The Hunt (Ch. 5)
Info: TMR & OUAT | Newt | Word Count: 2,481 | Ch. 5
Summary: At Glader Prep, a group of boys called the Lost Boys have all the girls of the school wrapped around their fingers. They keep a watchful eye over every student, until a new girl moves to town. Intrigued, the Lost Boys begin the hunt for her… Until they realize they might just be her prey instead.
Just after I knocked, Newt promptly opened the carved wooden door. “(Y/N)!” He smiled brightly. I sucked in a breath as I took in his messily fluffed hair, his crisp black shirt, and adorable brown eyes. He watched me too, as he stepped aside to let me in, eyes following the length of my dress and legs. I blushed slightly, saying “Thank you” and nothing else as he let me in. I mentally kicked myself. I hated appearing shy.
“You have a beautiful house,” I managed painfully, as I followed him through the marble hallway and up a spiral staircase towards his room.
“Thank you,” Newt replied equally politely. “It’s been in my family for years. Hopefully it wasn’t too hard to find your way here?”
“No, actually,” I said thoughtfully. “You only live ten minutes away from me, to my surprise.”
Newt opened his bedroom door and let me in first. I stepped in, unsurprised at how neat and clean everything was. All his belongings seemed to be in place, and there were no clothes scattered across the floor, or books littered around. Everything was, well, perfect. Newt broke my thoughts, “Well that’s good! Guess it’ll make seeing each other really easy, then, won’t it?”
I turned in his direction sharply, surprised. Then I realized he was just talking about seeing each other for the play. I smiled sheepishly, hoping he didn’t notice. “Oh yeah, yeah it does. Speaking of which, this script is killing me. I’ve looked it over a bit, and I’m awful at playing this character. She’s nothing like me.”
Newt laughed and flung himself across his bed lazily. He patted on the space next to him, indicating I should join him. Forcing myself to relax and act naturally, since Newt did not seem remotely interested me despite what Peter told me, I joined him. We both pulled out our scripts, looking them over.
“Here love, acting’s not that hard. You simply have to let go of who you are, and think of taking on someone else’s skin - their thoughts, their emotions, their insecurities, their life. It gets easy from there. You just have to find something that links you to them.” Newt spoke with great passion, his eyes lighting up brilliantly as he talked about acting.
I raised my eyebrows a little, surprised at his skill. “Well, you’re obviously a lot better than me. I bet you love acting, huh?”
Newt shrugged, returning back to his normal stoic facial expression. “I did, yeah.”
“What happened?” I asked curiously.
He eyes glared in pain. “I guess as I grew up acting didn’t seem so fun anymore.”
I watched Newt with furrowed brows, struggling to understand. Did this have anything to do with his parents’ divorce, and how he changed after? “I suppose people change. It just seems like you’d be great at acting, that’s all.”
Newt sighed and said only, “Once the mask you wear becomes a part of you, you change.” I nodded, I definitely understood that. Every day, facing the world with the face they wanted to see, or trying to show only the parts of you that you wanted them to see. I understood that well, it was so natural to me, what with hiding my problems at home from the people around me and now becoming the new girl who had to prove she was tough.
“I understand that,” I said softly. “Probably better than most,” I admitted.
Newt looked down at me curiously, a wicked amusement glimmering in his eyes. “Really? What mask do you wear, (Y/N)? Who are you really?”
I stared back with equal resolution, wagging my finger with a teasing smile. “There’s no point to a mask if you reveal who you are underneath. Besides, I’m not sure there’s even much there anyway. I’m not a mystery, as everyone might imagine.”
Newt smiled humorlessly, understanding my meaning all too well. “Oh, I think that you are. Come on,” he urged jokingly, his eyes brightening again. “I don’t know a single thing about you or why you moved here or what your life was like before.”
“And I don’t know a single thing about you,” I retorted back challengingly. “All I have is rumors and whispers to go on, and frankly, I’d rather hear things from you.”
Newt’s eyes took on almost a fearful glare. “Tell me some of these ‘rumors’ you’ve heard about me.”
