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This is Audrey Tang: The Bad Taste by Gabriella Hunter
Chapter 6 : Rich Expectations
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 2

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A/N: Hello, everyone! Thanks for coming back! Please forgive the long wait and enjoy this fresh chapter! Much love, Gabbie.

Time seemed to stand still. Audrey's mind was deliciously numb, her heart beating in a thumping, heaving tempt that made the blood rush to her ears even as her body slacked and become like hot liquid. Sliding her fingers into Percy's hair even as she arched and desperately wanted more, she tried to press his mouth harder against hers, fearing that she would suffocate them both.

A gentle nip on her lower lip caused her to relax but the desperation only intensified. Every scrap of clothing needed to be peeled away and she wanted to have him so badly that even the fact that they were currently in an alley wasn't enough to bring back an ounce of her common sense, “....Percy do something. I can't wait,” the words were barely able to form as his mouth briefly left hers.

Tension was rippling over every inch of him and she clung harder to his shoulders, not wanting him to let her go. “I shouldn't but...” Percy murmured guiltily against her flushed cheek, panting for breath, “I will anyway.” He whispered and a shiver drifted along her skin as he shifted easily with her weight.

Audrey felt dazed and giddy, maybe even a little afraid. But if she didn't have him, she would go mad and she felt the pressure of his hand on the inside of her thigh, a soft, warning caress, “You're such a tease. Its not...” she gasped just as his hand continued upward, the heat of them sinking through her stockings to her bare skin. “...Percy, that's not fair!” she cried weakly.

For just one second, she thought she heard him laugh low in his throat before his touch continued, teasing and evasive. It felt like ages before she felt the delicious pressure of his fingertips right where she needed them...finally, finally... “Audrey, wait,” Percy had taken his mouth from hers and the dizzying pleasure was gone.

Gone, were his fingers and the ache it left only caused her to tighten her legs around him, the wall on her back digging and hurting. “W...what?” Audrey blearily murmured, confused. Percy was whispering something in her ear and she found her body obeying as he added a slight pressure to her hips, urging her legs down.

It took a moment longer than she would have thought because she refused to let him go and he gave her a sharp bite on her chin. “Let me go. Let go, just for...don't arch, shit,” Percy grunted, somehow managing to disentangle her and smooth her dress down.

Heat pressed into her from his hands, which she could feel shaking and she stared up at him in confusion, wanting an explanation. Her mind was still numb, her blood still pounding so heavily that everything she heard felt washed out and sluggish, “W...what are you doing?” she managed to ask.

Percy shakily straightened her on the ground. Audrey found her fingers reaching up and he gave a slight sigh before taking her wrists and placing them on his shoulders, almost pulling her closer but stepping away before he could. “This isn't the time or the place.”

“Why?” Audrey mumbled, knowing it was just her body speaking and not her mind, which was taking a very long time to process. She felt her fingers digging into his shoulders, “why...?”

Percy gave her a little shake that made her blink rapidly up at him. “Why? How can you even ask me something like that? You're obviously dazed. I was too rough,” he sounded severely apologetic, “Merlin, I can't believe that we almost did that,”

Audrey's mind took a very long time to calm down but she was almost positive that he had just said “Merlin” as in, King Arthur's Merlin. For some reason, she almost laughed because it was just too weird, “Percy?”

“What is it? Are you all right?” Percy asked immediately, anxiously looking into her face. She could feel her cheeks cooling, “say something and stop looking up at me like that. You're starting to worry me,” he said, looking concerned.

Audrey giggled a little and she found herself glancing between their bodies. She had unbuttoned his shirt even more, though he wore an undershirt and her gaze traveled down, down, and she bluntly said. “Your fly's undone.”

Percy let out a strange, mortified sort of sound, released her briefly and righted himself. His cheeks were turning pink even in the darkness and Audrey ran her fingers over him, trying to soothe, make him give in but he gripped her wrists and stopped her from going any further. “Stop. No more,” he bit out. “This wouldn't be right.”

A flash of anger gripped her but Audrey busied herself by looking down at herself, noticing that he'd nearly yanked her jacket off at some point. “You weren't really complaining a few seconds ago.” She said dryly.

