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Home is Where The Car Is

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Davey Jacobs was just like any other university student. He attended classes, worked two jobs, each one four times a week, hung out with his friends, enjoyed pizza a little too often and occasionally went to parties. He was also stressed, but lived through the crazy amount of homework and projects he was giving. Coffee was easily his best friend, followed by the three idiots he somehow got stuck with during high school. He hadn’t had a stable relationship in over two years. He was twenty three and hadn’t spoken to any of his family members in three years. Oh! And he lived in his 2001 toyota highlander.

So, really, Davey wasn’t like any other university student. He was screwed over in so many ways, his life was just crumbling slowly into a pile of useless dust. While deep down, he knew that eventually things would turn around, and he would be able to start renting an actual apartment, he had barely any hope.

If he really wanted too, Davey had three friends who would happily take him in and let him crash on their couches. Sometimes he did, but never more than a night. He couldn’t afford to help with rent, therefore he just didn’t feel right doing it. Besides, Finch only had a studio apartment, Specs still lived with his mother and sisters, and Elmer lived too far from work and school for him to be able to justify living there.

Davey was happy in his car. There was no wifi, or power (unless the car was running), or running water, but it was home. He kept his belongings minimal- a suitcase of clothing, a small box of food that didn’t need to be prepared, a pillow and a stack of blankets, his laptop and it’s charger, an extra pair of shoes and his backpack with all his little things.

His friends let him use their showers though, and if not he had a gym membership he shared with Elmer (who never used it, Davey was well aware of that, but he still paid for his half of the membership anyways.) Most places had wifi nowadays, as well as outlets where Davey could charge his things. So really, he didn’t need electricity or wifi.

He didn’t have a phone either. Well, he did- he had a busted Iphone 5 that was starting to see it’s day. He didn’t have a cell plan though, so he could only text people on imessage and while he had wifi. It was tough at first, but it was just ninety bucks he didn’t need leaving his bank account each month. It wasn’t like he needed to call anyone anyways. Most the people he needed to discuss things with (his professors and bosses) just emailed him anyways.

Davey hummed as he crawled around the back of his car. The back seats had been folded down, so that the back was just one big flat surface. He dug through his pile of dirty clothes, making a mental note to do laundry as soon as he could, and found his jacket, before slipping it on. He checked the time on his phone and then crawled into the front seat.

He plugged in his phone before he tossed it on the passenger seat. In his car, the air conditioning did not work at all , and the radio for some reason could only reach the kids radio station, so he opted for carrying around CDs. He took out the one that had been playing previously and swapped it for another random one. None of the CDs were actually in the right case, so he didn’t waste much time in picking one to listen to. It ended up being one of Taylor Swift’s album- not his, but he had it anyways. It was his sister’s that he had took when he got kicked out of the house three years ago. He’d be lying if he said he didn’t know which album it was ( it was Fearless) and he’d be lying if he said he didn’t actively like the music off of it.

Partly because it had been his sisters favourite at the time, partly because Davey just really liked Taylor Swift.

He pulled out of the parking lot he had stayed in for the night, before he cranked the music and made his way to his classes for the day. He stopped at McDonalds along the way for breakfast, and then at Starbucks for coffee. Realistically, he shouldn’t be getting such expensive coffee, but it tasted good, and Davey didn’t get many luxuries. Starbucks was one of his little luxuries.

By noon, he was done his classes and was sitting in the front seat of his car, adding an english essay and a new website design to his never ending list of things to do this weekend. They were written in the notes of his phone, right under do laundry, call boss about Sunday, get bet money from Finch, email prof about missed classes and fight Specs . He didn’t remember putting down the last one, but apparently he thought it was something important to do.

He purposely decided to eat somewhere cheap with wifi. After six months of living  in his car, he had learned the places to go. This was a locally owned Pizza place, which made good breadsticks and pasta. The lunch buffet was always nice too, so that made this place one of Davey’s favourite locations.

While he was eating the second small plate of food, he typed away at his essay on a novel he hadn’t even read yet. He just read a bunch of different synopsis of the novel and was praying that would be enough. He wouldn’t normally do this, but lately things had just been way too much for Davey, and he was just looking for the easiest way out.

“Refill?” the waitress asked, already grabbing Davey’s cup from the table. He smiled up at her and nodded, before thanking her. He still had had a mouthful of water left in the glass, but he knew he would need more water right away anyways.

“You’re here often, aren’t ya?” she asked as she returned with Davey’s glass of water.

“Yeah,” Davey said with a quick nod. “It’s just on the way to work.”

“You’re here so often and I don’t know your name,” she pointed out. The lady was easily in her late thirties and wore a wedding ring. She was just being friendly, which was a relief to Davey. Not that he had just assumed , but girls did flirt with him around campus sometimes and he hated having to explain that he was gay to get others off his back.

He hated being gay. Sure, he had come to terms with it long ago, and he really fucking loved being with men, but he hated it. His sexualtiy was what screwed him over three years go. It didn’t stop him though. He wasn’t going to suddenly turn around and start dating women just so he could go back home.

He wanted nothing more than to go back home.

“David,” he said with a smile as he shook her hand. Her name tag read Cynthia , and Davey gave a small nod to acknowledge he had noticed her name, before she grinned.

“Well David, how about a free dessert?” Cynthia asked. “Could give ya my discount” she offered. Davey hesitated, he really didn’t know about that idea, but a slice of pie sounded wonderful.

“Only if it isn’t too much of an issue,” Davey said. Cynthia smiled and shook her head.

“Not at all! You tip so generously, you deserve something special,” she said, before flipping open her notepad. “Besides, employees get a free dessert after each shift… and I really don’t want another slice of pie. What can I get ya?”

“Just a slice of apple pie, please,” Davey said with a small smile. Cynthia grinned and scribbled that in before she walked back into the kitchen.

Davey focused back in on his work, but more so on the pasta that was sitting on his table. He made sure to finish the food he had taken before Cynthia came back out with the slice of pie, which had been warmed up and sprinkled with a bit of icing sugar.

“Thank you,” Davey said.

“Anytime,” she said.

The pie was nice. It wasn’t very good, and he could see why employees were so often given free slices of it, but the gesture from Cynthia was nice, and he chose to enjoy the pie instead of complain.

Once he was finished eating, he got to play the fun game of whether or not his debit card would work.

His debit card accepted the transaction after declining it once for some reason, which he didn’t actually expect to happen, and he was off once again. He prefered just carrying around cash, which wasn’t safe, but sometimes it was easier just to hand someone a twenty then have to dig out a little plastic card that he never knew would work or not.

Cynthia wished him luck for the rest of the day on his way out, and Davey just gave a small nod.

His car took a second to start up, a wave of panic quickly rising in his stomach only to subside quickly. He ran a hand through his hair, stiff with the leftover gel from yesterday. He really needed to shower- preferably tonight. He’d probably just end up at the gym after his shift at Buck’s , the restaurant and bar where he worked mostly night shifts at. If he was lucky though, Finch would still be up around two am to let him use his shower.

The gas light on his car went off while he was idle at a red light. That stupid little ping noise that Davey hated so much, because that ping noise meant that was another eighty bucks leaving his wallet for something stupid, but he couldn’t avoid.

There was a short debate in his head; whether or not he wanted to get gas now and be late for work, or wait, and risk not having enough to get to the gas station after work. With a quick glance at the time, he decided that he didn’t want to risk it. Sure, he and his boss, Buttons ( or Elanie, but she just had everyone call her Buttons (Davey learned not to question it.)) were on really good terms. They were friends, even, but Davey didn’t need to clock in late for the third time this month.

Worse came to worse, he reminded himself, he’d just get someone to pick him up and he would fill a gas can and bring it back to the bookstore.

He parked in the employee parkign and crawled into the back. He switch his shirts and double checked that he had his nametag, before he got out.

He clocked in just as Jane, the girl who worked before him, checked out. They exchanged smiles, Jane commenting on the fact that Davey “looked like shit.” He just brushed it off, but in his head all he could think was yeah of course I do. What’s fucking new Jane?

Buttons was standing by the till when he stepped out into the mainroom. They greeted each other, before Davey joined her behind the counter. While Davey logged onto the computer, Buttons was talking behind him, but he didn’t actually start listening until halfway through.

“So you can close up shop tonight?” She asked. Davey grimmanced but quickly relaxed his face before he actually turned to face her. That would be half an hour longer, meaning he had half an hour less between his two jobs.

“Yeah course I can,” Davey said with a small nod. “What happened to Steve?” he asked. Steve was the guy he always worked with on Friday nights, who was either very late, or very fired.

“Quit two days ago,” she said with a small huff. “I’m interviewing people to replace him next week… figured you’d be alright working a shift or two solo.”

“Of course yeah, it’s not like we’re crazy busy,” he said with a small laugh.

“You’ll be able to get to Buck’s on time?” Buttons asked.

They had taken classes together Davey’s second year of University. They both impulsively took a crime statistics class that had nothing to do with either of their majors and just bonded. Then she graduated that year, only to take over her Dad’s bookstore a month later. She knew his situation, which he was grateful for. She also understood it well.

“Probably,” he said. “I’m low on gas, but I should get there.”

“I can go fill you up,” she offered.

“Right now?”

“Yeah, Jojo and I are going to her mother’s house for dinner at six, I’m clocking out right away here anyways,” she said. Davey fished his keys out of his pocket and handed them to Buttons, who took them with a smile.

“I’ll be right back. Don’t burn down my store!” Buttons said as she started walking back towards the back.

“Thank you!” he called out.

He hummed as he tapped a pen on the table. A couple came in, browsed around for a while, but didn’t buy anything. Then a few more people trickled in. Still. None of them were buying anything or asking for help, so Davey got to just sit at the counter, fiddling his thumbs idly as he watched on.

Buttons dropped off his keys while he was helping ring a customer through. She stuck around until the payment was completed so the two could exchange their thank yous and goodbyes, and then she was gone.

It was quiet for most of the night, which wasn’t unusual for the store. Most people prefer to go to the bigger, better Chapters just down the road. Somehow though, enough people bought things to keep the tiny store in business. Maybe a big factor was that their entire inventory was all donated books, or maybe it was just conveniently more busy whenever Davey didn’t work.

The little bell above the door chimed and Davey turned to watch as a man wandered in, gazing around just a bit before he made eye contact with Davey.

He sat up a bit straighter as the man, maybe Davey’s age with brown messy hair and tanned skin, approached the desk. He looked nervous, and Davey noticed that his hands seemed to be covered in little splashes of paint. The man offered a smile as he adjusted the sleeves of his very clearly new button down shirt.

“Hi, can I help you?” Davey asked, already preparing to get up off of his chair.

“Actually I was wondering if I could speak to the manager?” he asked. Davey hesitated as he sat up a bit straighter, which caused the man to stand up a bit straighter.

“She’s not actually in the building right now,” Davey said. “I could leave a message for you, though.”

“Oh! Uh, no no that’s fine I uh, was just wondering about the help wanted sign out front,” he said, jabbing his thumb towards the front door. Davey nodded- a cue to let him keep going. Apparently it wasn’t noticeable enough, since he just stared blankly at Davey. He cleared his throat.

“Well, you could leave your resume with me, and I’ll make sure it gets in with the others,” Davey said. The man smiled before he nodded, taking his bag off his shoulders to get his resume out.

“I uh, I’m Jack Kelly,” he said as he slid the resume (slightly crumpled, printed on a light yellow paper instead of white) on the desk. Davey smiled and held out his hand for him to shake.

“David,” he said shortly. Jack laughed lightly and nodded towards his nametag.

“But that says yous named Davey,” Jack said lightly. Davey laughed and shrugged.

“Stolen identity,” he joked, which earned a small laugh from the other. He couldn’t tell if he genuinely found it funny, or he was just laughing so Davey would talk him up on first impressions with Buttons later. Either way, he appreciated it.

“Well if we’re going by fake names, I’ll be... Anthony,” Jack joked as he leaned casually against the front table. Davey raised an eyebrow and laughed lightly.

“Anthony?” he asked. “Geez least mine was close to my name.”

“Anthony’s my brotha’s name,” Jack said. “I may be an artist, but I’m not creative enough to think of a new name close to Jack that fast.”

“Jacques,” Davey said simply, which earned from an eye roll from the other.

“That’s just a french accent slapped onta Jack,” Jack said.

Actually , it’s also equivalent to Jacob and James,” Davey pointed out. “But yeah, just the french pronunciation of Jack.” Jack smirked.

“What are ya, a french expert?” Jack asked. Davey laughed and shrugged.

“No, just smart,” Davey said. The door chimed, and a group of teenagers came in, laughing loudly. Jack gave him a small nod as he stood up straight again.

“Well, hopefully I’ll get to work along ya soon. Thanks in advance,” Jack said. Davey nodded as he took the resume and put it in a safe place, making a mental note to leave it on her desk before he left.

And maybe he’d leave a little sticky note recommending Jack Kelly to Buttons, because well… Davey thought he seemed nice, and capable of carry the job. He was well mannered and respectful and attractive, and Davey would be lying if he said he didn’t already have a stupid crush on the stranger.

Then again, if any male was nice to him, Davey was quick to find himself crushing on them for a week or so. Then he’d forget about them and the crush would fade. The last thing he’d want to do was get to know someone well enough to go out on a date with them. For one, he lived in a car and doubted it would be much of a turn on for anyone . For two, he didn’t even have a phone number, and relied on things like imessage and messenger apps to contact people. Again, that was just kind of ridiculous, so he never gave away contact information.

So, maybe he wouldn’t leave a sticky note about first impressions. Maybe he’d leave a sticky note saying he was rude about it, but then that would just be rude. So, instead, Davey would just leave the resume on Buttons desk and let fate to decide.

He ended up closing the shop up ten minutes early. No one was inside, and no one looked interested enough to come in for any last minute books. It made sense just to close and have those extra few minutes to get to Buck’s .

Davey kept a close eye on the time as he wiped down the counters and swept the floors. He wanted to clean up properly, but knew he wouldn’t have enough time to do it all. He took the cash from the register and brought it to the back room, where Buttons’ small  shoebox office was. He counted it, before putting it in the little safe Buttons kept. She would deposit it tomorrow, surely. Then he left the resume on her desk in clear sight, and decided to add a little sticky note on it anyways.

Dropped this off while I was working, really nice and professional about it. Idk where you leave the resumes you get -Davey

Without a second thought, Davey doubled checked the doors and turned off the lights, before he made his way outside to his car.

The first thing he had noticed when he sat down in the front seat, was the little stack of things placed neatly on the passenger side. Buttons probably did all that- well, she for sure did. No one else had the keys to his car recently.

In the pile, was a bag of dried banana chips, a packet of gum and a new tube of toothpaste (he didn’t know if she was trying to hint at something there), a box of cookies with two of them missing, some granola bars and an itunes gift card. Davey grinned as he looked through his things, before he pulled out his phone.

 

From Davey: You know, you really didn’t have to get all this for me. I have money .

 

And it was true. He didn’t have much, but Davey had money. It was just… car insurance cost significantly less than an apartment. Even if he shared one with a roommate. With an apartment came cleaning, and dishes, and clutter, and unproductivity. With a car, there wasn’t much to clean up and he had nothing really to do but work.

 

From Buttons: Yeah well, consider it a late birthday gift!  

 

From Davey: My birthday was in may

 

Davey didn’t get her response right after that. He had to start driving, so he tucked his phone away and began on his journey. He probably wouldn’t get to see Buttons’ reply until he ended up wherever he was going to go to shower that night. Buck’s didn’t have wifi, and Davey didn’t have data, so he was kind of just screwed.

Again, he changed in the back of his car into a different uniform once he ended up in the parking lot of Buck’s , which was already busy inside. Lots of people ended up there to watch football or hockey or whatever sport Davey didn’t care about in the bar section of the restaurant. Davey was lucky enough to just work in the restaurant part, where it was quiet and family friendly.

He greeted coworkers as he got ready for his shift, lingering in the washroom just a bit to try and tame his hair and wash his hands.

He yawned as he checked which tables he was responsible for tonight. It was only ten, and he was already falling asleep as he stood.

Luckily though, there were enough people around to keep him busy. A refill there, extra napkins here, clean up this table, deal with a flaw in a meal at that table. It was a rhythm he quickly got into, usually checking up on his tables probably far too often, but he always seemed to get good tips for that. Not that it mattered, since the tips were collected and spread equally among everyone who worked in the facility at the end of every week. Including everyone in the bar, as well as the janitors and managers.

Davey could understand most of the people included in sharing tips, but not the managers.

Around midnight, when his shift was half over, Davey and his co worker, Romeo, ended up sitting at one of the tables playing cards. The bar on the other side of the wall was loud and bustling, but the restaurant was not.

Davey didn’t understand why they kept both open until three am- very few people actually ended up sitting in the restaurant, since all the food was the same, and very few minors were out that late of night.

However, without this happening, Davey would be out of a job, so he wasn’t going to complain.

The door opened and both of them grimaced. Davey started cleaning up the cards while Romeo greeted the group of people, before leading them to a table. Davey stretched as Romeo came back towards him.

“They’re just your friends,” he said. Davey laughed lightly and nodded. He could tell just by the sounds of them talking when the door opened.

Still, Davey needed to be professional- since he was on the clock.

But would he really though?

“Hey guys,” Davey said shortly as he approached, already pulling out his pen and notepad to take their drinks, absently writing down what everyone was going to get before they started to talk.

“You look like shit,” Finch said. Davey sighed and smiled.

“Yeah you’re not the first person to say that today,” he said, leaning against the booth they were at.

“Kinda smell too,” Elmer joked. At that, he rolled his eyes.

“Yeah I didn’t get a chance to shower yesterday,” he said, pushing a playful tone, but it was the truth.

“Shower at mine after your shift if you want,” Elmer offered. Davey smiled and shrugged.

“I might take you up on that,” Davey said. “Your place is just so far … I might just shower at the gym.”

“Gyms don’t have nice showers though,” Specs spoke up.

“Just shower at mine, I’ll be up anyways,” Finch said.

“Thanks…” Davey trialed off. “I’ll be back with drinks.”

The guys didn’t question any of it, just accepting the fact that Davey knew that they all wanted. They so frequently came in just to keep Davey company as he worked. That and they were all creatures of habit. He couldn’t remember the last time any of them had ordered anything different to drink than what they normally did.

He returned with their drinks and then slipped into the booth beside Finch while he waited for them to settle on what they wanted to eat.

“We could do wings,” Specs said absently.

“We could , but last time we had wings I threw up,” Elmer pointed out.

“Last time you had them you had gotten a bit too crazy with the amounts of shots you had,” Finch laughed.

“When did that happen?” Davey asked. He didn’t remember that.

“Okay, but we were celebrating my birthday! I deserved the drinks,” Elmer exclaimed.

Davey swallowed hard. He had missed Elmer’s birthday last month since he was working. He heard stories about what they had gotten up to the day after, and it still sucked knowing he missed out on it.

“Well, I’m pretty sure it was the drinks that made you throw up, not the wings,” Finch said.

“Pretty sure we were at Hot Shots too, not Bucks,” Specs said.

“No hot shots was when Spec’s cousin came along and slept with a drag queen.”

Davey blinked. He hadn’t even heard that story before.

“Of all the places-”

“So? Wings are wings, we’re not getting them,” Elmer cut Davey off. Davey sighed before he got up. As if he didn’t feel shitty enough already.

“I’ll be back to get your order in a few minutes,” he said with a small nod, before leaving to linger around in the kitchen while he waited for them to make a decision. They tried to bring Davey back to sit and talk with them, but Davey decided to just ignore them. They didn’t care about his input anyways.

He was being petty, Davey was well aware of that when he brought out their orders of nachos and pretzel buns. He was ignored once and now he was just going to avoid his friends for the rest of the time while they talked. Still, he never really felt like he fit in with them anyways.

They ended up staying around until everyone was getting ready to close up.

“Davey, you’re okay right?” Finch asked as he Specs paid for their food.

“Course,” Davey said shortly as he took the debt machine back from Specs, tucking it into the pocket of his apron.

“Just, you kinda avoided us the entire time,” Elmer said.

“Busy working and stuff,” Davey said. No it was because you were ignored once .

“No one else was here the entire time.”

“Well…” Davey yawned. “I’m still on the clock.”

“You’re coming over to shower, right?” Finch asked. Davey shrugged.

“I might just go to the gym,” he said with a small nod. Finch rolled his eyes.

“You’re driving me home so you need to use my shower,” Finch said. “Crash on my couch too, your car isn’t comfortable.”

Davey sighed. He was too tired to argue, and the sounds of Finch’s couch did sound nice. Even if his couch was a lumpy uncomfortable seafoam green leather couch his grandma had when she was growing up.

“Yeah sure,” he said. “I’ll be out of your hair by eight.”

“What? Plans tomorrow for once?” Finch asked.

“No. I just have a bunch of homework to do… big website design is due on Wednesday,” Davey said as everyone started putting their coats back on.

“So just do it at my house,” he said simply. Davey shrugged, again, too tired to argue.

The car ride back to Finch’s studio apartment was mostly quiet, besides Finch’s short complaint about the lack of radio stations, and then Davey’s selections of CDs. Besides that, and Davey almost falling asleep at the wheel, nothing interesting really had happened.

Once they were parked outside of Finch’s apartment complex, he helped Davey bring in a few things (just his backpack and a plastic bag Davey had stuffed a clean outfit into, along with some sweats for the night) and then while Finch was making up the couch, Davey got into the shower.

He might have spent a bit longer than he planned too originally in the shower. It was just that the water was so warm and there was so much water pressure in his shower. The gym didn’t have either of those things, or private stalls either. He also got to use Finch’s nice body wash instead of his hotel soaps. Small luxuries that Davey often forgot most people had.

When he was out of the shower and changed, he made it back out into the main room and beelined straight for the couch, collapsing on it the minute he was close enough. It was uncomfortable and a small area to sleep on, but Davey didn’t complain as he fell asleep almost instantly.

Chapter Text

“Well Mr Kelly, I must say that you lived up to your resume expectation,” Elaine said as she cleaned up a few things on her desk. Jack smiled, relieved that this interview was finally over. He felt like he aced it- and that he left a good impression, so he just hoped that maybe he would actually get the job.

This was his second interview over the past three days, and he had one more in a few hours. However, of the three jobs, Jack probably would enjoy working at Bumble Bees Books the most. Partly because Elaine seemed like a good boss, partly because a very cute boy worked here.

He wasn’t going to lie- he couldn’t remember his name. He wanted to say David, but that didn’t sound right in his head. However, he was cute and Jack wanted to get to know him more. He didn’t even know if he wa going to work with him at any point, but that was his main motivation.

“Well I’m glad,” Jack said as they both stood up. Elaine reached over the desk and shook his hand. Jack smiled and gave a small nod. “Thank you again ma’am for the opportunity.”

“Please, Elaine is just fine,” she dismissed absently. “You’ll be hearing from me in a few days I think.”

“I’ll be keeping an eye out,” Jack said. She nodded, before she walked Jack back out to the bookstore.

They exchanged goodbyes again just as the same guy entered through the back, greeting Elaine with the name Buttons instead. Considering his brother’s names, Jack didn’t think much of it- just that the cute guy who worked here was currently getting ready to start a shift.

His name was Davey, Jack finally remembered, as the two smiled at each other. Jack kept his gaze lingering on him, before he forced himself out of the front door. Hopefully he would have another chance to talk to him… and maybe even get his number.

Jack hummed contently as the warm September air hit his face. The sun was already setting at six pm, but it casted a nice warm glow across the city, and it just seemed like the perfect lighting for a painting.

He had bussed down to Bumble Bees for his interview, thanks to his brother taking his car because “Spot left mine at the nightclub!” and when the two went to go pick it up, neither of them had came back in either of the cars.

He could only hope that if they did go somewhere, it was in the back of Race car. They had taken his car a few times before, and each time Jack found a used condom in the back.

Jack decided to take a few photos of the landscape for future references before he continued on his way to the bus stop two blocks over.

Getting home was easy, first just take the 104 and then transfer to the 37 , ride for two stops and then walk three blocks down to his apartment building. He and his brothers lived on the fifth floor in a three bedroom apartment, which realistically none of them could afford on their own, but their mother helped out a little bit with rent.

As he unlocked the front door, he could already hear shouting. With a small roll of his eyes, he stepped inside and locked the door again.

His brothers, Crutchie and Race were sitting on the couch, screaming at each other as they raced around on Mario Kart. Spot, Race’s boyfriend who technically didn’t live with them but was over almost every night anyways was sitting in the recliner chair with his headphones in and a textbook in his lap.

“Wanna join Jack?” Race asked, glancing back briefly at him as his character flew off the map. Jack considered it for a second, before jumping over the back of the couch and sitting next to Crutchie, grabbing the third remote already on the table.

“Long as I get ta kick your ass,” he grinned.

Race ended the game, and Jack set up his character as they got comfortable on the couch.

“Don’tcha have a night class today?” Jack asked absently, all three of them focused more on the game than anything else.

“I do, but that don’t mean I’m going,” Race said as he hunched over himself, leaning with his kart around a sharp corner of the map.

“He hasn’t been going for the past two weeks, decided just to read the textbook and hope for the best,” Crutchie said with a laugh. Race rolled his eyes and scoffed.

“Least I have luck when it comes to that,” he remarked.

“Now what’s that supposed to mean?” Crutchie asked.

“Nothin’ just sayin’ I’ve got good luck,” Race said casually. Crutchie rolled his eyes playfully. Race suddenly jumped up on the couch as he completed the race in first place, screaming and hollering as he threw his remote down on the ground.

“Guess who’s paying to go out tonight!” He celebrated. Jack laughed and rolled his eyes, setting down his remote as he sat up from the table.

“Now I wouldn’t have participated in this if I had known yous two had a bet over who won,” Jack said, grabbed his jacket from the floor as he slipped it back on again, only to push his sleeves up to his elbows. Both Race and Crutchie shrugged as they looked to each other, before they looked to Jack.

“Ya still came in last place,” Race pointed out.

“So yous gotta pay,” Crutchie added, grabbing his crutch next to him as he stood up, stretching out just a bit.

“I wasn’t plannin’ on going out!” Jack said.

He was planning on painting. Probably finishing up one or two of his projects, so he’d be able to work on her personal stuff. He only really liked painting landscapes. Faces weren’t fun to draw, and there was nothing more that Jack hated than still life. Of course, those were both the projects he had to do. A self portrait in an abstract style to represent him, and then a stupid still life of his choosing. Sometimes he questioned whether or not he should just jump ship and not finish his degree.

And now instead of painting, he’d have to go out and buy his brothers and his brother’s stupid boyfriend drinks because he was tricked into playing a game of Mario Kart that had a bet attracted to it, both Crutch and Race knowing fully well that Jack sucked at playing Mario Kart. Spot didn’t even try to warn him about it! He probably knew fully well what was going on.

“Well you are now,” Spot said, glancing up from his book before he put it away. Jack huffed, rolled his eyes, before he smiled. He liked the idea of going out anyways. After that stressful interview he had, he kind of deserved it if he did say so himself.

None of them had money to go out- they had to pay rent on Sunday, and they would for sure come up short if they went out, but none of them really cared. Medda would give them the last little bit of money if they came up short. She always did- a wonderful mother she was.

“Let’s get going then!” he said happily.

The next morning, which was a Monday, mind you, Jack was practically a ball of energy. He woke up feeling like shit, but that quickly changed as he had gotten a call from Elaine about wanting to hire him at Bumble Bees . Obviously he had accepted it, and that just cured his hangover right there.

He started on Friday. Friday night, to be specific, meaning that maybe he’d be working that shift that Davey had. Unless he had taken over Davey’s shift, which he doubted. Or at least hoped that was the case.

He was painting, still in the sweats he slept in (with two immature brothers in the house, you never slept nude), and had tossed on an old shirt. He was standing at the easel in the corner of his room, paints spread out on the little table next to him as he struggled to finish this damn still life.

He hated still lifes, and he hated acrylic paints. They dried faster and details were harder to get into place. The colours never matched the colours when they dry, and the texture was barely there.

He liked oils more- sure he needed the solvent to thin the paint and clean them, but they just flowed better on the canvases. They took longer too dry too, so he could work on details as long as he wanted to without any rush at all. The colours didn’t darken at all when they dried, and the texture was just so much nicer.

He liked paints like he liked the people he surrounded himself with. You get what you see- there’s no sudden change of colours after you started getting used to them. Their relationship didn’t seize up quickly and stop changing. He liked when they could change things, even if they had sat out for a while, so they can nudge colours around just a bit and adjust them if something isn’t quite up to their happiness level. He liked them bright and vibrant and happy, but maybe just a bit more complicated than a cut and paste relationship. There was a bit of extra work they needed to do, but that was okay, but the result would always be better.

Jack hummed as he painted, having given up on the reference photo he had taken long ago. He had the sketch and the basic colours and he knew where the light source was, so what was the point?

God he hated art school. Grading you on how well you can paint, of course entirely based on whatever stuck up professor you had opinions was of good. There was specific projects and due dates and all Jack wanted to do was paint . Then again, he didn’t want to be doing anything else. So, he’d get his way through art school and would never think of anything he learned in school again.

“Jack you coming or what?” Race called from the kitchen. Jack hesitated, before he turned down his music and wandered out into the hallway.

What? ” he asked. Race rolled his eyes as he came around the corner.

“We’re carpoolin’ to classes right?” Race said. Jack hesitated.

“Well yeah but… we don’t have any classes today?” he said. Race laughed.

“Yeah wes do- you have your uh, art history class today, or whateva it is,” Race said with a small wave of the hand. Jack laughed lightly.

“That’s a Monday class,” Jack said bluntly. Race raised an eyebrow.

“Yeah,” he said, dragging out the word. “It’s Monday.”

“Well shit,” Jack said with a laugh and a shake of the head. He didn’t even realize.

“Ight gimme ten minutes,” Jack said as he turned around, heading back towards his room.

“You have five!” Race called out as Jack shut his bedroom door.

He rushed to get ready, though he didn’t put much effort into her appearance at all. It was one lecture, after all, and he doubted he’d go out to eat or anything like that after his class. He hadn’t even left yet, and all he wanted to do was get back home so he could keep working on that stupid still life painting of a tower of objects.

Two minutes later, with coffee in a cheap to go mug and missing a textbook, Jack and Race were in Race’s car, heading off towards the classes. At least on Mondays the two had their lectures in the same building, so there was no dropping one person off first and then heading off. The Larkins brothers ( they had all been adopted by Medda Larkins, though they were all at an age where they decided to keep their last names. So while they were brothers, they all had completely different last names. Still, they were the Larkins brothers ) sucked at carpooling or coordinating anything.

Race was a reckless driver. If Jack had to rate his driving skills, it would probably be a four, and it was only so high because he was his brother and he felt like he had to do that. If that wasn’t the case, Race was easily a one point five. Jack wasn’t any better than him- he’d admit that, but at least he didn’t run through red lights.

“You’re gonna get a ticket for that,” Jack said, unimpressed at Race’s stupid decisions. Race laughed lightly and shrugged.

“Who cares? I didn’t wanta wait for it,” Race said with a laugh, before turning up the music on the radio, washing out Jack’s talking.

It wasn’t like he was going to lecture him or anything. He wasn’t his mother, and he knew that Race would have to pay for the ticket, not Jack. So he didn’t care. He just cared that the idiot got both of him safely to their classes.

“You’re good on finding your own way home?” Race asked as he shut down the car. He tossed the keys in his pocket as he started getting out.

“Yeah yeah, I’ll take the bus or something,” he said as he got out and walked to the front of the car.

“I can wait the extra hour,” Race said. The car beeped and locked. Jack shrugged.

“Nah, I know you wanna go and fuck your boyfriend in the empty house,” Jack teased. Race slapped his arm hard.

“I don’t wants to go fuck my boyfriend,” he shot back. Jack snorted.

“Yeah you do,” he said. “So you two can be as loud as ya want, instead of having to worry about me hearing over the wall.”

“Oh my god Cowboy just shut up,” Race said as he nudged him.

“Just use protection,” Jack teased. “Don’t need any babies running around.”

“Neither of us can get pregnant!” Race exclaimed. Jack laughed and shrugged.

“Have fun fuckin your man!” Jack said, before he turned off into a different direction.

Jack turned back just in time to see Race flipping him off. He laughed and repeated the action, before turning away and heading off towards his class.

He sat down in the back of the large hall, humming to himself as he doodled in his notebook. Chances were he was going to fall asleep halfway through or just not pay attention. He knew that from experience. He could just read the textbook afterwards. He wasn’t entirely sure, but Jack was almost certain that the teacher just sat there for a solid three hours and spoke right out of the textbook with some mediocre powerpoint behind her.

He ended up ducking out early too, deciding that the last twenty minutes weren’t anything of interest for him. Not enough to stick around, anyways. His grade would be fine. It was only twenty minutes, after all. If he had any homework to do, he would just get the information from one of his classmates after.

Jack hummed as he headed down the street, enjoying the nice leisurely walk towards his bus stop. He didn’t like the idea of going home, not wanting to walk in on anything explicit, but he would rather be there painting, while enduring the loud moaning on the other side of the wall than wandering the streets with absolutely nothing to do.

The bus still was going to take a while, however, so he happily took his time to get home, kicking a small stone beneath his feet.

He plugged in his headphones at one point, blocking out the world as he waited at the bus stop. Jack wasn’t the keenest on talking the bus- it was more or less just a pain. Realistically, he didn’t know if it was worth it to carpool with Race, despite them being in the same building for their lectures, just because Race finished so much earlier than him. Sometimes he’d wait, but most times he wouldn’t.

He’d save a bit of money too, if he just took his car.

There was no use in complaining now though. He was already waiting and the bus was just coming up the road. All it meant was that he’d be getting home a bit later than he would have if he had just driven himself.

The bus ride was uneventful, of course. Not that Jack was expecting anything epic or exciting to happen. He had hoped that maybe at least he’d see a dog walking down the street but nothing.

Back up to his apartment and into his room, where he immediately started painting again. Luckily, the house seemed pretty quiet, so Jack assumed that Race had taken Spot elsewhere, or they had gotten all their horny problems out of the way already.

He tried to pretend to be interested in the work he was doing, even just to make it seem a bit faster, but it just didn’t work. Everything on this painting was stupid, and he hated the colours in it. So much.

Jack glanced at the time, before double checking the dates. This painting was due on Wednesday. He still had two days to do it, so if he just took a break, maybe finished doing it tomorrow, he’d probably be fine.

So, he switched his paintings over to one of his own, cleaned off his palette in the kitchen and started pouring out different colours of oil paints on the same palette. He grabbed an unfinished painting, the one he had been working on yesterday and started absently mixing his paints, not thinking much about it as he worked.

“That ain’t the still life painting you’ve been complaining about,” Crutchie’s humoured voice came from behind Jack. He grinned, before looking over his shoulder as Crutchie made his way to the bed. He sat down in the middle of Jack’s bed, before putting his blanket over his lap.

“No it ain’t,” Jack replied as he turned back to the painting, continuing to mix colours before he started painting in clouds.

“You ever gonna finish it?” Crutchie asked.

“Maybe someday,” Jack said, smiling back at him once more. Crutchie laughed and shook his head lightly, before he laid down on his bed.

“There a problem with your room?” Jack asked curiously.

“Ya can’t hear the shower sex from here,” Crutchie said simply. Suddenly Jack understood and just nodded, before turning back to his painting. Really, he should have guessed that was what was going on.

 

Jack hadn’t finished that still life for Wednesday. Instead, it was Friday afternoon, and all Jack had been doing for the past two hours had been that still life. That stupid still life that was probably slowly killing him.

He was keeping an eye on the time. Usually, Jack wouldn’t, since if he ended up being a few minutes late for a class, or to meet up with his friends, it wouldn’t matter. However, now he had a job he needed to get to. The last thing he wanted was to show up for his first shift late.

Jack stretched his painting time as much as he could, before finally cleaning up once he decided that he couldn’t stretch his time anymore.

He made himself a sandwich quickly, since he’d be working through supper, and then headed out the front door.

It wasn’t until he had actually gotten close to the store that he realized that there was no parking out front, and he had to go up and down the street a few times before he found a place to park. It was a block away from the store, but it was better than nothing. He’d assume that there wa employee parking in the back, but he wasn’t told about it when Elaine had hired him, so he really had no clue about it.

When he opened the front door, Elaine was standing behind the check out counter, and Davey was sitting on the counter itself, his back facing the store. The two seized their conversation, Elaine smiling and patting his thigh before Davey jumped down from the counter and turned to face him.

A quick flash of recognition crossed over Davey’s face, before he smiled and greeted Jack. Then, he muttered something about using the restroom before disappearing into the back of the store.

Jack smiled awkwardly at Elaine, before he approached the front counter.

