Penny comes home to a quiet apartment on Friday night.
Word count: 802
I open the door and see Simon’s head where it shouldn’t be: the couch.
“Did your date get canceled?” I call from the doorway. He shrugs with a small smile and points down at the couch.
I make my way over to him, dropping my bags in a trail along the floor. My back is going to hunch like an old lady by the time I’m thirty because I always take half the apartment with me when I leave for class. My shoes hit the couch with a thud as I fling them off.
I regret making all the noise because now I see that Simon isn’t alone on the couch.
Baz is curled up with his head in Simon’s lap, eyes peacefully closed and resting. Simon uses one hand to balance a textbook on the arm of the couch, and the other hand is holding Baz’s. He must have fallen asleep like that.
“He fell asleep as soon as he got here,” Simon whispers.
“He must be exhausted. Isn’t he taking more than a full course load this quarter?”
“I’m glad he’s getting some sleep.”
“Yeah,” sighs Simon. “How was your lecture? Did you teacher give back your paper yet?”
“No.” It sweet of Simon to remember, because he really doesn’t have to. He still keeps up with what’s going on in my classes, even though we’re not in the same ones anymore.
We’re talking in hushed tones, and Simon closes his textbook to run his fingers across Baz’s hair. I don’t know if he’s consciously doing this, or if it’s a habit his hands have learned to do on their own. “Lecture was good, though,” I say. “I got in a fight.”
“With the usual girl?”
“Yeah, the Tory. I gave her such a good smack down. A few people clapped.”
I grab the blanket we keep near the couch and lay it over Baz. It’s the big blue one with down inside and it’s also his favorite—I can’t believe I know this. I never thought I’d have a future where I would know Baz Pitch’s blanket preferences.
“You’re going to become friends with her one day,” Simon tells me.
I roll my eyes. “Not all of us make peace with our enemies by snogging them, Simon.”
He grins at that and looks down at Baz, and I see him get lost for a bit. I give them hell for their stupid flirting, mostly because it pales to moments like this. Quiet moments, when they both find some peace by being together. I wonder how long he’s been bound to this couch, trying not to disturb his sleeping boyfriend.
They were supposed to go to a fancy restaurant tonight, and Simon put a lot of effort into getting a reservation. I don’t think Simon cares that they’re missing it. With the way Simon is looking at Baz right now, I think that this is Simon’s idea of a date. Spending time close to each other, making sure they’re taking care of themselves. Staying inside, away from the pressures of the city. Inside, where Baz can fall asleep on Simon’s lap when he needs, and Simon can play with his hair.
“You guys are sweet,” I say. Simon rolls his eyes, but he’s still smiling. “Let’s get take out when he wakes up.”
There’s quiet for a few nice moments, but then I look at Baz and find that he’s looking at me.
“I’m not asleep anymore, Bunce.” The tosser. He heard me.
“Good morning, love,” says Simon. I think Baz would start poking fun at me, but he responds to Simon’s voice like a call, immediately turning to look at him. Everything about Baz changes when Simon calls him ‘love’. They’re getting lost in staring at each other.
“It’s still the evening, Snow,” Baz protests. He pulls Simon’s hand from his hair, kisses it, then holds it to his chest.
I make a big show of groaning and loudly place our food order, but I’m happy for them. There are so many times that we could have fallen apart, but we haven’t. Not yet. And I don’t think we will. I think we’re going to keep on getting through this.
I hang up the phone and am forced shove a pillow in their faces because they’re snogging. Already.
“But I thought we were sweet, Pen,” says Baz, and I smack him with a pillow again, then jump on the couch to sit between them, the three of us nestled under the blanket, hiding from the world and waiting for our food to arrive. It’s such a lame way to spend Friday night, but it’s what we usually do. I think we earned this, after everything.
Above me, I hear a wet smacking sound. Being short is horrible, sometimes.
“I swear, if you are snogging directly above my own head I will invent a new spell so horrible you will never recover.”
I feel them break apart from either side of me. Baz laughs, but his voice still sounds sleepy when he speaks to me. “Tell me about the smack down you gave at lecture today. And from the beginning, your lecture stories are always epic.”
They are epic. But still, it’s nice to hear it from him. I start from the top.