By the time he’s reached the third flight of stairs, Baz is seriously regretting agreeing not to magickally fix the elevator with Penelope.
The repetitive motion of climbing is sending bolts of pain down his already stinging spine. Although covered with a thin layer of protective plastic, the light-weight fabric of his shirt irritates the affected area even further. Baz winces, both in reaction to the feeling, and to the thought.
They’re trying to acclimate Simon to the Normal world. A world without magic. He’s not sure if removing any trace of it is doing more harm than good, but with how things have been lately…Well, he’s not sure it could get much worse.
Simon lost his magic, and the Mage all in one horrific night, and since then he hasn’t exactly been himself.
And of course Baz had expected this, just because he hated the Mage, doesn’t mean he can’t understand. Losing one’s magic is the stuff of nightmares. Losing the closest thing you have to a family, however, is devastating.
But it’s been a few months now, and there’s been little change.
Watford is almost unbearable without a Simon Snow in it but he’s promised himself he’ll see his eighth year through.
He’s at their apartment as often as he’s able to be, so much so that in his mind it’s somehow become synonymous with his definition of home.
But Baz has grown somewhat frantic lately, and he’s honestly not sure how much more he can take of coming home to the sound of Simon crying and the feeling of having his heart ripped out of his chest over and over again.
So today he’s taken somewhat drastic measures.
Baz takes a deep breath before unlocking the door. Simon’s on the couch, staring at the television blankly. He looks over at the called greeting, and internally Baz flinches. Simon’s eyes are dull and unfocussed.
Baz almost wants to revert back to their early years at Watford, to anger Simon just to get that look to disappear; he resists the urge and widens his smile instead. That’s something he’s started doing more of, in direct reaction to Simon smiling less, he’s started doing it more. Strangely enough, he’s not finding it so hard, living the charmed life that he is. He can feel Simon’s gaze following him around the room as he takes off his shoes and deposits his overnight bag in their bedroom, before finally returning to the living room,
Simon’s eyes have narrowed, and Baz realises that he’s taken in his careful movements and the stiff set of his shoulders.
“Are you hurt?” he asks with concern.
“Not exactly.” Simon is looking at him sceptically, thick brows furrowing deeply.
Baz clears his throat, suddenly nervous that Simon won’t react the way he’s expecting him to. What if instead of helping, it sets him back again? A throb from his shoulder reminds him that it’s too late to change his mind now.
“I have something to show you.” He says, and his hands reach for the buttons of his school shirt.
The corners of Simon’s mouth turn up slightly. “I’ve already seen that. What else have you got?” Baz rolls his eyes and finishes unbuttoning the shirt.
His arms reach up to remove it and immediately his back screams in agony. Biting back a moan, he asks Simon for a hand. Between the two of them, they ease the shirt off and then, with a nod of assent from Baz, Simon painstakingly removes the clear plastic wrap covering the entirety of his back. From behind him, Baz hears a gasp of shock and clenches his eyes closed, hoping for the best.
The tattoos stretch from the top of his spine to the base; black and red lines of ink curving lovingly over his torso, only slightly marred by the angry red swelling surrounding them.
A pair of wings.
Simon seems to be choking on air, so Baz turns his head back to face him.
“You alright Snow?” He’s so bewildered that he doesn’t even think to correct Baz. Adorable.
“Wh-when did you get this done?!”
“Today,” he answers, smirking when Simon’s eyes nearly bug out of his head. “They wanted me to split it into two sessions but I wanted to surprise you.”
Haltingly, Simon reaches out his hand, almost as though to touch the tattoo, before thinking better of it. Internally, Baz sighs in relief.
“Oh Crowley Baz, that must have hurt!”
“Not at all, it’s just a little sore.” He lies smoothly. He’d cried like a baby and stuck his fangs into the leather of the chair, then eventually given in and cast a numbing spell over the area. The artist had been none too pleased to see the damage hours later, but Baz can’t find it within himself to care when Simon is looking at him with so much awe in his eyes.“Do you like it?”
Finally, Simon looks him in the eye again. “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” Baz feels a weight lift off of his shoulders. ‘Now you know how I feel about your wings’, he admires them now, his inspiration. The graceful arch of them, red and black quivering with repressed emotion, just above Simon’s head.
“But – why? Why would you do this?”
Baz turns to face him, settling his face into a serious expression.
“Because now we match again…and because when I’m with you I feel like I can fly.” He means for the joke to be dry and sarcastic, hopes that it may at least cause him to crack a small smile. Instead, Baz is horrified to find that the statement isn’t entirely false, especially with the overwhelming evidence fluttering within his stomach.
Regardless, it doesn’t go entirely to plan.
So there Simon is, crying and shaking, and for a moment Baz is terrified he’s gone and made it permanently worse and gods help him he’ll march right back there now and demand that they remove the idiotic thing right this instant or so-
But then Snow looks up again, and he’s laughing.
Albeit hysterically, but it’s still laughter and he’ll take what he can get. He’s laughing and looking at Baz with so much adoration in his captivating blue eyes (how Baz had ever been able to convince himself that they were boring was utterly beyond him) and it feels like a piece has just clicked itself back into place from within him and all of the air whooshes out from his chest at once, 'Oh, there you are love. Knew I hadn’t lost you.' He thinks.
Then Baz is laughing too, in relief and joy, and Simon is wiping his nose on Baz’s shoulder and there’s definitely snot on him now and he just does not care.
Because Simon Snow is smiling, and he thinks that’s all he’ll ever need in life He’s grinning up at him now, and already Baz can see that Simon’s cheeks are gaining back a tinge of their apple-status glow (he can tell because he wants to bite them) and then he speaks and everything else falls away.
“You’re ridiculous. Do you know that? It’s one of the reasons I love you so much.”
It’s the first time he’s heard the words from Simon’s mouth, but it surprises neither of them.
They’ve been saying it since their beginning after all, have barely said anything else.
“Do you want half of my aero bar?”
“For Crowley’s sake, take a jacket, it’s dreadful out there.”
“You waited up for me?”
“Okay, why don’t we watch half of my program then switch over to your crap?”
“You remembered how I take my tea?”
“Here, chef simply insisted I bring you these scones. They made far too many and knew you’d make use of them.”
“You look dead on your feet, you need to get some rest…oh stop that, you know I didn’t mean it like that you absolute prat.”
“…Why is your fridge full of blood?”
And on it on it went (honestly Penny was just about done with them).
Baz rests his hand on Simon’s shoulder and uses his other one to cup the back of his head and bring him closer until their foreheads are touching. He can feel Simon’s warm, steady breathing on his face and his eyes flutter closed in response. “I love you too, Simon Snow.” He says quietly, reverently.
And then he kisses him.