Will wants a pet.
“Please? I’ll clean up everything, and feed it everyday, and take it for walks and everything!”
Warren groaned, rubbing at his forehead, eyebrows furrowed. You would think he was listening to a ten year old, not his partner of ten years. “Stronghold, we can’t get a dog. You know that. We are both never here, and we can’t give a dog a steady enough life. We have no schedule. We run off, we save the world. Randomly. No dog.”
“Oh, but come on, W’ren!” Will shoved the SPCA pamphlet under Warren’s gaze on the table. “They’re so cute!”
“Yes, and the SPCA would take them back if they knew how we’d have to treat them.”
Warren stood, running a hand through his long hair as he headed to the counter, pouring himself a cup of coffee. “No dog.”
“W’ren...” Will protested, then jumped when a phone started ringing. He reached in his pocket for his cell phone, but Warren just shook his head, reaching into the open-fronted cupboard to grab the tacky red plastic phone they’d gotten from the mayor years ago.
Flipping it open, he said, “Y’ello.”
Will watched him, quiet, eyes wide, and blinked in surprise when Warren rolled his eyes, and said, “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”
To the mayor!
“Yeah, yeah, fine.”
“So?” Will fidgeted. “What is it? And why did you swear at the mayor?”
Warren groaned. “Look, let’s go.”
Like a little girl.
He squealed like a little girl, and bounced, quite energetically.
He bounced, and Warren winced.
“Puppies, W’ren, puppies!” Will gushed, grabbing his partner’s arm, grinning. “Come
on, let’s get a puppy?”
Warren sighed. “Can we defeat the villain inside first?”
“Villain?” Will blinked at Warren from behind his half mask. “Oh, villain! Right! What’s this one do?”
Warren shook his head. “He’s trying to control the world. And he’s decided that unless the mayor gives up control of Maxville to him... he’s going to start kicking puppies.”
Will recoiled, his own eyes as big and dark and wet as a picked puppy. “No!”
“Yes,” Warren nodded.
“The poor puppies!” Will yelped, then dashed towards the door - going through it before Warren could remind him that opening the door was always a better idea. “I’m coming, puppies!”
As it happened, Will hadn’t really needed to do any rescuing, per say, and no one had to fight. Seems the villain had been about to leave the store, a box of puppies in tow for his public kick-the-puppy routine when Will had smashed through the door, ploughing right into the man and sending him on a swift journey to la-la land.
In celebration, Will had tripped over the man, and lay slightly dazed on the floor as puppies everywhere expressed their thanks with nips, licks, energetic barking, and one had even peed on his shoe.
Warren stood at the doorway laughing his ass off, and decided he liked the one who had the audacity to pee on his boyfriend’s foot. That had taken guts. Real guts. So he even let Will take the puppy home, shrugging when his boyfriend tried to thank him, and turning almost as red as his suit when Will had abruptly grabbed him and kissed him, on the street, while the reporters watched and oohed and ahhed and snapped pictures.
Pups lasted three weeks at their house before he got shipped off to Layla’s, where the plant conscious hero let the puppy roam free on her hundreds of acres with her own dogs and cats and peacocks and monkeys and leopards. He needed someone who could give him attention, and a regular feeding schedule, after all.
Will was very sad about this, of course, so after work one day at his cover as a Wall Street day trader, Warren came home with a goldfish in a bag.
And three years later, I am proud to say, Goldie is still swimming strong.
“I want something else to get me through this semi-charmed kinda life, I want something else, I’m not listening when you say goodbye”
“You’re not leaving.”
Remus snorted, throwing his clothes into his satchel. “I beg to differ.”
Sirius sighed, rolling his eyes as he settled back against the door frame, arms crossed. “Remus, be logical. You’re not leaving, because what will James and Lily do then? Without us.”
It was a credit to Remus’ current rage that he didn’t even hesitate in throwing his clothes into the case with great force. “They’ll manage.”
“They’ll manage.” Sirius snorted. “Lily’s pregnant, and James is doing his best to keep the Dark Lord from killing them. And you’re leaving.”
“Yes, I am.” Remus turned to start scooping up his books, throwing them in on top. “I am very very angry with you - and with good reason, and I am leaving.”
“Why?” Sirius said, cutting Remus short. “Why are you leaving? What did I do?”
Remus faltered for the first time, taking a deep breath, hands hovering over his second pile of books as he considered how to answer. “You... you... you didn’t do anything.”
Sirius blinked, eyebrows arching. “You just said that you’re angry with me, and you’re leaving.”
“I’m...” Remus groaned, reaching up to fist his hands in his hair. “I’m not angry at you Sirius, I’m angry with you.”
Sirius shook his head. “I don’t get that. What’s the difference?”
