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Logan straightened his back in an attempt to ease the growing ache at the base of his spine. It had been a long night shift and he was ready to fall into bed. The case had taken its toll on him and his partner, Roman, but it was finally solved and the burglars terrorizing the neighbourhood were caught. Both detectives were now on their way to celebrate the closed case in their customary fashion, with hot chocolate at the cafe around the corner of the precinct.

Roman bumped into him as they walked. He tended to forget to keep up his tough guy persona when he was tired and thus became even more affectionate.

Before becoming friends with Roman, Logan had not considered himself the type for friendly cuddles. The fact that he allowed the close contact now was even more surprising, considering how badly things between Roman and him had started. Logan had actually believed their partnership doomed from the moment they met.

***

It had been almost three years ago. Logan had made detective about a year previously and had quickly gained a reputation for being both thorough and effective.

His former classmates had laughed at him when they found out about his career choice, but he had never given their opinion much consideration. After all, they had never given him reason to do so, since they had rarely interacted with him aside from doling out ridicule. He had gotten used to being alone and working alone, and this had served him well as a detective.

His partner had been all but retired and left most of the work to Logan. It had been fine. Logan loved puzzles and mysteries and did not mind the mountains of paperwork.

Unfortunately his routine was shattered when his colleague broke his leg trying to fix the Christmas decoration and chose to retire early. Logan had to get a new partner.

He remembered the day quite clearly. Logan had tried to appear aloof and unworried, but felt that it only made him sit straighter, give even more precise answers and act even colder than usual. He knew all this but had never figured out how to appear more welcoming toward strangers.

He was yanked out of his thoughts quite rudely by a slap on the back that almost triggered his well trained defensive reflexes.

Looking at Logan, few would guess how well he did at hand to hand combat. He had never considered himself the most physical of people, but Logan had easily recognised close combat as just another form of logical thinking and a question of acting accordingly. Take in the situation, determine strengths and weaknesses, choose a course of action and act according to his training. Easy.

His mother had sent him to martial arts classes after he had jumped his first class and thus had to deal with even older and stronger bullies.

The repetitive motions had appealed to him and he had seen the logic behind using your opponents weaknesses against them. While not especially strong or looking particularly threatening, Logan had become quite precise and quick and a force to be reckoned with.
However, he still vastly preferred solving problems with words rather than violence. He had never enjoyed hurting people, even the ones who deserved it.

Not knowing how close the other man had come to flying over Logan’s shoulder and ending pinned on the floor with Logan’s knee pressed against his throat, the newcomer rounded the chair and sat down right on Logan’s well organized paperwork.

Already feeling irritated at the mess, Logan only had a short moment to take in the tall man, leather jacket, green eyes and broad smirk, to determine that he most dearly hoped this man had just gotten lost and was, in fact, NOT his new partner.

“Hello Sanders! I am your new partner! Detective Roman Prince, ready for duty!”

His (apparently) new partner pretty much shouted at Logan, opening his arms wide, striking a pose. Oh No.

 

Things went about as well as Logan had expected. Roman had been brash, loud and manly to a ridiculous extent. He went into danger head first, complained about paperwork non stop and flirted with every woman around him.
As expected of one such as him, he was quick to make fun of Logan’s work ethics and behaviour, calling him nicknames like nerd or calculator watch. As far as he could tell, Roman was not trying to be cruel though, so Logan let it slide.

The worst thing however, were the detective’s attempts at bonding. He kept trying to invite Logan to drink beer with him or watch sport. This did not bode well for Logan.

Even though he was not ashamed of his homosexuality and did not plan to lie about it, he was not outed in the precinct. He knew from painful experience at the academy that close minded colleagues could cause him a lot of trouble for his orientation. Especially a womaniser liker Roman.

***

Remembering their first few months together and his fear of Roman’s reaction, Logan was again amazed at how far they had come.

Once again, Roman bumped into him, this time not even trying to stay upright. Though Logan articulated some token protest, he wrapped a steadying arm around his tired partner.

