*stands by the pool* "I've been standing at the edge of the water'Long as I can remember, never really knowing why..."
"SEE THE LINE WHERE THE SKY MEETS THE SEA? IT CALLS ME AND NO ONE KNOWS, HOW FAR IT GOES IF THE WIND IN MY SAIL ON THE SEA STAYS BEHIND ME ONE DAY I'LL KNOW- *jumps off diving board* HOW FAR I"LL GOOOOO!!"
You do realize you ran off the board,slipped, belly-flopped so hard you became unconscious, and almost drowned right?
“It’s open!” I hear a muffled yell and I hesitantly make my way inside, still a little unnerved about last night. All the curtains are still drawn and I blink a few times before my eyes adjust to the dim light.
“Who’s that?” Alex nudges Kara in the ribs as she stares down the beach. “That’s at least the third time this week I’ve caught you checking her out.”
“I heard she owns this whole stretch of beach,” Kara sighs, pulling the leash from her ankle. Her wetsuit is already unzipped and rolled down to her waist, just in case the woman in the black bikini top should glance her way. Kara knows she’s not exactly hard on the eyes. “You know what? I’m going to thank her.”
Before Alex can hold her back, Kara jogs across the sand to the woman, who’s standing just above the tide line, watching some kids on boogie boards.
“Is this your beach?” Kara asks.
“Mmm,” she replies, not looking at Kara. “Why?”
“It’s really cool that you let us surf here for free,” Kara explains. “I mean, the conservation work we do instead is great, but the waves here are insane, Miss, uh…”
“Call me Cat.” This time she looks around, and drags her eyes slowly up over Kara’s abs, and her royal blue bikini top. To call the gaze lingering would be an understatement, and Kara blushes. “I wanted to do something… for the community.”
“Mom!” One of the boys is up on his board, waving towards Cat and Kara, before wiping out at the first ripple of a wave. Cat makes to dash into the water, but without thinking, Kara places a hand on her arm.
“Wait,” she urges. “Watch.”
Sure enough, the kid clambers back onto his board belly-first, laughing as he shakes water from his curls.
“He needs lessons. Carter, my son,” Cat decides, laying a hand over Kara’s where it’s still on her wet forearm. “Would you be interested?”
“Would you come too?” Kara asks. “To um, supervise?”
“And provide burgers and shakes after, knowing Carter,” Cat agrees. “I think we have a date, don’t you?”
“Don’t you want to know if I’m any good?” Kara asks as Cat retreats towards the fence that hides the big house on the beach from prying eyes.
“Oh, I’ve been watching,” Cat assures her, walking backwards with a smile on her face. “And only the best will do.”
Nobody Compares by @mcqdj Pairing: Zayn/Liam Rating: T
There was a first time for everything.
That was a thing right, Zayn thought to himself. It was a thing that people said?
Or, was it just Harry and his crazy green eyes and ridiculous dimples, trying to get him to loosen up and just live a little for a change?
Zayn allowed himself a smile as he recalled their Skype conversation from a few weeks ago.
“Harry! You look well, mate!”
“Thanks, Zayn! It’s this place, honestly, it changes you.”
Harry looked amazing. Tan, rested, happy. Zayn rubbed a hand over his face, suddenly aware that he hadn’t shaved in a couple of days and that there were shadows under his eyes that he worried were now permanent fixtures.
“I hate to say it, but you don’t look so good.” Concern radiated off on-screen Harry, even though he was miles away. “Don’t you have time off for the summer? Hey!” Harry’s face brightened with a sudden realization. “You should totally come out here!”
Zayn looked at him with doubt written all over his face.
“You know who you’re talking to here, right, Harry? I don’t do the beach.”
Harry rolled his eyes at him and leaned even closer to his computer screen.
“I know who I’m talking to, my horribly stubborn friend Zayn Malik. And I know you’re not a beach person, but, seriously…you might like it. I never thought I’d be surfing, or, okay, well, trying to surf.” Harry’s expression turned soft and Zayn wasn’t sure if he imagined that his eyes fixed on something or someone else in the room there with him. Harry turned back to Zayn and smiled. “Maybe you could try too. I mean, there’s a first time for everything. It’s the summer. Give yourself a break. I promise you’ll love it here.”
Zayn cursed himself for giving in so easily. But, everyone had that friend, didn’t they? The friend that loved you and wanted only the best for you. Harry Styles was that friend. And sure, sometimes he came up with silly, harebrained schemes, but even when they failed horribly, they still always managed to make Zayn laugh and hey, that was how memories were made, right?
