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They’ve almost got something of a routine nowadays. It’s been a couple months since they made it back to Earth, since they formally quit the team. It’s not like the team even really existed anymore, but Rictor felt like he really had to let everyone know he and Star were still alive.

 

It wasn’t an easy couple of months. Sure, Madrox gave them some money and sure, Ric got a job in IT the same day as his first interview, but that doesn’t mean it’s been easy. Rictor had a bit of a normal life before getting kidnapped by Cameron Hodge and bouncing from team to team, but Star didn’t.

 

He gets antsy without anything to do. They talked about jobs, but Star seemed anxious about the idea of trying to get a job. It didn’t feel like a social thing, especially since Star’s way better at social skills nowadays and has more than enough basic interactions memorized. But, he still seemed really tense about it. Maybe it’s because he can’t have his swords around.

 

So, he stays at home. Rictor works from home when he can, but a lot of the time he has to go into the office. From what Ric can tell, Star almost always has the TV running as he works out in the living room of their small apartment.

 

He still doesn’t even know how to relax; Ric’s taken to picking him up and holding him until he unwinds at least a little bit. It’s getting easier and easier to make him let his guard down. It’s getting easier and easier to make him realize the apartment is safe.

 

They watch something together most nights. Star leans up against him, or he leans up against Star. It’s not necessarily cuddling, but the fact that Star just lets Ric touch him is a pretty big fucking deal. It didn’t click when he was a dumb kid, but Star doesn’t let basically anyone touch him.

 

Star always ends up taking his phone, playing candy crush the whole time they’re watching something. It’s weird and it doesn’t look like he’s paying attention, but Star has basically everything he’s ever seen memorized. Rictor asked him about it once. All Star had to offer was that it helped him understand better, which doesn’t explain much but Ric’s used to taking Star on his word.

 

Rictor’s trying to budget things so he can get Star his own phone. It’d be nice to be able to text him and make sure everything’s okay. Right now, Star makes the walk over to Ric’s job whenever something’s really pressing. Most of the time that’s just coming over to make sure he’s safe and to eat together.

 

He doesn’t mind, but his coworkers might start getting kind of weird about his boyfriend dropping by a couple times a day.

 

It probably looks clingy to outsiders, but Rictor’s willing to do anything if it helps Star not be so anxious all the time.

 

Living domestically with Star has helped a lot. Even when he’s not healing his metabolism is fast and he doesn’t like eating unless he’s alone with Rictor, so Ric’s kind of ended up on Star’s weird schedule of eating six times a day.

 

He talks Star into going to bed at a reasonable time and Star doesn’t let him sleep all day on his days off. Every weekend, Star drags him out of the apartment to go do things out in society; he’s more social, even if he’s not as good at it as Ric.

 

Maybe they are a little bit codependent, but is that anyone’s business? Fucking nope.

 

It’s a nice little routine. Get up, eat breakfast together, head to work, take a 15 to eat with Star whenever he shows up, eat dinner together, watch a movie until Ric falls asleep on the couch.

 

It took a long time to get there. When there was no routine, Star just fell back into old habits. Rictor would come home and find him doing push-ups or sit-ups or jumping jacks. It’s like he didn’t even know how long he was doing them for.

 

Ric’s been to therapy a couple of times, each time more uncomfortable than the last. He was pretty sure all those coping mechanisms were bullshit until he tried to settle down with Star. That’s when the routine started happening.

 

Routines are supposed to help or whatever, so he figured it was worth a try. Star seemed pretty fucking uncomfortable with the idea at first; he hasn’t told Rictor much about before but it seemed pretty tightly scheduled.

 

Ric’s never been the type to meticulously plan things, though, so he doesn’t mind it being a loose routine. He’s not asking Star to do anything, just sort of gently suggesting it. They’ve got a whiteboard on the fridge, which feels really fucking domestic, where he leaves notes for the week.

 

It’s all easy stuff, stuff like we’re almost out of eggs, or we have to call Tabs back, or my library books are due.

 

All things that need to happen during the week. It’s up to Star if he wants to do them and when, but they’re something for him to do. Ric feels bad about leaving him home alone all the time, even if he’s determined to watch everything he can find. Getting netflix was a bad idea, but once a week, Star will let Rictor read to him.

 

Star doesn’t like reading, but Ric’s at least made sure he can read. Star’s much more comfortable with auditory input. Rictor’s seen him listening to audiobooks on 2x speed occasionally but it just doesn’t have the same appeal as TV. He says he likes listening to Ric, though, so the weekly thing just sticks.

 

Star sits between his legs, back pressed to Rictor’s stomach, as he plays something on Ric’s phone. He doesn’t interrupt movies or shows or Ric except to ask for clarifications about things. Rictor has to answer a lot of questions when he’s reading because Star doesn’t always seem to get how characters are feeling if he can’t actually see them.

 

Rictor doesn’t mind explaining, though. It’s nice that Star asks, it’s nice that Star does this with him. It’s something special. It’s something normal.

 

He reads to Star until he can barely keep his eyes open, or until his ‘go the fuck to sleep’ alarm goes off. They go to bed together, they wake up together, and it isn’t a secret or something they’re trying to hide. It’s just normal.

 

It’s downright fucking domestic.

 

He’s got an apartment and a job and a stay at home boyfriend. All he needs is a cat and shit would be complete.

 

Star’s sitting at the small table in the equally small dining area when Ric gets out of the shower. Star gets up before him most days, on good days he stays in bed and cuddles a little bit. Star’s getting good at cooking; he’s been marathoning Food Network shows for the past week. Now, making breakfast is working its way into Star’s routine.

 

They eat together in silence; it’s only finally broken when Star says, “I will go for a run today.”

 

“Okay,” Rictor replies, nudging Star’s leg with his foot under the table.

 

“I am unsure of how long it will take.”

 

“Don’t keep me waiting too long, okay? I wanna see you for your second meal.”

 

Star hums in consideration, “You could meet me somewhere. Most restaurants are not busy between ten and twelve.”

 

“Sounds good,” Ric smiles, “Sounds like a date.”