Status: on temporary hiatus

I'm What Time and Consequence Have Made Me

Like We Did

“So, what’s the plan for today, sweetheart?” John asks me as we both stood in my kitchen, drinking from our non-alcoholic drinks.
I shrugged, “I’m not one to really plan ahead.”
He shifted slightly in his place, “Okay so where do you usually go with, uh, people?” he stammered the sentence which confused me slightly. John seemed slightly awkward today and although I hardly knew him it seemed odd. Like John and awkward were two things that shouldn’t go together.
I had to think about it for a second before shrugging, “I don’t know, I mean it’s cold. We all just kinda like to walk to one warm building to another.”
“Well name some places you like to go and I’ll pick one.”
“Well, people tend to go cafes a lot or bars, the cinema, um the aquarium or-”
He cut me off mid-sentence, “The aquarium? Seriously? Let’s go!” he half shouted, over excitedly like a little kid who was about to go get ice-cream. Before I could even respond he was dragging me by the hand towards the door.
“John,” I whined, “I need to grab a jacket first.” He sighed and dropped my hand, allowing me to sprint upstairs, quickly grab a jacket, put it on and then run back downstairs to join him, smiling at the door.
“Ready now?” he asked and I nodded before opening the door and walking outside. John held out a hand for me with a weak, uncertain smile. “You don’t have to y’know, I just, um.” He stammered before going to place his hand back in his pocket but a wave of confidence passed over me and I grabbed it before he had the chance to. He grinned but still mumbled, “You don’t have to if you don’t want to.”
“Shut up John and quit acting all nervous, that’s my job.” I said as we began to walk. The aquarium wasn’t too far from where I lived and I knew the way perfectly as I had spent countless hours there so many times.
He chuckled, “Well sweetheart, you are doing an awful job because right now because I am currently trying to not freak out.”
I blushed slightly and looked away but he squeezed my hand.
“So, what’s your favourite at the aquarium?” he asked after walking in a comfortable silence for so long. We were minutes away when he asked the question and we were both shaking with chattering teeth by now.
“Penguins.” I told him. “Although, I find jellyfish beautiful.”
“Beautiful?” he laughed.
“Yeah, I mean I don’t know. There’s a certain elegance in the way they move and I find that beautiful.” He laughed again at my answer and turned his head to look at me. “You know, you really are something different.”
I raised my eyebrows at him but he just shrugged, “It’s a good thing sweetheart. I like it.” I smiled at him and he grinned back.
“What about you?” I asked looking back up at him seconds later only to notice he was still staring at me.
“Huh?” he said, obviously caught off guard.
“What’s your favourite?”
“Oh, um, I like the seals.” He told me.
He shrugged, “They make me laugh.”
“Simple.” I replied.
“I’m a simple guy.” He said as we arrived.
“For some reason, I don’t believe that.”

We walked into the warm building and I heard John sigh with relief, causing me to giggle.
“What?” he asked, “I honestly don’t know how you can live here.” We walked over to the receptionist and John paid for both our tickets as much as I told him not to.
“I’m trying to be a gentleman!” he exclaimed as we walked through the door into the first part of the aquarium which was filled with turtles and octopuses all in different glass tanks. It was pretty empty inside. Most kids would be at school as well so only a handful of other people where around. We walked around the different tanks, still holding hands though now we were indoors our hands were beginning to become rather sweaty.
Just as if he was reading my mind he dropped my hand and whipped his on his skinny jeans that were somehow baggy on him and his stick legs. I think he had better legs than I did. He smirked as he noticed me staring at him and I just glared before he strayed away to go look at a tank, I was quickly by his side watching him tap repeatedly on the glass of an octopus tank.
“Stop,” I said pushing his hand away, “you’re probably confusing it.”
He laughed and held his hands up in the air in defense, “Sorry!”
I shook my head and he grabbed my hand again, pulling me towards the next section: seals and otters. “Now this is what I’m talking about!” he exclaimed, jogging over towards the tank filled with seals. He pressed his hands and face up against the glass causing his face to squish up, making him look really weird. “John, what are you doing?”
“Getting a better look at the seals.” He replied simply and I laughed. “You look like an idiot.”
He took a step back and pouted at me, trying to look offended, “I look like an idiot?”
I nodded and poked him in the ribs and he jumped back a little, “Quit being mean to me darlin’.”
“Make me.” I said, going in to poke him again but he grabbed my hands and pulled me closer to him. I looked up at him only to meet his gaze, he licked his parted lips and moved in slightly just before I wriggled myself free from him and walked over to the seal tank again. I heard him sigh and then I heard his slow footsteps beside me.
“I’m sorry.” I heard him whisper as he stood beside me again.
“Don’t be.” I said, “I’m sorry for not y’know.”
He chuckled, “You can’t say sorry for that sweetheart. I just can’t think straight when I’m around you.”
I looked over at him and frowned slightly. I couldn’t think straight around him either. Apposed to my usual, antisocial, shy self I felt confident around him and some part of me wished I had let him kiss me there but the small bit of sense that I had left in me knew I shouldn’t. “John.” I said but he just shook his head.
“Let’s forget it and enjoy the rest of the day.” He said and I nodded following him into the shark tunnel.

