(no subject)

A/N: This is a drabble-ish I wrote as a companion to my favorite H/D fanfic of all time 'Nobody's Ever Died of a Broken Heart'. I don't own anything obviously, not even Martin.

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There’s a thread sticking up off of the blanket on the bed. Harry picks at it, unraveling it further. He likes that thread. It reminds him that nothing, not even the 300 thread count blanket Martin had splurged on for his birthday, is perfect. 299 thread count now he thinks, and it makes him smile.

That thread also reminds him there’s a light out on the string outside his apartment. Martin has been nagging him to fix it. When Harry had asked why he didn’t just fix it himself, Martin had easily replied ‘Because I don’t live here.’ It had been a clever trick and Harry had almost asked him why not.

Almost.

Harry likes that about Martin, that he’s never asked to move in despite the fact that he spends most of his nights with Harry and his things are littered around the flat. Harry turns his head from the wayward thread and like he’d suspected, the pillow beside his is empty. He thinks that means it must be a Monday, even though he could have sworn yesterday was Saturday. If it is Monday he’s probably late for work but he cant bring himself to care. He has sick time saved up, he’ll call in later. Right now he just wants to lie here and stare at nothing. He does that a lot, because what else is he supposed to do? Fix the light? His chest hurts too much to do that, to do anything. When his alarm goes off he flings his hand to turn it off, and his fingers brush the piece of paper taped to it.

Harry lifts his head, reading the word again. The word that starts his day, and ends it, the last word he can remember speaking to Draco.

Breathe.

His eyes sting, but no tears come. He takes that as a good sign.

~~

Turns out it had been Sunday, that Martin had been getting them breakfast. Harry would have been content with the rest of the hard boiled eggs in the fridge, but he wont turn down the pancakes dripping with sickeningly sweet syrup that have him almost gagging after a few bites. The bacon isn’t great, but, well, Harry has always loved bacon, so he grabs another piece.

Draco had always complained that Harry cold have eaten an entire pan without gaining any weight. The thought stops him with the food halfway to his mouth, and a roiling in his stomach tells him he won’t be eating anymore. Martin knows; Harry sees his face fall when the greasy food gets set back down on the plate. He shouldn’t be surprised, winter is always when Harry thinks about Draco the most.

He gets up and goes back to bed, clenching his jaw to hold back the sob that almost escapes, and when he feels Martin climb in behind him and pull him close it feels like Martin is squeezing the breath out of him. He doesn’t say anything. It’s all been said already. Years ago. Most of the time Harry can forget that six years ago - six years? Has he really lived six years since then? - it was Draco’s body that warmed his back, Draco’s breathing on his neck and legs tangled with his, that would lull him back to sleep after a nightmare.

But Christmas is always worse.

~~

Harry is on his way to work. It isn’t Monday, actually its Wednesday, because Monday was two days ago. He glances at the bulbs climbing his doorframe, put there by someone else, he suspects the superintendent of the building. Martin knows better, plus, Harry had asked him. The one bulb stubbornly staying unlit would have been red, because the ones on either side of it are green, and the other bulbs are red. The door frame is white, and it reminds him of Draco. Of blood on now and a Slytherin scarf. He unplugs the string before he leaves, and when he gets into his car, whatever is on the radio gets turned up so loudly he cant hear his own screams.

~~

He had seen Draco again today. It was the first time in nearly two years, and the difference was what had completely taken Harry off guard. It hadn’t looked anything like Draco, a little boy with sandy hair and round features, brown eyes. Until the boy had smiled, and it was the exact same smirk that had become synonymous with Draco Malfoy, plastered on the face of an eleven year old boy. Harry had tried to do the math but had given up, it didn’t matter. All he had really needed was to see that smile again, and he wondered vaguely if it would be too weird to thank a child for smiling.

In the end he had decided it probably was, and headed home. The lights were plugged in again, as they had been every night when he came home. The red light was still out, and the green one still reminded him of Slytherin.

The red ones though, maybe it wasn’t so much blood. He touched his fingers to it lightly, whispered a word he hadn’t in so long it felt strange on his lips. The bulb flickered for a bit, then lit back up; a bright, bold, Gryffindor red.

A Drarry Prompt Milo Finds in His Google Drive

AN: I'm pretty sure I posted this on tumblr after I finished it(since obviously it IS finished) but since I deleted that tumblr and this amused me I might as well post it here. Pretty sure Rory was a beta for this, because the word acicular is most assuredly NOT in my vocabulary.

Prompt by Weird-Bird-HeadingNorth: An outsider’s view of a quiet moment between them?


It isn’t often that Harry leaves his Floo open. It’s even less often he lets his door go unlocked - fans and reporters have made sure he usually has them both closed as soon as he’s passed through them, a half dozen charms thrown up as habitually as someone else might wipe their feet on the mat. When I first walk into his apartment, therefore, I’m surprised that everything looks relatively intact, and there is no blood on the walls. Someone he knows then.


And before you say it, I’m not nosy. Harry is my best friend, it’s my responsibility to make sure his unfailing trust hasn’t finally let in one of his crazier fans. Ever since Margaret Attleby, we’ve all been a bit jumpy. There are voices in the parlor, though they’re both too low for me to even make out the genders, although I know one must be Harry. I try to walk softly through the house, and thankfully there are no creaks in the wooden floorboards. As I draw nearer the voices become clearer, and I’m forced to stifle a gasp as I suddenly have to quell both an instinct to smile in relief and the one to run in and punch that slimy bastard in his acicular, uptight, Pureblood face.


“I’d like to try...us...again.” That’s Malfoy, but his voice sounds different now that I actually listen to it. Gone is the confidence I remember from Hogwarts, or even the few months after the dust had settled when he and Harry had dated before. Now there is only hesitance. I’m not breathing, waiting for Harry’s reply.


“Try what, Draco? Want to see if you can actually break me this time? You have no idea what that did to me.”

“I think I do actually, Potter,” Draco cuts in, and the old edge is back again. And it only took fifteen seconds for the leopard to regain his spots. There is a flurry and I’m sure Harry has stood up, but they both still again quickly. “I told you I wasn’t any good at this. Caring about people, it’s not what I’m supposed to do.”


