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London Calling

Chapter Text

Cambridge, England. March 2016

 

It was Celine's last night in Cambridge and her friends had decided to make a special farewell party to her. And that meant drinks, snacks, a bonfire and Charlie's crappy covers of Oasis songs.
She had spent the last ten years in Cambridge, nine of them getting two doctorates and the one left working as part of the Faculty of History's Research Team. Life was decently good. She had her friends, a little flat and the perspective of maybe being successful in the field of History. She had two PhDs after all. Well, all of her friends had at least one.
But Celine was ambitious and in the last months she had started to feel a bit stuck in Cambridge and had decided to expand her horizons. London seemed to be the best place for a historian.
The only downside was that none of her friends were joining her in her adventure.
''I hope you don't end up working as a guide in the Tower of London'' commented Joel, one of Celine's closest friends. ''Explaining stuff to school children''.
All of them laughed. It was widely known that Celine wasn't at all fond of kids.
''I already have a job'' she commented, while devouring a couple of Maltesers. ''I'm an assistant at the Spanish Embassy. Better than the school children''.
''And do you have a house?'' asked Amy, another of her friends.
''If you want to call it a house... I prefer to call it 'shoebox' ''.
''In every movie I saw the London adventure doesn't start this way'' added Alize, another member of the group.
''Because life is not a movie and I can't afford a house in Notting Hill or Covent Garden. I guess South London will be my Kensington. At least I can stay in a place with a roof. That's something''.
Everyone was very used to Celine's dark sense of humour.
''Promise one thing'' said Charlie, who had stopped strumming his guitar. ''That if you fail in London you'll be back here with us.''
''Thank you for your faith'' she said with sarcasm. ''But yes, I can promise if by March next year I haven't moved to a nicer place and made at least one friend and gotten a promotion, I'll be back''.
''And also a boyfriend'' added Joel.
''Shut up, idiot, that's out of the question.'' Celine's love life had been completely nonexistent with the exception of a boyfriend she had had nine years ago. They had lasted a week and had gone to only one date. Not that she cared.
''Do you even know where Danny is?'' asked Charlie, referring to Celine's old boyfriend.
Honestly, Celine had no idea. She had even forgotten how he looked like.
''I know.'' said Joel, who knew everything about everybody. He was Cambridge's King of gossip. ''He graduated and now he's a doctor in County Durham. And he's married''.
''BORING'' shouted Celine and Charlie.
''Yeah, because is so much better to live in a room in South London'' debated Amy with sarcasm. ''And being a proud member of the Fellowship with no Rings, that you invented and has three members: Charlie, Joel and you''.
''At least is exciting'' Celine defended herself. ''It's London, baby. And my Fellowship is great''.
After that the conversation shifted to some other topics like the government, the upcoming Glastonbury festival that they were not attending and the next nerd movies they were going to see. Celine wasn't included in the last topic as she was clueless about almost everything that was trendy.
''...I can't wait for Captain America: Civil War'' said Amy. ''Captain America vs Iron Man. That movie is going to destroy Batman v Superman''.
''Sebastian Stan!'' yelled Alize. ''I'm in whatever team he's in''.
''Team Cap, of course'' said Joel, rolling his eyes.
As Celine didn't know any of these people she just stared at the fire. Thankfully the conversation switched to football.
''If Real Madrid gets to the Champion's League final, we'd go to London and see the match together. Like in 2014'' proposed Joel.
Celine's eyes lit up.
''That was the most crazy and best day ever''.
''It's getting cold'' moaned Amy.
''I guess we should make Joel pay his bet and let's go inside and sing some karaoke'' said Charlie.
Between them they were all the time betting and the loser had to have his or her underwear burnt in the next bonfire. Celine was glad that she had never lost one of these bets.
''Celine, if you want to do the honours...'' Joel threw his underwear at Celine's feet. ''You're leaving tomorrow. Damn, this is painful. I'm talking about the underwear. They're Calvin Klein''.
Charlie laughed.
''Yeah, Calvin Klein that you bought on the street market''.
''It's what this humble Doctor in astrophysics can afford''. he sounded affected but he obviously wasn't.
''Celine, make sure your London boyfriend that you don't have yet wears real Calvin Kleins not this pitiful imitation'' Charlie remarked.
Celine just rolled her eyes and grabbed a stick to throw Joel's underwear into the fire. There was no way she was going to touch it.
''This is for never growing up!'' yelled Celine, throwing the underwear into the fire. The other four cheered her.

Half an hour later they were far from tired and all them were into a karaoke competition. It was Celine's turn and she was 'singing' Janis Joplin's Piece of my heart with Joel who was singing the backing vocals.
''OH COME ON, COME ON, COME ON, COME ON AND TAKE IT, TAKE IT! TAKE ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART NOW, BABY OH OH BREAK IT! BREAK ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART, DARLING, YEAH, YEAH, YEAH, HAVE A! HAVE ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART NOW BABY! YOU KNOW YOU GOT IT IF IT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD!''
''This may be the best musical duet since John Travolta and Olivia Newton John in Grease singing You're the one that I want.'' Charlie commented to Alize and Amy.
''They are going to leave me deaf'' complained Alize.
''It could be worse.'' said Amy. ''I'm not saying that Celine is the next Beyonce but she sings better than she cooks. Charles, I'm worried. I don't know how she's going to survive out there with such poor house skills. The woman has two doctorates but she can't feed herself properly''.
''Relax, Amy. She'll be okay. Celine's made of iron. Apart from that if the London adventure doesn't work out for her, she'll be back with us''.
When Celine and Joel finished their song, it was Charlie and Amy's turn.
''I promised I was not going to drink but I don't think that a beer will do much damage'' she told Joel and Alize.
''You know what you're doing, Celine Elizabeth'' Joel smiled and handed her a beer.
''Remember you're leaving early tomorrow'' Alize warned her.
A beer might not have been much to a normal person but for Celine it was like drinking a bottle of vodka. She had alcohol intolerance and a sip of a strong drink could leave her singing on the table with no shame. That was something that had happened many times before.
They finished the night dancing to Charlie and Amy's horrendous karaoke version of Bon Jovi's It's My Life.

The next morning it was clear that Alize had been right and Celine shouldn't have drank.
At nine am she was standing in the platform of the train station with the rest of the group, ready to leave to London. She looked terrible, pale and had to wear sunglasses to cover the bags under her eyes and a hood to cover her messy hair.
''Okay, I'll see you guys soon.'' the only thing she wanted was to be on her seat and sleep. The trip wasn't very long unfortunately.
''We're just 50 minutes away, it's not that you're leaving to... Manhattan'' said Charlie.
''Don't be a jackass'' warned her Amy.
''If you meet Tom Hiddleston by some chance, hook up with him and tell me all about it'' said Alize making Celine roll her eyes.
''Get a boyfriend!'' yelled Joel and she showed him the middle finger.
''Goodbye, idiots!'' shouted Celine. ''See you when I'm a millionaire!''

50 minutes later she was taking a taxi from King's Cross to South London. She had been in London many times before so she knew exactly where everything was. Pr almost everything.
The neighbourhood where she was going to live wasn't exactly very nice but at least it wasn't a red zone. And it had a Greggs a block away. Brilliant.
After paying the cab she went towards the building. It looked very similar to the Number 12 of Grimmauld Place in the Harry Potter series. Except from the magical stuff.
In less than ten minutes Celine met the landlady (a lively Scottish woman with a thick accent) who guided her to her 'flat'.
It looked more like a room with a bathroom with a bed and small table that had a kettle. At least it had a window.
''Darlin', the kettle and the mattress are brand new and they are yours to keep. When you move you can take them with you''.
A free kettle and a mattress. Sweet.
''Thank you so much Mrs. Donaldson.''
''Anytime, Doctor Cadwallader''.
After she left her alone, Celine started tiding the place and placing her few belongings wherever she could. She had left more things in Cambridge with the hope that Joel would take good care of them for the moment.
She made the bed, put her clothes under it, stored the bathroom with some essentials, placed her Macbook beside the kettle and stored some snacks and cookies in any place she could.
Yeah, it wasn't so bad. It wasn't very different from the first dorm she had had at Cambridge. It was good for starters.
She had been lying face down on the bed for quite a while when her phone rang. It was Joel who was texting her.
'Celine Elizabeth, if you fail in London your underwear is burnt in the next bonfire'.

Chapter Text

 

More than two months had passed since her arrival to London and Celine's life hadn't changed much. She was still living in the small flat in South London and working at the Spanish Embassy. The only thing that had changed was that now she worked in the Department of History at the University of London. She had two jobs but at least was saving some money.
But she still hadn't made friends in London, maybe because she was so busy that she couldn't even go out for drinks with some of her colleagues. And when she wasn't busy she was tired.
But luckily that was going to change.
That Wednesday in the middle of May was an special one for Celine. That afternoon her favourite football team, Real Madrid, played the semi finals of the Champions League against Manchester City. That meant that if they won, they were into the final.
She was in the Embassy's cafeteria eating her favourite Greggs sausage roll when a young blonde woman approached her.
''Hi, is this seat taken?''
''No. you can seat''.
''Oh, thanks. Everything is full. Are you new?''
Well, Celine wasn't exactly 'new'. She had been two months working there but she new only a handful of people and the young blonde woman wasn't among them.
''More or less. I started in March''.
''I've been working here for a year. I'm Matilde, by the way''.
''And I'm Celine Cadwallader'' she omitted the 'Doctor' as she didn't want to seem so pretentious.
They small talked for a while and she discovered a couple of things about Matilde: she was originally from Portugal and lived in London since she was young as her father was the assistant of a very important football coach Celine admired: Jose Mourinho. Apart from meeting famous football players she had also studied fashion at college and didn't work out very well. She had also trained to be a model but that also didn't end up well as she gave it up after she was told that she had to start dieting if she wanted to have a shot at the industry. The only advantage she had over Celine was that her father due to his job as the right hand of one of the most important football coaches in Europe, was very well of and had got Matilde a nice house in Chelsea as birthday present, but she had to pay her own bills at the end of the day and that's why she had a very ordinary job as a secretary at an embassy.
''And where are you from?'' Matilde asked her.
''Cardiff, Wales'' she said without much emotion in her voice.
''And how is there?''
''I don't remember actually, I left when I was four. To South America. Everything was because my maternal grandmother didn't approve of my father and my mum, who's a neuroscientist, got offered a position as the director of a town hospital. That's how I ended up in a dead seaside town in South America. Then I moved to Cambridge when I was 17, after finishing high school''.
Matilde was pretty entertained with the story.
''And why didn't your grandmother approved of your father?''
''Because she was stuck up and judgemental'' Matilde didn't understand if it was dark humour or the truth. ''Dad's just a plastic artist from Romania. She met mum in Spain when he was trying to sell his stuff and mum studying. They ended up married after five months''.
For some reason Celine didn't know, Matilde looked very interested with Celine's story.
''You said that your dad's from Romania? But your last name doesn't sound Romanian at all''.
Celine couldn't understand why she was so interested in her father's life. For her, there was nothing out of the ordinary about him.
''Because I have mum's last name. She wanted her firstborn to have her last name. And here I am.''
Matilde found the story a bit unusual but she didn't say anything.
''And can you speak Romanian?''
''Yeah, why? I can also speak Welsh, believe me, it's more complicated and useless''.
''Can you say something in Romanian, please?''
Celine was quite intrigued by Matilde's enthusiasm. People were usually more interested in the Welsh than in the Romanian.
''Salut, ce mai faci?'' she said the first thing that came to her mind a simple 'Hello, how are you'. Matilde was enchanted and Celine was wondering why.
''Sorry for the excitement but one of my favourite actors is from Romania''.
''That's great. I don't know many Romanians who are famous, let alone actors''.
Not that she knew many actors. Just the ones from Harry Potter and the ones that everyone knew like Leonardo DiCaprio.
Celine looked at the time on her phone. She was running late by five minutes. It seemed that she had enjoyed talking to Matilde after all. She was also noticing that she was running late too.
''Hey, Celine, are you watching the Champions League semis later? There's a nice pub near Westminster that's the absolute best to watch football''.
Celine considered her options: watching the match in a lively pub with Matilde or in her tiny flat through a low quality illegal streaming.
''Great. See you at five?''
''Done''.

The match started at half past seven and the girls were at the pub an hour early already ordering drinks. Celine was going soft with it because she wanted to see the match not get drunk in the middle of it. So she solved the problem ordering beer without alcohol. Then there was Matilde, who was mixing beer with a shot of vodka.
Before the match started they had enough time to talk about many different things. Matilde was telling her about her London friends.
''...they're great, they're all going to like you. There's Leah, who works in the same office as me. She wasn't at work today because she had her engagement party'' Matilde rolled her eyes. ''I've met her fiancee, Max, a couple of times. He's quite childish but he seems nice. There's also Janice, who's a bit frivolous but a nice friend. Fun to hang out''.
Celine really appreciate that Matilde was planning to introduce her to her friends. She planned to do the same when the Cambridge gang came to London.
They watched the match among a really lively crowd. Not all of them were Real Madrid fans but them all had a thing in common: they wanted Manchester City to lose.
And they did. And Real Madrid was in the final.
That was enough motivation to end up the night at 11 pm singing football songs with Matilde and sending the videos to her Cambridge friends.
That was definitely Celine's best night in London.

She kept meeting Matilde for the rest of the week after work. Sometimes they went to have some coffee or Nandos or do some shopping. They were great days, and she felt that she had made a friend as good as any from Cambridge.
Matilde had invited Celine to her house at Chelsea on the weekend to see the Chelsea match as she had satellite TV. Celine didn't even have enough space to install a TV:
Matilde lived in the number 6 of Drayton Gardens, a really pretty street, completely different to Celine's grey neighbourhood in South London.
She was almost reaching the Number 6 when a shiny black Lamborghini parked in front of the Number 7 and a handsome dark haired young man stepped out of it. Celine couldn't help to stare.
''Good morning'' he greeted Celine with a strong American accent.
''Hi'' she mumbled.
Seconds later the door of the Number 7 opened and a middle aged woman stepped out of the house and jumped to the arms of the young man.
''Georgie!'' she yelled and kissed him.
When they started to make out, right there in the middle of the street, Celine almost ran to Matilde's door.
Matilde, who had been witnessing the whole scene through the window, opened the door before Celine knocked.
''Gross isn't it?'' Celine just nodded. ''That's my aunt Francisca'' she pointed to the middle aged woman who was shamelessly making out in the middle of the street.
''Really? And who is he?''
''Her boyfriend George. He's 25, he's from Chicago and he's filthy rich. I really have no idea why he dates my aunt and how did they even meet. Oh, hi aunt Cisca!'' she waved at her aunt who left his boyfriend for a second to look at them. ''this is my new friend, Celine''.
Celine enthusiastically waved at Francisca. She apparently was one of those free spirits that Celine valued a lot.
''Hello girls! My Georgie and I are going to a polo match!''
She went on talking about what she and her 'Georgie' were going to do that evening for more than ten minutes. At the end of her speech Matilde was rolling her eyes.
''Yeah, yeah aunt Cisca. See you later'' she grabbed Celine's arm and got her inside her house. '' I swear I have no idea how that couple actually exists. He can do much better. Someone like you, for example. You and him would be a better looking couple than Will and Kate''.
''Thank you but I'd rather marry myself than even date 'Georgie'. He looks like the kind of man who'd have a 'trophy wife' and that'd be worse that death for me''.
Matilde was a bit shocked by Celine's extremism but she was getting used to.
''I'm trying to imagine in which world aunt Francisca would be considered a trophy.''
''She looked great. Fun and lively''.
''Way too lively''.
The topic of Matilde's aunt got dropped after Celine got distracted looking at the pictures Matilde had on her wall. All of them were those kind of celebrities that people like Amy and Alize liked. And apparently Matilde too.
''You know them?'' she asked with a little smile.
''Just him'' Celine pointed at picture of Benedict Cumberbatch. ''I'm a big Sherlock fan''.
''And you have no idea who are the others?'' Matilde asked, in disbelief that someone didn't know who Chris Hemsworth was.
Celine knew that someone like Joel knew everyone in this wall. Not only him but the rest of her friends too.
''He looks good'' she mumbled, pointing to a picture.
''That Chris Hemsworth and he's a God. He plays Thor in The Avengers'' Celine had heard about that movie before. She remembered her friends going to see it at the cinema many years ago. ''And this handsome guy'' Matilde pointed to another good looking muscular man. ''Is Chris Evans. The woman who marries him will be the luckiest in history. He's the whole package''.
Celine didn't know how Matilde knew that this Chris guy was the 'whole package' if she had not met him in his life.
''There are way too many Chrises.''
''Oh, and this is Chris Pratt''.
''Seriously?'' Celine was genuinely confused. ''The kind of look alike with that dark blonde hair, the blue eyes and the muscles. They seem to have been made in the same factory''.
In Matilde's opinion those comments were what made Celine priceless.
''And he's just special'' Matilde pointed to the picture of another handsome guy. In Celine's opinion the most handsome of them all. Maybe it was the combination of the blue eyes and brown hair or his smile but Matilde was right, he was special. But nothing that Celine was going to remember after an hour. ''And he's from your country. He's Sebastian Stan''.
Celine's eyes lit up.
''Is he Welsh?'' she asked with all the innocence of the world.
''No, he's from Romania''
''Oh, that's my dad's country. I'm going to be Welsh until the day I die''.
There was again the extremism. Typical Celine.
''And you share half of your nationality with him and that's enough to be proud of''.
''He's cute'' she admitted distracting herself almost immediately because the Chelsea match was starting.

After the match they were both happy because Chelsea had won. They were dancing to a pop song Celine didn't know the name of. Their energy didn't last very long as after some minutes they were breathless.
And it was when they had the idea of playing music and singing some random songs chosen by both of them. the funny thing was that Celine didn't know much of Matilde's music and vice versa. To make it more fun they had the lyric videos playing so they both could sing.
''AND I ELONGATED MY LIFT HOME, YEAH I LET HIM GO THE LONG WAY ROUND, I SMELT YOUR SCENT ON MY SEAT BELT, AND KEPT MY SHORTCUTS TO MYSELF''.
''HEY I JUST MET YOU AND THIS IS CRAZY, BUT HERE'S MY NUMBER SO CALL ME MAYBE''.
''IT'S MORE THAN FEELING, MORE THAN A FEELING, WHEN I HEAR THAT OLD SONG THEY USED TO PLAY, I BEGIN DREAMING, TILL I SEE MARIANNE WALK AWAY, I SEE MY MARIANNE WALKIN' AWAY''.
''AND WE DANCED ALL NIGHT TO THE BEST SONG EVER, WE KNEW EVERY LINE NOW I CAN'T REMEMBER, HOW IT GOES BUT I KNOW THAT I WON'T FORGET HER, CAUSE WE DANCED ALL NIGHT TO THE BEST SONG EVER, I THINK IT WENT OH OH OH, I THINK IT WENT YEAH YEAH YEAH, I THING IT WENT OHHHH''.
''FRIENDS WILL BE FRIENDS, WHEN YOU'RE IN NEED OF LOVE THEY GIVE YOU CARE AND ATTENTION, FRIENDS WILL BE FRIENDS, WHEN YOU'RE THROUGH WITH LIFE AND ALL HOPE IS LOST, HOLD OUT YOUR HAND CAUSE FRIENDS WILL BE FRIENDS, RIGHT TILL THE END''.
And it went on for some more time until both of them got bored. It had definitely been an interesting Saturday.

Another week had passed and it the weekend Celine had been waiting for weeks: the Champions League Final with Real Madrid on it.
Just as they had promised her Cambridge friends were coming to London to see the match with her.
Matilde, who was also going to be there, had heard a lot about Celine's Cambridge friends but had never met them yet and was dying to do that. Specially Charlie who, in Matilde's opinion, was gorgeous.
''I don't know how you are single, having that gorgeous man as a friend'' Matilde said to Celine when they were on the way to the pub in Westminster where they were going to see the match.
Celine laughed. Charlie wasn't even interested in women in the first place. Even if he were it was impossible for Celine to think about him in that way. Or in Joel. They were like siblings.
''To put it simple, we're not each other's cup of tea''.
Matilde looked a bit relieved.
''Maybe I am''.
Sure, thought Celine. Probably those actors that she had on her wall had more chances with Charlie than her.
''I don't think so, Matilde. Just don't get your hopes up and enjoy the match''.
When they arrived at the pub, her Cambridge friends were already there, all looking a bit curious with the presence of Matilde.
''Two months without you, Celine Elizabeth, I thought I was going to die'' said Joel in a very dramatic way.
Matilde was the only one who thought that this act was serious.
''I still don't know how did you manage to live on your own for two months. That may be a record.'' commented Charlie.
Matilde couldn't take his eyes off of him. He was even more pretty in person. Maybe it was the combination of brown hair and grey eyes or his delicate features.
''Shut up you idiots'' Celine sat in a table and grabbed a chip. ''I'm owning the London lifestyle''.
''You live in a flat of the size of a shoebox and you don't even have plates'' said Alize.
''But my flat came with a free mattress and a kettle'' said Celine with an smug smile.
''Sweet'' her four friends said at the same time.
''By the way'' Celine grabbed Matilde's arm. ''This is my friend Matilde''.
All of them were quite surprised that Celine had got a new friend.
''Oh hi, I'm Joel Shand-Kydd.'' he shook Matilde's hand. ''Doctor in astrophysics and molecular biology. At your service''.
Matilde had forgotten for a minute that Celine's whole group of friends consisted of people who had at least one Doctorate.
Probably handsome Charlie was smarter that she could ever dream of.
''Stop scaring her with your doctorates'' said Amy. ''By the way, I'm Amy Little. I'm an anthropologist. Don't be intimidated by that idiot'' she pointed at Joel. ''He still can't face the fact that Celine was chosen as the best alum of her generation and not him''.
''She wasn't doing molecular biology!'' he complained.
''She beat you. Live with it. I'm Alize Lacazette. I'm French. I have a Doctorate in the history of Art and also in Sociology''.
''You're not French.'' handsome Charlie said. ''You're from Lancashire. Your dad is from France. You're as French as Celine is Romanian.''
''I'm Welsh'' said Celine who wasn't paying any attention to their conversation and was nervously watching the TV. The match hadn't started yet but she was ready for it.
''We know!'' all of them, including Matilde shouted.
''She's Doctor Welsh Pride, I swear'' Charlie rolled his pretty grey eyes. Then he noticed that he had forgotten to introduce himself to Matilde. ''I'm Charles Dermott, you can call me Charlie.''
''Doctor in what?'' Matilde was not going to raise her hopes up imagining that this guy was going to turn up being just an accountant or something like that.
''Just in Biochemistry and Astronomy. I have a masters in Advanced Chemical Engineering. All of us here have a masters in something but they're never going to mention it. Even Celine has one.''.
''Really?'' now Matilde was a bit intimidated. How had these people managed to get that many degrees.
''Yeah'' said Charlie like it was no big deal. ''They're proud people, telling everyone that they are Doctors. One of these days they are going to tattoo the word 'Doctor' in their foreheads.''
''Shut up!'' jumped Joel. ''You're the worst of us all. Even worse than Celine. All your stuff is labelled as 'Property of Charles Dermott, PhD''.
''Can all of you be silent?'' groaned an annoyed Celine. ''The match is starting in half an hour and you're getting on my nerves''.
Amy and Alize were already in their seats and the pub was getting fuller by the second.
All of them except Matilde knew how much Real Madrid playing a Champions League final meant to Celine. The same had happened two years ago, Real Madrid had won and Celine had almost collapsed of happiness.
Joel and Amy were telling Matilde this story in whispers so Celine didn't hear.
''...it was wild, believe me'' said Joel. ''Real Madrid had been losing for almost all the match. They were about to lose the cup when in the bloody last minute Sergio Ramos scored the equalizer. I thought Celine was going to die of a heart attack, I swear''.
''...it was scary'' continued Amy. ''She shouted for five minutes and then broke down crying. Real Madrid ended up winning and Celine ended up drunk singing the Real Madrid anthem around the pub. It was awesome''.
Meanwhile Celine was between Charlie and Alize. After nine years in the company of Celine they all came to like Real Madrid to the point of watching the matches every weekend.Charlie even had a poster of the team. None of them were the stereotypical nerd who didn't like sports, they enjoyed football to the point of passion.
The match started and with a variety of emotions throughout it. Real Madrid started winning but the rival, Atletico scored the equaliser and the match ended with an even score. And that meant extra time of suffering and after that, penalties. Celine was about to pass out.
''I can't watch this. This is torture, I swear, this shouldn't be allowed''. she was covering her face with both of her hands. No one knew if she was crying or had left her atheism behind and started praying.
''You have to look now, they are going to start shooting the penalties'' said Amy, the most calm of them all. Alize was with her eyes shut, Joel was wincing, Matilde was praying and Charlie had his fingers crossed.
When an Atletico player missed a penalty the whole pub roared.
''If Cristiano scores we win this'' Charlie told Celine, shaking her shoulders.
And he scored. And Real Madrid won the Champions League.

More than an hour later they were all leaving the pub. All of them were singing football songs out loud.
''I've never suffered this much in my life. It was utter torture'' said Celine, who could hardly speak after screaming so loud during the match. She was feeling a bit weak after all the excitement but she wanted to celebrate. ''Why don't we go to my place? We can party''.
Any of them looked very convinced. Thankfully Matilde came to the rescue.
''Instead of going all the way to South London, why don't we go my house? I live in Chelsea''.
For everyone staying in Chelsea was much more tempting than going to Celine's minuscule flat where probably a group of six people didn't fit in the first place.
On the way to Chelsea they were very loud on the tube. Matilde had fitted in pretty well among Celine's Cambridge friends even though there were moments she didn't understand much of what they were saying. But that was not the moment to talk about intellectual stuff as they were starting a celebration.
After buying alcohol and food they were finally at Matilde's house.
''You have a really beautiful house'' said Charlie.
''Feel yourselves at home'' said Matilde.
Ten minutes later Joel was already opening a bottle of vodka, Celine was eating from a pocket of crisps, Charlie was being the barman and the others where opening bottles of beer.
''Take this'' Charlie gave Celine a drink. ''It's just Sprite and a tiny bit of vodka so you don't get drunk immediately.''
Minutes later, the music was blasting, Matilde, Amy and Alize were drinking from a bottle of Scotch Whiskey and Celine and Joel were having a weird singing session while Charlie just looked and laughed.
''Oh dear Chris Hemsworth looks delicious in that picture'' commented Alize. They were looking at the pictures of the actors Matilde had on her wall. ''I would love to have him here and rip his shirts to shreds. I just want a hot guy in my party''.
''Charlie is pretty cute'' said Matilde without thinking.
''Charlie's gay'' said Amy.
At that moment Matilde cursed that all the cute guys she had met where either gay, taken or interested in her aunt Francisca instead of her. Yeah, it was better to keep having Chris Evans as a celebrity crush.
''Sebastian Stan!'' shouted Alize blowing a kiss to his picture on the wall.
''Oh, I love him'' mumbled Matilde, happy to share her love for Sebastian Stan with someone else.
''What a man.'' Amy was looking at Sebastian's picture with dreamy eyes.
''And he's a sweetheart'' commented Alize. ''Lucky the woman that marry this man. Hey, it may be one of us'' she giggled at the thought. Yes, they were pretty drunk.
''Welcome to the Hunger Games'' moaned Matilde. ''We'll be competing with half the women population of the world, many of them hotter than us, we should count my Aunt Francisca, who'd never miss on a chance with him and, of course, Celine''.
The three girls looked at Celine who was singing with Joel while Charlie filmed.
''Celine?'' asked Alize with a bit of incredulity.
''Yeah'' Matilde looked at Celine again. ''She's a young single woman, beautiful, with two doctorates and a flat that came with a free kettle. She'd blow Sebastian's mind.''
''And way too uncoventional and probably had no idea who on earth is Sebastian Stan'' added Amy.
''Celine!'' shouted Alize. ''Do you want to marry Sebastian Stan?''
But Celine haven't even heard that. She was way too busy singing with Joel.
''...''I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE, JUST LISTEN TO THE RHYTHM OF MY HEART, THERE'S A CHANCE WE CAN MAKE IT NOW, WE'LL BE ROCKING TILL THE SUN GOES DOWN, I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE, OHHHH! GUITAR!''
Celine and Joel started headbanging with the guitar solo. It was clear that the 'tiny bit of vodka' was starting to kick in.
''There's your answer, Amy.'' said Alize while drinking more Whiskey. ''She was never much competition. There's no way a God like Sebastian would want marry her''.
''I wouldn't rule it out completely'' Matilde was getting more drunk by the minute. ''Sebastian is pretty chill, a bit weird and unconventional. I wouldn't be surprised if he's attracted by that thing over there'' she pointed at Celine who was 'dancing'.
More than a dance, she and Joel looked like they were being electrified.
''Dark humoured scholar by day and hooligan by night. She has no chance'' said Amy.
''And I don't think she cares'' added Alize. ''I doubt that having a shot with Sebastian Stan is in Celine's top ten priorities''.
''I repeat: she has no idea who he is'' said Amy rolling her eyes. She couldn't believe that they were deciding which one among the four of them was going to marry a guy they'd probably never meet.
''That's why she's getting the guy: because she doesn't care.'' mumbled Matilde in a depressing tone. ''Look at us: we're pathetic. We're drooling at the picture of him. Now imagine if we ever have the real deal in front of us. We're dead. And what of Celine? She'd be herself, dancing the night away to some old ass song.''
The first notes of Village People's YMCA were stating to sound around the room. Charlie squealed and joined Joel and Celine at their singing/dancing session.
''YOUNG MAN, THERE'S NO NEED TO FEEL DOWN, I SAID YOUNG MAN, PICK YOURSELF OFF THE GROUND, I SAID YOUNG MAN, CAUSE YOU'RE IN A NEW TOWN, THERE'S NO NEED TO BE UNHAPPY, YOUNG MAN, THERE'S A PLACE YOU CAN GO, I SAID YOUNG MAN, WHEN YOU'RE SHORT ON YOUR DOUGH, YOU CAN STAY THERE AND I'M SURE YOU WILL FIND, MANY WAYS TO HAVE A GOOD TIME... IT'S FUN TO STAY AT THE Y.M.C.A, IT'S FUN TO STAY AT THE Y.M.C.A, THEY HAVE EVERYTHING FOR YOUNG MEN TO ENJOY, YOU CAN HAVE FUN WITH ALL THE BOYS...''
''It's confirmed: Celine doesn't stand a chance'' repeated Amy.
''She does'' mumbled Matilde, who was falling asleep. ''If Sebastian Stan were here he'd be dancing with them''.
''Remember one thing'' said Amy. ''If by some miracle we ever meet Sebastian Stan, this conversation never happened.''
''We won't remember it'' groaned Matilde when the chorus of Come on, Eileen! started playing.

On the next morning all of them woke up on the floor except Matilde that had slept on the couch. Celine, who had slept on the floor, was using her own jacket as a pillow.
''Daaaamn, my head'' groaned Alize.
''I need to throw up'' moaned Joel.
''Go outside and vomit in the bushes. My aunt Francisca always do that'' said Matilde, who was still with her eyes closed and a pained expression on her face. Joel ran out of the living room.
Charlie seemed to be the only one that was sober enough to make some coffee. Amy was sleeping and Celine had a headache.
''Celine, darling'' groaned Alize who was still covering her face. '' Last night we came up to the conclusion that you're gonna marry Sebastian Stan''.
''Who?'' Celine sounded really absent minded. ''Nevermind. Don't waste your energy in an explanation that I won't remember in ten seconds''.
''I can't believe how you're in this state after only a sip of vodka mixed with Sprite'' said Charlie giving her a cup of coffee.
''If you think that's the only thing she drank, you're wrong'' Joel was back after throwing up.
''Now don't complain, missy'' Charlie reprimanded her and Celine showed him the middle finger.
The only ones who seemed to be enthusiastic enough to talk were Joel and Charlie.
''It's a beautiful day!'' after throwing up Joel seemed to have regained his usual excitement about everything. ''Why don't we all go to Hyde Park and enjoy the sun?''
Everybody, except Charlie, groaned.
''Don't be riduculous'' this time Charlie gave coffee to Matilde. ''Joel is right. You all need sunlight and fresh air''.
Every single one of them shot Charlie dirty glances.

Chapter Text

 

After winning the Champions League everything went back to normal. Charlie, Joel, Amy and Alize went back to Cambridge and Celine and Matilde to their normal routines.
The football season was over and for Celine that meant that the 'boring season' had started.
''We still have the Eurocup'' Matilde said one evening when they had just left work and were heading to Greggs. ''And the Olympics''.
''That's not bad'' Celine admitted. ''I hope Wales do something good in the Eurocup. All of our hopes lay on Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey. I trust Gareth, he's one of ours. But Ramsey? He's an Arsenal player. I don't trust anything that comes from that place''.
''I'm Portuguese. I have Cristiano'' Matilde teased her.
''Lucky''.
After getting the sausage rolls they were ready to take their respective separate ways.
''Celine, do you want to come tomorrow to an event aunt Francisca invited me? I have no idea what it is but there will be plenty of food and we can laugh at posh people. Max and Leah are in and I have to ask Janice but she'll say yes. It's in Richmond if you want to go.''
Celine's perspectives for her Saturday included staying inside her microscopic flat for the whole day trying to advance a little in a piece of research she had been working on for the last eight years. Fun.
''I think I'll go. I don't mind getting free food''.
Matilde knew that Celine was saving all the money she could to get a nicer place to live. Or at least bigger. But there was a way in which she could help her.
''Celine, I have an idea. You need to save money to get a new place but paying for your tiny flat eats all your money. I want to save money to get a car because I'm tired of using mum's but paying my bills eats my money. So, we can be housemates, we both save money and get rid of the shoebox flat. Everybody wins''.
Celine was speechless. It was an awesome idea. Matilde didn't have to pay rent, as the house was hers and she had to pay for half of the bills. And her house was in Chelsea. And living with Matilde was going to be fun. Amazing.
''Really?''
''Yeah, what do you say?''
''It'd be awesome. Wow, Matilde, thank you so much''.
''But you have to promise you'll go to the event tomorrow''.

And she went. She almost backed off at the last minute and invented that she felt sick but she decided to go anyway.
''I thought that you were going to invent that you were sick or something'' said Matilde when Celine got to her house, at the last minute. Max, Leah and Janice were already there. Max, Leah, Celine and Matilde looked normal but Janice was wearing clothes that were appropriate to the first row of the London fashion week. ''Really guys, thank you for coming. It's not a big deal, it's just Georgie's firm is having an event. They needed people just to be there and Aunt Francisca begged me to go. They're even paying us for going''.
''You should have mentioned that before!'' yelled Celine. ''I'm so glad I came now''.
''Do we have to do something in particular?'' asked Janice.
''Just look like we don't want to die. If we look happy there's extra pay'' said Matilde.
A bright smile was drawn un Celine's face.
''And what do Georgie's firm does?'' asked Max with the same fake smile as Celine's.
''I have no idea but I'm pretty sure it's legal. He's bloody rich, I mean he can pay a bunch of idiots to act like we're happy to be in his event, so imagine.'' Matilde sounded way too enthusiastic. ''There'll even be celebrities there''.
''Who?'' all of them asked at the same time, none of them losing their smiles.
Celine was imagining meeting a Chelsea footballer, Janice wanted to meet Tom Hiddleston, Max wanted someone from the Spice Girls and Leah, Chris Hemsworth.
''A Z list reality TV star that's dead to the general public and a member of the old group Boyzone. If someone knows a song of them, I'd be thankful if you tell me''.
All of them moaned in unison without losing their smiles.
''That's dreadful'' groaned an smiley Leah. ''I knew he wasn't so rich to get Harry Styles to perform in his event''
''Oh, and I forgot that Emma from the Spice Girls is going to be there.''
''Yes!'' yelled an excited Max from the backseat of the car.

The event wasn't too bad as they had imagined. Of course it wasn't the best thing in the world but the food was great and they were getting paid for it.
Celine was trying to earn that extra money by being enchanting, Matilde was getting drunk, Leah was eating, Max was stalking Emma Bunton and Janice was nowhere to be seen.
''This event is dreadful'' moaned Matilde, sipping some vodka.
''Who cares'' Celine had a fake smile that was almost believable. ''Your aunt is paying me 300 pounds if I convince the reality TV star to stay''.
''I'm getting drunker.'' Matilde looked really down. ''Celine, please don't drink so you can drive us all home, could you?''.
''Course. I'm used to''.
And she was. During a couple of years in Cambridge, in which Joel had had a car, she was always the designated driver every time they went to a pub. That until Joel sold the car to buy equipment to build himself a lab. Then they just had to walk to the places and carry back whoever that was drunk. Celine smiled at the memory.
While finding the reality TV star, she passed Max, who was taking pictures of Emma Bunton and Leah, who was stuffing food into her bag.
''Sorry'' she apologised to Celine. ''I want to eat good this week''.
''And I have to convince a reality star to stay for 300 pounds. Long live us''.
That was the life for average people like them. Not everyone could pay 300 pounds to some loser for nothing more important than making a forgotten and irrelevant reality star to stay in a pointless event. But this loser needed the extra 300 pounds.
She didn't need much time to find the star (and she didn't even knew his name) because he was ready to leave.
It wasn't hard to Celine to make him stay. The guy just wanted to talk about himself so he didn't mind much that his audience was just Celine Cadwallader from NobodyLand.
In the longest five minutes of her life Celine learned that the guy's name was Jake, he had been on The X Factor and after being booted out he had been invited to I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here and after that to Celebrity Big Brother. Celine had never seen an episode of any of these shows in her life and not even Matilde was big fan of them.
Unfortunately for Celine the Jack guy was also a flirt.
''Do you know what?'' he asked taking his sunglasses off in a very obnoxious manner. ''I think we really have a connection''.
''Oh, what makes you think that?'' she soaked every word in politeness mixed with venom. But of course Jack was totally oblivious.
''I mean you listen to me...'' yeah, and really wanted to demand Georgie to give her extra money for spending ten minutes with that nuisance. ''Why don't we go out during the week? As a date''.
Celine decided that it was the right moment to make some stuff up, get rid of the guy and earning those 300 pounds
''I'm sorry, Jake'' she looked at him as if she was sorry. ''But my boyfriend comes back from Romania tomorrow'' she lied without a hint of regret. ''He's been there visiting some family of his, you know, the usual stuff'' she said with carelessness.
''Don't worry, it may be in another occasion''.
For sure that was never going to happen.
And Celine was lucky because when she was about to invent another excuse to leave, Janice passed in front and in a sudden idea, Celine stopped her.
''Janice! I was wondering where you were'' before she could say something, Celine kept talking. ''By the was, Jake this is my friend Janice. Janice, this is Jake, he's been on The X Factor and Celebrity Big Brother and some other stuff''.
That was enough to keep Janice interested. And Jake seemed to have gotten oven very quickly to the news of Celine having a (fake) boyfriend. She left them talking and went to find Georgie to get her money so she could get the hell out of there.
Georgie and Francisca were enchanted with Celine's work and gave her the money with a flood of 'thank yous'.
''Doctor Cadwallader, you seem to have a natural ability at managing celebrities'' said Georgie in his thick American Accent. ''I manage many celebrities in many cities. Here in London, in Chicago, New York, L.A, etc. Currently, there's a vacancy in New York and, you can take it''.
Celine imagined having to deal with people like Jake on a daily basis. No thanks. She was better at the embassy.
''Thank you so much, I am going to think about it'' she was definitely not going to do that. ''I'm fine in London at the moment but if I ever want a change I'll let you know''.
After politely saying goodbye to them she couldn't help but think about Georgie's proposal. So, New York, eh? If he had asked the same question a couple of months earlier she'd have jumped at the idea. But now things were finally taking shape in London and starting from scrap in a new city was not the smartest of the ideas.
''Celine, where's Matilde?'' it was Max who interrupted her train of thoughts.
Celine shrugged her shoulders and helped Max to find her friend. They found her sleeping on the bar.
''I think we should head home.'' said Leah who had turned up beside them.
She and Max grabbed Matilde (who was giggling non stop) and Celine went to find the car. When they had Matilde (who had fallen asleep) safe in the car and they were ready to leave, Max reminded them that they were forgetting Janice. Celine just texted her to come over without wasting time in looking for her.
Five minutes later she appeared with her new reality TV star friend, Jake.
''Celine, you can leave earlier if you want. Me and Jakey are going out tonight'' she squealed in delight. Celine wondered why she didn't text instead of making her wait like an idiot.
''Okay, have a good time''
''Celine, by the way'' Janice smiled with a little mischief. ''Why didn't you tell me you had a Romanian boyfriend?''
Damn Jake's loose mouth. She couldn't invent an excuse in peace, goddamit. And she couldn't tell the truth to Janice because Jake was right there listening to everything.
''It's been going on for a couple of months, nothing out of the ordinary''.
Celine was ready to drop the subject and leave but Janice had different intentions.
''Oh my God! Do I know him? Is he from work? What's his name?''
The easiest thing to do was inventing more things as they probably won't remember it later.
''No, you don't know him. He's not from work, he's a movie critic. His name's Sebastian'' Celine congratulated herself at inventing things in seconds, all for the sake of going home and spending the rest of the weekend planning her change of residence.
Janice, on her part was enjoying the gossip.
''I can't wait to meet him. I'm pretty sure he's really handsome''
''Sure he is'' Celine climbed into the car as fast as she could and turned on the engine immediately before Janice could say anything else. ''Have a good evening''.
The car was in silence. Matilde was sleeping and Max and Leah were not saying a word yet.
''I stole a lot of food'' finally Leah mumbled, taking a whole pizza out of her bag.
''Emma Bunton signed my arm and I'm going to tattoo it'' said Max taking a piece of Leah's stolen pizza.
''I made 300 pounds by inventing boyfriends and matchmaking Janice with a nobody from reality television'' said Celine with a smirk. She was quite proud of herself.
''It wasn't a bad evening at all'' commented Leah, giving Celine a piece of the pizza.
''This is how we roll'' Celine stuffed the pizza into her mouth, quite contented with life at that moment.

At the first hour of the next day a very hangover Matilde called Celine to asked her if the change of residence was still up. It was six am but Celine answered that of course she was ready to move.
As she didn't have many things to pack she just spent her morning eating breakfast at Greggs and informing Mrs. Donaldson that she was leaving. The landlady reminded her that the mattress and the kettle were hers to take and Celine immediately texted Matilde to bring ropes to tie the mattress to the roof of Matilde's mother's fancy BMW.
Around midday Matilde turned up, looking just a little better.
''I brought the ropes. We look like we're going to steal something. Or kidnap someone''.
In little time they got all of Celine's stuff in the car. Matilde was amazed at Celine's ability of organize stuff in little space.
''Okay, we have everything except the mattress'' said Celine while getting the electric kettle she had got for free inside the car.
With the help of Mrs. Donaldson and a couple of neighbours they could bring the infamous mattress to on the car's roof and got it safely tied up. Matilde took a picture of it.
''This is a work of art'' she said and Celine just laughed, also taking pictures of the fancy BMW with a mattress on the top. She was sure Joel would find it hilarious.
''Matilde, have you seen that legendary Mr. Bean episode in which he drives his car from the roof and sitting on an armchair through the whole of London?''
''We'll be something similar''. Matilde agreed.
Celine said goodbye one more time to Mrs. Donaldson and some of her neighbours and got into the car. The day was being pretty epic.
''Music will make this better'' Matilde put a random radio station without caring of choosing something of her liking. ''Someone had to make us Internet famous because of this.''
Halfway to Matilde's house they were both singing and laughing out loud. They knew they were going to get on well as housemates.
''Last time I had a housemate was in Cambridge'' Celine was explaining to Matilde. ''Charlie and I temporarily shared my flat while his was being transformed into a lab.'' while talking she was bopping her head to the tune of The Killers' All The Things That I've Done. ''I don't know if that was allowed to be honest''.
''Probably not. And why did he needed a lab?''
''Trying to make some groundbreaking discovery. Joel and I helped him in that. My Doctorates are in Politics and History but Physics and Chemistry are my hobbies''.
Celine was probably the only person Matilde knew that had those types of hobbies. Maybe science was fun but she didn't understand a thing about it.
''Weird hobbies... Oh, this song!'' Matilde turned up the volume. It was Chelsea Dagger by The Fratellis. Celine adored this song because it reminded her of her second favourite team, Chelsea FC.
She and Matilde exchanged a glance of complicity.
''You know what I'm thinking about, don't you?''
''Of course. THAT CHELSEA IS WINNING THE PREMIER LEAGUE NEXT SEASON!'' shouted Matilde.
''YEAAHHHHHH''.
After that they completely lost their dignity by screaming out loud the lyrics of the song.
''CHELSEA, CHELSEA, I BELIEVE YOU WHEN YOU'RE DANCING SLOWLY SUCKING YOUR SLEEVE, THE BOYS GET LONELY AFTER YOU LEAVE, IT'S ONE FOR THE DAGGER, ANOTHER FOR THE ONE YOU BELIEVE''.
Before they noticed and after crossing London with a mattress on the roof of the car, they were at Matilde's house.
''Welcome home'' said Matilde and Celine squealed with delight.
It was funny that Matilde's spare room was bigger than Celine's former flat.
Between the two of them they tidied Celine's stuff and with an enormous effort they could bring the mattress to the room.
''Okay, we deserve a rest'' proposed Matilde. ''And food''.
''Let's go to Aldi. They have the best bagels in London''.
''Aldi?'' Matilde had never been a pretentious person but she had never set foot on Aldi. That supermarket chain was known for products of low quality and low prices.
''You're never too good for Aldi or Lidl.'' on total contrast, Celine had done all of her shopping during her Cambridge years and afterwards in discount supermarkets. ''Aldi's bakery is top quality, believe me. Luckily, you'll have me to teach you how to economise''.
Matilde just shrugged her shoulders.

 

Chapter Text

 

London, December 2016


Another day in the office.
The only good thing of that day was that it was Friday. However, Celine wasn’t in her best mood. Work was monotonous, to say the least and she was frustrated with her investigation: she seemed to be going nowhere.
It was a week before Christmas holidays which was a relief. Even though Celine had never celebrated Christmas, and this year was not going to be an exception, she was looking forward for the free days even if they involved Matilde decorating the house in a manner that Celine found distasteful. Everything Christmassy was awful to her.
She was mumbling one of those pop songs that Matilde listened to and Celine didn’t know the name while finally leaving the office. She just wanted to sleep through all the weekend.
‘’Hey, hey hey’’ she heard Matilde’s voice calling her. She had the biggest smile on her face. ‘’I have the best news to tell you. I’ll tell you on the way’’ she pulled Celine by her sleeve.
‘’The way to were?’’ Celine asked, not understanding a thing of what Matilde wanted to tell her.
‘’Let me tell you the story first’’ she followed Matilde wherever she wanted to go. ‘’Do you remember my aunt Francisca?’’
‘’How can I forget her. She lives right next our door’’ Matilde’s aunt had quite an interesting love life that the girls couldn’t fail to see. She and her Georgie were quite the couple.
‘’Well, she made up her mind. She’s leaving to Chicago next week with his super rich boyfriend. Georgie, of course. Hell, he’s like twenty years younger than her’’ even though the gossip was fun, Celine didn’t know where the story involved her.
‘’And…?’’
‘’Well…’’ Matilde’s smile grew bigger. ‘’She asked me if you’re still interested in acquiring a house in London because she’s selling hers. If she contacts a real estate agency the process will take a lot of time but if she sells it to you, you’ll have a house by next week.’’
Celine stopped to think. That was too good to be true.
‘’You’ll get a house for a quarter of the normal price. My aunt just wants to sell it quickly. In common circumstances, a nice house in Chelsea is unaffordable.’’
Celine knew all about that. She had been looking for affordable places to live that weren’t the size of a shoe box and she had not been lucky. Until now, that she was about to get a pretty house in Chelsea for less than half the price. She wanted to send flowers to Georgie and Francisca.
‘’Tell me we’re on the way to meet her right now’’ Celine was literally jumping with excitement.
‘’Of course, miss’’


Two hours later they were at the Pig Ear, Matilde’s favourite pub, celebrating. Celine was so happy that she was in the mood for a pint of beer even if she knew she’d have to deal with the drunkness afterwards. Damn the alcohol intolerance.
There was a band playing covers of The Beatles and Celine was singing in a low voice while she finished with the beer. Matilde was already drinking her fourth pint.
‘’You’ll miss my Chris Evans picture’’
‘’Yeah, I feel the heartbreak already’’ Celine said with sarcasm.
As much as she loved Matilde, she was happy to get her own place, at last. She wanted to have a cat, something she couldn’t do with Matilde who was allergic. And not having to look at that Evans guy picture every day was a bonus.
When Celine realised that she was singing louder than before knew that it was time to go. She didn’t want to end up singing on the tables, like one embarrassing time in Cambridge.
‘’I thought you were never going to finish’’ she had drank five pints and was really tipsy.
On the way back was doing a weird sort of dance while singing a very out of tune version of Hey Jude.
‘’Hey Jude… don’t make it bad… take a sad song and make it better REMEMBER to let her into your heart… then you can start to make it better’’
Some verses later both of them were shouting the lyrics.
‘’… REMEMBER TO LET HER UNDER YOUR SKIN THEN YOU CAN START TO MAKE IT BETTER, BETTER, BETTER, AGGHH NANANANANANA HEY JUDE’’
They were attracting glances from the people on the street but for once Celine didn’t care. She was too happy.
Stumbling, both of them got into the house.
‘’I think I’m drunk’’ said Matilde crashed on the couch and turned on the TV ‘’Celine, look, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is on’’.
Celine glanced at the screen where there was a guy with blue eyes and long hair who was apparently being under some sort of torture. Celine was seeing double so she didn’t look at the screen for so long.
‘’That’s Bucky Barnes played by the brilliant Sebastian Stan. Very handsome as you can see. I’d sell my soul just for a taste of him’’
Celine laughed. Not even drunk she would think things like that about a fictional character.
‘’I leave you in his company. I’m going to bed before I can’t climb the stairs’’
She laughed again when she saw Matilde hugging the air, probably imagining it was that Becky guy. Or Bucky or whatever his godforsaken name was.
Laughing, she crashed in her bad and fell asleep.


Somewhere in New York, at the same exact time.

‘’Sebastian, darling, you auditioned for this role, which is very big and now you don’t want to take it’’.
Sebastian was in a reunion with his agent who was trying to convince him to take a role he had auditioned for a couple of months ago. It was the lead role for an important production.
‘’I told you before’’ he complained ‘’I don’t want to go abroad for eight months, it’s crazy’’ this was only one of the reasons for his reluctance.
‘’It’s just six months. Take this chance. It’ll boost your career’’.
‘’I don’t know anyone there. And I don’t want to live in a hotel for eight months. Think about that, Emily, it’s crazy’’.
‘’Six months, Sebastian. And you don’t have to live in a hotel. I know that some of your Marvel buddies live there so you can stay with them’’.
Sebastian was horrified with imagining living six months with someone like Tom Holland. He wouldn’t last a week.
‘’But I don’t know anything about the background history of the movie’’ he was desperately trying to find some reasons.
‘’There are books about it, I know you like to read. If not, the Wikipedia is always there’’.
Sebastian was frustrated. Emily always had a solution to everything. It was literally impossible to win an argument against her.
‘’What if I need to see my therapist or my personal trainer?’’
Emily was doing her best to remain patient. Sebastian could be difficult sometimes.
‘’There are therapists, personal trainers, restaurants, parks, fire fighters, doctors, politicians… everything you want, Sebastian’’.
He was running out of reasons and to be honest, he didn’t know why he was saying no. It was a big chance and he had left home for long periods of time before.
It wasn’t as if he had someone to tie him to New York, apart from his mother. He didn’t even have a girlfriend as his last one had left him many months ago. No, the real reason was that he was insecure about the role being too big for him.
‘’Sebastian’’ Emily was looking at him with a serious but kind expression ‘’You know I want the best for you. And this role is. Take this chance, you won’t regret it’’.
She was right, he had to admit it. And he had been chosen for this role for a reason. If he did it well, he’d career would take a boost. If he did it bad, well, he still had a nine movie contract with Marvel so he won’t be unemployed.
‘’Suppose that I’m doing this, when do I leave?’’
‘’Next year. From March to September’’.
Being serious, the idea wasn’t so bad. He’ll meet new people, at least. Who knew what would happen.
‘’Okay I’ll do it’’ Emily smiled, relieved, and gave him the contract. Without thinking it twice, he stamped his signature on the contract.

Chelsea, London.

Celine suddenly woke up after a weird dream. There was a wolf in it. Damn alcohol, she always had weird dreams whenever she drank. Once she had dreamed that she was a mermaid. She didn’t like mermaids in the first place.
‘’I need tea’’ she mumbled to the empty room.
Downstairs, Matilde had fallen asleep on the couch hugging a pillow. Celine tried not to laugh.
The Captain America film was still playing. Celine could tell that because she recognised the long haired guy from before. It was either a really long film or it had a sequel.
In silence she drank a cup of herbal tea while watching the TV. There were a lot of people with weird costumes fighting each other in an airport. Celine had no idea what was this about.
She had got lost with the scene even though she had no idea what was going on. When her eyelids started to drop she started her way back to bed again
‘’I knew that deep inside you liked these films’’ Matilde spoke from behind her back.
‘’Yes, I was mesmerised by Becky’’ Celine said with sarcasm.
‘’It’s Bucky’’ she tried to stand up for the couch but ended up on the floor.
Celine helped her to stand up not before laughing at loud. Not saying a single word Matilde fell asleep on the couch.
Taking all the time in world she went back to her room. She couldn’t fall asleep again because she had the strange feeling that something was going to change by some reason she was unaware of. She related these thoughts with the alcohol consumption or maybe with the fact that she was going to get a permanent place to live. And a good one.
Tomorrow is going to be a good day, she thought. There was nothing to worry about.

 


Manhattan, New York.

When Anthony arrived to his friend Sebastian’s place he found him next to the big window in his living room, in a phone conversation with someone and listening to Celine Dion at full volume.
Anthony had no idea what was on Sebastian’s mind. Maybe this was a weird technique to get into character for his next role. Or he was being his usual melodramatic self. It was a challenge not to laugh, he looked ready to be in an Adele music video.
‘’…I’ll miss you to but I’m not leaving yet, I leave the second week of March of next year’’ he was saying. Anthony wondered where he was leaving. ‘’Mom, I’m sorry but I can’t go to spend Christmas with you, I’ll be in Atlanta… no, mom, I promise I’ll see you before I leave… bye… love you’’
He hung up and finally focused on Anthony.
‘’What on earth is happening to you?’’ Anthony asked him.
‘’What’s wrong?’’ Sebastian looked around, trying to find something out of normality.
‘’You look like you’ve made the worst mistake of your life and you’re listening to Celine Dion like a dramatic fool!’’
‘’What’s wrong?’’ he asked again. ‘’I like Celine. But you’re right, I think I’ve made a mistake’’.
He looked quite thoughtful. Anthony just wanted to hear the whole story. After a while he started talking.
‘’Look, I got the lead role for a huge movie that I think it’s too big for me. Apart from that I have to go abroad for like eight months and if that wasn’t enough I have to do a lot of research that I’m seriously planning to leave for the last minute’’.
Anthony waited until Sebastian finished his rant to ask all the questions he had in his mind.
‘’When you say ‘abroad’ where are you exactly going? You sound as if they’re sending you to Siberia’’.
‘’Just London’’
Anthony couldn’t believe it. All of this drama because he was going to London. Not the Sahara desert or the North Pole or the Amazonia. Just London.
‘’What’s wrong with London? You’ll have to pull a perfect accent?’’ Sebastian just nodded. ‘’Good luck with that’’ he tried again not to laugh. ‘’You can talk and talk to Hiddleston. Sooner or later you’ll end up talking like him’’. Sebastian shot him a death glare. ‘’Don’t get mad, man, you were casted for a reason now go there and do your job. They’ll pay you pretty well so stop complaining. Who knows what’s expecting you in London’’.
Sebastian had to admit that Anthony was right. Not that he was doing this for the money, he just loved acting but he was just scared, like any normal person.
‘’Why don’t we go out?’’ Anthony proposed. ‘’To a pub or somewhere else. Maybe you can meet someone’’.
‘’Not in the mood, sorry’’ Sebastian was still looking at the roof with an unreadable expression.
Anthony’s patience was running out. He wanted to shake Sebastian by the shoulders and shout at him to pull himself together, that he was good enough for the role.
‘’You’re never in the mood. Haven’t you been alone too long?’’
‘’Just some months and I’m perfectly fine with it’’ he was being totally honest. ‘’And in three months I’m leaving to Britain and I don’t want to leave anyone behind, I feel guilty enough of leaving my mom already’’
‘’Do me a favour, Sebastian’’ Anthony was looking at him with a serious expression ‘’When you’re in London don’t isolate yourself. Go and talk to someone. A nice girl in coffee shop, someone that’s sitting beside you on the tube, an old woman in a park, I mean, anyone, whoever you want to. Who knows who you’ll end up meeting’’
‘’The love of my freaking life’’ Sebastian said with all the sarcasm he could muster.
Anthony just couldn’t stand him anymore.

Chapter Text

   

Months have passed and everything was going well. Celine had moved to her own house the day before Christmas which had been very relieving. She just couldn’t stand anymore the sound of Matilde’s Christmas music and the horrible sight that was the house full of silly decorations.
She had adopted a black cat that she had named Elemauzer, tried to do the best job possible at decorating the house (Matilde found absolutely tasteless the picture of Henry VIII she had in the living room) and continued having two jobs while trying to have the most fun as possible, in her own style. Going to see the Chelsea games or planning random excursions to the Tower of London and other historical places were her favourite activities.
By the middle of march she had arranged to meet her old Cambridge mates. She hadn't seen them in months and she really wanted to talk to them, improvise a karaoke session and burn someone's underwear.
So, they decided to meet in a Nandos near Westminster. When Celine arrived there, wearing the classic purple sweater with the King’s College logo, Amy and Alize were already there. The boys always arrived late.
‘’Here we have Chelsea’s most fashionable bachelorette’’ Amy greeted her with a hug.
‘’I can’t even deny it’’ after greeting Amy she went to hug Alize.
‘’So you’re still single’’ stated Amy. Celine’s love life was some sort of a joke between them. They had never met someone less interested in relationships. Well, maybe Joel.
‘’I’m in a passionate relationship with history. However we’re hitting a rough patch. I got stuck in my research again. I want to send everything to hell’’.
They talked about Celine’s project until the boys arrived.
‘’Have you ordered the chicken because I’m starving’’ said Joel as a greeting.
‘’Do it yourself Shand-Kydd’’ Celine threw him a napkin as a protest ‘’You always protest when someone orders for you. How are the stars Charlie?’’
Charlie had a doctorate in astrophysics and always was complaining about getting stuck in his research. Same as Celine.
‘’Same as your history, Cadwallader. Don’t try to deny it’’.
Of course she didn’t.
‘’You two are so pessimistic.’’ Joel was back with his chicken. ‘’At least your History is better than your love life’’.
Alize almost chocked with laughter.
‘’Look who’s talking’’ Celine defended herself. ‘’Your last real girlfriend was in secondary school and, no, I’m not counting Mona the robot here’’.
They all laughed. Celine had got him there. She and Joel were basically the same person when it came to relationships: uninterested and unavailable. The other three were different, Charlie had always been interested in casual relationships, Amy had been engaged for some time but had cancelled the whole thing when his boyfriend prioritised a Princeton scholarship over her (and Celine couldn’t blame him) and Alize was a mystery, but Celine knew she was not single.
‘’And your last boyfriend lasted two weeks. And that was eight years ago’’ Joel was still trying to justify himself.
‘’Nine’’ Celine corrected him. ‘’But at least he was real and not made of metal, even though I can’t even remember how he looked like’’.
Everyone laughed but Celine, who was getting bored by the whole love talk. Thankfully Charlie brought another topic.
‘’Amy, how was New York?’’
Amy had recently come back from there where she had been doing a conference in the NYU.
‘’Brilliant. I came back just three days ago. Not even London is as perfect as New York’’ Celine disagreed, but well, that was Amy’s opinion. ‘’I was all the time singing Empire State of Mind, that was so stereotypical. And the flight back was really eventful, I took a picture with a famous guy!’’
‘’Who?’’ all of them asked at the same time. Celine was intrigued. Maybe Amy had met a footballer.
‘’A singer from a band, I think the name’s One Dimension. I mean, I had no idea who that was but everyone was asking him for pictures so I did it. Here it is’’
Amy showed them a picture in her phone. In it there was Amy herself posing with a small brunette with an Adidas hoodie at least two sizes bigger. Never in million years Celine would have guessed that this guy was famous.
‘’And that is not all!’’ Amy continued with a big smile. ‘’Tom Hiddleston was also in my plane!’’
Celine knew that name. He was one of the guys that Matilde drooled for. He and that Chris Evans. Among others.
‘’Did you saw him?’’ Alize asked with her eyes wide open.
‘’No but I heard the rumour that he was there with a couple of friends. A pity I didn't catch their names. Maybe it was Sebastian Stan, heard he's in London''.
Of course Celine had no idea who she was referring to. She kind of remember hearing about that Sebastian guy before but she couldn't remember how he looked like or basically anything about him. Only that he was on Matilde's wall.
Celine was a bit distracted by Joel who seemed to be getting drunk and was singing some song the went by the lyrics ‘…bring back 1996’.
Suddenly Alize stood up, with a bright smile on her face.
‘’I have an announcement’’ she said, still with the smile.
‘’Please, don’t be pregnant’’ muttered Celine with a low voice. Charlie herd her and laughed.
All of them were looking at Alize.
‘’Well, I’m engaged!’’ Close enough, thought Celine. ‘’Marcus proposed last week. He got down on one knee and everything. It was so romantic!’’
Celine couldn’t think of anything as disgustingly corny as that. She congratulated Alize, even though she wasn’t very convinced of the pomp and romance of the engagement.
‘’The second engagement in this group’’ said Charlie. ‘’Hope this one doesn’t get cancelled as the last one’’ he looked at Amy who looked resigned.
‘’She’s rubbing her romantic news in front of four single people’’ commented Amy. ‘’She’s mean’’
‘’I’m good with my state’’ stated Celine. ‘’I’m perfectly fine, I live on my own, I made up my mind I’m better off being alone’’.
They all looked at her but no one laughed.
‘’You know what?’’ Amy said, pointing to Celine. ‘’She’s going to end up marrying someone’’
‘’Yeah, of course’’ Celine rolled her eyes, cursing herself for saying something.
Once the topic was on the table there was no going back.
‘’Agree’’ Alize seemed to be in the mood to talk about these horrible things. ‘’But not a normal someone. Not a guy who works at Greggs, or in a bank and not even a normal guy from the university. We’re talking about Celine here. She goes big or goes home. I picture her with a Nobel Prize winner, an important politician, an actor like Tom Hiddleston or a Grammy winner’’.
They were talking about her as if she wasn’t there.
‘’Twenty pounds for the Nobel Prize winner’’ said Joel. Celine was astounded. She couldn’t believe that they were being so silly.
‘’Twenty pounds for the Grammy winner’’ said Charlie. ‘’But not a musician. My bet is for a renowned producer’’.
Celine was a bit disgusted.
Then is was Amy’s turn.
‘’I’ll go for the politician. After all Celine works in an embassy’’.
Alize laughed, like if she knew something they didn’t.
‘’You’re all idiots. Of course it going to be an actor. I can see it inside my head, a dashing man with dark hair and blue eyes, just like Tom Hiddleston. She’s going to have him head over heels for her but he’ll also make her sweet side surface. That’s your future husband, Celine’’.
Okay, that was something else. Her imagination was really running wild. Or maybe she was drunk.
‘’It could be worse’’ Celine said with sarcasm. ‘’I’ll call myself ‘Doctor Hiddleston’ and you’ll be invited to our mansion in the French Riviera for holidays’’.
‘’I doesn’t have to be Tom but someone like him’’ said Alize.
Celine rolled her eyes but thankfully this was just a joke.

When Celine finally got home she was actually happy to be alone. She had bought a box of pastries to eat with tea.
The first thing she did was to put some music on. Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill album was the chosen one. It had a raw angst that she liked.
She was into her second cup of tea and sixth pastry when she heard the door being knocked frantically. Rolling her eyes she went to open it. It was Matilde.
‘’Celine, you’ll never going to guess what happened today’’.
‘’Chelsea’s giving away free tickets?’’
‘’What? No! Better than this. I saw a light in one of the windows of Tom Hiddleston’s house! Remember that he lives next to my mum's house in Fulham?''
Celine wanted to throw the pastry she was eating right to Matilde’s face. She couldn’t see how a light turned on in some actor’s house could be better than free tickets to see Chelsea.
‘’Would you forgive me for not sharing your enthusiasm?’’
‘’C’mon Celine! It’s Tom Hiddleston! You have to admit he’s attractive! Tomorrow I’ll mount guard during the evening from mum’s house. From there you can see his garden. Do you want to come’’.
‘’No. Stalking is creepy. Apart from that I have to go to Roxanne’s bookshop. I lost an important book about Anne Boleyn that’s important to my research’’. Celine had the slight idea that it wasn't the first time that Matilde stalked Hiddleston, with no results, of course.
Until this morning going to the bookshop wasn’t her original plan but after almost an hour looking for the damned book she had to admit that she had lost it. And she planned to spend her Sunday trying to go forward in her research.
‘’What is this necklace?’’ Matilde asked Celine. ‘’Why haven’t I noticed before that you had Real Madrid’s badge hanging from your neck?’’
‘’I found it today while looking for the book. I had lost it too.’’
Matilde noticed that her friend looked frustrated for something.
‘’The BBC hasn’t answered yet?’’
‘’No. And I sent the documentary solicitude like four months ago. Everything seems to be stuck.’’
‘’It’ll work fine, you’ll see. Celine, dear, you need to relax a bit. Why don’t you come with me to spy Hiddleston tomorrow?’’
Celine rolled her eyes. It was alarming that Matilde was serious with this stuff.
‘’Because I’m a Cambridge graduated Doctor with an spotless criminal record. I don’t want to earn a restraining order from a famous actor and spend the night in prison for stalking’’.
‘’You’ll miss the fun’’.
‘’I’ll get you a lawyer for free, for when he presses charges against you for harassment, trespassing and stalking. Her name’s Alexandra, she’ll get you out of prison for free, maybe you’ll just have to pay a fine. If you’re lucky you can even meet Hiddleston again, at court. That’s something I won’t miss from the world’’. Celine had a sarcastic smile.
‘’No matter what you say, I’m going to do it anyway. And why the hell are you listening to Alanis Morrisette? Are you dedicating angry songs to the ex boyfriend you don’t have?’’
Celine rolled her eyes.
‘’I was about to play Bon Jovi’’
She chose It’s My Life. Matilde and Celine laughed, no matter what, they related to it.

 

Chapter Text

It was the first time in three days that Sebastian wasn’t jet lagged. A part of him wanted no more than to stay inside his friend Tom’s house but he also wanted air. A part of him was still unsure about coming to Britain in the first place but it was too late to back up. He was there and he had to make the best of it.
Fulham was a really nice neighbourhood. The houses were elegant and the people didn’t look too posh. There wasn’t many people on the streets, as it was cloudy and it looked as it was about to rain
There was some people in a nice looking pub and he saw some others walking in the direction of a near supermarket. He could see an stadium not far away from were he was. According to Tom it was Chelsea’s stadium. He had heard about European football some times before but he had never seen a match. He was used to tennis and basketball. But football was the main sport there and he was a bit curious about why people liked it so much. Even though he had spent the majority of his life in America he was still European and according to one of Tom’s friends it was ‘’in his blood’’.
As he didn’t know where to go he decided to go to a bookshop. He wanted to do some research in the character he was playing next. As the information in Wikipedia had only left him confused, he decided that a book was a better idea.
He ended up in a little bookshop. When he stepped in there was only a woman showing some Harry Potter books to a couple of children.
‘’May I help you sir?’’ a middle aged woman asked him.
‘’Yes’’ he answered ‘’I was looking for some history books. The Tudor period’’
‘’The third aisle at your right’’ the woman informed him with a kind smile.
The History section was completely empty. Sebastian walked around the aisles looking at the titles. He had no idea about what he was actually looking for and the titles didn’t ring him any bells. The Six Wives of Henry VIII, The Life and Death of Queen Catherine of Aragon, Lady Jane Grey a Tudor Mystery. He had no idea who these people were but he continued looking at titles, without giving up.

When Celine stepped into Roxanne’s bookshop, it was relieving. Her face was cold and her hands were freezing. It wasn’t the first time that she was in that bookshop as it was her favourite. The only bad part was that it was in Fulham, a bit far away from her house.
‘’Hi, Roxanne’’ she greeted the owner.
‘’Celine! I wasn’t expecting to see you with this weather. How’s your documentary going?’’
‘’Fine’’ Celine lied while trying to warm her cheeks. ‘’The BBC’s not answered yet. But is not this what brings me here. I’ve been doing an investigation about Anne Boleyn for years and I need to look for a book about it. I had a copy, but I lost it’’
‘’Go ahead Celine and good luck’’.

Sebastian was more lost than ever. He was reading the cover of a book that was about a murderous king. Richard III, that had killed some Princes in a tower. Wow, English history reminded him of Game of Thrones.
He was about to give up and ask the owner for help when he saw a young woman walking with confident strides to a section near to where he was. She was glancing at the titles and by the look in her eyes she knew exactly what she was looking for. It was a better option to ask this lady for help, at least he wouldn’t look like an ignorant idiot. He hoped she didn’t bite.
‘’Excuse me...’’ he started and Celine look confused for a moment. She didn’t even know that she wasn’t alone. ‘’May I ask you a question?’’.
Celine looked at him. He looked like someone she had seen before, somewhere. Tall, dark haired and with bright blue eyes. In other words really handsome. She thought that he may be a look alike of some footballer she knew.
‘’Yes, of course’’ she answered, still a bit distracted.
‘’Do you know about this?’’ he pointed at the books and Celine was more confused than ever. What he was doing there if he had no idea about anything?
‘’Yes, quite a lot’’
‘’What book would you recommend me if I want to learn about the Tudor period?’’ he looked at something in his phone ‘’Henry VIII to be more specific’’
Celine was thinking that only saying ‘’Henry VIII’’ was not something specific at all. Apart from that she was trying to guess the guess the guy’s accent. He wasn’t British, that was sure but his accent wasn’t typically American.
‘’You aren’t from here, aren’t you?’’ he shook his head with a shy look on his face ‘’American?’’
‘’Well, no. I live there but I’m actually Romanian’’.
Celine couldn’t help but to smile. Well, that was a good coincidence.
‘’Nice to meet you, I’m Celine’’ she said in perfect Romanian.
‘’Sebastian’’ he mumbled shaking Celine’s hand.
Sebastian had his eyes wide open still a bit shocked that a random lady spoke his native language with perfect fluency. Life was going wild or maybe London was wild.
‘’And about these books... let me see... ‘’ Celine was being much more friendly than a minute before ‘’Is there an specific part of Henry’s reign that you need to know about?’’
‘’I don’t really know... It’s for my job so I’ll need an overall view of the period, nothing to complicated. But there’s something else...’’ he thought about his next role and how he wanted to do the best he could at playing it ‘’Do you know about Henry Percy?’’
‘’Yes. His story is closely connected to Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife. Quite a long story’’ she smiled again, thinking about her own investigation about Anne and how she had written about her affair with Henry Percy. The coincidences were still there.
The only thing Sebastian was thinking was that he was very thankful of having asked this peculiar lady for help.
Celine was looking at the books. She was tempted to give him The Tudors for Kids and The Tudors for Dummies but she didn’t want to be rude. Instead she took another one.
‘’This one’s about the whole Tudor dynasty but it has the best general view of the age. It’s really easy to understand and not confusing at all. And about Henry Percy...’’ she gave him The Six Wives of Henry VIII ‘’This book has six parts, as you may imagine. Just read the first two parts and there’s everything you need to know’’
Celine took from the shelf the book she was looking for, The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn.
‘’I can’t thank you enough’’ he shook Celine’s hand one more time with a smile on his face. He followed her to pay for the book.
‘’You’re welcome, it was a pleasure’’ she kindly smiled at him. She was still thinking that for some reason he looked familiar. Apart from being extremely handsome. ‘’Goodbye Sebastian, it was nice to meet you’’
Sebastian couldn’t help but to stare at her, walking straight towards the door, without looking back and with her chin up she stepped out to the cold exterior. He was regretting not being more grateful to Celine, he should have invited her to have some coffee. With the thought that it wasn’t too late, he paid and left the place with the hope of catching her outside. But when he looked around there were no signs of Celine. Defeated, he went back home.

Celine paid for the taxi that left her in front of her house. Normally she would walk but it was too cold for that. She looked at Matilde’s house. The lights were on so she was probably back home and Celine was curious to know if she had met Tom Hiddleston or not. At least she wasn’t in jail.
She knocked her door and her friend opened with a strong smell of just baked cookies. By the look on her face she had failed in her mission.
‘’And you met him or not?’’
‘’Don’t ask me. There were no signs of him but I saw a person going out from his house. No idea who that was. Have a cookie and make yourself tea. And where were you by the way? Why weren’t you at home?’’
As an answer Celine pointed to the book before putting the kettle on. Matilde remembered that the day before Celine had said something about a book she had lost.
‘’Saw something interesting on the way?’’
‘’No. Just Roxanne, a guy asking for book recommendations and it’s too cold to be March. I want spring''.
She poured her tea while Matilde looked at her phone.
‘’This can’t be real!’’ Matilde moaned, facepalming.
‘’What happened? One of your idols has a girlfriend?’’ she said laughing a bit. ''Tom Hiddleston did something that you missed?
‘’No but it’s really depressing to know that some of my idols would get better with you than with me. And you don’t even know them!’’
‘’Eh? ‘’ Celine asked not really knowing the problem
‘’For example, Seb Stan. I used to worship him! And now he comes up with this.’’ Celine had no idea who ‘Seb Stan’ was but she let Matilde talk. ‘’Listen, you’re going to like this one’’ Celine doubted it but she kept sipping her tea ‘’This is his caption on Instagram: ‘’Got recommended these bad boys today. London is wild you never know the kind of amazing people you can find. Starting with the research. Hashatag Exited. Hashtag TheDuke. The Duke is his next film if you were wondering’’ Matilde looked at Celine's confused face. She still had no clue why she should be interested in the next film of some actor she didn’t even know ‘’And the bastard is in London. Why haven’t I ran into him yet? But this is what I want you to see. One of my favourites actors has the same reading preferences as you, Celine’’
Matilde showed her the picture on her phone and Celine could see the two same books she had recommended to the guy in the bookshop. This couldn’t be a coincidence.
‘’What was his name, Matilde?’’ she asked with a little voice.
‘’Sebastian. Sebastian Stan’’
With the shock of the moment Celine had swallowed a great about of tea and burned her tongue.
‘’By some chance, is he Romanian?’’
‘’Yes’’ Celine had her eyes wide open and Matilde was surprised by her sudden interest in Sebastian Stan.
‘’Do you have a picture of him?’’
Matilde pointed at the picture of him she had on her wall.
‘’No doubt. It was him’’. She said with a smile.
It was Matilde’s turn to be confused? Since when Celine was interested in Sebastian Stan? Maybe she had seen him in some film.
‘’Have you seen him before?’’
Celine left the cup of tea in the table and looked at Matilde with a weird expression on her face.
‘’I have an interesting story to tell you that involves him’’ she finished the sentence with a little smile on her face.
Matilde couldn’t think of anything that Celine Cadwallader and Sebastian Stan would have in common. Sebastian was Romanian and Celine’s father was from there. Maybe they were related in some way. That would have been enormous.
‘’Sebastian Stan involved in one of your stories? Celine, maybe you’re confusing him. He’s an actor not Real Madrid’s next signing’’
Celine shot her a classical disapproving look.
‘’Very funny. I actually met him today’’ she said without any warning. Matilde froze. ‘’I was the one who recommended him those books he posted there.’’ Celine wasn’t giving much importance to the meeting but well, she had just met someone who was supposed to be famous without realizing. At least she had an anecdote to tell from now on. ‘’He should have given me credit for it’’.
Matilde let her cup of tea fall to the floor and it broke to pieces.
‘’Oh my God. Sebastian was the guy you met at Roxanne’s?’’ Celine nodded, sipping her tea. ‘’I’m dead. So dead. How was he? Please tell me, Celine I need to now. Did you touch him?’’
Matilde looked desperate.
‘’He was very polite’’ Celine tried to remember the meeting. For her, he had just been a normal guy with good looks, nothing that Celine planned to remember. It wasn’t as she had just met Prince Harry or Cristiano Ronaldo. ‘’He asked me about the books. He was a bit shy and he had no idea about the subject. He’s even more handsome in person. That’s all.’’
Matilde was eager to know more. She couldn’t believe that that had been all. Her heart was beating really fast. Sebastian Stan for God’s sake.
‘’I know there’s more, Celine please. Try to remember. How could you forget meeting a guy like Sebastian?’’
‘’Okay, okay. I’ll try... He has beautiful blue eyes and... he seemed to appreciate that I spoke in Romanian to him...’’
Matilde started coughing, probably because of the shock.
‘’Celine, God, woman! You probably impressed him! You made him remember you! Let me get this straight, you impressed Sebastian Stan. He’ll remember your face, wow, girl, if you wanted you could have got his number.’’
Celine laughed to herself. She was sure that her friend was joking. It was not as if her meeting with the guy had been too long. Just five minutes and she almost gave him The Tudors for Dummies. Romantic.
‘’It was just a cool story. I had no idea that he was famous. Anyway, he was super nice so if someone asks me in the future what I think about him, I'll have just nice words’’.
‘’Maybe he’s thinking about you now’’ Matilde was caught in his little dreamy bubble. Typical.
‘’Yeah, probably’’ Celine was sure that Matilde was joking. There was no way she could be serious. ‘’Or maybe he’s just doing something much more productive. Like reading those books. Believe me, he should’’.
Celine was eating little pieces of cookie and thinking that thankfully she didn’t have a very busy week ahead. And the next weekend there was a Chelsea match to see live and Matilde wanted to go to a silly St. Patrick Day party. She was going to think about it. Maybe it was going to be fun. It depended on the mood she’ll have next Saturday. Absentmindedly she was mumbling the lyrics of Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer while almost laughing about the memories that song brought. Basically all the karaoke competitions with her Cambridge friends. She and Joel sang this song as a duet and they aced it. Good old days.
‘’Earth to Celine’’ Matilde almost yelled. ‘’What the hell are you singing? Nevermind, I was thinking about Sebastian. We can find where he’s staying. It has to be in walking distance from Roxanne’s.’’
Celine looked at her with disbelief.
‘’You’re decided to get that restraining order, aren’t you? Maybe you couldn’t get the one from Hiddleston so you’ll try with this guy instead. I really admire you, Matilde. You’re the definition of never giving up’’.
‘’He won’t do that to me, he’s too nice for that’’ Celine didn’t believe that but okay, if Matilde wanted to believe in that, fine for her. It wasn’t likely that she was going to find that actor any time soon. If she ever find him at all. ‘’I’ll think he’ll thank me of what I’m going to do for him’’
‘’If you say so’’ Celine was convinced that no one in their right mind would thank that a crazy woman in her late twenties appear one day in your front door and claimed that you and her are meant to be. It was better to that Sebastian that Matilde never found him.
Matilde seemed to guess what Celine was thinking.
‘’Do you think I want him for me?’’ ‘Not that you could ever get him’, thought Celine, trying not to laugh. But after all she was relieved that she wasn’t interested romantically in this guy. In the very remote case that she could ever meet him, she’d be up to a big disappointment. Famous actors never dated normal people like Matilde, that was a fact. Celine didn’t want her friend to end up heartbroken by a hopeless cause. ‘’Dear Celine, as much as I’d want to stroke those abs, fall asleep with those muscular arms around me…’’ well, now Celine was disturbed. ‘’…touch that sharp jaw line of his and drown into those deep blue eyes, there’s something missing’’. Maybe the fact that they didn’t know each other? Maybe the fact that he was famous? Maybe the fact that they will never meet? Matilde couldn’t be serious. ‘’He’s the right man for you, Celine’’
Celine couldn’t help it but almost fell to the floor laughing. Dear Matilde, she thought, always living in dreams. Real life was not a bloody fairytale. Not that she wanted to have one with a famous actor. That was absolutely insane. She couldn’t believe that Matilde was being serious.
‘’That was exactly what I was just thinking about’’ said Celine with sarcasm. ‘’For the last couple of hours I couldn’t stop planning our future together. We’ll have beautiful kids with chocolate hair and blue eyes and oh, I have to go right now to the Chanel store to get a dress for his next bloody premiere. Maybe he can also get me into acting, who knows.., maybe I get famous’’ she finished her rant with a shiny smile.
‘’I’m being serious here, Celine’’
‘’Me too. And by serious I mean, that right now I should be doing my research instead of talking madness about a person I had a five minute conversation with. Yes, I met a famous guy. No, I won’t ever see him again. No, I don’t care. That’s the end of the story’’.
Matilde rolled her eyes. Celine could be a pain in the neck sometimes.
‘’Celine can’t you see? He’s handsome, single, you impressed him and the best thing of all, I could bet my dignity that he’s interested in you’’.
Not that you have much left after this madness, thought Celine.
‘’Sorry but not interested’’ calmly Celine bit a piece of cookie. ‘’Not just because he’s way out of my league. Even if he weren’t, I wouldn’t be interested. I’m perfectly fine with how my life is going at the moment. I don’t need anyone to disrupt my peace’’
But Matilde wasn’t listening. She was concentrated on her phone.
‘’Look at him, Celine. I dare you to deny that he’s handsome’’ of course, she couldn’t do that. He was drop dead gorgeous. ‘’Listen to his profile: Sebastian Stan, born the 13th of August, 1982 in Constanta, Romania…’’
‘’Wait, what?’’ Celine interrupted her, forgetting her sarcasm for a second and becoming serious.
‘’That he’s from Constanta, Romania. What’s wrong with it?’’
Matilde was surprised to see a sweet and genuine smile on Celine’s face.
‘’He’s from the same town as my father’’
And there were the coincidences again. Celine may have been cynical about this but Matilde was convinced that her headstrong friend and the famous actor were somewhat universally connected. She believed in fate and there was a reason why they had crossed paths. They were going to see each other again, Matilde was convinced of that.
‘’You know that if you tell that to him, he’d freak out. He’ll like you even more’’.
‘’Yeah, for sure’’ there was the sarcasm again. ‘’I can only describe this as love at first sight’’.
‘’You’re impossible Cadwallader’’

It was the weekend again and Celine had a good reason to be happy: she had been promoted. And she was not given an ordinary promotion: se was going to work for the Prime Minister as her personal assistant. Her pay rise had been so good that she wanted to dance around the streets. Matilde had also been promoted to work for the Prime Minister but only as a secretary.
‘’…the best thing about the job is the payment’’ Celine couldn’t stop talking. ‘’I’ll do much less than what I did at the embassy and I’ll be better paid. Crazy, isn’t it?’’
Matilde wasn’t very enthusiastic. Her pay rise had not been very significant and judging by what she had seen on TV, she didn’t like the Prime Minister at all.
‘’And do you like the woman? She reminds me of an ogre’’
‘’Who the hell cares if she’s an ogre’’ Nothing can tarnish Celine’s happiness that day. ‘’The money I get will compensate it. And we’re seeing Chelsea tomorrow. Perfect’’.
‘’Are you coming to the Saint Patrick’s party tomorrow? The Pig’s Ear is a nice pub. Say yes, it won’t be the same without your sour face there’’.
‘’I think about it, If I’m in the mood I’ll go. If Chelsea wins’’.
Matilde wanted to talk to Celine about another topic that she was sure that her friend had totally forgot.
‘’Celine… in these last five days have you thought anything about Sebastian?’’
Celine looked confused for a moment.
‘’But Chelsea doesn’t have any player named Sebastian’’ it wasn’t sarcasm or anything like it. She was literally thinking about Chelsea players. ‘’And I don’t think we’ve ever had one, at least in the modern history. Correct me if I’m wrong’’.
Matilde couldn’t believe she had forgot about Sebastian, but it seemed like it. Celine was a historian, she had to have good memory to remember dates, names of hundreds of people and stuff like that. She couldn’t have forgotten about a guy she had met the five days ago. Maybe she really didn’t want to bring the topic back.
‘’Sebastian Stan, the handsome Romanian actor you met in Roxanne’s bookshop.’’
By Celine’s dramatic expression, she remembered.
‘’Why should I think about him? And no, please, don’t start again, whatever but not that, I had enough last Sunday when you made a big deal out of nothing’’.
Matilde wanted to yell at Celine that it wasn’t just ‘nothing’. She wasn’t making a big deal. It was a big deal.
‘’Celine, I’m sure he still remembers you’’
She wanted to answer something sarcastic but she couldn’t. Curiosity had won this time. She knew that Matilde’s answer was going to be some fictional nonsense but she was intrigued about what she made up this time. She knew that she was going to end up regretting this.
‘’And what makes you think that?’’ she asked, biting her tongue.
‘’I just know it''
Celine rolled her eyes at Matilde's delusions. Probably the guy was filming, hanging out with glamorous and interesting people or, in the best case scenario, reading the book she recommended him. That was what Celine would do if she were in his position.
''No, you don'' Celine looked at her with something that was similar to pity. ''I know it'd bee fun for you if your best friend would randomly hook up with a celebrity, believe me, it'd be the same for me if you were to get in a relationship with Eden Hazard'' Eden was a Chelsea footballer. ''Sadly, the guy's married''.
Matilde face palmed. Celine was again changing topics and talking about Chelsea Football Club and similar crap.
‘’Doctor Cadwallader, it’s not what you think it is. He posted something on Instagram about meeting impressive people for a couple of minutes knowing that he'll never see them again or something like that. I don't remember his exact words but it fitted''.
Celine didn’t even laugh, she just crossed her arms in front of her chest. She was amused. She didn’t know whether Matilde made all the pieces fit to make it look as if that famous guy had some sort of crush on a woman he had met for five minutes or if she actually believed what she was saying. Either case, it was utter madness.
After some time Celine had a sly smile on her face.
‘’So he’s a dramatic fool’’ Celine was still smiling. ‘’Nice to know. And I’m sorry for ruining your dreams but he could be talking about hundreds of people. And that’s not my business and neither is yours’’.
Matilde had to admit that Celine had made a valid point. However, deep inside she knew everything was about Celine, as illogical as it may sound. But Celine was never going to believe it and winning an argument against her was literally impossible. She always found a logical explanation for everything.
Celine kept on walking, hoping that Matilde had once for all dropped the topic. She could go and make her conspiracy theories alone as long she didn’t involve Celine in them, let alone as the centre of it all.
She glanced behind her and saw that Matilde had stopped in her tracks and was looking at something on her phone with a surprised face. ‘Not again’ was the first thought on Celine’s mind.
‘’What now?’’ Celine asked, quite bothered this time. ‘’If it’s about this Sebastian guy again I swear I’m going to find him myself, get him back to Romania and lock him up in Bran Castle until the memory of him is forever forgotten’’.
‘’What’s Bran Castle?’’ for a moment Matilde just focused on Celine, who was rolling her eyes.
‘’Dracula’s Castle in the book. Seriously Matilde, you should read more’’ without sparing another thought, Celine kept walking.
Matilde remembered what had left her so surprised. She didn’t care that Celine was going to turn sour again but she needed to tell her.
‘’Celine, by some reason, were you wearing that awesome Real Madrid necklace the day you met Sebastian?’’
‘’Yes, I’ve never taken it off since I found it on Saturday. It has sentimental value as I got it the day after we won the Spanish League in 2012. Any particular reason you’re asking about that?’’ she asked with a bit of suspicion and wrapping her finger around the chain around her neck.
Matilde looked like she had just won something.
‘’Because I have the proof that what I’ve been telling you these days is true’’.
Celine had her big brown eyes wide open. Not in shock but in surprise that Matilde apparently wanted to drag this topic until the end of the time.
‘’Matilde, I warn you. I don’t want to hear a word more about this. I don’t care, that should be enough’’.
‘’You’re going to listen to me, Cadwallader. I promise this will be the last thing I’ll say about him’’.
Celine nodded. It was a good deal. She could bear to listen to the final part of Matilde’s novella.
‘’Go ahead. I can’t wait for it to be finally over’’.
‘’Okay. He posted this picture of the London skyline with this caption, and before you ask, it’s not cryptic’’ Celine winced. It was a bit creepy to listen to whatever that Sebastian had to say. She didn’t know him, she had just met him for five minutes and that had been all. But apparently it wasn’t like that for him. ‘’Listen: ’My first week in London is completed. It’s not as if I’ve done much. I literally spent my days reading and being jet lagged. But there were things that stood out and make me really excited for the future..‘ ’’ Celine was questioning herself on why was she listening to that. ‘’And here is when you enter the scene, Celine: ‘For example, what are the odds of finding a dignified and gracious lady that also speaks your native language and on the top of it all wears the badge of a sports team really close to her heart? That’s the kind of unique people that stay forever in your mind. So, if that was the first week I can’t imagine the wild ride that’s about to come’ ‘’. Matilde finished reading with a wide smile. ‘’What do you say now, dear Celine? Are you still in denial? There are not a hundred people that fit’s the description, just one, and she is standing in front of me’’.
Celine looked unmoved but her brain was in the beginning of a crisis. One side of it was still thinking that this was some sort of prank meanwhile the other side was really flattered that a handsome and famous actor had called her ‘dignified and gracious’. After all her reluctance, this had made her week. But she was not going to admit that to Matilde.
‘’I still don’t care’’ she said, without a trace of emotion on her face. ‘’Is really nice of him to praise me in that way but I’m still uninterested’’.
Matilde couldn’t believe it.
‘’Celine Cadwallader, are you made of stone? You can’t ignore something like this’’.
But Celine kept on walking, without a care in the world.
‘’That’s what I’m doing. And you promised you’ll stop talking about that’’.
Matilde didn’t have another option that swallow all the things she wanted to say.

Fulham, London.
Sebastian was falling asleep on the table. A cup of tea was in front of him.
‘’Man! You’re falling asleep while I was talking to you!’’ his friend Anthony punched the table in front of him making Sebastian jump a little.
‘’It’s just the jet lag’’ said Tom, his other friend and owner of the house. ‘’You should let him sleep’’.
‘’He’s been weird for the entire week. And it’s not just the freaking jet lag. He gets lost in his thoughts. He’s not himself, Tom’’.
‘’Many things are changing in his life.’’ said Tom with an empathetic tone. ‘’And the role he’s preparing for is very draining on a emotional level. Let him be nervous, Anthony’’.
‘’Hey, stop talking as if I’m not here!’’ groaned Sebastian. ‘’Or as if I’m a five year old kid who can’t take care of himself! I’m 34 for God’s sake!’’
‘’So start acting like a 34 year old. Because you remind me of a teenager on a school trip who misses his mom’’.
Sebastian blushed a little but couldn’t get angry at Anthony. He was too tired for that. He swallowed the rest of the tea in record time because he wanted to ask Tom a question that was haunting him.
‘’Tom…’’ he went straight to the point. ‘’What are the odds of meeting a person in London for the second time? Someone I’ve seen only once for a short period of time. Simply curiosity’’.
Anthony was interested. As long as he knew Sebastian hadn’t met anyone in London yet. Apart from Tom’s friends.
‘’Well…’’ Tom didn’t want to disappoint Sebastian but he didn’t have any other choice. ‘’…it depends on the circumstances. For example, if you’ve met someone in the tube… the chances are like one in a million if you’re extremely lucky. The same thing goes if you’ve met someone in a supermarket. There’s no way to know if they’re locals, tourists or just people from another district. However, for example, if you’ve met someone in a pub and somehow managed to get their name, it make things a bit easier’’.
A little flash of optismism ran through Sebastian’s chest.
‘’It wasn’t in a pub but I have her name. I met her in a bookshop and the owner also knows her name’’.
Anthony almost fell off the chair from the shock. When had this happened? They had been only a week in London and Sebastian had met a lady who apparently was stuck in his mind. That was surprising.
‘’That makes it easier’’ Tom looked as surprised as Anthony. ‘’That means she’s probably from the zone and a customer of the place. You just have to keep your eyes open just in case you see her around.’’
Sebastian looked a bit more content and was slowly eating a cookie with a little smile n his face.
‘’Sebastian, what the hell is going on?’’ asked Anthony unable to contain himself.
‘’I told you, simple curiosity, nothing out of this world. I met quite an unusual woman the other day and I wanted to know her better but I missed on the chance. She just walked away without looking back’’ he finished the sentence with a low voice.
Tom and Anthony started laughing.
‘’So that’s why he’s so intrigued in the woman. She hurt his ego’’ Anthony said, laughing. ‘’So she walked away without saying a word to him, oh my God, I want to sent her flowers’’.
‘’She said more than a word to me. She just.. Didn’t look back’’ that was stuck in his head. The way she walked towards the door without any kind of hesitation.
Anthony laughed harder and Tom was giggling but more discretely. Sebastian didn’t know what was so funny.
‘’And what was her name?’’ asked Anthony with a little smile.
‘’That’s none of your business’’. he groaned. ‘’I’m going to bed’’. he left Anthony and Tom laughing out loud.
He ran upstairs, straight to the guest room that Tom had given to him. He immediately crashed on the bed, still lost in his thoughts. Maybe they were right and this was just the jet lag. But he was blaming curiosity. He had been so intrigued by Celine that he wanted to meet her again and the thought that was probably never going to happen deeply disappointed him.
He didn’t know a thing about her. By all he knew she could have been married with children. An unpleasant emotion ran through his chest.
He supposed that after a while he would forget everything about that woman that had impressed him so much, so he decided to just take his mind out that hopeless cause and focus on his upcoming job.
He grabbed the book that was by his bedside and couldn’t help but to smile. Celine had given him that book. There was no way in hell to forget her yet. Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to give up on his cause just yet. He was going to give it a couple of days, roaming around Fulham’s streets and going to Roxanne’s bookshop to see if he could find out something about her.
He couldn’t deny that he wanted to see her again. And he was going to see her again because whenever he had set up a goal he did his best to achieve it.
About how he was going to do it, that was another question. Because he had no clue from where to start.

