Luke was screaming loudly and Michael’s heart was in his throat. He was ninety-nine percent sure the blond was in the bathroom, but he wasn’t sure because what the hell would be scream worthy in there?
“What’s wrong?” Michael slammed open the bathroom door to see Luke standing on the toilet seat, towel wrapped around his waist and a terrified look on his face.
He pointed a shaky finger at the shower, more specifically the spider peacefully lounging on the side.
Michael shot the blond a look of distaste. “Are you kidding me?”
“Michael.” Luke whined, clutching the towel tighter and pouting. “Please kill it.”
And Michael was glancing back at the spider, eyes widening slightly. “What? I can’t kill it!”
“Yes you can.” Luke urged. He was shifting around and Michael swore the seat was going to give out soon with how it was creaking softly under his weight.
Michael shook his head but grabbed a handful of tissues and moved towards the bug.
“No! Don’t squish it, flush it down the drain!” Luke was stomping his foot angrily and Michael took a step towards him as the toilet lid snapped from the holding and the blond went tumbling to the floor in a pile of legs and towel.
He squealed as he slid and landed. Michael held in a laugh at the bewildered look on Luke’s face.
“Stop laughing and kill the damn bug, Michael!” Luke threw his hands up, thoroughly exasperated. He crawled towards the lid and picked it up, looking at it with wide eyes. “Did I break it?”
Michael moved to turn in the shower head, completely ignoring Luke’s question because the boy was an idiot; his idiot but still. He watched the bug flush down the drain, turning off the water to look at Luke whose eyes were wide and nervous. “Is it going to come back up?”
Michael shook his head, moving to pick up the seat. “I’m going to run to the home store and pick up a new lid.”
“Give me ten minutes and I’ll come with you.” Luke whipped his towel off, flinging it in Michael’s face as he made a mad dash for the shower, bug obviously forgotten.
Michael was stirring a pitcher of iced tea when Luke walked in, leaning on the countertop near Michael and watching him.
“Do you want kids?” Luke questioned, his voice was soft as he played with the frayed edges of a dish rag.
Michael paused, looking up with wide eyes because this was extremely random. “I don’t know, Luke. They’re a lot of work.”
Luke shrugged, glancing up. He spoke quietly, whispering like someone else could hear; but that was their thing, whispering about the future because the walls were paper thin. “I want to adopt.”
And Michael nodded slowly; what else could he do?
“But I want to get married first.”
Michael snapped his gaze up to Luke’s, their eyes meeting in a silent conversation that Michael wasn’t sure he was even part of.
“One day.” Luke whispered softly.
Two weeks later they brought home the first two members of their family; Felix, the small white kitten Michael had fallen head over heels in love with, and Mango, the teacup husky Luke had pleaded with Michael for.
Michael crawled into bed after making sure Felix and Mango had plenty of food and water and were penned up in the kitchen with their beds.
“I thought marriage came before kids.” Michael teased, turning the bedside light off and sliding close to Luke.
Luke shrugged, his shoulder brushing Michael’s. “You haven’t proposed.”
Michael chuckled softly, “I didn’t know I wore the pants in this relationship.”
Luke slid his arms around Michael’s waist, drawing him closer. He didn’t respond to Michael’s teasing. “This is enough.” He was whispering and Michael understood.
They didn’t need a big house in the suburbs with maroon shutters and a greenhouse, their small flat with messy, loving memories was enough.
“Mango is going to want to run around.” Michael commented, tucking his face in between their pillows. He could smell Luke’s shampoo, and it felt like home.
The boy sighed. “Then we’ll take her to the park.”
And that was that.
Friday nights consisted of snuggling on the couch, watching movies, or playing board games with Ashton and his siblings who had practically moved in with the man, much to Michael and Luke’s pleasure.
Harry was sitting on the couch next to Luke, his legs across Michael’s lap, and his head on Luke’s chest. The blond was brushing his brown curls, similar to ones on Ashton’s head, out of his face as the little boy yawned.
“Time for bed?” Luke asked softly and Michael’s heart fluttered because he was so good with the kids, oh god, it made Michael want to have seventeen with him.
Harry shook his head, stretching out slightly. “Not tired.”
Michael and Luke shared a look, both knowing the boy was minutes away from falling asleep and Ashton would kill them both if he stayed up too late and was cranky in the morning.
Lauren laid her head on Michael’s arm, smiling. “This is a sad movie.”
Michael agreed completely and told her so. She giggled and sat up. “I’m tired.”
It was a big production getting the kids in bed, especially because Harry was whining about not being tired although his little eyes were slipping shut and he kept yawning.
But Luke promised to make chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and suddenly the boy was completely fine with sleeping; Lauren was already asleep before her head even hit the pillow.
Michael turned a nightlight on and shut the bedside lamp, sliding out of the room with Luke behind him shutting the door.
