you know what? yeah there are two sexes. the one i had with ur mom and the one i had with ur dad 😎
October sky is my comfort film now
A/N & WC - I do not know Tom, Jake or Ryan, nor do I claim to. This is a work of fiction. Series masterlist. 5k words.
Warnings - very angsty towards the end, Ryan Reynolds being Ryan, allusions to slutshaming and assault, talk of loss of a family member and Jake's films prisoner & southpaw.
Summary - Your date with Tom is fast approaching, you turn to your dad for some fatherly advice, and his friends for some better advice, considering your dad's crisis over your first date. Will your confidence carry you through your anxieties?
“Dad, can you help me choose an outfit?”
“Course I can sugarplum, just, why?”
His words die out with a faint trail and are followed by senseless mutterings about what’s on the telly. She sighs, completely exasperated, her robe wrapped incessantly tight around her body as she thunders her footsteps around the house until she reaches the living room. He’s got a game on, a glass of water gripped tightly in his fist and bound to go all over the floor in three… two… one…
“COME ON!” he screams.
Thankfully, only a drop or two falls to the floor, the rest of it spills onto Boo Radley, prompting Jake to discard his drink and leap up from the sofa, instantly seeking out his pupper, scooping him up and cooing apologies amongst kisses.
“I’ve got that date tonight, I told you. Then again, you were rather drunk, so that’s my bad.”
Shrieking with excitement he flings his arms around his daughter. “My Y/N’s first date! Oh this is so exciting, I’ll help choose your outfit right now.”
Jake doesn’t leave games for anything, especially not in such a sprightly manner, so when he turns the TV off and practically bounces into her room, she can't help but feel special. Maybe telling him it’s Tom right now wouldn’t be such an awful thing.
“First... who, where, when, why? And are they a he or a she... or a they?”
“He is someone you don’t need to worry about, he’s just taking me out to dinner at some Italian place on Greenwich, and I told him to meet me there at seven.”
“Why isn’t he collecting you?”
“What do you think?” She glares at him and gesticulates wildly all around. Not necessarily the mess of her bedroom but more just the whole… house. Awards with her dad's name on them, family photos with all the Gyllenhaals, the easily recognisable dogs, the general Jake-ness to the place, and a framed picture of him and Heath Ledger, a man who was just as much family to them as anyone she’s known. Well, all of that is the reasoning she gives Jake, cautiously omitting the fact of the matter that Tom would in fact recognise her block and her home the second he arrived outside in decent enough light due to the fact he was just here yesterday.
“And besides, who knows if we can trust him to know the secret?”
“This is how I know you’re my daughter,” he smiles warmly, “you’re really damn smart.”
“I know,” she chimes, “and I already told him the rules.”
“Good girl. Now show me those outfits.”
Having spent far too much money shopping days earlier, her closet is overrun with dresses she doesn’t need and will likely never wear. Jeans, too, and they certainly won’t be helpful tonight. She knows what Tom likes, what he wants, the sort of style he likes on a girl: hip, minimalistic (she means that in a literal sense), sleek. That isn’t her style, not at all, so it’s all about finding a happy medium.
By the end of ninety minutes, she fears her door might drop off its hinges from the amount of opening and shutting it does between outfit changes for her, none of which worked out. Mini dresses, midi skirts, blouses, crop tops, co-ords, nothing seemed to work, not even the trouser suit she’s been saving for a special occasion. Many outfits a young woman wouldn’t even dare to try on in front of her father, but Jake gives honest advice, nothing about wearing a longer skirt or telling her she’s showing too much chest. She’s always been taught that it’s her body and to do what she wants with it, wear what she wants to, act how she wants to, and should anything happen, it’s Jake’s problem, and he’ll snap them in half, a fact he willingly demonstrated the second anyone tried anything… and he swiftly put Y/N into self defense classes, so that she could take people down looking like a boss. That’s just the kind of dad he is, and he’ll never slut-shame his daughter for wanting to wear something she likes on a date.Today, his only comments are on the vibe of the outfit, on the weather and if she’ll be warm enough, whether it suits her current complexion and hair length, but with every outfit he tells her the same thing. “You look beautiful.” What sort of dad would he be if he didn’t hype up his daughter? A decisive one, that’s what, because his endless compliments do nothing to help her choose. It’s a long afternoon, and she’s soon running out of time, so Jake takes a leaf out of Tom’s book and slaps his thighs as a substitute for excusing himself, standing up, ready to leave Y/N be.
