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tommyshelbysgirl · 10 days ago
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So today I took the time away from writing the imagines you have all requested because since doing them TOMMY has been in my dreams so that means 5 WHOLE NIGHTS!!!!
Writing shall resume tomorrow ❤️💕❤️
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Out of the Blue
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WARNING: A little anxiety and That this is my first thing I’ve ever written ! I hope you like it ! I was actually sweating when I wrote this ! LOL! 
word count: 1036 
part 1
#Tommy x Reader/ Polly x reader # Peaky Blinders fanfic Thomas Shelbyx reader
@fifty-shadesof-tommyshelby​ @bablette
Always on the back burner of your mind and buried in the deepest chambers of your heart.
A secret you kept to yourself, but known by you’re closest and only friend, Polly! 
He's still there, the reason you’re heart beats, Tommy. He is clueless about your wanting of him.  
He was married, you moved as far away from Small Heath as your money could take you - Unfortunately for you, it wasn't far enough, London!
You still got letters from Polly from time to time, to keep you informed of what was happening with her family, including Tommy. 
Every line of his life broke you into tiny pieces, knowing he's happy without you. But you were glad for him. 
        Years pass~
Then, out of the blue, you got a call from Polly! 
She informed you that Grace had died. You were shocked and heartbroken for the man you left behind. She also told you about Lizzy and Ruby! 
Again, heartbroken by you’re lost chances! 
Polly, your best friend, was sad for you, knowing the abyss your heart has fallen! 
You decided you needed you’re friend, more than ever, a shoulder to cry on! So, You planned a trip to visit Polly. You gave her your travel plans she made arrangements for your ride there. She said she would send someone to get you from the train station! 
         The Shelby house was all a buzz about you visit. Polly in the kitchen planning a dinner party for your arrival!  The brothers were happy for Polly that her friend was coming to visit her. It's been ages! She was very excited, so were you! 
You had no expectations of any kind what so ever where Tommy was concerned. He's a married man with children. You’re no home wrecker!
           You arrived approximately 4 hours later. You were surprised to see Tommy was the one to pick you up! (Polly, what were you thinking?) 
The abyss of your love for him getting deeper and deeper as he greets you with a handshake as he opens the car door for you. It was a long drive back to Small Heath, Probably made longer from the silence. You started some small talk. He's never been one for long conversations. He did mention that he needed a new maid. No other reason other than fitting it into the conversation we were having, as small as it was. You took a mental note and moved on.              
               You arrived, Tommy opened the car door for you, ever the gentleman. (He would never admit that!) He walked me to the front door and opened it. Everyone greeted you with smiles, hugs, and saying how much they all missed you. Tommy said nothing. As per usual, it doesn't mean he didn't miss you. It doesn't suggest he did.  His silence didn't mean anything. You learned that a long time ago.               
               "I don't remember this family being so big!" you said. Polly responded, "you have been away a while. John's had three kids since you've been away!"  You were so happy to see everyone. You haven't been this happy in ages! 
           We all sat around the table and had a traditional English dinner. We talked about what was going on in our lives and laughed about the memories we shared!  You noticed Tommy being so stoic, just sitting there. You stopped to look at him. Just a glimpse is all you wanted, but what you got took your breath away! A long stare into your eyes! You tried to look elsewhere, but you couldn't move or breathe!  Until Arthur came up behind you, touched your shoulders! He woke you up from the trance you were in! You looked back at Tommy. He had the smallest hint of a smile on one side of his mouth as he took a puff from his cigarette. You guess either being startled by Arthur or knowing, now you were under his spell!                   
               "Where are you staying?" Ada asked. "I don't know. I guess I forgot to plan that!" I said with a look of embarrassment on my face! "I guess I was so excited. I forgot !”                    
                Polly said, "You're staying here, dear! As long as you want!"I was a little hesitant because I didn't know how Tommy would feel about me staying at his Aunt Pol's house! "I better find a hotel,  don't want to intrude on anyone!" "NONSENSE!" "You're staying here, that's the end of it!" Polly said with a cheeky smile! You smiled back and agreed with a nod.
The evening came quickly. You were exhausted from all the traveling and the excitement. Not to mention Your heart has been pounding like you ran to Small Heath from London! Every time you noticed Tommy looking in your direction, it was like you were frozen! You have been holding my feelings for him in a lock box for ages! It might be more difficult than you thought. ‘This visit just might kill me!’  You’re head is in a tug of war with you’re heart! As the night went on, it was time to say good night to everyone. With hugs, smiles, and good night kisses, you wondered, 'how would Tommy say good night?'  He came in with a hug like everyone else. He got so close to your ear you could feel his breath. With the slightest whisper that sent chills down your spine! "I missed ya!"
@bablette @fifty-shadesof-tommyshelby
a/n There will be a part 2
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Started working on my story and the next day I was so sick. it’s been 3 days of migraines and puking ! Hopefully this will pass soon !
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He’ll never know how much I love him !
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goingsllightlymad · a year ago
Blinded By Your Light - Part 10. On Adoring.
Pairing: Tommy Shelby x reader
Summary: Y/N is the definition of ordinary. Studying at a medical school as far as she can get from her rainy hometown of Birmingham, she never expected to be shipped off the Flanders when the war was at it’s peak. Much less to meet a handsome young patient with the most beautiful pair of blue eyes she had seen in her life who as fate would have it would fall into her lap.
Wordcount: 5090. 
Warnings: I mean, smut? Kind of?
The first part is just catching you up to date, so it IS kind of shit, but I actually kinda like the rest of the fic. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. Also, — updates twice in under a fortnight! In this economy? It’s more likely than you think. 
When life went on the way it never had before, it took some time to adjust.
When, the morning after your date with Michael, you woke and saw your dress from last night hanging on the door, you called Ada once, twice, to make quite sure it was not hers. That last night had happened. It took you longer to know that it was not Tommy Shelby who had kissed you on the corner. Longer still to stop crying when you remembered what he had done.
When Michael came around at seven o'clock and took you to the Garrison and sat outside with you as you drank where it was quiet and cool, and you did not drink what he had brought you, because you were so scared that you would ask him why he'd left you back in Flanders when he knew you loved him so. Because you were not dating Tommy. Because Tommy did not love you half so much as this strange boy you barely knew.
When a week later you were kissing in the rooms behind the church that still tasted like Isaiah Jesus, and you could feel the name that was welling up on your tongue and it was not his, not Isaiah's nor Michael's. You knew full well what name it was you were trying not to say. You told Michael to leave. He did exactly what you said.
When summer ended, and in September you and he were sitting by the Cut, and he told you how his day had been, and he said that dreadful name that you had not said for so very long. The name that still lurked in the darkest corners of your mind, painting your thoughts a bitter, bluish shade of melancholy as you pushed him always from your mind. It was easier to ignore the thoughts now that you never saw him anymore, but it did not mean they were not there, filling your mind with a thunderstorm of colours every time you closed your eyes.
More often than not you still dreamed of him too, late at night when the last crimes had drained from the bloodied streets and lives enough had been taken from the town to last your conscience a lifetime on their own, when you had nothing better to do than to think that it was such a shame that you had found everything you thought was real and good and true and you had let it break you down to blood and bones and the remnants of a tired mind. You thought of him and all the beauty he might bring but never did because even his face was not so beautiful as it used to be.
And those late nights were filled with pain and memories, and the rain rolling down your window was enough to make your tears feel so small and your life even smaller. In all the grandeur of the universe you would leave no mark at all with him here beside you, and you would leave still less without. You could take the stars and tear them down, Romeo and Juliet and sins beyond your wildest dreams, and a whole lot more people dead behind you. And who could see the glory of a lifetime, the world they might have had if they were not who they were, and if they had not fallen for the angel they thought they knew, and settle with sad, sweet Rosaline?
Of course the town knew about you and Tommy. Michael knew. And of course he took it well. He was Michael fucking Gray;  there was nothing you could tell him that would make him look at you different. You'd cried when you had told him. Expected him to scream at you, to shout and swear and leave you be. Instead he only told you that none of that mattered anymore. You were here and you loved him. And that was true: you loved him. Of course you loved him. But sometimes you did wonder if he could care about your past a little more.
But in September, by the Cut, you only closed your eyes and nodded. Told Michael you were proud of him. How intelligent he was. Your boy, but that had never been the truth at all.
By October, you could say his name like you were saying aloud the names of the breads you were selling in store now. Your aunt had moved back into the kitchen and you into the shopfront, managing the shop-counter and balancing the books. No more deliveries. No more going to the Garrison in the daytime, when there were no crowds of people to hide you from sight. You drank tea with Ada and Polly and, from time to time, John at the tea-room off the high-street. The tea was cheap, practically water, but you had not seen Tommy Shelby in months. You had brought Michael once, early in October, but even you could see how bored he had got. It had not happened again.
And by December, Tommy Shelby was gone. You had not seen him in months, and even in your dreams you knew that that was all they were. Dreams. Tommy Shelby had no more power over you. Still you couldn't deny that the rumours sent thrills of sadness through you, when you heard of him and of his pretty blonde girlfriend, Grace. The girl you had seen that fateful day. Little feelings. Not enough to hurt you bad, but enough to make a cloud pass over the sun, the sky to become a little more grey. Even now, you could not forget the way that it had hurt you the first time you had heard it all. You had thought that there could never be a day when it did not break your heart. That day had not come yet, and you sometimes wondered if it ever would, but you liked to kid yourself that you were close.
When January came, you still had not left Small Heath. With Christmas come and gone, and the promise of snow looming over every grey day as you sat behind the bakery counter and watched the world pass by, the days were coming and going faster and faster, and with every one the memory of Tommy Shelby was becoming less garish in your mind. Some nights you slept and did not see his face at all. Some days you walked into the Garrison and did not hear a whisper of his name as you passed by. Tommy Shelby would always be all around you, god of this small Eden as he was, but he grew a little further every day.
And in his place came Michael, the boy who by now slept more often in the church-rooms than in his own home and was hardly ever at his office in the evenings now. The others claimed they missed him every night, and you were beginning to think that, in their shoes, you might just feel the same. There was something inexplicable about him, something that was not just that he was not like Tommy, that made you heartbeat jump a little. By January, you had adjusted. By January, you could swear that Tommy Shelby was only that to you - Tommy Shelby, OBE. Peaky Blinder. Owner of the Garrison downtown.
It was as though you had never loved the man at all.
The first thing you noticed when you woke was the smell of smoke flooding in through the window. Your eyes stung when you tried again and again to open them, groping wildly around you for the door. You could not breathe - your lungs were heavy, syrupy, as though they had filled with tar instead of the air you were gasping for. Grabbing at the door handle when at last you found it, you burst through into the landing, a wave of heat knocking you backwards. Forcing your eyes open for just a second, you caught the bright flicker of what could only be the flames at the bottom of the stairs, leaping and rearing as you looked on helplessly, frozen in place. You tried to cry out for your father; from the dry harshness of your throat, no sound came.
