This is where I will post the one-shots that I have been requested. If you would like to request a one-shot, you can either post it here or preferably my one-shot request form. Hope you all enjoy :)
Love the Way You Lie (for rockymay)
It was a beautiful spring day as Julia Norris walked across campus, smiling into the warm sun and letting the cool breeze flow through her long dark hair. Spring was always her favorite time of the year; she loved the beauty it brought in nature, the fewer clothes it meant she could wear after a vicious winter's chill, but most of all the tiniest sense of freedom she now felt as she breathed in the fresh May air.
She continued strolling peacefully until finally arriving at her destination: the massive, beautiful Fine Arts Complex of the University of Michigan. She entered the building and continued down the hall until reaching the backstage area of the theater. She glanced around the room quietly, muttering friendly replies to friends who kindly acknowledged her presence. But soon she left the room, continuing her search in steadfast determination.
Discreetly she entered the boys' dressing room, finally finding what she was looking for. There-- she was?
Julia let out an involuntary snort and he turned around to face her.
"Uh, herro" he said in a strange, sassy voice she couldn't help but giggle at.
"Hi there, uh, Miss...?"
"Miss Umbridge, at your service, darlin" he finished, spinning around in his pink dress and placing his hands on his hips.
She couldn't stop the laughter now and nearly doubled over in pain, holding onto the wall for support. He laughed along with her until she finally stopped, clutching her aching stomach and turning back to meet his amused gaze.
Joe walked over to her, now speaking in his normal voice. "Hey, Julz" he whispered softly as he pulled her into a hug.
Suddenly the atmosphere changed around Julia, and all she could hear was his soft breath against her neck, the feeling of his strong arms wrapped tightly around her body, and the rapid heartbeat now hammering inside her own chest.
"Hi" she whispered back, pulling away before her knees could buckle under her.
"So, are you glad your junior year's finally over? You're officially a senior now!" He changed again to his strange new voice, "My lil' chilren is all grown up!" he fake sobbed.
She giggled at him again then answered, "Yes, I'm so glad. Just one step closer to graduation, then I can move somewhere nice, maybe close to Chicago, ya know, so I can see my best friend" she added the last part quietly.
He hesitated for a moment, looking deep in thought. "So, uh, has Jeremy gone back home for the summer yet?"
Her eyes widened in surprise. They never talked about him; she couldn't recall Joe even mentioning his name once, until now.
"Oh, um, yeah. I think he likes spending a lot of time with his family. To be honest, I really don't talk to him much anymore ever since we broke up."
An unfamiliar, heavy silence fell between them, and she found she couldn't hold his gaze. Neither of them knew what to say next, so instead she looked down at her feet and twiddled her thumbs as Joe continued to stare at her in silent accusation. They both knew what should've been said; it was the giant elephant in the room full of porcelain plates.
"Alright, well, I'd better get to rehearsal" Joe finally piped up, an eerie tone suddenly consuming his voice.
Julia said nothing; she simply continued to stare at the ground as he walked past her and out the door.
Two weeks later Julia was backstage, rushing around and volunteering to help with anything that needed last minute fixes. It was finally the opening night for A Very Potter Sequel, and the place was a little chaotic, to say the least.
She was not in the production herself but many of her close friends were, so naturally she was there for any moral support she could offer.
"Julz, hurry, you have to help me!" Lauren screamed as she nearly ripped Julia's arm off while dragging her into the girls' dressing room. "Here, I need you to help me put my wig on, quick! Curtain call is in five minutes!" She was clearly in a bit of a panic.
"It's alright, Lauren. Just calm down" she soothed the small girl as she situated the bleach blond hair on her head with ease.
Thirty seconds later and Lauren was ready to go.
"Thanks, Julz" she sighed gratefully, finally relaxing a little.
"Don't worry about it" Julia said as she lifted her arms behind her head to place a few bobby pins into her own hair. She chuckled, "After all, my mom is a wig artist, remember?"
But Lauren didn't laugh along with her. Something just caught her eye in the mirror, and she was now staring at Julia intently, who had not yet noticed.
