Title: Summer Course in Muggle Studies (Part 3)
Character/s: Gwaine, Leon
Summary: Leon's visit is almost over and Gwaine is running out of time.
Warnings: Hogwarts AU
Word Count: 1,200
Prompt: #281: Word Limit Month: 1200
Author's Notes: Follows Summer Course in Muggle Studies (Part 2).
Gwaine was in love.
It was sickening.
He’d never liked that phrase. It was soppy and people in love were soppy and they couldn’t seem to focus on anything else.
But he didn’t know what else to call it.
Leon’s visit was going perfectly, almost too perfectly for Gwaine’s comfort. He wasn’t used to things being easy or going anywhere near as he imagined but everything was going along just fine. His mom was being nice without being too embarrassing and there’d been neither hide nor hair of his sister, who was leagues away at a camp or a retreat. Gwaine really didn’t care which it was; all he cared about was whether or not Leon was having a good time.
And it really seemed like he was.
The planetarium had been a great hit. Traveling to and from the city took more time than Gwaine liked but it was more than worth it to take Leon, who was awestruck from the moment the show started until they were back at Gwaine’s getting ready for bed. The cinema had also gone over great. Leon enjoyed it so much that they saw three films in as many days. He also liked the bowling alley and the local pub. He wasn’t very good at video games but that didn’t stop him from playing with Gwaine for hours.
It was going perfectly.
Gwaine loved every second of Leon’s visit so far but he was painfully aware of how quickly it was coming to an end.
The warm glow of dusk settled over the farmland as they walked through the fair, the cool breeze blowing through the tents and stands a reminder that summer was starting to wind down. Leon would be gone in two days and in less than a month it would be time to head back to Hogwarts for their final year of school. Gwaine could feel the relentless march of time at his back and it made him feel powerless with just a touch of hopelessness.
He was running out of time.
He looked to Leon beside him, looking painfully perfect in the late summer glow. He was wearing a light jacket because Gwaine’s mom told them to take one and Leon was the type of person who listened to moms. That’s just who he was: responsible, considerate, purposeful.
It hurt Gwaine’s stomach to think about it.
There was no ambiguity with Leon. It was a trait Gwaine loved in his friend but hated in the person of his affections. Leon was always honest – gentle, if his honesty was negative – and he was not someone who played games. He said what he meant and he meant what he said.
If there was any chance he felt a fraction of what Gwaine felt, Gwaine would know by now.
There had been chances, opportunities they were never granted at Hogwarts, an unprecedented amount of time spent alone and… nothing. Gwaine didn’t know what he was waiting for but he knew that it hadn’t come and it likely wasn’t coming.
They were just friends.
The sense of disappointment sinking in his stomach was something he was far more used to.
He heard Leon ask a question and he tried to focus on his friend, rather than his feelings. He forced a smile.
“Sorry, mate. What did you say?”
“I was wondering if we could get something to eat?” Leon asked. He looked unnecessarily and unfairly sheepish as he admitted, “I’m kind of getting hungry.”
“Me too,” Gwaine said, wanting to set Leon at ease. “I could definitely eat.” He stopped to scan the options available to them, everything from fresh fruit to decadent sweets. “How about a caramel apple?”
“Maybe after some real food?” Leon suggested. “Your mum said we shouldn’t just eat sweets.”
Gwaine shook his head, his smile growing fonder. “You know you don’t have to listen to my mum, right? She’s not your mum.”
Leon looked genuinely puzzled. “I’m a guest in her house.”
“Yeah but you’re making me look bad.”
Leon laughed, a sound as warm as the setting sun’s glow, and Gwaine tried to be grateful for what he had.
They walked past all of the options twice before deciding on fish and chips, caramel apples, and a bag of candy floss. (“She isn’t here, Leon! She won’t know.”) It was almost too much. Gwaine was forced to hold the bag of candy floss between his teeth as he balanced a basket of fish in either hand. Leon followed his lead as they walked through the open fields looking for a place to eat their spoils, passing families on picnic blankets and local townspeople enjoying the fading warmth of summer. Gwaine stopped near the roots of a large tree growing near the fence, sitting himself down in an opening of grass. Leon waited until Gwaine was settled before handing him their chips and taking a seat next to him.
“These smell so good.”
Leon nodded, having a bite of his fish. “Tastes good too,” he said when his mouth was empty.
Gwaine took a large bite of fish then chips. “Good but not the best,” he said around his food.
“The Three Broomsticks makes the best fish and chips.”
Gwaine stopped eating and gaped at Leon.
“You can’t be serious.”
“But it’s not the best!” Gwaine argued. “The best fish and chips should be light and flaky and crispy! Wizard fish and chips are never all three. The batter is always too thick.”
Leon seemed to be smiling. “Not always-“
“It is. You’re going to say I’m biased but it’s because they use magic. They don’t batter the fish by hand so they don’t know it’s too thick. I still don’t understand why they insist on using magic for everything-“
Gwaine stopped talking and gaped at Leon.
Leon, who had kissed him.
It was so brief and quick and feather light that Gwaine worried he’d imagined it. He stared at Leon, desperate for confirmation. Leon held his gaze for a moment before looking away, his face taking on a flush as his expression fell.
“I…” Leon stopped and shook his head. “I’m sorry. I didn’t… I should’ve asked-“
The end of Leon’s sentence got lost in a rough breath as Gwaine lunged at him, the two of them falling into the grass amidst their food. Gwaine didn’t think, couldn’t think, as he carefully and cautiously kissed Leon in return. It lasted a few seconds longer and only stopped so Gwaine could look at Leon with all the affection he’d been holding back.
“I would’ve said yes.”
Leon smiled and Gwaine moved in eager to learn what else he could do to make Leon smile like that. He settled with his arms around Leon’s head, his fingers playing in Leon’s curls as he kissed him slowly, deliberately, enthusiastically. He felt Leon’s hands on his back and cradling his face, holding him in an infinite moment as time melted away. Their kissing was clumsy, their teeth knocked together a few too many times, but neither of them found any reason to stop.
Leon tasted like chips and vinegar and sunshine.
Gwaine was in love.
It was perfect.