As Eric McNally entered his house, he exhaled loudly, completely exhausted.
Loosening his tie, he put down his briefcase, left his jacket on the back of the armchair, and then dropped down on the couch right away. He knew how much Sam hated it whenever Eric or Scot left their stuff scattered around, so Eric planned to pick everything up and put it in its rightful place before Sam came back from work, but first, he needed a nap. A long one, preferably.
It felt like he closed his eyes for five minutes only, when he was startled awake by the front door closing loudly. Opening his eyes, he spotted a familiar bright purple jacked quickly disappearing around the corner, which meant that it was the end of his nap, apparently. Sitting up, Eric rubbed his eyes, and instantly felt like falling back asleep, but he managed to resist the urge. Barely, but still.
He grabbed his jacket, the briefcase, and a few other things he had left in the living room at some point, and carried them to the bedroom. Just when he was about to open the door, he noticed Scot walking down the stairs, a frown crossing his face.
“Eric, have you seen my notebook? The turquoise one, with yellow flowers on the front cover? It’s not in my room.”
Eric raised one eyebrow at the question. “You mean the blue one?”
“No, turquoise! You’re not listening.”
“Have you checked the chest of drawers in the living room?” Eric asked, adjusting the hold on the clothes he was carrying. “Everything Joey or Carla forget to take is there, so maybe your notebook is in there as well. Or you can ask Sam when he gets back.”
“I’ll check, thanks!”
Shaking his head with a smile, Eric entered the bedroom and started to put away all the dirty clothes right away, so that he could go back to napping as soon as possible.
“Eric, are you and Sam going somewhere for the weekend?”
“How did you…” Turning his head, Eric saw Scot holding a sheet of paper with notes Eric had made a few days earlier when he had started to prepare a surprise for Sam.
“It was in the drawer, right on top of my notebook,” Scot showed Eric the notebook in question, and handed him the notes. “If you want this to be a surprise, you really should find a better hiding spot, you know.”
“I was in a hurry,” Eric muttered, taking the paper from Scot and hiding it in his briefcase right away, cursing himself internally. Now he was really hoping that Sam had not found it by accident. “I was going to get it later.”
“So, does that mean…?”
“No, you’re not staying in here alone,” Eric interrupted him immediately, knowing perfectly well what Scot was about to suggest. “I already asked Joey’s mom if you can stay with them for the weekend, and she agreed, so don’t get any ideas. Everything is set up.”
“Oh, do you think Carla’s parents will let her stay with us, too?” Scot grinned, revealing the gap between his two front teeth as his face lit up instantly. “I’m going to call her. And Joey’s mom!”
Not waiting for an answer, Scot left the room in a hurry, almost tripping on the way.
“No running in the house!” As he heard Scot run up the stairs, he added: “And don’t tell Sam anything!”
Two hours later, when Eric was finally, finally done with majority of the chores, and even managed to make soup, he heard the front door open and close, letting him know that Sam was back home. After dropping a dirty rag into the hamper, he walked out of the bathroom to see Sam hanging up his coat and putting away his shoes.
“Hi,” Sam greeted him before entering the bedroom, squeezing Eric’s shoulder on the way.
“Italian today?” Sam put down his briefcase and sat down on the bed, stretching his legs, clearly tired after spending eleven hours at the office.
For the last two weeks Sam had been working on a new case and had been devoting a lot of time to it. While he almost never complained about his job, it was obvious how exhausted he was lately, which was exactly why Eric decided to do something nice for him.
Sam was diligent and took his job very seriously, which Eric found out as soon as he had met the other man, but those qualities could be as infuriating as they were impressive. According to Eric, at least. Sometimes when Sam was working he tended to forget to take breaks, which Eric was guilty of, too, he was aware of that, but he really didn’t like to see Sam so tense and stressed out.
Sam always knew what to do to get Eric to take a break and relax, always made sure Eric didn’t overwork himself, so Eric tried to do that for the other man as well.
Sam definitely deserved a few days away from, well, pretty much everything. Also, because of their respective jobs, it had been some time since they went anywhere together for more than a day. Along with Scot, they had visited Eric’s sister for her birthday the year before, but that was definitely not the same as booking a nice place somewhere, just for the two of them, so that they could enjoy a few days off without having to worry about anything.
That was how Eric ended up booking a nice, small lodge outside of town for three whole days, hoping that Sam would not mind the impromptu getaway.
“I made dinner, actually,” Eric told Sam, sitting down right next to the other man, leaning against his shoulder. “I could still order us something if you want, though.”
“Very funny. Yeah, I did. Don’t sound so surprised there,” Eric snorted, making Sam laugh quietly.
“Sorry. What did you make?”
“Tomato soup. It may not be as good as Scot’s, but it’s edible. Don’t worry, I checked.”
“Thanks,” Sam leaned against Eric, head pillowed on Eric’s shoulder as he exhaled slowly. “If nothing goes wrong, I should be done with this case in a few days. I think I can convince Irene to give me the next Monday off. We could stay at home and not leave the bed for the whole day, or something.”
Eric blinked, surprised. For a second there it sounded like Sam had somehow found out about the lodge, or had possibly found Eric’s notes, much like Scot had earlier, but considering that he didn’t mention anything, maybe Eric was just overreacting.
Well, he did plan to tell Sam about their weekend off once he finished preparing everything, but since they were talking about spending time together anyway…
“Hold that thought.”
As he stood up, he could feel Sam watching him curiously. A few seconds later, when he handed Sam the slightly crumpled sheet of paper he had taken from Scot earlier, Eric scratched the back of his neck nervously.
“I was going to tell you about it later, but since we’re talking already, well,” Eric explained, while Sam kept reading the notes. “You’ve been working a lot lately, so I thought you could use a weekend off. Nula’s been there a few months ago, apparently, and she couldn’t stop talking about these lodges. There are supposed to be a couple of fancy restaurants nearby, so we could check those out, or something. Maybe see a movie, or…”
“Or we could stay in and enjoy all the privacy,” Sam suggested, one corner of his lips twitching upwards, and Eric couldn’t help glancing down at these lips. Sam had the best ideas sometimes.
“Sure, we can definitely do that,” he muttered as the other man turned his head to look at him.
“What about Scot?”
“He’ll be staying with Joey. I already took care of it.”
“I can see that. How long have you been planning this?”
“A week or so,” he watched as Sam put away the notes, before he moved closer to Eric once more, catching one of Eric’s hands in his and tangling their fingers together.
“It’ll be nice to relax for a few days,” Sam laid his head on Eric’s shoulder again, squeezing his hand. “It’s been a while since we were able to do that.”
“We’ll work on that,” Eric nudged Sam’s knee with his own. “Now, go change. I’ll reheat the soup.”
“Maybe I should start getting home late every day, if that’s the treatment it gets me.” Still smiling, Sam grabbed one of Eric’s t-shirts and a pair of sweatpants to change into, and when he turned around to go to the bathroom, Eric smacked him on the ass with a throw pillow.
“That’s funny. See if I cook anything else this week.”
“I’ll enjoy it while it lasts, then.”
Shaking his head with a smile, Eric walked out of the bedroom. The weekend couldn't come soon enough.