elydesia: (cry)
[personal profile] elydesia posting in [community profile] ethosa
Siobhan threw a party at Captain's Cabin in celebration of Corelle's promotion at work. Everyone was invited, even old Grim.

Corelle ended the call and sped down the stairs. "Frank!" she called.

"Down here," he replied from the basement. Corelle tried going downstairs but he quickly blocked her way. "Something the matter?" he asked.

Corelle raised a brow. "You hiding something down there?" She tried to get past him as she spoke, but he stopped her every time.

"Later," he said. He was playful yet firm, and Corelle knew not to pry further.

"Siobhan just called."

"Oh?"

"She wants to have a party at Captain's to celebrate my promotion!"

"I see," he replied, his expression faltering for just a moment too short for Corelle to notice. "You want to go?"

"Of course! Oh, I gotta get ready."

"Have fun, tonight. Be safe, love."

Corelle was turned back to her boyfriend and gave him a peck on the lips. "You make it sound as if you're not coming."

He furrowed his brows in bewilderment. "I'm invited?"

"Why not?" Corelle said and gave him another kiss, deeper this time. He wrapped his arms around her waist, sliding his hands up and down her back, until finally resting a palm on each buttcheek.

"Even though I'm the family butler?" he said and hooked a finger around her skirt's waistband.

"Yes. I've hidden you away for long enough, Frank. I want to introduce you to the people in my life--as my boyfriend."

Her words made his heart swell.



Captain's Cabin was crowded. There was a general incoherence to the night that made everyone unclear as to what was going on, but one thing was known by everyone: celebrate Corelle's promotion.

While she kept trying to introduce Frank to her friends, she kept getting pulled away to take a shot, or to dance, or to mediate an argument. Frank ended up sitting at a table by a window, near the back of the establishment. The Grim Reaper sat with him and he felt a little dazed by the experience.

"So," Frank began, racking his brain for an ice breaker. "How do you know Corelle?"

"I took Grandma and Grandpa Lockwood," they said.

Frank's lips formed a firm line as he grew increasingly intimidated by the avatar of death.

"How do you know her?" they asked.

It felt weird to say it, but he said it anyway. "I'm the family butler, but I'm also her boyfriend."

Without missing a beat the Grim Reaper said, "I think I have an idea as to why it feels strange for you to admit you and the girl are intimate lovers."

The tips of Frank's ears grew pink with embarrassment. Intimate. That was definitely what they were. After a brief pause, he said, "What are your thoughts?"

"It is because you watched the girl grow up."

Frank shifted in his seat. "Hold on, I didn't--" Grim held up a scaly black finger.

"From afar," they said. "You didn't raise her, but you knew of her existence. You worked at the house when she was young, when she would visit her grandparents, before her mother's death."

Frank didn't argue. The being's words were right. He remembered having a massive crush on Corelle's mother, too.

"You were young, too. I remember you at the house when I came to take Gloria away. You didn't cry, then. I don't think you cried when I took away Corelle's grandparents, either."

"There's no point in crying," Frank said. He watched her go around taking photos--with Siobhan, with Jax, with Luc. She took a photo of her father doing pushups by the bar. He watched her eyes search the crowd until their gazes locked. She smiled and he felt himself heat up. He watched her wade through the crowd to reach him, resting a hand on his shoulder before giving him a kiss on the lips.

"Hey," she said.

"Having fun?"

"Yeah," she said lazily. "Hey, let's take a picture."

"Of us?"

"Of course! We don't have any of us together. I want one." She settled down on his lap and leaned back into his chest. She gave him a quick kiss on his jawline before snapping a photo with her phone.

"Okay," he said, "Now go spend time with your friends."

She frowned. "What about you? Aren't you bored just sitting here and talking with Grim?--No offense."

He smiled and held her hands in his. "I'm fine," he lied. "You go. Let me chatup the avatar of death some more."

Corelle looked into his eyes for a long time as if there was something hidden deep beneath the surface. Finally, she got up and said, "I want another picture. Of just you, this time."

"All right. Go ahead." She quickly snapped another photo before giving him a deeper kiss and then running off to the dance floor. He watched as someone--was it Luc?--hand her another shotglass and she happily took it, swinging it back in stride.

He watched her on the dance floor, moving with music unfamiliar to him, and felt a dull ache in his chest.

He spoke aloud the thought that came to mind, "Maybe this needs to end." He saw her youth, her vitality, and felt saddened. He felt he has been holding her back for the six months they've been together, and he winced as if this realization physically hurt him. His idea of romance was different from her's; maybe he's been doing it wrong all along?



When they stepped inside the Lockwood estate, Corelle headed straight for the Bluetooth printer.

"Hey, where are you going?" Frank called.

"I'm going to print out the photos from this evening. I can't wait to see the ones of us," she said and winked.

Frank hung up his coat before retreating to the kitchen and pouring himself a glass of water. He steeled himself when he heard her climb the stairs.

"There's something we need to talk about," he begun.

"What's up?" She took a seat at the kitchen table. She turned on the radio but he quickly turned it off.

He told her their relationship was over. When she asked him why, he said it was because it wasn't right.

"Is it my age? Do you think I'm too you--"

"No. That's not it," he said, his words firm. He took a seat down at the kitchen table and rested his gloved hands atop Corelle's trembling fingers, gripping them and holding them tight. "When you came to this house, we were both very lonely people. I believe we took advantage of the other to heal our wounds and--now? I think this is enough."

His words made sense to her. She didn't want to think like that, but he was probably right. They drowned in each other, pretending loneliness didn't exist. She loved him, and wanted to be with him, but their relationship wasn't built on the right foundation. It was as simple as that.



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