Chapter 1: the weather outside is frightful.
“Tropical weather! Girls in bikinis!” you watch Lance exclaim as he puts some more clothes into his bag, blue eyes shining with glee, “A beautiful Lance Tucker Christmas.”
You shake your head at his antics, ignoring the falter in your heart that you had gotten used to over the years. Lance always went to the tropics of his choosing for as long as you had known him. He didn’t enjoy his parents trying to rope him in for the holidays, thus he avoided Florida and California brought a bitter taste to his mouth after all the scandals he had gone through a few years back.
No, the island weather and the ladies that came with it where a perfect Christmas gift for Lance Tucker to give to himself for all his hard work and though you wouldn’t be seeing him until after New Years, you were used to being alone for the holidays.
“Just stay safe,” you nag like a mother who doesn’t want to send your child outside without a scarf, as he rolls his eyes, “They say it’s supposed to be the worst snowstorm in recent history!”
“Peach,” he comes over to your side and places a hand on your shoulder, “They say that every year and it hasn’t stopped me so far. I’ll be fine, you worry too much.”
“Just promise me,” you pout, knowing that the man hated seeing a women on the verge of crying, “Ya gotta bring the goods back, Tuck.”
Lance laughs at your joke before smiling, “I promise, like always -- with souvenirs and a whole bunch of stories.”
You hear your phone from across the small room, but the cold temperature and sleepiness that you are still feeling won’t let you get up to answer it. You huff out a short breath of air before snuggling back into your three bed covers. Yes, you would kept people to be calling you on Christmas Day, but not on December 23rd. Your siblings were with their significant others for the holidays, your limited number of friends had parties to prepare for (that you might attend at the last minute), while your parents were somewhere in Canada, and Lance was probably dancing in Tahiti with some chick that fell for his gold medal story.
Nobody needed you and you didn’t need anybody, as pathetic as that sounded.
You were dead to the world until noon, when you got up and decided to finally move forward with your plan for the holiday weekend. You showered, proceed to put on your warmest clothes --black leg warmers, fuzzy socks, and a large Jack Frost sweater-- and made yourself a small breakfast. You head over to your small living room and look through all the movies you had gathered for the occasion. Surely, you were going to get through all of them this year, you knew it!
You set everything down on your small coffee table before looking through the stack of movies to see which one you would play first, though you were eyeing that new movie on Netflix -- it had to start off with a bang !
You jump, almost throwing your food onto the floor, but the knocking doesn’t stop. You groan and get up, ready to knock some sense into whoever is bothering you. You open the door in one swift motion, as you find all your anger disappearing at the sight of a very angry and cold Lance Tucker with his two bags, that you had seen him pack days ago.
“Lance!” you gasp, finally being able to speak once more, “What the hell are you doing here?”
“I’ve been trying to call you all morning,” Lance grumbles, as he makes his way into your apartment --water dripping along the way-- with a simple but graceful sidestep, “All the flights are cancelled until further notice. I was waiting at JFK for two whole days , I wasn’t spending the freakin’ holiday there.”
“Oh, I’m sorry though,” you can’t help but ask, “But, what are you doing here?”
“I can’t find my apartment keys…” Lance huffs in annoyance since you knew the endless struggles he had with the landlord to his apartment, no matter how much he paid for it, “I was stuck outside until I thought what the hell, maybe my friend will let me stay with her until this hell dies down .”
“Ah, sure,” you nod, as you seen him looking at your entire apartment. It would never be as big as his condo in SoHo, but it had a homey feeling to it with the various decorations you had thrown around the the three joined sections with a mini Christmas tree next to the movies you had piled up.
“Were you playing on marathoning all those Christmas movies again?” he asks, since he already knew your tradition too well and that you often failed at it.
“Always try to,” you shrug, watching him struggle --red face with tired blue eyes-- with his bags. You wonder on how many hours of sleep he was actually running on -- Lance and stress weren’t good friends.
“Maybe, you should leave those in my room and take a shower,” you quip“Just in case.”