“I'm not complaining now but I would rather not do this out in the middle of an alley where anyone can see us.” Percy replied as she felt his eyes, so heated, staring into her own before she looked down at the trash littered ground beneath her feet. “Again,” that one word caused her head to snap up sharply, a retort flying on the top of her tongue before he replied, sounding briefly shamed, “I've had my share of adventures and I—”

Audrey pushed at him a little but he refused to release her. She wished that he weren't so much bigger and stronger than she was, “Oh, so its an adventure? Right. I should have figured that you were just like everyone else,”

Percy's grip on her wrists tightened and she gasped in a bit of pain before glaring up into his face. The shadows lurking around it weren't exactly charming and she felt the color draining from her flushed cheeks, “Don't compare me to anything less than what I am. I stopped...this time when someone else might not have and I would think, Ms. Tang that you would respect me more for it.”

Ms. Tang again. Audrey felt anger welling up, her only defense but she tried to bite it down even while she knew she would leap at him again if he decided to angle his head and put his mouth on any part of her. “I wasn't the one that started it, don't take that high and mighty tone with me!” she snapped.

“Weren't you though?” Percy asked icily and she found her cheeks turning redder as she recalled their interaction in her apartment earlier. Though she hadn't meant to make him so uncomfortable, the pull between them was nearly too strong for her to fight and she'd never made it unknown that she'd wanted him. “I'm not sure what was worse, holding you off at your flat, the dress or watching you making googly eyes at that arrogant prat.”

Audrey wasn't sure what to comment on first. The fact that he had wanted her back in her home, that he obviously really liked her dress or the unsettling fact that he had just said “googly”. “Percy, don't tell me that the only reason you almost fucked me against a wall was because you were jealous!” she cried, flushing with rage and disbelief.

Percy shifted his weight, still holding her wrists and sensing her mood but surprising her when he didn't back down. Most men would have released her, made some sort of bullshit excuse and swaggered off and out of her life but he simply stared her down, “I didn't appreciate the way you were gazing up at him like he were some sort of bloody god but I wouldn't go so far as to say that I was jealous.”

“You weren't, huh? So that macho display in there in front of one of the most famous young actors that I'll probably never get to meet again was just what, friendly affection on your part?” Audrey found herself hissing into his shadowed face. Percy's eyes had flickered, warring between dull life and an actual need for a soul, “you embarrassed me in there!”

A brisk wind picked up just then, scattering various bits of trash in their direction but Audrey hardly noticed. Percy was glowering down at her and when he spoke, his voice made the hairs on the back of her sweaty neck stand up like needles, “ I won't apologize for my actions, Ms. Tang. I'm not certain what makes him so bloody impressive.”

“He's a young actor that came from nothing! That matters to people like me that have never had anything!” Audrey found herself passionately shouting. Percy merely hooded his eyes, shielding something from her, “what would you know about it?”

The question hung in the air between them, stiff and uncomfortably ugly before Percy said, frankly. “I would know something about it, Ms. Tang. I didn't have the luxury of growing up spoiled and getting whatever I wanted, don't let this amazing array of good looks and well grooming fool you.”

“Did you just make a joke?” Audrey asked, alarmed.

Percy looked extremely irritated. “Its been bound to happen from time to time. Even more so lately, with you.” He replied calmly before turning their conversation back and making her hackles rise, “regardless of your devotion to his acting skills, I'm not at all comfortable with how he was acting around you.”

Audrey narrowed her eyes up at him. “Because you were jealous?” Percy's lips tightened a little and she felt a spark of triumph before unease settled into her spine at how quiet he was. “He's just a bloke, he just wanted to talk.”

Percy's lips moved up in a little sneer that made him seem almost wolfish and she felt her arms rippling with a chill. Strange, fascinating, Percy Weasley was something she couldn't begin to wrap her mind around, “I'm certain that the only thing he wanted to talk about was what's between your legs and not the sort of....”

Audrey's face must have shown her hurt, anger and betrayal because he blessedly trailed off. She felt her throat tightening up and she struggled from his grasp but he held onto her tightly, “Is that the sort of person you think that I am? You think that I'd fuck any guy that compliments me?”

“No, not at all.” Percy infuriated her by saying calmly. “I can sense from just how you act that you've had your share of bad experiences and they've shaped you, but I think that there's still a lot for you to learn.”

Audrey flushed with shame, knowing that her actions tonight had shown a mark against her character. She felt a little dirty, “....I'm not trying to act so slutty with you, Percy, I just can't seem to help myself,” she informed, saying the things that he wouldn't.

A flush must have spread over his face because his eyes flicked away from hers and Audrey found it hard to breathe. “I understand, Ms. Tang, but I just want you to respect yourself a bit more. You're a woman, not something that I should be taking advantage of and I'm sorry.”

That made Audrey flush and she felt the anger rushing out of her for a moment, knowing that both of them had been wrong. It had been a long time since she had done something like that, losing control over just the taste and feel of someone else, “All right, I'll give you that but you didn't have to be so rude to Joseph Wring for no reason,”

Percy's nostrils flared oddly at the words and she was just able to make the action out as he leaned away. Shadows weren't so thick there but it only made a shiver of unease go over her, sensing that she had almost released some horrible monster, “For no reason? He was obviously flirting with you.”

“So what if he was?” Audrey asked dryly. Percy's cheeks flushed a little and she sensed that it had bothered him more than he would even want to admit to himself. “I wouldn't have slept with him just to get a role in a play, I'm not that desperate,” she said, though she didn't point out to him that she had nearly easily been banged against a wall.

The words seemed to soothe the beast in him a little but he still manged to chastise. “You should take better care of yourself Ms. Tang,”

Audrey felt a little irritation boiling and tried to free her wrists from his grasp but he held onto her tightly. “Weeeasley, you don't have to look out for me, I can handle myself,” she reassured firmly, giving up on freeing herself.

Percy ignored her outburst, becoming lost in his own thoughts and for a moment or two that he wouldn't answer her at all. But after another pause in which his eyes ran over her in a swoop that made both comfort and fear coil through her, he said with obvious concern, “I don't believe you can look after yourself as well as you might think.”

“Percy, I've been on my own for years. My brother Erick and I don't speak and after our parents died, I had to grow up fast, and I know that the things that I've done don't make me the best person.” Audrey found herself saying defensively, stunning herself with what she was revealing.

A cool wind blew down the alley just then, bringing with it the foul stench of garbage and animal waste. The two of them didn't seem to notice though as they stared at one another, her wrists still captured in his hands as Percy finally spoke, reluctantly admitting. “I...worry about you, being alone without anyone to care for you,”

“I'm used to it—”

Percy interrupted her sternly, his voice hardening until she actually felt as if she were in some sort of danger. Instead, something forced her to hold his gaze and for the shortest of seconds, her breath caught at the intensity in his eyes, “No one should be used to it. Being on your own without anyone there for you is more frightening than I think you're willing to admit,” he snapped, making her flinch.

Audrey knew that that was the truth. She woke up everyday feeling as if she wouldn't be missed and that her life would pass her by, unnoticed without even the slightest glimmer of hope, “....What would you know about it?” she whispered bitterly.

“I would know a bit.” Percy replied just as bitterly, sounding far more pained than she could ever be and Audrey's heart twisted in reaction to it. She didn't think that it was possible for her heart to react so strongly to someone she didn't even know but there was no denying that something was shifting between them.

Audrey felt a slight bit of panic go over her at the way he was regarding her, as if she were being understood. The threat of relying on someone, of having someone that close to her was terrifying and she felt herself recoiling, “I don't need your pity, all right?” she snarled.

“I'm not offering you pity!” Percy snapped, looking shocked by her outburst and when she looked away from him, panic dancing in her eyes, he gentled his tone. “Can't I just be worried about you without there being some sort of ulterior motive?”

Waves upon waves of panic were dancing on her skin and she felt a foolish bit of hope and joy overtake her. It was such a dangerous thing to think that he meant it, that he was suddenly doing this out of genuine concern, “Is that why you were being such a prick to Joseph Wring? Because you were worried about me?” she asked, not quite sure why she was becoming so scared.

Percy seemed to stiffen with dislike over the words but he straightened his expression into a mask of calm. His tone was assured and steeped in self-importance and a sort of haughtiness that rankled, “I was uncomfortable with the way that he was looking at you. I made certain that he was able to see that you weren't going to be wasting your time with him as long as I was around.”

