A Date in Warm Waters

It’s Becky Bloom’s first day discharged from Warm Waters Psychiatric Hospital. She was expecting to meet her father outside, but instead she was met with the boy of her dreams; Jareth Slader. Now, the pair are, after years of dancing around the idea, officially together as a couple. Things might not be perfect, and Becky still has a long, long road to recovery, but Jareth is filled with endless patience and care and wants to help her get better. (5,618 words)

The world of Shadow Oaks is owned by TheStalkerBunny on tumblr. It is a brilliant piece of work and I recommend reading more about it HERE.

Content warning:
mental illness mention / eating disorder mention / some sexually suggestive content


The little pizzeria was comfortable; the booth that Becky had picked out while Jareth ordered their food was quiet and secluded. Away from most of the other patrons it was a nice, private spot for the new couple to sit together and relax.

Becky still couldn’t believe she was finally out of hospital. The month she’d spent there had felt like a thousand years— And even though she’d been admitted willingly, by the end of it all she was so restless that she was actually considering breaking her window and escaping into the night.

The only thing that had kept her from running back home had been her anxiety— She was nervous about seeing her friends, after vanishing a second time. And even though she’d started talking with them again online, and they’d seemed understanding, it had still played with her nerves.

And that fear had been at its height this morning, as she’d anxiously paced her room and packed her things away, waiting for her final appointment before being discharged.

It had been an alright session. They hadn’t talked much about her health; when she’d admitted her anxieties about being discharged to her doctor, Mr Goodhuman (Mr, as he insisted she called him), he had suggested they use the time to still her nerves and just talk about things she liked.

Which, somehow, had turned into an hour of her rambling to him about Mimi…. And when the session was up, her anxieties had eased.

Though, she’d still been dreading meeting her father outside. Especially when Mr Goodhuman had told her that he had called ahead of time and mentioned a surprise.

Becky had braced herself for another one of his strange, uncomfortable attempts to reach out to her— And been shocked to her core when she’d walked out to find Jareth waiting for her.

It had been overwhelming. She’d felt so much in that moment. And after a boring month of nothing in hospital the joy of seeing Jareth had filled up every inch of her body with a hot, wonderful spark of energy— And then when Jareth had thrown the jacket around her shoulders, and she’d felt Mimi’s tongue on her neck?

She thought she was going to burst.

She hadn’t been able to contain herself!

Jareth had taught the mimic a new form— One more complex than it had ever managed before. And he’d trained Mimi to hold it, until he gave it the command to reveal itself.

Becky actually couldn’t believe it.

Nobody else had ever been able to do that before! Mimi had never listened to anyone but her! And people had tried— Her father had even contacted a professional, desperate to get the creature’s behaviour under control. But Mimi had never followed commands from anyone but Becky….

The surprise of it had actually brought her to tears; and she’d had to sit down on the pavement to process it.

The fact she hadn’t even noticed it was Mimi blew her mind. She always noticed it was Mimi. She wasn’t sure how she hadn’t seen it; had it been her excitement over Jareth? How long it had been since seeing Mimi? Or….

Becky eyed the mimic draped over her shoulders in a shawl-like form, and thought that its transformation was a little bit better than usual.

The time it had spent with Jareth had done it good.

Though, from what she’d been told, it had been an interesting time for Jareth’s family.

Poor Benny had been terrorised. After only a few days into living with the Sladers, Mimi had gotten bored and mimicked one of his boots. His terrified reaction had entertained the mimic, and it had begun targeting him.

Mr Slader’s reaction had been far different; though Becky cringed hearing about the knee-jerk reaction whack Mimi had received while giving Jareth’s father a hefty bite, it had apparently been enough to deter it from biting him again.

More interestingly, though, was that Mimi had apparently not bitten Jareth’s mother once during its stay. Jareth said he had no idea why that was but— Becky thought Mimi was noticeably heavier than before it had lived with Jareth and, though Jareth had assured her he’d kept to Mimi’s feeding plan, Becky knew Mrs Slader was the one in the kitchen. It wasn’t hard to put together how she’d befriended the food-driven creature.

