|damnitlahey (damnitlahey) wrote in blackpoint,|
@ 2015-04-28 21:27:00
It actually didn't take that much time at all for them to figure a few things out and get their own place. Sure there were still plenty of logistics to get down, but once determined, the pair of them could get results. It was a small apartment, but that was New York, and they didn't need much space. Isaac wasn't sure it would ever be normal to be in this place, with other versions of him running around, but normal was never really an option. He was from Beacon Hills, he was always doomed for weirdness eventually. He learned a long time ago how to embrace the good parts, like having more versions of his friends just meant having more friends. And how this place was already well equipped with helping out newcomers, so he was already in touch quickly with the NYPD.
That's where he was earlier in the day, and it was looking good. There were hoops to jump through and tests to take, but strangely enough this world was even better when it came to supernaturals comfortably mixed in with the rest. They were still a novelty before, and here there were dozens of all the superheroes so the world filled up quickly. They seemed glad to have a potential cop with superior strength, speed, and a nose that would rival any tracking dog of theirs. So it wasn't a bad day.
Isaac wasn't exactly a chef, but living with Alcide long enough meant that he knew how to passably cook a few things. Simple things. Meat. Potatoes. So he already got it started before James said he'd be around. On their bed was a lawyer present for James, a real one this time and not a teased one across the network. On the handle it said Mischief Managed, but on the inside so otherwise James could remain the professional. For now he was cooking and watching House of Cards from the kitchen, shaking his head at the addictive sort of evil that came from it.
It was no secret that James Potter loved to hear the sound of his own voice. He was the person who always filled the silence with words, constructed lengthy closing arguments to make the jury forget all of what the other side had laid out, sweet talked his way into a bargain, or charmed the vendor into making one more batch of churros for him before he closed for the night. Being able to be the voice for those who couldn’t be heard was part of the reason he went into law, but there were times when he valued silence.
Being a wizard meant that he could be anywhere within the blink of an eye, and while he was quick to Apparate when his friends needed him, the trip home from the office was his way of decompressing. Here, for this span of time, he didn’t talk. He plugged his headphones in and joined the masses returning back to their sanctuaries after a day at work. Being the new associate at the firm meant that he had to pull his weight to prove that the partners had made the right decision by hiring off of Lydia’s recommendation. Menial tasks were assigned to him. The cases no one wanted were handed over to James Potter. He didn’t mind. Establishing himself took time in a new world, and he wanted to do it right. It didn’t mean that he had to necessarily like spending more time in the stacks than in the courtroom.
The commute on the subway helped James forget the ach between his shoulders or the way his eyes stung from hours of looking at the computer screen with his contacts in. The music revived him, letting him settle back into the easygoing man that everyone knew him to be, and gave him a chance to come to terms with anything he had to deal with back at work before he saw Isaac’s face. A work/life balance was important to him, but if anything ever happened he knew which side he would choose. You could always get a new career (case in point with the Portal,) but it was hard to replace those you considered your life.
James dropped his keys in the bowl when he slid through the door, one hand reaching up to loosen his tie. While he didn't have the keen senses that Isaac did, it was hard to miss the smell of dinner being prepared in the kitchen. He grinned, not bothering to announce himself since he knew Isaac probably heard him when he got off the elevator, and followed his nose the few extra steps to the kitchen. He slid his arms out of his blazer and tossed it and his bag onto the couch to be retrieved later.
"Something smells good," James declared, distracting Isaac with a kiss as he stole a bit of what Isaac was making. He pulled back and popped the bite into his mouth before he was officially caught, a devious grin on his face. He pressed a quick against Isaac's cheek and glanced at the tv, surprised to see House of Cards playing. "Blimey, I forgot here that came out around now. What'd I miss?"
Isaac was amused the first time he realized that James walked the entire way back from work instead of teleporting. It was before they were dating, when they were still friends, and he was still learning new things. That wasn't to say he never learned new things now about James; they could have a lifetime together and still find something to laugh about. But he was still piecing together the things that made up his future boyfriend, and that surprised him.
