Ted was trying his best, really, to focus on the blueprints. He'd been meaning to finalize this engine design for ages to start putting it into commercial planes, but he didn't have a lot of free time between the whole hero thing and the CEO thing and the clingy Booster thing.

He set his elbows on the table with a quiet thunk and a rustle of paper, staring down at his socks. The carpet underneath them was wrinkled where he'd pushed his chair forward. He should fix that. And take the used coffee mug into the kitchen.

Right after I finish the plans, right, Ted? he thought to himself, sitting up and staring at them. It was awful. He knew how he wanted them to look, just not —

That coffee cup was really annoying.

Nope. No, Ted Kord was not gonna focus on this stuff until he put away the cup and smoothed out the carpet, and there were no two ways around it. He would just have to stop working for a little while.

He grinned and grabbed it by the handle, mussing a hand through his hair on his way to the kitchen, strolling past the living room couch with — "Oh hi, Booster, thanks for knocking."

Booster had pretty much upended himself on the couch, face-first into a pillow with this feet sticking out over the arm on the other end.



"I'm kinda tired."

"I got that impression," he said. Ted went to the kitchen to drop off his mug, giving it a cursory rinse in the sink before leaving it to soak. When he came back to the living room, Booster hadn't moved.

"Isn't that uncomfortable?" he asked, coming to sit in an armchair next to the couch.

"Mmmf," Booster mumbled, then dragged his feet upward so his knees were bent. He looked like he'd been kneeling and somebody had just shoved his face into the pillow.

"Presenting your ass to my ceiling specifically, or just the world in general?" he asked the head of blonde hair.

"I'm really tired," Booster said. "I am more tired than — than Moses after forty years in the desert. Or…a cow that just…gave birth."


"Ted I'm really tired."

He reached out to ruffle the yellow mop on Booster's head (mostly as a condescending gesture of comfort, partly because Booster had unfairly soft hair) and tried to repress the guffaws. "D'you want some coffee?"

Booster rose up on his knees to look at Ted, his eyes bloodshot, hair a mess, goggles crooked. He glared and said "Yes, Mister Kord, sir, that would be lovely."

Ted patted his cheek and stood, straightening out his sweater. "Comin' right up, toots!" he cooed.

"You're an asshole!" Booster cooed right back while Ted headed to the kitchen.


Hunting for the bag of fancy Peruvian coffee beans somewhere in the back of the spice shelf, Ted shouted to his best friend who was still lazing around in the living room.

"Why're you so tired, anyway? What've you been doing?"

"There was a thing," said Booster's muffled voice.

"Oh. Right. Yes, now I know exactly what you're talking about."

He could almost hear the dismissive hand waving. "It was a time loop and I got stuck in it with this D-list villain asshole who kept ranting about how we were always meant to end up here, and something about being trapped for eternity, I think, though I kinda tuned it out. I know you saw me this morning, but I've been awake for like two straight days."

"Jesus," said Ted, pulling out the bag and shaking it to see how much was left. Plenty, which was good, because apparently his buddy needed it. "Why aren't you asleep?"

"Because I was stuck with that asshat for two days, Ted." He heard some rustling and squeaking, probably Booster moving around to a more normal position on the couch.

"And you wanted to see me? Aw. My heart flutters with passionate love!" Ted flounced back into the room, intent on maybe starting on that pile of Eastwood movies he'd made Booster promise to watch with him, but, well. Ah. Booster had moved on the couch, in that he was lying down fully now, but he'd taken off the top half of his costume — Ted hadn't even known he could do that — with his nose still buried in the pillows.



"Booster, put on a shirt."

"Why. You keep your place crazy warm and my costume's itchy. At least I kept the pants on."

"That's part of the problem, Michael," he said, trying not to laugh.

"Why?" He rolled over and splayed his arms across the couch, displaying his bare chest. "You want me naked?"

"Booster, with the full costume, you're a superhero," said Ted, folding his arms and leaning against the wall to take in the view. "With just the tights, you are a half-naked muscular blond man running around my house in shiny gold hotpants, and I'm pretty sure that makes it look like I hired a stripper."

"I could do some pelvic thrusts, if that would help." Booster wiggled his eyebrows, just in case the point wasn't clear. "Oh, Mister Kord, your sweater is so big —"

"Finish that sentence and you get no coffee."

