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to be alone with you

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In hindsight, David thinks that the most ridiculous part was that it was Brad’s idea. They had been in lockdown for just over a month, working alone but in and out of video meetings pretty much every day. 


David still missed his moustache… And his eyebrow, but Brad donated the money and that was the only thing that mattered. They’d actually continued to play Street Fighter after David forgave Brad, though at some point they started talking more than they played, even after they finished their game. 


They watched Princess Bride on Netflix party one afternoon, then chatted on FaceTime afterwards while they each cooked dinner. 


“Your kitchen is so big, it almost makes you look tiny.” David laughed, transferring the pasta dish he’d made from the pan to a bowl. 


“It kind of feels that way sometimes.” There was something in Brad’s voice that made his gut twist, a loneliness in his eyes that he suddenly would do anything to make disappear. 


“I know what you mean. I had our old house for a little while, after the divorce. But it just felt so big. Even this place feels big at the moment. It’s… Lonely.” 


“Hey, if you ever want to come stay here, you can. Who knows how much longer this whole quarantine will go on, but if you just move in for the time being it won’t be a problem, right?” 


David froze for a moment, turning to the screen so that he could make sure he was reading Brad’s expression properly. There was always a chance that Brad was making fun of him, but when he looked at him he looked almost nervous. At least David thought he was reading that properly, he’d never really seen that expression before on his coworker’s face. 


“No pressure of course, I just thought it might be good. I had roommates in college and I’ve definitely got enough space here for both of us.”


Something in David’s mind said yes. Said go. He couldn’t think of a reason why not, he had no pets, no family around. He turned quickly to check the fridge and realised he didn’t have anything that’d perish any time soon. 


“What’s your address?” 


Brad’s house was smaller than David expected, though in fairness from what he’d heard, he expected it to be huge. It was a good sized family home, modern with two storeys, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a pool. Everything was sleek and tidy, save for an envelope on one desk or a t-shirt on the arm of the sofa. 


The room he was staying in was nice, a large double bed with windows that seemed to attract sunlight and overall had a lot of space. He put down the medium sized bag he brought with him, thinking about how stressful it was to pack for what was essentially a slumber party. One which could go on for weeks or months. He wandered back out to the main living area where Brad was lounging on the couch. 


It was weird to see him out of his work clothes, only really familiar with the man who wore tight sweaters over collared shirts and slim perfectly pressed pants. Naturally, the grey sweatpants and white t-shirt he wore fit him just as well, and David almost voiced the thought that he looked like a catalogue model before he thought better of it. 


Brad looked up at him and David realised for the first time that he was wearing glasses, thin black frames that sat right atop his angular face as it softened into a smile, tucking his legs that were stretched out along the couch into his chest and waving at the space he’d made. 


“Come, sit. Make yourself comfortable.” 


David was unable to move for a moment, just staring at Brad. He was objectively beautiful, everyone knew that. But this was different. It already felt like a piece of him that was tucked away, not for everyone to see. He saw Brad staring at him though, and remembered that he’d spoken. He did as he was told, still in a pair of jeans and an old t-shirt he got at some promotional event years ago. 


“Thanks for inviting me to stay.” 


“It’s only weird if you make it weird.”


“I didn’t say–” 


“But you were thinking it, I can tell.” 


David let out a breath of air he’d been subconsciously holding in, welcoming any change of conversation that would stop him thinking about those glasses. “I’m not used to staying at other people’s places. Or… Living with anyone else, really.” 


“I know what you mean. But man, make yourself at home, really.” He pulled out his phone and used it to turn on his oversized television. “Besides, it’s not like it’s a big thing, if you get sick of it here you can leave whenever. It’s chill.” He shrugged, flicking through Netflix. 


“I didn’t mean… I’m grateful, really. Thank you.” He watched the screen as Brad messed around with it. “Let me know if you have any ground rules, I don’t want to overstep.” 


“Eh, nothing big. Just clean up after yourself and don’t go through my stuff.” 


“Got it.” 


“What did you want to watch?” 


They eventually settled on watching Arrested Development together, Brad made popcorn for the two of them to share, somehow popping every kernel and managing not to burn a single one. 


David started to fall asleep after the second episode, so Brad turned the television off and patted his knee gently. 


“I’m exhausted, I think I’m going to head to bed. You good?” He stood up and David winced as he heard his spine crack and knees pop. 


“That sounds like a good idea, I’ll follow you up.” David also stood, and when he eventually got into bed he slept better than he had in a long time.