The sheer arrogance in the words stole her breath and Audrey stared up at him in wonder, some part of her guiltily impressed while the other was taken aback. It oddly felt as if he were binding them together and that panic thrumming through her only intensified, “Y-you had no fucking right to assume you could look after me! Just who the hell do you think you are to me?”

Though she hadn't meant to say the words out loud, they had rushed out in a nasty cry that made her ears hurt. Percy's brows lifted, she could just make out the shape of them in the shadows and darkness around them and her heart lurched, knowing that she had crossed that little line. “...I'm nothing at all to you.” The words seemed to stun him and despite his earlier words, she heard him saying quietly, “just a stranger, Ms. Tang and perhaps its best if we both remember that”

Audrey felt him releasing her wrists, giving them a soothing little caress with his thumbs before she jerked her arms to her sides. Silence stretched between them and she heard his feet shifting, knowing that the thought of being connected to someone was frightening for both of them. “Haven't you figured out by now that I don't want that?”

“I was able to tell but you have no idea who I am.” Percy replied and she heard something in his voice. It sounded almost desperate and she heard his feet shifting again but he stayed in front of her, not willing to move or leave her, she couldn't be sure, “or what I am for that matter.”

Audrey blinked and felt her mouth opening, various words and questions forming in her mind. Their game, information for information seemed like such a joke to her now and she didn't know why she asked, but it weighed on her now, hurting her chest, “What do you want to do about this?”

Percy had been lost in his own thoughts, his eyes hungrily drinking in the sight of her but he snapped out of them almost painfully. He gave off the air of that wounded, dangerous creature to her and something primal in her soul told her to leave and never look back but she knew she'd never be able to. “About what exactly Ms. Tang?”

“Don't give me that bullshit. You want me as badly as I want you, I think we obviously proved that unless you'd like to see?” Audrey made a grand show of lifting up the hem of her dress.

Percy gave a cry of humiliated mortification. “Ms. Tang!” and she found her hands being smacked away from her dress sharply, “stop that. My God, you have absolutely no shame at all, do you?” he snapped, glaring at her.

Audrey found herself glaring back at him and even as she did, he was closing the space between them, bending his head. She would give anything for just one more taste but she forced herself to turn away from his mouth, “This is what I'm talking about!” her sharp tone caused him to step away, looking sour. For the lack of a kiss or their awkward circumstances, she wasn't certain, “you either tell me what you want or leave me the hell alone.”

“I don't think you'd like that.” Percy said, sounding as if he were cracking.

Audrey felt as if he were making her mental and she balled her fists to stop herself from punching him. “Its not just about what I'd like! I'd like to fuck the shit out of you right here and now but that doesn't mean shit if you're not going to tell me how you feel!” She found herself stating, gesturing towards the trash strewn ground.

Percy glanced down at the ground with distinct distaste even though something told her that he had perhaps dabbled a bit in a place like this. “Is that all that you'd like from me, Ms. Tang? A quick go at it and nothing else?” he demanded icily, making her jump a little and before she could shake her head, his voice turned even icier, “from the moment we met, you've been practically clawing me. What do you really want from me?”

No one had ever said such a thing to her before.

Audrey didn't know how to respond when her needs had never been the focus, when her happiness had never mattered. The days when her mother had taken care of her and her brother Erick, shielding them from their father in the best way that she could had ended the day she'd died.

Many horrible times had followed with her father afterward. And even when he had finally passed away, taking his cruelty to the grave, Audrey hadn't found anything better. The same men, the same suffering and not once had anyone ever asked her something like this. What could a person want from someone else?

Nameless, precious things that trash like her couldn't understand, most likely. But something hoped...something did and she fought it down, knowing that it was a lame effort. So why did she say it? “I want to know you. I want to know everything about you,” Audrey heard her voice but could that really be her? She didn't say things like that...she didn't dare say things that stupid without considering the horrible consequences.

There was the slightest of pauses, as if Percy were letting out a sigh of relief and though she hadn't known she'd looked away, he gently turned her face to his. Just that, a simple brush of his thumb on her chin made her hunger for more and more things that she didn't think she deserved. “Then I'll try my hardest to let you know me.”

Audrey wanted to speak, to say something but no words came out. Why was it that she seemed to be this way around him? Nothing made sense anymore and she was starting to feel as if she were being tightly bound. Unwillingly, she felt her eyes locking and obsessing over his own, the pale blue drawing her in.


