Originally this was going to be inspired by Prompt 1 by Treme. Then I changed my mind. oops.
To Treme: I'm very glad you enjoyed my response to your prompt though reading back it is riddled with mistakes. Your compliments as well as your prompts are exceptional.
To anyone who has not yet realised - these are unconnected drabbles and one-shots.
AU, contains some Rhydian/Jana at the beginning but obviously Maddy/Rhydian endgame.
"I love you," Jana admits, her voice animated, her eyes sincere for once as she lays her head against Rhydian's shoulder.
He actually doesn't know what to say that, even though he's twenty years old and is supposed to know how to respond to things like this. He waits for the myths and legends to become reality; for that warm feeling to blossom in his chest and for peace to run slick through his veins and change him into a man that is no better, but wants to be better.
But it doesn't come, which only adds to the young wolfblood's perplexity, so Rhydian kisses her instead, and even though he knows that this isn't something that can be forged or faked or covered up, he tries anyway.
Rhydian asks as many appropriate people he can think of in an attempt to rid himself of the guilt that grows steadily in his chest. Even though he forced out an, I love you too, the other day, it didn't feel right, didn't sit right on his skin, but Jana was pretty and a semi-good person and liked him and cared about him, therefore he saw no justification to his waning feelings.
It takes a good month for him to pluck up the courage to seek Maddy's advice on this matter, which is ridiculous in itself, since she is his greatest friend. But being her best friend didn't change the fact that the subject of her and Dean was still a little sore, even though it had been months since they went their own ways, but the she wolf is the only one he can think of who could possibly understand.
She's the only one who ever understands.
Maddy takes her time to reply, a good few minutes passing as she collects her thoughts, brown eyes blinking down as she threw more bread into the duck pond, and Rhydian waits with his heart in his throat, expecting her to tell him that he's being silly and that it (lovelovelove) will seep into his words eventually.
She is too beautiful to ignore as she looks down into her lap, dark lashes fluttering with thought, long, dark hair swept over a shoulder, and Rhydian can't shake the thought of her being the saddest angel he's ever seen.
"When Dean told me he loved me, I cried in the bathroom for an hour," Maddy said into her lap, shame working itself between the pauses of her words, and her brows finally furrow with proper emotion as she shakes her head lightly, eyes flicking between his blue ones and off into the distance.
"I don't know much about love, Rhydian," she admitted slowly, and their line of vision suddenly connects, suddenly clicks together like a puzzle. "But I know it's not supposed to feel like that."
All thoughts of Jana leave as the wolfblood drowns in eyes that aren't even looking at him, replaced by the single thought that, she deserves better than this.
He breaks up with Jana a month or so later.
"Do you want to go to dinner?" Rhydian asks, and even he's surprised by how casual it sounds as the soft words leave his pink lips.
Maddy blinks up at him even though she's in the middle of a sentence in her essay, and he thinks it's cute, the way that the normally confident wolfblood was almost speechless. "Do you want me to call Shannon and Tom...?"
"I mean just me and you." Rhydian corrects quietly.
A beat passes, she blinks again, and even though her words are tentative, her expression concerned and wonderfully confused, her eyes light up for the first time in such a long time, and Rhydian was right - this isn't something that can be forged or faked or covered up.
He stops trying to.
"What, like…like a date?"
He pauses, looks down, looks up, nods.
Four hours later, for the first time in years, Maddy laughs properly - with dimples and little snorts and twinkling eyes that never leave the wolfblood across the table from her.
She's only just turned eighteen, but she asks herself, maybe this is what it's (lovelovelove) supposed to feel like.
Those myths and legends, there's truth to them, you know.
The next time Rhydian says 'I love you', though to a different girl, at a different time, in a different way, it feels good, untainted and pure and vulnerable and good, the way it's meant to be, the way it was designed to be, and when Maddy says it back, mumbled into his neck like a confession, it takes everything in Rhydian to not marry her, then and there.
Review please, ily all!