I’ve told you guys about how I got roped into an English Poetry competition right?
Well I’m fucking screwed.
The competition is on April 22- this Saturday. I’m in the 9:00 division, slot 18 (so it’s estimated that I’ll perform at 10ish). Well I happen to need to catch a ferry at 10:15- 10:30 so I can take a subway to the airport to catch my 1 o'clock flight!
It’s my fault. I was stupid and didn’t find out about the day of the competition until yesterday and it’s too late now to change the flight time. I talked to my teachers but I can’t go to an earlier slot or anything and if I don’t perform, I’ll automatically be disqualified. That will go on the school record and I’ll be the FIRST STUDENT TO EVER HAVE TO FORFEIT/BE DISQUALIFIED. To make matters worse, this is a multi-school competition so I’m representing my school and it’s also my teachers last competition before he retires. Fortunately the school is close to the ferry terminal and hopefully everyone will go quickly but even then, it will be close and if it gets to late and I haven’t performed yet, I’m just going to have to leave in the walk of shame.
I’m not religious but Can ya’ll pray for me? I really need some divine intervention to help me out here and help me make this work. Please I need to make this work. I don’t want my first ever poetry competition to end like this.
Just wanted to say I loveeee switchblade and thank you so much for writing it. I love your writing and all the prompts you do. Just wondering what you though about Neil having a nightmare that Andrew died and left him like his mom. Maybe some ooc comforting or just the hand neck thing reassuring Neil that Andrews right there he didn't go anywhere
aw, thank you, glad you enjoy my writing! little post-canon nightmare fic for you:
Andrew woke up to the mattress shifting as Neil levered himself out of bed. There was no explanation for where he was going – there usually wasn’t. Neil wasn’t as good with words as he liked to think he was, especially when he woke himself up in the night.
Andrew, who preferred silence anyway, waited until the aching urge to just close his eyes and sleep again faded, and then dragged himself upright. He grabbed his hoodie from where it was sprawled over the top of the dresser and put it on, folding his pack of cigarettes into the pocket before following.
The entire apartment was still dark, but the sliding door to the balcony was cracked open to let in the sound of the street below. Andrew went to it, ignoring the bite of cold air across his bare feet. He made sure his steps sounded on the floor as he walked.
Neil had folded himself down into the spot between the lonely outdoor chair they’d inherited from the last tenants and the railing, a black shape huddled in on itself. Andrew reached for the light switch just inside the door.
“Don’t,” Neil said roughly, hearing the tap of Andrew’s nails against the plastic.
Part of Andrew wanted to anyway – there was nothing for Neil in the dark and the cold. He didn’t because he could just make out the bowed line of Neil’s neck, curved down, the press of his arm to his scarred left cheek. This was less run-and-hide than it was reaching for control. And when it came to coping methods, Andrew didn’t have much of a leg to stand on, even compared to Neil.
He stepped out onto the balcony but didn’t get close, dropping the pack of cigarettes on the ground within Neil’s reach so the lighter inside rattled. Then he turned around, sliding the door all the way closed behind him.
He went for his sneakers, first, tugging them on. Then he pulled the duvet off of the bed and threw it over his shoulder. The cats both protested the rude disturbance as they were sent sprawling onto the mattress, but he ignored them. It was payback, as far as he was concerned.
Back in the kitchen, he made a mug of decaf coffee – white, no sugar – and one of hot chocolate. Any remaining adrenaline in his body from being so abruptly woken drained out of him through his hands as he went through the motions he could probably remember in his sleep.
They had a routine, these days. Andrew sometimes struggled with the idea of that. Tonight wasn’t one of those times, though.
The pack was in exactly the same place when he returned to the balcony, untouched, which meant that this was one of those nights. Andrew put the mugs down on either side of it, then took the duvet off of his shoulder and threw it into Neil’s lap.
He took a spot on the concrete on the other side – the balcony wasn’t that big, but it was enough that they both had their space like this. Once situated, he folded his mug between his hands and let the heat sear his palms a little. The sensation chased away the habitual desire for the taste of nicotine, the steady inhale-exhale of smoke.
Neil had told him about what that smell meant to him back in Andrew’s junior year, why he used it as his anchor after all this time. Andrew hadn’t started to pick up the relationship with nights like this one until months later, but he was familiar with the idea of a stimulus riding the edge of comfort and trigger. Neil knew that, too: that was why he was always so careful with his touch.
After a few minutes, Neil moved. The duvet rustled as he unfolded it from his lap and then pulled it around his shoulders. He reached for the second mug and held it up to his face, letting the streetlight-orange steam wash over him.
Andrew looked away, taking a sip of his own drink. It was too hot, but the sting was a contrast with the rich sweetness of the chocolate. Comfort, trigger – they were all the same to him.
Neil said, “Can you…”
He cut himself off, and then made a frustrated noise. No more talking for the man who lived for the damage his words-turned-weapons could do.
Andrew made it simple, the same way he always did. He shuffled closer, and put his mug down, and held out his hand to where the barest trace of light silhouetted Neil’s jaw. “Yes or no?”
At his murmured yes, Andrew touched his knuckles to the sharp line of it – damp to the touch – and then curled his fingers just this side of too firm about the back of his neck.
The sound he got in response was just a breath, shaking on the way out, written all over with relief.
Neil said, “You’re here.” It wasn’t quite addressed to Andrew, and it wavered between statement and question, but the way his eyes, just barely visible, flickered to him and away again was telling.
Andrew didn’t reply - his grip was his answer, anyway, unyielding as stone.