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[American Idol] [David Archuleta/David Cook] [PG-13]

OH MY GOD AT LAST. This part was ridiculous to write, just because it was so emotionally (and physically) draining, and asdofkgfsf so, so much love goes out to [livejournal.com profile] ssdimes for her generosity. Apparently, my brain was trying to work out the best way to get your 6,000 words to you as soon as possible, bb, because they're all in this chapter, all 6031 of them! :) I really, really hope this is worth the money you donated! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Extra thanks must also go out to [livejournal.com profile] rajkumari905 and [livejournal.com profile] miss_charmed for all their encouragement and constant loving needling. <3333333333 This would not have happened without you, ladies.

All earlier parts of the 'verse can be found here.



Just an Ordinary Love Story (that's what we are)

Part Six


Later, when they're back at the hotel, Cook lying asleep in his own bed across the room, David lets himself think about it.

About Cook's palms sliding down his neck, settling heavy on his shoulders, in his shirt, to press him back against the wall, to hold him steady with his warmth and his weight and the heat of his mouth, and--

Even in the dark, David can feel himself start to flush.

He just - he doesn't know why Cook would--

Or, okay, he totally does know, because he started it after all, oh my heck, but that wasn't even - that was just a - a spur of the moment thing, it barely even counted, and the look Cook had given him after, all, like, come hither or whatever, none of that was part of the plan.

Not that, um, not that any of it had been part of the plan. Or that there'd been any plan to begin with.

Especially not the part where - where Cook had seemed to actually mean it, the way he'd laughed at the end, rough and throaty, when he'd said, "Look at us," and swiped his thumb over David's mouth; or the way he'd sort of whispered, "Jesus," and ghosted a kiss over David's jaw, run his fingers through David's hair; or the way he'd watched David the rest of the evening, a slow, intense burn that hadn't let up till--

David swallows hard and shakes his head. He won't think about it like that - he can't - not when it means he'll get all... whatever.

It just - if it felt real, and if he thought Cook looked, um, just for a second, like he thought David was--

No. No.

It was probably just a thank you. For helping Cook to - for helping with Michael, or something like that.

Cook snores.

David shuts his eyes and rolls onto his side so he doesn't keep watching the way the covers rustle when Cook breathes.



Cook's already tugging his shoes on when David wakes up the next morning. "Finally," Cook says, but he's smiling, and there's no bite to it. The room smells so strongly of coffee that David turns his face back into his pillow for a second. "Morning, sleepyhead."

"Um," David says, into the fabric. "Why are you already up?"

"What?" Cook says, "I can't just want to watch the sunrise?"

David huffs a laugh at that, and he barely has time to note that Cook's mock-outraged, "Hey!" sounds a lot less distant before he feels the bed dip, and then Cook's fingers are curled warm against the back of his neck.

David jerks in surprise, almost falling out of bed in the process. He winds up half under Cook, who stays hovering above him, one eyebrow raised and his mouth twitching. "Oh my gosh," David says, before Cook starts. "Shut up, you totally ambushed me!"

"Uh huh," Cook says, but he's already grinning as he nudges David the rest of the way off the bed. "Seriously, Arch, up and at 'em. Your mom just called with an emergency. There's been a hiccup with the gown, and Jazz is at the bridal store alone and probably freaked, so we've got half an hour to haul ass."

"Um, what," David says, warily, as he picks himself up off the ground.

"Yeah," Cook says, sympathetically - only, that would be working a lot better if he didn't sound so amused. "Apparently you're the family's new fashion guru."

"Um," David repeats. "What."

Cook just grins, and David turns to look longingly at the carpet as he's herded into the bathroom.



They make it to the bridal fitting ten minutes later than requested, and Cook is appropriately apologetic, but David privately doesn't think it makes much of a difference anyway, because seriously, David is always going to be awful with clothes; he could be, like, into aliens and that wouldn't change anything.

"Oh my gosh, Dave!" Jazzy huffs, when he just kind of wrings his hands at her helplessly and shakes his head when she twirls for the fifth time. "You're supposed to be helping! This is not helping! This isn't even trying!"

"I am totally trying!" David protests, because he is! It's just - all the dresses are white with little lacy patterns on the hem and stuff, with sequins all over, and how is he even supposed to tell them apart? "You just look really good in all of them?"

