A/N: Written for daysandweeks's "Taboo: A Challenge". My prompt was: "James (Next Gen) and Rose are secretly friends with benefits. The girl James is actually dating turns out to have a foot fetish."
Warnings: Mentions of sex, cheating, cousincest, fetishes, and friends with benefits.
James and Rose were both impulsive people, so they didn't really hesitate to jump into a relationship. They weren't actually together; incest didn't really sound so great, but they were more like… friends with benefits. Really good friends in public, and secretly screwing each other's brains out in private.
They weren't in love or anything- they just had a lot of pent-up sexual frustration. It had all started one night in Rose's fifth year (James's sixth). The two cousins had been patrolling the corridors on prefect duty together when their quiet conversation turned to their love lives. Both were single, and grudgingly admitted that it had been a while since they got laid.
Next thing they knew, they were pressed against each other in an empty classroom. They never really talked about it, but they met up there whenever they couldn't handle the stress of being alone anymore.
A year later, and they were still at it. The only difference was that James had met someone. Her name was Delilah Jennings, and she was a beautiful Ravenclaw in his year. They had Defense Against the Dark Arts together, and James took every opportunity he was given to hit on her.
"Oi, Li!" He shouted across the classroom one day after their professor had stepped out. Blushing fiercely, she whispered back, "Yes?"
"Go with me to Hogsmeade tomorrow." Grinning, cheeks still pink, she gave her consent. Victorious, James barely held back a celebratory fist pump.
So James and Delilah went to Hogsmeade together, and by Monday they were officially a couple. That night, James and Rose met up as usual to do their rounds. But this time it was awkward- where exactly did they stand now that James had a girlfriend?
Dragging him by the arm into the empty Transfiguration room they frequently inhabited, Rose raised an eyebrow, silently asking her cousin what was to come of the night. James sighed forlornly, but took a step towards her and silently sent a spell to lock the door.
Cupping her face gently, he leaned in for a chaste kiss. "We shouldn't do this anymore," he whispered against her lips. Eyes closed, she nodded.
"Yeah…," But that didn't discourage her from balancing on her tiptoes for one last kiss. James didn't stop her, and when she started to pull away, he held on tighter to her thin waist. Girlfriend or not, he didn't want to give this up.
Finally breaking for breath, Rose attempted to dissuade the other Gryffindor. "James, it'd break her heart." She knew he heard her, but he didn't stop kissing her neck. After leaving a rather a rather large and obvious hickey, James pulled back.
"What she doesn't know won't hurt her."
James met up with Delilah for breakfast in the Great Hall the next morning. She giggled as he slung an arm around her shoulders. He grinned, kissing her lightly on the cheek. Merlin, he loved her laugh.
James dragged her over to the Gryffindor table, introducing her to his various friends and relatives.
"And this," He declared grandly. "Is my very best friend in the world, Rose Weasley."
Rose looked up and smiled politely. "Nice to meet you, Delilah."
James noticed with a self-satisfied smirk that the hickey he'd left right over her pulse point was bright purple. He'd magically concealed his that morning so Li wouldn't ask questions, but he was glad Rose had left hers alone. It proved that she wasn't ashamed of what they did. If they weren't related, they would have both probably told their friends of the arrangement. But as it was, they kept it hidden; their dirty little secret.
Breakfast went smoothly, and James noted happily that his friends all seemed to like his girlfriend. Afterwards, he walked her to class, holding her hand in front of everyone. Most people already knew about them because they were both so popular, but their joint hands confirmed any suspicions.
Rose smiled whenever she saw them in the corridors. They really did make a cute couple. James's messy brown hair, hazel eyes, and freckles complimented her blonde hair, blue eyes, and fair complexion. They were destined to be the next Hogwarts power couple within a matter of days, she was sure. She had always assumed James would end up with a redhead- though maybe that was just the ginger in her talking.
When January rolled around, James and Delilah were still going strong. They hadn't had sex yet- Delilah thought it was because he was a gentleman, but really it was because he had Rose. He was actually kind of surprised Li hadn't found out about them yet; even after that time when he'd forgotten to erase a rather large love bite under his ear. He'd claimed that he got hit with a bludger during Quidditch practice, and she'd blindly believed him.