“My first shift was today, right?” He asked, feeling very very out of his element suddenly.

“Yes, come with me- actually let’s not do that till Dave gets back,” she said with a small laugh, before settling in on the chair behind the counter. Jack just nodded, and then began to gaze around.

Once Davey returned from the back, she and him switched places, and then Elaine was bringing him back into the employees only area.

She gave him a name tag with his name freshly printed on it, before reminding him of the dress code (which he had already known from the little package of stuff he had picked up a few days before that he needed to read before his first shift ( he only read a bit of it, but he wasn’t going to admit that .).) Then, she just drove head first into training.

It was all one fast blur, and he really didn’t understand any of it, but he just nodded. He figured she might just hang around the store for his first shift.

Apparently though, that wasn’t the case, since as soon as she asked if he had any questions, and he stupidly said no, she was back in the back of the store, leaving Jack alone up front with Davey.

Not that he was complaining at all.

A customer came in and beelined it for a specific shelf, before picking up a few books and heading back to the counter.

Jack was hoping that Davey would take the transaction, since he knew what he was doing, but instead he leaned against the back wall and waited for Jack to do it. He hesitated, before looking at the books blankly.

“You’re completely lost, aren’t you?” Davey said as he walked up next to him. Jack laughed and looked at him.

“That obvious?” Jack asked.

“Oh yeah,” Davey said with a grin.

“Do you wanna do it?” Jack asked. Davey shrugged, before he shook his head. “Ain’t it your job to do these things though?”

“Ain’t it yours too?” Davey teased, mimicking his tone. The girl waiting on her books chuckled. “I can’t do it for you, since you’re logged onto the register, but I can walk you through it.”

“Please,” Jack said.

Davey laughed, before he started telling him what to do. This time, Jack made a mental note to remember what Davey was saying. First, he needed to manually put the prices into the machine, then hit tax then… do something he couldn’t remember to do. Ask for a stamp card? Was that it? Then he gave her her total and asked how she would pay, then had to figure out how to work the debit machine, which apparently was “a quickly easy click of three buttons” but Jack just didn’t believe that, since he was still as confused as ever.

“Have you never worked a job in your life before?” Davey asked once the girl had left, leaving the two of them in the store alone. Jack shrugged as he sat down on the chair, mindlessly turning it back and forth.

“Not any that dealt with money,” Jack admitted. “ But I’ve worked , of course. I didn’t just lounge around the first twenty three years of my life.”

The last thing he wanted was for his new co worker to think he was a lazy kid who got everything handed to him until now. Davey looked like an experienced worker- someone who worked hard, if the dark circles under his eyes were any assumption. Then again, all three times he had seen Davey now, he didn’t seem like he was a very put together person. Maybe he was though, Jack really didn’t know. He wanted to know though.

“What’ve you done then?” Davey asked, leaning against the back wall. Jack shrugged.

“I painted a lot of the backdrops at my mother's theater during high school,” Jack said, and suddenly that felt really pathetic. “And uh, I also was one of those ticket scanner people at the movies. When I was twelve, I had a paper route.”

Davey cracked a smile and raised an eyebrow, before shaking his head lightly and laughing.

“Well you sound mighty proud about that,” Davey said playfully, before he pushed off the wall and stood on the opposite side of the counter.

“I’m proud of a lot of things,” Jack said casually. Davey leaned forward on the counter.

“Like what? Your cocky personality?” Davey asked, still smiling that same grin he started doing a few seconds ago. Jack scoffed in fake offense.

“Well maybe if you just take the personality part off of that,” he said slowly, gnawing on the edge of his lip. Davey blushed and looked down, but brought his gaze back up when he spoke again.

“You implying you’re proud of your dick?” Davey asked, shrinking in on himself just a little bit. Jack smiled and shrugged, before he turned a full circle on the chair.

“You wanna find out?” he asked, leaning against the counter as he turned back around. The two held eye contact, before Davey’s face went even redder and he looked away.

“I don’t sleep around,” he said simply, standing up straight and crossing his arms over his chest.

“How about a date then?” Jack asked. Davey considered it for a minute, before he shrugged.

“Maybe someday,” he said playfully.

“What’s it gonna take for me to get you to go out with me then?” Jack asked. Davey shrugged again as he wandered over towards one of the closer bookshelves. Jack was about to walk around to stand by him, but Davey cleared his throat and nodded to the cashier, reminding him that he had to stay behind there. Jack huffed, before he sat back down at the counter.

“Get to know me, maybe?” Davey asked as he looked back over to Jack, before he picked up a seemingly random book.

“How am I supposed to know that if I can’t take you out?” Jack asked. Davey was silent for a minute, as he was reading the back of the book he was holding. Then he made a small hmm sound and put the book back. He glanced at Jack, before picking up another book.

“We have a shift together every Friday night- get to know me here,” he said with a smile. Jack huffed, before he spun around on the chair again.

“That’s like, five hours though,” Jack said, whining just a bit.

“Twenty hours a month,” Davey said with a small shrug.

“You’re really cute,” Jack said. Davey laughed and looked back at him again, only to go back to his book again. Jack hated that- the way Davey was purposely avoiding eye contact. He was expecting Davey to say something, but he didn’t. Instead he kept looking down, smiling at the cover of the book in his hands, even though he wasn’t reading the back of it.

After that, until closing, they had a somewhat constant stream of people in and out of the store, so neither of them really had to time to talk anymore after that. Jack figured that they could talk for a bit after they closed. Instead though, Davey disappeared into the back room while Jack was left out front to sweep up.

He hummed to himself as he brought the broom and the dustpan back to the back room. He paused outside the office, where the door was open just a crack.

“You sure it’s okay?” Davey asked.

“Course. Not like I’m in desperate need of a shower,” Elaine said casually. There was shifting of something in the room, Jack took a hesitant step back away from the door.

“It’s just… I don’t want to be a bother,” he said.

“You won’t be, like you said you only have two hours before you need to head to Bucks,” Elaine said. “I’ll just text Jojo and let her know, so don’t worry.”

“Thank you Buttons.”

Jack looked through the crack of door again to see the two hugging. He was curious- he couldn’t help it. Why’d Davey need to use Elaine (he called her Buttons ?) shower? Didn’t he have his own? That was just…

Suddenly, the door was opened and Davey was standing in front of Jack, staring at him blankly. He opened his mouth to speak, but Jack spoke before he had a chance to.

“I don’t know where these go,” he said. A wave of relief washed over Davey’s face, and Jack decided that, while he wanted to know what was going on, he would let Davey think he didn’t hear anything.

“Uh, just in the cupboard there,” he said, pointing to the door behind them.

“Oh right of course… Hey! I’ll see you next Friday?” Jack said hopefully, as if Davey wouldn’t be showing up to his shift next week.

“Yeah, see you,” Davey said, and then he smiled at him again, before he turned on his heels and left through the back door exit. Jack bit his lip as he watched him leave, before glancing back to the office, and then putting the broom back in the cupboard. He wanted to know what was going on with Davey and his shower. Curiosity was going to kill him.

Chapter Text

Davey felt like he was about to collapse just from exhaustion. He hadn’t slept in maybe two days now. It had been a constant train of classes, shifts at Bumble Bees, shifts at Buck’s, and then four hours of homework, only to have to go to more classes right after that. It was days like this where he wished he had a bed to fall into. Or a shower. He’d really like his own shower.

Speaking of showers…

He shuddered as he went back under the cold water to rinse off the soap that didn’t lather up very well, but probably still got the job done. Gym showers sucked, but at least these ones had curtains to go across the showers themselves, so Davey didn’t have to stress about people staring.

The only thing he really hated was that he couldn’t control the water temperature. It was either ice cold or scalding hot. On the bright side, the cold water was the only thing that was keeping him awake at this point.

His entire body was shaking once he shut off the water. He didn’t know if it was the lack of sleep, or if he was just freezing cold. Maybe it was a bit of both? It was probably a bit of both.

He got dressed again and packed his things away, before leaving the gym. His original plan, since it was finally Saturday, was to go do his laundry and then do some homework at the same time, but he was just so tired. His head was pounding, begging him to go lay down and sleep. Even if it was just for an hour, Davey needed to sleep.

He slipped into the front of his car and drove down a few blocks to Bumble Bees. He didn’t have a shift anytime soon, but he knew that the only person who would probably notice him sleeping in his car was Buttons. No one ever went by the tiny staff parking lot for Bumble Bees.

Davey barely got there alive. He didn’t even bother to lock his car before he crawled into the back and lazily set up his bed, mostly just unfolding his blankets and tossing them on top of him. He set an alarm for three hours, since he really had stuff to do today, and then just let himself fall asleep.

Even though he was so exhausted, his body didn’t seem to want to fall asleep at first. He was tossing and turning a bit, then he checked his phone a few times. His mind kept going back to all the things he could be doing in that moment instead of trying to sleep. He had homework to do, he was completely out of clean clothing. He needed to do laundry, and that took a while, so he needed at least two hours at the coin laundry. Maybe he could be tidying up his apartment, or getting food… when was the last time he ate ?

Eventually, he did fall asleep, thankfully. It took him resetting his alarm, and then listening to some weird sleep meditation podcast to calm himself down a bit, but he slept. It was short, and really not that good of a sleep (no thanks to the rough car floor, and just neverending nerves) but it was sleep.

Davey groaned as he struggled to find his phone, which was going off in the weird ringtone he had chosen for his alarm. He sighed as he flicked it off, before rubbing his eyes. He glanced at the time. As much as he wanted to sleep some more, he knew he had to things to do. He could sleep tonight, as long as he didn’t get stuck with a bonus shift at Buck’s.

That was a possibility, but Davey was praying that it wouldn’t happen. They extra cash on his paychecks were always nice, but if he didn’t sleep tonight, he would end up collapsing on the floor and losing his job.

He gathered the clothing up and made a mental note to buy some new towels. He lost most of them over the past six months. The two he did have left were ratty and he felt like he deserved new ones.

Maybe that was just his tired mind thinking that, influencing him to buy things he really didn’t need, but he wanted new towels.

Maybe a candle too, he thought as he started driving again. A nice, expensive candle that smells like peppermint or lemon. One with three wicks that he could light and actually have light in his car at night. That was the dream.

He added a candle to his mental list of things he needed to buy today. And cigarettes- he didn’t smoke often, but he was starting to run low on the pack that he had. Maybe Davey could treat himself to a bottle of schnapps. He just felt like he really needed that. He needed a lot of things, but most of them were just a bit too far out of his reach to even consider.

Once he was at the coin laundry, he grabbed his bag of unsorted, dirty clothing, as well as his backpack and headed on inside. He smiled at the lady who was working at the front desk, before he bought a single thing of detergent, as well as getting change so he could actually use the things.

The only other people there were a little old lady and a young woman, clearly at the tail end of a pregnancy with a little girl with her. Davey avoided eye contact with both of them as he picked the washer farthest away from any of them and just dumped everything in. He wasn’t worried of reds bleeding into whites, or darks dulling everything else. He didn’t even have any reds, so why bother?

As he was tossing shirts into the washer, he noticed one of his t-shirts, one of the only two he actually owned, since everything else was button up tops and flannels, had a rip down its seam. Davey had no clue when that had happened. He tossed everything else in, then tossed the shirt into the garbage. He knew it probably would have been easy to just stitch the hole up again, especially since it was right alongside one of the seams, but he didn’t have any clue how to do that. Plus he was sure he could probably find a new one at some sort of thrift store for a few dollars.

His car insurance had just gone through, so he knew how much money he had until his next paycheck, and it was enough to get these things. Even the nice smelling candle that would surely be twenty eight dollars- probably more. But who cared? Not Davey at this point. All he wanted was comfort, and a nice meal and sleep .

He bitterly started the washer, and then sat down at the little table set up against the wall next to the washer. He pulled out his homework, plugged in his music and settled into his spot. He’d be here for a while more anyways, so he might as well try and be productive.

A long time ago, when Davey was about to graduate highschool and still living at home, he had the bright idea that he wanted to be a website designer. He liked playing around with HTML and CSS, and figured that that was going to be a good career move. He thought he could freelance websites, and maybe get a job at some nice office desk job on the side. Technical support or something.

Now though, that he’s been studying nothing but programming classes upon programming classes, he hated the career path he chose. He was looking more forward to the classical literature classes he was taking just for fun. Sometimes he wished that he decided to become an english teacher or something. Less of a paycheck that way, but god he hated trying to program shit.

He adjusted the colour slightly of something on the program, and suddenly none of the design of the website was working at all.

Davey sighed and undid the code, before trying something else. Then he tried something else, and then he just decided to scrap the website all together and started all over, despite the time crunch he was on.

His phone buzzed suddenly and he spared it a quick glance, before he went back to working. It was just Finch messaging him. He didn’t feel like talking to anyone right now. He just needed to finish working on this stupid website about himself. It seemed like a stupid first year project. Davey hated talking about anything to do for himself. Especially since there wasn’t much to say about him. Besides his homelessness. That would be a fun topic to discuss in his website.

His phone buzzed again and Davey sighed heavily. It wasn’t like he was doing much productive work anyways. The blaring headache and sleep deprivation wasn’t much help.

 

From Finch: What you up to right now?

From Finch: skype me dude, gotta make plans!

 

Davey hesitated. He really didn’t feel like talking to anyone, especially over Skype, but he guessed that since he wanted to make plans he should probably do it. Everyone had to plan their plans around his schedule, since Davey was the only one who had the inflexible schedule. Davey- the burden of a friend.

Davey booted the thing up on his laptop, before switching his headphones over to the computer instead of his phone. He hummed softly as he waited for the app to startup and then he hit Finch’s name, starting up the call before he even bothered to reply to his message.

It rang for a few seconds before he picked up. Then, once he did that, he minimized Skype so it was just the video in the corner and he started working on his projects again.

“You look like shit,” Finch said bluntly. Davey cracked a small smile and rolled his eyes.

“Thanks. Haven’t slept in like, fifty two hours,” he said bluntly. If he had thought to get coffee before doing his laundry, he would be sipping it right about now. Instead, he grabbed a can of juice that was in his backpack and just opened it up.

“That’s shitty,” Finch said. Davey sighed, focused more on typing on his computer than on Finch.

“That’s life,” he corrected, glancing at the little Finch in the corner of his screen. Behind him, one of the washers went off, signalling it’s finish. However, it wasn’t his. He wished it was, but of course it wasn’t. He had only been here maybe ten minutes.

“Guess so. So listen, we’re gonna do a movie night next weekend. What days are you free?” Finch asked. Davey hesitated, before he pulled up out his day planner. He ignored the little joke Finch made about him being a grandma for using a physical day planner and not just the calendar on his phone (“ not all of us have access to a phone twenty four seven” Davey reminded him absently.)

“Well uh, obviously not Friday, there’s no way I can get my shift off from Bucks. I’m doing an extra shift at Bumbles on Saturday at… nine but I’ll be done at one, and then I should be free for the rest of the day. Sunday I’m free all morning, but I work at Buck’s at four,” Davey said as he skimmed everything. Finch laughed lightly.

“Course it’s just work… no date with the cute boy from work yet?” Finch teased. Davey rolled his eyes.

“God no. Ain’t nobody else gotta know I live outta my car. I hate already having four people know, I don’t need anyone else,” Davey said seriously. Finch scoffed and rolled his eyes, which only made Davey speak up again. “He’d just think I was a freak and ditch me. I’m happy admiring from afar.”

“Yeah yeah I give it three weeks and you’re waking up naked in his bed,” Finch said bluntly. “You were saying he was flirting with you.”

“Don’t mean shit,” Davey laughed. Finch shrugged and make a series of noises that sounded like words, but Davey couldn’t make out a single one of them, which just made him laugh a bit more.

“Anyways, so Saturday night would be the best night for you?” Finch said, steering the conversation back in the original direction. Davey thought about it for a second, before he double checked his planner.

“Yeah Saturday is best,” he said. “Since I don’t gotta be up early… it doesn’t matter what time I get back to my car and stuff.”

Finch stared at the screen blankly for a second before shaking his head.

“Everyone’s crashing at my place, so you will too,” Finch said bluntly. “Elmer and Specs are both staying the night. You are too. We’re going to get a blowup mattress and everything.”

“If you’re all staying the night so I feel like I can stay…” Davey trailed off. Finch shook his head.

“We’re allowed to have sleepovers dude,” Finch said. Davey nodded.

“Yeah yeah of course,” Davey said.

“You’re allowed to stay the night whenever though, you know that,” Finch said. Davey sighed heavily. If he had a dollar- no even a quarter for every time he heard that, he’d be able to buy his own house. Then he wouldn’t have to be constantly offered a couch to sleep on.

“Thanks Finch… See ya soon,” Davey said. Finch nodded.

“Get some sleep soon too Dave. You don’t needta suffer like that,” Finch said. Davey sighed and closed his eyes, then ran his hand down his face.

“Yeah I know, but I just haven’t had time,” Davey said.

“Move in with someone and you could quit Buck’s,” Finch pointed out. Davey rolled his eyes.

“I can’t afford it- you know I can’t afford it Finch,” Davey said.

“But if you had a roommate,” he said, dragging out the roommate part with a small smile.

That just made his heart sink into his stomach. Yeah, if he did have a roommate he could maybe afford it. But he didn’t have a roommate, and he didn’t have anyone who could be a roommate, and with an apartment came a thousand other things.

“I’m happy in my car Finch,” Davey said. “I really am.”

“Davey you’ve aged about thirty years since you and Connor broke up,” Finch said. Davey sighed heavily.

Six months ago he and his boyfriend of a year and a half broke up. It hadn’t broken Davey’s heart when it happened. The only thing that was keeping them together after maybe a year into their relationship was that they were living together. Davey found out that after they broke up, that Connor had been sleeping around for the last five months of their relationship. Besides losing a place to stay, Davey hadn’t cared at all about the relationship loss.

Davey shrugged. He didn’t know what Finch meant by he aged thirty years . He really hadn’t. He was the exact same, as far as Davey was concerned.

“I like my car,” he repeated. “Only way I’ll cave and get an apartment, is if my car just breaks down on me.”

“Knock on wood,” Finch said.

“See you,” Davey said finally, wanting to finish the conversation before his laundry finished.

“Yeah- keep you updated on the plans for next Saturday,” Finch said. They exchanged a last little goodbye, before Finch ended the call.

Davey glanced around to see that both the old lady and the woman with the kid had left, but another man was in now. He swallowed heavily, before sipping the can of juice he had opened. He really didn’t want the juice, but he wanted to finish it off before he left here.

He switched over his laundry to the dryer, and then returned to his homework. He managed to get back to about where he had been with his website when he had first restarted the project when the dryer finished.

Just as he was packing up his things, his phone buzzed with a notification. Davey closed his eyes as he sighed heavily and all he could think was please not be a shift, please not be a shift.

Davey opened up his phone, read the message, and then he wanted to scream. Of course they had given him a last minute shift tonight. All he wanted to do was sleep, but now got to do an extra shift at the stupid restaurant instead. A stupidly late shift too. Least that meant he could sleep now instead of later.

He sent his boss a quick message confirming he’d be able to do the shift, before he grabbed his things and headed back to his car.

He just tossed his things in the back before he drove to the closest Walmart. He got the new towels he needed, and then picked out a nice smelling candle… or two. He bought two candles- but they were really cheap! So he felt like he could justify it.  

The one purchase that he got that he couldn’t justify (but ended up buying anyways) was a single size memory foam mattress topper, as well as sheets for it.

It had been a combination of how sore his back and shoulders were in the moment, his sleep deprivation, and probably the conversation he had just had with Finch that made him buy them. He hoped he could get the thing in his car in a decent place. It wasn’t until he was walking out of the store with his cart that he realized how stupid of a purchase it was.

Then again, buying this stupid thing meant that for the first time in a long time, he’d have an actual kind of mattress.

Davey parked in the back of the parking lot where no one was, so he felt okay organizing everything in the back of his car. He had to make a permanent bed now. With this memory foam topper, he wouldn’t be able to just fold up his blankets now.

However, when he was done and he got to lay down on this new bed, Davey just about orgasmed. It wasn’t much, but it was like laying on a cloud. A big, fluffy cloud with a thick layer of thin blankets on their own.

Davey sighed contently as he cuddled into it. It was stupid expensive- and he probably shouldn’t have spent a hundred dollars on it, but he couldn’t find a single reason to justify why he shouldn’t have bought it beyond money.

His alarm went off to wake him up again a few hours later. He purposely set it as late as he could, so that he could get as much sleep as he could before having to work another shift. On the bright side, he had nothing to do tomorrow, so he’d be able to just relax and sleep the entire day.

He cleaned himself up as much as he could, before getting changed, and then he headed into work.

The shift he had been set up with was a late night one again. Starting at nine and then ending at three.

He yawned as he clocked in, got his list of tables, and then bounced into routine. The first hour had been kind of busy, but now as the night was getting a bit later, it was slowly down gradually.

He hummed softly as he headed towards a new table. He glanced at the four people sat down at the booth before he flipped open his notepad.

“Hi I’m Davey, I’ll be your waiter this evening… Can I getcha all something to drink?” he asked, glancing up at the group again. One of them caught his eye, making him do a double take before his eyes locked with Jack’s. The two stared blankly at each other until the others at the table caught onto what was going on.

Davey furrowed his eyebrows and cleared his throat, before clicking his pen open.

“Hey Davey,” Jack said, smiling widely at him. “Didn’t know you worked here… did ya quit the bookstore?” His voice seemed kind of worried about the fact that Davey had actually done that.

“No I uh, work two jobs,” he said simply with a small nod. Jack made an oh sound. Davey nodded and smiled, before he repeated, “can I get you guys some drinks?”

He took all their orders, before he disappeared back into the kitchen. Just what he needed. Jack Kelly finding out he worked two jobs. Next thing he knew, Jack would be following him out to his apartment car.

Davey returned with their drinks and handed them out to everyone. Then, he wrote down their order. Just as he was about to turn around and leave though, Jack was talking to him again.

“So you work two jobs?” he asked again. Davey nodded. Was it not obvious. “Why? I’m struggling just to do a good job at Bumbles.” They both laughed a bit, maybe the others at the table did too. Davey didn’t know.

“It’s hard but uh, I gotta pay off debt and student loans somehow,” Davey said with a small laugh. “I only work here maybe three times a week.”

“That’s three more shifts than I could handle,” Jack said.

Please that’s seven more shifts than Jack could handle,” one of the other guys said at the table. Him, Jack and a blonde boy sitting beside Jack all laughed. Davey bit his lip.

“So, you like keeping busy?” Jack asked. Davey leaned against the side of the booth and nodded.

“Yeah, don’t get out much or anything so it’s nice to have stuff to do,” Davey said casually. That wasn’t the case, but whatever. Jack wouldn’t know he was telling a little white lie.

“I could change that for ya if you want,” Jack said, leaning on the table a bit to see him passed the blond boy. Davey blushed and the blond boy nudged him.

“Keep it in your pants Cowboy,” blondie said playfully. Davey felt his face heat up a bit more.

“I uh, gotta get back to work… I’ll talk to you later,” Davey said, directing it to Jack.

“Maybe when my brothas aren’t around,” Jack said playfully. Davey laughed and nodded.

“Maybe,” he replied, before walking away from the table.

While he was waiting for something to do, Davey found himself watching Jack and his apparent brothers (though none of them looked anything alike, and one of them had an arm around the other) talk and eat. They seemed to be having fun. Davey would much rather be having fun right about now. By having fun, he wanted to sleep.

Jack’s friends left once Davey dropped off the bill. Then, Davey returned with the debit machine and handed it over to Jack, who was sitting at the edge of the booth.

“Heya,” Jack said as he took it. Davey smiled.

“Hi,” he echoed.

“So… Buck’s eh?” Jack asked. Davey shrugged.

“Gets a bit more money into the bank account at the end of the week,” Davey said simply. Jack grinned and nodded.

“You know, I have a thing for men in fancy white button down shirts,” Jack said. Davey chucked and shook his head as he took the debit machine back.

“Better find someone wearing one then,” Davey said playfully.

“I’m looking at one,” Jack said, tilting his head to the side. Davey shrugged.

“Ain’t you got a keen eye,” Davey said. Jack shrugged.

“It’s my specialty,” he grinned. “Uh, listen, this has my number on it,” Jack said as he handed Davey a small little card. “It’s my artist card, but you can just worry about the number, yeah?” Jack asked.

Davey smiled at it, genuinely wanting to keep it. That was nice. That was cute- he’d love to call Jack later, or text him but… low and behold: Davey didn’t have a phone number. Even if Jack did have an iphone, he could message him there, but it would show that he didn’t have a number. Davey really didn’t want to admit that to Jack.

“Yeah,” Davey replied anyways. He sighed heavily as he watched Jack walk away, waving at Davey once more. He really liked Jack- clearly the thing had to be mutual too. However, Davey knew a relationship of any kind was going to be a stupid idea. He needed to keep it to co workers, and a good way to do that was not calling him. Not that he could anyways .

Chapter Text

It was amazing how lost Jack could get in his paintings when he was passionate about them. Landscapes could easily take all his attention, and the world would dissolve around him. It was just him, and the abandoned boat dock, with a small tug boat half sunk into the water.

He wished he could do that with his school assignments, all of which were laying around his room half finished. It was a constant struggle- probably the hardest thing he had to do was constantly do paintings and sketches and projects that he didn’t give a rats ass about. Just a few more semesters though, and he’d be free with a degree and no career plans whatsoever.

He absently licked a fresh paint brush, before he mixed a soft blue color. It was similar to the colour of the shirt that Davey always seemed to wear when they worked shifts together. It was a nice one, that fit well but was on the tighter side. He often paired it with a vest that he clipped his name tag to.

Davey was such an interesting person- in the best way possible. He didn’t know much about him at all really, and he had overheard that conversation about him not having a shower (which admittedly raised a few questions) but he was just… Something about Davey drew Jack to him, and he didn’t know what. All he knew was that he so desperately wanted to be with him.

It seemed to be a mutual thing- unless Jack was completely making this all up in his head. Which, realistically, he probably was. Jack tended to do that when he got hooked on someone new. The first person had been Katherine- which, while their brief ( very brief) relationship was a nice one, they never clicked. And that was the same for the next handful of people he hated.

Chances were, if Jack were to actually get a date with Davey, it would have the same outcome. Jack didn’t know what it was about him (and he knew that it was all to do with him) that kept relationships from forming, but he really wished it would stop.

Who knows though- maybe this relationship would finally be the one to work out.

That was- if Davey actually was interested.

He seemed interested, Jack was sure he was flirting with him too, but he never called… or texted. At all. That stung a lot. Especially since he seemed genuinely happy to get his number when Jack gave it to him. Maybe he was just a good actor.

Jack would hope and pray that maybe someday he’d manage to get at least one date. That was all he hoped for really.

He wanted to see what Davey was like outside of work. He had seen him so many times at Bumbles, and then at Buck’s out of the blue last weekend, and he knew there was something more to him. Jack just wished he knew what it was.

“Aren’t you working a shift right now?” Race asked from behind him. Jack jumped at his voice, before turning to face him.

“Don’t think so… what time is it?” Jack asked.

“Four thirty.”

“Shit.”

Jack hastily started cleaning up his paint station, muttering a series of curses in both English and Spanish under his breath. He had half an hour and his shift started. It took him twenty minutes just to get to the bookstore on a good day.

He skipped showering and just barely remembered to get changed as he scrambled to get out the front door. The last thing he needed was to lose the only job he managed to land.

Would it be the end of the world if he was five minutes late? He didn’t think so. Elaine seemed relaxed enough that if he did show up a bit late, she wouldn’t behead him or anything. Twenty four years of experience in life taught Jack one thing- there was no use in stressing over little things like that. If you couldn’t change it, just forget about it.

Still, he ran a red light and cut someone off to do his best to get there as soon as he could. It was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission- wasn’t that a saying?

He clocked in as soon as he got inside and made his way out front to where Davey was helping out a customer.

They made eye contact as the lady left the store. Davey sighed heavily, before he went to doing something with the cash register.

“Hey uh, sorry I’m late,” Jack said. Davey gave him a small smile and a nod, before he started reorganizing the cash.

“You’re not that late,” Davey pointed out as he glanced at the clock. “Buttons isn’t in, so she probably won’t even notice.”

Buttons was Elaine- Jack learned that a few weeks ago. He had yet to make the connection as to why Davey called her that. He didn’t particularly care though. Maybe if it came up he would address it.

“You think so?” Jack asked. Davey shrugged.

“Probably not. Now uh- go help that customer. I gotta stay at the till,” Davey said, nodding towards someone who was browsing books in the back. Jack raised an eyebrow and Davey nodded, before he turned around to go do his job.

Once he helped them with finding a book they were interested in, he returned to the counter, only to have Davey ask him if he could double check the organization of one of the bookshelves.

In fact, it was started to feel as if Davey was purposely trying to avoid a conversation with Jack. He was doing really well, considering the fact that they were usually the only two in the entire bookstore, besides the few customers floating in and out.

They continued working side by side, mostly in silence as Davey was taking frequent trips to the back, or wiping down shelves that didn’t need to be wiped down, or making unneeded small talk with customers as Jack just watched on.

Jack found himself sitting at the front desk more than Davey was, so the two had just switched him onto the cash register. Jack hummed softly as he watched him work, eventually doodling him on a stack of sticky notes he found. He didn’t like drawing faces much, but it was something to do, and Jack liked drawing Davey.

He wanted to talk to him though. He really did- even if it wasn’t about why Jack never got a call ( even though that’s the big thing he cared about .) He just wanted to talk to him.

Davey came back over to the desk and leaned against the wall as Jack cashed out another customer. Then, once they and the other two people in the store left, Jack turned to face him on the chair. They both exchanged weak smiles and Davey was the first one to speak up.

“You’re a painter?” he asked.

“Yeah how’d you- the paint on my hands?” Jack asked. Davey laughed lightly and nodded.

“Yeah it was the paint on your hands,” Davey confirmed. “That what you’re studying? Art?”

“Yeah. Second last year of my program,” Jack confirmed. “University is shit, but at least I’m learning about something that interests me.” He shrugged.

“Wish I could say the same,” Davey replied.

“You studying stuff too? On top of two jobs?” Jack asked, blinking in amazement. Davey nodded.

“Yeah. Computer programing,” Davey said. “Looking into becoming a website designer.”

“That’s cool. So you can like uh, write code and stuff?” Jack asked. “Could you hack into the government's files and stuff?” Jack asked, mostly as a joke but he was kind of curious.

“God no,” Davey laughed. “Could barely hack into my own computer if you asked me to. I can just make a website background bright blue or make a star fly across the page every time you click a button.”

“Sounds exciting,” Jack said with a grin.

There was a quick pause in their conversation as Davey left to go help someone pick up a cluster of books they accidently had dropped. The girl, who was clearly a young teenager was panicking the entire time, while Davey just remained neutral as he helped her put them all back.

Then, Davey gave her a discount on the books she was buying. Apparently though, Davey thought a discount meant him paying for ten percent of the books out of his own pocket, since that’s exactly what he did once the girl left.

Jack thought it was a nice gesture. He didn’t know if Davey really had that much money to be tossing around like that. Didn’t he work two jobs? Course Jack didn’t know why he had the two jobs, maybe Davey just liked the extra money. Didn’t he say he was doing it just to keep busy? Jack didn’t know.

“You never called me,” Jack said suddenly. It had been bugging him- itching and clawing at his stomach their entire shift. Now it was coming to an end, and he knew that he wanted answers.

“Oh. Uh… yeah,” Davey said shortly. He tensed up a bit, and suddenly he started avoiding eye contact.

“Am I that detestable?” Jack asked.

“No!” Davey’s eyes shot up. “God no of course that’s not the case. It’s just… it’s kinda lame actually- the real reason why I didn’t call you?” Davey said sheepishly. Jack raised an eyebrow.

“Well what’s your reasoning then?” Jack asked, spinning lightly on his chair.

“I uh, don’t actually have a phone number,” Davey admitted hesitantly, again avoiding eye contact. Jack grinned and laughed lightly.

“You don’t? Like- not even a landline?” Jack asked, still kind of laughing.

“Nope,” Davey said with a small shake of the head.

“Seriously?” Jack asked. Davey laughed.

“Not a single one,” Davey said.

“Jesus, how do you survive?” Jack asked. Davey shrugged.

“People can survive without phone plans, you know. It’s just… so expensive,” Davey said. “I uh, just reply on like… messaging systems and stuff. Emails sometimes and stuff.”

“You’re like a grandpa,” Jack said. Then, there was a sudden shift in the room as Davey’s head dipped again. “Shit Dave- not in a bad way,” he said quickly. Davey shook his head.

“It’s fine, don’t worry about it,” Davey said quickly. “Listen uh, if you want… I can give you my email I use for like, imessages. I wouldn’t mind giving you that.”

Jack grinned. That would be… different. However, once Jack got a contact name into his phone, it wouldn’t be any different at all.

“That could work,” Jack said, smiling softly. Jack handed him his phone, before Davey seemed to hesitantly type in an email.

“I uh, obviously can only really text on wifi,” Davey said with a small laugh as he handed it back. He stashed his hands into his pockets.

“Lemme guess, now you’re going to tell me you don’t have wifi back at your place?” Jack joked. Davey rolled his eyes as he smiled.

“No, of course I do,” he said as he nudged Jack lightly. “I’ll text you later.”

“We still have two hours before we can close up,” Jack laughed. Davey rolled his eyes again.

“I can still promise that though, can’t I?” Davey asked. Jack grinned.

The sounds of a promise that Davey would actually text him later made him stupid happy. So stupid happy.

“What if you promised me a date as well?” Jack asked, gnawing lightly on his lower lip. Davey smiled.

“Maybe someday,” Davey said. “Don’t really have time for a relationship right this second.”

Jack raised an eyebrow.

“But there’s a chance?”

There was a beat of hesitation.

“Yeah there’s a chance,” Davey said with a nod and a grin.

The two finished up the last bit of their shifts with light banter and giggles. Jack was smiling like an idiot. Which was stupid, considering his age. Really he shouldn’t be this hung up on a stupid crush. He was too old for stuff like that. Still, he just couldn’t help it. It had been a while since he had interests in anyone. So, this was a fresh, new thing.

Davey lingered around the shop a bit longer than Jack did once the two had closed down and cleaned up. Jack didn’t think much of it. They just said their goodbyes and Jack promised to message him so he’d get Jack’s number.

He texted him before he left the parking lot, and then he put his phone away and drove home. He wanted to text him. He really did but he knew he had to be a smart driver, especially considering the way he drove to work today.

When Jack got home, he was greeted by Crutchie, who was sitting on the couch with the tv’s volume up much higher than it needed to be. However, after having stood there in the living room for a brief moment, and the sounds coming from the back of the apartment started to bleed through, Jack nodded in understanding.

“This is the third time they’ve gone at it since you left,” Crutchie said, his eyes not leaving the home improvement show he was watching. Jack laughed and shook his head as he sat down next to him.

“Jesus, what are they trying to do- make a baby?” Jack said. Crutchie seemed to genuinely consider the possibility.

“I mean, they could if they wanted to,” Crutchie pointed out.

“Nah, Race got that reproductive removal surgery a while back. He freeze any of the eggs?” Jack asked. Crutchie shrugged.

“He don’t talk about that stuff with us really… Considering how much of family men those two are though… maybe,” Crutchie said.

“Not really our place to talk I guess,” Jack said simply as something broke in the room down the hall.

“No it ain’t,” Crutchie echoed. “No it ain’t.”

 


 

Davey sighed heavily as he shivered. He brought a cigarette up to his mouth and took a long drag, closing his eyes. Today had been okay, until it started to pour rain and get ten degrees colder.

He didn’t know what happened. All he did know, was he was working his typical Sunday morning shift at Bumble Bees, and then as he was clocking out he was hit with this overwhelming feeling of guilt. As if he had just run over two dozens puppies with his car. He thought maybe it was because he was thinking and investing so much time in Jack.

It was stupid. It was so stupid, because he knew he wasn’t going to let Jack get to know him anymore outside of work. He couldn’t do it, even though they had this weird, unresolved sexual tension. A date with Jack, could easily turn to sex and a relationship and something nice. Then, once he realizes that Davey’s a broke, homeless guy with no real future, no matter how hard he tried , he’d break everything off and look at Davey as if he was a piece of scum. Then Davey would need to quit working at Bumble Bees and maybe his new boss at his new job wouldn’t be so forgiving about the little slip ups that happen sometimes.

For a brief moment, Davey considered getting a third job. He was only taking three classes this term, so he had the time. Not like he had a social life anyways. He was fine giving up the two nights he could hang out with his friends if it meant getting a bit extra cash. Or maybe he could start doing some freelancing- he could make websites easily now.