“What you’re supposed to-” Harry scoffs, a bitter laugh that I’m not used to hearing from him. “Do you though? Do you really care? Or do you just want to see how deeply you can worm your way into someone’s life; how big of a hole you can leave when you go? I haven’t stopped thinking about us, I couldn’t, because I couldn’t figure out just what I had done that made you leave. But it wasn’t me.


“You have this...thing. This need to be important to people, Draco. You have to be the center of everyone’s world and when you aren’t, you always have to do something to fix that.” My fingernails curl against the side of the wall, I can hear the anger in Harry’s voice, even though it’s low, and quiet. “Well you were the center of my world. You were everything to me, and I really did love you, but you had to test that too. You had to see just how far you could push me before I didn’t want to be around you anymore, so that you could prove to yourself that love doesn’t exist, and go on in your own little world believing that it was ok for you to be a bastard, because everyone else was too. Well congratulations you’ve done it. Now sod the hell off.”


A shaky breath is drawn in the silence, I’m not sure whose it is. “No.” Malfoy’s then, I can hear the strain in his voice. “I-” More silence, furniture dipping under the weight of someone sitting. It’s minutes before Malfoy speaks again, and when he does, it’s so quiet I almost miss it. “I need this.”


“I need you to ground me. You’re the only person who’s ever had the balls to tell me what I can do with myself, Potter, and I need that. I need someone to tell me I’m a fucking self-centered, crazy twat who’s gone and ruined the best thing that ever happened to him, because, honestly? And this stays between you and me, Potter. I wouldn’t mind being wrong just this once.” When there is another long fit of silence I consider casting a Disillusionment charm on myself so I can see what is really going on between them, but as unkindly as Harry would take to even his best friend spying on him around the corridor, at least for now I can still say I just arrived. The door was open after all.


“How many more times are you going to run away from this?”


“Hundreds,” is Malfoy’s immediate reply, and Harry’s soft snort covers up my own sound of un-surprise. “I told you,” he continues adamantly. “I’m shit at this.”


“Isn’t that the fucking statement of the year,” Harry concludes, but there’s less bitterness than before.


“Don’t make me beg, Potter.”


“Dunno, I think it might do you some good.” He’s given in, and I could almost kill him for it. When he starts grinning, I can hear it in his voice, that’s when you can always tell that Harry Potter has already agreed to whatever it is you’re proposing. I can’t take it anymore, and I cast a quick Disillusionment and step into the parlor, where Malfoy is sitting and Harry is standing in front of him. They’re both looking more than a bit peaky, tired and pale - for Malfoy it is an  accomplishment that he looks even more pallid than usual - but they’re both smiling, and I resign myself to the fact that I will just have to wait until the git leaves again to try and get Harry to see sense. Suddenly Harry has slid down into Malfoy’s lap, and their lips touch softly. I’m puzzled at that until I realize that it’s Malfoy’s way of apologizing, that just like Harry, he’s rubbish at apologizing. The kiss turns more urgent as the seconds pass, and it’s when hands start untucking shirts and moans replace words that I decide I really can come back later to talk to Harry alone. I slip as quietly as I can back through the front hall, cataloging what I can and cannot reveal I know when I talk to Harry later.


“Hermione, shut the door on your way out, yeah?” I freeze and turn. Surely they couldn’t -


“Yes, Granger, wouldn’t want to invite any eavesdropping for this conversation.”


There is something that sounds distinctly like a moan mixed with laughter, and I resolve to never lurk about in my friend’s houses again.

Which would you read?

So, Milo has a few plot bunnies he's been dying to work on, but can't decide which one to work on first. SO you get to pick, if any interest you at all (hahahahaa-)

There are three 'excerpts' from the plots, if you could read all three and let me know - either on here or through tumblr - which one you like more/seems more interesting/you would actually read, I will love you forever and maybe even ever.

Prompt 1

Top 1000 Gays
AN: This is a story I came up with in response to Randy's comment about where he thinks Justin is now.


    People who think they know me probably think I have a pretty perfect life by my standards. I work for one of the major design firms in New York City, I’ve got a gorgeous husband who’s rich enough to buy me anything I can’t buy for myself, and we’ve got a daughter on the way - due in just five months. We’ve got a top floor loft in Chelsea, all of our friends are the type of rich and successful people I always associated with the ‘it’ crowd. I’m probably one of the top thousand gays in the Big Apple - and since there’s probably about a million of us that’s saying something.

The truth is a little bit sadder than that.

    When I was twenty three I left the man I thought was the love of my life for what was supposed to be the opportunity of my life in New York City, based on the assumption that a single good review could open all the doors I would need. And that a long distance relationship, between two people who are at the same time entirely addicted to each other physically and usually so unavailable to each other emotionally that they might as well be on different planets, could work.  Of course I was just coming off the high of being Brian Kinney’s fiance, so maybe I was still clinging too tightly to being able to tame the wild beast.
    We made a good effort at it, that much is true. For an entire year we saw each other or talked almost every week, he would be up in the city on some business, or I would scrape together something from the numerous shit jobs I was juggling to be able to go back to Pittsburgh. But it was stressful, and I guess it eventually became too much. Too much ’I’ll call you later’ and not enough ’I’m about to fuck you so hard you won’t be able to sit for a week,’ too much distance and too many tricks and too much time.
    It was only a bit after that I realized that being an artist in Pittsburgh, where people made allowances for things like gimp hands and gay bashings and thought computer generated art could maybe be the same as traditional media and being an artist in New York City, where having even a percentage of the use of all your limbs and not being on some psychiatrists payroll makes you ordinary and therefore boring - they’re two completely different things. When I finally realized that though, only time had turned into never again, and I had met Rob, who was everything Brian wasn’t and nothing he was, but somehow still managed to pick up the pieces of a broken artist and sweep me off my feet.
    Rob is forty-five to my thirty, even older than Brian, and somehow there’s a funny sort of irony in that, though where it is I couldn’t really tell you. He’s sweet and attentive, has some of the cutting wit that I loved so much in Brian - it seems that sort of comes with the ‘rich successful gay man’ vibe they both pull of so well. But unlike Brian he never had parents who hated him, or a best friend who was so in love with him as to be stifling, or a time clock counting down in his head telling him he had to push; push work, push himself, push sex, push everything, to make life worth living. Unlike Brian, everything comes easy to Rob. Including love. We had a civil union two years after we first met, got married the day it was legalized in New York, and ours is something like a love story you see in those old movies: rich successful man meets down on his luck artist-slash-waiter and they fall in love, then rich successful man helps turn artist-slash-waiter into everything he always dreamed he would be. Except not. Because I’m not an artist, I’m a graphic designer, although at least I was finally able to pay Brian off for my PIFA tuition. And as much as I love Rob, there’s still something missing. In my complete little life with my husband and my child on the way and my rich and successful life with my rich and successful friends and creative job and beautiful loft in the busiest, craziest, if-you-can-make-it-here city in the world - there’s still an empty, suspiciously first-love-shaped hole. So I guess it’s no surprise that when we finally went back to Pittsburgh to visit my mother with our newly born daughter - Emily - in our lovingly linked arms, it all went to shit.




