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Marshall drifts off to sleep almost immediately after, leaving Dash to lie beside him contemplating all the ways he now feels completely and thoroughly fucked.

He should leave. He doesn't have a solid plan yet for how he's going to get by the rest of the week, and somewhere out there on the streets of Eerie, he knows there's a slide whistle that can raise the dead, a pair of seven-league penny loafers, and a guy willing to pay good money for both of those things. He should probably check it out before Marshall does and they wind up tagged in the Evidence Locker, gathering dust and doing no one any good.

He could take them even then, he knows. It's occurred to him it would be as easy as breathing to slip they key from around Marshall's neck one night, sneak upstairs, and help himself to a few of the more valuable items in Marshall and Simon's treasure trove of weirdness before Marshall wakes. It would also be the quickest and easiest way to end this, whatever this is.

But as much as he tells himself he's still holding that plan in reserve for a day he really needs it, he knows he probably won't.

Yeah, he should leave. He doesn't belong here in this cozy bedroom, snuggled between Marshall's no longer quite clean sheets, being held tight in Marshall's arms.

And since when did he start allowing that?

He has a brief moment of trapped half-panic, which of course wakes Marshall up. He stirs, opens one eye, and gives a sleepy half-smile. "Hey," he says, hugging Dash a little tighter, which doesn't help. Suddenly Marshall's pulling away, looking concerned. "You okay?"

"Fine," Dash says. "Go back to sleep."

"You sure?"

"Yes." Dash tries not to roll his eyes.

"You're not—?" Marshall begins. "I mean, I didn't hurt…?"

It's the second time tonight he's asked this. Dash smirks. "Not in any way I didn't ask you to, Slick."

Predictably, Marshall flushes. "Sorry," he says, with an embarrassed grin. "It's just that before, well, I've never…"

Dash does roll his eyes then. "I know."

Marshall looks wounded, and Dash sighs inwardly. He didn't mean to let his exasperation show quite that much. There's no good way to explain without making himself vulnerable in ways he doesn't want that it isn't due to the fact that Marshall lacks experience; it's the way he constantly points it out and implies Dash doesn't. Even though he knows better. They've been through Dash's entire sordid history in a conversation he never wants to have again, and the parts of it that don't directly involve Marshall are minuscule and miles past. Yet somehow in the world according to Marshall, he's the only one who's sometimes not sure of himself, while Dash always knows exactly what he's doing at all times.

It may have something to do with the way their first times are a bigger deal for Marshall. Not just because all his memories are intact, but because it bothers him more than it bothers Dash this isn't a real relationship. Every first is significant and represents one more part of himself Marshall can't save for the day when he's with someone he actually likes.

Dash has tried pointing out that they're still not sure if he's even a real human being anyway, so nothing they do together has to count if Marshall doesn't want it to. He'd been trying to make Marshall feel better; it had somehow resulted in their biggest fight to date not involving abject betrayal or attempted murder.

Dash sometimes realizes he's never going to understand the person beside him at all.

"What, are you fishing for compliments?" He reaches out and caresses Marshall's cheek to soften his words. "You did fine."

"Just fine?" Marshall asks, covering Dash's hand with his own and brushing his fingers over the mark there.

"Mmm, maybe a little more than fine." He pulls him closer and brings their lips together.

It's entirely possible Dash has been kissed by someone who isn't Marshall Teller. That somewhere in the memories he doesn't have there's a boyfriend or a girlfriend, a first date, or even a mother or father who might have come into his room to press lips to his forehead, wish him goodnight, and remain completely oblivious to the half-dressed possibly-alien intruder hiding in his closet. Not that Dash has ever been a participant in that last scenario or anything.

In the memories Dash does have, his and Marshall's first fumbling, slightly rage-fueled lip lock in the Old Mill was Dash's first kiss ever.

It's probably a good thing firsts don't bother Dash.

He isn't like Marshall. There isn't any part of himself he's concerned with keeping in reserve. He realized a long time ago he's more than willing to let Marshall take whatever he wants from him whenever he wants it, free of obligation.

It both thrills and terrifies Dash to know some day Marshall's going to figure that out.

Marshall pulls him closer and moves his hands down Dash's body, and Dash can feel himself responding in a way that definitely isn't panic.

He wonders why Marshall's touch is the only one that makes him feel this way. Not like his skin is going to crawl off, the way most people's hands anywhere on his body make him feel. It's never even been a friendly touch like Simon's, innocent and comfortable, something he's somehow gotten used to over the years. No, even from back when they were much younger, it's always felt a little like Dash is going to spontaneously combust under Marshall's hands and give thanks for the privilege of being allowed to burn for him.

He doesn't know what it is about this particular paranoid, spoiled suburbanite that makes him respond this way. That makes him so okay with having given himself away for free.

"Dash," Marshall murmurs as he breaks the kiss and buries his face in Dash's neck.

Maybe it's something to do with how Marshall sounds when he says his name like that. Not like he does when he's angry or annoyed with him, but like Dash is the most fascinating thing in the whole world and Marshall is overjoyed at being the very first to discover him.

He should leave now. If he's not careful, he's going to find himself scrambling to figure out how to keep himself fed before too long.

If he's not careful, he's going to find himself with a permanent place as one more item in Marshall's weirdness collection. Maybe tagged and cataloged like everything else in the Evidence Locker.

Dash X. Item Number: Whatever. Found: Old Hitchcock Mill. Origin: Unknown.

And then Marshall raises his head and smiles at him. It's an expression Dash could get lost in forever, and once again, he knows he's fucked. "Wanna go again?"

Dash pulls him down and rolls them over until Marshall's on top of him, and rewards him with his best attempt at a genuine smile in return.

"Give it your best shot," he says.