Which was a good thing, considering the sudden stop they took would have probably sent Roman tumbling onto the sidewalk, had Logan not held him up.

“Out of business?!” Roman wailed dramatically. “What is that supposed to mean?!”

“I would conclude they are closing down their establishment due to personal or economical reasons.” Logan answered the rhetorical question, knowing it would rile Roman up.

Roman glared, as expected, and drew breath to continue complaining. Logan pulled him along before he could work himself into full theatrical drama mode.

“There is a recently opened cafe down the street I believe. I am sure it will serve our needs adequately as well.”

“But the corner coffee was our place!” Roman retorted, throwing an arm over his eyes (and relying on Logan to save him from stumbling into traffic). “We celebrated our first solved case there, and...”

He trailed off, lifting his arm from his face, sniffing hopefully.

As Logan had predicted, the delicious smell of cinnamon, apple and sugar wafting from the open door drew his partner’s attention.

Logan had encountered the newly opened cafe/bakery on the way to work a few days ago. He had not had time to have a look inside yet, but had easily determined that it would appeal to Roman.

While he liked to portray the die hard kind of tough cop, he was actually quite the soft little darling, easily excited by glittering things, lights and sugar.

Unfortunately, this conclusion had initially been hard to come by for the older detective as they had started working together.

***

During those first months, working with Roman had truly grated on Logan’s nerves. Unfortunately he could not even complain about Roman’s skill as a detective. Had the other been incompetent, Logan would not have felt bad about ditching him.

The younger detective however was far less of an airhead than he liked to pretend. He had a way with people that Logan had never mastered.

In the interrogation room, Roman always managed to find the right tone to both get the perp talking and compliment Logan’s style. During investigations, he found angles Logan overlooked and managed to think outside the box, while Logan covered the methodical parts of their research.

Logan had been a very good detective on his own, but with Roman, they were formidable. Which made their personal incompatibility even more frustrating.

Well, giving up would not do. There was nothing to do but find a solution. Thankfully, one presented itself soon enough.

Being the genius that he was, Logan soon noticed inconsistencies about Roman’s behaviour that made him question the persona he portrayed.

Though he flirted charmingly with every woman that crossed his path, he never took any of them on a date or showed interest in watching them. He knew all the lyrics to the catchy songs on the radio, even the ones sung by women, even the musicals, but only sung along when he felt unwatched. And he was such a darling with kids.

Once Logan overheard him retelling the whole plot of The Little Mermaid to a little girl waiting for her mother at the precinct. The only viable conclusion was that Roman was showing a façade. But what was he hiding, and why?

Perhaps, Logan reasoned, Roman felt insecure or uncomfortable around him and therefore hid behind the brash cop persona. He knew from painful experience that his often standoffish manners made people unsure and felt bad for doing so to Roman.

This hypothesis required testing, so Logan came up with a meticulously worked out step by step plan of action. The first of fifteen steps was to get to know Roman in a more personal setting, so he could initiate a more comfortable relationship.

After blowing Roman off so often, Logan had worried the other detective would not agree to his invitation or react with disdain, but he lit up happily upon the suggestion and joined Logan willingly for a drink in his apartment.

Unfortunately, Roman had thwarted his well formulated plan, by getting black out drunk.

Incredibly, drunk Roman was even louder and took up even more space. Blearily, Logan watched the other detective form his spot on the floor as he climbed on Logan’s coffee table and gesticulated wildly, while attempting to retell a story about an adventure he had at the academy.

Logan pulled off his glasses and rubbed his tired eyes. Had this been a good idea? He wondered if he was just imagining things. All of this might just be hopeful thinking, generated by his pathetic too big brain, which had, against his better judgement, never given up on the hope of finding a real partner to work with. Maybe even a friend. Roman’s talents complemented Logan’s own so well. The idea of actually getting along personally might have become so appealing that in his mind, he had turned Roman into something he was not.