Jazzy drops her face in her hands.

"Maybe I should call Jeff," David offers hesitantly. "Or Claudia? Or Mom?"

"Jeff's out with his dad doing, I don't know, family tradition stuff or something, Claudia's fixing the guest list since everyone with a plus one magically forgot to tell us there was going to be one, and Mom's trying to settle the catering because they called this morning to say they didn't see the 1 before the 50 on our number of guests, and now they aren't sure they'll be able to make the delivery, and we planned the band around their set-up for the food so now we might have to do that over too, and this dress is totally going to clash with the lighting in the room anyway, and--"

And then David finds himself with a face full of chiffon veil and an arm full of hyperventilating bride-to-be.

"Why is all of this happening now?" she wails.

David rubs a hand over her back on autopilot as he listens to her breathe, the shaky stutter in each inhale, and it's like being twelve again, like holding his baby sister after she sprained her ankle trying to walk too fast, always one step ahead of her time.

There's a coil of regret in his stomach at the thought, like maybe if hadn't left, if he'd stayed, if he'd been around, he could've--

"Hey," Cook says, and David looks up to see him standing in the doorway, head cocked. "I leave for five minutes to get you breakfast and you've already made her cry?"

"Oh my gosh," David sighs, without heat. "Shut up."

Jazzy laughs a little at that, but it comes out watery and she doesn't move away, just presses her face into the crook of David's neck and sniffles into his shirt. "I'm okay," she says.

"Uh huh," Cook says.

"I am," Jazzy insists, without looking up. "I just - I want to sit here a while, if - um -- if that's okay?"

"Yeah," David says, and - and feels this little surge of pride, just getting to be here for Jazzy like this, as he nods against her cheek and curls his fingers gently in her hair. "As long as you want."

Cook stays right where he is, but David can see his smile above the top of Jazzy's head, and the fond affection in it goes straight to his blood, makes him feel warm all over. "I'll come back later," Cook mouths, when he catches David's eye, and it's only Jazzy curling up even tighter against him that makes David let Cook go.



They spend a really long time on the couch, just sitting there tangled up in each other, David breathing quiet and even till he can tell Jazzy's keeping the same rhythm. David's never been one for physical affection, but he can't even be surprised by how much he doesn't mind it now, not after all his time as Jason's roommate. ("The world would be way more awesome if we bartered hugs instead of money, man," Jason likes to say, right before he jumps on David to refine his $1000-equivalent hug.)

Eventually, Jazzy shifts a little and David chances asking, "Feel better?"

She hesitates for a second, but then nods, and David doesn't protest when she sort of wipes her eyes on his shirt sleeve. "Thanks, Dave," she says, and presses a kiss to David's shoulder, right above the newly-damp spot. "I'm glad you're home."

"Aww," David hears Cook say, and they turn to see Cook standing in the doorway again, smiling, a paper bag in one hand and a shop assistant in the other. "Does this mean we're ready to try this again? Because I brought you chocolate, Pamela, and three brand spanking new outfits."

Jazzy laughs and untangles herself, lurching towards them with her arms outstretched. Pamela catches her with practiced ease, and David kind of has to marvel at her, because she doesn't look fazed by the scene at all.

Cook holds out the paper bag. "There's M&Ms, Hershey's, and a little bit of everything else they had at the store in here. Perks of a second fitting, right?"

Jazzy takes the bag with a grateful, "Oh my gosh, thank you," and tucks it under her arm as Pamela starts ushering her towards the fitting room.

"I love him already," she tells David, over her shoulder. "Keep him!"

Just like that, David feels his happy-bubble burst into tiny, tiny suds of mortification. "Jazzy!"

"Love you!"

Cook is nowhere near as scandalized, sigh, and he flops onto the couch beside David with a laugh of his own. "Guess you're stuck with me," he murmurs, grinning when David swats at him ineffectually. But his voice loses most of its playful edge when he adds, "Is she gonna be okay?"

David catches himself on the cusp of a smile. "She's fine."

He startles a little when Cook puts his hand on the back of his neck, then leans in so close their foreheads are touching. "Are you?" Cook asks, voice warm and low.

"Um," David says, and shivers without meaning to. "Yes? Except breakfast would be kind of nice."

