Author's note: This is pure, pointless fluff and dialogue, but I had an absolute blast writing it and I hope it shows. First part of two, this is the night before, chapter two is the morning after. Read and review, yes/yes?
The Intoxication of the Shrew
Lily Evans is drunk.
Lily Evans is blindly drunk, pissed drunk, staggeringly drunk. He is not surprised in the least, as he watches Lily, and her best friend, Beatrice, stumbling through the portrait hole at two in the morning, tittering like naughty schoolchildren, from his comfortable vantage point on the squishy scarlet sofa. He knows the effects that alcohol can have on a skinny little whippet of a girl who had never dared consume the stuff before tonight, but Lily Evans had not listened to him when he had tried to explain this to her. And now, here she is, pissed beyond belief and clutching onto the arm of a girl who is equally as intoxicated, perhaps even a little more.
He sighs quietly, and closes his eyes again, having been interrupted from his sleep by the two girls and their noisy, dramatic entrance. Sleep, however, does not return to reclaim him, perhaps because the Fates have other plans for James Potter tonight. James is personally inclined to believe that The Fates have it in for him, with excellent reason. If they did not, Lily and Beatrice would walk past him without seeing him there, clamber up to their dormitory, and leave a man in peace.
Sadly, The Fates really do have it in for James Potter, and choose right at that moment for Lily to catch sight of his head of messy, sooty black hair, resting against the arm of the sofa. Seemingly delighted by this discovery, she tugs on her best friend's sleeve and points - in the direction of her own foot, mind, but her aim is not quite what it normally is. James cracks one eye open a fraction and watches them with veiled interest.
"Beatrice, oh my god, look!" Lily practically shrieks, whilst attempting to whisper. The effect is somewhat startling. "It's James Potter!"
"I know, I know!" Beatrice hisses back, waving at James. "I can see him."
"Can you? Oh look, look, he's lying over there on the sofa."
"Who?" Beatrice's attention has been captured the window that looks over Hagrid's cabin in the grounds, and James Potter no longer exists for her. Impatiently, Lily grabs hold of her face and forces her to look in the same direction as she.
"James Potter," she repeats. "Look!"
"Oh. Oh hi!" Catching sight of James for the second time, Beatrice Booth grabs hold of her best friend's hand and dashes clumsily across the common room floor, coming to a halt beside the sofa upon which one James Potter is currently lying. He rubs his eyes beneath his glasses and stretches his limbs, which are a little bit stiff after four straight hours lying on a sofa that is slightly too short for him.
"Alright, ladies?" he smiles easily at Beatrice and pushes his glasses up his nose.
"Hey, Potter, guess what?" says Beatrice excitedly, looking down at him from what appears to James to be a great height, given his horizontal position and her naturally lanky frame.
"Hullo, Beatrice," he yawns. "What?"
"It's my birthday today!"
James nods almost imperceptibly and turns his gaze to Lily. Beatrice has been bleating about her eighteenth birthday to anybody who will listen for the last fortnight, and he distinctly remembers Lily telling him during a Head's patrol that she had promised her best friend that she would, for the first time in her life, sneak out to Hogsmeade for the evening and get drunk with her. It is, although James will not disclose this information to another living soul, the very reason why he has been sleeping on the sofa tonight. The idea of Lily Evans, his Lily Evans, coming to harm on a drunken night out as a result of her ignorance of the trouble that kind of an evening can lead to, is a little too much for his poor, frazzled nerves to bear. And since Lily is the type to surely kill him were he to decide to follow the two of them to Hogsmeade, waiting for her in the common room until two in the morning is the best alternative he has.
He takes in her appearance now and, apart from being a little flushed around the cheeks, and the inexplicable chain of daisies which are sitting in her hair, she appears to be absolutely fine. Irritated about something, if the way she is currently glowering at Beatrice is any indication, but otherwise unscathed.
"No it's not your birthday!" she snaps at Beatrice.
"Yes it is!" Beatrice retorts.
"It's not," Lily shakes her head from side to side several times. "It's after midnight. Yesterday was your birthday. Today isn't. Stop hogging all the birthdays."
"You know what I reckon," James interjects, sensing a silly, drunken argument on the horizon and electing to put a stop to it. "I reckon it's still her birthday until she goes asleep."
"See! You're so brilliant and subversive and thin, Potter," Beatrice gushes, although coming from her hoarse, alcohol affected throat, this endearment sounds more like a whine. "Gizza birthday kiss, would'ya?"
