Feeding Tucker was probably one of the worst things about being with him. Ever since Elise had met her unfortunate end, and they had had to work without her, everything had sort of fallen to Specs. While he didn’t mind cleaning and cooking too much, taking care of things that Tucker couldn’t or wouldn’t do having always been something he was good at, he was frustrated. All he had asked, his one little stipulation, was that Tucker actually rinse his dishes when he put them in the sink. That way, when he loaded the dishwasher, Specs wouldn’t have to spend an hour and a half soaking ketchup stains and dried on cheese.
Stomping into the living room and standing very pointedly in front of the fifth episode of Beetlejuice that his boyfriend was watching, he narrowed his eyes.
“Come on, man, you’re interrupting.” Tucker managed around the spoonful of Lucky Charms in his mouth. Specs shuddered slightly at the sight of crumbs falling to the floor he’d vacuumed only an hour ago. He cleared his throat, and Tucker finally did his best not to try and peer around the other, looking up at him.
What greeted him was a very red-faced, frowny, glaring Steven in the pretty, frilly black and green apron he’d been given as a joke. It still astounded Tucker that he wore it, but he supposed it suited the other, at least. The idea, however, that he hadn’t done or said anything that would embarrass the other man lead him to believe that his nearly purple housemate was about to unleash the wrath of the Gods on him. It wouldn’t be the first time, naturally, but this time it looked like he was about to get a new, structurally superfluous asshole jammed somewhere into his body.
“Uh…” He started, setting down his bowl and wiping at his beard, then his lips, “Something wrong, sweetheart?” Every time he knew he was in trouble, Tucker would do his best to weasel his way out. Pet names usually melted his little lover, but this time, it seemed, he was in too deep.
“Yes,” The strain in Steven’s voice, the slightly higher octave, told Tucker that he was in for it, now, “There absolutely is. You,” Leveling a finger at the other’s eyes, his own narrowed a fraction more, “Promised me you’d start rinsing your damn dishes. You promised me that when you were done with your fucking Hot Pockets last night that you would clean the fucking plate.” Because Steven had forced him to start using them around the house around a year ago. “At least enough that it could go into the dishwasher without incident.”
“And, uh, there was an incident, huh?” That much was obvious. Steven wasn’t usually the type to swear, which meant that there was definitely going to be some shit going down. Hell hath no fury like a Specs scorned, after all.
“You better fucking believe there was an incident.” Glowering over the tops of his glasses, leaving Tucker and the world around him in a hazy blur, he placed both hands on his hips. Catching the implication of that, he crossed his arms over his chest, instead, with a loud huff and a roll of his eyes, averting his gaze. It wasn’t like he could see much, anyway, “Ham and cheese. Ham and fucking cheese, stuck to the plate like glue! And who has to clean up after you all the damn time, huh? It’s me. My fucking thirty-six year old toddler, going and leaving messes for me to clean up! All the time!”
If Tucker didn’t put an end to this, soon, there would never be one. Specs was good at holding grudges for about twenty minutes, but this one was waxing on the ‘fuming all night and possibly tomorrow’ side of the spectrum. That wasn’t exactly the kind of atmosphere amenable to finishing his Beetlejuice binge with a happy ending. Or any ending without him being gutted on the living room floor.
“Babe, ba--” Despite his best attempt at civility, Specs was still speaking over him, and it finally had gotten on his nerves. With a heavy sigh and a frown, he stood up at the same time that he all but roared, “Babe! I get it, you’re pissed.” He took a careful step forward, as if knowing he was about to try and cage a rabid animal, “I don’t do enough around the house,” Throwing an unintentionally nervous glance around the place, he took another step, hands out with palms facing his lover, voice lowering, “And you’re sick of doing everything. I’m a slob.”
The concession to his point was enough to make Steven blink, jaw hanging open and eyes narrowed in disbelief. Was Tucker Ackerman actually admitting he could be wrong? This was a trap. Everything in him screamed to abort this mission, to just let him win, because there was something not right about this… But, at the same time, he couldn’t help himself, preening with a little smile at the compliment this admission was.
“You are a slob.” He nodded succinctly, smirking slightly, “But, I suppose, you’re my slob. So, what are you going to do about your disgusting dishes?” Hands sliding down to his hips again, he let them bunch up the apron slightly, the wrinkled fabric pinching in beneath the webbing of his thumb and forefinger. The sight alone was enough to have Tucker’s argument dead on his lips, throat and mouth dry, while he fumbled for a second to think of the most appropriate thing to say.