 

Chapter Text

On Saturday morning Celine woke up I a very good mood. She was going to see Chelsea with her friends and she had a weekend without extra job. She couldn’t complain.
Matilde had planned to go to the stadium with Max, Leah and Janice and she was going to pick them up in her mum’s BMW. She was the only one in the group to have access to a car so she was the official chauffeur.
Not that the stadium was very far away. They had gone walking numerous times before.
The Arctic Monkeys were playing in a very loud volume. She absolutely adored that band to the point that she was dramatically singing the lyrics of A Certain Romance in front of the mirror.
‘’…Don’t you know, oh it’s a funny thing you know, we’ll tell ‘em if you like, we’ll tell em all tonight, they’ll never listen, because they’re minds are made up and of course is all okay to carry on that way…’’
She looked at herself in the mirror again. She knew she wasn’t the prettiest girl in town but she was a bit above average. She had been told many times that she was ‘pretty’ or ‘pleasant’ but only once that she had been told that she was ‘beautiful’. and it was her parents who had told her that.
According to Matilde, there was another one who found her attractive and he was no less than a film star. Well, that had been unexpected but no less flattering.
With a finger she curled a loose strand of her brown hair while she kept singing alongside Alex Tuner.
‘’… and over there, there’s broken bones, there’s only music, so that there’s new ringtones, and it don’t take no Sherlock Holmes, to see it’s a little different around here…’’
Only when the song ended she heard the knocks on her door.
‘’What the hell were you doing?’’ Matilde asked when Celine opened.
‘’Singing. Are we leaving?’’
‘’Yes, the others are waiting for you to finish your concert’’.
Celine followed Matilde to the car. Max, Leah and Janice were already installed in the backseat, talking about the Saint Patrick’s Day party they were going to go later. They were almost tempting Celine to go.
‘’I had a good week’’ Janice started telling. ‘’I had a date with a really cute guy. Maybe I see him again during the week. It depend whether or not I meet someone better at the party tonight’’
No one really cared about that but all of them faked interest. Celine was thinking that probably Janice won’t meet anyone interesting that night. It was a Saint Patrick’s Day party, probably every one there was going to be with a Leprechaun costume.
‘’Talking about cute guys…’’ started Matilde. ‘’I know of someone who’s met someone really cute this week. She didn’t get a date because she’s an idiot and the guy was interested. And you’ll want to die when you know who the special person is’’. she threw a meaningful glance to Celine who was regretting not coming to the stadium by foot.
‘’If you’re talking about Celine I need to know all about this’’ Leah commented.
‘’Of course it’s about Celine’’ Matilde was talking as if she weren’t there. ‘’First of all, have you seen Captain America: Civil War?’’
All of them answered with a ‘Yeah’. Celine was mumbling the song that was on the radio. A cheesy Take That song that in this moment sounded like a masterpiece.
‘’Well’’ Matilde continued. ‘’Remember The Winter Soldier?’’ all off them answered with a ‘Yeah’ again. The Take That sounded better with every second. ‘’Well, Celine met the actor who plays him, Sebastian Stan’’.
‘’What on earth?!’’ shouted Leah.
‘’He’s hot stuff’’ commented Janice. Celine was glad she wasn’t able too se her face.
‘’Wait a second’’ said Max. ‘’Matilde, you told us that this guy was interested in Celine. That means that Sebastian Stan, international film star, was into Celine?’’
Celine herself wanted to push Max out of the car at that moment.
‘’Bingo’’ said Matilde with a triumphant smile.
‘’She’s delusional’’ mumbled Celine. But no one was listening to her.
‘’Celine are you out of your mind?’’ asked Janice who couldn’t believe how she could have no interest in someone like Sebastian Stan. ‘’He was interested! If you don’t want him for yourself give him to me’’.
Celine felt sort of pity for Sebastian at that moment. Janice was talking about him as if he was an object and nothing more. She was sure that he was more than a pretty face and a nice body.
‘’It was a five minute conversation and the rest is Matilde’s imagination’’ Celine tried to convince her. ‘’And I had no idea that the guy was famous’’
But no one seemed to care.
‘’Celine, do you realise that could be stroking that abs right now?’’ Janice asked without a glimpse of shame.
Celine was thinking if it’d hurt so much to jump from a moving car.
‘’Stroking his abs?’’ Leah snapped. ‘’ I’d go right to the point and I’ll suck his…’’
‘’Leah!’’ Max and Celine shouted, both of them scandalised.
Celine just wanted to get to the stadium once and for all so when she saw the multitude of people, all of them dressed in blue walking towards it, she didn’t wait for Matilde to park and got off the car. She was so relieved that she even hugged the team’s mascot when it handed her a flag.
Luckily, when they were in the queue to go in they had all dropped the Sebastian Stan topic.
‘’ Hi Celine!’’ the guy who checked the tickets greeted her.
‘’Oh, hey Hans’’ they knew Hans from the several times they’ve been to the stadium. She handed him the tickets without much care.
Hans took all the time in the world to check her tickets.
‘’Celine, I was wondering…’’ ‘Oh, no, here we go again’ she thought. ‘’…do you have anything to do tomorrow? There’s this nice event at The Pig’s ear…’’
‘’I’m sorry’’ Celine cut him off, trying to look sad. ‘’But I have a lot of work.’’ she lied. ‘’Maybe next time’’.
She smiled politely at him and almost snatched the tickets from his hands.
‘’How many times have you rejected him?’’ asked Matilde who was walking behind her.
‘’I’ve lost count’’ Celine was more concentrated in finding her seats while glazing at the pitch. The players were already there, warming up.
‘’And why do you that? What I’m asking… If you’re not interested in Sebby Stan of course you won’t be interested in Hans’’.
‘’There’s zero chemistry, that’s why’’ she had finally found her seat and kept his sight stuck on the pitch.
At the same time she was thinking that there had been more chemistry in the five minute conversation with Sebastian than in all the recurring times she had seen Hans in the stadium.
‘’I wonder why does a person has to have to impress you, Celine’’
‘’Just chemistry. Or just be Alex Turner.’’ Celine had a little smile. ‘’There’s a man I’d take my clothes off for. Which I almost did’’
‘’What?’’ Matilde was seriously intrigued with this.
‘’I saw the Arctic Monkeys live while in Cambridge in 2013 and I almost threw my bra at Alex when they were performing Do I Wanna Know. It was the hottest thing I’ve ever seen. I saved my dignity in the last minute but my friend Amy couldn’t resist it and she threw it. It was the best thing ever when her bra landed on Alex’s head.’’
Matilde was still amazed the her composed and correct friend had considered throwing her bra to some rock singer.
‘’You may fancy Alex but Sebastian is hotter’’.
Celine was thinking. She had to agree with Matilde in this one.
‘’Believe it or not I’m with you in this one. I’ve seen Sebastian in person and I can testify that he’s way more handsome. But Alex Turner is a bloody rockstar’’.

Later on the evening Celine had no other option that get ready to go the bloody Saint Patrick’s day party. She had promised to Matilde that if Chelsea won she was going to go. And Chelsea had won.
Apart from that, a part of herself wanted to go. She used to go to small parties like these in her Cambridge days in which she had had really good times. And they were going to a friendly pub not to one of these weird nightclubs where people just went there to get high.
The night was bitterly cold so under no circumstances she was going to wear a dress. She stuck to simple jeans, a green sweater with a green trench coat. After finishing she went to pick up Matilde.
‘’Are you going like that?’’ she asked pointing to Celine’s discreet choice of outfit.
‘’Better this that your revealing dress. I mean, it’s beautiful but I don’t want to catch influenza by tomorrow.’’
‘’At least wear this’’ Matilde handed Celine a hat with trebles and stars on it.
‘’But this is ridiculous’’ Celine looked a bit outraged.
‘’Stop being fake posh and wear it.’’ Celine rolled her eyes and put on the hat.
‘’This is one of the worst things I’ve ever worn’’.
When they arrived to the pub Celine soon forgot that she was wearing an extra silly hat because she decided to make the best of it and just have fun. However she didn’t have enough stamina to last more than three of the very upbeat (and long) Irish songs. She ended up in the bar drinking a huge cup of non alcoholic ginger ale. She didn’t want to end to en the night dancing on the tables or singing Hey Jude at the top of her lungs. Damn the cursed alcohol intolerance.
Matilde was energetically dancing her fifth song. She wasn’t the best dancer but it was really funny to see her.
‘’I’m exhausted’’ she dropped next to Celine and asked for a huge pint of beer. ‘’Have you seen Max dancing? It’s the best thing you’ll see today’’.
Celine looked at him and almost spilled her drink. Max was dancing with robotic and erratic movements but with all the enthusiasm in the world.
‘’No one said that Irish dances were easy.’’ Celine went back to her drink when she felt Matilde jump and almost fall from her chair. ‘’Are you drunk already?’’
Matilde didn’t answer so Celine just looked at her. She was looking at a point in front of her with eyes wide open.
‘’What’s going on, Matilde? Did Max fall?’’
‘’Tom Hiddleston was just there’’ said Matilde with a voice that pretended to be calm and composed.
‘’Where?’’ Celine asked with a mild curiosity. Only a week before she had met a celebrity herself (that at the moment she didn’t know) so she wasn’t very excited of meeting another one.
‘’Behind you’’
Celine turned her head without much enthusiasm. Tom Hiddleston was a feet away from Celine, walking towards the dance floor. Well, watching a famous celebrity embarrass himself with Irish dances, was going to be fun but she suddenly had a light bulb moment.
‘’Matilde, why don’t you go and try to dance with him? I mean, don’t harass him. Be nice and not at all obsessive, please’’.
Matilde didn’t need to be told twice and ran towards the dance floor. She was about to talk to Hiddleston when Janice popped out of nowhere literally stealing him in front of poor Matilde’s face.
Celine felt kind of bad for her, who was in the middle of the dance floor, standing like an idiot while everyone else danced. When Matilde got back to the bar, defeated, Celine looked at her with sympathy.
‘’No comment’’ she mumbled, asking for another beer.

Sebastian was in one of the furthest tables, watching Tom dance happily with a platinum blonde woman.
‘’He scored already. That mush be a record’’ mumbled Sammy, one of Tom’s friends Sebastian had never met before.
‘’He’s Tom Hiddleston. I doubt he’d found very difficult to find someone to mingle tonight’’. said Anthony. ‘’Sebastian, why do you think?’’
But Sebastian was lost in his thoughts, the interest in Tom slowly fading.
‘’Sebastian!’’ Anthony yelled making him jump. ‘’Come out of your shell once and for all. We’re at a pub surrounded by people who are happily dancing to Irish music. Why don’t you go an try to follow Tom’s example and try to find someone…’’
‘’Not in the mood, thank you.’’ he was regretting having come at all.
Sammy and Anthony exchanged a glance.
‘’He’s not always this introverted.’’ Anthony explained. ‘’But today he’s being specially painful to be with’’.
‘’Stop talking as if I’m not here’’ Sebastian groaned making Anthony roll his eyes. He took his eyes off the dance floor (where a guy was doing such a silly robotic Irish that almost made him laugh) and glanced around the room. A lady with a bright green short dress called his attention, mainly because he was wondering how she wasn’t freezing wearing that is such a cold weather. But when he saw who was beside her he almost choked. There she was, just like he remembered her, with that serious expression and straight pose, wearing an unflattering silly Leprechaun hat. Celine. He had the biggest smile on his face that, of course, the others had noticed.
‘’What the hell is wrong with you?’’ Anthony asked, a bit concerned for Sebastian’s state of mind.
Sammy was looking at the same direction as Sebastian. Anthony did that too.
‘’Ooohhh… I think Mr. Boring finally found someone to have fun with’’. he teased him.
‘’She’s cute’’ Sammy muttered. ‘’That green dress is definitely something else’’.
‘’Who are you talking about?’’ he asked, sounding more aggressive than he had intended to.
‘’The blond girl over there, the one you’re looking at’’.
‘’I’m not looking at her’’ of course he telling the truth. He was thinking about ways to approach Celine without looking like a creep.
‘’The other one? She’s sort of good looking but she looks like she’d murder you in your sleep’’.
Sebastian did his best not to get annoyed at Sammy.
‘’She won’t and I know her. Her name’s Celine’’ his mind was still racing so he wasn’t paying attention to what he was saying.
‘’Wait a second’’ Anthony shot him a sly smile. ‘’That’s the woman you met in the library. I never thought she was your type’’.
As long as he knew he didn’t have a type. He liked who she liked. But he didn’t have much time to discuss this. He had decided that it was time to talk to her. The best way was being himself instead of trying to impress her.
‘’Where are you going?’’ Anthony asked him when he saw Sebastian leaving the table.
‘’Doesn’t matter. See you soon’’ without saying a word more he stood up.

Matilde still looked gloomy as hell while watching Hiddleston dancing with Janice. Celine couldn’t care less and was actually bored. She wished to be at home trying to do something about her research.
‘’I’m a bit tired of the Irish music. The fiddles are getting on my nerves. I need to listen to some Bon Jovi or Arctic Monkeys’’.
Matilde ignored her, still focused on Hiddleston. Celine was thinking about excuses to leave the party. She was about to tell Matilde that she felt dizzy when Matilde whispered something and looked as she had just seen a ghost.
‘’Holy mother of God, all the saints and everything that’s above’’ Celine knew that she was about to freak out for some reason.
‘’What’s happening?’’ Celine wondered if Janice had kissed Tom Hiddleston or something like that.
Celine turned around to look at the place Matilde was looking and found herself face to face with someone he had met a week ago. For a second she had become a bit numb. She was convinced that she was never going to see him again. And now that she was seeing him for the second time she could notice with more exactitude that Sebastian Stan was mind numbingly attractive but also there was kindness and innocence in his expression. It was no wonder that Matilde had gone absolutely crazy when she had had learned that Celine had, somehow, attracted such a guy.
‘’I think I know you’’ he said with a smile that couldn’t be suppressed. ‘’I met you at the library last week. You gave me those books’’.
Matilde wanted to scream that she had been right all the time, that famous actor remembered her moody best friend. At that moment she didn’t even care that Sebastian hadn’t even glanced at her.
Celine had recovered from the surprise of seeing him again and was a bit glad that he remembered her. She couldn’t deny it.
‘’You’re Sebastian. From Romania’’ she had a big smile on her face.
Matilde was almost falling from the chair. She was expecting Celine to act as she always did: guarded and answering with yes and no. Instead she had an smile Matilde had never seen before.
‘’Let me introduce myself properly. Sebastian Stan. As you correctly just said, from Romania.’’ he shook her hand with confidence. ‘’I’m really glad to meet you again’’.
‘’Same. By the way, I’m Celine Cadwallader from Cardiff, Wales.’’
‘’Isn’t there a dragon in Wales’s flag?’’ Sebastian asked with curiosity in his eyes.
‘’It’s a long story that I’m qualified to tell you because I’m a historian’’ she said with a hint of pride.
‘’I had guessed that’’ he was looking at her with a kind smile and his blue eyes were shining.
Matilde was absolutely confused. Every time she had mentioned Sebastian Stan in front of Celine for the past week she had got mad. And out of nowhere the guy had showed up and Celine had become the personification of butterflies and rainbows. Matilde was so entertained watching them that she wasn’t offended that they hadn’t remarked on her presence yet.
‘’…she’s my friend Matilde.’’ she grabbed Matilde by the arm. ‘’She’s a big fan of yours’’.
‘’Hi’’ Sebastian greeted her with a kind smile.
Matilde emitted some noise that couldn’t be described. Celine rolled her eyes and snapped her fingers in front of her face.
‘’Snap out of it! He’s just like you and I, aren’t you?’’ Celine asked Sebastian without a bit of shame.
Sebastian was absolutely delighted that she didn’t seem to care at all about his fame, on the contrary, she was two steps away of making fun of it.
‘’Absolutely’’ he said with the same genuine and kind smile. ‘’At least I found someone who realises. I’d give you an award’’.
The three of them almost choked of laughter when they saw Max trying to pull an extreme move, failing and ending up on the floor.
‘’What’s the deal with these Irish dances?’’ Sebastian asked looking at Max with a bit of pity in his handsome face. ‘’Are they usually that extra?’’
‘’I don’t know’’ Celine answered still looking at the dance floor. ‘’That’s our friend Max, he always gets carried away.’’ then she looked at Sebastian. ‘’Why don’t you try?’’ with her thumb she pointed at the dance floor.
‘’What?’’ Sebastian was trying to see if she was joking or not. Or was her asking him if she wanted to dance with her?
‘’Try Irish dances. You should try.’’ she grabbed Matilde by the arm. ‘’Matilde can teach you. She knows better than I. I’m quite awful at dancing’’.
‘’What?’’ Matilde looked at Celine as she were out of her mind. Why would she missed on her chance of dancing with Sebastian Stan? But apparently she didn’t need it. It was better for her that Matilde got her dream of dancing with a celebrity, after all Celine had never had that ambition.
‘’Go’’ she mumbled to Matilde.
Even Sebastian pointed to the dance floor with his head. He had a clear idea why he didn’t mind dancing with Matilde. He had a couple of questions to ask her, she was Celine’s best friend after all.
‘’Wait a second’’ Matilde asked for a shot of vodka and drank it. ‘’Now lets go’’ she grabbed Sebastian by the arm and dragged him to the dance floor.

Neither Matilde or Sebastian were very good at dancing but they weren’t even trying. Matilde knew that he wanted to ask a couple of questions about Celine and she was ready to answer them.
‘’Before you ask’’ she looked at him with an smug smile. ‘’She’s single’’.
‘’I wasn’t going to ask this’’ he lied. By the way Matilde looked at him it was obvious that she didn’t believe him. ‘’Well, I was.’’ he admitted.
They both glanced at Celine who was still sitting by the bar laughing a bit at them dancing. Or trying to.
‘’However…’’ Matilde had an enigmatic smile. She was clearly enjoying the whole situation. ‘’It’s not as easy as it seems. I’m talking about Celine who I’m sure is half robot, half alien’’.
Sebastian was confused. By what he had seen of Celine she had seem perfectly normal. Well, with a weird and dark sense of humour. But he didn’t know much about her, after all.
‘’What do you mean?’’ he couldn’t contain his curiosity.
‘’That you should grab all of what you know about women and throw it to the trash because with Celine it’s going to be useless’’.
Matilde made a dramatic pause and continued dancing. Sebastian noticed that he hadn’t moved for a minute.
‘’Go on’’ now that he was learning all this stuff he wanted to know more. Damn his gossiping nature.
‘’Don’t worry. She just doesn’t care about relationships and all that stuff. She says it’s a waste of time’’. Matilde rolled her eyes. ‘’Don’t try to convince her otherwise, it won’t work. Just be her friend. Between us, she needs more friends than me and a bunch of sociopaths and mad geniuses from Cambridge. And you need someone to show you around London whose celebrity status is below zero.’’.
‘’I think you’re nice. We should also be friends’’ he proposed. He was completely genuine. Matilde seemed like a nice sweet person, a total contrast of Celine’s stronger personality. At least that was his first impression of her.
Matilde was a bit astounded. Had he actually said that? Maybe it was the alcohol that was making her hear things.
‘’If you said so’’ she mumbled trying not to fan girl. She envied Celine’s cold demeanour in this situations. ‘’Tell me a secret about you, something no one knows about you’’.
‘’Chris Evans is gorgeous’’ he said without a bit of shame.
Matilde wasn’t impressed at all.
‘’Sebastian everyone knows that’s the truth’’ she also found Chris Evans god like.
‘’Yeah but when I first met him on the set of The First Avenger he made me question certain things about myself. Then I realised everyone had a crush on him’’.
Matilde was loving this. He was talking to Sebastian Stan himself about Chris Evans. Paradise.
‘’I see the way you two look at each other in interviews. Beyond cute.’’
‘’He friend zoned me’’ he joked. Of course he didn’t like Chris in that way even though everyone loved to believe that he did.
‘’I can’t imagine anyone friend zoning you’’ that was not really true. There was someone completely capable of doing that. Celine, of course.
On her part, Celine was moving her left feet at the rhythm of the music, getting more tired by the second.
Matilde had a sudden idea.
‘’Celine!’’ she called her friend. ‘’Come here’’.
Both, she and Sebastian looked a bit confused on what she was doing.
‘’What?’’ slowly she went towards them.
‘’Dance with us the next song’’ Matilde smiled with innocence.
‘¨Please’’ Sebastian sweetly smiled to her.
It was hard to resist him and to be honest she really didn’t want to. It wasn’t just that he was devastatingly handsome, there was something else in him that she was starting to like. Maybe it was the way his expressive blue eyes shone or maybe that he seemed genuinely sincere. And he also had a witty sense of humour that Celine appreciated.
She nodded and went toward them. Just then the band started playing a cover of Ed Sheeran’s Nancy Mulligan.
‘’I have to go… to the bathroom’’ Matilde excused herself and left them.
‘’Was she lying?’’ he asked.
‘’Totally’’ Celine admitted.
He offered her his hand and she took it. Celine was amazed that this interaction wasn’t awkward at all. She had never danced with a guy before, except Joel or Charlie and that didn’t count. But she felt at ease with Sebastian, it was like dancing with a friend she’d known for years.
‘’How do you dance to this thing? Matilde’s a very good talker but a terrible teacher’’.
‘’Have you ever watched The Lord of the Rings?’’ she asked him and he nodded. ‘’Remember how the Hobbits danced at Bilbos’s birthday party at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring’’ he nodded again. ‘’Well, dance like that’’.
‘’Dance like Hobbits?’’ his smile light up his face even more. ‘’This is the best day of my life’’.
He delicately grabbed Celine’s arms and tried to move without laughing in the process. After a moment of twisting and clapping they were both laughing non-stop. It was really random but fun.
‘’Where is the Wexford border?’’ he referred to a particular line in the song.
‘’In Ireland. Do you want to go?’’ she teased him.
‘’Maybe. Sounds touristic’’.
Celine was almost without air and the damned song never ended. Damn you Ed Sheeran.
‘’Do you have to lift you up?’’ he asked, looking at Max who was struggling at lifting Leah in the air.
‘’If you want. Probably you’ll do it more elegantly than him’’.
He lift her up very effortlessly.
‘’Done’’ he was smiling like a little child. ‘’We are ready to emulate the cast of High School Musical’’.
‘’What is High School Musical?’’ she genuinely had no idea what he was talking about. The only thing that came to he mind was a high school that somehow was musical. Nothing that Celine liked to think about.
‘’It’s a movie’’ he was a bit lost that she seemed to have no idea of a movie that half the world had probably seen or at least heard about it. ‘’It’s about some kids in a high school that sing, dance, fall in love and stuff’’.
‘’That sound like the stuff from nightmares. Tell me that you didn’t act in this, please’’. Celine was a bit grossed out with the plot of the movie.
‘’No, I can’t sing or dance. The move makes no sense but it’s fun to watch’’. he lifted her up one more time.
Celine couldn’t deny that she was enchanted by him. His personality was addictive and he was so nice that she only wanted to know him more. She knew a lot of interesting people but no one like Sebastian.
After the song ended both of them were completely breathless. Celine saw Matilde on one of the tables and she was towards them with Sebastian following her.
‘’Celine, your hat is falling off’’ shyly he pointed at her head.
Without much ceremony she tried to take the silly Leprechaun hat off but he stopped her.
‘’Don’t. It looks nice on you, let me put it back in its place.’’
He pinned the little hat very carefully, trying not to pull Celine’s thin hair in the process. When he finished he let his arm rest on her shoulders. Celine had no idea from where this was coming from but she played along.
‘’Thanks’’ she looked at him with a little smile and wrapped her arm around his waist.
What the hell was going on? She tried not to imagine the reaction of her Cambridge friends at seeing her with her arm wrapped around some guy she had just met that was a sweetheart but also really hot and famous. Joel and Charlie would probably had a seizure.
On another table, a bit far from them, Anthony and Sammy were looking at the scene with wide eyes. Sebastian had been moody for the whole day and now he was a literal Prince Charming.
Matilde looked at them only when they reached the table.
‘’Were you having a good time?’’ she asked with a smirk.
‘’Yes.’’ answered Sebastian. ‘’It was great even though I still find Irish dances a bit weird’’.
‘’Sebastian, can I ask you something?’’ interrupted Matilde. ‘’Is that Anthony Mackie?’’ As Celine didn’t know who he was, she supposed he was one of the people that acted in that movies Matilde watched.
‘’Yeah, that’s him.’’ he looked at a table in front of him. ‘’The bastard is laughing at me, I can see him’’.
He ignored Anthony for the rest of the night.
Celine was amazed at how at ease he seemed to be with them. He was a film star, he had probably met people far more interesting than them both. Matilde couldn’t stop asking questions about everything she had always wanted to know about Marvel movies.
On his part, Sebastian was having a really good time. Matilde seemed to be curious and sweet while Celine was mysterious, enigmatic, unique and absolutely addictive. He could talk to her for hours and never get tired.
Matilde was paying attention to Celine’s behaviour. Every time that woman rejected someone always excused herself to the lack of chemistry. Now between her and Sebastian was such chemistry that it seemed that they seemed to have known each other for years.
After a couple of hours Celine was tired.
‘’Are you okay?’’ Sebastian asked her, looking at her with those amazing blue eyes of his, that Celine decided they were his best feature, and that was to say a lot.
‘’A bit tired. It was a long day and I’m an early riser’’ he smiled at him. ‘’I think we should head home’’ she said to Matilde.
‘’I second you in this’’. she looked at Sebastian. ‘’You can tag along’’.
‘’I think that’s the best option because I’m just as tired as Celine. I’ll have to ask Tom for the keys and the bastard looks busy’’.
Celine couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw Janice with Tom Hiddleston caught up in a passionate embrace. It had definitely been a bizarre night for everyone, Celine included. But by no means she was going to end the night like Janice.
‘’That was disgusting’’ said Sebastian when he came back with the keys. ‘’Let’s go’’.
When they passed in front of Anthony’s table, he whistled to Sebastian who showed him the middle finger.
‘’Why they don’t go and tease Tom?’’ he exploded when they were outside. ‘’I’m just innocently walking back home while he’s making out with someone he just met in front of an audience. I’m not being the inappropriate one’’.
Celine just laughed at him, wrapping herself with her big trench coat. Matilde, who very unwisely had decided to wear only that revealing green dress, was shaking.
‘’I have no idea where I am’’ he said with a bit of dramatism. ‘’Tom brought us here and I have no idea how to come back. Bear with me, I’m not a local’’.
‘’We’ll walk you home, don’t worry’’ said Matilde, who was shaking a little.
‘’Aren’t you cold?’’ Sebastian and Celine asked at the same time.
‘’Please take this’’ Sebastian gave her his leather jacket. ‘’And you don’t need to walk me all the way to Tom’s. Just leave me in a street I can recognise. You don’t need to go all the way to Fulham’’.
‘’Don’t worry, we do it everyday’’ Celine lied with a nice smile.
She didn’t mind to walk for ten more minutes. He had been so nice with her and Matilde that the least thing they could do was walking him home. And she didn’t mind talking to him for a little bit longer.
Matilde was wrapped in Sebastian’s leather jacket, that was enormous for her, and was enjoying every second of it. It had been the best night of her life. Even though Janice had spoiled her chances of talking to Tom Hiddleston, she had spent hours talking to Sebastian Stan about many things. And wearing his jacket as a bonus.
‘’I can recognise this street. We’re two blocks away, aren’t we?’’ he asked, looking around.
‘’Yes, you’re actually right’’. said Celine with a smile. ‘’Just walk in a straight line and don’t turn around until you get there so you won’t get lost. London can be a maze sometimes.’’
He stood there for a moment, unsure about how to say goodbye to her.
‘’It was nice meeting you’’ he softly placed his hand on her shoulder. ‘’You owe me the story about the dragon in the Welsh flag’’ that was basically an statement that he wanted to see her again. ‘’And it was nice to meet you too’’ he turned to Matilde with a big smile.
Matilde was still a bit dumbfounded. All of this reminded her of Cinderella: a brilliant night with a prince Charming then the clock struck twelve and she went back to being normal.
‘’Sebastian, your jacket’’ she handed him the leather jacket he had gave her.
‘’Keep it. You can give it to me some other time’’.
Matilde almost jumped in joy. That certainly meant that she was also seeing him again and he was interested in being friends with them both, not only with Celine.
‘’Celine, text me when you get home, please’’ he said with a soft voice. ‘’Otherwise you’ll have me worried. It was my fault that you walked all the way to here’’.
‘’But I don’t have your number’’ she said without thinking.
‘’I know’’ he said with a winning smile. ‘’Can I have your phone for a second?’’
‘’Why?’’ Celine asked with suspicion.
Matilde wanted to bang her head on the lampost that was next to her. Celine was so bloody clueless that it hurt. Matilde wanted to shout at her ‘HE WANTS TO GIVE YOU HIS NUMBER YOU BLOODY IDIOT’.
‘’Please’’ he begged with a little smile, trying not to laugh at her authentic confusion.
Celine reluctantly gave him her phone, looking like she was handing him a bomb.
‘’Now you have my number’’ he gave her phone back with a sweet smile. ‘’Text me, please’’.
Celine was standing there, still confused. Her logical mind was asking why he hadn’t just asked for her number, she’d have given it to him anyway.
‘’Okay, good night, Sebastian’’ she greeted him with a soft touch on his arm.
‘’Good night, Celine and to you too Matilde’’
Matilde, just kissed him on the cheek, she was not going to miss that opportunity by anything in the world.
They turn around in opposites directions, Sebastian towards Tom Hiddleston's house and Matilde and Celine, back to Chelsea.
Celine was humming an Arctic Monkeys song, waiting for the moment when Matilde would start talking non-stop.
‘’You know Celine, this was the best night of my life’’ Matilde said with much more composure than what Celine was expecting.
‘’I guessed so’’ she couldn’t lie to herself, she had had a real good time and Sebastian was a real sweetheart.
‘’He likes you. Sebastian’’ Matilde said with a smug smile.
Celine was completely unmoved. Yes, Sebastian was great but she also had a life that couldn’t be disrupted by anyone. She had no time for any kind of romantic relationship.
‘’What do you want me to do? Announce it in the papers?’’ she said the most sarcasm she could muster.
Matilde wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her.
‘’Can you stop being sour for just two minutes? And you don’t have to do anything. Just, please, get to know him better. I’m sure you’ll end up thanking me later’’.
‘’If you say so’’ she mumbled,
The truth was that she was never going to admit that she had had a wonderful time with Sebastian. There was no point in denying that she wanted to see him again. Everything with a friendly intention, of course.
She was so caught up in her thoughts that the way back home seemed incredibly short.
‘’Before you leave…’’ said Matilde ‘’…I want you to admit that you like him’’.
‘’Everyone does. Even you. You have to be blind not to like him. And he has nice eyes’’ she opened the door. ‘’Goodnight Matilde’’.
She went straight to do her short bedtime routine, that included feeding Elemauzer. Smiling a little she grabbed her phone and texted Sebastian a simple ‘Got home safe and sound. Have a good night :)’.
After less that a minute he had texted back a ‘Goodnight too you too x’, that left an smile on her face.
Back at the guest room of Tom Hiddleston house, Sebastian was also smiling like a little kid during Christmas.

 

Chapter Text

The next day Celine woke up without much thoughts about the previous night. Yes, she had had fun but life kept going on and she had things to do. The day was cloudy and perfect for a lazy day so she didn't even bother to change her pajamas.
She was having a great, normal and ordinary morning. She had made tea, fed her cat and watched a Real Madrid match. They had won so Celine's morning was even better.
She was also trying to advance a little with her investigation without much success. What she needed was more inspiration so she booked a couple of tickets to go to the Tower of London with Matilde the next day.
She was listening to 22 by Taylor Swift in full volume when she heard some knock on her door probably from Matilde. And she wasn't wrong.
''What's happening to you?'' Matilde asked when she saw her usually impeccable friend in such a lazy state.
''Nothing, why?''
''I don't know you look the opposite of yourself and you're listening to Taylor Swift and wrapped on a blanket at 1pm''.
''I was having a quiet time until you arrived. Do you want tea?''
Matilde looked mysterious enough to make Celine suspect something.
''I actually have a date'' she waited for Celine's reaction that never happened. ''With Sebastian Stan''.
Celine was a bit intrigued but didn't care much about it. Sebastian seemed as a really sweet and attentive guy, perfect for Matilde. And he was also one of her many celebrity crushes.
''Good'' she said without making much of a fuss.
''And you're coming with me'' she said making Celine almost choked.
''Matilde, I'm really happy that you got a date with your celebrity crush but if you think that I'm going to third wheel for you two, you are dead wrong''.
Matilde looked at Celine as if she pitied her.
''Celine, how many times do I have to tell you that he's not interested in me, he likes you. I asked Sebastian if he wanted to meet for lunch and he said yes then he asked me if you were coming and I said that you were''.
Celine was amazed. Her friend had spent the whole morning planning dates while she was trying to make some progress in her investigation. With a sigh she threw herself to the coach.
''Tell me you're not making any kind of romantic implications'' she groaned, covering her face with her hands.
''Why not? He likes you, you'd be gorgeous together and would have the cutest half Romanian half Welsh babies.'' Celine was finding this conversation terrifying. If it was a joke, it wasn't funny. ''I also think that you'd be better with my plan instead of staying here being depressing with the only company of that arrogant cat of yours''.
''I'm not being depressing! I'm trying to continue my investigation, it's a big deal for me. And Elemauzer is not arrogant. He just doesn't like people''.
''Celine, please, I promised him you'd come''.
''I'll go'' she said, rolling her eyes. ''But you'll stop with your romantic implications. I don't have time for a boyfriend now, let alone Sebastian who's actually famous. He's way out of my league and he can do so much better than me. I work twelve hours a day and in my free time I try to write history books. I'm not girlfriend material for a celebrity, be realistic''.
Matilde was still keeping that smug smile on her face.
''I think you're wrong. He can't do better than you. You're smart, pretty and very different to anyone he had met before''.
Celine laughed out loud. This was very improbable and it existed only on Matilde's wild imagination.
''Please Matilde, look at him. He can get anyone in the blink of an eye. There's no chance he can be interested in me. Not that I care, by the way''. she rolled her eyes one more time before leaving to change her clothes.
Matilde smiled for a second. At least she had succeeded even if her friend was with a weird mood.
''Where are we going?'' Celine asked after they had left her house.
''Pizza Express''
''Sophisticated'' she laughed even though she loved pizza. ''And the day's so grey! You didn't let me enjoy my lazy day. And Matilde, I forgot to ask you, can you come with me tomorrow to the Tower of London?''
''Sorry but I can't. I have to work and I don't start on Wednesday like you. Remember I'm just a secretary, not the Prime Minister's personal assistant''.
They arrived at the same time as Sebastian who had brought one of his friends from last night, Anthony, who had the same look on his face as Celine, like they were basically dragged there, unwillingly, by their insistent friends.
''Hello'' Sebastian greeted them shyly and Celine couldn't help but to feel that Matilde was right and her evening had improved dramatically. ''Sorry for bringing Anthony but he really didn't want to stay at Tom's with him and his... lady friend from last night'' he blushed and Celine seriously doubted that Anthony had come there by his own will.
''So you are the lucky ladies that left with Sebby last night...'' said Anthony with a smirk looking at 'Sebastian.
''Yes'' answered Celine, looking at Sebastian with a little smile. ''And we had to walk him home, otherwise he's be lost. He makes a pretty good damsel in distress''. that made Anthony laugh out loud and Sebastian acted as if he was embarrassed, but he actually wasn't
''Thank you, Celine'' he mumbled.
''You're welcome'' he winked at him when Matilde and Anthony weren't looking. ''Nice to see you again, Sebastian'' she whispered only to him.
''Likewise'' he gave her one of that heart melting smiles of his.
When they found an empty table Sebastian went for the food and Matilde for the drinks, leaving Celine and Anthony alone.
''Tell me what did he promise you to come'' she asked him directly.
''Free lunch. And you?''
''That she's going to stop trying to find me a boyfriend. Don't ask questions'' she said when Anthony was ready to ask something.
''That's a pity. I saw a nice chemistry between you and my idiot friend.'' Celine looked at him with raised eyebrows. ''Really. I mean, Sebastian's been single for over a year and he hadn't show any kind of interest in anyone until he met you last week on that library. That has to mean something, don't you think?''
Thankfully she didn't have to answer because Matilde and Sebastian were back with the food.
''I need to know something'' Matilde started when everybody was focused on their food. Celine and Sebastian were shooting such lustful glances to their pizzas that it was funny. ''Why was Janice doing at Tom's house?''
Anthony and Sebastian looked at each other, Matilde was more curious than ever and Celine was still focused on the food.
''Well... she never left'' Sebastian said as quickly as he could.
The only one who absolutely unmoved by this piece of information was Celine. The pizza was much better than gossip about two people she didn't really care about.
''Don't put those faces because I was the one who had to hear everything'' he looked quite disgusted. ''It was really uncomfortable, they didn't let me sleep at all.''
''I don't think I wanted to know the details'' mumbled Matilde. Anthony and Sebastian tried not to laugh.
''And this is not everything'' Sebastian was in deep gossip mood. ''This morning they were making breakfast together and they were all smitten. It was horrible, I swear I couldn't keep a straight face. Then I decided to go for a run until Matilde texted me I wanted to have some pizza. And that was morning''. he finished his speech with one of his signature smiles.
''I should have invited you to see the football match'' Celine looked at him, she didn't look very serious with a portion of pizza in one hand and a glass of Coke in the other. ''Once you get into football you can never leave'' by the way she was looking at him, they could all notice that she was being dead serious.
''Do you like football?'' asked Anthony, quite amazed as he didn't know many women who were interested in sports.
''Yes, and by football I mean the real one not that weird thing you have in America that's played with an egg shaped ball.'' she looked directly at Anthony's eyes, challenging to contradict her. And of course he didn't dare. He wondered since when Sebastian had a fancy for intimidating women.
''Better that Chris doesn't hear you say this. He's quite in love with his New England Patriots'' Anthony rolled his eyes, like he was questioning Chris's love for his team.
In the blink of an eye the conversation turned to Chris Evans and how awesome he was. It was hard to guess who was more in love with the guy: Matilde, Sebastian or Anthony. Celine had nothing to say. She was even grateful when her phone buzzed. As she didn't recognise the number she guessed it was from work.
''Excuse me'' she decided to take the call outside that it was less noisy. ''Hello?''
''Am I speaking to Doctor Celine Cadwallader?''
''Yes'' Celine wasn't sure who the person was but if he knew her name it was probably something work related.
''You are talking with Michael Gristwood from the BBC'' Celine froze. ''We revised your project and we decided that you are to be writing your new historical documentary. You'll also be allowed to narrate some lines''.
''This is great''. Celine wanted to dance around the streets. She felt as happy as when Real Madrid had won the Champions League.
Mr. Gristwood appointed her to a meeting the following week and that was all.
Celine stood outside the Pizza Express feeling a bit numb. She was writing a bloody documentary for the BBC. She wanted to stop random people on the streets to tell her the news. Of course she didn't do it, that was crazy and creepy.
''Are you okay? '' it was Sebastian. Celine suddenly remembered where she was. She had lost all the notions of time and place for a moment.
''Yes'' she looked at him with a big smile on her face. ''Of course I am. I'm writing a documentary for THE BBC. Impressive, isn't it?''
It was ironic that from all the people she knew, the first one to learn about that important piece of information was a guy she had met a week ago.
''Really? Congratulations!'' he looked genuinely happy for her. And he really was. She reminded him of himself whenever he got a role he was looking forward too.
''I still can't believe this is real life'' she said in a wave of honesty.
''I'm pretty sure you worked hard for this'' he was looking directly to her eyes.
She had to admit that she couldn't concentrate in what to say with him looking at her like that. Those beautiful blue eyes seemed to stare at her soul.
''I think so'' she was still a bit distracted. ''You're the first one to know about this, Sebastian''.
''I feel honoured'' he said with a smile.
''You should'' she teased him, before going back inside.
He looked at her with a flirtatious smile before opening the door to her. They found Matilde and Anthony engaged in a conversation about Star Wars.
''Where were you two?'' asked Matilde. ''Making out outside?''
Celine threw her a napkin on the face.
''That's the first thing that come to your dirty little mind, isn't it?''
''You look very happy'' Anthony was looking at her with an smirk and raised eyebrows.
''Of course I'm happy. This is the face of the woman who's going to write a documentary for the BBC not the face of one who just snogged your friend. No offence''.
''Thank you, Celine. That was encouraging'' he wasn't being serious, of course. He was starting to catch up with Celine's weird sense of humour. She was one of that persons who used sarcasm to describe the weather.
Anthony was a bit astonished that someone he knew was smart enough to write a documentary.
''Well done, Celine, I know you were going to get it'' Matilde was happy for her friend but she didn't had any doubts that she was going to get her project. After all, everything seemed to be working well to her lately.
Celine phone buzzed again. This time it was a text from none other than Joel Shand-Kydd. ''The band is back in London. Impromptu meeting. You have to show us your house someday''. She wasn't expecting to see her friends again after the last meeting. Seconds later she got another text: ''6pm at the usual place. Then we go to your place to do some karaoke''.
Sebastian had accidentally spied that someone named Joel had texted Celine and they were going to do some karaoke. There was no way he could picture Celine doing karaoke and, who the hell was Joel?
''Are you going to celebrate this very special achievement?'' curiosity had got the best of him. But for decency's sake, he tried to be subtle.
''I'm not big for celebrations, let alone when I have to wake up at 7am tomorrow. Coincidentally, some of my friends from Cambridge are paying an unannounced visit tonight'' she rolled her eyes. ''A wild night talking about science, the most interesting TED talks and the latest gossip about the Cambridge academics that as you may guess, is very racy''.
''Sounds... entertaining'' he mumbled.
She looked at him with a little smile.
''I'd invite you but believe me when I tell you that you don't want to spend your night talking about atoms, singing the harmonies of More Than A Feeling or listening to Joel's drunk stories. By the way, Joel is a friend from Cambridge. Imagine how weird it is that not even Matilde wants to come. And she never misses a party if alcohol is involved''.
He wasn't expecting to get all the answers of the questions he had in his mind without asking them.
''You are making me want to go'' he joked. ''I'm sorry but I can't. I have to be at the airport by seven''.
Now it was Celine's turn to be intrigued. So, he had just visited London for week? It seemed logical and by Celine's surprise, a bit disappointing.
''Are you leaving?'' she asked with her characteristic elegance.
He smiled at her, satisfied of having sparkled her curiosity.
''No but Anthony is. He came here only to help me settling a bit but tomorrow he has to go back to the States. I'm staying here until September. So you'll be seeing me very often...'' he smiled with confidence but in two seconds it crumbled and he blushed. ''...if you want of course''. he added in a hurry.
Celine was smiling at him with genuine kindness. It was impossible not to like him. Not only he was really handsome but he had such a delicate personality that it was adorable. He tried to be smooth only to fail and that somehow made him more endearing.
''Of course I'd love to see you again. I have to show you around, remember? I'm sure we'll have fun''. between the lines she was telling him that he was completely welcome in her world. Celine knew how it felt to be the new one in town and how important it was to have people around that made people feel like they belonged. She'd be happy to make Sebastian feel at home.
He was looking at her with suck a sweet smile that it hard not to melt right there.
''Hey, you two'' Anthony interrupted the little talk. ''It's five already. I think we need to leave''.
Sebastian looked just like someone who was waking up from a dream.
''Okay... I'm going''
After paying, Celine said goodbye to Anthony, saying that it had been nice to meet him (which was true) and wishing him good luck in whatever project he had next.
When she went to say goodbye to Sebastian she had a light bulb moment.
''Sebastian, are you free tomorrow evening?''
His eyes lighted up in a very noticeable way.
''Of course, why?''
Meanwhile Anthony and Matilde weren't missing a word.
''I have a couple of tickets to the Tower of London. If you want you can come with me, if you have nothing better to do, of course''.
Matilde was astounded. After all of her annoying hesitation and denial, there she was, asking Sebastian out herself, something that Matilde wouldn't have never dared to do in a million years.
It only took Celine a second to know that he was going to say yes.
''Yes, of course.'' he was too happy to accept. ''I would love to go''.
Anthony was a bit confused with how this situation was unfolding in front of his eyes. A week ago, Sebastian had been a literal pain in the neck and now the man had a date with the most unconventional woman Anthony had ever met.
''The Tower of London?'' Anthony asked Matilde. ''Doesn't sound very cheerful, does it?''
''They executed people there. Not a very romantic place to go on dates, to be honest. But Celine likes it. For a historian this place is Disneyland. I went once with her and I was bored out of my wits. Poor Sebastian, he has no idea in what he's getting himself into''.
''He may like it, for all I know. It's Sebastian we're talking about''.
After a quick goodbye, Celine and Matilde went back to their homes. After that, Celine was going to the usual Nandos where she and her Cambridge friends made the reunions. She was in such a good mood that she was happily mumbling Joan Jett's Bad Reputation.
''I told you it was a good idea to come'' said Matilde.
Celine didn't even deny it. She had had a brilliant evening. To be fair it was mostly because of her upcoming project with the BBC but talking to Sebastian had been great too.
''It was.'' she said with a little smile. ''Thank you''.
''You're welcome. I can't believe you had it in you to ask THE Sebastian Stan out on a date. You made the first move, congratulations girl''.
Celine was a bit confused.
''It's not a date. It's an educational trip to the Tower of London''.
''Whatever'' Matilde rolled her eyes.
''Do you want to come with me to the Cambridge improvised reunion?''
''Sorry but.. no. They make me feel like an ape''.
Matilde had met Celine's university friends and they all had been very nice but she couldn't understand a thing of what they talked about half of the time. She had got really bored and even tried to flirt with Celine's male friends which didn't work at all. As long as she knew all of them were clueless as her so it wasn't a surprise that Celine had turned out to be totally numb in matters of the heart if she had spent half of her life with these people. How she had managed to hook Sebastian Stan with that attitude towards romance, it was to remain a mystery forever.
''They don't think of you this way. They found you amusing''.
''They probably think I'm a simpleton. And your male friend don't even react to my attempts at flirting. And they are really good''.
Celine laughed out loud.
''Of course they were not going to react'' Celine went on laughing. ''Charlie's gay and Joel claims to be asexual.''
Matilde felt like an idiot but didn't say anything. Amy had told her about that but she was so drunk that she had forgotten it.
''I'm just going to sit and wait for Sebastian to introduce me to Chris Evans. I pray that guy's into women because I need a chance with someone''.

Chapter Text

Celine was back from the university around midday. She had arranged to meet Sebastian at the same Pizza Express at one.
When she stepped inside the house the first thing she heard was the sound of Joel's favourite band, The Strokes, playing at full volume. And there he was, eating from a huge bowl of cereal and talking to Charlie while Amy was asleep on the couch. Alize was probably still asleep upstairs.
The reunion last night had been really good. The had talked, did some karaoke and played monopoly until four in the morning. To Celine it was like being in Cambridge again, carefree and having fun, without taking into account that she had to wake up at seven am.
And the help of coffee and the perspective of spending her evening with the most handsome and the sweetest of men she'd ever met, she was more awake than ever.
''Hello there, Celine Elizabeth, how was work?'' asked Joel.
''I was falling asleep on my desk. I still envy the way you managed to attend physics lessons after a rough night of partying. Unbelievable''. she didn't have time to pour some tea to herself if she wanted to be on time to meet Sebastian.
''That's nothing, babe. Remember Dalwhinnie?''
She and Charlie nodded. Of course they remembered probably Joel's wildest drunken anecdote.
''The time you got drunk in Scotland the day before an exam and managed to get honour marks even after doing calculus with the biggest hangover of your life?'' said a voice with a French accent. Alize, who had at least got up.
''How do you remember that?'' asked Charlie. ''You were also dead drunk. Only Celine and I were sober. I don't even remember how we ended up in Dalwhinnie''.
''We were going to Inverness but this idiot'' Celine pointed to Joel ''..remembered he had an exam on the next day. We had to stop at Dalwhinnie only to get the next train back to Cambridge. Charlie, I swear I had no idea that the village had a whiskey distillery''.
''But we did know'' Alize and Joel looked at each other, licking their lips.
''It was us who had to witness it all'' said Charlie. ''And help you get back at Cambridge in one piece''.
''Which was hard'' said Celine while evaluating her appearance in the screen of her phone. ''Amy was covered in her own vomit, you Alize got naked in front of the statue of Dalwhinnie's local hero and Joel got lost. It was a nightmare''.
''And where was he?'' asked Alize who didn't remember a thing of what had happened that day.
''Sleeping under a bench'' Celine rolled her eyes. ''Charlie and I had to move him all the way back to the station''.
''Are you going somewhere?'' Joel asked her with a bit of suspicion.
Of course she was not going to tell them a thing about Sebastian because she knew they were going to make the biggest deal in history. They were even worse than Matilde.
''Educational trip to the Tower of London for exchange students from the university.'' she smiled with innocence.
''Fun'' said Joel with sarcasm.
''By the way, I want you all out of here when I get back.'' she winked at them.
The only one who was noticing a weird conduct in Celine was Joel. He was sure she was hiding something.
''Are you bringing someone?'' he asked with a meaningful smile.
Celine didn't even flinch.
''Yes, the ghost of my dead Welsh grandmother. Now, get the hell out of here.''
With a final smile she grabbed her bag and left the others a bit perplexed with her weird behaviour.
Celine realised that if she walked slowly she was going to be late so she decided to run which wasn't a smart decision considering her low level of stamina and the fact that she was wearing high heeled boots. It was a miracle that she arrived to the place with her ankles in normal state.
When she arrived there Sebastian was peacefully sitting there, drinking a Coke.
''Tell me I'm not late'' she had a hand on her heart that was beating as if it was going to burst. No, it had nothing to do with seeing Sebastian, it was more about having run for ten blocks after only eating a Gregg sausage roll with coffee in the whole morning. She was wondering why she wasn't dead yet.
''No, I got here early'' he looked at her with a bit of concern, noticing her red cheeks. ''Are you okay?''
''Yeah, I always get breathless after running a couple of blocks''.
''Slow down, Celine.'' he stood up to help her sit. ''Wait a sec''.
A moment later he came back with a Fanta for Celine and a whole pizza.
''Thank you'' she smiled at him. ''How did you know I like this kind of pizza?''
''I'm a good observer. Can I have an slice?'' he asked shyly.
''All you want''
Between the two of them they finished the pizza in record time and in minutes they were ready to start the trip.
''Are you up to a little walk?'' she asked him when they were in the cold exterior of the Pizza Express.
''Tell me we're not walking all the way to the Tower''.
''Are you crazy? It's on the other side of the city. No, we're going on the underground but the station is some blocks away''.
''So, let's go. You're the guide here. I hardly know how to get to Tom's from here''.
On the way to the station Celine was showing him the names of the streets and shortcuts to get to Tom's without having to walk such a long distance. They were having a nice time and Celine couldn't help but to admire him and how he managed to look so good with a white shirt and a leather jacket.
''Ok, here we are. Remember the name of the station. It's just memory and I'm sure you have it''. she smiled at him.
''Gloucester Road?'' he was making sure of remembering the name of the goddamned station.
''It's the nearest to my house.'' she kept telling him some more details about how to get to her house from there. He was making mental notes of everything she said.
It wasn't very complicated. Celine was telling him to get an Oyster card for himself if he was staying for a while and to learn the stations and the lines by heart.
''How do you go around here without getting lost?'' he asked when they were inside the train. ''London is more of a maze than New York''.
''It's a matter of practice'' she pushed him to a couple of empty seats.
Thankfully it wasn't a very busy time and they got entertained with Celine's stories of the times she had got lost in her first days in London. Sebastian enjoyed the story of her ending up in Hammersmith by accident. She was so easy to talk to that he'd talk to her for hours. It was a plus that every time they passed an station she told him something curious about the place.
''Victoria Station. We are near Buckingham Palace'' she told him in a very excited way.
''Does the Queen live there?'' she nodded with a big smile. ''It'd be awesome to go''.
''We can go whenever you want, just add it to the things you have yet to see''.
Sebastian was having one of the best days in the whole year. Every second that passed he was more comfortable with Celine and she seemed to be at ease too. There was nothing awkward in the way they talked to each other.
''Westminster. That means the Big Ben, Westminster Bridge and the London Eye. It's packed with tourists everyday but if you want we come someday''.
''Have you been in it? It looks scary''.
''The view is breathtaking but a bit intimidating. I went there with Matilde who went dizzy and made an scene. I'm not going back there with her ever again. You'd probably be better company''.
She noticed how he smiled and then blushed.
After passing a couple of stations she tapped his arm.
''We're here'' she whispered to him.
''Tower Hill'' he muttered and followed her out of the train.
The first thing Sebastian saw after leaving the station was a very ancient wall. It was nothing out of this world but somehow it irradiated an aura of mystery. Maybe because he knew that this was no ordinary wall but a historical relic.
''That's the London Wall. What you have in front of your eyes is a surviving fragment of the 3rd century Roman Wall. Impressive, isn't it?''
It was. Knowing that he was standing in front of a place that the freaking Romans had built was a bit overwhelming. He had seen stuff like that only in movies.
Celine grabbed him by the arm, so they could continue with the trip.
He followed Celine towards an intimidating looking building. Of course he had read about it in the books Celine gave him so he was a bit in awe when he saw the infamous Tower with his own eyes.
''Let me invite you to a romantic stroll there'' he joked, pointing to a gate that had a sign that said 'Welcome to Traitor's Gate'.
''Sounds cute'' she returned him the smile. ''It'd be quite the experience, don't you think? In the past you went through this to be executed afterwards. If you were lucky they chopped off your head but if you weren't... well, you'd be hanged, drawn and quartered''.
Whatever it was that, it didn't sound nice at all.
When they entered the place, Sebastian felt like he was going back in time. He couldn't believe he was standing in the same place as so many people he had read about in books.
Celine was also having a very good time. She loved going to the Tower of London, the place where many of the things she had studied had unfolded. She didn't regret inviting Sebastian as she was enjoying watching his face sparkle with curiosity at everything she said and snapping pictures at everything he saw. She had discovered a great companion in him.
''Take me a picture with that cannon''. he gave Celine his phone. ''I want my fans to see me now''. his face was full childish enthusiasm and it was the cutest thing ever.
''So you're going to post this'' she was snapping various pictures of Sebastian with the cannon looking as if he was in a magazine photoshoot.
''How do I look?'' he had the audacity to ask.
''Very handsome. You'll make your fans swoon''.
He blushed bright red and Celine laughed.
''How can an old cannon be so beautiful?'' he mumbled taking more pictures of the thing. ''And it's probably older than all of my ancestors''.
''Certainly. Now leave it alone, we have to go to the armoury''.
''The armoury?'' he sounded like an excited child.
''You'll love it''.
They went inside the enormous building that was the armoury. It was filled with all sort of old weapons, armour and other stuff that drove Sebastian and Celine crazy.
''I feel as if I stepped into the set of Game of Thrones'' he said, with his blue eyes wide and lively. ''Look at this amazing sword... and this pike... AND OH MY GOD IS THAT A DRAGON?'' he yelled, attracting the attention of a couple of people.
''Yes, but it's made of metal'' Celine almost couldn't speak as she was laughing so hard.
''Can I take pictures?'' he asked to no one in particular.
''Yes'' answered a guard that war near them. He was hardly keeping an straight face as it was unusual to see two grown adults geeking out over metallic dragons.
After Sebastian was done with the pictures they continued with their tour.
''This was Henry the Eight's armour, he had it on his actual body'' she told him.
''You can see he was a big man by the size of it''. he commented making Celine laugh.
They were more than an hour exploring the place. They were both tired but still had many things to see. Like the Crown's jewels.
Sebastian was babbling about seeing the real crown that was on the Queen's head and that was really funny to hear. He had come out of his shell and was his usual bubbly self.
He followed her to a museum that had all sort of jewels, from scepters to tiaras and everything in between.
''Do you watch Sherlock?'' she suddenly asked him.
''No but I know that Ben Cumberbatch acts in it. With Martin Freeman. I acted with Martin in Civil War and with Ben in Infinity War''. he regretted saying this words as he wasn't allowed to spill any kind of information about that movie, let alone with people he barely knew. But Celine didn't look like a spy from the DCEU. ''Hell, please, I shouldn't have told you that. I'm contractually forbidden. Please, don't say anything about what I've just said on social media or literally anywhere''.
Celine kindly smiled at him. It looked like he had a problem at keeping his mouth shut when it came to his own movies or the people he'd worked with. Well, if she'd had the good luck of working with Benedict Cumberbatch she'd never shut up about it.
''Don't worry. I have no social media of any kind and I have no idea what an Infinity War is so you have nothing to worry. However, if I were you I wouldn't say any of this stuff in front of Matilde''.
''And why did you even mentioned Sherlock?'' he looked around, blinded by the thousands of diamonds.
''Because in an episode called The Reichenbach Fall, that you have to watch if you're a smart boy, Moriarty steals the Crown jewels. It's so bloody awesome. Every time I come here it reminds me of that scene and I get chills''.
Sebastian was adoring that side of Celine he hadn't seen yet. Her smile was dreamy and her eyes were a bit shiny. It was a really beautiful sight, even more that the jewelled ornamental sword that was in front of him.
''This would look great on my bedroom wall'' he pointed to the sword.
''It costs more that both of our lives combined. Not that it's on sale. Everything here belongs to the Crown.'' Celine was admiring Queen Victoria's coronation ring.
''Imagine wearing this on your head'' he pointed to a big crown. ''But it looks kinda heavy. It'd put pressure on my delicate neck''
He touched his neck trying to look seductive but he just made Celine mumble a 'Seriously?' before cracking up.
By the time they left the Tower they were both tired and hungry, especially Celine who had been up until four am playing Monopoly with the Cambridge gang.
''Celine, I need coffee if I don't want to fall asleep on the tube''.
''Fall asleep if you want'' she winked at him. ''But don't blame me if you end up somewhere else, good luck coming back. But I agree with you, let's go for coffee''.

''You should have let me pay'' she reprimanded him while they were walking through Trinity Square Gardens.
''You invited me to the Tower, the least thing I could do was to buy you coffee'' he gently tapped her shoulders.
He wasn't confident enough to touch her or even try to link his arm though hers (something he really wanted to do). He felt as if he could get electrocuted if he touched her. Celine gave him the impression that she had some electric field around her.
''You shouldn't have'' she insisted.
''Don't be silly, Celine. This is a nice place'' he changed the topic, looking around the park. Finally he found a nice seat to rest or a while.
Throughout the evening Sebastian had realised that Celine was quite the character. She looked serious but she had a dark sense of humour. She was sharp but innocent at the same time. She was an independent woman but also a teenager on the inside, and no one on their right minds would call her a 'mature adult'. Celine was full of contradictions and that, in Sebastian's opinion, made her unique. He had never met anyone like her. However, he didn't know who Celine was, deep inside.
''Celine, may I ask you something?'' she just nodded. ''You said you were from Wales, so that means you haven't lived in London forever. Since when do you live here? I don't want to sound intrusive but is simply curiosity''.
''Are you up for an story?'' she asked him.
He wasn't expecting that Celine was going to answer to that question, let alone with details.
''Of course'' she looked right at her eyes.
''As you know, I was born in Wales but I moved when I was four. To South America''.
''Really? That's so cool.'' he wasn't expecting that Celine was sort of a globetrotter.
''Not really. The town where I lived was boring seaside trash. That's why my mother sent me to Cambridge when I was seventeen, I spent nine years there and then, well, I moved here, less than a year ago.'' by the way in which se talked about the city of London, Sebastian thought that she had been around for many years. ''It's been quite a wild ride but successful. I started living in a diminutive flat in the South then I moved with Matilde to Chelsea and by luck I ended up buying the house next door. It sucked at the beginning and I was about to give up many times but... here I am''.
''It always sucks at the beginning'' he was thinking about his own life experience. ''But you have a PhD and you seem to have achieved so much. And you're probably younger than me''.
''It depends'' she said with a little smile. ''I have no idea how old are you''.
She wasn't lying. She was not Matilde who had probably Googled Sebastian a thousand times already.
''34''
''I'm 27. So yeah, you were right. I'm younger than you. Not that it makes a difference. We both behaved like five year olds today, going crazy for a metallic dragon'' they laughed at their own behaviour.
Sebastian was thinking about how easy it was to talk to her. She was entirelly compelling and interesting. He wanted to ask even more questions.
''And why do you speak Romanian?'' he had been intrigued by that since day one. ''It's not a very common language, that's why I'm asking''.
Celine smiled in a mysterious way, knowing that she had his full attention.
''It's not a very exciting story. My father's from there so he taught me the language''.
Well, that was surprising. Of all the things he imagined Celine to be, half Romanian was the least one of them all. He wondered what else was hidden in this enigmatic woman.
''Really? Your last name doesn't sound Romanian at all. I thought you were Welsh though and through''.
''I have my mother's surname. Some weird idea of hers about her first born having her last name'' she rolled her eyes. ''I know, it's pretty weird''.
''It's just unusual. But cool.'' he was still a bit dumbfounded by Celine being half Romanian. ''And from where's your father from? Maybe I know the place''.
''Constanta''.
He chocked with his coffee and Celine looked at him with a questioning look. Then she remembered that Matilde had told her that he was from there too.
Until this day Sebastian was uncertain about believing in fate of not. But what were the odds of meeting a engaging and interesting woman on a library and whose father was from the same city as himself?
''I'm from there too''
''That's quite a coincidence.''
It was more than a coincidence, Sebastian was convinced of this. He decided to change the topic before saying something he could regret later.
''So, apart from English you speak Welsh and Romanian. I also speak three languages: English, Romanian and German. At least I understand it''.
Celine had an smug expression.
''I double you, mate. I also speak Spanish for obvious reasons, even though I could never get rid of the accent. Then I'm fluent in German and French''.
Sebastian was amazed. He couldn't believe how someone could retain so much information in her head. Maybe she was gifted.
''Why French and German? You've never lived in those places or have you?''
Celine rolled her eyes, an habit that Sebastian noticed that was very usual in her.
''My mother though it was a good idea that I spent my summers learning languages instead of going to the beach. She had a point, they look brilliant in my curriculum. But forget to make friends and live your teenage years like a normal person. Not that it mattered, I wasn't very drawn to people and the feeling was mutual.''
He couldn't find reasons why people wouldn't like Celine. Yes, she may be a bit unusual with a dark sense of humour but she had a very rich personality. He wanted to find out even more things about hers.
''And why? I mean, you're pretty amazing.''
She didn't blush but a she had a satisfied smile on her face. Not every day a handsome and sweet man, like Sebastian called her 'amazing'.
''Well, thank you'' she took the compliment with her usual elegance. ''I regret to say that back then not many people thought as you do now. Different individuals are sometimes scary, you know?''
Sebastian mumbled something that sounded like 'locals'. He was right. Small town mentality could be very narrow sometimes. She knew that Sebastian wasn't like that. He had lived in many different places, just like her and he also lived in New York. There was nothing of 'small town mentality' in him.
Apparently she and Sebastian had more things in common.
''Yeah'' he finally answered. ''I know all about it. Remember I was a weird Romanian kid who spoke no English, so yeah, I was a laughingstock. But I tried to be like everybody else and, by God, I was so wrong. Then I realized that I had been an idiot for half of my life''.
This time it was Celine who patted his shoulder in a delicate way.
''No, you were just trying to survive, which is hard in normal circumstances so I can imagine how it felt for you. But who cares about that now, I think you found your place in the world''.
Sebastian had never felt so comfortable around a person that wasn't his mum ever before, at least not after meeting them only a week ago. They were having a heart to heart conversation for God's sake instead of awkward small talk. The world needed more Celines, for sure.
Celine was totally relaxed around him. He was no different from Matilde or her Cambridge friends. Maybe even better as he wasn't teasing her about her love life or stuff like that.
''Celine, I think you're the most amazing person I've ever met'' he wasn't flirting, he was telling the truth. He was starting to feel sort of an admiration for her.
''Thank you, but I don't believe you''.
''Believe what you want, but it's the truth. You're amazing''.
''Aww, you too sweety, you're a cutie''.
That was enough to make Sebastian blush bright red and cover his face in shame.
''Celine, don't'' he was still covering his face with a hand.
That was a detail she had realised about him .He loved flirting and complimenting people but when someone complimented him back, he crumbled like a house of cards.
Slowly, they took their way back to the station.
''Tell me that you remember the name of the station we have to get off'' she tested him.
''Gloucester Road'' he answered without hesitation.
She smiled and took him by the arm, guiding him though the station.

Before reaching her streets Celine was crossing fingers and wishing that Joel and company had already left. It was not going to be nice if she was found going back home with a ridiculously handsome guy. And that guy being a famous movie star. And the same guy being friendly and relaxed around her. She would have to answer to some really uncomfortable questions that with only imagining them Celine wanted to jump into the Thames.
Sebastian was thinking that coming to London hadn't been a mistake at all. He liked Celine a lot but he wasn't sure in which way. For now he was going to follow her example of not thinking too much about things and settle for a nice friendship. He had to admit he didn't dare to make a move on her as he looked like the kind of person who'd cut him out of her life with no remorse.
''I hope that Matilde is at home'' she said, taking Sebastian out of his bubble. ''Because at this time of the day she makes the most delicious cookies. After tasting them you will not want to leave London ever again''.
''That sounds nice'' homemade cookies was something he would never say no to.
They found Matilde waiting for something outside of her house. Celine had the strange feeling that she had been waiting for them.
When she spotted them she instantly tried to see in in them some signal that they may have kissed or something. She was disappointed.
''Celine, one of your weird friends left me your key. They left only half and hour ago. They asked me to tell you that you should have fun with the ghost of your dead Welsh grandmother''.
''What on earth?'' asked Sebastian with confusion.
''Oh, don't worry. I can't really summon people back from the dead. It's a sarcastic comment I told to my friend Joel to avoid telling him that I was walking around London with a movie star. He wouldn't have let you live in peace for the rest of your life''.
Sebastian was in the verge of cracking up.
''Of all the stories you could have made up you had to bring up a ghost. That's the greatest thing I've ever heard.''
Now it was Matilde who was confused. She was expecting Celine and Sebastian to exchange meaningful glances, little touches and call each other 'darling'. Instead they were bantering like there was no tomorrow. They were talking like two bros in a bar.
''It was sarcasm. Luckily for all of us ghosts are not real. You really don't want to bring back Gwendolyn Cadwallader to life. That woman was a pain in the neck, I swear''.
Sebastian was getting used to Celine sense of humour that he wasn't weirded out by the way she talked about her own grandmother. Celine was the kind of person that would write a sarcastic epitaph in her tombstone.
''And how was the Tower?'' Matilde asked.
''Awesome'' answered Sebastian immediately. ''There was a metallic dragon, cannons, swords and diamonds. There were crows, Matilde. Crows! And we saw and executioner's block with the awe included!''
''Delightful'' she said with the thought of someone's head being chopped off in that block .''Why don't we go for tea? I've made some cookies''.
Celine and Sebastian smiled at each other. He couldn't take his mind off of the homemade cookies. Without hesitation they followed her inside.
Sebastian helped Celine to make the teas while Matilde was sprinkling some powdered sugar on the cookies.
''And what did you learn about each other in this sort of creepy trip to the Tower?'' Matilde asked.
''That Celine is awesome''
''That Sebastian flirts a lot'' they both said at the same time.
''I don't do that'' he defended himself.
''C'mon Sebastian'' she looked at him as if her facts were obvious and started counting with her fingers. ''You flirted with me, with the security guard at the Tower, with the lady at the coffee shop, with that couple of fans that recognised you on the street and the mum of that little kid that asked you for a picture in the tube''.
''Celine has a point'' said Matilde and Sebastian couldn't say anything. ''That was probably interesting to see'' she was trying to imagine Sebastian flirting with the security guard.
Luckily for him the topic changed to their drunken stories, thanks to Matilde who had found some pictures of Sebastian drunk on the Internet. He had no idea about how that embarrassing stuff had ended up there. Celine was feeling lucky for not being famous. She had her share of drunken stories, most of them happening before the discover of her alcohol intolerance. At least she hadn't been one of the drunken people in the Dalwhinnie adventure.
''Talking about getting drunk'' Matilde said. ''Are you still interested about going to Glastonbury? Because the tickets go on sale tomorrow. I was thinking about an excursion. Sorry there's no Arctic Monkeys this year but Ed Sheeran's headling''.
''But of course I'm interested!'' one year she had been very close to going to Glastonbury but she had been in process of getting her second doctorate so she had to cancel the whole thing and sell the tickets to a friend from the university. But now this was her chance. ''We can invite Max and Leah and...'' she turned her head to look at Sebastian. ''Do you want to come?''
Sebastian wasn't expecting to be invited but he was glad that he was. He had heard about Glastonbury before and it seemed cool.
''When and where is it?'' he asked. Celine noticed his genuine interest.
''21st of June. Somerset'' Matilde answered.
''But do you really want to come?'' Celine asked, still in disbelief that such a popular and handsome actor fancied to spend a weekend in a music festival with a group of nobodies and losers. ''With us? We're not the coolest company for you but you'll be welcome''.
''I won't miss Celine seeping on a tent for anything in the world'' he laughed at the perspective.
''So, is that a yes?'' asked Matilde, still dazzled about bringing Sebastian Stan to Glastonbury like it was no big deal.
''But of course!''
''Yay'' Matide hugged him and kissed him on the chick.
They spent more than and hour talking about the festival even though it was
months away and they didn't have the tickets yet.
After Sebastian left, agreeing to see Celine again the next day for another trip,
she and Matilde stood alone, sharing their fifth cup of tea.
''You were right, Matilde and I have to thank you for that. Sebastian's a real
sweetheart and I'm so glad we found him'' Celine admitted.
''Just promise me one thing'' Celine nodded, for once believing that Matilde was being serious. ''Let me be the maid of honour when you marry him''.
Celine was unmoved. It was typical of Matilde to say stuff like this so she was used to.
''I can totally promise you this because it's never going to happen''.
''If you say so... but I think you'll be the future Mrs. Stan''.
Celine looked just as if she had swallowed something really bitter.
''Chill, woman. I'm not marrying the guy. And I'm not a Miss or a Mrs, I'm a Doctor. I'm forget about changing my last name, I'm an individual woman, not the property of any man''.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

When Sebastian arrived at Celine's, at 1 pm, she was already waiting for him. A Certain Romance by the Arctic Monkeys was playing and she was singing along. Or trying to, at least.
It was her last day of freedom before being grabbed by the Prime Minister's claws and she wanted to make the best of it. Spending the day with Sebastian was a good way.
''Tell me I wasn't late'' it was the first thing he asked her when she opened the door to him.
''Don't worry'' she greeted him with an smile and a little pat in the in the back. ''I was thinking about somewhere to go. The London Eye, Buckingham Palace or maybe... I don't know, I promised I would take you to an stadium but there's no match today and where's the fun of it? We're not going all the way to Wembley to buy souvenirs''
Sebastian didn't know what to say, he was surprised that she was willing to show him places and making him feel at home.
''Let's ride that London eye'' he said after a while.

Half an hour later they were in the front of the famous London Eye. Sebastian thought that it was higher than he had imagined. On TV it looked magical, an
unmissable part of the London skyline, in real life it looked intimidating.
''Would I look like an idiot if I say I'm scared?'' he asked Celine, while they were queuing for the tickets.
''No. I was really intimidated the first time I rode this thing. And Matilde wasn't of much help. But the view is magnificent, I swear''.
The queue was slowly moving while Celine told Sebastian of Matilde's adventure on the London Eye.
''Celine, at least let me pay. It's only fair, you invited me yesterday, let me invite you today''
Celine looked at him for a long time.
''No''
''Celine, please''
''No. I'm not taking advantage of you, Sebastian. I know you're so nice that you'll probably buy me Gucci sandals if I asked you''.
He couldn't deny it.
''But you weren't taking advantage of me, I was offering.''
''And I'm refusing''.
''Celine, you're the most obstinate woman I've ever met''
''Yesterday I was amazing and today I'm obstinate?''
''You're both. The most amazing and the most obstinate'' he was smiling and playing with a strand of her hair.
''And you're a flirt'' she pinched his cheek and as she was expecting, he blushed ''Now, move''
After a while they finally had got the tickets and Sebastian was non stop asking questions.
''So, do we have to step inside this capsule?''
''Yes, Sebastian''
''It doesn't go too fast, does it?''
''No, Sebastian''
''Can we see your house from up there?''
''I don't think so. Now step in'' they weren't the only ones inside the capsule as they were mixed with a bunch of tourists.
''I feel claustrophobic already''
''Seb, relax, it's going to be okay. It's a ride in the London Eye, we're not going into space'' Sebastian was surprised as it was the first time she called him 'Seb'.
''Celine, I'm officially scared'' every second the cars down the street looked tinier.
Of course she didn't laugh at him, she would have never done that in a million years. She just patted him on the back.
''Look Seb, we can see the Tower from here'' he started snapping pictures, at least he was getting used to the height and was undoubtedly doing better than
Matilde.
Celine didn't need to take pictures, she had excellent memory and always remembered every detail.
''What is that building?'' Sebastian pointed to a high skyscraper.
''The Shard. The highest bulding in Europe. Matilde went there once and said she's not doing that again.''

Even though he had enjoyed the ride, Sebastian was relieved when it came to an end. It felt good to be on firm earth once again.
''Was I a better companion than Matilde?'' he asked Celine.
''Definitely. She was already dizzy five minutes into the ride. I couldn't enjoy it very much because I felt guilty of having such a nice time while she was being
miserable''
''After a while you get used to it, and you were right, the view is impressive''
They were walking towards Westminster bridge, both of them with big smiles on their faces.
''Let's go for lunch?'' proposed Celine.
''I was just going to ask the same question''
They ended up in a McDonalds in the South Bank. Celine was busy with the chips while Sebastian was distracted with the ships sailing on the River Thames.
''Do you know you can take a tour in one of those?'' she pointed at the boats. ''I've never done that, I get dizzy on boats''
''It'd be nice to try'' he mumbled while eating his burger. ''I think that in the last two days I've taken the best pictures of my life, but this one is by far the best'' he showed Celine the picture of him with the cannon 'This will be my new Instagram icon. It's a pity you don't have social media''
''I don't have time and to be honest I would suck at it. I never had even a Facebook, like the rest of my family. The idea of it is a bit silly to me. Who
cares about what I ate for lunch, with who I am or what I'm doing? Well... probably Matilde would love to know what we are doing right now''
''Let's satisfy her'' he said taking a picture of his food.
''I can't believe you're doing this'' she facelpamed.

After finishing their meal Celine invited Sebastian for tea. Matilde wasn't at home yet so there was no point in texting her to come over.
Sebastian had never been in Celine's house yet so his eyes kept wandering around. The place was tidy and organised but cosy at the same time.
''Make yourself at home'' she said, leaving her keys and bag on the table, that was spotless. It was obvious that Celine never ate there.
''This is a really nice place'' he glancing at the few pictures on the wall. He recognised Henry VIII, a couple of cat pictures and Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys.
Celine heard a soft meow that came from the kitchen. She picked up her cat and
put him on a chair. The black cat looked at her with arrogance, as always.
''This is Elemauzer''.
Sebastian had never believed in the silly superstitions about black cats but this one looked extremely bad tempered. He looked like the twin of that cat from Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. He was surprised that the animal hadn't started talking yet.
''He's so cute'' he scratched the cat behind the ears ''Look, he's purring''
''The bastard'' mumbled Celine. ''He never purrs, not even when I feed him. He's an stuck up bastard''
Sebastian picked him and scratched his belly. The cat was completely peaceful and purring nonstop. Celine couldn't believe it as he hated to be scratched on
the belly.
''Celine, he loves me'' Sebastian whispered.
''I'm going to kick you both out of my house. You...'' she pointed at Sebastian ''for stealing the love of my cat. And you...'' she pointed at the cat that obviously
ignored her ''for being an ungrateful little devil''.
Celine guided Sebastian, who still had Elemauzer in his arms, to her sitting room. The walls were covered in books, pictures and diplomas.
''Gosh, I've never seen so many diplomas together. Two doctorates? Really? One was impressive but two... brilliant''.
In two seconds she had discovered that her second doctorate was in Politics and that her alma mater was King's College, Cambridge. There was a medal that literally proved that Celine had been the best alumni of her generation. What a woman.
Celine was smiling with pride at seeing Sebastian awe faced with the many honours she had.
What surprised him was the lack of family pictures. There was no more than three of them, the newest one seemed to be a couple of years older as Celine, for reasons unknown had her hair much shorter.
''Is that your mum?'' she pointed to the strict looking blond woman on the picture. ''You don't look much like her. You got your father's looks. And I didn't know you have brothers''. his glance was focused on the two blonde teenagers that didn't look like Celine at all and also were much younger than her.
''William's the oldest and Henry's the younger, we call him Harry and as you
can see they're both blondes like mum. That was the last time I saw them, it was in 2014. The all live in South America, except me, of course''
''I have a question'' he looked at her with a cute little smile. ''Why is your hair so short in this picture?''
''Oh that. I used to have it much longer, almost reaching my waist. But I sold it because I needed the money to buy tickets to see the Arctic Monkeys at Reading & Leeds, which I did''.
Sebastian cracked up. He had never met someone who had sold their hair for tickets to a music festival. Well, a woman with two doctorates was the first.
They spent a lot of time talking about their families. Celine got to know a deal more about Sebastian, like his childhood in Romania and Austria and much more things that Celine found fascinating. In an impulse of bravery he showed Celine pictures of himself as a child. Even though they were all over the Internet (how
they had got there was still a mystery to him), he was a hundred percent sure that Celine had never seen them before. It could have been a lot more
embarrassing but Celine found little Sebastian cute.
''Look at this'' she opened and old album and showed him a picture of a little blond girl holding a little black cat. ''That's me in my fifth birthday. The cat was
a present. His name was Merlin and lived for eleven years''.
He stared at the picture of little Celine. She looked by all means like a wild child, her dark blond hair was tangled and her expression reminded him of a little rascal.
''You were a blond and really cute. And a bit scary.''
''I was a nuisance.'' she admitted. ''I drove my parents crazy. I was all the time exploring places, driving my bike and wanting to be an Amazon. I did some scary stuff like jumping from the roof twice because I wanted to learn to fly. You see, I was wild''.
''You were awesome'' he placed the pictures of their younger selves together. ''We were quite a pair. But I think little Sebastian and little Celine would have been really good friends, a contrasting pair. I'm seven years older than you but you'd probably had been the leader''.
''You'd had been sort of my bodyguard''.
''No. You looked much more scary than I did. I looked lame and you well, ready to murder. Apart from that I would have respected you a lot and you'd have kept the bullies away from me. I'd have been your minion, so it was a good partnership. We'd have been good friends''.
Celine was starting to admire his good imagination.
''We can be good friends now. I don't know about you but I'm up for it''.
He looked at her. She was so close that she had just to reach out and kiss her. But something held him back: that was not what Celine wanted. Every single word she said, every single movement she made indicated that she wasn't looking for a romance. She just wanted a friend and he wanted to be that for her.
''Same here. I could use a friend here in London, and someone as awesome as you is just a bonus.'' he smiled and went on passing pictures until one of them caught his attention. It showed little Celine dressed in green holding a wooden bow in one hand and a spear in the other. ''What is this?''
''This was taken in the only Halloween party I ever went. I loved Robin Hood and I wanted to be him. It was really funny because all the girls in my grade
went as Disney princesses and I turned up as Robin Hood.'' she explained.
Sebastian noted that her expression was a bit absent minded but no less scary. Celine had definitely been a weird child but there was nothing wrong with it. There was an absolute contrast between the girl in the picture and the woman beside him. However the determination in little Celine's eyes was still present in her grown up self.
''And this?'' he asked, pointing at another picture.
She looked at it. The picture was taken at a wedding when Celine was thirteen, her hair was dark brown and tidy and her expression reminded Sebastian a bit of that of her cat. Totally bad tempered. She was in the standing next to one of her little brothers and her parents. Celine's youngest brother was in her mother's arms.
''Why were you so annoyed?'' he asked with sincere curiosity.
''Because I hated to be there. I never cared about weddings at all, I still don't. So, I was so bored and I had taken a book with me to read during the ceremony but my mother discovered and took it from me. And she made me wear a dress. When I was a child I hated dresses. I still don't like them but I tolerate them now. However, the evening ended up well because my brother Harry vomited all over mum's dress and I went all the way back home screaming 'KARMA, KARMA'. I think that was the day she decided to send me to Cambridge the soon as she could.''
Sebastian found himself laughing again. That craziest wedding story he'd ever heard. He was looking at her with a little bit of tenderness that wasn't so obvious to Celine to realise.
They continued looking at pictures until Sebastian found a little pink notebook
stuffed between the pages.
''What's this? A journal?''
''Oh my god, I've forgotten I have made this when I was sixteen. It's a bucket list.'' she gave him a pen ''Please open it, read each one and tick the ones I tell
you''
''Do you want me to do this? Really?'' he was amazed that Celine trusted him
that much.
''Yeah, we're having fun. Aren't we? And I made it when I was a silly teenager, it has no relevancy now''
''Okay, I'll start'' he opened the notebook and started reading '' 'Give people a reason to remember my name'. Gosh, that's pretty deep for a 'silly teenager' ''
''Don't tick that, I haven't done that yet''
''Well, I'll remember your name and I'm people''
''Ok, tick it'' she gave up
''Next... 'Attend Glastonbury' ''
''I'll buy the tickets in exactly half an hour'' she looked at her watch ''After June I'll tick that one''
''Become a millionaire'' he read.
''Hell, we started badly. I still can't afford Burberry, so I'm no millionaire''
Sebastian smiled and keep on reading.
''Travel the world... I think you've done that''
''I've been in like three countries, Sebastian. That hardly counts as 'the world' ''
'' 'Be in a proffesional photoshoot' ... really Celine? I've been through that and
believe me, it's really tedious''
''Don't judge me, I told you I was sixteen''
''Go to Germany'' he looked at Celine's expression ''Okay, no. 'Have a walk-in
closet''
''Yes finally! Tick that one''
''Oh my God, this one's really good...'' he had a mischievous expression '' 'Kiss someone at midnight on new years''
''Oh no'' she covered her face with her hands ''Cross that one. At sixteen I still had a romantic side in me that after nine years in Cambridge, died. Don't look at
me like that, yours would have died too''.
''Don't say that... Love is an essential part of a person's life''.
''Maybe for you. I don't share that view'' she finished her statement with a winner smile.
''Maybe because I'm supposed to be a romantic, I'm an actor after all''.
''And I'm a historian. We have Elizabeth I, who died a virgin and Henry VIII who married six times.''
''You had quite good role models''
''The best. And you don't know my friends from Cambridge, there's a whole level of disaster, they're even worse than me''.
''I've heard that the relationships that grow between friends last longer than... the other ones'' he wanted to know Celine's opinion about this topic more than anything.
Celine was thinking about that with some sort of disgust at imagining dating Joel or Charlie. That was a no of the size of Buckingham Palace.
''That's one step away of being incest'' he couldn't help but laugh at her stunned face. ''I don't think I could never have dated one of my Cambridge friends... if they were interested in women in the first place''.
Sebastian looked at her innocent face and noticed that she was being totally honest. He crossed the New Year's kiss, still smiling.
''Eat Belgian waffles in Belgium... no. 'Be a film extra', I can help you with that one''
Celine looked at him with surprise. Sometimes she forgot he was a famous actor.
''I admit that'd be fun''.
Sebastian was imagining Celine as an extra in Avengers Infinity War. Or whatever that came next.
''Buy a magic wand at Ollivander'' he read.
She stood up from the coach and took out a thin box from one of the shelves.
Inside there was an exact replica of a Harry Potter wand.
''Tick that''
He ticked it and kept on reading.
'' 'Get abs', I also can help you with this one''
''I'll give it a thought but I'd probably suck at physical exercise''
''Try butterbeer. I guess you've done that'' she nodded ''I always wanted to try''
''You should take the Harry Potter studio tour. You have to go all the way to Watford but it's worthy''
''Move to a different country. I'm definitely ticking this'' Celine was amazed that she had actually done some of the things she had written eleven years ago.
''Visit the largest library in the world' Where is it actually?''
''In Washington DC. The Library of Congress. But I visited the British Library, that's the second largest, so you can tick this one''.
''Next... 'Ride the London Eye'... see, we did it today'' they high-fived, smiling.
'' 'Learn archery'... oh my God, Celine''
''Why are you surprised? I told you I wanted to be Robin Hood''
''Yes but I thought that was when you were five, not sixteen''
''I still want to do it at 27, Sebastian''
''Whatever... We have just two left... 'Have a secret room in my house behind a bookshelf'' '' Sebastian looked at her expression ''Oh my God, don't tell me you
have one''
''Tick it, I'll show you later.''
''Okay the last one 'Get a tattoo' ''
''Tick it''
''Do you have a tattoo?'' he was surprised as Celine didn't look as someone who would ink herself.
''It's very small, that's what you can't see it''
She took her gold ring from her ring finger, that had her initial engraved on it and gave her hand to Sebastian. He took it and look at the little badge Celine had tattooed in her fourth finger.
''What's this?''
''Real Madrid badge. I did it after we won the Champions League in 2014. It's small enough to be hidden under the ring so no one knows about it. Until now''.
Of all the people he knew, Celine was the least likely to have a football tattoo. She kept surprising him.
''I don't have any tattoos'' he was absentmindedly caressing the tattoo on her finger. ''Did it hurt?''
''I don't remember. I was drunk''.
She looked at him with a smug smile and grabbed her laptop from the coffee table.
''Okay, it's time to buy those tickets''
While she did the process he went to the kitchen to bring more tea to them both. After two weeks in London his love for tea was growing. It had nothing to
do with the British stereotype as British tea was absolutely delicious.
He looked around the kitchen. It was absolutely spotless. Either Celine was a compulsory cleaner or homegirl didn't know how to cook. It was one of those options, the kitchen was way too impecable.
''How is it going?'' he asked when he was back with the teas.
''Fine. I bought the tickets and now I'm finding places to camp. There's a thing called 'Tipi' that's a really comfortable sort of tent but really expensive. 900
pounds. Maybe I can afford it in my next life''
''I can pay for it, you know''
Celine looked at his in a very serious way.
''Don't even try. However, I don't recommend it. According to the comments it's full of posh wannabes. Then you have Pennard Hill Ground but... no. It's full of drunkies and it floods when it rains, and it always rains''
He just look at her researching and muttering to herself.
''And Cockmill Meadow is for families. Ew, full of children. At this rate I prefer the drunkies. Seb, tell me, who on earth would bring children to Glastonbury?''
''Bad parents, Celine. We all know a music festival is no place for children. They get lost and then there's mayhem. I also ask myself, how can you enjoy the experience if you have to be taking care of a child 24/7?''
''I don't know but we'll have the experience with Matilde. When she gets drunk she becomes a little brat. Let's hope she falls asleep and doesn't bother anyone''. Sebastian could notice that Celine was absolutely excited with the idea of the music festival.
'' I found the perfect place. It's called Limekilns and it's a child-free zone, not many drunkies, it's on the ladder of a hill so you can have a nice view of the place, it's not so far away from the main stage and they let you lit a bonfire. It's done, I reserved two places. With two tents we'll manage''. She looked absolutely delighted.
To be honest he was delighted too. He had not expected too much for his stay in London (he had regretted taken his next project there until the last minute) but he had totally changed his mind. In a million years he would have imagined that meeting an weird historian in a bookshop was going to be such a crucial turning point for him.
Sebastian had to admit their friendship was unexpected. He had met people like her in the past but none of them saw him as someone worthy of their time. But Celine was welcoming enough to make him feel at home in a place a bit unknown for him where he just knew one person.
If there was a thing they had in common was that both of them saw their friendship as long lasting. Celine had never had many friends in her life so she valued the ones she had. Sebastian was not going to be an exception to the rule and she had the feeling that she was going to end up appreciating him as much he appreciated Matilde.
''Let me show you that secret room''
He observed how she found a disguised doorknob in one of the shelves and opened it.
''This is my office''
This room was also covered in books and was very illuminated thanks to a big window where you could see a little garden full of flowers. Like the rest of the house, it was cosy, with a comfortable looking armchair and an elegant desk.
''Originally, this place was part of the living room but I separated them when I moved'' she explained.
''This is wonderful'' he was inspecting the books, that were all related to history.
Things like The Children of Henry VIII, The Life of Elizabeth I, The life and death of Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth II were among the hundreds of books. ''And those flowers are beautiful'' Sebastian was looking through the widow, at the little backyard.
''They're fake. If you think I have the time or the ability to do gardening, you're wrong.''
Celine was also looking through the window. The sun was setting and that made
Celine remember, that it was her last day before starting her new job with the Prime Minister. Only the thought of it made her nervous.
''It seems as both of us start new things tomorrow'' she told him, trying to show confidence.
''I won't be able to sleep tonight, I'm dead nervous''
''Seb, at least you know what you're doing. I don't. I'll be employed by the most powerful person in Britain and I have no idea how she is as a boss. She could be a sweetheart but there's also the possibility that she's a real life version of Dolores Umbridge, and then it'll be hell''.
''Celine, Celine... even if she's Umbridge you'd probably be that one person who'll win her over. You're smart, witty and most of all ambitious. She'll love you I'm a hundred percent sure of it''
It was funny how Sebastian trusted more in Celine's abilities than herself.
''What makes you think that?'' she asked with curiosity.
''That you have a strange ability to charm people'' he looked at her with a charming smile.
''There you started with your flirting'' she rolled her eyes ''And do you know you're the best actor I know?''
''Celine, I'm the only actor you know''

Chapter Text

After March the next two months went by in a rush. Celine's life was mostly work and work for five (and sometimes six) days a week but she knew how to
make the best of her free time. She enjoyed days out with Matilde or Sebastian or with them both and sometimes even Max and Leah tagged along.
For Sebastian it was more or less the same. He had got used to Matilde and Celine, he wasn't the new person in their tiny group anymore but one of them. Matilde was sort of a younger sister to him. She wasn't as bright as Celine and she was made of softer material. But she was the ray of sunshine in the group, a total contrast to Celine's sarcasm and dark humour.
And Celine was his best friend, the one he turned to when he had a bad day or was feeling overwhelmed or insecure. The had got over the infatuation and pushed aside the romantic feelings he certainly had for her and just enjoyed their friendship. She was his rock during the draining months of filming that were far from being over. He knew that at the end of the day she was going to be there with tea, cookies and time to talk.
In the next months they had many memorable moments, like the day Celine completely ruined the Easter egg hunt Sebastian and Matilde had planned for
days by solving every single clue in five minutes. Celine had also improvised and egg hunt for the other two and had them running around her house for more than a hour trying to find the eggs while she sat peacefully drinking tea and watching an old episode of Mr. Bean.
Other highlights included the night Sebastian and Matilde made Celine watch High School Musical, and she had hated it. She had pointed every sing plot hole, predicted the end of the film at the beginning and said that she preferred to hear the cars on the streets rather than the songs. Celine had got her revenge by making them watch a two hour documentary about the Wars of the Roses, Matilde had ended up asleep and Sebastian had actually liked it.
They had also taken Sebastian to Wembley to see an FA Cup match between Chelsea and Tottenham and Celine had taken the other two to Hampton Court Palace where the three of them had had a good time trying to get out of a maze.
Even though the Matilde and Sebastian were pretty busy, any of them had as much to do as Celine.

It was the morning of the 3 rd of June. It was a Saturday. Celine was still on her pajamas, frantically finishing a list of press releases she had to present on Monday. She wanted to finish as soon as possible because the next day she was probably going to be too happy or too depressed to do something.
''Finally'' she muttered. She organised all the papers and feeling relieved she looked though the window. It was a gorgeous spring day, a good omen.
She left her not-so-secret-anymore office and grabbed one of the many packets of crisps she had around the kitchen when she heard the knocks at her door.
''I was expecting you'' she told Sebastian after finding him at the other side of the door.
He wasn't at all surprised that Celine was still in her pajamas at midday and that her hair was a tangled mess. He was only a bit worried that his friend may have been overworking herself too much.
''You texted me at 7 am saying that today was a special day''
''It is. Today Real Madrid plays the Champions League final''
''And that means...'' sometimes Sebastian got confused over all the football competitions. He always mixed the Premier League with the Champions League and it was even more complicated with Real Madrid because these guys played in Spain where the league had another name he didn't know. That was probably how Celine felt about The Avengers.
''That if we win we are the Champions of Europe.''
''That's big'' even Sebastian could guess this.
''Yes!'' she shook him by the shoulders, or at least tried to ''The match starts at 8 and Matilde's coming at 3 with more food. I imagine you're staying.''
''Of course'' he was not missing this for the world ''One thing: by food, do you mean this?'' he pointed at the many packets of crisps.
''Basically...''
He looked at her with a serious expression.
''Cez, dear, when was the last time you ate a proper meal?''
''When Matilde cooked for us?''
''That was two weeks ago'' his serious expression wasn't disappearing.
''And what's the problem with it?'' she asked.
''That a wind can knock you down and I've probably lifted weights heavier than you... just take care of yourself from time to time''
''Okay, mum''
Sebastian rolled his eyes.
''Cez, I forgot something, I'll be back in ten'' he looked at Celine again ''Is that mine?'' he pointed at Celine's sweatshirt.
''I think so. I don't own things with Wolverine in them. I don't even know what is a Wolverine.''
''And what is it doing here?''
''Seb, you forget everything here. Your phone, clothes, even the keys of Tom's house... and before you ask Matilde also has a collection of your clothes at hers.''
''You two are unbelievable'' he made a funny face to Celine.
''Unfortunately you can't live without us''
He rolled his eyes again and left.
''I'll be back in ten!'' he yelled from the outside.
By the time Sebastian was back Celine was dressed (with the Real Madrid jersey included) and her hair neatly controlled in a ponytail.
''Where did you go?''
''Tesco. I brought real food, Cez. Nice jersey by the way. I wonder what the Prime Minister would say if she sees you like that''
''She wouldn't recognise me'' she was inspecting the Tesco bags, She found uncooked pasta, some vegetables and tomato sauce. Nothing that she could use. ''I imagine
you'll try to cook today. Matilde will have a ball deciding who of us is worse in the kitchen''.
She grabbed a can of Coke and left to the living room where she started watching BBC Sports.
''Celine, five pounds you're worse than me!'' he yelled from the kitchen.
''Good luck!'' she yelled back ''Just don't set my kitchen on fire. I don't even use it but it looks nice''.
To pas the time she watched everything related to the upcoming match. Apart from the fact that Real Madrid was playing, the final was also special because it was going to be played in Cardiff. She couldn't imagine nothing better than Real Madrid winning a match in her hometown.
Almost an hour later, Sebastian showed up in the living room.
''It's ready'' he didn't look stressed so he probably hadn't set anything on fire.
''Remember that burning the food, hiding the evidence and then asking for a takeaway is considered cheating, Seb''.
''I promise I cooked it myself''
''We'll see''
She followed Sebastian to the kitchen, still not very convinced that he could make something else than popcorn.
''You made pasta?'' she asked with a little voice, completely defeated.
''You owe me five pounds. It happens that my mum taught me to cook pasta. It may be the only thing I can cook but I cook it well. Surprised much, Cez?''
She gave him the five pounds. They were all the time making little bets and most of the time Celine was the winner, so her pride hurt a little.
''Okay Seb, you won''
''Better to lose against me rather than your team losing the championship tonight''
''You're right, as always'' she admitted ''Let's eat''
Celine had to admit two things: that if there was something she missed from her parents home was homemade food and that Sebastian could actually cook.
''This remind me of my childhood. You cook exactly like my dad, and he was the one who cooked at home as mum was always working. Oh dear, sometimes I miss that'' she had a nostalgic expression. ''Very rarely'' she added later.
There were few times when Sebastian didn't know what to say and this was one of those. A part of him wanted to laugh at the 'Very rarely' but the other part felt really bad for her. She hadn't had a taste of normal family life in ten years.
'Thank you Seb'' she suddenly said.
''For what?''
''For everything you do for me that sometimes I don't think I deserve. For taking care of me when I don't take care of myself. You're one of the best persons I've ever met''.
''And you're not getting rid of me anytime soon''.
A couple of knocks on the door took them both out of their little melancholic time.
''You're eating already?'' asked Matilde after Celine opened the door ''Wow Sebby, I didn't know you could cook'' she served herself and sat besides Celine ''I brought more crisps and beer. I'm not going to be able to bear the match without a drink, I'm nervous enough already. Wow, Sebby you should really cook more''
''I can only make pasta. For the rest of the things I'm as bad as Celine'' Matilde laughed.
''No one is as bad as Celine. If we put Elemauzer on the kitchen he'll be probably better''
Celine rolled her eyes but didn't say anything because she knew it was true.
''Are Max and Leah tagging along?'' Sebastian asked Matilde.
''No. They went on a romantic date in the beautiful but utterly expensive restaurant on the top of the Shard.''
Celine and Sebastian looked at each other.
''Who on earth would miss a Champions League final to go on a cheesy date?'' Celine asked with a face full of authentic disapproval.
''Well said, Celine'' Sebastian high-fived her. ''At least we three have our priorities set straight''.
''I don't know really'' said Matilde ''If I had a boyfriend that looked like Chris Evans I would miss the final too. That's not the case so I'm stuck with you two, that wouldn't know romance even if it hits you right in the face''
Sebastian and Celine gagged. They could be absolutely childish sometimes.
''If romance hits me I would kick it so far it never comes back'' Celine said and Sebastian nodded in agreement.
Matilde smiled.
''There will be a day I'll use this conversation against you two.''
Celine and Sebastian simply laughed for a long time.
''Really guys. It'll be my speech at your wedding''
Three months back Sebastian would have blushed by her words, now he simply rolled her eyes and Celine looked at her with her signature disapproving look.
''I'm not marrying Celine!'' said Sebastian, knowing full well that the truth was the opposite of his statement. ''First of all, she doesn't want to. And then... I have my eyes set on Chris Evans''.
''Well said there, Seb.'' Celine patted his shoulder. ''I don't want to marry you. It's not personal, I don't want to marry anyone. However, if I were forced to, you'd be my first option''.
That made Sebastian feel a little more optimistic. Only a little.
''And you and Chris would totally smash it'' said Matilde. Celine looked at her with disapproval. ''Okay I'll shut up'' she gave up ''I hate this stare'' Celine's expression reminded her so much to the Prime Minister's that it was unpleasant.
''You took that from the Prime Minister, didn't you?'' asked Sebastian.
''Not really. I took it from my mum. Every time dad came back from doing the daily shopping she would say this'' she cleared her throat and imitated her mum's high pitched voice '' 'Nicolas why did you bought a different brand of toilet paper than the one we always use?' and she would look at him with the expression you both know''.
''And what would he say?'' asked Sebastian, engaged with the story.
Celine cleared her throat again and this time imitated his dad's voice.
'' 'But Elizabeth, it was half the price!'' but mum wouldn't accept excuses and the poor devil had to go back to the supermarket and bring the usual brand of toilet paper'' she finished the story with a sweet smile.
''I dread the day I'll have to meet your mum, Cez'' said Sebastian and Matilde nodded.

