Take Your Time by Oregano

Challenger: Nikki
Rating(s) of the fic you want: PG13-R
Which brother: Isaac
Three things you want your fic to include:

  • “Don’t tell me you can’t love me, I know better.”
  • a food fight of some sort
  • “It’s raining cats and dogs out there.”

Three things you do not want your fic to include:

  • Slash
  • artichokes
  • light bulbs (okay, so really I just couldn’t think of anything except #1 lol)

I leaned my hip against the edge of the kitchen table suppressing an overly wide smile. I crossed my arms in front of me, fully aware of the soft squish of what I hoped was a potato against my side. My shirt felt sticky and heavy, and the smell of tomato was nowhere near appetizing. She, in turn, bit her lip and slowly lowered herself down from the table, making more of a mess as her hand sloshed over splotches of tomato sauce and rice. There was rice all over her face, a flap of potato skin thrown over her shoulder, and on her belly was a curious misshapen handprint.

My gaze shifted towards the stove, where something had obviously erupted and spewed all over what used to be a clean countertop.

“Isaac, I can explain,” she started, misconstruing my terse lips for anger instead of amusement. Her hair was a mess, and her countenance suggested something sweet, yet at the same time frightening. I couldn’t place it.

Pushing myself off the table and walking towards her in a slow, almost menacing advance, I decided to take advantage of this situation. “So, you call me up in the middle of the night in a frantic panic and as soon as I open the door, you throw an entire bowl of pasta sauce on me. I’m beside myself with anticipation as to how you plan to explain this, really.”

Her face crumbled at my words, but suddenly she smiled, realising that I had been joking. It was a sardonic sort of grin, without any revelation of her teeth or her true intentions. “I didn’t mean to throw that at you, Isaac. I… here–,” she stopped midway to grab an old Guns ‘N Roses t-shirt from inside her bedroom. “Put this on.” I

took the shirt from her hands and smiled at her musical tastes. “Carry on.”

“Alright. So I was making dinner, right? And then this rat just comes out of nowhere and I start chasing it with my spatula.”

“Not the best idea, seeing as rats aren’t the cleanest of animals to be whacking with something you use to make food,” I interrupted, peeling my shirt away from my shoulders. She stopped for a second and I noticed her blush a bit and look away.

“When I called you, I was standing on a chair, waiting for it to come out from under the fridge and then suddenly you come bumbling in!”

My head popped out from inside the neckline of the t-shirt and I froze. “‘Bumbling’?”

“And my back was turned so I had no idea what the hell was going on. I thought you were the rat and I just… I don’t know… it was instinct, I guess.” She offered me a small, innocent shrug.

“It was instinct that told you that I looked like a six-foot tall rat that would melt and die once attacked with tomatoes. Marvelous. I have no idea why I still live next door to you. Anyone else would have moved a long time ago.”

She tossed him a coy smile and lifted a shoulder. “It’s ‘cause you’re in love with me.”

I rolled my eyes at her, smoothing the t-shirt down with my palms. “Well, don’t tell me you can’t love me back. I know better.”

Her face shifted for a moment, shifted into this odd expression that lasted for half a second, but I saw it all the same. It suddenly felt dangerous, this thing we were doing; this seemingly harmless and equally shameless flirting. She laughed nervously and played with the hem of her filthy shirt. The soft moment came and went by in a quick blur, leaving only a tinge of amusement and a whole hell of a lot of awkwardness.

I knelt down and started to pick up the bits of solid food on the floor. “Go take a shower, you dirty bitch. Then come back and help me. Then take a shower again.” I shook my head and then later added in a dramatic tone, “I go on tour for a few months and I come back to you looking like crap and your apartment filthy as hell.”

Once I uttered those words, the awkwardness dissipated, and she ran into her bedroom with suppressed laughter trailing behind her. Suddenly she emerged again, with a childlike brightness to her eyes and expression. One side of her mouth turned upwards, and she pulled me to my feet. “Look!”

Begrudgingly I got up, almost slipping in the process, and let her guide me to her balcony. “Oh, crap. It’s raining cats and dogs out there! We’ll get drenched!”

“Shut up and get out here with me, Ike!” She looked at me then, her fingers softly playing with the hem of my-or should I say, her-Guns ‘N Roses t-shirt. I rolled my eyes and stepped out, cringing at the feeling of my socks soaking up the acid rain.

“This is ridiculous, you know that, right?”

“That’s the point!” she cried to my face, almost touching my nose with her lips.

Feeling brave, I dipped my head down and pressed my lips against hers. I felt her whole body go rigid, and she pushed me away with enough force to knock me over. Thankfully she didn’t, because that would have ended up very messy.

“I’m sorry,” I said softly. She was putting as much distance between us as the balcony itself would allow, pushing herself against the iron rods behind her. I tried to reach out and touch her elbow, but she just looked at me with large, watery eyes. I let my hand fall back onto my side.

She touched her lips with her fingertips and held my gaze. I was suddenly afraid of what she’d do. “I can’t…” she began.

Out of nowhere, this surge of emotion and anger mysteriously filled my body, pulsing like mad under my burning skin. “You can’t or you won’t? There’s a difference, alright?” I screamed at her, realising how truly angry I was at her for doing this to me, for leading me on like some stray, love-sick puppy.

At that very moment, everything flirtatious I felt for her dissipated, as if the rain came hard and washed it all away like that stupid spider web from that stupid kiddie song. I gave her a hard glare and threw the door open, marching back into the dirty apartment. I kept going, straight out the door and back into my own place of residence.

*

I hadn’t noticed the pile of boxes that were strewn around the house until the next morning. I opened my door to get the paper and saw her grunting towards the stairwell with two large boxes. She saw me from the corner of her eye and quickened her pace.

Very aware of my fuzzy green bathrobe and already half-spilled mug of coffee, I jogged up to her, falling into step beside her. “So this is why you were all weird last night?”

No answer. She just kept walking.

“I don’t believe this.”

All of a sudden, she stopped and turned to me, making me trip a bit and spill even more of my coffee on myself. “Ah, Goddammit!” Her boxes dropped down to the floor with a powerful thump, somehow almost reflecting her frustration.

“I’m getting married in a week, alright?”

That made my head shoot up like an arrow, and my coffee was long forgotten. Her words rang out, echoing both in my mind and through the concrete hallway. She turned her sad eyes up towards mine, rested a soft hand on my chest, and kissed me lightly on the lips. “You just took too long, Ike,” she whispered into my ear.

With that, she picked up her belongings and walked out the door, leaving me with a stained shirt, scalded hand, and messy hair. The sweet sway of her hips was all I remembered seeing because it was the last time I ever saw her again.

Please comment with your real name using good manners.

Leave a Reply