Persuading them to let him take Slaine outside was comparatively easier than convincing them he was capable of driving, but several meetings and one stunt driving course later Inaho had all the approval he needed. Slaine looked at him like he was crazy when he announced that they were leaving the prison – it was officially a ‘safe house’, but he didn’t see a point in sugar-coating it when the blond himself didn’t care – but put on the clothes Inaho brought and climbed into the car.
“Don’t drive us into a tree,” Slaine said indifferently as Inaho got behind the wheel.
“I don’t believe in lovers’ suicides,” he answered calmly as he started the engine.
The ride was quiet. He heard the window roll down on his blind side, and a quick glance showed him Slaine, head turned into the wind, hair catching the sun. Inaho returned his attention back to the road; he wasn’t going to let the blond prove him wrong by veering off.
Slaine didn’t ask if Inaho was going to drown him as they stepped out of the car, and Inaho took it as confirmation of improvement. The blond’s attention locked onto the ocean, green eyes wide and bright.
“I didn’t know I was this close.” The voice was soft, a little bit awed, and most definitely not intended for him to hear.
Inaho spoke anyway. “Your location was deliberately kept from you.” Slaine speared him with a look for that, but it seemed like the open air had put the blond into a good mood. Inaho avoided the shoes that Slaine deliberately kicked in his direction, although the socks were discarded with onto the sand with a diplomacy that seemed ingrained. He watched Slaine step gingerly into the cold water, shivering at the contact, and looked out at horizon.
“She had always wanted to see this.” The way the green eyes were focused on something not there, the slight draw of the brows; I wanted to show her this.
Inaho glanced down and adjusted his sleeves. “I thought a change of scenery would be good for you.”
“Yeah.” Slaine seemed content when Inaho looked, smiling gently. The blond looked over his shoulder and met his gaze. “Are you just going to stand there?”
“I’m here to supervise you,” he answered, and the green eyes rolled skyward in annoyance.
“Do you ever have any fun?”
Inaho shrugged. Most people didn’t think he did, but then again he found visiting Slaine enjoyable. Slaine shook his head and stalked out of the water, stopping right in front of him so that he had to tilt his head up to maintain eye contact. “Yes?”
“Pardon.” The bright glint in the green eyes should have been a warning, but Slaine moved faster than Inaho had ever seen him in physical therapy, feeling almost like he was falling as his feet were swept out from under him. He barely had time to realize he was being carried, the sloshing of the blond’s footsteps giving him the destination, before he felt Slaine’s muscles tense.
Inaho grabbed on at the last second, surging forward to loop his arms around Slaine’s neck. Slaine bit out a curse right beside his ear, but whether it was simple surprise or physics there was no correcting their balance. They landed with a clumsy splash into the shallow water, his arms tightening reflexively at the pain of impact. He let go when Slaine began to flail, smirking at the frown on the blond’s face. The normally pale hair had darkened several shades from the water, rivulets ran down the neck into the wet clothes.
“I brought towels,” he offered, and Slaine finally sat back to give him space.
The towels shielded their clothes from the clinging sand, but it seemed like such a moot point after all the seawater. There was no denying that it was warmer, however, and he gave their shared towel an experimental tug. Slaine muttered darkly, too quiet for Inaho to catch, and shifted closer until he could feel warmth seep into him from hip to shoulder. Better.
“It’s the middle of summer,” was all Slaine said, an abbreviated version of the usual rant.
It was still not Get away from me so Inaho helpfully said, “The wind is quite strong on a beach, and you refuse to strip out of your wet clothes – it’ll be a problem if you catch a cold.”
Slaine sighed quietly but didn’t reply. Inaho felt the blond shift, a hand in his hair gently tipping his head down to rest against Slaine’s shoulder. He didn’t fight against the lax grip, listening to the faint sound of a heartbeat that carried through muscle and bone.
Inaho shifted and took in a breath for his question, but Slaine seemed to have known. “I really will throw you in if you have to ask.” The blond’s voice rumbled a lot more under his ear.
“I was going to say we have to head back,” he said innocently, pulling his arm out of the towel cocoon to show Slaine the flashing backlight on his watch.
Inaho waited until Slaine was putting away the towels into the bowels of the trunk before he said, “I don’t ask questions I know the answers to.” The blond nearly hit the roof of the truck in surprise, green eyes staring at him incredulously against pale cheeks coloured with pink. “It’s been five years; I thought it was usual for couples to be able to communicate without words?”