“I’ll take care of it.” Tucker finally blurted, immediately regretting the decision when the other’s eyes lit up behind his glasses. Give a nerd an inch and he’d take a lightyear. “If you dry the dishes when I give them to you.”
“We have a dis--”
“I know. But if I’m doing it, I’m doing it by hand, and you’re helping me. You get all the nit-picking done you want, and then you dry.” It seemed like a win-win; Specs could bitch and moan and carry on about how he needed to do better, do more, whatever, and Tucker could put in the extra effort and get out of dishes for another week or so.
When the idea seemed to sink in and take hold, Tucker felt like he’d won; what he didn’t quite understand was that, likely, he hadn’t. He had simply delayed a swift death with a little bit of what he would have called filler if he were watching a movie. It was the part of the movie where the protagonist barely managed to escape death in order to go on some inane mission that had no real outcome except to put him back into mortal danger for a dumbass reason connected to the first.
Raising his eyebrows, tipping his head and frowning seemed to be about all that Tucker got in reply, of course. He was being an idiot. They had a perfectly functioning dishwasher, and here Tucker was, considering doing dishes by hand.
“Do you really think that’s a good reason?”
“Yeah, I do.” Finally wrapping the other up in his arms, Tucker smirked a little when he felt a little bit of give in the tense line of Steven’s spine. Even just a little bit of slack in the tightly corded muscle was enough to tell him that he had, indeed, at least begun the end of this war.
“Fine.” Holding up his hands in defeat, but also to push Tucker back away from him, he took one step closer to the TV stand before turning and walking to the kitchen. Letting Specs lead the way, the elder male enjoyed the view as he stepped foot in the kitchen, placing a hand on the other’s hip to ‘help’ pass him. They both knew exactly what he was up to, regardless of his feigned justification. Whatever he said could never really be trusted when it came to his reasons for touching Steven.
Stepping up to the sink and staring into it, eyes on the three inches of steaming, soapy water no doubt hiding the mess his plate was, he sighed. Of course that would be how Specs would handle something like that. Neat and clean. Had he been the one to find and decide to handle this, Tucker would have just scraped a fork over it for a few minutes and scrubbed it a little and called it good. This meant he had to get his hands wet and soapy, and the supervision he’d invited in made it necessary that he not ‘call it good’ until it was impeccable.
One of the biggest drawbacks to living with your rather obsessive boyfriend was that, occasionally, you were held to his standards at something. Half the reason he chose to wash by hand instead of using the dishwasher was because every time he tried, he just ‘didn’t do it right.’ If that happened, Specs bitched the rest of the night about how he’d had to come clean up another fuck-up; Tucker had to live with the fact that he wouldn’t be able to make him happy that night. It could really be ridiculous. But most of the time, that didn’t hamper his love for the little spaz. In all of his fire and fury, he was adorable. A crouching kitten with a scratch that stung. The thought brought a small smile to his lips, a quiet huff of a laugh out of him as he sunk his hand into the water that petered off with a pained hiss.
“Would you like to share with the class what’s so funny, Mr. Ackerman?” Specs questioned with a quirk to his lips.
“Oh my God, you sound like such a teacher like that.” Tucker groaned, rolling his eyes and letting his entire body follow the motion, “I was just thinking about you.”
“So you laughed.” Shooting a sharp glare at the other, he huffed loudly, the dish towel in his hands being wrung. Whether it was from anger or anxiety over the idea was up for interpretation, apparently.
“I laughed because you make me happy. Is that such a bad thing?”
“You usually laugh at my expense.” And Steven wasn’t entirely wrong, either. Tucker did have a bit of a habit of adding insult to injury on his lover’s part. Even the thought that had made him laugh was probably a little bit disparaging.
“Not always.” Tucker responded, guilt etched into both his voice and his features. It was obvious, now, that he’d probably end up on the couch tonight.
“What were you thinking about?”
Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Tucker figured the best option to keep an impassioned Specs from full on raging on him was to tell the truth.
“You… As a, uh… Rabid… Kitten.” Once more entertained by the mental image that produced, he smiled slightly before clenching his jaw so tightly that his teeth ached. Maybe he even heard one chip. The look he received, even out of the corner of his eye, was enough to almost have him laughing again.