I bit my lip, unsure of what to say. I didn’t know what would be too sensitive to talk about. I decided to go with the one I believed couldn’t be true. “That you took an interest to me,” I replied quickly, secretly hoping he wouldn’t scorn the idea.
To my complete and utter surprise, Newt took on a poker face and tilted his head. “It’s not a rumor love, if it’s true.”
My mouth fell open slightly as I stared at Newt in shock, wondering what on earth would drive him to say that. Was Peter really telling the truth, then? I stammered, unsure of myself. “Um, I actually really didn’t think it was true. I wouldn’t have brought it up otherwise, you must think I’m –”
Newt laughed and leaned forward a bit towards me, placing two fingers on my jaw to raise my eyes to look up into his. I gulped. “Do you wish it weren’t true?” He asked softly. He refused to look vulnerable.
I stumbled on my words. “No, I don’t wish that, I mean, it’s not like that, I just –”
Newt smiled, clearly amused watching me squirm. “So you hoped I would like you?”
I shifted my expression into a glare, trying to compose myself again. “Why on earth would I not want you to like me?” I challenged.
That made the blonde laugh. “Oh, I dunno, I thought you hated me, with the way you behave.”
I scoffed. “What do you mean, the way I behave? You’re the one who was so rude at the game.”
“And you as well,” Newt added calmly.
I groaned in frustration. “Okay, you know what, forget I brought it up,” I threw my hands up in defeat.
Newt frowned. “Well, that’s not fair, love. You know how I feel about you, but you still haven’t told me what you feel.”
I blinked and burst in astonishment, “How can I feel anything, especially when I just met you and you’re proving to be the most confusing person I’ve met!”
“Well,” Newt started slowly. “I suppose there’s only one way to find out then…” he glanced towards my mouth, a smiling creeping up to his mouth slightly. My stomach turned… what had I gotten myself into?
I looked at him skeptically. “Oh come on, there’s other ways to find out, such as just getting to know you –”
“Look how well that’s gone,” Newt replied, smirking.
“Or we can just practice our lines, which is what I came here for,” I gritted my teeth.
He made a face and leaned in closer to me, his eyes again dropping to my mouth. “We both knew we weren’t going to be doing much practicing.”
I narrowed my eyes at him, feeling betrayed. “I hoped. I’m not one of your silly little conquests, Newt, or one of those girls you toy with and toss out when you’re done.”
Newt drew away and rolled his eyes. “Here you go again, with your judging. You rely far too heavily on the rumors you’ve heard.”
“Do you deny it?” I asked, biting my lip, hoping he would say no, hoping he would prove to me he’s not that kind of guy.
Newt’s eyes darkened, and he turned away. “What I’ve done, I’ve done.”
My heart cracked, my eyes falling in disappointment and hurt. I made my way to stand up, to leave, to… I didn’t even know.
The boy looked up to me with shining brown and eyes. “That doesn’t mean I can’t do differently.”
“At least you’re honest,” I replied, not wanting to hear more. “And I’m not going to ask you to change, Newt, because I don’t expect you too. ‘The mask you wear becomes a part of you’, right?” I smiled bitterly. “Bye, Newt,” I nearly whispered, my voice faltering, before I turned away and rushed out of his house, flushed, struggling not to look back.
Newt flung himself off his bed and rushed outside. He saw Y/N running down the stairs, skipping one at a time. “Y/N, wait!” He called out to her. But she didn’t turn. She continued until she was at the front door, pulled it open, and shut it behind her with a loud thud. The heavy sound echoed into the empty house, vibrating against the walls, and hitting Newt like a brick. He collapsed at the foot of the stairs, shaking, cursing himself for what he’d done. Why couldn’t he just change? Why did it have to be so hard?
He pressed his palm to his palm to his forehead, distressed, his head beginning to hurt from overwhelming emotions rushing at him, making his head feel like it’s going to burst. He didn’t know why, but it hurt him to see Y/N distressed, and winced at the idea of him being the cause of it. No one had ever called him out on his behavior as much as she did, and though it irritated him, if he was being honest with himself, he knew she was right. She had a right to be wary of him, to want to avoid him, to listen to what everyone else said about him.
