Random One Shots

Random one shots with actors, musicians/bands and characters.


171. Richard Armitage 22

~“It’s only me,” Richard announces as you hear the front door open and close. You barely register it though- all of your attention is locked onto your computer screen. You had set yourself this writing challenge to write 40,000 words in a month and were still quite a way off of completing it despite spending all day trying to chip away at the word count. Richard sticks his head through the living room door and sees you at the computer. “Oh, you are up.”
“Hi,” you murmur in acknowledgement.
“Have you been working on that story all day?” he walks over to you, glancing over your shoulder at how many pages you have typed out.
“Yeah,” you murmur again. It’s true that you have been at the screen all day. Your eyes are starting to hurt but you are determined to get the story done and uploaded tonight so it is out of the way.
“Have you had anything to eat?” Richard asks you with a certain amount of astonishment. This stumps you. You cast your mind back through the day but you don’t remember having anything for dinner. You shake your head and your stomach growls loudly. Richard gets the message and goes into the kitchen. You try to remember- that’s right. Richard had been at the theatre watching a matinee performance so had probably just got home from that. You look at the clock. It’s gone nine o’clock. You had started writing at one in the afternoon and been going ever since!
As you get up to go to the loo your legs creak in protest after being sat down for so long. Returning to the computer you find that Richard has brought you some pasta that he had cooked along with a drink. You can’t help but feel exceptionally grateful for your boyfriend right now.
Richard is over by the DVD rack flicking through your collected collection.
“Do you mind if I put a DVD on?” he asks you when he realises you have re-entered the room. You shake your head. “Are you sure it won’t disturb you?”
You shake your head again and he plucks out a DVD and sets it up to play as you sit back at the computer and gratefully eat your meal. Richard then lays out across the sofa with his own pasta and hits play. You realise he has made quite a cruel choice as the overture for Moulin Rouge starts to play- one of your favourite films for watching together and though you attempt to go back to your story your attention is diverted more and more back to the film.
Richard doesn’t seem to be making it any easier for you either, miming along with the singing for The Sound of Music and Lady Marmalade, and joining in dancing with the men with his own quirky dance for Here we are now, entertain us! You can’t help but laugh as you watch him strut his stuff in the living room but when he hears you laugh he apologises in a sheepish way and sits back down silent for the rest of the scene. You realise this is so he isn’t distracting you any more than you already are but it is becoming more difficult to not leave the story until tomorrow and snuggle up on the sofa with him.
It gets to the part where Christian has been invited up to the elephant to audition for Satine when suddenly the TV goes black. And not just the TV- all of the lights in the house and your computer screen too.
“What the-” you cry in shock.
“It must be a power cut,” Richard says, taking out his phone so that his face is lit as he finds the torch on it. You look at the computer in dismay- the work would have automatically saved itself so it is not lost, but who knew how long this power cut could go on for. It seems even less likely your story will be finished tonight.
You follow Richard out onto the street to assess how big the situation is. Already the other neighbours on your road can be seen speaking to each other, their faces lit by torches and candles of their own. It seems like the whole street is out.
“I’m going to see if anybody knows what’s happening,” Richard says.
You nod. “I’d better check on Caroline.” Caroline is your next door neighbour and while she had lived on the street longer than anybody else she was starting to show her years. You feel it is best to check that she was OK.
Richard nods in agreement and he walks towards where the neighbours are gathering while you walk into your back garden and climb over the low fence. Caroline was a bit deaf and recently had failed to hear her front door bell so you had agreed with her that she should have a back door key hidden under the plant pot so if ever you needed to get to her you would be able to. You fish out this key now and open the back door, knocking out of politeness.
“Caroline?” you call through. You turn the torch on your phone on and walk through the dark house to the living room where you find your slightly bewildered neighbour sat in front of her TV.
“Oh, hello (Y/N),” she says when you shine the light on your face. You worried that you might give her a fright walking into the room unannounced, or that she might have hurt herself in the time that the power had been out but she seems fine enough.
“Hi Caroline,” you say as you approach her. “I thought I should let you know there had been a power cut-”
“Oh it’s a bit late for that dear, I noticed!” Caroline laughs good-naturedly.
“I just thought I should check on you,” you smile.
“That’s very kind of you dear, thank you,” says Caroline. “I was just thinking about going to bed anyway. Would you take my hand?”
You oblige and lead Caroline up the stairs, shining the way for her with your torch.