So, here he was at the airport in Hawaii, the beginnings of a migraine pricking behind his eyes and jet-lag threatening to drag him under, scanning the crowd for a tall, curly-haired…
Despite the bone-deep weariness he felt from the long-haul flight, Zayn felt a weight lift from his shoulders at the sight of his friend. He laughed out loud as Harry tried to weave through all the bodies in the airport to get to him. Harry wrapped long arms around him and Zayn returned the hug, smiling at his floral shirt, buttons open to his chest. Trust Harry to go native.
“It’s brilliant that you’re here, Zayn!” Harry said, happiness written plainly on his face.
Zayn shook his head and let Harry take his bag as they made their way out of the terminal. "I still can’t quite believe I’m here. There’s just…so much…sun.“ He shut his eyes and lifted his face towards the light. "Wow.”
Harry looked at him fondly and bumped his shoulder against Zayn’s. “Open your eyes, our ride is here.”
Zayn blinked his eyes open to find a blue station wagon with surf boards stacked on its roof rack, a golden-skinned young man with a perfect fringe at the wheel, leaning over to grin at him.
“Zayn! ’M Louis. Harry’s done nothing but talk about you, feel like I know you already. Get in!”
Zayn’s dark eyes found Harry’s, his eyebrows arching slightly, a smile playing on the corners of his lips.
Well. Harry hadn’t said anything about this.
“Pleasure to meet you, Louis,” he said, sliding into the back seat. “Thanks for picking me up.”
Louis scoffed. “As if Harry would let you take a cab. I mean, as if Harry would let me let you take a cab.” He winced when Harry jabbed him in the ribs.
Harry turned in his seat to talk to Zayn. “You must be knackered. We’ll get you to the house. But, tomorrow,” he reached a long arm to tap Zayn on the chest. “You are going to the beach!”
Zayn smiled broadly and turned his face towards the open window, too tired to fight. With the sun warm on his face and the wind in his hair, he was feeling like he might just say yes to anything.
Standing on the shore the next morning, however, after a good night’s sleep and Harry’s special weekend pancakes and the perhaps the best cup of tea he’d ever had, Zayn had a moment of doubt.
“Umm. Maybe this isn’t such a good idea. Maybe I should just like, sit on the beach. And take photographs,” he said, kicking his feet in the sand.
“Taking photographs is work, Zayn, and you’re supposed to be on break! No backing out now,” Harry said, sternly.
“I’m not even that great a swimmer!” Zayn protested, weakly.
Louis’ sharp eyes scanned the surf. “It’s perfect conditions today, though, Zayn. Perfect for beginners, like you. And this baby giraffe here,” he said gesturing at Harry, who tried to look indignant, but somehow only ended up looking fond. “Let’s get a move on, Harry,” Louis said. “You always take forever getting ready.”
“Wait, if you and Harry are going together, who’s with me?” Zayn asked, panic rising in his chest.
“Oh, we got you the best teacher,” Harry said, reassuringly.
“Yeah. Liam’s very patient, very kind,” Louis said.
Harry leaned closer to Zayn and whispered, “Not to mention, proper fit.”
“Tommo! Harry!” A cheerful voice called out. Zayn turned towards the sound.
“You must be Zayn! Am Liam. We’re gonna get you out there, catching waves today!” He rubbed his hands together, and, looked so pleased, Zayn was ready to turn cartwheels if it meant it would keep that expression on his face forever.
“Nice to meet you, Liam.”
Zayn had to fight to keep the words “You’re so pretty…” from slipping from his lips.
But, he really, really was.
Louis nudged Harry with a knowing smile. “Let’s get out there, Harry. The sea awaits!”
Harry raised his eyebrows at Zayn. “Have fun, Zayn. Take good care of my friend, Liam.”
Zayn and Liam watched the two jog away, Liam trying to stifle a chuckle when Harry somehow got his long legs tangled together and almost tripped. Zayn tried to sneak a glance at Liam, cleared his throat, and said, “If you think Harry’s bad, well, I have to warn you. I’m the least athletic person there ever was. And I don’t even swim that well.”
“We’re staying in a very calm part of the beach. Over by the sandbar. It won’t get too rough and I’ll be right there with you,” Liam said, with a smile. Zayn wished Liam wouldn’t smile quite so hard at him. It made it difficult to think. Or speak. Or function in any way like a human being.
