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Close Your Eyes and Shut Your Mouth

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1.

The first time it happened, Adam thought something was wrong.

He wasn't asleep, not yet, but it was late enough that he probably should've been, if he didn't have to study. The knock was quiet, almost hesitant, not at all the precise, rapid knock of Gansey, or Blue's rhythmic rap, or Ronan's pounding. It was as if whoever was knocking almost didn't want him to answer.

Adam didn't really want to answer, either, but he was too curious to help himself.

When he opened the door, Ronan glared at him, hands stuffed deep into his pockets, shoulders pulled back like he was steadying for a blow or preparing for a fight, and his mouth was twisted as though Adam had greeted him with a very polite, "Go fuck yourself."

"What?" Adam demanded. There was no way he'd done something to piss of Ronan already, so it must've been something else. "Did you fight with Gansey?" Ronan opened his mouth but didn't answer, and Adam's heart seemed to stop in his chest. "Did something happen to Gansey? To Blue?"

"You think I'd be here if something did?" Ronan shouldered his way into the apartment, sparks igniting where his and Adam's arms violently brushed. "Can I stay here tonight?"

Say what you will about Ronan Lynch, at least he got to the point.

"No," Adam said, an automatic response to Ronan's attitude. Then: "Why?"

"Does it matter?" Ronan picked up Adam's textbook. It was used, and obviously so. He cradled the spine carefully, as if he knew it would fall apart if he didn't, uncharacteristically respectful of Adam's things.

That was the only reason Adam said, "Whatever. You can sleep on the floor."

Ronan shut the book and placed it back on the desk, exactly where it'd been before he picked it up, and eyed the sliver of space between Adam's bed and the wall. Unless he wanted to sleep curled into a 'C' shape, it was the only place in the apartment big enough for Ronan's body, and even so, it wasn't all that big.

"Whatever," Ronan echoed. He shoved his hands back in his pocket and raised an eyebrow. "Pillow? Blanket?"

"Take the comforter off the bed," Adam said with a wave of his hand as he sat back down at his desk, back to Ronan. "And a pillow."

"You're not sleeping?"

"I know this is a foreign concept to you, but some people actually have to study."

"I study."

Adam snorted, disbelieving, but when he threw a look over his shoulder, Ronan's eyes were on him, steady and unwavering and focused. Adam swallowed and said, "Don't bother me."

"Wouldn't dream of it," Ronan muttered. He folded Adam's comforter— which he probably would've kicked to the end of the bed in the middle of the night anyway, so it wasn't like he was going to die without it— and laid it carefully on the ground beside the bed before he added, "Or I might, actually."

With a roll of his eyes, Adam tried to go back to studying. Ronan, surprisingly, did as he was told. He didn't talk or make noises or hum to himself. He was being as un-distracting as Ronan Lynch could be, but, for some reason, that was still fairly distracting. When Adam snuck a look at him, he was spread out on the floor, one leg bent, arms crossed behind his head and his eyes closed. His lips were softly parted.

He couldn't tell if it was Ronan or the time, but studying wasn't working anymore. He shut the book a little more roughly than he should've, chair legs squealing underneath him as he pushed away from the desk.

"Done so soon?"

Adam made a face at Ronan, even if he couldn't see it with his eyes closed. "I thought you were sleeping."

"I thought you were studying."

Adam didn't bother responding to that. He shut off the light and made his way to the bed, careful not to walk into anything because it would probably make Ronan's entire night if he did, and then he hesitated at the edge of his mattress. Jeans and a t-shirt weren't his normal sleeping apparel, unless he passed out from exhaustion before he could get undressed, but was that weird? Sleeping almost-naked with Ronan on the floor beside him?

No, Adam told himself. How many times had he walked into Monmouth to find Gansey or Ronan in some awkward state of undress? Far too many. The only reason it would be weird would be if Adam made it weird.

He kept on the t-shirt anyway and pulled his sheet up over his shoulders. "Night," he muttered into his pillow.

Ronan didn't answer. Adam didn't care.

