|damnitlahey (damnitlahey) wrote in blackpoint,|
@ 2015-01-07 18:18:00
It was a whirlwind of a start. The post itself was only the beginning, and it was a blur of faces and alternate universes. Lily and Camden were here, like they were stashed away all this time, and having them back in his life was a sucker punch of feelings all at once. Isaac was exhausted from the sheer insanity that was his current reality, so when they were finally given a guest room, he flopped on his back on the bed and let out a long, deep breath. Isaac could put on a pretty good show of being social and extroverted with other people, but he was truly an introvert, and it took a lot out of him.
There were years when he spoke to no one at all, and becoming a pack meant he adjusted to being important to other people. Now there were eight - nine? - of him in the same universe, and people were married and had children. "Erica and Scott have three kids. Three!" Yes Isaac decided to just start a conversation with no indication of his thought process, because James was fairly easy to bounce off of. He ran fingers through his sandy colored hair, staring up at the ceiling.
He was in the house of a happily married James and Lily Potter, and he'd be lying if he said it didn't feel a little strange to him. He had his James, but he looked around and thought 'this was where he was meant to be,' and it made him be stupid. Not that he planned on saying any of it out loud. "The other me has a baby, would that make her genetically part mine? Are we all even the same genetics since we don't all look alike?" James had to stop him because he could do this all night.
While Isaac was the introvert and recharged when he wasn't surrounded by twenty versions of familiar faces, James blossomed under the attention. He had been a bit of a recluse during law school, but he had put that behind him after sitting the bar and was more relaxed that he had been in a few years. His thumbs had been flying over the keypad as face after face had appeared, bringing with them stories of futures he had yet to live. There were children he hadn't met, people who had seen what was to come, and some he had thought he would never see again.
Seeing Lily again had been a wonderful surprise, and having a chance to view the life she had been given here was a blessing. It had been a hard few years after she had been sent back to her death, and he still couldn't remember what exactly happened during his twenty-first Halloween. She seemed so happy and alive that it had almost hurt to watch. He had felt a weight lifted off his shoulders as he watched how she interacted with her family, living the life she deserved. However, he had been with Isaac long enough to have a good feeling about what was going on in his head as he flopped down on the borrowed bed.
"I think they refer to the face twins as 'uncles,'" James said, walking around the room and strengthening the silencing charms so Isaac's questions stayed in their room. He took a seat on the edge of the bed and glanced over his shoulder at his boyfriend, an apologetic grin on his face. "You're going to have to find a Lydia for that. You know I barely passed sciences."
"So the facetwins are uncles, or the other versions of us are? Or both? It's a little strange going from no family to a lot of it." Not a bad type of strange. More surprising than anything else. Isaac had people who became family to him, his pack, James, their friends. But Camden and the other versions of him? Probably closer to actual blood than anything else. He had a bad family history, and he had to wonder how many of them experienced the same. It wasn't exactly something he could just bring up: hey did your dad abuse and torture you too? He didn't need to have all the answers right away, at least. Or ever.
James shone in social situations. Isaac admired that from the first time they met, and being in James' general vicinity was like being around a star or a sun. He was right that Isaac started using the adoring puppy eyes on him, it just started as a friendly admiration. He partially sat up on his elbows and nudged James with his leg. "You okay?" His insecurities and mercurial feelings aside, he knew his boyfriend had a tendency to mask things over with a toothy grin. But that didn't mean it was the truth.
James paused, working through what Isaac had just said. Things weren’t black or white here; they were black, white, gray, and even freaking green. “I think some of the versions of us can be facetwins but not necessarily, but there could be versions of other people who look like us but have nothing to do with our lives. Okay, so versions of us are uncles. Yeah, that’s right. Bloody hell, that’s enough to drive a man wallet-first into the closest pub,” he said, reaching up and rubbing the bridge of his nose. He had long since traded his glasses in for lasik surgery, but the mannerisms still remained when he was tired or working out a puzzle. “It looks like a Lahey Family reunion out there, to be honest, with a few Potters scattered here and there. It could be worse, yeah? We could be in a room full of Lydias who keep trying to flatten your hair down with each passing moment.”
