In the 5 months since Mels had met Harry she'd gotten into the habit of dropping by about once a week. She usually ended up staying the night, other than the few times Harry had had to fill in in the club and she took the opportunity to find somebody to spend the night with. She usually left with whoever well before closing instead of drawing out the night like she did elsewhere because the feeling of Harrys eyes on her across the room every hour or so was distracting. They'd gone together once or twice just to dance and though Harry seemed to flirt with everyone she never saw him give anyone more than a superficial interest. This was only the second time she'd shown up unannounced, the first had been disastrous.
"Are you busy?"
"No, what's up?"
"Are you home?"
"Yes Mels what's..." she cut him off.
"Come let me in, I need to use your shower" there was a moment of silence down the phone.
"...okay i'm coming" she heard him moving about and the door in front of her opened. She hung up the phone. He tensed as he took in her appearance and she saw his fighter instincts rise as he ran his analysing gaze over her searching for injuries. He relaxed slightly when none were apparent but she could tell he was still on edge. He glanced around and beckoned her inside.
He shut the door and turned and walked away without saying anything. She followed and he stopped in the living room and turned to face her.
"Are you hurt?" She shook her head.
"Scrapes and bruises." Indeed she could feel a black eye blooming.
"Where? I'll get someone on clean up" she blinked at him. This was no where near a normal reaction and "clean up"? Just who was Harry? She told him and he nodded pulling out his phone and texting someone. That done he looked at her kindly.
"You're okay?" She nodded and he finally relaxed and smiled.
"Wait here, I'll get you something else you can wear and the creams I used before and you can go take a shower. Are you staying for dinner?" She bit her lip and shook her head.
"I'm supposed to be meeting Amy, I'll be late as it is. I was going to go home but you were closer and I couldn't go far looking like this." He nodded and gestured for her to wait walking out of the room.
When he came back he was carrying a plastic bag with a set of clothes the creams and a towel in as well as another empty one.
"I'm afraid I don't actually own any womens clothing" he grinned at her "so you'll have make do. There's a vest and shirt of mine and a pair of jeans that are too small for me, I've got a spare belt if you need one. Now the creams; the blue lid is the bruise cream and the green in the antiseptic, you'll want a thin even layer and you should apply it before and after you shower. This bag is for your clothes do you want them cleaned or burned?" She was a bit unnerved, Harry was acting like this was an everyday occurrence. Apart from making sure she wasn't hurt he hadn't questioned her at all. She cleared her throat realising he was still waiting for an answer.
"Could you clean the jacket and burn the rest?" He nodded.
"Give me your shoes now and I'll clean them while you're in the shower so you can wear them when you leave. You'll have to get your jacket back next time though." She just nodded perplexedly and did as he said before heading into the bathroom to get cleaned up.
She had spent her time in shower pondering Harry and had practically run away in her haste to avoid his questions when she was done, saying she really needed to get to Amy before she worried. She'd avoided him for two weeks afterwards but when she came back around he just pointed out her jacket looking brand new and the subject wasn't brought up again. Which was good because he wasn't getting his clothes back. Although she had had to do some quick explaining about why she'd shown up at Amy's in Harrys clothes.
After patching her up for the 3rd time Harry had announced that she would be sparring with him at least twice a month as her current regime was clearly subpar seeing as she seemed to be injured alarmingly often. She'd laughed at him and taken it as a challenge, determined to show him a thing or two. Her confidence and lasted right up until she was pinned, breathing hard, to the mat that had been spread across the dance floor by a barely winded Harry. He'd immediately let her up when she tapped at out and cheerfully instructed her to try again. This had become a regular thing and they'd recently started visiting a shooting range together, something she'd been pleased to find she was better than him at, if only marginally and he'd pronounced her acceptable at both. She shook herself from her thoughts as she arrived and knocked on the door which opened immediately to reveal a grinning Harry.
"A surprise visit from my favourite, to what do I owe the honour?" Mels rolled her eyes and grinned back.
"Well if this is all the hospitality I can expect maybe I shouldn't have bothered. Are you going to invite me in or have I been relegated to the front step?" Harry smirked back and moved out the way.
