Audrey kicked her boyfriend – she could call him that, right? Three months wasn’t too soon for the b- word, was it? – under the table and his head shot up. He had been staring at his plate with a morose look on her face for the last ten minutes. Luckily, Audrey was pretty sure no one but her had noticed, given that all eyes were on James animatedly imitating Lily standing on his porch in the rain with a ukulele for the benefit of their whole extended family while the real Lily in the present day blushed and gave him the stink eye.
“What’s wrong?” she mouthed across the table.
Henry shook his head and smiled, a brief, tight smile that did nothing to reassure Audrey that she hadn’t completely freaked him out by inviting him to meet her entire family only a few months in. For the rest of the meal, Audrey couldn’t help but keep sneaking glances down the table, hoping that her Aunt Nell wasn’t talking Henry’s ear off, hoping that her father’s tendency to go crazy on the jalapeno peppers wasn’t making Henry gag, hoping that he would catch her looking and give her that wide smile that still managed after all this time to make her stomach do flips.
His hand slipped into hers as the stepped off the front stoop of her childhood home, pulling her aside to the quiet recess of bushes where Audrey had hidden from her siblings as a child during games of hide and seek. She stopped and looked up at him, waiting for him to say something, anything. Anything except that it was over, that tonight had been too much. Maybe it would be better if she said something. Maybe she should say…
“I can’t play ukulele. And my singing voice is shit.”
Audrey blinked. “ I’m sorry? What… what are you…”
Henry looked down at their clasped hands and sighed, “I just… hearing James and Lily tell the story of how they got together, I couldn’t help but think that I should have done something like that for you. All I did was ask if you wanted to get tea sometime. I couldn’t even think of a grand speech to make before I kissed you the first time.”
Audrey laughed, the relief bubbling up inside her. “That’s why you’ve been weird all night? Oh my god, thank god. Henry, believe me, I am so glad we are not Lily and James. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lily now and I couldn’t be happier for them. But the whole love-hate five years of sniping at each other and then finally realizing their true feelings when it’s almost too late? I’m sorry, but my brother is kind of ridiculous. Henry, I didn’t want a grand romantic gesture. ” She wrapped her arms his neck and stood up on her tiptoes, leaning in, nose to nose. “I wanted tea dates and corny magic tricks and marathons of Buffy. I wanted you. You big dork.”
Five minutes later, Audrey and Henry emerged from the bushes, slightly ruffled but smiling broadly. As they walked hand in hand towards Henry’s car, Henry lightly nudged Audrey in the side and at her questioning look, said, “So, corny, huh? Thought I wouldn’t notice that, didn’t you? No more napkin tricks for you, ma principessa.”
AN: My head canon says that Audrey spends the next month leaving magic coins and decks of card around Henry’s apartment, trying to convince him to do a trick for her. He finally gives in after she starts leaving stuffed toy rabbits around the house. The dogs are really disappointed when he makes these “toys” disappear.