Title: the bed's been calling for you

Summary: She wonders if she's his first real sin. NateMitchie

Author's Note: I HAD to basically tear this apart (as of 9/20/15) because it literally crushed my soul knowing I produced something so horrendous. And I adore NateMitchie even after all these years and no one writes them — so, anyway. This is basically a new story. That's cool.

/

Shane's out on tour, but another Gray is sitting in her living room, complaining about Dana like fucking always.

Dana doesn't want him to go on tour anymore and it's killing him. Dana's trying to have a baby and he's too young. Dana wants to settle down, forget about the dreams they set together, and he hates it, he hates it, he hates it.

Mitchie sits and listens. She's quieter than usual because her teeth are holding her tongue from spewing something she won't be able to take back. It's hard to listen to Nate, sometimes. He got this lovely girl, underrated girl and he's complaining, while Mitchie got the guy everyone wanted, "prince charming," who she didn't want anymore — and does she say a goddamn word?

She kind of wishes she chose the knight rather than the prince, but she never says a goddamn thing, because the witch cursed her with that in this story, or something.

And then, after a while, Nate gets quiet and Mitchie wants to be loud, but they're smart, sober, and smile. Nate goes home and Mitchie goes to bed alone.

When she's falling asleep, she kicks herself ten million times for never allowing herself to get what she wants. The bed's lonely and big and Shane's never home and she doesn't even want him home and Nate complains but looks at her in this way sometimes and — she falls asleep in the middle of the bed.

/

The next time Nate visits, Shane is home. Shane's all smiles and keeps touching Mitchie like they're happy. (She sees the phone numbers in his suitcase — napkins, matchboxes, packs of cigarettes. She wonders why he doesn't just fucking leave for good.) Nate's talking about Dana again, because isn't he always?

Dana wants to buy a house with an extra bedroom. For guests, she insists. Nate buys value packs of condoms at Costco, because he's diligent like that.

Mitchie wishes the Grays would just figure out what they want.

Shane keeps smiling (stop, Mitchie whispers, stop that) and goes out to the store for some beer for his baby brother. ("Mitchie," he says, "We should really have some here!" IT'S BECAUSE YOU AREN'T EVER HOME, Mitchie wants to yell.)

When the car leaves the driveway, Mitchie peeks from her spot in the kitchen, and she sees Nate with his head in his hands.

She walks over without saying anything. (Are you surprised?) When she sits down next to him, all she thinks is that crush she had on him never really stopped being a thing.

He doesn't complain to her, for once, just kind of peeks at her from between his fingers. She almost wants to smile. And when she does, he's not looking at her from between his fingers. No — now, they're close and his hand is on her thigh. Her head is spinning a little.

She hasn't felt like this in ages and her heartbeat adds to it all, and she leans in to say she's sorry (yeah, right) — and he kisses her. It's desperate and needy and it's everything and nothing like she guessed it would be.

He cups her face and she feels like she's finally allowed to feel something other than anger and bitterness. And that's terrifying and liberating and —

She wonders if she's his first real sin.

They break apart when the car pulls up. She runs to her bedroom that never feels right and pretends to be asleep, but can't turn off her brain.

/

It's midnight and Shane's away, but is that new? What's new is there's a knock on her door. No one comes here anymore.

"Mitchie? It's me."

His speech is slurred. Some part of her brain says, this might not be okay, but everywhere else screams, SOMEONE ELSE IS OUT OF THEIR MIND.

When she opens the door, he stumbles in. His eyes are bloodshot, smile stained with beer and vodka. Shoulders weighted by responsibility, so he can't stand up. She has to hold him up.

"You're heavy, Nate," she says. It doesn't really sound like her voice.

She kind of always wished he'd be the one to carry her.

But he kisses her and she tastes everything he drank and everything he is and everything she wants. She wants someone to hold her. She wants him.

The bed doesn't feel empty when he's in it.

/

In the morning, Nate's still there.

He bites his lip when she opens her eyes. His body is twisted toward her. She hasn't woken up to someone looking at her in ages. Not since Shane was still sweet and around and Shane Gray, the boy everyone wanted, including her.

She thinks maybe Nate will leave too. Maybe it's just another curse, that everybody leaves her. That she sleeps alone in an empty bed for the rest of her life.

But, instead, he reaches out, combs her hair back, and looks right into her eyes.

"Tell me what you're thinking."

Maybe, in another story, everything would spill out of her mouth. All her feelings and thoughts and everything she wanted to say for so long. Maybe, if this was another story.

But sins don't really end curses. She kisses him, instead.

Maybe she'll get it right in the epilogue.