What comes before (and shall forevermore)
Tiny bitty pre-wedding snippet. School is done for the year and I’m giddy. Expect lots of fic soon! Happy Once Day! xxo
He hates this. Loathes it. Who bloody came up with this sodded tradition anyway? He tries to concentrate on the waves beneath him, tries to let them lull him to sleep as they used to so effortlessly. It doesn’t work. He looks over from his spot in the Captain’s bunk to where David is deep in slumber, arm slung over the small, rickety cot Granny had lent them. He tries to quiet his thoughts, or dull the ache in his empty arms, but he can’t. Bloody hell.
She despises this. Detests it. She rolls this way and that in the upstairs bed at the loft, but no matter how hard she tries, she can’t fall asleep. Who the fuck made up this stupid rule? Half the reason she’s marrying this guy is because she has no idea how to sleep without him holding her. And now she’s gunna look like a legitimate zombie on her wedding day (holy fuck, wedding, woah) all because of some dumb, age-old ritual. God.
He knows she can’t sleep either. To be honest, that’s why he’s even this keyed up in the first place. Ever since he got back from his tumble in Neverland, he hasn’t been able to walk 3 feet from her without her turning slightly pale and getting up to take his hand. She sleeps with her head in the crook of his collarbone and with one of her legs cinched between his two. Otherwise, she doesn’t sleep at all. He knows this. And it’s eating at him.
She knows he’s worrying about her. She’s okay, sort of, cause she’s got her mom and Elsa downstairs and she knows her dad is with him on the ship, but still. She’s upset, and also upset because she knows he’s upset. (And knows he’s upset cause he knows she’s upset.) It’s all just so upsetting. And these blankets are too hot. And the pillow is too fluffy. And screw this. She’s getting out of bed.
He simply can’t stay in this bed. If, eons ago, someone had told him that one day he’d be aching to be anywhere but his ship at nighttime, he’d’ve called them mad. But now, he throws back the covers and tiptoes to the ladder, careful to avoid the creaky spots so as not to wake up Dave. Maybe some fresh air will help.
She thinks about walking straight to the docks, but she doesn’t want to get a rise out of her father. And maybe she’s wrong, and he is sleeping soundly. It is his ship, after all. So instead, she settles for the next best place, where at least there’s his things and sheets that smell like he’s there. She walks through the empty streets of their quaint little town, the only sound that of the rustling wind. She thinks of how everyone is snug in their beds, and how they all have outfits picked out for tomorrow, probably laid out and everything. Cause they’re gunna watch her get married. She shakes her head at it all, but can’t help the smile that creeps. Damn that smile. It’s been creeping up on her a lot lately.
He thinks about going to the loft, and sneaking up the stairs like he used to before they had a house together. But he stops himself, because what if he’s wrong? Whether she admits it or not, she’s been dreaming about her wedding since she was a lass, he knows it. And maybe she’s into this whole don’t-see-the-groom travesty. She agreed to it, after all. So instead, he settles for the next best thing, where at the very least he can gaze upon the photos they’ve hung on the walls and maybe take a half-assed nap against her pillow.
When she gets there, the front door is locked. At first she kicks herself for being an idiot and forgetting her keys, but then she remembers that she’s got an ample supply of light magic. With a flick of her wrist, the door is unlocked, and as soon as she steps inside she feels herself start to calm down. She’s tired, honestly. She flicks her wrist again to lock the door, before heading straight for the stairs. On her way up, she takes her time, letting her eyes play over the picture frames that hang on the wall, reaching out to caress ones that house his beautiful, smiling face. By the time she reaches the top of the stairs, she realizes there’s no way in hell she’s going to be able to sleep. (She’s way too excited to marry this man.)
When he gets there, he skips up the front porch steps and reaches in his pocket for his keys. The night is quiet, the air is cool, and even though he hasn’t even made it into the house yet, he already feels better. He unlocks the door swiftly and steps inside, inhaling the comforting scent of home. He takes off his shoes and puts them in their proper place, before making his way up the stairs to his room. (Their room. Theirs. The room he’ll soon share with the one he’ll call wife.)
It takes her a few beats to notice. She’s laying on her back, on his side of the bed, hair sprawled out against his pillow as she stares at the ceiling. She fidgets and wiggles, trying and failing to get comfy enough to sleep. He watches her from the doorway, his heart doing all sorts of things in his chest. Gods above, he thinks to himself. This woman. I love her more than anything that shall ever exist. He exhales with the weight of it all, and she hears the quiet huff. She snaps her head toward the noise and sits up, letting out a jittery exhale of her own as she lifts her arms in beckoning.
He crosses the room wordlessly, climbing onto the bed and wrapping her up in his embrace in one graceful, fluid motion. She wiggles over to give him more room as he maneuvers her leg between his own, smoothing his hand through her hair as he guides her head to where it belongs, against his chest. She wraps her arms around him, reaching up with one to brush at his scratchy-soft stubble that she loves so much. They’re quiet for a minute as they settle into one another, inching closer and closer until there’s no space left between them. His stumped arm is held strong against her back, kneading at the flesh there.
“You couldn’t sleep,” he says softly, his lips at her forehead.
She rubs at the stubble, her fingers always in motion there. “And you couldn’t sleep, because you knew that I couldn’t,” she states.
“Aye, love. Whomever came up with the strange notion that-”
“I know. They can rot in hell. I missed you so much,” she says it and she means it and he knows it and it melts him. He rubs his nose against hers.
“I just love you, darling,” he whispers, cradling her face, “I love you so much and I couldn’t-”
“I know,” she whispers back, closing the short distance between their lips to kiss him softly. “Till death do us part, right?” she jokes.
He chuckles, shaking his head before dipping to kiss her again. “Oh my love,” he breathes at her playfully, “Not even then, and you know it.”