They fell into routine easily, slotting into one another’s lives without much thought. They set up David’s bedroom to look like his office in his own house, because despite the fact that they got most of their work done in Brad’s home office which was set up in the third bedroom, they chose to take meetings separately. 


It was easier that way. No one had to know that they were living together. David didn’t know he could explain it to anyone if they found out anyway. 


They continued to watch Arrested Development together, Brad always sitting sideways with his legs tucked up as David sat on the other side of the couch, one leg crossed over the other. 


“You can stretch your legs out, I don’t mind.” David told him on the third night, realising just how uncomfortable Brad must be, his usual space invaded by David’s existence on his couch. 


After a moment, Brad let his legs stretch out, resting his feet on David’s lap. The blond just watched the television, letting one of his hands rest on top of his socked ankles. 


To put it simply, everything was good. 


Of course, because 2020 was the year it was, nothing was ever good for long.


The day was slightly off from the start. Brad was still in his room when David woke up. It wasn’t cause for concern, but it had never happened before and David was a little thrown off his usual routine. He’d learned that Brad was an early riser, always had been the first in the office and was always there to greet him when he woke up.  


When he eventually did get up, he was in a bad mood. David had no meetings so he worked quietly in the office while Brad took a meeting of his own, careful not to make too much noise or accidentally roll backwards into his video stream. He had headphones on, but could hear Brad’s voice gradually rising until he snapped. 


“Jesus! Fuck! Come on, I don’t see what’s so hard to understand about this. It’s a loot crate! I don’t give a shit how you code it or how you integrate it into the game, just get it done. We have more people playing than ever, and if we don’t get the money from this we won’t be able to expand and keep those new servers running, okay? God damn it!” He ended the call and David waited for the noise of his laptop shutting before he turned his chair around. 


“Come on, let’s have lunch.” 


David was heating up some veggie burgers in a pan and toasting buns in the other, careful not to burn either as he got the Tupperware out of the fridge. It held the leftover salad from the night before, which he quickly tossed with ice water to refresh slightly. Brad was watching him silently, his arms folded up towards the top of his chest, almost like he was holding himself more than anything. 


They assembled their burgers quietly and ate them over the kitchen island. David didn’t say anything until they had both finished and even then he spoke carefully. 


“Okay, do you want to tell me what that was about in your meeting?” 


“The goddamn coders…” 


“We both know it wasn’t about the coders, and that’s okay. Were you just hungry or was it something else? I noticed you missed breakfast, did you sleep okay?” 


“You’re not my mom, you know.” 


“I know.” David moved to the cabinet and got two glasses out, filling them easily with water from the fridge and placing one down in front of Brad. 


“Can you just…” The brunette pulled his hands up to his chest and balled his fists, frowning in frustration. “Can you just hold me?”  


David closed the space between them quickly, pulling the thinner man close to his chest and wrapping his arms around his waist. He crossed his hands over his back, just to be sure that he was getting as much contact as he could. Brad managed to wrap his arms around David’s shoulders and they just stood there like that for a while, wrapped up in one another. David rested his cheek on Brad’s shoulder and Brad hooked his chin over David’s, reveling in the warmth of another human body for the first time in what he suddenly realised was a long time.


Distantly, David realised he’d been missing this too, an itch under his skin that he hadn’t been able to scratch even before quarantine started. He breathed in and his lungs were full of Brad’s expensive cologne which made him laugh. It was quiet and he knew Brad could feel his body shake gently with it, but he couldn’t squash the small amount of joy he held close. 


“What’s so funny?” 


“You’re still wearing your cologne when you’re in the house.”




“Who are you smelling so good for?” 




David pulled back to look at him, caught off-guard by that response and yet completely understanding it. 




“It’s funny seeing your eyebrow stubble up close, it’s growing back faster than I expected.” 


David laughed, reaching up one of his own hands to touch the eyebrow that had been recently shaved off. He was growing his entire beard out too, knowing from experience that a patchy beard looked better than a half-formed moustache. 


Brad brought his hands up to David’s chest and he stepped back, realising that he had been bracketing the other man against the counter. 


“Uh, thanks for that. I’m not usually some touch-starved freak, but it’s just hard when we can’t get out, you know?” 


“Yeah, I know what you mean. I think I needed that, too.” 


“I’d usually just go on a date and hook up, but that’s not really an option anymore, is it?” 


“Nope.” David’s palms started to feel unusually sweaty. “Come on, let’s go watch something on the TV. Take the afternoon off.” 


