- This Is Pressure // Eskimo Joe 

Every time i feel a bit better about sort of catching up on this RP i remember i'm MORE THAN A MONTH BEHIND. and that depresses me something terrible

Grace Milton; November 16

I was woken up on the morning of the dreaded family visits but Gabriel, clearly in pay back for waking him up yesterday.

“Wakey wakey Gracie,” He cooed way to cheerful for any time of the day, “Time to rise and shine and greet the day with your lovely bright smile.”

“Gabriel.” I groaned, poking my eyes out above the quilt, “kindly fu.ck off.”

“Grace. Language.” Another voice scolded. Great Cassie was here as well, time for a party.

“Cassie it’s to bloody early.” I glared as best I could half asleep before burrowing back down under my sheets and hoping they’d go away.

They didn’t.

“Grace Judith Milton if you don’t get your arse out of bed right now god help me.” Cassie threatened in her most, well threatening voice. Except she had nothing on our mother so it really wasn’t much of a threat.

“If I get out of bed will you go away?” I muttered and it was a testament to Cassie really that she could understand what I said when I was buried under all my blankets and quilts.

“What’s wrong sweetie?” Cassie asked, sitting by my head and changing tactics blindingly fast.

“What?” I poked my eyes out again to eye her curiously, “Why do you think somethings wrong.”

“Why are we even playing this game?” She rolled her eyes, “I grew up with you remember?”

“Still not quite sure why you think somethings wrong!” I pointed out, taking the opportunity to survey the room and taking note of the fact Gabriel was sitting backwards on my desk chair, watching us.

“You hate getting up late. Absolutely hate it.” She cocked her eyebrow knowingly, “Since you’re still in bed it means you’re trying to hide.”

“I’m not hiding.” I said defiantly, pulling the blankets down further until they were tucked just under my chin, “I’m just not quite ready for this day to start.”

“It’s just Dad and Lily.” She said soothingly, running her fingers through my hair which I will admit was nice.

“And Cody.” I reminded her in a smaller voice than I knew I possessed.

“You love Cody.” Cassie reminded me, “Look if you’re worried about the whole Gabriel situation don’t be.”

“Yeah. Don’t ruin your time with your family on account of me.” Gabriel spoke up, wearing that guilty look that had been plastered on his face for the last week.

“Stop with the face.” I rolled my eyes, removing my arm from my cocoon so I could beckon him over to me.

He came hesitantly and sat down on the side of the bed Cassie wasn’t currently perched on. “I just. I don’t like the fact we still don’t know what we’re going to do.” I admitted to them.

“It’s not your problem to worry about anymore.” Cassie reminded me.

I narrowed my eyes at her, “Until it’s sorted it is my problem. It’s been my problem since I lied to Joe okay so the reassurance isn’t actually very reassuring.” I snapped.

“Fine.” She said shortly, “Still Joe isn’t coming down till tomorrow so there is absolutely nothing to be done today.”

“If you tell me to take each day at a time god help me I will hurt you.” I threatened, pointing a finger at her with as much intimidation as I could manage (it wasn’t much)

“I wasn’t going to.” She said adamantly though I didn’t believe her. Neither did Gabriel if his quiet chuckles were anything to go by.

“Alright. Fine I can do today.” I said as strongly as I could manage, finally sitting up in bed, “I will be a wreck tomorrow though.” I warned.

“When aren’t you a wreck?” Gabriel asked teasingly. I elbowed him in the stomach in retaliation but didn’t bother responding.

“Look today is easy.” Cassie said reassuringly, throwing an arm around my shoulder, “Gabriel just hides in here or around campus all day.”

“So just another day in the office then.” Gabriel shrugged. Which was kind of true, of the weird as.s last month at least.

 “Gabriel just avoids the family as much as possible.” Cassie spoke up, ignoring Gabriel completely, “I mean,” she said, clearly realising how rude that sounded, “Not that I don’t want you to spend time with them. It’s just well you haven’t decided yet is all.” She shrugged, trailing off and sounding as uncertain as I’d ever heard her ever. In 20 whole years.

“It’s fine Cassie.” Gabriel told her reassuringly, “If I see the family they’re going to tell Joe and leave me with no choice I get it.”

“Well now that’s established.” I said with a smile before everything got to tense, “I suppose it’s about time I got up then.”

-

“Daddy.” I shrieked, like the four year old I was on the inside, when I saw my family, decimating any illusions anyone had that I was a functioning adult member of society.

“Hi Sweetie.” He grinned at me, spinning me round as I launched myself at him before letting out an ‘oof’, “You are getting to heavy to do that.” He told me as he lowered me to the ground

“Or maybe you’re just getting old.” I stuck my tongue out at him teasingly. Cody and Cassie both laughing at us, “I missed you.” 

“I missed you too princess.” He pecked me on the forehead before going to greet Cassie,

“Hi Cody.” I turned my attention to dads girlfriend, and hugging her tightly. Cody was actually one of my favourite people in the world more like another sister than a mother.

“Hi sweetheart.” She said as she pulled away, “I’d ask how you’d been but I’m afraid your dad would kill me if he missed out on any detail.”

“Probably.” I laughed, looking at Lily standing next to her.

