Pairing: Becker/Danny, Matt/Ethan
Word Count: 1,290
Summary: Danny has plans for New Year’s Eve…
Notes: Vaguely follows on from Tis the season.
Danny wondered for the hundredth time whether or not he was going to make a complete fool of himself tonight. His mind had started working up every worst case scenario possible sometime yesterday and he was starting to panic now. Up until then, he had been fine, but now… His mind still wouldn’t stop running over the potential disaster this could become. He had been sitting here, staring at the television and not seeing a single thing on the screen, lost in his own fretting.
Becker looked up from the crossword puzzle he was filling in.
“I- Never mind.”
He could see Becker’s confused expression as he got up and left the room but he wasn’t really sure what to say and so he kept walking. Heading upstairs to the bedroom, he dug his mobile out of his pocket and dialled Matt’s number.
“Am I going to make a total tit of myself?” he asked as soon as Matt answered, not even bothering with ‘hello’.
He didn’t need to see Matt to know he was smiling, amused by this whole thing, but then it was only fair. He’d taken the piss a bit when Matt asked him for help organising the prefect Christmas for Ethan, hadn’t he?
“No, you’re not. Man up, Quinn; it’ll be fine.”
Danny sighed. “I guess you’re right.”
“No guessing,” Matt corrected, repeating, “It will be fine.”
Danny nodded. “Right. Bye.”
As soon as Matt put his phone away, Ethan was there beside him.
Matt nodded. “He’s panicking.”
“So why does he keep calling you? He could have called me; I am his brother, after all,” Ethan grumbled.
“Because you aren’t supposed to know,” Matt pointed out. “Unfortunately, you’re a nosy bugger.”
Ethan grinned. “You’re just annoyed because you cracked and told me.”
He was right, Matt thought, through he really couldn’t be held responsible for what he’d said. It was damn difficult to keep a secret when Ethan set his mind to finding out. He’d held out for three hours and numerous withheld orgasms, which he thought was above and beyond the call of friendship.
Glancing at his watch, Matt went to get his coat. They were supposed to be meeting the others in the pub soon, all together to ring in the New Year.
The pub was packed out when they got there, elbowing their way through the crowd until they reached the tables at the back. This was their daily after-work haunt and so those who arrived first had claimed their usual tables. Matt and Ethan sat down, the others moving up to let the two men have the long seat with their backs to the wall. Ethan still wasn’t comfortable with strangers but he had agreed to come here tonight, to make the effort, and he smiled gratefully at the others as he made himself comfortable. Years of being continually on alert in the past had made him uneasy with having his back to the crowds, that feeling of being exposed. Matt had grown up in a similar world, in which being able to see what was coming was often the decider between life and death. The others seemed to understand that and simply moved aside without question.
Around the table, Emily and Jess sat side by side, laughing at something Connor had said. Lester, obviously brought along under protest by Connor, watched them with an expression that was half ‘when can I go home?’ and half ‘Connor may be telling childish jokes, but it’s rather adorable’. The moment he noticed Matt watching him, he scowled.
Abby’s return from the bar with a tray of drinks heralded another round of welcome hugs, the enthusiasm of which were a good indicator of how many drinks she’d already had. She handed them out- red cocktails with pink umbrellas and cherries on sticks for her, Jess and Emily, a lager for Connor and a whiskey for Lester- and insisted on going to get Matt and Ethan one too.
About five minutes later, Danny and Becker arrived, starting Abby’s rounds of hugging all over again.
“So you didn’t chicken out, then?” Matt asked in a low voice as Danny sat down opposite them at the table.
Despite the shake of his head, Danny didn’t look too sure. He happened to noticed Ethan grinning at him and glared at Matt.
“You told him.”
Matt sighed. “He’s… persuasive.”
“Yeah, I blackmailed him with sex,” Ethan informed him cheerfully, making Danny groan and the conversation nearby to stop abruptly. The women stared at them for a moment before starting to giggle.
“I didn’t need to know that,” Danny complained.
Becker returned from the bar and sat down. “Didn’t need to know what?”
“That I’m shagging Matt,” Ethan told him.
Across the table, Danny didn’t know whether to be relieved that his brother had deflected the question or clap his hands over his ears and sing ‘la la la’, denying he’d heard any of that conversation in the first place. He knew that Ethan had grown up, but he still remembered the fourteen year old kid he had been. Ethan and Matt had been living together now for nearly six months and he wasn’t so naïve to think that they hadn’t been sleeping together for most of that. He just didn’t want to hear about his little brother’s sex life.
Becker laughed and pushed a drink toward Danny.
Four hours later, the barman rang the huge brass bell on the end of the bar, usually used for calling time.
“Two minutes to midnight!”
There was a new buzz of conversation as everyone watched the clock over the bar excitedly. Matt looked across at Danny and gave him a reassuring smile before the clock ticked down to thirty seconds to go. Beside him, Ethan watched eagerly.
“It’s is the first time I’ve done this,” he said, grinning, his gaze firmly fixed to the clock. “I was never old enough before and then I was- Ten! Nine! Eight!...”
Everyone counted down together but Matt wasn’t joining in. Instead, he was watching Danny as reached up a hand and touched Becker’s cheek to get his attention.
“Hils? Will you marry me?”
For a moment, Becker just stared at him, before he smiled.
“One! HAPPY NEW YEAR!”
Becker nodded, ignoring the chimes of midnight as they rang out, and the other customers in the bar cheering.
“Yes.” Danny heaved a sigh of relief as Becker threw his arms around him. “Of course I bloody will.”
Matt nudged Ethan’s shoulder, pointing, as the pair kissed, oblivious to everyone and everything around them. “He said yes.”
Ethan’s smile just got wider as he pulled Matt in for a kiss to bring in the New Year, before congratulating his brother. Around the table, the others began to realise that something other than the New Year had just happened, leaning over to ask.
Becker glanced at Danny, curling his fingers around the other man’s.
“Hils just agreed to marry me,” Danny told them.
The pair of them immediately vanished from sight as the women and Connor went to congratulate them. Lester waited until the hugging was done and reached across to shake their hands and offer his own, more restrained, well-wishes.
Danny leaned over and whispered to Matt, “Thanks, for everything.” He grinned then, casting a pointed glance at Ethan and teased, “It’ll be your turn next, you know.”
“Bugger off, Quinn,” Matt muttered.
Danny did so, laughing as he turned back to Becker. Even as he said it, Matt found himself watching Ethan, seeing the smile on his face as he talked to his brother and Becker.
Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing…