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Repondez, S'il Vous Plait

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Rhys wakes up, sort of - he’s never been a morning person, and at this point in his life he probably never will be - and stretches. There’s an unfamiliar weight on his hand when he flexes it, and he frowns as he brings it up in front of his face, blinking until it comes into focus.

The ring sparkles in the morning sunlight, and Rhys turns his hand this way and that, watching the light catch.

Oh. Right.

Rhys realizes he’s smiling right about the time his cheeks start to hurt, and as he looks over at Jack - still sleeping - he thinks that this is worth it, this is worth everything.

 


 

Rhys starts to reconsider whether weddings are worth it pretty damn quick.

“Elopement is still an option,” Jack murmurs to him seconds before Rhys’ parents join them at the bistro table.

Rhys’ mother has brought a binder . Christ.

“Shut up,” Rhys suggests through a smile, nudging Jack with his knee. Jack just snorts and leans back in his chair.

Lunch goes about as well as Rhys had expected. News of Rhys and Jack’s engagement had initially gotten a... cool reception from his parents, but Rhys’ mother had warmed right up when she realized that there would be no mother of the bride standing between her and the wedding arrangements. (Rhys’ father had remained steadfastly uninterested but that, at least, is nothing new.) Since then Rhys has gotten a steady stream of emails and texts concerning venues, flowers, cake, and all the other details Rhys hadn’t really considered when he had thought about getting married.

He had been thinking about Jack . He hadn’t been thinking about colors , but apparently not having the Pantone rainbow memorized was a capital crime. (Or close to it.)

Rhys experiences a particularly crushing moment of despair when his mother barely touches her entree before pulling out a half-inch thick sheaf of papers from the wedding binder.

It’s titled Guest List , and it’s color coded .

Rhys takes it with a sinking feeling that is confirmed when he sees Aunt Martha’s name at the top of the list. His mother is talking, something about the neighbors and the club members and “- of course the church ladies are coming, you remember Patricia and Marion, don’t you? Of course you do.” Rhys just sits there letting the words wash over him as he stares at a list of people he doesn’t know or doesn’t like until Jack leans over and takes it out of his unresisting fingers. Jack flips through the pages as Rhys’ mother lists apparently everyone she’s ever met.

Jack tosses the list back onto the table, cutting off Rhys’ mother mid-sentence, and says, “No.”

Rhys’ mother gapes at Jack, and Rhys feels like doing the same. Rhys’ father signals the waiter for another martini.

“I don’t - what did you say?” Rhys’ mother says.

“You heard me,” Jack says calmly, and Rhys wants to kiss him. “I said no . This wedding is about him ,” Jack points a thumb at Rhys, “and me. It’s not about you, and it’s definitely not about getting back at Helen from bridge club.”

“So we are not inviting the whole neighborhood,” Jack continues, “we are not inviting the whole church, and we are definitely not inviting Martha and her pissant son, who have done nothing but make Rhys’ life miserable while you look the other way.”

Rhys’ mother’s mouth opens and closes, but no sound comes out, and maybe Rhys is a bad son but he’s enjoying the sight.

“You two can come - if you behave yourselves,” Jack says. “That means no railroading Rhys into saying yes to things just because you want to show up every wedding you’ve attended in the last ten years, or we’re eloping to Vegas. We’ll send you a picture when Elvis officiates.”

“But, but-” Rhys’ mother flips desperately through her binder. “There are so many details to take care of. You can’t just-”

“I can,” Jack says with an unfriendly smile. “Remember, Vegas .”

Rhys ,” his mother hisses, giving up on arguing with Jack and appealing directly to him. “You wouldn’t do that to me, would you?”

Rhys hesitates out of habit, but then he catches Jack’s eye. Jack’s face is pleasantly neutral, but his eyes are warm, and Rhys knows that if Rhys wants him to Jack will back down. Rhys catches Jack’s hand with his and threads their fingers together.

“I don’t know,” Rhys says sunnily, looking his mother dead in the eye. “I hear Nevada is nice in the fall.”

Rhys’ mother’s face blanches, and she looks furious , but she shuts the binder with a snap and the rest of the meal progresses in what passes for peace.

“You wouldn’t really have Elvis officiate, would you?” Rhys asks later as he and Jack are getting in the car to go home.

