Title: The Secrecy of a Star (Part 2)
Character/s: Gwaine, Leon
Summary: Gwaine is all too familiar with the price of fame. He hopes it doesn't interfere with his big third date with Leon.
Warnings: Modern AU
Word Count: 1,072
Prompt: #250: Pick Up Lines
Author's Notes: A continuation of The Secrecy of a Star.
Gwaine ran his hand over the rim of his glass as he waited for Leon.
He’d already signed autographs and took pictures with most of the cinema staff. He’d even sung a few bars from one of his songs on the projectionist’s Snapchat. It was a good use of his time, acting as both a distraction and some friendly insurance; people were much less likely to sell pictures to gossip sites if they felt they got a piece of him for themselves.
Nothing was normal and there was nothing Gwaine could do about it.
His mobile vibrated with a text from Morgana.
ETA 5 mins
There are mints in your jacket pocket
Gwaine laughed as he pat himself down and found the small tin of mints. He finished off the rest of his drink and moseyed over to the front doors of the theater. Morgana must have slipped the mints in his jacket while he was getting dressed. She apparently had higher expectations for the date than he did.
He popped a mint his mouth and winked at a passing staff member.
Third dates, in Gwaine’s experience, were ‘do or die’ dates. Decision dates. ‘Come back to mine’ or ‘It’s been nice to know you’ dates. By the end of a third date you’ve spent enough time with a person to judge whether or not they’re any fun to be around. Whether or not they make you laugh, have interesting things to say, or if you want to see them naked. For Gwaine, the assessment on all points was yes, yes, yes, and yes but he couldn’t guess where Leon stood.
The more the success of his career changed his world, the harder Gwaine found it to read other people.
Nothing was normal and it was never going to be the same again.
Gwaine tried to shake himself out of his own head. He jumped up and down a few times, fixed his hair, and tried to block out the negative train of thoughts with the new song he’d been working on. It was only melody at the moment, a strong beat and catchy rhythm that played behind Merlin’s reassuring words on repeat.
“He likes you, Gwaine.”
“He likes you, Gwaine.”
“He likes you-“
Gwaine forced himself out of his music and focused on the world in front of him. Leon occupied that space, his curls and his soft-looking cardigan more endearing to Gwaine than they had any right to be.
He smiled brighter than he had in any of the pictures he took earlier.
“Hi Leon.” He took a step forward as Leon came towards him. “How was the traffic?”
“It wasn’t so bad,” Leon answered. “Knowing that someone will pick me up and that it’s impossible to miss the show time takes most of the stress away.”
Gwaine ducked his head. “I’m sorry we have to keep meeting like this. I just don’t-“
He stopped talking when Leon put a hand on his shoulder. It was a friendly touch but Leon looked as nervous about it as Gwaine felt, pulling away far sooner than Gwaine would’ve liked.
“It’s okay, Gwaine.” Leon smiled; it was all the forgiveness Gwaine needed. “It really is. I understand. And I’d be lying if I said the special treatment isn’t flattering.”
Leon blushed and Gwaine heard his new melody playing at a slower tempo, the beat resonating in his heart as he leaned towards Leon with a secret.
“I’m more than happy to do it for you.”
Leon’s curls fell into his face, hiding none of the color on his cheeks as Gwaine ushered them to the concessions. One very large popcorn to share, two drinks, and a box each of Sno-caps, Red Vines, and M&Ms accompanied Gwaine and Leon into the theater.
“I can’t believe you’ve never seen this,” Gwaine said as he settled in the plush seat.
“It’s a kids’ film.” Leon watched Gwaine shake Sno-caps and M&Ms into the popcorn. He took a handful hesitantly. “It’s for kids.”
“Wrong,” Gwaine said, pointing a Red Vine at Leon’s face. Leon laughed as Gwaine took an exaggerated bite. “It’s for the kid in all of us. Roll the film!”
They sat in the theater long after the end of the film, the credits, and the studio logos. There was no rush to go anywhere, there was no next showing; Gwaine had paid to have the theater closed for the night. He didn’t want the date to end but the end of the film signaled pretty clearly the end of a cinema date.
“Thanks for coming,” Gwaine said, searching the popcorn kernels for any last pieces of chocolate. “Thanks for giving this,” he gestured at the screen, “a chance.”
“You were right,” Leon said. He picked out an M&M without looking and offered it to Gwaine. “It’s a great film. You have very good taste.”
Gwaine couldn’t help himself. “I have good taste in furniture too. You want to come back to mine and check out my couch?”
“The bed’s nice too but if we’re being honest, Morgana picked that out.”
Leon’s brow creased in a worrisome manner before he burst into laughter.
“That’s the worst pick up line I’ve ever heard,” Leon laughed.
Gwaine rolled his eyes. “The worst one?”
“Yes,” Leon nodded, smiling brighter than Gwaine had ever seen. “And I’ve heard every ‘check out,’ ‘book slot,’ and ‘circulation’ line people can come up with.”
Gwaine let Leon’s laughter dance with the melody in his head.
“Well, do you want to?”
Leon’s smile fell but the beautiful blush returned. “Do you want me to?”
It was the hesitancy that won Gwaine over every time. Most people barely needed the hint of an invitation before they ran at him. Leon asked, and asked, and asked again and it was a courtesy that Gwaine was rarely provided.
He touched Leon’s hand, gently curling his fingers around Leon’s.
“I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t want you to.”
Leon looked down at their hands for a long time before nodding.
“Okay,” he said softly.
“Okay,” Gwaine confirmed, grinning as he looked for his mobile. “Let me just call for the car.”
Leon nodded again, turning his hand so that their fingers fit between each other. Gwaine felt his new song playing in his heart as he smiled at Leon, waiting for the driver to answer.
Nothing was normal but maybe that would be okay.