Prompt 2

Untitled
AN: An S5 AU, based around what might have happened if Justin hadn't been so lucky after the bombing at Babylon. (Yeah, I know, this one is way overdone, but I can't help it.)


Can’t breathe.

Can’t see.

Can’t see him.

Someone’s screaming, voice cracking in the desperation to find who he’s looking for. Except that’s him, his voice, and he still can’t fucking find Justin.

There. Fuck. On the floor. Brian’s stomach starts turning when he sees Justin lying in a pool of blood, and he isn’t sure whether or not to be relieved that the fact he’s convulsing in the little puddle means at least he’s still alive.

He grips a blood stained shoulder and prays - prays - the wound isn’t near the right side of Justin’s head. Someone up there is fucking with him, because it’s not, it’s his eyes. His goddamn eyes, and half his face peppered with glass and burns. “Justin.” He manages that one word, and even though it sounds nothing like his normal voice with the strangled sob in the middle of it, Justin must recognize it because the next second his arms are full of a bloody, sobbing mess. He clings back for half a second before hauling Justin up and towards the door, practically carrying the blond since he has no idea where is safe to put his feet.

The cold air and sirens hit them both as they finally make it out of the wreck that was Babylon and Brian stumbles for a second. Brian knows he won’t be able to stomach seeing Justin’s face in the strobe lights flashing everywhere. Instead he focuses on finding the closest ambulance, focuses on getting Justin what little help he can, on the fact that he has to do something to keep his attention from the foreignly limp body he’s lugging around.  As they’re loading Justin into the ambulance, Brian catches a glimpse of his face. He doesn’t even make it to the outskirts of the crowd before his stomach turns again and he’s upchucking its contents onto the street. That’s where Ben finds him and tells him about Michael, and it’s then he’s certain this is his punishment: losing the two people he loves the most before he can reconcile with either of them.

He agrees to take Debbie to the hospital since there‘s nothing and no one that could have stopped him from going anyway, and the silent ride is almost worse than what he knows he’ll find once they get there. When Deb doesn’t have something encouraging or insulting to say, that’s when things are bad. Justin’s face swims at the back of his vision and he almost has to stop the car again to wretch.

When they finally get to the hospital, Brian is grateful for the first time tonight. Both Michael and Justin were brought to the same hospital, he won’t have to chose between waiting for his best friend or his - or Justin. Six hours later though, he still doesn’t know anything other than that Michael could die on the operating table, and Justin isn’t ever going to see again. It’s too much, and he has to get out of there, so he agrees to drive Debbie to the church to pray.

Prompt 3

Untitled
Summary: AU set around S3. When Justin was bashed, his mother took him away from Pittsburgh. Now he's back, with a college degree in business and marketing and no memory of what happened in the months leading up to his bashing. And who is this guy Brian Kinney?


Nervous, almost paranoid energy courses through Justin’s body as he walks tensely through the crowded streets of Pittsburgh, holding his crippled right hand close to his side. While he had been able to regain most of the function in it, the doctor’s said it was likely he would never regain full use of it. He had managed becoming left-handed well enough to write out any business papers he needed, having been somewhat ambidextrous his whole life, but he had never had the connection to his left hand that had allowed form and line and shadow to flow through his right, so he had given up his dreams of becoming an artist for the life of a businessman his father had always wanted. Clenching his teeth against the all too familiar ‘rage’ headache and the ache in his chest of a dream that would never be fulfilled, he put on his best mask of indifference and walked into his new office.
    Vanguard was, by all accounts, a premier place to work; on the up-and-up even from its well placed standing, it was poised to become one of the top advertising firms in the country, and it had the added attraction of being in the one place Justin had been determined to come back to. His mother, when she had found out, had begged him to reconsider, saying that she had taken him away from the city because it had proven too dangerous after he was attacked, but she’d had that glint in the back of her eyes that told him she was again withholding information. Now he had his chance to find out what she felt so guilty about.
    Not that he doesn’t have secrets of his own, but what his mother doesn’t know won’t hurt her, and really, who he fucks isn’t any of her business anyway.
    “Hello, my name is Justin Taylor - I’m the new marketing intern.” The woman at the desk greets him and tells him to wait for someone from the department to come down and meet with him, then turns back to her computer before he can get another word in edgewise. Which, really, suits him just fine. Ever since he woke up in a strange hospital bed with no one around but his mother, Justin has withdrawn from any interaction that wasn’t strictly necessary, preferring to keep as far away from everyone else as possible. Touch still makes him jump, and long conversations usually end in migraines he later tries to drown in alcohol.
    “Mr. Taylor, this way please,” a pinched brunette calls his attention, turning on the spot and retreating back towards an elevator as soon as Justin starts to follow. “You’ll be working as a junior staff member under our marketing designers - I’m told you have some artistic ability?” He winces, but nods, swallowing around the welling of emotions again.
    “Yes, I have a very good eye for designs and spatial arrangements, although I’m afraid my ability to carry them out has been nullified by an old injury.”
    “Then we’ll place you with a few of our illustrators and see if they can pick your brains.” As the elevator slows and the doors open, Justin looks down the hall to see rows of offices. Following the woman, At the end of the hall they come to a large room filled with people working at every piece of digital image machinery available, in cubicles, and he even catches sight of one or two doodling on an easel in the back. He feels himself becoming  a bit more comfortable here surrounded by equipment he excels at using, even with the increase in people. The woman - whose name he’s gathered is Margaret Flemming - introduces him to a pair of dark haired, glasses wearing men, tells them to show him the ropes, then leaves.
    Justin shakes their hands as briefly as can be considered polite - with his left hand - and sets to work on their new design. It’s right mess by all accounts, but that’s what this internship is supposed to be all about right? Learning what not to do and showing everyone here he really does know his shit.