The match was approaching and Matilde and Celine were becoming more nervous by the minute. Sebastian was eating chips to conceal the fact that he was a bit impatient. He wanted Real Madrid to win mostly because he didn't want to face the prospect of a devastated Celine.
''Matilde, do you support Real Madrid only because Celine does?'' he asked Matilde, trying to ease the atmosphere a little.
''Not really. Remember my dad's the assistant of a football coach? Well, he used to at Real Madrid four years ago. Once you fall in love with a team it's impossible to fall
out of love''
Celine, who was already biting her nails, nodded in agreement.
Before the match there was a great ceremony that Sebastian found really pretty but the girls couldn't wait for it to be over.
''Who's Madrid playing against?'' asked Sebastian.
''Juventus'' answered Matilde, who was drinking her second beer. ''From Italy''.
''Okay, girls, good luck'' he said after the kick off.
The match was torture for both, Celine and Matilde while Sebastian was entertained by it. Luckily for everyone of them, Real Madrid scored first.
''RONALDOOOOOOO'' Matilde and Celine were shouting at the same time and hugging.
The fun didn't last much longer because Juventus drew the match. Even for Sebastian it was a low blow.
''That was totally unfair, Real Madrid was playing so much better'' he muttered.
''Don't tell me'' Celine's face was full of marks she had accidentally made with her own nails.
''Football's like that'' Matilde was close to tears. Then she proceeded to insult the player that had scored.
''I'm going to chop off the head of that Croatian bastard'' muttered Celine.
The first half ended with a 1-1. Celine was a wreck of emotions and Matilde looked sad.
''I need more beer'' she said.
''There's no half time show here? Like in the Super Bowl'' Sebastian asked and Celine laughed.
''Do you think someone can bear a singer swinging on stage right now. Please Seb, we're all a bag of nerves. We use the half time to go to the bathroom or to
pray a little if you're religious''
''I'm praying right now and I'm not religious.'' said Matilde.
The second half started more or less the same way until out of complete nowhere Real Madrid scored. Celine almost fainted and Matilde started crying. Sebastian was in the middle just watching the goal.
From that moment onwards everything went good with Real Madrid. Twenty minutes later they scored another goal and almost at the end of the match, another.
''Look, Cez, you won! Your team is the champion of Europe!'' Sebastian tried to shake Celine by the shoulder but she was covering her face with his hands. He didn't know if she was crying or just freaking out. Matilde was jumping and shrieking around the room.
Then, out of nowhere she just threw herself at Sebastian's arms. He just went with it, concealing his emotions even from himself and it quite worked. Apart from that, there wasn't much to get his hopes up for. Her team had just become Champions of Europe for the second time in a row, she'd probably have hugged a mannequin if it were there.
''Group hug!'' shouted Matilde, joining them.
''Champions of Europe! Again!'' she yelled, pushing Sebastian and Matilde away. ''Look at them!'' she pointed at the TV. ''This is just... so wonderful''.
She had an expression that Sebastian had never seen before. It was a mixture of love, excitement and pride. It was clear that this football team meant a lot to her. She reminded him of Chris Evans after the Super Bowl whenever the New England Patriots won.
But it was nothing compared with her face when the team lifted the trophy.

Some hours later Celine's living room, always spotless, had become an absolute mess. There were crisps and cans of beer on the floor. Matilde who had drank
more than everyone else was on the floor, still awake, drunkenly eating crisps. Celine, who in the happiness of the moment had drank one can of beer was asleep in one of the coaches. The only one who was sober to take control of the situation was Sebastian.
''What time is it?'' asked Matilde.
''Two am.''
''Oh damn'' with great difficulty she stood up only to fall to the floor again when she tripped in a little ball that moments before the three of them were kicking
around. Sebastian helped her to stand up ''I'm not coming back home today, I don't even remember where I left the keys. Tell Celine I'm crashing at her guest room''
''Can you go up the stairs without falling?''
''Yes, I have practice. Just help Celine. Remember the girl's never drunk.''
Patiently, he started shaking Celine.
''Cez. Cez. Wake up''
''What happened? How much time was I asleep?''
''More than hour. Matilde is staying in your guest room. How do you feel?''
She stood up and started walking around the living room, apparently not taking notice of the disaster.
''Fine. At least I can walk in a straight line. My head hurts a little but I'm just tired''
She left the living room and he followed her, to check that she wasn't falling down the stairs.
''I suppose you're not going back to Tom's at this time.'' she threw herself on the bed, trying hard to keep her eyes open for a little more of time.
''I don't think so'' he sat beside her, helping her to cover herself with the blankets.
''Just crash there'' she pointed at the other side of the bed ''It wouldn't be the first time''
''No'' with a bit of melancholy he remembered the only time they had shared a bed and how memorable it had been. ''Sleep well, Cez'' he gently ruffled her hair.
''You too, Seb'' she couldn't say a word before falling asleep.


On the next morning Celine woke up, the happiness of the night before still present in her mood. Matilde was probably asleep, recovering from all the drinks she had had and Sebastian was nowhere to be seen.
''There you are'' she told Sebastian when showed up with a mug in his hands.
Her voice was still soar after all the screaming during and after the match.
''I brought you coffee. God knows you need it.''
''Thank you. I should recover my voice for tomorrow. If I can't, I'll tell the Prime Minister that I'm sick''.
''She won't believe that the cause of it was that you were shouting at the TV for more than two hours. You sound like Chris Evans after the Super Bowl'' Celine
rolled her eyes, something she always did when he compared her with his beloved Chris Evans, something he often did. ''Anyway, I'll bring coffee to Matilde''.
''Really Seb, you're an angel. Where do you even come from?''
''Romania''
''You should have answered 'From Heaven', Seb, thank you''
Some time later Celine was in front of the mess that had became of her living room with a horrified expression. There were crisps everywhere, cushions on the floor and the picture of Alex Turner was knocked down.
''How did this happen?'' she asked Sebastian who shrugged his shoulders.
''It looks as if Hulk's been here''
''Who's Hulk?''
''It doesn't matter.''
She started cleaning all the rubbish that was on the floor with the help of Sebastian.
''My poor little Chelsea ball!'' she grabbed the little ball Matilde had tripped the night before ''We've kicked the poor thing around and that's how the frame fell. Thankfully we didn't break a glass.''
They heard steps on the stairs and second later Matilde appeared looking like an absolute mess.
''I need to sleep for the rest of the day.''
''Go ahead, your keys are in the kitchen'' Celine said to her with a sympathetic smile.
''See you later on the evening, you're both invited for tea.''
''Thank you your help, Matilde'' mumbled Celine ''She made half of this mess.''
After they finished with the cleaning of the living room, that took more time than they had thought at first, they decided to go for a walk. Originally the were going to bring Matilde but the girl was in no shape to accompany them.
''Don't you dare to go running like the last time'' she warned Sebastian ''You're much faster than me, is not fair.''
''Matilde keeps my pace, it's you who's slower than a snail. And why does my shirt smell as expensive perfume?''
''It's one of the many things you've left at my house and I spray all my clothes with Burberry perfurme. It's not my fault that some of it got on your clothes. At least I didn't do it on purpose. Matilde splashed your things with Coco Madmoiselle by Chanel on purpose''
''It'd seem as I've used my mum's perfumes this is not fair. Coco Madmoiselle, really?'' Celine nodded, laughing ''Oh God, no. This is humiliating''.
''Stop making a storm in teacup. You can always wash the clothes and the smell will disappear.''
Sebastian looked at Celine as if she were a genius.
They had reached Kensington Gardens, that was a enormous park near Kensington Palace itself. In all her time in London, Celine had never gone there as it was so
far for her to go walking.
''I didn't know you lived near Kensington Gardens, Cez''
''Near? We've been walking for 45 minutes! My legs are almost giving up. Sebastian, this place is enormous. We'll be hours here''.
''Just a little walk'' he looked at her with his signature charming smile and she gave up.
''Okay.''
They started walking for a lane called The Flower Walk, while talking about many things.
After Sebastian finally had enough of the beauty of the place they agreed to go back.
''A little walk? We were there for two hours!'' thankfully they had stopped to rest for a while and Celine wasn't as tired as she was at the beginning.
''You enjoyed it, Cez''
''It's a beautiful place. I wanted to try those tennis courts. They looked good.''
during her stay in Cambridge Celine had tried to play tennis (which meant she had played twice). Nevertheless she loved the sport.
''You really don't want to see me with a racket. There's pictures of me on the Internet looking absolutely erratic while playing. This is more humiliating than wearing Coco Madmoiselle.''
Celine made a mental note to Google the pictures of him playing tennis. They were probably priceless.
After this the conversation turned to Tom and Janice, that after three months and to everyone's surprise were still together.
''The best thing of all, is that I have the house for myself. Tom left to America last Friday and he's not coming back until after the Comic Con.''
''And the bad part?''
''That I had to witness annoying Janice...'' Sebastian and Matilde shared the same feelings about Janice ''moaning about why he doesn't bring her with him.
He promised her that she'll let her join him before the Con'' he rolled her eyes. ''
Look at their relationship for the love of God! The hooked up once, they started dating, attending to events together... who the hell does that?''
''The weirdest thing of it all...'' said Celine laughing softly ''Is that she used to be our friend. Then she met Tom and suddenly she forgot about us. I never talked to her anymore. Luckily we replaced her with you, and we like the change''

Later on the afternoon the three of them were reunited at Matilde's house. Celine was making the tea, Matilde making popcorn as they were watching a
film later, and Sebastian was on the phone.
''Damn'' he suddenly whispered.
''What happened?'' asked Celine ''Is Tom coming back before?''
''No. It was my manager telling me that I'm in the panel for the Comic Con. I wasn't really expecting this''.
''Okay'' as Celine had no idea what the hell he was talking about she continued making the tea.
''I tried to buy tickets back in April but they had sold out'' said Matilde with a sad face.
Sebastian suddenly looked very interested.
''Why haven't you told me before? I can get you VIP passes in heartbeat!'' Matilde's eyes were so wide that Celine was afraid they were going to burst out of her skull.
''Would you want to go, yes or no?''
''Is that actually a question, Sebby?''
''Celine are you coming with us?' he asked with a huge grin.
''What? Where?'' she didn't really know about what they were talking about and why Matilde looked as if she had just won the lottery.
''The Comic Con''
''What's that?''
''We'll explain later. Now say yes'' insisted Sebastian.
Matilde and Sebastian looked at her with an anxious expression that Celine didn't understand.
''Okay'' she mumbled.
Matilde and Sebastian grinned at each other.
''Just give me a second''
As Sebastian went back on the phone, Matilde looked excited and Celine, confused.
''It's done'' he was smiling like the Chesire cat ''I've got VIP passes for the two of you.
''YES!'' yelled Matilde throwing a handful of popcorn to the air.
''Matilde!'' some of the popcorn landed on her head so she looked at Matilde with annoyance ''Can someone explain to me what the hell is going on and where are we going?''
Sebastian inhaled.
''Okay, the Comic Con is a convention of...'' he looked at Matilde ''...interesting things like comic books... films, TV series and all sort of things'' he smiled again.
''When and where is it?''
''The 20th of July in...'' he looked at Matilde again ''...San Diego'' he completed with a little voice.
He and Matilde looked at her with the same wide and maniac smiles.
''San Diego in California?'' she was still confused.
As an answer they both kept the maniac smiles.
''ARE YOU TAKING ME OUT OF THE COUNTRY?'' she yelled ''What were you thinking? We have to work and... my God, I thought the furthest it was, I don't know... Leeds!''
''Please Celine it will be fun'' said Matilde ''The Prime Minister gave you two free weeks after the June election. You can use one for Glastonbury and the other for then Comic Con. Then we can laugh at Sebastian on the panel''
''That's tempting'' admitted Celine.
''And think about the famous people you'll meet'' Sebastian tried to remember the few actors Celine knew the name of ''Eddie Redmayne will be on the Fantastic Beasts panel, you have also the Infinity War cast, Chris Evans...''
''Wait, what?'' Matilde's eyes were again wide open.
''Chris Evans will be there, he's part of the cast''.
''I need a moment'' Matilde suddenly disappeared somewhere leaving Sebastian and Celine quite confused.
Matilde got back in some minutes looking as she had just splashed water on herface.
''I'll go as Black Widow for the Comic Con'' said Matilde. Celine was confused as the only 'Black Widow' she knew was a spider and she wasn't sure as why her friend would want to go to a convention as a spider ''And as you are part of the cast you'll have to go as a normal person''
''Are you kidding me? I'm not missing on this chance. I'm going as Captain America and no one will discover me and if they do, the Internet will go crazy.'' as Sebastian spoke, Celine knew she was still missing on something.
They won't even dream of Celine picking a costume so either of them mentioned it, even though they'd have loved to see her cosplaying Wonder Woman or Scarlet Witch.
''I can believe you're doing this. San Diego? Really?''.
''Stop the complaining and let's watch the film that I've got something special prepared for you two'' Matilde gave the other two a bowl of popcorn and headed to the living room.
''If you make me watch another High School Musical film I'll flip myself out of here. Heaven knows I've had enough'' complained Celine.
''We're watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier!'' Matilde said excitedly and Celine simply facepalmed.
''Oh my God I'm the Winter Soldier!'' shrieked Sebastian.
''Is the sequel of the one I watched?'' asked Celine, trying to appear interested.
''Yes, and do you remember what happened there, Cez?''
''You died?'' she didn't remember the whole thing.
''Yes, but now I'm back to stay and to slay'' he said triumphantly.

 

 

Chapter Text

Celine's first day at 10 Downing Street had been less stressful than she had thought but no less tiring. She had met the Prime Minister who had been very decent to her and not at all the ogre Matilde said she was or the Dolores Umbridge she thought the woman was. Celine may not have been in agreement with her policies (as she was not very keen on conservatives) but at least the Prime Minister wasn't a horrible boss.
The first thing Celine did when she arrived home was kick away her shoes. She
had been in high heels for the whole day and her legs were hurting. Apart from that she hated high heels. Matilde had said that she had an innate ability of walking on them but that didn't make it less painful and uncomfortable to wear them.
''Hello Elemauzer'' the cat looked at her in a demanding way. ''Don't look at me
this way, I'll feed you later after I change''
She changed the beige dress for something more comfortable, fed Elemauzer
and look for something to watch and she was lucky because Mr. Bean's
Holidays was starting in half an hour. It was a perfect evening to watch anything Mr. Bean related as it was pouring rain outside and Celine loved to watch a heart warming movie when it was raining.
''Ele, we're watching Mr. Bean, how cool is this?'' she felt a bit pathetic because
the cat probably couldn't care less about Mr. Bean. ''I have to get a picture of
him to put there'' she pointed to an empty space in kitchen's wall.
The cat kept licking himself, completely oblivious of Celine's talk.
She prepared the tea, opened a packet of biscuits and brought a blanket to the
living room. The film started in twenty minutes and Celine didn't know whether
to phone Matilde or read a book to pass the time. Thankfully a couple of knocks
on the door made the choice for her.
''And there she is'' she said out loud ''I seem to attract her with my mind. She
can't live without me for five seconds'' she went to open the door carrying the
biscuits with her.
She was very surprised when instead of finding Matilde she found a very handsome and soaked Sebastian.
''What are you doing here? Are you crazy? Don't you see that the sky is basically falling on us?''
''Hello to you too, Celine. I'm getting used to the nice questions of the sweetest woman alive''.
''Come in, I'll make you tea'' she gave him the pocket of biscuits. ''And you have to dry up a bit. I don't think you want to spend your first week of filming down with the flu''.
''I think I'm okay'' he lied.
Celine looked at him with her eyebrows raised. He looked pale with cold.
''I'm going to bring you a towel'' she said, taking pity of him. ''And you need clothes, you're soaked. Too sad I don't own any kind of clothing for men. Even if Charlie or Joel had forgotten something here I don't think it'll fit you. I'll be back in a second, you can eat all the cookies you want and here's your tea''.
Before she left he grabbed her arm.
''Hey, thank you for everything. And I'm sorry for bothering you, really''.
''Don't worry. I like having you here. You're nice company''.
She ran upstairs, leaving him with his tea and the cookies. A couple of seconds later, Elemauzer appeared out of nowhere and when he noticed Sebastian there, he jumped on his lap and curled up there.
''That was your lucky day , Stan.'' she said, throwing him a towel that he caught with some difficulty. ''I found this and it's more or less your size''.
She handed him a black hoodie with the Slytherin logo in it.
''And you said you said you didn't have any men's clothing''.
''That's mine. Turns out that the only Slytherin hoodie left was for men and enormous. Better that than nothing at all. It's really comfortable, much better than the women's ones that have no pockets.''
''Slytherin, really?''
''Tell me you haven't suspected it and I'll give you an award''.
''Let me think...'' he looked as if he was doing some hard thinking. ''Slytherins are ambitious, cunning, witty and sarcastic folks. Yeah, you fit the category pretty well''.
''Okay... I'll leave you to change. And give me this...'' she took Elemauzer from his lap. The cat wasn't very keen on the change and jumped from Celine's arms and ran upstairs. ''He hates everyone except you, congratulations. I'll leave you to change'' she winked at him, took her tea and the cookies and left.
A minute later he joined her on the couch, in front of the TV. Celine was right: the hoodie was really comfortable and it smelled like expensive perfume, almost certainly Celine's.
''Mr. Bean's Holyday starts in some minutes'' she informed him.
''Isn't Mr. Bean for kids?''
''No. Is for everyone that enjoy good and classy comedy. I hope you're in the club. And I forgot to ask you, why are you here? I welcome your visit, I really do but, shouldn't you be resting?''
''I wanted some real company. Tom wasn't at home as he's on a date with that woman she met the other day'' Celine didn't make any kind of comment about Janice being on a date with the Tom Hiddleston. Matilde would probably be really interested in that information. ''And I know they'll be back home together and I'll feel so out of place. Sorry if I came to bother you, that was not my intention at all''.
She reassured him, softly stroking his back.
''Seriously, I like you to be here. And you have me for whatever you need, okay? You can count with me''.
''Thank you''.
By the time the movie started they had devoured two packets of cookies. Celine had found chocolate and ice cream in the fridge and they had eaten that too.
They couldn't watch the movie in peace. They were eating, falling from the couch or debating the movie. Or whining because there was no food left.
''But are you sure?'' he asked during the commercial break.
''Yes. Let me search again''. she ran to the kitchen. From the living room he could hear that Celine was opening and closing drawers.
''Seb, I told you it was your lucky day'' she came back with a packet of crisps. ''I think they've been here for a while but maybe they're eatable''.
''Let me be a gentleman and eat the first one. If I die, tell my fangirls I love them'' he opened the pocket and ate a crisp. ''They're good. You can eat them''.
The packet was finished in record time and they had officially ran out of food. They laughed at Mr. Bean's antics only getting bored during the commercial breaks.
''My back hurts'' she mumbled. She was lying half on the couch, half on the floor. Sebastian, who was taking half of the couch, wasn't having the same problem.
''I'm sorry. I'm not letting you any space. I'm an idiot. I'm sorry, I really am...''
Celine had to cut his string of apologies.
''It's okay, don't worry. Why don't we go upstairs? My bed is much more comfortable than this couch''.
There wasn't any kind of hidden invitation in her offer. Probably someone like Matilde would freak out by the perspective of having him in her bed.
''I agree. Am I not being intrusive?'' he suddenly asked. ''You've been so nice to me. You lent me your favourite hoodie and now you want to share your bed with me? Am I that special?''
''I guess you are''.
After Mr. Bean came to an end they moved to Celine's bedroom and because of pure boredom they started playing random videos in Youtube and singing out loud. It was almost midnight but she was having so much fun that was almost like the old days at Cambridge. She remembered doing stuff like these with her friends who most of the time were drunk.
''Let me choose'' he took the phone from her hands. ''You'll love this one'' judging by his mocking tone she doubted that. She guessed he was going to play some joke song or that pop music that Matilde liked.
''Really? The Backstreet Boys?'' she asked when he stated the video of I want it that way. ''That song was my guilty pleasure during my childhood!''
''Really?'' as long as he knew, Celine didn't look like someone who even knew who the Backstreet Boys were. ''Same here. A bit embarrassing that I know the lyrics by heart but we share the shame''.
''Shame? What are you talking about? Don't you dare disrespect this legendary anthem!''
After belting out the song they were in silence, lying on the bed. Celine was thinking that the fun was coming to an end as she had to go to sleep. She couldn't go to work feeling like a zombie. And Sebastian had to film a freaking movie, he had to be well rested for that not tired after an sleepless night of singing the Backstreet Boys.
''I think we should go to sleep, Seb. We have long days tomorrow''.
He stood up and walked towards the window. It was still raining heavily.
''I just hope Tom and his... friend are not too busy when I get there. Gosh, it's so uncomfortable...'' and he also didn't fancy the idea of walking under this rain.
''Don't you dare to go out under this rain. I won't let you. You can stay here. I'd give you the guest room but it's a mess and you don't really want to sleep on the couch, believe me. The bed's pretty big, Seb. You can crash there''.
He looked at her with a smirk.
''Cheeky''.
''Clown''
''But seriously, are you fine with it?''
''Well, I'm living the goals of a quarter of the world's female population, and also some males so... I don't think I have much to complain''.
''I think you have a point'' without hesitation he got into the bed and covered himself.
''That was fast. I didn't know I was that persuasive''.
She got into the bed and also covered herself. They weren't near to touching as there was a wide space between them both.
''Congratulations, you are'' he mumbled.
''Are you in bed with jeans? That's another level of uncomfortable.''
''Well, well, well, Doctor Cadwallader...I can see that this was a masterplan to see me naked'' he winked at her but she couldn't see her because they were in the dark.
''You wish. I'm sorry to disappoint you Mr. Stan but that's not the case''.
He pouted and kicked his jeans away. Celine was right, they were really uncomfortable.
''Hey'' he reached out to grab her hand. ''Thank you, once again. You're great. More than that, actually''.
He placed a soft kiss on her hand and before he could let her go she grabbed him.
''It's nothing. I'm the one who should be grateful, for keeping me company. You're really special, Seb''.
He felt as he was floating on a cloud. She was turning his life upside down without realising and without even trying. He wondered how that unsentimental and sarcastic woman had him so hooked. Maybe it was just momentary infatuation. He prayed that it was just that as she didn't seem to have any kind of romantic feelings for him. Or for anyone at all. He doubted that she knew what that was at all.
It was better to fall asleep before he got a headache. Celine seemed to be sound asleep already.

Sebastian didn't know at what point during the night he suddenly woke up from a bad dream he couldn't remember. Celine was still peacefully sleeping and outside there was still a thunderstorm.
He reached for his phone to check on the time. It was 4:15 am. Good luck to the make up crew to make him look less sleepy later on the day.
''Are you still up?'' when Sebastian heard her voice he almost dropped the phone in his own face. Luckily he didn't. It was enough to turn up on set looking sleepy but with a bruise caused by his own phone was over the top.
''Sorry, I had a bad dream''.
''You don't have to apologise for having a bad dream. There's nothing wrong with it.'' they stood in complete silence, only the sound of the rain and thunders could be heard.
Celine could sense that Sebastian was still awake. She couldn't see him but she could feel him.
Some hidden part of her mind was a bit seduced by the sound of his sleepy voice. Sexy.
''Do you need a bedtime story?'' she suddenly asked, mocking him a little.
''What do you offer?''
''The book I'm reading right now. It's called Murder in Medieval England''.
''The title is self explanatory.'' he turned to his side only to face her. ''And disturbing. I prefer to know something about you'' he smirked at her. ''I'm your friend now so I'm allowed to ask about certain things'' he winked at her.
''Oh please, tell me I'm not sharing my bed with the male version of Matilde. And by that I mean a romantic and idealistic fool''.
Sebastian was amazed. It was four am and Celine was being fluent in sarcasm. Or maybe it was a method of self defence. That was something he wanted to find out.
''Well, no. But as either of us can sleep we can make an sleepover and talk about the usual things that are being talked at sleepovers''.
Celine looked at him with an unreadable expression.
''I was invited to an sleepover only once, when I was fourteen. I was only allowed to go because mum was not in town and dad gave me permission. It was so stupid I was ringing home two hours later for dad to pick me up. All the girls started talking about periods, Seb, periods'' by the look on her face she probably found that topic very distasteful. ''And then they went on about the boys they liked. Awful. Why not talking about space? Global warming? Football? The government? But no... they have to talk about periods''.
Sebastian was trying his best not to laugh. He kept imagining an angry fourteen year old Celine rambling about that sham of sleepover.
''Celine, fourteen year old girls aren't interested in talking about the government''.
''But I was! It's much more interesting than periods. Or boys''.
It was hard to believe that she was being serious. But she was.
''So, if that's what you want... can you explain to me the utility of the House of the Lords? When I heard about it I thought it was something like a museum with exhibitions of Lord Voldemort, the Lord of the Rings and stuff like that. Then Tom explained to me something I didn't understand about that''.
''Your museum is not a bad idea at all. And the House of the Lords is archaic and useless. Maybe it was okay in Stuart England but not in the 21st century. Talking about Lords... you should totally meet Lord Buckethead''.
Now he looked confused. The government talk wasn't as boring as he had imagined.
''Is he serious or is he a joke?''
She suddenly was very interested.
''He's a satiric political leader. He ran for Prime Minister twice and got votes and everything. I'd totally vote for him. He proposed to legalise the hunting of fox hunters, he's the best. He'll be in Glastonbury this year so you can meet him. He has a Christmas song and everything''.
If that information hadn't come from Celine he wouldn't have believed it. And Celine claiming that she'd vote for a satirical candidate was the most Celine thing ever.
''Is he in YouTube?'' he asked.
''Yeah, do you want to watch him?''
After the song both of them couldn't breath because of they were laughing so hard. Celine couldn't remember having so much fun in years. And it was so unexpected. She was sharing her bed with an extremely handsome movie star and laughing at Lord Buckethead's Christmas song. But for Celine he wasn't just a 'handsome movie star'. He was her friend.
''I didn't know Britain was so random'' he said, removing the tears from his cheeks. ''I mean, you guys have a Queen and almost all of you have a super elegant accent. I thought you took things more seriously''.
Celine laughed again.
''Did you think we were all Benedict Cumberbatchy species speaking posh and drinking tea?''
''Sort of. But this is much better''. he pointed to the Buckethead video.
''Good for you, because we're more like this. Things like these make Britain great. Welcome to the UK, Sebastian''.

 

Chapter Text

It was very early on the morning of the Friday 21st of June and Celine, Sebastian and Matilde were Paddington Train Station waiting for a train. The only one who looked completely awake was Celine, as Matilde looked like a zombie and Sebastian was half asleep on a bench.
It was 6 am and even though the summer had finally arrived the morning was chilly.
''This is the last time I let Celine take control of a trip'' moaned Matilde and Sebastian nodded, not being able to talk.
''You'll thank me later. And you, wake up'' she shook Sebastian ''You'll have plenty of time to rest after you die. Now it's time to have fun.''
''Look at the fun I'm having'' he said, still too tired to be sarcastic.
''The trains leaves at 7. It's 6.Why did you made us leave home at 5:30?'' complained Matilde.
During the wait Sebastian had dozed off again, Matilde seemed to imitate him and Celine started reading a book. How she could do that so early in the morning was a mystery.
Twenty minutes before the time Max and Leah arrived, bringing a lot of baggage and coffee for them all. That seemed to wake Sebastian up.
'Hey people'' greeted Leah cheerfully ''Ready for the adventure? Well, I think you need this first''.
Sebastian grabbed his coffee as if it was water on the desert. ''Thank you Leah, you were sent from Heaven'' he turned to look at Celine ''And you from Hell''
''Sorry that we ate the bagels on the way'' apologised Max ''But there's a Bagel
Factory down there and also an Starbucks''
''Celine how much time do we have?'' asked Matilde.
''Twenty minutes ,why?''
''Wait here and I'll be your avenging angel'' she disappeared from sight. After the coffee Sebastian's mood had enlightened and he was admiring Paddington Station's architecture and talking about what they were going to find at Glastonbury.
''And what is that big thing you have there?'' Celine asked Leah, pointing to a big bag she had brought.
''The tent. I see you brought a little one.''
''It's Matilde's'' said Sebastian, still drinking his coffee ''I turned Tom's house upside down but there was no tent.''
''We'll manage with two'' Celine was sure that she, Sebastian and Matilde could fit in one, leaving the engaged couple with a tent of their own.
After a while Matilde came back with food and even more coffee, to Sebastian's happiness.
''I got two for you, Sebby.''
Sebastian grinned like a little child after being given sweets. When they got into the train, they found their seats. Matilde fell asleep almost immediately, with her head on the table in front of her.
''How much time are we going to be on this?'' asked Sebastian, glancing through the window.
''A couple of hours.''
Celine knew that once he had asked the first question he wasn't going to stop.
''Celine, where are we exactly going?''
''This train leave us in Bath'' she showed him the track on Google Maps ''We'll be near Cardiff'' she said with a nostalgic expression. ''Anyway, from Bath we take a bus to Glastonbury. Is that easy''
Sebastian had never been out of London so he was fascinated with everything
he saw. And, unlike Celine, he was not very familiar with the countryside as he had lived all his life in apartment blocks, either in Romania, Austria or New York City.
''Cez, that's awesome''
''Seb, that's a flock of sheep. You should go to Wales, there's much more sheep than here. And don't forget I lived in the countryside, I've seen plenty of these''.
When they arrived in Bath, the five of them tried to conceal the fact that they had no idea of what direction they should take next. Only after that Sebastian who with the help of Google Maps, learned where they were, they could take the next step.
''Okay you three'' he pointed to Matilde, Leah and Max, happy to be in charge for once ''wait on the bus station with all the things. It's exactly on the front. Meanwhile Celine and I are going to this Sainsbury's to buy some foodotherwise we'll starve.''
Thankfully Bath wasn't so big and they found the supermarket easily. Sebastian liked the little city because of the fact that he was in a place where he was as much as stranger as the others. As London was Celine's place in the world, she was always in charge of every trip and now he was in her place.
''You missed being in charge, eh Seb?'' she asked him with a smirk.
''I'm not denying it. I feel like I'm back in New York.''
''So New York's like Bath? Good to know'' she spoke sarcastically.
''A little bigger. I'll show you around someday.''
Their shopping ended being very simple which meant that they didn't bought anything that needed cooking. Even though Celine reminded Sebastian that they were allowed to lit a bonfire, they were a hundred percent sure that if they tried too cook that way it was not going to work.
''What were you two doing?'' asked an impatient Matilde ''You've been away almost an hour.''
''We got lost'' Celine was breathless ''Bath is not London or New York'' she looked at Sebastian who laughed.
''The bus leaves in fifteen minutes'' informed Max, handing the tickets to Sebastian and Celine ''The lady said that it's an special line that leaves you at the door of Glastonbury field. This is the time of the year when Bath is the busiest in all the year.''
''That's why we got lost'' said Celine trying not to look so humiliated for getting lost in a little city ''Way too many people'' that made Sebastian explode with laughter.

After an hour, the five of them were on the bus station of the field. It was cramped with people some carrying tents, some already drunk, others with flags and even families. The atmosphere was of absolute enthusiasm. They had to ask for a map because they had no bloody idea where the field that Celine had reserved the places was.
''Look at this place'' Sebastian was looking at the map ''It's bigger than Bath.''
''Try not to get lost in this one'' muttered Leah ''It's not London or New York.''
Thankfully Lime Kiln Ground was near the station and they found their place with ease. Max, Leah and Matilde started mounting the tents immediately, leaving Celine and Sebastian apart as they were more of a bother than a helping hand.
''Let's run away'' he whispered in her ear. She didn't need to be asked twice and took the map and a packet of crisps followed him.
As they didn't know where to go they decided that they were going to stop at the place that appealed more to them. They ended up on a pretty forest called The Wood, sitting on a bench under the trees, examining the map, marking the places they wanted to go.
''The Pyramid Stage is straight up there, we should definitely visit the Arcadia and avoid the Kidz Field at all costs.''
''But, Cez, the best magicians are in the Kidz Field.''
''I'll take you to a magic show in London if you want but I don't think you want to spend your evening surrounded by children, clowns and puppeteers'' by Sebastian's expression Celine saw that she was right.
''Let's avoid everywhere that may have kids for now'' Sebastian crossed some places with the word 'kids' in it.
After they finished with the places they went on to mark the performers they wanted to see. Luckily they agreed in everything, even though Sebastian didn't know half the names in the line-up and Celine even less. However they highlighted the band The Sleaford Mods (that they'd never heard about before) only because Lord Buckethead was going to introduce them. And they couldn't miss that.
''So I just know Kaiser Chiefs and Radiohead off the ones that are today at Pyramid, what do you say Seb?''
''I like Lorde'' as he saw Celine's confused expression he added ''And we'll never be royals... royals... Don't you know it?''
''No but I don't mind seeing her. That's the whole point, isn't it? What about tomorrow?''
''We could miss Pyramid stage as I don't like Katy Perry or the others. We should drop by the Arcadia or Avalon'' he was getting familiar with the name of the stages and he was happy for it.
''Definitely Avalon. Busted is on the line-up, one of my favourite bands of my teenage years.''
Sebastian didn't want to admit that he was pretty curious about Celine's musical taste as a teenager. Apart from the Arctic Monkeys and her guilty pleasure, the Backstreet Boys.
''And on Sunday'' Celine grinned ''Ed bloody Sheeran. I can't wait.''
They left the bench and continued exploring The Wood.
''We planned the whole thing, the others should be grateful'' Sebastian was still quite guilty of leaving them without saying a word even though the idea had been his.
''Oh, the others'' Celine facepalmed ''Five pounds they'll disagree on everything and ruin our plans''.
''Should we go back?''
''The hell, no'' they had found a large pond of water and Celine was throwing stones, making them jump on the water before sinking. '' I don't want to hear Matilde moaning about our disappearance''.
Sebastian was observing the simple movement she made while throwing the stone, ready to catch her if she were to fall into the water, something that seemed likely to happen.
''Teach me how to do that'' he asked after a while.
''Just do what I do.''
And he did exactly that but the stone fell into the water, splashing water everywhere and wetting them both. Only after a long time he got the hang of it.
''My dad taught me this'' she told Sebastian only after he asked about it ''Back when I was six or seven when he used to take me out on walks on the countryside while mum was at work. I drove him crazy, running around everywhere. Once I got lost in the woods. For real''.
Sebastian didn't doubt her story for a second.
''I think you have many of your father's traits, Cez. More than you realise.''
''You don't even know him, Seb'' she lost concentration and dropped the stone, splashing everywhere.
''I've form an idea in my mind. Time will tell if I was right.'' he left the stone he was ready to throw and looked directly at her eyes ''Actually you have the best of both worlds. You have your mum's discipline, ambition and love for learning, and your dad's looks, charms, that air of innocence and love for football''.
A genuine, happy smile was on Celine's face.
''You know me quite well''
''And I'm proud of that'' he threw a stone making it jump five times before sinking.

When they got back to the campsite, two tents were mounted (one very big and the other very small), a fire was lit and the rest of the group looked grumpy, to the least.
''Where the hell have you been the last two hours?'' asked angrily Matilde.
''Making stones jump in a pond in The Wood, you should try it, it's great'' said Sebastian.
By the looks he got from the rest, it was obvious they didn't find his idea 'great'.
''Thanks for your help by the way'' added Leah ''While you were doing God knows what we've mounted the tents and Max went for water and now we have tea. Thank us for bringing a kettle because you just brought blankets.''
''It gets cold at night, you know'' muttered Celine.
''Apart from the stones...'' asked Matilde in a curious tone ''What on earth were you doing alone in a forest? Don't let my imagination run wild.''
Both, Celine and Sebastian rolled their eyes.
''Just planning the weekend'' Sebastian handed Matilde the map with the notes that he and Celine had made on it.
The other three read them for some minutes.
''But why did you crossed Katy Perry out? I'm super excited to see her perform!'' complained Matilde.
''Because Firework is the most annoying song in the history of music and I'd tell her a very good place she can shove her fireworks on the 4th of July'' hissed Sebastian making Celine choke with her tea.
''Someone is in a sour mood today'' Leah teased him ''And only because you two loath kids that is no excuse to cross Kidz Field. We really want to see the puppeteers'' Matilde nodded in agreement.
''Here you have your five pounds, Celine'' Sebastian handed her the money of the bet they had made on The Wood ''And for your interest I don't hate kids, I actually really like them. But this is a music festival, not Disney World''.
''Don't speak for me'' added Celine ''I do hate kids. What more can you expect of a reluctant and almost non-existent older sister who spent nine years of her life among the strictest and most sarcastic of people? I hardly have patience for my cat''.
A silence followed her words, that Max broke with an useful idea.
''And why don't we split in two groups and leave this two angry people...'' he pointed at Celine and Sebastian ''...go wherever they want to go and we can enjoy Kidz Field in peace?''
Luckily all of them agreed with his idea.
After they had agreed on at least something Celine turned her attention on the tents. Max and Leah's had plenty of space meanwhile the smallest one looked
somewhat uncomfortable for three people. To be honest, it looked awful even for one person. Celine was sure it wasn't bigger on the inside like a Tardis, the Weasley's tent in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire or Newt Scamander's suitcase. It was just a miserable and ordinary tent and she'll be stuck in it for two nights with Matilde and Sebastian, who wasn't the smallest of men.
''Matilde, do you think we're going to fit in this little mushroom over there?'' Celine didn't like her friend's smile.
''Oh no, I'm not staying in there. I'm staying with Max and Leah. You two solve how you're going to fit in there. And let me tell you, it's not bigger on the inside. Sorry, Celine that's the price to pay for not helping us'' she smiled again.
''But we are city people'' whispered Sebastian who wasn't missing the conversation between the two girls.
''This is going to be funnier than I expected'' laughed Leah.
On the bright side Celine thought that preferred to share with Sebastian rather than thirdwheel between an engaged couple.
''I should have let you pay for the tipi'' she whispered to Sebastian.
''You should have''.

Before leaving their tents they tried to roast piece of a ham to have for lunch but accidentally Max had dropped it into the fire and the thing had burned leaving a smell of burned meat in all their clothes. After this they had tried to 'cook' marshmellows like in every average teenage film but of course it didn't work and Sebastian, in a moment of fury, had thrown the whole packet into the fire. The thing had caught on fire and they had to make use of all of their water to turn it down.
After giving up and admitting that they were probably the worst campers ever, the went on their way to explore and see if they found something interesting. After all it was just the first day there.
They couldn't decide what was the best part: when Matilde and Leah shamelessly jumped into a pond of mud, with Sebastian filming every single part of it and Celine staying as far away as possible (which was hard as there was mud everywhere); Sebastian counting all the people that had shown up semi-naked (he had lost count at 50); Celine exploding with laughter at every, silly-to-say-the-least, costume and the wild run to get acceptable places in Pyramid Stage.
''At least it haven't rained yet, this is a miracle'' whispered a breathless Matilde. Celine couldn't stop laughing. Half the people around them were half naked, drunk, on drugs or all of them at the same time.
The night went in a blur first with the Kaiser Chiefs and then with Radiohead. A half-drunk Matilde, singing at the top of her lungs to made up lyrics that had Celine and Sebastian crying with laughter.
It was very late when they came back. For many people the party was just stating but the five of them had woken up early in the morning so they were knackered.
Sebastian, who was holding Celine's and Matilde's hands, for them not to get lost in the crowds, couldn't stop talking.
''It was the best day ever. I can't choose the best part of it. Probably that introduction by Lord Buckethead. It was epic''.
''I knew you'd become a fan'' Celine teased him. ''Next time we come here we'll bring the Cambridge gang. We went to Reading & Leeds together and we had a blast.''
Sebastian was just happy that apparently Celine was including him in an potential 'next time'.
''Did you see that naked guy that had 'Cunt' written on his back?'' asked Matilde, who weren't as drunk as they had expected. ''And the one who proposed at Pyramid Stage and everyone toasted? Even I did it and didn't even know the names of the people.''
When they got back at the tents Max and Leah were already there. They had brought a lamp so the place didn't look so dark.
''Have a good night'' said Matilde with an evil smile getting into the big tent.
Celine and Sebastian stood outside of the tent without knowing what to do next.
''And that's when I lose my dignity and you your glamour'' mumbled Celine.
''Sorry Cez, but you've already lost your dignity with the Kaiser Chiefs performance and I've never had glamour. Gosh, I'll never get over you screaming to I predict a riot.''
She just rolled her eyes at him.
As staying outside was useless, they decided to get in. There were still low voices on the other tent so they were all watching and hearing everything Celine and Sebastian did and said.
''This place still smells as that horrible burned ham'' said Celine looking for a little bottle of perfume that was in her bag ''Now that's better.''
''I'm not being a pessimist, Cez but this tent doesn't look very strong. Pray there's no wind otherwise it'll fall on us'' they could hear muffled laughter from the other tent.
''This is going to suck, believe me'' Celine moaned and she could hear the giggles from the other tent and then Matilde's voice:
''Woah Celine, what are you going to suck tonight?''
Celine's face expressed utter outrage while she heard the others exploding with ''I'm going to kill her'' she attempted to get out of the tent but she tripped on a blanket and almost fell if it hadn't been for Sebastian that caught her.
''Be careful or you'll break your leg, Cez.''
Celine had the feeling that it was going to be a long night. They stood in silence for a very long time, knowing that the other three weren't asleep but expecting for Celine or Sebastian to say a word to mock them. Everything was good until they heard a 'crack'. Both of them jumped.
''Tell me that it wasn't a wild animal, Cez'' more laughter from the other tent.
Celine was thankful that they hadn't made a remark with the words 'wild animal' because she was going to lose her chill.

''There's no wild animals in Somerset, Seb. Maybe a fox or a squirrel.'' They stood in silence again until, out of nowhere a huge piece of cloth from the tent fell on them. For a while all that could be heard was a string of cursing in both, Romanian and English.
''Wow, that's getting intense'' shouted Matilde from the other side. They decided to ignore them and focus on the most urgent problem that was to fix the bloody tent. It wasn't an easy task to find the problem with no lights apart from the screen of their phones.
''Okay, Cez I'm no expert but I think this tiny piece of metal should be stuck on the ground but it was badly put on the first place so... it gave up and everything is falling on us, to put it briefly.''
''The bastards'' mumbled Celine ''They did it on purpose that's why they were so happy about us staying here. Can you put it back?''
''I don't know... I'll try'' he actually had no idea about what he was about to do. ''I'll need a hammer or something to stick it to the ground.''
''Aren't you a superhero or what?'' Sebastian was grateful he couldn't see her expression.
''On the screen, Cez, only on the screen'' he whispered ''Just don't scream if something fall on us, I have no bloody idea of what I'm doing.''
After five minutes of useless work they admitted they needed to try a different method.
''Isn't there supposed to be a hole on the ground or something like that?'' asked Celine.
''You could have mentioned that before'' he touched the ground ''Here it is. Do I have to put it there or what?'' they both ignored the giggles from the other tent.
''What do you think?'' her patience was running out.
He looked at her before sticking the piece of metal to the ground with all of his considerable strength. As he did that another part of the tent fell. Celine didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
''Oh well...'' she said with a little voice, completely defeated. ''Wrong hole.''
This time they couldn't ignore the laughter that came from the others and Matilde's remarks.
''Can you keep it quiet there? Celine, darling, I know you're shagging the hottest man in Glastonbury and that's making me uncomfortable and horny at the same time but can you just be a little less graphic about it?''.
''SHUT UP!!'' they both shouted, losing the little chill they still had.
''You know what'' Celine said, sinking back in the inflatable mattress ''Leave it like that. We'll solve it tomorrow with the light of the day is going to be easier. And they will regret this.''
''With that I agree'' he lied down beside Celine ''At least is not raining.''
''It could be worse. After all I'm sharing a tent with a hot guy and not with an engaged couple, so I win. Suck it Matilde!'' she said in a louder voice making Sebastian laugh.
''Cez, if you know all the people that would sell their souls to be in you place''.
She rolled her eyes.
''Okay in that you're probably exaggerating'' she was using one of Sebastian's arms as a pillow and then she fell asleep.

Chapter Text

The first thing Celine did when she woke up was to check the time. It was 7:30. Sebastian was peacefully sleeping beside her and she felt a bit sorry for having to wake him up.
''Seb, Seb'' she elbowed him.
''Not again, Cez, I had enough with yesterday'' he tuned around, hiding his face with a blanket.
Without thinking it twice Celine went to find her perfume that was into her bag as she expected. Without feeling a bit sorry, she splashed the cold liquid on the exposed skin of his neck.
''Celine!'' he jumped ''That thing is cold! What the hell do you want?''
''Help me to find the showers. My hair still smells as that burned ham and it makes me want to be sick. And we have to fix the tent.''
She looked so miserable that he felt pity for her. And he probably wasn't in a much better state. Ten minutes later they were outside the tent, looking at its pitiful state. It looked
worse from the outside. They glanced at the bigger tent. There were no noises so the others were probably sound asleep.
''I'm still thinking about my revenge'' Celine looked at the tent, thinking how much she would like to sneak a fox or a spider inside.
''We'll get the chance, don't worry, Cez''.
Only a few people were peacefully sleeping on their tents. Many were completely drunk and sleeping outside of them, some were just coming back after spending all the night partying and others were sleeping on random places like the toilets. The place was an absolute chaos and only a few people, like them were sober enough to go for food.
When they found the showers the place was luckily empty apart from a middle aged lady who was guarding the place.
''I'll go first'' Celine said to Sebastian '' Make sure no creep comes near.''
While Celine was in the showers he chatted with the security lady about the exceptionally wonderful weather they were having, the people and the performers. After a relatively short time Celine was back. She was in a much better mood after the shower, happy that her hair didn't smell as burned ham anymore.
''Your turn'' she told Sebastian.
Like Sebastian, she started a conversation with the security lady. They started talking about Ed Sheeran and they ended up taking about Celine's work as an historian. Their talk was longer as Sebastian was taking all the time in the world. Celine was wondering if he had drowned in the shower.
After a long time he showed up, looking better than ever and Celine tried, without success not to laugh at the face that the security lady had when she first saw him, with his wet hair and a black see through t-shirt that highlighted his biceps and it showed the muscles of his back and chest. Celine was sure the woman had lost her ability to breath. She could hardly mutter a ''goodbye'' when they left.
''And she is probably one of the people who'd sell their souls to spend a night with you in a broken tent'' Celine teased him. ''I don't ever want to forget her expression''.
But the security lady wasn't the only one to turn their heads at the sight of Sebastian. As the time passed the place was becoming more crowded and he was attracting the attention of many people especially ladies of all ages. Celine could see a mother, who was accompanied by her husband and a little child, with her eyes fixed on Sebastian and then looking back at her husband with a disappointed expression.
And Sebastian had everything to win. Not only he was devastatingly handsome but also almost all the other males in sight were either semi-naked, with an absolutely ridiculous costume or passed out drunk.
Celine, who was trying very hard to keep an straight face, burst out laughing when they passed a tent with more or less twenty girls on the outside, all of them in their early twenties, who stopped their conversations only to look at him.
'You should go and talk to them'' Celine teased him ''Can you see their faces? Oh Dear, they are undressing you with their eyes!''
''Just walk, Cez''.
But Celine kept teasing him.
''I really want to shout right now that I was the lucky lady that got to share a close space with you. Biggest achievement of my life only after my doctorates''.
Sebastian, realising it was his turn to tease Celine, stopped walking just in front of the group of girls.
''So do you consider yourself a lucky lady?'' he looked at her eyes with one of his heart stopping smiles ''Care to explain to me why?''
He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and with the corner of her eye Celine saw the girls looking quite frustrated. Probably Celine was being the envy of them all.
''Don't play with me, Stan'' she grinned ''You know it won't work. However, do I explain you why or do I bring you a mirror?''
''Explain.''
''Okay. Firstly, you look like the main character of a teenage romantic book come to life. Secondly, just look at yourself, man. You're damn good looking. Thirdly, you're really charming. And finally, I don't care about any of those things because I actually know you and I know you are a sweetheart on the inside. I mean, you're a really good person who wouldn't hurt a fly and I'm a lucky lady because I actually have you in my life. Case closed''.
It was quite a long time until Sebastian could find some words.
''There's one thing I'll always be grateful. And that was meeting you, Cez. God bless the day I went into that bookshop''.
Celine smiled and pinched his cheek.
''Let's find you some coffee, sweet lad''.
They went on to find the food stands and along the way they found a wall covered in blackboards in which you could write on them. The majority had either names or swearing but one caught Celine's attention. In it was written ''Feel horny?'' and a phone number.
''Look Seb, you should call.''
''Very funny, Cez. One more witty remark and I'll throw you into the mud.''
They finally bought coffee from a little stand attended by a man with the Union Jack painted on his beard.
''You can't find anyone normal here'' laughed Sebastian.' 'But who cares. This is the best coffee I've had in a long time. God bless this man.''
When they got back to the campsite the others were still asleep. They had plenty of time to finish their coffee and fix their tent before the others woke up.
''Oh wow, Sebastian you're glowing today'' that was the first thing Leah said. ''I wonder what happened last night that you look that great''.
Celine was wondering when they were going to get drunk and shut up once and for all.
''The bloody tent fell on us'' Celine said, in a bad mood.
''Oh really?'' Matilde had appeared in all her glory, with an evil smile. ''Whatever that fell on you wasn't the tent, dear''.
''Whatever'' Sebastian said, tired of the teasing ''They are going to pay for this.'' he whispered to Celine and she nodded.
After they had a little breakfast they got ready to go to Kidz Field. Celine couldn't believe they were really going there.
''We're going our separate ways today'' said Matilde. ''After Kidz Field we're going to Circus and at the evening we're going to Pyramid to see Katy Perry perform. After this we'll do all the long track to Shangri-la. I've heard the party will last until the early hours of tomorrow. I don't think you want to come with us. After your long night, you'll be tired.''
Celine was thanking that she won't probably see them until the next day.
''And what are you two doing?'' asked Max, the only one Celine didn't want to involve in her revenge plan.
''We'll go to acoustic stage, then we'll be seeing Busted at Avalon and finally we'll be going to Arcadia'' said Celine.
''Like the boring people you two are'' Matilde was putting her hat on, ready to leave.
''We're not boring, we're just responsible people who won't spend our night drunk out of our skulls, sleeping on the bushes'' Sebastian was looking at them, drinking his tea, with contemptuous smile.
''Hope you have been 'responsible people' last night'' said Max with a smile and Celine immediately included him on the revenge list.
''I'm tired of you three!'' Sebastian grabbed a handful of grass and threw it at them.
Matilde grabbed the others and run away.
''Damn, remember Sebastian's not Max. Seb can fight the three of us together and win''.
''Hell, we've activated the Winter Soldier's mechanism!'' shouted Leah just before the three of them disappeared from sight.
''Enjoy while you can'' Sebastian whispered viciously.
''At least we won't see them until tomorrow. I'm fed up of their innuendos. They know the tent was falling on us but the love to tease us. I'm sure they've planned this for weeks''.
They went on their way to the Acoustic Field. Even though they didn't know the name of hardly any of the performers, that was their plan. To discover new musicians and most of all, to enjoy.
The atmosphere on the Acoustic Fields was very different from the rest of the stages. It was pretty chill, something that Celine and Sebastian enjoyed. When they got bored they decided to walk around the fields and stages, laughing with only the thought of the other three surrounded by kids, puppeteers and clowns.
''Is it my imagination or suddenly everything turned green?'' asked Sebastian.
It wasn't Sebastian's imagination as they had accidentally entered to the Greenpeace Field.
''Let's have a look around'' said Celine with a smile.
The place was crowded and Sebastian had to wrap his arm around Celine's shoulders for not to lose her among the people.
''I feel sort of out of place'' Sebastian looked at the people around them, almost all of them were hippies or at least they were trying to look that way.
They went near a little crowd that had gathered around a man with a long beard that was promoting bags of something that looked like soil. Sebastian's face enlightened.
''Sir, may I ask what is this?'' he asked in a very polite way with one of his charming smiles, still with his arm around Celine, who was confused.
''Organic soil'' the bearded man said with a wide smile ''It's perfect for gardens and if you want to grow your own vegetables. Just don't let it touch your clothes
or your lady's...'' he smiled at Celine ''...because you're never taking the smell out of them''.
Sebastian's smile was even wider.
''How much does it cost?''
''Completely free. Just make a good use out of it.''
''Oh believe me, we will. Won't we, love?'' he looked at Celine with such a tender expression that Celine would have sworn it was real and was confused for a moment because of it (and because some people behind them awwwed). Then she remembered he was a professional actor.
''Yes...'' she tried not look confused but unlike Sebastian she wasn't an actress ''It's perfect for our... garden, darling''.
The man wrapped the organic soil into a paper bag and gave it to Sebastian who thanked him.
''What the hell was that?'' asked Celine, still not knowing why Sebastian would have wanted organic soil ''Don't tell me you're taking up gardening now.''
''I told you they were going to pay'' he looked at her with a mischievous smile and all the pieces fitted together.
''So you're putting organic soil into their tent?'' she was astonished as Sebastian's sudden viciousness ''May I know how this will work?''
''According to the man, this thing smells like death. I'm just putting this thing around where they won't be able to see it. They'll be back early in the morning from the party at Shangri-la, probably drunk. And what happens if we mix excess of alcohol and a terrible smell into a closed, concentrated space?''
''They'll be throwing up everywhere'' she looked at Sebastian with a weird expression ''Sebastian, that's plain evil. And earlier I said you wouldn't hurt a fly.''
''No, Cez, I'm not hurting them. I'm just helping nature to take its course. They'll end up throwing up one way or another, I'm just making sure they do it inside the tent, so good luck cleaning the mess afterwards''
''That if they can find they way back, which I doubt. Nonetheless, it's a brilliant plan. One of these days Pottermore will sort you into Slytherin''.
''I'm the cunning one and you're the ambitious one, Cez. We make a good team.''
''Dangerous I would say. Anyway, there was no need to make a display of your wonderful acting abilities back at Greenpeace. And keep that thing away from me'' she pointed at the soil bag.
''Oh please, Cez, it was fun. If only you had seen your face'' he laughed ''Let's make good use of this soil so we can go for a sandwich later.''
In a relatively short time they were back at the campsite. Of course the place was empty.
''You do it, and I'll mount guard. Just make sure the soil doesn't touch any part of your body or your clothes'' Celine told Sebastian.
He went into the biggest tent and the only things Celine could hear were muffled noises and Sebastian's complaints.
''Jesus, Cez, this place is already disgusting. There are dirty clothes and mud everywhere, they definitely won't take notice of the soil. Our tent may be little but it's tidy. Oh hell, this thing smells like a dead animal, Cez''.
''I don't need the details, Sebastian, just hurry up''.
A couple of minutes later he was back only with the empty bags. To clean the evidence, they set them on fire and threw water on it.
''Do you need perfume?'' asked Celine, taking the little bottle of her favourite Burberry perfume out of her pocket.
''Just in case, even though I was aware of not touching the thing'' he let Celine splash perfume all around his body. ''Now I smell like you.''
''Be grateful for that, the perfume was expensive.'' she mumbled.
After finishing their mission they found a stand that sold sandwiches that Sebastian absolutely loved. Then they went on their way to Avalon stage, to see one of Celine's favourite bands of her teenage years, Busted.
Celine loved the show. She had always wanted to see Busted live and she knew all the lyrics to their songs, something that was unusual in her. She sang every song, from the hits like Air Hostess or Year 3000 to the slow ballads like Sleeping with the lights on. And the best thing was that she was in front of Charlie Simpson, her teenage celebrity crush. It was a complete trip down memory lane.
''They were really good'' admitted Sebastian, who had enjoyed to see Celine singing at the top of her lungs, with her dignity completely forgotten ''I liked Year 3000.''
''At least I could see Busted, after 15 years. Now I have to see McFly''.
''McFly? Like Marty McFly from Back to the future?''
''Probably that's where they took the name. But McFly's a band. They and Busted were the dynamic duo of the British bands, fifteen years ago. What a time to be alive. I still have their music, you can take a listen whenever you want.''
They headed towards Arcadia, a place they were really wanted to see as they've heard that the spectacle was visually fascinating. Unfortunately, hundreds of people had had the same idea, which made Sebastian wrap his arm around her again, so she didn't get lost.
'' 'Arcadia fuse groundbreaking spectacle, cutting edge technology, sculpture, engineering, architecture and adrenaline into vivid sensory experiences' '' Celine read from a sign. ''Sounds interesting''.
''Sounds wonderful''
If Celine and Sebastian had geeked out with a metal dragon at the Tower of London, they were about to lose their minds at Arcadia. They felt as they were into a futuristic film. Sebastian had taken the best pictures of his life and Celine had completely lost her chill with a robotic dragon that breathed fire to the sky. Between that and the fireworks, when they left at 2 am, they were full of energy and made the way back to the campsite in record time.
''Thank God, we weren't convinced by the others to see Katy Perry. This was way better. By the way, they're not back yet.'' Sebastian glanced at the campsite that was absolutely dark.
''The party at Shangri-la just started, they'll be back at dawn and I hope we're asleep by then. I don't want to hear whatever happens there.''
They went into the tent with the thought that at least it was not going to fall on them. They only light on the tent was Sebastian's phone, who was probably posting something on his holy Instagram.
''Look Seb, if you want to go with them and have fun, I don't really mind.''
Sebastian just laughed.
''It you think that I'm leaving my best companion alone only to go and get drunk, you don't know me at all. Apart from that, I don't really want to end up sleeping in the bushes or even worse, at the other tent''.
''Seb...'' she whispered.
''What?''
''You're an absolute legend''.

When Celine woke up, she checked the time, as always. It was almost 9. Sebastian's head was on her shoulder and she had no idea at which moment he had got there. But she was curious about one thing: what had happened with then others.
Knowing that it was useless to try to move Sebastian she decided to tickle his neck to wake him up. He immediately opened his eyes.
''You always have the most creative ways to wake me up. What are you going to do next? Throw ice on me?''
''That's a good idea. By the way, you were on my side, you sneaky thing''.
He smiled innocently.
''I must've rolled while I was asleep and your shoulder must be a comfortable pillow.''
''Very funny. But it's nine, the others are probably back. Don't you want to know if your plan worked?''
Immediately, Sebastian got out of the tent followed by Celine. They realised the others were there by the amount wellies and plastic red cups that were outside of the tent.
''You take a look'' she said to Sebastian.
He got his head into the tent and two seconds later he got out.
''Firstly: yes, it worked. Secondly: I don't know if it was the soil or they were really drunk, we'll never know. Finally: don't look there, it looks like a scene straight out from the pits of hell''
''Ew.'' she had a disgusted expression ''Let's change and go for coffee''.
After changing and tiding the tent, they went to the food stands, both of them looking fresh as a cucumber. If there was an award for the most organised campers, Celine and
Sebastian would be the winners.
They bought their coffees in the same place as the day before. Sebastian had liked the coffee so much that he had asked the man with the Union Jack painted on his beard for a picture. If only he that knew he was taking a picture with a guy who played a superhero and was going to end on his Instagram account.
They took all the time in the world before coming back to the campsite. When they got there saw Matilde lying on the floor, looking absolutely miserable.
''Celine? What happened? The tent is a mess and I don't even remember getting back there. How do you do to look so good?''
''Staying sober'' mumbled Celine.
''Why does everything smell so bad? Has someone died here?'' Leah said from the inside and Sebastian looked so innocent that no one on earth could have guessed he was responsible of half of the mess.
''I'm covered in mud and puke, Leah!'' cried Max from the inside ''Help me out! This place is disgusting.''
''Shut up, Max. Don't you see I'm covered too?''
''Delightful'' Celine mumbled, laughing.
''And how was your night kids?'' asked Sebastian. ''Cez and I had a lot of fun. Arcadia was spectacular. Well, I can see a little of how your night was. Wow, impressive.''
''Sebastian, I'd smack you in the head if I could stand without falling'' whispered Matilde and Sebastian giggled.
''We were going to invite you to go The Park, but I see you can't. See you later at Pyramid Stage, don't forget Ed Sheeran's tonight. Let's go, Seb'' she took him
by the hand and went on their way.
''How the tables have turned'' mumbled Sebastian.
They wanted to go to The Park because Sebastian wanted a picture with the legendary Glastonbury sign. It was the total proof you've been there and every attendant had a picture with it.  There were many little shows around like people with guitars doing covers. Sebastian and Celine had stayed a while watching a young lad singing Oasis
songs. All the audience (with Sebastian and Celine included) sang the chorus of the ultra mainstream Wonderwall.
When they left the place both of them had the classic 'Because maybe, you'regonna be the one that saves me, and after all, you're my wonderwall' stuck in their heads.
When they reached the sign, Sebastian stood in front of the giant 'S' of 'GLASTONBURY', and gave his phone to Celine.
''Take me a picture here,''
''Why in front of the 'S'?'' she asked.
''I don't know, Cez. Maybe because my name starts with an 'S' and my last name too.''
She took many pictures of him basically modelling in front of the 'S'.
''May I have a picture of you?'' he asked with puppy dog eyes.
''You have a lot of pictures of me. And there's no 'C' in 'Glastonbury', Seb.''
''In front of the 'S' in honour of your companion in this great adventure. And that is me'' he smiled.
''I'll give you this one'' she stood in front of the 'S', smiling a bit. She was getting used to pictures after her job with the Prime Minister involved standing behind her in many pictures with the rest of the staff.
''Cez, try to look a bit more relaxed, you're in Glastonbury, not in Parliament... okay, that's better'' he snapped some pictures ''Smile, dear.''
''You know it's difficult for me as I usually have to appear serious in pictures.''
''But this is for me, Cez. Not for your boss''
After he finished he asked a middle-aged lady that was around to take a picture of them both.
''Please, smile'' he said while wrapping his arms around her and resting his head on her shoulder.
''Easy for you to say. I'm not a walking photo shoot, like you are'' she tried her cutest smile.
Sebastian thanked the lady and then showed the picture to Celine.
''We look great'' he said.
''We do, actually'' she agreed.
Without her noticing, he put the picture as lockscreen. Celine meanwhile, was looking around for something else to do.
''The Rabbit Hole?'' she was reading at a sign ''That sounds like something out from Alice in Wonderland, I don't really want to know what they've made of that''.
''Speaking of that'' he was also reading the sign ''I've played the Mad Hatter for a TV show.''
It took a while to Celine to stop laughing.
''No way'' she had read Alice in Wonderland when she was a child and had her own version of the Mad Hatter in her mind and now he was trying to fit his dear friend Sebastian in it. That's why she was laughing ''Don't tell me more. Now I can't take the picture out of my mind. You with a cute hat on...''
''Thank you Cez, that was encouraging.''
''Oh wait a second young man! The first thing I'll do when I get to London is to watch you playing the Hatter, that's probably priceless. And you know that I love watching you act, except when you start with your sudden displays of your talent in random places...'' she suddenly stopped talking.
''What?'' he was worried for a second until he saw the reason Celine had lost track of what she was saying. There were some people shooting arrows in the ''best'' Legolas style ''Well, now I'll see a sudden display of your talent, Cez''.
Before he had time to say anything more, Celine was already talking with the person in charge of the ''Arrow Park'' and seconds later she was given a bow and arrows and was trying to aim at a red point that was painted on a tree.
''Oh please, Cez, let me film this and send it to my friend Jeremy. He's Hawkeye on The Avengers, he shoots arrows.''
''I don't know who's Jeremy and what's a Hawkeye but, okay, do it. I'll put him to shame'' Celine was pretty confident about hitting the aim.
''C'mon Cez, you've never shot an arrow in your life apart from when you wanted to be Robin Hood at five. You're not hitting that mark in your first try.''
''Woah, thank you for your encouragement. You'll swallow your words.''
In a matter of seconds Sebastian saw Celine's arrow fly and then hit the red mark, exactly in the middle. Sebastian almost dropped his phone.
''Did you film it?'' he nodded ''Have you swallowed your words?'' he nodded again ''Perfect.''
She shoot several more arrows (all of them hitting the mark) until she got bored. They agreed to go for food and then go for the others so they could head on to the Pyramid Stage. Celine couldn't wait to finally see Ed Sheeran.
When they found the others they looked in a better state, at least they had showered.
Once on the Pyramid Stage, they saw Lorde's performance. Sebastian knew all the lyrics to her songs, something that the others found funny. Even though Celine haven't heard of the young singer before that day, she had really liked her music.
As the time to see Ed Sheeran was approaching, the place was becoming more and more crowded and the only one who could see something of the stage was Sebastian, who was the tallest.
''Why am I not at first row?'' moaned Matilde.
''You know what'' said Sebastian ''I can get you into the VIP section if you let me'.
Celine thought about it for a second.
''Normally, I wouldn't take advantage of your fame but we're talking about Ed Sheeran, so please go''.
They saw Sebastian talk with a security guard, then he took a picture with him (and after this with many other people that were around) and he came back with a smile on his face.
''That's settled. We're going to the first row.''
Matilde jumped on him.
''I love you, you know, Sebby''
''How did you do it?'' Celine asked.
'' He was a Marvel fan'' he pointed to the guard ''He recognised me in a second.
The rest was easy''.
''So he sold himself for a picture with you. He was cheap'' Celine teased him.
''Very funny, Cez''.
Celine and Matilde were the happiest of them all. They were going to see Ed bloody Sheeran on first row. And when Ed showed up on stage they shouted like teenagers.
The show was the highlight of the weekend. All of them (especially Celine and Matilde) sang their hearts out.
When it ended, with and electric version of Shape of you sang by 150.000 people, Celine was over he moon. It was the perfect way to end the most perfect weekend of her life.
Sebastian and Celine came back to the campsite alone, as the others wanted to go a dance tent. Celine just advised them not to come back very late as they had to woke up early in the morning if they wanted to catch a bus without having to wait for hours.
''So here it ends'' she mumbled with melancholy.
''It was like being in a sort of Wonderland. I hardly remember how the real world looked like''
''Same, Seb, same. And on Tuesday I'll have to be back in 10 Downing Street...''
They were both in a melancholic mood when they reached the tent that lasted until Celine tripped when she was entering and ended up crashing out of the inflatable mattress and straight onto the floor.
'' 'When your legs don't work like they used to before' '' sang Sebastian and Celine threw a blanket straight at his face.
''Hope the others don't come back too late. We'll have to be up before seven if we don't want to be caught by the mob. We should catch an early train to London'' Celine informed him.
The only light that could be seen was the screen of Sebastian's phone. After he turned it off they were in complete darkness.
''What are you doing?'' she asked when she felt him moving to her side.
''May I?'' he asked wrapping his arms around a confused Celine ''Ed Sheeran left me smitten, now I need some human contact''.
''Do I bring you the security lady from yesterday? She'd love some human contact from you'' she asked, laughing ''Seb, you're 34, a bit old for a teddy bear, don't you think?''
''Cez, do you have some sort of special ability to turn every cute moment into a joke? And I don't want the security lady or a teddy bear, just you''.
Celine laughed, again.
''What's happening to you? Have you swallowed Ed Sheeran?'' she couldn't stop laughing ''Or is some Ed Sheeranesque thing that's in the air? What are you going to do next? Start serenading me with Perfect? 'I found a love for me...'' she sang ''Darling, just dive right in and follow my lead...''
''You're unbearable, Cez''
''Okay, I'm sorry, Seb, I shouldn't have laughed. But it was just too funny'' she was not going to admit she was pretty comfortable in Sebastian's arms ''Good night, Seb.''
''Good night, Cez''.

That was the first day in all the weekend that Sebastian woke up before Celine. He was tempted to wake her up in one of her own creative ways but he decided it was better to leave that for another time, after all it was 6 am.
''Cez'' he gently stroked her hair ''Cez, it's 6 already.''
The first thing she saw was Sebastian's bright blue eyes. Nice view to wake up.
''I'll be ready in second.''
As they had everything organised, it was very easy to pack all their things. In ten minutes they were ready to dismount the tent. Firstly, they had to wake the others, who were asleep outside their tent, on an inflatable mattress, covered with their own coats. They looked uncomfortable to say the least.
''Well...'' Celine said, looking at Matide, who had half her body on the ground. ''If you ask me I think I had a much better night. I literally slept in your arms, not on the floor''.
''I'm glad I was a better option, Cez. But we should wake them up, it looks like it's going to rain''.
Celine looked up at the sky. After an unusually sunny weekend, the sky looked gray.
''You wake them up, Seb.''
''Ready to comply'' he said with an evil smile.
He grabbed the metallic kettle and started hitting it with a stick, like if it were a bell. The others groaned and slowly woke up.
''Okay, people...'' he said, still hitting the kettle. ''..it's getting late so wake up and dismount the tent. We don't really want to be caught in the rain''.
''Do you know what Sebastian?'' asked Leah, who looked terrible, to say the least. ''I think you're hanging out too much with Celine. You're becoming her''.
''Imagine if they marry'' said Matilde, who still hadn't opened her eyes ''I wouldn't want to be the poor child that comes from this union.''
''Okay, if you don't get up right now I'll use water'' Celine was already losing her patience.
''We'll shut up!'' surrendered Max, who've had enough for the weekend.
Twenty minutes later they were on a bus, on the way to Bath. Celine and Sebastian were in a melancholic mood and the other three were absolutely
knackered. The sky was getting darker as the rain approached. When they arrived to Bath they went straight to the train station. Sebastian and Celine were the only ones who had enough energy to buy coffee before taking the train. By the time they were on it, it was raining heavily.
''It looks as if the rain was waiting for us to leave'' Celine told Sebastian who was by her side.
''It matches my mood, to be honest'' he was looking at the raindrops falling down the window ''Coming back to the mundane world, after the best weekend of my life''.
''You know what?'' she asked him, with her head on Sebastian's shoulder ''I can't wait to do it again''.

Chapter Text

After Glastonbury everything had gone back to normal. Celine and Matilde had gone back to work for the Prime Minister, Max and Leah to their respective jobs and Sebastian had finished with filming and he had free days until August. Celine didn't have words to express how jealous he was of him. She had arranged a week off for July, as a birthday present for herself and also to go to that strange convention. She was still not sure about what was that and she was even less sure about leaving the country for an entire week to go to San Diego. It didn't seem like the wisest choice.
It was Thursday 13th of July, the day before Celine's birthday. She had never made a big deal out of it and that year it was not going to be the exception. Not having to work that day was the best present. However, Matilde and Sebastian had other ideas. They had agreed that there was no point in planning a party or singing the happy birthday as Celine was one of that weird persons who got bored at conventional parties and got embarrassed if she was sung the Happy Birthday.
The night before, Matilde and Sebastian were on Celine's kitchen while she was on her bedroom, watching a Wimbledon tennis match. Matilde was baking a cake and Sebastian was looking.
''Can I help you with something?'' he asked, feeling a bit guilty to leave her doing everything.
''Just make sure she doesn't come here.''
''She won't. Last time I checked she was shouting at Andy Murray because he had missed an incredible point. She'll be entertained there until the match finishes''.
The cake was finished and Matilde was decorating it.
''Let's check'' she counted ''No flowers, no hearts, no ''Happy 28, Celine'' written on it, and yes to the 12 stars that symbolize the number of Champions Leagues Real Madrid had won''.
''And remember it the icing has to be white, as the Real Madrid jersey'' he reminded her. ''And instead of 'Happy Birthday' the Real Madrid anthem has to be played.''
''Have you got her a present to her already, Sebby?''
''Yes. And I'm a hundred sure percent she'll love it''.
''Not that it's very difficult to get her a present. Damn...'' she cursed, looking at the kitchen's wall ''I hate that Mr. Bean picture, it's so creepy.''
Half an hour later, everything was finished and they were checking that every detail was in order.
''Will you stay here?'' she asked him and he nodded ''Great. Just make sure she doesn't come here until eleven in the morning. I'll be here around nine and Max and Leah will drop around midday, then we'll be ready to leave'' of course they had planned a trip. ''Have you downloaded the anthem?''
''Yes but it's in Spanish and I don't understand a word.''
''It's about how brilliant and glorious Real Madrid is, don't worry about that. Just make sure she doesn't leave her room if that's possible, if you need just sleep by her door. Remember that girl is cunning as a fox. What time is it Seb?''
Sebastian checked the time on his phone and Matilde sent a furtive glace at his lockscreen. ''Nice picture you have there.''
''Oh yes'' that picture of him and Celine in Glastonbury was Sebastian's favorite ''You could have been in it but you were with a killer hangover lying outside a vomited tent.''
''That's the price to pay for a party in Shangri-la. And I don't regret a thing to be honest. You could have been there with us if you hadn't been snogging Celine on a tent''
Sebastian for the first time in months, blushed.
''I wasn't snogging Celine, the tent was falling on us. That's what really happened and you all know about it because you planned it. And do you think I'd ever do that in a tent in Glastonbury, of all the places? Celine deserves something better''.
Matilde was looking at him with raised eyebrows.
''As you say, Sebby. Good night''.
He then realised that he had said something wrong.
''Not that it's ever going to happen. It was just a supposition''.
''If you say so...'' Matilde was still not buying it.
''Because she's just my friend, I'd never think of her that way...'' he was almost rambling.
''Stop, Sebby, stop. You're sounding really pathetic. Now, good night''.
He stood there like an idiot for a while and the went to check on Celine who was just peacefully reading a book.
''Andy Murray won but he did a terrible performance. Playing like that he's not going to make it into the final''. she closed her book and looked at him. ''Are you staying tonight?''
'What do you think?''
''That you basically live here.'' she crossed the room and got inside her walk-in closet. She came back with her arms full of clothes ''Look at this'' she threw the clothes on her bed ''This is all yours. And there's more inside''
He was actually a bit horrified because all of his clothes smelled as Celine's favorite perfume.
''Cez, this is not mine'' he had found a shirt that said 'I dig the Winter Soldier'.
''You're right. That's Matilde's. The only one capable of wearing that humiliating thing.''
''Thank you, Cez. You know I'm the Winter Soldier'' he was not actually offended but he liked to appear as if he was in front of Celine.
''Don't try to make me feel bad. And you're Sebastian, not the Winter Soldier. The Winter Soldier is a fictional character.''
''Who's very handsome thanks to yours truly'' he winked and Celine threw Matilde's shirt on his face.
''Why don't you wear it? Or do you prefer another one that says 'I dig Chris Evans' instead? I can get it for your birthday next month.''
''Everyone digs Chris Evans.''
''I don't'' said Celine, with complete honesty ''I've just seen him on those Captain America films and he was wearing spandex and throwing a frisbee, that wasn't
very attractive''.
''You'll meet him next week and you'll change your mind.''
''Good night, Seb'' she turned off the lights and said nothing else.
He smiled and left to the other room, where he usually stayed. Now he had the mission of waking up before her. He set an alarm, blaming Celine a little for having the habit of waking up so early.


On the next morning he woke up before the alarm. The only noise came from an occasional car on the street from time to time. When he got up he peeked at Celine's bedroom. The birthday girl was sound sleep, oblivious to everything. At seven, he looked throw the window. It was a perfect summer day, which was ideal for their plans. The ones that Celine had no idea about.
She woke up exactly at 7:30, and when she checked the time she also saw the date ''14th July'' and finally realized it was her birthday. So she was approaching thirty, how nice. She stood for a good while, staring at the ceiling, until Sebastian appeared by her door, looking handsome, with his hair slicked back and a charming smile. She still remembered those awkward first days of their friendship when she used to get very distracted by his good looks. Those days
were long gone even though Celine considered him the most attractive person she'd ever met.
''Happy birthday, Cez.''
''Thank you, Seb. But if you dare to sing, I'll kick you out my house.''
''Always so sweet in the mornings, Cez'' he lied beside her ''Come here, silly thing''.
Even though he had embraced Celine only twice before (that wild day Real Madrid had won the Champions League and that night at Glastonbury after the Ed Sheeran show), it wasn't awkward. For Celine it was just Sebastian, and Sebastian liked to have Celine between his arms. But for him this time was different. He felt as he didn't want to let her go. The feeling lasted no more than a second but was enough to confuse him and he had not been fast enough to conceal it. He thought that he was over with the infatuation but it didn't seem to be that way.
''Are you okay?'' she asked him, noticing the change of his expression.
''Yes. I'm just celebrating the day you were born, Cez'' he was using all of her acting skills to hide his confusion ''That's enough reason because I don't know what I'd do without you.''
''Stop being melodramatic and let's have breakfast.''
''No!'' he basically tackled her back on the bed ''I mean, let me bring you something. It's your birthday, let me attend you as you deserve.''
She looked at him, not quite believing what he was saying.
''Sebastian, what are you on? Don't tell me this is a display of your acting skills. Let's have breakfast and stop being silly.''
''I'm being serious. Stay here, I'll bring you tea. This is what a good friend should do'' without saying anything else he left.
She rolled her eyes and turned on the TV. There was some morning show in which the presenter was teaching how to cook, that was useless for her, she'll probably never learn how to properly cook. She changed channels for a good while and finally settled to watch a rerun of a Wimbledon match. She was pretty entertained when Sebastian got back with a steamy mug of Earl Grey and a plate of toasts with orange jam, her absolute favorite.
''Did you take time of your life to make me toasts?'' she still couldn't believe that he was so attentive.
''I'd do much more for you if you'd let me, Cez'' he gave her the mug and the plate.
''You're an angel, Seb. There's no other word to describe you. And believe me when I tell you that I'm not used to people who actually want to do something for me. I'm just used to provide for myself, you know''.
''You deserve the world, Cez''
Celine laughed.
''No Seb. If someone deserves the world here, that's you.''
They kept watching the tennis match, in silence, until they heard knocks on Celine's door.
''I'll go'' Sebastian of course knew who that was.
A minute later, Matilde with a wide smile got into the room and hugged Celine so tightly that for a second time that morning she found herself being tacked to her own bed.
''Happy birthday, sister.''
''Thank you. And you're choking me''.
''Sorry. And well done, Sebby, you did perfectly'' Sebastian had a smirk on his face and Celine knew instantly that he and Matilde had something planned. She hadn't suspected anything at all and that was probably thanks to Sebastian's acting abilities throughout the morning. She just hoped their plans didn't include nothing that involved them singing.
''So you have something planned.''
''Yes'' admitted Matilde. ''But we're not telling you until Max and Leah come, and that'll be in two hours. We still have time to watch a film.''
''You choose, Cez'' said Sebastian, innocently believing that she was going to choose something fun.
''I have a new documentary about the Tower of London and all the people who were executed of imprisoned there throughout history.''
By Matilde's and Sebastian's faces, they didn't find the documentary very appealing.
''Now I want to watch Mr. Bean's Holiday for the millionth time'' said Sebastian, sarcastically.
''I was thinking about Civil War'' proposed Matilde.
''That's also good.'' Celine smiled ''I have a couple of documentaries about the Civil War. Which one do want to watch Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution or Charles I: A Political Life? You probably know that Charles I ended up with his head chopped off, I'm not spoiling anything''.
Matilde looked done with everything and Sebastian was clueless.
''Cez, what are you talking about?''
Celine looked at him with confusion in her eyes. It was pretty obvious what she was talking about, she didn't understand why the others looked so lost.
''The Civil War. The English Civil War, don't confuse it with the American''.
Matilde and Sebastian started laughing and didn't stop for a while.
''Okay, she topped herself'' Matilde mumbled, trying to calm down.
''Cez, dear'' Sebastian explained to Celine, with all the patience in the world ''Civil War is the third Captain America film. It's called like that because the Avengers fight among themselves. There's two teams: Team Iron Man and Team Cap. Be on Team Cap, Cez. It's the heroic equivalent of Real Madrid and also I am in it''.
Of course they were talking about bloody superheroes.
''Okay, I'm done, we're watching the bloody thing but only because you're in it''
she pointed at Sebastian ''And I was going to be on your team anyway. However, I'm still thinking that Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution is a better option''.
Matilde and Sebastian rolled their eyes.

When the film ended, Matilde and Sebastian moved to Celine's living room to wait for Max and Leah. Then they were giving her the presents and the cake before going out.
When Max and Leah arrived, half and hour later, they were ready to give her the presents.
'You shouldn't have bothered, really people'' she kept saying. She still remembered that for one of her birthdays her Cambridge friends had got her a living breathing toad. After that she had asked them not to give her anything else.
''Shut up and open mine'' Matilde gave her a fancy looking bag.
''I know what it is'' whispered Sebastian, with a smile.
''Of course you know. You also know Max and Leah's. It's unfair we don't know what you're giving her.''
''Wow Matilde!'' Celine had opened Matilde's present. It was a black Burberry trench coat. ''This is brilliant!''
Everyone knew of Celine's love for everything Burberry (and she only owned only a scarf of the brand, because it was utter expensive) so Matilde knew her present was going to be welcome.
''Now ours'' Leah gave her a fancy looking box.
Celine opened it. It was a limited edition of the Burberry London Fragance.
''People!'' Celine jumped and hugged both, first Max and then Leah ''You're acing with this year's presents!''
Then everyone looked at Sebastian.
''Your turn'' Matilde ordered him.
The truth was that she (and Max and Leah probably too) was dying of curiosity.
''Okay'' he took a square turquoise box from the pocket of his jacket and gave it to Celine.
Immediately, Matilde, Leah and Max jumped a little and with wide eyes stared at them.
''Did I miss something here?'' hissed a desperate Leah, who was grabbing Matilde's arm ''Last time I checked, they weren't even together and now he's proposing? That box is from Tiffany, I'm sure of it''.
''I have no idea what's going on here'' Matilde had gone pale ''I'm as lost as you. Open it, Celine, open it'' she whispered.
When Celine opened the box all they could see was that there was a folded piece of paper. When Celine read it her eyes went wide and looked at Sebastian with the
widest smile on his face.
The others were dying of intrigue.
''Maybe in that paper he wrote 'Will you marry me' or something like that. To make it more creative'' whispered Max.
''Can you feel it?'' Matilde had put Leah's hand on her chest ''My heart is pounding so hard is going to leave my body''
''Cez, is this a yes?'' when Sebastian asked that, Matilde almost fell to the floor.
''It's an of course!'' Celine shrieked and jumped to Sebastian's arms.
The other three were absolute stunned.
''Oh my God. I'm going to have an attack'' muttered Matilde.
The first one who recovered from the scene was Max.
''May I ask what this is about or we just congratulate you two?''
''Congratulate us for what?'' asked Celine and without waiting for an answer she added ''Look what Seb got me'' she showed them the paper which looked more like a ticket than a marriage proposal. ''VIP tickets to the Wimbledon final this Sunday! I hope Andy Murray makes it! Or Roger Federer! This will be the best thing ever!''
Jumping a little she left the living room.
The other three looked crushed, the disappointment in every inch of their faces.
''You better go to the kitchen'' Sebastian told them. Before following Celine he winked at them.
The other three were unable to move.
''The bastard'' said Matilde ''He knew it all along. He knew we were going to jump into conclusions when we'd seen that box and just wanted to see our reactions for the fun of it. He had it all planned. A ticket inside a Tiffany box, he's a actor for God's sake, this is totally his style, extra and melodramatic bastard!'' Matilde was the most affected by the disappointment ''In my mind I was choosing the Maid of Honour dress and what do I get instead? A handful of anecdotes about a bloody tennis match!''.
Leah also looked quite disappointed but for different reasons.
''What I think is that together or not, he knows how to please her'' she looked at Max with a serious expression.
''That's because getting presents to Celine is really easy'' he jumped on his own defense ''It's either Burberry or something related with sports, there's no other option''
Leah looked at Max with an unbelieving expression. Matilde was enjoying their show.
''Max, we've been dating for nine years and for my last birthday you got me a Cadbury chocolate bar! If Sebastian Stan can get Wimbledon tickets to Celine Cadwallader, when they're not even together imagine what he'll give her if they're engaged! A bloody Ferrari for all I know.''
''Maybe Stan can afford a Ferrari but I cannot. And don't compare me with him, Leah, because I'd always lose''
Matilde felt a bit bad for him. And in his defence, everyone would lose if they were unfortunate enough to be compared with Sebastian. So she decided to take him out of his misery.
''Or maybe he gets her tickets to see Real Madrid. And then she dies on the spot''.

When the Real Madrid anthem finished playing (and Celine sang every word on it), they gave her the cake. She was fascinated by it. She had loved the idea of the stars. She didn't have enough words to thank her friends, they had made the day more special than she had ever imagined it. It was time to go out. They walked towards Gloucester Station so Celine knewthey were taking the tube.
''Where are we going?'' she asked Sebastian when they were on the train.
''I'm not telling you but may I cover your eyes?''
''Okay, do it. But it's useless, I know the order of the stations by heart''
He was doing it just for fun as he knew than in her mind she knew exactly where they were.
''Okay we're here'' Sebastian told her. He was still covering his eyes with his hands.
''Victoria Station'' she said ''So that means we're going to Buckingham Palace''
Sebastian uncovered her eyes and looked at her with a bit of frustration.
''How to spoil a surprise in five seconds, a book by Celine Cadwallader''
''Let me guess, she spoiled the surprise'' said Matilde and Sebastian nodded.
At the Palace, Celine fangirled with everything she saw. They visited some of the State Rooms (for Celine it was hard to conceal her emotions when she found herself inside the Throne Room, the Music Room and the White Drawing Room), there were so many portraits on the walls that Celine almost lost track of the time identifying every person on it and telling her friends a bit about their lives. They went also to see the Royal Mews in where Sebastian couldn't stop taking pictures of the Queen's Carriage. He thought that stuff like that could only be found in film sets. Their long visit ended with them exploring the Palace Gardens. Even Matilde, who was never very enthusiastic about anything related to history and royalty (taking Celine to the Palace had been completely Sebastian's idea), loved that part of their tour.
Sebastian was taking pictures at the garden's white roses while Celine was observing them at a considerable distance as she was allergic to them.
''Cez, stay there and look at me'' when she did he snapped a picture ''Perfect.
You look straight out of a fairytale. Or a Tudor history book, whatever you prefer. This is definitely my favourite picture of you''.
''Maybe out of a Victorian history book'' she corrected him ''Buckingham Palace didn't exist in Tudor times.''
''As you say, Cez. You're the expert''
''Where are the others?'' she asked.
''At the cafe'' he rolled his eyes ''It seems they cannot think of anything else that's not food''.
They found them at a table, surrounded by different sorts of cakes and cups of coffee.
''You won't regret it'' mumbled Matilde with her mouth half full. Only after she swallowed she could speak with normality ''Not everyday you can say you drank tea at Buckingham Palace. It's the closest thing you'll get to a Garden Party here''.
''Thank you for your faith, Matilde''
But she was actually right, at least in what food was concerned. The strawberry cake was probably the most delicious thing Celine had ever had. Celine thought that after the Palace, they were going home, but she was wrong.
''So where are we going now?'' she asked when they were back at the tube station.
''You'll see'' this was Matilde's turn to be excited which meant that it had nothing to do with Celine's birthday celebrations
They got off at Leicester Square station.
''Are we going to the National Portrait Gallery? It's only one block away'' for some reason Celine knew that they were not going to the Gallery.
''Of course not. God knows I've had enough of portraits of dead people for the day'' said Matilde.
Celine's curiosity was growing when she found herself at the cinema, As long
as she knew there was no film release she was interested in seeing. An to make matters worse, the place was full.
''May I know at least what are we watching?'' Celine asked.
''Spiderman Homecoming'' and now it was solved the mystery of Matilde's excited attitude ''God knows how much I love Tom Holland.''
Celine facepalmed.
''I've already watched a weird superhero film today, and it was because Sebastian was in it. I don't even know who the bloody hell is Tom Holland''.
''You'll meet Tom in a few days'' Sebastian had approached her from behind. She didn't even know he was there ''Just give it a chance, you'll end up liking it''
''Or maybe I can go to the Gallery while you watch the film.''
The others didn't let her for reasons unknown. But for Celine, the show was going to start early, when some girls that were at the popcorn queue started whispering among each other.
''Are you Sebastian Stan?'' one dared to ask.
''And here starts the mayhem'' Celine grabbed Max and Leah by their arms and got out of the way ''Once someone recognises him, everyone does. Believe me I'm used to this'' she smiled.
The place was getting more and more crowded around Sebastian, with all the people asking for pictures.
''I don't know if it was the best idea'' mumbled the always sensible Max ''We got the most popular Marvel actor of the moment to see a Marvel ultra popular film. Good way to stay lowkey''.
''Don't worry, he likes it'' Celine wasn't paying much attention to the scene as she was more concerned in buying the popcorn and Coke.
''Are you his girlfriend?'' a teenager girl asked her, pointing at Sebastian.
''Oh no''. Celine improvised her best accentuated English, with Max and Leah almost crying of laughter behind her. ''I'm just his cousin from Romania... but do you see... that... how can I say... blonda... blonde girl there?'' Celine pointed at Matilde, who was of course in the middle of the mayhem ''She is his girlfriend. She knows everything about him if you ask her she'll tell you''.
''Thank you'' the girl left, taking excitedly with other girls, probably spreading the news.
''What have you done?'' asked Leah, basically in tears.
''Having fun. This is going to be better than the film. Let's get closer''.
They followed the teenagers, who were almost in the front of Sebastian (and Matilde who was near him). The girls asked him for a picture and Celine, Leah and Max were delighted to hear what they were telling him.
''Oh my Gosh, Sebastian, your girlfriend is so lovely'' the girl pointed and Matilde, who looked confused, to say the least.
''Which girlfriend?'' he muttered ''I don't have a girlfriend. Who told you that?''
Celine and the others were almost out of breath, at least until they heard what the girl said next:
''Your lovely cousin from Romania, the one over there.''
Sebastian didn't need much clues to know who was she talking about.
''Don't worry, Matilde's not my girlfriend. But that girl over there...'' he pointed at Celine, who was still laughing ''...is not my cousin. She's not even from Romania. That's Celine who's actually from Cardiff. She knows everything
about me if you want to ask her.'' Many pair of eyes tuned to Celine.
''Let's go and see the film'' she grabbed Max and Leah by the elbows and disappeared, still laughing.

When the film ended Celine was surprised because she had actually liked it.
''That's was way better than I expected'' she told Sebastian, who was the one by her side. ''The only complain I have is that you weren't in it.''
The other three were completely ecstatic.
''What. A. Film'' said Matilde with a dreamy expression ''Tom Holland, you're my new God.''
''Leah, I'd totally left you for Peter Parker, I'm not even ashamed to tell you'' whispered Max.
''We're all in this together, Max'' Leah said ''Even Celine agrees with you.''
''Not really'' Celine was really sure of this one ''He's sort of cute but also a kid.
And I have Sebastian by my side that makes him look like crap. Sorry for not being objective with this one''.
''Thank you for finding me handsome, Cez''.
''Don't act as if you don't know. Probably the whole room agrees with me''.
All of them knew that it was true.

Thirty minutes later they were back home. Max and Leah continued their way to their house and Matilde said she was tired so she also went home. At the end it was just Sebastian and Celine.
''Do you mind if I stay the night?'' he asked her. She still didn't know why he asked, he almost lived there.
''Of course not. You don't even have to ask, Seb. I like having you here and you know it''.
He went straight to make tea and she thank him for it.
''Cez, I have something else to give you'' he confessed after handing her the tea ''It's just a little thing but I thought it was cute, I didn't want to do it in front of the others because they were going to tease us until the next century'' he left a delicate gold necklace with her initial in the palm of her hand. ''I have the same one but with an 'S' '' he smiled.
He was not going to tell her that he had actually bought it in Tiffany (that was were the box he had used to put the ticket had come from) because he was sure Celine would say something like 'Oh, you shouldn't have'.
''Seb, just...'' she was actually a bit moved ''Thanking you is not enough for everything you do for me. I mean, you get me thoughtful presents, you plan a day out for me, you taking care of me, you keep me company... I never thought I was going to find this after I left Cambridge...''
''Stop blabbering, Cez and let me put it on you.''
After putting the necklace around her neck, his hand rested for some seconds on her cheek, with that mesmerizing blue eyes of his staring at her. After a while he left a soft kiss on her forehead.
''Why don't we go upstairs and watch that awesome documentary of yours about the Tower now that Matilde's not here?'' he proposed while biting his lip.
Everyone would have thought he was proposing something much more cheeky.
''I'll bring the tea and you the cake.''

Chapter Text

The days before the trip to San Diego, Sebastian was basically living with Celine. He had caught a summer chill and was being pretty miserable. Apart from being extra melodramatic and whiny.
Celine just let him stay there. She didn't want him to be alone at Tom's house and he was great company, even when sick.
Every time she got back from work she got him a packet of Maltesers, Mars bars or another nice sweet. She even made him tea with lemon and honey. That's what friends were supposed to do for each other. Someday, if she needed it, she was sure that Sebastian was going to take complete care of her.
Sebastian wasn't expecting anyone to be as attentive to him as Celine was being. Well, maybe his mother. Even though he was sick, he felt sort of comfortable and well taken care of. In good hands.
Luckily for everyone he seemed to have recovered for the San Diego adventure.
Sebastian was in Celine's room, lying on her bed, with Elemauzer on his chest and switching channels. At least she had decided for something and was watching the end of a rerun episode of Love Island. Celine was trying not to judge him on his choosing of entertainment.
''I see that you didn't find anything to watch'' Celine was arranging the last things for the trip.
''And I see you're still using my clothes. I have the feeling you wear them to sleep''
''I'm not denying it. They're far more comfortable than mine. Have you ever tried to wear to wear a nightdress?'' he shook his head. ''Well, try it and you'll understand. It's like wearing an actual dress to sleep, it gets tangled with the sheets and then you wake up half naked. And some of them have lace on it and they give me a rash.''
''Sounds awful'' not that he minded to see Celine wearing his clothes, there was something in it that made it special.
''Indeed, and some are made of satin... Instead of satin it should be Satan... I mean, it's so slippery it's like you're sleeping on slugs. And some idiots find that 'sexy''. she gagged and rolled and rolled her eyes.
''Believe me, I'm not in the club'' even though Love Island was still on, he wasn't paying attention to it. He couldn't take his eyes off of Celine, who was running around the room putting everything in order ''Now I can't stop thinking about the slugs, thank you Cez''.
He started switching channels again.
''Something interesting?'' she asked him.
''There's always The Lord of the Rings.''
''I love that trilogy''
''Let me guess'' he looked at her with a smirk ''You wanted to be Legolas.''
''Archery always gets me'' she winked at him.
Sebastian was still following Celine's every move until she disappeared inside her closet.
''Catch it'' Celine, out of nowhere threw a packet of something at him. With his sudden move, Elemauzer looked at him with annoyance in his yellow eyes.
''You have packets of sweets stored in your closet?'' he caught her packet that she threw a him.
''Well, my secret's finally out.''
She climbed to her bed, next to him, with her head on his shoulder. The film was just starting and she was thinking in making the best of the last hours of calm before the trip.

 

 

San Diego, California.

