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Mutually Advantageous Arrangements

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Twenty minutes after The Press Conference, Tom calls him. Greg doesn’t answer, because he’s kind of in the middle of some important stuff. Okay, mostly he’s holding various papers that Kendall, fielding a series of frantic phone calls, keeps shoving into his hands and then snatching back, but still. The papers need to be held. Things are happening, and he’s playing an essential part. Plus, he’s not entirely sure he should be talking to Tom, anyway, so he waits until he’s home to call back. Just in case.

“You’re not answering my calls?” Tom snaps when he picks up. “It’s been three hours! What, too busy sucking Kendall’s dick to spare two minutes for me?”

Rude. Greg makes a face at the phone. “I don’t really think I should be calling you back at all. We’re kind of on, like, opposite teams now, right?”

“Yeah, about that. What the fuck, Greg? Why didn’t you warn me?”

“Why didn’t I warn you…?” Is this a trick question? It feels a bit like a trick question. “You’re asking why didn’t I warn you about the secret surprise attack on Logan Roy?”

“Yes, exactly. Why didn’t you warn me?”

“It was a secret. That was like, the point. Why would I warn you?”

“Because we’re friends, Greg,” Tom replies flatly, as if Greg is the idiot in this conversation, which he really doesn’t think he is. “Friends generally warn friends before they fuck them, but not you. You took those documents and shoved them up my ass and now I have paper cuts up there. It’s not great, Greg. It’s really not great.”

Greg tries to parse that. He fails. “But, like, it wasn’t really you getting, you know, penetrated by the papers? Metaphorically speaking. It was Logan.”

“Really? Wasn’t it, Greg? I feel like it was, because Logan is very fucking interested in where you got those documents.”

“Oh.” Greg doesn’t have a response. Now that he thinks about it, yeah, it makes sense that Logan would blame Tom. But he really, honestly, hadn’t thought about that before. He was a bit distracted by the possibility of taking down Logan Roy, who he’s still a little convinced could have them all murdered in their sleep. (He knows the president, right?) So, yeah, not really thinking about Tom. “Sorry.”

Sorry, Greg? Sorry? That’s all you have to say? After everything I’ve done for you?”

That isn’t fair. Greg was just looking out for the company. And yeah, okay, himself a little, too. But he wouldn’t have had to look out for himself if Tom hadn’t forced him to give up his Thanksgiving to commit what he’s pretty sure was a felony. He never asked for this. He just wanted a job and some turkey and now here he is, the memory of Congress breathing down his neck too fresh to think of as a funny story. 

“After everything you’ve done for me? You can’t make a Tomlette without breaking a few Greggs? That kind of thing?” His voice is cracking; he sounds hysterical. Pull it together, Greg. You’re playing in the big leagues now. That’s what Kendall told him before they walked into that press conference, and he’s right. Big leagues. He can do this. “You fucked me first, so maybe you’re the bad friend. Did you ever think of that?”

There’s a long pause. Then, with controlled articulation that masks any emotion, Tom replies, “Well, Greg, if that’s how you see it, then maybe we’re not friends.”

“Yeah. Maybe we’re not,” Greg snaps. This is too much for the day he just had. It’s just too much. “Maybe we’ve never been friends. Maybe all you’ve ever seen me as is a lapdog. But I’m not. I’m not a lapdog! I have teeth!”

Um. That metaphor was not as cutting as he meant it to be. He can never get them to land right. Oh well. He’s standing by it.

“Whatever.” Tom suddenly sounds tired. “You don’t have teeth Greg, you just found a new lap to sit in.”

He ends the call without a goodbye, leaving Greg staring at the phone, pit in his stomach. For the first time since he handed those papers over to Kendall, he feels like he may have made the wrong choice.

***

They’ve gone from skyscraper to working out of another spare apartment in their building (when Greg asks how many of those Kendall has lying around, he looks him straight in the face and deadpans, “enough.” Greg decides not to push it). It’s a dizzying change of pace and not nearly as fun as working at the Waystar building, but the silver lining is he won’t have to see Tom for a while.

At least, that’s what he thought.

But just two days after The Press Conference, before Greg has even found the right opportunity to clarify what his situation is, exactly—does he still work for Waystar? If not, what’s his new title and who is, you know, paying him?—Kendall tells him to clear his schedule for the night because they’re having dinner with his siblings.

“We’re having dinner with Shiv and Roman and Connor?” Greg asks, dumbstruck.

