A/N: This thing just didn't feel complete without at least a little vision into their domestic bliss, so here. If you prefer domestic unbliss I have a snippet of that too, but maybe I'll keep that for the director's cut. We don't want to mar this fluff with bickering, do we?
"Stoooooooooop!" Alex groaned, both hands over his ears as he collapsed across the bar by the cash register. "I can't take it anymore!"
"You complain when I'm grouchy. You complain when I'm happy," Erik stopped whistling to sigh. "Why don't you make up your mind?"
The blonde turned on him immediately. "Are you bipolar? Why can't you be a normal guy with normal moods? Why does it have to be Wes Craven monster or Disney princess, with absolutely no middle ground?"
"If you call me a Disney princess one more time I'm going to show Wes Craven a thing or two about monsters," he growled, finishing wiping down the espresso machine and tossing the wet towel at Alex's head. "Now go close up shop-I'll count out."
"We've still got ten minutes left," Alex pointed out after shucking the towel from his face.
Erik shrugged. "No one's going to come in in ten minutes. Close it down."
"Sure but when it's Lorna waiting up for me you suddenly discover stock that needs sorting at ten at night," Alex grumbled.
"Lorna's not as pretty as Charles," Erik tried to explain, taking the boy bodily from his spot and pushing him from to the front of house. "Now get to work."
"Okay, everybody," Alex cried out to the few customers hiding out from the spring drizzle outside. "The Shark's got to go try a new page of the Kama Sutra out on his live-in boyfriend. Everybody out."
Most of the people took it in stride, they were only getting kicked out a few minutes early, after all, and the one person that did decide to kick up quieted back down when Erik laid Charles' old cricket bat on the countertop.
He didn't bother to correct Alex. Although he and Charles had finished off the Kama Sutra ages ago, they hadn't done it in their house, their house together, their house with their things and their lives intermingled under their roof, so it could stand to be re-done, properly this time. It was a heady rush of emotions, still new, recent, and this was the first time Erik had had to work late enough to not be able to enjoy it fully. Janos had called in sick although Erik suspected the man was simply on another Friday-night boyfriend-finding mission, and would assault him with that belief when he saw him on Monday. Azazel meanwhile was spending a weekend with Raven at the lakehouse to bask in what was to be the first sunny weekend of the spring, once this rain blew itself out.
Charles had been living with him for not quite two months now, and he'd managed to be home by six every night of it so he supposed he shouldn't complain, but damn it he was going to do it anyway. It didn't help that Charles had rolled him over in bed that morning when he tried to get up, humming, "I'll wait up for you, shall I? We can start the weekend early going through the rest of the List."
It had long ago been decided that they'd start living together off right by having a good-luck screw in every room of the house, and Charles had interesting views on what counted as "rooms"-they'd already crossed off both halves of the staircase, as well as the garage. All they really had left was the closets and the garden shed, and Charles had thought up a truly inspired piece where Erik was the burly gardener and Charles was the curious estate-owner's son. They were invested in this idea. Charles had already swept the place clear of mood-killing spider webs and had tested the bondage properties of garden hose (not good, but-oh-look at that, the gardener just so happened to have some nylon rope handy-how lucky).
Really it was amazing he had lasted till almost ten.
"Are you seriously this slow? I'm already done with cash and credit cards!" Erik balked as Alex huffed around sloppily with the mop.
"Just go drop the bags, I'm practically finished!" the boy exclaimed, which was true but only because he was doing such a godawful job of it. Erik pretended he didn't notice because if he actually noticed he'd have to say something about it, and then Alex would start over, and damn it but his cock did not have that kind of time.
He dropped the startup bag for tomorrow and brought the deposit bag with him for the bank tomorrow, assuming he could stop fucking in closets long enough to get there, and that was debatable. They had thought it would take no time at all to get through the house, but Charles was so smitten with their new bedroom, upstairs in the masters, which still weirded the hell out of Erik at times-he hadn't slept there since he'd been with Magda-that they'd wasted round after round there, if Erik were capable of considering anything that happened between him and Charles as a waste of anything. Which was in doubt.
"Out, out, out," he demanded, ushering Alex to the backdoor.
"I didn't sweep the back room!" the boy balked.
"It'll still be there tomorrow, and so will you if you don't get the hell out of here and stop giving me trouble."
Alex rolled his eyes dramatically but dutifully walked off. "Tell Charles hi for me. Except...you know...not while...bye."