“I would if that’s what you wanted, sweetheart. If it would piss your mother off, that’s just a bonus. And besides,” Jack says with a wink as he turns the key in the ignition, “you can’t argue with the King, baby.”

Rhys can’t help but laugh at that, and he feels a lot better about this whole wedding business than he has in weeks.

 


 

Jack hires a wedding coordinator the next day. Her name is Anette, she is sharp and professional, and one of the first questions she asks after the pleasantries are out of the way is, “Is there anyone you want me to run interference on?”

“His mother,” Jack says, nodding at Rhys. “She’s got a binder.

Anette looks at Rhys, and when he nods she winces in sympathy and makes a note on her tablet. “Okay, mother, got it.” She looks back at Jack. “Anyone on your side?”

“They’re not in the picture,” Jack says breezily, although Rhys can hear the undercurrent of tension there. If Anette picks up on it she doesn’t say anything, just makes another note and moves on.

Rhys is surprised to find that he actually does have opinions on things like colors and linens and flowers; he is even more surprised to find that Jack does as well. Jack is decisive about what he does and does not want; no on chair bows, yes on cascading string lights, no on a chocolate fountain, and yes on an open bar.

Rhys props his head on his fist as Jack and Anette get into an in-depth discussion of daffodils versus roses. Jack likes the yellow on the daffodils, but “Rhys is allergic to like, everything,” and roses are more classic, apparently. Jack is frowning to himself when he catches Rhys watching him and raises his eyebrows. “What?”

“Nothing,” Rhys says, smiling. “You’re just - surprisingly well-versed in all of this. I didn’t expect that.”

“Well, I have done this before,” Jack says, and now he’s not quite looking at Rhys, and - oh. Right.

It’s not that Rhys had forgotten that Jack had been married before. It had just kind of - slipped his mind.

Rhys catches Jack’s hand in his and looks back over at Anette. “How about yellow roses? Best of both worlds.”

Jack squeezes Rhys’ hand as Anette nods and makes yet another note. “Yellow roses, very nice. We’ll have to custom-order the quantities you’re talking about, but we’ve got plenty of time, that won’t be a problem.”

“Great. What’s next on the list?” Maybe Rhys is being overly optimistic, but - flowers hadn’t been so hard. How bad could the rest be?

 


 

The venue at the top of Anette’s recommendations is not on Rhys’ mother’s list of preferred locations at all, which is a point in its favor already. It’s a smaller place, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the water. They can do everything here, Anette says: ceremony, reception, pictures - a package deal. Jack seems to like the windows, walking right up to them and peering down into the surf crashing below.

Rhys trails him up toward the front. He turns and surveys the room, and imagines standing up here with Jack in front of everyone he knows - or at least, the people who matter. The guest list is growing again, but if they take this location, he’ll at least be able to point to the fire code as a reason to say no .

He’s not sure if the feeling in his stomach is excitement or nerves. Probably both. Either way, he feels vaguely like he might throw up.

Jack rubs a hand down his spine. “You doing okay, babe?”

Rhys nods. He’s fine. Lunch probably didn’t agree with him, that’s all.

“We’ll take it,” he tells Anette. She nods and makes a checkmark on her list, then moves off with the venue manager to discuss terms and conditions.

One more thing down. Only a million to go.

 


 

 

“What is this garbage ,” Jack says, kicking the door to their condo shut and tossing his keys in the bowl near the door. He looks appalled, and Rhys would be hurt if he didn’t feel the same way about the music pouring out of the speakers.

“Oh thank god,” he says, turning it down. “I was afraid you were going to like it.”

“Yeah? No worries on that front.” Jack leans over the back of the couch and tilts Rhys’ head up for a kiss. His fingers trail warmth on Rhys’ neck when he pulls away. “Seriously, what is this, I think my ears are bleeding.”

“Bossa Nova.” Rhys skips to the next track which is just as bone-thumping at the last one. “He’s on the list of DJs that the venue has approved.”

“Well take him off . What else have they got?” Jack comes around the couch and flops down in the corner, nudging Rhys’ laptop with his feet until Rhys lifts it with a huff and lets him settle his legs over Rhys’ lap.

“You child,” Rhys says, rolling his eyes and setting his laptop aside, but not before queuing up the next artist.

