I’ve been thinking a lot about why this has affected so many of us so deeply. I’m sure a lot of us have heard the phrase, “but he was just a celebrity” or “you didn’t even know him”. And I keep thinking about that. I keep thinking, it isn’t fair, I shouldn’t feel like my entire life has been flipped upside down because of the passing of a person I’ve never met personally. So why does it feel like that?
I think that for most people (and this is coming from an American’s point of view, so seeing mostly American celebrities), celebrities are like these untouchable beings. We know that they’re people, that technically they’re just like us, but it’s like they exist on another plane. Like they’re living on a completely different level, and all we can do is watch them. And for those that do find a deeper connection to these celebrities, the connection can only go so far because of this disconnect.
But SHINee was never really like that. They’ve always been very open and personal with their fans. They’re not afraid to get close physically. Think about Taemin handing out lollipops during their debut era, or Jonghyun sitting outside 5 feet away from fans and talking with them. Yes, there have been incidents where getting too close to the fans caused issues, but for the most part, there was always this trust between the boys and shawols. Like when Jonghyun went down to the audience and told shawols that he knew they wouldn’t hurt him and let them touch his hair.
But that’s just the physical aspect of it. They’ve also been very open in a personal way. Of course, as fans we may never truly know if they were always being themselves, but it really seemed like they were not hiding anything most of the time. If they wanted to cry, they cried. if they wanted to laugh, they laughed. They were always very open about who they are. They were even open about fights they’ve had with each other, when most groups try to keep up the “no we never fight we love each other too much” image.
And with Jonghyun especially, he bared his soul to us. In his writings, in his songs, in his radio show, he never hid how he felt. He connected on such a deep and personal level with so many people because he shared how he felt, and for a lot of us, we felt the same way. Even though we couldn’t respond to him, when he talked on Blue Night about how he was feeling, it would feel like we were having an actual conversation with him. It felt like talking to a friend that understood your struggles.
And I think that’s why it hurts so much. Of course, it’s going to feel differently for fans than for his closest friends and family. But it still hurts so much for fans because it doesn’t feel like we lost someone we never knew, it feels like we lost a friend. We lost someone so important to us, that we connected with on a personal level, past what we just see in performances or music videos. And other people can’t understand that, because they’ve only ever seen celebrities as things meant to entertain, and not as actual people that you can have a deep connection to.
“I can’t believe you’ve never been to a track meet before.”
“I’ve never had a reason to come to one,” you say, defending yourself against Wanda’s accusatory tone and disapproving gaze.
“That’s no excuse,” she responds with a click of her tongue. “Now hurry up, we need to secure a good spot.”
You follow her blindly, not knowing what qualifies as a ‘good spot’. Unlike Wanda who has spent years attending track meets with her brother, you’ve never been to one. Like you told her, you never had a reason to attend one. Not until today.
Plot: The reader is kidnapped, left alone in utter darkness. Once the day of her auctioning comes, she’s given to the head of one of the worlds most powerful gangs, Jungkook. She was nothing but a gift to him. But her little soul turns out to have the power to turn the tides in the worlds angriest ocean. And it turns out, Jungkook isn’t the only man whom eyes have settled upon her.
Warning: Chapter contains sexual content that lacks consent.
I had never thought of an ending to my life as cold. I had never pictured one so stained with hatred - not for others but myself. Deep rooted hatred laid awake within me, the seed of despair beginning to bloom into an issue that over came me. I used to believe that I would die peacefully in a sense, whether it’s brutal or not I would undoubtedly rest. But now that perspective has been flipped up on its head.
Hope had swelled in my heart, a hope that I had finally obtained affection driven towards me. A hope that I was desired, a hope that I held a fragment of importance in a certain someone’s life. But his words had crushed this hope into tiny scattered petals, ones that held burn marks and scars from the scissors he held to cut my heart into pieces. I was wilting under his touch, and instead of helping he grew disgusted and dropped me.
And so the flower was carried by the wind, the wind that held it in its hurdling clutches. The wind was in love with the flame, so it selfishly offered the flower as a gift. And so the petals caught aflame, turning to dust - unable to carry any shame. As it wilted and crumbled it caught the smile of the wind and the glance of the flame, and gracelessly it rose to death.
i love how robert is all about taking responsiblity for the ons when talking to aaron, but the moment aaron is out of the picture it´s all like: me? responsible for this mess i am in? that’s disgusting. and wrong. i don’t even get– why would– i have done nothing wrong, EVER, in my life. the nerve, the audacity. how DARE YOU? maybe YOU`RE THE ONE WHO SHOULD TAKE RESPONSIBLITY?