After twelve hours inside a plane Celine and Sebastian looked a bit tired but not as much as Matilde. When they reached the hotel that they were going to stay she looked straight out of a zombie film. Celine was quite angry at Sebastian because by no means he was telling her how much money she owed him for the hotel. She had tormented him all the way from the airport until an angry Matilde had yelled her to shut up.
''I just need to sleep'' Matilde mumbled ''I still have the 'Welcome to British Airways' annoying voice stuck in my head. It's worse than a Taylor Swift song''

''Hey, Taylor Swift is not annoy...'' Celine wasn't able to finish her sentence because Matilde had closed the door on her face ''What do you think of that?'' she asked Sebastian.
''I'm sort of neutral in this one... Taylor Swift may not be my favourite musician in the world but she definitely doesn't deserve all the hate she gets. She just dates like a normal human being, for God's sake, why should we care about that?''
''I was asking about Matilde's attitude but... I liked your answer. See you later'' she closed the door of her room, leaving him stranded on the aisle.
She roamed around the room for some time and when she got bored she turned on the TV and started switching channels.
''American television'' she mumbled.
There was a couple of films, reality shows and news bulletins, more or less the same as in the UK. She even found the BBC around, which she stood watching. It was weird to think that even if she was so far away from home, she was watching the same channel she usually watched.
A couple of hours went by and she was in no mood to sleep. She was probably the only person in the world that hated napping, as she always woke up dizzy afterwards.
Only after it was completely dark outside Sebastian dropped by her room, without even knocking, looking fresh as a cucumber.
''There you are! Why are you watching the BBC?'' he asked her.
''I may or may not be a patriot'' she joked.
''I thought you were Welsh...''
''Last time I saw Wales was part of the UK, you uncultured swine. I should have brought the Union Jack flag that's in my room to wear as a dress for tomorrow's weird dinner with your superhero friends. Then I would've sung 'God save the Queen' ''
''And Tom Holland and Tom Hiddleston would have joined you. Why don't we go for dinner? We can check on Matilde and see if she's awake''.
Of course she wasn't awake so they decided to go alone.
''I feel guilty to leave her alone'' said Sebastian when they got to the street.
''Well, she's 27, not 15 and she's also not our daughter'' Celine was convinced that her friend needed some hours of sleep as she didn't want deal with a moody Matilde for the rest of the night.
As they didn't know where to go, they decided to walk around until they could find somewhere they liked.
''I don't know how America can survive without Nando's. Or Greggs. One day away and I miss them'' Celine commented.
''Nando's could be useful right now'' Sebastian agreed. The chicken restaurant was the obvious option for them every time they were hungry and didn't know what to eat.
''It's tempting to go and ask random people if they know what a 'cheeky Nando's' is'' Celine laughed.
Even Sebastian wasn't a bit sure of the meaning of that expression.
''I can't wait to tell Chris tomorrow 'Hey, let's go for a cheeky Nando's after the footy' to see the face he makes.''
''Your British accent is improving Seb, I'm proud of you''.
Finally they found a place they liked. It was a nice looking restaurant with a bar.
''I'd get you a drink but last time you ended up sleeping on your armchair after only a beer, Cez''.
''And you haven't seen me giggling like an idiot yet. I'm definitely not letting you see that, it's pathetic. It happened once, in Cambridge. I drank only a shot of vodka and I ended up singing 'Vodka is better than whiskey and gin'. That's just one of the stories. You know pretty well I have many others''.
Sebastian was trying not to laugh imaging Celine doing this ''You should take Matilde for drinks tomorrow. She gave us a good show the time she got drunk at Glastonbury''
They both laughed at the memory, what had happened afterwards and how Matilde, Max and Leah had spent a whole evening cleaning up the mess they had made (and Sebastian helped to provoke).
''What do you want to eat?'' he asked her.
''Whatever that is fried.''
They approached the bar where an attractive young lady smiled nicely at them.
''Do I help you?'' she asked.
''Yes, I need the biggest portion of chips... I mean fries, you may have'' for some reason he was making the best use of his British accent ''And also a Bloody Mary for me and the best non alcoholic drink available for my wife here.''
Celine rolled her eyes. It was not the first time that for fun he made her pass as his wife, girlfriend, cousin or sister. The last time was day they had gone to Wimbledon. Unfortunately for her he kept talking. ''You see, she can't drink as she's pregnant''
''What the hell?'' she hissed. Sebastian just laughed and luckily the lady was busy taking their orders and didn't realise of their weird behaviour. However she had heard what Sebastian had said and commented: ''Congratulations. Is it the first child?''
Celine buried her head in her hands, completely exasperated. Sebastian kept talking and by the way he spoke everyone would have believed his stupid story.
''Yes'' he had a dreamy smile ''We're really excited. Sorry if I'm annoying but it's such a happiness that I want to tell everyone''.
By the look on his face, even Celine would have believed his story except from he fact that the mother of his imaginary child was herself. The lady had not only believed him but also was apparently a bit moved. Celine wanted to disappear.
''Don't worry. That's the most positive story I've heard in all day. And do you know what it is?'' the lady asked, excitedly.
''It's a girl. We're naming her Victoria.''
That was enough for Celine who wrapped her arms around Sebastian's neck as if she was giving him a cute hug. Instead of that he whispered in his ear: ''You're dead, Stan. I'll be waiting for the right moment but you're completely and absolutely dead''.
Celine wanted to strangle him when the idiot smiled and with a heartfelt voice accepted the lady's congratulations (one more time) when he got his order. Celine tried to smile but her expression wasn't as convincing as Sebastian's. She actually looked in pain.
''That was a masterpiece of improvisation. Instead of trying to kill me you should learn from me''. He was talking as if nothing had happened.
''I'd drown you in your drink right now if it were in my power. You know there was a Duke in the fifteenth century who was executed by drowning him in a barrel of wine? I'd love to emulate it right now''. Celine was still a bit embarrassed.
''Always so moody, Cez. That was my best improvisation since Wimbledon. The girl totally believed my story, I could see it in her face''.
''You played with her emotions, poor girl'' suddenly a thought occurred to Celine ''Don't you dare to pull such a scene tomorrow in front of your friends or you may find the pictures of you sleeping on the plane accidentally leaked on the Internet''.
Sebastian now had his eyes wide open.
''That's extortion Cez. And why did you took pictures of myself sleeping?''
It was Celine's turn to smile.
''It wasn't me. It was Matilde'' of course, who else, was the thought in Sebastian's mind. ''I tried to prevent her from doing it but now that I think about it, they may come in handy''.
Sebastian rolled his eyes.
''You're going to kill me one of these days. Anyway, there are pictures of me playing tennis and drunk on the Internet. A couple of pictures of myself sleeping won't damage my reputation''.
''They're more than a couple. And you know how Matilde is''.
They kept eating in silence, not because the didn't have a topic but because they were hungry.
''Cez, did you know that the name of this drink'' he pointed to his glass ''comes from a Queen''.
Celine nodded and started talking.
''Bloody Mary Tudor or Mary I of England, eldest daughter of Henry VIII, earned her name of 'Bloody' because she burned almost 300 of what she called heretics in a period of 4 years. She wasn't as radical as you may imagine but that's a way too long story, believe me. Now you can imagine you're drinking her blood''.
''Thanks for ruining this, Cez. What is next? Christmas?''
''Santa is fake, Seb''.
Sebastian tried to look hurt.
When they finished eating they decided to go straight to the hotel as they were starting to get tired. Celine was really lost with all the time differences and she had no idea what day it was. But she was curious about a simple thing.
''Seb, I have a question. In that weird improvisation of yours, why did you choose the name Victoria for your imaginary child? Simple curiosity''.
He had a smirk on his face.
''Because that's a name you'd choose.'' Celine looked at him with a questioning look ''Let me explain: you have an undying love for Queen Victoria and everything related to that era. And this is not everything as Victoria means 'victory' in Spanish, something that you'd relate with your beloved Real Madrid and all their victories. And it's a name that sounds good translated in many languages. It's Victorie in Romanian which is pretty cute in my opinion''.
That answer had completely disarmed Celine. She looked at him with an stunned expression and clapped her hands a couple of times.
''Wow, that was really good. You've made your research. But Victoria in Welsh is Buddugoliaeth which sounds pretty complicated in my opinion''.
''Welsh is a complicated mess, Cez''.
They kept walking towards the hotel. They were having fun with the topic of the names and Celine was not going to let it go.
''So, Seb, you aced it with the first name. What would I choose as a second?''
''Easy this one: Elizabeth. That's your mother's name and also the Queen's. But most of all, for Queen Elizabeth I, that you'd told me many times that she's your role model''.
Celine slapped him on the shoulder, playfully.
''You got it right again. Yer a wizard, Seb'' she said with her best Hagrid voice. ''And what do you think of my name?'' she asked him with a smile.
''I love your name. It's elegant, delicate and... beautiful. Like the owner'' he bowed at her.
''So you're complimenting me'' she wrapped her arms around his neck, this time not to whisper death threats, only because she felt like it. He was surprised to say the least, but didn't hesitate to wrap his arms around her waist. ''I thank you for it and for everything.'' she kissed him on the cheek and let him go. Sebastian was a bit flustered. ''Now we shall go to sleep as tomorrow we have the show of Matilde fangirling and I'm not missing this for the world''.

Chapter Text

By the afternoon of the next day, Celine and Sebastian were at the hotel lobby, looking bored. They had been waiting for Matilde to appear for the last 45 minutes.
''What is she doing?'' asked an exasperated Sebastian ''Curling her hair?''
''Probably. Don't forget she's meeting her crush Chris Evans tonight. And a bunch of other people she's only seen on TV''.
Celine looked relaxed, by the look on her face no one could have believed she was going to meet an squad of famous people. By her attitude she could've been going to the supermarket. It helped that she didn't know the names of basically any of the people she'll meet. It'd be different if she were just about to meet the Real Madrid squad.
''And you're not even a tiny bit nervous?'' asked Sebastian.
''No'' she blatantly answered, and it was true ''I'm used to meeting people for my job so it's not going to be any different''.
''Save the fact that you're not meeting politicians but actors and that we're not going to Parliament but to an Italian restaurant with karaoke''.
Celine didn't want to admit that she was more used to Parliament than karaokes.
Finally Matilde had showed up. She was wearing a pale pink one shouldered dress, that was absolutely stunning. Her make up was on point and she had definitely curled her hair. She looked ready for a Red Carpet.
''Wow, you look gorgeous Matilde'' Sebastian complimented her.
''Yes, you do'' added Celine, with a smile ''However, we're not going to the Oscars but to an Italian restaurant with karaoke'' she teased her, repeating Sebastian's words. ''Raise your hand if you want to see Sebastian singing some Taylor Swift''
She and Matilde rose their hands and Sebastian rolled his eyes. Not even drunk would he sing Taylor Swift in front of Celine.
''Take care of my dress, people. It's from Stella McCartney'' said Matilde, who had probably been planning that night for the last month or so.
''And mine is from the Tesco clothing line'' Celine kept smiling sarcastically ''But look at it, it looks so elegant it could be from Chanel. I paid 20 pounds for it, I'm not complaining''.
And it was true that Celine looked composed, classy and elegant. Her dress was one of the typical things she wore for work. It was pale pink as Matilde's but only a shade lighter, and the most expensive things she was wearing were the necklace that Sebastian got her for her birthday and her ring. To add a touch of British Pride (and also to annoy Sebastian) she had another necklace of a heart with the Union Jack on it.
''You know where are we going, don't you?'' Celine asked Sebastian when they were more than ten minutes walking.
''Anthony told me we were at 'walking distance'. Idiot, he probably lied to me''.
Only after half an hour walking they found the restaurant. It was obvious they had got to the right place because they saw Anthony waiting outside, with a grin on his face.
Celine had met Anthony only once, that day that Matilde had basically forced her out of the house to meet Sebastian (and Anthony had been there also by force). She was never going to admit it but she was thankful for it.
''Look who we have here... Sebastian Stan'' he greeted him ''Looking better than ever. Britain suits you, man. And Matilde and Celine! More gorgeous than ever''.
Celine thanked him and Matilde blushed.
''You have much to tell me Stan, for example, Glastonbury. I want to know it all.''
''Believe me, it's a long story. And I don't want to embarrass anyone here'' he winked at Matilde. ''Has anyone got here yet?''
''Only Jeremy''.
Celine didn't know who Jeremy was but she was sure Matilde did and she wanted to see her reaction. Matilde, had her eyes open wide, trying to conceal her emotions but unsuccessfully.
''Who's Jeremy?'' she whispered to Sebastian.
''Hawkeye or Clint Barton in the film you watched. The one you liked because of the archery.''
Celine nodded, finally realising who he was talking about.
''So, Sebby, did you showed Celine the films we acted in?'' Anthony asked.
''Yes'' Celine answered in Sebastian's place ''I saw you in it. You had wings'' she opened her arms and moved them as if she were flying.
Sebastian laughed and high-fived Celine.
''Are they always like that?'' Anthony asked Matilde, quite confused with this new version of Sebastian. He definitely wasn't the same person he had left in London in March.
''They are even worse. You have no idea of all the things I've had to endure''
Mailde was thinking precisely of Glastonbury.
When they got into the restaurant Sebastian saw Jeremy sitting alone at a table. Celine wasn't paying much attention as she was focused in Matilde and how much time she was going to resist before losing her chill. When Jeremy saw Sebastian, he grinned at him. Celine had finally recognized him as 'the one who shoots the arrows' in the superhero movies. Matilde had a stunned expression and Celine and Sebastian were trying not to laugh.
''Sebastian Stan'' he stood up and shook Sebastian's hand ''Finally you show up. Where have you been these last months? The only news I've had from you were weird videos of you in a music festival''.
''I was in Britain, filming'' he explained ''By the way, they are my friends Celine and Matilde''.
Celine her signature businesslike smile shook his hand, doing exactly what she always did when she was introduced to someone important. She remembered that she had greeted Sebastian the same way the day they met. How things had changed between them, it was unbelievable and unexpected.
''Hi'' said Matilde with a little voice and with her cheeks burning red. Celine was biting her tongue not to start laughing.
For Celine the show was just starting, she couldn't wait for that Chris Evans to show up to see her friend's reaction. Meanwhile she and Matilde started talking with Anthony about what was new in London. Sebastian was catching up with Jeremy.
''So what have you been filming in London?''
''Well...'' he started telling the story for the first time of the night as he was sure everyone will ask him the same question as Jeremy ''...I got the lead role, so I wasn't going to refuse it even if that meant to spend a season abroad'' he decided to avoid telling him the part of being so reluctant to go, basically the day before leaving. ''I had to learn a bit of history, thank God I met Celine on the way who's an historian''. He smiled and winked at Celine.
''Sounds interesting. Who are you playing?''
''A Duke''
Jeremy almost laughed. He didn't want to imagine the reaction of the Internet when Sebastian (the absolute favorite of the moment) showed up as a dashing Duke.
''Is not as glamorous as it sounds, Jeremy'' Sebastian has correctly guessed Jeremy's expression ''It starts really well with him being in love with Anne Boleyn, but then the woman attracts the attention of King Henry VIII and everything crashes down. He's forced to marry someone else he dislikes, tries to rebel but he can't and all of this intertwined with a web of conspiracies, politics and executions. So we see this promising lad's slow descent into madness. It actually happened, you can ask Celine if you want, she told me everything I needed to know''.
Jeremy was sure Sebastian had nailed the role as he had special ability to portray mentally unstable characters in a brilliant manner.
Celine had been listening every word Sebastian had said to Jeremy and couldn't help but smile. She was proud of him, that couldn't be denied. Jeremy noticed Celine's smile and realised that she and Sebastian shared a deeper connection than what he had first thought.
''So, Sebastian told me you're a historian?'' he asked Celine, after curiosity got the best of him.
''Yes, I got a doctorate from Cambridge a couple of years ago after nine years of study. I even made a documentary for the BBC. However my main job is with the Prime Minister nowadays''.
Now Jeremy was surprised. How on earth had Sebastian met someone like Celine when they were from completely different worlds? By chance, probably.
''So you work in politics? Wow that's big.''
''Not really, I'm just an assistant. Let me confess you that politics is not my thing. It's such a controversial topic for people. However I also got a doctorate in that subject. I'm much more interested in writing, to be honest.''
Jeremy was a bit impressed. The woman had two doctorates and worked for the Prime Minister. No wonder she wasn't impressed by meeting a bunch of actors. Sebastian had a glimpse of pride in his eyes.
''Isn't she gold?'' he asked Jeremy.
''Well, I've never met someone with such an interesting career prospect. As a simple actor I have to admit you put me to shame.''
''Oh don't worry'' she said with a pleasant smile ''You're excellent in what you do.''
''I see someone else is coming'' Sebastian was looking at the window.
Celine came back to her original purpose that was Matilde's fangirling show.
''Seb, you have to tell me the name of the people I'm meeting, I don't want to look like an idiot''.
''You'll never look like an idiot, Cez. But let me tell you...'' he look at the window once again ''That's Chris Hemsworth, I've met him a couple of times, great guy, Australian. And he's with his wife... what was her name?'' he asked Jeremy who rolled his eyes.
''Elsa.''
''Okay, Elsa. Like the ice queen from Frozen'' when he saw Celine's clueless face he realised she had no idea what he was talking about ''Okay, you don't know what Frozen is so leave it like that''.
Jeremy was intrigued again. Who on earth didn't know what Frozen was? And everyone knew Chris Hemsworth. It seemed like Celine wasn't 'everyone'.
Sebastian introduced them both to Chris and his wife, Celine greeted them with her usual polite manner and Matilde was probably screaming on the inside. Celine found strange that she wasn't screaming on the outside too.
Chris Hemsworth was a delight, even under Celine's standards. He was gorgeous but also seemed like a genuinely good person, charming and most of all, fun.
''Is he real?'' Celine asked Sebastian. ''He looks more like a Greek God than a human being''.
''That's why he plays Thor, who's a God'' he wasn't a bit jealous with Celine's attention to Chris, even he could admire his beauty.
''Perfect casting choice there''.
''I saw Tom Holland parking on the outside'' Chris informed them ''He'll be here in a couple of minutes''.
By the mention of the name 'Tom Holland' Matilde clenched her fists so hard, Celine was afraid she was going to hurt herself. Sebastian and Anthony had noticed and were trying not to laugh.
When she saw Tom Holland, Celine recognized him immediately as 'that Spider Kid' she had seen on that film for her birthday. Meanwhile Matilde's mind had gone blank.
''This kid is so enthusiastic, he's great'' mumbled Sebastian.
''He's really a kid'' Celine looked at him, he looked like a brunette version of one of her brothers, and they were probably around the same age too ''He looked a bit older on screen. How am I supposed to greet him? He's a bit young for formalities''.
''Just say hi, Cez.''
Celine looked at Matilde, who had the most ridiculous face ever. It didn't help that Tom went straight to greet Sebastian. He shook his hand with such energy that Celine was afraid that his arm would break.
''Sebastian! I heard you've been all over my hometown. You should have paid me a visit!'' he looked at Celine and his eyes went from her face to her Union Jack necklace ''And you're from the UK! Me too! Hi I'm Tom!''
''I'm Celine, nice to meet you'' he shook her hand in a very gentle way.
''May I know your name, pretty lady?'' he asked Matilde.
There was a while before Matilde was able to mumble a hardly understandable word. Celine was sure she had gone numb.
''Matilde'' she finally whispered.
''A pleasure'' he kissed her hand and Celine was surprised her friend hadn't fainted yet. Then Tom greeted the rest of them. ''Hello, everybody, he's my friend Harrison!'' he pointed to a lad beside him that Celine hadn't see yet.
''Is he always like that? Like he had a caffeine overdose?'' she asked Sebastian, in a very low voice, so only he could hear her.
''Yes, I told you he was enthusiastic. And flirty also''.
''Like someone I know'' she mocked him.
''Cez! You know that I don't flirt anymore, at least not as shamelessly as I did in the first days of our friendship''.
''Yeah, inventing unborn children in front of people is your new way of flirting. Anyway, can you see Matilde? She's drooling for that Tom guy! Damn, he's like 10 years younger. I don't care what you say, Seb this is uncomfortable to see''.
On the next minutes more people arrived and Sebastian had to tell Celine the names of everyone. There was Mark (who Sebastian told Celine that he played Hulk and she couldn't believe him) who she found a 'really sweet' person; Robert Downey Jr., probably the only person that she had seen on films even before meeting Sebastian; Elizabeth Olsen, a very pretty girl around Celine's age; and Scarlett Johansson, a gorgeous woman that found Celine's job as an historian as 'completely remarkable'.
''Is someone else coming?'' asked Jeremy ''I really want to start eating and Anthony and I have been here for more than an hour already''.
''Evans said he's on his way and the other Tom is picking up his girlfriend from the airport'' Chris informed.
With these words, Celine and Matilde looked at each other with their eyes wide open.
''Janice?'' Matilde mouthed and Celine just nodded. Apparently it was going to be the first time they got to see their former friend since March. Even Sebastian giggled.
Unfortunately for them Chris, who wasn't missing on anything, noticed the suspicious reactions when he mentioned Tom and his girlfriend.
''By your faces you already know Tom's girlfriend. I've heard a lot about her so I want to hear your opinion'' the truth was that he actually didn't know much about Janice. Only a few things that Tom had told him but he was dying to know more.
''Well...'' Celine started, a bit intimidated at talking directly to that godlike man. ''she used to be our friend but we don't see her since March...'' Celine didn't want to start with the melodramatic stuff like the fact that Janice had completely disappeared from their lives after meeting Tom.
''It all stared when they met at Saint Patrick's Day Irish party in a London pub'' continued Matilde. Chris, motioned to her to keep talking.
Matilde told the whole story with extra details (that Celine didn't even remember) to add more drama. If it wasn't enough Anthony and Sebastian added very colorful (and sort of explicit) details to it. It was clear as water that all of them had enjoyed the piece of gossip.
''Finally, he's here'' Sebastian was looking at the door with a wide smile on his face. ''That's Chris Evans, Cez''.
Celine was more interested in Matilde's reaction than in the guy and she wasn't disappointed. Her face was a mixture of panic with pleasure. Celine poured a glass of wine and gave it to Matilde who drank it in a second. And Chris Evans wasn't very different as he had seen him on TV. Only that he wasn't wearing spandex, wasn't throwing a frisbee, had a beard and his hair was darker. He was very good looking (though in Celine's opinion, no more than Sebastian who had still the title of the 'Most Attractive Person she had ever
met'), with a kind expression. It was a bit bizarre to have him in front of her. After all she had heard about the guy in the last months, she was doubting his very existence. He hugged Sebastian like a bro and then, as it was expected introduced him to Celine and Matilde.
''So you're Celine'' he shook her hand ''Sebastian told me a lot about you''.
Why he had done that, was a mystery for Celine.
''I can totally say the same about you''. It was true, there wasn't a day without the mention of Chris Evans.
When Matilde was introduced to him, she couldn't help but to squeal.
''Sorry, but I'm your fan'' she admitted, right there, in front of everyone ''Is a honor to meet you''.
''Thank you for being so kind, Matilde. I really appreciate it''.
It was really a miracle that Matilde had managed to stay alive after this. To take her out of the shock, Celine poured another glass of wine for her.
''You know what?'' Sebastian had finally lost his patience ''Screw Hiddleston and his girlfriend. I'm going to eat.''
Mark, Robert, Jeremy and Tom Holland clapped in support and Chris Hemsworth shouted a 'You go, Sebastian'.
They were on the middle of the meal when Tom showed up holding hands with an nervous-looking Janice. When she saw Matilde and Celine on the table she looked a bit terrified. It was obvious that she wasn't comfortable and the fact that two of her former friends (who couldn't look more at ease) from whom she had cut ties so suddenly were there didn't make things easier. Thankfully she did not know about the story that Matilde, Anthony and Sebastian had told earlier. Celine couldn't help but feel a bit of pity for her.
''The witch'' mumbled Matilde in a very low voice ''What is she doing here flaunting her Balmain t-shirt?''
Celine rolled her eyes and Chris Evans, who was sitting beside Matilde and heard what she had said, asked: ''Do you know her?''
Of course Matilde went numb and couldn't answer so Celine did it in her place.
''She used to be our friend but when she met Tom she went missing in action. Matilde and her were pretty close so she was a bit hurt when she disappeared from our lives'' of course that part wasn't true but she didn't want the story to sound so petty. She patted Matilde's shoulder, showing fake sympathy.
''Don't worry Matilde'' Chris also patted her shoulder ''Soon she's going to realise what a friend she's missed''
If only he knew, thought Celine. Matilde, looked as she had gained paradise. She
had Chris Evans patting her in the shoulder, it was enough to live happy for the rest of her days.
''Chris, if you ask me, I hate her too'' said Sebastian.
''That's not very helpful Seb'' Celine told him ''Poor Janice. You don't feel pity for her after all of your slanders?''
''No'' answered Matilde and Sebastian at the same time.
A while later Sebastian found himself again being interrogated by Jeremy and this time with Elizabeth's help. Celine, for her part was talking to Scarlett (about history of course) and soon later she had an audience consisting of Mark, Robert and Elsa. The Chrises were not very far from them, talking, and from time to time listening of whatever Celine was saying. Celine was really comfortable with that audience of famous people who were very interested at listening to what she had to say. She was imagining the face that her Cambridge friends would have if they could see her talking to the Avengers about History.
''I need to talk to you for a second'' Anthony told Matilde.
They stood quite apart from the others, out of earshot. They looked suspicious, to say the least.
''I wanted to ask you this for the whole evening. What's the deal between these two?'' he pointed at Celine and Sebastian.
''Nothing'' Matilde shook her head ''They're pretty close friends but I've seen nothing else. Or they don't let me see anything. If that's the case, they both deserve an Oscar. It's weird, I thought they liked each other at first. After that weird date to the Tower, I thought they were going to come back all over each other but... they came back talking about crows, executioner's blocks and metal dragons. It was pretty creepy. After that, they became friends but nothing else. I thought that if they were made to share a tent in Glastonbury, something would happen. Well, I don't know if it happened or not, to be honest I don't remember much of it. Maybe they're simply not in love''.
Anthony looked at Sebastian and Celine, who were talking with different people.
''I don't know about Celine'' he admitted ''But he definitely is.''
Matilde chocked with her drink.
''What are you talking about? I've been around him for the past months and he hasn't showed any weird behaviour that indicates it. On the contrary, he doesn't flirt with Celine anymore and I haven't caught him looking a her in any suspicious way. I like to tease him about it but nothing else''.
''He's an expert actor, Matilde. He can conceal his emotions in a pretty impressive way, from you, from Celine and even from himself. But he doesn't fool me.''
''I'm still not convinced, Anthony. I would like to believe you''.
''Let me do an experiment and you'll see. Just look normal, okay?''
Matilde did as she was told and followed Anthony who was going straight towards the Chrises, who were in silence, listening to Celine talk with Scarlett and the others, even though they were quite apart from her.
''She's pretty, isn't she?'' Anthony asked Chris Evans, of course referring to Celine.
''Beautiful and brilliant, I would say.''
Matilde couldn't help but feel a little pang of jealousy even though she knew that her friend was the least person interested in Chris Evans probably in the whole city.
''Let me tell you something, between us'' Anthony whispered ''Sebastian is her best friend, why don't you go and ask him a couple of things about her? He'd approve of you''.
''You sure?'' Chris asked and Anthony just nodded.
Chris stood up and went straight towards Sebastian. Matilde and Anthony slowly followed them.
''He's so naive'' Matilde mumbled.
''Shh, let's listen, that's the part when it gets interesting. Just focus on Sebastian''.
Sebastian was talking with Jeremy, Elizabeth and the Toms when Chris approached him.
''Sebastian, I wanted to ask you something about your friend, Celine.''
Sebastian turned his neck towards Celine (who was completely unaware of everything, laughing about something that Mark had said) so fast that he almost hurt it.
''What about her?'' he wasn't even pretending to be neutral. He sounded like a bully. Even Anthony was surprised.
''Is he always that protective of her?'' Anthony asked Matilde, keeping a low voice.
''No'' Matilde confessesed. ''More or less the other way round. He cares about her a lot but she just doesn't let him''.
They felt silent to hear what Chris was saying. Or blabbering, to be more precise.
''Well, she's smart, beautiful and has a sexy accent''.
Sebastian's face was a mixture of emotions, none of them very nice. He looked horrified, a bit angry and most of all, jealous. And he was feeling this way. Not only Matilde and Anthony noticed this but also Jeremy, Elizabeth and the Toms were very amused by Sebastian's expression.
''First of all she doesn't have two Doctorates from Cambridge just for you to notice her 'sexy accent', if you want to listen to fancy British accents just listen to Hiddleston speak'' he closed his eyes for a couple of seconds and when she opened them he looked calm and relaxed as if nothing had happened ''Sorry, I shouldn't have snapped to you like that but I think I'm drunk'' all of them immediately knew he was lying as he had been drinking water the whole evening. ''But if you want to learn about Celine why don't you ask her? She won't mind. I'm not telling you anything about her, that wouldn't be nice. Go, ask her what she likes and dislikes the most so you can see what you're facing'' he finished his speech with a sweet smile.
''O...okay'' Chris mumbled, completely cornered.
''I'll go with you, so I can break the ice'' Sebastian grabbed him by the shoulder and took him where Celine was peacefully talking with Scarlett. ''Hi, Cez, see you're having fun. I have Chris here who wants to ask you something'' he pushed Chris, who looked as he wanted to run away, a bit towards Celine ''C'mon man, talk. I'm not going to do it for you.''
''Well... Sebastian here told me that I could ask... about you...''
Poor Chris looked in pain. Celine didn't know what was going on but she suspected some plan from Sebastian to set her up with Evans or he was just pranking him. Probably the second as it wasn't Sebastian's style to want to set her up with anyone. He wasn't Matilde.
''Just ask'' said Celine, nicely.
Chris looked as Sebastian, desperately.
''Okay, I'll do it for you'' Sebastian rolled his eyes ''He wants to know what you like''.
Celine was sure that this was one of Sebastian's old performances and had caught poor Chris as his victim. Celine tried to act natural.
''Well, I like books, history, the Arctic Monkeys, cats, archery and football''. Celine didn't know what game Sebastian was playing but Chris for sure didn't like it. Chris was thinking that at least they shared a love for football. What he didn't know what that she was talking about a different sort of football.
''Thank God'' he said ''Which is your favourite team?''
Sebastian had a smug smile on his face that Chris did not like.
''Real Madrid and Chelsea'' she innocently answered.
It took a while for Chris to realise that she was not mocking him and Sebastian's giggles wasn't helping him. Then it dawned on him that she was British and football there was a complete different sport.
''Now Cez, do me a favour and tell him the things you dislike the most.''
Sebastian's mischievous smile was still there.
''Seb, what is going on? What are you doing to poor Chris?''
''Nothing. Just tell him, please, please, please''
Celine looked at Chris with a face that almost said ''Do you really want to know?''. Chris just nodded.
''Okay... I dislike bugs, spiders, love songs (I can only tolerate Ed Sheeran's), naps and kids''.Chris looked shocked, Anthony and Matilde looked in pain, Tom Holland (that
was looking at the show without anyone realising) looked clueless, Scarlett was having real fun and Sebastian's smile grew wider.
''Ouch that was a low blow'' Anthony whispered to Matilde ''Poor Chris, he was thinking she was the sweetest woman of the century. Tonight Chris had a really big let down, I feel quite bad for him. He thought she was his type but they are complete opposites''.
''You put him through this.'' she reminded him.
''Necessary measures. At least I could see with my own eyes how is Sebastian when he gets a bit jealous. Haven't you seen him? He didn't even have to scare Chris away from Celine. He let her do it without even noticing. Sometimes I admire him, what he just did was actually brilliant. Look at how happy he is''.
Matilde looked at him. Indeed, he looked as if Christmas had come earlier from him.
Celine was still confused about what had just happened and the conclusion that she could reach was that Sebastian had pranked Chris in some way she did not know. She continued talking with Scarlett but this time she wasn't missing a word of what Sebastian was talking with a very red Chris. They were talking about Britain, nothing harmful there.
Matilde and Anthony were still talking about the possibility that Sebastian was possible in love with Celine. Anthony was a hundred percent convinced while Matilde had her doubts. According to her, his recent behaviour wasn't jealousy but protectiveness.
''If you ask me'' Tom Holland popped out from nowhere but he had been listening to the whole conversation ''Sebastian is not just in love with Celine. It's much more than that, he loves her to pieces. I saw that since the beginning and I thought it was obvious... everyone notices by the way. But who cares, I hope they'll be happy and have many cats. But I came here to ask if you tag along partying with me and Harrison later''.
Matilde didn't need much to be convinced. Partying with Tom Holland was one of the things she had written on her bucket list.
Celine and Scarlett were attentively listening to Sebastian, who was now talking with a perfect British accent to a completely confused Chris. When Sebastian said his ultra rehearsed 'Let's go for a cheeky Nandos after the footy'', Celine burst out laughing. Chris looked outraged.
''What have you done to him?'' he asked Celine, who was still splitting her sides ''I mean, he used to be a perfect man who liked basketball and comes back with a British accent, talking about God knows what and with a love for football''.
''Get over it Chris'' Sebastian mocked him ''Football is better than basketball. I mean our football.'' He looked at Celine ''Nothing compares to the emotion I felt when Real Madrid won the Premier League...''
Now it was Celine's turn to be horrified.
''Real Madrid won the Champions League. The Premier League is a complete different thing'' and in bit of justice to Chris, she added ''Don't talk about things you don't understand, Seb''.
''But, Cez... the names are made for confusion'' he tried to justify himself.
''Shhh... don't argue with the mother of your unborn child, Sebastian'' she enjoyed to see his face at that moment ''Now let's hear the master of improvisation'' she whispered to Scarlett, laughing.
The way in which everyone was looking at Sebastian was a visual poem. Everyone was looking at him with shocked expressions. Chris Evans was confused as Celine had said twenty minutes before that she hated kids and now she was expecting one with his friend. It didn't make any sense. Matilde and Anthony, who knew that everything was a joke from Celine and Sebastian were also enjoying everyone's faces. Sebastian was stunned as Celine had caught him off ward and he couldn't even think about something decent to say.
''Well, congratulations man'' Jeremy slapped him on the shoulder. Sebastian wasn't sure if he was part of the joke or he had actually believed what Celine had said. By his face, it was the second. ''You should have told us before that you were going to be a father''.
''What the...'' but he couldn't even finish this as he had Elizabeth hugging him.
With the corner of his eye he could see Celine, literally crying of laughter.
''Sebastian, congratulations. You're going to be an amazing dad.''
Sebastian wanted to die. He couldn't believe how they had believed Celine, whose acting abilities were not really outstanding. 
''Wait, I...'' but it seemed that one wanted to listen to what he had to say.
''Any names?'' Chris Hemsworth asked him.
Sebastian was too horrified even to continue the joke and get it back at Celine.
''Sorry to disappoint you, people'' he said with a louder voice ''But this is not happening, you heard her, she hates children. This is Celine taking revenge for something I did yesterday, I'm not going to be a father, or am I?'' he asked Celine with a mischievous smile, only to see her reaction.
But Celine didn't even flinch. She just looked at him as if he was a little kid.
''Seb, dear, did you miss a crucial part of your education that you don't remember how children are made? Except that somehow you've managed to impregnate me with your brain or to fly some spores, I think you're safe, man.''
Celine high-fived Scarlett, who was laughing in silence. The others were looking at Sebastian, trying not to laugh.
''I deserved this one'' Sebastian muttered mostly to himself.
''The part of the spores was genius'' said Robert who couldn't help it anymore and started laughing. A second later everyone followed on his steps, even
Sebastian.
''Things I've learn today'' mumbled Mark, who was still laughing ''Sebastian is not going to be a father and his is also not a plant''.
That comment made Chris Hemsworth basically roar with laughter.
''You should've brought Celine before.'' Jeremy told Sebastian ''What she said about you made my week.''
Sebastian was sure that part of the spores was not going to be forgotten in a very long time. It was going to be used as an inside joke in panels, press conferences and media tours forever, he was seeing this coming.
''Who wants to starts with karaoke?'' Tom Holland asked. As no one volunteered, he decided to start.
Sebastian was glad. At least someone else was going to be the clown. But the storm had not yet passed as Jeremy still had a couple more of very uncomfortable questions to ask him.
''And Sebby, when are you going to put a ring on her finger?'' he pointed at Celine, who was watching Tom singing his own version of Uptown Funk.
Sebastian looked at Jeremy as if he had suddenly gone crazy.
''That's a very good idea'' he answered sarcastically ''Should I do it now or wait for tomorrow?''
''I'm being serious, Sebastian''
''Me too. She's my friend for Heaven's sake. Yeah, I definitely should propose on April Fools, what do you think of that?''
''Sebastian!'' Jeremy was losing his patience ''Keep denying it to yourself but we all realised that you are in...''
But he couldn't finish with his idea because Tom had finished with his performance then asked ''Who wants to come next?'' and Sebastian shouted ''Jeremy!'' and pushed him towards the stage.
''At least I got rid of him'' he went to sit beside Celine.
''What was he doing?'' she asked him.
''Asking me very awkward questions about my love life that made me want to drink bleach''
Celine was certain that her own name had been included in those 'awkward questions' more than once.
''I had to answer a couple of them myself, but I'll tell you later.''
''Cez, let's get out of here. I hate this song''.
Jeremy was singing Firework and Celine knew that he probably preferred listening to dogs barking rather than that song. Sebastian wanted to sneak out before anyone noticed but he had to wait for Celine who was saying goodbye to Scarlett.
''And what do we do with Matilde?'' she asked him.
''She's going to a party with Tom, Harrison and Anthony, I doubt she wants to come with us. Hurry up, Cez. If I have to listen one more time to the chorus my head is going to explode''.

Twenty minutes later Celine was back in her room, ready to go to bed. She had even brought a book: Henry VIII: The King and His Court, to read for the second time. But she had a few minutes of peace before Sebastian burst into her room.
''I'm knackered'' without waiting for a reply he crashed on her bed.
''Why don't you go to sleep?''
''I also need to talk''.
Celine put the book aside.
''Okay, talk''.
''Chris liked you'' he pronounced these words a if they were the most unpleasant thing he had ever said.
''And?'' she assumed it was Chris Evans as the other one was married.
Many people would be shocked by this revelation. Someone like Matilde would probably lose her mind. But Celine didn't even care.
''That's all you're going to say?''
''What else do you want me to say? Oh?''
''I don't know, Cez. Did you like him?''
Celine looked at him with her signature expression of disapproval.
''Are you becoming Matilde? Do you know that she asked me the same question the day I met you?''
''And the answer is...''
''Oh please!'' she rolled her eyes ''He was nice looking but I was more impressed by the fact that he was actually real. By the way you and Matilde talk about him I thought he was some sort of urban legend'' Sebastian laughed, more quiet now ''And why do you even care? I mean, I don't even care''.
''I was just being curious''
Not even Celine was fooled by this poor excuse. She knew that deep inside he was a bit jealous.
Sebastian was still lying on her bed, with no intention to move as he was half asleep.
''Go to sleep, Seb. You're dead tired''.
With great difficulty he stood up, smiled one more time to Celine and left. As she wasn't tired she opened her book once again. She had only red two pages when he was back.
''Do you need a bedtime story?'' she pointed to the book.
''Yeah, but Henry may not be the best idea''
It was evident that he went only to change his clothes as he was now wearing a white tank top that favoured him a lot.
''Nice top by the way'' it was Celine's turn to compliment him, on her particular way, of course ''I thought you were going to sleep and now you're here, showing me your biceps'' she winked at him putting the book aside once more. Screw Henry VIII, Sebastian was a much better sight. ''May I take pictures? Matilde will be glad. Do you know I can see your abs through the shirt?''
''Do you want me to take it off?'' he mocked her and she threw a pillow at him.
''Thank God, you didn't throw me the book by accident. It looks hard''.
''It is hard'' He went to sit right beside her and she saw that he was wearing the necklace with his initial. ''Why don't we change them?'' she proposed ''So you can have mine and I can have yours''.
''This may be the cutest idea you've ever had, Cez. It's hard to believe it came from you at all''.
She took the necklace off and gave it to him. He did the same. Before she put it on he interrupted her.
''Let me put it on you and enjoy the moment, Cez''.
''Cliche'' she rolled her eyes but she let him do it.
Sebastian was probably the only person in the whole world who put that detail into the simple action of putting a necklace around Celine's neck. He was so slow that it seemed he was disarming a bomb. He was looking at her straight at the eyes and she felt as if he was staring at her soul.
''I've always loved your eyes'' she confessed ''They're so blue, like the sky in a winter morning. Well, a winter morning without the rain''
He was stuck in his own thoughts. The correct answer would have been 'And 've always loved you' but he couldn't just say that. First of all because he didn't even know if he felt that way. It was only a possibility that had occurred to him that explained his increasing jealousy, his protectiveness towards her and that moment, at her birthday, when he had almost kissed her. Only in the last moment he had regained enough composure to realise that it wasn't a very good idea.
His heart was a mixture of feelings that he didn't even recognised. He would have loved to be like Celine, who claimed that she had no feelings. When his mind regained its motion again he realised that he hadn't moved at all. He was looking at her with a blank expression and had his hand still on her neck. At least he had enough courage to kiss her on the cheek. That was the first time he would have wanted to take things a step further but he didn't dare. He didn't know how Celine would react. She would either laugh at him or hit him with her book. Most of all, he didn't want to scare her away and ruin everything.
''Good night, Cez'' he got in Celine's bed and covered himself with the blankets.
''Wait a second! You have a room for yourself, go and sleep there.''
''I'm lazy. Good night, Cez''.
''Sebastian! Do I need to use water?''
''Please, Cez. I don't want to be alone'' he looked like a lost puppy. Celine was unmoved as she knew that is was probably one of his performances.
''Your excuses are poorer everyday.'' she looked at him one more time. She knew he was not going to get out, so she turned off the light ''Okay, I'll let you stay but don't come to my side''.
Of course that he didn't listen to her and a second later he was cuddled against Celine's side.
''What on earth is wrong with you tonight?'' she asked him ''You can't blame Ed Sheeran, like you did at Glastonbury''.
''Nothing. I just need human contact... and what the hell I'm saying... I bloody love this, Cez.''
Celine relaxed, at least. She was never a person who needed nor wanted much of physical contact.
For a second she was a bit worried. She didn't know if she was catching feelings for him or she was just tired. Whatever it was, it wasn't so bad, after all it was just Sebastian. She just relaxed against him with a little smile on her face.

Chapter Text

Celine pleasantly woke up between Sebastian's arms. A part of her brain was rejoicing while the other (that one that often spoke with her mother's voice) was wondering what on earth was she doing with her life. One of the things she promised that she was never going to do was to catch feelings for another human being. That and become a Barcelona fan.  For her, who had never fallen in love with anyone, not even with someone from TV, everything was unknown and confusing so she didn't know if what she felt
for Sebastian was the common feelings between friends or something else. She was never going to know for certain and at that moment she shouldn't think about it.
She looked at him, peacefully sleeping beside her. He was truly beautiful, even when he was asleep oblivious to everything. She run a hand through his hair and kissed his forehead.
Celine walked towards the minibar to get some water but she soon forgot about it after finding ice cubs inside of it. She knew she shouldn't do it but it was really tempting. She took a cube and walked back towards the sleeping Sebastian. She smiled before sliding the frozen thing on the uncovered part of his back. He just moved a little.
''Cez, why are you licking me?'' he mumbled, still asleep.
Celine slid the ice cub up from his back to his neck, trying not to move or to laugh. She was a bit surprised that he hadn't jumped yet as the ice was melting and it was wetting his shirt.
''What the hell?'' he jumped after she slid the cube in what was almost certainly a weak spot of his. ''What were you doing?'' he finally saw the final remains of the ice cube, melting on the palm of her hand. ''I can't believe it, Cez. Ice? Really?''
''Sorry, Seb but it was really tempting.'' she couldn't stop laughing.
''And what time is it?'' he had the feeling of having slept less than a hour.
''I have no bloody idea'' she admitted, still laughing.
He looked around and finally found his phone, under a pillow.
''It's 6 am! Are you mental, Cez?''
He buried his head on the pillows trying to get back to sleep but failing when he noticed that his shirt was wet.
''Cez, if all of this was a plot to see me shirtless, you should have asked before'' he took the shirt off and threw it to Celine's face.
''Oh dear, it was worth it after all'' she teased him. Then she grabbed the book about Henry VIII and started reading ''Pretty boy, you can sleep a bit more if you want. Sorry for waking you up, but it was funny''.
''Next time you're welcome to lick me, Cez''.
He was looking at her with a suggestive smile. Between this and his perfect body, he looked straight out from heaven.
''Tempting'' she admitted, looking at him and coming back to the book.
At some point she probably fell asleep because she woke up with some knocks at her door, several hours later. The book was lying open in her chest and her neck was in a very uncomfortable position.
Sebastian, who had woken up just a moment before, went to open the door
without having the decency of putting on a shirt. An smiley Matilde was on the other side, when she saw Sebastian she raised her eyebrows.
''I don't want to know what happened here'' she looked at Sebastian from head to toe. She was enjoying the view.
''I know how it looks like but I swear to God it was Celine's fault''.
Celine, who was blankly looking at the book, glanced at Sebastian with her signature expression of disapproval.
''Technically, it was your fault. You insisted on staying the night, you have a room for yourself ten steps away, don't complain'' she had the book open on her hands, acting as if she was reading.
''You should have let me sleep instead of sliding ice down my neck.''
Matide had her eyes wide open. So, they were doing some weird things already. Who would have guessed that Celine had that in her.
''Well guys, I don't need to know the details'' Matilde lied, of course she wanted to know but if she asked them directly, they were never going to say a thing. Celine and Sebastian exchanged a glance full of exasperation, of course knowing what she was thinking of.
''Matilde, you should start a club with Jeremy. You are both experts on jumping into conclusions''.
Celine, tired of the endless suspicions about her and Sebastian, grabbed some clothes and ran to the bathroom, leaving them both alone to gossip.
''If you wanted to know'' she said before closing the door, looking at Matilde
''He has a weak spot just below his ear''.
Matilde's face was priceless and Sebastian looked absolutely done.
''Oh dear'' she laughed ''I've never dreamt of getting this piece of information and now that I have it I don't know what to do with it''.
''Do nothing'' he mumbled. He wasn't mad at all, as it was the kind of jokes between them. And Celine knowing that sort of things about him made everything more exciting.
Matilde was inspecting Celine's book.
''I can't believe she finds the life of this disgusting man, interesting''. She commented.
''Because it is'' thanks to Celine, he had grown more interested in History. Or maybe it was that Celine made it look thrilling instead of boring. Matilde glanced at Sebastian as he had just disappointed her.
''Tell me the truth, Sebby. What happened between you two yesterday night? I mean, you two left earlier and now you have her necklace'' of course that she had noticed that little detail.
''What usually happens between us'' he said with a completely careless attitude
''Matilde, dear, we're not in love.''
''You sure? Anthony thinks you are. And Tom too''.
Sebastian rolled his eyes.
''Anthony also thought that sheep had horns. He was confusing them with goat. Of course he was going to confuse a nice friendship into a passionate relationship, I wasn't expecting less of him. And I'd better not start with Tom''.

''That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen'' mumbled Celine. She was looking at Sebastian and Matilde with their cosplays of Black Widow and Captain America. She couldn't believe they were actually doing that, she thought they have been joking every time they talked about costumes. But no, they were dressed with spandex clothes and Sebastian was with that infamous frisbee.
''Cez, dear, we don't say a thing when you walk around with your Real Madrid jersey or when you wear the team's scarf''.
Celine looked at him right in the eyes.
''Sebastian Stan, don't you dare to compare Real Madrid's glorious jersey with that'' she pointed to Sebastian's costume ''You look like a walking flag.''
''And what about me?'' asked Matilde.
''You look like a cat woman.''
Celine had completely refused to join them in their little cosplay party. Matilde had tried to convince her that it was fun but the only thing she had accepted was to wear a shirt with the Slytherin crest on it that Sebastian had got her. To be honest, it wasn't very different from the Real Madrid jersey.  Matilde and Sebastian were trying to be patient with Celine knowing that she was clueless about the whole concept of the Comic-Con. They tried to convince her it wasn't very different as going to the stadium but she didn't believe them.
Sebastian was excited for the first day of the Comic Con because it was the only free day he had for walking around with a costume being a completely anonymous person. The next days were all about attending the press and the famous panel with the rest of the cast. When they arrived at the famous San Diego Convention Centre, Celine realised
that Matilde and Sebastian didn't look out of place at all, as she had previously thought. The one who looked out of place there was herself.
''What's that supposed to be?'' she pointed at something that looked like some sort of bear.
''That's Chewbacca, Cez. From Star Wars''.
Of course she had no idea what 'Star Wars' was.
''Look, Celine, you'd have looked nice with a Legolas costume'' Matilde pointed as someone who was with a Frodo costume. Lord of the Rings looked like a pretty popular theme around these people. And Harry Potter too by the look of things.
''There are people dressed as me'' said Sebastian with a proud smile. Celine looked around, expecting to see people dressed as actual Sebastian but then she realised he was probably talking about his most famous character.
''And you should have chosen a more original costume'' she whispered to Sebastian. ''I've lost count of how many Captains America I've seen since we arrived here''
''But none of them is wearing the original suit''.
''Oh, what an achievement!'' she teased him ''It must have been pretty difficult for you to get the costume. Is not that you acted in the film or something like that...''
Sebastian laughed at Celine's sarcasm, knowing that under that heavy mood she was actually curious about everything. The next hours passed in a rush. Matilde and Sebastian were fangirling with everything they saw and Celine was clueless half of the time. What she was more surprised about was that no one had managed to recognise Sebastian. And to make everything more confusing, she was attracting the attention of many people.
''Why are they looking at me like that?'' she asked Sebastian for the thousandth time that evening.
''Is your face, Cez. You look like you're here by accident. And the fact that you have a very big 'All Access' pass around your neck is not helping either. People may think you're part of the cast of some movie.''
''So that's how it feels to be you'' she was not used to attract people's attention. Wherever she was it was someone else the focus of it; at work it was the Prime Minister and at everyday life, Sebastian.
''Well, no. People know my name but they have no bloody idea who you are.'' Celine softly slapped him on the arm.
''How would you feel if I exposed you? I can take your cute little helmet off when you least expect it and then we'll see. Don't forget there's people dressed as you. I can totally see you being eaten alive by a multitude. Oh, and there you are again'' she giggled and pointed to a real life size picture of himself as the Winter Soldier.
''I look so handsome...'' he whispered.
Celine had to admit to herself that he did. Long hair suited him and his blue eyes were of the same beautiful shade that she was used to see everyday. But of course she was not telling him that.
''You look homeless and the metal arm is intimidating. But I admit that the red star on your shoulder is cool''.
Of course she had noticed all of this before and even though she didn't quite get the plot of those films without having someone (Matilde of course) whispering on her ear what was happening half of the time, she still knew that his character had been brainwashed and had a weird relationship with Captain America. But what she loved the most was to see him move on screen, as graceful as a cat. It was beautiful and mesmerizing. However, real life Sebastian was a lot more clumsy, always knocking things down or walking into the furniture. Celine realised she had lost track for a minute of what was happening around her and when she looked back a Sebastian he was taking a selfie kissing the
picture of his own character. The funny thing was that what everyone saw was Captain America kissing the Winter Soldier. Some people around cheered while others chanted 'Stucky'. Celine had no idea what that meant.
Celine had to admit at the end of the day that she had had fun even though she was never going to tell that to Matilde (with Sebastian there was no problem).
''Tomorrow is going to be even better'' said Matilde.
The three of them were in a McDonalds, eating chips like there was no tomorrow.
''Are you dropping by the Fantastic Beasts panel?'' asked Sebastian who was quite disappointed that he couldn't join them. The prospect of answering the same questions in ten different interviews wasn't very seductive.
''Of course'' Celine was pretty excited with that one. She loved Eddie Redmayne and it was Fantastic Beasts. She loved everything that was Harry Potter related.
''I'm starting to think you love Eddie Redmayne more than you love me.''
Sebastian looked at Celine, pretending to be hurt.
''That, never. Redmayne doesn't know my favourite jam flavour but you do.'' Matilde snorted with laughter.
''Coming from Celine this was just like an 'I love you', you should be happy, Sebby. But wasn't she a fan of strawberry jam?''
''Orange. Always orange.'' he corrected her.
''And yours is blueberry'' Celine threw him a chip and he caught it mid air, like a dog. ''Good puppy'' Celine patted him on the shoulder and Matilde had the urgent need of drown herself in her Coke.
''However, Eddie Redmayne is my superior'' for some reason Sebastian spoke about him as he were some sort of God ''He has an Oscar, how can I ever top that?''
''You'll get one someday, don't worry.''
Celine spoke about the Oscars as if it were something that it was being given for free.
''Yeah sure, Cez'' he said, sarcastically ''Everyone says Gary Oldman is going to win. Or anyone else. My name is as present as yours in the talks''.
''We're just in July, Seb. And remember I've read the script of your next film, and if you've portrayed the character as I imagine you did, you'll put all the other actors to shame''.
''You read the script because you wanted to know if it was historically accurate.''
''Which it was'' she was looking at him as if he was a five year old kid who needed a boost of confidence ''Except that in real life your character wasn't a Duke, he was an Earl. However a Duke is by far more seductive and also, less confusing. Not everyone knows the complicated ways of sixteenth century English nobility. But Seb, believe me when I tell you that you'll be, sooner than you expect, in the Oscar talks. As the favourite''.
Sebastian was convinced she was saying what she was saying that because she was nice.
''You have more confidence in me than I have in myself. What makes you think that I'll be the favourite to win something someday?''
''I just know it. As I know that Real Madrid will win the Champions League again next year, for the third time in a row. Because we also won last year, in case you didn't know.''
''Will your team get tired of winning someday?''
Celine smiled, proudly.
''Never''.

Celine had spent the last hour, reading. Matilde had gone straight to bed and Sebastian was in his room doing God knows what. She was surprised that he hadn't showed up like the day before. Maybe he didn't need to talk. Celine tried to read a couple of pages more but she couldn't concentrate. With a sight she admitted to herself that she missed Sebastian's presence there. It was illogical as she had seen him just a couple of hours before. Leaving the book aside, she stood up from the bed.
''What the hell have I become?'' she muttered to the empty room.
Half a minute later she was knocking on Sebastian's door. He opened with a crooked smile and let her enter. He was so glad of having her there that it actually surprised him a bit.
''It seems I'm the one who needs company tonight''.
''I was watching Game of Thrones but it's over. It was such a great episode, you missed it by minutes''
''You know I want to read the books before watching the series''.
Usually Celine had no interest of the TV shows and films that Matilde and Sebastian liked but Game of Thrones sounded good. Sebastian had described it as ''Lord of the Rings meets fourteenth century England with dragons and ice zombies'' and Matilde as ''A lot of hot dudes and sex scenes''. Sebastian's description sounded more tempting.
''They are really long books, Cez, even for you. They took me a lot of time and you know I'm a reader''.
''And that's one of the things I like about you. One among many'' she winked at him and smiled.
He jumped on the bed, quite unceremoniously and patted the space beside him. When she had just made herself comfortable, he wrapped his arms around her waist and put his head in her lap. He looked like a little child who was about to be obliged to do something he disliked. He reminded her of her brother William when he didn't want to go to school.
''Are you tired?'' she asked him while playing with is hair because Celine knew he liked it.
''No, I just want to escape.''
''I thought you were having a good time'' Celine was getting ready for a long time of Sebastian whining. When he started with it, he was not going to stop. Better to let him speak, thought Celine.
''Yeah but I don't want to attend the press tomorrow. Cez, it's awful. They ask me the same stupid questions over and over again. I don't mind the panels, the fans ask really smart questions but the morons from the media don't have any creativity. What will happen to Bucky in Infinity War? Can you give us any spoilers? They bloody know I can't!''
And he went on like that for ten more minutes while she listened to him and played with his hair. That was why Sebastian was attached to Celine. He knew that she was going to
be there to listen and then give her most honest advise. She was that constant presence that was always reliable.
''Well, Seb'' she said after she finish with his rant ''I know what you can do. Picture the interviewer as me. You know perfectly well that I always ask some stupid questions and more than once. Well, it's the same. Just pretend it's me and it will be fine''.
''It's not the same. I don't mind answering your silly questions because... it's you but the media is unbearable''.
He looked at her with that shiny blue eyes that she loved so much. He looked tired and a bit vulnerable that she couldn't help but to feel a bit of pity for him.
''Come here'' she grabbed his shoulder and shook him a little ''Look Seb, it could be much worse. It's only tomorrow that you have to do this. After this you have the panel which is fun and then we'll be in London eating from Nandos again''.
That cheered him up a lot.
''And Maltesers you know how much I miss them. My life was not the same after tasting them. I should have smuggled some packets. How could I have lived 34 years without them or the Cadbury Cream Eggs or Freddos...''.
''If you don't stop you'll start drooling''.
But Sebastian kept on talking about the wonders of British snacks. For Celine it was better than his rant about the media.
''...And my three favourite things in the world are from Britain. First, you. Then Maltesers, of course and Nandos. God save the Queen.''.
Celine was actually surprised to find herself in top of Sebastian's list. However, the second and third were food, so it wasn't much of an accomplishment.
''Feeling better now?'' she asked him
''Yes, thank you Cez I don't know what I'd do without you. Probably sink in sad thoughts'' he turned off the lights ''Stay here, please.''
''I wasn't planning to leave'' she wrapped her arms around his shoulders, or at
least tried to. Sebastian was so thick that she found it was almost impossible to completely encircle him.
''Your arms are so little, Cez. Like a dwarf's'' he laughed.
''Well, I'm trying to be a nice and supporting friend and you compare me with a dwarf. Nice way of saying 'thanks'. And I'm not that little, for your interest''
''I know, Cez'' he relaxed in her arms and put his head between her neck and shoulder. Sebastian was sure that if he were a cat, he'd start purring ''I don't think there's anything I don't know about you''.

It was not yet dawning when Sebastian woke up. Damn the jet lag. Celine had rolled away from him and was almost falling from the bed. Carefully and without waking her up he moved her towards him. He took his time observing her, not in a creepy way of course. Her face was completely inexpressive and her dark brown hair was covering half of it.
He wondered what he was doing, staring at her like that. She was supposed to be a friend yet at the same time she was more than that, in many ways. It seemed that their relationship didn't have any label. Celine... with her subtle prettiness and unconventional personality. She was beautiful in her own particular way, not like Matilde, who turned the heads of all the churls on the street. Celine's beauty was in her elegance, in the way she spoke, in the warmth of her dark brown eyes and even in the way she moved. That was why people like Chris were attracted to her, because she had a vibe that was rarely found.
For Sebastian she was something else. She was safety, stability, in other words she was home. Maybe they were going to stay friends forever or take the next step someday but he didn't mind as long as he had her by his side. Nevertheless, he wasn't able to picture Celine with anyone else. Only the thought of her dating someone else nauseated him. He knew it was selfish but he couldn't help it. Sebastian was not going to approve of any person who expressed any sort of sentimental attraction towards Celine. Not even Chris, who had been his friend for years and was a good match for literally anyone.
''Are you awake?'' she mumbled. He hadn't realised that she had woken up.
''I was thinking'' he brushed away the hair that was on her face. He let his hand rest on her cheek. ''You're lovely, Cez''.
''Go back to sleep Seb, you're speaking nonsense''.
''It's not nonsense, Cez.''
''Yes, it is'' a minute later she was asleep again.

On the next morning Sebastian looked as if he was going to go through an arithmetic exam by the look of his face. Matilde and Celine were sympathetic enough not to mention that they were going to the Fantastic Beasts panel to see Eddie Redmayne and in general, have a lot of fun.
''Do you want to do this for me?'' he asked them.
''I'd love to spend an entire evening in Chris Evans' company but I'm afraid is not me they want to see. I don't know why you're complaining, really Sebby, you'll be with Chris''. Fortunately Matilde had ditched the spandex Black Widow costume (that according to her, it had earned her a like from Tom Holland on Instagram) and was looking somewhat normal with her 'I dig the Winter Soldier' infamous shirt.
''And I have no idea what an 'Infinity War' is so, don't look at me'' Celine had been convinced by Matilde to put on a shirt with the Black Widow symbol. She agreed because of all the superheroes, Natasha Romanoff was her favourite.
''I can fake illness...''
''Sebastian, darling, just stop. You're going to attend the press, you like it or not. That's why you get paid'' Celine straightened the front of his shirt and tidied his hair. He hadn't put any effort on his looks that morning but he looked good anyway. Celine was certain that he could have worn a trash bag and ace it.
''Let me give you a reason to smile''.
Matilde didn't even want to blink in case that Celine wanted to throw it all away and kissed him.
But that wasn't what she was planning. She took a packet of Maltesers from her jacket and handed it to him.
''I adore you for this, Cez'' he was holding the Maltesers as if it was a newborn kitten.

Celine and Matilde spent their evening running around the place making the best use of their ''All Access'' pass. They knew that many people would've sold their souls for one of these.
Celine had loved the Fantastic Beasts panel. It had been funny, even though she wanted more spoilers and couldn't wait for the film to be released the next year.
''I can't believe I saw Eddie Bloody Redmayne in front of my own eyes'' it wasn't normal to see Celine fangirling with anything that wasn't the Arctic Monkeys or something Real Madrid related.
Matilde was buying things that she called ''collectable items''. For Celine those things were children toys. However, she had got completely hooked in front of all sorts of Harry Potter stuff.
''What would you think if I buy that cuckoo?'' Celine pointed to a cuckoo clock that looked out from some old lady's house.
''Why would you want that. It's just a clock''
''When it strikes twelve o'clock Hedwig comes out of that little door and says
'Hoot! Hoot!''
And that was how Celine ended up buying a Hogwarts shaped cuckoo clock. For her it had been love at first sight and Matilde though that she had completely lost her mind. It was about time, she was at the Comic-Con after all.
''What would my mum say if she saw me right now?'' she laughed, with her new clock safely inside a bag. ''I'm supposed to be 'Doctor Cadwallader', doing something important but instead I'm buying cuckoos and walking around people who are with Bowtruckle costumes. I love my life''. It was surprising she wasn't being sarcastic at all.
When they got tired of walking around the place they decided to go for ice cream. They felt a bit guilty when they thought about Sebastian having to endure endless interviews.
''Do you know there's fanfiction about him?'' Matilde asked Celine. ''I mean some of his fans invent stories in which an average girl, that's probably the writer herself, met Sebby somehow, they fall in love and... you know the rest''.
Celine almost threw the ice cream on the floor because she was laughing really hard.
''And you've read those? Oh my God, I need to see them, so I can have material to blackmail him in the future. And you too, I can wait to tell him about your reading preferences''.
''Don't you dare. But let me finish because it gets better'' Celine couldn't believe that there was anything better that someone inventing romantic settings with Sebastian. Yeah, the same Seb who fangirled with metal dragons and stuffed organic soil into tents. ''There are these things called 'Imagines' which are short stories and just listen... '' she read something from her phone ''There's this one in which he takes you, and by 'you' I mean whoever that's reading this, to dinner under the candlelight'.
Celine couldn't stop laughing.
''But he hates candles. He's afraid of setting himself on fire. And let's be honest, he probably would, he's the clumsiest person ever. So I'd write a different ending to that story''.
''And there are many more. In this one you get married to him...'' Celine looked as if she wanted to throw up ''...then you have his child...'' she rolled her eyes
remembering Sebastian's imaginary child from a couple of days ago. He'd be a good author of his own fanfiction ''...and some others are... really explicit. You don't want to see them.''
Celine almost choked.
''Ew. That's just... ew. I can't believe you've read this, it's disturbing. But I'd give these people some ideas. 'Sebastian in the Tower of London, geeking out with dead people's armour'; 'Sebastian in Glastonbury', that's a good one; 'Sebastian confusing Dumbledore with Gandalf'; 'Sebastian watching Love island' and the best off them all...'' she suddenly remembered Sebastian calling her 'lovely' in the middle of the night. That could have been a nice piece of fanfiction, with the little detail that it was real life ''...'You and Sebastian, sharing a ruinous tent with all your disgraceful friends teasing you both'. Charming. I've been through it and there's nothing romantic''.
They were interrupted by the sound of Hey Jude by The Beatles. It was of course, Celine's phone. (Matilde had no intentions to admit that she had the viral song Despacito as a ringtone. She had shown it to Celine, who had banned it from her presence).
''It's Sebastian. He needs to be rescued from Jeremy and Tom Hiddleston who want to 'kidnap him' to dinner. With the company of Janice.'' Celine showed Matilde the text he had wrote. He had quoted the lyrics of Save Me by Queen with many crying emojis.
''Poor sunshine. He doesn't deserve to be stuck with Janice''. They made the way back to the convention center and Sebastian didn't stop texting.
''Can he shut the hell up?'' Celine was losing patience with Sebastian's whining.
''Where is he?'' Matilde asked.
''Entertainment Weekly's booth in the press room''.
Matilde couldn't keep with the excitement of being admitted to the press room. Probably the stars of all her favourite shows were there. Unfortunately, she was with Celine, who was in a hurry. After all, she was used to the press, being the Prime Minister's personal assistant. Even though she was never the one being interviewed, she was always behind the scenes. And the girl had made a documentary for the BBC after all, that was nothing new to her.
''Celine, wait a second. That's the Game of Thrones' cast'' Celine looked at them, with an uninterested expression ''Holy Heaven, that's Jon freaking Snow''.
''Ah. Let's save Sebastian''.
''But Celine! They're all stars here!''.
''They look pretty normal to me. I wouldn't recognise any of them on the street. There he is''.
When Sebastian saw them, his suffering expression turned to one of relief. They saw him mumble a fast goodbye to Tom Hiddleston and literally run towards them.
''Let's get the hell out of here while Jeremy's in the bathroom'' he half run towards the exit.
''Wait Sebby, I want to meet Jon Snow'' complained Matilde.
''Yeah me too. I've never talked to him. But today's not the day. Oh hell, Jeremy's out'' he run as fast as he could with Celine and Matide following.

They were waking back to the hotel, after taking Sebastian to the McDonalds (and he was very thankful for it). He looked completely drained and was very whiny.
''...and that disgrace that goes by the name of Chris Evans left before because he had 'family business'. I'm sure he was lying. That's privilege because he's Captain America and I'm just the troublemaker brainwashed sidekick. He asked for you by the way, Cez'' he said the last words with all the bitterness he could muster.
''I thought I had scared him off after saying I hated kids''.
''Yeah, he still thinks you don't have a soul. Nevertheless, he has a hopeless crush on you.''
''Why hopeless?'' asked Matilde, very intrigued. It was not something very normal to have Chris Evans crushing on you. If she were in Celine's place she would jump at the very chance of it.
''Because I said so'' Celine didn't have any reasons. Only that it was bizarre that a guy she had seen on Matilde's wall, had a crush on her out of nowhere. She was convinced it was a joke.
''He thinks you're brilliant and interesting.'' Sebastian was having a hard time quoting Chris without wanting to find him and strangle him ''He told me I was lucky to have a friend like you''.
''And what did you tell him?''
''That he was right and I'm very lucky. Then I politely told him to... evaporate''.
Celine rolled her eyes. That was the typical behaviour of angry Sebastian.
''And how was the press?'' thankfully Matilde changed the topic.
''Awful. The only good part was when someone named my character 'Sergeant Barnes' instead of 'Bucky' or 'The Winter Soldier' ''.
''Watch out Sergeant, there's a post on your way.''
Only in the last moment Sebastian dodged it. Running into a post would have been an appropriate way to end a pitiful day.
When they got back to the hotel Sebastian went straight to Celine's room and lied face down on the bed. She didn't even attempt to take him out.
''At least it's over'' she sat beside him and ran a hand on his back. He mumbled something that she couldn't understand. ''You're a mess, Seb. Why don't you go and take a shower and then come back to bed. It'll do good, believe me''.
He turned around an looked at her. His blue eyes were shining as they always did when he was tired or sad. He looked like an exhausted little kid.
''Can I ask you something?''
Celine just nodded.
''Why did you buy a cuckoo?''
''Because I wanted to. And Hedwig hoots when it strikes twelve''.
They started laughing and didn't stop for more than twenty minutes. It was nice to him smile after the tiring day.

By the next day Sebastian was a completely different person. He was more optimistic and was looking foward to the panel. Matilde and Celine were not missing this for the world. As a nice gesture towards Sebastian, Matilde made Celine wear one of her Winter Soldier infamous shirts. It was black with a red star on it, at least it was nothing humiliating. Of course she was wearing, for the second day in a row, her I dig the Winter Soldier t-shirt.
''We're on your team, Sebby''.
''This is embarrassing'' Celine didn't wanted to look a thirsty fangirl, like Matilde.
''Cheer up, Celine.'' Matilde slapped Celine's shoulder. ''Yesterday you said it was funny''.
''Yeah, but this is too much. We look like twelve year old boyband fans''.
''It's just a shirt with a star on it, Cez'' Sebastian was finding all of this, very amusing. ''It's not as you're wearing something with the words 'Sebastian's Winter Children' on it''.
''That'd be the only thing that'd make me regret our friendship, Seb''
They took their different ways towards the panel. They could have gone with him but they were not Janice, who clung at his famous boyfriend like a lost puppy. Sebastian had been kind enough to invite them there and they won't be following him like dogs.
Sebastian got first to the hall. He took his place in the panel, between Chris and Scarlett. It was still half an hour for the thing to start and half of his cast mates
weren't there yet.
On their part, Matilde and Celine were among the hundreds of people that were going to the panel. Celine was admiring the nerve of some of them, to appear with those costumes in front of a bunch of actors. Well, she preferred to wear spandex rather than Matilde's shirt.
''You should be dressed up as a female Bucky'' Celine didn't know if Matilde was being serious or not ''Sebastian would die of pride if his girlfriend shows up like that''.
''I'm not his girlfriend''.
''But you'll be, it's just a matter of time. And I'm so ready for it, to be honest.''
''Matilde! We're not some fictional characters that you can pair up whenever you want. We're real people!''
Celine walked faster towards the hall, with Matilde closely following her. When she entered she went straight to a seat on the first row (thanks to the All Access pass). She winked at Sebastian when she saw him at the panel, talking to Chris.
''Chris Evans looks so hot today'' Matilde commented making Celine facepalm. On the panel, Chris had seen Sebastian wink at someone. His suspicions were
right about the identity of the person.
''So your lovely friend Celine is here too'' Chris was making the best at annoying Sebastian, which was always funny.
Sebastian was fuming. Only he was allowed to call Celine, lovely.
''Doctor Cadwallader for you'' he snapped. With a nicer smile he added ''Did you know that she prefers cats rather than dogs? And that she calls your football, eggball? I have many reasons to believe she's the complete opposite of you. So... Keep. Your. Distance''. Sebastian was aware he was talking like an annoying older brother.
''Opposites attract'' of Chris wasn't being serious. He was making fun of Sebastian. Yes, Celine was pretty and interesting but she was the woman Sebastian so obviously loved (and everyone had noticed) and he was never in a million years ruining this for him. ''Why do you get so jealous? Are you afraid someone steals her from you?''
Scarlett, beside Sebastian, was trying really hard to keep an straight face. She wouldn't be surprised if he suddenly turned into the Hulk.
''You disappoint me, Chris. Celine is a person not a bag of apples that someone can steal'' he turned to Scarlett ''At least someone with whom I can have a normal conversation''.
Scarlett breathed deeply.
''Do I smell Burberry London Limited Edition for Women?'' she asked and Sebastian turned more red than a tomato.
He decided to twist the truth to prove a point. He was not going to admit that Celine splashed everything with her perfume. At first he was careful to remove it but he didn't care anymore. It smelled good, after all.
''Celine's fragance'' he said with a smug smile ''It always happens to me that I end up smelling like her. Do you know what? It feels really good.''
''We know, Sebby, we know'' Scarlett patted him on the shoulder ''You won the lottery with her, I don't know why she's still single when it's clear you're interested in more than a friendship''.
''And I was wrong with the part of the 'interesting conversation''' he stood up and went to sit at the corner of the table beside Tom Holland.
When he sat, Tom opened his mouth to say something.
''Don't say a thing, kid'' he warned him.
''I was just going to ask, since when are you Benedict Cumberbatch''
Sebastian saw that there was a plaque with Benedict's name in front of him.
''Since today. Even though I don't like his name. It's archaic. Sebastian at least sounds angelic''. Tom looked at him without knowing if he was being serious.
Not even when Benedict arrived Sebastian gave him back his place. It was sort of confusing to some people in the hall why Benedict and Sebastian had switched places.
Celine, was impressed with the presence of the Benedict, which was someone that she knew from the Sherlock series.
''I didn't know he was an Avenger'' she whispered to Matilde.
''Technically, he's not. But he'll be in the film, so that's why he's here. He's in your boyfriend's place, that's quite of an honour''.
Celine didn't even respond knowing that it was going to be useless. Sometimes Matilde would be a total pain in the neck. And she was too busy admiring Benedict Cumberbatch to care. She decided that she was not leaving the place without a picture with him.
But Celine couldn't be more clueless during the panel. People asked questions that in her opinion, made no absolute sense. She had no idea what ''Stark Industries'' were or a ''Hydra''. Sebastian was right on the fact that the fans knew how to ask smarter questions than the media. She measured that in her level of understanding of the subject. The more basic the questions were, the more she understood whereas they were some that sounded like Chinese to her.
Matilde, of course wasn't missing on the chance of asking something.
''This one is for Sebastian'' when Sebastian saw who was asking the question, it was hard not to laugh. Who on earth gave Matilde a chance to ask something?
''Do you think the Stucky ship will be canon on Infinity War?''
There were many reactions to Matilde's question. Some people on the audience cheered Matilde, Chris was blushing, Sebastian was asking heaven why she choose that time to ask him this, they saw each other basically every day. Celine was clueless. She was imagining a boat named 'Stucky' that had a cannon.
''Emm... well, that's what the fans want so I hope it becomes reality on screen. What do you think Chris?'' some people on the audience gasped and Sebastian knew that his answer was going to be all around the Internet by the next day.
Celine still had no idea what was going on.
''Steve's priority is Bucky, he's the most important person in Steve's life at the moment. Bucky might be in cryo, so let's see what happens when he wakes up.'' Chris looked at Sebastian and added ''Maybe Bucky's been in love with Steve all the time during Civil War but he hasn't realised yet''.
The audience (and Matilde) looked at Chris as if he had suddenly become a God.
''Or maybe...'' added Scarlett ''...Bucky realised that he loves Steve but he doesn't dare to tell him. Maybe he's scared that he rejects him and then ruin their perfect friendship''.
The audience was going nuts (Matilde was almost on the floor) and Sebastian realised that Chris and Scarlett weren't talking about Bucky and Steve's relationship at all. Celine was still lost.
''And also...'' added Anthony and Sebastian wanted to strangle him ''...he's afraid that someone else might steal Steve away from him. He might have laughed when he and Sharon kissed but on the inside, he was fuming''.
Sebastian was thanking God that Celine was apparently still trying to figure out what was going on and hadn't realised yet of the hidden message of this conversation.
''What I think...'' started Jeremy and Sebastian wanted to jump from a building. Nothing that he said would be helpful to stop this nightmare ''...is that Bucky should talk face to face with Steve and tell him about his feelings. For sure, he'll understand''.
Sebastian was sure that this moment would become the favourite of the Internet for the next years.
''Wait a second, you're talking about my character. Only I am allowed to make headcannons about him...''
But they didn't let him finish.
''Oh please, Spore Man, we're having fun'' he was interrupted by Robert ''In case you didn't know...'' he explained to the audience ''...Sebastian is developing the ability to produce reproductive spores, so watch out ladies''.
Sebastian was red and Celine, along with the rest of the audience was laughing really hard. This time she had got the joke.
''Am I missing something here?'' asked Benedict. This was definitely the most bizarre panel he had ever been to.
''You don't really want to know'' said Sebastian, completely done with everything.
And if the situation wasn't weird enough, Tom Holland put the icing to the cake.
''Hey girl...'' he looked at Matilde, on the first row ''Why do you dig the Winter Soldier? I mean, he's taken.'' with the head he pointed at Chris ''You should dig Spiderman!''
Sebastian and Celine looked at each other for a second with the same horrified expression. Yes, that was a completely appropriate way to end the weirdest weekend in Celine's life.

Chapter Text

Celine got back home after a tiring but successful day. At least is Friday, she thought. Before opening the door, she smiled. She had many reasons to be happy. The day before her documentary had been aired and the new season of the Premier League was starting on the next day. And it was Sebastian's birthday on Sunday.
They were making the best out of Sebastian's last month in London which meant that he had literally ran away from Tom's house and chosen Celine as housemate. He had said that he'd rather sleep on Celine's garden than stand Janice for an hour.
When Celine got in, she found him making tea on the kitchen. What a lovely sight he was. She guessed he had been watching TV because she could hear the voices of a documentary about the rhinos on Animal Planet.
''At least Animal Planet is an improvement of the time I caught you watching Geordie Shore'' that was the first thing she said to him.
''There was nothing else to watch, Cez.''
''Staring at the empty space is a better option than watching a bunch of people get drunk and do nasty things''.
''It isn't different from Matilde and company at Glastonbury'' he handed her a mug.
''I suppose you're right''.
''And how was work?''
''Good, to be honest. Everyone were thrilled with the repercussions of the documentary''.
And that was true. Celine's documentary had got very good reviews and all the team at the university was thrilled. Every time that someone of their staff got good reviews in something, it was special.
''That's awesome, Cez. Do you know I'm proud of you?''
''You told me the same at least ten times today''.
''Technically, I've been in every step of the way. I know all the effort you put into it, that's why I'm proud''
''After all, you and Matilde printed the reviews and framed them. Even the Prime Minister was happy for me, which is rare because I don't think she has many emotions left in her after the election. She congratulated me which attracted many important people to ask what on earth I did'' Celine rolled her eyes.
''Really?''
''Yeah, the kind of people that didn't even knew my name. I've never gotten that much attention before. There was a guy named Edmund, all fancy who holds a high office in Parliament, that invited me to a Polo match on Sunday. I think he's from aristocratic family''.
''Sounds... interesting'' Sebastian had to use all of his acting abilities for not to sound bitter. However, that was a hard blow for him. That was something bound to happen. Someone, someday would ask Celine out, she'd accept and he couldn't complain. Sebastian may be an actor but that mattered little to Celine. But a guy from aristocratic family that was something in which he couldn't compete. He had absolutely nothing to complain. Celine had never showed any kind of romantic attitude towards him so probably she didn't see him in that way. End of the story.
''Do you think so?'' for some reason Celine had the same face as when he had told her that Chris Evans fancied her.
''Well, you'll see on Sunday'' his careless acting at that moment deserved a Oscar.
''What are you talking... oh'' Celine remembered that she had missed the crucial part of the story. ''No, I won't see that on Sunday because I turned him down''.
Sebastian's relief could be seen in every inch of his face. Even Celine could notice it.
''Why did you do that?'' not that it mattered anymore. The important thing was that she had got rid of that guy, thanks Heaven.
''Because I hate dates, that takes me out of my comfort zone and you know it. And also because I don't really get polo. But most important... your birthday's on Sunday, you doof. If you think I'm leaving you alone to go to a polo match with some posh guy named Edmund, you are dead wrong''.
Sebastian was so happy he would have danced at the rhythm of the music that came from the publicity on the TV. However, he tried to act humble, which was hard. Yes, Celine and him were just friends but she prioritised him over an aristocratic guy and a polo match.
''I admire your loyalty, Cez but I don't want to kill your social life.''
''Which was basically nonexistent before you came into my life. And that Edmund didn't lost after all. After I rejected him he invited someone else who accepted. Matilde''.
''What? I thought she liked Tom Holland'' Sebastian couldn't picture Matilde with anyone that was too serious.
''Yeah, she also likes Chris Evans. And many others. But we both know that's impossible. However, I don't think poor Edmund has much future there. Matilde's too colourful for him''.
''I hope he doesn't turn out to be a douche because he'll be in trouble.'' Sebastian flexed his arm, showing his very big biceps ''I don't really care about his aristocratic background, he'll get some Romanian wrath''.
Celine laughed, she could never imagine Sebastian in an actual wrath. He was just a sweetheart with really big muscles.
''I'm terrified, to be honest''.
''I'm being protective of my girls. And I actually rooted for her and Tom''.
Celine choked on her tea.
''Are you crazy? He's actually famous and she's like ten years older than him''.
''Only seven, Cez. The same age difference that's between you and me and it's not a problem for any of us. Also, I'm famous and you're not which is also not an issue for us. It works for us, why can it work for them?''
Sebastian forgot to mention the little detail that between Celine and him there was no romance involved.
''Because it's not the same. Matilde used to drool for Tom since before meeting him in person. I had no idea who you were when I met you. I thought you were just a normal Romanian guy with exceptionally good looks. Then Matilde told me who you were and I still didn't know you, so it's a very different situation''.
''I agree but I also think that Matilde and Tom make a nice couple. You saw him, he's a total immature clown and we both know Matilde''.
Celine was aware that Matilde didn't act her age at all. Even though 'a total immature clown' wasn't the exact definition of her, it was not far from that.
''We're not the best example of maturity, Seb. You're over thirty and you act like a teenager. And me... I look serious and disciplined on the outside but on the inside... you know, I'm a disaster''.
''It's all fun and games until football starts, then you lose your mind.''
''And football starts tomorrow.'' she smiled and danced a little ''It's a pity that Chelsea plays away, we could've gone to the stadium. But I've booked some tickets to second game of the season, against West Ham, next week''.

Celine was used to wake up next to Sebastian. They always shared her bed for no reason at all, only that they liked each other's company. She ran a hand through his hair and kissed him on the cheek before getting up. He moved a little but didn't wake up.
This Saturday was a special day as the football season at least started. It was Celine's equivalent for Christmas and she had a ritual that dated from the Cambridge days. The only thing missing was her Cambridge friends.
Thankfully it was a sunny and mild day so she could wear her new Chelsea jersey. She had bought it in the team's megastore the previous week. With the company of the faithful music of the Arctic Monkeys, she decided to go to Tesco to buy the necessary snacks for an evening packed with football. Matilde was going to come and Sebastian... well, he'll have to endure it.
Sebastian, always honest, loyal and sweet. Celine could've never imagined that she would have become so attached to him. Their friendship was so natural that it was confused with something else all the time. She knew some married couples that didn't share that bond they had.
Celine had always been uncomfortable with romance. She thought that it may distract her of her real goals and ambitions. It had been easy to convince herself of that while she was in Cambridge and she had never met someone whom she was comfortable enough to share a kiss with, apart from her first and only boyfriend and that had lasted for only one awkward week. For years she believed that such a person didn't exist and she never gave much though to the subject. Maybe she'd be like Queen Elizabeth I, that was called the Virgin Queen for a reason. Not that Celine cared very much about the romantic side of life, after all. And then Sebastian came into her life. She had always found him incredibly handsome but she could swear that never considered him as more than a friend.
But on the last couple of months this had changed and she found herself looking at him for long periods of time with or without him noticing, finding literally any excuse to hug him, enjoying his company way too much and craving something more than a friendship. She had opened her heart to him many times and she had never felt more
comfortable. He knew her through and through and never judged her.
And Celine had to admit that Matilde had been right when she foresaw that Sebastian would be in good hands with her. He needed someone honest with her two feet on the ground who wasn't easily impressed by his life. He needed safety and stability and Celine was able to provide him of this. She was aware that she wasn't the most beautiful girl in town but for Celine (who had never been self conscious) that was meaningless. She had her intellect, and that was her utmost pride.
It was incredible that knowing all of this, her friendship with Sebastian remained the same. She had read in some books that when the main couple discovered that had they had feelings for each other things got awkward really fast. However, this was out of the question for both of them whose relationship was still one of mutual love, support and comfort.
After buying all the necessary things (this consisted in lots of trash food, mostly snacks), Celine made her way back home. When she arrived, Sebastian was nowhere to be seen so he was still sleeping. That was the best time to start the next phase of her ritual. There was a box in one of Celine's wardrobes that was stuffed with football related decorations, and it was that time of the year when they saw the light.
It wasn't a coincidence that after meeting Sebastian her living room looked less like a museum. Only a few of the historical portraits kept their place and many were replaced with pictures of herself with Sebastian or Matilde or both of them and the presence of Max and Leah or her Cambridge friends in some others. There was even a picture of Sebastian, smiling charmingly and looking like a good boy. On one of her bookshelves there was a little Welsh flag that now was accompanied by a Romanian one that Sebastian had stuck there when he had moved.
After the decorations were in their place, everything looked a bit different. There were old team pictures of Chelsea and Real Madrid on the walls, decorative scarves were also there as well as couple of stuffed animals, one of each team. Even the curtains matched. The blue of Chelsea and the white of Real Madrid were everywhere.
''Whoa, I didn't know you were planning me a themed birthday party'' Sebastian had finally showed up, looking a bit sleepy.
Celine couldn't believe how someone could be so gorgeous. He was still in his pijamas and his hair was a bit messy. But his eyes were sparkling with curiosity. And that was Celine's favourite version of him. Curious and sleepy.
''Sorry to disappoint you but I'm actually celebrating the beginning of the Premier League. This is a ritual I do every August, with the exception of last year because I was still living in that trashy flat.''
Sebastian was looking at the various pictures that adorned the walls.
''Who's that?'' he pointed at a signed picture of a footballer.
''Frankie Lampard, a Chelsea legend.''
''And he signed it to you?'' he had his eyes wide open.
''No, it was Matilde's but she gave it to me last Christmas. She has lots of signed stuff as her father was the assistant of Chelsea's former coach. That's luck, man.''
''Let's have some tea''. They moved to the kitchen, Sebastian was still a bit sleepy. More than tea he needed coffee ''You went shopping? Of course, snacks''.
''And this is yours'' Celine handed him a packet of Maltesers, two Freddos and a Cream Egg.
Sebastian was never ever going to get used to someone being so attentive towards him. How would he survive without Celine when he had to come back to New York on the next month was something he did not know and it was better not to think about it.
''Marry me, Cez'' he was taking the Freddo out of its packet with total devotion.
''Okay. Should we go now or wait for tomorrow? I've heard that there are places here in London that marry you in the moment, in the best Vegas style. And we're looking good, you're in your pijamas and I'm in my Chelsea jersey. But you know what? We should leave it for tomorrow. I'm not missing the first game of the season even for my wedding day''.
''Sophisticated'' he mumbled while eating the Freddo ''The wedding of the century''.
''Yes and imagine my mum's reaction'' she laughed only with the silly thought ''I don't know what would scandalise her more. Me marrying someone she doesn't know or me marrying without inviting her. That'd be legendary. I'm sure she'll fly all the way from South America by herself like your friend, Iron Man. Then, we're both dead''.
''Does she actually know who am I?'' in the back of his mind he always dreaded the moment when he'll have to meet the formidable Elizabeth Cadwallader.
''Yes, of course. By 'knowing' I meant, she making an exhaustive investigation about your life. She knows I have a friend named Sebastian. No more details were given.''
Celine kept drinking her tea. The day was already getting good and the best part was about to come.
''Bite'' he offered her a quarter of the Freddo ''Be careful and don't take my fingers off''.
''You could have given me the whole thing but no, you're the most selfish eater ever'' she bit the head of the Freddo.
He just shrugged his shoulders and ate the rest of it. Then he started making the toasts. He wasn't being chivalrous at all, it was just that he didn't want to eat coal instead of bread. He wasn't the best chef but he could cook a couple of things but Celine had some mental block that made her unable to prepare fried eggs without burning them. Sebastian wondered how she survived for nine years in Cambridge with a diet that consisted mainly on snacks, takeaway food and Nandos.
And it was not that she hadn't tried to cook. She and Sebastian had tried baking and everything ended up being a total disaster. Not even Matilde could save the poor cookies from being carbonized like the relics from Pompeii. Without counting Celine making an scene when some dough got stuck in her hair.
''And would she approve of me?'' for some reason Sebastian came back to the topic of Celine's mother.
''She'd judge you first. Don't take it personal, she judges everything that moves. But she'd like you. After all, you're successful and good looking and that counts for her. My dad is another story, he likes everyone. And you're Romanian so he'll love you''.
More relieved he gave a toast to Celine and made another for himself. It wasn't as if he was meeting Celine's family in the near future. She wasn't planning to bring them to London and he was sure as hell that she will never invite him to her old town. He doubted that Celine will ever come back there.
Half an hour before the match Matilde was there, with the same enthusiasm for the match that Celine had. Sebastian teased her a lot about her upcoming date with Edmund from the aristocratic family that ended with Matilde throwing a handful of crisps right at his face. The next ten minutes were full of Sebastian whining because he had a piece of crisp stuck in his eye. Not even Celine paid any attention to him as she was busy watching the Countdown to the Match.
''Gooooaaal!'' Matilde and Celine were shouting fifteen minutes later. ''Eden you beast!'' shouted Celine who was hugging Matilde.
Sebastian had no idea who on earth was Eden but he supposed it was the one who scored. It was hard for him no to root for Chelsea even though he was not planning to go crazy as the girls.
The match ended with Chelsea winning 3-0 and it was incredible that Celine hasn't ended up without voice. But the football evening wasn't over yet as an Arsenal game was next.
Sebastian was completely lost. He had learned the name of some Chelsea players but when it came to Arsenal and other teams, he had no idea about who was who. The names ''Mustafi'', ''Alexis'' and ''Ozil'' didn't ring any bells to him. When he had finally got to learn something, the match was over.
''Arsenal may be my favourite team'' when he said that Matilde and Celine shot him killer glances.
''Don't you dare'' Celine looked outraged. ''I swear for my life, I'll kick you out of my house, I'm not going to live under the same roof with an Arsenal fan. You can't root for any other London team that's not Chelsea. If you want to choose another English team choose Manchester United but never Arsenal, never Liverpool, never Tottenham and never in your wildest dreams Manchester City''.
With only the mention of 'Manchester City', Matilde looked disgusted.
''I was joking, I thought you liked the team as you were watching them''.
''You watch your enemies because you're rooting for them to lose'' Matilde corrected him ''You still have a lot to learn, Sebby''.
''Yeah, I'm trying but it's complicated. I had never heard of those teams before. The only thing I know is that if I ever root for Barcelona our friendship is over. I'm not planning on doing so, the players of that team are absolutely disgusting''.
Celine looked at him with a proud smile.
''I educated him so well, I'm so proud''.
They spent the rest of the evening teaching Sebastian the differences between the different football leagues, the names of the most famous players and the teams he didn't know. He was relived that at least he was not confusing the Premier League with the Champions League ever again. At least for a while.
Matilde had to leave early because she wanted to choose an appropriate dress for her date on the next day which led to serious teasing from Sebastian's part. He found funny the part of the aristocracy which led to Celine educating him on the subject.
''...if we were in the sixteenth century Edmund would be a really good match for Matilde. I mean she's a 'commoner', which means that she's not part of the royalty or the nobility.''
''But we're on the twenty first century, Cez... and that Edmund guy is still considered a good match, what the hell, things are still the same''.
''Not really, in the sixteenth century Edmund could have never paid court to Matilde. Back then, people married for as a business move, as you well know because the character you play in your upcoming film was obliged to marry for political reasons and how did he end up? Crazy''.
Sebastian enjoyed this debates with Celine. It was always nice to hear her talking in a professional way.
They were eating a omelette that Sebastian had cooked following the instructions of a Youtube tutorial. They were surprised that he results were pretty decent and they didn't need Matilde to save them (something that happened more times than they wanted to admit).
They always had a good topic of conversation for every meal. Sports, some book they were reading, work, Matilde, some piece of gossip, films or music. That day it was sixteenth century England's marriage market.
''...it was basically stated that you had to get married and most of the times the choice was made for you, you didn't have a say in the matter. Even kings had to marry and provide an heir to the kingdom'' Celine continued explaining. Sebastian's attention was completely focused on her. ''Only Queen Elizabeth I was spared of that and not without getting into trouble with her council. If she married she had to submit her country and herself to a husband, that was the way back then. But she liked to reign alone and I don't blame her for that at all, I'd totally do the same''.
She finished her speech with a little smile.
After that they spent the rest of the night talking about Matilde's upcoming date and trying to imagine her at the Polo match surrounded by posh people. They would have paid to witness that.
Late at night Celine was watching a review of the day's Premier League matches while Sebastian (who had had enough of football for a day) was passing the pages of a book about the fall of Anne Boleyn.
''If you lose the page I'm on, you'll be sorry''
''I wonder what you're going to do to me'' he bit his lip and looked at her with a mischievous smile.
Celine shot him a glance of disapproval.
''You're a clown. But let me tell you... Matilde showed me a really explicit piece of fanfiction that someone wrote about you. It'd be really fun to send it to Anthony, Chris, Jeremy, Robert, Scarlett, Mark, and the rest. I wonder if they'd quote it in the next convention. If that's the case, I want to be there.''
''You're an evil person, Cez. Really evil''.
She smiled and continued watching the TV. Sebastian was really careful of not losing the page Celine was on. He had had enough with his cast mates teasing him about Celine or the spores, he was not going to give them new material.
They could hear the hoots of Celine's infamous cuckoo she had brought from the Comic-con. She had installed it on her living room and the hoots were so loud that could be her from every room of the house at midnight and at midday. They had gotten used to it but on the first days they jumped at the sound of it.
''It's midnight, happy birthday, mate''
Someone like Matilde would be very disappointed by Celine's way of expressing her feelings. Not that Sebastian was very enthusiastic about his birthday. The best part of it was that Celine had ditched Edmund to stay with him.
''Thank you, cute little thing. I wouldn't have remember it if it wasn't for you'' of course, he was lying as he had been getting birthday wishes since the previous day. Probably from people from Australia and Japan.
''You, silly'' she threw her arms around his neck. Sebastian was fast to put Celine's book away, losing the page he wasn't supposed to lose in the process. Anyway, it was a nice way to start his birthday.
''You know that you mean a lot to me, don't you?'' he nodded. She had her hands on his shoulders and was looking straight at his eyes. ''You're such a good influence on me and I'm so thankful'' she softly kissed his cheek touching the corner of his lip.
Sebastian was panicking. He wanted to take the initiative but he was behaving like an inexperienced fifteen year old. It was embarrassing but thankfully Celine didn't seem to care. He still didn't know what was happening to him. And Celine was very conscious that she had been very near to kissing him but had chickened out in the last second.
''Cez..'' he turned Celine around to he could take a better look of her ''...I don't know what will happen to my life in the future but I want you to be in it. You're important to me, like really important and I.. I... nothing...'' he buried his head in the pillow, angry with himself.
He couldn't say it. He couldn't. It was a voice in the back of his head telling him that it wasn't the right moment to confess his love for Celine.
''Seb, I'll always be with you. In every step of the way'' she was caressing the back of his neck and for Sebastian that was Heaven. ''Or like you used to say to your friend Steve Rogers 'til the end of the line'.
''WHAT?!'' he jumped in shock ''You know this line? And you know who Steve Rogers is? What is going on here? Are you even Celine?''
She shot him her classical glance of disapproval.
''Yes of course it's me! Who do you think am I? Chris? It's only fair that I've learned Captain America's real name, I mean you learned half of the teams in the Premier League and some of the players too. And about the line... well, it was in one of those fanfictions about you Matilde read to me the other day and I stole it from there. I liked the quote and I know it was heavily attached to your character.''
''That was really surprising, Cez. You won the day with this''.
She smiled and turned off the light.
''Let's sleep, we have a long day tomorrow''.
''Don't tell me you have planned something for me, Cez'' he teased her.
''I only know that there's a lot of football''.
''And Matilde's date''
They both giggled like idiots.

The next morning Celine woke up before Sebastian, as usual. As she didn't need to do shopping or anything of the sort so it was a perfect moment to continue reading her book. When she opened the book and realised that Sebastian had missed the page, she had the urgent need of throwing a glass of water on his head. She didn't do it only because it was his birthday. And also because she was going to damp her own bed on the process.
''Good morning, your Majesty'' he mumbled twenty minutes later.
Well, he was quite the sight. His hair was a mess but somehow it looked like art, his sleepy smile was the most tempting thing Celine had ever seen and it was better not to talk about the fact that she could see his perfectly toned chest through his shirt. Between wondering when she had got so lucky as to have such a beauty waking up beside her (even if they were just friends, that was not the topic) and trying not to drool, she made a quite convincing angry face. That was the only way to hide the urgent need of grabbing his face and kissing those perfect plump lips.
''You're such a brute, Seb. You missed my page! I've only forgiven you because it's your birthday.''
''You forgave me because you love me'' he wrapped his arms around her back.
''Yeah, of course. All the time you spend with your cliches are better invested trying not to lose my damn page''
''Next time I'll be more careful, Cez'' he was drawing circles on Celine's arm.
''You're touchy today'' she pushed him away ''And I have a present for you'' his eyes lit up with curiosity.
Celine brought a plain white envelope from the nightstand.
''You got me an envelope?''
''Open it, silly''.
He had to read the paper that was inside twice to convince himself that what he was seeing was true. Then he looked at Celine, with his blue eyes wide.
''Oh my God, Cez. NBA Preseason Worldwide? Are you serious? I swear you were sent from Heaven''.
''Thank you. I knew you'd like it''.
''Like it? I love it. Knicks vs Nets in a preseason match for my birthday. I can hear the angels singing in my head. I don't have words to describe you right now, Cez. Amazing, wonderful, a Queen, all of these and more''.
Celine was delighted. She had bought those tickets in advance knowing that the match was on his birthday. It was the perfect present. She wanted to do something like that for him since when he had got her Wimbledon tickets for her birthday.
''I imagine you're coming with me, Cez''.
''If you want. You have two tickets, you can invite anyone you want. But I think I'm your first option''.
''Always''.
''I have more for you''.
Sebastian jumped a little when Celine went over to her closet and brought a bag full of all kinds of British sweets, a lot of packets of Maltesers among them.
''I think you'll need those when you go back to the States. Make sure they last at least until October, don't eat them all in a week''.
''Celine, I think you're the woman I want to marry''.
''Sure'' she rolled her eyes ''Someone should tell your fans that the way to your heart is through sweets.''.
Swiftly but gently he tackled her to the bed.
''You're a funny little woman'' he kissed one of her cheeks ''...and I'm absolutely thankful for your very existence'' he kissed her on the forehead ''...and you're making my birthday perfect...'' he kissed the other cheek ''... and I want you to be in every single one of them for the rest of my life'' he finished with a little kiss on her chin.
She softly slapped him away with the book.
''You get cornier as the same time as you get older. And thanks to you I missed the page again''.
She rolled her eyes, resigned to search for the page for the second time in the morning.
''I'm going for a shower, you can join me if you want'' Celine shot him a death glare ''Cez, many people will sign into the Hunger Games for the opportunity you are turning down''.
''So people would starve themselves for a chance to have a shower with you? Wow, where are we going'' of course she was ignorant of the 'Hunger Games' and everything related ''But if you want company, I'll ring Matilde. She'll come flying. Even Leah would come. Yes, I know she's engaged but I've noticed that every time she looks at you she drools a little and gets lost in your eyes. That's the reaction you get''.
Then she completely ignored him and continued reading her book.

