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not in my books (burning my study)

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you and ben should make out iajs

“Oh, ew,” Beatrice says, recoiling from her laptop. “Ew.”

“What is it?” Hero asks, peering at her screen. They’re doing their socially-antisocial thing, where they curl up next to each other on Hero’s bed and scroll through Tumblr and/or YouTube and poke each other if they see something funny and/or awful. “Shitty anon hate again?”

“Worse,” Beatrice says. “Someone on the internet thinks me and dickface should make out.”

Hero, to Beatrice’s immense surprise and no little sense of betrayal, laughs. “That’s not that weird. They just ship you.”

“They what now?”

“They ship you,” Hero repeats. “You know, like how you want the guys from Flight of the Conchords to make out.”

“I happen to think,” Beatrice says, with great dignity, “that Bret and Jemaine would have a very meaningful romantic relationship, thank you very much. And there’s no way that’s what this random internet person thinks. Not about me and Benedick. Come on. That’s ludicrous.”

Hero shrugs, but it would look a lot more innocent if she weren’t basically smirking right now. “I don’t know,” she says, “some people like a good love/hate dynamic.”

Excuse me? There is no love here, only pure, unbridled hatred.”

“Mmhmm,” Hero says. “Apparently the internet disagrees. Ooh, I wonder if there’s fan fiction.”

“No,” Beatrice says.

“No,” Beatrice repeats, as Hero brings up a site called Archive of Our Own and navigates to the Nothing Much to Do section.

“Oh, fuck no,” Beatrice says, as Hero sorts by kudos and clicks on the topmost link.


“It has come to my attention,” Beatrice starts, “that some of you people on the internet think that me and Benedick should-” She shudders. “I can’t even say it. It’s too disgusting.”


“It has come to my attention that some of you people on the internet are even more weird and creepy than I thought,” Beatrice says. “Does no one fucking listen to me when I say I’m not interested in romance? Anyone? Anyone?”


“It has come to my attention that some of you people on the internet... ship... me and... Benedick.” Beatrice grimaces. “Which is just so weird, how do you even come to that kind of conclusion? If you’re going to ship me with someone, which, whatever, it’s your lives, why not Pedro, or Ursula? People I actually like and spend time with! Not fucking- ugh.”


“It has come to my attention that some of you people on the internet,” Beatrice says, with no small amount of venom, “are imaginarily invested in mine and Benedick’s imaginary relationship. What the fuck, guys. What the fuck.”


“It has come to-” Beatrice buries her head in her hands, rocking gently back and forth. “It has come to this.”


“He’s not even hot,” Beatrice says. The camera’s still on, but she stopped looking at it some time ago. “He’s not even, like, mildly attractive, what possible appeal even is there?”

“I mean, it’s not like I’m shallow,” Beatrice says. “Even if he looked like David Tennant, I would still find him repulsive. He’s- he’s horrible. He’s nowhere near as funny as he thinks he is. He wouldn’t know what loyalty was if it got down on one knee and proposed to him. He’s unapologetically sexist. He could give Narcissus a run for his money. And he- he looks like he got dressed in the dark, most days, come on.”

“Definitely not hot,” Beatrice adds, just in case her ceiling was in any doubt.


“People on the internet ship us together,” Beatrice announces.

Benedick sort of backs up a little against the wall that she cornered him against after their English class. “They what now?”

“They ship us,” Beatrice repeats condescendingly, like she didn’t just learn the meaning of the word yesterday. “They think we should be in a relationship, or they want us to be, whatever. They think we have a whole love/hate thing going on. It’s disgusting.”

Benedick laughs, pitching forward a little bit with it. “Clearly,” he says, “the internet has discovered the truth: that when you say, “I hate you and wish you’d go rot in hell,” what you mean is, “I love you.” It’s okay, Beatrice. You can admit it now. I won’t laugh too much.”

Beatrice glares at him, and realises, very suddenly, how little distance there is between them. “Not if we were the last people on earth,” she says, taking a giant step back, “and you got an entire personality transplant, and a face transplant to boot.”

Benedick leers at her. “Talk dirty to me some more, baby,” he says, and she makes a disgusted noise in her throat before storming off.


“Seriously,” she says, glaring so hard at her camera she can feel her face twisting with it, “so repulsive.”


Beatrice vows to never even think the word fanfiction again until, a week later, she's scrolling through her browser history for a YouTube video that's nebulously relevant to her history presentation and she sees the Archive of Our Own link.

Despite her better judgement, she ends up clicking on it, bringing up the Nothing Much to Do fandom page again. Curiosity killed the cat, she reminds herself, as she clicks on one of the links at random. Killed it. Stone cold dead. Nothing good ever comes from-

Oh, who is she kidding.


Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Archive Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Category: F/M
Fandom: Nothing Much to Do
Relationship: Beatrice Duke/Benedick Hobbes
Characters: Beatrice Duke, Benedick Hobbes, Pedro Donaldson, Hero Duke
Additional Tags: Fix It, what should have happened after the bath tub video, why does the universe not love me, Bathtub Makeouts, i love that that's already a canonical tag
Stats: Published: 2014-06-01 Words: 3672 Chapters: 1/1 Comments: 3 Kudos: 27 Hits: 218


The Bathtub of Emotion



What if Beatrice walked into the bathroom instead of Pedro?


i watched the bathtub video repeatedly while writing this and it probably makes no sense i'm sorry you've been warned

Beatrice frowns. The fic looks absolutely terrible, barely any exposition before pretend Beatrice and pretend Ben start - graphically, very graphically, Beatrice really did not need those images in her brain - making out. It's the link in the author's notes that she's curious about. Bathtub video? Presumably it's one of Ben's. She's certainly not made any videos in any bathtubs recently, because she is a normal, well-adjusted human being, and not a freak.

She clicks on the link, suitably curious. She really hasn't watched any of Benedick's videos yet, so she's not really sure what to expect. But from the title -- 'pedro's beeetch??!!!?!!1!!' -- and the Batman costume Ben wore to Pedro's party, she thinks she has some idea.

“Okay. How- how can she know me and yet not know me at all? Pedro's bitch. Ha ha. Hilarious. Maybe people call me that because I'm the Robin to his Batman.”

Beatrice snorts.

“Maybe I give the impression that everything just bounces off me because I don't take life too seriously.”

“Yeah, dickface, that's the problem,” Beatrice retorts.

“Unlike someone- some people,” Benedick corrects himself, obviously trying to appear like- like the better person, or something; god, he's such an ass, “I could mention. But, no no no no no, that's wrong. I'm being too cynical.”

Beatrice frowns.

“It's just Beatrice's egotistical, bitchy personality that makes her think that everyone must share her bitter little-”

"Why are you watching Ben's videos?" Hero says, popping up behind her, and Beatrice jumps.

"Why didn't you knock?" she retorts, surreptitiously pausing the video.

"Door was open," Hero says blithely, which is a lie, her cousin is a liar, Beatrice always knew she was a fiend. She tells Hero as much, but Hero just hooks her chin over Beatrice's shoulder and starts flicking through her tabs. "Oh, you were reading the fix-it fic for Pedro’s party, I love that one."

"You read fic about me and Ben?" Beatrice is apalled. And ashamed. And betrayed. "What on earth do you see in it?"

Hero reaches around her to scroll to the bottom and click on the kudos button. "I could say the same to you, LadyDisdain."

Beatrice scowls. So what if she signed up for an account on the goddamn site the day Hero showed it to her. So what.

"I am just," Beatrice says, "keeping tabs on this- this thing. That people are doing. That involves me. That's reasonable, isn't it?"

"Of course," Hero says, actually genuine for the first time since she snuck into Beatrice's room. She squeezes her arms around Beatrice's shoulders, kisses her cheek. "If it bothers you that much, I'll never mention it again, you know that."

"I know," Beatrice says, sighing as she leans back against Hero's chest. "It's- it's fine, Hero, it's actually mostly funny at this point. I mean, me and Benedick? Hah. Ha ha ha ha ha."

"Good," says Hero, grinning, "because I have a ton of recs for you."


“What you reading?” Pedro asks, leaning over, and Beatrice quickly thumbs out of Chrome on her phone, says, “Oh, nothing.”

“Really,” Pedro says. “Because Ben’s said, like, seven incendiary things in the past five minutes and you haven’t even looked up once. I think he’s upset.”

Beatrice glances at Benedick, whose gaze shifts elsewhere in the way that means he was totally just staring at her. Beatrice narrows her eyes, distracted enough that Pedro can swipe her phone from her grasp.

“Oi, give that back!”

“Oh, you were reading the Stargate Atlantis AU,” he says. “That one’s my favourite, just wait til you get to the end.”

Beatrice snatches her phone back, scowling. “Is this a thing for our group now? Next you’ll be telling me Meg writes long, involved headcanons about us on tumblr, and Claudio makes photosets of Hero’s face.”

“Relax,” Pedro laughs, “Hero just linked me to some stuff. People are kinda into me and Balthasar, it’s cute.”

“Cute? Doesn’t it bother you?”

Pedro arches his eyebrows. “That people like to imagine me in a relationship with Balth, or that people like to imagine me in a relationship with a dude?”

Beatrice scowls. “You know what I meant. You two are just friends and-”

“Exactly,” Pedro says. “We’re friends, and what people think about us doesn’t change that.”

