What We Need Most

~ Fits into Lianne's Carl Series.

It was hard to believe a person could be this tired, and still be able
to move. Carl couldn't even remember when the last time he'd lain down to sleep was, when he'd got more than twenty or thirty minutes' sleep in a stretch.

Couldn't have been more than a couple weeks, since they hadn't been on the mission for more than that. But he couldn't remember much beyond the last few days, a dizzying mess of places and people and firefights, helicopter rides and trying to sleep in the back of a van while somebody else drove... The flight to the finish had been the typical "stop them now" sort of deadline. Only every time they'd wiped one group out, they'd discovered another one just out of reach.

Carl was trying really hard not to think about it anymore. Hal had debriefed them the best he could with all three members of Able Team trying hard not to fall asleep on their feet. Carl had dredged up answers to the chief's questions until finally someone noticed that Gadgets was asleep against the wall.

Now he'd made the long trek back to his room, and was looking forward to not moving from his bed for at least a day. Or ten.

Carl got the door open and stepped into his room, and stopped, confused. Rosario looked back at him and grinned.

"Am I in the wrong room or are you?" Carl was pretty sure he wasn't that dead on his feet, but, hell. For all he knew they were both in Kurtzman's room.

"No," Rosario shook his head. "I mean, this is your room. Do you mind?"

"Make yourself at home," Carl said. His room and Rosario's room -- just down the hall -- were exactly the same size and shape. Rosario had quite a bit more by way of decoration than Carl did. But since they really didn't spend that much time in them, Carl didn't think it mattered. He slept here, showered here sometimes, and fucked here. Other than that, he was usually elsewhere in the Farm.

Or elsewhere in the world.

"You look like Hell," Rosario said, and Carl realised he was still standing in the doorway. He moved inside, and closed the door behind him.

"I look like you feel," he told his friend. Rosario laughed.

"I believe that. I think I remember sleeping, once. I was a child, and I slept in a real bed, for nearly eight hours in a row."

"Bullshit," Carl told him. "Fairytales."

"No, no, I swear it's true." Rosario looked sincere, and Carl reminded himself that the innocent expression was one reason why they let Politician talk other people into doing things the Team wanted them to do.

Carl sat down on a chair and began unlacing his boots. He wasn't sure he could get back up again. His entire body ached to the point that the bruises and scratches he'd gotten in the line of kicking some dirtbags' ass, didn't even show up on the radar.

He got one boot off, then realised that Rosario was not only in his room, but was wearing only a pair of shorts. When did he have time to get undressed?

"You're the one who took Gadgets to his room," Rosario reminded him.

Yeah. Steering him down the hallways, trying to keep him upright long enough to find something soft to drop him on. Carl rubbed his face, and kicked his other boot off.

That was good enough, right? Nobody cared if he slept in his clothes. Luckily the chair was right next to the bed. He looked up at Rosario, though, wondering what he wanted. Why Rosario wasn't asleep in his bed already, instead of waiting for Carl, here?

"Pants and shirt, Ironman," Rosario said.

He gave Rosario a glare, but pulled his shirt off, then gathered forces to stand up. It took him a minute to keep his balance well enough to get his pants off, but he managed it.

"Good. Come on." Rosario took his arm and pulled him towards the bed. Carl's brain finally clicked in.

"You do realise I'm going to be unconscious in about two seconds."

Rosario laughed. "Me, too. But your bed was twenty feet closer than mine."

Carl laid down on his side, and felt Rosario spoon up behind him. They both knew that wasn't the only reasons.

And they both knew there wasn't any reason to say so.