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Author Topic:  unpredictability's my responsibility [william]  (Read 599 times)

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Honey Bea Flume [ Artist ]
194 Posts  •  29  •  take you to the candy shop  •  played by christine
unpredictability's my responsibility [william]
« on: July 02, 2018, 06:24:43 PM »
late april 2002

Aaaand there. Perfect. Honey Bea stepped back and admired her handiwork, having nudged the jars in the window display just so, not trusting her wandwork to do so fine a job. Only after she had made sure everything was in its exact place did she set everything with a sticking charm; it was a students’ day tomorrow, and Honey wasn’t about to let the grabby hands of children ruin her organization. The handwritten labels on the jars were charmed to ensure that no two candies mixed, despite sticky fingers that might try to challenge them.

Her gaze shifted past the display and out the window. It was just past seven in the evening, Honeydukes was closed, so seeing people walk past her shop shouldn’t have shocked her. But she wasn’t accustomed to former lovers, scorned or otherwise, hurrying past without a second glance. She knew she shouldn’t be offended, should probably afford him a little bit of personal space, but it had been a couple months now. That was enough time, right? Well, no amount of time was enough to get over her, she was sure, but that was beside the point.

She didn’t give herself any more time to think it through -- she was out of the perpetually unlocked door, wiping her hands on her apron before bringing them up to her lips for a loud whistle. He wasn’t too far away, but that didn’t stop her from yelling at him all the same: “Treacle fudge’s on special!” She had stopped on her doorstep, one hand gripped tight to the doorframe as she leaned out for her catcall. Honey brought her free hand up for a small wave, a smaller grin firmly affixed on her face.

He had handled everything really well, she thought, considering the point they had gotten to before she had broken things off. She had attempted to make it perfectly clear, that she wanted him to be happy -- that just couldn’t happen with her. Whether or not he believed it… she had been toying with the idea of sending him a birthday present in a couple days to test the waters. But @William Dasher being in Hogsmeade at all was a good enough sign for her.

“Hi.” He looked well -- too well, almost, considering she had previously assumed that she had broken him -- and she had choked on any more words before they got out. She stepped fully out of her shop and closed the door behind her, tucking her hair behind her ears. She wished she had at least a little bit of notice, to let her hair down and throw on some mascara, but post-long-day-of-work-Honey was probably the best. For William’s sake.

“Happy birthday. Almost.” She shrugged, assuming that the fact he had turned around at all was enough reason to pose her next question. “Can I buy you a drink?”

« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 04:36:09 PM by Christine »

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William Dasher [ Writer ]
2099 Posts  •  Heterosexual
Re: unpredictability's my responsibility [william]
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 08:02:13 PM »
I haven't slept a single night in over a month
and not even once did you start to make sense to me.

This was pathetic.

He was thirty years old. He couldn't scurry down the lane like a teenager returning home past curfew; he was too old for that now. Will stood at the top of the main street in Hogsmeade, his slim fingers curled around a heavy stack of books, still wrapped in their brown paper and string ribbon. He should have been home hours ago but he'd got to chatting. He'd had a nice time but there was a redheaded elephant in the room.

"Ridiculous," he told himself as he tried to buoy himself up by shaking his shoulders and anxiously straightening the collar of his white shirt that peeked out from beneath a rather smart navy jumper. He wasn't going to knock on her door. He decided that. He'd even tried to get the representative from Flourish & Blotts to come to him but they'd declined the offer.

All in all, he really didn't want to see her, however childish it might sound. Oh sure, their break up happened around New Year but even then, it was a little bit painful around the edges. He was still tender and a little bit in shock. Will truly had thought things were going well. He'd been charming and polite and he did a lot of things that he didn't usually do to make her happy. But that didn't mean she owed him anything.

It was his fault. He'd pushed her to make things official. He'd booked them a holiday. He'd taken  her to meet his parents over Christmas. It was him, not her. Maybe he'd gone too fast. Maybe he'd pushed too hard. Maybe he didn't understand her. Maybe, maybe, maybe. That was why he was stuck in this weird sort of limbo because he hadn't pushed Honey for answers. He'd let her speak her peace, he'd accepted it and he'd run away to the Continent for three months because his pride had been bashed. He'd played it down but he had been in love with her, or close to it. Explaining things to his mother had been pretty terrible, too.

Taking a deep breath, William practically broke into a jog. His long legs took long strides, climbing up the slight incline of the cobblestones with his eyes on his shoes and his books as his shield.

The piercing whistle made him freeze. Will wasn't conceited enough to think the wolf whistle was for him but the street was empty and the sound echoed off the bricks. He held his breath. Every inch of him was telling him to just carry on walking; Honey was a strong girl, she'd be fine. But he'd been raised correctly. No matter how terrible it was going to be, she'd been honest with him and he owed it to her to be honest as well. For the most part, he was okay. He'd had a jolt when he'd seen her in the newspaper with the Quidditch player. Doubts crept up; had Honey been seeing someone else? Had she left him for the other man? No. Of course she hadn't.

Will turned around and sketched out a gentle smile. Lifting a hand, he waved lamely in greeting before he let out a soft chuckle. "My favourite," he hollered down the lane as though his feet were firmly planted to the floor. Honey looked good but then again, she always did. A small part, tiny really, had once thought that Honey had no right to feel sad about ending their relationship. She'd pulled the trigger and she'd made the decision but she'd been honest with him. She'd made it perfectly clear that she wasn't happy -  and that he couldn't make her happy - and he respected that.

"Hello," he replied warmly, still standing some way away from her. His hair was a little longer and his skin was a little more tanned but he was still the same. Her next comment made him actually smile. "Oh thanks," he told her as he rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly as the tips of his ears turned pink. "Same to you," he told Honey. Her birthday was soon, too. He'd sent her present already, from the Post Office in Diagon Alley. She'd probably get it in tomorrow morning's delivery.

