a kiss with a fist
“Next time you try to be a hero, just don’t, alright?”
If there was one thing that Tatiana Penvrane hated about her job, it was the night shifts. She always had to deal with the most odd cases, usually because they stemmed from an overuse of alcohol and a lack of good judgment, and she was finally exhausted.
The second reason that she hated them was because the buses didn’t run this late at night, and they were the best method of transportation back home. She didn’t trust herself with apparating at this late hour when she was more likely to splinch herself and end back at the hospital instead of home, so instead, she slung her bag across her shoulders and began the trek down the deserted, moonlit streets of London.
Soon enough, her fears about walking alone through cobbled paths were forgotten, for she saw no figure nearby to relieve her of her money, and she relaxed slightly, her pace leisurely as she turned a corner.
Her fears had finally been realized. A man was lying in wait for her, and as soon as she took one step into the alley, he sprang forward. “It’s a beautiful night, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, lovely.” Her heart quickening in fear, she pressed forward. “If you’ll just excuse me –“
“Where do you think you’re going?” He stopped her, reaching out with a hand to wrap around her upper arm. She froze in fear and tried to step away, but his grip was like a vice and as difficult to break as iron.
“Let go.” Her voice was firm, but the tone had a hint of doubt in it, the fear that lay under her words obvious now.
“No,” he drawled leisurely, before his other arm was out and he was pressing a wand into left clavicle, a mere inch above her heart. “Why don’t you empty out your pockets first?”
Tatiana was almost relieved. So this was a mugging, not a murder. Of course, she wasn’t willing to part with her money, but she preferred parting with that than with her life. Wordlessly, she slowly reached into her pocket, the man’s wand tip still pushing into her skin, and began to grab the coins in there.
Both her and the mugger turned at the sound of a new voice, and her hazel eyes widened as she caught sight of her boyfriend. “Benj, what are you doing here?” She’d expected that he’d be fast asleep by the time she returned to their flat, but there he was, brow down in confusion as he glanced between the two figures in front of him.
“Is this a mugging? Are you being mugged? Oh, Merlin,” he gaped for a moment before realizing what his girlfriend had said. “I came to walk you home from the hospital today because it was dark and things like this –“ he gestured to the man holding Tatiana’s arm, “Might happen.”
The mugger was getting impatient. “Empty your damn pockets,” he hissed at the brunette in his grip, his fingers tightening around her arm as she winced in return. “You’re next,” he added, jutting his chin toward the curly-haired man as he addressed him.
Tatiana suppressed a groan at the bad luck that both her and her boyfriend were getting mugged in the same night, and she reached back into her pocket.
Benjamin, however, seemed to have other ideas. “Get your hands off of her,” he informed the mugger roughly, stepping forward and grabbing Tatiana’s other hand so that she dropped the coins back into her pocket. “We’re leaving. Piss off.”
Once again, the man appeared irritated. “Alright, you first, then.” He lifted his wand. “Give me your wallet.”
Tatiana narrowed her hazel eyes at her boyfriend and frowned, hoping that he would manage to get the signal from her that it was just easier and safer to be mugged than get hurt.
However, once again, Benj surged forward. He swung forward, his right arm curving toward the other man, but the mugger was too quick. In one fluid motion, he stepped back, lowered his wand, and landed a simple punch on the right side of Benjamin’s jaw. The curly-haired man stumbled back against the brick wall of a nearby building, and Tatiana rushed down beside him, barely noticing when the mugger picked up her boyfriend’s dropped wallet and left quickly.
“Benjamin Gray,” she hissed, turning his cheek toward her so that she could examine his jaw. “That was a ridiculously stupid thing to do.”
“Well, I stopped you from getting mugged, didn’t I?” He lifted an eyebrow at her before he gingerly lifted a hand to his jaw and winced at the bruised skin.
“Only because you got mugged yourself.” She looped his arm around her shoulder and rose carefully, and he followed her movement as she began leading him back in the direction of the hospital.
“Where are we going?”
“I’m going to give you something for that bruise. Oh, and you might have a concussion from hitting your head, so I’ll need to check you out too,” she informed him matter-of-factly.
She could hear the grin in his voice. “Oh, you’re going to check me out now, Tats? I knew you just liked me for my looks.” He paused when she snorted at his words, and then added, “Can’t you just kiss it better?”
“No, you idiot. This is your punishment for charging in and trying to take on a mugger with your bare hands.”
Benj visibly deflated beside her, and Tatiana rolled her hazel eyes, “Next time you try to be a hero, just don’t, alright?”
“Fine,” he replied, dejected.
There was a pause, and she sighed and kissed him on his bruised jaw anyway. “You’re still my knight in shining armor, though.”
He grinned at her and then winced once more, and Tatiana rolled her eyes again good-naturedly and dragged him back into the hospital.