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Sweet as Sugar and Everything Nice

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“When are you going to bring your cute significant others to the library, Caleb?” Jester said, popping into Caleb’s office and scaring the shit out of him. “I mean you brought them to my party, but they haven’t seen where you work! I want to get to know them better, and so does everybody else. Plus, my party was ages ago!”

“It was a month ago, Jester.” Caleb closed the book he was reading and looked up at the blue tiefling. “You want to get to know them?”

“Yeah!” Jester cheered. “Molly was so nice at the party, not to mention pretty. How do they do their makeup so well?” She shook her head, getting back on topic. “And Caduceus was talking about the bees he raises, and I love bees! Plus, they both make the treats for the Blooming Grove and I want to trade recipes!”

Caleb nodded. “Well, I could bring them to the staff game night at the end of the week. The one that Fjord and Beau are organizing for ‘team building.’ They said that our families are welcome.”

“That’s a great idea! You should totally do that!”

Caleb smiled. “I will see if they will come.”

Jester clapped widely before scurrying back to the café. “Bye, Caleb!”

~*~

Caleb walked into the Blooming Grove a few hours later. The rest of the day had moved slowly, filled with students getting back in the swing of things and a few authors who needed research help. While he loved the library more than anything, he was so grateful to be with Molly and Caduceus.

“Caleb!” Molly chirped from behind the counter. “Hi, love! How was work? Do you want some tea?”

Caleb shook his head. “No, mein liebling, I’m okay. Where’s Caddy?”

Molly pointed a manicured finger over their shoulder. “He’s bottling some honey in the back before the afternoon crew comes in and we can go.” They looked at the clock on the wall. “Nila and Kynan should be here in ten. Are we having date night at yours or ours?”

Caleb shrugged. “Wherever you prefer but your bed is much more comfortable than mine.”

Molly grinned. “Ours it is. I bet we can talk Caddy into stopping for dinner too. Maybe that sushi place you love so much?”

“I wouldn’t mind sushi if that’s what you two want,” Caddy said, appearing from the back room. “Hiya, tiger lily. How was your day?”

Caleb blushed. “It was okay. Even better now that I’m with you both.”

“Charmer!” Molly giggled, hopping over the counter. “Now get your coat, Caddy. Nila will be here any mo, I’m sure.”

As if on cue, the door swung open to reveal Nila. The firbolg smiled warmly. “Hello friends! Kynan was right behind me so if you would like to leave, I’ll be okay for a few moments.”

Caduceus smiled. “That’s awfully kind of you, Ms. Nila. Have a good shift.” He walked around the counter to embrace Caleb. “Now, let’s start this date night.”

The trio walked down the street and hopped in Molly’s car as quickly as possible. It was a brisk winter night, the sun almost completely gone from the sky. They stopped at the sushi shop and picked up (arguably) far too much sushi before retreating to Molly and Caduceus’ house.

“You both can start eating, I just want to get into something more comfortable.” Molly pressed a kiss to Caleb’s cheek and motioned for Caduceus to bend so they could give the firbolg a matching peck. “Be back in a mo.”

Molly hurried up the stairs, leaving Clay and Caleb alone to set up the table. They could hear the music coming from upstairs. Based on the playlist, Molly was taking off their makeup and changing into pajamas, probably dancing around the ensuite bathroom as they did it.

“Caleb, could you run into the kitchen and grab some plates while I get drinks from the garage?”

“Paper?”

Caduceus shook his head. “Nah, you can get the regular ones. I don’t mind doing the dishes later on.”

Caleb nodded, grabbing three plates from the cabinet before returning. Caduceus was already settled at the head of the table and music was still coming from upstairs. Caleb moved and set out the many sushi rolls and grabbed the chopsticks.

Gods he couldn’t wait to see Molly struggle with these.

As much as they liked to pretend like they were talented with the utensils, they still gave up after a few tries. Plus, their face of concentration was adorable.

“Did you grab them a fork? You know they’re going to give up anyway.” Caduceus asked, a smile on his face.

Caleb nodded, a matching smile on his face, as he lifted the fork in his hand. “Of course.”

After everything was set out, Caleb sat down to Caduceus’ right. They chattered quietly for a few more minutes before Molly emerged from the bedroom.

“Aw, you didn’t have to wait for me.”

Caleb and Caduceus looked to them and almost stopped breathing at their beauty.

Their hair, long enough to touch their lower back now, was French braided into two even plaits resting on their chest. They had taken their makeup off, their face fresh, clean and freshly moisturized, yet still shimmering. They wore one of Caduceus’ sweatshirts, leaving their soft thighs bare and their hands covered (Caleb and Caduceus had a weakness for sweater paws).

“You look nice, Lavender.” Caduceus said, staring lovely at Molly.

Molly blushed gently, though they played it off. “You’re just saying that because you like when I wear your clothes, Caddy.”