Logan decided then and there that his plan was not fair to Roman. He was a good detective and a good man and Logan should not try to change him out of loneliness and some misguided hope to finally have a real friend.

He opened his eyes, planning to apologize to the other (and get him off his coffee table, seriously.) but found he was not there any more. Logan blinked. How much had he drunk again?

It took him an embarrassing long moment to figure out that his partner had moved to the spot next to him and was dejectedly staring at the floor.

Worriedly, Logan turned to him.

“Roman-”

“Did you know we were at the academy together?” Roman interrupted. “Well, not so much together as there at the same time.”

Roman trailed off, playing with a loose thread in his shirtsleeve. The revelation was news to Logan. Though he wanted to ask questions, he decided to follow a feeling that had served him well during interrogations and stayed quiet.

“You were a few years above me. We met once, while you were assisting the close combat instructor. What was her name?”

“Mitchell.”

“Right. You were showing how to disarm a prep armed with a knife.”

Logan hummed softly, vaguely remembering the lesson.

He had quickly shown a talent for the more complicated aspects of close combat and had become somewhat of a prodigy student of Mitchell. It had been a great honour, considering just how good she was. Being allowed to help train the younger recruits had helped a lot against the bullying he had to endure because of the rumours about his sexual orientation. They had actually stopped circulating after that, as if a man good at combat could not be gay as well. How illogical.

He did not remember Roman though, since he had helped out in that particular course only briefly. Why had he never mentioned anything? Curiously, Logan waited to see where Roman’s story was going.

He stayed silent, waiting. Finally, Roman turned to him and announced very seriously and earnestly:

“You were SO cool.”

Logan’s chin dropped in surprise. That was certainly unexpected.

Roman was already talking again, and he seemed to gain steam.

“The way you disarmed Mitchell was just so … EPIC! I never saw her go down, EVER! And you were so calm about the whole thing, explaining every step like friggin Sherlock Holmes!”

You guessed it. Even surprised and drunk, Logan was preening at this compliment.

“I made a vow that day.” Roman paused dramatically. “I swore that I would become your partner eventually and we would fight crime and evil TOGETHER!”

The last was shouted so abruptly that Logan flinched in surprise, spilling his drink over his lap. Unconcerned, Roman continued spinning his story of woe.

“And I kept my promise. Of course I did.”

He smirked proudly and drunkenly, but after a moment, his smile turned watery.

Logan experienced a brief moment of panic. He did not have the faintest idea about how to handle a crying Roman. The fact that Roman had actually admired him had already left poor Logan reeling emotionally.

Thankfully the other detective managed to pull himself together without his help.
Taking a deep breath, he seemed to steel himself for the grand finale of the story. Logan found himself waiting anticipating his answer eagerly.

“However, I knew that we could only be together (Logan frowned at the odd phrasing) if I managed to fulfil your expectations. Be a proper detective to have your back against criminals and villainous colleagues alike! Someone you could be proud to call your partner. You would not tolerate anything else and I could not disappoint you or make you suffer for my sake. After all, I saw our combined greatness for the moment I met you (and as you know I’m never wrong). So I had to hide myself. But I cannot go on living like this and NEITHER SHOULD I HAVE TO!”

Cue in the dramatic pose, which wobbled only slightly due to his drunken state. Logan was actually amazed at how articulate the other still was. His own thought process was muddled enough to make him take a few moments more than it should have to respond accordingly. Roman clearly expected him to prompt his answer with a question, if his glare was any indication.

“Oh I’m sorry. What did you need to hide Roman?” Logan asked curiously, pushing his glasses up his nose.

Apparently placated by his response, Roman’s voice rose for the dramatic finish.

“I am sorry Logan, but I cannot hide the truth any longer! I have to risk your scorn and the ridicule of the precinct, because I have to stand up for what is RIGHT!”

Cue another dramatic pause. Logan actually found himself waiting with baited breath. What secret was Roman hiding that made him believe Logan would shun him for it?

Moments ticked by.

Finally, Roman revealed his secret.

“Logan, I am gay.”