“You have a good point,” he states with a nod, obviously the hell he had gone through making him easier to boss around. He grabs his bags and starts to move with a tired groan, “And thanks for letting me stay. I didn’t mean to bother you.”
“No problem at all, Tuck,” you try your hardest to smile, though your head is already into overdrive in fear and a million other emotions that you felt when it came to the former gymnast.
He smiles and heads into the side hallway that connects the rest of your apartment to your room and bathroom shower, as you stand there confused as hell. Your heart thumping like a jack rabbit ( why the heck would Lance go to you of all people?) , as you cover your face with your hands and let out a silent scream.
How the hell were you going to handle being alone for who knows how long with Lance Tucker -- your good friend and crush since god knows when.
“Why do you spend Christmas all alone?” your friend, Carly, can’t help but ask, “I mean it’s the same thing every year, no? You end up watching all these movies only for Tucker to came back and tell you how much of a blast he had in some island with a girl who’s name he doesn’t remember.”
“I--”, you stop and pause for a second, wondering how your line of thought might actually sound spoken aloud, “I do it to protect myself, I guess.”
“I have to remind myself that Lance is rotten when it comes to relationships, always has been. I have to get my heart crushed as a reminder for the rest of the year.”
“Are you a masochist?”
Too much for that plan , you can’t help but think as you get up from the couch and pick up your large bowl of finished popcorn and various other assortments of food. The inner Lance in your head made a disgusted scoff at all the dead calories and sugar that you were eating, but it was something that you really didn’t care about this time of the year -- you were treating your loneliness with food, and nobody was going to stop you.
You had gone through two and a half movies since Lance had arrived at noon, so you figured that Lance ended up taking a nap or something and while you didn’t want to think about him on your bed -- you knew he needed the rest after all that horrible airport incidents he might have gone through. For now, as long as you didn’t have to deal with him, it was all for the better. You weren’t sure how you were going to be once you had to interact with Lance Tucker in such a closed space, but it wasn’t going to be good for your heart in the long run.
You start putting some dishes away and start thinking about what you could have for dinner, when the devil himself appears: “Man, that was a good nap.”
You glance from the corner of your eyes to see a yawing Lance coming out of the hallway. He was wearing a long-sleeve sweater with the logo of his alma mater and dark sweats. His usual gelled hair, puffy and without the tons amount of product that he usually uses. You freeze, like a deer caught in the headlight of a car, wondering exactly how you are going to survive all this.
“I-I’m glad you’re feeling better,” you manage to squeak out, glad that the refrigerator is hiding you for a moment, “Are you hungry?”
As if on cue, Lance’s stomach growls as you laugh. He ends up taking up one of the highchairs in front of the stove/countertop, as you proceed to make hot sandwiches with cider. In an odd sort of way, Lance stays quiet the entire time, watching you move back and forth in preparing everything. It’s a little unnerving, but you try not to think much about it -- at least, he isn’t hounding you over the nutritional value of certain foods, like he usually did.
“Are you brooding about your trip?” you can’t help but ask, as you push a plate in front of him with a smile, that you are hopefully doesn’t come out awkwardly.
“Not really,” Lance shrugs before taking a bite out of the sandwich and giving you an appreciate nod, “As long as it isn’t Florida.”
“Well, I am glad I could be a good alternative,” you laugh in a self-deprecating sort of way that Lance doesn’t seem to catch as he keeps eating.
Yup, you were alright with being second best.
Outside of playing the mobile games on his phone, which lose his attention in a couple of minutes, Lance isn’t sure what he should be doing with his time, while he is stuck in this apartment with you. He had already called his landlord, only to be sent to voicemail -- they weren’t going to contact him until after the Christmas holiday, so he was stuck here at least until after the 25th.
There were so many other things that he could be doing right now, but instead he was watching you underneath your blanket and eating pretzels while watching the next movie on your list. Yes, it was a cute sight to see, but Lance wanted some of your attention directed towards him.