“This is nothing compared to ’73,” Caroline was saying. “During that time we had no electricity, heating or water for two whole weeks! I had to bike a mile up the road any time we fancied a cuppa, then boiling the kettle over the gas stove just like the old times…”
You stay with Caroline until she is settled in her room. As you turn to go Caroline keeps her grasp on your hand tight.
“That Richard, he is a very nice chap,” she says.
You don’t know what to say except “yes, he is.”
“I’m glad you found someone nice for yourself,” Caroline smiles and lets your hand drop. You leave her room in a slight haze. You had not expected that last comment and it had caught you quite off guard. More than that it is making you feel guilty at having blanked Richard when he had come in before. You wonder if perhaps you have been taking him for granted…
You hop the fence back into your own garden and look up at the sky. Without the glare from the street lamps and lights from the houses the night sky is thrown into sharp relief, every star shining brightly from horizon to horizon unhindered by cloud or moonlight, which is now only a crescent.
You hear the back door of your own house and turn to see Richard walking up the garden path towards you, his torch quite intrusive.
“Well, we’ve managed to get through to the electricity board, they said they’d see to it as soon as they can,” he says in an off key tone before meeting your eyes. “Is your work going to be OK?”
“It’ll be fine, this happened once before and the computer can recover it,” you say, trying to look past the torch back into his eyes. You can’t manage it and you shuffle your feet awkwardly. “I’m sorry I blanked you when you came in earlier.”
“It’s OK-” Richard starts but you cut across him.
“No, it’s not. It was rude of me, I’m sorry. I didn’t even ask how the show went or anything,” you continue.
“Hey, don’t worry about it.” Richard turns his torch off so that you are both plunged into darkness once again and he takes your shoulders in his hands, his grasp firm and though it is now completely dark you can tell from his breath on your face that his face is only centimetres away from yours. “We both have our crazy times. Whenever I get a new script that I have to learn I’m the same, and I’m sorry that I am. I think it’s really good for you, what you’re doing with this writing challenge.”
“I promise you, when it’s finish I’ll more than make it up for you,” you promise. “I’ll do something special for you. I don’t know what that is yet but we will do something, and it will be special!”
You truly do mean it and Richard laughs. “It’s good to see you haven’t changed at least.” He finds your lips with his and all of your previous worries melt away in this blissful kiss. You wrap your arms around his waist, finding warmth against his body. Richard breaks this kiss and rests his chin on top of your head, his hands sliding down your back pulling you into a tight hug. The smell of his jumper is calming and you close your eyes, breathing it in.
“I hope the DVD is alright, not scratched or anything,” you mumble absently. “It was just getting to the best part too.”
You feel Richard’s jaw contract into a smile. You wonder if you should suggest going back inside when-
“My gift is my song… and this one’s for you…”
You lean your head back to look at Richard. What on earth was he doing?
“-And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind
That I put down in words
How wonderful life is now you’re in the world…”
You smile at the absurdity of it. Here you were in your back garden in the middle of a blackout and Richard had decided to sing Your Song to you.
“I sat on the roof and I kicked off the moss
Well some of these verses, well they,
They’ve got me quite cross
But the sun’s been kind while I wrote this song
It’s for people like you that keep it turned on…”
His voice fits the song wonderfully. He isn’t attempting the high notes that Christian reaches but his smooth baritone tones are beautiful. Richard takes your hands in his as he reaches the crescendo.
“So excuse me forgetting but these things I do
You see I’ve forgotten if they’re green or they’re blue
Anyway, the thing is, what I really mean
Yours are the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen!”
Richard puts his left hand on the small of your back and pulls you into a dance. He manages somehow to guide you away from the fence and hedges and you laugh as he raises his right arm to spin you under it then spins you back into his chest, holding you tight as together you waltz around the garden in complete darkness underneath the star-studded sky.
“And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it’s done…”
As the song naturally slows, Richard slows the dance though his grip on you does not lessen.
“I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind
That I put down in words
How wonderful life is now you’re in the world!”
On the final note Richard grabs your hands and together you spin round in faster and faster circles until your feet trip over themselves and you fall on the grass, pulling Richard down with you until you are lying on the grass in a giggling mess. You both look up at the stars and you rest your head against his chest.
“Thank you for making everyday that bit more special for me,” you sigh eventually after a comfortable silence when you’ve finally got your breath back. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
Richard’s fingers delicately find and brush stray hairs out of your face as he replies: “Nor I you.”

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