They slumped against the wall and Luke grabbed his hand tightly. “I want kids.”
Michael huffed, looking over at the blond.
Luke stared at him with wide, pleading eyes. “Please, Michael.”
The door opened and Harry peeped out. “Can Mango come sleep with us?”
Michael nodded, still focused on Luke’s words. The little boy hurried past him to the kitchen to take the puppy to his room where he closed the door with a click and the sound of Harry jumping on the bed followed by a small bark was heard.
“I want kids, Michael.” Luke repeated, pulling the older boy towards him, his face void of any emotion besides an award worthy pout.
Michael shook his head; this was too much too quickly. “I… We’re not even married, Luke. You said marriage before kids.”
Luke shrugged, moving towards the living room. “Let’s get married.”
“Luke, no,” Michael sighed, running a hand through his hair, completely exasperated. “We need time.”
And Luke stared at him, clearly thinking over what Michael had said. He didn’t look to happy, in fact he looked downright sad, and it hurt Michael’s heart.
“Three years.” Luke finally said, and Michael knew exactly what he meant.
Michael didn’t like the outdoors, he never had and probably never would; it was either too hot or cold and the feeling of grass on his skin was horrible. But when Luke had asked him to go for a walk Michael had agreed instantaneously and had leashed up Mango before following the blond into the sunshine filled day.
They walked along quietly, hands clasped. It was warm but breezy and Michael was struggling with how hard the puppy was pulling; it was quite annoying because whenever Luke walked her, she was fine but the second Michael got a hand on her leash she was dragging him down the sidewalk, and it was sad because she was so tiny and he was still getting pulled along.
“Is something wrong?” Michael asked because Luke looked completely distressed and his hand was sweaty.
Luke glanced over, shaking his head slowly. It was obvious something was wrong, and Michael was scared about what it could be.
“Luke.” Michael whispered, his heart was in his throat and everything was moving in slow motion.
“Marry me.” Luke squeezed his hand tightly, his eyes wide and shining with this hope that melted Michael’s heart into a puddle. “Michael, I love you so much.”
He wasn’t on his knee and there wasn’t a ring, but Michael didn’t care. It hadn’t quite been three years, probably only two and a half, and Luke was twenty-one and just as innocent looking as he had been seven years ago when they’d first met, and Michael was even more in love with him than he ever thought possible.
“Okay.” Michael nodded his head slowly, smiling when Luke’s face lit up with a huge grin.
He pulled Michaels body towards him, and pressed their lips together in a soft kiss. Michael shivered when Luke’s hands moved to his neck, gentle and soft, just like everything about Luke was. He didn’t complain when Luke pulled away from him, dragging him and Mango, who had been very content napping in the grass, towards their flat, barely paying attention to anything besides his obvious thrill.
Michael had barely taken Mango’s leash off when Luke pressed him against the kitchen counter, his fingers digging in Michael’s hips roughly. They stared at each other, both breathing hard and Michael suspected their pupils were dilated.
“All mine.” Luke whispered, biting his lower lip softly.
Michael nodded in agreement and Luke tipped his head in to Michael’s neck, his lips playing around on the soft, pale skin of Michael’s throat. It seemed Luke liked to mark Michael’s throat up to the point where blueish- purple bruises were scattered about and nobody even dared doubt they were together, but that was Michael’s opinion.
He liked it though, a lot. How Luke could toy with him so easily, knew everything about him, what he liked, didn’t like, his ticklish spots, and that he absolutely loved Luke’s lips on him. Michael processed things slower than usual when it came to Luke and he was sure it was because of all they’d been through and the amount of sacrifices and slow but steady hands it took them to even reach where they were now, but through his thinking he realised a few things; Luke sometimes used his shampoo, and he was sure it smelled ten times better on the blond, they didn’t have to talk to communicate, sometimes words weren’t enough or just too much and they needed simplicity, and he was completely head over heels for him, so much to the point where if Luke asked him to die for him, he’d do it. He wanted to please him, he wanted to pull Luke to him as tightly as possible and never let go, he wanted the body heat, the soft touches, the needy kisses, the messy, intimate love making, even the bad cooking.
Everything Luke had to give, Michael needed, and the blond boy was more than willing to hand it all over.
Relationships were messy, they were stupid at times and made you want to pull your hair out and glue it to your eyeballs, but Michael didn’t mind at all. He liked when they fought and Luke would slam the doors and cabinets, and Felix and Mango would hide in their room until Luke coaxed them out with treats, apologising to the little pets that had no idea what was going on. He liked it even more when Luke would go to him, a pout on his face and apologise, whether he was right or wrong in the situation, and he liked the cuddling that came after it where they talked about Michael’s radermachera sinica and the new books Luke bought that day, and when they’d move around the kitchen, bumping hips and getting in each others way as they struggled to make their meals, and Luke would laugh and bring up how hard it would be with kids running around, and Michael knew that the blond didn’t care if he had to step on nails to make his kids breakfast, he’d do it and be happy.