----

After a successful, if stressful, harrowing, and altogether too people-filled day at Vanguard, Justin would have preferred a quiet evening spent getting drunk in his new flat, but there are two problems with that. One, he doesn’t have enough money yet to buy the amount of alcohol it would usually take to get him piss-drunk, and two, he has a roommate. Even though he has no idea if he’ll even be able to survive an evening out on the town it’s really his only option. After some searching he finds that Liberty Avenue - although subdued from Stockwell‘s recent bid for Mayor- is still the place to be out and proud. After spending the last three years of his life hiding, he’s decided he won’t care what anyone thinks of his preferences anymore. As long as neither of his parents get wind.
Before he even knows where he’s going, he finds himself in front of a bar called ‘Woody’s’, and allows a small smirk at the name before going inside. There’s a smokey atmosphere in the dimly lit place, but that’s all the better - he doesn’t really want to attract too much attention to himself, and the dark corner table in the back seems like a perfect place to drink himself into a stupor.
    He’s gotten comfortably drunk when a rowdy group of three men, followed by a more subdued looking queen and someone Justin is sure is a teenager come into the bar. There’s something about the two brunets hanging happily off each other and the sulking flamer that Justin could swear feels like familiarity, but it’s impossible. Justin is sure he’s never been here before. Hasn’t he? For possibly the millionth time, he curses the part of his brain that remains locked in shadow - faceless figures and nameless, drifting images where pictures should have been - but he sits content to watch the group as they settle into what looks like a celebration of some sort.
    During the time he’s been watching he notices one of the brunet’s eyes roving the bar even as he talks to his friends. He’s obviously set on cruising the pickings, so he isn’t in a relationship with the short, clingy one as Justin had originally thought when they entered. Instead that one, ‘Mikey?’ seems to be involved with the one who looks like a bodybuilder if the amount of suck-face that’s going on is any indication. Feeling the familiar itch in the back of his throat that always signals a breakdown in the making, Justin pays his tab and slips out the bar before the tall brunet can catch his eye. Even if he wasn’t interested, Justin doesn’t want to invite the possibility he might have to talk to someone tonight, even if it’s simply  to reject them.
   
    That night, like almost every night since he left Pittsburgh, Justin dreams of a voice he doesn’t know, a cold hard surface, and being alone. After spending a restless night surrounded by faces that are at once both featureless and menacing, he wakes to the image of something swinging at his head that he can’t avoid and a sharp crack that sounds more like a gun going off than the wood-on-bone impact he had been told made the sound.

----

Even though he’s exhausted and hung-over, his second day at Vanguard passes without incident, and his second night is spent with his newly-purchased case of beer in his room. It’s not until a week after he’s started his new life that everything turns on its end.
    “Hey, Intern! Uh....Taylor! We’re pitching your design to the boss. You wanna come along?” Bob’s voice cuts through his concentration and, with a scowl, Justin figures he might as well, seeing as he’s completely lost the thought process of his next design anyway.
    “Sure,” he shrugs, grabbing his jacket from over his chair and following the two identical men who call themselves his mentors into a conference room at the end of the hall.
    “Now, we’ll pitch it to him - the boss can be pretty up front about what he likes and what he doesn’t like and you can’t fumble anything. We’ll take care of that, you just sit there and be ready to explain yourself if he has any questions.” Bob again. The man likes to talk too much for Justin’s taste - likes the sound of his own voice. When ‘the boss’ comes in Justin does a double take. It’s the same man from the bar, the one with the roving eyes, but the man himself looks as if he might fall over when his hazel eyes meet Justin’s, his face going whiter than a sheet. “Mr. Kinney I’d like to introduce you to our newest intern -”
    “Justin.” Mr. Kinney cuts Bob off, but the familiarity with which he says Justin’s name combined with the fact he still hasn’t taken his eyes off him has Justin squirming uncomfortably. Could this man somehow know him? Perhaps through his father? Before he can contemplate it any further the other two have been harshly dismissed - in a strained, livid tone that makes Justin wince visibly before he finds himself enveloped in a crushing embrace that sends every instinct he has on high alert.
Scrambling backwards he breaks the hug, a strangled “Don’t touch me!” escaping his lips before he can stop it. Thankfully this does stop the other man from touching him again, but Justin can see in the twitching of his fingers and shoulders that it’s a hard request to comply with. Instead, Mr. Kinney leans heavily back against the conference table while Justin remains practically pressed against the window he had flown against in his haste to escape physical contact, the two staring wide-eyed at each other.
  “You’re alive.” Mr. Kinney finally says, and Justin wishes he knew where he knows this man from, because he’s sure he’s called him something other than that.
  “I’m sorry but...have we met? Did you know me before I left Pittsburgh?”
  A wheeze, and a laugh, and Justin thinks maybe this man is bat-shit crazy.
  “Don’t tell me you don’t remember. I was the one who was supposed to forget you.”
  “My memory of the nine months leading up to me getting my head bashed in is a complete blank. Other than what my mother has told me,” Justin explains mechanically, and now the man’s face goes blank. “So you knew me?”
  “You could say that,” Mr. Kinney says, in a voice that implies that Justin’s forgetfulness is truly hard for him to grasp. “You really don’t remember me? Or anything?” When Justin shakes his head, the man swears beneath his breath and runs a hand through his hair.
  “How did I know you?” Justin asks finally, unable to contain the need to know. “And what’s your first name? I doubt I called you ‘Mr. Kinney’ before.” Somehow, he’s sure neither of his parents knew this man.
  “Brian Kinney. We were...lovers,” is the frank answer that has Justin’s weight redistributing from his legs back to the glass behind him, or maybe it’s the part where his mouth forms the name on it’s own and something slides into place inside his head.  
  “W-we were what?”
  “Lovers, sex-partners, fuck buddies, you stalked me for my incredible ability to fuck you senseless. You even guilted me into letting you live with me for a while.” He pauses, and the look he gives Justin is one of complete disbelief, and maybe a little pain. “Christ you really don’t remember any of this, do you?” And it’s obvious to Justin that, yes, one of them really has gone crazy, because he’s either hallucinating, or his boss is absolutely bonkers.
  “But we can’t - you’re - how - “ Brian’s fingers are twitching again, but he just shakes his head.
  “Doesn’t matter now anyway,” Brian insists, taking a tentative step towards Justin. When Brian slowly lifts his arms to rest them on his shoulders, it’s with some surprise that Justin doesn’t find the urge to flinch away unsupressable. Brian stares at him until Justin has started fidgeting, shifting his weight even though he can’t look away, but then the taller man smiles sort of half-heartedly. “Let’s get some lunch, and you can tell me about this design of yours,” he says, pointing carelessly to the forgotten boards, and     Justin recognizes an out when he sees one.
  “Ok...where to?” It’s almost worth the beneath-the-surface panic Brian’s hands still on his shoulders induces to see the relief smooth the barely-there lines in the older man’s face.