She stoops down over the arm of the sofa and plants a warm, moist and somewhat sloppy kiss against his forehead, strands of long, straight, eggshell coloured hair falling forward and tickling his nose. He is not sure how to react to this. Suffice to say, Beatrice Booth has never drunkenly kissed him before, and his half-asleep state does not render him exactly capable of dealing with new and unwelcome situations.
"Hey, no!" Lily's sudden shriek of shock and anger cracks like a whip through the air and both James and Beatrice jump in surprise, his forehead colliding with her tooth. "Stop it! Get off him!"
All of a sudden, Beatrice is hissing in pain and being yanked unceremoniously backwards by her best friend. This successfully shakes James out of his mental stupor and he sits up, blinking up at both girls with bleary hazel eyes. Lily is glaring daggers at Beatrice, although said daggers are wasted because her friend is far too busy rubbing the back of her head, and pouting darkly at nothing in particular.
"Okay," she grumbles croakily, smoothing down her glossy tendrils. "Don't pull my hair."
"Beatrice Ellen Booth, I want to talk to James Potter, okay?" says Lily, with a certain finality in her tone that James can't help but admire. Even when intoxicated, she can still assert her authority with admirable aplomb. "And I want to talk to him alone, which means you will have to leave the room immediately. Okay? Are you sure you don't mind?"
"Okay," repeats Beatrice, blinking rapidly. "Well, yeah. Well, I think you should."
"Do you really?" says Lily, surprised for some unfathomable reason.
"I, well… yeah."
"Wow, Beatrice, you're so clever." Lily has to pause for a moment and gaze at her best friend with wonderment shining in her eyes. Evidently, 'yeah' is the most profound word ever to be uttered by another human being in known history. "Okay then, I think I'll talk to James Potter now."
"Yay!" Beatrice claps and hops on the spot, delighted by this development. Lily presses her hands against the small of her friend's back and shoves her, possibly harder than necessary, in the direction of the girls' staircase.
"Okay," she says flatly. "So goodbye."
"Oh right." Beatrice seems to have comprehended something important. "Yeah. You two should have alone times. Okay. I'll go home."
She blows two kisses, one to James and the other to Lily, skips unsteadily over to the staircase and makes her exit, with Lily waving at her the entire time. James has, for the entire duration of this little discussion, been watching both girls with a furrowed brow, not entirely convinced that getting up and going to his dorm wouldn't be the wisest course of action right now. When he concludes that leaving is exactly what he should be doing, he makes to get up from the sofa and finds that Lily Evans has spun on her heel and is now facing him with her hands on her hips and a smile upon her pretty face. That smile. That bright, beautiful smile she has, the smile that lights up her whole person, makes her eyes sparkle, and unconsciously does things to fallible masculine hearts without any reason or mercy. Her smile is the killer, now he can't leave; she might as well have shot him in the chest with a full body bind.
"Hello, James Potter!" she practically sings, bright and bubbly.
"Hullo, Lily Evans." He is considerably less bright and bubbly, but he can't prevent the slow ascent of the corners of his lips upon hearing her address him so happily.
"Well, let me think." She looks confused for a moment and he doesn't understand why, but she quickly recovers, flipping her dark red hair over one shoulder and turning that dazzler of a smile on him again. "Yes! About quarter past nine. How are you?"
"I'm alright, thanks."
"Wow. That's so interesting. My mother told me."
"Your Mum?" His smile becomes a little bit more pronounced when she sinks down to her knees and places her arms on his lap, chin in hands.
"Mum told me this thing. It's like advice, I think," she explains, her voice tinged with childlike sweetness. "When. One enrages in conversation."
"Don't you mean, 'engages'?"
"Oh yeah! You're so clever!" she giggles for a good few seconds, but stops abruptly, the smile leaving her face and the glitter leaving her eyes. "But don't correct me."
"Oh. Right." He tries not to laugh. "Sorry."
"My confidence is fragile, it's made of glass. It hurts." She's looking at him like she's imploring him to feel whatever it is she's feeling, and if what Lily is feeling is manifesting itself in the form of a warm, hard knot in her chest, then she and James are pretty much on the same page. Again, though, her mood changes at the speed of light, and she is cheerful once amore. "Now, my Mum told me this, okay? You have to act like what the person says is interesting."
