busy streets and busy lives • ralph penbury x reader
A strange day at work gets even stranger when you meet a man who claims he's from 1926. With no certainty as to when he can get back, you decide to take him in until that time arrives.
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Tags: Timewasters (series), modern!au, slow burn, mutual pining, idiots in love™, fluff, some angst, swearing and mentions of adult themes throughout, eventual adult content, alcohol content, drug content, penbury is a fanon surname
Word count: 10.6k
A/N: 5½ months. 12 chapters. 107,600 words. All for a silly little idea I threw at my friends in a discord server. Thank you for being here. <3
Also, there's a part in this that's VERY reminiscent of a certain photo that released today. (spoiler alert, it's in the chapter card lol) I swear, I wrote that almost a week ago and the video just HAD to drop today of all days, DIDN'T IT. If Joseph Quinn is in my walls, please get him out of there. That's not a safe environment for him.
“Right, so, hang about…” Connor holds his hands out in front of him, moving one out to the side as if physically placing events into a timeline. “So, back in 192-whatever, Ralph meets Nick and that lot, who we went to school with, who have… Travelled through fucking time,” he sounds exhausted just at that phrase. You nod, and he moves his hand to continue, “Ralph falls head over heels for Little Lauren. That works about as well as anybody would expect,” he raises his eyebrows at Ralph, who shies away a little. “And Ralph joins the Army.”
“French Foreign Legion, to be exact,” Ralph pipes up.
“French Foreign Whatever, yeah,” Connor nods, moving his hand again. “He hates it, he runs away back home, he ends up meeting Homeless Pete.”
“Wait!” Grace’s boyfriend suddenly shouts, waving his hands around and making everyone jump. He points to Ralph. “That’s why your name’s always been in the back of my head! You lived in the fucking Waterstones building?!” Ralph nods. “So, you were filthy stinking rich, and you left that?!”
“Well, I… I may have left out some details about… I may have… Sort of given up most of my material possessions to Laur- the other Lauren,” he gestures to Connor’s girlfriend, who makes an expression that shows Ralph she understands that she’s not who he’s talking about. “Um, before I had left. Well, after I had left for the Army, but before I… Ended up here.”
“You were really down bad, weren’t you, mate?” Connor asks, cocking his head, and Ralph cowers back into his seat.
“Yes, well. That’s all well into the past now. Ninety-seven years in the past, to be exact!”
“Fucking mental,” Scott says under his breath. “Anyway, Connor, keep going with your…” He waves his hands in front of him.
“Yeah, so, you’ve not got nothing, Lauren rejected you and you still left her everythi- God, how did you survive without us?!” Connor shakes his head. “So you bump into H.P., who brings you to our time. You get rescued,” he gestures to you, “and…”
“Can I ask,” Scott’s partner raises a finger, looking at you. “What made you take him in, then?”
You look at Ralph and shrug. “I dunno, look at him! Who’d say no to that face?” You squish his cheeks in one hand, to his indignation, and you hear the soft laughs of your friends. “But… Yeah. Once I’d found H.P. and gotten as much of an explanation as I’ll ever get out of him, it was just… So much to wrap my head around. And I couldn’t just leave Ralph to the streets, he’d get killed!” Ralph suddenly looks very fearful, grabbing a cushion to hug to his chest. “And then next thing I knew, he was setting off alarms in the flat on his first day there, so I couldn’t exactly leave him home alone, so I had to bring him with me to Anna’s that night. I barely had the time to text you lot in advance, I couldn’t exactly leave you a voice note saying “by the way, time travel exists and I’m bringing a man who was born in the Victorian era, see you at 7!” And then the days were getting ahead of me, and I couldn’t even make any sense of it myself, let alone trying to teach any of you about it, either.”
“So, what, does he have to go back at any point? To like, restore the fragile balance of the time-space continuum or whatever sci-fi nonsense this actually proves?” Grace asks.
“Well, we thought so, and that’s why we were always so vague about him “going home”,” you explain. “But then, after Brighton, he almost - he could’ve gone home, and by all we knew back then, he should’ve -” You don’t see Ralph wince in pain at that word. “- but H.P. tol- well, told,” you hold up your fingers as air quotes, “Ralph that since the others had never returned to their own time, without consequence, he decided to stick around.” You smile comfortingly at him and he reaches out to hold your hand.
“Easily the best decision I’ve ever made,” he smiles back. “Staying with you, well, all of you!” He looks around the room. “I truly… I cannot put into words how deeply it hurt to omit the truth from you all for so long, but… Well, everything just seemed to be going so well for me, for once, and I feared that… To let that slip, I might… Lose you all,” he lets go of you to wring his hands in his lap. “Entirely selfish of me, I completely understand if you all think differently of me, now -”
Anna interjects with a sympathetic, “You’d have to do a lot worse to get rid of all of us.”
“Yeah, you’re the one stuck with us, Ralphie!” Scott jokes.
“I mean…” Lauren starts, pausing for a moment. Ralph’s face goes on an emotional journey of potential heartbreak, fearing he’s lost one of his best friends. Lauren remains stoic as she finally continues, “Yeah, it’s pretty shit that pretty much the foundation of why we’re friends is a lie.”
“Literally the only thing that Ralph and I kept quiet was the whole time travel thing, because, well, it still sounds stupid saying those words out loud,” you shake your head. “But everything else, it’s all been pure Ralph. Nothing else is based off any lies, it was just to… I mean, what would you have done if he’d have told you that night you met him, that he’d got here by getting in a lift with an old man in 1926 and ended up in 2022?!”
“I’d think he was off his tits,” Lauren admits in a quiet voice, much to Ralph’s confusion. “Yeah, alright, I guess, it’s… It’s complicated, innit?”
“Tell me about it,” you reply, exhausted, and the others laugh.
“It is a bit shit,” Connor acknowledges Lauren and then the pair of you. “But we’d all probably have done something similar. I mean, fuck me, I’d probably have left him with H.P. and let him be someone else’s problem. Good job I never found you first, eh!” Connor’s light-hearted smile falters at Ralph’s fearful look.
“Again, I completely understand if any of you feel duped into being my friend and wish to use your own agency to - just, please, direct all of your disappointment towards me and not -”
“Ralphie, babes, we’re saying we get it. Kinda. I dunno, this is all messing with my head a bit,” Grace blows out a breath, and everyone makes general noises of agreement. “But of course we still wanna be friends with you, you big nelly!”
“Yeah, we love teaching you words and things you’d never know. Now that we know why, we can teach you way more!” Scott’s eyes glisten mischievously.
“I mean, I know I’m the one who technically turned you into a bit of a Swiftie, but I’m not letting go of that any time soon,” Anna jokes, which causes Ralph to finally let out a small laugh. “And besides, whose head am I gonna pat without you around?!”
“I never meant to deceive you all,” Ralph says quietly.
“We know,” Connor reassures in the same tone, “but you didn’t really trick us into anything. And hey, it could’ve been worse. I’d rather you were a secret time traveller than a secret serial killer!”
Ralph finally lets himself smile at Connor, who returns it. He sits up a little more confidently. “I can’t tell you what a relief it will be to never have to worry about what I say anymore!”
“I mean, still, this information can’t leave the people in this room,” you explain, gesturing around to everyone. “There’s all sorts of legalities that I’ve never been able to figure out, like a passport,” you gesture to Connor and Lauren, “or setting him up with a bank account, or medical stuff -”
“I mean, surely there’s people out there who were never registered at birth or whatever, right? Maybe we just play Ralph off as one of those?” Anna asks.
“Maybe. But who do we say he is? If we call him a Penbury, as in we try and say that he’s his own relative, his last technical record from 1926 is that he enlisted, went MIA and was presumed dead,” you shrug.
“Shit, yeah, your mum does all that stuff, doesn’t she? Have a look, see what his sister’s stuff says, maybe we can sneak him in that way,” Scott leans in, and everyone else starts shuffling closer, too.
Ralph, having been sat dumbfounded for several minutes, finally finds his voice. “Sorry, but now I’m the one who’s rather lost. So… Not only are none of you ousting me, you’re planning to deceive the law for me?!”
“Yeah, didn’t you hear Anna earlier? You’re family,” Connor smiles affectionately at him, and Ralph’s ears turn pink as his lower lip trembles.
You log into your mum’s ancestry account and once again look up Ralph’s name, your eyes going wide when you see the name next to him. “Okay, so Victoria’s got about six surnames, so I’m sure we can slip you in there somewhere,” you shake your head. Having only looked at his census before, you look through the data they have on Ralph and gasp loudly. Everyone’s gaze snaps to you as you flip your phone over to show them a photo of Ralph, dated February 1926, looking exactly how you remember he did the day you met him, dressed head to toe in Army uniform.
“Oh, you could totally say that you’d been digging up family stuff and you think you’re a dead ringer for… How many generations back would that be?” Anna asks.
You count on your fingers, “Okay, so 1901… Let’s say 30 years per generation, that’s like 3 to get to you being around our age… Which would make OG Ralph your potential… Great-grandpa.” You grimace at the same realisation that Connor and Scott come to, as they point and laugh at you.
“You’re dating someone old enough to be your -”
“He’s twenty-six! Please don’t make me think of it any other way!” You wince, making everyone laugh. “Three generations of unregistered babies is a bit of a stretch…” You shake your head. “Let’s just table this for now. He’s not going anywhere for the time being, are you?” You turn to ask Ralph, who violently shakes his head, still blinking his tears away. “There we go. So, let’s just let everything… Sink in, for now. And we’ll keep thinking of what to do in the long run.”
Ralph hugs everyone goodbye extra tightly. You offer an extra apology to all of your friends, yourself, but they all echo the earlier sentiments that they would have done the same if they were in such a predicament. That they probably would have talked you out of keeping Ralph fugitive for as long as you have. That, if anything, they’re grateful you never gave them the chance to advise you, because if you’d listened to them, none of you would have him in your lives, and one thing everyone in the room agrees on is that life’s been far better with him in it. You have to practically frog-march Ralph out of the door as he starts getting misty-eyed again.
Once you and Ralph are laying in bed, you cuddle up to him, wrapping your arm around his torso. “How you feeling, now?”
“I can’t feel much less than spectacular with you in my arms, my love,” Ralph smiles as he holds you even closer to him.
“Not just all the mushy stuff, you big sap,” you tease. “I mean, like, having to tell everyone.”
“Ah. Yes, well. That went far better than I ever imagined,” he admits softly.
“Wanna admit now that you mean a hell of a lot more to people now that you’ve found the right ones?” You look up at him with a grin.
He squeezes his arm around you to prompt you into leaning up to kiss him. Once you break away from him, he sighs happily. “I suppose, it’s a comfort to know what real friendship is supposed to feel like.”
“Exactly. You don’t give up on the right people. And you’re our right person,” you nuzzle into his neck and he buries his face in your hair.
“That sentiment is more than mutual. Goodnight, my love. Pleasant dreams.“
“Night, Ralphie. Love you, too.”
The next morning, you and Ralph both have the day off, a rare occurrence that you’re extra grateful for today. Of course, you’d love to spend it doing more of what you’d been doing just yesterday, but you’d rather be extra safe and get Ralph some protection, as well as your own birth control. And you needed to go into town for some other things, anyway. You decide to take Ralph with you, though - mostly, so that you can coach him into being able to buy his own condoms without spontaneously combusting on the spot.
Ralph wants to ask his boss something, too, so you head to the old high street where his shop is. While you do love his colleagues, you know that Babs will insist on you two staying for a cup of tea. And then another. And then she’s made you lunch. And then you’re spending your whole day off at Ralph’s workplace. Which honestly, has been fun when it’s happened before, but you do have things on your personal agenda today. And then when they’re done…
You wave to Babs through the shop window when you hear some vaguely familiar voices approaching.
“Nah, bruv, I think your mate Pete got his maths all mixed up, this ain’t when we left here.”
“Maybe we’re in whatever year he just wanted to come back to.”
“Nah, mate, I told him, clear as mud: take us back to the present day.”
“Okay, but Jase, you do realise we’ve travelled back and forth between multiple decades since -”
“Shhh, shut the fuck up, someone’s right there! We should just ask them.”
“Fantastic idea, sis. What do you want to do, rock right up and say, ‘Hello, completely normal and unaware person. Could you, for no strange reason whatsoever, happen to tell me what year it is?’?!”
You’d most certainly know that voice anywhere. Looking over at your high school crush, you smirk at Nicholas, his sister and his friends as you tell him, “March 15th, 2023.”
All four of them look incredulously at you. You can see some cogs turning behind their eyes until, finally, Jason shouts your name out. You grin and nod at him, and he yells, “Fuckin’ ’ell! How the fuck are you?!”
“Yeah, I’m alright. Still kicking about, you know how it is. What about you lot? You must’ve been… Busy.”
“Yeah! Yeah, um… Quick question, how did you…?” Nicholas starts, but pauses, trying to think of how to articulate himself.
After a few seconds, Lauren scoffs, “How’d you know to tell us what the date is so calm, like?”
“Well…” You singsong in a high-pitched tone as the door to the costume shop swings open again. Ralph emerges, to a series of shocked gasps.
“Fucking hell, doesn’t he look the spit image of -”
“Yeah, if you just slick his hair right down, and put him in a bow tie and a straw hat, I reckon - Here, you wouldn’t happen to have a great-grandad or something called Ralph, would you?”
“Wait!” Lauren shouts, holding her hands out. She studies Ralph intricately, who looks as though he’s still processing the sight in front of him. “You look just like Ralph, but all modern-like…” She points to him, and then to you. “And you know that we’ve been… In a different time…” She sticks her head out and squints her eyes back at Ralph. “Are you -?” He nods, still stunned into a wide-eyed silence.
Horace raises his arms in an excited greeting. “Ralph! My boy! We thought you’d died!” He pulls him into a hug that sweeps him off his feet. Ralph hangs against Horace’s body as though he were a ragdoll, his face still bewildered. “Let me take a good look at you,” he says as he puts Ralph down, before letting out a single cackle. “Ha, look at you! Look at this jacket, these chains! You’re a proper modern man, ain’t ya, with your sunglasses and your - How’ve you been, what you been up to?!”
“How did you get here?!” Nick asks in disbelief. You recap very quickly how Ralph found Pete - deliberately redacting that he’d attempted to return home to them - and ended up here, where you’d found him and taken him in.
Just as you finish explaining, someone approaches you with an, “Excuse me?” They tap your arm, but lean around you to look at Ralph and nod with a smile, “I thought that was him! Ralph from Twitter, right? Oh my god, I wish my phone hadn’t died, or I’d so ask for a selfie with you!”
Four confused faces look over at Ralph, but you wave the stranger off with a, “Not to worry! I can take one on his phone for him to tweet, if you want? And then you can save it for yourself when you’re home?”
“Oh my god, would you? That’s so sweet! Thank you!” They gush before posing for a photo with him. You quickly get their Twitter handle to include in his tweet, and wave them off as they walk away with a spring in their step.
“What was all that, then?” Jason asks with amusement. “Ralph from Twitter?!”
“Long story. I never told my friends Ralph was from the 1920s, so they thought anyone his age should be on Twitter by now. He kept tweeting inane shit that he thought he was Googling, people found it hilarious, and now he’s sort of social media famous,” you explain with a shrug, to everyone’s laughter.
Lauren looks Ralph up and down, not unlike the way Ralph looks at you, and rubs her hands together. “Famous, eh? I like the sound of that. Sounds like we’ve got some catching up to do, eh, Ralph?”
You feel rage burn through you at the audacity that Lauren has, clearly only interested in Ralph for a chance at fame herself. At how she could so outwardly come for your man - though, granted, Ralph’s been too shellshocked to make that much clear.
You, yourself, start to freeze up as you look over at him. What if this is it? The validation he’d been craving for so long? A second chance at the love he’d felt so strongly about losing, he’d fled the country. If he was willing to risk losing it all after having his heart broken, what else would he be willing to lose to win her back?!
Finally, after what feels like an eternity of silence, Ralph takes a deep breath in. “I don’t think there’s anything more to be caught up on.” He holds your arm to smile warmly at you, “You captured everything perfectly, darling,” before leaning in to kiss you. Jason and Horace hoot and holler, while Lauren makes a disgusted face.
“Fair enough. Rather you than me, anyway, I’d probably get sick of him after a while,” she sneers.
“Good job I won’t, then, eh!” You flash a sickly sweet grin at her as you wrap your arms around one of Ralph’s, hugging it tightly.
“Looks like you really are out of a shot, mate,” Jason grins at Nick, who shoves him.
“Give over, that was -” he flusters, and you laugh, which he sighs at. “Okay, well, so as to explain myself and not sound like a complete lunatic, I, uh… Might have had a bit of a thing for you in school, but I was always too chicken to do anything about it. And even though that was years ago at this point, apparently I’m not allowed to live it down,” he forces a smile on his face, making you laugh harder.
