For hiddlestories Friday Fluff Fanfare, First Edition: I Met This Guy…
Tom Hiddleston fluff!
A run on the beach and a pitbull make for a morning Tom wasn’t quite expecting.
The sun was beginning to peek over the horizon, throwing streaks of dusty rose and marigold across the steely sky. The water rippled calmly over the shore as the waves broke gently over the sand. Having grown up in the midst of London, Tom was finding his time at the coastline to be the peaceful retreat he had been hoping it would be. After months of near-constant work, he decided a little spiritual sanctuary was in order on his most recent visit to his agent in Los Angeles. He had heard that a friendly, relaxing place to spend some time was Huntington Beach, a fair bit of a drive from his Beverly Hills agency, but he paid it no mind. A weekend far enough away from Hollywood to placate his restlessness, but close enough to not completely despise the drive suited him just fine.
He had crossed the guest-access-only pedestrian bridge from the Hyatt Regency he was staying at, and had begun his warm-up jog along the edge of Huntington State Beach, a little surprised he was the only soul around for ages on the public beach. This prospect suited him just fine, as he enjoyed the soothing sounds of the beachfront, the vision of the rising sun shimmering over the ocean, and he made his way across the expansive sand, straight to the water. He took long, deep breaths of the ocean air, smiling to himself as he felt his stresses of the previous months melted away.
Tom ran clear passed the pier before he even heard another person.
"Mikey!" he heard a voice shout, and he stopped in his tracks, ever the concerned citizen, at the sound of someone’s approaching panic.
He spun on the spot, taking in the sights as he attempted to find the source of the sound.
As Tom turned towards the pier again, he was blindsided by a blur of grey that slammed in to his legs, and he cursed as his lanky form crashed in to the sand. He couldn’t quite seem to catch his breath as the culprit of his fall turned out to be 55lbs of incredibly excited pitbull who was presently seated firmly atop his stomach. He laughed jovially as the dog licked his face and nipped his ears.
"Jesus Christ, are you okay?!" a woman’s voice called. "Mikey, bad BAD boy!" The dog’s owner tugged the strong-bodied pittie off of Tom, reprimanding him further, and Tom propped himself on his elbows, grinning up at the woman before him.
Her honey hewed hair was messy, strewn across her face from the effort of controlling her headstrong dog, Her pale, pointed face was flushed from the morning chill, and her chest heaved from the all-out sprint she seemed to have done in pursuit of her furry friend. Yoga pants, a sweatshirt, and trainers hardly seemed Southern California garb, and he could see flecks of dog fur peppering the black fabric that clung to her curves.
She pushed her hair back roughly from her face, and tugged at the leash that hooked in to the harness around her dog’s chest.
"I’m fine," Tom assured her with a laugh. "Honestly. He just knocked the wind out of me, it’s all right."
The pit strained against his harness, pulling so hard he lifted himself on to his hind legs, smiling wide as he whined at the back of his throat.
"Mikey, heel!" she commanded, sounding less than tough, and her pup just looked between his mommy and Tom, still sprawled on the beach. He readjusted his position, sitting tall and lifting his chin before clearing his throat,
"Mikey," he warned. "Sit!"
The dog’s ears perked up, his rear finding the sand almost instantly, and sat with a happily-wagging tail. The woman watched, mouth hanging open.
"How did you—." she dropped off, shaking her head with a chuckle of disbelief, dropping to her knees in the sand beside him, and Tom shrugged, his crystalline blue eyes meeting her smoky jade ones.
"Just lucky, I suppose."
"I’m really sorry," she reiterated. "Mikey and I are new additions in each other’s lives. We’re not even supposed to be on the State beach, and he saw a bag blow in the wind. I guess he likes to play fetch," she half asked, shrugging.
Tom scratched between Mikey’s ears, who panted gleefully beside him.
"As any good dog does!" he affirmed with a nod, and they shared gentle smiles.
