Author: Airplane PM
They wouldn't admit anything, but they came close enough.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Flynn R. & Rapunzel - Words: 3,053 - Reviews: 55 - Favs: 210 - Follows: 19 - Published: 04-10-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6892563
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AN: For aimakichan, who is lovely and kind.
Eugene wished that he had come up with some other excuse to leave besides collecting unnecessary firewood. His excuse should have been something where coming back with a tangible product to prove he had been doing what he said he was doing was not a requirement. If he said he was going to collect firewood, he would have to collect firewood. As opposed to just banging his head against a tree while cursing under his breath, he had to pick up a bunch of random sticks off the ground. He should have come up with something like, "I'm going to scout out the area for snakes," or "It's time for my nightly exercise where I stroll around by myself," or "I really need to get away from you right now because you're far too pretty when you look at me like that and I'm going to end up doing something stupid and embarrassing."
Something else that was embarrassing. Something that was more stupid.
He set his mind towards acting like nothing had happened (because nothing really had) and strolled casually back into their cozy clearing with loaded arms.
"Hey can I ask you something?" he said, pitching his voice for a lighthearted, distracting tangent. "Is there any chance that I'm going to get super strength in my hand? Because I'm not gonna lie, that would be stupendous."
He paused when she didn't respond, her back still facing him as she watched the tree line.
"Hey, you alright?"
She turned around and gave him a stressed smile. "Oh. Sorry. Yes, just... lost in thought I guess."
Hmm. Well, that wasn't suspicious at all.
He decided to let it slide and chalk it up to the fact that this was her first time out of her tower at night… alone in the woods… with him… and they had had that moment earlier and that was all kinds of frightening.
He shrugged and continued his ramble, kneeling by their little fire to feed it a few spindly branches. "I mean because here's the thing, superhuman good looks, I've always had them. Born with it. But superhuman strength, can you imagine the possibilities?"
She looked over her shoulder, her eyes darting back and forth nervously in the dark.
"You sure you're ok?"
"Huh? Yes. I told you I'm fine."
He scanned the area she had been scrutinizing. The dark woods did look a bit menacing now that he came to think about it. Offering to scout the area for snakes was sounding like a better idea all the time.
"It's nothing," she said hurriedly, taking several steps forward and holding up her hands as if trying to get him to stand down. "I thought I heard something earlier, but... I mean... it's the forest and I'm sure there's lots of things that make noises."
"Yeah." She averted her eyes and slumped down onto the log again.
He stared at her a moment as she fiddled absently with her hair, then he sat back and gave up completely on the pretext of fueling their fire. They didn't really need firewood anyway. It's not like they were going to stay up all night swapping secrets and sharing stories and getting to know every beautiful, terrible thing about one another.
"You haven't lied much in your life."
Her head snapped up. "What?"
"You're lying and you're bad at it."
"I… am not."
"Hey, just an observation. I'm not complaining. You'll get better at it with practice."
"I've lied before," she said, sticking out her chin. "I didn't tell mother that you were in the closet."
"When was I in a closet?"
She lowered her head and had the decency to look mildly ashamed. It barely covered her growing smirk. "You were kind of unconscious."
"Ah." Right. The frying pan. He eyed it warily even though it was well out of her reach and (hopefully) they had moved past the violent phase of their relationship.
"I kept Pascal a secret too," she said in a rushed attempt to move the conversation along. "She's never found him. One time we were playing a game and he broke a vase and I told her that I did it."
She looked so overly proud of herself that for a moment he didn't know what to say.
"Hold up. You mean to tell me that there are times when your little, green friend isn't in the way?"
She giggled. "He's a good chameleon."
"Right." He cleared his throat as Pascal glared at him. "But you've never told a bold faced lie before, right?"
"I…" She thought about it for a moment, trading a look with Pascal when she couldn't come up with anything. The lizard shrugged.
"Lie to me."
"Right now. Tell me a lie."
"That's up to you, Blondie."
She looked at Pascal again for help and after a moment she gave it a hesitant shot.
"Pascal… is a frog."
The chameleon gave an affronted start, then took on a look of dismay and betrayal, which apparently corresponds to a deep shade of purple. It brought a small moment of joy to Eugene's soul.
"That's entirely believable."
She grinned and looked around for something else to inspire her, seemingly oblivious to the frog's grumpy growling noise as he wondered off to sulk. "My hair isn't magic."
"That I'm not buying."
She shot him a cheeky grin. "It's not. You just hit your head harder than you thought. Now you're imagining things."
"Huh. Well, I guess I've had worse hallucinations."