“If it’s any consolation, that was mutual, by the way,” you smirk. You feel Ralph tense under your grip and bury your head against his bicep. “But I don’t think it was meant to be, in the end.”
“God, can you imagine, in another universe, it would’ve been you and Nick, Jase and Victoria, and Lauren and Ralph!” Horace laughs before faltering. “But then who’s left for me?”
You shake your head. “What are you lot planning on doing in terms of living somewhere?”
“Dunno, we brought some stuff over from different time periods in the hopes we could make some big money off some antique dealers,” Nick gestures to the bags they’d placed on the ground while talking to you.
“Good luck, things have changed a lot in the last, what’s it been, six years for you? Yeah, the housing market’s a fucking nightmare,” you shake your head.
“Paying over a thousand pounds a month to live in a shoebox, I ask you,” Ralph mutters under his breath in disgust. You shoot him an offended glance and he simpers back, “But I’d live in a matchbox if it meant living with you, my love.” You grin back, angling your cheek for him to kiss it, to more retching sounds from Lauren.
“Well, I was wondering if we could chance our luck with Ralph’s place, but seeing as though our only way in would be claiming Jason’s son left it to us in his will, when he’d be older than us in this time…” Nick shakes his head, and you and Ralph look incredulously at him.
“Sorry, what?! Ralph’s place?! You mean the big fuck-off mansion they lived in? That’s a Waterstone’s now, and even if it was, there’s no way you’d afford a place like that -”
The others look at you in confusion. “Victoria told us that the house was destroyed in an air raid,” Nick explains slowly.
You shake your head, pointing towards the bookstore. “Go look for yourself, plaque’s still there, and everything. She ended up spending all the Penbury fortune, went flat broke.”
“Explains a lot,” Lauren mutters under her breath.
“Yes, well, anyway!” Jason raises his hands up, as well as his voice. “I’m on about the one that Victoria ended up getting when he di- well, ‘died’, I guess,” Jason holds up air quotes over the word ‘died’. You both stand there in stunned silence, so he explains, “Vic said she found a letter from your dad, before the place got bombed, or… Whatever the fuck actually happened to it, it doesn’t matter, now. The letter was meant to go to his lawyer but I guess he never got to give it to him before… Well,” he gestures, and you both nod in understanding. “Anyway, so in this letter your dad had written, it said that he’d bought an extra place, for if you were to ever go off to war and want a place to come back that was all your own,” he gestures to Ralph, who swallows hard.
“Father bought… Bought me a house?!” He asks, stunned.
“He wrote some bullshit in there about how it might help you start a family and keep the Penbury name intact, that your… ‘pursuit of a wife would be easier if you already had a place of your own’,” Jason pulls a face and shakes his head.
Ralph nods in understanding, pressing his lips together with a faltering, “Now that sounds like Father.”
“So, when you ‘died’, Vic claimed that she had the right to inherit that house, and that’s where we lived. And, um… I sort of… Gave you a nephew?” Jason smiles weakly at Ralph. “But he went off and started his life elsewhere, and fuck knows what happened to him.”
“Hmm, I thought I could maybe blag our way into claiming that Jase is entitled to inherit it, too, because of the family name, but I doubt it, if JJ never came back for it. I seriously doubt Victoria’s still going,” he shakes his head. “Never mind, we’ll just start flogging this stuff and go from there. Anyway! Insane to see both of you, together, at the same time, but, y’know. Glad to see you’re both well, now.” Nick smiles at you both, and you nod.
“Good to see you guys, too! Helps put things at ease that the whole time travelling thing doesn’t make the universe implode on itself.” They laugh, and you look over at the building next to you before nudging Ralph. “Hey, they could probably try selling some of their stuff to your shop, couldn’t they?”
“There’d be no harm in trying,” Ralph agrees. “Though I should warn you, the owner is a tad… Eccentric.”
Lauren scoffs, “Fuck me, if Ralph’s calling someone eccentric, they must be a raving fucking lunatic!” She picks up one of the bags and heads to the door, slapping Ralph’s arm as she walks past him. “See you around, yeah?”
“Y-Yes, of course. All of you,” Ralph smiles, shaking the other men’s hands as they all pile into Ralph’s workplace.
Your mind starts trying to work in rapid fire, trying desperately to connect dots that seem impossible to connect. Thankfully, Ralph for once manages to keep you on task, even managing to buy what you’d asked him to - though instead of working up the nerve to seek out a cashier, he’d opted for the equally challenging task of trying to operate a self-service checkout while you frantically Google every little bump in the road you come across - though on incognito mode, of course, just in case.
Once you’re sitting down together in a cafe, waiting on your lunch, you finally try and articulate your train of thought to Ralph. “Look, all you need to prove that you’re a rightful heir is a name, a story that you’re related, and three months’ worth of proof that you live somewhere. So, granted, we’re gonna need to find something to sign you up to that’ll mail you stuff, but after that, in just three months, we might be able to get that place!”
“Well,” Ralph starts, wringing his hands together on the table. “Babs was telling me something about - about the taxes she has to file, apparently there’s some sort of form I have to be given at the end of the month, I didn’t say anything because she’s the one that pays me, but she had said something about deducting it from my pay already, it’s a… System I couldn’t wrap my head around,” he shakes his head. “But she did say… That if I’m asked to prove anything about my pay, she also has my official pay slips in her possession.”
You look at him incredulously. “So, what, they have your work’s address on them? As if you live there?”
“Not quite… She asked for our address some time ago, and I assumed it was in case of emergencies so I told her, and so I suppose that’s what she’s submitted on the slips. She said that she never sends them because there’s no point, if we want them, we can simply ask her.”
You’re practically vibrating in your seat with excitement. “So, we can take those… With your name on… Make up some story about how we found a photo online of your great-grandad who looks just like you and found out he owned that house…” You grin at him. “And it’d be ours!”
Ralph deflates a little. “I wish I could share your enthusiasm, my love, but I fear our luck has run out by now. I mean, surely I’d need a legal record, too!”
You shake your head furiously. “It only says they might ask, online. And you’ve charmed your way out of identification before on countless occasions, what’s one more time?! “
“It’s just an awfully big risk, I mean, what if we get caught? What if we’re imprisoned, questioned - would they even believe what happened with me? It’s just too close to being impossible!”
“Exactly!” You slap the table a few times before grabbing Ralph’s hands to hold them. “Everything about us is just shy of being impossible. You are a 26 year old man who was born in 1901. I am someone who’d given up entirely on love until I literally walked right into meeting my literal soulmate.”
Ralph smiles bashfully, “I wouldn’t have thought you believed in soulmates.”
“That’s my point! I didn’t either! I never would have! But you make the almost-impossible entirely possible. You made an entire life for yourself here where you are loved and admired by literally thousands of people, including the most ride-or-die friends you could have asked for. That are, probably right this second, also researching how to keep you here as long as we possibly can. Who can say they’ve got friends like that, hm? You think Victoria and all her little pals would put that much effort into keeping her around?” Ralph shakes his head. “Right. Because you’re special, Ralph. I know it. We all know it. Just… Come on.”
“But there’ll be inheritance tax, surely,” he counters, “and then, what? I haven’t paid tax in… Ninety-seven years!”
“So, if that happens, we do what Anna says. Once we’ve established that you’re definitely entitled to the house in the name of Ralph Penbury, we spin a tale that you were never registered. Sure, you’d probably be lumped with a load of tax to pay back, but…” You tut out a breath as you think before gasping, clapping and holding his hands again. “What if, we get the house, but I tell my parents we’re buying it, rather than inheriting it?! Get them to give me a loan for a deposit, you use it to start paying off tax stuff, and then instead of all our money going on rent, you can pay the tax people back and I can pay my parents back.”
“It all sounds rather hair-brained,” Ralph states, but with a smile that says he believes in the cause.
“It’s completely hair-brained,” you admit with a nod. “It’s insane and out there and nobody in their right mind would actually think it works. Which is what’s gonna make it work. Right?”
“It’s just - It’s the risk,” Ralph shakes his head, but you pull his hands up to your mouth, kissing his knuckles.
“Ralph Do-You-Have-A-Middle-Name? Penbury.” He laughs. “I am so… Ridiculously, madly, insanely in love with you that I would be willing to put my entire life on the line for you. I would quite literally risk it all.”
Ralph’s ears burn red as he smiles bashfully. “And you call me the hopeless romantic.”
