What are these two going to do with the rest of their day? Bond? Ignore each other? Fight to the death?
Guess we'll just have to hope for the best.
Hobbs, not wanting to smother but interested in seeing what his frenemy might be up to next, gave it all of two minutes before following the fellow who he soon found was simply finishing off his afternoon tea from the comfort of his ancient couch.
He watched as the guy set the little breakable cup on the spindly side table and settled himself deeper into the cushions. Resolutely not looking at his guest no matter how obvious Hobbs was making his bid for attention.
Eventually the DSS agent decided to just clear his throat and hope the other guy didn't resent his presence.
"Hey, uh, feel free to tell me to 'piss off' or whatever," Hobbs opened, tone approaching careful, "but, uh, I was wondering: this morning, what had you so up in arms over the fourteen hour siesta?"
"Nothing. Just... reminded me of something," said the spy staring off into the middle distance. Soon as he'd had time to process the out of place question.
"The kind of 'something' you wanna talk about?" Hobbs prodded with just a hint of hope.
"...Was a long time ago," came the sole explanation. Not near as defensive as Hobbs might've expected, even as the statement's finality was utterly apparent.
"Uh, okay, but just so you know, I'm an avid student of ancient history," Hobbs insisted. And the fact that Deck didn't snatch up and throw his teacup at him for it had Hobbs teetering on the edge between being pleased and being worried. After all, he'd been sure that was gonna get a rise out of him.
Instead, it got him a halfhearted groan. Followed by a lackluster eye roll.
Still, better than nothing. And, whether the guy actually believed him or not, he knew the message had been received. So with a chiding raise of his brow, he put his hands on his hips and started a new line of questioning.
"Well, what you wanna do now that you've had your precious 'tea time'? We could make dinner plans or get started on-"
"What's this 'we' tripe?" The guy on the couch cut him off, swinging his legs up and rearranging himself into more of a reclining position as he gave his houseguest an accusatory eyeing. "I'm takin' a nap. Bloody knackered after that deplorable excuse for a 'family bonding experience'."
"Oh, alright then. Enjoy the shut-eye. I'll just go entertain myself with some good old-fashioned, back breaking manual labor. Y'know, like I've been doing since I got here. For free," the houseguest with the heart of gold reminded, face breaking into a wry smirk.
"Don't even think about touching my stuff, Hobbs," the ex-assassin warned with a one eyed leer. Looking almost like he might be half asleep already.
"If your stuff's a mess, it's getting touched," Hobbs warned as he turned from the strangely... not intimidating sight, intent on-
"Where're you going, Luke?"
The edge to the question had the detective pausing in his tracks, not bothering to look back as he did.
"By the looks of things, you're out of clean clothes," he offered in a matter of fact way. Considering the guy was back to wearing the same ridiculous 'pj' set he'd spent the last who knows how many days in. "You're obviously not doing anything about it, so I'm doing laundry."
"Psh, gonna need a new wardrobe when you're through with it."
The part-time maid relaxed at the put-down, then glanced over his shoulder when the next thing he heard was an out of place... snuffle, of all things.
Oh. Deck was sleeping. Cool. Hobbs could work with that. Gave him something solid to update Hattie about, the LA watchdog thought as he slipped out his phone to do just that.
'Your brother had some tea then passed out for a nap. I think the walking tired him out.'
'I'm fuck busy. Keep me posted.' Came the lightning fast reply. Followed by a little typing icon which stayed put for what felt like ages before changing into a second, shorter message.
"Woah, never thought I'd see the day," Hobbs marveled. Typing back a quick, 'No prob,' as he made his way for the bedroom and the arm fulls of clothes he'd cleared off the floor just that morning.
Before the detective could make any progress on the matter though, he was hit with an entirely new matter of concern. In the form of a serving tray left forgotten and half full on his host's bed; once fluffy eggs crusted and dried next to a few, filmed over, forlorn ounces of coffee and a long since staled, partial slice of buttered toast.
Yikes. Now he understood why the guy was walking around looking one foot in the grave: he hadn't been sleeping or eating right. By the looks of it, not for a while.
Explained all the half-eaten takeout he'd had to toss the day before, Hobbs figured with a sigh.