“So…taking a break from the city, huh?” Liam said as they walked to where he had set up boards for their lesson.
Zayn chuckled. “That obvious? I mean, I know I felt like a sick city boy, but I didn’t think I looked it!”
“Nah. Harry was talking about you all week. But,” he grinned at Zayn, “I think I could tell even if Harry hadn’t said anything. I mean, look at me,” Liam said, gesturing to himself. Zayn had, in fact, been trying not to look for fear he might forget how to breathe. Liam was wearing a black rash-guard and sensible dark blue board shorts with red trim.
“And look at you…” Liam said, gesturing at Zayn with a smile.
Zayn glanced down at himself. His rash-guard was an eye-catching shade of turquoise and his board shorts had a whimsical palm-tree pattern on it. He had bought it on impulse, figuring, hey, he was going to Hawaii. Go big or go home, right?
“You’re so London. Your own style. Don’t think anyone could that pull that look off like you,” Liam said.
“No,” Liam bit his lip, ducked his head, shrugged and looked back up at Zayn. “I like it. It’s cool.”
By this time, they had reached the surfboards and Liam ran a hand through his dark hair.
“Shall we get started, then?”
They spent the better part of the morning learning to balance on the board, practicing pop-ups, and mimicking paddling. Finally, Liam declared Zayn ready to venture into the water.
Standing waist deep in water, Zayn cast an uncertain glance at Liam.
“I don’t know about this,” he muttered.
“Don’t worry. You’ll be fine,” Liam’s voice was soothing. “We could even just sit out there on our boards, no pressure to catch a wave, unless you really want to.”
They paddled out. Zayn was proud of himself for remembering that he had to duck down with the board to get through the incoming waves. They were soon sitting on their boards, bobbing gently. Zayn leaned back on his palms, tilting his face to the sky.
“So,” he said, lazily. “Have you always wanted to be a surf instructor?”
Liam splashed water on his face and shook his head. “Nope. Went to business school in Wolverhampton.”
Zayn cracked an eye open. “Thought I detected a Brummie accent.”
Liam grinned. “Yeah. Worked in the city for a while. Decided it wasn’t for me. Ended up here, somehow. It’s funny how things work out. What about you?”
“Went to art school. Ended up being a photographer, which is how I met Harry. We worked together at the newspaper.”
“And, you’re here now, because?” Liam asked, curious.
A slow smiled spread over Zayn’s face. “It’s the summer! And Harry thought I needed a break. And I guess he was right.” He lifted his head and looked out at the sea. “And, he will have a fit if he finds out I didn’t even try. So maybe you should find me a nice gentle wave to try this out on?”
Liam pumped his fist in the air. “Yes! Get in! Ok.” He skillfully maneuvered his board to scan the water. “I see a good set coming in…alright, go, Zayn, paddle, paddle, paddle!”
Zayn got flat on his belly on the board and began paddling. He felt a moment of panic, but glanced back and saw Liam cheering him on. and, somehow, that gave him a boost of confidence.
“Pop up! Pop up!”
Zayn grunted and pushed himself up to a split stance, knees soft, arms outstretched. He was so busy concentrating he didn’t even notice that Liam had come up behind him, gliding easily next to him on the smooth surface of the water.
“Yes! You did it! You’re surfing!”
Zayn glanced at him with an exhilarated smile and a joyous whoop came bubbling out of his chest. “I did it!”
They glided all the way into the shallows where they stepped off the boards, Zayn dancing onto the sand like a kid, where Harry and Louis were waiting, clapping their hands and cheering for him.
“Loads better than Harry’s first time!” Louis said, ducking Harry’s half-hearted punch to the shoulder.
“Clearly, it’s because I’m the better teacher,” Liam said, reaching out to clap a hand to Zayn’s shoulder. “That was brilliant, Zayn.”
At that moment, Zayn wanted nothing more than to kiss Liam, just to see what he looked like after a proper kiss.
But, that wouldn’t be right. Even though it took superhuman effort not to kiss him, Zayn managed to keep himself under control.
Sometimes Zayn was so appropriate he annoyed himself.
Instead he smiled and said, “You’re a great teacher.”
“You were a great student.”
They stood there smiling dumbly at each other.
“And together we’re so good,” Zayn said finally.
Liam did an adorable giggle-shrug that made Zayn’s head spin so bad he felt like he needed to lie down on the sand for about an hour.