Becky reached a hand up to scratch Mimi; and the mimic tried to lick the tasty oils from her lunch off her fingers.

‘No, not for Mimi!’ Becky said, pulling her hand away and wiping it on a napkin. ‘You had ham-bits! No pizza for Mimi.’

Mimi gave a grumble and a chirp before licking Becky, from her neck up to her mouth.

‘Mimi!’ Becky squeaked before clamping her lips closed and instinctively trying to lean away. She failed to avoid the mimic as it wrapped around her neck and began to worm its tongue into her ear. ‘Mmhg!

‘Mimi, stop that,’ Jareth chuckled, reaching over the table to peel the animal off Becky. ‘That’s my job, not yours.’

Becky felt her cheeks flush with heat, and covered her mouth with a hand as she let out a sheepish giggle.

Mimi didn’t want to let go of Becky; but Jareth’s grip on the mimic was firmer than its grip on Becky and, with an unhappy growl, Mimi was removed from Becky’s shoulders and wrapped around Jareth’s own.

‘Calm down,’ Jareth chuckled, giving Mimi a friendly scratch before picking up the last slice of pizza and offering it to Becky. ‘You want this?’

Becky shook her head; and tried not to show the anxiety that tickled the back of her mind as she remembered Mr Goodhuman talking to her about….

She didn’t want to think she had an eating disorder, but…. He’d called it stress eating, and she couldn’t deny the times she’d eaten until she’d been sick.

‘Oh thank god,’ Jareth gave a laugh, and put up a hand to block Mimi from the slice as he lifted it to his lips. ‘Because I really wanted it!’

Becky matched his laugh, and then trailed off, resting her head in her palm as she watched Jareth playfully fight off Mimi…. And then, before she knew what she was doing, her foot was gently running up his calf— And for a second he froze, hesitating just long enough for Mimi to steal the pizza crust from him.

‘Hey! No! That’s bad for you!’ he exclaimed, trying to stop the mimic swallowing it— But when he grabbed at it, Mimi chewed faster and dropped into Jareth’s lap, disappearing under the table.

Becky felt Mimi immediately slide down Jareth’s leg and onto her own, and it quickly slithered up her body and draped itself comfortably around her shoulders again.

Becky giggled as Jareth gave her a jokingly defeated look, and reached up to pet Mimi— And as she did she felt her phone vibrate and checked the text she’d received from her father:

Hope you’re doing ok. Did you get picked up alright? I was expecting you home by now. Did you go out with Jareth? I hope seeing him made you smile. I thought it was better that he picked you up than me. Also if you are out do you need money? Do you have your purse? There’s money in the family account please use that and let me know if you need anything. I love you.

Becky read the text slowly, three times, before she was able to fully understand what was said.

She wished her father didn’t send such long messages. When he did the words would always run into each other, and letters would switch places— She much preferred Isa’s shorter, sharper texts….

thank you

Was Becky’s first reply.

it was a good surprise

i liked it a lot

She wondered if she should send one more text….

She typed it up:

i love you

It read.

Then, after a moment of hesitation, she deleted it.

She hadn’t said that to her dad in years— Not without being told to. And she wasn’t sure she wanted to say it, now.

Well. She did want to say it. But also, she didn’t.

The idea of loving her father made her feel… weird.

Then, she received a smily face back from her dad, and decided that was a good place to leave the conversation— And a good time to check the group chat that she’d muted.

She opened up the conversation and let out a heavy sigh, shaking her head and offering a shrug when Jareth gave her a concerned look and pulled out his own phone.

Her friends were still talking about her ex, Mattel, and Mattel’s new boyfriend, Guillmero Del Cabra, the manager at the local Hot Topic.

She read the messages, and felt her heart sink.

