The opening beats of Sunflower, silenced. Blanket, dip of bed, feet over carpet.
Shoes on the entry, the rattle of the door opening, closing.
Rolling into the last lingering warmth trapped by the blanket.
The hiss of the coffee pot kicking on, steam and whine turning to gurgles, drips.
Another alarm, practical. On-off-on-off. Smell of coffee. Hand slipping from under the pillow, nearly swiping the phone off the bed stand, snooze.
Alarm, again. Groaning, fumbling—alarm off, again. Face turning from pillow enough for the smell of coffee to penetrate. Opening eyes, closing them, pressing face to pillow.
The coffee will burn.
Sitting on the edge of the bed, scrubbing a cheek with one hand. Trying to focus, fumbling, glasses on.
Turning off the coffee pot's burner with a tap. Pouring coffee—a mug, a thermos. Closing the thermos; drinking from the mug.
Bitter, dark, not burnt. Closing his eyes, savoring the smell again.
Opens eyes, drinks as he walks to the bathroom, sets it on the counter. Starts the shower, strips, finishes half the coffee while he waits for the water to warm. Wanders to the bedroom, checks his phone.
Did you make it back alright?
Sends a yes. Sets the coffee on the bed stand next to the phone, goes to shower.
Thanatos gets out of the shower, rubs his hair mostly dry. Takes out the blow dryer, finishes drying it; debates, but doesn't bother reaching for the straightener, for his contacts. Puts his glasses back on.
He goes back to the coffee; the coffee less warm, but still welcome. He gets dressed—jeans, a tank, a sweater, rummages for socks and frowns that they're never put back as pairs. Chooses two that don't match; it won’t matter for long.
Thanatos goes to the kitchen, grabs the thermos, grabs his keys and wallet from the basket by the door. He slips into an old, worn, comfortable pair of shoes, ones he should have thrown out years ago, but it's Saturday and he’s only got one place to go, there and back again.
He settles in the car, checks his phone. Sets it aside, starts the car; the clock on the dash glows 7:55.
East, this week. The mountain.
The crunch of gravel in the little parking lot at the foot of the mountain. Thanatos puts the car in park, turns the car off, rests his forehead against the steering wheel a moment, eyes closed. He sighs, grabs the thermos and his phone, and gets out of the car.
He leans against the hood, browsing his phone—pictures from Megaera of last night, a few from Zagreus. A fifty tweet deep thread about sleep deprivation attached to Hypnos’ new calligraphy video; Thanatos reads until the crunch of gravel under footsteps and he looks up.
"That wouldn't happen to be for me?" Hermes asks, grinning, pupils blown the way only hours spent running can do. He's drenched in sweat, utterly disgusting, but Thanatos still smiles, just a little.
"This?" he asks, holding up his phone.
Hermes laughs, hops onto the hood next to him, leans over to see what he's reading and Thanatos tilts his phone so he can see, hands him the thermos. Hermes twists it open.
"Huh," Hermes says, then leans back and drinks most of it in one long go.
"I could kiss you," he says when he lowers the thermos.
"Don't," Thanatos says, clicking the heart at the end of Hypnos' thread.
"I think I will," Hermes says, and does. Thanatos sighs as Hermes wraps an arm around his shoulders, as he's engulfed in the smell of sweat and ammonia, but he doesn't pull away; turns his head so he catches Hermes' lips, feels the curve of his smile, sees that dazed pleasure when Hermes pulls back.
It’s worth it, to see that giddy joy on his face.
“I’m starving,” Hermes says. “Let me drive.”
“No,” Thanatos says.
“Would have been back sooner if you’d let me drive,” Hermes says, yanking open the fridge with more force than it needs, hauling out the entire carton of eggs. “Is that batter, did you make pancake batter, is that what the clatter was—”
“Yes,” Thanatos says, pulling out the nonstick pan.
“I’m going to kiss you.”
“You’re going to shower.” Thanatos sets the pan on the stove, grabs the covered bowl of pancake batter from Hermes, the butter before Hermes closes the fridge.
“Kiss then shower,” Hermes says; Thanatos turns his head, catches the kiss, leans into it.
Hermes pulls away first, grinning. Pupils less blown than they were. He sets the eggs on the counter.
“I’ll make those, don’t touch them, you always cook them too hard, make the pancakes.”
“Mm,” Thanatos says.
“I,” Thanatos says, “am going back to bed.”
He leaves his plate on the counter, strips out of the sweater, the jeans, the tank and socks. Puts his glasses back in the case, crawls back into the bed. It’s cold now, all that perfect sleep warmth gone, but if he presses his face into a pillow he can almost pretend it’s the dark of morning again. Hear the sound of the sink, clink of dishes, Hermes’ hum turn to song back to hum; hear birds outside, hear cars, children yelling.
Buries his face more into the pillow; it’s Saturday, and he has nowhere else he needs to go.