Chapter 1: Love (We Need it Now)
It was the rather uncomfortable sensation of an ice-cold nose being pressed against his neck that woke Peter Jakes up. He barely had time to register the tickle of hair against his cheek and the faint scent of Morse before two frigid hands wormed their way around his waist.
“Christ, Morse, you’re freezing.”
A disgruntled mmmph was all he got in response. Morse shifted closer to him, curling himself around Jakes’ lanky form like a cat. Still half asleep, Jakes wrapped one arm around Morse’s shoulder and buried his face in Morse’s curls.
“Glad you’re home,” he murmured. Morse grunted in reply and nuzzled a bit at Jakes neck. Jakes yawned and peered over Morse’s head. “What time is it, anyhow?”
He’d curled up on the couch, planning to wait up until Morse returned from whatever case Thursday had dragged him off to. It had been just past six when he’d flopped down on the couch, frustrated that Thursday kept Morse so late, and equally frustrated that he’d been sent home early. It grated on him, every time he knew Morse was out there without him.
The apartment was completely dark now, save for the one lamp Jakes had turned on earlier. Morse had left a trail of shoes, jacket, and tie strewn from the door to the couch. Jakes rolled his eyes, trying to be frustrated. Bloody disaster, Morse was. Finally Jakes caught sight of the clock.
He blinked at it in surprise for a moment before bolting upright--or at least trying to, Morse rather weighed him down.
“Bloody hell, Dev! It’s just gone one in the morning. Where the hell have you been?”
Jakes was pretty sure that Morse actually growled at him, before tucking his face further into the space between Jakes’ cheek and shoulder.
“Morse. Words.” Jakes prodded at Morse.
Morse muttered something that Jakes couldn’t make out. At least, Jakes thought those were supposed to be words.
“Dev, are you drunk?” An indignant harrumph was his only reply. Jakes sighed. This was getting them nowhere. He pulled back from Morse as far as he could, trying not to grin at the way Morse leaned in after him. Jakes managed to worm one finger under Morse’s chin, tugging him gently upwards. “Dev, can you look at me please?”
Two glowering ice-blue eyes met his, followed by what should have been an adorable pout. The haggard, pale appearance of the rest of Morse’s face rather distracted Jakes. As did the ugly bruise high on one of Morse’s cheekbones.
“Christ, Dev!” Jakes wrapped his fingers gently around Morse’s chin, preventing him from burying his face back in Jakes’ neck. “What happened to you?”
“Long night,” Morse muttered. “Cold.” He jerked back quickly, escaping Jakes’ hold. Morse burrowed back in between Jakes and the couch before Jakes could react.
“Endeavour Morse!” Jakes scolded. “What the hell have you been up to?” Jakes ran his hand down Morse’s back, then froze. “Dev...Dev you’re soaked.” No wonder the man’s nose and hands were frozen. It couldn’t be more than four or five degrees out, and Morse’s shirt was soaking wet.
Jakes got another wordless grunt from Morse, and another shuffle as Morse tried to leech some of Jakes’ warmth. Jakes rolled his eyes.
“Dev, listen, I know you’re tired. But I need to know if you’re injured or just cranky.” He brushed his hand through Morse’s hair. “Please, Dev?”
Morse’s chest expanded in a sigh and Jakes felt his head turn just enough so that his face was clear of Jakes’ shoulder.
“‘m fine,” he slurred. “Thursday made ‘em look me over.”
That wasn’t reassuring. “Made who look you over?”
“Morse!” Jakes shuffled upright. “Endeavour Morse you look at me right now.” Jakes waited until Morse was glaring up at him. “What the hell happened out there?”
Morse pouted. “‘m tired, Peter. Sore. Let me sleep.”
Jakes grabbed Morse’s chin before he could disappear again. “Dev.”
Morse sighed again. “Thompson threw me down a set of stairs. I landed in a puddle. Thursday dragged me to casualty. Nothing too serious. ‘m fine.”