“You’ll look lovely in whatever you choose,” he declares, watching her as she turns towards him in her vanity chair, the last outfit still on her, even if the zip is now half undone. “You always do. Wear what you feel the most comfortable in, he’s stupid if he doesn’t think you’re the best girl out there. And if he hurts you tonight, tell him I’ve got a .45 and a shovel.”
“Thanks, dad,” she responds, a sad smile gracing her lips as she looks up at him through thick lashes. “And I hate to break it to you, but you need to shave, your beard just looks patchy now.”
“Hey!” he protests, “I take great pride in my facial hair.”
“Far too much. Shave it off.”
He laughs, gripping to the doorframe. “Will it get me more girls if I do?”
“I bloody hope not!” she exclaims, throwing her hairbrush at him “do it for your job, and you’ve got that alum dinner coming up that I’m burdened with too, which I shan't attend if you have that monstrosity on your face.”
“God alright, moody cow,” he eventually concedes, squealing as he slips from her room, narrowly missing the hit she puts out with her chapstick, flinging it long over her shoulder.
He shuts the door behind him and instantly begins to fret, making his way towards the dogs to sit, and hopefully not mull over his fears, as he wonders who the hell is taking his daughter out tonight.
She knows she has another hour and a half in her room if she wants to be done and ready in time, so she sits doing her makeup, carefully brushing the shadow over her eyes, adding an extra lick of mascara to her usual, dabbing some nude lipstick on, styling her hair, running a brush through the ends and her roots, smoothing it all over with her fingers. She’s just about to flick through her clothes again when a knock sounds on her door and it pushes open just a sliver.
“Someone on the house phone for you,” Jake says, holding it in his outstretched arm.
Confused, she darts her tongue out from between her lips and tucks her hair behind her ears, taking it. “Oh, that reminds me, Aunt Maggie called last night while you were out. She’s nagging me to get a boyfriend.”
“Perhaps after tonight you will! Excited?” he teases
“Yeah, a bit,” she answers, not really thinking straight, “but don’t tell uncle Ryan,” she implores, desperation evident in the puppy eyes she pulls.
“Too late! He’s on the call.”
If looks could kill, Jake would be sprawled out on the floor, so he makes a desperate break for it while he still can, his laughter following him around the house and invading Y/N’s stressed brain even after she slams the door shut. Ryan Reynolds on the phone giving her dating advice? Not the best stress reliever. In his way, he talks her ear off for twenty minutes while she goes about trying on more things, flicking through every outfit from before as well as some more, when eventually, she slips into one last dress, and it just feels right. Her favourite occasion dress, the one she’s only had the chance to wear once before but served her excellently, just as Ryan finishes his lecture about what she should wear to give off the right vibe.
“Wear something classy. But not too classy, you don’t want him to think you’re a prude, but then again, he shouldn’t be thinking about sleeping with you unless Deadpool will be on his case. Whatever you wear, you won’t look like a slut, and I trust Jakey to tell you what to wear, but don’t have it too low or too tight or too short, ok? You know what men are like nowadays, tsk, and Blake will tell you the same thing, but you should wear what you feel will suit you and the mood of the evening. Where’s he taking you? Somewhere nice? Is it in the city? Ooh, inside or outside? You should wear a jacket anyway, but only a thin one, then he’ll do the chivalrous thing and give you his blazer. Do you think he’ll wear a blazer? Ooh and what shoes are you wearing? Blake would say high heels, if you were around then she’d be sharing her shoe collection with you, but since you’re not then you have me to deal with, and I must say I recommend against thigh high leather boots because that’ll just give him the wrong vibe you know? So are you thinking dresses or a sk—”
“Will you shut up if I tell you who I’m going out with?”
