Aftermath

A groan escaped from the knot of limbs that was sprawled out across the rug by the hearth of the fireplace, the floor about the tangle littered with empty plastic cups and used napkins, as well as the occasional stray piece of abandoned clothing. Peering down his nose, Tony could see that the floor lamp originally belonging in the corner by the couch was now looming much closer to his head than it should have been. There were also a dizzying number of nebulous stains spattered about the room. Several chairs had been toppled to the floor during festivities, and now laid fallen, noble veterans of battle.

Anthony's apartment looked as if it had been struck by a tornado. Which it might as well have been; if it had been a tornado, he could've wrestled insurance money out of the freak disaster. Unfortunately, his insurance plan did not cover wild New Year's Eve parties, and he was left to salvage whatever he could from the wreckage on his own (which, of course, meant enlisting the help of whatever poor sap he could corner). He also couldn't think through much with the god awful hammering that was occurring behind his eyelids. The fact that he and Sean were wrapped intimately around one another barely registered in his hazed mind.

"Oh god." Sean cracked his eyes open and groaned again. "God, the fucking sun." There was a flash of bloodshot blue eyes, before Sean squeezed his eyelids shut again, burying his head into the convenient shoulder in front of him, trying desperately to escape the brilliant light that burned through his eye sockets.

Anthony grunted responsively and tried to roll over only to succeed in twisting his calf further around Sean's thigh, so that his inner knee was hooked over and around the ridge of muscle just above Sean's kneecap.

"Who the fuck spiked the eggnog?"

"Sean, you bastard, you did."

Sean's shoulders started shaking, his laughter muffled against the muscle of Anthony's shoulder. "I did, didn't I?" he asked, and Tony could barely hear him through the pounding in his head and the cloth of his shirt.

"Yes, you bastard. And then you made me drink that shit. What the fuck did you put in it?" Tony struggled into a sitting position, propping himself up cautiously, his weight resting precariously on one arm. Squinting his eyes into slits, he tried to raise his other arm to shield the sun away, only to find it wrapped around Sean's torso, his hand resting on his hip, the other man's weight cutting off his circulation.

"Urg," Sean groaned intelligently, his head falling heavily to the floor as his pillow moved away. "Ow, fuck it. Stop fucking moving, Tony." He chuckled after a moment, moving his head further into the shadow provided by Anthony's upper body, his nose against the small of the man's back. "I can't remember what I put in it," he murmured, lips curled into a ridiculous grin, his breath gusting against the fabric of Anthony's shirt. "You smell good," he added thoughtfully, his fingers curling instinctively over Tony's wrist.

"Quite a feat, considering how much crap people spilled on me last night. And it fucking figures. We can't call Poison Control Center if we don't know what the hell we've been poisoned with." Tony tried to shake his hair back from his face, but found was too snarled to move. Making an unintelligible noise of distress, he raised his arm to try to smooth it out, forgetting that is weight had been depending on the limb. Tipping over sideways with a grunt of surprise, he landed heavily on Sean's ribs.

"Oh god, ow. You're heavy as fuck, Tony."

Anthony sighed deeply, and began to disentangle himself from Sean. "You're a real sharp one when you're hung over, Sean." He pushed Sean's leg off his, and struggled to his feet, staggering into the kitchen, a plastic cup snapping under his foot.

Sean curled up on himself, arms moving to cover his head protectively. "I'm not hung over, I'm dying."

"Well, I am making coffee. If I can remember how without having shotguns go off inside my skull, and assuming you haven't somehow spiked the coffee too," Tony added caustically, tugging the shades down over the kitchen windows.

With a noise of recognition, Sean uncurled a little from his fetal position. "You have the best ideas sometimes, Tony."

"Oh god, no. You obviously weren't given the proper nickname; you're much more of a Spike than a Spot." Tony paused as he was reaching for the cabinet that held the coffee, his eyebrows furrowing in pain. "It actually hurts to be witty, right now."

Fighting his way to an unsteady standing position, Sean raised his hands to his temples, pressing his eyes shut in pain. "That was wit? Your brain has been scrambled like a kitten trying to screw a lawnmower." The taller man weaved his way into the kitchen, tugging a chair roughly out from the table, the feet of the chair skidding reluctantly along the linoleum. Tony winced as the floor squealed at the friction, and he worried briefly about scratches. Sean collapsed thankfully into the chair, stretching long legs out in front of him.

