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half a morning

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Most mornings, it’s the rising sun that gets Ronan out of bed—light seeping in through his curtains, sneaking up his wall. These days, anyway; now that he’s back at the Barns, now that they’ve made it to the waning summer. Really, it’s remarkable how easy it is to get out of bed in the mornings when it’s not Aglionby waiting for him. The dew-damp fields, morning breezes, and gentle stirring of dream and non-dream animals alike are all familiar things that are as comforting as they are exciting. Taking back this home—this kingdom, really—is a task worthy of Ronan’s early morning hours.

It’s great. Fucking fantastic. Except lately there’s one hitch.

Because, recently, a certain someone has started staying over, started sneaking beneath Ronan’s blankets and not returning to his own home when the sun sinks behind the horizon. His kisses have begun stretching later into the night, ending with arms draped over waists and droopy eyes. There are mumbled questions; a bleary, “Do you want me to drive you home?” and then a shake of the head, dusty hair brushing the nape of Ronan’s neck.

Ronan is very glad to share his bed with Adam.

Really, he is.

Even more glad is he that he gets to wake up beside him, but the problem is that staying under the covers is a lot more tempting when Adam is the thing keeping him there. As much as he loves to see dawn stretching over the fields, it really doesn’t stand a chance against Adam’s bedhead or his sleepy mumbles of Mornin’.

This morning in particular, though, Ronan wakes and Adam is curled away from him, one arm tucked beneath a pillow, the other to his own chest. His breathing is low with sleep. Minimal distractions. It will be easy to leave today, Ronan thinks. He just has to make it out of here without waking Adam up, too. Simple.

Carefully, Ronan sits. He manages to get all the way up—sitting straight, one foot on the floor— before he makes a mistake. And then he makes a barrage of them all at once. Because he glances at Adam, who is somehow still breathtaking even asleep with his face smooshed in a pillow; because his second foot gets caught in the sheets when he tries to get it to the floor; because he hisses, “Fuck!” when he stumbles against the obstacle. He doesn’t hit the ground, but with all the stomping and grabbing for the bedpost he does, he might as well have done. He doesn’t even have to look over to know that Adam is staring at him with that half-amused, half-you’re an idiot expression he has.

Ronan turns.

Yeah.

Adam blinks, his face fading into a sleepy smile.

If Ronan were anyone else, he might say, Sorry, but instead what leaves his mouth is, “Fuck off with all that, Parrish.” He gestures to Adam’s face. “I’ve got things to do.” The step he takes towards the door is only half-hearted, though.

Adam’s smile breaks into something more self-aware. His gaze flicks dangerously.

Ronan knows he’s done for. “No way, man. Shit to do.”

He rolls his eyes. “Whatever. Good morning to you, too.”

Now Ronan should use the opportunity to flee the room. But then Adam holds his hand out to him, an innocent enough offer. Ronan eyes it warily.

“I’m gonna let you do your chores, just come here for a second, asshole.”

Ronan knows better.

He lets Adam pull him in for a kiss.

Distantly, Ronan thinks about how Adam Parrish in the morning is possibly Ronan’s favorite Adam, mostly because it took them a second to get here, to get to this carefree ease. Both of them are morning people, not because they like the morning itself, but because they enjoy the power a morning brings with it. And while they may have dramatically different goals for their days, the potential energy of a morning is not lost on either of them.

And Ronan likes that, now, Adam wakes up with Ronan already incorporated into his day.

Adam, with his whole day in front of him, will wrap an arm around Ronan’s neck and pull him into a kiss.

It’s a small wonder.

The sun is peaking above the trees, but Ronan is loath to refuse Adam.

So he lets himself be distracted, lets Adam tug him back down to the bed and curl his fingers at the base of his skull. Ronan lets himself press a few stray kisses to Adam’s neck, lets his hands wander lower than they probably should.

Ronan closes his eyes and pulls back slowly, mouth parted in a pained sort of smile.

“Give me one—one fucking hour.”

Adam hums thoughtfully, ghosting a few fingers down the side of Ronan’s face. His thumb rests at the corner of his lips. They twitch, a small movement, but it’s noticed by Adam nonetheless. Adam moves his thumb a fraction of an inch, just enough to brush along his lip, but Ronan pulls back.

“No way,” he replies.

Adam’s grin is wide. “Fine,” he says, dropping his hand to Ronan’s.