The man on a mission decided to clear the mess waiting to happen out of there before getting started on the laundry for the afternoon. Seeing as he wasn't interested in having to clean an entire set of linens on account of someone not finishing his breakfast.
"No wonder he couldn't take the walking," the detective mused to himself, arms laden with the tray of leftovers as he made his way back toward the kitchen. Tiptoeing his way through the living room when the sounds of snoozing reminded him someone was currently sleeping in there.
With his quick, assessing, passing glance at the lax figure on the couch, Hobbs couldn't bring himself to feel rightly affronted that his delicious breakfast spread hadn't been given the respect it deserved. Figured it wouldn't be right to give Shaw a hard time about it after the guy'd tuckered himself out keeping up with his well-meaning, worried family.
No, he'd just have to make sure his host was getting his daily nutritional needs met whether the spy was feeling hungry or not. And if that didn't work, he could always give Hattie a call.
Not that he'd want to heap even more stress on the superhuman sister's plate. Not unless strictly necessary. After all, he was there to make things more manageable, not make a fuss over matters he could do something about himself. And, being the part-time nutritionist he was, this was definitely a matter he could do something about himself.
So Hobbs, figuring that as fast as Deck'd gone to sleep, the guy'd be out for a good while, gave himself permission to set the washer he'd found tucked away in a tiny closet to a medium capacity cycle and indulge himself in a nice, relaxing little walk. To the nearest dry cleaner's. Or, the second nearest dry cleaner's, anyway. Just to be considerate of his spy host's paranoid sensibilities.
Several minutes later, Hobbs let the jingle of the front door's bell usher him from the friendly little shop and he took a moment to breathe in the semi-fresh air of the old neighborhood's overcast early evening. There, with a nice lungful of another country's modest attempt at vehicular decongestion, Hobbs surveyed the street with a lazy sort of curiosity. Attention soon caught by a simple, wooden, fold-out sidewalk sign about a block and a half over.
The part that caught his interest though? The single, hand-painted word sitting slightly off from the sign's center: Grocer's.
Decision reached, the pro bono personal assistant made his way over to the storefront, sauntered himself in through the door, and proceeded to be surprised at the more than decent selection staring back at him. Far more to choose from than he'd have expected from a local grocery mart. Especially one which appeared to not have more than three employees. Maybe even fewer if one of those apron sporting folks turned out to be a towny with a funky fashion sense; sniffing the apples one by one before arranging them into a painstaking but totally worth it pyramid shape on their wooden, countertop display. For the fun of it.
With a chuckle, Hobbs grabbed a handbasket and set to giving the shop a good perusal.
Next to no time later, laden with food, food ingredients, and a receipt for the dry cleaning that'd be ready for pickup in the morning, the tourist headed back to his temporary crash pad and sighed in relief when his key still fit the lock.
Shouldering his way in though, he chuckled at the situation's ridiculousness, knowing that, had he been staying at just about any other house on the planet, such a thing wouldn't have been any sort of a legitimate concern.
'Spys', he thought with a good natured roll of the eyes as he locked the door behind him. Sure to be quiet when he turned and made for the kitchen with his bag full of goodies. Not wanting to disturb the- Hm. The guy who wasn't sleeping on his couch anymore.
Strange, considering how beat Shaw'd seemed when he'd left. And the fact that the American errand boy hadn't even been gone all that long.
Wasn't in the kitchen either, Hobbs discovered as he made for the fridge and popped the thing open. Figuring he better put away anything that could go bad if left out before going on a full-blown manhunt for his AWOL host.
About the time he situated the last item into its new home, a loud beep sounded from the direction of the discrete laundry room, informing Hobbs that he'd gotten back right on time for the end of the wash cycle. And in perfect time to switch the soggy laundry over to the matching energy efficient dryer.
Pressing the button that made the machine do its thing, the LA gumshoe decided on his next destination: the London hitman's Zen garden. After all, that's where he'd found him the same-ish time the day before.
So Hobbs closed the laundry room door and turned for the kitchen, seeing as that was the only way through to the place he was going next.
As he turned the corner into the cooking room though, Hobbs was brought up short by the sight of someone directly across from him being brought up short by the sight of him.