-

When Adam woke up the next morning, his comforter was neatly folded and resting at the end of his bed with his pillow sitting perfectly atop it. Ronan didn't even leave a note, but Adam didn't really expect him to.

 

2.

The second time it happened, Adam didn't really notice it happening until it was too late. Ronan came over earlier in the night, though Adam couldn't recall for what, and by the time Adam started yawning, Ronan was already asleep with his back against the wall and his mouth hanging open.

Ronan might royally piss him off in ways no other human being on the planet could manage, but Adam just did not have it in him to shake Ronan awake and kick him out, not when he knew how little Ronan actually slept, not when he looked almost peaceful. Instead, he rolled his eyes, tugged a hand through his hair, and halfheartedly attempted to cover Ronan with the comforter before he climbed into bed himself.

 

3.

The third time it happened, Adam was in a bad mood. He couldn't say exactly why he was in a bad mood, but it had something to do with a shitty day at work, the way Blue smiled at something Gansey said, and getting a not-so-great mark on a test. His anger had been simmering all day, building and building, and by the time he crawled into bed that night, he felt like a storm about to be unleashed.

And then someone knocked at his door, twice. Loudly.

"Go away," Adam muttered into his pillow.

Another knock. Even louder. The anger inside Adam seemed to know who it was, feeding off Ronan's unmistakably hostile aura.

"Go the hell away!" Adam shouted.

It took only a minute, with his head crushed between two pillows and his hands balled into fists, for Adam to realize he was being an asshole. Or— no, worse. A brat.

He threw back the blankets, still too annoyed to put on a shirt, and pulled open the door with a bit more force than necessary. Ronan was already halfway down the stairs; the skin at the back of his neck was red.

"What do you want, Lynch?" Adam asked, sounding more tired than angry. Still angry, though.

Ronan paused. His hand was curled tight around the bannister, knuckles white. "I was gonna ask if I could stay here but you're obviously in a pissy fucking mood, so—"

"Why?"

Ronan looked back, frowning in a way that was more of a glare, coming from him. His gaze caught on Adam's chest, darted to his arms and navel, and then resolutely went to his face and refused to stray from there. "Because."

"Not an answer."

"Can I or fucking not?"

Adam sighed and nudged the door open a bit more with the tip of his foot. This time, Ronan was careful not to brush up against him at all when he stepped into the apartment, and Adam couldn't tell if he was annoyed by this, pleased by this, or amused. Maybe all three, at once.

This time it was Adam that spread out the comforter on the floor, carefully folding it perfectly in half before he laid it on the floor. For some odd, unknowable reason, he felt better having something to do, even something as stupid as making a bed on the floor for a friend.

The moment he was done, Ronan flopped to the floor, one leg bent at an angle, arms crossed behind his head in his typical pose. It annoyed Adam, how right he looked there beside Adam's shitty mattress resting on the floor. Ronan carved out a place for himself wherever he went, whether he was welcome to or not, and somehow, in the end, he made it look like he was always meant to be there in the first place.

Adam shut off the light to stop himself from staring any longer.

Just like that night when he'd been studying, it was impossible not to notice Ronan's presence in the room. Adam rolled over, back to the wall— and Ronan— but it didn't make a difference. In the quiet, he could hear Ronan's soft breaths and fabric moving against fabric as Ronan fidgeted. His apartment always felt alive when Ronan was in it.

Then, when Adam was just starting to get used to Ronan being there— or too tired to care anymore, anyway— he heard it: the tiny, thundering beat of music coming out of Ronan's headphones, almost too quiet to pick up on.

"Turn that off," Adam said, very quietly, "or get out."

Ronan did neither.

"I said," Adam started, angrily rolling over, but the rest of the words stuck to the roof of his mouth when, in the glow of Ronan's MP3 player, or whatever the hell it was, he saw Ronan was holding out one of the headphones for Adam to take.

"Listen," he ordered.

"I don't like listening to your shitty music on a good day."

Ronan simply thrust his hand at Adam, his knuckles brushing Adam's chest. He wasn't going to take no for an answer, and Adam was too tired to argue or try and actually kick him out.

