Happy Birthday reggietate!
Here, have a fic a little early since you appear to be on lates this week. Any remaining typos and bad grammar is due to my lack of caffiene at this time in the morning.
Title: The Morning After
Disclaimer: Not mine. ITV and Impossible Pictures own them.
Word count: approx 1000
Summary: A hangover isn’t the only thing Nick wakes up with after a particularly good night.
Nick woke up with a stinker of a hangover. He scrunched his eyes shut against the light coming through the thin curtains, and rolled over with a vague intention to sleep through the next geological epoch if at all possible. That was, until he rolled into something solid in the bed next to him. Something warm, and solid, and decidedly person-shaped.
Nick froze. What the hell? He didn’t remember going to bed with anyone. Actually, now he thought about it, he didn’t remember anything at all about going to bed, accompanied or otherwise. He had a worrying suspicion that the scotch he could still taste probably had a lot to do with his lack of memory. None of which addressed the rather more pressing concern of who the hell he was in bed with.
He slowly opened his eyes.
“Morning, sleepy.” Stephen was propped on his elbow and looking down on Nick with a particularly amused smile.
“Morning?” Nick said, hoping his voice didn’t sound quite as confused as he thought it did.
It was at that point that Nick realised he was naked. He was naked, in bed with Stephen. Admittedly he could only see the top half of Stephen’s body, but that, too, was quite obviously devoid of clothing.
Nick wondered if it would be at all possible to shuffle nonchalantly backwards and hide under the duvet and pretend he hadn’t actually woken up yet, because this was just far too strange and confusing. And far too much like those dreams that he kept having and trying to pretend hadn’t happened when he had to work with Stephen every day.
“How are you feeling today?” Stephen asked, still with that little smile on his face.
“Hangover,” Nick replied. He wondered if smiling in return might be taken as some form of encouragement, although he was still rather uncertain exactly what it might encourage to happen, or indeed whether encouraging it might actually be considered a good thing.
“I did warn you to go easy on the scotch, but you wouldn’t listen to me.”
Stephen reached out and his long fingers settled on the side of Nick’s temple and started to rub in gentle circles, soothing away the headache. Nick’s eyes closed and he sighed and started to relax. It was tempting to let himself be soothed back to sleep and just deal with things later after a bit more sleep when he didn’t feel quite so grotty. But he also knew that there was one very important question that he really needed to know the answer to before things got any more confused.
Nick opened his eyes again and peered up at Stephen.
“Stephen, last night... did I...? I mean, did we...? Um... what exactly happened?”
Stephen abruptly stopped smiling and his hand dropped away.
“You don’t remember?” he asked warily.
“Not a thing,” Nick admitted.
“Oh.” Stephen looked suddenly crestfallen.
“How much did I drink last night?”
Nick knew immediately he had said the wrong thing. Stephen pulled back and moved to get out of his side of the bed.
“I’d better make some coffee,” he muttered, not looking at Nick.
Nick reached out and grabbed his wrist and tugged him back.
“Stephen, wait. Sorry, that didn’t come out like I meant it. Or rather, I didn’t mean it the way it came out. Or something. Please, stay.”
Stephen carefully turned around again, but the playful smile was definitely gone now.
“You really don’t remember what happened?” he asked again.
Nick sighed. “No. But whatever it was, I’m fairly certain it wasn’t just down to the drink, if that’s what you’re thinking. I wouldn’t have done anything that I didn’t want to. Or that you didn’t want to.”
The smile returned, albeit a little hesitantly. Stephen glanced down at where Nick’s hand was still holding his wrist. Nick took a deep breath and then slid his hand down to entwine his fingers with Stephen’s.
“Maybe you could remind me what happened?” he suggested. He knew Stephen had a wicked sense of humour sometimes, but on this occasion Nick trusted him not to take advantage of the rather unfortunate memory loss.
“Where do you want me to start?” Stephen asked, his voice little more than a whisper, and his expression full of tentative hope.
“At the beginning.”
Stephen nodded. “It started with you doing this.”
Stephen leaned down and kissed Nick. It was slow, and soft despite the interesting sensation of stubble. Nick’s mouth opened a little and that was all the encouragement Stephen needed to deepen the kiss.
When they finally broke apart Nick sighed happily.
“I did that?” he asked, not quite able to believe the fact that he had finally worked up the courage to make a move on Stephen. More to the point, he had finally made a move and he didn’t bloody remember doing it!
“Yes, you did.” Stephen’s smirk suggested he was starting to really enjoy Nick’s bewilderment.
“So what happened after that?”
Stephen untangled his fingers from Nick’s, and his hand moved to rest lightly on Nick’s chest. He began to trail his fingers lower, across Nick’s stomach, and then lower still.
“Maybe I should demonstrate,” Stephen said. “It might jog your memory a little.”
“They do say that physical reminders are the best way to access memories.”
“Do they really?”
Nick wriggled as Stephen’s hand tickled and teased. “No, I just made that up,” he admitted.
Stephen laughed, his blue eyes sparkling. “One thing I do know about you, Nick, is that even without the drink, you have a terrible memory. I might have to ‘remind’ you several times today before I can be certain you’ve got it.”
“You know what? I think you might be right.”
Nick slid a hand round Stephen’s neck and tugged him down into another kiss.
For once Nick suspected that the morning after was going to be even better than the night before.