He shakily brought his hand down, before he glanced at his watch. He didn’t know why he did. It broke today during his shift at Bumble Bees.

He was freezing, and realistically shouldn’t be sitting outside, on the hood of his car, in the pouring rain. If he was being smart about it, Davey would open the trunk of his car, and sit under the little canopy it created. However, he didn’t like smoking inside his car. He didn’t like smoking at all, but he did it anyways, because it was one of the few forms of relief he could get.

Least he hadn’t turned to hard drugs yet, Davey always told himself. He had done pot a few times, Finch always seemed to have some kicking around, but nothing ever more than that. It wasn’t worth the risk. He’d just stick to his cheap, shitty cigarettes and cheap alcohol that tasted like vomit most times.   

Speaking of which- he needed more cigarettes. He put out the third one he had smoked, and then lit the fourth one. He was nearly soaked to the bone now, and was dreading when he would have to struggle to get his soaking wet clothes off.

His phone lit up in his car. He had rested it on the dash, face up so he could see it if something went off. Davey glanced at who was texting him, before he put out his cigarette and climbed off the hood. Considering the fact that all he could think about the past two hours was how he shouldn’t be talking to Jack anymore, he felt pretty stupid getting back in his car to do just that.

Davey sighed and grabbed a towel as he crawled into the back. He peeled off all his crap and changed, leaving the sopping wet clothing in the furthest corner of his car. Then he curled up on his little mattress with his phone.

He smiled softly as he saw Jack’s contact name on his phone. Then it faded as he unlocked it. Hopefully the wifi would be strong enough in the parking lot of Bumble Bees.

 

From Jack: I still say that season six was the best season

 

The two had been arguing about Shameless- some tv show that both of them watched. Of course, Davey still wasn’t caught up to the most recent season. He only got to watch it when he was with either Specs or Elmer, since they both had netflix and didn’t mind rewatching the show with him. Sometimes he would stream it on a third party website, but he rarely found somewhere with good enough wifi to do that.

Of course, that conversation had been happening last night, and Davey really didn’t feel like talking about it anymore. However, he wouldn’t mind talking to him just about anything really. Although, he hated texting. He really did.

He hummed softly, before he climbed into the drivers side and moved his car closer to the building. He needed a better connection, and it wasn’t like anyone was in the spot next to Buttons’ car.

 

From Davey: I’ve only seen up to four .

 

From Jack: Jeez ur slow watching it didnt you say youve been wathcing it for like two months?

 

From Davey: I keep myself busy. You know that.

 

From Jack: Come over then and we can watch it youre fre tonight right?

 

From Davey: Unfortunately not. Dinner with family.  

 

That was a lie. That was a complete lie that Davey told him. He just… really couldn’t see Jack outside of work. That was a promise he made to himself, and he was going to keep it. He had too- because Jack couldn’t know.

He frowned and put his phone down. He lit one of his candles, the peppermint one that definitely smelt better than the other one, and set it down next to where he was laying.

He watched as he wax melted, and hovered his finger over the flame until it burnt. Then, the harsh notification sound came through on his phone and he was brought back to reality.

 

From Jack: Shame… maybe next time?

 

Davey bit his lip and sighed heavily. He didn’t want to make a promise he couldn’t keep. That would just be rude. Would he be interested in doing that? Probably. He liked the idea of sitting around in a nice cozy living room watching a show with Jack- talking to him and getting to know him, but of course, he wasn’t going to do that.

 

From Jack: could get like pizza and stuff  course my house is super busy so maybe it would be better off at yours

Davey sighed. That was the kicker right there. He couldn’t do that. Unless Jack wanted to watch the show in the back of Davey’s car, with shitty wifi on a laptop that was getting on to be eight years old now.

 

From Davey: We’ll see!

 

He sighed heavily and set his phone down, before he focused on the candle again. He hesitated, before he reached forward and dipped his finger into the melted wax. Then, he waited for it to harden before he peeled it off and put it back in the candle.

He jumped as a sudden, constant tapping started on his door. He looked around, before he laid eyes on Buttons.

Davey got out of his bed and opened the trunk, and then waited for Buttons to come around. He crossed his legs over each other and grabbed a blanket to wrap around himself.

“What are you still doing here?” she asked curiously. She had an umbrella open, even though she was so close to her car.

“Using the wifi,” Davey admitted. “I can go if you-”

“No, Davey it’s fine,” Buttons cut him off quickly. “Just curious is all.”

“Oh uh. Yeah,” he said with a small nod.

There was a brief moment of silence. Davey could talk to her- right? He probably trusted her the most out of all his friends. Everyone else just… Davey didn’t like to talk about potential love lives with his main group of friends. He just… didn’t see them enough.

“Do you think it would be crazy if I maybe went out with Jack?” Davey asked. Buttons blinked, seeming to process the random question before she furrowed her eyebrows, and then spoke up.

“Well… if he’s wanting to too I say why not?” Buttons asked. “You could use a bit more than your three friends.”

“Four, actually. I still count you,” he said with a small laugh. Then it faded as he sighed heavily.

“I just… I don’t want to go out with him and then explain… this,” Davey said. A thought that he seemed to be going back to every other minute of the day. Buttons sighed, shook her head and shrugged.

“That’s up for you to decide if you want to,” Buttons said. “Lots of people live like you Davey. It’s the sad reality of the world. Plus, going on one or two dates with him doesn’t mean you need to tell him your life story.”

“And if it were to get serious?” Davey asked hesitantly.

“You choose how you deal with it,” Buttons said.

“If I don’t want to?”

“Davey, we both know you want to,” Buttons said. “You always want to deal with everything. Even if it’s got not a thing to do with you. It’s just in your nature. So do it- when was the last time you got laid anyways?”

Davey flushed and shook his head, looking down at the floor of his car.

“I don’t just want a quick fuck outta him,” Davey said. She chuckled.

“You don’t want a quick fuck out of anyone,” Buttons pointed out.

“You’re very right. I really don’t,” Davey said. “A quick fuck is what got me into this mess in the first place.”

“Which mess?”

“Living in a car with a family who hates my guts,” Davey said bluntly.

“You don’t know if they hate you. It’s been three years without talking to them. Maybe they miss you,” she said. Davey laughed.

“If they missed me they would have talked to me,” he said.

“You don’t have a cell phone number, and you’re in an entire different city than your parents. Of course they haven’t talked to you,” Buttons said. “Listen Davey, this isn’t about your parents at all, okay? If you want to go out with him? Do it. You’re young and have a long life ahead of you. Maybe this can be your ticket to a happier lifestyle.”

Davey smiled and nodded. He’d like that. He really would, but he was still just so conflicted. He didn’t want to get hurt again, even if it was entirely different circumstances. Maybe he could just let Jack keep flirting with him until he asks him out again. He’d say yes then. Only if Jack was the first one to ask him out though.

“Thanks Buttons,” Davey said with a small grin. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

“He seems like a good guy Dave. I doubt he’d just ditch you if he found out that you live in your car,” Buttons said. “You could just not tell him about that too if you really want to.”

Davey nodded.

“Thank you,” he said with a small smile.

“Of course Davey. I gotta get back inside though- see you Tuesday,” Buttons said with a smile. Davey nodded and scooted back, and Buttons closed the trunk for him so he wouldn’t have to. Then he made his way back to his bed and picked up his phone again. Jack was still texting him.

 

From Jack: We really should make plans to do it

From Jack: or anything really  i like hanging out with you

From Jack: And I only bite if you want me too  Im actually a great date


From Davey: Maybe ask me in person?

Chapter Text

“You do realize that there's bacon on that right?” Elmer asked. Davey hesitated as he glanced up from the menu.

“Yes I'm aware,” Davey replied, before looking down at the menu. “It's also something cheap, and it tastes good… so I don't see what the issue is.” He shrugged, before he took a sip of his water.

Elmer sat, staring at him like he was crazy.

“Bacon,” Elmer said shortly.

“Yes,” Davey replied.

“You're Jewish” Elmer said bluntly. Davey rolled his eyes and shrugged.

“Ethnically yes- but I haven't been following Judaism since I got kicked out,” Davey said. “I thought you knew that- I mean… that was three years ago .” Davey let out a short laugh. Elmer shook his head.

“I didn't know that,” he said quietly, before he looked down at the menu. “You know your mother-”

“Elmer my mother kicked me out. I doubt she cares that I'm no longer following her stupid religion,” Davey cut him off.

“It's not stupid,” Elmer said quietly. Davey's face instantly softened and he shook his head.

“I didn't mean it like that,” he said quickly. Elmer shook his head and brushed him off.

“It's fine. I'm going to get a pizza I think,” he said, quickly changing the subject. Davey nodded, accepting the subject change and went back to discussing what they wanted for lunch.

Davey had found a giftcard for this restaurant on the floor of Buck's the previous night and well, no one tried to claim it so he did. When he checked, it still had fifty dollars on it, so he decided to treat himself to a nice lunch that wasn't cheap fast food. Elmer just happened to be the first one to text him back and got to the restaurant.

He was tempted to ask Jack to go at first, but he thought that might be a bit weird. Considering the fact that he told Jack to ask him out in person three days ago, it would be kinda hypocritical to ask him out for lunch over text. Especially since after he talked to Jack about asking him out, he'd been ignoring every text message Jack had sent him.

Davey actually really didn't want to see him tonight at work. He knew he had to, and he knew that when he saw him, at some point, he was going to be asked out on a date but, he was just so freaked out about the idea.

He hadn't told anyone but Buttons about what was happening with Jack. He wanted to tell Elmer, partly because he was there, and partly because he didn't want to tell Finch about it at all. Despite the fact that he and Finch were probably closest.

“So we're going to go bowling and play laser tag tomorrow,” Elmer said as he stuffed the third slice of his little pizza into his mouth. He was the youngest of all their friends, and it really showed. Both in appearance and personality.

“That's fun,” Davey said with a small sigh as he picked up another French fry.

“If you want you can come! We're going early in the morning cause it's toonie lanes,” Elmer said excitedly. “And laser tag is thirty bucks per person I think,” he said, pondering to himself more than Davey.

“No, don't worry about me,” Davey said with a small shrug. “I can't afford that.”

“Well, that's a shame,” Elmer said shortly and that was the end of their conversation.

Davey tried to not let it sting. Elmer gave up on him coming just like that . He should have expected it though. It wasn't like the guys were going to pool together a bit of money to help Davey pay for the game. He didn't expect that, but it still absolutely sucked knowing that all his friends were going out tomorrow morning, and Davey would be sitting in his car or a McDonalds doing his homework.

If he wanted to, Davey could probably scrape up the money for a game of laser tag or two. He had the money in his bank- he had nearly seven hundred dollars in his bank, but expensive were coming up soon and he needed an oil change and his yearly dentist and doctor and eye doctor check ups were coming up.

So with a nod to himself, he finished off the last of his sandwich and then ordered a slice of chocolate cake for himself. He wasn't particularly hungry, but he wanted to just finish off this gift card.

Elmer sat back and watched as he ate his slice of cake, slyly moving his fork in steal a bit of the chocolate glaze (frosting? Icing? Fudge? He didn't really know) off of the edge of the plate. Davey smiled and laughed, before he pushed it closer for him to have some.

“Coulda ordered your own,” he pointed out. Elmer shrugged and grabbed a forkful.

“See, usually it's you stealing from me. Not the other way round- this is my opportunity to be the stealer not the stealee,” he said with a grin as he proceeded to stab more cake. Davey shook his head and brought the cake back towards himself.

“When do I steal from you?” Davey asked. Elmer made a loud hmm sound before laughing loudly.

“When was the last time you ever ordered food when we all go out to a restaurant?” Elmer asked. Davey opened his mouth to defend himself, before it processed and his entire face went bright red.

He shoved the cake back to the middle of the table.

“Eat away then,” Davey said with a small awkward laugh before Elmer cracked a big smile and dug in once more.

“You’re the best, you know that?” Elmer said happily. Davey rolled his eyes.

“Yeah I’m far from it, but whatever you say I guess,” Davey said with a small shrug as he finished off the last few bites of cake.

“Oh whatever Jacobs- you’re close enough to be considered the best in my books,” Elmer said simply as he sipped his drink.

“I’m paying,” Davey said as he pulled out his wallet from his coat pocket. He hadn’t             actually told Elmer about the gift card he had found. Maybe he wouldn’t, and just pretend that he paid for it as a special treat for his friend just because he could. The money could just come right out of his pocket in his eyes.

“No you’re not. Not for me,” Elmer said with a small shake of the head. Davey sighed.

“I have a gift card, relax,” he said. Well, there goes that plan to pretend that he just paid out of the goodness of his heart.

“Oh wow. Alright then- pay away,” Elmer said happily, relaxing back into his seat. Davey grinned as the waiter brought their bill over.

“Hey, wanna come over and play some video games or something?” Elmer asked as Davey handed the girl the gift card. Davey frowned, before slightly shaking his head.

“Nah, I work in three hours… should probably stay on this side of town,” he said. That and well, he didn’t like playing video games. He rarely played them, and when he did he sucked at them. Elmer of all people were probably well aware of that. Still, he appreciated the invite.

“Right yeah… bookstore?” Elmer asked. Davey sighed and nodded.

“Yeah bookstore,” he echoed. Elmer made an ah sound as he nodded grimly.

Elmer left the tip for the waiter on the table, before the two made their way outside and back towards Davey’s car. Elmer had taken the bus over, from what Davey knew. He debated briefly about offering Elmer a drive. It was across the city, and it wouldn’t realistically take him that long to drive him over, but the amount of gas he’d be using to get him there? Well, he had to refill his tank anyways.

“Hey! I'll see you around?” Elmer said with a small grin. Davey smiled and nodded. At least that told him that Elmer wasn’t looking for a ride. Or he wasn’t vocalizing it at least. Elmer started walking backwards out of the parking lot.

“Yeah of course- uh, see you tonight!” he said.

“Right yeah- movie night after your shift, right?” Elmer said. Davey nodded.

“Yeah yeah, took a shift off of Buck’s just for it,” Davey laughed.  

“So you won’t be coming over when everyones asleep for once!” Elmer laughed. Davey rolled his eyes.

“Oh whatever- see you later,” he said. Elmer waved to him, before he turned on his heels and laughed.

Davey watched briefly as Elmer walked across the road, and then started down the block, before he got into the front seat of his car and left the parking lot.

He filled up on gas before he parked in the staff parking of the bookstore. His shift didn’t start for another few hours, but he didn’t mind being ready just to slip inside the building when the time came.

His phone buzzed with a message from Jack. He didn’t open it, not wanting to show him that he read any of the messages. Realistically, Davey knew that it was going to bite him in the ass today not replying, but he just didn’t know how.

Despite the reassuring conversation he had had with Buttons last week, he was still conflicted about Jack. He was interesting, attractive and had been flirting with Davey since before they were coworkers. Which, granted wasn’t that long. A month today, he was pretty sure, not that he was keeping track.

Davey sighed heavily as it buzzed again. He grabbed his packet of cigarettes (making a mental note to get more- he only had two left) and moved to sit on the roof of his car. Buttons came out of the back door of the store and smiled at him. She waved and he waved back, before he got comfortable on the roof of his car. She was probably just making sure it was him and not some stranger, since Buttons went right back inside afterwards.

He glanced at the time as he lit the cigarette. He had twelve minutes before he needed to go work. Long enough to smoke, he decided.

He hummed to himself as his mind went back to Jack. He had to make up his mind before Jack walked into the store. Or at least, he had to make up his mind before Jack tried to talk to him about it. The last thing he needed was to give a hesitant answer to a question he already technically answered.

Why don’t you ask me in person?

God that was one way to suggest you wanted to have sex with someone. Not that that was what Davey wanted out of Jack. Well, maybe it was a little bit, but his main interest was a date. Or two. Maybe a relationship? Davey didn’t really know much about Jack enough to decide that yet.

He coughed as he exhaled the smoke, before it turned into a small violent fit of coughing. Stupid smoke.

Davey slid off of his car and put out his cigarette, before he went around to the back of his car and changed his shirt to his work one. He’d never smoke in his uniforms.

He greeted Buttons as he walked in, before he made his way to the front of the store. His heart rate picked up as he glanced at Jack, already sitting happily at the till and helping someone out. Davey was an idiot, a complete, stupid, idiot.

Jack glanced up at him. Davey smiled softly, but Jack just looked back to the customer as he put the book in a little bag and said have a nice day in that happy tone he usually used.

Davey fidgeted with the hem of his shirt before he walked over and stood behind the counter with him. Jack sighed as he sorted a few coins in the cash register, before he turned to face Davey.

You’ve been avoiding me,” Jack said. Davey laughed lightly, but nodded quickly.

“Yeah… I kind of have,” he admitted.

“Why? Did I scare you off or something?” Jack asked. He raised an eyebrow as he waited for an answer.

Did he tell the truth, or make up some sort of lie?

“The uh, wifi at my apartment completely crapped out on me… still haven’t gotten it fixed,” he said.

Guess he was lying. Seriously Davey, how easy was it to simply say you’re really attractive and I just don’t wanna fuck up and make you absolutely hate me.

“See, if you had a phone plan, this wouldn’t be a problem,” Jack said humorsly. Least he didn’t seem mad at this point.

“Well, that would also be another expense I don’t need,” Davey said with a small shrug.

“Yeah but it would be worth it for situations like these,” Jack said playfully. He wasn’t mad- that was good.

“I can survive without one,” Davey said.

Jack rolled his eyes and muttered “grandpa.”

“We had this conversation last week,” Davey laughed and shook his head. “And you called me grandpa twice now- what, have a thing for older men?” Davey asked playfully. Jack flushed, before he shook his head, but didn’t try to defend himself.

“So you do . Do I really look that old to you?” Davey asked with a small laugh.

“No, god no that isn’t the case,” Jack said. “I’m just calling you a grandpa since like- you don’t have a phone, and-”

“I’m joking,” Davey said with a small laugh. He leant against the back wall and crossed his arms over his chest.

“I don’t actually know your age though,” Jack pointed out. Davey smiled widely and shrugged.

“Well, how old do you think I am?” Davey asked.

“Nope. No- this isn’t a question you answer, because you always end up pissing off the other person,” Jack said quickly. “I’m not playing this game.”

“Well I’m going to guess you at twenty two,” Davey said without hesitation. Jack scoffed, and then hesitated.

“Well I mean, you’re not wrong ,” Jack said. Davey grinned.

“I didn't piss you off. So guess my age,” Davey said with a small nod. Jack sighed heavily, before he skimmed Davey’s body once over. Davey help back a laugh. Judging by Jack’s expression, he was just using that as an excuse to check him out.

Davey waited patiently as Jack thought through his options, his facial expression shifting subtly for a few seconds before he glanced up to Davey’s face.

“You’re no older than twenty six,” Jack said. “Like- at youngest you’re twenty four.”

Davey raised his eyebrows. “Final answer?

“Uh, yeah I guess so,” Jack said.

“Twenty three,” Davey said. Jack raised his eyebrows.

“Well I was close,” Jack said with a small chuckle. Davey laughed along and nodded.

“Yes, you were close,” he mused.

The store started to get a bit busy after that, so the two focused on what they were supposed to be doing for work. Davey helped people find things while Jack checked them out.

When it quieted down a bit more, Davey snuck off to the back to use the washroom, and when he came back, fifteen minutes before closing, it was empty once more. Jack smiled at him, before Davey joined him behind the counter once more.

“So,” Jack said casually, swaying lightly on his seat.

“So,” Davey echoed, staring out the front windows of the store.

So, ” Jack said, dragging out the word just a bit more. Davey furrowed his eyebrows and smiled, before he looked over to Jack.

“Just spit it out already,” he said playfully. Jack rolled his eyes.

“I was trying to do that cute thing where two people go so; so until it gets super static and then I was going to catch you off guard with a nice pick up line,” Jack explained. Davey laughed.

“No one does that,” Davey said flatly.

“Yeah well I coulda started a movement, but you stopped me from being able to do that,” Jack said with a small shrug. Davey shook his head lightly.

“Wanna retry?” Davey offered. Jack shook his head.

“Nope,” he said. “Moments gone… I just… it’s a moment that coulda been perfect, but that moments so far gone now it’s in Russia,” Jack said. They both laughed. Davey sighed mockingly at the end as he rested against the back wall. Jack grinned at him, before he bit his lip lightly.

Davey could tell in his gut that he was about to ask him out. He still didn’t have an answer for him. He didn’t want Jack to know that he didn’t have an answer though. He’d just have to pick an answer on the spot and god he didn’t want to impulsively say no.

Jack opened his mouth to speak, but then the door chimed and someone came in. They both deflated a bit, before Davey got up to flick off the neon opening sign.

“Sorry- were you closed?” she asked. Both of them shook their heads.

“Ten minutes,” Jack explained. The girl smiled and nodded, before she beelined to a specific section of books. Davey stood by the front door as they both watched her looking through the books, before she grabbed two of them and sped walked over to Jack to buy them.

She apologized several times as she paid for the books, and then a few more times as she left. Davey just gave her a small smile, before shutting and locking the front door behind her.

Davey started mopping the floors as soon as he could. He was kind of using it as an excuse to postpone any further conversation with Jack. Davey was freaking out internally. Watch Jack not even ask him out- and Davey had just gotten everything wrong this entire time. God that would probably be the absolute worst.

Jack started doing whatever else to shut down the store. Buttons came out of the back room, collected the money from the cash register and returned to her back room almost without a word. Time was ticking down fast, and Davey just wanted to get out of there and over to Finch’s so he could join the movie night that probably had already started.

“Hey, so uh Davey,” Jack said, catching his attention. Davey smiled at him, putting the mop back in the bucket. He walked over to the counter and stood on the opposite side of Jack.

“What’s up,” Davey asked as casually as he could. Alright, so it was going to happen now. It was going to happen now and Davey had to give him an answer and he didn’t know what his answer was going to be.

“So uh, I honestly don’t know if like- I’m miss reading everything going on, since you’re kind of hot and cold? Not in a bad way of course, just you’re really hard to read.” They both laughed awkwardly, both of them kind of avoiding eye contact at this point. “But, I was wondering if you wanted to go out. Like on a date, maybe, together,” Jack asked.

Yes? No? Yes? No? Yes?

“Yeah, I’d like that,” Davey slipped without a thought, surprising both of them with his answer. He knew deep down he was going to say yes. He knew he’d say yes from the moment Jack gave him his stupid number.

“Cool,” Jack said as his face lit up like a christmas tree.

“Cool,” Davey echoed.

“I was thinking maybe Sunday? Or is that too soon?” Jack asked. Davey hesitated, before he pulled out his phone and double checked his schedule.

“Sunday works perfectly,” Davey said. Jack nodded.  

“Cool, cool… I could pick you up? Let’s say around… six maybe… We could do classic dinner and a movie or something,” Jack suggested. Davey was hesitant to agree to having Jack pick him up, because where was he going to tell Jack to pick him up at? His car? No. He couldn’t do that. He knew that he couldn’t pick Jack up, since his car was filled with everything, and it would be kind of lame if they just met up somewhere, so really… he didn’t have any other options did he?

“I’ll text you my address,” Davey said. Jack smiled.

“Cool,” he said with a nod. Davey laughed.

“You’ve been saying that a lot,” Davey pointed out. Jack shrugged.

“I really didn’t think you’d say yes,” Jack laughed. Davey laughed awkwardly.

Yeah I didn’t think so either.  

“Well I’m just full of surprises,” Davey said playfully.

“Hopefully most of them are good?” Jack said. Davey shrugged. No, one of them was kind of horrible, actually.

“Yeah maybe,” Davey said casually. “I’ll see you Sunday.”

 

“See- I really don’t know how I’m supposed to text him an address when I don’t have an address,” Davey sighed heavily as he rolled onto his back of the air mattress on Finch’s floor. It was close to one am now, and the third movie had just started, but all four of them had turned to their phones at this point, and the conversation had halted besides Davey panicking about what the hell to text Jack back in response to him asking for Davey’s address.

“I’m still surprised you agreed to go out with someone,” Specs said absently. He was the only one still paying attention to the television.

“He’s not that unattractive,” Elmer said playfully. Davey rolled his eyes.

“No he’s great, but like, Davey doesn’t do anything exciting. He also doesn’t like people knowing about the car situation,” Specs said. Davey hated that they were talking as if he wasn’t even there. Probably a habit all three of them had picked up, even if none of them noticed it happening.

“I’m right here,” Davey said flatly. “And I’m not gonna tell him about my car.” He shrugged. “It’s not like it’s gonna be a serious relationship, and I’ll ignore that comment about me being boring.”

They all kind of laughed.

“If it does though,” Elmer said. Davey shrugged.

“Knowing me I’ll push him away after a second date,” Davey said with a small shrug. Finch rolled his eyes and got up from his bed to grab another drink from his fridge.

“You need an address to get him to pick you up at?” Finch said as he took off the top of his beer. “When’s the date?”

“Sunday,” Davey said.

“Stay the weekend then,” Finch said with a small shrug, returning to the bed. “You’re here tonight anyways. Take advantage of my bathroom and my wifi and shit, stay tomorrow night and get him to pick you up from here.”

“That’s too much to ask you,” Davey protested.

“No it’s not. Just stay dude,” Finch said. Davey sighed, before he nodded.

“Okay- alright, I’ll stay the weekend,” Davey said. Finch made a sound of relief, probably glad that Davey wasn’t protesting as much as he normally would. It was the free wifi and an actual bathroom that admittedly convinced Davey to stay.

So, as everyone kind of focused on the movie (again, all of them still just on their phones), Davey picked up his phone and sent Finch’s address to Jack, with a little note telling him to Just text me when you’re here! There’s renovations going on in the hallways in the building so it’ll be a mess to come up .

It was just a little white lie. Davey had been telling Jack a lot of those though. He had to- they were all justified lies. All of it had to do with Jack not finding out about his living arrangement. That was it.

That was probably it.

Chapter Text

Davey swallowed harshly as he fiddled with his hair- a failing attempt to tame it with just his hands. At least his hair laid nicely on his head naturally. He brushed the damp hair, before shaking his head and leaving the bathroom, making sure to grab all the crap he had brought in from his car.

Finch was sitting on the couch, his face buried in his laptop as he typed away. Davey sighed quietly, before he sat down next to him, tucking himself in the corner of the couch.

“You’re wearing that?” Finch asked, not looking up from his computer at all. Davey paused, glancing between his outfit and Finch before shrugging.

“Well I was plannin’ on it,” Davey said. There wasn’t anything wrong with his outfit. It was the same generic thing he wore every day. He thought it looked- well, really, it was the only type of clothing pieces that he owned.

“Lose the vest and get a nice jacket,” Finch said, still just casually typing away. He furrowed his eyebrows, and then deleted half the page and started typing again.

“Yea cause I have a nice jacket,” Davey said sarcastically. Finch laughed and shook his head.

“What happened to your leather one?” Finch asked.

“The vintage one?” Davey asked. Finch nodded. “It’s in my car I think- either that or I never took it when I moved out of Connor’s house.”

“I’m going to sue you if you left it at the scumbags house,” Finch said.

“My cars a mess- it’s probably there,” he said simply.

“So go grab it, and your grey plaid shirt because that’s going to look a lot nicer than that,” Finch said, finally looking over to Davey. He scanned his outfit before reaching up and brushing his hair a bit.

“You’re lucky your hair isn’t untamable like Elmers,” Finch laughed lightly as he set his computer down and stood up. “Jacket, shirt, now,” Finch said, snapping his finger towards him.

Davey nodded, muttering a sarcastic “ yes mame, ” before he grabbed his keys and headed out to the main floor of the building.

It took him awhile to find the shirt, folded neatly underneath the pile of clean but unfolded clothing he had tossed lazily into his suitcase. The jacket, however, was squashed underneath the front passenger seat. How it got there- he didn’t know. Davey had been sure he donated the jacket the last time he got rid of his stuff, but there it was. Kinda wrinkled, and with some weird sticky patch on one of the sleeves, but it was there. Not quite the attractive outfit Finch had been planning, Davey was sure of that.

Still, he took it back up. He was beyond freaked out. It wasn’t like he hadn’t ever been on a date before, but it had been a while, that was for sure. And it was the first date he had been on since he had lived in his car.

That wouldn’t come up in conversation, Davey knew that. He would make sure it stayed away from living arrangements, not like that was a conversation couples usually had on dates.

Not that they were a couple , Davey knew that. One date- maybe two, but Davey wouldn’t let it get any farther. Nope. Maybe it was kinda stupid to agree to go on a date to begin with, because maybe it was kind of just stringing Jack along.

Was it rude to agree to go out with someone and then tell them it was a no on anything more? Well, he didn’t think so. Maybe Jack would go out with him and realize that Davey was a boring, get what you pay for type of person. Then he’d just let Davey go and Davey wouldn’t have to deal with his whole dilemma about Jack.

He wanted to go out with him. That was for certain, but Davey was kind of an idiot. A big idiot, with a stupid lifestyle and minor commitment issues. The last thing he needed was another crappy waste of time relationship.

“Thank god you still have it,” Finch said as Davey returned.

“Well, most of it,” he said humorously before handing it over to him. Finch looked at it with raised eyebrows, before he found the stick spot and sighed heavily.

“I can clean this- change, go,” Finch said, nodding towards the bathroom. “You’ve got what- half an hour?”

“An hour, actually,” Davey corrected. Finch turned his back to him as he switched his shirt.

“Do I get to meet this guy?” Finch asked. “What was it, Jack?”

“I don’t know. Maybe,” Davey said. He buttoned up his shirt as he absently watched the show playing on the television as he did so.

“I feel like I deserve to,” Finch said. Davey turned to face him, before he walked over and sat down at the little breakfast bar, watching him as he delicately tried to wash off the stain.

“Well we’ll see what happens,” Davey said with a casual shrug.

“See if what happens?” Finch asked with a small grin. Davey rolled his eyes, and decided to switch the topic quickly.

“I’m staying the night again?” he asked.

“Up to you,” Finch said with a small shrug. “Which is code-”

“Code for I’m staying yeah I know,” Davey said with a small laugh. “I really don’t want to be an intruder though.”

“And you’re not. You’re just Davey- besides your date thinks you live here anyways, so he’ll be dropping you off,” Finch said as he began to pat the jacket dry.

“Just- text me if you plan to sleep together, give me warning before you come barging through the door,” Finch said. Davey rolled his eyes and took his jacket, before hitting Finch lightly with it. “ Or better yet, let me know if you end up at his place.”

“Because I would do that,” Davey said with a small laugh.

“You might- wouldn’t surprise me,” Finch laughed. Davey scoffed and shook his head.

“Again- because I would do that,” he said sarcastically. “I ain’t sleeping with him tonight.” Davey was absolutely sure about that. Sleeping with him would just complicate things more and Davey would feel needed to stick around.

Davey kind of wanted to stick around though. It was this horrible conflicting sets of emotions stuck violently crashing through his brain. Every other second he was thinking differently about this stupid date.

Part of him wished he had just recycled Jack’s resume when he brought it.

“You’ve got that existential face going on,” Finch suddenly said, bringing Davey away from his train of thought.

“What?”

“It’s actually pardon me ,” Finch said. Davey rolled his eyes. When they were in high school, and Davey actually cared about proper manners (he still did- of course he did, just not to the same extent) he’d always correct his friends when they said anything but pardon me, or sorry. Clearly, that just kind of stuck as a way to mock David inside joke.

It didn’t bug him as much as he let on though. It was just a stupid little thing he used to do. People grow and their mannerisms change and sometimes you did stupid stuff like nag your friends about stupid little practices.

“I said you look like your thinking too hard- and now you’re thinking even harder and it’s kind of driving me insane,” Finch said. Davey softened his facial expression and shifted in his seat as he watched Finch lean against the counter.

“Well, guess I am thinking pretty hard,” Davey admitted. Finch looked like he wanted to ask why, however, it was clear they both already knew the answer. So instead, he got Davey to stand up and put his jacket on. Then he silently fixed his hair with some weird gel that Davey really didn’t like, but decided not to protest.

“So, when do we meet this Jack,” Finch asked as he washed off his hands. Davey shook his head.

“You already asked that question.”

“Yeah but I asked if you were going to sleep with him, and then you went quiet and were clearly thinking about him naked, and didn’t say another word.”

“I said you might get to meet him.” Davey felt the heat rise to his cheeks as he nervously checked his phone, trying to distract himself from the topic at hand. He didn’t like talking to his friends about most things. His mostly non existant sex life was easily at the very top of the list.

“No I remember that part,” Finch said with a small laugh. “I’m talking about-”

“I ain’t sleeping with him!” Davey exclaimed. Finch held up his hands in defeat, before he returned to sitting in his corner of the couch, laptop placed on his lap with his blanket over his shoulders.

“Sorry Finch I just-”

“No no you’re right Dave, shouldn’t have pushed it,” Finch said, eyes stuck on his computer. Davey sighed and sat down next to him again, once again keeping his distance on the couch.

“You know, I bet you I’ll end up in his bed now that we’ve had this argument about it,” Davey said humorously. Finch laughed and nodded.

“I was waiting for you to say that,” Finch admitted. “It would be good for ya, even if it ends up just being a hookup.”

“You think?”

“If it gets ya to destress and loosen up a bit, hell yeah!” Finch said. “Just let it happen Davey. Don’t worry about the car, or whether or not you’ll get a second date, or whether or not you’ll end up in his bed. Just… live like ya used to.”

“Lived every passing moment fearing my parents would find out I’m gay?” Davey asked with a small laugh. Finch rolled his eyes and nudged him.

“No. After that, when you just took life as it came and just lived,” Finch said. “Careless, but still proper Davey. When you first switched from David to Davey offically .

Davey laughed and shook his head.

“Yeah yeah I’ve got the picture now,” Davey said, cutting off any further examples Finch had of the Davey that he wanted him to be.

 

Twenty minutes later Davey was scrolling through his phone, waiting for the little notification to come up saying Jack was here. He couldn’t call, and Davey wasn’t going to buzz him up into the apartment, so he’d text and Davey would go down and fuck Davey was nervous .

He didn’t need to be, Finch reminded him several times. It didn’t help, but he kept that going in the back of his mind until the little notification sound rang out from his phone.

Finch glanced at him, before he went back to his computer.

“Good luck,” he said dismissively as Davey slipped on his shoes at the door. “And untuck your shirt- or do a french tuck, it kind of looks stupid fully tucked.”

Davey wasn’t entirely sure what that meant. So, he just untucked his shirt. Before he could get out the door however, Finch was back up and tucking his shirt in the way he was talking about- french tuck?

“K now go, don’t keep Jack waiting,” Finch said, opening the door for Davey before he lightly shoved him out the door. Davey laughed nervously as he gained his balance back in the hallway, before he tucked his hands in the pockets of his jacket, which he felt way too not Davey in it.

He bit his lower lip as he opened the apartments front doors, his gaze flicking around the parking lot before he found Jack, leaning against a car so relaxed and casual.

“Hey,” Davey said once he was close enough.

Jack quickly stashed his phone away in his pocket as he sat up straight, taking a step forward.

“Was beginnin’ to think I had the wrong address,” Jack said playfully as he grinned. The two kind of stared at each other, Davey clearly going in for a handshake while Jack tried to lean in for some kind of hug. Nothing happened, instead they both stared at each other in confusion before laughter echoed out of both of their throats. Davey tucked his hand back into his pocket and then Jack walked around to the passenger side and held the car door open for him.

“You’re something else Davey.”

Davey slipped in and watched as Jack moved across the car.

“So this is your building?” Jack asked curiously.

“Oh uh- yeah. Top floor, it’s a studio apartment,” Davey said quickly with a nod. “There’s like, four apartments to a floor? And right now the hallways are all being redone on every floor so it’s kind of a pain to be around honestly but it’s nice- rent is cheap and everyones pretty quiet. My apartment window has a lovely view of the alley? Sometimes I see cats beat each other up down there. And it’s big enough that I have a double bed and a couch, which is always a plus.” He was giving too many details, and if it didn’t shut up right this second he was going start telling Jack the exact paint colour of the walls up in Finch’s apartment.

Jack laughed lightly and shook his head, glancing over at Davey with a small grin. Davey smiled back before he avoided looking at Jack directly. He was going to make a complete fool of himself tonight.

“Thank you for that lovely description. I almost feel like I’m in it,” Jack joked. Davey forced another laugh. It won’t be somewhere Jack will ever see.

“So what’s the plan then?” Davey asked. He hoped Jack had a plan- he didn’t think of anything they could do. He also hoped that wherever it was, it was cheap. Davey would probably end up paying for at least himself. There was no way he expected Jack to pay for him. If it happened though, he wouldn’t particularly regret it.

“Dinner,” Jack said shortly. “Not sure what you want to do after that, but I know this great little place downtown, if you’re cool with that?”

Davey nodded.