“The difference... the difference...” Remus turned to sit on the edge of the bed, sighing. “The difference is this is all just too surreal. I can’t stand it anymore! On one hand, we have James and Lily. They’re in constant danger, and hiding, but they’re normal! Normal, I mean, for a witch and wizard, anyway. We’re not, Sirius. Once a month I turn into a raging beast, and you turn into a dog, and run around with me, keeping me from eating people. We’re not in the same danger, but I feel like we live on the edge of a knife, any moment we’ll either slip to the right or left, or we’ll just fall straight down, and get cut right up the middle! I feel so helpless all the time! And you’re too bloody perfect, you know that?! Too perfect, I feel like something has to go wrong! And... and... I can’t take it anymore!”
“I’m too perfect?” Sirius asked, fighting down a snicker and a grin.
“Yes.” Remus grumbled, dropping his face into his hands.
“Hn. Well,” Sirius moved to sit beside his mate, wrapping his arm around him, and tugging the smaller man over so that he slumped into him, eyes closing. “What should we do about then?”
Remus smiled slightly, wearily.
“I could still leave.”
“Not happening,” Sirius answered, smiling, nuzzling the other’s hair. “So keep thinking, mister Moony.”
Do you believe in rock and roll / can music save your mortal soul / and can you teach me how to dance real slow / I know that you’re in love with him / cause I saw you dancing in the gym / you both kicked off your shoes / and I dig those rhythm and blues
Zach was not exactly a subtle person. He was rambunctious, flamboyant, exaggerated in everything he did and said. He had always acted out, always shared his opinion, and always danced to the beat of his own slightly eccentric drummer.
But he had a problem, and that was with his rather big crush on one certain purple shape shifter. Which wasn’t the problem in itself, as she was well aware of it. The problem lay in Zach’s dancing skills.
Or lack of them, that is.
See, Zach had kind of foolishly agreed to bring Magenta to this really popular new dance club before remembering that he danced like an electrocuted monkey.
And that was being cruel to electrocuted monkeys.
So he needed help, he needed it badly, and he needed it bad.
“Will.” Zach sat in front of the boy he considered to be his best friend, or at least his best boy-friend, since he really liked Magenta, too. “I need your help.”
Will blinked at him. “With what.”
“I need to know how to dance.”
Will laughed. “To dance?”
“Yeah, I’ve seen you do it before, you don’t look like a dying fish on land.” Zach sighed. “Like I do. Give me a hand, please?”
“All right,” Will laughed. “Meet me after lunch, right? On our spare, at the gym. There’s no classes there then.”
“You are a lifesaver man,” Zach grinned, bounding away in typical fashion.
As soon as he was gone, Warren looked up from the novel he’d been hiding behind during this entire exchange. “I didn’t know you danced, Stronghold.”
“Sure, my mom taught me,” Will nodded.
“Hn.” Warren looked thoughtful. “Think you could lend me a hand, then?”
Will blinked. “You want to learn to dance, too?”
Warren shrugged. “I’m trying to impress someone.”
“Hn.” Will nodded, slowly. “Yeah, sure, why not? Hey, let’s get a head start, right? I have a feeling you’ll pick this up a whole lot faster than Zach, so....”
Warren stood. “Let’s go.”
Zach bounced towards the gym, starting to push the doors open. He was about to bound in, all ready to go, when he froze.
Something was... different, right now.
Two pairs of shoes lay just inside the door, one a heavy pair of Docs, the other a scuffed pair of blue tennis shoes, both easily recognizable as Warren and Will’s.
And when Zach leaned against the door, peering through that crack carefully, he saw something he’d not expected.
Barefoot, Will and Warren danced slowly to some unheard melody. Though Warren was definitely the taller one, Will appeared to be leading, Warren’s head resting softly on the top of Will’s. There was a soft, pensive look to those normally seething eyes, Warren’s dark eyebrows smoothed out, a soft almost smile on his lips. Will had his eyes closed, and he looked like he was humming softly, one hand on Warren’s thin waist, the other clasping the taller’s hand in proper waltz form, though they had apparently been pulled closer together than they’d started with, and appeared to have lost all contact with the outer world. Even as Zach watched, breath baited, he saw their feet cease to touch the floor as Will unknowingly floated them off the ground. Warren didn’t react save to tighten his hold a little on Stronghold, and slide his eyes shut.
Zach stepped back from the door, letting it close gently.
He’d ask Will another time.
He knew better than to interrupt that.
So he wasn’t subtle.
But then again... neither were they, were they?
“He’s a rebel, he’s a saint, he’s the salt of the earth and he’s dangerous”
You make a very strange pair, you know.