Stop, Zayn protested in his mind, you’re tearing me apart.
Louis finally cleared his throat. “Erm. So…Zayn, would you like to join us for lunch?”
Liam checked his watch. “Oh, yeah. Zayn you should go join them, I have another student. I’ll..see you around, hopefully?” He raised a hand to wave to Harry and Louis, and went jogging off, Zayn looking after him, a wistful expression on his face.
“Awww, Zaynie…you’re so pretty when you cry! Don’t be sad! He’ll be back!” Harry said, slinging an arm around him with a laugh.
Zayn glared at him. “You did that on purpose, didn’t you?”
“What? Introduced you to Liam? Nope. That was Louis’ idea.”
Zayn shifted his glance to Louis, who had a mischievous grin on his face. “How’d you know he’d be my type?”
“What? I didn’t. But, Liam is quite a handsome lad, isn’t he? He’d be anyone’s type. I introduced you because, well, he’s a good surf instructor, and,” his expression turned sly, “I think you’d get on well together.”
“Is he single?”
“Oh yeah. Single for too long, if you ask me. In the interests of transparency though, his last serious relationship was with a girl.”
Zayn was lost.
“What? He’s straight?”
Louis wrinkled his forehead in thought. “It’s…Liam’s complicated? Isn’t he, Harry? I figured if he needed a nudge in the right direction, well, you would be perfect.”
Zayn groaned. To be perfectly honest, he hadn’t even been thinking about a summer romance. But, if he were, he’d have hoped for something simple, light, fun.
Not, like, a challenge.
Zayn grinned. Not that he wasn’t up for it.
And Liam certainly proved to be a challenge. Zayn was a week into his vacation and he’d gone surfing only a couple more times with Liam, and, though he enjoyed it, he much preferred lying on the beach with a good book and a cold beverage in hand. Liam was always the same: all puppy-dog eyes and pink lips and that blasted boy-next-door charm. He seemed to give the strangest signals. Either that or Zayn was complete and utter crap at reading signals. He always stood so close Zayn could feel how warm his skin was. And somebody had apparently taught Liam that if you wanted only one person to hear what you had to say, you had to put your lips right up next to that person’s ear and let your lips brush their cheek.
Zayn wanted to congratulate whoever taught Liam that whispering technique. It was perfect.
Yet, he never asked Zayn out, invited him to lunch, or for a drink.
It just never seemed to be the right time to try and take things to the next level.
Harry collapsed on the sand next to Zayn, his smile wide.
“You look very relaxed.”
“I am very relaxed. This was one of your, well, not so ridiculous ideas,” Zayn said.
“Well, we had another idea,” Harry began.
“We?” Zayn raised an eyebrow at him.
Harry actually blushed. “Lou and I. We were thinking of having a party tonight. A small one,” he said, quickly, noting Zayn’s pained expression. “Just the people you already know. Something simple. Liam will be there, of course.”
Zayn grumbled. “Sometimes I think you and Louis have money on whether or not I kiss Liam Payne.”
Harry chuckled. “I would never admit to that. But, hey, no pressure, Zayn. It’s all good fun. It’s summer! There’s love in the air!”
Harry was right. Summer romances were supposed to be fun, light, easy. That’s what Zayn kept telling himself when Liam walked into the party that night. Grey henley shirt, dark blue jeans and white Converse sneakers. Zayn realized that this was probably the first time he’d seen Liam in actual clothes. In dry clothes. He couldn’t decide what he liked better.
Liam’s face lit up when he saw Zayn behind the kitchen counter that served as the bar.
“Zayn, nice to see you. You weren’t out on the water today,” Liam said, his eyes narrowing accusingly.
Zayn chuckled. “Yeah, I was feeling lazy, so I just sat on the beach.” He turned in a slow circle, as if putting his good health on display. “Look!” All the time spent on the beach had done Zayn a world of good. His sun-kissed complexion looked warm and under the kitchen light, almost golden.
Liam’s hand closed over Zayn’s wrist as he leaned forward to inspect his arm.“Not bad. But, to be honest,” he said, more seriously, “you look loads better than when you arrived. Relaxed and, like…happy. It’s good. Happy looks good on you.”
They stood for a moment in comfortable silence, until Liam realized he still had his hand around Zayn’s wrist.
Not that Zayn minded.
Liam gently released Zayn’s arm and rubbed the back of his neck, with a sheepish grin.
