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Old Home Place 1985 von anoldent Über Flickr: The summer after I finished school I set off into the mountains of North Carolina to build a log cabin, armed with a few books, and hand tools, but no experiance or skills. I set up my tent and expected it to take six weeks to build. Six months later I still hadn’t finished the chimney or started the roof. But this is what it looked like on a misty November morning a few years later.
I lived here for about eight years, and owned it for about fifteen years after I built it in 1976 with local fieldstone and oak logs I cut, peeled and notched on the site, working alone with hand tools. It had no plumbing, I carried water from a nearby spring, and I heated it in winter with about half a cord of wood a week which I cut and burned in the open fireplace. Eventually I moved into Asheville and had to sell it, but it was a large part of my life, and I miss it more with each passing year.
She grew up with her sisters, Bella and Cissy, respectively.
She didn’t have a nickname.
But he calls her Andy.
The first time it happens it booms out across the oak-leaf splattered quad like a the swing of a woodcutter’s axe.
‘Oi, Andy! Andy! Andromeda! Black!’
That gets her attention. The mention of her family name, her upheaval, her responsibility, what her sisters would say if they saw Ted Tonks, Muggle-born, upright and sturdy, striding across the quad with the sun streaking through his head of tawny hair and his amber eyes shining –
‘What do you want?’ she swipes, not unkindly, brisk, blunt, to-the-point.
He gives her a filthy, lopsided grin. It makes her heart ache. ‘Is that any way to greet an old friend?’
‘We’re not friends,’ she reminds him, taking off, legs cloaked in opaque stockings striding against the short length of her black, pleated skirt, a book pressed to the torso of her sweater.
‘What makes you say that?’ He asks, ever cheeky, jogging to catch up with her, all lumbering and broad-shouldered and grinning, fuck –
‘I said, we’re not friends. Tick off.’
‘Tick off? Really, Black?’
‘Go away, Tonks.’
‘No can do, Black. I have a bone to pick with you.’
‘Why d’you say we’re not friends?’
‘Why d’you say we’re not friends? Why d’you look at me in Charms and then look away? Why do you linger around the aisles in the library like there’s a bad smell under your nose?’
She considers this, an accosted look slapped across her face, her resemblance to her sisters probably never more pronounced. She considers, considers the fact that she has been looking, the fact that yes, she has been looking at Ted Tonks, and yes, he has been looking back.
He has been looking back, just as he is now, head cocked to one side, funny, thoughtful, lips twisted in a wry smile, eyes full of the sun.
She answers him, lips tight and expression tight and the whole length of her body, tight. ‘I don’t know,’ she says, her lips still pressed together as she sets off, stalking back across the length of the quad, back straight.
He doesn’t follow her.
He kissed her when they were fourteen.
It was Truth or Dare and it was a Hufflepuff winning streak and it was him, all gangly limbs and shoulders that were yet to be filled out and hands, hands everywhere, pressing her into the stone wall just outside the library.
‘What are you doing?’ she whispered, quietly, softly, insistently, as he pulled back a hair’s breadth. His eyes were still closed.
‘Andromeda,’ he says, none-too-condescendingly, pink lips parted in silent appraisal, his breath caught between them, smelling like the woods on an Autumn day and distinctly boyish, ‘I’m kissing you.’
He does it again, lips soft and rough and roguish, all at once. He’s not that much taller than her.
She pulls away.
‘Don’t,’ she says, softly, venomously, low and dangerous and threatening, ‘ever do that again.’
He looks accosted, in his own, quiet way, wary and cautious and full of understanding.
And for three years, he doesn’t.
That’s how she hears him describe her to Clancy Goshawk in the Great Hall when she asks him why she looks like she has a stick up her ass.
‘She’s….’ Ted thinks, thoughtfully, for a moment, eyes full of puppyish hope, lips pursed. Boyish. ‘…resigned.’
‘Resigned?’ Clancy practically shrieks, falling back in her chair. She tosses her hair, slightly, casting a sly, backward glance in Andromeda’s direction. ‘You’re too nice to her, Tonks. You’ve got it bad.’
‘What can I say,’ he says, cheekily, wafting a hand, ‘I’m a man of many secrets.’