There were screenshots of things Mattel had said. About her new boyfriend— And about Becky.

Apparently Mattel had left town after Becky had broken up with her— And did not have nice things to say about her ex leaving her for dead in the woods.

Becky sighed at how dramatic Mattel had worded it— Though she couldn’t even really deny it. She had left Mattel in the woods… but not for dead! She had her phone on her, and was going to call her uncle….

She continued reading; Mattel had recently met Guillmero in… Warm Waters?

She paused as she read the message from Katie.

Get out of there, Becky!

Mattel was still in Warm Waters?

At a hotel on….

Her blood ran cold as the realisation hit her that— The last week she’d been staying in Warm Waters, Mattel had just been around the corner; literally. The place she was staying at was only a street away from the ward.

She’d taken photos in several of the places Becky had gone for walks, even! It had been pure luck they hadn’t bumped into each other.

Becky let out an unnatural laugh; and Jareth raised his brow at her.

Then, he typed into the chat, and Becky swallowed.

Guys, enough about Mattel. Becky doesn’t need this right now. She’s had a good day. Don’t ruin it.

He said.

Then, Katie replied: How do you know if she’s had a good day or not?

Becky sighed, and said: we r on date

The bottom of the chat popped up with a notification that clearly read: several people are typing….

Katie: WHAT

Marilyn: omg

Katie: WHAT WHAT WHAT

Marilyn: Congrats Becky ❤️

Malinka: oh?

Katie: WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN

Jezzibeth: omgggg you DID ask him!

Malinka: that’s really nice I’m happy for you both!

Adam: congrats to you and jareth i hope you’re having fun besides. this.

Jezzibeth: you said you weren’t going to!

Benny: Told you she’d say yes

Katie: JEZZIBETH WHAT YOU KNEW ABOUT THIS

Katie: IM GONNA KILL YOU

Benny: wait what do you mean Becky was going to ask him 😬 Jareth was gonna ask her

Jareth: I did ask her?

Katie: WHY DIDNT YOU SAY SOMETHING

Katie: EITHER OF YOU

Becky: he asked me

Marilyn: Katie calm down

Katie: SHUT THE FUCK UP

Katie: I AM GOING TO KICK ALL YOUR ASS

Katie: EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU

Katie: IS GONNA DIE

Katie: HOW DARE YOU ALL KNOW ABOUT THIS!? AND NOT TELL ME!!!???

Marilyn: I didn’t know about it

Katie: AAAAAAA

Adam: bitch i didn’t know either

Adam: also, bold of you to assume i can die

Katie: I WILL PICK YOU APART SEAM BY SEAM

Marilyn: Katie I think that’s a micro aggression

Katie: THERE IS NOTHING “MICRO” ABOUT MY AGGRESSION

Adam: good luck reaching them

Becky: ur an aggressive micro

Benny: Haha coz she’s short!

Jezzibeth: please everyone can’t we all just get along? 😢

Katie: NO

Adam: i’m just having fun

Katie: IM NOT

Benny: Haha!

Katie: 🔪🔪🔪

Jareth: Ok well. You all sort yourselves out. I’m taking Becky to a movie🖕

Marilyn: No wait send a selfie first

Marilyn: Of you two together

Katie: YEAH so I can ROAST you both

Jareth and Becky both looked up at each other, at that. Then Jareth shrugged, and opened up his arm for Becky, and she jumped up to join him on his side of the booth; pressing into his side and lifting up her phone to snap a photo of them together.

Katie: BITCH SEND A PHOTO

Jareth: Its sending shut up she’s using her data

The photo went through; and the chat blew up again.

Katie: Wow you two look like shit lmao GET WRECKED

Marilyn: omg I love your shawl Becky where did you get it?

Becky: its mimi

Marilyn: Oh! You have her out of her carrier in public? And she’s behaving?

