(1939-01-12) Imperfectly Perfect
Details for Imperfectly Perfect
Summary: The tension between Marcus and Jenny comes to a head, the results of which leave both of them rather surprised, even if heartache looms on the horizon. Warning Teen angst and sticky sweetness can be found within.
Date: 1939-01-12
Location: The Gardens, Hogwarts

Sculpted box woods and grafted flowering trees border fountains and statuary, benches of a wide variety of shapes and sizes affording a person the opportunity to stop and appreciate the beauty here or a quiet moment from the courtyard. A riot of salvia and geraniums are visible from one angle, maroon begonias alongide tall and bright scarlet bee balm blaze from the southern corner. Black eyes susans, contrast with rising sunflowers, tightly-clustered heads of sunny marigold and goldenrod bob lazily in the breezes that blow from the west. Across from the sunflowers, a profusion of green in the form of hostas and ferns coupled with Canterbury bells and even a few pitcher plants twist in a wilder jungle of more loosely-controlled foliage. Deep blue foxgloves, creeping lobelia and Siberian iris serenely fill the northern corner. Seventh Year Herbology students tend the garden of their own House's colors, those who truly care for their duties obviously taking visible pride in the health of their flowers.

"How much do you remember about last evening?" Marcus asks, lying on a bench, and looking up into the darkening sky. His legs lazily dangle over the edge of the bench, his hands rest on his stomach and his head rests on Genevieve's leg. He's not looking at her as he speaks, though, rather his gaze is a little lost in the sky above.
"I know Meliflua apologized to me for something… but I have no idea why." A pause and his eyes rolls up so he can now look at Jenny. "Do you?"

"I remember enough," Jenny replies; her arms stretched out behind her on the bench. She's comrtable, content even and doesn't seem to mind Marcus' head in her lap. It's fun just watching the birds flitter about the garden even in the winter, scritching at the ground in the hopes for worms and other little treats.
"I…uh…may or may not have bit his head off for that whole…jealous statement he made and suggested that he make things right, because it kinda pissed me off. Of course, apparently he was talking about my ass but, that wasn't how I took it." A little shrug came with it and then? One of her hands left the bench to visit the inside of her robes and then something small and square fluttered down to land on the boy's chest.
"I figure that squares us up."

"What's that?" Marcus asks, when he sees that small and square thing flutter down, landing on his chest. He picks it up, looks at it. "Is it—Oh. Ooooh," he swallows, whistles and secures it, putting it away. He clears his throat, playing it cool as he continues.
"More than so," he can't help but smirk. "So… I'm sorry I lied about the first truth question, it was a reflex reaction, I think," he notes. "And well, as I said, Meliflua apologized, so, we're all good." He seems about to say something else, but stops.

"Exactly." And back in against the top of the bench Jenny's arm stretches, those long legs extending just a little so that she can cross them at the ankle. As for his apology, "It's okay. Honest and it would have still been okay if you had, too. But I'm glad that he came to apologize. That bothered me, actually."
Enough to have made her go off, as happens but she didn't dwell on it further; instead she let her gaze drift down from the flora to watch him instead and a little smile twisted her lips. Soft. Reflective. "But it was fun though, mostly. I think. Yesterday, I mean. Don't you?"

Marcus chuckles. "It was more than fun, we should do that more often," he tells her, making a fist and playfully nudging her chin with it. And that reminds him or something as he arches a brow.
"So, how's the eye?" Worried? Maybe a bit, but he sounds proud, actually, that he got her good. Then switching back to the original topic he finds himself asking, "So what were you wanting to dare me to do?"

"We should. Possibly in better company, though I admit it was pretty hilarious seeing Silas of all people running around naked on campus," Jenny chuckled, amusement in those dark eyes. And speaking of eyes, hers does look a sight better today, with only the ghost of blue-black and mottled purple remaining. Most of the swellings gone.
"And, I unno. Kiss him, I think. Because I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have liked it. But he's getting a lot of 'summons' these days, so…whatever."

