The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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07.22.2012 , 03:39 PM |
Since the order of the
-day is over-the-top crack fic or love stories, and I already have an entry for the first…Sith Warrior Ruth, implicit Warrior Act 3 spoilers. 850 words.
on Dromund Kaas, Ruth reapproached Quinn cautiously. Dinner now and then, when work permitted. Careful, noncommittal conversations. A polite avoidance of why they were on speaking terms again at all. She didn’t know his reasons. Nor did she ask herself why she wanted to see him.
They never talked about the subject that had separated them for so long. They had each rehearsed that conversation so many times over the last fifteen years, saying it now to each other seemed redundant. Nothing could be changed, nothing soothed, nothing erased. At the same time, some unexpected things can coexist with anger. There developed an odd warmth in discussing the here and now, their campaigns, their son, an increasing number of insignificant day-to-day details. Weeks turned into months. During most meetings they tried not to pick fights, even the tempting ones, and that made things pleasant: like getting to know a friendly stranger, except each happened to already know the other stranger’s likes, dislikes, ambitions, weaknesses (which they avoided most of the time) and strengths (which they encouraged most of the time). They knew what distance to keep, what not to talk about, what not to put too much faith in. It was far from the heat Ruth had tried to stop dreaming of. But what they had was nice.
She told Quinn that last part on his way out the door one night. “And after careful consideration,” she informed him, “I think I have come to approve of your continued existence.”
“I should be flattered?” he said. He didn’t look displeased.
“You should. I think it’s past time we declared a formal truce. Don’t you?”
He nodded. “Truce, my lord.”
“Ruth,” she corrected.
He picked up on the undercurrent in her tone. When he hesitantly reached out, she took his hand. All of a sudden he pulled her close, burying his nose in her hair for a long moment before answering. “Ruth.”
Finally. Yes. This.
She tucked her head under his chin and spoke to his collar. “Tell me it’s fifteen years ago and you want me to love you.”
“I regret to report that it is not fifteen years ago. And it has been a long, long time since I imagined you could love me.”
“You’ve gotten very bad at following orders.”
“I apologize. I want you to love me. The other part remains factually incorrect.”
“The other part doesn’t matter.”
In the past they had been fierce and frantic every time, she because she was nineteen and in love for the first time, he because, she could only imagine, he already knew it would have to end.
Now they were cautious, deliberate, unsure of the familiar roads. There were new scars, new hesitations, a thousand changes, each muscle and curve slightly different from what they remembered. They could navigate, though, slowly, carefully. They had learned patience.
Not that that could make her forget the other half of her feelings. She took a long moment, once they were finished, just to hold him; and then she gave in to her doubts. “It was good?” she whispered.
“Yes,” he said. He stroked her sides, nuzzled her hair. “Yes.”
“I’m glad. Now get out.”
He froze. “What?”
She sat up and tugged a corner of the sheet up to cover herself. “Get out. I won’t sleep while you’re here.”
“I like you. I want you. I don’t trust you.” She decided against saying something cruel about how he had no right to complain about surprise changes in terms. “Don’t make me make this an order. Just go, sleep elsewhere, and we’ll talk later.”
He looked her in the eye. “No.”
She had no idea how to react to that.
“I won’t leave you again,” he said.
Malavai, she didn’t say. I am not safe with you, she didn’t say. If I fall asleep with you here I don’t know what I’ll wake up to, and most importantly if I let you stay you’ll see how completely, how hopelessly, how foolishly I love you, even after all this time, even after everything. If you stay I am lost, and I am terrified of what you will do when you realize that. She didn’t say.
He touched her hand, very gently, and looked up at her. “I won’t leave you again,” he repeated.
She tried to look calm while she lay back down and allowed him to gather her in his arms. “Stay, then.” She hoped he couldn’t feel her shaking.
Once, she knew, he would have given a speech. He would have laid out policy, sought official guidance, and offered extravagant reassurances that might or might not be outright lies. This time, though, he just pulled her close. The gradual calming of his heartbeat lulled her to sleep.
She woke up when he started and tensed. It was still dark. She scrambled to where she could meet him eye to eye. “Am I dreaming again?” he asked.
“No.” She could be sure of that. “This dream always hurt a lot more, at least for me.”
He nodded thoughtfully. “You’re right. It did.”
“I’m here.” She kissed his forehead. “Go to sleep.”
Yes this is my other fWar/Quinn. Well, my first, technically, since Nalenne of the DREAM weapon (rawr) was my second to be created. I don’t have a problem. I can stop any time I want.
called it correctly
way back when she said she would go to her grave loving him (and could say so in the middle of wildly, furiously hating him). Inadvisable ex-backsliding is such an incredibly volatile thing, even in relationships where the water under the bridge doesn't have quite this much blood in it; I'm not really sure how the next few months are going to go for Ruth. Excitingly, I guess, whatever else it may be.
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Ceterum autem censeo, Malavai esse delendam.