Katie: Proof that Jareth replaced her with a different mimic when you weren’t looking

Becky: yeah i cant believe it he even tought her a trick 💕

Becky: stfu katie

Katie: MAKE ME SLUT

Becky: i will bite u

Jareth: Ok we’re going now BYE

Jareth put his phone in his jacket pocket and, before Becky could continue fighting with Katie, took hers and put it with his own.

Then, he put his arms around Becky and pulled her into his chest so he could press his face into the top of her head.

She could hear his heart beating, and closed her eyes to lose herself in it, just… for a moment.

‘So…’ he said, a cheeky hint to his voice. ‘What was Jezzibeth saying about you asking me out?’

‘Oh— Uh—‘ Becky felt her face go red. ‘It’s a long story….’

Jareth’s face buried deeper into her hair and he snickered— And she heard his heart speeding up.

‘You, um,’ Becky cleared her throat. ‘You said something about a movie?’

‘Yeah. There’s a new one you might like, it starts in…’ he checked his phone. ‘Oh shit! Thirty minutes— We should go now if we wanna get there on time. Come on, let’s go!’

~~~~

Wind whipped through Becky’s hair as the bike sailed over the old road. Her arms were tight around Jareth’s middle and her face was buried into his back as she tried to lean with him and keep her balance; though it wasn’t too difficult to do now that they were riding along a long, straight road.

Mimi was wrapped safely around Becky’s neck and under her arm; its grip firm as it enjoyed flapping one of its scarf-like ends in the wind.

Becky wasn’t sure how long they’d been riding for.

Twenty, maybe thirty minutes?

It had been a smooth trip with Jareth at the front, but even so, she could feel panic starting to build in her chest.

A month without so much as even looking at a car hadn’t helped her anxieties— And though she hadn’t thought that fear would extend to bikes, the longer the road stretched the clearer it became that it did.

Becky’s grip tightened even more— And Jareth cast half a glance back at her before pulling over to the side of the road.

‘You alright?’ he asked as they came to a stop.

Becky didn’t answer; instead she clambered off the bike and collapsed to the ground in a panting, panicking heap.

‘Whoa— Whoa, whoa,’ Jareth rushed to her side, and helped pull off her helmet. ‘Okay. It’s okay. Take a breath. Deep breath. Breathe. You’re alright. Deep breath.’

Becky tried to breathe, though it was difficult. Her chest felt like it was being squeezed in a vice and she couldn’t stop hyperventilating.

‘Shh, you’re alright,’ Jareth said again, pulling Becky into his chest and stroking her hair. ‘You’re alright. Come here, baby girl. You’re good.’

The feeling of Jareth’s embrace as he rocked her back and forth was calming; though it took some time before Becky was able to swallow her panic back down.

Jareth gently wiped her eyes as her breathing evened out, and he kissed her cheek.

‘Are you okay?’ he asked.

Becky nodded. Then shook her head. Then nodded again. Then, when Jareth gave her another squeeze she let out a long breath.

I’m still not used to going so fast,’ she admitted, quietly.

‘I’m sorry,’ Jareth said, taking Becky by the hand. ‘I’ll drive slower, okay?’

Becky nodded. ‘Thanks….’

Another squeeze, and another kiss, and Becky let herself relax in Jareth’s arms.

She closed her eyes and just took a moment to breathe….

Hey,’ Jareth whispered in her ear. ‘Hey, Becky. Wake up. Look at the sky.’

‘Hm? I’m not…’ Becky opened her eyes, and realised that the sky had changed colour. Bright orange and pink clouds spread out over the horizon, bathing the earth in its beautiful colours. ‘Oh… wow.

‘Yeah,’ Jareth agreed. ‘Thought you’d like to see it.’

‘Thanks,’ Becky giggled, snuggling into Jareth’s side. ‘Um… how long was I asleep?’

‘Oh, not long. Twenty minutes?’

‘Ah, good. Good,’ Becky mumbled, rolling to press her face into Jareth’s side. She took a deep breath, taking in his familiae scent.

Earthy…. And a little greasy. Like petrol….

His fingers slowly ran through her hair, calming, and gentle, and soft….

She had to clear her throat and sit up to stop herself falling asleep again. Then, she looked back to the sky. ‘It’s so beautiful,’ she said. ‘It’s almost… romantic.’

Jareth snickered, and gently placed a hand on her shoulder.

‘What?’ she asked— Then gasped as Jareth pushed her onto her back.

‘I think it’s romantic, too,’ he said, climbing over her and pressing his hips firmly against hers. ‘Very romantic….’

Becky felt her heart jump as he leant down for a kiss. She accepted it eagerly— Though it was cut short as Mimi let out a grumble and aimed a nip at his ear.

‘Hey! Hey,’ Jareth complained to the creature. ‘I thought we were friends!’

Mimi gave a growl— And then chirped victoriously as Jareth rolled off Becky to avoid another bite.