Until he thought about the nights when he ran for no other reason than he enjoyed it, or he needed it. It wasn't like werewolves needed to work out. They were naturally strong and fast. But Isaac liked the physical focus. He let his mind wander and released his stress. James seemed so extroverted and bright spirited, so the fact even he needed to decompress sometimes was a nice tidbit to learn.
Plus it was always fun to hear James coming. It was one of those werewolf quirks; much like how any canine got excited long before their owner came into view. The details were different, but the feeling was the same. A ripple of delight. He smiled and paused House of Cards, watching James move around out of the corner of his eye. He looked damn good in those suits, which he knew, so Isaac appreciated it quietly. It wasn't like he had any skill at lying, and the way he looked at his boyfriend was complimentary enough.
He let James' ruse work, because he'd be insane not to take a kiss when he got it, and chuckled. "You sneak," he teased. He was already wearing a tight NYPD t-shirt basically boasting his success, since now it was really just down to a few signatures. "The usual. Underhanded politics and Claire Underwood being way too sexy considering she's not my type at all." Namely evil, much older than him, and blonde. She could be his mother, and she reminded him a lot of Victoria Argent, which he was so not going to remark on.
He turned his attention to James since the meal was almost finished. It was on a simmer, and he undid the rest of James' loosened tie. "How much boring work are they making you do? Does your head hurt?"
"You know you love that about me," James' hazel eyes glinted as Isaac called him out on his ploy, dipping slightly as he noticed the shirt his boyfriend was wearing. His let his eyes trace the letters as Isaac talked about House of Cards. NYPD. New York's finest. A warm glow of pride surged through him, knowing how it felt to realize a dream. He remembered the time Isaac spent at the Academy after deciding the line of duty was what he wanted to pursue, and to see him a few scratches away from donning the uniform here was one of the last things left before they were truly settled in this world. Plus, it certainly didn't hurt that Isaac looked damn good in the uniform.
James backed up against the counter when Isaac reached up to loosen his tie, his hand diving into his hair and ruining the last hold his charm had on soothing the unruly waves. "My head is killing me, but I think that's more from the jabs the guys kept taking at me after I wiped the floor with their arses at the staff meeting than from spending too much time in front on the computer today," James said, a smug look on his face as he started rolling up his sleeves. He pushed off from his spot and stole another taste of dinner as he made his way towards their room, throwing the last comment over his shoulder as he disappeared around the t's not a big deal. They'll all realize they work for me in a few weeks."
He reappeared a few minutes later, comfortable in a pair of jeans and his glasses perched on his nose with the gift in his hand. "What's this all about?" He asked, moving towards his old bag with the intent of transferring his belongings into the thoughtful gift before the gift fairy took it away. "Did you finally give in and are celebrating Birthday Month?"
I love everything about you, Isaac nearly said. And he knew it was true. He'd been in love with James Potter for a long time, pretty much before they even kissed for the first time. "It's part of your charm," he said instead. He saw the way that James looked at the shirt, and felt somewhere between preening in pride, and a humble sort of 'it's no big deal.' But it was a big deal. Isaac was fairly sure that he was never made for great things; he used to think it was a miracle he survived at all. He wasn't an ambitious kid; Alcide had to force him to agree to go to college in general. But once he committed to the idea, he worked hard to get there. And he was very grateful he wouldn't have to start at the bottom again.
He smiled when James let his hair go loose, and his fingers flickered, longing to run them through the waves. Maybe later, since James needed to change and there was food. Isaac could get lost in stroking his hair, go figure. "Hmmm I wonder why they're all giving you crap, with that attitude." He chuckled. Isaac loved the attitude, but he could probably guess that not everyone did. Still, it wasn't James' fault he was amazing at everything. Biased opinion, sure, but also true.
Isaac was typically a little bashful when it came to gestures. It made him happy to make other people happy, and he really longed for that. But he ended up like a nervous puppy while he waited for a verdict. He smiled and shrugged one shoulder. "I thought new job, new start, you should have the right equipment. It's not your birthday present, you get two this month, I guess." He really shouldn't encourage those kinds of expectations, but oh well.
