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He’s getting used to having people who want him around.

 

Gerry’s had friends, sure. Once he left the institute and began working odd jobs, he realized how much he genuinely enjoyed having company. He still isn’t the most social of creatures, but he does enjoy a night out with old coworkers who enjoy his stories and laugh at his jokes. But now, with Jon and Martin, they want him around all the time. Even after they started dating, even after he moved in, he was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. It never does, though. And Gerry, in spite of himself, begins to relax. Begins to feel at home. 

 

He’s laying on the couch, scribbling in his notebook when Martin surprises him with a peck to the top of his head. “Whatcha drawing this time?” He was very excited when he heard Gerry liked to draw, immediately asking to see his notebook or anything he’d done. He’d only recently shown him some of his work; he knows Martin would never make him feel embarrassed, but, well. It’s another part of himself no one’s ever been interested in. Until now.

 

“Jon,” Gerry responds, leaning into the touch. It’s an amateurish attempt in his opinion, just a rough sketch. But he’s got the proportions down and he never forgets a face. Couldn’t forget, in Jon’s case. 

 

“That’s…” Martin trails off, peering closer at the page. “That’s really good. You’ve even got him smiling!” It’s not that Jon never smiles; he smirks and laughs and snarks. But he’s managed to capture that rare, bright grin that makes Gerry’s heart skip a beat.

 

“Mhm.” Gerry nods slightly, pen tapping against his sketchpad. He turns around, seeing the naked fondness in Martin’s eyes and has a particularly wicked thought. “Y’know, this is how he looks when he’s watching you.”

 

Martin sputters, turns a lovely shade of red. “W-What? Really?”

 

“No,” Gerry smirks. “It’s the way he looks at the Admiral.” A groan and a light smack to the shoulder prove his joke is unappreciated. “Sorry, sorry! I’m sure he also looks at you that way-”

 

“You’re an ass.” Martin rolls his eyes but oh-so-gently picks up his hand, pausing to inspect the ink-stained fingers. “A very talented ass.” His mind blanks as Martin kisses them one by one.

 

Thoroughly distracted, he never gets around to finishing that sketch.

 


 

Painting, as it turns out, is a lot harder than it looks. Still quite fun, though.

 

They’ve just found the perfect space- a little out of their price range, but Gerry’s got savings and Jon was willing to part with a bit himself. Martin fretted over his ‘meager contribution,’ as his savings were depleted in the final months of his mother’s care. Ridiculous that he would ever think his contribution meager, considering he’s the one who scouted for locations and did all of the paperwork and stayed up late, agonizing over their finances. Some days, Martin’s the only one keeping them sane. Gerry and Jon are due to remind him of that.

 

Which is why they’re handling the decorating. Jon claims to have no artistic talent, but he does have a knack for making places seem like home. There are boxes filled with knick knacks and rugs and pictures, all waiting to be hung somewhere once Jon’s finally settled on a layout. Gerry’s left with painting the walls, labeling the different sections in whatever way he sees fit. He’s currently at work on the horror section, painting a stylized eye above the tarp-covered bookshelf when he hears the sound of the bell; Martin must be back from the store. They’d run out of appropriately-sized nails and after a minor freak out, he’d been on his way.

 

“Find what you were looking for?” he calls, listening as Martin’s footsteps grow closer, the crinkle of bags in his hand. “Here to save the day?”

 

“I wouldn’t call it saving,” Martin snorted, setting them down on the ground with a thump. “But it’ll certainly help. That looks nice.”

 

Gerry pauses, considering his work. He really needs a darker green for this. “Thanks. It’s a work in progress.”

 

“I’m sure it’ll turn out great,” he murmurs distractedly, and Gerry turns to look back at him. The lines of his face are more pronounced than usual, as are the shadows under his eyes. A sure sign that the stress is getting to him. Gerry understands, and he’s not much for being particularly sappy but he does what he can to help.

 

“Hey,” he calls down to him from his ladder. “C’mere. Need your opinion on something.”

 

Martin sighs, but heeds the call. “What is it? You know I’m rubbish with this art stuff-”

 

“It’ll only take a second. Come closer.”

 

“What am I supposed to be looking at-”

 

“Closer.”

 

As Martin huffs and leans towards him, Gerry darts his paintbrush out, drawing the quickest of hearts on Martin’s cheek before he can pull away. 

 

“Gerry!” Martin startles and his hand reaches up to wipe at his cheek.

 

“Don’t smear it, it’s a heart.” He pauses, going for his gravest voice. “Because I love you so much. I’ll be devastated if you ruin it.”

 

“I don’t appreciate that.” Martin sighs but drops his hand, his face softening already. Exasperation has never been paired with fondness, not when it’s aimed at Gerry. Another thing he’s starting to get used to.

 

“Shame. It looks good.”

 

Martin goes home with a heart on his other cheek as well. He looks ridiculous. Gerry loves it.

 


 

When Jon’s particularly stressed, Gerry leaves him post-it notes.

 

Often he leaves before Gerry even wakes, so he’s got to do them the night before. A little cat here, a little caricature of Bouchard there. He leaves a variety, depending on his mood. Jon always gives him a kiss when he gets home, a soft ‘thank you for the note,’ and that’s all he needs, really, to keep doing it. He likes making Jon smile.

 

Martin’s gone grocery shopping and Jon’s pulling a late night again, so Gerry’s alone in the flat looking for something to do. There’s nothing on Netflix worth watching (or at least, worth watching by himself) and he’s not in the mood for his latest novel, so he decides he’s going to be productive, make a list of all the things he has to do this week. Jon’s always going on about lists, though he leaves them everywhere and never seems to accomplish everything on them. Maybe it’s the act of making them that’s relaxing. It’s worth a try.

 

He makes his way over to the second bedroom they (mostly Jon) use as an office. He’s sure Jon’s got a little notepad here that he can use, and he wants it to look as official as possible. He opens the left hand drawer but only finds Martin’s receipts, and on the right he finds a plain-looking notebook, a little worn with use. Maybe that’s what he uses-

 

Gerry opens it. Pauses. Blinks. Feels something heavy and thick form in his throat.

 

It’s his notes- his stupid little sketches, his ‘have a good day at work’s, his smiley-faces and little hearts. Each carefully placed on page after page with an accompanying date, neat and tidy, like a little scrapbook. Mum used to throw out his ‘doodles,’ as she called them, told him his time was better spent on actual art, but Jon’s kept all of them. Like they mattered. Like they were important. He sets it back down on the desk and just stands there, heart beating hard in his chest.

 

Gerry’s tearing up like some sort of moron so he’s distracted and doesn’t hear Jon come home, doesn’t hear his usual grumblings and sighs. Doesn’t hear him until Jon’s right behind him, startling him with a hand on his arm. “Sorry, I was just- Gerry, are you alright?”

 

Alright. Alright. It’s a word that doesn’t encompass everything he’s feeling. Wanted, embarrassed, a little overwhelmed. And so, so happy. 

 

He turns around and grabs Jon in a fierce hug, overcome with affection and eager to hide his stupid tears as he squeezes Jon to his chest. “You’re adorable, you know that?” he says, peppering kisses to the top of his head despite Jon’s weak protestations. “Real fuckin’ cute.”

 

Jon melts into his embrace, even as he complains. “I’ve got no idea what you’re on about, Gerry,” he says into his chest, the words muffled. “You’re being absurd.” Jon’s just about the only person he knows that uses ‘absurd’ on a daily basis. It’s insufferable. Gerry loves it.

 

“Just let me hug you, you little ogre.”

 


 

Sometimes, Gerry’s the one who’s got to be up early. Doctors appointments are a bitch, and after a brief scare last year, it’s important that he keep up with them. Martin helps him schedule, marking the appointments on the calendar with a bold black marker that can’t be missed.

 

This morning’s particularly brutal, with an eight o’clock appointment an hour’s commute away. Jon went to sleep at a reasonable hour last night and he needs the rest; Gerry knows if he wakes Martin, he wakes them both. Jon’s never been good at sleeping alone. 

 

He’s stumbling blearily around the kitchen, about to put the kettle on when he notices it. On the table is a post-it note; he doesn’t remember leaving one for Jon last night, but he’d been rather tired, so who knows? Gerry putters around, fixing his tea and nibbling at toast when he finally spares it a glance. 

 

It’s not for Jon. It’s for him.

 

Good luck at your appointment!  It reads in Martin’s familiar, neat script. Accompanying it is a small doodle that has to be Jon’s; it’s not particularly good, but it clearly shows a little Gerry, makeup and all, with a plaster on his cheek and a heart over his head. It looks like Jon spent time on it. Spent time on some stupid little post it note to make Gerry smile. 

 

He puts it in his pocket. Takes it out a few times in the waiting room, stares at it. Everything looks fine, the doctor says at the end of the appointment. He’s so lucky.

 

He’s so lucky.