if you start living for the smallest reasons, that’s when you know you’re really living. the smell of rain after a thunderstorm, the shades of pavements when it’s autumn, the harvest season and the unspoken competition to pick the freshest tomatoes, the mediocre midnights and the color of the sunsets, the smell of bakeshops early in the morning, the frosty breeze of the fast-approaching winter, the warmth of oven when baking Christmas cookies, the thickness of paper when ﬂipping through magazine pages, the smell of new books and new clothes and new things. when you start looking at things, really really looking, you’ll start living. because then you’ll understand how it is to really be a human in this world full of people.
"I'm not blind, I see the way you look at them." Jamilton
“When did you first know you loved him?” Thomas asked, interrupting the comfortable silence the two of them had fallen into.
“I- what, Thomas?” Alexander responded, tilting his head in confusion and setting down his mug of black coffee, the dark liquid nearly splashing out of the cup.
“When did you first know you loved John Laurens, your best friend?” Thomas repeated, staring Alexander coldly in the eyes.
“I don’t- I don’t know what you’re talking about- the very idea that I would love anyone other than you-”
“I’m not blind, I see the way you look at them. Like he put the stars in the sky, like he’s your reason for waking up in the morning, like you’ve never known love until the moment you set eyes on him. The way you used to look at me.”
“Thomas, I don’t love him-”
“Stop lying to me!” Thomas screamed, standing up and ignoring the tears welling up in his eyes. “Answer me, you coward! When. Did. You. Know?”
Alexander stared up at Thomas, eyes wide with fear and the pain that Thomas knew, because of course Thomas knew- his cleverness was the main reason Alexander had been drawn to him.
“I’ve been fucking him for three months.”
“You….you what? You actually…you acted on….on your feelings for him?” Thomas asked, a tear falling from his eyes and trailing down his cheek.
“That was…what you were asking, wasn’t i- oh.” Alexander realized, unable to move or say anything or do something other than to stare into the heartbroken eyes of Thomas Jefferson.
“It wasn’t. It was what I was afraid of, but not what I asked.”
“I want to try magic,” Chrom said one day. He caught Robin reading under his favorite tree. With clear blue skies and warm weather, Robin was guaranteed to be under this giant tree’s expansive shade.
Robin pulled from his book and stared for a moment before answering, “Very well. We’ll start with the basics. Why do you want to start using magic? You never seemed interested before.”
“I felt like it was time to see if I can or not. Lissa can, so why can’t I?”
Robin smiled and started digging in his bag. “Then let’s get started! I’ll get something set up.”
Chrom glanced between Robin and the bag in confusion. “Right here? Wouldn’t we want to go to the training grounds?”
“We have to see if you can even use magic first. You’re either born able to use magic or you’re not. Someone is more likely to use magic if their family can, but it’s not a guarantee.” Robin took out a notebook, a small ink well, and a steel dip pen. He ripped a page out, drew a spell circle, and handed the parchment over to Chrom. He said, “Here. Imagine a tiny flame appearing just above it.”
Chrom could only stare. “…That’s it?”
Robin nodded. “That’s it. The spellbooks and staves are just conduits. You don’t really need them to use magic, but they help with focus. Now try making a small fire.”
Chrom took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He imagined a tiny flame hovering just above the spell circle.
All he could hear were the birds in the tree.
After a moment, Robin added, “Try picturing its warmth and the sounds a fire makes. Really focus on that image.”
He scowled as he narrowed his focus to imagining the most realistic flame as possible. He imagined the fire crackling loudly, the soft warm radiating through the air, and the faint smell of smoke. As each second passed, he imagined each in more detail. Firewood popping and breaking off, the heat of the flames almost scorching his face, the smell of burning oak…
“…Chrom, the tree! CHROM, THE TREE!”
Chrom snapped his eyes wide and whirled around towards the tree. A raging fire spread up the tree’s branches and engulfed everything above them. Robin scribbled another spell circle and held up his notebook. The fire spiraled downward to the notebook–shrinking–pulling every spark and flame into the spell circle until not a single ember remained.
While panicked guards rushed towards them from a distance, Chrom and Robin gazed up at the tree. Half of its branches were completely charred and bare.
Finally, Robin said, “You did it! You can use magic! You just need a bit of practice. That’s all.”
3 word prompt (going with seemingly unrelated words): Jealousy, Medication, Cats
The male nurse who was usually assigned to Rick’s physical therapy sessions, getting him in and out of the bed, stopped her in the hall right outside his door.
“Captain?” He always seemed to avoid her eyes, ducking now and rubbing the back of his neck. “Ah.”
“Marlon?” she questioned, trying to soften her voice. She was pretty sure she scared him.
He nodded, like he was summoning his courage, and then lifted his head. “Just wanted to warn you. They switched up his medication, trying to bring him around more often.”
“For PT,” she said. “They told me.”
“Ah,” Marlon said, shifting on his feet. The large black man usually had no compunction about giving Ryan or Esposito hell, like the time they had sneaked in Rick’s Xbox and woke half the floor playing Halo 5. But face to face with her, and he lost all his courage. “The reason I mention it, ma’am, is that he’s feisty.”