Head swimming, staggering backwards into your bedroom and pressing against the door. There was no way out but down the stairs, and no way to survive the flames there too. And suddenly through the muffled roar of fire raging in the church, the sound of the window swinging, crashing against the side of the wall, the sound of God, a saviour. The window was open.
You threw them out into the street, all the blankets and the pillows from your bed, the cushions from the chair and all the clothes in the wardrobe. One big pile underneath your window, large enough perhaps to break your fall. Who knew. You only knew that it was the only way you might still make it out of here alive. And then, in the last minute as you stood upon the narrow windowsill, casting a final glance into the room you left behind, you turning and snatched up from the bedside table the small silver locket, already blackened by the smoke. The rest could stay; this alone you could not live without.
With that, you jumped. The window sill falling away beneath your feet, you squeezed your eyes shut and waited for the pain to kick in when you hit the ground. And you did. Hard. You bit your lip to hold back the wail that tore at your lungs as you splayed out over the pile of soft fabric, grateful at least that they had provided a little protection from the harsh pavement beneath. Here the air was slightly clearer, and after a long moment you opened your eyes.
At first it seemed the flames were everywhere, licking up the side of the church and casting strange shadows onto the street like the ghosts that roamed this town at night. You had never been the superstitious sort, and now you knew you should have been, for there was something otherworldly about lying in the street and watching the church spires burn. Pushing yourself up onto your elbows, and then onto your knees, and then back up to your feet, you found your place in this dark reality.
When you first tried to walk again you stumbled, nearly fell. The street was swimming dizzingly in every direction and your ears rang, half-deaf. Each time you blinked you saw the bright white light burned into your eyelids, and you were blinded by its light. Step by step, minute by minute that passed like hours in this timeless, hellish haze, you pushed yourself to the other side of the street where the fire had not reached, on your hands and knees. Every couple of seconds the flames would roar up, the deafening crash of bricks hitting the ground as the buildings burned all around you sending you ducking to the ground with your hands over your ears. The pavement burned under your skin, hot as the fire that glowed golden down the alleyways.
It was an eternity before you learned to breathe. Another before you were scrambling to your feet, pressing yourself against the wall as the footsteps came thundering down the street, ringing in your skull like gunshots. Even half-dead, drifting in and out of consciousness as the smoke filled your aching lungs, you knew that whatever was coming your way was not coming to save you. When the city burned the demons came out to play, and Small Heath would be alive with sinners tonight. There were worse fates than death, and tonight you would see them all.
Trying to steady your breathing and hold yourself upright at the same time, you waited for the danger to pass. It didn't. In front of the church the footsteps slowed, and into your line of sight there came the shadows of men, in their hands the awkward shapes of what could only be guns. Your head was pounding, your legs shaking from the effort of standing up, your lungs bursting as you took shallow, quiet breaths, and there was a terrible moment when at last you knew that you would never make it off this street. It was only a matter of time until you could not hide anymore.
Nearing you now, you closed your eyes and begged for peace. Thought of all the pretty things you knew that you would miss someday, and then those things you would mourn forever. You never got to tell your aunt that you were so proud. You never got to see the world, with Michael, on your own. You never told Tommy all these things you had to say. Tommy. Who would have thought that your last thought would be of those blue eyes, like every thought before. You loved him more than life, and soon life would be gone like your love would never be. You clasped your hands together and dreamed of him.
And then the unimaginable: gunshots around the corner, close to you, and the shadows by the church hurrying away. Away from you; you were, for now, alive. Collapsing to the ground, you gasped for breath, pressing your hands to your eyes to keep yourself from crying in relief. And then the realisation that what you had said could never be unsaid. You would love him forever, more than all your mortal sins. This alone you could never forgive yourself for.
And so you did the only thing you knew how to do - find Thomas Shelby. Inching down the streets down to the high street, jumping back into doorways as the shadows of people passed you on your way, you tried to find the Garrison among the broken lumps of buildings veiled in smoke. When you reached the high street you had to stop and stare, take a minute to take in the chaos that was unfolding in the street where only yesterday you had been buying flowers and delivering bread.
The fires were higher here, every building ablaze in a crimson glow that washed over you like a baptism of hellish light. Curtains billowing through the smashed remnants of windows, doors shattered in the street as people fought to escape. Women with children huddled in the gutters and men with guns, and in the centre of the street a bonfire climbing high, embers shooting up into the night sky and falling like rain. Children screamed; their parents wept; you could not hear the thoughts inside your head. The fires raged all the while. You took a deep breath and held it, stepped out into the crowds. Through the smoke and fire and fights, the faces flashed past you like the scenes of some twisted nightmare, the street whirling until you were sure you would search forever and never find your way. Never find your boy.
By the bonfire you stood dizzily, scanning the crowds wildly as you tried to find some semblance of a boy you had to see again. And then, through the haze, that face you knew so well. Those eyes.
"(Y/N)!" he was screaming, pushing through the throng of shadows by the fireside, an ungodly light flickering on his face and my god he was so beautiful that you wondered how you had ever breathed without him. Shirt half-unbuttoned, hair a mess and no cap in his hand, bloodstains on his shirt. He was a mess; your mess. You were yelling, screaming, and still he had not seen you. His eyes were wide and roaming wildly as he sorted through the faces, called your name again and again.
"Tommy!" the roar of the fire swallowing up the word, still you saw his head turn. Eyes catching yours, holding them with some emotion that you had never known before in his blue and panicked eyes, he ran to you. The way he did when you were dreaming, but this was not a dream.
"(Y/N)! What the fuck're you-"
You slapped him, the rage inside you bubbling up and you wanted to cry, because there had been a terrible moment at the centre of the crowd when you had heard his name and wondered if he would be alive at all, if you were just too late, and the feeling nearly killed you.
"That," you whispered, and somehow, through the roar of the bonfire by your side, you knew that he had heard you, "is for making me think you were dead."
"(Y/N) I don't-"
But you had cut him off. Your hands cupping his perfect face, you kissed him hard and fast. Let him taste the anger of this past year and a half, all the hate and all the tears and the way you had never stopped loving him, not really. How could you not love him when he was there in front of you, the most beautiful boy in the world? It took a moment - you nearly pulled away, a gut-wrenching fear that maybe you were wrong - but you realised that he was kissing you back, pulling you closer with his arm around your waist, skin as hot as fire and the summer that had broken you both. Tore you two apart but here you were, and you could not say where you ended and he began.
You broke apart, lungs burning as you breathed in and out, in and out, trying desperately to find the air to breathe as the world around you burned.
"And that is because you're not."
For a moment there was no reaction. No words in reply to let you know you had not been wrong. No sign at all that he was not the same cruel man that had turned you away so many months ago, that day the trouble really began. No way to know if you had finally screwed it up - that last last chance that someday he might love you too, the way you had never stopped loving him. Loving him more than life, for what was living if you were living without him? And then he had you once more in the palm of his hands, his hands around your face as he kissed you again and again; how many times you could never say, time was slowing down and speeding up and stopping and starting like the whole universe was about to explode with light. The fire brighter and brighter, hotter like you two were burning on the pyre, Guy Fawkes' catching light. You had never been kissed, never kissed, like this before. You had never loved a man quite like this.
You could not have said how you made it out alive: out of the church, out of the fire, out of the square and into the alley where the rest of the world was not. Up against the wall, kissing down your neck and wondering if you would be the same sweet girl the next time that he saw you. The way you were when he dreamed of you at night, for there was not a night when he had not called upon your memory to remind him he was sane. Thomas Shelby, OBE, was wise enough to know that you had never done the same.
The taste of weak January sun and the sadness of many years gone by upon his skin; you ran your fingers through his hair as he left his marks upon you. Souvenirs of tonight, but something told you that you would not be forgetting this anytime in forever.
All too soon he was breaking apart, pulling you down the street. Down to the Garrison, where the fires had not caught. Down through the main room, where in the moonlight you could have sworn the ghostly shadows of a darker past still played. If you looked hard enough you still might find the silhouettes of you and him, the whispers of a fight that was so long ago. You had lived this scene before.
Then up the stairs, into the bedroom where the lamps were lit, flames that flickered, danced, in their glass cases as though outside the window all of Small Heath was not burning. Life imitates art. He slid the nightgown from your shoulders.
Hands rushing in to touch you where the fabric fell away, naked but for all the clothes that held you back from him. You unbuttoned his shirt quickly, drawing in a sharp breath as though you had not seen him, touched him, done this all before. As though you did not know his body better than your own. As though you half-expected him to run away while you were half way through his skin to the darkness in his soul. An angel's soul, and the body of a soldier. Or perhaps it was the other way around.
Half undressed, your fingers slipping along the line of his hips; up his sides to his chest, his collarbone, his neck. The sharp angle of his jaw, the soft curve of his lips. Touching him. Learning him. This might be the only chance you got. Now to count the bullet marks interrupting smooth white skin: one by one by one. Smooth them over with your fingertips, feel him tense beneath you, kiss you deep and desperate, try to stop you leaving when you had already left. You had had one foot out of the door since the moment you had met him.
He bridged the universe between you, hands beneath your nightgown, running over you like he was holding you together. Oh, but he was. Shaping you like water from the Cut, running over his fingertips. He brought the nightgown over your head, and now there was nothing between you and the flames, the night outside the room, more darkness still within. He laid you down onto the bed, kissed you, every inch of you. Cleansed your soul with his touch, took your hips and neck and chest into his hands and learned all of the secrets from the way you moved beneath you, the breaths that came out short and loud as you cried out his name again and again into the emptiness that wrapped around your lungs. Until he took your hand in his, upon the sheets, you were not sure that he could hear a word you said.
He pushed apart your thighs and left himself in the gap that he had made. Kneeling between your legs and looking at you like a man may look at the god that he had lost, the god that he had found once more, you closed your eyes and sighed his name. The name that had hurt you; now you screamed it like a prayer. There was no god to hear you now; there was only Tommy. When his lips met you, you left the town entirely.
An eternity was never enough, and when he was over you again you knew that you could touch him forever and never have enough. Enough of him, enough words to say to describe him to your god when you told him that heaven had never been a place to you. Heaven lay over you, and heaven brought your lips to his. You tried to remember how to breathe and, more importantly, how you could ever breathe without him here.
He held you as he entered you; traced the tangle of veins down your wrist, the other wrapped around your neck. When you looked into his eyes, all was blue. You wrapped your arm around his waist and rocked your body into his. And all the while the fire outside the window grew and grew, and the fire in the pit of your stomach grew too, setting fire to your blood, coursing through every inch of you as it made you his entirely. But you had been his all your life. Your soul was written that way.
You closed your eyes when you let go. You knew what you were thinking. You knew then that he could never know it too.