‘Alright, alright, I get it!’ he chuckled, raising his hands submissively. ‘Spoilt little cockblock!’

‘Be nice to her,’ Becky said, scratching Mimi just above its eyes. ‘She’s precious.’

‘And I’m not?’ Jareth joked— Then he laughed at himself, and slowly looked Becky over. ‘Hm….

‘What?’ Becky giggled.

‘Nothing, you’re just beautiful,’ he said. Then he shrugged. ‘And it’s nice to see you feeling so much better. I haven’t seen you this happy in a long time.’

‘Really?’

‘Yeah,’ Jareth answered. ‘I think therapy’s been good for you.’

Yeeeeeah,’ Becky drawled. ‘I hate to admit it, but yeah. I think I… I think I should have gone a long time ago…. Like the first time dad tried to send me.’

Jareth just rested his arms on his knees and shrugged; though his loving smile didn’t falter as he watched Becky press back her hair.

Then, she giggled. ‘Oh, no, though— Speaking of my dad and therapy! Can you believe— My doctor says I have daddy issues,’ Becky gave a cackle. ‘Can you believe that?’

‘Hah. Oh, yeah. Yeah, definitely,’ Jareth answered— Then, when Becky paused to look at him, his expression turned from humoured to unsure. ‘Was… that the wrong answer?’

‘You think I have daddy issues?’ Becky asked, rolling onto her side and propping herself up on an elbow.

‘I… think… you have issues… with your dad,’ Jareth replied, very carefully. ‘You’re not really that nice to him. I mean, if I said some of the things you said to your dad to mine? Ooh. I don’t even want to think about that.’

‘Yeah, but your dad’s scary,’ Becky defended.

Your dad’s scary!’ Jareth retorted with a nervous chuckle.

‘What— No he’s not!’ Becky exclaimed. ‘He’s a huge pushover!’

‘Maybe when it comes to you,’ Jareth gave a laugh. ‘You really haven’t seen him angry, before?’

‘N… No? Have you?’ Becky furrowed her brow when Jareth nodded. ‘What?! Name one time you’ve seen my dad get angry!’

‘I mean, there’s that time he tried to muscle up to me,’ said Jareth with a shrug. ‘That was really scary.’

‘What— When?’

‘When we were younger uh— After the first time we slept together. Your dad showed up at my house. And I thought, you know, it’s Becky’s dad. Wimp-a-saurous rex, hah…. But then he got like… really close to me. Nose to nose. And he spoke real quiet, like he was hissing. And he was like “if you ever do anything to hurt my daughter I will end your life!” and I was like “WHOA, dude!”’

Really?’ Becky was taken aback.

‘Yeah!’ Jareth exclaimed. ‘And then my dad was like “hey, don’t you dare talk to my son that way!” and then— I don’t remember what your dad said to him but I remember I almost shat my pants!’

‘For real?!’ Becky asked.

‘Yeah. He shouted at my dad so loud that Mama heard from the backyard and dragged him out by his ear!’ Jareth gave a nervous chuckle. ‘And even then he didn’t leave until Mama hosed him down. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing!’

Becky couldn’t believe it, either. That didn’t sound like her father at all!

She remembered what her father been like, after she and Jareth had slept together. She’d tried to rile him up. Get his attention and make him angry at her. But he’d seemed so… apathetic about it all. He’d just shaken his head at her, that night, and told her to be careful if she was going to be out in the woods so late— She’d expected so much more of a reaction after tagging him in her loss-of-virginity announcement…. She remembered she’d been furious that he hadn’t seemed to care.

She had… no idea that he’d threatened Jareth.

‘Still, though, didn’t stop me from being into you,’ Jareth chuckled. ‘Your dad has a voice but. Well, he’s a twig. I figured I could have taken him!’

Jareth made a mock-boxing motion, and Becky couldn’t help but giggle.

‘Ah, but, I dunno,’ Jareth dropped his hands back to his lap and shrugged. ‘That’s the only time he’s ever yelled at me. Otherwise he seems to like me— I think it was just you rubbing me in his face that got under his skin…. Anyway, you ready to get back on the bike?’

Becky hesitated as Jareth got to his feet; feeling unsure. But then Jareth offered her his hand and she smiled, accepting it and letting him help her to her feet.

‘I’ll ride slower,’ he promised, walking her to the bike and lifting her onto the seat.

‘Sorry I— Don’t mean to be a bother….’

‘No! It’s alright. I want you to feel safe,’ Jareth reassured. ‘Plus, it’s a good excuse to spend more time with you!’

Becky felt herself giggling as Jareth dropped her helmet onto her head and tightened the strap before taking his place on the bike. She wrapped her arms around him as he checked the bike over— And then she gave him a squeeze to get his attention.

‘Jareth?’

‘Hm?’

‘When I come back for my appointment next month… could you be the one to drive me? We could maybe… go on another date….’

‘’Course, baby girl!’ Jareth answered cheerfully. ‘I’d love that!’

