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Brusied knuckles and split lips

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Thanatos's apartment was, at least compared to where they grew up, a downgrade. 

That wasn't saying a lot, though; ten or so stories, entirely composed of somewhat expensive suites, everything always so pristine and shining glass or polished marble floors. Still, smaller than the massive complex that Hades' owned, that they'd lived in their whole lives. Than's apartment was just on the edge of where massive, shining, bustling skyscrapers and streets oozed into something more dark and dreary, with rundown buildings and people. This happened to work in Zagreus's favour, though.

It was right between where Hades lived, and the apartment Zagreus shares. 

Thanatos's apartment was situated right adjacent to the fire escape that twisted and turned up the pale brickwork facing the back alleys. He was on the 8th floor, not the 7th, Zagreus had learned after leaving hand prints and a broken lock on the wrong window. The middle-aged white couple living there had moved out practically the next day due to 'poltergeist phenomena' or something like that. 

A lamp was still on, the light a muted faded gold that Zag could just glimpse through through greyed blinds. The window was cool to the touch of his sticky palms, the glass clattering loud against the wooden panes. Zagreus hit hard, wincing just the slightest with each brisk rap od his knuckles. It took a few minutes, Zagreus at some point cursing his uncomfortable, pained crouch to drop his hands to his lap and consider going back to Hypnos. 

A shadowed black figure obscured the light a moment. Zagreus peered in, seeing him standing from the hallway across the living room. He grinned wide and waved, wincing at the feeling of his split lip tearing with the movements. He heard a loud, muffled curse before Thanatos rushed forward to the window, yanking it wide open.

" Zagreus, " Than growled. Zag didn't give him a chance to reprimand him anymore, awkwardly clamoring into the suite. The action pulled and twisted the bruises, jostling a pounding ache in his skull that may or may not have been a concussion, he wasn't sure. 

The light flicked on, Zagreus wincing at the sudden change. Thanatos stared at him, eyes raking up his form. No doubt catching the bruises over his jaw, split lip, bloody and cut knuckles, and dazed eyes. "Jesus Christ."

"I'm afraid it's just me, Than," Zag said, "he wasn't able to join me this evening unfortunately." 

Thanatos tutted, eyes narrowing. Zag didn't move when he charged up to him. "This isn't the time for joking, Zagreus," Than said with a hiss. He locked his hand around Zag's wrist and pulled him farther into the room. He winced at the brisk movement, Than's touch obviously softening. 

"What in the world have you been doing? It's nearly 2am. Wait, don't answer that, just sit down here." Wide hands on his shoulders guided him down to sit, Than's cold glare almost as unwelcoming and uncomfortable as his horrible couch. "Don't you dare move," he huffed with a spin, disappearing down the hall. 

He was familiar with Than's apartment, to a degree. Yet it always felt like a pristine, clean environment pulled straight from an expensive interior design magazine. No photographs were on the walls or displayed on shelves. Few emotionless pieces of art on the walls and candles that had never been lit sat on shelves, on a mantle over a faux fireplace. everything was always too clean; it didn't look lived in at all. 

Megaera would call it 'minimalist'. Zagreus called it depressing.

"I can't believe you," Than huffed when he was barely even in the room, eyes still narrowed. He disappeared a moment more, coming back dragging a dining chair into the room, medical kill in the other hand. He sat it right across from Zag, sitting so their knees were touching. 

"Hey," Zag whispered, words slightly slurred. "Did you shampoo your carpet? I don't see the bloodstain I left last time. I miss it."

Thanatos set the first aid kit beside Zag on the couch, pausig in opening it up to look at Zagreus, confused for a moment before turning tentative. "Are you concussed too?"

"It's a very real possibility but the jury hasn't decided yet."

"Unbelievable," Than scoffed. he sifted through the very full contents, grabbing gauze and antiseptic and whatever he saw fit. Zagreus simply watched him, noting how he was just wearing pajama pants, hair unkempt; more from running fingers through his hair repeatedly rather than sleepless shuffling. Zag could tell, all too familiar with what Than’s hair felt like between his fingers. 

Than’s fingers were cold as he reached out, tracing over his wrist and the swell of his forearm. “Give me your hands,” he said roughly, the complete opposite of his touch. Zag complied, quirking an eyebrow. “How very forward of you, Thanatos.”

“Please, Zagreus,” Than sighed out low, Zag actually clamping his mouth shut at Than’s tired tone. His eyebrows were knit together as he took Zagreus’s hand in his own, fingers stinging gently as they looked over the scrapes and cuts and bruises. 