She paused. Momentarily speechless. Shook her head. “Feisty?”
“Yes, that’s the word for it.” Marlon gave a long breath and glanced in through the open door. He was rubbing his shoulder now and she had the impression it wasn’t just shyness around her this time. But soreness. “Just warning you is all.”
“Well. Thank you.” She touched his arm in gratitude; Marlon was a good guy, had been a rock these first few days after back surgery. A bullet fragment, some bone chips, they had said it would be easy, no problem.
Castle had encountered complications at every turn. Right now, they were clearing up a second infection and fighting off pneumonia, so she didn’t expect Rick to be at his best.
Kate pushed on inside her husband’s hospital room.
“Stop flirting with him,” Castle whined from the bed. His eyelids were heavy with exhaustion after his physical therapy session. “I heard you out there. Being nice.”
She suppressed the roll of her eyes in favor of a wordless greeting - an unmistakeable one as well. When her fingers combed through his hair, his eyes fell shut, and when her lips touched his, he sighed in regret.
She accepted the apology it was with equal silence, the kiss enough.
When she straightened up, his eyes dragged open.
“Rick, did you give Marlon trouble?”
“I might have fallen on him,” he sighed.
This time Kate had to suppress the smile. She sank down to the mattress and he immediately rolled his body into hers. “Must be feeling pretty good for all that,” she noted quietly. For him to press into her, to have the flexibility right after therapy as well, he had to be feeling good. “New drugs helping?”
“Mm.” He sighed against the drag of her fingers through his hair. “Yeah. Makes me a little dizzy though. Hey, where’s Lily?”
“With your other daughter,” she says, smiling at him when his eyes open for that. “Alexis took her to the zoo.”
“It’s cold,” he whined.
“It’s warming up,” she answered. “You know she loves the jungle cats. She’s adopted that black cat that hangs out in the alley-”
“Oh, and I’m missing it,” he bemoaned, looking up at her with those pathetic blue eyes. “I’m missing all the good stuff. She’ll forget me.”
“Oh wow, you’re so melodramatic this morning,” she chuckled, still stroking through his hair, easing him. She knew it was rough. They hadn’t expected it to be this rough. If they’d known ahead of time, he might have waited, suffered through the nerve pain as the fragments shifted in his shoulder and against his sternum. “Must be the new meds.”
“That’s it, that’s what it is,” he murmured. Eyelids drooped again.
She leaned in and kissed his oily forehead. “You’re not missing anything, promise. She’s had all of her firsts, she’s well into the terrible twos. You’re missing temper tantrums at bath time and cranky crying in the morning. Plus she’s biting everyone.”
“Not that cat, I bet.”
She laughed; she had needed that. Lily was emotionally immature, as all toddlers were, but Kate was having a rough time of single parenthood these last few weeks. Dealing with illogical tantrums, with such high drama and higher shrieks wasn’t in her wheelhouse.
“We miss you,” she told him quietly. “So stop crashing on top of your PT assistant, Rick. Need his help.”
“Is that why you’re flirting with him?” he sighed. “For me? That’s so sweet, Kate.”
She laughed, brushed another kiss along his eyebrow. “That’s what it is, Rick. That’s all it is.”
His eyes had fallen shut, but his lips kept mumbling of course. “When I get home, I’m buying Lily her cat.”
How about "♝: Reading a book together" for Sarita and Reyes? See I really didn't meant it when I told you to stop >< Lets test my pain treshold!
Yay! Prompts! This one takes place before the Santa Sarita series, post-Meridian. Also, I’m not sure if this counts as reading a book together, but I’m running with it. And you can blame Alec for the terrible options in reading material…
Reyes could tell that Sara didn’t spend much time in the Pathfinder’s quarters on Hyperion. The guns on the wall were one clue. Sara was a lethal biotic and she didn’t have much patience for firearms beyond her Equalizer, which fired almost as fast as she moved across the battlefield. It was obvious the weapons had belonged to her father, just like the antique coffee machine and the vast array of monitors.
He forgave her for not inviting him here before. Undoubtedly the room was painful for her, a monument to the man she’d loved, despite their differences.
But now, as he sat at her bedside, watching over her as she lay with unnatural calm, he really wished there was more of her personality in the room. He’d already scoured it for any sort of speakers, but apparently Alec had not been a fan of music. His furniture was all standard issue, as to be expected, and his work station was heavily encrypted. Reyes was confident he could hack the system, but he wouldn’t. That was an invasion of privacy he couldn’t rationalize. It might get him answers to nagging questions, but so would more conversations with Sarita.
Restless, he stood and paced the room again. It was late and he should try to sleep, but he felt pent up. He’d already listened to all the audio logs scattered around the room, and though the information Dr. T’Soni shared with Alec was interesting, it was of little value beyond the scope of the Protheans. Reyes imagined Sara sitting on the couch, listening with great wonder as an expert in her field gave her father pointers for discovering new life. The image brought a smile to his face.
