“We’re almost there,” Eggsy huffs, trying not to inhale his own exhales as he trudges through the snow. His scarf is all but frozen around his face and he can barely see but he won’t stop going.
“You’ve been saying that for hours now,” Roxy snaps, her words muffled by her own scarf.
Eggsy shivers, wondering how in the world his coat can be bulletproof but not actual repel the cold. He’d given Roxy his heavy outer coat, since the bad guys had decided her own winter coat looked better sliced to ribbons. “Well, Miss Positivity, there’s a cabin of some sort so how about you shut your fucking gob, yeah?”
He doesn’t wait for an answer and tries to move faster through the knee deep snow. He’s cold, he’s tired, he’s hurting, and he’s pissed as fuck at whoever told Merlin the party at the ski lodge would be ‘only a party.’ It was a fucking bloodbath, and thankfully he and Roxy made it out without more than a few scratches. That is, until they started wading out through the snow into the freezing mountain air. He finally reaches the cabin, a ramshackle building that looked held together by a few ancient nails and good luck. He starts to kick the door in, thinks better of it, and tries the knob. Unlocked. Thank Christ.
Eggsy stumbles in and waits for her to fall in after him before shutting the door. They both look around for a long moment, trying to figure out exactly what they’re dealing with. It looks like a tiny hunter’s cabin of some sort. A fireplace, wooden table with two chairs, and a cot with three rolled up sleeping bags. “I don’t suppose you have any matches on you?” Roxy asks coolly.
Eggsy pats himself down in an exaggerated fashion. “Oh, I’m sorry, I must’ve put them in my OTHER evening suit.” He tilts his chin at her. “You got the fancy duds on, why don’t you check yourself before mouthing off at me?”
Roxy sighs and looks down at herself. She’d managed to take down a thug just about her size, and changed out of her evening gown and into his trousers and shirt before their escape. She starts patting pockets and triumphantly reaches into one, coming out with a small lighter. “I hope this is an actual lighter and not a bomb.”
“We’ll have to take that chance,” Eggsy says. He peels himself out of his wet suit jacket and looks around. “Don’t see any firewood, and I’m thinking anything outside is gonna be too wet. Guess I could break up a chair for now, although depending on how long we’ll be here, might not last long.” He sighs and looks at her. He wearily runs a hand over his forehead and gasps. “Roxy, fuck. Your feet.”
“What about them?” She looks down to where her toes are peeping out of dainty little silver shoes. “I broke the heels off before we left.”
“But your feet…we just waded through the snow for like two fucking hours. Jesus Christ!” He shoves her onto the cot and kneels in front of her. He starts rubbing her feet, wincing at the feel of the cold skin in his hands.
“I can do this,” she says abruptly. “Just make a fire.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Eggsy actually salutes before grabbing one of the chairs and smacking it against the floor. It shatters into pieces and he does his best to build the base of a fire. It takes fives snaps of the lighter but he finally gets a workable flame and prays the fire into being. He stands up with a sigh of relief and looks at where she’s still sitting on the cot rubbing her feet. “M’sorry,” he says quietly. “Was a horse’s arse to you. Ain’t how you treat a fellow agent…or a friend.”
“Well, I was more focused on my toes than my manners. I’m sorry as well,” she says with a regretful smile.
“We gotta get outta these clothes. We’ll pull the cot closer to the fire, get everything hung up as best we can, yeah? I’ll dart outside quick, see if there’s ANY dry wood we can use.” He goes to the door. “Get undressed and wrap yourself in a sleeping bag.”
“Yes, Galahad.” Now she salutes him and he gives her the two-finger salute.
Eggsy gives a shout of thanks toward the sky when he finds a lean-to full of chopped wood behind the cabin. He fills his arms three times, dumping everything onto a pile by the door. He brings in as many pieces as he can before coming back inside. “Thank fuck for hunters,” he says, arranging things in the fireplace so the fire can grow.
He tugs the cot toward the fire and Roxy helps him arrange their wet clothing. She is down to a matching bra and underwear set, and if Eggsy leaned that way, he would definitely fall head over heels over his best mate. He strips down to his vest and pants and they clamber onto the cot, wrapping themselves in sleeping bags. Eggsy tucks the bag securely around her feet and all but pulls her onto his lap. “Why, Agent Galahad. Are you trying to make a move on me?” Roxy asks, pressing her cold nose against his neck.
“I have no problem using a freezing cold trek through the mountains to get your clothes off.” Eggsy rubs his hands up and down Roxy’s arms.
“Hope those homing beacons in my shoes do the trick,” Roxy murmurs.
“Those aren’t just rhinestones on there. Merlin made sure of it.”