James tucked away his joking manner aside and nodded at Isaac’s inquiry, even though his sagging shoulders and stillness gave him away. He was normally in some sort of motion - jogging his knee up and down, doodling in the margins of his texts, or pacing around the room - but Isaac knew him well enough to know that there was something going on beneath the twinkling hazel eyes. “A bit gobsmacked, actually,” James confessed. “I grew up with werewolves and Invisibility Cloaks, but not in a place where you’re one of four - or eight in your case - and see people who should, by pretty much all accounts, be dead. It feels a bit like I’m seventeen and had too much gillyweed again.”
"I want to meet all of them, and at the same time, I feel like that's a quick way to being overwhelmed." Isaac would get to it, probably. "Man I think of all of the weird things we went through thanks to the portal, the other worlds, or the gender changing, and it's like this is the place all of that went afterward." That's about as much sense as he could make of it. He would have to figure out what it all meant, or what it was going to mean, as he went along. They were stuck there, just like the first time it happened, and it could be worse. They could both be back in their own worlds, with James dead, and Isaac's life becoming a nightmare day by day.
He sat up entirely when James talked, scooting to the end of the bed to be next to him. His hand brushed through James' unruly hair, listening attentively. Isaac never stopped appreciating the little things about their relationship, like the freedom to be affectionate and supportive. He liked being the person James was honest around. "This definitely feels like we should be high for it to make sense. I think we got used to things being confusing but in a way that became normal." And this was not normal in any way. Isaac ran his fingers down James' back comfortingly. "I missed her, I'd forgotten how much. I know it's probably nothing compared to what you felt." Isaac was addressing the beautiful red haired elephant in the room.
“We can meet them in small doses,” James said, waving his hands in front of him to sketch his plan in the air as he went along, “probably separated by common ties. Divide and conquer. Like you said, we don’t have to rush because it’s not like we’ll run out of time here.” Isaac was right. This place was a mish mosh of bits and pieces of things they had experienced over the last few years, so some things weren’t entirely unfamiliar. They had adapted before, and there was nothing stopping them from doing it again.
He cracked a smile, easing over slightly as Isaac made his way up to sit by him. James had a notorious savior complex, but letting others in to help himself wasn’t something he easily did. He had lead a life of privilege when he was growing up, and it had been instilled in him to help others. No one ever coached him on letting others help him, but, like the man who sat beside him, there were a few people who he let in. He leaned into Isaac’s touch, letting him provide a degree of comfort, and brought a fist to his lips. The relief to see Lily alive had been overwhelming, but it also brought back some of the dark feelings that losing her had triggered. He had been young and angry; she had been such a central part of his life for so long that it had felt like losing half of himself when she disappeared not too far from their first anniversary. He had felt untouchable up until then, but things had changed in the blink of an eye.
“Lily Evans is one hell of a woman to miss,” James allowed, reaching over and resting a hand on Isaac’s leg, “and her disappearance didn’t just affect me. You were one of her closest friends; you’re entitled to miss her just as much as I did.”
"I am not going through the academy training again, we'll have to find a compromise." Isaac knew there had to be a process, same as where they were before, so people didn't have to start over from complete scratch every time. "We'll have to figure out jobs and a place to live, those boring things are probably higher on the list than 'is that baby technically related to me?'" Lily said they could stay there as long as they wanted, but mooching in a guest room wasn't really his style. Isaac was a homebody at heart, probably because he didn't have much of one, so when he did, it meant something.
"It was different, you know it's different." He wrapped his arm around James' shoulders. He remembered when she left, and how angry James was. Heartbroken. Helpless. There was nothing any of them could say or do to make it better. "I'm sorry you never got this with her." Isaac waved a hand around, meaning the house and the baby. "I mean, not completely sorry, since we wouldn't be together. I'm just glad she's married." After hearing how that sounded, he winced. "Not that I think it's easy for you to be here when she is. I should stick to being the strong, silent type." It was tiptoeing Isaac's instant anxiety when he saw her, mixed with the joy. If she had been the Lily they knew, completely single and wanting James? He would probably have stepped aside, and for a few seconds, he'd been afraid of doing just that. Maybe it made him a selfish dick, he wasn't sure, but he was glad he didn't have to.