She smirks into her porridge.
‘We’re friends, aren’t we?’ He asks her, one day, catching up to her on her way back from the library.
‘No,’ she answers, shortly, then amends herself, quieter, softer, ‘no, we’re not.’
The puppy cocks his head to one side, surveying her, then says, ‘Can I change your mind on that?’
‘No,’ she says. ‘No, you can’t.’
‘Oh, well,’ he replies, smirkingly, walking backwards, eyes twinkling, ‘I’m going to, anyway,’
The broad-shouldered, cheeky git stumbles, crashing straight into McGonagall with an undignified squawk and a tip of his hat.
She sighs. Damn him, she thinks. Damn him to hell.
But she’s smiling.
When Andromeda smiles, it’s never full blown, nor is it minor, incompetent, miniscule.
He decides that he wants to make her smile more often.
Ted Tonks may have been a lot of things, but he wasn’t disrespectful.
So when he asks Andromeda why she doesn’t like him, it’s in the quiet, in the hazy hours of the afternoon, on a Sunday, in the back corner of the library.
She’s never there to study. She doesn’t need to. She could pass pretty much all her classes with her eyes shut.
She’s there to read.
She spends all of her time, lazily, eyes soft, thumbing a novel, daintily covered, embroidered in gold thread or upholstered in velvet or bound in leather.
She likes books about stars. He has no idea why.
Ted Tonks may not have been disrespectful, but he was certainly blunt.
‘Why don’t you like me?’ He asks her, brows furrowed.
She doesn’t start, just glances up at him, slowly, like she only just noticed he was there. Her eyes narrow.
‘I beg your pardon?’ She uses that voice again, low and harsh and dangerous. He thinks of her older sister.
‘I said,’ he slides into a seat next to her, ‘why don’t you like me?’
She doesn’t say anything. He continues.
‘Everyone likes me,’ he says, throwing an arm out, always gesturing with those muscled, beefy arms of his, ‘I like Quidditch and I’m not too shabby in classes, and I try to be nice to people. I try to be nice to you, Andromeda.’ He looks quietly furious, dropping his voice low. ‘Why don’t you like me?’
She has gone rigid, taught, eyes fixed on the table, legs pressed together. She’s quietly furious, too, but it’s a different kind. Where Ted is a raging inferno blazing 5 000 miles away, Andromeda is a bed of embers that threatens engulf your entire existence.
‘It’s not,’ she begins quietly, voice measured, breaths measured, ‘that I don’t like you, Tonks.’ He waits. ‘It’s that I do like you. Very much, in fact.’
He’s too confused to be elated. ‘Too much,’ she reiterates, in case he isn’t getting the message.
‘I don’t understand,’ he growls, not unkindly, ‘if you like me so much, then why don’t you –‘
‘Tonks,’ she interrupts him. She’s gone rigid, again. ‘It’s not up to me. I can like you all I want, and nothing’s ever going to happen. You must understand. It’s not up to me.’
He scowls. ‘Then who is it up to?’
She whispers. ‘Who do you think?’
There’s a second where he doesn’t speak. ‘Your family?’ he says, disbelieving.
She looks like she’s about to get angry, like, really angry, but measures herself at the last second, reigning in her anger like a fish on a line. ‘Ted, no. I – I can’t. I mean, yes, it is them. But, but I can’t – Agrippa, Merlin, fuck – ‘
She just swore. She never swears.
He looks at the table. She grabs his arm. Her eyes are filled with tears. He wants to punch a wall. ‘Ted,’ she whispers, imploringly. ‘Don’t you understand? You can’t make me choose –‘
‘I’m not making you choose.’ He interrupts her.
‘Yes – ’ she hisses, ‘ – you –’ her voice raises, ‘ –are!’ she yells.
He notices that she doesn’t yell like anyone he’s heard before. It’s low and guttural, not high or shrieking, like she’s spent her whole life talking in measured breaths. Maybe she has.
‘Ted,’ she continues, quietly, softly, ‘you are making me choose. Just by being around me. Because I can either have you or have my family. And I can’t have you.’
He’s not even quietly furious, now. He’s blatantly furious. He’s angry. And Ted is an angry crier.
