Roughly inspired by Hand to Myself by Selena Gomez. Just a side note that I really can’t write smut, I feel incredibly weird so I do apologize for the cliff hanger ;)
Can’t keep my hands to myself No matter how hard I’m trying to I want you all to myself You’re metaphorical gin and juice
I mean I could but why would I want to?
It was convenient that Tom and [Y/N] lived right across the street from one another. It meant that they could just walk over and not have to worry about the awful London traffic. Or even that if they drank a little too much, their home was just a few feet over. It was great. What wasn’t convenient was that Tom and his best mate, Harrison, always, like clockwork played basketball every morning. And [Y/N] had the front row seats with her window facing the cul-de-sac they played on.
[Y/N] had never been a sexual person. She just kept her hands in her lap and behaved like a good girl but ever since she had starting dating Tom, it was getting a lot harder to maintain the proper ladylike persona her parents had raised her to have. It seemed that even the simplest movements Tom would make would send her senses into overdrive and force her to have the mind of horny thirteen year old boy. And [Y/N] could bet money that Tom had no idea what he was doing to her, he was always such a gentlemen when it came to her personal space. Of course they would cuddle and have make-out sessions but he was always aware of where his hands would be. And [Y/N] loved that for the most part, she was adoring that Tom wasn’t acting out on his hormones and was being respectful of her body because her body wasn’t a piece of property that he could invite himself into whenever he pleased. But, there were days where she wished he would just use all his pent up sexual urges and show her what she did to him.
And it didn’t help that this morning, Tom was shirtless. The sun was kissing his body and causing every curve and dip of his muscles glisten from the sweat that was covering his upper body. It was a taunt and it was driving her insane. She stood by the window, watching Harrison and Tom play for a few more minutes before she decided that she needed to do something to get the idea of what laid beyond the shorts that were covering the rest of him out of her head.
Splashing cold water on her face, she looked in the mirror and noticed a small purple mark poking out from her shirt. Wincing, she pulled the collar down to inspect it a little more. She would admit the night before was one of their more friskier nights, Tom had never left a hickey before. It left her flustered and she could bet that seeing Tom this morning made the feelings come back twice as hard. Blowing air out of her mouth, she dug around in her drawer to find some concealer. Even though she was twenty, her parents would freak the hell out that she was engaging in any kind of physical contact with her boyfriend. If she didn’t still live at home, she would have shrugged and went on about her day.
Dabbing some on until she felt that it was hidden enough, she closed her eyes when she heard the victory yells from Tom. Gripping the counter, she looked at herself. She could feel herself getting hot at the thought of what more could have happened the night before if her parents hadn’t came home so early. Swallowing hard, she told herself to get a grip.
Walking towards her closet, she threw on some running shorts and a matching sports bra. Reaching around her jacket, she zipped it up halfway. [Y/N] needed to run off her hormones, put something else in her head. Walking into the kitchen to grab a protein bar, she noticed a note from her parents.
Went shopping at the mall and then going to see a film. After that we’ll be going grocery shopping. Be home right before 6. Send a text if Tom and Harrison will be joining for dinner so I’ll be prepared. xx mom
Plucking the note from the fridge, she laid it on the counter and sent her mother a text saying that most likely Tom and Harrison will be coming over. Four out of the seven days, they normally did. Grabbing a sip of her water, she headed out the door.
“[Y/N]! Come play with us, Haz needs all the help he can get.” Tom chuckled.
Walking over towards the two boys who were dripping with sweat, she placed a peck on Tom’s cheek and patted Harrison’s shoulder. “Love to, but I’m going to go run a few miles.”
“Ew,” Harrison groaned.
“Ew, yourself.” [Y/N] responded, sticking out her tongue. She turned towards Tom in time to find him rake his eyes over her attire. Biting her lip, she tried to ignore his lingering gaze over her exposed torso.
“I agree with Harrison, why are you running?” Tom asked, “You could get in your daily exercise right here with me.” He motioned towards the basketball hoop.
[Y/N] really wanted to respond with something inappropriate but decided against it. It was only going to make her situation worse. “I’ll pass, but maybe next time. I’ll see you in an hour.”
“An hour?! How many fucking miles you plan on running, [Y/N]” Harrison sputtered.
Shrugging, she started to jog backwards, “However many I can run in an hour, Haz.” Shaking her head, she smiled and blew kisses towards them and turned to face forward and headed off.
[Y/N] had needed a lot more than an hour to get her mind off of her sexual thoughts about Tom. She had ran for thirty minutes before she slowed to a walk to give her burning legs a rest and in that time, she had made up five million fantasies. All of them ranging from innocent fluffy to extremely fifty shades. After walking for another thirty, she decided to run back to the house. Figuring that Harrison had probably either gone home or knowing that Tom would be spending time with her and went inside to hang out with Sam and Harry.
