one thousand and one nights

I thought this was going to be a casual one-night stand? But maybe it could be a casual… one thousand-night stand. Maybe we could keep casually having sex, and then casually have kids together, and then casually grow old together. Casually get on each other’s health insurance. Then casually die side by side, like in the end of The Notebook.
—  Hidan to Kakuzu at some point
I thought this was going to be a casual one-night stand? But maybe it could be a casual… one thousand-night stand. Maybe we could keep casually having sex, and then casually have kids together, and then casually grow old together. Casually get on each other’s health insurance. Then casually die side by side, like in the end of The Notebook.
—  Victor to Yuuri upon his arrival in Hasetsu
Because she knew, instinctively, that he was there. There was no logical explanation for it, but she felt his presence behind her, like the subtle change in seasons. A shift in the wind.
—  Renée Ahdieh, The Wrath and the Dawn
8

“I feel certain you should not hold yourself responsible for anything that transpired, not that night or any of the nights after. I am young, and, therefore, I know my words only carry a certain weight with the world, but I do know enough to realize you cannot control the actions of others. You can only control what you do with yourself afterward.”

ok a tiny bit of a conversation between Feuilly and Montparnasse bc I crave feedback and validation you’ve all been so lovely with your compliments

~~~

Feuilly works Monday to Thursday in a little tourist trap of a bistro in the 18th arrondissement. Montparnasse slips through the gates at Carrefour Pleyel behind a woman with an enormous suitcase and out with a crowd of shrieking school children at Blanche.

The bistro is quiet when Montparnasse makes his way up Avenue Rachel, just one lone man sitting outside with an espresso and a book.

Feuilly has a break at four and usually goes to smoke out of sight just inside the gates of the cemetery. It’s quarter to, so Montparnasse wanders in to wait.

He’s just settled down on a bench under the aqueduct when a scruffy looking black cat hops up next to him and starts making demanding chirping noises.

“Hello,” Montparnasse says warily. The cat meows plaintively and climbs onto his lap. “I don’t think so,” he attempts to usher the thing away. It refuses, digs sharp claws into his thighs and starts purring. “Shit.”

By the time Feuilly appears, cigarette already dangling from his lips and phone in hand, Montparnasse has resigned himself to his fate and is stroking the skinny ball of fur like a Bond villain. At least it makes for a dramatic tableau he thinks, as Feuilly looks up and notices him.

“That thing probably has fleas you know,” Feuilly says.

“Don’t be cruel to Berlioz,” Montparnasse scolds, scratching the cat behind his very likely flea-ridden ears.

“What are you doing here.”

“Can’t an old friend stop by for a chat?”

Feuilly drags a hand over his eyes and mutters something unflattering.

“Do you have a light?” he asks, collapsing on the bench with a disturbing creaking sound.

Montparnasse winces, offering his zippo. “Was that your knees?”

“Yes,” Feuilly flicks the lighter open and touches his roll up to the flame. “I’ve been washing dishes since six this morning.”

Montparnasse pulls a horrified face.

“We can’t all live a glamorous life of crime,” Feuilly hands the lighter back and Montparnasse snorts, thinks about the bruises darkening on his ribs, the blood stained shirt soaking in the sink at home in his bathroom.

They sit in easy silence for a few minutes while Feuilly smokes. The newly dubbed Berlioz stands up and stretches, walks across Montparnasse’s legs to butt his head against Feuilly’s arm. Feuilly strokes him absently, callused fingers gentle under his purring chin.

“You want to talk about Jehan,” he says, stubbing his cigarette out on the bottom of his shoe with his free hand.

Montparnasse brushes cat hair off his thighs and keeps quiet, he knows from experience that Feuilly will spill everything but only so long as he doesn’t push.

“They asked about you,” Feuilly says eventually.

“What did you tell them?”

“That you’re a bad idea.”

“Flatterer,” Montparnasse grins with too many teeth.

The faintest hint of a smile curls around Feuilly’s lips. “I told them not to confuse an evening of bad flirting and mediocre kissing with sincere interest.”

“Ouch,” Montparnasse claps a hand over his heart. “Mediocre? You wound me.”

Feuilly finally smiles, “I know what I know.”

“We were kids,” Montparnasse says, “I’ve gotten a lot better since then.”

“Are you flirting with me or trying to convince me to put in a good word for you with my friend?”

“I can’t do both?” Montparnasse flutters his eyelashes.

“I wouldn’t recommend it.”

“Always spoiling my fun,” Montparnasse sighs.

“We’ve never quite agreed on the definition of fun though, have we,” Feuilly says, leaning forward when the cat arches up to rub against his lightly stubbled jaw.

2

Scheherazade { شهرزاد‎ } ONE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS 

 “Indeed it was said that she had collected a thousand books of histories relating to antique races and departed rulers. She had purused the works of the poets and knew them by heart, she had studied philosophy and the sciences, arts, and accomplishments. And she was pleasant and polite, wise and witty, well read and well bred.”

Sheherazde (fictional heroine of the epic One Thousand and One Nights), through her persistence and systematic form of resistance provides a scenario for action. By telling her fascinating stories, she chose a method of resistance through words, a peaceful almost feminine weapon, used for the purpose of preserving blood, not shedding it. Sheherazde was not willing to adopt Shahrayar’s model of power, but instead pursued her mission of resistance with her own qualities. As woman with a will, she would never succumb to naked power and oppression. She worked through long nights to change her destiny. For Sheherazde, night was not the time to make love, but rather to make history.
—  Women and Words in Saudi Arabia: The Politics of Literary Discourse by Saddeka Arebi