Will's hesitation was clear on his face as he fell silent. Honestly? He didn't think he was ready. He didn't think he was ready to talk to her on a personal level again or open himself up or offer some sort of olive branch to her just yet. It wasn't Honey's fault and he felt guilty because she was trying, maybe for her sake or maybe his own. He hated the word maybe. Opening his mouth to decline her offer, he realised he needed to stop being a big baby. "That'd be nice," he replied to her with a smile, stepping aside a little so she could fall into step beside him. "Your window looks nice," he said lamely and he winced as soon as he heard himself. Three months in her absence and all he could manage was a compliment about her sweets? He needed to get a grip and fast.

Honey Bea Flume [ Artist ]
194 Posts  •  29  •  take you to the candy shop  •  played by christine
Re: unpredictability's my responsibility [william]
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2018, 09:29:06 PM »
“Thanks.” She narrowed her eyes, trying to pick up any hint of anything really, anything she could use to her advantage, to discern one way or the other how this was going to play out. But either he was too far away or she was too distracted by his face: handsome features only exaggerated by his tan and his silence. It was probably too soon; he had clearly been trying to avoid her, and she should have assumed that seeing her could only set him back weeks in his recovery from her.

But she was selfish, and he was still standing there.

“Yeah?” She offered him the out for a brief second, though she wasted no time in doffing her apron, leaving it behind on the doorknob to her shop. “Least I could do,” she offered with a shrug, smoothing down her t-shirt and re-fixing a few hairs she had knocked out of place. Catching up to him, Honey returned his smile, happy to see him up close. His hair was longer, his beard a bit fuller, and she stopped herself just shy of being upset that he didn’t look worse. She was that petty of course, but she wasn’t going to let it get to her just yet.

Honey glanced back at her shop window as he complimented it; “Think so?” She knew it looked nice, because of course it did, but she always appreciated compliments on her hard work. Keeping Honeydukes alive for the sake of bringing business to Hogsmeade was one thing, but keeping Honeydukes alive for the sake of her own pride was the most important thing. “Hogsmeade weekend for the students tomorrow,” she added unnecessarily, pulling her gaze back front and center.

It was quite a chore for Honey to purposefully put space between herself and someone else, especially one she was so used to, one who smelled just as nice as she remembered, but the walk to the Three Broomsticks was thankfully short. She was already proud of herself for suggesting a secondary location, rather than inviting him inside for free drinks, a mistake she had made a few too many times lately.

She grabbed the door to the pub before Will got the chance, and she followed him in. It wasn’t very crowded, just a few of locals milling around, in the midst of having dinner. “Beer? Scotch?” She gave him his options before pointing toward a table off to the side of the room, the least inhabited side, and fetched their drinks from the bar. Rosmerta made Honey a sweet drink per her request, and she sipped at it graciously on her way back to the table.

“London particularly sunny these days?” Honey flicked her gaze obviously down his figure, silently pointing out his complexion. She took a seat across from him, books, drinks, and space the metaphorical and physical barriers between them. That was the least she could do.

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William Dasher [ Writer ]
2099 Posts  •  Heterosexual
Re: unpredictability's my responsibility [william]
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2018, 10:24:25 PM »
William winced. It's the least I can do she'd said and she'd said it so casually. Buying him a drink wouldn't repair the damage but he was at the point where he was sick of feeling sorry for himself. He was sick of playing the victim, sick of blaming her and he was sick of wallowing. Fundamentally, Honey wasn't a bad person. He was so glad he'd met her and got to know her and he was so thankful she'd come bursting through the door of that kitchen that fateful night so many months ago. The only problem was that he didn't want to say it.

Hogsmeade weekend? "Oh of course," Will said gently. Since he'd graduated, he'd sort of fallen out of touch with the school calendar. He wondered if Honey had served any of his younger cousins. In the deepest throes of his delirium, he'd contemplated slipping a letter to Honey into his cousin's bag with instructions for them to hand it to her. Then he checked himself and asked Elijah to slap him.

It was strange and uncomfortable for him to not buy the drinks and Will felt distinctly off kilter. "Beer would be good," he replied automatically as he followed her directions and set himself down. He sat himself down on the table and scooted across to sit next to the window but he wasn't looking at anything but her. Honey's absence had awarded him with a few precious minutes of contemplation. He didn't want this to be awkward and stilted. Things were never going to go back to how they were but he wanted to treat her as a friend, not a stranger.

"Oh thanks," the writer replied as he took a gulp of the cold liquid before he offered her a shy smile. "Not really," he admitted sheepishly. It hadn't sounded like Honey had been to London either, so he felt the tiniest bit less guilty for not touching base.

"This is…horribly embarrassing but I kind of went off the grid," Will mumbled in a soft voice. "France, Italy, Spain, that sort of thing," he commented into his beer as he drank some more. "Travelling isn't really my thing," he told Honey with a wan smile because she knew how free spirited he wasn't. "But I had a nice time," he was quick to assure her. "I saw some nice things. Bought some fridge magnets. Tried to get Zen," he joked as he looked out of the window. Somehow, looking her directly in the face was causing him actual physical pain.

He supposed he could lie. He could tell Honey his grandfather was getting too old to travel or that a would-be author threw a hissy fit and wouldn't come to London but what was the point? Will offered her an unsure smile as though Honey would realise that she'd been the cause of his Grand Tour. He didn't think he wanted sympathy and he didn't think he wanted her back. He didn't want to change her mind or make her feel sad or upset but he needed to make whatever muddled feelings he had clear for whatever relationship was left.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you," Will sighed as he poked a drop of condensation that rolled down his pint glass. "That was a pretty shitty thing to do. I just wasn't really sure what I wanted. I didn't go travelling when I was younger like I wanted to so I thought after --" he paused as he struggled for the right term and he shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "We ended things, I might try it out. Monaco's great in case you were wondering," he said cheerfully. "Lots of yachts."

To be honest, Will needed to be somewhere that Honey wasn't. She'd imprinted everything; his apartment, his bed, his office, even his dog. It had all become too much. Everything had been swirling and mixed up and intense and too deep for him to cope. So, he'd upped and left. It hadn't been healthy and he understood that but for a while, he'd seen her everywhere. Now, things were better. She wasn't haunting him like a ghost or a memory any more.

