A/N: After finding Little Men on my sister's room, and download Jo's Boys, I decided to write something, Ha. I kinda got a little disapointed cause there wasn't much fandom of this books (LI actually dislike Little Men TV series...)
Buuuut. Anyways. Thanks a lot to Salean and E. Snoopy, for betareading this, you two rock.
I don't own Little Men or Jo's Boys. The rumors that say I bought Tommy Bangs aren't true. Damn reporters.
If I never see your face again.
She wasn't going to cry, she decided as she took another swig of the red wine she had taken from her parents' cabinet. Hell, why could she even feel a lump on her throat?
She was supposed to be happy, wasn't she?
Nan laughed as she looked at the date on the calendar in her wall.
This date had been looming over her since Thomas-the-pathetic-idiot-she-was-sure-she-didn't-care-about-Bangs had the nerve to send her the invitation in the first place.
In an hour, Thomas Bangs would be marrying Dora West.
She had never had a drop of alcohol in her no longer-under-aged life but, hey, this was a celebration... She smiled as the thought crossed her mind.
So she laid there, drinking until she couldn't tell up from down.
"What are you doing here?"
"...I...I don't know..."
She opened her eyes as she heard the rain hitting the window next to her bed.
Nan laughed harder, drier.
It was something crazy, a bottled emotion she had to let out. Something she couldn't take anymore. The taste of the wine slowly burned her throat – sweetly, sourly.
And the rain fell harder, racing against her accelerated heart.
"I'm grounded, Tommy. Get outta here."
"... But... I like to be with you..." He blushed as he spilled out the words, not looking at her.
She needed to scream, but her lips were sealed.
Rain made her eyes open wide, and all those bottled feelings, all that needed to escape, all that sadness and bitterness that she kept locked up, was sheltered by the ephemeral raindrops.
"Stop playing, Tommy." She said sighting, sick of the boys' games.
"I'm not playing...!"
She had always wanted him to find someone. Someone other than herself.
She did anything she could.
She rejected him.
She told him she didn't want to marry. She repeatedly told him that she would be happier if she remained single. If she helped others, just as the Bhaers had taught her to.
But that morning, the morning Tommy shyly told her he was engaged, she couldn't help but feel jealous.
Tom sat next to her. Nan smiled, looking into Tommy's angry, embarassed eyes.
"Okay, then... I like to be with you too, you know."
Her hands pushed him slowly, and he finally gave the next step.
And in a vain attempt to retract, they came closer again, but he was already walking away.
They closed and moved back slowly... as if they were ashamed, and heavily fell to her sides.
Desperate knocking on the door made her turn her head. The blanket that covered her from the cold night fell to the floor, as she recognized the voice.
"Nan, would you open the darn door before I have to knock it down?!"
Nan gasped as she slightly opened the door of her small apartment. The subject of her thoughts was standing there, leaning against the doorframe. Every single centimetre of his skin was drenched; small water drops ran through his pale face, bringing out his sky blue eyes. His clothes looked heavy and stuck to his body, and his messy jet black hair was dripping wet.
"Will you let me in, or do you want another five minutes to admire how gorgeous I look when I'm wet?"
"What are you doing here, Bangs?" She called him by his last name, printing venom in all the letters.
"...I... I don't know..."
Nan's eyes narrowed.
"We've already had this conversation."
Tommy laughed as he pushed the door open to come in. Nan squeaked as he shook his head, splashing her.
"You're going to fall ill."
"I've got my favorite doctor to cure me."
Nan frowned. She sighed as she turned around to look for towels, and it was then when she finally took a look at what Tommy was wearing. It was ironic that she hadn't noticed before, and she blamed alcohol. Her eyes widened as she threw the towels to the floor. Her hands turned into fists as he smiled shyly at her, waiting to weather the storm.
She growled as she made him sit on her bed, and threw a towel on his head as she started to scrub his hair, harshly.
"You... You should be marrying right now, idiot!"
She raised one eye brow at him, skeptically, and was silent for a while.
"But... Why? Why are you appearing in my apartment all of a sudden the same exact day you're supposed to marry Dora West?"
"I mean, 'til now, all you've ever done since you were engaged is constantly remind me that I'm the biggest loser on the planet!"
"Tommy, Why are you here? Why did you come tonight?"
Her eyes narrowed at him, face set, quietly demanding an answer. The look he gave her was one of slight terror. He didn't know where to begin, but couldn't hold it in any longer, so he blurted it out loudly, in a rush.
"I'm in love."
If possible, Nan's eyes narrowed even more. "So?"
"Damn it, Tommy!" she screeched, instantly hitting him on the head the second the words left his mouth. He winced, rubbing the spot where she'd hit him, though not altogether surprised by her reaction.
"You're in love? With me?! Seriously, Thomas! And here I was thinking maybe, just maybe, you were here to take me to your wedding like a good, old friend! Even if you'd said you were here because Dora or, or Mother Bhaer made you, even that I could accept, but this?!"
Nan gasped as she felt Tom's cold hands on her wrists, pushing her.
"I like having hair, Nan."
"Nan, c'mon, don't..."
"Don't what?! Don't be ridiculous!"
"I'm here because I want to be here, Nan." He said, grabbing onto her arms, forcing her to look at him as she struggled against him.
"No, you're not. You're here because you're scared. Of marriage. Because some funny little feeling is forcing you to believe you still love me." She said, pretty convinced, as she tried to come up with another option to what she, in fact, wanted to hear. She sat next to him, crossing her arms and looking at him accusingly.
"No, it's not, I..."
"Shut up!" Tommy couldn't help himself from rolling his eyes at her theatrics, a move Nan didn't miss. "Honestly, Tom. What were you expecting?"
"Exactly this, I guess."
