oh darling i have coloured blood (that i stole from you)
A/N: so this is for deadgwen & deadparker, who have, by some freak accident, let me into their squad. honestly, these are two of the most blazing, brilliant girls ive ever talked to in the history of ever. mils, andy, i simply adore you. sorry for this and its overwhelming shittiness
He is rather like God, if God had psycho hair and pointy elbows. And a back where she can see all of the knobs of his spine, covered in pale skin. And if God had an annoying habit of clicking his tongue. He isn’t like God at all actually, now that she thinks about it. Don’t tell him she said that, he’ll be a shit about it.
They met in uni.
She’s dancing on the bar because she’s drunk and has only recently realised she’s falling apart because she’s too small for her life. He joins her because he’s pissed and his mates are cheering him on. The whole thing is a red and gold mess in her mind, one minute she’s flailing alone, and the next he’s covering every space.
They end up getting kicked out and his mates collapse on a park bench with her in tow. The one called Sirius throws his arm around her shoulders and calls her ‘a red empire’. She doesn’t know what that is but she falls in love with it anyway, so she doesn’t care that he throws up on her two minutes later. Remus falls of the park bench and takes Peter with him, landing hard on the gravel. The one who danced with her on the bar- James- pulls her hair and takes off his shoes for no reason before they all fall asleep in the middle of a park on a park bench, jumbled together. When she wakes up she’s forgotten all their names, but they shout her breakfast at the diner across the road so it doesn’t really matter.
They end up meeting at the bar the very next week and getting horrifically drunk in the exact same fashion, except this time she wasn’t dancing on the bar but singing poorly into an empty vodka bottle while Remus and Sirius gave her a standing ovation. Peter finds the keys to her apartment and they all collapse inside, falling asleep on her hallway runner. She wakes up with James’s elbow in her mouth, Sirius’s foot up her arse and twenty minutes late her first lecture. She swears, and Remus looks up and sneezes in her face. Sirius is laughing so hard he decides ‘not to go the class because he won’t see anything better than that all day’.
That is how they begin, drinking and dancing and singing and falling asleep in inappropriate places. And then they figure out they can just get drunk at her apartment because it’s cheaper and they can destroy a lot more property. Peter makes eggs in her microwave and Sirius eats them all while Peter’s in the bathroom. Remus plays darts except the darts are her forks and the target is her exam schedule pinned to the wall. Her roommate, Anna, does not appreciate the holes in the wall when she gets home, but Remus keeps doing it. James drinks milk straight from the carton and while his head is tipped back Sirius slaps the bottom of the carton and milk goes everywhere. James threatens to sue while Peter yells from the couch that he deserved it for drinking out of the carton in the first place like an animal.
James lies on her couch and when she gets back from her chemical reactions lecture and launches into an in depth analysis about the Jeremy Kyle episode he’s just spent all day watching on her television. Then Sirius wanders in and says his family should go on that show. Remus appears and then Peter and suddenly they’re all in her apartment and into her clothes and into her hair. They’re everywhere, seeping in through her like rain covered clothes, sticking to her skin. They’re remarkably with easy to like, these boys. They are just remarkable in general.
She makes Remus run through her chemistry flashcards while she’s prepping for the quiz in the morning, and by the afternoon he’s taken all her notes and immersed himself in piles upon piles of chemistry notes because he wanted to understand what he was quizzing her on. This is possibly the weirdest thing anyone has ever done, due to the fact that Remus is a law student who doesn’t even take chemistry but she goes with it because all these boys are insane. James tells her that he hates chemistry because it’s science and science is ‘the most boring thing on the planet ever and that includes Pete’s stories about his damn ukulele.’ She tells him that he looks like a frog with hair and glasses. Sirius high-fives her from where he’s lying flat on her coffee table.
James is around most often actually, spreading his art history papers across her coffee table and chewing on the tips of pencils. She has a theory that this will turn his brain green, and tells him. He takes the pencil out of his mouth and throws it at her. He spends a lot of time talking staring at paintings full of colour, and she adores them, these chunks of colour that don’t have shape but feeling instead. James calls it lazy, he says: ‘Lily, it’s not hard to paint a bunch of colours. It’s a lot more difficult to paint a person or a landscape, that’s real art’
She’s looking at the painting when she says: ‘maybe. But I think it’s a lot harder to capture a feeling than a concrete thing’
She looks up and finds him sort of looking at her weird, so she picks up the discarded pencil and throws it at his head. Part of the reason why she likes the paintings is because they remind her of why she actual became interested in chemistry in the first place, all of the colours the final reactions made. She’s didn’t give a shit about particle bonds or isotopes; she just had a thing for grey smoke and fluorescent liquids that spilt over the edges of glass cylinders. But naturally when she says this out loud Sirius just says ‘Lil has a hard-on for colours’, and goes back to eating her chips.
