[Master Post – Glass]
Fandom: Viridian Legacy: Glass
Characters: Arkady, Betty
Rating: T height="16px" /> (L2 N0 S0 V1 D1)
Warnings: Expletives, a little violence
Notes: Did I not say this was going to happen? Here. The moment you’ve all been waiting for. Next up, ‘OH MY GOD! YOU A MAN, AREN’T YOU?’ And bonus points to anyone who was there and remembers that one… *coughs*
The film was at eight, and Evan was standing at Liz’s door by seven, as usual. It was just how things worked: the evening of the first day, for any film she wanted to see, she’d have bought the tickets in advance, and he’d be there early enough to help her with any last minute things, but not so early, usually, that she hadn’t finished getting dressed. They’d leave in fifteen minutes, the theater was thirty minutes away, and they’d be there early enough to get a good seat, but not so early they’d have to wait in the lobby. As far as he knew, no one else had ever gotten a grip on the math involved in taking Liz to a film, which was pretty stupid of them, since it was so simple.
She opened the door with one hand, still putting in an earring, with the other. As soon as she stepped back to let him in, he started talking. "Good evening, my dearling doll. Tickets are being held at the service desk. I called to check, after what happened last time. You’d think they’d expect us, after all these years."
"Movie theater, darling dear. Nobody works there more than a few months," she reminded him, putting the back on her earring and setting her hair in the mirror by the door. She plucked hairpins off the cuff of her jacket sleeve, as she worked. "How’s Janet?"
"Janelle. She left me, last week. Something about not acting my age." He leaned against the back of the couch, not really looking his age, either, in his skin-tight jeans, Skinny Puppy t-shirt, and black linen blazer.
"That’s because people our age are boring. Why would we want to act like them?" She winked at him in the mirror. "Why didn’t I see you on my couch with a case of Pabst?"
"Because only hipsters drink Pabst, any more?" he joked, and looked away. "Nah, I knew I was going to be here, tonight. No reason to make drama before we have somewhere to be. I’m not even that upset about her. I probably should be, but I just can’t care enough."
"You just haven’t found the right one. When you find her, then you’ll care." She nodded and turned back to him, mouth open to say something else, but he caught her in his arms, dipped her back, and kissed her.
She promptly belted him across the face, and he dropped her to the floor as his hands flew up to his cheek.
"Have you lost your fucking mind, Evan?" She raised herself from her back onto her elbows, looking up at him.
"Yes, Liz, I’ve lost my mind. You’ve finally driven me crazy. You’re the right one. You’re the only one. I don’t love you, I’m in love with you, and I have been since we were ten. And you know, I tried not to be, I really did. But, I just can’t keep whoring myself out for the dregs of somebody else’s affections. It’s not good enough, and it never will be. If I’m stuck scraping the bottom, it better be the dregs of your affections I’m getting."
She blinked up at him, from the floor. "Evan? Did you just— did you just propose to me?"
"No!" He paused, then, and gave it a few seconds’ thought. "Yes!" he declared, awkwardly pointing at her, after another second or two. "Yes, I did!"
"You’re rich, you’re not in rehab, you pay your own bills. I’d complain about the drums, but they’re in my garage, anyway, like they’ve been since we moved down here. You’re a drunk, but you don’t really do anything drunk that you wouldn’t do sober."
He interrupted her. "No, I decked Latisha’s agent, that one time. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have done that, sober. Or that thing with the book guy. I think Baron cleaned that one up, too."
"That’s because you’re a chickenshit, when you’re sober, and we both know it. I’d have punched her agent, if you hadn’t been thirty feet closer." She held up her hand to him. "You buy your own drinks, unless I’m bent on getting you really wasted… I haven’t done that, yet, this year, have I?"
"No, you haven’t. Is that an offer?" He grabbed her hand and tried to help her up, but she kicked his ankle out from under him and pulled him down, instead.
"Maybe." She rolled over and took him with her, hiking up her skirt just enough to get one knee on either side of him. "You know, I’m running out of reasons to turn you down. I like punching people on your behalf, in case you hadn’t noticed."
"I still remember when you obliterated Preston(?). I don’t think he knew what hit him. I heard he was telling people he got hit by a car." He smiled up, lopsidedly, and his hands fluttered awkwardly, for a moment, before sinking back to the floor.
"It’s just because he didn’t want anyone to know he got beat by a girl. I still think you hit harder than I do, now," she reminded him.
"I do, but you still hit better. You know exactly where, and when, and how hard." His thigh started to twitch, nearly vibrating, and the scuff of cloth against the wood floor was audible.
"Yes. I do. Especially you." Her smile was wicked, and with one nail, she brushed the hair back from his face. "How’s your face?"