“Hiya Lily.” I waved at her. She just rolled her eyes and pulled me into a hug (but Lily got hesitant about physical contact sometimes so sue me for not wanting to start drama), “Hello.” There was a beat, “Are all the greetings done now?” 

“Now quite.” Cassie said, appearing behind Lily somehow and wrapping her arms around her waist, “Hello Lily Milton.” She said formally, “Alright we’re done now.”

We wandered round the campus, catching up on our lives since we’d last all been together (which had been the summer break) which seemed like not that long but way to long all at once.

Yeah my family brought out the cliche’s in me. Sue me.

We were currently sitting crossed legged having a picnic sort of lunch (I was only recently realising how often I had important moments sitting outside and at cafes) when I spotted him, trailing off my sentance

“Cassie.” I hissed in her ear, not really caring everyone else was watching us curiously, “Cassie.”

“Yes. I see him.” She muttered out the corner of her mouth, “What is he doing?”

“Passing through campus?” I suggested though really I doubted it. “What are the chances he doesn’t come over here?” I asked.

“Next to none.” Cassie sighed, rubbing at her eyes tiredly.

“Oi what are you two whispering about?” Dad asked, “Some juicy gossip or something?”

“Nothing that exciting.” Cassie was the best liar out of the four of us. I’d never realised she was that good though and wow it made me question everything about my childhood.

“Christmas present for you.” I joined in on the teasing, “we’re both so poor we were trying to decide whether to go with jocks or socks this year.”

“Socks.” Cody answered straight away, suppressing a smile, “The man could do with more of those.”

“I don’t know why you’re my favourite girls.” Dad rolled his eyes, though he was grinning as well, “The hate I put up with.”

“I’ll always love you daddy.” Lily battered her long lashes at him.

“Lily’s my favourite!” Dad said matter of factly.

“Really?” Cody said, mischievous glint in her eyes meaning she was going to say something I really didn’t need to know about my dad, “That’s not what you said-“

Thankfully dad wanted it said no more than I did because he covered her mouth with his hand.

I took the moment of distraction to continue my not very inconspicuous conversation with Cassie, “What do we do?” I asked her, trying not to panic.

“There is absolutely shit all we can do.” She muttered back, “No matter how we try to persuade him to piss off we’d just draw attention to ourselves and others.”

“Idiot boy.” I muttered, Cassie nodding in agreement.

“All we can do is hope he goes for something subtle and ambiguous if anyone asks.” Cassie sighed, twisting her mouth in thought.

“And tonight you can box his ears in.” I added helpfully.

“I’ll defiantly be boxing his ears in.” She confirmed. which is when our conversation was interrupted.

By Dad noticing Gabriel.

“Grace.” He said, quite loudly to get my attention, “Grace is that Gabriel?” He asked.

“How would I know.” I snapped before realising oops not exactly an innocent reaction, “Sorry, is who Gabriel?” I asked, pretending I hadn’t seen him.

“That.” Dad flung out his arm and pointed, catching Gabriel’s attention. Now that he’d noticed that we’d noticed him he picked up his case.

“You know I think it is.” Cassie interjected, shooting me a look that clearly said ‘pull yourself together you absolute fool’

“I thought he was fighting with Joe.” Cody said to me dad, sounding about as confused as dad looked, “What’s he doing here?”

“He is.” Dad answered, eyes glued to Gabe, “Who knows.”

“Gabriel.” I called as he came into hearing distance, “Hi. We weren’t expecting you.” I got to my feet, leaning over food and family member to get to him so I could give him a hug. “What the fu.ck are you doing?” I hissed in his ear.

“Relax. It’s fine.” He soothed, patting my back before letting go of me. “Hi all.” He waved at everyone else.

Dad kind of eyed me curiously when I pulled away from Gabriel probably about us being close enough to hug. I could practically see the moment he wrote it off as simply my closeness to Joe before turning his attention to Gabriel.

“Gabriel.” Dad greeted, eyeing him appraisingly, as I retook my seat on the ground “Gracie’s right, we weren’t expecting you.”

“Sorry Sir. Don’t want to intrude.” Gabriel said, all politeness and manners I had never before seen in my life (ever)

“No that’s alright. Come sit down.” Dad said cheerfully. I wasn’t sure if it was because he liked Gabriel or wanted to keep an eye on him, “To what do we owe the honour may I asked?” He asked. I literally held my breath, imagining my face mirror the slight worry present in Cassie’s. How on earth was he going to answer that?

Vaguely. “I was in the neighbourhood.” He said, catching my eye and winking. Which was risque but helped put me at ease.

“Joe doesn’t come up till tomorrow. If that’s who you’re looking for.” Cassie told him, still looking a little like she wanted to skin him alive. I had to remember to keep them separated till we had to talk about Joe tomorrow morning, giving her time to calm down. Slightly. Hopefully.

“Oh that’s alright.” Gabriel said mildly, his discomfort only evident by the fact he was pulling at the grass.

Thankfully the afternoon got much less awkward after that, though it did take time. By the end of the afternoon we’d basically caught up on each others lives (minus the giant hugeass elephant in mine and Gabriel’s) and were laughing at everything and everything.

And well even though Gabriel had sealed our fate there was absolutely shit all we could do now.

Somehow that didn’t make me feel better in the slightest.
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