“Who is it?” Danny called out, pretending to be barely awake and a little pissed off.
“Dougie...” came the nervous reply. He could almost hear the boy chewing on his lip, wondering whether he would be allowed in. Of course he would be allowed in. Danny hadn't turned him away any night of the past week. He wouldn't start now.
He heaved a fake sigh, still grinning quietly to himself. “Come in, I guess.”
The slice of yellow grew just wide enough to admit the slim kid, then it was gone and Dougie was pouncing on to his bed, shy smile visible in the faint moonlight.
“Hey, Doug,” Danny said, wiping his smile away and turning to face the boy. He was perched near the edge, kneeling with his head bent, trying to hide his own smile.
“Hey, Danny,” he replied, glancing up at the older guy, still unsure of whether he was welcome or not.
“Well, are you just going to sit there freezing your balls off?”
Dougie grinned and dived under the covers, immediately snuggling up to Danny. Lying perhaps a little too close, but then again they had pretty much crossed all lines the first night. Well, not all lines. Danny wouldn't do that to Dougie. The kid would probably give in, just so he could make Danny smile.
Dougie gently laid his head on Danny's shoulder, tracing his fingers down his ribcage, finally settling his small hand on Danny's hipbone. Danny swallowed, trying to think of other things.
“So...” he murmured, wrapping an arm around the younger boy.
“So?” Dougie asked, pressing his face into Danny, avoiding the enquiring glance being shot his way.
“One of these days you're going to have to stop crawling into bed with me,” Danny joked, lightly stroking the bassist's back. Dougie merely nodded, either oblivious to his tone or choosing to take no notice of it.
“You wanna tell me what's up?” Danny pried, determined to get an answer tonight.
“I just wanna sleep...” Dougie muttered, his words muffled by Danny's chest. Evading the question, as he had every other night. Well, he wouldn't get away with it anymore. If Danny had to go through hell on a nightly basis, he would get a reason for it. Or else there might just be bloodshed.
Danny tugged softly at his hair, trying to get the kid to look at him. No such luck. Dougie remained with his face buried away from Danny's gentle prodding.
“Come on, Dougs, how can I help if I don't know what's up?”
Dougie raised his head a little, grinning. “You do help.”
“How?” Danny asked, raising an eyebrow. Dougie shrugged and pulled the covers over his head. Danny chuckled and pulled them higher, until they were both under the blankets.
Dougie bit his lip, looking anywhere but into Danny's eyes.
“Don't make me tickle it out of you.”
Dougie blushed at this, shaking his head slightly and pulling at his fringe. Danny fought the urge to push it back out of his eyes. It seemed too... Familiar, even for them. Or especially for them? As if they could fall asleep in each other's arms, do all kinds of crazy stuff on stage, but something so tender didn't belong to them.
Danny sighed and turned away a little, too tired to fight it anymore. A second later Dougie dug back into his side, clinging to him like a limpet. He rolled his eyes and wrapped his arms around the smaller form, hugging him close.
“Please?” he asked, not really expecting it to work. It was worth a shot though. He wanted to know what it was that could drive Dougie to sleeping with him.
The bassist sighed and drew away completely, pulling the covers down. Danny blinked in the cool night air that rushed over his face.
He propped himself up on one elbow, watching Dougie quietly. He would tell in his own time. If he told at all and didn't just slip away, back to his own bed.
Dougie raised his hands to his eyes, digging the heels into the sockets, biting his lip. Maybe it was a bigger deal than Danny had thought. He had presumed it was something that would be important to Dougie, maybe something that scared him, that Danny himself would find endearing or silly.
“I...” Dougie faded away into silence, licking his lips nervously. Again Danny forced himself to think of something else, and gently pinched Dougie's side.
“You what?” The blonde sighed again, shivering a little. Danny didn't pull him close and rub his goose bumps away, even though he wanted to.
“I guess I...” Dougie bit his lip, pulling his hands away and picking at his nails, pretending to be utterly engrossed in them. “I think I like you...”
The words were so quiet Danny might have imagined them. But he knew from the look on Dougie's face that he hadn't. There was the mask of nonchalance, of course, but under that was apprehension and hope.
Danny swallowed, staring at Dougie's hands rather than his face. “Like me how?”
“Like you like...” Dougie sighed softly and turned to face Danny, seeking out his eyes. Danny reluctantly gave in.
“I like you like... I wanna walk down the street holding your hand. I wanna fall asleep in your arms every night. I wanna...” Dougie blushed and broke eye contact.
Danny almost swore, having a fair idea of what the bassist's next words were going to be.
Dougie shook his head, dropping his gaze. “No buts. That's how I feel.” He hunched his shoulders, moving away from Danny a little more.
“Then where are you going?” Dougie stared at him, like he had just announced he was really Aladdin and planned to fly away to Never-Never Land with Elvis the next morning.
“Back to my room? Because I've wrecked everything?” Danny chuckled, grabbing his hands and lacing their fingers.
“Doubt it. You just fixed everything. Walking away now would be wrecking everything.”
Dougie continued to stare at him, the glimmer of hope stronger now. “It would?” he asked, clearly probing for more information.
Danny nodded. “Indeed it would.” He wasn't going to give an inch, largely because it was such fun to mess with his head.
“So...” The younger boy blushed and looked at their hands, tangled together. “You maybe...” He swallowed. “Like me too?”
“Nice work, genius,” was Danny's reply, before he covered Dougie's lips with his.
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