Erik tried to call Charles on the way home-it was strange but even though they saw each other literally every single day, woke up together, ate breakfast together, dinner, cuddled together on the couch watching terrible reality TV shows, Erik still couldn't seem to get through a day without calling Charles, sometimes with purpose and sometimes just to fill him up with the man's voice, his laugh, his flirting, even after more than a year the flirting-but the man didn't pick up.
Probably the Brit was on the line with his sister. Now that they didn't live together for once in their lives they were on the phone to one another constantly, driving him mad at every opportunity. He hoped no one had decided to drop by, god forbid-Charles was supposed to text him if anyone did, just as warning, but Charles could be forgetful with other people around to distract him, and Erik was living in dread of the day that the brunet forgot and he walked in after a long day at the cafe to a house full of Charles' friends.
They had agreed when Charles moved in that this was his fucking house too and he could invite whoever the fuck he wanted-but he had to give Erik a heads-up. This was no longer going to be the anti-social off-limits house it had been for so long. For once people were going to actually know where Erik lived and show up there, sometimes for absolutely no reason, which Erik hadn't even fully realized was a thing until Moira stopped by with Kevin one day "just because". He had known, of course, that that was a thing that happened to Charles, but by living with him it was now a thing that happened to him too, and that was terrifying in a way that having Charles around him all the time just managed to make completely worth it.
And it still gave him shivers to drive up into their driveway, see Charles' car parked out front, the lights already on and waiting for him and perfect. Nothing made him feel better than to come home and have everything so cosily prepared for him, Charles on the couch with a space free beside him, or setting his plate at the dinner table, their cat (Charlie, but Charles seemed to be under the impression that the thing was called Magnet) waiting for him at the door to coil around his legs the moment he set foot inside, the TV or music or the fireplace already set and going, greeting him. It took a moment of sitting in his car to gear himself up for the joy of it all before he could stumble out and rush to the door.
There were no other cars there, so Erik felt confident enough in their privacy to call out as the cat wrapped his legs in purring warmth, "Strip down, Helligkeit, this gardener is primed and ready to fuck his employer's son!"
In truth he shouldn't have been quite so confident.
Inside he saw Charles poised in the kitchen, in front of a pot on the stove and although he was momentarily blinded by the overwhelming burst of how much he loved this man-the shining bright eyes, the long dark hair, Charles' strong shoulders filling out his own T-shirt, the man's long black slacks showing off the absolute gorgeousness of his legs-he still managed to notice the computer. Which could only mean one thing.
"Congratulations, darling," the Brit cheered at him. "You just propositioned me in front of your mother. You must be so proud."
Pouting, Erik pushed Charlie away enough to slip his shoes off, followed by his jacket, listening as his mother's voice cried through the laptop speakers.
"Ist es das, kleiner?" she called.
"Ja, Mama," he replied, dropping his bag and dragging his feet over, accepting a kiss from Charles as the man stirred a big vat of matzoh soup. Edie smiled joyfully from the computer, waving, brushing a kiss to her fingertips and pressing them to the computer, making him blush but smile as he wrapped an arm around Charles' waist against the oven.
"Was is hier los?"
"We're having video matzoh lessons," Charles explained, leaning into his touch. His German had improved enough to understand that much. "I had a question and with the language barrier it's easier to show than tell. Alas, it's going to be a late-night dinner for my favorite boyfriend."
"Your favorite boyfriend isn't hungry," Erik smiled.
"Darn. Well, do you want any?"
Charlie meowed piteously at their shins-the damned thing hated being ignored, especially by the two of them at once. Backing up, Charles knelt down and picked the skinny cat up-like Erik the animal never seemed to keep meat on its bones-the Charlie's metallic coat sheening in the kitchen light. Charles draped the cat over his shoulder and the animal sniffed forward, craning its neck to Erik until he leaned down, pressing their noses together at which point Charlie purred and licked him.
There was an audible snap! and when the three of them turned they saw Edie tearfully putting away her camera.
"Mama, did you just take a picture through the computer?" he balked as Charles laughed, pressing his face into Erik's collar, making him laugh too.
"You two are just so cute!" she defended, beaming. "I'm so glad you finally asked him to move in with you."
"Me three," Charles agreed, smiling teasingly at him. Erik smiled back and couldn't resist pressing in with a kiss, manfully resisting the urge to roll his eyes when he heard another snap of the camera through the computer.