Zayn shook his head, snapping into host mode. "Where are my manners!? What would you like to drink? We’ve got beer, wine and…well,” Zayn stirred the contents of a punch bowl, his expression dubious. “Louis made this. He says it’s some sort of punch.” He lifted his eyes to Liam. “Think we should risk it?”
Liam shrugged and smiled. “First time for everything?”
Zayn served them both a glass, but before he could take a sip, Liam tugged on his sleeve.
“Let’s go outside. This place has a great view of the sky.” They made their way out of the party, Zayn intensely aware of Liam’s fingers, light on his lower back as he guided him outside. Liam lowered himself onto the porch step and stretched his legs out in front of him, and Zayn followed suit.
Liam lifted his glass to Zayn. “To summer?”
“To summer. And first times,” Zayn, said.
They both took a sip from their glasses. Zayn winced. “What did Louis put in this?”
“Everything, seems like,” Liam said with a grimace. “Maybe the second sip is better?”
They both took another swallow, looked at each other and shook their heads.
“I think that’s quite enough of that,” Zayn said putting his glass down. He moved closer to Liam, who didn’t seem to mind. Zayn bumped his shoulder against Liam’s.
“So why’s a handsome lad like you still single? I figured you’d be fighting people off with a stick,” Zayn said.
Thank God for Louis and alcoholic courage.
Liam smiled bashfully. “Had a girlfriend. Thought we were good. Was wrong. My heart hasn’t quite been the same since.”
Zayn was quiet.
Liam bumped his shoulder against Zayn. “What about you?”
“Always too busy, I guess.”
“So, I never had the right person and you never had the right time. We’re a pair, aren’t we?”
Zayn took a deep breath and let his fingers touch Liam’s. Liam turned to him, a curious look on his face. Zayn lifted his hand and traced a finger down Liam’s face.
“I guess we are. A pair.”
Zayn leaned forward, hesitated, and then pressed a chaste kiss to Liam’s jaw.
He sat back, a worried expression on his face.
“So, that was pretty stup–.”
But before he could finish speaking, Liam was closing the distance between them, his hand cupping Zayn’s face and…
Liam was everything Zayn had imagined. His lips were soft, but insistent, and when Zayn’s hand came up behind Liam’s neck to pull him closer, Liam made a hoarse noise in the back of his throat that made Zayn’s stomach turn somersaults. He opened his mouth to try and take a breath, and Liam’s tongue slid between his lips, hot and slick and tasting faintly like orange juice and rum. Liam deepened the kiss, his hands in Zayn’s hair; his chest, broad and solid against Zayn’s smaller frame. Liam seemed to be everywhere, all around him, all at once, and his skin was warm and he smelled like sunshine and saltwater and ocean breezes and it was all just too much. Zayn pulled away laughing, dizzy.
“Or, maybe not so stupid,” Zayn said, twining his fingers with Liam’s.
Liam looked bashful. “Never done that. Not with another guy. But, first time for everything, right? Not sure I ever want to stop now.” He kissed Zayn again and to be honest, Zayn didn’t want him to stop either. He fisted his hands in Liam’s shirt, and his lips dragged down his jaw to press against the birthmark on his neck. He lifted his face to look at Liam. “So, for a first time, what do you think?”
Liam said, leaning closer and capturing Zayn’s lips again. He stopped long enough to lean his forehead against Zayn’s, his eyes suddenly very dark.
He woke up to a hell of a charley horse and nearly
toppled Scully to the ground, the only thing saving her was the side of the
chair. She still got shoved aside, however, as he jumped up, attempting to
massage his thigh while not falling into the balcony railing. Being mostly
asleep didn’t help much, given he kept stumbling sideways, wincing as he
Once she was able to pry her eyes open, she took
charge, as she sometimes had to in these charley horse situations, “go lie on
the bed, would you?”
Hunched over, she could see the tears glistening at
the corner of his eyes, “I’ll never make it.”
Pity drove her to his side, taking his arm and
keeping his steady while he hop-jumped to the bed, only to twist and drop like
a rock on the mattress, fists clenched in white-knuckled agony, “fuck fuck fuck
Grabbing hold of his aimlessly flailing arms which
were trying desperately to get to his leg, she held them at his sides for a
moment, “wait. For God’s sake, wait a minute and as a warning,” dodging his leg
as he lifted it in a vain attempt to relieve the nightmare, “if you knee me in
the mouth, I’m never going to share a bed with you again, clothed, unclothed or
any variation therein.”