“You didn't have to walk me home, Percy.” Audrey found herself saying uncomfortably a few minutes later as they stood outside of her flat door, an echoing silence hovering between them. The disaster in the alley had left them both feeling beaten down a little and she wasn't sure where they would go from here, “I could have managed it all right.”

Percy shifted his feet, staring at her so intensely that she felt the fine hairs on the back of her neck standing up. “At this time of night Ms. Tang in the way that you're dressed?” he indicated her short red dress and she gave him a furious look, even though he had a point. “I couldn't have allowed you to walk around without an escort and I take full responsibility for making you so upset.”

Audrey felt herself flushing, unable to banish the thought of what had nearly happened between them. It had been incredibly awkward, stumbling out of an alley back onto the sidewalk with various people gawping and whispering about the state of their clothes and shame made her wince. “It wasn't really your fault, Percy,” she said firmly, looking down at the mangled purse in her hands.

In her haste to get to him, she had foolishly left it inside of the theater in her seat but thankfully, it had been in decent condition when she'd dragged Percy back in to look for it. Aside from the money that she would have used to get them something to eat at the burger joint, everything else was in place, though she felt a slight panic at her own stupidity. Percy seemed to be no good for her, no good at all, “Would you at least look at me for just a moment? I can practically hear you cursing me to hell,” he suddenly said, startling her.

They were standing just a good few inches apart, though it did little good for Audrey. Everywhere he had touched her ached for more and she found it unbearable to glance into his eyes, both too eager and afraid of what she would see there, “I'm not cursing you to hell.” She bit out annoyingly.

“Aren't you, though?” Percy demanded and when she flushed guiltily at the penetrating stare he was giving her, he frowned. A flash of something entered his eyes just then but he said angrily, “this is precisely why I thought that seeing you again would only lead to trouble. I'm not the sort—”

Audrey interrupted him curtly. “Percy, I want to fuck you. That has nothing at all to do with whatever weirdness you have going on,” the words stopped him from going on a rant and he gawped openly at her. It would have been a cute sight, with his hair mussed and his clothes wrinkled and hastily put back to order but she didn't find anything funny about their situation, “and not only do I want to fuck you, I want to know you and that's never happened to me before.”

Percy flushed all the deeper and he took a moment or two to collect his thoughts, perhaps wondering on how to handle her. Audrey realized that she couldn't have possibly have shocked him more than she had before, but apparently, she had, “I just...I just don't know how to act around you.” He finally said, running his fingers through his red hair.

Audrey wondered if that were an insult or compliment but decided that she had had enough for one night. Without looking at him, she fished around in her purse, extracted her key and stuffed it into the lock of her door, “Just act like yourself, Percy, I don't expect or want anything else.”

The words surprised her a little but they were true. She did want to know him and she wanted him as he was, even though she wasn't quite sure on just what that would mean, Audrey wanted that with him.

Whatever they had, whatever this attraction between them meant, she would try only as hard as he would allow. If she went back to her old life before she had met him, she wasn't sure how she would survive being left alone without something or someone to brighten her day, “I'm really not all that interesting, Ms. Tang,” was Percy's hesitant reply.

Audrey gave him an odd look over her shoulder, taking him in and feeling that pulse of something not quite right. Though his pale blue eyes were hooded, shielding his thoughts from her, she was aware of his energy shifting....something almost threatening to break loose, “I'd beg to differ, Weeeasley. You're the most interesting person that I've ever met, if we're going to be honest,”

Percy's cheeks were turning faintly pink and Audrey stared at him in amazement, sensing that compliments on his persona were very far and in between. But she did find him interesting...interesting and slightly bizarre...maybe a little scary and it was odd that he couldn't see that himself. “You're not just saying that because I almost fucked you against a wall, are you?” he stunned her by asking.

“Percy, language!” Audrey cried, suddenly roaring with laughter. There was a deep scowl from him and she laughed all the harder, punching him in the arm before unlocking her door and going inside, “are you coming in or not?” she demanded.

For a moment, he only stood there, frowning and staring at her before stepping over the threshold and closing the door. Audrey eyed him warily, trying to understand what might be going on in his mind but he eventually turned away from her, cheeks turning pinker and pinker, “I hope you don't mind me cursing every now and then, its sort of a bad habit of mine that I can't seem to shake.”