"Godric, you couldn't pay me enough to go back to Harvard Law," James agreed, pulling a face at the memory of sleepless nights in the stacks as he tried to prepare for exams and the recycling bin full of energy drinks that had helped him get through those two long years of his life, "but you were a welcome distraction in that uniform. We'll figure all of that out tomorrow after we pick a city. Lydia said she might have contacts in New York, but we don't have to decide tonight." He had pushed hard through school, impatient to be done with it, and he wasn't ready to give up his academic freedom just yet. That, and he wasn't sure he could afford to pay for another degree.
"I know," James simply stated, twisting his head to the side to kiss Isaac's arm as it snaked across his shoulders. He let Isaac ramble for a little bit, knowing that it was important for him to get what was bothering him out in the open instead of keeping it trapped in his head. He chuckled when Isaac backtracked, following his logic. It wasn't easy being in a house filled with the what ifs that had floated around in his head when she had left. Seeing the future he had clung to for years come to life around him was difficult, but it wasn't impossible. "You're pants at being silent around me, Lahey," James lightly teased, grateful for what he had said, "but I'll be okay. I talked to James earlier, and Lily's never known any loss like I did. He's been with her from the start, and I'd much rather go through it myself than hearing that she did." He paused, his fingers tapping out a random beat against Isaac's legs. "But I don't want 'this' any more, not truly. I want a boyfriend who leaves his trainers in the middle of the floor for me to trip on, not a big house in the Hawaiian suburbs with Lily. I won't lie and say I don't love her because a part of me always will, but you're the man I want to share things with."
He turned his head, a small bashful grin on his face. "You're not the only one that's rambling on tonight. Do I need to repeat any of that for you?"
"I guess you probably can't work at the same place as Superman. Although I'm not sure why, you two could provide a very badass front. But New York could be good." Isaac gave a lopsided smile when he mentioned the look of the uniform. He felt much the same way when James was dressed up in his best suit, ready to talk his client out of trouble. As much as he joked, he wouldn't give Superman a second look. Isaac's attraction to men was singular. "I'll get that uniform back, one way or the other. Even if I have to rent it."
He listened and tried not to look pathetically relieved at the reassurance, and failed miserably. The tension dropped noticeably in his shoulders. "Maybe," Isaac admitted honestly. "Occasionally." Since they started up together, Isaac was happy, he was confident. He and James were on the same wavelength since they met, and slipping romance in there turned out to be easier than he expected. But he wasn't accustomed to keeping happiness for long. He leaned his forehead against James'. "It can be a little intimidating, being the relationship after your soulmate was taken away. Maybe it's selfish, wanting to keep you to myself, but I can't imagine any of it without you anymore."
“Two James Potters in the same place? That hardly sounds fair to the rest of the world, doesn’t it?” James joked, his hazel eyes dancing. He had dreams of one day having his own name up on the wall, and while Superman had achieved that, James didn’t want to bask in the other’s glow. He wanted his own firm in the future with his name, not a borrowed one that happened to be the same, in shiny brass letters. “I have faith in you. You’ll be more than a borrowed uniform in no time.”
James noticed as Isaac’s shoulders melted down from around his ears, the relief on his face almost palpable. “I’ll set a reminder on my phone to tell you every Saturday evening,” James vowed, filing that away on his perpetual list of things to do. He couldn’t pinpoint the exact moment when he had started seeing Isaac as someone other than his best mate, but the transition had been natural. It had felt right from the first moment they decided to give romance a shot, and they had matured together during their year together. It took a lot for James to show all the cards he held close to his chest, and he had let Isaac take a peek without a backwards glance. There had been time between Lily and Isaac for him to work through his grief and, even though he wasn’t proud of it, use others to help him forget about his pain so he could enter subsequent relationships with a clean slate. “You should know better than to be intimidated around me,” James laughed, reaching a hand up to cradle Isaac’s head, “because at the end of the day I’m just a bag of hot air who’s selfish enough not to let you share me with anyone else.”