"I still have the bagels from--"

"Oh my gosh!" Jazzy says - and, okay, the walls must be paper thin, which is probably not the safest idea, since this is a fitting room - and there's muffled scuffling from inside her cubicle before she pokes her head around the door. "Oh my gosh, Davey, I'm sorry! It's almost noon, you must be starving! Never mind the bagels, I'll take them, you should get some real food. Sit down, go on a date, sightsee!"

"Um," David says, as Cook chimes in with, "But the dress crisis--"

"Is totally something Pamela's equipped to handle," Jazzy interrupts, and she's smiling now, eyes crinkled at the edges, which is how David knows she's serious. "And this is an awesome start, Cook, seriously, so go. Let my brother take you somewhere nice. I bet you haven't even seen the garden yet!"

"The garden?" Cook says.

"David!" Jazzy says, accusingly. "I knew it!"

"Oh my gosh, there hasn't been any time!" David protests. To Cook, he adds, "It's just, um, it's this huge garden in the University of Utah. I mean, I don't know if--"

"I'm always up for some sightseeing," Cook says, with a smile. "And you did say you were gonna show me where you grew up."

"Oh," David says, belatedly, blindsided by how he isn't blindsided at all, like it's the normal thing to assume that someone like Cook - that anyone who isn't David - would want to spend a day hanging out in a garden, um, watching flowers or whatever. "Okay."

"And you should hurry," Jazzy adds, cheerfully. "Because my bachelorette party starts at eight, and you're both invited."

"You heard the bride," Cooks says, as he drapes a warm, heavy arm around David's shoulders. "Chop chop!"



They decide to have a picnic in the garden, and they stop at a nearby convenience store to pick up sandwiches and fruit. "Seriously?" Cook demands, as he grabs a couple of packets of potato chips and tosses them into their basket. "This is your idea of picnic food?"

"Well," David says matter-of-factly, as Cook pauses thoughtfully by the row of beer at the back of the shop. "Unless you want to be arrested right before the bachelorette party--"

"Party pooper," Cook says, but he's smiling as he rolls his eyes and herds David towards the check-out line.

Cook is so, so warm against David's side, and David has to work really hard not to think about how he'd been just as warm last night, nosing at David's pulse point, fists bunched in the fabric of David's shirt, and--

Um. So, yeah. David's still working on not thinking about that.

And then they see Michael in line ahead of them.

Cook tenses, fingers curling tight over David's hip, and David's suddenly mashed right up against him, breathing in the musk of soap and cologne and chocolate. "Of all the fucking stores," Cook mutters, and David's about to guide him towards the express line when Michael turns and spots them.

"David," he says, surprised. "Hey, mate."

"Hey," Cook says flatly.

David looks between them both, then winds a cautious arm around Cook's waist. Cook glances down at him, clearly startled, and David manages a smile as he strokes his fingers gently over Cook's side.

"Ah," Michael says, suddenly. "Hey, David."

"Um, hi," David says, but Cook's still looking at him, and he can only barely make himself glance away.

"I don't want to be rude," Michael says after another second of silence, low and smoky. "But can I talk to you for a second, Dave? In private?"

Cook does look up at that, and David feels his pulse skip a beat in response. "We're kind of on a tight timeline," is all Cook says, though, and David would totally believe the easy looseness in his voice if he wasn't still practically plastered to Cook's side, Cook leaning hard into his hand.

Michael looks like he might protest, and David adds, "We really should go. We've got a lot to do and we can't be late for Jazzy's party tonight."

For a second Michael hesitates, looking between the both of them again, but eventually he just nods. "Some other time, then."

"Look," Cook snaps. "I already told you--"

"We're really busy this week," David says, firmly, already leading Cook away. "Have a good day, Michael."

David doesn't let go of Cook the entire time they're in the store, and Cook doesn't try to make him. They don't have to turn around to know Michael's still watching them, his gaze like a sharp, heavy spotlight that David can't wait to shake off.



David's all but sagging with relief once they leave, and the tension leaks out of Cook's shoulders the further away they get. David even manages to goad him into laughing, twice, by the time reach Red Butte. It's a really nice day out, the chill wind nipping at David's skin, but Cook's half-slouched against him as they walk through the garden gates, one hand curled low on David's back, and David feels warm all over despite the cold.