“Nothing too serious ?” Jakes tilted Morse’s head to the side, eyes frantically scanning over his pale skin. Damn Morse and his ability to end up on the wrong end of suspects.
“Everything’s bruised. I’m wet. I’m tired.” Morse huffed. He stared at Jakes with a rare flicker of vulnerability. He seemed to be considering something. “Thompson called me a useless fairy. Hit me across the face, then shoved me down the stairs before I could react.” Morse’s eyes dropped. “The uniforms on duty just...watched. Once I hit the bottom, they grabbed him.” Morse shrugged, and Jakes saw red.
“They what ?” His grip on Morse’s chin softened. “What the fuck, Dev?”
“Thursday chewed them out.” Morse shrugged again. “Guess they didn’t like me much. Claimed they didn’t know he was gonna send me flying.”
“Dammit, Dev. They should be suspended for that.” Morse shrugged again, and Jakes cursed. “Endeavour Morse. You do not deserve that, any of it.” He shook Morse’s chin lightly. “You are not expendable. Not to me. Whatever is going on in your head right now, stop it.” Morse flushed, and Jakes knew he was right. “I love you. You know that, right?” Morse just stared at him. Jakes rolled his eyes and tugged Morse closer to him.
“You’re mine,” Jakes whispered. He closed the distance between them, gently capturing Morse’s lips with his own. Morse gave a small sigh and relaxed into Jakes’ arms.
Jakes kissed Morse tenderly, letting his lips remind Morse of how much he cared. He massaged Morse’s scalp, smiling as Morse leaned back into the touch. Finally, when he felt Morse’s lips quirk in a small smile, he pulled back.
Morse hummed appreciatively. He dipped his head, clearly intending to bury his face back into Jakes’ neck.
“No you don’t.” Jakes pushed him back. “You’re soaked to the skin and apparently sporting more bruises than I would prefer. You’re taking a hot shower.” Morse pouted at him, and Jakes took the opportunity to kiss him again.
“Don’t want to,” Morse muttered against Jakes’ skin.
“You’re taking a hot shower,” Jakes repeated firmly. “And then you can pretend to be a bloody cat again, in bed , if you must. Sleeping on this couch isn’t going to do your muscles any good.”
Morse stared at him, an unreadable expression in his eyes. Jakes sighed and ran a hand through Morse’s hair.
“Dev, I would rather not move.” He pressed a small kiss to Morse’s bruised cheek. “I would rather sit here and kiss you...”--another kiss, this time to Morse’s jaw-- “...and have you wrapped around me…” --a little lower this time-- “...and not move till morning…” --he made it to Morse’s collar bone this time, and grinned at the way Morse gasped. “But you’re hurt, and you’re soaking wet, and I would much rather have you warm and not in danger of pneumonia.” Jakes pulled back and fixed Morse with a glare. “So get yourself warmed up, and we can continue this…” --a quick kiss to Morse’s lips-- “...later.”
Morse glared at him, but his eyes looked a little less haunted. “Promise?”
Jakes laughed at him. He couldn’t help it. Morse looked like a drowned cat, yet somehow in the half-light from the lamp, he also looked absolutely beautiful .
“Just you try and stop me, Endeavour Morse.”
Jakes had just finished fixing two cups of tea when he heard Morse padding out of the bathroom.
“Feel better?” he called over his shoulder.
Morse didn’t answer, at least not at first. Before Jakes could ask again, he felt Morse’s hands sneak around his waist.
“At least you’re warm this time,” Jakes muttered. Morse just stuck his nose in Jakes’ shoulder and grunted. Jakes laughed and wrapped his hands over those that were clasped at his waist. “Dev, you’re a disaster, you know that?”
“Not my fault I got tossed down the stairs,” Morse grumbled. Jakes felt Morse shift behind him. “Is that tea?”
“Yes, it is.” Jakes turned in Morse’s embrace just far enough to press a kiss to his jaw. “You’re going to drink this, and then we are going to bed.”
Morse peered down at the tea suspiciously.
