If You Must Laugh

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The playful atmosphere of the day dissipates entirely in the wake of the conversation about Agatha, leaving us all subdued and quiet. Snow's nervous-- I can feel it in the pressure of his hand around mine; can see it in the quick glances he throws my way. It worries me.

And maybe I'm a little worried, too. Wellbelove didn't exactly part with us on good terms; she freaked out on us at Christmas and then ran away from The Mage carrying someone else's Spaniel. Not exactly what I would call "companionable".

What's more, she dated Simon and had a crush on me, so that's sure to make things awkward.

What was Bunce thinking?

I try my best not to think about it through dinner, but the threat of her coming to visit looms above us like a dark cloud. Simon's bothered about it to the point that I hesitate to go out hunting. He notices my reluctance and kisses my cheek, his lips so wonderfully warm against my chronically cold skin.

"Baz. I'll be fine-- I'll stay here and make sure Penny doesn't start your show without you," he assures me. Reluctantly, I don my snow gear, promising to be quick. Luckily I'm not overly hungry, so I should be able to make good on that. Snow just fusses over me, adding on another scarf to my already thick layers (I'm a bloody vampire, Snow, the cold doesn't bother me!)(...and just like that I'm halfway to being Elsa)(Damn it all).

It's out here, alone in the snow-dampened darkness of the city that I allow the thoughts of Agatha and memories of Watford to return. How angry Snow used to make me, simply because he was perfect and I had a schoolboy crush. How angry he got when I pretended to flirt with Wellbelove. How, in retrospect, that jealousy wasn't necessarily directed at her...

I don't know how to feel about this whole situation. And I guess I won't know entirely until I see how Wellbelove reacts...

Maybe that's the part I'm worried about. That she might flirt with me, or worse, with Simon. That she might react badly when she finds out. That she might hate us.

I shake my head angrily, trying to clear it.

"Eat, Basil!" I order to myself, trying to focus. Focus.

Wiping my mind blank, I make my way to the edge of a wooded park to hunt.


Bunce and Snow are lazing about the sitting room when I get back; that dark, Wellbelove-shaped cloud hanging ominously above them. Bunce's eyes are glazed over, deep in thought. Snow is curled up in his usual corner of the couch, his eyes half-closed, short lashes mostly blocking out the blue. On silent feet, I sneak up behind him, resting my hands on his neck. He jumps a meter into air with a short, surprised yelp, whipping his head around to face me.

I'm bent double laughing, the stretch in my cheeks feeling impossibly good after such an emotionally trying evening.

Si swats at my arm, fighting down laughter of his own.

"Baz, you knob! Your hands are freezing!" he whinges, mirth sparkling in those blue eyes. Behind him, Penny's covering her mouth to hide her giggles.

"That's the point, you twit!" I tease in reply, leaning over the back of the couch to kiss him. A smile tugs at his lips against mine, tasting like cinnamon and apples and everything that's good in the world.

Bunce clears her throat.

"You two are disgusting," she informs us matter-of-factly. I can hear her rolling her eyes. So I just grin and flip her the bird.

"One would think," I drawl, sidling over the back of the couch and plopping onto the cushions next to Snow, "that after two years, you would be used to it, Bunce. Have you started watching our show without me?"

Bunce sighs, flipping me the bird in return.

"No, some of us have respect for our friends." She tosses me the remote; I catch it without even looking, turning on the television and flipping to Netflix.

"Well, glad to see chivalry isn't completely dead," I reply, finding our show and pressing play. Bunce sticks her tongue out at me.

We sit in silence for the remainder of the episode, letting the "mind-numbing-telly-waves" (as professor Bunce likes to call it) wash over us, lulling the mood a bit. Snow snuggles into my side, his head resting on my shoulder. I silently relish in the tickle of those ridiculous curls against my chin. Wrapping my arm around his waist, I hold him close, my fingers slipping just beneath the hem of his shirt and resting on his warm skin. The gesture makes his cheeks blush the palest shade of pink; it's adorable.

About halfway through the programme, Snow falls asleep. His breathing going all soft and slow, his face completely relaxing until he looks practically angelic. Which is cliché, but entirely true. With his golden skin and bronze curls and those soft, perfect eyelids, I wouldn't be surprised to find him with a harp.

My Simon, the Angel.

The programme ends, casting the room into warm darkness. Bunce checks her watch, then glances questioningly back up at me.

"Nicks and Slick, Basil, what did you do to him today? It's only ten!" She asks, sounding mildly alarmed. I grin deviantly at her, raising one brow.

"Do you really want to know what I did to him, Bunce?" I tease, even though Simon and I didn't actually do anything like what I'm implying (well, not today). Bunce's face goes red, an interesting contrast with her lilac hair (she's spelled it a different colour every New Years since First Year; last year it was sky blue).

"I ought to spell you quiet one of these days, Baz," she threatens. I grin, knowing she doesn't mean it (she hardly does, anymore).

"I ought to do the same to you, Bunce," I throw back. An obstinate smile tugs at her lips.


I wink at her.

"Press play, Bunce. Snow won't mind-- he doesn't even like this actor, remember?" This earns a laugh from Bunce (mission accomplished, in my book).

"Fine," she agrees, brandishing her large ring at the remote, spelling it to press the correct button. "Play on!"

It may be a waste of Magic, but it's ridiculously entertaining to watch the little round button press down of its own accord with a small, satisfactory pop.

The theme song plays; the people in medical Scrubs rush about, all too impossibly pretty and wide-awake to be actual doctors and nurses. We lose ourselves in the lovely alternate reality, forgetting all about Agatha for a while.


Hours later, Snow wakes me up when he sits bolt upright in bed next to me, breathing hard. I force open my eyes, glaring daggers at him. His face is still slackened by sleep, his eyes at half-mast. Those curls stick out in all directions. The clock on the nightstand behind him reads 3:14 AM.

"Baz," he slurs, sounding absolutely plastered, "darling, I'm pregnant!"

I groan, latching my hand onto his shoulder and pulling him back down onto the mattress. He's sleep talking. Again. This is the fifth time this week.

"It's 3 AM, you're a boy, and we're gay, you twat, now go the fuck to sleep," I grumble, shutting my eyes tightly, keeping my hand on his shoulder in case he decides to grace me with another important announcement.

He just mumbles something unintelligible about bears and cosmetics before relaxing again and falling back to sleep.

"No more medical shows for you," I mutter, repositioning myself so I'm resting my head on his chest.

What was I saying earlier about my angelic Simon?

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