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The Roots Hold You Steady

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Gerry always had been taller than Jon. Ignoring that one time when Jon was thirteen and hit a growth spurt that made him exactly one inch taller than Gerry for like a month, Gerry might have had a small crisis during that time but that was beside the point. Fact was that as a general rule, Gerry was taller than Jon. Stronger too, for that matter.

 

So it just happened that Gerry was the one who picked up Jon and carried him around and that was fine. Gerry loved carrying Jon around. Jon was small and light and bony and holding him was like picking up a particularly stubborn kitten, eager to pretend it didn’t want affection only to melt into it after a moment.

 

This also meant that Gerry was absolutely not and in no way prepared to get picked up himself like ever. How should he? The last time it happened was when his dad had been alive so somewhere before he had turned eight and that had been a while ago. His mother well… and Gertrude, Agnes and Emma weren’t really the type for it. Maybe Agnes but she had never tried. Jon had tried, mostly out of spite but he had only managed to topple them both over. 

And now there was Martin.

 

From a logical standpoint, Gerry had been aware that Martin would most likely be able to pick him. He was tall, even taller than Gerry and there was a strength in him that he usually hid behind shy smiles and gentle gestures but was apparent in the way he simply lifted up one of the heavy creates in the library completely unbothered by its weight. 

So on a rational level, Gerry knew but that didn’t make him any more prepared for when it happened.

 

The first time it happened was in the kitchen. Martin had been cooking and Gerry was mainly lurking around, trying to snatch some smaller pieces whenever Martin wasn’t looking.

“Gerry, stop that.” Martin chided, swatting halfheartedly at Gerry’s fingers with the wooden spatula. Gerry stuck out his tongue in response.

“What if I don’t?” he asked with a grin. Martin gave him a look of consideration before stepping closer looming over Gerry. He wrapped his arms around Gerry’s middle and effortlessly lifted him up. Gerry barely had the time to process before he got deposited on the kitchen counter.

“Stay there,” Martin said, tapping lightly against the side of Gerry’s thigh. “Or I’ll have to ban you from the kitchen. Gerry only nodded dumbfounded, unable to form any words.

“Good.” Martin said, pecking Gerry on the nose before he returned to making cookies.

Jon in the meantime looked up from reading his book at the kitchen table to give Gerry an amused but knowing look.

 

The next time it happened actually had a more practical reason, namely a giant gash in Gerry’s left leg. He had managed to stumble into the library and turn human just before crashing, startling both Jon and Martin.

“Heeey.” he greeted them with a wry smirk, that was half trying to hide his pain and half trying to reassure them that he was okay.

They were both at his side in a heartbeat.

“That looks bad.” Martin said after accessing the damage with a frown and Gerry only shrugged.

“Can you walk?” Jon asked with furrowed brows.

“Sure, just give me a second.” Gerry muttered, bracing himself for the pain that was about to come.

“Yeah, no,” Martin said, already shoving his arms under Gerry to pick him up. “don’t think you should put any weight on that.”

Gerry only made a soft surprised sound when the ground vanished underneath him. He still hadn’t got used to the prospect of being carried.

“I’m fine.”, he protested but there was no heat behind it.

“Sure,” Martin said. “But I’m still not letting you walk.”

“I-, You-, Ugh-” Gerry only huffed before he let himself relax into Martins hold, his head flopping against Martin’s shoulder as Martin brought him to the kitchen to patch him up.

 

The third occasion was even more of a shock than the first two had been. Martin picking him up while he was human was surprising but at least something that could’ve been expected. That Martin was able to lift up his beast form was both surprising and very unexpected.

He was laying in what was essentially their living room, head resting on his paws and eyes closed while he took up as much space as possible.
Jon had long since given up on moving him and simply used him as a footrest. Martin on the other hadn’t reached that point yet.

He nudged Gerry’s side lightly. “Ger” he sighed. “Come on, can’t you just move a bit instead of blocking everything?” Martin asked.

Gerry opened a few of his eyes, slowly blinking at Martin before closing them again with a huff. He probably could move, but he really wasn’t in the mood for it.

“Oh, you know what. Fine.” Martin muttered, but instead of giving up like Gerry assumed would, he wriggled his arms underneath Gerry.

“Up you go.”
Gerry managed to let out a confused whine when Martin heaved him up, all of his eyes were suddenly wide open. His beast form was even bigger than his usual form, so he just couldn’t comprehend how this had happened. The fact that his way of thinking turned more simple during his transformation didn’t help either.

He turned his head to stare at Jon who had started laughing loudly.

“I’ve never seen a beast looking so confused.” he snickered.

