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All the Possum-bilities

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Nolan is in the checkout line at the grocery store when he gets a text from Kevin that is just the rat emoji and nothing else.

He rolls his eyes and types “he's a marsupial” before backing his cart out of the line to grab a bag of grapes and a couple oranges.

A mom glares at him for making her move, but Nolan basically just gave her his spot, so he glares right back.

When he gets back in line with his fruit, Kevin has sent back an eyeroll emoji and nothing else.

Nolan loads the bags into the car, sends him a Wikipedia article, and throws his phone in the backseat. Call it safe driving or whatever.

Driving home— and it's honestly insane that Kevin's house became "home" so quickly— takes basically no time at all. Maybe Nolan went a little over the speed limit, so sue him.

He contorts himself over the center console to grab his phone and the bag of fruit, then decides that might look eager, and crams the fruit into another bag with the Gatorade and gross gummy vitamins his doctor wants him to test for migraine prevention.

After taking a moment on the porch to collect his chill and school his face into the appropriate level of bored and angry, he swings the door open.

“Hayesie,” he calls, kicking off his shoes and pointedly not looking into the living room. “Groceries in the car, asshole.”

Nolan waits until he hears Bostonian grumbling from upstairs before entering the living room.

Sure enough, there's a possum curled up on one of the couch pillows like a royal cat, nose tucked under his skinny little tail.

His beady little eyes open at the sound of Nolan walking in, and in a flash, he's on his feet, scampering across the cushions and up the arm to launch himself at Nolan, squeaking excitedly.

Nolan drops the grocery bag to catch him, laughing despite himself as he says, “woah, TK, calm down there, bud.”

TK wriggles and chitters in his arms like a slippery little fish, and it's only through a lot of practice that Nolan doesn't drop him.

An orange rolls out of the bag he dropped, and TK's attention snaps to it, and he launches himself at it, pushing off Nolan's chest with his little clawed feet.

“Ow, hey,” Nolan says, offended, as he fruitlessly tries to catch the possum-wrapped-orange rolling across the floor. “Hey, TK, no, you can't do that in here or Kev's gonna make me mop!”

TK pops his head out from behind the orange, a move Nolan knows is calculated to be cute and endearing, but goddamn if it doesn't work.

“Lemme peel it normally,” he grumbles.

TK makes another weird noise that Nolan takes as agreement, so he reaches for the orange. He really should have seen it coming when TK scrambles up his arm like some kind of acrobat, but he doesn't, and he very narrowly avoids falling and crushing his cat-sized roommate.

Nolan scoops up the orange and turns to glare at TK, who is perched smugly on his shoulder. TK stares back with his empty little eyes and still manages to make Nolan feel like he's being laughed at.

“Fuck you,” Nolan mutters.

TK bites his earlobe, not hard enough to hurt, but enough to remind Nolan that he could.

Nolan refuses to be menaced by a possum.

He takes the whole bag of fruit and gummy vitamins into the kitchen, where Kevin is putting away the rest of the groceries.

He looks up from what he's doing to greet Nolan. “You look like the most redneck pirate in the world.”

“Your mom,” Nolan mumbles, already blushing down his neck and hating it. He tries to hide it by turning to the sink to rinse grapes. TK watches like it's prime time television.

“Yo, my ma's a classy lady,” Kevin argues. “She'd have a whole parrot.”

Nolan turns to stare. “Instead of what, a half parrot?”

Kevin honks his loud stupid laugh. “Instead of a possum, ya fuckin' nerd.”

TK makes a fucking bizarre squeaking sound, and it takes Nolan a minture to realize he's trying to copy Kevin's laugh.

Nolan rolls his eyes. “God, what ever, ” he mumbles, before grabbing a bowl and stomping back into the living room.

It looks like TK's been there a while; there's a small pile of shredded tissues and magazines, which human-TK insists are for nesting, even though Nolan googled it once, and wild possums use grass and leaves to build their nests.

TK usually naps on the couch anyway, so it doesn't exactly matter if his obsessive shredding is for nest-building or just because he has too goddamn much energy.

Nolan brushes the shreds off the couch and sits down next to TK's pillow, just in case he's tired of holding onto Nolan's shoulder.

TK doesn't budge, so Nolan calls up some NPR shit on his phone and starts peeling TK's orange and dropping the peels in the bowl. There are only a few little teeth marks in the peel from TK's wrestling match, and Nolan appreciates the fact that he probably won't have to clean orange juice off the floor again.

Nolan holds up a segment of orange, and TK nibbles it out of his hand. It's objectively adorable, but will also result in objectively more orange juice on Nolan's shoulder. Weighing the options, he mentally shrugs. What's another load of laundry, honestly?

TK smacks his gross little possum lips next to Nolan's ear and Nolan exclaims in disgust, mostly on principle, before feeding TK another segment.

Nolan finishes peeling the orange and rewards himself with his own slice. It's bright and tart and juicy. TK might be valid for deciding oranges are his favorite, but, then again, it's TK, so can he ever really be valid?

Nolan stares at the wall, absently feeding TK orange slices and listening to the radio person ramble about a coffeeshop open mic that may or may not be radicalizing the meat industry, or something. Every sentence sounds like a Mad Libs page, and Nolan isn't totally sure it's real.

He runs out of orange slices as the narrator's voice fades out into the jangly theme music, and the list of sponsors plays.

“Fucked up, huh?” he says, as if TK can talk.

TK pats his face with his sticky little paws and Nolan offers him a grape.

They munch quietly through another twenty minute audio-documentary of an unrealistically specific subculture Nolan has never heard of before he speaks again.

“It's always fuckin' weird when you do this, bud. Like, I'll feed you oranges 'til you explode, but it's so quiet.” He pets TK's little head for a while. “Like you're here but you aren't, y'know?”

TK chitters sympathetically and chews on a strand of Nolan's hair. It's a testament to how soft Nolan is feeling that he just lets it happen.

After a while, Nolan gets tired of staring at the wall and feeling sorry for himself. He pushes TK's pillow off onto the floor and stretches out, moving slowly so TK has plenty of time to relocate.

TK curls up on his chest, making the sleepy little snuffling noises that never fail to make Nolan smile.

He runs his hand over TK's back a few times before just settling it there, holding on gently. “See you in a little bit, 'kay, bud?” Nolan mumbles, already falling asleep.

TK flicks him in the face with his little bald tail before gracefully curling it over his nose and settling down for his own nap.

When they wake up later, TK will be human, and naked, and crushing the hell out of Nolan, and Kevin will probably be chirping them, but they'll deal with that when it happens.