Her name is Myna, and Simon’s loved her for god-knows-how-long. And though his emotions have undoubtedly changed in that period of time, it’s all been (unquestionably) a type of love. He knows. He knows that.
He loves her, but he still doesn’t really know what that means.
“Please, Myna,” Simon pleads desperately. “Please.”
“Why do you need me there?” Myna says, her voice crackly over the phone (he’s sure she’s driving, can imagine her rolling her eyes at his disembodied voice).
“Because I don’t actually like anyone I work with, but it’s the holiday party, and I have to go,” Simon whines. “Don’t make me go alone.”
“Can’t you just skip? You skipped last year,” Myna points out.
“Exactly,” Simon says. “So I can’t skip again without them all hating me.”
“I’m sure it’s not that--” Myna starts to say, but Simon cuts her off.
“It is, My,” Simon says, “it really, really is.”
Myna sighs heavily, then says, “All right, but you owe me--”
“A batch of cookies, I know,” Simon says. “I already bought all the ingredients.”
“Presumptuous,” Myna says teasingly.
Simon just hums contentedly.
And so that’s how it happens: she appears at his office with a new dress on, her hair hanging in loose waves down her back, a few strands framing her face. Her eyeshadow is gold and her lipstick is red, and her dress is red-and-gold, and for a moment (a long moment), Simon can’t breathe.
And it’s not that he’s never seen her dressed up, or that he’s never thought she’s beautiful--but it still hits him like a lightning bolt to the spine.
“Hi, Mac,” Myna says as she reaches him. With her heels on she’s an inch taller than him. She grins. “You look good from up here.”
“Hi, My,” Simon says, a little shakily, but he doesn’t think she notices. “You look good from down here.”
They first met in a Math class in high school. Myna had her eyes closed, head resting on her hand, elbow braced on the table. Simon was reading under his desk.
They hit it off right away.
At one point during the night, Simon’s boss comes up to Myna and Simon obviously more than a little drunk. Someone spiked the punch again.
“MacDonald,” he says gruffly. He gives Myna an unsubtle once-over, and Simon clenches his jaw. He sees Myna’s mouth press into a thin line.
“Mr. Sutton,” Simon says tightly.
Mr. Sutton gives Simon a sideways looks, and says in a stage-whisper, “Nice catch.”
“Hi,” Myna says immediately. “I’m Myna, I’m Simon’s best friend.” She holds out her hand, and Mr. Sutton takes it limply. The smirk he gives her is oily and smarmy and Simon grits his teeth.
Myna smiles back at Mr. Sutton sweetly, and tightens her hand, and he winces. Simon almost laughs--he’s never been on the wrong side of that handshake; he can still imagine how painful it must be.
Myna lets go, and Mr Sutton clears his throat awkwardly. “Nice grip,” he says uncomfortably, and leaves.
As soon as he’s out of earshot (probably before, actually), Simon breaks down into laughter. “Oh, My,” he gasps out. “You’re the best.
Myna bumps his shoulder with her own, grinning.
There’s dancing at the party, and Myna makes Simon dance with her. Simon rolls his eyes but complies.
It’s a mistake, dancing to a slow song (dancing at all), because all around them, couples are pressed together, barely an inch between them, cheeks touching, heads on shoulders, hands on waists.
Simon swallows, hard.
“I’ve always liked dancing with you, Mac,” Myna says as he spins her around the floor. “You’ve actually got a sense of rhythm.”
“I don’t dance much,” Simon says.
“You dance with me,” Myna points out.
“Well, other than you,” Simon allows.
“Aren’t I enough?” Myna says, grinning.
“Of course you are, My,” Simon says, and means it.
The rest of the night is torture, because Simon forgets and drinks the spiked punch. And then he thinks fuck it and drinks some more.
By the end of the night, he’s far past tipsy and heading towards well and truly drunk, and Myna keeps laughing at him.
“My,” he whines, plastered up against her side, while she snickers, holding himself up with an arm around her waist. She’s got a good grip on his shoulder, too, so there’s that.
“All right, Mac,” she says, laughter dying down. “I’m taking you home.”
Simon tries to fight down the thrill that rises up in him at that. “Yeah?” he asks.
“Uh-huh,” she says, still grinning broadly. “Now come on.”
And when Simon stumbles on their way out, she catches him.
Simon doesn’t remember the cab ride home, or at least not really, not more than glimpses of Myna’s hand on his shoulder, and his head resting on her lap.
But he does remember when she tucks him into bed, helps him pull off his jacket and shoes and socks, leaves a glass of water and an Advil on his bedside table--he doesn’t think he can forget that.
“Goodnight, Mac,” she says fondly, brushing a kiss onto his forehead.
Simon barely stops himself from reaching out to grab her arm, from saying Stay, please stay.
I need you.
And then she leaves, and he wishes he had.
And then it’s three in the morning and Simon wakes up, wide-eyed and alone and aching.
He can’t go see Myna like this--not like this, not this early in the morning, not this needy. Except. Except he is this needy, isn’t he?
He’s got his coat and shoes on and is out the door in two minutes.
Myna opens the door after the second time he knocks, blinking sleepily and yawning.
“Mac?” she asks blearily. “What are you doing here?”
And if she had been beautiful before, then she is devastating now, like this, her hair tied in a loose bun, flyaways escaping like a halo around her face. Her face is flushed from the warmth of her bed, and her face is slack from sleep, and Simon wants.
But he doesn’t know how.
“I--” Simon says. “I don’t--”
Myna sighs. “Come in,” she says softly, and opens the door wider for him to do so. She shuts the door behind him.
When Simon fidgets in the entryway, looking down at his feet, Myna tips his chin up with a finger, making him look at her. “What?” she says. “What is it.”
“I don’t,” Simon says breathlessly, “I need--” and Myna’s eyes go wide.
“What,” she says hoarsely. “What do you need, Simon?”
“I can’t, My,” Simon pleads.
Myna swears under her breath and pulls him in, kissing him firmly. Simon makes a surprised noise into the kiss, then melts into it.
But then Myna pulls back. Simon protests, but she cuts him off. “You’ve got to say it, Simon,” she says. “What do you need? Tell me what you need.”
“You,” Simon chokes out. “God, you.”
Myna laughs, looking suddenly euphoric, and kisses him again.
In the morning, Simon wakes up first, leaning up on one elbow and just looking. This is--this is real, this isn’t a dream. This is happening.
Simon smiles so hard his face hurts from it.
Myna stirs when he shifts, opening her eyes slowly. “Mac?” she asks drowsily. “You’re not leaving, are you?”
“‘Course not,” Simon says, lying back down.
“Good,” Myna says, closing her eyes again.
“I do need to get some clothes, though,” Simon points out.
“You can borrow some of mine,” Myna says, “you’re skinny enough.”
“All right,” Simon says dubiously, “but I hope you know you’re not going to get rid of me after this. Ever.”
“‘Course I know that,” Myna mumbles, barely lifting her head from her pillow. “‘M not an idiot.”
And of course Simon knew that, knew that she’d want to keep him around--but it’s still a huge fucking relief, to hear her say it.
“God,” Simon says, a little overcome. “I love you, My.”
“Love you too, Mac,” Myna says, sincerely, opening her eyes fully and smiling.
Simon closes his eyes and goes back to sleep, smiling as well.
At noon, when they finally drag themselves out of bed, Simon adds, “But I have to get those ingredients, for your batch of cookies.”
Myna seems to mull it over, then says, “All right, I guess I can allow you leaving the house for that.”
Simon laughs out loud.