"When you're enraging in a conversation?"
"Oh, so you don't think I'm interesting, you're just acting like you do." He can't help but tease her, if only to ease his own jittery nerves and, oh, she's tracing patterns on his thigh with her fingernail and now his heart is hammering in his chest.
"No, no, no, no!" Once again, she is visibly upset. "No, because you're James Potter, it's different, and because I'm happy right now. I'm so happy to see you."
"You're never normally this happy to see me, and you see me every day."
"I know, I see you every single day! I'm so lucky!" There's that smile again. Her smile will be the death of him, he thinks. He has trouble enough resisting it when she's sober and directing it at somebody else, never mind when she is right there, kneeling in front of him, touching him in a way more befitting for lovers than friends. "I love seeing you all the time."
"Why's that?" His ability to engage in actual conversation has gone out the window, perhaps, and the short, uninteresting answers tumbling awkwardly from his mouth are beginning to irritate him.
"Because," she sighs, resting her palm flat against his thigh. "You're so beautiful, James."
This he was not expecting, no matter how intoxicated Lily might be, or how willing she has been to touch him. The recent friendship that the two of them established has been utterly devoid of behaviour of this sort. He wants, like he always does, to kiss her. He suspects, for the very first time in his life, that she will not object if he tries. He knows, much to his own chagrin, that he can't, because she's drunk and kissing her would be dastardly and when all's said and done, he's a fucking gentleman, and a Gryffindor to boot.
"Oh. Well, thanks." Even if he can't have her in the way he wants, there's no rule against affection when it's innocently given, so he reaches out and tucks a lock of hair behind her ear, allowing his fingers too much time to caress her cheek and the skin behind her ear. "You're beautiful, too."
"You know what else I am?" Maybe his words went over her head, or maybe she is just too used to hear him comment on her appearance. Either way, it stings him a little. Only a little.
"I think you're many things," he responds. "But do tell."
"I think I'm drunk!" she whispers excitedly, wickedly. She looks debauched. The hand not lingering beside her neck clenches into a fist. "Do you think I'm drunk?"
"Yes, I do think you're drunk."
"Oh my goodness!" she straightens up in her astonishment, her hands slides just a little further up his thigh and James is ready to die a happy man, right then and there. "We've got so much in common!"
"Do we?" he practically yelps.
"Yeah, because, well, we both think I'm drunk, don't we?"
"Really?" He laughs, albeit a rather shaky one. "Well, I can't deny the veracity of that statement. What else do we have in common?"
She drops her arms from his knees and hugs his legs with them instead, dropping her chin on his knee with a blissful little sigh. Her eyes close and her forehead scrunches up in concentration, she's thinking hard about the question he has posed. It takes her a while, and it leaves him ample time to examine every detail of her face in such a way that he's normally never allowed to. Her pale, lustrous skin is flushed and her cheeks are tinged pink, which along with the adorably comical expression on her face, makes her appear almost childlike.
"Well, okay." Her eyes snap open, she appears triumphant. Enough time has passed for James to calm down enough to regain control of his own voice. "Okay. You have a cat!"
It takes a moment or two for this statement to sink in, and James cannot help but snort with laughter. "You don't have a cat."
"I know that," she pouts, sulking. "But I like your cat."
"You do?" James would be the first to admit that his cat, as beloved as he is, is a rather ornery little beastie, and it surprises him to hear Lily admit to a fondness for him. "Why, may I ask, do you like my cat?"
"Oh, 'cause he's ginger," Lily sighs, her voice sounding faraway and dreamlike. "And I'm ginger. We understand each other." She turns her startlingly green eyes on his face and smiles. Not her killer, dazzling smile this time, but something softer, more affectionate, and somehow far more gut-wrenching. "Hello, James."
"You're always asking me out, you know."
"I do know that, actually." His words are slow and deliberate; he weighs them in his mind before he lets them escape his lips. How is it that he can take her on in all of her spectacular sobriety with the confidence and bravado of a god, know exactly what to say and how to say it, but is then reduced to a nervous wreck of a man when faced with her while she's intoxicated? "I even think I've witnessed myself doing it, a couple of times."
"And I'm always saying no why do I do that it's so horrible!" she cries, so quickly that it all seems like one overlong word. James can almost see the lack of commas hanging in the air.
