These words strike Robbie completely unprepared and he tumbles back with a silent gasp. But Sportacus’ hand is still on his shoulder and holding him, keeping him from falling. At once, he’s eying the villain with obvious concern “Robbie! What’s wrong?! Are you dizzy?!?”
Yes, he is. But he would never admit that openly, of course. And right now, his mind is struggling with much more difficult subjects than dizziness. “…You… You don’t mean that!…” he shakes his head, his breathing becoming shallow and labored “You DON’T care!”
“Yes, I DO,” the hero tries to keep his voice down and calm, but it turns out to be more and more difficult with Robbie acting this strange “Please, Robbie. Listen to me. I REALLY care about you. And I REALLY want to help you. I’m already trying to, can’t you see that?”
“This is a trick!” Robbie tries to regain control over his body and tries to push the hero off again, his eyes reflecting desperation, confusion and fear “You’re just lying, trying to make fun of me! You CAN’T care, because I’m your ENEMY!”
“I’m neither capable of lying, nor would I ever make fun of you,” Sportacus tries a small smile, his voice soft but insistent, but he’s still not letting go of Robbie’s arm “And you are NOT my enemy. You are my friend, Robbie.”
“Friend?!” the villain forces a fake, dry laugh “I try to chase you out of town on a regular schedule! In other words, I want to get RID of you! How does THAT fit into being friends?!”
“You don’t really want me to leave, we both know that. If you truly wanted to get rid of me, you just needed to increase the sugar content in one of the fake apples, you always give me. You’re smart enough to figure that that would very likely kill me,” Sportacus meets the villain’s gaze unflinching with serious eyes “And you wouldn’t have sent me that letter, asking for my help today if you didn’t trust me in a way. And trust is what friendship is all about. And…also love…” his grip on Robbie’s shoulder loosens a little to reduce his feeling of being caged in, but still stays in place to offer physical, as well as psychical support “…And just so you know… I trust you, as well. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here now.” Robbie just stares at the gentle, blue eyes of the town hero for a few seconds. He knows that every single word, Sportacus just uttered is true. Of course, he could’ve hurt or even killed the other a long time ago, if he wanted to. But he never even thought about that. He’s the villain, yes, but he would never purposefully harm anyone! Sportacus the least! …Not even if he knew that the strange feeling in his stomach would disappear, if the hero was gone for good…
Then he suddenly realizes that he’s trembling noticeably and quickly crosses his arms in front of his chest again, in a weak attempt to cover this. Forcing his thoughts back into the current situation, he lowers his eyes again, his voice raspy and a little shaking, as well “…Can’t you just leave me alone, finally?!…”
“No. That would betray your trust and only make you feel worse. Believe me,” Sportacus squeezes his shoulder once more, before placing the hand on his back instead “Please, let’s sit down and try to talk about this again, okay?” It’s probably just because he hasn’t slept and eaten anything in days, but Robbie starts to feel weak and his trembling gets worse. Sitting down doesn’t sound so bad as a chance to prevent himself from blacking out any minute because of sheer exhaustion. So he shrugs and doesn’t fight back anymore when the hero gently nudges him to the bench. Once, they’re sitting down again, he mumbles with fake annoyance “I really don’t know what has come over me when I sent you that stupid message! None of this would’ve happened if both of us simply stayed where they belong! You, up in your stupid airship and I, in my quiet lair!”
Sportacus doesn’t reply to this. He looks at Robbie and studies him precisely. His hunched shoulders and completely tense but shaking posture. His fingers, now holding on to the edge of the bench so tight, his knuckles turn white. His exhaustion reflecting face with his tired but also still confused, scared and desperate, grey eyes…
“…Aren’t you gonna say anything?…” Robbie’s voice is low and strained, as if his rant has drained him of his last bit of energy. Sportacus blinks and slowly shakes his head “This time, I listen and you talk,” answering on the villain’s surprised gaze, he explains “I’m sorry, I tried to push you to answer my questions earlier. I honestly only tried to help. But…maybe it’s easier for you to just talk about anything you want for now. I promise, I’ll listen closely. And as for your question about the existence of love…” he pauses for a few seconds “…For the moment, I can only give you my word that it does exist. And I really hope…that this is enough for you to know to let me help you and…that you don’t run off now, that you got the answer, you called me for…” his eyes get afraid and begging. Robbie takes a deep, slow breath in and closes his eyes for a few seconds, considering his options. Then he answers lowly “…I won’t… On one condition,” he turns his head to meet Sportacus’ awaiting gaze “…YOU talk now!…”
I wonder what Jack and Bitty are doing for their anniversary!!
I bet Jack comes down to visit. I mean, he was going to come anyway for graduation, but this just makes it even more important. And I can’t even imagine how hard it is for them if they’re not out yet. Having to touch and look at and be with each other, without *really* being with each other.
I wonder if they get coffee at Annie’s, just for old time’s sake. When they get back to the Haus, does Jack walk Bitty up to Chowder’s room, pull him in softly, and give him the sweetest kiss that leaves Bitty dizzy? The answer: yes. Yes he does.
At then at night when everyone leaves, after a day of hugs and tears and happiness, Jack takes Bitty back to Providence with him. They only have a day before Bitty’s flight to Georgia, but they make the best of it.
I wonder what they get each other. Bitty probably does that thing where he writes a bunch of letters saying things like “Read when you’re feeling down” and “Read when you miss me” and even sneaks a love letter or two in there. (Also: panties. Pink lace. Just sayin.)
And Jack. Oh, sweet Canadian butterfly. I bet he does something absolutely ridiculous. Beyoncé tickets, books a week long trip to Paris, who knows. He also totally makes a slideshow of all the pictures/videos he has of Bitty. And yeah, Lardo had to show him how to set it all up. And yeah, Bitty cries. A lot.
They totally just order take out and eat that cuddling in their pajamas on Jack’s couch, the History channel playing softly in the background. And then Bitty’s there, right in Jack’s space, straddling his lap. Bitty leans in and kisses Jack slowly, and Jack feels electric, like he’s falling in love with Bitty all over again.
“I am so in love with you,” Jack confeses, hands gripping Bitty’s hips, and it makes Bitty shiver.
And it’s absolutely perfect, they have the best first anniversary, everything is wonderful and lovely and these boys couldn’t be happier.