Better late than never

Better late than never

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Better late than never

Post by Teddy R. Lupin on Sat May 20, 2017 5:23 am

Teddy felt like an idiot.

This wasn't new, of course. But he was feeling it especially today. And on a few different levels. Which was interesting.

Keiran had made a comment that had been offhand in nature, said in passing, but it had wriggled into Teddy's mind and got him thinking. And then, when thinking wasn't helping, it got him digging. And then it got him feeling like the biggest jerk around. So he did something he hadn't done in years.

He took a personal day.

Teddy took a personal day knowing full well that the Headmaster (a man he was still very anxious to get the approval of, by the way) was almost guaranteed to find out the exact reason he had taken the day off, and would have every reason to tease him for it as well. But he did it anyway. Because it'd be worth it. He stopped by his place, first, to pick up the parcel he had wrapped the night before, and then stopped by the store for a few more things, feeling foolish and uncertain but guided by his desire to make it right.

The receptionist eyed him suspiciously as he approached. He cleared his throat and said, "For Avery Bishop. Please."

"You know it's not her-"

"Yeah I know."

"It was back in-"

"Yes, I know," he repeated, failing to keep his teeth from gritting together. "Could I just-"

"I'll get her."

"Oh, Merlin no, please, I'd rather-"

But she was doing bustling off, doing exactly what Teddy had feared she might - turning his gesture into a big scene. At least a bigger one than he meant.

Because of this, there was a small crowd, there was a small crowd peeping out of the hallway when the receptionist returned with Avery in tow. And, almost feeling more idiotic than he ever had before (but knowing it was totally worth it) Teddy held out the balloons, candlelit cupcake, bundle of balloons, and present towards Avery, offering an apologetic smile.

"Happy belated birthday, Avery."
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Re: Better late than never

Post by Avery Bishop on Sat May 20, 2017 6:47 am

Avery Candace Bishop was happy. She didn't even offer a mental bleh at the stupid memories that drifted up when she remembered her middle name. But things were going rather well for her this year, surprisingly. Not as well, mind, as those first few months with Robin. She knew that, eventually, something would be able to compare to those days. Something.

Someone.

But for now, she was feeling content enough to call herself Happy.

She hadn't expected, though, to be interrupted in the midst of filling out a form to register a newly rescued Hungarian Horntail. James had done an excellent job of keeping the dragon safe, and was setting up a place for him, but it needed to be documented in case any questions were asked down the line. Soon, she hoped, she wouldn't be sitting in an office but rather would be helping too.

Looking up, she was surprised to find Monique in her doorway. Curious eyebrows lifted, but the answering explanation shocked her even more.

"The man at the desk has balloons."

"I- .. Sorry?"

"Balloons. For you."

Okay, so that was a new one. If this was some attempted prank, she would not be amused. She wasn't any sort of boss to anybody, but she'd find a way to make them feel sorry for making a fool of her.

Yeah, right. Of course she wouldn't. She hadn't the foggiest idea how she might go about doing any such thing, so instead, she just furrowed her brow and stood to walk out with the receptionist.

By the time they turned the corner, Avery had decided to take whatever it was with an air of interest, if not excitement. After all, balloons were unusual and that could be quite fun. Laughing as Monique reached out to surprise Danny on their way down the hall, she was still beaming when she caught sight of Teddy down by the desk.

Avery blinked, coming to a halt almost instantly. It took another step or two, but she stared, amusement still lingering there behind her confusion.

"He knows it isn't your-"

"I figured as much," Avery nodded. But then she broke forward, glancing down at the cupcake. Bemused, she felt her lips quirk upwards at the sides before she met his gaze again. For a woman who knew such loss, her eyes held so much warmth for the man in front of her. So much, in fact, that Monique couldn't keep her mouth shut about it.

"Are you two, like, a thing?"

"Sort of," Avery shrugged, a cheeky smile accompanying a faint blush. Because while she didn't know what, exactly, to say was happening... she didn't care too much. Whatever this was, it was nice and cozy in a fluffy kind of way. Teddy was someone she trusted, already, around Sophie. Who she knew her friends - okay, admittedly, it was just the one friend at the moment - would like.

