Title: The Toothbrush

Summary: It starts with a toothbrush. Slash N/G.

AN: I got this idea watching Def Poetry Jam one night. This guy whose poem I can't remember inspired this story so I guess part of the credit goes to him, whoever he is and wherever he is.

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It starts with a toothbrush. A simple blue toothbrush with worn out bristles and a toothpaste speckled handle sitting innocently on his bathroom sink. He's not sure how long he stares at it before he realizes he's going to be late for work. It's just, toothbrushes mean things, and toothbrushes lead to things. Things he isn't sure he's ready for. He keeps his mouth shut though because the last thing he wants is an argument. The last thing he wants is to hurt Greg.

It's not long before clothes that are too small and completely not his style, integrate into his laundry. Marilyn Manson t-shirts slosh against his plain button downs in the washing machine and he's not sure what the strange, tingling feeling in his stomach means. He folds them neatly and leaves them on the arm of the couch. When he gets home from work they're gone. At least he thinks they're gone until he opens his dresser and finds Marilyn Manson staring up at him.

Soon he understands what Greg is trying to do. Subliminally trying to convince Nick that this is where he belongs, that is their home and not just Nick's home. Converse Chuck Taylor's with silver duct tape on the right toe find a home under his bed. The subscription stickers on the magazines spread across the coffee table don't have his name on them. He wouldn't dare eat the sugary cereal next to his Oat Bran and for the first time since he moved out of his parent's house, there is peanut butter in his refrigerator.

"I guess I better get going", it's been three weeks since Greg subtly began leaving bits and pieces of himself at Nick's apartment. He sits on the edge of the bed, voice thick with hurt and disappointment as he ties his shoes and Nick realizes Greg was expecting him to at least acknowledge what was happening by now. He reaches for his keys and cell phone from the nightstand and on the way out of the room stops by the dresser, hesitantly pulls open the top drawer. "Maybe I should take these home" he sighs lifting out his t-shirts and clutching them to his chest.

All at once Nick realizes what those strange feelings he had been having were. Because he likes Greg's t-shirts in his dresser, likes his shoes under his bed, his magazines on the table, his food in the kitchen and his toothbrush on the bathroom sink. Most of all he likes Greg in his home, in his arms.

"Don't" he crosses the room in only his boxers and tugs the shirts out Greg's hands, places them back in the drawer and hope glints in Greg's eyes. "Move in with me" and all the hesitation and deep musings seem silly now that he's just blurted it out but that doesn't matter because he said it and that's what matters.

"Really? You mean it?" Greg grips Nick's wrists; smile faltering slightly like he isn't sure he heard correctly.

"Yes, I want you to move in with me" he confirms and Greg's face lights up with the smile he reserves almost solely for Nick. Not the mischievous grin or sarcastic smirk he's often flashing at work. The wide, completely genuine smile that could light up New York City in a power outage. That's the one Nick loves the most.

"I love you", it's not something they say often, it's sort of a silent understanding, but its nice to hear sometimes too.

As it turns out they need to get a new dresser all together because Greg's got a lot of clothes and half a drawer doesn't really cut it anymore. And the old Chuck Taylor's aren't the only shoes living under the bed anymore, Nick's not sure why anyone would need so many different pairs of sneakers but he doesn't mind, because it's their bed, not his bed. Besides Greg's pretty cute when he stands over them trying to decide which to wear. The magazines are joined by books, so many books that they need a new book shelf, one with plenty of room for all Greg's CD's too. Greg's pretty simple when it comes to food, as long as he's got his Ramen and his cereal and the makings of a PB&J he's happy. And he doesn't mind when Nick fixes some healthy dinner for the two of them because it's all worth it to see Nick cooking, besides he can just have a PB&J later. The toothbrush has become buried beneath a mess of hair product. "My look isn't exactly wash and go" Greg had rationalized when Nick saw what looked like the entire hair care aisle of the grocery store dumped out on his bathroom sink. There were several different gels and pomades and sprays and mousses that Nick would never understand the need for. Plus the face wash and half empty tube of Clearasil. But eventually underneath it all he spots what he's been looking for. The simple blue toothbrush with worn out bristles and a toothpaste speckled handle sitting innocently on the bathroom sink. He's not sure how long he stares at it before picking it up and slipping it into the toothbrush holder next to his own and smiles. Because it had all started with a toothbrush.