Title: Am I Irritating You?
Verse: The Watch
Character(s): Jamie Xu/Tyler Bell
Prompts: chocolate #4: frustration
Description: Tyler wants to go on vacation.
Note: Tyler and Jamie are together in canon. Jamie works at a Torchwood-like organization based in NYC that defends the country against demons, aliens etc called The Watch.
The first thing you have to realize and understand is that when Jamie was young, the word ‘vacation’ meant: hours in the car with her parents yelling at one another, her brother leaning against the window using his Gameboy and ignoring her as much as he could, and then her parents proceeding to demand—against Jamie’s wishes—that he share his Gameboy with her.
And sure, Jamie would’ve liked to have something to do outside of listening to her parents yell at one another, but she didn’t want his damn Gameboy, that was for sure.
So, of course, when Tyler says, “What say you take some paid time off—” She isn’t sure if she even has PTO, but she also doesn’t need it, considering the size of her paycheck. “—and we go rent some nice cabin for a week?” she immediately says—
“I’d love that!”
She knows better. She knows better. She’d love that? Is she serious?
That—her loving it—is how she ends up in the car with Tyler Bell, heading out of New York City and to god damn Syracuse, which is thankfully only a four hour drive, and—
They hit traffic.
Tyler’s driving, he should’ve taken a different route, Jamie’s got her nose stuck in some files she brought with her from work, and they grind to a complete halt.
“I told you,” she says with a huff, slamming the file closed, “we should have taken the—”
“And I told you,” he says, “that road was worse. I do have a GPS.”
She glances the display and wrinkles her nose. It’s not like she can say she’s seen these things hacked by aliens and turned against their users, that’s classified, all she can say is— “I don’t trust them.”
He side-eyes her across the car. “You don’t trust GPS?”
“They’re—” She shakes her head. “No, I don’t trust GPS, but you should’ve trusted me and taken the other road!”
His side-eye transforms into a glare and he taps his fingers and thumbs against the wheel. “I should’ve trusted you?” he says. “How about you trust me?”
She gestures out of the windshield. “To end up here?” she snaps.
That shuts him up, which she doesn’t really like.
“You could’ve driven,” he says after a moment, “but you wanted to bring work with you.”
“That’s not—” she starts to say, to deny, but her files are in her lap because somewhere along the way she decided that vacation meant some uninterrupted time with cold cases.
“Oh, so that in your lap isn’t work?” he says. “So I can take a look?” They’re at a standstill, so he takes his hands from the wheel and grabs for her files.
“God, no!” She slams her hands down on them, pinning them to her thighs.
He folds his arms. “So what’s really going on here?” he says. “Am I irritating you now it’s just the two of us?”
She looks out of the car window. “This was a mistake,” she says, “that’s all.”
He goes dead quiet. “I’d offer to turn the car around and go back, but I want to go to the cabin,” he says. A pause. “Plus, I couldn’t turn us around if I wanted to. Which I don’t.”
She stares off into space and doesn’t speak.
They get to the cabin and it’s—
Okay, it’s actually pretty delightful. It’s all wood and fireplaces and it’s cold but there’s a hot tub and there’s a big pool she’s definitely not planning to swim in (see: cold) and a large king sized bed in the master bedroom and a queen sized bed in the second bedroom where she’s sure she’ll be sleeping after giving him the cold shoulder the whole ride here.
“I’ll go put the bags in the room,” he says as he unpacks the car.
“You can put mine in the second bedroom if you want,” she offers.
The look on his face is such pained hurt she’s never seen before. “A’right,” he says and stomps off.
She stares at her purse and grabs that, then the dossiers she brought with her. She shoves the dossiers into her purse, zips it up. She trusts him not to go through her shit—after all, he could do that when he stays over, too, and doesn’t—so she leaves her purse downstairs, then follows him upstairs.
“What did I do wrong?” she asks, leaning in the doorway of the master bedroom.
“What did you do wrong?” he says, bemused. “What did I do wrong?”
“What?” she says. “What’re you talking about?”
He frowns at her. “You’ve been frosty ever since we left home. I showed up to pick you up, you brought work with you for some reason, and— I don’t know, you barely spoke.”
She swallows hard and tries not to fidget. It’s true.
“I’m not mad, if you think I’m mad,” he says, “I’m just— a little disappointed, I guess? And if you wanna go home I’ll drive us both back right now. I get it if you don’t want to spend a week alone with some guy you barely know.”
She eyes him. “Firstly, if you think I haven’t done an extensive background check on you, you underestimate how god damn creepy I and my job both are.” It’s true, for the record. She knows more about him than he does at this point, and so does Karin.
“Is that how you knew it was my dad’s birthday?” he asks.
“Yep,” she says. “So maybe you don’t want to be alone with me.”
“Nah.” He doesn’t even miss a beat, it’s this instant response that makes her reel back, eyes widening. “I want to be with you. I want to be with you forever.”
She takes a sharp breath and licks her lips. It isn’t that she hasn’t had a similar thought (she has), it’s just that she hasn’t said it aloud before and he’s definitely saying it and she doesn’t know how to play that game, so she pushes off from the doorframe and steps towards him. “You mean that?”
“Yeah,” he says. “But I want to be with just you this week, not you and your job. The point of this was to get you—to get us—away from work.”
She wraps her arms around his neck. “Oh yeah?” she says. “Why’s that?”
He fights off a smile and turns his face away. “You know why,” he says.
“Tell me anyway.” She rocks onto her tiptoes and leans up towards him. “And there’ll be something good in it for you.”
He sighs deeply and meets her eyes. “Because I love you, dumbass.”
She grins and kisses him.