And that was about the time Michael realised that he was engaged, and that they’d be fathers soon, and there would be little footsteps running around the flat, and Harry and Lauren would have sleepovers with their kids, and Jesus, Michael was getting married.
“We’re getting married.” Michael’s heart was racing as his eyes flickered to Luke, who was washing dishes in the sink, humming along to the quiet tune rolling out of the radio on the windowsill.
The blond nodded. He smiled at Michael softly, and shut the water before drying his hands on a dish rag. “Yep, only four months now.”
Michael made a sound of content and Luke wrapped his arms around Michael’s waist, burying his face into the older boys hair. He’d kept up with dying it brown because Luke seemed to like colour on him, and he liked when Luke was happy.
They were expecting Ashton and the kids soon for dinner, but neither one wanted to be the first to let go.
But Michael broke away, pressing a kiss to the blonds forehead, although he had to lean up on his tiptoes to do so. He didn’t mind; he liked Luke was taller because that meant Luke would spoon him, because the big spoon was always the taller one, and it wasn’t like Luke minded, as long as they switched up every once in a while, which they did.
Ashton was to be a groomsman in the wedding; he’d threatened to drop them both if he wasn’t, and neither boy had any issues with him being one.
It was funny to Michael, to look back at the past and realise that Luke and Ashton had went from hating each other for the stupidest reasons to being friendly, able to joke around, and hang out simply because they wanted to. He was sure Luke loving Harry and Lauren had a lot to do with it as the kids were pretty picky when it came to people but had latched onto Luke almost automatically when they found out he would be around a lot more, but he wouldn’t ask Ashton because he knew the older man would deny any and everything said about it.
The pile of papers in front of Michael was small but he wasn’t in the mood to get organised, he wanted to go cuddle with his fiance in their nice warm bed because it was way too early for him to be up on a Sunday and he knew Luke would be pouty when he woke up and realised Michael wasn’t there, and no one liked a pouty Luke. So he left the papers where they were and made his way through the flat to where Luke was curled up on his side facing Michael’s side of the bed, and Felix and Mango were both curled at the bottom on Luke’s feet.
He slid into bed slowly as to not wake the boy, but felt his arms wrap around his waist and pull him close.
“Why do you always leave me in the morning when it’s cold?” Luke grumbled, his face nuzzled in Michael’s neck. The boy rarely slept with a shirt on, but always complained he was cold, and Michael teased him for it over and over again. “You’re supposed to keep me warm.”
Michael loved the way Luke talked in the morning, his voice heavy with sleep and his eyes still closed, like opening them was too much work and he didn’t have the energy. “I came back, didn’t I?”
Luke groaned, obviously not pleased with the answer he was given. “You still left. My soft, warm pillow left me to fend for myself.”
He had to laugh; Luke was a complete baby when he just woke up, complete with grabby hands, small babish sounds that could put a newborn to shame, and legs that would wrap around Michael’s body, like a silent stranglehold screaming ‘I’ll never let go and you can’t make me’. But Michael found it endearing because well, everything about Luke was endearing to Michael and he liked it a lot.
“You’ll have to make it up to me.” Luke mumbled, sounding like he was falling back asleep.
And Michael chuckled, snuggling into the covers. He knew Luke would say this; probably because it happened often and Michael always ended up babying Luke for the day, not that he really minded, but still. “I always make it up to you.”
“I know, but you’ll just have to do it again.”
Greta was on the invite list, per Luke’s request, and the older woman had become something of a motherly figure to both boys when they suddenly got too caught up in the intimacy or work thrown in their lives. She would knock on the door almost every Sunday night, a bottle of wine in her hand, and Michael would be scurrying around the kitchen, threatening Luke if he even stepped foot in there, because while the blond could bake pastries like his life depended on it, he was completely incapable of making a pot of rice without it becoming mush.
Things flowed smoothly, she would make sure Michael’s radermachera sinica was watered, and would praise Luke on the different deserts he would whip up in only a moments time. Michael thought about her a lot; it seemed that from the moment she stepped into the apartment when Luke was falling to shreds, she had started to build the blond up a bit, she babied him because he was hurt, but she kept him alive and well, and maybe that was the reason Michael and Luke were together, because she hadn’t left Luke, she had noticed him, noticed the quiet, the probable pain seeping through the walls of the flats, and Michael couldn’t help but hug her tightly when she would get ready to leave at night, and whisper a soft ‘thank you’ to which Greta would always respond with ‘don’t hurt him’ and Michael swore on his life that the last thing he would ever do was hurt Luke again.
And when they crawled into bed, only weeks before the wedding, and snuggled up close did Michael realise he took the chance to love someone who would always love him unconditionally and it hadn’t backfired, if anything, it was the best decision of his life.