Lodestone: A Wynston/Ruth Alternate Universe
View Single Post
12.19.2012 , 10:46 AM |
L + 2 years 8 months
Wynston double-checked his holo disguise in the speeder's mirror. He looked very slightly off to himself, which was ridiculous because he'd had his face modeled in all possible detail for this replica. Well, it would have to do.
Ruth was out at her estate's gate, again, heedless of the rain, again. "One of these days I'm showing up an hour early and intercepting you before you go out in this," he informed her.
"One hour more for me. I'll accept this plan." She beamed at him, appearing wholly unashamed of her weather cluelessness, and led him inside.
They got to the living room, got comfortable, caught up. Spent a little time in the playroom with Colrand, who decided that Wynston's blaster was the most tempting toy ever. After stowing that out of sight and letting the child play around more safely for a while, Wynston returned with Ruth to the couch. And that in turn pleasantly progressed into making out.
Ruth stopped when she put a hand on his face. She frowned. She tapped a couple of fingertips across his cheekbones. "Wynston?"
Damn. "I knew it was off." He grinned and deactivated the holo disguise via his wrist console. He saw the flash cross his own vision as the image dissolved. Now, instead of him, he knew she was seeing him with an ugly star-shaped chemical burn near his ear.
Her voice got a lot less friendly. "What the hell is that and why the hell wasn't it showing?"
He decided to cover the interesting and possibly distracting part first. "I've told you about the disguise generators we use. This is one in action. I guess it didn't sync perfectly with my motions, even though the static look was correct. We're working on fixing up forcefields to give convincing tactile feedback along with the illusion, but we're not quite there yet."
She pulled back and glared with newly icy eyes. "Do not ever use that with me again."
"All right." He was honest with her in everything that mattered. This, here, was just keeping the status quo to keep her from worrying. She looked miserable now. "I'm sorry."
She raised her hand to the point on her cheek corresponding to his scar. "Now what's this?"
"A souvenir," he said. "I ended up with a confrontation in a lab that had some very exciting caustic substances. It wouldn't have been an issue if the bloody technician hadn't gone right for my face. The stuff that did this – " he pointed at the mark, a textured darker blue against his skin – "is supposedly worth millions of credits on the potency of its formulation."
"A confrontation. Everyone got out all right?"
"The good guys, certainly."
"And you got this looked at right away. Right?"
"I treated on site as best I could. Instantaneous kolto filler injections might've helped, but that seems to have been one of the things their lab didn't stock." He shrugged. "So the damage was done by the time I reached a real facility."
She crept closer to him and brushed his hair away from his forehead. "I should have been there."
"Darling, I'm perfectly capable of handling one small bioweapons lab by myself."
She cast an accusing look at the mark on his face. "You shouldn't have to."
"You have your job, sweet. I have mine." He turned so she wouldn't have to see the damaged side of his face. "This was nothing important. It happens. If you don't want to look at it I'll look into options for reconstructive surgery; they're not going to get it perfect but – "
"Stop." She shifted her weight, leaned in to take his face in her hands. He didn't look at her. This was pretty much exactly what he didn't want to get hung up on, and what he didn't want her to see when she looked at him. "You're gorgeous, you know."
His heart temporarily forgot how pulses worked.
"I may not ever have listed out everything I like about your eyes, and your hair and your jaw and your very very distracting mouth and everything, but Wynston, you are drop-dead gorgeous and a scar doesn't change that for me."
"That's because you're being nice," he said, smiling at her reality-defying tact even as he kept looking away.
She stroked both sides of his face with her thumbs and kissed his nose. Then leaned around to –
"No," he snapped, jerking away before she could kiss the mark. "Don't do that."
"I'm sorry." She backed off. "I just don't want you to think that you are in any way less wonderful than you always have been." She pressed her lips together for a second. "And I don't want you ever to think you should hide things like this from me."
"I won't," he said reluctantly. "All right?"
"Thank you. I mean it." She took his hands. "You have to be a lot of things to a lot of people, Wynston. Here, I want you to be you."
"I want me to be intact," he said dryly.
She shook her head, visibly distressed. "I want you just as you are."
He gathered his nerve and faced her directly. "So here I am. Happy?"
She met his gaze and smiled. "Yes. With you, always yes."
This is the first time Wynston gets a disfiguring scar. In prime universe, at least, it's nowhere near the last. Reckless living, kids…it'll kill ya.
the Short Fic Weekly Challenge
- 50 authors to date. 1006 stories. New prompts weekly!
Short Fic story index by character
Bright's Fanfic Threads
Ceterum autem censeo, Malavai esse delendam.