(for passersby, here’s the prompt meme. Prompt is:
Making them a friendship bracelet after years of marriage) Enjoy <3
Aaron had been at the computer for a
long time. He wasn’t sure how long, having lost track of time
somewhere along the way. The case wasn’t done, so he wasn’t done.
Alexander had been needling him again, about motivation and
commitment. As usual.
There was a mug of tea by his side.
Aaron did not remember where it came from, certain for a fact that he
had not gotten up to make it. Unthinkingly, he dipped a finger in- it
was ice cold. It also wasn’t there the last time Aaron had looked up
from his work.
Carefully, Aaron took stock of his
surroundings. A plate with crusts sat further out- but hadn’t John
brought him soup? No, that was earlier, he’s had the sandwich
sometime later. Aaron blinked, surprised to find his eyes dry and
irritated. He stretched, there was a painful kink in his neck.
Aaron took a peek at the clock, and
winced at the time. “John? Dear?” His throat rasped. A trickle of
guilt wormed its way into Aaron’s chest. John had been quietly taking
care of him all day, and he’d barely even noticed. Aaron knew John
had damn good reasons for hating that.
Aaron stood up and poked his head out the study. The lights were on,
but the big living room windows revealed the incriminating
pitch-black outside. “You here?” Aaron wouldn’t blame John for
going to bed. He was not being a charitable spouse.
Somehow, though, John was curled up on
the couch, under a blanket but awake and with a book. His head poked
up at Aaron’s voice. “Finally done, sugar?” His smile was small,
a little uncertain.
Aaron’s guilt doubled. “Yeah, I’m
done. Sorry for ignoring you all night, you didn’t have to stay up
for my sake.”
John’s smile grew, a touch more
genuine. “I stayed up because I wanted to. Of course, whether or
not I forgive you is dependent on what you do next.”
The words only made Aaron’s heart fall.
“I’m sorry. You know I won’t be able to sleep right away after
this. It’s my fault for letting Alexander wind me up, I know, but all
I can think about is that case.” It wasn’t the first time Aaron had
overworked himself and tried to sleep right after, nor the first time
John tried to help him sleep anyways. “I can lie in bed next to
Somehow, John’s smile did not fall, and
did not morph into that disappointed look when Aaron refused to take
care of himself. “Not that. Somehow, after years of marriage, I’ve
learned that much. But I’ve been looking online, and I found an
interesting idea. One to distract you.”
“Oh?” Aaron felt a smirk growing.
“What kind of thing online?” His voice went low, and he moved
over to John’s side. “I wouldn’t mind a distraction.” Aaron
leaned over, snaking an arm over John’s shoulder, cornering him into
“Hah!” John snorted at his attempts
at seduction. The noise startled Aaron into losing his balance, poor
after a whole day of not moving. He fell against John’s chest with a
yelp. “Darling, you are adorable.” Aaron felt a sloppy wet kiss
against the crown of his head.
“I’d rather be sexy,” Aaron
John laughed, airy breaths tickling
the wet spot on his head. “You are, when you haven’t been hunched
over a laptop since dawn. And no, it’s not that kind of distraction.”
Aaron whined, cuddling into the body
underneath him and nuzzling into his chest. “Why not?”
“I’ve got something better than sex.
Look!” John tapped Aaron’s ear with his phone. Aaron obliged,
looking up and into a picture.
“Friendship bracelets?” Aaron
raised his brows, baffled. “Do we even have the coloured string for
“No, but going to the dollar store
three blocks away will get us both some fresh air, and I’ve heard
they’re very good for distracting people from negative thought.”
Aaron hummed. Truthfully, he didn’t
feel like making friendship bracelets, and the whole idea sounded
dumb. But John wanted to try it, and he only wanted to help, and he
was looking at Aaron with that soft, playful grin on his face.
Aaron sighed. “I’ll get my shoes on.”
The air outside was brisk; the walk to
and from the store actually pleasant. A light flush rose in John’s
freckled cheeks from the cold. Aaron couldn’t stop himself from
leaning his face in, either to nose or lightly kiss the cool,
“Oh my god, how are you so damn
clingy!” John pushed Aaron off, putting on a face of mock
exasperation quickly ruined by barely-held back laughter.
Aaron snorted, holding no such
restraint. “Only when I’m work-exhausted. Don’t pretend you aren’t
cuddly after a long overtime shift- I was perfectly non-touchy before
you, you know.”
John sighed, unlocking the apartment
door and pulling a shoe off with his free hand. “Fuck that, you’ve
craved physical contact from the beginning. I just taught you not to
be shy about it.”
Aaron sighed, toeing his shoes off as
well. “Still your fault.” He peered over at the plastic bag John
was already dumping over the coffee table. “We can’t possibly need
that many thread colours.”
John’s eyes widened, as if serious.
“You can never have too many colours in a friendship bracelet. Have
you never been to summer camp?”
Aaron padded over with a wry smile.