"You two would probably spend more time trying to out-smarm each other than working. This is for the best." Isaac was confident they would figure it all out. Everyone else did, and many of them never were portal-snatched in the first place. Besides, focusing on the job and living front would be a welcome distraction from the rest. He still had to see his brother, he would probably want to do that before he left for another city, if possible. "I could always be a cop stripper. I'll get tear-away pants. That's one way to honor the badge, right?" He worked hard to get that done, and he wasn't about to give up on it now.
Isaac barely noticed his feelings changing, because they didn't in a lot of ways. He was already loyal and highly in tune with James. They already spent most of their time together and could finish each other's sentences. It was probably when he got a sudden rush of jealousy at a girl flirting with James right in front of him, which happened before, it wasn't new, just his reaction to it was new. Thank God it turned out requited. "Don't worry, sharing isn't really an option. Wolves are territorial." He felt a rush of intense emotion, but he bit his tongue before he did anything stupid like say 'I love you' for the first time (in a romantic way) on a day like this. Instead he dragged James in for a deep kiss that said plenty on its own. Isaac smiled when he pulled back after a few seconds. "You're mine, James Potter. You can't get away now."
James let out a hearty laugh at the idea of Isaac turning into a stripper in order to have the uniform back in his life. "I didn't become a lawyer so you'd have to sell your body, but I'll support that idea only if it's for my own private show," he said, letting his gaze sweep over Isaac's long, muscular form. Isaac had always been fit, but the training sessions with the academy had given his already well-honed muscles an almost razor like definition. Needless to say James was a bigger fan of what was under the badge than the badge itself.
James' eyes widened slightly when Isaac drew him in for a kiss, be he eagerly returned the affection with vigor. He, too, held felt the charge in the moment right before Isaac's lips met his, and his feelings for Isaac were reflected in his eyes when his boyfriend pulled back. The flash changed subtly at at the meaning behind Isaac's word, causing them to wink almost predatorily in the light. "I can't get away, hm? You should know better than to issue me a challenge, implicit it may be" he warned, but instead of apparating away like he was sorely tempted to he simply leaned forward to mark Isaac as his with a kiss of a his own.
Isaac loved when he managed to get James laughing. James was usually the joke maker of the two of them, so it was a particular sense of pride when he inspired the same type of laughter. His grin was instant, a splash of sunshine, and he enjoyed James' long look for an ego boost. Since he put a lot of work into his body, he expected it to be admired by the person who got to see it the most. "How about when we get a place of our own, I'll do a special striptease, just for you. I feel like I'd be a tacky guest if I started one now. I don't want Superman getting a complex next to me." The difference between James saying cocky things and Isaac saying them was he usually couldn't take himself seriously when he tried. He laughed just thinking it.
"And yes I guess that's me asking if we should just look for a place together. Apparently I was glossing over the 'hey, we should live together' conversation. It's not like we have the money for separate apartments. But hey, also no debt." That was definitely the plus side of all of this. If they could get their career without the debt, that was ideal. James kissing him made him be stupid, stupid like rambling about living together. Also that predatory gleam was dangerous. "I know you're thinking about apparating right now, but keep in mind," Isaac kissed him gently, "you'll miss out," another kiss, "on more of this." He thought that was a much better argument than threatening to track him down, although he probably could, with his nose.
James' brow quirked up when Isaac laid down his offer, his interest piqued by the 'ours' that had been casually dropped in the conversation. He bit his tongue for the moment, not wanting to put any undue pressure on the werewolf, and instead nodded his approval. "You have yourself a deal, Batman," James said, playfully elbowing the challenger in the ribs, "and I'll do my best to make you forget about Superman's abs once you've thrown down the gauntlet. He'll be weeping before the night's over." He smirked, fully confident in himself. James had been born comfortable and confident in the body he had been given, and he didn't need to acknowledge the appraising glances to confirm that he did a good job at keeping himself in top shape.
"Of course that's what it means," James deadpanned, rolling his eyes slightly as if it had been something trivial to miss. "I'm a man of many talents, but sadly my telepathic skills are rather telepathetic." Isaac had a point, and a good one at that. They had been maintaining separate apartments due to where their respective schools had been with James popping 'round when they had free time, but now the apparating distance wouldn't play a factor into their lives here. School had caused James to rack up a considerable amount of debt in his name, and there was a lot of appeal of reducing that sum tenfold. He liked being able to provide for those he loved, and being given the gift of starting over financially was a blessing in disguise. Not many barristers could say that when they took their first position. He nodded, grinning as Isaac leaned back in to kiss him. "I know you talked about the financial benefits of moving in together, but I rather like some of the additional perks that come along with it more."