"And my grandfather signed the business over to me," he dropped in casually. "I don't really know what I'm doing but Elijah and Arden aren't interested." Absently, he scratched his beard. "So I'm running around, putting out metaphorical fires so that's taking up most of my time at the moment," he said with a tired smile. "But I'm doing okay." Will wasn't sure if he said that for Honey's benefit or his own. "You are too?" He asked, watching her curiously over his pint. "You know, in general. Not because of --" again, he hesitated and waved his hand through the air. "Me and stuff."

Honey Bea Flume [ Artist ]
194 Posts  •  29  •  take you to the candy shop  •  played by christine
Re: unpredictability's my responsibility [william]
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2018, 02:27:11 AM »
Honey leaned forward, crossing her arms and setting them on the table in front of her, keeping herself at the perfect height to sip her drink through the straw without any additional effort. If her neckline hadn’t been so high, it might have been quite the show, but unfortunately (fortunately? what a strange concept) for William, she just wanted a hands free drinking experience. But she straightened up, eyebrows raised, at his ’Not really’. “Oh?”

She didn’t say anything, instead dropping her gaze momentarily from Will’s face to his drink. Traveling wasn’t his thing; it took every ounce of restraint she had not to roll her eyes. He didn’t have to tell her that it was because of her that he had left. She supposed everyone had to cope with things in their own way. Honey usually used work, sex, and alcohol, not necessarily in that order, but to each their own.

Her gaze drifted back up as William lifted his drink and she suppressed a laugh as he confirmed that it wasn’t his thing. That was an understatement, she thought -- the one trip they had taken together had been on a whim and they had clearly both been out of their element -- but he hadn’t asked her opinion. She didn’t take her eyes off of him as he looked away, apparently intent on not making eye contact with her. Honey didn’t interrupt, letting himself talk himself out.

And then he apologized. He apologized to her. “I, er,” she started, torn between being overly sympathetic or overly annoyed. He was so nice, and he cared so much that he felt the need to apologize to for… what? Her breaking up with him? It was backwards, frustrating, and only the tiniest bit flattering. Honey was torn. “I’m glad you’re back,” she said simply, choosing not to add that she had been to Monaco, nor that she was prone to seasickness. She smiled, in case he decided to ever look at her.

Honey moved her straw aside and took a proper swallow of her drink. She wasn’t sure what she had been trying to accomplish with this, by inviting him out. She supposed she had wanted to make sure that she hadn’t destroyed him, but she hadn’t considered what she would do if she actually had.
“Oh!” All thoughts of their relationship were replaced by thoughts of business. “That’s great, Will, really.” She was still talking about his business, rather than his small reassurance that he was okay, though she was genuinely relieved to hear it. But work was a familiar topic, something they could still share, rebuild a friendship on. At the very least, rebuild some sort of professional relationship on.

Honey smiled again, happy to finally have hold of Will’s gaze. ”Yeah, I’m okay.” She took another swallow of her drink before leaning forward to rest her chin in her hand. “Work is kind of,” she shrugged, “Slow until the end of term. I’ve been working on a few new things but nothing’s really clicked yet.” He knew she was more than a perfectionist when it came to Honeydukes, couldn’t put anything less than stellar on the shelves. She was close to inviting him back to sample some things, but somehow she managed to stop herself.

She didn’t think that he wanted her to tell her how content she was, that she hadn’t had any issue moving on, that she had somewhat started moving on while they were still together, that he would almost inevitably hear about her moving on whether or not she wanted him to. Those dinners with Viktor were bound to be noticed some time.

“I am glad you’re back, though. Sorry you had to leave in the first place, of course, but..” she trailed off, taking a pause to finish her drink. “Glad you’re back. You’re nice to talk to.”

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William Dasher [ Writer ]
2099 Posts  •  Heterosexual
Re: unpredictability's my responsibility [william]
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2018, 08:14:20 PM »
She was glad he was back.

Six weeks ago, that statement would have been music to his ears but now, he just offered her another kind smile. Now, it just made him feel a little uncomfortable. For a week or two, Will had been in such an unusually dark place. William wasn't pessimistic; he was uptight and overworked but was never fatalistic. For a very short while, he found himself doubting everything Honey had ever said to him. Had she been lying when she said she liked him? Had she meant to say no when he'd asked her to be his girlfriend? A weird fog had shrouded his judgement and it felt like mistrust.

He looked at her briefly and then down to his barely touched pint and the realisation made him start to drink it swiftly. None of this was Honey's fault and he realised that now. People just…didn't work out sometimes and that was just the way life was. It was not a big deal.

"Thanks," he said with another smile. "It should be good, hopefully exciting. We signed a poet at the start of the year and the anthology is beautiful," he told the red head honestly. He cleared his throat as he ruffled his hair out of habit as though that would try and shake the image of Arkadiy and his matching Santa hats. "I think he mentioned he was going away for the summer so I'm hoping he'll get some inspiration for another book but we'll see," Will added with a shrug as he downplayed the success of his signing.

He nodded along because work was a comfortable subject. "I'm sure inspiration is just around the corner." Will's tone was not at all vindictive and it was clear in his facial features. He wasn't stupid. He'd seen the pictures. They didn't have to talk about her new guy if she didn't want to. For the most part, he was fine but he'd admit that it stung a little bit at first. He felt really rather inadequate. Honey was forging ahead with her life and going great things and he was stuck in some kind of wayward purgatory. He felt like he needed to catch up to her and maybe that he was spending too much time mooning over the breakdown of their relationship. His ego had taken a bruising and that was really all he felt now, like a sort of residual ache. It wasn't constant, which he assumed was a good thing. It just flared up sporadically.

"Let me know when you figure things out, though," Will said as he sipped at his pint of lager again. "My mum'd love to try it." It wasn't a jab at Honey because he wasn't that cruel, nor would he ever be mean to her or take a cheap shot. His mother really did admire her work. He just didn't have the heart to tell her that the smell of chocolate now made him feel a bit queasy.