"Come on in, it's a pleasure as always." He closed the door and followed her into the living room. "So what brings you to my neck of the woods?" She avoided his eyes and was going to give a brush off answer when a hand on her arm made her look up into Harrys earnest gaze. Right honesty. She sighed and flopped onto the sofa.
"Amy's looking at a journalism course at the college and keeps pestering me to do the same. Rory has his nursing course and is the reason Amy's looking in the first place so I came here to avoid all the serious talk about our futures." Harry sat down next to her.
"You don't want to go to college?" Mels grimaced shook her head.
"They go through everything so slowly at schools and colleges. I get bored. Then occasionally arrested." They both laughed. "No I definitely cause too much trouble for that to be a good idea. Something Amy is well aware of, considering the lectures I've received over the years." Harry opened his mouth to reply but Mels kept talking. "So you up for some dancing tonight?" Harry gave her a long look then nodded.
"Sounds good to me." She grinned at him. "As long as we eat first." He smirked as she pouted and continued. "But drinks are on me" She shoved his shoulder playfully, grinning again. "Are you looking for company or are we just dancing?"
"Nah tonight's just us, alcohol and loud music. Wouldn't want you getting jealous because someone is stealing your Mels time."
"But of course" Harry grinned. "Anything else or shall I make us up something to eat?" She debated with herself.
"When I got here you were expecting me, you opened the door almost before I knocked but I didn't tell you I was coming?" He coughed sheepishly and rubbed the back of his neck avoiding her eyes.
"I have good security. After the last time you showed up unexpectedly I adjusted it slightly so I am informed when you get within a block of any of my buildings as well as your general state." She gaped at him, unsure how to feel about that. It could be extremely creepy and she was a bit offended at the insinuation she couldn't take care of herself but considering her impressions of him it made sense that he'd have security around his home although she hadn't noticed anything she'd have to have a look and work out how to avoid it, just to stay in practice of course and she couldn't suppress a surge of warmth at another way he'd casually edit his life to accommodate her.
"That's.." she cleared her throat. And decided not to comment "You mentioned food?" He smiled and stood leading her into the kitchen as they discussed what he was planning to make.
Mels woke slowly and groaned at the throbbing pain in her head. She was alone and in Harrys bed she realised as she groggily opened her eyes, wincing and closing them tightly when the light made her headache flair. She tried again slowly and smiled when she saw a vial of hangover cure on the bedside table. She sat up gingerly, moving slowly as the room spun slightly and downed doing as strange cross between a grimace and a sigh of relief when the disgusting taste coated her tongue but her headache started to ease almost immediately. She waited a minute and then stood feeling much more alive and headed towards the living room where she assumed she'd find Harry.
She entered and immediately realised he wasn't there but from the delicious smell coming from the kitchen it wasn't hard to find him. She opened the door to see Harry cooking a full English. He looked up and grinned.
"Go grab a shower if you want, food will be ready in about 15 minutes." She nodded gratefully and spun around around heading into the bathroom.
She emerged wrapped in a towel carrying the pyjamas Harry had told her to keep her when it became clear she'd be staying over often. She was almost at the bedroom door when Harry walked in from the kitchen. They both froze for a second and Mels watched as his eyes slowly widened as they looked traced down her body before he spun around. Even with his back to her Mels could see the flush on his neck and his burning ears and she grinned when he started stuttering.
"Um hi Mels I um sorry about that I just uh breakfast is nearly ready I was just going to tell you um well now I have so so I'll let you go get dressed while I plate up." He rushed back into the kitchen and Mels hurried into the bedroom before bursting out in laughter. Harry was so easily flustered when he wasn't expecting it and then other times it was almost a competition between them who could make the other blush first. She calmed down and got dressed still grinning.
Mels sauntered into the kitchen to see a mug of coffee for her at the table and Harry finishing dishing out the food. She smirked when he didn't look up when she entered, his ears still bright red. Salāma was draped and curled around the chair next to Harrys. Mels sat down and took a long drink of the coffee and watched over the rim of the mug as Harry brought over the food. He finally looked over at her and smiled as he sat opposite her.
"The ultimate breakfast for after a night out. Although does it count as a night out when I live here? I mean technically here and the club are the same building we didn't even have to go outside." Mels raised an eyebrow.