And when he came chasing after you, biting at the side of your neck where the skin was soft and would be purplish tomorrow, you wondered if this was what they meant when they said "unity". You would never be whole again. And when he moved, pulled himself out from you, you whispered something to him that sounded a lot like asking him to stay. And he murmured something back that sounded a lot like a yes.
When you opened your eyes, the lamp was. Through the open window, where the curtains billowed out like sails into the winter wind, there came no longer the garish glow of fire, the embers that floated up from the street below. Now there was only moonlight, and you knew it was time for you to go.
He was lying half-upon you, his arms around you like he knew that you were leaving. The way you always did. The way you always had to. Somehow it was always the hardest things that you had to do, when Tommy Shelby was concerned. You had not realised you were crying until a tear rolled down your cheek, falling onto soft white skin that was not yours, where the moonlight glowed as though he were angelic. You knew a lot better than that. He was godlike.
You drew yourself out from his embrace. Wrapped his arms around himself. Foolish girl, there will be another there tomorrow. Small Heath was full of girls like you, and more girls still that were not like you at all. After all, it was not you that he was seen with in the evenings. You could almost hear her breathing as she slept in peace, downstairs. What had you done?
Standing by the window as you let the breaths wash over you, one by one, with the cold and silver moonlight, you heard him stir behind you. Turn in his sleep, his arms around himself when he woke, for now around a memory. You knew better than to wonder if the memory was of you. You wiped away a stray tear and dressed quickly in the darkness. Back into the nightgown from the night before, and in the pocket the familiar weight of the locket that he bought you, back when you had no idea who Tommy Shelby was at all. You almost wished you had never known this boy at all. For some reason you could not name - perhaps the cold, or perhaps something sadder still that you had promised not to say - you took from the end of the bed the shirt that eh had worn. Slipped it around your shoulders. It still smelled like him, like cigarettes and fire. You thought the end of the world must taste like that, like him, because in that moment you would do anything not to leave that room. You smoothed down the collar, the way he always did. You wondered if you looked as ridiculous as you felt, standing in his room and wearing his clothes and pretending you meant a thing to him. It didn't matter - no one would see you now. The fires were gone, the dead were gone, the crowds would be gone too. You ran a fingertip along the brim of the peaky cap that lay upon the dressing-table. That bright and glittering line, the line that caught your eye when those handsome boys walked in. You had always wondered... When you brought your hand away, there was a trail of glossy red blood. It was a knife. You looked between it, to the man in the bed behind you. Of course.
Time to go; you had put it off for long enough. Standing by the door, trying to keep yourself from looking back at him in his bed. When he woke up, he would wake up without you in his arms. You knew he'd understand. You knew he'd know that it was all your fault. It was not right - it was not fair - to lie, to Michael, to Grace, to everyone around you who deserved more than you and all the heartbreak you would bring. You loved Michael. Of course you did. He was... Michael. Tommy was just a dream. Pretty, and impossible. Soon you would have to wake up. At least with Michael you knew if he loved you. You'd like to think he did. You'd like to think you loved him too. You could never break a heart the way that Tommy had broken yours. Tommy... You made to leave, and stopped yourself. You turned around and saw him sleeping. And in that moment, you had never loved him more. Never missed him quite so much. Your life was going to be very difficult.
Going over to his bedside, you kissed him gently on the forehead, tried to tell him in one moment that you had no fucking idea how you were meant to live without the love of your life. He sighed against you; you watched his lips as they moved, murmured something in his sleep. His chest rose and fell and, somewhere deep inside it, you knew that there must be a heart somewhere. You would not give yourself the privilege of believing that you had broken his heart. Tommy Shelby would never have been foolish enough to give his heart to a fucking mess like you.
"Tommy, I'm sorry." you murmured, and it was the most honest thing that you had said in all this time you had been in Small Heath. It was the only truth that you would ever say. Tommy Shelby had the best of you, and he would never know it either.
You stood from the bed; you turned and left the room.
It was only as you were leaving through the main room, closing up the front door of the Garrison behind you as you left all your love behind, to him, that you realised that never once had you wondered where Michael had been the night before. Never once had you thought to look for him. All the fire. All the fear. All the searching, searching for Tommy. When you were dying on the church corner and when you knew that now was the time to pray for all you loved, you had not thought of him at all. 
@captivatedbycillianmurphy @actorinfluence @stressedandbandobessed7771
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goingsllightlymad · a year ago
Blinded By Your Light - Part 9. On Promising.
Pairing: Tommy Shelby x reader
Summary: Y/N is the definition of ordinary. Studying at a medical school as far as she can get from her rainy hometown of Birmingham, she never expected to be shipped off the Flanders when the war was at it’s peak. Much less to meet a handsome young patient with the most beautiful pair of blue eyes she had seen in her life who as fate would have it would fall into her lap.
Wordcount: 6581. 
Warnings: #CasCan’tWriteDialogueThatDoesn’tSoundLikeAShittyGabiHannaPoem. You hate me, I hate me, I get it. It’s not me you hate, it’s the truth. Michael is a babey, but I gotta do it, man. Gotta have an antagonist in here somewhere. Might as well be him... Next chapter you’ll have forgiven me, I swear. Oh ho ho, Oh Boy, Oh Buddy do I have some good shit in store for you Tommy whores. Oh Boy Oh Boy. 
When time went by you were sure you would forget about him, and for the first time in your life it finally seemed as if it might be that simple. You fell asleep that first night with the thought of Michael still dancing in your mind, your dreams loud with the ticking of your bedroom clock as it counted down to Thursday evening. For the first time since you had seen those awful eyes in Flanders fields that night, those cold blue eyes were nowhere in your dreams, fading away into the darkness as in their place you tried to memorise the way you would be when you were yourself entirely. You fell too fast, you always did and wasn't that just what had got you here in the first place? But still you couldn't fight the thought of you and him, another man, doing all those things you never got to do with Tommy because he never loved you quite enough.
And so you woke the next morning, the fight burning like a passing storm at the very edges of your mind, growing further and further away with every thought that woke you. Sitting on the edge of the kitchen table an hour later with a cup of tea, you called up Ada, begged her to come save you from the drab church rooms and take you on an adventure like she had each day this sultry summer. From the gasping sound in her voice on the other end, you knew that she would not have been alone tonight, that she had taken that man with her that you could barely remember from last night and doubted she could either. He would be gone in an hour, thrown out to the street like all the men before him, half-clothed and cursing.
Ada didn't know about the night before, and you wondered if you knew either, really. Michael had been meant to take you home, it would have been awkward and when he left you on the street by the church doors you were meant to tell him goodnight and let him leave you be, let him not come back again because you knew he shouldn't. Boys like him were trouble, and he would not be the exception to this most painful of rules. It was becoming more and more clear to you that the closer you became to those dirty Blinder boys, the more you would get hurt. And when Ada came at last to the corner by the churchfront, resplendent in her new summer dress, you didn't mention the boy from the night before. She probably knew him - she knew all of the Blinders as though they were her brothers because most of them were - and there was a funny feeling in the base of your stomach that made you want to shy away from anything that might make him any less wonderful to you. He was new and interesting, a good friend to have with all of his stories and the way his own story tangled with yours again and again, and any blood on his hands that there might be could come later. With all that had happened in the last twenty-four hours, it felt nice to have at last something that was just yours alone.
You told her that you had found your way home sometime in the early morning, with a strange Blinder whose name you couldn't quite remember. There was still that pang of guilt running through you when you saw the questioning way she looked at you, the way she knew when you were lying and knew you were lying now, but could not fathom why; you pressed on a short smile and set off down the street with her behind you. You were beginning to think that this day out was one great mistake, a way to push aside the last thoughts of Tommy and ease yourself back into the world and try to find your footing there. But you knew you had to make the most of this first day when things would be hardest, because things would be clearer too. After this the days would grow shorter as summer came to its glorious finale, and in the winter that loomed before you you could not say you saw Tommy Shelby there at all. That chapter of your life had been slammed shut over your lingering fingertips, and you were basking in the sweet pain it left behind. Because when the pain went away for good, you did not know what girl it would leave behind.
Of course Ada noticed when you stayed in the dressing room too long, back against the wall as you sobbed into your hands when the little flowers on the hem of a dress brought back all the memories of the flowers you brought him in the cold white hospital ward. And how couldn't she know when you bit your lip and steeled yourself against the Peaky boys in their silvery caps as they bustled past you in the street. It did not take a genius to know who you were thinking about, because you were always thinking about him. How could you not, how could you ever stop? But she never said anything, never held it against you when she knew that the thoughts of yesterday brought you more pain than you would ever, could ever, say. She bought your dress for you while you were distracted, wrapping it up and putting in her bag and leading you away for coffee in the square that you tried not to associate with Him.
And when she dropped you off by the church she pretended she didn't see the way you ducked down the side-street that lead you down to the Cut, knowing that she would find you there at sunset by the water when she made her rounds to check on you. You seemed to go down there every time you needed to think, and she knew that if she asked Isaiah he would say you always had, when the world was so big and you were so small and there was so much on your mind. And indeed, at sunset there you were with your stockings beside you and your legs in the water, your hands trailing across the surface where the sky glittered like a mirror of your own sad beauty. There was nothing she could say that could make things different now, and she knew that you would want to be alone a little while to think things through.
So for the first few days she hung back a bit, careful not to push her limits because she was never sure where those limits lay. Sunday passed, the day after the world had ended, and Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday, and by Thursday morning you were right: things had changed. That morning when you woke up, the sky seemed a little bluer than before, the heat a little less burning and a little more soft as you sat up in bed and taught yourself to breathe again. When you stopped by the Garrison to deliver the bread you stayed a moment, smiling through the window at Polly as she washed dishes and hummed. They always made you laugh at her, the old work songs that she knew, the ones you hadn't heard since you were a child in Small Heath, watching the factory workers walking home in the twilight, but now they just reminded you of what you had now lost, and it hurt somewhere deep inside. The pain within you that had never seen the light of day was aching to break free, and you were weak enough to let it swim before you like your ghosts had found their freedom.
And when eight o'clock came, you were dressed and waiting on the pavement for him to bring the light with him. With the last of the day's sunlight seeping in through the spaces in the chimneys and the coolness that hung in the air like the chill of the early grave, never too far away in a town like Small Heath, it was not hard to see that summer could not last forever. Come the winter you would try again to look for work in London or somewhere else far away, because not even you could brave the loneliness of these dark nights and empty days, the world that seemed to stop forever and leave your lost soul stranded in the greyness of life's grave.