He gives it a quick squeeze, and Ronan is about to accept that that’s the end of it, that he’s made it out, but Adam doesn’t drop away immediately. In fact, he knits their fingers together, holding tighter than before. Ronan parts his lips to say something, but then Adam pulls their interlocked hands towards his mouth. He drags his lips across Ronan’s knuckles.

Ronan gives a nearly inaudible pained noise.

Adam is smiling, and it’s a wicked thing. He knows exactly what he’s doing, and the thought is infuriating. What an asshole.

“I’m begging you, man,” Ronan mumbles, trying to tug himself away with no conviction.

Ignoring the plea, Adam says, “I just wanna know why you like this so much.”

If Ronan had no conviction to leave before, as Adam presses a kiss to his palm, any scrap that he might have been able to muster dissolves completely, never to return.

And Adam fucking knows it. “What’re you in such a hurry for, anyway?” Adam asks. Every syllable brings his lips back to Ronan’s skin.

Adam is only able to ask this now because, with college starting in just a week, it’s the first time in years that he has nowhere to be; no jobs, no responsibilities. Adam realizes the weight of the question, the subtle irony of it coming from his mouth and not Ronan’s. Ronan can see the realization across his face—in the sloppiness of his smile, in the carefree confidence of the way he’s staring at Ronan’s lips—and it’s this brightness of Adam’s that pulls Ronan back down beside him.

He’s not even in a hurry.

Especially not with Adam’s tongue flicking against Ronan’s thumb, not with the terrible smile on his face.

“You’re such an asshole,” Ronan mutters.

In lieu of replying, Adam drops a kiss to each joint of Ronan’s index finger before closing his lips around the end of it.

Ronan gives a ragged exhale.

Adam’s laugh is an unbridled thing. It’s more than enough to see it, but to feel it too—a delighted grin against Ronan’s hand—it’s unfair, really, that Ronan’s chest should be so tight with a combination of affection and desperation. To be fair, though, the desperate feeling is a little lower than his chest.

Fuck. He really thought he’d be able to get out of the room this morning.

Instead, he pushes Adam back, the position of his hand a great advantage; his teeth knock against Ronan’s skin, and Adam mumbles a sorry, but then Ronan mumbles back that, no, he actually kind of liked it. And then Adam’s smiling again—maybe he never stopped—and Ronan hates how smug he looks.

God, what a shithead

Adam pulls back, lips dragging devastatingly down the length of his fingers, breaking off only to come back in a kiss that closes against the joint where Ronan’s thumb meets his hand.

It takes Ronan half a second to slide his thumb back into Adam’s mouth, past his teeth; he draws Adam’s head back, exposing his neck and all its summer-tanned skin. The kisses he leaves here are careful, precise, and sure to leave a mark.

Adam’s breath against Ronan’s fingers goes from gentle laughter to stifled gasping.

Distractions upon distractions—it’s too easy to be tugged into another kiss, too easy to give into each other’s touch, too easy to let the seconds tick past them. Ronan can practically feel the sun getting higher in the sky, feel the temperature rising just beyond the window pane. Even so, Adam’s arms are around him in an embrace that is much more physical than all of that.

It’s a small infinity later when Ronan is sitting up, drawing Adam’s palm to his lips and whispering, “I’m leaving. I’m going.”

“Okay. Sure. Go on.” Adam moves his hand in the slightest of motions, letting his fingertips brush to Ronan’s jaw.

“See if I don’t,” Ronan murmurs back; his words are harsh, but he still leans into Adam’s touch.

Adam makes a noise that’s hard to decipher.

However, it sounds more like a challenge than anything else; Ronan raises an eyebrow. Adam looks unmoved. Then, with a roll of his eyes, Ronan steals a hasty kiss and springs from bed, snatching away before Adam can make any moves in defense. He shuffles backwards across the floor, feet quick, and he effectively dodges Adam’s grabbing hand with a pitying smile. Adam scoffs. It feels like a ridiculous game; by this point, they’re both too good at making the other weak, and there comes a point when it’s only self-control that keeps them doing the things they actually need to do. As much as he’d love to let Adam pull him apart all morning, he’s got chores, he’s got—

“There’s cow shit to shovel, Parrish.”

Sounding as much disgusted as amused, Adam says with a shove, “Get the hell out of here.”