"real is just a matter of perception. i am here. and i'm a part of you that you have to hold on to." - -peter bishop [fringe]
/ / /
There's a girl in his bed every other morning, and thank Merlin that this particular morning can be categorized into the "every other" sort of day because it's just the kind of hour where he can't bear to be alone any longer. It's obvious she's there and he's not quite sure if he can place her but for the sake of his sanity he'll refrain from saying a single word. The warmth of her is enough and he won't waste it only to fulfill his curiosity, though essentially everything depends on who it is.
If it's her - her her, not any her - he'll know in a few moments when there's nothing beside him but tangled bedsheets from yesterday night promising nothing this morning but sorrow and Yeah, I know why you left me. Even if completely awake, he won't be aware of precisely when she leaves because there's no way to measure her. In fact, there is no measurement that can be certain, because there's that smallest fraction of a chance she might still be there, waiting, watching, observing him as he checks if she's gone.
Some mornings, it happens, and her eyes are a color so vividly blue that he pretends that they're not real, that they're a colour that he'll get to name eventually when the time is right since he's the one who discovered it in the first place.
But most mornings not. And those are the days when the sun is shining so brightly through his windowsills that it can only be a ugly paradox that she's long since closed the door to his flat and been lost away to nowhere, making his entire day the tiniest bit emptier. He finally puts up the heaviest curtains he can find to avoid this thought and shut out the essence of her, but that's not an option because she's not the sun or the moon nor the stars versus the dark and in the end, curtains can't conceal the matters of the heart.
If he tries to put his finger on it, nothing's really changed, because there's a girl in his bed every other day and an "every other" sort of day where the girl leaves before saying goodbye shouldn't be any worse than the rubbish days that come along in-between the "every other" sort of days, but it is.
/ / /
One morning, she stays.
Apparently he wasn't the most observant and thought she'd already left, so he gazes awkwardly at the one cup of black coffee in his hand and then to the one benevolent girl in his bed and it makes him so fucking sick because he never changes those knotted, colorless bedsheets. He never changes those bedsheets because he feels there's no real need but if he'd known that it'd be her and he'd known that she'd stay he might have considered the possibility of reserving his bed for a story every other night instead of a sin.
"Hullo," you manage casually, setting down your coffee and getting back under the covers without a second thought, turning over to rest your weight on your elbow and waiting for anything.
"Teddy," she replies effortlessly, like his name is a name only when it's spoken in her firm, melodic voice, each syllable a lyric that he won't ever identify.
He considers replying likewise with stating her name as if he owns her, but she's already gone on in the one second of confusion that's elapsed after that thought occurred to him.
"Are you still working?" There's no Hello, how are you? It's been forever and a half since we last met and I've come to the conclusion that I really miss you -
He can barely look at her. "No, I'm not," he admits, easily able to tell that he's affirmed something that she already knew to be true.
"Did you end up going back to school again?"
It's twenty questions all over again, the old Molly - his Molly - whispering to him, killing him softly and disregarding his ongoing quest of apathy by forcing him to care and then leaving him there, stuck in the same position for a plethora of unnecessary years.
"What about her?"
You mean you? "No - I mean, I don't know. What about her? It's still a no."
"Did you ever take me up on studying Muggle science instead of wasting your time on everything else?" she eyes him curiously, "physics, particularly. Quantum mechanics would be even better but if you say physics then we're not really that far off."
And maybe you have a shot, is all he hears, because it sounds like one of those tests where she's trying to assess whether he's actually worth it. Surely this isn't the Molly he knows and yet giving in is his only choice.
"No, can't say I have," he tries, mind racing to figure out a way to pass the test that he wasn't aware was coming, "but I'm sure you could teach me if you wanted to just like we used to say you should back in the old days. I'm a quick learner, and you're probably a great teacher by now. It would work out, somehow."
Silence as a response is a lot louder than he could have previously imagined possible.
Three, two, one. He counts repeatedly until there truly is no one lying beside him. He doesn't watch her go because that'd be breaking the unwritten rules she's already set aside for them, instead taking slow slips of coffee with closed eyes, dangerously stupid as ever but as long as there's nothing left to lose except possibly his skin or the bedroom floor if he can't control his hold on the cup, he may as well make another horrid attempt at feeling risque without her.