"It's not horrible to say no if you don't want to say yes," he assures her gently, his fingers threading through her hair of their own accord. This is the wrong thing to do, though, because she immediately grabs his hand and presses it against her cheek, nuzzling her nose against it.
"No, it is because I'm being so horrible to you, do I hurt you? I don't want to hurt you, James. You're so lovely, like hot chocolate, and I love hot chocolate. I would never say no to hot chocolate and sometimes, you know, I like you better than your cat." She kisses his fingers. "And hot chocolate."
He doesn't know how to respond to this admission, and has to remind himself that she is drunk, hopelessly drunk, and is not in control of what she is saying. He wants this conversation to happen, it's been nearly seven years and he's tired of waiting for her and he knows that she feels for him anyway, but he doesn't want it to happen while she is like this. He wants coherency, at least. He feels she owes him that. "I could really fancy a cup of hot chocolate, actually."
"Oh! Me too! We have so much in common, we're like soul mates."
"You think so?"
"Yes. I know this, I'm really clever. I read books by famous people who wrote them. You have to stop letting me say no."
"Yes, you do. Now, you do. I'll tell you. You should write this down so you'll remember. I do it in Charms and I'm so good at it."
"Lily, you silly idiot." He laughs gently and strokes her cheek with his thumb, since she is still holding fast to his hand. "I don't have a quill."
"Well get one!" she snaps, irritated, slapping his leg with her free hand. "Do you think, that, you know, Romeo would have sat on his arse and not gotten a quill?"
"Romeo died at the end, Evans."
"Well at least he got sex first!" she drops his hand into his lap and gives him a look. He thinks she's trying to convey some sort of secret meaning in her stare, except it's not exactly a secret. In fact, it all seems very simple to him. This does not make her sudden proclamation any less shocking, however, and he stares at her, his mouth a little agape. "Okay? Now, do you love me or not?"
"Yes," he sighs, heavily. He does love her, she knows it, this is the first time she has ever made reference to this, what should be an earth-shattering, life-altering fact, and she's doing it drunk. Casually. Angrily, even. Drunk. How wonderful. "Yes, Lily, you know I love you."
"That's good, James, because I love you too. Now, write that down in case you forget."
He allows himself to laugh, again. "I hardly think I'm ever going to forget you telling me that you love me."
"Well, guess what?" She points an accusatory finger right in his face, her mood has fluctuated right back to miserable. Having always considered Lily to be the most hormonal, moody person in the world while she was sober, he now stands corrected. "My grandfather kept his helmet on the shelf, okay? He was in the war, one of them. I think it was one of the first two. Anyway it fell on his head and he lost his memory and if that happens to you I'll be really upset, so please just write it down."
"I highly doubt that your grandfather's helmet is going to drop out of the sky and knock me on the head, Evans." Her finger is still hovering inches from his face, so he places his hand over hers and moves it gently down to his lap. "Although I suppose I could get hit in the head with a Bludger."
"Oh my god, James, did you?" she cries in despair. Without any warning whatsoever, she leaps up from the ground and into his lap, effectively straddling him, and starts pulling at his hair, yanking his head this way and that.
"Lily, ouch!" he winces in pain as she almost tears a lock of hair from his scalp, trying to ignore how close she has gotten in one swift movement. "What in the name of Merlin's saggy left tit are you doing?"
"Checking for lesions in the skull," she hisses. "Keep still!"
"I don't have lesions in my skull, hey, Lily? Look at me." He captures her face between his hands and succeeds in winning her attention. Oh, but her eyes are so very pretty. "My head is lesion free."
"What about internal bleeding? You could have a clot. I don't know anyone who ever had one but my mum's a nurse, so she might." She pulls her head from his grasp, her eyes darting this way and that. "We should write to her. Give me your quill."
"I don't have a clot!" he snaps, feeling impatient. "I never got hit in the head by a Bludger!"
She stops looking this way and that, presumably for a quill, and turns a pair of mournful green eyes on him. Even as he watches, he sees the beginnings of tears gathering in the corners of her eyes. "Why would you scare me like that?"
"I, erm," he wonders if she will even comprehend his explanation of how she had misheard him. "I am a horrible, horrible person, Lily. Accept my deepest apologies."
"It's okay, I forgive you," she gives an affected little sniff and brightens immediately. "It's a virtue even more divine than chastity, you know."
He raises an eyebrow. "Are you trying to drunkenly seduce me or something?"
