Lodestone: A Wynston/Ruth Alternate Universe
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01.12.2013 , 11:26 PM |
Epilogue, part 7: Sap sappety sap sap. Immediately following on the previous story.
When Ruth rolled over to kiss Wynston in the morning, he gave her a returning kiss and a distracted smile, then spent some time contemplating the ceiling.
"How are you feeling?" she prompted.
"Talkative," he said, and seemed to wince at the sound of his own voice. "Apparently." After a few more moments he raised his eyebrows, sighed, and sat up. "Sorry about all that. I promise you I don't do that very often at all. I won't do it again."
"I'm glad. Are you feeling better about being here?"
"Who said I felt bad about being here?"
"You did. About four hours ago."
"I was saying the opposite of that, darling, I just made it sound bad." He looked around. "Do we stock painkillers in here?"
"…You're making it sound bad again."
"That isn't you. It's just the hangover."
"Really? All these years I thought you were immune."
"No, it just takes a lot more than I ever consume when other people are looking." He looked at his hands, then at her, and smiled thinly. "It was stupid of me. Give me half an hour, I'll be ready for work."
"Where are we going today?" On the rare occasions when his mood was off and the rarer ones when raw affection didn't serve to lift it, the chance to describe something about the job usually did the trick.
He was moving now, heading over to get a glass of water. "Abridon," he said. "I'll need you on guard and potential slicing support while I play diplomat as a representative of the Crescent Brotherhood. Estimated sixty percent chance they'll dislike what I have to say. But we can show up a little early to look around; their government center is actually legendary for its beauty. They have gardens there that you should love. I never really looked at them the last time I was there, but I think you'll like them."
"Sounds promising." Ruth sat up, but rather than going anywhere she sat and watched Wynston as he went about locating a couple of pills and then getting dressed.
He stopped halfway through buttoning his jacket. "Darling, when you look at me like that…"
"Yes?" she said innocently.
"It makes me suspect that you like me."
"So I'm not making progress on the sabacc-face front?"
"Not even slightly." He left his jacket half open and took two quick steps to lean in and kiss her. "Which is why when I trigger a touch of actual revulsion I'll do something about it." He smiled a little at her expression. "It was only when you mentioned the drink. You listen no matter what, but I'll keep the confessions sober from here on in. They probably turn out less bleak that way anyway." He straightened. "Now. Let's go find something beautiful."
"Already there," she told him.
He gave her a reproving look. "For work."
"Still already there, I thought."
"We have to actually leave this room for this exercise, darling."
"I know." She stood, keeping just inches between them, and spent a moment trying to reassemble her train of thought while they looked at each other.
He smiled in genuine joy and went about preparing for the day.
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