Logan stared at Roman.

Roman stared at Logan.

Looking pack, Logan guessed he could have reacted with more patience or understanding.

As it turned out, Roman came form a deeply religious family and had had to endure a lot of intolerance and scorn for his orientation.

Right then though, Logan had realised that Roman had played the tough heterosexual cop from fear of how his partner could react to his homosexuality.

His homosexual partner.

Logan couldn’t help it. He started laughing.

He hadn’t laughed like this for a long time. Tears were soon streaming down his face and his sides were aching.

Roman however, did NOT appreciate it. Crossing his arms, he sullenly glared at his partner.

“I fail to see how the story of my life is so amusing to you.”

Oh he had been offended. Not only had his partner not taken his brave revelation seriously, he was also failing to appreciate his performance. Rude.

Logan had hoped to soother the ruffled feathers rather easily with his own confession. Once he managed to breathe again.

“Roman, I am gay as well.” He explained, wiping teas of mirth from his cheeks.

Logan felt… he felt great. Weightless. Better than he had in a very long time. Their troubles had stemmed from a misunderstanding. They could actually be partners. Maybe even friends. Logan had not realised how badly he had wanted Roman’s friendship despite their differences.

His partner had yet to react this revelation though. He sat silently for a long moment.

The pause ended very suddenly in a flurry of movement. Roughly, he pushed himself up and grabbed his jacket, heading for the door. Worried, Logan jumped up and caught up with him in the hallway.

“Roman please wait!”

The younger detective ripped his arm out of Logan’s grip and rounded on him. Logan was shocked to see tears in his eyes. He was the greatest idiot in the world. Roman had bravely opened up to him and Logan had hurt him with his flippant response. Nothing could sober a man quite like guilt.

“Do you think this is funny? Playing with my feelings like this? There is nothing wrong with being gay and I do NOT deserve this!”

“Certainly not! I did not mean to offend you Roman, please give me a chance to explain. It seems we have both fallen victim to a misunderstanding.”

Roman clenched his jaw, clearly fighting back tears. He was brave though. So brave. With a jerky nod he indicated to Logan to continue.

“I did not try to ridicule you Roman, I would never do that. Neither would I expect you to be someone you are not just to please me or keep close minded colleagues off my back. Also, I was perfectly serious. I am, in fact, homosexual as well.”

Logan gazed at Roman imploringly, willing him to believe the truth in his words. The seconds ticked by and Logan grew more nervous with each one. Would this be the moment his partner turned his back on him?

No.

It was Logan’s turn to be laughed at.

Once he finally realised how both men had unintentionally played each other, Roman reacted quite the same as Logan had. Logan endured the laughter thankfully. Seeing Roman bend over, tears streaming down his handsome face and waking up his neighbours with his loud exclamations of happiness made something untie in Logan’s chest.

That night, Logan did not only endure being laughed at, but also being hugged incessantly, having his hair ruffled (“PLEASE desist immediately!”) and actually being serenaded.

Was this what friendship looked like or were they both just especially strange? As Roman started singing and attempting to draw him into a dance, nearly braining them both on the bookcase, Logan decided that the night needed to come to an end or he would regret gaining his first friendship the day he formed it.

Trying to tuck Roman into bed proved more difficult than expected, since his new friend had no intention to let go of his arm.

“Now you are just attempting at irritate me.” Logan groused.

Roman smirked at him, obviously not half as drunk as he had led his partner to believe. Logan guessed his over the top celebration was a friendly way of getting back at him. Roman was not done with his prank though.

The evil smirk he sent the other detective was his only warning. Logan yelped as he was suddenly pulled on the bed and covered with the heavier form of one detective Roman Prince.

“Get off me this instant!” Logan huffed.

“Hmmm. NO!” Roman laughed and got comfortable on his slighter colleague.

Though Logan was the better fighter when it came to style and technique, Roman was quite a bit stronger than him. And he was getting comfortable. After trying to wrestle him off for a few minutes, Logan gave up. This was actually kind of nice. They fell asleep curled up together and awoke the next morning nursing a massive hangover and having made a friend for life.