"Oh, yes," she replies, airily, quick as a whip. "Is it working? I read in this book my sister has about all of that, and the girl took her clothes off. Should I do that?"
"No!" he squeaks, terrified.
"Should I kiss you?"
"Should I put my hand down your pants?"
"Oh, good! Because I just painted my nails earlier. Look!" She holds her fingers up in front of his face and wriggles them about. "They're purple."
"I can see, yes. When they're right…" He tries his hardest to see her fingernails without going cross-eyed. "Right under my nose like that."
She drops her hand to his chest and stares at his cheek in a detached, crazily absent way. He is about to ask her what she is thinking, but maybe she has foreseen his question, because she closes the tiny distance between their faces, her eyelids fluttering shut, and presses her warm, rosy lips against his with an immediate and alarming alacrity.
In fairness to his strength of mind, although it takes James more than a few seconds to realize that yes, Lily Evans is kissing him, straddling his lap, pressing herself against him without the slightest hint of subtlety, and push her gently away, he does not respond to her kiss. It costs him a lot more than perhaps even he realizes; he has wanted to kiss her forever, and now it's finally happening and nothing is going in the way he wants it.
For the first time in his life, he hates the morals that his parents had impressed upon him as a child, the very morals that he himself takes so much pride in. Imposed upon him is more like. Here Lily Evans is offering herself up on a silver platter and he can't have a taste, the world is so fucking cruel sometimes.
"Didn't I just say no kissing?" he reminds her, trying to pass all of this off as a something silly. She has done something naughty and he is reprimanding her for it. That's all it is.
"I'm sorry, oh gosh," she does not look sorry at all. On the contrary, she is gazing impishly at his lips as if she would very much like to kiss them again. "But you had a lonely freckle!"
"I had a lonely what?"
"A freckle. Look, it's right there on your, your cheek." She runs her finger down his face. "And I just thought, I thought because I have so many on my face that I wouldn't miss a few if they left my face and went over to your face, and so that's why I did that."
"You were trying to pass me your freckles?"
"Through our lips?"
"Well, you know, I couldn't start rubbing my cheek against your cheek because that. That. Would be pretty stupid. James." She folds her arms across her chest, glares at him. He tries not to allow the smirk creep up onto his face. She's so cute when she gets all huffy, especially since he knows that she will be alert and giggly, or mournful and weepy, or sweet and velvety again in a matter of moments. "If that is your real name."
"Of course James is my real name!" he protests, grinning.
"What about Potter? Is that your real name that comes after the first name?"
"Yes. Yes, it is."
"Okay. Okay." She softens now, and rests her forehead against his. She closes her eyes again and he allows his own to close, too, against his better judgment. "My name is really Lily Evans, too. I'd never lie to you about that."
"Trust me," he replies quietly, wrapping his arms around her, pulling her body against his. Hugging is fine, hugging is acceptable. He's not taking advantage. He's not. "I appreciate the honesty."
"I'm really sleepy now, James," she whispers.
"Perhaps you should go to bed, midget. You're going to have a killer headache in the morning."
He lets her go and she scrambles off his lap far faster than he would like. Of course, he has secretly been hoping that she would refuse to leave him. It makes him ache a little to let her go, which isn't right. Frankly, it's worrying.
"Mmkay," she mumbles as she staggers off towards the staircase, a delayed response to his suggestion. She stops, though, she stops. She spins around, makes herself dizzy, and looks at him with narrowed eyes. "I wanna go to your bed, though."
His heart leaps into his throat. "I don't think that's a good idea, Lily. You won't be happy tomorrow if you-"
"I don't, I can't, I won't walk up to my bed alone, because I'm drunk and I'll fall down the stairs. This may result in a broken bone or I could die. I don't want that." She pouts, shakes her hair in front of her face. He swears she must have taken some sort of class that taught her how to turn grown men into a puddle of mush. "I want you. I want to sleep in your bed with you, James. Please let me sleep in your bed."
"As much as I'd love to let you sleep in my bed, Lily, if I did and you woke up tomorrow you'd be furious. You'd think-"
He does not get any further; she cuts him off this by yelling at him.
"No, no, no, shut up!" she screeches. "Shut up okay? I'm so stupid all of the time, I'm going to be angry with you tomorrow anyway even if I don't sleep in your bed," she continues, in an odd moment of clarity, because she is entirely right, she will be angry tomorrow just because she interacted with him at all. Even she, in her drunken state, knows this to be true. "And I'll be even more angry if I don't sleep in your bed because you let me go. Don't let me go. Keep me."
