Imagine long distance with Chris.
A/N: Hello, this is Part 1 of Chapter 2 - Little Ways Away. Now I know I’m jumping into the next chapter of the mini series, but I just don’t have inspiration to write anything else. This chapter’s going to be a bit of an emotional ride, so there’s my little heads-up. You can read the related mini series, and the first chapter of this spin-off here: (Mini-series - Masterlist; Mini Series Spin-off, Chapter 1 ‘Unexpected Reader’ - Masterlist)
Ava smiled when she heard your phone ringing from her bedroom; the set ringtone told her that Chris was finally calling. You’d been waiting a while for his daily phone call now, a mishap on set pushed filming back a little which was why he was late. It’d been a rough couple of months for you with Chris being away, business picking up at the Italian restaurant where you worked part time, and your school’s workload piling on. It was almost suffocating, everything that was going on in your life.
As it turned out, that week you took off from school to go spend some time with Chris was a terrible idea; you got back and found yourself overwhelmed by everything you missed out on. Two months later, you felt like you were still trying to catch up. But that was the thing, you just felt that way because it was all in your head. It was always all in your head, which was why your mom, your best friend, and your boyfriend were always so worried about you; you were too much of a perfectionist to give yourself a break. You were an incredibly intelligent and diligent student who was ahead of the class despite being in Boston, but your mentality after returning back to Los Angeles without your boyfriend ruined your stride. So here you were; overworked, sleep deprived, and stressed beyond belief.
So Ava was glad to hear ‘Under The Sea’ coming from your phone, she knew you’d benefit from hearing from your sweet, loving, and reassuring boyfriend. Up until Chris came along, your mom and her were the ones to reassure you. With them, it didn’t always work- you’d still doubt yourself and let your anxiety chew away at your brain. But with Chris? He had a way with you that no one understood, it was like he had the handbook; he always knew what to say and when to say it. It was sickly sweet, and it was proof that soulmates do exist.
Ava waited a while and felt her eyes narrow when the song didn’t stop playing. She closed her MacBook screen then walked outside, sighing when she found you asleep at the dining room table with Dodger at your feet. You were surround by your textbooks, assignment notes, class timetables, work schedules, and other bits and pieces. Ava guessed you were trying to plan out your week again and fell asleep after overwhelming yourself. It was typical Y/N, every Sunday evening you’d sit and plan your whole week like life was just going to do what you wanted it to. She walked over and held a finger up to her lips when Dodger looked up at her, whining slightly. She gently pried your phone out of your hand; breath held when you stirred. She let out a quiet sigh when you remained asleep and answered the call, walking a distance away before she spoke because the last thing she needed was to disturb your much needed rest.
“Um…Hello?” Chris’ voice came through sounding confused at the lack of your chirpy greeting; you always answered with “oh Evans, my Captain. To what do I owe this pleasure?” Always, every call, without fail- unless he caught you while you were half asleep then it wasn’t so chirpy and coherent. “Sweetheart,” he chuckled softly, “are you there or is this your cute butt I’m talking to?”
“This is actually her cute best friend you’re talking to,” Ava quipped and Chris chuckled. “Sorry, Cap, but your girl’s passed out at the table.” Ava heard Chris sigh and began to explain to him what he already knew had happened. “It’s Sunday so she-”
“Overwhelmed herself by planning her week again,” Chris finished for her and Ava noised confirmation. “God, I leave her for two months,” he commented with a weary chuckle. “Other than her usual Sunday activities, how’s she doing? I feel like I have to ask you because she’s not going to tell me the truth about anything bad. Every time I ask how she’s doing, she says she’s fine but- if she’s falling asleep while planning her week, things must be a little chaotic.”
“A little, she’s stressed. But-” Ava looked over at you with a small smile; she wished you’d let up a little. “When is she not?” Chris nodded in agreement, a weary eye roll was used. “But she’s okay, I mean- she’s a tough nut to crack.” Both your best friend and boyfriend chuckled at that because it was true; they’d seen you persevere through so much. “Dodger and I’ve got her sorted, don’t you worry.”
“I’m going to have to hang up on you though, I don’t want to wake her up. She really needs her sleep, she asked for an extra shift at the restaurant and that’s in an hour so- Let her sleep?” Ava made it sound like a question, but it was more of an order; Chris said nothing because he knew what his options were. “I’ll tell her you called so she can-”
“What time is it?!” You shot up from your quick ‘rest-of-the-eyes’, worried you were late for work. You scrambled for your phone then looked up and saw it in Ava’s hand. “Is that Chris?” You asked and she nodded, walking back over to pass the call to you. “Hey, sorry.” You said into the phone, then mouthed a “thank you” at Ava, who nodded and went back into her room to give the two of you some privacy. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I’ve just been really tired lately.”