"Summons?" Marcus asks, curious. Then he falls silent, thoughtful. "Jen, I'm going to ask you something, but I don't want you to get pissed off with me, alright?" He says this and winces right away, realizing that perhaps that's not the best way to go into a question.
"Meliflua… Silas, he's a great mate and all, but, why are the two of you together? You are so… different. I mean, tell me you love him, and I'll shut up right now. Hell, tell me to shut up, and I'll shut up right now."

"His friends," Jenny shrugs. "They…summon him? Mostly I think it's me. Or rather, if they draw him to them then they don't have to deal with me which…I guess is still the same as saying it's me, isn't it?" But it came with a wry chuckle. "And that's fine. I mean, poeple've only thought we were together for like, almost a month and I can count on one hand the number that he's introduced me to. Or his parents, who I've never seen but his mother was nice enough to write a shitty letter announcing how horrible I am."
Wow. Her mood was…suddenly not particularly pleasant, was it? So the girl shook her head, looked from Marcus up to the clouds and said, "He was crying. He's perfect on paper and…well Marcus, I guess I just don't much like to kick puppies any more than you do, or you'd stop being hung up over Pey."

"Wait, what? His friends… 'summon' him? So they don't have to deal with you? And he doesn't stand up for you?" This causes Marcus to frown darkly. He mumbles something, looking determined and his mood doesn't get any better as Jenny keeps going on about Silas' mother.
Then there's the crying, and that causes Marcus to blink. "He was?" Perfect on paper, Marcus isn't so sure, but then Jenny brings Pey up and Marcus frowns, about to open his mouth. All that escapes him is a deep breath, as he falls quiet.

"Well, I'd imagine that if they didn't have an issue with me, they'd come while I was around, right? But, his best friend? More or less doesn't talk to him when I'm around, but whatever." Talking about it was making her grouchy.
Of course, the fact that Marcus can't actually argue with her about the girl doesn't seem to help either and by that point she's drifting into a right proper brood. "Exactly. So I'm with Silas and it makes him happy and I'm not alone, not that it fucking mattered much because even when I was with the other one I never got to see him so fuck it."

"I think we both need a drink," Marcus muses, now letting his gaze get lost again in the sky above them. Several times, he opens his mouth, as if to say something, but stops short.
"I get not wanting to be alone," he finally says, his voice a little quiet. It isn't like he's actually with Peyton right now. "I was trying to piss you off," his way of apologizing.

"Yeah well, we drank my stash yesterday and there'll be no more, unless you've got something hid until I can get to Hogsmeade next weekend," Jenny complained and there was an actual complaint to her tone.
"It's fine." Short. Curt. But at least she wasn't trying to push his buttons back, or anything like that. Wouldn't that be both interesting and terrible.

"Nope, no stash. But I'll make sure to secure one, next weekend. That way we have a backup," Marcus notes, even though he pures his lips, willing for them to be booze touching them. And of course, there's not.
"No, it's not," he tells her. She didn't have to push his buttons back, he did a good job of doing that himself. In doing so, he emits a chuckle. "We make quite a pair, you and I."

"Smart plan. Might help mine last a little longer too. Just, remember not to use anything there'll be some left over from, or we'll end up in more trouble than it's worth," Jenny replies and eventually, reaches down to ruffle the boy's hair.
"Yeah, it is. I said it's fine so it's fine. Dontcho know better'n to fuckin' argue with me, anyway?" A little wink was given at that, before her head dipped in agreement. "An yeah, we do. So..you said you were gonna be a..hit wizard, was it?"

Marcus rolls his eyes as she ruffles his hair, and uses a hand to sort of set it back in place. Sort of, because it doesn't quite cooperate with him, really and he doesn't try very hard to undo Jenny's work.
"Fuckin' arguing with you can be entertaining, though," he notes, and he smirks at her wink. He goes along with the change in subject. "Something like that, I figure. I might stick to the rules myself, but I'm all for making others do so. I've always been interested in law, but have no desire to be a barrister. And I really doubt I'd make Auror, or be able to handle all the N.E.W.Ts to do that, so…" His words trail off.

"So…when you finish with your OWLs then you're going to be done with school completely," Jenny finished. If Marcus was looking for someone to tell him that he could make a Auror if he tried really really hard, Jenny was not that person. "And when you're done, you'll need somewhere to go and honestly, I don't like it here very much anyway. So…come summer, you're going to be free and I could be free and then we'd both need somewhere to go so…what would you say if I suggested that we find somewhere to go…together. Like, an apartment. We could save money that way."