You let Michael take you to the pictures as he had promised, clasped your hand in his when he had reached out for you in the darkness of the room and not let go when the lights came back on, you let him walk you home again and kissed him on the cheek when he made to let you leave, knowing that somewhere in this goddamn town Tommy Shelby would always know. He could read you like a book, that man, but this chapter was not for him to see. This chapter was not his to be written into at all. And when you broke apart:-
"Tonight was... nice." his fingers drummed anxiously on the back of your hand, holding onto you loosely as he appeared to look at everything in the street except for into your eyes. In the setting sun all you could see was the canvas of little purple bruises that littered the side of his face, healing already since you had seen him only last week. Strange to think that you had known him such a short time, when you could dream up an eternity filled with thoughts of him. "I mean, I think I-"
"I know." you squeezed his hand quickly and his head jerked up, silent, thrown suddenly out of his thoughts. He went to say something once, twice, then closed his mouth again like all the words had disappeared off the tip of his tongue. Then again, and this time the words found their way through.
"You do?" he sounded so relieved, laughing under his breath as he relaxed a little more. All the way home it had been as though he were grappling with something he wanted very much to say. His hand, holding yours all the way, had tensed and squeezed like he was trying to keep you from flying away one minute, and a minute later would relax again until it almost dropped back to his side. It was so difficult to see what went on inside that wonderful mind that you had grown to like so well over the course of these two evenings, but even now you could tell that something was troubling him. "If it's okay, I'd really like to see you again. I mean, if that's okay."
"I'd like that." you had to smile at all he was - it had never been like this before. There was a strange uncertainty in your stomach that felt like tiny butterflies, or the summer wind sweeping through. You had never been uncertain before. He pressed his lips together; you wondered how they must feel, and wanted to kiss him more than ever. You would be lying if you said you had never thought of kissing him, but tonight that thought had never made you sad, the way it had when you thought of him in the darkness with Tommy Shelby lurking in your mind as it always did. Tonight the thought brought only peace, and the promise of something that was nothing more than human.
"Promise me you'll be here tomorrow." He urged, and this time you could see he really meant it. His eyes, not cold, not blue, were glittering with an excitement that seemed to creep beneath your skin and make your mind fill with glorious fever. All that hope that he still had, it found a way somehow and you could almost kid yourself that you could feel it too. Like a bullet dipped in promises, like the love you'd felt before. First it hurt a little, then it hurt a whole lot more.
"I promise you, I'll be here forever." someday that would kill him. That you knew, that you could see all that foolishness growing like daisies in his pretty, boyish head and you let him live like that all the same. He would see that this, like each and every word you said, was another beautiful lie designed for all the boys like him who had not been to hell and back the way you had. But every day you saw the world you died a little more, and there was a universe of cruel things you could do before you let him do the same.
"Don't say that." he shook his head gently and you frowned. He was so close to you, and still so far away, and there was something so sad in his face that made you wish he knew it all. The things you probably would never tell him, because who were you to tell the tale of Tommy Shelby as he rewrote it cold and loveless.
"No?" You tried to catch that emotion in his eyes that always seemed to escape you, sad and afraid and almost in love if he could love as you could not, but he had turned his head away. His eyes had wandered up to the sky, and you thought he might have been avoiding your gaze if you had thought you'd known anything about him. This mystery boy; whatever could he do?
"No. When you say it like that, I- I don't know." he reached up with his free hand to rub at the back of his neck awkwardly, and only then did he find the strength to look at you again, soft and meaningful as if he were telling you some secret that only you could know. And all of a sudden you wished he'd stop talking, for your world was written in your secrets and lies and he would only get caught up in what he couldn't share. "I don't believe it, you know."
"Hmm?" the sun was beginning to set over the steeple of the church, and suddenly all was golden. Each day there was a moment when the sun came out from between the grimy buildings and fell upon Small Heath for the very last time, a moment when all the sins of this little town, so far from God, were swept away and it felt like it was only you in the world. A moment where there was no Thomas Shelby, only the soft, sweet Tommy you knew from the hospital a million miles away. And now the golden light fell upon him too, the boy in front of you who was not Tommy and was not even close, and in that moment he had never been so beautiful. For a blissful moment you could not see the bruises that lingered from the fights, nor the darkness in his eyes that you had not seen before, for each day you caught his shadow in the street he seemed to stoop a little more under the weight of what you could not begin to comprehend. Now he just looked... quiet. Calm. Nice. You thought he might have kissed you then; you thought he should have.
"We'll get out of here eventually, you and I." you promised him, bitterly. This boy, who asked so much of you. Your love would never be enough for him, but it had been enough before. Stop. Untangle the stories that must never be mixed up. There were enough mistakes there to taint your love forever. "We'll find a way."
"Together or not at all, eh?" he looked at you so directly that you were sure he could see the wall behind your face. He was pressing words from your lips that you could never say, and you wondered if he knew it. He must know it. There was something so earnest about the way he looked through you that made you think that he had plans for you. You were another character in the books that he wrote every day upon his desk, sitting there so close to your greatest story left to tell and never quite close enough to have you figured out the way you thought he wanted to. He was trying to fit you in with something so much bigger than you and him, his mind and plans unfathomable. This could only end in tears.
"You asking me to run away with you?" you laughed at him and he laughed back, awkwardly, under his breath as though it was a sin. You did not laugh in Small Heath, where all the demons came to die. You did not feel a thing. Still you tried to smile at him, a little confused and never quite knowing whether he was joking. You knew, even then, that you could never know him. There was something about him that kept you guessing, and you promised yourself that it was good. He thrilled you, he had you waiting for the next word he would say because there was nothing you could do to try and foretell it. But then there was that part of you that ached for the way you had known another man so well that you could write his whole life story in one word, a single kiss at a train station platform, and know him better than you knew yourself. Except that now you knew all too well that you could not have known him at all.
"No! I wouldn't! I-" he choked out, a little embarrassed and becoming more so as you followed every inch of him with your restless eyes. Took him in like every move he made was a secret he was letting on, and you could use all the help you could get. "I mean-"
"Oh?" you were beginning to have fun with him now, teasing him a little because he was so nice to look at. The way he squirmed under your gaze, it was not like Tommy Shelby at all. He seemed to change to and fro with every other word, stuttering and awkward one moment and in the next so hidden and profound it sent shivers up your spine. If you were more naive you might have said that you made him nervous, but you were not that foolish. He knew what he was doing, this strange boy, and he knew it even now. His world must run like clockwork; his love must go to plan.
"And what if I was?" he murmured, blinking slowly with a face as though he were swallowing a difficult pill. You wondered if he had been thinking it all night, or since he had walked you back from the Garrison an eternity ago. His answer was hardly surprising - you had been waiting for this since the second you'd agreed to come out with him tonight, and now all you could think was that this was long overdue. He had never seemed the type to wait and take things slow. Not Michael Gray. He was the sort of boy who had grown used to having everything taken from under his nose, every good thing he might find. It did not take a genius to know who was taking them away from him.
"Then I'd tell you to come find me again tomorrow, Michael Gray." you kissed him softly on the cheek, lips barely touching him so that he could almost have missed it entirely if you had not lingered there so close to him for longer than you ought. Your voice was weak and broken with emotion; you almost whispered. Half a hope and half a fear - you had dreamed so long that you could get away from all this hell that was Small Heath and the worst of all evils, the man you once had loved, and now here was the way away and it was a boy who looked at you like the stars. Stars that had heard your tears and answered you, and stars to guide you anywhere but here.
"So long." he sighed lightly, eyes closed, blissful. He spoke like he was trying to reach out to you, a million miles away. Wherever had he run off to that you would dream to follow?  "Tomorrow is forever away. However shall I last tonight without you."
"Think of me." your lips brush against his jaw, your breath on him as you taste the thoughts and lines of numbers on his skin. He is made of thoughts and numbers the way that you are made of flesh and blood and Tommy Shelby is made of ice. He is the final code that you must learn, and the universe will await. "Think of me when you're all alone tonight."
And it was all so sweet, so loving, that you almost could not say it. Another you might have laughed at him, this man you had met twice before who wanted you eternally. The you who had not yet seen the war, who thought the world was made of light and love and second chances, and you could love over and over. That love could never hurt you, and men would always be kind. Or maybe still the you who had sat up by the window in the hospitals in all those endless days before the world had ended, before he came to you. Those nights you'd dreamed there could be light again in these most dark of times, those nights you'd dreamed of peace. Maybe then you could have laughed at him, for then you knew that there could be no love like that again. Man had killed it like the plague, stamped it out with guns and warfare because love was cheap and could not fuel a nation. It was 1916, and love was for the rich and foolish.
But now you only blushed under his gaze, looked away at the pavement by your feet where a leaf was blowing in the slight breeze. You could hardly speak - what could you say? How to tell him all you wanted to say, all you were and all that you'd been through before him. How to know if he would even want you if you told him. And you didn't know if you had the strength to say that name out loud at all. Still so painful, so recent in your mind as you pushed it away and tried not to think about it, like the shadow of a thundercloud when all the rain had passed but the floods still drowned your lungs. You could not breathe without him, and could not breathe if he were here. Somehow or other, Tommy Shelby had his heart set on tearing you apart.
"How can I not. It seems you've never left my mind." but he only seemed so curious, as though he could not fathom you at all. How nice it must be to look at you and not see every thing you'd said and done in the space behind your eyes. How nice to never know you, as you wish you could. He turned gently to look at you face to face, your face by now so close to his that you could follow each thought as it passed quickly across his eyes. He thought so much, this restless man, and you hoped he thought of you sometimes. Late at night and when your memory brought him pleasure, the way that you saw Tommy even now, in the nights when good dreams came so rarely and every face you saw in the street was his. Every voice that shouted called its apologies to you as you lay conscious enough to know that none of them belonged to him.
"You always know what to say." you tilted your head a little and he was struck with the thought that he could kiss you now. It would be so simple. But nothing in Small Heath could ever be simple, or else the world would be untrue. The world was cruel and complicated, and this could be no respite. He knew that as well as you. He tore his gaze away from your lips, trying to ignore the way his heart dropped achingly in his chest.
"I'm really, really, just trying to find something to say that'll make you stay outside a little longer. With me." he laughed under his breath, dipping his head to look down at the dust as it raced across the pavement by his shoes. You could not help but grin at that, resting your forehead against his until he was so close you could feel the shaky breaths hot on your skin.
"I think I'm good with that." you toyed with the collar of his shirt, eyes fixed on his lips as you held yourself back again and again. How easy it would be... and always how wrong, too. You could not keep kissing lonely boys and pretending it was Him.
Then he looked up at you again, and you could see the last of the sunlight glittering in those eyes that had never once been so terribly blue. And there was a moment when you could see him the way you'd never seen a person before, because Michael Gray was standing right in front of you and he had never looked so terrified. Not for the first time you found yourself wondering what he was about to do. Tilting your chin up, you could not miss the way his eyes darted momentarily down to your lips. For an eternity, nothing moved; only the sound of a pigeon cooing softly stirred the silence of the street.
