people say she's bad, but they don't see the way she's with me
Posted originally on the Archive of Our Own at

Teen And Up Audiences
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Ride the Cyclone: A New Musical - Maxwell & Richmond
Astrid (Ride the Cyclone)/Hank (Ride the Cyclone)
Astrid (Ride the Cyclone), Hank (Ride the Cyclone)
Additional Tags:
saw that there are no lovebite-centric fics and decided to take matters into my own hands, First Kiss, Mutual Pining, Skipping Class, theres a tag for that??, Teenage Dorks, No Angst, Fluff, Everybody Lives, me after accidentally worldbuilding for the thousandth time: whoopsies, Tooth-Rotting Fluff
Published: 2022-12-31 Words: 3,333 Chapters: 1/1

people say she's bad, but they don't see the way she's with me


" “Astrid isn’t gentle. Or kind to anyone, for that matter.”

Hank rolled his eyes and took another handful of chips from a bag laying between them.

“She is. You just don’t see it.” "


Astrid and Hank skip class. Unexpected consequences follow.


today? i offer you lovebite fluff. tomorrow? who knows.

sorry if the ending feels a little ooc or just iffy i got braces 2day and let me tell you they HURT like a bitch

if you see any grammar mistakes or anything of that sort dont be afraid to comment it!!

big shot out to lbgc on twitter :D !!

title from P.U.N.K. Girl by Heavenly

people say she's bad, but they don't see the way she's with me

He can exactly remember their first kiss.

It was one of the rare sunny days in Uranium. School year was nearing the end, finals right behind the students, and even the teachers didn’t bother trying to make them quiet. Nervous holiday energy buzzing in the air, making everyone restless.

Lessons are basically useless now. Especially Creative Writing, class Hank took up to escape from Sister Jeanne, who taught almost every single English-related subject at St. Cassians. Since mid-May, Hank would just take out a book of his own and scribble whatever the lesson’s subject was on a spare paper. Not to mention that his teachers, Mr. Delorme, who everyone called Mr. Baldy, had such a boring voice and little respect from students the only one who actually paid attention to his class was Ocean.

So, when Astrid asked him if he wanted to skip the next period, it was more of a question of “where” than “if”. Because any occasion to spend more time with Astrid was a good occasion. She was so funny, hilarious even. She made him feel like he’s a good person. And she didn’t treat him like some sort of a joke, like most kids at their school did. Even more, when she saw one of them saying something mean to Hank, he couldn’t even remember what, years of being insulted in practice, she almost leaped on them in anger. But to him, she was gentle and kind to him, despite matches of playful insults between the two of them. He always knew it was a joke – a good-natured one. It never felt offensive.

When he told Noel that, he looked at Hank like he was crazy.

“Astrid isn’t gentle. Or kind to anyone, for that matter.”

Hank rolled his eyes and took another handful of chips from a bag laying between them.

“She is. You just don’t see it.”

Noel scoffed.

“You are so fucking blind sometimes Hank.”

And now he was hiding out in the second floor boys’ bathroom, waiting for Astrid to come and get him. She told him during lunch that she had a surprise for him, and that she will try to sneak out of Trigonometry – fortunately, not far from his current hiding spot, but the risk was always there.

Hank was playing some mind-numbing mobile game when the bathroom door slammed, and he immediately stopped. As quiet as he could, he put his phone – which wasn’t really allowed on school grounds, such a stupid rule – back into his backpack and shuffled it to his lap, so there wouldn’t be a shade below the gap.

Someone walks into the room, footsteps heavy and something metal clanking.

“Hank? You there?”

Oh. It’s Astrid. A small smile creeps up on his face and familiar butterflies wake up in his stomach.

“Here! Middle cabin.” He kicks the door to his best ability with the tip of his shoe. He shifts again and his backpack falls to the floor, as he opens the door lock. It opens with a loud creak, at which he winces.

Astrid stands on the other side. She has a small smirk decorating her face, dimples visible, blue eyes crinkling with some sort of plan behind them. Her uniform’s collar is ruffled, just like her hair. Strands that have escaped from her low ponytail fall on her face, framing it beautifully. Her hands are fidgeting by her sides with the material of her dress. Her school cardigan is tied around her hips.

Light from a big window falls from behind her, making her look like some sort of fallen angel. She just lacks wings and a halo.

One of fallen angel's hands reaches out to Hank. “Come on. I have something to show you.”