"Flat mates, eh?" Marcus asks, genuinely smiling at Jenny. "I haven't decided if I'm going to try and stick around or not, but that's a great idea," he agrees. "Granted, I suspect there would be much booze, but I know that I'd do horribly, living by myself," he muses. "What's Meliflua going to do, I take it he's going to stick around for his Seventh year?" He asks, curious, but also not seemingly that interested in the answer, since he moves on right away.
"Just promise you won't get me drunk, just so you can take pictures of me and hand them out to everyone," he narrows his eyes at her, and with a finger, pokespokespokes at her stomach.

"Well, naturally there'd be booze. Aside from quidditch the only thing I'm decent at is bartending. So…why shouldn't there be something to drink there?" Jenny countered, amusement in her tone. "But yes, Meliflua intends on sticking around. He wants to own a shop, to see animals and such. Though, why the hell he has to play Malfoy's political games to do that and compete for some bullshit throne is beyond me." And there, again, a hit of annoyance in the tone that she just couldn't quite mask.
"I can't do that. Or well, I can. Sort of. I promise not to hand out pictures." There. That seemed fair, though the way he poked at her stomach made her giggle, squirming about on the bench.

"Why would anyone plays those political games is beyond me," Marcus says, with a shrug. "I mean, I get some of the games. But… in the end? School is seven years. That's it. And some of the people he's playing with, will be gone in a few months." There's a shake of his head. "But whatever. I'm glad Peyton hasn't let herself get caught in those things, and I'm glad you haven't either. I like you, just the way you are. Unrepentant, independent. So… you."
He grins at her response, "Fair enough," and at her giggling and pokepokepoke, he does it again, that poor stomach.

The problme with Jenny's temper is that…it's Jenny's temper. It's okay to be hurt, to let things slide, to ignore them or to well, fall back on being hurt because it's safer to be hurt than angry. But when she get's angry? Well. Even the little giggle could be swallowed beneath a tidal wave. "It's fuckin' stupid is what it is. Because they're all going to be gone and we'll still be here, if we are still here and Marcus, I really don't want to fucking hear about Peyton right now, okay?" There. That. That was…the less than pleasant side of being upset. The other things that could generally slide, didn't slide as easy when she was feeling bristly.
"And stop pokin' me!"

He does stop poking her, arching a brow at her reaction. "Alright," he says, but he doesn't sound very sorry about… what exactly is he supposed to be sorry about? He does look confused, but he stops both poking her and talking at the moment, rather, he swings his legs over the edge of that bench.
"When was the last time you did something fun, besides yesterday. And more importantly, where are you taking me to celebrate my birthday?"

Well great. Now she just feels bad. So it's a half muttered, "Sorry, I'm bitchy," that's offered and she didn't entirely manage to meet his eyes for it either. Grumping at her best friend. Oy, how dumb was that.
"I don't know." It seemed a fair answer to his first question and, honestly to his second so Jenny let it ride. "I'm having to rethink everything. There aren't all that many places one can go in Hogsmeade, so…I was really just gonna try..it..I don't know, Marcus. Oh the one hand, it's totally selfish and would probably be fun as hell and on the other hand, it /is/ selfish as hell and I just don't know if it's a good idea to watch the world burn up right yet." What?

What? That's a good way to describe the look Marcus gives Jenny. "Jen, having fun shouldn't be such a fuckin' science," he smirks at this, shaking his head. "Merlin's balls, stop over-thinking it, alright? I wanna go out with my mate, have some fun. Overdue fun that we both obviously need. It doesn't have to be weird, or awkward, or anything like that. The world's not going to burn, the Muggles can hold onto their pants on that and wait until we've had our fun before they burn it down." He flickers a finger at her elbow. "Stop worrying so fuckin' much, alright? You're not selfish, just because you want to spend time with me."

"Marcus, sometimes, but only sometimes, you've got to be one of the most dense people I know. Now? Now is one of those times." And Jenny? Bless her soul, she actually keeps her mouth shut and manages not to say anything else, even if her elbow twitched when he flicked it.

