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What even is fanfiction?

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It was a comfy evening at Bly Manor. The children were tucked away in bed already and Owen had suggested that the four adults have a chat together over a bottle of wine in the kitchen before the evening was up.

Dani was the last to arrive at the kitchen table as she placed herself in the seat beside Jamie. Hannah and Owen were sat comfortably beside each other opposite them and four half-filled glasses of red wine sat on the table top.

Owen cleared his throat dramatically. “I actually wanted to get us all together to have a chat.”
Dani and Hannah looked at the man with concern.

Jamie seemed to be more interested in the glass in front of her than Owen. She could always tell when something was actually wrong with the man but Jamie found that, more often than not, Owen was just being dramatic. No doubt on purpose, she would think to herself.

“I was browsing the internet last night and-“

“Don’t tell me you started an OnlyFans, Owen!” Jamie interrupted, though Dani couldn’t quite tell if it was a joke or not. She assumed by Jamie's stupid smirk that it probably was, yet Dani couldn't quite help but imagine Owen being quite popular with some people. He was objectively quite handsome, and who doesn't love someone who can cook? She asked herself.

Owen glared at the brunette opposite him. “No, Jamie!” A smug grin began to grow across the man’s face. “Though, I do have the buns for it.” Jamie sighed, disappointed that she set him up.

“Right, out with it then, or I’m off before I ‘ave to hear another one of those.” 

“Don’t interrupt me then! This is serious.” Owen leaned over to push Jamie by the shoulder like a playful sibling who was down to their last nerve.

“Right, so I was online, not doing anything in particular and-”, he paused when he saw the three women at the table watching him with looks of curiosity, eyebrows raised, waiting. “Fine, I may have been Googling my own name, but that’s beside the point.” Owen rolled his eyes as Dani and Jamie snickered at him and Hannah let out a small breath she was holding, as if grateful that Owen wasn’t doing something more incriminating.

“So, there’s this thing called fanfiction, where people on the internet write weird fiction stories about stuff that already exists, Movies and TV shows and the like. Well, sometimes they write about real people too...” He could tell he was beginning to lose the three women with his rambling. “Anyway, the point is, there’s a bunch of fanfiction about us.”

“What?” Jamie gave an almost disbelieving laugh.

"Yeah, people are writing stories about us. I'm talking making up our futures, our pasts, writing about us in really weird situations like if we lived in this haunted house or if Hannah was actually a ghost..."

"Well, that's charming." Hannah said with a single laugh, cutting Owen off.

"Gotta admit Hannah, you are pretty scary." Jamie joked with a wink, causing Hannah to roll her eyes with a smile.

“So that stuff is bad enough, but it gets worse. When I say 'writing about us’, I actually mean mostly the two of you.” He looked between Dani and Jamie as he silenced himself with his glass of wine. The two women were sat silently with equal looks of confusion.

Dani turned to look at Jamie as Jamie turned to do the same, eyeing each other for a moment under furrowed brows.

“What do you mean ‘us’?” Dani asked cautiously.

There had never been an ‘us’ between Dani and Jamie, though little did they know they had both thought about it. Perhaps both too stubborn, neither Dani nor Jamie had made any attempt to make their feelings known to one another.

“I mean…” Owen paused, rubbing his moustache in thought. “Wait here.” The man quickly stood from the table before rushing out of the room.

When he returned a couple of minutes later with his laptop in hand, the others in the kitchen were still sat in confused silence, glasses of wine emptying faster than they had been before.

Owen sat back in his seat beside Hannah and turned so the women could clearly see his screen. He had the window open still to a webpage dedicated to this so called ‘fanfiction’.

“You see here, ‘Bly Manor’. We have our own category and everything!” Owen explained as the others examined the page, taking in what they were being told.

“You’ve been busy after work, eh?” Jamie asked in a feeble attempt to ease the tension.

“Well, didn't think it needed to be said..." He glared at Jamie as he spoke, "but I’m obviously not writing any of it. But look…” Owen began scrolling the webpage. “Dani and Jamie. Most of them are about you two. As in, people seem to think that you two should get together.”

Dani choked on the sip of wine she had poured into her mouth right at that moment.

“They call it a ‘ship’ I think.” Owen explained. “No idea why, haven’t been on the fanfiction scene that long but it’s clear people really ship you two. Reckon Dani here could do better though.” Owen sent a wink Dani’s way as if she was in on the joke. 

It was Jamie’s turn to reach over the table and playfully hit her friend. Jamie knew he was right but as her friend he could at least have the decency to do a better job of selling her to the pretty American she was obsessed with.

As she leaned over to Owen she caught a closer glimpse of the screen as he scrolled. Something immediately stood out to her.

“Wait, what does that say? Smut?” Jamie snatched the laptop from Owen’s grasp as she dropped back down into her chair so she could look closer at the page. “They’ve written bloody sex scenes about us? Bunch of pervs!”

