The relationship between the two men had been anything but conventional. Sturges, a freed synth who’d had his memories wiped, and Tom, technical genius and mechanical expert for the very organisation who had seen to Sturges’ freedom. They had connected while Sturges had been at HQ once, before his memory was wiped, but the trauma of what had happened to him in the Institute had proved too much for him to handle, and as much as it hurt, Tom had let him go, allowed him to be implanted with new memories and then shipped to a random location in the Commonwealth so he could build a life of his own. A life outside of Tom’s.
Their reunion had been unexpected, to say the least, and Tom almost blurted out the truth to him on the first day. But seeing him so happy, so at ease, he hadn’t wanted to awaken any old wounds. And so he’d kept quiet, allowed their relationship to develop naturally once more. Somehow, against all odds, they’d found themselves connecting, so similarly to how they had before that Tom faltered, wondering if he should reveal the truth. Glory had kept pushing him to tell, saying that Sturges deserved to know the truth, but he hesitated still. It wasn’t until he’d finally consulted with Lia that the cat had gotten out of the bag in a way that was completely out of his control. How was he supposed to know that Sturges was still in HQ, just around the corner? The handyman didn’t even have to try to eavesdrop, they hadn’t hushed their conversation or attempted to make it covert at all. He couldn’t be blamed for overhearing and staying to listen, especially once he’d heard his own name being tossed around.
If anything, though, it had been a relief that he now knew. A weight had been lifted from Tom’s shoulders, one he’d been carrying around since the last night he’d spent with the synth before he’d been taken to Amari. He’d barely even slept, wanting to savour the last moments he had with him, the last moments he figured he’d ever get.
Of course, that had all changed pretty quickly.
Neither of them were slow to consummate their relationship this time around. They’d only done so once previously, needing to move slow for Sturges’ sake, but this time there was nothing that held them back. It was a good thing that the HQ regulars got their own room, though Carrington and Dez might have gotten a bit of an earful anyway. Since then, they’d fallen into a routine, parting only during the day to attend to their own duties and coming back together at night. Since Tom had his own room, that meant Sturges had a room of his own, too. And while the barracks were perfectly comfortable, it couldn’t hold a candle to private quarters with a lover. They spent many an evening relaxing and unwinding in their own way …
Tonight, though, that wasn’t going to happen. Lia had brought them both plans for a special workbench, and since it was easy enough to install the piece of equipment they’d brought onto Ada, Tom had found that he just couldn’t leave well enough alone. First it was upgrades for Sarge so he could resume his duties, and then he’d had the idea to make a little army of robots, all to assist in protecting the Castle so the burden didn’t fall solely on the Minutemen. Sturges had been all for it, but he had underestimated Tom’s devotion to the cause, and they had both worked well into the night, just to finish one more, until both of them could hardly stand anymore. Making their way down to the room they shared, neither even stopped for a quick bath before they shed most of their clothes and crawled into the bed.
A bed. Since when had Tom ever had an actual bed of his own? He’d slept on a mattress most of his life, while growing up, while at the Switchboard, and at Old North Church. The few times he’d stayed at the Rexford as as close as he’d gotten. But Sturges had seen to it to give him a real bed to rest on, and he silently blessed him as the bulky handyman laid down beside him.
Sturges shot a smile over at him. “I don’t know about you, but I’m a little too tired for anything tonight.”
Tom groaned. “Believe me when I say, I feel the same.”
Chuckling, Sturges reached over and pulled Tom close, wrapping his strong, muscled arms around him. Tom reached around his waist, tugging him as close as he could possibly get, the feel of skin on skin enough to both sate his appetite for closeness and make him hungry for more. That particular beast was not going to get fed, however, but Tom didn’t mind. This closeness … it had been one of the things he’d missed most once Sturges had left HQ. Sure, the brief kisses they’d shared had been sweet, and the one time they’d gone all the way was a memory that was seared into his mind. But perhaps the biggest thing was the time they spent wrapped in each other’s arms, the comforting touch something that soothed the runaway synth the same as it smoothed over the jagged edges that Tom hadn’t even been aware was there before. It was the air of ease that they found in each other, something that wasn’t exactly common in the wasteland. He had let it go once, willingly, for good reason. But he’d be damned if he ever let it go again.
Tom nuzzled into Sturges’ neck as Sturges pressed his lips against the short length of kinky hair on Tom’s head. Even their feet and legs intertwined as they locked into position, their half-hard lengths impossible to not notice, but neither said a word or made a move to do anything beyond what they already were. This … this was enough. It said volumes that words never could for either of them, things that they couldn’t even think they could express. This touch, this closeness, though … it said all that needed to be said. I want this. I need this.
And, most importantly, I love you.
Between the work of the day and the warmth of each other’s bodies, it was hard not to fall into a doze, and eventually sleep itself. As Sturges’ breathing evened out and became even deeper, Tom allowed himself one smile, reaching up to plant a soft kiss on Sturges’ jaw before burying his face in his neck, joining him.
Yeah, so they weren’t exactly conventional. But who the hell cared? Truth be told, hardly anyone was these days. And if a rescued synth turned Minuteman handyman and a Railroad engineer and inventor could find each other again after being separated, then surely it was always meant to be. Screw anyone else’s expectations. All that mattered in the wasteland is finding comfort where you could get it, and if you happened to lose it and find it again? Then you dove in head first and didn’t waste that opportunity. Viva life.