“So… any ideas for anything to do later?” Jack asked. Davey smiled and laughed lightly as he glanced over at him driving.

“Let’s get through dinner first,” Davey said. It wasn’t supposed to come out as suggestive as it did, which made Jack looked at him skeptically.

“What? Planning to dine and then dash?” Jack asked. “Geez I didn’t think that this date was going that bad already.”

“No I meant let’s see how we feel afterwards,” Davey said.

“Yeah I know. Teasin’ ya.”

“Yeah I know.”

“I mean, you still tried to correct yourself.”

Davey looked at Jack again with a smile. Jack glanced at him as he stopped at a red light, sharing that same smile. He raised his eyebrows, causing Davey to laugh awkwardly and look away. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Jack smile and bit his lower lip. Davey felt his face flush a bit as he looked down to his lap, picking at a hangnail on his thumb.

They sat in a nice silence for the rest of the ride there. Davey didn’t recognize the location, but that could easily be because he rarely ended up anywhere downtown.

“I hope this place is good with you- you never did answer my question about it being good,” Jack said as he parked. Davey laughed lightly and nodded.

“Of course it’s fine,” Davey said. He wasn’t about to object about it, now that they were parked and here. The restaurant looked like, however, it looked like it was also somewhat expensive. Something Davey was hoping wouldn’t have been the case.

They walked in, Jack holding the first door open for Davey, while Davey opened the second one for Jack. They got sat down almost instantly, and Davey was quick to look at the menu, his eyes instantly going to the prices and nothing more. It wasn’t as bad as Davey thought it would be, but it was still kind of pricey. Pricey enough that Davey already planned on just getting something small. And water- nothing but water for sure.

“Davey?” Jack asked. Davey looked up to him, earning a small smile from the other.

“Ya look like a deer caught in headlights,” Jack said playfully. “The amount of choices that shocking to ya?”

Davey laughed nervously.

“No, no.” He shook his head. “I uh, just don’t eat out often. So yeah- I guess the choices are kind of crazy.”

Jack raised an eyebrow.

“Don’t ya work at a restaurant?” Jack asked. Davey nodded. “And ya never eat anything there after shifts or anything? Don’t ya get a discount on everything?”

“Only on appetizers and drinks,” Davey said. Buck’s really sucked in terms of jobs and the discounts they came with. It didn’t matter to Davey anyways though, he didn’t like to drink all that much. He found it just bought too much into the whole homeless man stereotype. He still enjoyed the occasional drink, but only ever when he was with his friends. Which, admittedly, was rare. As for appetizers, the only good thing Buck’s had was their spinach dip. That was easy just to get on it’s own- cheaper too. Even with the discount.

“Everything okay?” Jacked asked.

“Yeah of course… why wouldn’t it?”

“You zoned out again.”

“Oh.” Davey laughed nervously, and made a mental not to keep himself focused for the rest of the date. He didn’t need to stress. It was just a date, he wasn’t committing to anything by doing this, and as a result, Davey didn’t need to tell Jack a single thing about himself if he didn’t want to.

“What would you recommend… food wise?” Davey asked as he skimmed the menu. He had already narrowed it down to a few items just at first glance with just the prices alone but… small talk was always good, right?

“It’s all pretty good. The chicken parmesan isn’t the best, I’d stay away from that, but other than that,” Jack trailed off with a small shrug. Davey wasn’t planning on getting that, which was a wonderful relief.

“They have these drinks though- I’m buying you at least one to try, because it’s like heaven in a glass,” Jack said.

“Okay,” Davey said, instead of arguing about not wanting one. In his head, he was budgeting his entire meal, but one glance up at Jack made him realize that Jack was most likely planning to pay for the both of them. He wasn’t going to be expecting it, and he was certainly ready to take out his own wallet, but it wouldn’t surprise him if that was the case.

Davey smiled as he watched Jack begin to talk about his day. It was nice to just sit back and watch as Jack talked about how he was working on a painting, which lead to him elaborating on his love for art, which eventually lead into Jack talking about how his brother ( but not really my brother, because we’s adopted brothers. Neither of us are related to our mom- she’s adopted like, seven of us )  and his boyfriend tried to pose for a painting once by their request, but neither of them could agree on a pose, so Jack painted them in the classic titanic pose without either of their knowledge.

It wasn’t until they had ordered and the food came out that Jack slowed down on his happy rambling. He was right, the drink he ordered (which he couldn’t remember the name of) was very good. Kind of like a bunch of sugary fruit, and apparently it had a bit of tequila in it- but Davey didn’t taste any of it. It was good though, really good.

“I feel like I’ve done nothing but talk about myself the entire time,” Jack said with a small laugh. Davey smiled as he moved the pasta on his plate around.

“I don’t mind. I like hearing about ya,” Davey said honestly. He liked getting to know all these interesting things about Jack. It was a great distraction of the fact that Davey did not want to talk about himself in any way shape or form. Jack chuckled and rolled his eyes.

“Well I’m glad you do- but I like the idea about this conversation being a two way street,” Jack said, a playful grin on his face as he lifted his glass to his mouth. “So tell me about you. All I know is you’re cute, work two jobs and want to be a website designer.” Davey laughed and shook his head, focusing his gaze down on the plate of food in front of him.

“Well there isn’t much else to say,” Davey said with a small shrug, a light blush growing over his face. Nothing he could say that wouldn’t make Jack turn and run the second the words left his mouth, Davey knew that for sure.

“So I gotta prompt you with questions then?” Jack said. Davey perked up at that. Then, hesitantly, he decided to reply:

“Only if I get to ask you questions in return.”

“So like, twenty questions?” Jack asked. Davey furrowed his eyebrows, making a small huh sound. Jack laughed and shook his head.

“You’re hopeless Davey,” Jack joked. “It legit just means we bounce questions off of each other, but like, once I asked a question, you can’t ask me the same question. So, I’ll start. Uh, let’s start with… if you had to choose between knowing when you met your soulmate, or when you’re going to die, which would you chose?”

Davey laughed. “What’s the point of this?”

“So I can get to know ya! Now answer.”

Davey paused to think about it.

“Death.”

Jack raised his eyebrows in surprise. Davey bit back the light blush on his cheeks by bringing his drink up to his mouth.  

Why?

“Well uh. I dunno- love has never been a priority for me, I guess. I’ve had such shitty experiences with it that I’d much rather get to know when I’m going to kick the bucket. If I knew when I’d meet my soulmate, which, by the way, might not even exist, I think the relationship would feel forced. I don’t want it to feel forced. If I knew when I was gonna die- maybe I’d stress less about money and being productive and just live life to the fullest so I can die with all the things on my bucket list accomplished... I feel like if I knew when I’d meet my soulmate, nothing else would happen because I’d just be yearning for the day to meet him. I’d kick my bucket list instead of the literal bucket just by waiting,” Davey explained, words flowing out of his mouth as if he had given this explanation a thousand times before. “What about you?”

“You can’t ask the same question,” Jack pointed out, though his happy tone had dropped just a little bit. Davey’s first thought was that he accidently upset Jack somehow. Davey sighed and rolled his eyes playfully, trying to get the tension to cease up a bit.

“Alright… what’s your favourite colour?” Davey asked. Jack scoffed.

“I start with this deep, fancy question and you ask me my favourite colour.”

And just like that, that big smile was on Jack’s face and he was back to how he was two seconds prior.

“You’re an artist! I figured you’d like that question.”

“Well- it’s blue. If you must know- a nice pale blue, like the sky when the sun’s just about to come up. It’s this nice blue grey- that’s my favourite blue,” Jack answered after a beat of hesitation. Davey nodded. “Okay uh, what’s one thing you’d tell your highschool self.”

“Oh that’s easy- don’t sleep with the first guy that holds your hand,” Davey said with a small laugh, without having to think into it at all. “He was an asshole, messed up my social game for the rest of senior year.”

Technically , he hadn’t slept with him until they had been dating for a year, and both of them were in the first few months of college. Of course, those were just technicalities that Jack didn’t need to know about. Not now, not ever.

And so it went like that, Jack bouncing the most interesting and oddly specific questions to Davey, while he tossed the most boring, cookie cutter questions back towards him. Davey would give pretty vague answers, except when the occasional question about something he was very passionate about came up (his favourite question Jack had asked was why he got into computer science, which while his love had fizzled out since he started studying it, just being able to ramble about the wonders of knowing how to do all these kinds of things almost brought that original love back to him. Not to mention all the stupid jokes he could make with his peers that no one else could get.) Jack would start with his basic questions, before he would try and flesh them out so he could give Davey more interesting answers. Although, they both seemed to be aware that it was next to impossible to make questions like if you could start a new hobbie, what would it be (it had been dancing, specifically tap) and what’s your favourite meal to cook (he was a big fan of pizza bagels, surprisingly he “didn’t know how to cook for shit”) sound interesting.

They still continued with this format of a conversation until a shared dessert was sitting in front of them, and even then the questions still lingered. Davey liked them, since most of Jack’s questions seemed to be hypothetical and had next to nothing to do with his personal life.

“Alright I’ve been holding out on this one for a while,” Jack said as he took a spoonful of cheesecake in his mouth. He swallowed, wiped a bit of syrup from his lip before he continued. “But here’s the thing. Did you just agree to go out with me cause I asked- or is there actually something here?”

Davey hesitated, stirring the bit of berry syrup on the plate, glancing between the cheesecake and Jack.

“I think there’s something,” he admitted. “You’re… different in a good way . I don’t know if it’s necessarily something that could spark into a longer relationship but… I wanted to get to know you, and I can safely tell you that when I’ll be walking away tonight, I’ll be thinkin ‘boutcha.” They both exchanged smiles, Jack’s growing significantly at his reply, which just made Davey smile more, which caused them both to focus in on the cheesecake before they both dug out a small spoonful.

“Are you interested in going out again?” Davey found himself asking, despite it going against everything that he had told himself up until this point. It was supposed to be one date- maybe two at most, but he just couldn’t help it. He liked him. A lot. A lot more than he thought it would at the end of one date.

“I’m already counting down the seconds to it,” Jack said playfully. “Wanna come back to my place?”

“I’ll answer with another question… If I come over, and end up in your bed, will I actually hear from you again?” Davey couldn’t help but asking. That had been what he was worried about originally, and now he was asking to come home with him? Course, his mind naturally went to sex.  

“Well, it would be hard to avoid ya… and not just because we work together,” Jack said. “I wasn’t thinking sex though, unless I mean, it just kinda happens- but I was thinking like a movie and popcorn and a big blanket or something like that. Like, a really casual, private night. My brother probably won’t be around until much later.”

Davey smiled.

“Then I’d love to,” he said with a small nod.

 

The first thing that Davey noted when he walked into Jack’s apartment, was that it was abundantly clear that it was three men in their early twenties living in the apartment. It was nice though- surprisingly clean besides the small pile of dishes in the kitchen sink, the few glasses spread around and a bunch of throw pillows tossed lazily on the floor instead of being on the actual couch itself.

“Thanks again for paying, by the way,” Davey said as he slipped his jacket off. He watched Jack hang it up on a little hook behind the front door, before he mirrored the action with his own.

“Course- I was the one asking you out, I gotta be the one to pay, it’s date logic,” he teased as he made his way towards the kitchen. He patted one of the breakfast stools, which Davey took as a gesture to sit down.

“Do you want anything before we start?”

“A drink would be nice,” Davey said.

“Alcoholic or something simple?” Jack asked as he opened a cupboard at an angle that Davey couldn’t see inside of.

“Well what would be my alcoholic options?”

“Oh! Race has this shitty wine leftover from his anniversary. They haven’t opened it and it’s been like, three months. I say we just drink it,” Jack laughed as he pulled a bottle down from the cupboard.

“I’m not really a wine person,” Davey admitted. Jack laughed.

“I’m not either-  but wine is like, romantic right? People drink it on dates all the time,” Jack said as he grabbed two wine glasses from another cupboard which Davey could actually see into this time. He popped the bottle open, before he poured equal amounts into both of the glasses and then lead the way to the couch.

They settled, drank the shitty wine, and turned on a movie that peaked both of their interests. About a third of the way through, Jack wordlessly left and returned with a soft blanket which they both curled up in. By halfway through the movie, Jack was explaining the colour symbolism within the show, and Davey found himself paying more attention to him than to the movie itself.

Eventually, Jack caught on to him staring and he turned to face him with a small smile.

“Coulda told me to shut up you know,” he chuckled. Davey shook his head lightly.

“I don’t mind listening to you,” Davey said. Jack grinned.

They were close- their noses were almost brushing, and Jack’s eyes started to drift down Davey’s face just a bit.

“We’re watching a movie right now though,” Jack said, hand casually resting on the back of Davey’s neck, slowly bringing him closer until-

“You ain’t watching anything but each other’s faces by the looks of it,” a sudden loud voice came from behind them as a blond boy in a baggy sweatshirt and a shorter, stocky boy trailed in through the front door.

“Way to ruin a moment asshole,” Jack said, grabbing the closest pillow on the couch before he chucked it in the direction of the blond boy, who promptly dodged it and it ended up hitting the other one by mistake.

“Don’t worry, we’re going straight to my room,” the blond said, his hands up in surrender as he crossed the main room, and then disappeared down a short hallway.

Once the door down the hall shut, Jack turned back to Davey.

“The blond was Race, my brother, the short brooding guy that looked ready to fight me was Spot. Betcha ten bucks that we’ll be hearing some suspicious noises from their bedroom in a few minutes,” Jack explained, before he grabbed the remote and turned up the television just a bit. Davey grinned and nodded, before he settled back into cuddling with Jack, this time focusing more on the movie as he rested his head on Jack’s shoulder.

At some point, Jack’s arm went around Davey’s shoulders, which only made him curl up closer. It was nice, just silently watching a movie with someone while just cuddling- intimate or not.  

Jack was right, not soon after Race and Spot walked in through the front door, there was the suspicious noises that Jack was talking about. Both of them ignored it however, and focused on the movie as it reached its climax. Eventually the noises stopped, which eased Davey’s attention a fair bit.

Neither of them spoke up again until the credits began to roll. Davey sat up slowly, before he smiled over to Jack.

“Time is it?” he asked curiously before he turned on his phone to check. It wasn’t nearly as late as Davey thought it was- just barely passed ten.

“Kiss me?” Jack asked. Davey smiled and looked over at Jack.

What?

“Will ya? I’ve been wanting you to do it all night,” he admitted. Davey laughed and shook his head lightly, before he leaned in hesitantly and planted a short kiss on his lips.

They both pulled back grinning, laughter being stifled by both of their closed lips.

“Wasn’t exactly what I was expecting,” Jack said. Davey raised an eyebrow.

“Wanna show me what you meant then?”

Jack turned to face Davey, which made him face Jack as well. Then, Jack wrapped his arms around Davey’s waist and tugged him closer, before he kissed him. Davey grinned against it, Jack’s arms tugging him closer, which naturally lead to Davey moving to sit on his lap.

His hand ran through Jack’s hair, before resting it against the base of his neck, his other hand resting naturally on his hip.

Jack deepened the kiss, parting his lips to let tongues slip through.

Then, he pulled away just enough to be able to talk. Davey kept his eyes closed as he felt their noses brush up against each other.

“My room?” Jack asked.

“Please,” Davey replied, before he leaned in and kissed him again.

Chapter Text

The warm sunlight began to trickle in in the early hours of the morning. Jack had been up for a while, arms wrapped lazily around a sleeping, unmoving Davey. He had been drooling on Jack’s chest a while ago, but ceased once Jack had taken the corner of the blanket to wipe it away.

He couldn’t help but smile at the view.

It was stupid how infatuated he was with this boy. He was interesting, like a puzzle made up of a bunch of tiny little pieces, and he was slowly starting to finally be able to put it together. Last night made him take a few pieces out of the puzzle again though, which made him that more determined to figure out how to complete the puzzle. He had the corner pieces, and he had some of the edge pieces in place, but a few of them didn’t look quite right.

Davey had some interesting answers to his questions last night. That first one about soulmates was what stuck out the most to him. Something about the way he spoke made it abundantly clear that he had had bad luck in relationships before. Jack didn’t know what happened- but it really sounded like Davey wasn’t looking for a relationship at all right now, which really stressed him out because he didn’t want this to be the last time that Davey showed up in his bed in the morning.

Nothing had happened last night. They made out, both of them ended up striped down to their underwear and then Davey abruptly backed out. That was fine, Jack moved away from him the minute that he asked, because he didn’t want to push it. The last thing he wanted was to make Davey uncomfortable.

It would be nice to know what had happened that made Davey switch from being perfectly fine with it all to deciding that he didn’t even want to be kissing him anymore. He didn’t know how to bring it up in conversation. Besides, he was sure that if he waited, maybe Davey would tell him on his own. Until then, he was happy just to be doing this.

Jack wrapped his arm around Davey’s waist once the two of them had settled down in the bed. He lightly peppered a few soft kisses against the nape of his neck, but Davey shied away from that, which was his cue to stop.

“Thank you, by the way,” Davey said once the two of them were starting to drift off. “For being okay with stopping.”

“Course,” Jack had muttered. “I get it. Sex ain’t always a first date thing.”

“Some people think it is.”

“Not me Dave,” he said softly.

“Sex just ain’t much of a priority for me,” Davey hummed softly as he moved closer, resting his head on Jack’s chest. “I wanna get to know you better. I wanna be able to trust you before that stuff happens. Kissing you was a treat though.” A stupid, tired little grin spread on Davey’s face.

“Want me to take you home?” Jack asked. “Might have to get Racer to drive, since we drank a bit…”

“Can I just stay?” Davey asked, sighing softly as his eyes drifted shut. “Would that be weird? I don’t wanna go home right now.”

“Not weird at all,” Jack hummed softly. Davey leaned up and kissed him lightly.

“Good. I like your bed, much better than mine.”

“What’s your bed like?”

“Basically a memory foam topper on the floor. It’s better than sleeping on the floor though… so I take it,” Davey joked. Jack laughed, and he did too, before the two of them went quiet and drifted off to sleep.

Then they went from cuddling to sleeping even faster.

Now Jack was awake, watching Davey sleep like the weirdo he was while someone watched TV in the living room and Spot snored on the other side of his wall. He reached up and lightly brushed away some stray hairs from Davey's face, before his attention was turned to his bedroom door as it creaked open.

“Hey Jack?” Crutchie said quietly. “You up?”

“Yeah yeah, just uh, Davey ain't,” Jack said, before he gestured for Crutchie to come in. Crutchie looked at Davey, a small smirk on his face before he looked back to Jack.

“This the guy you've been pinin’ over?” Crutchie teased. Jack rolled his eyes.

“Yeah yeah yous were gone for five days. Gotta catch ya up once he's gone,” Jack said. “Good visit?”

“Ma says hi, Smalls wanted me to punch ya n’ Race for not coming along,” Crutchie said with a small laugh, before he gave him a light punch to the arm. “Anyways I'll letcha have your morning. Race is makin breakfast so I'd suggest fending for yourself.”

Crutchie waved him off lightly, before he left the bedroom again, making sure to shut the door behind him. Jack sighed lightly and closed his eyes again, burying his head into his pillow.

He wished he could freeze this moment forever. Just to stay in the warm quiet of his bedroom with Davey laying tired with him.

Shortly after though, Davey began to stir. Eventually, he lazily opened his eyes and smiled up at Jack. Jack grinned and nudged him lightly. He sighed contently and closed his eyes again, nuzzling his head into Jack’s shoulder. Jack chuckled and kissed his cheek, before he moved back a bit just so that Davey would bring his head back up to look at him.

“Mornin’,” Jack said. Davey smiled, his eyes cracking open again before they shut.

“Shh, I’m not up yet,” Davey muttered. Jack chuckled softly.

“Well hurry up n’ wake up then,” Jack said, nudging him lightly.

“Why?” Davey asked, tilting his head up so he could look at Jack. “Gonna kick me out?”

“Nah… Just wanna get breakfast,” Jack admitted. “Can’t do that if yous still sleeping in my bed.”

“You could,” Davey said. He pulled the blanket up over himself, as a result burying both of them under the sheets.

“I could, but I won’t without ya,” Jack said. “Gotta feed you too, s’long as the kitchen ain’t on fire when we get up.”

Davey furrowed his eyebrows at the comment, which only made Jack laugh. He leaned forward and kissed him lightly.

“Don’t worry about it.”

“Well a comment like that is going to get me to worry about it,” Davey replied with a small laugh. His eyes drifted shut again.

“Race’s cookin’ right now,” Jack explained. “Ain’t a good cook- none of us are really, except for Spot. Spot can cook but the asshole doesn’t cook for anyone but Race. Even then it’s once in a blue moon.”

“Hey Jack?” Davey asked, letting his eyes open again.

“Yes?”

“Wanna shuddup for a few minutes?” he asked with a small smile. “I just wanna lay here and forget about the rest of the day.”

Jack didn’t complain, instead put his arm around Davey again and watched as his eyes shut again. He smiled, before he closed his eyes as well and inched closer.

“Last night was fun,” Jack commented. Davey laughed and looked up to him again.

“You really can’t shut up, can you?” Davey asked. Jack pretended to think about it for a second, before he shook his head. Davey smiled before he leaned up and kissed him. Jack kissed him back, before Davey reached up and cupped his jaw, holding him close.

Jack hummed softly, before he tugged Davey closer. He smiled against his lips, his hands snaking around Davey’s waist.

“That got me to shut up,” Jack said. Davey grinned, before he pecked his lips lightly again.

“That was the goal.”

Jack smiled, shaking his head lightly before he kissed him again.

“This mean that I’m getting another date outta you?” Jack asked. He couldn’t help but ask, while laying comfortably in bed, as if the two had been seeing each other for months now, just to make sure. He was feeling good about this, but he just had to make sure.

“I think so,” Davey replied with a small smile. “At least one more. Maybe two if you play your cards right,” he teased. Jack rolled his eyes, before he kissed him again.

“Please by the third date you’ll be begging to move in with me,” Jack said. “I’m a loveable person.”

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Davey teased, before he pulled away. Jack frowned lightly as he watched Davey check the time, before he sighed loudly. He ran a hand through his hair, before he turned back to Jack with a small smile.

“I have class at one,” Davey said.

“It’s Sunday though.”

“No, it’s Monday. We went out on Sunday.”

“Oh.”

They both laughed lightly, before Jack sat up. He waited, watching as Davey gathered his clothing around the floor before he began to redress himself. Davey smiled as he glanced over at him as he buttoned up his shirt, only to unbutton it and begin to button it up again.

“What was that?” Jack asked with a small laugh. Davey shrugged, before he did his belt up.

“Buttoned it up wrong,” he said with a small laugh. Jack rolled his eyes, before he got out of bed. He watched for a moment more, before he grabbed the first pair of paint stained sweatpants he found in his drawer.

“Should I drive ya home?” Jack asked as he tossed on a hoodie.

“Please. Long as it isn’t out of the way,” Davey said. Jack chuckled as he rolled his eyes.

“I wouldn’ta offered it if I didn’t want to do it,” Jack pointed out. Davey smiled, shrugging lightly as he gathered the last of his things.

Jack brought him back out to the living room, where Race was standing by the stove, flipping something in a pan while Spot lingered close by, leant up against the breakfast bar counter. Crutchie was sat on the couch, the tv on some random channel while he was looking at something probably far more interesting on his phone.

“Uh, this is my other brother Charlie,” Jack said. “Well, really we only call him by his nickname, Crutchie- I dunno if you’ve met him yet.”

“Crutchie?”

“He came up with the nickname,” Jack explained with a small shrug. “Ain’t anything mean like that.”

“Well it’s nice to meet you then Crutchie,” Davey said. Crutchie looked up from his phone with a small smile.

“Yeah you too,” he said with a nod, before he went back to his phone. Davey glanced at Jack hesitantly, and Jack just shrugged, before the two made their way over to the front door.

“I’m dropping Davey off at home. Be back in a bit. Uh, Race, don’t worry about making any pancakes for me,” Jack said. Race’s head popped out from around the corner, his face scrunched up.

“I’m making omelettes,” he corrected.

“Then why are they brown ?”

Race disappeared behind the wall again, only for his head to return back over just seconds later.

“No clue.”

Davey laughed, which made Jack laugh, which only made Race roll his eyes as he disappeared to continue cooking.

The drive back over to Davey’s apartment was a nice and mostly quiet one. Morning traffic, despite it being close to ten am was still very much around, so it took a bit longer than either of them had thought for them to be able to get back over to his neighbourhood. However, the two let the radio fill the car and pass the time, peppering in small talk every now and then whenever they saw fit.

Jack smiled at Davey as he parked outside of his building.

“So I’ll see you around?” Jack asked.

“Course.”

“Before our shift on friday? Or am I gonna haveta wait until then.”

Davey hesitated, before he shrugged, unbuckling the seatbelt before he leaned over and kissed his cheek.

“We’ll see how busy I am,” Davey said. “But I’ll text you if I have some time to meet up. Maybe for lunch or something.”

“Yeah, yeah, I’d like that,” Jack said. “So I’ll see you?”

“You already asked that,” Davey laughed. “I said maybe. If not Friday for sure.”

“Right yeah, ‘course,” Jack said.

Davey smiled, before he got out of the car. With a small wave, Davey started making his way back towards the building. Jack waited and watched for an odd amount of time for Davey to get in through the front door of the building. It almost looked like he had to get buzzed inside, which obviously couldn’t have been what happened, because why would someone need to be buzzed into his own building?

Once he knew he was inside, Jack pulled out again and returned to his apartment, where the three of his roommates were huddled around the breakfast bar, with a McDonalds bag and a cluster of miscellaneous breakfast items. He couldn’t help but laugh as he was handed a breakfast sandwich and a coffee. The reminiscence of Race’s failed cooked breakfast was still sprawled across the back counter, paired with an odd, not quite pleasant smell of a vanilla scented candle and burnt eggs.

“So. First date and you managed to get ‘im in your bed,” Race said playfully. “He any good?”

“Nothin’ happened last night,” Jack said. “We drank an entire bottle of shitty wine and I didn’t wanna drive him home.”

“Was it our shitty wine?” Spot asked. Jack shrugged.

“You weren’t drinkin’ it. Besides, you two deserve nicer shit for your fancy dates,” Jack said. “I’m pretty sure it was called a wine beverage too. Ain’t even real wine.”

“I think you’re just usin’ it as an excuse for keeping him over night,” Race said simply, shrugging it off casually as he took a bite out of Spot’s hashbrown, only to have Spot take a long sip of his juice. It quickly spiraled into the two of them attempting to one up each other, taking their food until Race kissed Spot, which resulted in both Jack and Crutchie being disinterested in the previously humorous situation.

“Didn’t you say he wasn’t interested?” Crutchie asked. Jack shrugged.

“Thought he wasn’t,” he replied. “Mostly cause I never heard from him when I gave him my number… but I mean, we kept talkin’ and worked it out and I mean, he kinda told me to ask him out so I did and here we are.”

“I think it’s real weird that he doesn't even have a phone plan,” Race commented. “I mean, everyone and their children have phones nowadays.”

“He says he can’t afford it,” Jack said. “I mean, he works two jobs, goes to school and has this tiny little apartment. I don’t blame him for saving money by not having a plan. I can still talk to him just fine.”

“It’s still weird ,” Race said. “Ma still pays for ours, why don’t he just get his parents to do it for him?”

“I dunno,” Jack said. “I don’t care either. His phone number is the least of my worries.”

“So what’s the biggest worry? That he ain’t good in the sheets?” Race joked.

“Or maybe is it that he’s your long lost brother,” came Crutchie, naturally giving the least suggestive suggestion.

“That he just stole your wallet and he’s gonna take off, never to be seen again?” Race shot back.

“If that was his plan, he just stole twenty bucks and a giftcard to Starbucks with two cents on it,” Jack laughed.

“So? Still twenty bucks he ran off with and a nice wallet. Plus, I dunno maybe he looks enough like your ID to use it,” Race said. Jack rolled his eyes.

“Well he didn’t take my wallet so it ain’t something to worry about,” Jack said. “Plus he’s older than me, so my ID won’t do him shit.”

“Alright so you’re concerned he’s gonna realize how broke we are, and is gonna leave you,” Crutchie said, reigniting the debate.

“No I got it- you’re afraid he’s a shapeshifting dragon who’s going to kill you and feed to his dragon friends!”

“No wait. Lemme take a stab at it- you’re worried he’s actually a homeless prostitute,” Spot said, to which Jack rolled his eyes.

“Alright I’m stoppin’ all three of you right now. For one, Dragons don’t exist. If they did- Davey ain’t one of ‘em. For two , there’s no way Davey’s homeless. I just dropped him off at his place, for one, and he don’t look homeless. I mean, he’s always cleaned up nice, dressed professionally- he irons his clothes by the looks of it, he ain’t like… scary lookin’ so,” Jack said, shrugging casually as he crumbled up his garbage. “None of that is a worry to me.”

“So what is your worry with him?”

“Don’t have one. We’ve been on one date, agreed to go on another, so I ain’t worried,” Jack said. “If something comes up, I’ll deal with it then, but I ain’t worried.”

“I’d be,” Race laughed. “I mean you barely know him. Not having a phone number is sketchy.”

Jack rolled his eyes and threw his stuff in the garbage.

“I don’t think so. It’s whatever,” Jack said. “You all are just being weird about it. He don’t see a problem with it. I don’t see a problem- so there isn’t a problem.”

“It’s your relationship Jack,” Crutchie said with a small, reassuring smile. “I think Race is just worried that you two will start a competition for the loudest couple,” he joked. Jack laughed.

“No one can beat those two.”

“We’re right here you know,” Race said.

“That’s the point. It’s us tellin’ ya to be quieter,” Crutchie laughed. “Geez soon enough I’ll be the only person with no one to sleep with.”

“Better invest in some earplugs then,” Race laughed.

“Trust me, I did the minute Spot moved in.”

Chapter Text

“You look exhausted,” Finch said with a small laugh as he, Specs, Elmer and a redhead that Davey had never seen before all filed into Buck’s. Davey sighed loudly as he grabbed four menus, nodding before he lead them towards a table in his section of the restaurant.

“Romeo hasn’t shown up for his shift yet, so I’ve been working both my set of tables and the front of the house since eight,” Davey explained as he set the menus down. “Not to mention I just worked an extra shift at the Bumblebees since another person quit on Buttons.”

“Sounds pretty miserable,” Specs said. Davey nodded.

“It really is. Anyways, uh, I’m just going to go check on my other tables and I’ll be back to get your drinks,” he said, before Davey spun on his heels and continued to juggle doing two jobs at once.

It was unfair really. Monday had been such a nice and relaxed day, getting to wake up in Jack’s comfortable bed and then just having to go to one class and then having the rest of the day off. He really thought that Tuesday was going to be the same. It started out fine. His early morning class had gone by smoothly and he managed to get an essay done in the back of his car while stealing wifi from a McDonalds.

It had been smooth sailing, until Buttons called him around noon just desperate for someone to come in and cover the last six hours of someone's shift. So he did, but that meant that he went straight from working at Bumblebees to working his shift  at Buck’s. It was hard enough on Fridays when he had the morning to himself. Add in a class, and Davey was just about ready to collapse on the floor.

On the bright side, there was a couple extra hundreds added to his paycheck that he’d be getting on Friday.

Just as Davey was about to go take his friends drinks, he had to swerve the other way and seat another two groups of guests. He purposely put them in a section that he didn’t have to serve despite the fact that he and the other two waiters customers weren’t evenly split at all, just so he had less to deal with.

Finally, after leaving them waiting for far too long, Davey walked over to his friends table with his notebook flipped open.

“Sorry ‘bout the wait guys,” he said with a small sigh. “Usuals all around?”

“Oh! Davey, this is my friend Albert,” Elmer said. David gave Albert a short nod of acknowledgement, which he returned with a small smile.

“Nice to meet you,” Albert said. “I’ll just get an iced tea.”

“Sounds good. We’ll have to have a proper introduction once I’m not working,” Davey said. Albert grinned and nodded. Davey gave a small hesitant nod, before he walked away to get their drinks.

When he returned, the four of them were laughing at something one of them had said. He kept quiet through the cheerful banter. Everyone seemed pretty comfortable around Albert, which made Davey wonder how long he had been tagging around to things now. This was the first time that Davey had even heard of him, yet Elmer was sitting oddly close to him and Specs and Finch seemed so comfortable around him.

Maybe Davey was just reading way too much into this. That could quite possibly be the case, now that Davey was thinking about it. It wasn’t unnormal for people to bring their friends along to outing and it wasn’t odd for them to so easily fit in with the group, despite having just met them.

Davey glanced back as he took a different tables order. He needed to quit dwelling on them. It wasn’t healthy and he knew that, but the back of his mind kept nagging him over Albert. Albert was new, and Albert could easily replace Davey. Albert probably wasn’t as busy as Davey was. Albert could easily make it to and afford all the activities everyone plans. Albert was currently taking a sip of Elmer’s drink, while Elmer seemed to get really cozy next to him.

“Excuse me?”

“Ah shoot sorry,” Davey said, quickly shaking himself out of his trance. “Mind just repeating your last order for me?”

“Right… for the third time? We’d like an order of spinach and artichoke dip to start,” the lady said, the annoyance in her voice fresh as a daisy. Well- there goes Davey’s tip. Davey nodded quickly, before he jotted it down. He quickly ran through the rest of their order, which he had thankfully gotten down before zoning out, and then moved on to put the order in.

Romeo never showed up to start greeting, and Davey never heard anything from his manager about whether or not someone else was coming in. So Davey ended up working the front of the house with his his co worker until the rush dwindled.

Everyone at Finch’s table had long since finished eating, but the four of them were still lingering around their table without a receipt in sight. Once every other table had been taken care of and was gone, it was nearing eleven thirty.

“My boss says if you guys don’t order more stuff I need to kick you out,” he said, half joking as he approached their table. Finch rolled his eyes.

“Like ya got the guts to actually kick us out,” he said. “There’s no one else around.”

“Yeah ‘cause they’re all getting drunk in the bar,” Specs said with a small laugh.

“Do you guys want your receipt for something?” Davey asked.

“We’re waiting for you.”

“My shift don’t end till one,” Davey said with a small sigh.

“So? Ain’t like any of us care,” Elmer said, before he quickly looked over to Albert. “ Unless of course, you know, you care.”

Everyone looked to Albert expectantly. He blinked, huffing as he looked between the four of them, before his gaze finally landed on Elmer.

“I mean, I’m not in a rush,” he said. Elmer smiled, before he turned back to Davey.

“We’ll wait up,” Elmer said with a small nod.

Davey smiled and nodded hesitantly. He hated having his friends stay up for the end of his shift, which probably wouldn’t result in them doing anything. Davey knew not to try and argue though, because they would all inevitably win and Davey would have to finish his shift feeling completely defeated. He hated feeling like that.

Suddenly, there were two sharp jabs to Davey’s sides. A loud gasp escaped his lips as he quickly jumped back, lifting his notebook as he turned, getting ready to smack whoever was behind him.

Instead, he was greeted with Jack and a stupid grin spread across his face. Davey glared as he straightened himself up, lightly hitting him with his notebook anyways.

“That ain’t nice,” he said, hitting him again before he turned back to face his own friends. All of them were looking at the two of them expectantly. Finch had a stupid smug smile, his chin rested on his hand. Davey blushed lightly, before he glanced between the two groups.

“Uh, everyone this is Jack and his brother Crutchie,” Davey said shortly, gesturing to the two of them. “These are my friends… Finch, Specs, Elmer and then Elmer’s friend Albert,” Davey continued, quickly pointing out each of them.

“You two seated yet?” Finch asked.

“Nope. Just came in, saw Davey and I figured I’d come say hello,” Jack said, that stupid grin growing as he looked to Davey again. Davey couldn’t help but laugh lightly as he smiled back.

“I betcha Davey could merge another table. You could join us,” Finch said. Davey’s smile fell as he turned to face them. They weren’t wrong, but that didn’t mean he wanted his friends sitting with Jack (they had gone on one date- they weren’t official , but Davey really didn’t know if he could even refer to him as a friend. They really had jumped the boat going straight from acquaintances to going on a date) and Crutchie.

“I’m cool with that.”

“Uh, right,” Davey said with a small nod, before he quickly took the table next to their table and dragged it over, bringing the two chairs along with it.

“I’ll just grab you two menus,” Davey said, before he hesitantly disappeared and quickly returned before they could get that far into a conversation.

“So, what made you decide to show up here?” Davey asked as he handed the two of them menus. Jack shrugged.

“We just left my studio at school. Buck’s was the closest place for food,” Jack said casually. Davey grinned.

“It had nothing to do with me?” he found himself asking, half teasing half genuinely curious.

“Didn’t know you worked Tuesday nights,” Jack said with a small shrug. “I am glad to see you though.”

Davey laughed lightly.

