[Ace had almost forgotten Annette’s fist was gripping the top center of his uniform, and he realized just how angry she really was. He had never seen her like this, sure, he knew her pretty well for a lover. He knew that she was stubborn, and a sore loser, but he’d never seen her act this way towards someone. Not even him, and now it was he that was facing her wrath, and he took it, because he deserved it. She was responding to him, and it left him a little thankful that she wasn’t ignoring him anymore like he’d been her earlier.] I didn’t think it was, I thought maybe I was seeing things that weren’t there. Annie, you don’t understand. I’ve been…this has been…for song long and I- [When she let go of his shirt he sighed, relieved that maybe this was going so-bang! Right in his lungs, he caught his breath and started coughing. Was she…hitting him? She was hitting him. Her little balled up fists felt like rocks poking against his chest (heart). He tried to react to them, but a part of him just wanted to let her punch him, she needed it. But when she started cursing, oh hell, something boiled up in the pit of his stomach and it wasn’t pain. He couldn’t believe that of all times to be feeling like this it was right now, and it killed him in every way it could. It killed him with goodness, with a soft finger running itself down the side of his neck. It killed him with anger, that his princess, this girl he’d fallen for was coming out of her character because of him. It killed him with joy, because he didn’t fall in love with her because she was fragile, but because she was strong when everyone least expected her to be. But most of all, it killed him with love. Annette began to rant to him, and she called him out on the shit he was trying to get away with. He couldn’t say anything to her, he didn’t have anything to say, but the corner of his mouth started twitching. He hoped she didn’t notice he was starting to smile. He reached out to grab her wrists, to stop her from hitting him, and instead Annette dropped her body against his chest. He stumbled a little, the area weak and probably bruised, but he moved back against her. With shaking arms, he wrapped them around her, and he held her like he was saying goodbye, like he’d never get to do it again. His hand drifted up to rest on the back of her head, entangling itself in her hair. Ace rested his chin on her head, and let her speak muffled into him, and he whispered things into her hair that she’d never hear, things for himself.] I know, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I love you. I love you too. [He kissed her scalp, and just wanted to stay there for a while, but Annette pulled away from him, and she said it again like she knew something else now. She said it again like this time it would change everything, and Ace didn’t know how to react to her glossy red eyes and her messy hair and her flushed face. He didn’t know how to react to what had just happened, so he started laughing. It started off as a slow chuckle, and he looked her in the eyes. What’s so funny? he waited for it, waited for her to probably be more offended by it than he’d planned, but he couldn’t help how happy he was for some reason. He let go of her and sat down on the bleachers, and held his head in his hands.] This is fucking crazy.
[Annette was just so exhausted. She knew that her feelings for him were strong, but she didn’t realize how much they took out of her at the end of the day. When she fell forward against his chest, she was expecting him to do one of two things: pull himself away from her and get out of there faster than a bat out of hell, but he stayed there, completely motionless for all but two seconds before he wrapped his arms around her, closing what little space there was between the two of them. She sniffled against his chest, well aware that all the snot that had been building up in her nose had leaked out all over the front of his sweater, as if she hadn’t ruined it enough already. His breath was hot against the top of her head, and one hand gently rubbed up and down her back, as if he was trying to soothe her like one would with a toddler. They stayed like that for a minute or two before she pulled away, confessing herself to him and eagerly awaiting his reaction, which turned out to be a laugh. But it wasn’t his usual laugh; no, that laugh was reserved for when he smoked with his friends or when Annie started going off about the latest Puddlemere United game. This was just like the laugh he had when she willingly danced for him the first time, and when she sang Spice Girls to him, and when he jumped into the cold Black Lake with her in toe. Maybe he had expected her to freak out when he did it, but she only smiled.] It is crazy. [He was sitting on the bleachers now, and she placed herself next to him, her leg brushing against his.] We weren’t expecting it to happen this way… we weren’t even expecting it to happen at all, EVER. [She a hand up to pry his own away from his face.] I’d like to be with you, and I don’t care if we’re not perfect. I don’t want perfect. I hate perfect, but I love you. I think… this can work.
