should be working on that paperwork right now. Instead, he has Jon in his lap and Jon’s face in his hands and Jon’s lips on his and he hadn’t realized how cold he’s been for the last however many months until now that he’s warm again.

* * * * *

“You know,” Peter says cheerfully, “I don’t think your boyfriend likes me very much.” He’s taking Martin’s escape from the Lonely suspiciously well.

“What gave you that idea?” Martin asks, not looking up from his laptop. He’s used to Peter’s sudden appearances.

“He said, ‘I don’t like you,’ to me, just now, in the lift,” Peter says. “Also, stabbing me in the chest was a hint.”

“You got better,” Martin points out, unimpressed.

“Well, yeah, but he ruined a nice shirt,” Peter whines.

“I’ll get him to buy you a new one,” Martin says.

“No, you won’t.”

“No, I won’t.”

* * * * *

It’s very early when Martin steps into the Archives, but there’s a light on in Jon’s office.

The shadows under Jon’s eyes look like bruises in the yellowish light. He scribbles fervently in a spiral notebook.

“You have to sleep sometime,” Martin says.

Jon jumps. “Nightmares,” he says, but he doesn’t protest when Martin takes him by the arm and leads him to the cot. Martin sits and leans back against the wall, and Jon rests his head against Martin’s chest. In a few moments, his breath evens out.

Martin wishes he’d grabbed a book. Instead, he watches Jon sleep.

* * * * *

Jon sinks down slowly on Martin’s cock. Martin shudders out a breath and holds very still, not wanting rush Jon or push him too quickly.

Jon’s eyes are shut, his face scrunched up in a mixture of pleasure and a little pain, but he doesn’t hesitate, moves slowly and surely down until he has taken Martin’s entire cock inside him. He opens his eyes and smiles at Martin.

Martin wants to fuck Jon until one of them screams, but he can’t help think of Jon as fragile.

Jon grabs Martin’s hand in his. He moves, and Martin moves with him.

* * * * *

“So are we, you know…” Jon asks, braining a Flesh monster with a chair. “I mean, do you think we’re dating?”

“Is this really the time?” Martin asks, decapitating another with the possibly-cursed machete he found in Artifact Storage.

“Well, we might not get another.”

“Do you think we are?” Martin slides in a bit of blood and shish-kebabs a thing with three arms. He glances at Jon, who is very focused on the monster he’s beating up.

“I’d like us to be,” Jon says.

“Then I guess we are.”

Jon wipes of a bit of blood and looks pleased.

* * * * *

There’s a cupcake on Martin’s desk. Red velvet with cream cheese frosting. It has a single blue candle in the middle.

A lump forms in Martin’s throat. He falls into his chair, still staring.

“Happy B— oh,” Jon says from the doorway. He crosses the floor to stand next to Martin. “I’m sorry, I just thought—”

“No, it’s fine,” Martin says, scrubbing his eyes with his hand. “I just… didn’t think I’d have another one of these.”

Jon’s “Oh Martin” breaks his heart. Martin sticks his finger in the frosting and dabs it on Jon’s nose. They’ll be all right.

* * * * *

Martin breathes, savoring the stretch of his lungs, the feel of the rise and fall of his chest. He feels quiet and still, but not empty, not like before. Is this what peace feels like?

They’re still held captive in a house of horrors. Sometimes Jon stares too long at people on the tube, hunger plain on his face. Sometimes having another person in the same room makes Martin’s skin crawl. But they’re alive, and they’re together, and possibly for the first time in his life, Martin feels hopeful.

Jon rolls over and gives him a sleepy smile. It’s enough.