Huffing, Adam took the headphone and stuck it in his good ear, and then Ronan pressed play and he jumped a little, startled by how impossibly loud it was. The urge to rip the headphone back out was a strong one, but for some reason he left it in long enough for the sheer volume of it to wear off and the actual music to come through.

Adam did not like Ronan's music. This was a fact. Ronan listened to terrible music— also a fact. But there was something… strangely calming about listening to music so loud that it drowned out the pounding of his furious heart. The longer he listened, the harder it was to think, and the harder it was to think, the harder it was to remember why he'd been angry in the first place.

The song changed, another violent electronic beat deafening him. And then another. And another. The volume dimmed a bit, though Adam couldn't tell if this was because he was getting used to it or if it was Ronan's doing, and before long, Adam was turning on his side, the headphone irritably digging into his ear, and falling asleep.

-

When Adam woke that morning, the first thing he saw was Ronan's face, right there, his jaw darkened with a bit of stubble, his mouth hanging open, lashes fanned on his cheeks, and the headphones stretched between the two of them, connecting their bodies.

In his ear, the music was still playing, barely audible. Adam carefully took out the headphone and tried not to wake Ronan as he got out of bed and ready for the day.

"My shitty music's not that bad, huh?" Ronan mumbled, eyes still closed.

Adam frowned at him, not sure what that fluttering feeling in his chest was, and swallowed down a thank you that he knew he should've said. "No, it is."

Ronan grinned.

 

4.

The fourth time it happened, Ronan brought food. And books.

"I need to study," he said when Adam answered the door, one foot already inside the apartment before Adam could focus on him or the bag slung over his shoulder, or the grease stained bag in his hand.

"You need to— what?" Surely Adam heard him wrong. He could've sworn Ronan actually said—

"I need to study." He rolled his eyes when Adam didn't immediately move to let him in, and then he shouldered his way into the apartment, leaving Adam still standing there at the door, too stunned to process. "You need a table, you know that? Where do you even eat, man? The floor? The desk? The bed? That's bad hygiene."

Adam came back to life, shutting the door and turning around, arms crossed. "Your fridge is in the bathroom."

"And?" Ronan flopped onto Adam's bed and dropped his backpack heavily onto the floor with a loud thump that could only mean it held books. Or bricks.

"I think that's worse."

"Never said it wasn't."

Adam snorted. "Why are you really here?"

"I need," Ronan said slowly, "to study. Why are you looking at me like that? You and Gansey are always on my ass about it."

"And that doesn't usually make much of a difference," Adam reminded him. "What's in the bag?"

"Books."

"The other bag."

"Food."

Adam knew that. He could smell it, the unmistakable aroma of onion rings heavy in the air even before Ronan opened the bag and spread out two cardboard boxes of the things, along with two enormous hotdogs and two cold, wet cans of Coke that sunk into the comforter. "How much did that cost?"

"None of your business."

"Ronan."

Ronan glowered at him, an impressive feat given that he was already shoving onion rings in his mouth. "Think of it like," he said through the onion rings, "me paying you to sleep on your floor."

"You're staying here tonight?"

"Am I?"

"Can you," Adam corrected.

Ronan flipped Adam off and corrected, "Can I?"

Adam ran a hand through his hair and pretended to think about it, though they both knew he could. As obnoxious as Ronan could be, he actually didn't bother Adam much when he spent the night, and when he spent the night he actually slept. Adam wasn't sure why that was, when Ronan barely slept at all in his own bed, at his own place, but Adam didn't have it in him to deny Ronan that. Asshole or not, they were friends. Tentatively.

"No relish on the hotdog, right?" Adam asked.

Ronan grinned through another onion ring.

-

There was something very odd about watching Ronan study, like seeing a dog walking on two legs, or a penguin doing taxes. After they finished eating and Adam cleaned up and sat himself at his desk, Ronan spread his books and notes out on the bed, lying flat on his stomach, and got to work. It was the most focused Adam had ever seen him, his nose inches from a book, his fingers drumming out a beat on the hardcover of another.

Adam's bed looked smaller with Ronan in it, too small to contain someone like Ronan, who had a million lives inside of him. When Adam looked at him again, he was on his back instead, book hovering dangerously over his face, and he caught Adam staring, looking at Adam from upside down.