“Oh, come on,” he states in mock annoyance, as you turn to look at him. He grins as your eyes are fully set on him now, “This movie is so predictable.”
“Lance, shut up,” your lips pops at the end of sentence in annoyance, as he can’t help but keep grinning.
“As hot as Cameron Diaz is--” he starts off, but stops midway. You glare are him, before turning to fully look at him, as Lance leans in a bit closer -- happy to find something to play with for the moment. He wasn’t used to seeing you so riled up, but it seemed like he hit a sweet spot with something.
“Come on, Tuck,” you bite to his unfinished statement, “Finish that sentence.”
Lance simply shrugs, unable to say anything as he looks at your face -- flushed and bothered, as something about it sends a shiver down his spine. He had never seen you like this before, as blue eyes scan to see that your sweater is showing some skin between that and the blanket that has come off just a little since you moved. It makes him wonder, for a split second, what exactly you are wearing underneath it.
However, you take his silence as something else, scoffing and going back to watching the rest of the movie -- leaving Lance to his rather confused thoughts.
“Thank god,” Lance declares as if he’s being set free from some type of torture as the movie ends with the couple’s happiness, “What’s the next movie on your list?”
Lance turns to look at you, as you glance down at your list before stating: “ The Holiday Calendar .”
“Please not another rom-com,” Lance groans out, as you frown because while he might be your unwilling guest, he didn’t have to complain so much -- there was other rooms that he could be in at the moment.
“Tuck, you know I do this every year,” you answer back while staring at the TV instead of his smug face, while getting up and stretching for the moment, “Why the hell are you complaining?”
“You could be doing so many other things right now,” Lance explains, stating what he had always wondered about since he had known you, “But, you’re here alone watching pathetic rom-coms.”
“Well then, what would you be doing in a blizzard, Lance?” you asked, confused and admonished, as you feel a certain heat rush over your body from behind, as if someone is staring too intently at you.
However, before Lance (because he could think of a lot of things to do in this type of a situation) can say anything there is a sudden noise and halting that causes you to panic. You curse as Lance watches you disappear into the hallway. He isn’t exactly sure why, but it was becoming harder to keep his eyes off of you, especially when you were being such a spitfire compared to your usual personality.
“Fuck, well the heater is out now,” you yell back, as you go back into the small living room. The temperature quickly dropping, “What do you have in mind?”
“Pillow fort,” he states with all the seriousness that he can muster but he still manages to give you that shit eating grin from his place on the couch, as you shake your head.
“Pillow fort, really?” you groan, as Lance laughs.
The tense mood from before quickly disappears as you rush to bring in all your blankets and pillows into the couch area. You end up dragging more food to the table, as you quickly find yourself sitting next to Lance, in order to stop yourself from freezing.
You end up making some quick hot chocolate as you make your way over back to a couch, to a relaxed Lance who seems to be scrolling through his phone, now fully charged, and while you had made your way through the Holiday Calendar -- it wasn’t without Lance’s whining and complaining. However, that all changed once he got up and realized that he could used his phone on the couch now, which as a result was now bothering you, as you saw him smile and giggle at whatever or whoever he was talking to.
“Come on,” his voice drags you from your thoughts, as blue eyes are staring at you with amusement,“I’m not going to bite.”
“Really?” you ask, unsure of why you answered that.
“Well, not you ,” he shoots, which instantly causes your smile to drop. It was the truth, you knew that but it didn’t stop it from hurting in that brief moment any less.
It’s then that you decide to be a little adventurous for once, as you take a seat closer to the man while giving him a broad smile as you shuffle underneath the blankets you had amassed.
“If you don’t wanna watch movies, amuse me,” you state grabbing his phone and handing him the mug, “Tell me one of your legendary stories.”
Lance gives you a questioning look before taking a sip of his drink and letting out a soft sigh. He didn’t indulge on sweets often, but it was that time of the year so he lets himself -- and with tiny marshmallows how could he resist? He feels his body warm up for a moment, as he sees you looking at him with bright eyes, waiting for his next words like he is the only thing that matters in the world right now -- and Lance swears that his heart stutters for a moment, though he isn’t sure why.