“God, I know. I guess you’ve corrupted me, too,” you pull a face, and he laughs.
“You’re right, though. What sort of man would I be if I didn’t heed my own word? Though I may have far less to put on the line… I would do anything for you, my love. As long as I still have you, I will have everything.”
“Trust you to out-fluff me,” you smirk. “So, you’re willing to give it a shot?”
He takes a deep breath in, and finally nods. “Very well. Whatever happens, we shall have each other, always.”
You kiss his hands again with a grin. “Always.”
The clang of metal against metal as the door shuts behind you makes you jump out of your skin. “Jesus fucking Christ, warn someone when you’re doing that, won’t you?” you glare over at the uniform-clad man as he wrenches his key out of the lock.
“If it’s too loud for your delicate little ears, sunshine, don’t stay so close,” he sneers.
“Got no choice, have I?” you ask, rolling your eyes and gesturing down, and an almost wicked smile creeps along the man’s face.
“That’s what you get, ending up in a place like this where people like you don’t belong,” he tuts, shaking his head. “If you can’t hack it…”
“Oi, dickhead,” a voice calls from behind you. “You’re all done, now, ain’t ya? If you want to keep that face of yours arranged the way your mother made it, you’ll jog on.”
He looks at you with a smug frown, waggling his eyebrows, “That really the sort of thing you want to be known for? Dangerous reputation around these parts.”
You groan, leaning down to press your forehead into the knuckles holding your car door open as you’re standing halfway in it. “Just get that lorry of yours out of my parking space before I get done for being on double yellow lines, yeah?” The man kisses his teeth as he clambers back into his vehicle and drives away. You pull a face as you put on a mock voice, “‘Get a man with a van’, they said. ‘It’ll make your move so much easier’, they said. Prick. Thanks for helping me deal with him,” you simper at Ralph’s friend Charlotte as she scoops up a box from the pavement.
“Yeah, well. Someone’s gotta put pricks like that in their place, and it sure as shit ain’t our Ralphie,” she scoffs, and you chuckle. "Want me to go grab him so you lovebirds can say goodbye?” She says in a joking tone, pulling a kissy face at you.
You laugh, “Says the person who can’t go twelve seconds without sucking on Yankee-Doodle’s face in there,” you waggle your eyebrows.
“You’re lucky I like you, d’y’know that?” she teases, sticking her tongue out at you before turning on her heel, laughing as she faces away from you and sees Ralph emerging out from the front door of his townhouse. She wolf-whistles as the two cross paths, which Ralph looks very confused at, to your amusement.
“Sorry I have to go into work,” you pout your lower lip out in a frown as he approaches you. “They’re just so short-staffed, and I -”
“Don’t you fret, my love,” he interjects, leaning in to press a quick peck to your lips. “You must go where you are needed. Not to worry, we will remain hard at work here, and then when you return, you can relax in your new, furnished home.”
“Our home,” you correct him. “It is yours, after all. I just can’t believe that this is all real.”
“I’ve felt that way for some time, myself,” Ralph admits softly, stroking your cheek with the backs of his fingers, and you feel yourself physically melt against your car door.
“Right, I’m going before I end up feeling even worse about leaving you guys behind.” You pull Ralph in for another, longer kiss, carding your fingers through his curls as he cradles the back of your neck. A laugh bubbles between your lips as you murmur against him, “This isn’t helping!”
“Ah, what’s one more minute of them not having you?” he smiles coyly at you, and you raise your eyebrows at him.
“What if they said that about me coming back home to you, hm?”
Reluctantly, Ralph steps away. “Very well. Have a wonderful day, darling. Travel safely.”
You turn your nose up and shake your head. “Nah, think I’m gonna finally live life on the edge today.” Ralph gives you a look that tells you he isn’t amused, and you grin back, blowing him a kiss. “Be good!”
“When aren’t I?!”
You’re not sure that you’ll take the train every time you have to go to work, now; despite it being quicker, having to actively pay both ways and being sandwiched amongst so many people just doesn’t seem worth it. Still, today of all days, you wanted to get home as quickly as you could, despite all the local landmarks tempting your inner tourist. You’ve got all the time in the world now to explore them, and besides, it’d be far more entertaining showing them all to Ralph.
You unlock the door and are immediately greeted by the smell of something cooking, something really good. You step through the hallway and into the kitchen, leaning against the doorframe as you watch Ralph reading from a recipe book, squinting close to the page as he drags his finger across each line of his next instruction, his mouth moving along with every word. "Looks like you could do with some glasses," you pipe up, and Ralph yelps in surprise as he looks up at you.
"Hello, my love! Welcome home! Um, I didn't hear you come in, my apologies, I'd have met you at the door if I'd have known."
"It's okay," you soothe as you stride over to him, pulling him into a deep kiss. "What's this in aid of, is everyone staying for dinner?" A pang of disappointment strikes your chest. As much as you love yours and Ralph's friends, you were sort of hoping to have your first night in the new house alone with him.
"Not tonight, darling, this is in aid of you!" Ralph smiles over at you. "Since I have been learning, and you have been working so hard at your shop, especially juggling it all with sorting out the house and you've still been the one to make countless meals for us, I thought I would try and make your favourite meal."
You let out a small, happy whimper, kissing his cheek. "As long as it hasn't been stressing you out. Do you want any help?"
"Well, I suppose now that you mention it, I do need somebody to stand right there and just look casually beautiful, and - well, would you look at that, you're a natural!" He beams over at you, leaning in to kiss you again.
You grin bashfully, hiding your face in his shoulder. "God, look at what you've done to me! You've made me all mushy and shit."
"Happy to help, my love," he smiles, pressing one more kiss to your head before returning to his recipe.
"Sure you don't want me to help? Read things out or anything? I don't want you straining your eyes," you frown.
"Well, it's not as though I can get my eyes tested, is it?" he asks as he continues preparing food.
"But if it's just a case of reading close-up, you can get reading glasses over the counter in the shops," you explain.
"But aren't glasses rather… Unseemly?" he asks with knitted brow.
You shake your head. "If anything, the right ones would make you appear very, very… Seemly," you pull a face, not knowing if that was the correct term to use or not, and Ralph laughs gently.
"Just go and get comfortable, my love. I will call for you when dinner is served."
"Oh, yeah, forgot we have a dining room with a table, now," you smirk. "Just look at us, living the high life!"
Ralph gasps, "Oh, speaking of! Hannah left us a housewarming gift, she donated her tee-vee so that we could have one in our bedroom, as well!"
The way Ralph elongates the letters in TV so deliberately will never not charm you. "That was nice of her! How come?"
"She's moving in with that girl she met last month. All seems a bit fast-moving, if you ask me."
You look at him incredulously. "Look who's talking!"
"Yes, Hannah did point out something similar to me," he admits, ears blushing.
You chuckle as you navigate your way through to your new bedroom. It seems strange, your familiar furniture against such an unfamiliar backdrop. Every room looks so dated - naturally, it hadn't been touched since the 50s, apparently. Still, that Pinterest board you've been working on for years is finally going to go to good use.
Your heart swells when you see the bed littered with rose petals, a classic touch that has Ralph written all over it. You explore all the dressers and wardrobes in the room, familiarising yourself with where Ralph and your friends have decided to unpack your things. You open up your underwear drawer, thumbing across the carefully-arranged bras with a smile. Finding a particularly intricate number, you fish for its matching underwear, and decide to change into it. Ralph did ask you to slip into something more comfortable, right? You find something flattering to put over the whole set and rejoin him downstairs.
He's stirring something in a pan, looking rather proud of himself, when you get back to the kitchen. This time, you tap your knuckles against the door to make your presence known, so as not to surprise him. However, once he sees you, Ralph immediately drops the utensil he's using back into the pot with an almighty clatter, his jaw visibly dropping. You smile bashfully and he clears his throat, "Forgive my reaction, my darling, but you look positively ravishing."
In Ralphspeak, you know that's the equivalent of him calling you the closest thing to sexy he's probably willing to say. At least, for now. Maybe you've still a little corruption left in you. Still, it's enough to cause your heart to race. "You like?"
"I love. I mean, of course, I love you no matter what, but…" He blows out a breath that tickles the curls that hang across his brow. "You really do look absolutely delectable."
After a lingering moment, you manage to tear your eyes away to look at what's cooking. "Speaking of, so does this! You sure I can't be of any help?"
