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Heart Like a Steel Trap

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~ Heart Like a Steel Trap ~

They're there when he wakes up. Before he even opens his eyes, he can sense their presence. Neither of them have a key, but he never saw the point in giving one to either of them, since they can both get in without one easily enough. He can hear someone rattling around in the kitchen, and the other is coming up beside him.

Qrow opens his eyes to see that Glynda is about to put a blanket over him. Because he fell asleep on the couch like a dumbass instead of actually going to bed last night. Or this afternoon. Whatever time he'd passed out at.

Instead of letting her know that he is awake, he lets her cover him up, waiting until she is within reach to loop an arm around her waist and pull her into his lap. She shrieks, out of surprise or anger or some combination of the two - he isn't sure which. The blanket bunches awkwardly around their legs and Qrow takes a few moments to extract the fluffy fabric from the tangle of their limbs, then drapes it over the back of the couch.

"Why is Oz doing the dishes?" he asks, as he playfully nuzzles her shoulder. "I thought you were supposed to be the official cleaner-up of my messes."

Glynda sighs and leans into the embrace.

"I said I would fix the things you break. You're the one who used the 'cleaning up messes' phrasing."

"What about me?" Qrow asks. "Can you fix me?"

At first she thinks it must be a joke. But from the way he says it, it doesn't sound like a joke.

"You're not broken," Ozpin calls out from the kitchen.

"Sure, I am," Qrow calls back. His tone is light, almost playful - as if the conversation between him and Oz isn't part of the same one he's having with her.

"I don't generally use my semblance for medical procedures except in extreme cases of emergency," Glynda says, deciding to carry on as if they had not been interrupted, "but if you insist..." She pauses as she notices that Oz has come to stand in the doorway and is watching the two of them with a concerned expression. She swallows and asks, "Where does it hurt?"

Qrow takes her hand in his - her right, his left - and presses it against his chest.

"Right here," he says, and the pain that lurks deep in those red eyes makes her want to cry.

She remains dry-eyed, however, as she turns her hand so they are palm-to-palm and interlaces her fingers with his. Their linked hands clutched tightly to his heart, she leans down and brushes a light kiss over the knuckle of his ring finger.

"Feel better now?" she asks.

"Not really," he replies. But there is a note of humor in his voice.

"Well, you know what they say: time heals everything," she says.

Qrow just stares at her, nonplussed at this pronouncement. Glynda sighs and gestures with her free hand for Oz to come here, since he missed his cue to join them at the mention of 'time'.

Ozpin approaches his partners, but does not know what to do. This is the worst possible time to be so hesitant, so unsure... but even with all of the lifetimes of experience he has as 'the wizard', love is still quite a mysterious and perplexing thing to him.

His first thought is to put his hand over their joined ones, but on second thought that seems like the most awkward thing he could do.

Standing here like an idiot isn't helping, either, he oh-so-helpfully tells himself. He lays one hand on Glynda's shoulder, and cups the back of Qrow's neck with the other as he says aloud, "Perhaps you should try again."

"As many times as it takes," she says.

As simple as the words are - in and of themselves - they carry the weight of a vow.

Qrow doesn't know what to do. He's never had a real relationship before. He's never been able to hope for faith. His semblance always ruins everything. But maybe these two are better at fixing things than he is at breaking them. And if they'll fight to keep him, then he should fight to stay, right?

~end~