They chose not to bother hiding their orientation any longer. As expected, some colleagues and superior officers gave them trouble, and the rumour mill worked overtime, but their partnership helped them deal with the problems. Things had settled down now and they had actually become a well liked and respected fixture in the precinct. It was more than Logan had dared to hope for.

***

Logan was shaken out of his trip down memory lane by his friend’s exclamation of delight about the newly opened cafe – the Pat-isserie. His happiness clearly stemmed from the colourful theme, as well as the delicious scent beckoning them inside.

Logan suddenly found himself pulled along by his now wide awake colleague. Once inside, he gently freed his arm from Roman’s clutches and examined the place methodically.

The walls were painted in pastel colours and were covered in pictures of various sizes. All of the tables and chairs were mismatched and colourful. The sofa and armchairs that stood on an elevated part of the cafe at the back of the room were overflowing with cushions and blankets, some of them looking like they were knitted by a clumsy colour enthusiast.

The whole picture was quite overwhelming at first. However, the atmosphere was warm and welcoming. The room was illuminated by colourful fairy lights stung across the ceiling and every table sported fresh flowers.

Logan cringed at the mess of cables created by the haphazardly stung up lights, but conceded that the place was quite charming in its own way. Roman certainly liked it.

His partner had been drawn to the other side of the room, which was dominated by a large counter displaying all sorts of cakes and baked goods.

“They have chocolate fudge cake, look! And apple cinnamon rolls!” He pointed excitedly.

“Evidently.” Logan answered. “I believe this establishment will suffice for our celebration, as it seems to serve hot beverages as well as your preferred brand of pastries.”

Roman made a face at him, no doubt about to tell him off for replacing their traditional spot so carelessly, however, both of their attention was drawn to the whirlwind of a man entering the cafe from the back room.

“Ohhh, you have something to celebrate? Is it someone’s birthday? Or a promotion?”

The bubbly creature rounded the counter, trailing flour and the smell of vanilla, and beamed at them like an actual ray of sunshine.

This time, Logan’s examination of the newcomer had nothing methodical. Truth be told, he found himself at a loss at what to say, as the other man stumbled over his own feet right before him.

Instinctively, Logan caught his arm to steady the smaller man. He gave a little self deprecating giggle, flushing slightly. Steady now, he looked up at Logan with an expectant look, awaiting an answer.

Logan found himself somewhat distracted by his observation though. The newcomer was shorter than Logan. Softer too. Where Logan was all long lines, straight posture and efficient movements, the other man appeared much less intimidating. Or in fact, not at all.

His pale skin was adorned with a rosy flush on his cheeks. He was wearing a colourful knit sweater which sleeves kept on slipping over his hands the moment he pushed them up to his elbows. His brown hair was tousled and on his nose sat dark rimmed glasses. They sported a bright spot of flour in the middle, where he probably pushed them up when he was baking. His stub nose was also liberally dusted with flour.

Logan examined him only for a moment, but even so, the other man fidgeted with his sleeves and rocked on his toes like he could not stay still, beaming smile firmly in place. He was clearly an energetic mess of a person and against his will, Logan was absolutely charmed.

And tongue tied.

Thankfully, the lack of response did not deter the cheerful creature before him. Spotting Roman at Logan’s elbow, he perked up visibly.

“We do wedding cakes too! You should try our strawberry cream cake! It’s delicious! You’ll loooove it!” he chirped, clearly exited about the idea of an engagement.

“Oh no!” Logan exclaimed despite himself, taking a step back. “We are most certainly not that kind of partners. I fail to see why people always come to this conclusion.”

Logan had crossed his arms and straightened his back as he spoke, towering at this full impressive hight above the other man. He was already too used to warding off this kind of questions from their colleagues and perhaps reacted a tad defensively. He could not help it. It infuriated him that people seemed to believe gay men could not simply be friends.

