Another morning another opportunity for Hobbs to almost get stabbed by his best frenemy! Or, maybe, another opportunity to try and help the guy not feel so stabby anymore.
To Hobbs' amusement, the next morning started much the same as the previous had. With him once again being the saint he was and cooking up a delicious breakfast spread for two. Followed closely by angry shouting from the direction of Deck's bedroom. The difference being that this time he heard the "bloody hell," before he'd had time to shovel some eggs in his mouth and get a serving tray ready.
So instead he set two places at the table and waited for the fuming Brit to bring his unshaven face to him.
"The hell, Hobbs? Who said you could use my stove?" Demanded the half wild man as he rounded the corner into the kitchen. Directing the entirety of his not inconsiderable ire at the American who'd just sat himself down to enjoy a delicious, nutritious breakfast.
Hobbs, in the middle of taking a refreshing swig of his glass of fresh squeezed orange, fought down a chuckle and successfully avoided choking. Then, juice taking a safe ride down into his stomach, he raised a brow and addressed the matter at hand.
"Uh, first off, no one said I couldn't, and second, I didn't hear you complaining yesterday."
"Yeah, well you caught me at an inopportune moment. Which, by the way, reminds me: Thanks for lettin' me bloody hibernate straight through morning. Again. Stellar work there," the spy with the sarcastic slant to his mouth spat from his hunch in the doorway.
"What is with you and sleep, man? I mean, aren't moody teenagers supposed to love that stuff?" Hobbs asked, rather pleased with his jab.
Until the narrowing of a hard pair of eyes warned that the spy wasn't in the mood for fun.
"Fine, if it's that important, I'll wake you up earlier next time," the detective proposed, hands coming up in a 'you win' sort of motion. Not coming back down till the unnaturally sullen spy moved forward and took his seat.
Then, in the interest of self-preservation, even as he went ahead and dug in to his breakfast in earnest, Hobbs kept one eye on his rankled host. Until the guy finally swallowed the worst of his hang up, picked up a spoon, and tried the oatmeal.
A largely silent minute or so later, about halfway through with his stacked plate of perfectly crisped bacon strips, Hobbs chanced a glance up to gauge whether his tablemate's mood had lightened. Seeing as the guy was only half glowering as he pushed the partially eaten bowl of mush to one side in favor of starting on his minuscule serving of eggs, the detective figured it was safe to restart the conversing part of their late morning interactions.
"Oh yeah," he said, getting Shaw's attention as the Brit ladled himself a spoonful of his perfectly flufftastic plateful of eggs. "I couldn't figure out where you keep your clothes, so I left the laundry on the end of your bed."
"I noticed." No inflection on the statement.
"Right, of course. But you probably didn't notice that I picked up and put away your dry cleaning," the American said, preening just a hair as he popped a another savory cut of pork in his mouth.
"In the wrong closet," the unappreciative breakfaster pointed out with a fresh scowl.
"Oh," Hobbs said, watching as the man across from him set down his newly hemptied spoon in favor of the cup full of hot, full-bodied, aromatic-
"Decaf?" Shaw accused, taking another sip despite himself.
"Yeah, what with you being on meds, caffeine being a stimulant, and you obviously too attached to your precious boiled leaf water to cut back, I figured: better safe than sorry."
"Whatever," said the guy by then clearly unwilling to part with the cup he was nursing. Even if it wasn't what the cool kids called 'real' coffee.
From there the party mellowed out. The two of them trading some barbs over the fact that Hobbs' plates were full to the point they looked more like troughs. The detective choosing to hold back any retaliatory observations over how small his breakfast-mate's portions were. Not interested In inadvertently calling back the man's earlier vengeful mood.
Instead, before Shaw'd had a chance to finish his food, his houseguest made sure to point out the pill bottle he'd thoughtfully left by the orange juice the guy hadn't touched.
Pretty sure the responding narrowing of the eyes was meant as some sort of taciturn 'thanks', Hobbs went back to his quick disappearing spread and didn't push when Deck gave an inevitable lean back and away from his meal. Done even though he hadn't even eaten as much as Sam did for an average breakfast.
Instead, he took it as his cue to begin the clearing of the dishes. Starting with a gesture towards the glass at the other guy's side of the table and a friendly, "You gonna finish that?"
"Never started on it. Knock yourself out," the Brit said, sliding the untouched juice away from the rest of his leftovers.
"Thanks," said the guy who wasn't about to let fresh squeezed citrus go to waste. "Nothing like a couple oranges to wash down a good meal," he intoned with a satisfied sigh.
