The movement Lennie makes towards George, after he is slightly shaken up by Curley’s threat, confirms he views George as his protector. The adjective ‘deliberate’ is there so the audience understand his reason for shuffling the cards with such slowness. It’s not for his own sake, but for Lennies. In this passage we also see Lennie following ‘his words admiringly’ and moving his own lips ‘to keep up’. This will then encourage the reader to feel some sort of compassion towards Lennie in his attempts to please George by listening.
The adverb ‘admiringly’ again illustrates how much Lennie looks up to George and brings about this idea of a ‘parent child’ relationship. Since the death of Lennie’s Aunt Clara, George took it upon himself to take responsibility of him and his special needs by finding him jobs, feeding him, and making sure he is safe. However George also appears to need Lennie, but more for company than anything else. He needs Lennie to stay human, without him he would just be aimlessly wondering from job to job, only thinking of himself, and never caring about anyone else.
Without Lennie, George would just be another one of the millions of ranch hands working mindlessly until he gets paid and blowing his money on entertainment. Lennie represents Georges dream, he’s the one who keeps it alive ‘how longs it gonna be till we that little place’. Undoubtedly, George has come to like Lennie and feels a sense of duty and responsibility towards him. Lennie needs George, but it is equally true that George needs Lennie as well. Their mutual dependence on one another is what keeps George and Lennie together. Lennie stays with George because he has no other option. They are each other’s only family.