"Hey, Julz" she began softly. "What is that on your arm?"
Julia froze. Her eyes darted to her left arm; the dark blemish could just be seen under the end of her sleeve. She quickly covered it with her hand, but Lauren was already by her side, pushing her arm out of the way.
"Oh, my God. Julz, what happened?" Lauren gasped as she pushed up Julia's sleeve. It wasn't just a small bruise; the entirety of her upper arm and shoulder was covered by a horrifying, nasty contusion.
And that wasn't the only one.
But before Lauren could inspect any further, Julia jerked away, turning to flee from the room.
"Julia, we need to talk about this!" Lauren yelled after her, but was begrudgingly dragged away by a crew member and thrown on stage behind the curtain to take her place.
Julia was horrified. She couldn't believe she had been such an idiot to wear shorter clothes. No one was aware of her secret; she knew Joe had his suspicions, but he had no idea how bad it really was.
Feeling the tears quickly forming in her eyes, Julia exited from the backstage area and out of the building. By now, she was sobbing uncontrollably and ran blindly over the grass, through the parking lot, and into the street.
She didn't care anymore--she hadn't cared for a long time now. She just wanted everything to end, and now was the perfect time.
She could hear the car approaching and braced herself for impact, but it screeched to a halt merely feet away.
She couldn't see who rushed from the vehicle as she sank to the ground in heaves of sorrow. But as soon as his familiar arms enveloped her body, picking her up and placing her back down on the soft grass, she knew.
"Please, Joe. Just leave me alone!" she wailed. "I don't deserve anyone, I don't deserve you. I deserve to die."
"Well I'm afraid that's not going to happen" he whispered into her ear as he brushed the tangled hair out of her face, attempting to sooth her.
"But, I can't. I just can't live any longer. He's never going to leave, Joe. He's never going to leave me alone." She sobbed even harder into Joe's chest, and he squeezed her tight.
"Yes, he is, Julz. He is, I promise."
Julia woke up the next morning in an unfamiliar bed. She slowly stretched out her limbs, but fell back to the bed in shame as memories from the night before replayed in her mind.
There was a quiet knock at the door.
"Hey Julz, can I come in?" Joe poked his head in slightly to look at her.
"Yeah, of course" she whispered bashfully, suddenly realizing whose bed she was in.
He came in and sat at the foot of the bed, eyeing her with concern.
"Are you gonna be okay?"
"Yeah, I think so" she said. "It's just...How did you know?"
He sighed. "I knew you were lying to me about Jeremy, Julz. I saw him the other day at the drugstore" he stated simply. "You were lying the whole time. About breaking up with him, not speaking to him anymore, and most importantly" he motioned to my arm, "all of this. I mean, how could you let someone keep doing this to you? Do you really not care about yourself at all?"
"I-I don't know" she said quietly. "It's just that...no one would remember me a year from now, anyway. No one would cry for me, no one would smile as they thought back to fond memories I shared with them." She sighed. "I just knew that no one else cared."
"Julz, I do." Now it was Joe's turn to tear up. "Can't you see what he's done to you? I would've rescued you in a heartbeat. Julz, I care about you more than I could ever explain."
Julia stared at him in silence.
"I hate seeing you like this, Julz. Why are you so weak? Why did you hide this from everyone? Why did you not come to me?"
The tears were now streaming freely down his face. "Don't you understand? Why can't you see it, Julz? I can't live without you."
Julia silenced him then, suddenly breathing in the magnified scent of Joe's body as she kissed him fiercely. He had to know how wonderful he was, how grateful she felt for everything he had done for her. He had to know how much she loved him.
And he reciprocated with everything he had.
They kissed until they couldn't hold in their breath any longer, finally pulling apart and gasping for air.
"Joe" she panted. "You have to know. I-"
This time he was the one to cut her off.
"I know" he said after they broke apart again. "I love you, too."
So this was a little longer than I was originally planning, but being a heavy subject I thought it needed a lot of explanation. Hope you liked it, Julz!