For Cheeky's Weekly Drabbles — easy. Write about someone who played Quidditch. For Amber's 7 fics challenge: letter. For As Strong as we are United: coffee.

…Um, I don't know. I don't know how to explain this. I never write cross-gen, and I ship CharlieDraco as the closest thing I have to an OTP and I think I just wrote CharlieScorpius and I don't even know, okay?

What did I just write?


They are a ticking time bomb.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

They know this is the sort of thing that cannot last. There are decades and a continent between them, most days, and decades and a ticking clock all others.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

It's the sort of relationship built on need and desperation, nether of which was the firmest of foundations, and they are both realists. Someday, it will all come tumbling down. Someday, their ticking time bomb will explode, and there is no way they will both escape the blast zone.


He sits down at the table and wraps his hands around the cup of coffee that's already sitting there. He smiles at the young man across the table, but Scorpius doesn't smile back.

"What are we doing, Charlie?"

Charlie doesn't have an answer.


Scorpius's apartment is cold, too cold, as usual. Scorpius has a tendency to keep it that way; he likes it that way — but it doesn't help that Scorpius always, always wakes up alone.


Lips meet bare shoulder. Breaths come in desperate gasps. And then, abruptly, "I love you, Charlie."

And everything stills.

"Oh, Score." Scorpius seems to shrink. Charlie's eyes are an odd mix of hard and soft. "We-"

"I know," Scorpius murmurs.


"I don't know when I'll be back," he says.

Scorpius nods and there's something knowing in his eyes. "Stay safe, won't you, Char?"

Charlie laughs. "Score, I work with dragons. I'm not sure safe is an option."

Pain flashes across Scorpius's eyes and Charlie ducks down and kisses his forehead. "Don't worry. I know what I'm doing."

And he disappears.


He sits at the desk and he stares at the letter with nothing but a name written on the top. He's been staring at it for too long.

He sighs and crumples the parchment, dries his quill tip, stoppers his ink, and tosses the parchment ball into the fireplace. It's no use. There's no point.

He sucks in a breath and holds it for a moment before sighing again.

No point at all.


She's beautiful, his niece Rosie. Gorgeous in her white wedding gown, the contrast highlighting her vivid red hair. He smiles and it aches fiercely.

Charlie can't tear his eyes away from the groom.

It was never meant to happen, he tells himself, and he knows it's true. He's a realist.

But that doesn't stop him from being a dreamer, and that has always been his failing.

Their ticking time bomb has run out — yet somehow, Charlie thinks, he was the only one caught in the blast zone.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.


And just like that, it ends.