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He's here again... we don't even bother with the pretence anymore, as soon as I hear him come in, I put down the sander, and meet him at the top of the stairs.

He use to tell me I needed this... he wasn't wrong... I did need it, I do still need it some days, but I want it too... I never use to want it... I'd fight it, rally against it, but now, now I let him lead me to the bedroom, let him suck my brains out through my cock, and do the same to him.

It's always that, or a little mutual five fingers salute... we've never stepped over *that* line... no matter how much I want to, unless he gives a signal that he wants it too, we never will.

He came to me after Chris Pacci was murdered. Chris and I weren't that close, but he was an agent, and that made it personal... it was personal for Tony too... for all of us. We were worse than rabid that night, I had a hickey on my shoulder that took more than a week to disappear.

And now he's here again... here again but he doesn't meet me at the top of the basement stairs, and instead I find him on my couch, just flopped down, like he's boneless.

He's still wearing the shirt he had on earlier... that surprises me I thought he'd have gone home and changed, showered, tried to get the stink of that... place... of him. He has bruise on the side of his face, receding back into his hairline, and his eyes are closed.

"Tony..." I mean to speak a little louder, but all I can do is whisper.

He looks so... I can't even think of a word... it’s like he’s trying for relaxed... but I can still almost *feel* the tension there, the knowledge that he could well have died down there.

He isn't here for sex... or maybe he is, but he isn't going to get it... not tonight. I don't go in for all that lovey-dovey crap, it's just not part of who I am, but he needs something more than sex right now, and I need to give it to him.

I don't bother to say anything more to him, and he still hasn't shifted as I go to get ice for his head, which I've got no doubt hurts like hell.

The hiss that escapes him when I put the ice in place against the side of his head, proves my theory that he was in pain.

"I'll get some Tylenol." I murmur softly, letting him take hold of the ice, while I get the meds, and a glass of water.

He swallows them gratefully, giving me a small smile.


"S'ok. Come on." I tell him, leading him into the bedroom. I just strip him down, and get him into bed, following a minute later, just curling up behind him.

No sex tonight... he needs to rest.


"Shhh... just go to sleep Tony." I tell him, pressing a kiss into the side of his neck.

I'm sure this will change things... how I'm not sure... I'm not in love with him, I know he's not in love with me, but it's nice to have the comfort of a warm body to hold sometimes... this is probably just another less messy form of comfort... I don't know, but it's late and I'm tired anyway, so I won't think on it too much, just letting myself drift into sleep.

By the time I wake up Tony is gone, the bed beside me still holding just the smallest hint of warmth, and maybe last night didn't change anything after all.

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