“Well, there’s a first for everything.” Martin huffed, letting Gerry down a foot next to where he had been originally. “And you don’t give me that look, you could’ve moved yourself.” 

Gerry huffed in response, but after a moment when Martin had settled down, he padded over squeezing in between them to lay himself half over Martin and his head into Jon’s lap.
“Oh so now you want cuddles?” Martin asked amused, but Jon’s hand was already buried in Gerry’s fur scratching along his scalp. Martin sighed. “Don’t encourage him.” he said, but his own hands already had found their own way into the dark fur.



The fourth barely registered at first due to the fact that Gerry was half asleep. Since he was young, he had the habit of sleeping in the weirdest places. Not because he didn’t like beds or because book stacks were overly comfortable, but simply because sometimes the nearest halfway flat surface was enough.

Since Jon couldn’t exactly carry him to bed and wasn’t always able to wake him up, it meant that occasionally Gerry did sleep then and there right through the night only to wake up with horrible cricks in his neck and a lot of regrets.

This time he didn’t.

This time two arms wrapped around him and picked him up, jostling him back into well not exactly consciousness but at least more awake, which didn’t mean that Gerry was able to be coherent anyway. So “ngh?” was the only response he could make, his fluttering lightly, blinking up at Martin.
A low chuckle was the reply before Martin actually answered. “Shhhh,” he said softly. “just keep sleeping. I’m just bringing you to bed.”

Gerry hummed and let his eyes fall shut again.

He could feel being placed on the mattress and how Jon wriggled closer to press a kiss to his cheek, by the time Martin pressed against his back, arms wrapped around him he was already back asleep a smile on his face.

 

The fifth time had Gerry pressed against a bookshelf, Martin’s lips hot again his neck. His hands tight around Gerry’s hips keeping him in place. Gerry couldn’t remember the last time someone had been able to pin him so easily and he certainly wasn’t complaining.

Neither was he complaining when Martin’s hands wandered lower, wrapping around his thighs lifting him up.

Gerry’s legs instantly wrapped around Martin’s hips and his grip around Martin’s neck tightened. He could feel Martin’s smile against his neck before teeth scraped along his skin teasingly. Not a bite but hinting at one.

“What exactly do you think you’re doing there?” 

Gerry looked over to Jon who had interrupted them and was now giving them an unamused look.

“What do you think we’re doing?” Gerry asked a bit breathless.

“Not. In. Front. Of. My. Books.”

“Jon, there are books everywhere.” Gerry whined making Martin laugh while Jon just shot him another unamused look.

“Don't worry, Jon. We’ll leave.” Martin chuckled, stepping back from the shelf, Gerry still wrapped around him.

“We do?” Gerry asked. 

“Well you don't have much of a choice do you?” Martin returned.

Gerry hummed in agreement and maybe he didn’t mind not having a choice.



The first time Gerry picked up Martin was after he returned after he had been gone for about a week. He found both Jon and Martin in the kitchen, a kettle sitting on the stove presumably tea stepping in it.
Martin already shot him a glance and he pressed a finger to his lip as he sneaked up on Jon before grabbing him to pick him up and whirl him around, resulting in an affronted squeak. Gerry laughed and pressed a kiss to Jon’s cheek. 

“I’m back.” he chuckled.

“I can see that.” Jon huffed and swatted him lightly against his arm, but the smile on his face showed clearly that he was just as happy that he was back as Gerry was himself. “Now let me down.” 

“Fine, fine.” Gerry relented and set Jon back on the floor.

“Welcome back.” Martin said amused now that Gerry clearly wasn’t trying to be quiet anymore.

“Yeah, it’s good to be back.” Gerry said with a crooked grin before stepping closer to Martin, wrapping his arms around him to lift him just like he had Jon. Martin made a startled sound that was frankly adorable and it made Gerry chuckle.

“Geez, Gerry, let me down. I’m too heavy for that.” Martin protested but Gerry only laughed. 

“You’re most definitely not.” he disagreed, spinning on the spot to prove a point.

Martin sighed but relaxed a bit.

“Don’t complain if you hurt your back.” he mumbled.

“Would be totally worth it.” Gerry said, grinning up at Martin.

“Wanna let me down anyway?” Martin asked.

Gerry hummed and gave Martin a considering look.

“Only if I get a kiss.”

Martin snorted. “Sure.”

“Perfect.” Gerry said with a grin, lowering Martin on the floor before he leaned up to steal a kiss.

“You seem very happy.” Jon pointed out from behind them, holding out two cups of tea for them.

“I am,” Gerry said with a smile.

“You two just make me very happy.”

“You’re a sap.” Jon pointed out, pushing on his tiptoes to press a kiss against Gerry’s jaw.

“You love me anyway.”

“We do.” Martin agreed.