‘I’m sorry,’ she chokes out, bitter.
‘Good thing nothing’s even happened between us, then,’ he tries to joke, but it splinters between his lips. It sounds like a slap.
‘I’m smart enough to know where this could go,’ she says, simply. She’s right. She is smart. She’s too smart. Too smart for him, anyway.
Andromeda doesn’t feel things quietly.
He gets up from the table.
She lets him go.
She thinks, after that, that she’s made her choice.
She kisses him when they’re sixteen.
There were utterances, splattered all over her Summer, her sister, making jibes and curses about Muggleborns, about Ted Tonks, about their younger cousin and his friends.
She marches into the Charms classroom on the first day back, and its empty save for Ted Tonks. She knew he’d be here. She knew he’d be alone. And she came anyway.
And he’s there, all 5’11 and sandy hair and warm, hazy, casual brown eyes, an easy gait and broad, broad, muscled shoulders, like he probably spent his whole summer chopping wood, and corded forearms and legs swathed in his fucking well-fitting woolen gray pants and rolled-up shirtsleeves and an askew Hufflepuff tie and a simple, easy, ear-splitting grin that breaks his face when he sees her, like he’s happy to see her, which he probably is.
‘Andy,’ he breathes. He’s still smiling.
She makes a choice.
She throws herself at him.
She becomes all about choices.
She chooses to draw him into the broom cupboard on the Fourth Floor, she chooses to visit him in the Hufflepuff Common Room on Tuesday night, she chooses to laugh at his jokes in Care of Magical Creatures.
She makes her choices.
She just isn’t choosing him.
It happens in the quiet, on the downlow, away from her sisters’ prying eyes and the word-of-mouth and that nosy Fourth Year who can’t keep her mouth shut.
She doesn’t sit with him in the Great Hall.
She doesn’t hold his hand on the way to Charms.
She doesn’t return his letters.
Ted Tonks also makes a choice.
He corners her after Charms, when she’s packing her books into her bag and straightening her shoulders and doing a great job of ignoring him.
She doesn’t look at him as he nears her.
‘We need to talk.’
It makes her start, almost imperceptibly, but she presses her lips together and keeps her eyes downcast and looks as though she has no idea what he’s talking about. The words bore a whole in her.
‘What about?’ She says on the sly, nose titled.
She goes to leave when he doesn’t answer, but he grabs her wrists. He’s desperate.
She holds his gaze. ‘Let go of me.’ Her voice is even.
He does. ‘I can’t do this anymore.’
She looks as though she hasn’t heard him, tipping her head up to look at him, back straight. ‘What?’ Her voice breaks on the word. It’s small. She ticks.
‘Andy,’ he says quietly. ‘I can’t do this anymore.’
She courses back, eyes wild. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ Moving past him, she’s almost at the threshold when –
‘Yes, you do.’
She turns around.
‘Andy, I – ’ He starts. ‘Andromeda. You know – ’ His voice breaks. ‘I can’t do this. It – it hurts. It’s not enough. I mean, it’s good and all, snogging you – ’ He catches her smile. He mentally kicks himself in the shins. ‘ – but I can’t – ’ Her face breaks with his voice. ‘I can’t keep doing this. I want – I want more – ’ He steps forward, taking her hands. ‘I want you.’
She wrenches her hands from his grasp. ‘Teddy, that’s all well and good, but –‘
‘Don’t.’ He stops her. ‘Don’t pull that ‘Black Family Values’ crap on me.’ It may be the darkest selection of words he’s ever said to her, like he doesn’t know, but of course he knows, he knows all about the training stamped into her posture, the stillness in her eyes, the clasping of her hands, her voice –
‘I told you before.’ There it is again. Still. Calm. Deadly. ‘I don’t have a choice.’
‘I know,’ he wrenches the words out, ‘I know. And I can’t ask you to choose. Because it hurts you. And if there’s one thing I don’t want –‘ He reaches for her again. She lets him hold her arm. ‘It’s to hurt you.’
‘You are hurting me, Tonks.’ She says, evenly. She’s looking up at him through her lashes, the blunt strands of her hair. It kills him.
