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They were snuggled up on the couch watching an animated movie, because it had been a long week: a long week of marking and frustration for John, and a long week of studying and planning for Bobby. But things had started to take shape, now that there was a List, and an increasing determination to hold onto this, to hold onto London, as if the rest of the world was on another planet.

Because here they could be dorks and live together and snuggle on couches. Here John could drop a kiss to Bobby's hair as his boyfriend rested his head on his shoulder. Here John could actually be a sappy-as-fuck asshole who could admit to liking animated movies. Here, nothing else much mattered beyond their shared language of grins and kisses and morning coffee and lazy blowjobs.

Here, John had said 'I love you', and meant it.

And then the house phone rang, and John shifted a little to look at his boyfriend, one hand still on the side of Bobby's head, keeping him close and warm. He certainly wasn't expecting any calls: most people in London used his cell (sorry, mobile) number. It was mostly his mom who used it, and ugh. There was an unspoken question in his eyes: You want me to get that?
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Two nights ago, John had signalled a time out on account of how tired he'd been after teaching three classes and catching up with his load of marking. Last night, he'd begged off with a headache and a wan smile. Both nights, there had been snuggling, and kissing, but nothing too intense. It wasn't that he didn't want Bobby - quite the opposite, he wanted his boyfriend all the fucking time, he wanted him in every goddamn room in the house and across half of London and he wanted to bend over the couch and practically order Bobby to fuck him hard more often than not.

Which explained why movie night that night involved John being hard and uncomfortable and sitting apart on the sofa, trying to disguise his boner with a bowl of popcorn. He knew Bobby wouldn't be ashamed of things, wouldn't judge him, would never judge him. (Okay, he might judge him for some of John's kinkier fantasies, but he wasn't going there. Yet.) And that made it worse, because John knew that the only person who was liable to embarrassed about what a slutty bottom on poppers he'd become was himself.

He didn't know what to do about that. He didn't know how not to be embarrassed guy with awkward boner.
prodigalflame: (Default)
There was something oddly satisfying about cooking. It was like getting back at his mom and showing up everyone he ever knew all at once. Chopping ingredients and sorting through recipes - sure, he was a lot more haphazard than his mom had ever raised him to be, but he got shit done. The actual act of cooking was restorative, using his powers in a fashion that didn't lead to ash and char and devastation.

Mind, right now, his mind wasn't entirely on the recipe he was preparing. After all, he was standing there in his apron and a pair of socks and not much else. Trying to ignore just how aware he was of his bare butt, John 'hmmm'd like it was any other evening, and turned the page of his tattered old recipe book, glancing between the ingredients he'd roughly chopped on the counter and the illustration.

Fuck it, Italian food was always supposed to be a bit rustic. He'd wing the rest, he decided, and got on with it, igniting the gas under the pot of water with a flick of a switch - and then keeping it going with his mind. Cooking with powers was trickier than most people would assume, especially with his powers - he was still dependent on something else igniting the flame, and then he had to manually control the flame despite the flow of the gas through the stove. He'd been doing it since he was 14, though - so that was something. And he sang a little to himself, snatches of stupid dorky love songs, as he decided to chop up some salami and olives.

At least when Bobby came home he'd have two surprises waiting for him.
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John was in what he personally called the library, the long L-shaped room that curved around the front of the house to the side where the main entrance was. It was one of the reasons he'd bought the place: between the library and the little study, the house was full of more shelves and crooks and spaces for books than he frankly knew what to do with.

For all the (unfortunately 1990s) renovations that modernised the kitchen and the bathrooms, this part of the house still smelt musty. Old. Like paper. Like books. And being the academic he was trying to be, the afternoon found John sitting on one of the window seats, book propped open against his raised knees, all but wedged in the window frame. There was a stack of books next to him on the carpet. From time to time he added little sticky flags or took notes on a notepad. He'd managed to get all his marking done for the week, but narrowing down his dissertation topic was still slightly out of his reach.

