i_am_tl_dr: (hand in hand)
[personal profile] i_am_tl_dr
Title: Overnight Freeze
Characters: Quentin Kinley and Tyler Jordan Graham
Rating: PG-13
Word count: 1810
Notes: Filling things in... Quentin is a master at apologizing-without-actually-apologizing.


Timeline: late February 2014


end of february 2014

They'd just finished watching a new episode of the Walking Dead and Tyler Jordan was tapping at his phone when Quentin poked him just under the ribs and he buckled slightly. He swatted Quentin's hand away, but Quentin poked him again a moment later. "Stop being such a brat," Tyler Jordan said, sighing. Quentin's eyes flashed.

"Or what?"

"Or I'll hold you down and make you stop."

"Is that supposed to be a deterrent?"

"Huh?"

"Don't threaten me with a good time," Quentin said, smirking, and he poked Tyler Jordan's side again. Tyler Jordan caught Quentin's wrist and squeezed warningly. Quentin went still for about half a second and then poked Tyler Jordan with his other hand.

"Oh, that's it." Tyler Jordan dropped his phone to the couch and grabbed Quentin's other wrist. Quentin pulled against his hold and swiftly found himself pushed over and his hands held to the arm of the couch. He started laughing, and Tyler Jordan huffed in exasperation. "What's gotten into you tonight?"

"No idea," Quentin said, trying to get his hands free again. Tyler Jordan arched a brow at him and didn't let go. "Am I annoying you?"

"Obviously." They were pressed together from hips to shoulders. Quentin arched his neck to steal a kiss, and Tyler Jordan pulled back far enough to deny him. "I'm not rewarding your bad behavior."

"Aren't you?" Quentin pulled against Tyler Jordan's grip one more time and looked downright smug when his hold tightened again. "I'm getting a reaction out of you. Maybe that's all I wanted."

"Oh, so you're just trying to drive me crazy."

"I wanted to see what you'd do."

"You know, you could test my reactions without being a dick. You know I don't like being tickled."

"That wasn't even tickling you. You'd know if I was tickling you."

"Don't even think about it."

"Why, what are you gonna do about it?" Tyler Jordan's eyes narrowed and he leaned closer. Quentin pursed his lips in anticipation of a kiss, but Tyler Jordan skimmed past his cheek to murmur into his ear instead.

"I'll just leave you alone," he said, and he let go of Quentin's wrists and sat back, picking up his phone again. "Because I'm not spending time with you if you're just gonna piss me off." He stood up and headed for his bedroom, and Quentin blinked and sat upright.

"Wait, you--" Tyler Jordan paused in the doorway and turned, one brow lifted. "You're no fun," Quentin said, and Tyler Jordan scoffed.

"I'm the most fun person in your life. So when you want to do something that's actually fun, come talk to me when you're willing to behave yourself. I'm not your plaything, I'm your playmate. Figure out the difference." He closed the bedroom door behind himself, leaving Quentin pouting on the other side of it, and neither of them could hear the other one's deep sigh on the wrong side of the door.

Quentin knew what had gotten into himself: that same impulse to start a fight that rose in him every so often. This wasn't the first time he'd tried to piss Tyler Jordan off for no real reason, but this was the first time Tyler Jordan had simply refused to engage with him instead of getting mad. Actually making him mad was never a quick proposition anyways. Quentin was pretty sure that he'd never met someone as even-tempered as Tyler Jordan before, but it was that very even temper that made Quentin try to find the limits of it.

Pushing Tyler Jordan to the point where he lashed out was perversely thrilling, and the few fights they'd had always ended the same way: with Quentin on his back underneath Tyler Jordan, incandescent with adrenaline singing through him, gasping his apologies with his head pulled back from Tyler Jordan's hand knotted in his hair. The best part of fighting was the kiss-and-make-up part, sex that was only one step removed from fighting, leaving him wondering the next day whether he'd gotten certain bruises before or after apologizing, but Tyler Jordan making him yield was almost just as good as the sex. It was disappointing that Tyler Jordan had simply walked away instead of taking the chance to put Quentin in his place. Quentin stayed on the couch for another forty-five minutes, not paying any attention to the television, but he couldn't bring himself to apologize without being made to do it, and he went to bed without tapping on the closed door.

On the other side of the door, Tyler Jordan sat on the edge of the bed he hadn't slept in since December and ran both hands through his hair with another sigh. After the conversation with his sister, he'd resolved not to get that angry with Quentin again, but not even an entire week had passed before Quentin put it to the test. Quentin hadn't even done anything that bad, really-- being a little annoying wasn't as bad as outright starting a fight, but Quentin knew that Tyler Jordan hated being tickled and he'd repeatedly gone right for his weak spot. Removing himself from the room had been the right thing to do, Tyler Jordan told himself as he cleared everything off the bed that he'd piled on it since the last time he'd slept in here. He turned off the overhead light but left the fishtanks glowing, and curled up on his side watching the fish swim and letting his own feelings swim around too.

