Fandom: X-Men: First Class
Pairing: Alex/Hank (pre-slash)
Word count: 1,414
Summary: Alex has taken to using Hank as a pillow. It takes a while, but Hank begins to think it's not such a bad thing.
A/N: Originally written for 1stclass_kink, full prompt can be found here.
In Our Sleep As We Speak
The first time it happens they’re all sat around listening to records in the drawing room, relaxing after a long day of training. Hank is flicking leisurely through a book, Alex sat beside him tiresomely picking at his nails and Sean sprawled out across the floor doing – well, Hank’s not entirely sure what he’s doing, but he seems pretty engrossed in whatever it is. It’s a typical evening really, no doubt Charles or Erik will be along soon to either tell them to go to bed or keep them up even longer with tall tales.
Raven is around somewhere, Hank doesn’t know where, but he doesn’t like to pry. As the only female (he’s never really counted Moira) in a house full of men, she’s entitled to her privacy and he wouldn’t want to intrude.
Anyway, he’s getting away from himself...
The first time it happens is a bit of a shock, for everyone involved.
Hank has just turned a page in his book, reading eagerly, when he feels a warm weight pressing against his side. He turns and starts, finding himself face-to-face with a dozing Alex, who seems to be quite content in using him as a pillow all of a sudden. He stares for several long moments, and then kicks a leg out in Sean’s direction, whispering frantically, ‘Help me!’
Sean doesn’t do much in the way of help and proceeds to burst out laughing. ‘What the--?’ he starts.
‘Help me,’ Hank repeats, snapping his book shut and gesturing to Alex again, just in case the other boy really is being that dim.
Moving slowly, Sean shifts to sit back on his heels and cocks his head, staring in utter bewilderment. ‘What exactly do you expect me to do to help you?’ he asks.
Hank sighs heavily, he’s being ridiculous, Alex is only asleep after all, it’s not as though he’s doing any harm. But why is he asleep on him of all people? This is not normal, not for them. Alex is supposed to hate him... or something.
He’s panicking now and Sean is doing nothing to help the situation, his laughter only becoming louder as Alex curls in closer.
When Alex begins to nuzzle Hank’s neck a moment later, he finally snaps, leaping away from the other boy without warning. Alex awakes with a start, tumbling off the couch and ending up face first on the floor, narrowly missing Sean.
Awkwardly, Hank extends a hand toward him and mumbles, ‘Sorry, are you all right?’
Alex clearly doesn’t appreciate the concern and scrambles to his feet without a word, stalking out of the room.
It falls quiet once he’s gone, something that is only rectified when Sean lets out a low whistle and adds, ‘Way to go, man! That went well!’
Hank narrows his eyes and says nothing.
It happens again two days later, when Hank is busy in his lab and Alex is supposed to be there for various tests concerning his chest plate. While Hank has his back turned, however, the younger boy sidles right up to the edge of the desk and falls asleep cuddled up to Hank’s lab coat.
Hank is extremely happy it’s not something he’s wearing this time.
By the time Alex has stirred again it’s beginning to get late, but Hank is still busy, head bowed low as he fiddles with various wires.
‘What are you doing?’
He jumps, startled, and smacks his head off the desk lamp with a hollow clang.
Alex looks suitably guilty, for perhaps the first time in his life. ‘Sorry,’ he mutters.
Turning to face him, absently rubbing at the back of his head, Hank lets a smile pull at the corners of his mouth. He shrugs in response to Alex’s apology, not entirely sure what to say. ‘I believe we’re almost there,’ he announces finally, answering the earlier question instead. ‘Should be finished by morning and we – I mean, you can test it out.’
An awkward silence settles, Hank finds he’s getting used to them now, and then Alex takes his leave, racing out the room without so much as a thank you. It stings, but Hank’s used to that, too.
Twenty minutes later Hank realises his lab coat smells of Alex... and it’s not entirely unpleasant.
By Saturday night, they’re all completely worn out, the constant training taking its toll. Raven is the only one who refuses to succumb to sleep, contentedly dancing around the kitchen and occasionally reaching for Hank’s hand in an attempt to entice him to come and join her. He doesn’t and, without a word, takes another sip of his cola, gaze straying to Alex and Sean, who are deep in conversation.
Sean has been talking non stop for the past half an hour and Alex, trying to polite, is nodding along and offering the occasional noncommittal grunt. He’s clearly fives seconds away from dropping to sleep on the table.
Since working out the kinks in Alex’s chest plate, he’d been training harder than ever, something Hank always tagged along for, keen to see his creation being put to test.
It’s understandable that Alex would be so tired.
Another hour or so passes before anyone makes a move though and Raven, surprisingly, is the first. Sean excuses himself shortly afterwards to visit the bathroom, and then Hank is left alone with Alex once again.
Hank spends several agonising moments trying to come up with something to say, but then an overtired Alex practically passes out and he finds the younger boy slumped against his arm. It doesn’t come as a shock this time and, in fact, he’s beginning to find he’s growing increasingly used to it. Nor does he mind – when Alex is asleep he can’t do anything to offend.
Scooting his chair closer, trying to make as little noise as possible as he does so, Hank let’s Alex get comfortable. Alex does so without hesitation, muttering something about ‘pretty eyes’ before curling himself into Hank’s side, fingers clutching blindly at the fabric of his shirt. Hank tries his hardest to ignore the involuntary lurch of his stomach. (He finds the sweaty palms a little more difficult to hide.)
Sean’s entrance several moments later is hardly a surprise. He comes to a screeching halt, eyebrows raised so high they’re hidden somewhere behind his unruly hair, and then exclaims, ‘Dude!’
No one moves, especially not Alex.
‘He’s – I--’ Hank closes his eyes, fully aware that he’s blushing. ‘It’s fine,’ he adds awkwardly.
Sean takes a step forward, almost as though he’s testing the waters, his face screwed up in playful concentration. When he reaches a hand out toward his sleeping friend, Hank is quick to intercept, hissing, ‘What are you doing?’
‘Umm...’ Snatching his hand back, Sean glances between them both, and then says casually, ‘Nothing.’
Hank’s tempted to argue the point, but instead attempts to shoo Sean away with a flick of his wrist. It fails, completely, and he soon finds himself being laughed at instead.
They go about this for a couple of minutes until Sean finally tires and backs off, arms folded across his chest. ‘All right, man, I get the point. I was only joking,’ he says. Even though he sounds annoyed, his eyes are still twinkling with mirth, Sean’s always been ridiculously transparent. ‘I’ll give you two some privacy or whatever.’
‘W-what?’ Hank splutters. ‘What are you talking about?’
Sean stares at him, the look in his eyes practically screaming out are you stupid? and Hank thinks that yes, he probably is. He sighs and looks down at Alex who, almost on cue, edges closer and mumbles, ‘Don’t move...’ It’s barely coherent and Hank’s sure he’s the only one who hears.
‘See you in the morning, yeah?’
Sean ducks out of the kitchen without another word and Hank, attention still on Alex, decides that if the other boy wants to sleep on him, they may as well get comfortable while he does it.
When Hank wakes the next morning, blurry eyed and dry mouthed, Alex is still there. He’s sitting at the foot of the bed, legs crossed, watching over him. Generally Hank would consider that kind of behaviour weird, but this is Alex... and he’s actually still there!
In the end it takes Alex a second to realise that Hank is looking back, but when he does he doesn’t move, only smiles and says, gingerly, ‘We should do this more often...’