sparsenicjade
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Sometimes, most of the time, when Draco makes his way back from China in the evenings, Ron is already there, puttering around the kitchen, working his wiles on Addy and Maddy. So when he shows up just a little bit late and Ron is nowhere to be found, Draco asks the elves, "Seen Ron?"

Maddy shakes her head, but Addy frowns. "The wards, Master Draco."

Draco can't feel the wards, of course, but her mentioning them must mean that they indicate Ron is present. Draco calls his name but there's no answer. Sighing, Draco wanders through each of the bedrooms, checking that Ron hasn't fallen asleep while reading or watching something on the tele. Finally, as a last resort, Draco checks the garage.

To find Ron sitting behind the driver's seat of the Mini.

Calmly, Draco climbs into the passenger's seat. "We going somewhere?"

Ron doesn't start, just looks over at him. Finally, finally, he smiles. "Not with me at the wheel."

Draco, always glad when there's something that he can do, asks, "Want me to take you somewhere?"

Ron's hands tighten around the still steering wheel. "No. I'm there."

Draco, acutely aware of Ron's distress tries to think through the context clues carefully. He's almost about to admit being at a loss when he remembers the date on Liao's calendar. Draco often forgets about the dates that mean everything to the people who were in England at the time he was in China becase, well, he was in China, and time had very little meaning. But he's had four years of living through this date with Ron and he never ceases to feel like cad for forgetting. The date of Arthur Weasley's death is never an easy one for his lover. "Come inside with me?"

"You remember when you were trying to teach me to drive?"

"More Nell than me."

Ron inclines his head. "You never laughed at me."

"Not like I had much room to."

"Didn't matter. What mattered was that you didn't."

Draco tentatively runs a finger over the knuckles of Ron's closest hand. "All right."

"That was the first time I thought that maybe you knew what love was, just a little. Dad used to... He once told me that part of love was knowing when to hold someone up and when to tear them down, just a bit."

"Not to destroy your sense of us, but. You taught me most of the things I know about how to love someone else." Draco took a quick breath and then chanced, "Must've gotten that from your father."

Ron's small laugh was mostly a sob, but there was something softer than grief behind it. "Bloody hell. Draco Malfoy, who would've thought?"

"Not me," Draco admits.

Ron's laughter at that is a bit purer. His fingers loosen, one hand curling around Draco's waiting palm. "Thanks."

Draco curves his own fingers around Ron's and squeezes. "Want to hole up in the bedroom and not leave for three days?"

Ron squeezes back. "Last time we did that you abandoned me to explain how exactly it was that we'd gotten lost in our own house to the Snapes."

"You expected better of me?"

"Gryffindor optimism."

"We'll cure you of it yet."


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