Instead of the beautifully disbelieving, almost hurt face his lover regarded him with, he focused on the dish he was supposed to be washing. After all, it would probably be a little bit better to do it if the water was draining and he was actually doing this. Pulling the plug and grabbing the brillo pad, he turned the faucet on to begin his work while Specs gathered himself. When he finally did, there was no doubt that Tucker would get it.
“A rabid kitten, huh?” Specs ultimately turned his head away, mostly to hide his smile, though the shaking in his voice was indicative that he wanted to laugh, “Does that make you a big, dumb dog? You sure do drool a lot.”
“Ouch.” Sardonic as ever, Tucker chuckled when the rag popped him in the side of his face. Having preyed on Specs’ insecurities, he supposed it was only fair to let him jump all over some of his. “And I don’t drool that much.”
“You drool so much a Bulldog would be jealous. Especially when you come.” Okay, maybe that was a little too far, because Tucker finally turned his head to look at him, the draw of his brows and flat-lined lips reading ‘really?’ Specs quickly added, “Not that I don’t like it.” If he were honest with himself, he had a hard time hitting orgasm without an extra dollop of wetness on his exposed skin, be it saliva or lube.
“You sure beg for it enough, don’t you.” It wasn’t even a question as Tucker turned his eyes back on the task at hand. The light above the sink buzzed softly as he rinsed the plate in his hand, carefully panning it under the water.
“...You missed a spot.” Specs found it insanely ridiculous just how red his face was right now. He’d been teasing Tucker for the last ten minutes, if not all day before that, and here he was with a little returned mockery of a sexual nature and he couldn’t take it. As he tapped the plate, he indicated the spot that needed to be worked over again.
“It’s mostly good.”
“‘Mostly’ does not make ‘good’. Finish it and I’ll let you go.” No doubt Tucker was ready to get back to his marathon. Perhaps, if he behaved, Specs would join him.
“Fine, fine.” With another heavy, dramatic, put-upon sigh, Tucker plunged the plate back under the water and aimed the steaming liquid onto the problem area. For extra brownie points, he put on a distressed face and cried, “Out, out damn spot!”
It did, at least, earn a little chuckle from his boyfriend, who knocked their hips together playfully.
“Don’t just use the water to get it off, soap and the sponge, please.” If he were honest, Specs had every intention of putting the plate through the dishwasher if only to make sure that it was sanitary. That didn’t mean that Tucker was going to let him, or that he was going to tell him, of course.
“I know, mom.” As soon as the word left his lips, their eyes met and twin grimaces caught their features. “Yeah, that was weird.”
“Weird doesn’t even cover it.” Specs agreed, shaking his head. “I’ll quit nagging for ten whole minutes if you never call me that again.”
With that, Tucker finished up the dish, rinsing it and presenting it for approval. A nod of acknowledgement was all he needed to hand the plate over, wash his hands and kill the water pouring from the faucet. Specs worked diligently to dry the plate with his freshly gathered rag, the first one still on the floor (he would have Tucker pick that up, later). Once he was ready to put it away, he felt the full weight of Tucker’s body pressing to his back.
“Tuck?” He questioned, breathless, as the other man pinned him to the counter and leaned down to nip at his ear. Growling low in his chest, he smirked softly, smugness apparent in his voice.
“Put it away, and I’ll make all of this worth it for you. We can even put on Paranormal Activity and you can ride me while we make fun of it.”
Breathless and flustered, red as a cherry and just as sweet, Specs nodded slowly and stood up on his tiptoes, the drag of his body against Tucker’s sending a chill up his spine. With a little whine, he managed to set the plate on top of the rest of the stack without smashing them, the cabinet door quick to close. Turning despite the pressure keeping him against the counter, he wrapped his arms around the other’s neck.
Kissing him deeply, tongues brushing and lips parted, Specs kept them together as long as Tucker would allow. A yelp left him as Tucker hefted him up by his ass cheeks, his thighs wrapping around the elder’s waist to keep him attached. Carrying Specs to the couch, he flopped on top of him, holding his body over him just enough to keep from crushing the smaller man, mouthing at his neck and jawline.
“Put on the movie.” Specs instructed, watching out of the corner of his eye as shaking hands reached for the remote.
Specs was definitely in for an interesting night.