“I didn’t put any poison in it,” Jakes huffed. “Hang on...Dev, is that...is that my jumper?”
Morse’s head shot up and he scowled at Jakes. He pulled back, wrapping his arms around himself. “Warm.”
“Morse…” Jakes sighed. How could the bloody idiot look so damn adorable, standing there in worn flannel pajamas bottoms and Jakes’ old brown jumper? His hair was a damp mess, red-brown curls sticking out at all angles, and that blasted bruise took up half his face. Somehow, though, the sight still made Jakes smile. “Come here, Dev.”
Morse eyed him warily, refusing to move. Jakes rolled his eyes.
“You idiot.” He stepped forward and tugged Morse to his chest. “Come here.” Jakes buried his face in Morse’s hair. “How the hell do you do this to me, Morse?”
Morse gave a questioning grunt. Jakes tipped his head up gently. He could die in those blue eyes. Jakes trailed his fingers along the side of Morse’s face, enjoying the way Morse leaned into the gentle touch.
“They used to take bets on how many birds I’d end up with on a weekend.” He leaned forward and gave Morse a gentle kiss. “‘Not one to go steady’, they used to say.” Another kiss, a little deeper. “Now look at me.” Jakes nibbled a bit at Morse’s bottom lip. “Ruining my reputation, you are.” Jakes lost his train of thought for a few moments; Morse’s lips were far too distracting.
Finally he pulled back and cupped Morse’s face between his hands. “If you’re not careful, I might just have to make an honest man out of you.” He canted his head to the side, studying Morse’s face. “Endeavour Jakes, how does that sound?”
Morse’s eyes widened. Jakes wasn’t sure he’d ever seen the man turn such an adorable shade of red. He grinned at Morse.
“Alright, maybe not.” Jakes dipped forward and kissed Morse again. He sobered as he leaned back. “I love you, you know.”
Morse regarded him silently. Then all at once he melted into Jakes’ arms. His words were muffled against Jakes’ chest, but Jakes understood them anyhow.
“ Love you too .”
Jakes did manage to get a cup of tea into Morse--plus a few biscuits. Morse glowered at Jakes the whole time, looking more and more like a disgruntled cat as he peered out from the depths of Jakes’ old jumper. Finally, Jakes decided to have pity on him. He wouldn’t faint from hunger, and that was something.
“Alright, come on.” Jakes dumped their dishes in the sink. He’d deal with them tomorrow. “Let’s get you to bed.”
“Not tired,” Morse muttered.
“Yes you are,” Jakes shot back. “You didn’t even bother to change before you crawled all over me.”
Morse stared up at him, and damn if Jakes didn’t find himself getting lost in those eyes all over again. “Didn’t wanna sleep .”
Jakes raised his eyebrows and Morse frowned at him. Finally Morse heaved a sigh and stood. He shuffled over to Peter, stopping a few inches away. “I missed you, Peter.” The words were so soft, Jakes almost missed them.
God, how did the man do that? “Dev--”
Morse blinked up at him and stepped into Jakes’ space. “I just…” he shrugged. “Thompson hit me. The stairs weren’t too kind either. PC Halverton yanked me up by the arm and I’m pretty sure he left a bruise. The damned doctors poked and prodded me and I’m tired .” Morse grabbed one of Jakes’ hands and studied it. Then he glanced up at Jakes through his bloody eyelashes .
“Oh, fuck , Dev.” Jakes tugged Morse to his chest again. Anger burned in Jakes’ chest. How dare the universe keep digging its grubby claws into his Morse. Something soft chased the anger though as he felt Morse’s arms thread around his waist. “C’mon.” Jakes nuzzled into Morse’s hair. “Let me take care of those bruises, okay?”
Jakes had plans , he really did. Hell, he was rarely without plans when it came to Endeavour Morse.
