Summary: It starts with little thoughts she can't dismiss...
Spoilers: Set in S2 but only general spoilers for S1.
A\N: Betaread by fififolle. For the ARC 15 minutes challenge.
It has to be just a phase. Not even a short-lived infatuation like she had with Stephen, more of a silly series of random thoughts she shouldn't have about a flatmate she really can't fancy.
Is that what makes it too weird to be real, to be happening? Scratch that, it's not simply weird, it's scary. Because they live together, and now, in her mind she sees all the little ways that it could shift into them living together.
A kiss on the lips as he hands her a cup of tea.
A satisfying lie-in where she doesn't wake up and roll over to an empty rest-of-the-bed after a dream that makes her want some attention.
Maybe finally recording an answer phone message that isn't awkwardly trying to point out how separate they are, signifying how unattached they are to the world, even as they grow closer.
There's even the more mundane things she catches herself thinking, the idea of neither of them bothering to sort washing into his and hers - of accepting the flow of things, letting barriers down and becoming relaxed.
Meanwhile, what she gets is Connor handing her a cup of tea all too haphazardly in his rush to get out of the house – he thinks her visitor due for the second time in a fortnight is a new beau and has been on tiptoes around her since she snapped back at his questions. The tea sloshes over the side, which he sees out of the corner of his eye obviously, turning around, flailing with a tea towel whipped from a nearby hook as he tries to apologise.
He goes to dab at her top, but backs off realising how wrong that'd be for him to do and then looks flustered, for want of something to do to make it right again, fix the mistake he's made. He doesn't know Ben is an old mate, a vet who specialises in treating lizards, who is actually more accurately visiting Gloria than herself. Yet she hasn't corrected Connor's assumption, because she's a coward, because she practically wants to break their friendship, bring it to a head where Connor says or does something that means something more. So far there's nothing special, gleans of jealousy and nervousness, but nothing else is forthcoming. No declarations that last.
No, this needs to be just a phase or else Abby's scared that's what their friendship will turn out to be, one way or the other. Whether it ends or it develops, both are too frightening to consider for too long.