“I have no bloody idea,” James called from the bedroom, voice muffled as he tugged his henley over his head, “I’m a real delight.” He knew some people didn’t care for his boastful attitude or the sure set to his shoulders, but he didn’t really take too much stock in other people’s opinion of him. He was confident in his own skin and and people that loved him, which was all that mattered. He was good at what he did and worked hard to be there. He could laze about all he wanted, but he applied himself more than people realized.
Despite his tendency to come across as arrogant and full of himself, James cared deeply for making sure his loved ones were taken care of. He helped support people that needed the boost, mentored his younger relatives when they wanted to expand their magical abilities, and made sure everyone was taken care of before he turned towards addressing his own needs. He wasn’t the most selfless creature and wasn’t perfect, true, but he never ignored their pleas for assistance - both vocalized and implied. He was born into privilege and had always had the means necessary to support them before coming he, and James worked hard to make sure that one day he’d reestablish the Potter fortune so he could spoil the people in his life again.
James’ smile grew when he watched Isaac explain, his heart swelling slightly at the thought behind the gesture. “It’s absolutely brilliant, and your secret’s safe with me, love,” James told him, changing his mind about transferring his items over and going for another kiss instead. He lightly nipped Isaac’s lower lip when he pulled back, an innocent expression ghosting over his face. “I’d hate for people to blame you for causing my head to grow again.”
"They would probably haze you so badly if you weren't a wizard and capable of jinxing their asses." And if they tried and James didn't jinx them, Isaac would bare his werewolf fangs at them and growl. No one messed with his James. Except for him and all their friends. That was allowed. Isaac wasn't ultimately that worried about hazing himself; he was sure he'd get some of it in the NYPD. But in a similar way, people weren't stupid about testing a werewolf. If he did a good job and bought a few rounds at the bar, it would smooth things over easily enough.
Isaac's first experience with an arrogant rich kid was Jackson. Needless to say, it wasn't a good one. James never raised his hackles though when it came to that. He didn't have that meanness in him, at least not toward Isaac. He usually felt supported and encouraged by James, and included. Wealth mattered little to him outside of being able to pay rent and get food, but he was happy to be spoiled with affection.
He growled playfully when James bit his lip. "Mmmm, I don't care what people think." Isaac dropped his head to nuzzles James' neck and peppered small nips there to get him back. He was going to get distracted if he kept doing that though, and dinner would be ruined, so he pulled his head up with a sigh. "God, I just ...." He ran his fingers through James unruly hair. "I just really ...." And there it was on the tip of his tongue. Why was it still so hard for him to get it out? He could kiss him instead, or say 'you know' like a teenager, or he could be an adult. "Love you." He said finally, firmly, seriously.
"You might not care," James said, obediently tilting his head to the side as Isaac paid special attention to his neck and leaning back into him so he didn't have to stretch, "but, just a reminder, you do have to live with me afterwards." James would never complain about that. He had always had someone with him - his family, the Marauders at school, a house filled with assorted people in Hawaii, roommates in college - and couldn't imagine coming home to an empty apartment. He didn't need to be a werewolf to sense Isaac's presence in the apartment; some part of him was everywhere he looked.
James straightened up when Isaac pulled back, keeping his mouth closed as Isaac fought some internal battle. He let him choose the direction he wanted to go, offering some support as he nuzzled his head against Isaac's hand as he played with his hair. He bit down on his lip from his usual "'You just' what?", but he couldn't help the surprised look that flitted across his face when Isaac admitted that he loved him. It wasn't said flippantly or as an endearment; it was a fact. Despite their actions, they had been skirting around saying it for a while. Saying it aloud made it real.
He took a few heartbeats to savor the moment, capturing the image of Isaac looking so heartbreakingly endearing in his admission in front of him, before he cupped Isaac's face in his hands. "I really love you too, Isaac Lahey," he told him, his voice uncharacteristically serious as he returned the sentiment. He wished he had a bigger gesture to show just how much he loved the werewolf, but sometimes simplicity was best. Isaac deserved to be loved and to have wonderful things happen to him, and James didn't want to cheapen the feeling by making light of the situation.