He takes one more moment staring at the hand in front of him before clasping it tightly. Her hand is warm, but not clammy. It’s rough and dry, with a healing blister or scrape here and there. He can feel the subtle way her fingers are crooked from years of being outdoors, and it’s everything Hank thought holding her hands would be.

He doesn’t have a lot of time to ponder, because Astrid tugs at his hand and suddenly they’re running out of the bathroom and through St. Cassian’s halls.

Hank tries to help himself with the crutches, but they can barely touch the ground before he takes another quick step, guided by Astrid. His backpack hangs uncomfortably from the crook of his right elbow, banging against his hip.

Fortunately, St. Cassian’s high school building isn’t known for its size and soon enough they are running out of another side exit Hank didn’t know about. Probably Mischa and Penny’s influence – the two have the best knowledge of their school’s secret passages and unused doors.

They walk from steep stairs, surrounded by tall bushes. The doors creak, indicating they haven’t been used in a long time. Astrid walks down the stairs backwards, still holding one of Hank’s hands. A thought flows through his mind – maybe she’s trying to secure him? Make sure he doesn’t fall?

She lets go of his hand as soon as his crutches touch the ground. Hank looks around – most of the sun is blocked out by the tall trees, though some rays fall between the thick leaves. It looks like they’re in the forest beside their school. But they just left it, no way it’s that close.

“Where are we?”

“Secret passage. Mischa showed me. Come on, I have a fun place.” And then she smiles at him in a way he can’t resist.

One of things Hank likes the most about hanging out with Astrid, that is there’s no awkward silence. They could be doing anything, not saying a word, and they still understand each other. Hank cherishes it – most, if not every silence he’s ever been in was incredibly awkward and made him want to escape anyhow. His family is pretty loud, his younger sister taking up the most space and voice, so he’s kind of the black sheep of them – quiet and socially awkward.

Leftover autumn leaves crunch under their shoes. Astrid’s heavy combat shoes obliterate them out of the way for Hank, who is stepping behind her with his worn-out black Converse. One constant thought in his mind every single time Astrid is around is “She’s so cool.”

Because Astrid is cool, effortlessly cool, cool in a way your older sibling’s rebellious phase friends were.
His mind clears up after a few minutes of walking, to ask a very important question.

“Where’s your backpack?”

Shit. He wasn’t supposed to say this one. Shit. It was a distant thought that was never supposed to be verbalized, and his stupid mouth decided to say it. Fuck. He was supposed to ask where are they going. Shit.

Astrid turns around on one heel and fucking winks at him. Hank might just have a heart attack. “Didn’t bring it. Fuck school.”

Hank nods and smiles in agreement. Inside it's like a second sun has been turned on, all of his insides melting under its warmth. Jesus fucking Christ.

They keep walking, and eventually Astrid turns to the left, so Hank follows. She walks into deeper bush, path now even less clear, only some footprints saying they're on the right path. Astrid brushes away branches from her face, and Hank ducks them, like in some sort of game.

Finally, Astrid begins to skip down a few rocks and looks around, analyzing her environment. Then, out of nowhere, she dives into thick bushes head-first, crawling deeper, soles of her shoes disappear behind the tall grass and branches, and for a split moment Hank thinks he will become a key witness to a mysterious death case.

Suddenly, one of Astrid’s hands reappears from the darkness. Hank gets the idea and holds onto it for the second time that day – second! – and after he kneels down enough to go into it, she guides him, much gentler this time, through the thick bushes. Various sharp parts of it brush against him, he closes his eyes to protect them and tries putting one arm over his head, though it doesn’t take long for him to finally get out.

He dares to open his eyes.

"Woah! It's like a little cave in there. How did you find it?" He looks around in awe, a smile tugging on his lips.
It’s a crook in the usual almost prairie look of Uranium. Fallen, crooked tree hangs over them, from a big rock all the way to another bush, moss and other various wild plants covering the tree. The big rock, covered in moss, the base of a tree, sits firmly in the highest point, with a hole drilled in the middle of it. Few empty beer bottles sit neatly under the rock, and he sees a cigarette pack laying somewhere nearby. It really looks like a cave – the only thing lacking really are rock walls from the other three sides.

Astrid sits under the rock, picking up shattered glass with her bare hands. Hank doesn’t even question it. "Penny did. Her and the girls hang out here sometime, so don't wonder about any cigs or anythings."

Few beats of silence pass between them. Hank moves closer to Astrid, sitting down and resting against the rock wall. He looks up. “Looks like a bear could live here. I hope we’re not disturbing their home.”

