“Penny. I saw Baz.”
The mug Penny was washing clattered to the bottom of the sink, Simon hoped she didn't break it. He liked that one, it was shaped like a pig, with a snout and everything. Hands dripping with sudsy water, she spun on him, spraying little droplets all across the kitchen counter island.
Simon shrugged sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck, avoiding her eyes.
“I went to see Baz so I could invite him to your wedding…”
He tapered off a bit at the end and looked up, trying to gauge her reaction.
She was going to burn a hole straight through him with the look in her eyes alone.
“Simon. In what reality would you think I wanted that jerk at my wedding?” her gaze was cold. He couldn’t really tell if the look was directed towards him or towards Baz. When he and Baz first broke up Penny had taken it a lot harder than he would've expected, it probably didn’t help that Baz dumped Penny’s friendship at the same time. ‘ But you two twats have been at each other for years! Anyone with sight could see it! Why Simon? Did he say anything?” She always did ask a lot of questions. Simon had shrugged and shook his head. He wasn’t about to talk to Penny about why he broke up with Baz, at that time he was just hoping she wouldn’t want to leave too after she realized how much he was dragging her down.
“You were friends!”
“So!? We aren't now !”
“Yeah but you could be!”
“SIMON! Why the fuck would I want to be friends with the guy that dumped you?!”
“He didn't dump me!”
“SIMON, of course he did! Otherwise he would still be here wouldn't he!?”
Penny rubbed at where her glasses rested on her nose, ignoring the fact that her hands were still dripping wet. A soap bubble got on her nose.
Spinning a bit on the bar stool, Simon worried his bottom lip, “ Technically when we broke up, I dumped him...before he got the chance to dump me, figured it’d be easier that way. He was definitely going to Penny, definitely. He was being too nice to me.”
She sighed and leaned back against the sink, crossing her arms and looking up at the ceiling. Thinking...or maybe praying? He couldn’t tell if the look on her face meant she was going to start crying or yelling. He didn’t like when Penny got quiet like this, usually the next time she spoke it was to tell Simon he was an idiot. Both Penny and Baz never held back when they thought he had done or said something stupid. He wasn’t an idiot.
“Simon-” he held his breath as she uncrossed her arms a minute later, laying her hands on the counter top across from him, leaning in. The soap bubble was still there.
“You are an idiot.”
There it was.
He pushed himself back from the counter, sitting upright, indignant. “Why? I'm not an idiot Penny!”
“You are! How has it been four year-”
He cut in “five.”
She rolled her eyes, “five years and you are just now telling me that you broke up with Baz?”
“I told you the day it happened Penny!”
“You said, and I quote: We broke up! Then burst into tears and cried for the rest of the night!”
“Simon! Do you not understand why you are an idiot?!”
She was staring at him with something burning in her eyes, ready to pour out.
“I am not an idiot Penny!”, the words ground out from behind his clenched teeth.
“For snake’s sake Simon! Baz was being nice to you because he loved you!” she growled back.
“I’m telling you Penny. He was just taking pity on me back then! He loved who I was , not what I had become. I was holding him back! I was-”
Simon can't bear to look at Penny anymore. So he doesn't. He puts his head down on the counter, covering it with his arms. He had come to tell her he saw Baz because he had to ask...he needed advice. Seeing Baz again-hearing Baz say Simon’s name like that, like it hurt . Simon thought that- he had thought- the kindness was just Baz taking pity on him...wasn’t it? There was no way Baz could have actually still loved him after Simon lost his powers. Not after Simon couldn't get it in his thick head that he was Bi.
Simon was in love with Baz and he had fucked it up. Big time. Because he couldn't get over himself. Couldn't get over the fear of what others were saying. Whether or not he was still interested in girls. He was so confused and just-well, he was scared. So scared. Scared by how much he wanted Baz. Scared of how jealous he had become when he saw others appreciate Baz when they weren't looking with sneers at the boys holding hands. He wanted Baz only for himself. To look only at him. He wanted to hold Baz closely and never let go but he also couldn’t stand to be touched by him. Couldn’t stand to not be touched by him. He didn’t know what he wanted. He had just been in a relationship with the most beautiful girl to walk through Watford's gates for the last three years and now he was in a relationship with the most beautiful boy?! He had never been so jealous when he was with Agatha. Hadn’t wanted her as much maybe. Simon hadn’t had the time to process what that meant-about him-about Baz-about their past. It caught up to him.
He fucked up.
He had pushed Baz so far away, was so sure Baz was done with him. Baz was going to end it any day.
His therapist had always asked, “did you ask him if that was what he wanted?” whenever they broached the topic. Simon had just sworn adamantly that Baz didn’t want him anymore, there would’ve been no point in asking him what he wanted. It was clear what he wanted. At Least Simon had thought it was clear...
Simon Snow is a dumbass.
Penny was right.
Someone slid into the seat next to him and he felt something warm and wet on his back. Sliding his hands through his hair and dragging them down his face he sat up, looking at Penny. Defeated. She kept her hand on his back and patted him gently. All the fight had bled out of the both of them as they sat on the stools staring at each other. The faucet dripped in the background.
“...you think he would have still been here now?” Simon’s voice sounded fragile, even to his own ears.
Penny grimaced and wiped at her nose, removing the soap bubble. “I know he would.” Her response was soft, softer than Simon deserved.
Simon returned the grimace with one of his own.
Now, more than ever, he knew he had to see Baz again.
This time for the sake of himself.