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Cut To The Feeling

we crossed the line (and it was on)


It was weird seeing Josh after all that time.

The café buzzed with the electricity of a Sunday morning, the murmur of chatter serving as background music for their conversation. Rory’s hands were clammy; there was awkwardness in the air. But Josh was sitting with an air of indifference, and maybe Rory did have a tendency to overcomplicate things.

“You look happy.” It was the first thing that came to Rory’s lips, and the only thing which was occupying her mind ever since she saw Josh walk in through the doors of Caffeinated Highs. He had grown, not only physically but mentally as well. The cheeks that used to be sunken in terribly were now glowing in an I’m-happy kind of way – the kind which made Rory wish he had smiled more while they were together because now she could spot small laugh-lines around the corner of his lips, something she never once thought she would see on him.

His smile deepened, so much that he had to chew on his bottom lip in an effort to not break into a full grin. His eyes were casted down. She followed where his eyes were. Josh was toying with something on his left hand – precisely, it was a silver band on his ring finger. Rory felt something heavy settle deep in her belly. Fearing his next words, pain originated from nowhere and spread all around in her stomach.

Josh might have felt Rory’s eyes upon him because he looked up. His eyes changed colors, like they did with each of his emotions. The murky brown was now a shade just lighter than that of honey, and Rory guessed he was feeling sympathy.

“It’s the reason I’m here,” he spoke, but his voice was low. It was as if he hadn’t spoken at all. But Rory saw his mouth moving, and words themselves registered in her brain despite her paying no attention to them at all. “We ended things at the wrong foot, I know, but it would really mean a lot to me and Lara if you came.”

From inside his jacket, he pulled out a white envelope – a save-the-date card – and slid it across the table towards her. Rory eyed the card; her mind was still processing the information like a computer which had been in use for a long time. Anxiety was bubbling in her stomach.

The waiter came with the hot beverages they both had ordered. Rory realized Josh was waiting for an answer.

She slowly picked up the card and read the wedding date. December 23rd. Two and a half months from now. She smiled despite herself.

“A Christmas wedding?”

Josh’s lips hitched. “Yeah, we figured everyone would be busy with their family on the twenty-fourth so our best option was the twenty-third. Besides you know Lara, and you know you can’t say no to her when she says she wants to have a wedding around Christmas.”

Lara was like that – always knowing how to have her own way – and it was probably why how their friendship survived. It worked because Rory was as indecisive as can be, and Lara was unwavering. Besides, for as long as Rory knew Lara, it was decided that both of them were going to have a Christmas wedding.

Half of that was going to be true, Rory thought. Lara was going to have a Christmas wedding.

“It’s not going to be much,” Josh stated, “a small ceremony and then a dinner afterwards.”

Rory hadn’t looked up from the card from the minute Josh put it forward. She didn’t want him to know how much his consideration of inviting her to the wedding affected her.

She didn’t want him to know that visions of them two together were hurting her still, and there, at that moment, the gaping hole they had left behind was deeper than the pain inflicted by their actions.

If Josh was getting annoyed at the duration of time she took to mumble just a simple “Okay”, he didn’t show it. Instead, relief took over his features as he sagged in his seat, for the first time showing how tense he really was.

His shoulders visibly relaxed and the lines over his forehead straightened.

“Okay? Does it mean you’ll come?”

She didn’t have the heart to tell him that her ‘okay’ meant something more on the lines of 'I’ll think about it’ because he was already thrusting the card and its supporting envelope in her hand.

“You need to RSVP it by the twentieth of November.”

Rory couldn’t ask him whether the invitation was both from him and Lara or just from him. And who she was going to come as; an ex- girlfriend, an ex-best-friend or just a friend, because he was sliding through the booth with his coat draped over his arm.

“It was nice seeing you after all that time Rory.”

He left as soon as he had come, it seemed. As Rory sagged in the seat with her head in her hands, she wondered what she had gotten herself into. Agreeing to attend a wedding with no real intention of doing so was not going to end well.

Perhaps it was what which made her shiver, even though the temperature of the café was extremely warm. And suddenly she couldn’t make a distinction between herself and the cold cup of tea she had ordered earlier.



The animal shelter wasn’t as warm as Rory would have liked it to be.

She was a firm believer of not wasting food, so she had to drink the cold tea even though it tasted much like ash. The drizzle outside made it worse; she forgot to bring her umbrella and walking while cold and heavy water dripped over her head wasn’t an ideal situation either. To top it all off, the heating system in the shelter was not working and she found Moby curled up in a ball and whimpering in the corner of her bed as Penny tended to her.

“What’s wrong with her Penny?”

Penny walked with a first-aid box always clutched in her hand or packed in her bag. She specified in dealing with physical injuries – her nineteen years of fighting the universe trying to make her fall making her an expert in dealing with minor cuts and bruises. She was known to trip even over thin air, sort of a feature which made her eligible for the job. Rory was highly thankful for Penny (something she showed time and again by treating Penny to various things), seeing as without her she would have to see the features of the orangutan she had the displeasure of working with.

