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Don't Stop Me Now

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“It looks atrocious./” Zer0 deadpans, staring at Rhys as the man wipes some aftershave on the rest of his face. He was attempting to grow a beard similar to Vaughns but it was difficult to maintain and ‘scratchy’ according to Zer0. The two had argued about it- well Zer0 just left passive aggressive haikus on sticky notes- until Rhys folded and shaved the whole damn thing off. Everything except a good chunk sitting on top his upper lip.

“What you don’t like this either? I think it makes me look older, more mature. I can work this.” Rhys winks at himself in the mirror, looking over at Zer0. A giant red ‘X’ lit up their mask as they crossed their arms.

“Aw babe, you don’t say anything to Marcus about his moustache or Sir Hammerlock.” Rhys pouts, draping his towel across his shoulder. He walks past Zer0 to get ready for the day, already dreading the long day in the office.

“Sir Hammerlock can rock it,/ you cannot. Shave it.” Zer0 demands, a ‘>:(‘ replacing the ‘X’ from before. Rhys rolled his eyes, pulling on his pants and shirt.

“I’m not shaving it, you got rid of my beard, the least you can do is let me keep my ‘stache.” Rhys pulls on his suit jacket next. He gives Zer0 a smug look as he walks past them, going to the closet for his ties. Zer0 follows them, the ‘>:(‘ growing brighter.

“You’re testing me./” Zer0 grumbles out, their robotic voice having a distinct edge of whining to it. Rhys laughs as he pulls out his favorite red tie, wrapping it around his neck.

“I’m not trying to make you mad. I really do think it makes me look pretty hot.” Rhys winks at Zer0 this time, knotting his tie.

“It looks like a baby rakk./” Zer0 huffs, leaving the closet, Rhys running behind him. They should be getting ready for the day like him but the moustache threw off their entire mojo as Rhys would put it. Besides they were already dressed, they just needed to get their Echo and guns ready for their next mission. Rhys grabs his own Echo and wallet, slipping them into his pants then grabs his clipboard to check over what he needed to do for the day.

“Do you really want me to shave it off.” Rhys says offhandedly, marking off some things on his agenda. He had so many damn meetings today, and interviews.

“If you loved me, yes./” Zer0 is full on pouting now, a ‘:(‘ lighting up their mask. Rhys looks up from his clipboard briefly and chuckles, walking towards them. Rhys grabs their mask and kisses it briefly, pulling away with a smile on his face.

“It’s just hair Zer0, get over it.” Rhys runs his hands down their chest softly before lightly tapping them and pulling away. “You're supposed to be leaving in an hour for that big mission with the others remember? Go get your things ready.” Rhys turns away from them, grabbing one of their duffle bags from their side of the room and stuffing in random guns. Zer0 stayed pouting for a good minute before beginning to help, putting in their more expensive guns.  The mission was pretty standard, only requiring two other people besides themselves. Nothing too easy but not extremely difficult as well. A hit requested by Vaughn on another psycho group that was getting a little too rambunctious. Eradicating three fourths of the gang should be enough of a warning for them to back off.

Zer0 grabbed one last gun from their secret stash under the bed, purposely turning their back to Rhys to pretend they don’t see him stashing several Insta-Health into their bag. Rhys seemed content after the twelfth needle was in the bag, zipping it shut. He tried to lift it to put it near the door but gave up after several attempts. Zer0 chuckled lowly at him, picking up the bag easily and swinging it over their shoulder.

“How long do you think you’ll be gone?” Rhys asked, trying to play it off cooly but still sounding worried. Zer0 held up three fingers, taking off some of the worry on Rhys’ face. “Oh three days isn’t too bad-”

“Weeks.” Zer0 corrected.

“Weeks?!” Rhys shrieks, looking at the alien in disbelief. Zer0 only nods their head, bumping their mask against Rhys’ forehead.

“I will keep in contact.” Zer0 amends, grabbing their echo off the dresser.

“Right, of course, it’s not like you haven’t been gone that long before.” Rhys sighs, hugging Zer0 from behind. Zer0 lets him hug them then pats his head gently, moving towards the door to leave. “Bye babe.” Rhys goes back to his clipboard, getting ready to start his own day. Zer0s mask lights up with a ‘<3’ as they walked out the door, going to their own job.

 

Zer0 arrives back at their home around midnight three weeks later on the dot, doing their best not to track the blood of their enemies around the house. They knew Rhys would still be awake at this time, the man had a habit of destroying his sleep schedule when Zer0 wasn’t around. Zer0 leaves their duffle bag at the front door, going to the kitchen sink to wash off most of the blood. They dried off with the fancy paper towels Rhys insisted on buying, then headed off towards their room. They paused before Rhys’ office, noticing the light from under the door. It was one thing for Rhys to be up late, it was another for him to still be up and working. Sighing, Zer0 opened the door and entered the room.

“Rhys I’ve returned home,/ oh you actually shaved it./” Zer0 pauses, staring at Rhys’ now hairless face. Rhys rubs at the dark circles under his eyes, a small smile on his face.

“Hi sweetheart, I’m glad you’re home.” Rhys starts signing out of his programs, and shutting down his computer before he was chewed out. “And yes I shaved it, you were always complaining about it so I figured you really didn’t like it.” Rhys explains. He was a little sad he didn’t get to keep his beard or his moustache but if Zer0 really disliked it then he wasn’t going to keep it. Zer0 meant more to him than some facial hair. Zer0 on the other hand could tell that Rhys was a little upset over the loss of his moustache. They walked over to him and gently rubbed at his shoulders, bumping their mask to his head. They grabbed Rhys’ chin gently and bumped their mask against his cheek once more.

“I might have liked it.” Zer0’s mask lit up with a ‘:)’ and made their way out the room, going to their shared bedroom. Rhys stared at them dumbfounded for a moment before a smile broke out across his own face. He couldn’t believe his luck, Zer0 was the best partner he could have ever asked for. He quickly got out his office chair, following his lover to their room, talking about his plans for his new ‘stache.