“Kieren?” He felt someone shaking his shoulder rhythmically, to which he just groaned and clinged tighter to the soft surface he currently had his entire physical being wrapped around, heels digging into the place his ankles crossed and fingers burying tighter into whatever it was he was holding.
“He’s not shiftin’ anytime soon.” He heard Rick’s voice ring out with amusement.
“Help me get him off, then.” Simon’s voice rumbled through his ears, ahh yes. He remembered now why everything smells like paper and he’s so comfy. He fell asleep on Simon again last night when Rick and himself had stayed the night. Amy had made them promise no sex in her Gran’s house while she went to spent the night with Philip, ignoring the glaringly obvious fact that they physically couldn’t do anything sexual seeing as they were still all dead. It was a funny thought though, one which made Rick laugh and Simon go silent and give Kieren a strong suspicion that if the older man still had blood it would’ve been blossoming in his cheeks.
Amy liked to forget that yes in fact, other Undead were still walking corpses, especially now she was bouncing around rosy cheeked and heart beating and constantly complaining about how cold everyone and everything was.
Kieren envied her a bit, because he would adore being able to feel the snow against his hands and taste hot chocolate and be able to feel the kisses swapped between himself and his boyfriends… It was just a bit, though; he couldn’t be the miserable sod amongst all the supportive friends and terrified doctors, and anyway she looked even more beautiful with her naturally pale skin flushed and big green eyes bright than she ever did with cover up and contacts or her ‘au naturale’ greyish undead skin and pinprick eyes.
Last night, they had spent the entire evening cuddling and chatting about silly things and making stupid jokes about whatever shitty telly was playing in the background to fill the silence until Kieren could barely keep his eyes open, then they moved into the bedroom, where they spent a the rest of the night curled up in a massive bundle under thick quilts that they didn’t necessarily need, Rick snoring softly in his sleep while holding Kieren’s hand in his own and Simon reading poetry in his silky drawling accent until Kieren fell asleep too on top of his chest so they were all close and touching each other in a way that once made Kieren anxious and jumpy but now made him feel safe. It was the perfect sort of night.
“-Are you kiddin’? No way. Ren’d murder me!”
“Yeah well I have to meet people today, and I can’t exactly do that with a boyfriend attached to me.”
“Yeah because Mister Disciple needs to enlist more extremists.”
“Shut it, you know I’m not doing that anymore.”
“You like to pretend you are.”
“Shut up, the both of you, or I swear to God someone’s going to lose a limb.” Kieren muttered thickly into the soft material of Simon’s sleep shirt. He shivered a little and raised his head blearily from the other man’s chest and squinted in the bright light. He pushed himself up and turned around to face Rick.
“And so the prince wakes,” Rick’s shit-eating grin came into view and he imagined what it felt like when his fingers card through his messy bed head and over the edge of his ear affectionately in a sort of good-morning gesture.
“Can it.” Kieren grumbled, shoving his arm away and rubbing his eyes. “What’s the time?”
“You are fucking kidding me.” he groaned, slumping back into Simon’s chest who wrapped his arms around him again easily; keeping him closer to his body which would’ve been an incredibly cozy position to sleep in if Kieren didn’t have to regain consciousness.
“I always forget you two are technically still teenagers.” Kieren could hear the smile in Simon’s voice from behind him, “Especially you, Kieren, you’d gladly sleep half your life away.”
“I would if you two didn’t keep waking me up.” He grumbled and sat up properly, letting Simon’s arms fall from around him and shove the duvet over Rick, who was only partially dressed. He’d obviously been in the middle of doing so when he and Simon had started squabbling again. They fought like schoolchildren over petty disagreements or Rick was winding Simon up again and it was usually down to Kieren to make them say sorry to each other and kiss and make up and all that, to keep the peace in their odd three-way relationship. It was a weird role for him to be honest; being the smallest and youngest acting like a parental figure.
“It’s time to wake up.” Rick pointed out, shoving the duvet back to Kieren and standing up. “When does Mister Disciple have to meet his followers?”
“Ten, and there’s coming here, so you two best be off.”
“Because they hate my guts, so they’re most likely gonna hate you too, even if you are part of the precious second risen lot.” Kieren responded offhandedly and slid off the bed to stretched his arms up over his head, yawning a bit before grabbing his jeans off the floor where he’d shed them last night to just sleep in Simon’s shorts and his own shirt.
“Jesus, it’s cold.” He muttered under his breath, yanking his jeans up his skinny hips and shuffling to the drawers at the end of Simon’s bed.
“What?” He turned around with a pair of Simon’s socks in his hand- the really warm fuzzy ones he owned about a billion of for some reason. Rick was grinning at him again and Simon looked slightly worried. “Whatever, c’mon Rick, we need to be off.” Simon was getting up and was in the middle of dressing quickly when Kieren kissed his cheek lightly, ignoring the odd thrill it gave him from being so affectionate with the other man.
He took Rick’s cold hand as they left the bungalow, walking up the gentle slope together and twining their fingers together, swinging their arms back and forth as they walked like they used to do when they were very very little- before it became weird for two boys to hold hands.
“I don’t get it. He preaches about being true to yourself and all that crap yet he won’t stand up to those wackos?”
“It’s not as easy as that, Rick, you know it isn’t. The ULA is to Si like your Dad was to you. He’s tryin’, but lotsa people are angry at him.”
“He refused to kill me.”
Rick stopped dead in his tracks, literally, which made Kieren stumble slightly at the loss of momentum suddenly in his steps.
“You really need to pick better boyfriends.”
“Tell me about it.” He rolled his eyes.
“So yer not, y’know, angry at him?”
“I was, for a long time, for even considering it, but he explained himself, and after a while I sort of forgave him. He didn’t have a choice at the time. Like you.”
Rick smiled sadly, fingers coming up to raze over the collar of Kieren’s t-shirt, a touch he couldn’t really feel but he liked to pretend he could, that the featherlight touch made his skin break into goosebumps and his knees go weak.
Rick was kissing him like he never had before, softly, carefully, his fingers curling in the material of his collar and sliding his dry mouth over his own. It was unrushed, delicate almost, and it lit every dead nerve in his brain on fire with sensation, with feeling, like how he always imagined kissing Rick would feel like if they weren’t both blind drunk and the shock of it made Kieren yelp and step back, breathing deeply.
“I… I don’t…” God how could he describe it, it was like a switch had been flipped and everything had suddenly been wiped free of dust and dullness, like he was seeing everything in HD on one of his Dad’s DVD’s, his brain was alive with activity, so much so it hurt; and he could feel the shift of material over his skin, the way he laced his boots up too tight, how Rick’s clumsy frozen fingers pressing softly- more insistently into his neck.
“Ren, what is it?”
“I can feel.”
“I could feel you kissing me, and I can feel you touching me, oh god,” his breathing was shallow as he grabbed a hold of Rick’s hand, the one resting on his collar, and ran his fingers over the weathered skin on the back of his hand, pressing his calloused fingertips firmly into his neck, feeling Rick’s muscles contract under his hand, the roughness scratching slightly at his ashen skin. His eyes were clenched shut, letting himself just be lost in the simple sensation of air filling and emptying from his lungs; of Rick’s skin against his no matter how bloody cold it was.
“Fucking hell, Ren.” Rick laughed breathily, in a way that because of their proximity that Kieren could feel dancing over his face, “Can I?”
“Please,” He all but whimpered as Rick’s other hand carefully ran through his hair, ruffling the short hairs at the nape of his neck and smoothing down the flyaway ginger fluff. It was such a simple gesture that Rick always reserved for him but suddenly being able to feel it again was… euphoric, and the static energy it send buzzing through his veins made Kieren only clench tighter at Rick’s wrist in effort to stay grounded as he gasped and wrinkled his nose.
“Christ, Si needs to see ya, he’ll be so pissed he missed it, c’mon Ren, he can call off his stupid meeting for this.”
Kieren almost cried when Rick took his hand from his hair and separated himself from him entirely, before winding his strong arm around his waist; God, he forgot how strong Rick actually was, for the short walk back to the bungalow.
“It’s fucking freezing.” he observed bitterly under his breath, making Rick laugh again as they picked up the pace, Rick dragging Kieren down the slope and banging on the door until a disgruntled looking Simon opened the door, brow instantly creasing with worry when he saw his boyfriends standing on the porch.
“What is it? Kieren are you okay?” He reached out a hand while Kieren was busy trailing his hands over the wood panels on the door.
“You tell ‘im.” Rick nudged Kieren slightly with his shoulder, face beaming, still keeping tight hold of Kieren’s hand.
“I can feel.” Kieren giggled a little. He felt heady with all the sensations surrounding him that he hadn’t felt in so many years; the way the wind nipped at the back of his neck, the way his feet shuffled as he walked, the way varnished wood felt under his nails.
“What…” Simon’s face went slack, lips parted slightly and looking at Kieren in complete adoration- which wasn’t that different from his usual looks of adoration.
“Ren can feel, I kissed ‘im and it must’ve triggered somethin’ because suddenly he was shakin’ and sayin’ he could feel it.” Rick babbled, only to be cut off by Simon stepping forward urgently and pressing his lips to Kieren’s, hands resting on his cheeks gently and kissing him, although softly and sweetly, made Kieren let out a soft mewl and grapple at Simon’s scratchy jumpers with the hand that wasn’t still clenched in Rick’s.
God those jumpers were scratchy, he wondered how Simon didn’t get burns from irritation.
His skin felt like electricity had shot through it, and he only squeezed Rick’s hand- who was laughing and cheering louder than necessary and kept kissing Simon, letting the fire swallow him up, ringing in his ears.
“What’s going on here then?” Amy popped her head around the corner and made awkward eye contact with Rick between Simon and Kieren, who had just given up kissing because Kieren was panting hard, letting Rick step closer to his back and wind his arms around his waist while he leant on Simon, feeling high from sensation.
“Ren can feel stuff.” Rick grinned, his eyes squinting in happiness as he nuzzled into Kieren’s neck, ignoring the soft whines coming from the smaller boy’s mouth.
“Tell him he needs to come give me a hug when you’re done,” Amy winked dramatically before swishing back into the living room, leaving the three boys curled up together in eachothers arms in the doorway of the bungalow.