He smiled around Isaac's kisses, staying obediently in place as Isaac gave him a tease on what he'd be missing out on if he got up to his usual tricks. He pretended to think long and hard about the proposal, earning a few more kisses in the meantime, before giving a Gallic shrug. "I'll stay this time, if only because I like it when you fight dirty."
"Christian Grey, apparently, not Batman. And then there was the other older me, and I think that one was kind of closer? He looked like the Australian from House. He mentioned Maya." Which boy did that momentarily send Isaac's head spinning. He went through his own heartbreak when his girlfriend of two years disappeared, but at least with her, he knew she went home to a good place. Or apparently she went here instead. "I swear someone has to ask why we all look different. I'm getting Lydia on the case, if she hasn't already written a giant essay about it already." Isaac was getting off track again, when he would much rather be thinking about stripping. For some reason. He just hated unanswered questions.
He laughed at the telepathetic, and at least James didn't seem to have a problem with the living together suggestion. Isaac was suddenly remembering the last time he lived with people, in those big 5-0 offered houses, those weren't so bad. But it was a communal sort of lifestyle, not always conducive to a relationship and an independent life. "The financial benefits are only a part of my reasoning. Let's face it, we spent most of our time together anyway, and I don't see why we need to go to separate beds when it's much better to share one." It was right around then Isaac remembered they were on a bed, and he might as well get comfortable, kicking off his shoes and socks.
"So I guess what I'm saying is move in with me. It goes well with the 'you're mine' topic."
James, realizing that Isaac’s head was more into the abnormalities about their new home than into making out with him, sighed and sat back as the rambling went on. He knew better than to take it negatively. The werewolf would only speak freely when he felt comfortable in his surroundings, an environment that James was only too happy to provide for him. Isaac deserved to be happy and his thoughts heard, even if he had awful timing. James’ eyes flicked back over to Isaac at Maya’s name, curiosity getting the best of him. He wasn’t the only one to have gone through heartbreak over the loss of a significant other, and seeing Isaac walk around like a lost soul had been hard on everyone. “Yeah? What did he say about her?”
He ran a hand through his hair, causing the back to stand up in every direction, and looked rather pleased with himself when Isaac laughed. He liked making people happy, and damn it, he was good at it. His pranks had turned more helpful than harmful over the years, and while he wasn’t afraid of putting people in his place with a quick zinger, the harsher, prouder side of his personality was normally saved for the courtroom these days. However, he would be lying to say he didn’t enjoy the look on people’s faces when he threw out his trump card and watched them squirm. There was something so satisfying about making sure the right people paid for what they did.
“I can’t find any objections to that,” he intoned, reclining back and watching Isaac take off his shoes and socks. “You can put the savings towards those tear off pants of yours.” His eyes traced the man’s shoulders, looking for any outward sign that Isaac was nervous about moving in together. Words were important, but making sure the body language matched was just as key. He waited an extra beat, before giving a laconic shrug, trying to feign indifference but failing as his eyes crinkled with suppressed laughter. “I guess I’ll move in with you. I’d hate for a bed to get lonely when we’re not in it.”
"Apparently they're thinking of having kids of their own to match Erica and Scott. Which would make sense, considering they're all older." Isaac wouldn't lie that for a moment his breath caught at the name. It was a long time since he thought of it, locked away in the vault of things that used to hurt. She wasn't the love of his life, not like Lily was for James, but it was puppy love. He shrugged, because it didn't really bother him. Good for them. He doubted James had any of the same insecurities as he did; Isaac's blind devotion was unquestionable. "They're way too adult. Moving in together is officially the most adult we're being right now." Outside of having real jobs, of course.
