Prompt #: 97. writer's choice
Rating: strong PG13 /
Summary: Could Jack really come out victoriously from one of Bobby’s teasing?
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit made and no harm intended.
Evelyn is out of town for a couple of days, which leaves Jack on cooking duty, because Angel would let them starve, Jerry would light the kitchen on fire and Bobby would probably poison them all. So Jack is standing in the kitchen cutting carrots, the potatoes already boiling on the stove and a roast chicken in the oven. Jerry is sitting at the dining table, chair turned slightly sideways, so he can see Jack from the corner of his eye in case he needs a hand, his eyes focusing on the book on the table though. He only looks up from it and into the kitchen, when he hears footsteps behind him, seeing Bobby walk in and over to the stove, looking curiously into the pot on the stove, before stepping next to Jack a smirk on his lips.
“Gonna make a good wife some day, Jackie.” Jerry softly closes his book at Bobby’s words, a light chuckle coming over his lips at the oldest Mercer’s teasing. Jerry’s eyes drifting forth and back between his oldest and youngest brother, he knows well how the banters start between these two and he would be damned if he was missing one for the sake of a book.
“Ah, I could never do that to you, Bobby. Leave you alone like that. You’d be lost without me cooking for you, doing your washing... Face it, Bobby: you’d be lost without me. You are totally dependent on me.” Jack let’s his words hang in the air hoping that they would be enough to shut Bobby up, but knowing that it took more than a sloppy come back to shut his older brother up and sure enough, Bobby quickly counters.
“Well, not entirely, sweetheart, ‘cause you are missing one important task of a wife... you’re not putting out!”
Jerry can’t keep the laughter in any longer, leaning over in his chair, one hand steadying him on the table. He looks up and sees Jack’s eyes fixed on Bobby’s face, which is adorned with a huge, victorious grin. He can see how Jack is thinking hard to come up with a reply and over the years the blonde had gotten better at it, still not a match for Bobby most of the times, but being a Mercer also means never giving up.
Jack gently lifts his left hand the back of it facing Bobby, bringing a frown to Jerry’s face not getting where the younger man is going to go with this.
“If you want some, you’ll have to put a ring on it first, Bobby.” Is Jack’s calm remark, wiggling his ring finger, before dropping his hand again. Both his hands resting on his hips now, a victorious smile spreading over his face at Bobby’s silence and Jerry can see how Bobby’s eyes darken with something he can’t put his finger on and it makes him crack up again.
“You want a ring?” Is Bobby’s quiet reply after a few moments.
“You want me to put out for you?!” Jack shoots back, before turning back to the cutting board, not noticing the serious look on Bobby’s face. Jerry is still laughing, now leaning against the doorframe of the dining room to the kitchen, finally managing to gasp out, “Man, he got the better of you this time, Bobby.” Still wiping at his eyes with one hand, when Bobby leaves the kitchen without another word, Jerry takes a step forward into the kitchen.
Jack looks up after Bobby, when the front door closes with a soft thud, then glancing over his shoulder at Jerry.
“What’s up with him? He usually doesn’t give up that quickly.”
Jerry only shakes his head, clasping a hand over Jack’s shoulder, “No idea, man, but I would take it and enjoy the victory and peace as long as you can. You know Bobby, he won’t shut up forever.”
Jack nods, his eyebrows raising in an agreeing eye-roll, before turning back to the half-cut carrots.
Needless to say Bobby isn’t at the dinner table forty-five minutes later and Jack is not going to fight Jerry and Angel over some chicken to have as leftover for when Bobby will be back later that night, so he makes sure to put some aside before putting the cut up bird on the table for his two other brothers to dig into. He puts the cut up chicken breast and wings into the fridge together with potatoes and only some carrots, even though he knows that they will most likely end up in the bin untouched, if Bobby’s carrot eating record is anything to go by.
He ends up watching some brainless action movie with Angel and falls asleep halfway through. By the time he wakes up it is past midnight and he is more tired than before his nap, so he stretches working the kinks out of his neck, before yawning and heading up to his room, offering a quick ‘goodnight’ to Angel, who is flicking through the channels now, trying to find something to watch.
Jack closes the door softly behind him, leaning against it for a moment. He can’t stop the yawn that stretches his yaw to an audible pop. He rubs his hand over his neck while blindly walking over to his bed and sitting down before switching the light on his nightstand on. He is just about to open the belt on his trousers to get ready for bed, when he notices the small, black box on his pillow. He picks it up slowly with a frown on his face, looking at it for a long moment, before everything falls into place.
“You gotta be shittening me.” Slips from his lips, when he opens the little box that holds a simple silver ring in it. His hands are shaking slightly when he picks the ring from the box, holding it between his thumb and index finger starring at it, unaware that his mouth is still slightly open in shock. He tries it on his ring finger, but it is too big, but it slides perfectly onto his index finger and a small smile tugs at his lips. He slides it back off and turns it in the light of the lamp, his eye catching a glimpse of the inside engraving, which reads Bobby.
If it wasn’t for the engraving, Jack would have known Bobby was taking the piss, trying to come out on top after their earlier forth and back, but seeing the engraving makes Jack doubt very much that this is a joke. He can’t help but groan at the perfectness of the ring. After a moment of helplessness, in which he runs a hand over his face, his eyes never leaving the ring he is still holding between two fingers, Jack grabs the ring in his right hand, making a strong fist around it so he can feel it. He grabs it so hard that he can feel it digging into the flesh and bones of his hand, but he doesn’t care, he needs to feel that it is there, that it is real and he is not imagining things. Never easing the grip around the ring, he determinedly gets up from his bed.