"I'm not dense Jen," Marcus simply says. "I meant what I said," he continues. His eyes close briefly, and he touches his chest, drumming his fingers on it. "You're being a worry wart," he pauses. "And no, I don't need you to explain things," he tells her.
One eye opens, to look up at her. "Stop worrying. It's my birthday celebration. Late birthday celebration. So, let's celebrate."

"You are dense, Marcus. And I /do/ worry. About you, about Peyton, about Silas, about the fact that we're still stuck here for months and I mean, spending time with your friends is fine but I'm equally sure that planning on snogging one of them for their birthday probably goes above and beyond like, normal. In fact, I know it does. It came be right, either. It's like, I went…I don't know. But it others me. It bothers me and it leaves a path of destruction in my wake. And it's selfish and maybe I just, maybe I need to learn to value my friendships more or to stop ruining them with my desires or just, I don't know. Merlin's balls, you're right. We need drinks."

There is a very, very long silence. Not because Marcus is all that surprised by Jenny's admission, but because she so plainly shared it. Spoke it out loud. Said it. His fingers drum his chest again, where he put that small, square something she gave him.
There's a deep breath. There are a million things for him to say right at this moment. A million things he wants to say, a million things he wants to do. But out of those million things, to say, to do, only one comes out of his mouth, finally.
"We need drinks." There is complete agreement in his tone.

"Well," into that all too long silence, Jenny clapped her hands together and in the next moment, pushed up off the bench to her feet because she was rather suddenly feeling very cared. "So. We're stuck at school and we don't have drinks and it's a lovely day and it could be colder and we're in the gardens and yesterday was quidditch and the lake and I don't know how to play chess or keep my mouth properly shut about anythin gbut Marcus I swear to Merlin if you don't bloody say something helpful and distracting I'm…probably going to bolt, because that's what happens when I do something stupid."
Of course, her tone implored, actually it all but begged but she didn't quite…couldn't quite bring herself to look at him again or rather, meet his eyes. So she kicked at a rock, because it was there and if she jammed her hands any further into her pockets she was going to rip the bottoms out of them.

Jenny getting up, forces him to hold his head in place, so that it doesn't go bouncing against the bench. He pushes up, sitting, and looking at the girl. Almost immediately, he stands, and stretches and without warning hooks his arm through Jenny's.
"Come on, lazy bum. Let's go write funny shit on the snow. We can mock the other houses, or people we don't like," he flashes a grin.
"I'd say we can pee the words on the snow, but I figure getting away if caught would be harder in such a case," he smirks.

With the presence of his arm, Jenny's eyes snap immediently, hopefully, to Marcus' face, filled with the kind of relief that… A blink, just one blink and it could be missed. Gone as if it'd never been and she smiles, giving only the smallest nods of her head. There's more reservation now, more walls. But at least she isn't running.
"Yeah. Let's go wri…what? Uh, Marcus, I unno if you've noticed, but I'm sort of missing the key part to manage that." And her hand; the one for the arm not looped through his? It's fingerwalking up his chest towards his pocket.

Her smile causes him to smile in turn. One of those genuine smiles that Marcus rarely offers. Still, his arm remains hooked around hers. To keep her from running? To keep her close? Both. Who knows. But he's not letting her go anywhere without him right now.
"Hey, I'd just call that a challenge," he smirks. "But we don't have to pee our way through it. Wands or fingers will do just fine." He looks down at the fingerwalking hand and chuckles.

That hand was going for his pocket, the one that held her picture, in all truth. But, she didn't scamper off, because his grip kept her from scampering off. "Or you know, alternately, we could have a snowball fight, or make snow angels or a snowman." Jenny suggests, peering at the boy.

Sensing the hand going to his pocket, he stops their walk and turns to face her some, his arm still hooked to hers. "I'll give it back if you really want me to," he simply tells her, his eyes looking straight into hers.
"But it is very pretty, I'd rather keep it," he adds.
He then grins and nods. "Pick one of those. It's less likely to get us in trouble, and the last thing I want is get us locked out of the next Hogsmeade weekend."