She scrolled down, reading out to the rest of the table, “smut, eventual smut, friends-to-lovers, fucking strap-on sex! Christ!” Dani could feel her face burning, she knew that as soon as anyone looked at her, she would look ridiculous, like a lobster right from the pot, an unhealthy level of heat radiating from her skin.

She would never admit it, but she had thought about all these things with Jamie before. She wondered what might be going through Jamie’s head at the sight of all these stories about the two of them. She secretly hoped that this might plant some ideas in the brunette’s head, as crazy as the situation may have been. Maybe there could be a silver lining to what was turning into the most uncomfortable evening of her life.

“Oh wait!” Jamie laughed, “There’s a couple of stories here about you two!” She turned the laptop screen towards Owen and Hannah. Hannah’s eyes widened so much Jamie was worried they may fall right out of her head.

“Yeah, nothing like what they’ve written about you two though!” Owen laughed back at Jamie as he turned the laptop back around to face the women. 

Jamie scrolled to herself in silence for a few moments while Dani read over her shoulder. Eventually, she paused to look up from the screen with a grin that immediately worried Dani. 

“You wanna crack out another bottle and read some?” Jamie asked the table though it was clear she wasn’t actually looking for an answer. Owen stood briskly again and jogged towards the cellar whilst Jamie, without hesitation, clicked on the ‘smut’ tag.

Dani and Hannah looked at each other as they finished off their wine. Both were in for a long night.

 


 

“Whoa! Who the fuck thinks Dani would top me?!” Jamie asked outraged as Owen almost fell from his seat laughing. Dani choked on her sip of wine for the second time that evening.

They had made it onto a third bottle. Dani and Hannah had been drinking mostly to the numb the embarrassment whilst Jamie and Owen seemed to be having the time of their lives reading the ridiculous scenarios about themselves. Dani's blush had finally began to fade, seeming to have finally reached a level of intoxicated where she was almost becoming immune to the embarrassment. 

“Bloody Poppins here, could you imagine!” Jamie shook her head, nudging the woman beside her with her shoulder.

It was most likely the amount she had had to drink but Dani found the need to defend herself at that.

“What do you mean?” Her voice sounded more offended that she actually felt but she went with it anyway.

Jamie and Owen looked at her in surprise at her outburst.

Jamie hesitated, “C’mon, not exactly dominant are ya?” She shrugged, hoping not to genuinely offend the woman, not at all expecting her to voice an objection to her playful jokes.

“You really think I couldn’t top you?” Dani asked, surprised at her new apparent confidence in the conversation. She wanted to cringe at hearing herself say 'top' as a verb, but managed to push through it, trying to focus instead on the though of actually topping Jamie.

Jamie locked eyes with Dani to see that they were darker than she had ever seen them. Her pupils were far too large considering the harsh kitchen lights above the four of them. She wondered if her own eyes looked darker, too. Wondered if Dani could tell the effect she was having on her.

After a few moments of loaded silence, Owen cleared his throat. Dani and Jamie looked at the man, startled, somehow forgetting that they were not alone at the table.

“I best be off, it’s getting late and if I drink anymore I'll have Hannah here wine-ing that I'm not fit to drive.” He joked as he stood, grabbing his laptop and closing it in his hands.

“Oh, I’ll see you out, dear. I should be getting to bed myself.” Hannah stood to follow the man.

The two older adults flashed awkward smiles at the women still at the table before giving each other a look Dani and Jamie didn’t quite understand and made their way out of the kitchen and towards the front door.

Dani and Jamie remained sat a little too close to each other in the silence of the kitchen, the atmosphere around them palpable and awkward.

Jamie knocked back what was left of the wine in her glass. She cleared her throat, wracking her brain for a way to leave that wasn’t excruciatingly uncomfortable. She opened her mouth to speak but was interrupted by Dani.

“You never answered my question.” The blonde turned in her seat to fully face Jamie, their thighs were touching, and Jamie could feel the woman’s breath on her face as she leaned in to speak.

“Er, wh-what question?” Jamie’s voice was shaky, and she could feel her palms sweating as she watched Dani closely. She was dizzy and lightheaded but she wasn't entirely sure if it was from the alcohol or from having Dani at such close proximity.

“I asked if you really think I couldn’t top you?” Jamie was amazed at how Dani seemed to go from uncomfortable and embarrassed all night to this. She wondered if it was only the wine that had caused the shift or if there was something else to it. She hoped there was something else to it.

“I mean…” Jamie began, trying desperately to control her voice and not sound so pathetic. She knew what Dani did to her, but she had never before seen Dani like this. It was making her brain short circuit. “Are you saying you could?”

Dani smirked at Jamie before giving her a playful shrug. She reached across to her glass and drank what was left of her own wine, licking her lips deliberately as she leaned back into Jamie’s personal space. The blonde leaned in slowly until her lips were just inches away from Jamie's ear. 

“I'm saying I could show you.”