"Take a picture," Ronan sneered.

"Wouldn't want to break the camera."

Ronan's lip curled but he focused again on the book, Adam tried to focus again on his reading, and the room was quiet once more. This time, however, it was Adam that caught Ronan looking when he snuck another glance over his shoulder. Ronan quickly looked back up at his book.

The longer they worked, the more tired Adam got. Soon enough the words were meshing together on the pages, unreadable, and he couldn't remember the last paragraph he'd read. What was he even reading? History. No, geography? Economics? He'd lost track somewhere along the way.

Shaking himself, Adam rubbed at his eyes, stifled a yawn, and tried to focus. Just three more pages. Three more pages. Three more…

"Parrish."

Someone poked his back but Adam didn't lift his head, too tired to care. "Mm."

"Parrish!"

The voice was familiar and pleasant, low and comforting. He couldn't put a face to it, but he could put feelings to it: annoyance, reluctant fondness, the warmth of having another body next to his, anger, the thrill of driving too fast, a confusing flutter in his chest.

"Adam, come on, man."

Adam was too tired to lift his head.

-

Falling asleep at his desk was never a good thing. It left his neck aching and his back stiff, and no matter how long he slept like that, it always felt like he'd never really slept at all. It usually meant waking with a book under his face, pages digging into his cheek, or the wood of his desk irritating his skin.

This particular time, however, he woke with a pillow jammed awkwardly under his head.

Dazed, Adam sat up, his mouth tasting foul and his eyes crusty. There was a spot of drool on his pillow, and— yeah. That really was his pillow, only Adam hadn't put it there, he was sure of this, which meant that—

Ronan was sleeping on the floor beside the bed, back to Adam, headphones in and one arm tucked under his own pillow. The bed was bare except for Adam's sheets.

This was Ronan at his most confusing. Adam could understand Ronan angry. Adam could understand Ronan when he was happy, in that terrible way that Ronan Lynch got happy. Adam could even understand Ronan having a crush on him, maybe, so long as he didn't dwell for too long on why Ronan would pick him of all people.

But the Ronan that did things like this confused Adam. These nice little gestures, without ever wanting anything back, without even wanting Adam to acknowledge them. Maybe even thinking Adam didn't notice them. He wasn't doing it to win Adam's favor. He wasn't doing it because he wanted Adam to want him back. He just did it. And that didn't fit in with the selfish asshole Adam used to think he genuinely was.

I haven't thought that for a while, Adam realized. It was a disconcerting thought. When did he stop taking Ronan's bullshit at face value and instead look at what was lying underneath it? And how, exactly, did he feel about the Ronan that was hidden beneath it, still irritating and terrible but also thoughtful and sincere and oddly kind at the most unexpected times?

That wasn't something he could work out in the middle of the night, slumped against his desk with a crick in his neck. With an exhausted, pained sigh, he got up and took his pillow to bed.

 

5.

The fifth time it happened, Ronan slept on the bed.

It was a weird thing for Adam to realize that he wasn't the most tired person in the bunch. They'd driven a lot that day in the Pig, hiked a lot that day in the woods, and afterwards, at Nino's, as the rest of them shoveled pizza into their mouths, Ronan was quiet and nodding off in the booth next to Gansey.

"I don't think you should be driving like that," Gansey said, looking at the pizza crust he was tearing apart instead of at Ronan, so flippant it almost didn't sound like a suggestion at all, just a random string of words with no real meaning.

It still pissed Ronan off, expectedly. "Don't fucking patronize me, Dick."

"I wasn't—"

"Fuck off."

"He's just cranky," Blue said to Gansey, a smile fighting its way onto her face.

Ronan looked murderous. "What did you call me, you—?"

"Ronan," Gansey snapped before Ronan could be truly offensive, instead of just mostly offensive.

"Whatever." Ronan pushed back from the table roughly, Gansey's iced tea nearly spilling, Noah yelping in surprise. He shouldered open the door to Nino's with so much force that it nearly banged against the outer wall.

