Did you know?

First names were most often used by childhood or school friends. If the friendship was made after school age, first names would only really be used by women. Men were far more likely to refer to their friends by their surnames, a mark of familiarity. — Documentation

— Submit your own —

Emilia Wright for Jude Wright. Casually alienating offspring since 18882.
Separating was also not a great idea, though they weren't doing great at staying together anyway. If she were to volunteer to be the human sacrifice.. well... Hogsmeade had plenty of debutantes anyway...

Barnabas Skeeter in CYOA: Group D

— Nominate a quote —

Complete threads set in ten different forum locations. Threads must have at least ten posts, and three must be your own. Character accounts cannot be combined.


Call If You Need Me
Her words sent a warm pulse through him, and his response was immediate. "I missed you, too." It was more instinct than conscious thought, but it was true all the same. How many days and nights had he spent thinking about her while he'd been in the wilderness? Of all of the people he'd left behind in England, she was the only one who had been so present in his thoughts that she actually came up in his log entries. He'd had to dance around the mention the first time it had come up in his meetings with Michaud, then combed through the rest of the entries to weed out the times she'd been brought up. Luckily, he hadn't ever used her name, so while the artist may well have had his suspicions, at least he wouldn't know exactly who the 'L' in question was.

The problem with saying I missed you, too was that there was, at least in the fairy tale version of these events, more he was meant to say following it. He could almost feel the rest of the speech hanging in the air between them, waiting to be spoken into existence. She probably knew the lines better than he did. But could he actually say them? The Lily he'd been thinking of on his long exile had been a girl of sixteen; she might have some things in common with the sparkling young woman standing before him now, but there was no guarantee of what. Worse than the unknown in that respect was the other half of the equation. The man that had written her all of those letters so long ago and had grand dreams of fame and fortune and marriage was a different person than the man who had emerged from the wilderness in America. There was no doubt at all about that. What if she no longer cared for him? What if he had the same difficulties connecting with her that he had seemed to have with everyone else? He could make some grand overture and propose to her all over again, but even if everything played out like a dream — a big if given his social and financial situation at the moment — what if they spent the next weeks, months, years, or even their entire lives as relative strangers, just going through the motions?

There was no way of knowing how this would end, and although he knew what he ought to say next, Alfred couldn't get the words past the lump in his throat. He couldn't promise (or even imply) that he could be there for her — physically, emotionally, or otherwise — when he wasn't sure it was a promise he could keep. He'd run out on one too many promises already, as far as his relationship with Lily was concerned. Merlin, what he had put her through.

"Lily, I — uhm," he stumbled. He glanced down at the ground nervously and felt his cheeks growing hot with discomfort. "I just — well, things are different now. Everything's different now," he continued, feeling like he was rambling even though he had spoken barely two coherent sentences. He just wasn't sure how to get to the point, and more particularly how to get to it in a way that wasn't cruel. How overt did he have to be when he said this? Trying to shoot for subtle and hoping she knew what he meant without it being stated outright seemed like the least painful way, but he dreaded the possibility of having to backtrack and say it again if it didn't quite click. "So I'm not sure — Well. With us."

How bloody articulate.

Lily smiled, her cheeks flushing slightly when J said that he'd missed her too. She waited to see if there was anything else he was going to say or if he was going to just leave it at that. She didn't really know what she had been expecting from him or what she even wanted, really. How could she expect him to act according to how she wished he would when she didn't even know what she wanted herself?

Still, she was disappointed by his next words. He was right, of course, that things were different. She was an adult woman now - one people kept saying was going to end up a spinster because she hadn't married right out of school or even at the age of twenty or something. Maybe there was just something about her that was just too unlovable and people picked up on that upon meeting her. Or something she lacked? Lily had no clue, she always tried her best especially since she had her accident-prone nature to make up for.

If someone had told her that J. Alfred Darrow would become a source of pain for her beyond when she'd first grieved him, she probably would have found that idiotic. Now, she was looking up at him and feeling a dull echo of what it had felt like back in 1883. For a moment, she couldn't really speak as her mind processed his words fully and tried to make some sort of sense of them. He was saying, in a subtle way, that he didn't want her anymore. At least, that was how she was interpreting things.

"I understand," she finally managed to say, feeling as wilted as a flower that had been sat in a vase for too long.

Alfred felt as though his insides had been tied in knots and were being tugged tighter as he waited for a response. He wasn't sure whether he ought to keep talking, but was silenced by his utter lack of ability to find anything reasonably articulate to say. Besides, her face was showing that she was having some sort of reaction to his words, though he was finding her rather difficult to read. At the very least, she wasn't blinking at him in confusion. When she finally did reply, a wave of relief hit him and the knots in his chest loosened just slightly. Not that this situation was ideal, by any means, but those two words made things so much easier. She understood, which meant he wouldn't have to try and find another way to say it without saying it. She understood, which meant she probably either knew or could guess at the reasoning behind his hesitation. Maybe she even shared his reservations. At the very least, she wouldn't be expecting him to pop 'round tomorrow afternoon with a wedding ring, which was a start.

"I wouldn't want to get — you know, tied up in anything — and then leave again," he continued quietly. "Given what happened last time."

I know,” Lily assured with a smile since she got it. It wasn’t ideal but she also was aware that it wouldn’t be fair for either of them to go forward with anything without paying heed to the fact that their life experiences in the past years had likely made them both different people. And then there was the fact he was leaving again. Everything was a bit of a mess and she wished he had come forward sooner but she had been practically programmed to think that the man should be the one coming forward and he hadn’t.

Reaching out shyly for his hand though she didn’t know he’d pull away from her touch. “I’d like the chance of getting to know you again though. You’ve always been so important to me.”

Alfred stiffened slightly as her fingers brushed against his, but only because he hadn't been expecting it. The idea of being able to touch her again was the farthest possible thing from unpleasant, and he wished he hadn't had that initial response of tensing. He forced his hand to relax into hers, while a nervous excitement ran through him. He mouth had gone a little dry, and when he tried to speak it seemed as though he was entirely out of practice with the art. "Yeah," he said, then cleared his throat and tried again. "Uhm, yes. I'd like that."

He hadn’t pulled away though he seemed a little awkward about her touch, even tensing at it. Lily didn’t let that bother her though. She had also sort of forgotten that they were in the midst of Celtic Fair, all her focus having honed in on him the moment they had begun speaking. A faint blush colored her cheeks at the realization.

Wonderful. Hello, my name is Miss Lily Huddleston. I’ve heard so much about you,” she said teasingly, giving him a handshake since she already had his hand in hers anyway.

A genuine smile broke out across his face when she introduced herself, and he raised her hand lightly in his as though this had always been the intention. Their past was a mess, and though it was neither of their faults he was entirely unsure what to do to fix it. This, though, he thought he could handle. If they were truly starting over, they'd have a lot of catching up to do — but they would have had all that catching up to do, anyway, and it was such a relief that Lily was willing to approach the thing without any grand expectations. This might even, he thought hopefully, be sort of fun.

"It's an absolute pleasure to be able to meet you, Miss Huddleston," he said, offering her a playful partial bow before releasing her hand. "I should like to hear everything about you."

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