"You have an off-putting proclivity of violence towards animals."

"It's a result of the stress caused by being friends with certain people."

Tony turned to give him a dirty look, while pouring water into the coffee maker. Moodily, he dumped the cup into the sink, and stabbed a finger at the "start" button. He fell into the chair opposite Sean, hooking his ankles around the legs. "You can just kiss my ass, Spot."

"Happily. And you can stop sulking; I never mentioned any names. You just inferred that I meant you, Race." Sean leaned back in his chair and smirked, far smugger than any hung-over man should ever be. In Tony's opinion, anyway.

"I was being metaphorical! And I'm not sulking." Arms crossed over his narrow chest, Tony sunk lower into his chair, eyes fixed stormily on the tabletop, darkly considering gutting whoever had left the scar in the varnish. His eyes flicked up to Sean's face, saw that the man's smirk had grown even larger, and Tony snorted, eyebrows contorted in an expression of supreme annoyance. He licked his lips.

Sean stretched his arms out above his head, elbows popping, before twining them together behind is head, providing himself with a rather bony pillow. Tilting his head consideringly, he watched Tony fidget, eyes trailing down one arm and across tapping fingers. "So, have fun last night?" he asked, something odd in his voice.

"Yes. Until you told Ella that I have herpes." Tony lifted his head from his chest to glare at Sean, the bags under his eyes giving him a deeper aura of anger.

The blonde shrugged, making his head bob slightly due to the position his arms were in. "Not my fault the girl is so gullible. Besides, she wasn't good for you. It wouldn't have worked out." Sean's jaw tensed slightly, a sign that he was being put under duress, though he still maintained his cocky smirk.

Surging to his feet, Tony put his hands on the edge of the table, leaning forward, his face uncomfortably close to Sean's. "Yes Sean, and you always know what's going to work out. Which is why you've been in a fantastic relationship for such a long time- oh, wait, you haven't. You haven't dated anyone for months."

Sean opened his mouth to object, but Tony harshly cut him off. "So, tell me then; what's good for me? Or, really, who can I find who would be good enough that she could meet your standards? Please, tell me Sean, I'm at a loss here. Who would be ideal for me?"

Sean had inwardly been growing more and more agitated as Tony went on, though he managed a steady stare leveled at the man opposite him, his foot tapping against the floor frantically the only facet that belayed his nervousness.

"Well? I don't believe it, Sean 'Spot' Conlon at a loss of words?"

"Me! I'm good for you," Sean snapped, his patience breaking.

Tony paused, his mouth open and tongue ready with a barbed retort. "Oh," came out instead, and he fell back into his chair, looking surprised and slightly dazed.

"Yes, oh," Sean snarled, eyes flashing furiously.

Tony looked up at Sean, his eyes reflecting confusion and slight hurt at Sean's anger. "Sean, I..."

Sighing, Sean slid to his feet, grabbing his jacket off the kitchen counter. He slung it over his shoulder, anger replaced by defeat. "Look, Tony, just...think about it, before you reject me on principle, alright?" Tony looked at him blankly, the man's mind running in circles. "Okay," Sean muttered, turning to leave.

"Wait," Tony said, rising to his feet.

Sean turned around, eyebrows raised questioningly. He had one sleeve over his arm, the other dangling by his side. Tony grabbed the empty sleeve, yanking Sean back to his seat. Stumbling, Sean tipped over into the chair, bemused despite his worry.

"You can stay here while I think," Tony said, belatedly releasing Sean's sleeve. "I don't want you off being an idiot and probably fucking yourself over with alcohol, particularly after drinking whatever the hell you did last night. Regardless of what I decide, I care about you, and I don't want you getting hurt," he snapped, before dropping back into his own chair, crossing his arms over his chest again, and staring fiercely at the floor, his eyebrows furrowed in concentration.

Against his better judgment, Sean smiled to himself, hopeful.

And as Tony thought about it, the silence was filled by the friendly gurgling of the coffee maker.

Back.