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“Give that back to me this instant.”

“Just hold on a sec.” Holding Harry’s phone further away from him, Eggsy waits for the download from the app store to finish before thumbing the icon open and looking back at Harry. “I’m making your account now, you gotta think of a username.”

Harry folds his arms. “You do it. I’d rather have no part in this.”

“Done,” Eggsy says a minute later, holding up the phone so Harry can see what’s on the screen. “Lookit, you’ve got Snapchat, Harry!”

“I don’t want Snapchat,” Harry insists, the third time he’s said so, but leans over the Kingsman mess table to peer distrustfully at his phone. “Would you mind telling me exactly what is it that you think I’d find scintillating about… chatting snaps, was it?”

“Snapchatting. It’s loads of fun! Here, I’ll show you,” Eggsy offers, handing Harry’s phone back and fishing his own out. “See, I’ve got your number in my contacts already, so I’ll add you to my friends list, like this, or you can look ‘em up here if you know what their username is, and once that’s done I can start sending you snaps right away.”

Harry raises an eyebrow. “Snaps?"

“Um. Snapshots, pics, whatever you wanna call them. Hang on, I’ll send you one now,” click goes the shutter on Eggsy’s phone before Harry has time to react, “an’ usually you write a little something to go along with the photo, too,” Eggsy explains as he quickly captions and sends it off.

Dat gentleman doe, hashkey-photogenic,” Harry reads, then frowns at Eggsy. “This is gibberish. Gibberish, and a terribly unflattering photograph you’ve taken of me. I don’t understand.”

“Just wait,” Eggsy says, “You’ll see, ‘cause after a while —”

“Hello, where’s it gone to?” Harry blinks at his phone, confused, and taps at a few buttons with his thumb. “How very peculiar. It was here just a moment ago.”

“It’s gone.”

Harry looks at Eggsy. “Beg your pardon?”

“It’s, uh. Gone. Over. Kaput.” Eggsy mimes an explosion with a fisted hand. “You only get to see a snap someone sends you for up to ten seconds, then it’s gone.”

“Ten seconds?” Harry’s frown deepens. “That’s not very much time at all.”

Eggsy shrugs, pocketing his phone. “S’just how it works.”

“But where does it go?” Harry pokes some more at his phone, swiping here and there over the screen. “What if I want to look at the photograph again? There must be a way to archive them, or a function that lets you keep them somewhere…”

“Nah.” Eggsy shakes his head and picks up his spoon to attack the pile of mash on his plate. “Once it’s gone it’s gone for good, you ain’t getting it back.”

“Well, how absolutely ridiculous,” Harry says, furrowing his eyebrows in distaste. “One usually takes a photograph with the intent of posterity, no? Surely this soundly defeats that purpose.”

“That ain’t the point,” Eggsy argues. “Snapchat’s not… you don’t have to think too much about it, yeah? There don’t gotta be a purpose to it — you just send whatever you want, and if it’s funny, then that’s cool, if not, then everyone has a good time anyhow. Whatever you’re snappin’ and sending, you know it ain’t gonna last. It takes the edge off sharing stuff, is what I’m saying.”

“And you find this… fun,” Harry says slowly, and it’s not judgemental at all, merely low and somewhat intrigued. He stares at the open app on his phone a while longer, then sighs in a contemplative gesture and says, “It just seems rather pointless to me, that’s all.”

Swallowing a mouthful of mash and gravy, Eggsy shrugs again. “You don’t gotta use it. It’s a free app, you can just delete it if you want.”

He can’t tell for sure if Harry does delete the app or not, but Eggsy thinks he catches a glimpse of yellow on the screen before Harry sets his phone to standby mode and slips it back into his pocket.

***

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***

Truth be told, Eggsy’s not that crazy about using Snapchat himself, or any other form of social media. Apart from checking his Facebook feed on a fairly regular basis, he doesn’t use Twitter, has a grand total of four photos on his Instagram account, and he’d deleted Grindr off his phone not too long after becoming an official Kingsman. Insofar as Snapchat is concerned, occasionally he’ll get a few snaps sent to him by his mates, and Eggsy sends out a couple of his own if he’s in a silly enough mood, but that’s the extent of it, more or less. He has fun with it whenever he wants to and that’s that — at any rate, social networking isn’t something that he conscientiously spends a lot of time on.

That weekend, Eggsy’s about to leave the house for a Saturday shift at the shop when he checks his phone and is greeted by two notifications: a snap from Jamal of some bloke lying face-down in a skip with his trousers around his knees (go big or go home #plastered), and another that Eggsy opens just as he realises who it’s from.

