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5 Times Kelly Fell In Love And 1 Time Robbie Knew

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1.

“You’re staring,” Carter said, nudging Kelly with his shoulder and Kelly dropped the spoon he was holding. It fell into the dish in front of him with a clatter. 

“Wh- I mean I’m not,” he blustered, frantically trying to stop stammering. 

“You are,” Carter grinned and Kelly averted his eyes and coughed. It was Sunday and the table was creaking under the weight of the dishes on it and laughter hung in the air, so tangible that Kelly thought he’d taste it if he stuck his tongue out. Robbie sat diagonally from across him, caught in some kind of faux-fight with Rico, Tanner and Gordo egging them both. Kelly pretended to not see him. He realised that he had been doing a lot of that recently. Pretending. He nudged his spoon further down the dish with the tip of his forefinger.

“It’s okay if you do, you know,” Carter told him, quiet enough that the others wouldn’t pick up, even with their highly attuned wolf senses. And then, “Dude would you get off me I’m trying to eat oh my god.”

Kelly stifled a laugh and watched Carter as he tried to push the timberwolf’s paws off his lap. He caught his mother’s eye and both of them grinned at Carter’s obliviousness. He turned to nudge Joe and caught Robbie looking at him, and felt his breath catch somewhere in the space between his lungs and throat. Robbie looked like he did everyday -- hair mussed, glasses perched precariously on his nose, t-shirt hopelessly loose, exposing collarbones that Kelly wanted to commit to memory, exuding a messy warmth that Kelly found himself being drawn to. He grinned at Robbie and watched surprise and shock flit across his face before Robbie returned the smile -- tentative and nervous. 

Rico took that moment to jab him between his ribs and Robbie collapsed, wheezing and indignant, on the table. Kelly tugged at his earlobe in a self-conscious move and sighed. He didn’t know what to do about these increasingly persistent feelings that twisted around his mind when he didn’t want them. 

“Seriously, you couldn’t be MORE obvious, you know?”

Kelly huffed at Carter and nudged him back. “Watch him now. It’ll happen any time now.”

“What?” Carter asked, confused.

“His stupid glasses,” Kelly said, watching Robbie again. “1, 2, 3, 4 and here we go,” he muttered under his breath. 

Robbie’s glasses slid to the edge of his nose and he pushed them back with the back of his wrist in a practised move, focusing on the ice cream in front of him. 

Kelly looked at Carter only to find him smirking at him.

“What?” 

“You’re fucking whipped, man.”

“I am not,” Kelly replied hotly, forgetting to lower his voice, making everyone -- including Robbie -- turn to him. 

“What’s going on?” Joe said, though going by expression, he knew. Kelly felt his neck grow warm. “Uh.”

“He wants some whipped cream,” Carter said easily, “You know, to lick off and stuff.” He yelped when Kelly tackled him to the ground, the timberwolf wheezing along with everyone else at their antics. 

Kelly resurfaced to find a very red-faced Robbie fiddling with his phone, refusing to look up. His glasses slid down his nose again. Kelly bit down on a smile. 

 

2.

Kelly was displeased. He had walked down the stairs that morning, in his jogger bottoms and nothing else, expecting toast and coffee and had found Robbie on the couch instead, hunched over a laptop. The house seemed empty and Kelly suddenly felt self-conscious. 

“Where’s everyone?” he snapped and Robbie jumped. Kelly frowned, “Did you really not hear me come down the stairs?” he said, crossing the room and flopped down opposite Robbie who still looked shocked and startled. It was kind of adorable, Kelly admitted to himself, but for both their sakes, pasted a glower on his face.

“I- um. Was busy with this,” Robbie flailed, fluttering his fingers at his laptop and Kelly peered at him curiously.

“Can I look?” 

“Sure?” Robbie said doubtfully, looking like Kelly would eat him any minute. Kelly wasn’t going to lie to himself, he felt like leaning in and kissing him but held himself back because he had a reputation to uphold and Robbie wasn’t helping. 

Kelly slipped into the space beside Robbie, very conscious of his arm brushing against Robbie’s hoodie. It was soft. Kelly leaned away. “So, what is it?” 

“I’m writing a program to replace the software at the garage,” he said sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly and Kelly felt quietly impressed. “Did you write all of this?” he said, scrolling through the lines of code blinking on the screen and Robbie nodded.

“That’s- That’s impressive,” Kelly said, nudging him slightly and felt Robbie lean in for a second before he scuttled away abruptly. 

