Title: Sleeping Arrangements
Disclaimer: Not mine. ITV's. Never mine.
Summary: Just what WERE the sleeping arrangements during those 3+ days of the team staying at Buchan's?
I always assumed that the team stayed at Buchan's house during the ending of the case, but my thinking may be incorrect. This isn't my best writing, but It's not awful. Enjoy!
There were five people and 3 bedrooms. This presented a problem right from the start. Buchan automatically stayed in his own bedroom as it was his house that the team were working from and Miles quickly got the second single bedroom on account of his 'bad back', which none of the other detectives could dispute. After looking at the remaining bedroom and detectives', Mansell, weighed up his options and promptly took the sofa, his excuse being 'I'd rather sleep on this than share a bed with either of you two.'
This left Kent and Chandler the third bedroom, which incidentally, had a double bed. A small one, which would barely fit two grown men, but still a double bed. This was what led them to this moment at past one in the morning, everyone else having gone to bed, Chandler sitting on one side of the bed, his posture decidedly tense, his back straight and ridged with his face set in a frown. While Kent stood at the sink in the bathroom next door, brushing his teeth and intentionally delaying the moment he would have to return to the small room which held his boss and the bed.
There was still a slight awkwardness between them since Kent had returned to the team the evening before, but that was to be expected, both men had acted untrustworthy and hastily in the last few months. But the aching feeling of guilt in Kent's stomach about having lied to Chandler about the burglary was still there, weighing heavily on his conscious and he could sense that Chandler was feeling more than guilty about his dismissal and sharp treatment of the young man the last time he'd seen him. But now the two men would be sharing a bed, for a whole night. Together.
Kent let out a noise that was somewhere between a sigh and a whimper as he looked at himself in the mirror, the current twisting feeling in his stomach having nothing to do with guilt and everything to do with nerves. He would just have to grit his teeth and bear it, while trying not to imagine that the two of them were in the same bed for another reason!
His feelings for the boss were evident to anyone who cared to look, but luckily most didn't. He thought that Miles had an idea and maybe Mansell was starting to twig, but at the moment there were much more important things going on than the youngest team' member's unrequited crush.
He wiped a hand over his face and sighed again, the sound almost echoing through the quiet house, before gathering his things, turning the light off and making his way back into the bedroom. He found Chandler in the same position as he'd left him, sitting on the edge of the bed.
When he entered Chandler immediately stood up from the bed as if burned, his eyes following the young man closely as he put his toothbrush in the small bag he'd brought from his flat. Out of the corner of his eye Kent looked over at the other man.
He was wearing a plain white short sleeved shirt and baggy black drawstring sleep trousers, an outfit very similar to Kent's, who was wearing a dark gray shirt and loose fitting black boxers. He usually preferred to sleep in just his underwear or nothing at all, and imagined that Chandler was the same, but due to the current circumstances both men felt that sleep wear was a must.
The young man then stood up straight and walked over to the opposite side of the bed that Chandler stood at, giving a lopsided smile that screamed out his awkwardness even more than his folded arms and flushed cheeks.
"Typical aint it sir?" Kent spoke softly, trying to break the tension.
Chandler looked up and frowned.
The young man's blushed deepened.
"One too few beds sir. Could only happen to us. " the lopsided grin reappeared.
"Oh, yes. It definitely isn't the most comfortable of situations." Chandler's voice showed no trace of humour and his posture was still ridged and tense. This almost standoffishness only increased Kent's doubts and unease.
"If-If you want sir I could, I could sleep on the floor, I'm-I'm sure there are some spare blankets around here somewhere." He offered, shifting awkwardly from one foot to the other, already glancing around in search of the aforementioned blankets.
This brought a reaction from the older man, who quickly looked up and raised his hands with the palms facing upwards in an placating gesture. "No, no Kent, I didn't mean it like that, of course you're not going to sleep on the floor, you have just as much right as me to sleep in the bed."
That was when the DI gave Kent the first genuine smile of the evening that had the immediate calming effect that Chandler had hoped it would have.