Booster scrabbled to his feet, tripping over the coffee table, and held his hands in the air. "Whoa. Let's not get crazy. I'll go get one of your hideous sweaters."

Ted clapped a hand to his heart and gasped, fluttering his eyelashes at Booster. "You told me you liked my sweaters! I've never been so betrayed!"

"Hm." Booster trotted up to him, shiny gold hotpants and all, and smushed some of Ted's hair back to see his face better. "Very few people can pull off sweaters this ugly," he said, tugging on the giant blue monstrosity Ted was wearing, "I think you get away with it because you have that whole 'adorably oblivious dork' vibe going, but not all of us were born so special."

"Mmm," said Ted, who'd stopped listening once Booster had touched his hair. Booster just — he just had really warm hands, and really nice eyes and a very nice face, overall, and sometimes he gave Ted kind of an inferiority complex with his perfect body and his stupid hair and his pretty eyes but mostly Ted just found it distracting.

"'Mmm,' says the super genius," said Booster, coming in for a lingering kiss before heading for Ted's bedroom closet.

"Yeah, yeah," Ted muttered, and rubbed the back of his head.

With his elbow on the table and his chin in his hand, Ted watched little black drops plop into the pot and sighed. Know what? The blue prints were good enough. He had some good guys in the tech wing; they'd figure out what he meant, and all the ideas were there, more or less.

It was kind of calming. Drip, drip, drip. He was sure J'onn would have something poetic to say about it. 'As the coffee drops into the pot, Beetle, so the world turns.'

Actually, that — that might have been from a soap opera.

"Please tell me it's almost done," said Booster, bare feet slapping against the kitchen tile when he came back.

"It's almost done," Ted parroted.

"Really? That was — " The coffee in the pot was like an inch deep. "You are a filthy liar."

"I'm a businessman. I can't help it."

Booster laughed and set his chin on Ted's left shoulder to watch the drip with him, then sighed after a while and buried his head in the side of Ted's neck.

"Whuzzat for?" Ted said.

"Nothin'. Missed you," came the reply, nested in the crook of his shoulder.

"Wanna spend the night?" He didn't even really have to ask anymore, but figured he might as well, just to cement it.

"Mm-hm," Booster said. He drew his lips up to the corner of Ted's jaw and kissed it softly, then worked his way back down again to spread long, open kisses on his neck.

He hadn't even made good on his promise to put on one of Ted's ugly sweaters, just donned one of the black undershirts that usually went under the Beetle costume. Ted was pretty sure Booster was wearing his boxers, too, but finding out would require moving.

"That's, uh," Ted said when Booster kept it up, wrapping his arms around his waist. "That's…nice." He leaned back and closed his eyes, felt the drip, drip, drip of the coffeemaker fade into the background.

"Trying to seduce the man, and he tells me I'm 'nice'," Booster muttered, laving at his shoulder.

Ted laughed. "What are you trying to do, drink me?" he asked. Booster just snorted and licked a long line from his clavicle up to the base of his ear.

"Maybe. Coffee's still not done, so I'll take what I can get, Ted."

"I'm, ah," he sighed through his nose and swallowed hard. "I'm surprisingly okay with that."

"Hmm." Booster turned Ted around to face him, and he was wearing Ted's boxers. Yellow ones. But of course.

He leaned in for another kiss, longer and deeper and headier, and he pulled back and dove for Ted's neck again. Ted waited for the hot tongue again, but — no, just a soft head of hair under his chin. He felt the tip of Booster's nose between his clavicles and the warm puffs of air from his exhalations, drifting down Ted's shirt. "Mm," he said again, but there was no heat to it. "Missed you, missed you."

Like a lost puppy wandered home after dark.

"Sorry," Booster muttered. "I want to, you know I really want to, but I'm just way too tired."

"I'm good with this, too," said Ted. He laughed and put a hand into Booster's hair again, and the other arm around his waist.

He held him there for a while, and stroked his head until the coffeepot clicked.

"Coffee's ready," Ted whispered, and looked down. Booster's eyes were closed, his breathing soft and even. He had a little smile on his lips, just a little one. "Thought so," he said.

He dragged Booster into bed and pulled the covers up around him, changing into pajamas before getting in on the other side.

"I missed you too, buddy," he said before turning out the light. "See you tomorrow."

A/N: Apparently Christmas time just means a lot of domestic bullshit happens in my mind.