“It’s nice to see you too,” Davey admitted, which only made Finch scoff and roll his eyes, all while wearing a small grin.

“Alright Dave, get lost. It’s our turn to get to know this famous Jack Kelly that we know nothing about,” Finch said, quickly dismissing.

“What, ya don’t talk about me every chance you get?” Jack teased.

“I can assure you Jack does that with you,” Crutchie pipped up, only to get kicked under the table by Jack. He laughed though, and kicked him back.

“Good luck,” Davey said, directing it to Jack before he left the group to do their damage. He didn’t know what could be worse- his friends actually liking Jack, or his friends deciding that Jack was the last person on earth that they would want to ever have a conversation with.

Part of him hoped that they never spoke to each other again. He wanted to keep the two parts of his life separate as long as he could. Clearly that wasn’t going to be much longer if either party took a liking to one another. Still, he could dream.

It was just that his friends knew so many things about him that he maybe didn’t want Jack or Crutchie knowing about. There was the obvious things- like the fact that his family had practically disowned him and he lived in his car. Then there were just the little things like the time where Davey sprained his ankle and gave himself a concussion by climbing a tree while piss drunk. Or the fact that when Davey and Finch were in middle school, Davey thought bleaching his hair and wearing muscle shirts were a good idea. Both of which he knew that if he left the group long enough, Finch wouldn’t hesitate to bring up.

Still, Davey had to work, so he didn’t get much time to stick around and chat with them all. He wished he could, but he couldn’t dwell on it.

 

By the end of his shift, which was only another hour later, his friends seemed alarmingly buddy buddy with Jack and Crutchie. He hadn’t expected anything less. Every time they walked passed it was just one big, happy conversation. He never hung around long enough to know what they were about, but they all seemed to be enjoying themselves.

“Should we do something before we all head home?” Finch asked as Davey collected everyones payments.

“It’s one am. Not much is open this late on a Tuesday,” Specs said.

“Could do board games,” Elmer suggested.

“I’d be down. My place?” Finch asked. Davey’s eyes widened.

“God no- not your place,” he said all too quickly. Everyone glanced around the table, before it seemed to click in Finch and Elmer’s minds.

“What’s wrong with Finch’s place?” Crutchie asked.

“Nothing. It just… real messy right now,” Finch said quickly. “Not ready for company.”

“We could do my place,” Elmer said. “It’s set up for company anyways so doing board games there would be easy.” He nodded quickly.

“Head count of who’s coming?” Finch asked. Everyone quickly agreed besides Jack. Crutchie seemed ready to join in though.

“It’s like, one in the morning,” Jack pointed out. Davey shrugged.

“Put on a pot of coffee and we suffer,” he said with a small laugh.

“Can you give us a drive?” Jack asked. “We bussed over.”

I can drive ,” Elmer said quickly. “I can… I can drive you two.”

“Elmer you don’t have room- there’s four of us in there already,” Specs said. Elmer made a small oh as he slowly nodded.

“I can drive you guys don’t worry. I just have some boxes in there I need to move and stuff. I’ll clock out and do it… You can all just hang out in the parking lot or something,” Davey said with a small nod.

“Awesome. We’ll come then!” Jack said.

“I’ll meet you guys out front then,” Davey said with a small nod, before he turned around and made his way to the back of the restaurant.

He was second guessing his decisions already, but he knew he couldn’t back out. If he just piled up his things in the trunk area of his car, he could easily hide his junk. It meant he would have to literally toss all of his semi organized things into one big pile, and he would have to clean it all up after they were all done before he could head to sleep, but it would be worth it. Hopefully.

“Hey,” Finch said, stopping Davey from walking passed the washrooms once he left the staff room.

“Hey.”

“You look scared shitless,” Finch said with a light laugh. Davey forced a small smile and shook his head. “What if I come with you instead? Jack and his brother can ride with everyone else?” Davey hesitated before he shook his head.

“I’ll be okay,” he said, though he was unsure of it himself.

“Elmer and Albert could take your car, you take Elmer’s?” Finch suggested. Davey’s eyes widened as his heart rate picked up at just the thought of that.

“Does Albert know?” he asked, panic bubbling into his chest. Finch’s jaw dropped, before he quickly shook his head.

“No, god no I didn’t even think about that. He doesn’t know, Elmer’s going to make sure he doesn’t find out either,” Finch said. “I didn’t even think about it honestly. He won’t know.”

“Listen there’s no way around it. I’ll just shove my stuff in my back. Just… keep them distracted while I do it please,” Davey said with a small smile. Finch hesitated, before he nodded. He gave Davey a quick pat on the back, before the two of them made their way outside.

Luckily Davey was parked at the very back of the parking lot, so while everyone lingered around out front, he disappeared and quickly packed his things into the very back, which was easier said than done, before he managed to get the back seats up. It had been a struggle, with the combination of his load of crap shoved behind it and and just the fact that the back seats hadn’t been up in a long time.

Eventually though, after making sure that the front of his car was as clean as it could be, he walked back over to the group with his hands tucked casually in his pockets. He just hoped that this would all work out.

It had too. The world had dealt him so many shitty things in life. The least it could do was ensure that Jack and Crutchie wouldn’t get all suspicious while sitting in his car. It was a short drive. Davey felt like they could do a short drive.

Chapter Text

Davey sighed as he held his hands close to his car heater. It was unexpectedly cold for early November, and he hated it. He would probably be fine if he was in an apartment, with proper insulation and heating, but he wasn’t. It was the sad reality of his life- and the light rain outside reflected that.

The last week and a half, after the alarmingly well game night, had been uneventful. Which, in Davey’s eyes, was absolute perfection. He worked his normal shifts, and Romeo actually showed up for his shift last friday, so all was well.

He didn’t know how he wanted to spend his Thursday. There was stuff he needed to do, but he really didn’t want to do any of it out of his car. On the bright side, it was one of the few times that he had absolutely no school or work scheduled. Which meant it was his day to do all the adult things. The stuff he shouldn’t have to worry about, but he absolutely did.

Davey had made a list of everything he needed to do yesterday while he was waiting for Jack in Bumblebees. Jack was working a shift, while Davey waited because the two of them were grabbing lunch together. He had noticed Davey writing in his day planner, questioned it and read over his shoulder briefly, before he got bored and started rambling about the diner that Jack was going to take Davey to.

It was then that Davey realized he never told Buttons about the fact that he had went out with Jack, and he had a little bit of catching up to do with her.

The list of things he needed to do was short, but a lot of it was going to be time consuming. The fact that he could almost see his breath in his car made the decision that he wasn’t doing said things in his car automatic. It was between the library and Smitty’s Pizza, the small locally owned diner that currently had an all you can eat lunch buffet. It was just a matter of how much money did he want to waste on food so that the restaurant couldn’t kick him out?

He was hungry. Now that he thought about it he hadn’t eaten since Tuesday night. Smitty’s, especially around noon, was going to be busy though. Which meant loud. Either way, he was getting free wifi, and he would be able to use some outlets to charge his phone and computer up.

Quiet or food? That was the question. The library would be nice and quiet, which meant that he could probably get his work done a lot faster. Smitty’s had nice, all you can eat food for the price of nineteen twenty though.

After checking his bank account, he decided that he could afford an afternoon sitting at Smitty’s. His car insurance had just went through and he already put away half of his paychecks to save for when he had to pay for his classes and as long as he left at least fifty in his account, he would be fine.

Once he drove down the street, parked, got his first place of food and unpacked his things, he quickly got to work, sitting in the furthest corner of Smitty’s.

Life was boring and tedious more often than not. It wasn’t always like that. Hell, back before he had to worry too much (his family had never been that well off, but the five of them had always gotten by without having to worry about serious budgeting), the last thing he thought about was how much money was in his bank account. If his friends wanted to go out, he’d go out without a question. If he had a shift, he’d see if someone could cover for him or if he could get off early.

When he still lived at home in Queens, he worked in a mall, specifically at a restaurant in the mall. He got the job at sixteen, and kept it until he moved to Manhattan with his boyfriend at the time. Nearly five years- yet he probably hadn’t gone a month without cancelling a shift. There were always two people who were willing to cover his shift.

One of them, a girl his age named Mya, quit the restaurant when Davey was eighteen. Before that though, as long as she was available, she took the shift and always told Davey that he owed her, but he never did pay her back. They went on a few dates and when there Davey was a complete gentleman, buying everything for her. Of course, him being gay (and well aware that he was gay) caused a few problems when things had gotten a bit heated in her bedroom. She quit two weeks after they broke up.

The other though, was a guy that Davey couldn’t remember the name of. He had been working there long before Davey got hired and he was still working there when Davey left. Davey never talked to him much. He didn’t know anything about him besides the fact that he liked to work. They had maybe three total shifts together.

Looking back, the guy was probably just as desperate as Davey was now for money. Davey used to joke about him to his friends and not once did he genuinely thank him. He was kicking himself for not remembering his name, because he was just like Davey. Davey would leave a class early now if he knew he was going to be able to get another four hour shift in now.

He used to mock him. At the time, Davey didn’t think that was what he was doing, but it was. The guy was this scrawny mid twenty something year old who looked like he could barely hold a tray up and Davey always thought he just took Davey’s shifts because he liked having money.

Now Davey knew he wasn’t further from the truth.

If he could, he’d go over to Queens and see if he still worked at the restaurant. He’d apologize for not remembering his name and for the time he had commented on the odd smell coming from his shirt in a rather rude way, then he’d thank him for what he did and if he had the money, he’d leave him a nice big tip.

It had been three years since Davey even set a foot into Queens. It was so close- just a half hour train ride, but he just never had a reason to leave Manhattan.

What did Queens have that Manhattan didn’t? His parents? A shitty high school that he went to? The park where his name was written on the red slide in shitty sharpie?

None of which Davey really cared about.

Or at least, he tried to tell himself that he didn’t care about it. The fact of the matter was that he would always care about his family, even if they all resented him. They could have done a lot worse than toss Davey out and if they had, he still would have sacrificed his life for them.

His younger brother would be fifteen now. Not would- was. His younger brother was fifteen now. He wasn’t dead, none of his family was dead. Not to the rest of the world, anyways.

His brother was fifteen and would have started his second year of high school last August. He missed seeing Les off to his first day of highschool and his middle school graduation and three years of him growing up.

All because he had decided it would be a good idea to have sex the night they were supposed to be home alone.

Suddenly, his music paused as the familiar text tone rang out through his earbuds, only to be quickly replaced with music shortly after.  Davey sighed as he turned off his ringer, before he picked up his phone.

He smiled when he noticed Jack’s name in the notification, showing the fact that he had just texted Davey a simple Hey!

Davey was happy to admit that he needed to talk to Jack, just to get his mind off of the topic of his family. He rarely let himself spiral into thinking about them. When he did though, it almost always ended bad.

 

From Davey: Hey! I was just going to text you :)

 

That wasn’t true. He would have probably eventually started texting Jack if he hadn’t. He was going to use the free wifi to its full potential, after all, but Jack wasn’t even on his mind until the text. Still, a little white lie never hurt.

 

From Jack : Glad to hear I was on your mind. Plans for tonight?

 

Davey set his phone down and quickly finish the email he was in the process of writing to his English professor. He needed to get it done, so Jack could wait a few minutes just for him to finish it.

 

From Jack: If you’re busy you can just say. No need to leave me on read

 

From Davey: Sorry

From Davey: No plans, but I do have a bunch of homework and stuff  was planning on just having a night in

 

From Jack: What about a night in with me? ;)

 

Davey hesitated, before he glanced at the time. It was only half past noon. If he finished quickly…

 

From Jack: I could bring some drinks over? Watch Netflix or something?

 

That was his deciding factor right there. There was no way he was going to let Jack come over to his place. His “place” was Finch’s apartment and he wasn’t about to kick him out. Or even ask about the possibility.

 

From Davey: What about yours?

 

From Jack: Race n Crutch got friends coming over it’ll be busy

From Jack: Your place would be best

 

Davey sighed. For a brief second, his thumb hovered over Finch’s name. Would Finch even be willing to do it? His friends were always quick to try and help Davey out, whether he wanted it or not. Usually, he didn’t want their help, but they always insisted. Would they be okay if he actually asked for help for this?

He clicked on Finch’s name, typed out Can I invite Jack over to yours tonight? Pretend its mine? before he quickly deleted the message. It was stupid. He couldn’t ask that, it was stupid and just too much.

 

From Davey: My place isn’t company ready… It’s a mess and the elevator is being replaced so it’s loud and annoying and kind of smelly

 

From Jack: Another time then.

 

From Davey: Can we keep talking though?

 

From there, Davey juggled his list of things to do while texting Jack, keeping a conversation rolling to the best of his ability.

At one point, once the lunch buffet had ended, Davey paid but then asked for the dinner menu. The waiter had changed since then, but the new one gave him a menu and he ordered some breadsticks just to keep the restaurant from kicking him out.

It was flurrying outside. Light, fluffy snowflakes were falling to the ground only to melt as they hit the grass or the pavement. As long as it was snowing, he wanted to be inside.

He ended up spending significantly more than he thought he was going to. Davey had ordered coffee around seven pm, and without realizing that there were no free refills, he had two more cups. It resulted with a brief argument with the waiter around nine, when they were finally kicking him out because they had to close up.

The man apologized, which only made Davey apologize for being so rude over a mistake on his part and he made sure to leave an extra tip on the table even though he really couldn’t afford to do that.

Davey continued to text Jack until he got to the parking lot. He lingered just a bit in the parking lot to excuse himself from the conversation, claiming that he was just going to shower quickly. Jack had sent him a sad face with Don’t have too much fun in there only to add a wink in a seperate text seconds later.

He couldn’t help but grin, rolling his eyes playfully as he tossed his phone onto the passenger seat and played his new CD (he picked up a few random ones that were on sale at a thrift shop and he quickly took a liking to this one specifically.) As stupid as the comment was, it did encourage him to hurry up and get to another spot in the city.

Davey ended up driving up to Bumble Bees, since he knew he wouldn’t get a ticket in there. It took a lot longer than parking in a McDonald's parking lot, or even just staying in Smitty’s, but he just didn’t want to risk it. At least at Bumbles, he was kind of secluded from everywhere else.

Once he settled into the back of his car, wrapped up in two blankets, his thickest sweats and his warmest hoodie, he took out his phone and texted Jack back, signifying the continuation of their conversation.

He hadn’t noticed it, but as the two of them were arguing over the best way to make mac and cheese, Davey’s phone was loosing battery increasingly fast. Carelessly, he rolled onto his side and continued to text him, music playing softly out of his left earbud as he jumped between texting Jack and reading through news articles that had been released that day.

 

From Jack: there’s nothing better than Kraft Dinner. It’s quick, it’s easy. No fancy stuff to make

 

From Davey: You physically wound me with that preference. Homemade is so much better

From Davey: My mom has this amazing recipe- if I could get it I’d make it for you

 

From Jack: Why can’t you get it?

 

From Davey: Because

From Davey: Top secret family recipe. I don’t get a copy of any of them until I’m married. Family tradition .

 

That was complete and utter bullshit. He knew the recipe, he had prepared it with her several times as a kid, but he had no clue how to make it as good as she did. He couldn’t even get the cheese sauce to taste of anything but flour.

 

From Jack:  I’ll have to meet your mother then. Special request Mac and Cheese

 

From Davey: Waaay too soon for that

 

From Jack: How so?

 

Just as Davey was typing out a lengthy reply, his phone died. He stared at it for far too long, before he sighed heavily and set his phone down on the floor next to him. Davey supposed he was probably better off not to go making up excuses for why Jack couldn’t meet his mother and instead made excuses as to why he suddenly stopped talking to Jack at… was it almost eleven when his phone died?

 

Jack couldn’t help but continuously check his phone for a reply from Davey. It wasn’t late, not by his standard anyways, and Davey had just stopped typing altogether instead of finishing the conversation. He didn't think he had said anything wrong, staring at the last few messages between the two.

The part that baffled him the most was the fact that Davey had been typing for nearly two minutes, and then he just stopped altogether. No reply to the question, no change of topic, not even a just cause as an explanation.

He stared blankly at the screen, just wanting a reply. Maybe it was desperate, maybe he was reading way too much into it, but he just wanted to keep talking to him.

“I think Jack’s broken,” Crutchie called out from the seat across from him. He glanced up, snapping out of his trance as Race laughed loudly behind them. He and Spot were trying to make popcorn in the kitchen.

“What did lover boy say ta ya Jack?” Race asked, grinning as he leant against the counter. Jack rolled his eyes as he looked down to his phone. Hesitantly, after he realized that he wasn’t going to get a response anytime soon, he shut off his phone and put it back in his pocket.

“Obviously something not good, seriously Race, have some decency,” Crutchie joked.

“Yeah Race,” Spot mocked Crutchie’s tone. “Have some decency not to laugh at Jack’s sad little lost face.”

Jack sighed loudly, shaking his head.

“Ain’t nothing bad happened,” Jack spoke up. “He just not reply anyone. I dunno what happened.”

“Did ya say something stupid?”

“No!”

“He said something stupid,” Spot said flatly. “Race- aren’t you supposed to be turning the popcorn?” There was a sudden, slight smell of burning popcorn in the air.

Shit i am,” Race said, before he quickly turned to start focusing on the popcorn again.

“I didn’t say anything stupid,” Jack insisted. “Wes were talking and he just… left me on read is all.”

“Jack fucked his relationship over!” Race sang out.

“You don’t think I did, did I?” Jack asked. He knew the guys were just joking around, but that didn’t prevent the sudden wave of anxiety forming in the pit of his stomach. There were a million possibilities as to why Davey decided not to respond. So why was everyone suddenly deciding it was because Jack was an asshole?

Why was Jack assuming that?

“Well, what did you say to him?” Crutchie asked. Jack sighed, before he took his phone out again.

“We were talking about mac and cheese-”

“Mac and cheese?” Spot asked. “Jesus maybe he abandoned you because you were talking about stupid shit like mac and cheese.

“Lemme finish, woulda ya?” Jack half snapped. “His mom came up, I jokingly said that when I meet them she should make mac and cheese, he said that was way too soon to talk about stuff like that, then I asked why and he just… didn’t reply.”

There was silence. Crutchie shrugged, clearly unsure as to what he could say about it. Race seemed to have zoned out completely, popcorn being far more interesting than Jack’s story. Spot just let out a heavy sigh before he shook his head.

“Maybe he’s got mommy issues,” Spot said. “Or like. Her mac and cheese offends him or something.”

“Could just ask him,” Crutchie suggested. “I mean- this isn’t high school. Being left on read shouldn’t be that big of a deal.”

“I’m not makin’ it a big deal- it’s those two that are making it a big deal,” Jack said. “I just- was enjoying the conversation is all. Didn’t want it to end,” he said sheepishly, shrugging it off as if it wasn’t a big deal.

“You’re still acting like you’re in high school in your first serious relationship,” Crutchie pointed out.

“Well, it ain’t a serious relationship yet,” Jack said. “Just a date, that weird board game night… lots of flirting. Nothing official yet.”

“Both of you know it’s going to end up official pretty soon though,” Crutchie said. “Don’t make that face. You like him, he likes you, he stayed the night on your first date. You two were disgustingly inseparable at whats his face-”

“-I think it was Elmer-”

“-house. It’s gonna happen.”

“Unless it turns out that he’s just completely ghosted Jack, leaving him on read and all,” Race joked as he returned to the couch with the popcorn. Spot followed, sitting down next to Race as Race tossed a blanket over both of them. Jack shook his head lightly and Crutchie scoffed.

“We’re done with the high school drama,” Crutchie decided. “Just press play on the damn show.”

 

Jack ended up walking in early to his shift at the bookstore. He checked in and signed onto the cash register before he heard the backdoor open. Davey and Buttons were talking- perks of the thin walls around the building, but he couldn’t make out what the talking was. After a few minutes of Jack being on the floor alone, curiosity was starting to get the better of him and he wandered towards the back of the store since no one was around.

At first, he tried to be casual with it, fiddling with the empty mop bucket until he realized that the office door was closed. He huffed quietly, before he leant against the wall.

You sure? ” Buttons asked. “ Jojo’s got a bunch. Bars and the little bottles too. Perks of traveling so much .” She laughed awkwardly. There was a pause.

You won’t need them? ” Davey asked. He sounded tired, but that seemed to be an increasing theme with him all the time.

Why would I need hotel soaps?

Why would Davey need hotel soaps?

It would help. A lot. Thank you Buttons ,” Davey said after there was another pause. “ My dumb ass decided to spend nearly sixty bucks at  this stupid buffet yesterday. I thought my car insurance went through but it just went through last night so… I’m like totally broke.

Come by tomorrow for them. They’ll be here for you.

Jack heard them both get up, so he quickly rushed back to the front of the store as someone came in through the front door. He sat down at the cash register, before he spun around on it lightly, trying to act as casual as he could.

A few minutes later, just as Jack was checking out a costumers set of books, Davey came out. He smiled, before he walked over to the counter and stood behind it with Jack, leaning against the wall right behind him. Jack turned to face Davey with a small smile.

“Here I was thinking you called in sick,” Jack teased. He was so tempted to ask about the soaps. It was obviously a budgeting thing, but did he really not have twenty bucks to get proper stuff? Hotel soaps sucked most the time.

“Nah just got in a bit late. I blame Buttons for asking me to get her coffee,” Davey said with a small laugh. Then, at the same time, they both spoke up.

“Sorry about not-”

“-Why’d you leave me mid conversation?-”

“-replying last night.”

They both looked at each other, before they laughed.

“My uh, phone died. By time I got it on the charger I fell asleep,” Davey explained. Jack laughed and nodded, spinning back and forth on his chair just a bit.

“And all my roommates were trying to convince me that I offended you or something,” Jack said with a small laugh, though really he was trying to see Davey would confirm that he had offended him somehow. Instead, Davey smiled and shook his head.

“Not at all. Just… fell asleep on you,” Davey said.

“Wanna answer my question then? Why’s it too soon to meet Mr and Mrs Jacobs?” Jack asked. Davey shrugged.

“They don’t live around here. It would have to be a huge trip to… Michigan.”

Jack nodded slowly. “Michigan?”

“Yeah uh. Kalamazoo?”

“That even a real place?” Jack asked with a small laugh.

“Course it is.”

Jack held up his finger, before he quickly looked up the city. It was real- even with a name that sounded straight out of a fantasy novel.

“Well. Makes sense then.”

Chapter Text

For whatever reason, the universe decided that November Ninth would be the worse day, quite possibly, in Davey Jacob’s entire life.

The worst part? Davey had decided this before noon am.

He relied on his phone for his alarm. That was a given- his car didn’t have electricity when it wasn’t running, so instead of an alarm clock he had his phone. However, for better or for worse, Davey was making it an ever growing habit to text a certain someone until his phone went dead every night.

Usually that was fine, because he didn’t have anything that ever happened in the early mornings. The only day he had morning classes were Fridays. Davey purposely ended their conversation when his phone had twenty percent left on it, but obviously the cold must have sucked his phone battery dry because he didn’t wake up until ten am and when he did, he was rushing to get changed and into the front seat of his car so he could get to his class he was already two hours late for.

He ran a red light, which he was ninety percent sure he got a ticket for (the bright white flash behind him made Davey curse and swear louder than he ever had before) and even then he only managed to slip into his lecture to catch the last hour of it.

The lecture had three hundred students enrolled. The plus side of that, was that the professor most certainly did not know what faces went with what names. The down side, was that when Davey walked in from the front of the class, he had to make the walk of shame all the way to the back where he found one of the free seats. For nearly a minute, Davey had three hundred pairs of eyes burning into every part of his body and it was the most uncomfortable thing he had ever experienced.

After that, he pulled out his notebook and a couple pens, though it was more or less useless. Davey kept zoning in and out, struggling to keep himself awake as he listened to his professor drone on and on about a topic Davey was sure he was talking about last week word for word.

With fifteen minutes left to spare, the professor simply turned off his powerpoint and pulled out a stack of papers, before he started to hand them out to the front rows with an instruction to pass them backwards.

“To make sure you’ve been taking notes. An open book pop quiz- use whatever you wrote down today. You have until noon.”

Naturally, the panic alarm had started to go off in Davey’s head. He didn’t have anything. Not a single note besides November Ninth - missed the first half of the lecture :) on his page.

Had he even listened to a single word the professor said? He could recall something about the colour orange. Or maybe it was the fruit orange. There was nothing that sounded or rhymed with orange, as far as Davey was concerned anyways. Orange wasn’t going to be helpful at all, would it?

With a heavy sigh, Davey took the quiz from the person ahead of him, took one, and then passed the rest backwards. He almost felt like shutting his eyes as he opened up the cover page, just praying for a multiple choice quiz- but why would he be given a bone? A thirty question quiz, all of which written.

He didn’t even have a pencil with him. Just two ball point pens, both of which were steadily running out of ink.

He had a choice. Not fill in anything but make it look like he was, or completely bullshit this test from front to back. Instead of either, Davey simply put his head on his desk and closed his eyes. He resisted the urge to scream into the wood.

Davey only found the strength to lift his head again when the professor called time and the people around him started to pack up.

He slowly lifted his head, before he packed up and stepped into the isle, choosing not to acknowledge the shiny layer of grease that his hair and forehead left on his quiz and desktop.

For once, Davey was one of the first people out of the lecture hall, leaving his quiz at the bottom of the pile with nothing but his name written on it. He had gone from caring about every last mark he got to not even wanting to bother in one morning.

Something told him he’d bounce back and he’d regret not even trying later on. That something was probably the fact that Davey was a creature of habit.

Another heavy sigh escaped Davey’s throat as he unlocked his car and slipped into the driver's seat. He had twenty minutes to get to Bumbles. That wasn’t enough time to get to the gym and shower, but he wished it was. He ran his hand through his hair, before grimacing at the residue. How long had it been since he had time to shower? He didn’t want to know.

To compensate, once Davey was parked in his usual spot behind Bumbles, he put on his flat cap, wore the freshest clothing he could find, and drowned himself in deodorant and some crappy body spray he won as a door prize at a craft sale last year.

He didn’t know if it would be enough, but it had to be for now.

As he passed the office, Buttons looked up and smiled at him, before she followed him into the store. Davey smiled at his coworker, who was just finishing up logging off the cash register as Davey approached. They wordlessly exchanged their hellos, before Davey started logging onto the system.

“Hey Davey, how you feeling?” Buttons asked, leaning against the counter with a small smile. She sounded oddly sweet, even for Buttons. Davey grimace, shaking his head as he turned to face the computer screen.

“Whaddya need me to do?” Davey asked. Of all days, today was not the day he wanted to lock up alone.

“Jack called in. Sounded pretty sick so I gave him the night off. I’ll be here but, you’re good to work out front alone right?” Buttons asked. Davey frowned, before he nodded.

“Of course yeah. I can do it no problem,” he said, continuing to nod. Why didn’t Jack bring up the fact that he wasn’t feeling well? They had been talking the entire day yesterday. He seemed fine. Of course, he was just texting him.

“Thanks. Sorry to spring it on you babe,” Buttons said, grabbing Davey’s hand to give it a small squeeze. Davey smiled before he nodded, placing his hand on top of Buttons before they both withdrew them.

“I’ve been working here a year, I can handle it,” Davey said with a small laugh as Buttons started to make her way back towards the back of the store.

Davey’s phone was still dead. Had it not been, he would have texted Jack, probably wishing that he’d get better soon. Or maybe he’d ask why he didn’t give Davey a heads up. Maybe he did give Davey a heads up though, and he just hadn’t seen it because Davey’s damn phone was still dead.

People came in and out. The business was no different than any other Friday shift, which was refreshing. Buttons came out at one point to hand Davey a water bottle apparently because he been coughing an awful lot, and it was ringing throughout the entire store. Davey hadn’t noticed he was coughing.

“Harry Potter?” Davey asked as a young girl and her mother set three of the books on the counter.

The girl, who was only a few inches taller than the counter nodded eagerly.

“I have all the books, but these books have better covers,” she said. “My others ones match these covers but the ones I don’t have don’t match so we’re getting these so they all match.”

Davey nodded slowly, her entire speech taking a second to process in Davey’s mind.

“I liked the series a lot too,” Davey commented. He sniffed, ringing up the three books before he sniffed again.

“Uh sir,” the mother said. Davey finished typing up the third books price, before he looked up to her.

“I hate to alarm you, but, your nose is bleeding,” the lady said. Davey hesitated, before he reached up and touched his nose with the tip of his thumb. Sure enough, his thumb was covered with a light wash of blood. Davey blinked, before he quickly wiped the blood off on his pants.

“I uh, right… yeah,” Davey said, swallowing thickly before he shook his head. “I’ll just ring you up and I’ll take care of it… uh.... Twenty seven forty,” Davey said quickly. The lady held up her bank card and Davey, with shaky hands, punched in the price and handed her the machine while he put the three books in a bag for them.

“Thanks,” the girl said, taking the bag, before the two of them left.

Davey wiped away the blood dripping down past his lips before he quickly made his way to the back and into the bathroom.

He knocked quickly on Buttons door and asked her to look over the front before he locked himself into the bathroom. He purposely avoided the mirror, knowing that his shaking was already bad enough.

It took longer than he thought for his nose to stop bleeding, but thankfully Buttons hadn’t questioned him about it yet. Once it was finally over, or at least he thought it was, he wet a paper towel and dared to look himself in the mirror to wipe his face clean. He swayed slightly at the sight of the mostly dried blood on his upper lip and somehow chin, before he wiped them off quickly.

Seconds later, after staring at himself in the mirror, another thick stream of blood started dripping out of his nose. He swallowed, before he grabbed hastily at another paper towel, sinking to the floor. Spots formed quickly in his eyes, before they all dispersed again.

A stream of silent curses went through his head as he wiped away at his nose, praying just wanting it all to stop. For some reason though, it wouldn’t. It just wouldn’t and Davey was sitting on the floor with a bloody paper towel damn near close to tears because if he had to see any more blood he was either going to vomit or pass out or cry because he hated seeing his own blood.

Suddenly, there was a soft knock at the door. Davey sniffed, before he regretted it and coughed loudly. Buttons opened it just a crack and Davey looked up with a small smile. Buttons frowned and slipped in, sitting down next to Davey.

“Nose bleed?”

“Obviously.”

“Has it stopped?”

Davey brought his hand away from his nose, before he started to cough again.

“I don’t know.”

Buttons got up and wet another paper towel, before she handed it to Davey.

“You don’t look like you’re doing too well.”

“Just a shitty day.”

“Sorry Davey… If I can-”

“It’s okay. I’ll just… I’ll clean up and get back to work.”

Buttons hesitated.

“You sure?”

Davey coughed a few more times. Was he not stopping the bleeding properly?

“Yeah yeah. Just gimme two seconds.”

 

Luckily, the rest of Davey’s shift at the bookstore went almost without incident. He went through two water bottles and his nose never did seem to clear out once the bleeding had stopped. Davey prayed that he wasn’t getting sick, because the last thing he needed was to get sick.

The restaurant was fine when Davey arrived. For some reason he expected it to be engulfed in flames and Davey would need to pull a superhero move to save a carriage of seven babies inside the fire, but all the while Davey would inhale too much smoke and ultimately succumb to his injuries the next day in the comfort of a hospital. For some reason, that was the outcome Davey wanted in the moment.

Instead though, he dealt with two bratty old ladies, a man who sent his meal back four times, and the soda machine breaking, rendering both the coke, orange soda and cream soda useless.

The only nice thing to come out of working his shift at Bucks seemed to be the fact that he could leave his phone in the staff room to charge with confidence.

“Corner,” Davey shouted as he rounded the corner in the kitchen, a tray of drinks balanced in on his arm.

He gagged as something hit him in the throat, and suddenly he and one of the other waiters were both lying on the ground, covered in sticky drinks and leftover pizza. Davey coughed, quickly trying to get himself up and out of the mess.

“You’re kidding me Dave?” the other waiter, Morris snapped.

“You’re the one who didn’t yell corner,” Davey said, quickly taking his things out of his pockets to keep them from getting more ruined.

“No. You were.”

“You hit me in the throat with your tray!” Davey exclaimed. Morris shook his head as he took off his apron.

“I had like half a pizza to box up and you got it covered in slush,” Morris said. “ Not to mention! I am now covered in sticky, cold, shitty drinks that you probably half assed making anyways!”

Davey shook his head.

“You’re kidding right? I didn’t mean to get both of us wet and on the floor you asshole!” Davey snapped.

“You’re calling me an asshole?” Morris growled. “I’ll remind you who's worked here longer, asshole. I’ll also remind you, who very clearly needs this job more.”

Davey sighed.

“I don’t want to fight.”

“Clean this up then, and gimme the table those drinks were supposed to go to, and I want twenty bucks,” Morris said. Davey grimaced, before he handed over the money. He wasn’t going to fight it. Fuck that.

“Table seventeen,” Davey said flatly. Morris took the money with a grin, before he disappeared into the back. Davey sighed, before he grabbed the mop bucket. The universe had to be joking, right?

By the end of his shift, none of his friends showed up. It was a fifty fifty chance usually, so it didn’t surprise Davey when he was closing up the restaurant without a group of idiots making loud noise in the back of his section.

As soon as he was out in his car, he went straight to the groupchat with his friends and asked whose house he could shower at. Specs was fast to reply, just with the warning that he’d have to be quiet since his family were all asleep.

Specs didn’t live far, but he lived far enough that by time he was parked outside of Specs house, it was nearing two thirty. He gathered his things from the back, before he ran a hand through his hair. His thick, greasy, sticky hair. In Specs family home, all the lights were off except for the living room, where Specs was sitting at the tv. Davey waved from the sidewalk to get Specs attention, and two seconds later Specs was standing at the door while Davey made his way up to it.

Specs let him in with the hushed comment “you look like you had a one night stand with the devil.”

To which Davey replied,

“God I hope it was just a one night stand.”

Chapter Text

Davey hadn’t been doing too good. Jack didn’t know the whole story, since the two of them had such weird schedules that it took them a few days to coordinate a time whenever they wanted to get together. Yesterday though, Jack had been greeted with a very lengthy text message about how horrible Davey’s day had been. Davey had mentioned that the fact that Jack missed work contributed, but just because he was looking forward to seeing Jack. Admittedly, that made Jack feel great about himself, but sandwiched between “I had a half hour nosebleed” and “I broke the light above the desk by hitting it with a broom,” it deflated the effect it had tremendously.

Especially since Jack faked being sick in order to continue his game of Mario Party with everyone.

However, Jack was quick to figure out a way to make him happier. At least, he was pretty sure a breakfast date would help. He was going to do his best on short notice.

He tried to let Davey pick the place. He really did, but after four minutes of arguing over text messages between somewhere nice and McDonalds, Jack insisted that he picked the restaurant. He planned on taking him to a nice breakfast crepe place. It was cheap, to appeal to Davey, but so much better than crappy fast food.

Race said it was a weird place to go for breakfast, but as Jack was standing outside the restaurant, he knew it was exactly Davey’s style. What Jack gathered about his style anyways.

Davey had beaten him there. He was already sitting at a table for two, propped up against one of the restaurants tall windows. The early light cast shadows on Davey’s face that made him look like a renaissance painting. Pairing that with the white coffee mug in his one hand, and the longing gaze outside the window made Jack just want to take a picture of it and paint it later. Which he did- very quickly, and then he made sure the photo turned out. When it didn’t, he took five more and then finally approached the table.

“Hey you,” Jack said happily as he sat down. “Glad you found the place okay.”

Davey smiled softly, taking a second to bring himself out of the trance he was in. His face was drained of colour, except for his nose which seemed to be rubbed raw with tissues. Besides that and his overall tired appearance, Davey looked beyond happy just to see Jack. That just made Jack light up with happiness too.

“Was beginning to think you were having trouble finding the place,” Davey joked. His voice wasn’t as stuffy as his nose looked, but it was clear he was losing a battle with his immune system. “Took you long enough to get down here.”

“Sorry,” Jack said. “I was tryin’ to pick ya out flowers but, I have no clue what kind ya like. I’m gonna get them though - just need you to tell me what kind to get.”

“You don’t havefta -”

“But I’m going to,”Jack interrupted with a grin, before he opened up his menu. “Did you already order?”

“No no,” Davey said fast, before he lifted up his coffee. “Just this. Obviously I waited.”

“Get whatever you want, alright? On me,” Jack said with a small nod.

“They have rye toast,” Davey said without looking up from his menu. He tapped on it absently. “I like rye toast.”

“I bring you to a crepe place, and you want rye toast? You like sweet or savoury?” Jack said.

“Sweet,” Davey said, closing the menu.

“Dietary stuff?” Jack asked. Davey shook his head.

“Bananas or raspberries?” Jack asked. Davey sighed and rolled his eyes.

“Do you really need all this information?” he asked. Jack smiled and nodded.