“I wonder if Balthasar feels the same way,” Beatrice says archly, and Pedro frowns.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing,” Beatrice says, “just. It’s different, anyway. Me and dickface don’t even like each other.”

Pedro laughs so hard he ends up choking, and Beatrice, Ursula and Meg have to pound on his back until he can breathe again. Except then Hero and Claudio return from wherever they were canoodling and ask what’s so funny, and that just sets Pedro off again.

“Ugh,” Beatrice says, because everyone’s suddenly looking at her all meaningfully. “See you at the sleepover later, guys, I’m going to class.”


“Just because it has an alternate ending doesn’t mean you get to pick it,” Beatrice tells Meg, and her camera, because this is important and the people of the internet need to know her important feelings about Scott and Ramona.

“The author’s dead, Beatrice,” Meg retorts, “I can pick whatever I damn well-”

Her phone goes off, for like the millionth time that night, and Meg glances distractedly back at them as she wanders off to answer it. Beatrice doesn’t know why she bothers; they all know it’s Robbie, and as much as none of them really like Robbie, they would just pause the movie for her if she asked.

And then shamelessly listen in on her conversation, of course.

“Meg’s just forfeited her chance to pick the next movie, and I’ve won by default, so I guess we’re watching the Breakfast Club,” Beatrice says gleefully, before switching off the camera.

Meg comes back during the dance montage, but after picking up the jumper she borrowed from Hero, disappears again, mouthing an apology over her shoulder. Beatrice figures she’ll be back when the movie ends – she’s never liked it, which, whatever, Beatrice is mature enough to be friends with people who have wrong opinions – but half an hour after the credits have finished rolling, Meg still hasn’t resurfaced. Whatever, her loss.

“So what did you say to make Pedro nearly die laughing at lunch today?” Ursula asks, when Hero herself disappears to the kitchen to check on the cookies she’s making for her party.

“Nothing,” Beatrice insists, feeling her cheeks heat. “We were just talking about fanfiction. Has Hero dragged you into the whole thing, yet?”

“Bea, I’ve been in fandom for years,” Ursula says, looking kind of amused. “I was trying to preserve the fourth wall, though, so I’ve mostly tried to stay away from your side of things.”

“Oh,” Beatrice says. “Right. That sounds quite sensible. I mean, people ship me and Benedick, which is just weird, but some of it’s kind of really cool. I was reading one about us all being Stargate teams earlier.”

“SGA AUs are a bit old school,” Ursula says, “but they are pretty fun. Send me a link?”

“Here, I’ll just find it on my phone,” Beatrice mutters, thumbing through her history. As she navigates through AO3, though, something catches her eye.


Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Archive Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Category: F/M
Fandom: Nothing Much to Do
Relationship: Beatrice Duke/Benedick Hobbes
Additional Tags: Schemes, Canon Compliant, oblivious asshats in love, and their most excellent friends
Stats: Published: 2014-06-15 Words: 5839 Chapters: 2/? Comments: 10 Kudos: 27 Bookmarks: 4 Hits: 573


Team Love Gods



The gang decides to get Beatrice and Benedick together. Will their scheme work, or will it backfire spectacularly? (This is fic. Of course it works.)


I made t-shirts. This should totally happen, am I right?

“Team Love Gods?” Beatrice echoes, unimpressed. “Gotta give them credit, at least, that does sound like something you guys would do.”

“Let’s see?” Ursula says, leaning over. “Oh, this is spot on.” She clears her throat, then starts reading after the long and largely pointless paragraphs about what everyone’s wearing, and where they’re all sitting in Hero’s room, and how handsome Pedro is. ““The other day, I was hanging out with Beatrice for six hours. She was going on about something Ben said. And then, that night, I was hanging out with Ben. Guess what he talked about! It’s ridiculous.””

Beatrice frowns. That’s... weirdly specific. “I take it back, this story has not a shred of realism. A shred.”

“Uh huh,” Ursula draws out, as she goes back to reading. She laughs suddenly, says, “Agreed, fictional Pedro, “Beatrice is a B is a good title for a song.””

““Imagine the return song she would then write,”” Beatrice reads. “Which, yes, totally, fictional Balthasar, I would ruin him.”

“I would film it beautifully and put it on the internet,” Ursula agrees, and they both go back to reading.

When they get to the scheme their fictional gang eventually decides on, Beatrice has to actually sit back and laugh. “That is the most ridiculous thing,” she says, “I have ever heard. Read. Whatever.”

“I don’t know,” Ursula shrugs, “I think it could work.”

“You don’t have to agree with yourself just because somebody put the words in your mouth,” Beatrice says. “Anyway, you can’t just trick people into liking each other. Trick them into realising they like each other, maybe, but luckily we’re in no danger of that happening since there is nothing for either of us to realise.”

