Hal has been living at Honolulu Heights for over two months when he turns to Tom after work, during a lull in the middle of a television program. "…would you like to get a pint sometime?" He asks, and the question is every bit as awkward as the first time he did, in the cafe, and from the expression on Tom's face as he looks at him, he remembers that time far too clearly.
"Not goin'ta be some kind of attack again or somefin', is there?" Tom asks him, and he expected the question but it still stings a little.
"No, of course not," Hal tells him simply, and there's a moment's pause as Tom takes him and the question and the answer in, and tries to make the decision. He nods though, in the end.
Even as Tom turns his attention back to the television, Hal smiles, small and still somewhat nervous.
And it's not until the next night at the pub that he realizes what he intended of the invitation wasn't actually heard, and somewhere in the middle of the date it turns into just a night out. To a declaration of such when he realizes how far into it Tom even registers the idea of what it might have been. "It's just a pint," muttered low, with a smile that doesn't reach his eyes.
The night ends early and Hal finds himself in his room, listening to music, alone, and considering what grade of fool he must have been to not only consider the idea, but to follow through with it as well, and then to not realize that he hadn't even made his intentions clear. It's just as well though.
It's late, when Tom knocks on his door and then comes into his room, clearing his throat as Hal looks at him, questioningly. "I was jus' thinkin', and.. what was tha', really? At the pub tonigh'. It was alrigh', whateva it was, but wha' wassit meant t'be?"
Hal gives a smile that's almost a grimace, turning away from Tom and fingering the domino beside him on the bed almost carefully. "It's whatever you thought it was," he tells him, simply.
"Tha's not what I asked ya, Hal." Tom tells him, something firm in his voice, for all the expression of vague concern on his face. Hal shakes his head, uneasily.
"It was originally intended as a date, but…" He trails off to regain his focus, and before he can speak again, Tom has spoken up.
"Like I said, it was…alrigh'." Tom pauses, and contemplates his words for a moment before speaking again, his gaze down and slightly to one side. "…well, I mean, technic'ly it was prolly a sor' of rubbish date. Not that I've been on any o' me own, mind, but it seems like 's just bad manners to change your mind abou'it mid-way through. I reckon you owe me another."
There's silence for a moment as Hal looks at him, a small, disbelieving smile growing on his face. "…I'm…very sorry, Tom. In that case, would you care to join me again tonight, once we're off work?"
Tom turns back to look at him and nods, his expression almost satisfied, and a small smile tugging just barely at the corner of his lips. "Sounds alrigh'. Y'know… you really aren' good at all at the chattin' up, jus' like I said. Couldn' even tell you were askin' me out the last time."
Hal laughs, and Tom joins in a moment later.