“Why would Connor be there?”

Why would any of them be there? Greg wants to ask, but he’s afraid it will make him sound stupid. “I thought we were, like, not talking to Shiv and Roman? Because they’re with Logan?”

Kendall shrugs. “Things change. It’s looking like there might be some mutual areas of interest.”

“Does that mean they might side with you instead?”

Sometimes, Greg thinks Kendall sees him as an important ally. When he delivered proof of Logan’s involvement right into his hands, Kendall had pulled him into a hug and called him a devious motherfucking genius. That’s the moment Greg decided to go all in: complete faith in Kendall Roy. It was the right choice. He’s pretty sure it was the right choice. Fairly sure? Logan needed to be brought to justice, so there’s that. Morally, it definitely feels good.

But sometimes—most of the time—it seems like Kendall just sees him as a glorified personal assistant. Times like now, when he gives Greg the once over and then, instead of telling him what’s going on, shrugs again and says, “I don’t know. If you put this dinner together, maybe I’ll find out.”

But that’s okay. He definitely made the right choice. Kendall’s got his back. Yep.

***

Greg assumes dinner should be at one of the fancy restaurants he’s just starting to get used to. (Honestly, more than get used to. He likes them, so it would really suck if somehow this all ended with him out on the street. Just saying.) But Kendall corrects him before he can make a reservation.

“We can’t have anyone see us all together,” he explains, as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world. “Plus, home turf advantage, right?”

Home turf advantage means Greg has four hours to figure out how to get an acceptable dinner on the table in their makeshift office apartment. A dinner for six: him and Kendall, Shiv and Tom—which yes, means he has to see Tom, great—and Roman and, inexplicably, Gerri.  

“Good work,” Kendall tells him, barely taking in the table Greg so carefully set. “We’ve got this.”

We. See? They are a team.

That feeling lasts about ten whole minutes, until it becomes clear that the dinner is going to be nothing but meaningless, strained small talk that pointedly doesn’t touch the topic of Logan, The Press Conference, or the fact that the other siblings agreed to throw Kendall under the bus so recently Greg still has sunburn on his nose from being out on the water.

It’s Roman—of course—who puts words to it, after the group has run the acceptable topics of Willa’s ridiculous play and Connor’s even more ridiculous presidential campaign into the ground.

“So, this is weird,” he says, leaning back in his chair until it balances precariously. “It’s like the world’s most awkward triple date, and no one’s even getting laid later.”

Kendall rolls his eyes. Shiv freezes with her fork halfway to her mouth. Tom nearly chokes on his wine. Gerri, oddly, looks amused, faint smile playing around her lips.

Greg is hopelessly confused, because Tom and Shiv are right there. Roman, being Roman, doesn’t miss that he’s not in on the joke.

“Oh, did your butt buddy not tell you?” he asks, hurling the full power of his disdain in Greg’s direction, which is never a fun experience. “Yeah, he and Shiv are dunzo. I caught him sleeping in his office the other night, all curled up on his little couch. It was really sad. We’re talking top tier pathetic. Very cliché.”

Shiv seems to have found the power of speech again, fork hitting her plate with a clatter. “As usual, you have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“I didn’t find him sleeping in his office?” Roman fakes shock, hand coming to his heart. “I must’ve hallucinated it. Guess I should lay off the shrooms.”

Before Shiv can ramp the verbal sparring up to fatal, Tom leans over and whispers in her ear. She closes her eyes for several long seconds as the table watches, breathless. When she opens them, she clears her throat and picks up her fork. “The food’s good,” she says. “Thanks, Ken.”

They spend the rest of the meal in silence. Greg tries to catch Tom’s eye, but he looks away every time.

***

Once everyone has shoved enough food into their mouths to pass for having eaten a full meal, Kendall tells Greg to clear the table and wash up.

“Tom, you should help him,” Shiv instructs. From the look Tom gives her, this was not part of whatever plan he agreed to, but after a quick, silent battle of wills, she wins.

Tom stands, snatching his plate from the table with dramatic flair. “Is Gerri going to be kicked out, too?”

“Uh, no,” Roman declares definitively, before either of the other siblings have time to respond. “Gerri has valuable strategic insight.”

Tom looks like he wants to protest, but Shiv shoots him a killer glare and he wilts. “Fine.”