Audrey shrugged herself out of her jacket as she walked into the living room, absently flicking on lights. The mangled remains of her television greeted her, along with the mess that she had left and a bit of embarrassment flooded through her, “Weeeasley, I don't give a fuck if you have to cuss, shout or dance around in your underwear.”

“Of course you don't. You're insanely uninhibited,” Percy replied dryly, though a flicker of a smile was on his face. Audrey wanted them to be at ease with one another but for a few tense minutes as she turned to face him, they merely eyed one another as if expecting either a bomb or a parade to break the silence.

Little prickles danced along her skin and she wasn't sure if they were from nerves, weariness, excitement or unease. She had never had this sort of reaction to someone before, and definitely not to someone as stuffy and self-preserved as Percy seemed to be and she just couldn't begin to understand it. After a moment of boring herself with various reasons, she decided that she would try not to in the future.

The attraction between them was something that she would probably never be able to fully analyze or comprehend. Audrey had never believed in love at first sight so she immediately dismissed that possibility, thinking that perhaps she had finally found someone as alone as she was. It was a strange thought when she distantly recalled that Percy had so many siblings but as she stared at him, she couldn't help but think that he was very lonely.

So lonely, in fact that it tormented him. “Are you hungry, Weeeasley?” Audrey eventually asked, breaking up the tense silence while making her voice light. When he only stared at her blankly, she smiled at him teasingly, “you could have had your fill of me earlier but you decided not to.”

Percy had been eyeing her just as warily, though his brow had been furrowed with what she figured could only be deep, private thoughts. At her words, though, he blushed an intense red, causing her to roar with laughter and he pushed his glasses up the brim of his nose, saying curtly, “Standing there thinking that I'm not contemplating my mistake is only going to irritate me further, Ms. Tang.”

“You know, no one has ever done that for me before, I really don't know what to say,” Audrey found herself admitting, feeling humiliated by her own past actions. Percy's brows shot up in alarm at the words and he looked very worried before she said with a shrug, “I've never gone out with anyone as well-mannered as you before, its...nice.”

Percy gave her the faintest of smiles before he said, sounding all serious and causing her to think that he was simply too adorable for his own good. “It won't happen again, I'm sorry for...getting so upset with you earlier, I would never have under any other circumstances,” Audrey frowned, thinking of what to say before he went on, looking stern. “I suppose I was a tad jealous with how you were reacting to that actor,”

Audrey felt as if he had slapped her across the face with this news, not that she hadn't suspected it herself. But to hear it from his own mouth made her question various things and she advanced on him carefully, “Why were you jealous? Did you think that I was going to run away with him?”

Percy eyed her suspiciously and stepped back from her, looking as if he were ready to bolt at any moment. Audrey waited patiently, staring into his face, wanting him to answer her but almost being afraid of what he might say, “I like talking to you, I wasn't lying when I said that...that I wanted you for myself.”

Audrey's cheeks felt warm and she damned herself, wondering why he continually made her blush. “But you don't know me well enough to even begin to get jealous. For a moment I didn't even think you wanted me,” she muttered, though she didn't think that she had the nerve to talk.

“I'm not sure why I want you so badly, to be honest but...” Percy's voice dipped a little as he reached out to touch her hair. It was nothing really, just a gentle caress but it made her toes curl, “You've been a bright spot in my day, if you must know. I haven't talked to anyone this much or had anyone so happy to see me in a long time,”

Audrey turned her head into his palm, wanting more of his touch but he lowered his hand at the last moment. “Why wouldn't anyone be happy to see you?” she whispered, wondering just what sort of life he had in whatever strange little world he lived in.

Percy visibly stiffened and she thought that she had crossed some sort of line as his lips tightened. She opened her mouth to say something but he surprised her by bowing his head a little, eyes not meeting her own, “I've done a lot of things that have hurt my family recently. They're not as accepting of me as I would have hoped,”

Something in his words made Audrey shiver slightly and she couldn't imagine what he could have done. “What did you do?” she ventured and Percy shook his head, shutting her out from his personal life and disappointment flared through her along with a sense of loss, “...Weeeasley, can you at least tell me what your favorite color is?” she asked.