“You love me anyway,” Jack says smugly, snagging his fingers in Rhys’ sweater and tugging him down.

“God help me, I do.” Jack’s lips are curved up as he presses them to Rhys’ mouth, and the kiss this time is slower, more heated, and Rhys finds himself shifting, twisting out from under Jack’s legs and settling over him on the couch. He’s got his legs twined with Jack’s, one of Jack’s hands in his hair, and things are getting interesting when Jack pulls back and cocks his head.

“What’s this?” He says, and if he expects a coherent answer he really needs to get his hand off of Rhys’ ass.

“What’s what?” Rhys asks, irritated at being interrupted, and leans back down to mouth at Jack’s neck.

“What’s this music ,” Jack clarifies, pulling Rhys’ head back up by his hair, and Rhys can’t quite stop the noise he makes at that. Jack grins at him, knowing and fond, but he lets go of Rhys’ hair and slides his hand down Rhys’ back instead. Rhys makes a grumpy sound of disappointment, but he braces himself on Jack’s chest, ignoring Jack’s oof and turning the laptop toward himself.

“Um...Zer0? With an actual zero at the end. Looks like they do -” Rhys scrolls through the rest of the set list “- symphonic rock. You know - classic rock, only with violins.”

“Huh.” Jack smooths his hand up and down Rhys’ side. “What do you think?”

“I think that you like it, and honestly that’s good enough for me.” Jack catches Rhys’ shoulder and turns him back around.

“Is it?” Jack asks, face gone serious, and Rhys feels like there’s more there than he knows how to hear right now.

“Uh. Yeah? We are talking about the music, right?”

Jack’s face smoothes out, and he pulls Rhys closer. “Yeah. Of course. Let’s book ‘em.”

Rhys settles against Jack’s chest and lets the sound of violins playing Highway to Hell wash over him. Jack will come out with it in his own time. Rhys just has to be patient.

And survive this wedding, of course.

 


 

Rhys relents and lets his mother make suggestions for a caterer. She is very insistent about the daughter of of a friend who is opening her own business and will do it for a fraction of the cost of “those overpriced hacks the venue will give you.” Jack’s wary of going to someone who’s not on Anette’s list, but Rhys feels like he has to give his mother something , so they block out an afternoon and make the appointment for a tasting course.

Two hours later, Jack is rubbing Rhys’ back soothingly while Rhys pukes his guts up and the would-be caterer offers frantic apologies outside the small bathroom stall. Jack hums to himself, and as Rhys sits back and wipes tears from his eyes he sees Jack pull his phone from his pocket.

With an intuition born of long familiarity, Rhys says, “Please don’t call my mother right now.”

Jack pouts, and Rhys starts to stand only to have his stomach rebel again. He closes his eyes against a wave of nausea, and then it occurs to him - “Please don’t text my mother either.”

“Too late, babe.” Jack’s voice is triumphant, but his hand pats Rhys’ back sympathetically. “I told her we were only going with this caterer if she’s looking for a Roman-style party. You know, the vom-”

Please don’t say that word.”  Rhys groans and clenches his teeth. When the urge to throw up again passes he turns and glares at Jack. “Besides, those weren’t even real. Popular misconception.”

“Really? Bummer, because that’s a great joke.” Rhys grumbles but he doesn’t resist as Jack hauls him all the way to his feet. “Feeling better? Close enough? I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to blow this joint.”

Please .” Rhys lets Jack sling an arm around his back and steer him out of the small bathroom, past the caterer who is nearly in tears herself. Rhys finds it hard to care much, though, when it was her undercooked shrimp that had done this to him (that of course Jack had passed on, so of course Rhys is suffering alone right now). In any case, when they’re safely back out in Jack’s car he has Jack call Anette and set up appointments with her top choices.

“No seafood, though, right Rhysie?” Jack glances over at Rhys and pats his thigh, and Rhys just groans at him and closes his eyes.

 


 

The wedding preparations proceed apace, although Rhys hands more and more of it over to Anette and Jack. He does have opinions on tuxes - Rhys knows what he looks good in, and he’s not about to let some two-bit tailor talk him out of it - but as for the rest of it...he’s happy to let Jack stand between him and his mother, between him and the rest of the world , who apparently think he should have opinions on things like place settings and stationary.

And it’s not that he doesn’t ; he’s just starting to think that maybe it all doesn’t matter very much.