He smiled at the way James' hair stuck up and didn't try to fix it. He actually had a good time mussing it on a daily basis, even if it was as easy as a light pat. His body language was relaxed. Moving in together was his idea, and now that James agreed to it, he was doing just fine. "I'd say we have to get used to each other's quirks, but we've been glued at the hip for a long time now." Isaac shook his head with a smirk and leaned over to drop a kiss on James' indifferently shrugging shoulder. "You guess," he teased, "thanks for the enthusiasm." God he loved his smell. It was a simple thing, but for weres, it made a difference. Isaac could track James when he wanted to because he knew his scent as well as his own. He nuzzled James' neck and breathed it in, like the weirdo he was. "I'm yours too, you know."
“That’s fantastic.” James bit his tongue, preventing him from asking Isaac if he ever would want kids himself. With him. Baby steps, Jamie, he thought to himself as Isaac paused for a breath. He winced at the pun and quickly turned it into a yawn that fooled no one. James knew one day he’d like to be a father. He had the opportunity to get to know Harry when he was younger and thought the world of his son, and holding Sophia had been a blessing he never thought he’d see. There wasn’t a war raging on outside their door and they were safe from the portal here, eliminating the need to rush, so logically he knew they were in no place to start a family. That didn’t stop him from wanting one, though.
“It looks like you’ve got your bravado back,” he teased in return, noting the smirk and the sarcastic tone that was sprinkled throughout Isaac’s words, “but I don’t know. What if you run in your sleep on Tuesday mornings? Not all of us heal as fast as you do, and being kicked sleepily in the shins can take some getting used to.” He wiggled slightly as Isaac leaned in, his sandy curling hair tickling the five o’clock shadow that dusted James’ cheeks. James wasn’t a stranger to PDA of any sorts, but there was something about Isaac breathing in his scent that sent an extra shiver down his spine as it was more than a simple touch – it was a part of him that no one else had access to. Well, anyone human. “I know. The feeling is entirely mutual,” James agreed, turning so he could kiss the top of Isaac’s head, “and I’m not going to let you forget it.”
"Yeah it is fantastic." Isaac was no fool, he knew James' feelings about children and family. He was full of sass and humor, but James was a family man at heart, anyone could see that. In many ways he was old fashioned, and Isaac liked that about him. As a kid from a violent and broken home, family was a concept he wanted and enjoyed, but he was more hesitant about starting his own. He saw James holding Sophia, and he'd been there when he grew closer to Harry, and knew what it meant. Isaac did let his fingers run free in James' tousled hair, an affectionate caress. Or pet, really. "Too adult for right now," he added reassuringly. That door was definitely open, but they were currently penniless and world lost. He rushed into many situations in his life, and this just wasn't going to be one of them. It was too important to rush.
"I never lost my bravado, you have a skill for making me occasionally stupid, that's always been true." It used to be willing to do any dare, never say no to an adventure, even death defying kinds. And then it turned into giving James his heart and trusting not to get it demolished, which was harder for him than jumping off a cliff would be. Isaac chuckled and hummed against James' neck. "What about when you talk incessantly even in your sleep? I can never get any REM." He kissed the bristly cheek and then climbed more onto the bed, breaking some of their contact. Just so he could resume lying on the bed more comfortably and staring up at the ceiling, this time hooking his bare foot in James' arm and tugging at him. "It's probably too much to hope for that tomorrow we'll wake up and everything will make sense."
“I might grow older,” James warned, waving a finger at Isaac, “but the jury’s still out if I’ll ever be able to grow up.” James let his guard down long enough to let surprised relief flit across his face as Isaac read between the lines, but his face carefully rearranged itself into an easy smile as Isaac continued to play with his hair. He wasn’t in a rush right now; his friends had plenty of kids running around to spoil rotten and return home at the end of the day. There were things he wanted - needed, really - to do with Isaac before they talked about settling down with a family. Having a bed of their own was priority number one.
“I have that effect on a lot of people,” he cracked, a cheeky grin on his face that went unnoticed as Isaac burrowed against him. He wasn’t blind; despite everyone’s cracks about him not being the Superman of the James Potters, he knew that eyes followed him when he walked across a room. He had always been comfortable and confidant in his own skin, something that only enhanced his classically good looks. He had thrived on the attention when he was younger, but now the only thing that mattered was what Isaac saw when he looked at him. He didn’t need the empty flirtations to make him feel confident like he had when he was in his early twenties; he just needed Isaac pressing his nose against his neck like the weirdo that he was.
