a/n: so this is kinda like the Ashton fic I wrote a long time ago, Watch Over Me. Enjoy! (Also yes I've neglected In Our Bones but I'll get to that at some point... Maybe.)
Luke was not a person one would call incredibly lucky. He was clumsy, gangly, and not that good at making conversation. He only had two good friends, and was a bit more self-conscious than the average person.
However, he did consider himself a lucky person. He knew that, despite all his shortcomings, there must've been a reason for him to be here, and there was something keeping him here, even when the days got bad. He didn't know why he firmly believed in this, but he did, and it kept him going, even when the times got rough.
It was this same reasoning that motivated him to move far, far away from home once he had graduated from university. He knew that he would be alright, no matter what, and if everything failed him, he could always go home to his family and friends.
The first few nights in his new apartment were lonely, to say the least. During the day, he was fine. He was surrounded by people at work and in the busy streets. He had even made a friend, or at least an acquaintance (other than his boss), by the first day. Mia sat in the cubicle next to his and talked to everyone. She had dark brown eyes and light brown skin, with curly brown hair that fell to her waist. The first thing that Luke noticed about her was her eye makeup, dark and dramatic, but it actually suited her quite well.
When she first met Luke, she had barely looked at him for two seconds before beginning to speak. "Heya! I'm Mia. You're Luke, right? Mrs. Li told me to watch out for you. Well, not in a bad way. She meant that she wanted me to show you around or to let you know that if you need help, I'm here. Oh, by the way. You joined us right in time. We're going to be having a staff party in the next few weeks, so yeah, just letting you know of that. Anyways, so you're from Australia? How cool! It's actually not that far from where I'm from. Well, I guess it's kinda far. But not, like, as far as here. What motivated you to come all the way here?"
When Luke was sure she wouldn't start speaking again, he allowed himself to respond. "Yup, I'm Luke. Uh, honestly, I figured you only live once, so might as well do what you want with your life, right?"
"Absolutely!" She grinned, leaning against the wall dividing their two cubicles. From his seat, she seemed very tall, but Luke knew that she would be tiny once he stood up. "Yeah, totally. That was what I said when I got my ears pierced. Check it out!" She lifted her hair to her left to reveal her ear, studded with little diamonds all along the side. "It hurt like a bitch, and sleeping with them was hell, but you know, it was worth it."
Luke smiled politely. "That looks really good on you." And he meant it.
"Thank you! My mum hated it. Oh, she had a fit!" Mia laughed, throwing her head back as she clapped her hands together. "She said, 'Why don't you get your nose pierced? So much nicer than this'. But as you said, you only live once. Anyways, my life will end very soon if I don't get back to work. It's so great that you're here! We'll talk again in a bit, yeah? See you!"
And with that, she was back in her seat. Luke smiled to himself, shaking his head slightly, and continued what he had been doing before Mia's introduction,
So, yeah. At work, he had plenty good company. But at home, all he had was his music, blasting from his tiny phone. Once he had paid the rent, he would invest in a little speaker. There was nothing worse than tinny phone speakers.
He missed his dog, who always said hi to him when he stepped through the door. He missed his brothers, who teased him but were there when he needed someone. He missed his mother and father, who were always happy to help or to talk to him. He missed Ashton, his best friend, the one person he had grown up with and who he knew like the back of his hand. He hadn't spoken to anyone since he landed, since he didn't have internet set up. Yet another thing he had to do.
After his fourth day at work, he entered his apartment, dropped his bag on the floor beside the door, and grabbed an apple from the barren fridge. He made his way past the tiny kitchenette and the beaten, orangish couch to stand by the window, looking down at the cars and the people as he took a bite into the red fruit. He watched people walk past, some in groups of 3 and 4, some alone, and some in pairs. He watched some of them laugh and smile, he watched some of them argue, he watched some of them walk in silence.
That's when it hit him. He needed a room-mate. He would say flat-mate, but really, there was only one room in his apartment. He could get another bed and some inexpensive sheets, and maybe get Mia's help finding someone. She had proved to be incredibly helpful whenever he needed help finding something (two days ago, it had been the bathroom, and she even held the door open for him), so maybe he could ask her.
"A room-mate?" she exclaimed when he asked her during their next lunch break. "That's a great idea! I would volunteer myself, but I think I'm better living alone. I would talk my room-mate to death. Anyways, room-mate... Hmm. Well, how do you wanna go about finding one?"
"I'm not sure... Flyers?" Luke shrugged. "I don't have internet set up in my flat yet, so I can't post to a website about it."
"Well, you could, using a work computer, but that's not ideal. You'd have to check it a lot. Flyers aren't a great idea, either. That's the best way to get sketchy people..." She thought about it for a second before smacking herself on the forehead, making her multiple metal bracelets clink together. "Wait, it's simple!"
Luke raised his eyebrows, his mouth full of sandwich. She took the cue, and kept talking. "Well, I could ask some of my friends if they know anyone, but we could also post it online and ask them to contact you solely through phone. Your phone is set up, right?"
"Yeah." He nodded. "That's a good idea!"
Mia smiled. "Thanks! So we could do that. That way, you won't have to keep checking the website and risk Mrs. Li seeing you. We can do it right now! I have internet on my phone."
A good ten minutes later, Luke had an ad posted up.
"Are you sure you wanna put the 'music always playing' bit?" Mia asked.
"They should know what they're getting into."
Mia shrugged. "Fair enough."
They didn't have time to discuss anything else, as their lunch break ended on that note.
Within a few hours, Luke got a call. The person on the other end had a deep, gruff voice, and Luke would be lying if he said he wasn't a bit intimidated. "Looking for a room-mate?"
"Yeah..." Luke answered, looking over at Mia who had peeked over the division.
"Okay, cool. So you're a real person."
"Do you say anything other than yeah?"
"Yeah, oh, sorry. Um, can I have your name?"
"I'll only tell you my name if I like the apartment. Can I come check it out this evening at 7?"
"Okay, that works." Luke hoped he didn't like the apartment.
Thankfully, the bearded man didn't like it, claiming it was too small for his rubber duck collection. Luke sighed out in relief as he closed the door behind him.