"Yeah, well, if you're done pattin' yourself on the back, there's a massive mess in my kitchen and we both know who put it there."
The less than antagonistic set to Shaw's jaw told Hobbs his frenemy was officially out of whatever mood he'd started his day in, so the volunteer housekeeper just flashed the guy a winning smile, stacked a small tower of plates on his free hand, and started on the cleanup.
Not so long later, finished with the sink full of dishes, the one man cleaning crew peeled his gloves off and slapped them down on the fresh wiped counter with a satisfying snap. Letting out a contented hum before turning to double check he'd actually gotten everything. Suppressing a flinch when he realized he wasn't quite as alone as he'd been thinking.
"What the heck are you doing there?" He demanded of the preoccupied spy, a little flustered at having forgotten he hadn't heard the guy leave.
"Checkin' in with work; making sure you don't destroy my kitchen. You know, good host type stuff," the Brit said, looking up from his phone in a way that made it clear he thought the American was making a big deal out of nothing.
"Uh-huh, well I'm pretty sure a 'good host' doesn't make a guest clean their entire house while they sit back lookin' pretty checking their email," Hobbs rebutted. Hoping, when the guy's face stiffened up and went right back to his phone screen, that he hadn't brought it just a little too close to home.
Before he could think up some way to tactfully change the gist of what he'd said though, Shaw was already responding.
"It's like I said," the spy started, quiet enough that Hobbs almost had to strain to here, "I got a bum arm."
Well... that hadn't been the come back he'd been expecting. Threw him too. Just enough so that the Brit beat him to the uptake a second time.
"Besides," Deck started again, louder and with some of his natural cantankerousness coloring the word, "never 'made' you do any of this stuff. Didn't even invite you over to begin with."
Still, the slight accusatory undercurrent didn't distract Hobbs from the thought the spy's previous, quiet statement had brought to the American's mind.
"Does it hurt?"
"What?" Asked the Englishman, thrown by the seeming non sequitur.
"The arm. Does it hurt... right now?" The frenemy trying for a casual lean back against the sink asked. Looking for signs of unease as he did.
"A lot of things 'hurt right now', Hobbs. It's called 'gettin' the shit kicked out of you'. Ever heard of it?" Shaw asked in one of his more argumentative tones.
"Can't say that I have, seeing as I usually do the shit kicking myself," Hobbs said, feigning innocence even as he winced internally.
"Oi, not everyone's as massive and impregnable as the mighty Luke Hobbs."
"Hm, 'mighty'? I like it. Might use it myself," the American mused, managing to sound smug even as his thoughts turned concerned.
"That's not what I meant and you know it," accused the Brit with the sour sneer.
"Yeah, keep tellin' yourself that," Hobbs said, putting his hands on his hips and plastering on his best 'you know you like me' face.
For that, the American got a sneer and a clear 'leave me alone' vacating of a once again perfectly clean kitchen.
Which just so happened to be exactly the kind of opening Hobbs had needed, he realized with a start. Pulling out his cellphone and selecting the appropriate contact all in one smooth movement.
'I think your brother's arm hurts. Any idea what we should do about that?'
He pressed send before he could rethink it and found himself holding his breath waiting for the response. Blinking when it came in far sooner than he'd expected.
'Shit must've hidden his pain meds. Find them then shove a couple down his stupid throat'
"Pain meds?" Hobbs mused, typing and sending an affirmative even as he started going over prospective hiding places. Glancing back to the screen when he felt his phone notify him of another message.
'Good luck. You're gonna need it'
Not doubting the admittedly rather foreboding well-wish, the man on a new mission slipped his phone in its pocket and squared his shoulders. Ready to turn the entire sparsely decorated place upside down until he found the missing medication.
After all, the only alternative would be straight out asking his already rankled, bullheaded, semi-retired assassin of a host. To the guy's face.
Unfortunately, considering he'd already been through the whole house, cleaning practically every surface and 'touching' all of Deck's stuff, potential hiding places were looking pretty scarce.
So the direct route it was.
Sighing, Hobbs started off for the living room and hoped this wasn't finally the day one of his big brain ideas got him stabbed.
Huh, me thinks Hobbs managed to improve Shaw's mood. I suppose miracles do happen. Like me finally publishing this chapter!
Seriously though, I hope everyone out there has been doing alright through these rather bleaker months and through all these worldwide hardships. Thanks so much for reading and I hope to have another chapter posted far sooner than the seven months this one took!