The door to Bobby’s room is slightly ajar with a soft ray of light falling onto the landing, indicating that Bobby is still awake, so Jack pushes the door further open, slipping in with his back turned to the room, so he can quietly close the door behind him. He turns around slowly seeing Bobby lying on his bed on top of the covers still dressed watching Jack in silence. Jack swallows quickly trying to ignore the feeling that Bobby was waiting for him.
“Thank you for keeping some chicken and potato for me.” Bobby offers lightly, but Jack is too far away not hearing his words, staring at the floor unable to find the right words, to form any words, until his nerves get the better of him and he pushes out his right hand opening it palm up to reveal the ring he holds in it.
“What is this?”
He can already hear Bobby’s smart reply of ‘a ring’, but when he looks up he is met by a serious expression on Bobby’s face, while the older man is watching him carefully. Jack can almost see that Bobby understands Jack is serious and needs this to be serious. He is getting more nervous by the minute, possibly also caused by the fact that he thinks Bobby is taking him serious, is taking this serious. He can’t help that his eyes blink rapidly and in an attempt to distract from it, he reaches a hand up and runs it through his hair. He almost lets out a breath of relief, when Bobby finally speaks with a careful, low tone that Jack has only heard a number of times from Bobby.
“You don’t like it?”
It’s the last thing Jack would have expected to hear from Bobby and it catches him completely off-guard. His eyes widen and his mouth opens without a word coming out at first, before almost tripping over the words, “No, no, it’s not.. no. Not that. It’s just...” he all but stammers and with his nervous completely gone, he adds in a much quieter, hesitant voice, “Is... is it for me?” Reaching once again a hand up to run through his hair, looking at Bobby from underneath his bangs, his head tilted slightly to the side.
Bobby nods in silence, but Jack can see a line of worry starting to show on his forehead. He misinterprets Bobby’s worry that he shouldn’t have gotten the ring, shouldn’t have listened to that voice in his heart tormenting him to show Jack what he feels. But in Jack’s insecurity, Jack sees the worry on Bobby’s face and comes to the conclusion that Bobby is changing his mind, that Bobby is not sure anymore if Jack is worth having his ring. Panic rises in Jack, he doesn’t want to give this ring back, but he still does not understand why Bobby gave it to him.
Jack looks down at the ring in his hand and without meeting Bobby’s eyes whispers, “Why?”
Bobby is clearly not comfortable any longer, can’t bear seeing Jack so nervous and almost tortured and in an attempt to lift the mood, he dumbfounds, “You asked for one, didn’t you?”
It snaps Jack out of insecurity for a moment, his eyes flying up to look at Bobby with a clear, challenging look in them that makes Bobby’s lips quirk up quickly into a smile, glad he could drive away the sadness and insecurity from these blue eyes.
“I said, you’d have to put a ring on my finger, if you wanted to-” Jack stops mid sentence, realization dawning on him and showing on his face, an ‘oh’ escaping his lips, before looking anywhere but at Bobby and blushing furiously. The only good thing Bobby can see in Jack’s this reaction is that the sadness doesn’t creep back into Jack’s blue eyes.
When Jack hasn’t moved or spoken for a few minutes, Bobby slowly gets up and approaches Jack carefully. “You okay?”
Jack nods quickly, only fleetingly glancing up at Bobby, who gently pulls him into a hug, leaning into Jack’s ear, whispering, “It’s not only because of... that. It’s a promise that I will always be there for you. It’s to show how much you mean to me and that I appreciate all the things you do for me and...” Bobby stops short, when he feels the shaky breaths Jack is taking in, softly shaking in his arms. It makes him realize, how selfish he was, putting this pressure on Jack and wants nothing more than take it back and make things go back to the way they were, whether it meant him hurting, being lonely, he doesn’t care, as long as Jack is okay.
“I’m sorry, Jack. I shouldn’t have.” He abruptly pulls back and takes Jack’s hand trying to take the ring back, “Here, give me that.”
“No.” It’s a quiet, but steady voiced statement underlined by Jack keeping the ring safe in his hand, pulling his hand away from Bobby, but not pulling away from Bobby. Despite his surprise at Jack’s sudden confidence, Bobby doesn’t pull away, doesn’t try to push his way, but instead simply looks at Jack for a long moment, noticing the way how Jack keeps glancing at his lips. He licks his lips unconsciously, leaning slightly forward at the same moment Jack is leaning down, their lips meeting.
Bobby’s pleasantly surprised to find Jack’s lips moving against his, the younger man’s lips parting for his tongue, a hand holding onto his shoulder, while his own hand is gently grasping onto Jack’s hair, his other hand on Jack’s hip. He hums happily into the kiss, a smile tugging at his occupied lips, when he feels Jack push gently against his shoulder moving him back over to the bed, only breaking the kiss when Bobby sits down on the bed, Jack following suit, straddling his legs, pushing at Bobby’s shoulders to get him to lie down.
“Well, let’s see what your missus can do for you then.”
It comes out with a smirk in Jack’s voice, but Bobby is laughing, but shaking his head at the same time, taking hold of Jack’s arms and flipping them over, so that he is on top of Jack, holding his hands down, to keep them from tugging at Bobby’s shirt.
“We have all the time in the world, Jackie, no need to rush.”
Jack pouts lightly, but Bobby kisses the pout away knowing when to take his time and enjoying it when Jack snuggles into his arms. When he finally feels safe enough for Jack to have fallen asleep he lets out a shaky breath, he had been holding all the time. He reaches for Jack’s hand that still holds his ring, takes it gently and slips it onto Jack’s finger smiling gently and pressing a kiss to the top of Jack’s head that is resting on his chest.
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