-1Title: Sweet'n low.
Fandom: Dark Harbour
Pairing: David (Alan Rickman)/Young Man (Norman Reedus)
Summary: Young Man POV on the morning after he fell asleep on the sofa.
A/N: Spoilers for the the whole film, basically. But if you haven't seen it, you won't get any of the story either.
Finally, I think to myself as she leaves the kitchen again.
I pour David a cup of coffee and hand it to him along with a packet of "Sweet'n Low". He takes it and tears the packet. This is a familiar routine. This is how we met, and this is how we've spent countless mornings at my apartment since.
"You might as well use sugar", I told him, that first time, I hadn't even seen his face yet, just the curve of his neck, the set of his shoulders.
Then he looked up, the pink packet of "Sweet'n Low" still in his hands, confusion in his face and then, he all but drank me in. I remember being captivated by those steel grey eyes.
"That stuff's just as bad for you", I added.
He nodded. My mouth twitched. I was unsure, but excited at the same time. See, I don't usually address strangers in line to the milk and sugar table at Starbucks, especially about something as mundane as "Sweet'n Low" versus real sugar. And I don't know what possessed me to change that this morning, but I did, and then he was looking at me and I swear, if I believed in love at first sight, then I'd tell you I fell right then and there.
His mouth twitched too, that little lopsided smile of his that I'd come to know so well later on, and something sparked in his eyes. It was the most casual situation in the world, yet it felt like the whole world turned upside-down. I smiled and looked down.
That's another thing. I've never played coy before. But I swear I even blushed.
"That so…" he murmured, or something like it, all I could hear was the amusement, the intrigue, in his voice.
He reached for the sugar, the real sugar, and he held it out to me, but I shook my head and smiled. Then I took a step closer to him, too close, much closer than what is normally accepted between two strangers in a café, and I reached past him and grabbed the milk. His eyes were on me the whole time. He even inhaled deeply when I was the closest. I felt my heart hammering inside my chest.
We left the café in silence, side by side, although he let me walk through the door before him. And then we strolled, actually strolled down the street as we drank our coffees and we talked. He was late for an appointment, I was late for class, but none of that mattered anymore.
Being the gentleman that he is, David walked me to campus. He even held out his hand to shake goodbye. I took it, but instead of shaking it, I hugged it in mine, I stepped up close to him, so that our bodies touched, I felt and almost heard him hold his breath, and then I leaned in and kissed him on the cheek. His eyes were flashing at me as I stepped back. I smiled, all coy again and peering at him from beneath my fringe.
"Can I see you again?" he asked me.
I had to really restrain myself from grinning like the lovestruck fool that he'd made me within the span of one morning.
"Okay", I said.
"Okay", he said.
"If I give you my number, will you call it…"
"Of course I will."
I scribbled my cell number on the back of my Starbucks receipt and put it in his pocket. He called me that same afternoon and we talked for hours. That was a year ago.
Glancing at him now, I can't believe how much things have changed, how much we've changed, since then. I can't believe how much I love him, how much he loves me. Sometimes it scares me. The power of this connection between us. The passion I feel for him. Knowing that there is nothing I wouldn't do for him. Knowing there is nothing he wouldn't do for me.
Standing this close to him now, I can smell that distinct David smell. It's intoxicating. I imagine I can even feel his body heat.
"Sugar?" I call out to the woman in the next room, to distract myself.
It's driving me insane to be this close to him and not be allowed to touch, taste, hold him.
"Two spoons, please!" she twitters in reply.
I roll my eyes and move back to where the coffee maker is. I know I should feel guilty about what we're about to do, what we're already doing, what we've been planning for weeks. I should feel guilty, but I don't. It's the means to an end. And if the end is love, how can it be evil?
I look back at him. Wonder if he feels guilty, if he's having second thoughts at all. Wonder if I could risk one kiss, just one, brief kiss, before the show must go on-
"Oh my God!" she exclaims then.
The moment is ruined before it's even begun. David gives me a quick look, then rushes ahead of me into the living room.
Patience, I tell myself. This will all be over soon, and then it's just you and him. Just stay focused.
At breakfast, we sit listening to her chatter and watch her empty glass after glass of bubbly. I rest my hands against the chair between my legs, and I have to pinch my left palm as she starts telling me about this Texan guy she went to university with.
Now and then I throw a glance at David before I can stop myself, but I try to avoid it because every time I do I have to see that dejected and miserable look on his face, and every time it breaks my heart and makes me want to forget about the plan and just throttle the woman.
I take a deep breath and try to stay focused, to seem interested, to look handsome and seductive.
"What about you, have you ever been in love?" she suddenly asks me.
The words hit me like a spray of ice-cold water. I swallow and tell her, no.
"No, not in any sense of the word…"
Every syllable rips through me.
I have to look at David, have to show him, tell him with my eyes, I love you, I love you, I didn't mean it.
He blinks, reassuring me. He knows.
He knows it's all an act, and of course he knows, my entire persona since they picked me up from the side of the road has been an act, this James Dean bullshit, this isn't me. David knows this. I'm just playing a role. It was his idea. To help me cope with the plan. Approach it like a drama exercise. But I wasn't entirely in character when she asked me the question, and I felt dirty answering it, felt like crying, like throwing my arms around David and bury my face in his chest and forget the whole thing.
Yeah, I'd love to see the look on her face if I did that, too. If only you knew, sister.
Patience, breathe, stay focused.
This will all be over soon.
David has been fingering something hidden from view by the table top, but now he discretely puts it on top of the table. She's too tipsy and self-absorbed to notice, but I notice. It's the empty "Sweet'n Low" packet. He carefully slides it a little bit closer to me. His eyes flicker up to mine, ever so briefly, his lips twitch, only slightly, and then he looks away again.
My heart swells in my chest. I take a deep breath.
I can do this.
By this time tomorrow, it'll be just the two of us.