They don’t see him at first. They do this sometimes, let him sleep in and steal a secret moment with each other, all hushed whispers together in the kitchen over the coffee maker or cooking breakfast while one of them feeds Olivia in her high chair. He doesn’t begrudge them their time together, because invariably when he rolls out of bed and finds his way into the kitchen, they look over at him with matching expressions, pleased to see him and ready to welcome him back into the fold. It does terrible things for his ego, getting their attention like that, and if maybe some days he sleeps in late on purpose just to let them miss him a little, at least he doesn’t think they’ve picked up on it.
Today they don’t look up right away, and he leans against the doorframe, watching them. It’s just the two of them this morning, Olivia still asleep in her room. They’re distracted, eyes on each other, swaying to the music playing low on the kitchen radio. Javi leans in and murmurs something in her ear, and she laughs, face turning a little flustered like he’s said something dirty—or, more likely, something sweet, a compliment about how pretty she looks in the early morning light maybe, or how good she smells, all warm and fresh from the shower. When he pulls away he’s smiling down at her. She pulls a face and he shakes his head, amused, and leans down to catch her mouth in a slow kiss.
Steve watches the play of their tongues and he doesn’t feel jealous but he does feel—warm. Ready to step in and take his place among them. Wanting his own kiss, too.
The music shifts to something more upbeat and Javi pulls away and turns her into a spin in his arms, and that’s when they finally spot him. He gets his familiar smiles, a good morning, baby, from Connie, and it draws him in, pulling his bare feet across the laminate tile floor.
“Mind if I cut in?” he asks.
Javi pulls back graciously, making room for him, but Steve throws Connie a wink and grabs Javi’s hand to guide it onto his shoulder instead. He gets a few steps in before Javi realizes he’s trying to lead, and he shakes his head and ducks under Steve’s arm to switch their positions. Steve thinks about fighting him on it, but it’s early and he hasn’t had his coffee yet and he decides he likes the way Javi’s firm grip feels on him, guiding their movements in the little corner they’re taking up. He lets it slide and follows his lead, spinning and shaking his ass for Connie’s benefit. She’s unimpressed, but it gets Javi’s attention, and he turns Steve and pulls his body flush with his, rising up on his toes to grind into his ass and nip at the back of his neck. The light sting of his teeth makes Steve’s breath stutter, wakens his body in a way caffeine never could, and he gives up on the dance and turns around to press Javi against the wall, bumping his shoulder into the kitchen wall calendar and not caring when it threatens to fall.
“One of these days,” he says, and then he interrupts his own sentence to draw his mouth over Javi’s jaw, distracted by his clean-shaven skin. “One of these days, you’re gonna realize you should stay in bed with me instead of getting up with her.”
“It’s just that she makes such good coffee,” Javi tells him. Steve nudges a thigh between his legs and presses against him there, gentle pressure through their thin pajama bottoms, and Javi draws in a sharp breath. “But,” he concedes, “you make a good point. It might be worth trying your way.” And he just has time to grab Connie’s hand as Steve drags him back to the bedroom.