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[personal profile] rensahannou
Title: I Like Where You Sleep (When You Sleep Next to Me)
Disclaimer: Not my boys, although I kind of love them like they were.
Pairings/Characters: Kendall/Carlos
Rating: G
Word Count: ~2500
Warnings: sick grandparent, fluff under non-fluffy circumstances

Summary: Carlos's grandma is in the hospital, but Kendall makes even the worst situations much more bearable.

Author's Notes: A birthday present for the lovely Manda ([personal profile] shisou_eimin), based on a couple of completely unrelated prompts from her. ♥

Title is from "(Here) In Your Arms" by Hellogoodbye because it started playing on Pandora while I was trying to think of a title for this fic, and I had never heard the song before but it fit and I needed a title, so.



----

Carlos can't sleep. He's been awake for a while now, trying to focus on Kendall's breathing to lure himself back to sleep because that's what's been helping him through these last few nights, but this is the morning they have to go back and so he's probably awake for good.

He doesn't know how he's going to handle it, going back. Because it's only been a few nights but he's already used to it; used to sharing this tiny space with Kendall, used to the warmth and the closeness and the mostly-steady breathing. Used to the arm that starts off wrapped around him, never really stays there, but somehow finds its way back in the morning. He's even used to the way Kendall doesn't hold still in his sleep, and the strange sounds he makes sometimes.

Carlos is used to Kendall being there at night now, and he's not sure how he's going to handle sleeping alone again. Especially when the situation isn't any better than it was when they got here.

It's not any worse, at least, but Carlos's grandma is still in the hospital and now he can't stay with her during the day, because he has to get back to work. Back to L.A. Kendall got him as much time as he could, but now it's run out. Carlos has to leave his parents, his sisters, his sick grandma, and try to get through the nights without Kendall by his side.

He's taking in a breath to let out a heavy sigh when something cold touches his calf and the breath turns into a sharp gasp instead. Carlos makes a face as he pushes back against Kendall's foot, trying to get it away from him. That's one thing he hasn't gotten used to yet: Kendall's cold feet at night. He's tried to get Kendall to wear socks to bed but Kendall says he can't sleep with them on, so it ends up being a battle at least once a night because Kendall just can't hold still. And his feet are cold. After a couple nights of Carlos complaining Kendall suggested he just wear long pants to bed, but Carlos pouted a little and mumbled something about skin contact and Kendall dropped the subject. Which left them back at square one.

Usually Carlos pushes a bit and manages to maneuver Kendall's feet away from him, if only for a while, but this morning—this early, early morning—Kendall's unconscious body seems determined to cuddle, and Carlos's unsuccessful attempts at wriggling away from his stupid cold feet are making him grumpy and he pushes out again, hard, with all four of his limbs and—

—pushes Kendall right off the bed.

He lands with a thump and a belated "oof" and Carlos is scrambling to the edge of the bed, looking down wide-eyed and worried and saying "I'm sorry!" even as Kendall blinks awake.

"Did you just push me off the bed?" Kendall asks, looking up. His voice is sleepy and cute and maybe a little amused and Carlos feels terrible.

"I didn't mean to!" Carlos says, his eyebrows furrowing in embarrassment. "I just—your feet—"

Kendall laughs lightly, cutting off Carlos's stuttered explanation, and holds a hand up. Carlos takes it, but before he can brace himself to help Kendall up Kendall pulls and Carlos tumbles right off the bed and half on top of him. They both grunt a little that time.

One of Kendall's arms wraps around Carlos and the other reaches up to tug the blanket off the bed. "Now you can't push me off again," Kendall tells him after the blanket settles over them. Carlos smiles in spite of himself and mumbles another apology into Kendall's shoulder.

"Did I wake you up?" Kendall asks.

Carlos shakes his head. "Woke up a while ago. Couldn't get back to sleep."

"Do you want to go back to sleep?"

Carlos shrugs. "Dunno."

There's a short pause before Kendall speaks again. "Do you wanna stop by the hospital before we go to the airport?"

Kendall's rubbing soft circles on Carlos's back and Carlos had been relaxing under the touch but he tenses up at the question, and doesn't answer right away. "We have time," Kendall says, quietly. "If we get up now."

"She's probably asleep," Carlos says after a moment. "I don't want to wake her up. And we said goodbye yesterday, and everything."

"Okay," Kendall says, and Carlos can feel him nodding. "Do you want to get up now anyway? We can stop for breakfast somewhere. We can even wake up your family and make them come with us, if you want."

Carlos frowns a little, considering that. It would be nice. But having Kendall here like this is nice, too, and he doesn't want to give that up just yet. "I don't—" Carlos starts to say, then ducks his head to bury it against Kendall's chest. He shifts a little so he can work an arm under Kendall's back, and squeezes him tight. "I don't wanna waste this."

Kendall makes a sound, just a soft little exhale, and then his hand comes up to run along Carlos's arm. "Yeah, me either, but—you know what? I don't—we can—this doesn't have to stop when we go home, Carlos."

Carlos lifts his head and raises up enough to blink down at Kendall. Kendall opens his eyes and looks steadily back. He's blushing, and it makes Carlos feel warm. "It doesn't?"

"Not if you don't want it to."

"I don't," Carlos says immediately, hastily, and Kendall grins at him.

"Me either."

Carlos feels himself grinning in response, and then he's leaning in to press a quick kiss against Kendall's jaw before hopping up, throwing the blanket off in the process. "Okay then, let's go wake everyone up for breakfast!"

Kendall groans and makes a half-hearted grab for the blanket, but Carlos takes his arms and starts hauling him to his feet before he can try cocooning himself back up.

Carlos still doesn't want to leave his family, not like this, but braving the trip back is so much easier now, knowing he'll have Kendall by his side tonight, too.

* * * *

They're sitting at the airport terminal with 40 minutes go to before they can board the plane and it's obvious Carlos is starting to miss those lost hours of sleep. Kendall's tired too, but Carlos got even less sleep than he did and the Garcia family parting ceremonies were full of exuberant hugs and lots of tears and probably would've been exhausting on even a full night's sleep. Plus it's still early, technically.

What all of this means is that Carlos is slumped against Kendall and yawning loudly every couple minutes while Kendall tries not to laugh or stick his finger in Carlos's open mouth each time. Carlos and coffee don't mix well but the trip from the car was freezing and the airport itself is chilly so Kendall got them both hot chocolate on their way to the gate. Carlos has been sipping at his sparingly, mostly just using it to warm his hands.

"I can get the blanket out, if you want," Kendall says after Carlos snuggles even closer against him.

"Hmm?"

"The blanket from your carry-on, sleepyhead," Kendall tells him, tugging on his hoodie strings with a smile. "I can get it if you're cold."

"Okay," Carlos says, yawning again.

Kendall flicks Carlos on the cheek with the string. "Sit up a minute or you're gonna fall over," he says, and Carlos does, his face scrunched in adorably sleepy grumpiness and Kendall ducks down, reaching for the bags at their feet to hide his smile.

The circumstances are terrible, but there's no denying he likes spending time with Carlos like this, away from everyone else. Carlos's grandma getting sick right before Christmas had made the holiday somber for everyone, and no one wanted to leave while she was still in the hospital, but the band had an appearance scheduled a few days after Christmas. Disappointing their fans like that wasn't something they wanted to do, either, so James and Logan reluctantly went back to California as planned. Gustavo had wanted Kendall to come back, too, but Kendall informed him he'd be staying right where Carlos needed him and that was the end of that.

Which is how they ended up sharing a bed, because at night, it turns out, that's exactly where Carlos needs him to be. Convincing Kendall's mom of that when they get back to California is going to be tricky, but Kendall's up to the challenge.

Pushing aside Carlos's helmet (which he hasn't been wearing much because Kendall doesn't appreciate it digging into his shoulder, or arm, or chest, or any other body part), Kendall finds the blanket and pulls it out, shaking it open before tucking it over both of them. Carlos immediately settles back against Kendall, burrowing down into the warmth. "Much better," he says, and Kendall can see the top of his cup peeking out of the blanket under Carlos's chin.

"Drink your hot chocolate, I'll keep your hand warm," Kendall says, taking Carlos's hand under the cover. Carlos's fingers tighten around his immediately, and Kendall can see the edge of a smile on his face. Kendall finishes off his own drink quickly, setting aside the empty cup so he has a hand free to adjust the blanket. He sort of wants to push Carlos off of his shoulder and lie down instead, his head in Carlos's lap, but the supportive protectiveness he's been feeling—well, feeling more than usual—in the wake of the family emergency won't let him.

"How much longer till we can get on the plane?" Carlos asks after a loud sip from his cup.

