The Way I Love You
It was subtle at first; only little changes. Lily didn't really think too much of it. It wasn't until he rebuffed her kisses when they were in the common room one night that she really noticed it.
"People can see us," James muttered sheepishly.
"Since when have you ever cared?" She murmured into his ear.
"It's not appropriate behavior," he replied. She looked at him curiously; a little hurt, but didn't press the issue any further.
She went to bed soon later and lay there puzzling over James' recent changes in behavior. They'd had a fight a few weeks back; fights weren't common between them and usually they were forgotten within a few hours. Lily refused to speak to him for two days after this one. After they had made up was when the changes started.
She confronted James about it the following day. "You haven't been yourself the past few weeks," she commented casually. "Is everything alright?"
"Of course," he smiled.
"Then why are you acting so strange?"
"I'm fine, Lily," he insisted.
"You're not making you're usual jokes, Marlene hasn't come back from a Quidditch practice complaining about being sore and announcing how she would love to hex you, I haven't heard you make a single flirtatious comment towards McGonagall, I haven't seen you talking with Sirius in the back of class at all this week," she began. "You've just been agreeing with me, not even bothering to state your opinion, you refused to kiss me in the common room last night, so what is it, James?" She looked at him expectantly.
He watched her momentarily before speaking. "When we had that row, you told me to I needed to get my priorities straight and that I should do some serious thinking about myself," he said softly.
She remembered that, she didn't even remember what the fight had been about, but she remembered the harsh words she had used.
"You are an idiot," she told him after a few minutes. "That's what I love about you. I love your ridiculous jokes, I love how much you like winning, I love when you tell me your opinion, the passion that you have for something you believe in. I love that you would snog me anywhere in a heartbeat. I love you. Don't ever feel like you need to fix yourself for me," she took a few steps forward, closing the distance between the two of them. "You're far from perfect, but you're perfect for me."
And then his lips crashed down on hers, in a disorienting kiss that would have made Lily fall if he hadn't been holding her waist. Her hands wrapped around in his hair, messing it up even more, both of their heartbeats raced. The passion she had just momentarily been speaking of was there in that kiss.
He pulled away slightly minutes, hours, or maybe even weeks later. "You said you loved me," he murmured.
"I do," she rested her head on his shoulder.
"I love you too. I love every bloody thing about you, Lily."