“Hey,” Alex answered the phone with a smile on his face.
“Hey,” Michael replied warmly. “You busy?”
Alex looked around himself at the three active monitors on his desk and the piles of papers he was working on on a Sunday because he’d spent most of two days the past week skipping work to visit Gregory. “Not at all. What’s up?”
“Can you come meet me?” Alex shifted papers off his lap and started shutting down his computer. Michael rattled off an address just off Main St.
“I’m on my way,” Alex promised before hanging up.
Less than fifteen minutes later, Alex was pulling in next to Michael’s truck. He turned the car off and stared at the sign over the door proudly proclaiming the storefront as a tattoo parlor. The door opened and Michael popped his head out. The rest of him followed when he saw that Alex was there. “Hey!” He raised a hand in greeting. Alex slipped out of his car. “That was fast.”
“You asked me to come,” Alex reminded him. They were still working out the boundaries of their relationship now that they were both single and Alex was both wary of overstepping and eager to move forward. “You’re getting a tattoo?” Other than the symbol he shared with Max and now Isobel, Michael had never shown any interest in tattoos.
Michael huffed a little self deprecatingly. “Yeah. I- I saw it and I wanted it.” He shrugged.
Alex looked at him but didn’t see any nerves or doubt, just a little shyness. “Okay.” He looked back at the door. “So why am I here?”
Michael cleared his throat. “I got the first one by myself but I didn’t want to do this one alone. Maybe it’s stupid but-”
“It’s not stupid,” Alex assured him. “If you want me to hold your hand, all you have to do is ask.” Michael rolled his eyes.
“I want you to hold my hand, Alex.”
Alex reached out and took his hand. “Done.” Michael stared down at their linked hands and Alex marveled as a faint blush appeared on his cheeks. “Anything else?”
“…yeah,” Michael replied slowly, dragging his eyes up from their hands to Alex’s face. He stuck his free hand in his back pocket, pulled out a folded piece of paper, and held it out to Alex. Alex took it. He tried to open it one handed before reluctantly letting go of Michael to open it properly. When the paper was mostly flat, Alex could do nothing but stare down at it. Michael gave him a moment before- “Is it okay? The artist changed it a bit but-”
But it was Alex’s drawing. It was Alex’s stupid little doodle of a bee he’d drawn when he was having trouble writing his latest song. Oh, the artist had changed it a bit, yes, had touched it up and made it a little more artistic and less realistic, but it was still obviously Alex’s drawing.
And Michael wanted to get it tattooed on his body.
Alex cleared his throat. “Are you sure?”
“Yes,” Michael replied without hesitation. “Unless you don’t want me to.”
“No?” Michael’s face fell a little.
Alex shook his head. “No, I mean, I want you to,” Alex considered how that sounded, “or I mean I don’t mind if this is something you want.”
“I want it.”
“Ok then,” Alex cleared his throat. “Then you should get it.”
Michael held out his hand. Alex took it without thinking. “And you’ll hold my hand?”
Alex squeezed gently. “Always.”