"You come out with the weirdest questions sometimes." Harry grinned back.
"Well i'm a unique individual." He said preening slightly.
"Oh you're unique alright. And how lucky we are for that. Imagine the havoc you'd cause if there were two of you." She said smirking.
"Oi watch it you." He said mock offendedly although he couldn't quite hide his smile. "I might not be perfect but i'm so close it's scary!" They looked at each other in silence and then burst out laughing simultaneously.
"Alright," Harry said once they'd stopping laughing and resumed eating. "What're your plans today?"
"Well Amy's probably waiting for me at hers, I think today she might finally ask me about you." Harry looked amused.
"You still haven't talked to her?" Mels shook her head. "Are you going to answer her questions?"
"Yeah probably. Need to get it over with eventually, I seem to be stuck with you." Harry stuck his tongue out at her and she looked back innocently.
"I made you breakfast!" She nodded thoughtfully.
"There is that I suppose." Then she grinned. "Well a spread like this alone is totally worth it," she said taking another bite. "You might be the best cook I've ever met." Harry grinned at the praise.
"Thanks." They finished up quietly and then took their plates to the sink.
"I'll wash you dry?" Harry asked Mels. She nodded.
"You start washing and I'll make more coffee and then join you." She made the coffee as Harry started filling the sink and washing up. She moved up next to him and grabbed the tea towel, starting to dry the things already on the rack.
"So I was thinking..." Harry started.
"Don't hurt yourself." Mels quipped. Harry stuck his tongue out and continued
"you should come over next Thursday." Mels blinked.
"Okay, any particular reason why?"
"Oh a couple" said Harry vaguely. Mels scowled at him and he grinned back. "Trust me?" She nodded reluctantly and his grin widened. "Excellent I'll see you on Thursday then!" He started putting away the now dry pans and plates effectively cutting off the conversation. Mels shook her head and checked the time.
"Well forget breakfast this was definitely lunch it's nearly 2! I need to get going."
"Okay I'll call you a ta-" he broke off when Mels shook her head.
"You always pay for my Taxi back and I feel like i'm taking advantage." Harry gave her a considering look.
"Well I've told you before I don't mind but if it bothers you I can just give you a lift? I've got something I think you'll like." She tilted her head questioningly.
"What is it?"
"Well I know you've seen my car but I also have a motorbike I don't get to ride as often as I like." Her eyes lit up and her grin matched Harrys.
"Well an offer like that how could I say no."
"Go grab your stuff. I'll put on my jacket and shoes and meet you in the hall way. She hurried to do so and minutes later she was stood in the hall with Harry as he shrugged on his leather jacket over his usual tee and dark jeans. She let herself admire the way he looked in leather for a moment before speaking.
"Ready?" Harry nodded smiling at her excitement.
"Yeah let's go." They walked outside and Harry locked his door and then gestured. "Follow me." He lead her around the building to the employee parking area and a garage it contained. Harry unlocked and opened the doors and wheeled out his bike. Mels reached out and touched it reverently.
"You have a 59 Triumph Bonneville?" She breathed, not taking her eyes off the bike.
"I do indeed. With some improvements of course." She looked up at that.
"Such as?" Harry just winked infuriatingly and went back into the garage, returning with two helmets. One was covered in green lightning bolts and the other was a plain black that he handed to her. He put his on the seat and locked the garage back up.
"Give me your bag, I'll put it in the seat." She handed it to him and put on the helmet, climbing onto the bike behind Harry when he sat down and put on his own helmet. Harry flipped up his visor and looked at her over his shoulder. "The helmets are connected, so I'll be able to hear you if you want me to pull over and I'll ask you for directions as we get closer." Mels nodded back and wrapped her arms around Harrys waist, ignoring how it felt to be pressed up against him as he turned forward and slid his visor down and started his bike.
The first time Amy saw him, she didn't actually meet him. It had been about 5 months since the phone call with Mels the morning after she'd met Harry and she was still stubbornly avoiding any conversation about her and Rory meeting him. Oh she knew they weren't together, Mels had vehemently denied it and continued the pattern of hooking up with whomever, whenever she felt like it, something she hadn't done while in the few relationships she'd had, and she'd never denied sleeping with somebody when it had been true before, knew she didn't need to hide from Amy of all people. But 3 or 4 times a month she'd disappear for the night and show up late the next afternoon remarkably more relaxed and occasionally she'd get texts that caused a small smile to play on her face.