"Not at all, my dear, it's just about ready to serve. And just in time, so I can no longer fear about getting too… Distracted," he smiles coyly, looking you up and down the way he always does. There's something a little different in the way he looks at you, though. A different sort of gleam illuminates his eyes. One that makes you want to wolf down your food, drag him up to the bedroom and pull him on top of you.
But still, he's worked hard on this meal, and he looks so proud of himself. Though he dishes up, he still rushes ahead of you into the dining room to make sure he pulls out your seat for you, guiding the chair back with you as you readjust it and kissing your cheek before lighting a candle you vaguely recognise as an old secret Santa gift that you never ended up using, and going back for your food.
You exchange stories about your day: you, about the stresses of working short-staffed on a weekend during a school holiday, meaning a terrifying crossover of screaming babies and toddlers, chaotic children, less-than-trustworthy teenagers and overly-entitled adults; Ralph, about all the different ways your friends almost broke almost every piece of furniture you own while trying to get it into the house. Both equally stressful for you to recount.
At first, once you're done, Ralph insists on cleaning up after himself, but after a lot of pouting, eyelash batting and gentle touches, you coax him out to sit in the living room - another whole room dedicated to one thing, you've not lived like this since you moved out of your parents' - and cuddle up to him on the sofa.
Your embrace barely lasts a minute before your lips are on his, again. He’s desperate to get as close to you as he can, clawing at your clothes as he presses the kiss open. Holding the back of his neck to steady yourself, you move yourself up to straddle his lap, letting your tongue slip into his mouth and moaning at the sensation of his against yours. He echoes you as his hands slip down your sides to squeeze your hips. You buck them under his touch, feeling his erection grow beneath you.
He chokes out a soft, “May I?” as his fingers curl around to grip at the fabric of your top. You nod, sitting back and holding your arms up to let him take it off of you. He starts trying to fold it up behind you but, impatient, you take the garment from him and blindly throw it behind you, holding his face to kiss him again.
He takes your hands into his own and guides them back down, his kisses moving from your lips, down your jaw and to your neck, where he finds an especially sensitive spot and stays there, kissing it over and over again, all while muttering sweet nothings to you. “You are so very beautiful, my darling… How fortunate I am to be this intimate with you… Just exquisite in every conceivable way…" You rock your hips faster at his words, throwing him off his train of thought entirely as he sits back and watches you lustfully.
His gaze isn't trained on your face, though. Instead, he's transfixed on the way your breasts move, both from your heaving breaths and from grinding on him. Biting your lip, you wrap a hand around the back of his neck and start pushing it towards you as his tongue just pokes out enough to wet his lips. "Wanna put that mouth to better use?" You ask as you guide him closer to your chest.
He gasps in soft delight, looking up at you gleefully. "Are you quite sure?" You nod and his face melts into one of pure ecstacy. "Thank you, my love," he mutters before taking one of your nipples into his mouth.
His plush lips press against your flesh as he kisses, sucks and licks at your nipple. Biting back a moan, you rest your hand in his hair, ruffling it slightly and muttering with a smile, “You like that, don’t you?” He hums out an mm-hm that vibrates against your skin, and reaches up to play the other nipple between his finger and thumb. You keen towards him, grip tightening and head bending down to him as you groan loudly, “Fuck, that’s it, good boy!” Words you’d never have thought you’d say in such a context fly out of your mouth so easily, and you could swear he sounded like he was chirping with happiness as you said them.
He moves away from the breast he’s suckling on, pressing one more brief peck to your wet, hardened nipple, and starts to focus on the other, still brushing the other nipple with the backs of his knuckles. You whine, whimper and moan as your still-clothed cunt begs for sweet release. You’re constantly amazed at how quickly Ralph can bring you to an apex few had ever even managed to. “God, Ralph, need you so bad.”
“Of course, please forgive me, got rather carried away there,” he mumbles apologetically to you, but the kiss you press to his forehead tells him there’s nothing for him to be sorry for. Ralph looks around, his brow furrowing. “Um, I don’t wish to diminish the mood at all, but there doesn’t seem to be an awful lot of… Space, here.”
You cock your head, smiling coyly. “You wanna go to the bed you prepared for this exact occasion?”
Ralph returns a smaller, more sheepish smile, his ears tinting. “Ah, you noticed. I suppose, of course you did, it would be difficult not to. Still, was it alright? Or too much?” His face falls. “It was too much, wasn’t it?”
You fleetingly frown in thought. “A little, yeah.” Your expression quickly changes back into a grin, though. “But it was your brand of too much, which makes it perfect.” You lean back to unbutton his shirt. “Unfortunately, my brand is not being patient enough to wait that long.”
“I wouldn’t say that of you, you were rather patient with me all those months,” Ralph notes pointedly, and you laugh.
“Yeah, you used it all up!” You climb off of him, slowly sliding the bottom half of your outfit off, but leaving your underwear on. Looking over at him gawking, you smirk, "You sure you want this? Not exactly dressed for the occasion."
He reaches up to stroke the pad of his thumb across the intricate design of your underwear. "Of course, you had been wearing a matching set, but it was I who became so impatient that I missed out on seeing it in full, my deepest apologies, my love, I - well," he suddenly, hurriedly slips himself out of all his clothes, leaving them in a heap by his feet, making you giggle again.
"Maybe I'll still let you see it," you tell him suggestively, hooking your thumbs into the elastic of your panties. "Maybe I'll wear it all again and take some photos on your phone." With nothing left to cover it, you watch Ralph's cock twitch at the idea and bite your lip to compose yourself. "Maybe," you continue as you slowly push your underwear down your thighs, "I'll leave a video or two, as well." You watch his face as you let them fall past your ankle, stepping out of them and walking back over to him. "What do you think?"
"I think you spoil me, my love," he smiles softly. He reaches down to the jeans he'd all but ripped off of himself, fumbling through a pocket until he pulls out a condom and starts to put it on himself.
Watching the act of him wrapping it around himself and sliding it down is almost enough to totally distract you from your initial thought. Almost. "Did you really just have a condom just sitting there in your pocket? And you make out like I'm the horndog!"
Ralph blushes, "Yes, well, I sort of… Hoped we would… Christen the place, so to speak.”
You climb into his lap, hovering yourself to line up with where he’s holding his shaft. “I like that idea,” you smile softly before sliding yourself down onto him. You both let out staggered moans as you let yourself get used to the sensation of being filled by him, before kneeling yourself up to the point where you can just about feel his tip still inside you and then sinking yourself back down.
His hands grip your hips tightly as he moans your name. You repeat the motions a few times, revelling in the way it feels to drop onto him, having him enter you so deeply and so quickly. You soon start to feel an ache, though, and decide to pace yourself, keeping him bottomed out inside of you and grinding against him until you feel rested enough to go again.
You can see Ralph’s mouth constantly silently moving, as though he wants to keep complimenting you the way he always does, but he’s too blissed out from feeling you clench around him, your cunt gripping his cock tightly with no intention of ever letting him back out of you again. You especially try to make sure you commit the face he makes every time you pull yourself out just to fuck yourself back down onto him again, to your memory, knowing that just remembering the way he reacts to you would be enough to turn you on, if you ever needed anything to fuel your imagination.
At one point, while you’re rocking your hips with him inside you, you finally manage to get yourself at just the right angle to hit that sweet spot that Ralph is always able to find. Keeping yourself at the same angle, you move yourself even faster, moaning louder and more often.
Ralph seems to notice, and does his best to hold you in place as he bucks his hips up underneath your weight. You curl yourself forward, arms wrapped around his shoulders and face buried in his neck as he fucks you from where he sits beneath you. Knowing how good it makes you feel when he mutters sweet sentiments to you, you mumble against his skin, “Feel so good, Ralphie… You always know how to, you’re fucking amazing… So good to me, so sweet, my Ralph, no-one else’s… My sweet and handsome boy, knows just how to please me, fuck.”
."He whimpers and whines, music to your ears as you feel your climax start to build again. “Oh, god, Ralphie, I’m so clo- Oh my god,” you groan as he starts to massage your clit in rapid circles. “Oh, fuck, yes, so good to me, thank you… Wish I could, do more for you.”
“- Already do the absolute most, darling,” he soothes. “’M already embarrassingly near to finishing, myself.”
You shake your head, “Nothing to be ashamed of, not at all, god, please cum for me, Ralphie, and I will for you, please?” Ralph completely falls apart beneath you at your words, moaning your name and digging his fingers bruisingly into your skin. You feel yourself becoming one with him as you ride out your orgasm.