“YES!” he yells, almost deafening her with the shrill excitement, even with it on speaker and halfway across the room.
“Ok, but you’re not allowed to tell dad. Promise?”
He hears the inflection in her voice but is too excited to escalate those feelings, practically bouncing off the walls, “Can I tell Blake? Can I?”
Y/N slams her finger to the volume button on the phone, desperately decreasing it as a preventative in protection of her remaining ear drums, just as Blake’s dulcet tones appear.
“Y/N is telling us who she’s going on a date with but we can’t tell Jake!” he blurts.
“Hey hon, who is it? Anyone we know?”
She takes a deep breath: in through her nose, out through her mouth. “Tom Holland.”
Jake certainly hears the repeated scream of his name coming from Ryan’s end of the line, she’s absolutely sure of it, and proceeds to face palm. He screams for another minute straight before taking a breath, she thinks, and proceeds to offer her muted sympathies to Blake, who wholeheartedly congratulates her and apologises on behalf of her husband.
“Full time occupation I presume.”
“While he’s distracted,” Blake hisses, “run. Before he gives you his safe sex talk.”
“Oh, he’s already given me that, in great detail. Sex ed, a protective dad chat, and telling me to get some all in one.”
“God, I’m so sorry,” she laughs.
“It’s fine, I mean dad hasn’t even broached the subject, and I don’t plan on sleeping with him tonight.”
“Hmm, well, those nights are always the most dangerous,” she teases, “you already know what I’ll say. Just be true to yourself, and be safe in all aspects of the evening.”
“The most beautiful thing you can wear is confidence,” they say together.
“Thank you, Blake.” She disappears on the end of the line, leaving Y/N to speak to Ryan now he’s calmed down a fraction. “Uncle Ryan? I’ve decided, I’m getting ready now, I’ll send you a picture, but I need to get ready.”
“Yes, of course, Y/N. Your dad must be so proud, you’re growing up so quickly!”
“I’m twenty,” she says in a complete monotone, her face unmoving as she searches through for a jacket, perhaps his advice wasn’t all dreadful.
“Well, good luck tonight, have fun, and wrap it up.”
“Not listening!” she shouts, “bye, love to the kids.”
And he finally hangs up, leaving her free and able to exasperate. He’s an absolute gem, a well meaning darling, always so excited for her achievements like he’s really her uncle and not just her dad’s loopy best friend. How Blake puts up with him, she’s not sure, but Blake says the same about Y/N having put up with Jake her whole life. They’re excited that it’s Tom though, approving, pleased. That’s a step, right? One of the people closest to her dad thinks she’s made a good choice in lieu of having his opinion. She really is just overthinking everything. Apart from Tom. She knows he’ll be lovely, she knows he’ll compliment her no matter what she wears, she knows he’ll be the kind soul he always is with that extra humour sprinkled in, she just hopes he doesn’t feel the same tension she does. Will their past aid and abet them tonight, or will it send everything crashing down before it’s even begun? She certainly hopes for the former, and also that the dress will bring her good luck, with the way the fabric clings to her waist and skims her hips, ending closely just below her knee, the dark material fitted to her shape just enough. The last step, ankle booties, that actually support her feet enough that, despite the heel on them, she’s unlikely to snap her bones.
A final pat down, to make sure she has all the essentials in her jacket pockets, that her hair is still ok at the roots, that her lipstick is still on, that her dress isn’t sticking up, that her perfume smells strongly enough but not too strong.
When she appears in the doorway of the living room, where Jake is sitting nervously, biting his thumbnail, with no music on and nothing on the TV, both of the dogs keeping him company, she thinks she’ll combust. There’s a pressure building inside her, rushing in her chest, images of Tom and Tom alone blurring her vision.
“Dad?” She stirs him from his reverie.
Eyes darting up at her instantly, he stands upon instinct, but it feels like the floor has been ripped from beneath him, and five Y/Ns appear, swiftly blending into one when he feels her touch on his arm.