“Thanks,” Robbie said, looking at him with a kind of nervousness and elation, the corner of his lips ticking upward imperceptibly. Kelly stared at him, Kelly was very aware that he was staring but there was nothing else he could do in that moment. Robbie broke eye contact first and turned toward his laptop again and Kelly sunk back into the cushions. 

“Where’s everyone?” he said around a yawn and Robbie shot him a look that could only be called fond. Kelly felt warm in multiple places at the same time. He wished he had a shirt on so that his body wouldn’t betray him by flushing red like a traitor every time Robbie looked at him. 

“Carter and the wolf are running, Elizabeth and Mark are in the next town for something, Joe said he wanted to go to the shop along with Ox and the rest of them are there too I guess,” he trailed off, shutting his laptop. 

Kelly, for the first time in 20 minutes, noticed that Robbie’s glasses were perched on his head. He watched Robbie rub his eyes tiredly. 

“Why are you not with them?” Kelly said, confused. “Didn’t know Gordo was this lenient,” he snorted, watching with interest as Robbie clutched at his laptop. 

“I,” he cleared his throat, “I told Gordo I’ll fix the program from here. The, uh, wifi’s better at the house.”

“Is it now?” Kelly smiled, seeing through Robbie’s obviousness. Robbie looked everywhere but at him. 

Kelly got up and stood closer to Robbie than he usually allowed himself to. He gently nudged Robbie’s glasses down his forehead until they settled on the bridge of his nose. Robbie looked up at him, trusting and shocked and a little overwhelmed. Kelly knew he felt the same way. It felt enormous. 

He cleared his throat and stepped back hastily, “I’m hungry.”

“I could make you an omelette,” Robbie smiled up at him and Kelly flushed, remembering the last time Robbie had made him an omelette, at the intent behind it. He thought he’d come a long way away from then. 

“And burn the kitchen down?” Kelly snarked at him. “Thanks, but I’d rather mom didn’t chew my ear off over the burnt toast.”

“Hey, now,” Robbie protested, following Kelly into the kitchen. “That’s unfair.”

Kelly turned and pushed a mug into his hands. “I like my coffee with-”

“Milk and sugar, I know,” Robbie completed. Their hands didn’t stray from the mug until they heard the sound of a car pulling to a stop outside the house. 

“I don’t have all day,” Kelly looked at Robbie, pushing him to the coffee machine. He caught the edge of Robbie’s smile as he turned away from him.

 

3.

“I’ve never seen him this agitated,” Joe whispered to Kelly and Kelly nodded absently, frowning. 

Robbie had run his hands through his hair so many times that it stood up straight, defying gravity. It was the first time Kelly was seeing Robbie agitated, the first time he was seeing Robbie crack, the first time he noticed all these layers underneath him, every tiny complexity that made him. 

“I mean,” Joe continued, “We’ve been through so much worse. He literally fought feral wolves and hunters.”

“And saw death,” Carter added from behind them.

“And spoke frequently to Michelle Hughes,” Joe shuddered. 

“And not once have I seen him lose his composure like this. It’s unnerving,” Joe said.

Kelly frowned at him, “It’s still Robbie. Our Robbie.”

“I know,” Joe hastily replied, “It’s just that. I don’t get why his glasses are a bigger deal.”

“People have weird attachments I guess,” Carter shrugged. 

“Like that time in high school when you insisted Amy-” 

“NOT THAT KIND OF ATTACHMENT,” Carter shushed them loudly, and the timberwolf thumped its tail in annoyance. 

Kelly rolled his eyes at his brothers and made to get up when he felt Ox’s hand on his shoulder. “Ox?” he blinked up at him. 

“Kelly,” Ox grimaced, “Be gentle with him, yeah?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Kelly bristled and Ox sighed.

“I mean don’t pretend to hate him. Not today, not when he’s vulnerable.”

“He’s lost a pair of glasses, Ox, not-”

“Maybe the glasses mean something to him Kelly,” Ox said in his quiet way and Kelly felt contrite and abashed. 

“I don’t pretend to hate him,” was all he offered Ox in return. 

“Sure,” Ox smirked in return, “Sure, Kelly, whatever helps you sleep at night.”

Kelly growled at Ox, much to Joe and Carter’s amusement and stalked outside to where Robbie was losing his mind. He felt terrible seeing Robbie this distraught. 

“Have you checked under your bed?”

