Bart's plan was working out perfectly.
Except for the part where it wasn't.
"Aren't you tired, Gar?" Bart asked, projecting concern into his voice. He only needed an objective hour of sleep a night, but Gar probably needed more.
Gar shook his head, eyes trained on the television. It was Endangered Species week on the Discovery Channel. "It's only ten, Bart, I'm fine," he said, waving a hand dismissively.
Bart sighed. So much for that plan.
Ten minutes later Plan B went into action.
"Hungry?" Bart asked, popping up behind Gar with a bowl of popcorn, three bags of different kinds of chips, some chocolate covered pretzels, six kinds of soda – diet, because the girls had done the shopping that week – and the three leftover cookies that Kon had brought from his aunt.
Gar actually looked away from the television for a moment. That was most likely only because it was a commercial break. His lips quirked up in a wry grin. "Bart, we just had dinner a few hours ago."
Bart shrugged helplessly; he was always hungry. And so were growing boys, right? Gar was nineteen, so still a teenager, and technically still a boy…
Sighing, Gar gamely took one of the cookies and a root beer, smiling in thanks, before going back to watching the section on tree sloths.
That plan hadn't worked, either.
Half an hour later, after watching the history of the narwhal – which wasn't really rare, but the horns used to be mistaken for unicorns', which was kind of cool – and the decline in the population of the Alabama Shad and Sturgeons, Bart zipped out to implement his third plan. He returned with two fluffy pillows and one snuggly warm blanket that had probably been knitted by Kon's aunt.
Joan used to knit a lot too, until her arthritis got too bad.
"Cold?" Bart asked, grinning as he held out the half of the blanket that wasn't wrapped around him. In truth, the blanket was too warm for him, but he'd purposely fiddled with the air vents in the room to make it colder, hoping against hope this plan would work.
Gar, dressed not in his insulating uniform, but in a pair of gym shorts and a ragged T-shirt, shrugged as he munched on the last of Kon's cookies. "I guess so."
Only…not, because Bart's plan had been for Gar to snuggle with him, and instead…instead Gar was just…sitting there, occasionally asking Bart to pass him some food or a drink. He wasn't cold enough to huddle for body heat.
Grife, it was annoying.
Another hour passed, as the two watched the history of the Asiatic Cheetah, the Amur Leopard, and the Iberian Lynx. The special then moved on to the segment on primates, and Bart found the information on the Golden Lion Tamarin – which was gold, but not a lion, nor from the planet Tamaran – rather interesting.
It also got progressively colder, and Gar actually moved closer to Bart, their sides touching.
Bart was almost giddy with excitement, but managed to keep himself from more than vibrating ever-so-slightly.
Finally, the special ended, after going over some recently extinct animals, such as the spotted owl and the dodo, and Gar stretched and yawned, showing more teeth than a shark.
"Would you like some warm milk?" Bart asked, proffering a small glass. It was buttermilk, and seasoned with nutmeg and cinnamon, which was the way Max had made eggnog at Christmas. Well, the eggnog he'd given Bart; his eggnog had also had several shots of rum in it.
Gar grinned at him and shook his head. "No thanks, Bart. I'm not really thirsty."
"Oh." Bart fiddled with the glass for a moment, before downing it himself. Waste not, want not, right? Only…he still kinda wanted Gar. Less with the 'kinda' and more with the…more.
"You feeling okay?" Gar asked, looking a mite concerned.
Bart shook his head – then remembered Plan E. "Uh…yeah," he adlibbed quickly. "I just…haven't been sleeping well lately." He'd been worrying about his plan, actually, and after deciding he needed more than one, had come up with one for each letter of the alphabet.
Though he'd been stretching by the time he'd reached Q.
"Nightmares?" Gar said, grimacing empathetically. "I can relate." He brightened, and snapped his fingers. "Hey, since the girls are doing some sleepover thing with Raven and Mia, why don't you hang out in my room tonight?"
"You…want to have a sleepover with me?" Bart asked, trying to hide his excitement. He managed to keep from bouncing, at least. Finally, his plans were working!
"Well, not in the same way that Robin and Superboy are having a sleepover, if you get my drift," Gar said with a smirk, "but sure."
Bart almost deflated; the whole point of his plans was for him and Gar to end up like Tim and Kon. Eventually.
But at least this was a step in the right direction.
"C'mon, Bart; I have bunk beds," Gar added enticingly, with a fanged grin.
"I know," Bart said before he thought. He'd seen them when he'd 'borrowed' a pair of Gar's underwear. And if people wanted to think it was because he and Gar were almost the same size and he didn't have the patience to do his own laundry, well, he'd let them.
And just wouldn't let anyone know that he kept the underwear – black cotton boxers – in a special box underneath his bed at home.
"You do? Oh, okay. But you can have the top bunk if you want."
"Um…I don't want. I don't really like heights." He didn't hate them, but he couldn't run in midair, and that was always worrying.
"Cool. C'mon, you brush your teeth, change into your PJs, and meet me in my room. Make sure to bring an extra pillow."
"Okay," Bart said, and waited pensively until Gar left the room before he did a little victory dance.
Finally! He'd gotten Gar to let him care for him; it couldn't be too much harder to get Gar to fall in love with him.