“Dad? Are you ok?”
Tears begin to well in his eyes, clouding his vision. If his gut feeling about this date and who it's with is right then no, he’s certainly not ok at all. But gosh if he isn’t a proud as hell father right now.
“My baby’s all grown up,” he chokes out, gripping her hard. “You look beautiful, sugarplum. So beautiful.”
“Dad it’s not prom or anything,” she mumbles shyly, unable to meet his eyes.
“I know, but that douchebag you dated before didn’t do anything like this for you. It’s your first proper date. It’s monumental.”
He knows how he sounds, so overzealous, so ridiculous, but he couldn’t be prouder. She’s achieving everything, the young woman he raised from when she was the same size as a watermelon. And even better, she looks like him, she’s got the same dark hair as he does, the same piercing eyes, but she’s so damn perfect that he’s not sure how dickhead nineteen year old Jake was able to create something so brilliant, so life changing. And all she’s doing is going on a date.
“Can I take a picture of you? Just to send to Aunt Maggie and Uncle Ryan?”
She nods sheepishly, and picks his phone up off the coffee table, handing it to him carefully. Maybe Tom will react this way, she damn well hopes he does, or else what’s the point? She poses, just a normal one, offering the camera a small smile, flicking her hair over her shoulder.
“Now get a picture with Boo and Atticus, it wouldn’t be a special night if they weren’t messing up your clothes.”
Damn right, it’s like a dog’s job, but after so many years of outfits being destroyed by dog fur, Y/N doesn’t care, and picks Boo up, sitting on the arm of the sofa with Atticus on the seat by her side, paws in the air.
Jake snaps a fair few photos, airdropping them all to her phone instantly, muttering “Perfect” after each shot.
“I’ll post these to the family facebook.”
“No you won’t!”
“Try me,” he challenges, that battle worthy smirk pulling at his lips. Unsurprisingly, she dons that same expression.
He knows she doesn’t have time, though, and tucks his phone away, removing Boo from her body, and by doing so, giving her a chance to brush the worst of the fur off her before her departure. He can see it in her eyes that she’s thinking about him, about the date, anxious it’ll go wrong. And if he’s learnt anything throughout his years of dating (many relationships of which have ended in headlines of the utmost hilarity and incredibly good breakup songs written about him) it’s that a nervous person doesn’t need to be reminded that they’re nervous, or told to just be themselves. Y/N knows to just be herself, it's all he’s ever taught her, to be unapologetically who she is and to stay safe. She’ll do brilliantly. It’s the boy he’s more concerned about, and that’s somewhere in those worry-misted eyes of hers too, hidden beneath her nervous muscle clenches. She wasn’t this nervous on her first day of Columbia (which he accompanied her on, what parent wouldn’t?) and he was proud of her on that day, posting about it on the family facebook wall.
“Are you sure he's a good guy? You like him?”
Her chest visibly deflates in relief, happiness tugging at every angle of her face as she fights off a smile. That’s answer enough for him right now. “I do, dad, he makes me feel all tingly and nice, and he flatters the hell outta me. I feel like you’d like him too, he’s a proper gentleman and I’m sure he’ll be real good to me. He’s rich too, and young.”
“As long as he treats you well. Go out there and have some fun, but if there’s a second date, I expect to meet him first.”
“Ok, dad,” she answers as she fixes her earrings in the hallway mirror.
The growing tension between him is something he doesn’t like but at the same time, can’t fight. If he is to meet this person, something he’s undecided on, he needs to know the basics. “Just to be absolutely sure he is a dude? I don’t want to accidentally meet him tonight and get pronouns wrong.”
“Dad, he’s a man, a straight white man.”
“Okay darling, I just don’t want you to think I’m forcing you to only date one gender, I’m open you see?” He opens his arms to mirror his words, a somber expression on his face.
“Says the man who has strictly dated rich straight white bleach-blonde models for the past two decades,” she says, completely inscrutable, turning to him with dead eyes, the faintest twitch of a smirk. She learnt this insolence from him.
