Title: The Prize
Word count: 1273
Prompts: Song One: 'Carnival' by The Cardigans; Song Two: 'Carnival' by Natalie Merchant; Freeform: Win or Lose; Emotion: Joy
Summary: Sometimes losers can be winners.
Notes: Written for week one of the ass_carnival. I hope the use of the songs was enough to count. I used 4 words from the Natalie Merchant song and a couple of lines of The Cardigan's. Thanks to my Beta,dogsunderfoot.
Disclaimer: This piece of fiction is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros. Inc. No money is being made, no copyright or trademark infringement, or offence is intended. All characters depicted in sexual situations are above the age of consent.
'Oh, bloody hell!' Scorpius swore, watching as the bearded stall holder shook his head in feigned sympathy and regret.
'Bad luck, son,' he said, his eyes already searching for his next victim. 'Next time, maybe...'
'No,' Scorpius muttered, pulling the last of his Muggle money from his jean's pocket. 'Just one more try. I'll do it this time.'
The man raised an eyebrow then shrugged. 'You must really want that giant flamingo,' he mumbled, eyeing Scorpius up and down speculatively then handing him five more darts. 'You know the rules, mate.'
Scorpius frowned, snatching the darts out of the other man's hand. He did know the rules; he should – this was his fifth try at busting the balloons. It wasn't that he wanted the hideous pink monstrosity; no, what he wanted was something a whole lot harder to win.
He didn't know why his heart had chosen Albus Severus Potter. They weren't great friends at school – Slytherin and Gryffindor rarely mixed – and they'd hardly seen each other during this last summer break before their lives as working adults started. But there was something about Al: something about his voice, his eyes, his glorious smile that paralysed Scorpius' lungs and almost hypnotised him. Just the sight of Albus Potter mesmerised Scorpius and every time he saw the other man, he wondered how he'd been so blind as to not have worked out how he felt before now.
Albus had never shown the slightest interest in him as anything more than an acquaintance, had never looked Scorpius' way with the expressions of longing or hope that the blonde knew showed all too blatantly on his own face. And this is where the silly carnival games came in. He had seen Albus with his friends – cheering and whooping as Matthew Longbottom won some kind of ball game. Scorpius wanted Al to cheer for him, to wrap a congratulatory arm around his shoulders as he had done to Matthew, so he had spent every Muggle pound in his pocket trying to win something, anything, to make Al look at him and see a winner, to see someone he could love.
But the fucking game just wasn't cooperating – and he was down to his last attempt. With a sigh, Scorpius aimed the dart carefully and threw, swearing under his breath when the dart hit a rubber chicken about a foot to the left of the balloon he'd been aiming for.
'Look, mate,' the bearded man said, a little patronisingly. 'How about I give your money back for this last game? You can have that last shot for free then...'
'No,' Scorpius said through gritted teeth. He may be hopelessly, shamelessly in love, but he was still a Malfoy. No one pitied a Malfoy. He narrowed his eyes at a red balloon – the same colour as the shirt Albus was wearing today – and threw.
'Fuck!' he yelled, wanting to stomp his foot as the dart bounced harmlessly off the balloon. 'Is this thing rigged or something?'
The carnie looked offended. 'You're not throwing it hard enough,' he insisted, reaching for a dart. 'See?' He tossed the dart aimlessly at the board of balloons, popping a blue one.
Scorpius nearly growled as he raised another dart, and threw it hard. 'Hey!' the man screeched as the pointy missile just missed his ear. 'Watch it!'
Losing his temper, Scorpius tossed the next-to-last dart recklessly, watching it strike the roof of the tent. He sucked in a deep breath, staring down at the last dart in his hand. He didn't know why this was so important. Was it because he didn't like to lose? Was it because it was such a stupid game and he should have been able to easily win? Was it because he could feel himself balancing on the precipice of the rest of his life and he knew that this might well be the last chance he had to prove to Albus that he was a winner and someone worth taking a chance on?
It'd be easier to just tell him. This was such a stupid idea.
But somehow, he just couldn't walk away, couldn't shake the feeling that if he could just win this game, winning Albus would follow.
'Are you going to throw that or continue to fondle it?'
The teasing voice was clear over the confused sounds of lovers, barrel organs and mothers all around, and Scorpius spun around to stare at Albus, his knees shaking. 'I...what...?'
Albus' smile widened and he gestured to the dart. 'I could give you a hint for improvement if you like,' he said helpfully, stepping closer. The bright lights from the giant wheel fell over the alleyways, and coloured Albus' face with pinks and greens and blues. Shadows shifted and Scorpius finally saw the glint of hope he'd so desperately wanted to see in those green eyes. His heart stuttered as his mouth opened and closed uselessly.
After what felt like an interminable pause, he managed to squeak out, 'O...okay...'
Al put down the toys in his hands and put his hands on Scorpius' hips, making the blonde feel faint. 'Turn around, Scorp,' Al murmured softly, the corner of his mouth turning up. 'It makes it easier if you're facing the target.'
Scorpius flushed and turned around, stifling his gasp when he felt Albus' hand brush over his denim-covered arse.
'Right,' Al said, one warm hand leaving Scorpius' hip to clasp his hand. 'I've been watching you and I think it's your grip that's letting you down.' He shifted until his front was pressed against Scorpius' back from shoulder to thigh then raised the blonde's hand to eye level. 'You need to adjust your fingers...'
Breathing became completely superfluous – Scorpius was functioning on adrenaline alone as Albus rearranged his fingers on the dart then covered them with his own.
'See how you have more control over the direction now?' Albus whispered, his breath tickling the skin on Scorpius' neck and making him shiver.
'Yeah,' breathed Scorpius, so very aware that every single inch of Albus was pressing into him and...Oh shit! Did Al just rock his hips into Scorpius' arse?
'Now you aim,' Al told him, his voice a little hoarse as he lined up a yellow balloon. 'And relax. Pull back and let go. Always follow through.'
'Ngh,' Scorpius choked out, his whole body heating to volcanic temperatures as Al spread his fingers wide over the bony protrusion of Scorpius' hip, thumb somehow managing to slide under his shirt to rub against bare skin.
'Ready?' Al whispered into his ear and Scorpius swallowed hard as he nodded. Al guided his hand back then snapped it forward, Scorpius releasing the dart then watching in disbelief as it hit the yellow balloon. It burst with a loud pop and the carnie whooped.
'Well done,' he cheered, this time seeming genuinely pleased for Scorpius and he reached for a stuffed pink flamingo the size of a baby Thestral. 'You finally won.'
Scorpius turned to the brunette, who smiled at him. 'Take your prize, Scorpius,' he said with a little longing in his eyes.
Scorpius' tongue slipped out to wet his dry lips then, before he gave himself a chance to think about it, he leaned forward and pressed his lips to Al's. He felt rather than saw the other boy's smile then moaned softly when Al returned the soft, sweet kiss.
'Oi!' came the indignant voice of the sideshow operator. 'Do you want this or not?'
Scorpius pulled back and smiled brilliantly as joy filled him. 'Yeah,' he said, accepting the toy as Albus slipped a hand inside his. 'I won.'