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"You're doing it again."

 

Matt blinks. "Sorry, what?"

 

Daly turns towards him, a curious expression on his face. "Staring."

 

Matt tries to fight back the blush he knows must be spreading over his face right now. He can feel it, a warm flush over his cheeks.

 

"You have a strange face."

 

Daly blinks slowly. "Strange?"

 

Matt realises how that would have sounded and mentally slaps himself. "No, I mean… strange is good, you know," he tries to explain. "Strange is interesting."

 

"I guess interesting is better than being classically handsome," Daly says wryly.

 

Matt laughs. "One Justin Hodges is enough for any team I think."

 

Daly smiles. "So you're staring at me because my face is interesting?"

 

Matt shrugs. "I like you."

 

Daly blinks at him again. "Is this like the strange interesting thing again?"

 

"No. I just like you." Matt takes it as a good sign than Daly doesn't back away or run for the hills.

 

Daly looks at him, head tilted just a little to the left. Then he smiles.

 

"Alright."

 

"Alright?"

 

"Better that you like me than you don't, right?"

 

"I didn't think it would matter to you either way."

 

"It does." Daly smiles again and Matt can't look away. He really does have such interesting bone structure. "This means you're buying the drinks, right?"

 

Matt laughs. "Sure. Whatever you want."

 

---

 

"So did Matty actually do it?" Billy asks, lying down on the couch with his head in JT's lap. Cooper is sitting cross legged on his bed, laptop open infront of him, typing away at the keyboard.

 

"Saw them heading off somewhere together," JT says happily, petting Billy's hair.

 

"All that staring had to lead to something, right? I mean I can't believe it took so long for Daly to notice. It was like Daly was a magnet and Matty some lovesick piece of metal!" Billy laughs. "What do you think, Coops?"

 

"I think you two should stop being two gossipy old women and do some work," Cooper answers in a preoccupied voice.

 

"Come on, Coops! It's our afternoon off!" JT yells, turning his head to look over at Cooper.

 

"Did you know, no one ever got anywhere lazing around on a couch," Cooper says matter of factly.

 

"Has Finchy killed your goldfish again?" Billy asks, sitting up to stare at Cooper.

 

Cooper looks up with a raised eyebrow. "I asked Duffy to take care of them this time." He looks back down at the laptop screen. "Two chances were more than enough I think," he mutters. "How does he manage to forget them anyway? They're in a bloody big tank in the middle of the living room."

 

Cooper misses the look Billy shares with JT. But then they're sitting down on either side of him on the bed and he looks up, surprised. JT closes the laptop screen and Cooper screeches.

 

"Hey! I'm not finished-" he starts but then Billy wraps an arm around his chest and bears him down on to the bed. Cooper lets him, because this is Billy and Cooper, despite all his talk, can never deny Billy anything. Even if him and his ridiculous boyfriend insist on annoying him like this.

 

"Cooper," Billy says and Cooper turns his head to look at him. He feels JT lying down on his other side. "You can't over work yourself okay. What if you get sick and then we lose because our half back over worked himself and collapsed?"

 

Cooper laughs. "Billy, come on!"

 

JT wraps his arms around Cooper and Billy follows his example and engulfs Cooper from the other side.

 

"Guys, I have not consented to a threesome, okay!" Cooper laughs, JT's hair tickling his face.

 

"We're just being good friends, man. Saving you from dying from exhaustion!" He can hear JT's smile in his voice.

 

"Although a threesome is not such a bad idea," Billy says, words half muffled against his chest and Cooper hits him gently on the back of the head.

 

"JT, I blame you for corrupting my Billy," Cooper accuses. It feels amazing to have such warmth cocooning him like this.

 

He hears JT splutter. "No way, man! He's the corrupting influence. I'm the innocent one here!"

 

"Jay, how could you throw me under the bus like this? I thought you loved me!" Billy sighs sadly.

 

Cooper laughs. "This is your way of helping me relax? Constant bickering?"

 

The other two laugh and snuggle into him. "You love us," Billy says happily.

 

Cooper stares at the ceiling with a smile. "I don't know why."

 

***