~~~~

It was dark by the time the couple pulled up outside Becky’s house. The second half of the ride home had been slower; Jareth had stopped several to check on Becky… which she was grateful for, though luckily she hadn’t needed another break.

‘Well…’ Jareth gave a cough as Becky climbed off the bike. ‘Um… I suppose I should, uh, be heading home….’

Becky felt her heart sink, and she fiddled with the hem of her shirt before throwing her arms around Jareth. ‘No,’ she mumbled. ‘Stay?’

He didn’t need to be asked twice, and Becky made a motion for Isa to open the garage as she peeked out the window.

The woman met them in the garage as Jareth packed the bike away; accepting Becky’s tight hug and pressing a kiss into the girl’s hair.

‘I missed you, too,’ she said. ‘Come inside, it’s so late— I was worried! Where have you two been?’

‘Oh, Isa, it was such a good day!’ Becky exclaimed, following Isa into the house. ‘Jareth! Jareth picked me up!’

‘Yes, that was your father’s idea— He’s been anxious to see you,’ Isa chuckled as she her way into the lounge. ‘Ken? Becky’s home.’

The man didn’t respond as Becky followed Isa into the lounge. She saw her father on the couch, cross-legged with his nose buried in his artwork.

‘Ken!’ Isa repeated; to no avail.

‘Dad?’ Becky tried.

Ken’s head snapped up, and his face lit up when he saw his daughter. ‘Becky! Becky you’re home!’ he exclaimed, discarding his sketchbook to his side and sitting up straight. ‘How was your day?’

‘It was amazing!’ Becky exclaimed, unable to stop herself bouncing in place. ‘We got pizza, and we saw a movie— And oh my god the sunset!

Both Isa and Ken smiled widely as Becky launched into an explanation of her day— Then, when Jareth finally joined them Ken gave him a friendly wave.

‘Dad, thank you so much for letting Jareth pick me up!’ said Becky. ‘It was great!’