Slowing down her pace when she spotted Tom sitting on her porch in the comfy bench her mother had insisted on spending four hundred dollars on. She smiled as she hopped up the steps, “Hey you.”
Looking up from his phone, Tom smiled back. “Hey yourself. I thought you said you were going to run for an hour? How many miles did you clear?”
Shrugging, [Y/N] unzipped her jacket all the way, fanning herself with her hand. She hated to feel so hot that the only thing she wanted was to peel off her own skin. “I don’t know maybe five or six? I wasn’t tracking it but I reached the fountain and came back.”
Tom whistled, “Look at you speedy.” He chuckled and got up from the bench to hug her.
“No, I’m gross.” She whined.
Pressing a kiss to her forehead, he shook his head. “No, never. Impossible.”
Trying to ignore the skin to skin contact, she pushed him away and rolled her eyes. Reaching into her hidden pocket for the spare key to her house, she unlocked the front door and walked in. “Did Haz go home or is he with the twins?”
“The twins,” he responded, following her in.
“So, he’ll be over for dinner too? I was supposed to tell my mom for sure.”
Tom shrugged, “I dunno. I’ll ask him,” texting Harrison, he slid his phone back into his shorts pockets.
Chugging some water to cool down, she tossed him a gatorade. “You going to eat dinner with my parents with just that on?” [Y/N] teased.
Leaning against the counter, he crossed his arms, the well-defined muscles flexing and tightening made [Y/N] lick her lips. “Are you going to wear that to dinner with your parents?” He squinted his eyes, pushing off the counter, he walked towards her in just four steps. His thumb rubbed against the spot on her neck where she had covered with concealer. “Bloody Hell, your father is going to kill me.” He muttered.
Tapping your neck, he chuckled. “I’ve given you a hickey. I guess the sweat from your run rubbed the makeup off.”
Chewing on her lip, she shrugged. “I’ll cover it back up when I get dressed. No big deal, they will never know.”
“Good because that is not a conversation I want to have with your father.” He shuddered at the thought of being confronted by one of the seriously intimidating men he had ever come to meet. Tom reminisced to the time where he had first met her father, he was ready to piss himself.
[Y/N] shook her head and laughed, knowing exactly what he was thinking about. She could have keeled over and died from laughing so hard at her father and Tom’s first encounter. She had to reassure Tom that her father really did like him after the first few times and he had even told her that he preferred Tom over her past boyfriends.
She fidgeted with the bottom of her jacket, running the zipper up and down causing Tom to look at her with a confused look. “How long have we been dating now?”
Tom tilted his head to the side and did the math in his head. “A little over two years, why?”
“Do you not find me sexually attractive?”
Tom choked on his spit, completely blind sided by her question. “I’m sorry, what?!”
Avoiding his baffled stare, she sighed. “Am I not sexually appealing? Like, is there a reason why we haven’t had sex?”
Tom seriously couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of her mouth. He moved in her line of sight, speaking softly, “Hey, look at me.” Waiting until she met him, he smiled softly. “Are you seriously asking me that? If I didn’t find you to be sexy, I wouldn’t have left that hickey on your neck. Of course I find you to be sexy. I find you to be sexy all the time, [Y/N].”
“Really.” Tom confirmed, shaking his head at how crazy her question was. He chuckled a little before pressing a kiss to the corner of her mouth. “Have I thought about sex with you? Yes. But I, it’s not, I don’t. Sex isn’t just something we do because it feels good, [Y/N]. I want it to be special, meaningful. We’d be sharing ourselves in a more personal way and I might be ready to do that but you might not be.” Cupping her face, he smiled again. “I would never want to pressure you into something because I don’t have to have sex with you to know that I want to be with you. Is it difficult, yes, especially when you wear things like what you have on now.” His eyes trailed down her and then back, “But, I love you for you not for sex or anything else. It would just be an added bonus.”
[Y/N] couldn’t help but blush at his words. Again, he was always so respectful. “I love you, Holland.”
“And I love you, [L/N]” He pulled her into a hug, the kind that she melted into. [Y/N] would swear up and down that Tom had different kind of hugs. And the way he was hugging her now was her all time favorite. It made her feel warm and fuzzy inside, almost like she was completely safe and nothing could harm her all while feeling the love radiate from his body.
Pulling away a little, she took a deep breath. “What if I’m ready now?”
Tom’s eye sparkled a little as he studied her expression, “Then I’d plan it to be special.”
“No, like now.”
“Now?” Tom asked in surprise.
