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Even after all these years, the sight of Grant in a crowd still catches Jonathan under the heart. There's a touch of grey in his fair hair now, and he started wearing glasses a couple of years ago, but he's unmistakably the same gorgeous armful Jonathan lusted after and then fell in love with when they were in the Medsoc Musical together. Same beautiful smile, same muscular compact body, broad shoulders and strong thighs - fuck it, if Jonathan doesn't stop thinking about Grant with his clothes off, they'll never get home because he's going to do something that'll get them both arrested.

Grant's only been away five days - two days working with his opposite number in Public Health at UPMC, three days at the Paris conference itself - but it feels like more. Days of long-distance conversations that leave Jonathan lonelier than before, of going to sleep and waking up without Grant in his bed, their bed. And now here he is, just off the first Eurostar of the day, tired from getting up early, frowning a little in concentration until he catches sight of Jonathan and his face lights up.

“Hello, you,” he says. “This is a nice surprise.”

“Hello yourself,” Jonathan says, and kisses him, careful not to squash the freesias.

“Are those for me?” Grant says, beaming.

“They are indeed,” says Jonathan.

“They're lovely,” Grant says. “Please tell me you didn't set fire to anything while I was gone.”

“That was one time,” Jonathan says indignantly.

(One time in the early days, never forgotten: a romantic evening that went spectacularly wrong. He'd left a tea-light burning on the rim of the bath, and the candle had burned a hole in the rim, fallen through the hole and set fire to all the fluff and builders' debris in the space under the bath. Attempting to deal with the tealight fire, he'd left his lovingly prepared mole poblano unattended on the stove, which meant that the house was filled with the smell of burning chocolate, chilli and turkey as well as smoke when the Cambridge fire brigade arrived. They didn't say much about the situation, but clearly drew their own conclusions on finding Jonathan in his dressing-gown at 7 in the evening and Grant wearing nothing but a bath-towel and a furious expression. The appreciative looks the cutest of the firefighters gave Grant were the last straw for Jonathan. Grant was too busy being furious to notice, but on being told about it later said that if Jonathan would go setting the house on fire he had no-one to blame but himself if his boyfriend got ogled by a good-looking fireman. Since this was the first time he'd referred to himself as Jonathan's boyfriend, the occasion wasn't a complete disaster.)

“And no, I didn't set fire to anything. I missed you, OK?”

“I missed you too,” says Grant, with a soft look that makes him weak at the knees. “I brought you macarons, the good ones from rue Bonaparte.”

“Matcha green tea?” Jonathan says hopefully.

“They're not doing that one this season, but I got the chocolate and passion fruit ones you like.”

“Mmm,” says Jonathan, going slightly cross-eyed.

“I hope the Tube's running OK,” Grant says. “Need to get macarons in the fridge and you into bed.”

“What this station ought to have is a love hotel,” Jonathan grumbles.

Five days of frustrated Skype exchanges, him at home in bed and Grant in some blasted Paris conference centre with cardboard walls. He loves how noisy Grant is in bed, loves making him lose control. Or making him struggle to keep quiet when they're away somewhere together, Grant trembling under his mouth and his hands. He's aching at the thought of it, wanting to strip Grant and kiss him all over, fuck him slowly and thoroughly until they're both too wrecked to do more than fall asleep in each other's arms...

“I stayed in one of those once, in France,” says Grant.

“Bloody hell!” says Jonathan, pulled abruptly out of his fantasy. “Who with?”

“Nobody,” Grant says, and grins. “It was so late when the train got in, I just went for the nearest place I could find. When I told Marcel where I'd spent the night, he said 'oh, they usually rent those rooms by the hour!' Dingy place it was, enough to put anyone off, I'd have thought.”

“Wish I'd been with you,” Jonathan says. “It wouldn't have put me off.”

“Wouldn't have done you much good if you had been,” says Grant. “This was pre-Rocky Horror, so I still thought you were just an annoying tosser.”

“Oh yeah?” Jonathan gives him his best Dakin look from History Boys, the raised eyebrow and the smirk.

“You complacent fuck,” Grant says, right on cue.

“I bet I could have changed your mind,” says Jonathan.

“Probably,” Grant says, with another fond look. “Come home and show me how.”