"I like living with you. You and your ego. It's like a second roommate." This was their first time officially living together, and so far it was harmonious. When they first met they were together so often they might as well have been roommates. Isaac was easy to live with. His habits from his youth were never fully forgotten, such as being quiet and non-intrusive.
Isaac was tense waiting for the reply; in his heart he knew it was coming. But he was still nervous. He willed himself not to back down or look away when James cupped his face. He relaxed all at once after James' sincere reply, slouching and leaning into his boyfriend in the process. He tugged James in close, hands on his hips, and kissed him passionately. He loved him, they loved each other, he was loved. Isaac was starved for love.
"You bastard, you took too long to respond," he teased when he managed to breathe again. He kept James close with firm hands, biting his neck with blunt teeth, not coming close to breaking the skin. But a nice nip, as if carefully marking him as his own. These little canine details he wasn't always aware of doing. "I think I've wanted to say that from like, our second official date."
"Too long?" James teased back, voice light from the kiss, "That’s rich coming from the man who said he's waited to say that since we started dating." He let Isaac take the lead this time, his own hands traveling around to play with the hair at the nape of Isaac's neck. He couldn't pinpoint the exact moment that he had realized he had fallen in love with his best friend. It was cliche, he knew, but it was the truth. He didn’t wake up one day and decide that today was the day he was going to start loving Isaac. He had always loved Isaac in some capacity - first as a friend, then as a best friend as the time went on - but now it was a different kind of love, one he didn’t know he’d be able to feel again after Lily was sent home.
He pulled Isaac’s head back up so he could give him a proper kiss of his own, pouring the words he had meant to say earlier into the gesture. He knew he should back away so they could have dinner like normal adults and not keep making out like randy teenagers, but knowing and acting on that knowledge were two separate things. He let it go on for a little while longer before his stomach growled, impatient at the delay, and pulled back with a grin.
“Loving me means keeping me and my appetite fed, darling,” he said, disappearing with a crack. He appeared at the fridge a heartbeat later, head tilted to the side in question. “I’m grabbing a beer before the food burns. Do you want anything?”
"Telling you I loved you on our second date would've been jumping the gun a little." Isaac knew they weren't the typical case. They were friends so long, and they had been so close, that dating blended in with the rest after awhile. "I think ... a part of me kept holding back, in case Lily came back." That was the painful truth, and he felt more comfortable speaking it now. He loved Lily and he missed her every day she was gone, but eventually her coming back also meant him possibly losing his own love. So he didn't say it. But they were here now, and he believed in them. Isaac believed James when he said he wanted him. It wasn't exactly new for him, being the new love when the first love was gone. That was practically Isaac's spot in the world.
He inhaled sharply when James kissed him for real, and for those precious few seconds there was nothing else in the world. He was definitely considering dragging James to the bedroom and forgetting about whatever he was doing. He was doing something, sure, but that seemed a lot less important. Isaac was lust hazed when James pulled back and he whined at the distance. It was probably good that James apparated like that, because his werewolf was about to say screw it and rip off his shirt.
Instead he was forced to take a deep breath. Think calming thoughts. "I take it back, I hate you," he grumped good-naturedly. He moved back to what he was cooking and thankfully it was near done anyway. "Yes I want a beer. And a cold shower." Isaac smiled wryly at him and gestured toward the table. "Sit down, jerk."
"Nah, you've already said it so there's no going back," James flashed a cheeky grin at Isaac as he grabbed the beer, his own body tightening as he denied it what it really wanted. He too wanted nothing more than to go straight to the bedroom, but it had been a long day at the office and he knew he needed something in him if he was to properly pick up later where they had left off.
He slid into his usual seat and leaned back, surveying the wolf across from him. He never wanted Isaac to feel like a second best option; he was too good for that. James loved Lily and probably always would, but it had settled into a comfortable fondness rather than the kind of love that got his heart racing when he caught whiff of someone wearing Isaac's cologne when he was away. It was circumstance that he happened to be the person after Lily, and they had taken things slow in order to establish their new form of relationship. He had thought about what would have happened if Lily returned, but with each passing day it seemed like a distant possibility so he had stopped thinking about it. After his twenty-first birthday he felt like was already living on borrowed time, and he knew Lily wouldn't want him to sacrifice anything that he had built in her absence.
