"Woh Papa ji, Mami ji, aaj main tohri dehr se aaungi. Dr. Bansal aane waale hai aur main unka lecture nahi miss karna chahti."
Fateh's ears perked up at the sound of his wife's voice and he turned slightly in his chair to look at her. Casually, he reached for another slice of toast but his curiosity was getting the better of him. If she was coming home late, it gave Fateh the opportunity to take her out for a motorcycle ride in the guise of picking her up. Maybe even get some ice cream.
"Koi gal ni puttar ji, jidho lecture khatam hou ga, Fateh nu phone karli," Khushbeer spoke, his eyes light.
Papa ji, sachi main mere love angel aap hi ho, Fateh thought smiling down at his breakfast.
"Waise bhi Dr. Bansal is such a strong vision of Punjab's future. Itni choti si umar main he's made such progress in youth mental health," Khushbeer added, this time to Fateh's dismay.
Choti si umar? Kitne saal ka hoga? Doctor hai but lecture bhi dhe raha hai, Fateh reasoned with himself.
"Haan ji Papa, actually Dr. Bansal graduated only five years before me from my college. When I was in school our professors always talked about him. He's like a revered senior for me," Tejo gushed and Fateh nearly dropped his food.
He looked at Tejo then and he swore he saw a blush spread across her cheeks. Fateh clutched the butter knife in his hand and furiously scoured his pockets for his phone. Trying to hide nausea he was feeling, Fateh got busy googling 'Dr. Bansal' on his phone. Millions of hits from across the world pulled up and Fateh nearly yelled.
"Naam kya hai," he started to speak, tightness in his throat, "Dr. Bansal ka?"
Tejo's eyes lit up and she turned to her husband excitedly. "Veer. Veer Bansal. He started a mental health awareness campaign for your college too did you know? That's where the lecture is tonight as well. Lecture saath baaje tak hoga, tum aa jaoge na?"
Fateh was already scanning the google search results and when he only found articles praising the man, he hit the image section. He was handsome. Dr. Veer-older-than-Tejo-by-only-five-years-Bansal was handsome. He was handsome. Fateh's eyes widened and he closed his phone abruptly.
"Fateh?" Tejo's soft voice called to him and the excitement in her eyes was too much to bear for him.
"Haan. I'll be there. 7 o'clock. At the north gate," he bit out.
Mahi watched her brother and hid behind her parontha to keep from laughing. Fateh veer ji was panicking and she knew better than anyone what that looked like. The crazed look in his eyes. The jerky movements. The furious googling she just so happened to see on his phone.
"Waise veer ji, aap bhi chale jayee na, Tejo bhabhi ke saath," Mahi pushed, her voice teasing.
"Kyun? Main kyun jaaoon?" Fateh pushed back, wanting to throw his dahi at Mahi.
"Fateh tum aa sakte ho. Public lecture hai," Tejo shared, too busy humming and buttering her toast to see the storm inside Fateh.
"Nahi jaana mujhe. Text kardiyo bas," Fateh huffed, pushing back from the table and walking away from the table.
He felt her before he heard her, Tejo's small hand on his shoulder blade and the warmth was enough to calm him down. She pulled at his elbow, turning him around to face her and she placed her hand on his forehead. Fateh looked at her quizzically and she pulled away, placing her hand on his stomach. Tejo frowned and Fateh nearly caught her hand to move it. She was too close.
"Hmm fever toh nahi hai, pakka bhook waala gussa hai. Hangry ho?" Tejo giggled, tilting her head to give him his favourite smile. The Tejo is teasing you smile. The smile he baited her a hundred times a day to catch a glimpse of.
"Oh hangry wangry kuch nahi hoon. Kya hai? Mujhe practice pe jaana hai," Fateh retorted, knowing full well that his irritation from moments before was already leaving him at the sight of her smile.
"Accha sorry. But eat before you go or you'll be even more hangry after practice. Accha main jaa rahi hoon. 6:30 main tumhe text bi kardoon gi. Theek hai?" Tejo asked, her hand still resting on his elbow.