He wraps his arms around your hips, cradling you on his lap, and you rest your forehead against his as you both breathe heavily, intertwined in body, in breath, in spirit. You’d never, ever thought you’d even ever contemplate the idea a year ago, but in this moment, you really are certain that Ralph is your one true soulmate.
He leans in to envelop your lips with his own in a sweet and passionate kiss before muttering, “Forgive me, my love, but I do rather need to take care of…”
You whine indignantly, but stand to climb off of him. “Suppose I should actually change into something comfortable now, eh?” You ask humorously, and you hear his laughter from where he’s throwing his used condom away in the bathroom. The downstairs bathroom that you now have in the townhouse where you live with the love of your life. This was always pipe-dream material, but here you are. Living it.
You run upstairs, taking a moment to again admire the state of the bed and think about all the ways you plan to christen it later, and look through clothes to get changed into. Opting for a tank-top-and-pyjama-bottoms combination, you take yourself to your en-suite and freshen up as you get changed.
When you open up the door again, Ralph is just pulling a white shirt over his head, and you smile fondly at his choice to pair it with a very familiar pair of sweatpants. “Those were the first clothes I ever gave you,” you recall, and he looks at you with a similar expression.
“I believe that was also what you had chosen to wear the first night I met you, as well. When you gave me your bed without knowing anything at all about me,” he reminisces.
You giggle, “Oh, yeah, you wouldn’t even look me in the eye because you didn’t want to be ‘improper’, now look at you!” You tap his nose teasingly, and his ears flush red.
“Oh, hush,” he frowns, but the air of a laugh hangs in his voice. “You really were - I mean, to take me in as you did, in my time of need while knowing absolutely nothing about me, especially after Mister Peter told you my far-fetched reasoning for being here…” Ralph wraps his arms around your waist. “Giving me the life I have now, the friends I have, the - everything,” he sighs wistfully.
“Yeah, well. You try looking you right in the chocolate buttons and saying no to that face,” you smirk, and he laughs. “It’s like I said when we went to the inheritance people to get this place. With my gift of the gab, and your gift of the… Face, the charm, and the everything else you’ve got going for you, we’re unstoppable,” you beam.
“I still can’t believe you were able to talk them around like that,” he looks at you adoringly, and you shrug.
“The amount of backlog they so obviously had, and the amount of effort it would have taken if we hadn’t convinced them to cut some corners with us, it was a doddle,” you shrug. “I could tell they weren’t the brown-nosing type, they weren’t gonna go back to check every little part of what I said we’d set out to do was legitimately within their procedures.”
“A skill set like that is wasted on your little clothes shop,” he frowns, leaning forward to kiss your forehead, and you laugh.
“Yeah, well. Maybe it’s time I look for something new that’s a bit more local to this area,” you nod. “I don’t think Babs’d let you quit, though.”
“Heavens, no, she’d be out for my blood!” Ralph exclaims, and you laugh loudly.
Once you’re back at the sofa, cuddled up beneath a blanket and watching TV together, even though you’re curled up against Ralph’s chest, you can sense something’s bothering him. “You alright?” You ask him.
“Couldn’t be better, darling,” he replies, but the tension you feel beneath your cheek betrays his lie.
“Nah, c’mon, tell me,” you sit yourself up next to him, and he sighs heavily.
“Well, I was just thinking of how… I mean, yes, we have a house now, at least, but I’m still not legally a person, am I? I know we said we wouldn’t openly use that story about me never being registered and so on unless it were absolutely necessary.”
“Yeah, we agreed, only if you need serious medical treatment,” you nod.
“R-right, but what about the other things?” He asks warily, twiddling his thumbs.
“Like holidaying? We can survive not going abroad, Ralph,” you laugh.
“Not just that… What about… Well, we could never be truly wed, or be a family,” you hear his voice get weaker, shakier.
“Sure, we can,” you wrap your arm around his shoulders and pull him so that he nuzzles into your neck, stroking his hair. “Okay, so we couldn’t get, like, legally married, but so what? We can still use the same bank account as if it were a joint one. I could easily change my name by deed poll. We could still throw a wedding in every other aspect, just without the signing the register. And as for the other bit, I mean, you can register with just one parent and add another later, if we do get away with your story about neither of yours registering you.”
“You seem rather sure in your knowledge, there,” he notes with a hint of amusement.
“Yeah, well… Maybe I looked into it all a little.” He looks over at you with a knowing grin, and you feel yourself get sheepish. “What?”
“Nothing, dearest,” Ralph chimes. “Just seems a little… What’s that word that you call me all the time?”
“Sappy? Tell me about it,” you shake your head, and Ralph laughs.
“It’s an honour to make you feel that way, darling,” he leans over to kiss you. After a few minutes, he breaks away to stroke your cheek with his thumb as he holds your face. “You seriously see a future - of us? With me? I -”
You pull him in for another kiss, laughter bubbling between you as you do so, “Yes, you big dafty!”
He chirps happily. “Well, I suppose I’ve a lot to do, then, haven’t I!”
You take a deep breath in as you brace yourself to potentially let Ralph down. “Yeah, but… look, when I said I was looking into it, I meant as in, like, way into our future, yeah? We’ve got bags of time, I just want to enjoy it all with you, you know?”
To your surprise, Ralph scoffs at you. “Well, naturally. Did you think I would propose to you in this manner? Without so much as a ring? Or even your family’s blessing?”
“Oh, well, that won’t take long at all,” you smirk. “I bet you, when we go have dinner with Mum and Dad next week, by the time we even tell them that we’re together now, Mum’ll be asking you what colour her wedding outfit should be!”
A proud smile bursts onto Ralph’s face, but it quickly fades. “Do you think they’ll fear that us getting a house together is too big of a commitment too quickly?”
“Again. Ralph. They love you,” you reiterate to him, squeezing his hand. “And once they find out you’re responsible for us moving to Southwark, where they are? Dad’ll have gotten himself ordained by the time they bring out desserts just to make sure you’d become a permanent part of the family.”
Ralph’s heart swells hundredfold at the sentiment as he embraces you in yet another kiss. “I suppose I am rather overthinking things, aren’t I?”
“Just a tad,” you scrunch your face up, and he laughs.
“I mean, it’s really no different than when we were living at your flat, really, is it?” He chuckles, and you shake your head.
“Except we could have a pet, now,” you muse, and Ralph sits up straight, his face full of excitement.
“Could we get a cat?!” He beams at you, making you laugh.
“God, you and cats, what is with that?”
“I have a theory,” he muses. “Since Cheese and I got along so well so quickly, I think because we were so similar, he put in a good word with all the other cats. That’s the only explanation there could possibly be.”
After a brief hesitation, you laugh, “Sorry, in what way are you so similar to our old neighbour’s cat?!”
“Well, both of us were sort-of confined to our little flats, neither of us technically supposed to be there. I think he could sense that of me when I first met him, back when I… Upset that neighbour of yours.”
“Because you burnt your toast so badly that you almost suffocated the ninth floor with smoke?” You ask with raised eyebrows, and Ralph slinks back into his seat bashfully.
“Well, I’ve learned now, haven’t I?” He points out.
“That, you have. I’m so proud of how far you’ve come,” you hug his arm, shuffling up to his side. “With everything. How you’ve learned to cope with all this modern stuff, all the stuff you never got to learn growing up, and just… I’m really pleased you’ve been starting to love yourself as much - well, almost as much as I love you,” you simper, resting your head on his arm. “Ugh, god, I really am a sap now, aren’t I?”
Ralph chuckles, pressing a peck onto the top of your head. “At least we can both be, together, eh?”
You sigh contentedly as he wraps his arms around you, pulling the blanket around to make sure you’re both comfortable. You look around at the walls, imagining what decorating with Ralph is going to be like in the coming few weeks, and then picturing the photos you’d hang on there. Travels with Ralph all across the country. Your eventual engagement photos, because of course Ralph’s going to make that moment as photogenic as possible so you’ll have something to capture and savour that memory forever. Wedding photos, all your friends and Ralph’s all dressed up to the nines, singing and dancing the night away to celebrate the pair of you. Pictures of your eventual babies, some with Ralph’s eyes and some with his hair but all of them with his warm, kind smile. Those kids’ first moments, their first smiles, first steps, first day at school.
You break yourself away from your trance-like train of thought to see Ralph’s watching you with all the love that could possibly exist in the world currently living in his gaze. “I’m thinking of the same, too, my love,” he whispers excitedly, as though he’s able to see into your mind telepathically. “I can’t wait for the rest of our lives, either.”
Cold winter days, a lonely woman on a bench, a stranger in the park...