"I wouldn't have let you go if she came back," James said, voicing what he had been thinking as he placed the front feet of his chair on the ground and reached for the dish to serve himself, "Just so you know."
"Fine, you own me, no sense in pretending otherwise," Isaac grumped again. He was hungry too, and avoided snacking so they could sit down together. There was a part of Isaac that was deeply domestic. Long ago, before things went wrong in his house, they really did have a normal and happy family. He longed for that. He longed for a place to belong and someone to belong to. Isaac had canine aspects to his personality before he was bitten; loyalty. Devotion. Warmth and easy love, underneath the bluster. He was already in nesting mode, and he liked it.
He served himself too and waited for James to get what he needed before settling down at the table. Isaac smiled faintly when James said that, but he shook his head. "You can't know that for sure. Not when this first started. And that's okay. Now is a different story." He would have stepped aside and lived with his pain. He could see now that he didn't have to compare them to what Lily and James had. People could love more than one person in their lifetime.
"Now I would fight tooth and nail for you, Potter. If you want marriage and kids, it's yours. If you want me to tattoo your name over every inch of me ... well it would be hard to do since I heal. I'd figure out a way." Isaac understood the magnitude of what he was offering, but he wasn't a teenager. They were adults with lives and a future together. He was fairly sure he would be terrible at all of it, but James would counter him. He grinned to try and lighten up the intensity of his messages. "I think tattooing my name on your ass should be my birthday present."
James' eyes narrowed behind his specs as he listened to Isaac, but he stopped paying attention as soon as his boyfriend mentioned marriage. James was quick to pledge loyalty to the people he cared about, and it wasn't unusual for him to go out of his way to show it. He became an Animagus so Remus had someone with him during the fulls. He transported his friends when they needed it without question. He had started a family with Lily rather quickly back home in light of the war. He proudly kissed his boyfriend in public. When he cared for someone, he showed it.
Marriage, though, was different. It was a public declaration of their love witnessed by their friends and family, not to mention the benefits (both legal-wise and personal) that came along with it. To have a husband meant sharing everything and letting the world see that he, in Isaac's words, belonged to him and he to Isaac. They were adults, yes, and he didn't feel naive in his assumption that any future that he would have would have Isaac in it. Other James Potters had their spouses, and that was great by him, but he was free to choose who he wanted. And what he wanted was a tall, muscular wolf with NYPD badge and a tendency to cling in his sleep.
"Is this your way of proposing to me, Lahey?" He asked, setting his fork down and leaning forward so he could better see Isaac. "All of that? I want it. I mean, I think my arse is perfect the way it is, but if that's what you want we could figure something out."
Isaac knew James. He knew that marriage and family were the most important things to him. He was that kind of guy, the opposite of a commitaphobe, so getting involved with him meant being able to see forever. Casual would not have worked for them. 'Let's see how it goes' didn't really work either. And Isaac wasn't a commitaphobe either. He didn't sleep around or date a lot as a teenager. He wanted love and security and certainty, he craved it. But that didn't stop him from being afraid at the same time. Afraid that he wasn't enough for someone, or that he wasn't good enough for them. That insecurity was not the type of thing that went away overnight; it was something to battle over time.
"It wasn't a very good proposal, was it?" he smiled weakly. He was nervous and anxious, and his heart was thudding hard, but it was with excitement too. He was going to start sweating any minute now, running fingers through his hair and unable to look away from James' steady stare. "I'm sorry, I --- I don't even have a ring." Isaac felt thought that he was being an idiot, because James Potter deserved something big and flashy. The question in fireworks maybe in the sky, or a ridiculous puzzle that spent an entire day to unlock to that final question. Something memorable and not so mundane as eating dinner in the middle of the week at their apartment. "Wow I'm terrible at this."
Instead of letting himself panic and withdraw or berate himself, Isaac took in a deep breath and let it out. His fears and insecurities were pushed to the side for now. "I love you. I'm yours until the day I die. Whatever you want that to mean, legally or otherwise, I'm on board."