“Yeah. That sounds good, okay.” Brad smiled softly and smoothed out the sweater he was wearing. “Just let me send out one email and let everyone know I’m going to be offline and they should text me.”


“That sounds good to me. I’ll go pick something to watch.”


Brad came back a few minutes later while David was still on his phone, and he looked up to see him in an oversized Talking Heads t-shirt and sweatpants. He’d also taken out his contacts and was wearing his glasses again, rubbing one of his eyes under the lens. He didn’t know what it was about that, but something lit up inside David. 


“I like that t-shirt, it’s nice.” 


“Oh? Thanks. I think it belonged to one of my exes in college, I just like The Talking Heads too much to get rid of it.” 


Brad went to sit in his usual spot on the couch but David pulled him in so he was leaning up against himself. He made a small noise in the back of his throat and readjusted his legs before settling in. And that was that. 


They watched Scooby-Doo (2002) and laughed and cracked jokes, before they both decided they should get some more work done. 


There was a shift after that day, both of them were in a better mood in general but they also started to sit closer more often. They’d watch television pressed up against one another, exchange light touches when they made breakfast and coffee in the kitchen, and even bump shoulders whenever Brad would tease David. 


They finished watching Arrested Development a week or so later, they got to the end of the third season and Brad just got up and turned it off. They started to play more Street Fighter again, cycling through the few games Brad owned and then watching an assortment of movies. The movies were mostly rom coms because that was the easiest for them to agree upon, though sometimes David let Brad pick. In those cases they’d watch gritty action movies or 80’s cult classics. 


One night, Brad convinced David to watch Final Destination 2 with him, and he’d never admit it but it was actually quite fun. Despite the fact that he watched it through his fingers. They watched Life After Beth too, which was admittedly a lot easier for him to watch. 


“He shouldn’t be as attractive as he is in this role, honestly.” Brad said quietly halfway through the movie, and David turned his head slightly, his eyebrow furrowing. 




“Kyle. I don’t know the actor’s name and I don’t really care, but he’s hot.” 


“Oh. Okay.” David settled back in to continue the movie, letting that information linger in his mind for a minute. 


David got used to Brad’s house a lot faster than he'd expected. He still had to open three drawers before he found the forks, but he knew where the bowls were. His food was in the fridge, they went grocery shopping together, and his clothes were fully unpacked and hanging up in the spare bedroom’s wardrobe. He was used to the recipes Brad made, and the way that his espresso machine worked.


There was an intimacy there that he hadn’t had in a long time, not since he was living with his wife, and he didn’t know what to do with it. More importantly, he wasn’t sure what he was going to do without it. 


Time passed, and though David had lost track of just how many weeks, or even months they’d been through, they’d built a routine. He never got tired of getting to see the old clothes that Brad had stashed in the back of his closet. There was something about a t-shirt from high school, or pants which weren’t perfectly tailored. His personal favourites, he decided privately, in order were: 


  1. Batman pyjama shorts,
  2. A Kermit the Frog t-shirt,
  3. A Mythic Quest hoodie from their first ever launch,
  4. A light green chunky knit sweatshirt that was cropped for some unknown reason,
  5. Duck patterned boxer shorts. 


The boxers were a special occasion of course, when Brad was too tired in the mornings to get dressed before his coffee so he’d come downstairs in different printed boxers and a plain t-shirt. David considered keeping him up later just to see that more often, though he wasn’t willing to open the box in his brain as to why that was. 


Of course, all of those things went to shit when David got a text from Ian late one night. 


Essential staff are being told that we can 

go back to work in the offices on Monday. 


Just me, you, pop, brad, cw, and jo. 


That good with you? 

He had barely finished processing what that meant when Brad’s phone buzzed with the same message and he stopped to read through it. 


“Huh, I guess we’ve got to start getting back to normal, right?” 


“I guess so.” 


The question of whether David would leave hung heavily in the air, and he was unsure whether he should be packing his things. The honest truth was that he didn’t want to. Brad drove them into the office in the morning, and David drove them home at night, and no one really asked questions about it. 


Nevertheless, it was always going to happen eventually. David started going back to his own place more and more to pick up things for work or to get clothes that he hadn’t worn in months. His eyebrow had grown back, and one day while he was picking up some old files for Montreal on his lunch break, he decided to shave his beard back to just his moustache. He caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror before he put his mask back on, and it felt final. 


Things were back to how they used to be. 


