The Kissing Booth
A SnowBaz fanfiction
Once a year, usually in the spring, Watford stages a carnival for the students. It’s usually quite humble, mainly consisting of booths selling small magic trinkets, or snacks like cotton candy, sweets and other classic carnival fare. There’s always the tiny petting zoo over near the Cloisters, and some years Watford even scrapes enough together to bring in a carousel. Most of the booths are run by student volunteers, and though everything is by donation, all proceeds go to whichever charity the student body has voted on.
I go every year, mostly for the caramel apples and sweet cider, but this is the first year I’ve been behind the scenes of the carnival and helped at a booth.
In truth, I didn’t even sign up for it, but Agatha hadn’t had a break all day and needed some cotton candy of her own.
I should have told her to find Penny, or Trixie or even Minty. Anyone but me.
It doesn’t take long for the word to spread that Simon Snow has taken over the Kissing Booth, and mortifyingly the line has doubled in length. Mostly first or second-year girls, blushing and stammering or swaggering up to the counter with a pronounced sway in their step, with the odd boy interspersed through the line.
It’s not the worst thing that’s ever happened to me – that honour goes to the time in second year that Baz stumbled upon a spell that made my clothes slowly dissipate, garment by garment, in the middle of the dining hall – and after the first two or three quick, cold kisses I start to calm down, but I’m counting the minutes until Agatha comes back. How she endured hours of this, I cannot comprehend. That’s just Agatha, I guess.
A redhead drops her donation into the tin and her eyes flit around, meeting me for only a split second at a time, her cheeks aflame. I try to look as non-threatening as I can and lean forward enough that she can close the rest of the space. She darts in with a kiss that’s no more than a peck before running over to a giggling pair of who must be her friends, a triumphant grin on her face. She must have been dared. Poor girl. I hope I wasn’t her first.
“Well, well, well.”
My stomach lurches at the cold drawl I know only too well.
“What are you doing here, Baz?” I say in as civilized a tone as I can manage.
He stands there with his arms crossed over his chest, his mouth in a twist that’s a bit too amused to be a sneer. “When I heard that the Chosen One had taken over the Snogging Booth, I simply had to see it for myself.”
“Well, now you’ve seen it, so now you can go.”
“Saving the World of Mages one kiss at a time,” Baz murmurs with a chuckle. “Not exactly what I was envisioning.”
“I’m only covering for Agatha,” I retort, “she’ll be back in five minutes if you’re wanting her services.”
He scoffs. “I’d rather not snog your girlfriend, thank you very much.”
“She’s not my – forget it,” I shake my head. I’ve told him at least a dozen times, but it never stops him.
“She must have been really desperate for a break to put you in charge,” Baz drawls on, his voice smooth like honey but with too much of a bite to be sweet. “You’d think she’d at least pick someone attractive for the Kissing Booth.”
It stings, but I don’t flinch. “What, someone like you?” I spit back too fast.
His eyebrows shoot up in delighted surprise as I realize my mistake. “You flatter me, Snow,” he purrs, and I feel my cheeks heat up, but I furrow my brow tighter and hope it passes for anger.
“Is there a reason you’re still here?” I growl as the burning spreads from my cheeks to my ears.
“As a matter of fact, there is,” Baz says, and his gray eyes look cool enough to staunch the flames at the tips of my ears, but the more I glare into them the more the fire rages. “I’m here to torment you.”
“Great, well you’ve done that.”
“I wanted to see what you’d do.” He leans on the edge of the counter, bringing his face far too close to mine for comfort. “What would the Mage’s Heir do if his nemesis showed up at the Kissing Booth?”
“You can torment me any time,” I shoot back, “you’re holding up the line.”
“Oh, yes, well,” he feigns conern, “I wouldn’t want to keep anyone from their kiss.”
“Then go away.”
His eyes narrow and he pretends to think. “Mmm, no. I don’t think so.”
“Baz, I’m warning you.”
“Terrifying,” he drones, “but this is too much fun. Besides,” his eyebrow flickers up, “don’t you owe me a kiss?”
I flash him a smirk of my own. “Aw, Baz. If you were so desperate for a kiss, you could’ve just asked.”
Baz, to his credit, doesn’t bat an eye. “You think of that comeback yourself?”