Tough question. On the one hand, he'd quietly but effectively killed all hope just a few minutes ago. On the other hand, Jenny had trouble letting go of things she actually wanted and all of that might be apparent there in her eyes.
"You can keep it." The words were eventually given and her hand fell away from his chest, quite possibly a little slower than it should have. But it did fall.
"Mmm, snowball fight. Because it's the nicest way I can actually hit you in the face right now." Cheekygrin.

Marcus looks a little confused as he notices something in her face, something he had missed. Merlin's balls, she was right. He is dense. He takes one breath, two, and then, just as that hand lis falling from his chest, he reaches for it, holding it in place, gently squeezing it.
Another breath. He takes her hand, and puts it to his chest, right above his heart, that is, if she lets him of course. His pulse is racing.
"Not the nicest way," he tells her and then looks down. "I am dense, Jen," he says. "I'm also confused," he has to quietly admit, and if he still has that hands, he squeezes.

Jenny's eyes closed when Marcus caught her hand and he might feel the tension sing up her body but she doesn't fight the way he lifts it in the same way she doesn't fight the spread of her fingers once its settled.
"Marcus…please don't. You're right and you made that really clear without having to do anything or say anything to make it more painful than it is. So…," so what. Stop touching her? Stop thinking about it? She could take her hand back. She could just say and put into words it couldn't be and that, that would probably make it easier on everyone.
Except it's Jenny. So she doesn't. Instead? She squeezes his hand, sweeps her left leg in to catch the back of his own and pushes with all her might against his chest to see him off balance and on his arse in the snow. Nevermind her own balance'll be gone right with him.

The words, he hears them. In his head. He agrees with them, in his head. But Marcus says nothing, does nothing but what he's already doing, holding her hand.
That is, until she catches his leg and pushes and off balance she easily gets him, and before he knows it he's falling… But he's still not letting go, so there goes her balance alright, and down along with him… THUD.
And there he is, on the ground, on the snow, with Jenny right on top of him. He looks into her eyes, and then closes his briefly. An arm… slowly comes over her back, wrapping, holding her close. The other? Well, that hand is still holding onto hers.

"You cheated!" A smidge of playful violence, no greater topic changer in the world and Jenny's laughing as she falls; a bit boney, perhaps when she lands on top of it. Some squirming too, as she tries to arrange all her pieces in the best way to keep from well, crushing him or elbowing him in the ribs, since he's still got that hand of hers trapped there between them.
But then he goes changing the rules, again, with the hand that crops up to hook around her back and there's not really anywhere she can -go-, except for to the side. So she does, aiming to turn them again; with her heel pressing in as she pushes off, though if he struggles with that one, there's no telling which of them will end up on top before its done.

"I did not," Marcus protests, chuckling. He bites his lower lip, as Jenny squirms in order to not poke at him too hard, so to speak. He keeps his hand where it is, and as she pushes to the side, to turn them, he doesn't fight it.
He lets go.
Except they are turning, so now, he ends up on top of her, and it's only then… that he lets go of her hand too, so he can use both of his to support himself above her. He looks right into her eyes then, and for a few moments remains there. He purses his lips.
Fingers covered in snow curl under it, away from view, his hand clenching into fists. The gesture hidden. There's a deep breath.
"We should probably head back, it's getting cold." Or hot, really. Funny enough, he's not moving yet.

"You're doing that thing again," Jenny points out, laughing softly while when they topple. Well. This was..okay, so that wasn't the smartest thing and she's aware of it and the ground is, let's face it, cold. She's not paying enough attention to his hands though, nor what they could be doing there to either side of her.
Instead, it's his eyes that she's watching and his lips and the way he keeps biting against the bottom one. That she could feel him, from head to toe and if she were honest, quite a bit deeper than that. Out of a desire for comfort, her legs shifted. Parting out to either side so that she could settle her feet flat and turn her knees up.
"You're right," Jenny agreed and slowly, almost tenatively, her hands rose up to climb his chest; and this time, she took her time with it. Exploring rather than rushing as her fingers fanned out.

"I'm right." Pause. "Of course I'm right." And at her touch, Marcus' hand relax under the snow, they stop clenching, the anger… with himself, slowly ebbs away. He is in no rush to push up himself. He bites his lower lip again, though and slowly he pushes up.
Then, he stands. Just like that. His eyes never leave Jenny's though, as he offers her a hand to help her up.

