Domestic Is Okay
by Amber Moore

Howard shook his head slowly, everything was in its perfect place on the table. A deep burgundy linen cloth with white china inlaid with a gold filigree pattern, brand new silver, Cornish game hens simmering in his own special sauce with fresh picked green beans and mashed potatoes. He normally hated cooking, a trait instilled by Emily when she was well into her diet, but was getting used to having someone who liked to eat living with him every so often. Carefully, he lit the pair of white pillar candles on the center piece with a fireplace lighter and grinned when he heard Peter's heavy footfalls on the stairs.

"Howard, is that lavender I smell burning down there?" His voice called as he reached the landing, peeking into the kitchen deliberately.

Howard gestured at a cone of incense in the burner. "I present, your dinner."

Peter shook his head, grinning from ear to ear. "You didn't have to..."

"Oh, but I did. It's your last night here. Can't have you running off without something to eat." Howard pulled out Peter's chair, then reached for a bottle of chilled wine and poured them each a glass.

"You're sure you don't want to come to Miami with me? It's only four days, I'm sure Emily will cover your classes." Peter tucked his napkin into his collar as Howard served up the dinner.

"Nah." Howard shook his head slightly, "You need your time to go do your TV thing."

Peter laughed under his breath, "I can't believe you're still talking like it's some secret society of tabloid journalists."

"No, no. I'm happy as long as I am as far away from it as possible." Howard raised an eyebrow as he slid into his dining room chair. "Besides, I just couldn't picture a guy like me dining with the top brass of tabloid reporting."

"Mmm." Peter nodded, sipping at his wine. "Just picture this in a banquet hall with about eighty other people and bad food."

"Just the same..." Howard watched as Peter eagerly dug into his meal, "I think I'll be better off at home."

Peter shrugged and a comfortable silence drew out between them. It had been exactly four months and three days since the wedding that was never meant to be, and Howard was never happier. But, in the whirlwind of Peter's work and school starting back up and getting him away from LA and into the country a powerful bond had come between them. Howard liked to think of it as love, while Peter called it an attachment disorder. Either way, they were happy with what they had.

"Your flight leaves in two hours, are you even packed yet?" Howard smirked, pushing a piece of chicken through his potatoes.

"No, I just tossed a pair of sweatpants and my good suit in a trash bag in the trunk of my car." Peter chuckled, "Of course I'm packed. I packed this morning."

"Did you use the black suitcase or the brown one?"

"Black. Does it matter?"


Peter smiled at the serious look on Howard's face as the conversation had apparently hit a sticky point. "I can take the brown one if you want me to."

"No, the black one is in better shape." Howard went back to his meal, "Maybe we should go downtown when you get back and look for a new set."

"Are you suggesting we buy luggage together?" Peter raised a wry eyebrow. "Isn't that a little too domestic for our relationship?"

"It's not like I told you I want to pick out new china or living room furniture. I just thought it would be nice if we had nice luggage." Howard defended his stance, his voice taking on a rather erratic tone, "It would be nice to see you with something other than those two worn out bags that don't even match."

"But you said 'we', are you suggesting we each buy matching luggage?"

"If you want." Howard looked down at his plate shyly. "Though I don't really go would be your luggage, but for aesthetic purposes, I'd like to help you pick it out."

Peter chuckled again and waited for Howard's attention to come back up to him. "Hey..." He reached across the table, the elbow of his best blue shirt landing in the mashed potatoes as he took Howard's hand. "Domestic is okay."

Howard smiled slightly and responded, "Your elbow is in the potatoes."


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