Alder '05: Untitled

Nathan closed his eyes and leaned back. He toyed lightly with the hair nestled on his lap and sighed as the head snuggled into his belly. It had been a long day full of drudgery, leaving them all exhausted by the monotony of it all. They hadn't had a crack on a case in weeks, so Travis had taken the opportunity to get them caught up on overdue training and regulatory procedures. Today had been a lecture on maintaining emotional health under stress and a class on using the newest computer form submission system. That had been followed by several hours processing forms on that new system, follow up reports on old reports, filling out forms to request files on random obscure criminals who may or may not in any way have been involved or related to any of their current investigations.

There had been some excitement; JD had spent an hour in what he called a `heated discussion' (the guys called it a `rousing cat fight') with one of the support techs over installing a particular anti-hacking program on Chris' laptop, which JD insisted would interfere with the enhanced anti-hacking program JD had already installed. Buck had eventually broken up the argument by telling the support techs to take it up with Travis' office if they wanted to go further, but that JD had the final say on Team Seven's computers.

Then had come the big coffee incident. David Hershberg of Team Nine had made the mistake of taking the last of the coffee from the pantry coffee pot and put it back on the burner without setting a new pot to brew. In front of Josiah. Who had seen the need to point out how rude this was. Which resulted in Hershberg – not know as someone who appreciated self-enlightenment – making a rude remark about Team Seven's dandy undercover agent and long-haired sharpshooter.

Which led to another thrown punch by Josiah. Which led to another black eye for Hershberg. Which led to another anger management assignment for the big man. Which led to more paperwork for Chris. Which had led to Chris yelling at the team out of frustration for at least an hour before Buck had finally pushed Chris into his office and closed the door behind them for an hour.

The head under his fingers shifted slightly, and Nathan realized he had stopped stroking it. His hand rested lightly on the soft hair, feeling the head settle and still again, hearing a gentle sigh escape. His lover had been having so many headaches lately, it was a blessing when he could finally settle down and sleep. They had been sitting here since an hour after they got home, at Nate's insistence. After such a long and irritating week of nothingness, followed by this long day of irritating redundancies and stupidity, tonight's headache had been a royal bitch and Nate had insisted they were just going to let everything else go and relax.

There had been a fast light meal of scrambled eggs and garlic toast, and then Nate had settled them on the sofa in front of a gentle fire. He had turned off all the lights, warmed a nice brandy, and offered a shoulder massage. They had sat quietly for hours until he had felt the muscles until his hands relax and the shoulders slump slightly into sleep. It was probably the first time in a week at least that the man had relaxed enough to sleep well.

Nathan sipped at his brandy, closing his eyes again. It was nice, sitting here in the quiet. He listed to the crackle of the fire, the crickets chirping in night, and he smiled. They didn't get enough moments like this, just peaceful and uncomplicated.

And Ezra was sleeping through the whole thing.

Nathan smiled to himself and took another sip.

Too bad tomorrow was another day.