"Ow. It’s not bruising, is it?" The twitching stopped as a flash of panic washed over him.
"Would I bruise your face? No, it was just loud." She ran her thumb across his cheek, where the red mark had already almost faded. "When was the last time you cut yourself, Evan?"
"What? I don’t—" He stopped and thought about it. "Probably the time I almost took my foot off. Sev, bathtub, vomiting. I, um, didn’t really want a repeat?" His voice cracked.
She leaned down next to his ear. "You know I’m going to check. Don’t lie to me, Evan."
"You won’t find anything that wasn’t there the last time you looked," he grumbled, turning his face away.
She sat back up and poked him sharply in the middle of his chest. "Yes."
"What? Yes what?" He looked up at her and blinked. "I didn’t ask you anything…"
"Oh, my darling Ebony, you are mine. You have always been mine." She rubbed the tip of his nose with her finger.
"Of course, I’m yours. What else would I be?" It wasn’t his voice that was hollow, so much that it sounded like his chest was hollow. Much less a complaint than resignation. "I tried, Liz. I really tried."
"You cut yourself open again, and I will hit you. And you will not like it," she warned him.
"Ok, ok." Like the words would ward off her wrath. "You know I really can’t promise that, right? I mean, maybe, but I just… I can’t."
"We’re too old for you to keep doing this," she complained.
"People our age are boring, remember? We’re also going to be late," he pointed out. "And your hair… I’m sorry, but you hit me in the face."
"I don’t think we’re going to the film." She stood up, straightened her skirt, still standing over him.
He flinched. Maybe he hadn’t killed that reflex as well as he thought he had. His hands curled and he stopped breathing, watching her, just waiting.
"We’ll go tomorrow night. I’m going to make a call and see if I can get us a room at that Japanese place you like." She stepped back and headed for the phone in the kitchen. "You should probably straighten your hair. I think I wrecked it, when I pulled you down."
"Liz?" A small, plaintive sound. "What the hell just happened?"
"You tried so hard," she started, leaning around the wall with the phone in her hand. "I tried, too. You were so unstable for so long; there was no way. But, here we are, and I’m still me, and you’re still you, and I just don’t think this is going to work any other way."
Her attention turned to the phone. "Ah! Mizuki! I hate to do this to you, but…" A few minutes later, she’d gotten them a private table. As she hung up the phone, she looked back to where Evan still lay on the floor, looking confused. "Does this count as the first date or the third date? Do you want to count whatever that was, the first time, as a date?"
"It’s the second date," he decided. "Winter Ball was definitely a date, but not that other thing."
"Oh, you’re right. It was. Do you remember that dress?" She came back and offered him a hand.
"I remember learning why starched collars are a horrible invention." He eyed the hand suspiciously, before taking it, and standing up, carefully.
"That was before you learned to tie a cravat, wasn’t it?" She reached past his neck to untie his hair.
"Before? That was why I learned to tie a cravat. Never making that mistake a—" He stopped suddenly as she closed the distance between them, and he rested his hands on her hips. "You’re not going to hit me in the face again, are you?"
"Not this time." Her fingers tangled into his hair, and for the first time in more than twenty years, she kissed him like she meant it.
After a long span in which his mind was blank, Evan recovered, lips first. "Jesus, Liz, your lipstick! My lipstick! Mmmh. If you keep doing that, we’re not going to make it to dinner, either."
"Just so you know, that was the worst proposal ever. It’s no wonder you can’t keep a girlfriend." She pinched his side and stepped back, returning to the mirror to fix her hair and lipstick.
He stared blankly after her for a few seconds, and then. "Oh, shit, did you say ‘propose’? I thought you said ‘proposition’."
She rested her forehead against the mirror, as she laughed so hard she dropped her lipstick. "Oh, my god. We’re never going to make it out of here."
"It’s Mizuki and Grandma on Thursdays, isn’t it? They’ll understand." He struggled to stop snickering long enough to re-tie his hair. "Proposal, huh? You don’t kill me during the next tour, and we’ll talk about a ring."
"If you don’t know what ring I want, by now…" She caught his eye in the mirror, as she pinned her hair again.
"I don’t just know it, I already own it." He dragged a finger under his lip, to check for smudging and then grabbed the door handle. "I bought it with the first big check we got after we got signed."
With that, he ran out the door, fishing the car keys out of his pocket as he trampled the grass. Her "You what!?" echoed after him, and a jingle of keys and a clatter of heels later, she caught up to him in the car.
"Evan? Have I ever mentioned that you’re insane?" She said it sweetly.
"You might have mentioned it one or two hundred times." He stopped colouring his lips back in, and started the car. "Second date."
"Second date," she agreed.