I don’t know, you guys. I wanted to READ some accidental proposal fic and instead, this happened. (Part one of what will be 2.)
“I’m so sick of moving,” Tom groans from his spot on the floor. He’s surrounded by half-empty boxes, and there’s a piece of packing tape stuck to his arm. Mike leans over and snatches it off, and Tom yelps, swatting at him. “Ouch, fucker!”
“Baby,” Mike says fondly, piling a stack of folded towels into a box. “Hand me those wash clothes.”
“Aren’t you sick of packing at the end of every year, man?” Tom asks, arching his back in a stretch as he gets to his feet. After four years in the NHL, he’s feeling every ache in his muscles more acutely than he used to.
Mike shrugs and tapes the box shut, writing “towels and shit” on it in black block letters. “It is what it is, I guess. Seems silly to pay for an apartment when we’re only in it half the year, right?”
Tom shrugs and drops a kiss to the top of Mike’s head. Mike looks up at him from his knees and smiles, wraps his fingers around Tom’s calf. “Maybe we should buy a place,” Tom suggests, and Mike grins.
“Yeah, sure, babe. Sounds perfect. You wanna get married, too? I’ll put a ring on it, and we can settle down, how about that?”
Tom blinks down at him with wide eyes, his jaw slack, and Mike suddenly realizes what he just said.
And how this looks.
“Tom –” he starts, but Tom’s already hauling him to his feet, his hands gripping Mike’s biceps so hard Mike’s afraid he might bruise.
“Yeah,” Tom says, and then he’s kissing Mike so hard their teeth clack together. “Shittiest proposal ever,” he says between kisses, “but yeah. Yes, Latts, lets do it.”
And just like that, Mike’s engaged.
(Engagement sex is really hot, though. He’s not gonna lie.)
“Why can’t I tell them?” Tom asks again. For the fifth time in as many hours. He’s standing over Mike’s shoulder in the bathroom while Mike shaves, and their eyes meet in the mirror.
Mike sighs and rinses his razor in the sink. They’ve only been “engaged” (Mike puts finger quotes around it in his head every time he thinks about it) for three days, and Tom’s ready to send out a save-the-date announcement. It’s driving Mike a little crazy.
“Can’t we just – keep it to ourselves for awhile?” Mike asks as he wipes a glob of shaving cream from his jaw. “It’s still pretty new, babe.”
Tom pouts at him in the mirror and boxes him in, his arms around Mike’s waist and his hands on the counter. “It’s just my parents,” he says, peppering kissing along Mike’s bare shoulder. “You won’t let me tell any of the guys, fine, we can wait. But this is my parents.”
Mike spins in Tom’s grasp and loops his arms around his neck, tilting his head to nose at Tom’s jaw. “How about we stop talking,” he starts, planting a soft kiss behind Tom’s ear, “and enjoy our last night in this apartment.”
Tom opens his mouth to object, but Mike kisses him quiet.
He’s lucky Tom’s so easily distracted.
Tom’s staring out the passenger-side window, his cheek pressed to the glass, as Mike drives.
They’d been at Tom’s parents for nearly a week, and every time he brought up telling them about their engagement, Mike found some excuse to put it off. “Let’s wait until dinner tonight. Your mom looks tired, we should should wait until morning. I think your dad’s in a bad mood, tomorrow will be better.”
By the time they’d packed the car and headed out, Tom was barely speaking to him.
“Just a couple hours left,” Mike says conversationally, sliding a hand over the middle console to rest on Tom’s thigh. They’re spending the summer in Toronto at a rented cabin on the water, and Mike knows how much Tom’s been looking forward to getting out on the boat. He’s not smiling, though, and the pit of guilt in Mike’s stomach continues to grow.
“I’m gonna close my eyes for bit,” Tom says, reclining his chair and angling himself toward the door. Mike’s hand slips from his leg.
“Yeah,” Mike says with a sigh. “Ok, babe. I’ll wake you when we get there.”
He tightens his grip on the steering wheel and stares out at the road ahead.
It’s late when they get in. Mike hauls most of their things in without asking Tom for help, and Tom lounges on the couch and flips aimlessly through channels.
“We can go to the market in the morning,” Mike calls from the kitchen as he unpacks the small bag of dry groceries they’d brought for the drive. “Unless you want something now? I can run if you want.”
“No thanks,” Tom calls back. “I’m good.”
Mike flips the light off as he pads into the den, sinking down on the couch next to Tom. He pulls Tom’s legs into his lap and rubs small circles on his ankles, watching Tom’s face for any sign of emotion.
Tom swallows hard, and Mike feels like such a jerk.
“You wanna talk?” he asks quietly, even though he knows how this is going to end up. He knows he has to tell Tom the truth.
Tom shrugs, eyes fixed on the TV.
“Babe,” Mike coaxes, and Tom finally looks at him.
“I don’t get it,” Tom admits. “I don’t get how you just – why don’t you want anyone to know? Why is it such a secret, Mike? Because I love you. I love you so fucking much and I want to tell the world.”
Mike sighs softly and grabs for Tom’s hand, lacing their fingers together. He can feel his heartbeat in his ears, and he’s bouncing his knee anxiously. “I’m sorry,” he says. “I just – fuck, this is hard.” He runs a hand through his hair and pulls a leg up underneath him, turning to face Tom. “That day in the apartment, when I…” He trails off, and Tom leans in.
“When you proposed.”
“Yeah. That,” Mike says. “I wasn’t – that wasn’t –”
Tom’s face twists into a frown. “What are you trying to say?”
“I was just joking,” Mike says all at once, quickly, and when Tom’s face goes blank, Mike’s heart stops. “It just came out, I didn’t mean to –
“Fuck you, Mike,” Tom says sadly, and pulls his hand from Mike’s. “I can’t believe you let me think –” He cuts himself off and covers his face with his hands for a brief moment before standing up and letting out a shaky breath. “God, I’m so embarrassed.”
“No,” Mike says, scrambling to his feet. “Don’t – you don’t have to be embarrassed, it’s my fault. I should have told you right away, I just –”
“I was just so fucking happy, you didn’t want to ruin it,” Tom says flatly, and Mike nods, because yeah, honestly. That’s exactly it. “Well, congratulations, man. Hope you’re proud of yourself.” Their shoulders brush as Tom pushes past him, and Mike watches him disappear down the hall.
He’s really not proud of himself at all.