Amy was glad to see Mels genuinely happy for a change (Mels thought she didn't notice when her smile didn't reach her eyes, as if they hadn't been best friends for 10 years) but she was also worried. She and Rory had talked about this Harry and while everything seemed to be fine Mels didn't usually have friends for long and she definitely didn't have crushes which this seemed alarmingly like. They had decided she would talk to Mels alone to try and get more information because if Harry, she thought the name witheringly, broke Mels heart they were the ones who had to pick up the pieces.
She was sat in her room, waiting for Mels, hers was always the first stop after disappearing for the night. The first couple of times it happened they worried but as the "oh I was at Harrys" were always the casual response they'd calmed down a bit though still berated her for not at least letting one of them know beforehand once she'd come back into contact. Amy was determined to get some answers today if not all of them.
As she tried to decide how to word her questions to get the best response she heard a roaring sound slowly growing louder. She got up and moved to the window peering down the street. As she did she registered what the sound was just as the cause pulled around the corner. A motorbike? In Leadworth? She felt a sinking feeling settle in the pit of her stomach and she watched as it drew closer. The driver was clearly a man in a leather jacket but his face was obscured by a black helmet with green lighting bolts on it. The female body holding on to him from behind however, while also being helmeted and jacketed, was easily recognisable. She almost groaned out loud. Mels.
As they pulled up outside her house she debated running down to the front door and trying to get a closer view or staying where she was. She decided she didn't want to miss anything and so watched as they both dismounted and turned to face each other. Mels pulled off her helmet and handed it to the man and tapped his apparently saying something. He shook his head and gestured towards her window, she fought the urge to duck -this was her house she wasn't doing anything wrong. Mels glanced toward the house only fleetingly before turning back to the man and shrugging. She pulled him into a tight hug and when she released him she tilted his helmeted head and kissed where his cheek would be. Amy blinked at the amount of emotion, more than Mels showed most people, worry again gnawing at her. He must have said something because Mels laughed and gave him a playful shove towards the bike. He stowed the second helmet under the seat then got on and started it, waved at Mels turned back and waved towards her window (cheeky bugger) and drove off.
Amy moved away from the window immediately and lay back on her bed trying to appear relaxed. With any luck Mels hadn't seen her and although she might suspect Amy had seen them she had no proof (other than personal knowledge of just how ...curious Amy could be). She heard the front door open and close, she'd long ago given Mels a key, and steps climbing the stairs. Amy grabbed a magazine a flicked through it trying to act naturally.
The door opened and Mels walked in, taking in the scene before her. Amy lying on the bed a slight red tinge in her cheeks and wide innocent eyes looking up at her. She rolled her eyes at the sight and smirked back as she flopped down on the bed next to her.
"Enjoy the show did you?" Amy immediately flushed bright red and Mels smirk widened into a grin at the confirmation. "Is there a word for evesdropping but with your eyes.."
"Spying" Amy chimed in helpfully
"Well whatever it is it's not polite you know." Amy lowered her eyes picking at the duvet trying to decide what to say first. She looked up when she heard Mels sigh.
"Go on then" she said resignedly "Ask your questions, you've been looking like you're going to burst from curiosity for months, you and Rory both" Amy blinked she'd been trying to be subtle but shook it off at the chance for answers.
"So was that Harry then?"
"It was" Mels answered. Clearly they were going to do this the hard way.
"How long has he had a Motorbike?"
"I'm not sure I only found out about it today when he offered to give me a ride here himself" she blushed slightly and bit her lip. "He's been paying for a taxi back and I felt bad for him spending money on me so he offered..." Amy bit back various questions and took a breath
"It's safe?" She asked instead.
"Yeah Harrys a good driver." Hmm she clearly thought she'd given to much away with her last answer, best keep playing it safe.
"Never mind that you have to pressed up against him holding onto him i'm sure.." she said leadingly. Maybe not that safe but her gambit worked as Mels relaxed at her joke and smirked.