He loved Quentin. That wasn't in question. And he really believed that Quentin loved him in return. But how they expressed that love... Tyler Jordan wasn't entirely sure they knew how to do it right. Caring for him, yes, that was something Tyler Jordan could do easily. And telling him, Tyler Jordan had no problem saying the words. But Quentin wouldn't usually say the words unless he was already in Tyler Jordan's arms, and Quentin teased and taunted and poked and prodded trying to get reactions out of Tyler Jordan, and even though Quentin did care for Tyler Jordan and did care about him, getting him to admit it wasn't easy.

Tyler Jordan didn't usually do things the easy way, anyways. Loving Quentin was more rewarding than loving Maria had been, even with the difficulties of Quentin being a jerk. But he was more than just a jerk, and when he was sweet it seemed to make up for all the trouble he put Tyler Jordan through. Tyler Jordan didn’t think that he was imagining that the sweet moments were coming more frequently. This was the first night they hadn’t shared a bed since before Christmas, and every night after the lights went off they’d murmured their ‘love you’s as they settled down to sleep. Going to bed alone, without saying it, felt wrong. He didn’t even have a pillow in this room any more, they were all on Quentin’s bed.

He thought about giving in, abandoning his lonely bed and curling up next to his stubborn, infuriating, beloved boyfriend, but Quentin wasn’t the only stubborn one in the relationship, and Tyler Jordan was trying to make a point. He just wasn’t certain the point would strike home any time soon.

Neither of them slept well that night, and they both had to be up early in the morning. Tyler Jordan was on the couch eating a bowl of oatmeal when Quentin came out of his bedroom looking tired-- and wearing Tyler Jordan’s hoodie. He went into the bathroom without saying anything, and Tyler Jordan sighed silently, but only a minute later he re-emerged and came to lean against the couch behind Tyler Jordan. They looked at each other for a long moment before Quentin’s lips twisted sheepishly and he shrugged.

“I shouldn’t try to get a rise out of you like that,” he said, and Tyler Jordan’s brows shot up. “I’m a chronic instigator, but that doesn’t excuse it. I’m trying to be less of an asshole, but it’s not easy.”

“As long as you’re actually trying,” Tyler Jordan said.

“I meant it when I said that you deserve better from me. Just… keep being patient with me, please.”

“That’s kinda what I do.”

“Thank you. For putting up with me. I’m… I’m trying to be worth your while.”

“You already are, Q.” Tyler Jordan caught his hand and gave him a small smile. “I’m trying to get you to realize that. You’re already worth it. If you wanna improve yourself, I wanna help, but stop telling yourself that you don’t deserve me.”

“But I don’t,” Quentin said. “And I’m afraid you’ll realize that before I change enough to be what you deserve.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” Tyler Jordan said. “Maybe out of the room, but not out of your life. I’ll keep telling you that until you believe me.”

“I wish I could believe you.”

“You will eventually.” Tyler Jordan tugged on Quentin’s hand and leaned up to meet him in a kiss. “Trust me.”

“I do trust you. More than anyone.”

“That’s not a high bar to clear.”

“No. It really isn’t.” Quentin shrugged. “One of the things I’m working on.”

“We’ll just have to keep working on it, then. We’ve got time.”

“If you say so.”

“I do say so. I have no plans to let go of you unless you decide you want to walk away.”

“I’m not gonna be the one to call it quits on this relationship,” Quentin said. “I may not make very good choices all the time, but I’m not throwing away the only thing that makes my life worth living.”

“Quentin… come here.” This time when Tyler Jordan pulled Quentin down he wrapped his arms around his neck. “I love you. Okay? I love you a lot.”

“I know… I love you too. But you’re a lot better at showing it than I am.”

“You’re getting better at it.” Tyler Jordan kissed him again before letting go. “We’re both learning things from this relationship. Imagine what we’ll be like in a couple of years.” Quentin looked startled by the sentiment, but he smiled after a second.

“Yeah. Okay. I can’t, you know. Imagine it. But I bet you’re imagining something really good. So I’m gonna trust you.”

“Good. Keep doing that.”

“You should get ready or you’ll be late for work,” Quentin said, and Tyler Jordan shrugged.

“Not the end of the world. You want a ride to work?”

“Nah, that’ll just make you even more late. And your driving is even worse when you’re in a rush.”

“That’s fair,” Tyler Jordan said, standing up. Quentin rounded the couch and reeled him in for one more kiss.

“Thank you,” he murmured, and Tyler Jordan ran his fingers through Quentin’s hair and grinned at him.

“You’re welcome.”
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