I used to watch you from the corners of the cafeteria, hiding in the shadows where no one noticed me. Not that it’s hard for a super sidekick to hide, if they really want to. I was in your class with you, but I don’t think either of you noticed me. I was the quiet one who hide behind everyone else and just watched.
I watched, and I learned.
You are both perfect stereotypes, are you aware of that? Like something out of a typical Disney movie, one of you is the straight-cut, straight-laced, perfect hero.
A saint. And the other, you’re violent and angsty and fairly screaming depression, like a tortured rock god. The rebel. Were one of you a girl, I would have thought you’d have the perfect Disney-esque love story being set up too.
Rebel and the saint.
Wow, that would have been the perfect teenaged love story. Especially with the hippie chick there too, it was just a classic love triangle being set up.
Then, I sat in that corner, and watched the sparks fly - literally, as you attempted to destroy each other, and the cafeteria with you. More than ever I was reminded of all those classic love stories - and I wondered why in the world it was happening to the two of you, and not.... you and the technopath. Disturbing as she was.
Only evil people wear that much pink.
Then I watched as slowly, you began to separate yourselves even further. You killed at Save the Citizen - I have to admit that I even clapped when you won, though I didn’t follow the rest of the student body onto the floor to congratulate you. I sat and watched, instead, wondering why you ignored each other after that spectacular win. And besides, I didn’t want to be subject to Boomer’s wrath about all those kids covering the gym when we were supposed to be playing.
So I waited. And I watched.
I was hiding in the corner when Royal Pain started frying everyone with that stupid gun. I drew myself farther back, and ignored the screams, and watched. She never even saw me there, and I escaped the fiasco by just being unnoticeable. So I watched, carefully. I saw, when I stood at the cafeteria doors, when you kissed the hippie girl, dear saint, and I had to shake my head. That didn’t make sense. You were hopping from person to person, but it wasn’t you. I watched the way your eyes darkened, dear rebel, glowering at the hippie behind her back, staring at our saint. I watched, and I knew, but I didn’t say anything. I don’t say things.
So I was there in the gym, when you destroyed Royal Pain. I watched you fly for the first time, I watched you yell and try to get to him, and I watched, and shook my head when you danced with the wrong people.
I watched as you started hanging out, watched as you smiled and grinned, and finally laughed together. I watched from my corner as you tried to make rebel eat, and he refused, and I nearly laughed myself at your expressions of frustration.
I went to the Paper Lantern, and I sat in a corner booth with Chow Mein and Shanghai noodles and Chicken Balls, and I watched you bus tables and nibble fortune cookies and wait impatiently for your shift to be over so you could head, laughing, to the movies or bowling or to a game.
I watched, and I smiled.
Maybe Disney had the right idea.
I crept behind you when you snuck out of the school to sit, during Mad Science class, on the football field, pointing out the different shapes in the clouds.
I watched as you bickered good naturedly in the cafeteria at lunch, throwing cheesies at each other until our darling saint collapsed in laughter and even our rebel cracked a grin.
I smiled when you asked each other to dance, simultaneously, at prom, and almost danced myself, mimicking your swings and sways. I think Magenta almost saw me for a moment that time, but I quickly retreated to my corners, and watched.
You dropped your house keys that night, were you aware of that, dear saint? You dropped your house keys, and because I was the only one actually watching you, I saw it, when no one else did. I picked them up, and I would have just run up and given them to, except.... I watch. I don’t do.
So I stole after you, intending to follow you into your home, and simply lay the keys on your table where you’d not be able to miss them the next morning, and no one would have to know that I had ever been there.
But you both went to your house that night, saint, and when you opened that door, you were suddenly all over each other, devouring each other’s mouths, and I can’t help it. I watched.
I watched as you stumbled up the stairs, unwilling to cease your activity. I watched as you fell into bed, I watched as you claimed each other, and I watched with tears in my eyes as you promised each other forever.
I was there the next day, watching as you held hands in the hallway, ignoring everyone that would pay attention.
And I smiled.
Because I knew.
You invited everyone in the school to your wedding, but I’m sure you already knew that. I came because... because I wanted to see. For myself, what I had seen in your jaw-lines, in your sparkling eyes, in your folded hands.
I wanted to see love tangible.
I think that’s why I started paying attention to you in the first place. To see love tangible. I see it in the strangest places... and I saw it in you.
I don’t speak. I don’t do.
And in you, I watch love.
Warren closed the small, leather bound book, looking up at Will, who was frowning slightly, staring off into space. “Do you think.... really?”
“I don’t know,” Will confessed, glancing back at the innocent book, which had been amongst their other wedding presents when they’d finally gotten to unwrapping them last week. They’d only bothered to actually read it, today. “You think someone seriously watched us.... you know?”