James didn’t need to be a wolf to know that Isaac’s heart was racing at the question. They had been around each other long enough to know what made the other tick, and he could almost feel the adrenaline that was coursing through the other man’s body. He shifted in his chair, a hand raising to brush off Isaac’s apologies, and opened his mouth to speak. However, Isaac beat him to it, stealing the words from his tongue.
He knew he should say something, anything, in response to what Isaac was saying, but he couldn’t get any words around the wide grin that split his face. He liked the flashy gestures and was known for being everything but subtle, but that didn’t mean that he didn’t appreciate the gestures that were all stumbling, well-meaning heart. He knew he must look like an idiot, beaming across the table at Isaac while Isaac debated whether or not to pull out his hair.
“Godric, no ring? It’s a good thing you’re about to be engaged to a wizard,” James finally managed, giving Isaac a wink as he pushed back from the table, an idea forming in his head. He trailed a hand over Isaac’s broad shoulders as he passed, knowing he was being a tease but too determined to carry out his plan to stop for a brief second. He made a beeline for the bowl he had tossed his keys in when he first came home, his fingers already outlining the spell that was forming in his mind as he reached for his wand. He kept his back turned to Isaac as he fished out his key to their front door and made quick work duplicating it and putting the new key back on the ring. James’ strengths had always been in Transfiguration, and he wasted no time in fashioning a simple silver band out of the key to their first apartment. It wasn’t precious metal nor did it have any special inscription inside, but it was precious in its own right. It signified the start of their life together, the key to their future. After a moment James made his way back into the kitchen, one hand shoved into his hair as he worked out what he wanted to say. He wanted it to be special. It didn’t need to be over the top or flashy; sometimes the more simple were the most heartfelt.
“I’m stealing your thunder,” James said, dropping down on one knee in the middle of their cramped kitchen and holding up the dark gray ring that gleamed in the incandescent light, “but I’m not sorry for doing so. I want a future together with you, Isaac Lahey, one where I can spend every day showing you how much I love you and giving you a tomorrow to look forward to when you go to bed with me at night. So, if you want to get married tomorrow, at Christmas, or five years down the road, whichever you want, I’m all in. What do you say?”
About to be engaged to a wizard. Isaac's brain threatened to short circuit altogether on him. He could make plans, like for James' birthdays, he always tried to go big and intricate for those. Christmas too, when he could, but he was much better at impulse gestures. Isaac led with his heart, and it often led to him stumbling and stuttering afterward, since acting first and thinking later didn't exactly make a person suave. Or smooth. There was nothing smooth about him, and even when he tried to be, it came off more as awkward. But James did the charming chattering, and the big gestures, and he countered Isaac's weaknesses at every turn. They were balanced and harmonious that way.
He stared at James' back and forced himself not to jump out of his chair and follow him. He seemed to know by instinct that he was supposed to wait. He was suddenly not hungry at all, the swirl of emotions inside of him taking over instead. This was happening. He just had to keep it together. Keep conscious. That would help too. Isaac knew James was doing something that was probably going to be the sort of sweet gesture he had Lahey'ed up, and that was a relief. One of them needed to have it together.
It came into focus when James brought the ring over, and he sniffed out easily what it was. His smile was instantaneous. James was so sentimental, but honestly, so was Isaac. It was the little things he appreciated. There was no real way he could articulate his emotions; the werewolf felt everything more intensely than he could express. He took the ring that symbolized them in the most mundane and special ways, and put it on his finger. "I really wouldn't mind marrying you tomorrow, wolves are possessive, the idea of making you mine immediately is very appealing." Isaac ran his fingers through James' hair. "But our friends and family might protest, and considering I botched the proposal, a real wedding is probably what I owe you."
Isaac grinned, getting out of his chair and taking James up with him. He wrapped his arms around his fiance, actual fiance, and nipped at his neck affectionately. He'd find other ways to mark his territory until they were legally binding. "You know, I always thought that Isaac Lahey-Potter sounded right."