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Pumpkin Carving

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Nursey and Dex are elbow deep in pumpkin muck and the Haus is quiet. Bitty’d run to the grocery store and the rest of the guys scattered after Lardo won the carving contest (soundly destroying any competition with her tasteful nude scene). But when Dex volunteered to sort seeds for Bitty to roast, Nursey stuck around too.

They’re sitting on either side of the kitchen table with seven pumpkins worth of guts between them when Nursey looks up and is caught by the furrow at Dex’s brow. A year ago, he would have chirped him for his focus or at the very least told him to chill. But he stays quiet.

He stays quiet because he’s learned what that furrow means. He knows -without a doubt- that Dex has never half-assed anything a day in his life. Not their first year on the team, not that paper that had him and Chowder up for three days, not the dwindling pile of seeds sitting in front of them, and not this thing that’s been growing between them. The way Nursey sees it, if Dex is gonna look at him the same way he looks at his programming homework when it starts beeping at him, it’s the least he can do to know what that furrow means. To understand that when Dex looks at him and his eyebrows scrunch together in the middle, he’s all in. And they haven’t talked about it yet, not really. Because it’s hard to sit down and look someone in they eye and tell them that they’re it for you. That when you look at them you see yourself ten, twenty years down the line and the idea of them being there is the only part of it that doesn’t seem scary.

So Dex doesn’t say it and Nursey doesn’t say it right back. But when Dex looks at Nursey and furrows his brow, Nursey looks back and offers to spend his Sunday afternoon sifting through a foot hight pile of stringy mess. He figures if he’s gonna get roped into doing this sort of thing for the rest of their lives, he might as well start now.

Of course, Dex notices that Nursey’s stopped working and started mentally rhapsodizing. His furrow deepens for a moment before he raises an eyebrow. Nursey looks down - a little embarrassed at having been caught mooning and a little grateful that Dex was the only one to see - and reaches towards the middle of the table, where the last of the seeds are still stuck to the front page of The Swallow.

Dex throws a hand full of the stringy mess at Nursey. “Dude, come on,” he says as he picks up the bowl and sets it in the sink. Nursey follows, gathering up the newspaper and throwing it in the trashcan. Dex has started rinsing the seeds, finishing the last of the prep for Bitty. There’s nothing for Nursey to do now except lean next to Dex, hip to hip, and rest a hand at the base of his neck, absentmindedly tracing freckles and toying with ginger hair. Dex leans into the touch as he shuts off the faucet. Nursey slides his hand from Dex’s neck to the small of his back and presses a chaste kiss on his jaw before stepping away. They may not be ready to talk about the future yet, but they’ll get there.