Timmy was going to kill him for not having his phone on, Donald was sure. It wasn’t like he was purposefully ignoring him. It was just that he’d forgotten to charge it, and now the battery was dead. He was fully expecting a long lecture on how having a functioning phone while on a case was about safety, Donald, and you wouldn’t forget to load your gun with bullets, now would you?
Donald wasn’t looking forward to the haranguing, but he was still a little grateful that this way, Timmy couldn’t text him. He knew what was going on at the New York State Capitol that day—well, technically yesterday, probably, Donald corrected himself when he slumped into his car, started the engine, and saw 2:12 blinking back at him on the radio’s clock. He could handle whatever outcome, but he really only wanted to handle it with Timmy in his arms.
Timmy had been a bundle of nerves for weeks. Of course Senator Platt had been on board with the marriage equality legislation from the beginning—Timmy would’ve walked out of her office without a backwards glance if she hadn’t. But Donald knew how hard Timmy had been working all his channels to put pressure on some Republicans who might switch and some Democrats who might waver. (He’d even forced Donald to leave a message on one state senator’s call line. But only one. “Thank goodness your message was anonymous. For future reference, even though I know you didn’t technically make a threat, it’s best not to reference kneecaps or blackmail photos when you’re trying to get someone to vote for your rights.”)
Donald had actually taken off the first night the vote was supposed to happen. When it didn’t, Timmy had come home strung so tight he couldn’t even sit down. (Donald later learned that Senator Platt had had to order Timmy to go home, or he would have spent all night drafting memoranda about religious organizations in Massachusetts and Iowa post-marriage equality.) Every day it didn’t come to a vote, Timmy’s strings wound tighter and tighter, until Donald was a little afraid he’d have some kind of stress-induced heart attack. On the upside, the kitchen practically sparkled from all Timmy’s stress-cleaning.
Worst of it all was Donald remembered all too clearly how Timmy had reacted last time a same-sex marriage bill got voted down. He’d been so lost, spending days trying to figure out how he could’ve rephrased that memo to one idiot senator, and what he could’ve said to the Speaker’s key staffer, and what else he could’ve done to make it turn out differently.
But more than that, he’d been so very, very hurt. “I work with these people every day, Donald,” he had said as they’d lain together in bed the night after the painfully bad vote. “How can they smile and wave good morning to me in the lobby, and then vote against my basic human rights in the Senate Chamber? How can they change so much, just walking from one room to another?”
“It’s not hard,” Donald had told him, running his arm soothingly across Timmy’s back. “It’s only hard for good people like you.”
Donald stopped at an all-night liquor store on his way home and bought a bottle of vodka. If the vote had gone well, Timmy would have a bottle of champagne ready anyway. If it hadn’t…well, they’d both need a drink. More than one. They might just have to drink themselves into not going to work tomorrow.
Donald heard music blaring inside when he got to the house and fumbled for the key, though he couldn’t tell what.
“Please, not ‘Fighter,’” Donald muttered to himself, and not because of his feelings about Christina Aguilera.
He opened the door and smiled. “Marry You.” Personally, he would’ve gone with “We Are the Champions” over anything Bruno Mars, but he really couldn’t give a shit at the moment.
“Honey, I’m home!” Donald yelled over the music.
Timmy rushed out of the kitchen and nearly tackled Donald. “You bastard! Your phone was off when I tried to call you. It passed!”
“I gathered that,” Donald said with a chuckle. He let himself get lost in the embrace for a moment, to just close his eyes and enjoy Timmy’s warmth. “So, how are we going to celebrate?”
Timmy pulled back just far enough to look at Donald. “Above all else, you need to catch up with me. I am so delightfully, deliciously plastered from all the celebratory toasting at work,” he said, grinning wide.
Donald got a better look at Timmy’s eyes, and yep, if he wasn’t three sheets to the wind, he was at least two-and-a-half. It never ceased to amaze him, how articulate Timmy stayed when drunk. In fact, it seemed like the filter that kept down the number of five-dollar words he used washed away with alcohol, so he sounded even smarter sometimes.
Timmy took the vodka bottle from Donald’s hand as he led him into the kitchen. “Champagne would be more appropriate, I know, but it’ll take you forever to get good and drunk on it. I like your idea here better.”
Donald found the shaker and the martini glasses, and Timmy got the vermouth. “Also, before I forget,” Timmy said as he popped an olive in his mouth. “Don’t you dare propose to me.”
Donald was taken aback as much by the casual tone as by the content. “What?”
“You got to do the proposing last time. I get to do it this time,” he replied, doing a weird, adorable little drunk dance in time to his martini-shaking. God, Donald loved this ridiculous, wonderful man. “And it’s going to be romantic, and special, and surprising, and planned meticulously. If you try to beat me to the punch, I may just have to turn you down.”
Timmy set the shaker down and suddenly looked at Donald so earnestly his heart ached. “I shouldn’t be this happy at the prospect of paying the state marriage tax penalty, but I am. You’re happy, too, right?”
Donald folded Timmy into another embrace. That never got old. “Very happy. I mean, it doesn’t change what’s really important to me,” he said. “It doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been married to the love of my life for years already. But it is change, and it’s good change.”
“Wow,” Timmy mumbled into Donald’s neck. “That was quite profound, and beautiful.” Then Donald thought he felt Timmy kissing rather than just speaking against his neck. “Might be kind of fun to role-play like we’re single again tonight, though.”
Donald barely held back a snort of laughter. “You are really drunk, Timothy.”
“No, I’m not. Certainly not drunk enough for you to be taking advantage of me.”
“Is that a hint that we should move our celebration upstairs to the bedroom?”
Timmy disentangled himself enough to turn off the MP3 player, then handed Donald his martini. “Considering how many protesters and politicians I’ve had to listen to obliquely refer to the horrors of gay sex lately? I’ve more than earned this.”
Donald smiled as he followed Timmy up the stairs. “Bet it was hard to refrain from making ‘bringing the government to its knees’ jokes, huh?”
“You have no idea,” Timmy said.
Donald slapped his ass affectionately. “Nope, I don’t, because there’s no way I would’ve refrained from making them.”
Timmy sighed, but Donald could tell he was amused. “Yes, that’s the Donald Strachey I know and love.”
“Love you, too,” Donald said, kissing Timmy when they reached the bedroom door.
On the whole, that night really wasn’t that much different from any other, nor the next night, nor the next. But even if the vote didn’t mark a huge change in the life they shared, maybe, just maybe, it was a sign that the world around them was truly changing.