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It's always the little things.

Like the way Jamie talks to Phoebe. At first he was so unexpectedly careful with every single word he said, looking up to Roy for approval, now they share fucking secrets that Roy doesn't know shit about. Jamie says there's nothing special, but if it's nothing, why don't tell him? "Because you're a grumpy old man that turns every little thing in a half an hour lecture", teases Tartt. "And sometimes she needs advice from someone cool, fresh and who barely remembers the VHS era."

He does this a lot - mocking their age difference, but in a good way, it clearly doesn't bother him as much as it bothered Roy. To be honest, it feels like he enjoys it. He still learns how to let someone in, how to be unlonely, and he walks this road with baby steps and a battered heart, and Roy is old enough to stay through the shitstorms Jamie gives him, without even a mere moment of hesitation.

It's always the little things.

Like when they go to sleep angry, which happens just once, and Jamie takes the pillow and a blanket to the living room. They were fighting about something that won't worth shit in the daylight, they do that often, but it's alright, cause they're both quick-tempered and quick forgive.

That time is bad, though. They've never slept separately over some shitty bickering. Roy wants to tell him to stop being a prick, tell Jamie he could make a scene in the morning, they could yell at each other all they want while having a breakfast, tell him "Fuck that, just come back to the fucking bed".

Roy doesn't say a thing.

In the middle of the night he wakes up to a movements behind him and gives this a look over shoulder. Jamie's curled up at the free side of the bed, sleeping tensely, fingers squeezing the pillowcase, face heavy. Or just pretending to be asleep. Roy turns around and wrap this idiot in his arms and blanket, pulling closer. "Your place is fucking cold." Jamie justifies himself poorly, throwing arm around Roy as well. "Next time we're arguing at mine." Roy kisses his forehead and whispers, "Shut up".

It's always the little things.

Like having two alarms for the workdays. One for the actual work and one that rings forty minutes earlier. They like to make workdays mornings as lazy and comfy as possible, watching the first glimpse of a sunlight roll in the bedroom like ships in a bay. Forty minutes flows away from their hands too easily, so they capture time, interlacing fingers, laying half-awake.

"Do you think anybody knows?" Jamie asks.

"I don't think about it at all." Roy places a kiss on a naked shoulder, Jamie turns head to him, his beard tickles Jamie's cheek. "You want somebody to know?"

"Absolutely no."

"Don't even know, if I'm relieved or offended."

"How about 'flattered'?"

"And what am I fucking flattered by exactly?"

Jamie brings their clasped hands closer, unclenching his fingers only to trace the puzzle of Roy's palm lines like a fortune teller. "By the fact I'm fully contented with where we are and I don't want to share you with anybody else. You're mine, I'm fine with that."

"I'm yours?"

"Any objections?"

"No, Your Honour." Roy huffs and presses lips to Jamie's temple. "Does it make you mine?"

"Dunno." He can hear that bratty smirk in Jamie's voice he knows too well. "You tell me."

The next moment Jamie's trapped under his body, smiling with a corner of his lips, cause he knows. Yes, he knows him too well by now too. He knows short and semi-sweet kisses scattered all over the body teasingly, affectionately, and what words they're hiding. It makes him feel just like Roy wants to make him feel, even if sometimes Jamie thinks he doesn't deserve this, even if he sometimes thinks he's not doing enough to 'keep up' with what Roy does for him.

"Being together is not a competition, you know that?" Roy pins those words to Jamie's hot skin with little bites and short-stained bruises. They still have eleven minutes. Roy won't get him alone for a few days or more because of the away match and other stuff, so he uses every second.

"Yeah, but it's fun. It works for us, right?"

He's right. It works.

But there's always those little things that makes Roy want to raise a white flag.

Like when they're sitting in the room together, but separately, and Roy goes through the texts from Ted and Beard, discussing their work plans for the week, and hears Jamie swearing and talking to himself once in a while, playing a videogame. From where he is sitting, Roy can see the eyebrows narrowed unhappy with whatever is happening to him in this game of his, and all the pff's and eye rolling, it is almost fascinating. So he puts the phone down and rolls to the other side of the sofa to get a better view at the computer screen.