"Come on, It's late and we have a lot of work to do in the next few days." The older man then reached over and silently turned off the single bedside lamp that, up until then had been casting a soft yellow glow across the room, but now had plunged it into almost complete darkness, save for the sliver of light that came in from the streetlamps outside the window, allowing the men to just make out each other's shadows and outlines.
Kent found that he felt more comfortable in the pitch black, he didn't have to look awkwardly at his boss and neither could he see the other's facial expressions and reactions to having to share the bed.
Kent nodded (though he knew Chandler couldn't see it). "OK." Before gripping one corner of the duvet, pulling it back and climbing into the bed, careful not to brush the other man in any way as he felt his form moving next to him.
It was a few seconds before both men were comfortable, Chandler preferring to lay on his back and Kent curled up on his side facing away from his bed partner. Even though neither man was particularly large there was only a gap of less than 10 centimetres between their bodies, which was small enough so that they could feel each others body heat and any movements that the other made.
Both men could still feel the charge of awkwardness in the room, neither yet comfortable with their close proximity. But Kent determinedly closed his eyes, curled up tighter and burrowed his face deeper into the pillow.
He heard and felt Chandler turn his head to face him. "Goodnight Kent."
The young man could still sense the blue eyes fixed on his back, even in the dark and fell asleep with a tiny smile on his face.
It was some hours later, though not quite morning when Kent groaned quietly as he was gently pulled from his sleep, softly shifting his body under the covers and pressing his face further into the material of the pillow case, attempting to stop his body from waking up properly.
With another low groan he moved slightly on his side, pushing backwards into the comforting warmth behind him. It took Kent a second to realise what the warmth was and when he did his eyes flew open and his entire body tensed. The young man could feel the solid form of Chandler pressed against him, the older man' chest flush against his back, the tops of his thighs against the back of Kent's and one arm resting over the slim, and unfortunately, t-shirt covered waist. If he concentrated really hard he could even feel Chandler's warm breath on the back of his neck, tickling his skin and sending shivers up and down his spine.
From what Kent could tell, Chandler was still fast asleep and blissfully unaware of the predicament and flushed state that the young man was in. After a minute Kent bit his lip gently, before experimentally pressing backwards to see if Chandler was indeed asleep, and if he wasn't he could always claim that HE was asleep.
There was no reaction from the form behind him, so Kent concluded that he was indeed asleep. Though the feeling of having someone he was attracted to pressed so close to him was starting to show its effects and Kent was feeling decidedly flustered.
The young man hardly dared to move and found that his entire body was extremely tense, his muscles frozen in one position. He risked a slight turn of his head and upper body so that he could look behind him at Chandler.
His body automatically relaxed when the face of his boss came into view. Chandler's eyes were closed and his face more tranquil than Kent had ever seen it. The worry and frown lines that usually occupied the space on the other man's forehead and around his eyes had smoothed out and disappeared, taking several years off of Chandler's appearance and making him look peaceful and undamaged.
Kent decided that he liked seeing Joe like that.
The DC slowly reached out one hand, the sudden urge to touch the other man's face overwhelming. But just as his fingertips were about to make contact Chandler shifted in his sleep, startling Kent and causing him to pull his hand away guiltily. He held his breath for a moment, until he was sure that Chandler had finished moving, before taking another lingering look at his bosses sleep relaxed face, and contently turned back so that he was in his original position with the DI's body pressed firmly against his back.
The young man blinked repeatedly trying to keep his eyes open. He didn't want to fall asleep again, he wanted to stay awake so that he could savour every moment that his own body and Joe's were fitted closely together like two corresponding jigsaw pieces. In his head Kent counted each slow, steady breath that Chandler took as his chest moved against the smaller man's back, and if he kept very still, he could even feel the soft thump of his bosses heart against his skin, the feeling eventually lulling Emerson into sleep, despite his valiant attempts to remain awake.
The next morning, that was how Miles found them, and instead of waking the two men up, he smirked and backed slowly out of the room, shutting the door behind him and leaving Kent and Chandler curled up together. He then spent the rest of the morning sitting in Buchan's living room working on the case, waiting for the priceless moment when the two men would emerge, with matching blushes on their cheeks and barely restrained smiles hidden only by the seriousness of the teams current situation.