“There’s really no need to apologize, sweetheart,” he told you. You held the phone to your ear with your shoulder as your hands started to fiddle with the pieces of paper in front of you. “You’re busy, I get it and it’s fine. I just want you to take care of yourself, please.”
“Yeah, the weather’s been lovely,” was your response because you didn’t actually process anything Chris said to you. You were too preoccupied, scribbling all over your planner to listen and respond accordingly. “A little warm, but perfect for my afternoon walks with Dodger.”
“Step away from the table, Y/N,” he instructed in a firmer tone and you found yourself dropping the pen you had in your hand. You took the phone back in your hand as you stood up and walked over to the couch where you couldn’t fiddle with anything; Dodger followed, settling by your feet. “How are you, really?” He asked, surely with furrowed brows of deep concern. “I know you don’t want me to worry, but lying to me- that’s even more worrying.”
“What did I lie to you about?”
“Every time I call and ask about you, you tell me you’re fine-”
“And I am-” you interrupted.
“I just talked to Ava and she tells a different story,” he cut you off and you huffed, wishing your best friend would just keep your struggles to herself. “What’s going on? What’s got you so stressed out? It can’t be school, you’re doing so well.” You sighed because you wished you knew. “What can I do to help? Ava said you’re asking for extra shifts, do you need-”
“I don’t need your money, Chris,” you stopped him before he could offer and he sighed. “I’m fine, honestly,” you let out a laugh to lighten the mood. “I’m just- I miss you and not having you around is affecting me a lot more than I thought it would. So don’t worry, I’m fine. School’s great, work’s good, my financial situation is perfect so- don’t worry about me, okay?”
“That’s like telling water not to be wet, darling,” he chuckled and you smiled. “You promise you’ll tell me if something’s up?” You nodded, 'mm-hm-ing’ your response. “That you’ll keep things honest between us?” Another 'mm hm’ left your throat. “That you’ll ask for money if need be?” He winced as he said that because he knew he was trying his luck; you were one of those 'make-my-own-way’ girls. “Y/N?” He quizzed when he heard nothing come from the other end.
“No,” was all you said.
“I can afford to support you,” he reminded you.
“And I can afford to make my own way,” you retorted.
“I know,” he sighed. “I’m just reminding you, in case you get sick of working while studying.” You smiled because he reminded you every chance he could, and while you did appreciate his offer- you couldn’t take it. You knew how it would look and you didn’t want it to look like that, perhaps when you were his wife and not his nineteen year old, student girlfriend. “Are you sure you don’t need anything, baby? Can I at least pay for Dodger? He is living with the two of you, I can-”
“Baby, no,” you chuckled, reaching down to pat your boyfriend’s cute dog who you were more than happy to support for nine months. “Right now, all I need from you is your maximum effort to make Infinity War absolutely amazing.” He chuckled softly, nodding. “Then I need you to come home to me and Dodger because we miss you,” you felt your eyes well as you told him that.
“I miss the two of you too,” his own eyes watered as he reached for the Polaroid photograph he kept on his desk in his trailer. The photo was of the three of you, the morning after you got together; you had a copy too which you kept in your planner. “I’d count the days, but that’s just going to make us both sad.”
“Yeah,” you chuckled with limited humor.
“I’m going to let you go,” he said and you felt yourself sigh. “You need some rest before you go to work,” he explained his leave and you nodded in agreement, running a hand through your hair. “I’ll call you tomorrow and have an actual conversation, okay?”
“Okay,” you nodded.
“I love you,” he ended the conversation like he always did, smiling despite how much his heart ached for you. He wished he could be there with you, hold you and tell you things were going to be okay because you clearly needed that. You lied about being okay, and he knew you were lying, but you were going to work and he didn’t want to put you in a bad mood by calling you out. He was going to save that conversation for another day, when you didn’t have classes or work to go to or worry about.
“I love you too,” you responded then stayed silent until you heard the dial tone. He hung up and you did the same, putting your phone aside. You sighed and buried your face in your hands, only looking up when you felt Dodger nudge his head into your leg. “How do you do it, Dodger?” You asked the pup, cupping his furry face in your hands. “How do you survive without Chris for months on end? Because it’s hard, like- it’s really fucking hard,” you chuckled to stop yourself from crying. Dodger licked your face when you bent over to kiss his forehead, making you smile. “Yeah, I know I’ve got you and Ava.”
Nine months; two down and seven to go.
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