No one would ever believe him if he bothered to correct the popular assumption that Glitch was an apocalyptic disaster in the kitchen.
Wyatt himself was not too proud to admit that he had hovered anxiously for the first half an annual of their marriage, always lurking at the edge of the kitchen of the home they had built together. It was how he discovered the truth of his husband's methodology. There was a clean logic to it, he realized, a long-buried muscle memory that had once guided the talented Ambrose through his scientific career. Glitch had somehow tapped into that skill and his efforts were always much appreciated.
Wandering into the kitchen for a quick drink of water, Wyatt was unsurprised to find a spoon suddenly jammed into his mouth as he opened it to inquire about Glitch's progress. "Taste," Glitch ordered abruptly.
"Not really any other options," Wyatt mumbled around a mouthful of sauce. It was sharp and full of spices, so much so that Wyatt's eyes began to water. Swallowing quickly, he gave a delicate cough. "Little strong."
Glitch 'hmmm' at him and went back to his food chemistry.
Wyatt took in the orderly process at a glance. Pots bubbled happily on the stove, carefully covered to avoid any splatter. Inside the oven, the turkey that Wyatt had shot the day before was roasting, filling the large room with the smell of perfectly seasoned meat. Fresh bread was resting neatly in its special warming box that Glitch had designed. Vegetables grown in their garden were chopped into perfect sizes and waiting in a metal bowl for their turn on the stove. Every surface of the kitchen was covered in food in various stages of preparation, but not a single item was out of place and the tiles of the counter were spotless as always.
It had taken an additional several months for Wyatt to realize that the methodology had an additional purpose - Glitch was compensating for his memory problems through repetition and strategy. There were binders full of instructions, recipes, notes - all reference material done in Glitch's tiny, neat handwriting. Meticulous documentation for something as simple as day-to-day living.
The man working was almost as tidy. Glitch has the sleeves of his purple button-down pushed up to the elbow, his dark gray slacks protected by the apron tied around his waist. There was a small smudge of something that may have been gravy at the bridge of his nose, but that was all the evidence present that he had been working on an impressive family meal.
Waiting until Glitch was at a pause, Wyatt sidled up behind him and wrapped his arms around Glitch's waist. Pressing a soft kiss to the side of Glitch's neck, he smiled when Glitch responded with contented hum. "Need a hand with anything?"
Twisting his lips in thought, Glitch looked around at his kingdom. "Don't - don't think so." He glanced at the notes he had tacked up on the cabinets. "Turkey in oven. Potatoes in pot. Veggies in the queue. Sauce in the works. Wait - where's the stuffing?"
"In the turkey."
"Right, of course. On the list, right here," Glitch pointed to a line he had checked off earlier. "Bread is in its box. Am I missing anything?"
Wyatt looked at the lists before answering. "Looks like you've got everything under control. As always."
Glitch gave a shy grin and turned in his husband's arms. "Everything will be ready in about half an hour. Are they - "
Before he could finish, there was a knock at the front door. Wyatt smiled. "Yes, they are." He stole a kiss and reluctantly pulled away to go let their guests in.
The door was barely cracked before Wyatt had an arm full of princess. "CAIN!" she squealed as she hugged the breath out of him. "You look fantastic!"
Wyatt hugged her in return, sharing a grin with Raw over her shoulder. "Thank you, Princess. I'd say the same if I'd managed to get a glimpse of you before the full-frontal assault."
DG pulled back and punched Wyatt's shoulder. "You know I look good," she huffed playfully. Wyatt raised his eyebrows, taking in the leather and jeans.
"Married life looks good on you," Raw saved Wyatt from having to answer. He reached up and smoothed a hand through Wyatt's hair, affectionate and warm.
Wyatt felt his cheeks flush. "You guys act like we don't see you every few months," he grumbled and stepped back to let them into the house, closing the door behind them. "Come on in, Glitch says dinner will be ready soon."
They made their way to the dining area that was connected to the kitchen, DG breaking away to greet Glitch in a similar fashion as she had Wyatt. Glitch twirled her happily, a messy kiss landing in DG's hair. "Doll! I'm so glad you could make it!"
"Of course we made it," DG told him sternly. "But I have to admit I'm curious. Everyone's getting together next week for the winter holiday. Not that I'm complaining..." The question was implied and she looked over at Wyatt.
Wyatt had stopped at the dining table and picked up the bottle of wine he had left there earlier. He silently poured a generous amount into the four waiting glasses, then set the bottle down so he could hand them out to the others. He shared a look with Glitch, who nodded almost imperceptibly. Taking a breath, Wyatt looked at DG and Raw. "It was five annuals ago today that DG and Glitch found me," he started quietly.
DG drew a sharp breath but stayed silent. She felt Raw's warm hand on the small of her back in support.
"I know our families are going to be celebrating the holidays as a group soon, but I wanted a chance to have just the four of us together in our home," Wyatt continued. His voice was strong but had gained an emotional rasp as he spoke from his heart. "I can't begin to tell you guys how much you mean to me. The fact that I'm standing here with the man I love, who changed my life and for some damn reason agreed to marry me." He paused as Glitch rolled his eyes and tucked his arm around Wyatt's waist. "The three of you are my best friends. You saved me. We saved each other, in so many ways and I want to say thank you."
It was Glitch who moved first, pulling Wyatt to him and pressing a kiss to his temple. DG was wiping a stray tear from her cheek as Raw kissed the top of her head. She smiled up at him and then set her wine down so she could surge forward to embrace both Wyatt and Glitch. The two men held her, Glitch placing his wine down on the table so he could reach for Raw to pull him in as well. They stood as a group, whispered words of love and thanks breathed into ears and shoulders.
A soft ding broke the moment and Glitch gave a small, happy bounce as he moved away. "That's the turkey!"
DG gave a breathless laugh and watched Glitch's flawless dance as he transitioned into the final stages of preparation. Veggies were tossed into the waiting pan along with oil and premixed seasonings. It was a whirlwind of movement and Wyatt knew better than to get caught in the storm. He took a drink of his wine and gestured toward the dining room. "Come on, you guys can help set the table."
Together, the four of them worked as a team as they always had: plates and silverware and glasses were put around the table, food was moved into place as it was finished and soon they were seated to enjoy the meal Glitch had made for them. Conversation was easy, the atmosphere warm and comfortable and none of the doubted for a moment the words spoken by Wyatt. They had all saved each other and the friendship they forged was stronger than ever.