Guests start arriving. Jack and Rhys both take the week off from work, and the days fill with lunches and dinners, greeting old friends and new ones as they filter in from across town and out of it. Even though he signed off on each name on the guest list, Rhys is surprised at how many people keep showing up , at how many people are taking time out of their lives to see him and Jack tie the knot. Their mailbox starts filling up with congratulatory cards and packages, most of which turn out to be items on the small registry Rhys’ mother had insisted they have. Jack had initially been on Rhys’ side (i.e. against it), but when he discovered that he could put a solid crystal unicorn paperweight on the gift list he had changed his tune, the traitor. Seeing the delight on Jack’s  face when he unwraps the awful, gaudy statue, however - and there had been no return label but Rhys is 100% sure that it came from Vaughn - Rhys supposes he can provisionally forgive him.

Three days before the wedding Rhys and Jack drop their rings off at the jeweler to be polished for the ceremony. Rhys keeps finding himself flexing his fingers afterward, looking for a weight that’s not there anymore. His ring finger feels naked and he hates it.

It’s not that Rhys doesn’t want to get married. He does. Being with Jack doesn’t seem like something he wants anymore, it seems like something he is ; he can’t quite imagine not coming home to Jack’s stupid jokes and impossible hours and heated, burning intensity. But all of this - from the flowers to the precisely scripted invitations to the carefully arranged seating chart - all of this doesn’t capture the way Jack looks at Rhys when he thinks Rhys isn’t looking. None of this can touch the way Jack makes Rhys feel more alive, more himself than maybe he ever has in his life. Not even close.

Which is maybe what’s really bothering him.

He’s out on the patio behind the hotel where they’ve blocked out rooms for their guests, hands resting on the railing overlooking the river. The sun has already set, but Rhys isn’t really out here for the view; he’s trying not to, but he can’t stop replaying the rehearsal dinner over and over in his head. It hadn’t gone badly , exactly - but he can’t stop reliving the way his mother has smugly taken credit for everything Anette had done, or the way his father had been studiously disinterested in everything but his wine glass. The way Jack’s side of the table had seemed so small , with just Angel and his brother Timothy - and nothing about Jack is small , Rhys thinks angrily, but that’s how his mother likes to make people feel, and -

“Hey. Earth to Rhys. The railing wants to know what it ever did to you.”

Jack’s voice interrupts his train of thought, and Rhys look down to find his knuckles have gone white.

“Sorry,” he says roughly, forcing his fingers to uncurl. Jack leans next to him, squinting back at the lit up building behind them.

“Don’t apologize to me, I’m not the one you just tried to strangle.” Jack chuckles at his own joke, then looks over at Rhys. “You ready for this?”

“Ready for this to be over .” Jack hums encouragingly, and Rhys feels the words spilling out of him. “There’s just - it’s just so much. ” Rhys waves his hands, trying to encompass the hotel, the guests, his mother - the whole thing. “How did it get this big? Is this even really about us anymore?” Jack huffs and Rhys scowls at him. “And how is this not driving you up the freaking wall ? How are you so calm?

“Hey, hey.” Jack catches Rhys’ flailing hands in his own. “Hold up. Listen - We don’t have to do this part if you don’t want to.”

Rhys tries to tug his hands away but Jack holds them firm. “ What ? Everything’s finally ready - don’t you dare tell me you’re getting cold feet.”

“Cold feet - babe, haven’t I been trying to get you to elope with me all along?” Jack lets go of Rhys with one hand to pull his phone out of his pocket, swiping it open with his thumb. “The courthouse is closed by now, but I can book us a flight to Vegas, no problem-”

“Stop, stop .” Rhys grabs for Jack’s phone but Jack holds it out of reach. “We can’t just leave .”

“We could.” Jack sounds dead serious and Rhys’ breath catches. “This wedding is not the important part.” Jack pokes Rhys in the chest and Rhys’ hand comes up automatically to catch at Jack’s. Jack curls their fingers together. “ This is the important part. Look - you remember that night you said yes to me?”

“You mean the night you left me in your kitchen after I proposed to you ?” Rhys frowns harder. If this is Jack’s idea of buttering him up it’s not working.