‘Then – fine.’ He says. ‘I’m not making you choose.’ He releases her. ‘You can have your family, Andy. I’m out of the running.’
Her eyes widen, even though she probably knew what he was going to do two steps before he did it.
‘You don’t have to choose me. I’m not a choice. Because it hurts too much to have you, but not be with you. It hurts me, Andy. I want you. Everything about you. I – ’ He utters the next words, quietly, looking at the floor. ‘I love you.’
She doesn’t let him finish.
She goes for almost a whole year without speaking to him, properly.
But it doesn’t stop the sun from bleeding in through the ink, like a kind of poison.
They smile at each other during class.
He sits nearer to her in the Great Hall.
He drops off Muggle books for her in the Library.
And it’s just like it was when they were fourteen.
Being with each other.
But not being with each other.
It lasts for almost a year.
And then they graduate.
And then it stops.
Andromeda Black makes a choice when she’s seventeen.
She packs her bags and whirls Cissy into a hug so tight that she thinks about the chinaware on display in their Mother’s vanity cabinet, leaves Bella all the books about horses they used to share when they were 10, empties out her drawers and leaves a note on her dresser, because they knew, they knew all along.
And it’s all just too much, anyway.
The sly glances and the easy smiles and the causal touches from him, and the snide remarks and tight-lipped expressions and underlying disapproval from them. They all rose to a crescendo in her ears that was so loud it felt as though she was drowning, that her ears were bleeding. She cut the chords.
Andromeda Black has a piece of parchment in her hand with a scratchy address on it, ripped from the envelope of Ted’s last letter, one that she didn’t respond to.
She treks through the woodland bordering a cottage, and she remembers, just as she thought when she held the paper in her hand and apparated there five minutes ago, that it’s peaceful, that it’s serene, that it’s beautiful.
We could have horses, she thinks. I could have horses.
And there’s a small bump swimming under the lace folds of her petticoat and tears swimming in front of her eyes as squashes bluebells under the soles of her riding boots.
The cottage is small, and cosy, built of stone and host to a chimney that leaves gusts of smoke drifting on the afternoon air.
And he’s there, standing in the yard, swinging an axe, wearing a thin flannel with that’s gone transparent and sweat forming on his brow, with a determined and hewn expression, somehow more at peace and more unhappy than she’s ever seen him.
And she’s there, standing at the edge of the wood, in a dress and a tweed blazer with a suitcase in one hand and the other resting on her stomach.
He sees her.
And it takes all of five seconds before he’s dropped the axe and she’s dropped her suitcase, and he surges toward her and she’s sprinting against the folds of her cotton dress, and he grabs her and she wraps her legs around him and his arms grasp her back and her waist and she holds his steady, steady jawline and kisses him like she’s wanted to for the past five years, completely and unburdened and without thought.
And he holds her against him, waiting even after they’ve pulled back, both of their eyes closed and their noses a hair’s breadth away. Her breathing is unsteady.
He lowers her to the ground with such care and thought and adoration it makes her heart break, making sure her footing is steady and that she’s standing upright that she has to swat him off, consumed with laughter, alight with happiness, her chest full of it, of him.
‘Teddy,’ she whispers against him, shaky. His hand cradles the back of her neck.
And she says the words that she’s wanted to say ever since she told him no, that she had a choice, and that the choice wasn’t him. Her voice breaks and her eyes are full of morning dew.
It’s our second summer here in Gravity Falls, and so far it has been VERY different from our first summer here. No big conspiracies nor mysteries popping up, no ominous hints of things to come, no great divides between family and friends. Everything has been … normal. Typical Gravity Falls weirdness, yes, but … normal. Uneventful, in the grand scheme of things. Safe.
I guess it’s to be expected - everyone’s a year older and an apocalypse wiser. Facing your fears - literally - gives you a different perspective on life.
Ford and I have gone on mystery hunts and scientific expeditions together - but more often than not, Mabel and Stan tag along too. Mabel is still just as boy-crazy as she was last summer (don’t even get me STARTED on the antics she got up to when that theatre troupe visited town last week - UGH) but … she keeps me in the loop now. She actually TURNED DOWN A DATE because ‘Friday night is family movie night, no exceptions.’ I actually checked her with one of Ford’s scanners to see if she’d been replaced by an alien. She laughed and called me an overreacting bean, whatever that means (the test came back negative, by the way).