Knowing his threats aren’t all that threatening, he takes a shot anyway. “Watch that mouth missy or I’ll ground you!”
“Have fun trying.” Yeah, he probably shouldn’t have done that, because she’s unendingly challenging through all of her habitual daughterly care tasks.
He pokes out his fingers and pinches Y/N’s waist, forcing her to flinch away from him with an aghast grin cotorting her features.
He just stands away, and laughs at her reaction and stroppy walk until she almost walks into the big framed photo on the wall, a somber expression passing over his face then. He approaches her, the two of them just gazing up at the smiling faces on the wall pensively.
“He would be so proud of you right now.”
“Thanks dad,” she replies, hugging him around his tummy.
Late family members and friends are always a touchy topic with her dad, and she gets why, but it's just... funny. She was so young when they died, but she knows how much they all meant to her dad, how soft he is on the inside, the memories he shared. She remembers what her dad said, how she was the only thing that got him through the tough times, having someone there to hold and cry to without having to talk about any of it. She’d like to think she’s always helped her dad that way, and she always will. But she can see it on his face that he’s worried, he just looks tired, and he doesn’t do tired, that’s what betrays him. When she grows up, gets a boyfriend, gets her degree and moves out, she’ll forget about him; that’s what his mind has convinced him. She just has to prove that won’t happen. A girl always needs her dad.
She smiles sadly, tapping her dads back briefly. “You should go out tonight, take your mind off it.”
“I know. I have plans. No drinking involved tonight, I promise.”
“Ok, good.” She pauses, and moves away to collect her keys and her phone from the side board, but she stops, and turns to peer over her shoulder. “Are you... ok with this?” she asks hesitantly, the pitch of her voice rising.
His deep breath that moves his whole burly chest up and down, followed by running a hand through his unstyled hair: he has no plans of going out, she can see as much. “Of course I am, I just want you to stay safe,” he kisses her forehead. “Now go before I change my mind.”
With Jake’s blessing, she moves a little freer, even if it is given with great reluctance. Tom will be waiting for her, she’s sure, looking dapper as always with that mischievous smile to match the twinkling glint in his eyes. He’ll be wearing a nice shirt, he wears them a lot, and his arms will fill out the entire sleeve width, naturally. His curls will fall into his eyes if his hair is long enough, and his voice will be deeper than usual, the way he always tends to make it when he’s flirting with someone. The thought of seeing him again makes her fingertips tingle and her core burn, butterflies erupting in her throat.
She gathers her things and herself, and straightens her spine, righting the angle of her hips, ready to make her way out, but not before hugging her dad one last time.
“Be home by eleven, alone. No hands. Have you got your rape alarm? Phone? Everything else I told you to pack earlier?”
“I’ve got them all, dad, don’t worry.” She says, adding a slight breathy chuckle at the end to ease the anxiety in her own tone. If she doesn’t stop him now, he’ll get a checklist out, and she’ll never leave.
“I do worry though, Y/N. You’re my only daughter, my baby girl, and you’re on a date looking so grown up.”
“Dad, don’t cry,” she warns tenderly.
He swallows thickly, “I won’t, I won’t I promise. I’ll have my phone on. Call me if you need me, good luck. I love you, kid”
Keys in hand, the elevator door opens, and she steps in. “Love you.”
And the doors close, her final glimpse of her dad one of his strained fake smile to make her feel better in herself, when really, she can see he’s just aching to give her date a stern talking to, but other than that, she feels good in herself, especially with the texts that begin flying in. Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Maggie, Uncle Ryan, Uncle Hugh, they’re all commenting on the photo of her with the dogs that Jake has posted on their private page, all comments hyping her up the same way Jake just was, compliments flying in.
Nothing like confidence to leave the house with.