Jenny just…blinks. Floored, again. And this time, the shock and just a smidge of hurt flutters through her eyes. What'd she done wrong? Touch him? Mean it? "I swear to Merlin, Marcus, I might be bad but you're just bloody being an asshole right this second. And I don't need your blasted hand. Fuck." Okay, so maybe it was getting to her, just a little. Just a smidge.
So when he cleared room, she tucked her legs in and angled to rise up to her feet as well, shaking the snow from her robes.

"I… I'm not trying to be…," Marcus says, frowning. Usually, this is the time where with anyone. Anyone at all. He confirms to them that yup. He is in fact, an asshole. But for a moment, those words don't come to him. He blinks. And blinks again.
"You're right, I'm asshole." There, there are the words, but it took too long and when he says this, there's an edge to them. There's a deep breath and he steps toward Jenny. "You might not need my bloody blasted hand, Jen, but I'm never going to stop offering it."
And as she stands there, shaking the snow from her robes, he wraps a hand around her waist, without warning, pulls her to him.
And his lips meet hers. They don't just meet hers. They really meet hers. The kiss is deep and needy. Passionate and caring. And then. He lets go.
"I'm an asshole. I wasn't trying to be. But you're right. I am." And with that, he turns around to storm off.

In that pause, the one where the word's just don't seem to come to him? His frown is all it takes to stir her guilt. "It's okay, I was just…," enjoying touching him? Wanting to ki—and then, then Marcus found his voice and with enough bark in it to make her actually blink and consider that just possibly, just maybe, she should take a step back.
By the time her brain can talk her body into following through with it, his arm had caught her waist and her mind had fastened on his promise. And..that was the difference. He told her when she was shit and to fix things without actually trying to change her. He included her. He went about things in all the right ways, rather than the wrong ones and it took the span of a heartbeat for that to click, like she'd solved some great mystery.
It took just that long for Marcus to kiss her and discover…that it wasn't just one sided. That it could be done without shame and angst and guilt and worry. That it could simply be pure and tender and driven and sweet and desperate and needy in all the same ways that Jenny often was and never knew how to show.
She staggered too, when he let her go, a hand rising baffled to touch against his lips where his had so recently met them and smiled. It was a rare smile. Genuine and quiet and for reasons she couldn't entirely explain, came with tears as she watched him go.

She watched him go. That is, until he stops. Because he stops. "Fuck me," Marcus mutters to himself. And just like that, he turns around again. And there he is, storming to her, just like he was storming away and before she can say anything, his body collides with her.
His arms wrap around her back, around her neck. He kisses her, hard. Desperate almost. He kisses her with all the strength in him, because well, because she was her. And he was he. And that was fine.
He kisses her once, twice, thrice. He kisses her and this time, he doesn't quite let go. He stops, slowly, his forehead bumping against hers.
"I'm going to turn around. And you're going to hop on my back. And I'm going to carry you back. Now get to it…"
"… lazy bum."

Like a deer in the headlights, eyes too bright from her tears and touched with confusion, when he started storming back in her direction. Too quick and too many different thoughts threatened to assult her and not all of them good so when they collided, she staggered; saved only by the sweep of his arms.
It was his arms that saved her. Caught her. Kept her from falling. He always kept her from falling. And then, then it was impossible not laugh, just for the joy of it and not to cry, too for the very same reason. So Jenny did both. She did both and she kissed him. With all of her, with everything and no walls. No regrets and an entire world full of promises.
Her arms found his neck, clinging tighter every time those kisses paused and she tried not to sob and not to laugh and not to gasp for breath. He really shouldn't feel like coming home. …but he did.
So her hands were gentle when they framed his cheeks, tender. Shaking, truth be told as if touching too hard or too much might shatter the moment, shatter him and she'd wake up and discover that it was all a dream.
"Okay," she agreed, trying not to sniffle as the laughter faded and the tears remained. "Okay, but you better not drop me." And her voice was only slightly warbly.
And so what if she clung like she'd never let him go when he did. Legs and arms both this time, complete lockdown.

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