Robbie looked up, nonplussed, his expression so open and trusting that Kelly’s heart clenched.

“I did,” Robbie sighed, shoulders sagging. He looked different without glasses on, exposed, vulnerable in a way that made Kelly want to put his arms around him and pull him close. He shoved that thought away from his mind and sat on the steps next to Robbie, careful to leave a good amount of space between them.

“You know,” Kelly said, fidgeting with the laces of his shoes, “You could always get another pair.” 

Robbie shook his head in a distressed way and balled up his fists, “They’re not replacable.”

Kelly hummed, “Why’s that?” he said quietly, fully aware that he was crossing boundaries here. Robbie looked conflicted. He opened and shut his mouth a couple of times before resting his head on his knees. 

“I didn’t mean to pry,” Kelly amended, wishing he could reach out and fold his hand around Robbie’s arm. He wanted to comfort him, but didn’t know where to begin.

Robbie was about to say something when his phone rang. Gordo’s voice was gruff on the other end, telling him that he’d found the glasses, behind a shelf of tools and why was he stupid enough to leave them there.

Robbie laughed wetly and Kelly felt green, green and green. 

“Come, I’ll drive you to the shop,” Kelly stood up, dusting the seat of his pants and found Robbie looking at him, his expression indecipherable. Kelly felt exposed. The moment stretched out between them, taut and unrelenting.

“You were not prying,” Robbie offered, and Kelly unknowingly moved closer. 

“No?”

Robbie shook his head and then took a deep breath. “The glasses, they are my mother’s.”

Kelly felt sick. He blanched, thinking about the number of times he’d teased Robbie, sometimes cruelly. “I’m-”

Robbie looked faintly amused and Kelly wanted to punch something. He chose to cover his face with his hands instead, “Fuck, Robbie. I didn’t- I never-”

He startled when he felt Robbie’s fingers pry his hands gently away from his face, “Quit worrying about it.”

“I’m so sorry,” Kelly replied, mortified. “I have no excuse for my behaviour.”

Robbie shook his head and pulled Kelly’s hands down, holding them in his hands -- safe and gentle. 

“I know you, Kelly.”

And Kelly, Kelly had no words. He could focus on nothing but the warmth that sparked at the points their hands met. 

 

4.

The glasses were broken. 

Robbie held them in his hands. One of the lenses had a crack and the screws holding the hinge together had come loose. Gordo shuffled uncertainly, “Look, kid, I don’t know how it happened. I think one of the paint cans had fallen on it,” he said.

Robbie took a breath and then another and then one more. “Thanks, Gordo, I think i’ll be fine. Like soon. In a bit,” he rambled, trying to smile.

Stupid Robbie, Kelly thought, watching him bury bits of himself behind that cheerful facade he was trying to pull onto his face. Kelly wanted to see it all, he want to rip off every layer Robbie hid himself behind and see him, really see him. Robbie had said he knew him, and Kelly was more than ready to return the favour. 

He walked to Robbie, startling him out of his stammering and cupped Robbie’s hands in his. It was becoming a thing now, he was certain. 

Kelly picked up the pieces and scrutinised them briefly. “Robbie.”

“Yeah?”

“I think I can fix the frame. We can go to the optometrist in the next town and get you lenses for these.” 

He looked up at Robbie to find him staring at him, momentarily grasping for words. Making Robbie was nervous was on top of his list of Favourite Things To Do and he quietly enjoyed Robbie’s reaction.

“They’re just-”

“They’re most certainly not JUST glasses, Robbie Fontaine,” Kelly said firmly and picked up the frames and turned to find Rico, Tanner, Chris and Gordo looking at the two of them with barely hidden smirks. 

“Do you have a screwdriver I can use?” Kelly said huffily, choosing to ignore everyone and Robbie. He hunched over Robbie’s desk, pushing aside the computer and waving him away with a “I got this” and proceeded to painstakingly put together the black frames, fumbling with the miniature screws and cursing everything in sight.

“Having fun?” Gordo said, stopping by a while later and Kelly grunted. 

“You know, I’m not a wolf, but,” 

Kelly’s head snapped up and he glowered at Gordo, “Finish that sentence and I’ll break more things here.”

Gordo snorted, “Your boy is taking care of that, don’t worry.”

Kelly looked over at where Robbie was being pushed away from a car on the shop floor by Tanner and Rico, Chris laughing from behind them.  

Kelly hid his smile in the palm of his hand. “He’s not my boy,” he protested weakly, which Gordo saw through immediately.

