Sunday mornings were, in their own way, a magical thing.
There were no requirements and Andrew and Neil existed outside of time, together.
Sunday mornings were an indulgent event that started when Neil woke with the sun. No matter how much Andrew might attempt to bargain with the sun, it still rose at the same early hour every day, waking Neil along with it.
There were no morning runs though, and while Neil woke up early, he stuck around in bed until Andrew was ready to get up for the day.
Sunday mornings were for snoozing until brunch. Neil would wake and go perform his ablutions and climb back in bed, where he had to attempt to wrestle the covers back from Andrew. He never won. It was a practice in futility that took place every Sunday morning, and neither man would trade it for the world.
There were kisses in the morning. Andrew refused to ever get out of bed to brush his teeth until his bladder coerced him out of bed, and even then, did so unwillingly. Neil didn’t think he would ever become accustomed to Andrew’s rank ass breath, but if he kept his mouth closed Neil could avoid the worst of it. He usually ended up straying from Andrew’s mouth anyway.
Sundays mornings were reserved solely for their own form of worship. Namely in one another’s bodies. Reverent but firm touches were interspersed with soft kisses on Andrew’s body. Each time that he complained about his fuzzy teeth from eating cookies in bed or his desperate need to urinate, Neil would hide a smile by finding a new place on Andrew’s body to pepper with kisses. Andrew feeling safe enough to complain about very mundane things made Neil feel like he was over the moon.
There were moments, though, that weren’t so reverent. Andrew wasn’t as concerned with gentling his way across Neil’s body. He would give Neil biting kisses and just on the pleasurable side of rough touches, but they were Neil’s favorite. He loved the way that Andrew expressed himself without censure and without regard for the way that Nicky told them they were supposed to behave.
Sunday mornings were for erasing every moment from the past week where they were told that the way they loved was wrong in some way. Scathing remarks full of empty accusations only ever got a rise out of Neil. Andrew knew what they were, or weren’t, and for the most part never let it bother him. It did bother Neil.
There were reassurances between the men, lying there in the early morning light that took a week’s worth of prejudice off their back. And when Andrew rolled over Neil to brush up against everything before he continued his roll and walked into the bathroom, Neil was left sunk into the bed feeling boneless.
Sunday mornings were for making brunch together. While Andrew brushed his teeth, and went to the restroom, Neil would give himself a full thirty seconds to bask in bliss before he climbed out of bed and padded to the kitchen to make Andrew coffee.
There were not enough things Neil could add to coffee to ever make him want to drink it. He would gladly forfeit his life before partaking in the bitter bean juice. Andrew didn’t even really like it, he was just a caffeine addict and a blonde roast coffee was full of his drug of choice. Neil still had to dump three scoops of powdered, dark Belgian chocolate and fill it past the brim with whipped cream before Andrew would drink it, but there was nothing that could make it palatable to Neil. He preferred Assam tea with honey.
Sunday mornings were for drinking their respective hot beverages across from one another at their little two-person table. They would sandwich their feet together and sit in relative silence while they read the news that morning. Andrew would read the news, while Neil scrolled through exy forums online. When they were finished with their drinks they would go about making brunch together.
There were moments where Neil felt like he and Andrew were two halves of the same whole, in the same way that Nicky talked about Erik. They anticipated one another’s needs in a way that made Neil feel as if they had always been together and would never separate. It was in these moments that occasionally Andrew would let a laugh carry his face into a smile before schooling his features with a gruff cough.
Sunday mornings were now soft and sleepy. They were at one time something that Neil dreaded. There was no practice to distract him from the fact that his life was ending and if he was around Andrew’s group he was likely to see Andrew’s smile on meds. It was something that had an almost regular occurrence in Neil’s nightmares in those first few months of knowing him. Andrew’s smile on his meds split his face open and was full of menace.
There were no more medically induced smiles. Most smiles now came from an overabundance of chocolate where Andrew would quirk up his lips with his cheeks full of some dessert, squishing his eyes with his massive cheeks. Or there were smiles that were full of mischief when Neil was clumsy and tripped over a cat or a loose shoe—those were typically followed by a scathing comment about Neil’s ability to run away leaving him. Or there were the soft, sleepy smiles of contentment; those were Neil’s favorite.
Sunday mornings were now full of contentment. After brunch, when they moved to the couch and Andrew laid long ways on the couch with a book, Neil would worm his way in between Andrew’s legs. Andrew would relent with a huff of facetious annoyance and would lift his arms and set the book back down on Neil’s chest. Neil would wiggle and settle down into Andrew and if he timed it right and looked up right after Andrew sighed in contentment, he would see Andrew’s smile off his meds. That soft smile of contentment, where his eyes and nose crinkle and his eyebrows go up making a little furrow in his brows before it smooths back out.
There were moments, magic moments, on Sunday mornings that Neil decided that he would carry with him until the day that he died. Andrew knew that he would carry those moments long after his death. What he now had was worth facing down vengeful gods to keep.
And Andrew read to Neil.