"Cranky," Blue said again, quieter. She wasn't wrong.

Adam carefully folded his napkin in half once, twice, three times, and then it smoothed it out again. He ate the rest of his pizza. He sucked down the rest of his drink. And then, when it wouldn't look like he was pathetically chasing after Ronan to lick his wounds, he yawned and said, "I think I'm gonna head out."

"Oh." Gansey looked a little hurt. He wanted to keep talking about today, about what they found— or didn't find, really— but he hid it fast. "All right. I'll see you tomorrow?"

Adam nodded. "Night."

"Goodnight!" Blue called after him.

-

When Adam got home, he wasn't all that surprised to find Ronan waiting at his door, leaning against it with his eyes closed and his head tipped back. In fact, he'd been expecting it, as if there'd been a rope connecting the two of them, pulled tightly the moment Ronan left, and the only way to let out the tension of it was to follow it home.

Ronan moved out of the way to let Adam unlock the door, and Adam left it hanging open to let him into the apartment.

"I keep—" Ronan started pacing immediately, hands shoved deeply into his pockets. There was something very telling about the way he ducked his head just in time to avoid hitting it on the low ceiling, how he seemed to know Adam's apartment just as well as Adam did. "I keep going to the barns, but nothing's fucking working."

Ah. So that's what it was. "You're exhausting yourself," Adam told him. It was visible in the tight lines of his shoulders, the darkness under his blue eyes, the jittery way he walked, like a caffeine addict hyped up on buckets of the stuff, on the verge of crashing.

"Kettle, meet pot," Ronan spit.

Watching Ronan pace was almost as irritating as the desperate desire to help him. "Will you stop?"

Ronan didn't stop. Ronan said, "Make me."

Adam did. He stepped into Ronan's path, and the small apartment gave him no room to go around Adam's body. It was crash into Adam, or stop, and Ronan seemed to consider both options carefully before he skidded to a halt, close enough for Adam to feel the short, quick rise and fall of Ronan's chest against his own.

"I'm not going to fight with you to make you feel better," Adam said sternly. "If that's what you want, I'm sure Blue's still at Nino's. She'd be more than happy to yell at you."

"That's not what I want," Ronan said lowly.

"Then what do you want?"

This set Ronan off again, only in a different way. This time he retreated instead of exploding outwards, turning his back on Adam and ducking his head. "What don't I want," he corrected. "I want— It doesn't even fucking matter, I can't figure out how to get any of it." His leg pulled back, poised for a kick aimed at Adam's desk, but he thought the better of it. "Never mind. I'm going."

"Going where?" Adam demanded. Ronan turned and shoved past him too quickly for Adam to see his face. "Ronan. Stop."

"You're not Gansey," Ronan hissed as he reached for the doorknob.

"And you're not an idiot," Adam said, though the jury was still out on that one, most days. "So you're going to stop trying to push my buttons and you're not going to go out and do something stupid that you're going to regret later. Just— just sit the hell down, would you?"

Ronan froze. Adam held his breath. The apartment was impossibly quiet and still, every living thing in it set on pause. And then, slowly, Ronan turned, strode past Adam, and sat on Adam's bed hard enough that the mattress groaned under him.

Uncertain of whether or not it would make things worse, Adam carefully sat himself next to Ronan, the bed small enough that their knees had to touch to do it. Tension radiated off Ronan's body like cheap cologne, and there was something impossibly defeated in the way he bowed his head and tightly gripped his knees with his hands. Ronan Lynch was indestructible, untouchable.

He looked pretty damn destroyed right then, and it made Adam's heart ache in unexpected ways. Without thinking, he rested his hand on top of Ronan's, ghost-light and hesitant. "I—" Adam didn't know what to say. How many times had Ronan helped him, even if Adam never asked him to? And here Adam was, useless. All he knew was that he did want to help.

"I don't need your pity, Parrish," Ronan said after a moment, though he didn't move away from Adam in the slightest.

"Wanting to help a friend isn't pity," Adam said.

Ronan gave him an unexpected grin. "Is that so? You ever try telling yourself that one?"

"Don't ruin it," Adam warned.

