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Sharrod sits at the edge of the bed and reaches down for his shirt, which was shucked on the floor. He generally takes more care with his clothes but last night he could only focus on one thing. As if called by Sharrod's thoughts, a hand trails down the length of his back. He smiles to himself and puts on his shirt. He can practically hear the pout.

"Do you have to leave so early?" a sleep laden voice asks. Sharrod turns. Buddy has taken over the whole bed now, head on Sharrod's pillow, watching him with slitted green eyes.

"I have a flight to catch at 1.30 and someone," Sharrod squints his eyes at Buddy in mock anger, "refused to drive me to the airport."

Buddy buries his face in the pillow.

"I drove you last week," Buddy mumbles.

"To the MCG and because you were coming to the game," Sharrod reminds him.

Buddy crawls over to where Sharrod is sitting and reaches out, grasping Sharrod's hand and pressing his lips to the palm.

"Don't leave," Buddy says, looking up at Sharrod with pleading green eyes, still holding on to Sharrod's hand.

Sharrod sighs and tries to suppress a smile. He leans down, cupping Buddy's face with his free hand and kisses him lightly on the lips.

"You have training today. Gibbo is coming to pick you up at 10, alright?" he kisses him again, "don't go back to sleep."

Buddy squeezes his eyes shut and curls around him, his long body folding around Sharrod.

"Hey," Sharrod gently runs a hand through Buddy's short cropped hair. Buddy opens his eyes. Sharrod has always loved this shade of green. "I love you."

Buddy smiles, slow and lovely, and ducks his head, forehead touching the bare skin of Sharrod’s thigh.

The doorbell rings and Sharrod just manages not to jump in surprise.

“That’d be James,” Sharrod says and stands up, gently dislodging Buddy’s tentacle arms and pulling on his jeans. “Lucky I have some friends who care about whether I get to the airport in time,” he says, walking towards the door.

“’m not a friend,” Buddy says, having migrated back to the middle of the bed, “ ‘m boyfriend.”

“That’s even worse,” he says, ducking the pillow Buddy throws at him with a laugh and makes his way to the front door.

He’s still grinning as he opens the door to find James O’Connor at his door.

“You look happy,” James comments, curiously looking in to the house as if looking for the source of the happiness. Sharrod shrugs. James tilts his head with a raised eyebrow. “I don’t think I want to know.”

Sharrod ignores the comment and picks up the bag he’s glad he remembered to pack yesterday.

“Ready to go?” James asks, pulling bag out of Sharrod’s hands and slinging it over his own shoulder. Sharrod glares at him and then gets distracted by Buddy entering the room clad only in his boxers. He hears James sighing beside him.

“Geez! I’ll be in the car. If you’re not there is five minutes, I’m leaving without you. Quade gets in at 12 and I promised him I’ll be there this time.”

“Okay,” Sharrod agrees and James shakes his head and walks down the stairs.

“Bye James!” Buddy yells, wrapping a long arm around Sharrod.

“Coming over after training?” James’ voice comes from below.

“Yeah!” Buddy shouts again. Sharrod turns in his arms to face him.

“Having fun without me?” he asks as Buddy leans down to kiss him.

“You’re the one flying off,” Buddy murmurs against his lips.

“I’ll be back on Sunday,” Sharrod says and laughs as James yells for him to hurry up. “I gotta go.”

Buddy nods, smile fading a little. Sharrod touches Buddy’s face with one hand, the other wrapping around his neck.

“I’ll call when I get there,” he says, leaning up and touching their lips together. James yells again and Sharrod steps out of Buddy’s arms and makes his way down the stairs. He looks up when he reaches the bottom and Buddy is there, framed in the door way, watching him. Even though they’d done this the whole season, flying off to play interstate, Sharrod still hasn’t gotten used to leaving like this. With Buddy watching him with sad eyes. He lifts a hand in farewell and Buddy smiles.
He enters the car with James muttering under his breath. Sharrod laughs.

“You’re sort of insane, you know that right?” He asks, putting on his seat belt as James races out of the driveway and in to traffic. “How can Quade spend so much time with you and not catch it?”

James diverts his attention momentarily from the road to glare at him.

“Unlike you, he loves me,” James replies haughtily.

Sharrod punches him in the arm.

“Looks like he caught it already then!”

James looks confused for a moment before understanding dawns and instead of yelling or punching Sharrod, James laughs, loud and happy.


Sharrod pulls his phone out of his jeans when it pings with a message.

I love you too.

Sharrod smiles and looks out the window. This is going to be a good week, he can tell.


The end.