andwhoareyousweetheart: (Joe Trohman 2)
[personal profile] andwhoareyousweetheart
Title: There Goes My Hero (He's Ordinary) - (1/2)
Rating: PG-13 (for language)
Pairing: Joe/OC
POV: Third person (Joe centric)
Summary: "You could," he starts, before he nervously clears his throat and begins again. "You could come to my place."
Disclaimer: I own nothing. This is fiction, nothing less, nothing more.
A/N: Because I am a silly, ridiculous suck for Joe!fic, here's part one of the two-part in-between-quel that I wrote. This takes place right when they first start dating (and, importantly, before they sleep together). Title from "My Hero" by Foo Fighters, cut text from "Vegas" by All Time Low. Inspiration for awkward morning scenes to come from the awesome [livejournal.com profile] drowninginlethe and an AIM conversation that I saved the transcript of so I could go back and be inspired and laugh outrageously. Thanks for being my tramp(oline) ;)



Days off from the studio are by far Joe's favorite kind of days.

He can sleep in, first of all. Staying in bed until noon is something Joe always forgets to appreciate until he goes to record another album with the band. Now, with Holly giving them at least every second weekend off so they can "relax and come back actually willing to work", Joe takes every chance he gets to recharge. Recording isn't necessarily hard, but it's draining as hell.

The second reason Joe loves days off is that he gets to spend them with Holly.

Joe doesn't really know exactly what's going on between the two of them relationship-formality-wise, but he's learning pretty quickly to shut his mouth and just enjoy it. They still haven't done anything past making-out, which normally, okay, might not exactly fly with Joe (he's not, like, only about the sex, or anything, but he's trying to cut back on weed and he needs something to take the edge off), but he can tell that some tiny part of her is ridiculously, terrifyingly fragile. She's like a china doll trapped in a castle with only one window. Joe knows he's going to have to break the damn thing down brick by brick, but every glance in through that window tells him that the painstaking bursts of effort are more than worth it.

That's a fucking awful metaphor, Joe contemplates as he walks up to Holly's apartment building from where he parked his car. Guess there's a good damn reason we put up with Wentz.

Joe isn't sure what he and Holly are going to do today, but he doesn't really care, so long as he's with her. It's romantic and corny, but she brings that out in him. Suddenly he's some lovesick puppy fawning over her like she's his first high school crush. It's embarrassing.

Joe finds Holly's apartment pretty easily once he gets inside her building. It's not a large complex, and Joe's been here before (albeit only once, because Holly is sort of odd and maybe a little ashamed when it comes to her apartment, but he's still looked around and he has a pretty good memory for these sorts of things). After hesitating for a second and attempting vainly to style his hair into something other than "fro", Joe knocks on her door.

No one answers, but the door swings right open.

Joe's a little startled because, okay, he knows Holly. And she is not the type of person to leave her apartment door unlocked and open by accident. She's the type of person who closes and locks her door the second she walks in and then places her keys in a predetermined exact spot on the counter. Hol may be about as OCD as they come, but Joe doesn't think of it as a bad thing. It's who she is.

So this is very, very wrong.

Joe walks in carefully, in fear that there might just be a thief or something in her apartment, but it looks completely empty. The only abnormal thing so far is that the door was totally open.

And then Joe starts to feel the cold.

It's got to be below freezing; Joe can feel the chill through his hoodie and jacket. Despite the fact that there's a New York winter taking place outside, Joe's pretty sure he'd be warmer if he went and stood on the street.

Joe goes to check that the window opposite him is closed, and when he looks over at the couch, he notices that there's a pile of blankets shifting slightly on the far end. He walks over to it carefully, peers at it, and then gently pokes it.

It shifts a little, and Joe can see a strand of dark hair.

"Hey," he says, sitting down next to the couch and carefully peeling away the blankets. "Holly?"

She makes a tiny, pitiful noise, and then she pokes up her head.

Joe can pretty obviously tell that she's sick, with her eyes half-shut and her nose red. She looks tiny and infinitely breakable, and the soft whimpering noises she's making are killing Joe slowly.

"Joe," she whispers, and her voice is raw and low. "Why are you here?"

"You told me yesterday to come pick you up so we could go out," Joe supplies as he shifts a little closer to her on the couch. "Why is your apartment so freezing?"

Her pale face flushes almost instantly, and Joe feels bad, despite the fact that he doesn't exactly know what he's done wrong. "I couldn't pay for my heating bill," she whispers, looking sideways towards the floor. "Some of my student loans came due at the same time, and my brother needed money for his rent. Everything came at once, and I couldn't -"

Joe can tell she's close to tears, and he's maybe a little taken-aback. She's never mentioned anything about her financial situation. Joe just assumed she was making enough to live by producing their record, but he can understand how she might be a little broke. She has mentioned that she put herself through school - in a fantastic but incredibly expensive New York City University, none the less - and that she helps her brother out when he needs it, but...

But Joe wishes she had told him.

"Hey," Joe says, and it's all he can do to resist the urge to run his thumb across her cheekbone. "That's fine, don't be - don't be ashamed."

