and just eating all the jaffa cakes

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Tuesday’s at Noon Part 2

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MMFD Fanfic: Feel Good, Inc. Chapter VI

CHAPTER 6

Maybe it was the weed or maybe it was the afterglow, but they found themselves a few hours later, relaxed on the couch, watching Xanadu and methodically eating every single thing in the flat. On one level, Rae knew that something important had just happened. A gateway had been crossed and things were likely to change for her, but she also knew that it made no sense for this film to be presented on roller-skates. She and Finn made occasional eye contact, but it was mostly to giggle about the nonsensical plot or to pass a Jaffa Cake. 

We’re both adults, thought Rae, with a lot of effort. All this means is that we both felt an urge and we’ve satisfied it. It’s not like we’re suddenly a…

Finn burst out laughing, causing Rae snap her attention back to the film. Gene Kelly was dancing with Olivia Newton-John. Her attention waned again, looking back at the red eyed, tousled-haired man wrapped in her old Carebears duvet. His face was remarkably relaxed, his usual brooding stare replaced with an airy look of amusement. He caught her staring and he leaned in to bump his forehead against hers. It was like they’d never missed a day together. Like we’re a couple. Her entire body seized at the sound of the doorknob turning as Archie slumped through the door, laden with a sagging book bag. She flung herself to the farthest side of the couch away from Finn.

“Alright Archie?” said Finn, oblivious to Rae’s sudden tension. What about fucking Archie? How was she going to tell him about her and Finn and the corruption of their couch?

In a moment that seemed to stretch for an eternity, Archie sized up the situation.

“How could you, Rae?”

“Sorry?” squeaked Rae. Bloody hell. He knows. Rae stared up at him.

“How could you watch Xanadu without me?”

Finn started laughing and moved over for Archie to flop down on the couch inbetween them. Rae felt an overbearing surge of guilt. She and Finn hadn’t discussed what they were going to tell Archie. Was it even a big enough deal that they needed to tell Archie? Finn made eye contact with her and grinned, but that only further tightened the knot in her stomach. Had this just been a bit of nostalgia? Like a viewing of fucking Xanadu – Something that’s nice when you’re fucked up and it’s available, but nothing you’d even think about come Monday morning?

Fuck, Rae thought. It was already midnight and she had a meeting with her editor first thing in the morning. Rae yawned and rose from the couch. “Well, I think it’s time to pack it in, boys.”

To her horror, Finn also rose, still clad in her blanket. Had he expected to join her? Rae shot him a horrified glance. She looked nervously at Archie and Finn followed her gaze and slowly pieced together that he wasn’t invited. He sank back down, quickly returning his attention to the screen. Archie had been to busy singing along “Suddenly” and scrounging through the mess on the coffee table for a remaining snack.

Rae slumped into her room and climbed into her bed. She was bricking it. Outside she could hear both Finn and Archie laughing. Was Finn going to tell him? She lay in bed, eyes staring at the ceiling until the end credits rolled and she heard Archie and Finn bid each other good night. The light switched off in the living room and everything was still. Rae rolled over, determined to get to sleep when she heard a soft rapping on her door.

“Rae?” whispered Finn. Maybe if she didn’t respond, he would just go away. She waited a moment but then she heard the door open slightly. “Rae?” he whispered loudly. “You awake?”

“No.”

He chuckled and slipped through her door, shutting it quietly. He fumbled through the darkness until he tripped over her bed and landed on her in a fit of giggles.

“Do want Archie to know you’re in here?” Rae hissed.

Finn looked up at her, finding her face in the dark.

“Why do I care if Archie knows? Is he your bloody chaperone?” He readjusted himself so that he was laying beside her. His hand snaked into hers and Rae realized that she’d been holding her breath.

“Finn.”

Finn just lay there.

“Finn.”

“What?”

“What are we doing?”

“Well, I thought we were trying to sleep,” he mumbled.

“No, I mean. What are we…doing?”

He raised his head and looked at her again then closed his eyes and rested his head back on his pillow.

“Whatever we bloody well want.” He rolled over to wrap his arms around her. She was suddenly too tired to try and get more of an answer out of him. She closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.

***

As the sun rose, Finn silently extricated himself from Rae and snuck back into the living room. Archie was still snoring from his room. They’d gotten away with it.

As Finn readied himself for work, he kept replaying the previous night’s activities in his head. It was the best sex he’d had in recent memory. It had been this crazy mix of intense longing and reassuring comfort. His hands felt numb as he shaved his face and he couldn’t stop himself from smiling. He was headed back to his corner of the living room to put on his shoes when Rae appeared at her door, motioning him to come in. He followed her in and as he reached out to embrace her, he felt her hand upon his chest.