It's still early enough that there aren't a whole lot of people around, and that just makes everything look--better, somehow, this mosaic of color and movement and life. David catches himself humming under his breath, face tilted towards the sun, just taking it all in. "When I was younger, we used to come here for a picnic every week," he says, eventually. "Just - it's all so beautiful."

"Yeah," Cook agrees, voice hushed with something like awe. When David turns to him, grinning, Cook isn't looking at the garden at all.

"Oh," David says, ducking his head. It's - he should be used to this by now, he thinks, the way Cook can render him helplessly stupid just looking at him. It's the same expression he'd been wearing last night, out in the alley, when he'd - when they'd--

"I'll, um," he hears himself say, stumbling over the words, "I can show you where -- it's my favorite place."

"Sure, yeah," Cook says, still watching him and clearly amused. "Lead the way."

David all but scrambles away.



It's not a long walk, really, but it gets quieter as they go deeper into the gardens, till they find the hiking trail David remembers from years and years ago. The trees grow so thick and dense you can barely see the sky, and they converge on each other, leaning in like they're sharing secrets. Like they'll share them with you, if you stop and listen hard enough.

David's always loved this trail.

Cook lets out a low, appreciative whistle as he sets their bags on the ground. David follows suit, stretching his legs out as Cook hands him a sandwich and collapses beside him.

David starts on his breakfast gratefully, barely noticing when Cook shifts even closer to rest his head on David's thigh. He barely notices anything but the trees, really, and the sound of the birdsong in the distance, and in between one bite and the next, he starts humming.

"Hey," Cook says, gently, after a moment, thumb splayed warm on David's knee. "What is that?"

"Oh," David says, blinking. "I - it's nothing, just this song I've been working on for Jazzy. For the reception?"

"Are you singing?"

David shrugs a little sheepishly. "Just a couple of songs, I think?"

"Huh," Cook says. Then he gets to his feet, brushes himself off, and extends his hand.

"Cook," David says, uncertainly.

"Come on, Arch," Cook says. "Am I really supposed to give my first dance to someone else while you're onstage?"

"What?"

"At the reception," Cook says, patiently. "I'm going to need a dance partner, and since you're my date..."

"Um, you can find another date?"

"Not while I'm on your dime," Cook says cheerfully.

"Cook," David tries again, still staring at Cook's outstretched hand like it's some kind of WMD (because it probably is). "I don't dance."

"Well then we'd better start practicing," Cook says, and takes his hands.

"Cook!" David protests, even as Cook tugs him up. He winds up stumbling to his feet, right into Cook. "Cook, no, I can't--oh my heck!"

"Trust me, Archuleta," Cook says, breath ghosting hot over the shell of David's ear, and that's enough to give David pause, to make him realize just how close they are, pressed together like this, thigh to hip to chest. "It's really not that difficult."

Except he's totally wrong, and with the added distraction of, um, being practically nose-to-nose with Cook, hi, David manages to crush Cook's toes at least three times in as many minutes.

"Okay," Cook says finally, through a(nother) wince. "Let's try this a little differently."

And then he's spinning David around so they're back to chest, hooking his chin over David's shoulder as he wraps himself around David's back, fingers clasped over David's heart.

"Um," David says, faintly.

"Yeah," Cook says, but when he laughs it sounds as unsteady as David feels. "This'll work."

"Cook," David says, but he doesn't really know where he's going with that sentence.

It doesn't matter, anyway, because that's when Cook tilts his head so David's cheek is pressed against his temple, murmuring, "Now where were we?" And then he's launching into David's song again, a low hum that David feels echo inside him, right down to his toes.

"Is she the one," David sings, "Is it today? Will I turn a corner, see my future in a beautiful face?"

He fumbles for Cook's hands as he relaxes into him, and this time, when they move, they move together, David's body swaying into Cook's, and it feels like he's known how to do this all along.

He doesn't even realize Cook that hasn't let go of his hand until they're sitting back down again, and he's smiling even as his heart pounds gunfire-rapid in his chest, and Cook finally does.



They spend the rest of the afternoon in the park, lying side-by-side, talking and singing and soaking in the sunlight. It's everything David loves about coming back home and being here, and for a while David doesn't remember why leaving ever seemed like a good idea.