The other man’s smile faltered in response to Logan’s strict tone and imposing body language. He took a half step back and wrapped his arms around himself in an unconscious attempt to comfort himself. It made him look even smaller. His smile was back after a moment, but it seemed more subdued than before.

Logan, having always been attentive, observed the change come over the other and realised he had, once again, intimidated someone without meaning to. As always, Roman came to his help in his own particular way. He threw an arm around his shoulders and smacked a messy kiss onto Logan’s cheek.

“Awwww, partner, you break my heart!” Pressing his free hand to his chest Roman did a passable expression of a dying swan, relying on Logan to hold him up. “After all these years you deny our love?!”

Fixing his glasses, Logan prayed for patience. Still, even as he spoke, he could not suppress the amused curl of his lips.

“Indeed, I do.”

As expected, Roman pouted at his unwillingness to play along. Logan was feeling generous though. They had closed their case, Roman was a warm weight against his side and he felt the familiar affection for his dramatic partner well up in his chest. Plus, the slow, delighted smile lighting up the pretty face of the smaller man watching them made Logan feel light and funny.

“Also, if you expect me to marry you I would expect you to put at least as much effort into wooing me as you put into flirting with our secretary.”

Roman lit up like a Christmas tree at having been given an opening. Yet, his answer was interrupted by a high pitched squeal from the cute baker. He clearly tried to muffle it behind his clasped hands, but seemed to be too happy to hide it entirely. He really was very endearing.

Logan decided he had had enough drama for today and lightly pulled Romans arm from his shoulders, focusing his attention on the man before him. People were already looking after all. It was most definitely not the bright eyes and ruffled hair that drew his attention away from his poor neglected colleague.

The baker seemed to have gotten over his insecurity caused by Logan’s cool manners with the help of their display of friendship. Still, Logan felt the need to make the other feel comfortable and attempted an apology.

“I am sorry for reacting poorly. Your conclusion was not unusual and did not deserve such a rude reaction.”

Logan nervously adjusted his glasses, hoping his apology would be accepted. He needn’t have worried though.

“Don’t worry at all! I get excited at the prospect of weddings easily, you are right to tell me off or I will start planning wedding cakes before you can stop me! I already have ideas and you are not even together!” He laughed cheerfully, swinging his arms back and forth.

“So what are you celebrating?” He asked, turning wide, curious eyes on Logan.

“We recently managed to close a case. You might have heard about the series of break ins in the neighbourhood? Detective Prince and I have managed to secure the perpetrators last night. After finishing the required paperwork, we traditionally celebrate a successful investigation in a social fashion.”

Even as he was speaking, Logan realised he was slipping into unwanted familiar pattern again. When he was nervous or unsure his tongue ran away with him and he tended to confuse or alienate others with his distanced, emotionless manners. He had become less pronounced since becoming friends with Roman, but people he found attractive still often left him feeling awkward and sounding like a dictionary.

He was quite unexpectedly saved from making more of a fool of himself by suddenly finding his arms full of their new acquaintance, who had launched himself at Roman and Logan with an exited cry and was currently hugging them like a limpet.

Only years of getting used to unexpected hugs thrown at him by Roman kept Logan from freezing up or pushing this strange little creature off him. His partner had no such reservations though. Grinning, he wrapped his arms around both men, never being one to turn down attention or affection.

After the initial surprise Logan managed to decipher the words mumbled into his shoulder.

“Thankyouthankyouthankyousooomuch!!”

He briefly came up for air, beaming at them and making his speech somewhat more recognizable in the process, if not significantly slower.

“My friend was robbed by these horrible people! Shewassoscared! She lives alone! All alone in her flat canyoubelieveit? And they took all of her jewellery, the poor thing andyoucaughtthemI’msoglad!!!”

He paused to take a breath and finally uttered the words Roman had been dying to hear for years.

“You are HEROES!”

Roman instantly puffed up like a peacock, chest swelling, back straightening, getting ready for a monologue.