He was someone her father and Aiden would have wanted for her. Clearly.

So she reached a hand out to his arm, carefully avoiding the lit candle as she lifted up onto her toes to kiss his cheek. "You're too sweet, Teddy. Seriously." But she didn't have any problem with that, as evidenced by the fact that she didn't glance towards his gifts but focused instead on him. Perhaps the Lupin man would start to understand what it was like to be the sole interest of one Avery Bishop. Because Keiran could've told him - it sure was something.

"You truly didn't have to do this. Didn't Keiran tell you when it was? That dinner was more than enough for me."
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Re: Better late than never

Post by Teddy R. Lupin on Sat May 20, 2017 10:20 pm

What he was scared of seeing was a fall of an expression, an uncomfortable grimace, a muttered thank you, and the certainty that he had misread the situation and gotten a little weird. The possibility of this didn't strike him, of course, until it was too late to do anything about it. Now he just had to face whatever fate he had signed for himself and trust that, if he were to die of humiliation, death would be swift and almost painless.

He could feel the effect of her eyes, even from so far away. He felt his legs go a little weak, even as he shoulders tightened and lifted, a strange dichotomy of weakness and strength that he knew came with choosing to care about someone.

(As if he had a choice with her.)

The smile had that same effect, sending a fluttering in his stomach and a pulse of electricity through his nervous system, while simultaneously giving him a sense of relief and certainty. Okay. She liked it. She liked it. It wasn't too weird.

He smiled against her sweet kiss and dropped his chin to look down at her, glad for any excuse to avoid the prying and simpering gazes of her coworkers, whose reactions ranged from near-swooning to eye-popping eyerolls. "I just sort of felt like a massive idiot for spending your birthday with you and not actually celebrating," he said. "And Keiran didn't exactly say - but I pieced some other things together so... I hope you like chocolate." He offered her the cupcake. "I also have this," he said, showing her the package. "I dunno if you're busy but maybe I can steal you for lunch or coffee?"
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Re: Better late than never

Post by Avery Bishop on Sun May 21, 2017 11:20 pm

When Monique let out a stupidly loud sigh of both approval and jealousy, Avery blushed and offered Teddy a conspiratorial smile. Her hand drifted down his arm to settle above his elbow, and she took a step towards him so she could more properly block out the people around them. Despite wondering what other things he could be referring to, she was more than happy with his suggestion.

"I do like chocolate," she confirmed, her voice low like she was trying to share a secret with him. Avery released his arm to take the proffered treat, but nodded and gestured with one hand for him to follow her. "We should probably leave the balloons in my office."

We. Gosh, that was a nice feeling. A nice word, even. Was that a weird thought to have? Oh well. Avery didn't care.

She gave Monique a chiding shake of her head as they walked past, but only received a thumbs up behind Teddy's back. So they continued on, and Avery led the way into her office, cradling the still-burning cupcake, and didn't even think before shutting the door behind him with her foot.

"Lunch," she told him, "would be fantastic. I just need to send something off to James real quick. You can put those," Avery pointed towards the balloons, "wherever you like."

So she set the cupcake down carefully, rolled up the paperwork for James and tied it to the leg of one of the office owls, watching it hop a couple of times before taking off from the windowsill. Weirdly, the bird's departure pointed out to her that they were alone. It hadn't been too, too long since she'd last seen him, but two dates in two months was a rather spread out period of time, wasn't it? But she couldn't help how busy she was with Sophie and work, and he obviously had students to attend to.

Avery turned back around, an almost shy smile pulling at her lips before she eyed the candle again. "Oh." It was unbelievably charming, this whole surprise. Months late or not. That fuzzy feeling bloomed in her stomach again, and she leaned forward on her desk to try and hide how strongly she was reacting to it. Mind, she wasn't trying to act like it was nothing. It obviously wasn't. But nobody had gone out of their way for her before. Not like this. And she had no idea what to do.

