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Words to keep, couch to sleep

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Every couple fights at some point of their relationship, no matter how inseparable, how intimate, how cheesy they get at other times.

Every couple does.

And they are no exception.

It always starts out as something small, something so trivial that about half-way into the conversation, the topic would shift to something completely different, something that could give either party an easier excuse to escalate the tension, because God O God it feels good to add fuel to fire.

“I don’t need you to remind me that everything is my fault, Mr Spears.”

“You know you are to blame. Be reasonable.”

Reasonable? You never put yourself in my shoes. Be reasonable! It was a difficult situation. Had you been a field agent, you’d understand. But wait, no, you spend your days dozing off in a squeaky clean office writing paper work. Oh such a demanding job.” Grell put her hand on her forehead as if she was about to faint, “So demanding that you totally forgot about our anniversary!”

“Honestly, that was two weeks ago and the day you moved in with me is not our anniversary. Your point is hardly relevant.”

“I will hear none of that!” Grell yelled, “Be prepared to apologize when you want to talk to me again.” She then turned around to go upstairs, “You are also not welcomed in the bedroom tonight.”

William frowned in silence as he refrained himself from pointing out that this is his place and that is his bedroom. But nothing he said would matter now that Grell was at the peak of her tantrum. “So I’m sleeping on the couch tonight.”

Grell paused for a second, and resumed walking up the steps without a word.

William sighed as he adjusted his glasses, “Well then couch it is.”

~*~*~

Grell Sutcliff is a proud individual, always so sure of herself, always so unambiguously confident, and never ever likes to admit her faults.

Well, she still has no intention to submit to any of his ridiculous accusations, it’s just…

She’s not so used to having the bed all to herself anymore.

Sure there were two pillows, but that block’s head is not on the other one. O yes, of course he’s a block. An irresponsive, emotionless, bespectacled piece of block. And all the space that has suddenly become available for her is just… She can now roll from side to side without bumping into that stiff body of his and triggering annoyance. She can spread her limbs in any way she wants and nobody will complain.

She was physically freer than ever, but she had never felt so confined before.

Because no one else was with her in bed, and there’s no one to talk to.

“Urgh!” She grabbed the other pillow and held it tightly in her arms while convincing herself that she was not using it as a substitute for her regular bed-mate.

But the pillow was cold, and did not have the kind of subtle movements a breathing being would have.

She buried her face in the soft fabrics and groaned in dismay, apparently upset with her situation, but she’s too proud to surrender just yet. No, not when it’s only 3 minutes past bedtime.

But how about 5 minutes? Is that long enough?

Grell sat up in frustration. She couldn’t take it anymore. She needed that block back in bed with her right now, even if it meant swallowing her pride.

The redhead got out of bed and went downstairs, only to find William comfortably asleep on the couch.

How could he possibly fall asleep so quickly when I am rolling around in agony? I bet he’s happy that he gets to sleep alone tonight… I’m not going to do you this favor.

~*~*~

William is not against sleeping on the couch, since he often does so in his office during breaks. He was far from worried about Grell’s mood. This is not the first time they fought, and as detached as she appears to be now, she’d go back to being a magnet on him before they leave for work tomorrow anyway. He knows her too well to believe that this could have a lasting effect on their already eventful relationship. And it’s not like he had an idle day either. To end a stressful day at work only to come home to an epic fight with your partner has drained away his energy. And he definitely had no problem sleeping alone for one night. He would be surprised if anyone did.

And surprised he was when he was awoken by a warm thigh pressed against the side of his body.

“Grell? Why aren’t you in bed?”

She looked at him rather sternly, “Feeling cozy, Mr Spears?”

From the way she addressed him, William assumed that she was still mad about their fight, “Why do you care?”

“I see you have fallen asleep rather quickly. The couch must be comfortable.”

William put his glasses back on, “In case you haven’t noticed, living with you is very energy-taxing.”

“Tsk.” Grell turned her face away, trying to look angry instead of needy for once, “I-I hope you have learnt your lesson.”

“What lesson?”

Grell gritted her teeth before lowering her voice, “So you’re still blaming me.”

“Honestly,” William finally sat up, “we already sorted this out at work. I was only reminding you to be more careful next time so we can both be spared extra paperwork.”

“So it’s not my fault then? It isn’t anyone’s fault.”

William stared at her for a moment, “If that makes you feel any better.”

Grell turned to look at him again, “Then I forgive you, you can come back to bed now.”

How unexpected.

That was when Grell realized that the haste invitation was so embarrassingly deliberate that there was no way William wouldn’t know her dilemma by now.

And certainly did he know.

“Are you suggesting that I can return to bed now, regardless of what we agreed on earlier?”

Grell nodded hurriedly.

William almost smirked at her reaction, “I’m afraid I cannot comply.”

“Why?” Grell raised her voice in shock.

William shrugged, “Like I said, we agreed on this. You sent me to the couch and here on the couch I am. You changed your mind, doesn’t mean I would.” He lied down again, “I’m staying here tonight.”

“William!” Grell pulled him up again by the collar, “I said you could come back to bed now. Why are you so stubborn?!”

“Honestly, is my temporary absence in bed suddenly so unbearable that you have completely forgotten what you said earlier?”

Grell glared at him, biting her lips and possibly blushing slightly. Yes she did expect an apology, which she did not get. She also said he would not be welcomed in the bedroom, only to invite him back minutes after the lights went off. And somehow this man managed to use every word she said against herself while not being bothered by the supposed punishment at all.

She can’t believe this is the man she fell so madly in love with.

Or maybe that’s what got her stuck with him in the first place.

God she hated him sometimes.

“Fine!” She threw him back onto the couch, seeing that he preferred the discomfort of a couch over the tender sensation of her embrace, “Sleep on the couch all you want.” and stormed back upstairs.

William sighed as he removed his glasses and tucked himself in again.

Only seconds later, he heard footsteps coming down the stairway.

He opened his eyes to find the redhead crawling onto the couch wrapped in her blanket. “What are you doing?” he asked.

“Sleeping on the couch.” She answered, as if it was not obvious enough.

“Why?”

“I don’t know.” Grell crept closer before resting her head on William’s shoulder, “Maybe it’s because some dickhead refused to go to bed with me.”

“Honestly, Grell, you can’t do this.”

“Why? I only said you couldn’t come to the bedroom. But you never said I couldn’t come onto the couch with you.”

“No, I mean…” William adjusted his position so Grell could fall between him and the back of the couch, “there isn’t enough room for both of us. One of us is going to end up on the floor at some point.” Probably him, probably about 7 minutes into sleep.

With no intention of leaving, Grell closed her eyes and muttered, “Just hold me.”

“What?”

Without making a sound, Grell wrapped William’s arms around herself and pulled him closer until her face is buried in his neck.

What an uncomfortable position to be sleeping in. William thought, and he could already foresee how numb his arms would be the next morning. There was barely room for him to stretch around even alone, not to mention now there’s another person stuck next to him. But he guessed it couldn’t be helped. And he also didn’t want to drive her away now that she’s quietly breathing against his skin. Uncomfortable as it might be, they definitely wouldn’t fall asleep in such an intimate position if they had all the space they needed in a double bed. He would still prefer the bed if you asked, but he also wouldn’t replace the current moment with anything else.

“Honestly, you are not very good at keeping your word.” William murmured before pressing a kiss on her forehead.

Grell shivered slightly under the kiss, before locking her arms around his waist, “Says the man who claims he does not bring emotion into the workplace.”

And that night, for once, William let her have the last word.