He went back to the office and sent through the files before stopping to talk to Ian for a while. The creative director didn’t even notice that his facial hair had changed, but David wasn’t surprised nor did he really care. He finally got back to his office where Brad was sitting at his own desk, engrossed in some kind of work. 


David put a can of Brad’s favourite energy drink on his desk silently, having picked one up from the kitchen for him. He sat down at his own desk and typed out a few emails, checking on a concern Sue had sent him and passing that onto Poppy and the coders. 


He heard the distinct noise of Brad opening the can and turned to look at him, watching his throat as he swallowed and placed the can back down on his desk. 


“You shaved.” 


“I did.” Then, “what do you think?” 


“I told you, you look weird with or without it.” 


“Right. I uh, I was thinking that I might move back to my house tomorrow? We’re starting to get back to normal again and–” 


“Yeah okay, whatever you want. Just let me know if you need help moving anything.” Brad cut him off and grabbed his iPad and drink from the desk, strolling out of the room and towards Poppy’s office. 


David sighed, hoping that he’d feel lighter, but something was off that he couldn’t quite put his finger on. He worked through the rest of the day and drove home with Brad once they closed up for the night. 


“What’s your favourite takeout place?” Brad asked once they were both out of their work clothes. 


“Hm?” David had been typing on his phone and not really listening, the words only just registering in his head as Brad-shaped noises. 


“Takeout. I thought we deserve to treat ourselves since it’s your last night, right? Whatever you want.” Brad flopped down in the couch next to him, putting his feet up on David’s lap without a second of hesitation. David’s hand rested on his ankle pretty soon after, almost as if it was magnetically drawn there. 


“There’s a Thai place around the corner I’ve always liked, if you want? I think they’re on UberEats.” 


“Perfect.” Brad started tapping away at his phone and then handed it over to David so that he could put whatever he wanted onto the order. They played Street Fighter again while the two of them waited for the food to arrive, and for the first time, David won. 


He celebrated while the doorbell rang, and Brad got up to get the food that was left on the front doorstep. He waved to the driver who was already out by his car again, and smiled as he brought the plastic bag to the small table in the middle of the living room. 


They sat cross-legged on the floor, stealing bites from each other’s food and Brad laughing when he realised how bad David was at handling spicy food. David watched him laugh, albeit while he fanned air into his mouth, noticing the way Brad’s laugh seemed to bubble out of him. It was always like that when he really truly laughed, an infectious thing that seemed to appear from deep in his body. 


It made David laugh too, every time without fail. He tried to roll his eyes while he took a drink but he knew the smile he couldn’t get rid of gave him away. 


“I’m going to miss this.” David said softly once they both calmed down. 


“Me too. You’re welcome over any time, really.” 


“You’re welcome at mine whenever. Maybe we could do dinner sometime soon.” 


Brad frowned at him for a second, almost considering him. “Yeah, maybe.” 


They played another game of Street Fighter, and somehow David won again, cheering and laughing. 


“If only I could’ve had this practice months ago, maybe I would’ve been able to keep my moustache.” 


“But you would’ve deprived the world of your beard.” Brad laughed at him, shoving his shoulder gently. 


“The world? Every time I leave I have to wear a mask. No one really knew anyway.” 


“Fine. Deprived me, whatever.” Brad leaned back against the couch, and David realised that they were both still sitting on the floor. He leaned back too and his spine popped, making the other man turn and grin at him. “You’re getting old.” 


“We’re practically the same age.” 


“Oh, didn’t you hear? Straight white men age faster.” Brad scrunched his nose up teasingly as he smiled, but something fell in place in David’s mind right at that moment. 


“I’m not straight.” 


“Oh. Shit, sorry, I… I didn’t know.” It was rare to see Brad flustered, his hands making strange movements in front of his chest as he tried to recover. 


“Relax, it’s not your fault. I haven’t told anyone. I only realised recently.” Try thirty seconds ago. 


“Well, congrats. Welcome to the club.” 


“Are you…” David didn’t know what or how to ask, still trying to figure out exactly what he was doing. 


“Gay? Yes. Didn’t you notice?” He gestured around him and David frowned, trying to understand what he was talking about. 


“Notice what?” 


“Straight guys don’t wear their girlfriend’s shirts.” 


“Oh. Some might, I don’t know.” Brad chuckled at him and shrugged. 


“I guess.” He ran a hand through his hair and readjusted his glasses in one smooth movement that David knew shouldn’t be as endearing as it was. “Who was it?” 


“Who was what?” 


“The guy who made you realise you’re not straight, who else?” 


“Oh… No one.” 


“No one?” 


