a/n: hello friends i am here to add to the pitifully small amount of alimor fanfiction. basically this is just little short things of them struggling to be on even ground emotionally. there will probably be time jumps and flashbacks and the like. i hope you enjoy! spoilers through the alma toran arc.
As they watch what unravels on the ceiling, he presses his hand to hers. She flinches at the touch at first.
She is trying. It's hard to be loved when you never saw love growing up. It's hard to even fathom that there is someone who cares for her like that.
She lets his fingers lace through hers.
She watches the story unfold, of how Sheba falls madly in love with Solomon, and how he frankly ignores her at first. Is that how Alibaba felt? Has been feeling? She feels terrible now, thinking back on almost every one of their interactions. He'd talked her up to almost everyone he'd met. He never stopped talking about her, apparently. Was that love?
As time goes on, Solomon realizes that he loves Sheba back. Which is good. She can only guess that those are Aladdin's mother and father. She'd still be in chains against her will if it wasn't for Aladdin.
Or Alibaba, as well. He'd saved her just as much.
As if he's a mind reader, he squeezes her hand. They fit together nicely, she thinks.
As everything goes to hell, Alibaba doesn't release his grip on her hand. She needs the support too.
Later, she confronts him about selling himself to the Kou Empire.
"What were you thinking?" She asks, though it isn't accusatory. She legitimately is curious as to what his thought process was.
"I have to protect Balbadd," he says. "That, and my household is easily transplantable." He frowns. "I... I can't risk losing you guys. And Sinbad," he hesitates on the name, looking distraught about it. "He understands. There aren't hard feelings there."
"Is it worth it?" His face is a myriad of emotions. There is some relief in a small crease by his eye, worry is spread all around his pores, and determination surrounds his aura.
"I want to save Balbadd from the Kou Empire. I have to. I owe it to Cassim." He buries his face in his hands. It's not the answer she thought he'd give, but it's good enough.
She wonders what the right thing to do here is. Does she stay beside him, with the increasingly-shortening distance between them? Does she try to comfort him with a touch of some sort? She's lost in a swirling amount of emotions as well. "Everything will work out, Alibaba," she consoles, and on a leap of faith she scoots closer to him, letting their legs touch. "I have faith in you." She drops her hand onto his thigh, rubbing it soothingly.
He lays his hand on top of hers. "Thank you, Mor." His voice is quiet, and it's much like when he doesn't have faith in his own decisions. "I'm still scared," he admits, falling backwards onto the bed. She falls back, too. "I don't want to marry a Kou princess." Something in her heart flutters at the words. "Kougyoku is great, but... I only like her as a friend. We come from similar roots, you know? Born from a prostitute, put in the royal family awkwardly." He sighs, and he laces his fingers through hers again. Their hands still rest on his thigh. "I could marry her in name only. As a political marriage. We could both actually be in love with someone else. Dedicate ourselves to someone else." He's just rambling now, trying to work out a solution to what he's gotten himself into. She squeezes his hand experimentally.
"One step at a time, Alibaba," she says. "Don't worry about that yet. Let's try to win the war first."
He turns his head to look at her, and she mirrors the action. "You've always got your head on straight," he marvels. "How do you do it?"
"I never had time to worry about the future before," she answers, trying not to be brutally honest. He gets the timeframe she's mentioning.
"Well, someone has to keep me level-headed," he chuckles. "Hey, Mor?" She raises an eyebrow, showing her attention. "Do you..." He hesitates again. "Would you be okay staying here tonight?"
"This is the Amon household sleeping chamber." She's confused by the question.
"I mean... You're not going to make this easy, are you." He sighs, but there's amusement there. What wasn't she getting? "Will you stay in my bed tonight?"
The question feels heavy. She has shared a bed with Alibaba before. "Why is this different?" She asks the question aloud. Her face flames anyway, even if she does feel safe with him.
"Ah, um..." He scratches his neck with the hand that isn't connected with hers. His face is bright red too. "Couples usually share a bed. Like, for cuddling. And stuff."
It dawns on her then. More affectionate things. Alibaba was starved for attention, wasn't he? She pretended to think on it for a minute, but in reality she was contemplating how lonely he must've been without her. If he really did love her the way he'd said he did... "Yes. I'll stay with you tonight." She wanted to try to love him back. She was sure she did, but she had to learn how to accept kind physical touch and loving embraces. She had a feeling they wouldn't stop anytime soon.
"Thank you, Mor." Hesitantly, he pulls his fingers from her light grip and lays on his side, and inches closer to her. She tries to not hold her breath. His chest presses against hers, and his arms snake around her in something that feels like a hug, but is also so much more.
She decides that learning how to love won't be hard with him as her teacher.
She wakes up slowly, feeling much groggier than she usually does. One of her arms feels like it's full of pins and needles. Was she sleeping wrong?
She opens her eyes to find herself pressed to a mass of muscle, she thinks sluggishly. It's skin, and she absently wonders where she is. And why she feels so comfortable. She tries to roll over, but finds herself trapped by... Arms?
"Nnngh." There's a groan, and the grip around her tightens. She tries not to panic. Wha-? But then the voice clicks into place and she understands.
She's currently laying in bed with Alibaba, her face pressed against his chest. Her panic soothes a bit, but she's still a bit antsy. It is... Odd, to be held like this, but it wasn't unpleasant. It is nice, she could even say. Very warm, too. It's like she had her own personal heater. "Alibaba." He grumbles out something that doesn't sound coherent. "Alibaba," she whispers again, trying not to move the arm that's asleep under his torso.
"Mm, Mor?" He opens his eyes and looks down at her. She can feel his golden gaze. "Are you okay?" She nods. "Did you sleep well?" The plague of nightmares had stayed away last night, which is probably why she's groggy. She nods again. His hands shift from her back to play with her hair. She's slowly easing into physical affection. She likes the touch, even if it is foreign.
She mirrors the hair playing with her free arm. She tangles her fingers in his luscious gold locks, gently tugging at miscellaneous knots to work them out. They lay in silence, just basking in the others presence.
She could get used to this, if she's honest with herself. She isn't quite sure why she was so adverse to it in the first place.
She appreciates that Alibaba is willing to wait for her to catch up.