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ghoul had been stealing him stuff since basically day one.

it started with some watch poison couldn’t help but stop and stare at it- it was ugly, it was flashy, it was all him- but they couldn’t afford it. they had shit to buy, including a package of pads that he’d made jet get and shove into the trunk of the trans am while they looked at something else. they’d wasted enough carbons on his shit that he couldn’t justify sticking around too long to look at the watch, so they kept moving.

that night, poison lounged in front of the fire in a seat from the diner that was so busted it didn’t belong inside anymore. he had his eyes half closed, mostly listening to what was happening around him- the fire crackling, kobra sorting through the day’s purchases in the trunk of the trans am and complaining about it every so often, jet poking the end of a stick in and out of the flames.

fun ghoul was quiet, but he didn’t usually catch poison off guard. this time, though, poison’s eyes snapped open as ghoul shoved something into his hands and said, under his breath, “here.” and then put his hands in his pockets and walked back into the diner.

poison stared after him a moment and then looked down. it was the watch from earlier, and poison ignored his heart doing a weird sorta half flip as he closed his hand around it.

there were plenty more times ghoul stole him shit, even when poison told him he didn’t need it. he’d cried the time ghoul had brought him a chocolate bar, which might as well be fucking gold out in the zones. he’d snagged him plenty of tiny little objects for his magpie-style collection.

even when it seemed a little dangerous, poison couldn’t help but be happy about it.

 

***

 

poison’s anxiety was running sky high, but he was doing a decent job of not letting on about it.

it was the end of a long day of trading and then visiting dr d, and then visiting cherri cola, and then checking on the gas station out in zone 2, and it had gotten him a little out of sorts, because they’d only planned on trading that day, but no one had called him out and they’d gone home just like everything was normal.

ghoul was with him in his room. they’d been sitting, but poison needed to walk off some of his energy, so he was pacing around, twisting his watch on his wrist as he went, occasionally looking over at ghoul, who was reorganizing one of his shelves for him.

eventually, poison slowed his pace and stood behind ghoul, just off to the side, watching him move things around.

“looks alright.” he said, and ghoul hummed distractedly, picking up the pile of shiny screws and carefully setting them down on the shelf below.

“hey, ’m done pacing.” poison pressed.

ghoul nodded and put down the little metal box he was holding. “guess it looks okay for now.”

“it does.” poison said, and leaned forward to loop his fingers around two of ghoul’s belt loops and snag him in close. “do you really have to do it all right now?”

ghoul took a moment to respond, and poison grinned as he watched the tips of his ears turn a little pink. “i think it can wait.”