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31 August 2011 @ 10:43 pm
Down to Chemicals  
Title: Down to Chemicals
Rating: PG
Pairing: Hank/Alex
Genre: Fluff, Drama
Summary: Hank has a secret, and Alex is determined to figure out what it is
Author Notes: Written for this prompt at the first class kink meme (someday I'll finish that piece I wrote outside of the kink meme. someday.) : Hank has a tattoo... Make it sciency. Alex finds it hot, and tries to find ways to get Hank to show off his ink.



It first appeared as a strange marking when Hank pulled his lab coat and shirt down to scratch aimlessly at the top of his shoulder blade. Alex had passed it off as a trick of the light, a play of shadows, because really, the thought of Hank McCoy having a tattoo was just ridiculous. Besides, even if it wasn't shadow, Hank got absorbed enough into his work to not notice that he still had a pen in his hand, even if he needed to do something else. An absent-minded pen mark. That had to be it - much more likely than permanent ink.

Even so, after that, Alex kept trying to find ways to bring up the subject of tattoos in conversation, just to see what Hank's reaction to the topic would be - if it would be revealing or not - but there were surprisingly few opportunities to bring up the topic of getting a pattern permanently imprinted on one's skin. Even with Angel needing to keep her wings hidden as a tattoo most of the time, the subject always turned to her actual wings, and when Hank was there, the biophysics involved in keeping her in flight. Alex refused to chalk it up to his inability to direct a conversation, instead blaming it on how shapely Angel's shoulders were. When asked, anyways.

Next came the elaborate scheme between himself and Sean, trying to get Hank to need to pull his shirt off from his shoulder in some way, to try to get some sort of clearer image. Sean didn't quite believe that Hank would have a tattoo, but was willing to go along with Alex's plans. Especially since Alex had promised him Oreos.

"Lemme get this straight - the plan is for me to whistle so that his shoulder tickles? So that you can convince me that our science boy has some ink? Dude, you do know I don't know if I have that much control yet, right?"

Alex shoves Sean's shoulder as they stand next to Hank's lab. "Don't pretend that you aren't curious too, curious to see whether or not the nerd actually is man enough to get a tattoo. And what's the worst that could happen? It's not like you'll melt his lab down - besides, it's CIA; the government will replace it."

Sean shrugs, pushes back his hair, and takes a deep breath. "You might want to cover yours ears. Like I said, I'm not sure if this'll work."

Alex takes his position on the other side of the doorway, and both of them watch Hank, who is hunched over his desk, working on some project, back turned to the door. Sean concentrates, then blows softly. Alex hears a slight ringing in his ears, but it's nothing compared to how the room reacts. Every piece of glass, every beaker, test tube, and flask vibrates and hums, and a few shatter.

Sean goes wild-eyed, and scrambles to his feet. "Dude, we gotta get out of here. Now!" They both take off down opposite directions of the hall, back to their rooms, and avoid looking Hank in the eye the rest of the day. After that, no matter what Alex promised him, Sean refused to be involved.

Darwin was Alex's next recruit; Alex had clicked with Darwin instantly, and knew that he was laid-back enough to not back away, like Sean had, from the next step of his plan. Which was to either catch Hank with his shirt off, or to force him to have to take his shirt off in front of them.

"Easy, right?" He finishes explaining his plan to Darwin, who crosses his arms and leans against the wall, looking for all the world like he could take whatever Alex threw at him.

"Hank follows a pretty tight schedule - showers every other morning around 8, before breakfast."

"Man, it is a little creepy that you know this kid's schedule like this. I'm just saying."

"Hey, he comes to breakfast with wet hair every other morning. It's not my fault he drips on my breakfast, and I notice."

"…whatever you say, man. I still think it's a hop, skip, and a jump away from stalker behavior. Or bullying, the way we're going, I'm not quite sure."

Alex pauses, but eventually avoids answering anything. "So, are you still in?"

"Yeah, sure, I'm still in, I guess. I'll try to catch him right when he's out of the shower; he won't have time to throw on clothes if we set the alarm off then. But don't you think the agents will have something to say if we throw a false alarm?"

"So we'll just pull one further away from our room - you really think they can track which alarm was thrown?"

"I don't know, man, just be ready when I give the signal."

A clasp of hands, a slap on the arm, and they parted ways. Alex makes his way down the maze of hallways until he finds a fire alarm sufficiently far from their wing and leans against the wall next to it, adopting a glare warning off any agents who might ask him what he was doing.

A few minutes later, he hears a breaking of glass, and he pulls the alarm discreetly, sprinting away, back towards their wing. He runs into Darwin as he gets close, literally. "Dude, why are you over here?"

Darwin pants out, "He…he didn't…didn't bring new clothes in. Just a towel. Did you know that? Because if you did, and you could've just stood outside like a creepy stalker, instead of possibly getting us all in trouble for a false alarm, his discovering your stalker tendencies will be the least of your problems. Anyways, you'll know when he comes out. I'm done; I had to break a window for the signal, and I don't want any more damages pinned on us."

Alex claps him on the shoulder and lets him go, heading back towards their quarters, alarm blaring all around him.

"Alex, where are you going? Can't you hear the alarm? It's all I can hear, and it's driving me nuts! We gotta get out of here, it's not a drill."

Alex waves Sean off and keeps going, waving off Raven as she passes, and dodging a few agents, begging that he needs to grab something from his room, and within a few strides, is outside the bathroom, where he can hear Hank frantically banging as he tries to collect his things. Alex bangs on the door, calling, "Hank, hey bigfoot, we gotta go, don't you hear the fire alarm?"

