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Not Without You

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About two weeks into their life at the Waverider, Mick knew that Ray Palmer was going to be a thing for Len. And not just a sex-thing, but a Thing. The way he looked at him, the way he spend time actually talking to him, the little things he did for him… Mick knew it was going to be a Thing. And really, he should have seen it coming. He was surprised it hadn‘t come earlier. He didn‘t say anything though, but continued to cuddle up to Len every night and hold him close, as if he didn‘t know what was going to happen, as if life could go on as it had before.

As if it could anyway, with all this time-shit going down.

„Do you mind if I spend the night in Raymond‘s room?“

It was three months into their trip on the Waverider, and Mick was honestly surprised that it had taken Len this long.

„Haircut caught your eye?“ he asked, without turning around. He could at least pretend that he hadn‘t seen them make doe eyes and bedroom eyes at one another for months, after all.

„Guess so.“ Len stepped into his field of view and tilted his head. „He asked if I wanted to come by tonight.“

„Well, use protection. Not gonna take care of you if you catch something just cause you can‘t keep it in your pants.“

Len grinned and leaned in to press a kiss to Mick‘s cheek, and then he was gone. Mick sighed and shucked his clothes, climbing into bed all by himself. It would be a long night.

At first, Mick thought he might have been wrong about this one. Len would sometimes spend the night at Haircut‘s room, but he‘d always be back in the morning, would spend most of his time with Mick and cuddle up to him at night just like they‘d always done.

„It‘s only sex“ he would say to Mick, draped all over Mick on the couch like a big fucking cat, and Mick would only grunt in return. You didn‘t go through twenty-five years of marriage without knowing your partner almost better than yourself.

So he wasn‘t surprised when Len started to hang around Ray more, and when he sometimes caught them holding hands or making out. Len started to spend more time at Ray‘s room, but he still always came back to Mick every other night, sliding into their bed and cuddling up with Mick as if nothing was wrong. Mick didn‘t comment on it, he knew better than to push the subject. He wanted to keep his Len for as long as he was allowed to have him, after all.

Len sometimes made them all sit together for meals, and Mick always felt supremely awkward around a beaming and smiling Haircut who never knew to shut up and was always babbling away about some nonsense. Len looked at him with hearts in his eyes though, and seemed to actually listen to what he was babbling about, so Mick didn‘t have the heart to tell him to shut the fuck up for once.

In return though, it seemed like Haircut also didn‘t know what to do with Mick‘s quietness, and seemed to have interpreted as a sign of Mick not liking him. Which was not exactly the case. Mick liked him just fine, even with his chatting too much and his neverending smiles and his tendencies to always get too close to Mick. But he was kind, and despite his first impression he knew how to work, and how to make himself useful. Haircut and Mick seemed to be the only ones to actually do chores around the Waverider, and Mick appreciated that about him. No, it wasn‘t that he didn‘t like Ray… it was more the bitterness that came with watching someone slowly draw your partner away from you and into another relationship.

„You‘re fine with… Len and me, right?“ Haircut asked him one day as they were standing in the kitchen early in the morning, Mick frying up too much French Toast and Haircut doing last night‘s dishes. Mick grunted and took out one slice of bread, only to put in another one straight away.

„Never said I wasn‘t“, he grumbled, and he could feel Haircut looking at him still.

„Doesn‘t mean you are“, he quietly said, putting the oven dish down that he‘d been scrubbing away at despite Gideon‘s explanations that she could also do it.

„Always been open to Lenny having sex elsewhere“, he insisted, not particularly feeling up to discussing the details of his relationship with someone else. Especially not Haircut.

„And if it‘s… not just sex?“

Mick took a moment to glare at Haircut, then turned back to his pan. „Always knew he was gonna find someone else sometime.“

Haircut didn‘t seem to be pacified by that, but Mick refused to say anything more on the matter. Wasn‘t his job to calm down Haircut, after all.

He did wonder why it didn‘t get less though, why Len still showed up in his bedroom every other night and slept in one bed with him, snuggled up to him and burrowed under Mick‘s arm like he‘d always done. He wondered why he never missed it when Mick was having a hard time, when the fire called to him again more than anything, why he was still the first to notice when Mick got injured or otherwise roughened up.

And curiously enough, the other person who somehow seemed to always be around was Haircut. Mick would have thought that he‘d have an interest in dragging Len away from him, but instead, he suddenly found Haircut coming out with Len when Mick was burning shit behind the Waverider, and he showed up just minutes after Len to check on Mick just because he had a stupid burn on his arm or something.

