i. meeting you: when I saw you, the world didn’t reroute on a new axis but the stars seemed to glimmer a little more than I remembered them doing the night before. from the moment our hands brushed, something in me shivered, some part of my heart shook, a form of a yes. a yes, you belong in my life, a yes, you are meant to matter. but we clashed in a storm of fire and ice and it took me what looking back seems like a lifetime to realize that you’ve changed me, that a part of me recognized your scars as the same as mine the moment you spoke a part of my name.
ii. understanding you: it took breaking, it took sobbing in the middle of night and realizing that yes I can be alone with you. it’s this moment, where I see you looking at me, not like you can save me, no. but like you recognize the shadows dancing on my skin, the faint bruises and clenched fists and the ache inside my heart. And the world grows quiet, like it’s giving this moment the weight it deserves, and it’s in the darkness that I realize we can change the universe.
iii. trusting you: and our hands grow bloody as our hearts open, spilling part of us on the ground that the other picks up and remakes. forging a sword, a shield, a song out the echoes we let break away from our souls. somehow I realize the voice in the back of my mind, giving me hope, giving me faith, sounds a lot like yours, it sounds like the way you say my name and I say yours the same way. as absolution, as something almost like salvation, as a need that I can’t live without
iv. loving you: and it’s when you’re threatened, it’s when you’re hurt and the rage that raises up inside me contains the bitten scream of “mine”. it’s when you take my hand, you take my burden like I haven’t transformed myself into atlas to save you. It’s when you gaze into my eyes like i’m something worth worshipping, like i’m something worth burning the universe for. and it comes and goes in waves until one day I wake up and my first thought is you, and when I dream the last name I utter is yours
v. losing you: but the stars that stayed silent at our turning point aren’t content to watch us, no they want to test us but they didn’t understand that loving you stopped being something that scared me the moment I realized it because, darling, I don’t know where you end and where I begin. so yes, I lost you to space and time, I nearly lost you to fate but we were always fighters and so I know you’ll come back to me, I know you’ll come home to me. and our devotion outstrips the fairytales because we were never guaranteed a happy ending, with our dirty hands, with our sly smiles, with our cuts and scars but we’ve made the constellations want to chart our names
vi. finding you: when we crash back together, the world narrows down to the sound of a beating heart, pounding loud enough to be a greek chorus and it’s a welcome change from the way my chest seemed empty. I always knew that in a crowd of thousands I’d be able to meet your eyes, to find you. and with our smiles the universe restarts, with my name dropping from your lips the sun reignites, because we are the center of the story, from the beginning up till now and we’re only just past the first chapter.
I will admit I had a crush on you not so long after meeting you and most people would say I’m crazy but look at how far we’ve come. I tried so hard to resist but no matter how hard I tried to push you away, you just kept drawing me in. I am so proud of us, how strong we are now, I’m so proud of you, proud of the person you have become. I’m so thankful, thankful that against all the odds I was led to you, to the most incredible person in the entire world.
Tenari Ioapo // It took me days to fall for the one person I’ll spend my entire lifetime loving.
Domestic Rosvolio request, Benvolio helps Rosaline brush her hair and get her ready while they discuss various public events they're required to attend.
He was whistling. The man waswhistling.
She understood it for what it was – a childish attempt to goad her and
provoke her temper – but she was determined not to let him succeed. She would
ignore him, just as she had ignored him as he stood waiting in the doorway to
her chamber, nonchalantly slouched with one hip leaning against the wooden
frame. Just as she had ignored him when he slipped his parrying dagger from its
sheath and began to trim his fingernails with it. But through it all, Rosaline
struggled mightily to keep herself in check. Truly, the man was beyond
His presence alone set her thoughts on edge, and she did not understand
why he had been allowed to wait here in the first place, as she was still an
unmarried woman – although not for long, if the prince and the heads of their
two houses had their way – and he a known libertine of the worst kind. Above
all, though, he was a Montague, and she supposed few of her kinsmen would want
him roaming freely around the grounds of the Capulet palazzo.
Tonight was the banquet celebrating their betrothal, to be held at the
palace, and he had come to escort her, but of course he had arrived early –
another thing she was certain he had done deliberately, just to be irksome. So
now he had to wait as she finished her preparations, and with the added
distraction he was providing, it was taking longer than she had expected.
Rosaline told herself not to look at him, not to give him the satisfaction
of knowing that his petty provocations were having any effect on her at all.
