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This Charming Man

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1. pertinacious, persistent, stubborn, or obstinate.


Fuery is so quiet about everything that it takes even Falman a while to realize that they're together.

Not just together, but together – it was that distinction that had caused Falman's hang up. For a long time, he'd always assumed it was Fuery being Fuery – the kid was just always there, never calling attention to himself but somehow creating a space for himself all the same.

He never minds Fuery's company either. There's something comforting about having the younger man at his side, something about how easily he grants a smile or how eager he is to help everyone or how excited he is when he gets something just right – it's not long before Falman finds that he's instinctively looking for Fuery, though he never has to look long because Cain, he realizes soon enough, is usually waiting for him.

Still, he doesn't make the distinction between together and together until the end of a very long, very stressful workday, when most everyone in the office was in ill temper due to paperwork and deadlines. He'd been scrutinizing the fine details of an audit when he'd heard someone clear their throat, and when he'd finally torn his eyes away from the report it was to find Fuery standing next to him, a friendly but nervous look on his face.

"Some of the guys are going down to the Rusty Cog for a drink after work. Do you want to go?" He'd rushed through the words, and Falman had frowned.

He'd looked at Fuery, and realized that the rest of the office was empty, and they had been left alone. Then he'd realized that no, they hadn't been left alone, Fuery was just there, like always. "Do you…" Falman had glanced up at him. "Do you want to go together?"

It had taken only a minute for him to see that the distinction was clear to Fuery – had maybe always been clear, in a way that Falman hadn't seen. "Yeah," he'd said slowly, "We'll catch up together."