Ronan sobered, smile gone. "Can I just— I need to sleep, man."

"So sleep."

"Fine." Ronan dislodged Adam's hand as he sat up, and then he tugged at the comforter pointedly, his glare saying fucking move, Parrish, come on. Adam didn't move. "What?"

"On the bed," Adam said before he'd really decided to say it. It wasn't hand lotion or a made up tax assessment, but it was something. "You can sleep on the bed, if you want."

Ronan didn't want, apparently. He clutched the blanket in his fist still, his eyes guarded and wary. There was something childlike in his grip, the way he held it to his chest, like sticking your feet under the blankets to protect them as if that would make a difference if something really wanted to get you. "What are you going to do?"

"I'm going to shower," Adam said after a moment of thought. "And then I'm going to bed."

"Where?"

"In my bed?"

This perplexed Ronan, apparently. "I thought…"

"You thought what?"

"Nothing," Ronan said, all acid. With one great heave, he tugged the blanket out from under Adam. "Go shower."

Being nice to Ronan Lynch was a very difficult thing, on account of Ronan Lynch not being very nice at all. Adam snorted at both Ronan and himself and went to shower.

-

The first thing Adam noticed when he stepped out of the bathroom was Ronan's shoes neatly lined up at the end of his bed, laces shoved inside of them. The second was Ronan's jacket, hanging off the back of his chair. The third was the Ronan-sized lump in his bed, nearly hidden within the folds of his comforter, just the very top of a shaved head peeking out.

And the last thing he noticed was that his bed would not be big enough for them to sleep without touching. Something that bothered Adam a lot less than it should've. Something that thrilled him in a borderline terrifying way, like flying or Ronan's driving.

Ronan might not lie, but acting was basically lying, in Adam's opinion, and Ronan was a skilled actor. It was impossible to tell if he was actually sleeping, as Adam pulled back the comforter, or if he was simply pretending to. Adam almost wanted to poke him, just to see, but a familiar quote rang in his ears. Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus. He would've laughed if he didn't think it was sound advice.

The bed was almost too warm, with the comforter on and Ronan's body beside him. It wasn't big enough for him to lie on his back, either, but Adam did, hands folded on his stomach, staring at the ceiling, wondering if this was the smartest or stupidest thing he'd ever done.

Ronan turned over, too. The world burned in the places Ronan's leg or arm or shoulder wasn't brushing his. "Why?" he asked.

"Why what?"

"Why tonight?" Ronan sounded tiredly furious. "Don't— don't give me this just because you feel bad for me, all right? I'm not that desperate. And I wouldn't want it like that, anyway."

Of course he wouldn't. That wasn't the kind of person Ronan was. "I know that," Adam said, because he did. Because he knew Ronan better than he should've.

"Then…" Ronan trailed off, unsure of himself for once.

"Do you honestly think I'd have you in my bed if I didn't want you here? If it was only because I felt bad or you? Or to stroke my own damn ego? Because if that's the kind of person you really think I am, then I don't see why you'd want to be here anyway."

For a moment, Ronan was quiet. Then he rolled over and said, "Your bed is fucking uncomfortable, Parrish."

And that was that.

-

Adam woke up in a tangle of limbs and the painful urge to kiss Ronan's eyelids. His lashes were like razor blades, resting uneasily on his sharp cheekbones, in danger of slicing his skin if they so much as fluttered. It was a dangerous want, the desire to put his lips that close to them, but it was one he had anyway. And one he thought Ronan wouldn't mind him giving into, which was exactly why he didn't.

"Ronan."

Ronan made an annoyed sound in his sleep, his peaceful expression giving way to something harder edged and annoyed. He ducked his head, scraping it against Adam's chin, and it was as rough to the touch as it looked. Like sandpaper. "Fuck off."

"You really are cranky, you know."

Ronan mumbled something into the pillow, something long and drawn out, with several harsh consonants and a filthy elegance. When he cracked open his eyes, he looked as disoriented as Adam felt when he fell asleep at his desk, not sure where he was for a moment, trying hard to figure it out. And then his eyes focused on Adam's, then Adam's mouth, then Adam's eyes again. He swallowed.