‘That’s alright,’ Ken chuckled. ‘I thought you might prefer to see someone you actually liked….’

Ken paused then, seeming to realise what he had been halfway through saying, and Becky felt her chest tighten as the air grew tense.

‘Ah— Sorry, I—‘ Ken waved a dismissive hand. ‘Don’t mind me! Don’t mind me—‘

He cut off as Becky stepped towards him; and gave a cough as she crouched down.

‘Rebecca—‘

She threw her arms around her father, who hesitated a moment before gently returning his daughter’s embrace.

I don’t hate you,’ Becky mumbled, causing Ken’s grip on her to tighten.

He kissed the side of her head, and she buried her face into his shoulder.

The hug had gone on, perhaps, a little too long…. But when Becky relaxed her grip her father squeezed tighter; and she let him hold onto her, and the moment, for a little longer.

It was only a little, though, as Becky’s phone went off with a loud alarm and she had to pull away.

‘That’s… my medicine,’ Becky sighed. ‘Um… I should… take it and go to bed.’

The look on Ken’s face begged her not to; though he didn’t argue as his daughter took Jareth by the arm and retreated upstairs.

‘Hey,’ Jareth stopped her at her bedroom door. ‘You alright? That was… awkward.’

Becky nodded. ‘Yeah, uh. I think maybe I should get some sleep.’

‘Ah… do you want me to go or—‘

‘—No,’ she mumbled. ‘I… want you to stay with me tonight. Is that okay?’

‘Yeah!’

Jareth looked a little too excited, and it made Becky grin as she pushed open the door and made her way into her room.

It was— Clean?

She blinked.

Her room was never clean.

But as she looked around she saw that it was near-spotless; her laundry no longer draped over every surface, the dirty dishes had all been removed, and her toys had all been picked up and carefully arranged on her shelves.

Isa must have done this, Becky thought, tearing up a little. It was so strange but… it felt good to come home to a clean room.

She hadn’t even thought about the mess while in hospital— But seeing it clean was like a weight had been lifted off her, and—

Wait—

Was that her TV?!

She reeled back when she saw it.

She hadn’t seen it since…. Oh, god. Almost two years.

She’d actually forgotten that she owned a TV, under all that mess….

Oops.

Wow it’s clean in here,’ Jareth commented.

‘Yeah,’ Becky breathed, still feeling stunned.

‘I didn’t realise you still had that chair,’ Jareth said, pointing. ‘I thought it was a washing basket, there.’

‘N… Nope,’ Becky replied, blushing. ‘Just… clothes piled on top.’

‘Heh. Ah, I do that too,’ Jareth said, looking around. ‘I’ll put your stuff on your desk, huh?’

‘Sure…’ Becky said. Then, she pushed back her hair and shook her head to clear it. ‘Yeah. Yeah, sure. That’ll do for now. Uh— Can you grab my meds for me?’

‘Yeah, of course!’ Jareth gave a chuckle, and started rummaging through her bag. He pulled out two containers, and glanced at the labels. ‘Okay, what one do you need? We have Zoloft and Met… Meto… blah-blah….’

‘Meto blah-blah,’ Becky replied with a giggle— Then caught the container as it was thrown to her. ‘And can you get my water bottle, too?’

Jareth pulled it out, and unscrewed the lid for her as she popped one of her tablets into her mouth.

When she was done she put the rest of her medication and empty water bottle on her bedside table.

Then, only halfway through turning back to Jareth, she was lifted off her feet and let out a squeal as he carried her to a chair and sat down with her in his lap.

‘Jareth!’ she giggled, playfully shoving his shoulder. ‘Don’t!’

Jareth stuck out his tongue at her; and she gave him another shove before snuggling into his chest and letting him hold her close.

They sat together for a moment; and Becky couldn’t help but fidget. She felt like there was so much positive energy in her she was going to explode. She had to move, but… she didn’t want Jareth to let go of her.