The antiseptic bit at his skin in an all too familiar way. He was beyond wincing at the feeling, simply watching Thanatos work instead. He was careful, or as careful as he could be, cleaning the partially dried blood on his knuckles. Than visibly winced when he turned his hand over to look at  Zag’s palm. 

“Fell on broken glass,” Zag answered the unasked question. Holding up his other palm, he gestured to the nearly unmarred skin. “Landed on my left on really bad. Wrist hurts too.” Thanatos didn’t respond, instead picking a pair of tweezers from the kit without protest. 

Zagreus would lie if he said he didn’t enjoy these moments. When Thanatos was in his own home, his guard down to Zag. It was rarer, lately; Than apparently had learned how to hide and masquerade himself during the many years he’d been away to college. 

“It’s nice,” Zag hummed as Than wrapped and patched gauze over his knuckles, his palms, “seeing you without a business suit, I mean.” Thanatos actually snorted at that, pointedly rolling his eyes. “I was hoping we wouldn’t mention my lack of dress.” 

He reached out to Zag’s other hand, and he easily complied. “That’s not what I meant,” Zag said, “although I do enjoy seeing you shirtless, I mean like… relaxed.” 

His lips tightened to a thin line, otherwise saying nothing. Zagreus didn't mind the silence, not with Thanatos. He was more than content to watch him work. The way the swirling black lines of ink running through the skin of his left hand and continued far up his arm was more than distracting. He always thought it was a shame how Than would hide his tattoos, either under the sleeves of expensive polyester suits or pearl white gloves. He was too gorgeous to hide.

"I'm not relaxed."

Zagreus blinked, taking a moment too long to hear what Than said. He frowned, tilting his head to the side a little too quickly. "What?" 

The chair dragged back over the carpet as he pushed away from Zag, not quite making eye contact. "I'm not relaxed, Zag. I'm not happy or calm or. Whatever." His voice was a low, level growl. "Your hands should be fine. Be careful with the bandaging." 

He didn't meet Zag's eyes as he reached for the med-kit, but Zagreus intercepted the movement. Pulling his hands to Zag's, the gauze patched over his knuckles stretched awkwardly as he interlocked their fingers. He didn't say anything for a moment and Thanatos didn't pull away, simply staring listlessly at their hands.

"... your knuckles should be fine," he whispered like it was a secret. "Your palm was bloodier than it had any right to be, but it's not serious. You'll scar, but I know you don't care about that." Zag shook his head lightly, even that action jarring his brain. "I don't. But…"

His grin stretched thin across his face as he lifted his free hand towards Thanatos. "You know, it'll heal quicker if you kiss it better." Than met his eyes a moment, his brow pinched. The feeling of soft fingers grasping his wrist, holding his palm was a shock. 

Thanatos dusted his lips over the pink-white patchwork of gauze and Zagreus's heart warmed in his throat. "That doesn't work, idiot," he exhaled against Zag's skin.

"God," he breathed out like it was a prayer, "I'm so in love with you." 

Than recoiled slightly, his face red. "Zag, you can't just say those things." 

"I can and I will!" Zag huffed, puffing his chest out and straightening his back. He licked his lip, agitating the cut and feeling went blood bubble up again. "Thanatos, I love y--"

Thanatos's lips were chapped, slightly rough against Zagreus's. His moment of durprise was taken advantage of, fingers lacing up his shoulder and his neck, a palm smoothed over his arm to hold at his wrist gently. He leaned in deeper, pushing harder, not caring the slightest at the sting of his split lip. 

Than cared, apparently, letting out a muffled noise against Zag's mouth before pulling back abruptly. Zagreus whined at the loss. But his eyes widened when Than smoothed a tongue over his own teeth, coloured faded red. His blood warmed as he smoothed his thumb, dashing away the slight crimson on his lips. 

"... Disgusting." Thanatos wrinkled his nose. Zag laughed, almost losing his words at the feeling of fingers at his nape. "You're the one who kissed me."

"I didn't think you opened your wound again." His voice was a barking tone, but his reddened face and how his eyes darted around constantly betrayed him.

There was a moment then, a pause for breath where Zagreus was content just to stare at Than as he mulled over whatever had him caught in his head. Eventually, Than broke the moment, sighing as he dragged himself closer until he was sat right between azag's legs. His hands reached to Zag's face, fingets ghosting over the yellowing bruise on his jaw, hesitating over his bloody lip.

"... I still need to clean your face," he hummed, golden eyes intent, "you look like you shoved your face in a wood chipper."

"Not quite, but almost." 

Thanatos's smile was small, maybe tentative and concerned, but still genuine. "You'll have to tell me what really happened. Are you staying the night?" Zagreus snorted, leaning into Than's gentle touch as an answer.