Peter Jakes had earned his reputation, once upon a time. Just because he no longer spent each evening with someone new didn’t mean he had forgotten just how to treat his lover. In fact, he rather thought he had gotten better . He knew exactly how to take Endeavour Morse apart. Even better, he knew how to read him, how to tell when he needed a slow, gentle loving or when he wanted to be pushed to that edge hard and fast and beg for it.
So it wasn’t his fault that his mind suddenly went blank when faced with Morse’s bare chest.
No, he rather thought the fault belonged to one second rate thug, a flight of stairs, and two bastards in uniform.
Morse’s chest was a patchwork quilt of sharp lines of dark blue and black and purple. Several of the bruises wrapped around to his back, and too many more dotted his arms. Damn-- what Jakes wanted to do to Thompson. And Halverton. And whoever else had been there.
“God, Dev.” Jakes ran a careful hand down Morse’s chest, fingers ghosting lightly over the bruises. Morse watched him with solemn eyes.
“I’ve had worse,” he murmured. “Doesn’t hurt much.” He gave Jakes a wonky grin. “Your hands are nicer, though.”
Jakes was not going to be sidetracked, not yet.
Had worse. Doesn’t hurt much .
“Dev.” Jakes brought one hand up under Morse’s chin. He rubbed his thumb tenderly over the line of Morse’s jaw. “ Don’t . Don’t make excuses. You don’t deserve this.” His other hand continued it’s soothing path over those cursed bruises. “You don’t deserve to be thrown down a bloody flight of stairs.”
“Peter, I’m all right.” Dev curled his fingers around Jakes’ wrist. “I’m okay.”
“ No .” Jakes leaned in and captured Morse’s lips in a kiss that was just shy of too hard. “Damn it, Dev. You could have broken your neck.” He pressed his forehead to Morse’s. “You come home to me at one in the morning . Soaking wet. Bruised all over. I’m just asleep . God, you might not have even come home.”
“Peter…” Morse tilted his head, brushing his lips gently across Jakes. “Stop. I did come home. I am here.” Jakes huffed. “Peter, will you look at me?” Jakes growled, but met Morse’s eyes. “I let Thursday drag me to a hospital. I let him drive me home. I took a warm shower. I actually ate something. You know why?”
Morse tugged Jakes’ hand upwards. He pressed a kiss to Jakes’ palm. “I came home because of you . Not that long ago, I probably would have ended up at some pub. Or passed out on my own floor, still soaking wet.” Morse ghosted his lips across the back of Jake’s hand. “I got there first, you know. By myself.”
That got Jakes’ attention.
“I waited. I waited until Thursday showed up. And the PCs.” Morse ran his fingers over Jakes’ hair. “He had a gun. Halverton disarmed him, but he got loose. Cornered me, you know the rest.” Jakes felt a cold shiver run through him. “You know why I waited?”
Morse stared at him for a moment too long. Then he pressed Jakes’ hand to his own chest. “This. You.” Morse’s fingers stroked down Jakes’ face. “I just wanted to touch you. To have you touch me.” He grinned shyly. “You give me something real , Peter. Something more than opera and scotch and an empty flat. I didn’t care if I was wet or sore or exhausted. I just wanted to touch you.”
Morse’s thumbs rubbed across the spot where his icy nose had first landed an hour ago. “I couldn’t put it into words. Guess I needed those biscuits.” He grinned again, a little wider. “I came home for you, Peter Jakes. I’m here now.” His eyes sobered. “Peter, neither one of us can promise we’ll come home tomorrow. We have now .”
He leaned in and kissed Jakes, achingly slow and tender. Finally he sighed and nuzzled into Jakes’ neck.
“Hold me, Peter. Please.”
Jakes ran his hands up Morse’s sides. “Thank you,” he whispered into Morse’s ear. “Thank you for coming home. I need you. God, I need you so much.” He left a ghost of a kiss behind Morse’s ear.
Morse shivered at the touch. That’s more like it.
“I can do a little more than hold you, if you’d like,” Jakes whispered, letting just a touch of desire creep into his tone.
Morse shivered again, and Jakes grinned.