Prompt: Can you do a Matty fic where you two grew up together? Like best friends since birth, and then as you get older the age gap separates you and eventually you drift apart? But then reconnect in following years? Thanks so much tay :))
Authors note: This took me sooo long to write and I did no proofreading whatsoever, so please pardon the inevitable errors below.
Trigger Warnings: drug use
MATTY HEALY FIC
You’d been obligatory friends for years, because when your parents were best mates, surely you had to be too. Your friendship with Matty was comfortable, genuine, safe, always there, achingly present and solid. You never felt uneasy confiding in Matty, somehow your three year age gap made him seem more worldly, more experienced. You spent the quickly passing school years making one another’s homes your own, your mom called Matty her honorary son, while Matty’s mom doted on you, saying you were the daughter she wished she had. Everyone knew that if they wanted to find Matty, they had to find you first.
The summer that Matty’s ten and you’re seven, is the best in both of your eyes. All of Matty’s friends think he’s way too old to be hanging out with such a little kid, but you’re convinced that you’re a big kid now too. You don’t need to hold your mum’s hand everywhere you go. Matty had taught you how to swim without floaties and you can ride your bike without training wheels. Besides, you and Matty’s friendship surpassed any of the teasing he might get from the other year five kids. You two share everything, popsicles, beds, secrets.
When Matty turns thirteen and you’re ten, it’s like a switch has been flipped. Matty’s discovered music and cigarettes and girls. You’re finally old enough to go places on your own, but Matty’s outgrown the movie theater across town and the ice cream place down the street. Your mum tells you it’s called hormones but you don’t care, you just want to watch VCR’s and eat sweets and fall asleep talking to your best friend every night.
It’s a turning point, ten years of friendship nearly right down the drain.
At sixteen and thirteen, your age gap has never seemed wider. Matty stops coming over and eventually trades in his football cleats for a new guitar, candy for cigarettes, and you for older girls. You feel a bit like you’ve lost part of yourself; a big, important part of yourself that you aren’t sure how to function without. It was bound to happen, your mom tells you, but it still hurts nonetheless. You aren’t really sure that Matty even feels it, not over whatever high he’s chasing next.
By eighteen and fifteen, Matty starts coming around again, but only in the middle of the night, when he’s high out of his mind. You try not to care though. You sneak him in through your bedroom window and let him curl beside you underneath your comforter. Sometimes he’s crying, sometimes he’s shaking so badly he can’t say anything, and sometimes he smells like vodka and cheap perfume. You always hold him and pretend that he isn’t falling apart in front of your very eyes.
On your sixteenth birthday, Matty’s already turned nineteen. He gets you drunk for the first time, even though you swore you’d never touch the stuff, down at the park where Matty taught you how to kick a football around. As you sit on the scratchy blanket from the trunk of your car, taking another swig from the bottle, you realize that in the past sixteen years, Matty’s taught you a lot of things. Not all of them good; you gather from the burning feeling in your throat, but that’s besides the point. What you don’t know is that Matty’s come to the same realization, and it terrifies him. You terrify him. Especially when the moon hangs high above you and Matty’s rambling on about the last song he wrote and you lean over and press your lips smack against his.
In your opinion, the kiss was a long time coming. You’d imagined it before, countless times actually, but knew you’d never be brave enough to actually act on your feelings. At least you thought you wouldn’t be brave enough, that was before the alcohol made everything seem so much simpler.
When you pull back, butterflies rampant in the closed confinements of your stomach, you’re finally able to gage Matty’s reaction. His eyes have lowered to the ground, like he’s staring intently at his hand picking apart a blade of grass next to the blanket. You wait a little longer, staring at the thin line Matty’s mouth is forming into. His lack of response sobers you up. The buzz that once gave you infinite amounts of courage melts away like a coat of ice, leaving you vulnerable and exposed.
Finally Matty speaks, his words hanging heavy in the night, “I think maybe it’s time I take you home.”
It’s a subtle rejection. There’s no boisterous protesting or him telling you you’re disgusting like you’d imagined in all of the worst-case-scenerio reruns in your head. But somehow, this is infinitely worse. This can’t be played off as embarrassment or denial. It was just apathy, disinterest.
