A/N: This is a short story I wrote in 2007 and it's actually something I am quite proud of. For some reason, I never posted it on this site (but did post it to another, so if you've seen it before that's probably where). Reviews are always appreciated, but I mostly wanted to add this here as it goes along with the rest of my Dursley fic and I want all of my fanfic in one place.

Rated T: for language and suggestive themes.

Never Forever


Forever always seemed like such a long time, so Dudley wasn't expecting it to be so short.

Forever stopped on a weekday; he had to work late and Samantha was at some convention, some art convention she hadn't taken time to explain because she liked when he didn't understand what she was doing. He usually didn't mind it. He loved Samantha, he loved how different they were, and he loved how she didn't remind him of his past. He loved how adamant she was about everything; how she'd glare at him in a way that suggested she hated him when really, he knew otherwise. He loved how she cleaned as much as his mum but was as sentimental and motherly as a lumberjack. She tried so bloody hard to be jaded and nasty. At times, she'd curl up on the leather couch, watch Hallmark commercials and cry… but as far as Dudley went, she was as callous as she could be. It was just her way. She didn't let him get away with anything. He liked it.

And so he couldn't figure out why he had taken such an interest in the new hire at the club where he worked. Her name was Luce. She was the bartender. She was tiny and pretty and wore dark makeup. Her real name was Lucinda and she giggled a bunch and reminded him of Privet Drive: of frying bacon, the playground, cupboards and candy, being coddled and cuddled and treated like he was special, gold stars just for breathing. He'd liked to think he's changed since blah blah blah happened, because well, yes, he's changed—he no longer throws shit and makes trouble, he's not sick on purpose and he acts his age—

But there was a part of him that was simply Dudley. And she liked simple things and didn't talk about the problems she had and she loved his beats and everything was innocent until she started requesting songs for him to play.

He knew she liked him, then. But who was he to deny her of the songs? He liked them, too, hits from '91, '92, '95... When she requested "Nobody" by Keith Sweat and he played it for her at 2 am on that Wednesday, the day forever ended, she danced behind the bar like she thought he wasn't watching. "Who can sex you like me? Nobody, baby."

Then a bar fight began, and because the new bouncer Paul was a fucking retard, Dudley ended up cutting in and stopping the fight, which made him feel like he was being used for two jobs and only being paid for one. 'I'm turning out like Dad,' he thought grumpily, 'want to get my money's worth.'

Luce noticed he was put out, and around 4 am, at closing, she came up and made some silly joke and put her arm up over his shoulder and pressed herself against his chest and said it was going to be okay. It was like some 1950's movie. Dudley had forgotten how supreme it felt to be with a woman who acted completely powerless.

She said something to the effect of 'my car's in the shop', so of course he had to give her a ride home, because would his mother approve of anything else?

However, Petunia wouldn't approve of him following her into her apartment, her seedy, cheap apartment in downtown London. Samantha would die at the location of the place. She introduced him to her chest and her lips; he's not really sure which he met first because his mouth is all over the place, and when they ended up on the couch, he didn't know how he got there, and he wished alcohol could have been involved because that would be so much easier to explain, and when it was all finished he looked down at her face and realized he didn't even think that much of her.

But she told him she'll make him breakfast in the morning and he's never been one to refuse breakfast.

She gave him a blanket and cuddled next to him and fell asleep and he stared at the off-white walls thinking "Holy fucking shit." He was in his boxers, his white shirt, his sagging khakis around his knees. He'd get up and splash water on himself to regain consciousness but he didn't want to wake her up. That might make it real.

At nine am, she was already in the little kitchen. Breakfast smelled like home, and he grinned mistakenly, pulling all of his clothes back on and he came up behind her and smelled her hair. She's wearing familiar perfume, too. She swatted him with a dish rag and told him to wash his hands.

She said she thinks it's silly to scrape out the bacon grease before frying eggs so the breakfast had the delightfully smoky taste of fat. She said sweetly that she likes how he smells: like soap, cigarettes and leather all at once. She asked him how many fights he's broken up at work.

He figured it might be okay to stay longer; she got him more eggs from the pan.

Forever might have gone on, but she said she needed a hand and so he took her to the market and ends up staying and she ends up pressing packages into his hands like she's too weak to carry anything. She nuzzled into his black jacket, and this would have been okay, too.

Except Petunia was watching from the side street, (he forgot she comes to town on Saturdays for the bargains) and she knew that if her son's carrying things for a woman who isn't Samantha this means forever is over, and being that she's never been too fond of Samantha, she wasted no time calling a "talk over coffee."

Petunia named the place and Samantha wore her best dress. Samantha thought that Petunia was finally ready to bond until the woman opened her mouth and explained how her son's found a new girl who is "cute as a bug."

Forever ends, and Dudley was forced out of the classy apartment with the art on the walls that he was not permitted to understand, with his weights and his rap albums and his trophies, and he suddenly found himself back at Number Four which was right where Petunia wanted him. He realizes that the world here is very small.