His leg stopped moving and she couldn’t help but
smirk as she lay her hands on his thigh, “this will not be fun for you but suck
it up, please and remember the kneeing thing.”
She pushed down hard on his muscle, knuckles digging
in, twisting, turning, torturing the hell out of him while he could only focus
on not groaning too loudly, desperately wanting to beg her to simply cut the
leg off because it would be so much easier and probably less painful at the
Scully ignored him, continued to minister to his leg
until she finally felt the coiled tissue give way to pliability, the worst of
the knots unraveling under her practiced hands. She felt him touch her,
stopping her fingers momentarily, “wait, not so hard. It feels better now.”
Switching to a lighter touch, she kept up her
massage, “it might feel better but if I stop now, it’ll just seize up again.”
Blissfully happy he didn’t want to die anymore, he
let her do whatever she wanted, relishing in her hands on him until suddenly,
he realized he was starting to enjoy it a little too much. Sitting up, he batted
her away gently, “I’ll take it from here.”
Surprised he’d lasted this long with her in such
close proximity to certain parts, she moved away without a word, keeping her
grin to herself as she turned towards the balcony, checking her watch, “so,
your little muscle spasm there woke us up before 6am. Who gets up before 6am on
“Apparently, we do.” Still rubbbing, “sorry for the
abrupt wakeup. Never had one that bad before.”
“Think you’ll be able to stand on it okay today?
Kind of tough to surf with a bum leg.”
Standing, he put weight on it gingerly, wincing
slightly but then nodding, “just need to walk a little. Loosen it up some
Scully agreed, then caught a glimpse of herself in
the mirror on the wall, “I was just about to suggest a walk but then I see that
I resemble the bride of Frankenstein with this hair so I think I should shower
first, then we go walk around and find some breakfast?”
Plucking at a few completely wild, red waves, “it’s
the wind-blown, charley horse kind of hair-do. You make it look good.”
“When was your last eye appointment again?”
With a laugh, he pointed towards the bathroom, “go
The more walking they did, the better his leg felt
and, on Scully’s advice, he made sure to drink extra water, which apparently
helps with muscle insanity. By the time they returned to the room a few hours
later, he barely made it to the bathroom to pee, his bladder so full he was
getting a little queasy. Not by her own choosing, Scully could hear him peeing
… and peeing … and peeing … and peeing … through the closed door. Feeling a
little saucy, she called out to him, “um, you’re coming up on a minute, Mulder.
How much did you drink?”
Hearing the falter in the stream, she grinned when
he called back to her, “go away. I don’t do well with interruptions.”
“Good to know.” She wiggled herself into her bathing
suit in those few extra moments, just pulling up the straps when Mulder burst
from the bathroom, about to make some kind of comment but he stopped dead in
his tracks, sarcasm switching instantly to regret, “I’m always just a few
seconds too late. I need to do my shit just a little faster and I should be
“You goal in life is now to catch me changing?”
Her radiant smile made him grin, “get your suit on
while I go sunscreen.” And, because she was truly evil and devious, she gave
him one minute then burst out of the bathroom, just in time to catch his bare
white butt slide inside his swim trunks. He stumbled in a circle at the door
opening, nearly taking out several pieces of furniture in the process of
turning towards her. All he saw was her retreating form, hand waving over her
shoulder, “that was much appreciated. Thank you.”
He stomped into the bathroom, grabbed her around the
waist and hauled her wiggling form to the bed, where he tossed her, sending her
bouncing to the other side of the mattress, “this is just the beginning, Dana
Katherine Theresa Scully. Mark my words.”
Scully looked at him incredulously, “Theresa?”
“Yeah. I know your confirmation name. What are you
gonna do about it?”
“I have got to limit the time you and my mother
spend alone together. I’m surprised you don’t know how old I was when I got my
“12. I believe it was sometime in January.”
Tickling the bottom of her bare foot, “come on. We
have surfing to do.”
The both dutifully ignored the fact that the doctor
said he would call sometime today, having understood the fear and the time
crunch and the distance from home. Scully brought her phone to the beach,
against her inner voice telling her it could get stolen, destroyed, soaked,
stepped on or melted. She piled towels on top of it and followed Mulder into
the ocean, determined to enjoy her day.
Although, unspoken between them, they seemed to
frequently get out of the water, claiming thirsty, sunscreen reapplication, feet
were getting too wet. That last one was Scully’s sadly pathetic attempt to
explain what in all seriousness needed no explanation and Mulder told her so,
hand on her arm, “we’re just going to call it what it is.”