You and Matty don’t speak about it for the next year, when Matty’s twenty and you’re seventeen. And Matty says he’s finally leaving for good. Your first impulse is to cry, to scream and yell and shove. But ever since Matty turned you down, you’ve been afraid of being honest with him, afraid of looking weak. So instead, you scoff, crossing your arms across your chest and leaning against the doorframe of his kitchen. “I don’t blame you,” you say. Even though you did. You blamed him for his unhappiness, and you thought maybe if he didn’t drown himself in alcohol every night, he wouldn’t be so agitated. Maybe if he didn’t settle for these people who continuously treated him like shit, he wouldn’t be so lonely. Maybe if he stopped seeing you like a little kid, he wouldn’t feel so unloved. Everything inside of you blamed him for his own unhappiness, but a part of you was beginning to blame him for yours too.
He’d made you a promise years ago, that you’d never be alone, best friends forever, through thick and thin. But Matty stands in front of you, talking about how he just can’t take it anymore, his parents or their hometown or the looks he gets when he buys weed in a back alley and picks you up from the high school across the street after his shift at work.
What he doesn’t tell you, is that most of all, he can’t take you. He can’t take the way you’re growing into your own skin and out of your curls. He can’t take the way that you’re still finding yourself, desperately exploring all these outlets and destinations and finding your heart. Or the way that he holds you back. He can’t take the way you think you want him, because Matty knows what happens when he lets people in and he knows he really won’t be able to take it when you finally realize you deserve better. You just were never meant to be, at least not in this lifetime.
He’ll never admit any of it out loud though, instead he’ll pack up in the middle of the night without really saying goodbye and he’ll drive until he hits London. He’ll find a shitty flat and a new best mate and start a band. He’ll get a new job and a new guitar and maybe, hopefully, a new heart.
You hadn’t really realized how much time you’d actually spent with Matty, until he’s gone. You try to find a semblance, you try to get into your own routine, but it’s harder than you want to admit and you spend the coming months wandering down the same old paths Matty and you used to walk, through the same worn fields, taking photos of the sky, the ground, your shoes, all things that didn’t matter, things that didn’t make you smile.
The following year, you start looking into colleges, applying to just one local, safe school, but the rest of them are far. Places you only ever dreamed of visiting. You played it off as wanderlust. But secretly, although you’d never admit it, you had this dream of Matty coming home to find you, ready to finally settle down, and just expecting you to still be around, but you wouldn’t be. You’d be gone. Long gone.
London is appealing. Bristol is, too. You get excited at the idea of leaving, at the idea of experiencing life outside of what you’ve always known, and you’re working up the nerve to tell your mom where you want to go when you get a phone call late Thursday night.
“Hello,” you answer on the second ring.
“Y/N—” a voice that you instantly recognize as Matty’s, says after a slight pause. “I didn’t think you’d have the same number,” he murmurs, voice slurred.
You freeze, completely blind sided. “Um. Why did you call it then?”
“I guess I hoped.”
You bite your lip, falling back into the pattern of overthinking everything you say in Matty’s presence.
He sighs loudly.
“How’ve you been?”
The question comes out so nonchalantly. Like it’s only been a few days since they reconciled last. And just like that, a switch flips and the anger you’d been feeling so heavily inside boils to the surface. “How’ve I been? Since when? Today? Or the past year?” you snap.
At first you think he’s hung up the phone, because there’s complete silence other than your own heavy breathing. But then the faint whimper comes across the line. Matty is crying and suddenly, your heart hurts, your entire chest aches. “‘M sorry,” Matty mumbles incoherently, “I’m sor-sorry..”
The harshness of your words bites back at you with guilt, “It’s okay. Matty, it’s okay. Did something happen? Why’re you calling?”
He’s crying harder now, the obvious influence of alcohol is not helping. “There’s a girl here and she likes me and she keeps asking me to ask her out on dates and it just— it felt wrong, because I haven’t been with anyone since I left— and I don’t know why… but I got drunk. I got drunk and realized she reminded me of you and suddenly it didn’t feel wrong anymore so I slept with her—.” He coughs, taking shaky breaths.
You hear his words. You do. You listen with every intent that you’ve always shown your friend. But you don’t let yourself feel them. “It’s okay, Matty,” you say, with utmost sincerity.
“But she’s not you—“ he chokes out, “She’s in my bed and she’s got dark hair like you, but it’s not the same shade and it doesn’t smell like your shampoo. She’s not you.”