“He’s right, liebling. You look… soft and beautiful.”

Molly blushed even deeper, violet spreading under the tattoos. “Shut up, you saps. It’s time for sushi.” They mumbled, plopping down in the seat across from Caleb.

“So, how was your day, sunflower? Did that bratty kid come into the library again today?” Molly asked, bringing their lemonade to their lips.

Caleb shook his head. “No, thank gods. It was easy for the most part. Though Jester has been bugging me about seeing you two again.”

Caduceus smiled. “I liked Ms. Jester. What did she have in mind?”

Caleb looked at his plate, suddenly nervous, though he wasn’t entirely sure way. “Well, Fjord is organizing a game night for the employees at the library in a few days. Team building, he called it, but I think he wanted an excuse to play battleship. But, uh, were supposed to bring our families and- ah – I was wondering you two would like to come with me?”

When he got the courage to look up again, he was met with Molly’s wide grin and a happy expression on Caduceus’ face.

“You want us to come? You’re not just doing it because Jester was bugging you?” Molly asked, bouncing excitedly.

“Nein, I want you to come. I was just… nervous about asking you. I don’t know why. It’s not as if they don’t know, and we’ve spent quite a bit of time with Beau since she started dating Yasha, but this just seemed different for some reason.”

“We’d love to go, Caleb. It sounds fun, right, Caddy?”

“It sounds real nice, Firefly.” Caduceus agreed. “I’d love to spend more time with your friends.”

“Now that that’s settled, let’s cuddle up on the couch! I made cupcakes for dessert and everything.” Molly cheered, quickly clearing the table.

~*~

The rest of the week moved slowly. Caleb didn’t see either of his significant others in the three days between their sushi date and the game night. Caleb had therapy and a deadline coming up for his next book. Molly was working on a student film, doing special effects makeup for college students until all hours of the night. Caduceus was covering for Nila in the shop, as her son caught a bug.

Needless to say, when Caleb saw Caduceus and Molly walk into the library on Friday night, it took all of his energy not to run into their arms and beg to go home and cuddle instead.

“Caleb!” Jester called. “Your cute SOs are here!” the blue tiefling ran to Molly’s side, pulling them into a tight hug. “Hello, Molly! Your makeup looks so nice! How do you get your wings so even? Is it magic? Did you sell your soul for the power to slay your makeup? You can tell me, I totally won’t tell anyone.”

Molly chuckled, patting her head in between her horns. “I can assure you, I haven’t sold my soul. At least, not that I can remember anyway.” Molly laughed at their inside joke before scanning the crowd for Caleb.

When their eyes met, they excused themself from Jester before grabbing Caduceus’ hand and dragging the firbolg to Caleb’s side, careful not to drop the large plate of desserts in their other hand.

“There you are, my dear.” Molly all but purred, causing a blush to rise to Caleb’s cheeks. “We’re not too late, are we?”

Caleb shook his head, though he knew the pair was exactly 15 minutes late. “We haven’t started yet. We’re still waiting for Yasha and Beau. C’mon, let's go get some coffee and take a seat.”

“I made macarons because I had a free day today! The light pink is rose, the dark pink is strawberry, and the black is cookies and cream!” Molly spoke rapidly as they moved to the coffee table. “I also made some honey vanilla ones for you that I left back at our place.”

Fjord, who was picking at the cookies in front of him, smiled when he saw the newcomers approaching. “Hey y’all, glad you could make it.” He looked at the plate in Molly’s hands. “You made desserts?”

Molly nodded, a wide grin on their face. “I was always told to never to go somewhere emptyhanded.”

Fjord smiled back. “That’s mighty kind of you, Mollymauk.” He turned to look at Caduceus. “Mr. Clay, I bought some tea for you. I know it’s probably not as good as what you have in the shop, but Nott suggested it.”

“I’m sure it’s great, Mr. Fjord. Thank you.” Caduceus gave a little dopey smile.

“Sup, bitches,” Beau said, strolling into the library with Yasha on her tail. “Let’s get this team building shit on the roll.”

“You helped organize this event and you’re still late.” Nott chirped, looking from under the tablecloth of the snack table. “What the fuck, Beau?”

Fjord looked at the goblin. “Nott, what are you-”

Beau rolled her eyes. “Maybe, but I brought booze so…” She said, dragging out the ‘o.’

Fjord pinched the bridge of his nose. “Beau, we absolutely cannot drink in a public library at 7 pm.”

“We fucking absolutely can! Fill her up, Beau!” Nott said, producing a flask from beneath her oversized black sweater.

“Nott, no.” Caleb sighed, but Molly put their hand on his chest.

“Sunflower, let’s hear the unpleasant one out.”

“Fuck you, Molly,” Beau said, though she pulled out a bottle of Molly’s favorite rosé and handed it to the tiefling.

“Fuck you too, Beau.” Molly smirked, taking the bottle opener that Yasha procured. “Thank you, Yasha dear.”