After the eventful morning both of them were drinking tea. Some TV show about animals was on but they weren't paying attention to it. Celine had taken out of her mind the way they behaved before, hugging and almost kissing. That was not the way in which friends were supposed to act but since when had her life been conventional? She was supposed to do a lot of things that were considered normal that Celine absolutely dreaded to do. Like celebrating Christmas or dating. So this situation was just one more of the uncommon things in her life and on the other side was Sebastian whom she trusted with her life, not some random guy she had met in bar or someone formal like Edmund.
''Matilde has a cake for you. Don't tell her I told you.''
''And did she decorate it?'' he asked with a mischievous smile. He was ranking this birthday as his most strange one yet but at the same time exciting.
''Probably. I wish it's nothing to do with the Winter Soldier or Colin the Caterpillar.''
''Colin the Caterpillar?''
''It's a British cake, contrary to popular belief it's not just for children. I've had it many times in my life. Everyone's had it, from David Beckham to the Prime Minister''.
''And is it a caterpillar?''
''Yes'' Celine didn't know why he found it so amusing.
''I don't know if I want to be on the list of famous people who've had it''.
''Of course you want. Everyone wants it.'' Celine looked at him with disapproval
''It's typical and delicious. You're the birthday boy so you have to decapitate it and eat its head, that's my tradition.''
''I don't know if you're joking right now or not.''
Celine couldn't believe they were discussing about Colin the Caterpillar. Where her life was going, she didn't know.
''Of course not. I'll get you one when we come back from the basketball, they sell them everywhere. It's weird you didn't know about it with your love for British sweets.''.
''I love this country''.

When Matilde finally arrived with the cake, Celine was relieved to see that her predictions of its decoration were incorrect (and thankfully she hadn't brought a caterpillar). Sebastian acted so surprised and moved by Matilde's gesture that he almost made her cry.
''Thank Heavens, Celine didn't attempt to cook'' she commented ''And when are we having a proper party? We can't let Celine plan it or we'd be bored to death''.
''Whenever you want as long as you plan it'' Sebastian looked very concentrated on his cake.
''It can't be today, I have a date'' she said, proudly and with a playful smile. ''But we could go to the pub tomorrow and invite the rest''.
It was easy to Sebastian to agree to that. The pub wasn't a bad idea at all, it was fun, chill and even Celine liked to go there from time to time. He would have invited Tom but he knew Janice would invite herself and he wasn't going to stand it. A birthday with her sour presence would be a bad experience, to say the least.
Hey spent a nice day, just talking, doing nothing out of this world and testing Celine's knowledge of everything that was popular but she had no idea that existed.
A little before three Matilde had to leave to get ready for her date, as Edmund will pick her up at four. Sebastian was trying hard not to laugh and Matilde noticed.
''I'd pay good money to see this'' he laughed ''You and a formal aristocrat guy on a date. This is going to be priceless''.
Matilde suddenly wanted to slap him back to Romania.
''Celine could've gone in my place'' she knew that the topic of Celine's suitors was a sensitive one for him. ''She was Edmund's first option, did you know that? But Celine rejected him, I don't know why?''
''Let me see...'' commented Celine who looked distracted but wasn't missing a word ''...the basketball with Sebastian or the polo with Edmund. Hard choice''. Sebastian smiled cockily.
''There you know why''.
Matilde shook her head. These two were so obvious that it made her wonder if they were actually dating in secret and fooling everyone. And laughing behind their backs, of course, these two were like that. It was better to change the topic for a while.
''Celine, do you have that formal hat that you wore the day you got your doctorate. Not the bonnet, the other one you had in the reception''.
Matilde wearing an elegant hat was too much for Sebastian who laughed and said something to Celine in fast Romanian. She also laughed and answered something that Matilde found impossible to understand.
''I hate when you two do that. It's like when Aragorn and Legolas speak Elfic in front of Gimli and he feels so left out''.
Celine didn't say anything else and went upstairs to find the hat. Sebastian was still laughing. And it was a perfect opportunity for Matilde to question him without Celine's presence.
''Have you told Celine that you have feelings for her?''
Sebastian had the decency of looking surprised,
''I don't know what you're talking about but you sound like Jeremy and Anthony. We are not in love, we're just sharing a house for a while'' and a bed, he thought. But that wasn't something that Matilde needed to know.
''Do you even believe in what you are saying? Sebby, you're a good actor but a terrible liar. Everyone notices you're in love with Celine. Just tell her, my gut tells me she feels the same way, but that's something we'll never know. Making Celine confess is out of the question. I think even Elemauzer would talk before her''.
''Matilde, you should be a fantasy writer. The fanfiction went straight to your head''.
Matilde couldn't believe how headstrong he was. He kept denying things that were obvious. And she knew that Celine would rather jump to the Thames before admitting that she had feelings for someone. Matilde prayed that Sebastian was the exception to the rule.
''Sebby, let me tell you one more thing'' the only thing Sebastian wanted to know was when this torture was going to end ''You two act like a married couple, don't come at me with excuses''.
''We got married in secret, I forgot to tell you'' he said, sarcastically. Before the conversation got out of hand Celine was back with a white square box that she gave to Matilde.
''Be careful with it, it's one of my favourite ones. Do I help you to get ready?''
''No, because I know you'll bring this...'' she pointed to Sebastian who had a smirk on his face ''...with you''.
After Matilde left Sebastian and Celine stood watching through the window from time to time. It seemed that the ones who were going to a date were them.
''I think it's him, Cez''.
Celine went towards Sebastian, who was spying hiding behind the curtains. They saw a beautiful Aston Martin parking outside of Matilde's.
When Sebastian saw Edmund he was a bit disappointed. For all the aristocratic hype he was nothing out of this world. He was thin and shorter than Celine, with a serious looking face. He looked just like a geography teacher done with the world.
''Let's get closer'' without a care in the world she went outside, closely followed by Sebastian.
They opened the door at the same time as Matilde (who was wearing a flowery dress and Celine's hat that looked really weird on her) got out. Knowing that she had been seen, she had no other option than going out and say hi. Sebastian followed her with a smug smile and a hand on her back.
''Doctor Cadwallader?'' Edmund asked with a crisped voice. He was not expecting to find her there, taking someone else as his date. What he didn't know as that Celine didn't care about it at all.
''Hello, Edmund'' knowing that she couldn't ignore Sebastian's presence she decided to introduce him. ''And this is...''
Of course he didn't let her finish.
''I'm Sebastian. Celine's fiancee'' Celine saw this one coming so she didn't even flinch.
Matilde gasped and poor Edmund was panicking. Celine felt bad for him. He was probably mentally punishing himself for daring to ask out an engaged woman.
''I'm Edmund Walsingham-Spencer'' everyone could see that he was super intimidated by Sebastian who was at least two heads taller and his biceps were hard to ignore. Celine wanted to take Edmund out of his misery and almost regretted going out of the house to gossip.
Matilde could clearly see that Sebastian hadn't forgiven Edmund for daring to ask Celine out. If he was going to get mad at everyone who looked at Celine with more than friendly intentions, she wondered why he didn't ask her out himself once and for all. Matilde knew that Celine only had eyes for him, even though she will never admit it.
''Let's go, Edmund we're late'' she glanced at Celine and Sebastian who clearly trying to keep an straight face.
''Oh, yes, yes, sorry'' Edmund mumbled. ''Nice to see you, Doctor Cadwallader and nice to meet you, Sebastian''.
''Likewise'' Sebastian nodded. ''Have fun, Matilde'' he winked and Matilde found hard not to show him the middle finger.
Only when they left he dared to laugh.
''I don't know if I like him. He reminds me of a depressed teacher''
Celine couldn't believe how shameless he was.
''You're unbelievable. You terrorised him. He's probably swallowing on the fact that he asked out an engaged woman whose fiancee is a Marvel superhero who can crack him in half in two seconds. Poor guy''.
''I liked his last name. Walsingham-Spencer sounds good''.
''Are you planning on marrying him, Seb?''
''No, but you could have done it''. now that the danger was over it was easy to tease Celine about Edmund. ''Celine Walsingham-Spencer sounds good. Your name sounds good with literally any last name.''
''Walsingham-Spencer is painfully posh. And I'm not changing my last name for anything in the world''.
Sebastian giggled and followed Celine back inside the house.
''I still think Matilde fits more with someone like Tom''. Celine looked at him as if he were crazy.
''And we both know that's impossible''
''Cez, stop making holes in my ship!''
''Stop with that nonsense and get ready for the basketball'' she cut him off and pushed him upstairs.

 

Chapter Text

A month had passed and it was time to face reality. The last months had been something out of ordinary for Celine, Sebastian and Matilde but it was coming to an end. For the girls the change was not as enormous as for Sebastian: they were staying in their homes in the same city with the same jobs. For Sebastian it was a challenge. He had gotten used to London, its people and the company. Most of all he had got used to Celine. He didn’t feel as he was leaving a family member or a friend behind, he felt as he was leaving his heart behind.
Of course he had not told any of this to Celine but she had noticed something. A week before his departure he had been more silent than what was normal in him and she had caught him staring at the empty space. But there was nothing he could do, he had to go back.
‘’I’ll be back in November, Cez. I promise, you won’t miss me’’
Celine had taken her morning off to go with him to Heathrow. Matilde had said goodbye to him in the morning and both of them were a flood of tears. At least Sebastian knew that Celine was not going to cry because that was not something he could bear. Bless Celine’s unemotional self.
‘’Sadly I won’t have time for this. Just kidding, I’ll miss you lots’’
He had his arm wrapped around Celine’s shoulders, the last thing he wanted was to let it go.
“Don’t talk, Cez, you’ll make me cry again. I don’t really want to leave, this is a terrible idea. Let’s go back home and forget about this. I’ll call my manager and arrange something.’’
Celine snapped her fingers in front of his face.
‘’Remember when you didn’t want to come to Britain in the first place? Well, this is the same. You know this was going to happen. It’s not for forever, you’ll be back in November.’’
‘’And I’ll have to leave again and I honestly hate it’’.
She ran her hand through his chest to soothe him. She understood him completely after all she had to leave her own family when she was just seventeen with the perspective of not seeing them for nine years. That didn’t mean that saying goodbye to Sebastian was easy but she needed to be strong for him, to show him confidence, motivate him to do the right thing instead of letting him be frozen by fear. After all he was just afraid of changes.
‘’You shouldn’t worry about that’’.
‘’Come with me, Cez’’ he looked at her with sad eyes.
‘’You know I can’t. I have a job to keep, I don’t really want to be homeless and unemployed’’
‘’You won’t be homeless, you’ll be with me. I’ll take care of you’’.
Celine smiled at him, knowing that he was probably joking at that moment. She didn’t know how serious he was being at that moment.
‘’I wouldn’t give you the responsibility of taking care of my heavy self. Even my mother gave up on that’’.
At least Celine made him smile a little.
The spent the next minutes in silence. He was running a hand through her hair and she had her hands on his chest, next to his heart.
''I think it’s time, Seb’’ Celine knew that if she didn’t push him on he was never going to leave.
‘’Cez, take care, please. Don’t overwork yourself too much and eat well, please Cez’’ she just nodded.
‘’Seb, if you need me, just call. It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of the night or if I’m at work. If the Prime Minister sacks me it'll be totally your fault. I'm just kidding''.
He hugged her tightly and then kissed her on the cheek.
‘’And whatever you need I’m just one call away. If you need me I’ll be here faster than you can say ‘Bucky’’’.
‘’You’re unbelievable. You know you’ll always have a home in London, just count with it’’
‘’You’re my home, Cez’’.
Celine rolled her eyes and pushed him on.
‘’Stop being melodramatic and move. You’re missing your plane’’.
‘’That was my intention’’.
Celine facepalmed.. She couldn’t believe he was being so difficult. She grabbed his arm and got him in the queue.
‘’Go and get them, tiger’’ she whispered to him as a joke.
‘’Celine! You know perfectly well that I’m not Spiderman. That’s Holland’s job, not mine. And that quote was from the first Spiderman with Tobey Maguire who wasn't part of the MCU''.
‘’Yeah, yeah, whatever. You’re all the same thing...’’ Celine couldn't understand anything of what he had just said.
‘’What are you even talking about, Cez?’’
‘’Nothing’’ she had to keep herself from laughing at seeing the man who was behind Sebastian in the queue looking at him in a irritated way. ‘’Bye Mighty Seb, love you’’.
‘’Love you too, Doctor Cadwallader’’.
Without giving much thoughts at his last words, she waved at him one more time before turning around. She was not sad of melancholic, she just felt a bit empty.

Manhattan, New York


When Sebastian arrived to New York, many hours later he still had the feeling that he was making a big mistake. His modern apartment wasn’t cosy like Celine’s and the fact that he was lonelier than her didn’t help. At least she had Elemauzer and Matilde next door.
He looked around. Everything was so unfamiliar. The pictures in the walls belonged to another age, to a time in his life when Celine wasn’t in it. He wanted to destroy the frames with a hammer, if he had one.
He didn’t waste any time in erasing those parts of his life that were unnecessary. There were reminders of people he didn’t even remember anymore, friends he never saw again, family members he didn’t remember their names and even former girlfriends. Those things were better left in the trash.
After a couple of hours the job was done. He had taken time to print some pictures of the new memories he had made in London. Matilde’s blond hair could be seen in a number of pictures as well as Max and Leah in a couple of ones, but it was Celine who was basically everywhere. There was the famous picture of the two of them at Glastonbury, some others around London and the one he had taken of Celine at Buckingham Palace, with the white roses at her back. But his absolute favourite was one in which she was smiling in a sort of mischievous way with her dark brown hair covering a part of her face. This picture was now at his bedside.
So it was time to rest, listen to some music and stop thinking for a while. He was sure that Celine would laugh if he saw him there, behaving like a lovesick puppy.
‘’Celine...’’ he mumbled when he saw his playlists. It was evident that she had ‘organised’ his music and added new songs he had never heard about before. There was a playlist with the name “Welcome to New York’’ that included a Taylor Swift song with the same name (and he didn't even like Taylor Swift in the first place) and Ed Sheeran’s New York, among others. He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when he saw one with the name “London Calling’’.
A week had passed and for Sebastian it had been one of the longest he could remember. It seemed to never end. The only thing he wanted was September and October to be over. And he was doing all he could to keep himself busy, he talked to Celine every day (but he never called her while she was at work or too late at night), met up with some friends (and had to make use of his best acting abilities to convince them the he was glad to be back when the only thing he wanted to leave again) and he also went to visit his mum. And he couldn’t fool her, in a minute she had seen that something was wrong with him and he had had no other option than to confess everything to her, his feelings towards Celine and everything he had not told to anyone else. Her best advice was to ‘go and tell her everything’. It was a tempting thing to follow.
On Wednesday he was eating some of the sweets Celine had given him. He didn’t have many left. New York by Ed Sheeran was blasting at full volume. The song matched his mood, nostalgic and lovesick. He was restraining himself to not start singing out loud when he heard a couple of knocks on his door.
‘’It’s open!’’ Sebastian knew it was Anthony as he had texted before, asking if they could meet. Sebastian wasn’t in the mood to go out so he had invited him home.
‘’You’re certainly quite the sight’’ was the first thing Anthony said when he saw his friend, surrounded by empty packets of sweets and listening to Ed Sheeran on repeat. ‘’Are you getting into character for your next movie?’’.
Sebastian shot a cold glance to Anthony and turned off the music.
‘’My next film is Avengers 4 and it's not being shot until January, as you know pretty well’’.
‘’So what are you doing here, being pitiful?’’ Anthony had already guessed that all of this had something to do with Celine and leaving her back in London.
‘’Regretting all my life choices’’ Sebastian his eyes fixed in an empty spot on the wall.
Anthony rolled his eyes. So Sebastian was being heavy and melodramatic. This was going to be entertaining.
‘’Apart from that’’
‘’I have to go to the Emmys this weekend, to present an award. All the way to bloody Los Angeles. Then I have to audition to things I wanted back in February and I don’t want anymore’’
‘’So why did you agree to go to the Emmys if you were going to be all whiny about it?’’
Sebastian finished his packet of sweets and opened another one.
‘’Because I wanted, back in February, before all this. Back then I knew I was leaving to London and I expected to be back in six months, fresh, renewed and with a British accent. I had no bloody idea that I was going to fall in love with a Welsh historian I met in a bookshop’’.
‘’When you say it like that it sounds pretty surreal’’ Anthony couldn’t stop grinning. At last he was admitting something everyone already knew. The show was getting interesting. He wondered what was the problem. Maybe she didn't love him back. He didn't know Celine very well but for the little he could see, that woman was something else.
‘’This wasn’t supposed to happen, Anthony. What are the chances of meeting someone like Celine in this industry? And the chances of someone like Celine being interested in someone like me? Who cares, what’s done it’s done’’.
For Anthony it was hard to keep a straight face. He was being so extra it was funny.
‘’I don’t get the problem here’’.
Sebastian looked at him as if he couldn’t believe what he was saying.
‘’We’re talking about Celine. She doesn’t want or need a relationship with me or with anybody else. I doubt she had even thought about this stuff before''.
‘’How do you know that?’’ Anthony still didn’t get Sebastian’s tantrum ‘’You’re jumping into conclusions there’’.
‘’I know her, Anthony! Better than anyone and that’s why I’m into this mess. I know how amazing she is inside this rough and intimidating exterior. I would sacrifice everything for her and you know what? She wouldn’t let me because she loves me for who I am.’’
Anthony thought that there was something that didn’t make sense in Sebastian’s story.
‘’So, if you love her and she loves you why you two are not together?’’ Anthony thought that Sebastian was making everything seem more complicated when it really wasn’t.
‘’She loves me but as a friend or as a brother. She thinks romantic relationships are overrated and a waste of time and I don’t think I’m the exception to this rule’’.
At last Anthony could see the problem. But he was sure that Sebastian was exaggerating. For what he knew Sebastian was the exception to Celine’s every rule. The only thing he had to do was to tell everything to her.
‘’Nice woman to fall in love’’ Anthony mumbled. ‘’Of all the people in the world you had to fall for the one who doesn’t want a relationship with you. If I were in your place I would bang my head to a wall’’.
‘’It wasn’t planned, Anthony.’’ Sebastian was losing his patience, again. ‘’Yes, I liked her from the beginning and then we became perfect friends which was fine, to be honest. And suddenly one day I was on the floor. Do you want a Malteser?’’
‘’Eh?”
‘’I take that back, this is my last packet. But you can have a Freddo’’
Only in the last moment Anthony caught the little packet with a frog on it that Sebastian had thrown him.
‘’But I have a question’’ Anthony was eating the Freddo and at the same time curiosity was eating him ‘’If Celine thinks that relationships are stupid, does that mean that she never had one before?’’ that would be quite surprising.
‘’Believe it or not, it’s not the case’’ Sebastian smirked ‘’She had a boyfriend back in her Cambridge days. It lasted less than two weeks. His name was Danny, I think. The thing is, she dumped the poor devil with no regrets because she felt nothing for him and her priority was her studies. It was more an experiment than anything. That’s Celine’s whole relationship experience. Oh, and she also cancelled a date with the poor guy to see how one of her friends got his underwear burnt in a bonfire because he had lost a bet.''
Anthony didn’t have much to say. He had no useful piece of advise to give to Sebastian. He didn’t know Celine as much as Sebastian did but all he knew was that she and Sebastian were complex people that somehow fitted together.
Anthony took a look around Sebastian’s apartment. It looked quite different than the last time he had been there. He looked closely at a picture of Celine, surrounded by roses.
‘’She’s really pretty’’ he commented to Sebastian who was once again lost in his thoughts. ‘’I haven’t noticed before because her personality stroke me first. But she’s pleasant to look at and looks in peace with herself’’.
He looked at her again. The woman wasn’t notorious at all but no one would call her plain. She looked confident and based on what he knew about her, she was.
‘’She’s in peace with the world and emotionally stable. For anything in the world I want to break this. And yes, she’s beautiful.’’
‘’She has this smart look that makes her attractive. She’s a mixture of Hermione Granger and that woman that married the English prince. I don’t remember her name.’’
‘’Kate Middleton’’ Sebastian mumbled. ‘’Yes...’’ he added after seeing Anthony’s smirk. ‘’I know all their names. I lived in London for the past months and I became quite a fan of the Royal Family. Remember I was at the Globe Theatre for year like ten years ago so I'm quite familiar with the Brits.''
Anthony didn't know if he was being sarcastic or not.
‘’Really Sebastian, you have nothing to lose. The next time you see her tell her everything. Just man up and don’t miss this chance, please’’.
‘’You don’t listen, Anthony? Celine’s the kind of person who never believed in Santa or in the tooth fairy and basically in anything that she can’t see. She’s still like that. Why should she believe in love?’’
Anthony rolled his eyes. Sebastian sometimes was quite a handful. Good luck to Celine with this.
‘’Easy. Because love is not Santa. You can show her that’s real and you should do it. Go ahead, there’s nothing to fear you know her well I’m pretty sure something beautiful is going to come out of this’’.
He didn’t know what else he could say to lift Sebastian’s spirits. Anthony was relieved when he saw him smile.
‘’Anthony, if I fail I’m going to hate you forever’’.
The spend the rest of the evening gossiping about some people they knew, Chris Evans, for example. Anthony had the latest gossip in the subject and he had learn that had developed the new habit of going to the public library to read.
‘’...apparently he was impressed with Celine’’ commented Anthony “So now he wants to find someone like her. And believe it or not, he did’’
“Too sad there’s only one Celine’’ Sebastian knew that he was being childish but at that moment it wasn’t important.
‘’Well this woman has a major in French Literature’’ Anthony added.
Sebastian laughed.
‘’And Celine has two doctorates. But good try Evans’’.
Anthony rolled his eyes again. Sebastian was in an impossible mood that day. He decided it was better to leave him alone with his lovesickness.
‘’Do you know what Anthony? I think she’s the one I’ll marry. Actually, I want to marry her’’ Anthony looked at him as if he were crazy. If Celine was so reluctant of relationships, he'd doubted that she'd marry Sebastian one day ‘’You know, I had a lot of time to daydream and I had even imagined if our kids will have my eyes or hers. Which is pointless because Celine hates children.’’
Anthony was starting to believe that he was losing his mind.
‘’Sebastian, do whatever your heart tells you it’s right and don’t do things you’ll regret. See you later, mate’’.
‘’See you later, Anthony’’
He waited for Anthony to leave and then he laughed. It came easy to him to act a bit emotionally unstable and exaggerated. With a better mood he decided to play the ‘London Calling’ playlist. When ‘Chelsea Dagger’ started to blast throughout his apartment he couldn’t help but to smile.

London, England

 

On Saturday Celine and Matilde were both at the latter’s house. There were laughing non stop with an episode of The Big Bang Theory that Matilde had showed to Celine and surprisingly she had loved it.
The day had been pretty calm. The had watched Real Madrid and then the first season of The Big Bang Theory. Celine had laughed like never before. She didn’t know if it was because of the series that were really funny or that painkiller she had taken had left her giddy.
The story about why she had to take a painkiller was not so long. The day before she and Matilde had decided to celebrate the weekend and the good weather and they had gone to the Kensington Gardens tennis courts. It had been a bad idea as both of them were terrible at it. Matilde had ended up with a bruised knee and Celine almost dislocating her shoulder. And by the next day it had swollen and hurt a lot.
‘’I love this show’’ Celine giggled. ‘’Leonard reminds me a bit of Sebastian and I’m a mixture between Sheldon and Penny’’.
‘’Why Penny?’’ Matilde asked, giggling.
‘’Because she asks stupid questions and so do I. Like the time I asked Sebastian why Superman wasn’t in the Avengers. I though his head was going to explode’’.
Matilde laughed harder. It was typical of Celine to confuse Marvel and DC in ways that no one was capable of doing. It was impossible to her to see any difference until Matilde had told her that Marvel was like Real Madrid and DC like Barcelona, two different rival teams that couldn’t be mixed.
‘’He said that not even a monkey would ask these question’’ Matilde giggled again and Celine laughed so hard that she rolled from the couch straight to the floor, landing with her injured shoulder.
As they were done watching the TV show, Matilde had played some pop music that Celine, of course didn’t know.
‘’What is this mess?’’ she asked while going to the kitchen to make herself some tea.
‘’DJ Khaled’’ answered Matilde as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
‘’I had noticed that. He shouts his name every two seconds’’ Celine was grateful that after knocking herself to the ground she had stopped giggling. And the pain in her shoulder had returned.
‘’DJ Khaleeeeeeeed’’ sung Matilde making Celine change her facial expression to one of confusion.
‘’Are you sure that you didn’t put weed in your tea?’’ she asked in all seriousness.
Somehow that made Matilde laugh harder. Only when she was done they could talk with normality.
‘’Have you heard of Sebastian lately?’’
‘’Yes, yesterday night. He was in a much better mood. I think he’d got used to being back in New York. At least he doesn’t have those weird ideas of escaping anymore. And tomorrow he has the Emmys so he’ll have to go to LA for a couple of days.’’
‘’Maybe he met someone’’ said Matilde studying her friend’s expression carefully. It was a bit disappointing that Celine’s expression didn’t change.
‘’If that’s the case, I’m not informed’ Celine could taste a bitter taste in her mouth that had nothing to do with the tea. But she remained unmoved and careless.
‘’What would you do if he gets a girlfriend?’’ Celine realized right there that Matilde was testing her. She wanted Celine to lose it, betray herself and blurt out every single feeling she had for Sebastian. But that was never going to happen. Even if she had the urgent need to smash the cup of tea to the floor, her facial expression didn’t betray her internal turmoil.
‘’That’d be none of my business. I’m here to support him, not to be petty.’’ She was talking in a really careless way. Celine was convinced that this piece of acting would earn Sebastian’s admiration. At least she was learning a bit from him.
Matilde looked at her one more time. There was not a sign on her face that indicated that what she was saying wasn’t true.
‘’Don’t worry about that, it won’t ever happen. I don’t think he has eyes for something else that’s not you. You’ll marry him someday, mark my words’’ Celine just rolled her eyes ‘’I can see it. Mr. and Dr. Stan. That’d be great’’.
This time Celine genuinely chocked with the tea.
‘’You’re definitely stoned, Matilde. There’s no way you’re actually thinking this. I won’t marry Sebastian and even if I did... Do I have to repeat this again? I will be Dr. Cadwallader until the day I die’’.
Matilde laughed at Celine’s unbelievable pride. Teasing her was the best thing ever.
‘’You should open an Instagram and exchange cute messages with him. That’d be remarkable’’.
Celine didn’t even looked angry. She was just done with everything.
‘’I prefer to marry him, then divorce him than marrying him again rather signing into the creepy social media club. It’s useless and I don’t have time for that’’. Celine poured another cup of tea. She didn’t want to admit that her shoulder pained her a lot.
‘’And you can follow his steps. Look at what he posted yesterday’’ she showed to an uninterested Celine a picture of the London skyline on Sebastian’s Instagram.
‘’Oh, he misses’’ Celine said with fake pity. ‘’But there’s no need to tell it to the world’’ Celine took another glance to the picture ‘’And that’s his username?’’ she asked with curiosity ‘’Simple imsebastianstan? I thought it was something weirder like MightySeb, SuperSeb82 or StanTheMan’’
It took a while to Matilde to stop laughing. Sometime Celine could be hilarious, with that sour sense if humour of hers.
They spent some more time talking about random things before calling it a night.
‘’So, were going to see Chelsea tomorrow?” asked Matilde when Celine was putting on her jacket, with some difficulty.
‘’Yes but we’ll have to go to Emirates stadium, we’re playing away. The tickets were a bit expensive but it I’m not missing London’s Derby for anything’’ Emirates was Arsenal’s stadium which was located on the other side of London. But a match between two teams of the same city was always attractive.
‘’Do we leave at midday?’’
‘’Yes. The match starts at two but it’ll be good to be there before’’.
It was almost eleven p.m when Celine came back home. She had asked Matilde for the second season of The Big Bang Theory to watch alone. But she went straight to bed because she was tired and also wanted to wake up early to finish stuff from work.
It was true that she missed Sebastian more than she admitted to herself. She missed him being the first thing she saw every morning, when he asked her how her day had been, their conversations and how he would wrap an arm around her waist every night.
But it was useless to think about that. They would see each other in November, that was settled. For now her plans were to see Chelsea and wish them to win.

 

Chapter Text

By the next morning Celine’s melancholy had disappeared but the pain in her shoulder was still there, more present than ever.

Without many difficulties she finished her work, while listening to a Queen album, the glorious A Kind of Magic, one of Celine’s favourites.
After having a breakfast that consisted in cookies and tea, she was ready for the football. As it was a bit cold, she decided not to wear her Chelsea jersey and instead she settled for the team’s scarf.
At midday, she and Matilde were on the way to the tube and less than hour later they were walking towards Emirates stadium.
‘’It looks like it’ll rain’’ commented Matilde, looking at the grey clouds.
‘’It always rains. We’re in London. I hope it holds on for a couple of hours. I don’t want to end the day soaked to the bone. The only thing I need is to catch a cold’’.
Matilde and Celine found their seats in the middle of the section reserved to the Chelsea fans. Half an hour later they were both shouting like crazy when Alvaro Morata from Chelsea scored the second goal. Celine even forgot about the pain in her shoulder.
‘’You know I bloody love Morata. He used to play in Real Madrid that’s why he’s so good!’’ Celine shouted.
‘’I know, I’m not Sebastian!’’ shouted Matilde. ‘’Yeah, well done man!’’ she yelled when the player went to celebrate his goal near the Chelsea fans.
By the half Celine, who was full of adrenaline was singing Chelsea Dagger at the top of her lungs.
‘’I don’t know why are they playing this song, it's Chelsea’s lucky song the bloody morons’’ she yelled. ‘’It seems that here at Arsenal they want us to win.’’
Matilde was very entertained filming a video.
‘’I’m sending this to Sebby, so he can see what he’s missing’’ she said ‘’He Sebby, we’re watching football!’’ she turned around the camera to film the pitch and some of the fans ‘’And here’s your Celine!’’
Celine waved at the camera.
‘’Hi Seb! We’re winning!’’ then she sang ‘’Suck it Arsenal! Suuuuuuck! It! Arseeenal! You bloody idiots!’’ she shouted.
‘’Hey guys’’ Matilde called the fans that we’re around them ‘’Can you greet my friend who’s on the States and missing all of this?’’
A loud choir of ‘Yeahs’ and ‘Woos’ came from the multitude. Even some Arsenal fans that were around cheered.
The second half went by in what it seemed like seconds. Chelsea scored another goal and Celine and Matilde cheered loudly, with the rest of the Chelsea fans.
‘’That was spectacular’’ commented Celine when they were leaving the stadium towards the tube station. ‘”Thankfully it didn’t rain’’.
They both looked to the sky. They were surprised than it wasn’t raining yet but they both agreed that whenever it decided to rain it was not going to stop.
When reached Celine’s house, the raindrops were starting to fall. Celine started to make the teas, mixing her with lemon as her throat was soar as it usually was after watching football.
‘’Any plans for tonight?’’ asked Celine when she gave the tea to Matilde.
Surprisingly, Matilde looked quite unhappy.
‘’Yes, mum’s dropping by mine in an hour’’ Celine didn’t understand her friend’s face. Matilde’s mum was pretty chill and had an excellent relationship with her daughter. ‘’With my grandmother’’ then Celine understood.
‘’Ouch’’ she winced ‘’Just don’t let her get under your skin’’.
‘’She’s so bloody old fashioned. She keeps telling me that I should settle down’’ at that moment Celine felt very lucky. At least she didn’t have someone trying to impose their ideas on herself. ‘’She still can’t understand why I stopped seeing Edmund. I mean, he was kind and gentle but so bloody boring. And also terrified of your boyfriend.’’
Celine rolled her eyes. After that infamous Polo match Matilde and Edmund had gone out a couple of times afterwards which left Celine and Sebastian very amused. And every time Edmund would ask Matilde, textually, if ‘’Mr. Stan is still angry at me’’ followed by an string of apologies for asking Celine out and he didn’t want any kind of trouble. Basically, he was crawling for Sebastian’s forgiveness. Sebastian himself had found that fantastic.
‘’He’s not my boyfriend’’ Celine repeated once again, she knew it was going to be useless ‘’However, yes, he’s kinda boring. You need someone more colourful’’ she didn’t tell her that Sebastian wanted to set her up with Tom Holland. Celine knew that if she did that, she was going to lose her mind. Sometimes Sebastian had those ideas that made Celine lose faith in humanity.
‘’Do you miss him?’’ Matilde asked with her eyebrows raised ‘’Because I do’’.
‘’Me too’’ Celine looked sad for only a moment ‘’But we’re seeing him in November, there’s no need to despair’’.
‘’It’s been just ten days’’
Celine knew that also.
‘’I don’t even know in what you use the Internet’’ Matilde suddenly asked, changing the topic.
‘’I listen to music?’’ Celine wasn’t expecting such a trivial question but it was much better than the inquiries about Sebastian’s love life that made Celine want to throw a stone at her own window. ‘’I watch Ted talks? My monthly subscription to the Science magazine?’’
‘’Only you prefer to read about atoms instead of lurking on Instagram. And it’s not even your subject of study’’.
‘’You never lose the love for learning’’ mumbled Celine a bit distracted because she was trying to toast some bread without burning it. At seeing this potential catastrophe, Matilde decide to take charge.
After a while Matilde had to leave. She would have preferred to hide in Celine’s house for the night but she also didn’t want to disappoint her mother and her grandmother. Celine was so lucky at not having to worry at family expectations. After all, she was a Doctor, Matilde doubted that someone in Celine’s family had any complains about it.
‘’Are you watching Sebby on the Emmy’s later?’’
‘’Maybe if I bear to stay awake. It’s on the middle of the night and tomorrow I have to be up early’’ she really wanted to see Sebastian presenting an award but she didn’t want to feel like a zombie on the next morning ‘’Matilde, if you need to runaway from your grandmother just come here. I’ll be watching The Big Bang Theory and eating cookies, you’ll be welcome’’
‘’Thank you’’ Matilde opened the door and looked at the downpour on the outside ‘’Oh drat’’ she complained.
‘’You live next door. You won’t get soaked if you hurry’’ Celine pushed Matilde out then she took out her head, smiled a little and closed the door.
After finishing with her tea, Celine decide to change her clothes for something more comfortable. After all she was having a lazy day, it was heavily raining and everything. It was perfect. She found some old comfortable jeans to wear (as she hated to wear sweatpants during the day) and a sweatshirt with the words ‘’I survived my trip to NYC’’. She guessed it was one of Sebastian’s clothes that he had forgot to take as she had never survived a trip to NYC or gone there in the first place.
She took a big packet if cookies and a cup of tea to the living room then looked through the window at the street. It was still down pouring but the atmosphere was beautiful. It reminded Celine of the old times, back at her old town. Whenever it rained her father used to bake bread or cookies while Celine read a book. That was a part of her childhood that she never wanted to forget.
Before starting to watch the show she glanced at her phone. There was no messages or missed calls but that meant anything. She wasn’t expecting Sebastian to call as he was in LA getting ready for the Emmys. However she couldn’t help to think about him and the weird idea of bringing Celine to New York. Celine had to admit that the idea was laughable. Yes, she missed him but she had nothing to do in New York apart from spending all her life savings, that weren't much to begin with.
She was lying on the couch, watching the show, eating biscuits with Elemauzer on her chest (surprisingly the cat was in the mood for cuddling, most of the time he ran away when Celine tried to touch him), when knocks on her door distracted her.
Laughing to herself she looked at the time. An hour. That was what Matilde had lasted in the company of her grandmother. This was a new record, the last time she had lasted less than half an hour before hiding at Celine’s.
Carefully, she moved Elemauzer from her chest but the cat looked angrily at her and left the couch. Chuckling, she went to open the door. Poor Matilde, her grandmother had probably annoyed her again. Celine never understood why some people put so much pressure into others to settle down. At least her mother wasn’t like that, for her academic achievements and work were always first. And also, she was a thousand of miles away.
Celine hurried up as it was still pouring rain and she didn’t want Matilde to get soaked. Maybe she had some extraordinary piece of news to tell her. But, almost certainly, it was just a flood of complains about her grandmother.
‘’What are you doing here?!’’ she yelled when she opened the door. If she had had something in her hands she would have dropped it.
‘’Hi, Cez. I missed you too’’ said Sebastian, who looked as if he had gone to the Thames for a swim.
‘’But... What? When?... Sebastian, what on earth...?’’ Celine wasn’t able to move. Nothing of that made any sense. Sebastian was supposed to be at Emmys not at her doorstep.
‘’Can you let me in?’’ he looked at her with that innocent smile that Celine missed so much ‘’There’s no part of me that’s dry right now’’.
Celine moved from the door, still a bit dumbfounded. Her lazy evening had gone from zero to a hundred in less than a minute.
‘’You have some explaining to do. But first go and change, I don’t want you to get sick. I’ll make you tea’’ she looked at him. He looked tired but very happy. And soaked. ‘’And what are you doing here?’’.
‘’I was going to leave for LA but I ended up in London by accident’’ before she could say a word more he ran upstairs.
‘’You’re unbelievable!’’ Celine yelled.
Celine couldn’t stop smiling while making the tea. She wasn’t expecting him to come back after ten days but she was not complaining. Now that she had him there she realised how much she loved his company and how much she needed him.
Some minutes later he was back. He looked warm and soft and only his hair was wet.
‘’I owe you a hug’’ Celine looked at him, still smiling.
A second later he had her between his arms, something he had daydreamed for ten days. Celine had her head on his chest thinking that she wanted to stay there forever. It was peaceful, warm and safe. It was home. She could hear the beat of his heart which was calming and relaxing.
‘’I missed you’’ he mumbled with his head buried in her hair. The Celine he loved so much, with her typical essence of expensive shampoo and a hint of Burberry perfume.
‘’Now you have to explain’’ Celine gave her a warm cup of tea and looked directly at his eyes. ‘’I still don’t understand what are you doing in London, why didn’t you tell me you were coming and why you appeared in my doorstep soaked to the bones’’
He shot her a little mischievous smile.
‘’I was really going to go to LA but I changed my mind in the last minute and I changed my ticket. I have my reasons, believe me. And I was going to call you, Cez but when I got to Heathrow I opened Matilde’s weird video of you two in the stadium and my phone died.’’ he looked at her with another smile ‘’Suck it Arsenal? Really Cez? The proud Doctor Cadwallader couldn’t come up with anything better than ‘Suck it Arsenal’?’’
Celine rolled her eyes.
‘’You know what I become when I watch football, Seb. The dragon inside of me wakes up. After all, I’m Welsh, dragons are our national emblem.’’
‘’Really?’’ Sebastian still had his mischievous smile ‘’I thought it was sheep’’.
Celine looked at him with her eyes wide open and a fake offended expression.
‘’You’ll regret this, Stan. What are Romanians? Vampires?’’ she was thinking about Count Dracula.
‘’At least we’re sexier than sheep’’ he moved his head to the side in a seductive manner. Celine just shook her head.
‘’No, you’re not. Vampires lost all their dignity after that awful Twilight film that Matilde likes. What kind of Vamp are you Seb? The one who sparkle with the sun?’’
‘’You’re right, Cez. Sheep are better’’ he said, laughing. ‘’And that film has the worst plot in history’’ he laughed even harder which made Celine laugh too.
‘’And why does Matilde like all the cringes?’’ she asked with a bit of difficulty as she was laughing so hard.
Sebastian couldn’t even answer. He had his face buried in his arms.
‘’Remember when...’’ he burst out laughing again ‘’...she wanted to take us... to see the Emoji movie’’
Celine was almost falling from the chair and Sebastian was close to tears.
‘’...and she took Max and Leah...’’ Celine tried to regain her composure but it was impossible.
‘’Poor souls’’ Sebastian burst out laughing again.
There were in that state for some more time. If only Matilde knew that at that moment Celine and Sebastian were cracking their ribs laughing at her film preferences.
‘’Your hair’s still wet. Let me dry it’’ she disappeared from the kitchen, still giggling.
Sebastian stood there, catching his breath and drinking his tea. Celine was back a minute later with a blow drier.
‘’You’re not really doing this’’ he told her with questioning eyes. He felt a bit spoiled from time to time but he wasn’t complaining.
‘’I don’t want you to catch a cold. And I love to touch your hair, wet or dry’’ he felt a blow of hot air right at his face. ‘’Now you have to tell me why you appeared all soaked. Did you came walking all the way from Heathrow? Do you know of the existence of taxis, Seb?’’
‘’You’re a real sweetheart, Cez.’’ He said sarcastically. ‘’Actually, the story is quite embarrassing’’ it was hard to concentrate with Celine running her hand through his hair. ‘’I took the tube but I confused the line and I ended up in Hammersmith’’
Celine laughed out loud.
‘’No, you didn’t’’ she kept laughing. ‘’After six months in London, Seb. This is unbelievable’’.
‘’That’s not the point. After leaving the station I noticed that I was in a complete different place. Don’t blame me, Cez. I was tired and I just wanted to come home’’ he was enjoying the feeling of Celine caressing his head plus the hot air from the blow drier ‘’So I had to come back to the station and at the second try I got to the right place. But the station is a bit far from here, so that answers your question’’.
‘’And why didn’t you took a taxi?’’
Sebastian laughed at himself.
‘’I never thought of that’’ he admitted, feeling like an idiot.
After finishing, Celine left the blow drier on the table and Sebastian, taking advantage of her movement, spun her around and sat her on his lap.
‘’What are you doing?’’ she asked, laughing. She was used to Sebastian’s sudden attacks of touchiness.
‘’Being a happy man’’ he left his head rest on her shoulder. ‘’You know, when I was walking from the station, it was really nice to see your window from the distance and knowing you were home.’’
‘’You’re so melodramatic’’ she looked at Sebastian who was dozing off. ‘’You’re tired. We should go to bed’’
She jumped from his lap and ran upstairs with Sebastian lazily following her.
Celine ran around her bedroom putting some random things into places which made the pain on her shoulder (that thanks to Chelsea’s match and Sebastian’s sudden appearance she had forgot about) come back.
‘’I see that you’re still wearing my clothes’’ he commented.
‘’I’m not planning to’’ she mumbled with a pained expressing that Sebastian noticed.
‘’What’s wrong?’’ he asked, a bit worried.
She smiled innocently at him.
‘’I almost dislocated my shoulder trying to play tennis with Matilde’’ she had never noticed how pathetic that story sounded. ‘’We’re terrible, really’’.
‘’Ten days. I leave for ten days and you managed to almost snatch off your own arm. I can’t believe it’’
‘’Well, I survived 27 years before meeting you’’ she shot him a cocky grin. ‘’Nine of them alone at Cambridge’’
‘’Yeah, throwing rocks at your own face, falling off bikes because of riding down of a hill without brakes and feeding yourself with Nandos and snacks. Healthy. Now take your shirt off’’.
Celine laughed out loud.
‘’Whoa, whoa mate. You’re going straight to the point without hesitation. That’s how I like it. Do want me to put on the satin, Seb?’’ she chucked.
Sebastian looked at with exasperation.
‘’Cez, not everything is a joke. I want to see your shoulder. Maybe it’s swollen or you really dislocated it. Take your shirt off, please’’.
She was not shy at all to be in just a bra in front of Sebastian but she was more humiliated about the fact that he believed that she couldn’t survive without him. After all, it was Sebastian who had come back running to her after just ten days, not the other way round.
‘’I feel like a stripper’’ she mumbled after taking off the sweatshirt.
Sebastian just laughed.
‘’Chelsea underwear? Oh my God I can’t believe it. This is too much’’ he giggled for a good while.
‘’You can find anything in the team’s megastore’’ she said without giving it much importance ‘’I assure you that it’s much more comfortable than that bras Matilde buys at Victoria’s Secret’.
Sebastian looked done.
‘’I can’t believe I’m here talking about bras. What has my life come to. I used to successful, you know’’.
‘’You’re still successful but you brought this to you. Remember you could be at the Emmys right now. Now shut up and see my shoulder’’.
Sebastian touched Celine’s shoulder and she shuddered a little.
‘’You didn’t dislocate it but you sprained it and it’s definitely swollen. Can you move it?’’
She moved and instantly regretted it.
‘’It feels as if it’s going to explode’’ she whined.
‘’Do you have ice?’’ he asked and Celine looked at him in surprise.
‘’Tell me this is not a revenge for what I did in San Diego’’ she was thinking about the time when she had slid ice down Sebastian’s neck.
He looked at her with fake hurt in his eyes.
‘’Cez, I’m just trying to help you!’’ without waiting for Celine’s answer he left to the kitchen to get the ice.
Celine threw herself to the bed, trying not to fall asleep. She noticed that she was very tired as the emotions of the day were taking their toll on her. After all, she had gone to the stadium and jumping like crazy was always a tiring experience.
When she was on the blink of falling asleep when Sebastian was back with some ice cubes wrapped in a hand towel.
He sat behind her, caressing her back with tenderness.
‘’I warn you Cez, it’s cold’’
Celine laughed with his statement. It was ice, of course it was cold. However, before Sebastian could put the ice near her skin, she jumped in advance.
‘’I didn’t even touch you’’ he said, quite surprised ‘’But you can be fast when you want. I think we found your superpower.’’
Celine slapped his arm, playfully.
Carefully, he pressed the ice on her shoulder. At first she shivered but after a while she got used to the sensation.
‘’Can I ask you something I never asked you before?’’ Celine nodded. ‘’Why did you leave Wales as a kid? You told me before that your grandmother didn't approve of your father but nothing else.''
Celine thought of his question wondering why she hadn’t told him the complete story before. After all, they knew pretty much everything about each other.
‘’Get ready, it’s a long one’’ as an answer Sebastian squeezed her good arm. ‘’Remember my parents met and married in Spain’’ Sebastian, of course, already knew that ‘’Well, when they came back to Wales I was already on the way but it was my Welsh grandmother who was being a pain in... you know where. She didn’t approve of my father, after all we was just a painter and mum a promising neuroscientist. My grandmother was scandalised. After four tiring years mum realised that her mother was going to destroy her marriage so she decided to leave’’ Sebastian was so caught up with Celine’s story that he had forgotten to apply the ice. ‘’She got a job at a little hospital in a remote seaside town in South America and after two years she was the head of the place. And that’s how I ended up there, my parents bought a pretty house that wasn’t very expensive as it was in the countryside and quite isolated, to be honest’’.
‘’Sad story’’ he mumbled. ‘’How did it end?’’
‘’My Welsh grandmother died when I was eight so mum had to go back to Wales to sort things out. She sold everything except the tiara and this ring’’ she pointed to the gold ring she had on her finger. He had always thought that the 'C' was her initial but it was for 'Cadwallader'. ‘’I think that’s why she never sold the tiara, it was the last thing that reminded her or her mum’’ she added extra drama to the last words as if she was telling a story about a random person, not her own mother.
On his part, Sebastian was truly concerned about Elizabeth Cadwallader. He didn’t want any strains in his still non-existent relationship with Celine. He wondered if she would have any doubts about his worth as potential future husband to Celine. Suddenly he wanted to laugh hysterically, he didn’t had enough courage to ask Celine to date him and he was already marrying her.
‘’And what happened next?’’ he wanted to know some more of the story.
‘’My grandmother’s inheritance was spent on my education’’ she said, happily. ‘’We could live with mum’s salary and whatever dad made by selling his painting on the local market. After all, it’s thanks to my grandmother I went to Cambridge. Cambridge...’’ she had a dreamy expression that Sebastian couldn’t see.
‘’Have you ever feel homesick there?’’ he wanted to know everything he hadn’t asked before.
To his surprise Celine just laughed.
‘’Of course not’’ by the tone of her voice he could tell she wasn’t lying. ‘’I was finally back home, in Britain. I wasn’t a stranger anymore but one of them. I was out of that town full of close minded people, I’d been looked forward to it for years. It was not the time to get homesick.’’
Knowing what he knew about Celine, that reaction didn’t surprise him a little.
‘’And you had your Cambridge friends’’ Sebastian had always been curious about these people that Celine mentioned way too much.
Celine laughed again.
‘’We were a family’’ it was obvious that Celine was anxious to tell that story and he wondered why he hadn’t asked before. He knew about her Cambridge two-week boyfriend but not much about her friends ‘’Joel, Charlie, Alize and Amy. All of them have two doctorates’’.
All of these intellectual people intimidated him a bit. He could imagine a younger Celine surrounded by geniuses.
‘’Sounds fun’’ he said with a bit of sarcasm.
‘’It was. Once every two week we had meetings with students from many other colleges to talk about the path of our investigations and if there were some conference we wanted to attend. Twice a year we had competitions with other students. Paintball, scavenger hunts and bowling were the most popular. Once me, Charlie and Maximilian, who was my rival in the scavenger hunt team but apart from that we got on pretty well, got into a symposium of molecular positronium even if it wasn’t our field of study. It was fun’’.
Sebastian had no idea what ‘’molecular positronium’’ was but it didn’t sound fun at all. He was surprised that Celine understood about these concepts as she was an historian not a physicist.
‘’Fun for geniuses’’ he looked at her shoulder that looked less swollen than before. He handed Celine the shirt and then he wrapped himself with the blankets.
‘’I don’t like to brag, but that’s what we were’’ she lied beside him and he was grateful to be able to see her face ‘’Once we attended a conference by Stephen Hawking himself! I wasn’t allowed to go as it was only for physicists. But Joel had a pass and sneaked me, Charlie and Amy into it. It was amazing. Those were the wild days, man!’’
Sebastian couldn’t help but to smile at seeing her face. And it also amused him that he wildest experience was sneaking into symposiums when she wasn’t allowed to.
‘’Really wild’’ he said, trying not to laugh. Their college experiences had been quite different.
‘’Our words were ‘It’s all fun and games as long as you learn’. Charlie invented it.’’ she didn't mention the part of her Cambridge friends burning each other's underwear whenever they lost a bet.
This time Sebastian couldn’t help but to laugh. He was also thinking that if they had gone to university together he would have had a chance of getting into her little group. Probably not, as she used to hung up with people who were on the top of the class and with a big academic future. But they were in London, not in Cambridge, and her best was Matilde who would probably never had made it into Cambridge in the first place. The time to sneak into symposiums was over and in these days what made Celine shake with excitement was a good football match or a trip to Glastonbury.
‘’Now it’s my turn to ask questions’’ she look at him with a smirk.
‘’Go ahead’’ he wrapped his arm around Celine and put his head on her good shoulder.
‘’You said you had many reasons to come back to London only ten days after you left. Well, I want to know them’’.
Damn Celine’s good memory, was the first thing that came to his mind. He turned his head to be able to look at her eyes. And for Celine, those steel blue eyes of his were her paradise.
‘’I left because I had nothing to do. I was wasting my time while all of you here were having fun going to stadiums.’’ she looked at him knowing that he wasn’t being completely honest ‘’Also because I felt horribly alone. It was awful. I also missed you, I grew quite fond of you and you know it. And being here is different, I feel safe and so comfortable with you that I can’t bear to leave you again without of being certain of what will happen in the future because I’m sure as hell that I want you in it.’’
Celine was sure that his speech was a declaration of love without saying those infamous three words. She was a bit shaken but regained her composure in record time.
‘’Seb, I just want you to know that I’ll always be here for you. You will never be alone again. I’ll take care of you’’ she wrapped her good arm around his neck.
He didn’t have anything else to say. He just clung to her and fell asleep almost immediately. For the first time in ten days he slept peacefully.

 

Chapter Text

It was minutes to six when Celine woke up. Sebastian was still clinging to her so with a bit of difficulty she moved him. She didn’t want to wake him up so early in the morning, it was cruel. Ten minutes early she was ready to leave, wearing a simple but elegant outfit consisting of jeans, high heeled boots and a delicate sweater. It was a surprise to her when she found Sebastian completely awake but looking a little lost.
‘’What are you doing?’’ he mumbled.
‘’Earning a living and defending my doctorate’’ she answered making him smile. He wondered what she did to have such a clear head so early in the morning.
‘’Can I go with you? I’m curious about what you do.’’ after all, he was used to wake up early so this was nothing out of this world for him.
Celine considered it for a minute.
‘’Only if you are ready in ten minutes. I’m leaving with or without you.’’
Less than ten minutes later he was ready, wide awake and looking handsome. She grabbed her Burberry coat and they both left together. She looked at Matilde’s house. Hell, she had much explaining to do later.
London in the morning was Celine’s favourite London. She knew that many people hated to wake up so early but she was used to. And she was happy to Sebastian was appreciating it too.
‘’It’s beautiful’’ he was looking around with his blue eyes with open. He held her hand and looked at her with a smile. Seeing that she wasn’t bothered by his actions they kept on walking.
They had never held hands before and that was proof that their relationship had taken a turn. Even Celine had to admit that they had more than an average friendship.
‘’I can’t take you to Downing Street, Seb’’ she suddenly said. ‘’It’s the residence of the Head of Government, you need an authorisation. And the information is confidential’’ she made a weird face and Sebastian laughed. ‘’Nothing exciting. I’m not working for Scotland Yard, this is all about agronomy taxes and if fox hunt it’s going to be allowed or not’’.
‘’Fox hunt?’’ he wasn’t sure if she was serious or not.
‘’Yes’’ by her face she didn’t approve of the idea at all ‘’Posh people’s sport. An useless bunch of idiots’’.
Half an hour later they arrived to the Department of History of the University of London. They didn’t follow the mass of students that were entering the place, instead Celine took another way to a section of the building that was reserved to the people who were leading investigations.
‘’Do you like it?’’ she noticed Sebastian staring in awe at everything. ‘’King’s College is even more impressive’’.
Celine opened a glass door and entered to a room that was empty except from a tall middle aged secretary. The place was imposing but in utter silence. Sebastian followed her like a lost puppy.
The secretary looked at Celine and her expression changed when she noticed Sebastian there. Celine had the reputation among her colleagues of being a proud and single woman. She had earned the nickname of ‘’Doctor Singlellader’ .
Celine had earned her nickname by rejecting every single offer from their colleagues of setting her up with intellectuals from other Departments. They never knew the reason why. Well, it seemed that the ‘reason’ was an extremely handsome blue eyed specimen.
‘’Doctor Cadwallader’’ the secretary greeted Celine.
‘’Mrs. Bourke. Anything I should know?’’ this was usual question every morning.
‘’Yes, Sir Henry wanted to speak to you. About the documentary’’.
‘’Great. This is Sebastian by the way. He’s with me today’’.
Mrs. Bourke looked at Sebastian with more detail and immediately an expression of recognition was on her face.
‘’Excuse me, but I do know you.’ The middle aged secretary looked excited. ‘’You’re Sebastian Stan. From Marvel. My daughter is a big fan of yours. She knows almost everything about you’’. She emphasised in the ‘almost’ because what Mrs. Bourke’s daughter didn’t know was that her idol’s apparent girlfriend worked in the same department as her mother. To be fair no one in Sebastian’s fanbase knew about Celine’s existence.
‘’That’s fantastic’’ Sebastian had a big grin on his face. ‘’Do you have a piece of paper and a pen?’’
Sebastian began writing probably a not to his fan. Celine was thinking about the shock that the girl was going to have when her mother got back home with a handwritten note by her idol.
‘’All done’’ Sebastian gave the written paper back to Mrs. Bourke. ‘’Give it to her with my best wishes’’.
Mrs. Bourke was a bit moved and even Celine had a tender expression on her face. Sebastian said goodbye to the astounded secretary and followed Celine up to the stairs. Mrs. Bourke was looking at them quite shocked. The fact that Doctor Celine Singlellader was mingling with a famous actor was the most unexpected thing to happen in the whole year.
‘’That was a nice to do’’ Celine held Sebastian’s hand with tenderness.
‘’It was just a note. I hope I make her day’’.
They were walking down a corridor that was decorated with portraits and at the end of it there were two old men talking.
‘’One is Elliot Barnes. He’s brilliant even though we say he’s quite mad because he likes to sing opera out loud’’ she pointed to Sebastian. ‘’The other is Sir Henry Bedingfield. He’s an eminency. He‘s from King‘s College, just like me.’’
They saw Professor Barnes shake Sir Henry’s hand and walk away. Then he noticed Celine and Sebastian.
‘’Doctor Cadwallader’’ he greeted with a smile.
‘’Sir Henry. Mrs. Bourke told me you wanted to speak to me. This is Sebastian’’ she pointed at Sebastian beside her. ‘’He’s an actor. He played Henry Percy for his upcoming film’’ she completed with pride.
‘’A pleasure, young man’’ Sir Henry shook Sebastian’s hand with a smile on his face. ‘’Believe it or not I was consulted by the production team of The Duke. They wanted to make the film as historically accurate as possible. They did a good job. I can’t believe I’m meeting the lead actor. You probably did justice to young mad Henry Percy’’.
Sebastian was glowing. To get such praise from Celine’s mentor was incredible.
‘’I’m honoured’’ he mumbled. ‘’I could’ve never done it without Celine’s help.’’
‘’You’re lucky to know her’’ Sir Henry agree. The wheel of praise had turned to Celine.
‘’She’s brilliant’’ Sebastian looked at her with a little smile on his face ‘’Words don’t do enough justice to express how outstanding she is’’.
Celine felt as if she was melting. Sebastian’s compliments were one of her many weaknesses. Even Sir Henry noticed the love and pride in Sebastian’s eyes. He was happy that Celine had found someone worthy of her, at least.
‘’You’ll make me blush’’ she joked. ‘’And what did you have to tell me, Sir Henry?’’.
‘’I was contacted by the BBC. The want to emit your documentary again and with much more promotion. The say that with this new wave of historical films, especially one starring this young man...’’ he pointed at Sebastian ‘’that comes out in November and the interest for the Tudor period will increase. They want to interview you in Radio 2’s Chris Evans show’’.
‘’Wow’’ Celine mumbled.
For a moment Sebastian was surprised that his friend Chris had a show for the BBC Radio 2 and he didn’t know. Only after a while he realised they were different people with the same name.
‘’Get ready because it’s just the beginning. You’ll have a busy October, Doctor Cadwallader’’
He smiled at Celine one more time, shook Sebastian hand and left.
Sebastian followed Celine until they reached a door with the words ‘Celine Cadwallader, PhD’ written on it.
‘’Get in’’ she instructed.
Sebastian looked all around Celine’s office. She had a big desk full of papers on it, there was a big window from where a big grass lawn could be seen, the walls was covered of portraits, a whiteboard, the coat of arms of King’s College and the one if the University of Cambridge, many books and the badges of Chelsea and Real Madrid. On her desk, in the place where most people had family pictures, she had one of the Real Madrid team lifting the Champions League trophy. Sebastian wasn’t expecting to find himself in there but what he didn’t know was that Celine had his picture on her desk at her office in Downing Street.
‘’I thought that Chris was going to interview you. I almost had an attack.’’ Sebastian commented
It took a moment to Celine to realise that he was talking about his actor friend Chris. With all the Chrises it was confusing.
‘’That would be the most bizarre thing to happen after that time I was offered to sell my documentary to the History Channel.’'
Sebastian laughed, remembering the anecdote.
‘’I still can’t understand why you refused it’’ he was sitting in front of Celine. From his point of view she looked like an strict college teacher.
‘’I was not having my documentary aired in the same channel that has Ancient Aliens in it!’’
It was well known that Celine had never believed in anything that she couldn’t see. She was extremely logical and she had no remedy.
‘’Poor E.T, he’s sad you don’t believe in him’’.
‘’You’re a joke sometimes. My point is, I can’t take those things seriously. Every time they’re unable to explain something they say it’s the Aliens or some God or whatever that fills in the blank. Insulting’’
At first it had been shocking to Sebastian that Celine didn’t believe in anything at all. She was an atheist thank to her mother who didn’t want her daughter to ‘’be brought up in any kind of superstition’’.
‘’All the intellectuals are unbelievers, like you?’’ he was genuinely curious about that.
‘’Of course not. You have everything. We had a classmate that believed in tarot.’’ Celine rolled her eyes. ‘’But in my group we were all logical. We draw the conclusion that no matter how much you pray, God is not going to write your thesis. Joel tried. He even sneaked into the chapel. Long story’’.
If there was one thing Sebastian enjoyed was Celine’s Cambridge adventures. They were far more interesting than his tales of auditions and movie sets even though Celine liked to ask him about that from time to time.
‘’What’s this?’’ he asked, pointing to a mountain of papers.
‘’The whole study of my book about Anne Boleyn.’’ he knew of the existence of this book but he had never seen it on the flesh. ‘’It debunks all the myths about her life and her influence in history.’’
‘’Are you still stuck?’’
‘’Yes. I’ll have to visit the British Library to see some manuscripts during the way. I need to prove a theory. I’ve decided to visit Hever Castle next year, it’ll be useful to write the conclusions’’.
Sebastian was well aware that Celine liked to plan everything in advance and also how much she wanted to someday publish this book in which she had been working for more almost ten years.
‘’And what are you doing at the moment?’’ he didn’t want to distract her but couldn’t help his curiosity.
‘’I was about to send a paper I wrote to the Cambridge University Press. By the way, I want to have a little fun with you, Seb.’’
She was smiling in such a way that Sebastian was finding difficult to see what she was implying with those words.
‘’I’m up for anything’’ he said with an smirk.
‘’Fantastic’’ she started looking for something among the endless papers on her desk.
‘’What’s this?’’ he asked when Celine gave him two pages full questions and a pen.
‘’Questions taken from GCSE’s exams, A-levels and non graduates. My colleagues and I do them for fun, to compare our answers. I want you to answer them. To test your knowledge’’.
Sebastian looked horrified. He was imagining something different when Celine said that she wanted to have fun with him.
‘’Why?’’.
‘’This my revenge from the time you said that not even a monkey would ask the questions I made’’.
‘’But Cez...’’ he moaned, face palming. ‘’You asked why Superman wasn’t in the Avengers!’’
‘’And I am asking...’’ she took the papers from Sebastian’s hand and read ‘’In which ways the Act of Supremacy of 1534 influences today’s religious settlement’’.
‘’What is even this?’’ he still had the horrified face. ‘’That Act of... whatever’’.
‘’The Act of Supremacy. It states that the Head of the Church of England is the monarch, not the Pope’’.
‘’And why does it matter?’’ he was still a bit exhasperated.
‘’It doesn’t matter at all. But in the sixteenth century it was quite a big a deal. People were burned for this stuff. Now do it. You have a couple of hours, you can ask me if you have a doubt, you can have all the cups of tea you want and here you have biscuits’’ she handed him a metallic box decorated with cats.
‘’I have many doubts’’ he mumbled while reading some of the questions.
Celine started typing something on her laptop while Sebastian did what he could. He was not talking Celine’s test very seriously but a part of him wanted to impress her. It was a bit sad that he had never heard of half of this stuff before.
For example, ‘Name at least three battles from the Wars of the Roses’. He had no idea what that thing was. ‘In your opinion, who was more benefited by the disappearance of the Princes of the Tower, Richard III or Henry VII? Justify.’ He had never heard about those people before. However, it looked like grim business. ‘In your point of view and giving justification, who was the first Queen Regnant of England: Empress Matilda, Lady Jane Grey or Mary I.’ At this rate he was going to finish Celine’s box of biscuits before knowing who these people were.
If only his Marvel friends could see him now, he thought. Surprisingly, he was having a good time. He was taking the piss at some of the questions and giving serious thought to others. He had learned some things at school, with Celine or for his own film. The two hours passed by flying.
‘’Let me see’’ she was some time reading his answers. ‘’Overall you did it well. Except from the question about the facts that led to the Civil War. You wrote ‘The Sokovia Accords’. What are even those?’’
‘’That’s a question for you to answer, Cez.’’ he looked at her with a little smirk.
She shot him a glance of disapproval.
‘’Anyway, it wasn’t that bad. The part of the Russian Revolution was okay and you aced the questions about the World War II’’.
He tried not to look too pleased with himself. Having done well in a challenge made by Celine Cadwallader was something to be proud of.

After they left the university, they went for coffee before Sebastian had to leave Celine at Downing Street where he couldn’t go.
On the tube Celine was thinking about Matilde. She had no idea that Sebastian was back and Celine was not eager to tell her. Celine was sure that Matilde would draw her own conclusions of the matter and the worst part was that she was right. Celine had to admit that Matilde wasn’t as delusional as she had previously thought.
While walking on Whitehall Street towards Downing Street, Celine was staring at Sebastian. He was walking by her side, with an arm softly placed on her back. During his ten day absence she had realised how much she loved this man and she secretly knew that he felt the same way. Another thing that they had in common was that they were both a pair of cowards who didn’t dare to admit it. Celine was aware that Matilde had made a bet with Leah about who was going to take the first step. It was kind of disappointing that Matilde’s whole faith laid with Sebastian.
‘’Here we are’’ Celine looked at her phone. It was ten minutes to 1 pm. Sebastian was staring at the famous door of the number 10.
‘’I saw this place on TV before. I’m temped to knock’’.
‘’Security would take you out. That’d be an interesting thing to your fanbase’’.
Sebastian suddenly placed his hands on Celine’s shoulders. It was obvious that he was more interested in her than in the number ten.
‘’I still have some more minutes. To be honest I’m not looking forward too see Matilde. I have three missed calls from her and pretty sure she knows about you disappearance from the Emmys and she’s probably freaking out. You know this girl is an expert at jumping into conclusions.’’
Not as if it was so difficult, she thought.
Sebastian had a calm expression but on the inside there was a turmoil. He knew what he wanted to do next but a part of him was sure that he was going to ruin everything. He was on the verge of having a headache.
He let his hands slide down her arms. For Celine that gesture wasn’t that special and she had her mind in another place. That place was most certainly the office inside the building.
‘’I should go. The taxes in agronomy are waiting for me.’’
‘’Exciting’’ he was looking straight at her eyes. She could see in his beautiful steel blue eyes something she had never seen before. It was hard not to stare at him forever.
Sebastian’s mind was racing. He could finally take the next step or let her go once again and regret it. There were many things that could go wrong and he either took the risk or stood there, staring at her like an idiot.
In a desperate moment he looked at the sky, looking for answers. Of there were none apart of a lot of clouds. If anything, the sky looked gloomy. But it didn’t mean anything, did it? He laughed at his own mental battle.
‘’Oh what the hell’’ he muttered, removing his hand from her arm and placing it on her cheek. In a swift movement he placed a soft but firm kiss on her lips.
Before Celine could process what was happening he had pulled away.
‘’What was that?’’ she asked with her eyes wide open and a shocked expression.
‘’Well...’’ he didn’t know what to say. He had gone completely numb. ‘’...I’m just saying goodbye to my girlfriend after dropping her at work.’’ he was sure that what he had just said wasn't making any sense.
‘’Since when am I your girlfriend?’’ she asked with a little voice. She was wondering if she had missed something or if she was going nuts. Maybe everything was happening on her mind.
‘’Well, that depends on you. If you want to be, because I have no problem with that’’ he was regaining some of him composure. To his horror, Celine was still quiet as a statue.
He kissed her on the cheek and turned around to leave. He was one step away of having to pack his bags and come back to New York in shame and with a broken heart. Celine, who was still shocked to the bone, seemed to come out of her petrified state. She knew one thing at that moment: that she couldn’t let this chance slip by. If she did that she'd earn the award of the 'Idiot of the century.'
‘’Seb, wait’’ she walked towards him (he was just a meter away), grabbed his arm and this time she was the one who kissed him.
At least she was with her five senses completely awake and could feel what was happening. It was nothing like the cliche feelings of butterflies or fireworks. It was something like an earthquake.
‘’So that means a yes?’’ he broke the kiss and looked straight at her eyes. That blue glance was heart melting. It was the most intense thing that Celine had seen in her life.
‘’Yes. Ja. Oui. S...’’ he stopped her mumbling by kissing her again. He was being completely delicate and tender, just cherishing the moment.
It wasn’t the best place to be doing this (after all, they were outside of the headquarters of the head of government) but they didn’t seem to care. They were in their little world and even though they couldn’t believe that this was actually happening. But it felt right for both of them.
‘’I don’t think I can let you go’’ he whispered. He had one hand caressing the back of her neck and the other on her cheek. His eyes were still fixed on hers.
‘’So, don’t’’ she smiled at him and caught his lips again.
He was being so tender and soft making sure she could understand how he felt about her with just a simple kiss. But as any perfect moment it was not going to last forever. As a car parked outside the number ten, Celine remembered that she should have been at work five minutes ago. But the worst part was about to come.
To her horror, a whole ministerial delegation plus the Prime Minister herself, were getting out of the car. At that moment she just wanted the earth to swallow her. It was even worst when the Prime Minister saw her and Sebastian and looked at him as if she was evaluating him.
‘’Well done, Doctor Cadwallader, he’s handsome. Wasn’t expecting less of you’’ she nodded and continued her way.
The rest of the delegation followed her, looking a bit surprised that the always so serious Doctor Cadwallader had been caught kissing someone outside her workplace. The only one who didn’t look surprised was Edmund, that as long as he knew, Sebastian was Celine’s fiance.
‘’Mr. Stan’’ he greeted him with respect.
‘’Edmund’’ Sebastian muttered without looking at him. His eyes were still fixed on Celine’s scarlet face.
‘’Now it’s time to go. I have to face real life’’ she said dramatically. ‘’See you later, beauty’’ she pecked his lips one more time before leaving.
Sebastian stood there, grinning like an idiot. He couldn’t believe that everything had worked out fine. Suddenly he wanted to celebrate like the Real Madrid players when they had won the Champions League.

The first thing Celine did was to head to the Prime Minister’s office to receive her instructions for the day.
‘’Doctor Cadwallader. I’m going to improve your day even more’’ Celine wanted to die of embarrassment. ‘’Tomorrow I’m going to Buckingham Palace to introduce a project to the Queen. You’re part of the delegation that’s coming with me’’.
Celine was too stunned to reply. The day before the most eventful thing was Chelsea winning against Arsenal and now she had kissed Sebastian and was meeting the Queen. Wow.
‘’I appreciate that, Madam’’.
‘’There’s more. You’re in charge of the project. I value your organizational skills and the project is important. And huge. If everything works out well it’d be a huge win for my administration and a big step in your career. You’ll receive the instructions during the week, tomorrow I’m just introducing it. I wish we could be able to count with the help of the Royal Family so make sure to make a good impression. I trust you, Doctor Cadwallader’’.
Celine was excited and terrified at the same time. And tempted because that might mean a raise in her salary.
‘’Thank you, Madam.’’
‘’For today, finish those press releases. We’ll sending them tonight. And hand the inform about the agronomy taxes to Walsinham-Spencer. And I almost fogot.... teach Matilda the protocol to meet the Queen. She’ll be your right hand in this project as she works well under your command’’.
‘’Understood Madam’’.
With a nod of her head the Prime Minister dismissed her. Without wasting a second Celine went to Matilde’s office. She wasn’t planning to tell her anything apart that they were meeting the Queen.
She knocked two times and then opened the door of her office. She found Matilde half asleep, with bloodshot eyes sitting behind her desk.
‘’There you are...’’ Matilde mumbled ‘’What happened to you?’’ she suddenly asked when she took a careful look of Celine.
‘’What do I have?’’
‘’You look like you’ve crossed London running’’.
Celine thought that she was probably still red after everything that had happened with Sebastian. Her hair wasn’t in its best state either.
‘’You owe me an explanation’’ Matilde continued.
‘’About what?’’ Celine innocently asked. She knew very well about what Matilde wanted to ask
‘’About that Romanian piece of trash!’’ she exploded. ‘’I watched the Emmys until five am. He was supposed to present an award with Mark Ruffalo. I wanted to break the TV when I saw Mark on the stage alone. I like Mark but wanted to see Sebastian.’’
Celine tried to look innocent. After all it wasn’t her fault. She had not asked Sebastian to come back to her. He was a grown man who made his own decisions. Sometimes.
‘’There’s an explanation to that’’ Celine mumbled.
‘’And you know it’’ Matilde looked at Celine’s red face. ‘’Of course you know it. You know everything about him. And I want to know too. After this you’re going to tell me why you look more red than the dragon in your country’s flag’’
Celine was resigned to tell the whole story. She didn’t want to tell her about the kiss but matilde was going to find out eventually.
‘’Okay...’’ Celine sat in front of Matilde. ‘’Sebastian is back in London’’
‘’What?!’’ Matilde yelled.
‘’Yes. That’s why he missed the Emmys. He appeared around eight and soaked. He’s at home now. He also went with me to the university this morning’’.
Matilde looked at Celine. It was obvious that she was hiding something. And why would Sebastian come back in just ten days? There was something else that she was missing.
‘’And something else happened. You’re still red. What did Sebastian do that made the proud Doctor Cadwallader blush like a teenager?’’.
Celine closed her eyes. There was no point in keeping this as a secret.
‘’We may have kissed’’ Celine whispered without looking at Matilde and trying to look as careless and relaxed as possible.
To her surprise Matilde didn’t looked amazed. She had a mocking grin.
‘’At least, God be praised! And I won the bet!’’ Celine looked at her with confusion and her cheeks were still on fire ‘’Mackie said you were going to kiss in November, after Sebastian came back from New York. He was right but he wasn’t expecting Sebastian to last just ten days there. Tom Holland said you we’re going to kiss August, for Sebastian birthday. It didn’t happen. He lost. Harrison Osterfield placed his bet for Christmas. And I said, September. So, I won. Sorry, for the bet but everything saw this coming, you were way too predictable. Who took the first step?’’.
Celine was still a bit shocked that Matilde and a bunch of Marvel that she didn’t know very well were placing bets on hers and Sebastian’s love life. It was hilarious. She hadn't even said a word to Harrison Osterfield in her life and she was making bets that involved her. Fun.
‘’Sebastian.’’ she admitted.
‘’Yes, take that Leah!’’ Matilde looked way more happy now that she had won two bets. ‘’And what is going to happen between you two now? You just kissed or are you going to do something about the fact that you clearly like each other and not only as friends?’’
To be honest, Celine had not thought about that. Yes, she had daydreamed a lot in the last ten days and she knew she loved him but what was going to happen onwards was a mystery. She hoped that the only thing that changed in their relationship was the label and the essence remained the same. But the prospect of started a romantic relationship with him was not overwhelming at all.
‘’Only time we’ll tell. But I’m optimistic. You know, Seb is one of my best friends and nothing would change that’’.
‘’I told you so. You’ll marry him one day. Oh Gosh, your kids will be beautiful’’.
‘’Yes, if they look like Sebastian’’. She said without thinking. Immediately she regretted her words. ‘’Wait, forget what I said. We kissed like half an hour ago and you’re already planning the kids we won’t have’’.
‘’I planned your kids since that Saint Patrick day party. I saw it right there. Cadwallader and Stan. Stan and Cadwallader. A match made in heaven’’.
Celine seriously doubted that. Their relationship was pretty much unlikely. What would a popular actor and an historian have in common in the first place? Of course, after knowing him they had developed a strong bond. They trusted each other completely.
‘’Anyway, the Prime Minister send me here to teach you Royal protocol. We’re meeting the Queen tomorrow’’. she said changing the topic completely.

Celine was basically running all the way from Gloucester Station to her house. She wanted to see Sebastian more than anything.
Her brain had been pretty busy all the evening with that important upcoming project. In another time she would have panicked with the perspective of having the chance of her achieving a milestone in her career and starting a relationship. If there had been anyone but Sebastian she would have not given him a chance as her work was her priority. But Sebastian was different in so many ways...
When she got home she found him, as usual, making tea.
‘’Have you been running?’’ he asked.
‘’Yes. You see, the day was quite a wild ride’’ he kissed her on the cheek and handed her a warm mug of tea. ‘’I’m meeting the Queen tomorrow’’.
‘’What?!’’ he looked at her with his blue eyes wide open.
‘’The Prime Minister will present a project to her tomorrow. And I’m in charge of it.’’ Sebastian still looked astounded. ‘’If everything goes well my career would take a boost bigger than Buckingham Palace. And a pay rise.'' she seemed to be happier about the money than about anything else.
‘’I’m so proud of you. You’re really wonderful. You’ll ace this project, Cez. I know what you’re capable of’’ he wrapped his arm around her shoulders and with his other hand he caressed her hair.
If their relationship was going to be like that from now on, she was happy with the change.
‘’I had to teach Matilde the protocol. You should have seen that.’’ she laughed thinking of the memory.
‘’Is there an actual protocol to meet the woman?’’
‘’Yes. You have to curtsey, she has to talk to you first and stuff like that. Nothing too complicated. Except if you’re Matilde.’’
‘’I’m a chivalrous knight’’ he said, making Celine roll her eyes. ‘’Your Majesty Queen Celine of the most noble house of Cadwallader, I am at your service. I’m your most faithful subject’’
He kneeled in front of her, took her hand and kissed it. Celine couldn’t stop giggling.
‘’And I, Celine, by the Grace of God, Queen of England, proclaim you Sir Sebastian of the House of Stan’’ with a fork that was on the table she ‘knighted’ him. ‘’And also name Squire of the bedchamber’’.
He burst out laughing and from the floor he took Celine in his arms and kissed her.
‘’Sir Sebastian, you’re talking liberties with your Queen’’.
‘’You’ll have to send me to the Tower’’ he kissed her again, this time not as soft as before.
She threw her arms around his neck and they were there, on the floor, kissing. Celine was delighted. She had often wondered how it would feel to kiss him and she wasn’t disappointed. He was an outstanding kisser, she had to give him the credit for that. Meanwhile Sebastian couldn’t believe his luck.
‘’Let’s have a walk’’ he suddenly said, standing up from the floor.
‘’Are you crazy? It’s too cold outside’’.
‘’Please’’ he moaned ‘’I want to tell you something’’ he looked at her with puppy dog eyes.
Immediately Celine knew that it was important for him, whatever that he wanted to say.
‘’Okay, if you say so’’.
They picked their jackets and left Celine’s house. She took Sebastian’s hand and let him lead. She would go wherever he wanted to. They were walking towards the River Thames. Thankfully it wasn’t many blocks away from Celine’s house. The night was chilly and quiet.
The sat on a bench, just in front of the River. The view of the London skyline was gorgeous. It was a sight that Sebastian had learned to love. At first it was overwhelming but now it was home. The city had its own magic.
‘’And what did you want to tell me?’’ she still had one of his hands between her.
He had his eyes fixed on the lights that reflected in the water of the river.
‘’Something I should have tell told you before leaving. Something I learned to say in the languages you speak.’’ now he was directly at her eyes. ‘’I love you. Te iubesc. Or however the hell you want me to say it’’ he said the words in his native language with a lot of emphasis. ‘’I don’t expect a reply. I just want you to know how I feel’’.
‘’Don’t be ridiculous, please. Of course I love you. I wouldn’t be with you in the first place if I didn’t love you. I would never lift your hopes up only to break them in pieces afterwards. You know that I’m a bit weirs and I probably don’t deserve someone as amazing as you but... with you I’m better, with you I feel better. And for me that is love. Not losing your head in the process but... knowing where you are and where are you going and at the same time the other person, in this case you, brightens your day and makes everything better. From the most simple things to the most complicated ones. That’s what you mean to me. And I wish I can mean the same to you, to give you back all the good you give me’’.
Sebastian was speechless after Celine’s ramble. He knew how difficult it was for her to talk about her feelings. All of this was new to her.
‘’You mean the world to me, Cez. The absolute world. And no, I’m not being melodramatic’’ he added when he saw her little smile. ‘’I’m pretty much certain you are the love of my life’’.
‘”Are you sure? We’ve known each other for just six months’’ even though she didn’t believe him, something warm was spreading on her chest.
‘’I’m sure. I don’t intent to have just an ordinary long term relationship. I think we have a future. If I get to share the rest of my life with you I’d be the happiest person ever. I thought about marrying you. Maybe I do it one day, who knows.’’ Celine was afraid that he was starting to talk like Matilde. ‘’In my wildest, wildest dreams, I imagined our children but, don’t worry, I know you hate them so we’ll have cats instead’’.
‘’That’s much better’’ she said with relief.
Sebastian was scared that he had talked too much. He didn’t want to scare her or make her feel any kind of pressure.
Again they glanced at the London skyline. He had both arms wrapped around Celine who was feeling so comfortable that she never wanted this moment to end. Sebastian was thinking about how much his life had changed. He would have never imagined when he signed that contract to make his next film in England, that he was signing his future. He was also unaware that with that decision he had changed Celine’s life forever. He believed that it was fate. Celine thought that it was a fortunate combination of circumstances that let them there.
‘’Have you ever had you heart broken before?’’ he asked even though he knew the answer.
‘”Yes. There was a player in Real Madrid that I loved. Mesut Ozil. He was outstanding but in 2013 the idiot left us to play for Arsenal. Outrageous! Replacing us for Arsenal. Who on earth does that? I saw him yesterday playing against Chelsea and had the pleasure of shouting ‘Bastard!’ at him.’’.
Celine could have answered a simple ‘no’ but instead she had to make a football reference. Luckily Sebastian knew that everything related to Real Madrid or Chelsea was serious business to her.
‘’May I ask you again, did someone break your heart before?’’
‘’Yes, Mesut Ozil.’ She looked at him with a mocking grin . He was sure he was toying with him at this point. It was typical of Celine at the time of talking about feelings. ‘’I know what you’re talking about, Seb and you know that the answer is no’’
She didn’t need to ask this to Sebastian as knew everything about him in that sense. She knew that he had had his heart broken plenty of times before. What she couldn’t understand was how could someone make him suffer or deceive him in some way. Sebastian was someone that would never hurt a fly, let alone a person, someone that always puts someone else’s needs before his own, someone so sweet natured that was impossible not to love. Maybe it was that he was so good that people took advantage of that. People could be vile and he wasn’t as guarded as Celine. But that was not going to happen again as she was going to do everything to have him protected at all costs.
And he seemed to be thinking the same.
‘’I promise I'll keep you safe'' he held her tighter.
''I can promise you exactly the same, beautiful boy'' she smiled before kissing him.

Chapter Text

The next morning Celine woke up alone in her bed, at six am, as always. The first thing that came to her mind was that she actually meeting the Queen that day. The second thing was where the hell was Sebastian. It wasn’t unusual to him to wake up that early but only when he had a day of filming ahead. 

Only after doing her usual morning routine she found him, making coffee in the kitchen. He looked ready to go out.
‘’Why are you up so early?’’ she greeted him with a kiss on the cheek.
‘’Making you breakfast. Otherwise you won’t eat anything until midday because I ate all the biscuits you had at the university.’’.
She was used to him being so attentive, nevertheless she always appreciated all the little things he did for her. And those little things were the main reason why she loved him.
‘’You’re wonderful, Seb. But there was no need. I am capable of feeding myself’’ she hugged him from behind and left a kiss in the back of his neck. It was hard to believe this was not a dream.
Sebastian just laughed.
‘’Cez, love, we both know that’s not truth. You can’t even toast bread. And I don’t mind doing this. I’d do more if you let me’’.
‘’It’s okay, Seb you don’t need to do more. Maybe you have to tell your fanbase that you’re alive. Matilde told me yesterday that you have them worried sick with your disappearance from the Emmys. You don’t have to tell them the real reason your here. Just invent something, master of improvisation.’’
The truth was that he wanted his relationship with Celine to as discreet as possible. He knew that relationships in the public eye were doomed for failure and secret relationships were also a fiasco. He had the advantage that Celine was a complete unknown woman who never had the attention on herself. She didn’t even have social media.
Sebastian couldn’t imagine why someone would be interested in them. He was relieved that Celine had never cared about that side of him. The fame and the press meant nothing to her and if there was someone who could ignore it completely, that was Celine. They weren’t like poor Tom Hiddleston and Janice whose relationship was highly publicised and the were all the time being followed by papparazzis. And Janice was supposed to be someone unknown. But she didn’t behave that way as she was all the time posting selfies with Tom that drove his fans crazy. Keeping everything lowkey was the answer.
‘’I have to report to my manager, my publicist, my fans, Mark Ruffalo who I left stranded and Anthony who probably wants to kill me. The only one who knows that I’m here is my mum. I didn’t want to worry her, I don’t mind the others. I never turned on my phone since it died after I saw your ‘Suck it Arsenal’ video’’.
‘’I don’t envy you a little bit’’ she wondered what would happen if she suddenly quitted her job for some days without warning. The Prime Minister would probably skin her alive.
She quickly ate some toast with the coffee and ran around the house to gather her things.
‘’Perfection.’’ he said, looking at her ‘’Head to toe perfection’’. he had always thought that of her and it was relieving to say it out loud.
‘’Exaggerated. You’re the perfection here, Seb.’’
‘’C’mon Cez... Let me brag.’’ he placed his hands on her waist and kissed her softly. ‘’I’m not lying’’ he kissed her again. ‘’You knocked Chris Evans off his feet. You caused such an impression on him that guy’s still trying to meet someone like you. Ask Anthony if you don’t believe me’’.
‘’What a joke’’ she mumbled.
He kissed him one more time before grabbing her jacket and headed to the door.
‘’Can I go with you? I won’t stay and bother you again but I’ll walk you there’’.
‘’I still don’t know why you like to do this but you’re always welcome, Seb.’’
For the second day in a row Sebastian could appreciate London in the morning. He could understand why Celine loved this city so much. The city was like her: restless, active and intense in a pleasant way. A mixture of modernism and old-fashion. Just like Celine.
This day he was not going to stay with her at the university. He didn’t want to spend the morning answering questions about Medieval England, one time was enough.
‘’I leave you here’’ they were standing outside the glass doors of the Faculty of History. ‘’I have to catch up with Miss Matilde otherwise she won’t forgive me’’.
‘’She’s asleep at this time. She won’t open the door’’.
‘’She will. Otherwise I’ll yell from outside her window. You’d like to see this’’.
‘’I’m going to miss the show’’ she said, pouting a little.
Without any decorum he kissed her. He was being a bit more passionate than the previous times. He seemed to be gradually increasing the intensity of his kisses. Celine was not going to complain of this.
‘’Who would have thought I would be kissing someone outside the university. There’s a first for everything’’. she kissed him again, slowly, enjoying every second of it.
‘’It happened ten years later than it should have happened but... nevermind’’ he kissed her one last time ‘’Good luck with the Queen. She’ll love you but no more than I do’’.
‘’She doesn’t have to love me but I’m glad that you do. I love you, cutie. Be careful on the way back’’ with a wave of her hand they parted. Celine going inside the building and Sebastian taking his way back to Gloucester Station.
When she went inside the hall she found Mrs. Bourke and two more of her colleagues staring at her as if she had suddenly grown horns.
‘’Mrs. Bourke’’ she greeted ‘’Miss Calthorpe. Professor Roberts’’.
‘’Doctor Cadwallader’’ said Professor Laia Roberts, a woman more or less from Celine’s age who was looking at her with wide eyes. ‘’We see that you’re having a very good morning’’. She exchanged and amused glance with Miss Calthorpe.
It dawned to Celine that the three of them had witnessed her passionate kissing session with Sebastian. After all, the doors were made of glass. And they found amusing that the correct Doctor Singlellader had been caught being indiscreet shamelessly kissing someone. And someone hot. Celine decided to make no mention of the incident.
‘’A most normal morning, Professor Roberts’’.
She went on her way to her office when Mrs. Bourke interrupted her.
‘’Doctor Cadwallader, can you thank Mr. Stan from me? My daughter was thrilled when I gave her the note. She couldn’t believe it it was from him. It was a great surprise’’.
‘’Wait, that was Sebastian Stan?!’’ yelled Miss Calthorpe, forgetting that she was at work for a moment.
It was Mrs. Bourke who answered.
‘’Yes. My daughter loves him. And he’s the kindest person ever.’’
‘’He’s from Marvel, isn’t he?’’ my younger brother loves those superheroes. I have to admit they are candy for the eyes’’. commented Professor Roberts.
Celine found the situation so awkward to say a word
. ‘’And he’s dating... you?’’ Miss Calthorpe was still looking at Celine as if she were a two tailed alien. ‘’Since when?’’
There was no point in denying it. They had all seen her passionately kissing him.
‘’Since March’’ she shamelessly lied. The truth was ‘for less than twenty four hours’ but they didn’t need to know that. ‘’We moved in together in July’’ she added. That was another lie. They had not ‘moved in together’. Sebastian had installed himself at Celine’s house and had never left.
Roberts and Calthorpe looked at each other with most impressed expressions ever.
‘’And you managed to keep this to yourself all this time? We’re talking about a famous actor, Celine!’’ Miss Calthorpe forgot that she was supposed to call Celine ‘Doctor Cadwallader’.
‘’It’s not a big deal. For me it’s just Sebastian, not a ‘famous actor’. If you will excuse me now I have business to manage’’ she said with authority in her voice.
She left the other three women excitedly murmuring. The fact that Celine Singlellader was dating a famous Marvel actor was definitely the plot twist of the decade.

After finishing at the university Celine found herself walking around Bond Street. It was the street were all the stores of designer clothes were located. Not that she could afford buying something there, she thought while walking outside Dolce and Gabanna. In reality she could, she had enough money to go on a shopping spree there if she wanted. But by doing this her financial organization (something she was proud of) was going to go straight to the drain.
Apart from paying the bills and the food, she saved the majority of her pretty good salary. She used only a ten percent of her monthly wages to spare in clothing, tickets to the stadium and some other things.
But today was a special day, she thought while standing outside the Burberry store. If there was an occasion to bend the rules just a little it was this. She was going to meet the Queen, for God sake. A little Burberry would add an extra touch of elegance.
After all, she was not going to damage her economy. She was paying just a half of the bills (she had let Sebastian pay the other half as she didn’t want to hurt his pride).
Without thinking it twice, she got into the store.

When Matilde got into Celine’s office at Downing Street, found her looking at the mirror. She was wearing a knee length silk sky blue dress. That was something she had never worn before. She looked so elegant she looked straight out of a film.
‘’Downing Street is buzzing with excitement’’ informed Matilde. ‘’Half of the delegation had never met the Queen. Then there’s people like Edmund who go there every week. And what about that dress?’’.
‘’It’s from Burberry. I don’t want to think about the price tag, it still haunts me’’.
Matilde just looked at her with a smirk. Celine knew in the moment about the object of his curiosity.
‘’I saw Sebastian this morning. The idiot yelled outside my window. He was so happy it was contagious. But, I couldn’t make him spill the beans about what happened between you two in the last twenty four hours. He only wanted to talk about my dead relationship with Edmund. I swear to God that guy gossips more than an old lady. So... what happened? Have you got to third base yet?’’
Celine was too mortified to answer. She spend more than a minute blushing scarlet.
‘’We’re going slow, Matilde. No one thought about that apart from you.’
Matilde’s smile wasn’t fading.
‘’C’mon! If you go any slower you’d be a snail! You have bloody Sebastian Stan in your bed! How can you resist from exploring that body of his?’’ she could see that Matilde was almost drooling.
Celine had her cheeks so red that the colour didn’t match with the delicate sky blue of her dress.
‘’I have no comments’’ she said with all the dignity she could muster.
‘’Don’t play the noble dame with me Celine Cadwallader! I know you. I don’t know how you’ll do to take it slow, we’re talking about Sebastian. If I were in your place I’d have ripped his shirt to shreds long time ago. However, you two managed to friendzone each other for six months, so nothing surprise me anymore’’.
‘’Friendzone? But this is for teenagers! We don’t go by those terms. We just have a happy and comfortable relationship. We’re two mature adults, Matilde’”.
Matilde bursted out laughing.
‘’When we talk about ‘Mature adults’ are we talking about Sebastian ‘WHAT I’M GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE NOW THAT GAME OF THRONES IS OVER’ Stan and Celine ‘REAL MADRID IS COMING TO LONDON I’M NOT OKAY THANKS TO THE DEITIES IN WHICH I DON’T BELIEVE’ Cadwallader?’’.
Celine had to admit that Matilde had a point.
‘’Okay, he told me he loved me’’ she finally admitted it. That was all that Matilde wanted, she was delighted even though it was no news for her as everyone had guessed Sebastian’s feelings towards Celine. ‘’And that he thinks we have a future together. Maybe he's right, who knows at this point. But... I love him too. So...'' she shrugged her shoulders. To be honest , she was thrilled that Sebastian wanted a future with her. But that was something that Matilde didn't need to know.
Matilde looked at Celine with a proud expression.
‘’My baby is growing up!’’ she placed her hands on Celine’s shoulders ‘’She’s even growing feelings! God bless Sebastian’’.
Suddenly the song Celine had as an alarm sounded through the office. They both jumped.
‘’It’s time to go.’’ Celine had never been more nervous in her whole life. ‘’We have a Queen to meet’’.
‘’Celine, this morning I was informed that we’re not just meeting the Queen. Prince Charles, Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge are going to be there.’’
Well, that was surprising.