Starting the day with breakfast reads the caption, positioned so as to not block the pornographically delicious-looking stack of pancakes, nor the bowl of raspberries and cream beside it on Harry’s dining table. There’s an ornate teapot standing by, a matching teacup keeping it company, and there are two grapefruit halves on a gilded dish at the corner of the frame. It’s all posh and perfect, just like Harry, so that’s not the surprising part — it’s just that, well. Eggsy hadn’t expected Harry to keep the app, let alone use it, and after he’s replied with a deliberately downcast selfie (made me hungry #unfair), Eggsy can’t help a grin that follows him out the front door and all the way to the bus stop.

Outside the shop, he gets a text from his mum asking him to buy milk and sugar when he’s off work for the day, which is how Eggsy sees that Harry’s sent him three more snaps:

 

  • Harry’s tableware again, smeared with maple syrup and wisps of cream but otherwise free of breakfast (It was delicious. Wish that you), 
  • The same shot of his plates and utensils, at a slightly different angle from the first (Wish that you could’ve had some), and
  • Harry, in his glasses and dressing gown with his hair slicked back, smiling at the camera with that elegant, demure manner only he has (Have a good weekend! #gentleman).

 

Eggsy… stares. He normally knows better than that, except now there’s no risk of getting caught redhanded at it, and he doesn’t look away from the last one for the ten seconds he has, a sudden snarl of hungry heat clawing up his chest, a tightness in his Bespoke trousers that wasn’t there before. He can’t stop staring at the lines in Harry’s handsome face, at the mesmerising curve of his smile, the mouth-wateringly pale skin at the base of his throat, everything. It’s only copious self-reminders that Harry will get a notification which keeps Eggsy from taking a screenshot, and it’s all he can do to hold off until the timer runs down and the snap ultimately expires.

He doesn’t send one back this time, and spends most of his morning straightening up display shelves and hoovering the dressing rooms in an effort to keep his mind occupied. It ends up counting for very little, but if Eggsy’s visit to the first-floor washroom before lunch takes several minutes longer than one would usually require, there’s nobody else working in the store with him to pick up on it.

***

Over the next week, Eggsy receives no fewer than a dozen snaps from Harry on a daily basis, the subjects of which range from the food Harry’s eating (most often) to the general architecture around London (moderately often) to Harry himself (much too often, but also not often enough). He sends Eggsy snaps of people walking their dogs in the streets and glowing sunsets above the South Kensington rooftops, captioned with things like hope J.B’s getting exercise too and a splendid view from my balcony, and the day that he (presumably) discovers the video function on Snapchat, he leaves Eggsy a good-night greeting complete with pyjamas and dressing gown and evening hair, thus ensuring it is anything but.

Eggsy wants to be annoyed by the spam, is the thing. He knows that anyone else in their right mind would be, but as hard as he tries, he just can’t. They don’t get to see each other very much these days, anyhow, and he has to admit that on the whole it’s kind of… endearing, isn’t it, that Harry doesn’t seem to have any reservations about sharing these little aspects of his everyday life with Eggsy, that he wants him to know. After a while, Eggsy starts looking forward to Harry’s snaps, finds himself checking and using Snapchat a lot more often than he used to, and yeah, maybe he has a bit of a problem, but he’s just in love with the man, that’s all. Objectively speaking, things could be a lot worse.

huh. He’s in love with Harry.

Fancy that.

***

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***

“Do you, like,” Eggsy starts, cutting himself off when Harry looks up from his phone and at him from the opposite seat of the monorail.

“Do I like what?” he asks mildly.

Hesitating, Eggsy considers just letting the issue drop, because he’s already known for days — all of the days, in fact, ever since he got the first notification and thought to tell Harry, except he didn’t, couldn’t bring himself to even up until now, and if texting Harry was too difficult of a tooth to pull, then what of having to say it straight to his face?

You know what, screw it. Confrontations have always been Eggsy’s thing, anyway.

“You take, like. Screenshots, right?”

Harry blinks. “Why — how do you know that?”

“It’s the app, it kinda, uh. Tells me,” Eggsy says, and it sounds miles less assertive than what he’d rehearsed in his head. “It does that so people don’t, I mean they still do sometimes, but it’s something extra they’ve gotta think about. And I’m not sayin’ you shouldn’t, or that it’s bad or anything, I just. I wasn’t sure if you knew, so. Yeah.”

“Oh.” Christ alive, is Harry blushing? He looks… embarrassed, yes, but only very slightly. The rest of his expression is pensive and curious and heart-meltingly shy, and Eggsy doesn’t know what to make of it, or if he should even try. “N — no, I wasn’t aware of that.” Harry looks down at his phone, then up at Eggsy again. “Do you want me to delete them? I could —”

“No,” Eggsy says quickly, perhaps too quickly; as if verbal whiplash is an actual thing that exists, he almost flinches, turning it into a dismissive wave instead. “No, you don’t have to, I don’t mind. Not really.”