From then on it's not even enjoyable - and by it he means life. He still avidly looks forward to the "every other" sort of days but it's not the same because beforehand, he recalls, he was looking forward to the "every other" sort of days in the anticipation of her. Consequently in a state of panic he ends his love affair with the ten vodka sodas that he once consumed in a single evening at the pub next door and if he had the willpower to shut out the barmaid from his bedroom twice a month he'd do that, too, but unfortunately, desperately, he needs it.
A full 360 is impossible, considering his nights are reserved for whatever the hell will give him the most pleasure, so he aims for the 180. He has numerous hours during his countless days of nothingness to sort himself out although he'd never really taken a shot at it until now, so his first stop the next afternoon is the library from which he borrows all the quantum mumbo jumbo he can find with one relatively weak Accio.
It's not even that complicated, really, and Schrodinger's equation might just be his absolute favorite because it gives him a purpose - something to figure out, and theoretically speaking, you can exist simultaneously in all possible states until one concrete configuration is found, oh, did you know? It almost sounds like something she would say, though he's heard all of ten words total come out of her mouth in the past ten months, but the theories he memorizes for the intention of holding on to a constant make it all the more plausible for him to believe that she may have never honestly existed.
Perhaps she was Schrodinger's dead cat in the box, seamlessly alive in his knotted bedsheets at the same time. He just never had enough time to check and find out which was ultimately true. He left her in the box and she's still there, dead or alive and he can't help but not care, because it's twisted but he might just love her a little more at the prospect of her holding two simultaneously true, overlapping configurations. And then he realizes, in a rapid sweat even whilst wearing nothing but his boxers, with an abandoned mug of black coffee from four hours ago sitting beside his bedside table, textbooks brimming with concepts of quantum mathematics scattered all over the dirty bedsheets - that that is exactly what she wanted to happen.
/ / /
Her flat is not that far off and in a way it's laughable that she's been hiding out all along in a prime area of the neighborhood so close to his own, waiting, watching, observing him as he checks if she's gone.
The front door is open before he even arrives, and he's trying not to waste any precious time. Arguably he's wasted decades already to see so clearly what was always one step further out of his reach, but this really can't be the time to digress and regret.
"Molly," he begins anxiously when she comes forth, his attempt to greet her like she had so many weeks ago gone futile already, a sure sign that he isn't meant to do this. He takes a deep breath and continues, voice a breaking point of her and nothing else, because she is real and she is obviously alive, not dead, a hypothesis he may have been indirectly been avoiding for much too long.
"Your name is Molly Weasley and you may not even be real, but I love you regardless because that's what you've always wanted me to know," he breathes slowly, relishing in his own words because there's a million truths hidden in them that no one - not even her - can ever take away from him. "My name is Teddy Lupin and I am literally nothing, but it's not a lie when I say that I loved you then and I love you now and I always will."
He doesn't have to countdown from three this time, only vaguely aware of stepping in through the door as his lips are being claimed by hers, and not much else registers except a few occasional blurs of heated words that he locks away to be remembered later. But this time it's different because it's her flat and therefore it's his decision or indecision, rather, to leave the next morning that will affect the outcome of their future dynamics.
There's a mug of coffee with one cream and one sugar that he can tell just by the scent of it on the table on his side of the bed waiting for him in through the early hours of dawn when he first opens his eyes again afterwards, and still he's ecstatic. He first checks out of pure habit whether she's still present beside him because there's the slimmer of possibility that maybe she's turned into the type of woman that flees from her own home. Moreover he'd really like her to be there to know whether she's dead or alive or simultaneously both but that's impossible because there's no way to measure her. That he learned such a long while ago that it's debatable across the many stages of his mind whether or not it ever even happened.
She turns towards him, and it's evident in her features that she's glad he's awake to accompany her. It's more than definitely the way he's always pictured it happening - there's a half-crooked smile on her face and relatively clean sheets draped around her figure that he's prone to notice, and Honey, now we can talk about physics. But then she blinks - once, twice, thrice.
Her eyes are vividly green so he closes his own and swears it was all just a dream.
/ / /
A/N: I don't quite even. I just really enjoy certain principles of physics and then Teddy happened and I think I might be half insane already but yeah. Please don't favorite without reviewing.