“I’m sure that started as a tickle fight.” Bella chuckled and looked at Archer with bit hooded looks. They were on the bed naked , bit sweaty and heated , like usually after sex . Bella nuzzled her nose agains Archer’s neck and wrapped her arms around him as best she could. “I, however , like the end result.” She chuckled and draw some pictures on Archer’s chest with lazy fingers.
He can see it in their eyes, in the shift in weight, the subtle lean forward as they shuffle and sway towards him.
She is gone, with a smile and a touch that lasted forever, a lifetime lived in the space between heartbeats, before the fear and the pain and the blinding light that scorched the spot where she’d stood.
Her mother’s face is wet with tears, her father’s voice is gone. Yet they look to him and he can see that they are waiting for him to crumble and fall. Hands twitch and he knows they would catch him before he hit the ground.
The queen lets loose a tirade of profanity that would make the roughest of sailors blush, cursing villains and authors until she collapses with the words, “Not like this, I never wanted it like this,” and the archer wraps his arms around her and they both look to him.
She saved them, saved them all, sacrificed her own happiness for theirs.
And now she is gone.
The place in his chest aches, the spot on his cheek where she last touched him burns, and they are all waiting, wary and tense, anticipating the rage and the fire and the vengeance he will wreak in her name.
They expect him to break.
The word falls from his lips and he feels it settle on his shoulders, the weight he will bear, the burden he will carry, it will bow him, it will bend him, but he will weather this storm.
They all look to him and he stands over the spot where she last stood.
“She’s out there, somewhere. We will find her.”
A villain can be a hero, Emma taught him that. Happy endings may be lost, but they can also be found. As long as you still had one thing.
She was gone, but she’d left that behind and he felt it curl around the heart she’d once held in her hands.
You were leaning against Clint, the archer’s strong arm wrapped around you. The two of you were watching reruns of a show you’ve both seen before, since there was nothing else on, and no movies sounded good to watch.
Suddenly Clint laughed, and you knew it wasn’t because of the show. “What’s so funny?” you asked, tilting your head to look up at him.
“I was just remembering how we met,” Clint replied. “You called me an idiot, and now we’re dating.”
“That’s because you WERE being an idiot!” you retorted. “Only an idiot would refuse help when you were so badly hurt. I think you still have a scar because of how bad my patch-up job was because you were being stubborn.”
“Hey, I like the scar,” Clint stated. “And I know you do, too. You like to run your fingers along my scars whenever I’m shirtless.”
“Shush you. I can still appreciate how rugged they make you look while at the same time not like how they got there.”
Clint laughed. “I still maintain that injury you patched up wasn’t as bad as some of the others I’ve gotten through myself.”
“A bullet grazed your arm! You had a gash a good quarter-inch thick, three inches long, and who knows how deep!”
“Yeah, that guy had bad aim. But it was just a graze. I’ve gotten through getting hit by people with much better aim.”
You playfully elbowed Clint in the side. “Stop that. You are not allowed to be stubborn when it comes to injuries.”
“But mom…” Clint whined jokingly with a pout.
“This is exactly why I stuck with you after fixing you up. Because I knew you needed someone to force first aid on you when you needed it.”
“You know the only reason I let you patch me up when we met was because you’re cute,” Clint pointed out. This was news to you, and that effectively got you to be quiet and blush.