Anna starts labelling the food in the fridge with the label maker she stole from her mother, in retaliation Sirius and Peter write ‘FOOD IS SHARED PROPRETY’ underneath every label in sharpie. When Remus points out that food is technically not shared property, he is shouted down. James decides they need to go clubbing, so she puts on her tallest pair of shoes and so much lipstick its almost weighing her face down. They crowd the dance floor and she swears she can see some sort of point to all of this crap in the pounding lights, but it was just the reflection of Remus’s watch, so she drinks more and shakes her head when she dances like it might make her brain disconnect from its wires so she can stop thinking. She ends up screaming down the street perched on Sirius’s back as he runs, the others sprinting behind them laughing so loud that dogs start barking. She feels as if she is a moment that will ether make or break her life, so she screams to and grins at James when he runs next to her, all white teeth and luminous heart.
It’s rather strange because when she was in high school she couldn’t wait to get out and see the world, she wanted to go to university, study chem, then graduate and move to a city big enough that no one would know her name. But now she’s in university and everything is so much bigger than in the pictures, she feels lost in all of this space. She doesn’t say it out loud but she feels like they may already know, it’s in the way Remus kisses her forehead when he leaves sometimes, or how Peter throws her an apple for breakfast, when Sirius calls her ‘Lilium’ or when she’s leaning on James’s shoulder and can feel his heartbeat through his shirt.
Anna moves out at the start of the next month because she’s ‘sick of all of your boys hanging around and stealing my food’. Peter offers her the half-empty bag of cheerio’s he’s eating just before she goes and she rolls her eyes, utterly disgusted. Sirius and James move in to cover rent and Peter says that he would move in, but his mum really needs him at the house. This then means that everyone has to tease Peter about still living at home, and Anna drives away unnoticed while James and Remus prance around pretending to be Peter and saying things like ‘Mummy dearest’. Later, when Remus is back in the dorms, Peter is back with ‘Mummy dearest’ and Sirius has passed out cold on the couch on account of trying to chug a whole carton of chocolate milk, James helps her pack up the kitchen. She sits on the bench passing things for him to put in the higher cupboards and feels so lucky to know him when he is this exact person. This exact person who makes her laugh and watches Jeremy Kyle and helps her pack up her kitchen at one thirty in the morning. She feels something twist in her stomach when she looks at him, but doesn’t quite know what it could be.
James’s starts painting his final art project and Remus goes nuts about exams. He sees any minute where he isn’t revising as a minute wasted, carting around heavy law books and calling Sirius ‘an accident of the highest proportion’ when he hides his flashcards. Peter is doing a travel and tourism degree, and sees watching the travel channel as ‘studying’. In the middle of it all she turns twenty-one, and they throw her a party with cake and lots of games of darts. She refuses to allow them to get her gifts because she doesn’t need any more crap in her flat, but when goes upstairs to find a bundle of white lily’s with the note ‘shut up and accept my shitty gift Lilium’ stapled to one of the leaves. She sits on her bed for a minute grinning, because Sirius Black has the loveliest heart she’s ever seen. She goes downstairs and kisses his cheek firmly, he smiles.
James paints and paints and paints on his enormous final project for hours on end and she notices that he isn’t drawing a concrete image exactly. It’s almost a hazy outline of a desk with lots of colour piled on top of it, as if colour is laundry. She makes jelly and sits on the ground cross-legged watching him paint, spooning purple jelly straight from the huge glass bowl into her mouth. She is almost in love with him at this point, but has no idea about what to do about it. So she just keeps eating jelly and hoping that she can be alive in every room he is alive in for the rest of her life.
And the year is almost over, and everyone has passed exams, and she’s not dead. She tells this to Sirius and he congratulates her on this fact, then he spins her around by her waist and yells at her ceiling about how they are: ‘NOT ALL DEAD FUCK YEAH’. James finishes his final project and it turns out to be a hazy porcelain desk piled with glass beakers that each have different coloured liquids in them, all with varying degrees of smoke pouring out. The colours are so bright that it looks like someone has just cut a glow stick in half and poured into each beaker, then breathed white-silver smoke all over it. The entire thing is a white haze of colour that is so bright it could direct ships in the dark. It’s the most beautiful thing she’s ever seen, it’s her dream chemists lab. James has painted her dream chemist lab full of glass beakers and silver smoke, and he’s written ‘LIL HAS A HARD ON FOR COLOURS’ in the bottom right hand corner.
She sees it, lying on the ground in the living room when the paint is still wet, then marches into the bathroom where he is cleaning his paintbrushes.
‘I am going to kiss you now’ she says, and then she does because she isn’t a liar.
And she’s kissing him against the overflowing sink and he’s laughing. And she’s kissing his laughter and it tastes better than anything in her whole life, in her whole atmosphere. There is nothing like kissing someone who is laughing, it’s like you swallow their happiness and become different. She feels herself shed her skin and become someone entirely apart from the person she was in the living room.
And one day she will be forgotten and no one will remember her name or how she walked or how she liked her eggs or which china pattern she preferred or which neighbour’s cat she liked more when she was a kid but she would have had this. She would have had her boys and colour and chemistry and ‘Jeremy Kyle’ and this.
And, honest to god, she could live off this if she needed to, she swears