In 2013, Jake did a film called Prisoners, and on press for it, he had to have half of the tapes wiped. It was a film about a man whose daughter was abducted alongside her friend, and he had to investigate it. He had to have a therapist on set, he barely left Y/N an evening or a weekend alone without calling her or skyping her or flying over, desperate to see her. The thought of his real life reflecting his film terrified him more than words could say. The nightmares turned to daymares while he was filming, and have followed him ever since. How he could ever tone down his care, he doesn’t know, because it’s a real risk, he’s heard the stories. It’s still his greatest fear, and it always will be. It was before, and even now with the blossoming young woman she’s becoming, he fears even more. Men can’t be trusted, and never again will he let a man lay a finger on her the way his ‘friend’ once did. She’s his treasure, his daughter to protect, the best thing that ever happened to him. That’s why he can’t face leaving the house tonight. He’ll just end up crying outside, worrying himself sick. The city is a scary place, and people can’t be trusted, but he knows he can’t take her everywhere.
The making of Southpaw eighteen months later was just as hard, perhaps even worse, and required Y/N to take a semester off school, working remotely with her dad. It was a film that mirrored the possibilities of life, and making it caused him months of heartache. Almost every day she was on set with him, holding his hand before every shot even at her big age of fourteen. There was a therapist on that film too, on set especially for Jake, to keep him from going into a similar spiral to that of his character, but really, despite all the training and the help, he kept breaking down. Paranoia ruined him, taxed him. No one would ever take his little girl from him, so all the pain, all the hurt he shows in that film is real, that’s his heart acting. Anguish took its toll on him, and made his performance better than before, authentic, fuelled by torment.
There was one scene where his daughter had to run up and hug him, all battered and bruised, and Jake had asked Y/N to stay off the set for the day. It was too violent for her, too scary, but she’d already taken the term off, and had to see him. As she entered the room, unbeknownst to her, the cameras started rolling, and she ran. Screaming and bawling, she ran to her dad, flinging her arms around his neck, clutching to him, trying desperately not to look at his bruised face as he held her back and whispered reassurances into her ear. On the B roll, there’s an actual clip of that. She took over the kids part any time she could, making it easier and simultaneously harder for her dad to act, but really, he needed her there more than he’ll ever admit. Seeing him that way scared her to no end, though, and that’s why they had to stick together. Even more than Prisoners and Stronger, it was the hardest film he ever made, because it was his little girl he was fighting for, a job he’ll never stop. On that set, he lost himself and his bearings more often than he should’ve, leading to everyone working on set to have to sign an NDA after they all found out about Y/N. He didn’t care, she was safe and by his side, he was able to take care of her and she could take care of him. That’s what family is all about. Being in that courtroom, though, even just acting, he thought about the real possibility of losing the custody of his precious daughter, and it split him apart. He wouldn’t let Y/N leave him that night, he stayed awake and sat in bed with her, running his fingers through her hair. Never will anyone take her away from me, he swore to himself that day, but now she’s grown up, he knows someone will take her eventually. She’ll grow, she’ll find a nice husband, and she’ll be taken away from him.
She needs to grow up, get away from him, he’ll never dare smother her, but tonight, maybe he should just follow her…
He scolds himself instantly, how dare he think that? His fears will never affect her, he promised himself that. Nothing wrong in his life will mar her life and her growth. He has to trust it, whatever it is. The process, the boy (no chance), his daughter. That much is easy. He loves her more than words, so much it sometimes scares him, what he’ll do when she moves out and stops being his daughter, but he’s always trusted her too, always, and he’s sure that she kept those boarding school staff in line more than they did her. She’s achieved so much so young, an absolute marvel, and she’s never set a toe out of line. He trusted her to be safe and well while he went on sobbing in interviews at the slightest mention of an abducted child. Were she there, he certainly wouldn’t have held it together, and for some reason, that’s what’s convincing him to stay away. She’ll do far better on her date with the mystery man provided she thinks he’s out having a good time of his own instead of following her and spying on her. Trust and love are key, he just has to believe she’ll be okay, and he’ll see her later. Maybe he’ll meditate instead.
(All images from Pinterest. I made sure to not use as many photos that would depict what the reader looks like to keep it inclusive and as reader insert)
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