A/N: This was written for the Random Competition by Aiiimy. :B My prompt was bubbles, and my song was Drops of Jupiter by Train. The prompt word and lyrics from the song are all italicised.
Title: Freeze-Dried Romance
Word Count: 787
Pairing: Tom Riddle Jnr/Moaning Myrtle
Warning: Nothing except that Tom is naked for 99.9% of it. :B
He eased himself into the bath, enjoying the almost-too-hot sensation of himself sinking into the water until his legs and bottom hit the tub's bottom. He hadn't known luxury like this before he became a prefect; the typical school bathrooms and showers left a lot to be desired and the ones at the Orphanage certainly did, at least from the Heir of Slytherin's point of view. He let himself stretch out and let the bubbles rise to jaw level, allowing him to breathe in the soft, sugary smell of the chocolate scented bubbles mixed with the harsh, crisp cinnamon ones. It was an odd combination, even he himself would admit that, but he liked it; they helped him relax.
Relaxing was definitely something, according to everyone but himself, that he needed to do. It had been Professor Dippet who'd recommended this bathroom, in fact, so that he could have some private relaxation time. Tom closed his eyes and snorted softly, cutting a small section of the bubbles from their peak in front of him and sending them skittering through the air, then drifting down to land near his toes. Poor, hapless Professor Dippet. He'd had a lot to deal with in his time as Headmaster, in Tom's opinion. There had, after all, been the unfortunate events of the Chamber of Secrets being opened three years ago. Really, it was because of those events that he never have private relaxation time in this bathroom.
He didn't need to open his eyes to know who was there, but he did anyway. The dumpy form of a brown haired acne-ridden girl, three years his junior now, was hovering just above the surface of the bubbles, as translucent as the stained glass window in the room.
"Myrtle." Tom replied, his dark eyes still on her as his voice reverberated around the room a little. "You're late."
"I was busy." Myrtle replied, a delicate pout on her face as she drifted closer to him, feet passing through bubbles and having as much of an effect as a shadow.
He didn't question her, now that she was here. Between prefect duties, studying and generally being a model student, he didn't have much time for himself, much less her. This was his allocated 'Myrtle' slot.
Neither spoke as he gently started swimming towards the centre of the massive bath, closer to her, until he could stand with his feet on the bottom and the surface of the water only came to his waist, and she, still without a word, drifted down so that their faces were on a level.
She made the first move, raising one silver hand and very softly tracing the line of his jaw; to him just a cold slide like an ice cube had been dragged across him. He held back his shiver; he'd gotten control of this.
"Was it everything you wanted to find?"
Tom blinked; Myrtle didn't often speak during these interactions, and certainly didn't ask him questions.
"My death." She seemed perturbed, but he knew why; she was always conflicted between treating him as her killer or her long-term crush.
"It helped me achieve my goal." He answered her, and she removed her hand from his face. It didn't seem to be the answer she was looking for, as now she seemed even more agitated and very close to tears.
"Can you imagine no first dance?" She said, her tear-choked voice stirring something in him that he so often tried to beat down. Sympathy? Weakness? Love? "I didn't get one."
Today, it seemed, she was more intent on viewing Tom as her killer. She went through stages of this, bouncing between her opinions; tomorrow she would come back and be all over him.
"Can you imagine no love?"
That was too much for Tom. He didn't work with love. He didn't feel such emotions; devotion was only for those too weak to handle themselves alone. Tom Riddle was not weak. Lord Voldemort was not weak. He didn't answer her, merely turned away and waded back through the bubbles, which were now decreasing, grabbing his towel and getting out without revealing anything to the ghostly girl a few dozen feet away. The silence hung between them, thick in the steam of Tom's bath, and he dressed quickly, not wanting to be exposed to fragility such as love for too long.
"I'm in love."
He was at the door now, bath over and draining out, one hand on the doorknob, so close to the freedom of never having to see her again.
"But you're lonely looking for yourself out there, aren't you?"