But he hated that, he thought angrily, gritting his teeth. He wanted to trust her, so badly that it hurt, but every time he opened his mouth the wrong thing came out. He was having trouble defining the blurred line between what he felt and what he revealed. But he couldn’t act around her, not anymore… Y/N made him feel exposed, like he had to be honest with her, because she could see right through him anyway. Pulling himself up with a heavy heart, he rushed down the stairs and got into his car. She couldn’t be far, and his street was always empty at this time: he’d find her.
Revving his car viciously, Newt sharply turned out of his driveway and saw a solitary sleek black car waiting at a stoplight. He rushed to follow the car as soon as the light turned green, and trailed her car at a safe distance. She was right, her house wasn’t far. Before he knew it, she was pulling up to a quaint little house with brick walls and a small driveway. As Y/N pulled her car up onto the driveway, Newt parked on the sidewalk and waited for her to come out of the car. Quicker than he thought, she was out of her car and walking towards him angrily. She already knew he had followed her.
“What are you doing here, Newt?” Her voice shook with resentment. She didn’t even sound angry; he winced. Knowing he had caused her sadness made him feel much worse than her anger would.
Newt stepped out of his car and ran his hand through his hair nervously. “Look, Y/N, I’m sorry. Since I met you, I felt something towards you beyond what I’ve felt for anyone else. Hearing you say those things about me, about what I’ve done, it hurt me more because they were coming from you. It’s hard for me to show that, to let people in. But I want to trust you more than anyone in the world, despite everything.”
Y/N stared at him with an unreadable expression, her arms crossed in front of her, waiting for him to finish. Once he did, she began speaking in a level voice. “Newt, I’m sorry I judged you. I know I do that, to everyone I know, and that makes it hard for me to trust people. But I have to be honest with you… I know you’re more than what you just show. I’ve spent most of my life hiding what I feel, and though I wanted to be your friend, I had to be sure of your motives before I did so, to see if you really are as you seem, or if there’s more.” She took a step forward and placed a hand on his arm. “I don’t care about the things you’ve done, Newt. I just care about the way you treat me. I don’t want to be your amusement, when I actually care about you.”
Newt stared at her with impossibly large and longing eyes. “I do care about you, Y/N. That’s why I followed you here. But I just… I can’t be the person you want me to be.” His eyes darkened and he turned away, the side of his jaw clenching as he held back how much he hurt right now. “I will never be able to be that perfect, loving guy, Y/N, as much as I want to, I don’t have it in me.”
Y/N took a step closer to him and held the side of his face, turning it gently to face her. Newt’s eyes were filled with broken sadness. She shook her head, “I refuse to believe that Newt. I don’t want you to change for me. I like you for you. But you also don’t always have to keep things in, you know. You can start by just telling me things. I just want to know you, I-I don’t know why… I can’t help it. Please, just don’t shut me out.”
Newt’s eyes flashed with darkness as he glanced away slightly, before locking his gaze back on Y/N’s. He couldn’t be around her any longer, it hurt too much. He fought the urge to kiss her, seeing as her face was so close to his and she tugged at his arm with such a loving touch. He wanted to take her face into his hands and tilt her head back to capture her mouth in his… but he didn’t. He turned back to look at her, and with stony resolve and dark eyes, he said only, “You should stay away from me, Y/N. I can never tell you all the things I’ve done, you’d hate me.”
Y/N shook her head stubbornly. “You don’t know that. I promise, I won’t judge you this time. Tell me, just tell me.”
Newt groaned in frustration, wishing he could shake Y/N to see sense. “God damn it, Y/N, why do you have to be so stubborn? Just stay the hell away from me, otherwise the only person who’ll get hurt will be you.” Newt turned around brusquely, getting inside his car. He drove off without another word, leaving Y/N in the middle of the road, confused and alone.