But as she sat in her chair, pinning a lock of hair into place, she could not
help it if her gaze momentarily swept over towards him, taking in his long form
as he leaned against the door.
He was wearing a new doublet of rich dark leather, and even she could
admit that it suited him, fitting close at shoulder and waist. Flourishes of
cream-colored linen edged along his wrists and his half-unbuttoned collar and
she could spot a tiny nick right below the edge of his jaw – a casualty,
perhaps, of an unsteady hand during this morning’s shave.
His face, as always, was a handsome mask of devil-may-care arrogance, and
if there was something below the surface of that countenance he presented to
the world, she told herself she did not care to know what it was. Let other
women be drawn in by whatever charms he might possess – she was made of
The whistling – praise the heavens – finally ceased, and he let out an
audible sigh and crossed his arms over his chest, giving a wide glance about
the room until finally letting his gaze come to rest on her. Rosaline itched to
look back at him, to meet his proud glare with her own, but she would not give
him the satisfaction of knowing he had provoked her to a response.
“Is that what you plan to wear?”
Rosaline bristled; of course this was what she was planning to wear,
otherwise she would not be wearing it. Her dress, made of dark blue serge,
imported at some cost from Florence, was entirely suitable for the occasion, if
only a little plain, and besides, it was the nicest thing she owned. Not that he would
understand privation, being allowed to live handsomely at his uncle’s expense.
She glanced up, anger swirling through her veins.
“Do you find something objectionable about my gown, sir?” she said, with
“I’m not sure,” he replied, taking a step into the room, his dark eyebrows
raised. “Are you attending our betrothal celebration or a funeral? Or perhaps
you’re planning on taking vows at the convent as soon as the evening’s
festivities are concluded?”
Her hands curled into fists within the folds of her skirts.
“If that was all it took to keep me from a lifetime of your company, I
might well look to the convent!” She paused, pushing herself to breathe deeply
and regain her composure. “But, yes, this is what I
plan to wear.”
He offered her a small snort of disbelief. “Oh, come now, my lady,
there must be something slightly less sepulchral that will serve just as well.”
He walked towards the wooden chest that sat at the foot of her bed and gave it
a small tap with his boot. “What treasures might be found in this fine
reliquary, I wonder?”
And before she could even rise to her feet to stop him, he had lifted the
lid and begun to sift through her belongings – as if they were his, as if they,
and she, belonged to him already and she had nothing, not even a tiny corner of
an old battered storage chest, to call her own.
“Sir, I must protest at this!” she cried. “As my betrothed, you are
allowed certain liberties, but I cannot –”
“Ah,” he said, cutting off her words, his eyes fixated on something within
the depths of the chest. “A prize, indeed.”
At first she had no idea what he had found, but as he pulled it free and
began to unwrap it from the pale muslin cloth that covered it, she caught a
glimpse of brilliant velvet, tiny beads along the edging of the cuffs catching
in the warm light of the late afternoon sun.
In truth, she had forgotten about it entirely, for it had been at the
bottom of the chest for several years, and it had been longer still since she
had seen it gracing the figure of its original owner. The memories welled up
like tears: the last Twelfth Night they had all been together as a family, the
house draped in festive curls of ivy and servants piling the table high with
dishes, the aroma of onion and sage from the meat pies making Rosaline and
Livia’s stomachs grumble with anticipation, and at the center, orchestrating it
all, a honey-voiced woman in a beautiful burgundy-colored gown.
He unfolded the dress and lifted it up to get a better look, letting the
skirts swing freely without touching the ground. Something in his face, though,
had shifted. The arrogant expression had slipped away, two tiny lines now appearing
between his brows, his gaze unmooring itself from the object in front of him.
It made little sense, his reaction – and then through the haze of her own emotions
she remembered that he, too, was an orphan. When had been his last Twelfth
Night? she wondered.
“‘Twas my mother’s,” she said quietly.
He nodded, and after a moment turned his head to look at her.
“Will it do?” he asked. “For tonight?”
To her surprise, she made no objection, only calling for a servant to come
and help her change, for she needed another pair of hands to loosen the lacings
of the old gown and tighten those of the new. She worked quickly, tugging the garment
into place, only once or twice taking advantage of her position from behind the
dressing screen to watch him absently pace along the length of the stone floor.
But once Rosaline finally emerged, fitted and laced, she found herself
unwilling to meet his eye, overcome by a strange and altogether uncharacteristic
fit of self-consciousness. She kept her gaze lowered as she returned to her
seat and at once resumed the pinning of her hair. Every part of her was acutely
aware of his presence – and the directness of his gaze upon her – but even so, she
did her best to ignore him, just as she had before.