An Encounter in Winter ❄️
Loki and female reader (18+)
18+/adult themes/talking/flirting/slow burn/fluff/angst/smut (eventually)
Warnings: two adorable idiots in love, passionate kisses and in the end it gets steamy and slightly smutty...
Loki left the terrace and went to the fireplace lounge. He passed the bar and grabbed a cocktail from the counter, a 'Fjellbekk'. He needed something stronger than champagne to drink. He needed a moment to calm himself and his cock down. He was overwhelmed and irritated. Did he just kiss you? You? The most precious girl he had ever met? How dare he? What, in the name of the Norns, had gotten into him? But you wanted it too, right?
And you tasted so good and your closeness and your embrace felt good, too good and it made him feel safe and valued…and aroused. He could barely remember what it felt like to get lovingly hugged by a woman who didn't just want to fuck him. And then his body betrayed him. Why? Why did he have to be so horny? Why wasn't he able to restrain himself? It was just a friendship kiss, wasn't it? You wouldn't forgive him, would you? Loki went up and down in the room, sipping at his drink. The refreshing and pleasant, sweet taste of the aquavit, vodka and lime juice slowly cooled him down.
"Ah, here you are, " Thor said when he found Loki.
"Lady y/n asked for you."
"Yes, she said you were missing after you left the winter garden lounge."
"I needed a moment alone, Thor. Does she want to go home after…after I kissed her and because of my…mishap? I shouldn't have left her alone. Why can't I do anything right in my life?" and he made a helpless gesture with his hand.
"A mishap? What mishap? Anyway… Relax, brother! All is well! Is Lady y/n your girlfriend now?"
"No!" Loki frowned his eyebrows.
"But I saw you kissing each other and after what you've told me about your dates in the park and in the café…" Thor said teasingly.
"No, she's NOT my girlfriend, and the kiss…It was…just a friend kissing a friend, to…to celebrate the beginning of the New Year," Loki stammered, running his fingers down the bridge of his nose, squinting his eyes.
"Loki, come on, you like her! It was a loving kiss. You care about her. You meet her every day. Loki…brother, c'mon," Thor said and gave him an appreciative laugh.
"So what? There's nothing!" Loki answered, annoyed.
"Loki, what are you trying to tell me? It's obvious that you like her, really like her and there's nothing wrong with it, she's cute! And she's sincere and extremely gracious. You should stop whoring around and officially court her instead."
"Look who's talking! It's none of your business, brother, okay! You can fuck around and it's fine for everyone, you're THE womanizer but if I do the same I'm the whore? You're pathetic!" Loki huffed angrily, sipping on his cocktail.
"Aahh, you're a womanizer too Loki, look at all the ladies who are lusting for you. The only difference between you and me is that we both like different types of women." Thor said amused. He couldn't hide a grin.
"I never fucked her…she is…She is not like that…she's special to me!"
"That's what I meant, Loki. She makes you happy. I've never seen you so extremely happy as tonight and you laughed a lot. Don't fuck it up, brother…she likes you too, if not more. But…keep whoring around and if you don't want her…" Thor said, teasing his brother again to make him admit the truth.
"Don't you dare touch her! She's MINE!" Loki said loudly, anger in his voice.
"Hah! I KNEW it! And don't worry, I would never do that. I would never court my brother's girl," and Thor patted hard on his brother's back.
Loki huffed annoyingly and rolled his eyes.
"You should tell her how much you like her, Loki. You shouldn't let go of a precious warmhearted woman like her. I'm sure she's all you've always been looking for."
"I can't, and you know why. She would never want to see me again if she knew the whole truth, what I really am."
Loki's voice sounded desperate.
"You won't know it if you don't tell her, brother." Thor said quietly.
He patted Loki on the back again and left the room.
"Come back to the party, she's waiting for you!" Thor said while leaving the room to return to the winter garden lounge.
Loki was clueless, he didn't know what to do and how. He emptied his drink in one large gulp and decided to go back to the New Year's party. He wanted to spend the rest of the night with you and the others. If Thor had told him the truth you would still be there and waiting for him.
When he returned to the party, you went towards him immediately.
"I've missed you, Loki," and you placed your hands on his shoulders.
He wrapped his arms around your waist and looked into your eyes. He still felt embarrassed and sorry for what had happened while kissing you and that he had pressed his hard-on against your body. You knew exactly what his problem was.
"Everything is fine, Loki. I'm not mad at you and it didn't feel bad…I liked it," and you bit down on your lip and smiled at him.
Loki looked quizzically at you. Did he get you right? You…liked it?
"I have some news for you," you said,trying to enlighten his mood.
"Hmmhmm, yes. I'll work for the Avengers and for and with Bruce now, in his lab. I'm so excited. Are you as happy about it as I am?" You smiled at him, eagerly waiting for his reaction.
"Yes, snowflake I am, that's really fantastic good news and then you'll be here every day, by my side. Is that what you really want, snowflake? To be here, by my side?"
"Yes, Loki, there's nothing I want more," and you pecked his lips softly.
"You're wearing my hoodie? Are you freezing, my little snowflake?"
"Why is that?"
"You weren't here to warm me. I felt alone without you. And I needed you around me, that's why you gave me your hoodie, right?"
You pecked his lips again and he pulled you flush against his chest.
"Yes, that's right, that's why I gave you my hoodie, little snowflake."
Were you two in love with each other and if so, why was it so difficult to confess it then?
"Come Loki, take your coat off and dance with me," you smiled lasciviously.
You took off the hoodie, tossed it over a chair together with Loki's coat and pulled him with you to the dance floor.
The New Year's party continued and it was a wonderful and funny night, full of laughter and joy. You hadn't had so much fun for ages. And for Loki, it was the same. Everything was so much easier and more enjoyable with you by his side. He never wanted to be without you again.
When the time had come to call it a night, Loki brought you to his apartment. You loved it there. The book wall, his comfy sofa, his big bed, it felt like a safe space. Would he allow you to sleep here tonight? How much you wished you could fall asleep in his arms while listening to his heartbeat.
"Want some tea before we go to sleep?"
"Ah yes, please. Am I allowed to stay here with you? I mean, I could sleep in the guest room again after drinking tea with you, it's no problem…"
"I won't allow you to sleep anywhere else than here, snowflake," and he pecked your lips.
"I go and make us some tea. I'm back soon. Please make yourself comfortable, darling!"
"I'll do," you smiled at him and when he had left the apartment, you kicked off your high heels and plopped yourself onto the couch.
You leaned back against the cushions and giggled. Loki had kissed you. His wonderful soft lips on yours tasted heavenly and you were already addicted to him. You wanted more, you wanted him. And he wanted you to stay here, in his apartment. That was a good sign, wasn't it? But it was also possible that you misread the signs, you weren't completely sure.
Short time later there was a knock on the door.
" May I come in?"
You sat up straight again and invited Thor to come in.
"It's Loki's apartment but I think it's okay. Come in Thor. Please, take a seat."
Thor sat down next to you and faced you.
"I want to thank you, Lady y/n, for giving back the smile to my brother."
"No, there is no need to thank me, Thor."
"There is a need, Lady y/n. You make him feel more lighthearted and content and he laughs more often when you're around him. You and your presence make him happy. You're good for him, you know?
He only speaks in high praises of you and how much he likes your daily dates in the park and the café. He cares about you, you're special to him and he's protective of you. He was upset and scared beyond belief when you didn't appear for two days at your meeting point in the park. He walked around here restlessly."
"He did that? I didn't know that. And he spoke that much about me to you and…was he really that concerned? I mean…he was and is always decent and polite but distant. I never dared to hope that he likes me that much."
"I'm sure he likes you very much, if not more. He's always smiling like an idiot when he's deep in his thoughts and feels unobserved …and I'm sure he thinks about you then. Yeah, he was definitely concerned beyond belief when you didn't come to the park for two days, he thought that something bad had happened to you."
"I still feel bad about it. It happened spontaneously that I had to work. I wanted to tell him that I had to work but…on the one hand, I thought he wouldn't be interested in that and on the other hand, I didn't have his phone number back then. I feel honoured that he thought a lot about me if it's true what you're telling me. But until tonight I was just an acquaintance, a friend."
"I'm pretty sure you've always been more to him than that," Thor answered reassuringly.
"All I did was meet him in the park and talk to him. But I'm still very grateful for his friendship and that he offered me to sleep here when I had forgotten my keys. Otherwise my bed for that night might've been the park bench." You laughed, embarrassed.
"You would've frozen to death!"