“Oh please, there is no need to thank us. We are but humble protectors of this fine city. All we want is for the innocent to sleep safe at night! We...”

“Detective Prince is right.”

Logan chose to interrupt before his friend launched himself further into theatre mode. He was already posing.

His agreement brought Roman up short.

“I am?”

“Yes.” Logan answered.

Unsure about how to act in this situation, Logan carefully detached the affectionate citizen from his neck with gentle hands, making him flush prettily.

“There is, in fact, no need to thank us. We are merely doing our job in accordance with our duty.”
Roman pouted.

He was soon cheered up though.

“You are really too modest. My friend will be so glad to feel safe again! And you protect all of us! I feel safer with you here already!”

The smaller man was a flurry of movement again, rocking on his heels and gesticulating widely.

“Oh! You were here to celebrate, how could I keep you with my questions? I’m so sorry!”
He turned around to rush behind the counter, bumping into the corner on his way and nearly tumbling to the ground. Logan reflexively caught his waist in a steadying grip, finding himself once again with his hands on the slighter man. He was starting to get dizzy just looking at the exited man, though he did not mind holding him up at all. He was warm and smelled of bakes goods.

The sudden proximity left Logan flustered and a little anxious though. The smaller man seemed to notice Logan’s unrest and made an effort to calm himself, flashing him an embarrassed smile from under his bangs.

Making his way behind the counter after being released form Logan's hold, the pattisier addressed them in a calmer fashion.

“You should take a seat, please. Everything is on the house.”

Roman perked up at the offer. Logan however, did not share his enthusiasm.

Firstly, accepting such favours would have been unprofessional. Secondly, the baker now seemed to make an effort to appear more quiet and professional, perhaps because Logan had not returned the hug or accepted his gratitude. He did not want the other to feel embarrassed for his enthusiasm or his clumsiness just because Logan was insecure in social settings. Besides, even the man’s clumsiness was adorable on him.

He was unsure about how to reassure the baker though. Wishing he was better at social interactions, he attempted to sooth the embarrassed man once again.

“There is no need for any special treatment, though we appreciate it. You have been most kind to us already.”

Knowing his words fell short, Logan attempted a smile, hoping to put the other at ease. Thankfully the energetic man seemed to be blessed with better social skills than Logan. The smile he gave in return was very kind and genuine. And so pretty. Logan was blushing, he knew it.

“O-kay then! Let’s get your order. My name is Patton by they way! Call me Pat, if you like! Like Pat-isserie?" he laughed at his own joke. "How rude of me! Here I go hugging people before I even introduce myself!”

Patton gave a self-deprecating little laugh, but seemed more at ease around Logan now.

 

Having finished their mutual introduction and having received their order, the detectives finally settled onto the sofa in the corner of the cafe.

Logan leaned back, feeling even more tired after meeting the emotional roller-coaster that was Patton than he had before. His mind was blessedly quiet and peaceful however, as he gazed across the room and watched Patton wipe down the counter, singing under his breath. How curious.

Logan had little time to ponder the peaceful state of his mind though. Roman had settled next to him, stuffing his face with delicious apple cinnamon buns and watching him. Very. Obviously.

“Can I help you?” Logan asked primly, sitting up straighter.

“Me? No I’m perfectly fine.” Roman answered, sipping his hot chocolate, sighing happily.
“What about you?” Roman asked innocently.

“Me?" Logan asked, confused. "Of course I am fine. You are not making any sense.”

Roman only hummed non-committally and shifted his gaze between Logan and Patton.

Choosing to ignore his partner’s oddity, Logan turned to his hot chocolate. It was much superior to the beverage served at their former cafe.

Unintentionally, Logan found his gaze wandering back to Patton. He was currently doing a little dance behind the counter as he was cleaning. Though he was less than graceful, he was plenty adorable. Once again stumbling a little over nothing at all had him giggling to himself. Logan felt light-headed suddenly.

Just then, Patton looked up and caught his gaze. Logan received a cheerful wave for his less than subtle observation.

Tentatively, he smiled back.