Title: With a Little Help From My Friends
Character/s: Gwaine, Leon
Summary: Gwaine and Leon are able to help each other out.
Warnings: Modern AU
Word Count: 867
Prompt: #288 - Thankful: Unpredictable
Author's Notes: It didn't come up naturally so I'm just mentioning that Gwaine works at a radio station and Grace is Leon's daughter.
“What are you doing here?”
Gwaine looked up briefly to see Leon standing beside the chair he sat in. He offered what he knew to be his most charming smile in the face of Leon’s stern demeanor.
“Enjoying your generous hospitality?”
Leon rolled his eyes. “Gwaine, we’ve been over this. You cannot stay here.”
“Hear me out at least.”
“No. I’m exempt from the rotation. My home is not an option.”
“But you don’t know what it’s like at Gwen’s and Lance’s right now!” Gwaine protested. Leon crossed his arms over his chest but Gwaine persisted, knowing that arms crossed was simply the second step on a five step scale of frustrating Leon. “They’ve been really great, especially with the new baby and all but it’s a mad house over there. Gwen’s dad and Elyan are still finishing the nursery, Max has started piano lessons but he only knows one song, and the baby is super cute but she cries so much.”
Leon was unmoved. “I know. That’s what babies do.”
“It’s impossible to get a moment’s peace over there.”
“Then go to Merlin’s.”
It was Gwaine’s turn to roll his eyes.
“Merlin’s is not a viable option. I don’t know if it’ll ever be one again.”
“They’re really loud and ever since the thing with the foldout couch-“
“Please stop.” Leon had dropped his arms and was using his hands to emphasize his request. Gwaine bit back the desire to tease him about the blush on his cheeks. “I didn’t want to hear that story the first time. I definitely don’t want to hear it again.”
“So you know why I can’t stay there.”
“That doesn’t mean you can stay here.”
Gwaine leaned on the arm of the chair closest to where Leon stood. He looked up with a grin, doing everything short of batting his eyelashes.
“No.” Leon crossed his arms again, taking a step back from the chair as tension settled on his shoulders. “I’m exempt from the rotation.”
“All right, all right,” Gwaine said, surrendering at step four on the scale. Pushing Leon to step five would mean a hard and fast no forever so Gwaine knew to stop while he still had wiggle room. He settled back in the chair as Leon sat on the edge of his couch. “I’m sorry for bothering you.”
“And breaking into my home,” Leon added.
“I used the lockbox key. You might want to change the code to something that isn’t Grace’s birthday.”
Leon pulled back a bit, unease passing over his features. “I hadn’t thought of that. She might be old enough to learn a different code. Thanks for mentioning that.”
“No problem.” Gwaine glanced at his laptop a final time before closing it to slip into his bag. “So what are you doing home in the middle of the day?” he asked.
Embarrassment briefly colored Leon’s face again; an odd reaction to what Gwaine thought was a simple question.
“I had to run an errand,” Leon said more to the floor than Gwaine.
Gwaine closed his bag, unsure as to whether they were still conversing. “Okay.”
“It was silly and it turned out to be a waste of time anyway.”
“Leon, I honestly can’t tell if you do or don’t want to talk about this, so could you tell me which it is?”
Leon sighed and shook his head. He reached into his pocket and handed Gwaine a folded piece of paper. Unfolding the paper showed it to be a flier for a contest held earlier that day at a children’s clothing store.
“What is this?”
“I went there,” Leon answered, defeat clear in his voice. “I’ve been trying to get tickets to Sesame Street Live for Grace for weeks. They sold out while I was in a meeting, the resell listings are only scams at this point, and this was one of the last ways I could find to even have a chance at getting tickets.”
“I’m guessing you didn’t win?”
“Not even close.” Leon slumped back against the couch, covering his face with his hand. “Dressing small animals in themed clothing will never be one of my strengths.”
Gwaine reread the flier, giving Leon a moment of privacy as he prepared his thoughts.
“You know I can get you those tickets, right?” he asked, going for casual in his tone.
Leon lifted his hand. “What?”
“I can get you Sesame Street Live tickets for Grace,” Gwaine said slowly. “I just need to ask someone at work. I do it all the time for everyone else.”
“I know,” Leon said, pushing himself up,” but those are usually for concerts or club events. I didn’t know you could get them for this.”
“You should’ve asked me,” Gwaine said with a wink. “Seriously though, it’s still an event. It still has a promoter and every promoter north of the Thames owes me a favor. It shouldn’t be a problem.”
Leon stared at him for a moment, relief easing into his posture. “Gwaine, I don’t know what to say.”
“It’s for Grace; you don’t have to say anything.”
Gwaine smiled but Leon stood without a word and pulled Gwaine into a firm hug.
“Thank you. This really means a lot to me.”
“So can I stay here?”
Gwaine asked mostly in jest but Leon didn’t say no right away. He looked at Gwaine for a moment longer than Gwaine felt was necessary and then, in unpredictable fashion, he smiled.
“Yes,” he nodded, “but this is a special exception. I’m still exempt from the rotation.”
Gwaine grinned. He dropped back into the chair and put his feet up as he pulled out his laptop.
“Whatever you say, Leon.”