And then the moment passed. You kissed him quickly, brought him to your lips and drew the life from him like you were drawing blood. This man could bleed, could hurt and feel and love you too, and the Great War itself could lay a mark on the stony heart of Tommy Shelby. You kissed him and you tasted the blood on his lips from the cuts that scattered on his lips, the ones you didn't ask about again and again and again. You kissed him and you tasted the sour seal of envelopes and the ink upon his tongue like he was writing out his story on your lips. On your mind, because all you thought was him. You kissed him and there was a moment when the universe finally shifted, for there had been a lifetime when it hadn't. Pulling apart a lifetime later you raced for breath, grinning wildly like you had touched the stars in that blissful moment before they burned you out.
Still so close together, his hand moved up to cup your jaw, hold you close as your foreheads bumped together. He laughed then, with all the joy of someone for whom the world had always been this kind. You were looking at him then for the very first time, the crooked grin on his face that made you think his mind was wandering a hundred thousand miles an hour, very far from here and now. The grin that made you think that he had never been kissed before, and you wished that he could stay that way. No one had hurt him yet, and no one let him down. This boy had a universe still to know.
"That was nice." he choked out through a smile, tracing soft circles on the edge of your cheek,  still so close that you could count the little freckles on the bridge of his nose. Another thing to learn about this mysterious man you were beginning to like more and more. He had you caught with those little things about him that made you feel as though you were looking into the mirror at a person you might have been. He was so like you it scared you, and you knew him all the less for it. And you loved him all the more. Maybe now you were finally learning how to love yourself. Maybe now you were learning how to love anything other than Tommy fucking Shelby.
"Michael Gray." you sighed, so quiet it was almost a thought. Saying it more to yourself, like you were testing his name out on your tongue because it was so different from all the love you'd known before.
"Mmm?" his hands stopped, he looked at you inquisitively as though he could not understand a word you said, and how could he not know you? How could he not tell that you would sell the world to have this moment last forever, or just a minute longer. You could almost see the emotions bleeding from your skin, dripping languidly onto the pavement as your heart beat on and on and all for him. And in that moment you could not have said which man it was that you were talking about.
"I want to see you again too." you were reassuring his foolish pleas, enabling him the way you had promised yourself you wouldn't. But somehow it was true - you seemed a little kinder when he was here. And when he went away those thoughts would come back, memories of a romance you might have dreamed up if it didn't tear you apart with the gravity of grim reality, and you had no idea how you could ever cope. He was all there was to keep you from your self and the past you had never left behind. "I want you to stay with me."
"We have all the time in the world." he pulled away; you let out a shaky breath as the warmth of his skin drew further from yours. You let him take another step away, let the distance grow the way you had before. Only this time, you understood.
"Then I will never ask for more." his hand lingered in yours another eternity, one second, before you let it go. Before you pulled your cardigan closer around you, shivering as the wind came whistling through the darkening street, and looked away, down the back-alleys to where the Cut would be rushing in, deep and grey and whispering of all the sins the summer had laid to rest. Summer was nearly over, and you could not run forever.
"So?" taking your hand and bringing it up to his lips, he broke you out of your dark reverie with an obtrusiveness that still surprised you so. He kissed the back of your hand, and his eyes as they gazed on at you were not blue, and for that you thanked God. They were not large or bright or cold, but a dull hazel-green that made you think of warmth and safety, and the certainty of nothing ever changing. You could be safe with this man, it was becoming ever clearer. He looked on at you over your hand, scanning you for a reaction, so you gave him exactly that.
"So." You smiled. Honestly, truly, you smiled, and you thought if he could only know what horrors you'd been through before, that smile might be enough. But of course it wasn't; would never be. The universe would never be enough for Michael fucking Gray. And you were smiling sadly, because he reminded you so much of Him when you held him so close to you. That other man that plagued your thoughts and all your waking dreams. You looked into your lover's eyes and bit back that one thought that danced upon your lips, the question "I liked you better when you were colder. Blue." Better not to mix your poisons and only hurt yourself.
"Tomorrow." he grinned at you, promised you, like he was promising you the world. All that weight in one short word. He knew it as much as you. There were such plans in his pretty head and you thought that you could almost hear the thoughts whirling through his mind. A pencil pusher drawing out his incredible future and you had somehow wandered into it. It was almost too much to comprehend.
And then the chaos, and for a moment there was that thought, sinister as the winter creeping in and vice-like in your head: that you were wrong, this man was wrong, his eyes were all wrong. His name and face and the cut of his hair. You were standing on the Titanic and screaming the wrong name into the water as you fell into the sea. You were dreaming, and you had yet to wake up. For an eternity of seconds the fear was paralysing, because all of a sudden your mistakes were unfixable, your regret inescapable and you knew you could live forever and miss him even longer. And then the moment passed, and somewhere far above you the moon had appeared, brighter than you had ever seen it here before, and softer still. All was real, and in reality he was never going to change the way you'd dreamed he had. For he was Tommy Shelby, and how could you ever promise to give him the world when the only thing you knew was that the world was nothing compared to him.
When you turned to go, you knew that Michael was waiting for you. To say something. To let him know you had not changed your mind.
"So soon." looking back over your shoulder, you caught a final glimpse of him. An image like a painting hanging in some art gallery a million years from here: the lover in the street, holding out his hands to you, gazing at you with eyes that saw you so much better than you could ever be.  And oh, the way he looked at you like he was trying to memorise you, like he was mapping out each inch of your face into his mind in case he never saw you again.  If it had been your choice, you would not leave this boy at all. You would rather live in all his wondrous stories and lose yourself forever with him than face this harsh reality another day.
"And yet so long." and even you could not miss the yearning that seemed to bleed out from his very soul, begging you for something but you never knew what exactly. You were trying to catch his thoughts but they were slipping through your fingers like sand into the bottom of an hourglass because with every second you were missing was another secret you would have to live a life not knowing. You had never had enough time.
"Tomorrow." laughing as you spun on your heel and walked away, for good this time. And there was nothing behind you then, just the street corner and him and no past to speak of. Just the boy that you were seeing again tomorrow, and the rest of the world mattered not at all. And for the most beautiful of moments, you looked behind you and Tommy Shelby was not there at all.
Tommy Shelby was halfway across town by the town he heard about Michael. Standing by his desk with the papers in his hand, he looked on at the empty seat. There should have been a worn woollen jacket spread across the back of the accountant's chair, half a glass of whiskey that would be finished later when Tommy at last locked up. The remnants of a night spent hunched over the numbers, the way his cousin always was. But now the desk was cleared, the work neatly packed up and filed away, the glass there and the jacket gone. The chair was tucked in close. Michael would not be coming back tonight.
Tommy Shelby was halfway to his office door when his thoughts came back to you. Came back, as though they had left at all. If he was being honest, the way he had not been since he had been with you, he might have said that every thought he ever had was thinking of you. But he was not an honest man, and you had found another man, as he had seen last week. The worst of weeks, the worst of nights because he couldn't sleep or eat or think or breathe all week since he had seen your face. This was the worst of things, the worst that could happen. He made it happen; he was the worst. How could you ever love him now?
And when the pieces came together, it was more than he could take. The coat was gone. He'd heard that you'd gone out tonight, with some boy whose name they would never tell him. He'd heard that you looked happier now, and he had always known why. It was not hard to tell when you were in love when once you had been in love with him. When he had left France he had promised not to blame you. Sitting on the train as his love left him behind, he'd wondered if he'd hate you for all the lovers you would have after him, for the way you'd love them more than you loved him. He wondered if he would blame you for moving on, but he had known that he could not. You would fall in love after he was gone, for who could not love you, the most beautiful girl in the world. The girl that would never be his, but he had been so close.
He didn't blame you. But he sure as hell blamed the other man. And now that other man was Michael. He could almost hear him laughing at him, the way he smirked when he knew something that no one else knew, had something that no one else had. Michael would never know how lucky he was to love her, and Tommy would spend the rest of his life knowing what a fool he had been to let her go.
The anger coursing through him, bright and bitter as the summer sun that had gone in, he snatched up the glass from the other man's vacant desk and hurled it at the wall. Crash. the glass scattered over the floor like diamonds in the lamplight. He threw the stack of papers into the air and watched them as they fell in reckless disarray, took the paperwork from Michael's desk, tore each page apart with that fury he had never known before. Pushed over the chair and the inkpot, the deep blue liquid pooling on the rug like the blood that pounded in his head. And then, as he was leaving, turned at last to throw a final punch at the photograph in its frame by his office door. A year ago, and they'd been happier then. Newly back from the war, still hopeful, still in love. Tommy Shelby did not need love now. Tommy Shelby didn't need anyone at all.
He ripped the photo from the shattered frame, skin catching on glass as he crumpled the picture into a tight ball, threw it into the chaos of the room behind him. Tomorrow someone would find it. By tomorrow night the whole town would know. So long as Michael knew, Tommy couldn't care less. Slamming his office door behind him, Tommy Shelby fell to the floor, and his face was in his hands.
@actorinfluence @stressedandbandobessed7771 @captivatedbycillianmurphy
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goingsllightlymad · a year ago
Blinded By Your Light - Part 8. On Storytelling.
Pairing: Tommy Shelby x reader
Summary: Y/N is the definition of ordinary. Studying at a medical school as far as she can get from her rainy hometown of Birmingham, she never expected to be shipped off the Flanders when the war was at it’s peak. Much less to meet a handsome young patient with the most beautiful pair of blue eyes she had seen in her life who as fate would have it would fall into her lap.
Wordcount: 6716.
Warnings: Michael is literally the most difficult character to write I swear to God, he just ends up sounding exactly like Tommy so let’s all pretend I have writing skills, okay? (Sorry this took like a millennia and a half to post, I’ve been procrastinating).
Stopping outside the pub to breathe in the cool summer air, you let the last of the golden sunlight fall upon your closed eyes as you took a moment and then another to collect your scattered thoughts. The footsteps ringing behind you, stopping at your side, were the only sign that Michael was following, as he kept the silence and did not speak at all for a long time.
"I suppose it's all very different." his voice was different to what you had imagined, although you had yet to see his face in the light. It was slow and thoughtful, and the accent was a little lighter, somewhat sharper than the drawl of all the others in Small Heath. Perhaps he had only moved here too, a stranger to this dark world of blood and gore, although perhaps he didn't mind it after all the horrors of the war gone by.
"Yeah. Quieter. More dangerous too, but I suppose that's a given." you kept your eyes closed, regulating your breathing and trying to guess what you would see when you opened them and saw him there. If he would be handsome, but all you saw when you thought of the word was the blue of those eyes and the sharp cheekbones, the dark hair and the tight smile of the man you were trying so very hard to forget. And besides, taking a break from boys for the time being would probably be best for everyone.
"The Peaky's weren't around when you were here?" he seemed genuinely curious, like he was trying to glean details of your past and put you together in his mind like a puzzle that would solve everything.
