Jon felt himself relax as he found a free seat on the train, letting out a sigh. To be on your way home on a Friday was always a good thing, but getting an unexpected half day was especially nice.
He’d been trying to cut down on the amount of time he spent in work recently. Martin had been badgering him about it, and for once he let himself take the opportunity to not push himself beyond what was required. Besides, he always felt rather lonely on Friday’s, heading off to work by himself while his partners still slept. It was one of Martin’s days off from the library, and Gerry taught the evening class that day, so he didn’t have to be at the art school until eight.
He pulled out his phone to text them both, tell them he’d be home early, before realising rather too late that no, after five years of living in London there wasn’t suddenly signal on the tube.
He slid his phone back into his pocket. It’d just have to be a surprise then. He was only about ten minutes from his stop, and then he could walk home and get dinner on the way - or, he supposed with the early hour, lunch. He could waltz in the door and it would be a lovely surprise, and what a perfect way to start a weekend.
“Surprise! Boss ordered us all out early, basement is getting fumigated or some such thing. I brought- Oh !” Bags of food in one hand, he used the other to push open the bedroom door. Which revealed…
Jon felt himself instinctively step back from the doorway. He tried to get words out, but his brain had decided that it didn’t exactly want to cooperate right now.
Martin pulled the sheet around himself self consciously. “Jon, we’re so sorry, we didn’t think you’d be home-”
“I’ll just go and- Uh- Put this… In the kitchen,” Jon managed to stammer out, before retreating to the safety of another room.
So… That had just happened. He had walked in on his partners… Well, having sex, to put it bluntly. Which was fine, he was fine with that, they were both adults who were allowed to do whatever they wanted. It had just caught him off guard, that’s all. He deposited the food on the countertop, and turned to lean against it, letting his eyes fall closed for a minute.
There were hurried footsteps down the hall after him, shortly followed by Martin and Gerry appearing in the doorway. They’d both pulled underwear on, and Gerry was wearing a shirt which, judging by the size, was probably actually Martin’s. Both of them looked about as mortified as Jon felt.
“Are you okay?” Was the first words out of Gerry’s mouth. Jon saw his hand move, as if to touch Jon’s arm in that way he did so often when he knew Jon was upset, but he hesitated before pulling back.
“What? Yes, yes of course I’m okay, why wouldn’t I be?” and Jon was aware that, for a man desperately trying to convince himself that he was not panicking, it kind of sounded like he was panicking.
“Well, you’re answering questions like that for starters,” Martin replied, and his voice was the right amount of calming and reasonable that he knew Jon needed right now. “Breath, love.”
Jon took the advice. In. Out. Look up to meet Martin’s eyes. “Yes, I’m- I’m fine. I’m sorry I reacted so… Adversely, I wasn’t expecting, well, that.”
“Do not start apologising over this. You did nothing wrong, we know this is a boundary for you, and we’re sorry we crossed that.”
Jon took a second before responding. “No, it’s… You two shouldn’t have to apologise either. You thought I wouldn’t be home for another four hours, I can’t fault you for wanting to, to have a good time in your own home. I can’t expect you to refrain from something you enjoy just because it makes me uncomfortable, especially when you didn’t expect me to be home.”
“You okay for a hug?” Gerry asked, leaning forward against the doorframe.
Jon wrinkled his nose slightly. “Maybe after a shower?” They all laughed at that, and Jon could feel the tension finally break between them. Then he coughed slightly to clear his throat. “Right, well, do you two want to go- Uhm… Finish up?”
“No offence, but I feel like the mood has been well and truly broken,” Martin said, “I think we should probably just take your advice on that shower,” he linked his hand with Gerry’s, and began to pull him away towards the bathroom.
“I’ll get the lunch ready,” Jon said, smiling through it as he began to take out plates.
Ten minutes later and all three of them were seated around the table, portioning out various containers of food.
“So is this a regular occurrence?” Jon asked, when they were all comfortably settled. Gerry nearly choked on his drink.