"Is that fucking Nancy Drew?"

Jamie takes off one of his headphones. "Now what do you have against Nancy Drew?" It comes out too protective, yet it's understandable - Roy can be harsh with his opinion on things and while it's just an opinion, Jamie thinks of it as some sort of personal attack. Which Roy hates, cause he thought half a year is enough time for him to know Roy's not here to hurt him in any way, but, on the other hand, it may be something Jamie doesn't control himself.

"The game's alright, I just thought you play some fucking shooter here."

"Why?" Jamie looked sincerely confused.

"What was the last book you read?"

"Go fuck yourself by the world-known author - sir Not Your Fucking Business. What's your point, I'm not smart enough for mystery games?"

Roy rolls his eyes and throws a pillow at the back of Jamie's chair. "Didn't know you're interested in these kind of things, that's all."

"Well now you know, and since you have nothing better to do than insult me, get your ass over here."

"I'm good with sofa, but thank you."

"Over here, Kent!" he orders and Roy relaxes at the humorous tone, which means he's not really that angry. Roy grunts (for show mostly), getting up and taking another chair to sit down next to Jamie. Tartt's eyeing him, biting his lip thoughtfully. He says, "I liked Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. When I was a child."

"Like, five years ago?" Roy can't help himself, the joke beats the laugh out of Jamie, even though he tries to mask it with cough and elbows Roy in the ribs palpably. "So you were a fan. Go on."

"Not a fan, but it's just, well, it's good stories. They're simple and inspiring and good lads always win the fight. When football happened, didn't have much time to enjoy them properly. So I saw the game and-" He shrugged shoulders, trying to get the puzzle done.

"You suck at it."

"Oh yeah, big time."

"Then fuck that. You are no Hardy boy... or Nancy Drew, whatever you like the most. So what? You're Jamie Tartt, there's hundreds of blokes who want to be just like you, and you're not some fictional character."

Jamie smiles. "You're right, I'm fucking amazing." Roy clicks tongue and pushes Jamie's knee with his own under the desk. "But you know why is that so? Because I'm stubborn and persistent and I wouldn't be here if I gave up easily. Which means, you sit here and help me, while I'm figuring out what I'm missing to get rid of this bloody lock and telling you what we're solving here."

So Roy sits here, looking at Jamie more than at screen, as he talks and talks, saying names like they were his old friends (and Roy probably won't remember any of them in the next thirty minutes), describes puzzles he already solved, visibly proud of himself for this, then gets distracted with memories of one of his favourite case from the original books.

It's all just the details.

But it's always those little things that makes one say "I love you". Roy lets it escape from his mouth way too easily on Jamie's mid-sentence, making him shut up and stare back awkwardly surprised and slightly panicked. He didn't go that far in his relationship with someone yet, and never got those words said to him before.

"Excuse me?" Is all Tartt can say, and it sounds bad, he wishes he can take it back and say something else, but he's too startled. And Roy starts fucking panicking as well, thinking maybe he took that too far. 

"You heard me." He scoffs in his old manner. "I'm not fucking repeating my-" Jamie shuts him up with a kiss so fragile and soft it might be something Roy's mind made up to lower the growing anxiety over his dumb mouth and stupid things that comes out of it unintentionally.

"Say that again." Jamie breathes those words in Roy's lips carefully.

"Um- I said, You heard me, I'm not fucking-"

"I swear, I'm gonna crush your other knee, granddad."

Roy laughs quietly, tugging on Jamie's shirt to bring him closer, kissing himself back to reality, slow and rational. "I love you."

"Love you too." Jamie smiles and pulls away. "But if you think this will distract me and I'm gonna let you get away without helping me with this bloody game, then no. 'First I Love You' sex can definitely fucking wait."

"Choosing some fucking game over sex? Do I know you?"

"Yeah, you do." Jamie stares at the screen again, biting his cheek to keep the smile from growing wider. "Even worse, you fucking love me."