“I’m sorry I can’t tell you much, Rory. She’s vomited a couple of times. Something’s wrong on
the inside and I’m afraid I’m helpful unless it’s something internally. But maybe you should ask Harry. He’ll know what to do.”

Rory paused, “Maybe you should ask him. I really don’t have the energy in me to do so.”

Penny looked at Rory through the corner of her eyes, giving her a look that read 'really?’. Rory hesitated, clutching her hands together and looking down at the curled up figure of Moby. “I’ve had a rough morning, that’s all.”

If Penny didn’t believe her, she didn’t show it. Truth was, seeing Harry – or worse, seeing him gloat that Rory asked him for help – was only going to put a damper on her mood than really helping her. Rory was still weighed down by the meeting she had had with Josh today, and Harry was only going to be certain to make her suffer more.

“He’s with Beth at the moment. I’ll ask him to look at Moby on my way out.”

Rory thanked her and crouched down next to Moby. She was the first dog Rory got to take care of, so Moby was pretty close to her. Rory had just about adopted Moby. But between classes and work, couldn’t do so properly.

She ran her hand through Moby’s fur. Moby let out a bark which sounded more like a mixture of a cough and a groan. Rory sighed, “What happened to you, Moby?”

“She’s knocked up.”

At first, Rory thought maybe she had made up the voice but heavy footsteps later, a body settled itself by her on the floor. Harry’s tall frame loomed over Moby’s balled up body. He looked more pale than usual, something Rory guessed was the result of the non-sunny weather they were having since a couple of days. She turned her head towards Harry slowly. He was wearing one of his trademark, brightly coloured shirts and the same, brown coloured worn out shoes.

“W-What did you say?”

Harry was smiling for reasons unknown to Rory. She guessed it had to do with him knowing more about anatomy and morphology and whatever concerning biology more than her. It wasn’t among Rory’s strongest suits, neither was it a strong one; something Rory had made clear couple of times before. That’s why they had Penny and Harry working at the shelter.

But unfortunately, the latter was there as a pain in her arse than being of any assistance.

“Moby’s pregnant,” He spoke with such casualty which made Rory wonder the number of times this situation might have occurred with Harry to be so much relaxed about it. He didn’t stop speaking, pointing his fingers towards the noticeable signs as he spoke, “How do I know that? Well, for one, her activity decreased substantially in the last week and you see her belly? It’s quite early for us to see but there’s a slight swelling if you notice carefully. And her nipples have enlarged as her milk glands are developing and –”

Rory gulped and with wide eyes swatted his hands away from Moby’s – er - developing milk glands. “Stop touching them; it’s hurting Moby.”

Harry stopped talking, took in the horrified expression on Rory’s face and smiled even brighter. “Ah, yes, I forgot. The nipples get tender and more sensitive during the onset of pregnancy, you see. It’s because-”

Rory squeaked and slapped a hand on Harry’s mouth whose eyes were alighted by her clear discomfort. “Please stop talking. I beg y- Ew!”

She removed her hand now covered with Harry’s saliva and wiped it down on her jeans-clad legs. The smile was ever so present on his face. “You’re disgusting, did you know that?”
He shrugged, re-focusing his attention on Moby who was watching him back. “But in all seriousness, you should take her to the vet for proper checkup, though. I’ll talk to Beth and make arrangements.”

He got up, patting Moby’s fur as he did so. Rory sighed, adding 'pregnant Moby’ to number second in the list of things weighing her down. She kissed Moby on the forehead just as Harry’s forgotten voice rang out again.

“I forgot one more thing; Moby would be experiencing morning sickness so you better be prepared incase-”

Rory groaned loudly, imagining Harry’s smirk breaking his face in two. He was insufferable, an orangutan who could be as intolerable as a toddler, someone who never failed to make her blood boil in annoyance. She turned around to see Harry’s figure standing a few steps behind her, looking at her with an air of ingenuity. Rory huffed, covering Moby with a blanket and stood up to exit.

“You bother me to no end, Styles.”

Harry chuckled as Rory passed him, eyes still alight, “I don’t. I just have a penchant of taking pleasure in your distress.”

How was that not the same thing? Rory wasn’t sure.


Hello everyone!! This story I wrote for the fic exchange over on tumblr and decided to post it here. It's a minific (the original was a pretty long one-shot having approximately 20k words, which I split into chapters) so it will have seven or eight chapters in total!

Comment your thoughts about what you think about this!

until next time xx


yay!! I'm glad ❤️

cataclysmic cataclysmic

Love this so far!!

Harry's pretty annoying, isn't he? Anyways, thanks so much for reading!

cataclysmic cataclysmic

"an orangutan who could be as intolerable as a toddler"
BAHAHAHAHA I laughed out loud at that! Describes Harry to a T! I like this story!

harambejtrump harambejtrump

thank you so much for your kind words xx

cataclysmic cataclysmic