[Ace watched Annette lower her guard, and the glare in her eye softened enough to make this a little bit easier for him, and he needed that as much as he could get it. She turned from him, couldn’t look him in the eyes when it was literally pulling the cords of his muscles to look into hers. He was trying so hard to be up front with her, to not look around and lose the real in what he was saying, but she wasn’t even looking at him, could she even see it? Could she even see how hard this was for him? Because Ace needed her to see it, he needed her to try to understand how easy he wanted it to be and how easy it wasn’t. That this wasn’t perfect or wasn’t going to be perfect, and they couldn’t run away together holding each other in their arms like a fairy tale, even if it’s what she deserved. It was too late for that, too unlike them, Ace wasn’t a prince. He didn’t know how to answer her question, he breathed out and felt a lot better letting air into his system, but he looked at her a little stunned, confused, in thought.] I-…..don’t know. [He mumbled the truth. He didn’t know, but he had to give her something.] I don’t know Annie-Annette. But it wasn’t to tease you. I didn’t really, I wasn’t sure…if you felt that way about me or if-I don’t know. I’m not good at this but fuck I’m really trying to make sense of it, but I can’t. That’s the problem, I can’t make sense of this and I fucking hate it. [He wasn’t yelling at her, in fact, he wasn’t even really talking to her. He was talking normally but like he was trying to solve a math problem, a riddle on the tip of his tongue that he just couldn’t get. He was trying to figure it out for himself.] I was being selfish when I kissed you, Annette. [Not princess, Annette.] I really wanted to, I’ve always wanted to, so I did it and then I realized that I couldn’t be selfish with you anymore. I had to be selfless so that you can be better and do better and be with someone better, so I tried really hard to forget it happened and go back to normal and the only way to do that was to be mean to you but fuck-god damnit, you make it so hard to do that. You wouldn’t let it go you couldn’t just let it go. [It was coming through him like a raging fire, and his voice started to get louder as if he’d hit a Eureka! But still he was trying not to seem like he was yelling at her.] I am bad for you. Everyone knows it, I know it. [His throat clogged up with this, his voice got lower, sadder, and it choked out of him like he had to stick his fingers in his throat and pull it out manually. His eyes were getting glossy, because she was so beautiful when she she didn’t know her lip was pouting, and he hated it.] I am so bad for you.
[Her vision was starting to becoming blurry from the angry tears that were stinging at her eyes, but she remained focused on him as she waited for his response and she could swear she was close to ripping his sweater clean off from how tight her grip on it was becoming. She could feel his heartbeat even through her balled-up fists; it was erratic, as if it was going to explode any moment. The first words that came out of his mouth were completely Ace: I don’t know. Her blood began to boil just from hearing those three words, and she began to calculate just how hard she would need to push him from this high up to break a couple of bones. And then he said he wasn’t aware that she had any feelings for him, which caused her to let out an unpleasant sound of a snort mixed with a sob.] I know I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but Merlin, you really couldn’t tell? [Annette released her iron-tight grip on his sweater, and for a brief moment, relief flashed upon his face, only to return to the painful expression when she banged both fists together against his chest.] You… are … so… STUPID! [She brought her fists down again and again during each pause, each time harder than the rest.] Fuck that. [She hissed under her breath, then said it again.] FUCK THAT. Don’t give me this “I deserve better than you” crap like you’re some bad boy from the wrong side of tracks and I’m as pure as the driven snow. [It was right then when she noticed the sad look in his eyes and how his lower lip was quivering slightly, as if in just a few seconds she wasn’t going to be the only one crying anymore. Annie’s fists uncurled until they were laying flat again his chest before leaning her body forward to rest again his own. She could feel him shaking, he was just as bad as she was.] Y-Yeah… but Bender was bad for Claire too, but he still got the girl in the end. [Maybe it was the greatest time to make a reference to an 80’s movie, but it was the first thing that came to her mind.] I… love you. [It was muffled due to the fact that she had said it straight into his chest, but she could feel his body react to it. Pulling herself away, she repeated herself.] I love you.