And for all that, he glanced every so often out the wrought iron setting of the large window, peering to see if his boyfriend was home yet. They needed to have a talk.
prodigalflame: (Default)
John was on the mostly-unused landline, his hip leaning against a kitchen cabinet, legs loosely crossed at the ankle. There was a faint anxiety to him: while the phone was cradled in his left hand, his right absently played with his hair, and he chewed on his lower lip in those moments in which he simply had to listen.

Which, were anyone there to see, were frequent and long. Indeed, John was able to punctuate things with an appropriate number of "Uh-huh", "That's nice" and "Sure, Mom" - hurriedly changed to a more polite "Yes, Mom" when he could all but feel the significant pause down the line. God, he thought, hurry up - except it was early afternoon there, a few hours behind, so Mom had all the time in the world.

And considering it had been seven years, she had a lot to say. It wasn't like he hadn't heard it - or some of it - before. But as the afternoon wore on, John's face grew more stony and rather than chewing his lip he pressed his mouth into a thin line, saying less and less and trying to keep one eye out for Bobby getting home and coming down the hall.
prodigalflame: (quietly pleased)
It was a night like many other nights. John got home from classes with a grumble that mostly disappeared when he saw Bobby. He heated up the pumpkin soup he'd cooked the night before, and declared it better the second time. His grumbling returned when he retreated to the study to pore over open books, make jagged notes on several different pads and promptly strike them all out. Turning to marking and taking some notes on the tutorial discussion he'd lead earlier that day went better; as he told Bobby, he did actually like the 'dingbats', as he called them, although John could never quite imagine himself being that young.

And like most nights, it had ended up with John feeling a lot better by sitting in Bobby's lap, fisting a hand in Bobby's hair, and making out like it it was going out of style.

"You're really good at kissing," John declared, pressing lighter kisses to Bobby's hair, squirming a little so Bobby had to feel the way his ass moved against that crotch. "A-plus, definitely. Same for your blowjobs. And hand jobs." But there was one thing John had yet to uh, grade.
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John had woken early and moved lightly under the sheets, to prop his head up on one hand and just look at the young man sleeping on the other side of the bed. Bobby Drake. Bobby freaking Drake, probably Robert, possibly Louis just for shits and giggles, sleeping in his bed, curled up under the covers after a night that wasn't nearly drunk enough to give either of them any excuses.

John just looked at him for a few minutes that felt like a lifetime, breathing quiet, speaking no words, and the smile that spread across his face was full of wonder. Even if no one was awake to see it.

So he snuck out of bed like a thief, grabbing a decent plush robe from the back of the door and tying it around his waist, and headed down the stairs to fry up some eggs and bacon for breakfast. Breakfast for two, that was.

The problem, he decided, after he'd gotten the eggs out and made sure the bacon was defrosted, was that there was no fucking point in cooking a romantic/cute/welcoming/what-the-fuck-ever breakfast if he got it wrong.

So he trooped 'round to the stairwell near the dining area and bellowed "Hey, asshole! Get down here and tell me how you like your eggs."
prodigalflame: (Default)
The roommate search wasn't completely awful. There were two possibles John thought he could bear to live with, and two others who were so inoffensively bland as to be offensive.

Emily was a bubbly little thing, all blond tips and cheeky giggle; and Tim was tall, pleasant, with a strong handshake and just the hint of a knowing smirk. Either of them could do, would do; neither had clued into his cheesy 'X marks the spot to your new place' in-joke he'd put on the poster, with a very distinctive X-symbol. And well, that just meant some more hiding, another day spent under the radar and with his head down - and John had never done particularly well at 'low key.'

So he'd fobbed the both of them off for another few days and lo, some 'Drake' had texted him. Hence why John was plumping couch cushions in the middle of the afternoon, with dishes clean and stacked, pizza boxes all in the recycling and his notes and marking neatly organised on the coffee table - people wanted to live with model students, didn't they?

"What else, what else...?" he muttered to himself, looking around the place. Porn was stashed, bathroom cleaned, laundry stuffed in the hamper: everything as tidy as it got with him. Which wasn't half-bad, these days.
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