“What story haven’t you heard?” Lance can’t help but question because if he really thought about it -- since college, you had been there for everything. He told you everything he wanted to talk about from the accomplishments to the failures and you were there with a welcoming laugh and smile.
Lance could state you were his closest friend, even when he knew he wasn’t exactly yours all the time. He knew that there was something about this time of year that made you anxious and though he might not know the reason why, he was happy that you were enjoying his company for the time being.
“Well, how are the girls?” you ask, as Lance grins thinking about all his students and how well they had been doing. It was something that he was extremely proud about, if anyone ever asked him.
“Oh, you should see them!” Lance grins before going on about his older students that might be Olympic prospects and how he plans on opening classes for toddlers and their parents -- it was crazy to think that this was all coming from him, but Lance could be a family-oriented person if was wasn’t directed towards his personal life.
The rest of the evening moves forward with stories being shared, as Lance can’t keep his eyes off your smiling face and he can’t deny the fact that he really does love the sound of your voice. And when he finally decides that it’s okay to move forward with the moving watching once more -- when you tell him that the next movie on the list is Nativity 2, which certainly isn’t a rom-com.
And if you end up falling asleep halfway through the movie, while leaning on his shoulder -- well, that doesn’t bother Lance at all either.
Chapter 3: and if you have no place to you, but they are sort of forcing you to.
Chapter by siruru, the-canary (siruru)
-laughs in pain–
It takes Lance a while to realize that there is something sleeping at his side. There is a steady beat of air breathing softly into his neck, as something wiggles closer to him for a moment. A breathy sigh leaves its owner once more and Lance swears he feels a jolt, a shiver running down his spine at such a noise. He takes in the room as his eyes adjust to the dark. He stares at the koala-like grip that you have on his side with your arm underneath his body, your face hidden between the blankets and his neck as your every curve sinks into a hard edge of his body.
“Fuck,” is all Lance manages to breathe out, unsure of what to do in such a position. I mean, he does know but he would never put you in that situation -- hell, he hasn’t even thought about you in that light until just a few hours ago, and now he wasn’t sure what to do. You were his closest friend, he just couldn’t do that to you.
With a curse and trying his hardest not to wake you up, he gets up from the floor --that you both had ended up on since the couch was too small for the two of you-- and heads to the bathroom -- completely unsure if he can keep this whole thing up until he can get his apartment back.
You wonder if Lance had caught onto some of Ebenezer Scrooge's hatred towards Christmas as it got closer because he had been rather unhappy when you woke up and put on the latest movie when you started making breakfast. It’s at this point that the phone calls start -- some friends and family from the other side of the globe wishing you a good Christmas holiday. Lance watches this all from the same seat he had taken yesterday. He seemed more focused on watching you than the movie that was currently playing in the living room.
You’re flipping the pancakes when he finally decides to ask, halfway through the movie: “Ever year since I’ve know you, it’s always been a Christmas movie marathon, but there are a lot of people that seem to want to see you. Why don’t you travel or anything?”
You pause for a moment and shrug as sharp blue eyes keep looking at you, as your try to answer without giving yourself away.
“It’s not like I don’t go out,” you explain, platting the pancakes with some eggs and bacon, “Sometimes, I go to Carly’s Christmas party, it’s just a hassle trying to see everyone.”
“Why?” he asks, unusually serious while he starts cutting his eggs into little pieces. You give him an awkward smile.
Christmas always reminds me of how far away you are. Stupid holiday rom-coms.
“It just is,” you shrug before placing some food onto your own plate.
Lance doesn’t know if it is a trick of the light or if you are just being more open with him than before, but he can hear the clear despair and loneliness in your voice. It’s a little odd, but since this morning it was all that Lance had thought of -- you were pretty with a great personality. There wasn’t anything you wouldn’t do for him, or your family and friends -- then why did you choose to lock yourself away from the holidays. Sure, he had strange way of celebrating, but your own was almost like you were punishing yourself for something and he was kicking himself in the head silently for just noticing.