Fateh couldn't hide his admiration and all the tension left him. He nodded and her hand on his elbow squeezed him reassuringly. He smiled as he watched her walk away, saying goodbye to the family and leaving a small kiss on Mahi's cheek.
The realization that she was walking away from him and towards this Dr. Bansal set in quickly after her absence. Perhaps he could show up early and see what the hype was about. He texted Buzzo to change their plans after his practise session so he could follow his wife to Dr. Bansal's incredible lecture.
By the time four o'clock rolled around, the entire day had felt an eon long for Fateh. All of practise he was tormented by the image of his wife smiling at the sight of Veer Bansal. Tejo's flushed face because of her excitement to meet him, her renewed energy from the buzz of finally listening to the man in person.
"Oh Fateh, tu tension kyu lehta hai yaar? Tejo bhabhi bas ek colleague nu milna chaandi aa, aur kuch nayi," Buzzo reasoned with his best friend.
"Fikar na karoon toh kya karoon?" Fateh whined, sipping his iced coffee dry.
"Can I say something?" Buzzo laughed, picking up his own iced coffee.
Fateh gave him an exasperated expression and Buzzo took it as his cue to continue.
"Tujhe kabhi itna tadapta hua nahi dekha veereh," Buzzo said, chuckling to himself.
"Oh tu rehnde. I should get going to see what all this hype is about. Can't miss getting a seat to listen to this wonderful man," Fateh bit out, pushing back his chair furiously.
As he left the cafe he could hear Buzzo laughing at him from behind but Fateh paid him no heed, he had more important things to do. Namely, investigating the man his wife seemed to have an outrageous amount of adoration for.
Fateh didn't even realize when he'd gotten to his old college, but he was parked before he could recognize his surroundings. As soon as he got off his bike he saw the giant poster for Veer Bansal's lecture and he nearly kicked his bike in an odd rage. Fateh took a deep breath and followed the signs into the lecture hall, trying not to let the fangirls admiring Veer Bansal get to him.
The lecture hall was just as he remembered it, a large cavern with rows of seats that went as far as he could see. The room was curved and there were at least 70 steps leading down to the front of the stage. He moved awkwardly past a hoard of students and found a seat at the end of one of the top levels. Nervously he looked around the hall, wondering if Tejo was already there. As he cocked his head every which way to see if his wife was anywhere to be found, he caught a glimpse of a familiar shade of red.
Tejo's dupatta trailed alongside her and her bright smile lit up the small corner of the hall she stood in. She clutched her giant purse close, no doubt full of notebooks she needed to mark. Fateh couldn't help himself, he let his gaze be pulled into her. To him, Tejo had become a small planet and he couldn't help but be caught into her gravity. She was compelling in a way no one else could compare and for the thousandth time, he wondered how he had never noticed her over Jasmine. The confidence Tejo exuded, the intelligence she displayed and her never-ending wit kept Fateh on his toes constantly. Being around Tejo, having the privilege of so much as talking to her, was a rollercoaster of a ride.
Tejo seated herself at the front, naturally, and Fateh sighed in exasperation. Not thinking twice he stood up quickly, running several levels down to find a closer seat. Tejo laughed as she shared something with her coworker and Fateh nearly stumbled into someone as his eyes never left her. He felt foolish, in a way he had never felt before. When he'd followed Jasmine to catch so much as a glimpse of her, his fervent desire for her was all-consuming in a way only first love could be. But with Tejo it was different. With Tejo everything was different.
Loving her was a thrill he would never become accustomed to. From the moment they woke in the same bed, sometimes him before her which only meant he was allowed stolen moments of watching her in peace, and sometimes her before him which meant he would be woken out of his slumber by her beguiling scent blooming in their room. To the hourly banter that never left them, no matter what the circumstance. Where even in the middle of arguments she would say something that would cause him to forget why he was angry in the first place. It didn't matter anyway, he could never truly be furious at her. Tejo was everything he had never known he wanted and treasuring every moment he had with her had become his priority.
Mumbling a soft sorry without so much as sparing a glance at the person he'd bumped into, Fateh continued down. The lights began to dim and he knew the man who was the source of his day-long irritation was going to be introduced soon. Fateh felt like he was playing musical chairs when he finally found a seat three levels behind his wife. He could see Tejo clearly and every time she flashed a smile at her colleague, Fateh smiled as well.
