|Still, where did the lighter fluid come from? (emiime) wrote in percy_ficathon,|
@ 2008-06-17 10:05:00
|Entry tags:||fic, percy/neville/anthony, r, slash|
A gift for zephre!
Title: Getting Better at Being Better
Pairing/Characters: Percy/Neville/Anthony and permutations thereof
Word Count: 1631
Warnings: Battle-induced PTSD
Disclaimer: Nothing you recognise belongs to me.
Summary: Anthony twitches, and Neville smells of earth. And Percy tries to be a Better Person.
Notes: zephre, you asked for Percy to be paired with a member of the D.A.—well, you get two for one! Hope this pleases, even though I completely fail at being anonymous.
Anthony twitches, and he always keeps his back to the wall, sidling into Percy's office like a crab, sitting in the chair nearest the door, too far away from Percy's desk to have a proper conversation. When Percy suggests he move closer so they don't have to raise their voices, Anthony just pats the wall and gives him a rueful smile and doesn't say anything.
And he twitches. He always twitches. His hands twitch, and he licks his lips over and over again, and he jiggles his leg, and every once in a while a shudder racks his body.
It drives Percy insane.
But Percy is trying to be a Better Person, and where he once would have told Anthony in no uncertain terms to stop twitching there in the corner and say whatever it was he had to say or get out, now he waits, because he knows that Anthony always starts talking eventually.
So Percy shuffles papers and waits and wonders what it will be this time—perhaps the ceiling is raining again in Anthony's office, in which case Percy will again direct him to Magical Maintenance, or perhaps the canteen's run out of Earl Grey, which would be an emergency, one which must be dealt with immediately.
It's never anything big with Anthony, just a hundred little things a day, and Percy wonders why the boy comes to him (not boy, but young man, Ron's age, Percy supposes) instead of to anyone else.
Anthony finally asks, from his chair in the corner, if Percy would like to have dinner together sometime, and that, Percy realises, is the why.
Anthony's good-looking, though Percy would never have suspected him to be inclined more towards his own sex, and there's something endearing about him, something intriguing, something behind the spectacles and the too-long eyelashes and the cheekbones that seem brittle, as if they would break at a breath, a kiss. Something behind the twitching and the fear induced by the Battle at Hogwarts.
Something, Percy thinks, that he would like to discover.
And so he agrees, and he hopes (and wishes he didn't hope) that Anthony doesn't twitch as noticeably in public.
Neville is warm, and Neville smells of earth, and Percy doesn't know why he is so certain of these two things, because he has never been near enough to Neville to touch him or to smell him. But he's as certain of these things as he is that the sun rises in the east, and he longs for Neville (no longer the lost and pudgy boy from school) to be his anchor.
And they converse, sometimes, in the hallways of the Ministry when Neville's in London, or at the Burrow on Sunday afternoons when everyone else is off being boisterous. Neville's a fair chess player and more than a fair conversationalist, and Percy never tires of him.
And, more than anything, more than anyone, Neville seems unaffected by the Battle. He plods on, steady as a draft horse, but friendly and nice looking, Percy thinks, and he makes himself stop immediately because he can't be thinking like that about Neville and besides, he has a date with Anthony later this week.
The moment that Percy pauses to think of Anthony is the moment that Neville leans forward and places a warm hand on Percy's arm, and Percy gets a whiff of earth as Neville stammers his way through asking Percy if he'd perhaps like to have dinner together on Friday.
When Percy demurs, saying he's busy that night, Neville wonders aloud where Percy is going, then apologises immediately for doing so, taking his hand from Percy's arm, but Percy grabs Neville's hand in his and tells him what's going on.
Neville smiles at the mention of Anthony's name. Yes, he tells Percy, he knows Anthony, knows those delicate cheekbones, those thin wrists, those eyelashes that belong on a girl. He knows the twitching and he knows the flashing fear behind Anthony's eyes.
He confesses to Percy how he spent the night with Anthony a week or so after the Battle, two frightened schoolboys with no idea what they were doing, bruising themselves on the way to ecstasy.
And, yes, Neville says, Anthony's certainly had problems since the Battle—insomnia and nightmares and all of that. Things that Neville's not had to deal with.
Right, and twitching, and crawling along walls. That, too.