“Course he did.” Suddenly Eggsy feels a bit warmer. “Merlin’s aces.”
“He is.” Roxy tucks herself closer. “Bet you wish it was him on your lap.”
“No, cuz he’s got those praying mantis legs…probably end up kneeing me in the nose.”
“Okay, you on HIS lap.”
“He don’t want me on his lap.”
“YOU want you on his lap.”
“That makes no sense.”
“YOU make no sense.” Roxy starts poking him under the sleeping bag.
“Ow. OW. Fuck! Trying to finish what the hypothermia started?”
“You hang on his every word.”
“I do not.”
“Oh, come on.” Roxy snorts. “Just yesterday you were fawning over his every word. ‘Yes, Merlin, I understand completely. Of course, Merlin, you can count on me.’ I have three new cavities after listening to all that.”
“I do NOT fawn over him. I respect his intellect and knowledge,” Eggsy says loftily.
“Is that what you’re doing when you stare at his hands during the ENTIRE meeting? Respecting his intellect and knowledge?” Roxy giggles.
“I thought you was a posh bird, not some teenage idiot,” Eggsy says, his face growing warm even in the cold room. “It just so happens he has gorgeous hands. Big and capable and beautiful.”
“Hey, I’m only teasing. I’m sorry.” Roxy touches his cheek.
“It’s okay. It’s just…yeah. I like him,” Eggsy mumbles. “A lot. But he ain’t never gonna look at me that way. For all I know he’s ace or sommat. Never got the vibe that he was interested in, well, anyone.”
“With the life he lives, do you think he really can afford to show interest in just anyone?” Roxy asks quietly.
“Wish I could be that person,” Eggsy says wistfully. “Bet he can be real sweet when he wants to. He gets so focused, ya know? Bet if that focus was all on you, you’d feel like a king.”
“I agree,” Roxy says.
“He’s so smart, and he got that sly sense of humor. You’re right…think his hands are sexy.” Eggsy sighs and yawns, leaning his head against Roxy’s. “But it ain’t ever gonna happen. Merlin’s a dream that ain’t never gonna come true for me.”
“Eggsy.” Eggsy moans and burrows deeper under the covers. “Eggsy.”
“Mmm, five more minutes, Merlin.” Eggsy yawns and pulls Merlin closer. He buries his face in his hair and sighs. Eggsy sharply inhales, sneezes, and sits up. “You don’t got hair!”
“Aye, I do not.” Merlin’s there, kneeling beside him, a thick wool cap over his bald head and a relieved smile on his face. “Are ye all right, agent?”
“M’fine. I’m a little, like, almost naked, though.” He glances down at Roxy, who is still cuddled in his arms. “We, uh, we was trying to stay warm. Her feet! Roxy’s feet, she had to…”
“Already on it, Galahad.” Eggsy looks up to see Percival attending to Roxy’s feet. “If you would gladly unhand my niece, we shall get the both of you warmly clothed and on the move.”
“Yeah, course.” Eggsy gives Roxy a gentle shake. “Rox, love, the cavalry’s arrived.”
“Uncle Michael…I mean, Percival,” Roxy says, rubbing at her eyes.
Roxy slides from Eggsy’s lap, carefully keeping one of the sleeping bags around her body. “Here ye go, Lancelot.” Merlin hands her a bundle. “Galahad, allow me to help ye up.”
One of those beautiful hands reaches out and Eggsy gladly takes it. “Got new togs for me, too?” He shivers in the cold air.
“Aye.” Merlin actually holds out the trousers so Eggsy can step into them. They’re lined with something soft, and feel like toasty velvet against his skin. He helps Eggsy into a thermal shirt and another coat, and then a winter coat. “Sit.” Merlin guides him back to the cot so he can pull thick socks onto Eggsy’s feet.
“Merlin, what are you even doing here?” Eggsy asks dumbly, fighting exhaustion and cold. His thoughts are a jumbled mess but he knows Merlin doesn’t normally go into the field to rescue his agents.
“Because apparently I can be real sweet when I want to,” Merlin says, looking up at him. Eggsy turns red. “We could hear ye the entire time, lad, although the signal was faint enough that ye could nae hear us.”
“Oh.” Eggsy stares at his feet, watching Merlin tie the boot strings.
“Ye are right. I can be sweet when I want to…when I find the right person.” He holds out his hands and looks at them. “Always thought they were rather ugly. Big and bony and…”
“Perfect,” Eggsy interrupts. He timidly slides one of his hands into Merlin’s. Merlin’s thumb caresses over Eggsy’s knuckles.
“Let’s get ye home, agent. I do believe we need to have a bit of a talk.”
“Yes, Merlin.” Eggsy takes Merlin’s hand firmly, ready, as always, to follow him anywhere.