Which is how Greg ends up stuck in the kitchen, away from the action, five feet from the one person he was trying to avoid. Fantastic. He turns the sink on hot and grabs a cup to start cleaning.

“You don’t have to do that,” Tom tells him, after watching him scrub away for an awkward minute. “Kendall can afford someone to wash his dishes for him. They just wanted us out of the room.”

“I know.” Does Tom really think he needs that explained? He’s the one who works out of this apartment, he knows the maid who comes every morning. “It’s just something to do.”

Tom considers this, then joins him at the sink, snatching up a dish towel and picking a newly clean dish off the counter. Since no one actually uses the kitchen for anything there’s no dish rack. They only have the towel because Greg brought it from his own apartment—he has a tendency to spill coffee at least three times a week.

“It was my choice,” Tom says out of nowhere. “And I’m in a hotel now. Not my office.”

Greg glances over. Tom is intently focused on wiping a plate that’s well past the point of being dry. Is he supposed to say something comforting? That’s what friends do, but they aren’t friends, right? “Oh.”

“It’s not so bad. It’s actually really nice. Very comfortable bed, good sheets. High thread count. I checked.”

“Yeah, you gotta have high thread count, I guess,” Greg offers, lost.

“Exactly. It’s important, in a time of, a time of—” Tom swallows, blinking rapidly. “And there’s complimentary breakfast. Really high quality omelet bar. Egg whites, avocado—yum.”

It’s the least excited Greg has ever heard anyone be talking about an egg white omelette, and that’s not a topic that normally engenders a lot of enthusiasm. He’s tempted to offer for Tom to crash on his couch if he doesn’t want to be alone. But that’s definitely a friends-only thing, and besides, the last time Tom stayed at his place—the only time—it wasn’t the best circumstances. Honestly, maybe they really hadn’t been friends. If Greg thinks about certain things too hard, it starts to feel that way.

“If you guys are broken up, why’d she bring you?”

“We’re not ‘broken up.’ This isn’t high school.” Tom puts the plate down, turning in on Greg just a little, leaning forward, insistent. “No one’s crying into a pint of ice cream. We’re taking some space. It’s very adult, very sophisticated. And we’re still a team, which is why I’m here. For support.”

Greg looks at him, then at the dishes. He doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t need to.

“Yeah, well, Kendall sent you in here, too," Tom mutters defensively. “I guess neither of us have ‘valuable strategic insight.’”

“Yeah, guess not.” Greg reaches for another dish, only to realize he’s rinsed them all. Awkwardly, he shuffles to the kitchen door. From here, he can see the core four, hunched over the dining room table, talking in hushed voices. Roman has his arm slung around the back of Gerri’s chair. “Do you think there’s something up with Gerri and Roman?”

Tom joins him, taking in the tableau. “What, like are they fucking?”

“No!” The memory of Gerri’s smile at Roman’s joke comes back, tinted with a new light. “Maybe?”

“Hmm.” Tom tilts his head, clearly taking the question seriously, which makes Greg happier than it probably should. It’s nice to be taken seriously by someone. “No way, he’s with Tabitha. Why would you fuck Gerri when you could fuck Tabitha?”

“Tabitha did make you swallow your own come.” Though now that he says that out loud, it feels like something Roman would be into. “Okay, yeah, probably not, uh, that. But…remember how he defended her on the yacht? And now he brings her to this? Maybe they have a, you know, an alliance.”

“An alliance? Is this Survivor, Greg? Is somebody going to get kicked off the island?”

“Well…yeah, kind of. Someone might be. Right?”

That wipes the amused grin off Tom’s face. His eyes go wide; he cranes his neck to get a better look into the living room. “Right.” He draws back into the kitchen. “We should keep an eye on this.”

We?” Greg retreats into the kitchen, too, swiveling to loom at Tom. “I thought we weren’t friends anymore.”

He doesn’t mean it to be accusatory, he’s just surprised, but Tom casts his eyes to the ground. “Oh, right.”

He looks really sad. Damn it, Greg hates when he looks sad.

“We could have our own alliance?” he suggests tentatively. “We don’t need to be friends to have an alliance, right?”

Tom instantly brightens, smile spreading across his face. “No, we do not.”

He extends his hand. Greg happily takes it. 

***

An alliance, it turns out, is a really good idea. Things are spinning fast, every day a new cascade of clandestine phone calls, misleading press reports, whispers and rumors and meetings with board members that Kendall won’t let Greg in on.