Celine was running all the way back from Gloucester Station. Running with high heels and a thin dress wasn’t the most comfortable thing in the world. The adrenalin and her classic Burberry coat were the only things that prevented her from getting cold.
She quickly opened the door and almost fell inside the house. To her surprise she found Sebastian watching a football match in the living room. He jumped from the couch where he was lying when he saw Celine.
‘’Cez, love, are you okay?’’
‘’Fantastic, Seb! Never been better!’’ she had the brightest smile on her face and her cheeks were red. ‘’I met the Queen!’’ she jumped a little.
Sebastian guessed that she had been concealing her emotions for the whole evening and was finally letting all go. He couldn’t take his mind of how beautiful Celine looked with that dress. She looked like a mixture of old school Hollywood and a Lady from the Royal Family. With her cheeks blushed and a crazy expression in her eyes.
‘’And... what happened?’’ he placed his hands on her arms.
‘’It was amazing. I was so intimidated but I just concealed it the best I could. Then the Prime Minister introduced me mentioning all my achievements and the fact that I was in charge of the project. And the Queen looks at me and nodded! I almost died dead.’’ now Sebastian had the sane brilliant smile on his face as Celine. The Queen had just nodded at her and she was going crazy. It must have been a big gesture to Celine. ‘’And this is not all. Prince Charles congratulated me and Prince Harry himself told me that what I was doing at my young age was ‘fantastic’. Prince Harry and Prince Charles, Sebastian!''
Sebastian was happy for her. What he knew about Prince Charles was his scandals in the 90's and about Prince Harry, his wild partying during the 2000's. Good old days.
He lifted her and spun her around, kissing her jawline on the process. At that moment he loved her above anything else in the whole world.
‘’Wow, I'm proud’’ he gently placed her on the coach. ‘’I still wonder when I got so lucky to have such an amazing woman as a girlfriend.’’ he cupped her cheek and kissed her lips, slowly at first but gradually becoming more passionate.
She was running her hands through his neck and his muscular back. They were basically lying on the couch with Sebastian on top of her with one hand stroking her hair and the other supporting himself. So, for the last months when they were just friends, sharing a tent in a music festival and barely touching each other, she was missing this. What a idiot she had been.
After kissing her lips he went straight to her jawline and then to her neck. The only thing Celine could do was stroke his hair with both of her hands and enjoy the moment.
‘’You seem to like my neck’’ she mumbled after a while.
‘’Yes’’ he whispered. ‘’It’s soft and smells of Burberry perfume. It’s made for kissing’’
‘’I knew that deep inside you were a vampire’’
That took Sebastian out of his trance. He just looked at her with that amazing blue eyes of his.
‘’You just blurt out nonsense out of nowhere. You’re unbelievable and I love you for that.’’ he kissed her forehead. ‘’We’re ruining this pretty dress, Cez’’.
She immediately stood up and straightened the dress. It was too pretty to ruin it. And so bloody expensive.
‘’Who’s playing?’’ she lazily asked. The match Sebastian was watching was already in the half time.
‘’Atletico Madrid against Rome. No one has scored yet’’.
‘’I hope Atletico loses.’’ she bitterly said.
‘’Another team that you hate?’’ he knew that Celine’s list of hateful clubs was long, to say the least.
‘”Yes. But Real Madrid are used to humiliate them. Atletico is a laughingstock for us.’’
Celine watched the summary of the first half, laughing every time Atletico was close to concede a goal.
‘’And where is Matilde?’’ he asked.
Celine looked at him with a mysterious smirk.
‘’She went to the ballet with Edmund’’.
Sebastian was pretty stunned. Firstly, there was no way he could imagine Matilde watching ballet. Secondly, he wasn’t expecting Edmund to make a comeback. The guy was polite and everything but everyone agreed (Matilde included) that he was way too formal.
‘’I thought this guy was over! I need him to leave once and for all to clear the way for TomTilde’’.
Celine had the same face as when one of her teams conceded a goal.
‘’I’m breaking up with you’’ she said standing up from the couch and heading to the kitchen.
‘’What? After only a day?’’ he said dramatically, following her. ‘’You’re breaking my heart’’ he touched his chest with a pained expression.
It was a pretty believable performance except to Celine who saw right through his acting.
‘’Silly’’ she mumbled.
‘’I can cry if you want, Cez. Tearing up is one of my strengths’’.
‘’Oh please’’ she laughed. She caressed his cheek. ‘’Have a cup of tea.'' she handed him a mug. ''And have you told anyone you’re alive?’’
‘’It wasn’t a nice experience. My agent shouted at me for half an hour and insisted that I should go back to New York at once. I declared myself in rebellion. I said I’m not going to do anything until November that I should start with the promotion of my movie. I got my way at the end. The only one who can throw me out is you. After all is your house’’.
‘’I won’t make you leave. What kind of girlfriend does that?’’
‘’I’ll be unemployed for a month’’ he laughed. In the past he used to hate that state but now it was like a holiday.
‘’Unemployed but very well off. I don’t think you’re very stressed’’. she said with sarcasm.
‘’I was very well paid for my last movie, I’m not complaining’’. he giggled, looking at Celine with playful eyes.
He stood there, looking at her. The simple action of drinking tea in an ordinary mug looked elegant in her. Or maybe it was the dress.
‘’Sky blue suits you’’ he suddenly said.
‘’I’m glad you think that. I chose it because it reminds me of your eyes. And well, it gives me peace of mind’’.
He was a bit moved. He wasn’t expecting this confession from her.
‘’I love you, I really mean it’’
‘’I’m honoured.”’ she had a mischievous smile. ‘’I do love too, my darling’’
He loved that side if her, delicate and tender, a side ha hadn't seen many times. He was probably the only one who knew that side of her. It was hard to imagine that she was the same woman who shouted ‘Suck it Arsenal' at the top of her lungs while singing Chelsea Dagger at Emirates Stadium two days ago. Yes, she definitely had many sides.
‘’The bad part of it all...’’ he said, coming back to the original topic. ‘’...is that my mum is going to miss me. I told her I’m going to move here, by the way’’.
‘’Are you sure? Is this not going to damage your career? Just be careful and don’t make any rash decision, please’’.
Her brown eyes were hard and strict. That was the intimidating side of her.
‘’I can manage my career from here, don’t worry. Hiddleston, Holland, Cumbetbatch, Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hardy, and many more have their headquarters here in London and their careers are flourishing. I won’t be the exception, believe me’’.
Celine wasn’t sure of this but she supposed he knew better.
''But, isn't New York your home?'' she was thinking in what would she feel if she ever left Britain to live somewhere else. Only the thought made her feel uncomfortable.
‘’Change is good, Cez. And I'll be with you’’ he added, trying to convince her. ‘’Remember what you told me about Cristiano Ronaldo?’’ Celine had her eyes wide open. So he was comparing himself with Cristiano? ‘’He used to be a legend in.... Manchester United...’’ he looked at Celine who nodded, relieved that he had got the team’s name right. ‘’...and instead of staying there he looked forward to new challenges and went to play for Real Madrid and became a legend there. And a more respected player because he showed that he could be good in any team’’.
Celine blinked a couple of times, not knowing what to say.
‘’The comparison was good but... Seb, I love you but don’t compare yourself with Cristiano Ronaldo again. He’s God for us Madridistas’’.
He couldn’t help but to laughed.
‘’Okay, you’re right, I went ahead of myself. I’ll go back to New York from time to time, to see mum and some other stuff. By the way, she wants to meet you. I told her everything about you and she’s pretty excited about having a daughter in law that’s met the Queen of England’’.
‘’Sebastian! I hope you’re not overrating me!’’
‘’I just told her the truth’’ he said as a matter if fact. ‘’Correct me if I’m wrong but you have two PhD from King’s College, Cambridge and a masters degree in Creative Writing that you never mention, you speak six languages, work for the Prime Minister, made a documentary for the BBC, lead an investigation about Anne Boleyn and you’re only twenty eight years of age. You’re the daughter in law of mum’s dreams’’.
Celine tried without success not to look so pleased with herself. After all, she had got all of that things due to her own effort, no one had given her anything for free.
‘’When you say it like that it sounds pretty impressive.’’.
‘’I’m the one who’s scared of meeting your mother. Elizabeth Cadwallader is pretty scary’’.
She had to admit he was right.
‘’Relax. That won’t happen any time soon...’’
They were interrupted by a loud chant of ‘Goal’ that came from the television in the living room. In the blink of an eye Celine had disappeared.
‘’Yes!’’ she yelled. ‘’Rome scored! Take that, Atletico! Bunch of pathetic losers! Do you know they’re playing against Chelsea? I can’t wait for it. And Real is playing tomorrow. Against the pretty German boys of Borussia Dortmund’’ she rolled her eyes. ‘’The Group Phase of the Champions league can be stressing sometimes’’
He just nodded because he had no idea what she had just said. He knew Chelsea and Real but he had no idea about what a Borussia Dortmund was and why they considered ‘pretty boys’.
‘’Anyway, the match I’m most excited for is Tottenham-Real Madrid in Wembley Stadium on the 1st of November’’. Sebastian could see that her eyes were alive with excitement.
And of course he knew about that match as Celine hadn’t stop talking about it. When she learned that her beloved Real Madrid were going to play in London she had ran around the house yelling that no matter what, she was going to go to Wembley. After that she had spent a fortune buying a ticket to have the closest seat to the pitch. Matilde had immediately been on board with it and Sebastian was pretty curious about the whole thing so he had also jumped on the bandwagon. The price of the ticked was spine chilling and he remembered those times in New York when he got invited to the VIP section of Madison Square Garden to see the Knicks games. Clearly, he didn’t have the same privileges when it came to Real Madrid’s Champions League games.
The match came to an end and Celine was very happy because Atletico had lost. She was even dancing around the room. She wasn’t very graceful but in Sebastian’s opinion, it was the prettiest thing he’d ever seen.
They both agreed to watch a film before going to bed.
‘’You get to chose’’ she told him. ‘’I already watched football, now it’s your turn. And the last time I chose a film, you fell asleep’’.
‘’It was a documentary about physics, Cez. I was lost from the beginning. It’s not my fault that I couldn’t reach the end’’.
‘’I was going to say that you have pretty good taste when it comes to films. Dunkirk was awesome and The Revenant, brilliant’’.
‘’But you hated Batman v Superman’’
‘’It was awful, c'mon Seb, I'm not probably the only one who thinks the same about that movie’’ she quoted him, laughing.
One of the best things was to see Celine watching superhero films. She almost never got the plot and asked the most illogical questions ever. Apart from that, she had the very annoying habit of pointing out every plot hole.
Those were the reasons why he chose Avengers: Age of Ultron. He could hear Celine in his mind asking who on earth was Ultron.
It wasn’t surprising that she wasn’t very enthusiastic about his choice. However, she endured it pretty well and at some point even enjoyed it.
On his part, Sebastian was having the time of his life. He was watching a Marvel film with Celine between his arms. Her clueless face was also a plus side.
After the film they got engaged in very deep discussion about Thor’s hammer. It was surprising that Celine had caught something from the film.
‘’...so Thor is not that special after all’’ she stated ‘’It’s the hammer what makes him great’’
‘’But he has to be worthy of the hammer. Otherwise he won’t be able to lift him’’.
‘’So the hammer chooses who’s worthy and who’s not. It has its own magic. Not like Cap’s shield that anyone can grab it’’.
‘’You could say that’’ he mumbled, not very sure of how to take Celine’s sudden interest in Thor’s hammer.
‘’By the way, Cap is worthy of the hammer.’’ Sebastian looked at her a bit intrigued. ‘’I think the hammer is a very ‘black or white’ object. You’re worthy or you’re not. An Cap moved it. He chose not to lift because he didn’t want to show off in front of everyone. It’s part of his personality, he’s very humble’’.
Sebastian was impressed that she had actually paid attention to that part.
‘’That’s a very good point, Cez’’.
‘’One more thing. How do you call that red humanoid thing?’’ he supposed she was talking about Vision. ‘’Vision or Jarvis? He used to be Jarvis but after transforming in that red thing he was named Vision? Help, I’m confused.’’
‘’I think we should go to bed, Cez.’’

 

Chapter Text

It was Friday and Celine had got home earlier. It was a beautiful evening, probably one of the last nice evenings of the year. Autumn was approaching and with it came the cold and the rain. More rain than usual. 

Sebastian wasn’t at home. She didn’t even worry about his whereabouts at all. Apart from trusting him she wasn’t a controlling person, she could hardly control her own life let alone someone else's. Unless he didn’t get lost, everything was fine.
She was in a very good mood. The week had been excellent, not only because of Sebastian but mainly for the fact that she had been praised by royalty and the Queen had nodded at her. And Real Madrid had won against Dortmund. And she had got the exact sum of money that she was going to be paid for the project.
With a cup of tea in her hands she decided to start working some things in which she’ll have to do during the next week. After all she had all the weekend ahead to relax in her own way. And she had planned to go to Stamford Bridge to see Chelsea on the next day with Matilde, Max, Leah and of course Sebastian.
It was really fun to see him at the stadium. He didn’t know any of the chants and only a handful of players. And Celine had had a hard time trying to teach the offside rule. It wasn’t surprising that he never got the hang of it.
Celine was in the mood to listen to some Taylor Swift, especially a couple of new songs she had. They were pretty upbeat and matched her mood.
Later, she was going to call Matilde to go out and enjoy the night.
Meanwhile, she was trying to work but she kept getting distracted while singing out loud and embarrassing herself. At there was no one to see this pathetic performance.
‘’...I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me...’’ she tunelessly sang ‘’I’ll be the actress starring in your BAD DREAMS...’’
She was in the middle of the chorus when she felt a presence staring at her.
‘’Tell me you’re not there since the beginning of the song’’ she told Sebastian without looking at him.
‘’I was. And it was creepy.’’ he was throwing something up in the air and catching it ‘’I can imagine you being the actress starring in my bad dreams, and let me tell you, it's not a comforting thought.''
Celine rolled her eyes.
‘’My singing abilities are stuff of nightmares, Seb’’.
‘’Sort of... well, yes. But you ace some songs. Hey Jude, We Are The Champions and my personal favourite, Dancing Queen.''
Celine giggled and turned her laptop off. She’ll work in another occasion. At the moment the only thing she wanted was to call Matilde and go out.
‘’Where were you, by the way? You’d better been enjoying the evening because it’s beautiful’’.
‘'I was doing some shopping’’ he said with a smirk.
‘’It’s evident you’re dying to tell me something, Seb. Go ahead’’.
As an answer he showed her a couple of keys.
‘’You got yourself a car?!’’ she covered her face in surprise.
‘’Positive, my lady.’’
‘’For the Queen’s crown, Seb! Show me’’ she was very excited and happy for him.
He guided her out of her own house.
‘’Here you have my new beautiful black Jaguar.’’
Celine was speechless.
‘’Wow’’ she finally mumbled.
‘’Get in’’ he opened the door for her. ‘’Thankfully I learned to drive on the other side. When I got here Tom was reluctant to lend me his Range Rover. He thought I was potential danger’’.
‘’This is beautiful. Even better than Matilde’s mum’s BMW.’’
‘’Where do you want to go, my lady?’’
Before she answered they both looked at the light in Matilde’s windows. They didn’t need to say it aloud as they were thinking exactly the same.
‘’I’ll text her’’ said Celine.
Seconds later she got Matilde’s answer saying that she’ll be there in five minutes.
‘’Damn, I can’t believe this’’ suddenly Celine blurted out. ‘’I have a hot boyfriend with a luxurious car. Suck it, Maria Velazquez from eight grade who said I was going to die alone because I had no sex appeal. Now I get why people have Facebook so they can brag. I’d gladly take a picture of you, standing next to this car, shirtless of course, with your sexiest face and sent it to Velazquez. Look where I am, everybody!’’
Sebastian loved whenever Celine got in the petty spirit. It was a fun thing to see.
‘’You’re awakening the vindictive side of me. You should let me photograph you next to the car, in a bikini. Then I’ll send them to Mark Peters, the idiot who said that if I couldn’t speak clearly I should shut up. I had an accent for God’s sake! Look who’s famous now!’’
‘’Why into a bikini? There's no better joke than me trying to act sexy’’ not that Celine cared very much about that. She had no reasons to be self conscious. After all she was a 28 year old woman with good money and two doctorates.
‘’I can testify that this is not true. Remember I saw you in that glorious Chelsea underwear. You are beautiful, Cez, admit it''.
‘’Clown’’
‘’But I’m your clown’’
‘’Cliche’’
‘’But I’m your cliche’’
Celine rolled her eyes.
‘’Shut up, Seb. Your cliches are worse than your football talk and that explains a lot''.
‘’What is wrong with my football talk, Cez?’’ she knew he wasn’t offended at all but he was acting as if he was hurt.
‘’How can I start, Seb? You confused Lucas Vazquez with Marco Asensio’’ he knew that they were Real Madrid players. Only that. ‘’You laughed because our rival team’s mascot was a bee and you call our coach, the legendary Zinedine Zidane, ‘that egg headed man’. That’s a sacrilege!’’.
‘’I’m sorry but his head looked like an egg.’’ he laughed and looked at her with an irresistible expression.
For a moment they got lost in each other’s eyes. A couple of knocks in the window got them back to reality. Of course it was Matilde.
‘’Sorry to interrupt this romantic moment, but you invited me so you’ll deal with it’’ she opened the door and got in the backseat. ‘’Nice car by the way, Sebby. Finally we got a chauffeur to go to Stamford Bridge tomorrow.’’
Celine giggled and Sebastian looked resigned.
‘’So, where do you want to go?’’ he asked. After all, they were the locals.
‘’Piccadilly’’ they both said at the same time. They hadn’t planed this beforehand, they just thought about the same thing. Of course they laughed and high fived each other.
‘’There’s no better place for such a lovely night’’ commented Matilde ‘’And why did you two invite me to your date?’’
‘’We can’t live without you, Matt’’ said Celine. And it was true, she couldn’t conceive the idea of going to Piccadilly without Matilde. She was always extra fun. Sebastian was of the same opinion, for him Matilde was like sister, a constant presence in his life and he was not bothered by it, at all.
‘’And we don’t do conventional dates. I’m getting old for that and Celine works twelve hours. It’s so much better to stay at home, eat trash food and watch documentaries about castles. And I'm not being sarcastic.’’
Matilde look at them. They didn’t look exactly like boring people but she knew they weren’t the most outgoing pair.
‘’After all the point of a date is to get to know one another’’ she commented ‘’And you know everything about the other. Cuddling while watching the Champions League is so much better’’.
She winked and Sebastian eyes got wide open.
‘’No one in their right mind would cuddle Celine while she’s watching football. I’ve learned my lesson.’’ he said touching his ribs.
Matilde laughed. It was common knowledge that Celine got overexcited with football and she had probably elbowed Sebastian at some during the match.
‘’Music?’’ asked Celine. She had spent the last couple of minutes in her phone finding songs and not listening to Matilde and Sebastian talking.
Minutes later all of them were singing Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer at the top of their lungs. Like a cheap version of the Carpool Karaoke show Matilde liked.
‘’...TAKE MY HAND AND WE’LL MAKE IT, I SWEAR, OHHHH OHHH LIVING ON A PRAYER...’’
Out of them all, the only one who could sing was Matilde. The worst was definitely Celine.
And their version of Walking on Sunshine was not worthy of a Grammy.
When they got to Piccadilly, the three of them were crying of laughter with the horrible versions of classical songs. Their rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody had left them all in tears.
‘’So, where now?’’ asked Celine, interlacing her arm with Sebastian’s.
‘’Let’s go with the flow’’ said Matilde, wiping the tears from her eyes and grabbing Sebastian’s other arm.
‘’Let’s walk around’’ Sebastian was looking around the place, enjoying the lively atmosphere.
‘’Yeah!’’ Matilde and Celine yelled and falling into another laughing attack.

The next evening the three of them came back from the stadium in an overexcited mood. Especially Celine. Chelsea had won in the last minute which drove both girls into almost fainting while Sebastian stood there a bit awkwardly not knowing how to react. The atmosphere of the match was still present in the air. Celine had a Chelsea flag wrapped around her back and was singing some football chant. Sebastian was internally laughing. Of all the virtues Celine had, no one could imagine that at least twice a week she turned into a hooligan. He was used to this side of her but it never ceased to be funny. She continued with the chants when they got to Celine’s house. Matilde was also singing the same song but in a less louder voice. Before anyone could notice she had disappeared upstairs and only her voice could be heard.
‘’Sebastian...’’ started Matilde who was making the teas ‘’Have you met someone who knew all the chants of a team? It can be of any sport’’.
‘’Chris Evans, up to a point. But she wins’’ he pointed to the first floor where Celine was. Her singing voice could still be heard. ''Chris still controls himself most of the time but Celine goes wild.''
‘’And how are you two doing after almost a week?’’ Matilde was curious about everything and she was sure he was more open than Celine.
He had a giddy smile. It was clear as water that the guy was in love.
‘’Peaceful, warm, she’s my everything’’.
His last words made Matilde almost cry. Why didn’t she have a sweet and handsome guy to tell her things like that?
‘’You call this peaceful?’’ she asked also pointing to the first floor where Celine was singing some football song with the word ‘Blue is the colour’ in it.
‘’Well, no. Football is an exception to the norm. But I knew this beforehand. I’m never going to forget the fateful April day when Barcelona won the match against Real in the last minute. I thought she was going to punch the TV. It was scary’’.
Matilde’s face change and she gripped her mug with more strength.
‘’Sebby, love, don’t remind me of this. It still hurts and makes me extremely angry.’’ she had an expression he had often seen on Celine. ‘’Thank God we got our revenge and beat those bastards until they were praying for mercy’’.
Sebastian was a bit shocked that sweet natured Matilde was talking like Celine in those days when her teams lost. And also when they won. It seemed as if hooliganism was contagious.
‘’What are you two talking about?’’ Celine was back without the flag and with her voice a bit affected for obvious reasons.
Her gaze went from Sebastian’s confused face to Matilde’s angry one.
‘’Sebastian was reminding me of something unpleasant.’’
‘’Does it have to be with you in Glastonbury? Because that’s not unpleasant, that was plain funny’’ she laughed and high fived Sebastian. ‘’I know you don’t remember much of it but we do’’
They laughed again and Matilde looked at both of them with exasperation.
‘’You two are definitely made for each other’’.

Half and hour later Matilde had left and Celine and Sebastian were both in the living room. Celine was finishing something for work and Sebastian was roaming around her books looking for something interesting.
Taylor Swift’s ‘Ready for it’ was playing in the background. Surprisingly it had been Sebastian’s choice. He had liked the song even though he had no intentions of confessing this to Celine. Or to anyone else.
He was putting the books aside that by their titles sounded tedious: ‘The most important discoveries in physics of the 21st Century’, ‘An introduction to British Politics’ and the one who beat them all: ‘The Role of Accountancy in the Tudor Period’. For some reason Celine had written ‘Harry Potter and’ just before the title. It took him a while to get the joke. After a while he was silently laughing at the ‘Harry Potter and The Role of Accountancy in the Tudor Period’’.
‘’What are you laughing at?’’ she asked, looking at him, intrigued. As an answer she showed her the book. ‘’Oh that. It got more exciting after adding the ‘Harry Potter’ there’’.
‘’Really?’’ he was not believing her.
‘’No. But I had to read it to write an essay based on it afterwards.’’
She continued working and he tried to read the beginning of the book. It could be used as a cure for insomnia, he was sure of that.
After finishing with her work, Celine stood there looking at Sebastian passing the pages of the accountancy book.
‘’Did you find something interesting?’’
‘’Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone. I read it when I was a kid’’.
‘’No, you didn’t.’’ Celine answered as a matter of fact. ‘’The first Harry Potter book was released in the late 90’s. You were already a teenager, Seb’’
‘’You have a point there’’ he sat beside her. She immediately wrapped her arms around his neck. He had never read Harry Potter or watched the movies but he knew a couple of thing about the Wizarding World like the houses or Tom Felton.
‘’I’m sorry’’ she mumbled.
‘’For what?’’ he was really shocked. In his opinion there was nothing for what Celine had to apologise.
‘’For being unemotional, inexpressive, proud and on top of everything an unbearable football hoolingan’’.
He just laughed.
‘’Cez, love, that’s the way you are and I wouldn’t change it for the world. You’re not unemotional actually quite the opposite. You’re really passionate when it’s about football and the stuff you like’’.
‘’And you. In case you didn’t know I love you as much as those other things. You should know it, just in case I forget to show you’’
He held her close. She was like a rose: thorny but delicate at the same time. She was a wonderful thing that not many people could understand or appreciate.
'’I know you like to call yourself a dragon but you’re more like a crab. Hard on the outside but on the inside soft and cute.’’
‘’That was the most romantic thing I’ve heard in my life’’ she said with sarcasm, standing up and ruffling his hair on the process.
‘’You say my cliches are pathetic and now you want them back?’’
Celine stopped in her tracks and stood there thinking for a little while.
‘’No, really, no.'' Chuckling, she continued her way upstairs. Lazily, Sebastian followed her not before taking a book with him.
He found Celine already dressed to bed, running around the room tiding things. Typical night routine to Celine.
‘Are you actually going to read The Philosopher Stone? I’ve read it thousands of times. I can recite it by heart... ‘’Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive were proud to say that they were perfectly normal...’’
‘’Wow, really?’’ he was a bit stunned. Of all the things Celine had in her head, he wasn’t expecting her to know the first part of Harry Potter by heart. ‘’I need to listen to more of this’’.
‘’I just know that part, I’m not that bright’’.
He left to the bathroom and Celine just covered herself with the covers and grabbed the book she was currently reading, ‘Murder Most Royal’. Yes, Celine’s choice of bedtime stories could be quite disturbing. At least that was what Matilde and Sebastian thought.
She was so into the story that she didn’t even notice Sebastian getting back to bed if he hadn’t tickled her side.
‘’Read to me’’ he said with a seductive voice.
‘’Okay’’ she started reading from her book ‘’Anne arrived at Hever with the words of the King’s song still in her thoughts. She found it difficult to analyze her feelings...’’
‘’Not that, Cez. This.’’ With a childish smile on his beautiful face.
‘’Why don’t you read it yourself?’’ Even though she loved Harry Potter, she wanted to finish Murder Most Royal.
“’Because you have a beautiful speaking voice and a British accent that’s honey to my ears. And to everyone’s ears. Chris Evans said you had a sexy accent.’’
Celine rolled her eyes. There was not a day without the mention of Chris Evans.
‘’Believe me, I speak like everyone at the university.’’
‘’But I don’t want Sir Henry Bedingfield to read me to sleep’’ he flinched only with the thought. ‘’Please Cez, please, please’’
She looked at him. He could be such a child sometimes. And of course that she was going to read to him. She liked to spoil him from time to time and make him feel loved and comfortable.
‘”Okay, come here’’
He gave her the book and placed his head on Celine’s chest and wrapping his arms around her waist.
‘’We are Saturday night goals, Cez’’.
‘’We’re on fire, Seb’’ she laughed “’Now enjoy’’ she kissed the top of his head and started to read.

Celine woke up on Sunday morning knowing that she had to start the day by doing shopping. There was also a Manchester United game that she wanted to watch during the evening. It was weird that those were her first thoughts of the day but old habits never die. She had always planned the day just after opening her eyes whenever football was involved.
However, it was temping to stay in bed a little longer. After all, it was just nine in the morning and she had Sebastian wrapped around her. Both of his arms were around her waist, his head on the top of hers and a leg on her hips. To move him without waking him up was going to difficult.
‘’Stay’’ he moaned when Celine tried to move him.
‘’I have to do shopping, Seb, let me go’’
‘’No’’ he was too strong to move him so she gave up.
After all she was just going to stay a little longer in bed and she wasn’t uncomfortable at all. Sebastian was deeply asleep again and she took advantage of that to move him. This time he didn’t show any resistance. She stared at him for a while. He was so beautiful even asleep. He had a peaceful and relaxed expression.
She realised that she couldn’t bear to leave and let him there. Not even for a little while. Shopping could wait. She wrapped her arms around his chest and placed a kiss on his neck.
She didn’t fall asleep again, she just enjoyed the peace and quiet of that moment. And his warmth and beauty.
After some undetermined time Celine felt him move.
‘’Good morning, love’’ she mumbled against his neck.
‘’It’s hard to believe I’m not in a dream right now. This is the best way to wake up, I can do this for the rest of my life’’.
She remained in silence but she totally agreed with him.
‘’Seb....’’ she took face from the crook of his neck to look directly at his eyes. His face was so sleepy and for Celine that was the cutest thing ever. ‘’I love you’’.
‘’I know’’ he replied with pure honesty. ‘’And I love you too.’’.
This was the happiest he had ever been. He had had happy relationships before, he was not going to complain about that, but this was something different. For once in his life he didn't feel that awful anxiety that this happy moment was going to go downhill in some way. Celine was someone in whom she had found a home. Maybe have a family of their own, in the remote case that someday she agreed to that. Or they could have a family of cats, that was also good. Maybe he was just getting ahead of himself.
‘’I should go shopping, Seb. You can stay in bed if you want’’.
‘’Let’s have a lazy day, Cez. Look out, it’s cloudy, depressing and the cold is back. I did shopping on Friday. Let’s make breakfast and watch some heart warming movie, please’’.
His offer was tempting, and he was right, the day was a bit depressing. And it was a good idea to spend the day indoors with Sebastian.
They made a quick breakfast that consisted on tea and toast while deciding which movie they wanted to see. Nothing about superheroes or history documentaries. Something soft and cute but not a romantic comedy (because either of them were fans of them).
Finally, they settled with good old Shrek. Celine had watched the first part many years ago, and she didn’t remember much of what the thing was about. Only that Shrek was an ogre, that there was a talking donkey involved and a princess named Fiona. She was surprised that there were four Shrek films. Sebastian said they were a classic no matter how old you were.
‘’Good choice’’ she said after watching the first one. ‘’I saw it when a was still in high school and I didn’t notice how funny and sweet it was. Maybe it’s all about the company’’ she got closer to him to cuddle him.
‘’But why couldn’t Shrek ended up looking like Fiona? If it’s about true love...’’
‘’Seb! She was the one who was cursed! If Donkey were her true love she’d have turn into a Donkey.’’ she couldn’t believe that they were having this debate ‘’It’s a bit cool. Imagine that when I kissed you I’d turned hot like you’’
‘’Don’t bring yourself down, Cez. You’re a beauty. And do you think I’m your true love?’’ he asked with a little smile.
‘’What do you think, Lord Farquaad?’’ she went to her closet to grab a box of chocolates that she had stored there.
‘’Wow, I was Mighty Seb, Sir Sebastian and now Lord Farquaad?’’
‘’The last one suits you better’’ she threw the chocolates to him. ‘’Now play the second one. I need to take the 'Somebody once told me' song that's stuck in my head’’.
Celine also liked the second one. She was having one of the best days she could remember only just watching old kids films and eating some chocolates. Yes, everything was about the company. And the Fairy Godmother, that was great.
After the film ended Sebastian insisted on cooking some pasta (one of the few things that he could cook) because he needed something salty after all that sweets. Celine wanted to help him but he didn’t let her. Probably because she’s end up making a mess.
Meanwhile they were talking about the looked when they were younger.
‘’Cez, stop telling me that I looked cute. I resembled an actual vampire. I was a Romanian weirdo not even you can deny that. Add my accent and my dreams of becoming an actor to the mix and you have the recipe of ‘How to be a loser’ ‘’.
‘’Who cares now. You got hot and you actually became an actor. And not just an ordinary actor but a famous one. You have fans, Seb. I don’t see that you’re a loser’’.
‘’Add that I have pretty girlfriend who is a doctor to the mix, and yes, I’m a bloody winner’’ Celine rolled her eyes, like every time he complimented her. ‘’I have a picture of myself at college in my phone. You can look for it if you can find my phone because I have no idea where it is’’.
It was typical of Sebastian to leave his things everywhere around the house. Thankfully Celine knew that he had left his phone on her office’s desk.
She couldn’t help but to smile when she saw a picture of herself as his lockscreen. It made her feel special. After a while, she found the picture he was talking about.
‘’Oh my God, Seb. You were actually really handsome. My friends from Cambridge would have been quite crazy for you. They are crazy for you now and they have no idea I know you let alone that we have a relationship. They are going to die when I tell them. But your young self would have tickled their fancies.’’
‘’And what about you?’’
‘’I would have found you handsome, after all I have eyes. But I'd never have lost my head for you.’’ she went to her office again to find a picture she wanted to show to Sebastian. ‘’And this was me’’
In the picture there was a younger Celine. She looked more or less the same, except that her face was rounder more child-like and her hair was a lot longer, passing her waist.
‘’Maybe I’m biased’’ he commented ‘’But the younger me would have found you gorgeous. And you were also smart. The whole package. You would have had young Sebastian wrapped around your little finger. I wouldn’t have looked at anyone else but you. More of less the same as now, older Sebastian is yours to command. But you looked quite like a popular girl’’.
Celine smiled, remembering those Cambridge days.
‘’No one was really popular, but I was the one with the one with good grades. I’m proud to say that I founded a club of Chelsea fans among the people of King’s College and we gathered in a pub to watch the matches. That’s when we discovered that I was intolerant to alcohol. Not that it mattered at that moment. But I used to be really adventurous climbing trees and jumping walls to sneak into conferences I wasn't allowed to enter.’’
‘’And dancing on a table after a shot of vodka?’’
‘’That was the beginning. My friends thought that it was because vodka was a strong beverage and I wasn’t used to drink. But after they had to carry me back to my dorm while I was shouting the lyrics of Hey Jude, after only a little pint of beer. They guessed that something was wrong and after many calls to my neuroscientist mother and experiments from the medicine students of King’s College they discovered that was intolerant to alcohol. Sad. ‘’
Celine helped him to serve the food. He could actually cook a very good pasta. It was almost as good as the one her father used to prepare.
‘’They experimented with you’’ he laughed ‘’And you said you weren’t popular’’.
‘’We were all popular. We were a close bunch there at King’s College. We just wanted to beat the other colleges in everything. I’m proud to say that I contributed to win the scavenger hunts as the captain of the team in my last five years.’’
They ate in silence for next minutes even though Sebastian wanted to keep asking questions. Finally he couldn’t help himself.
‘’Cez, if I had been there, would you have picked me to your group?’’
Celine was thinking about it.
‘’I think you could have been a funny addition even though you would’ve made Amy and Alice to fall in love with you. But we would have been good friends. You would have been our actor friend. And about us... I don't know, I was more or less the same person back then so after a while being friends I would have succumbed to your charms.''
Sebastian laughed, knowing that it was probably true. They were drawn to each other and there was nothing they could do about it.
‘’And how does the story ends?’’ he asked, smiling. ‘’In real life it took us six months to succumb to each other.’’
‘’After finishing with university we would’ve gotten married’’ she was speaking with such a careless voice that Sebastian didn’t know if she was joking or not. ‘’We’d have a blue eyed kid by now’’
Celine took advantage of his stunned expression to take his empty plate from the table. He didn’t seem to realise that Celine was talking of something that was happening in some alternate universe.
‘’A blue eyed kid?’’ it seemed that his mind had got stuck in those words.
Celine started to wash the dishes while he sat in the counter with a towel to dry the plates that Celine gave him.
‘’Sebastian’’ she looked directly at his eyes. ‘’If our kids don’t get your eyes, I’m suing.’’
It was really funny to see his expression. He almost dropped the towel.
‘’Are you serious?’’ he asked with his eyes wide open.
‘’I don’t know anymore’” when she finished with the dishes she snatched the towel from Sebastian’s hands. ‘’I thought I had everything planned but then you happened. So who knows. Tea?’’ she suddenly asked.
He nodded but he was concerned. What if Celine had any regrets of having a relationship with him? Suddenly the feeling of not being good enough consumed him, definitely not for the first time in his life. What if she was unhappy? That was the last thing he wanted.
‘’Cez, do you miss your single state?’’
She smiled, knowing exactly what was going on inside his mind.
‘’Not at all. How can you think that? Maybe I wasn’t expecting all of this but I don’t regret it. You’re not overwhelming, you respect my freedom and independency and you’re also a good kisser.’’ he looked a bit proud of himself at that moment. ‘’So, we don’t know what we’ll decide to do in future. And that’s the exciting part.’’
He was so relieved that he threw himself at her arms. She held him close not wanting to let go.
‘’Where were you all my life?’’ he whispered to her ear. He was being honest. He would pay good money to have met Celine before March, many years before if that was possible.
‘’Cardiff, South America, Cambridge and you met me in London’’.
‘’Thank God for London’’ with a shiver he remembered that he had almost chickened out of all the London thing. What would have happened if he had never met Celine? The thought was scary.
‘’Let’s go and watch Shrek 3. I want to know what happened next.’’ she smiled and guided him upstairs.
''King Arthur is in it'' he said with a smile.
''No spoilers'' she warned him.

 

Chapter Text

More than a month had passed and everything was going very smoothly. Celine was working more than ever before but having Sebastian made everything easier. He took care of everything that Celine couldn't do and also made sure that she didn't stress herself too much.

On the 1st of November, there was an atmosphere of utter enthusiasm. Celine had even asked for a free day at work, something she never did. Of course that the Prime Minister granted it. After all she was a flawless employee.
Celine was over the moon. She was going to Wembley stadium to see her beloved Real Madrid playing a Champions League match against Tottenham. Matilde was also excited, but she had seen Real Madrid matched before. For Sebastian it was something new. He knew the name of some of the players but he would never be able to recognise any of them on the streets. He was more excited to see Celine’s reactions when she saw Cristiano Ronaldo on the flesh.
Sebastian, being the angel that he was, drove them all to Wembley. Celine couldn't contain her excitement and she was jumping when they were getting into the stadium. It wasn't his first time in this stadium as he had gone before when Celine took him there to see a Chelsea match and had been his favourite stadium in London. In every aspect, this place was a myth.
‘’I can’t imagine how she'd react if she ever goes to the Bernabeu’’ commented Matilde, looking at Celine’s thrilled face.
Sebastian knew that the Bernabeu was Real’s stadium in Madrid. For Celine the place was some sort of legend or a promised land. What he couldn't understand was why she had never gone there yet. It wasn't a problem of money, as she had enough or in any case he would offer to take her there (even though he knew she’d never accept). At least he was seeing her beloved team play in front of her very eyes.
‘’The same way you reacted when you met Chris Evans’’ Celine answered to Matilde. Evidently, she wasn't missing a word.
They found their seats strategically placed in the first row. It was clear why they had cost a fortune: they were two metres away from the entrance to the pitch. They were going to see the players at a very short distance.
‘’I can’t wait’’ mumbled Matilde, was becoming gradually more excited.
Sebastian had his blue eyes wide open, looking at everything around and for a moment Celine had forgot about the match. She had been caught up in the way his head turned around with the curiosity alive in his eyes. It was really cute.
‘’Thank you for putting up with this.’’
‘’Honestly, this is fun. And your happy face is something I won’t trade for anything...’’
He couldn't complete whatever he was going to say.
‘’Celine!’’ shouted Matilde ‘’The goalkeepers are getting in!’’
Immediately Celine looked away from Sebastian and set her eyes on the entrance where two figures where getting in.
‘’Keylor!’’ Celine shouted, and she wasn't the only one. Some people booed and others shouted the goalkeeper’s name. ‘’That’s Keylor Navas!’’ she pointed to the man so Sebastian could see who that was.
The player waved at the part where they were and Celine almost lost her chill.
‘’He waved!’’ she shouted. Of course they weren't the only ones at that section and most probably dedicated to all of the people there not just for them.
But Celine went absolutely crazy was when the rest of the players of Real Madrid and Tottenham came into the pitch, passing just meters away from them. It was obvious that Celine didn't care about the Tottenham ones. If it was just the warming up, Sebastian couldn't imagine her face when the actual game started.
‘’SERGIO! SERGIO! SERGIO!’’ she was shouting at the top of her lungs. Sebastian knew it was Sergio Ramos, the team’s captain. ‘’CAP! CAP! CAP!’’
This time Celine was luckier as the player turned around and waved at her.
‘’Oh my God! Did you see that?’’ she grabbed Sebastian’s shoulder and with a big smile she continued shouting to some other player named Isco.
‘’Should I be worried that Sergio Ramos wants to steal my girlfriend?’’ he asked to Matilde, half kidding.
‘’No. He has a wife and two kids. You should worry for Marco Asensio. He’s the hottest. And he’s also single, thank God’’.
He looked where Matilde was pointing. The young player was indeed very handsome, with dark Spanish looks, a swift way of moving and a smile that probably stole thousands of hearts, starting with Matilde's. Sebastian had never felt more like a potato before. He didn't notice that Celine was looking at him, trying not to laugh.
‘’If you think he’s more handsome than you, well, you’re wrong’’ Sebastian had to admire Celine’s ability to know in what he was thinking. ‘’He doesn't have those blue eyes that can light up a whole town, your smile is actually nicer and overall you’re better looking. He’s not bad but you’re better’’.
He couldn't believe that Celine thought that he was better than a Real Madrid player.
‘’Thank you, Cez’’ he kissed the top of her head.
The warming up was over and the players were leaving the pitch. They were going to come back in minutes, to play the match. Celine couldn't take her eyes off of the players. When Sergio Ramos started to make his way back to the dressing room he took his training jersey and handed it to an astonished Celine. Matilde and Sebastian were also frozen.
A whole minute passed before Celine could mutter a word.
‘’This is the best day of my life. I’m seeing them live and Sergio Ramos himself gives me this treasure’’ without saying a word more she melted into Sebastian’s arms. He knew she wasn't crying but she was a bit in shock. She was even shaking a little.
It was a pity that the match wasn't the best as Real Madrid was very badly beaten But Celine was so happy for actually being there that she wasn't too angry about the result.
After getting back home Celine was with a smile that never left her face, holding Sergio Ramos’ training jersey as if it were a newborn baby.
‘’Seb, thank you for keeping me company today. You’re an angel’’
He slowly kissed her lips.
‘’Anything for you my love’’.

It was Saturday and Celine was at her house with Matilde, who was baking something she had learned on the Great British Bake Off. Celine didn't even waste her time watching those as she knew that learning to cook was out of her hands. Meanwhile Sebastian was doing shopping.
Celine had been feeling a bit down after the Real Madrid match, probably because she had had such an amazing experience that she couldn't wait to live something like that again. Or maybe because she had finally realised that the match had been a disaster, Real Madrid had been humiliated and was the laughingstock of the football world. It was probably that.
‘’I see that you’re a bit down, Celine’’ Matilde knew it had nothing to do with Sebastian as that same morning they were as normal as ever. ‘’Have you been experiencing mood swings?’’
‘’Eh?’’ Celine was confused. She'd better not be starting a damn conversation about periods because Celine was going to snap.
‘’Are you becoming more sensitive?’’ Matilde looked at her with her brows raised. Damn, it seemed she was talking about periods.
‘’What are you even talking about? It'd better not be periods. You know I hate that topic. It's just a biological thing and people make such a big deal about that...’’
''I'm not talking about periods but about the lack of them.''
It took a while to Celine to figure out what the hell she was talking about but when she did she started laughing and couldn't stop.
''No way!'' she kept on laughing. ''I can't believe stuff like that cross your bloody mind'' more laughter. ''I am a lot of things, Matilde: weird, sarcastic, insufferable, etc; but I know pregnant is one of the things I'm not'' and even more laughter.
''Well, it can be a possibility'' Matilde wanted to get more details out of Celine but she was being a pain in the ass.
‘’No. It can’t. This is the most uncomfortable conversation I've ever had. And bizarre.''
Matilde was still curious about the whole thing. It was her nature, she was a born gossiper. And what happened behind closed doors in Celine’s relationship was one of the things that she was most intrigued about. Unluckily for her, Celine was hard as a rock and she would never tell her many details.
‘’Wait a second’’ slowly, Matilde was solving the puzzle. ‘’It’s been almost two months and you two haven’t done it?’’
Celine had the sudden urge of jumping into the Thames. Or lock herself in the Tower of London and never get out.
''Done what?'' Celine tried to play it innocent but couldn't fool Matilde this time. ''Is there something I'm supposed to be doing?''
‘’I can’t believe it. You share a bed with one of the sexiest persons in the world and you've managed not to take off his shirt? How do you do it? Don’t tell me you believe in chastity!’’
Celine was really embarrassed. This was probably one of the very few areas she had no experience which didn't mean she didn't have knowledge. She wasn't an idiot.
‘’I don't believe in chastity but no one had really thought about that, I swear'' and she was telling the truth. ''And whatever happens I'm not telling you. I'm not Sebastian who has the story of how he lost his virginity on the Internet.''
Even Matilde laughed this time.
''What an idiot. Anyway, get into work, girl, you won't regret it'' Celine was still uncomfortable but Matilde didn't care. ''We're talking about Sebastian Stan here, I just see him and I know he's good in bed. Gosh, I'm so jealous right now, I'd give a lot to have a beautiful and talented man in my bed instead of Edmund who is crap.''
Celine had her eyes wide open.
‘’I didn't need to know about Edmund's wonders in bed. Damn, this is disturbing.’’ She was looking forward to tell that to Sebastian to see his reaction. ‘’Ew, just… ew. I can’t imagine you and Edmund, no just, no.''
‘’Well, I couldn't get my hands on Chris Evans or Tom Holland so Edmund was what's left. Not all of us are you, Celine, who somehow made Sebastian Stan to fall in love with you. You’re one of the luckiest persons on earth. Now, take advantage of that luck.''
''Shut up'' she grumbled.
But Matilde was right. Celine considered herself beyond lucky. It wasn’t because Sebastian was famous or extremely handsome but for the fact that he was the person Celine trusted the most. He was her best friend, she had found harmony with him and she knew he was happy with her. Everyone won.
‘’I know I am’’ Celine said with a smile that reached her eyes ‘’And I’m beyond happy. This is incredible… but only the thought of being in a relationship disgusted me but then... with Seb everything was so natural... I can't see myself with anyone else, I know it seems drastic but I swear is not.''
Matilde winced at Celine’s sour humour.
Sebastian got home some minutes later, with his arms full of supermarket bags that he left on the kitchen’s counter. Then he hugged and kissed Celine.
‘’Matilde, what have you been telling her? She’s red’’ he caressed Celine’s cheek with his thumb.
''We were talking about virginities'' Matilde said bluntly.
''Oh'' he smiled like an idiot. ''Do you want to know how I lost mine?''
''Don't worry, we know'' said Celine with a careless voice. Sebastian looked intrigued. ''It's on the Internet''
''Oh'' then he remembered he had been idiotic enough to tell this story to everyone to enjoy. Including Celine. ''And did you read it?''
''Of course. Matilde gave me the link. I think she also gave it to Max and Leah. And Edmund.''
Matilde just played the fool and looked back at what she was baking.
''Edmund, really?'' he didn't seem grossed out or anything. In his mind he was comparing himself with Edmund and how superior he was. Male egos, Celine thought with exasperation, trying not to roll her eyes.
''I think Matilde just wanted him to acquire you ability because according to that lady over there, Edmund is trash in bed'' Celine added, laughing again.
Sebastian’s face was priceless, he went full into gossip mode.
‘’I can’t believe this of you Matilde! I was going to set you up with Tom Holland but no, you decided to go for a tasteless moron. And sleep with him! Oh, God this is outrageous'' everyone knew that this was an act. ''That’s your choice. I can't do nothing about it’’.
‘’Set me up with TOM WHAT?!!’’ Matilde shouted. Apparently she had listened just to the first part.
‘’Too late!’’ Celine and Sebastian shouted back.

Late at night Sebastian was reading some scripts he had got sent. At the same time he had Celine and Elemauzer, both curling on his chest. From time to time he placed a kiss on the top of Celine’s head, ran a hand through her hair or asked her opinion.
‘’Found something that you liked, Seb?’’
‘’A couple. I got offered the lead in a romantic comedy but it was a no from me since the beginning. In the past I would have said yes with closed eyes but after ‘The Duke’ I can’t see myself as a romantic lead. I believe Henry Percy is the best character I’ve ever done’’.
‘’Wasn’t it Bucky?’’
Sebastian thought about that for a little while.
‘’Bucky’s my favourite but Henry’s my best. I don’t think it’s Oscar worthy or anything like it but… it’s still good’’.
Celine looked at him, not completely believing in what he was saying.
‘’I’m pretty sure that your work will be recognised sooner than you believe. I’ve been through this process and I saw the heart and soul you put into this character. This film will boost your career even more’’.
He kissed her forehead, grateful for the faith she had in him. It seemed to him that she trusted him more than he trusted himself.
‘’It seems that drama is my cup of tea. So, no romance. Anyway, I don’t really want to go around kissing another people’’.
‘’Why not?’’ she really didn’t mind about that part of his job. She knew he loved her and that was enough for her. She trusted him with her life.
But he didn’t think the same. He had a guilty expression on his face.
‘’Cez, I have a girlfriend, that happens to be you. Kissing someone else would feel like cheating’’ he had a disgusted expression. ‘’Sorry, but I can’t bear it. It makes me feel sick to only think about the possibility’’.
What a heart of gold, Celine thought. She squeezed him tighter and he reciprocated the movement. Anyway, he had to get over that if he wanted to get good roles.
‘’And something else that’s not romance?’’ she looked at him with a sweet little smile before kissing him.
‘’A thriller but it will be shot in Vancouver in between three to five months. So, no to that one. I’m not leaving you stranded for that long’’.
Celine rolled her eyes.
‘’Seb, darling, if you want your career to flow, you have to stop thinking about me. I want to see you succeed more than anything else, remember that’’ she kissed him again. With a little bit of guilt she thought that if she had a great career opportunity she would take it without much thought. She felt so selfish, a literal trashy person that it almost physically hurt her.
‘’Sorry but not happening’’ he knew that he could be stubborn sometimes and when it came to Celine, he didn’t care about anything else. He will always put her first, no matter what she said.
‘’Okay, do whatever you want’’ it was useless to contradict him, so she supposed he knew better.
‘’But don’t desperate, Cez. I found a couple of things that I liked.’’ he handed a script to Celine. ‘’This is for a new Star Wars prequel. I’ve tried many times to get a role in one of these movies but I’ve failed. However, this one is for the role of Luke Skywalker and my fans say that I really look like the original actor. No but, really, I could totally be his son, even he thinks that’’ he tried to say all of this in a language that Celine could understand but it hadn’t worked yet. Celine had no idea about Star Wars or anything like it.
‘’Let’s see’’ she took the phone that was closer to her and swiftly Googled ‘Luke Skywalker’. She was really curious to see if he looked like Sebastian. She was a bit shocked with the results. ‘’This is scary. Are you sure you’re not related to him? The only difference is the hair colour’’.
‘’Yeah, I like to say I’m Mark Hamill’s son, even if that’s not true’’.
Celine laughed a little wishing with all her heart that he could get his dream role and finally play that Luke Skywalker. She’d even watch Star Wars for his sake.
‘’And do you have something else?’’
‘'Just a couple of things I haven't read yet to see if I like them.''
Celine looked at him with a smug smile.
''Make sure you like something'' she said, curling on Sebastian's chest again.

Later on the night Celine was muttering some song while blow drying her hair. She knew she didn’t look any different from how she looked nine months ago but she felt different. She looked prettier and somehow her cheeks looked more rosy. It wasn’t because the corny thing of ‘finding love’, as Matilde would probably think, but it was probably about a new found confidence, and she had to thank Sebastian for it.
In the last five months she had achieved a lot of career milestones but also many new things had happened. She had even met famous people, though at that moment she had had no idea who they were. Her own boyfriend was famous. Not that it mattered to her at all but it was something to take into consideration. If a year ago someone would have told her that she will have caught the eye of a famous actor she would have laughed. But that ‘famous actor’ slowly became his best friend, changing her life forever. With Sebastian everything was more exciting. And he was the sweetest person she could ever have in her life.
She turned the blow drier off and left the bathroom only to find Sebastian in front of the full length mirror making seductive faces at it. She remember the embarrassing conversation with Matilde earlier that day and she almost choked. However, Matilde had put some sense in Celine's hard head, even she didn't want to admit it.
Yes, Matilde had a point. Seeing him there with that face and that white tank top that highlighted his back muscles, his biceps and his abs… well, it was hard to resist.
‘’What on earth are you doing?’’ she asked him shaking her head a little.
‘’I don’t have a reasonable explanation for my behaviour in front of the mirror’’.
She approached him and placed a kiss on one of his biceps.
‘’Did you know that?’’ she suddenly asked. He looked at her questioningly, not knowing what was he supposed to know. ‘’When we met. Did you know that we’ll become this?’’
‘’Are you asking me if I knew that day at the bookshop if I had just met my future wife and mother of my children?’’ she rolled her eyes but didn’t contradict him. She was talking for granted that he was joking. ‘’No. I had no idea. But I had a feeling that you were special. I went after you, did you know?’’
‘’What?’’ this time she didn’t know what he was talking about.
‘’After you left the bookshop I went after you. I wanted to get you coffee and then ask for your number, but you had vanished. It wasn’t love at first sight or anything like it but I found you interesting and I wanted to see you again. You can’t imagine my relief when I saw you at that pub. I had got a second chance with you, I was not going to miss it. I realised I was falling for you after Glastonbury. After we came back from San Diego I was daydreaming about our present and our future. Call me crazy if you want but it's true.''
She wrapped her arms around his chest placing her head next to his heart. His heartbeat was steady and very soothing.
‘’I don’t remember the moment I realised I loved you. It seems to me that those feelings were always there but I tried to keep them hiding. It was relieving to admit that I loved you. I still do, of course. You’re my home , my present, my future and my world, Sebastian.''
He kissed her like he had never kissed her before. It was a mixture of passion, desire and love. He placed a hand on her back pulling her closer to him and the other on her neck, softly caressing it, feeling every inch of her soft skin.
Celine was breathless. He had never kissed her like that before. She really wanted him to keep doing this, no matter where it led. When he moved his lips to her neck she almost lost her mind. Yes, Matilde was totally right, she was not going to regret any of this.
She was whispering something that he couldn't understand but by the tone, it wasn't an indication for him to stop.
Slowly, he moved from her neck to her collarbone. She wasn’t sure how she hadn’t melted yet. Yes, that was definitely leading to something else.
Suddenly he stopped, a bit unsure about keep going. He didn’t know until which point Celine was comfortable with all of this. Maybe it was better to go little by little. He could wait.
As always, Celine could guess his thoughts. She knew exactly what was stopping him.
''Seb, is okay. You can go on. Wherever this leads, I'm more than fine with it. If you want, of course.''
Sebastian looked at herself with a bit of panic. A part of him was terrified of hurting her and his other half (the part that knew that this was going to happen someday) just wanted to start. He wanted her, as he hadn't wanted anyone else before.
‘’Do you trust me with this?’’
‘’Who else?’’ she was getting impatient. ''Seriously, Sebastian'' she grabbed him by the shirt and kissed him. He moved his hands, that were resting on her lower back, to her hair.
He broke the kiss just to let her take off his shirt. He was lowering his hands again, this time sliding them under Celine's shirt.
''Take it off'' she managed to mumble.
That was what he did. He looked at her before taking her face in his hands and kissing her in a sweet but passionate way.
‘’I love you’’ he whispered, shivering a little.
''And I love you too'' she was looking straight at his beautiful blue eyes.
''Lie down''
She obeyed him and a second later he was on top of her, making sure of supporting himself with his arms.
''If at any point you feel uncomfortable, you just tell me and I'll stop, no matter how far had this gone. Okay?''
She just nodded and kissed him, running her hands on his hair and pulling it a little. She could hear him, moaning softly and for her it was beautiful. She was sure as hell that she was never going to forget that moment.

Half and hour later they both were still trying to catch their breath. Sebastian was running a hand on Celine’s back while she just stared at his shiny blue eyes.
‘’I don't know about you but... it was better than in my dreams’’ he was still trying to catch his breath.
She just nodded, pulling him closer to her. Her hands were up and down his abs, making sure of touching every inch of him. The only thing she had regretted was not doing this with him earlier. She was feeling a deep love for him that was stronger than anything she had ever felt before.
‘’I just want to ask you…’’ she interrupted herself only to place a series of kisses on his chest ‘’…if speaking Romanian in bed is an habit of yours or you did it only because it was me. You knew I was going to understand.''
‘’It was all about you. All this was overwhelming and different... it was love. Raw and pure love.'' he seemed to be in some sort of a daze. ''I was completely lost. There was a moment I could just see lights.’’ he was biting his lip and that motivated Celine to suck on the skin of his collarbone even harder. It was hard for him to try to speak without moaning. ‘’Damn, Cez, damn… this was… something much more intense than… anything else I had experienced before… my God.’’
‘’So I was pretty decent for a beginner’’ she looked at him playfully, moving to suck on his neck.
‘’Decent is an understatement.'' he looked at her with bright eyes. ''Sorry for leaving this mess'' his cheeks turned really red. ''It wasn't supposed to be this gross and sticky, sorry for that'' Celine didn't care at all.
She suddenly remembered a little detail about him that she had learned a long time ago when she had slid ice down his neck. A certain weak spot he had below his ear. Of course she went to kiss him there. He just cursed in a mixture of English and Romanian.
‘’You seem to like this’’ she whispered in his ear. She didn’t need an answer to her question. She could feel the sensations that she was provoking on him.
Suddenly, with a swift movement, she removed the sheet and uncovered them both
''What are you doing?'' he had his eyes wide open, feeling the cold air on his warm body and shivering a little. She just placed herself on top of him, supporting herself on his shoulders and looking directly as his eyes. Sebastian would have liked to remember that sight forever.
''Do you want the second round? Already?''
''Not yet'' she slowly started kissing his lips and then moved to his neck. ''I want to try something'' now she was moving from his collarbone to his chest.
He liked the sound of this. And he was enjoying the contact of her lips with his skin and the touch of her hands. He wasn't even trying to suppress his moans anymore.
''You're going to kill me'' he whispered.
''And you're delicious'' she was kissing his abs. ''Lucky me that I'm going to have a taste.''
He smiled and closed his eyes.

The next morning both of them were lying on the living room’s coach. Music was playing on the background. Sebastian was reading scripts just like the night before while Celine was dozing off, with her head on his lap. From time to time he ran a hand on her hair and played with it.
Both of them were tired. They had finally fallen asleep around six am, so they felt like they had just run a marathon. But it was worthy. Any of them wanted to forget the night before, in fact, they wanted to remember it forever and repeat it, as soon as possible.
‘’I forgot to buy cereal yesterday’’ he said, leaving the script on the coffee table.
‘’Forget them’’ she muttered.
‘’But I want’’ he said, pouting a little.
‘’So go and buy’’ she lazily said.
They were almost falling asleep when knocks of the door woke them up.
‘’I'll go’’ Sebastian rubbed his eyes and stood up. ‘’I’ll make the best of the impulse and go for that cereal. Oh hey Matilde’’ he gave her a little hug. ‘’I was just leaving, but hope you’re having a good day’’ with a little jump he left.
Matilde stood there, watching his weird behaviour. Celine remained in the couch, too tired to stand up.
‘’What happened to you?’’ she asked Celine, looking at her tired but relaxed face. ''You look trashed.pp
‘’Nothing. We were up 'till late watching a movie'' she shamelessly lied.
Matilde tried not to laugh. These two were too obvious. But she had to admire Celine, looking so innocent and trying to lie. She could have fooled everyone but Matilde. She just knew her too well.
‘’Okay, you don’t need to admit anything, I just know what happened between you two. At least my words made an impact'' Matilde felt a bit proud for this. ''But now I want to know the details so… spill’’ she sat next to Celine and grabbed a half eaten packet of cookies that was on her table.
Celine didn’t want to tell her a thing. How could someone explain such a thing? But on the other hand, it was Matilde, who was not going to stop until she got certain information. Celine did her best to look uninterested with the topic.
‘’Just ask… whatever you want to ask’’.
‘’How was it?’’ she had a playful smile. ‘’By your face… well... you look content but exhausted. So, he destroyed you but you seem very happy about it, and I’m so jealous right now’’.
Celine just wanted to hide herself until she stopped asking uncomfortable questions. But she wasn’t going to stop.
‘’It was fine’’ Celine was trying to hide her face. She just wanted to jump straight to the Thames at that point.
‘’Liar. We both that it was much, much, much more than ‘fine’. Now tell me because if you don’t, I’ll start yelling right now the intimate details of my relationship with Edmund. And something tells me, you don’t want to hear that’’.
There was a weird look on Matilde’s face when she pronounced Edmund’s name but Celine didn’t notice that. She sat up straighter with a disgusted face.
‘’Not that please, anything but that. I don’t want to hear anything that may haunt me forever. Okay, it was awesome. Fine? Are you happy now?’’
‘’No. I need to know more. Please, I can’t survive without this this information. Was he sweet? Tender? Gentle? I kinda picture him being like that. But then... he probably has a kinky side that you'll discover soon enough.'' she finished his speech with an innocent smile.
‘’He was very gentle. I'm not telling you more’’ Celine said with a little smile, thinking about the memories of that night ‘
Matilde, more than ever, wanted to know more. There was a thing that she wanted to know more than anything.
‘’I have a doubt. It’s for science. Does he talk in Romanian when he is… you know’’.
‘’Oh yes’’ Celine’s smile was even bigger ‘’ And that makes everything a hundred times better. Believe me, it’s really hot.'' somehow she didn't care about disclosing this particular piece of information.
It was Matilde’s turn of wanting to jump to the Thames. But in her case, to cool herself down.
‘’I believe you. And, oh my God, Celine you’re so lucky. Is his body as perfect as it is on pictures?’’
‘’Even better. Maybe I’m biased but, wow, he’s beautiful.''
‘’Damn. How did you make men like that to love you? Give me the way, please’’.
‘’I just made one man to love me and didn’t do it on purpose. It just happened.'' to be honest, she still had no idea about how the hell did all of this happened.
‘’You make it look so easy. You just found him, befriended him and you two fell in love. And we’re talking about Sebastian Stan, not some random idiot. And here I am, I may have thousands of friends but I my Sebastian Stan is Edmund.''
Celine was a bit sad for her. The fact that before Sebastian she hadn’t even cared about her love life didn’t mean that for other people it was not important. And for Matilde love was important.
‘’It's sad when you say it like that.'' she had no idea what to say to lift Matilde's spirits. ''I'm pretty sure you'll find your own Sebastian. Well, not him. He's mine. But someone that means to you what he means to me. Talking about Edmund, what happened to him?''
‘’I broke up with him. Again.’’ Oh good, thought Celine. Now these two had three break ups on the list. ‘’This time is definitive’’ Celine didn’t believe that. Matilde had said the same the last time they’d had broken up. ‘’I cannot be with him because I don’t love him. When Sebastian mentioned Tom Holland yesterday I almost lost it. That’s the kind of guy I’d like to be with and it hurts because it will never happen.’’ she covered her face with her hands. ‘’It can also be Chris Evans’’ Celine almost laughed with that piece of melodrama. That was her problem, she wanted to date her celebrity crushes because they were famous not because of who they were.
With her and Sebastian it was very different. First of all he had never been her celebrity crush, she didn’t know he was a celebrity at all when she met him. For Celine her only crush had been Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys and that had been when she was a teenager. Not really a teenager but younger than she was now.
Thankfully Sebastian got back with the cereal to stop this awkward conversation. If there was a thing Celine to talk about was love and relationships. It made everything messier if it was possible.
‘’Did I interrupted a nice talk about boys?’’
‘’Yeah, thanks for that, love’’ Celine said with relief.
‘’We were talking about your skills as a lover’’ Matilde blurted out. Celine wanted to strangle her. Sebastian didn’t even blush, he just looked cocky.
‘’What did you tell her?’’ he laughed, looking at Celine.
‘’Willingly, nothing.. She threatened to tell me the details of her and Edmund.’’ Sebastian looked disgusted. ‘’I don’t know about you but I had to prevent that at all costs.''
‘’Same, love, same. I don't want to know anything that may cause me nightmares.''
Suddenly Matilde exploded.
‘’Oh stab me in the chest once and for all but stop calling each other ‘love’ in front of my lonely eyes!’’

 

Chapter Text

 

 

The next week Celine continued to be under the weather but this time it was worse because she had caught a typical autumn cold. And she couldn’t absent herself from work so her health wasn’t improving. On the contrary, she was overworking herself more than ever.
Sebastian was a bit worried. She wasn’t looking healthy, she didn’t want to take a break and no matter what he said, she was not going to accept help. He knew she was stubborn but that didn’t mean that he was going to let Celine take so little care for herself. The only time that she rested was at night, when she just touched the pillow and fell asleep.
Sebastian was also feeling quite low because he didn’t have any more excuses to extend his auto imposed holidays for more time. The premiere of his next film was in two days and thankfully it was in London. It could have been the perfect occasion to flaunt his new girlfriend to the world but he doubted that Celine was in the condition to go to a red carpet with her health in a low point and her stress in such a high level. He’ll end up going with Matilde as his date and maybe he’ll have the chance to do something nice for her and set her up with Tom Holland. He had made sure to invite him to the premiere.
On Thursday night he couldn’t sleep, he just had a lot of thing on his mind. He was worried about Celine and was nervous for the bloody premiere. He was just dozing off when his phone rang at full volume. He cursed when he felt Celine move beside him. He just wanted her to sleep and now some idiot was calling him on the middle of the night.
‘’What?’’ he hissed, frustrated for waking Celine up. The idiot who had just made that mess was Chris.
‘’Who’s calling at this bloody hour?’’ mumbled Celine.
‘’Evans. I have no idea what he wants. What’s up, Chris? It’s four am in London, just for your interest’’ he just heard Chris’s stream of apologies followed by something his girlfriend leaving him. Sebastian couldn’t believe that he had waken up Celine only for this stupid thing. ‘’Yes, yes, Chris, I get it... No!… Are you drunk man? Don’t you have a brother to talk to instead of waking me up at 4 am, you dolt! Bye!’’ he hung up and turned off the phone.
‘’What did he want?’’ Celine was fully awake by then.
‘’His girlfriend left him or something like that’’ he couldn’t help but be mad at Chris at that moment. ‘’I think he was drunk. What an idiot! He even asked me if you had a sister to introduce to him. What the hell, Evans’’.
He placed his hand on her cheek and covered them both with the blanket.
‘’Celine, damn you’re hot’’
Celine softly laughed.
‘’Well, thank you’’
‘’Not in that way, darling. Well, that too but what I mean is that you have a fever’’ he placed his hand on her forehead this time. ‘’Wait a second and I’ll bring you some medicine’’.
Apparently Celine had the flu. He didn’t want to even imagine how he’d manage to convince her to take the next day off. It was painful to only think about it.

The next morning Celine was no better. Her brown eyes were big and shiny and she felt as if her head was going to explode.
‘’Stay. Nothing bad is gonna happen. Just call the Prime Minister and tell her you’re freaking sick. There’s nothing wrong with that, for the love of God’’.
‘’I can’t. I’m in the middle of a project and you know that’’.
‘’I know, but you look like you’ll faint in next ten minutes’’ Sebastian was really exasperated. He couldn’t believe how she can be so stubborn. ‘’Please, Celine, be sensible’’.
‘’I’m being sensible, Sebastian. Now please stop being overdramatic’’ she snapped at him.
Well, there was something she never did first of all because Sebastian never got on her nerves. She felt a bit guilty afterwards. He was a bit hurt but he understood that she wasn’t in her normal state.
‘’Okay.’’ he said, a bit coolly ‘’At least let me take you there. You’re not going to go in the tube under any circumstance’’.
Through all the way to Downing Street he kept thinking that this was a terrible idea. If someone was sick they should stay at home and rest instead of going out and work. At least he had convinced her of not going to the university, that was something.
Sebastian was thinking that maybe Celine was right and he was just overreacting. It was reasonable, he loved her and he had a tendency of being overprotective with the people he loved. After all, she had lived 27 years of her life without him, she knew how to survive a simple flu.
‘’I’ll pick you up, okay.’’ he caressed her hair ‘’Please just take care. Call me if you need anything. Don’t be mad at me, I’m trying to take care of you, and by God, you make it hard’’.
‘’I warned you. And I’m not mad at you, I love you. I’m not going to drop dead, Sebastian, these are not the middle ages when you got a flu and died 24 hours later’’ she kissed his cheek and left, trying to reassure him that she was okay. She wasn’t very convincing.

‘’You look terrible’’ Matilde said when she saw Celine the first time that day.
It was almost five in the afternoon. Matilde was finishing her working day while Celine still had more hours to go.
‘’Thank you. I can’t go on like this. I just called Seb to pick me up. I had to swallow my pride and admit that he was right, I should’ve stayed resting. I’m useless in this state.’’
‘’You won’t go to the premiere tomorrow?’’
‘’I cannot. I’d love to go but I pass to you the responsibility of taking care of Seb, make sure he’s not nervous and that he doesn’t run away in the middle of the thing with the lousy excuse of taking care of me’’.
She didn’t say a word more because Sebastian stormed into her office. Both she and Matilde were very intrigued about what had he done to get into the place without an authorisation. Maybe the security guard was a fan of his. Of how he knew where Celine’s office was, was another question.
‘’What did you do to get inside?’’ Celine asked with her teary eyes wide open.
‘’Edmund’’ Matilde winced when Sebastian said that name ‘’He was outside and well… I think he still fears me a bit or maybe I asked for you a bit harshly, the thing is that he let me in. He was a stuttering mess’’.
Celine grabbed all the things that she had scattered around. She just wanted to leave. Sebastian had the biggest smile when he saw the picture of him that Celine had on her desk.
‘’Are you coming with us?’’ she asked Matilde.
‘’No. I’m going to Bond street to find a dress. But please, text me if Edmund is outside or not’’
Sebastian grabbed Celine’s hand and quickly left the place. Edmund was outside and answered with a shaky ‘You’re welcome’ when Sebastian thanked him. Of course that they went straight home. Celine just wanted to lay down.
‘’You have a fever again’’ he was tucking her into bed very carefully. He was never going to tell her the classical ‘I told you so’, that was for jerks. Apart from that people made mistakes and Celine really thought that she could get ahead with the day.
‘’I don’t know what I’d do without you Seb. You’re the most patient person I know’’
‘’Patient or not, I’d do anything for you. I’ll always be here, except if you don’t want me anymore, which I think it’s not the case’’ he kissed her hand while she softly smiled.
‘’Of course it’s not’’
After Celine’s fever went down a bit, (thanks to the effect of the medicines) he wrapped an arm around her. She was already asleep by that time.
He had the worst night ever. He was worried about Celine, nervous about his premiere and couldn’t sleep for the sake of anything. He wouldn’t be surprised if he’d fall sick too in the next weeks.
When he looked at the mirror the next morning he thought that he looked more appropriate for a The Walking Dead themed party rather than for a premiere. Meanwhile Celine had developed a cough, was feeling worse than ever and was being extra whiny.
‘’It feels like I’ve got some sort of Medieval Plague’’ she said between coughs that evening.
Celine had spent all the day in bed while Sebastian was getting ready for his premiere. Although she was almost drooling with how handsome he was, in his eyes this was one of the worst looks that he had ever pulled.
‘’And I look like a drug addict ready to attend the Oscars. Hell, Cez, we’re at our lowest point of the year’’
‘’It’s all my fault, Seb, I’m sorry this should have been different but I’m an idiot who didn’t want to listen. And look at me now, I’m the epitome of health’’.
Sebastian laughed at Celine’s dark humour in this situation.
‘’You didn’t ask to be sick and I didn’t ask to be nervous. The solution is simple: I have to pull myself together and you’re going to the doctor tomorrow’’.
There was a couple of minutes of silence.
‘’No way’’ it was common knowledge that even though Celine was a Doctor (in history) she hated to be examined by one. He didn’t know when was the last time Celine had had a proper medical check but he had the scary suspicion that probably since she still was under her mother’s care. All those ‘examinations’ ran by the medical students of Cambridge didn’t count.
‘’Let me guess, the last time you went to the doctor you still lived with your parents’’
‘’Actually in Cambridge I had some friends that were studying medicine. Remember they diagnosed my alcohol intolerance’’.
‘’Cez, c’mon that hardly counts’’ he knew that she was actually being serious and that almost made him laugh.
‘’As I see it, it counts’’
If Celine had a fault it was that she didn’t pay attention at all on her health. It was as if she believe herself to be some elf who was immortal. It was almost comical.
‘’You know what…’’ he threw himself on the bed beside Celine who winced because she was sure that he was ruining his perfect black suit. ‘’If you don’t go to the doctor tomorrow I’m not going to the premiere. And you can’t move me from here and you know that’’.
He had got her there. For nothing in the world she would make Sebastian miss a premiere. She just wanted him to succeed and the idiot was jeopardising his own career. No, he was going to go, no matter what.
‘’Truculent’’ she was looking directly at his eyes and he was smiling ‘’Okay, I’ll go but you better start leaving right now before I start throwing your things out to the street in the best Taylor Swift style. I still have energy for that.''
‘’No, you don’t’’ he laughed.
‘’You want to see that?’’ she threw him a pillow that wasn’t even close to hitting him.
‘’Yeah, I’m seeing it’’
‘’I hate you’’ she hissed.
‘’No, you don’t’’ he send her a flying kiss before closing the door.
Celine stayed there, lying on the bed spending her time between watching The X Factor and playing a silly game on the phone. She must be feeling really low if she had got to the point of watching cheap talent shows.
She was a bit frustrated. She had actually wanted to go to that premiere. She had never been to anything nearer to a red carpet in her life and she was pretty curious about the whole thing. Stupid flu. She couldn’t believe she was missing all that. Thankfully Matilde was taking her place and Sebastian was not going to be left alone.
She looked at the time. It was almost eleven and it was better to sleep. She doubted that Sebastian’s event was going to last only three miserable hours. But when she was tucking herself into bed, she heard the street door open. Seconds later, Sebastian was getting into the room.
‘’I’m back. I wasn’t in the mood for after parties. But I left Matilde there, partying the night away with Tom Holland’’.
‘’So you got your way at the end. What was Tom doing there in the first place? He’s not in your film’’.
‘’I invited him’’ he threw his jacket away, without caring where it landed. Celine looked at him with a bit of pain. That was an Hugo Boss jacket that deserved to be treated better. ‘’You had to see Matilde’s face, she almost imploded’’. he leaned to touch her forehead ‘’Cez, you have a fever again and you took the medicine only four hours ago, the effect was supposed to last for eight hours’’ he look worried again.
Celine couldn’t disagree with him. She knew she was screwed and that she didn’t have any option left that to go to the doctor. Apart from that she didn’t want to keep worrying Sebastian.

The next evening a still worried Sebastian came back home with a paler than ever Celine. Matilde, who was looking from her house’s window approached them when they got out of the car.
‘’How is she?’’ she asked Sebastian with a worried face.
‘’She has pneumonia. We’ve been really lucky, Matilde, this 'silly flu' could have got serious. Now she had to take antibiotics, painkillers, a lot of rest and eat healthy. When the doctor said that I thought she was going to hit him with her purse’’ his little smile failed to reach his tired eyes. ‘’I’ll have to cancel the interview I have for tonight, there’s no way I’m leaving her alone. Capital FM will have to forgive me’’
‘’Don’t… you… dare’’ hissed Celine between fists of cough. She was lying on the couch and looked terrible.
‘’She’s right. You shouldn’t cancel. I’ll stay with her’’
If there was someone Sebastian trusted in a matter like that, it was Matilde.
‘’Fine’’
On her part Matilde was a bit astonished by Sebastian’s behaviour. It reminded her of her own mother that time when her younger brother had broken his arm when he was a kid. It was nothing to worry about, the kid was not going to die but she was bag of nerves. Sebastian knew that Celine was going to be okay, nevertheless he was being extra protective as if she were made of ultra delicate glass.
‘’Let me tell you it’s actually cute that he worries so much’’ that night both girls were lying on Celine’s bed (who was still pale, coughing and with a light fever but a bit more animated). Matilde was choosing from a long list of movies something to watch.
‘’He shouldn’t worry, my poor Seb. It’s all my fault that I ended up like that. Now, Matt, can you go to my closet and bring me one of my bags of sour candy?’’
Matilde shot her a hard look.
‘’I thought you had to be healthy’’ she said, raising her eyebrow.
‘’It just candy, it won’t kill me’’
After thinking it twice, Matilde thought that it was nothing wrong with it,
‘’But you have to let me chose the film’’ Celine didn’t mind, In days like these, she’d even watch the Marvel superhero films. ‘’Oh, there’s Gifted. Chris Evans is in it, enough reason to watch it’’
Celine giggled. Definitely, there wasn’t a day without the mention of Chris Evans.

The next days were hellish. Celine continued with a high fever and Sebastian was about to break down at every second. He didn’t want to listen to Matilde who kept telling him that Celine was going to be okay, that there was nothing to worry.
But Sebastian was worried anyway. He hated to see people suffering and when it was his own girlfriend things got serious. He was literally freaking out. He had got to the point of calling his mother to ask her what to do when someone got sick. Her first piece of advice was ‘keep calm’. And Sebastian couldn’t be calm.
By Tuesday night he was so exhausted that he had literally fell face down to the bed. Celine was beside him. In the last couple of hours her fever had stopped and she could even read without getting a headache. It was the best she had felt in almost a week although she was still weak and she looked terrible.
She thought that he had fallen asleep until she felt him move.
‘’Are you okay?’’ she asked him, running a hand on his back.
‘’Yes, yes’’ Celine instantly knew that nothing was okay. He was looking at her with red, tired eyes.
‘’That’s not true. Don’t try to deceive me, Seb. Remember I had you a lot of times crying on my shoulder so I know when you’re sad. Come’’ she let him put his head on her stomach a lie there for a while.
If Celine was able to provide Sebastian of something, that was support which was what he most needed. She was always there to boost his confidence or give him a long hug while whispering that everything was going to be okay.
‘’Tell me that you’re going to be okay’’ his whisper was almost inaudible.
‘’Yes, I mean this is just a flu. Me, Matilde and even your own mother told you the same and you never listened to us’’ she continued to tangle her fingers on his hair.
‘’Cez, dear, it wasn’t the flu, it was pneumonia. There’s people who’ve died from it’’.
Sebastian and his extraness, Celine thought. Of course she was not going to die, only someone as melodramatic as Sebastian could see that a possible scenario. But she was not going to make fun of him from that.
Instead she made him place his head on the crook of her neck so she could hug him better. From the outside he may look strong and mighty but Celine knew that he was actually a selfless sensitive soul that cared a lot for the people he loved. He was way too kind for this world.
‘’Thank God, you’ll be okay’’ he whispered after a good amount of silent tears.
‘’Technically you have to thank Alexander Fleming, he was the one who developed antibiotics and penicillin’’ she said with all seriousness but that comment made Sebastian smile for the first time in days.
‘’Fleming is my new God. But please Cez, don’t scare me like this again. Promise me you’ll take care of yourself from now on. I’ll cook for you and I’ll make you exercise if it’s necessary but this won’t happen again’’.
Celine had to admit that he was right. She needed to be healthier. Well, she had promised that she was going to change her habits one time she had got ill, back in her Cambridge days and she had even managed to do regular physical exercise and even play tennis. But she had lasted only a week. The only good thing she remained doing was eating an apple per week. Yes, she needed help.
‘’Just don’t torture me’’
‘’I promise to make it bearable’’ he touched her forehead and he was happy to notice that she didn’t have fever but from time to time she was still coughing. ‘’How’s your throat?’’
‘’It still hurts. And my chest too. It doesn’t let me sleep and I hate it because I need it. Overall, I feel better than yesterday. And Real Madrid plays tomorrow. That lifts my spirits’’.
Sebastian doubted that watching a Real Madrid match was something recommendable for a sick Celine. Of course she was going to shout and overexcite herself. But he didn’t say nothing of this to her. He knew that only hinting that she shouldn’t watch a Real match was something that would make her truly mad. If he tried to ban one match even for health reasons, he’d better start packing his things to go back to New York City. Sick Celine was still pretty scary.
‘’That’s fantastic’’ he made his best effort to seem glad that the team was playing.
‘’It’ll be a super exciting match, one of the most important of the semester. If we win we’re on the next round of Champions League.’’
That was all that a weak Celine needed. A super exciting match. He wished that she wouldn’t choke between the cough and the shouting. In the worst case scenario, she’d start singing the usual football chants too.
‘’So you’d better rest, Cez. You need sleep’’ without accounting her frown he turned off the light.
‘’Hey! Why did you do that? I don’t want to sleep yet’’
Sebastian rolled his eyes, wondering when was the time when Celine turned into a infant. And she seemed to be regaining a little of her usual energy.
‘’It’s almost midnight’’
‘’Ohhhh’’ she was clearly mocking him. ‘’Now you go to sleep before midnight like you’re freaking Cinderella. Just… don’t pay attention to me at all, Seb. I’m loosing my mind with all the inactivity’’.
He understood her but there was nothing to do apart from being patient and wait until she got better.
‘’Are you still awake?’’ he whispered to her after what it seemed like hours.
‘’Yes. I was wondering… you told me many months ago that you thought we had a future together… do you still think the same or it was a thing of the moment?’’
‘’Of course I think the same way. More than ever’’ he brought her closer to him. ‘’There’s no future for me without you, that’s clear as water. It used to scare me, you know. The future. That was until I fell for you then I realised there was nothing to be afraid of. I know you won’t leave me alone and I would never ever leave. Maybe we’ll get married or maybe not. Maybe we’ll have kids or maybe not. But I know that I’ll be with you as long as you want me.’’
‘’I don’t want anyone else but you, Seb. You’re right… the future looks pretty good’’ she was caught in a daydream for a while.
She muttered some no sense before falling asleep.

Sebastian was right when he predicted that the infamous match was going to overexcite Celine. There she was, shouting at the top of her lungs like the hooligan she was and from time to time falling into fists of cough. Real Madrid was drawing and they were playing really bad which was driving Celine crazy. Unfortunately for him, Matilde wasn’t there to be her football buddy so he was replacing her. He was already regretting it and not knowing the name of half the players wasn’t helping.
‘’No! No!’’ she shouted. ‘’Bloody idiot! Shot to the goal not to the stands you piece of trash!’’
The only reason why he wasn’t scared was because he had seen this show many times before.
‘’Idiot!’’ she shouted again, coughing afterwards. ‘’What were you thinking when you did that?’’ she moaned , hiding her face behind her hands in a dramatic gesture, then he looked at Sebastian . ‘’Can you believe we paid 80 million euros for this piece of trash?’’ she pointed to a player he didn’t know.
‘’80 million?’’ by no means he could imagine that amount of money.
‘’Yes and he’s so bad… he’s not even worth 40’’.
Well, he couldn’t even imagine 40 million euros. He had good money but not that amount. No one he knew had that much.
‘’They do nothing right’’ the mumbled, throwing a pillow to the TV. Sebastian was a bit alarmed. ‘’What a bunch of losers’’ she threw another pillow to the TV.
‘’Cez, calm down, please’’.
She shot him such a nasty glance that he immediately regretted what he said and made sure of not saying anything else. Luckily Real Madrid scored and Celine calmed down a little. Just a little.
‘’Yes! Marco Asensio! I knew it was going to be you! He’s the only one that’s actually good, it seems.’’
Sebastian glanced at the player on the TV. Asensio was one of the few he actually knew and it seemed to be Celine’s favourite player (he was also Matilde’s but other reasons. She actually found the guy hot) and that had given him an idea.
He wanted to give her a meaningful present and what was better that giving him the jersey of her favourite team signed by her favourite player? At first he wanted to buy a signed football shirt on the Internet but he had decided to get her something much more spectacular.
He had decided to make good use of his fame by contacting actual Marco Asensio on Instagram (if only Celine knew) to ask him via DM if by some reason he could send him a signed jersey with a special dedication to Celine and that he could pay whatever the price was.
Turned out that Marco Asensio, just like any other twenty year old kid, was a Marvel fan and answered Sebastian back telling him that he’d sent all the signed shirts he wanted at the price of a Bucky Barnes Funko Pop signed by Sebastian himself.
A week later he had sent the Funko Pop and he got Celine’s signed jersey two days later. He planned on giving it to her for Christmas, even though she didn’t celebrate that holiday. Then he had faced the problem of where to hide the shirt. He couldn’t leave it anywhere at Celine’s house, he couldn’t trust Matilde because he knew she wasn’t going to be able to keep the secret. So, he had left it with the most the most trustworthy and discreet person he knew in London: Max.
He didn’t notice when the match ended as he was lost in his thoughts of what would Celine say if she knew that he’d been contacting Real Madrid players. She’d probably freak out.
‘’We won!’’ she basically tackled him and he hugged her back.
‘’It was a really good match’’ he was lying because he actually haven’t seen much of it.
Of course Celine knew that he was lying but she didn’t care. She valued the fact that he kept her company even though he didn’t get football and he probably had his mind somewhere else during the whole match.
‘’I really think we should name our future child like a Real Madrid player’’ she said, changing the topic so abruptly that Sebastian almost choked.
‘’I don’t know if I want my son to be named Cristiano or Sergio or Marcelo, and what are you even talking about? You don’t even like children’’.
‘’That’s true. But as a scientific experiment it would be interesting to see the result of a mixture between you and me’’.
He was astounded looking at her. He couldn’t believe she was considering children as a ‘scientific experiment’. And how that topic had been brought in? Two seconds ago she was talking about Real Madrid winning.
‘’An extremely gorgeous and smart kid, that’s for sure’’.
‘’With your perfect blue eyes and well… we have the same hair colour’’ she placed a strand of her hair next to his and yes, they were of the same shade of brown. ‘’The Cadwalladers are natural blondes except from me that I got dad’s dark looks. Even my brothers are blondes’’.
‘’They should have your round high cheekbones’’ he couldn’t believe they were actually talking about that and not as a joke. For the laughs they had talked about it before, they had even discussed how a child of Matilde and Edmund would look like. It was disturbing when Sebastian had said that if they look anything like their father they’d look like ‘blond haired lizards’. ‘’Both of us have a good jaw line game, I like more your chin than mine and we have basically the same nose’’.
‘’Damn, we actually look similar’’.
‘’What is happening to us? We sound like a middle aged couple already, what the hell, we’re talking about kids’’
‘’I don’t think we meet the requirements to have one properly, believe me’’
‘’Requirements?’’ as long as he knew there wasn’t many requirements to have kids.
‘’Exactly. Like actual maturity’’.
They both look at each other knowing that even though they were pretty responsible in everything they did, they weren’t the best example of maturity. No one would call ‘mature’ a woman who changed her mood according to the results of a football match or a man who stalked his fans on Instagram with five different fake accounts. He even commented on those pictures and people like Matilde had fell for it.
‘’We failed at the beginning. And what about the second requirement?’’
‘’Financial stability’’ the smiled at each other and high fived. ‘’You don’t want a kid to send you to bankruptcy and we know how expensive those creatures are. And that leads to a failed relationship because ninety percent of couples end up fighting for money. I saw it in the news. The best solution is to have a common saving account.''
‘’Is there a third requirement?’’
‘’Be sure that you actually want it. Not that you are bored or influenced by what society states’’ she rolled her eyes after that.
‘’So, we’ll meet those requirements in about five years’’.
‘’I’d think ten or maybe never. Cats are easier and cheaper’’.
He looked at her, slowly nodding.
‘’You should solve all the world problems, Cez. The only disappointed one will be my mother because her only son decided not to have kids but as Bon Jovi wisely said ‘It’s my life’.

The next morning Celine woke up alone. There was a Post it attached to the bedpost written with Sebastian’s neat handwriting with the word ‘Shopping’ and a couple of smiley faces.
How much she loved him, she thought with a smile on her face. For her, a simple note from him with a simple word meant more that a love letter by anyone else.
However she took advantage that he wasn’t at home to get out of the bed for a while and make herself some tea. Maybe even get her laptop to do some work she had to do before getting ill. Sebastian had confiscated it for that reason as he didn’t want her working when she should be resting.
It was true that she was still weak but that didn’t stop her. First she made herself a nice cup of Earl Grey with some cookies. She also found her laptop on the armchair of her office with Elemauzer sleeping on it. She was literally leaving the room when Sebastian got into the house.
‘’Caught in fraganti’’ he said with a small smile.
‘’I feel like if I don’t work my brain is going to become dust’’ he was still looking at her with the small smile.
‘’I know. But this will be all over soon and you’ll be back with your normal activities’’. he went towards her to caress her cheek ‘’But you should go back to bed, it’s really cold down here. I got you a present so you won’t get bored. C’mon, go up and I’ll get you the tea’’.
She went back to her bedroom running with the laptop on one hand and Elemauzer (who was fighting pretty hard to be freed) in the other. Sebastian followed her, laughing at how childish she could be sometimes.
‘’Here you have’’ he handed her a bag.
‘’You got me an Xbox?’’ she said with a little voice.
Sebastian knew he was going to nail it with that present. He knew Celine liked to play games as a pastime as she had a couple on her laptop and some of the ones she had on her phone were on level 75 or more. It was sort of a guilty pleasure for her. Even in Cambridge she used to play FIFA tournaments or Halo with her friends.
‘’And here you have the games’’ he handed her the latest version of The Sims, Zelda and the FIFA 17.
‘’You’re an absolute angel’’ she threw herself into his arms. ‘’You’re better than everyone, you put every single person in the world to shame.’’
He didn’t know what to say so he didn’t do anything else apart from holding her tightly. It was incredible how hard he had fell for this woman.
´´And now…’’ she freed herself from his embrace, quickly connected the Xbox and handed a controller to Sebastian ‘’… show me what you’ve got on FIFA. I have the feeling that I’m going to kick your ass so hard you won’t be able to show your face for the next two weeks’’.

 

Chapter Text

I JUST WANTED TO SAY...... HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEBASTIAN. I LOVE YOU, DARLING, THANK YOU FOR INSPIRING ME

Chapter Text

 


After the storm finally the calm had arrived. Sebastian couldn’t be happier. His film was doing amazing and Celine was completely healthy again. It had taken more time than they had thought and she had lost an alarming amount of weight but in the last couple of weeks she seemed to be recovering pretty well. She had even came back to work.
Even though they were pretty busy they still had time to enjoy with each other.
She was doing everything she wasn’t able to do on the weeks she had been sick while Sebastian was going from interview to interview. From newspapers, radio, TV, magazines, well, basically everything. And it wasn’t only the British press that was interested in him as he had reporters from all over Europe waiting from an interview with him. The American press had had their turn with him but they wanted more, as his manager reminded him basically every day.
On Friday night Sebastian was relaxing playing Zelda on the Xbox, something that Celine couldn’t do as she was writing an endless report. Not that Sebastian’s day had been a bed of roses. He’d had to wake up at five am to go to an interview with Nick Grimshaw at the BBC Radio 1. Then he went to This Morning and if that wasn’t enough he had to go to some evening show in Channel 4. He was absolutely knackered but he had a bit of energy to play a good videogame.
‘’Seb, I need to ask you something’’ she almost celebrated when she clicked the ‘send’ button. That report had been longer than she had expected.
‘’Just ask’’ he paused the game and looked at her with a sweet smile.
‘’Would you go out with me?’’ she asked. ''Tomorrow?''
He laughed. Celine never failed to surprised him. After months of being together she asked these kinds of questions, out of nowhere.
‘’Love, we’re almost a married couple without actually being married and you’re asking me if I want to go out with you? I’d go with you to the end of the world’’.
His words never failed to warm her heart. Except the marriage part that she always took for a joke. There was no way she was marrying Sebastian in the next five years, at least.
‘’I warn you. This won’t be dinner in a fancy restaurant or a romantic stroll in Kensington Gardens, picking roses and putting them into a basket.’’ he was a bit intrigued about where was this going. By the look on her face this was something like Chelsea players signing autographs for free in Stamford Bridge. ‘’Let me explain…’’ she had sort of a mysterious smile on her face. ‘’Tomorrow, the Cambridge gang is coming to London. The last time I saw them was that day we went to the Tower, remember?. So, I wanted to know if you’d like to meet them tomorrow morning. They have no idea about us and I really want to see their surprised faces.''
He didn’t saw that one coming. He’d heard a lot about Celine’s Cambridge friends as a sort of mythical animals.
‘’You want to flaunt me in front of them, don’t you?’’ he said with a little smile.
‘’I had the least interesting love life among them all. No, wait, Joel had it. Nevermind... When I last saw them we were just starting to be friends. Now I have a boyfriend who is an actor, is famous, is a Hugo Boss model and has all the chances to be nominated to an important award. Let me have my moment of glory’’.
He definitely wanted to meet these people even though a part of him was not very keen on the idea because he was going to be among the five best students of the generation 89 of Cambridge. No matter what, he’d feel like an idiot among these five Doctors. However, they were the people with whom Celine had grown up. He wanted to hear whatever they had to tell.
‘’To be honest I can’t wait to see these people. I’m pretty curious about that infamous Joel Shand-Kydd. Coolest last name ever’’.
Among all of Celine’s Cambridge friends this was the one he wanted to meet the most. That was the kid who tried to prove God’s inexistence by praying to him to write his thesis. Sebastian imagined him as a real life version of Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory.
‘’And I can’t wait to brag about my future Oscar winner of a boyfriend’’.
‘’Cez, you know I’m not going to win an Oscar’’ he said rolling his eyes.
‘’The critics say otherwise’’ she reminded him, remembering what she had read about his performance.
‘’You know I hate the critics. I just don’t read them’’.
‘’You should, they are praising you. You’re missing all the fun. So, don’t get surprised when you get a nomination, I warned you’’
‘’Whatever you say’’ he closed his eyes and curled next to Celine.
‘’You’re drained, aren’t you’’ she carefully embraced him.
‘’Yes, and tomorrow night I have to go the Graham Norton show.’’ Celine giggled a little ‘’What are you laughing at?’’
‘’Nothing… I just remembered Graham Norton commenting Eurovision last year. He always gets drunk and says the most hilarious and mean things ever. That man is gold, give him a hug from me, please. Tell him he makes Eurovision worth watching.’’
‘’Okay.’’ he wasn’t even sure of what on earth Celine was saying.
‘’And do you know who are the other guests?’’ she was curious. Maybe Sebastian was going to meet someone more famous than him. Someone like Ed Sheeran or Paul McCartney.
‘’No idea. My agent will tell me tomorrow along with the list of people that are offering me roles. Sadly I’m not interested in half of them’’.
That was true. After the release of his film his career had skyrocketed and he was receiving endless proposals for all kinds of roles. He was even being contacted by famous female singers to act in their music videos. That had made Celine almost cry with laughter. Katy Perry had been the first to contact him and he had politely rejected her offer (Celine thought it was because he still couldn’t forgive Perry for the Firework song). After that, Taylor Swift herself had contacted him and to Celine’s dismay, he had also rejected her. It wasn’t in Sebastian’s ambitions to be known as the latest guy who smooched Taylor Swift in a music video and he also didn’t want Celine to go around bragging about how her boyfriend had made out with Taylor Swift. In a music video, of course.
‘’Let’s go to bed before you fall asleep on the coach. And I can’t lift you up. That’s above my strength, darling’’. she pocked his side.
‘’Yeah, but I can lift you’’ and he did exactly that ‘’And not only that. I can take you upstairs and do many things to you’’.
‘’Oh, please’’ she mockingly lifted her eyebrows ‘’You don’t have energy for that. And I don’t want you appearing tomorrow on national television like if you’re recovering from a hangover. You have to go and sleep’’.
Defeated, he had to admit that she was right.

