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His Hands and His Mouth, His Body and His Soul

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If he were to explain it to another person, they wouldn't get it. They couldn't. And it's not because he doesn't know how to explain it. Because he does. He's just always been better at expressing himself through his artwork. Maybe that's how he'd do it. Draw a picture of Shaun at his desk late at night, head resting on his folded arms on the desk in front of him, asleep with his computer still on.

Still, though, Zach's not sure he could convey how annoying this particular situation is to him.

Now that he's been living with Shaun for almost three years – and just that thought gives Zach a small thrill because, yeah, that's a long time, except it doesn't seem that long at all, really – Zach finds that he can't sleep properly unless Shaun is there, beside him or curled around him or half on top of him, just there, touching him in some way. It'd been weird at first, back in Laguna, how comfortable he'd been with Shaun's body pressed so flush against his in the night. He'd never slept in a bed with someone who wanted that much contact during sleep. But it was surprisingly comforting and easy and he adjusted much quicker than he'd expected, despite the fact that that meant all kinds of shit that he wasn't ready to deal with or admit. But now it's three years later and Zach can't sleep without it and Shaun needs to just come to bed already because he's tired.

It's been a long day. He's sitting on their bed, his back resting against the headboard and his sketchbook perched on his lap, drawing idly. His eyelids keep drooping closed and every time he wakes up he sees that he's made a new mark on the paper, his hand having moved the pencil across the page in his unconsciousness. His legs are stiff from being in his jeans all day, but he still hasn't taken them off. He doesn't want to relax back into his pajamas or their bed until Shaun's there. Zach looks over at the clock. 12:32. He doesn't like bothering Shaun when he's writing because he knows what it's like to put all his creativity and emotion into something, how draining it can be and how long it can take to perfect it. But he also knows that sometimes Shaun doesn't know when to take a break, to let the words, and himself, rest until morning. He smiles at that, knowing that Shaun would say the same thing about him and his art.

Looking back at the clock with a weary sigh, his tiredness wins out. He puts his sketchbook down and gets up to investigate.

He passes Cody's room on the way to Shaun's office and checks on him out of habit. That's something that took him longer to get used to than he thought, not having Cody in the same room with him as he slept. Back in San Pedro, he'd always been a step away in the event of a nightmare or a particularly ominous thunderstorm, but he knows that it'd been better that Cody have his own room here. Opening the door slightly, careful not to let in too much light, Zach peeks around the door to see Cody. He's sound asleep, his head the only part of him not under the covers. Just then Cody flails his arms and legs, although it looks more like his blanket is hiding an animal of some sort, like Cody's been keeping a secret pet and it's about to pop out from under the covers. But Zach knows better and takes a step forward, opening the door further, ready to be there for whatever it is this time. (Lately it's been robots. Zach still regrets letting him watch The Terminator, even if it was on tv and all the cursing and nudity were cut out.) But Cody doesn't wake up, just kicks his covers off furiously, huffing his breath out like he's mad at them for being too hot and confining. Zach grins. He's all too familiar with Cody's sleeping habits, waking up most mornings in their old room to see that Cody had thrown off all his covers during the night. Cody's fine and asleep, so Zach closes the door and continues down the hallway toward Shaun.

Shaun's office door is open at the end of the hall and Zach can see the strip of light reflected on the wood floor in front of the room. As he gets closer, Zach expects to hear the clicking of fingers on the keyboard, but he doesn't, and before he even enters the room, he knows what he's going to find. This always happens. He gets to the door and, turning to face Shaun's desk, can't help the way his heartstrings give a tug at the sight before him: Shaun's head is propped up on his fist and his lips are pursed from the angle at which his cheek is resting against his hand. He's wearing that stupid blue robe that Zach secretly loves, and no shirt, and his laptop is closed, like he's fallen asleep trying to make it to bed, which is way more adorable than Zach can handle right now.

Zach moves closer to the desk and is about to reach out and wake Shaun when he sees the papers resting underneath Shaun's right hand. Although his hand is obscuring much of the text, Zach can read those words pretty fucking clearly.

Adoption papers.

Adoption. Papers.

Zach keeps repeating the words over and over in his head, like he can't really grasp them, but if he says them one more time, maybe the words will click in his mind and he'll just get it.

Adoption papers.

He guesses this time they've clicked because suddenly he's not tired at all. He's wide awake. His knees seem to stop working and he sinks right down to the floor next to Shaun's desk. He probably made a loud noise in the process and Shaun's probably going to wake up, but Zach doesn't really know because he can't focus on anything besides those words running through his mind over and over. He stares blankly at the wall, unsure of what to do or think or feel. He's sure his eyes are wide with shock. He tries to wrap his mind around it all.