"It's absolutely not your fault," Will told Honey swiftly and with enough force to hopefully let her know that his demons were his own and they didn't need to share. He'd managed to reach thirty without having to go through an actual heartbreak, luckily or unluckily. He didn't really know if she'd managed to break his heart or not. William was a logical sort of guy so dissecting  things was a fairly common thing for him to do but he had trouble untangling things.

In a way, yes, she had. In another, not really. It wasn't like they were going to get married or start a family or anything but he did miss her to a certain degree. A beat of silence passed and Will sighed heavily. "Anyway," he said briskly as he tried to veer away from the inevitable but found himself unable to. In the absence of Honey's answers, he'd sort of filled in the blanks. Will figured she'd grown bored or she'd met someone else and either conclusion wasn't pleasant. "I just wanted to say thanks," he told her seriously. "For breaking up with me in person. That's a new thing for me," he told Honey with a wan smile that lacked any malicious intentions. "And thanks for being so cool about it and everything. You didn't need to be."

Honey Bea Flume [ Artist ]
194 Posts  •  29  •  take you to the candy shop  •  played by christine
Re: unpredictability's my responsibility [william]
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2018, 02:15:00 AM »
“Mmm, I hope so.” Honey shrugged and offered William a half smile. “You’ll be the first to know.” She wasn’t exaggerating, or at least she didn’t think so. She cared about his opinion about her work. Or maybe she just liked that he never had a bad thing to say about anything she made. That certainly had made him nice to have around -- never mind that even now she felt an incredible attraction to him. She was keeping her eyes fixed on his, not letting them drift to his jawline, his lips, his hands; goodness, it had been a long week.

Honey smiled at the mention of his mother. Will was very clearly her favorite, just like Honey had assumed of her own parents favoring her, so they had got on. “My dad is still telling people, ‘Oh, I’ve met that publisher, nice boy,’ at every bookshop he goes to.” Not to mention her mum was still asking after Will, even after Honey had finally told her that she wasn’t seeing him anymore. The tone of her letters had shifted after that, and it had put a pause in her visits back to Scotland. But Honey wasn’t about to tell him that her parents thought she had made a mistake in breaking up with him. It didn’t help her to know it, and she could only assume that it wouldn’t help him to know that someone out there in the world still thought they should be together. She’d find another way to mess it up. She always did.

She opened her mouth to tell him that it certainly felt like her fault, no matter how vehemently he was reassuring her it wasn’t. He was being nice again, and yet again she was going to let him. Honey pursed her lips without saying anything. If he was going to offer her the out to not feel bad about things, she was selfish enough to take it. She nodded halfheartedly, still not taking her eyes off of him.

“Anyway,” she agreed, happy they were through the awkward bits and bobs and could get back to being friends again. She had meant it when she had said that he was nice to talk to -- but she had left out the caveat that it was only nice when he wasn’t making her feel bad for ending things, whether intentionally or not. But he seemed to be able to still read her mind. She didn’t return his smile, caught off guard that she was now being thanked for breaking up with him. “Er--” she started, biting her lower lip. Was she supposed to tell him that he was welcome for her kind consideration? He must not have thought very highly of her if he had to thank her for not getting rid of him oh so heartlessly. She had done that to other men, of course, but she hadn’t been their girlfriend. She didn’t owe them anything.

It would have been easy to continue dating Will, but she wasn’t confident in her ability to remain faithful. She had demonstrated that much before Christmas -- and not telling him about it. Honey didn’t usually keep her lovers a secret, ready to offer up facts if anyone asked. Nearly no one did, of course. But if she needed to keep quiet, she was confident in her abilities.

But she liked Will too much to do that to him. “Of course I had to be cool about it.” Honey took a deep breath, trying to piece together the things that had led her to make the decision in the first place. “You deserve to be happy, you know, and it was only a matter of time before I fucked that up.” She shrugged, hoping to bring some sort of casualness to her tone. “I’m a terrible person, but I do like you.” She hadn’t used the past tense on purpose; she wanted to make it clear that she still cared about him. She didn’t want him to think that he had wasted his year on her.

Honey sat up straight, bringing her glass up to her lips. She was ready to take a nice long sip, forgetting that she had finished it ages ago. Maybe she was more nervous than she thought she was.

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William Dasher [ Writer ]
2099 Posts  •  Heterosexual
Re: unpredictability's my responsibility [william]
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2018, 06:32:01 PM »
"Oh," Will chuckled as the tips of his ears turned pink in embarrassment. "That's really sweet. Tell him I said thanks." Things were similar on his end, too. His mother was delighted he'd met someone new and especially someone as vivacious and fast-paced as Honey. There was an uncomfortable weight on his shoulders as he realised their parents were disappointed. It was a little sad and a little funny to hear it but being together for their sake wasn't healthy.

"If he wants any books hot off the press, just tell him to drop me a note," he said kindly. Will would actually like to see her dad, he liked him a lot and having a polite pint would be a nice afternoon. He wasn't saying it for the sake of it, nor did he want to inconvenience Honey. He also didn't want her to think he was hanging out with her parents in hopes of getting her back. The main reason his family loved her was because she wasn't Caroline. Honey was funny and smart and witty and gave enough to give shit back at his brother when he was rude that blew him away. Endearing, that was the word they'd used.

He didn't like "what ifs". They were two little words that had the power to destroy a man and so, he'd simply smiled. He really wasn't sure if he was trying to make himself feel better or her. Will felt a dull prickle of pain as Honey asserted that he wouldn't be happy with her. He dropped his gaze briefly. After Christmas, she'd started to pull away. He knew she was busy with the rush at her shop and then Valentine's Day but there was something just under the surface that he should have seen. It would have made things easier. She could have escaped quicker.

Wordlessly, Will pushed his pint towards the redhead in a silent invitation for her to drink it. Maybe she was thirsty or maybe she was anxious but she'd already finished her own.

