A/N: Hey everyone, I'm back, with, as I'm sure you guessed a new Tulie fic! It's not quite as completed as Pee Wee Football and the Superbowl was when I started posting it, so it probably won't be updated quite as frequently, but I'm about 44 pages in and getting pretty excited about it, so here it is. It takes place at the beginning of Season 2 and picks up after the storm, Julie never went to the party, which means that she didn't get drunk and Tim is still living with the Taylor's.
I'm also on livejournal as well fs anyone's interested, there isn't much on there at the moment as I'm still getting to grips with it, but various bit's will be posted, in the meantime if anyone wants to check out what's not on there yet ;) the link is on my bio page so go and add me as your friend so I don't get lonely!
It's a low rating at the moment, but if any steamy scene's between the pair of them happen to come up over the course of time, the rating will be adjusted as appropriate. :p
Disclaimer: Alas, none of the characters are mine and no profit being made!
She was trapped.
Trapped in darkness.
Unable to move.
Unable to see.
Unable to breathe.
Terror drowning her from within.
An ominous creaking sounded from overhead.
A howling, roaring scream of unidentifiable noise rushing past her.
A thick, heavy humid smell, the grit she could feel whipping against her skin. Stinging her eyes as she struggled so keep them open.
She wasn't safe.
She needed to move. Move! Move! Move! She willed her body.
It was coming…closer and closer…faster and faster…the noise building to a deafening crescendo until she couldn't hear herself screaming within her mind.
Then she picked up a small cracking sound, and then another and another until suddenly the world exploded about her.
Panting, Julie Taylor's eye shot open, her body tense, her muscles straining with unleashed energy that had no idea where it was going.
She lay still for a moment, her body trembling as she tried to gain control of her limbs and manipulate them into doing her bidding.
But she couldn't. Not just yet at any rate.
She continued to breath rapidly, heart thumping in her chest.
Skittish eyes danced around the dark shadows of her room, finding danger in the elongated shadows as she tried to reassure herself that nothing was there, that there were no monsters under the bed or in the closet. That she was safe, and it was over.
It was over, she repeated to herself.
Shakily she lifted a hand a brushed it across her face.
Her skin was cold, clammy, her hand damp with perspiration when she brought it back. Her hair was sticking to her neck, the thin vest top she was wearing soaked through, the bed sheets tangled about in a mass around her legs, the sheet beneath her body moist with sweat.
Stomach churning, she forced herself to sit up and collapsed against her headboard, one hand reaching out weakly to flick on the switch for her bedside lamp.
Feebly she kicked off the cover caught up around her feet and drew her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms about her legs for comfort.
Her bedroom door handle turned, and the door slowly opened causing her to jump, so caught up in trying to calm herself down that she missed the sounds from down the hall.
"Julie?" Her mom asked groggily, concerned about her elder daughter but still half asleep. "Is everything alright honey? I thought I heard something."
"Fine." Julie croaked out. "I'm fine."
The scratchiness in her tone alerted Tami, because instantly she became far more awake. Eyeing her daughter with close scrutiny she said, "You have that dream again?"
Julie nodded knowing that she wasn't going to be able to get away from it and tried to hold back tears of frustration.
How much of a baby was she? She was acting like a pathetic five year old!
"4th night running, 3rd time tonight." Tami commented gently, crossing the room to sit with her daughter on the best. Smoothing her hand out across the bottom cover, she made a note of the drenched cotton. "Do you want a glass of water?"
Slowly Julie shook her head.
"Do you want to tell me what the dreams are about?" Her Mom asked softly. "You might feel better getting it off your chest."
A shudder rippled through Julie's frame, and she adamantly shook her head again. "I don't know how to explain it…" She whispered burying her head against her knees. "I'm stuck and I'm so scared that I just, like, freeze and I can't move, I can't think. God it's lame." She hissed derisively. The sheer mind numbing terror that she'd felt seeing that storm blow in across the horizon and knowing that there was nothing she could do to prevent it was still tormenting her even after the horrifying experience had taken place. People had been though far worse in New Orleans and here she was freaking out over a little bit of wind!
If Tim hadn't been there…she'd frozen, he'd been the one to drag her to safest place possible in the grocery store.
"No it's not." Tami reassured her gently. "It's perfectly understandable after everything that happened."
"Mmm." Julie replied, the words not really sinking in.
"Do you want me to sit up with you for a bit?"
"No. I'm going to get changed and then try to get some more sleep."
Tami was silent for a moment, "Ok. If you need anything, you come and get me or your Dad, alright? "
Julie nodded with a swallow and tried to paste a smile of some kind to her lips. Tried eyes shifted across to the flashing neon lights of her alarm clock. 3:21. One hour and thirty-six minutes since she woke up from her last nightmare.
Leaning over, Tami pressed a kiss to her forehead. "You sure you're ok? That you've got everything that you need?"
"I'll be fine," Julie promised her.
"Ok." Standing, Tami left the room with one last unsure look at Julie, closing the door as she left.
