She watches the clock strike six with a youthful fascination of striving to understand. The tick of time once ruled her life; routine and expectation, a world according to disembodied hands and a countdown of seconds left to live. Each new day marked by dreams of unfamiliar lips and whispers of promises that were never made and always broken, substance shot by structure, she lived for the hope that days would merge and dreams would fade and one day, perhaps, the hands and lips and breath on hers would define morning, noon and night and every shattered moment in between.
And then there was Dean and a kiss became a connection, the touch of a hand became a speech, love became life. Six did not mean the burial of the sun behind the chimney pot landscape of London, nor the sound of a bubbling stove and chink of a china plate on plastic worktops anymore. Six meant the turn of a key, the rustle of a bag, charcoal on a pure cotton canvas. Now, six meant home.
She smiles, because she can’t stop, and freezes because she can. Paper flickering like the clipped staccato of a guitar string, she urges to swing her legs back and forth but does not move a muscle. He only ever captures perfection, that’s what he told her once, and if this is his perfection, she must preserve it for him in the slotted light of fourteen seconds ago.
He draws and draws, and her hand twitches around the pen clamped in her hand. He works and she plays, and she wants a role reversal, a moment where she can immortalise him in ink lines and words that speak so much louder than a thousand pictures.
“You draw me and I write you.”
She smiles again and taps the pen on the worktop with impatience that she feels tingling at the tips of her imagination. The nib presses against the textured desk and skids. She moves. Perfection lost and the scraping stops and she holds her breath and lets it out when kisses formed from lips stained with grey trace across her neck. She turns, because she always does, and brushes her hand across his cheek and in the clash of everything so opposite, so different, she feels for one moment that art, that words, that pencils and pens are nothing. At least, they are nothing in comparison. They are nothing compared to this.
“Let’s go away,” he murmurs and his voice sounds like an affirmation of everything she has hoped for before today, before that moment. She laughs, because he is being ridiculous and enticing and speaks with an artist’s spontaneity. A flash of a moment, of a cityscape, a cliff top on a Tuesday morning as sunrise becomes day, they all come and go and so does he. “Barcelona, Marrakesh, Sydney,” he adds and his words are like a kiss and a liberation and everything. She moves from beneath him, twisting and turning and darting away and he smiles, because that’s what they do.
“And New York and Rio and Bangkok?” she says and he cannot say anything but yes. Always, always yes because she is what makes yes irrefutable and questions statements and life melts into love and trust and the future becomes the present with her. She laughs and pulls herself onto the counter and watches him watch her and it is the most natural thing she has ever experienced. With every step he makes towards her, every touch and every sound, he makes her heart stop and her breath catch and if it killed her, it wouldn’t matter because dying of love, that wouldn’t be so bad.
“Remember when we met?” and it is the stupidest question because she could never forget and so she nods and feels the blush that gives her away glowing on her cheeks. “You said you write me.”
Weeks and months of silence, of a living, breathing, tangible muse, of kisses under, over, through bed sheets and glances over empty rooms not crowded streets and window panes and coffee rings on books. Weeks and months and never the repetition of the question that has haunted her so long, the question that she has both yearned to be asked and wanted to ignore, the answer that will give her wholly to him.
A command. A direction from the sky above. She cannot say no. She never could, not around him where the past and present are so beautifully exclusive, where the whisperings of a Muggleborn wizard and a pureblood witch that would once have lost her everything now became proof of love above all. Love above blood, above the stars, above everything and everyone, every double take and murmur. Love winning out as it will forever.
She cradles her pale purple bound book in her hands with the care a mother gives to a newborn child. Caution that he has never seen in her before now grips her like addiction in the face of weakness. A childish reluctance, hesitancy binds her to the spot and with shaking hands and a look that searches far behind him, far beyond the realms of what he has known before, she holds it out.
Against hers, his hands look monstrous.
Beside her, he feels her heart race.
Beside him, she knows that this is it. The moment that secures them together. Not a ring, nor a vow, nor a kiss but a book; words and pictures colliding and merging and matching. Completing. Silence has never felt so sharp, a knife edge grazing against her throat. Time slips by and by, a lazy crawl and in his presence, she has never felt so uncomfortable. She shivers.
He stops. Fingers caressing the border, silver glinting edges as she once was to him. The skylight shines golden upon her and now he knows it’s different. Hours, days, weeks have passed and the question has laid on his mind. One day. One day. One day he will know, she will tell him, but in the soft light of dusk, he knows that one day does not mean weeks. One day means months and years and decades and without an ounce of reluctance, he holds it back to her.
“I thought you wanted to read it?”
He smiles and so does she because she knows. She knows that now the hours have become days and days weeks, that weeks will surely become life because without him, she will feel none of this again. She will never again be at home in blissful escape from everything that is not him. She will never be able to bury herself completely in everything she loves without an ounce of guilt. She will never feel like she is made of the finest crystal when he lifts her from the ground and presses his lips to hers so gently that she, for one fraction of a second, believes she would break under the touch of another.
She knows that this is what perfection is and when he kisses her this time, and the world spins in reverse, she knows she wants nothing else but him. He pulls away, and his hands become hers and normality settles back around them with the simplest of smiles and the simplest of words.
A/N: And that is the end. I wish I could have made this the 6-7 chapters that I’d hoped for but sadly, I seem to have lost the ability to write this story (I knew I should have written more when I did the last two chapters and was in the right state of mind!)
I hope this chapter wasn’t too disappointing. I know it’s nothing compared to the previous three but I hated seeing it going without an update, and knew I wouldn’t be capable of making it longer so thought I’d put myself out of my misery. I may yet add another chapter if the moment strikes me, but I can’t make any promises.
I hope you’ve enjoyed and I must say a huge thank you to Marina (marinahill) because without her, this wouldn’t even have got this far ♥
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