"Lily," he pleads.
"James," she pleads right back.
She has more power over this situation than he has, even if she is inebriated and clouded and slightly wobbly on her feet. He can deal with her anger, her witty quips and her put downs, and the sheer strength of character and intelligence she possesses in droves. He cannot deal with her sweet, affectionate, even loving. He has no experience with this, he knows he wants this, and that's what makes it so difficult for him to turn her down. She will sleep in his bed with him tonight, if that's what she wants, one way or the other.
"Just, sleeping, okay?" He stands, and holds his hands out as if to ward her off. "That's all. I'm not going to… put my hands anywhere and you're going to keep your own paws to yourself, alright?"
She looks disappointed, he notes. It makes him happy, which makes him ashamed, which makes him confused. It's a fucking vicious circle. "Yes. That's all. But, I think you should carry me up there if that's okay. I want to pretend I'm a princess. And you're a prince, and you just killed a nasty dragon and now you're carrying me off to ravish me."
"It's when you say things like that, Evans, that's when you really fucking terrify me," he admits, eliciting another one of her wide, spectacular smiles. "Come here and I'll carry you."
"Are you really going to let me sleep in your bed?" Her eyes widen.
"Yeah, I think I am."
"Oh, James!" he is a little more prepared for it this time, but he is nevertheless taken aback when she dashes at him, throws her arms around his neck and kisses him, her lips warm and soft against his. It takes him a little longer to push her off this time around, too; there is a small period of time in which he responds all too willingly, snakes his arms around her waist, lets her ease his mouth open with her tongue, moans against her lips, before his brain catches up with him and he pushes her gently away. Gryffindor. Gentleman. Dastardly. Stop it, Potter. Stop it now.
"Hey, what did I say about the kissing?" He tries to sound as if he's disappointed in her but can't quite manage it. "We'll have none of that malarkey, Miss Evans."
"But why?" She looks heartbroken, and strains to kiss him again. He moves his head just in time. Every time she kisses him it'll get more difficult to make her stop. Allowing her to do it again will not bode well for him. "Does my breath stink?"
"No, it's lovely." He kisses her forehead and scoops her up into his arms. "Shut up, you daft cow."
Surprisingly, she does shut up. She even pretends to zip her mouth closed with her fingers, seemingly content to lay her head against his shoulder and breathe him in while he carries her across the common room and up the staircase. They enter his dorm and his friends are all sleeping, which is a good thing for him, because awkward questions are not what he wants right now.
"Right," he whispers, upon reaching his bed. She kisses his neck and he all but drops her on the ground. "Which side of my bed do you want?"
She pretends to unzip her mouth and points to the left. "This one!"
"Fair enough." He places her gently down on her feet and watches in silence as she kicks off her shoes, crawls into his bed and starts wiggling about beneath the duvet. He has no idea what she is doing under there but he nearly chokes on his own spit when she emerges from beneath his covers with her jeans and sweater in hand.
"What? Lily, you shouldn't-"
"Don't be silly, I'm not getting naked." She makes a big show of rolling her eyes. "T-shirt and knickers left, see?"
"Yeah, well." He removes his own jeans and climbs into bed next to her. "Make sure they stay on."
"Yeah, whatever." She is right next to him almost as soon as he settles in, tangling her legs in his, her arm splayed across his chest, placing a soft, chaste, errant kiss against his cheek. He wants to say something, make her move away, but thinks the better of it. Or the worse. He's not quite sure.
So much for wanting the left side.
"You sure you're comfortable there, Evans?"
"Yeah," she sighs, her eyelids buttoned closed and her lips curved upwards, her silly little garland of daisies still stubbornly attached to her hair. He watches her face for a moment, his eyes uncharacteristically soft, and she looks contented and warm and completely at peace with the world. She's beautiful. She's everything. He wants to tell her that. He doesn't. "Night, James."
"Yeah, g'night," he mumbles. He frowns. He clears his throat. He nudges her foot with his own in the darkness. "Hey, Lily?"
"Try not to blow up at me too much in the morning, okay?"
She smiles, half asleep already, nuzzles her nose against his neck, and it's okay, he thinks. It's really okay. Tomorrow, he knows, the fallout will be titanic, but right now, right now he doesn't think he can bring himself to care. "I'll try not to."