AND YOU ALL SHOULD READ IT AND HAVE YOUR HEARTS RIPPED OUT OF YOUR CHEST THE WAY MINE’S JUST BEEN.
They’re in this…hovel. Her hovel.
But the bed’s all haphazard in the corner - unused and broken. And the makeshift curtains are ripped from their place; and shelves are strewn in wooden pieces; and remnants of magic sort of hang in the cool air amidst dust particles. And he just stands there amongst it all.
He’s bone-tired, aching in ten places and bleeding from a gash in his forehead and his young-old, tired eyes are rubbed by muddied hands, worn, embarrassed; and he hears her sniff.
She’s curled up in a corner, surrounded by shattered glass and misused potions and her gaze is fixed on his hunched figure, eyes running over that stupid neck scarf and those stupid ears and that stupid look on his features that says I could fix the whole world, if I wanted to. And the question that’s been running boiled through her veins for years, that’s been sitting on the tip of her sharp tongue for years is finally pulled into the light. She knows what is so ancient about him, now.
And they both feel, for once, this nostalgic sort of feeling. They don’t hate each other.
(Of course, that won’t last. They’ve just spent hours warring each other, and they’ll do it all again forever. Him for Arthur, her for herself. And the hate will build as steadily as it did, and they’ll never talk again.)
But for the moment, there’s this wondrous sort of fragility about the two of them; and the instant she stands up, body curled over in unremitting grief, he reaches a hand out in some sort of clumsy expression of comfort, pushing it through the magic-heavy air until it can bear it no longer, and falls back to his side.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” she mumbles, cracked. “That you had magic?”
“I - “
She’s standing across from him now, black gown curled in rips around her figure, face red and ugly and crumpled with tragic possibilities.
“We could have - you and me - “
“I - I know”
He doesn’t make a move towards her, tears streaming steadily down both bodies, but he grips her tight as she presses her mouth to his - sitting her lips askew and letting out something like a sob when he gasps, and scrunches his eyes tight shut, and lets months and years and centuries of rage flow out through their shoes.
Maybe they could stay here.
He feels her, mouth pressed firmly on his, whisper a slender finger over the throbbing cut on his head, mumbling magic onto his tongue and feeling it disappear beneath her touch -
and there’s an apology, or something like it, pulled between them -
UGH, DARLING. THIS WAS SO BEAUTIFUL AND THANK YOU SO MUCH. I WISH THERE WAS A WAY FOR ME TO BRING THIS TO ~LIFE SOMEHOW BUT- BUT- THAT MIGHT JUST DESTROY ME SO I’M JUST GOING TO READ THIS AGAIN AND WEEP BECAUSE YOU ARE PERFECT AND I LOVE YOU.