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Piggyback Rider

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The initial fun buoyancy of carrying Roy on his back faded quickly.

"Off," Bill groaned, letting go of Roy's legs. They both began toppling backwards as Roy stumbled, clinging to Bill's shoulders, trying for balance.

Bill turned enough to catch Roy's arm before he fell, and they regained their feet.

"Thankssss," Roy said, smiling even as he listed to one side.

Bill righted them again, tightening his hold.

"Careful, I bruise like a peach," Roy scolded. He linked their arms together firmly. "Lean in."

Walking took a lot of concentration, but luckily it didn't hurt much either time Bill fell — and Roy fell three times, but the last time a hedge caught him — and he'd only scraped one of his palms on that kerb.

Roy was telling Bill about going dancing, and swapping shirts with a stranger, and then soapsuds fell from the ceiling, and — Bill blinked a few times. That was his front door.

"Where am keys," Bill said.

"Prob'ly in your pocket," Roy said, laughing.

Bill's dexterity was flat-out missing in action. His hands felt as though they were stuck into boxing gloves as he pawed at his blazer pockets.

"Isssokay," Roy said. "I'm great at this game."

Roy did a fast, thorough pat down, over by the time Bill even really registered it. He blinked again.

Roy pointed at Bill's left jeans pocket. "An' if I'm right, I pick the movie."

Bill barely remembered the walk home, let alone where he'd stuffed his keys, and the anticipatory, weirdly adorable look on Roy's face right now? No way could Bill turn off that light.

"Okay," Bill agreed. He fished out his keys, and Roy made a little whoop of delight.

They made it the three steps inside all right, but then Roy couldn't shut the door because he was facing Bill's back.

"Jus', jusss turn around," Bill said, getting frustrated, moreso when Roy burst into song.

"Briiiiiiight eyes, every now and thennnn!"

Bill tried reaching past Roy to grab the handle, realizing at the last moment how small the front vestibule was, and they ended up plastered together while Bill fumbled for the lock.

"Thass nice," Roy mumbled from where his face smashed against Bill's jacket. "You're nice, thanshoo for let'nme stay."

"Coursh," Bill slurred back. He still couldn't get the door closed. Giving up, he turned back around and flicked on the hall light.

Somehow he got Roy sitting upright on the sofa — "an' I need you nowwww, tonight," — and then went back to shut and lock the front door.

Roy had kicked off his shoes, socks, and removed his blazer when Bill returned. He was still half-singing, humming the song, and he looked pathetically grateful when Bill dropped a bottle of cold water in his lap.

"Meh," Roy said, batting ineffectually at the cap. "Gimme your laptoppy, I wanna see your movies."

Juggling his own water, Bill retrieved the bottle, opened it for Roy, and set it on the side table.

"Lappy top," Roy said experimentally. "Lap toppy-top."

Bill knocked the remote control in Roy's general direction. "'s all there."

"For a copper, you're not tha' bad," Roy said.

"Thanks," Bill replied dryly, falling onto the couch next to Roy.

Somehow Roy was able to search Netflix with his eyes half-closed, with Bill's attention wholly held by watching Roy's finger moving on the remote. He tore his gaze away when Roy let out another whoop.

"'The rules of hair care are simple and finite'!"

"Blanket?" Bill offered, all at once drained of energy. Grabbing the quilt from the back of the couch, he pulled it down over himself and Roy.

"Cuddle?" Roy asked. "Or do constables not cuddle."

"Yeah," Bill said. "I do."

They scooted closer; Roy smacked a kiss onto Bill's cheek. Grinning, Bill put an arm around him.

Roy's head rested comfortably on Bill's shoulder as they watched Elle Woods making her way through the thoroughly-pink sorority house.

Bill felt himself slowly nodding off. He closed his eyes, still listening to the dialogue, and to Roy saying some of the lines along with the actors.

"Oh my god, the bend and snap, works every time!"

It was cheesy but Bill liked it when his friends were happy. He hugged Roy a little tighter, just to hear Roy's sleepy smile-murmur.