The lights cleared out and the spotlight on the stage illuminated a small one in a grey suit. She addressed the crowd and Fateh rolled his eyes, frankly not caring what was happening on stage. He turned his head to focus on his wife, whose sole attention was fixed on the stage. Tejo's eyes were hidden from view but at the very least Fateh could note her profile and with an expressive face like hers, he knew what she was feeling at that moment. The anticipation was not something she could hide and Fateh felt sick in his stomach again. This was feeling was unlike anything Fateh had ever known and even the small envy he felt when Jasmine flirted with other men was nothing in comparison to this. Tejo's eyes gazed at the stage in adoration and Fateh clutched his knuckles.
As soon as Tejo had joined her position as a lecturer in her college again, Fateh had come across a new facet of their journey together. A hungry need to be worthy of the woman she was. Fateh had always felt that he was at a disadvantage with his age in regard to his equation with Tejo, but he had compensated for that with the qualities he knew only he could bring to their relationship. He was her best friend, he knew better than anyone who Tejo was, but in his attempt to make her see him as something more, Fateh hadn't realized just how over his head he was.
Jasmine had been easy for Fateh, with Tejo's help and the insistence of the Canada fantasy, Jasmine's false love was an easy hurdle to win. Tejo's attention and her affection had been a slow, torturous pleasure for Fateh. Tejo's intelligence was sung about nearly every day in the Virk house, from Papa ji's praises to Mahi's. Tejo who had accomplished so much in such little time, whose every dream was to make Punjab proud, had climbed the ranks in his house as everyone's favourite and it had been no easy feat. Every time Tejo challenged Fateh she never made him feel small or foolish, in fact she empowered him. Tejo had a way of speaking that made him feel limitless as if her belief in him could put him on the moon.
It had taken him months to realize her power, but he knew that her colleagues and people like Dr. Bansal would have recognized her straight away. Fateh was never academically inclined, he'd worked hard to gain a notable degree and accreditations, but the fervour for academia that Tejo displayed was never something Fateh had been interested in. He envied the kids who sat in her classes, listening to her speak passionately day in and day out. He envied her colleagues with who she no doubt had stimulated conversations on her breaks.
And he envied people like Veer Bansal, who in another world would have been the man of Tejo's dreams. A man who wanted to work in collaboration with Punjab's youth to bring reform and progress to their state. A man whose morals and dedication could never be betrayed by a false love's whim. The thought of the devil brought him on stage and the sick churning in Fateh's stomach increased tenfold. Tejo's entire body softened at the sight of Dr. Bansal on stage and he saw her visibly relax in her chair, leaning back into it. Fateh breathed harshly through his nose and looked back up on stage.
The son of a bitch was even more handsome in person. How was that even possible? Not to mention that every word that came out of Dr. Bansal's mouth was welcome with a round of hard applause and cheers. He was intelligent but his work was a result of his compassion, which made him even more admirable. Fateh ran his hand through his thick hair, envy seizing every part of him. He was a rational man for the most part, yes he indulged his fantasies quite a bit, and yes he was prone to impulsivity, but envy was not something he had ever found himself on the tortured end of.
Was this what Tejo had always dreamed of? A man who could stand side by side with her, whose dreams aligned with her own, whose work was an accomplishment of progress and future hope?
The lecture blurred before him, but Fateh's eyes never left Tejo and his mind raced in betraying thoughts. When the lights rose in the lecture hall again Fateh quickly averted his eyes and raced up the stairs. He needed to breathe, he needed space away from the crowd. He turned his phone on and saw that Tejo had texted him minutes before, asking if he was at the gate. Fateh raced quickly to his bike, riding it out to the gate he had promised Tejo he would be at. He took a deep breath and watched her descend the main steps with a few colleagues. She looked like light, but to Fateh she always did. He had always felt like a moth drawn to her flame, knowing it would burn but wanting to be burned all the same if it meant he could be near her.
As she neared him he belatedly realized that she had never had the opportunity to introduce him to her colleagues before. He straightened himself, running his hand through his hair quickly and looking into his bike mirror. At the very least he could look presentable, even if he didn't feel it.