(no subject)

“It was always like that, though. He was always willing to do whatever it took as soon as it was too late to do anything.”Harry put his head in his hands, staring blankly at his knees. “He…I know he cared. I never doubted that he loved me in his own strange way. I just got tired of being hurt all the time. Every time he said he would firecall and he didn’t, every time he lied.”

“He wants you back. He’ll do anything for you. Potter, the fact he actually admitted that is saying something right there.”

“For how long though? How long can he keep up the change? I know that for a while he would make an effort, that everything would feel perfect. Then what? You know what he’s like. He can’t tell the truth, not if his life depended on it.“

“He was telling the truth when he said he loved you. He never lied about that.“

“No, he didn’t. Just about everything else. Nothing will ever change the fact that I love him with everything I have, but I told myself I had to be happy too.”

“…And you weren’t with him? So all those photos of the two of you clinging all over each other like a pair of lovestruck teenagers were what exactly?”

“I don’t know. I think I went to bed hurt as often as I did with a smile on my face. I won’t say I didn’t enjoy being around him, he made me laugh like no one else ever has, he’s incredibly intelligent, and he was unfailingly generous when it came to the material things.”

“You can’t blame him for not knowing how to show his emotions, it’s how he was raised.”

“I don’t blame him…but I can’t …forgive him. No, that’s not the word. I’m just tired of having to read between the lines.”

“So it’s over then?”

“Yes, Pansy. It’s over. But…please tell him once more that I love him?”

“I can’t do that, Potter.  I won't have any part in breaking my best friend like that. You have to realize if I tell him, he‘ll never stop pining for you. If you really believe you two are over, let him move on with his life like you’ve obviously moved on with yours.“

“I haven’t moved on,“ he tried to argue. It was true, at any rate. Moving on would have implied a sense of finality that hadn‘t been present until now.

Until now.

Pansy‘s glare silenced any additional words and Harry nodded, a sadness in his eyes that had become almost a staple of his expression over the past three months.

Until now, there had been hope. Now the only thing he had was closure. Funny how the trade off didn’t feel as good as he’d thought it might.

Leave this Bed

Harry woke from a fitful sleep when a pair of slender, overly familiar arms wrapped around him. “….Draco?” he whispered, barely willing to believe the blond could be back.
    “I had forgotten how comfortable your bed was.” Draco murmured in his ear, sending traitorous shivers down Harry’s back. He had figured they were over after the fight that had erupted last week, a belief that had been confirmed when he’d not heard anything from the blond since, despite his own attempts at communication. Now though…Draco was holding him, talking into his ear, seemingly over whatever fit he had been having. Gods it was nice to have him back. Harry slammed down on that thought as a rush of anger flooded through him. Draco had been the one to leave, had been the one to ignore Harry’s calls, every attempt at contact in the past week, and now here he was without so much as an apology?
     “Draco, go away. Just go. I don’t want to do this.” He ignored the overly large lump in his throat as he said those words, rolling away from Draco‘s arms in a futile attempt to escape. Draco‘s arms only tightened around him but he was silent for a while before he spoke.
     “No. It’s not worth it.” Harry turned in the blond‘s arms to face him, slightly perplexed. The blond’s eyes were open and fixed on Harry’s as he turned.
    “…What?”
    “Leaving. It’s not worth it, I’m too comfortable here,” Draco repeated, his tone firm, resolute. Harry had the distinct impression he wasn’t just talking about the bed, if he ever had been. He sighed as Draco kissed him lightly. This was how Draco was - stubborn and incapable of apology, he always had to have the upper hand. Harry knew this was as close to an apology as he was ever going to get out of the blond but knowing that didn’t make him feel any better. When Harry looked up into Draco’s eyes though he saw what couldn’t be said; he saw that the blond had missed him as much as he had missed Draco, that he had been trying so hard to act the part of being aloof about their breakup  - but he couldn’t anymore. There was something else in the grey eyes that Harry couldn’t quite identify but which made warmth flood through him regardless. It was something deep and warm, transforming Draco’s usually cool grey eyes into liquid silver. Draco kissed him again, not pulling away as he whispered against Harrys lips. “I won’t run away again, Harry…I tried so hard to stay away but…I can’t. Not from you. Take me back?” that last wasn’t asked so much as stated, but Harry heard the slight tremor in Draco’s voice as he spoke.
    Harry sighed half in comfort half in resignation as he kissed Draco back, “You will run away. It’s what you do. Just make sure you always come back.” Curling into the blond’s chest again they lay side by side, drifting into the first good sleep either of them had had in a week.