"Not really, no. It was always happier then, but I s'pose that might just be my memory playing tricks on me." somehow with your eyes closed it seemed so much easier just to say what you were thinking and what was entirely true, and you couldn't help but smile at the sweetness in your words and all the memories they held. It was more like talking to another part of yourself than talking to him at all. And then he stepped a little closer and you let your eyes open to the world.
The sun was already dipping behind the buildings, the town painted in soft tones of purple and pink, and you could feel the cold creeping in around the edges of your mind. Taking a long look beside you, you took in his smooth, pale skin and the mess of soft blond hair that almost covered the watercolour of purplish bruises along his cheekbone and around his eyes. Sunlight glittering in his hazel eyes, you could not deny that he was certainly beautiful. In a way that the stars are beautiful when seen from afar, and the lion in its cage that you had hung out of your window to watch pass by when you were younger and the circus passed through Small Heath on its way to somewhere bigger and more grand, beautiful and dangerous and half a world beyond your touch, the deity of some other religion that you could never see in your blind devotion to your blue-eyed God. He was beautiful in a way that made you feel nothing at all but the wonder that one feels when faced with such unattainable things, and there was not an inch of you that ached for him quite so much as you ached for Tommy even now, still the way he looked in the sunlight made your breath slow in your throat and your eyes catch on his face. He was beautiful like Ada and Isaiah and John and Arthur, and he was not a patch on your Tommy Shelby.
"Things are always nicer when they're in the past." he was smoking, raising the cigarette to his lips and taking a long drag, the smoke wrapping around him as he breathed out, blurring his features in blue and grey. You took your eyes off him and began to walk off down the street, hearing him behind you with his strange face and no Shelby surname to scare you away.
"Maybe not the war, but yeah, in a way." you joked bleakly and he did not laugh. You got the impression that he did not laugh a lot, but you had been here long enough to know that no one laughed here. There was nothing that nice to laugh about, when you thought about it, just the grey and empty days that stretched before you like the sea that had carried your Tommy away and brought this cruel stranger back to you.
"Ada told me you served." he knew Ada. Of course he knew Ada, everyone knew Ada, Ada was the talk of the town and it was not hard to see why. Everyone loved Ada because she at least had nothing to fear, nothing to hide. Ada was the last good thing about this part of town and you thought sometimes that everyone knew it. It wasn't exactly a secret.
"Ada likely told you a lot of things." you couldn't begin to imagine to stories she had told about you, her friend that had got out and had lived another life, the only one who ever left because no one ever left Small Heath and no one ever came back by choice, and you knew that everyone was wondering what had happened to you, and why had you come home at all, "That, though, is true."
"Where d'you go?" he cocked his head, looking over at you.
"Flanders General. A right hell of a place, but I survived what others didn't, so I guess I'm thankful enough." you joked bleakly, and the way he looked at you, the way he looked at you, you knew he knew exactly. It was hard to believe he had been to war when he was so much brighter, so much less tall and grand and intimidating to the soldier you knew in his hospital bed. But he wasn't there anymore, and you were secretly glad that he wasn't a thing like Tommy. The morning's words still rang through your head like a sucker punch, and you could feel yourself frowning as your mind wandered back again and again to him, to Tommy.
"That's where Tommy was, right?" Michael thought aloud, and you wondered if he knew how much it hurt you when he said his name. Of course he didn't know, and all the better that he didn't, still you wanted to tell him not to talk like that, not to bring up things that were better left unsaid.
"Yeah." you muttered shortly, hoping against hope that he would take the hint and leave the sensitive subject alone, but now he had turned away again to gaze up at the swirling sunset sky, and lost entirely in his own distant world.
"You saw him?"
It was a long time before you replied, your words drawn out like they came straight of your troubled mind, and he got the sense he was hearing a lie that was so much truer than any truth you might have told him.
"No. No, I didn't." and maybe that was true. You didn't see him, not Tommy Shelby, not this heartless man who ran the local gang and killed like he had never known how beautiful it was to love at all. Not this man who cursed you and left you and never kept his promises; the Tommy you had known was soft and kind and perfect, the man who should never be a soldier for all the light and life behind his eyes that drew you back to his bedside day after day. If you had known the other Tommy, perhaps you might never have sat with him at all. Perhaps you might not have loved him quite so much. If you had known... You wondered what might have happened if it had been Michael instead that day in the hospital that you had been sent to see. Looking at him for a long moment, it was hard to tell whether you would have loved him too, given the time to find out. There was a part of you that warned you that you would, that you might still, that men were a dangerous game to play for a girl as weak at heart as you sometimes believed you were. And there was that part of you, a little smaller and a whole lot quieter, like even your mind was a secret to you now, that whispered that there would never be another man quite so good as Tommy Shelby once had been. That you had tasted paradise in all its earthly glory and nothing would ever be the same again. That you might like to, you might try to, fall in love again and again, with Ada and with Michael and with Isaiah Jesus as you had once before, but that nothing in this world could take you away from the endless longing in your heart that had never quite gone away since that first and last kiss on the station platform. You wondered how many lonely prophets would give their restless souls to taste their golden angels as they rained down on them from high, and none of them would ever know the way it broke your heart.
"They say he got a medal for bravery in the Somme. Strange - never took 'im for the hero type." he shrugged and you gasped, pushing down all the thorny pain that was stabbing at your heart. The Tommy you knew had heart enough to win a thousand medals, to be a hero undoubtedly, but this man you saw in the Garrison with his harsh words and lovelessness? There was nothing heroic about him. When you played it back, searching desperately for a trace of that tenderness in the beauty of his face, there was only the coldness of a villain.
"And what about you?" you were desperate to change the subject, desperate to get to safer ground before he saw and he knew, and you knew it was pointless because tomorrow he'd know and the whole town would know and all off this would be for nothing. You would run away again, like you had before, and like before you would come back again and again and things would be the same every time. So why were you pretending that you could save this, and make it out like you hadn't fallen in love in the worst possible way. "Are you the hero type?"
"I used to think I was. But then again, doesn't everyone. It's only when you're out there and you're looking at it in the eye that you really see just how scared you are. Makes you a little ashamed of yourself. I thought I could make a difference until just then." he seemed so sad when he said it, and you drifted a little closer to him in the darkening street, glad of the shadows that left the world just you and him, no others, and the conversation which was steadily carrying you away from that most awful of subjects. It was easier when the sun went down on the rights and wrongs of cold humanity and now it was just you, two soldiers in your civies in a street that once was home. You trying to mend a heart when you knew you could not even begin to look down upon your own.
"I think you can make a difference, just not one that matters." you didn't entirely know why you said it, but as he laughed under his breath you knew it was the right thing to say. Something about him left you so unsure, and you had no idea what was the right thing to think or say or do, because you had learned before that nothing you did turned out right. It didn't take a backstory or any explanation to know who you had learned from.
"Thanks." he rolled his eyes at you and you laughed a little, him stopping as he pressed the back of his hand against his forehead in mock-indignation.
"You wanted the truth." you grinned, shrugging innocently and letting him catch up with you again. His features flashed in golden light as you passed the lamplighter with his hands of amber blaze, leaning down from his ladder as you smiled him a goodnight.
"I did, I'm sorry." he grabbed you by the arm and pulled you back to walk beside him and then, as you two fell back into silence and walking side-by-side. A sharp twist of wind came whistling through the street, sending a thrill up your spine as the cold grey colder and the sun had gone away, and Michael shrugged off his jacket in a single deft motion, draping it lightly over your shoulder. It was more or less the right size, thick and warm and filling your senses with the smell of his cologne in a way that made you ache for the chamomile soap in France that you had tasted every day on that other man's skin. Michael smelled of whiskey and smoke, and though it was homely and strangely comforting, you felt more alone than ever when you were wrapped in his clothes. You glanced up at him with a weak smile, all the same, and tried to find the softness in his eyes that was the kindest you had seen today, and nowhere near so quiet nor so beautiful as that sweetness you had once seen in Tommy Shelby. Perhaps it was time to let that sweetness pass you by, for it had been such a long time since you had seen him as he was. Perhaps it had been forever. Whoever could possibly say? "You don't get that a lot around here. The truth."
"You say that like you've seen the whole world." you looked at him for a long moment, trying to figure out where he had been, what he had seen. There was something strange about him, a story, that caught your eye and held it. Sure, he wasn't as exciting as Arthur nor as endearing as Finn, as soft and sweet as Ada or as familiar as Isaiah, and you dared not even begin to compare him to Tommy - nothing compared to Tommy Shelby, and you knew that now more than ever as all your memories rushed through your mind with every passing moment, with every breath you took with aching lungs because what was the point of breathing if it wasn't with him - but he was different and it thrilled you that there might be a world outside of this grim neighbourhood that you had yet to see and he was your way out to it.
"Maybe I have." he tilted his chin up cockily, hazel eyes meeting your gaze and returning it with a cockiness that suited him well. To see the world and come back to Small Heath all the same; you thought he might be a little more insane than the rest of you in town, and that was saying something. So insane you could almost kid yourself that he had not killed at all, but then again death was all the fashion in Small Heath, in the world, right now, and he did seem so stylish.
"And what did you make of it." You'd like to know, if only so that tonight when you closed your eyes and tried to sleep you could pretend you saw it all in front of you, glorious and new as though you really made it. He was the storyteller to your strange addiction, and with each word you knew he had you more and more hooked on his own lifestory.
"It was shit." he said shortly, still holding your gaze, and you knew that that was all that he would say. You wanted to ask more but you knew better than to ask of something that would bring him pain. You hated the thought of him in pain, and you wondered for a moment if his past was just like yours, an epic and a tragedy of love and loss and an afterthought of loneliness in a town halfway to inferno and inching closer.
"You actually like it here?" you could not keep the incredulous thrill out of your voice, and he laughed at you. He laughed a lot, and it never seemed quite happy at all, more like life was some great big joke that you could not comprehend, and there you were all hooked and waiting for him to let you know the punchline. Something you'd waited so long for, you thought it had to be worth it.
"Nah, this is even more shit." he kicked a stone and it skittered across the street, glancing off the curb and falling into the gutter, stained from a summer full of rain and cracked with the ghost of the sun's glare.
"Glad someone else can see it." you muttered, and in those words you cursed them all, those who sent you away and those who pulled you back and those who'd made the other world so beautiful that you could not think of coming back here, although in that there was only one person to blame and you thought you'd better not say his name out loud for fear of falling apart all over again, in the street with pretty Michael.
"I grew up in this dreadful little village and I hated it, you know." his dreamy gaze was fixed on some point in the middle distance, and in his voice there was a thoughtfulness that made you think that as he spoke he was forgetting in every word that you were there at all. You felt like you were hearing some part of him that he hadn't said before, and you wondered how long it had been since he had told the truth. How sad it must be to have a story so interesting and no one ever ask for it, because a story without its audience is a fairytale lost to time, and soon your life would not be real at all. "And now suddenly I'm working for the Peaky fucking Blinders and I'm stuck in this shitty neighbourhood and no one else seems to hate it as much as I do." by the end he was grimacing tightly, his face masked with a deep, dark pain that might have looked like hatred if you were not reading him, plotting him into the map of your mind for later reference when you wanted another reminder of why you were still here. All the sadness turned to anger here, and after that to vengeance, and in the end to death and all that glory.