They watched each other for a moment, when he cleared his throat, patting the dog’s belly.
"So, I know this fine young pup’s name," he began, looking at her as he cocked his head curiously. "But I don’t know his Mum’s."
The woman gave a dry laugh, nodding wryly. “That’s true, you don’t. Nor I yours.”
She’d not admit it to him, but the handsome face of the man was of no mystery to her. Those captivating eyes, that charming smile, and the childlike aura that surrounded him; there was no mistaking that soothing voice with the fancy British accent. She absolutely knew who she was talking to, but figured playing coy wouldn’t hurt.
He broke into a great smile: “Tom,” he offered his hand, and she shook it firmly.
By this time, the sun was rising over the water, and Mikey was beginning to become restless. Tom’s hands were tucked in the pockets of his hoodie, and he teetered back and forth on his feet. The wind began to pick up, throwing Alison’s hair in to further disarray, and she huffed a few times, trying to blow it from her face, to no avail.
"Well," she began awkwardly. "I should go. I don’t want to get a ticket for having Mr. Tacklepants on the beach."
"That’s an awful shame. Can I walk you?"
"You don’t need to do that."
"What kind of English gentleman would I be if I didn’t? I mean," he grinned again, bowing his head and looking up at her playfully. "Someone has to be Mikey’s barricade, don’t you think?"
Alison pursed her lips in a smirk, her gaze falling to her furbaby, who looked up at her, his golden eyes filled with excitement, as if to ask “Can he, Mom, please?”
"Tom. I would be more than happy to let you walk me."
Mikey gave a cheerful “woof!” as Tom offered his arm for the young woman to take, and she led the way further passed the pier.
They walked down Pacific Coast Highway, Tom marveling at the sunrise he was finding himself lucky enough to share with such entertaining company. He had long since taken Mikey’s leash and wrapped it around his wrist for better control, which only served to exasperate Alison.
"This dog, I swear to god…"
The conversation was light, and even cheeky, as they made they way in to nearby residential HB, which was just starting to creak and shiver with the beginnings of morning.
"And he sassed me. So I dumped his drink down the drain, and helped the next guest."
Tom let out an appreciative laugh as Mikey led the way, stopping along the road to sniff at the flowers that lined their walk.
"Serves him right."
"Well, I do enjoy being a crabby old lady. Don’t get me wrong, I think I’m pretty fucking awesome. But I don’t mess around. I don’t have time to deal with people’s bullshit."
They shared another moment of silence.
"Sooo," Alison cooed. "What’s brings you to good old sunny Southern California?"
"Just some agency nonsense," he lead on, nonchalantly.
"Agency? British gentlemen comes from agencies? Why didn’t I think of that? It’s brilliant!"
He snorted, rolling his eyes playfully.
"I’m not a male escort, unfortunately."
"Call girl, then?" she quipped, and he nudged her playfully in the ribs.
"Actor." Alison looked up at him, smile tugging her lips. "You know… Suddenly, actor feels a lot like male escort."
It was Alison’s turn to break out in to laughter, which was an interesting sort of cackle, and it blended in a pleasantly odd way with his impish “eheheh”.
"Well, Loki’s pretty enough to be a call girl, so.l’ll allow it."
Alison clapped her free hand over her mouth, and Tom let out a noise of surprise, sly smile plastered on his face.
"Ohhh, you didn’t know my name, did you?" he snickered, and Alison huffed, blowing her hair from her face once again.
"Yeah. Well. You see," she began, and he cocked a brow playfully at her before she sighed in resignation.
"I might, kind of, maybe be a bit of a theatre geek."
"Only a bit?"
"Okay. More than a bit. You were brilliant in ‘Coriolanus’, by the way."
As one of his proudest theatrical achievements to date, Tom didn’t take this compliment flippantly. Alison surveyed the faint flush tinge his cheeks, and his nibbled his lip for a moment before nodding curtly, and choking out a heartfelt “Thank you”.
