s i x t e e n

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A week passed

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A week passed. Jasmine called every day, and so did Harry. River didn't answer either of them. Instead, she stayed curled up on her bed with tears stains on her cheeks and an overwhelming feeling of numbness enveloping her.

She knew she needed to get up, knew she needed to talk to Jasmine, and knew she probably needed to talk to Harry, too, but she just couldn't bring herself to. She knew she'd overreacted with both of them; she hadn't even really given Jas a chance to explain, and obviously her logic in making Harry leave was flawed to say the least.

She missed them both, but just felt... frozen, almost. Like she wanted to get up and fix things but just couldn't force herself to. Eventually, Harry solved that problem for her.

"River. Lovely River."

Harry's voice was gentle and for a moment she was sure it was within the dream she was having.

"Riv."

Her eyes slipped open and somehow he was there, sitting on the edge of the bed looking at her warmly. He reached for her, gently smoothing down a strand of hair that was sticking up at an odd angle. His thumb ran down her cheek gingerly, making goosebumps rise over her skin.

"Harry? I... I figured you'd be back in London by now," she told him quietly, sitting up in bed and making to pull her knees to her chest. He shook his head, stopping the movement and moving closer to her. He climbed under the sheets with her, scooting down so that he could bury his head in her neck and nuzzle gently.

"I wasn't about to leave you. I was originally planning on leaving you alone, figuring you'd call me eventually, but I started to worry," he told her, shrugging.

"Harry, I-," she started, but he shook his head, pulling it out of the crook of her neck and looking at her intensely. He kissed the tip of her nose, making her close her eyes and take in the smell of his cologne.

"Don't apologize. It's okay," he told her, and tears filled her eyes as she shook her head.

"I'm sorry anyway," she told him, and he nodded.

"Fine. I forgive you, love."

She kissed him, her lips lingering on and moving with his for a long time. She really had been scared she may never see him again. The more she thought about it, though, the more it wasn't surprising at all that he'd waited for her. Of course he had.

In the few hours that followed, he helped her shower and put herself together and then made her a big lunch after making the correct assumption that she hadn't been eating much. Freshly showered with a full belly and Harry sitting beside her on the couch, she felt worlds better. She felt warm and almost whole. He seemed to sense she was feeling better and took the leap she knew he'd been desperate to take since he'd walked into her apartment.

"So... your sister," he said quietly. She looked up at him and he shrugged. "She... she reached out to me on Instagram. We talked a bit, and she asked me if I'd speak to you for her. She thought maybe if things were coming from me you'd be more... open to hearing them," he said gently, like he wished he wasn't saying those particular words.

River closed her eyes and took a deep breath, nodding.

"What did she say?"

"Well, she wanted to apologize. She wanted me to tell you that she's sorry and she knows she made the wrong decision. She also wanted me to tell you why she came back... well, she says it's because she couldn't manage to live her life somewhere else without you. She knew she'd hurt you, and the thought of it was killing her," he told her, and she closed her eyes, tears slipping around the closed lids anyway. He pulled her close and held her while she cried, soothing quietly.

"I have to call her, don't I?" she asked eventually, and Harry nodded.

"I think so, love."

So she did. They spoke for a long time, working through and talking about everything. By the time they were done, River actually felt better somehow. She still felt hurt and wasn't sure she'd ever fully understand Jasmine's reasons for disappearing, but it didn't really matter. All that mattered was that she was back. She was back and they were going to work through all their shit and that's all River had really wanted.

"Hey, Riv?" Jasmine asked quietly in a small lull in the conversation. River hummed in the back of her throat. "You did steal my car, you know?" she asked, and River couldn't help but burst out laughing.

"I did, didn't I?"

"Yeah, you did."

"I'll bring it back tomorrow. I assume you're dying to meet my boyfriend as well?" River asked, her eyes darting to where Harry was hunched over his laptop across the room. He looked up, giving her a wide dimpled smile.

"I mean... I wouldn't be sad about it," Jasmine said, and River could hear the excitement in her tone.

"I suppose I'll drag him along," River said, sticking her tongue out at him across the room. He returned the gesture before looking back down at his computer.

"We're going to be okay, Riv," Jasmine said after another pause and River smiled.

"I guess we are, aren't we?"

"Definitely."

•••••

a/n: the end! i'll be honest, i'm not super happy with how this all wrapped up but i ended up completely out of commission with an awful toothache for almost two weeks, and in that time i just couldn't bring myself to write at all no matter how hard i tried, and now that i'm finally feeling better i'm suddenly feeling very uninspired for this story after taking such a long break from writing it, and i know that if i don't finish it now i may never and i don't want to leave it open-ended. so, here we are. i think it's cute anyway, even though it's not my favorite. sorry if it's a letdown or anything but thank you so much for reading and i hope you enjoyed it! 💜

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