"Ask me," he said when he was certain Ronan was fully awake.

"What?" Ronan's hand snaked between their bodies to rub at the side of his mouth.

"Ask me what I asked you last night," Adam clarified.

It took Ronan a beat to understand. When he did, he looked no less confused than he had when he'd woken up. "Don't play fucking games," he said, finally.

"I'm not."

Ronan rolled his eyes, but, Adam noted, he didn't roll away or get out of bed, or move at all. Finally, he asked, "What do you want, Adam?"

Adam kissed him.

When Adam imagined his first kiss, he wasn't already in bed with the person. That person wasn't a boy. That person wasn't Ronan Lynch. In his imagination, it was a dramatic thing where they both clung to each other and words like fireworks and sparks were used, and it lasted and lasted.

This wasn't that. This was the uncertain kiss of two people wading into unfamiliar waters. This was Adam crossing a line Ronan never would've let himself cross, and Ronan doubting Adam's intentions. It was a quick but firm press of Adam's mouth against Ronan's, a surprised, muffled the fuck and then nothing.

Adam pulled back and Ronan lay there, still, in the exact position he'd been in before Adam had kissed him. And this was exactly why Adam waited until he was sure Ronan was awake and focused. In the end, Adam wasn't really something Ronan wanted. He was something Ronan thought he wanted, and probably built up in his head, and now that Adam had done it, now that he'd given Ronan no choice but to face it, he didn't even really—

With a hand on Adam's neck and his thumb on Adam's jaw, Ronan leaned in and kissed him again. Better. Still wary and hesitant but eager, his mouth sliding over Adam's in a way that said he had no idea what the fuck he was doing, either, but he was happy to be doing it in any case.

Afterwards, Ronan fell back against the bed, breathing heavy, and Adam noted that next time they should probably brush their teeth first and possibly not wear shirts. Because there would be a next time, if he had any say in it.

"Pancakes," Adam said after a beat. He rolled onto his back too, even though he had to throw a leg over Ronan's to keep both of his on the bed.

Ronan turned to look at him without lifting his head off the pillow. "What?"

"You asked what I wanted. I was actually going to say pancakes."

Ronan glowered at him for a long moment, trying to decide whether or not Adam was joking. "And everyone thinks I'm the asshole," he muttered.

 

+1

 

The thing about Adam was that he wasn't accustomed to asking for things. Either he went out and got them himself, or he lived with the knowledge that he wouldn't be getting them at all.

That didn't exactly work when it came to actual, living human beings, unfortunately, and it wasn't like he could just go into Monmouth and kidnap Ronan. Though, admittedly, Ronan would probably be amused if he tried.

Anxiously drumming his fingers on his steering wheel, Adam contemplated the question at hand: Will you go out with me? seemed… foolish. It didn't exactly encompass what Adam wanted. Wanna hang out? seemed too flippant. They hung out all the time. This was different. Come have dinner with me. Too forward. Ronan might say no simply because he was Ronan and he liked to be contrary. I want us to go out. On a date. Again, too demanding. He was asking, not telling.

Someone banged on the window and Adam jumped, honking the horn on accident. Outside the window, Ronan was trying not to grin as he waited for Adam to slowly roll down the window. "You've been sitting here for ten minutes," he pointed out. "What the hell are you waiting for?"

Adam licked his dry lips and blurted, "Do you want to stay the night tonight?"

Ronan leaned on the door imposingly, blocking everything else from sight, not that Adam minded much. He searched Adam's eyes, head tilted to the side, his grin sliding away. "Okay," he said. He nodded. "Sure. Whatever. I've got nothing better to do."

"Great," Adam said dryly.

Ronan grinned once more, suddenly hyped up, and nodded again. "I gotta get some shit from upstairs," he said. I have to tell Gansey I'm going out or he'll worry, Adam heard. "I'll be right back."

"I'll be here," Adam said.

Again, a nod. Then, quick, Ronan swooped in and kissed him, careless and casual, as if they did it all the time. And then he ran back into Monmouth.

He was not going to be sleeping on the floor that night, Adam knew.