The Laundry Conundrum

Draco was confused. No, scratch that. Draco was irritated and confused, and no little bit at a loss of what to do. He stared at the large square machines that sat in the washroom of his newly acquired flat, vaguely looking as if one had just insulted his mother and the other had implicated he might have relations at Gringotts.  He was trying to do the laundry. Trying, because Harry had once expressed irritation that no matter how many times one spelled clothes clean they didn’t have the same freshness of having freshly laundered ones. Trying because Harry did everything. Trying because as much as he abhorred the thought of doing anything manually he wanted to do something for Harry that would show the git he cared so that he didn’t have to say it outright. And so in the washroom he stood, a stack of filthy clothing piled high to his left, a bottle of a detergent that claimed it was a ‘Fresh Spring Scent’ to his right, and the incorrigible, insulting, irritating, confusing machines still gaping at him. “Stupid, sodding, how are you supposed to work these things?” he asked to no one in particular, giving the one on the left a kick to try and alleviate his frustrations. The pain that blossomed in his foot had exactly the opposite reaction and he let loose a string of violent, colorful curses before yelling an indignant “Potter!” that echoed through the house and waiting for Harry to just bloody show him how to work the vile machines. He was in the middle of giving the machines his best death glare when his lover appeared in the doorway to the washroom, surprise and the merest hint of concern mingling on his features.

“Draco, what…?” he started, obviously at a loss as to how to ask the obvious. ‘Draco, what exactly is the son of one of the wealthiest, most prestigious, our-ancestors-are-purer-in-blood-than-thou wizarding families doing standing in a slightly dusty, half finished washroom, giving a washer and dryer the what for,’ kind of obvious.

“These…things!” Draco exploded, giving the washer another, lighter, kick. “They won’t cooperate! …Teach me how to use them!” He folded his arms, now looking expectantly at Harry whose green eyes had gone from confused to surprised and then to something akin to amusement as Draco had spoken.

“Draco you…why do you want to know? We both know you’re about as suited to housework as I am to potion-making, and I don’t mind doing it.” Draco glared at him, trying to find the most non-incriminating words he could.

“That’s just it, you do everything and I won’t have you upstaging me in this too.” There. Nice and safe, he simply didn’t want Harry to be better than him. Even at housework.

Harry seemed to believe the lie, the gullible, adorable idiot, walking into the room with a simple “Okay,” and quickly sorting the dirty clothes into piles that seemed vaguely based on the color of the cloth although some he set aside entirely.  Draco watched for a moment, waiting for Harry to explain why exactly he was sorting worn, grimy, clothing. When he had finished he looked expectantly at Draco, his features almost eager. At Draco’s blank stare he rolled his eyes.

“You can’t wash everything at once…the colors will bleed together and you’ll ruin the fabrics. It’s best to sort them into piles, whites, light colors, dark colors, and then blacks and greys.” he explained simply, pointing to each of his surprisingly neat piles as he did so.

“What about these? You’ve just thrown them into a pile all their own.” Draco replied, pointing to the fifth pile. He somewhat recognized most of the pile was of his things and wondered if Harry had some rule about doing each person’s laundry separately too.

“Those you can’t wash, the nicer fabrics will get ruined in the washer. Muggles take them away to be cleaned, but Mione’s shown me spell to do the same thing.” Draco moved closer as Harry began to put the largest pile of clothing into the washer. “The amount of soap you use depends on how many clothes you’re washing, but if you put too much in the washer will overflow.” Harry’s eyes took on a distinctly faraway look at this point and Draco got the distinct expression he was speaking from experience.

“So it’s that simple?” Draco scoffed again as Harry closed the washer and set the dials, all the while explaining what each setting was for. Harry half turned to look at him again as he finished, a strange look in his eye.

“It’s that simple. Now are you going to tell me the real reason you’re voluntarily soiling your hands with servant stuff?” he asked, a half smile playing across his lips. Damn. And he had been so sure he’d gotten away with that one.

“Who taught you?” Draco asked quickly, hoping a deflection might distract Harry as he brought his hand up to toy idly with the waistband of his lover’s trousers. He realized a second too late he probably already knew the answer to that question, he knew exactly the kind of people that had raised Harry after all.

“My aunt. Well, she didn’t so much teach me, but it was one of my responsibilities when I lived with them.” Harry said simply, the slightest edge entering his voice that Draco knew instinctively meant he was upset and he vowed not for the first time to fid the idiots that had treated his lover as no more than a common servant. “You still haven’t answered my question though,” Harry continued, shifting so that his back was leaning against the washer and he was facing Draco completely.

“Is it so hard to believe that I’d want to help?” Draco replied unable to stop the smirk that curls his lip. Harry’s own raised eyebrow and soft scoff are an answer to his question in themselves.

“Honestly Draco I don’t mind, I’m used to doing the housework it’s not a-”

“Potter if you say it’s not a big deal that those Muggles treated you no better than a house elf, took complete advantage of a child and ingrained into you this stupid self-sacrificing I’ll-do-everything-it’s-no-big-deal-I-deserve-it-anyhow attitude so help me I will hex your mouth shut.” the words are past his lips before he has even a chance to think about them, but they have the desired effect in that Harry does stop talking. Instead he opts for staring open mouthed at Draco, who figures at this point his cover is blown any how. “Just let me help you .”  He’s dangerously close now, one finger still slipped beneath Harry’s waistband in an almost-but-not-quite comforting gesture as he traces the shorter man’s jaw line before tucking his fingers behind unruly black hair and resting his arm on the other man’s shoulder. Harry Is still staring into his eyes in a somewhat searching gaze but Draco finds he suddenly doesn’t mind as much as he’d thought he did.

“You’re doing a horrible impression of being aloof you know,” Harry says softly before leaning in to capture Draco’s lips with a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. The blonde let the comment go, instead passing his tongue over the full lips against his own and easing them open. With a soft sigh he pushed his tongue into Harry’s mouth, smirking against the man’s full lips as he heard an answering moan vibrate against his mouth.  “You know,” Harry muttered, breaking the kiss much to Draco’s disappointment, meeting the blond’s eyes mischievously. “That’s only the washer, I should really show you how to use the dryer as well.”

“And what exactly does an appliance have to do with what we’re currently doing?” He asked, nuzzling against the side of his brunet’s neck as he breathed the words onto Harry’s skin. He grinned at the trembling shiver that went through the smaller man’s body in reaction. He continued placing small kisses and licks against the golden skin as Harry attempted to explain his reasoning.

“Well, it’s got a lot to do with…mm...rolling around, and…ah…heat.” The brunet’s head dropped back as he let out a low groan when Draco sucked particularly enthusiastically against the man’s skin

“Sounds like something I might be interested in,” he murmured into the shell of Harry’s ear, leading him in the exact opposite direction of the dryer, more in the direction of their bedroom. “Why don’t you enlighten me to exactly how it works.”

