It’s almost like their routine
(except it’s not because Dave thinks routines are for people who wake up every day and look down at their hands and the skin has grown up in a ridge around their wedding rings and their face is a maze of wrinkles because they’ve been married for tens of years and the routine is what keeps them going.)
But John thinks when he wakes up to a warm room, sun-bright, dust motes settling in a cascading kaleidoscope where the rays shine in the right direction; he thinks that routines are for people who are comfortable.
(But then, John would think so because slides out of bed every morning at eight twenty-six. Dave stirs, gropes at his empty space and glares up at him with one baleful eye. Five days out of seven grumbles something unintelligible and rolls over to return to sleep.)
John leaves notes before he leaves for work; on top of the coffee pot, tucked under the edge of the fridge, little reminders and I love you’s plastered in locations Dave has learned to spot. (Once he woke up with a sticky note on his forehead. It told him he was gorgeous. He groused about it for the better part of the evening until John threw his hands in the air and promised not to do it again. Dave finally admitted he didn’t mind it that much. John laughed and said he knew it all along. Dave believes him.)
Dave supposes the notes are a learned habit. He also occasionally wonders if John has put notes under any of the heavier objects in the house, asking Dave why he was a big enough douchebag to try and move the couch just to find a note. He wouldn’t put it past John. He wouldn’t put anything past John.
And it’s almost like every morning when Dave wakes up and the bed is cold, (because John works some ridiculous well-paying job as a computer programmer that requires him to leave at fuck-o-clock in the morning) Dave walks in a circuit around their apartment at least three times collecting all the notes John leaves, and then he sits down to read them one by one with his coffee while he puts bad daytime cartoons on low volume in the background.
The first note reminds him to get bread. The next calls for toilet paper. The third informs him that John knows about Dave getting fired recently (‘and thanks for telling me by the way you ass’), but it’s alright if Dave just wants to stay at home and be a house wife. All he has to do it wear a pretty apron and greet John at the door. John says he doesn’t even have to cook. In fact, it’s better he doesn’t. The fourth is entirely blank and Dave is halfway sure that there’s a message written on it in lemon juice or something because John is a dumb fuck like that and he’s watched just a few too many terrible movies.
So Dave takes the third one and scrawls on it below John’s writing ‘Wow Egbert, way to make it sound like I’m only the hot, blonde, useless trophy wife. I can totally cook.’
(Dave will find it in a different spot the next day with the reply ‘Dave you tried to heat up leftover macaroni and cheese and almost started a fire. When I came back you were screaming about it being a demon and beating it with a towel.’ Dave will then confront John about it when he gets home, insisting that was a fluke, and also that he has an interview for a new job tomorrow so stop being a condescending dick.)
Their weekend routine is a bit different. (‘it’s not a routine we don’t have a routine shut the fuck up man that’s super gay.’ ‘come on Dave don’t be such a huge downer it’s kinda romantic.’ ‘Has Karkat gotten to you? Do you have a fever?’ ‘Rude. Also you’re super gay so you shouldn’t mind it so much.’) John tries to get up early anyway, but Dave pulls him back down and they can only lay there for another half hour or so before John gets so twitchy that Dave has to give up on sleeping entirely.
So he rolls half on top of John and kisses the curve of his jaw, the stubble on his cheek, the pulse at his throat before he nips at the underside of his jaw and John rolls towards him a little and you’d think they’d have gotten the hang of this after living together for a couple of years but sometimes they still manage to get into an awkward, uncomfortable tangle of limbs and they’ll start laughing and will have to pry themselves apart and try to shift themselves into a position that is a bit less ‘ow fuck John you’re going to dislocate my elbow you shit’ .
John makes breakfast once they manage to get out of bed. John always makes breakfast. John is fairly certain that Dave could make even cereal spontaneously combust if he thought about it. Dave sits on the counter next to John while he cooks, handing him things as he needs them. Sometimes in the middle of cooking John will just turn and mush his face against Dave’s chest and tell him how much he stinks and that he should take a shower and Dave tells John that he loves him too.
It’s almost like they live in this space that is sweet-warm and pancake scented and words are spoken in double meaning and they have fights about Dave forgetting the toilet paper even though John left him a note to remind him. And so maybe Dave suggests that John could wipe his ass with napkins and John threatens his manhood with a sledgehammer. And in this space Dave laughs and says fine and that he’ll be back in ten minutes with john’s precious toilet paper and he can’t believe John would turn down perfectly good napkins. Dave says he was lucky to even get that luxury sometimes when he lived with Bro. John informs him that they are, in fact, not living with Bro as far as he knows and Dave just pulls and face and looks around like he’s not so sure.
Dave would like to pretend that routines are for old married couples.
John asks him if he’d like to get married.