What Greg takes away from it all is this: either Kendall comes out on top, or he is very, very out. Maybe cut off from the family money out.

“So, uh, if this goes wrong, do I, um, do I definitely have a job with you?” Greg finally works up the nerve to ask. They’re in the back of a limo, hurrying from one secret meeting to another, which isn’t the best time, but these days there’s no such thing as a good time. “Because I feel like I went out on a limb here, and I’m not really sure who else would trust me after I, you know, revealed corporate secrets?”

“Hmm?” Kendall is absorbed in a document the contents of which Greg isn’t allowed to know about. “Oh, yeah, of course. Don’t worry, I got you.”

“Okay. Okay, that’s good to hear.” Greg settles back into his seat, trying to accept that answer as good news. Kendall’s got him. What else does he want? Well, specifics might be nice. Any specifics. Even the vaguest specifics. “Not to sound ungrateful, but, like, what does that mean?”

Kendall glances up from the papers. He looks drained, exhausted; the dark bruises under his eyes stand out against yellowing skin. It’s not the most encouraging sight. “I don’t know, man. If this goes south…” He looks out the window. “I’ll figure something out.”

“Oh, okay. Figure something out, yep. Playing it by ear, got it, good.”

It’s not what Greg would call a reassuring answer, and, surprise, surprise, Tom isn’t having much better luck.

“Shiv’s thinking about going back into politics,” he tells Greg over coffee. Coffee they are having because they happened to bump into each other…at a cafe located ten blocks in the wrong direction for either of them. Accidentally. This is not at all a coordinated meeting. Yep. That’s their story, and Greg is sticking to it even in his brain. “If the board doesn’t land her with the top job, or if this all goes to Sandy and Stewy, she’s, yeah. Talking about going back.”

He spins his cup nervously. He hasn’t had a single sip. 

“So, okay, I mean, that’s cool.” Greg, on the other hand, has already downed half his latte. He’s constantly running on fumes; honestly, some cocaine would be nice, but he’s trying not to bring that energy around Kendall. His best hope for employment getting hooked on drugs again is not his ideal scenario. “Is that cool?”

Tom makes a dejected kind of half attempt at a shrug. “Sure. The plan was always me, not her. Me at the top, you know? And I think I’ve proven that I’m a valuable asset in my own. Weathered the storm, stayed loyal. I mean, I took a beating in Congress for this company.”

That sentence sits there like a giant turd on the table: too awkward to mention, but they both know it’s not actually a good thing.

“Yeah, but, if Shiv, I mean, if Shiv ends up leaving and maybe there’s any question…I’ll point that out to Kendall?” Greg offers. “How much of an asset you are?”

“Don’t think I’ll need it, but, yeah—yes. Sure, why not? It can’t hurt.” Tom’s tone is deliberately casual, but the eyes that meet Greg’s are grateful, and his lips tweak into a smile as he adds, “And obviously if you want to stay at Waystar and Shiv does stay and maybe Kendall doesn’t—well, I like to think I’d have some sway then.”

Greg meet his smile with one of his own. “Cool. Yeah, thanks.”

What’s left unsaid is: what do they do if both Kendall and Shiv are out?

***

They keep an eye on the Roman-and-Gerri situation, exchanging scraps of information via text.

They were definitely majorly simpatico at the most recent exec meeting, Tom tells Greg. She backed all his ideas.

The next day Greg can supply his own tidbit: They were on a conference call with Kendall. Just them. 

She WHISPERED IN HIS EAR!!!! Tom texts two days later. In the middle of a meeting! Then, a few minutes later, She’s doing it again! He giggled! GIGGLED GREG.

So, yeah, they agree at their next totally accidental coffee run-in, something’s up. But that’s not actually a very helpful conclusion. What are they supposed to do with “it seems like Roman and Gerri are working together?” They’re doing it so openly, surely everyone else has noticed, too.

They’ve almost given it up as a dead end—something to keep in mind, but not very useful—when the family is summoned to their Hamptons house at Connor’s insistence, after Willa’s play closes.

“He’s trying to remind her how rich we are,” Shiv tells Kendall and Roman as they wait for their helicopters. “As if that’s going to help.” 

“I hope she dumps him in front of us,” Roman muses. Gerri is, predictably, by his side. “That would make up for dragging us out here when we’re in the middle of the biggest shit storm this company has ever seen. Do you think he’d cry? I think he’d cry.”

