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Little brother's all grown up

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Craig rolled out of bed. It was earlier than he was used to but that had been happening a lot lately. One would think that living in a house with Nicky and her nonstop need for partying would keep him entrenched in his old habits but instead it just made him want to leave. He was spending as little time as possible at Smurf’s house nowadays.

He quickly pulled on a shirt and grabbed his keys. It was still early enough for surfing and he still had the board he had borrowed from Deran a few weeks back.

On the way to the beach he took a look at the board laying in the bed of the truck. Since he’d gotten back from Mexico, things between him and Deran had been…off. That’s not to say that they were fighting or at odds in any way. He knew his little brother had his back - he was still the only person Craig trusted in the world - but they weren’t as tight as they used to be. Part of that was that they just didn’t spend much time together. Deran was always busy at the bar or avoiding J and Pope and Craig was getting roped back into the family business.

Taking another look at his brother’s board Craig sighed and turned at the next street. Maybe Deran wasn’t busy this morning and would come out with him.

Craig pulled up next to Deran’s truck in the back parking lot of the bar. He let himself in with the key Deran had given him for emergencies but didn’t call out a greeting just yet. If Deran was still asleep, he didn’t want to disturb him. This whole thing was about mending their relationship, not pissing his brother off.

He walked in quietly until he heard sounds coming from the kitchen. As he turned the corner, he saw Deran standing at the stove. Craig opened his mouth but quickly shut it when he heard another voice.

“So are we going to talk about it?” Craig heard coming from the main room. He knew that voice. Adrian. Huh. Last Craig had heard, Adrian had left town and he and Deran weren’t on great terms.

“Talk about what?” Deran replied without turning from the stove.

Adrian walked into Craig’s view and leaned against the counter. “You bought a bed. An actual bed.”

Craig saw Deran still briefly. “Am I not allowed to have a bed?”

Adrian started to smile. “Course you are. I just find it odd that the last time I was here you just had a mattress on the floor and you were fine with it.”

“Maybe I decided it was time for an upgrade.” Craig watched Deran turn off the stove and move the pan to another burner. It seemed that Adrian was watching as well. When Deran was finished, he pushed off of the counter and crowded Craig’s brother against the opposite counter. Craig was surprised. He’d never thought of Deran as a passive person. He especially wasn’t someone who would let himself be crowded into a corner by someone who was bigger than him.

“You bought a bed for me.” Craig could barely hear Adrian speak but the smile in his voice was apparent nonetheless.

“How do you figure?” Deran asked.

“Hah- I complained about your shitty mattress and then suddenly you have an actual bed?” Adrian scoffed, “Don’t even try and tell me that that’s a coincidence.”

Deran didn’t bother answering. He just leaned up to meet Adrian in a soft kiss. When he pulled away he didn’t go far - not that he could in his current position. “When do you leave?”

“Not for a couple of hours. Any ideas on what I could do to fill the time?” Adrian replied.

Craig was starting to get the feeling that he shouldn’t be here. But he was morbidly fascinated by what he was seeing. His little brother all domestic with his boyfriend? friend with benefits? With his Adrian.

Back in the kitchen, Deran pushed Adrian away lightly. “Sit down. I didn’t make breakfast for nothing.” Adrian stepped back when pushed but didn’t move away until he’d gotten another kiss. Craig watched as the two men settled in to eat the breakfast that Deran apparently cooked. It was a simple meal with little conversation - just two people sitting comfortably in each other’s presence.

After a long moment, Craig decided that he really had overstayed his welcome and turned to go. He made sure to be as quiet leaving as he was entering. It wouldn’t do to have Deran know that he was spying on him - however unintentional that spying was.

On his way to the beach, he thought back to what he had witnessed. His little brother was really growing up. He’d known that Deran was making strides to become more independent but this was the first time he’d really seen the life that he was building for himself. It looked pretty great. Craig was proud of him.

He carefully didn't think about how Deran's new life directly contrasted with Craig's own same old same old - he'd save that thought process for another day. Preferably when he wasn't sober.