“Shh.” you coo, burying the tears threatening to surface deep inside of you, “It’s okay. Matty, it’s okay. Take a deep breath. How much did you have to drink?” you ask softly.
You hear a grunted protest on the other end, but no response.
“Take your deep breathes, Matty. You know that always helps. I’ll count with you if you want. Or try running cold water over your hands.”
He breathes through the receiver for a beat too long. “I miss you.”
You let your head fall, chin to your chest, trying not to think about the girl in Matty’s bed, who she is or what she looks like. “I miss you, too.”
When the line fills with Matty’s deep breathing, you realize he’s drunkenly fallen asleep and you can finally hang up. You wonder if he’ll even remember he called in the morning.
It’s a Wednesday and the vending machine in the hall are broken. It’s a sign, an omen, you’re sure, because you know how to kick it in just the right way, so that as many bags of crisps as your pack can hold dump out. But today, there’s nothing.
You have two choices, you think to yourself. You could wander back to your own floor with a grumbling stomach, or you could venture down to the ground floor and check out those vending machines. Your hunger outweighs your laziness and you decide to head downstairs.
Once you’ve come to the first floor, and all stairs are evaded for now, you hold the change out in the palm of your hand and begin counting it again. In the midst of your distracted state, you find yourself colliding with someone, head on.
You gasp loudly, stumbling back and tightening your fist around your money so it didn’t all go flying. But after you ground yourself, and get a chance to look up at who you ran into, is when the breath really leaves your lungs. Dressed in a ratty white t-shirt, a worn leather jacket, and jeans ripped in the knee is absolute heartbreak. And then Matty’s eyes land on yours.
You think the world has just about stopped spinning, it feels like slow motion. Both of your eyes meet and both of your expressions fall. You’re secretly glad the vending machine was out of food, because you think if you’d had anything to eat in the last five hours, you would’ve been sick.
It isn’t a question, it’s a realization. One that makes your stomach churn. Somewhere in the back of your head, you remind yourself to keep it together.
London is a big city, you knew that before Matty left for it. You convinced yourself when you left for school that their paths would never cross again simply because they weren’t destined to. Matty had fucked off to do God only knows what with a guitar and only one suitcase. And you had waited it out, graduated, gotten into uni and done everything right. You and Matty were two different people now, moving in two different directions. This wasn’t supposed to happen.
You can’t even identify what emotion you’re really feeling or what’s bubbling underneath your skin. There was anger, sure. Frustration and aggression. You wanted to punch Matty right in the nose, although you weren’t sure that counted as an emotion. But there was also this wave of nostalgia that hit you unexpectedly. Because no matter how much you wished this was ten year old Matty standing in front of you, waiting to go grab an ice cream cone or ride bikes, you knew it would never be that simple ever again. And that made your chest ache.
“What’re you doing here?” is all you can think to say.
But before he can answer, a girl you recognize from your floor comes stumbling behind you, giggling loudly.
“There you are, Matthew! You texted me like five minutes ago saying you were here— I thought you got locked out or something!”
You knew the jealousy you felt inside was unjust. It wasn’t fair of you to stare daggers at this poor girl that Matty was inevitably using for one reason or another. It really was your fault for expecting anything more out of the boy who’d only ever broken your heart.
He turns his head to look back at you as the girl pulls him down the hall towards the stairs.
“Bye Matthew,” you spit sarcastically to yourself once he’s out of earshot and you can finally let your shoulders slump and eyes fall.
You walk all the way around the building just to take the opposite staircase and forget all about the bag of crisps.
No deadline or piling amount of stress could give you the incentive to focus on homework. Not with the knowledge that Matty was in the same floor as you this very moment. Living, breathing, kissing another girl. You feel that familiar pressure in the bridge of your nose, evidence that tears were starting to surface. You punched the pillow on your bed, sniffling loudly. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fucking fair. You hadn’t seen him for three years. Hadn’t spoken in two. And yet, just like that, at the drop of a hat, one fucking glance and he had you once again. You needed a distraction. Something to pretend he wasn’t fucking Clara or Carissa or whatever her fucking name was, just down the hall.
You grab your keys and a jacket hanging from the back of your door before deciding you just needed to be somewhere, anywhere, away from him.
You let your door slam shut before turning around to lock it. You fumble with it at first, your hands shake as you try to fit the key in. In retrospect, you wished you’d just left it unlocked, risking a robbery. You would have preferred it to Matty approaching you in the hallway.
“Please go,” you manage to say while still keeping your eyes trained on locking your door.
