Set after the events of University AU.
Jonathan invites Benedict to hang out at his mansion after the concert is over, and Benedict feels more than alone – until a special guest arrives.
Based on my characters Caera, Benedict and Jonathan, Nathaniel and Robert from my current vampire NA grimdark fantasy WIP “Escape the Night.”
I’m not sure how much I like this one, the concept was really cute in my head, and then it was really difficult to put it into words, but I only have so much brain capacity to … give to these AUs and this one definitely used up some space.
I hope you enjoy it anyway!
“You’re coming, right?” Jonathan whispered into his ear before they had even left the stage.
“I don’t know.”
“We’re all there.”
“I’m sure it’ll be fun,” Benedict whispered back, “but-”
“Oh, come on, are you really this opposed to spending time with your friends outside of classes? We’ll have a couple of drinks and a good time, why would you miss out on that?”
“My sister said you do more than that.”
“Your sister is a little tattletale.”
“Fine, but only because you won’t shut up about it.”
“Don’t you know me?” Jonathan said, a big grin curling his lips. He pulled his phone out and began texting someone – one-handed. “I’ll see you later, then – Unless you need any help?”
“I’m all good,” Benedict grit out.
“Chin up, brother,” his friend said softly and clapped him on the shoulder. “You played wonderfully today.”
And with that, Jonathan disappeared.
He felt out of place again.
Caera had wedged herself onto the small stool in front of Jonathan’s piano and they were now playing a piece that required four hands while whispering to each other.
The bourbon in his glass glimmered golden in the light of the equally golden hour, but Benedict didn’t drink it.
He could, he realized, as it would perhaps make this get together a little more bearable, but still, he didn’t.
Nathaniel was lounging on the sofa next to him, arms spread wide across the back, hands empty. Celeste had, weirdly enough, occupied the space at his side up until a moment ago, before she had excused herself to go to the bathroom.
And she’d probably gotten lost on her way back – You could tell that the Prescotts were filthy rich just by looking at their house; a mansion in a rich neighborhood about an hour or two outside of Oxford’s campuses.
“Would you like me to get a violin so you can play a little bit?” Nate asked again, but Benedict shook his head.
“I’m sorry,” he then amended. “I’m such a buzzkill.”
“But I’m glad you came.”
The doorbell rang, and a moment later, the haughty looking butler appeared in the doorway to what Nate had called the sitting room – couches, and a bar table stocked with more alcohol than Benedict could ever see himself drinking, a grand piano and a few small side tables.
One wall of the room was completely occupied by floor-length windows.
“Sir,” the butler said and Nate turned his attention to him. “Mr. Osmond has arrived.”
At the name Osmond, Benedict’s head whipped around – and there he was: Robert.
The tune of the piano faded and for a moment the room was silent – until Jonathan had made his way over and embraced Robert.
“Glad you could make it; someone has been bored without you.”
“Wait,” Benedict said. “You know?!”
“He was being nosy,” Robert said in his salve-like voice and untangled himself from Jonathan’s embrace to give Benedict a kiss. “And he caught me texting you.”“Oh.”
The butler walked in again. “I’ve allowed myself to get some water for the flowers,” he announced and sat an expensive-looking bouquet on the nearest side table.
“Those are for you. I was there and I would’ve loved to give them to you earlier, but something came up.”
“I-” Benedict stammered. “Thank you.”
Robert gave him a smile. “Wanna dance?” he whispered into Benedict’s ear, a hand reaching for Benedict’s glass of bourbon.
“In front of them?”
“I’m here for you,” Robert added. “Let’s dance.”
“You’re not playing fair.”
“Never said I was,” his boyfriend replied, and Benedict heard the soft click of the brakes sliding into place before Robert grabbed his arms and placed them around his neck. “You need to enjoy life more.”
Before Benedict could protest, Robert had pulled him out of his chair and held him flush against his chest by locking his fingers behind Benedict’s back.
A collective “aw” went through the room and the sound of the piano filled the room once more – Tchaikovski’s waltz of the flowers.
“Trust me?” Robert whispered, and Benedict had just about time to nod before he felt Robert take a step backward. And then another. Before he knew it, they were literally dancing circles through the room.
Benedict laid his head into the crook of Robert’s neck, remembering the first time they had done this – in one of the university’s practice rooms, just the two of them.
Back then, Benedict had been anxious about it all the same – what if he slipped off of Robert’s shoes – since he was literally standing on them? Or what if he crushed his boyfriend’s feet with his weight?
What if Robert let go?
None of those things happened, and before he knew it, Robert had arrived at another sofa and sat, automatically disposing Benedict into his lap. “How was that?”
“Fun,” Benedict mumbled – and he meant it. “Thank you for being here.”
Caera, meanwhile, had begun smashing the keys with Chopin’s Etude No 25, much to Jonathan’s dismay.
“Caera plays it better than he ever could and that’s really a shame because she’s younger than him.”
Benedict could feel Robert smile against his ear.
“Not by much.”
“That won’t matter to Jon’s ego, though, will it?”
The piece ended again, and Benedict watched Caera slide off the stool, giving the piano up. “Do your worst, Jonathan,” she prompted, earning herself a laugh from Jonathan, who wasn’t about to miss out on a challenge.
“You’re lucky you don’t play any instruments,” Benedict mumbled against Robert’s neck.
And Robert laughed, too.