He slowly circled around her, finally coming to a stop nearly in front of
where she sat.
“Hmmm, not quite,” he said, his voice cool and appraising.
Her heart sank deep into itself, heavy with disappointment, followed no
less quickly by a thunderous voice rising in her mind, unbraiding her for
caring a whit for what this Montague cad thought of anything at all. Sweet Jesu,
was there no end to his torment of her? He would dare to offer criticism of her
attire, even after he had been the one to request that she change it? He would impart
cruelties, even after she had foolishly confessed to him where the burgundy
gown had come from?
A newly-hatched barb was ready on her tongue when he suddenly kneeled down
in front of her, his hand reaching into his doublet and pulling out a small
object wrapped in a handkerchief.
“You are missing something,” he said, unfolding the fabric in the palm of
his hand until at last it revealed a pair of luminous pearl and ruby earrings
set in filigrees of gold. “These.”
Rosaline’s breath wavered within her chest as she gazed down at the
jewels. Where had he possibly come by such finery? And what did he mean by
presenting them to her in this manner?
“They were my mother’s,” he murmured. “And now – if you wish – they shall
She hesitated for a moment, as the thought of accepting anything at all
from this man was too new to seem anything but strange. But overcome by the allure
of his gift and – in some immeasurable way – by the blush of sincerity in his sea-green
eyes, she reached out and took the earrings from his outstretched hand. The
stones were still warm against her fingertips – warm from him, she realized,
from having been carried so close against the heat of his body.
Setting that unbidden thought aside, she quietly murmured
her thanks and then slipped the earrings on one at a time, taking a tiny pleasure
in the feel of them as they graced along the side of her neck. She had no
looking glass by which to judge, but she felt certain they looked beautiful and
served as a fine complement to the dress she wore.
The smile on his lips – perhaps the first he had ever freely
given her – seemed to tell her that as well.
“But now, if you will hand me one of your pins, my lady?” he
asked, extending an open palm to her once more. “Your chambermaid has
disappeared and I wish to be of some use. Perhaps then,” he continued, his tone
low and arch with measured drollery, “we might arrive at our own celebration
before the night ends and the morning breaks anew…”
[my Still Star-Crossed ficlets are on AO3 – read them here]
I wish you would write a fic where one half of Everlark discovers a secret about the other half...
Hi Anon, sorry it took me two lifetimes to respond to your ask… I ran into a massive case of writer’s block and then I had a baby, which actually helped get this drabble running.
I’m sorry if this isn’t quite what you expected, but hey, the prompt was opened enough 😳… hope you like it.
Unbetaed. Inspired on the extra day/night we had to stay at the hospital with my baby.
I’m curled up in the armchair of the hospital room I’ve been occupying for the last three days. I’ve been in the same position for about an hour, the fake, green leather of the chair that has seen better days, has made every inch of my skin in direct contact with it, sticky and sweaty.
I can’t recall the last time I’ve blinked either; my eyes have watered and dried up again in an endless loop, giving me a headache I’ll be hard pressed to get rid of in days, but my pupils will stay trained in the squirmy bundle, moving in spasmodic twitches until I can look no more. My stomach has long since stopped growling with hunger, finally realizing feeding myself isn’t a priority at the moment.
There will be no force on earth that’ll move me from my spot until the blue lights bathing the whole room in its eerie glow, have finally been turned off…
Except for that voice of course.
My eyes dart to the open door, and I could cry with relief at the sight of him: stocky built, average height, ashy blond hair that falls in waves messily all over his head, and the most breathtaking blue eyes a guy could ask for. But all I do is stand up so fast I get dizzy. I’m not allowed to seek his comfort and steadiness anymore, and the distrust in his features, painfully reinforces that notion. I robbed myself of the warmth of his arms.
“You came!” I squeak nervously while taking a step towards him, I can’t stop my stupid hammering heart from hoping. Even to my ears, the relief is palpable in my voice.
“Yeah,” he says in a isn’t-it-obvious tone, “You called me and said–” that’s as far as he gets before choking up and shutting his mouth entirely; he averts those deep blues I’ve missed so much to roam all over the room instead, zeroing in on the spot my eyes had been trained on not a minute ago.
“It’s that…?” His usually smooth voice falters, and without waiting for my answer he’s crossed the room in two strides. He’s always been heavy footed, but right now he’s as swift as a gazelle.