HAHAHAHAHA stop HAHA I’m going to HHAHAHA kill you
[She beings to cackle along with her, unable to control herself.]
Ah, well what is it? Maybe I can deliver the message for you.
Do you think I’m going to put any trust in you after the stunt you and Danica pulled last Christmas? I don’t think so, Sloane. I’ll do it myself.
HAHAHA-SHUT-HAHAHAHA-UP! Fix hahahahaha me genius.
I will… after I talk to Scamp. Maybe. It’s actually kind of funny seeing you like this. Your laugh is infectious, and I appreciate you finally accepting me for what I am.
Where is who?
Scamp Broadmoor. I need to tell him something… something important.
A boy. Are you alright there, Julia? Are you feeling ill? Possessed, possibly?
Where is he?
[Annette’s words slithered out like poison, and rubbed themselves along his thick skin, which wasn’t so thick anymore. He could see she didn’t want to talk to him, and with the way he acted towards her the other day, he didn’t blame her. She just kept going though, she brought up something he couldn’t stop thinking about while he was trying to let it go, and it only made it harder. It was natural instinct to lash out, to be angry, to try to force away something that had been growing their whole friendship. He recalled carrying her from the forest last year when she’d hurt herself, and he recalled running into her on his broom once, and turning down a duel because he didn’t want to face her. He recalled everything that lead him to believe he was falling for him, that he cared about her enough as a friend despite his teasing to carry her to the hospital wing, and that maybe he was aiming for her when he was flying that day, and all the shit he got when he didn’t want to aim his wand at her. It wasn’t that he didn’t think she couldn’t handle him, but that he didn’t think he could handle her. And maybe, deep down, that’s what this was all about. He swallowed down the lump in his throat, and urged himself to speak.] I want to talk. Even though you don’t want to talk to me. [He sighed, and went for it, breathing in and moving his hands to try to cover up the fact that they were shaking. He’d never felt this way before.] I want to apologize for, for earlier this week when I…Look Annette, I’ve done a lot of dumb shit in my life, and you know it. Hell, you’ve seen most of it. But making you upset was one of the worst things I’ve done. I mean, genuinely upset. ‘Cause I know I’ve pissed you off before when I’ve been joking, and I know you always liked it anyway. But if what I did made you honestly, seriously upset, then I need to apologize. Because I’ve never wanted to do that.
[She noticed how his face turned whiter than ever after she had said that, his expression even more pained. She felt a pang in her chest but ignored it; she wasn’t going to throw in the towel that easily. Annie was well-aware of fact that she shared a lot of traits with her father; a kind heart, compassionate about her family and friends, and an insatiable love for anything sweet. But she inherited her mother’s stubbornness, and it was bad. She wasn’t going to forgive him so easily. But then again, her stubbornness is what made her keep liking so much. Even when he called her all those awful nicknames, even when he started dating and sleeping around with other girls, and even when he looked at her with a sad, icy glare and told her not to like him, Annette was too damn stubborn to give up on her feelings for him, even though right now it felt like she needed too.] Okay… [She said slowly, uncrossing her arms and bringing them back down towards her sides, hoping it would give her less of an intimidating look than before.] I’ll listen to you, Ace. [And then Ace Foster apologized to her, a real apology. It wasn’t like the one he gave her when he knocked her down accidentally in their first year, or when he ran into her while he was flying—very poorly, might she add—on his broom. He was looking her in the eye now, his eyes apologetic and genuine, and it made her not able to look at him. She turned her head to the side and bit down on her quivering lower lip before she spoke.] If you didn’t want to make me upset, then why were you so nice to me that night? Why did you kiss me? [She turned back to him and reached out her hands to grip the front of his sweater.] You could had avoided all of this! Was it on a whim? Was it just to tease me, even though you know how I feel about you? [Her voice was louder now, her grip on his sweater tighter, and she was sure tears were forming in her eyes from all the anger.] Tell me!