“You’re not getting rye toast. You’re sick and ya need a proper meal to help with that. Fruits and eggs and milk and all that healthy stuff,” Jack insisted. “You’re gonna get the April Showers , with custard because it’s better with custard, and then you’ll get cheese eggs and turkey bacon on the side.”

“I’d rather the Strawberry fields . Kiwis are not my favourite,” Davey said, finally looking at the crepe section of the breakfast.

“Alright fine. Strawberry fields. Do you want a smoothie?” Jack asked, leaning back against his chair.

“The waitress said the smoothie of the day was peach, mango, raspberry, carrots and yogurt,” Davey said with a small shrug. “If I were to get one though I’d just get a strawberry banana. They’re expensive though- I’m not paying six dollars for a smoothie.”

“Just get it. I’m paying,” Jack said.

“I’m not letting you do that. I pay drinks, you get food,” Davey said. “If we do that, I’ll treat myself and get a smoothie.”

Jack grinned and then Davey started to smile too. He shied away, looking down at his menu again. Jack kept his eyes on Davey though, watching as he so clearly faked reading the menu. There was something about Davey. Jack didn’t know what- but just the way he acted put a swell in Jack’s chest. He didn’t know if it was good or bad, but he didn’t mind it.

It was definitely good when Davey actually decided to treat himself. The little swell was like breaking through to him. He didn’t know why Davey was so adamant to not spend a little bit of money. Sure, he had rent and school and a car, but Davey seemed to do nothing but budget.

Didn’t Davey have someone to help if he came up a bit short with rent?

“Okay, we can do that,” Jack agreed. Davey’s smile grew, before he looked up again to look at Jack.

“Thanks,” Davey said. “I’ll get a smoothie then. I’m already three cups of coffee in but… god I hate coffee,” he continued with a small laugh.

“And you drink it because?”

“Keeps me awake,” Davey said with a small laugh, before he grabbed a napkin to blow his nose. Jack hid his grimace.

They ordered and then were left alone once again. They filled the silence with small talk. Davey recounted the events from yesterday, which all seemed so much more horrible now that Jack was hearing them out loud. At one point, Davey had to disappear to the bathroom and by time he got back, their food had made it to their table and Jack was already a couple bites in.

At that point, the conversation tapered just a little bit, slowing down every few sentences so they could actually dig into their meals before it went cold.

“So, Race and Crutchie are your brothers?” Davey asked. At one point they had gotten on the topic of something Jack and Race had done during high school. “Or is it like a, best friends so long you consider ‘em brothers?”

“We were all adopted by our Ma. Funny enough, Race and Crutchie’s adoption papers weren’t officially approved until they were twenty but. We’ve always kinda lived with her. She took me in when I was ten- then Crutchie came along a year later. We were best friends before then, his Ma passed away and Medda took him in. Race was supposed to just be a foster brother. I was fifteen, he woulda been fourteen, Crutchie was thirteen.We kinda fought a lot but now it’s just... we’re cool, but he and Spot are loud- I told ya about that already,” Jack finished with a small laugh. “And I mean- we all live together so obviously something worked out.”

“So it’s just the three of you?”

“Nah. We’ve got a little sister- Smalls. She’s… probably eleven now. She was adopted too. ‘Round seven years ago? She’s actually the only one to have her adoption official before turning eighteen. Think she was floating around the foster system until Medda brought her in. What about you? Any siblings?”

“Oh uh- yeah. Two. Sarah’s actually my twin-”

“-You’re a twin? That’s not something you just casually don’t mention!”

Davey laughed awkwardly and shook his head.

“Yeah so I have a twin. Congrats, now ya know… and a brother, Les, he’s fifteen. I don’t really talk to either of them much thought since they live with my parents in…” Davey paused, his face going blank, before he sneezed, but the sneeze seemed very faked.

“Kalamazoo?” Jack asked. “ Michigan?

“Yeah! Right yeah. Sarah’s… yeah they’re both in Kalamazoo with my folks.”

“So why’d you end up here? I mean- I’m definitely glad you have but…” Jack trailed off.

“School, mostly. My friends all were here. Uh- I knew Finch from a summer camp and had visited Manhattan a few times during high school and I just… knew New York was where I wanted to be,” Davey said with a small nod. Still, there was something static about his voice, nothing Jack was concerned about, but it was just off.

“You close with them? Your family?”

“Nah,” Davey said without hesitation. “Never really were. Of course we still talk just not as often as you probably do with your Ma.”

“I could never imagine being that far away from my family. I spent a year right outta high school in Santa Fe painting and finding myself -” he used quotation marks “-but I mean, it wasn’t really the right place for me. I dunno if it was the lack of family or what. Never realized how much those guys meant to me until they were across the country and you couldn’t see em, you know?”

Davey paused, before he quickly took another large bite of his crepe. Jack waited patiently until Davey swallowed to get a response. Which, when he did get one, it was a simple;

“I mean, yeah I guess.”

The two of them fell into a silence after that. A nice comfortable one as they finished their meals. Jack took longer than Davey , but it wasn’t by much. Even then, Davey managed to finish his entire plate while Jack left an eighth of everything laying around. He had to give props to Davey- the plates were huge here.

“How’d you get here?” Jack asked as Davey delicately put his napkin down on his empty plate.

“Bus. My car was being weird this morning,” Davey said with a small nod.

“I drove,” Jack said. Race was not happy about him taking the car. “I’ll drive you back. Besides, gotta get you those flowers.”

“I thought you were joking about that!” Davey exclaimed. Jack laughed.

“Promised you I would,” Jack said. “So what’ll it be? Roses, uh… what other kind of flowers are there?”

“What? The artist doesn’t know his flowers?” Davey joked, before he coughed to clear his throat. Jack shrugged.

“I can paint them just fine, but the minute you tell me to tell you what flowers are what, I’m gone,” Jack said, quickly throwing his hands up in mock surrender.

“I don’t care for type. You wanna get me some, you pick them out,” Davey said. Jack sighed, but given the gaze that Davey was giving him, he knew he wasn’t about to convince this boy of anything else.

“Alright sure, fine,” Jack said. “If I had known that you were going to give me that answer I would’ve bought them before coming here to surprise you.”

“You know you really should have,” Davey teased. Jack rolled his eyes, before he got up and lead Davey to the front of the restaurant. They both paid after them and their waitress sorted out the two bills (apparently splitting bills drinks and food was a lot more complicated than it looked), and then Jack lead Davey to his car.

“Do you know of any flower places around here?” Jack asked as the two of them slipped into the front seats. Davey let out a small breathy laugh, before he shook his head.

“If this is going to cause you more grieve than good? Because if it is don’t worry about getting me flowers.” That just made Jack more determined.

Jack eventually managed to find a florist, after dragging Davey around lower Manhattan for just under an hour. Davey opted to sit in the car with a smug smile as he wished Jack good luck in finding some flowers. Admittedly, that made him a bit nervous. They were just flowers though- what could the harm be? Worse comes to worse he hates them and they die and the two of them move on.

He tried not to think too much of it. He didn’t want to leave a sick Davey sitting in his car in freezing weather with no heat running. However, picking out flowers proved to be a lot harder than Jack originally thought it could be.

Eventually he picked out a bouquet, had the person working the till wrap it up so Davey couldn’t see, and then he returned to the car with a grin.

“Think it was a success?” Davey asked. He raised his hands to take them, but instead Jack put them safely on the back seat.

“We’ll see when we get back to your place,” Jack grinned. Davey frowned.

“I work at Bucks in a couple hours. I should get ready for that- I don’t know if you can hang around,” Davey said as politely as he could. Jack nodded.

Obviously that sucked, but Jack tried not to let it show. He got it- life got in the way sometimes.

“Well, I enjoyed having breakfast with you at least,” Jack said. Davey smiled over at him, before he nodded. Jack reached his hand over the middle counsel to hold Davey’s hand, which Davey quickly returned by lacing their fingers together and giving it a small squeeze.

Once they were parked out front of Davey’s apartment, Jack grabbed the flowers and walked Davey up to his front door. Davey gnawed on his lower lip as they stopped in front of the door, turning to face each other.

“Alright. Open these before you go,” Jack said as he handed the paper wrapped flowers over.

Davey glanced between the two, before he opened the bouquet slowly, treating the cheap paper wrapping like silk as he peeled them away.

“They’re lovely Jack,” Davey said as he finished with them, tucking the paper under his arm. It was a small bunch of flowers, admittedly Jack didn’t have too much extra spending money to just toss around. However, the small bouquet filled with daisies, yellow roses and lilies of somewhat represented Davey. Somehow. Jack didn’t speak flower language.

“You know,” he started. “Yellow roses mean friendship?” Davey laughed lightly. Jack’s expression dropped, before he quickly opened his mouth to protest. Davey just grinned and leaned over to kiss Jack’s cheek.

“Daisies are like. New beginnings and love though, so you’re okay,” Davey joked. “I’d kiss you but I’m sick.”

“You’re worth the risk of it,” Jack said. Davey smiled softly, before he wrapped his arms around Jack’s neck and kissed him softly.

“Thank you,” Davey said softly, before Jack leaned in and kissed him again.

“Are we a couple? Like, boyfriends?” Jack asked. Davey paused, smiling up at him before he kissed him again.

“I think so,” Davey said. Jack grinned, before Davey pulled away quickly to sneeze. Jack chuckled before he gave his hand a small squeeze.

“You think so?”

“No, yeah no. We are. I want to be,” Davey said rushed, nodding frantically. Jack kissed him again, just unable to hold back from doing it.

“Get well soon, okay? I’ll text you tonight,” Jack said. Davey thanked him, before he slipped inside his apartment building. Jack waited until the odd buzzing sound from the door stopped before he returned to his car.

 

“My relationship is official,” Jack found himself proclaiming loudly as he entered the apartment. Crutchie was the only one home though, sitting on the couch with the television on and his laptop opened up to the online target website. Jack grinned as he sat down next to Crutchie, taking a second to acknowledge whatever show was on before he turned back to his brother.

“He do it or you?” Crutchie asked, barely looking up from his computer, but he was smiling anyways.

“Little bit of both. I totally made the first move though,” Jack said coolly. “Bought him breakfast, then got him flowers and dropped him off at home. You know- super classy like that,” he joked.

“So we gotta like, actually get to know him now?” Crutchie asked.

“I hope so,” Jack laughed.

“He’s not allowed to move in too. I ain’t dealing with two couples on either side of my bed,” Crutchie warned. Jack laughed and shook his head.

“He has an apartment. Spot didn’t- that’s the difference between the two of them. I think if things get that serious I might be the one to ditch you guys,” Jack said. Crutchie stared blankly at him, before Jack cleared his throat and shook his head.

“Don’t worry, I won’t forget about you guys,” he said playfully.

“Better not. I doubt I can survive living with those two.”

“When Davey and I get our nice apartment, we’ll make sure you have a bedroom,” Jack said. Crutchie rolled his eyes.

“Yeah yeah, knowing you your relationship is going to last another week and a half,” Crutchie laughed.

“No. I feel good about this one,” Jack dismissed. He felt really good about Davey. Really good.

Just then, Spot and Race came in through the door, both of them carrying bags filled with groceries.

“Jack’s got a boyfriend!” Crutchie announced.

“Davey?” Race asked.

“Who else?” Jack laughed.

“Nice! This causes for a celebration!” Race said as he pulled a bottle of cheap wine out of one of the bags. “Let’s get drunk!”

“We aren’t getting drunk because I’m dating a boy.”

“No- we were going to drink anyways. This just gives us an excuse to do it.”

Chapter Text

“What’re you doing on Thursday?” Jack asked randomly. Davey glanced up briefly, before he shrugged.

“I’d have to check my day planner, but I don’t think I have plans,” he said before his head turned lazily back to the TV. They were laying down on Jack’s couch, both of them with their backs against either of the arm rests with their legs intertwined. Jack had tossed a fuzzy orange blanket over both of them, but due to the length most of it was covering Jack and Davey was getting maybe a fourth of it. He didn’t mind though. It was pleasantly warm in Jack’s apartment, he really didn’t need the blanket.

“Thursday night?” Jack asked. Davey hesitated before he nodded slowly.

“Yeah that was kind of a given I thought,” he said with a small laugh. “Why?”

“We’re going on a date now,” Jack said vaguely. “Well, really a double date with Race and Spot, Crutchie too most likely so y’know it’s less of a date more of a you’re being dragged into my family whether you like it or not type thing.”

Davey laughed and looked away from the show again. Jack was staring at his phone, scrolling through something before he started typing something. Davey waited, expecting a further explanation but instead Jack just continued to type on his phone. He glanced at Davey, smiled briefly, before he looked back to his phone.

Jack didn’t speak up again for a few minutes. When he did, he cleared his throat and Davey looked back to him.

“We’re going to a concert,” Jack said.

“I can’t afford-”

“They’re ten bucks a piece. It’s at a bar. Some guys we know from high school are in a band. It’s just give the money at the door,” Jack said. Davey nodded slowly. He could do ten dollars.

“My exams start next week though so after that I might not be able to do much more stuff,” Davey said.

“Yeah I do too,” Jack commented. “I’m not too worried.”

“Yeah well I am. I’ve got one more term left and then I’m done,” Davey said with a small laugh.

“That’s a good thing!”

“Until I have to start paying loans back,” Davey pointed out. Jack hesitated before he nodded slowly.

“So we can pick you up around like six?” Jack said, suddenly changing the subject.

“No that’s cool,” Davey said. “I have a class Friday morning. I’ll just drive over and leave my car here.” I’ll also pack all my things back into my trunk so it doesn’t look like a bedroom is in the back of my car in case you look into it.

“Just assuming you’re allowed to stay the night?” Jack teased. Davey rolled his eyes and laughed nervously.

“Am I?” he asked.

“If you kiss me,” Jack said. Davey grinned.

“Now or later?” he asked.

“I mean, the earlier you pay, the better chance of you claiming a spot in my bed for the night,” Jack teased. Davey dropped his jaw in mock shock, before he started to get up off the couch.

“Do a lot of people stay the night?” he asked. Jack sat up and shrugged casually. Davey frowned as he sat down on Jack’s lap. Jack’s arms were quick to move around his waist and Davey let his arms relax naturally at either side of him.

“I mean, it is a pretty exclusive list,” Jack said. Davey raised his eyebrows.

“Oh?”

“See, I only let the best of the best stay in the office bedroom of apartment 120C,” Jack started. Their faces were inching closer.

“So far there’s a grand total of four people. We’ve got Spot and Race. Sometimes they just get too drunk to remember which bed is theirs.” Davey chuckled lightly, earning a small smile from Jack. “Don’t laugh it’s true! Then, when my Ma and sister come to visit, Smalls has decided that my bedroom is the best bedroom so they’ll usually share my room.” Davey brushed their noses together lightly. “And then-”

“You already said four,” Davey pointed out.

“Did I?” Jack asked.

“So I’m not on the list?”

“You could be. Like I said, all you gotta do is pay,” Jack said, leaning in just a bit more. Davey closed his eyes and let out a soft exhale. He went to lean in more, but Jack started talking again and he had to pull away again.

“Then you’ve got admittance for life.”

“Hey Jack?” Davey whispered.

“Yeah?”

“Shut up and let me kiss you,” he whispered playfully, before he leaned in and kissed him.

Jack grinned against his lips as he tugged him closer. Davey cupped his jaw, holding him close as he deepened the kiss. Jack swung them around and suddenly Davey was laying on the couch with Jack on top of him.

He quickly pulled away, about to say something but it was suddenly lost when he met Jack’s eyes. The worry that had suddenly built up quickly melted away and he smiled up at him, before he reconnected their lips and pulled him closer.

“Please tell me I’m the only one who had to pay like this,” Davey joked. Jack laughed and shook his head, kissing him quickly before he replied.

“Everyone else got a family pass.”

He kissed him again.

“I just wanted an excuse to kiss you.”

Davey leaned in and kissed Jack that time.

Before he knew it, hands were running up his shirt and his hands were running down Jack’s lap. Jack started to untuck Davey’s shirt while Davey worked on Jack’s belt. The television program was long forgotten and the orange blanket had been kicked to the ground. There were noises and hands in hair and at some point Davey lost his shirt but he paid no focus to it.

Jack’s belt proved to be a challenge as Davey actually had to pull away to quickly get it undone and off of his pants. Like magnets, as soon as it was gone, their lips were back together.

Jack was in the process of unbuttoning Davey’s jeans when the front door was suddenly being unlocked. Davey froze as the door opened quickly, before he quickly shoved Jack right off him. He was squirming away while Jack seemed to try and hold him down. The air was suffocating and when he finally got away from Jack, he was sprawled across the floor, choking on his own air.

“Shit Davey,” Jack muttered, and suddenly there were another two voices but Davey couldn’t process any of it. Instead he focused on sitting up and getting his shirt back on. There was laughter before a sharp smack and more mumbling but Davey’s hands were shaking horribly and he couldn’t get his sleeve turnt back around.  

“Davey.”

A hand was on his shoulder, a light touch but it was burning as if hot coals had been dumped there.

Don’t touch me!” he shouted, pushing Jack’s hand roughly before he continued to try and turn his shirt right side out. He was heaving heavily, eyes blurring, but his shirt was finally turned out properly and he managed to get it back on over his body.

He swallowed heavily before he stood up, using the edge of the couch to balance himself until he trusted himself not to fall over again.

“Davey…”

Davey glanced at Jack, who was standing right in front of him. He gazed around, but no one else was around. Wasn’t someone else there? He could have swore someone else was here.

“Where’d they go?” he found himself asking, voice small and frantic.

“They went to their room,” Jack said, taking a caution step forward, as if Davey was some rabid animal. “It’s just us babe.”

Davey bit his lip, before he rubbed at his face to keep tears from forming.

“I’m sorry I just…” Davey shook his head, before he tucked his shirt back into his pants and grabbed his sweater off of the back of the couch.

“You’re not leaving, are you?” Jack asked. Davey hesitated, before he shook his head.

“No no I just.” Davey cleared his throat, before he sat down on the couch. His legs felt like they were about to give out.

“Did I do something?”

No no no ,” Davey said quickly. “They just- who came in? Race n Spot? They just… startled me is all,” he explained as vaguely as he could. His breathing was slowly getting back to normal, but his hands were still quivering.

“It ain’t my place, but it looks worse than that.”

That was because it was worse than that. Davey swallowed heavily before he zipped his sweater up. He closed his eyes, shook his head, and then hesitantly looked back up to Jack.

He couldn’t tell him. Not while he felt like vomiting, not while he just barely knew Jack.

“I just…” he started quietly. “Just getting walked in on… hasn’t had very good results in the past,” he said. Jack didn’t look sold on the idea, but he nodded. Davey wasn’t technically lying. He had been walked in on several times before, all less than ideal.

“Listen Jack… I uh, I’m gonna go okay?” Davey bit the inside of his lip as he looked at Jack.

“Right yeah… are you okay?” Jack asked. Davey nodded subtly. “Davey the colour still hasn’t returned to your face.”

“I- I know? I know… I know I just… I’ll be okay, okay? I promise I’ll be okay I just really need to get out of here,” Davey said. “ Nothing against you obviously. I just… I’ll be over Thursday night for that concert, alright? I just… I should go.”

“Okay… text me later, yeah? Tell me how you’re doing?” Jack asked. Davey nodded, before he stood up. Jack did too, and he silently followed him to the front door.

“I will,” Davey promised. Jack leaned in to do something, but Davey quickly took a step back.

“I’m sorry I just… don’t want to be touched,” Davey said. Jack gave a silent nod of understanding before he opened the door up for Davey.

He thanked him, promised to call, and then made his way down and out of the apartment building. Davey just barely made it down the street to the bus stop when he completely broke down, sobbing loud enough to echo throughout the entire neighbourhood.

 

Admittedly, the next few days went a lot better than that one had.

After the bus driver had expressed mild concern for Davey’s state, he made his way back to Bumble Bees where he had left his car. After that, he ended up sitting on Elmer’s couch, getting everything off of his chest in a quick rush before Albert (who had become a regular with their entire group, probably around the same time that he and Elmer started to discretely hold hands) showed up. Davey insisted that he could go, but instead he ended up sitting in on their movie night.

He left late that night, ended up parking his car in an alley, and crashed.

Tuesday and Wednesday went by in a short blur, a mix of the typical homework and studying and working and texting Jack when he could.

Thursday morning though, he had packed up his things and put them in the trunk of his car. It was admittedly a lot of work for a just in case scenario. However, if he was spending the night for sure, and leaving his car by Jack’s apartment, it was better to be safe than sorry. Even if it meant he was going to have to spend over an hour trying to get his home back to the way it was before he had to pack everything up.

Jack had texted with a reminder that they were doing appetizers at his apartment before there were all going to take off, and that if Davey wanted to “get in on the food action” he would need to be at their apartment around five thirty.

Davey actually ended up showing up at six. By time he had gotten inside, the food was gone and everyone was already a bit tipsy. Race and Crutchie danced along to the music playing over some sort of speaker and Spot silently sipped a drink in the corner. Jack let Davey in and the next thing he knew he was sitting on one of the breakfast bar stools with a beer in his hand that tasted next to horrible.

He admittedly felt weird tagging along to this random concert. Davey had been dating Jack for just under a month and could count the amount of times he had had conversations with all three of Jack’s roommates on his one hand. There was also the fact that he didn’t even know what band was playing, and all four of the others apparently knew the band personally.

“Is this them?” Davey asked Jack, quiet enough that only he could hear. Jack laughed, before replying much louder.

“God no. They’re not nearly this good,” Jack said. “This is just some random pop band.”

Shortly after, they all left the apartment and started walking down towards the bar. Race insisted that it was close enough to walk to and no one chose to argue with him. Davey naturally ended up walking just a little bit behind them all. Jack had fallen into step with Davey, lacing their hands together.

“You scared of my family or something?” Jack said. Davey smiled and nudged him lightly.

“No,” he said. “They must just walk faster than I do.”

“Liar. I’m usually the one that has to catch up with you,” Jack laughed. Davey shrugged.

The walk was another short ten minutes, and then they all gave their cash to the guy at the door. Jack quickly lead Davey to the bar and picked up drinks for the both of them much to Davey’s protest (the last thing he needed was to have to owe Jack more money). After that everyone kind of split up and did their own thing. Even when the band started playing, Davey didn’t think he saw anyone else around them.

“So you know the band?” Davey asked five or six songs in. They ended up staying towards the back of the venue. The crowd was mostly concentrated towards the small stage. Not that there was much of a crowd- maybe around seventy or eighty people. Compared to the size of the venue though, the concert had to be close to sold out. While the band was pretty laid back as far as alternative rock bands were, Davey still wanted to stay as far away as he could from the big crowd. Luckily Jack was fine with just leaning up against a wall with him.

“Just the guitarist,” he replied, raising his voice to be heard over the crowd. “Technically the drummer too, but the guitarist used to be a friend of mine.”

“Used to?”

“Just haven’t talked in a long time,” Jack dismissed. Davey opened his mouth to speak, but instead Jack pushed himself off the wall.

“I’m gonna grab another drink, want me to get one too?” Davey nodded.

“Something cheap,” Davey said.

“I’m paying- I’ll grab ya something nice,” Jack said, flashing a smile before he disappeared around the corner of the bar. Davey watched, before he tucked his hands in his pocket. Davey didn’t know how nice drinks could get at a bar. He also didn’t know how expensive it was.

The song faded out and the front man started talking a bit, but Davey didn’t pay much attention to it. It was loud. It was admittedly kind of uncomfortable. They played another song, then immediately started a second one and Jack still hadn’t returned.

Davey started to wander, weaving through the few people until he finally found Jack, leaning against one of the tables with Crutchie. Each of them had a drink, while Jack was holding the other one.

“Hey,” Davey said as he approached the two. Jack straightened up as he gestured him forward.

“Hey,” Jack echoed, slinging his arm around Davey’s shoulder as he approached.

“We were thinking about going out down the street to another place after,” Jack said. Davey looked at him, watching his lips move as he spoke just so he could understand him. He nodded slowly.

“That’s what Race was thinking anyways,” Crutchie added. “I might just head home.”

Jack handed Davey a drink and Davey gave a small nod before he sipped it.

“What do you wanna do?” Jack asked. Davey shrugged.

“Whatever you want,” Davey said. He wasn’t about to get Jack to change his plans just for him. It was Jack’s idea to go out, after all. He didn’t want to spoil his fun.

He did catch Jack rolling his eyes though, before he nudged Davey lightly.

“Let’s see after the concert,” Davey said. Jack seemed happy with that answer, so Jack leaned against the table and Davey took a small step back.

The last few songs played out with Davey hovering just behind the two. At some point during their last song, Race and Spot appeared on the other side of Crutchie, yelling something at the group but Davey didn’t catch it. Jack did though, and he managed to catch his reply.

“Don’t know yet.”

The music didn’t die down, but the band got off stage, their live music being replaced with house music. They all crowded around the table at Race’s gesture.

“I’m not ready to go home yet, I won’t lie,” Race said. “We could head down the block to Roxs.”

“That’s the place with the mini arcade right?”

“Yeah.”

“Well I mean, I’m going wherever Racer ends up,” Spot said.

“That’s three outta five- Jack?”

Jack looked at Davey, who just shook his head. He wasn’t going to make the decision for the two of them.

“Dave and I’ll head back. I don’t think it’s really his scene,” Jack said, giving a subtle nod in Davey’s direction. Davey looked at him, wide eyed, about to object, when Jack nudged him lightly and gave him a look that simply said shut up .

“Alright. Don’t lock the door, none of us have keys,” Race said. “Have fun in the apartment… alone… with no one around. You two can be as loud as ya want.” He winked. Jack rolled his eyes.

“Yeah yeah. Enjoy Roxs,” Jack said. After that, he grabbed Davey’s hand and the two left.

It wasn’t until they were outside and across the street that Davey cleared his throat to talk.

“We could’ve stayed you know,” he pointed out. Jack smiled and shrugged.

“Nah. It’s nine now- you got class tomorrow morning. Figured we’d be better off just hanging out at home,” Jack said. “Not to mention I already bought five drinks. Rents due soon and I doubt Mama wants all three of us coming to her for our fourths of the rent.” Jack laughed.

“Your Ma pays your rent?”

“Only when we come up short. Admittedly one of us always does every month,” he explained. Davey furrowed his eyebrows, trying to wrap his head around that. His family would never- not even if Davey had moved out on his own terms. Even if they had the funds.

“Wish I had that to fall back on,” Davey said with a small laugh. Jack smiled and shrugged.

“I’ll introduce you to her. They live a little ways away but maybe next time they’re in Manhattan,” Jack said.

“I’m not taking your Mother’s money-”

“And I’m not telling you to. I’m saying I want you meet her,” Jack explained.

“Official for a month and you want me to meet your Mother?” Davey asked. Jack shrugged.

“Actually it’s three and a half weeks- I don’t know what you’re going on about,” Jack said. Davey laughed and rolled his eyes.

“Yeah, yeah whatever. Three and a half weeks,” Davey said.

“We should go back to your place instead,” Jack said, suddenly switching the topic. Davey’s shoulders tensed up, though he quickly tried to relax himself before Jack noticed. If Jack did notice, he didn’t say a word about it.

“Why?”

“Well I betcha they’re all gonna back late… wake us up and be loud and stuff. The quiet might be nice,” Jack said. Davey nodded slowly. He tucked his hands into his pockets and clenched them.  

“I’ve had a few drinks. I shouldn’t drive,” Davey said. “And you’ve had more than me…”

“So we call a cab,” Jack suggested without missing a beat.

“I need my car to get to school.”

“Bus?”

“You’re not winning this Jack,” Davey said, doing his best to keep the shaking of his hands to show up in his voice. He was avoiding eye contact altogether, staring straight ahead.

“Another time then maybe,” Jack said. Davey laughed lightly.

“Not like I really have a place we can go to.”

“What did you just say?” Jack asked. Davey looked over at him.

“I didn’t say anything,” Davey said quickly. Did he say that out loud?

“Yeah you did- you muttered something,” Jack said.

Oh fuck he did.

“No I didn't,” Davey denied. “You just must be hallucinating or something. Maybe someone spiked your drink.”

“Right yeah… maybe. I did drink a bit more than you did,” Jack said. Davey nodded. Jack seemed to buy it.

“So… wanna watch a movie when we get back?”

Chapter Text

 

Jack rolled over lazily as the other side of the bed shifted, creaking softly as Davey silently cursed on the other side. He smiled softly as he opened his eyes, watching just for a moment as Davey, dressed in just a pair of sweats, hunched over as he stared down at his phone.

“Running off already?” Jack muttered softly, making no real attempt to move. Davey turned to face him, offered a small smile, and then turned back to his phone.

“In a bit year,” he replied. Jack frowned, before he tugged Davey back down beside him.

“The suns barely begun to rise,” he mentioned. “There’s no way you gotta take off so soon.”

Davey let out a small laugh as he crawled back under the covers.

“It’s snowing out- not heavy but it’s probably why-”

Shh , just lemme hold ya for a bit more,” Jack cut him off as he wrapped his arms around Davey.

“Jack… I got a class in two hours,” Davey said, though he wasn’t making an attempt to leave his grasp. Instead, Davey was leaning into it, letting his eyes fall half shut again as he inched in closer.

“So? You got time, ain’t like you gotta go far. You don’t have to go anywhere besides classes,” Jack said casually.

“Huh?” Davey’s eyes shot up.

“Well I just assumed… y’know, you knew you were staying the night,” Jack explained. Davey hesitated before he nodded.

“Right right yeah,” he said, still nodding as he rested his head beside Jack’s shoulder on the pillow. “Yeah no yeah… I… right. Yes. I don’t need to go back to my place.”

“There something you’re not telling me?” Jack asked after a moment. Davey looked up at him again, and just by the look he knew exactly what Davey was going to say. He wished he had been wrong.

“No,” Davey said shortly, before he closed his eyes again with a soft sigh. “I’m an open book.”

“I don’t believe it,” he said with a small sigh. His tone lacked any bite, instead it was soft and worried. He was hiding something weird, but Jack had no clue what it was. He had his theories- several of which were from his brother’s crazy brainstorming - but he was genuinely lost.

“Well… what if I am?” Davey asked hesitantly. Jack sighed before he shook his head.

“I mean… I ain’t gonna make you tell me,” he replied, as much as he wanted to know. “I get it- it’s your life but like. The way you dance around certain ideas freak me out a bit, y’know?”

“Why?”

“Just cause like… I dunno, I wanna sure you’re okay and you sometimes… don’t sound okay?” Jack rambled. Davey’s gaze dropped, before he pulled the blanket further up his shoulders. There was a long silence, almost unbearable, before he cleared his throat.

“I’m fine,” he replied. “ Really . I am. Promise you…. I’d tell you if it was like, life dangering.”

“Right yeah.”

“Jack I just…” He sighed before he sat up. Jack watched as he got up and grabbed his shirt from his bag before he put it on. He glanced at Jack, before he ducked his gaze down to grab his phone. “I got stuff I can’t tell you, alright? I might eventually but I can’t right now. I just… I can’t.” He was avoiding any possible form of eye contact now.

Jack got up and moved to stand by Davey, a short attempt to get him to look him in the eyes.

“But you’ll hint at it constantly,” Jack said bluntly.

“I do not,” Davey snapped back, turning his back to Jack again.  

“You do! And you know you do because you’re not looking at me.”

Without missing a beat, Davey swung around and took two steps forward. He didn’t seem mad, but his eyes were flooded with something unreadable and his entire body was stiff.

“I’m looking at you now,” Davey said. “Question me all you want.”

“You’re not gonna answer me though,” Jack said. Davey shrunk down a bit, biting his lip as his gaze dropped just a bit.

“I don’t want to lose you Jack,” Davey said. His eyes were glazed over with worry, eyebrows knitted together.

“You wouldn’t-”

“That’s not the point! I’ve known you barely a month. A month Jack! I’m allowed to withhold stuff from you,” Davey said. Jack opened his mouth to speak, but then he shut it again, because Davey really wasn’t wrong. He knew he wasn’t wrong, but he was going to continue to argue anyways.

“You still hint at it though. That’s what I’m getting at! It’s like you want to tell me you just don’t,” Jack insisted.

“I don’t hint at it!” Davey said, pushing passed Jack to grab his bag.

“What was last night then? The whole I don’t gotta place we can go thing? Yeah, I heard that properly. Not to mention you’ve never invited me over- even though you don’t have three roommates. Two of which who are very sexually active. It just doesn’t make sense! Unless you’ve got some freaking boyfriend you don’t want me knowing about!” Jack said, following Davey towards the door of his room, trying to keep himself in Davey’s sight. Davey glanced up at him, glaring before he pulled his toothbrush out of a pocket.

“That doesn’t mean anything, okay?” Davey said quietly.

“And what about the whole two jobs but no phone plan?” Jack questioned. Davey gawked at him, dropping his toothbrush back in his bag before he stood up, looking Jack dead in the eyes.

“That’s really a problem?” Davey asked. “Seriously? It’s that unbelievable that I’d rather save an extra seventy bucks for groceries than be able to use data?”

“I’m not sayin it’s unbelievable , I’m saying that if you work two jobs as often as you do, you should be able to get a plan! It’s weird!” Jack exclaimed.

“You didn’t think it was when you first asked for my number!” Davey said. “What? Suddenly now that we’re dating it is weird?”

“That ain’t what-”

“Yes it is Jack! What’s with the sudden shift of opinions, huh? Why is it it suddenly matters that you come over to my place, which is small and cluttered and cramped and just isn’t a nice place to be? Why does it suddenly matter that I don’t have a phone number? Why does it matter?! Why does the fact that I live a bit differently to you matter? I don’t have extra cash to throw around! I don’t have parents that talk to me who are willing to help with rent every month! I don’t have any of that!” Davey shouted, shoving Jack back just a bit.

Jack blinked in response, falling silent as it all processed slowly in his brain. He opened his mouth to speak, but then shut it again. Davey waited, body stiff as he stared at him before he ducked down and started shoving his few things back in his bag.

“You don’t talk to your parents?” he asked quietly. Davey glanced up at him before he avoided his gaze once more, turning away to grab seemingly nothing by the edge of his bed.

“Not in years,” Davey said, his voice breaking just a little bit. “I didn’t wanna tell ya, cause it ain’t normal… and… I dunno, kinda ashamed of it.”

“What about your siblings?” he asked. Davey hesitated, before he seemed to just collapsed on the floor, sitting with his back against Jack’s bed. He glanced at Jack, before patting the floor next to him. Jack sat down.

“Haven’t talked to them either,” he said. “They live in Queens- not Kalamazoo.”

“Why?”

Davey hesitated, making eye contact with Jack before he looked away again.

“I trust you Jackie- I really do, but I’m not telling you anything else. Eventually but… not now… and I know you’ve got more questions now than you did before but… please just accept that.”

Jack sighed heavily and shook his head.

“Either that or… I’m just gonna say let’s end it here… before things get too serious,” Davey said. Jack’s eyes widened as he turned around to face Davey.

“I don’t want that. I’m willing to shut up about it Davey,” Jack said before Davey even stopped talking. Davey hesitated before he gave a small smile.

“I’m not… trying to manipulate you I just… I’ll tell you when I feel like I’m ready, okay?” Davey said. “I promise just… for now trust me when I say I’m okay, alright? And let’s just drop this. I don’t wanna fight.”

“Right yeah, course.”

Davey offered another small smile before he got up and grabbed his bag. Jack stayed seated, watching him from the other side of the room.

“I gotta get to class,” Davey said, doing his jacket up before he slung his bag over his shoulder.

“Can I get a kiss?” Jack asked. He didn’t want him to leave with the tension that there was between them. Just as he was about to get up, Davey gave a small shake of the head.

“I uh, maybe later okay?” Davey said. Jack nodded, before he stand up. The least he could do was walk Davey out to the front door.

“Course,” Jack said, before he opened the bedroom door for him. He silently followed behind Davey before he leaned against the back of the couch, watching as Davey slipped on his shoes. Maybe it was in his head, but Davey looked like he was avoiding eye contact. It also looked like he was on the verge of tears, but Jack really had no clue if he should try and say something to him. He cared about Davey a lot, way too much for someone he had only been dating for under a month. However, after everything that just went down, he felt like he could do one little thing wrong and the world would come tumbling down.

“I’ll see ya at work?” Jack asked. Davey glanced back at him just long enough to give a short smile.

“For sure,” Davey replied. “I’ll see you then.”

“See ya Davey,” Crutchie called from the kitchen, both he and Race popping their heads out to give a small wave. Davey gave Jack once last short smile before he ducked out of the apartment, shutting the door quietly behind him.

Jack watched the shut door for just a moment, before he pushed himself off of the couch with a small sigh. He joined his brothers in the kitchen, sitting at the breakfast bar next to Crutchie. They all glanced between each other before Race cleared his throat.