And there his story ended, and you knew better than to ask more. You tried to pretend that your excitement in him was not slipping away quickly as one by one his walls built up around him again, his jaw setting tight and stern and pushing away that glimpse of humanity you were not so sure had even been there at all anymore. There you had it - he had been away and seen it all and come back here to never speak of it again - and that little stir of hope within you off the picture of another life, far away from grey Small Heath, was fading back into the darkness as you left the lamplighter behind.
"You're a Peaky?" your voice broke a little as you prayed that he would tell you no, that he would say that you were silly, he was wrong, he was no Peaky nor a bad man either, but how could you not be bad in such a world as yours was now? This whole town seemed to be filled with them, the dreadful Peakies and their shiny caps and lifeless laws and loveless lives, and in each face and bloodied fist you saw again and again only him, only Tommy.
"Just an accountant, really. Don't think that counts as much. Certainly doesn't to Tommy." he was venomous, bitter, and filled with a dark injustice that made you wonder what he would do if he could do it all and more. And for the first time you thought a silent thank you to God, to Tommy Shelby, as you thought of Michael safe within his counting-house when the others went to war. You wanted to kid yourself that he had never held a gun, never killed a man, but Shelby or not the blood still ran the same here, hot and angry and with the taste of death.
"And all the better for it." you let out a shaky breath, not realising your fists had been clenched tight until you forced them open, rubbing at the deep crescent moons left in your palms by blunt nails. "People die here, would be a shame to lose the only other person who hasn't spent there entire fucking life within the same six streets." you were playing it safe, trying to hide the relief that flooded through you, trying to convince yourself that you were simply protective of the only other person in this entire goddamn town who was not out for more blood on their hands when the war was long since over, instead of the truth that everybody knew; that you knew now that at least you were not stepping back into the centre of the twisted web of Tommy Shelby and all the cold and bloodied hell around him.
"Ah, don't worry about me. Think I'll be just fine." he shoved his hands into his hands, spinning on his heels to walk backwards, facing you and wearing that lazy grin that you could already tell was so utterly false. A self defence, and the eyes behind it were bright and dead and filled with pain and stories.
"I hope so." you smiled back, mainly in solidarity. I know you're lying, but so am I. We two are far from being fine, and don't we both know it so well?
"And if you could get out of here?" his question took you by surprise - no one had asked you that before. They were all so kind to you, their sympathy and their insidious envy so close together that it was hard to tell where one ended and the other began. They all pitied you for coming back eventually as everyone knew you always would, and they all hated you too, blamed you for not giving every last inch of your being just to keep yourself the hell away from this godawful town. But until now, not one of them had ever asked you where you would go from here, and to be honest you were beginning to wonder if you were going anywhere. Standing in the middle of Small Heath half a year since you had first come back, it was not hard to believe that you would be here forever.
"You mean would I drop everything and just get as far away as I could?" you laughed bitterly, knowing that that was the thought that had kept you up at night, that was the thought that was playing on both of your minds. He knew it, you knew it; it was the unattainable dream.
"I... I don't know. I thought I would, but I- I just don't know." Saying it out loud made it feel a whole lot better. In your head it had taken up so much room, screaming at you all day as you tried to push aside that hatred of yourself and of everything else here in Small Heath. You would leave, you had wanted so much to leave, but now the thought of the rest of the world was quickly fading in your mind. The truth was that you had no idea what was out there, and you almost didn't want to find out. Here was Ada and John and Arthur and Isaiah, and here at last was your love, Tommy, although he may not love you now. If you could leave them all behind, would you really? You just didn't know if you had the strength to let any more people down.
"There's a lot of things to stay for." He seemed to know so well what you were thinking, and you knew that he had been through all of this before, for he too had been pulled back into this grim underworld from somewhere kind and far away. You had the mind of a traveller, an escape artist and a convict all in one, and you could tell that he did too. It was as though he saw right through you, but you knew that he did not see you at all.
"Oh?" looking over at him, you raised an eyebrow questioningly. It was a strange thing for him to say, all the same. What did he know about you that made him so sure that he could persuade you to stay. Here was a man who did not know you and wanted to speak to you all the same, and behind you was that other, darker man who knew you as you did not even know yourself, and would have nothing to say.
"For one thing, you could stay for me." It was a thought. You could definitely stay for him, this strange little man who seemed so much more invested in your answers than anyone else you had met in this town. He was curious, to say the least, and you found it rather flattering. You could definitely cope with having him around.
"Or stay for myself."
"Or stay for both of us." he was so desperate for you to stay with him that you wondered what it was that he wanted from you. You thought the whole of Birmingham must know by now that you would surely never love again and why. And you were not a Shelby, only a friend of a sister. There were rats roaming the streets who had more power than you, and yet you knew that you were not exactly so far from the Blinders as you might like to think.
"I wouldn't mind that." it might be nice to have a friend. In a neighbourhood like this, there was no harm in having allies, especially those who could protect you so well as the Blinders might. And it seemed like Michael was the closest you could get to the Blinders without seeing that dreadful, beautiful face.
"Then don't go anywhere and I won't either." he swung around to take your hand, bring it up to his lips as he made his wild promises. You knew that, given the opportunity, he would break them without a second thought, but you knew that you would too. And somehow the promises seemed more definite that way. "Stick around for each other, eh?" a smile cracked open the hard, coolness of his face, and you returned it weakly. There was something about him that reminded you so much of Tommy, your Tommy, and you wondered if that was the only reason why you were standing here with him now, not telling him to leave. You wondered if all the Blinders were like that - cold and cruel and broken - and suddenly your heart ached for Isaiah. You wished more than anything that he had become a preacher instead.
"This... this is me." You waved your free hand towards the shadow of the church on the corner, resplendent in its inky darkness and the sins that seeped from the stained-glass windows and into the street. Your hand slipped out of his, falling heavily to your side as you took a step back from him.
"Where we say our goodbyes." he murmured, and you nodded.
"I suppose." You turned the corner, made a move to go into the church and then turned to smile at him. As you looked over, you caught him staring at you thoughtfully, a plethora of unreadable emotions dancing over his face and you wondered what on earth he was thinking now. "Thank you. For... getting me home safe."
"I enjoyed it. A lot." he seemed as surprised as you were, when he said it, as though he had not been expecting to feel that way. And the way his face softened as he said it, the small lines by his eyes that made you think that his heart was full of quiet emotions that he would never say, it all reminded you of Tommy.
"Would you mind if-" you began, not sure what you were saying but knowing that it was something to do with Tommy Shelby. You needed to speak to him, to have a message brought to him, that you loved him as you always had before, and that yes, you had forgiven him already for every sin in all his life. You love, love, loved him, you always had. But just as you were saying it,  
"Would you like to-" he blurted out, caught himself as both of you spoke at the same time, words blurring over each other in a tangled mass of thoughts out loud.
"You first." you wanted to say it, all that you had been meaning to say, and then disappear immediately into the safe solitude of the church. You didn't want to see him look at you with all that pity and mindless apology in his eyes that you had seen so much today. You didn't want him to think less of you, but you really had to say it now, or else you knew you never would.
"Thank you." He took a deep breath in and out, still standing some way away from you as you waited by the great church doors, but now you felt as though he were close enough to hear each breath from your lips, each beat of your heart, and they were not for him. They were not for anyone other than your sweet and unattainable Tommy. "Would you like to go to the pictures with me. Tonight was nice."
"Michael I-" You were surprised, to say the least. This was the last thing you had expected from him, when all of Small Heath knew by now what had gone on today. You thought the whole world must know about you and Tommy Shelby, and you thought they must love you a little less for it too. You meant nothing but trouble now, for you picked fights with people in very high places and they liked to keep their enemies very, very close.
"Please." He took a small step towards you and you could hear the pleading desperation in his voice, a little emotion coming through, so honest that you could not believe that you had found it here, in Small Heath. It was enough to make anyone give in.
"Okay." you whispered, and you knew he had heard you. You thought that the whole world had heard you, because the words rang through your mind so loud and harsh and important, and they would stay there forever to haunt you because there it was, you had given up on Tommy Shelby. This really was the end of things.
"Thursday? Eight o clock?"
"I'll be here." You would, because now where else could you be. When you told Ada, she would probably tell you that it was just as well, that you should go for it, but the truth was that you didn't know how. For you had loved the greatest of all things, the most beautiful of men, and how could you ever love again?
"Goodnight (Y/N)." he spoke softly, and you could almost hear his heartbeat through his words, quick and strong like he was full of love and life, but no one in Small Heath knew of either. He was so different to this cold, dead town.
"Goodnight Michael." You waved at him weakly as he kept his eyes on you and took a step backwards, taking him in once more as he stood in front of you like you were trying desperately to read him one more time before he disappeared forever and became someone else entirely. The men you knew had a habit of doing that.
"Goodnight." he smiled.
"Goodnight." you smiled back, a little more honestly this time.
"Goodnight." and he was still walking away, still facing you, and you thought he looked rather ridiculous but you liked it all the same, and you were wondering if perhaps it wasn't such a mistake that you and he would meet again and try to be something more.
"I really have to go now, my father will be worried. Goodnight, I'll see you on Thursday." You promised him, already opening the church door and looking through into the impenetrable darkness beyond.
"Thursday can't come soon enough." came ringing through the street as at last you saw him disappear around the corner, into the dark shadows of the night. You let out a long and shaky sigh. You slipped through the gap in the heavy church doors, leaning against the wood on the other side as you heard his footsteps quieten and die away as he walked away.
"Yeah," you murmured into the shadowy silence of the church. For a moment you believed it too, letting the thought of Michael fill your mind for all the time it took to stand and begin that walk down the aisle to the anteroom door. And then the thought of Tommy came in, and flooding back, and everything was blue once more.
It was not for you to know that Tommy Shelby had waited in the shadows, standing on the corner by the darkening church as the cold and the night came creeping in around him. Not something you would look for and not something you would see, and perhaps that was why he had done it. He would like to say that someone had told him you were there at the Garrison and he wanted to make sure you were safe, after all even he could not deny that the two of you had history, no matter how that history had ended.
By the curb where the shadows met the dim glow of the streetlamp that flickered and waned as the wind hissed around the corner like the biting breath of apprehending fate, Tommy Shelby lit another cigarette and waited for you to walk by, the way he had waited for you every day in France and every day since. It was not something that he would particularly like the world to know, but to say that he had meant none of his words today was not far from the truth. The truth; as if you needed that.
