The nagging sensation at the back of her mind couldn’t be dulled by his arms. If the world was only him and her she could embrace him tighter, keep him longer; but the truth was cruel. His job was risky and there was a great chance that he wouldn’t be around in a few weeks or years. And throw her into the mix, in two years they would both be risking their lives for a cause they shouldn’t even have to fight for. That thought made her hold him tighter. He was the only thing keeping her from drifting away from everything. He was her anchor.
"We’re never on holiday." She protested. "Not as long as wonderblokes like my brother are out there, pissing people off." A smile graced her face unwillingly, the idea of acting like a real couple was enticing to say the least. They couldn’t often do it without careful planning in advance. It wasn’t like they could walk through Diagon Alley hand in hand where her dad might show up. Here was safe though, they could wander around and get lost and they could do it all together.
"Mmm," she murmured softly. He wouldn’t distract her, not when she had a vision in her head of them walking by the storefronts. "Let’s go run around the town. Maybe I’ll point to things I like and make it easy on you." She pushed away from him gently, going to gather her clothes- which were spread everywhere. When she was decent once more she nodded towards the door. "Are there any good ice cream places around here? I could really use some ice cream."
"Mm, maybe not," Jake said quietly, tracing a pattern on her skin with his thumb. "But we can pretend. I’ve heard you’re quite good at that," Jake smiled, letting her step out of his grasp. His arms felt empty without her in them, but he busied himself collecting his clothes and fetching a new shirt from the bedroom (the one he’d been wearing had gotten rather wrinkled). It struck Jake that there was so much he didn’t know about Rose. So much she didn’t know about him. They were both incredibly honest with each other—to the point of brutality when they were fighting—but there was so much left between them unsaid.
Not for the first time, he considered telling her. Jake shook his head at the foolish notion—no good would come of it, that he was sure. Rose didn’t need any more of his baggage, especially not that. She didn’t need to know how dark his past was. There were enough skeletons in his closet without adding that. He smiled as he left the bedroom, leaving shadowy thoughts of the past behind him.
Jake raised one eyebrow when he heard Rose’s request. “Ice cream? You are aware it’s December, correct?” he asked, dry humor in his voice. “But yes, there’s a great little place on the beach that I know. This cute little old couple owns it, they love me,” he grinned. He had fantasized about buying it from them when he’d been living here alone a year before. Buying it and just doing that for the rest of his life. Ignoring magic and conflict and Rose and just burying his head in the beautiful Monaco sand. But that would never be now. Not that he was upset—he had his north star back, what was an ice cream shop compared to that? She would never agree to live outside Britain—her family meant too much to her. As it should. He wanted that for them, for any—Merlin willing—children they might have. He wanted any children he had to grow up surrounded by people who loved them—and that they knew it. He didn’t want them growing up dependent on one person.
At least he was awareof his issues.
"C’mon, I’ll show you all of my favorite places," Jake smiled down at her, kissing her forehead. He wove his fingers with Rose’s and led her out of the flat.
The first is good idea but unaffordable to a fifth year student, while the other is just…
It was a joke.
Well…you can never go wrong with jewelry! But that’s all I can come up with for now.
What about a life-sized stuffed lion?
A real lion? Bollocks I’m floundering.
Excellent, I’d hate to let anyone down.
You always rise above expectations, I suppose.
Well…just stick to the gift cards.
I think my girlfriend would appreciate something a bit more personal.
I don’t believe in false modesty.
That much, Lily love, has always been clear.
Course he does. I brush him everyday. Makes him more comfy when we snuggle at night.
Good thing he can’t apparate, otherwise I’d be out of a job.
I suppose. But don’t we all have to get down and dirty once and a while?
Dirty? I’m offended.
Rose perched herself on the arm of his chair, taking another long sip of the whiskey. His response sated her a bit, but not much. There was so much she worried about, so many things she needed to make sure didn’t happen. The possibility that the world would rip them apart was so realistic it caused her a physical ache. There was nothing they could do about it but prepare themselves for the worst. They both knew he had to interact with the world a bit more. Meet people outside of the Auror department. Perhaps she could get him to go to a match with Teddy. They might kill each other, but she figured it was better than him being isolated in the flat, however lovely it may be.
"You had better never lie to me, Zabini. Not even to spare my feelings." She injected quietly.
“I’m sure Lily would have wanted you to take her death as a means to move on, Jake. There’s so much you could do with your life if you expanded your horizons. I want to see you get drunk with a bunch of blokes and compare dick sizes or something. Something normal, something healthy.” She didn’t know how to tell him, how to show him how to be human. He was so broken that she wasn’t sure she could pick up all of the pieces. She was determined, though. If she couldn’t pull him together she’d help him make a name for himself. Make himself whole, with new pieces to fit the old ones. “From what you say about Lily, she seems to have really loved you. And I know, as someone who loves you, that if anything ever happened to me, I would want you to rebuild yourself; because you deserve to have a complete and whole life.”
She took his free hand and laced her fingers through it. “You don’t ever have to be alone again. I will never let you be alone, I swear it.” Would her words be enough? She needed him to believe in her, to really believe in what she was saying. It hurt her like crazy to see him damaged and incomplete. “I know you do go out, I know you have Ashton. I just want you to have as many people as I do. Though you probably don’t want the people I have. They’re pretty insane.” If they really did stay together, if they got married he would have all of the people she did. Her gran would fuss around him, making him eat and giving him sweaters. He would be loved and treasured. Eventually, she would be able to take him around her family. Just another year or so and they could become the public couple she wanted them to be. “Hopefully you’ll get to meet my family as my boyfriend soon. Then you will never be alone, I guarantee it.”
With a soft smile she tugged him out of his chair, wrapping her arms around his neck. “Hold me.” She whispered into his chest, hoping he could decipher her muffled words. Standing there with him pressed up against her; there was nothing in the world that compared to it; that blissful feeling of being exactly where she was meant to be.
Jake looped his arms around her, cradling her to him. This was perfection, he was sure of it. He wanted nothing else in his life except to hold Rose Weasley just like this. Maybe not just like this, they both had too many dark things on their mind for them to forget. Those things, the outside world, were much farther away then usual; they sat in a far corner of his brain, relegated for a later time.
Without his commanding it, one of Jake’s hands found the back of Rose’s neck and tipped her face upwards. He bent down, ghosting his lips across hers. “No more dark stuff, okay?” he murmured, tracing her cheekbones with his thumb. “We’re on holiday,” he smiled, kissing her forehead. “No more talking about any of that. Hell, no more thinking about it. We’re going to be just another blissfully happy young couple wandering around the city,” he grinned. “Or maybe we just won’t leave the flat,” he trailed off, kissing her with more intensity.
Merlin he loved Rose Weasley, he thought distantly. One hand had a firm grip on her waist, the other still rested gently in her hair.