He remembers later, though, when he comes into Claudia's living room, and the six girls lounging on the sofa are suddenly all sitting up, completely silent, adjusting their shirts and looking anywhere but him and Cook. Which--it's fine, David thinks. It's fine, because that's not what tonight is about; tonight is about Jazzy, and the wedding, and movies and board games and--

"I'm actually not feeling so good," one of the girls says, abruptly, and Jazzy barely has time to say, "Trish--" before she's gone.

Cook stiffens beside him.

"I'm sorry, Jazz," another one says, shouldering her bag and still not looking at David. "I have to go, too. But you have fun tonight, okay? And tell Jeff he is a super, super lucky guy. I'll call you later!"

Claudia's glaring at her as she eases past the both of them, and David shouldn't be surprised, but he is. He'd forgotten what it gets like at home, sometimes, after being away so long, and there is clearly no one who's happy about them being here together tonight. David hunches in on himself a little, doesn't even look up when Cook squeezes his shoulder, warm and tight.

The silence stretches, and then stretches some more.

"Okay, then!" Claudia says, and claps her hands. "Who's ready for food?"



David follows Jazzy into the kitchen when she goes to help with the finger food, and he can hear Karen begging off as well, even he tugs Jazzy aside. They've lost at least half their table already. "Jazz," he says, quietly. "Maybe Cook and I should go. We're ruining your party."

"What do you mean, you're ruining it?"

"Um," David says. "Everyone's leaving."

Jazzy flashes him a smile as she turns back towards the dining room. "I guess you'll just have to stay extra late playing all these board games I've got lined up."

"What? No, Jazzy, we can just--"

Jazzy's still smiling when she looks at him again, but it's all hard and razor-sharp now, and her eyes are narrowed. "Dave," she says, evenly. "You're not going anywhere. And if anyone has a problem with you or Cook, then I really don't want them here either."

"Oh," David says, after a second, and he watches as Jazzy's face floods with affection.

"Yeah, oh," she laughs, and nudges him in the side. "Now hurry up and finish dinner so I can play Wedding Pictionary!"



Which should make the rest of the evening go fine - great, even - but conversation around the dinner table remains stilted, at best, even with Claudia trying to play mediator. It doesn't help that Jeanette, the girl sitting next to him, kind of wrings her hands under the table once they've said grace.

David flinches on instinct, and then flinches some more when Cook catches him at it. Cook leans over, then, and David puts a calming hand on Cook's back without even thinking about it. "I wouldn't worry about that," Cook says, steel in his voice. "It's not catching."

Cook's mouth is a thin, tight line as Jeanette makes a flustered choking kind of noise, and David wants to disappear under the table cloth.

"Of course you'd say that," Pauline mutters from across the table.

"Pauline," Jazzy says, warningly.

"What? It's true, isn't it? The last time I saw David, he was fine, and now, all of a sudden, this man shows up and says David's involved in a life of sin--"

"I don't think this is appropriate dinner conversation, Paul," Claudia says, and David remembers that tone, the one she always used right before their worst fights.

"David," Pauline says, and David flinches away as she reaches for him. "We just want you to do the right thing. This man here? He's making you crazy, and he's gonna burn some day. We don't want to see that happen to you."

David's fists are clenched in his lap, and he can't look at Cook. "You don't know anything about us," he says, so quietly they won't hear the way his voice is shaking. "And you can think whatever you want, but don't drag Cook into this."

"David," Pauline persists. "There's still time to turn back. The Lord will forgive you."

"All right, Paul, that's enough of that," Claudia snaps.

"I love your family, Jazzy, you know that, but this is wrong and I won't stand for it!" Pauline says, primly. "I can't eat with sinners."

Cook's chair screeches against the floorboards when he stands, and David looks up at him, caught between panic and alarm like the rest of their table. It takes a second, but eventually Cook draws a deep, unsteady breath, squares his jaw, and snarls, "Excuse me."

Then he's storming away from the table, and David's just sitting there, reeling, watching him go.

"Um," Jeanette says, a second later, in a small, small voice. "Peas, anyone?"

Then David's shoving his chair back, too, jerking out of his seat. "I'm sorry," he says over his shoulder, as he follows after Cook. "I - you should go ahead and start without us."