Astrid giggles faintly, head still low as she carefully handles glass in her hands. “No bears. And if there is one, I can fight it.” Hank raises his brow. “I fought a bear once. And won!” In demonstration, she rolls up her sleeves and outstretches her arms towards him.

They are decorated with scars, some deep and some shallow, wide and scratchy, mostly resembling those from something being dragged inside of them. They go from her wrists, spreading like wildflowers all up to her elbows and higher, but above they are covered by her uniform’s sleeves. The biggest one is deep, wide and lighter than her natural skin tone, starting below the wrist, entwining her arm from behind and ends above her elbow.

They look so cool. All of them.

Astrid never fails to amaze Hank. She’s absolutely amazing, in every way. She’s like a mystic creature, light in the forest in the middle of the night, seemingly so open but mysterious in nature, and just barely out of reach of his arms. But he doesn’t mind the chase.

Astrid is worth everything.

And she’s currently looking at him with a puzzled, but amused face. Oh no. He must’ve been staring. Hank immediately tears his eyes away from her, and she chuckles once again. She shuffles closer to him on the soles of her feet and plops down.

Hank opens his backpack and pulls out a bag of Green Onion Lays chips. Astrid raises an eyebrow at him.

“Isn’t it prohibited at school?” Hank pops the bag and passes it to Astrid, who eagerly dives her hand in it.

“Yes.” Astrid looks at him and laughs out loud, bending in half. Hank noticed that when she laughs, her top teeth bite down a little on her bottom lip and it’s just fucking adorable. Astrid has many little habits, others being beating out “I Kissed A Girl” on her cheek when she’s focusing, or forgetting to tie her shoelaces, or always walking into a room shoulder-first.

They sit in silence for a while, only sounds being chewing of chips and rustling of the bag.

Astrid pokes him gently on the shoulder, and when he turns to her, she clears her throat and puts one hand in her ponytail. Another one of her habits, Hank notes.

“You know, that when I was driving from airport after coming from Ukraine… Ocean’s parents stopped on a gas station. And that guy selling there… He was named Hank. And every time I thinked about Hank, I saw him.” She looks over to Hank. Her gaze is deep, like she’s lost in her thoughts, blue eyes darkening to a pretty shady color that reminds him of a stormy sky. It makes Hank absolutely positively paralyzed, the way she looks at him. “But now… When I think Hank, I think you.”

Hank lets a grin overtake his face slowly. His head lolls to the side, but he maintains eye contact. He can feel his face burning up. It doesn’t feel awkward this time. It’s like they were made for this, sitting less than a feet apart, staring deeply into each other’s eyes.

"Thank you. Astrid. Really."

"Thank you Hank. You're really... Sweet."

Astrid leans forward, and Hank’s body naturally follows her.

Their noses are so close they almost squish together.
In a sudden surge of confidence, Hank puts his hand on Astrid’s left cheek, and she leans into it. Her hair brushes against the top of his hand, tickling it. And suddenly, Hank almost drops dead on the spot, because the gravity of the whole situation suddenly crashes into him. He is skipping school with his crush, in the middle of a forest, alone, just shared a bag of chips and now are about to kiss – if he understands her actions correctly.

She leans a little bit forwards, if that’s even possible. He can feel her breaths, ragged and somewhat shaky, on his own lips. “Can I kiss you?”


He finally closes the distance between them.

It’s like being in heaven. He practically can hear the angel choir welcoming him there after suffering a major stroke after his crush, the prettiest girl walking on Earth kissed him. Well, at least that is how Hank imagined heaven, or rather what their school fed them since first grade.

Suddenly, they are raised up, above the clouds, flying. Hank’s stomach churns a little and his throat is dry as Sahara. They are the only people in the world. The space around them feels timeless, not physical, unimportant. The only thing that Hank cared about in that moment was Astrid, Astrid’s salty lips and her hand finding his.

Because there was nothing in the whole world that could top kissing Astrid. Not a great ballet performance, not the tastiest birthday cake, no amount of listening to his favorite movie soundtrack. It was like he had fireworks in his stomach all the time, ready to burst, just a match away, and they only exploded when Astrid’s lips touched his.

Her lips are rough and chapped. She tastes like the Green Onion chips and chocolate, but Hank welcomes the taste with open arms. He welcomes all of Astrid with open arms, because there is nothing she could do that would make Hank fall out of love.