I stand behind him, giving him ample room to look and come to terms with what he’s seeing.
“How… um… how is everything…evolving?” He asks unsure, an edge of fear in his voice that makes my heart constrict with guilt and longing.
I open my mouth to answer but before the first word can even leave my throat, there’s a soft knock on the still opened door, and in comes the best buffer I could’ve hope for.
“Miss Everdeen,” says a tired looking middle aged man, Dr. Aurelius. He’s soft spoken, but I can’t help to appreciate his bedside manners, “I just got the result of Willow’s last bili serum test.” He stops and looks past me. “You must be mr. Mellark, Willow’s father,” he states more than asks.
I look behind me, the moment of truth is here even before I expected it and not at all how I’ve planned for it. I’m sure he’d see every emotion playing on my face right now, if only he were looking at me, but his eyes are fixed on the doctor, ignoring my internal warring.
He steps forward, shaking Dr. Aurelius’ hand with his usual vigor. “Peeta Mellark, sir. Nice to meet you.”
“Ferguson Aurelius, Head Neonatologist of Panem Medical Center. I’ve heard many good things about you, son. I’m glad to finally be able to speak with the both of you about Willow’s prognosis and care plan.”
Peeta makes a sound at the back of his throat, I bite my lip in anticipation of what he’ll say next, because although the good doctor has indeed heard all kinds of good things about my baby daddy, Peeta has only learned about my little secret some 20 minutes ago, when I finally grew a spine and called him, after I was faced with the necessity of the blue lights and all the complications jaundice could bring to my three day old daughter.
I feel terrible this is what finally pushed me to seek him out and come clean about me having his baby after breaking his heart and walking away from him. Truth be told, when I found out about it, I tried calling him a thousand times, I just didn’t think he’d forgive me for walking out in him, let alone want to raise a child with me.
I was just too scared of how quick and hard I had fallen for him. I was scared of how much I needed him to reciprocate that love, and I ran before something could make my fears a reality.
I was an idiot.
“I’m sorry, sir. I’ve been working at my bakery until just now, I figured coming to the maternity ward covered in flour wasn’t the best idea.” He gives the doctor one of his self deprecating smiles, and continues, “But I came as soon as Katniss called, saying there was a problem with… little Willow.” Peeta chances a glance at me, the way he says our baby’s name, as if savoring it, lets me know he will let me have a piece of his mind soon enough.
All I can do is lower my sight to the ground, and listen to the rest of the conversation. I feel my eyes fill with tears. He won’t expose me, won’t let my secret be known, he’s still protecting me, even though I know keeping Willow’s existence from him has hurt him in the worst possible way.
“Well, thank you for being considerate to all my patients,” Dr. Aurelius says with some humor himself. Then his tone turns serious, “Are you familiar with Willow’s condition?” He asks.
“Familiar enough. I googled some stuff about it, when I got Katniss’ call.”
“Very well, then let me be brief: Willow got tested for bilirubin, which is a standard test for newborns with certain tell signs. Her results came back at 13.3. While 13 is not an entirely bad number, and it’s still 2 levels under Jaundice, it would be irresponsible of me to do nothing about it, so with ms. Everdeen’s approval, we started phototherapy as a means to fend off the advance of jaundice. In the standard form of the treatment, your baby will lie in the crib only in her diaper and an eye protective band, while being exposed to a type of fluorescent light that is absorbed by her skin. She’ll be under the lights for 12 hours, that’ll be broken into 3 hour segments, where she can be fed, held and diapered for up to 30 minutes, and then returned to the bassinet and lights.
“If her levels keep hiking up, her health could be seriously compromised. I know you were both hoping to take your baby home today, but I’ve decided Willow will benefit from an extra night with us under the lights. Any questions?”
“I guess, I’m wondering what caused the condition in the first place? Is there anything we could’ve done to prevent it? What else can we do to help her get better?” Peeta’s steadfast mask crumbles with his many questions, I can’t help but to be captivated by how much care, even love, I detect in his borderline frantic questioning.
It feels like being stabbed in the chest, to know he already cares for Willow so much, and he just had a quick glimpse of her in her plastic bassinet, under the fluorescent blue lights that distort her sweet features.
Me, I got to carry her inside me for 38 weeks, then after I delivered her, I got to hold her close to my heart, fed her, sing to her, changed her diapers.
