(Okay so this is actually a Sokeefe fanfiction, inspired by something Rida posted on the KotLC Discord. I'm still pretty much Fitzphie, but I enjoyed writing this! Hopefully something for y'all Sokeefers to enjoy!)
Part 1: The Encounter
Keefe’s heart ached deeply. Tears threatened to break through his barrier, but he held them back. He had to be happy for Sophie.
But he couldn’t take his eyes off the cuff she was wearing.
Fitzroy Avery Vacker.
Sophie was prattling on about a new book she’d read, sitting on her bed, but he couldn’t listen. He couldn’t think. He couldn’t breathe.
That should be his name.
Fitz couldn’t be the one for her. It was Keefe, wasn’t it?
A tear leaked out of the corner of his eye, and he tried to push it away quickly. This wasn’t right. He had to be happy for her. He didn’t deserve her.
Then he realized Sophie had stopped talking.
She was looking at him, concerned in a way that made him want to scream. She made her choice, and he had to live with it. That was all there was to it.
“Keefe?” Sophie reached for his hand. “Are you okay?”
“I’m—I’m oka—” His words stuck in his throat.
“Keefe,” Sophie looked at him gently. “Are you okay?”
“Sophie.” Keefe looked away. “This isn’t important.”
“You are important.” Sophie creased her eyebrows.
Keefe swallowed. “I just… Sophie…” His eyes were drawn back to her cuffs.
Sophie followed his gaze and sucked in a breath. “Keefe? Is this about—do you—” She pulled her hand away. “You don’t—you can’t—”
Keefe turned away quickly, walking across her room toward the door. He shouldn’t be saying this.“Sophie, I can’t do this. I shouldn’t be going against your happiness.”
“Keefe?” Sophie stood abruptly. “Keefe, don’t leave!”
He looked back at her. A tear escaped. “Sophie… I have to let you go.”
Sophie ran. She grabbed his arm, eyes filling. “Keefe, we… we could try it!”
“Try… it….” he repeated, at a loss for jokes. “Try it?
“Sophie, this isn’t something you ‘try.’ You can’t just… test boyfr—us out and drop us if you don’t like us. That’s not how it works.”
Sophie recoiled visibly, and Keefe winced at his own words. “I’m sorry, Sophie—I didn’t mean that!”
She turned away. Keefe heard a sniffle. “No, Keefe, you’re right. I can’t use you like that. But…” She stopped. “No, I can’t ‘but’ this. Keefe, I like you.” She blushed. “I mean I like you, normally, or maybe I guess I like you, like like-like you?” She spoke quickly, frazzled. “I don’t know!”
Keefe finished his walk to the door, opened it, and stepped out.
“Sophie, it’s just… You must know.” He glanced at her crush cuffs and ran his fingers through his hair. “I wanted to be your first choice just this once. I thought you would choose me. I thought I had something better. But now that you’re matchable, I guess I’ll never be your first choice.”
He closed the door.
Part 2: Ro
“She had WHAT on?”
Keefe winced at Ro’s yell. “Crush cuffs, Ro. She had on crush cuffs.”
Ro whipped out a dagger and waved it around, her pink braids flopping. “THEY BETTER HAVE HAD YOUR NAME ON THEM, OR I’VE GOT A FIGHT TO START.”
Keefe sighed and closed his eyes. “Ro… I’ve just got to let go.”
“She was YOUR lady and that jerk had the NERVE to take her away, and I will KILL him.” Ro gave him a sweet smile. “Don’t get in my way.”
“Ro, she’s not mine! She was never mine!” Keefe wiped tears from his face.
Ro snarled, but she sheathed her dagger. “That charmboy doesn’t deserve her.”
“But, Ro, that’s exactly the problem.” Keefe sobbed. “He does deserve her. He does. I never had her, but I lost her. She’s not mine. She never was. She’s found her match, and it’s not me.” He took a shaky breath. “And I have to live with it.”
“You DON’T have to live with it!” Ro insisted. “I could get you that girl in ten seconds flat!”
“Ro.” Keefe shook his head. “She made her choice.”
Her eyes softened, and she came to sit down next to him on his bed. “Keefe, she doesn’t realize that you’re the right choice. You need to show her.”
“I’m not getting in the way of her happiness.”
“But you already have! Do you think she’s just gonna ‘get over’ your little encounter today? She wants to choose you! You have to show her that you’re the right choice!”
“I’m not the right choice, Ro. I’m not. The right choice is the person she chose. The one that isn’t broken.” He turned away.
Ro opened her mouth, then closed it. With a growl, she stalked over to the door to stand guard.
And Keefe wept.