Harry tilts his head. He doesn’t look entirely convinced. “Are you sure?”

He must know that they both know, Eggsy thinks, about the types of snaps that Harry tends to save over others. Maybe that’s really where all this is coming from, that if Harry knows Eggsy gets notifications whenever he screenshots Eggsy’s selfies, then it’d be okay for Eggsy to do the same. Goodness knows he’s been sorely tempted for weeks as it is.

“Yeah.” Eggsy nods and grins lamely. “Positive. Don’t worry about it.”

Harry beams back at him, earnestness in his smile and warmth in his eyes, and Eggsy has no idea how it’s supposed to be humanly possible to refrain from leaning over and kissing Harry right there and then, but to his — relief? disappointment? regret? — he does.

***

In the weeks that follow, it’s not like Eggsy goes wild with the screenshotting or anything; he uses it just as sparingly as he does his lighters stroke hand grenades out in the field, and he almost always has a good reason for each one:

 

  • The gelato shop Harry buys a lemon cone from looks like it could be the real deal, and Eggsy’s no good with Italian names so keeping the photo makes it easier to look up on Google.
  • Eggsy hasn’t thought about what he intends to do with the snap Harry sends him of Merlin snooze-drooling over his desk (I think he might need some help), but there are… possibilities.
  • If he rummaged through the shop’s supplies long enough, Eggsy’s sure he’d eventually come across the textile that Harry’s new bespoke suit is made of, but it doesn’t hurt to have a picture as reference. That, and Harry looks sinfully dashing in it as always, but that’s besides the point. Honest it is.
  • He just likes dogs an awful lot, alright?
  • Harry sends him so many dressing gown selfies anyway, and Eggsy was pretty drunk at the time. Okay, so maybe that’s not a good reason, but whatever, he’s got it now, so he’s keeping it.
  • There are emergencies, and then there are emergencies. Having Harry stranded in the aftermath of a mission, alone and badly wounded and with all his comms jammed certainly qualifies as the latter, so Eggsy doesn’t think about how it is that Harry manages to acquire a smartphone — one with Snapchat, no less — just takes the screenshot of Harry’s location with trembling hands and rushes to mission control, where Merlin discerns his coordinates and scrambles a rescue team.
  • Harry’s pale, exhausted smile (Won’t be going anywhere #norush) before the battery on his pilfered phone runs out might just be the last time Eggsy gets to see him alive.

 

***

Six sleepless hours later, Eggsy bursts through the infirmary doors without knocking or stopping to think about it, whirling smack dab into the debrief that Merlin’s giving, and fuck if he’s going to get a bollocking from Merlin later, because there Harry is, lying comfortably in bed with the covers drawn up to his waist and a bit more colour in his face. He’s sans glasses and suit, and a lock of his hair falls over his bandaged forehead as he turns to look at Eggsy, as he smiles and says, “I see you got my snap.”

“Yeah,” Eggsy breathes, and he doesn’t remember drifting over but he’s standing at Harry’s bedside, holding his hand more tightly than he intends. “You okay?”

Harry strokes his thumb over Eggsy’s fingers. “I’ve been better,” he allows.

Merlin looks sternly at Eggsy, a twist to his severe mouth. “Yes, well. If you don’t mind, Eggsy, we were in the middle of some very important —”

“Oh, let him stay, Merlin,” Harry chuckles. “He has just saved my life, after all.”

Technically, but nonetheless —”

Nonetheless nothing, not that Eggsy was paying attention in the first place, and he pays much less to all else as he looms down and kisses Harry, unable to help himself, but Harry’s more than willing to steady Eggsy’s jaw with an IV-trussed hand at his cheek, and he smiles against Eggsy’s mouth, kisses him soundly back.

“You took a screenshot,” Harry murmurs, fondly accusatory. “That was hardly me looking my best, dear boy.”

“You always look your best, shut up,” Eggsy growls, and even if Harry’s answering hum isn’t meant to be taken as agreement, Eggsy buries his face in Harry’s chest to listen to it all the same.

***

Merlin doesn’t want Snapchat on his phone, but neither does he want a certain photo to be making the rounds among the other Kingsmen, so he does as he’s told and grimaces before opening the first snap he gets from one Snapchat user eggsovereasy:

  • Eggsy’s leaning over the railing of Harry’s hospital bed, their faces side-by-side on Harry’s pillow, and Eggsy’s turning just so he’s kissing Harry on the cheek, topped off by Harry’s broad smile and the underlying caption, don't h8 cos u ain't #gentlemen.