“Y/N, I-I had no idea-”
“I don’t really care,” you will Matty to give up. To just fucking leave again. But Matty could never just leave, he could never let you have a clean break. He had to feel blameless first. A fucking martyr, is what he is.
“Do you really think if I had any idea, I would’ve come?!”
And there it is, just what you’d been expecting, Matty proving to you that he hasn’t changed at all. All he cares about is proving his innocence, his victimization, and if anything comes in the way of that, he caves.
“Dunno,” you sneer, “Depends on how cruel you’re feeling on any given day, I suppose.”
“Don’t be like this,” he sounds older, frustrated. Like he’s talking down to a child. Your blood run hot.
“I think you should leave.”
“I think you should let me take you out for some drinks.”
You’re sure there’s steam coming out of your ears as you spins in your spot, staring him down, “I think you’re out of your mind.”
Matty grins, that same crooked smile with the same crooked teeth that still does something to your stomach that you aren’t proud of.
“My treat?” Matty asks with a smile.
As you sit in the back booth of a pub that smells like piss, you tell yourself that you couldn’t have said no, because you were being offered free alcohol, not because you knees felt weak when Matty flashed his teeth your way. And hell, you knew the minute you decided to leave your room you’d end up at a bar anyway.
You order a beer, and resist from an order of chips, praying to god Matty couldn’t hear the grumbling noises your stomach was angrily producing from where he sat across from you.
It’s awkward, Matty asks short questions and you offer nothing but short answers. You’re waiting for Matty to take charge of the conversation to steer you wherever he wants you to go so he can ramble about himself and his music and his wonderful new life without you in it. But he doesn’t.
It occurs to you on your fourth beer (still on an empty stomach), that this run in isn’t to Matty what it is to you. To Matty, it’s just coincidence, a chance to catch up with an old friend whose friendship ended on the wrong foot. To you, it’s a living, breathing nightmare, something you’ve fretted over for years.
“Are you going to order chips?” Matty questions after you list off a few of your courses, more focused on the condensation from your drink than Matty in front of you.
Your head whips up, already feeling a bit dizzy, “No.”
“Why not?” he wonders, chin resting in his hands and eyes still looking completely sober, “You always used to. With extra vinegar and salt.”
You shrug, ears burning with shame and annoyance. You won’t give him a real reason, that you’re embarrassed and don’t want to eat in front of him. Instead you’ll let Matty wonder and think that things have changed, that he doesn’t know you at all anymore.
“Well I’m going to,” he downs the rest of his gin and tonic drink and stands up, patting his jeans, “I’ll be right back, yeah?”
You give him a slight, tense nod and watch him walk away, all confidence and curls and leather.
It’s been just as awful as you imagined it would be. Matty’s not as mean as you had thought up in your head, but the awkward pauses and uncomfortable topics certainly make up for it. You keep telling yourself that you just needs to get drunk. Once you’re drunk, you’ll be able to pretend that you don’t care so much and then you can just go home and get a long night’s sleep. Then you can wake up, go to economics, and forget it even happened.
Fifteen minutes later, and you’re sure that Matty’s ducked out and left you with the tab. It’s a very struggling rockstar thing to do and in turn, a very Matty thing to do. You slap your thigh angrily at the realization that you didn’t even bring your wallet with you, meaning you couldn’t pay the tab either. You stagger, annoyed and bitter and slightly tipsy up to the bar.
“Have you seen a curly headed guy?” you ask the bartender, leaning on the counter. “Leather jacket, this tall-“ you hold your hand up, impersonating Matty’s height.
“Yeah,” the guy answers, rubbing a glass clean. “Ordered chips, then ran off to the bathroom.”
The men’s room is across the pub and you hesitate slightly before entering. You’re not sure why you’re worried about Matty. But that worry is quickly replaced with panic, as you push open the door to the bathroom and spot Matty at the sink.
He’s bent over, curls falling in his face and eyes shut, like he hasn’t even heard you enter. He’s off in his own little drug-induced world. There’s a half empty plastic baggy on the counter and just enough remnants of a line for the pieces to click in your drunk mind.
“What the fuck are you doing?” you say out loud, in complete shock. Your head is spinning a little too fast all of a sudden.
“Y/N—” Matty breathes, eyes still squeezed shut as he straightens up and lets his head tilt back, lets it hit him. It scares you a bit because Matty inhales like he’s done this a thousand times before.