Stan is still Stan. He makes fun of my ‘nerdiness’ a lot, just like last summer, and he still makes me do any of the difficult or dangerous chores around the Shack (Soos took two months of honeymoon leave for the summer. The wedding was the second day we got here). He’s still the same old miserly, con-artist Mr. Mystery. But … he’s closed the Shack TWICE in the three weeks since we got here. Both on Saturday! And all to have a ‘Family Bonding’ day. The four of us went fishing and hunting for lake monsters the first Saturday. The second Saturday we went berry-picking up in the mountains for strawberries. Ford and I catalogued six different winged cryptids on the hike. Stan started a ‘who can pick the most strawberries’ contest and Mabel almost fell off a cliff trying to reach as many as she could (she won, by the way). And Stan says it’s Family Bonding again this Sunday.
Ford brings his research upstairs pretty often now. Stan yells at him to “get that science junk off of my kitchen table, WE EAT FOOD THERE POINDEXTER” pretty often, but he never chases Ford back to the basement like he would have last summer. There’s no heat in the arguments any more. I think that the trip to the Arctic was a good thing for BOTH of them. They’re finally acting like - like siblings again. Like me and Mabel. And Ford is different too. He doesn’t jump every time someone sneaks up on him anymore. Whenever we go on mystery hunts or expeditions, FORD is the one to invite the others to come along. It’s fun to go on expeditions with just me and Ford, but … it’s nice to be a family.
Soos and Melody have the whole main floor to themselves (along with Abuelita) so Ford’s secret study has been repurposed as his bedroom and Stan kept his room on the second floor. Soos assured me and Mabel that we can stay in the attic “As long as you want. You dudes could move in here with me and Melody and Abuelita and the Mr. Pineses when you get old enough! If you still wanna live in Gravity Falls, that is. Ha ha!” I don’t know about Mabel, but I am seriously considering the offer.
Everything is different now, but everything is the same. I’ve done a bit of growing up this year (I know I say that every year, but it’s really true!) and I’ve realised some very important things.
About last summer.
It’s the normal, everyday things that matter most. It’s saying good morning to your sister when she jumps on your bed to wake you up. It’s getting to drink coffee with your Great-Uncle while you work on a map of the forest together. It’s earning a pat on the head from your other Great-Uncle when you split an entire cord of wood in a day. It’s you and your sister feeding her pet pig all your vegetables when no one is looking and laughing with her when you don’t get caught. It’s watching the people you helped save go to the grocery store, play in the park, eat a picnic, fly a kite, laugh with their family, go to the pool, save a kitten, fall in love.
It’s life, with all its normal joys.
Don’t get me wrong. I will never stop loving the strange, the weird, the unknown. Dipper Pines will hunt monsters and mysteries and ghosts his whole life! That is a promise! But I will appreciate the normal. I will embrace the everyday. I will cherish the known. Because life isn’t just one or the other.
I’ve made friends with creatures most people don’t believe in and most will never see. And I’ve seen that it’s the same for them. Behind the strangeness and differences are creatures that live lives just like us. They eat. They breath. They play. They cry. They laugh. They love. They live. All of the little things that I am learning to appreciate in my life, they appreciate in their own weird way.
There is a lot that I don’t know, and there is a lot I still have to learn. But I have people I can trust by my side. I have a place full of adventure I can always come back to. I have a lifetime ahead of me to appreciate, to learn, to grow. I have time on my side and my family at my back.
So I forge ahead with confidence into the great unknown of life. “Ad Astra Per Aspera!” as my Grunkle Ford likes to say.
(He also says that space travel in this dimension is extremely primitive and he won’t be caught dead being launched in an Earth spaceship, but we’re fixing up the UFO from last summer, so space exploration won’t be a problem soon.)