“What was the shouting about?” Race asked as he sipped a cup of coffee.

“Nothing,” Jack said. “How much did you hear?”

“What’s it matter if it was nothing?” Race asked. Jack sighed and ran a hand through his hair.

“Just curious,” he said.

“Mostly just Davey,” Race said. “Something about asking why stuff matters?”

“Right yeah,” Jack said. He hesitated before continuing. “He confuses me so much…”

“We warned you,” Race said with a small shrug.

“I’m not saying I regret it,” Jack said quickly. “I just… I swear every time I see him I learn more about him- but just enough that it sparks that many more questions and… Fuck I just wish he could trust me and just tell me about whatever the hell he isn’t. It’s frustrating.”

 

Davey had texted Buttons almost as soon as he left Jack’s apartment to let her know he was going to come into work early that afternoon, because he knew he would need to talk her. He was scared, to say the least. Scared of so many things. Mostly of the fact that he just told Jack that he didn’t talk to his family, which he knew was just going to open up more and more questions. If he didn’t get his act together soon and figure out how to break his entire life story to Jack, he felt like he was going to lose him altogether.

At the same time though, he felt like if he did tell Jack- his word be damned- he was going to leave Davey in a heartbeat.

He tried to push the thoughts to the back of his mind as he slugged through his morning. There was nothing he could do about it right now, so he had no use in stressing about it.

Half an hour before his shift, Davey entered the bookstore and made a beeline towards Buttons’ office. He knocked, waited for an okay to come in, and then sat down at her desk, double checking that the door was shut before he turned to face her.

“I think I want to tell Jack about… everything… before something happens,” Davey said. “And I know this is totally unprofessional to ask you for advice on this, but I’m asking you as a friend, not a boss. I can’t keep pretending that I’m fine and that my life is normal.”

Buttons nodded slowly.

“What does he know already?”

“I don’t talk to my parents,” Davey said. “I uh… I just told him that today… I never gave a reason why I just left his apartment. Now he’s probably got so many more questions and I’m losing track of what he knows, what’s a lie and what he doesn’t know and it’s just been a month but I gotta tell him.”

“Well,” Buttons began after a moment of thought. “At least you’re finally willing to tell him.”

“But I don’t know how ,” Davey said. “You’re the last person I told. Finch… Elmer, Specs, they all knew from the beginning. I mean- I don’t know about you, but I doubt having a panic attack in your office was the best way to tell you.”

Buttons gave a soft laugh before she nodded. Davey let himself smile. At least now it was something they could laugh about.

“Sit him down and just say it,” she said simply. “There’s no right or wrong way to tell him, but you gotta rip it off like a bandaid.”

“What if he doesn’t… like it? I mean- what if he starts just seeing me as a greedily homeless person just looking for a place to stay every now and then?” Davey asked.

“Davey. I can’t tell you what to do in your what if scenarios. I can’t tell you anything beyond it’s best to quit bottling up your feelings and the truth and tell him. Especially since you want to. Tell him before he accidentally finds out in a unpleasant way,” Buttons said.

“You don’t want a repeat of me, right? You barely spoke or even looked at me for weeks after. I walked in on you sobbing in the bathroom because you thought I’d fire you because of your living situation. Don’t let it get to that. He seems like a good guy. I haven’t spoken to him outside of work but… I like him as an employee… and if you want to tell him about this, it’s obvious you like him too.

“I won’t lie- you two seem like you’re rushing into this entire relationship a bit fast but… I’m happy that you’re happy. Telling him is a good idea, because you’re either going to find out that he’s okay with it and he still wants to be with you, or you’re going to find out he’s a giant asshole and isn’t worth it. So you’ll end up with a weight lifted off your shoulders either way. I’ll even switch his shifts around if he gives you a hard time about it,” she said with a small laugh at the end.

Do it while it’s your choice to tell him .”

Davey smiled and nodded.

“Thank you,” he said. “Thank you so much Buttons… That makes me feel so much better.”

“I know. Now imagine how good you’ll feel when you tell him.”

“I will. I will… I… yeah,” he said with a small laugh. “Thanks.”

Chapter Text

Davey smiled as Jack shut his bedroom door before he kissed him happily, letting Jack guide him back towards his bed. One short bump in the system and suddenly the two of them were better than they were just a few days ago. He didn’t even know how they got here, but man he was happy about it.

“You know it’s just around for once?” Jack said playfully. Davey laughed and kissed him again, tugging him close.

For once . Sounds like we’re married and the kids are all out at their Grandma’s,” Davey joked.

“Well in a way-”

“I ain’t married to you Jack,” Davey laughed. “Now just shut up and kiss me.”

The conversation ceased after that, replaced with them having a competition to see who could get each other’s clothes off the fastest without breaking the long, sloppy train of kisses between them. Davey pushed Jack down on the bed and then Jack flipped them, before they got completely lost in the moment.

It had been three days since Davey decided he was going to tell Jack about his car, but he hadn’t yet. In fact, after the conversation with Buttons, it had been put entirely in the back of his mind. There just hadn’t been a good time yet. That was his excuse.

And right now, with Jack’s hands running down his stomach and his mouth sucking on the crook of his neck, was for sure not a good time.

 

“No no, I was thinking like. A light green- not a bad green like a minty kinda blue green colour,” Jack rambled. Davey laughed as he leaned against the front counter of Bumble Bees. It had been a ridiculously slow night and they had somehow gotten on the topic of what colour they would’ve painted their rooms walls as a kid.

“Really? I always just wanted like, a nice light grey,” Davey said simply. “Says a lot about my personality, doesn’t it?” They both laughed.

“Well,” Jack said after a moment of hesitation. “Depends… what else did you want to put on your walls? Posters? Graffiti?”

“Oh yeah cause I would want to deface my bedroom walls,” Davey said with a small eye roll. “Well, if I had it my way probably just pretty plain with maybe like, a wall of postcards. I used to do pen pals a lot in late middle school and high school.”

“Why didn’t you have it your way?”

“Oh I used to share a room with my sister. She dictated the bedroom styling. I got the wall around my top bunk and that was it for decorating,” Davey explained with a small laugh. “When I left home she had already moved out and in with a bunch of her friends at her campus… Even then I didn’t bother. All my post cards are still laying in a box, probably at the top of my closet if they haven’t gotten rid of all my stuff yet.” He laughed, a more forced laugh this time around, because really it was kind of a depressing topic. Jack knew he didn’t talk to his family, but he still had no clue why.

“I’ve never had to share a room. My Mama’s nice and well off,” Jack bragged. “Didn’t stop us from having sleep overs in Race’s room every weekend though. Eventually she just brought an extra mattress to keep under his bed.”

“I wish- we were lucky to get birthday presents,” he said casually. Jack raised his eyebrows. Davey shrugged it off.

“We weren’t that well off,” he said simply. “That don’t matter though. I’m good now. Much better.”

Jack smiled and nodded. He leaned in to kiss him before the door chime went off. Jack met Davey’s eye and they both laughed lightly, before Davey ducked out of sight and Jack went to go help the man in question.

“I love the smell of old books,” Davey commented as the man left, watching as Jack ran his hand over one of the bookshelves by the cash register.

“Geez, pen pals, grey walls and now old books? You’re becoming such a nerd,” he laughed. Davey raised his eyebrows, though he couldn’t even pretend to be offended. He was smiling from ear to ear.

“I’ve always been a nerd, you’re just discovering more about me now. Got a problem with that?” Davey teased. Jack rolled his eyes and walked behind the counter, smiling as he wrapped his arms around Davey’s waist.

“Not at all.” He grinned. Davey looked up at him before he kissed him lightly, which turned into a much longer kiss from Jack. At one point, Buttons had ended up behind them, her arms crossed and waiting patiently.

Davey cleared his throat as he pulled away, ducking his face out of sight as he felt it heat up.

“All play and no work does not make a happy boss,” she said, though her tone lacked any seriousness. “As happy as I am for you two- less PDA. Even when no ones inside. Makes me look unprofessional.”

“Right, course Buttons,” Davey said.

“Jack- we got a box of books in today from a seller. Can you go grab them from the back? I think you two can price them,” Buttons said. Jack nodded, giving a quick yes ma’am before he disappeared passed the Employees Only door. Buttons hesitated, waiting for the door to shut before she came in close.

“Have you told him yet Davey?” she asked, dropping her voice.

It had been two weeks now.

“No,” he admitted sheepishly. “I’m going to! Soon… probably. We just gotta make plans to hang out. I’ve been super busy so uh… I’m gonna tell him I swear,” Davey said with a short nod. Buttons looked skeptical, but she still gave a small nod.

“I’m counting on you to Davey,” she said. “Seriously- you said you’d tell him two weeks ago. Remember what I said? Tell him on your terms. Who knows whats going to happen.”

Davey sighed and nodded, but he didn’t get a chance to reply before Jack returned from the back with a cardboard box slipping from his fingertips. He managed to get it to the front table before letting out a heavy breath.

“Jesus that was heavy,” he muttered.

“They’re all hardcover,” Buttons said. “Y’know, sometimes, books are hard cover and hard to get done, but we just gotta suck it up and get through it .” She gave Davey one last look before she disappeared back into her office.

Jack glanced between him and Buttons before laughing lightly.

“Hell was that about?” he asked with a small laugh.

“No clue,” Davey lied as pulled open the first book.

He did not tell Jack.

 

Davey shook the heavy amount of snow from his hair as he knocked on Jack’s front door. It had been three and a half week now and they were well into December. Still, Davey hadn’t told him anything. He was going to! Tonight. He had decided on the walk up to Jack’s apartment that he was going to tell him tonight, since it was just them at the apartment and they weren’t doing anything besides watching movies.

“Hey you,” Jack said as he tugged him inside the apartment, placing a quick kiss to his lips before he let Davey get undressed.

“You have no clue how nice it feels to get into a heated apartment,” Davey said happily as he took off his many layers of clothing, hanging them up with slight difficulty on the coat rack.

“What’s going on with yours?” Jack asked. Davey hesitated. He could lie or get the band-aid off now.

He hesitated as he thought about what he could say. The band aid wasn’t going to come off yet.

“The heating in my building isn’t included in rent. I try to keep the cost down,” he lied with ease, before kissing Jack again to prevent the topic from going any further.

“I’ve been looking so forward to this Jack you have no idea,” Davey said happily. “This week has been so long and it’s only Tuesday.”

“Tell me about it. I’m just happy to see you,” Jack replied. “I bought cookie dough! We’re going to make cookies before we pick a movie.”

Davey laughed. He shook his head briefly, before he followed Jack into his kitchen. The cookie dough, along with two cookie pans and a kettle were already sitting out on the stove.

“Is it really making cookies if we just bake premade cookie dough though?” Davey asked hesitantly. Jack shrugged, before he grabbed the kettle.

“We’re also making hot chocolate.”

“Oh well that makes us master chefs then,” Davey teased. Jack smiled, before he handed him the tube of cookie dough.

“What’s the temperature on the instructions?” Jack asked. Davey smiled.

“It says next time let your boyfriend make the cookies from scratch,” he teased. Jack gave him a short look that said seriously. “What! I like baking- sue me for wanting to put the fun back into baking… Four twenty five.” Jack nodded before he turned to the oven.

“I’ll keep that in mind for next time then,” Jack said.

“Oh and we have to make snicker doodles next time if we do it. I know my Grandmother’s recipe by heart,” Davey said excitedly. “Well- not my actual Grandmother, but the little old lady who took care of Sarah and I when we were young.”

“You’re just full of energy today, aren’t you?” Jack said with a small laugh. Davey laughed too and shrugged. He was. He really was- mostly because he was nervous as hell to tell Jack the truth.

“Something wrong with that?” Davey asked.

“No. Just an observation,” Jack said. Davey handed him back the cookie dough roll once he had opened the package and then watched as he haphazardly divided up the cookie dough to spread it out on the cookie sheet. Davey ended up reshaping every single one shortly after and placed them in a better order on the cookie sheet.

“You forgot that chunk there,” Davey pointed out. Jack glanced at it before he put the sheet in the oven.

“If you don’t save some cookie dough to eat raw, you haven’t made cookies right,” Jack said, dividing it in half before he handed the smaller half to Davey. He simply smiled and popped the cookie dough in his mouth. He rarely actually ate raw cookie dough as a kid, mostly because his mother would always warn him on the dangers of eating raw flour and eggs. However, standing here with Jack, he really didn’t care about that. They were going to be fine.

“So what do we do while we wait? Can’t start a movie… we’d have to stop in twenty minutes just to get the cookies out,” Davey said. Jack shrugged.

“Anything we want,” Jack said. Davey hesitated. He was picking at the bandaid.

“Can I talk to you then?” Davey asked hesitantly. Jack furrowed his eyebrows before he sat down at the breakfast bar.

“Why do you sound so serious all of a sudden?” Jack asked. Davey shook his head and tried to relax his face.

“I’m not. It’s just… I’ve been meaning to tell you something,” Davey said with a small nod before he sat down next to Jack. He hesitated, before he took Jack’s hand in his own.

“So uh, this is kind of embarrassing but it’s super important to me but… I really want you to know,” Davey said. Jack nodded.

“Alright, go ahead. I won’t… judge you,” Jack said. Davey took a long sigh. Alright. The bandage was coming up now. Slowly- slower than a turtle- but it was happening.

“Okay so uh… I should’ve told you about this sooner but there just wasn’t a right time to do it and now that I’ve started it I’m kind of afraid because I really don’t want your views on me to change because at the end of the day I’m still the same Davey that you’re dating, you just… know something more about me,” he rambled. Jack gave his hand a small squeeze.

“Davey baby, just tell me. I’m not going to judge you,” Jack repeated. Davey closed his eyes and nodded.

The band-aid was peeling up. It was coming. It was so close . Suddenly though. Blood- so much blood and Davey wasn’t ready yet.

“I think I’m in love with you,” he blurted out. The shock on his face probably matched the amount of shock on Jack’s face.

Shit.

He wasn’t wrong to say that, but that wasn’t what he wanted to say. The band-aid was taped back onto him now though, and it wasn’t coming off tonight.

“Not like… puppy dog, first couple weeks of relationship love like. I genuinely love and trust you and I have no clue what I would do without you in my life now,” Davey explained further, a bit panicked now. Jack’s face suddenly softed, his blank shock replaced with a warm smile.

“Why were you scared to tell me?” Jack asked with a small laugh. Davey dropped his gaze as he shrugged.

Because that wasn’t what I wanted to tell you .

“Well… I just… It’s scary to confess your love for someone when you have no clue if it’s mutual… Like. I know it’s mutual just not-”

Jack cut him off by kissing him lightly. They both smiled at each other, before Davey kissed him again.

“I love you too,” Jack said with a small nod. “And not like, the puppy dog love either. I genuinely love everything about you.”

“That’s such a relief.” Davey forced a small laugh.

“I’m glad you told me,” Jack said. Davey smiled and nodded.

“Yeah, I’m glad I told you too,” he said softly before he kissed him again.

After that, they waited patiently in the kitchen for the cookies to be done. While they were cooling, Jack boiled water and they made hot chocolate before retreating to the living room, curling up with each other in a soft blanket with their goodies. Outside, it was snowing like crazy, but for once Davey wasn’t thinking about that. He was staying the night anyways. At least, he assumed he was going to, so he didn’t have to worry about freezing to death in his car overnight.

He smiled as they settled on a film, resting his head on Jack’s shoulder as he got comfortable.

They were left in comfortable silence, the only noises coming from either of them were simple reactions to the film. Admittedly, for some reason, Davey felt so much better after talking to Jack. He hadn’t actually talked to him about what he promised to, but it still felt nice.

He loved Jack- a revelation that had just come to him the minute it came out of his mouth. It was a bit fast, sure, but dating someone for two months seemed like enough time for Davey. He hadn’t felt this happy with someone in years, so he really didn’t care. Jack loved him and he loved Jack and that thought was comforting.

Maybe then when Jack eventually found out that Davey was homeless, he would still want to be with him. If he already loved Davey… It was a comforting thought. Comforting and reassuring. He was ready to tell Jack now, Davey was pretty sure. He thought he had been earlier, and maybe he was, but he really was ready now.

Maybe not tonight, since he had already told Jack one “serious thing” but maybe in a few nights time. Or maybe in the morning. He was going to get it done while it was still in his control, he knew that much.

“You look deep in thought,” Jack mused with a small smile.

“Hmm?” Davey blinked, lifting his head from Jack’s shoulder to look at him properly.

“Oh right yeah… a bit,” Davey admitted with a small nod.

“Can I ask why?”

Davey shrugged and curled up next to him once more, using Jack’s body heat to keep himself warm.

“I’m just… really happy that I decided, at some point two months ago, that I agreed to go out with you,” he said happily. He wasn’t exactly lying, and that was good enough for him.

“What? You weren’t immediately charmed by me?” Jack joked. Davey’s smile grew as he pulled the blanket up over his shoulders.

“Oh I was crushing on you the minute you gave me your resume,” Davey said. “I just… I don’t typically go out with people. Like- you’re my first proper boyfriend in… well a year- I guess that isn’t too bad now that I say it out loud. Still though, I just… don’t agree to go out with people usually.”

“Well aren’t I lucky then? I scored the most amazing boyfriend when no one else could,” Jack said playfully. Davey leaned up and kissed the bottom edge of his jaw.

“I took a game of chance with you- barely knew you two weeks before I agreed to go out… It was a good game of chance though,” Davey said softly, his hand finding Jack’s underneath the blanket. He laced their fingers together and Jack gave his hand a small squeeze.

“And I will forever be grateful for it,” Jack said. Davey nodded.

“Me too. I’m so glad I found you.”

“I love you Davey,” Jack said. “So much. I’m… glad you trust me.”

“I do. I really do.”

Chapter Text

“I still don’t see why celebrating the new year matters. It’s just us anyways, why bother making an event out of it?” Spot asked, glancing up at his phone for a brief moment. Race, who had been previously in the kitchen, came out and sat down next to him, playfully putting his arm around him.

“It’s an excuse to get good snack foods,” Race pointed out. “And fancy champagne! God not to mention-”

“Alright, alright Racer, I get it,” Spot muttered, shutting him down before he could continue on. “I still don’t get why we gotta make a deal outta it.” Jack chuckled and shook his head.

“Well it’s not just us this year,” he pointed out with a small shrug.

“Right- cause Davey’s coming along, right?” Race asked playfully. Spot rolled his eyes as Jack shrugged.

“That’s still not a good enough reason to make such a big deal about it,” Spot said stubbornly.

“We should invite Davey’s friends!” Race exclaimed. “Can’t remember half their names but they’re fun people. If one more is coming- we might as well go all the way and make it a party!”

“That’s the exact opposite of what I’m saying!” Spot said. Race ignored him as he turned to face Jack who was leaning casually against the back of their couch.

“When was the last time we had a party? I think we’re due time for a party,” Race said a matter of factly before he leaned back into Spot’s chest.

“Kind of sad that you want to invite all of your brother’s boyfriend’s friends over for a party but none of your own,” Spot pointed out. Race scoffed and hit him lightly on the chest from behind.

“That’s real funny that you think I have friends,” he said with a small laugh.

“No wonder you never leave the house,” Jack said with a small laugh. “I’m going to text Davey about it then. See what he says before Race makes any more plans.”

Race rolled his eyes.

“Either invite his friends or I’m making new friends at a bar tomorrow night to invite. I am dead set on having a proper party this year Jack,” Race warned. Jack laughed and nodded.

“I’ll let Davey know about your threat,” he said with a small laugh. “You really think a party will work with what- ten of us?”

“Katherine?” Race suggested. “She’s got pals right?”

“I’m the only one who talks to Kath,” Crutchie pointed out, speaking up for the first time the entire conversation. Jack raised an eyebrow at Crutchie, who just shrugged.

“Just because you two only dated two months doesn’t mean we didn’t hit it off,” he said. That only raised even more alarms. Not that Jack would care. The relationship didn’t last and for good reason.

“Are you two-”

“What? No!” Crutchie exclaimed. “We’re in a book club together.”

“You’re in a book club? ” Race asked. “What else don’t we know about you? Jesus I thought we were brothers Charlie!”

Crutchie shrugged.

“Is it really that big of a deal?” Crutchie asked.

“Yes! Yes it is-”

“Racer shut up. It ain’t that big of a deal.” Jack said. “He tells me this stuff. At least the book club… Katherine is new news though- you’re just too busy looking all lovey dovey at your boyfriend constantly that you don’t hear it. .”

“I do not!”

“You so do!”

“Children, please,” Spot said. “Shut up.”

Jack rolled his eyes, before he pushed himself off of the couch and moved around to sit in the arm chair.

“I’ll text Davey. See what they’re all up to and we can go from there. I vote no to Kath coming around, as nice as she is, I haven’t talked to her since I broke up with her and new years ain’t the time to get acquainted,” Jack said as he pulled out his phone.

“I thought she broke up with you?” Race asked.

“What? No. It was mutual,” Jack dismissed.

“It was totally not mutual,” Crutchie chimed in. “She broke up with him. Remember?”

“Jack always said he-”

‘Well Jack is a liar,” Crutchie cut Race off with a laugh. “It was always Katherine breaking up with him. Not the other way around. It was ‘cause he and her father didn’t get along and he refused to-”

Alright Crutchie. We can shut up about my ex from three years ago now. Please and thank you,” Jack said. “We all know the story.”

“You hear back from Davey’s friends about the party yet?” Race asked, sitting up. As a result, Spot sat up a bit straighter too with the weight of Race suddenly gone from his chest.

“Hold your horses, haven’t even texted Dave yet,” Jack muttered, sending a quick text before he put his phone away.

“Dave? Jeez what are you trying to do, age your boyfriend up by thirty years?” Race laughed.

“Oh shut up. Least he and I have normal names,” Jack shot back, grinning as he watched Race stand up defensively and Crutchie make a face.

“Hey hey, I know that’s a jab on them but I’ve got a dumb nickname too,” Crutchie spoke up.

“Yeah but yours make senses. They both sound like a bunch of dogs,” Jack said.

“Would you rather call us Anthony and Sean?” Race asked.

“Never,” Jack said sarcastically.

“We’re gonna get dogs and name ‘em real human names. Confuse the hell outta our kids,” Race joked.

“Kids?” Spot shot back. Race looked at him.

“Maybe someday,” Race said. “Adopt or… surrogate. I mean-”

“Have this conversation when we ain’t around and when you ain’t in my apartment,” Crutchie said.

“Who said it’s your apartment?” Race asked. “We pay just as much rent as the both of ya!”

“Well we only got three rooms and I’m not bunking with Jack so you two can have little vermin running around,” Crutchie joked.

“Who said-”

“Davey said he’s down to come but his friends got tickets to a thing already,” Jack said loudly, breaking up the argument before it might turn into a real one about children.

“That’s a shame. We’ll have to find more people to invite then,” Race said with a small sigh. “Think I should go through my old tinder matches?”

“Race we’re not having a party. Just your family and Davey,” Spot said. Race rolled his eyes.

“You ain’t winning here baby. We’re having a party,” Race said happily, before he reached up and tapped Spot’s cheek lightly.

“A party with five.”

“Mama’s coming,” Crutchie said. “Smalls too pretty sure. Someone made sure of that.”

“Who?” Spot asked. The three brothers glanced between each other before they all individually dismissed the question.

 

Spot still hadn’t gotten over the idea of making a big deal over the night as New Years actually rolled around. Race though, despite the fact that there was only Davey and the last two members of their family coming, was going all out with decorations and food. All out of his own paycheck, which was the best part.

Race had tried to invite a few random people, some he apparently knew and some he had just found on Tinder like he promised. Either way, it ended up still being the tight guest list of three other people being invited.

Jack and Crutchie exchanged a knowing glance as Race and Spot argued about the elaborateness of the whole thing, before Jack settled down on the couch next to him.

“Think Spot’ll appreciate it later?” Crutchie asked playfully. Jack grinned and shrugged.

“I think so,” Jack said. “He’ll probably slap Race but he’ll like it.”

“I’m still surprised that he wanted a bunch of strangers over,” Crutchie laughed, glancing back as Race and Spot argued about whether or not to spike the punch, with Race being firmly against it since “we don’t need to go corrupting Smalls before she’s even twelve!”

There was a knock at the door and Race was at it before Jack could even get up. Jack grinned as he followed, Spot coming in from the kitchen as Race opened up the door to their Ma and Smalls standing with their little overnight bags.

Smalls went straight to Crutchie without even taking her coat off, which Jack wasn’t offended about. Not even close- it was the normal, he guessed between all the siblings. Ma hugged Race though, before she went on to hug Jack too.

“Feels like it’s been forever since I’ve seen you two,” she said as she pulled away. “And Spot, come here, you get one too.”

Race grinned as Spot let her hug him, before he tugged Spot back towards himself.

“Well it ain’t our fault you don’t come up to Manhattan enough,” Race said. “We’re all too busy to make weekend trips up to see you.” Ma gave him a look, before she set both her and Small’s things down, only for Jack to take them again and bring them into Jack’s room. He was usually the one to sacrifice his bed for the two when they stayed. Since it was only him and his leg didn’t cramp up if he slept anyone but his bed.

When he returned, everyone was already settled around the living room as Smalls rambled on about the sixth grade and how hard her teacher was on her. Jack smiled, leaning on the couch as he listened to her go off. His phone buzzed in his pocket, but he ignored it as he sat down on the floor beside Crutchie’s feet.

“Oh! And Sally has a boyfriend now- you know Sally. He’s a total banana head, but Sally likes him so I have to like him,” Smalls rambled. “I think it’s dumb though. I ain’t ever gonna date any stupid boys. They’re just not worth it.”

“Yeah that’s what I said too,” Race said. “I didn’t follow that rule very well. Clearly,” he joked, holding up Spot’s hand that was currently intertwined with his own.

“Oh shut up,” Spot said. “I could leave ya right now if I’m so dumb.”

“No, no. I don’t want that. ‘Sides, you love me too much to leave me,” Race said playfully.

“Yeah, unfortunately,” Spot said. Race leaned in to kiss him, but was cut off by Smalls making a disgusted sound and getting off of the couch.

“No thank you,” she said with a small shake of the head. “Can I pick out a game to play?”

“You know where the board games are,” Jack said, nodding towards the hallway.

“Why don’t you take her?” Race asked. “They’re in your room.”

“And let you open the door for Davey? No thanks,” Jack said. “You go help.”

“Davey?”

“The boy he told ya about Ma,” Crutchie spoke up.

“Jack never told me about a boy,” Ma said. Jack glanced between everyone before he forced a grin. Race reluctantly took Smalls’s hand and brought her back towards Jack’s room. He obviously wanted to stay for the conversation, but Jack was nodding towards his room so Race would just go. Least he was listening.

“Surprise?” Jack said with a small laugh.

“Since when was there a boy?” Ma asked.

“They’re nearing three months now,” Spot said, glancing at Jack with a small smirk before Jack shook his head.

“Geez you guys are just making this entire conversation worse,” Jack said sarcastically.

“A boy for three months and you never told me?” Ma asked.

“He’s not just a boy . He’s Davey,” Jack said. “And… I don’t know! I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. We were official- but like, nothing serious until maybe a month ago,” he tried to dismiss. There was a beat of hesitation before he spoke up again. “I was going to tell you! Quit looking at me like that!”

“Does Davey’s family know, or are you both horrible at keeping your families in the loop?” Ma asked. Jack shrugged.

“They don’t know, no.” That was as much as Jack thought he was allowed to tell her.

“Well, least you’re not the only horrible at keeping their mothers in the dark,” Ma said. Jack smiled up at her and shrugged.

“You were finding out tonight either way,” Jack pointed out, trying to make it a lot more positive than it was. Ma chuckled and rolled her eyes.

“Oh I’m sure if Charlie hadn’t just busted you, I’d still be left in the dark,” Ma said, but there was a playful tone to her voice. Jack smiled and shrugged, but before he could get another word out, Smalls and Race came back with two boxes. Smalls ran in and sat Twister on the coffee table, before Race put a puzzle on top of it.

“We’re not playing twister,” Spot said flatly, gaze going directly at Race. “I’m pretty sure there’s still vodka on it from last time we played it with shots.”

Race laughed.

“Well Smalls is giving us the option. Puzzle or twister,” Race said as he sat down next to Race again.

“Can’t we just talk?” Spot asked.

I for one, would love to do a puzzle,” Crutchie said, moving to sit on the floor by the coffee table next to Smalls, who was grinning excitedly at him.

“We can do both,” Jack replied with a small shrug before he moved to join them. Spot scoffed and rolled his eyes, but no one else joined the three of them on the ground after that, leaving the three of them to start sorting through the 260 piece puzzle.

Small talk ensued, mostly driven by Ma getting all three of her sons (Spot fell mostly silent, just curled up next to Race as he absently played with their interlocked hands) to catch her up on what had been going on in their lives. After finding out that Jack’s boyfriend would be joining them, she seemed to drill all of them about anything new that she didn’t know about.

Jack’s phone buzzed a few times, but he ignored it as he and Smalls sorted through all of the edge pieces, even though Crutchie was already trying to pair a bunch of random middle pieces together. It wasn’t until it buzzed a third time that he pulled out his phone and scooted away from the coffee table.

 

Davey: I know I’m running late. My car was being weird and I need to bus.

Davey: What’s your address? I can get there I just don’t know what buses to take.

Davey: Please Jack? It’s freezing at the transit station .

 

Jack sighed before he stood up.

“I’ll be right back guys, gotta go pick up Davey,” he said, already making his way towards the front door. Race furrowed his eyebrows.

“I thought he was driving himself?”

“Said his car was being weird. I don’t know- I won’t be long. Back by seven thirty probably,” Jack dismissed as he tossed his jacket on and grabbed the first pair of shoes he saw, which were definitely Race’s and not his. Then, he quickly texted Davey to let him know he was on his way before he ducked out, ignoring the various replies from everyone inside and the quick text message insisting that Jack didn’t need to pick him up.

It was a lot faster just for Jack to pick him up anyways. Plus then he could talk to Davey a bit before they had to deal with his Ma drilling his poor boyfriend with questions upon questions about who knew what.

By time Jack pulled up into the transit station, little flurries of snow started to fall down and the wind was picking up just a bit. Davey quickly noticed his car and slipped into the passenger seat, tossing his backpack into the back before he leaned over and kissed Jack’s cheek.

“Thank you,” Davey said softly as he buckled himself in. Jack just smiled at him.

“I’d rather come get you than make you wait,” Jack said casually. “So uh… what happened to your car?”

“Oh! It’s just so cold out that it wasn’t starting. I have it plugged in right now at Fi- at uh, my apartment. Hopefully it’s good to go when I get back tomorrow,” Davey said. He spoke so casually, but Jack could tell that the idea of it was worrying Davey just a bit. From his slowed speech to the forced smile that he tacked on unnaturally to the end of his sentence.

“So my Ma’s here… and my sister. Be prepared for lots of questions,” Jack said, glancing at him. Davey laughed lightly.

“A little warning would’ve been nice… I need time to think of lies to cover up my secret, crime filled life that you’re so prominent in,” Davey said playfully. Jack laughed.

“Davey I doubt you’ve ever done everything illegal,” Jack dismissed. Davey glanced over at him with a small smirk before he looked out the window.

“Smoked a bit of weed in high school,” he said with a small grin.

“Oh we all did, you’re not special.”

“And I’ve littered. One time I went sixty when the speed limit was forty five,” Davey continued playfully. Jack just rolled his eyes and shook his head.

“Such a bad boy,” Jack teased.

“And the cherry on top of the cake- tax fraud.”

“Oh sure, I totally believe that,” Jack said sarcastically. Davey just smiled over at him.

“Your boyfriend is a law breaking criminal. Spent two years in the slammer, probably going to have to go back after they find out I’ve been lying ‘bout who I am… Secret identify and all that,” Davey joked. Jack wasn’t looking at him, but from the corner of his eye he could have sworn he’d seen Davey shrink back on himself as he talked. He bounced back quickly though and Jack smiled over at him.

“Is it bad that that turns me on?” Jack teased. Davey rolled his eyes.

“Yes. Very bad,” Davey laughed. “Especially since none of it is true.”

You’re kidding me ,” Jack said sarcastically.

“Oh my God, shut up,” Davey said.

“Never.”

Jack pulled back into his building a few minutes later and then the two of them made their way up to Jack’s apartment. From outside the door, he could hear Race laughing loudly at something. Jack gave Davey a happy smile. He hoped this all went over smoothly.

And luckily, it did. Ma was the first to get up and meet them at the door, instantly going in to smother Davey with a tight hug before Jack got the chance to introduce the two of them to each other. She was excited to meet him and it showed. Davey was quick to get overwhelmed and it showed. Jack stayed close to Davey as they sat on the couch, with Crutchie and Smalls still working hard on the puzzle at the coffee table.

Eventually the conversation focus shifted away from Davey, who took that as his chance to fall silent and just listen as Race told Ma about a recent encounter that he had at work with an old lady. At one point, Davey moved to sit on the floor with Crutchie and Smalls to work on the puzzle and they were engaging in quiet conversation. Mostly it was just Smalls talking about herself, but judging by the smile on his face, Davey was pretty interested.

“Does someone want to get the glasses?” Race asked as the clock inched closer to midnight. He was cuddled into Spot closely. It looked like he was going to make no move to get up for the rest of the year.

“I will,” Spot said with a small sigh, before he pushed Race off of him. Race frowned, but he got up anyways. He glanced Jack’s way, who offered him a quick smile. While Spot made his way towards the kitchen, Race wordless disappeared back into his bedroom.

They both returned shortly after. Race beelined it for his place on the couch while Spot simply set a set of fancy wine glasses and three plastic ikea cup (they didn’t have champagne glasses and they sure as hell weren’t going to buy new glasses for one occasion) at the table with a bottle of shamefully cheap champagne.

“Do you typically celebrate New years, Davey?” Ma asked. Davey looked up from the puzzle before he glanced to Jack, as if asking for permission to speak to her.

“Not really. I don’t celebrate anything really. I don’t have much of a family and my friends like to spend most holidays out getting drunk and partying which isn’t something I like so… I typically treat them like regular days,” Davey explained. Ma nodded.

“Well it’s lovely to have you with us tonight,” Ma said. They both exchanged a small smile, before Jack moved to sit directly behind Davey on the couch. The three of them still weren’t making very much progress on the puzzle they’d been working on all night.

“Okay! Thirty seconds,” Race said loudly, seizing the conversation around him. He was still sitting on the couch, but now he was sitting on the edge and he was shaking his leg nervously, glancing between everyone.

“Spot, wanna do the drinks?” Race asked. Spot looked at him skeptically before he got up again. He quickly poured some juice into one of the plastic cups for Smalls before he got the champagne ready to pop.

There was a brief and fairly anti-climatic climax before Spot popped the champagne with ease and quickly distributed it along the glasses. Race hesitated, looking at Jack with furrowed eyebrows. Jack nodded and then wrapped his arms around Davey’s neck as he contently watched as Race slowly moved off of the couch to a standing position. Spot handed them glasses. A much delayed pass, but no one seemed to care.

It wasn’t until Spot had distributed and went to turn back to Race that Race suddenly dropped to one knee, his leg still physically bouncing in his place. Davey looked up at Jack and gave a soft smile. Jack returned it before they both looked ahead.

“So I didn’t actually plan anything to like- say here,” Race started. Spot was entirely focused down at him while he reached into the pocket of his sweater. “And I know you’re not a fan of making New Years a big deal…” Spot must have went to go speak at that, because Race quickly tacked on “no let me talk.”

He took a deep breath.

“But it’s kinda a big deal for us for dumb reasons and I know we know the reason… I just figured… Yeah! Yeah I want… Spot… will you marry me?” Race asked. For the first time since Jack met him, Spot seemed absolutely speechless. Race bit his lip, holding the ring up nervously. “It’s not a nice ring and you don’t need to buy it I just-”

“Take it outta the box,” Spot said. “And stand up.”

Race hesitated before he did both, holding the ring out. Spot, glanced between the two before he took Race’s free hand.

“Usually people give a yes or no answer,” Race pointed out with a nervous laugh. Spot rolled his eyes before he smiled.

“Sure,” Spot said. “I’ll marry you.”

“Don’t sound so enthusiastic Spot!” Ma spoke up from behind them. They both smiled at her before Race leaned and kissed him. Jack smiled down at Davey, before he joined the rest of his family in a quick cheer for the two of them. They all knew it was coming, minus Spot, Smalls and Davey of course, and it was great to watch them celebrate together.

 

Later that night, once everyone had settled down and headed off to their respective rooms, Davey and Jack collapsed on the old blow up mattress on the living room floor, since his Ma and Smalls were taking over his room.