Chapter 2: You're My Sweetheart
Morse wanted to do more, he could tell, but at the slightest twist, he let out a pained grunt. Whatever the idiot might say about feeling fine and dandy, it was clear he was hurting. Still, he had that wicked look in his eye, and was running a hand up the curve of Jakes’ spine. It came to rest at the nape of Jakes’ neck and Morse tried to pull himself up towards him. As he moved, a flash of pain flickered across his face and a short gasp escaped him. Jakes’ winced sympathetically.
“Pete, I want to-” Jakes rolled his eyes and pressed forward, pushing Morse into the mattress.
“Yeah, I know; you made that quite clear,” he said, rolling his hips, teasing. Morse let out a wistful sort of sight at that. “I was just going to suggest,” he said, dipping his head and kissing Morse, “that you just lie back. Let me take care of you.” He cocked his head, one eyebrow curling. He brought a hand up between them and found a space on Morse’s chest that didn’t look like a punching bag, and pushed gently. For a second, anger lit him up again, but then Morse made a particularly appreciative sound, and Jakes decided he could be angry again later.
“If you insist,” Morse said, looking far too smug for someone sporting a shiner like that. Jakes leant once more and pressed a gentle kiss to the edge of the bruise on his cheek.
“Oh I do.” Morse flushed, cheeks pink, and his head fell back against the pillows. He laid a hand against Jakes’ cheek, letting his thumb trace along his cheekbone.
“Don’t worry ‘bout hurting me,” he murmured, as Jakes’ lips found his. “I want everything you’ve got, sergeant.” That sent fire straight through Jakes, so he set to peppering Morse with his own set of bruises, starting at the base of his throat. Morse chuckled as he mouthed his way along his collar, biting where he knew Morse liked it, where it made his toes curl and his head spin.
“You horny teenager, you-” Jakes poked his neck with his nose.
“People’ll just assume it’s from the fall, s’fine,” he said, trailing his way up Morse’s neck, towards his favourite spot right at the base of his jaw. Morse laughed at that, a proper laugh, that Jakes’ felt through his lips pressed to Morse’s jaw.
“You’re insufferable,” he said, as he slid a hand through Jakes’ hair. He tugged at it gentle enough, to pull his face up so they could kiss properly. When they eventually pulled apart, Jakes’ eyes were foggy, his lips shining.
“Big word,” he hummed. Morse shrugged.
“Big brain.” Jakes’ smirked, letting his hand play with the waistband of Morse’s pyjama bottoms.
“Mmm, that’s not all is it?” he slipped a finger under the cotton, running it feather-light across the line of Morse’s hip. It caught Morse halfway through another laugh, turned it into a sudden stolen breath. Jakes laughed, a low rumble, and began trailing kisses down Morse instead. He tracked his way carefully through bruises and bumps, so the only whimpers coming from Morse were ones of impatientence, not pain.
“Would you hurry up,” Morse groaned, fingers prodding at Jakes’ shoulders petulantly. Jakes ran a hand up Morse’s thigh, whilst still busying himself with dropping kisses along Morse’s stomach. Further down the bed, Morse kicked him in the shins, shimmying his hips a little as if to speed him along.
“Tease,” he huffed, and Jakes shook his head. He peered up at Morse, the unusual angle doing nothing to diminish how positively lovely Morse looked in the low light; lit up like some sort of angel.
“I’m just…” he paused, distracted by a patch of skin Morse’s wriggling had exposed, the first teasing trail of hair dipping below his waistband. He was interrupted from his lustful thoughts by another poke to the head.
“Savouring the moment,” he said softly, quite proud of himself for such a sweet line. Morse was less than impressed though.
“Cute, but I thought this was supposed to be about me ?”
Jakes rolled his eyes. “Selfish prick,” he muttered under his breath, as he tugged at Morse’s trousers. Morse chuckled.