“Yes, like right here, right now.” Wincing and giggling lightly, she shrugged, “Or well in my room, not here in the kitchen, that’d be weird. We eat and cook in here.”
Tom pulled apart from her completely, looking her dead straight in the eyes. “You want to have sex right now? Really? Are you sure, [Y/N].” She could tell he was getting flustered, “What if your parents come home? Or Haz decides to just come over? Don’t you think it’d be more special if I had planned it out to be romantic?”
“I love you, Tom, I really do but when has anything you’ve ever planned romantically gone according to plan?” She raised a brow, waiting for him to answer.
“You have a point….”
She grabbed for his hands, “I think it would be special right now. Don’t think I haven’t notice the looks you’ve been giving me when you think I’m not looking. Isn’t passion what makes it special?”
“Bloody Hell,” Tom mumbled as he ran a hand over his face. “You’re going to kill me, absolutely kill me.”
The first night his boyfriend didn’t come back to the dorm, Other Red (Red had already been the name of a student when Other Red was a freshman, and changing your nickname too much wasn’t the best idea) didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t unheard of for one or the other of them to spend a night with friends. But when he wasn’t there the next morning, or in their one shared class that day, Other Red started to worry. As spacey as Frankie Lee could be, he was an avid student. Frankie Lee wasn’t his real name, of course. It wasn’t a surprise to those who knew him that his taken name was musically inspired. He wasn’t answering his phone, either. When there was still no sign of him on the third day, Other Red started asking around. He found what he needed to know pretty soon.
“Yeah, the last time I saw him was a couple days ago.”
“Where was he?”
“Over by the track, by that little wooded area. He had his guitar.”
“He was going towards the trees? Sounds like he was looking for a quiet place to write songs.”
“Wouldn’t surprise me.”
“So he went, alone, into the forest, to play music?”
Other Red didn’t waste much time. He packed what he needed, knocked on his RA’s door so someone would know where he was going (and so they’d be better prepared to notice if it wasn’t him that came back), and headed for the woods. All this wasn’t strictly necessary, since the RAs would go retrieve Frankie Lee at the end of the semester, but he might be… different by then, and Other Red didn’t want to wait that long to see him again anyway. He walked right into the shade of the trees, and kept going until he couldn’t see the edge of the woods behind him, though the forest he’d walked into was maybe forty feet across. Nowhere on the Elsewhere University campus was a surefire route to danger, if you knew what you were doing, just as nowhere was 100 percent safe if you were reckless enough, but going under the trees to play music? Other Red had to admit that had been stupid. He loved Frankie Lee, but he could be lacking in common sense.
As he went, Other Red reminded himself of a story. There was a smith, so the story goes, who made a deal. Who or what he made the deal with changes from telling to telling, but a popular version calls it the Devil. Other Red didn’t know about devils, but any Elsewhere U student knew there were other things you could make deals with. The smith gave up his soul in exchange for supernatural skill at metal work - the ability to weld anything to anything. When the Devil came to collect, though, the smith welded him to a tree and left him there. It’s an old story, one of the oldest, in fact. It’s been told for six thousand years. The story told Other Red a couple of things. One, that metalwork has always been a little bit Else, and two, that it was one way, maybe the first way we ever found, to get a bit of power over the Gentry. At least enough power to get him out of this.
He hoped it was enough to get him out of this.
After a while, he could hear music softly through the trees. He walked closer until he could make out the words:
“Then the loud sound did seem to fa-a-ade Came back like a slow voice on a wave of pha-a-ase That weren’t no D.J. that was hazy cosmic jive There’s a starman waiting in the sky He’d like to come and meet us But he thinks he’d blow our minds…”
Other Red could practically see Frankie Lee, eyes closed and head nodding the way he did when he got into his music. He’d smile, and, if he wasn’t playing too, wave his hands slowly like the music was the only thing in the world. Then Other Red reached the clearing where the music was coming from, and he did see Frankie Lee, sitting and playing at the feet of the member of the Court that had taken him.
Less Starman, Other Red thought, and more Thin White Duke. Thin he certainly was, or maybe a better word was long, half again Other Red’s height with his legs - how many knees was that? - stretched out from his seat, which was carved from an enormous tree stump into intricate, disturbing patterns. He was pale, with a human face but a goat’s disdainful eyes, and he wore leather armor with what looked like a bronze sword on his belt. Other Red stepped into the clearing.
The Gentleman held up a hand, and Frankie Lee stopped playing, though his eyes had been closed. When he saw Other Red, he perked up and made eye contact with him, but didn’t speak.
“What brings you here?” asked the Fair One with disinterest.
Other Red indicated Frankie Lee. “I’d like him back.”
“And what will you give me not to simply keep you here as well?”