"Well, what am I supposed to do? Fall into your arms and forget you were supposed to be marrying another woman? Pretend I'm suddenly madly in love with you?"
"You didn't back then, you won't now..."
"Well then what, Tommy?"
He sighed. "I don't know."
"Neither do I."
How long they sat there in the room, each wrapped up in their own thoughts, neither could tell. Tommy knew there were no easy answers, but he also knew he was bound to her since they were kids, plain and simple. The longer he sat with her, the more he knew that, fate or no fate, he wouldn't want it any other way. Finally he broke the silence.
"You smell like alcohol."
"I'm not exactly sober. If I were, then I would have simply thrown you out."
He laughed a little.
"Were you celebrating my wedding?"
"Geez... You should be happy." Tommy couldn't help but to feel a tingle of pain. He smiled sadly, biting his bottom lip. Nan sighed.
The exhausted pain in her voice was evident. It killed Tommy to see her like this. It didn't matter that only two months ago he had thought he was going to marry the most beautiful woman in the world. It didn't matter that these feelings were not of his own choosing, that he couldn't forget her. He looked at Nan, crumbled in her arms, and for a flash of a moment, he forgot who the hell Dora was. No wonder she'd been drinking a lot.
He stared at her with curious, wide eyes. She looked up at him, frowning, and she knew that if she didn't tell him in that moment, even just for the sake of her mental health, she would never get another chance.
"You don't know what you've got... until you lose it, Tommy."
Tommy's face remained confused for a few seconds, and then as if something had hit him, a small smile curved his lips. A small smile that couldn't help but slowly turn into a happy grin, as his cheeks blushed slightly.
"Maybe there's a reason for all this."
"Maybe... me being me... and you being you... maybe I was supposed to find Dora, so we were supposed to... To have our happy ending..." He smiled lovingly at her while saying this, making her understand that he was being serious.
"I... I guess... Well, I know how you feel. When I got engaged some months ago, when I was supposed to love Dora, the pain I felt... and now..."
"It all melts away when you look into my beautiful eyes?" she snorted.
"Well, no. I mean, your eyes are beautiful. Yes, even when you roll them like that, but the point is, even with the fact I was going to marry the wrong woman, thinking about you... Being happy about it still hurt some. I think trying to love Dora made it duller, but it was still there. And I think that's the point."
"What's the point?"
"That you know how I feel. It's like you had to feel that pain, you had to go through all that so you could understand you loved me."He smiled at the words."I don't think you're supposed to fall in my arms and forget the idiot that I am, even after all that."
"Really. Then what do I'm supposed to?"
"...I think you're supposed to have a friend."
"Yeah," she said softly. "One of those might be nice."
"I have every intention of being a hell of a lot more than that when you're ready, but for now, you need a friend, and that's what I'll be."
"You were going to marry today, Tommy..." She said, gazing down at the bedspread. "You'll have lots of problems with the West family. And your parents don't even like me. Are you sure you want to try?"
"How do you know this isn't just going to blow up in our faces? How can you be so certain?"
"I'm not, really. All I know is you're it for me. Everything. It's you. And, hell, we've both tried everything else."
"I guess... We can keep this a secret. For a while..." Tommy smiled at the calculating look on her face. "We can continue studying medicine... and... in a month or two pretend it just... happened."
"You've always been good at making plans."
"I feel like we should shake on this."
"I've got a better idea." He said with a grin. Placing a hand on the nape of her neck, he leaned over to brush her lips with his. Nan groaned as she felt Tom's hot breath crash with hers. Her lips parted slightly letting his mouth adjust to hers, in a passionate, slow kiss. His fingers tangled in her hair, and he pressed her closer. With a small sigh, Tommy ran his tongue teasingly through her low lip, asking for entrance. He smiled at the warm contact of her mouth.
Nan wrapped her arms around Tommy's neck, surprised that she didn't notice that he had lain down on her bed, taking her with him. He broke apart, for need of oxygen, breathless but grinning.
Now as the summer fades, I let you slip away
You say I'm not your type, But I can make you sway.
Nan laughed a little. "Oh god, this is so... improper."
"And since when we've been proper?" Tommy said, as he rolled over so he was now on top of Nan.
"Oh my god, you're such a guy. Don't look so proud of yourself, I might have to hit you again."
"I would find you more threatening if you weren't blushing or in a nightgown."
But you feel my breath, On your neck
Can't believe I'm right behind you (right behind you).
"What?" She said, looking down at herself and then back up at him and his smirk, her eyes wide.
"DAMNIT! I didn't put on my robe when you knocked?! Damn! Quit laughing, Tommy, it's not funny!"
"Aw, c'mon Nan, it's a good look on you."
"Shut up! And let me move, will you?! Why the hell didn't you say something earlier?!"
He looked her up and down, appreciatively. "Can you blame me?"
"Idiot!! Didn't I tell you to move?! And stop smirking like that!"
Tom laughed as he stood up. He picked up her robe and held it out to her, his eyes set on the ceiling.
"Here. I won't peek, I swear."
Tommy raised an eyebrow when she didn't take the robe from his hands. Instead she crawled into her small, single bed, covering herself with the sheets, turning her back on him.
"You know, I was about to sleep when you came here." She said with a yawn.
'Cause you keep me coming back for more
And I feel a little better than I did before
He just smiled as he took off his wet suit shirt. He could hardly keep his eyes open either; crawling stealthily into the bed, he embraced Nan from behind.
Between kicks, pillows and shouts, Tom fell out of the bed, to sleep in the small couch he used as an improvised one.
So that was the way Tommy Bangs spent his wedding night – freezing to death on a makeshift bed.
And if I never see your face again, I don't mind
'Cause we gone much further than I thought we'd get tonight