(no subject)

Warm. That was the first thought that flitted through the sleepy haze as Harry began to awaken. Lately there had been a slight chill in the air when he woke up but today that delicious warmth was still present and he sighed in contentment, burrowing into it. When the warmth tightened its arms around him and a ghosting breath huffed against the top of his head his eyes snapped open as he realized why he was so comfortable.

Draco is still in bed.


Harry couldn’t remember the last time he had woken up to Draco actually being in their bed and another rush of warmth flooded through him. He lifted his head from its position nestled into Draco’s neck and looked into the grey eyes that were fixed on him. “…You’re still here,” he mumbled dumbly, taking n the amused smirk on Draco's open features. “Why…”

“You looked lonely last night…I couldn’t leave you like that again.” There was a tone of sadness in the blonde’s light voice as a crease appeared between his brow. “…I’m not doing this to hurt you Harry,” he said, pulling Harry back under his chin and holding him there. If Harry had doubts before he was sure now, whatever Draco was doing he could live with not knowing, at least for the time being. He sighed against the solid chest as he drifted back into a warm, hazy sleep. He knew Draco trusted him not to pry.

And he trusted Draco enough that he didn’t need to.

The Corner Booth

Summary:
Draco's never been one to sort out his feelings with strangers-but fatigue and a pushy waitress be just the right combination

Rating: G/PG
Pairing: Draco/Harry
Warnings: None

A/N: A huge, mega, ultra thank you to my sadkjlnklfgds beta, WrittenMatrix! Seriously Keno I can't actually thank you enough for putting up with me and helping me through this little ficlet and for offering your totally boss editing skills. This wouldn't have been HALF as good without you. Love you hun, <3 

Also thanks to Mella who went over it and fixed stuff as well, apparently I make a lot of spelling mistakes, haha. <3 <3 <3 

Also, there's a quote in here that Marcy uses from a movie called 'The Other Side of Dawn', it's what inspired this fic, so here you go:

“This is the most complicated relationship since Romeo and Juliet,” she complained. “You’re both hopeless. I mean, what is the big problem? You love him. He adores you. You get together and live happily ever after. Any questions? No, of course not. That’ll be ten dollars, thank you.”
— John Marsden (The Other Side Of Dawn)



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Marcy looks across the cafe to booth number five and its occupant, wiping her hands on her apron to try and rid them of the damned stinging soap the manager insists on buying. The booth is situated in a corner of the restaurant, hiding its patron from the wandering eyes of passersby but still allowing him a clear view of the street. It's the booth people sit in when they've got a problem to sort out, when they want to be alone. Most of the time Marcy takes this to mean they need a good slap upside the head. The man who sits there now is handsome, she notes, before scoffing softly to herself. Try bloody gorgeous.

The thin crease between his eyebrows belies the confusion he feels but it is the only line on his perfectly smooth, pale skin. Light blond hair frames his face in thin tendrils, falling just above his eyebrows and just brushing the back of his neck. It's artfully crafted, as if it's been well trained to not put a hair—if she would forgive herself the pun—out of line. His skin has a healthy glow about it despite being so light, the kind that comes from years of eating what one should and staying in shape, taking care of one's body. His clothes are fashionably simple, elegant, and she’s confident they also cost more than her yearly salary. She's sure he's got a girlfriend-no one that good looking would stay single for very long unless they were a complete cretin. She knows he’s not; he always leaves a generous tip on the table and always mutters a polite—if distracted—'please' and 'thank you' as she serves him his customary espresso with cinnamon and chocolate flakes. She knows his order by now; he’s been coming here for the past week, always ordering the same thing, sitting in the same booth, wearing the same puzzled, lost look on his face. His eyes never meet hers, nor does he spare a glance at anyone else as he stands to leave. He drops his change on the table and silently walks out, his expression not having changed one bit.

----

It is Thursday and the tall blond is back, sitting as always in the corner booth, drinking the same drink. This time she notices a crumpled piece of paper under his hand. It’s got writing on it but she can’t read the untidy script the way his hand is positioned.

“Want to talk about it?” she asks as she hands him the change from his coffee. He looks up at her, his eyebrows drawing up in surprise and she notices for the first time that his eyes are not the blue she had thought they were but rather a soft, almost misty gray. There’s an edge behind them—that of stone behind mist and she‘s sure he’s got a temper behind this cool, postured exterior.

“…I’m sorry what?” he asks, his voice cultured, a hint of a drawl. She smiles kindly.

“You want to talk about what‘s bothering you?” she repeats, pointing briefly to the paper beneath his hand. His hand reflexively shifts on the paper so that it’s completely covered.

“No,” he replies firmly, looking away out the window again. She shrugs, turning back to her other customers. She notices though once he’s left that there’s a larger tip on his table than usual and he’s left the note behind. She quickly glances at it.

Draco,

I was wondering if you’d meet me for lunch at the Leaky… we need to talk. You know about what. Stop avoiding me. I haven’t been able to ignore you for seven years, I’m not going to start now.

I miss you,

Harry


Marcy frowned at the piece of paper in her hand. She assumed ‘Draco’ was who she’d been serving but what did this Harry want to talk about that had the man so spooked?
----

The next day Draco surprises her; as soon as he sits down he pulls out a roll of what looks like parchment. He starts to quickly scrawl across the page with an elegant swipe. He suddenly stops, looking unsure, confused again.

“Sometimes it helps if you say it out loud before you write it,” she offers as she sets his coffee down on the table. He says nothing—she doesn’t expect him to and she turns away but his hand catches her wrist, surprising her. She looks back to him and sees he is surprised as well, staring at his own hand as if it’s betrayed him.

“I…” he starts, looking unsure as to whether he should continue or not. “…I think I love him,” he says softly, obviously more to himself than to her and she has to hold back a gasp of surprise. Well that certainly changes things. Suddenly he stands, leaving the money on the table, grabbing his coffee and brushing past her in a hurry.

Yes, she thinks, that would explain the letter and Draco’s hesitance to talk to Harry. For all the blond’s cool exterior, he doesn’t seem to be one for facing his problems.
----

It is more than a week since she’s seen the blond man and she has almost let herself believe he’s worked it out until he comes striding in again, looking even more forlorn and distressed than usual. For goodness sake, how long does it take to pluck up the courage and admit you love someone?