“Good…morning?”

She bit her lip and refused to look him straight in the eye. He felt the sunshine that crept up to his face evaporate into white hot embarrassment. Shit.

“Listen. We’ve got to talk.”

He knew without her saying a word what she was going to say. That it had been a mistake. That they’d gotten carried away. That it hadn’t meant anything.

“I’m going to be late. We’ll talk later, yeah?” He could feel his chest harden. He twisted out of her room and pulled on his jacket as fast as he could. To his immense relief, she did not follow him. As he stepped out into the chilling morning air, he withdrew his iPod from his bag.

It had just been a fumble between friends. He repeated this to himself the entire tube ride to work. Had he expected to just waltz back into her busy London life and expect her to make some room for him? Was he just some blast from the past for her? A nostalgic fuck for old times sake? He reminded himself for what seemed like the hundredth time in a week that it wasn’t like they were in high school. It wasn’t like they were promised to each other.

Finn stopped as he reached the entrance to the station. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Compartmentalize. He’d gotten skilled at pushing shit back down where it had belonged. He rearranged his face to his estimation of what a successful junior member of a development team looked like, and pushed his way through the doors.

***

“We did it.”

Archie awoke to find Rae perched on the end of his bed. Instinctively he drew his blankets up around his head.

“Jesus Christ!”

She turned to him, dressed for work in a smart dress and funky blazer. Her eyes were wide.

“Last night. Finn and I…we…did it.”

Archie sat up. She was always doing this shit. Something fantastic would happen and she would end up here, on the end of his bed, trying to figure out what flaw in the universe had caused her a moment of joy. She’d come to him like this when she’d got her job. She was horrified that she would fuck everything up, even though Archie knew she was born to be opinionated and brilliant and that it was only logical someone would eventually pay her to do what comes so naturally.

Archie had not forgotten the Rae he’d first met that fateful summer in 1996. Back then she has been a girl at war with herself, trying to figure out how to see the beautiful young woman everyone else could see her as. She’d spent so much time last summer agonizing over dumping boring-arse Steve. What if she never found someone? What if she’d turned down the only serious adult relationship she’d had because she’d been too picky?  

Archie had hoped that she was getting closer to realizing that she needed to find someone who not only basked in her light, but could bounce it back to her – let her know just how special she was. He’d once made the mistake of telling her she was larger than life, immediately regretting what she’d perceived to be a poorly timed fat joke.

“Rae. Calm your tits.”

She looked at him angrily. He quickly changed gears.

“Can you just see that this is not a crisis? Let’s just consider this objectively.”

She swallowed hard. “Fine.”

 “Are you not a self-possessed, sensual woman in control of her destiny?

“I suppose.”

“Is Finn Nelson not disarmingly lovely?”

 “That’s not the point…”

“Is it not true that you enjoyed this little romp?”

“Of course I enjoyed it…”

“Ok, then.” Archie pushed her off his bed and threw the covers back over himself.

 “Oh thanks, Archie. You’ve been really helpful.”

Maybe he was bitter about Tom. Everything came easy to Rae. Archie worked night and day for everything and she just floated on charm and a laugh and everyone just fawned over her.

“And pardon me, Rae, but you’re being frustratingly daft. Maybe if you’d stop trying to sabotage every nice thing you’ve got…”

He could tell immediately he’d taken it too far.

She stormed out of his room in a huff and moments later slammed the front door as she left for work. Archie groaned, slamming his pillow over his face. Women.

—————————

This chapter was really fucking difficult. Still pretty frustrated with it, but I figured I’d post it anyway. Woof.

Desert Island Biscs
  • Interviewer: If you were stranded on a desert island and you can only survive eating one biscuit for the rest of your days, which would you choose?
  • Van McCann: I think my favourite biscuit is the Jaffa Cake, the biscuit of all biscuits, the cake of all cakes. You need to know what I like about it? I like melting them and wiping them on my body and just, y'know, lying on the floor and let the dog do the rest.

just want to let all the yognaughts know that the uk tv advert for jaffa cakes involves a teenage boy sitting on his bed just about to eat some jaffa cakes, but a small monkey rises from the box and they share an intense staring contest

Simon Snow’s diet is most likely terrible after he leaves Watford. It’s probably all Pot Noodles, take out Fish and Chips covered in curry sauce and bags of doughnuts from Tesco. Wait until he discovers Toby Carvery’s and can get all you can eat roast dinners.

(Also, I fully believe that Simon eats Jaffa cakes by the sleeve-full)