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Ronan lets himself into Monmouth; he still has a key, though he rarely spends the night. When he does it's more out of insomniac solidarity than anything else.

Gansey looks up at the sound of the door opening. He smiles, which turns into a frown when he spots the twelve pack in his hand.

Ronan pulls out a can and tosses it at him.

Gansey catches the beer. "It's nine in the morning."

"You're gonna want it in a second."

"I find that doubtful," but he doesn't put it down.

Ronan grabs a second can and cracks it open. "You need to find Blue's G-spot." He takes a long pull of his beer.

He's drunk half the can before Gansey can form words, and even then it's just: "What -- what do you -- why -- "

"She keeps staring at Adam's mouth when we hang out," Ronan says. "I didn't really give a shit at first because it was funny, but it's got to a point where she'll zone out looking at him and it's fucking creepy. You gotta up your game so she gets off and stops fantasizing about my boyfriend."

"That's -- there is not -- I do not have game!"

Ronan smirks. "Hey, you said it, not me."

"That is not what I said," Gansey says, and Ronan doesn't get a chance to point out how wrong he is before he says something even worse: "We aren't even having sex!"

Ronan stares.

Gansey blushes.

"It's been fucking months!" Ronan gestures explosively. Beer slops out of his can onto the floor, which is not his fucking problem. "She's over here all the time, what do you two do all the time -- "

"We talk," Gansey says, exasperated, like he's the one who's been going out of his way to give his former roommate a ton of personal space for no fucking reason, as it turns out. "And do homework, and -- talk -- "

"You said that one already."

"And she's helping me build my model of Henrietta. And..." he looks down at his hands, smiling in a way that looks like true joy, even though his face is still bright red. "Sometimes I just like to hold her and know that she's there."

Ronan says, "that's the gayest thing I've ever heard."

Gansey glares up at him. "You're gay!"

"And yet you are way gayer than anything I've ever done." Ronan puts his beer can down. This is even more serious than he thought. "Look, that's the fucking problem, Blue's the horniest girl in the world. You gotta step up. Talking is not cutting it."

"Excuse me," Gansey says, voice cold and aloof, "but I need to shotgun this beer and go freak out in the parlor." He grabs the entire twelve pack and walks into Noah's old room, which Ronan more accurately calls bird shit cave.

Ronan sips the remains of his beer and glares at the cardboard Henrietta that Gansey has been using to cockblock himself and make Ronan's life harder.

Cheng pops his head in the front door a minute later. Ronan thinks, sourly, that he hadn't known Cheng had a key.

"Have I missed the intervention?"

"Fuck off."

"Oh, I take it that it was not a success." Cheng ignores the implicit warning of Ronan's presence and steps further into the room. "I did warn you that you cannot make someone a better kisser by yelling at them."

"I didn't yell."

"Ah, I stand corrected. Clearly all is solved for eternity, and that is why you are such a picture of good cheer."

Ronan scowls, which only makes Cheng make a see what I mean? gesture, which only makes Ronan scowls harder.

"Never fear." Cheng has the balls to pat Ronan's shoulder, consolatory. "What cannot be achieved through intimidation may yet respond to other tactics."

A familiar feeling grips Ronan. It's like rising from a dream and knowing he's brought something back but not what it is: shapeless dread, horror welling up within him, freezing him in place. "Tactics like what."

"I propose a hands-on demonstration."

"I'm not going to kiss Gansey!"

"Who said anything about you?" Cheng winks and heads into the parlor.

Ronan is paralyzed long enough to hear Gansey say, "Henry, hello," and then blind instinct kicks in, the animal need to defend the self. He jumps up from the couch and runs out the door. He needs to go haunt the Barns, or interrupt Adam at work, or break into Aglionby and set a building on fire, just, go anywhere but here.

-

The next time it's the five of them together at Monmouth, Blue does not stare, dreamy-eyed, at Adam. She hardly looks at him even when she's speaking to him. She only has eyes for Gansey and Cheng.

It is less of a relief than Ronan hoped.