“Purple and I'm not at all sure why that matters,” Percy answered in surprise, looking taken aback. Audrey roared with laughter, smacking him in the arm in disbelief before he fended her off, “what on earth is so funny?” he demanded.

Audrey punched him in the arm again just for something to do and he gripped her wrist in surprisingly gentle fingers. She could still feel the awkwardness between them but as she laughed, it gradually faded, “Purple, Weeeaasley? That's such a girly color!”

Percy flushed annoyingly. “Purple is quite a manly color Ms. Tang!”

“No it isn't! Black is a manly color!” Audrey corrected and Percy shook his head at her, looking amused by the fire in her eyes. “I've always really wanted one of those slinky black dresses that the movie stars wear, I think those are so sexy,” she said to him and he seemed to log that in for later, though she wasn't sure why.

Percy eventually pushed her hand away and she placed her hands on her hips, staring up at him curiously. She just couldn't understand what could be going on in his mind but she noted with relief that the stiffness in his shoulders had lessened, “...Though I'm not sure why they would require stars, are movies something that you enjoy, Ms. Tang?”

Audrey hadn't been to the movies in a very long time and she tilted her head at him thoughtfully. The way he'd worded his sentence had been all too bizarre and she found herself answering carefully, “Yeah, but you've never seen a movie before, have you?” when he shook his head, she merely gawped up at him in outrage. “Weeeasley, do you even know what modern technology is?”

Percy flushed in embarrassment. “I've heard of them but to be honest, I'm not quite sure of the mechanics, though I've always been rather curious,” he admitted and Audrey squinted up at him shrewdly. “What?”

“You're either some circus freak with amnesia or an alien,” Audrey declared firmly and he roared with laughter. She punched him in the arm, though she was glad that he was smiling again, even though it didn't last for long, “you must be from an entirely different world to not know about these sort of things.”

There was an odd silence as Percy opened his mouth to say something, thought better of it and informed. “You seem to know a great deal about these sorts of things, Ms. Tang, are you an expert on technology?”

Audrey wasn't sure she appreciated the sarcasm in his tone but she gave him a level look before flipping her hair over her shoulder. “I know a thing or two.” When Percy only raised his brows doubtfully, she went through a long and tedious description on what she knew about movies, film and how they were able to be on screen.

Percy listened raptly, interrupting her here and there but appearing so fascinated that she couldn't help but share in his excitement. When she finished explaining to him the newest things in movies, she waited for him to say something but he turned his attention to her mangled television. “While that's all very intriguing Ms. Tang, how different can it all be from your television?”

“Its a lot different, actually.” Percy appeared unconvinced as she turned away from him, heading towards her coffee table. Take out orders littered the surface and she absently asked him, “What do you want to eat anyway? Pizza? Chinese?” Percy flicked his gaze away from her television to give her a bewildered look and she spat. “Just because I am Chinese doesn't mean I know how to cook Chinese food.”

“That's not at all what I was—my God, the finer points of common courtesy and politeness must have escaped you as a child!” Percy cried in exasperation and Audrey roared with laughter. “I've never had pizza before, I would like to try it.”

Audrey stared at him in surprise before rummaging around for her phone, which she found wedged between her couch cushions. She knew the local pizza delivery number by heart and went through the familiar motions easily and deciding that she would eventually need to know how to cook. “Percy, it'll be a while before the pizza gets here, I've got just enough in my piggy jar to pay for it,”

Percy was standing where she'd left him, looking distinctly uncomfortable and she raised her brows at him, making a grand gesture for him to sit on the couch. When he hesitated, Audrey felt a bit of nervousness grip her, thinking that he would leave, “I hope you won't mind me being here with you for a while longer. I didn't expect for tonight to go so badly.”

“Neither did I but here you are and here I am. So sit your ass down and get over it, I'll make sure not to molest you when you're not looking,” Audrey said dryly and he surprised her by laughing. It was a little nervous but he did as she told him to, pushing aside her mess and books carefully, “I want to talk to you for a while longer.”

Percy gave her the faintest of smiles as she plopped down beside him, keeping a bit of distance for both of their sakes. “Why do I get the feeling that talking to you is going to be bad for my health?” he asked and when Audrey merely laughed, he weakly joined in, a strange sort of comfort settling over them and hinting at things to come.


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This is Audrey Tang: The Bad Taste: Rich Expectations


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