“He’d definitely cry,” Shiv agrees. 

As the siblings continue to exchange barbs at Connor’s expense, Greg shuffles over to Tom. 

“Look who’s here,” Tom notes, tipping his head in Gerri’s direction. “Thought this was a family thing.”

“And no Tabitha,” Greg adds. 

“And no Tabitha.”

They exchange a surprised look. It can’t be. That part of the idea had basically been a joke. Right?

***

It turns out it can be, as Greg discovers when he stumbles into what he thought was the bathroom late that night. It’s not the bathroom. It’s Gerri’s room.

Gerri’s room, where Roman also is. Doing. Um.

Um

(Listen, Greg knew the guy was weird. He just wasn’t expecting this.)

Fortunately, the happy—happy? Is that happy? They seem happy—couple is so absorbed in their activities that they don’t notice as Greg swiftly shuts the door.

***

“Are you sure?”

This is the third time Tom has asked Greg to repeat himself. It’s like his brain can’t register what Greg is describing. Greg would be annoyed, but his brain can barely register it, either, and he’s the one who saw it. “Yeah, I’m sure. I don’t think I am capable of making that up.”

“Good point.” Greg feels like he should be offended by how readily Tom accepts the suggestion that he lacks imagination. But maybe it’s fine not to be a person who imagines…that. “This is wild. Roman Roy, a cuck.”

“I don’t think that’s the right terminology. I think a cuck is more when someone’s wife…” On second thought, it’s probably better not to finish that sentence. Greg’s not entirely clear on the status of Tom and Shiv’s relationship at the moment, but extramarital relations are probably still a sore subject. “But yeah, pretty good, right?”

“And Gerri?” More than the particulars of their sexual habits, it’s Roman’s choice of partner that Tom is hung up on. “She’s Shiv’s godmother!”

Greg decides now is not the time to mention that, actually, he’s always found Gerri kind of sexy, in an intimidating mom way. Apparently very intimidating. “There’s no accounting for taste.”

Tom grins, bouncing on his feet like a kid in a candy store. “After all the shit he gave me over Shiv! Do you think Tabitha knows? I bet she doesn’t know. Should we tell her? We should tell her. Rub it in his face. Shiv is going to be so mad. This will destroy him.”

“Yeah, yeah, we could do that. Or…” He’s not sure how to approach this. Maybe better just to say it. That seems to have worked out for him so far. “Or maybe we could use this to our advantage?”

Tom stops bouncing with a frown. “Isn’t taking Roman down the advantage? With him out of the way, Shiv and Kendall both have a better shot.”

Greg shrugs, feeling uncomfortable in his skin. He doesn’t love how natural proposing blackmail is starting to feel. Or…not blackmail. Gentle suggestions about mutually advantageous arrangements.

“That’s only true if we’re, you know, totally sure Kendall and Shiv have our backs. Because obviously I’ll stick up for you with Kendall, but that won’t help if he doesn’t listen to me. And, um, vica-versa?”

Tom opens his mouth as if he’s about to insist that of course Shiv will listen to him, but then he stops. Very carefully, he closes his mouth and adjusts his suit. His lips pucker a few times before he finally says, “And if, for some reason, we aren’t one hundred percent sure of that?”

“Well, maybe the best strategy is to, like, make sure Roman has our backs, too?”

The grin returns to Tom’s face. “Go on.”

***

The hardest part of executing the plan is getting Roman alone in a room without anyone noticing. It’s not like Greg can make a calendar invite for blackmail.

(Yeah, fine, it’s blackmail. But…very gentle blackmail. It’s fine. He’s okay with this. Totally okay.)

He finally manages to corner Roman in the bathroom after yet another clandestine meeting with an important shareholder. Once he has his attention, it’s surprisingly easy to lay out the facts. He barely even blushes, and only stumbles over about fifty percent of his words, which is a lot better than it could’ve been.

“So, yeah,” he concludes. “Long story short, I saw you fucking Gerri.”

“Really?” Roman leans casually against the sink, raising his eyebrows, smile sardonic. “You saw me and Gerri fucking. My penis was in her vagina. That’s what you’re telling me?”

“Well, no, not exactly. You were more, well—you know, she was talking, and you were—” He makes a vague gesture down around his crotch. “She was being mean to you,” he adds.