Cook's already almost at the end of the hallway when David finally catches up to him. "Cook," he says, but Cook refuses to slow, and David has to double his pace just to get to him. "Cook, wait. Please. Cook."

Cook's taking short, shallow breaths when David corners him, shoulders strung tight, and he won't turn around.

David raises an uncertain hand, drops it, raises it again. "I'm sorry," he settles for, at last. "I'm so sorry, Cook, I didn't know--"

"Dammit," Cook says, then, a raw, winded rasp, and when he whirls around his eyes are bright and wild. "Goddammit, David, how can you just sit there and let them talk like that? Let them tell you that you aren't - that you're going to be punished--"

"Cook--"

"No," Cook says, fiercely, "Just - I don't know much, David, and I don't know if I believe there's a higher power up there, but you? You're the most fucking amazing person I've ever met. You're strong, and smart, and fucking ridiculous, and I don't want you to -- don't let those people tell you different. Any of them. If there really is a higher power up there, it's gonna know. It's definitely gonna know. So don't let them take that from you. Don't--"

"Cook," David says again, and then he's flying at him, breathless and giddy all at once. Cook's mouth opens under his own, wet and warm and willing, and David closes his eyes when they start to sting.

He's secure enough in his faith that it won't be shaken, not by anyone, but he's never - it's never meant so much to him that someone's tried to keep him steady.

"David," Cook says, and the wonder David hears in it makes his blood sing in his veins, makes his skin burn.

He isn't conscious of making the decision to say, "Cook, I want--" but he hears himself saying it anyway, mouth still mashed against Cook's, fingers curled tight in the collar of his shirt. "I--"

And then Cook's hands are sliding up under his shirt, hot on bare skin, and when Cook goes to work on the fly of his jeans, David doesn't protest, just leans up into him and fumbles for the doorknob when Cook backs him into it. Suddenly they're in the guestroom, and Cook's shutting the door with his foot, and David's sprawled flat on the bed, and Cook's on top of him, sucking a bruise into his shoulder as he works David's shirt up off his head.

David isn't - he's -- there've been people, not a lot but enough that he knows what he's doing, enough that he can tell when Cook tries to slow things down, enough that he doesn't need him to.

"Cook," David breathes, as he wraps his thighs around Cook's waist and drags him closer, leans up and kisses him, hard and messy, all teeth and tongue. He can't - he doesn't even know how long he's been waiting for this, how badly he's wanted it, wanted Cook, and all those times he couldn't say it, could barely even think it--

Cook lets out a sound, low and aching, and it makes David's stomach flip. Cook's hands never stop moving, over his stomach, his side, his thigh, like he's drawing the map of David's body with his fingers, a blind man reading Braille.

And David, um, David's sort of always been an open book, but this is one of the few times he really hasn't minded it at all.



It's like emotional free-fall, David thinks, as they lie in bed together after, David curled into Cook's side, watching Cook through heavy-lidded eyes. Cook's fingers are moving slow and easy against his skin, his lips ghosting gently over David's temple, and David never wants to leave the room again.

Except then Cook says, smirking, "Just imagine their faces," and David can't help it, he does.

He has to press his face into Cook's shoulder so he doesn't start laughing in earnest.



The house is really, really quiet when they go back out again. David's rolled the bedsheets up and left them soaking in the wash ("I see you've had practice, Archuleta," Cook had said, slyly. "What else aren't you telling me?") and he's pretty sure they cleaned up after themselves, straightened their shirts and hidden all the evidence and everything, but his face is still burning as they sit back down at the table.

Pauline's glaring a little, but Cook just smiles at her, all teeth, smug and steady, and drops an arm around the back of David's chair.

David doesn't tell him to stop.

No one says a word, not even Jazzy, even though David can sort of see the beginnings of a smile on her face every time she turns to look at him. Claudia just clears her throat, and when she passes David the salt, she high-fives him under the table.

David is never going to be able to look either of them in the eye again.



He tries to talk Jazzy into letting them go as they wash the dishes after dinner, but all she does is wave her spatula at him and say, "No one's going anywhere until we're done playing Wedding Pictionary."

David knows a lost cause when he sees one.

The only up side to having to sit through three hours of that, though, is that him and Cook make an awesome team, because Cook turns out to be totally amazing at drawing, and David can't even mind all that much when Jazzy invokes her bridal rights and makes him switch partners with her.