She laughed, just a small noise under her breath and a smile that lit up her face, as she eagerly slipped down to join him on the ground. "Your turn," she said.
He pretended not to watch the way she tucked her skirt under her folded legs. "My favorite color's pink."
"My favorite time of year is winter, when it's really, really cold."
She nodded enthusiastically. "And windy."
He smiled, absently shifting nearer. "And my favorite book is very long and depressing."
"I don't have a favorite book. And my favorite food is sprouts."
She relaxed her shoulders and reclined back on an arm. It wasn't the same deliberate scootch she did earlier that he had found so endearing. It was more of a lean, something careless and easy, something that showed her comfort around him far better than her repeated assurances that nothing was wrong.
Regardless of the intention behind it, it brought her closer. She was near enough for all the freckles across her nose to stand out in the firelight, which quavered and danced across her cheeks, flickering and enticing. Eugene found himself mirroring her movements, reclining back on one locked arm and giving her a secretive, lopsided smile.
"My favorite food is dirt," he said.
"Oh, that sounds delicious."
"It is. Have you tried it?"
"Only every single day!"
"You must get tired of it then."
"Of course not, I'd never get tired of doing the same thing every day. Repetition makes good habits, you know."
It really wouldn't take much to close the distance between them now. He tilted his head in her direction and even that seemed to be pushing some boundary. "Right. Sorry. I forgot."
She blushed under his gaze – oh no, he was gazing again – and her flush only worked to intensify the glow across her face. She leaned forward, away to dodge his eyes and tuck a strand of hair behind her ear. A draft of disappointment spread through him, but he swallowed down the feeling and dropped his eyes. He reminded himself that it was stupid to feel disappointed.
"It's a shame we didn't die in that cave," he said, pretending not to be transfixed by the careful way she arranged her hair.
"Oh, I'd much rather be killed by those men that don't like you. But they didn't seem like they could do much harm." She gave a few loose strands a final twist.
"That's true. They've got brains to spare, but they're gentle as-"
Her hand landed on his as she leaned back again.
For a stuttering heartbeat they both froze.
It was just a pinky and a ring finger, sprawled accidentally against his skin, but they were warm and soft and small, and they shot a ripple up his arm, into his lungs, making all his hair stand on end, forming a tickling, lurching lump in his throat.
Sucking in a sharp breath, she tensed to jerk away and apologize, but he moved before she could - just the tiniest adjustment to cover her fingers with one of his own.
It was a strangely awkward way to hold his hand, and his forearm started to cramp almost immediately.
It wasn't a caress. It wasn't fueled by uncontrolled passion. It wasn't even a conscious decision. It wasn't restraining her or holding her in place. Not really. She could pull away if she wanted.
Which she didn't.
Such a small gesture acted as the strongest of magnetic forces, binding them together, freezing both their arms from the shoulder down as neither had the power to pull away or the courage to push further. With his quiet permission to stay like that, she found that she never wanted to move away.
"-Gentle as little kittens," he finished, glancing up at her and trying to convey so much in a single glance. What he was trying to tell her he didn't know, but he knew it was a lot. It was enough to send his pulse racing and set his entire being on edge.
If his voice was a bit ragged they both pretended not to notice. And if her heart was racing so strongly now that he could feel it in her fingers, then they both pretended that it was normal.
The whole situation was normal. Sort of, kind of holding hands? Happened every day. No big deal. Just standard practice between two people who happened to know each other's deepest secrets and were camped out alone under the starlight.
That happened all the time too, and he really shouldn't be reading too much into it.
She hesitated a moment before looking up at him through her eyelashes and murmuring and – damn she was pretty.
"Are we still playing the fibbing game?"
"It's up to you." Except that he would keep lying to himself. He'd tell himself that his voice wasn't as soft as it sounded and that she wasn't drawing him in inch by inch.
"I think we should stop."
"Is that a fib?"
She let out a breath of laughter as her eyelids grew heavy and her lips hovered over his, electrifying his skin with anticipation, so close he could almost taste her.
His nose brushed against hers. Her lips ghosted over his. The subtle movements repeated themselves, a touch here, a graze there, soft and gentle and so restrained it made his chest ache. Only the lightest of pressures, the barest touch as her breath grew heavier against his skin and his pulse pounded through his head.
The phantom sensations caught at his imagination and sent it spinning. Like their lying game, they hinted at the truth without stepping forward and owning it. She moved smoothly and gracefully, her finely parted lips bushing his skin, her cheek skating past, exciting his nerves until they grew raw. Holding himself back from grabbing her, from claiming her mouth, from holding her close became more and more difficult with every passing tremor from her nearness.