Soon enough, the awkwardness from the almost kiss died down and we were back to talking and laughing with each other. “Jesus Christ, it’s so big!” I said pointing at one of the sharks that swam right passed us.
“I know something else that’s big.” He said with a wink. I groaned at his dirty joke and hit him on arm. “I was only being honest.” He chuckled.
“I don’t care.” I told him, hitting him again.
“Oh you will.”
“You are such a flirt, do you know that?” I asked, walking further down the tank.
“I know sweetheart. Although, I promise I’m not usually this bad.” He laughed and quickly caught up with me, finally grabbing my hand again. After whizzing through the next section which was filled with birds and boring fishes we finally moved onto the best section of them all: the penguins.
“OH MY GOD, LOOK AT HOW CUTE THEY ARE.” I squealed, dragging John over in an excited rush.
“Whoa, calm down darlin’.” He said chuckling. “They’re just big birds.”
“They are not just big birds. I fucking love them. I mean look at them John and tell me they are not cool as hell.”
Laughing he just said, “I guess they kinda look like you.”
“That was the lamest insult ever John, I mean seriously, what are you five?”
“Six actually.” He said sticking out his tongue.
“You are so lame.” I laughed turning my attention back to the penguins. As much as John didn’t want to I made him sit with me for the longest time, watching the penguins. He didn’t seem to mind too much though, he seemed rather content sat by my side watching the penguins waddle around and dive head first into the water.
“And you called me lame.” He mumbled after the longest of time.
“You are lame but at the same time, I guess I am too. We can be lame together.” I smiled at him.
“I also can’t decide if you’re incredibly cute or incredibly hot.”
“Personally, I vote neither.” I shrugged standing up signally that it was time for us to leave.
Groaning and stretching his long limbs, he stood up following me. “Personally,” he said copying my words, “I vote both.”
I shook my head and walked towards the exit with John and his long legs quickly walking in sync with me. Bracing ourselves for the freezing air, he opened the door open for me and followed me outside.
“What next?” he asked as we began walking with not certain destination.
“I promised Austin I’d visit him before his shift ended.” I told him with a sigh as some part of me wished I could stay with him for longer.
He nodded, looking a little upset. “Can I join you or do you two have plans?”
“Of course you can join us.” I told him before we turned the corner heading on our way to the book shop.
“Hazel?” John asked looking at me. My eyes drifted to meet his and I mumbled an ‘Uh-uh’ before he asked, “Was this a date or are we y’know, just friends.”
My heart fluttered at the question but at the same time I knew it was an awful question. I agreed to go out and hang around with more people like Polly had said but I didn’t know what to do right now. Did I like him in that way? Jesus, I just planned to hang out with him today but how can I say no to a face like John’s.
“Um…” I mumbled still thinking as we turned a corner. “I don’t know.” I told him at last.
He sighed for the thousandth time that time before ruffling his hair awkwardly, “You are driving me insane. You know that right darling? But you know if you just want to be friends it’s all good I guess. I had fun today regardless.”
“I had fun too; I’m just not sure if I’m ready for even dating let alone where it could lead to.” I admitted. “I’m not really even used to having friends so how am I meant to manage a relationship and besides, let’s face it, sooner or later you’re going to have to go back on tour and I’ll be stuck all alone on the other side of the country.” I sighed, over thinking everything to the limit.
“Hazel.” He groaned. “Don’t think about me going on tour, when it comes to that then we can discuss it then but that’s not happening at the minute.” He said. “And if you’re worried about dating or whatever, we can take it slow sweetheart, I won’t have high expectations of you as long as I get to see you a fair bit then I’m okay.”
I felt slightly taken aback by his words and as I stared at my feet I felt his eyes burning a hole into my head. “Sweetheart, if you don’t want to just say, I’ll be able to handle it. I mean you’re only agreeing to this being a date not us being together.”
I nodded, “Yeah I know. I guess this was a date, I mean we certainly acted like it and I guess if we take it slow then I’m okay with this.”
His smile beamed at me, the kind that made his whole face light up and his eyes shone with happiness.

Eventually we reached Austin’s bookshop and entered it. We watched him look up from the counter as we walked towards him. “You took your time. I thought you were never gonna show up.” He complained and then gave John the once over look. “What’re you doing here?”
“Nice to see you too Gibbs.” He chuckled.
“Sorry for taking so long but I didn’t want to disturb you too much when you’re so busy at work.” I said sarcastically and he just glared at me.
“I honestly think you are our only customer. But seriously John how come you’re here too?”
“I, uh, walked Hazel here.” John said looking at me to see if I approved of what he was saying and I just giggled.
“We went on a date.” I told Austin and I felt both of their eyes focus on me.
“I would’ve said that but I thought you might hit me for it.” John said laughing slightly to me. I shrugged.
“Wait so you actually got her to leave her house?” Austin asked looking bewildered. John chuckled and nodded. “And she socialized?” John gave another nod and Austin just shook his head. “You sir, are a magician. Please teach me your ways.” Austin said and we all laughed.
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This chapter was eventful