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time out

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“How many sticky notes do we need to put on the damn toaster?” 

Gray scowled at Natsu, who stood by the counter, looking sheepish. A heavy cloud of black smoke hung throughout the kitchen, and Gray’s nose wrinkled at the smell of burnt toast. A small pile of brightly-colored post-it notes sat next to the toaster, one of them lightly singed. 

“I just--” 

“What do these say?” Gray interrupted, eyebrows raised, pointing at the notes. 

Natsu sighed. “Ask an adult for help,” he grumbled. “I’m not a child!” 

“No, but you have  nearly lit the kitchen on fire three separate times,” Gray said, waving a hand in front of his face. “I love you, but you’re a terrible cook.” 

“I just wanted the croissant to be warm!” Natsu protested. 

Gray rolled his eyes. “That’s what the microwave is for.” He grabbed another sticky note from the fridge, and used a thick permanent marker to write Only bread in the toaster! No croissants!  He stuck it on the wall next to the smoking toaster, then shooed Natsu out of the kitchen. 

“Hey, I’m hungry!” Natsu said, pouting. 

“I’m putting you in time out,” Gray said, grabbing a dish towel and snapping it at Natsu. Natsu yelped as it cracked against his thigh. “And don’t bug Rogue, he’s doing tax stuff. Go hang out in the bedroom. Your actions have consequences.” 


“I’ll make the prawn curry you like,” Gray said with a sigh, “if you get the hell out of my kitchen.”

“Fine,” Natsu grumbled, reaching around the counter and pinching Gray’s ass before giggling and taking off down the hallway to the bedroom. 



“Mmm, smells good.”  

Rogue’s arms wrapped around Gray’s waist, and Gray sighed as Rogue nuzzled the side of his neck.   

“Thanks,” Gray said, tipping his head so he could kiss Rogue. Rogue slipped his hands under Gray’s apron and his shirt, running his fingers over Gray’s stomach while Gray hummed happily. “You hungry?” Gray asked.

“Starving,” Rogue admitted, yawning and resting his chin on Gray’s shoulder. “Taxes are boring.” 

“Mm, and you’re a saint for doing them,” Gray said, tipping his head to rest against Rogue’s. “Where’s Sting?” 

Rogue rolled his eyes, pressing a kiss to Gray’s cheek, then moving back and leaning against the counter while Gray stirred the curry.

“I sent him to our room,” Rogue said. “He kept distracting me, he’s terrible.” 

Gray laughed, then blinked, turning and tipping his head down the hallway toward the bedroom. Rogue frowned. 

“I sent Natsu off for breaking the toaster again,” Gray said, rolling his eyes when he heard quiet giggling from the bedroom. “Not much of a time out for either of them, I suspect.” 

Gray reached over and turned off the stove, then tossed his apron on the counter and beckoned for Rogue to follow him down the hallway. As they approached the bedroom, the laughter died away and was replaced by soft whispering. 

“They’re incorrigible,” Rogue said softly, leaning forward and peeking through the door.  His face transformed into a soft smile and he shifted over slightly so that Gray could peek into the room. 

Natsu and Sting were lying in the center of the bed, pillows pushed to the side, both in their boxers with the rest of their clothes tossed in a messy pile on the floor. Their legs were tangled together as they kissed, hands drifting gently over each other’s arms, fingers combing through each other’s hair. 

After a moment, Natsu broke the kiss and leaned back a bit, brushing his thumb over Sting’s cheek and laughing.  

“I got glitter on you, sorry,” he murmured, kissing Sting’s nose. “The kids got it everywhere today.” Sting giggled, making a face and tipping his head to nip at Natsu’s thumb. 

“’s okay, I’ll just sparkle,” he said. 

“You always sparkle,” Natsu replied, and Gray was surprised at the sincerity in Natsu’s eyes. Sting’s cheeks flushed pink, and Natsu shifted closer, wrapping his arm around Sting’s waist. 

“You think they’ve figured out we’re both in here yet?” Sting asked, sighing happily and resting his head on Natsu’s chest. He trailed his fingers down Natsu’s arm, rubbing his thumb over Natsu’s wrist. 

“Doubt it,” Natsu said, yawning. “They’re probably makin’ out on the couch.” 

Gray laughed softly, pressing a kiss to Rogue’s cheek.  

“Should we go in there?” he asked, smiling when Rogue nodded. “We can’t let them have all the fun without us.”