“Besides, you’re with me now,” you state with a soft smile than makes his heart stop for just a second, “And that’s definitely a good change this time around.”
“It better be,” Lance declares with a laugh, despairing thoughts forgotten, as you keep moving forward with your movie marathon into the late afternoon.
You’re barely getting into Elf when there is a knock at your door. Lance jumps a bit from his side of the couch since he had fallen asleep deep into Black Adders’ A Christmas Carol, not really enjoying that type of humor and the general warmth of your pillow fort dragging him into the land of dreams once more. You pause the movie and get up to open the door to see Carly standing there with a couple of bags and a wide smile.
“Finally, that snowstorm was so annoying,” she states as she tries to get into the apartment but you push the door back a bit. She gives you a confused look, “I came to pick you up for the party, even got you a cute dress!”
“I-I-” you start stuttering before Lance’s voice rings in the back with a ‘ who is it?’ causing Carly to look at you with wide eyes and a shock face, “I-I can explain.”
“Please tell me what the hell is Lance Tucker is doing in your apartment,” Carly declares harshly as you push her back and close the door behind you -- it’s at the point that you tell her everything that had happened and why Lance was with you.
She sighs when you find: “But, he hasn’t tried any funny business, right?”
“Please, he wouldn’t touch me with a ten foot pole,” you let out with a bitter laugh, as Carly places a compassionate hand on your shoulder.
“Thank goodness, I came in time then,” Carly states with a bright smile, “Let’s make you forget all about Lance Tucker.”
You explain to a still sleepy Lance that this is when you usually go to Carly’s Christmas party, who simply nods in his direction. You give him the option to go with you and he immediately says that he will -- a mix bag of wanting to finally leave the apartment and not wanting to see you go alone...for safety reasons.
He doesn’t expect to have his breath taken away with you standing there in the living room in a subtle red dress and green winter jacket. A pretty scarf around your neck and black stockings finishing your outfit as you give him a bright smile that makes him notice the light makeup you are wearing.
“What do you think?” you ask timidly, Carly watching the whole with interest from afar, as Lance shakes his head and laughs.
“You look stunning, peach,” he can’t help but admit and he would say it again to see that small smile bloom on your face all over again.
The party isn’t exactly what you need when you have Lance dressed up in a white collar shirt and a dark colored winter jacket alongside gelled back hair. It’s isn’t helpful when he gives you a bright smile that sends your heart stuttering when he grabs your hand as you make your way into Carly’s shared home. However, that is all you are allowed to have with the man as he quickly finds some tall and leggy blond to talk to.
You don’t remember much of the party after that, only that you see Lance and said blond trading saliva in one of the darker areas of the house, near the guest bedrooms. The thing that you never wanted to see --Lance hooking up with someone right in front of you-- burns itself into the back of your eyes, as you rush towards the balcony area. You aren’t sure how Carly knows where to find you, as she sees you almost freezing with tears streaming down your eyes as hard sobs leave your body. She keeps rubbing your back until you are finally able to talk.
“Please, please,” you barely manage to croak out, “Just give me a little more time before I have to go back in there.”
“Sweetheart,” Carly sighs out, as you shake your head, “I’m sorry, if I had known.”
“It’s okay,” you give her a watery smile, “It’s not your fault, it just hurts you know.”
“Yeah,” she states before asking, “Do you need a ride home?”
“I would appreciate it,” you manage to get up on shake legs as she takes you to the front of the house, while avoiding the guest area. You stay quiet and give the simple excuse that you aren’t feeling well too some of your friends that frown at you looking so down in the dumps before wishing you a happy holiday.
Carly ends up sending you back home in a carshare. She gives you a big hug before handing you a small set of presents in a tote bag -- all of them belonging to you from the rest of your friends at the party. You let out a sniff and thank her before getting in the car, if Lance notices that you are gone or if he was going home with someone else -- well that you would rather not know.