So instead she just shifted, and— She realised she was tapping her knees and blushed, gripping the fabric of her jeans tightly to stop herself.

She was surprised when Jareth’s own hand found hers, and he squeezed them gently.

‘I haven’t seen you do that since we were kids,’ he chuckled. Then, he pressed his face into her neck. ‘It’s really cute.’

Becky giggled, then sighed as Mimi let out a loud growl and tried to bite Jareth again.

‘Hey now,’ Jareth teased, poking at Mimi. ‘Is this really how it ends between us? In betrayal?’

Mimi nuzzled down on Becky’s chest and chirped affectionately— Then another growl as Jareth kissed Becky’s cheek.

‘Hey, that’s enough young lady,’ Becky warned, rolling to her feet and catching the mimic as it slid off her. She draped it over Jareth’s shoulders, and then headed for her bag. ‘I’m getting really tired,’ she told Jareth. ‘I’m gonna get changed, then I need to lie down….’

‘Alright,’ Jareth replied, giving Mimi an affectionate stroke as he watched Becky slowly get undressed.

She eyed him out the corner of her eye, giving him a warm smile and a giggle as his gazed trailed down her body, and then she unzipped her bag and pulled out the shirt she’d stolen from him.

Jareth laughed, at that.

‘What?’ she asked, blushing.

‘Nothing, just,’ Jareth waved a hand. ‘I was expecting to get that back.’

‘Well, if you didn’t want me to keep it you shouldn’t have given it to me.’

‘You threw up!’ Jareth laughed, then put a heavy hand on his knee and shook his head. ‘If my dad thought I let a girl sit in her own sick for even a second he would have killed me!’

Becky grinned and slipped into the shirt; which was long enough to pass off as a night-dress, on her. Then she picked up the TV remote and leapt into bed.

It was so comfortable. So soft. So perfect.

She closed her eyes to appreciate how much better this bed was than the ward mattress— And curled into a ball and giggled as she felt Jareth climb on top of her.

He lay his weight down on her, pinning her to the bed, and planted a kiss on her cheek before Mimi growled and he let out a shout and rolled over.

‘Ow! Don’t— Bite me!’ Jareth laughed as Mimi scampered off his shoulders and snuggled into Becky with a loud, huffy chirp. ‘Brat—‘

‘—Becky?’ Isa’s voice called, followed by a curt knock on the bedroom door. ‘May I come in?’

‘Yes, Isa!’ Becky called back. ‘Come in!’

The bedroom door slowly opened, and Isa made her way in with a small plate of sandwiches. ‘Hello,’ she said, gently. ‘I wasn’t sure if you’d had dinner?’

‘None,’ Jareth replied, accepting the plate from Isa and putting it on the bedside table. ‘These look great, thanks!’

Isa gave a warm nod, then quickly excused herself. ‘I’m heading to bed,’ said Isa. ‘If you need anything, don’t hesitate to wake me, okay?’

‘Okay,’ Becky giggled as Isa left. She buried her face into Jareth’s side and let out a contented sigh— She still couldn’t believe he was here.

She felt him kiss the back of her head, and she closed her eyes.

‘Night, baby girl,’ he laughed into her hair before settling down beside her and pulling her tight into himself.

‘Night,’ Becky replied, feeling her eyes growing heavy. ‘I love you.

‘I love you, too—‘ he cut off with a jolt, and rolled away from Becky. ‘Ow! Mimi! Stop it! No biting!’

A loud growl, and Becky heard Mimi scamper across the bed— And then a loud THUMP as Jareth fell out of bed.

Becky was barely able to lift her head to check on the pair, she was so tired.

Jareth gave a groan, and Mimi responded with a victorious chirp before rushing back to Becky and snuggling into her as her head dropped back onto the pillow and she closed her eyes.

‘Little rat,’ Jareth chuckled, climbing back into bed.

He said something else as his arm found its way back around Becky, but Becky didn’t hear it as she slowly drifted off.

-End-

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