A/N: Firstly, HAPPY NEW YEAR, GUYS. Secondly, I seriously need to quit with all the Halex, don't I. XD At least this one's shameless fluff, no angst at all.
Warnings: Hank/Alex, slash, fluff, slight language, alcohol (I'm assuming that the drinking age in NY was 18 at this time, or the characters were all 21 ... eh, IDGAF).
Disclaimer: I don't own. Title inspired by 'Happy New Year' from RENT. Whoever spots the RENT line gets Hank, Alex, Sean, Erik, and Charles, all naked and covered in chocolate.
"Well, look at that dumbass."
Hank obediently glances downwards to see Sean Cassidy, dead to the world on the floor and snoring softly to boot. His mouth is half open, an empty bottle of beer still clutched in one hand. Of a six pack, Sean's had four, and at least one other bottle that Hank believes he either purchased by itself or had stored somewhere (he wouldn't put it past Sean to have a secret stash of alcohol hidden away).
"Punk," Alex says, sounding vaguely amused. "I can't believe he couldn't make it to midnight." He nudges Sean with the toe of his sneaker, but then gives up and leaves the orange-haired mutant alone.
"Well," Hank replies reasonably, "When you've consumed as much alcohol as he has this evening –,"
Alex rolled his eyes. "No lectures, Beast."
Hank sighs. "Sorry," he mutters.
"Maybe that should be your resolution," Alex says. "You know, for New Year's. Quit being such a know-it-all." Hank's gaze darts back to Alex's face quickly, but there's no malice in his expression. Alex raises his eyebrows at Hank as though to say "what?" and casually takes a sip of his own beer.
After a moment, Alex bends down and picks up a beer from the six-pack by Sean – the last bottle in the pack. "Here," he offers.
Hank shakes his head. "No, thank you," he says, wrinkling his nose with distaste.
"Why not?" Alex inquires, still holding the beer out, his long, thin fingers wrapped loosely around the neck of the bottle. "I know it's not champagne, but beer's all me and Sean could afford, and we didn't want to steal any of the Professor's expensive shit."
Hank shakes his head. "I'm not trying to be – uppity," he says honestly. "Alcohol just doesn't appeal to me anymore."
"What, your taste buds too sensitive?"
"That, and there's really no point in it," Hank says after a moment. "People drink alcohol to become intoxicated, don't they? My body is so – large now that one beer is hardly enough to affect me. And it doesn't taste good enough for me to drink it just for that."
Alex hums a little in agreement, and Hank blushes slightly at the sound. "Guess I see your point," he says, bending to set the bottle back down on the floor. "I'll just leave it for Sean. Even if he's hung-over tomorrow, he won't turn down a beer."
"You could drink it," Hank points out.
Alex just stares at him. "Oh, yes, the guy who has power-control issues should totally get drunk."
Hank blinks. "Oh. Good point."
"Yeah," Alex says dully, turning his gaze back to the television screen. The library is lit by only one nearby lamp and by the gray glow of the television, but Hank's night vision is such that he can make out everything around them. "One's my limit."
Hank isn't sure what to say for a moment. The semi-silence (Sean's still snoring and the TV is still going) between them isn't uncomfortable, but it's not exactly pleasant, either. Hank watches Alex's Adam's apple bob as he takes a sip of his drink. Watching his Adam's apple leads Hank's gaze to Alex's perfect jawline, to his cheekbone, his strong nose, his slightly spiky hair . . .
It takes Hank a minute to notice that Alex has turned to look at him again. "Hey, Hank, maybe you should take a picture. It'll probably last longer."
"Oh, I doubt that," Hank says unthinkingly, vaguely dazed and definitely embarrassed. "I have an excellent memory."
"'Course you do, you're a genius," Alex mutters under his breath. Strangely, he hasn't shifted his gaze; he's still looking Hank right in the face. "You want to remember my face or something?"
"I doubt I could ever forget it," Hank admits. He has to drop his gaze, he just has to, because he's too awkward for this, damn it!
When he chances a glance back at Alex, the blond mutant is grinning slightly, a hint of white teeth showing. "Damn, I must have one pretty face."
Hank rolls his yellow eyes. "If they could bottle your ego –,"
"Trust me, they can't," Alex says. "My ego's pretty damn big."
I will completely ignore that double entendre. Hank sighs and shakes his head. "You're a piece of work," he says without thinking.
"I know," Alex says. "So are you."
Hank has two contradictory urges: one to bristle and growl, and another to hide his face in embarrassment. He says nothing, looking instead at the TV.
"So," Alex says after a moment of silence as they both listen to the quiet babble of the television and the soft snuffle of Sean's breathing. "Are you making any resolutions? Besides the whole know-it-all thing?"
"No," Hank admits. I've only ever made one resolution before, and it's been to find a cure for my problem. And when I carried out that resolution, look at what happened to me. On second thought, don't.
