Nine [The Sandwich]

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"Favorite ice cream."

You tap your chin with your index finger and squint your eyes in thought, "mmm... neapolitan. Because it's a little bit of everything. Although whenever I buy it, it seems that the chocolate section runs out way faster than the other two. But I do love a giant spoonful of all three. What about you?"

Your legs swing from the cold metal perch of Harry's elevated water tower at the top of the city, your bodies so close together that your legs touch and every so often your shoe taps against his feet crossed at the ankles. You apologize each time but he always shakes it off with a soft consolation, "mint chocolate chip. Favorite pizza topping?"

You bounce a bit in excitement at his mention of pizza, "easy. Cheese."

He sinks his teeth into the corner of his bottom lip to contain his smile at your lovable disposition, your leisure, your comfort, "nothing extra?"

"No!" You giggle and bump your shoulder against his in jest and his stomach glitters with tension, "sometimes you don't need anything extra, you know? Sometimes things are just flawless in their simplicity. Unassuming, classic, as-is. Cheese pizza makes me really happy. You know that a pizza place is good if their cheese pie is yummy, it means they're not hiding under a facade of garnish. Their heart is in refining and polishing tradition. What's yours?"

He wishes that he had the strength to quip that you make him really happy too, that he views you in the same romantic way that you've described effortless perfection. The notion of you hearing what lives inside of him blooms a tinge to his cheeks that he hopes you don't notice or mention, "basil."

You pucker your lips in surprise and agreement of his answer, "touché. Okay... how about your least favorite food?"

Harry stares off into the distance, soothed by a stratum of ashen clouds and just the hint of yellow where the sun is straining to make an appearance, "licorice." His eyes are as light as key lime pie when he regards you with a tender smile, "and you?"

Your palm drops to his thigh and squeezes the muscle there before flipping your hand over on his knee as a silent request for an embrace, "guess."

That familiar sense of anxiety that he has grown to accept has returned with the steady decline of the effects from the pill you gave him hours ago. He wipes his palm on his jeans before tiptoeing his fingers along his thigh towards your waiting hand, his fingertips brushing against your wrist before weaving your digits together, "um..." His stomach is tumbling and tumbling but he breathes in relief when you clutch his hand tightly to stave his fall, "dunno, uh... beetroot?" You shake your head with a toothy grin and he laughs quietly at how adorable you look and how soft your skin is, "'kay... maybe... anchovy?"

You smile and curl your finger in the air as a request for him to lean closer, his breath quickening when he dips towards you as your free hand lifts to cup his jaw, your lips brushing his earlobe when you whisper, "sweet potato."

His heart is on fire at the simple sweep of your mouth against his ear, your gentle puff of breath on your pronunciation. His head tilts slowly to realign your faces, "really?" His eyes lock on yours and all it would take is a little nudge forward to skim your lips together, the blood draining from his cheeks and burning his belly as he imagines what you might taste and feel like, if you would make any sounds or say anything afterwards, if you kiss with your eyes open or closed, if you would lick your lips afterwards to savor the motion for days to come as he would.

You pull back and he's disappointed and appeased of romantic pressure all at once, his insides shriveling like a raisin at the sudden distance, "yup, really." You stick your tongue out and wrinkle your nose in disgust, "tastes like cakey caramel chalk." You squeak and cover your stomach with your available hand, "oh! Oddly that made my tummy grumble. Mmm, I would give anything for a cheese pizza right now."

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