Thomas Barrow, Jimmy Kent, Downton Abbey
Title: Together

On his way from the kitchen to the bedroom Jimmy passed Thomas sitting on the sofa reading the paper.

"I missed you."

"Uh huh," Thomas replied without looking up.

Jimmy stopped in front of him and reached over to swat the paper.

"Hey, don't, I'm reading," Thomas protested, glaring at him over his glasses, then shook the paper to straighten it.

"You'd think you'd want to spend some time with me after being away rather than ignoring me," Jimmy complained.

Thomas sighed and folded the paper.

"I suppose dinner doesn't count?"

"Well . . ."

"Or what happened on the table after dinner?"

Jimmy plopped down beside him, grabbing his arm and draping it across his shoulders so he could lean into his chest.

"Mmmm. That was nice. But I still have the indentation of that spoon on my arse."

"So, I wasn't ignoring you, was I."

"Why do you always win these?" Jimmy harrumphed as he admitted defeat.

"Because I'm always right," Thomas laughed. "And you're always . . ." He winced as Jimmy's elbow hit his rib. ". . . not so right."

They sat in silence for a moment before Thomas leant his cheek against Jimmy's head. "And I missed you too. Maybe next trip you can get some time off and we can go together. It's London. What do you think?"

"Yeah. I'd like that."

Thomas didn't have to ask if he had been lonely or if he had slept well or about the dream. After all these years he knew the answers.

Jimmy yawned as he pushed himself away from Thomas and stood up. "Come to bed."

"You go on ahead. I'll turn out the lights and make sure the door is locked." Thomas watched Jimmy leave then got up and went to his coat which was hanging by the door. He reached into the pocket and pulled out a small box. By the time he got to the bedroom, Jimmy was sitting on the bed, buttoning his pyjama top. Sitting down beside him, he took his hand, held it for a few seconds, then let it go.

"I brought you something," he said as he opened the box. "Or rather, I brought us something." He pulled out two identical rings. His voice quavered, cracking on the sharp edge of emotion. "Give me your hand." He slid the ring onto Jimmy's finger.

Jimmy just stared at his hand, then watched as Thomas went to put on his own ring. He reached out to stop him, taking it and slipping it over Thomas's finger.

Thomas leant forward and kissed him. "Now, you listen to me, Jimmy Kent. I love you. I'm never going to leave you; you're never going to leave me That's what these rings mean. Any time I'm not here, just look at it and remember that." He kissed him again. "And remember that we are the only dream that matters."