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Roll With It
Leaving the army so they could run a surf school together was supposed to be the easy part of Mal and Owen’s relationship. And it is, mostly, except for days when the rain won’t stop, and Mal can’t sit still, leaving Owen behind to worry about him while he goes running on the beach.

For good reason, as it turns out, when Mal comes home bruised, damp, and unwilling to talk about it. Of course, after five years together, Owen might know a couple of ways to get Mal to open up.



4spades

This, ironically, is when Owen misses the army -- for the way that, even when they weren't deployed together, he always knew who to call to find out what was really happening, if Mal was really okay. Now that they're safer, there isn't anyone but him, and he's starting to realize that he may not actually know how to do it.

What he does know is that there's no situation Mal has ever been in, or will ever be in, where coffee wouldn't make it better, so Owen turns on the coffee machine, listening to the shower start upstairs. The rain's still falling, the sound of two sets of water pattering down merging together. Owen watches it trickle down the windows; it hasn't eased off any all day, and it seems worse now the day's really darkening, the sky closing in around them.

He can sort of see how Mal got wound up enough to let someone hit him. Or hit someone else, but if Mal's getting hit by someone like that, he's probably not hitting back.

Owen pours himself a cup of coffee and opens the refrigerator, contemplating their dinner options. He should have tried harder to persuade Mal that he wanted to go out, because their options are more than limited, and now Mal's gotten drenched once, Owen probably won't get him out of the house again.


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August 2013

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