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Drunken Strolls Can Be Fun

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It felt like someone shoved his head inside a trash can and started wailing on it with a hammer. What the hell did he drink last night?

Rhys groaned, curling in on himself. He felt like skag shit - worse even. Vaughn, Yvette, and himself went to a club the previous night in celebration of another week survived in the Hell that is the Helios offices. He couldn't remember what all the drank, but he knows there was a line of shots and several brightly colored drinks that Yvette mocked him for. His memory was a bit hazy after a point, and the last part of the night was gone entirely.

He'd say never again, but who was he trying to kid? They'd be out again next week.

Idly, he rubbed his cheek against whatever it was he was lying on. It felt soft. Probably suede? It must be a couch, but he didn't have a couch like that, and he knew Vaughn didn't either. Maybe he was at Yvette's? Her place was the closest to the club.

There was a muted sound behind him, shuffling steps on carpet.

"'Vette?"

The footsteps stopped.

"Sleeping beauty wakes, eh?"

Rhys' eyes shot open. Definitely not Yvette.

Oh God. Bright. Opening his eyes like that was his worst idea yet.

"C'mon, kid. Up and at 'em. I need you out of my house, like, ten minutes ago."

Did he go home with someone? He wasn't in a bed and his clothes were still on so he didn't get laid. (He ignored the minor twinge of disappointment.) Hesitantly, Rhys twisted around, peering over his shoulder towards the voice.

Holy shit. Oh no. Oh no. Is that...

"H-handsome Jack, sir?"

Jack smiled crookedly, subtly puffing out his chest. "The one and only."

He was going to be sick. He was going to be sick. He was-

"Nu-uh there, cupcake. No puking in my living room." Jack folded his arms, eyeing the increasingly nauseated man curled up in a knot of too much limb on his couch. "Bathroom's down that hall," he pointed out with a nod of this head. "Upchuck in there all you want. Then take a shower. I can smell your cheap beer from here."

Rhys struggled to get his feet under him, pausing to sway in place once vertical and collect his stomach before it ended up all over his boss'...socked feet. Wow, okay, he wasn't sure what he was expecting but those yellow honeycombs were definitely not it. "Wasn't cheap beer."

"Eh, to you maybe." Jack dismissed the other man, heading back the way he came. "Seriously, though, take a shower. You smell like shit."

Rhys lifted his shirt towards his nose, only to recoil with a sour grimace. "Sir?"

Jack hummed, turning just enough to look back in Rhys' direction.

Rhys hesitated, clenching and relaxing his fists.

Apparently his silence lasted too long. Jack's brows pinched in mild annoyance. "Some time today, kid."

"Could I borrow some clothes?" The words came out in a stuttering rush. He couldn't believe he just asked Handsome Jack of all people for clothes. His friends were never going to believe this.

Jack didn't respond. He just stared at Rhys. The longer this went on, the more Rhys felt the need to squirm. Maybe he shouldn't have asked. Maybe he should've just kept his mouth shut, got his shower, then left in his stinking clothes to change once he got home. Maybe... His stomach rolled, and he swallowed thickly.

Finally, Jack shrugged. "Sure. You're a leggy thing, but I probably have some sweat pants or something that'll fit you. Now go." And with that he left the room.

Rhys stood rooted to the spot. Jack agreed? Rhys was going to wear his clothes? His face began to warm. His friends were definitely not going to believe this.

-----

The shower did wonders, but then when six high powered streams massaged into his aching muscles it was hard not to feel refreshed, and the pounding in his head had dulled to a slow throb. Nothing he couldn't handle. His nausea was even (mostly) gone. He was proud of the fact that he didn't actually throw up, though he may have dry heaved for a spell before pawing at the dials on the shower wall for several minutes. Luxury came with it's price, and that price was way too many knobs.

Rhys wrapped himself up in one of Jack's towels, marveling at how soft it felt. It wasn't that Rhys lived poorly - oh no, his job paid well enough that he could afford some higher end pleasures - but nothing he owned held a candle to Jack's. Everything was just so obviously expensive and luxurious and that was not jealousy gnawing away at his insides, certainly not.

He was just finishing ruffling his hair dry with the towel when he noticed a haphazardly stacked pile of clothes on the counter.

Jack was in the bathroom while he was in the shower.

Jack was in the bathroom while he was naked. Just a sheet of fogged glass away.

Rhys failed to fight off the blush that time.

He dressed quickly after that, but if he paused to admire himself wearing Jack's clothes that was entirely his own business. It wasn't like it was anything fancy. Jack had loaned him a pair of grey sweats, and an old Hyperion tee shirt (older still than Jack's usual attire if the red and black coloration was any indication). It was just these were Handsome Jack's clothes. His mentor, his idol, his definitely-not-a-crush-Vaughn-shut-up.

He was broken from his preening when a knock came at the door. "You fall in in there or what?"

Rhys fumbled to pick up his dirty clothes. "I- uh- no! I'm coming out now!"

He rushed to open the door and nearly smacked right into Jack who simply lifted a brow in amusement.

"I-I...uh..." Rhys took a step back, clearly struggling for words. "Your shower is amazing." That...wasn't what he meant to say.

Jack let out a scoff. "Course it is. When you're as rich as I am, you get the best of everything."

"R-right." Rhys ran a hand through his hair. "So...sorry about all this. Sir."

The amused expression was back tenfold. "Not a problem, cupcake. Not a problem at all." He practically purred the reassurance, looking over Rhys with a slow drag of the eyes.

Was Rhys just imagining things or did Jack just check him out? Nah, he had to be imagining things.