The driver is playing classic Christmas music and you can’t help but let out a bitter laugh at the all too familiar song that starts playing, as if something is resonating with your own sorrow.
Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day you gave it away
This year, to save me from tears
I'll give it to someone special
It takes Lance another good hour to finally get away from the gal that had attached herself to him since the beginning of the party, and while Lance Tucker was never one to deny the attention he got from a beautiful woman -- this one was something else. She clung to him too much, asked him too many annoying questions. Her laugh wasn’t the one that he wanted to hear and she could barely quip back one he said something annoying. Her eyes didn’t sparkle with glee as the movie started, and that’s when Lance realized it--
Two days with you and you were already ruining him for everyone else. Why did it take him so long to realize that?
He searches high and low for you in the brownstone, but there isn’t any sign of you sitting near the window like you had when he had left you. He asked around and none had seen you in quite some time, it was starting to annoy Lance as he runs a hand through his hair in frustration. It’s almost close to midnight and the snow has falling once more when he finally finds Carly in the kitchen area.
“Hey, have you seen her?” Lance questions as the brunette frowns, “I haven’t seen her in awhile.”
“She left,” Carly states darkly and while she wanted to yell and tell Lance everything --throw it in his face as he finally made the realization you already knew, but she knew that it wasn’t her place, “Thought it would be better to go home sooner rather than later, especially if you were busy .”
“Damn,” Lance lets out in anger. His heart constricting at the thought that he might have just done something really stupid, as he slowly puts two and two together. He knows what you have probably seen that made you leave early, so that he could have some fun, but you didn’t know that that wasn’t his intention at all and that’s what send his mind into overdrive.
“I’ve gotta go,” is all he says before patting Carly on her shoulder and thanking her for the party. Lance is getting ready to leave, as he turns only to hear her voice yelling back at him, as Carly seems to have everything together as well, though she seems more protective towards you than anything else.
YOU BETTER NOT BREAK HER HEART, LANCE TUCKER!
Lance Tucker, as he grabs his phone and calls for carshare, knew that deep down that isn’t what he wanted to do -- it was quite the opposite actually. However, it would take a real Christmas miracle for you to respond back in the way he hope you did.
Chapter 4: let it snow and let me go.
Chapter by siruru, the-canary (siruru)
thank you for reading and i hope you enjoy the ending.
You ease your breathe on the way back home, as you start going through all the things that you have to do when you get back home.
- Move Lance’s stuff out (just in case he needed it them and you didn’t want to see him after all that)
- Get changed into something comfortable
- Take the emergency comfort food out of the stash
- Keep moving forward with the Christmas movie marathon.
You check everything off your mental list, once then twice. You push the two bags through the wooden floor and set them outside, not really caring if someone might steal them -- Lance could always just buy everything all over again. Your care for his things and well-being slowly dissipating as you lose yourself to your anger and self-loathing. As if Lance Tucker could fall in love with you.
All the slight changes and general cheeky attitude he had displayed with you over the past two days were certainly just because he had no other female to hit on, a simple substitute as you unknowingly fell for his trap. Lance Tucker didn’t care about anybody’s feelings except his own and in your general loneliness when it came to the holidays and desperation from your years long crush -- you had forgotten all that, tonight just being a painful reminder and brought it all to the forefront.
You strip off the dress that Carly had given you as carefully possible before grabbing a long sleeve and shorts -- a long, hot shower calms down your shot nerves as you proceed to ransack your cabinet for the anything you could quickly eat at the moment. You sit on the couch, trying to forget who was just there a few hours ago and how his scent still lingers just a bit. You turn on the next movie and try to keep it together.
However, the exhaustion in the aftermath of the party and your own stupid emotions have you knocking out on the pillow fort ten minutes into the movie.
Lance isn’t sure what he is going to say when he walks into your apartment. He is pretty sure that you saw him trading spit with the leggy blond, he knew deep down that was the moment he had lost sight of you for the rest of the party -- you were always one to give him his privacy when need be. It wasn’t like he didn’t want to kiss her, right? But in that moment, he realized that this empty thing wasn’t where he wanted to be at. Lance, since he had started talking to the blond whose name he couldn’t remember, realized that he would have been better off staying at your apartment.
