The Deep, Dark Secret
By Noelle - firstname.lastname@example.org
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Written for the livejournal community joaflashfic and for lj user darkserene. Her request, specifically, was for Grace/Luke fluff. I’ve never written fluff before, so it was indeed a challenge. :) Enjoy.
She hadn’t meant to reveal her secret to him; not yet. Grace had planned on keeping the information locked away for months, if not years. There were some things about one's self that were just not meant for immediate sharing, and this was one of them. But here they are: she having just bared her soul, and he grinning with a twinkle in his eye.
It was his lousy idea, anyway. They’d only been “official” for a month and a half. Both of them felt a little afraid to share what was going on with their friends and family, so they met covertly in quiet places. Luke would babble about something scientific, and Grace would roll her eyes, until a silence set in. In Grace’s experience, these silences were usually awkward; but they weren’t with him. She found she liked the sound of his slow breathing next to her, of the feel of his thumb slowly stroking her hand. Grace would have been afraid of the closeness, if it wasn’t for the fact that she’d never felt so comfortable with anyone in her life. And it was when she would start to smile to herself that he would lean in and kiss her.
So they’d been having these secret meetings for a month and a half when Luke got his brilliant idea. They were up in the room above his garage, sitting side by side on the bed. He turned to her with that look in his eyes, the one that made her go “ohh, no,” without even having to hear what it was he had to say. But he asked her to hear him out, and she found that as their time together went on, she could say no less and less. So she listened.
“Grace, we’ve been going out now for, ah, one month and seventeen days, right?” Luke asked, earning a raised eyebrow from Grace, who merely nodded. “And I feel like, like nobody’s ever known me better than you. And vice versa. Wh – which is weird, because, um, I don’t think I actually know a lot about you.”
Grace blinked to herself, a little surprised. While many of their “dates” had indeed only been thinly veiled make-out sessions, some actually had some substance. She recalled more than once the two of them lying in this bed above the garage, holding hands and talking until late in the evening. Then she realized that they had mostly talked about things related to Luke, or neutral subjects, like science, history, or politics.
“So I was thinking,” Luke continued, “that we could play, like, a game. You ask me a question about myself, something you really want to know, and then I ask you a question about you. And then we can, you know, strengthen our relationship.”
“Have you been reading your parents’ “healthy marriage” books again?” Grace asked, complete with air quotes.
Luke rolled his eyes. “No. I just thought it’d be, you know, a fun way to get to know you. Better. Get to know you better. I mean, I already know you so well, but there’s always room for improvement –“
“Okay!” Grace interrupted. “You’re babbling now.” She sighed to herself, knowing that Luke babbling usually meant he was really interested in whatever he was talking about. “Sure. Let’s do it.”
Luke grinned and nodded his head. “Great! Do you want to go first?”
“Hell yes,” Grace got up from the bed and began pacing back and forth, thinking up a good question to ask. She realized she might as well make the best of this. “Okay. Exactly how long have you been into me?”
Luke’s face reddened a bit as he cleared his throat. “Into you?”
“Yeah. You know, when did you first realize you were attracted to me?”
“Well, probably from the first second I saw you.” Luke thought to himself for a second. “In AP chemistry. You answered a question about the element makeup in the human body. Smart is sexy.” Grace nodded and grinned, accepting his response. “Okay, my turn. When did you first realize you were attracted to me?”
Grace shrugged and sat back down on the bed next to Luke. “I always thought you were kind of cute. But a geek.”
“Kind of cute?” Luke wore a wounded expression.
“Hey, there’s more to a person than their looks, okay?” Grace replied. “That doesn’t mean a lot to me.”
Luke wasn’t sure if that was supposed to be good or bad. But he didn’t have a chance to think about it much, as Grace jumped in with a question. “What is your deepest, darkest secret that you’ve never told anybody?”
“My deepest, darkest secret?” Luke replied.
“Yeah,” Grace answered. “And please, nothing gross.”
“Fair enough,” Luke contemplated an answer as he chewed on his lower lip. “Let’s see. When I was younger, I used to sleepwalk a lot. One time I was sleepwalking, and I woke up while I was still walking around. It took me a few seconds to realize it, but I woke up, um, in my parents’ bedroom. But they didn’t notice me because they were being kind of, you know, loud.”
“Augh!” Grace slapped her hands over her ears. “I thought I said nothing gross!”
“I thought you just meant no peeing-the-bed stories!” Luke tossed his hands in the air. “Sorry!”
“Dude, your parents having sex is some imagery I could have gone without.” Grace rolled her eyes at him.
“Well you know they’ve had sex anyway, since, you know, Kevin, Joan, and I exist.” Luke replied.
“Well you and your siblings are all so insane I had assumed you were all adopted.” Grace replied.
“Ha ha, very funny.” Luke shook his head at her. “Is it my turn now?”
“God yes, let’s please move on from this subject.” Grace flopped backwards onto the bed.
“Okay,” Luke rubbed his hands together. “What is your deepest and darkest secret that you’ve never told anybody?”
Grace turned to look at the back of Luke’s head as he sat next to her. “Are you just copying all my questions?”
“Yes.” Grace watched his head nod up and down as he spoke. “Are you going to answer? I told you mine.”
A sigh escapes her lips. All that had somehow led up to this point. Grace had originally come over to his house, thinking at the most they would watch some TV. But instead she was faced with the reality of having to tell Luke something she probably otherwise wouldn’t have just come out and say. And while the prospect is a little frightening, it’s not as terrifying as it might have been just a month ago.
“Fine. When I was a kid, I had a huge My Little Pony collection. I never got rid of them. I keep them all in a box in my closet.”
Grace takes a breath as Luke turns to look at her. Grace looks at Luke as he grins at her, as he repeats the words “My Little Pony collection” incredulously back to her. It’s then she realizes that even though he is making a jab at her leftover childhood infatuation with plastic ponies, there’s no malice in it. She can almost hear his thoughts; that is so adorable, Grace imagines him thinking.
She finds herself smiling at him, despite herself. She likes the idea of being adorable. So Grace can live with the fact that now Luke knows about her pony collection; he will never be mean to her about it, and she’s just now getting that about him. Luke cares about her. And as Grace is realizing, she cares a lot about him too, more than she ever thought she would. So she grabs his collar and pulls him down towards her, calls him a geek without really meaning it, and kisses him.