(Thank you to @marswithghosts! We were talking about this, and she graciously allowed me (and, in fact, encouraged me!) to take her idea and write it. Some of the chirps are hers, because she is hilarious. She’s also a wonderful friend!)
They had had a moment, standing just inside the door. Jack was already wearing his coat and hat (and God if Bitty didn’t love that hat!), a bag full of tupperware hanging of one forearm. Bitty stood in front of him, hands resting on Jack’s chest as he leaned in and up for one last kiss. It was sweet, and soft, and when it was done, Bitty wrapped his arms around Jack’s neck, wanting just one more moment of this perfect holiday.
“I love you, Jack. Drive safe, and text me when you’re home, okay?”
“Of course, Bits.” Jack pulled him even closer, the bag on his arm swinging a little, aided by the smooth slide of Bitty’s socked feet on the hardwood floor.
For one more moment, they hung on to each other, before the began to untangle themselves. Bitty still wasn’t used to this feeling, how different the separation felt when they got to decide what the last moment would be like, didn’t have to brace themselves, to remember who knew what and what couldn’t be said. It wasn’t easy, but knowing that they didn’t have to worry if Chowder wandered across the hallway in search of more pie made a world of difference.
Jack had just pulled open the door, Bitty standing just behind it, wanting to watch Jack as long as he could without letting too much of the cold air touch his skin, when Lardo shouted from down the hall, “You need to get a room, Bits!”
Jack threw his head back and laughed as he started down the path. Even when he turned around to wave, Bitty could still see the little shakes of his shoulders as fresh waves passed over him.