“You know he’s going to move on if you don’t tell him,” she says a bit more harshly than she means to. He scoffs slightly at her words, as if they’re the most ridiculous ones he’s ever heard.

“He hates me,” he replies simply, not once looking in her direction. She smiles. If the letter is anything to go by, Harry doesn’t ‘hate’ Draco. She pulls out the letter from her apron pocket, almost blushing that she’s kept it. She drops it in front of the dumbstruck blond.

“He does not hate you.” This seems to be the wrong thing to say as the man’s brows knit together in anger, his mouth deepening in a sneer.

“What would you know? He does hate me—he hates everything I stand for! He only stays around because he’s got that bloody hero complex of his, because he feels sorry for the poor bastard who’s fallen so hard, who can’t even think when they’re together so he has to go someplace he knows he won’t run into the git so that he can try and pull himself together!” As his rant ends, he leans his head into his hands, turning his petulant glare to the window, as if it’s offended him by being there.

“He doesn’t hate you,” she repeats and walks away.
----

The next day finds Marcy again in the coffee shop, waiting on the lunch time rush when the door slams open and the same tall blond stalks in, dragging a shorter brunet man with him. The man is spluttering, fighting back somewhat as he is dragged directly in front of the counter Marcy is leaning against. Draco turns the man towards her and stares imploringly.

"Tell her you hate me."

Ah, so this must be ‘Harry.‘ The shorter man looks puzzled, his eyes flying between his captor and Marcy, pleading for one of them to please explain what the bloody hell is going on.

"Well, go on." The blond’s face is a mask and she realizes she’s never seen him this closed off before. There is something in his eyes though she can’t quite make it out, he’s looking back at the other man too quickly. She thinks it might be fear.

"Draco I... I don't hate you. Why would you think that?" The brunet’s voice is a bit raspy, but low and pleasant. All around the boy is pleasant, she notes, with a kind eye and almost boyish features, jet black hair that is sticking up at all angles as if defying anyone to tell it to do otherwise. She notices his eyes—strikingly green even through the slight glare of his glasses—haven't left Draco‘s face. They're fixed on the pale blond’s elegant features, running from his eyes to his mouth and back again as the man speaks. No, Harry definitely doesn’t hate Draco.

"You do hate me. You've always hated me. My father hates you, The... his boss wanted to kill you. Tell her you hate me, Potter!" With every word Draco grows angrier and the man beside him more confused. By the end he’s glaring daggers, his grip tightening around the forearm in his grasp.

"Draco what your father and his....” here Harry pauses and a look passes between them Marcy doesn’t quite understand, “...boss think doesn't matter." Harry's turned straight towards Draco now and it's as if Marcy has suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth along with everyone else in the cafe. There's no one there but the two men standing together, close together, as the short brunet brings his hands up to clasp Draco's upper arms, as if to steady him. Draco is looking more desperate by the minute, as if he wishes the man would just tell him he hates him and be done with it. The look of growing hope when he doesn't is almost enough to break her.

"Honestly," she cuts in, drawing them both back to reality. "This is the most complicated relationship since Romeo and Juliet,” she complains, fixing them both with a stare that has them sheepishly looking at each other. “You’re both hopeless. I mean, what’s the problem?” She pauses to jab Draco in the chest. “You love him. He adores you. You get together and live happily ever after. Any questions? No, of course not." She looks at them once more, seeing Draco flush at her admission of his feelings and the other man's jaw nearly drop to the ground as his head whips to stare at Draco. She smirks and walks away, far enough to give the men privacy but not far enough that she can't hear what they're saying. Now she's invested in this, she wants to see how it works out.

The brunet's voice carries, soft, almost in wonderment as he leans into Draco. "You love me?" Draco looks as if he's about to refute the statement but Marcy catches his eye as he looks up and she stares pointedly at him. She's not going to be as understanding if she sees him in here again, looking forlorn and lost and generally pathetic. He sighs.

"...She said it, not me." Marcy has to fight the urge to roll her eyes but it seems it's the right thing to say. Harry, she figures, knows Draco well enough by now not to be put off. At least she hopes not, because the look on the pale blond's face as Harry leans up to kiss him is pure happiness and it’s enough to put a goofy smile on Marcy's face, despite the fact she would deny a hardened matron like herself could ever do something so sappy. As the two sit down in the corner booth she can't help but let her eyes wander over every now and again. Just to check Draco is behaving himself, she insists. When Harry shifts closer, leaning into Draco and resting his head on the blond's shoulder as they continue talking softly, she knows it will be all right.

Perhaps this Romeo and his... Juliet, won't end in tragedy after all.

(no subject)

 Harry sits at the small table they eat breakfast at, a cup of tea that has long gone cold sitting across from him. He's been sitting there since this morning, waiting for Draco to return. It's now well past supper time, the sun has begun to sink lower into the sky as the door closes softly and Draco Malfoy enters, hanging his long cloak on the hook by the door and walking into the kitchen. He looks tired, ruffled. His hair is tousled in a way Harry knows he would be mortified about if he knew and his shirt is partially untucked from his trousers which, Harry notes, are hanging a bit more about his waist than they used to but Harry is just relieved that Draco is here.

"Where did you go this morning?" Harry asks quietly, shifting his own long empty cup on the table, tearing his eyes away from the slender, elegant figure walking towards him.

"Out," Draco shrugs, leaning over the back of Harry's chair and wrapping strong, firm arms around him.
 
"Out?" he repeats, turning his head to gently rub his cheek against Draco's, his voice ruffling the fine blond hair that hangs down over the elegant face. "Anywhere special?"
 
"No. Just out." Draco replies, unmoving as he breathes in Harry's scent. He's seems more tired than is healthy lately but he refuses to tell Harry where he's been or what he's doing. 
 
It's not that Harry really suspects Draco of doing anything wrong, persay. The blond has cleaned up his act since his days as Voldemort's waterboy and, although his morals are still on somewhat shaky ground, Harry knows what they have is real. He trusts Draco not to betray him, he doesn't need to hear what the blond is doing when he slips out of their bed before dawn and returns late in the afternoon.
 
He just wishes Draco trusted him enough that he would tell him anyway.