But you might not have, he silently thought at her throwaway comment about her fucking things up. What if again. Being gentlemanly was really exhausting. He wanted to ask about that photograph. He wanted to ask why. Her blanket explanation of her not making him happy was a bit…wet. It didn't really explain things. Had her feelings changed? Had she met someone else? Was there a personality flaw that he needed to work on for the future? But he didn't want to open that Pandora's Box. It honestly wasn't worth it.

Despite all that, he couldn't be mad at her. He liked to think as soon as her feelings changed, she'd pulled the plug and ended it. And he was a grown adult now. He wasn't a lovestruck teenager and he'd thrown away his rose tinted glasses years previously. It wasn't rainbows and butterflies and burning passion. It was a real actual relationship and he was thankful. Was it painful? Sometimes. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Would he change it? No.

"I like you too," Will said gently. He honestly did. Deep down, he knew their paths wouldn't usually cross. Under any normal circumstances, they wouldn't seek one another out. They were very different and that wasn't a bad thing by any means. "Terrible is a strong word," he added softly. "Maybe use the word "egregious"," William joked warmly as he picked up a spare straw, dunked it into Honey's pint and took a sip.

He met her gaze and heaved a sigh which was followed by a tired smile. "We're fine," he told Honey seriously. While he wasn't quite able to give his blessing to her new fella, he at least wouldn't make her feel guilty for going ahead. They might not be able to spend time together as friends for a bit until the awkwardness wore off but he was willing to at least try. He was determined not to begrudge her. "Should we hug it out?" Will ventured cautiously.

Honey Bea Flume [ Artist ]
194 Posts  •  29  •  take you to the candy shop  •  played by christine
Re: unpredictability's my responsibility [william]
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2018, 06:20:31 PM »
Honey laughed. “I may or may not tell him. For your sake,” she tacked on. “He may not leave you alone.” She smirked and shrugged. “Maybe just send him one as a surprise?” Will knew where he lived; he had met her family immediately after she had met his, because that seemed like the most logical thing to do at the time. Of course now she saw it as the mistake it really was, that they had just gone and perked up their parents’ hopes. Never mind that if they had never met each others’ parents, Honey probably wouldn’t have gotten cold feet so soon. Playing house with Will was too much for her, apparently, too far in the other direction from the extremes she was used to. Maybe it was all for the best? She was still foggy on the good versus the bad.

She offered a smile of gratitude as he nudged his beer toward her. Picking it up, she took a large swallow, the taste vastly different to the one that Madam Rosmerta had prepared for her. Bitter, with a hint of something that reminded her only of the taste on Will’s lips that night they had first met. She needed another drink to distract her from her thoughts, but the pint in her hand only served to bring her thoughts back around to Will; not the Will in front of her, but the one that had scooped her up and thrown her over his shoulder. So she found a compromise: she sat there with the pint halfway to her mouth and half a smirk on her lips.

“Oh, good.” Honey shifted to a smile, setting the pint back down, refocusing on the conversation at hand. She was pleased that he liked her still, however juvenile the word sounded now that they had both said it aloud. She could have loved him, she thought, but again, maybe it was good that they hadn’t gotten to that point. Maybe she could stop this post-mortem on their relationship, continually musing over whether or not she had made the best decision. She had. She knew that.

She raised his eyebrows as he corrected her word choice, her smirk back in its proper place. “‘Egregious’ almost makes me sound worse.” She shrugged. “Not that you’re wrong or anything but y’know.” She shrugged again, her hand still around the glass as he reached for it. Honey dropped her gaze and followed his hand to his mouth, but her smirk didn’t stay as she read his expression.

Honey nodded, agreeing wordlessly to his assessment that they were ‘fine’. The mood of their conversation kept shifting for her, and she was having more and more trouble figuring out what Will was thinking. That made her a bit uncomfortable. “We could,” she answered with a shrug, taking his invitation to hug as his way of evasively saying he was going to leave. “But I was going to send you some things for your birthday. Do you mind if I fetch ‘em?” Honey jabbed a thumb over her shoulder in the general direction of Honeydukes. “Or you could come with me, save yourself some time if you want to get out of here.” He had been in such a hurry past her shop earlier, after all.

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William Dasher [ Writer ]
2099 Posts  •  Heterosexual
Re: unpredictability's my responsibility [william]
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2018, 02:48:58 PM »
Honey dealt him another blow and this one hurt.

Will couldn't stop his smile from slipping and he was too slow to hide it. The promise of another letter, another parcel still gave him a sliver of misguided hope. He didn't think he wanted them to get back together but he was bored of the what ifs. If Honey was thinking about sending him something, that meant there was another day where he'd get to think about her but she'd made the decision for him.

"Of course not," he said graciously as he got to his feet, stooping out of habit as to not smack his head against the low hanging beams. Anxiously, he ran his hand through his hair. This felt too…formal. Awkward. Uncomfortable. And he was well aware that he'd set the pace and Honey being lovely had followed suit. Quickly, he slid his hands into the back pockets of his trousers as the offer of a hug crashed and burned.

She wasn't being intentionally rude or callous, she was just playing along at his tempo. Will hated it. He hated that they felt like strangers, that they couldn't partake in the casual flirting that made them good together, that they weren't being themselves. Will regretted this entire thing. He should have lied to Honey. He should have been jovial and acted like it was no big deal, maybe say that he was seeing someone new so she didn't have to walk on eggshells but no. This happiness vacuum was suffocating.

"Let's go," he told her gently, fully aware that he'd hammered the last nail into the coffin as he held open the door for her and resolutely refused to fix the hair that had escaped her ponytail. They walked along, side by side down the street. Will took the time to have a look around in the quiet state. It spooked him; he was so used to the place crawling with students. In this weird time of day, it felt like a ghost town. Eerie. Empty. And if that wasn't a metaphor, he had no idea what was.