"Well you know how much I enjoy the finer specimens of the human race" Amy rolled her eyes and grinned.
"Yeah yeah I've heard all about your... experiences" she said mock distastefully. She wondered whether she could push further but the question was apparently written across her face because Mels said
"No I still haven't slept with him. We're friends." She rolled her eyes and Amy caught the slight edge in her voice.
"Is he gay?" She blurted out and blushed as Mels laughed at her.
"No, not exactly." She sniggered " he's quite like me, an ...'equal opportunity lover" she sniggered again at what was apparently a quote. Amy watched her shrewdly noticing the slight shadow in her eyes.
"Does he have a girlfriend? Boyfriend? Unusually close relative?" Her effort to keep the questioning light hearted worked some and Mels was laughing with her as she shook her head.
"So why haven't you..." Mels stopped laughing and Looked at Amy who just waited. Eventually she looked away shaking her head.
"I don't know" she muttered. "He says it's not me but..." Amy immediately sat up and moved to Mels side reaching an arm round her.
"Hey of course it's not you. You're Mels fucking Zucker, Badass extraordinaire! He wishes he was good enough for you" Mels gave weak grin at Amy swearing.
"Thanks sweets. What would I do without you huh?"
"Probably get into a lot more trouble." They grinned at each other at the oft repeated response. "So what's the deal with this Harry guy then? He's our age but owns a club and rides a motorbike? Does he have tattoos too?" Mels thought back to when she'd seen Harry without his tshirt on.
"Yeah you could say that." Amy gaped for a second, she'd been joking, but saw the look in Mels eyes and grinned.
"Oh yeah seen em have you?" Mels fought to keep the blush down and rolled her eyes.
"He was looking for a clean top after a shower. Anyway his parents left him some money, they died when he was a baby." Amy eyed Mels carefully, you could never be sure how she was going to react to talking about families. She seemed, if not fine then better than she used to, it looked like Harry had helped her with that too. She squashed a small feeling of jealousy. She was happy her friend was dealing she told herself even if it was another thing Harry had helped with that apparently Amy couldn't.
"So you like him and he just wants to be pals?" Mels snorted at her friends tactlessness and nodded. "What an idiot." Mels hugged Amy to her.
"Thanks for being here Amy." Amy blinked at the unexpected movement Mels almost never initiated hugs, but she relaxed and wrapped her arms round her best friend. She was just enjoying the moment of closeness when-
"Is that a phone in your pocket or are just pleased to see me." She joked as Mels pulled away and fished out her phone.
"Always have to ruin the moment don't you?" She asked rhetorically, doing everything she could to avoid thinking about a similar moment 5 months ago as she opened the message, then smiled.
"Is it from Harry then? Let me see" she swiped Mels' phone leapt off the bed away from her to read the message.
Hope the inquisition doesn't go on too long.
P.S. Don't forget about next week Mels
Amy looked up at Mels in shock to see her still sat on the bed, smiling smugly.
"Magic" was the informative reply. She scowled and Mels shrugged.
"He probably guessed from what I've told him about you."
"You've told him about me?"
"Of course! Not like private details but some stuff. You're my best friend, you and Rory." She said matter of factly. Amy blinked away sudden tears as she handed Mels phone back and sat on the bed. She knew of course but Mels didn't usually come out and say it as bluntly as that. Amy gripped her hand and smiled at her and they sat in comfortable silence for a while.
"So when are your best friends going to meet the infamous Harry?" She asked eventually, trying to sound casual. Mels eyed her carefully wanting to avoid it as she had so far. Harry was hers, she didn't want Amy and Rory to meet him. But she knew that she couldn't put it off forever.
"We could call him now if you want?" She asked tentatively. Amy jerked upright but froze when she saw a slight flinch/wince from her friend. Right cool it Amy, yes it's not quite meeting him in person but it's progress and a big step so calm and casual, easy does it.
"Are you sure Mels?" Mels relaxed slightly when Amy didn't immediately start pestering her.
"Yeah, can't put it off forever seeing how I seem to be stuck with you" she stuck out her tongue "just... don't say anything too embarrassing an please for the love of all that is good be nice." She requested, already resigning herself to being ignored. Amy looked offended.