Twisting round, Julie lowered her legs to the floor and stood, feeling as if her legs were about to give out underneath her as she tottered across to her closet and pulled out a fresh vest top and pajama shorts.
Forcing her stiff yet jelly like limbs to conform to her commands, she stripped out the sticky clothing that she was wearing and quickly wiped herself down with a small towel left handing over the back of a chair.
Dressed in fresh clothing she moved back over to her bed, the sheets could really do with changing, but she felt dead on her feet and couldn't be bothered with changing them at that moment.
Untangling the jumbled mass, she crawled back into bed and shut out the light before burying under the covers, wrapping them as tight about her body as possible to give the illusion of safety, or protection.
But at the end of the day they were only sheets; they couldn't provide that much assurance.
They weren't tight enough.
They weren't hard enough.
They weren't heavy enough.
They didn't offer the protection that Tim had, the solid weight of his body pressing against hers as he squeezed her tight until it was all over.
She wished she was younger.
Young enough that she could get up and creep into her parents room and climb into the middle of their bed between them, confident that she was safe from anything that might want to hurt her.
She was a bit old to be doing that now though.
Not to mention, 'ew', her parents had sex in that bed!
Her eyes felt heavy, gritty from lack of sleep, but the slumber she was desperate for wouldn't come.
It didn't feel right.
It didn't feel safe.
She tossed from side to side for awhile. Willing sleep to come; but her plea was denied.
Maybe she needed a drink.
Perhaps she'd feel better after a glass of water.
She slid out of bed and padded across to her door and let herself into the hallway. As silently as she was able to she headed towards the kitchen, pausing at the flickering lights that illuminated the living area, the low hum of a chanting crowd a commentators voice.
Was Tim awake?
Or had he fallen asleep with the tv on?
Probably asleep, she thought. What reason would he have for being wide awake at this time in the morning?
She could see his head resting on the arm of the couch, but she couldn't see if he was awake.
It was embarrassing enough that she was having these nightmares without one of the most popular guys in the school knowing as well.
Not that he'd say anything, he wasn't a gossip or anything and if anyone found out her dad would flatten him, but still…it didn't do much for one's self esteem if the star fullback knew she was such a baby.
Creeping over to the sink, she lifted up an clean glass from the draining board and stuck it under the tap. The old metal tap gave a screech of resistance and Julie winced at the sound.
But then, if Tim could sleep through the noise of the tv, then he'd sleep through her being very quiet as she got a glass of water.
Startled by the sound of her name, Julie jumped in fright her hand slipping on the tap increasing the amount of water pouring out the spout as she smacked the glass against it, water overflowing across her hands.
Heart pounding she focused on turning off the tap before turning her attention to the couch where the voice had some from.
"Yeah." She replied. Clutching the glass in her hand she came out from behind the kitchen counter to the end of the couch where his feet were.
Motioning at Tim to move them, she slunk down into the comfy sofa, tucking her legs up underneath her. She wasn't all that surprised when his feet stretched out across her lap as soon as she was settled. Tim Riggins and personal space didn't particularly go together.
"Something like that." Julie admitted taking a sip of water and placing the glass on the side table. "You?"
Tim gave something of a shrug from his position stretched out across the cushions. "Not tired."
And that was that. The entirety of their conversation of why they both happened to be awake at five past four in the morning.
With nothing else to do, Julie turned her attention to the tv and watched the re-run of the game that won Dillon Panthers State the previous season.
Back when things had been so much clearer and less complicated than they were now.
It seemed such a long time ago, so much had happened since then that it almost seemed a dream.
She could almost believe that it was if it wasn't for the gleam of Tim's state ring on his hand splayed out over his abdomen.
For the first time she became conscious that he was only dressed in a pair of shorts with one hand folded behind his head showing off his chest while the other moved, scratching idly at his stomach before falling still again.
The light from the tv defined certain lines of his muscles, casting half of his face into shadow.
Focusing her attention back on the tv, it wasn't until Tim shifted, stretching his legs out further across her lap that Julie realized she'd been trailing her fingers back and forth over the length of his ankle.
Realizing what she was doing she stopped suddenly, curling her fingers up into a fist and gave a shiver of embarrassment. He probably hadn't even noticed, she assured herself.
"Here." He said, as he leant over and picked up his sweatshirt that he'd dumped on the floor earlier. He passed it over, eyes and face unreadable.
Julie mumbled her thanks, pulling it on quickly in an attempt to hide her embarrassment. Not that he knew that obviously, Tim thought she was cold. Which now, thinking about it, she was.
Snuggling in deeper to the warm, soft material, Julie forced her hand to unclench and tried to let her hand relax where it was. She'd probably make it all the more obvious by moving it now.
Slowly she felt her body relax, and her eyes begin to grow heavier once again.
But she didn't want to go sleep at the moment.
She didn't want anymore nightmares tonight.
The picture of the tv began to blur and Julie brought her head up sharply from where it had been beginning to droop and blinked in an attempt to clear her vision and tried to focus on the 2nd quarter playing out in front of her.
Out of the corner of his eye, Tim could see Julie's head dropping forwards only for her to become aware of it at the last moment, her attention doing it's best to refocus itself on the tv.