Sometimes, it was even Haircut who yelled at Sara or Nate after a comment on Mick‘s level of intelligence when he couldn‘t find a word again.

Haircut‘s yelling was lots of words and no fists, unlike Len‘s. But afterwards, he somehow was just as tender as Len when he sat down next to Mick and asked him if he was alright. It was weird, really.

Mick found himself wanting to ask, wanting to know why he wasn‘t being pushed aside like he‘d been waiting for for twenty-five years, but he didn‘t dare to, didn‘t want to be the one who pushed Len away in the end. Len was his everything, and Len had always be sen so calm and patient with him…. He‘d never pressured him into anything.

„You okay with Ray sleeping here tonight?“ Mick turned around, an eyebrow raised at Len and Haircut, who was standing behind Len, pyjamas clutched in hand.

„It‘s alright, really, it doesn‘t matter, I can just go sleep in my own room, really, I...“

„Ray‘s been having nightmares and can‘t sleep by himself but it‘s your night tonight so I thought...“

„Why don‘t you just go sleep in Haircut‘s room then?“ Mick asked and continued taking his clothes off for bed even as he held eye contact with Len.

„It‘s your night, though“, Len insisted, frowning a little.

„Don‘t need to wean me off, Snart. I‘m a grown fucking man, I can handle it“, he grumbled and tossed his clothes in the hamper more forcefully than needed.

„What do you mean, wean you off?“ Len looked confused at that but waved Haircut into the room, letting the door slide closed behind them.

„That not the plan then? You spending more and more time with him, less and less with me, until it just fades away without the need to break up with me? You were never one to break hearts the blunt way, Snart.“

„I… what are you talking about?“

Len was in front of him in the fraction of a second, and he easily slid in Mick‘s lap, cradling his face. „You‘re my husband, Mick. I‘m not… I‘m not breaking up with you.“

„Found yourself someone new though. And from the sounds of it he can give you what I can‘t, so.“

Len looked at him as if he‘d grown a second head, then leaned his forehead against Mick‘s with a soft sigh.

„Mick… maybe we need to have a talk about this.“

„Maybe I should go“, came the timid suggestion from somewhere behind Len, and Len actually growled.

„Or maybe the two of you should sit the fuck down like adults so we can have a talk, since you don‘t seem to be doing that by yourselves.“

Somehow, that seemed to get a reaction from Ray as much as Mick, as both of them sat down without further comment, looking at Len with a frown on their faces. Len sighed as he sat down and took first Mick‘s, then Ray‘s hand into his own, holding them both on top of the table.

„It‘s not...“ He sighed, and Mick knew exactly that this would be a difficult conversation. Conversations were always difficult when Lenny didn‘t find words anymore.

„It‘s not that hard“, he ground out after a few moments, squeezing both their hands. „Not that complicated. Just… this.“

Mick raised both of his eyebrows and looked over to Haircut who just looked very confused.

„Just...this?“ He asked, frowning at Len to try and get him to say more.

„This.“ He shrugged, but squeezed both their hands again. Mick realised that neither of them had tried to pull their hand back yet.

„So… both of us?“ he ventured, and Len shrugged again, in a way that made him look almost aggressive.

There was silence for a long moment, before Lenny sighed. „Yeah.“

„I… I can‘t give you what you want.“ It felt too much, saying it like this, but maybe, since they were having conversations and all, it needed to be out there.

„You‘ve been married for twenty-five years.“ It was the first time that Ray spoke up, and both Len and Mick gave him a sharp look. Haircut just shrugged and started to play with Len‘s hand that he was holding. „Just saying. Can‘t be much of anything you can‘t give him if he‘s been with you for that long. And married, as well.“

Mick shrugged and looked away. „Always knew he was gonna find someone else one day, someone better. Just took his time finding you, but I always knew it was coming. Was never gonna be a forever thing.“

He stared at the wall, not wanting to see their faces. There was no sound from either of them, and the silence just dragged on. Eventually, he turned again, glancing over at Lenny – and froze.

Lenny was crying.

In all their years together, he‘d never seen his partner cry, but there it was, clear as day, with his eyes rimmed red and a tear making his way down his cheek as he stared at Mick as if he‘d grown a second head or, even worse, lost his head.

„That‘s what you think?“ Len whispered, eventually, and Mick frowned at him. It wasn‘t anything new to him, after all, he‘d always known that this would happen. So he shrugged and looked down at his hands instead. One of them was still cradled in Len‘s, as if it belonged there.

