Filed under COMPLETE for now. I might add more at some point but not in the near future. Thanks for the ride.
It’s a strange feeling. To not fight something. For as long as he remembers, Harry has always fought. Against his cousin, his Aunt and Uncle, his peers, monsters and Dark Lords. Against himself.
But here, now, between Buffy and Charlie and Charlie and Buffy, he simply lets go and it just stops. That sense of urgency that’s always there at the back of his mind, always clawing at his chest from the inside. It stops.
He slumps against Charlie, too tired suddenly to stand on his own two feet and he laughs. He laughs and laughs and laughs until a soft hand steers his face downward and she asks, Why are you laughing?
He bites back a gasp and stumbles half a step between them and says, I’m too afraid to cry.
Green eyes look at him long and hard and he wants to plead, Please don’t make me explain, please don’t try to fix it. Tonight, there’s nothing broken about him. For once, he feels whole. He’s just… he’s just being an idiot. Good things never last. He shouldn’t waste time.
So he bites his lip again and shakes his head minutely and she understands. She lets go of his face and sprints out of the alley to flag down a taxi. They pile inside, him in the middle, always him, as if they’re afraid he’s going to run away, or maybe it’s him who’s afraid.
And then Buffy rolls down the window and shoves herself outside to the waist and hollers into the night, laughing madly and the cabbie screams at her to get the bloody hell back inside and Charlie rests his chin on Harry’s shoulder and says, We love you, too you know.
As Buffy admits defeat and pulls back inside he can feel the first warm tear roll down his cheek and he lets it because just like that, he’s not afraid anymore.