“I have nothing to give you, but I bring the tokens of my craft.” From his bag, he pulled a welding mask and a handful of nails. “I’m a shop student. If you don’t let me leave, there will be repercussions.” He tried to keep his voice as confident as he could.
The Shining One stared at him for a long moment, then sat back. “You may leave whenever you please, smith, but you cannot command me to give up my musician.”
Other Red had been expecting that. “A game, then?”
“A game. Very well.” said the Good Neighbor instinctively, and then, coming to himself, “What game do you choose?”
Other Red pulled out the other thing he had packed, and tossed it towards the Blessed One. “Fifth Edition, no expansions. One session, seventh-level characters, fight to the character death. I’ll see you a week from today at eight.” He bent down to quickly kiss Frankie Lee, then turned and left.
He’d afforded a week because, as much as he wanted Frankie Lee back right now, he needed time to find a DM who was willing to run this fight. Eventually, a girl named Tyto agreed to do it, for approximately a shitton of carefully-specified snacks. This wasn’t the first time someone had played D&D with one of the Gentry. Sometimes, as now, students figured it was the best chance they had of getting something out of them. Other Red’s challenge was a little unusual in that regard - most such games were essentially attempts to impress the Shining Ones with your storytelling talent. They had great respect for storytellers, and a skilled DM could easily get into their good books. Sometimes, They took a liking to the game, and played just for the sake of playing. Other Red had heard of a campaign that met once a month, on the new moon, where students regularly played alongside their Neighbors. Other Red wasn’t making this a storytelling competition, though. He wasn’t a DM, and he wanted a contest he could win.
On the appointed night, they set up in the game room and waited. Other Red wasn’t using his regular character, Ambrose the halfling rogue, for this. It was stupid, but he didn’t want to to let Them know even that fictional real name. Plus, he felt that if he did lose the fight, Ambrose might somehow be dead for good. He’d rolled up a human bard just for the occasion. It seemed appropriate.
At exactly eight, the Duke walked in. He looked more human here, though he was still morning-frost sharp and pale. He was wearing a black suit, and had his hair in a long braid. Tyto shifted in her chair as he walked past her. Other Red offered him a bag of Doritos. Ritual was important, after all. “Given without obligation,” he added.
“Most kind,” said the Visitor, as he took the bag and produced his character sheet. Other Red looked over it briefly. Tiefling druid. Made sense.
“Well then,” said Tyto. “Let’s get started. You’re standing in the street of a small town. You’ve just gotten into a confrontation in a tavern and decided to take it outside. Roll for initiative.”
The fight started out slow and cautious. Both characters had swords, and their initial actions were simple. Attack, roll for damage. Attack, roll for damage. Attack, miss. Attack… As they played, they drew an audience. Not students. Any student who knew what was happening tonight had made plans far, far away. There was a man with hair the color of the sea. Two identical-looking girls, neither of their hands quite right. When they walked in, they were followed by a fox that sat quietly and comfortably on a chair. They all watched in silence as the players spoke their battle into being.
Eventually, Other Red’s opponent seemed to get tired of this pattern. “I cast Flame Blade,” he said, “and attack with it.” Now they were playing with magic. Other Red surrounded the druid with a cloud of daggers. The druid turned into an eagle and dive-bombed the bard. The audience began to stir. This was almost as exciting as the real thing. A few of them could remember when Gwion and Ceridwen tried the same routine. The bard cast a spell of fear to send the eagle flying away, and another spell to deal it damage. The eagle became a boar and charged the bard.
That was two. He was out of transformations. This was what Other Red had been waiting for. “I cast Dimension Door,” he announced, “on both of us.”
“O… K,” said Tyto. “You both move to..?” “500 feet directly above us. And as we start to fall, I cast Feather Fall on myself only.”
Tyto and the Fair One both stopped as they realized what he’d done. “So,” Tyto said to the Gentleman, “You’re falling 500 feet. Do you have anything that might help with that?”
“I do not.”
“Then if you’re alright with it, I don’t think we need to roll to know that you’re pretty dead.” “No.” He stood up and offered Other Red his hand. “How inventive. The musician is yours.” He left the room without another word, and the audience followed behind. After a moment, the door opened again and Frankie Lee stumbled in. He was shivering, with snow melting on his shoulders and water droplets clinging to his tightly curled hair. It was sixty degrees outside.
Other Red almost knocked his chair back standing up. He held Frankie Lee tightly for a long time, and then pulled away a little.
“What were you thinking?”
“I know, I know. How long was I gone?”
“About a week and a half. How long did you…?”
“Damn. I was only there for a couple of hours. I was starting to run out of Bowie. I tell you what, though, I think I finished that song I was working on.”
“If you finished it while you were There, you should maybe never play that part.”