“There’s a fee, you know,” I ignore him, barely having to raise my voice above a murmur for him to hear me, he’s so close. “You haven’t paid the fee, so I don’t owe you anything.”
He doesn’t drop his eyes from mine, and the cool gray takes on the spark of a challenge. Out of my periphery I see him reach into his pocket, and there’s the clatter of coins dropping into the tin.
I should punch him.
I should spit in his face.
I wanted to see what you’d do.
I take him by the lapels and crush his mouth under mine.
He makes a muffled sound of shock. To be fair, so do I, but mine is more angry than it is surprised. I kiss him hard and rough, and it’s a bit of a juxtaposition because his mouth is oddly soft. A face like his, you’d expect his lips to be made of marble, cold and unmoving, but he’s the farthest thing from unmoving. I can’t tell if he’s struggling or if he’s kissing me back but his lips are so, so soft and I want to bruise them, mark them, bite them…
I only stop when a series of wolf whistles reminds me that there are at least ten people watching us.
Trying to salvage the illusion of control, I break away harshly, still gripping him by his collar. The cocky smirk has dropped from his smooth features and now his face mirrors mine, a matching scowl, like I’ve crossed a dangerous line. I probably have.
“Was that what you wanted?” I growl.
He doesn’t answer, just holds my gaze another few seconds before pushing back from the table, his lapels slipping out of my hands, and stalking away.
I don’t see Baz at the carnival after that, and I stay as long as the booths are open, perusing the same counters and feigning interest even after having looked through their contents three times. I keep Penny company where she mans the popcorn booth, drizzling caramel over every few cartons, and I even get bored enough to hang around Agatha back at the Kissing Booth for a little while, until one too many patrons have asked if I’m available for service. When she and Penny are freed we pet the goats at the petting zoo, the ones that Ebb has graciously volunteered for the event, and take a few spins on the carousel. Only once the light has begun to fade and the signs are being lowered from their booths do the three of us part ways. Even then, I offer to help Ebb get her goats back safely.
Basically, I’m doing anything I can to put off going back to the room, but eventually I can’t avoid it any longer. I’ve wandered the grounds enough times that the sun has properly disappeared behind the distant hills and I can barely see the ground in front of me. Even then I’m tempted to consider crazy alternatives like spending the night at Ebb’s place, but I’m pretty sure that would be against school rules anyway, and besides, I’ll have to face Baz eventually. There’s no undoing what’s happened.
When I finally trudge back into the room, he’s staring out the window at the moat, presumably trying to intimidate the merwolves, but he turns at the sound of the door. His expression, though I don’t see it for long before I look away, is hard to read. Wide eyes and a furrowed brow, like he’s still mad at me for my stunt earlier, but there’s a bit of a questioning edge there, too. Almost a where were you edge.
Normally I have to start any type of conversation, but tonight he wastes no time. “What the hell was that, Snow?”
There’s no question as to what he’s referring, and I can’t help but get angry again. “Me? You’re the one who had to start something!”
“Well, you didn’t have to react so drastically,” he mutters, crossing his arms and leaning against the wall by the window, the moonlight casting its glow on his skin and making him even paler than usual, almost transparent. I half expect fangs to slide out from his lips for no reason and complete the picture.
His soft, soft lips.
“You were egging me on,” I seethe, the memory igniting the rage that I’d felt in the fractured moment before kissing him, “it’s your fault anything happened.”
“Proud little hero,” Baz says with the slightest smirk, “can’t back down from a challenge.”
“You know I can’t, not in front of people.”
“Wouldn’t want them to think the Heir is a coward.”
I feel like a balloon in me is swelling and deflating at once. “But that’s just it, Baz,” I insist, anger momentarily aside. “If they think I’m afraid, what reason do they have to hope?”
He doesn’t answer right away, and for a second I think maybe he understands. I want so badly for him to understand.
“No reason,” Baz eventually says, turning to look out the window again, “not with someone like you as the Chosen One.”
I want to groan, to kick something, to shake him by the shoulders and make him look me in the eye and for once not fight me. Have we ever in our lives made eye contact without there being some challenge between us?
“Why did you have to get in that line?” I shake my head. “There are so many other ways of tormenting me, lower-stakes ways.”
