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coda/complicated

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Hamid isn’t swaying on his feet, but he feels pleasantly dizzy, even if the back of his throat is unpleasantly burnt. Zolf is smiling into his drink after making some joke that Hamid laughed a little too hard at, and Hamid leans forward to put a hand on his arm. Zolf’s arm drops to encircle his waist, and Hamid barely bites back a satisfied hum. The shot only adds to the burn, scorching all the way down to his stomach, but gods know he needs the courage. Leaning into Zolf, he murmurs, “I think my room is big enough for two. If you’d like to join me.”

Zolf blinks at him for a moment before laughing again. “I’ll follow your lead,” he says, getting down from the bar. Hamid doesn’t let go of his arm, and Zolf’s hand settles back on his waist, cool even through his layers. The dwarf stumbles on the stairs and Hamid only barely manages to catch him. “I– damn, thanks for sharing; I’m not sure I could make it to mine without falling on my face,” Zolf slurs, and there’s a fond smile on his face, and there’s a look of contentment settled across his broad features, and his eyes don’t meet Hamid’s, but they’re still warm.

Hamid’s heart freezes over and sinks into his stomach with a hollow thud. “Of course,” he says with a smile, deciding not to correct Zolf on what the offer actually meant.

(This was just an idea, an idle impulse with which to pass the time. It didn’t mean anything. The accidental rejection doesn’t mean anything to him. It’s fine.)

(It’s fine.)

Zolf sits down on the bed hard, and Hamid begins to wish he’d packed some clothes for the night. It’s a little too late for that now. He faces a corner and takes off his blazer, then his waist coat, and he begins to remove his dress shirt before thinking better of it and simply leaving it half buttoned-up. He folds his clothes neatly in the corner, laying them all down with care. A sudden thud makes him startle, and he turns to see Zolf wrestling with some sort of brown leather harness. “S’the leg,” he grunts, undoing a buckle and pulling the whole thing off from around his hips, “can’t just attach the damn thing by magic. Costs too much.” The harness joins the peg leg and the thin rubber ring that must have connected the two contraptions where they lie on the inn floor.

Hamid looks at the dwarf, looks at the bed, and it’s absolutely massive, so big that if he reached across it, he and Zolf wouldn’t even touch. “Do you want– well, is it okay if– I don’t mean to be forward—”

“Get in the damn bed,” Zolf invites, Zolf instructs, and Hamid takes off his shoes before obeying. “Never mind,” the dwarf says abruptly, “I’m not sharin’ a bed with someone who sleeps with socks on.” Hamid forces a laugh, but it comes out thin and strained and shaking. Zolf seems to notice, but he just shuffles further into the upper corner of the bed, as if to give Hamid more room. Zolf settles in against the rather flat-looking pillows with a soft noise of contentment, and Hamid lifts himself up onto the opposite side of the bed, curling up as far away from his boss (his boss, who Hamid is under the contract of, gods above, what was he thinking?) as he can get.

(He wakes up in the middle of the night, gasping and feeling his throat constrict around something that isn’t there. He pushes himself up and leans over the side of the bed, dry-heaving, eyes shut tight. There’s a small noise of worry from behind him, and a supernaturally cool hand comes out to settle at his back. Zolf doesn’t heal him – there’s nothing to heal – but it’s grounding. It feels nice. “Thank you,” Hamid manages, and he clears his throat after the way it comes out, high and weak and wobbling. Zolf hums, and his hand is still on Hamid’s back, and his eyes are near inscrutable in the darkness, but Hamid thinks he sees concern. Thinks he sees sympathy.)

(Zolf doesn’t say anything when Hamid curls into his chest. He just runs his hand over Hamid’s back and holds him tight.)