Warren shrugged. “I don’t know. Someone who doesn’t speak or do anything, just watches?”
Will blinked, straightening. “There was a chick... I only saw her once in awhile... she was in one of my classes, but unless someone called on her, you’d think she hadn’t been there. It was like... you only noticed her if someone pointed her out. Otherwise, she just didn’t exist.”
Warren glanced back at the book. “Would she be able to just... not exist enough to spy on us for years?”
Will paused. “Well, we did tend to be distracted.”
“Hn, true.” Warren admitted.
“It’s kind of creepy,” Will said at last.
“Really?” Warren looked up, thoughtful. “It seems almost... comforting. To know
someone saw that in us before we did.”
“She was a stalker.” Will pointed out.
“No,” Warren laughed lightly. “She was a watcher.”
Ms. Peace and Mrs. Stronghold have a chat.
Do what you will with this ^__^
Josie looked up at the knock on her door, swallowing a mouthful of coffee. “One minute!” she called, pushing her glasses further up her nose, and heading for the door. Taking another sip, she swung the door open, and paused when she didn’t recognize the person on the other side. “Hello?”
“Josie Stronghold?” The other woman said, smiling faintly.
“Yes?” Josie blinked, trying to smile politely, while wondering who this woman was.
“Amy Peace,” the woman said, extending her hand. Josie shook it automatically. “I’m Warren’s mother.”
“Warren’s.... oh!” Josie’s eyes widened, and she hurriedly stepped back. “Do come in! Coffee?”
“Thank you,” Amy smiled faintly, following the other woman to the kitchen, where Josie immediately set about getting her a mug.
“Well.” Josie smiled awkwardly, handing the other woman the steaming drink. “What brings you here?”
“Our sons,” Amy said calmly, blowing gently over the top of her coffee before sipping at it. “Mm. Good coffee. I am sure you are aware they’re... together?”
“Yes, um...” Josie smiled awkwardly, sitting at the island across from the other. “I will admit to having encouraged them.”
Amy smiled brightly behind her mug. “That makes two of us, then.”
Josie blinked, surprised. “You also...?”
“Yes,” Amy nodded, pleased. “They spent so much time together. I hadn’t seen Warren so happy since... since before his father was arrested. And with Stronghold’s son, no less! I just... I want my boy to be happy, and with your son... he genuinely seemed to be.”
Josie chuckled. “Yes, well... I just wanted Will to be happy. He’d been dating his old friend, Layla, and... they were too good of friends. I felt bad for him, thinking it was all his fault that his relationships didn’t work out. But he seemed so happy, with your son. And I just...” she shrugged. “I kind of nudged.”
“So did I,” Amy laughed. “And I remember, the first time they ever came over holding hands. Oh, they were so cute.”
“Have you ever seen them curl up on a couch?” Josie straightened eagerly.
“Oh....” Amy grinned. “Postcard perfect!”
Josie bit her lip, grinning. “I snuck a picture of them. I want to put it in my Christmas cards, it’s so cute! They fell asleep on the couch!”
“Oh,” Amy sighed. “Do you have it?”
“Here, I keep it with my cookbooks so the boys won’t find it...” Josie opened a cupboard, looking for a moment before she emerged with a printed digital picture. She passed it to Amy, who cooed.
“Oh, our boys are sweet,” she smiled proudly at the picture. “I think they’re adorable.”
Josie smiled. “I really think they’ll last.”
“Oh, they most certainly will,” Amy nodded. “Some couples do. You and Steven, for instance. You know, we all expected that, in high school.”
Josie laughed. “We barely talked, in high school!”
“Oh, but he adored you,” Amy laughed. “Me... I ended up with Baron Battle. Not my smartest decision. Especially not since he was still pining after your husband at the time.”
Josie blinked. “What?”
“I thought everyone knew?” Amy shrugged. “Baron had such a crush on Steven. Horrible. I’m still surprised, some days, that he loves me at all. Granted, he’s in prison now, there aren’t really many people to love there, but... ah. He loved Steven. Or.... liked him a lot. I’m kind of pleased... that the second generation of this whole thing... they’re really in love. They’re together. Besides, I’m glad Steven and Baron never got together. Then you and I wouldn’t be having this conversation, Will and Warren wouldn’t be the cutest thing since the Care Bears... and Baron wouldn’t have done an incredible job as the lead in Oklahoma.”
Josie laughed merrily. “Steve would have done a good job, too.”
“Ach,” Amy laughed. “He got Danny in Grease, didn’t he?”
Josie laughed. “He did.”
Amy lifted her coffee mug. “To actor husbands.”
Josie smiled, and clicked their mugs. “And to picture-perfect sons.”