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks,” Ursula says, and Beatrice throws a cushion at her.


Hero’s party... happens.

Beatrice is going to cut out Claudio’s heart and eat it.

She takes Hero upstairs and lets her cry into her shoulder, strokes her hair and rubs her back and calls Claudio all the things that would never even cross Hero’s mind. She would’ve stayed with Hero all night, all week, forever, but Hero eventually gently pushes her away, and Beatrice can do that, too.

Ursula’s already crossing the hall to get to her as Beatrice comes downstairs, pulling her into a hug that makes her crumple just the tiniest bit. Beatrice is so glad she’s here, and is even gladder when Ursula slips around her to go upstairs.

“How is she?”

Beatrice startles. It’s Benedick. Why is it Benedick? What is he even still doing here?

“Your friends left already,” she says. “You here to rub salt in the wound?”

“I would never,” Benedick snaps, and if Beatrice didn’t know better, she’d think he sounded hurt. “What Claudio did was horrible, and Pedro- there’s no way I was leaving with them.”

Beatrice laughs, because her other option is crying, and, no, no, not in front of Benedick fucking Hobbes. “Knew it. Go on, then. Hit me with it. I might actually hit you back, I’m in that sort of a mood.”


“She's awful,” Beatrice says. She sits down hard on the bottom step, pulling her knees up into her chest. “Is that what you wanted to hear? She's heartbroken. She's fucking distraught.”

Benedick sits down next to her, their knees just touching. He puts a tentative hand on her shoulder, and when she doesn’t shrug it off, squeezes.

“It’s good that she’s got you,” he says. “To be strong for her, I mean.”

Beatrice laughs again, but this time it's just hollow. “Spoiler alert,” she says, “I'm not the strong one.”

If this were fanfiction, this would be the point that Ben would lean in and kiss her, or Beatrice would kiss him, whatever, it doesn’t have to be the guy doing the kissing. But it’s real life, and Hero is still crying upstairs, and Beatrice is so angry she feels sick with it.

“Yes, you are,” Benedick says. “It’s my favourite thing about you.”

“Not hard when you hate everything else about me,” Beatrice says, and it isn’t supposed to sound so honest, but she’s too tired to try and take it back.

“I don’t hate you,” Benedick says, and Beatrice just laughs. “Seriously!”

“You- you called me bitchy and egotistical. And bitter.”

“You watch my videos?”

“I watched one,” Beatrice retorts. “The stupid bathtub one, at Pedro’s party.”

Benedick frowns, goes, “Which stupid bathtub one at Pedro’s party?” and Beatrice has to laugh.

“You made more than one? Was the bathtub of emotion a whole thing?”

“A little bit,” Benedick says, and Beatrice stops laughing.

“I thought you didn’t take life too seriously,” she says, then adds, under her breath, “despite the fact that you’re a giant drama queen, of course.”

“Sorry,” Benedick says, “are you the pot or the kettle, here? I mean, you’re the one who just woke up one day and decided you hated me for no reason at all.”

“You’re the one who forgot I even existed when I went home.” There’s a lump in Beatrice’s throat, and she hates this, she hates it. “And when I came back, you had a new best friend, and you didn’t want to hang out with me any more.”

“That was years ago,” Benedick says, frowning. “Bea, we were still kids.”

“Hello, have you met me?” Beatrice huffs. “Beatrice Duke, I make holding grudges into an art form.”

“True,” Benedick says, and when Beatrice looks up, he’s smiling. “You wouldn’t have spent all this time being mad at me if you didn’t still care, though.”

“You wouldn’t keep rising to my taunts if you didn’t still care,” Beatrice retorts, and the arm that’s been resting against her shoulder wraps all the way around, pulling her into Benedick’s side in a sort of half-hug.

“So, that’s a thing,” Benedick says. “We both still care. Wonderful.”

“What if the internet is right,” Beatrice says, very quietly, “and when I say, “I hate you and wish you’d go rot in hell,” what I mean is, “I love you.””

“Bea,” Benedick wavers, “I wasn’t serious.”

“I am,” Beatrice says, and kisses him. It’s sloppy, and a little awkward, since she basically just launched herself at him and hoped for the best, but Benedick has his arms wrapped all the way around her and she has him pressed against the wall, and it’s not anywhere near perfect, but Beatrice has never wanted perfect.

From behind her, Beatrice hears Ursula cough. She whirls around, but it’s far, far too late.

“We’re talking about this later,” Hero tells her, and her smile might be thin, but it’s genuine. Beatrice jumps up to crush her in a hug.

“You okay?” she asks, low in Hero’s ear, and Hero nods, says, “I have an idea.”