“To be fair, I’ve already exhausted most of those,” Baz murmurs with a little shrug of his shoulders.
“When have you ever been fair?”
I’m tired of standing here at the door, so I kick off my shoes and sit down on my bed, trying not to think about how much closer I am to him now, still at the window, looking as vampiric as ever. His gray eyes are positively silver in the moonlight, and the black of his hair looks silkier than ever, as if it’s soaking the rays directly into him. He almost glows. I have to laugh a little, because more than once Baz has mockingly compared me, with my bronze curls and sky-blue eyes, to the sun, but he himself wears a halo of night. If I am the sun, then Baz is most certainly the moon. Distant, cold, mysterious, almost too pristine to touch.
His gaze returns to me suddenly. He raises an eyebrow in a wordless inquiry, and I realize I’ve been staring.
“What exactly was it you expected me to do?”
“At what point, Snow?” he gives a humourless laugh. “You had more than one opportunity to react.”
“When you paid the fee.”
His tiny smile disappears. “It doesn’t matter.”
“Drop it, Snow,” he says, the hardness returning to his eyes, and I know I’ve cornered him. Drop it is Baz’s way of betraying himself, of saying there’s something that he doesn’t want to tell.
“Was I supposed to kiss you?” I ask. For some reason I have to know.
“I don’t know, Snow, punch me. Push me. Beat me to the ground. Something.”
My brow furrows in confusion. “Wait. You wanted me to hit you?”
He shrugs, more with his head than his shoulder. “One of us has to get hurt, right?”
I rise to my feet, and I’m face-to-face with him again, only his eyes are different this time. Whereas at the booth he had betrayed no hint of doubt at our closeness, now there’s a flicker of something in the silver, something that feels a lot like the way my heart is racing in my chest, and it dawns on me. He was putting on a show at the carnival, acting like nothing I could do would get to him, just as I had been.
If they think I’m afraid, what reason do they have to hope?
One of us has to get hurt, right?
And suddenly it makes sense.
There’s only a few inches between us, so it feels almost natural when I lean in and press the gentlest of kisses to his lips.
He doesn’t kiss me back this time, but he doesn’t move away either. “What was that for?” he asks when I draw back a second later.
“You act like we’re so different,” I say wonderingly, “but we’re the same.”
“What do you think we’d be if we didn’t have to fight each other?”
I don’t miss the split second of longing in his eyes. “Keep dreaming, Snow.”
“Because I bet it would involve a lot more of this.” I bring a hand up to his neck, my fingers instantly lost in the wavy tips of his hair and it’s exactly as soft as it looks bathed in moonlight.
Baz closes his eyes like he has to collect himself. “You’re the hero. I’m the villain. What more do I have to say?”
“Fuck that,” I chuckle, “we both know that’s not true. You’re a boy, and I’m a boy. That’s all.”
“Tell that to the rest of the world.”
“I don’t care about the rest of the world,” I shake my head adamantly, “I want to know what you think.”
“If there was no act, no reputation, no role to play,” I murmur, “if we were just two boys, what would you do?”
Baz returns my gaze a moment, searching my eyes.
Then his lashes close and he’s kissing me, and my eyes drift shut again like I’m sighing in relief.
I let my fingers tangle higher up in his hair while my other hand grips the front of his shirt like earlier, only without the anger of the afternoon. He angles his head further and guides the kiss deeper, his hands gently gripping my waist and pulling me closer. I melt against him, my mouth moving with his, my head swimming with his citrusy scent, and I can’t hold back the moan that escapes my throat when he takes my bottom lip between his teeth in a gentle tug. Suddenly I’m floating, weightless, and Baz gives a muffled sound of surprise when I press back a little harder.
When we finally break apart, both of us gasping and dizzy, I immediately want more, want to line his neck with my mouth, want to feel his breath hitch when I reach the base of his throat, want to hear my name in his sigh. Would he sigh Snow or Simon? I want to know.
“Please,” I whisper, dotting a kiss to the corner of his mouth, “can’t we just be two boys?”
When I meet his eyes, they’re full of more longing than ever.
In response, he kisses a soft, slow triangle pattern on my cheek, and I recognize the pattern of the three moles by my eye, and I can’t help but smile.
“We can try.”