“You love it.” Jakes wasn’t sure if he was talking about himself, his attitude, or his own dick, but either way, he supposed Morse was right. He hadn’t been with all that many men, in honestly, and fewer like this, but as he took Morse in his mouth, no warning, he had to concede, he did love it. Morse, his bratty moods, his selfish habits, his snotty attitude; he loved all of it. The good stuff too, of course, that was easy to love. Everyone fell for those baby blues, the small smiles and charming voice. But Jakes loved Morse’s rough edges too. He loved all that made him Morse, and yes that included the drinking, the self sacrificing, the screaming opera at three am, the headstrong idiocy, the taste for trouble. God, did he love Morse, for all his sides; wholly and completely. Solemn thoughts for a man with a cock in his mouth.
Morse seemed to be thinking nothing quite so heavy, seeing how he was now mumbling incoherent gibberish as Jakes ran his tongue along his dick. He seemed blissfully unaware of all Jakes’ heartfelt realisations, and in fairness that was exactly where Jakes wanted him. Somewhere he wouldn’t think of anything other than Jakes, forgetting Thompson and the stairs, the puddle and the bruises. Jakes was going to fuck the memory of all of it out of him.
Morse’s hips trembled beneath his hands, and Jakes couldn’t help grinning to himself. It was a shame really, that Morse wasn’t up to anything more athletic, because Jakes had the wild urge to pick him up and flip him over, utterly tear him apart that way - but he supposed he could make do. He was very good with his mouth after all.
“Jesus Peter-” Morse choked, as he let one hand wander up the inside of Morse’s thigh. He had a line of freckles there, on his right, hidden away from the world, and they were one of Jakes’ favourite parts of Morse, if only because he was so bloody sensitive. One swipe of Jake’s thumb across them, and Morse was melting beneath him. There were other parts too - the curve of his knee for one, a slight wave of a finger and Morse’s legs were curled around his shoulders. The curve of his backside, which Jakes pawed at relentlessly, possessive and proud of it. So many lovely parts, and they were all there for him to lavish with attention.
By the time he had explored every inch of him, Morse was panting beneath him, chest heaving as his hands groped blindly at Jakes’ hair.
“Peter,” he croaked, hands tugging at him. “I- I’m- fuck , please, I’m gonna-” Jakes appreciated the warning, not that he needed it. He kept his lips wrapped around Morse’s dick as he cried out, marveling at the taste of him.
“Christ,” Morse stuttered after a moment, as his eyes fluttered open. Jakes grinned as he pulled himself off Morse, wiping at his chin with the back of his hand.
“Nah, just me,” he growled, crawling up to crush Morse’s lips in a kiss. Morse laughed, breathless and beautiful, cuffing him on the head. Jakes’ heard himself chuckle too, more in awe of Morse’s laugh than anything. How he could still find anything good in today after everything - but that was Morse. He was even kind enough to stick his hand down Jakes’ own pants, despite his protests.
“Thought you were letting me do all the work,” Jakes whispered against his cheek, no fire in his argument, not when Morse was wrapping his fingers around him like that .
“Well I thought this was about me getting what I want,” Morse countered, and who was Jakes to argue with that? With his face buried in Morse’s neck, he let himself fall completely and utterly apart at his touch. He cried Morse’s name against his lips, moaned sweet whispers against his ear. He collapsed, boneless, on atop him. Morse’s fingers trapsed up and down his back as he pressed kisses to his head.
“Pete,” Morse said with his lips at Jakes’ temple. Jakes managed a soft ‘ mmh?’ in reply and little else. He felt Morse’s lips quirk against his skin, a smile. Morse tried again, tapping out a rhythm on his shoulders.
“Peter.” Jakes nodded half-heartedly. Morse sighed, warmly.
“Petey-” that one caught his attention. He lifted his head and cracked open an eye.
Morse smiled at him again eyes shining.
I just...I just love this so much? I'm so happy for guardianoffun's efforts here. It's exactly what I wanted...an exploration of how these two disaster dorks have found a safe place where they can be soft and sweet and awkward together. I'm gonna go melt. Brb.