"Shit." The curse is low, and Alex is more surprised, because he didn't think that Hank even could swear, much less at him. "Just…go on without me, I'll be fine."

"Alright, whatever you say." And then Alex props himself up against the wall, waiting. Yeah, definitely stalker at this point, but by now, he's put this much into it, it would be ridiculous to just let it all go.

He only has a to wait a few more seconds before Hank comes barreling out the door, his pajamas half tumbling out of his arms. He sees Alex and stumbles to a stop, wild-eyed and slightly panicked. "Why - why are you still here? Were you waiting for me?"

Alex really doesn't have an answer that won't make him look like a stalker, so he chooses a different tact. "So you do have a tattoo. What is it of?"

Hank flushes and backs away from Alex, the alarm still blaring around them. "We've..we've got to get out of here." He turns, and runs down the hall, away from Alex.

"So, what's the verdict?" Sean and Darwin are instantly by his side as he finally gets out of the building.

"Nerd's got ink, and from the looks of it, it's nerdy. It looked like a bunch of lines, like those chemical structures."

"That's it, right? You're done with this creepy stalking?"

"Uh, yeah. Done with that. I've seen what I needed to, no more stalking."

"Who is Alex stalking? Alex, I cannot condone stalking, especially while you are associated with this team."

It's Alex's turn to sputter and turn red as Hank comes up behind them, thankfully fully dressed.

"No one; I am not stalking anyone, these guys are just big jerks, and there is definitely no stalking going on." He shoves Darwin for good measure, and glares at Sean.

Hank gives him a strange look, but turns and walks back to talk to the other CIA officers, and Sean collapses into loud laughter.

Alex denies it vehemently, but he is definitely, 100%, without a doubt, stalking Hank now.

He wants to find a way to bring up the tattoo without it being awkward, Hey man, so about that tattoo I saw when I was waiting for you to come out of the shower, after we pulled the fire alarm so you would have to come out undressed… but can't. So he bites the bullet and blurts it out, standing in the doorway of Hank's lab.

"I saw your tattoo." Smooth.

Hank flushes and rubs protectively at the spot on his shoulder where Alex knows the ink is. "Y-yeah, it's just a silly thing. I was pressured into getting it, you know, trying to fit in at Harvard as a 13-year-old, when your classmates are all over 18. You just want to seem cool."

Alex lets out a low whistle. "Thirteen, huh? I'm impressed a kid like you could handle that. How'd you get away with that, anyways?"

Hank looks away, down, and off to the side, "We just showed our Harvard IDs, and they let us be. It wasn't that big of a deal."

"What is it, exactly? All I could get was some lines."

Hank looks up at him and flushes again and waves his hand dismissively. "It's nothing, really, just a chemical structure. It's silly, to be honest."

"Oh, come on, coerced or not, you had to be able to pick out the design yourself, so it has to have some meaning - what chemical is it?"

"It's…not actually a real chemical structure, just a chain of four amino acids." He pauses to look away again, and mumbles, "the ones that spell out Hank."

Alex stares at him for a bit before clapping him on the shoulder. "That's pretty cool, as far as nerdy ink goes. Can't get much cooler than your own acid, I figure."

"Amino acid."

"Same thing."

"Actually, they're very different, amino acids are balanced-"

"You know, I don't actually care about the chemicals themselves, but I just wanted to let you know that your ink is definitely cool."

Alex is starting to consider saying things just to make Hank blush, because it really looks good on him. "Thanks, I guess. Though, thankfully, I get to hide it under shirts easily enough."

Alex wants to rip Hank's shirt off then and there, march him into their common room, and show everyone, because it really is the wildest thing that Hank, of all people, would have ink. "Will you show it to me now? I'd like to see it properly and all."

Hank seems startled by the request, and clutches at the collar of his shirt like it will shield him from the world, but then relaxes them, and starts to unbutton his shirt slowly. "I suppose you have already seen it, so there's no harm."

He turns around and lets his shirt drop to his elbows, baring his shoulders, pale from probably never having seen the sun in years, in stark contrast to the black ink that spreads across his right shoulder in what seems to Alex a haphazard spiderweb of lines and letters.

Before Hank can protest or cover it up again, Alex reaches out and touches the top-most mark, tracing lightly down, splaying outwards as the design does, and when he gets to the bottom, he realizes that they are both holding their breath. He lets out his breath, and Hank relaxes as well. Before he can stop himself or even realize what he means to do, he presses his lips, dry and chapped, to the center of the design.

Hank freezes again, fingers tightening in the fabric he's holding, and suddenly, his breath is shallow.

Alex pulls back and stumbles backwards a bit. "I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me, I didn't…I'm not…" He trails off, trying to decipher the look in Hank's eyes. It's not disgust, like he was expecting. Surprise, yes. Terror, yes, but less terrified of Alex and more terrified of the other look in his eyes. Desire. Alex's breath hitches at that, and he steps forward, hand slightly outstretched toward's Hank's face.

Hank is the one to step back this time, the terror winning out in his eyes. "I can't…I'm sorry. You - you should go." Before Alex can move, Hank's shirt is back on, buttoned up, and Hank is pushing past him towards the door.

Alex looks down at his hand, remembering the feel of Hank's warm skin under his fingers and, briefly, his lips, and knows he will not sleep well tonight.
 
 
 
realpestilencerealpestilence on September 19th, 2011 05:58 pm (UTC)
This is funny, until you get to the last few lines-and bam! Can we say UST? Hopefully, Alex will continue his stalkery-pushy tendencies and do something about it. ;D