“I-” Fjord opened his mouth to complain, but snapped it shut. “You got any bourbon?”

“I sure do, Captain.”

Fjord was quiet for a moment. “I’ll allow it. Let’s get this game night on the roll.”

Nott tugged on Caduceus arm. “Do you want to try some whiskey, Mr. Clay?”

Caduceus looked down at the goblin. “Sure, Ms. Nott. Thank you.”

“You’re not going to like it, Sweet pea.” Molly sing-songed.

Caduceus took the flask, anyway, taking a swig. He stuck his tongue out, his ears sagging in sadness. “Oh. Oh no, that terrible.”

Nott grinned, skittering away.

Caleb smiled at the antics, bringing Caduceus one of the rose water macarons. “Here, mein honigbiene, it’s much better.”

Caduceus’ ears perked up. “Thank you, tiger lily.”

Once the horrible taste was out of Caduceus’ mouth, the three moved over to the tables. Molly squealed when they saw Jester and Calianna were setting up Pretty Pretty Princess.

“Molly, Molly, you have to come play with us!” Jester called, waving Molly over widely.

They looked over to Caduceus and Caleb with puppy dog eyes, red-painted bottom lip poking out.

Caleb chuckled. “Go be the prettiest princess, Lilac. Me and Caduceus will find something to do.”

Molly squealed again before scurrying into Jester and Calianna’s arms.

Caleb looked at Caduceus. “What game do you want to play, liebling?”

The firbolg looked around happily. “I’m not sure. I’m not familiar with board games. What do you suggest?”

Caleb pointed at where Beau, Keg, and Nott were setting up Monopoly. “That’s a real estate game. You buy and sell property. It’s known to ruin friendships.”

“That doesn’t seem like a good game to play at a team building exercise, then.”

“It’s not, but Beau is good at it, so she makes us play it as much as she can.”

“Fuck you, Caleb!” Beau flipped him off before going back to counting out some paper money.

Caleb chuckled then pointed to another table. Yasha and Fjord were sat together, each staring at their own Battleship board. “That’s a guessing game. You have to see if you can figure out where the other player put their pieces.” He looked back at Caduceus. “On second thought, I think you’d be too good at that.”

The pair walked to the last time, currently empty but with a game already set up on it. “This matches your whole pastel aesthetic. Perhaps we should play this one?”

“Are you playing Candy Land!” Jester called from the Pretty Pretty Princess table. “Wait for us!”

Calianna, Jester, and Molly ran over, arm in arm and dripping in plastic bead jewelry. Molly had a crown resting in between their horns.

“Done already?” Caduceus asked, smiling at the smiling trio.

“We decided it was much more fun to just wear the jewelry instead of trying to beat each other,” Jester said, happily bouncing with a lollipop in her mouth. “But we should totally play Candy Land. I think it’s only four players technically, but me and Cali can play as one play, right Cali?”

“Yeah, Ms. Jester!”

Game night stretched into the late evening. It would uneventfully, at least by their standards. Beau only flipped one monopoly board, Molly only suggested strip poker once, it didn’t devolve into a game of beer pong, and Nott and Jester only cheated four times.

Each.

Either way, Caleb was grinning wildly when they got back to Molly and Caduceus house.

Caduceus scooped up Molly, who fell asleep, crown still resting on their head, from the back seat and carried them in.

They woke up when they were placed on the bed. They pressed a sleepy, red stained kiss to Caduceus and Caleb’s lips before staggering into the bathroom to get ready for bed.

“So, tiger lily, did you have a good time?” Caduceus asked, braiding his hair (which reached past his shoulders now).

“I did. Thank you for making it so much fun.” Caleb nodded. “Jester and Molly are damn well dangerous together, aren’t they?”

“Be careful,” Molly mumbled, climbing back into bed. “We’re already planning world domination.”

“A truly frightening thought, schatz.” Caleb replied, tugging on his pajama pants.

Caduceus tied off his hair and crawled into bed next to Molly, smiling when he felt their tail curl gently around his thigh. “Good night, lavender. Good night, sunflower.”

“Gute nacht, lieblings.”

“Good night, my loves.” Molly said, settling even further into Caduceus’ arms, pressing their back flush against the firbolg. They purred happily when Frumpkin (who Caleb clicked into existence as soon as they got back) moved to rest on their feet.

Caleb finished getting changed before clicking the lights off. Though he didn’t have dark vision, Caleb stared with a lovestruck smile on his face for a while before a red eye snapped open.

“Are you going to gawk at us forever, or are you going to come be my little spoon?” Molly whined, opening their arms to make a point.

Being caught made Caleb flush, but he climbed into bed anyway, relishing in the feeling of being in Molly’s arms with Caduceus’ hand resting on his hip. Frumpkin was purring away at the foot of the bed.

Gods, he was happy.