Roman scoffs. “You plan to tell people Gerri was saying mean things to me while I diddled myself like a pervert? Does that sound like something people are going to believe?” His tone is light, but not entirely. He’s actually asking Greg to consider how the story would play. “I’m a sex god with a hot girlfriend who can have anyone I want, and she’s a highly respectable widower. Does anything about that track?”

Okay, it does sound outlandish when Roman puts it like that. On the other hand, “Tom believed it.”

That makes Roman’s smile falter. “You told Tom? Did he tell Shiv?”

“No.” Roman’s expression of open relief gives Greg an idea. “But he could. He could call her right now.”

Roman’s shoulders rise defensively. “So this is blackmail?” He pauses, considering, then sighs and tosses his hands up in a gesture of surrender. “Fine. What are you looking for here?”

“It’s not blackmail.” Greg’s not entirely sure why saying that makes him feel better when it so clearly is blackmail, but it does. “It’s just, uh, um, a mutually beneficial arrangement? We don’t rock the boat, you make sure there’s a place for us in the new world order?”

“New world order? Jesus, man, we’ve really fucked you up.” For the briefest moment, Roman almost looks concerned, as if he actually cares. But then it’s over, and he’s back to annoyed, crossing his hands over his chest. “You do realize the other half of this equation is Gerri, right? I understand you look at me, you think ‘oh Roman, what an idiot, what a pushover.’ But Gerri? Gerri is terrifying.”

“I noticed.”

Roman scowls at him. “Ha, ha, laugh it up. At least I’m getting laid. You’ve never had a date in your life. Is that why you had time to stalk me? Did you get off on it? I bet you did, you sick fuck. I bet you jerk off at night thinking about how good I have it.”

Greg doesn’t take the bait. The mocking has an edge of desperation, which means he’s winning. “Be that as it may, it seems like it’s in your best interest for Kendall and Shiv not to find out about this.” 

Roman drums his fingers against his arm, expression turning serious. He inclines his head. “Okay, but what’s my guarantee, here? You, I get. This way, you have me and Kendall looking out for you, so no matter what, you win. Fine. But Tom? How do I know he doesn’t go to Shiv? Get it in as a little foreplay, woo her back with insider info?”

Greg isn’t sure what to say. It doesn’t feel like Roman will take I don’t know, it just kind of feels like they aren’t really on the same team anymore as an answer. It’s okay. He can do this. They’re so close, and Tom’s counting on him.

“Think about it this way,” he tries. “If there’s no room for us at a Waystar Royco run by Roman Roy, then it’s really in our best interests to make sure Waystar Royco isn’t run by you. If there is, why would we say anything?”

Roman takes this in. He rolls his head, stretching his neck, then sighs. “Are you sure you’re only our cousin? Maybe dad got it in with your mom or something, because you’re really channeling him right now.”

“Does that mean we have a deal?”

Roman pushes away from the sink, spins, and turns on the faucet. “It means let me talk to Gerri. It also means you’re an asshole. I hope you’re proud.”

***

Months later, the Roys still have control of the company, Roman is what one newspaper dubs “the world’s least probable CEO,” and Tom and Greg both get promotions. And raises. Big raises.

Really big raises.

“To Roman Roy’s very strange sex life,” Tom says with a grin, tipping a glass of the most expensive wine available at the city’s most exclusive new restaurant in Greg’s direction. 

“And to spending our entire first new paychecks on this meal,” Greg adds, banging glass against glass. That’s barely an exaggeration, but he doesn’t mind. There are a lot more paychecks in his future. 

“Because we are so fucking rich it doesn’t matter,” Tom agrees. “This is what happens when we work together.”

“Yeah.” Greg can’t stop himself from smiling. Tom’s energy is infectious, and they are very fucking rich. “We make a pretty good team.” 

Tom’s grin spreads wider, transforming into something bright and sincere. “I thought we were an alliance?”

“I think we can upgrade to team?” Greg hopes he isn’t pushing too far when he adds, “Maybe even…partners?” 

“Partners.” Tom turns the word over, sipping his wine as he considers. “60/40?” 

“We aren’t actually splitting anything,” Greg points out. “The partnership is metaphorical.”

“Yeah, but you know what I mean.”

He does. He knows too well. He doesn’t want to go back to that. “No, 50/50.” 

“55/45?”

On the other hand, Tom is on the brink of divorce, and he has been at this a lot longer than Greg. He could probably use the win, and Greg can afford to be a little nice.

“Fine,” he agrees, lifting his glass again. “55/45 partners. Works for me.”