figure in repose

Physically, Sir Percy Blakeney was undeniably handsome–always excepting the lazy, bored look which was habitual to him. He was always irreproachable dressed, and wore the exaggerated “Incroyable” fashions, which had just crept across from Paris to England, with the perfect good taste innate in an English gentleman. On this special afternoon in September, in spite of the long journey by coach, in spite of rain and mud, his coat set irreproachably across his fine shoulders, his hands looked almost femininely white, as they emerged through billowy frills of finest Mechline lace: the extravagantly short-waisted satin coat, wide-lapelled waistcoat, and tight-fitting striped breeches, set off his massive figure to perfection, and in repose one might have admired so fine a specimen of English manhood, until the foppish ways, the affected movements, the perpetual inane laugh, brought one’s admiration of Sir Percy Blakeney to an abrupt close.

To Be Continued

Harry Styles, AU, Mature

(a/n: author!Harry, pining friend request. it’s almost pitiful. warning for sexual content.)

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Dashing through the puddles on the sidewalk as the rain pelted her from every direction, Susie scurried to the gate, typing in the code and rushing through the iron bars. She wasn’t in proper attire to really be running anywhere, but she almost welcomed the clean water rinsing the stain of vomit from the bottom of her khakis. Trying to hold her bag over her head to keep her glasses somewhat dry, she bound for the short set of stairs and released a rushed breath when she finally stood beneath the overhang.

She could hear the familiar scuff of boots on the newly renovated hardwood floors.

Knocking lightly, she waited a moment before it opened to reveal a very dapperly dressed Harry Styles. The look on his face was one she was very familiar with as well: disappointed judgment and frustration. “Why didn’t you just call?” he sighed. He lifted the collar of his black pea coat and lifted the large black suitcase from the floor.

Pulling her glasses from her face and placing them atop her head, Susie rolled her eyes and wiped the mascara now running beneath them. “I didn’t really have time to call you. And my phone died. I don’t need you to pick me up. I rode the bus. Like I always do.”

“Next time, call me,” he responded, tight lipped.

She’d lost count of how many times he’d said that phrase to her. Nodding and stepping aside, Harry walked past her and set the expensive luggage down on the dampened porch.

“Where are you going this time? Looking a bit like Edgar Allan Poe,” she asked, shaking the chill off from the rain.

Pulling his eyes from the hypnotizing drops of the rain, he said, “I think Spain? I don’t know. The book was just released there. I just go where they tell me.”

She smiled at his unintentional downplay of the importance of his life. “I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time wherever they take you.”

Harry smiled and ran a hand through his hair, too long to tame any longer. While his mother continually mentioned the cutting of it, Susie admired the soft curls that fell over his shoulders. “Alright. Same as always. Thank you, again. I always appreciate you. I made sure there were the red Popsicles you like in the freezer. Save me one, yeah?”

“Alright, Harry,” she smiled tightly. “Be safe.”

Harry grabbed his bag and jogged quickly down the stairs to the rain covered Range Rover in the drive way. Throwing his bag into the backseat, he slammed the door closed and ran back up the stairs. Grabbing Susie and pulling her to his body, he hugged her tightly. “I’ll see you,” he whispered in her ear. Harry released her and ran back to his car. Surprised by the full body hug, she watched him climb into his car without a look spared.

Harry had been acting weird the past few weeks, much weirder than normal. Not that Harry was weird, per se. But many of his words and actions didn’t seem like they were coming from the man she’d known for the past few years. More subdued than she’d ever seen him, he seemed shy and nervous around her and that was unsettling.

Watching as the gate closed behind him, Susie wiped under her eyes and hoped she didn’t get the new floors of Harry’s house too wet.

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Susie met Harry three years before when he’d moved in just across the hall from her. It was a dumpy little place, held together with tape and glue and half-assed attempts at securing the building with haphazardly hammered nails. It wasn’t great, but it was a place to live.

Harry had knocked on her door late into the evening on that first night. Unable to find it within herself to ignore the knocking, she got up from the couch and opened the door. Haggard looking, a little like death warmed over, Harry’s eyes pled his case before he even opened his mouth.

Explaining that he was Harry and had just moved in across the hall, he mentioned with an awkward rub to the back of his neck that he was hungry. Opening her door to the stranger, she invited him in wordlessly and made him a can of soup.

From that moment on, Harry clung to her side. He never left the building much, unless he was with Susie. She found it comforting to always have someone to rely on. To always have someone to spend a bit of time with. She learned he wrote short stories for a popular website but would never share them with her until they were published online. She also learned that it was his goal to become a real life published author.

Harry was kind and polite. He was attentive and interested. He was interesting. He was very handsome and fit and so much everything she’d ever want in a partner. They got along better than she’d ever gotten along with anyone in her entire life.

Susie was a lonely soul. Not to say that she was sad to be alone; quite the contrary. Susie liked to be alone. And Harry? Harry respected that. He respected her silence and the time they spent together yet separate. It was welcomed after a life filled with “you should get out more” and “it’s not good to always be alone” spoken to her from everyone she’d ever known.

But she had a gross realization one afternoon. Harry sat in the worn chaise lounge near the window, writing in a leather bound journal he often had with him. And as she looked up from the book she was reading, she could hear the thumping of her heart clearly. It was different and almost terrifying as she let her eyes roam over his reposed figure. Trying to look away and focus back on the letters before her seemed an impossible task.

The silence suddenly seemed overwhelming. The light of the sun filtering into the flat was too bright and it became too much. Slamming her book closed, she threw the knitted blanket from her body and avoided Harry’s gaze she now knew settled on her.

“Everything alright?” he asked, his pen poised carefully over the dull white pages.

Nodding silently, Susie put her head in her hands and thought about how much she loved Harry Styles.

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