Fandom: A Most Violent Year (2014)
Pairing: Abel Morales/F!Reader
Word Count: 871 words
Summary: He looks, and you yearn, but it’s not that you think he would.
Warnings: the reader insert does partially know Abel through church, so heads up in case that makes you uncomfy
Cross-posted to AO3 here!
It’s not that you think he would.
When his gaze meets yours across the fellowship hall at church each Sunday, and he looks at you for just a second too long while holding Anna at the waist and his youngest girl in his arm, Abel is the epitome of innocence. His eyes may shine, and your heart may pound, but it’s not like he would.
He looks, and you yearn, but it’s not that you think he would.
In fact, it is specifically the fact that he wouldn’t that makes you crave him quite so much. (That on top of everything else that he is.)
You find yourself capturing moments, smatterings of something that you can’t justifiably call a friendship when you leave book club to find Abel waiting for Anna. She will invariably linger inside, shooting the shit with your friends well after she told Abel she would. Part of you wonders whether she does it just to see whether he will wait.
Abel waits. You linger outside with him and chat—more specifically, you argue. Sometimes about the book you just read for book club, because he has taken to stealing it from Anna’s bedside table and reading it while she sleeps. Other times it is over any number of things, like music or the news or… well.
Sometimes it feels like he’ll turn the conversation toward anything, so long as that conversation can keep going.
The two of you sit on the ledge outside of the local library arguing about anything, and it is not a friendship but it is not anything else, either.
You smile and graciously accept his compliments on your contribution to the church potluck, or his thanks when Anna recruits you to help them organize a grand opening celebration for the new branch of the Standard Heating & Oil offices. The thanks take too long and that is all that it is.
All that it is because you know very well that he wouldn’t.
Perhaps that certainty is why you miss it, at first. But then you arrive early to book club one evening and someone asks: Have you noticed they’ve been coming to church in separate cars?
You had not, but you begin to. And you notice it working like clockwork—the girls with Anna one week, Abel the next. Yes, you begin to notice.
More peculiar is the fact that he still comes to retrieve her from book club. And Anna still lingers within and you still linger without, in a strange moment that has you each time wondering whether perhaps everyone is misreading the signs. Why should they keep up this routine if they’ve fallen apart?
There’s no way you’re the only one wondering, but no one asks, and you certainly can’t. Not without this precarious thingrupturing, and you’re not certain you want it to. You’re not certain what that would mean.
So when the rupture happens, it is not from your side. It’s whispers through the sanctuary that the wedding rings are gone. There is no announcement, no true acknowledgement. They still sit together in their pew, but they part ways quite clearly when they leave fellowship afterward.
Abel is no longer outside of book club, and you try not to feel hurt.
But part of you feels like you deserve it. Because in that first moment – with that first whisper of the Moraleses’ rings are gone – you felt joy. Joy that they fell apart and it had nothing to do with you.
Yes, when you lose your weekly chats with Abel, it’s got to be some sort of karmic retribution for even briefly reveling in their split.
Nothing happens, not for months. Abel stops looking at you and you begin to wonder whether you’d imagined the whole thing. Perhaps when you concluded that Abel was not the sort to cheat, it was, in fact, that he did not want to cheat with you.
Then another potluck rolls around, and there, you find him beside you in the line to make your plates.
“I saw The Age of Innocence near the door when I collected the children from Anna the other day,” he tells you. “Was that a book club read?”
You tell him yes, and suddenly you are arguing again.
It is wonderful.
More time passes. It’s not a friendship, but it’s not anything else, either, and you feel increasingly affirmed in what you have known for years: Abel would not cheat. If cheating had been on his mind, he would have jumped for you sooner.
But you feel more certain about something else, too—
Just because he didn’t jump, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want you.
Yes, he wants you. And eventually, he does jump, waiting outside of book club for you. And it is for you. The corners of his eyes crinkle with his smile at the sight of you before he tentatively – more tentatively than you’ve ever heard him – says, “I hope I’m not misreading.”
It’s a miracle you can get the words out when you answer, “You’re not.”
Abel kisses you right there, for anyone to see if they looked out the window or came out the door. Your not-friendship ruptures, and you are glad.
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