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Patience Yields Rewards

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Clover watched in worry as James paced back and forth in his living room, a pinched expression on his face, while Tai was leaning against a counter with his arms crossed and his foot tapping impatiently.

“He still isn’t back yet.” James stated with concern as he continued pacing.

Clover went to him and placed a hand on his shoulder, the metal side, to stop him and said, “I’m sure he’s okay James.”

“Yes, I’m sure he is but…” James began as he put his hand on Clover’s. “He’s been gone for hours and he hasn’t answered his scroll… and it’s Mantle at night I… I’m just worried…”

“I know, I’m worried too.” Clover told him gently and was about to continue when Tai interrupted.

“If you’re worried then let’s go find him already!” Tai yelled, a seething anger obvious in his features but it wasn’t directed at them. “I’m done with waiting!”

He started walking towards the door but both Clover and James stopped him from leaving with hands on his shoulders.

“Tai stop, if you confront Qrow now you’ll just make him upset and push him away!” Clover exclaimed, his tone firm but pleading.

“But what if someone hurts him!?” Tai asked them furiously.

“I don’t like waiting either but Clover is right.” James told him sternly. “Besides, Qrow can take care of himself.”

“I know that but still-”

Then they all paused when the door opened to reveal Qrow looking at them in confusion.

“Oh uh, hey guys, what’re you up to?” Qrow asked them as he closed the door behind him.

Clover closed the distance between them and gave him a quick kiss. “Nothing really, welcome home, pretty bird.”

“Thanks, lucky charm.” Qrow had a soft smile on his face before it turned into a smirk. “And nothing, huh? You sure about that? You were all standing by the door, were you about to go out?”

“Ah that, well you see…” James began but Tai interrupted him.

“Actually, I was about to come find you.” Tai told him honestly and James and Clover noticed he still looked a bit angry. “You were gone a long time, where were you?”

Qrow looked surprised at the question or maybe it was the tone in Tai’s voice. “Nowhere special, just down in Mantle, had a couple errands to run.”

Clover tried to take over the conversation. “Oh that’s great, why don’t we sit down and you can-”

“What kind of errands would you have this late at night?” Tai demanded, the fury in his voice made Qrow hunch into himself defensively.

“What’s your problem? What’s with all the questions?” Qrow asked, sounding distressed as he looked to Clover and James for answers.

“Well, you were down there for quite awhile, it was getting late and you hadn’t answered your scroll…” James told him, trying his best to sound gentle and calm against Tai’s simmering rage.

“We were just worried, sweetheart.” Clover admitted, hoping his tenderness would ease Qrow’s nerves but his boyfriend tensed instead.

“Oh… I get it… You thought I’d get drunk and fool around with someone else…” Qrow’s tone was detached and icy, he almost sounded resigned as if he expected this.

Clover immediately spoke up with a protest. “Wait Qrow, that’s not it!”

“Yeah, I was just worried someone would take advantage of you!” Tai exclaimed still with a bit of anger in his voice.

“I can take care of myself!” Qrow shot back venomously but with obvious hurt in his eyes.

James stepped in, hoping to end the argument. “We know but people can still find weaknesses, especially when one is inebriated.”

“I wasn’t drinking!” Qrow yelled frustratedly, his eyes shiny from unshed tears.

“Qrow, I know, I’m just saying relapses can happen.” James told him gently as he attempted to embrace him but Qrow moved away until his back was against the door. “I’m very aware of how easily they can happen.”

Qrow knew what James was alluding to. He had gone through his own struggles with addiction after the accident that took half his body. Thankfully he was completely sober now.

“I-I haven’t relapsed, I’m sober I-”

“I know and I’m sorry for upsetting you.” James touched his cheek and softly stroked it. “You’ve done well love, I’m so proud of you.”

Qrow shook his head and let out a soft whimper, not saying anything as a few stray tears fell.

“I’m sorry too…” Clover came to him, wiping the tears away as he spoke. “You really are so incredible, Qrow.” And then he and James were holding Qrow close to them.

Tai watched them, feeling awful for hurting Qrow like this. He had to make things right, he had to apologize. He closed the distance between them and tentatively reached out a hand to Qrow who only hesitated for a moment before he took it and laced their fingers together.

“I’m sorry Qrow, I shouldn’t have gotten mad at you like that. I’ve just lost so much, I couldn’t stand the thought of losing you too...” Tai told him regretfully.

“Tai…” Qrow whispered his name in melancholy.

“I know you can handle yourself and I know you’re fighting hard to stay sober, you really are amazing.” Tai gave him a sad smile as he pulled him into a tight hug. “I’ll always be here to support you, we all will.”

Clover and James too, smiled fondly as they joined the embrace. Qrow clutched Tai’s shirt as he buried his face in his neck.

“Thank you…” He breathed out softly. “I’ll make sure to turn my scroll on so you won’t have to worry.”

His three boyfriends hummed in agreement as they pulled away from each other. They walked over to the couch to sit down, with Clover in the middle and Qrow in his lap.

“So, can we ask what the errands were?” Tai asked hesitantly, hoping he wasn’t overstepping.

“Oh yeah, I actually got the three of you some gifts.” Qrow told them shyly with his cheeks tinted pink.

“Oh Qrow that’s so sweet of you.” Clover praised with a kiss to his cheek.

“Yes that was very thoughtful.” James agreed as he stroked his hair.

“I feel like I don’t deserve it…” Tai admitted nervously.

“It’s okay, you obviously feel bad about it and you said sorry so you can have it.” Qrow smiled as he reached into his inner vest pocket and pulled out three individually wrapped items. He handed James the blue one, Clover the green one and Tai the yellow one. “Go ahead and open them.”

They didn’t need to be told twice so they unwrapped the gifts.

“Oh Qrow, these are beautiful.” James breathed out as he marvelled at the sapphire encrusted cufflinks before he leaned in to give him a kiss. “Thank you, darling, I can't wait to show them off tomorrow.”

Qrow smiled as he returned the kiss. “Glad you approve, Jimmy.”

“Oh I love them!” Clover exclaimed enthusiastically as he gazed at the emerald studded earrings in his hand. He too, gave Qrow a kiss in appreciation. “Thank you so much birdie.”

Qrow hummed appreciatively into the kiss. “You’re welcome, Cloves.”

“Oh this design is so cool!” Tai cheered as he stared at the bracelet he had already put on. It was leather with a few silver pieces made to look like a dragon. “Thanks a bunch, feathers!”

Qrow laughed as he gave Tai a kiss to say all was forgiven. “No problem, TaiTai.”

Aftwards, the three of them decided to cook a nice meal for Qrow as both an apology and a thank you for the gifts. Then they got ready for bed and cuddled up close to stay warm. Qrow was lying on top of James while Clover was on their right and Tai on their left. They fell asleep like that, knowing they were closer than ever.