“What the fuck are you doing?!” your voice raises a bit. You feel a little bit outside of your own body. Now that you’ve found a reason to be angry, everything you’ve felt and bottled up all night is hitting you all at once.
“‘S alright,” his eyes open, but only half lidded.
“You’re a fucking idiot,” you say in disbelief, shaking your head as you feel the influx of tears falling down your cheeks. You wipe them away angrily with your hand.
Matty’s eyes widen and he looks so different than the version of him you’d been formulating in your head the past three years. The messy hair, tired eyes, and chapped lips all looked the same. But there was a sadness about him now. An aura of tragedy and dismay surrounded him, making you wonder if the three years he spent away were really as outrageous and spectacular as you’d always thought. Your face softens.
Matty’s absolutely fucked. And there’s so much you want to say to him, so much you need to say. But now’s not the time. Not when there’s snot running down his nose and his pupils were practically bulging out of his skull.
“Let’s just head back, yeah?”
Matty doesn’t protest in the slightest. In a quick motion, he slings his jacket over his shoulder and sniffs the remainder of cocaine up his nose before following you out of the bathroom. You’re glad he remembers to slap down some money on the table before letting you drag him back to the dorm rooms.
“Which room’s hers?” you ask once you’ve reached your floor. You pretend like it didn’t eat away at you to have to drag Matty back to some other girl’s dorm room.
“Hm?” Matty grunted.
“Clara? Which room’s Clara’s?”
“No—“ Matty protested, stopping dead in his tracks near your door. “Common, she knows I ditched her, she’s not gonna let me sleep in there. Can’t I just crash with you? Like the old days?” he says with a smirk.
You nod grudgingly and push by him to unlock your door. You find yourself trying to remember what state you left your bedroom in, hoping nothing embarrassing was left out for Matty to see.
Luckily, you’d left it in tact and only swipe up a few articles of clothing once you make your way inside. You hear Matty already collapsing on your bed before you have time to even take your coat off. You sigh as you turn around, but notice he’s got one eye propped open, watching you from the mattress.
“You know that shit’s terrible for you, right?” you say, crossing your arms over your chest, in the most sincere way possible.
Matty shrugged nonchalantly, and sits up on your bed, his eyes bloodshot. “And? We’re all gonna die anyway.”
“How beautifully cryptic of you,” you say sarcastically.
“It’s just coke,” he plays it off.
“Just coke? Matty, common, I know you’re smarter than this.”
“Why do you care so much?” Matt asked apathetically, though you both know it was a loaded question. Matty was right, why should you care? You didn’t know Matty, not anymore. You didn’t owe him anything. If Matty didn’t care about himself, why should you care? But maybe it’s for the same reason that you comforted Matty over the phone. Maybe it’s for the same reason you let him take you out for drinks tonight. Maybe it was because you knew you’d always love Matty, even though you knew fate just wouldn’t allow it. But of course you couldn’t tell Matty that, so you just shook your head as you stripped off your jacket.
“Maybe I shouldn’t,” you state quietly, more as a reminder to yourself than an insult to Matty. But you hear him sigh softly from the bed.
You huddle near your dresser, grabbing an old pair of shorts and ratty t-shirt from your drawer before changing behind the door of your closet. You don’t even both to run a brush through your hair before you trot back over to your bed, where Matty was sprawled directly in the middle.
“Scoot over,” you order.
He looks up at you questioningly from the pillow.
“If you thought I was giving up my bed, you don’t know me at all, Healy.”
He smirks before hiding his face in the pillow and scooting against the wall.
You awkwardly lift as much of the blankets as you can before sliding in, noticing Matty hadn’t covered himself with them at all.
“Thanks for lettin’ me stay,” he grumbles. You can tell how trashed he still is so you just nod, staring straight up at the ceiling.
At around three in the morning, you wake up to Matty shivering violently beside you. He’s got his arm coiled around his thin body and you swear you can hear his teeth chattering. You look for a moment at how vulnerable Matty was, shivering and asleep, and it makes your chest ache inside.
Your first impulse is to cover him with a blanket, but with him laying directly over both the comforter and sheets, that option was shot. Instead, you opt to just wake him up.
“Matty—“ you say, nudging his shoulder. “Matty, wake up.”
His eyes pop open with a start and he looks at you, surprised, like he’s forgotten where he was momentarily.
“You’re shivering,” you whisper.
He stares for a moment, like it’s taking that much extra time for your words to sink in before he speaks, “m sorry,” he grumbles in that deep, sleepy voice you used to love so much.