I love her now, but when I first found out I was expecting her… let’s just say, with my old fears and baggage, it was a different story, but Peeta deserves a child, he has always wanted them so badly, which was one of the reasons I left, breaking his heart in the process. Peeta was born to be a daddy, but I squandered his daughter away from him, even though I was the one who never wanted children until I felt her stirring inside my belly… I can’t imagine how betrayed and angry he must feel.
Doctor Aurelius clears his throat, and holds Peeta’s gaze as if weighing him down before answering, but the man floors me with his next words.
“Ms. Everdeen has done everything any good parent would’ve done in her place, Mr. Mellark. I hope you know that.” He pauses just for a moment. “Nothing going on with your child’s elevated bilirubin levels is in anyway a reflection of your, or hers, parental skills, or even your competence as caregivers. Jaundice, is in fact very common in newborns and highly treatable. You have done what any responsible parent would, and put your daughter’s wellbeing before your own comfort. The fact that you not only have already chosen a pediatrician for your baby and set up an appointment already- and believe me, that’s more than I can say about most other parents I’ve met in this hospital- the fact that you’ve taken care of her future medical provider, tells me, Willow is in very capable hands. With all this, I want to say, both you, and us, are doing everything we need and can do to help Willow stay healthy.”
There’s quiet for a moment, Peeta shifts on his feet and gives a tired chuckle. “I’m afraid I didn’t have anything to do with the choosing of the pediatrician. That was all Katniss, but I trust her judgment when it comes to important things like choosing a doctor for… our baby.” He keeps his eyes stubbornly on his feet.
“All the same, Mr. Mellark, I’m confident you and Ms. Everdeen will take good care of my patient, once I’ve released her to you, hopefully tomorrow. Until then, please take some rest. Once the baby goes home, sleep will become a commodity you’ll yearn for!” With that last comment and a ragged laugh from me and Peeta, the doctor walks out of the room.
A cold, deafening silence falls in thick waves all over us, suffocating at least me. I’m feeling too many awful emotions to look at him, but I feel his eyes burning a hole through my skull.
“You’re a piece of work,” he says with contempt.
I shouldn’t get defensive, but just like that, all my guilt, fear and longing disappear, inflaming my anger instantly. “You’re no angel either, lying through your teeth,” I throw back, regretting the words immediately.
I see the rage gathered in his eyes, a mutt ready to strike, biting my head off. “And not even a bit nice, even after the biggest lie came from you!”
“I was never know for being the nice one in this relationship!” I snap. There’s a pregnant silence between us before I say weakly, “You were.” I wrap my arms around my middle and shrink back into the hospital bed. “I’m sorry.”
I haven’t really sink completely into the mattress when I find myself engulfed in the warmth of his arms and comfort of his scent: cinnamon and dill, from the breads he must’ve baked today.
Oh how I missed this. Oh how much I don’t deserve the comfort, yet how much I crave it. I can’t bring myself to push him away, not now that my stiffened shoulders shake while the ugly sobbing rakes through me. It’s weird, feeling the stress of the last few days, of probably the whole pregnancy, melt away with just one hug, but too soon he’s stepping away from me, and I claw at his shoulders like a drowning kitten pawing at its rescuer for dear life.
“Stay with me!” I beg almost hysterically.
“Always,” he kneels before me, wiping away the tears falling down my face, then he adds with some fear and hesitation, “if you allow it,”
“I’ll allow it!” I nod frantically, trying to convince him.
“You have to promise me, you’ll let me stay and help. I don’t think my heart could stand not being around Willow, now that I know she exists.”
I lean backwards, staring straight into his eyes, all shadow of doubt gone from my voice, “I’ll never keep her from you. Even if you and I don’t work out ever again, I’ll never keep her from her daddy. I won’t do that to my daughter.”
“Good,” he says and smiles at me sweetly. All anger stored away for now, probably even for good. “Now, tell me all about… well, everything.”
I smile to myself, looking past him and at the bundle under the blue lights.
“Her feeding is in ten minutes. We can keep her out for 30 minutes. You can feed her a bottle of breastmilk I expressed before you arrived, then you can feel how the fussy hair of her head feels like velvet under your fingers. She’s so soft, and beautiful, you’ll lover her! ” I tell him proudly, almost giddy with the excitement of him holding his baby girl for the first time ever.
“I’m already a goner,” he responds equally excited. “Now, about that feeding… I’ve fed my nephews, but I’ve never changed a diaper. How do I go about that? I wanna do everything!”
I chuckled at his enthusiasm.
Phototherapy has proven to fix more than bilirubin levels today.