“I just kind of noticed. Maybe I always knew, I don’t know.” There was a different answer on the tip of his tongue, threatening to split out of him at any second. 


“That makes sense.” Brad stretched his legs out in front of him and sighed. “Well, either way I’m beat. Thank you for sharing that with me.” He ruffled David’s hair gently and stood up. “See you in the morning?” 


“Yeah. See you in the morning.” David tried not to linger too long on the fact that this was the last time he could say that. He got up and went to the spare room, slowly packing his things back away before brushing his teeth and heading to bed. 


David took his bags with him the next morning and that was that. They made breakfast together but drove to the office separately. Brad brought him iced coffee in the middle of the day, and when the day ended he went back to his own townhouse. 


He knew that his place was, objectively, smaller than Brad’s house. But as he sat on his couch, watching Scooby Doo for the ten thousandth time, he couldn’t help but notice that it felt bigger, more empty. 


He’d never believed in ghosts before, but he supposed now he understood why you would. Every echo on the wood felt like Brad’s footsteps. 


He had to readjust to his old kitchen, his bathroom, it felt strange to make dinner without stepping out of someone else’s way. 


He never got to see the version of Brad he’d held in his mind anymore either, there were no more baggy t-shirts, no more glasses. No more contagious laughter, just his old grumpy officemate.


It was two weeks later when David realised he still hadn’t unpacked his bag. Two weeks of digging through the canvas to find whatever shirt he wanted and hadn’t worn in a while. 


It was Saturday night, he’d just finished a glass of red wine, and he decided that it was enough. He needed to unpack, to move on. 


He put a timer on his phone to keep himself focused, and managed to make it to the bottom of the bag. David saw the last item as a small victory, but as he pulled out his sweatpants they unravelled, letting a t-shirt fall out and onto the floor. He recognised it immediately as Brad’s, the Talking Heads t-shirt that had invaded his every waking thought about for weeks on end. 


Without even thinking about it, he brought it up to his face and inhaled, taking in Brad’s smell. Everything in his body relaxed at the familiar cologne, so much so that he barely even registered the knock at his front door. 


He did, though, and went to open it, still clutching the fabric in his hand. 






The other man was standing on his front doorstep, almost as if he’d imagined it. But something was off. His hair was messy, his eyes red and his shoulders held tightly. He looked smaller, maybe. Sad. 


“I… My house feels so empty now. I keep trying to sleep and having nightmares and I know that this sounds ridiculous but it’s like I can feel the fact that you’re not there. And it hurts. David, it hurts. I don’t know if you feel it too but—“ 


David didn’t let him finish that sentence, just pulled him in and held him against his chest like he’d done before, his head fitting perfectly into Brad’s neck. 


“I feel it too. I don’t ever want to leave again.” 


He thought Brad was crying, his body shaking slightly as he held onto him in return, but when he looked back he could see the man laughing. 


“What’s so funny?”


“It’s just so stupid, I don’t know why I ever let you leave. I should’ve known I was done for when I saw you all lopsided and you were still beautiful.” 


“That’s so gay.”


“It really is. Kiss me?” 


“I thought you’d never ask.” David lifted the hand that wasn’t still gripping at the t-shirt, and used one finger under Brad’s chin to tilt his head up before he leaned in and sealed their lips together. 


It surprised him, somewhat distantly, that Brad’s lips were as soft as they were. That he opened up as quickly as he did, that his hands balled into fists in David’s shirt, holding him close as they kissed. 


He knew it was a cliche but he always imagined their first kiss to be hard and fast, pushed up against a wall or a desk somewhere, but this was so much better. His hand fit perfectly at the base of Brad’s skull, pulling him in closer and slipping his tongue into his mouth and hoping it wasn’t clear how out of practice he was. Brad just pulled him closer, pushing into his space and kicking the door closed behind him. 


David laughed softly into the kiss, having completely forgotten that they were still on his doorstep. He crowded Brad back against the door anyway, gripping the other man’s waist whilst still refusing to drop the shirt. 


“Is that my t-shirt?” Brad asked breathlessly as David started to kiss down the side of his throat, focusing on the spots that made him tense up but being careful not to leave marks. 


“It was in my things accidentally.”


“And you’re holding it now because…?” Brad moved one hand to thread his fingers through David’s hair, not applying any pressure but silently asking him to continue the way he was practically worshipping the base of his throat. 


“Smelled like you.” It was the only answer he had, really. 


“You can drop it.” 


