MacCready woke slowly, drowsy and more comfortable than he could remember being in a long time, if ever. He yawned and scratched his nose, then finally pried his eyes open.
Sunlight was spilling across the bed, pleasantly filtered through the pale blue sheet that covered the window. He could hear people outside, but there were no raised voices and only the sounds of people in the early morning getting ready for another day of homesteading and trading.
Nate muttered something at his back, closer than he expected, but he was surprisingly relaxed enough that he didn’t go launching out of the bed in alarm. Instead, he rolled over so they were facing each other and pulled the blankets up a little more. Nate was still asleep, although his forehead was furrowed and he occasionally mumbled something in his sleep.
Before he could really think about it, MacCready had his hand in Nate’s hair, trying to offer some sort of comfort against whatever was plaguing his dreams. Once he realized what he was doing, he froze, but Nate only let out a deep sigh and seemed to melt even further into the bed, his forehead smoothing. He didn’t wake, and it seemed to be working, so MacCready resumed gently carding his fingers through his hair, marveling at how soft the strands were.
It wasn’t often that they got to sleep in a decent bed in a safe place. Usually they took turns standing watch while the other slept, so MacCready didn’t usually have the opportunity to study the Sole Survivor so up close and personal while he slept.
Nate huffed out a sigh and scrunched up his nose before opening one eye, squinting in the morning sunlight.
“You have freckles.” MacCready blurted out before he could stop himself, and felt like a fool. He took his hand back and tucked it under the blanket. Nate sleepily smiled at him and turned his face into the pillow, and MacCready saw that his ears had turned red.
Nate said something into the pillow.
“I can’t hear you.”
Nate turned to face him again, an embarrassed grin on his lips and his eyes somehow displaying all his mirth. MacCready found himself captivated.
“I can’t help it; I go in the sun, I tan a bit, but it mostly ends up being freckles. They fade during the winter.”
“It’s cute.” MacCready assured him, and then felt his cheeks go hot as he registered what he had said. Nate’s sleepy grin didn’t falter; it widened, if anything.
“Don’t we make a pair.”
Before MacCready could ask what that meant, somebody banged on the tin exterior wall with something metal and heavy.
“Rise and shine, General!” Sturges yelled outside. “I got a honey-do list as long as my leg!”
Both MacCready and Nate groaned at the same time, the latter turning to shove his face into the pillow again.
“Yeah, yeah, we’re up!” MacCready yelled back as the hammering continued. “Just give us a minute.”
The hammering abruptly stopped, followed by muffled whispering before footsteps hurried away.
Nate lifted his face from his pillow again to look at MacCready with wide eyes and a mouth shaped in an ‘oh’ of surprise. MacCready pulled the blankets over his head in an attempt to disappear into the mattress, but Nate shook his blanketed shoulder.
“RJ. RJ.” Nate kept shaking him. “Your bed is in the other house.”
“I know.” MacCready groaned, contemplating screaming into his pillow. “I thought of that after I yelled.”
“I think Sturges is gonna know.”
“I know.” MacCready repeated, then muttered, “sorry.”
Their… romantic relationship had been building slowly, although it had become more serious as of late. They hadn’t been back to Sanctuary in weeks, and they hadn’t made it officially known to anyone else in the meantime, either. MacCready wasn’t sure if it was simply because it hadn’t come up, or if they were simply continuing to keep it under wraps. A part of him wanted to keep it as it was, as it wasn’t anyone’s business anyway, but he couldn’t help but think of the times when he’d had to consciously stop himself from some PDA, unsure of how Nate would respond.
“I mean, it doesn’t bother me.” Nate suddenly said, earnestly enough that it made MacCready pull the blanket off his face and prop himself up on one elbow. “If… if they know, I mean. If you’re okay with that. But if you don’t—”
“Nate.” MacCready put his hand on Nate’s shoulder, interrupting his stammering. “It, um. It doesn’t bother me either.”
Nate’s smile was near blinding, and he surged upwards to kiss him. MacCready threaded his fingers into Nate’s hair again, returning the kiss and gently cradling his head as he deepened it.
They broke apart when a brahmin lowed alarmingly close to the bedroom window, but they were both still grinning like fools.
“Guess that means Carla is here.” Nate said, his expression turning wistful as he looked at MacCready. “I should get out there.”
“Probably should.” MacCready agreed. Neither of them moved for a moment.
“Where the hell is everybody?!” Carla yelled outside. “C’mon, I ain’t got all day.”
Nate groaned and MacCready laughed, but he finally rolled out of bed and started pulling on the clothes that he had simply shed on the floor the night before when he’d been too tired to do anything else.
“Be right there, Carla.” Nate raised his voice to be heard outside, and got a mumbled response before a lighter was sparked several times as she likely lit a cigarette. He didn’t move, however, simply watching MacCready get dressed for a moment.
“Well?” MacCready said, suddenly feeling self-conscious as he tried to button his shirt up. He kept fumbling, distracted by Nate’s expression, and it was only made worse when Nate performed a very exaggerated but somehow completely sincere once-over followed with an appreciative whistle. MacCready grabbed his pillow and threw it at Nate’s head, then ducked and ran out of the room when it came sailing back at him. “C’mon!”
He was scrounging enough food together for breakfast-to-go for the two of them in the kitchen when Nate finally emerged from the room, dressed and ready for the day.
“Ready?” MacCready asked, handing the makeshift breakfast over. Nate took it, and pulled him in for another kiss.
“With you here? Ready as I’ll ever be.”