“You loved Toad once you know”
Mole sat by himself in his chair by the fireside, a place where he’d spent many nights before he met a man who changed his life for the better. Though, temperature wise he was as warm as warm could be, he felt cold inside. Ratty had said he’d be back hours ago from Toads house. Mole knew full well that Ratty could take care of himself just fine- Ratty was the more capable of the two of them, this was just pain fact. But that wouldn't stop Moley from worrying.
He sighed and rose from his chair, looking out the window at the snow that was gently falling and beginning to settle on the ground outside.
Perhaps, he thought, Ratty had decided to stay at Toad house the evening to avoid the snow? Or maybe, Ratty had a few too many drinks and in his merry state he’d forgotten they were staying at Moles house and he’d gone back to the river bank by mistake. Both were very reasonable and comforting solutions to Mole, as his Ratty would be safe and sound.
But also Mole couldn’t help but think that perhaps Ratty had been on his way back when he’d been attacked by some Wild Wooders and was now lying injured or worse alone in the snow. Or maybe, while having such a good time with Toad, Ratty had forgotten all about Moley and decided to re-kindle his old flame with Toad. Both were quite unreasonable and unsettling solutions for Mole, for obvious reasons.
It wasn’t that he didn’t trust that Ratty, it was just that Moley worries perhaps a bit more than a normal animal should. He’d been alone for so long, the thought of going back to that made a deep deep sadness settle in his stomach.
Mole took his glasses off and cleaned them on his jumper, looking around his house without his glasses on made him really understand why people say “as blind as a mole”. He put them back on and blinked a few times, his eyes re-adgusting to being able to see clearly. He looked at the mug of cocoa he’d brewed for Ratty earlier for his return.
He really was late back.
Once a month Toad held a Poker night at Toad hall. Moley had attended once, but he found it all too confusing and Ratty had ended up quite frustrated as Mole kept telling everyone what cards he had. Ratty had been in quite a mood after that night but he cooled off quite quickly after Mole had apologised for ‘ruining his game’. Mole was always invited but he didn’t like to intrude, it was a serious game that was more complicated than it was worth. Ratty always offered to stay home and keep Mole company, but he would feel guilty if he kept Ratty from a fun evening.
Moley looked back out the window, he squinted in to the distance and he could see a very familiar silhouette moving towards his house and he let a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding out. He hopped out of the little entrance to Mole end and stood in the cool air as he waited for his partner to be back at his side.
“Hello stranger.” Ratty said with a smirk as he got within ear shot “Thought you’d be asleep already dear, what keeps you?”
“Oh like you don’t know why I’m still up at this hour” Moley replied a little more sharply than he’d intended.
“Have you been waiting for me?” Ratty said with a frown, He was stood in-front of Moley now “You know these poker evenings can go on for sometime.”
“That is true, but never this long.” Moley said looking up at Ratty “You’re at least three hours later than usual…” He mumbled, this wasn’t a big deal really but Moley had been quite concerned and lonely.
“That must be an exaggeration Moley do be serious.” Ratty rolled his eyes and kissed Moley on the cheek gently “Come on, its chilly out.” and with that he climbed in to Mole End. Leaving Mole feeling slightly annoyed- he wasn’t exaggerating at all, it was the truth. He stood outside for a little longer, fuming quietly, before he followed Ratty in to his house.
Ratty knelt by the fireplace and warmed his hands “You can tell its Winter cant you? I thought I might freeze my tail off tonight!”
Moley only hummed in confirmation that he’d heard Ratty.
“Whats got you down Moley? It cant be that I was out for longer tonight can it?”
“So you admit it then?” Mole raised an eyebrow at him.
“What?” Ratty said puzzled.
“That you were out longer tonight, a good few hours might I add.” Moley huffed, he really didn't want them to fight but he could feel it coming on, he always got this uneasy feeling when an argument was on the horizon.
“Well I suppose I may have been. Toad brought round a few extra rounds of drinks and I may have lost myself slightly.” Ratty laughed “It was a very merry evening all round.”
“I’m glad you had a good time at least then.” Moley folded his arms, he didn’t like this feeling.
Ratty stood from the fire “You don’t need to keep such close tabs on me Moley, whats a few hours in the grand scheme of things, aye?”
“It feels like a small eternity when you don’t know whats going on.” Mole couldn’t hold back how bitter he sounded, he was very unlike him and he knew it.
Rat paused for a moment, trying to work out what was going on with his partner. Then it clicked and he rubbed his eyes in annoyance “I should have never told you that myself and Toad once dated- you’ve never been the same since you know?” It had only been a few weeks since Ratty had told Mole, wanting his most favorite person in the whole world to know everything about him- worts and all.
Mole got a bit offended at that comment “The bloody cheek! I’ve been the same Mole I’ve always been! Its you who’s been off out without me more often than not.” That wasn’t quite the case but Mole wasn’t thinking straight right now, he felt quite fragile.
“I have not!” Ratty defended “You're with me all the time Moley, if I were having eyes for Toad again, heaven forbid, I’m sure you of all people would notice.” he scratched behind his ear- something he did when he was irritated.
Mole sunk slightly “I suppose… I’ll make us a hot drink.” he didn’t want to argue, he could see what Ratty was saying.
He was just being his usual over-thinking self.
Ratty watched his love sadly fill the kettle and put the stove on underneath it to set it to boil. In the corner of his eye he saw his prized blue mug next to his chair, a drink that had been made for him earlier and had now gone cold Ratty assumed- He wasn’t that late was he? Ratty looked at the clock on the wall and suddenly felt quite guilty, he was much much later than usual indeed.
Moley was reaching up to the top shelf in the kitchen to get the cocoa powder down, feeling quite sorry for himself honestly. When suddenly, two familiar strong arms wrapped themselves around his waist and lifted him up slightly, making him the right height to easily get the little jar down. “Ratty you can put me down now” He chuckled slightly. Once his feet were planted safely on the ground again Moley turned to face Ratty and was quite surprised when the next thing he knew a very loving kiss was pressed to his lips.
“You must accept my apologies Moley, I am so sorry to have kept you up like this. I really did not know it was such a late hour. A pig I’ve been as always.”
Moley having had all his sad feeling kissed away said bashfully “Oh it matters not anymore”
“-and as for Toad” Ratty continued, holding Moleys waist close to his and putting a hand to the other mans cheek tenderly “Never in a thousand years or in any lifetime could I love him even a fraction as much as I love you my dear Moley. I am yours always, from the moment I saw you across the river that faithful day.”
“I know that Ratty, I just cant help but worry sometimes, my mind runs away with itself when I’m on my own” Moley pressed his head to Rattys chest.
Ratty run a hand through the shorter mans hair “Well then I shall just have to remind you of my feelings for you more often.” He smiles warmly “Come, lets finish making this hot cocoa together, we can take it back to bed with us stay up talking the night away.”
“I would like that a lot Ratty, my oh my how I would like that.” Mole grinned up at the love of his life as they set to work together.