Like some sort of weird doppelgängers, both figures stopped at opposite ends of the same room, giving each other a quick once over before the one closer to the garden broke the silence.
"So you're not gone then?" Demanded a Deck Hobbs might have expected to sound a hair closer to disappointed. Or annoyed. Not that strange mix of nonplussed and... disbelieving.
That he had no idea what to do with.
So he plastered on a chiding grin and leaned against the kitchen door frame. Hoping to dispel whatever kind of funk he'd found his frenemy in.
"Nope. Can't leave till this place is spotless and staying that way, and judging by how it looked when I got here, that's not happening anytime soon."
To that, the spy said nothing. Only narrowed his eyes and considered the man across from him. The look stuck on his face almost accusatory.
Hobbs kept up the grin and did the same right on back.
Eventually, seemingly satisfied with the stare down, Deckard made for the closest island chair and took it, movements far more stiff than any self-respecting international spy would ever allow in public.
Hobbs, not sure whether the candidness should be taken as a positive or a negative, made for the refrigerator. Grabbing down the ridiculous cereal box when the guy in obvious physical discomfort nodded towards it.
Then, before taking the thing to the table, he reached inside the cold storage unit and grabbed out a bottle of something he'd been surprised to find at the little market.
"Already told you, Hobbs: I'm knackered, not hungry," the guy said, practically on automatic. Seeing as he wasn't even looking at what his houseguest was bringing over. Suddenly too busy rubbing at his face to bother, apparently.
"Dude, give peach a chance," Hobbs insisted, gesturing at the picture of a halved peach on the bottle's label. Glad when it got Shaw to look at the thing. "'Sides, meds on an empty stomach doesn't sound like the best idea," the detective added, setting the bottle in front of his host even as the guy gave it a good, hard glare.
"The hell is this?" Asked a somebody who sounded like he wasn't interested in playing a friendly game of twenty questions.
"Nutritious for one," Hobbs informed, barely restraining a chuckle at the affronted look crawling farther up the other guy's face the longer he stared at the thing.
"'Meal replacement'? What, like I can't feed myself?" Deck challenged, leveling a glare at his thoroughly entertained houseguest.
"Naw, more like you're too picky for your own good," Hobbs deflected, cool as a cucumber. "Saw you didn't finish your alfredo at lunch; thought you might like something a little more highbrow," he said with a small wave towards the meal in a bottle.
"And you think this fits the bill?" Shaw asked, brows as high as they were skeptical.
"Uh, if the quality matches the price tag? Definitely." That, almost surprisingly, seemed to get the grouch's attention. Evidenced by the way he stopped glaring at him in favor of once again glaring at the proffered dinner in a bottle.
"Not hungry," the two words the spy eventually decided on, eyebrows this time coming down to match his perturbed frown.
"Well, how 'bout thirsty?" Asked the guy starting to think Shaw was just being contrary on principal.
Yep, definitely being difficult, Hobbs thought with a roll of his eyes.
"I know you 'had tea' but that's not gonna help you swallow these bad boys now, is it?" He reasoned, displaying the patience of a saint with the way his face didn't change color even one shade.
"Tch, whatever," the probably too 'knackered' to argue Brit scoffed, "crack it open then. But," he went on, a note of warning on his drained voice, "if it's as bad as it looks, you'll be wearin' the rest on you're ugly mug."
Hobbs barely suppressed a chortle at the look of petty seriousness staring him down. Knowing full well that if this had been any other day- if the circumstances had been any more favorable, he'd have had some choice words of his own to offer in response.
But as it was, he just smirked bigger, picked up the bottle, and did what his frenemy had virtually asked him to. Which, when he thought about it, was some major improvement over their usual, mannerless repartee.
Then, safety seal seen to, Hobbs set the newly lidless thing down and grabbed the cereal box. Extracting and setting aside the practically untouched bag of food before fishing around for the appropriate pill bottle. Flashing a triumphant smile when he produced the right one on the first try.
"Gimme both," the words that interrupted his careful doling out of the medication.