Kendall glances over at the clock on the wall. "Almost half an hour."

Carlos groans, rubbing his face against Kendall's shoulder. "That's so long," he says, dragging out the word. "Don't let me fall asleep."

"I won't," Kendall says, not needing to ask why. A 30-minute airport nap would just make Carlos even more tired when he woke up. He will probably sleep through the entire plane ride, though. "Can I go to sleep, though?"

"No," Carlos says, unwrapping his fingers from their entwined hands just enough to poke Kendall in the leg. "You can't keep me from sleeping if you're sleeping."

"Yeah, I guess you have a point." Kendall hooks his foot around Carlos's ankle and pulls it a little, just because he can.

They sit in cozy silence while Carlos drinks his cocoa, and Kendall takes the cup for him when he's done. Once his hand's free Carlos grabs at Kendall's sweater and leverages himself up, kissing Kendall's jaw softly as he turns back from setting the cup aside. "Thank you," he says against Kendall's skin. It tickles a little; Kendall hasn't shaved in a couple days.

"For the cocoa?" Kendall asks, eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

"No, for—staying," Carlos says, the hand in Kendall's shirt tightening, pulling at the material.

"Oh." Kendall squeezes Carlos's hand before letting go and wrapping his arm around Carlos instead, hand coming to rest in the pocket of Carlos's hoodie. "That—of course I—" He stops, and turns to press his nose against Carlos's cheek, eyes closed.

"I couldn't not stay, Carlos," Kendall finally says. "I'm just sorry we couldn't stay longer."

"We could," Carlos says, letting go of Kendall's shirt. Kendall settles back in his seat again, watching Carlos. "It was my decision to go back now, remember?"

"No, it was your grandma's," Kendall corrects him, lips quirking up at the corner.

Carlos laughs, bright and unexpected. "Okay, yeah. But she was right. A charity concert is important enough to go back for."

"And she'll be out of the hospital soon anyway," Kendall adds, tightening his arm around Carlos a little.

"Yeah," Carlos says, but his voice is subdued.

"We can come back after the concert, if you want."

The offer's made impulsively; Gustavo will throw a fit if they try to leave again so soon, and they do have responsibilities, but…Kendall really can't bring himself to care, especially when Carlos turns to him with a hopeful, grateful smile. "Yeah?"

Kendall nods, and Carlos leans in to kiss him again, on the temple this time, before collapsing against his side once more.

"Airports are different when it's just us," Carlos says sometime later, batting Kendall's hand away from his hoodie strings for maybe the fourth time.

Kendall takes his job of not letting Carlos fall asleep seriously, so he goes right back to tugging on the strings. It's probably a better distraction plan than letting his hand drift down to Carlos's thigh, at least. "Yeah, they are. Much quieter."

Carlos chuckles. "Only 'cause we're so tired."

"Yeah, probably." Kendall yawns, and it makes Carlos laugh again, a little sleepily.

An announcement comes on the speakers then saying they'll begin boarding soon, and Carlos sits up and stretches. The arm Kendall had wrapped around him is almost completely numb, but he won't complain about that this morning. "I'll throw the cups away," Carlos says, leaning over Kendall to grab them before standing up.

On his way back to their seats, Carlos sees Kendall watching him. "What?" he asks, coming to a stop a few feet away.

"Are you okay?" Kendall asks after a moment's hesitation. Carlos looks away for a second, his expression faltering.

"I don't know," Carlos says, meeting Kendall's eyes again. "I don't—really know how to handle this? But I know—I know it would be worse if…I had to handle it alone. I'm just really glad you're here, Kendall."

Kendall pushes the blanket off and stands up, and Carlos meets him in the middle of the distance between them. They're not usually as…open in public as they're being this morning, but Kendall hasn't even thought about caring, and his lips press against Carlos's forehead as their arms wrap around each other. They stand there, Carlos holding on tightly, Kendall just holding on, until Carlos takes a deep breath and lets it out in a slow sigh, some of the tension in his body going with it. Kendall squeezes a little harder, and rocks them back and forth a bit, until he feels Carlos smile against his neck.

They break apart and pack up the blanket before getting in line to board the plane. When they're standing around waiting and Carlos yawns again, mouth wide open and unprotected, Kendall can't help himself. Carlos makes a face and bites the finger Kendall stuck in his mouth, just hard enough to leave a mark, and Kendall laughs.

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