Rating/Warnings: PG; no warnings or spoilers
Characters/Pairings: Het; mild pre-Matt/Karen, past Matt/Daisy
Disclaimer: These amazing people belong to themselves entirely; I don't know anything of their actual lives. This is pure fiction, and I mean no harm by it.
Summary: Matt's lonely and tired and can't sleep. Karen is Karen and also there is a board game involved.
Written for effie214, who asked for something Matt/Karen related in my Pay It Forward Meme. Ironically enough, I was already working on this before her prompt. So, here's to you, bb; my RPF hero and a fantastic friend.
It was 3 A.M. and Matt was still awake.
The numbers on his clock slowly counted upwards; 3:01, 3:02, 3:03. He had work the next day, but for some reason he couldn’t tell his brain to just shut down.
His phone rang, lighting up on the nightstand. The cheery ringtone that Karen had picked out was a jarring contrast to his mood, and he rolled over, determined to ignore whatever strange situation she’d gotten herself into at this time of night.
Of course, she wasn’t getting into trouble with him, which left him with the obvious conclusion that she had to be with someone else. That thought lit up a spark of guilt and maybe/possibly/absolutelynever jealousy in his gut.
“Ugh,” he groaned into the pillow.
If there was anything Matt hated, it was being miserable. And after all the stupid, stupid crap that had gone down in the past twenty-four hours, he was miserable.
The phone stopped ringing, Karen’s cheerful voice dying down. He remembered the day they’d recorded that; it was supposed to be a scene with just Arthur and Karen, but, as usual, the three of them had been goofing off while the crew prepped. Someone had starting singing Christmas songs (never mind that it was the middle of May), and things had just snowballed from there.
That had been a good day. Unlike today. Or yesterday. Matt wasn’t going to be picky, and even though it was early, it seemed like today was going to be going in the same direction as yesterday.
The numbers on the clock glared at him. As if he didn’t feel bad enough about ditching Arthur and Karen earlier on top of everything, she had to go and call and let him know the shenanigans he was missing out on.
Sighing in resignation, Matt reached for his phone. It wasn’t lit up anymore, but when he touched the screen, it blinked happily up at him, informing him of a missed call from Kaz.
Typically, she hadn’t left a message.
He was staring at it, trying to figure out what to do, when it started ringing again in his palm. The singing was hyper-loud in Matt’s thoughts, and he wasn’t thinking when he hurriedly hit the button to answer it.
“Hi, Karen,” he said wearily. Surprisingly, the background noises on Karen’s end were quiet. In fact, he couldn’t even tell if she was still out.
“Hey, Matt. I didn’t wake you up, did I?”
He could detect more than a little of the very Karen cheer lurking behind that question. He glanced over at the clock. 3:12.
“Good,” she said, and then it was quiet. Matt watched as the clock flipped to 3:13.
“You call for a reason, Kaz?” he asked, trying to keep his voice steady and uninterested in her most recent escapades.
Instead, she blind-sighted him. As she often does, a small voice in his head whispered.
“I heard about Daisy.”
“I’m sorry, Matt.”
Matt opened his mouth to reply; the same old answer he’d been giving everyone over the past week, when the buzzer to his flat went off, cutting him right off. It fell silent, and then buzzed again.
“Karen,” he said very slowly, “Are you at my door?”
“It’s possible,” she replied, that ever-present cheek not so much lurking as dancing around her words.
He sighed into his pillow.
“Well? Are you gonna let me up?”
He sighed again. “Yeah, just, give me a sec, Kaz.” She ended the call, and he tossed his phone back next to the clock. The buzzer rang once more, a reminder, and Matt nearly just ignored it. Instead, he got up and padded over to his door and buzzed her in. Not a minute later, his door was opening, and he had an armful of Karen Gillian.
“I’m sorry, you know, about Daisy,” she said against his neck, arms thrown haphazardly around his body. “I know you guys were important.”
In his head, Matt can see the look on her face, even though, right now, all he has is a face full of hair. Karen’s crazy and wild and fun and just like him, but when it comes down to it, she does mean it.
“Yeah,” he breathed against her. “Me too.”
They stood there for several moments, and it should have been awkward, but it wasn’t. Karen just snuggled against him, gave one last squeeze, and pulled back. Her hair was mussed up from something; Matt wasn’t sure if it was intentional or not, and she looked like she’d just stepped off the cover of a magazine. Admittedly, she almost always looked like that.
He smiled at her, even though he wasn’t sure he wanted to be smiling at anyone right now. “Thanks, Kaz.” She returned the smile and glanced about, before apparently deciding on his bed and collapsing onto it with an ‘oof”. She absently smoothed her skirt and kicked off her outrageous heels before looking back at him.
“What are you still doing up? Don’t you have something going on tomorrow morning?”
“Yeah, I do, actually,” he said, and flopped down next to her. He ran a hand through his hair and then turned to look at the clock. 3:21. “In, oh, five hours.”
“Can’t sleep, huh?” She asked, rocking against him. He nodded wearily.
“Well, I know how to fix that.” She bounded up and danced over to his bookcase, the one with the games on it. Pulling down his battered box of Monopoly, she turned back to him with a raised eyebrow.
Part of Matt just wanted to be left alone; to wallow in this, but, another, bigger part of him, maybe, wanted her to stay, because he didn’t want to be alone; not now.
He smiled at her, and got a dazzling grin in return.
“Okay,” he said, and that was all it took.
Matt woke up to his alarm beeping at him wildly, demanding his attention. Ugh, he was tired.
Dimly, he became aware of something pointy digging into his leg, and a comfortable warmth against his side. He cracked his eyes open, and things started filtering in. There was the remains of a monopoly board set up at his feet, paper money and little houses strewn everywhere. Next to him, sleeping quietly, was Karen. Her head was half on his shoulder and half on his pillow, and he knew that had to be uncomfortable, but she seemed content to sleep right through it and his alarm.
He remembered them getting wilder and wilder with the game the more tired they got, eventually just giving up and declaring Mr. Moneybags the winner. He remembered her practically falling asleep before the game was over, somehow, someone suggesting that they just stay here and not move, and then he elbowed her in the side because her hair was in his face and she retaliated by stealing his pillow.
And then he remembered her laughing quietly, and he was smiling, for real, genuinely; her saying ‘goodnight’ right before tugging on his blanket and rolling against his side.
His alarm fell silent, and he realized something. He wasn’t happy; there was still that sucking hole right there in his heart, aching with every deep breath, but, maybe, just maybe…
He was okay.