"Toh yeh hai, the famous Fateh Singh Virk," one of her colleagues commented and Fateh's smile faltered.
Tejo had mentioned him to her coworkers, at the very least more than once if he was famous.
His wife's smile was inescapable and she put her hand on his arm, Fateh's muscles tensed at the contact.
"This is my husband, Fateh Singh Virk. The hard-working boxer who is making Punjab proud with every match he wins," she boasted and Fateh's heart soared.
It was something only Tejo was capable of, making him feel as if he were the single most important person in the universe. Her coworkers smiled and said a collective greeting, but Fateh could not look away from his wife.
"Pata hai, in his last match he beat a record? I'm very proud of the work he does and he's an inspiration for so many of our students. A man with a degree and a passion. Haina Fateh?" Tejo continued, looking back at him with utter admiration in her eyes.
Fateh simply nodded but he could feel his skin flushing from her compliments. Tejo bid a hasty goodbye to her coworkers and turned back to Fateh with her full attention. And then he saw it happen like magic, just as she'd done in the lecture hall, her gaze softened and her body relaxed. But on the receiving end, it was him, no one else.
"How long were you waiting?" Tejo asked, getting her foot up on his bike.
Fateh adjusted his stance, straddling the bike and handing Tejo her helmet.
"Not long," he whispered, catching sight of her in his mirror.
Her small hands fell at his waist and Fateh's breath hitched. He straightened and then with both hands pulled her hands forward so that her arms circled his ribs. He cradled her hands together so that they sat in a tight grip around him. His hand lingered on hers for a beat too long and then he felt the length of her rest on his back.
"Ghar chalein? Neendh aa rahi hai," she whispered, sleep heavy in her voice. Fateh's mind felt blank from the sensation of her warmth and he forced himself to breathe.
In ten minutes not only had she managed to knock down every insecurity that had haunted him since the beginning of his journey with her, but she had managed to reassure him as well. She had looked towards him, leaned into him, and was now safely holding him to her.
Tejo's heart was open and Fateh was walking right into it.
"Yeah, let's get you home and into our bed," he said softly, a private intimacy colouring his voice.
Veer Bansal ho ya Shah Rukh Khan, Tejo Singh Virk hai toh meri wife, Fateh smiled to himself, and now all he had to do was make her realize it.
A/N: Heyo FaTejo stans! I am not really sure what got me to write this OS but I guess wanted to write something that was green with envy but in a natural way for Fateh. What I've always loved about these two is that Fateh's boyish charm and tendencies, combined with Tejo's logical but steadfast nature, make these two so compelling together. They complete parts of each other they don't even realize. Fateh is younger than Tejo but the way he displays his haq as her best friend, it becomes so easy to root for him. Tejo may be older than Fateh but she craves the kind of love only his pure-hearted, puppy eager self can give. And by God do I want to watch Fateh SWOON at the sight of his wife. We saw enough of his swooning when it came to Jasmine, but with Tejo I want it FULL FORCE. I want him smiling like a shy man and giggling to himself, I want him dancing with no music and I want him to fantasize to no end!! God I can't wait for these two to fall in love!!!
Ohmygoodness! You nailed it! (Again, as usual!)
I love how you highlight Fateh's insecurities. They're completely valid and my heart goes out to him every time he feels that Tejo is way out of his league. The fact is, they're both in different leagues and yet complement each other so well. Tejo has the brains, he has the brawns, and they both have the heart. Together, they make such a well matched couple! Their emotional intelligence towards each other is a treat to read about - the way they lean on each other, support each other, go above and beyond for each other - you describe it beautifully! ❤️
What I loved the most about this OS is how you described the lecture hall, LOL! Sounds silly, but those details helped me visualize how massive and crowded the space is, and in spite of that hustle and bustle, Fateh only had eyes for Tejo. Their surroundings amplified how drawn they are to each other.
I fully agree that Fateh's love for Tejo should be all-consuming and it should literally drip out of his pores every waking and walking second of his life!Edited by masin - 7 days ago
Topic started by vena.cava.
Last replied by FaTejo4ever