“Yes, okay, technically - look, the point is, as far as I’m concerned? That was it. That was us. All of this -” Jack waves the hand still holding his phone. “This is just a formality. We don’t have to do this part if you don’t want to.”

Rhys’ feels like he can’t breathe. “You would do that for me?” Jack rubs his thumb over the space where Rhys’ ring should sit, and Rhys aches to have it back.

“Yes,” Jack says, the amusement clear in his voice - but underneath there’s something strong and true, that Rhys feels like maybe he should have heard all along if only he had known how to listen. “For you, I would not marry you. If that’s what you wanted.”

Rhys thinks about it, thinks about taking Jack’s phone and dialing Anette and calling the whole thing off. It’s strangely freeing, the thought that he doesn’t have to go along with what’s felt like an inevitability for the last year of his life. That he could say no, and Jack would still be there, waiting for him at the end of the day.

That, in the end, is what decides him.

“No,” he says finally, and it feels like something clicking into place. “I do want this. I love you, Jack Lawrence, and I want everyone in the goddamn world to know it.”

Jack grins, brilliant in the fading light. “Alright, then, I’ll tell you what we’re going to do. Tonight we’re going to go upstairs and I’m going to suck your brains out through your dick so you can get some sleep.” Rhys snorts, but Jack is on a roll. “Tomorrow we’re going to get up in front of everyone and declare our goddamn love for each other, and then tomorrow night I’m going to fuck you through the mattress and if I’m lucky you’ll wear that bridal lingerie that I know Nisha bought you. Okay? Sound like a plan?”

Rhys laughs, and it feels like the weight of months slipping off his shoulders. “That easy, huh?”

“That easy.” Jack pulls Rhys in and rubs his back in soothing circles. “Pre-wedding jitters are tough, I know. Happens to the best of us.”

Rhys huffs. “Then why aren’t you having them?”

Jack’s hand stills for a long moment. Then he presses a kiss to Rhys’ temple.

“Because I already know that the best part is after ,” Jack says in a quiet voice that barely carries to Rhys’ ears. “When I get to wake up to you the next morning and every morning after that. That’s the secret that nobody tells you about weddings, sweetheart; the best part is the after .”

Rhys is horrified to find himself sniffling, but it’s a far second the the warmth unfurling in his chest. “Sap,” he says, silently defying Jack to call him on the tremble in his voice.

Jack doesn’t; he just chuckles. “Only for you, pumpkin. Only for you.”

 


 

As weddings go Rhys thinks that it goes pretty well, although he honestly doesn’t remember much of it afterwards. The day is a blur punctuated by moments that stand out with striking clarity.

Rhys later remembers distinctly, for example, the way Jack’s brother Timothy barges into the dressing room just as Vaughn is adjusting Rhys’ tie, Tim dragging a grumbling Jack behind him.

“Rhys, tell Jack he can’t wear his yellow sweater underneath his suit jacket.” Tim sounds personally aggravated, as if Jack is doing this to spite him. From they way they scowl at each other, identical except for the streak of grey in Jack’s hair and the dusting of freckles across Timothy’s face, this is not the first time Jack’s wardrobe has been a point of contention. Rhys doesn’t have siblings, but he does have Vaughn, and he knows the undercurrent of an old argument when he hears one.

Jack pulls his arm out of Tim’s grasp and steps back, fiddling with the sweater’s hem. “It’s my favorite sweater,” he grouses. “I can wear it at my own wedding if I want to.”

“You have a perfectly good tuxedo.” Tim snaps as Rhys steps past him and into Jack’s line of sight. Jack glances at him and away, and his shoulder slump in defeat.

“Fine. I’ll-” He starts, still looking away, and Rhys stops him with a kiss.

“Wear the sweater,” he says when he pulls back. Jack’s eyebrows raise. “It’s your wedding. The tux will survive. Besides -” he leans in and pitches his voice so that (hopefully) only Jack can hear it. “You should see what I’m wearing under mine.”

Jack’s eyes light up with interest, and Vaughn claps his hands over his ears. “ Didn’t need to hear that!”

Oops. Rhys bites his lip to keep from laughing as Tim grabs Jack by the arm again, clearly flustered. “O- kay . We’ll just - we’ll just be going then.” He hustles Jack back out of the dressing room as Vaughn gives Rhys a long-suffering look. Jack waves goodbye as Tim drags him away and that’s the last Rhys sees of him before the ceremony.

