For Lalexander.

Arriving home with Will along was a rare, and somewhat giddy pleasure. Truman found himself grinning as he listened to Will delightedly describe the special he planned to order at the restaurant.

“Capers! God, I love capers so much, I swear. Is that weird? They’re just, like—“” Will leaned his head back as Truman activated the garage door to close behind them. He sighed dramatically. “Capers. So fucking good.”

“I like capers,” Truman said, making his voice as neutral as possible.

“You like capers? You LIKE them? What the hell? You can’t just like capers. You don’t understand capers! Capers are like…an explosion of deliciousness in your mouth.”

Truman looked over, managing to keep a straight face for about five seconds. Then both of them burst into laughter.

“Okay, okay.” Will, blushing faintly, waved a hand. “Right, anyway, look, Hugh’s home, let’s go inside or something.”

“Explosions of deliciousness,” Truman mused. “In your mouth.”

Will slugged him in the arm and climbed out of the car as Truman laughed.

In general, at this time of day, Hugh would be found in the kitchen. Unless he’d just arrived home, in which case he’d be in the bedroom, but Truman had swung by Will’s coffee shop to pick him up, so Hugh should have been reading the rest of the newspaper with a glass of water by now.

“Mark this day on your calendar, sportsfans,” Will intoned quietly. “Hugh Reynolds is not in the kitchen at”—he checked his watch—“six-seventeen p.m.”

“Maybe he got home late.”

Will shrugged, leading the way through the sitting room. He glanced over his shoulder. “You think I should surprise him? Wait here, okay?”

“I’m sure he already knows we’re home.”

“So?” Will grinned and began to pick his way carefully up the stairs.

It would be surprising if he managed to actually surprise Hugh, but he was clearly delighted with the attempt, and Will’s delight was contagious. Truman found himself smiling, standing very still at the bottom of the stairs, and almost holding his breath.

Instead of the shout he expected, he heard something much closer to alarm, and Hugh’s voice raised in alarm was terrifying. Truman was bounding up the stairs before he even thought about it, heart pounding, mind numb—

Will laughed.

Oh thank god. Truman entered his bedroom to find Will framed in the doorway to the bathroom, almost lounging.

“You look very hardcore. Um.”

“Shut up, Will. You scared the hell out of me.”


Hugh’s eminently dry voice, all alarm gone: “That tone in your voice is commonly elucidated on social media as ‘sorry not sorry’. Don’t think I fail to notice your glee.”

“Did you try to spar with Nick or something?”

Truman nudged Will out of the way, and Will slid to the side, still grinning.

“Oh.” Truman aligned himself over Hugh’s left shoulder, both of them staring into the mirror. “You…hurt yourself?”

“It’s fine.” Hugh leaned forward, studying the rather angry looking mark on his forehead. “We should cancel the reservation. Perhaps we can place our order for take-out and the two of you can pick it up.”

“Wait, we can’t go to dinner because you have a bruise? If we didn’t go to dinner every time I had a bruise—“”

“This is not the same!” Hugh sighed. “It’s on my face.”

“I’m just saying, there are capers in—“”

Children, Truman thought. “William, leave Hugh alone.”

Will giggled. “Okay. Fine.”

Truman raised his eyebrows at his husband’s reflection. “Well?”

A momentary glimpse of those sweet brown eyes before the skated away again. “It’s no big deal.”

“Mm hmm.” Liar. Truman raised his hands and watched Hugh’s reflection carefully for the moment of contact, the moment his palms rested on Hugh’s shoulders. No way to minimize the height difference, not like this, standing behind him. So Truman accentuated it, light pressure, just a reminder that he was there.

“I…” A jumble of syllables followed, none of which Truman understood.

Will laughed out loud. “You did not.”

“I feel quite stupid already, thank you, Will—“”

“You did what? I didn’t catch any of that.” Truman looked at Will.

“Because you’re not fluent in drunk, but I’ll interpret. He ran into the door.”

He wasn’t fast enough to wipe his expression completely before Hugh detected amusement. “Oh, love. What door?”

“The door from the garage to the house. I don’t…know what happened.”

Truman forced Hugh to turn so he could see the rather impressive red bruise above his eyebrow. He examined it closely for “having a good excuse to be especially near his prickly husband” reasons, and finally leaned in for a kiss. “Headache?”

“No,” Hugh mumbled. “I mean yes, but no. More that I feel…silly. Truman…I ran into a door. Our door. In our house.”

Our door. “You know it turns me on when you speak in first person plurals.” A slight tease. Another reminder.

“I thought I was the only one.”

“Never.” Truman pressed his lips against Hugh’s, taking a slow sort of pleasure in it. This was his kiss, his demonstration, very much his form of comfort and reassurance. And after a few seconds he felt Hugh give, lips just a little softer, an almost imperceptible lessening of the tension in his neck. Mine, Truman thought with all his might.

A throat cleared. “Oh, hi, so, I guess I’ll just go pick us up some dinner or something? Since you two are busy…”

Truman smiled, taking one more kiss. “Will is very excited about a new dish at Andrew’s, which reportedly involves capers.”

“Capers are really good!” Will protested. “C’mon, Hugh, back me up.”

Hugh raised one eyebrow. “Capers?”

“Evidently they are…and explosion of deliciousness. In one’s mouth.”

And oh, that gorgeous beat, that thrilling moment when Hugh turned to Will and just looked at him.

“Okay, shut up, that was a totally acceptable description until Tru guttered it.” The blush was back. “Oh my god, both of you shut up.”

“We weren’t speaking.”

“You’re speaking with your eyes!” Will grinned. “Anyway, I’m happy to go out to get food if you guys want to stay in.”


Truman opened his mouth to argue, but Hugh’s expression stopped him. Hugh turned, slowly, to survey Truman, the heat of his gaze almost a physical weight on Truman’s skin.

“Uh. Yeah.” Will’s voice lowered. “Uh huh. Right. So anyway…you do what you do. And I’ll…be back.”

“With capers?” Hugh asked, still looking at Truman.

“See, uh, I mean…are you mixing capers with sex right now?”

“And if I am?”

Oh my god. Truman realized his breathing had gone shallow.

“I’m gonna stop by the grocery store. Uh. Right, anyway, I gotta go. So I can come back. And see what the fuck’s up with Hugh and capers.” He giggled. “Uh, but like, don’t let anything…explode…before I get back.”

“Oh, I won’t,” Hugh promised, backing Truman into the wall.

“God. You guys are so fucking hot. Love you.”

“We love you too, Will.”

Truman swallowed.

“I was serious before, you know. You look badass with that bruise, hot stuff.”

Hugh’s wordless growl was almost lost in the sound of Will’s laughter and his footsteps echoing down the stairs.

The next kiss was all Hugh’s: intense and demanding and hungry, tugging Truman’s face down to his.

“I’m sorry you ran into the door,” Truman murmured.

“If it leads to an evening in with my men, and scientific experiments as regards to the practical application of pickled berries, I’m not sorry at all.”

“Mmm. Science is sexy as hell.”

Hugh laughed. Then winced. “Ow.”

“Poor face.”

“You should distract me, don’t you think?”

“I’ll do my best.”