“Was Race always going to do that?” Davey asked as he crawled under their several covers.

“That was his plan… think he decided on the day two weeks ago? Talked about it every chance he could,” Jack replied as he wrapped his arms around Davey.

“Why’d he want all my friends over then? I mean- it was just you and Crutchie that met them that one time,” Davey reminded. Jack sighed softly before he frowned in thought.

“No clue… Think he wanted the two of them to get more attention and interest from a crowd,” Jack said with a small laugh. “ Maybe try and make it more of a party and an event? Go big or go home, right?Either that or they confessed their love for each other two, three years ago on New Years while they were hanging out with a bunch of strangers… maybe he wanted to try and recreate it.”

“Doubt that,” Davey laughed. Jack chuckled.

“You never know with those two,” Jack said. “I’m just glad they’re happy,” he mused lightly. “I mean, the two of them are kind of messes, but they clean up well together… does that make sense?”

“Yeah it doesn’t” Davey said before he went quiet. Jack didn’t mind the sudden absence of conversation. Instead, he just wrapped his arms protectively around Jack and cuddled in with him close.  

They stayed like that for a long while. Davey didn’t speak up again until Jack was practically asleep. Even when he did, it was quiet and very clearly Davey talking to what he thought was a sleeping Jack.

“I gotta tell you something… It’s so scary to tell ya though… I just… It’s dumb Jackie. So dumb and I shoulda just told ya right when we started dating because now it’s built up and I’m scared. I’m so scared ‘cause I love being around you and I don’t wanna lose that. I don’t wanna lose us and I feel like I’m going to. If I tell you… but I need to… soon I promise…. I uh… I was going to tell you tonight but… Race stole the show.” There was a soft, nervous laugh.

Davey brought Jack’s hand up to kiss it.

“I love you Jack.”

Chapter Text

In Jack’s household, a peaceful morning was rare enough as it was. Add in your mother and sister taking over your room, and it got even rarer. Obviously Jack was used to it. He barely thought anything of it whenever he woke up to Race screaming or Crutchie singing happily as he cooked. So naturally, it came as no shock to him when he was woken up by Spot cursing loudly as Crutchie dropped a pan on the floor, simultaneously happening while Smalls was very loudly asking for banana pancakes and Race snapping at Spot for cursing in front of a kid.

It was a normal wake up for him.

Davey however, was jolted awake from the sudden noise, sitting up in a quick panic before he seemed to blink himself back to reality.

“Bit of a rude ‘wakening, ain’t it?” Jack said playfully. Davey groaned as he fell back against the pillow.

“Nothing I’m not used to,” Davey sighed.

“You live alone.”

“Thin walls,” Davey replied casually. He sighed as he stared up at the ceiling. Since no one seemed to try and get Jack’s attention, he decided to lay down next to him again. It wasn’t the most private place to be intimate, however right now, it was the best they got. Jack went to go tug Davey closer to him, but instead Davey moved back a bit on the bed the minute Jack’s arm started moving.  Jack tried not to look offended by that.

“What were you goin’ on about last night before we fell asleep?” Jack asked curiously. Davey hesitated, before he gave a short shake of his head.

“I can’t remember saying anything. Did I say something?” Davey replied.

“Well… yeah,” Jack said after a beat of hesitation. “You wanted to tell me something last night but since the proposal happened you decided you were gonna wait,” he explained. Davey furrowed his eyebrows before a flash of realization flickered over his face.

“Right yeah. I did say that,” Davey muttered quietly before he gave a short, awkward laugh. “I’ll tell you when we’re alone, alright? Not something I really want to discuss in front of your family.”

“Right course. I’m gonna hold ya to it though,” he teased before he leaned in and kissed Davey, who kissed back (much more quickly than what Jack was expecting) before he pulled away and sat up to stretch. Jack sat up too just in time for Smalls to run over to them, wearing one of Crutchie’s aprons.

“Charlie wants to know if you guys want banana or boring pancakes,” she said. “Also he told me to tell you to get the living room cleaned so we can eat in here.”

“Gee morning to you too Smalls,” Jack said with a laugh. “I’ll take banana, but Davey’ll have boring ones.” Then, he leaned in to whisper jokingly, “he’s a pretty boring guy.”

In reality, Jack just knew that Davey didn’t like bananas. A random fact that he had mentioned in passing at the bookshop weeks ago that Jack happened to remember.

Smalls giggled and nodded, before she ran off back to the kitchen, loudly yelling out their choices before Crutchie told her to wash her hands. Davey sighed as he climbed over the air mattress behind Jack and wrapped his arms around his waist. Jack turned his head as Davey rested his chin on his shoulder.

“How’d you know that?” he asked.

“I’ve facebook stalked you several times,” Jack joked, before he kissed Davey’s cheek. He scrunched up his face playfully.

“Jokes on you, I don’t even have facebook,” Davey said as he let go of Jack. He crawled off the bed before he grabbed the comforter and started to fold it up. Jack hesitated, before he started helping him too.

“Right. Totally forget. You’re a weirdo who doesn’t live on social media like the rest of us millennials,” Jack teased. Davey rolled his eyes before he wacked him with the folded up blanket. He set it on the couch before he piled up the two pillows. Jack smiled before grabbed one of the pillows and hit Davey with it.  

Davey glared at him before he grabbed a second pillow and hit Jack back. Jack scoffed, before he hit him a second time. Davey threw his pillow at Jack’s face before he started taking the sheets off of the air mattress.

“You’ve made a grave mistake there,” Jack warned, holding both the pillows up. Davey glanced at him before he tossed the sheets on the couch.

“You wouldn’t dare,” he said flatly. Jack grinned before he shrugged casually.

“Drop the pillows and help me let the air out of this,” Davey said. Jack threw a pillow at him, knocking him in the side of the head. Davey looked unphased for just a moment, before he picked the pillow and whacked Jack with it, taking the second pillow from Jack before setting them both aside.

“Oh come on Dave. Have some fun,” Jack said playfully. “We don’t need ta clean up right this instant.”

“Smalls just told us to clean up for breakfast Jack,” Davey said. “Do you not listen to your family?”

Jack laughed.

“Sometimes.”

 

Ma and Smalls ended up staying until supper time that night. It was filled with a lot of talking and downtime, which was something that Davey seemed to enjoy. He listened mostly, except for the periodical times that Ma would turn her attention to him to ask him something. Jack had tried to hold his hand several times, but each time Davey would pull his hand back sharply and hide it in the pockets of his (Jack’s) hoodie until it looked like Jack had seized trying to hold it.

“You have everything?” Crutchie asked as he hugged Ma at the door. Smalls had already left the apartment and was waiting in the car after she gave everyone a goodbye, giving everyone but Davey a hug because “he’s not family.”

“I’m sure. We can always get it later too,” Ma said, moving to hug Jack next as he was standing beside him.

“Just make sure to tell us when you get back home,” Jack said. She smiled and nodded before she kissed him on the cheek.

“It was wonderful meeting you Davey,” Ma said.

“Oh you too,” he replied, taking a step towards the group after having lingered behind Jack for the majority of the goodbyes. He held out his hand, but Ma pulled him into a tight hug regardless.

“Gotta warm up to me faster than that,” she teased. Davey let out an awkward laugh before he shrunk back again.

“I’ll try,” he said.

Another quick rounds of goodbye, before Ma left the apartment.

Everyone dispersed after that. Race and Spot left to their room and Crutchie planted himself on the couch with his laptop. Davey stood by the door, shrunken in on himself.

“Do you want me to head out too?” he asked, nodding towards the door.

“Stay the night if you want,” Jack said casually.

“I can’t stay the night twice,” Davey replied. Jack furrowed his eyebrows before he started walking towards the kitchen.

“Why not?”

Davey hesitated, stumbling over his words before he cleared his throat. He leant against the counter. Jack poured himself a glass of water and drank it while he waited.

“You can’t even think of an answer for why you shouldn’t,” Jack pointed out. Davey shrugged.

“I stayed last night,” he said simply. Jack rolled his eyes.

“That ain’t a reason,” he said. “Hell, Spot was supposed to stay a weekend while his carpet was being deep cleaned and he’s been living with us for a year now.”

“I just don’t want to overstay my visit,” Davey said.

“You’re not,” Jack reassured him. “I want you to stay the night. Does that help?”

“Do they want me staying? Your apartment really isn’t that big,” Davey said. Jack scoffed.

“Of course,” he said, wrapping his arms around Davey’s waist to pull him closer and off of the counter. This time around, Davey didn’t shy away from his touch and instead embraced it.

“They don’t matter anyways. I want you here,” Jack said happily. He leaned in to kiss him, but he waited for Davey to lean in the rest of the way. Just to see what he would do.

Davey did lean in and kiss him after a beat of hesitation. He lingered longer than he did earlier and didn’t pull away when Jack tugged him even closer.

“I can stay then,” Davey said softly, pulling away just enough to say that before he kissed him again.

He pulled away as Crutchie got up from the couch and ducked to the other side of the kitchen. Jack followed him with his eyes before he moved out of the way for Crutchie to get to the fridge.

“You’re acting weird,” Jack commented.

“No I’m not,” Davey denied quickly. “Ask Crutchie. I’m acting normal.”

Crutchie glanced between the two of them but Jack spoke up before he got a chance to.

“Crutchie hasn’t been trying to hold your hand and getting rejected all day,” Jack said.

“Can we not fight about me not holding your hand?” Davey asked.

“I just want to know why you’ve been cold to me all day,” Jack said.

“PDA? It’s not one of my favourite things to do in public,” Davey said casually.

“Bullshit. No- Crutchie stay here for a second,” Jack said. “You’re fine doing it when we go on dates. You’re fine when we’re at work. What was with today?”

“Don’t get all angry with me Jack,” Davey said, his voice raising slightly but he kept his voice calm. “I just met your mother. We’re not Race and Spot. I’m not familiar with her. Strangers are one thing. Parental figures are another.”

“Why?” Jack asked. Davey scoffed and shook his head.

Why? I don’t talk to my own parents Jack, you know that. So why, if I barely know my own parents, would I be comfortable showing affection in front of your mother who I just met?” Davey asked. “You can’t keep jumping to conclusions Jack. My life isn’t black and white, shit happened and it’s shit that’s altered how I… view and deal with parents. My own or others. You gotta be patient with me here,” he said weakly, desperately trying to get his words across. Jack could still tell he was holding something back though. He wasn’t sure what yet, but he was aching to find out.

“I’m sorry Davey,” he said softly. Davey chewed on his lower lip, folding his arms in on himself as he nodded.

“Just please… I don’t want to fight with you over stupid stuff.”

“We don’t have to,” Jack promised. “We won’t- I’ll… it’s just-”

“Hard I know. It’s hard on me too,” Davey interrupted. Then he sighed and ran a hand through his hair. Davey went to start talking, before he cleared his throat and looked down at the floor. “I’ll tell you someday okay? I’ll explain it and everything will make more sense but… not today. Just understand that, your Ma seems wonderful, but I’m scared of her.” They both laughed lightly at that.

“Yeah I’m pretty scared of her too.”

 

A week later, life had gone back to normal. Their short, petty argument was never addressed again and that was it. Davey still didn’t seem any more motivated to tell Jack about the things he’d been hinting at for what seemed like months on end now. He didn’t want to push. The last thing he wanted to do was push, but damn it was eating Jack alive. Especially as Davey seemed to get more and more stressed throughout the week. He wanted to know if his mystery secret was why.

Jack sighed softly as Davey’s alarm went off on his phone. He’d been up for nearly an hour, which should have been a crime, but at least he had been laying in bed with a completely at ease sleeping Davey. Now though, he was shifting and moving to grab his phone to shut it off.

“Morning,” Jack said softly. Davey smiled over at him as he shut off his alarm, before he rolled over to face him. Wordlessly, he leaned in and kissed Jack softly before he yawned and sat up.

“That’s one way to say good morning,” Jack said with a soft laugh. “Heading off somewhere?”

“Yeah… School and stuff, I gotta run home and grab my stuff for it.. And who knows how long I’ll need thanks to my car,” Davey said with a small laugh.

“We plugged it in though last night, didn’t we?”

“Yeah it should help,” Davey said with a soft sigh. He was already getting up out of the bed to start getting ready for the day.

“You ain’t even gonna spend a few minutes just to cuddle with me?” Jack said playfully. Davey rolled his eyes with a small chuckle as he pulled on his pants. Jack sat up and rested his head against the backboard.

“You know, you could just move in with me,” Jack suggested. Davey froze, before he furrowed his eyebrows and shook his head.

“Your apartment is so crowded already,” he dismissed.

“It would save ya time running back and forth though. I mean… I’m closer to your classes and both the places you work. And you know, that much closer to me,” Jack said. Davey sighed softly as he grabbed a shirt from Jack’s drawer. Jack couldn’t help but smile at that, but he kept himself from saying anything to avoid changing the topic.

“Jack. I told ya, it’s too crowded,” Davey said.

“Race ‘n Spot are looking for their own place now. Being engaged is just that big of a deal, apparently. Crutch and I could use a third person to help split the rent with,” Jack said. Davey hesitated before he sat down on the bed next to Jack.

“It’s a little soon… for me to move in with you, isn’t it?” Davey asked. “I mean- sure yeah, rent would be easier for both of us but… we’ve only been dating what- couple months? It could kill our relationship so fast and-”

“Davey, baby relax. I was just suggesting it… I mean, if you really wanted to, you could have your own room if you did move in with us. Like I said, we’ll have the spare room and everything,” Jack said softly.

“Right… I’ll uh, I’ll think about it, okay?” Davey said. Jack smiled softly.

“That means it’s staying a no right?” Jack asked. Davey hesitated before he shrugged.

“I dunno, maybe,” he said. “We’ll see, okay?”

“Right of course. Let me know,” Jack said.

Davey gave a short nod, before he leaned in and kissed him. Jack smiled as he kissed him back, tugging him closer. Davey chuckled, resting his hand on Jack’s chest before he pushed him away. They made eye contact briefly, before Jack leaned in and kissed Davey again, this time tugging him to lay back down with him on the bed. To Jack’s delight, Davey didn’t protest, and instead melted into the kiss, tangling their legs together as Jack rolled on top of him.

Davey didn’t get out the door until the latest possible second he could, mostly a mistake on Jack’s part. Still, he left by giving Jack one last long kiss and then headed out in a non rushed manner. Jack stood by the door with a giant smile on his face, waiting just a moment before he headed back towards the kitchen.

“You sounded like you had a nice morning,” Crutchie said casually as he sipped a coffee, sitting at the breakfast bar.

“Very nice morning,” Jack said happily.

“I know. I could hear it,” Crutchie scoffed. “You couples need to learn how to keep it down.”

“Shuddup,” Jack laughed.

“No. You need to shut up,” Crutchie said. “Just because I don’t get any action doesn’t mean I want to listen to yours.”

“Noted,” Jack said with a small nod. He moved to make himself a cup of coffee, turning his back to Crutchie.

“It better be,” Crutchie said. “Not just. Mentally noted. Put the damn thing on the fridge.”

“Sorry Crutch,” he laughed.

Chapter Text

Davey smiled as he waved goodbye to Buttons. He had just taken an extra morning shift at Bumble Bee’s after one of her employees had to back out last minute since her daughter was sick. Davey was in the area anyways- in fact, his car never left the back parking lot from his shift the night before.

Last night seemed to be one of the few nights he actually didn’t have plans nowadays. He never really noticed it, but recently it had been a lot of crashing at Jack’s place, or Jack dropping him off at Finch’s after dates so he just ended up crashing there. He had to admit, after last night, as much as he hated getting in other people’s way, he was glad he was staying inside apartments pretty much back to back. It was bitterly cold and he swore he was going to freeze to death last night. He probably had every single layer on that was possible. Blankets and sweaters and Jack’s sweats and…

Davey sighed as he unlocked his car, crawling into the back of it. It wasn’t any warmer that it had been last night, but what could he do about it? He needed gas, Davey knew that, so he really couldn’t waste it trying to get the car warmed up. Davey pulled on a sweater before he switched from the front to the back.

He revved the engine, once then twice then a third time and then after a silent prayer his car finally started up. He made a note to eventually get it checked out, make sure that everything was alright before it wasn’t alright but right now Davey didn’t have the money for it. He checked his bank account after every paycheck- he knew.

Suddenly though, his car just shut down. Davey swallowed thickly, before he shook his head and started the car up again. Damn silly thing.

“Come on,” he muttered. “Come on… come on… come on!” Each phrase was building more and more on desperation.

For a moment, just a moment, his car sparked to life again. The radio started to play, weird crackling sounds since it could barely pick up was playing, but just as it started, it crashed again.

“Fuck!” Davey sighed, hitting the steering wheel. “Fuck, fuck, fuck!”

Okay… Okay. Davey was going to be fine. His car was going to be fine. He just… Davey just needed a cigarette. Or two. Or five.

Yeah, couple cigarettes then he’d get back in and try again and it would actually start.

And if it didn’t…

Fuck he’d be screwed if he didn’t.

Davey grabbed his cigarette carton and sighed heavily as he got out, already cringing at the cold as he leaned against his hood, lighting one before he stowed the rest away in his sweater. He only got a few drags in before another car pulled up in the parking lot. He glanced at it, before he looked back to the ground and kept smoking. Just the next person coming into work, Jack figured.

“You smoke?” Jack came from behind him, car door slamming shut before he showed up next to him. Davey smiled softly.

“Thought you knew,” he commented.

“Dave baby, you outta anyone should know that there’s a lot I don’t know about you,” Jack said, nudging him lightly. Davey couldn’t tell, but god he was hoping that Jack was just joking around with him. He hoped he wasn’t hiding his anger towards Davey for being secretive because that was the last thing he needed in this moment.

“Sorry,” he said softly. “I uh… do you want one?” Davey asked, already going to take the package out of his pocket.

“No it’s fine,” Jack dismissed quickly. “I don’t smoke. Surprised I never tasted ash in your mouth is all.”

“I don’t do it often.” That was a lie- kind of. Davey used to not do it often, then it picked up a lot and then everything died down stress wise so he was back to every once in a while. If his car broke down on him though, well, he’d be smoking a pack a day for sure.

“Take good care of my… oral hygiene,” he said after a moment of hesitation, before he laughed. “You working right now?”

“That’s the plan… You tagging along?”

“No I uh, just finished… took over Carol’s shift ‘cause her daughter woke up with the stomach flu today and she didn’t want to leave her alone.”

“Should just hang out and come over tonight. Plans are following weird DIY tutorials,” Jack said playfully. Davey smiled before he shook his head, tapping his cigarette off with his finger.

“I don’t wanna intrude,” Davey dismissed quickly. “Besides I have plans with Elmer tonight… for once without Albert.” He laughed lightly.

“Alright… I’ll see you when I see you then,” Jack said happily.

“Yeah, when I see you,” Davey echoed. “I love you.”

“I love you too- I’d kiss ya but I don’t trust the taste of your mouth,” Jack replied. They both laughed before Davey nodded.

“Understandable.”

Davey smiled as he watched Jack go into Bumble Bees before he finished off his cigarette, stomping it out in the snow before he crawled back into the driver's seat. With lighter spirits and more hope, he knew that his car would be fine. It had to be, right? Life had been going so well for Davey recently that he couldn’t help but hope that it was going to stay on the same path.

He hummed softly as he got back in his car, happy to be sheltered once again from the wind. It wasn’t any warmer inside his car, but it was more static.

Davey couldn’t help but hesitate before he turned the key to his car. It took a second, but it started up. He let out a breath of relief, before he pulled the car out of park and into reverse.

The only thing was, his car kept backing up and backing up and suddenly his brakes weren’t working so he couldn’t even get it to go forward. He gasped as backed right into the opposite side of the parking lot, ramming itself into the back metal fence.

It was going slow though- so there was no way that could have damaged it too much. So he was fine.

Davey floored the brakes, before he managed to get it back into drive. He slowly pushed on the gas, before he tried to get the car to stop on it’s breaks. It wouldn’t though- at least not until Davey pressed the brakes right down to the floor.

He quickly put it back in park again, before he shut it off, thinking that maybe if he could turn it on and off again it could again.

Only, once Davey turned it on again, it wouldn’t turn on. He turned it and turned it and pleaded with it but nothing ever happened. Instead though, the trunk of his car started to smoke a bit and suddenly his car wasn’t even revving.

“Fuck!” Davey exclaimed, hitting the steering wheel before he shut it off. He got out, locking it before he headed back inside Bumbles, quietly so Jack wouldn’t hear him from the front.

He knocked twice on Button’s door before he slipped into her office.

“Can I borrow the phone?” he asked. Buttons looked up curiously before she glanced to the phone.

“Course. Everything alright Davey?” she asked. Davey hesitated, before he sat down in the chair across from her desk. He cleared his throat, and began recounting every instance of what had happened with his car as he looked up the tow truck company.

“I’ll uh… have to call insurance and everything but… I need to get my car outta the parking lot, guess I’ll get it in front of Finch’s place,” Davey said with a small sigh.

“Gonna get it fixed?”

“If I can afford it,” Davey said, before he sighed heavily. “If it’s totaled…”

“I doubt it is Davey. The… breaks probably just broke and it’s cold so the battery wasn’t warm enough. Simple as that,” Buttons reassured him. Davey smiled softly before he nodded. He dialed the tow truck before he contacted Finch as well.

“Everything’s gonna work out.”

 

Everything did not work out.

By the next Tuesday, he had to clear out his entire car so it could go in for repairs. He didn’t know the bill yet, but he needed his car so he figured he could just take out another loan. He didn’t want to but…

Buttons had thankfully let him keep his stuff in her office. He didn’t want to leave any of it with his friends, mostly because all of them had such small apartments as it was, and Specs was moving in with Elmer this month… His stuff hanging around would just make even more of it a mess.

Davey carried around a backpack now and took the bus. He only carried what he needed for a few days and then would switch it around whenever he had his next shift at Bumbles. That was the routine for the past six days, along with trying to find places to crash each night. He was at Jack’s most, once Finch’s and once with Buttons- which was a bit awkward but it was better than having to sleep on the streets.

“Hey Davey, how ya holding up?” Buttons asked as Davey made his way inside the shop for his typical Friday shift. He smiled and shrugged before he slipped into her office to change out the things in his bag, just so it was over and done with when he needed to finish.

“Could use some good news about my car… they haven’t been bugging you too much, have they?” he asked, looking up from his suitcase of clothes.

“I actually got a call this morning from your insurance,” she said. “They left a message, told me to tell you to call them…”

Davey’s face went white as he looked up at her. He didn’t trust that tone- he didn’t want to hear her say anything in that tone. Ever. Especially when she was talking about his car. His life . His main mode of transportation and his fucking home.

“What’d they say?” he asked.

“Dave sit down.”

“No… What’d they say? I’m supposed to get my estimate tomorrow.”

Davey-

“Buttons I need my car to be okay!” Davey exclaimed.

“Well it’s not!” she yelled back. “Davey… they called me and after looking into it they said there was so much crap going on you didn’t know about, that it would just be cheaper to buy a new car than to repair it,” she explained, much more calmer. “They said there was a lot of miscare and uh… damage to various parts.”

“I knew about them,” Davey corrected. “I just couldn’t…”

“They said it was a wonder it lasted as long as it did but the car is old… eighteen years old and you used it a lot for a long time. They want to write it off,” Buttons said. Davey got up, before he moved to sit down in the chair. Panic was quickly washing over him, but he tried to keep his breath calm but it wasn’t staying calm .

“Are you saying…”

“Yeah,” Buttons cut him off. Davey wiped at his eyes furiously as he felt them begin to water. This wasn’t happening.

“No but… it was just the brakes and the battery that was the issue!” Davey exclaimed. “There was nothing else wrong with my car! Nothing!”

“You can call them and get the full report if you want, but they said your car was a loss,” Buttons said. Davey swallowed before he let out a sob, quickly trying to regain his composure.

“What am I going to do?” he asked. Buttons shook her head.

“You’re going to get a settlement fee Davey. You can use that to buy a new car,” Buttons said. “You just need to relax and find a place to crash until you find one. I’m sure Jack would love to.”

“Jack doesn’t know…”

“What?”

“Jack doesn’t know I live in my car!” Davey said. The panic was growing quicker and quicker in his stomach. He couldn’t barely breathe. God- what was he going to do? He couldn’t tell Jack now! It would make it look like he was using Jack even more than he was.

“I thought you said you told him?” Buttons said. Davey quickly shook his head.

“I was going to and then I didn’t and I just… never did! I told him I loved him instead and now I’m screwed!” Davey exclaimed.

He let out a short sob before he shakily tried to get his breathing under control. He had a shift right away, but man did he just feel like crying. He was pretty sure he was crying.

“If I- If I tell him now he’ll think I’m using him!” Davey exclaimed. “I can’t let him think I’m using him! I’m not! I love him too much to just… use him as a way to have somewhere to stay! It’s so much more and-”

“Davey. Calm down okay? Everything will be fine,” Buttons sighed softly.

“Says who? You? No I- you don’t get my situation! My life! My shitty fucking life! If I tell Jack that I live outta my car conveniently right as I fucking lost my car, he’s gonna think I’m trying to pull a pity card! He’d dump me and then I’d be down a boyfriend and I’ll be cycling through two houses before I manage to get a car but who even knows when that is! Finch’ll get tired of me… Elmer will get tired of me and I’ll lose everything! Everyone’ll just leave me!”

“Why is everyone leaving you?” Jack suddenly said from behind him. Davey visibly jumped, before he turned to face Jack. He was standing in the doorway of the office, arms crossed and a concerned look plastered on his face. It melted into one of worry as soon as he saw Davey’s tear streaked face. He opened his arms up and Davey rushed into them, hugging him tightly.

If he told Jack now, this had to be his last time hugging him. At least like this. Davey let out a hiccup of a sob before he hid his face in Jack’s shoulder.

“Hey, hey Davey baby… you’re okay just talk to me,” he said softly. Davey closed his eyes tighter, taking in his scent and the way his arms felt around Davey. He was scared. He was so scared because the last thing Davey wanted to be was a homeless burnout living on the side of the street and begging literally anyone for some spare change.

Living in a car wasn’t comfortable, but at least then he had somewhere to go overnight if he wasn’t with someone else. At least then he had somewhere safe to lock up his clothing and his textbooks and his valuables. At least then he had a for sure shelter from the rain and from the snow and the wind. At least then he had somewhere he could just relax and have a nap whenever. At least…

“My car’s being- being written off,” he muttered, hesitating before he pulled away. “The brakes and engine gave out and uh… apparently it was so old and uh, worn out that…” he swallowed thickly. “I really can’t afford a new one right now… or a bus pass or…”

“Hey, Davey I can give you drives if you need it, you know that right?” Jack said. “There’s… no need to stress.”

“There is though!” Davey exclaimed, pulling away fully. His hands were shaking. Bad. He had to ignore it though. At least for now. At least long enough to keep Jack from finding out.

“It ain’t the end of the world,” Jack said.

“Jack, Davey’s got other reasons to be stressed about the car,” Buttons interjected. Davey looked at her, silently begging her not to say anything. Jack couldn’t know. Not yet. Not now.

“Like what? It’s just a mode of transportation,” Jack said with a small sigh. “Davey I swear to ya, it ain’t the end of the world. So what if you gotta go a few months without while you look for another one? You’ll survive.”

“But I won’t!” Davey exclaimed.

“Why?” Jack asked.

“I can’t tell you…” Davey said quietly, looking down at his hands.

“Jesus Davey! What’s with you and secrets? Fuck. I understand some things are hard to say but obviously there’s something here you need to tell me, cause if you’re this distraught over a car, I’m concerned,” Jack said, almost bitterly.

“You don’t understand!”

“I would! I would if you just told me Dave!”

Davey hesitated, looking between Jack and Buttons. His vision was blurred, but he quickly blinked the tears loose. His entire body felt like it was going to collapse. He was so lost and hopeless and Davey didn’t know what to do. His gaze lingered on Buttons for a brief moment, before she nodded slowly.

He let out a shaky sigh.

“I uh… I live…”

What? Davey, baby please speak up if you’re gonna talk to me,” Jack practically begged. Davey looked up at him.

“You’re gonna hate me,” Davey said, before he wiped at his face. Jack moved in, but Davey took a step back. He couldn’t have physical contact. Not sweet, reassuring contact because that was all going to be gone soon.

“I ain’t gonna hate you…”

“Yes you are!” Davey exclaimed. “I haven’t told ya cause you’re gonna find out and hate me and break up with me! I know it!”

“So try me,” Jack said, taking a step forward. “Tell me so we can prove your theory wrong.”

“Jack…”

“Just tell me!”

I live out of my car!

And just like that, the room went silent. A pin could drop and you could hear it roll away. Davey let out a shaky breath, before all the tears that he had been holding back spilled out and he collapsed on the floor, just sobbing so harshly that his throat could barely take it, barely even processing the reactions of the two people around him.

Chapter Text

When David was five, his best friend in Kindergarten was named Allison. They were inseparable from the morning bell until their parents came to pick them up at the end of the day. They would laugh and have playdates all the time together, always at David’s house because Allison was the youngest of six. David’s parents would always joke about how they were soulmates to Allison’s mother, who would smile and laugh along but didn’t seem to agree. Then one day, Allison’s other mother came to pick her up for the first time. When David’s parents found out, he switched David’s school during the summer and refused to let David make play dates with Allison any more. David didn’t know why.

When David was six, after weeks of him begging to make plans with Allison, his parents sat him down and explained that it was bad for two boys or two girls to be involved with each other romantically. They said that it was setting their children up for failure, and that Allison’s two mothers were horrible people. They claimed that they were saving David when they took him away. That night, his mother sobbed in his father’s arms because she did not want to expose David to these type of relationships.

When David was nine, he held hands with a boy on the swing set while they talked about their english projects. That night, he had a dream that he kissed the boy and he woke up crying.

When David was fourteen, he went to his first official party that wasn’t a birthday party. A group of them crowded around in a circle. One of the girls suggested they’d play spin the bottle, but if a girl spun the bottle and it landed on a girl, it would just go to the closest boy instead, and vice versa. David thought the rule made sense, but when his bottle landed on Adam Murray, he silently wished that the rule let him kiss the boy across from him. Instead, he kissed Emily Smith and they moved on with the game. A week later, Adam Murray asked him if he was interested in Emily. Of course, David said no and for a moment, he thought Adam Murray liked him. It was bad that he got excited about that fact, because he wasn’t supposed to like boys. It was wrong but… Adam was standing right there. There was no way Adam liked David though, because Adam asked Emily out two days after.

When David was fifteen, just about to turn sixteen, he started dating Annette Brooks. A beautiful girl who he ended up dating until he was eighteen, but he couldn’t bring himself to love her as much as she seemed to love him. He faked it, and he faked it well but there always seemed to be something wrong with their relationship. He couldn’t put his finger on it, not for the longest time. He was happy hanging around her, and they could talk about anything for hours on end but the minute she started kissing him, or the minute things got heated or cuddly, all David wanted to do was curl up into a ball and disappear. Her lips made his skin crawl but her laugh made his soul soar.

Elmer first suggested that David could be gay when he was sixteen. He had only been friends with him, Finch and Specs for a couple months when the conversation came up. David quickly denied it, explaining what his parents had taught him. They never brought it up, but he knew in their eyes, it was wrong. However, being friends with a gay guy with a gay boyfriend, a bi guy with a boyfriend and an asexual guy, David slowly tried to wrap his head around the fact that maybe being gay wasn’t bad. His friends all seemed to be the best people he knew, so for them to be awful for being gay just didn’t make sense.

However, that did not make David gay. It didn’t matter how many longing looks he would cast at Adam Murray. He was dating Annette and he loved Annette. At least, he was sure he was in love with Annette.

The more time he spent with Elmer and his boyfriend at the time and Finch and his boyfriend at the time, David seemed to get more and more comfortable with the idea that maybe he was bisexual like Finch, but with a strong preference to women. That could explain his odd thoughts towards Adam and sometimes even his own friends, which he quickly tried to ignore. However, it could also explain why David liked being around Annette.

At Annette’s end of Junior Year party, David got drunk and slept with Adam Murray. The worst part, was that David remembered all of it. And he loved it. So much more than he ever had sleeping with Annette. He couldn’t tell if he regretted it or not.

Over the course of the next six and a half months, David continued to date Annette, but would meet up with Adam in secret. They did everything together. They went on dates, slept with each other, exchanged quick kisses in the school bathrooms when they were alone, but not once did either of them acknowledge it out loud. It just happened.

On Annette’s eighteenth birthday, just a week after David’s own, David had stopped Annette as she was taking off his pants and admitted everything. She was understandably upset, and it was incredibly awkward considering they were both half naked. That was when she posed the question that had never even occurred to David.

“Do you love him?”

And without skipping a beat David replied;

“Yes.”

And that was when her next question came up.

“Are you gay?”

And without skipping a beat David replied;

“I think so.”

So Annette broke up with him and he and Adam Murray became official. They ended up dating only for another year, but it was a wonderful year with a mutual break up after Adam got accepted to a university in Scotland. Course, David was upset and missed him. He wasn’t sure if he missed his personality or his affection, because David seemed to be craving anything close to someone holding his hand or kissing him or… even just smiling at him.

Which was when he came in.

They met in a bar while he and his friends were out. At the time, just shy of twenty, David was still comfortably with his parents. He was so deep in the closet he was making friends with dust bunnies, but his family life was good. His friendships were a bit rocky. Elmer, Finch and Specs hated him from the minute he and David started dating.

David saw nothing wrong with him. Sure, he was a little horny all the time and sure, David was usually paying for their dates but he was getting attention and he was attractive.

He had yet to introduce him to his family once they were four months into their relationship. Mostly because David didn’t need to lie to his parents even more by saying that he was just a friend. Because he really wasn’t just a friend.

It was November ninth, seven pm. That was the clearest thing he could remember. They were laying on David’s couch, curled up together as they watched some sort of baking show that David liked to watch. He could tell that he didn’t care much for the show, but David was enjoying it. What was there not to like about baking competitions? His parents weren’t home, so he was okay with cuddling up close to him , but he wasn’t going to let anything get too far.

Suddenly though, soft kisses were being peppered down his jaw and his neck. David sighed softly before he closed his eyes, letting him glide his hand up his torso as he tried to keep watching his show.

“Baby not now,” David muttered, trying to nudge him off. However, he could feel his smile against his neck and he was already turning to a puddle, just wanting to give in.

“My parents are gonna be home soon, they can’t see this,” David continued as he started unbuttoning his shirt, little kisses following behind.

“They ain’t gonna see it,” he said vaguely, before a hand ended up underneath David’s jeans, just on top of his underwear. “I just wanna make you feel good baby…”

“I want you too,” David replied, taking his hand out of his pants before he laced their fingers together. “Just not when my parents are gonna be home within the next twenty minutes…”

“Please baby?” he cooed softly. Davey sighed, closing his eyes before he kissed his forehead and nudged him off.

“Bedroom, now,” he said quickly. “Quick and we’re back in clothing and out here in ten minutes.”

He grinned, jumping off of David before he dragged David back into his bedroom. David made sure he locked the door before he kissed him .

Truth be told, Davey couldn’t remember what happened next.

He was so caught up in the moment that he didn’t hear the front door open, or his name being called, or his own door opening or his mother’s loud gasp. David couldn’t remember anything except the blue striped shirt he had pulled on in a panic. There was screaming and yelling and David was being called a disgusting sinner and he was slapped . All while he was just trying to pack enough things that he wanted. He knew his parents- David wouldn’t see them again. There was a strain of explanations, but he kept talking over David and talking more and more and making it worse and worse the next thing he knew, there was an hour timer set in the kitchen and Davey needed to be out before that.

He didn’t even help Davey pack. He didn’t even offer David a place to stay. In fact, that night, Davey was crying in his arms and he just broke up with him. Then and there. The night he got kicked out of his house without even being allowed to say goodbye to his younger brother.

So David spend two weeks sobbing on Finch’s futon, just wanting to contact home but he was too scared to. Not even Sarah or Les tried to call him and everyone just ignored his text messages it seemed.

He dropped his name from David to Davey, some sort of weird symbolic thing that Elmer came up with to “get a fresh start” with life, now that he was forced to completely start over.

It was strange, crashing on Finch’s futon until he could find his own place, but it was comforting. Having someone who actually cared about him letting him stay close. Davey thought he would, but he really didn’t. Davey was just an easy weekly fuck, nothing more. At least, to him anyways.

The next three years were a blur of stress. He got a roommate to help pay for his rent in his first apartment, Connor, and then they got together quickly and dated for a year and a half. Course, that ended up absolutely horrible and Davey willing forfeited his own apartment just to get away from Connor. He wasn’t nearly as bad as him though. An experience, if anything.

He lived out of his car in secret from his friends for a month before they found out.

The rest was kind of history.