When you turned around the corner, stepping into the light as it fell upon you, it was all he could do not to step out and go to you the way he knew he should. The way you had probably thought he would, and now that he thought about it, it was getting harder and harder to remember why he hadn't. Somewhere along the way, somewhere in the blond of pretty, cruel Grace and the way Small Heath looked when you came through it for the first time back from France, he had realised then that he was never right for you. He loved you, he loved you, but this was for your own good. It killed him to hurt you, but he could not even imagine the hell that would ensue if someone else hurt you instead. Small Heath was not the place for sweet nurses and kind girls, Small Heath was a place for even the darkest demons of the world to shy away from.
He knew that you had seen Grace, because he knew that she had seen you. She had made that very clear already, the sound of her shouting and screaming at him enough to make him think that, somewhere in Small Heath, you must have heard it too. All of their problems that were really only his problems, laid out on a washing line for the whole world to see. Tommy Shelby was a worthless piece of shit, but they already knew that and you already knew that and he already knew that too. What else was new, except that Tommy Shelby had yet another woman and Grace would not stand for it. She would stand for it, she always stood for it, no matter how many times he wished she'd leave she somehow always stayed. He was beginning to think she was not staying for him at all, she just made it look that way. And now, yet again, she was staying right here, the girlfriend of Mr Thomas Shelby, living in his house the way he wished you would instead, taking up his time and his love the way he wished you would. The woman he loved would never love him now, and the woman he didn't would never stop. The world had finally caught up on its debts against Tommy Shelby.
Tommy pressed his cigarette into the bricks of the wall behind, sparks showering down onto his shoes and fizzling out in the gutter where the water fell drip by drip by drip. In the heat the pipes were cracking, water bleeding out from their wounds and painting strange patterns in the dirt and heavy dust. The thought of summer burning in his mind, Tommy brought his coat closer around him, straightening up as the cold rushed in around his collar. With a last deep breath, he went to move towards you and saw you standing not alone this time, but pressed against the church door with another man before you. You smiled at him, and Tommy had to frown at that because he had seen that beautiful smile all those days before, and this was so far from it. To be honest, you looked tired. There were dark purplish bruises under your eyes that reminded Tommy of those weeks where you stole snatches of sleep in the chair beside him, hurrying back and forth all day and all night for days and days on end. But now there was not that giddy, sleepless smile that you had had when you knew it was all worth it. Now you just looked... sad.
It did not take a genius to tell who had made you this way.
He had to grimace at that, his displeasure only bubbling higher in the pit of his stomach as you laughed at something the man said, bowing your head and he hoped you were not blushing. You were not his to lose, but you were no one else's to love either. And then the man was going away, and Tommy was breathing out audibly and realising that there was no way he could go to you now. He wondered if for a moment there you forgot about him entirely (he wondered if you remembered him at all), and he wondered if you knew that you had never left his mind for a moment since the moment you had left the station platform.
And then through the street there came those dreadful words, the promise of Thursday flooding through Tommy's mind as he braced himself against the wall, hiding himself further in the shadows because there was no way you could see him now. He heard you, every word you said, when you agreed to go to the pictures with the man that Tommy couldn't quite see, and when you said goodnight too many times, and Tommy could picture you not wanting the man to leave, and Tommy could see your face when you fell so utterly in love because you had once showed that face to him.
He heard the man turning the corner, leaving at last, and as he broke from the wall and stepped out into the street, he saw the last of you, ducking back into the church and closing the doors behind you. Tommy Shelby could never have you now.
@actorinfluence @captivatedbycillianmurphy @stressedandbandobessed7771 @audioshoes
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tommyshelbysgirl · a year ago
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Tommy Shelby Imagine Part 5|Part 4|Part 3|Part 2|Part 1
Tommy x Reader
You awake from the deep nights of sleep embrace to the sun slightly peeping through your curtain, you can seem to only open one eye to look at this sunlight which was sneaking through your red curtains.
You turn over to escape its rays so you can get a few more hours sleep before you decided to get up, you freeze as you feel the icy grip take hold of you as you see a familiar razor cut haircut which rises from his neck so perfectly then attaching to his long side cut hair.
You continue to be frozen in a tensed position as you watch Tommy turn over in bed, you move your eyes to his sleeping eyes, the sunlight was now hitting his eyes but he did not wake like you had he must be somehow used to it or so content in his deep sleep that he did not notice.
You turned over as you could as you fount it was too weird to stare at Tommy like that, well when he slept at least, you were frozen on the spot as you did not want to wake him. You looked towards your bedroom floor seeing all of your clothes thrown everywhere so you thought in your mind what probably happened.
The last thing you remember was you were both sat in The Garrison & he asked you to be his sitter for his son, you hear movement in your bed so you grab onto the thin top sheet hoping that somehow this would save you, as you felt his fingertips run from your waist up to your arm.
Although you could physically not see him moving you could feel him move & get closer to you as you felt his naked body against yours, you felt his breathe on your neck as he kissed it gently.
You turned around & met his blue eyes gaze as he moved in & planted just one kiss onto your soft cold lips.
“Good Morning Y/N sleep well?”
“Yes, apart from the horrible wake up call” 
Tommy just nodded then lay on his back slightly then lighting a cigarette.
You lay next to him lighting a cigarette yourself then turning your head towards him as you watched him inhale & exhale.
“I was not talking about you Thomas” you inhaled some smoke from your cigarette then exhaling it then putting the rest out in the ashtray which lay on your bedside table
“Your gonna burn my sheets!” you passed Tommy the ashtray than getting out of your bed walking along the room then taking your gown from the back of your door then heading out.
You shut your door making sure it was shut properly before you headed straight in front of you to your bathroom, rushing in then locking the door behind you to make sure he would not sneakily come in.
You washed your face then took a big sigh, you still wanted to know what had gone on in the night but then you did not at the same time. You took another big sigh then unlocked your door heading back to your room.
You entered your room removing your robe again placing it back onto the back of the door & watched Tommy watch you as you got back onto the bed but facing him instead.
There was a pull towards him which you could not put your finger on or even explain, you moved one of your legs so you was rubbing his crotch area he leant back into the pillow which his head lay on & you heard him moan a little & close his eyes.
Every time he moaned you could not help but get turned on by it, so you continued quickening your pace, as you were about to continue to rub his growing bulge which lay on under the sheets he took hold of your ankle & pounced with no hesitation you positioned your legs apart so he could lay in between your legs.
You looked down & watched as he covered up his erect cock, his lips fount your ear as he whispered into it “Do you think I would give it you that easily again ey?” you bit your lip at his words as his breath travelled to the crook of your neck as he planted soft kisses into the crook of your neck.
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gloves94 · 2 years ago
American Psycho [1/10]
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Warnings: Language Pairings: Thomas Shelby x Gangster! American! Reader Summary:  In hopes of expanding the family business [Reader] arrives in England. Unfortunately, a cutthroat rival gang, The Peaky Blinders, become threatened. Thomas Shelby, their ruthless leader, finds his newest mortal enemy to be more than fascinating- Will this lustful affair end well for either? Who will be responsible for the coming bloodshed?
My fanfiction: M A S T E R L I S T AN: Note, I had no idea what I was doing so I accidentally deleted the original Chapter 1 file. Bear with me. x [1] * [next] * [3] * [4] * [5] * [6] * [7] * [8] * [9] * [10]
“Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to the government, when it deserves it.” - Mark Twain XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
A pair of sharp eyes eyed Thomas Shelby with intensity as he entered the gambling lot. They had entered a dangerous joint which was covered under the façade of an honest business, a traveling ship company, the Black Star line. All the right person had to do was answer the question "What time is it in New York?" to be allowed in. The answer was always "Time for Charleston." As of late, the Shelby's realized that there was a new player in town. Someone who was taking money which could've been theirs, and large amounts of it. The Shelbys scanned the room. It was an underground and very illegal casino. The room was packed, a cloud of cigarette smoke mystified the rooms. Several tables in the room had roulettes and card games which kept its happy guest betting and drinking. "Drinks are free if yer playin'" a bartender approached Tommy, Finn, and Arthur and handed them each a glass of cold whiskey. Arthur began drinking the whiskey, it was slightly watered down, but not terrible. Tommy didn't bother with such trivialities and simply dodged past the man. Several private rooms on the sides were hidden away with thick curtains and the Shelby could only guess composed the part of the brothel. They could guess the alcohol was also brewed underneath the floor where they stood. It was a sinful palace filled with flapper whores, gambling and enough drink to accommodate all and every scoundrel's need, desire, and want. Loud music blasted playing jazz, Charleston dance music, and other American tunes. They had stumbled upon a gold mine. Some bloody bastard had decided to just claim their territory and plant themselves on devil's ground. "Oi, Who runs this place?" Arthur asked as they approached the bar at the end of the room. The bartender who was overwhelmed by glasses and pours simply nodded his head towards a tall, square man who leaned against the counter at the end of the bar. They made eye contact and approached him. The square man had his hairline split right in the middle. His eyes were black and nose appeared to be bent from former breakage injury. "You run this place?" Arthur asked as they rounded him. "What is it to you?" The other responded with an unfamiliar accent that none of the Shelby could identify. "Jasper Markwat," he stretched out his hand for the Brits to shake. He was instead greeted with a gun pointed to his chin. "Cut the fucking act," Arthur threatened. "Horseshit, you're as American as Apple pie." "-And the New York Yankees," Jasper's face stretched out into a broad grin. He didn't look older than forty years of age with a slight peppered stubble covering his face. "How can I help you, gentlemen?" He clapped his hands together. "You set up business in Blinder territory?" Arthur pressed. "Gentleman," Jasper said in a lazy drawl. "May I offer some American hospitality?" He said clapping his hand on Arthur's shoulder as he wiggled his eyebrows to a table of women sitting in the corner of the room. Arthur's eyes slightly wondered as he eyed the women. "This is our territory," Thomas said sternly as he stood his ground. Jasper, on the other hand, looked annoyed. He scoffed and rolled his eyes at the Brit. "Listen," he licked his lips. "We came here to make friends." "We came here to make enemies." Thomas spat back. The eyes that watched and listened carefully became intrigued. Eyes wide. Somebody hid a growing smile. "This is a provocation. Right in our faces." Tommy lit a cigarette. "Seeing as you are a foreigner and I'm a fair man you have until the weekend to leave for the colonies." He took a heavy drag. "We have an understanding?" "Sure, sport." Jasper swallowed his pride and nodded with a side smile. Arthur was already drooling over the women in the corner. Finn simply drank the beverage he had been handed. With that, the Blinders left.
A woman emerged from the darkness of the underground. She passed under the radar when passing beside the dirty gamblers, the lustful men and woman of the casino and those intoxicated. "Alright, you got his attention," Jasper said with a sigh as he tossed a rag over his shoulder. He looked at her with a questioning look. The smirk on her face only stretched. "Now what?"
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