He took a half-step forward before he stopped, like the entrance to her shop was a force field. He hesitated. Honey had never made him feel unwelcome, so why was he so bothered? He needed to get over himself and fast. He was accidentally upsetting her and he was upsetting himself, too. He didn't think he had the right to just enter. The familiarity had gone and it made things strange. There was now a lot of clear boundaries that they'd never paid attention to before.

Clearing his throat, Will had decided he'd had enough of himself and pushed the door open as though he was welcome. He stepped into the hallway and lingered. It'd be so easy to go into the kitchen and ask what she was working on and maybe ask to try some of that fudge. It'd also be easy to just kiss her, exactly where she stood, in her apron. It'd be easy to climb the stairs to her cozy living room that he knew so well. It was a mix of temptation and regret.

"Honey," he called her, softly as a prayer as he reached out to touch her shoulder. He sighed gently. "Sorry," he said again but this time for another reason. "I'm still readjusting. It's not that I don't want to be here," he told her honestly, his big brown eyes searching hers for some sort of acceptance. "Because I do. Honestly. I'm just a little --" trailing off in search for the word, he pulled a face. "Iffy," he settled on stupidly.

"But!" Will said brightly as he clapped his hands together sharply as the sound echoed. "Can I open my presents now?" He asked with a grin.

Honey Bea Flume [ Artist ]
194 Posts  •  29  •  take you to the candy shop  •  played by christine
Re: unpredictability's my responsibility [william]
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2018, 02:19:41 AM »
“Right.” She stopped herself short, just about to tell him that it would be really quick, which would only lead her to make some sort of remark about that was never something he needed to worry about. But they weren’t there yet; based on this brief interaction, she wasn’t sure if they would ever be there. Honey sighed as they stood, though she was pretty sure it came off as more of a ‘I’m old and don’t like having to stand up’ sort of noise.

Honey had already paid for the drinks and didn’t protest when Will said they should go. She had been right in thinking he had been in a hurry to get out of here. Surely he was just being polite now; she understood, of course, but he really didn’t need to be so obvious about it. She ran through all the things she had set aside for him -- the treacle fudge could stay, but maybe the treacle fudge filled truffles were stepping a tad too close to ‘I remembered what you liked so I made you something even better, just for you’ territory. Probably.

It was a far cry from last year’s present, of course. She didn’t think it would have been too appropriate to gift him with homemade edible underwear. Thank goodness she had the forethought to not make that joke yet. They made the walk in silence, making the block of houses and shops seem never ending. Things had been going at least sort of well, she thought. Had he given her an opportunity to apologize that she had completely missed? Was he really expecting her to apologize? To his knowledge, this whole thing was amicable, wasn’t it?

She pushed the door to her shop open and stepped inside, though she heard the tinkle of the bell again as it closed behind her, with Will still outside. Honey turned and peered through the glass, resisting the urge to throw her hands up in frustration at his hesitation. She didn’t have time for this, had thought that it would be nice to clear the air a little bit, but this sort of hesitation was one of the reasons she knew they weren’t good together. She needed him to know what he wanted.

Honey turned to go to the kitchen as the door finally opened again, but she stopped when she heard her name. He hadn’t done that yet; not once that afternoon had he used her name and as he finally did, she realized how much she missed hearing it from him. She turned at the touch of her shoulder, arranging her face to something she hoped was rather neutral. Honey caught his eye, and she raised both eyebrows as she listened to him and his ‘reasons’ for being so weird.

“I don’t not want you to be here, either,” she replied honestly, wanting so much for him to understand that all she wanted was to be back to normal, to just take the ‘relationship’ part out of their friendship. They had been so much better before there was that label, and if he couldn’t have a casual thing, then she was willing to just draw the line at being friends. She was trying, clearly, had sought him out on the street, invited him for a drink, casually glossed over how she may or may not be seeing someone. “I get it, really.” She hadn’t often been the one getting dumped, but she could imagine what he must be going through. It was only natural to be all out of sorts after losing her.

She grinned as Will’s mood shifted, and she nodded in response to his question. “Of course.” She turned to move through the store again, ducking into the kitchen to grab the tray of those custom made treacle fudge truffles that she had been considering ditching just a few moments before. “I guess that means I should wrap them, then, so you can open them.” She slid the tray onto the front counter before maneuvering back around it to walk along the shelves and pick up a few more boxes.

“I can wrap these things, too,” she said with another grin, returning to the front of the store with arms full of golden Honeydukes boxes. Honey closed the space between them, solely to hand off the boxes to him without having to waste any time by putting them down first. And if his arm just so happened to brush up against her chest, she wouldn’t mind. It really was the least she could do.

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William Dasher [ Writer ]
2099 Posts  •  Heterosexual
Re: unpredictability's my responsibility [william]
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2018, 05:34:10 PM »
Stop it he told himself firmly. This wasn't about him. He was thirty years old, too old to be acting like a baby. He'd been selfish, wallowing in his self-made pity and he hadn't stopped to think about her. She hadn't said it but it was clear that she was seeing someone new. He had to get over it. He thought he was fine with it, he had to be, there wasn't any other option but acting like this was childish and petty.

The problem with Will was that he was a bad liar. Whatever he was feeling was written all over his face and he couldn't help it. He didn't want to be battle-hardened. He didn't want to close himself off and become a liar but he needed to find the delicate balance which would allow him to project a preferred front.

He frowned at Honey's back as she pottered about. Honestly? He didn't think he wanted another girlfriend at the moment because it reminded him just how out of his depth he was. He also couldn't do "casual." He wasn't that type of guy, which maybe was what had turned her off him in the first place. He'd been fine before she'd come along. Well, no, "fine" was the wrong word. He'd been coasting. He'd been safe and secure but not really feeling or living. Of course that changed when she metaphorically grabbed him by the ankles, turned him upside down and shook him until all the change fell out of his pockets.

"Oh wow, thanks," Will said in shock, his brown eyes wide as he gave a chuckle. As Honey turned her back to look for boxes, he hastily snatched one and stuffed it into his face. He'd happily pay for these, partly to ease his own conscience, but these were a birthday present. He wasn't sure how he was supposed to eat all of this; maybe he could freeze some to keep them fresh? He'd have to ask in case they contained fresh cream or milk or something.