The next day they were both ready to go out. Sebastian was looking handsome as always (as Celine would say, he could wear a plastic bag and manage to look good) and Celine was wearing a purple sweater with the badge of King’s College.
‘’Where are we actually going?’’ he asked when they were already in the car.
‘’The Nandos near Westminster’’ they look at each other and giggled.
‘’Sophisticated’’ they said at the same time.
When they got to the place the first thing Sebastian saw was a couple of young women wearing the same purple sweater as Celine. Hell, he didn’t know they wore an uniform for the reunion.
‘’These are Amy and Alize. They always arrive early. The short one is Amy the tall, Alize’’ he looked at them. Alize was a pretty dark skinned woman that looked serious and Amy was short and wore fashionable glasses. By what he knew they both had Doctorates. ‘’Doctor Amy Little, anthropologist The other, is Alize Lacazette. She says she's French but she's actually from Lancashire and has two doctorates. The guys always arrive late and I always get on time. I’ll change this today, I’ll be the last one to arrive and make an entrance’’.
They waited there for more or less ten minutes while sharing a packet of candy. Amy and Alize didn’t seem to notice that Celine was a few feet away, inside the car. Well, no one was expecting her to be inside a perfect black luxurious Jaguar.
‘’And there come the other two’’ Sebastian saw a small blond guy and a tall handsome brunette also with the purple sweater. ‘’Charles Dermott is the tall one and the blond is Joel’’.
So that was the famous Joel Shand-Kydd. He looked mischievous, to say the least.
‘’Now is our turn’’ Celine’s face was priceless. She looked like an schoolgirl with a new toy.
Sebastian just followed her, trying hard to do two things at the same time: to be as invisible as he could and to look natural and confident before facing that intimidating bunch of purple dressed Doctors. Well, after all, his girlfriend was Celine, the most intimidating of them all.
‘’Hey, guys’’ Celine greeted them with a little smile ‘’I think we are complete’’.
They all looked at her with a mixture of confusion and admiration. But they hadn't noticed Sebastian yet. He was with his head down so it wasn't easy to recognise him.
‘’Did you just got off of a Jaguar?’’ asked Amy not understanding what was happening. ‘’Have you won the lottery?’’
‘’You even got yourself a bodyguard’’ said Alize, pointing at Sebastian and being unable to take her eyes off him afterwards ‘’A very good looking one by the way. By logic’s sake, you’re a step away from stardom!’’ Sebastian suddenly glanced at Celine and that was when everyone noticed who he was. ''Holy hell'' Alize mumbled covering her face.
Celine just smiled with superiority. Charlie and Joel were frozen looking at Sebastian obviously recognising him and noticing he was not really a bodyguard but a very famous actor.
‘’People’’ said Celine with a condescending voice. ‘’He’s not working for me. He’s Sebastian, my boyfriend’’
No one laughed because they were actually impressed by that revelation. But absolutely nobody believed it. That Celine was dating a famous actor didn't make any sense.
‘’Darling’’ said Amy. ‘’When did you change history for comedic chops?’’ her voice was trembling but she tried to remain cool.
‘’Celine!’’ Alize groaned, still not being able to take her eyes from Sebastian. ''Is that Sebastian Stan?'' her eyes still couldn't believe what she was seeing. ''It's impossible. He's probably a look alike.'' she looked at Sebastian with disbelief.
‘’Wait… what?’’ Sebastian looked at Celine who was trying without success to remain serious.
‘’No, no, wait a second’’ Joel suddenly said ‘’I know you. You’re really from Marvel.’’ of course Joel and Charlie were going to recognise him. They were big into sci fi, superheroes and all that stuff. ‘’Captain America’s best friend, Bucky Barnes. Mr. Sebastian Stan, I can’t believe I’m actually standing in front of you’’ he shook Sebastian’s hand.
The other three were even more impressed than before.
‘’The question is…’’ started Charlie who suddenly wasn't his talkative self and was stuttering a little. ‘’…how could Celine afford to pay a professional actor to pass as her boyfriend. I knew you were well off but wow, woman, is either you have a lot of money to spare, you owe him a favour or you’re bankrupt, man’’.
‘’That still doesn’t explain how Celine met a famous actor’’ added Amy. ''How did this happen? Who did you sacrifice to make this miracle?''
‘’She’s not paying me, I’m really her boyfriend’’ he told Charlie. ‘’And we met in a bookshop’’ he said to Amy. ''And I don't think she had to sacrifice anyone.''
‘’No way’’ mumbled Alize looking at Celine and Sebastian with wide eyes. Joel was also pretty stunned, looking at Celine with respect.
‘’Rejecting the weirdoes from Cambridge paid off. Look what you’ve got at the end of the day. A Marvel actor. Celine Cadwallader, my best mate from King’s College snatched an actual Marvel actor’’ Joel looked at Sebastian with a wide smile. ‘’Welcome to the family!’’ they embraced before the eyes of an astonished Celine ‘’Celine and I aren’t actually siblings but after nine years I can tell you that she’s like a sister to me, so you’re my brother in law from now on’’ to her horror, Sebastian didn’t seem to mind.
Celine was covering her face with a hand. Both Joel and Sebastian were being so extra it hurt. Never in a million years she could have imagine that these two would get along. But they had something in common: they were both melodramatic as hell.
‘’Wow, this was unexpected’’ mumbled Amy so only Celine could hear her. ‘’I thought you wanted to die a virgin like Queen Elizabeth I. But with Sebastian Stan I admit that was probably hard to accomplish.’’
‘’Turned out I’ve changed my mind’’ she said with a sly smile. ‘’Not really. Sebastian happened. I can honestly tell you that I’m far better with him than alone. He’s that awesome’’.
They both followed Charlie to ask for the food, leaving the other three behind. Sebastian and Joel were non stop talking and Alize couldn’t take her eyes off Sebastian. She still couldn't believe what was happening.
‘’Is she still engaged?’’ asked Celine, a bit surprised by the attention that Alize was giving to Sebastian.
‘’Yeah, but it wouldn’t be the first time an engagement gets cancelled in this group of friends’’ added Charlie and the three of them groaned, remembering a story of the past.
Celine ordered for Seb, knowing by heart what he liked. When she was heading to the table that the other three had chosen, Amy stopped her.
‘’There’s a question that’s been haunting me. How is he in bed?’’
Celine looked defeated. She had genuinely thought that only Matilde could ask these kind of questions. But she was wrong, very wrong. With the corner of her eyes she saw that even Charlie was waiting for her answer.
‘’Of all the questions, you ask this. Why didn’t you ask about his favourite colour, if he liked to play chess or, I don’t know, any other bloody thing?’’.
‘’Celine, darling’’ said Charlie ‘’No one wants to know that stuff. We want the spicy details’’.
Celine was not going to give in so easily.
‘’I’m not going to give material to your perverted minds’’.
‘’Just one word. Please, for the friendship we share, for the moments we lived, do it for the fam. I can’t go on without knowing’’ begged Amy.
For Celine all of this was a mixture between pathetic and funny.
‘’Okay, he’s amazing and that’s all I’m going to say. I don’t want to hear about this topic anymore’’.
Both bastards giggled.
‘’Don’t worry, that’s all we need to know’’ for some reason Amy looked flustered.
Celine rolled her eyes. They were behaving like middle schoolers, like Matilde and Sebastian. Not that it was wrong but they were supposed to be serious scholars.
She sat beside Sebastian and gave him his food.
‘’Are you okay?’’ she asked him.
‘’More than okay’’ he tenderly kissed her forehead.
The rest of the group look at them as if they were a cute puppy. Celine wondered when she had lost her dignity. There was a time they look at her with respect an admiration, not as if she were a corgi. After all, it was all her fault as she wanted to flaunt her handsome and cute boyfriend.
Celine knew it was a matter of time before Joel and Charlie started to bombard Sebastian with questions about the Avengers and all that stuff she didn’t understand.
‘’Celine, did you met some of this people?’’ asked Amy, still impressed that Celine had met actors and people like that. ''If you met Chris Evans I'm going to have an stroke.''
‘’Ehh… I went to the Comic Con or something like that’’ Joel and Charlie looked stunned. That their clueless friend had gone there before them was unbelievable. ‘’In San Diego. I met the guy who plays Captain America and some other people that I have no idea of their roles, they also showed us a trailer that I couldn’t get and there was a conference that I couldn't understand any of the questions’’.
Joel and Charlie had almost choked. That Celine Cadwallader had seen the holy Infinity War trailer (and without understanding a thing of it) and not them was totally unfair. They would have sacrificed one of their doctorates to be in that conference room. Amy was speechless about Celine meeting Chris Evans and not making a fuss over it.
‘’Did you really meet Chris Evans?’’ she asked.
‘’And that is not all…’’ said Sebastian with a teasing smile.
‘’Please, tell us’’ said Alize with a fake calm voice. She knew that Celine was not going to tell them anything.
‘’Evans fancied her’’ he said with a small a smile. Well, now it was a joke to Sebastian to tell that story but at the moment it was his worst nightmare coming to life.
‘’WHAT?!’’ they all yelled at the same time.
‘’That’s not true, that was Sebastian’s imagination to justify his increasing jealousy, I exchanged two words with Evans and I don’t think he found me to his liking after I said that I hated children…’’
But no one was listening to her. They were all asking questions that made no absolute sense. Not even Matilde had been interested in that topic which said enough about how far fetched it was. And it was Matilde, the queen of believing that improbable things would eventually become a reality.
‘’Celine, I am so jealous of you.’’ said Amy ‘’You transformed yourself from an angry serious lady into a magnet to hot actors that play superheroes. Wow, I want to be you’’.
‘’That’s not true! I’m not a magnet to anything! Sebastian tell them that’s not true’’.
‘’But it’s true’’ he defended himself ‘’I mean, I don’t know if you’re a magnet but the Chris Evans part it’s true. He told me himself that he fancied you. I agree it was horrible and I sent him not to a very nice place but it’s a funny anecdote now, almost six months later’’.
‘’Oh dear’’ she mumbled but suddenly she had a light bulb moment ‘’Yeah, you’re right Seb. You once told me Evans had a certain weakness for Cambridge historians’’ she looked at him with raised eyebrows. ‘’Are you thinking the same as me?’’.
He look at her with his eyes full of mischief. Of course they were thinking the same.
‘’Look’’ he said to Amy. ‘’I can introduce you to Chris Evans. He’ll probably like you and I’m not joking’’.
Amy almost fainted and Alize looked outraged.
‘’Why her and not me?’’ she asked.
‘’Because you’re engaged!’’ Sebastian justified from him.
‘’Who told you that?’’ Sebastian pointed at Joel with his thumb. ‘’Hey man, why are you talking behind my back?’’
‘’I wasn’t talking behind your back, you were right in front of us but you weren’t paying attention because you were drooling over Sebastian as if he were a tasty piece of meat’’.
‘’I’m sorry, Celine’’ apologised Alize. ‘’But he’s handsome’’.
‘’Yeah, I’m used to that reaction’’ and Celine wasn’t bothered at all. ‘’But he’s much more than a pretty face, you know’’.
She winked at him and he responded with a little smile.
‘’Anyway’’ interrupted Amy, back to the business she was interested in. ‘’When am I meeting Chris Evans?’’
‘’Hey, I want to have a chance too!’’
Alize was almost convincing Celine that all of this wasn’t a big joke. The only thing that was missing at that moment was Matilde to make a contest between the three girls for Evans’s heart. Who was she kidding, Sebastian would probably take part on it and Joel and Charlie too. It would be like a Triwizard Tournament in which Evans was the price.
‘’But you’re engaged’’ this time Amy used that argument.
‘’I’ll break the engagement right now if it’s necessary, you know I won’t be the first one to do that in this group.’’
‘’Tell me you weren’t the first’’ Sebastian asked Celine with a low voice.
She shot him her signature glance of disapproval.
‘’Of course not, are you out of your mind, my only boyfriend lasted a week and then there was you and we haven’t been engaged as long as I know’’ she put all these words into a long hiss.
The others never noticed their not so secret conversation. Whenever they wanted to make it really confidential, they spoke in Romanian, an habit that Matilde always called ‘insufferable’.
Meanwhile the others kept talking about Evans and many other things that even Sebastian was getting tired of. That’s why he decided to end the topic that he himself had started.
‘’To sum up…’’ he had his irresistible charming smile. ‘’I’ll introduce Evans to you two in March, he’s coming to do some Infinity War promo. All the cast is coming. I don’t care if you’re engaged, that’s not my business. Everyone fancies Chris. Men, women, engaged people, married people, single people, this is the way life works’’.
Celine looked at him as if he had gone crazy. This was definitely the weirdest reunion with her former classmates she had ever had.
And it was only about to get weirder when they started to tell Sebastian of their adventures in Cambridge. She suspected that this was all he was waiting for.
‘’…Our drunk stories are legendary’’ Joel was telling. ‘’Even Celine is an couple of them. Once I fell asleep on the bushes, another time Charlie got to the outside of King’s College chapel and started screaming at the top of his lung to God to open the door, and there was a wild night in 2012 after Chelsea won the Champions League that Celine got drunk, cried and we had to carry her back to her dorm while she was singing Hey Jude at the top of her lungs. I can’t decide which one is the best.’’
Sebastian almost choked with the piece of chicken he was eating.
‘’Wait a second’’ he was trying to swallow with a bit of difficulty ‘’Celine crying?’’
‘’Oh yeah, but she was drunk. It doesn’t count as actual crying. I don’t think we ever saw he sad. Just angry. But the worst Celine ever is sick Celine’’.
They were talking about her as she wasn’t there.
‘’Hey.’’ she defended herself ‘’I got ill once and it wasn’t so bad.’’ at least she hadn’t got pneumonia.
‘’Are you crazy?’’ said Amy and Joel at the same time.
‘’You clearly couldn’t go to classes but you went anyway’’ continued Charlie ‘’You didn’t let anyone touch you, offer you help, cook for you or even help you with your essays, You almost kill yourself out of exhaustion if it wasn’t for Clara Edwards’’.
‘’Who’s that?’’ Sebastian wasn’t at all surprised by Celine’s behaviour. After all he had had to deal with her when she had got sick. Every day was a fight when she wanted to go to work and she wasn’t in the condition to do so. At least he had been more successful than her former classmates in the heavy business of helping her.
‘’A medicine student with a gift for patience, she holds the record of being the only one able to deal with sick Celine’’ said Joel ‘’I think she works in the Chelsea and Kensington hospital’’. Joel was someone who knew the whereabouts of every single person of his generation of King’s College.
‘’Hey’’ this was Celine’s time to be curious ‘’I have to go to that hospital a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t saw her’’
Joel look at her as if she were a six year old who couldn’t understand that 2+2 was 4.
‘’That’s because she delivers babies to the world, Celine. She doesn’t take care of people with the flu’’.
Celine had sort of a disgusting face as if she couldn’t believe how could someone want to do that job. It wasn’t strange coming from someone who referred to kids as ‘creatures’.
‘’Actually’’ said Sebastian. ‘’She didn’t have the flu. She had pneumonia’’
The other moaned knowing that if Celine was impossible to deal with only with a simple flu, with pneumonia she was probably stuff of nightmares.
‘’And you took care of her all alone?’’ asked Amy, impressed that he had survived to tell the story. Sebastian just nodded.
‘’You must have a gift for patience, man’’ Charlie was impressed that they were still together after that.
‘’I just really love my girl. I’d do whatever to keep her happy, safe and healthy. I’d grow all the patience in the world for that’’.
Everyone melted, including Celine. She could never get tired of him speaking of her so lovingly, as if she meant the world to him. The good thing was that he meant exactly that to her. On her part, Amy was feeling lonelier than ever; Alize was feeling that her relationship sucked as her fiance had never said to her something half as cute as that; Joel, who was the male version of pre-Sebastian Celine, didn’t care much about feelings and that stuff but was happy for his friend; and Charlie was just charmed.
‘’Okay, mate’’ Joel slapped Sebastian’s shoulder in a friendly way ‘’You know how to melt a heart’’
Thankfully to Sebastian, who was already blushing scarlet, as he always did when someone complimented him, the conversation turned to something else.
Celine was talking about some theory and using terms that Sebastian had never heard before and didn’t know about. Joel took pity on him and translated was she was saying in an idiom he could understand.
‘’We refer to this as ‘Cambridge Slang’.’’ he informed Sebastian, who looked confused. ‘’They’re talking about history but for you it may sound like aerospacial engineering. You should go to one of the Cambridge labs, mine was really interesting. I sort of miss it’’.
‘’Don’t you work there anymore?’’ he knew that all of Celine’s Cambridge friends stood at Cambridge, leading investigations there. As long as he knew, Celine was the only one who decided to work in London. Apparently she needed something else in her life apart from spending her life in a lab. Apart from the fact that she was much better paid by working with the Prime Minister and no one could deny that she didn’t enjoy having the lifestyle she led, with her house in Chelsea and the tickets to football matches.
‘’I do. But now I moved to a much bigger lab. Now I lead researches instead of just be part of a team.''
‘’Really?’’ he was imagining how it would be to be extra smart. This guy was probably a mix between Tony Stark and Bruce Banner but with maturity of Peter Parker.
‘’Yeah, but is not as great as it sounds. I have under my charge a lot of kids that they always think that they are right. Trying to manage a team of scientist is like trying to organize a pack of cats: they all do whatever the hell they want. I do the same so i can't really complain.''
Sebastian wished to be as smart as Joel. he knew that he was had a doctorate in astrophysics and Sebastian had always been sort of an space nerd.
‘’It is fantastic’’ Sebastian was still trying to figure out how to ask questions without sounding like an idiot. ''Emmm, sorry to ask this but... the parallel universe is true?''
Joel was not going to lose the chance of showing his knowledge in front of a famous actor.
‘’Yeah… there is a theory that states that we are part of a larger universe composed by an infinite number of universes’’ Joel was acting as if he wasn’t so proud of himself at that moment for being wise and trying to make a complicated explanation simple to a Marvel actor. ''Long story short can be an infinite number of you''
Then he went on a long explanation that included quantum physics, the Schrodinger's cat experiment and the split universes. Sebastian a bit amazed that he actually understood what he was saying. Celine's influence was strong on him after all.
‘’I think it’s awesome that you know all these things.’’ He said with all seriousness and Joel was about to float of pride.
‘’Thank you'' he blushed a little. That was one of Joel's best days ever. A popular actor was praising him, he couldn't be more stunned.
The continued talking a good while about the topic, and many other questions that Sebastian had on his mind, almost forgetting that it was almost three in the afternoon and he had to get ready to an interview with Graham Norton. Thankfully he relied on Celine who seemed to have an agenda inside her brain.
‘’Since when you two are such good friends?’’ she asked, placing her hands on her boyfriend’s shoulders. ''And since when you understand astrophysics?''
‘’To be honest, I have no idea. Is your influence, I suppose.'' he caressed the hand she had on her shoulder.
‘’I should be proud of this’’ she laughed. ‘’Whatever, I think we should go. You have to be at the BBC in a couple of hours’’.
‘’That’s true’’ he said, standing up from the chair.
It took them more than ten minutes to say goodbye to the four people. Sebastian was promising them all to invite them to the Avengers London premiere in April. All of them looked like they had just won the lottery.
‘’Tell me you agree with me that the most unexpected thing in history’’ Joel told the others when Celine and Sebastian had just left.
All of them nodded, still a bit astounded that Celine, who had been one step away of spending the rest of her life among cats (and she had actually wanted that), had got a boyfriend. And not a typical boyfriend but a hot and famous one. How had that been possible was still a mystery for them. It was so unbelievable that the most logical explanation they had reached was that Celine was a witch.
‘’You think he’s the one for her?’’ inquired Amy in a full gossip mode.
‘’I didn’t think there was a one for her. Turned out that there was. Surprising that it sounds, they complement each other very well. There's chemistry between those two.'' said Joel. ''I hope they last forever.''
‘’You only want them to last forever because he promised to take us to the Avengers premiere!’’ Amy accused him and Joel didn’t even look ashamed. ‘’And meet all those superheroes.'
‘’In his defence…’’ Charlie intervened ‘’…you also want to meet Chris Evans, so you should cross fingers that the stay as a couple’’.
The only one that seemed to be at her right mind at that moment was Alize.
‘’But guys… jokes aside… he’s exactly the man of her dreams…’’ the other three looked at her with raised eyebrows. As long as they knew Celine had never dreamed of any man, at least not one that lived in 21st century. ‘’Yeah, I know she’ll never admit that but, look, he’s just for her. I mean, handsome, unique, sweet, smart, he’s also famous but I don’t know if that counts…, and glamorous, of course’’.
For the second time in less than a minute, they look at her as if she were crazy.
‘’Celine, going for glamorous men? Are we talking about the same Celine?’’ asked Amy being a bit cynical about it all.
‘’Stop denying it! Inside this sarcastic and sour surface that woman is a diva. I mean, she lives in Chelsea, wears Burberry, works for the Prime Minister of Great Britain, dates an actor, has two doctorates and even her freaking favourite football team is glamorous. Don’t tell me that Celine is that little humble Welsh girl again, please’’,
They all had to admit that Alize was right.

‘’Now, you look amazing’’
Celine was ‘judging’ Sebastian while he was in front of the mirror getting ready to go to the Graham Norton show. Celine was going to watch him on TV with Matilde. She would have loved to go but she didn’t want to be that kind of girlfriend that didn’t let the poor guy breath.
‘’And you too’’
‘’But I’m not going anywhere’’ she wrapped her arms around his neck.
‘’But you always look amazing’’ he softly kissed her until they were interrupted by a phone sounding. ‘’Is it yours or mine?’’
‘’Yours, probably. Mine is always in the office’’ she kissed him one more time before helping him to find his phone.
After good five minutes they found it under the bed. He had no idea how it had got there.
‘’Oh’’ he said with a small smile after reading the text. ‘’You’ll like this one. It’s about the people that’ll be with me today on Graham Norton. I’m sure you know them’’.
The only thing Celine needed to do to make him start talking was to raise her eyebrows. Nothing more than that.
‘’Well, there’s Taylor Swift’’
‘’What?!’’ she stood up from the bed where she was sitting.
She couldn’t believe that Sebastian would be meeting actual Taylor Swift, one of the few modern artists that Celine really liked. She was a bit jealous of him at that moment.
‘’And the other one you’ll like it even more’’ he had a mischievous smile. ‘’Former Chelsea star, Frank Lampard’’.
Sebastian could have sworn that Celine had gone blank.
‘’I have never been so jealous before’’ her brown eyes were shining. ‘’Please tell him I love him and that I’m so grateful for all he gave to Chelsea. No, wait, don’t say anything’’. she knew that Sebastian was perfectly capable of saying exactly that and add some extra stuff. ‘’You’re living my dream, man. Befriend him if you want so we can call him a family friend’’.
He laughed while hugging her,
‘’Why don’t you come with me so you can meet them yourself?’’
He placed his head on her shoulder and closed his eyes, immediately relaxing. Her sole presence was enough to calm him down and touching her made him feel that no matter the situation everything was going to be okay.
‘’Because it’s not appropriate’’ she buried her hand in his hair ‘’This is part of your job, Seb. It’s not fair that get into it.’’
He knew that there was no way to make Celine change her mind. If there was something she always respected was each other’s space. Not being invasive was one of the keys to their relationship. But he also didn’t mind that Celine joined him in some of his adventures.
‘’I know you won’t change your mind but for the next time consider that I’d love to have you there. There's so much I want to show you about me that you haven't seen yet. You're just missing out really good stuff.''
Celine had to admit that he was being completely fair in that. Everything that he did was by far more exciting than what she did. Her work consisted in thinking, doing research about people who have died hundred of years ago and writing reports and press releases for the Prime Minister. Raw excitement.
‘’You’re right. I promise you that when you get that Oscar nomination I’ll go with you to the ceremony and you can show me everything’’ she was being dead serious at that moment.
Sebastian just laughed.
‘’Cez, that’s a really smart way of saying that you’ll never let me show you what I do. Truly, I admire you’’.
Celine looked offended, even though he knew she actually wasn’t. She grabbed a pillow and softly hit him with it.
‘’Why do you have so little confidence in your work?’’ she hit him again. ‘’You’ll get nominated, Seb, you’ll have to deal with it’’.
The truth was that he knew about the rumours of a possible nomination but he dismissed them as crap. The issue was that he didn’t want to get his hopes up and then ending up disappointed.
‘’You should get going or you’ll be late’’ Celine took him out of his storm of thoughts.
Before he left she kissed him.
‘’Good luck. Remember, be yourself because you’re perfect the way you are. Tell Taylor and Frank that I love them’’
‘’Of course’’ he opened the door but before leaving he went back to kiss her again. ‘’I love you’’
‘’Me too’’ she had a bright smile ‘’Way too much’’
‘’Ow, can you two stop with the PDA, at least in front of me’’ said a voice behind their backs.
The looked behind only to find Matilde standing there, with a small smile on her face.
‘’This is our house, so we can kiss all we want’’ with her typical elegance she pushed Sebastian out of the house. ‘’You’re going to be late, go’’.
He sent Celine a flying kiss before getting into the car.
Matilde was quite surprised that Celine had used the term ‘our house’ when in the past she referred to it as ‘my house, mine, I bought it, everything here is mine’. In front of her eyes Celine was changing to an upgraded version of herself, less selfish, more open minded and flexible. It was undeniable that Sebastian had been an enormous good influence for her.
‘’You’re smitten’’ she told Celine.
‘’Maybe. I don't know. I've never been in this place before. I have no idea how Sebastian does it but he makes me feel better. Happier. Like nothing can ever go wrong.''
‘’That’s because you’re lucky and you got Sebastian, who was your friend before all this and you knew each other, so there was no surprises when you got together. In general, relationships suck and you meet a lot of crappy men before finding someone you feel really comfortable with. If you ever find them. You’re so bloody lucky of getting the one at your first try, because I’m not counting that Cambridge boyfriend you dated as a joke’’.
Celine wanted to correct her saying that it wasn’t a joke but not even her was convinced of that. However, she was too busy thinking if Sebastian was actually ‘the one’ for her. Well, it was either Sebastian or anyone else at all. It may have looked extremist for someone like Matilde but, for her made all the sense in the world: she didn’t have the energy, the will or the time to get to know someone new and start anything from zero. She already loved Sebastian deeply and the feeling was mutual, in this aspect she wasn’t worried. And about the problems that may surface in the future, they’d deal with them at the right moment.
‘’Earth to Celine!’’ Matilde snapped her fingers in front of Celine’s face. ‘’Do I prepare toast or what?’’
Celine just nodded and started to make the tea.
They spent their evening eating, watching the sports news on the BBC and waiting for Sebastian to appear on national television. Celine was also excited to see him sitting beside one of her idols: super Frankie Lampard, the Chelsea legend. She remembered having a picture of him at her dorm in Cambridge.
When the show started, Matilde turned up the volume. There was just Graham Norton, doing the monologue.
‘’I’m going to laugh so much with this’’ it was normal for Matilde and Celine to laugh about Sebastian’s performances at interviews. He always said something he shouldn’t like a spoiler for the next Marvel film or some stupid thing. They didn’t know if he did it on purpose or that things slipped out of his mouth.
‘’Today we have a weird mixture of guests. A football legend…’’ Graham said and Celine went on full fan girl mode. ‘’An actor and a singer’’
‘’You’re more excited about Lampard than about your own boyfriend’’ Matilde looked at Celine not quite understanding her. If she had a boyfriend on national television she’d probably be making a fuss at that moment.
‘’In my defense, I’ve been a fan of Frankie since she 2001. And I’m quite concerned about Sebastian. He always manages to embarrass himself on live TV. I really don’t want this to happen in front to Frankie and Taylor Swift and half of Britain’’ she was crossing fingers at that moment.
Even Matilde had to admit that Celine was right.
In silence they kept watching the show. Sebastian was right in the middle of Frankie and Taylor. Celine had never been so jealous of someone before.
‘’Aren’t you jealous?’’ Matilde seemed to be reading her mind. ‘’I mean, Taylor Swift is right next to your boyfriend. If I were in your place I’d be throwing stones at the TV’’.
‘’Of course I’m jealous but not for that reason’’ Celine looked at Matilde as if she were ashamed of her ‘’I’d pay good money to be Sebastian right now’’
By that moment Sebastian had said only a handful of words. The begging of the show was mostly focused on Taylor Swift.
‘’There we go’’ mumbled Celine when Graham moved from Taylor to Sebastian.
‘’Sebastian, last time you came here you were an actor from New York who came with the rest of the cast of Captain America: Civil War but now, you look like a local. You’ve been spending a lot of time in London, is that true?’’
Matilde threw Celine a meaningful glance. And Sebastian on TV had an innocent face.
‘’Oh yes’’ he still had the same smile ‘’I fell in love with London… and also I fell in love in London’’
Celine choked, Matilde had it difficult to keep herself together and lot laugh, Taylor Swift seemed to be thinking ‘Aw, how cute’ and even goddamned Frankie Lampard looked interested.
‘’He’s dead’’ Celine said with a resigned face.
To Celine’s dismay Graham Norton didn’t have any intentions to drop Sebastian’s love story and was determined to hear it whole. Taylor, Frankie and the audience wanted that too. Literally everyone wanted to hear it, except Celine.
‘’This seems like a really good story, Sebastian’’ said Graham looking at him. The audience cheered. Matilde clapped.
‘’We’re up for a good love story’’ said Taylor Swift laughing with her own reference.
One part of Celine wanted to hear the story. The other part wanted to move to Siberia, knowing that the subject of the story was herself and he was about to tell it on national television. The only good part was that Sebastian hadn’t mentioned any names so no one would know who he was talking about.
Sebastian flashed his most charming smile. He looked like a grandmother ready to tell the biggest story of her life.
‘’It’s nothing very complicated. I just found the love of my life in this amazing city’’ he look at them all, teasing them to ask for more. ‘’I came here just to for filming and I ended up finding so much more. I lived the best days of my life here in London’’
‘’Just tell us once and for all, who’s the lucky one?’’ said Frankie Lampard who seemed to be having fun.
‘’Frankie how dare you!’’ shouted Celine, totally outraged. ‘’All this years of loyalty and you repay me with this?’’
Matilde was laughing. Seeing Celine loosing her mind over the possibility that her name was going to be mentioned on national television was too priceless.
‘’Her name’s Celine, a wonderful lady from Wales. She supports Chelsea and told me you were a legend’’ he pointed at Frankie ‘’And she also likes you, Taylor. But the important thing is that she the smartest and strongest person I’ve ever met. She deserves all the credit because without her I could’ve never done this movie. So, having said that, I love you, Cez’’.
Celine and Matilde were looking at the TV, with eyes wide open, without saying a word. Celine was too shocked to even move. She was wondering if Sebastian had planned a love declaration in front of millions or he was just speaking without thinking. But on the inside she was deeply touched, what he had just said was beautiful. And a part of herself wanted to start looking for tickets so Siberia as soon as possible.

''SHUT HIM UP, GRAHAM!'' was the only thing she could say. 
‘’Oh my God, this was perfect!’’ said Taylor with her eyes shining.
‘’At least Swift now knows that Sebby’s not available for her’’ said Matilde with venom.
‘’Not that Seb is interested in the first place. He rejected to be one of her music videos. And don’t be unfair with Taylor. She’s great’’.
Matilde turned her attention back to the TV. Sebastian had stopped with his love story and was talking about his film. Celine was thankful with the change. Then Frankie Lampard talk about Chelsea’s disappointing season (something Celine was very aware of) and then it was time for the musical number. Of course from Taylor Swift.
‘’I bloody hate this song’’ said Matilde when Taylor was singing Ready for It. Celine laughed. Matilde was in a weird mood that night.
Celine actually liked the performance. After Taylor finished with that song she continued with another.
‘’Hey Sebastian, maybe you’d like to dedicate this song to your Celine…’’ she said while sitting on the piano. ‘’This song is for all the people in love out there. It’s called New Year’s Day’’.
By the end of the song Celine was a bit emotional (even though she wasn’t near to crying, she was experiencing a serious case of second hand embarrassment on Sebastian's behalf), Matilde had actually liked the song and that was to say a lot, Frankie Lampard was blinking in a really fast pace and Sebastian looked like he had just been hit in the face with a saucepan.
‘’I’m so alone’’ moaned Matilde, burying her face into her arm ‘’Even bloody Taylor Swift is singing about love now and here I am, lonelier than ever, hanging on a dream that one day a dashing Tom Holland or Chris Evans is going to look at me and save me’’.
Celine had no idea of what to say first of all because she disagreed with the whole saving thing. For her the only person who could save her, was herself. Thankfully, the phone rang and she didn’t have to say anything.
‘’Hey Amy’’ she answered after glancing at the screen. ‘’I saw you five hours ago, did you forgot to tell me something?’’
‘’No, but we all saw the show your boyfriend made on live TV. Alize was screaming about how much her relationship sucked, Charlie was saying that Sebastian was setting the standards impossible high and Joel couldn’t stop laughing about how your face might’ve been looking. It was hilarious’’
‘’I’m glad to know that I was of some amusement’’ Celine was wondering when she had turned into a living circus. Matilde had stopped with her melodrama and was right next to Celine, listening to all that Amy was saying. ‘’I don’t really want to know what you were thinking’’
‘’But I do!’’ yelled Matilde with a high pitched voice that Amy was able to hear.
‘’Okay’’ Celine was able to hear Amy and Alize’s giggling. ‘’Celine, I was thinking about what you’re going to do to this delicious man once he comes home’’
Matilde laughed and clapped and Celine face palmed. Her friends only thought of one thing.
‘’Goodbye!” without second thoughts she hung up.
It was even worse when she read a text from Leah that said ‘My boyfriend sucks. Would you like to change? I give you mine and you give me yours’. Celine answered with a quick ‘Never in a million years’.
‘’Twitter is on fire’’ said Matilde, looking at her phone with a smile. ‘’It’s really funny because everyone knows your name but they have no idea who you are and how you look like but they all want to be you’’.
‘’Thankfully there are hundreds of Celines out there. And I’m extra grateful that my parents don’t watch Graham Norton in South America. Mum talking about Sebastian would be on another level of uncomfortable’’.
However, deep inside, she was confused. Sebastian was giving her so much credit that she didn’t know if she deserved it. She did everything possible to keep him happy and comfortable, like he did with her but he had just spoken about her (in front of million) as if she were some sort of goddess.
After some time, Matilde left, laughing about what was being said about Sebastian on social media and what Amy had said in her short conversation.
Celine waited for Sebastian, sitting next to Elemauzer while drinking tea. She had turned off the TV long ago and was reading some silly article that she had found on the Internet.
When she heard the door opening she instantly looked there only to find Sebastian with a guilty face.
‘’Do you hate me, don’t you?’’ he looked as he was fearing Celine’s answer. Celine walked towards him with a serious expression. ‘’I don’t know what came over me. They asked me about you and I couldn’t stop talking. I have so much to say about you and I just wanted to tell everyone but then it dawned on me that probably you don’t want the same and I’m exposing you and I’m an idiot who just ruined everything…’’
She walked towards him and shut him up only with a glance.
‘’It’s not that’’ she had an unreadable expression. ‘’I don’t want fame but I don’t fear exposure, I knew it was going to be a factor in our life but, you know what, forget it, I can deal with it. The things is, you described me as some sort of… Wonder Woman that I don’t think I am. The only special thing about me is that I have two doctorates but then, what? I’m not exceptionally pretty or even charismatic, I still don’t understand what you saw in me…’’
Sebastian was relieved that she wasn’t angry but he wanted her to understand that for him she was exceptionally wonderful, an unique woman that he had been lucky enough to meet.
‘’Stop rambling, Cez.’’ he gripped he by the shoulders. ‘’If someone here is lucky, that’s me. Sometimes I ask myself why did you chose just a simple actor when you could be with someone with two doctorates from Harvard, instead you got stuck with me. Cez, love, we deserve each other because between us there’s love, teamwork, dedication and mutual admiration. And, yes, you are my Wonder Woman’’.
Celine laughed and hugged him, being careful of not ruin his perfect suit. He kissed the top of her head, feeling luckier than ever.
‘’Thank you, Seb. For your kind words and all your love. And how is Frankie Lampard in person?’’ the change in the topic made him laugh.
‘’A very fun person. He asked me if I was a Chelsea fan like you and I tried to lie to him but I think he noticed that I was just faking it, But he didn’t judge me. And he sent you this’’ he took a piece of paper from his pocket and handed it to Celine.
With shaking hands she unfolded the paper that had a little note from Frankie that said ‘’Dear Celine, thank you for your support all this years. We share an undying love for our glorious team. Long live Chelsea F.C. Frankie.’’
For the second time this night, Celine was emotional. She was looking at the piece of paper as if it were an invaluable treasure. Frankie Lampard had touched it, damn.
‘’Thank you’’ she engulfed him in a hug so strong that made him stumble.
Easily, he carried her upstairs. Celine, remembering Amy’s last words in her clumsy phone call, couldn’t stop laughing.
Carelessly, he threw the jacket to wherever it landed, the floor, a chair, he didn’t mind about it. Celine winced. In her opinion, an Armani suit should be treated better.
‘’Sebastian, be careful!’’ he smiled with fake innocence. ‘’Let me do it’’ slowly, she started to unbutton his shirt. Sebastian was biting his lip with a playful smile on his face. He surely noticed where this was leading.
He was drawing circles in the back of her neck, his gaze never leaving her eyes. Everything was going perfectly smooth until Sebastian ruined it.
‘’Are you ready for it?’’ he asked with his best Taylor Swift pronunciation, that was terrible.
Celine lost it and fell to the bed, laughing. Sebastian looked confused, with his big blue eyes wide open. He looked adorable.
‘’What’s wrong?’’ he looked at Celine who was still laughing. ‘’I had this damn song stuck in my mind for the whole night ‘Baby, let the games begin, let the games begin, let the games begin, ahhhh’’. he was making Celine laugh even harder with his lousy imitation of Taylor Swift.
‘’Do you realise that no matter how hard we try we cannot be sexy? Something always happens. Or it’s me calling you ‘Lord Farquaad’ or ‘Vampire’ or it’s you tripping or saying stupid things like what you’ve just said. And that time Elemauzer unexpectedly got into the room with a freaking dead rat in his mouth that he left on the bed just beside us’’.
‘’That was terrible’’ he said with a disgusted face.
‘’It was so funny’’ Celine was laughing at the memory ‘’You were next to the wall, half naked, doing those little jumps and screaming ‘Take it out, take it out’. I should have filmed it but I was too busy throwing the rat out of the window before you passed out’’.
‘’Straight to Matilde’s little garden’’ Sebastian laughed harder. ‘’I don’t know how you touched it without throwing up’’.
‘’I was raised in the countryside, I’ve touched things more gross than a dead rat. For example, rats that were alive, dead snakes and a couple of times, cow excrement…’’
‘’Enough, please’’ he didn’t want to hear again that infamous story of ten year old Celine taking the organs of a dead snake with her bare hands. She had said it was for ‘scientific curiosity’. For Sebastian it was simply disgusting.
‘’This conversation was a real turn off’’
‘’Nothing is a turn off if you are in front of me’’ he placed himself on top of her, brushing her neck with his lips. ‘’As long as you don’t talk about dead animals and I don’t attempt to impersonate Taylor Swift, everything is going to be okay’’

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 


Celine was in her office surrounded by books and frantically writing. She felt that she was getting somewhere in her investigation and needed to take advantage of that spark of inspiration. She had been locked in there for the entire cold morning of mid-December.
‘’CELINE!’’ she heard Sebastian calling her.
She ignored him as she was being was too busy at that moment.
‘’This was during the autumn of 1535, not before…’’ she mumbled while taking notes in fast speed. ‘’The accusations were laid in May of 1535...’’
‘’CELINE!’’
She couldn’t ignore him anymore. She was a bit irritated after being interrupted and wished that he was calling for something important, not like the time he had called her only to see the trailer of Deathpool 2. Or however the hell the name of that film was.
When she got in the living room she found him sitting on the floor looking as if he had been hit on the face or half scared to death. He look like he was about to be sick.
‘’What’s wrong?’’ Celine asked him forgetting that she was supposed to be angry at him.
‘’Nothing, I’m just shocked’’ he looked at her with his wide blue eyes. ‘’I know you told me this was going to happen but I didn’t believe you. I didn’t want to believe you to be honest’’.
‘’Can you be a bit more specific?’’ she sat beside him and wrapped an arm around his shoulders.
As an answer he handed her his phone.
‘’You got nominated to a Golden Globe?’’ Celine saw that one coming, however, she was still a bit shocked.
‘’I think so’’ he was staring at the wall with a weird expression on his face.
They stood in silence staring at the same point on the wall, until they both busted out laughing at the same time.
‘’Can you believe it, Cez? A Golden Globe. A Globe that’s Golden!’’ he buried his face on Celine’s chest, laughing.
Celine didn’t know what was the funny thing about all of this but Sebastian laugh was contagious. It was a moment to be proud and emotional not laughing like maniacs.
‘’Jokes apart…’’ she lifted his face so she could look at his eyes ‘’…I’m really proud of you, like, you have no idea’’.
He stopped laughing and looked at her with seriousness.
‘’If you only had seen my face when my agent told me that I was nominated… I’m pretty sure you would have laughed. It was really funny’’ he stood up from the floor, helping Celine to do the same.
‘’The next one will be an Oscar’’ she said with all the confidence in the world.
‘’Maybe’’ he started laughing again. ‘’I never thought that this would happen to me’’ now he was getting emotional. He was blinking fast. ‘’Just look at me. I was just a little Romanian kid with big dreams and now here I am, with a Golden Globe nomination and the most important thing in my life, you’’.
Celine was smiling while looking at him. She was so proud of him. She had been there during the whole process of film, which had been hard and emotionally draining. Sebastian had needed constant reassurance that he was doing the job well and not ‘playing the fool’ as he used to say. He had become insecure about criticism, no matter how good it was. But had work had paid off and he had his nomination. And it was completely deserved.
‘’What if I lose?’’ Celine noticed a bit of panic in his eyes.
‘’You’ll have to be proud of yourself anyways. Only five people get nominated and you’re one of them. Be proud of that because it’s an awesome achievement. Don’t think that you’re going to win or lose, just take this as an honour. Don’t think about the outcome, we’ll deal with that when the moment comes’’.
He gave her a look of adoration and kissed her.
‘’I love you’’ he laid her on the couch and continued kissing her.
She just grabbed his shoulders and let him kiss her. There was no better feeling in the world than the touch of his lips all over her neck. She would never cease to enjoy it. Until he stopped.
‘’Cez, can we move upstairs? Elemauzer is looking at us and it freaks me out’’.
It was true. The cat was with his yellow eyes looking at them as if he was judging them. Celine was sure that if the animal could talk he’d be reprimanding them for being indecent.
‘’He reminds me of my mother’’ Celine was looking at Elemauzer, a little horrified.
‘’And there goes the 45th attempt to being sexy. Failed again. Let’s go upstairs before this conversation becomes disturbing’’.

‘’You are amazing’’ lying on her back and still trying to catch her breath, Celine glanced at Sebastian who was right beside her with a careless grin on her face and his right hand lazily touching her hair.
‘’Thanks’’ he placed his head on her chest. That was something he always did and he’ll continue doing because he loved it. She immediately put her arms around him.
Several months into their relationship they still found it incredible that they had worked out so well. At the beginning Celine had had her doubts about the transition from a friendship to a relationship but everything had run so smoothly between them that she had been surprised. They were meant to be, that was all.
With one hand she played with his hair and with the other she was caressing his back. He was an absolute work of art.
‘’Look, Seb, it’s snowing outside’’ he glanced at the window and smiled. What a wonderful evening.
‘’After all, it’s winter. It always snows in New York’’
‘’But we’re in London, Seb. There we have cold rain. It rarely snows. People always want a ‘White Christmas’ but they all get a ‘Wet Christmas’. Cambridge was different. You were freezing for the whole winter and snow was a nuisance.’’
She stood up from the bed, put on the first clothes she could grab (that happened to be Sebastian’s) and sat on the little sofa she had near the window.
‘’What are you doing?’’ he didn’t want to be left alone in the bed.
‘’Watching the snow. You can come if you want’’
‘’I’m not dressed’’ he complained.
‘’Put on some clothes’’.
‘’You’re wearing them and don’t even tell me to wear yours. They don’t fit me’’.
‘’Come naked, for all I care. I’ve seen you like that before, half an hour ago, to be exact’’.
‘’I’ll freeze, Cez’’.
‘’Wrap a blanket around you’’ he could count on Celine to have a solution to almost anything.
That was exactly what he did.
‘’You can share the blanket if you want’’ she said with a suggestive smile.
‘’Come here’’ he placed her on top of him and wrapped the blanket around them both. They were having quite a perfect evening, peaceful, quiet and in each other’s company.

A week later Celine was at home, finally free from work, at least for ten days. She may not celebrate Christmas but she appreciated the free days. Everyone needed those, even someone as hard-working as Celine.
She threw herself on the coach, with a bowl full of crisps and mayonnaise. To hell with being healthy, she thought. Not that she and Sebastian were very healthy eaters. None of them knew much about cooking in the first place. Celine was a total disaster and Sebastian knew only two dishes and one was an omelette he had learned through a Youtube tutorial. The difference was that now they ate more fruit.
While Sebastian was doing shopping with Matilde (and Celine was very thankful, as she totally hated shopping during Christmas season because of the rush of people and the insufferable Christmas music that was constantly played at the supermarket) , Celine played Zelda on the xBox. She was in the middle of a very hard part when she heard the song ringing. It was Joel.
‘’Hey’’ she answered, putting him on speaker in order to have her hands free to play the game.
‘’How is the future Mrs. Stan doing?’’ he asked with a mocking voice.
Celine winced and put the game on pause.
‘’You call me like that again and I’m going out in the middle of this rain only to set your house on fire’’ she didn’t restart the game as it was impossible to concentrate with Joel talking.
‘’Yeah, I forgot. Doctor Cadwallader until the day you die’’
‘’I didn’t spend nine years in Cambridge to be called ‘Mrs’. I’m a bloody Doctor’’.
‘’Okay, okay, why don’t we Facetime?’’ Joel proposed before Celine started rambling about her doctorates. ‘’I hate talking to you while you’re playing Zelda.’’
‘’So, what do you want?’’ she asked with her biggest mocking smile.
‘’Always so charming, Cadwallader. Is your superhero boyfriend around? By the way, I saw the Infinity War trailer and by Merlin, you’re dating gold’’.
Celine knew that already. What was funny was Joel’s face when she spoke about Sebastian and the word ‘Merlin’ he had thrown in the middle of the sentence, as if the were in the Harry Potter Universe.
‘’He’s doing shopping. He’s the only one here that can bear the sound of Christmas music’’.
‘’He does shopping too?’’ Joel looked impressed. ‘’By Sauron, Celine, marry him or I’ll do it myself’’.
‘’Sorry to disappoint you, Shand-Kydd, but I doubt that he’s interested in you in that way’’ she said with sarcasm. ‘’And we don’t need to be married, we already share a pretty strong bond, signing a marriage document won’t change a thing between us. We’ll be exactly the same. And please, stop with this old woman talk, you sound like my friend Matilde’’.
Joel rolled his eyes. He couldn’t understand how the most unromantic woman in the UK had attracted such a dreamy boyfriend. Maybe she reserved her sweet side only for him.
‘’One thing before I leave this topic, you’re the luckiest woman in Britain, even luckier than the one who snatched Prince Harry’’.
Celine knew that already but that was not something she was going to share with Joel Shand-Kydd.
‘’All this gossip session was the purpose of your call?’’
‘’Not really, I was bored and I wanted to check on you and your famous boyfriend. Not every day one of your best mates gets to date an actor that’s gonna be in the next Avengers film. This is a success’’.
Celine laughed out loud. Doctor Shand-Kydd was becoming one of those people who gather at evening clubs to talk about other people’s lives. Where has his dignity gone? Celine decided to take him out of his misery and started talking about economy.
At least talking about money was a more useful conversation that a bunch of gossip about how Sebastian was in bed and Prince Harry’s wedding. Unfortunately, those were Matilde’s favourite topics and it seemed that her Cambridge friends were talking a liking for them too. At least with the Sebastian part.
‘’…I’ll talk to Paul Jenkins. Remember him? From the Faculty of Economy.’’ they had been talking for the last thirty minutes about the economy. ‘’It's the twenty first century. No one with a normal job gets rich...’’ he was interrupted by loud BANG ‘’Oh hell my instant soup just exploded!’’
Celine was almost breathless of laughter. His expression when his soup exploded was the best thing she had seen in the whole week.
‘’Hell, I need to leave. Give my regards to your superhero boyfriend’’ without ceremonies he turned off the call.
Still laughing she glanced at the bowl, which was empty. She hadn’t realised in which moment she had eaten all the crisps.
She resumed her game and after only a little while later she heard the door opening.
‘’How was shopping?’’ she paused the game just to look at him.
‘’Awful’’ he looked quite tired. ‘’There’s such a rush, everyone’s doing their Christmas shopping. I kinda appreciate that you don’t celebrate at all. It makes it easier. The worst thing of it all is the music. It makes me want to be sick. All I want from Christmas is you to shut the hell up, Mariah Carey’’.
Celine laughed out loud. She always found really funny when Sebastian got fed up and snapped at some bizarre thing. It was hilarious.
‘’Come here’’ she called him. She just wanted to hug him, have him close to comfort him a little.
‘’Cez, you have mayonnaise in your hair’’ he laughed but he didn’t hesitate to remove it.
‘’These things happen’’ she could finally embrace him and placed his head on her chest, as always. ‘’I never asked you, why do you like to put your head on my chest?’’
‘’This is my safe space’’ he wasn’t a bit ashamed to admit it. ‘’I feel like no one can ever harm me’’.
He considered Celine to be stronger than he was. Maybe he had the muscles and all that stuff but Celine had a will as strong as iron. She may looked sweet and affable on the outside, without mentioning beautiful. But as Sebastian always said she had sharp thorns. No one that knew Celine ever underestimated her or took her from granted. She was respected everywhere she went.
‘’So am I to be your bodyguard?’’ she tangled her fingers in his hair. ‘’Shouldn’t it be the other way round? You’re the big one, Seb’’
‘’We should protect each other, Cez. I won’t let anything harm you’’.
‘’And how was Matilde?’’ she guessed that her friend was probably very excited about Christmas and all that shenanigans.
‘’Excited’’ he said, rolling his eyes. ‘’She wanted to go to Winter Wonderland tonight. Max and Leah are going with her. Do you want to go?’’
‘’It will be fun, I suppose. I went there last year with them and I had a good time, but was the day after moving to this house so I was in a very good mood. But that was before meeting you’’.
Sebastian was trying to remember what the hell he was doing one year ago. He had signed the contract to the film that changed his life but he didn’t know that at a time.
‘’Believe it or not, last year Anthony found me in my apartment listening to Celine Dion. Ask him, I swear I’m not lying’’.
‘’It was foreshadowing. Who knew that you were going to meet a woman named Celine in honour of Celine Dion and you were going to end up with her. Me of all people. Incredible’’.
‘’You can say the same, Cez. I came into your life to disrupt it.’’
‘’You made it better’’ she bit his lip but suddenly she turned serious. ‘’I just remembered Real Madrid plays against Barcelona tomorrow.’’
Sebastian cursed inwardly. Every time Real Madrid played against an important team the house turned into a battle field. He just resolved to stay apart while Celine cursed non stop at the TV. It was hilarious but also quite concerning. Angry Celine was a Celine he wanted to avoid at all costs. He crossed his fingers for Real Madrid to win, he didn’t want to imagine his girlfriend if her team lost against her eternal nemesis.

All the way to Hyde Park Sebastian was talking about a new Halo video game that he wanted. It wasn’t the first time in the week that he had mentioned that and the only thing that Celine had done was lying to him that game wasn’t yet in England.
There was a reason for it. She had simply gone and bought it for him as a Christmas present. That she didn’t celebrate it didn’t mean poor Sebastian was going to stay without a present.
‘’Cez, are you sure that the game’s not in England yet?’’
‘’No’’ she lied without even flinching ‘’I even asked Joel about it. He said it’ll be here around February. You should buy it when you go back to the States for the Golden Globes’’
‘’Oh that’’ he mumbled without enthusiasm.
In the last couple of says all the excitement of being nominated had evaporated and was replaced by a nostalgic mood because he didn’t want to leave. Celine knew that all of that was because he was nervous. And he’d better go without making much of a fuss.
‘’Matilde's there’’ Celine grabbed his hand and guided him to where Matilde was, buying food with Max and Leah.
Celine, who had less Christmas spirit than a stone, loved Winter Wonderland. Even though she wasn’t a big fan of the rides, as she got dizzy easily but she enjoyed the atmosphere of the place. And how magical the park looked with the shiny lights all around.
‘’Here we have the golden couple’’ said Leah, who was eating a big sandwich. ‘’Every time I see them, they look prettier, which is unfair. Celine, you look much better than the last time I saw you. You’re glowing, darling. Are you pregnant?’’
‘’Of course not’’ she rolled her eyes. ‘’I look better because the last time you saw me I had just recovered from pneumonia’’.
Meanwhile Sebastian had sat next to Max and they were both discussing something about the new Star Wars film.
‘’And how have you two been?’’ asked Leah in a more serious tone. ‘’You had a really nice chemistry when you were friends and it just seemed to have intensified after you two got together. Please tell me what’s your secret’’ she had sort of a pleading look.
‘’They just can’t stop talking’’ said Matilde who was still swallowing the sandwich.
Matilde was right. Celine and Sebastian never ran out of things to talk. And also they weren’t the kind of people who like to keep secrets to each other or bottle stuff up. If they had any issues they talk them through, it was that simple.
‘’But don’t you have any secret you keep from him?’’ Leah asked with a surprised face.
‘’Of course not, why would I? We’ve known each other for just nine months but we know everything about each other. The nice stuff, the not so nice stuff, the ugly stuff and the very ugly stuff. I don't have a shady past, to be honest. Disembowelling snakes was the most scandalous thing I've done.''
Celine looked at Leah and Matilde. Leah looked defeated for some reason and Matilde was too concentrated in his sandwich. She took a quick look at Sebastian was involved in a lively conversation with Max about some guy named Kylo Ren. Star Wars stuff probably.
‘’Is just that no matter how hard I try my boyfriend of nine years lacks everything that Sebastian has’’ finally Leah exploded. ‘’And I’m not talking abut the looks. Sebastian seems to be a good listener, supportive, fiercely protective without being dense, attentive, he always puts you first and for God’s sake, he praises you on live television’’.
Celine didn’t know what to say so just desperately looked at Matilde.
‘’Don’t look at me’’. she said, licking her fingers. ‘’I’m here, fifth wheeling. However, if you want to die of jealousy, Celine gets breakfast in bed on the weekends’’.
All of them looked at Sebastian who was still talking about Star Wars. But he wasn’t missing a word of what Matilde was saying. He had such a smug look on his face that Celine wanted to laugh out loud.
‘’Is that true?’’ Leah asked Sebastian who still had that insufferable smug smile.
‘’Of course it is. And is the least I can do for her. I wonder why you’re all so surprised, like you’ve never got breakfast in bed by anyone’’.
Matilde snorted and grabbed a sausage roll. Not one of the people she had been romantically involved were very bright in this sense. They had all been a disaster. Edmund had been the best one and he always hinted that it was him who would have liked to get breakfast in bed. To be attentive to Matilde in that way had never crossed his goddamned mind.
Celine and Sebastian just glanced at each other in a sort of awkward way.
‘’Stan, you’re making me look bad here’’ Max whispered while looking at Leah’s deeply disappointed face.
Sebastian wrapped an arm around Max’s shoulder’s and shook him a little.
‘’Look, man, I’m not going to stop being attentive to my girlfriend just for people like you. I mean, man, you’re not even trying to be nice. You’re just taking her for granted. Now be good and buy her some candy floss and next time don’t wait for me to give you instructions’’.
Max looked quite lost.
‘’Look, Sebastian, I’m short of money. Leah had to pay for my dinner’’.
Sebastian looked exasperated. He changed a glance with Celine that clearly meant ‘How hadn’t Leah dumped him yet?’.
‘’Take this. And keep the change’’. he handed Max ten pounds. ‘’Now go’’. he pushed him towards the candy floss truck.
Leah sadly clapped after Max left.
‘’He even gives good advice’’ she pointed at Sebastian. ‘’From where do guys like him come from?’’ she asked Celine.
Celine, had taken her mind out of her friend’s messy love lives and was giving all of attention to her chips.
‘’Romania’’ she absentmindedly answered.
After a while Max got back and the T-shirt of some band that he had probably bought with Sebastian’s money.
‘’That’s for my lady’’ he handed Leah the candy floss with a weird imitation of Sebastian’s movements and accent.
Sebastian looked almost done and trying hard not to laugh. Celine was thinking that all their friends were in a weird mood that night. Hell, she had been single basically all her life except the few last months and she had not been that annoying. Or maybe she had but not for that reason.
‘’Where are you going?’’ Sebastian asked her when she suddenly stood up from the table.
‘’I want candy floss too. Come if you want’’ he didn’t need to be asked twice and two seconds later he was walking besides Celine with the rest of the group following them.
‘’Suddenly I want a boyfriend to buy me candy floss’’ moaned Matilde.
‘’If you’re envying my lousy excuse of a partner you must be really lonely’’ said Leah with sarcasm.
Celine and Sebastian looked at each other with their patience running out, tired of listening Matilde’s loneliness and Max and Leah’s constant bickering.
‘’Or you can buy the damn thing yourself’’ said Celine handing a candy floss to Matilde. Maybe with that she’d shut up. ‘’And that’s for you, love’’ she gave one to Sebastian too. ‘’Next time we go out we’ll go with your Chris Evans or your Anthony. Even Tom Holland is an improvement to these people’’.
Sebastian laughed.
‘’You sure? You give Holland a couple grams of sugar combined with a place full of rides and you have him vomiting all over his shirt’’.
Celine wasn’t convinced of that but she was used to Sebastian’s weird stories of his cast mates. Except Chris Evans, he was a God to Sebastian.
After the bumpy start they enjoyed the park. Sebastian was very enthusiastic to try ice skating until Celine warned him that if he broke his leg he was not going to be able to shoot his upcoming scenes for the fourth Avengers film. So they tried some mild rides, nothing too childish but nothing too extreme.
Overall, they had a good time. Celine and Sebastian were most of the time in their own little world, not paying much attention to the other three. But they couldn’t ignore them forever. By the end of the evening Matilde had got a bit tipsy and with the combination of extreme rides had ended up vomiting in the bushes. And Max and Leah started fighting again for some stupid thing that neither Celine nor Sebastian knew about.
‘’I feel like I’m living in a sitcom episode’’ said Sebastian, who was looking at Max and Leah who were still arguing.
‘’You weren’t here last year’’ Celine rolled her eyes. ‘’There was even more drama because Janice was still in the group. She and Matilde got drunk, cried together and then fought for something I don’t know. Max and Leah had been arguing all day just like today, and then there was me who was enjoying the show’’.
Sebastian could totally imagine Celine being totally drama free and laughing at the rest. Well, they were basically doing the same at that moment.
‘’You know what…!’’ Leah shouted. ‘’I’m going home! And I’m taking Matilde with me!’’
‘’And how do I come back?’’ Max asked, looking dumbfounded.
‘’Go back walking, for all I care. Or take the tube, Sebastian gave you money’’.
Sebastian decided that he had had enough so he slowly took Celine’s hand and they disappeared from the scene without being noticed.
‘’It was funny at the beginning, now it’s getting repetitive’’ they kept on walking through the place. ‘’I don’t even know why they’re arguing about’’.
‘’Neither do I. Who knows why they are even together if they’re like cat and dog every day’’. she squeezed him tighter making him smile ‘’I’m lucky to have you, my unproblematic and beautiful man’’.
‘’Let me win something for you’’ he said, kissing the top of her head.
‘’I’m going to film this’’ Celine laughed.
He ended up winning a lollypop for Celine (and they laughed a lot about) and she won for him a toy fairy wand that played Let It Go from Frozen every time it was swished. In what Sebastian was going to use one of those was a mystery but he found it so hilarious that he posted a picture of the thing on Instagram.
It was such a beautiful night for them both even though the only thing they did was walk around, take pictures and eat lots of sweets.
It wasn’t the definition of romance but for them it was okay. Poor Sebastian had to endure Celine singing old Busted songs that he had never heard before for the whole ride back home.
‘’I love when you lose your inhibitions and you go completely wild’’.
‘’Get ready because Real Madrid plays tomorrow. Against Barcelona. It’s going to be fun’’.
For Sebastian that wasn’t his idea of fun.

The next day could have been a catastrophe as Barcelona completely butchered Real Madrid. To Sebastian amusement Celine took her team’s pitiful performance as a joke, insulted the players and took the match out of her mind.
Sebastian just didn’t mention the subject at all. He just changed the topic and started pointing out the similarities between Celine and the Grinch. It wasn’t very flattering but it made her laugh.
Matilde dropped by that afternoon looking grim as hell but instead of discussing the disgraceful match the three of them just gossiped about Max and Leah and watching an Arctic Monkeys DVD that Celine had. It was a surprise to Sebastian to know that she used to have a crush on the lead singer not so long ago.
Matilde laughed. He probably didn’t know about that story of Celine wanting to throw her bra at Alex Turner when she saw them live many years ago, while she was still in Cambridge. Of course she didn’t do that but only imagining that the impeccable Celine Cadwallader could have thought of doing something like that was funny.
However, Celine couldn’t complain. She was dating bloody Sebastian Stan who may not be a rock star but was a film star, his eyes would probably melt iron, was adorable and was sexier than fourteen Alex Turners put together.
Apart from that, Celine didn’t took part in Matilde’s and Sebastian’s conversation about what they were going to do on Christmas Eve. For her it was just a normal day that lacked any kind of significance. The best thing about the holiday was the Boxing Day on the 26th when she could get considerable discounts in the tickets to see Chelsea. However she didn’t know if going to the stadium was a good option at that moment. Both of her teams were being a disappointment. What was the point of paying only to see them lose?

Sebastian was determined in making Christmas Eve unforgettable. And he had done exactly that in a subtle way that didn’t include carols, a big dinner with intrusive family members or awful Christmas movies that according to Celine raised a new generation of Grinches.
What he had proposed was watching a Muse concert while eating chocolates followed by sleepless passionate night, a plan that Celine was way too happy to accept.
By six am of the next day Sebastian was still awake cradling Celine in his arms. She had fallen asleep a little while ago with both her arms wrapped around his chest. He gently stroked her hair enjoying every second of having her close. He didn’t want to think that in less than ten day he’ll be leaving fore more than a month. It was hard but there was no other alternative if he wanted his career to flourish.
He caressed her cheekbone with his thumb slowly moving towards her jaw line and then her lips.
He couldn’t fall asleep as there were too many things inside her head and most of them were related with his own insecurities about not wanting to leave.
Celine was woman who had lived independently for almost a decade and he had appeared only to ruin that. What if in his absence she realised how good she was without him and how much she missed being alone? There were a thousands of ‘What ifs’ that Sebastian found unbearable to think about them. All of the scenarios ended up with Celine telling him that she was sorry, that she loved him but she was better off being alone and it was better for them to go back to their previous friendship.
All of those wild thoughts were completely unfounded, he knew that, but the ghosts were still there and he hated them.
A couple of days ago he had seriously considered proposing to her. Only after a while he realised that it was the worst idea ever. If there was a person who wasn’t ready for marriage, that was Celine. Only recently she had got comfortable with the idea of being in a relationship, throwing the idea of marriage at her face would probably made her run away. Even though she sometimes talked about the future, she did it as a probability, not as a fact.
No, it was better to leave everything flow as naturally as possible and enjoy every single moment. He wanted to move onto bigger things with her but only when the timing was right, both of them. And they were just beginning their life together there was no need to rush things.
He had lost track of the time when he felt her move beside him.
‘’Hey’’ she looked at him with lazy eyes. ‘’Have you been awake all this time?’’
‘’You’ve slept just three hours’’ his blue eyes were glued on hers and he was holding her tightly. ‘’How are you?’’
‘’I feel as if I’ve ran a marathon. But I feel so damn good. Man, you’re restless but brilliant. You know exactly what I like’’. she kissed his bicep, slowly moving towards his shoulder.
Sebastian looked proud.
‘’Thank you. And you deserve much of the credit. You’re such an exquisite woman. Every single part of you is just delicious. Knowing that it’s me who’s making you feel that good it’s really exciting’’.
Celine laughed. He sounded as if he was narrating the weather forecast. She didn’t know why she found it so funny.
‘’Are you laughing at me?’’ he asked with a little smile.
‘’Of course I am’’ she cuddled against his side. It was cold and Seb’s body was really warm . ‘’By the way, merry Christmas, Seb. I may not celebrate it but you do so… yay’’. she moved her arms up in the air as if she was celebrating.
‘’Thank you, Cez. I have a present for you. I know that you don’t celebrate but when you see what I got you you’ll tattoo Santa in your forehead’’.
He stretched himself and got out of the bed. Celine’s eyes never left his body.
‘’Enjoying the view?’’ he pointed at himself. ‘’Of course you are.’’
‘’You bet’’ she was licking her lip in a really exaggerated manner. ‘’I’m drooling. If you’re the present I’m quite content. However I see that it is… unwrapped’’.
He shot her a silly look.
Sebastian was right when he guessed that Celine was going to freak out with the signed Real Madrid jersey. At first she thought it was an ordinary jersey he had bought at the nearest Adidas store and then forged Marco Asensio’s signature. After a lot of explaining he convinced that the it was authentic. Of course the freaked out, hugged Sebastian over and over again and the then she looked elated with the fact that one of her idols had touched the jersey.
Sebastian himself was very surprised that Celine had got him a present and even happier when he saw that it was the Halo game he wanted so much. (and he wanted to get Celine into acting after she blatantly and brilliantly lying to him about the game not being available in England). Apart from that she got him a Luke Skywalker keychain because she knew that everyone thought that he looked like him. Sebastian was way too surprised that she knew who that character was.
‘’I also have a Star Wars related present.’’.
It was a stuffed Porg. Celine had found those creatures cute when they had seen The Last Jedi. (Celine had had no idea what was going on but she had found the movie entertaining).
‘’I love it. Seb, this is the cutest thing ever. You don’t miss any detail. I love you, you’re the best’’. she hugged him tightly.
They spent a happy morning, eating breakfast in bed and playing Sebastian’s new game. The atmosphere was quiet, peaceful and cosy. They were undeniably comfortable with each other.
He was in the best relationship he’d ever had. He had found stability with her and that was what he needed the most at that point in his life.
‘’We should bake some Christmas cookies’’ Sebastian proposed during the afternoon.
‘’Are you out of your mind? We have no idea about how to bake. I don’t want to set the kitchen on fire’’.
‘’Two words, my dear: YouTube tutorial’’.
And that was what he did. He found a nice recipe for cookies and did the best he could. The result wasn’t exactly the ideal but at least it was edible.
‘’This is supposed to be a Christmas Star’’ he grabbed a deformed cookie. ‘’But it looks like a stoned Patrick Star, all flaccid and gross’’.
Celine laughed and grabbed another cookie.
‘’This is supposed to be a snowman. It looks like it’s melting. But it tastes good and that’s the important thing.’’ she really appreciated everything Sebastian did for her. From deformed cookies to cute presents. He did the best he could and he would do more for Celine if she’d just let him. She was convinced that he’d give her everything he had.
Luckily for them, Celine found some rerun episodes of Sherlock. Sebastian had never seen it and she wasted no time in updating him in the story.
‘’Do you know that I worked with both of them? I mean, Freeman and Cumberbatch’’.
‘’You lucky bastard. I met Benedict at that Comic Con and I asked him for a picture. I hate looking like an avid fan but we’re talking about Sherlock here.’’
‘’They’re both great. Sherlock and Watson. I mean, Benedict and Martin. Polite, nice, elegant and with that witty British sense of humour. Just like you. Well, Holland is also British and he’s a childish show-off, so maybe it’s a question of maturity’’.
Celine was flattered to be compared with Benedict Cumberbatch but she also wanted to pay attention to the show.
‘’Silence, Seb. This part is great because Moriarty enters the scene’’.

In a week not much had changed. Celine had to come back to work and Sebastian was even more melancholic now that he had to leave really soon.
On New Year’s Eve they had ditched Matilde’s party very early without her even noticing only to spend the night alone doing nothing more than watching whatever they found on TV.
‘’We should go and see the fireworks. I’ve heard they’re gorgeous’’.
‘’You can see them from the window. They’re thrown in the London Eye and we’re not that far from there.’’
Celine was thinking about her year. She couldn’t deny it had been one of the best of her whole life. The outstanding point was meeting Sebastian. He had made her year better and improved her life.
Sebastian had similar thoughts running into his head. Celine had changed his life and he was convinced that from that moment nothing had ever been the same. And he had also done the performance of his life that with a bit of luck could get him an important award. Not that it mattered.
When the fireworks started they were in complete silence, just watching the show. Sebastian was taking pictures.
‘’Cez, do you remember that bucket list you wrote when you were 16?’’
‘’Yeah’’ she had no idea why he was bringing this back. It wasn't among her most dignified memories. ‘’What about it?’’
‘’Correct me if I’m mistaken but you mentioned something about a new year kiss’’ he looked at her with a little smile.
Celine covered her face with her hands. She remembered reading that awful bucket list with him many months ago, the day they had gone to the London Eye, at the very beginning of their friendship.
‘’That’s embarrassing and terribly cheesy. It’s not something you should put into practice, Seb’’.
He looked at her with puppy dog eyes. At the beginning she had been immune to those but lately they were starting to have an effect on her.
‘’Please, Cez, let me do it, please.’’
‘’Go ahead’’ she was still laughing at Sebastian’s clichés. ‘’We’re five minutes into 2018 but I suppose it counts’’
He smiled in triumph.
‘’Happy New Year, my dear’’ he softly grabbed her face and kissed her. He was being
painfully slow and passionate at the same time. ‘’I love you and quite a lot’’.
They stood there in silence for a while. The only noise was the music and loud voices from Matilde’s party.
‘’Should we go to bed?’’ Sebastian proposed.
‘’Boring’’ Celine looked at him with a playful smile. ‘’I had other plans but if you want to go to sleep go ahead’’.
Sebastian expression changed. He looked like a kid after being offered sweets.
‘’What did you exactly had in mind?’’
‘’What do you think?’’ she start drawing circles with her index finger on Sebastian’s chest. ‘’Only if you want, of course’’
In record time he discarded his jumper and threw it away.
‘’I’m all yours’’ he jumped to the bed and lied there, shirtless, exposing his perfect chest.
‘’You’re always so eager’’ she laughed still looking at him.
He was absolutely irresistible with an innocent face and his blue eyes wide open.
‘’I’m all yours, darling’’ he shot her a daring smile. ‘’You can do all you want to me’’
She didn’t need much persuasion. Without saying a word she place herself on top of him.
‘’Don’t you dare move’’ she whispered in his ear. ‘’You stay exactly where you are, young man’’.
‘’I wasn’t planning to’’ he mumbled, closing his eyes when she ran her hands on his chest. ‘’Hell, this is getting good and you just started. Are you planning to tie me up to the bed post? Because that’d be exciting’’.
‘’Maybe... who knows.''

 

Chapter Text

The day after New Year Celine was helping a very melancholic Sebastian to pack his things.
Everyday that passed he was more nervous and knowing that he was not going to have Celine’s support to calm him down didn’t make things easier.
Celine knew that all of this was hard for him but it was nothing he hadn’t done before. She wondered how he had survived all those years without her.
‘’And remember not to lose your damned passport, Sebastian. And please, be a bit more positive. You’re going to collect an award not to have your head chopped off.’’
‘’And what if I lose?’’ he asked with a hint of panic in his voice.
‘’You’ll get over it. You’re not going to die over losing an award’’ she was getting a bit tired of Sebastian’s constant whining.
‘’You seem a bit impatient to get rid of me’’ he tried to sound sarcastic but he was actually a bit hurt.
Celine stopped what she was doing and looked at him.
‘’Excuse me?’’ her tone was so cold that even Sebastian got nervous. ‘’Do you think this is actually easy for me? I’m trying to be bloody positive to make this easier for you so you can leave without the burden of leaving me here sad and lonely. But of course you can’t see that because you’re blinded by your own insecurities! Do you think it’s any easy for me to let go the man I love to a place that is full of people much more interesting than me? There’ll be a day when you think ‘Oh, what the hell am I doing with that boring and angry woman?’ C’mon Sebastian, we both know that you can be with someone much prettier and entertaining than me. Don't take me for an idiot.’’
Her words hit him like a ton of bricks.
‘’Do you think I’d do that?’’ this time he sounded really hurt.
‘’Who knows?’’ she shrugged her shoulders. ‘’Just, please, don’t cheat on me. If you want to leave me just tell me before. I promise I won’t hate you for it’’.
He was scandalized.
‘’Celine! For the love of God! I’d never do that! Do you think that low of me? Two days ago I wanted to marry you not to leave you’’.
That revelation didn’t even move Celine a little bit.
‘’Sebastian, please be serious’’ her gaze was so hard that it was intimidating.
‘’I’m being serious!’’
‘’Yes, of course. You know what? Leave it like that’’
Without saying a thing more she left the room.
He stood there, completely astounded by her sudden outburst. He couldn’t leave things like that. He remembered Joel telling him that when Celine was sad she didn’t cry or scream. She just got angry and locked herself away. This was the moment to handle conflict with maturity.
Meanwhile Celine was at her office throwing a pen on the air and catching it. Cornerstone by the Arctic Monkeys was sounding on repeat. She hated to get angry at Sebastian but she couldn’t deny her own feelings.
She looked around at her books, thinking of those old times when it was just her doing research or working. Those were simpler times but lonelier. And she couldn’t deny that she loved Sebastian to pieces and that she really wanted to have a future with him.
‘’Cez, can you let me in please?’’ she heard him from the outside.
‘’It’s open’’ she said with a monotonous voice.
He looked sad and tired. He rounded her desk and kneeled front of her, looking right at her eyes.
‘’Look, Cez, I’m…’’
‘’Seb, don’t, please…’’ she looked at him with regret. ‘’It’s me who should be sorry. I should’ve never told you all that stuff. I should’ve never doubted you. You’ve given me everything and I’m being the idiot who’s questioning it. Can you forgive me?’’. she sat on the floor, beside him.
‘’There’s nothing to forgive, love’’ he hugged her and kissed the top of her head. ‘’I should also apologise for being a negative moron. And dense’’.
At least that made her laugh a little.
‘’At least we know how to solve a crisis. We’re actually mature enough to swallow our pride and admit when we screw things up. And Seb, you know I’d love to go with you but I hope you can see that I can’t expect to absent myself from work for a month and then keep it. And I can’t lose my job, that’d be to throw away everything I’ve worked for in the last ten years. I hope you understand’’.
As much as he’d love to have Celine with him he admitted that she was totally right.
‘’I do understand, love. And you’re right. You can’t drop everything for me, that’d be insane.’’ he laughed a little and hugged her even closer.
‘’I promise I’d go with you to the Oscars. And don’t even begin telling me that you won’t get nominated because you will’’.
They stood there, hugging on the floor for quite a while, with Cornerstone still playing on the background.
‘’This is a nice song’’ he commented.
‘’Of course. It’s the Arctic Monkeys. Alex Turner has the voice of a dark sexy angel’’.
‘’I think I have some competition there’’ he said as a joke.
‘’You really don’t have any competition. You’re better than everyone’’.

The next morning she went with him to the airport. It was really hard to say goodbye but it was only for a month and a half.
‘’I’ll take care of your car Seb. I promise I won’t crash it’’ Sebastian could feel that she was quite happy of being the owner of a Jaguar for a month.
‘’Just take care of yourself, that’ll be enough’’.
They still had 15 minutes before Sebastian had to leave. For Celine the situation was really similar to that day in September when he had to leave. The main difference was that by then they weren’t together.
‘’I promise I will. I won’t play tennis this time’’.
At least she made him laugh a bit.
‘’Cez, we’ll talk everyday. I’ll be back before you get the chance to miss me’’.
She didn’t say a thing, just got closer to him.
‘’Seb, if you’re about to cry, cry. You have nothing to be ashamed of, let alone in front of me’’.
‘’Cez, I promise I’m not about to cry, I’m strong, I don’t cry with goodbyes’’.
‘’Yeah, you're so strong that you cried at the end of La La Land’’.
Celine almost laughed when he opened his blue eyes in a sort of outraged way. It was really funny.
‘’Cez, they should’ve ended up together. They were soul mates, just like you and I. And his name was Sebastian, that made everything extra hard’’.
Celine stopped laughing.
‘’You actually believe in that? It’s not as if we were born to be together. We just met along the way and somehow we got on well. Not much of a mystery, everything works well between us’’.
It was his turn to smile.
‘’Cez, think about it. We’re an unlike couple. We’re from different countries, you’re a serious historian and I’m well… messy me, but look at us. We’re stronger than ever’’.
He was right. Celine felt that their relationship had got to a point where she couldn’t imagine a future without him in it. Or maybe the feelings of saying goodbye were messing with her head.
‘’Take this’’ Celine removed her ring with her initial from her finger and gave it to him. ‘’For good luck’’.
‘’But you love this ring. It’s been with you since you were sixteen. You can’t give it to me’’ he was impressed with Celine’s gesture.
‘’Of course I can, and I’m doing it. Take it with you, it’s the least I can do’’.
He slipped her ring on his little finger where it fitted perfectly.
‘’Thank you. I’ll return it when I come back, I promise’’.
‘’Yeah and win that damn award. I really want to hold a Golden Globe in my hands’’.

Life was going well for Celine without Sebastian. She missed him a lot and life was much less exciting without him but she could survive.
She continued with her typical routine without much changes.
She talked to Sebastian more than once a day. Celine was getting used to arrive at work looking like a zombie because thanks to the different time zones he sometimes called her at the middle of the night. Many of those times he was in diverse states of nervousness.
It was almost one am of a Sunday. Normally, Celine would be asleep but these were not normal times.
She and Matilde were watching a damned red carpet. Celine was less than enthusiastic as she was trying not to fall asleep.
‘’Why are we even watching this?’’ she was drinking her fifth tea of the night. ‘’Everyone is really pretty in this events but who’s even that?’’ she pointed to a handsome actor on screen. It wasn’t Sebastian, that was all Celine knew.
‘’What? Don’t you know Ryan Reynolds?’’ Celine shook her head. ‘’Bloody hell, Celine. You’re dating an actor and you have no idea who his colleagues are?’’
‘’In my defence, Sebastian has no idea who my colleagues are. He just knows Sir Henry Bedingfield’’.
‘’But Celine, you should watch this. You’ll probably be at the Oscars so it’d be good that you learn what to do on the red carpet’’.
Celine sat up straighter, with a little smile on her lips. She always thought that if she actually had to go to the Oscars she’d have to do nothing else than walking three steps behind Sebastian. Being the Prime Minister’s personal assistant she was used to public events but she was never in the spotlight, she was always in the background. Here was basically the same, as Sebastian was the star and she was a nobody. Not that she was at all offended by that fact as she cared about Sebastian not about sharing his fame. Apart from that she doubted that someone was going to be interested in Sebastian Stan’s historian girlfriend.
‘’So I’ll have to do that’’ she pointed at a beautiful woman on the TV posing for the photographs. ‘’It looks cool. Watching the thing is really boring but being there looks great’’. she was being honest. She was really curious of having her first red carpet experience.
Matilde would have loved to be in Celine place. She had had a little taste of celebrity status when she had been Sebastian’s date to his premiere (only because Celine had been with pneumonia) and she had loved it.
Celine almost jumped when her phone rang. It was a text from Sebastian.
‘’What does he say?’’ asked Matilde, eager to know first hand details from the Golden Globes.
‘’That he’s arriving there, he’s losing his chill and asks for help’’.
She texted him back a quick ‘Relax, everything’s going to be fine, I’m with you in spirit’ before going to the kitchen to make another cup of tea.
They had to wait only a little while for Sebastian to show up on the red carpet.
Matilde was freaking out and Celine was nervous. She wanted everything to go perfect for him. At least he wasn’t alone as he had taken Anthony Mackie with him.
‘’He looks nice’’ Celine was full of admiration. She still found it surreal that this beautiful man was her boyfriend. ‘’At least he doesn’t look nervous’’.
‘’He’s probably dying inside’’ said Matilde and Celine agreed with him. ‘’I can’t wait for him to be interviewed’’.
Celine was concerned. Sebastian had the tendency of embarrassing himself on live interviews and he was probably already nervous so the prospect wasn’t very promising.
‘’This will be painful to watch’’.
‘’Brace yourself’’ Matilde was crossing her fingers when Sebastian was intercepted by the interviewer.
‘’Sebastian Stan, first time nominated, how are you doing?’’
Sebastian had some sort of permanent smile that made him look even more handsome but for some reason Celine just wanted to laugh. And she wasn’t the only one as Anthony Mackie was barely holding himself.
‘’Fine’’ he answered trying to sound natural and sure of himself. ‘’It’s a great honour to be nominated which is quite weird to be honest. I wasn’t expecting this. But here I am and it’s actually quite awesome’’.
Celine was happy was happy that everything was going well and he was answering every question with ease. He had managed to give a very good explanation of his character and also to praise the other nominees.
Everything was fine until Anthony was dragged into the conversation.
‘’And Sebastian, you got yourself a nice date for tonight’’.
‘’Well, I didn’t have much to choose.’’ he said with a mocking voice. ‘’It was either him or Tom Holland and bringing Tom was something I’d probably regret for the rest of my life.’’
‘’But Sebastian, I’m pretty sure that many people would volunteer to be your date tonight…’’ the interviewer said to him.
Anthony wasn’t even trying to keep a serious face anymore.
‘’Yeah but the only one who matters was unavailable tonight’’ he looked past the interviewer and directly to the camera. ‘’Hi, Celine I know you’re watching me, I love you’’.
Celine jumped a little and immediately covered her face with her hands.
‘’Why Sebastian… I told him not to do what he just did’’. 
Matilde was laughing and Anthony Mackie had started talking about Sebastian’s love life in front of the camera and he wasn’t stopping.
‘’…this man’’ he pointed at Sebastian ‘’…is so melodramatic you have no idea. Once I found him listening to Celine Dion’s All By Myself in full volume. And he and his girlfriend, also named Celine almost managed to friend zone each other. You have to see Sebastian being all dramatic about it, it was hilarious. Luckily everything ended up well for them’’.
Celine wanted to kill him in cold blood, Matilde was laughing non stop and Sebastian had a mixture of expressions on his face.
‘’Thanks to Celine you’re here tonight Anthony…’’ Sebastian hugged him like a bro. Celine couldn’t believe that this was a serious interview. It was more similar to the antics they pulled at the Comic Cons. ‘’If I win that’d be the closer you’ll ever be to a Golden Globe’’.
Even Celine and Matilde winced.
‘’Auch, that hurt’’ Matilde touched her chest with an affected expression.
‘’He deserved it’’ Celine still wanted to skin Anthony alive.
The show started only half an hour after Sebastian’s interview. By that time Celine was already falling asleep. It was two am and Celine was in pain by thinking that she had to leave to work in only five hours. And the show was just starting.
‘’Just shake me whenever Sebastian’s on screen’’ she told Matilde.
She didn’t took any notion of how long she had been asleep when she was awake by her phone ringing. There was only one person in the world who would be calling her at that time.
Of course it was Sebastian wanting to Facetime. Matilde wasn’t missing a detail as she was going to have exclusive insider material live from the Golden Globes.
‘’Hi’’ she greeted him with the best smile she could muster. She could see that he was in a very luxurious place full of beautiful and rich people. ‘’How are you? Tell me everything. This place looks wonderful’’.
‘’Commercial break so I have little time. Hi Matilde’’ Matile just waved at him from behind Celine’s back. ‘’Cez, I’ve been drinking water for the last five hours because if I eat something I may throw up. Any advice?’’
Celine saw a bit of panic in his beautiful blue eyes.
‘’Just try to calm down, darling. Above everything enjoy the night. Think that ten years ago you were watching this show on TV and now you’re there, nominated and with big chances of winning. I know you can do it, I trust you’’.
‘’I’ll try, Cez. I’ll try, I promise you’’
‘’Sebby…’’ Matilde interrupted him with a little voice. ‘’The guy behind you is Ryan Gosling?’’
Sebastian took a quick glance behind his back.
‘’Yeah, it’s him, why?’’
Matilde seemed to be freaking out and Celine was confused.
‘’Who’s Ryan Gosling?’’
‘’The one from La La Land’’.
Finally Celine remembered him.
‘’That movie you cried at the end?’’
‘’Shh, Celine, Anthony is right beside me. I don’t want him to tell Chris that I cried with La La Land’’.
‘’Chris, Chris, Chris, always Chris.’’ she mocked him. ‘You should’ve got him as your date, that would’ve been a hot red carpet couple’’.
They both laughed. It was incredible that they were at the other sides of the world and managed to keep their usual humour naturally flowing.
‘’Sebby, can you tell Ryan that I love him?’’ asked Matilde, who looked star struck, to say the least.
‘’Okay’’.
Without any hesitation he turned around.
‘’Hey, Ryan, can you do me a favour?’’ he asked without any kind of shame. Matilde was quiet as a statue.
‘’Of course, Stan, what do you need?’’ Matilde jumped when she heard Ryan Gosling’s voice. Celine couldn’t stop laughing.
‘’Can you say hi to my friend Matilde?’’
Ryan looked right at Sebastian’s phone and waved at it.
‘’Hey, Matilde, how are you?’’
That was something he’d never know because she just disappeared from view.
‘’What happened to her?’’ asked Sebastian.
‘’She’s on the floor looking like she being under an exorcism’’.
Sebastian laughed a little but immediately got serious again.
‘’I need to leave, darling. Wish me luck’’.
‘’Good luck. I love you’’. she hung up and looked at Matilde who was still in shock.
Without noticing she fell asleep again.
Half and hour later Matilde was shaking her.
‘’Celine! For the love of God! Wake up!’’
Celine was a bit confused but opened her eyes.
‘’What happened?’’
‘’Sebby’s category’s next’’
Celine just jumped. She was feeling really nervous even though she knew that it was probably nothing compared to how Sebastian was feeling. She could feel her heart pounding. The only thing she wanted was that he could win.
‘’There we go’’ mumbled Matilde when two women on the stage (that of course Celine didn’t know) were naming the nominees.
‘’I can’t bear this’’ Celine felt like throwing up. ‘’This is worst than when Real Madrid played the Champions League final. At least winning depended on them. Here is a damn academy that votes. Poor Seb’’.
Celine was surprised that Sebastian had managed not to pass out. Maybe that was thanks to Anthony who was grabbing him by the shoulders.
‘’Can you hurry the hell up!’’ Celine shouted at the two women on screen. ‘’You’re just announcing Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama not the name of the new Prime Minister!’’
‘’Shut up Celine! You’re going to miss it!’’ yelled Matilde.
A feeling of fierce protectiveness overcame Celine. She just wanted Seb to win and was pretty sure that if another actor’s name was mentioned as the winner instead of Seb she’d probably throw a shoe at the TV. Without mentioning that she’d hate that unnamed actor forever.
Celine just couldn’t bear it anymore and hid her head between her arms, not daring to look at the TV when the winner was being mentioned.
When Sebastian’s name was mentioned she felt intense relief mixed with such a pride as she had never felt before. The emotions were so powerful that she almost lost consciousness if it wasn’t for Matilde who shook her.
‘’Look at the TV, woman!’’ she yelled.
With a big smile she look at the TV where Sebastian was also being shaken, by Anthony, who was also pushing him towards the stage. Apparently he had gone blank.
After a second he reacted and walked towards the stage. He still looked a bit confused but he had a new found confidence on himself.
He had the biggest smile on his face when he was handed the award. Celine was blinking really fast. She was so proud and that was making her emotional.
Sebastian smiled like an excited little kid before his acceptance speech.
‘’That’s my boy. I knew he could do it’’ her hands were shaking a bit. For Matilde it was a novelty to see Celine so emotionally affected. It was good to know that she had feelings.
Meanwhile Sebastian was looking at his Golden Globe as if it were his newborn child.
‘’Wow, this is unbelievable’’ he mumbled with a big smile ‘’I swear I never believed I was ever going to get one of these.’’ he glanced at his award again with a look of elation. ‘’This is such a honour I can’t even begin to comprehend. Everyone in this category was so good I can’t believe I won. I’m just a little kid from Romania who dared to dream’’ Celine was about to cry. ‘’Thanks to whoever that got me this award, I still can’t believe this is happening. Anthony, thanks for coming with me, I love you, man. Chris, you’re not here tonight but you always had faith in me, without you I’d be nothing’’ Celine laughed with the mention of Chris Evans. ‘’The Marvel crew, you are one of the best things that ever happened to me. My friends in London: Matilde, Max, Leah, and even you Tom Holland.’’ Matilde was freaking out because she had got a mention on Sebastian’s acceptance speech. ‘’My fans, you’re an absolute dream come true, seriously guys I don’t what I did to deserve you. And last but not least, the three women that made this possible: my agent, that literally forced me to go to London and I’ll be eternally thankful for that; my mum, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her. Thank you for being the best mother in history’’ his voice broke a little and Celine thought that probably Sebastian’s mum was crying in front of the TV, just like her. ‘’I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for you. You raised me up and did an outstanding job, I love you with all my heart. And Celine, darling…thank you for being the absolute love of my life. You deserve half of this award. I wanted to say some inspirational stuff but I’ve gone blank. Thank you and I love you all’’.
Celine broke down in tears. This didn’t happen very often but she had such a mixture of emotions that it was inevitable to explode in some way. Above all, she was elated but all proud as she had never been before. Add to the fact that it was four am and she was tired as hell so there was probably the reason why she was emotionally unstable.
‘’This was beautiful’’ Matilde mumbled, also in tears.
‘’I need to call him’’ Celine grabbed her phone with shaky hands. ‘’He needs to know that I love him to the moon and back’’
‘’As if he didn’t know already’’ mumbled Matilde with a big smile.

The next evening Celine got back home from work and instantly crashed face down in the couch. She had slept a little more than two hours and a snooze she had had while at work. She had never fell asleep in the office before but she was way too tired.
A loud beep that came from her laptop woke her up.
‘’What the hell’’ she mumbled. Elemauzer, who was asleep next to her jumped in indignation.
The beep was an incoming Skype call from Sebastian. She accepted it without much thought.
‘’Hi handsome’’ she greeted him with a tired voice.
‘’Hello, Cez’’. he looked happy and full of life. Well, he had just won a Golden Globe of course he had to be happy. ‘’Wow, are you sure you don’t want to audition for the next season of The Walking Dead? I’m sure you’ll get the role’’.
Celine showed him the middle finger.
‘’I’m breaking up with you’’ she mumbled.
‘’No, you’re not’’. he had an enormous smile and Celine could notice his new award right beside him. ‘’I’m just joking. For me, you’re always beautiful, even when you look like you hadn’t had any sleep at all. I’d love to be there with you now’’.
‘’I’d love you be here Seb. I miss you. But is just one more month, I’m sure you’ll make it’’.
He looked nostalgic for a second but he shrugged it off in a second.
‘’Anyway, there’s something I need to show you. The pictures are all over the Internet so I prefer you knew this from me. Please, don’t hate me for what you’re about to see’’. Celine was confused by his cocky smile.
A second later Sebastian sent her a picture to her phone. Celine almost choked when she saw in it her beloved Sebastian, in somewhere that looked like a coffee shop, with a big smile, posing right next to goddamned Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys.
‘’What the hell, Sebastian!’’ she yelled, completely awake this time. Sebastian was giggling. ‘’How…? Just… how?’’
‘’Well…’’ he was still with that infuriating cocky grin. ‘’I was going to get my coffee today in the morning and there he was. I recognised him and I asked him for a picture. And of course I mentioned that I had a girlfriend that was a big fan of his band’’.
Celine couldn’t believe that Sebastian was so lucky. And also couldn’t imagine Alex Turner doing something as mundane as drinking coffee.
‘’This is the most unexpected thing I’ve ever witnessed. I can’t even believe Alex Turner drinks coffee’’.
Sebastian laughed.
‘’What else would he drink in a coffee shop?’’
‘’I don’t know… Unicorn blood probably’’.
After that they just couldn’t stop laughing for a couple of minutes. No matter where they were, the most stupid things made them laugh.
‘’Seb’’ she looked at him who was still laughing. ‘’You should have befriended him so then he could play live on my birthday. I settle for just half a song, I'm not asking for much.’’.
‘’Sorry darling, but we’ll have to make do with Chris Evans with a guitar’’.
Celine laughed again.
‘’Are you aware of how many times do you mention Chris in a day? Your eyes light up when you say his name’’ she mocked him. ‘’I’m pretty sure you’d love to see him strumming a guitar. All your sexy fantasies would come true’’.
He spitted whatever he was drinking right at the computer’s camera. From a moment he disappeared from view. Celine just couldn’t stop laughing.
‘’Okay, you got me with that one. I see that you don’t lose your dark sense of humour even when you falling asleep. Whatever, Cez, I can’t wait to see you’’.
‘’Be patient Seb, you’ll be here soon’’. she was feeling totally sleepy again.
‘’You should go to sleep, darling. It looks like you’ll pass out at any time’’.

Some weeks had passed without much of a fuss. Sebastian had won a couple more of awards that didn’t cause the same mayhem as the first one. The one that broke the ice had been the most difficult.
Celine got back to her normal sleeping habits, which was a relief even though she was feeling tired most of the time. At least she didn’t look like a zombie anymore.
The days were going by without much excitement. At least not to Celine. For Sebastian the story was different as he was auditioning for new roles, attending Comic Cons, Award shows and fashion shows. He was a celebrity after all. According to Matilde he was a lucky bastard. Celine didn’t care much about the events he attended but she was absolutely jealous of him for having met Alex Turner before herself.
On a very ordinary Tuesday, Celine was at the office writing a long report for the Prime Minister when she got a call from, of course Sebastian.
‘’Hi, Seb, what’s up?’’ she didn’t understand a thing of what he was saying because he was speaking very fast, in a high pitched voice and mixing between English and Romanian. ‘’Sebastian! Control yourself!’’
That seemed to work on him.
‘’You were right all along, Cez. Very, very right’’
Celine had absolutely no idea of what he was talking about.
‘’Seb, I can’t see the point in what you’re saying’’
‘’That I got nominated to a bloody Oscar!’’
Celine almost dropped the phone. This information was no surprise to her, everyone saw it coming but it was not less exciting. And she couldn’t be more proud of him.
‘’I… I… I’m still processing it’’ more than ever she just wanted to be with him. ‘’I’m so proud of you, Seb. You really deserved this, and more. I love you to pieces’’.
She could hear him giggling on the other side.
‘’So that means…’’ he said with a teasing voice. ‘’…that I don’t have to take Anthony as a date for the Oscars. Or Chris. Or Tom. Or Matilde. You should be by my side, Cez’’.
Now that it was confirmed that he was nominated, Celine was chickening out. What the hell would she do in front of famous people? At least she didn’t know the name of half of them which was sort of relieving. She had promised to Sebastian that she’d go with him and this time there was no way out.
‘’Are you sure you don’t want to take Chris with you?’’ she teased.
‘’He doesn’t compare to your bright presence’’
‘’If you say so… I’ll be with you there, Seb. I won’t miss you winning an Oscar for the world’’.
‘’I love you, Cez. I really do. Now I have to go. I have a really exciting photoshoot. No, I’m lying. I hate photoshoots. But they pay me well so… whatever.’’
‘’Call you later, Seb. Love you’’.
After hanging up she couldn’t have a minute of peace before Matilde busted into her office with an enormous smile.
‘’It seems I’d have to help you find a dress for the Oscars!’’ she yelled.
‘’Shut up Matilde’’ she whispered. ‘’Do you want to get us fired?’’
‘’No but we’ll find you a dress. We’ll go to Bond Street today after work. And there’s no way out’’.
Without a word more she left the office.
When she could finally leave, Celine was with her mind somewhere else. She missed Sebastian more than anytime before. That was why she didn’t hear that someone was calling her name.
‘’Doctor Cadwallader, do you have a minute?’’
Celine was so distracted that she didn’t notice at first who on earth was talking to her. It was a guy name Matthew Stevens that Celine had seen around a couple of times but had never sparked her interest. She had no idea why he was speaking to her. If he needed her to do extra hours he could to hell.
‘’Yes, why?’’ Celine regretted sounding so harsh.
‘’Do you know bout the Opera Concert at the Royal Albert Hall tomorrow night? It seems like everyone from here is going…’’
Of course she knew. And she didn’t want to go. Lately, she was way too tired and apart from that Joel had sent her a wonderful new book that she planned to continue reading. Most of all, Celine had never liked opera.
‘’It seems like it’’ Celine just wished he could go straight to the point of the conversation so she could go. She had a dress to buy.
‘’I was wondering… You look like an interesting person to go with. I mean, as a date’’.
Celine couldn’t believe it. She had never spoken to this guy apart from ‘Good morning’ or ‘Good evening’. And out of the blue she was asking her out. This was bizarre. The only logical explanation Celine could come up was that probably Matthew Stevens had lost a bet and had to ask her out because of that.
‘’I’m sorry Mr. Stevens but this may not be the best of times for dates’’ Celine tried her best to sound sorry instead of harsh. Unfortunately she wasn’t Sebastian and acting wasn’t her strong point. And of course she was not going to give explanations to Matthew. It was mean to tell the poor guy that not even if she were single she’d be interested.
‘’I insis…’’ but he couldn’t finish the nonsense he was going to say because Celine shot him one of her signature disapproval glances.
She just wanted to leave, why the hell was this guy asking her out, out of nowhere. She was almost angry.
Thankfully for him and before Celine angrily stormed off, Matilde showed up strangely accompanied by Edmund. Celine mood changed and she almost laughed. What was the deal between those two? Last time Matilde had spoken about him she hated his guts. Wait until Sebastian hear of this.
‘’Celine! Luckily I found you! You’re not sneaking out this time! Today we’ll get your dress for the Oscars, yes or yes’’.
Celine face palmed. Why did she had to inform everyone of this? It was none of Matthew’s or Edmund’s business.
‘’To the Oscars?’’ asked Matthew with a tone of big surprise. He was probably wondering what the hell would Celine do at the Oscars.
It was Edmund who answered instead of Celine.
‘’Her fiance is an actor. He’s nominated this year so it makes sense that she goes with him’’.
Poor Matthew looked scandalized. She was almost feeling pity for him.
‘’You’re engaged?’’ he looked as he were regretting all of his life choices, then he glanced at Celine’s fingers, probably looking for a ring that, of course, she didn’t have as she wasn’t actually engaged. That was an story that Sebastian had invented many months ago. ‘’To which actor?’’
‘’Sebastian Stan…’’ Matilde answered, not letting Celine speak. ‘’Bucky Barnes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’’.
‘’A tall, bulky guy. Very intimidating’’. Edmund whispered.
Celine couldn’t help but laugh. Maybe Sebastian looked a bit intimidating but he really wasn’t. If they could only see him screaming in fear of a dead rat or crying with the end of La La Land.
‘’Can we leave, Matilde?’’ Celine, who had been short of patience for the whole evening now was ready to snap.
Matilde nodded and kissed Edmund on the cheek as goodbye. The day was getting more bizarre by the second.
Celine just nodded and followed Matilde.
‘’What the hell was that?’’ Celine asked. ‘’I don’t care about you and Edmunds, I never understood that relationship and I’m not to try to do it now but, Matthew Stevens asking me out? Really? What’s wrong with him?’’
‘’Maybe he likes you’’ Matilde answered as a matter of fact.
‘’Wait until Sebastian hears of this. He’s going to laugh until next century’’.
As long as Matilde knew, no man in the world would laugh if some other guy asked his girlfriend out.
‘’Is he not going to be jealous?’’
Celine laughed out loud.
‘’Sebastian jealous of some Matthew Stevens. Seb’s weakness is not exactly self esteem, believe me. He’d maybe get jealous if it were Chris Evans the one who had asked me out. But of a guy named Matthew, never. He knows better than that’’.
Matilde followed Celine to the car. She seemed to be to be taking good care of Sebastian’s Jaguar by using it everyday to go everywhere.
‘’Do we actually have to go to buy that dress today?’’ she asked with a fake tired face.
‘’Yes. We’re not leaving this for the last minute and before you ask, no Celine, you’re not wearing a dress from Asos or the Tesco clothing line for the Oscars.’’
Celine groaned. She knew that already but she was a bit concerned about how much a designer dress would cost her. Only the thought of it pained her.
In a bad mood she put on some music.
‘’Do you ever get tired of listening to the Arctic Monkeys everyday?’’ Matilde asked her.
‘’No. After a long, tiring day Alex Turner’s voice is the only thing that can relax me.’’
‘’This song is not very relaxing’’ Matilde had never been a fan a rock bands and the song that was playing was a bit heavy to her likings.
‘’Crying Lightning is one of their best. Really nice to sing along’’.
Matilde was happy that she had just to endure a couple more song before they reached their destination.
Celine parked in front of the Dolce and Gabanna store. She looked in pain.
‘’My bank account is crying already’’ Celine complained. Matilde knew that Celine was pretty well off but she just didn’t like to spend a lot of money in one stroke. Except if it was for noble causes like buying first row tickets to see Real Madrid at Wembley.
‘’Ask Sebastian to pay for it’’
Celine looked just like as if she was going to explode. That had hurt her pride.
‘’Never’’ that seemed to take her out of her indifferent mood. ‘’And we’re not buying at Dolce and Gabanna. If I’m getting a bloody expensive dress I’m doing it at Burberry’’.
Some minutes later they were entering the Burberry store and Matilde went straight to find an attendant. Celine stood behind her. Tired already of this whole ordeal and letting Matilde explain what they needed.
‘’…she needs something very formal. Appropriate for the Oscars.’’.
The attendant’s curiosity was sparkled. She was probably thinking that Celine was a celebrity and Matilde her assistant.
‘’Are you going to the Oscars?’’ the woman asked without a hint of discretion.
‘’Not really’’ Celine interfered. ‘’I’m just going to the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall but I want to look as if I’m going to the Oscars’’.
Celine may have sounded convincing enough because the attendant stopped asking questions and immediately started showing her dress after dress.
Every single one of them was beautiful but none of them was Celine’s style. They were either too sparkly or too tight.
‘’Hell’’ Matilde mumbled. ‘’This is harder that finding a wand for Harry Potter’’.
At least that made Celine laugh.
‘’What about this one?’’ the attendant showed her a beautiful turquoise dress. Celine glanced at it once and knew that it was the one.
‘’I want it’’ she looked at the dress in every angle and she couldn’t be more convinced that it was the chosen one.
‘’Go and try it on’’ Matilde insisted.
‘’I’d better…’’ Celine was a bit reluctant to bother herself with trying it on.
‘’I said go’’ Matilde pushed her towards the fitting room.
After trying it on Celine was even more convinced of her choice. The length was perfect, the colour looked great on her, it had an elegant V neck but the most gorgeous thing about it was the design on the back. It was delicate but sophisticated. It was a dream.
She looked stunning with it and she’d looked even better in the red carpet with Sebastian by her side. She didn’t care about its price anymore. She had to get the damn dress.

