It is, Harry isn’t quick to admit, a bit more enjoyable to order Eggsy around than he had originally thought. Which is a surprise in and of itself, because Eggsy’s got a bit of an attitude, still, has a bit of a thing about listening to his superiors - which is to say, he doesn’t - and his reaction to being asked to do something is often to quip, complain, feign reluctance and, eventually, do as he’s told. So it is rather amusing in the first place, even when the things he’s asking of Eggsy are menial, or requests - Let’s not blow up an embassy today, Galahad - Return with your gadgets intact to Merlin at the end of this next mission, please, you’re going to give him ulcers - For god’s sake, Eggsy, JB’s drooling on my Oxfords. Still: it’s more amusing than expected.
Something shifts when Harry says to Eggsy - part order and part genuine concern, “Please return to HQ unharmed,” and Eggsy shoots him a look, smiles despite the confusion in his eyes and dips his head into a nod. He returns from Cuba as unarmed as one can ask of a spy, and smirks at Harry despite the split in his lip and the cuts in his tailored suit.
Harry asks the same of him when Eggsy’s sent out a week later to Malta, and again later that month on reconnaissance in Egypt; that’s the first time Eggsy’s expression is more muted, nodding sharply and Harry chalks it up to the seriousness of the mission that he doesn’t quip back.
But he’s back with more sarcastic replies and quick-talking soon enough, smirking when Harry asks him to remove his feet from the table when they’re debriefing in the dining room.
“Would it kill you to do as your told the first time you’re given an order?” Harry asks, exasperated, and Eggsy grins.
“Depends on the order,” he says, wiggling his eyebrows - the of course is implied.
And then - well, Harry’s either getting better at conveying to Eggsy which of his orders are the most important, or Eggsy’s getting better at listening, because he does. He returns a flash drive in mint condition from Bruges; he keeps JB at heel so he doesn’t get underfoot and trip Merlin; he acts as backup to Roxy when she delegates a meeting with kidnappers and it all goes perfectly smooth.
He also starts responding to Harry’s serious requests with a smile and “As you wish,” which Harry takes for his sense of humor and message received until Merlin’s in the room, once, and gives Harry a look when Eggsy walks out.
“That’s new,” he says, fussing with his clipboard and tilting his head at Harry, curious.
“What is?” Harry mumbles, organizing the dossier before meeting Merlin’s eyes, brow furrowing.
“Eggsy,” Merlin gestures vaguely, “-and you. I suppose I’m not very surprised; you always had a soft spot for him.”
“Eggsy and I?” Harry blinks in confusing, caught off-guard, “Merlin, there’s no-”
“As you wish?” he asks, eyebrows raised, and several things click into place in Harry’s mind.
“Ah. I -” he glances up, mind whirling, thinking of Eggsy strolling through the shop, out the doors to a Kingsman car; he couldn’t have gotten far in the time-
“Go,” Merlin laughs, and he’s down the stairs with Merlin’s laughter trailing behind him, catching up with Eggsy just as he’s wrenching open the door of the car, and Harry’s heart is strangely pounding as he strides through the door of the shop. The chime of the bell catching Eggsy’s attention and their eyes meet.
“I, ah, forgot to mention the last part of your order,” Harry says, suddenly hyper-aware of the attractive curl of the smile on Eggsy’s lips, the warm sun in his gold hair and the fit of his suit as he waits, poised and expectant, for Harry to continue. “I’d rather like - you’re to have dinner with me, upon your return to London. If that’s something you’d - wish.”
He finishes, haltingly, and watches as the smile on Eggsy’s face grows to beaming, eyes lit with mirth. “I was waiting for you to ask.”
“And?” Harry swallows.
Eggsy feigns reluctance, as he is wont - but now Harry can see through it, can see the delight on Eggsy face. He winks, giving Harry a half-shrug like the idea’s acceptable rather than great. “As you wish.”