James lay in bed, kept warm by Sebastian’s arms wrapped around him loosely as he pressed his forehead into the taller man’s chest. He liked sharing a bed with Sebastian, it seemed familiar and safer than when he slept alone.
Just like every night, Sebastian would mutter ‘Jim’ softly whenever he shifted or shuffled over a bit. James wasn’t sure if he was just saying it in his sleep, or if it was the same ‘Jim’ that Sebastian would sometimes say instead of his actual name when he wasn’t really focused, or had that sad look in his eyes.
This time when he said it, Sebastian’s arms tightened around James slightly and he nuzzled into James’ hair, his eyes still closed.
The same little sequence as usual began playing out in his mind. He could feel Sebastian’s arms draped over his waist and his lips pressed to his cheek as he mumbled something that was barely coherent to his sleep-dazed mind. Warmth would swell in his chest and he’d have the inclination to just fall asleep in Sebastian’s lap, but always he fought it. Well, he didn’t fight it exactly; it was as if he was being forced to fight it. And then the harsh Irish voice would ring out.
“You’re getting too sentimental, Sebastian,” it said harshly, and James didn’t understand why it sounded so angry because it seemed like such a happy moment. And the voice was desperate to curl back up in Sebastian’s lap and pretend he hadn’t actually heard the whispered words because then everything would be easier.
James never mentioned that to Sebastian. He never asked him why he said ‘Jim’ at night. He never understood why, when he was lying by Sebastian, the taller man never mumbled those same words, washed out by the haziness of his memory and the cosiness of the moment.
He didn’t ask because part of him understood - knew exactly why Sebastian never sounded so warm and almost loving when he spoke to James. Because he was James. Because he wasn’t Jim, and never would be.
((I wonder if anybody can spot the allusion to one of my other fics, it’s actually quite obvious but maybe only to me, as I changed the ending of it a bit. Anyway, I hope you liked this and feel free to send prompts, headcannon questions and general spam my way))