“The day I stop talking is the day you’ll have to worry about me,” James scolded as Isaac relocated, “but don’t you tune me out half the time anyway?” He tipped his head back to look at him at the top of the bed, briefly ignoring the summons. “Probably. You won’t have your toothbrush, but at least you’ll still be stuck with me.”
"Alright, Peter Pan." Isaac made a face. "Man that reference felt a lot less slimey before I watched Once Upon a Time." Peter Pan was a villain they were all happy to keep away from, but the show definitely ruined some of the fairy tales it was based on. Living next door to Snow White did that. He saw the relief, quick though it was, and was glad he said the right thing. Whatever life they were going to make there, it was going to be plenty complicated to start with. This was a topic for another day. After the I love yous and maybe after the I dos and oh my god Lahey slow down. "A grown up James would feel wrong anyway."
Isaac chuckled at the cocky reply, shaking his head. "I need to stop feeding your ego. One of these days I'll learn." Nah, he never would. Isaac was a scrawny little nobody in school before he became a werewolf; no one looked at him twice, and they probably would've kept ignoring him until he graduated. He got to choose to be the bravado he put on, and it was much more satisfying than the kid sitting alone every lunch. He learned a thing or two from being one of James Potter's best friends. "Keep in mind I've done plenty of stupid things for Scott too. Maybe you just have a boyfriend who makes questionable decisions."
He stretched his arms over his head and settled into the mattress, it was a nice guest room. "No, I listen to you. How else am I going to know when to give you the what the fuck look?" Isaac tugged at James again with his foot. More insistently."Man, stuck with you, I'm not sure, sounds depressing. A good toothbrush is irreplaceable."
"My ego is insatiable," James crowed, "so you might as well just throw that notion out the window." His ego was as much of a part of him as his unruly hair; most found some fault in it, but James fully embraced the parts of him who made him who he was. The same went for his boyfriend. He knew he would have loved Isaac no matter who he was - the abs did help, though - and he did his best to show Isaac how much he valued him. Life for Isaac had been rough, but it didn't have to be that way any more. His pack had helped, and James had started filling up some of the cracks that remained in the foundation. They would always be there, but he could help shield the worst of them from daylight. "Maybe I do, but at least he makes said decisions."
"Isn't that just your default expression?" James mirrored Isaac's motions, letting his arms fall back behind him and onto the bed. James and Lily had clearly spared no expense in setting up their home to make sure that everyone coming through the front door felt comfortable. While he appreciate the gesture, he was looking forward to being in a place that didn't have Lily's touch all over it. He turned his head when he was prodded again, frowning at the offending foot. "You're lucky I'm attached to that foot," he grumbled, disappearing with a loud crack. He reappeared next to Isaac a moment later and settled against the pillows as if nothing had happened. "Right? I'm clearly putting your oral health in jeopardy by being here. It'd be unforgivable if anyone else put you through that."
"I guess I can live with that, as long as your ego doesn't go the way of a supervillain where you decide you're so amazing you should rule the world. And then maybe grow out your hair all greasy like Loki." Isaac gave a dramatic cringe at the image. That guy always gave him the creeps anyway. He was teasing, obviously James was the heroic type, he always had been. The star of his own era, and then his son went on to become an even bigger one, in his own way. Isaac generally still considered himself a sidekick at best, a support system for someone great like Scott, and he was very satisfied in that position. He liked being a plucky, snarky beta instead of an alpha. But it was no surprise he was attracted to alphas. "Practice your muahahas, just in case."
Isaac was so used to the apparating by now that he barely blinked an eye when James used it only to move a few feet. "Show off." He was pleased that he got his way all the same, and threw an arm around James. Lily's decorating went right over his head, but he smelled her everywhere. "We could be vagabonds for a little while. We can go stay with Erica and Scott next, or Boyd, and start looking in the meantime." The undercurrent point being that they didn't have to stay here the whole time. "I know the Starks are here so maybe we can finagle a temporary Stark Tower option until we figure it out." Isaac was fairly confident about it, because their little community was just that kind of place. People did favors for each other all the time. He smiled and kissed James' cheek nearby, murmuring by his ear. "You're much hotter than Superman."