Her elbows found the top of her desk, her chin drifting into her palms as she closed her eyes. Just for a moment. This was the part where she was meant to make a wish. She knew that. But absolutely nothing came to mind. Nothing she could let herself wish for without a bit of guilt or fear creeping in. So she made a little wish for Sophie instead: that her darling little girl would find her courage, so she could someday happen upon someone as wonderful as her father. As Teddy.

And then she opened her eyes to blow it out, smiling fondly at the little plume of smoke and hoping it had heard her. Hoping, however stupidly, that it would help.

That taken care of and the fire hazard doused, she stood up straight again and moved around the desk to return to him. It struck her rather out of nowhere just how handsome he was, and she determined, not for the first time, that is probably had a little something to do with those slipping glasses of his. Merlin, she'd missed him. They'd only met - what, four times? Who cared? It wasn't too little to feel like it wasn't enough.

Invading his space, she brushed her fingers along his sides on their way around his middle. At first, Avery pressed her cheek against his chest, but then she turned her chin to look up at him. "Thank you."
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Re: Better late than never

Post by Teddy R. Lupin Yesterday at 10:42 pm

He could tell that most of those gathered were approving of his gesture, but he could hardly care about that. His only fear when it came to her coworkers had been accidentally embarrassing Avery in front of them. Now that he could see she was pleased, he was mostly indifferent to them, incapable, as he found himself increasingly moreso, to focus on anyone but the woman before him. He hated that he had so little time for her, and knew they were both just very busy people with a tendency to take on more responsibilities than was healthy for either of them.

But summer was approaching. He'd be free again. He would take the summer to live and be happy and to evaluate whether or not he was in the right place in his life - and he would spend every chance he got with the beautiful woman that had somehow tricked herself into thinking he was worth her time.

He'd sure try to prove her right in that regard.

The gazes of her coworkers were a little unnerving and he found himself relieved as he followed her to the office. He grinned as she agreed to lunch and he carefully released the strings of the balloons in the corner of her office, before turning to watch her work, failing to keep an affectionate smile off of his face as her fingers deftly attached a letter and she focused on getting her things together.

Her eyes fell back on the cupcake and he felt a small swell of pride, finally overcoming his surprise that this had not backfired spectacularly and just enjoying the success of the moment. Her eyes closed and even though she was the one entitled to a wish, Teddy could not help the million little wishes that blossomed in his stomach as he watched her.

She approached him and slipped into a hug and he happily obliged, wrapping his arms around her and leaning his head against hers, a deep breath of contentment filling his chest before releasing. He glanced down at her, smiling back at her -

and he wanted to kiss her, yet again, but it didn't feel right. Not yet.

"So where do you want to go?"
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Re: Better late than never

Post by Avery Bishop Today at 5:07 am

Her mouth twisted to the side a little bit in consideration. Anywhere, she wanted to say, so long as you're coming with me. But, obviously, that was too cheesy and too much for the little bits of his time that she had taken and shared. It only made matters worse that she was hyperaware of his arms and where his hands settled around her.

He expected a reasonable answer. So she needed to come up with one.

But suddenly, as one might expect, she couldn't think of a single place. Besides the fact that Sophie was staying with Keiran's mum. And obviously, she couldn't expect that to go over particularly well. He was quite good with Sophie, though. Perhaps there was a workaround they could do with that thought.

"Well," she started, inching back a little as she accepted the fact that he might not be comfortable with it, "Sophie is staying with Keiran's mum today, but, I just thought how she's basically been there all week besides right before bed. I'm sure she's fine and all, but if you wanted to we could maybe pick her up and go somewhere? I wouldn't presume you'd want to stay at Bridget's or anything but I think Sophie would actually quite like to see you."

So she offered an uncertain, closed-lipped but hopefully still warm-enough, smile as her fingers drifted back towards his hips. "We could always do lunch at, like, Eli's or something instead, though."

And then, predictable as ever, she shrugged the whole thing off so he wouldn't feel bad about it either way.
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Re: Better late than never

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