Anyway, that’s all for today’s entry. Mabel’s cooking dinner and I heard something about “experimental glitter chicken” so I should probably go do damage control. Stan doesn’t usually care as long as she doesn’t set the house on fire, and Ford will eat ANYTHING. I for one don’t want glitter coating my insides for the rest of eternity. But I’ll let Mabel eat her wacky concoctions. They haven’t killed anyone yet and they make her happy, so live and let live I guess. And as usual,
P.S. I hear the smoke alarm going off now. This will be fun.
Dipper Pines reminds me a lot of myself when I was becoming a teenager. I shared many of his doubts and fears - trust no one and if I’m not the smart guy, then who am I? chief among them. But I also learned, like he did, that you don’t have to grow up so quickly to be smart and liked. That you can trust people, and things will still turn out okay. To love and appreciate the people you have while you have them. That there is so much more to each of us than a single defining feature. That you can be a child while you are a child, and being silly and having fun is not childish. It is living.
This little excerpt is what I imagine Dipper’s own journal entries to be like. I drew inspiration from the introduction and conclusion to the series that Dipper himself narrated, as well as the snippet of his writing that we got to hear at the end of the first episode. I always imagined that the entire series was being narrated by Dipper either to potential readers in his own journal or to his classmates in his “Summer Report” for school.
Gianni Colombo Topoestesia – tre zone contigue (itinerario programmato) [Topoesthesia – three contiguous zones (programmed itinerary)], 1965-70 Elastic cord, wood, iron, black light, red light on both fluorescent and non-fluorescent colours (green, red and fluorescent green) 325 x 465 x 614 cm
hellooo, i love your writing!!! for the ship&prompt, #9,26, or 28 with nalu? ^^' sorry to bother, i just thought they sounded interesting [:
Nalu: 28: Knocking on the wrong door AU:
Hope you like it :)
“I’m so bored,” I groaned, hitting my head back on a computer behind me.
I shifted uncomfortably, feeling my head about to blow up if I stayed in this van any longer. It was cramped and cluttered with monitors and cameras everywhere, and burning hot from the electricity. Not to mention I was stuck with this asshole next to me.
“Quit complaining already. Keep your eyes on her.” Gray, my partner said.
We we’re on a stakeout right now, and I swear I’ve never felt more bored in my life. We were told there was a potential bomb threat inside this congresswoman’s house, except it needed to be activated from somewhere close for it to be able to detonate. So now we sat here, watching the streets and this sixty year old lady do paperwork for three houses straight.
“I’m gonna bash my head into the wall.” I sighed, pressing my head against the tempting metal door.
“I’ll do it for you if you don’t shut the hell up already,” He snapped, his fingers on his temple and eyes glued to the screen.
A little aggressive if you ask me.
Gray suddenly jerked up, his eyes wide at the screen. “Dude, I think we got something.”
I looked to where he was and saw a shadowy figure in the lady’s backyard, treading slowly and quietly.
“He’s within 50 feet, we gotta go now!” He yelled, tossing me my gun and grabbing his own.
“I got it, call for backup!” I shouted, bursting out the doors of the van and running across the street.
I hurried up the porch steps, banging on the front door and spamming the doorbell, yelling for the lady to open up. I heard quick feet come from upstairs, and someone peek at me from behind the curtain of her window.
The door opened, and I can honestly say it wasn’t what I was expecting.
“Officer? What’s the matter?” A lady said, her tone concerned.
She was naked, all but a towel held tightly to her chest, and her blonde hair soaking wet, creating a puddle on the floor beneath her. Oh…did I just make her jump out of her shower?
Wait, who was she? The old woman’s daughter or something? I shook my head, getting it on straight.
“Are you okay? Is there someone in here?” I asked, sliding past her to look around in her rooms.
I held my gun in front of me, hearing her behind me, “What? Why would someone be in here?”
We didn’t know where the bomb was, or if there even was one, but I didn’t like taking this chance.
I peeked inside a study, looking back to her behind me, “Is your mom here? Or grandma or something?”
Where the hell was that old lady?
“What? No,” she answered, “Is there a murder around or something?”
I looked around the room, checking the windows and meeting my eyes back to hers, still holding on her towel.
“No-well actually,” I sighed, trying to think it over quickly, “Maybe. It’s complicated.”
