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Overcoming qualms

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Snart was pure eye candy, Mick had always acknowledged, if only ever to himself. But this, this was another level of beauty altogether. He was hypnotized by the guy's tattoo, his fingers itching to trace the lacery maze of lines, burned to touch the delicate skin. Dammit! Even the all-knowing half-smile was identical to that of his partner. He scowled and barely refrained a growl.

The guy extended a hand.

“Michael.”

“How do you know my name?” grunted Mick.

“I was telling you mine.”

“Huh. Weird. So you look like my partner here and you're called like me. What's this?”

Snart stepped forward, took the offered hand.

“Hi, I'm Leonard Snart and this is my partner Mick Rory. Please excuse his manners — or rather lack thereof. I presume you're from an alternate reality?”

The fourth man grunted. Mick glared, the man already wore his face, he had no right to steal his lines as well.

“That's what your Captain Hunter explained yes.” That was the tattooed guy. Michael. “This is my brother, Lincoln.”

Link soberly raised a hand.

“Brothers... That sucks!” blurted Mick.

Lincoln eyed him thoughtfully, knowingly. Snart briefly caught Michael’s eye and averted his gaze.

“So, what now?” drawled Len, pretending to be bored.

Michael caught his eye and nodded toward the nearby desk. They retreated together and started planning for the mission Rip Hunter had assigned them. They didn’t even bother with finishing the other's sentences, their minds so alike a few words were enough to know what the other meant. Mick and Link watched, awed by the display of sheer genius.

“So he's still the smart one huh?” asked Link.

“Pretty smart yeah.”

“Partners huh? How does that work?”

Mick stayed silent. Partners. Partners in crime. Nothing more. Mick was definitely straight but he knew he would make an exception for Snart if he ever asked him. Which he never had.

“Do you think he knows?” asked Link.

“Does Michael?” countered Mick.

“They are the smart ones.” acknowledged Lincoln.

“Yeah, the pretty, pretty smart ones.”

“They know.” they said in unison.

It was unnerving, how similar they were. But it was the small differences that really rattled Mick. Leaving all disturbing thoughts of alternate realities aside, he focused on his favorite brooding subject instead. Michael and Snart couldn't ignore the effect they had on the two men and yet they didn't do anything. There was only one possible reason for it.

“Beer?” proposed Mick.

“Don't you have anything stronger on this ship?”

They disappeared towards the kitchen.

***

Snart looked up.

“They're gone.”

Michael dropped his pen. They had been done with planning for a few minutes already but had been stalling, pretending to go into minute details that really didn't need any more reviewing, waiting for Mick and Link to inevitably head off to find booze.

“So, brothers...”

“Yes.”

“That really sucks.”

There was no sucking involved actually but Michael was not ever going to say so out loud. He settled for shifting the focus of the conversation.

“Partners doesn't seem to work any better for you.”

He was answered by an uncharacteristic grunt.

“What stops you?”

“We're not brothers but we're as good as. Plus he’s as straight as they come. There's no telling how he would react.”

“He wants to.”

“I know but he can be peculiar which rules are important and which are meant to be broken. If he realizes suddenly in the middle of it that he doesn't want it after all, we lose everything. At least you can't lose your brother.”

“Yeah, well, we aren’t sure about that actually. He might or might not have been adopted.”

“Why don’t you take a DNA test?”

“I’m not sure I want to know.”

“But there’s a possibility…”

“Yeah. But think about this. You two aren’t brothers and it doesn’t change anything. The way I see it, whatever the result, we lose, either we’re not brothers or we can’t be lovers. This way at least the cat is both alive and dead.”

They kept silent a long while, each lost in thought. Then it was Michael's turn to grunt.

“I have an idea.”

With a sly smile, they went back to planning together.