“Get under the blankets,” you suggest and he nods, lifting himself higher on the bed before scooting underneath the sheets. You immediately feel his toes touch your bare leg, and you can’t help but notice they’re not freezing like you’d expected. He lays on his side, facing you, and before you can convince yourself otherwise, you flip so that you’re facing him, too. You stare into his tired eyes, waiting for them to shut any second, but they don’t. They remain focused on yours, his pupils returned to a normal size.
“I really missed you,” you say, because you’re exhausted and you have no filter when you’re tired.
Matty nods, “I really missed you, too.”
You nod in return. Like these were just facts, not needed to be said out loud, but still glad that they were.
And again, because you were impulsive when you were exhausted, you don’t even hesitate before sliding yourself across the distance that separated you and Matty, curling your arm around his waist and pressing your head into his chest. Only when you feel his arm wrap around you, his fingers spreading wide across your back, do you inhale smoothly. He smells like cigarettes and whatever drink he had earlier, but it’s still Matty, and it’s the freshest breath of air you’ve had in a long time.
You wake up early. Hours earlier than Matty. Once you’re awake, and no longer on the brink of exhaustion. You let the fact that you’re curled into Matty’s side, with your head resting on his beating heart sink in. You bite your lip, wanting to stay in the moment a while longer, and play with the hem of your baggy t-shirt. You let the tears fall silently down your cheek, mostly because you were so mad at yourself.
It’s not like you and Matty hadn’t cuddled before. You spent the latter of your sleepovers curled up in blanket forts together, after all. But this was different. Because in one, weak, desperate moment, you let yourself feel for him again. After spending three entire fucking years accumulating reasons to hate Matty Healy, in one moment, you let them all melt away. You let yourself be vulnerable to him; open, exposed. And you remember all too clearly what happened the last time that happened.
You pull yourself out of bed and pretend not to notice Matty’s arm searching for you in his sleep. Instead of curling back beside him, like you wanted, you grabbed your shower caddy and hurried off to the bathroom.
Matty slept until nine thirty, and when he opened his groggy eyes, he found you sitting in your desk chair, knees tucked against your chest writing vigorously away.
“Morning,” he said, the same, sleepy voice softened your heart slightly.
“Good morning,” you said back, turning around timidly in your chair.
Matty’s got this wild hair-thing going on. His curls stick straight up in the air and it’s so endearing it makes you want to slap and kiss him at the same time. But then he scoots off to the toilets, and you have a moment to compose yourself before he’s coming back looking a bit more refreshed.
You hesitate when he invites you to breakfast, worried he might sneak off and do a line of coke in the bathroom again or worse, but you don’t say so out loud. Instead you agree, ignoring the class you’re blatantly skipping for him, just another reminder of the influence Matty had on you.
You find yourselves sitting across from each other at the back of a coffee shop. You had ordered a bagel and some tea and Matty was sipping at a coffee, straight black.
“You sure you don’t want anything to eat? Not even a bite of my bagel? It’s good,” you offered.
“Nah, ‘m good,” Matty says as he takes another sip of his coffee.
“Matty be honest, when’s the last time you ate?” you asked, looking at Matty with serious eyes.
Matty held the stare for a bit until you quirked your eyebrows up and he realized that you were actually being serious and weren’t going to let him avoid answering the question. “I’m not bloody starving myself, if that’s what you’re wondering. I told you I just don’t get hungry much but when I do, I eat. Don’t worry— you sound like a mum.”
“Okay,” you say, crunching up the paper from your bagel and letting it go.
Matty didn’t respond for a few minutes. Just sipped at his coffee silently until he spoke again. “You know you don’t have to worry so much about me. I do fine.”
“I’m sure you do,” you say, shrugging.
“Come off it-“ Matty says, nudging your arm, “I know you, Y/N. I can tell when something’s bugging you. What is it?” he asks.
You bite your lip and trace the edge of your mug, contemplating for a moment before asking him “Why are you so afraid to let someone care about you?” you inquired cautiously.
Matty frowned, “I’m not ‘afraid’" he said defensively. “I just.. I know how the world works and I know what’s worth worrying over and what’s not.”
You shake your head. You were sick of Matty pretending like he was so much wiser. So much more experienced. You were sick of his pretentious outlook, his excessive need to bullshit his way through life.
“What is this?” you ask, finally gathering the courage to just look him in the eye.