"Calling it a night early, huh?" Hobbs asked, not quite able to squash the disbelieving double take from his voice. After all, it was smack dab in the middle of most folks' dinner time.
"Wasn't kidding when I said I was bloody knackered," the spy explained, pinching the bridge of his nose for good measure.
"Well, I'm all for taking time for rest and recuperation," the bodybuilder said as he fished out the second bottle, popping a pill from that one as well when the spy said nothing to renege his decision.
"Oh, and a little something to wash 'em down with," he said, sliding the chilled bottle closer to the spy's good hand before offering up the man's meds.
"Extortionist," a sour faced Deck accused. A moment before snatching up the liquid meal and using his mouthful to help the pills go down easy.
Once he'd definitely finished with that, Hobbs piped up with his objection to the unflattering designation.
"An extortionist needs to actually get something out of it, otherwise the word doesn't apply."
"Oh, you're gettin' plenty out of this," insisted the Brit as he took a second, potentially longer swig from his drink. "Bloody sadist."
"That's even farther from accurate," defended the man who didn't know what was going on in that twisted head of Deck's.
"Really? 'Cause from where I'm sitting, you seem to be enjoying yourself plenty," insisted the man bringing the bottle back to his lips for a third time.
"Uh, I'm 'enjoying' watching you take care of yourself," Hobbs corrected. Mouth snapping shut when the blurted words registered with his ever so slightly flustered brain.
He almost squeezed his eyes shut out of pure mortification when the words registered with Shaw's brain too.
After all, the way the guy's face went completely blank as he forced down his most recent, peach flavored mouthful? The way he set the bottle down and pushed it away, movements almost mechanical and shoulders suddenly board stiff? Hobbs'd definitely put his foot in it this time. And he couldn't even begin to imagine what his host was going to do about it.
"Not quite bad as it looks," Shaw informed with a gesture at the partially drunk meal. "Your lucky day," he added as he shot his guest a begrudging, slantwise glance. For some completely unknowable reason seeming to have decided to show Hobbs mercy and pretend he hadn't just heard one of the weirdest things that could possibly have come out of the American's mouth.
Hobbs practically sagged in relief, completely at a loss as to what he would have done if the Brit had confronted him about the unconscious slip-up.
"You at least gonna finish it?" He asked, accidentally overcompensating for his residual self-consciousness with more bravado than the question deserved.
"Night, Hobbs," the spy's only response as he pushed himself from his seat, casually walking around the opposite, longer side of the island as he made his way for the exit.
"G'night, Deck," the tourist practically whispered at the steadily departing back. Giving his face a good, hard, embarrassed scrub soon as the Brit was out of earshot.
Hearing the bedroom door shut, Hobbs was jarred from his self-pity well enough to slip out his phone and shoot a quick, 'Took his meds. He's down for the night.' to the Shaw he hadn't just ruined his reputation in front of.
'Good.' The only reply he had a feeling he'd be getting.
With a sigh, the live-in frenemy decided to give the positive side a good looking over. Like the fact that Deck'd at least gotten himself to his room under his own power that night. Seeing as he didn't have Hattie around that time to help if it had gone otherwise.
Hobbs let himself crack a small smile at the thought and set about tidying the Brit's leftovers from the island table. Recapping the meal replacement and re-hiding the meds under their bag of cereal before putting both food related items back where they belonged.
Then, when his stomach rumbled, the detective reopened the fridge, intent on rustling up a little food. Musing that he could have himself a nice, well earned break and camp out in the living room for a relaxing TV dinner.
That is, until Hattie's warning against 'turning on the telly' replayed in the part of his mind that remembered boring, important stuff.
Maybe it'd be okay if he just steered clear of any news channels?
Nah, he thought with a small, defeated groan, he didn't know how TV worked in the UK. Besides, he had a feeling Hattie'd find out if he disregarded her polite... instructions.
Better safe than sorry, he thought as he pulled what he wanted from the fridge. Shaking his head at the less than stellar way his perfectly good evening was turning out.
At least he still had the boring old newspaper to flip through.
And someone else's laundry to fold.
Whoa, Shaw choosing to go to sleep early? He really must be tired after their fun day out. Good thing he's got a frenemy there to enjoy watching him take care of himself!