"You know, a girl in the theatre threw a hand over her mouth, and yelped ‘Oh, no, Tom!’ as Aufidius gutted Martius. Literally. You made her cry."
Tom let out a great laugh, a gleeful, full body laugh, as Alison continued.
"Seriously, Hiddleston. Do you even know what you do to people?"
His laughter quieted, and he couldn’t help the playful naughtiness that crept up. He shot her a glance. “No… What do I do to people, Ali?”
In that moment, she stopped, turning to face him.
"As much as I’d like to entertain your dirty, flirty little thoughts…"
"Ohhh," he chuckled.
"This is our stop."
She looked down on Mikey, who sat perfectly still beside Tom, tongue hanging out, smiling his beautiful little puppy smile that she had fallen in love with instantly, and looked back at at Tom’s beautiful Thomas smile, that she knew that she could fall in love with just as easily.
"Thanks, uh…" she faltered, heart racing, feeling the blush creep in to her cheeks under the intensity of his gaze. "Thanks for walking me and my little delinquent."
He smiled gently at her, shaking his head. “It was absolutely my pleasure.”
She lead up the walk, jiggling the key in the lock before pushing the door open.
"Where are you staying," she blurted out, almost incredulous with her boldness.
"Um. The Hyatt Regency," he affirmed with a quick nod, and her jaw fell open.
"That’s like. Three miles in the opposite direction, Hiddleston!"Tom coyly tucked his hands back in his pockets, and shrugged.
"Would you have let me walk you if you knew I was staying so far away?"
She puckered her lips and narrowed her eyes, before letting out another laugh. “Touche.”
"Well. It’s been—."
A silence settled over the pair. It was one of those moments that could determine a whole life, and they both knew it. Alison stood in her doorway, tapping her nails on the doorjamb, and Tom swayed a little, unsure of where his feet would lead him. Mikey yapped again, catching their attention, and he jumped up, paws on Tom’s legs.
"Mikey, don’t jump! Go on, get in the house."
Tom knealt to him, rubbing his hands roughly over the dog with yet another laugh. “Go on, boy, listen to Mum, inside!”
Sure enough, Mikey obeyed, and Alison pulled the door shut in his wake.
"Sorry. Again," she shook her head. "He needs to mind his manners."
"Well. It’s not so bad," Tom scratched his head, giving a single shouldered shrug. "I mean. If he had better manners, I don’t know that we would have met. And I’m incredibly glad they we did."
"There is that," she agreed, holding out her arms for a hug. He obliged, wrapping his arms around her, drawing her closely to his for one of the full-bodied hug that he was oh-so-famous for. They pulled away, gaze meeting again, the electricity at its most palpable,and Alison opened her mouth unexpectedly for the second time:
"So, are you gonna kiss me, or?"
Tom started a moment, laughing off whatever nerves he had been holding on to.
He pressed his lips to hers, wrapping his arms around her once more, smiling in to the kiss when she returned the embrace with a sigh. They stayed that way for a long moment, perfectly content, until they heard a not-so-faint scratching and whining at the door. As they broke apart, Alison rolled her eyes.
"Thanks for being such great company for the BRAT AND ME," she snarked, tapping the door. Tom grinned appreciatively: "And thank you for being such great company. And for pretending, just for a bit, that you had no idea who I was."
"Well, you know," she conceded. "Someone has to keep your giant ego in check."
He let out a bark of laughter, making to quip back, when she pulled him for another quick kiss, which he gladly accepted. When they broke once more, he smiled brightly down at her.
"How about breakfast?" he asked, rubbing circles over his stomach. "I’m feeling a bit peckish."
Alison grinned back up at him, opening the door to her place. “The Sugar Shack is on Main Street. But,” she jingled her keys at him.
"How about we drive?"
PS: Mikey is totally a real dog. He’s not mine, but he’s wonderful, and I love him.