“Look I don’t know what you want—“
“I want to know what this is, Matty,” you state clearly. You debated on elaborating further, but Matty’s fallen gaze indicated that he knew exactly what you meant.
“I’m sorry,” he says, and you almost think it’s sincere until he looks up and lets out an innocent, hearty laugh, “I don’t know what you want me to say.”
“Fuck you,” you sigh, feeling so defeated and drained. You dig into the pocket of your coat and throw money on the table, not wanting to give Matty the satisfaction of buying breakfast too, before sliding out of the booth and walking towards the door.
“Woah, woah!” he calls, you can hear him hurrying after you. You only quicken your pace out into the brisk morning air. “Please Y/N, just look at me.” His voice is wobbly. Like he knows he’s fucked up. “Wait a second, please.”
You spin around at the contact of Matty’s hand, and turn to face him, squeezing your eyes shut before deciding you’d just had enough and you didn’t care. You didn’t care about looking weak or vulnerable. You just wanted it to stop.
“You left,” you bark at him, making his eyes go wide. “Remember? You did. Not me. I was in love with you and you just left, like it was nothing. Like I was nothing.”
Matty’s mouth hangs open slightly, his eyes still hooked on yours as he listens to the words that should have been said years ago.
“You were my whole world, Matty. And you just fucking left. I had to learn how to live without you, and that sucked. But I did it,” you pause to wipe the tears from your face, before continuing with a choked voice, “Why didn’t you call me? Or ever check in? Or god forbid fucking visit once and a while? Why’d you have to disappear?”
“I did call,” Matty says quietly.
His words make you freeze. You narrow your eyes in on him and say in disbelief, “You remember that?”
He let’s out a heavy sigh, and fidgets in front of you, clearly uncomfortable. “Of course I remember that.”
“You called me about some chick you fucked,” you say, annoyed.
“Yeah,” he admits, “Some chick. That’s all they were. Some chicks to fuck. They were a shag. They were nothing. They weren’t you,” he inhales sharply on the last word, like he’d embarrassed to say it out loud.
But you shake your head, confused. “No, you left. You left, Matty.”
He nods, “I know. I know, I did. I left cause I was a mess. I am a mess. I mean look at me—“ he holds his arms out straight like he’s showcasing himself, “I’m a fuck up. And you kissed me, that night on your birthday, and it was perfect.” He closes his eyes, like he’s remembering that night. “You were perfect. And I was gonna ruin that—you— I don’t know. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t drag you into my shit. The drugs, the alcohol. I was never going anywhere, that much I knew. But you? You graduated top, you’re at uni, you’re gonna make a difference.” Matty pauses briefly, getting to the ultimate point of his rant, “I was afraid I wasn’t enough for you.”
You let his words sink into the layers of your skin, absorbing their impact and trying to make sense of it all. But that’s the thing, you realize. Is that none of it made any sense. Because all this time, you’d been trying to listen to fate and realize what you really wanted, what was meant to be. And it sounded like Matty had been doing the same, chasing happiness. Chasing something written in the stars.
Maybe if you’d actually talked to each other, and been honest, this mess wouldn’t have happened. You can already feel the temptations that beating yourself up bring, but you sigh, acknowledging that you were here now; standing in the middle of a busy, London street with Matty standing in front of you.
“Not enough for me?” you repeat, the words sounding bitter on the tip of your tongue. “You are everything to me—“ you say it like it’s obvious. Like there’s nothing more true in the entire world. In your world, there might not be.
Fuck fate, you think when Matty closes the distance between you two in just three quick strides. This is what you’ve always wanted, before you even knew it was something you could or couldn’t have. You know you aren’t meant to have it, your whole lives have been a story of how they were never meant to be, how one of you was always two steps ahead of the other. But for now, you were here; Matty’s hand cupping your cheek delicately, your hands finding their way to his back, your lips moving as one. And you decide, in that moment that you were going to fight for what you wanted, fate could go to hell.
Dedicated to @simkjrs for proofreading my stuff for a fandom I’m not really apart of.
It starts with the paparazzi. What didn’t? But Izuku has
long since mastered his mentor’s technique, smiling through stage fright as he
helps repair a building he damaged during a particularly chaotic fight. Staying
for cleanup was, of course, not really a requirement for heroes, especially not
heroes of Deku’s fame, but…well. He’s Izuku first, and Deku second.
So he maneuvers his way through rubble and reporters, aware
that certain tabloids were excited for new shots of his muscular ass, a fact
that Uraraka never, ever lets him live down.