Hank can hear Alex swallow when he finishes his beer – not because the sound is abnormally loud, but because his hearing is so perceptive. Even though it's been two months now, he's still adjusting to being able to hear every little thing. "I am," Alex said. "I'm making a resolution to start being nicer to people. To you in particular."
Hank's eyes probably resemble large yellow saucers right now. "Are you – serious?"
"Dead – what?"
"Dead serious, dumb—," Alex begins sarcastically, before he stops. "Dead serious, Hank."
Hank pauses. "It's still this year," he says. "You could have still called me a – a dumbass."
"I didn't want to," Alex says, his voice quiet. "Force of habit. You're not a dumbass, Hank."
"Sometimes I am," Hank mumbles.
"No, you're not," Alex says. "You're a genius. You're so smart, Hank."
Hank's cheeks feel like his face has been hit by one of Alex's plasma beams. "Thank you," he says, sheepish.
Alex is quiet for a second, the silence again slightly awkward. "How long til next year?" he finally asks.
"Three-and-a-half minutes," Hank says, after lifting a huge furry arm to check his watch (a Christmas gift from the Professor, since his old one no longer fits).
Alex sighs. "I can't believe it's almost 1963," he murmurs after a short pause. "I started out this year in solitary confinement. Now look where I am."
"I started out this year working for the government," Hank replies. With an honesty that frightens him, he goes on, "I started out this year – normal. As normal as I ever could have been, that is. And now look where I am."
Surprising Hank, Alex reaches out and touches Hank's arm lightly. His touch is shockingly gentle, his hand warm and soft. "But it's a new beginning, Hank. You should start the new year out right. Be proud of who you are, and all that jazz."
"I don't know if that's possible," Hank admits softly, looking down at the pale hand on his forearm and then back up at Alex. On the television, a countdown has begun (ten, nine, eight), but Hank is hardly aware of it, because Alex has started to lean in close, his eyes trained on Hank's face.
"Anything's possible, Hank."
Alex is so close now, so close. Five, four, three.
"Anything." Two, one. Happy New Year.
And then Alex kisses him, and someone on the television is cheering, and the world clicks into a new year, and nothing changes except for this, this moment, this moment where Alex is kissing Hank.
Hank's large blue hands come up to cup Alex's face, and the next thing he knows, he's kissing back. Alex tastes of beer and, under that, something sweet – like gum drops. It's a little surprising (honestly, he would have expected cigarettes or cinnamon or something masculine), and Hank would ask when Alex ate gum drops, but it's a little hard to do that and keep kissing, and the only thing Hank wants to do in the world is keep kissing.
Eventually, Alex pulls back slightly. His face is still cradled in Hank's hands, and his eyes are bright in the luminescent glow of the television. Hank removes one hand, and slides the other one down to rest on Alex's neck. He's, quite frankly, in shock.
"Why did you do that?" he asks after a moment.
"Tradition," Alex says. "You're supposed to kiss someone at midnight on New Year's."
"But you kissed me," Hank whispers.
"Yeah," Alex murmurs. "And I'm going to kiss you again in about half a second." Alex proceeds to make good on his word.
They part again after a moment, and Hank is half an inch from dying of confusion or squealing like a giddy teenage girl (luckily, he's pretty sure squealing is impossible for him, in this form).
"This kissing me thing," Hank says slowly, feeling unusually ineloquent. "Is it just going to be a thing on New Year's?"
"I plan on doing it as often as you'll let me," Alex says, a grin starting to appear.
"You really want to kiss me," Hank says, awed. "You want to kiss me. You like me. Like that."
"Your powers of deduction never cease to amaze me, Doctor McCoy."
"You're entirely too sarcastic for someone with a hand right next to their throat."
Alex grins outright. "You're entirely too talkative for someone who could still be kissing me."
Hank has to admit that Alex has a valid point. So he kisses Alex again, and only breaks the kiss when Alex starts to wiggle slightly. "Is there a problem?" he asks, nervous.
"Still need oxygen," Alex points out breathlessly. "Your lungs are bigger than mine now, I guess."
"Probably," Hank agrees. There's a brief pause, and then he says, "I've come up with a resolution. To kiss you as often as possible."
Hank might be a little in love with that mischievous smirk of Alex's. Or maybe just a little in love with Alex in general. "We can – er – do other things, I suppose," he babbles.
Alex is leaning in for another kiss when they're interrupted by Sean, who has chosen that moment to roll over on the floor and let out an extremely loud snore. Alex pokes Sean with a toe again. "Forgot about him. Glad to see he's still alive."
"I wonder what his resolution is," Hank muses, with a friendly sort of affection. Everything suddenly seems so pleasant, now that Alex is so near and warm and kissable.
"To stop drinking and smoking pot," Alex says.
Hank quirks an eyebrow. "I predict that will last less than twenty-four hours."
"I give it twelve," Alex says. "What about yours? How long will the whole kissing me as often as possible thing last?"
"Hopefully, forever," Hank says, and leans close again to carry out his promise.
A/N: OMG SAPPIEST ENDING EVER. I am a little ashamed. Reviews make me happy.