Percy understands, a bit. He still dreams of Fred, after all.
Fred, and a flash of light, and falling.
Neville says he'd like to see Anthony again, and he wonders if Percy wouldn't mind if he went along with him to the restaurant on Friday—offering, of course, to disappear as soon as dinner starts.
Percy can't help himself; he immediately blurts that that would be fine, then amends his rash decision. He'll check with Anthony first.
Anthony owls back less than half an hour later, only a single word scrawled across the torn parchment.
Dinner is full of confessions.
Neville ends up staying, once Anthony takes his wrist and asks him to do so. He shoots an apologetic look at Percy, but Percy frowns and shakes his head. He won't deny himself dinner with Neville, even if the evening is supposed to have been a date with the odd little creature who invades his office to ask him for solutions to trivial problems.
Anthony confesses to Percy right there in front of Neville that he's fancied Percy for quite some time now. Neville confesses to Anthony that he told Percy about the night they spent together after the Battle. And Percy confesses, after too much red wine, his cheeks afire, that he's fancied Neville for a while, and he's definitely warming to Anthony.
It seems that they all have the same idea at the same time. Anthony blurts a half-sentence, then blushes and stops himself, and Percy shakes his head to rid himself of the inappropriate thoughts that are swarming inside it.
In the end, it is Neville, steady Neville, who suggests they all leave together.
They end up in Percy's flat, because Neville has a roommate and Anthony says no to the idea of his place before it's even brought up. Percy offers his guests wine or tea, or there are a couple of beers that Charlie left.
They sit, three abreast, on the sofa, drinking, and Percy sits in the middle and wonders which one of them will move first.
He decides it's going to have to be him—it's his flat, after all, and he's older than either of the other two, and they've had a night together already.
He wants badly to kiss Neville, but instead he leans forward, setting his wineglass on the coffee table, then turns to his right and strokes Anthony's curls and presses a kiss to those most delicate of cheekbones.
They don't break. Instead, Anthony whimpers a little and turns his head to capture Percy's mouth in a stronger kiss than Percy expected could come from a boy who twitches all day.
While they are kissing, their spectacles bumping together, Neville slides his hand up Percy's spine, and embraces him from behind, his breath hot on Percy's neck.
They kiss for quite some time, Percy kissing Anthony's mouth, Neville kissing Percy's neck, and Percy still wants to kiss Neville but he can't leave Anthony's mouth, the needy lips and searching tongue.
So they go to the bedroom, and to Percy's wide bed, which is unused to strangers, and they undress each other in a tangle of hands and arms and legs and kisses.
And it is good, though Percy was almost certain it would be awkward. Neville still smells of earth, and his hands are wide and warm on Percy's skin and on Anthony's, and Anthony's hands are like white moths, never resting in one place too long.
Half-asked questions hang in the air, and in the end, no one puts himself inside anyone else, but there are still hands and skin everywhere, and that's enough for Percy, who isn't at all embarrassed that he comes first, spurting over Anthony's fingers with a choking cry.
Neville follows shortly after, as Percy lies, panting, on the duvet, and then they both go to work on Anthony until he cries out, too, and comes onto his own belly.
For quite some time after, Percy is awake. Neville's breathing evens out, and then Anthony's does the same, though Anthony still twitches in his sleep, and Percy finally lets himself drift, anchored by the arms and legs tangling with his own.
IV: Nineteen months later
Luna is radiant in her yellow robes—Neville had told Percy she'd refused to wear the traditional white, insisting this was a much better colour for a wedding. Neville had agreed, and so does Percy, once he sees her.
Percy has never been much of a fan of weddings, but he sits amongst his extended family in the second row and decides that he might have changed his mind now. Luna and Neville are ideal for each other, really, and Percy wishes nothing but good things for both of them.
He's getting better at that Being A Better Person thing.
When the happy couple kisses, the guests cheer, and Percy feels a smaller hand slip into his own, and he squeezes that hand.
A flock of doves is released, and several of the guests send sparks into the air from their wands. Neville and Luna try to make their way back down the aisle, but cannot do so easily for the congratulating throngs.
Percy catches Neville's eye and they grin at each other, and then Neville is swallowed by the crowd again.
And Anthony's hand is unshaking in Percy's.