He turned and paced along the shelves nearest the door. There was a long series of paper books, intriguing purely by their existence. On closer inspection, they proved to be the journals of Lewis and Clark, 19th Century human explorers.
Reyes opened one, curious, and groaned. They were dreadfully boring. He glanced at Sara where she slept, her face serene. Dr. T’Perro had ceased administering the sedative, and was confident that Sara could hear them. She said it would only be a couple days before she woke.
He looked back at the book and sighed as he tucked it under his arm. He lay on the bed beside her, propped up on pillows against the headboard and opened the book.
“`August 30, 1803. Left Pittsburgh this day at 11 o’clock with a party of eleven hands, seven of which are soldiers, a pilot and three young men on trial, they having proposed to go with me throughout the voyage.’” Reyes glanced at her. “Did your father actually read these?” He asked. “This is terrible.” He cleared his throat and continued. “`Arrived at Bruno’s Island three miles below, halted a few minutes. Went on shore and being invited on by some of the gentlemen present to try my airgun, which I had purchased…’” he paused and skimmed ahead.
He grunted, turning back to Sara. “He goes on for about two more paragraphs bragging about his shooting.” He skimmed a little further. “Holy shit,” he said. “They shot a woman!” He checked to see if she responded in any fashion, but she was still as ever. He read on. “Huh, the woman was fine, just a scratch apparently. Then they left, until they made camp, at which point Lewis gave his men whiskey.” He smirked, “my kind of man.” He frowned. “Well, except for the shooting women accidentally.”
He yawned, and sank lower on the bed. He tried to read further, but the journals were a better sedative than anything Lexi could provide him. He set the journal on the nightstand, and then rolled to face Sara, his arm looping over her stomach.
He watched in awe as her lips curled up at the corners, and a tiny pleased hum vibrated in her throat. Gingerly, he kissed her cheek and settled into the bed beside her.
“Tomorrow, I’ll find something more entertaining to read,” he promised, and then fell asleep, the warmth of her smile just as comforting as the warmth of her body.
Sentence 5. “I am under no obligation to make sense to you.”
Yay! I hope you like it!
Sara tottered down the hall, giggling to herself. Reyes’ hands hovered at her waist, ready to catch her should her drunken legs finally decided to give out on her.
“Remember that time you sent my brother a pie?” She laughed, bending over to hold her stomach. The change in trajectory would have led to her collapse if he hadn’t caught her in his arms.
“Of course I do,” he said. “Do you have any idea how difficult it was to get a pie on such short notice?”
“Do you have any idea how difficult it was not to steal his pie?” She stopped in front of him, and he nearly knocked her over. “Now I want pie?”
“What is it with you two and pie when you’re drunk?”
She laughed again and turned to face him. She walked backwards, and Reyes’ heart clenched every time her ankles wobbled in her heels. She grinned, her blue eyes bright with mischief. “Pie isn’t the only thing I want.” She reached for his belt, but Reyes caught her hand and spun her until her back was pressed to his chest.
“You’re drunk,” he murmured at her ear.
“So?” Her voice was full of defiance, of challenge. She rubbed against him, daring him to take what she offered. “You know you want it,” she purred.
He chuckled as he unlocked the door and led her into their room. “Pie does sound good,” he admitted. He released his grip on her hand and she slumped onto the bed with an agitated huff.
“You’re not making sense!” She fell back onto the duvet rewarding Reyes with a delightful view up her slinky blue dress.
He laughed as he unbuttoned the stiff formal shirt he wore. “I am under no obligation to make sense to you,” he said.
She groaned. “Now you’re using big words just to confuse me.”
He let his shirt fall to the floor and kicked off his shoes before lying down beside her. He waited for her to look at him, but instead her brow furrowed and her breathing deepened. “You okay?”
“The world is spinning.” She groaned again. “Why did you let me drink so much wine?”
“Like I could stop you,” he said, but pressed the flat of his palm to her stomach to anchor her. “Besides,” he grinned, “if you can’t get trashed at your brother’s wedding, when can you?”
She cracked an eye open at him. “At my own,” she she suggested.
He laughed. “Are you proposing?”
“Ugh,” she moaned and pushed his face away with one hand. “You’re impossible.”
“Yes,” he agreed, sitting up. “Impossibly handsome and charming. And you,” he added. “Are impossibly drunk.”
“True,” she groaned.
He rubbed her thigh comfortingly. “Get undressed and I’ll bring you some water and a pain reliever.”
“You’re the best,” she mumbled, already falling asleep.
Reyes moved around the room, drinking water and taking a pill of his own. He was only slightly buzzed, but he was old enough that even the slightest hangover felt like death.
He left the bathroom to bring Sara her water and pill, but paused to look at her. She’d managed to slide the dress off, though her bra, underwear, and heels were all still in place. Her hair was shorter now, freshly cut for the wedding, but it still splayed out around her head, framing her peaceful, slumbering face.
As he watched her his chest blossomed with warmth, as if he’d just downed a shot of Kian’s best whiskey. Hungover or not, he knew tomorrow would be a good day, because his Sarita wanted to marry him. And that was more than enough happiness to weather any pain.