“No, actually. Never made any friendship bracelets either, before
you ask.” A genuine note of surprise quickly overtook John’s
Suddenly, Aaron’s arms were full of
Husband. “This is awful. How have you never made a friendship
bracelet? My childhood sucked and I still got to.” Arms tightened
across Aaron’s back. Aaron patted his back in return, touched despite
“It just never came up. I’m not
saying I never had friends as a kid, you know, we just never went to
camp or made bracelets. I had to work in the summer, usually.”
“Ugh,” John made an automatic,
disgusted sound. Aaron could relate, when it came to his childhood.
“Though, you know,” Aaron said,
quietly because John’s ear was so close already. “You can show me
John nodded. “I’d love to.” He
punctuated his words with a quick kiss on the lips. No matter how
long they were together, Aaron would never get used to how nice
casual affections were. Then, he shot Aaron a mischievous little
smile and ducked down a bit, bending his knees. With a sharp heave,
John lifted Aaron, waddled over to the table with Aaron only a scant
few inches above the ground, and dropped him down on the couch.
Aaron blinked, dazed into silence at
his husband’s casual show of strength- despite not being much taller
than Aaron himself. “You just wait there sugar, and I’ll get some
fresh decaf tea.” Aaron would never get used to that, either.
In the end, the bracelet itself was
simple. John demonstrated for a few minutes, strands of colourful
string taped to the table on one end for leverage, and twisted over
each other. It was a very repeatable pattern.
“Your colours are boring, sugar.”
John said, raising an eyebrow.
Aaron frowned at his Red and Brown. “I
like them, what’s wrong with them?”
“You need more! Come on, where’s your
pink? Your orange? Your teal?” John gestured dramatically at the
veritable pile of colours. “You need four minimum.”
It would, perhaps, be a shame to waste
such variety. Aaron huffed a short laugh, and reached for the White
and Black. John sighed. “You’re hopeless.”
John’s bracelet, of course, had every
colour he could feasibly use. “One of us has to be the reasonable
“Oh, just keep braiding. We’ll see
whose it better.” And so Aaron did.
When Aaron stopped braiding, it was
only to John’s outright laugh. “Sugar, I think you’re done.”
Aaron took another look at the braided
string. It’s pattern was perfect, but it was perhaps twice as long as
it needed to be. Aaron tried to wonder how he had lost track of time
yet again, but all he found was a yawn. He blinked slowly- was he
“So, can I assume it worked?” John
teased, smirking as Aaron rubbed his eyes.
“Oh shush,” Aaron objected, if only
because of how damn smug John looked. But he wasn’t wrong. Aaron also
couldn’t remember when the thread of case thoughts had been replaced
by thoughts of actual thread. “Just show me how to tie them off.”
John obliged, but didn’t lose the self
satisfied smirk. Aaron let him have it, following the directions
“And now, the most important part of
friendship bracelets.” John raised his voice, as if making an
important announcement. Aaron humoured it, straightening his back to
attention. “Give me your hand.”
Confused, Aaron did so. He watched as
John took his bracelet and carefully knotted it around Aaron’s wrist.
Right. He’d forgotten that these things were generally exchanged.
Slowly, Aaron took John’s arm and repeated the process in turn.
“It is boring, after all.” John
turned his wrist in front of his face, considering. “But it
wouldn’t be you if it wasn’t at least mildly tame. Thanks, sugar.”
He shot a toothy smile.
Aaron looked at his. It was exactly the
mess Aaron had expected, far too many threads making the bracelet
thick and bulky and an absolute eyesore of colours. “I love it,”
Aaron whispered, completely sincere. “I’m also going to fall
asleep. Let’s go to bed.”
John whooped, pulling Aaron into a deep
kiss. “Then let’s go to bed.” He bounced to his feet.
Aaron followed, sleepy and more than a
little gone. He was wearing this bracelet forever.
On Saturday I go to work at my sleep-away camp for the rest of the summer (I feel like I told you about camp in my letter, but I don’t remember at this point)! I got a promotion this summer! I’m on head staff, which has always been my dream job since I was 9 years old!! I’m in charge of the 7th and 8th graders, so we plan their activities and schedules, as well as helping with the behind the scenes logistics of the summer. Basically, we keep them happy, healthy, and alive, while serving as a role model for the kids and their counselors. WANT TO KNOW THE BEST PART? Stacey and I are co-unit leaders, so we get to spend the whole summer together. Chewbaccas take on camp. How epic? We’re going to make them dance to your music so much- it will be so great. We’re taking a day off for your July 11th metlife show, don’t worry. We’ll bring you some camp bracelets from our camp wrists and we’ll be the one with the insanely hoarse voices from all the cheering and screaming at camp. Anyway, I thought I’d let you know about the new job and tell you where I’d be for the summer (since I’ll be on here less)! Camp is the only other place where I’m as happy as I am when I’m at one of your concerts, so I am SO EXCITED. Okay. Miss you. Love you. HAVE FUN IN EUROPE!