An hour later she was comfortable lying on the couch, with a cup of tea beside her and Elemauzer on her chest. Amazingly, the cat seemed to be in the mood for human contact.
She was reading the book Joel had sent her when she was interrupted by an Skype call. Sebastian, of course. Without hesitation she accepted the call.
‘’Hi, Cez’’ Sebastian was eating a huge bowl of ice cream while trying to speak. He had so much enthusiasm, Celine was a bit jealous. ‘’How was your day? You look tired’’.
‘’I am tired. It was a bizarre day, believe me. But you got nominated to an Oscar so I’m happy’’.
He had a proud smile on his face.
‘’And I have more good news’’ his smile got bigger.
‘’Spill’’
‘’Remember that audition I had in two weeks?’’ Celine just nodded. ‘’Well it was reprogrammed for tomorrow. Don’t think that these kind of things are unusual’’.
Celine was a bit worried.
‘’So that means that you’ll have less time to prepare it. Where’s the good in that?’’
Sebastian almost laughed.
‘’That means that I’ll be home in three days’’.
Celine was astounded. She even forgot that she was tired and had a sudden urge to dance. Seeing Sebastian two weeks before she was supposed to was indeed good news.
‘’This is fantastic’’ she had a big smile and was almost giggling. ‘’And I love the fact that you consider London your home’’.
‘’Wherever you are is my home. Even if it’s in the freaking Antarctica’’.
Celine laughed and Elemauzer got angry at the sudden movement and jumped from her chest.
‘’I’d like to see us try that. I mean, living in the Antarctica. That’d be total fresh start’’.
Sebastian choked with the ice cream.
‘’Cez, you believe that you’re so smart but you’re actually so silly’’.
Celine pretended to be offended but she just laughed.
‘’We’re both a pair of idiots’’
It took a while to them both to regain their composure.
‘’Cez, why did you say that your day had been bizarre?’’
Celine smiled mysteriously.
‘’Brace yourself for this one: Matilde and Edmund are back at it’’.
Sebastian suddenly looked like a high schooler ready to gossip.
‘’Tell me everything’’ Celine could swear that Sebastian gossiped more than an old lady.
‘’I just saw them very cosy with each other. It was disgusting. That was after some Matthew Stevens asked me out’’.
As she already knew, Sebastian didn’t even look a bit jealous.
‘’Poor guy. I wouldn’t have liked to be him at that moment. I know how it feels to be intimidated by you’’.
‘’But you never asked me out’’
‘’I never dared’’ he looked totally relaxed. Now he could rejoice about winning Celine’s heart but before that it had been awful not being brave enough to make a move on her. ‘’It was much better to hang out basically everyday and slowly fall in love with you and you with me. I’m so lucky’’.
‘’You are. However I felt kind of bad for Matthew. You had to see his face when he learned that I had a boyfriend who was an actor that had been trained to play the world’s deadliest assassin for a Marvel movie. He went pale’’.
Sebastian tried to look smug and proud but he just looked adorable. She couldn’t wait to have him back.
‘’Cez, Cez, Cez, the next three days will be long as hell. I can’t wait to be there. And I’m pretty sure that you miss this fine body of mine.’’ he licked his lips and shot her a sexy glance. It was hard not to laugh.
‘’Just a bit, darling, just a bit. But please, don’t send nudes. Teasing is always bad, Sebastian.’’
‘’You sure?’’ he tried to take off his shirt but accidentally hit the ice cream bowl and spilled all the content on himself.
Celine was laughing too hard that she was almost breathless.
‘’That… was… epic. You’re the definition of a sex God, Seb’’.
‘’You’re a mean little woman, Cez’’. he whispered looking at the mess he had made.
‘’I know, Seb. I know’’.

 

Chapter Text

For Celine it was the best day in weeks. Finally she was going to see Sebastian again. They had spent only a little over a month apart but it seemed much more.
Of course that she was going to pick him at the airport as the last time he had attempted to get home alone he had ended up in Hammersmith.
She stuck close to the arrivals gate. It wouldn’t be fun if they accidentally lost each other among the crowd.
She had been waiting for the last hour, bored out of her wits when she saw him, looking like a lost puppy. It was hilarious and adorable at the same time. He had not seen her yet but he was looking around frantically.
‘’Have you lost something, Mr. Stan?’’ she asked him with a serious voice.
He changed his expression in an instant. His blue eyes got impossibly big and his smile could have lit up a city. In what it seemed like just a second he had her between his arms, in a bone crushing hug. She hugged him back with all the strength she could muster. People were throwing them nasty glances because they were blocking the way.
‘’Miss me?’’ she asked him with a little smirk.
‘’Every single day’’ he held her face between his hands and looked at her eyes for a long time. After that he placed a soft but long kiss on her lips. ‘’I have so much to tell you. And three beautiful awards to place in our award shelf’’.
‘’So, let’s go home.’’ she kissed him again and squeezed him tighter. ‘’Put your coat on. It’s deadly cold outside. And it’s going to snow tonight’’.
‘’You weren’t joking when you said that we were moving to the Antarctica’’.
‘’Why move there when we can have Antarctica climate in London?’’ she giggled a little.
‘’Why are we behaving like idiots, Cez?’’
‘’Because we are idiots, Seb’’.

Sebastian couldn’t believe how much he had missed Celine’s house. He had spent more than a month between hotels and his New York City apartment. It wasn’t bad at all but he felt way too lonely there.
‘’Tea?’’ she asked him and Sebastian just nodded. ‘’I made sandwiches. Well, not really. I bought them. But I just can heat them a bit and they’ll count as homemade.’’.
‘’Fair enough’’ he mumbled with his mouth full of an old piece of bread he had found around. He had not realised how hungry he was until that moment.
‘’That bread’s old, Seb’’.
‘’It’s eatable enough. Don’t bother heating the sandwiches. I’ll eat them cold, I just need to swallow something’’.
Celine laughed at Sebastian’s eagerness. She handed him a sandwich and he devoured it.
While they ate Sebastian told her all of his anecdotes. He told her every single detail of the Golden Globes and all the award shows he had attended, the latest news about Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie and literally everything else he had done during the past month.
On the other hand, Celine didn’t have much to tell him. Her month had consisted of working and occasionally going to the stadium. And being tired, of course.
‘’Let’s go to bed, Seb’’. she proposed him after a few hours of non-stop chatter.
‘’It’s only eight, Cez. I’m not tired, I’ve slept all the way from New York City.’’
‘’I wasn’t thinking about sleeping, Sebastian. But it seems you can’t take a hint’’.
Sebastian smiled like a little kid after being given toys.

‘’Ready to comply, my darling’’ without saying anything else he ran upstairs leaving Celine laughing.

On the next morning she woke up before him. He was wrapped around her and was sleeping peacefully. From time to time he stirred in his sleep and got closer to her. She carefully caressed wherever she could reach. She tried not to make any sudden movements that could wake him up.
He was so beautiful and sexy at the same time that Celine couldn’t help but wonder what she had done to deserve him. And she knew that he loved her, every single one his actions showed that. And she loved him with all her heart. She loved every single detail about him. From his innocent face, the puppy dog eyes, how expressive he was and that he was extremely supportive in everything she did.
She felt a little extra weight on the bed. She noticed that it was Elemauzer carrying something in his mouth that he left exactly on Sebastian’s body. Probably a dead rat or frog.
It was hard for Celine not to laugh imagining Sebastian’s reaction at having a dead animal on himself. It was also hard to try to get rid of the thing without Sebastian waking up. She tried to move but his grip around her waist was strong. It was absolutely useless to try to move him.
‘’What happened?’’ he mumbled. He had felt Celine moving beside him.
‘’I was… going to make breakfast’’ she lied. Of course that she was not going to tell him that Elemauzer had left a dead animal on him.
‘’Don’t leave’’ he cuddled her even closer. ‘’What are you doing here?’’ he had finally noticed Elemauzer and only a second later he found the dead animal. ‘’PIGEON!’’ he shouted and ran out of the room, half naked and in record time.
It took a while to Celine to stop laughing. His reaction had been too priceless. Only Sebastian would react like that at the sight of a dead pigeon. Without any hesitation she threw the dead pigeon out of the window, dusked off some feathers that were left on the bed, grabbed Elemauzer and a blanket and went downstairs.
She found Sebastian in the kitchen with a hand on his chest and drinking a glass of water.
‘’I got rid of it. Now lays peacefully at Matilde’s garden. You should have seen your reaction. It was awesome’’ she wrapped the blanket around Sebastian.
‘’I almost had a heart attack. Why does he keep doing that?’’
‘’Because he wants to teach you how to hunt. He appreciates you but he finds you useless’’. she was still trying not to laugh at Sebastian’s face.
‘’He’s very considerate’’ he took Elemauzer from Celine’s arms and scratched him behind the ears. The cat immediately started purring.
Celine started making tea while glancing at Sebastian playing with Elemauzer. That was a sight worth seeing. The blanket was slipping off his shoulders leaving his perfect body exposed. Trying not to drool she focused back on the tea.
‘’You should get dressed, Seb. I’m enjoying the view but I don’t want you to catch the flu. As much as I like your body I had my share of it last night’’.
‘’Sure you did’’ he said with a smirk.
She headed to the living room with a plate of different varieties of cookies and cakes. Sebastian followed with the teas and the cat. There was a football match on TV that Celine wasn’t paying much attention to it.
‘’I’m not going to forget it’’ said Celine with a dreamy expression.
‘’Our emotions were all over the place last night, after a month of not seeing each other. I also won’t forget that strong moment of bonding between us’’.
Celine laughed and Sebastian didn’t understand why.
‘’I wasn’t talking about that. I was talking about your face when you saw the pigeon. It was epic’’. she laughed.
‘’And I was here, being poetic…’’ he couldn’t help but laughed too.
They spent a pleasant evening talking, watching TV and planning things.
‘’Cez, why don’t we go on holidays?’’ he proposed with a big grin.
‘’We’re going to the Oscars, aren’t we?’’ they were both in Celine’s office because she had had the magnificent idea of sorting all her countless books into themes and alphabetical order. Sebastian was rolled in her comfortable armchair, with a blanket around him (even though he had got dressed after all) and a cup of tea.
‘’That hardly counts as relaxing holidays. I’ll be panicking half of the time’’.
‘’And do you have any place in mind?’’ she was speaking from behind a large pile of books.
‘’Somewhere near. That we can go for the weekend’’.
‘’You’re right’’ Celine stopped sorting books for a second. She had been everywhere in the UK during her Cambridge years. Except from one place. ‘’Why don’t we go to Inverness?’’
‘’The place from Outlander?’’ he asked with eyebrows a bit raised.
Luckily Celine knew that Outlander was a series that Sebastian watched so she wasn’t lost by his question. She had even watched a couple of episodes herself.
‘’I think so. However, don’t think you’re going to touch a stone a get transported to another time. We can try it if you want.’’
‘’Only if you promise that you won’t leave me for a seventeen century highlander. I’d reckon that’d be hard for anyone because the guy’s hot’’.
Celine almost laughed but she also looked confused.
‘’Do you mean, the one from the series? I’m pretty sure that’s an actor not a real life highlander’’.
Sebastian didn’t know if he should laugh or not.
‘’Yeah, I guessed so.’’ he kept the same mocking tone that Celine was using. ‘’Real highlanders probably didn’t look like that’’.
Celine chuckled and went back to her books.
‘’Anyway… I wanted to go to Inverness because it’s near Loch Ness. We can go there.’’
‘’Loch Ness? The one with the monster?’’ Sebastian had heard of the infamous monster before. First of all, he wasn’t an uncultured swine, then, there was an Scooby Doo film about it that he had seen. Of course he didn’t tell that to Celine.
‘’The very same one. Judging by your face during your terrifying encounter with a dead pigeon, I can’t imagine what will happen to you if Nessie decides to show up in front of us’’.
‘’You’re never letting this one go, aren’t you?’’
As an answer she just smiled at him. Sebastian found it absolutely cute. And Celine wasn’t a woman that was called ‘cute’ very often. She went by ‘intimidating’, ‘interesting’ and even ‘beautiful’. But never cute.
‘’So are we actually going to Inverness?’’ she asked with some curiosity.
‘’Of course. Next weekend. I’ll found us a place to stay in a second’’.
Whenever they had a plan, it was usually Celine who arranged everything simply because she was the best at it. But after almost a year of knowing her, Sebastian had learned a lot about her organizational skills and tried to emulate them himself.
‘’Remember we’re going to go to the Highlands in winter. It’ll be freezing’’.
‘’I’ll remember to bring a coat.’’ he was already exploring different places to spend a weekend in Inverness. ‘’Cez, what do think about staying in a cottage with a fireplace?’’
‘’Do you know how to lit a fire?’’ judging by what she had seen of him during their Glastonbury adventure back in June, Sebastian’s skills as an adventurer were practically nonexistent.
He was thinking exactly the same but he trusted that Celine, being Celine, would probably solve the situation. And he wanted to stay in a cottage with a fireplace.
‘’We’ll improvise’’.
She got tired of tidying the books and left everything for later. Slowly she walked towards him and sat beside him. He moved her a little to place her on his lap.
‘’You’re so beautiful’’ she whispered making him blush. She gently kissed his lips. She was almost always gentle and delicate , enjoying every single second with him.
‘’You’re even more’’ he mumbled. He moved his lips to her neck, something she always enjoyed.
Only seconds later they were into a heated making out session. He had both of his hands on her hair and was touching him wherever she could reach.
‘’Do you want move this upstairs?’’ he mumbled between kisses.
‘’Aren’t you tired after last night?’’ she looked at him with raised eyebrows and a little smile.
‘’You know I’m not and I know that you're not either''

Celine had never celebrated Valentine’s Day and this year was no exception. However she took total advantage of the date.
The issue was that this very same day Real Madrid played a very important Champions League match against a French team and Celine asked for a free day at work with the excuse of spending that very especial day with her beloved fiance (that he actually wasn’t). The Prime Minister had seen Sebastian only once but she never forgot him so she instantly gave Celine permission to absent herself that day.
‘’So you used this very romantic date to get a free day and watch the match?’’ Sebastian asked, still disbelieving that Celine had lied to the Prime Minister of Great Britain on her face only to watch a football match.
‘’Positive’’ she swallowed the rest of the Freddo she was eating. ‘’She appreciates me so much that she won’t fire me unless I provoke an international crisis or something like that.’’
Being honest, Sebastian was relieved that Celine didn’t even pay attention to this kind of dates. Not having to worry about making reservations in a packed restaurant or buying flowers was incredibly liberating. She wasn’t expecting anything and they didn’t need an special date to show how much they loved each other.
However he had got her the new FIFA 18 and that made her incredibly happy.
Later on that day Matilde paid them a visit. Sebastian opened the door for her, dressed with a fluffy Wolverine hoodie a bit stained with chocolate.
‘’Weren’t you supposed to be working?’’ he asked her.
‘’And weren’t you supposed to be having a really romantic evening? I mean, you have chocolate in your hair, Sebby’’.
He removed it wondering how it got there in the first place.
‘’This is romantic’’.
‘’No, it’s not. You look homeless and Celine is in no better state. Have you got her flowers at least?’’ Matilde was astounded. She had believed that Celine’s careless attitude was just a pose but it didn’t seem to be like that.
‘’Matilde!’’ Sebastian looked a bit shocked. ‘’Do you want Celine to die? She’s allergic to flowers!’’
‘’But he got me the new FIFA’’ she happily exclaimed ‘’That’s much better’’.
‘’And she got me this’’ Sebastian happily showed Matilde a huge glass bowl full of Maltesers. ‘’Special edition. If you mix them with Nutella is paradise’’.
Matilde looked at the two of them, wondering if all of this was actually serious. Apparently it was.
‘’Are you going to see the match?’’ Celine asked with the usual face she had every time she talk about an upcoming match: childish excitement mixed with nervousness.
‘’No. I’m having dinner with Edmund’’.
Sebastian gagged and almost chocked with a Malteser.
‘’If that was the price of your free day, I rather work’’ Celine pointed out and Sebastian nodded.
‘’maybe it works this time’’ she was almost resigned. She had to options: spend Valentine’s Day sad and lonely or accept Edmund’s offer. And there were Celine and Sebastian, who had everything to make a romantic evening but indeed they choose to watch a football match and eat Maltesers with Nutella. It was almost a mockery.
‘’It’s like the millionth time I hear this’’ Sebastian rolled his eyes and did a weird movement with his hand. ‘’It won’t work. You deserve better’’.
Celine was trying not to laugh at Sebastian’s new role as emotional counsellor.
‘’But there’s nothing better for me. It was nice for a moment to fantasise that Tom Holland was going to look at me but he probably doesn’t even remember my name’’. that was probably true but Sebastian didn’t have the heart to tell her the truth. ‘’Where is he, by the way?’’
‘’I have no idea. Don’t think I follow Tom Holland updates accounts on Instagram.’’ he rolled his eyes.
Meanwhile Celine was thinking what she could do for Matilde.
‘’Why don’t you stay with us?’’ she proposed. ‘’Ditch Edmund. Stay, we’ll watch the match, eat trash food and maybe we’ll let you choose a movie’’.
Sebastian, who was standing beside Celine, nodded in approval.
‘’I don’t want to crash your Valentine’s Day evening’’.
Both, Celine and Sebastian laughed out loud.
‘’We insist’’ they said at the same time.
‘’Matilde!” Sebastian threw her a Malteser covered in Nutella that got stuck in her scarf. ‘’Stop being pitiful and stay with us. We’ll play Monopoly, just like in the old times. And watch High School Musical.’’
Celine expression changed to one of horror.
‘’No, we won’t’’. for Celine that movie was so terrible that had got stuck in her brain. ‘’By the way, in America, people actually do that things or it was just the movie? I mean, the basketball team dancing and singing during training… I imagine if the Chelsea players break into a choreographed musical number in the middle of the training session. Conte would go nuts’’.
‘’Who’s Conte?’’ this time it was Sebastian who was confused.
‘’Chelsea’s manager’’ Matilde answered, stealing some Maltesers and making herself comfortable on the couch. It looked like she was staying after all. ‘’And based on this season’s performance, some players should dedicate to musical theatre instead of football’’.
‘’Do you mean Morata?’’ Celine asked and Sebastian was more confused than ever with that string of names he’d never heard before. ‘’Because his performances are laughable, he’d better go to a circus’’.
Sebastian went back to his Maltesers, thinking about the evening of football that lay ahead for him.

It was Sunday evening and the house was in an absolute chaos. Sebastian was getting ready for the BAFTA awards while making the biggest mess around him. There were clothes and other stuff all around him.
Celine couldn’t pay attention to him. Finally, after many years she had reached a point in her historical research where she was approaching a conclusion. She was locked on her office, surrounded by papers, copies of manuscrips, books, her laptop, empty cups of coffee and tea and the little whiteboard she had on the corner of her office was full of unintelligible words. She had lost track of time many hours ago.
She was supposed to go with Sebastian to the BAFTAS but it was impossible. No matter what she wanted to draw the conclusions of the investigation she’d been running for almost a decade.
Sebastian knew that this of the utmost importance to her and the best thing he could do was to leave her alone with her work. And it was also a nice chance to Matilde to go to the BAFTAS as his date and meet all the celebrities she wanted. Celine, of course, didn’t mind that at all.
Ten minutes before leaving he went to see her. She was writing something in a piece of paper and looked very concentrated.
‘’Are you leaving already?’’ she asked him, changing her sight from the paper to him. ‘’Wow, you look handsome’’ she fixed her sight on him smiled.
‘’Thanks. How is the investigation going?’’ he looked at her with a bit of concern. She had circles under her eyes, her hair was a mess and she looked very pale.
‘’Who knows… I need to check some facts before drawing a definitive conclusion’’ she looked exhausted. ‘’It’s a long piece of work but I’m reaching the end of it, hopefully. Sorry for not going with you, I promise I’ll be watching’’.
He sat in front of her and took her hands.
‘’Don’t worry. Just be careful, don’t overwork yourself too much, remember what happened the last time’’ Sebastian didn’t want to bring back the memory of that awful week when Celine had caught pneumonia.
‘’Don’t worry, it’s not going to happen again’’ there was Celine, believing that she was some sort of immortal elf. ‘’Seb, just don’t let Matilde embarrass herself in front of a high profile celebrity, please’’.
He laughed and kissed her before leaving.
‘’I love you’’ he told her one more time.
‘’Me too. Good luck, everyone knows you’re going to win so it won’t even be a surprise’’.
After he left she got immersed into her job again. There were even more empty cups of tea surrounding her.
Meanwhile she was trying to pay attention to the award show with little success. At the beginning she was way too concentrated in her investigation and at the end she was falling asleep.
After watching Sebastian win, she completely zoned out.
An hour later Sebastian found her completely asleep on her desk with papers all around her.
He shook her softly to wake her up.
‘’What?’’ she jumped a little after waking up. ‘’You’re back already?’’
‘’Yes, the Royal Albert hall is just five minutes away. Look’’ he shower her the BAFTA award.
‘’It’s beautiful’’ she looked at Sebastian’s eyes. ‘’I’m so proud of you. And where’s Matilde?’’
‘’I left her at the after party, stalking Timothee Chalamet’’.
‘’And who’s that Timothee… whatever?’’
‘’One of Matilde’s many celebrity crushes’’ he rolled his eyes in a careless way.
‘’And you left her there alone? Are you not afraid for your colleagues?’’ she was a bit worried about Matilde’s crazy fan girl actions.
‘’They can take care of themselves. Believe it not we are used to intense people like Matilde. And she’s harmless, not like Janice that still has poor Tom Hiddleston hooked on her grip’’.
Celine wasn’t so sure that Matilde was a hundred percent harmless, she could be dense when she wanted.
‘’Cez, why don’t you go to bed? You’ve done enough’’.
It was hard to Celine to admit that he was right, there was no more that she could do, she was exhausted and couldn’t think clearly.
‘’Let me carry you’’ Sebastian proposed, looking absolutely irresistible with his beautiful smile and that black Hugo Boss suit that fit him perfectly.
‘’I can walk’’ she said while tripping with the chair and falling straight to the floor. ‘’I take that back’’.
For Sebastian it was really easy to lift her up, carry her upstairs and put her gently on the bed.
‘’Are we still going to Inverness next Friday?’’ she mumbled, half asleep.
‘’Count on it’’

Chapter Text

It was finally the Friday morning of the day that Celine and Sebastian were leaving to Inverness. She had taken her morning off and left Sebastian in complete charge of the organization of the trip. He had been outstanding at it, almost rivalling Celine in his new found organizational skills.
They were going to leave to Edinburgh by plane and from there to Inverness by train. They were leaving that same afternoon after Celine finished with her duties at Downing Street.
She was groaning after receiving an invitation from the Prime Minister to an important gala with royalty involved. More than an invitation, it was an obligation to go.
''Seb, do you want to meet royalty?'' she asked with an annoyed voice.
''I don't think I can replace you in events like these. I have no idea how to meet royalty, I'd make a fool out of myself''.
''You've been to the Golden Globes'' Celine looked at him with her eyebrows raised.
''But I didn't have to curtsy to Meryl Streep of call her 'Your Majesty' or whatever''.
Celine laughed at him.
''It's ma'am not 'Your Majesty'. And I wasn't asking you to replace me but to come with me.''
''What?'' Sebastian was wondering since when Celine had the authority to invite people to official events.
''The Prime Minister sent me a plus one. I think she's expecting me to go with you. She saw you once and she always asking me about how you are''.
Sebastian was a bit horrified that the Prime Minister knew of his very existence.
''Hell, that's bad news. But I'll go with you and I'll be the life of the party if you want. but I still don't know how to greet royalty''.
''I'll teach you'' she mumbled. ''I can't wait for you to kick Will and Kate out of the spotlight. And Prince Harry too. he may have a royal wedding in May but he's not going to win an Oscar''.
Sebastian laughed. He didn't expect to get more attention than William and Harry. These two were Princes of Great Britain and Sebastian was just the Prince of Tumblr.
''Are you invited to the wedding too?'' he asked with a mocking voice, knowing how much Celine would hate to go there.
''I hope not. I won't bear to be stuck in a church watching two people getting married. And the wedding's on the same weekend as the FA Cup final. If I get invitation I'd give it to Matilde''.
Sebstian laughed imagining Matide at Prince Harry's wedding. That was bizarre.
When she finished packing she left to Downing Street in a hurry and taking Sebastian's car. She was not spending much time there as she was just leaving everything in order for the two weeks she was going to be absent to go with Sebastian to the States. Matilde was replacing her and she was praying that she didn't have to deal with any kind of crisis.
Being proud of himself, Sebastian waited for her. He had finished all the arrangements in time and could enjoy a good game of FIFA.
Celine got back home before the usual time and Sebastian was ready to leave.
''Thank you for all this.'' before leaving she slowly kissed him. ''You're the best''.
He loved when Celine praised him. That made him feel special and appreciated. And it helped that Celine was constantly praising him for things like making tea, smiling or even existing.

A couple of hours later they were on the plane waiting for it to take off while gossiping about Matilde. After coming back from the after party of the BAFTAS she had been incredible mysterious which was unusual. After all, Matilde was one the least discreet persons they knew. Sebastian had come up with a lot of imaginative explanations for her behaviour. That was enough to keep them entertained during the plane ride.
''Imagine if she's pregnant with Edmund's child'' he said with a disgusted face.
''Oh no, please no.'' Celine covered her face with her hands. ''I don't think she can be stupid enough to screw up her life like that. No, she probably slept with someone after the BAFTA afterparty''.
''Maybe it was someone famous'' he said with a wide smile.
''Why are we even talking about that?'' she laughed. ''Anyway, I hope that it wasn't a married guy because that would've been terrible''.
''I just want to know the juicy details, Cez''.
She rolled her eyes and snuggled closer to him. She had always hated plane seats but luckily the trip was really short. Apart from that little detail, she was having a really good time. It was their first trip together without Matilde or someone else.
''Is there any chance of me getting photographed at the airport in Edinburgh?'' he asked.
Celine tried not to laugh, as his question seemed to be serious. Most of the time she forgot that her boyfriend was actually famous.
''No. No one is expecting a celebrity in Edinburgh at this time of the day. Watch out, maybe they're in Inverness hiding behind a tree''.
If Celine's sarcasm was useful for something was to think clearly and logically. She was right, no one would care about their weekend in Scotland. He was sometimes photographed in New York or Los Angeles but not even in London he got much attention. That was something of what he was not going to complain.
He looked at Celine, who was curled next to the window. He caressed her hair with tenderness. He could see that she was smiling. With little difficulty he wrapped himself around her.
''Seb, have you noticed that we are in public?'' she mumbled.
''And? Who cares about us?'' and he was right.
However, they didn't have much time to cuddle because ten minutes later they were landing.
''Have you been here before?'' Sebastian asked her when they were exiting the airport.
''Yes, with the Cambridge squad. We were going to Inverness but the idiot that goes by the name of Joel Shand-Kydd forgot that he had an exam in couple of days so we had to come back before''.
There was a little detail that Sebastian had forgotten: he had no idea of how to get to the train station.
''Do you know where we are?'' he asked her, trying to sound calm and composed. But he was panicking.
''Yes. The airport is in the outskirts of the city. We are surrounded by golf courses, believe me. We have to go to Edinburgh Waverley that's in the middle of the Old Town, not very far from Holyrood Park''.
''And that is...'' he held Celine's hand a little tighter, a bit scared of her answer.
''Far, far away''
Sebastian felt like an idiot. After all his careful planning they had ended up miles away from where they needed to be.
''Do we have to walk all the way to Waver... Wever... whatever?''
It was hard to Celine not to laugh. He was so distraught, thinking that they were stranded in the outskirts of Edinburgh. He was so innocent and pure it hurt
''Or we can also... take a taxi''
Sebastian felt even more like an idiot. It was a mystery why he hadn't thought about a taxi.
Celine was the one who found a taxi in record time. Of course, she was saving the day, again.
But he quickly forgot about all of that because he was too busy looking at the scenery. It was dark and he couldn't see much but he was sure that Scotland was astoundingly beautiful.
After half an hour they were in the front of Edinburgh Waverley Station. Celine paid the driver and they stepped down onto the street. It was bitterly cold even though it wasn't snowing yet.
It wasn't difficult for them to find a train to Inverness. Before leaving they bought coffee and cookies for the trip. Sebastian was lamenting not having done this by daylight because he was going to miss all the spectacular sights.
''There we go'' she said when the train started moving. ''We're going very up north, Seb'' she was so excited it was contagious. ''This is Forth Bridge'' he encouraged him to look for the window.
''Once again you'll have to be my guide, Cez'' without taking his eyes off the window, he wrapped his arm around her shoulders.
Every time they passed through a town or an interesting place she would give a description of it. He had no idea what she did to retain all that information inside her head.
''Seb, we're about to go through Cairngormes National Park. It's a pity that we can't see much of it because it'd blow your mind''.
''I thought you've never been there''
''We reached Dalwhinnie, it's a little village on the borders of the park. We spent a couple of hours there before we went back to Cambridge. The thing is that it has a whiskey distillery and me and Charlie ended up carrying the other three idiots who had got drunk out of their wits. To this day I still don't know how Joel managed to ace an exam with a killer hangover courtesy from Scotch Whiskey from Dalwhinnie''.
''I have to try it'' he mumbled.
''If you get drunk I'm leaving you at the station for the simple fact that I can't carry you so you better think about it''.
The way through the National Park continued with Celine citing the name of every single village they encountered. He was wondering if Celine had swallowed the Google Maps app because there was no way that she could remember villages with names such as 'Avielochan', 'Carrbridge' or 'Slochd'.
''We're out of the national park'' she informed him. ''In half an hour we'll be in Inverness''.
They were there in what seemed like minutes.
''Welcome to the Highlands, Seb'' she said when they stepped down the train.''
''Hell, I'm freezing'' he yelled, trying to wrap himself with his jacket. ''Now it's my time to shine.'' he grabbed her hand. ''After all I organized this whole thing. If it's a disaster you're allowed to call me a failure, okay?''
Celine didn't know if he was joking or not.
''I won't call you a failure'' she stopped in his tracks only to place a soft kiss on his lips. ''I know you do all of this because you really want us to have a perfect weekend. Only idiots can't value this''.
The first thing he did was to rent a car and Celine was thankful for that. They were attended by a middle aged lady with a Scottish accent that was so thick that Sebastian could hardly understand her. Celine was trying not to laugh at his clueless face.
''So... Mr. Stan...'' the lady typed something in a computer then she looked at him. Sebastian looked at her with one of his signature heart stopping smiles and made the poor lady blush. ''And is this bonny lass the lucky Mrs. Stan?''
It took a while to Celine to notice that the lady was talking to her.
''No... no...'' she mumbled. ''I'm Doctor Celine Cadwallader'' she emphasised the word 'Doctor'.
''Well, she's that...'' Sebastian had become, again, a free giver of smiles. ''But, she's also my very beautiful wife''.
''I'm not your wife'' with her voice dripping with sarcasm she looked at the lady. ''I'm his lover. He's having an extramarital affair with me, the bastard. What do I always have to end up with the douchebags?''
The lady laughed, noticing immediately that there weren't actually having an illicit affair. No one would joke about that with such lightness. They were probably had a very strong marriage, with a weird sense of humour and an outstanding chemistry. After all, she had seen weirder people than these two.
''What a show'' she mumbled when they were already in the car. Of course it was not Sebastian's Jaguar but a simple Honda Civic. She remembered in the first months of their friendship, how awkward it was whenever Sebastian pulled one of his antics. Now Celine knew better and she went with it, having much more fun in the process. ''Where are we staying by the way? Did you get your cottage with the fireplace?''
''Well... it's not exactly a cottage but it has fireplace. Many of them''.
Celine was intrigued. She was just hoping that Sebastian had not got out of his way to hire a goddamned castle. Knowing him, he was totally capable of doing exactly that. As much as Celine adored castles, they were just two people.
''What did you hire?'' she was trying not to laugh at his smug expression. ''Please, don't tell me we're staying in a replica of Buckingham Palace''.
His smile was even wider.
''Not that big. It's somewhat smaller. And the prices here are really nice. A real life castle costs the same as the old little thing you used to hire in South London. I was temped to buy it''.
''Thinking of a starting the life of a highlander?'' she looked at him with her usual mocking smile that he was way to used to. ''I can't wait to see it. You'll have a castle and everything. Nice. Just ditch your Armani jeans for a kilt and we're done here''.
He was wondering how all that things came to her head. No one he knew had these kind of thoughts.
''My jeans are not Armani. They are Tom Ford''.
''To hell with you and your expensive jeans''.
It took a while to Celine to stop laughing. Sebastian didn't know what was so funny. maybe she was just happy, in a good mood and wanted to laugh at everything.
When she stopped laughing she went on to choose some music from Seb's phone. She'd use hers but it was without a hint of battery.
''Seb, do you like the Arctic Monkeys or it was me who added them to your playlist?''
''It was you. But I also like them. They remind me of you. When I was in New York and missed you like crazy, I played their music and it was like having you there. That means I know many of the lyrics by heart by now''.
It was hard for Celine not to be emotional. That man beside her had learned the lyrics of half the songs of her favourite band only because he missed her. What had she done to deserve him? It was always going to be a mystery for her.
''Favourite song?'' she asked him with a little voice.
''She's thunderstorms''
Celine felt quite proud that he had such good taste in music.
''So you have to sing it with me''.
It wasn't the only song they sang. It was followed by more Arctic Monkeys songs, a couple from Bon Jovi, one by Lorde that Sebastian loved and their session ended with a very loud version of Linger by The Cranberries.
''Here we are, my darling'' he parked the Honda Civic in front of what, in Celine's opinion, was one of the prettiest houses she had ever seen. It was a step away of being a castle. Celine could swear that there was a forest in the backyard.
''You're absolutely out of your mind. But who cares, this is beautiful. How did you get it?''.
In the dark of the night it was hard to follow the path that went from the street to the house. It was horribly cold but it wasn't snowing and skies were exceptionally clear.
''AirBNB. The poor guy almost had an stroke when he realised he was hiring his grandfather's house to me. He even lowered the price''.
Before they got into the house she wrapped his arms around his neck and kissed him.
''Thank you'' she had a big smile on her face and Sebastian was loving. ''This is beautiful. You're a genius and I love you''.
''I love you too'' he kissed her one more time. ''Now let's see this baby from the inside'' he took some keys from under a rock near the little path.
Celine was in awe. The house was enormous. Only the hall was of the size of Celine's living room and kitchen put together. The living room was an absolute dream with the walls covered in books, a couple of classic paintings and the fireplace that Sebastian wanted.
''What the hell, man'' she muttered. He couldn't help but to laugh at Celine's astounded face. Not very often she wore that expression as it was mostly reserved to Real Madrid scoring awesome goals and lately she wasn't being very lucky in that field. ''Who on earth lives here?''
''An old rich man that because of his arthritis can't stay here during winter so he goes to his other mansion in the south of France. That was what his grandson told me when he hired me the house. I was really close to make an offer for it and buy it, to be honest''.
Celine, who was inspecting one of the paintings, stopped immediately.
''Are you serious?''
''Yes''. he nodded and smiled. ''It's a great place to rest from the rush of the city. And it's big enough to invite our friends and even the cats''. she sent him a weird glace. ''We could even bring our children here in the future''.
Celine looked just like as if she had just seen a headless ghost coming towards her. Then her expression changed to something that made Sebastian fear that she was going to push him into Loch Ness and wait for the monster to eat him. That was one of the main lessons when it came to Celine: never mention children as a serious possibility.
''Please tell me that now you want kids because if that's the case I swear I'm going to grab a boat and row and row just like that kid from Game of Thrones... Gendry. And never come back''.
It was hard to take Celine seriously when she had put this example but her face was serious. It was not a secret to either of them that she wasn't keen on having children like, never. He had known about her aversion for children since day one.
''I shouldn't have said that'' he placed his hand or her shoulder and was glad that she didn't flinch. ''Sorry, is just that when I start fantasizing I get to places I know that I shouldn't''.
Finally her expression softened and she looked less scary.
''It's not illegal to dream, Seb. Unless it's about becoming a Barcelona fan and... well, that's unforgivable. But you can dream about having a family of your own, what I don't understand is why would you want that. Aren't you enjoying this happy and free period of your life?'' Sebastian nodded, he couldn't deny that Celine was right. ''Well, it can last forever, you know. It's not mandatory to have children at some point. It's your choice to spend your time going on holidays to Ibiza or to worry about the school that your child is going to attend. Easy choice there''.
Celine had made a really valid point. He didn't know if he was romanticising the idea of having a family and looking only at the bright side and not seeing its drawbacks.
''It's true'' he was still thinking about what Celine had just said. he dropped himself in one of the very big couches. When she sat beside him, he wrapped his arms delicately around her. ''Maybe I look forward to these things because I didn't have a conventional family while growing up, it was just me and my mum. I'm not going to lie to you, Cez. I want to be someone's father. Someday, I want to hold our child in my arms, as crazy as it my seem''.
Celine needed all her self control not let the horror she was feeling reflect on her face.
''That wasn't really crazy. It was actually a bit cute''.
Sebastian wasn't fooled by Celine's words. He knew perfectly well that she was dying inside.
''You can tell me what you're thinking, did you know that, Doctor Cadwallader?''
''I'm not the motherly type, Seb, I'm sorry. Not only because I don't like kids but also I don't think I'd be any good in this role. Look at my mother, she's just like me and she thought she could raise children. And here is the result'' she pointed at herself.
Sebastian was surprised. he wasn't expecting Celine to consider herself some sort of experiment gone wrong. She was a person, with her faults and assets, like everyone in this world.
''An awesome result, if you ask me'' he cradled her in his arms. She looked unusually vulnerable at that moment even though she wasn't even close to crying. All of his protective feelings towards her were immediately awakened.
''I'm not trying to be pitiful, Seb. I'm just being honest. Being different is good and everything but being called 'weird' or even 'scary' wasn't nice. People used to look at me as if I was possessed and it was not so long ago.''
He look at her with all the tenderness he had inside, carefully stroking her hair, making her feel safe and loved.
''But there was nothing weird about you. Yes, you hated people, disembowelled snakes and wanted to be Robin Hood, but there's nothing wrong with that. Well, maybe it wasn't right to hate people but the point is that you don't do that anymore. You evolved and now people like you, most of them at least. You have your Cambridge friends, Matilde, me and if you want more proof of what I'm telling you is true, remember that THE Chris Evans has the biggest crush on you''.
That took Celine out of his trance.
''Always Chris Evans. It seems that if I have his seal of approval everything is going to go good in the world'' she moved against Sebastian then she cupped his cheek, looking straight at his eyes. ''Thank you, Seb. For loving me, for making me feel safe, for existing''.
''And I'm sorry for bringing that particular topic you hate into this, I'm an idiot''.
''You're not an idiot. I love when you tell me about your dreams and what you want for us, even if I can't share it at the moment. But I don't know what will happen in the future, maybe we end up with three kids and dog. You can never say never''.
''Justin Bieber taught us that'' he said without thinking.
Celine didn't know much about Bieber only that Matilde liked him and that he was the author of song she considered very annoying.
''Is he one of the guys that sing that Despacito song?'' he nodded. ''Shame on you for bringing him into this. Now you'll have to be punished''.
''What do you mean by 'punished'? Are you making sleep outside on the snow or are you taking me to the bedroom and doing whatever you want to do to me?'' he smiled with innocence.
''The second.'' she bit his lip in such a way that it was driving him crazy.
''Thank you, Justin Bieber''. he mumbled, totally out of place.
She immediately stopped.
''If you say something like that again, you'll have to sleep in one of the many rooms this house has but not in mine''.
''Sorry, sorry'' he lifted his hands in surrender. ''Let's find the room because I have no idea where it is''.
That killed the mood a little but only for a while. When Celine found the master bedroom the first thing she did was to pin Sebastian to the bed. he was stronger than her but he didn't resist he for a second. He just giggled.
In a hurry, he tried to undress himself with much difficulty thanks to the three sweaters and the jumper he had on. Unfortunately, ha had noticed that way too late, when he was stuck into the many layers of clothing.
''Cez, can you help me here please?'' Celine, who was busy unbuckling his jeans, fell back laughing.
She couldn't see his face at all and his arms were stuck in weird positions.
''Well, this is another level of kinky, Seb.'' she couldn't stop laughing. ''I should take pictures of this. Sebastian Stan, international movie star, sex God and one of the sexiest men alive, looking like a trapped animal. You look like Elemauzer when he gets stuck inside a bag''.
Sebastian was still trying to free himself with no effect. Celine was still laughing.
''Cez, please, take me out of here before I suffocate'' she sat beside him and started taking off the first jumper. ''Try not to chop off my head''
It took considerable time to free Sebastian from his own clothes. When he could finally liberate his head he looked flustered.
''That was something else'' she joked. ''We should write a book about foreplay. Do you know what's the first lesson is?''
''Never try to be sexy because you'll fail. But can you go on with what you were doing before I got myself tangled up in my own clothes?'' he finished his question with an innocent and sweet smile.
''Ready to comply''
''And you're using my lines and everything! What a good girl you are!''
''Sebastian, darling, is better for you to keep it quiet''.

By the morning he was up before Celine. The first thing he noticed was that the room was bloody cold. With everything that had happened last night they had forgotten to turn up the heating.
He checked on Celine, who was warmly wrapped with one of his sweaters. He accommodated the covers around her before leaving the bed to start making breakfast.
He put on the same jumpers in which he had got tangled the night before. He found his phone between the mess of clothing. He only had one message and it was from Anthony asking him how was Scotland.
Breakfast consisted in a packet of cookies they had brought all the way from London and coffee. Thankfully Celine was the kind of person who'd completely value his efforts in the cooking area as she was even worse than him.
When he got back to the room with the food he found Celine already dressed and looking fresh.
''Good morning'' she greeted him with a kiss. She looked well rested and in a good mood.
''Good morning, Cez'' he gave her the cup of coffee. ''Why are you up so early? Aren't you tired after last night?'' he shot her a silly smile.
''No. And we are in Inverness. I've always wanted to come here so we have to plan where are we going next. You choose: Culloden Battlefield, we go and explore the city or we go to Loch Ness?''
He thought about what could be the best way see as much as they could about the place in the two days they had.
''We can go to the Battlefield and then explore the city. We can leave the exploration of Loch Ness for tomorrow.''
''Perfect. I've always wanted to come here with people that I didn't have to carry back drunk afterwards.''
''Isn't Hogwarts located near here?'' he asked, out of the freaking nowhere. ''I've read somewhere that it's located in the North of Scotland''.
Celine was kind of stunned by his question.
''Where is this coming from?'' she laughed. He just shrugged his shoulders. ''I'm going to tell you the truth: Joel and I spent a whole week examining a map trying to find possible locations for Hogwarts. We think that it may be near Loch Shin. There's a whole area with no muggle towns around, perfect for a castle full of wizards''.
''You really thought about this''.
''I think about everything'' she grabbed her trench coat. ''Let's go. You don't want to waste more time''.
''But I look like a mess'' he said, still lying on the bed sipping his coffee.
''You'd never look like a mess. I told you many times you'd look good even wearing a plastic bag. And we're going to a battlefield not to the New York Fashion Week''.
''I went there'' he said with a smug smile.
''Impressive. Now get up and let's go, Mr. Fashion Week''.
He swallowed the coffee at once and followed Celine outside. It seemed to have snowed during the night. Brilliant.
''Isn't it beautiful?'' she was drawing stars on the snow with a stick.
''And cold'' he was trying not to shake.
Celine looked at him and immediately noticed that he was basically freezing himself.
''Darling... why didn't you put on a coat?''
''I forgot'' he smiled with fake innocence.
''Silly''
They went back inside and Celine herself got Sebastian in a coat and a scarf. She didn't know at which point he had transformed into a five year old. After some additional cups of coffee he was warm enough to leave again.
''Wait a second'' he stopped in the middle of the snowy path and grabbed a thin stick from the floor.
After a moment he had made an obscene drawing with the words 'Suck it' under it and then took a picture of it. Celine looked absolutely done with him.
''Since when do you behave like an hormonal teenager? This is so high school...''.
''I'm sending this to an hormonal teenager. Tom Holland.''.
''Isn't he like 21? He's not a teenager. And can you give me him a rest already? Poor boy. I feel bad for him being publicly bullied by two thirty somethings. That's you and Anthony, by the way''.
''It's just a joke. And he's not that innocent, I swear. He goes to the set with like ten assistants and he's so loud and obnoxious...'' and he went on and on. Celine didn't know if he was being serious or not. ''...I love him, I really do but as an annoying little brother.''
''Are you done?'' she asked after his five minute speech about Tom Holland. ''Can we go already? It's almost midday and the daylight time here in winter is really short''.
This time they could see the beauty of the place in its entirety. In Sebastian's opinion it was the most beautiful place he had ever seen. Celine was also loving it. As a historian every place held a story that she wanted to discover.
''Look, Seb, I found a radio station that only plays traditional Scottish music!''
''Wow, there's certainly a lot of pipes'' he judged the song, that was being sang in Gaelic and he couldn't understand a word of it. ''Don't tell me that you understand this mess of a language''.
''Not really. But this is nothing compared to Welsh''.
He tried to identify some word in the song but it was impossible. It sounded like gibberish.
''Got it!'' she said, looking at something on her phone. ''The name of the song. Mo Shuil Ad Dheidh''.
''That doesn't explain much, to be honest''.
''It means My Eye is After You''
He laughed out loud. That was the weirdest name ever.
''Only one eye?'' Celine still didn't know what was making him laugh so hard. Anyway, it was adorable. ''Who wrote this song? Thor? Mad Eye Moody? Nick Fury? Captain Hook?''
''Sebastian, sweetheart, Captain Hook was missing a hand not an eye''.
That had them both laughing like idiots for a very long time.
After getting lost a couple of times and Sebastian having to go for food more than once, they finally arrived at the battlefield. It was just a plain field with many monumental stones. It was hard to believe that there had been a battle in that exact place.
''You have to explain to me what I'm seeing because I don't really understand who on earth was even fighting'' he went out the car, looking around the place like a lost puppy.
''The Battle of Culloden was between the British Army, also known as the Redcoats, under the orders of George III and the Army of Charles Stuart, also known as Bonnie Prince Charles who considered himself the rightful king of Britain. His army consisted mostly of Highlanders. And they were slaughtered by the Red Coats. It was a massacre. That battle basically ended the Highlander way of life. It was really sad''.
''So, it was just like in Outlander. I didn't know that that part had been true''.
''They got some things right. There was a Battle of Culloden and Bonnie Prince Charles existed. I can't assure you anything else''.
They went around the monuments, reading memorial plaques and sometimes Celine had to explain a couple of facts to him. They were really caught up in reading the names of the clans that had fought in the battle. Celine knew them all but being there was by far more meaningful than reading about it on a book.
''Clan Donald... Clan McLean... Clan Cameron... Oh, look, Cez. There's a Clan Fraser, just like in Outlander''.
''The Battle of Culloden was fought on this moor, 6th of April, 1746. The graves of the gallant Highlanders who fought for Scotland and Prince Charlie are marked by the names of their clans'' Celine read.
Sebastian felt a chill on his spine. He didn't know if it was because of the cold or all the stories of murder, battles and blood. Thankfully he didn't believe in ghosts.
They spent some more time there before returning to Inverness. They were talking about where they wanted to eat because neither of them wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon trying to cook.
''We should try something Scottish'' he proposed.
''Like Haggis?'' she asked with an smirk. ''You should definitely try that''.
''Why?'' Sebastian didn't have much trust in that smile.
''I don't know. You should see'' there was the smile again.
''Cez, I swear that if you make eat the testicles of an ox...''
''You'll do what?'' she was having so much fun teasing Sebastian with the haggis that it was hard to let the topic go. ''You can do nothing, Seb. And haggis has nothing to do with testicles. It's just a pudding that contains the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep. It's minced with spices and traditionally it was encased in the animal's stomach.''
Well, that made the testicles sound more appetising.
''That sounds disgusting''.
''I don't know, I never tasted it''. she said with a smile. ''But Joel did, during the Dalwhinnie adventure and said that it was great''.
''Cez, he was so drunk that if he had eaten mud he'd have liked it. Can we go to a McDonalds?''.
Celine went with it because the haggis didn't appeal much to her.
''Maybe the Scottish desserts sound better''. she started googling desserts on her phone.
''Please tell me they don't include the ears of the sheep''.
''No. They're a lot tastier. You have Black Bun that's some sort of fruit cake that sounds really nice, Caramel Shortbread that looks heavenly, Fruit Slices and the best of them all: Deep-fried Mars Bars''.
Sebastian had to admit that the desserts sounded much better than the actual food.
They ended up in a really cosy tavern called The Castle (and not in a McDonalds), a couple of blocks away from the River Ness, eating fish and chips. They were delicious. But nothing better than the Deep-fried Mars bars.
''Cez, I think we have to go. It's almost dark outside and I have the secret ambition of turning on that fireplace''. he was finishing his fifth fried Mars bar. ''And Marvel is going to kill me if I keep on eating these addictive things''.
''They'll never know''.
It was starting to snow by the time they left.
''Seb, are you sure that you want to turn on that fireplace? We have no wood and no idea about how to do it. Isn't it easier to turn on the air conditioning?''
''We have a forest in the backyard. I can chop off wood from there''.
Celine had to bite her tongue not to laugh. This was probably going to be priceless.
''Just don't chop off your arm, that's the only thing I'm asking''.
When they got to the house, Sebastian went to find something to chop off the wood. Maybe he was lucky that he didn't find a chainsaw, that he had no experience with. But at least there was an axe.
He went towards the little forest with Celine following him.
''Are you going to film me chopping wood?'' he saw her smiling with her phone in her hands.
''Yes. Then I'll send the video to Chris Evans''.
''You don't have Chris's number''.
''I stole it from your phone'' she said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. ''You have like three Chrises stored there. Seriously, how do you not mix them? All of them look similar: muscular, tall, dark blond hair and blue eyes''.
''Hemsworth and Pratt got nothing on Chris Evans. He's the most handsome Chris''.
''Okay, whatever. He'd love to see you with an axe. Now, go ahead, chop some wood''. all this time Celine was filming him.
He grabbed a big log and tried to cut it in half. Of course he failed.
Half an hour went by before he gave up and admitted that he couldn't do it. Even Celine had got tired of filming.
''I'm a city person. I'll never get the hang of this stuff''.
''Okay, let me try''. she took the axe from his hands.
She chopped the log in pieces in less than five minutes.
''How did you do that?'' he was completely astounded.
''I have practice. When I was younger I wanted to be an executioner. And here are the results''.
Sebastian was intimidated and turned on at the same time.
''Look Cez, you're completely scary with that axe but so hot.''
''Are axes your new kink, Seb? I want to see how you pull this off at the bedroom''.
She went on chopping wood and apparently she was having fun with it. Sebastian was completely enthralled.
''You remind me of Thor'' he mumbled.
''Thor with an axe? I don't know much about Marvel movies but I know he had a hammer, not an axe. But he doesn't have it anymore because his sister smashed it to pieces. That Thor movie was really fun, by the way''.
''No, he has an axe'' he wasn't realising that he was saying things he shouldn't. ''It's even more powerful than the hammer, the only weapon able to kill Tha...'' he stopped just in time.
''Wait a second'' she stopped chopping for a moment. ''Was that an spoiler?'' he looked a bit guilty that the answer was probably a yes. ''Of course it was''.
''Forget it, please. I'm not allowed to talk about this with anyone, not even you''.
''Not that it matters. I have no idea what you're talking about every time you mention Marvel. But let me tell you that they're more secretive than the Government. Believe me, I work there and their security sometimes sucks. Well, it's the government, what were you expecting from them''.
It was dark when they brought all the wood back into the house. Now they faced the challenge of making a fire with it.
''Cez, you lived in a farm, you probably know how to do this''.
''It wasn't a farm, it was the countryside. There were farms in it but I didn't live in them. And I was never allowed to turn the fireplace on, my parents weren't idiots, they know I was totally capable of burning the house down. However, I might have burned other things''.
He looked at her with his blue eyes wide open. Dangerous Celine turned him on and intimidated him at the same time.
''May I know what 'things' did you burn?''
''At the end of every school year I burned the notebooks, yearbooks and all the stuff related with it. I'm not the only person who's done that, I'm sure''.
They were almost an hour trying to turn on the fireplace and needed a YouTube tutorial to do it right. They had to admit that they were just crappy at everything that was more complicated that turning on the air conditioning.
''We did it, Cez''.
Not long after that the fire had turned off, they tried turning it on again only getting a cloud of smoke in return.
''It wasn't a complete failure, after all'' she was lying on the floor, with her head on Sebastian's stomach. ''We had a fireplace for about two hours''.
''I think it was less'' he was slowly playing with Celine's hair. ''You're a dream, did you know that?''
''I'm pretty much real. And no one in their right mind would dream about me. Maybe it was a nightmare''.
''Or maybe I lost my mind''.
Fire or no fire, they were having a relaxing night after a day of fun. That was what Sebastian needed, a bit of calm before the upcoming storm that was going to be the Oscars and everything that had to do with them.
''Seb, why don't we go to bed? Remember we're going to Loch Ness tomorrow.''
He just stood up taking Celine with him.

They made the best of their last hours in Inverness. First of all they went to Loch Ness. Of course they knew there was no monster but it was fun to pretend it existed.
''You have to be really dumb to believe there's a monster here'' Sebastian commented. ''I mean, yeah, this place is a bit cold and creepy with that ruinous castle in the front, but not enough to believe in something supernatural. Probably someone like Tom Holland would be gullible enough to even see the monster'' he was laughing only with that thought. Celine didn't know what to make of this.
''The first report of its existence was in the sixth century which means that we've had delusional idiots since the beginning of time. Now they just multiplicated.''
They went on walking towards the castle that Sebastian had called 'ruinous'. Even Celine had to admit that the place was creepy but also in a way, beautiful. The view was stunning.
''Cez, I think we've found the perfect place for us to marry'' he pointed at the ruins.
''A bit gloomy but we can pretend we're in Hogwarts after the Battle. And if we're lucky maybe Nessie makes an appearance and photobombs our wedding pictures''.
''I'm being serious here''.
That was hard to believe. No one in their right mind would marry in ruinous Urquhart Castle, where people had been brutally executed in the past.
''Is this a proposal? Because I'm counting the times you've proposed to me in the last months. Five?''
''Six, counting this one. And you always say no.''
''I never said 'no'. I've said 'later'. And the time you asked me to marry you after I got you Maltesers doesn't count as a proposal''.
''It does'' meanwhile he was taking pictures of the castle, the lake and Celine. ''And what do you say now?''
''Later'' she smirked at him and then walked towards a bench. She seemed to be in very mocking mood.
''I'm just being curious here, no pressure'' he followed Celine to the bench. ''...but, are you going to say 'yes' someday?''
Sebastian was waiting for an answer that was similar to 'when you least expect it'. But that wasn't what he got.
''I don't know I can't see the future. Maybe right now Nessie shows up and eats us both''.
He knew that when Celine got ultra sarcastic it was because there was something she was trying to avoid.
''You know you can talk about everything you want. I won't get offended.''
Celine glanced at the lake first and then finally looked at him. It was kind of amazing that the lake and Sebastian's eyes were basically of the same colour.
''First of all it's not about the commitment. You don't need to be afraid of that. But it's the act of marrying someone that gives me the chills. I've lived all my life wanting to be forever young and settling down would be putting the nail to the coffin.'' she had a crisped expression on her face. ''Look, I already have a house, an stable job and a boyfriend who lives with me. I'm not Cambridge's 25 year old who behaved like a teenager anymore. I'm one step away of being an adult''. she said the last word as if it was the most disgusting thing on earth.
Sebastian understood her too well. More than in one occasion he had been told that he was 'immature'. Even one old girlfriend of his had left him for that exact reason. And now his current girlfriend, the one who had two doctorates and worked for the Prime Minister was confessing that she didn't want to grow up at all. Long live the irony. He was also relieved that the main issue wasn't about commitment.
''Cez, I understand. But it always seems as you're way more mature than I am even though you're seven years younger than me. I mean, I'm not in Tom Holland's level of immaturity'' Celine's rolled her eyes at the mention of Tom Holland. ''But I'm near it so I don't have very much to brag.''
''That's why I like him. Tom, I mean. I met him only once and he's so carefree and fearless. He reminds me of myself when I was his age''.
Of all the things Sebastian wasn't expecting was Celine admitting that she related to Tom Holland. Of all people.
''Cez, you don't need to worry. You're doing well. And you're an amazing girlfriend, always supportive, never judgemental and just great. This is the healthiest relationship I've ever had, for the love of God''.
''Really? Wow, your standards must have been really low if I'm the best thing you could get''.
It was impossible not to laugh at Celine's dark humour.
''Don't bring yourself down. We seem to be suffering a syndrome of Peter Pan but apart from that, we're doing great''.
She seemed quite content with his theory. At least they were in this together, better go on with it. She wrapped her arms around him and looked at his blue eyes.
''I love you'' she said in a low voice before leaning in and kissing him.
He wrapped his arms around her and kept kissing until some idiot that was around and they hadn't seen shouted 'Get a room!'

Chapter Text

After the trip to Inverness, Celine went back to Downing Street and Sebastian was also back into his normal routine of going to gym in the mornings and freaking out to the point of almost hyperventilating over the upcoming Oscars in the evenings. Luckily Celine was not there to witness that as she was too concentrated on leaving everything in order before absenting herself from work for two weeks.
Sebastian had no idea what Celine did for not to be nervous. Well, she didn't have to do much after all. Her main worry was to get an appropriate dress and she had done that already.
They were going to leave in the middle of the week and Celine had to leave everything ready in two days. And Matilde was going to take her role at Downing Street for two weeks.
''I just hope she doesn't provoke an international crisis or something of the sort'' she told Sebastian on Tuesday evening after getting back from work.
''Is she capable?'' he asked while helping Celine to take off her coat.
''I hope not'' she grabbed his face and softly kissed him. ''How are you?''
He shrugged his shoulders.
''I don't know. I just want this to be over. I don't even care if I lose''.
''Come here'' she wrapped her arms around him, he placed his head on her shoulder and finally relaxed. ''Go to the living room, I'll get you some tea''.
''No Cez. You just got back from work. I should make you tea''
''Just go'' she smiled and softly pushed him towards the living room.
A couple minutes later she was back with a cup of tea for him.
''Herbal tea?''
''Yeah. Amy used to prepare it for us in Cambridge the week before the exams to calm us down. Joel always preferred the booze anyway''.
He drank the tea hoping not to fall asleep on the spot.
''Cez, you got a letter this evening'' he stood up to pick up the letter that he had left around.
''A letter?'' Celine was intrigued. ''In what year are we in? 1955? It's probably Matilde trolling. I saw the Prime Minister this evening and she didn't tell me anything of importance. I hope it's not the invitation to Max and Leah's wedding. I'm starting to doubt that they'll get married someday''.
Sebastian handed her the envelope. It looked way too fancy to be just for Max and Leah's wedding.
''What's this? Am I getting an MBE? I hope so... Honestly, it looks more like your invitation to the Oscars.''
''Our invitation. Remember we're going together. Open the damn thing, Cez. I'd been dying to know what's in it for hours''.
She opened the envelope and started reading the letter. Sebastian was way too curious.
''Bloody hell'' she mumbled, in a bad mood. ''Can you believe it, Seb? I have an invitation to the bloody Royal Wedding in May. I knew the Prime Minister was going to ruin everything and put my name in the damn list. What didn't she took Matilde? She'd be thrilled to go''.
Sebastian was still impressed that Celine had got an invitation to the wedding of the year. Maybe of the decade.
''That's exactly why. Because she'd probably jump on Prince Harry because he says 'I do' and claim him as hers. You should totally go, Cez''.
Celine looked as if she was having a headache.
''But... it's the same weekend as the FA Cup final. And the week before the Champions league final and I was thinking that if Real Madrid makes it, which now seems unlikely but who knows, I want to go to Madrid and see the match at the Bernabeu because they place huge screens in the stadium and we can see the match there so we don't have to go all the way to Kiev...''.
Now she wasn't making any sense. Sebastian noticed that she was trying to put up an excuse not to go.
''Cez, you're rambling. Look you don't have to go, you say that if you got invited you'd give your place to Matilde.''.
''This thing has my name on it'' she flew the invitation in front of Sebastian's face. ''I doubt I'd be able to sneak Matilde there. It's a Royal Wedding not a house party at Chris Evans' house. And I'm sure the Prime Minister will make it mandatory to go. She won't go but I'll have to go and represent her. Fair deal''.
Sebastian didn't know why she was making such a fuss. Half the world would probably sell a kidney to have the chance to go to that wedding.
''And can you take someone with you?'' he asked.
''I don't know. I hope.''. at least her face changed a little. ''Should I take Matilde with me?''.
''No. If they let you take someone you should take me because I really want to go''.
Celine dropped the invitation to the floor.
''Really? Who on earth wants to go and see two people get married in a long ass ceremony? You can do the same thing at the Court House and without that much pomp. The ceremony would last like ten minutes instead of ten hours''.
''Yeah, but it'd be fun. And you'd need someone to share some of your witty remarks during the ceremony''.
''I'll go. Only if they let me go with you. But I wonder why the Prime Minister didn't chose Edmund, who's far more important than me and also aristocratic. Or Matilde, who's much more enthusiastic and actually wants to go. Or anyone else, to be honest''.
Celine picked up the invitation from the floor and stared at it.
''Edmund is going to be invited, I'm sure of it. And Matilde is not qualified to this task, we both know that, Cez'' Celine was surprised of the enthusiasm Sebastian was showing. At least it had taken his mind off the unavoidable trip to LA and the Oscars. ''And you dear, are brilliant, beautiful, glamorous, you're the best person to represent the government there. You'll shine, believe me.''
''Seb, you're a good actor and everything but... you still can't convince me that going to this wedding is a good idea. And I probably don't have a choice if I want to keep my job. Let's go to sleep, we have a long day tomorrow''.
Sebastian dropped himself on the couch, closed his eyes and mumbled something in Romanian. She placed himself on top of him, placing her legs around his hips.
''Do you need some kind of stress relief?''.
Sebastian opened his eyes and smiled, knowing what Celine was proposing.
''Well, I can use some of that''.
She slowly kissed him while delicately stroking the muscles of his arms. Although Sebastian was loving that he needed her to go harder.
''Cez, I'm not going to break''.
''If you say so''.
She grabbed him by the shirt and kissed him harder, first on the lips then up and down his neck and finally on his collarbone.
''Just keep going, love'' he was slowly sliding his hands under Celine's shirt. He couldn't focus as she was sucking in that weak spot of his that sent him over the edge.
''After I finish with you, you won't have a string of tension in your body''.
He just moaned as an answer.

On the next day, when they were already on the plane to Los Angeles, Sebastian was thinking that Celine had been right because he was way more relaxed than the day before.
She had managed to leave him like a panting and sweaty mess but it was worthy as he had slept like a baby.
''This is great'' said Celine, who seemed to be having a blast. ''I've never travelled in first class before. I feel famous'' she was searching for a movie to watch.
''Get used to it. During the rest of the week you'll have quite a lot of attention. I have the feeling the media will be quite interested in you''.
She rolled her eyes.
''Yeah, they're dying to know about my background. I'm going to tell you right now that I'm going to charge quite a considerable sum for every interview I do. Extra money is never enough for this woman'' she said with sarcasm.
Probably no one was going to interview Celine or even pay much attention to her, that was the truth. She'd just pass as 'Sebastian Stan's girlfriend' and that was all. It was exactly the same for him at Downing Street where he was known as 'Doctor Cadwallader's hot fiancee'.
Sebastian wasn't nervous about Celine being in the spotlight because he knew she could manage it. She wasn't Janice who called the paparazzi on her and Tom when they were just leaving a supermarket. But he had the feeling that the media was going to fall on Celine's good elegant girl act, looking like the new Kate Middleton when in reality she was really calculating and would play the press at her will.
''Did you find anything you like?'' he asked her.
''No but I was thinking about watching the first Iron Man movie. I've always wondered why so many people like that Marvel movies so much. Maybe they're really good and I was just missing out''.
''Please, do it. The MCU is fantastic. I promise that if you watch all the Marvel movies I'm watching the Harry Potter ones with you''.
''You haven't watched the Harry Potter movies yet?'' Celine looked scandalised.
''No. I've read a couple of chapters of the first book''.
Celine blinked a couple of times, completely horrified.
''This was a low blow. I swear that if you had told me that you had a secret family I'd have understood but this... wow. That was unexpected''.
In the end they watched Iron Man (and Celine liked it) and her case she ended up watching a lot of Marvel films because she couldn't sleep for even a second.
Of the twelve hours of the flight, Sebastian had slept for nine hours and woke up only an hour before landing.
Celine was trying to look presentable. Her clothes looked impecable, her hair tidy in a high ponytail that made her look even taller and she was applying huge quantities of concealer to cover the bags under her eyes, a result of the complete lack of sleep. She had to remember that now she had to play the part of the elegant girlfriend of an Oscar nominee not just Doctor Celine Cadwallader leaving Cambridge with a hoodie to cover her hangover after a night of karaoke and burning underwear in a bonfire.
''Emily says there's no media in the airport'' Sebastian was looking at his phone. He seemed very relieved. ''Thank God. Sometimes the paparazzis are there waiting for another celebrity and I get caught in the middle. It happened to me more than once when I was in the same plane as one of the Chrises''.
After the plane landed and they went through customs and all that stuff, they quietly started to leave the airport. Until then absolutely no one had paid attention to them.
''You know what?'' he was holding Celine's hand and walking in a slow pace. ''We look really good without trying too hard. And this is a good start without the media to worry about. Maybe we won't see them until Sunday, that'd be great''.
He only had to say that when a horde of people with cameras approached them shouting and snapping endless pictures. Celine was used to the photographers but the flashes were never directed at her, they were always for the Prime Minister. Now it was different as these people seemed as interested in her as they were in Sebastian.
''No media?'' she was keeping her calm expression but she wanted to laugh. ''Are you sure we weren't in the same plane as one of the Chrises? C'mon man, you're an Oscar nominee, you had to see this one coming''.
''Shut up, Celine, you won't be as happy when you see the pictures plastered all over the Internet''. he was trying to remain calm and composed. He had a firm grip on Celine's hand who had a little smile and was walking with confidence towards the airport's exit.
After a five minute struggle they made it outside only to find a horde of almost a hundred of Sebastian's fans.
''Go and attend your people'' Celine pushed him a little towards his fans.
She just waited for him at a considerable distance and without calling any attention. If someone waved at her she just waved back with a polite smile. Thanks to Janice she knew everything she shouldn't do in this kind of occasions.
''Ok, I'm done for today'' after he pleased the majority of her fans he gabbed Celine's arm and they walked together towards a taxi. He looked exhausted.
''It was a much warmer reception compared to what I'm used to.''
''What do you mean?'' as long as he knew Celine hadn't had any kind of reception anywhere.
''Whenever the Prime Minister is visiting some place there are people outside. But unlike you, she doesn't get love and devotion but people screaming 'Why you keep lying to us?'. It happened once and it was fantastic''.
He wrapped an arm around her, placed his head on her shoulder and closed his eyes. He looked way more tired than Celine even though he had slept for more than eight hours.
Celine was just looking around. She had never been in Los Angeles before and she was really curious about how the city looked like.
Sebastian wasn't really asleep, he was just tired and probably nervous so she just caressed his hair and let him rest.

Celine was sort of speechless when she stepped into the hotel. She was not used to staying in places that had five stars.
''This is wonderful'' she whispered to Sebastian when she saw the room. It was luxurious, there was no other word to describe it.
''Only the best for you, my darling'' he said with his best British accent while kissing her hand.
Celine was pretty sure that he was used to staying in places like these. How lucky he was.
The suit was almost of the size of her house but a lot prettier. The bedroom was the stuff of dreams and the bathroom was bigger than Celine's old flat in South London.
''Look at this bed!'' Sebastian threw himself on the bed. ''We can make a good use of it''. he shot a meaningful glance to Celine.
''Or maybe we can use the jacuzzi'' Celine's voice sounded way too excited. Sebastian didn't dislike the idea at all so he stood up and followed Celine to the bathroom. ''I'm getting used to the star treatment. It won't be easy for me to give it up and go back to my office in Downing Street after this ends''.
''But you have quite a decent job''
''Yeah, in a year I earn half of what you earn in just one movie. I'm going to pull a Janice, leave my job and follow you around like a shadow''.
''You know I'd absolutely love that and you have the chance on the table for whenever you want to take it.'' he was being totally serious at the moment. ''But as much as I'd love to have you around everyday, I think your ego would never let you in peace if you do that. You're an independent woman who hates to be under someone else's care. You love to make your own money and do whatever you want without giving anyone an explanation. Also, you're highly ambitious and you'd never in an million years settle with being someone else's shadow and let me shine while you're there in the background.''
Damn, he knew her too well.
''That's true. And Downing Street isn't too bad, at least I'm in the middle of the latest action about the agronomy taxes''.
Sebastian wrapped his arms around her and kissed the top of her head.
''Let's try this gorgeous jacuzzi'' he kissed her lips this time. ''I'm gonna go for some champagne and... Sprite for you''.
When he got back she was already into the jacuzzi playing with the bubbles.
''You didn't wait for me?'' his face was full of well acted but fake hurt.
''No.'' he grabbed a glass and the Sprite from his hands. ''But you can start undressing if you want''.
And that he did. Celine was just watching and enjoying the view. It was hard to believe that her life had changed so drastically. A couple of years ago she was in her trashy flat and now she was in a five star hotel, in a perfect jacuzzi, watching her hot, famous and adorable boyfriend undress in front of her. She just sipped her Sprite with a smirk on her face.
''Your smile creepy''
''Just enjoying the view''
He placed himself beside Celine. She immediately let her hands wander around his chest. He wasted no time and started kissing her, slowly enjoying every second of it.
''We are becoming one of those cheesy couples in movies that make a toast before the actual action starts'' she rolled her eyes.
''Do you want a toast?'' he filled his glass with champagne and Celine's with Sprite.
''For the Star Treatment!'' she lifted the glass and drank the Sprite. ''I feel like a Sim''.
Sebastian choked with the champagne. He was wondering why Celine came up with stuff like that at the most unexpected times.
''Why?'' he was ready to listen to the most bizarre explanation ever. Sometimes it was hard to believe that she had two Doctorates.
''Just a thought that came to my mind. You just put two sims into a jacuzzi and make them make out and stuff. I used to find that stuff weird, and believe me, I wasn't so young, and now I'm in their place''.
That was what he loved about Celine. She told him things that the majority of people would find embarrassing. Doctor Cadwallader may have been a brilliant scholar but she had naivety that he found adorable.
''Were you one of that dirty kids that made their sims have sex literally everywhere?'' he asked with a smirk.
''They didn't have sex. The WooHoo'd''.
Sebastian spitted the rest of the champagne he had on his mouth.

After getting bored in the jacuzzy, they wrapped themselves in bathrobes and lied in the enormous bed for quite awhile.
Sebastian was absolutely knackered so he felt asleep immediately but Celine, who hadn't sleep since their last night in London, couldn't even think about sleeping. She was probably jet lagged.
To have a nice walk around L.A wasn't a bad idea at all so she just left Sebastian a note telling him where she was and left.

When Sebastian woke up and didn't find Celine there he freaked out a little. That until he found the note. Sebastian found funny that at the moment he finished reading her note, she got back to the hotel, carrying a shopping bag and two cups of coffee.
''You're awake!'' she cupped his cheek and kissed him. ''I brought you coffee. I'm sure you need it''.
''You always read my mind'' he was happy to find that she had brought him his favourite drink. What an angel. ''No one bothered you? No media? No papparazzi? No nothing?''.
''No. Remember, they only care about me when I'm with you. When I'm alone I just fade into obscurity''.
They were interrupted by a loud beep on Celine's laptop. Sebastian checked it out only to find Matilde calling.
''It's Matilde'' he told Celine. ''What time is it, there? Isn't like two am?''
''I have no idea'' Celine admitted. ''I don't even know which day is it. I haven't slept in twenty hours, I'm functioning only on coffee. It's weird that I'm not dead yet. Just accept the call''.
He grabbed his coffee and the laptop and placed himself comfortably on the bed.
''Hello, Matilde. Nice to see. I missed you'' he said in a mocking tone.
''I was calling for hours.'' she complained. ''What were you two doing? Nevermind, I don't want to know. Wait, I do want to know. You're in L.A. Where is Celine?''
''Here.'' she carefully placed herself between Sebastian's legs.
''You look terrible'' Matilde rolled her eyes. ''But I wasn't calling you because of that. You're all over the Internet''.
Their reactions were priceless. Celine looked kind of dumbfounded and Sebastian spilled coffee on his shirt.
''I saw it coming. It was due to happen one day'' Celine was the first one to recover.
''How bad it is?'' he asked.
''Not so bad. You're not relevant enough to trend on Twitter but there were a couple of twits that were absolutely hilarious''.
Whatever it was, Celine and Sebastian were sure that they were not going to find the twits 'hilarious'.
''You have to hear this'' Matilde insisted.
''Do we?'' Sebastian kept thinking that this was a bad idea.
''I have to admit this is the first time I'm famous for something so... bring it on'' Celine had one of her classic concerning smirks.
''I swear this had me cracking up for the whole evening'' Matilde grabbed his phone. ''There's a twit from the Faculty of History of the University of Cambridge''.
''What?'' Celine and Sebastian answered at the same time, not knowing why such a prestigious institution like the University of Cambridge would take notice something as trivial as a Marvel actor and his girlfriend.
''Why would they do that? My friend Amy is the Director of the Faculty and she would never let some immature idiots hack the Faculty's account to twit about us...'' then she realised. ''Of course. Amy. Of course it was her. Now she feels all powerful that she's the Director''.
''What does it say?'' Sebastian was still concerned even though Matilde was taking all of this as a joke.
''From all the staff of Cambridge's Faculty of History we would like to congratulate former member of the Research Team, Doctor Celine Cadwallader, on snatching an Oscar nominee and making us all proud''. Matilde read.
Celine was thinking that whoever that had chosen Amy to run the Faculty was probably regretting it. This was one awesome way to lose all the prestige. Nice move Cambridge.
''That was weirdly funny'' Sebastian commented.
''It has lots of retweets'' said Matilde like it was no big deal. ''There are many replies from former Cambridge students. Surely you know this one. Joel Shand-Kydd who twits: ''CELINE YOU BIIIIIITTTCHHHH''.
Celine didn't know why he was so surprised, he had met Sebastian and knew they were going to the Oscars together. He just wanted attention, of course.
''You were right Matilde, this is good'' admitted Sebastian and Celine elbowed him.
''And there is more. Celine, do you know some guy named Daniel that claims to have dated you?''.
Sebastian almost choked and Celine looked embarrassed. She was wondering how much time Matilde had thrown away by searching good twits about Celine and Sebastian. She was probably having a blast.
''Everyone knows about Danny. That was more than ten years ago and we went out once. What does he say?'' curiosity finally got the best of her.
''Ten years ago, in Cambridge, I dated Celine Cadwallader for a week and never saw her again. Ten years later I'm a divorced man living with my parents and she's holding hands with a dude that looks like an action figure and looking like a million dollars. We know who upgraded''. Matilde could hardly finish reading without laughing. ''This has like a thousand retweets because it's really epic''.
''It is'' it seemed that Sebastian was also finding the whole situation very funny. ''Poor guy, I kind of feel sad for him''.
Celine also felt a bit of pity for poor Danny. At least now he had a famous twit to presume of.
''Why does he think that I have a million pounds?'' she blurted out. ''I wish I had them so I could wear something that's not from Primark and the Tesco clothing line''.
''Don't play the victim!'' shouted Matilde. ''You know perfectly well that you don't have to wear Tesco clothes but you do it anyway because you hate doing shopping and buy your clothes alongside the groceries''.
Even Sebastian knew that Matilde was right.
''Anyway, please Matilde, go on. I want to hear what people are saying about Celine and I''
''Of course there are twits from your fans''.
That was what worried Sebastian. Maybe 95% percent of his fans were the nicest people in the world but a small part were really possessive of him. It wasn't funny to have people hating his relationship.
''Please tell me that's not bad'' he looked at Matilde with worry all over his face. Celine thought he was overreacting.
''Not really. Everyone was expecting Celine to be like Janice: a showoff. But she's not so they have no reason to hate her. But they're having a laugh about who Celine is. Listen: ''Sebastian Stan dating the history lady from the BBC documentary about Henry VIII is the biggest plot twist of 2018''. They're all similar to this. Here's one that says that you look intimidating, which is true. Nothing worse than this. And don't worry Sebby, no one is sending you two hate. And I don't think they'll do it as long as you keep yourselves under the radar and don't go around there acting like peacocks, like Tom and Janice. Well, not poor Tom, he's just caught up in Janice's web. I thought that the worst thing that could have happened to him was Taylor Swift but compared to Janice, she's a gem''.
''Wait...'' Sebastian looked surprised. ''Tom Hiddleston dated Taylor Swift? The same Taylor Swift that sings the Ready for it? song?''
Matilde didn't even answer his question. She wondered where had he been living on the past two years. Even Celine, who didn't care, knew about this.
''Yes. The same. Have you been living under a rock? It's weird that I knew a piece of celebrity gossip you didn't know about.'' Celine wasn't faking her surprise.
''Tom and popstar. I'm seeing the world in a different way now.''
Deciding that she had had enough, Matilde said goodbye to them both and hung up the call.
''That was weird'' Sebastian put the laptop and the empty cup of coffee away and tuck himself into bed. ''And I'm exhausted. What time is it?''
''I have no idea.'' Celine was on the bed with her eyes closed and to tired to move. ''I still have London's time''.
Sebastian tucked her into the bed and wrapped himself around her. For the first time in that long day Celine was comfortable and calm. The nice moment lasted until Celine's phone sounded.
''Oh no'' Celine mumbled after seeing the person that was texting her.
Sebastian got alarmed in seconds.
''What is it?'' he looked a bit scared. ''If there's someone harassing you I swear I'm taking legal action. We've done nothing wrong so the world can suck it...''
It was much worse than the media or a crazy fan of Sebastian's harassing her because she would have preferred fighting against Sebastian's whole fanbase with her bare hands than against the woman that was texting her.
She didn't say a word more to Seb and just handed him the phone.
When he saw the picture of a strict looking blond woman on Celine's phone he screamed and dropped the phone on the bed as if it had burned him. Seeing the face of Elizabeth Cadwallader was always distressing.
''What is she texting?'' Celine asked him.
''I don't know but your phone keeps beeping'' he had his eyes wide open.
''Do you think she saw the pictures? Maybe she's just asking how am I and what am I doing''.
Sebastian shot her a glance of incredulity. What were the odds of Elizabeth Cadwallader asking about her daughter's well being the same day that the paparazzi pictures of her with Sebastian were all over the Internet?
''Do you want me to read them for you?'' Sebastian asked and Celine nodded.
Wincing, he opened the messages and the first thing he saw were the infamous paparazzi pictures. He showed them to Celine who just look resigned.
''Let me see... damn, she's texting in capital letters, this is never good... 'CELINE ELIZABETH, WHAT ARE YOU DOING, WHO IS THAT?'... yeah, it wasn't good''.
''Wait, didn't she know about me?'' he was a bit surprised that Celine's mother was so shocked by her daughter's public apparitions with a celebrity.
''She knows that I had a friend named Sebastian but... I didn't tell her that we were in a relationship or that you were famous.''
Celine looked a bit ashamed of herself.
''Why didn't you?'' he was a bit hurt and didn't understand why Celine kept crucial information from her family.
''Look, it's not my fault'' she defended herself.
''So, is it my fault?'' his tone was icy cold. For a moment he wondered if his stupid fame was such a big deal to Celine, even though she had assured him countless of times that it didn't matter at all.
Celine was alarmed. She didn't want the situation to get complicated for no reason at all.
''No, of course it's not your fault'' she placed her hand on his shoulder. ''It's my mother's fault. You know, she judges everything that moves and if I didn't tell her more about you is because I couldn't bear her judging you without knowing the amazing person you are and how much I love you''.
He felt really bad for being cold with her earlier and having misunderstood everything. On his defence, Celine wasn't a woman who had the easiest explanations for everything she did. There was a reason for everything and it usually wasn't the obvious one.
''I'm sorry'' he wrapped his arms around her once again.
''Don't worry, I wasn't honest with you or with my mother. That's my fault, Seb'' she inhaled deeply and grabbed her phone, that was still buzzing. ''This will stop now. I'm telling her the truth and also that she can stop caring about what the hell I do with my life. I'm 28 years of age not 18. Oh dear, she also sent the paparazzi pictures''. she opened them and an smile was drawn in her face. ''Well, well, well, I look really good here.''
She was right. Celine always said that it was Sebastian who looked like a walking photoshoot but in this pictures Celine would have passed as a famous person with ease. It was hard to believe that this imposing and beautiful woman was just an historian from Cardiff who acted as a football hooligan in her free time.
''You always look good.'' he leaned to kiss her cheek while Celine typed a reply to her mother. ''What are you texting her? Please, don't say anything offensive''.
Celine made a dismissive gesture with her head.
''Just to mind her own business but with nicer words''.
Sebastian was still a bit scared. There was a high possibility that Celine's mother hated him already, without even knowing him personally.
''Cez...'' he carefully picked his words. ''Don't make the situation worse. She probably hates my guts right now and that thought is not exactly comforting. You may be intimidating but your mother is downright scary''.
''She'll have to accept you, whether she likes it or not. You'll be her son in law and if she doesn't like it is just because her disgusting feel of wanting to control everything. But you know what?'' Sebastian just looked at her with his eyes wide open. Once Celine started ranting there was no way to stop her. ''She'll miss it because I'm not to go there and beg her to come and meet her grandkids''.
Sebastian's face was hilarious. He looked like a lost puppy.
''Is she going to have grandkids? Dear God, Celine, are you pregnant?''
Celine spent at least a minute with her hand on his face and looking absolutely done.
''Yeas I am, Sebastian but I somehow forgot to tell you'' every word was full of sarcasm.
He looked even more shocked.
''What?'' he asked with his voice shaking a little.
The only reason why Celine didn't laugh was because she couldn't believe that he was being serious.
''Of course I'm not! Please, Seb, think! You think I'd be this chill if I were. Damn man, I was just talking about an possible future''.
''Cez, I think you should sleep. You're making nonsense, you're sleep deprived and also jetlagged.'' he turned the lights off and wrapped himself around Celine, slowly kissing the top of her head, in a soothing way so she could fall sleep easily. ''Never forget that I love you'' he whispered, making her smile.
''And I love you too''.

Chapter Text

The next morning Celine woke up first, feeling absolutely miserable. Her head was really bothering her and she felt nauseated. This sensation reminded her of the old times at Cambridge after a night in the pub. But this time she wasn't with a hangover. She just felt really bad for no reason at all.
Maybe it was the combination of the jetlag and her mother's annoying texts. She didn't want to admit it, not even to herself but she cared a little for her mum's opinion. She wanted her mother to approve of Seb, she really did. And knowing that she probably didn't, wasn't making her feel any better.
Luckily for her, Sebastian seemed to have a weird sixth sense, even in his sleep, to notice whenever something was not quite right with Celine.
''Are you okay?'' he looked at Celine who was really pale.
''Not really'' she was glancing at the ceiling. ''My head hurts''.
He immediately touched her forehead to check if she didn't have a fever. He was relieved that she wasn't too warm.
''Please tell me it's not the pneumonia again''.
''I don't think so'' she was covering her face with of her hands and Sebastian couldn't see her expression. ''I'm just dizzy.''
''Do you need something? A glass of water? Just tell me, please'' he was starting to freak out a bit.
''Calm down, I'm not going to die'' surprisingly she had used her usual energy only to make a sarcastic comment. ''But a glass of water will be fine''.
He literally ran to get what she needed and in record time he was back.
''Do you need anything else? A warm towel? Do you feel better? If you need to throw up just tell me and I'll carry you to the bathroom''.
''That was the most romantic thing I've ever heard, especially the part about throwing up'' she smiled at him while drinking the water.
Sebastian was starting to get worried and her sarcasm wasn't helping.
''Cez, can you stop with the sarcasm for a second and tell me what the hell is going on?''
''Nothing! Low blood pressure or some stupid thing. I was just dizzy but now I'm better. Really'' she looked at him and saw that he wasn't convinced at all. ''Seb, I'm being serious, it's nothing''.
He observed her for several minutes until he could see for himself that there was nothing wrong.
''What time is it?'' she asked him.
''Seven am. I think you should get more sleep'' he got the glass from her hand and covered her with the blankets.
Thankfully, she didn't protest and fell asleep almost immediately. But Sebastian couldn't follow her example. He just stayed there, looking at her and wondering if he was becoming paranoid.
He lost notion of the time until a beep on his phone took him out of his trance. It was a text from Chris Evans.
Heard you were in town. If you have time we can meet.
Sebastian texted him that it was fine. He hadn't seen in two months and he sort of missed him.
In just a couple of hours that went by flying, Chris was knocking on he hotel room. He checked on Celine just one more time before leaving here there, peacefully sleeping.
''Chris'' Sebastian hugged him. ''Good to see... why do you have a moustache?''
''Calm down, it's just for Broadway. It's leaving after I finish with the play''.
''It's horrible'' Sebastian was being totally honest. ''It looks like a dead squirrel on your upper lip''.
''Very funny.'' Chris was looking all around the room. ''Is you girlfriend here? I thought you'd come with her''.
''She's a bit under the weather. Probably jet lag''.
Chris had many questions to ask to Sebastian. Most of them were to satisfy his own curiosity. He had met Celine only once and the woman had make quite an impression on him. She was beautiful and intellectually gifted but, apart from being Sebastian's girl, Chris was sure that he never would've been able to handle a woman like Celine, with such a strong personality and acid sarcasm. At least that had been his first impression of her.
''And... how are you two doing?''
Sebastian immediately sensed Chris's gossiping nature.
''Perfect'' he genuinely said. ''I know it's hard to believe'' he added when he saw Chris's skeptical face. ''All relationships have ups and downs but this one seems... different. Or maybe Celine is different''.
''For what I know, she quite unique''.
Sebastian looked at him with his eyebrows raised.
''You still have a crush on her, don't you?''
Chris blushed a little.
''No, no, no. I've never had a crush on her. When I met her I found her very attractive and she's my type, you know? But there's the whole other side of her that I don't think it's very compatible with me. For what I've seen, she's very blunt and not the sweetest of women''.
''She's the sweetest. But only for me.'' he had a self sufficient smile on his face. ''That side of her is rarely shown to people. Chris, Celine is made of iron, nothing can bring her down. That's why she can seem a bit intimidating but once you get to know her you'll find the most incredible person ever''.
He didn't mention to Chris that Celine was part time football hooligan, that she and her friends had the weird habit of burning someone else's underwear, she had jumped from her house's roof when she was a child and that she had had the ambition of becoming an executioner when in her younger days.
''You're smitten'' Chris said with a meaningful smile.
''I love her. To the moon and back.'' he was completely sure of what he was saying. ''Look, it's been hard for me. All of my previous relationships were either toxic or a complete failure and then there's Celine who just doesn't overthink stuff. We can spend hours talking and making fun of life and you know what? It's great. It seems like everything is right in the world. It feels like home. For the first time I think that this is not going downhill and that, she's the one I want to spend the rest of my life with.''
''So, is this heading to the altar?'' Chris asked with his eyebrows raised.
Sebastian thought about this for a second, thanking that Celine wasn't there to hear that question.
''Maybe to a courthouse wedding, knowing Celine's strong convictions.''
''Atheist?'' asked Chris without any doubt of the answer.
''Of course. She's makes some good points, to be honest. I swear, it's impossible to win a debate against her. She had a doctorate in politics, after all.''
''She knows better than us'' added Chris.
''Definitely'' he got distracted for a minute thinking about Celine when another thought crossed his mind. ''Chris, did you know that Tom Hiddleston dated Taylor Swift two years ago?''
Chris almost chocked with the water he was drinking.
''What?!''

When Celine woke up she was glad to find that she was feeling better. At least she wasn't dizzy or with a headache anymore. She could hear voices from outside the room. Probably Sebastian with one of his friends. Evans, Hemsworth, Mackie or someone like that.
The only thing she didn't want to do was check on her phone and find all of her mother's replies even though she wanted to check on Matilde about how she was doing as her replacement in Downing Street. She was imagining all the kind of catastrophes that Matilde could provoke (and ways to solve them) when the door opened.
''Hey, you're awake'' Sebastian approached and kissed her forehead. ''Are you feeling
better?''
''Yes'' she answered with all honesty. ''I'm more worried about what Matilde may be doing. Don't forget she's in my position right now and I don't really want to get back to London and find Downing Street on fire.''
''Relax, Cez. She may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but she's careful enough not to set the shed on fire'' Sebastian was trying to be convincing but she wasn't buying it. ''Try to take your job out of your mind. I know either of us give Matilde much credit but she still has the Prime Minister as a boss and I'm sure she's not going to screw up anything in front of her.''
She looked a little more convinced. Just a little.
''If you say so'' she finally said, crashing on the bed again.
''Chris is outside'' he said, trying to change the topic to something that didn't worry Celine at all. ''If you feel bad I can tell him to leave, he's not going to be offended by it''.
''Don't worry, it was really nothing. Which Chris by the way?''
''Evans.''
''Oh'' Celine smiled a little. ''Should I be jealous that you and him were all alone for the whole morning?'' she teased him.
''Ha ha ha'' he fake laughed with sarcasm. ''He has a crush on you, Cez. I swear, I see it on his face.'''
''Of course'' she rolled her eyes without giving much importance. ''I'm having a shower, then I'll go and say hi to Chris.''

After having a very nice and needed shower she was blow drying her hair when the screen of her phone turned on and the face of Elizabeth Cadwallader popped up. She almost chocked and had the innate impulse of opening the window and throw the phone down the building.
Deciding that declining the call or turning off the phone would make the situation even worse, she reluctantly accepted the call. The real life version of her mother's strict face appeared on the screen.
''Hello'' Celine greeted her mother with the fakest smile she could muster.
Her mother's expression didn't change and Celine seriously considered hanging up and hiding from her mother for the rest of her life. Then she thought that she was probably overreacting. But so was her mother. She was making a big deal out of a couple of pictures of her daughter holding hands with an Oscar nominee at an airport. That was not a big deal and she had no right to try to dominate Celine's life.
''Do you have an explanation?'' Elizabeth asked with her eyebrows raised as if Celine was a misbehaving teenager.
That was enough to anger Celine to an alarming point.
''Yes, I do have one'' she said with all the calm in the world. ''But I'm not going to give it to you. I'm 28, I've been taking care of myself for ten years, I work for the Prime Minister and I don't have to explain myself to anyone. Yes, I date a guy who's famous and... who cares? He's lovely! That's what matters.''
After Celine's heated rant there was silence for a couple of minutes.
''Celine Elizabeth...'' her mother was not going to give up the matter so easily. ''There's no need for you to get angry. I'm just confused that you didn't tell me that you had more than a friendship with this... this... Sebastian... guy. Who, let me add, is famous. Every mother should be concerned about that''.
Elizabeth's strict look wasn't leaving her face.
''We've been dating since September and I really don't care at all about his fame. And there was a reason why I didn't told you. I didn't want you to judge and I knew you were going to do it. You judged my Cambridge friends!''
''They were not serious enough for someone like you. I still don't know how Joel Shand-Kydd has two doctorates.''
Celine had to laugh. If she only knew the crazy stuff she had done during the last ten years. From getting drunk and singing on tables at Cambridge's pubs, tattooing Real Madrid's badge on her ring finger and almost throwing her bra at Alex Turner, among others.
''Mother, I'm not serious. I never was. I burn underwear at bonfires. I stuffed organic soil into a tent in Glastonbury. I sold my hair to go to Reading & Leeds. I've got drunk several times, even after discovering the alcohol intolerance. I thing dating Sebastian is the most serious thing I've ever done.''
But her mother had lost track after Celine said 'Glastonbury'.
''You went to Glastonbury?'' she asked, looking completely scandalised.
''Yes, and I plan to do it again.''
It seemed that Elizabeth Cadwallader was having trouble to process all the things that her daughter had done and she had no idea about. Things that were completely normal to almost everyone except from her.
''I'm going to try an make an exception with you and forget what you just said. And you're just being ungrateful, I just called to make sure you were okay and to know that this is what you want. You're with a man whose life is a whirlwind and I always pictured you living a more quiet and serious lifestyle.''
In Elizabeth's mind probably controlling her daughter's life was a gesture of good faith.
''If by 'quiet' you mean, boring. Yeah, I get it.'' she didn't mention that she and Sebastian lived in a very peaceful way when they were in London but at that moment she just wanted to contradict her mother in everything.
''Celine, you're being impossible to deal with today. I want to talk with that young man that goes by the name of Sebastian...''
There was no absolute way that Celine was going to expose Sebastian to her mother's judgement, let alone two days before the Oscars.
''No, I don't want you upsetting him. Look, it you're not going to wish us the best, don't say anything. Is not that hard, you know? Sebastian's mum was very supportive...''
''His mother knows about this and I didn't?'' Celine knew that her mother's pride was a bit wounded.
''Yes because his mum is harmless and was not going to mount such an scene.''
''I'm not mounting an scene. I'm just pointing out everything that's wrong here.''
Celine was absolutely exasperated. Her mother's illogical arguments were getting on her nerves. She was about to unceremoniously hang up when her father appeared on the scene.
''Elizabeth, can you gave her a break?'' he asked with his soft voice. ''CeCe! How have you been? You're in Los Angeles, that's great!''
''Nicolas! Do you approve of this?'' Celine had to laugh. This situation had a mixture of annoying with total madness.
''Of course. She's happy, aren't you CeCe?''
''I am.''
''See?''
Celine could see that her mother had no intentions of leaving the matter. The better (and braver) course of action to follow was to hang up, keep her phone turned off during the time they were in America and change her number once she got to London.
''What do you want me to say?'' she angrily asked.
At that moment Celine could see a nice similarity between her father and Sebastian: apparently them both had the special ab