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That Ratty Old Loveseat

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In the beginning, the only things they'd had as furniture in the dirty little apartment were four little cot like beds, the most basic kitchen imaginable, a little thirteen inch television on a milk crate, and a crappy loveseat.

The loveseat eventually was used as all couches are: couches and make out points. They would all rush to the tv during down time and whoever didn't get a seat... they got the floor. At least, that's how it started. About four months into their preparation, they had upgraded from random boxes and old furniture to some things of more value-mostly Henley's stuff because both Merritt and Jack were nomadic and Daniel had even crappier stuff than the apartment.

And still, after all the stuff they'd acquired, they only had the one loveseat. It was now accompanied by a grossly mismatched armchair, but the springs were worn out and it smelled kind of funny, so everyone tried to steer clear and let the occasional guests have it.

Oftentimes it was Jack who got the floor, being the youngest would be his excuse, but the reality was that he was usually so tired from helping move and running around that he was just the slowest to get to a cushion. One day, though, it was just Jack and Merritt sitting on the couch. The group had grown closer over the past few months, even so far as to call each other family. They were still lingering in that awkward, what-are-we-going-to-do-about-this-i-like-everyone -so-much phase that was warping their mutual friendships into budding... relationships.

As it goes, Jack fell asleep on Merritt, who was munching on popcorn and dozing off himself, his hat slipping lower and lower on his face. Jack's breath was warming the inside of his collar with the angle he was leaning on Merritt, but because of the September chill in the old apartment, he didn't really mind.

The mentalist set the now empty bowl on the milk crate serving as coffee table and sank deeper into the old cushions, prompting Jack to snuggle closer and leech off him like the puny squid Merritt suspected he actually was and basically wedge himself between the arm of the couch and the older man's side. They were both comfortable warm, so McKinney was considering just going to sleep here-it wasn't like it had never happened, just last time it was with Daniel and the time before that it was Henley.

As he moved his hat over his eyes, the door banged open and as Jack startled awake, the last two to their foursome came barreling in carrying grocery bags. They both looked exhausted, and eyed the last available spot on the couch with plots dancing in their eyes. Merritt knew that if he let them, they'd probably fight over it until they both collapsed on the floor. They put away the groceries and started hobbling over there from different sides of the room. It was a race against time.

Jack was still looking around bewildered, like 'how did I get here, why are they here, why aren't I sleeping?' so Merritt, as calmly as he could, heaved the lithe figured onto his lap. They were cuddling either way, so the kid could stop complainin-oh wait. He wasn't. Jack actually just resumed snuggling position and went back to sleep. Huh. Go figure.

Merritt scooted himself as close to the arm he could get, and the other two gratefully sat down with Henley in the middle and Daniel on the outside. They settled down and turned the channel to some news caster going on about Thaddeus Bradley's new show.

Eventually, hours later, they were all peacefully asleep and Merritt woke up. The others were still conked out and Jack had wormed his way so his long legs were stretch all the way so they hung over Daniel's arm of the couch, his head pillowed on one of Merritt's arms. Henley had her head leaned all the way back onto the nonexistent headrest (which would give her a killer crick in the neck, so Merritt stuck his remaining, free arm behind her) and her arms lay over the youngest member's stomach.

Daniel was... drooling all over Henley's shoulder. She still had her jacket on, but still. Gross. Recognizing that he couldn't do anything to stop that specific catastrophe from happening, Merritt readjusted his hold on Jack, sank deeper into the cushions, and went back to bed. He'd deal with this relationship development in the morning.