The ceremony is mercifully short. Vaughn officiates - Nisha had volunteered, but Jack had ruthlessly shut that offer down, much to her disappointment. Rhys had turned to Vaughn as an alternative less likely to share embarrassing sex stories in front of all the guests. Jack had wondered out loud if they would need to get Vaughn a box to stand on, for which Rhys had elbowed him in the side, but otherwise had had no objection.

Rhys had tried to imagine, before, how this would feel - standing up in front of everyone, his hands in Jack’s as he repeats the words Vaughn reads to him. All that I am. All that you are. All that we will be. Now that he’s here, the rest of the world seems to drop away and he can’t look away from the smile on Jack’s face, in his eyes, can’t help the smile spreading across his own.

Now that he’s here, there’s nowhere else he wants to be.

The cool weight of Jack’s ring is heavy with promise as he puts it back on Jack’s hand, and Jack resettling Rhys’ ring on his finger where it belongs feels like an answer. Kissing Jack as the room erupts into applause and cheers feels like coming home.

The reception afterward is one big blur of faces and and handshakes and hugs and congratulations. Rhys thinks - he hopes - that they sat down to eat at some point but he’s not really sure. He thinks he saw Tim chatting up Jack’s friend Wilhelm at some point, and he knows he saw Sasha out on the dance floor with August. He probably had some champagne at some point, but he feels drunk just on this evening, on the laughter and the music and the weight of Jack’s hand in his.

Jack keeps finding excuses to touch him: a hand on Rhys shoulder, or his back, or a brush of elbows as they accept yet another set of well-wishes. Each touch stokes the fire in Rhys a little hotter, until he feels like he’s burning up from the inside. When Jack finally puts his hand just under Rhys’ vest - his jacket was abandoned hours ago - slipping the tips of his fingers beneath the waistband of Rhys’ slacks, and asks if Rhys wants to get out of here , Rhys turns in to him, pressing them together from chest to thigh.

“Thought you’d never ask,” Rhys purrs, and Jack’s hand flexes on his back.

The wolfish grin on Jack’s face gives Rhys exactly two seconds of warning before Jack’s bending him back and scooping him up, bridal style. Jack turns and heads for the door amid cheers and clapping, and Rhys buries his face in Jack’s shoulder and laughs like he hasn’t in years, frame shaking so much Jack almost drops him.

Jack’s car is waiting outside, and Rhys spends the entire drive back to the hotel turned in his seat, hand on Jack’s thigh, whispering filthy nothings in Jack’s ear. Rhys is pretty sure Jack breaks every speed limit and possibly the sound barrier on the way, but he’s too high on anticipation to care.

They make out like teenagers in the elevator, Jack pressing Rhys into the wall and Rhys wrapping his legs around Jack’s waist. They’ve booked the honeymoon suite, which Rhys is sure is lovely, but the only thing he sees is the look of concentrated satisfaction on Jack’s face as he undoes Rhys’ shirt. They stumble toward the bed, and when Jack undoes Rhys’ pants and slips a hand inside he groans into Rhys’ mouth, fingers sliding over the smooth fabric.

“You gonna show me what pretty things you’re wearing, sweetheart?” Jack sounds hungry and Rhys grins against his lips. He puts his hands on Jack’s and helps him slip the pants down over Rhys’ hips. Jack frowns faintly as Rhys steps out of them, and Rhys can tell that Jack’s non-plussed by the black briefs Rhys is wearing; they’re nice, of course, but they’re not much different than what he normally wears.

Then Rhys turn around and lifts the tail of his shirt, and smiles when he hears Jack’s breath hitch.

The next thing he knows he has Jack pressed up against his back, arms circling Rhys and pulling him close so Jack can bite at Rhys’ neck and press his hips into Rhys’ ass.

“Goddamn right you are,” Jack growls, breath hot in Rhys’ ear, rubbing his half-hard cock between Rhys’ cheeks where “ Property of Jack” is printed in shiny gold script on the otherwise ordinary briefs. He bites down on Rhys’ ear and Rhys feels his knees go weak.

“Oh yeah?” Rhys shrugs his shirt all the way off and moves to detach his right arm. Jack hurries to help, and within moments Rhys’ arm is set carefully aside on the dresser. Rhys turns back to Jack and drapes his arm around Jack’s shoulders, pulling him close enough that Rhys can bump their noses together.