Just seeing the papers, knowing that Shaun would do that, for Cody, for him, it hits Zach, hard, and he feels it all over. His head is buzzing with all these different emotions, pride and happiness and fear and comfort and a million other things he can't even put a name to. But through them all, there's one that shines brightly over all the others. Love, fierce and blazing through his veins, making his entire body alight with a sudden overwhelming joy and warmth.

Zach had signed the papers himself one year ago, and Shaun had mentioned the idea of him signing them too, but it was merely a passing comment. Zach hadn't let himself think anything else about it because it wasn't his decision and he didn't want to get ahead of himself. But now, seeing it all there, laid out in front of him like that, knowing that it's real and that Shaun wants it too, is just...too much. It's not like he's signed them yet, because he knows Shaun would never do something like that without talking to Zach about it first, but just knowing that the papers are there every time Shaun is working or checking his email or writing a check, it makes Zach fall in love with Shaun all over again.

Shaun's stirring above him and Zach looks up to see him sitting upright now, craning his neck and yawning. His heart stutters, because the papers are right there and Shaun has to know that Zach saw them. He feels suddenly guilty, like he's been eavesdropping or looking through Shaun's emails.

But Shaun is sleepy and gives nothing away as he looks down curiously at Zach and says, voice heavy like syrup, “Hey, babe.” He gives Zach a big smile and stands up, extending a hand. Zach takes the offered help and gets up.

Once Zach is sufficiently standing, Shaun yawns again and stretches, and Zach gets a good look at him. He'd know Shaun's body even in the dark by now, but he never gets tired of looking at him. His flat, tanned chest is bared right in front of Zach, and his eyes rake over the firm muscle of Shaun's biceps, the dark trail of hair below his belly button leading down into his pants. Shaun's arms are extended up above his head and his pajama pants slip a little on his hips to reveal even more, the cut of muscle in each hip, the skin there not quite as tanned as the rest of him, and Zach feels it starting, his skin tingling with being so close to Shaun but not touching him, and it all bubbles up inside of him, love and want and desire, and suddenly he's overcome with the need to be touching Shaun.

He grabs Shaun mid-stretch and kisses him, and he can feel the surprised smirk against his lips as his mouth meets Shaun's. But right now he needs to be kissing Shaun, to be touching him in some intimate way because he has to find a way to tell him just how much he loves him, and he's never been as good with words as Shaun has. So Zach puts all his emotions into the kiss, licking into Shaun's mouth slowly. Shaun relaxes under him after a moment, and it's soft and sweet and he hopes that Shaun is grasping what he's trying to say as he draws it out, lets his tongue graze Shaun's lightly before bringing his hands up to cup Shaun's face in his palms, holding him there and licking into Shaun's mouth the myriad of feelings that he can't name. Shaun's arms wrap around him and he pulls Zach fully against him, encircling him in his arms, and Zach thinks that Shaun gets it, because suddenly Shaun is sliding his tongue along Zach's with the same tender sweetness, and it's perfect and everything around them gets hazy. It's just them, together, kissing and so in love, and if Shaun doesn't understand why Zach's eyes get a little teary, he doesn't say anything, just leads him back to their bedroom with his hand in Zach's and makes love to him sweetly, returns every word Zach told him with his hands and his mouth, his body and his soul.

Afterward, when they're lying in bed together and almost asleep, Zach wants to ask Shaun about it. Wants to tell him how happy the idea makes him, but also how he's a little scared. He opens his mouth several times to speak, but closes it each time, finding that he doesn't know what he wants to say, can't figure out a way to encompass all that he's feeling.

But after the third time that Zach closes his mouth, because Shaun knows him and knows that he thinks too much, Shaun scoots closer, pressing along Zach's back. Zach's body gets that warm tingling feeling it always gets when he's this close to Shaun, and he presses back against him. Shaun's arm comes around Zach to grab his hand, linking their fingers together. He presses a soft kiss to the back of Zach's neck, then another, up to Zach's shoulder, and then his jaw, and eventually his ear.

“I wanted to ask you and Cody first.” He's warmed instantly, both by the heat of Shaun's breath against his ear and by the weight of his words.

Zach smiles and wonders not for the first time that night how to express to Shaun everything that he feels for him.

He settles for bringing their joined hands up to his lips and pressing a kiss to Shaun's knuckles, saying, “Thank you. I love you so much, Shaun.”

Shaun's head tucks into the space between Zach's shoulder and neck, a perfect fit, and he presses another kiss to Zach's jaw as he says, squeezing Zach a little tighter, “I love you, too."