What I didn’t get was why I couldn’t find this old lady and where the hell this ‘figure’ went.
“I just don’t get w-”
I ducked under a window, my eyes bulging.
“NATSU YOU HEADASS! YOU’RE IN THE WRONG FUCKING HOUSE!” Gray screamed, hopping the fence to the neighbors backyard.
I froze. Ohh…
I spun around, the girl staring at me, worried. “Who was that screaming?”
“Uh-” My eyes wandered, slowly stepping around her towards the bedroom door. “Ye-it’s all clean in here, just uh, stay down for meanwhile okay?”
I ran back out to the hallway towards the front door and heard her following me, “Should I evacuate or something?”
I stopped a few feet from her, giving her a distracted grin, “Yeah, yeah. I mean I’ll be done with it all soon, so you know, no big deal, but yeah.”
I slipped on the puddle in front of her open door, stumbling out and catching myself on her porch.
“My vans uh, right there so,” I pointed behind me as she slowly came to her door, raising a perfect eyebrow and smiling.
“Okay,” she nodded, giving me a look.
“Okay,” I laughed, walking backwards down her stairs, hearing Gray screaming at me to get my ass over there, “I gotta go, I-yeah.”
I bolted from her house and hopped the fence next door, seeing Gray trying to restrain the guy. “It’s under the porch, get it!”
I ran and slid underneath her foundation as they wrestled for the detonation device, crawling around in cold dirt and cobwebs. I searched furiously, catching a red light in the corner of my eye. I crawled and tugged at the cords attaching to the wood, panicking as I heard it ticking in my hand.
I groaned, furiously kicking my way out from the crawl space, holding it by the end of the cord and saw Gray handcuffing the guy in the grass.
“You got it?” He panted, stomping his foot on the guys back, hearing him groan.
I held up the bomb, “You got it?”
He held up the trigger, smiling.
Police sirens and lights lit up the street, people from the houses nearby stepping out into their yards to see the commotion. I saw Gray pushing the criminal into the cop car, and a bomb squad taking away the device.
I walked out from the lady’s backyard, seeing a familiar face smiling at me, now wearing some shorts and a tank top. I came by her by our van, scratching the back of my head.
“Congratulations, you saved us all,” she joked, leaning against the bumper.
I held out my hands, shrugging, “No biggie right?”
She nodded, a little condescendingly, “Oh yeah. I’m sure it couldn’t have been, if you had time to make sure the naked neighbor next door was okay.”
I stopped on my toes, blowing up my cheeks. Damn…how’d she figure out I wasn’t supposed to be in there?
I saw Gray smirking at me from the sidewalk. That jackass.
“I didn’t know you were naked and all, I’m sorry,” I blurted, seeing her arms crossed over her chest. “It was an accident.”
She nodded slowly, “You’ve been staked out here for what? Four hours? And you didn’t know which house a potential bomb was under?”
I scrunched up my nose, rubbing the bridge of it. “Wasn’t paying that…much attention…” I mumbled, my words barely audible.
“Right.” She sighed, rolling her eyes.
She tossed her wet hair over her shoulder, strolling up to me, “Is there anything else I can help you out with tonight,” she glanced to my name stitched into my shirt, “Officer Dragneel?”
I felt my stomach leap at that. “I think that’s my line…”
“It’s mine tonight.” She countered boldly.
“Yes ma'me..” I joked. She smiled.
“Stick by your station for a little while,” She said, walking back towards her house, “I have a few complaints to call about.”
“Ah…” I swallowed, thinking of my red headed demon as a boss, “Isn’t there something we can work out?”
She stopped, looking back to me to muse it over, “Maybe.”
She suddenly gave a half smile, “Come by here tomorrow, I think I have a few problems I could use a hand with.” I shuffled uncomfortably, “Like that hornets nest by my bedroom window, been bugging me since I moved here. Think you can help with that?”
I sighed, “Do I have a choice?”
She crossed her arms, stepping onto her porch steps. “I think it’s the best offer you’re going to get, so I hope you get used to it.”
I smiled nonetheless, giving her a wrinkle of my nose.
“A little aggressive, if you ask me.”
She stepped in her house, raising an eyebrow, and closing the door.