“Checking the phone?”
“Sand removal from hidden cracks.” Her scrunched
face and eyebrow raise made him shrug, “I’ve had to do it every time I come up
here and don’t tell me you haven’t.”
Wiggling a little for his benefit, “sure. Fine. Sand
The waves were big enough today that she began
teaching him how to swim into them, dive under them and ride across them, belly
flat on the board. He took to it much faster than she expected but even Mulder,
with his new found love of ocean and wave, had to call it quits eventually,
riding up on shore, Scully close at his heals.
As they trudged through the hot sand, then twisted
to sit on the towels, “tomorrow, I think I should try to stand up.”
Not wanting him to hurry to much, “let’s see how big
the waves are first, all right?”
He nodded, then picked up his towel, flinging the
phone onto Scully’s lap accidently. He looked from it to her face, hesitantly
reaching for it, “you want me to check?”
“No, actually. I think I’ll wait until we get back
to the room. Ready to go?”
Even if he hadn’t been, he jumped back up beside
her, ignoring the slight pull in his charley-horsed thigh, “yup. Why don’t you
get our stuff together and I’ll go return the boards?”
Already gathering items, she nodded, soon making her
way towards the hotel, Mulder a couple hundred feet ahead. Meeting in the
elevator, they were back in the room after a silent ride, both heading to the
balcony to drip dry a little before showering and changing. Scully pulled the
cushion off the chair, tossing it to the ground so she could sit on the end of
the bamboo seat without soaking anything. Mulder hesitated for all of half a
second, then moved to sit behind her, feet on the ground, legs vee’d along
“If he didn’t call, Mulder, we have to wait again.”
“I know and we will. We’ll wait as long as we need
to. We’ll surf and eat and sleep and wait.”
Deciding that was the courageous statement she
needed, she opened the phone and found a message icon waiting for her. She
immediately handed the phone over her shoulder, “you listen, please.”
“I don’t want to hear something before you. What if
they say something I don’t understand.” Taking the phone, he moved his arm
beneath hers, holding it against her bare leg, “put it on speaker and we’ll
He felt her cold hands as she took it, pressed a few
buttons and then gripped his hand. All Mulder heard through the blood pounding
in his brain and the whooshing in his ears was that she needed to call back
before 5pm today.
Scully, who had been able to comprehend more than
Mulder, immediately dialed the phone, putting on her best, detached, Scully
voice, the one he despised most in the world. He couldn’t take it any longer
and inching his head forward, rested against the back of hers, lips against her
upper spine, just below the hated scar at the base of her skull.
He couldn’t hear the doctor on the other end of the
line but Scully remained detached, giving away nothing in either inflection or
response. His heart raced, then slowed, skipped then sped back up, the
adrenaline from fear pouring into his system. He felt his arms moving closer
around her middle. He felt himself scooting nearer. He felt his mouth kissing
the remnant salt from her skin. He felt his world pinpointed to this very
instant and he felt that if she were to die, he’d have no choice but to follow
her into the dark.
He found reality in her voice and opening his eyes,
spoke in a low thrum that rattled through her bones, “what did he say?”
This small, relatively unsung seaside town hadn’t been Iðunn’s first choice of holiday destination. It hadn’t been her second choice either, or even her third… She was one to dream big; she had Ibiza in her sights for the summer season, having always been well- travelled. Those dreams fell through when her half-brother offered her a place to stay through the entirety of the summer months: June through August. At any rate, it was still a far cry away from Malmö. Some several weeks in, she was having a great time, enjoying the beach, the ocean and the company of Thjazi and the new friends she’d made there.
They’d introduced her to surfing, and she had fallen in love instantly. There was no more exhilarating feeling, nothing more freeing than riding the waves. Her delighted laughter rang out loudly above the crisp water, honey-blond curls tossed by the wind as water sprayed up beneath her board. She felt like she was gliding so smoothly, catching the waves with ease as they rolled in, crested and broke…
“Watch it, Gidget!”
Iðunn cast a glance over her shoulder, shrieking as she dropped down to her belly on the board, hanging on until she broke through the other side. Paddling back to shore then, she felt suitably exhausted. It was only as she dragged her board onto the beach she noticed their audience. A smile quirked her lips, hand propped on her hip as she canted her head. “Enjoying the show there, buddy?” she teased.