“Honestly, I need a vacation,” he rolled his eyes. And then, “Stop stinking up the place with your pheromones and just tell the kid already.”

Kelly gaped at him and then hissed at him to shut up. His eyes tracked Robbie who was resolutely not looking in his direction. Kelly sighed and went back to screwing the frame tighter, cursing at grumpy old interfering men.

“I’m not that old,” Gordo yelled from the back of the shop and Kelly regretted coming to the garage in the first place.

And then Robbie was there in front of him, shy smile in place, twirling the keys to Kelly’s car. “Ready?”

Kelly smiled back helplessly, “Ready.”

 

5.

“I’ve brought Robbie- Who the fuck is that?” Kelly growled, biting off the end of that sentence as he looked into Gordo’s from outside, holding a paper bag in his right hand. 

“Some customer,” Chris said airily, smoking one of his cigarettes that made Kelly sneeze. 

“Some customer?” Kelly bit out, feeling uncharacteristically annoyed. “Some customer is currently running their hands all over my-”

“Your?” Chris prompted mildly even as Kelly turned red and spluttered incoherently.

“Uh, I meant Robbie. Robbie.”

Hearing his name, Robbie turned, his face morphing from polite disinterest to unfettered delight in the space of a second as soon as he spotted Kelly. Kelly watched Robbie subtly check out his uniform before he flashed him a grin and turned to the customer. 

The feeling of Robbie, Robbie, Robbie dissipated instantly. “Must he talk to customers? Is it absolutely necessary?” he snapped, making sure to lower his voice so that only Chris could hear him. 

Chris threw his head back and laughed, the sound drifting into the shop, making Robbie look up again. Kelly wanted to stride inside and push the person off Robbie. It was a feral, base, primal instinct of mine, mine, mine that was taking over all rationality. 

“It’s his job, Kelly. Let the guy do it,” Chris snickered and Kelly seriously considered punching him. “What’s this anyway?”

“Huh?” Kelly said and then looked at the paper bag, suddenly feeling self-conscious. “The diner was doing hash brown sliders for lunch and it’s Robbie’s favourite so,” he shrugged, trying to come off as nonchalant and failing by miles. 

“Oh man, this is going to be so entertaining,” Chris laughed, ducking a punch from Kelly. 

When the customer finally left, Kelly walked in and thunked the bag on the counter. “I got you lunch,” he said gruffly and looked up at Robbie gaping at him. 

“What?”

“Lunch,” Kelly rolled his eyes, aware that Chris had snitched on him to the others, and that they were currently staring at the two of them blatantly from the backroom. Except Gordo, who was staring but not blatantly.

“For me?” Robbie said, uncertain, and Kelly hated that he had made him feel that way. 

“Yes,” Kelly sighed, wanting to hug Robbie so the offensive scent of the customer wouldn’t linger on him. 

Mine, mine, mine, his brain went again and Kelly was mostly sure that Robbie could smell it on him. It was mortifying but Kelly didn’t care.

“Why?” Robbie asked next and Kelly groaned, not sure how much longer he could prolong this charade and keep his feelings under wraps, hiding them under frowns and glowers when he knew he could be kissing Robbie instead.

“It’s your favourite, so I thought you’d like it,”he said, running his hands through his hair in a nervous gesture.

“I’m-” Robbie began and stopped, taking a breath. Kelly not-so-subtly inhaled him, his scent and felt something settle in his chest.

“Thank you,” Robbie mumbled and Kelly reached across the counter to tilt his chin up with two of his fingers. Robbie’s cheeks went pink and Kelly chuckled internally. He pushed Robbie’s glasses firmly back on his nose, leaned forward and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “You’re very welcome, Robbie Fontaine.”

And he walked out of the shop, nervous and happy and warm and thoroughly ignored the hoots and yells coming from the back room. Above it all, he heard Robbie’s heart thunder. Kelly Bennett smiled and stepped back into the sunshine.

 

+1

Kelly felt Robbie’s hands at his waist, pushing him into the ground. He kissed Kelly with a kind of desperation that was hard to describe and Kelly, Kelly kissed him back, feeling like he would burst out of his skin if he didn’t.

Their noses brushed against each other, Kelly’s bumping into Robbie’s glasses. 

“I should take them off,” Robbie said breathlessly and Kelly stopped him, loosely circling his wrists with his hands, holding them in place on his chest.

“Don’t you dare.”