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[personal profile] angel_gidget
Title: Perchance Reciprocation
Rating: PG
Word Count: 360 approx.
Disclaimer: C.C. made the sandbox; I just play in it when I'm not busy sobbing over it.
Summary: Mistaken impressions don't dampen real emotions.

A/N: Because the side-characters deserve love too, and as of CP, I'm sorry I ever doubted Henry Branwell.

Henry Branwell has seen men consumed by love and felt pity for them. He’s looked up from his papers, his workbench, his plans, and seen shadowhunter and warlock and what-have-you bemoan the receiving of affection, the loss of adoration, and seen them make it look rather unbearable. Henry fears the idea of being so consumed, because his own pain is more than he knows what to do with most days.

At least Henry has something they don’t. He has his work. The cogs and plans which give him purpose. He also has half of what he wants, as far as the ways of love are concerned. Having some of Charlotte is so much better than having none at all. And if she loves her work more than he--at least it is admirable work. She manages the Institute so expertly, with a competence and surety so alien to him, and so attractive, that it sends a shiver of wonder down his spine. And there have been times when he was almost sure she was looking at him with something akin to love.

Right before bed, as she unwinds her hair, he watches. But as she turns away to the mirror, he lets his mind focus on a more mechanical rumination. If he can get the witch-light ignited gas bombs to work, it could save them a world of preparation. It could save Charlotte’s life.

And that, right there.

He realizes she’s been looking at him, and he realizes it only in time to see her look away.

He feels his heart jump and fall out of rhythm, hoping that he has not imagined that look and the ones just like it that slipped from him just as quickly.

It crushes him some nights. That these unguarded moments escape him so easily. That some shield seems to fold around her heart at all other times. Even when they make love.

He wants it gone. He wants it shattered.

But one can’t always have what one wants.

So Henry reminds himself to be grateful. He is with Charlotte and Charlotte is with him.

And perhaps, one day...

One day.

- f.i.n. -


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