„Always knew I‘m not gonna be enough one day“, he admitted.

Haircut, he noticed, hadn‘t said anything yet. Len pulled his hands back from both of them and stood. With one fluid movement like only Len could do he pushed Mick‘s chair back a little and smoothly sat down on his lap, facing Mick, Mick‘s face in his hands.

„Mick...“ he whispered, and there was another tear rolling down his cheek. „Mick… you are always enough. This is forever. I don‘t… I don‘t want to go without you.“

He leaned back a little, taken aback by how close Len suddenly was. They weren‘t big on touchign with others in the room usually.

„You wanna be with Haircut though“, he pointed out, and ignored the strangled noise that was coming from somewhere behind Len at that.

„Yeah… I wanna be with both of you.“

Len wrapped his arms around Mick‘s shoulders, leaning his forehead against him. „I just… fuck, Mick.“

„Why not just with Haircut then? He‘ll sleep with you.“ It sounded harsh, like that, but Mick wasn‘t sure he gave a fuck anymore. Conversations were exhausting, and he was just shortly before getting up and leaving Lenny with his new boy if he wanted him so badly.

„But… not without you, Mick. I can‘t… I can‘t be without you.“

Both of them looked up at the clearing of a throat behind Len, and Mick shifted Lenny around in his lap so both of them could look at Haircut.

Haircut, who was smiling at them in a way that was much too soft and much to knowing, and Mick couldn‘t bear it.

„What?“ he growled, wanting to swat Ray‘s gaze away from him as if it was a physical thing.

„He loves you, Mick.“

He glared at Ray and then turned back to Lenny, unsure what to think. Clearly this could not be it, clearly Haircut was just stuck in some romantic daydreams. But instead of the clear denial he found Len leaning in, grabbing his jaw and pulling him into a kiss. And then he kissed him, as if his life depended on it, or as if he was afraid that Mick might leave him. Of course, Mick couldn‘t help but to kiss back, to pull his husband in closely, clinging to him as if he never wanted to let go of him ever again.

Once the kiss broke, both of them were panting, and Mick was sure that someone more romantic would have said they were gazing dreamily into each other‘s eyes.

„Yeah“, Len croaked after a while, his voice sounding like he hadn‘t used it in days. „Yeah… that.“

„You guys are so great with words“, Haircut commented, but Mick shook his head.

„You can‘t. I don‘t… You can‘t say that when we don‘t...“

„You don‘t need to have sex with someone to love them, Mick.“

Both Mick and Len looked over at that, staring at Ray who was leaned forward, both elbows on the table now. „That‘s what this is all about, right? You don‘t do sex, and Len goes find it with other people, and you think that you can‘t be loved because you don‘t have sex, and that someday Len will find someone that he can have sex with and that he has romantic feelings for, and then he‘ll leave you because you can‘t give him sex. Isn‘t that all this is?“

Mick looked away, feeling vaguely guilty. It sounded like such a little thing, if Ray put it like this…. But he knew he was broken, and he just wanted Lenny to find someone whole and complete and someone who could love him like he deserved…

„Just don‘t want him to be stuck with someone like me forever.“

„Someone like you?“, Ray inquired before Len could even open his mouth.

„yeah… someone so fucked up“, he grumbled, and earned himself a cuff over the head.

„You‘re not fucked up“ Len told him, even though they all knew that was a lie.

„Being fucked up doesn‘t mean you can‘t be loved“, Ray told him and pushed himself up. Carefully, he walked around the table and sat down on Len‘s abandoned chair. Very carefully, he leaned forward and pressed his lips against Mick‘s temple for just a moment, then took Mick‘s hand in his.

„I never want to push you out of Len‘s life“, he explained, and Lenny nodded.

„Not getting rid of me this easily, Mick.“

Haircut squeezed his hand, and Mick looked down at them, his own rough, hairy paw, with callouses and scars, and the pale, soft hand of someone who didn‘t do much manual labour. And then a third hand sneaked into his field of view, long fingered and nimble and wrapping around both of their hands, squishing them together.

A perfect mismatch, really.

No one of them said anything for a while, and then Mick could hear Len take a deep breath.

„So… this okay?“

Mick took a while to answer, but in the end, it was clear. There wasn‘t anything he would not do for his Lenny after all. So he gave all their joined hands a squeeze and pressed a kiss to Len‘s cheek.

„Yeah… this okay.“

And if just weeks later, he and Haircut shared their first kiss and he started cuddling with Haircut just as much as he did with Len… well, that was no one‘s business but their own, anyway.