Despite her best efforts, it didn't take long for her to succumb to her bodies exhaustion.
Selfishly he wished that she'd managed to stay awake a little while longer.
He liked the feeling of belonging he'd experience when she'd sat down with him, wordlessly demanding that he move his feet, but not objecting when he'd propped them up in her lap like they were in some kind of sitcom.
He'd noticed immediately when she'd started trailing her fingers along the sensitive skin of his ankle, her nails scraping gently at it occasionally as she switched patterns.
It was nice.
More than nice.
That they could just sit there in companionable silence, that she didn't want anything from him. That he could just be Tim.
Just that little bit of contact…he didn't know anyone that had ever just sat with him like that.
Rally girls, cheerleaders, they clung.
It was a fact of life.
They draped themselves about his waist, around his neck, hung off his arms, clinging to him with such strength that at times it was almost as if he was the accessory, not them.
Not that he had a problem with that.
They knew what they were doing.
They got what they wanted for the night - Tim Riggins.
And he got what he wanted for the night - a warm, willing body.
And while it was no strings attached, and no cash handed over, it still felt slightly mercenary at times.
Not that he was complaining, he didn't hesitate to exploit it. But it didn't change the fact that they wanted something from him, everyone he knew wanted something from him. Everyone except Julie. He couldn't think of a single thing she wanted from him.
Billy wanted him to stop fucking things up, to grow up.
Street wanted him to be his best friend, to treat him the same way he'd always done.
Coach Taylor wanted him to perform on the field, week in week out. To ditch the partying lifestyle and cut back on the beers.
Mrs Taylor wanted him to go to class and complete homework assignments and fulfill his 'potential.' Her word not his.
Rally girls and cheerleaders wanted bragging rights.
The entire population of Dillon and his team mates wanted him to have a perfect game every single time they played. They wanted a win every time they played.
Jules wasn't like that at all.
Her body slumped to the side as she slept, her hand loosely encircling the top of his shin.
Reluctantly he sat up and hesitantly slid his hands underneath the backs of her knees and supported her back as he lifted her up.
He doubted Coach or Mrs Taylor would be too happy to find Julie sleeping with him on the couch in the morning.
He stilled as she moved slightly, fearful that he'd woken her up.
He knew all about the nightmares she'd been having after they'd been caught up in the storm.
Doesn't blame her for them, even if he'd never admit it out loud, even he'd been a little freaked out.
Confident that she wasn't about to wake he headed towards her bedroom. Just as he past Coach's bedroom door though it swung open, Coach himself appearing from it.
Tim's body tensed, this was it he thought. This was where Coach was going to accuse him of corrupting his daughter and end his football career all in one foul swoop.
His grip tightened on Julie and he shifted her in his arms, using her almost as a shield. Coach wouldn't go for him if there was the slightest chance Julie would get caught. A bit cowardly for sure, but if Coach got his hands on him he'd get reamed a new one.
His heart skipped a beat before going all out, his lungs screamed for air, but he was incapable of breathing at that moment in time. His mouth dry, Tim licked his lips nervously waiting for the accusation's to begin.
Coach stared at him.
Those eyes of his burning away at the shreds of Tim's composure until he shifted on his feet guiltily even though he'd done nothing wrong.
When Eric finally spoke, his voice was quiet, but it didn't lack anything else. "She fall asleep?" His eyes fastened onto the blue top that Julie was all but swimming in.
"Yes Sir," Tim replied, his fingers digging into Julie briefly before he managed to get control of his body and force them to relax
"You putting her back to bed?"
"I'll take it from here son." Coach Taylor told him.
"Yes Sir." Tim concurred, hesitating briefly, unwilling to pass Julie over for a reason that he didn't understand but knowing he didn't have a choice in the matter. She was a decent girl, was Jules.
He took a step towards the older man and waited for him to get his hands in place so they didn't drop her. "You got her?" Tim asked.
At Eric's quick, 'yep' he withdrew his hands as quickly as he was able. Not so fast that he might wake Julie up, but not so slowly that Coach could accuse him of leaving them on his daughter for a second too long.
Apart from a small whimper as she was transferred across into her Dad's arms, Julie didn't stir.
Stepping back from them, Tim opened the door to her room and then moved out of the way.
"Get some sleep Son." Coach advised him, "You'll be up in a few hours."
"Yes Sir." Tim said quietly, echoing the same phrase he'd repeated all but once throughout their encounter. He headed back to the couch, unable to stop himself peering once over his shoulder, only to catch a glimpse of Coach carrying Julie into her room before they disappeared from sight.
The queasy feeling in his stomach disappeared now that he knew Coach Taylor wasn't going to roast him alive for daring to lay a finger on his daughter.
Stopping the game tape and switching off the tv he lay back down on the couch, only allowing himself to drift off to sleep when he heard the door to Julie's room close less than a minute later and Coach disappear into his own bedroom.
A/N: As always reviews are appreciated, so let me know what you think of the new idea! :D Hopefully Julie doesn't seem like a wimp as that wasn't the intention...