It's hours later before they get back to the hotel, and even though David spends the ride home with his head on Cook's shoulder, their fingers tangled, they're too tired to do anything more than stumble into bed once they get back to their room. David falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow, Cook's arm a solid weight over his side.

When he wakes up again, it's sometime in the middle of the night, and Cook's wrapped around him, breathing out hot and even against the side of his neck. Five callused fingers are pressed to David's chest, like Cook's holding him together.

David closes his eyes and dreams.



Something changes after that. David doesn't know what it is, but it's kind of awesome all the same.

He's generally, like, a cheerful spaz anyway, which - whatever, everyone knows that - but this is different somehow. Everywhere he goes, people keep talking about his mood, and his smile, and he has maybe never heard the phrase "you two are adorable!" so often in his life.

David flushes every time any of that comes up, regardless, and when Cook laughs knowingly, when Cook flashes him that private, sideways grin, when Cook runs a teasing finger over the curve of his hip, David feels himself shiver, and his face grows even warmer.

And it goes on and on until eventually they have to sneak into the bathroom, or into a coat closet, or outside, oh my heck, and David will reach for Cook and yank him down and kiss him till they're both breathless and hard, and Cook will slide his arms around David and lift, till they fit, till they're so close it's like they were never apart at all, till it's perfect, oh, being tangled up in Cook like this, his mouth and his skin, and David wouldn't be able to feel his legs even if he was still standing.

Every time.

And oh my gosh, David wishes he was more annoyed by that than he actually is.



David wishes he was more annoyed by a lot of other things too, really, like the fact that their room is in chaos right now, all the time, because their papers are always scattered across the desk, and their beds are never made, and the bathroom floor is constantly wet from - um, from--

And it's just - David isn't usually like this; he's really good with self-restraint and stuff, but Cook. Cook does maddeningly frustrating things, like - like this, right now.

He's just come out of the shower, dripping wet, towel slung casually over his shoulders (which, David will point out later, really doesn't help at all). And suddenly all David can think about is the first time he saw Cook fresh out of the shower, the low snick of heat in his stomach, and a fresh wave of want hits him all over again.

Cook grins when he catches David looking, slinks up to the bed and leans over him, pushing him down before he covers David's mouth with his own and David thinks, hazily, that they're going to get the bed so wet, and it was just made up, and Housekeeping is going to hate them--

And then Cook strokes a palm over his stomach, pressing one thigh insistently between David's legs, and David stops thinking.

It's totally hopeless trying to stay annoyed with Cook after that.



He starts working on another new song later, after, (hunched over the coffee table because - um, well, because he's never doing work on their desk again, okay) when Cook leans over to press a kiss to his shoulder blade and murmur, "I'm gonna grab something to eat from the deli around the corner. D'you want anything?"

David looks up and cranes his neck around a little, offering Cook a half-shrug. "It's okay. I'm not that hungry."

Cook raises an eyebrow. "You sure?" His lips curve into an almost wicked smile, and David's pulse stumbles. "I could get you something messy," he suggests. "And then clean you up after."

"Oh," David says intelligently, eyes straying to Cook's mouth. He blinks, hurriedly, then drops his gaze. He's already flushed. "Um."

Cook's doing that thing where he's laughing so hard he's practically wheezing, and David's neck heats up even more. "Oh my gosh, stop," he demands, and nudges Cook's arm.

"I'm gonna take that as a yes to the sandwich," Cook says, wiping his eyes. Then he's leaning over, and David tips his head up to meet him. One of Cook's hands creeps up underneath David's shirt, and his palm burns like a brand on David's skin. "Definitely yes," Cook murmurs, just before he pulls back. David can't even imagine how he looks right now, but Cook grins and ruffles his hair affectionately before leaving.

For a moment after the door closes, David can't hear past the roar of blood in his ears. He looks around the room, and all of a sudden it hits him: there's no one else there. They didn't have to -- Cook could have just gone for his sandwich, only he obviously hadn't, duh, because he'd decided to, to molest David instead, and - and David had wanted him to, had wanted--

"Oh," David breathes, throat closing up so fast he very nearly chokes. "Oh, no."

Oh my gosh, he's in love with Cook.
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