He let go immediately, letting it fall to the floor and being extra deliberate about taking in a deep breath of Brad’s cologne. “I missed you.” 


“Come on, let’s go watch a movie. I'll order food.” The ‘ I missed you too.’ Sat unsaid, but really he didn’t need to say it out loud. They both knew.


They sat comfortably on David’s couch once the food arrived, Brad’s leg hooked over the top of David’s. They stole bites of one another’s food, and Brad quoted Legally Blonde while they watched it, laughing and eventually leaning all over one another. 


“My bed’s probably more comfortable than this couch, you know.” David said carefully once the film credits rolled. “Obviously we don’t… Not like that. But just.” He sighed, knowing he just needed to say what he meant. “Stay the night?” 




They had dinner together the next night after work, then the next night after that, and eventually all of David’s things had migrated to Brad’s house. Except this time, they were all in Brad’s bedroom. 


They were about to go to bed one night, the two men brushing their teeth side by side in Brad’s en suite, when a thought that had been cropping up in David’s mind for the few weeks since they first kissed reappeared. It wouldn’t shake this time, no matter how hard he tried, so he stood up and spat into the sink before turning to look at Brad. 


Naturally, Brad was oblivious. He continued brushing his teeth and only realised he was being watched as he reached to get his facewash. 


“If I have something on my face I promise it’ll be gone in thirty seconds.” He shook the small expensive tube at him.


“No it’s not that I just…” David pulled at his earlobe. “Are we boyfriends?” 


“Huh?” Now it was Brad’s turn to look at David like he had something on his face. 


“It’s a stupid question, I know but… We haven’t really talked about it and I just want us to be on the same page. Communication is important and all that.” He could feel his palms getting sweaty and he continued to tug on his earlobe, looking around the bathroom. 


“Hey.” David’s attention snapped back to Brad, whose expression had softened into something much harder to read. “I’m sorry, your question just caught me off-guard. I didn’t even realise we hadn’t talked about it, I kind of just assumed I was your boyfriend.” 


Something about the way he said that lit something in David and he grinned at him. “Oh. You’re my boyfriend huh?” He pulled him close by the hips and kissed him gently. “Well, since neither of us ever asked… Could I be your boyfriend too?” 


“You’re a piece of shit.” Brad laughed softly. “I would be honoured.” They kissed again, before Brad patted his sternum gently. “Okay now get lost, I need to wash my face so I can stay beautiful forever.” 


David laughed and headed to their bed, making a bold decision before getting in and comfortable. He heard Brad’s footsteps following him and then heard them stop in the doorway, and looked up from his phone at his boyfriend as if he had no idea what he’d done. 




“Is that my t-shirt?”


“I think, actually it might be mine now.” 


“I’m okay with that.” 


David moved the rest of his things into Brad’s house that weekend, and a few months of bliss passed by with ease. They were just about to wrap up a meeting when David’s phone started ringing and he had to excuse himself to pick it up. Brad frowned and the rest of the team stopped arguing to look at his empty chair, not really sure what to do with themselves for the minute and a half that David was gone. He came back in a good mood though, and sat down as if he hadn’t even noticed everyone’s confusion. 


“What was that all about?” Ian, for once, was actually quiet as he waited for David’s response. 


“Oh, just my realtor. Sold my townhouse!” 


“Congratulations!” Brad grinned at him and pulled him in with a hand on the back of his neck for a quick kiss. “Do we have anything else to discuss or are we good here?” He took the group’s stunned silence for an okay, and got up, taking his things as he left the board room. “Let me know if you need me for anything else.” David followed him quickly after, having more or less read the room but not wanting to deal with it. He rushed to catch up with Brad once the door was closed, running a hand through his own hair and willing the blush to fade from his cheeks. 


“Did you not tell them? I thought you told them?”


“I thought you told them?” Brad stopped in his tracks and turned to look at him. The penny dropped and they both realised what had happened at the same time, laughing at one another. “Well, what can you do. I really am proud of you for selling your place though, celebratory game of Street Fighter tonight?” David nodded and grinned, and they both went off about the rest of their work for the day. 


Everyone left behind in the boardroom stayed in their stunned silence for a while, looking at each other as if they could somehow figure it all out without saying a word. 


“What the fuck?” Poppy eventually broke the silence.


“Oh, did you guys not know about that?” Jo continued to write notes into her laptop without so much as looking up, completely uninterested in the crises that were befalling Poppy and Ian. 


David inevitably put some of the money from his house towards an engagement ring, and Brad never told him that he lost at Street Fighter on purpose that night.