“But I am amazing and should rule the world,” James corrected, a sly smile on his face. He smugly crossed his arms over his chest and gave a wistful sigh, imaging the world according to James Potter. It truly was a beautiful sight. His nose crinkled a second later at the mention of greasy hair, destroying his triumphant daydream. He hadn’t thought about Severus Snape in a while, but the young man’s face suddenly appeared in his mind and caused his lip to curl in distaste. He had never understood the Muggle world’s fascination with the man. Yes, he had done one good thing, but that didn’t make right on everything else. He knew was heavily biased – and rightfully so in his mind – but he would never make a hero out of Severus Snape or men like him, including the mentioned Loki. Even though he practiced law, James often viewed good and bad in strict terms of black and white when it came to his personal life, and Severus Snape was firmly in the black.
“You know you find it endearing,” James chuckled when he settled next to Isaac, his ethical musings forgotten as he pressed up against the other man’s firm chest. Instead, an image of Isaac dressed in faded clothes with a ballcap on and a backpack slung over his shoulder filled his imagination at the proposed plan. “I’m fine with both options as long as it ends each night with a place to sleep.” He could see them bouncing from place to place until they finally put their feet on the ground. For now it was nice to have an impromptu vacation without any pressing plans at hand. They had both been working hard, and a short break in the action would do wonders to recharge their batteries. “And finally the truth comes out,” he cheered, bracing a hand on Isaac’s leg as he twisted to happily press his lips against his boyfriend’s. Victory never tasted so sweet.
"No, no, no, if you rule the world then I have to also rule the world, and that's way too much pressure. Veto." Isaac could only imagine the world according to James Potter, and he figured it was best to keep it in imagination. Besides, James would get bored of everything being his way all the time. He loved a challenge. Isaac didn't make the connection between Loki and Snape, he just knew that James was crinkling his nose like that. So he flicked his nose. Helpfully. To distract him from whatever those head wrinkling things were. "Seriously, who has the time?"
Isaac only hmm'ed in reluctant agreement, because it was endearing. James was the most endearing person alive, it was infuriating. He laughed when James twisted into him and met the kiss eagerly. It was small things that meant the most for Isaac. Lying in bed together, making each other laugh, feeling like this was where he was meant to be. With a quick move, he pushed James onto his back and moved on top, nuzzling his neck again the same affectionate way from before. His smile was wide and infectious, lacking some of his usual restraint. "Don't you ever leave me, Potter. You've ruined me for anyone else." It was said with a joking tone, but there was an undercurrent of honesty.
“Fine. I’ll just have to settle for taking over the legal world.” James rolled his eyes as Isaac hummed his agreement, knowing the full meaning behind that particular noise. That particular tone of you’re right, but I’m not admitting so because that would be feeding your gigantic ego was a very popular response he got from his friends. He was a different person than the boy who had come through the Portal at seventeen, full of the swagger and confidence that came from leading a live where everything had come easy for him and hadn’t faced serious hardships. His life here had exposed him to many different things at both extremes of the spectrum, and while James Potter would always have a swagger, this time he had more of an awareness for the world around him and was thankful for the opportunities he never would have seen past his twenty-first birthday. Including the werewolf next to him.
He gasped slightly when Isaac flipped him on his back, not for the first time marveling at his strength. James had filled out over the years, shoulder broadening and muscles appearing when he took to the gym to release stress from school, so it wasn’t an easy task to catch him off guard like Isaac did. Despite the torso that proved otherwise, it was easy to forget just how strong Isaac was. Surprised, his own grin matched Isaac’s as he conceded defeat – which was more appealing than any other plans he had at the moment. He grabbed a fistful of Isaac’s shirt, preventing him from pulling away. “I don’t plan on it, Lahey,” he promised, his hazel eyes softening above the smug smile, “and I plan on reminding you of that for many years to come.” He tightened his grip and pulled himself up towards Isaac, giving him a very thorough idea of the meaning behind his words.