Complaining, trading jokes, eating together, or simply just enjoying each other’s company -- those two days he had spent with you back. Your time together making him realize that there was a completely different side to you that had captivated him and the party making him realize that he wished he hadn’t left that shared bubble of yours -- for him to lose whatever this was once he had to leave.
The kiss was just the icing on the cake that cemented all that, and while that all made sense in his head...he wasn’t sure how he was going to be able to say all that when he came face-to-face with you.
However, the sight of his two bags in the entranceway of your apartment sent a completely different chill down his spine. He runs over to his bags, unsure of what is going on but knowing exactly where the problem is stemming from.
“Hey,” he starts off before banging on the door, “This isn’t funny! Open up, please!”
He doesn’t know that the movie is blaring so loud that you can’t hear the knocks on the door or his yelling, that the warmth of the pillow fort is protecting you from everything else in the world -- especially him-- in that moment. Lance keeps trying to get your attention until one of your neighbors --Frank, the huge kickboxer with a soft spot of all the gals on his floor-- tells him to cut it out or he’ll be doing something about it.
“Fuck,” Lance curses as he hits the wall and slides onto the floor below, next to his bags while running a hand through his hair in frustration.
What had he done to have fucked it all up?
You wake with a dry throat and puffy eyes. The screen is dark and you curse for a brief second that you had forgotten to watch the movie, though you can’t blame yourself since you don’t think that Will Farrell and his antics would cheer you up at the current moment. You let out a yawn and get up to stretch only to realize that your phone is lit up with several different messages and calls from throughout the night, though all from one person -- Lance.
Please open the door. I’m dying here.
You get up and open the door slightly to see Lance sitting on top of his large duffel bag - his hair disheveled with crumbled clothes on. You frown as he slowly wakes up, blue eyes looking at at you in a sleepy hazy as a full blown smile blooms onto his face. Your heart quickens for a moment, before your mind reminds you that it couldn’t possibly be directed towards you.
“Go home, Lance,” your voice cracks just a bit when saying his name as blue eyes stare at you -- a look between revencence, pain, and confusion all mixed into one as he slowly starts to fully wake up, “I’m sure someone is waiting for you there.”
“I--” he jumps and ready to pry the door open as you push further back, “Could we talk, please ?”
“No,” you let out softly with a barely visible shake of your head,“Happy holidays, but please I just wanna be alone.”
Lance doesn’t get another word in as the door quietly shuts in his face.
Lance doesn’t see you for the rest of the year. Any call he tries to make is sent straight to voicemail and all his messages are left as read. The airplane airline had connected with him and asked if he wanted to move his flight into the new year, but any of that was insignificant — Lance just wanted to make amends with his best friend and try to make whatever he was feeling now work. For once the city held the one person he cared about the most.
Maybe, that’s why he reached out to the person that certainly knew you better than he ever could.
“You look as if you’re mourning some lost love,” Carly states, as she stares about at Lance Tucker sitting the chic coffee shop that they had decided to meet in.
The man looked like he hadn’t slept in days and Carly could only hope he was feeling just an announce of all the pain he had unknowingly dealt to you over the years.
“Shut up,” Lance answers back, though not with the same sting that it might have usually had.
“You are!” Carly states in astonishment, “Lance Tucker falling in love. I never thought I would see the day! So, you finally noticed your poor college friend with the glasses.”
Lance keeps staring at Carly in disbelief and while she knows that she shouldn’t be telling him all this — he deserves to know all the pain he has caused you and why.
“She’s been in love with you since forever and now you’re barely seeing it,” Carly states before taking a sip of her hot chocolate, as blue eyes widen for a moment.
“Please, Tucker. Only an idiot wouldn’t be able to see how madly she’s been in love with you,” Carly shrugs remembering when she herself had realized and though she had tried to help you move on by setting you on dates and meeting new people, but your heart was already set on one person, “How she must have suffered and by the looks of it you pulled on the last straw.”