She says nothing, but she does move over on the couch a little so Joe can sit comfortably. When Joe shifts so he's pressed against her mini fort of blankets, she closes her eyes, allowing a shiver to wrack through her body.

"You're going to freeze to death in here," Joe observes, watching as her lips tremble from the cold. "Or you'll die of pneumonia. Either way, not a pleasant ending."

"Don't have anywhere else to go," she rasps.

A light bulb goes off in Joe's head.

"You could," he starts, before he nervously clears his throat and begins again. "You could come to my place."

The color is quickly returning to Holly's cheeks as she avoids looking Joe directly in the eyes. "I couldn't," she mumbles, fingers knotting in her blankets.

"Why not?" Joe asks. "It's warm, and it would give you a chance to sleep comfortably without having to wrap yourself like a fucking burrito."

Holly smiles for the first time since Joe's arrival, but she still looks hesitant. "I don't want to impose," she says hoarsely, eyes careful on Joe's face. "I mean, I'll just be a bother."

"You won't," Joe insists, before he goes out on a limb and adds on. "Look, let me take care of you."

Holly deliberates for a moment, before she shivers again, almost violently, and Joe makes up her mind for her. "Come on," he says, getting up from the couch so he can stand next to her. "I'll carry you to my car wrapped in the blankets."

"Clothes," she says, before she motions vaguely towards her bedroom and adds, "I should pack a bag just in case."

Joe watches as she gets up off the couch, tiny frame absolutely shrouded by heavy blankets. She walks for her bedroom slowly and unsteadily, her hand darting out every few steps so she can grab onto something and steady herself.

Joe waits nervously where he is as she gathers her things, a process that seems to be taking a year. Joe can't believe he just invited her to sleep at his place, he really can't. Because, okay, wow. He may as well just tell the poor, horribly sick girl that he'd like to fuck her. Jesus.

"I'm ready," Holly whispers a moment later, and Joe nods and rubs his hands together. He's not entirely sure how this is going to work, but no matter what, he knows it's going to be awkward.

"I'll take your bag," he says, motioning for it vaguely, before he clears his throat and adds, "and I'll come right back for you. Okay?"

"I can walk," she objects weakly, but Joe shakes his head.

"No physical exertion for you. Give me ten seconds and I'll be back."

Joe rushes out to his car, places her things in the back, frantically attempts to tidy his vehicle without much success, and then runs back to the building. Holly is exactly where he left her before, and she bites her lip as Joe awkwardly approaches her.

"I'll just, um," he says, cheeks flushing, before he steps forward a little and puts his arms out in front of him. "I can just, like, carry you down."

"I'm too heav-"

"Bullshit," Joe says, relaxing a little. "Even with the blankets you probably only weigh like 120 pounds. Don't worry about it. Just, come here. I'll, like, fireman-carry you."

Holly steps forward incredibly cautiously, but she doesn't protest when Joe puts one arm around her blanket-swaddled back and bends to put the other behind her knees. She jumps a little, throwing her arms around his neck, and now -

Now he is carrying her.

He just stands there for a second and... Holds her, maybe a little wishful. Longing. He's not too sure, but even wrapped in the blankets she's absurdly tiny, face pressed to his shoulder and fingers tangling a little in the curls at the nape of his neck, and he just wants to hide her away. She sniffles a little, and he wants shelter her in his arms and keep her safe from the world.

And apparently now he's turned into a woman.

"Come on," he says, more to distract himself from the situation than anything. "Let's get you to the car."

They get downstairs and out to the vehicle without much trouble, Joe thanking his conventional lucky stars that he'd bought a car when he moved to New York despite the fact that no one drove in the city. He'd bought a house, too, in a sea of people living in apartments. Maybe it was Joe's attempt to bring some of his childhood into his new life, and to bring some normality into his extremely abnormal existence. Either way, it was paying off now.

"Here we are," Joe says, fumbling to unlock the door without dropping her. "My car is probably, like, a mess, but -"

"You could have a dead body in the back and I wouldn't care," Holly says softly, voice still rough. "In fact, I'd probably go join him or her."

Joe chuckles and manages to open the door without putting Holly down. She ducks her head as he places her in the passenger seat, and allows him to buckle her up for her.

Once Holly is in the car and secure, Joe relaxes. The hard part is over.

Mostly.

The car ride, once Joe starts his vehicle and pulls away from the curb, is extremely quiet. He drums his fingers nervously on the steering wheel, wondering why she's not talking. Did he do something wrong? Is she cold? Is she regretting making the decision to go to his house?

Joe fiddles with the heater absentmindedly, refusing to look over at her, before he hears, softly, Holly whisper, "Joe."

"Yeah?" he mumbles, glancing over quickly before returning his eyes to the road.

Ten seconds later, he looks back over and really stares.

"Holly?"

She's passed out cold, body half-curled up and completely cocooned in blankets. Her fingers are tangled in her seatbelt, and her face is tilted down and away from Joe.

She's talking about him. In her sleep.

Joe turns back to the road and allows a gentle smile to stretch across his face.
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