He reached for her cautiously, hesitating before sweeping his fingertips over the curve of her cheek, leaving a tingling trail up to her ear, sending a strand of magic down her spine. Coarse fingers ran down the column of her throat, rasping softly against flawless skin arching ever so beautifully to give him better access, to let him feel more without breaking any unspoken rules - rules fragile as crystal that would be shattered as easily as the moment. She pressed her hand to her chest, trying to hold herself in, keep herself together even though with every faint touch she threatened to fly apart.
She twisted so smoothly, her effortless movements in such contrast with his struggle to contain the urges of his every muscle that for a heartbeat he didn't know what she was doing. She settled over him, light on his lap as she rested her weight on her knees, edging ever closer while still holding back. Their joined hands stayed firmly planted against the ground, hers moving only to swivel as she turned, moving to slip a few more twitching fingers over his own. The length of her arm was so close to his now that he could feel the warmth of it.
She lingered close to him, gazing into his face with clouded eyes, and he let every breathy inhale, every brush of her chest against his wind him tighter, heat his veins, push against his weakening restraint. He held back a moan as she dragged her lower lip along his jaw line, tickling at his slight stubble with a feather light touch and hot, damp breath. He swallowed thickly, and his fingers twitched, and his eyes rolled closed, and he rested his free hand oh so carefully against the back of her neck where he threaded his fingers through her dampened hair. She ran a thin hand up his chest, fingering the seams on his vest, and making him wish more than anything in the world that he wasn't wearing it.
It took a surge of courage, a leap that simply had to be taken, one that terrified him more than he ever thought was possible of something so simple. And in his fear he held his breath as he lifted his hand from the ground, slowly so as not to startle her and gently so she wouldn't pull her hand away, so their one firm connection wouldn't be lost, so as not to bring the moment to an earth shattering halt. He guided their hands to her hip, where he held her – really, unwaveringly held her – where he let his hand spread over her, let her fill his palm and seep into his fingers. And the whole time she held her hand to his, as though she were the one guiding them, as though she were giving permission and encouragement, as though she was enjoying this and wanting this and wanting him.
With painful delicacy, she rested her forehead against his and slowly their hands began to drag up her form, over the curve of her waist, the planes of her stomach, his every touch leaving a burning trail that soaked into her to warm her lungs and leave her dizzy. She sucked in a gasp as he cupped her breast, his hand firm and warm, her body yielding and her thoughts whirling and needy.
She arched against his touch, pressing further against him, squirming in his lap and sweeping her head backwards in a moan so silent and enticingly contained that the sight ate at him, burning the embers in his belly, pulling his face to her throat to breathe her in and nuzzle against her with that same frustrating softness that whispered almost, almost.
She was the one to crumble first. She was the one to break free of the suspended, nameless emotions they had drawn up around themselves. Her heart was pounding so hard and her need was so strong that if she didn't do something she thought she might die.
He flinched when her hand ripped free from his own, fear and disappointment stabbing through his chest. But it was short lived as she grabbed her hair, looped it twice around their joined forms with a few practiced flicks of her wrist, and yanked.
In an abrupt shock of broken tension, she pulled him close, bound them together, pressed herself so firmly against him that she threatened to melt into his chest. She squeezed him between her thighs and threw an arm around his neck and sealed her mouth over his in a hungry, yearning kiss.
He gripped her tight – so, so tight. And he reveled in the weight of her, in the feel of her every curve pressed flush against him, in the heat of her desire. All the strain that had built and built and built within him found focus like a bright, white light as he kissed her, as they attempted to devour one another body and soul.
He tangled his fist in her hair, the muscles in his arm flexing as he pulled and her hair strained to bind them ever tighter. This freed her hand to clasp his face and grope in his hair in a frantic attempt to deepen a kiss that was far too deep already.
It ended in a gasp, followed by another and another, her eyes darkened with lust, her lips red and swollen, a flush across her face and her chest heaving. He imagined he was in the same state, right down to the tousled hair and the desperate expression.
"That- that was-"
"Yeah," he panted. "Yeah, it was."
She smiled, shyly and alluringly, and ducked her head with a blush to nuzzle his face. He closed his eyes and let her hair fall slack, letting it tumble and pool around them in a river of gold. She relaxed against him, comfortable and trusting and safe in his arms, her head nestled against his neck where her breath continued to tease him, her arms draped over his shoulders in a gesture that was almost possessive.
He held her close to keep her warm as their little fire burnt itself out, and he pondered how he could be taken in so easily and how anyone could be so heartbreakingly beautiful.