James felt bad sometimes that he was cheating. Li was quick to trust, and she had complete faith in him. James Potter was a nice guy. At least, everyone seemed to think so. Though he worried constantly about her ever finding out about Rose, he never regretted a single moment of his time with the Weasley. His nights with her were what kept him sane when the pressure to pass his N.E.W.T.S got to be too much or he'd helped Gryffindor lose rather pitifully to Slytherin in a Quidditch match.
When he and Delilah finally did the deed, it was on St. Valentine's Day. He'd whispered tenderly that he loved her, and it was true. So true. He loved her laugh and her blush and the way she smiled at him like he was the only one that mattered in the whole world. After it was over, he couldn't help but compare it to his late-night trysts with his cousin. And, really, there was no doubt that he enjoyed his sexual endeavors with Rose a hell of a lot more. But this, this was love, and love was love, no matter how the sex was.
It wasn't until they'd been doing it for a few weeks that Delilah finally confessed something to James. She had a foot fetish. Thinking she was kidding, he'd laughed raucously at the confession. She refused to speak to him for a week. Again, this probably would've been worse on him if he hadn't had Rose.
Personally, Rose thought it was hilarious. James had confessed that she was a lot better in bed than Li was, and though it mildly annoyed her that she was no longer the only one to touch him like that, she was kind of proud that he favored her in that way. So it only stroked her ego when she learned of the odd fetish- she didn't have any weird obsessions.
Once Delilah eventually accepted James's apology, he planned to indulge her fetish. He truly did feel bad about offending her, even though he'd laughed over it in private with Rose. So, trying to ease her into sexy foot-filled times, he started talking.
He and Li were in the Room of Requirement, lounging on a large bed when he began. "I truly am sorry for laughing at you."
She nodded, eyes downcast. "I know… It's just… You're the only person I've ever told, and you laughed at me."
Well, that certainly made him feel like a right prick. She'd been standing at the foot of the bed, so he tugged her down gently to lie in his arms. "I'm sorry, babe. I don't think it's weird or anything- I was just surprised is all." He pressed a kiss to her forehead tenderly. "I love you. Nothing could change that."
Finally hugging her fellow seventh year back, Li smiled. "I love you too, James." They cuddled in comfortable silence until she spoke again, tentatively this time. "James?"
Gathering up her courage, she raised her blonde head to look him straight in the eyes. "Show me your feet."
"So, let me get this straight," Rose said through her laughter. "She gave you a foot massage, kissed your toes, and then you got it on?" James nodded happily. She only laughed harder.
"You two must have the weirdest relationship ever." Before her giggles had subsided, James's lips were on hers, and suddenly, she didn't even remember what was so funny in the first place.
"I love her," He said between kisses. "I'd do anything to make her happy."
Love? Rose hadn't known it was that serious. And how could James be in love if he was still sneaking around with her? With a pang, she realized she had no idea if he would do anything for her. She was no blonde Ravenclaw, but she was his cousin, his best friend, his secret lover! No, not lover. That implied he cared for her in a more-than-family kind of way.
Rose had never really realized she wanted him to until then.
"Rose?" She snapped out of her thoughts, unaware that she had stopped kissing James back in the midst of her musing. "Are you okay?"
She nodded, forcing a smile. "I'm feeling a bit under the weather," She lied. "I think I'll just go up to bed…"
"Do you need me to take you to Madam Pomfrey?" He asked, instantly worried. She shook her head, her bushy red hair bouncing around her face.
"No, I'm fine. I think I just need to sleep it off."
Still worried, James walked her back to Gryffindor tower. He kissed her forehead sweetly at the foot of the stairs to the girls' dormitory.
"Feel better in the morning, Rosie." She smiled weakly in response, and headed up to bed. Without bothering to even change out of her uniform, she pulled the hangings closed and fell right into a nightmare-filled slumber.
Upon waking, it was clear she hadn't just slept it off.
Rose Weasley was in love with her cousin. Bollocks.