"I'm always nice!" Mels just looked at her. She sighed and deflated slightly but agreed. Mels eyed her suspiciously as she pulled out her phone and called Harry.
"It's ringing" she said as Amy looked at her with wide eyes. "And stop looking at me like that, you-" she cut herself off.
"Hey Harry" a pause. "Are you busy right now?" She grinned "Well I think we're mostly through with the questions but Amy wants to talk to you" another, longer pause "yeah okay" she pulled the phone away from her ear.
"What did he say what's happening?" She asked excitedly. Mels gave her a warning look as a smooth male voice came from the phone.
"I said i'm sure we can manage that and asked Mels to put me on speaker. Hi Amy" at his last words she remembered the text.
"How did you know I was going to read that text?" she blurted out. Mels smacked herself in the forehead and Harry chuckled.
"Well that's exactly how I normally start the first time I meet somebody new." He quipped. Mels grinned.
"What I mean is Hi Harry, it's nice to finally talk to you... How did you know I'd read that text?" Harry laughed again.
"Magic." He said "Now I've heard a lot about you from Mels, but apparently you haven't?" He said questioningly.
"No she's been quite secretive. Do you have something to hide, Harry?"
"Amy" hissed Mels. Amy just shrugged at her.
"We all have secrets Miss Pond. Was there something specific you wanted to know?" Amy bit her lip. Here was her opportunity for answers and her mind had gone blank. Well that's not true but she didn't think blurting out 'why haven't you slept with Mels' was a good idea, especially when said person was sat with in arms reach of her. Mels knew how to pack a punch. She looked helplessly at Mels who smirked.
"Sorry Harry, it seems Amy doesn't think you're worth talking to" Amy scowled at her but before she could say anything Harry replied.
"Well there's something you have in common eh Mels? We both know how grudgingly you put up with my company. If it wasn't for me feeding you, providing booze and having a comfy bed, the only time id see you would be when you're stalking your prey in the club." When he mentioned his bed Amys eyes darted to Mels but she just shook her head and grinned gesturing for her to wait.
"Well if you joined me in that oh so comfortable bed, instead of insisting on using the beat up old sofa I wouldn't need to browse your clubs selection, now would I?" She smirked at Amy as they heard Harry cough.
"One of these days your mouth is gonna write a cheque your body can't cash" he sounded amused.
"Is that a promise?" Asked Mels innocently but she was grinning at the phone wickedly. Harry just sighed in response and Amy who had watching Mels as the talked felt a flash of anger towards him as the grin slipped slightly. "So are you going down to the club tonight?" Mels asked, changing the subject.
"Nah the boys can handle it. You know I only go in to fill in where we're short handed or if you want to dance or... find someone to dance with. Where would you be without your wingman after all?" A gauntlet of emotions flitted across Mels face as he spoke but she rolled her eyes good-naturedly.
"I'd have a lot more luck if your handsome self wasn't skulking around i'm sure" she said with the air of someone who had said this before. Harry laughed.
"I doubt even if I hung around glaring at every guy who looked your way I could damage your luck. I have to put extra guys on the cleaning crew the nights you come in, to mop up all the drool." Amy giggled at his joke and Mels looked up and blinked, having forgotten she was there. She blushed and cleared her throat.
"Anyway, Amy. Questions for Harry?" After watching the two interact over the phone she only had one.
"So Harry when are you going to come over and let Rory and meet your handsome self?" She smirked at Mels scowl.
"I'm sure we'll get around to it eventually." The sound of a phone ringing "Listen Mels, Craig is calling me on the internal line i'm gonna have to go see what the issue is. Sorry to cut this short Amy"
"That's okay Harry i'm sure we'll get a chance again soon and you've got an open invitation to come over here with Mels one of these days, bye"
"I'll remember. Bye." Mels turned off speaker and brought the phone back up to her ear. Amy watched curiously.
"Yeah you're off speaker... Yeah I know... yeah thanks Harry... See you then." She hung up and put away the phone ignoring Amy who was still watching her. They sat in silence for a beat before Amy spoke.
"His handsome self?"
Mels groaned and buried her face in the duvet. Amy was quiet for another minute and then
"So his bed is comfy?"
Mels hit her with a pillow.