“Prove it,” he says, challenging and fond all at once, and Jack presses their lips together and backs him toward the bed. Jack’s buttons are easy when you know where they are, but Rhys supposes that’s only fair as he scoots up toward the head of the bed, Jack crawling after. Jack certainly knows what Rhys’ are, and he’s not shy about pressing them, carding a hand through Rhys’ hair and biting down on Rhys’ throat to make Rhys shake.

It’s almost unfair how well Jack can play him, Rhys thinks vaguely as Jack kisses and bites his way down Rhys’ chest, pressing marks into Rhys’ skin that he’ll be able to feel into tomorrow. The briefs are pulled off with one more amused look, and then Jack is opening Rhys up with insistent fingers, crooking them just the way he knows Rhys likes until Rhys’ back is arching off the bed.

“Come on, come on, come on -” Rhys tugs at Jack’s shoulder and Jack obliges him, leaning up for a quick kiss before he positions the head of his dick, frowning in concentration. Rhys loves this look on Jack’s face, like Rhys is complex puzzle Jack is determined to get right. Rhys isn’t; Rhys is embarrassingly easy for Jack, but then Jack’s pressing into him, the stretch so much better than just fingers, and Rhys tosses his head back and there’s no more thinking for a while.

Rhys is biting his lip to try to stave off the orgasm he can feel building in his stomach when he feels Jack threading their fingers together. He opens eyes he doesn’t remember closing just in time to watch Jack lift their hands to his mouth and lay a kiss on Rhys’ ring, eyes locked with Rhys’, and what Rhys sees there steals his breath away, so much so that when Jack wraps his other hand around Rhys’ leaking cock his orgasm feels like an afterthought, like something he already knew. Rhys is blinking away tears and trying to breathe through it when Jack suddenly grips Rhys’ thigh and his hips jerk and then he’s coming too, eyes screwed shut and other hand still locked with Rhys’.

When he’s done Jack rolls over to the side, but he doesn’t immediately let go of Rhys’ hand so Rhys rolls with him, letting his breathing slow and reveling in the fuzzy feeling in his limbs. The usually strong lines of Jack’s face are softened into something warm and contented, and Rhys knows he’s smiling dopily but he doesn’t care.

“I love you, you know,” Jack murmurs sleepily, and Rhys blinks. Jack doesn’t say it very often, but it’s not like Rhys doesn’t know .

Jack has put up with every bit of this wedding business from start to finish, and he had offered to call the whole thing off, to cancel an event a year in the making on a moment’s notice. If that was what Rhys had wanted.

“I love you too,” he says softly, and Jack’s smile is warm and genuine and just for Rhys.

Yeah. Rhys knows.

 


 

Rhys rolls over, squinting against the sun coming in from an unfamiliar angle. It takes him a minute to place where he is, but the remains of last night’s clothing scattered around the room bring everything rushing back and he wonders how he ever forgot, even for a second.

Jack stirs as Rhys sits up, and Rhys looks over his shoulder in time to see him blink awake.

“Hey,” Rhys says, grinning goofily. “We got married.”

“Yeah we did,” Jack answers, voice rumbly with sleep, and reaches out to run a hand down Rhys back. There’s no intent to it, just Jack reaching out to touch because he can. “You’re stuck with me, now.”

Rhys turns more fully toward Jack, putting a hand on Jack’s chest. “I was stuck with you a long time ago.” He can feel through his palm what that does to Jack’s heart, and he smiles.

He feels like can’t stop smiling.

Jack tugs on his hand, tumbling him back down to the sheets. He pulls Rhys close, slinging an arm around his middle and tangling one of his legs with Rhys’.

“Go back to sleep. We don’t have anywhere to be.” Jack appears to be taking his own advice, and soon enough his breath is evening out into sleep against Rhys’ shoulder. Rhys lies in bed, hand fitted over Jack’s on his stomach and thumb rubbing over Jack’s ring, and he thinks that Jack’s right. There’s nowhere Rhys needs to be, nowhere he wants to be, except right here, with Jack’s warmth seeping into him from behind and the soft brush of his hair against Rhys’ neck.

It took a long time to get here. But this? This is worth everything.