"That's what your brother said, too." And you laughed…brothers, indeed.
"He brought you here and introduced you to all of us. He never did that before. He had Ladies here for …you know what I mean..but they all left the next morning before breakfast." Thor told you.
It wasn't new information for you and you had no right to be jealous but it hurt somehow to know that he pleasured other women but you. And that other women pleasured him. You wanted to do it for him because you knew none of them cared about him as you did and it bothered you.
"He just wanted to be nice to me and helped me to deal with a messy situation…. Oh nooo… and I left before breakfast too because I had to return quickly to my working place to look for my keys…nooo, you all must've thought I'm one of his …bed sheet-mess-makers!" you covered your mouth with your hand and you giggled embarrassed.
"None of us ever thought of you like this. You have been here how many times now? And you spent New Year's Eve with us and he kissed you, I saw it with my own two eyes … so, think twice and consider the possibility of him being very interested in you for more than just for one night," and Thor winked at you and laughed, satisfied with himself. He would be a good matchmaker or wedding planner.
"I love my little brother, Lady y/n. I had lost him more than once and I wish nothing more for him than to be happy and in love for the rest of his life. He deserves it. He's a good guy and I never want to lose him again. You are the woman he was always looking for. You're a good match for him."
You raised your eyebrows in astonishment. You still refused to believe that Loki might be into you. And if so he knew how to hide it…until tonight. Was he really that hideous? Or didn't you just see the signs? Or didn't you want to see them? No, he was just kind to you. And to be flirty doesn't mean he is in love with you.
But after this wonderful kiss, you were irreversibly charmed. You couldn't forget the feeling of his soft lips on yours, his taste, how good he smelled and how good it felt. But it was just a friend kissing a friend, right? Yes, he got hard in his pants and you got wet, that can happen, even if you haven't had sex for a long time like you, besides that you didn't know how long he wasn't having sex but…he would be extremely disappointed if he wanted to get intimate with you. You were neither a good kisser nor good in bed…your ex said it to you more than once.
"I'm glad to know your brother and that I had the opportunity to meet all of you and that I was allowed to be here every evening in the last few days and to have such funny conversations with you all. I also appreciate that Bruce offered me to work with and for him and for the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. and that I got this fantastic job now. It's a really great opportunity. I feel less alone in this big city now."
Thor smiled at you.
"And Loki is less alone too…because he has you now."
You chuckled humbly and bit your lower lip.
"It's okay Thor…I know he meets other women for…amorous adventures in the night. I'm not really his type I think and I'm okay with it. And who can blame him, he's an incredibly attractive man. And there are so many beautiful women out there who want him. And he can have them all. There's nothing special about me."
You had to swallow down your rising tears.
Thor wasn't sure if Loki still met other women since he met you regularly and he felt bad for you.
"Are you sure he's still doing it? 'Cause I'm not. Believe me, Lady y/n, you're a very beautiful woman, too and you're …, "
Loki entered the room with two cups of tea in his hands, looking at you and Thor sceptically.
"Your tea, snowflake," he said to you and passed you one of the tea mugs.
"Thank you, Loki," you said and smiled warmingly at him.
"What are you guys talking about?"
"Nothing specific," you said to Loki.
"Goodnight, Lady y/n! Brother!" Thor stood up from the sofa, nodded at you first and then at Loki and left the room.
"Goodnight Thor and thank you," you answered him.
"What were you talking about?"
"Nothing specific, Loki, really."
"Did he…did he make advances, did he ask you for a date, did he…" he panicked.
He panicked? You couldn't help but chuckle.
"Loki, Loki listen…" you interrupted him and placed your mug on the coffee table.
"Please listen to me!"
You stood up from the couch and made a step towards him.
"He thanked me."
"He …what?" Loki looked with furrowed eyebrows at you.
"He thanked me. He thanked me for giving back the smile to you. For making you feel less alone and happy again. Is that so? I never asked you that before. And there's one more thing I need to know. Do you still…do you still meet other women and do you…"
You closed the distance between you two and placed one hand flat onto his chest, right there where his heart was. It was beating so fast.
"….do you sleep with them?" You asked him anxiously.
"No, no I don't …not since I gave you my hoodie… not since Christmas when you didn't come to our meeting point," and he placed his hand gently above yours.
You smiled at him and let out a breath you didn't know you had held.
"I always…think about you, I always look forward to our date every day in the park. It means a lot to me…you mean a lot to me. I was so concerned that day when you didn't come and I didn't know if something had happened to you…and I missed you. I missed you so much. And yes, you make me happy. "
You felt his other arm engulfing you, pulling you closer to him. His lips just brushed over yours slightly, it was not more than just a soft touch, his nose nudging yours.
"Kiss me, please kiss me again, snowflake," he whispered against your lips and within seconds your lips latched onto his and this time your tongues danced with each other, enjoying each other's taste and softness.
You wrapped your arms around Loki's neck and buried your hands into his tonight's soft curls. His arms held you close, one hand squeezed your butt gently, his other arm wrapped around your torso, his hand placed under one shoulder blade, his long fingers slightly touching the side of your breast.
You kissed each other passionately and desperately. All the longing for each other lingered in this deep and feverish kiss. There was no way back, you wanted each other so badly. You felt his half-hard cock pressing against your pelvic bone and you grind your hips slowly against him.
"Sleep with me," you whispered against his swollen lips after you had stopped kissing him.
"No, no you're not like them. I don't want to do that to you. I want you but…"
"You're right Loki, I'm not like them, I want more, I want it all, I want you, all of you, every day, every night. You spent every afternoon and so many evenings with me by now, that's more than I dared to hope. And you captured my heart, right from the first day I saw you. Don't let me go, please never let me go again!"
You kissed him so desperately that Loki's eyes teared up.
"Are you sure you want that, my snowflake? Are you sure you want me?"
"Yes, I'm absolutely sure. And if it's only this one night, only once and never again …yes, I still want you…" and you continued kissing him and your tongue began playing again with his.
"Then promise me that you'll stay…that you'll stay forever. That I can trust you, that you want me, not only my body, that you not just want to use me, that you won't toss me away and break my heart when you're tired of me, when you can't bear my possessiveness anymore, my need to always protect you," he asked you between kisses.
He could barely stop kissing you and he held you impossibly close.
"I promise, Lo. Please be possessive over me, protect me, and never let me alone again. With you, everything feels right." You whispered against his kiss-swollen lips.
"Then own me, my love. Own me and make me yours. I'll never let you go again, I'll always adore you as the Queen you are. That's my promise to you."
"And I'll be yours…"
You began to unbutton his waistcoat, untied his cravat, unbuttoned his shirt, and pulled it all down over his broad shoulders while still kissing him and sucking at his lips.
You unfastened his belt and opened his trousers. The sight of his bare chest, raising up and down while heavily breathing, the contraction of his defined muscles, doubled your arousal and desire for him. Your hands trailed over his pecs and abs, his muscles flexing under your touch, his jaw clenching. Loki closed his eyes and enjoyed your tenderness, quietly moaning and sighing.
"Undress me, Lo…please." you whispered into his ear.
He opened his eyes again and with shaking hands and nimble fingers he reached for the zipper of your dress, pulled the straps down your shoulders, and let your dress pool down to your feet and you stepped out of it. The sight of you in your lingerie in his favorite color made him gasp. How beautiful you were. He didn't deserve you, but he wanted, no he needed you.
"May I?" he murmured against your lips, his fingers ready to unclasp your strapless bra.
"Yes, of course, Sir," you replied.
When he had freed your breasts, he caressed them tenderly, his thumbs brushing over your nipples. He let his fingers trail further down your sides to the strap of your lace panty and you felt it sliding down to your ankles. You tossed it away with your foot. Loki's gaze was still fixed on your face.
He looked down at your hands which opened his trousers completely and shoved them down together with his briefs and he stepped out of it. One of his large hands wandered down to his half-hard manhood and covered it. A little smile came to your face. You never expected him to be shy but it was so adorable. And he was really a statue of a man, everything about him was perfect.
"Lo, you're so beautiful," you whispered while you cupped his cheeks.
He took in your features and couldn't take his eyes off of you.
"You are so beautiful, my love. Do you have any idea how gorgeous you are?"
You smiled at him shyly.
"Really? Am I? I don't think so."
Loki stroked over your cheek softly and then gently from one corner of your lips to the other side with his thumb, his eyes fixed on yours.
"Snowflake, you are amazingly beautiful, you're perfect. I already know that you will be my downfall."
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