By the time they make it back to the castle, Lorrimer is swaying a little – and it’s equal parts horror and exhaustion, Roy suspects, his hand coming to rest on the small on his back as inconspicuously as he can manage to pull off.
“I’m fine, Roy,” Lorrimer says feebly, even as the key to his room slips from his clutch, clattering noisily onto the floor.
“I’m sure you are, old man,” he nods, reassuringly, picking up the key and unlocking the door for him. “There we are – here, that’s a good fellow.”
Then Lorrimer’s knees are buckling under him, and Roy’s not sure how it happens, only that he catches his friend right before he falls over, and they’re standing so close now that his brain sort of just – stops working.
Lorrimer doesn’t pull back like he expects he will, and if Roy could pause time to make the moment where they both lean in stretch out forever, then he thinks he probably would. Then his friend lets out the softest of sighs, and the reality of the situation suddenly hits him like a wall of bricks crumbling over – they’re not, this is not how they are, and then there’s the lovely Suki, and he knows they definitely, definitely shouldn’t, not like this.
“Sorry, I – don’t know what came over me,” he begins to apologise, but then Lorrimer’s hands are on the lapels of his jacket, and he’s too weak a man to deny him.
(And he’s never kissed a man before, not really – unless you count Griselda, which he really doesn’t want to, and he’d very much rather not think about Lord Greg Powers right now – but it still feels as natural as the air that he breathes, and the warm taste of scotch down his throat. He shivers, just a little, and closes his eyes, the better to savour the moment.)
“That’s much better,” Lorrimer murmurs, and he doesn’t panic, he shouldn’t think so, but it’s a close thing.
“What about Suki?” he blurts out at length, because he’s seen how much they care for one another, and if there’s one thing he won’t do, it’s coming between the two of them.
His friend chuckles, and it’s the most incongruous of sounds, yet one that makes his heart soar, even against his better judgment. “She says she doesn’t mind. Tried to get me to talk to you – more than once, actually, only I kept telling her that she couldn’t be right, that you’d never – well.”
He pauses, but it’s only for a moment, and then he remembers something. “Just – we don’t tell Virginia. Please.”
“I’m pretty sure she doesn’t care either way,” Lorrimer points out, not entirely unreasonably, and he thinks he should maybe be offended, but he’s really, really not, and then they’re kissing again, and the ghost of Virginia lies forgotten, once and for all.