"Let me help." With that, he stepped forward and bent a little to take the stuff from Honey's arms helpfully. Like he was wrangling a crocodile, he struggled as he shifted, snorting with laughter as he realised he was making a pig's ear out of it. That was ironic. Or poetic. Making a mess out of the whole situation was sort of his brand now. "These are great," he told her honestly as he managed to get himself into gear. He was maybe a bit too close for comfort. He'd stepped to Honey, eager not to drop her presents but he hadn't stepped back.

Honey didn't want to hear his apologies, even if they placated him somewhat. Looking at her properly now, he sighed gently. She'd always been pretty. But with her messy hair and make up free face, dressed in her tee shirt, there was a pang or something in his chest. He couldn't figure out what. It was a bit like regret, a little like confusion and tinged with annoyance. If she hadn't have bolted, it might have been great. Then again, stringing him along would have been infinitely worse.

Dipping his head, he placed a kiss on her cheek. Sort of. Will ended up touching the corner of her mouth by accident. Pulling back, he didn't blush for once. He didn't have anything to be ashamed of, not any more. "Okay," he said finally as he took one last look around her kitchen. He didn't want to go but he didn't have anything else to say to her. Not enough time had passed for him to be cool with this. He was hung up on himself and it had nothing to do with her. He was aware that he'd disappointed her today but there wasn't anything else he could really do.

His eyes strayed briefly. Will focused on a dent in one of the kitchen cupboard and he felt himself smile. He'd almost knocked himself out. They'd been fooling around and he'd got tangled in his shirt and he'd smacked his head on the edge of the door. He nodded to it swiftly. "You should get that fixed," he joked gently, not really wanting to bring it up but he did so anyway.

Will gave Honey a strange look. He was glad that she'd asked him out for a drink because he was circling a drain of uncertainty. At least he knew now that things were done. He felt…lighter, somehow. Better, even though they hadn't said much. This was good. Nice, even. He felt happier and his head was a little clearer.

Before she had chance to say anything, he crossed the small kitchen and kissed her soundly. Gently, he pressed Honey back against the countertop and the dented wall cupboard door, all thoughts of her boyfriend clear out of his mind. Will haphazardly placed the boxes on the counter next to her, some falling onto the floor with a clatter as he kissed her again. It was peculiar. Though she was still nice to kiss, there was a lack of zing. An experiment, almost, and he was glad that things had changed. This was for the best. Pulling back, he offered her a lopsided grin. "Just checking," he said casually as he bent down to pick up the boxes he'd jettisoned.

Honey Bea Flume [ Artist ]
194 Posts  •  29  •  take you to the candy shop  •  played by christine
Re: unpredictability's my responsibility [william]
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2018, 01:51:29 AM »
Honey laughed, fitting in a sincere, “Thanks,” as Will maneuvered himself to take the boxes from her, freeing up her hands to find more things to give him. She thought she was doing this -- overloading him with presents and candies and chocolates -- so that he wouldn’t see any need to come back to Honeydukes for a while, to give himself some space that she genuinely thought he needed. But as he stepped into her space, invited or not -- she couldn’t remember -- her mind was clouded by the scent of him, overwhelming even over the pervasive smell of sweets.

“It’s a custom batch,” she offered, quite forgetting her plan from just seconds ago, “So you’ll have to special order if you want more.” She was dragging fingers across the surface of the sort of things she could say to him before, the things that she always thought would induce that feature-defining blush, make that dimple appear. It was an incredibly fine line to tread, but she thought she was doing an excellent job. She very well could have been talking about the chocolate.

She froze as Will leaned in. She hadn’t been expecting anything, not really, though the idea had crossed her mind a few times. Kissing her wouldn’t help him. Sure, there would always be the ‘what ifs’; what if she had actually tried to be happy with him, to heed advice that she wasn’t getting any younger, that men like Will didn’t come along every day. She didn’t like rejecting kisses, wasn’t looking forward to--

But it was just a gentle kiss on her cheek, even if he had grazed her lips with his. She knew his body language well enough to know exactly what point he was trying to get across. His face was still close and she was able to study it for a few seconds, noting the obvious lack of redness in his cheeks. Maybe he was going to make a good friend. “Okay,” Honey replied quickly, testing the corner of her mouth with her tongue as he looked away. Okay. She smiled as he looked back to her, hoping he understood that he didn’t need to say anything else.

Her eyes followed his, and she laughed, turning to get a better look at the cupboard door. She quite liked the look of it, if she was being honest. Honeydukes was four-centuries-old, and had plenty of signs of wear and tear from all the owners. Sure, they probably had more genuine origins than quickies in the kitchen, but whatever. Minor details. She turned to look back at him, to tell him that she had no immediate plans to get it fixed, that she’d have to get him to put another dent there if he tried to be chivalrous and fix it for her.

But his lips were on hers before she had a chance to say anything. He tasted like the beer he had just finished; her mind flooded with memories of their first night together, kissing in a pub, tasting ale on his lips but for once, not minding. He had taken the initiative then, like he was now, and for a split second she allowed herself to be dragged under.

He came up for air and she thought that would be it, but he was kissing her again. She liked him like this, the unpredictable take-what-he-wants sort of vibe. Her earlier thoughts of clearing the air and sending him on his way had left her mind. She pulled him closer, but before she was able to put any real effort into it, he was pulling away again. That made more sense. It was hard to remember that the Will that wanted her to be the perfect girlfriend was the same Will that had thrown her over his shoulder countless times. They weren’t two separate entities, as much as she wanted them to be.

She didn’t return his grin, instead raising her eyebrows with a small smirk. “Checking for what, exactly?” She licked her bottom lip without thinking, shifting her gaze to something across the kitchen instead of watching him bend over. Honey hadn’t minded the kiss terribly, but she had to admit it was just a bit confusing. She had let him down so nicely,  but apparently that had backfired. “Not that I don’t like kissing you but, y’know.