“Why didn’t she ever tell me?” Lance asks, clearly still flabbergasted.
“You and I both know why,” she states as calmly as she can, “How would you have responded? What would you have done except trampled her heart? Lance Tucker is rotten in a relationship, has always been her mantra to protect her heart.”
“You should think seriously if this is the real deal or just a passing infatuation because you were alone with her during the holidays,” Carly looks straight into his eyes to get her point across, “If not, leave her be.”
Carly, having said her piece, gets up and says goodbye to Lance Tucker — leaving him there scared and confused about what he should with all this new information in regards to his own feelings and you. He sits there in that little cafe for a very long time.
The snowstorm had made him realize what a bright piece of sunshine he had in his life, but now the sun was gone and he wasn’t sure what he supposed to do without it.
It’s not that you are miserable or anything, it’s more than you are boiling in your own self-loathing in the realization that you have thrown a years long friendship down the toilet for your own selfish emotions, not that Lance would understand either way. You wonder if he thought you were mad because he he had ditched you over a pretty girl — it had happened once before, with a talented blond from the Olympics team that Lance was completely infatuated with-- which had cemented your current viewpoint on them and how far you were willing to separate yourself from his love life in order to save yourself the heartache.
But, you were weak and two days of his complete attention had broken you and caused you to toss everything away. You were pretty sure that Lance was done with you as well since he had stopped trying to contact you after the second day.
Thus, leading to you taking in your last few days of vacation by completing your Christmas movie list at the end of the year with the worst movie possible -- Love Actually .
Not only were some parts really cringe worthy since the last time you had seen it, you were just getting sick of the whole concept of rom-coms in general -- that someone out there would be the perfect match for you, that the one would realize that you were had been right in front of them the whole time. Well, it hadn’t worked out that way for you had it. Maybe, Lance had been right in disliking them so much. Maybe, you could take his advice on this one last thing.
“At least Colin Firth has better movies to watch,” you state to yourself ready to turn off the television and call it a night, not ready to bring the new year by your lonesome. It isn’t exactly the music that Mark was playing to Juliet, but you definitely couldn’t ignore someone playing Queen’s Somebody to Love in the hallway. It doesn’t help that your phone rings at that same moment as well with a message from Carly.
Maybe you should open your door for a late Christmas gift.
You take a deep breathe, as the music keeps playing behind the your front door. You shake a little in fear and in anticipation. You march over there and count to two before you sort of rip the door open as best you can, ready to face anything like ripping a bandaid rather than lingering in the suffering any longer -- you were tired of doing that.
However, you weren’t expecting Lance to be standing with his iphone connected to a small boombox, while holding a large bouquet of your favorite flowers as the clock just a couple of blocks away was beginning to strike towards midnight -- bringing in a new year (and maybe a new start) for the both of you.
He gives you a timid smile, which you had never seen before, as you slowly come out of your shock.
“Lance, what are--” you start off with a shaky tremor before he cuts you off.
“Darling,” you eyes widen at the sudden nickname, which makes him smile a bit more as he starts putting in more of the Tucker confidence into his speech, “I know I haven’t been the best of anything to you these past couple of years. But, those days with you have been the happiest I have had in a long time and those without you have been killing me. I know you might not trust me completely, but I’m willing jump through any hurdle and take as long as you want as long as I get to see that smile of yours everyday.”
You stand there in complete shock, slowly piecing together what Lance is trying to say as he gives you a watery smile. You look at the flowers and then at him, gaping like a fish and knowing that your answer would either change or destroy your relationship completely. And even though, you are still scare of what Lance Tucker might do to you -- you were willing to try.
And as the clock brought in the new year, you shook your head --unable to speak-- at Lance’s question causing him to scream like he had just won another gold medal, though he knew it was certainly something much more precious than that, and spins you around your empty apartment hallway. Your joined laughter echoing throughout.
Maybe, sometimes life did take a bit after a rom-com after all -- you certainly knew that now.