It’s a bit awkward. Hank’s neck went a little stiff, and Astrid’s body bends in a weird way for their lips to stay connected, but he doesn’t care. It’s Astrid, and he’s kissing her, and she’s kissing him, and he wishes for the moment to never end.

Astrid is the first one to pull away. Truthfully, when Hank lost the feeling of her lips on his, he might have choked on his saliva a bit.

She looks a little intimidated, which is highly unusual for her, but her gaze is full of adoration and pride. Hank’s hand stays on her cheek, and she makes no indication of wanting for him to take it off. Hank’s other hand and one of Astrid’s are interlocked by fingers behind them. Hank might have squeezed it so hard that he can feel her knuckles pressing onto his hand.

He wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Was I… good?”

Hank squeezes her hand and the corners of his mouth raise. A ray of sunshine sets on them, making Astrid's eyes sparkle in the most beautiful way.

“Best.” And Astrid’s smug smile reappears on her face, any trace of uncertainty gone.

She dives in for the second kiss. Hank positions himself in a way that won’t kill his neck and kisses back. Astrid wraps one arm around his neck, fingers tangling in Hank's outgrown hair. Their lips touch and touch, savoring each other's taste.

It's simple. It's not like in movies, where actors practically each other's faces. Him and Astrid move in their own time, own way, own space, as fast or as slow as they want. Pressed against each other, they exchange tiny kisses, lips brushing like butterfly's wings. Their cheeks met, noses squish, soft skin brushes against soft skin. They give in to the touch easily, like it's the most natural way of life. Like they were made for this.

Hank's cheeks burn like a bonfire, but it's alright, because Astrid is there with a bottle of water to help extinguish.

Once a while they go for a deeper kiss, lips meeting for few beats longer, moving slower, lingering, not wanting to ever let go.

Hank can smell how Astrid faintly smells of tobacco and Ocean's perfume. The smell is so Astrid it makes Hank swoon.

He feels like a lovesick schoolgirl in the best way. He always longed for this kind of love - puppy love, making out in empty classroom, skipping school together, staring into the other person's eyes, feeling grin creeping on his face when the person walks in. And Astrid gave him that and so, so much more.

He smiles into the kiss and feels how Astrid smiles back. Their teeth clang together and both of them erupt in giggles.

Astrid presses one more kiss to Hank's lips and pulls away, still close enough for him to count every eyelash. Her eyelashes are blonde, like she is, but she paints them with mascara sometimes. Like today.

Her gaze is focused on him. Her eyes shine bright, resembelimg clear blue sky in summer, and they are crinkled and half-closed from how hard she's smiling.

"Do you know you have freckles?" She asks. Her voice is soft and quiet.

"Yeah, they come out when I tan. So, not a lot." Hank almost-whispers back.

"They're pretty." And then, she leans down and starts peppering kisses all over his face, trying to kiss every freckle.

Hank is so in love he might explode. His heart is beating like he just ran a marathon. If he drops dead right there right then, he would be the first victim of being too in love.

“I want to squish you.”

Hank is still smiling, though his eyebrows raise in an expression of loving confusion. “Excuse me?”

Astrid's tongue clicks and she starts waving her arms around, trying to find English words to express herself. Unfortunately, that means she let go of his hand. Hank already misses the warmth of it.

“In a good way! In a good way." She looks back at him. So much feelings in a simple look. Slowly, Astrid creeps up to his face to press a kiss on his lips once again.

“I’m still disturbed.” Hank says jokingly, and Astrid rolls her eyes. "You need to pay out my insurance for emotional damage."

"Can I pay back in kiss?"

Hank's face goes red again, despite thinking it can't get any worse. "... I assume."

He catches a side smile before he's attacked by Astrid's lips again. They're all over his face - not only lips, but his cheeks, jaw, nose, eyelids and forehead too. Her kisses and loose hairs hanging from her already messy ponytail tickle him, and he tries to scamper away but she just follows, putting one hand on his chin and turning it back in her direction.

She finally lets go after she decides Hank has been kissed enough. He's totally blissed out, mind is a static buzz, the only things he can think about is Astrid and how good he feels.

It's probably evident in his expression, because Astrid starts laughing. Her top teeth catch on bottom lip again and Hank’s grin grows ever wider, if that’s physically possible.

If Astrid is with him, he's all good.

Even better. He's happy.


End Notes

ill probably edit it in the morning im on that 2am grind rn 💪

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