"Right." Wow, this was awkward. He just barely managed to refrain from carding through his hair again. "How did I...get here anyway?"

"Oh ho! That's just what I want to know!" Jack dragged him in with an arm around his shoulders and began to lead him away from the bathroom. "Now here I was, minding my own business after a hard day at the office, and what do I find wandering into my yard at almost three in the morning? Some drunk cooing at my dog. The dog that I have to guard my house. My guard dog. My first thought was who the hell is this guy? My second thought was why isn't he being torn to pieces right now?"

Rhys walked stiffly along, only half listening. He was a bit caught up in how warm Jack was, and how he stood at least an inch shorter than Rhys. That latter fact was surprising considering how big Jack felt.

...Oh that's not where he wanted his mind to go. Oh no.

"My third thought was this guy has got to go because I can't have my neighbors thinking they can just traipse right up to my door without Warrior ripping them a new one. So, I went out to investigate."

They entered a kitchen. Jack steered Rhys into a bar stool by an island, and busied himself with what looked like the most complicated coffee machine Rhys had ever seen.

"Now, you weren't too coherent last night, kid. I asked you your name and all I got back was Mr Ten Million Dollars? Don't know what all you drank but you were gone. What is your name, anyway?"

"Rhys."

Jack stopped half way through pouring some steamed milk. "Rhys? Really? What a dumb name."

Rhys frowned. "It's not dumb."

"It's totally dumb." He resumed pouring. "Ah, what was I saying? Oh right. So then I asked you what the hell you were thinking trespassing in my yard and do you know what your answer was?"

"No?"

"A very enthusiastic dogs are great followed shortly by I think I'm going to be sick. Or at least I think that's what you said. It sort of came out as some weird garbled mess, but I distinctly heard going and sick." Jack slid a surprisingly well made latte in front of Rhys who felt like the bottom just fell out of his stomach. "Then do you know what you did?"

Rhys sank down in his seat. "I don't think I want to know."

"You threw up right onto my shoes."

Rhys groaned and hid his head in his arms on the counter.

Jack laughed, grinning widely as he started on his own cup. "Oh yes. Lucky for you I was wearing some old throwaway sneakers, Rhysie."

A muffled "anything else?" came from Rhys.

"Well then you passed out, and you would've landed right in the puke if it weren't for me catching you, you're welcome, and I brought you in here, dumped you on the couch, and went to bed."

Rhys was absolutely mortified. He couldn't believe he did that. Maybe he really would quit drinking this time.

Jack clapped him on the back, earning a small grunt from the still huddled mess of a man, and sat down in the other bar stool. "Don't worry about it. It's too funny to bother killing you over."

Rhys' response was a high pitched keening noise.

"No really! Mr Ten Million Dollars? You're either one hell of a light weight or you're a goddamn partier, and considering how much you threw up-"

"Please," Rhys held up a hand in defeat, nearly batting Jack in the face. "Please stop talking."

That just made Jack crack up all over again. "Drink your coffee, kid. I'd give you some painkillers but I guess I'm out."

With all the reluctance of a man facing a firing squad, Rhys straight up and reached for his coffee. It smelled amazing and the taste was even better. He must've made some sort of noise because when he turned to face Jack he found those mismatched eyes glued to him.

"Um..." Rhys looked away and took another sip. "It's good."

"Yeah, the moaning clued me in on that."

Rhys refused to comment.

"So now that you're sober, any idea why you were in my yard at that ungodly hour?"

Rhys sighed and finally gave in to the temptation to brush through his hair. "Not a clue. Short of being in your house, I don't even know where I am right now."

"Eh, about ten minutes north of the office."

Ten minutes north of the office? Did he live down the street from Jack all this time without even knowing it or something?

"Oh..."

Jack leaned onto the counter, resting his chin on his palm. "Was that a good oh or a bad oh? You sound weirdly shell shocked."

"A...neutral oh? I just live around here is all."

"Ahhh, didn't realize someone like me would slum it up with you commoners?"

Commoners? Really? "I wouldn't put it that way, but."

Jack shrugged. "What can I say? It's a nice neighborhood. Explains how you got here anyway. Take many drunken strolls around the block?"

"Not usually."

"Shame. Drunken strolls can be fun with the right people."

"I guess?"

Jack finished off his coffee with a loud smack of his lips and a satisfied noise. "Anyway, as much as I'd love chatting away the morning, I have shit to do." He pushed away from the bar, scrapping the stool's legs across the tiling. "You can return the clothes whenever."

Rhys followed his example, downing the rest of his latte and standing with much less noise. "Would tonight be okay?"

"As long as it's after eight, sure." He snapped his fingers. "You know what! How about we go out for drinks after? I want to see Mr Ten Million in the making. He seemed funny, you know, when he wasn't passed out or puking on my shoes."

Rhys didn't know what to say. There was no way this was happening right now. Was he being pranked? "I, yeah? Sure!"

"That's the spirit!" Jack punched Rhys' shoulder in a way that Rhys guessed was meant to be playful but really just left him wanting to rub at the sore spot it left. "Now out you get. I'll see your ass tonight."

Feeling vaguely faint, Rhys let himself be led to the front door. "I, yeah, see you."

A familiar street met him outside. He was only a few blocks from his apartment building. Small world.

He was about to set off down the steps when Jack called out after him.

"Oh and Rhys?"

Rhys looked back. Jack's lips were turned in a shark's grin.

"Wear something nice, hm?" He shamelessly looked down at Rhys' ass.

Oh God.

With a rapidly heating face, Rhys nodded, and hurried towards the street, Jack's amused cackling following him the entire way.