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William Dasher [ Writer ]
2099 Posts  •  Heterosexual
Re: unpredictability's my responsibility [william]
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2018, 02:21:40 PM »
Will was being selfish again. Her question was warranted, of course. They couldn't be what the other person wanted them to be. He couldn't be reckless for her. It wasn't in his blood. He was bookish, old in the head and he'd be the first to admit that he was a bit boring. Honey couldn't be toned down and honestly, he didn't want her to change. The kiss had been self-serving.

The lack of a blush should have told her that things had changed somewhat. He couldn't do this. He really wasn't this type of person. Could he become it? Perhaps, with practice. With the boxes under his arm, he sighed gently. The words bad idea were clanging around his head. Honey wasn't sending mixed signals; he was.

"I was just making sure," Will answered her gently and vaguely. Gosh, was it hot in here? His eyes tracked over the dented cupboard as he cleared his throat. "You know, for residual feelings?" He winced. For a publisher, he was a bit shit with his words. "My residual feelings," he tacked on to the end hastily, making it clear that this was his fault and that it wasn't anything to do with her. "Don't be offended," Will added gently as he thought of how to explain this to her. "But I don't think there was?"

It felt different. From any of the other kisses they'd shared in the past. And they'd shared a lot. Passionate ones, gentle ones, surprise ones, distracted ones and everything in between but that didn't feel like….anything. He blinked suddenly, feeling like he was being illuminated by a chink of moonlight through broken clouds. A hallelujah moment, of sorts. He took a step back and rubbed his beard as he was so prone to doing when he was bothered about something. Then he offered a bright smile.

"Thank you," he told Honey cheerily. He was standing straighter now, like a weight had been removed. He'd been avoiding her and for what? Protection? Denial? She was fine and she'd told him as such. He'd told himself that he was thinking of her but he was being a coward. They weren't children. Being cordial with one another was the healthy, mature thing to do. "Sorry about launching myself at you," he added quickly.

"I'm fine," he told Honey briskly as he became animated. He was a changed man in the past five minutes. In a way, he'd always sort of blamed Honey for this ending but with a clear head, he was grateful. Imagine six months down the road when he'd fallen in love with her and then having to disentangle themselves from one another. Closing the gap, he cupped her face once more but this time, he placed a kiss on the middle of her forehead.

"Thank you," Will said, his eyes bright as he thought briefly to the woman he'd met in France. Berry-neece. He needed to write to her. Like right now. "You," he said as he pointed at her. "Are fantastic," he gushed, practically bouncing on the spot as clarity washed over him. He nodded excitedly, his brain whirring. He nodded, fired up as he laughed. The spell that Honey hadn't even cast felt like it had been broken and he was free. Clumsily, he looped an arm around her neck and pulled her in for a brief hug.

"There's someone I've got to go and find," he told Honey quickly, looking at her directly. She'd be fine, he knew that and she'd told him so already. He felt full of life. And he needed to get to France. As soon as possible.

Honey Bea Flume [ Artist ]
194 Posts  •  29  •  take you to the candy shop  •  played by christine
Re: unpredictability's my responsibility [william]
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2018, 01:38:42 AM »
Honey leaned back against the counter, crossing her arms across her chest as did. Her smirk faded as the seconds passed without a clear answer, with a clear indication that he would not be kissing her any time soon. He didn’t look embarrassed; even when they were in a good place in their relationship, Will constantly asked her if she was okay, if everything was alright and to her liking, apologizing at the slightest chance that he had inconvenienced her. Of course, she never felt inconvenienced until he was apologizing but still, that wasn’t the point. He wasn’t apologizing but also wasn’t trying for anything more. This was new.

And annoying.

“Ah.” Residual feelings. Why not? “Alright,” she said slowly, skeptically. She figured she could pinpoint what those residual feelings were, exactly, and could probably muster up some of her own, if he liked, but he spoke again, in that quiet, calming tone, the one she had heard him use with his dog when he wasn’t feeling well. “You don’t think so?” Honey rolled her eyes, not wanting an answer. She was so glad she had helped him in his closure -- his closure from her, no less.

It wasn’t that she expected Will to be madly in love with her until the end of time, or anything. Things just usually didn’t go like this when she decided to end things. Most flings tended to peter out without discussion but hell, she needed both hands to count how many men were still hung up on her, years later.

His smile wasn’t reassuring, but Honey did her best to fix a small one of her own on her lips. “You’re welcome,” she told him, not matching the cheer in his voice. She was fine before, and she was fine now. She hadn’t missed being his girlfriend, but she couldn’t help that she had still missed him. The thirty seconds that had passed not so long ago had given her something she couldn’t put her finger on, didn’t want to think about or admit. She waved off his apology with a, “Don’t worry about it.” She would, of course, wonder how he had gotten over her so quickly, do her best to not be offended, fail spectacularly, and still somehow find herself attracted to him.

Will stepped toward her and she raised an eyebrow, convincing herself to not move her arms to invite him in. It seemed like he was changing his mind -- again -- and Honey did nothing to keep him out of her personal space. She scolded herself for still wanting to kiss him, for being disappointed when he merely kissed her forehead, much like he had seen him do to his little sister. This was almost worse than trying to be a good girlfriend.

No, it definitely was worse. He called her ‘fantastic’ and pulled her into a hug. This was awful. He was too happy. Even she had been upset when she had ended their relationship, went through the natural grieving processes of drinking and making bad decisions; all of that was on top of her relief that she didn’t have to try to be someone she wasn’t anymore, but it had still been there. Honey was conveniently forgetting that Will had just told her about leaving the country in an effort to get over her -- she was more offended that it had actually worked.

Was he playing the worst game of hide and seek ever? There was someone he had to find? Honey tucked her hair behind her ears and nodded. “Well,” she straightened up and smoothed down her t-shirt, “Hope you find her.” She had no reason to be upset, but she was no good with emotions once she had them; yet still, for some reason, she didn’t want to hurt him. She sketched a small smile, nodding once. “Really.”

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