“You heard me. I’m never home on Friday’s. Is this when the…” Jon trailed off, pausing to laugh at his own phrasing before he’d even got it out, “When the magic happens, so to speak?”
Gerry let out a groan, and Martin’s face was buried in his hands, and knowing him, extremely flushed. “I mean not- Not every Friday,” he managed to mumble.
“But the majority of them?”
“... Yeah,” Gerry admitted.
Jon smirked. Now that nothing was directly going on, he was substantially more comfortable about teasing his partners than he was twenty minutes ago. “And what was the thought process behind that?”
“Well, we know you don’t like sex. Obviously. And we do. So we compared all of our schedules-”
“He made a spreadsheet,” Gerry interrupted, “A sex spreadsheet. Can you believe him. This is who we’re dating.”
“And we’re very lucky to have him,” Jon said, grabbing Martin’s hand from across the table and pressing a kiss to it.
“ As I was saying ,” Martin said, blush returning with the kiss, “We compared the schedules and Friday was the only time you weren’t home when Gerry and I were… So… Fridays.”
Jon laughed. “As adorably nerdy as that is… Why did you feel the need to do that?”
“Well not all of us are ace,” Gerry started, “And our boyfriend is particularly handsome so-”
“Yes, yes, no, I get that bit,” Jon interrupted, waving his hand to stop Gerry from elaborating any further. “I just meant.. Why all the cloak and dagger?”
“Well, we didn’t want to make you uncomfortable,” Martin said with enough earnesty that it made Jon’s heart ache slightly.
“So you didn’t want me to be around for it?”
“It’s more that we thought you wouldn’t want to be around for it,” Gerry said.
“Oh, that’s…” Jon was a little stunned. He wasn’t quite sure how to handle that. To know that his two favourite people that he loved so much, cared about him to the extent where they would schedule that kind of thing around his own comfort. “How long have you been doing this?”
“... As long as we’ve lived together?” Martin admitted, voice trailing up at the end.
A year. They’d been conducting this elaborate plan for a year and he hadn’t noticed. All to make sure he was comfortable. Jon felt himself tearing up slightly. “That’s… That’s very… Thank you. Thank you. But really, there’s no need for that, it’s fine, I promise.”
“What do you mean?” Gerry asked, eyebrow furrowing.
“You were pretty firm that you really wanted no part in that kind of thing,” Martin said.
“I don’t!” Jon said, raising both palms, “That’s- No, that bit hasn’t changed, and I doubt it ever will. I just meant… I don’t really mind, if you two want to have some time together while I’m here?” The two looked slightly shocked, and he hastily continued, “I don’t want to be involved, or anything, I just meant you shouldn’t feel like you have to hide that from me?”
He let out a sigh. “I love you both very, very much. And I’m so grateful that you care enough about my boundaries that you would go to sheerly ridiculously lengths like that for me. But I don’t need to be shielded from it. My reaction earlier was mostly out of surprise. If in future you were to just… Tell me when, I would happily make myself at home in the living room with a book, or go for a walk or something. I don’t want you to feel like I’m something you have to accommodate.”
Gerry reached a hand across the table and took one of Jon’s. Martin followed suit, gently tracing circles across his knuckles. “Are you sure?” he asked, concern evident in his voice.
“I think you can trust me to make my own decision on this one. I will always tell you when something is wrong, or makes me uncomfortable, or unhappy. This isn’t one of them. I want both of you to be happy as I am in this relationship and that means not having to literally check your calendar to see if you’re allowed to have sex.”
Gerry leaned forward and pressed a soft kiss to his cheek. “Your right. We should’ve trusted you enough to tell you. At first it was a little… We didn’t want to freak you out or anything, and then after a while it just didn’t seem like a big deal? We probably should’ve tried to communicate better rather than just deciding we knew better.”
“It came from a place of love,” Jon said, returning the kiss by pressing one to his forehead, and then Martin’s in turn. “But I agree. More communication in future sounds good.”
“And we’ll buy you some noise cancelling headphones,” Gerry smiled.
“ Christ, really? ”
“That one was a joke.”
“Oh thank god.”