A/N: A few quick points to help you determine whether to read this story (I'm helping you out!):
1) This is a W/L LOVE story (if you're looking for general CP action or themes, you may get bored)
2) This story is rated M for sexual content (yeah, there's a lot of it!) and the occiasional swear word (if that makes you uncomfortable, now is the time to surf away. You've been warned!)
3) The plot develops eventually, so be patient through the swooning (LOL)
4) Bear in mind that the characters are a bit older and therefore, their personalities may have changed a little with time (for example, if you're insistent on Linka being an ice queen or Wheeler always making lame jokes, you will be disappointed). Please respect my 3D take on their 2D personalities the show offered.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or themes relating to Captain Planet. Making money from this would be a dream come true, indeed!
"I don't think I could date an ugly girl."
Linka was pulled out of her personal reveries and she turned her head in the direction of these spoken words. The sun was low in the trees, acting as a frame to the ending day. In her small purse was a bag filled with bread crumbs for the ducks, which she liked to feed at this time of day, when the park was quiet and the benches nearly emptied out. The sun played reflection gamed on the pond, lighting it with golden and silver hues.
They came to New York often, to escape the dullness of island life and to spend time time alone together, away from the other Planeteers. The city provided all kinds of entertainment, and Linka could tell that Wheeler was homesick for it, especially the food. He was eager to take her out to dinner, where they could enjoy all kinds of delicacies like steak, pizza, mouth-watering burgers, sushi, delicious cheesecakes and so much more. New York had something for all palates, and not just culinary speaking. It was fun for Linka to learn all kinds of facts on the city that Wheeler easily provided, much like her own personal tour guide. She was always amazed by how big things seemed - from the skyscrapers to the sidewalks to the SUVs stuck in perpetual traffic.
Linka's emerald eyes took in Wheeler's profile, his strong jaw and the self-composed way he carried his broad shoulders. His hand was holding hers, swinging it lightly with each step.
"Ok... where is this coming from all of a sudden?" Linka heard herself voicing, still incredulous at his ways at times. He had a knack for taking her off guard, on more occasions than one. Controversy seemed to be an easy companion to Wheeler.
"That is a strange thing to say, Yankee."
Wheeler shrugged and turned to her.
"Just thinking out loud, I guess."
Linka let go of his hand and turned so she could walk backwards and face him at the same time.
"So you are saying that if I looked any different, then we might not be having this walk? I mean, not even to give me a chance? That is a little mean, I think."
"Probably more shallow than mean," he corrected her, smiling in an impish sort of way. "What can I say? At least I'd be honest from the get-go. You just can't fake attraction."
He took a hold of her elbow and she continued her stroll beside him.
"So the thing you care most about is the way I look? The rest does not matter a great deal to you?"
Wheeler watched as her facial expressions contracted, trying to make sense out of him. She did this often lately, trying to figure him out, to understand the ocean of differences between them. Even he had to admit that he had just shared something that could be misconstrued, and leave it to Linka to pick it apart like a scientist does a cell.
"It's different with you," Wheeler readily replied, drawing her closer in one swift movement. Luckily, he had become good at that. "You're beautiful in every sense of the word, making me one extremely lucky guy."
Wheeler could see her lips twitching at the corners into a natural smile, but she shook her head up at him and took a step away. She neared a bench beside the pond and rummaged through her purse for the bread crumbs. Ducks stared to sing their feeding song as they timidly poked at the bread on the surface of the water.
Linka was sly that way, reflected Wheeler with a small smile. She scurried away from his embraces at just the right time before he could capture her mouth in a passionate kiss or hold her close to his length. She seemed to enjoy the elusive cat-and-mouse game that had always been present in their relationship. Although, he could swear she loved it more when he did, in fact, "capture" her. He could tell by the glazed over look in her eyes just after he'd thoroughly kissed her, or her soft moans when his lips paid careful attention to other sensitive parts on her body.
"Don't be mad," he voiced teasingly, taking a seat beside her and watching her tuck a strand of stray hair behind her ear. She was wearing the delicate drop emerald earrings he had given her on her birthday, reminding him of the kiss she had rewarded him with upon opening the small velvety box.
"To match those pretty eyes of yours," he had whispered inches from her lips when she had loosened her grip on him just a little. It still caused him shivers to think of her that close to him, that soft. It had been worth every penny he'd saved up, including the money he'd gotten from selling his guitar. One day, he was sure he'd think up some way to buy it back and purchase tons more pretty things for Linka.
"I'm a man who's got very specific taste," Wheeler continued now, his hands flying behind his head to support it, as if he had no cares in the whole wide world.
"And I am your type?" concluded Linka, with a tone that aimed to ridicule a little.
"Beautiful... being your type."
Linka offered him some bread crumbs to throw and he complied, the ducks happily reacting as result.
"So I better not lose my looks, then."
She turned to him and their eyes met. She was searching him now, her glance gone from teasing to near intense in the blink of an eye.
"That's not possible, babe."
Wheeler's words were said with such conviction that she wanted to laugh. It did not suit the topic of conversation at all! He was pairing true love with something as fickle and vain as physical appearances!
"That is not very reassuring to me, Wheeler," she remarked with a frown, suddenly tired of feeding the ducks. "I am going to change with time! What about when I have children?"
Wheeler took her hand and kissed it delicately, smiling all the while.
"I'll love you even when you get as big as a whale."
Linka retrieved her hand from his and muttered a few Russian words painted with frustration. She could not hide a small smile, however. Wheeler took this as an encouragement to pull her out of her seat and place her directly on his lap. He cradled her in his arms for a minute before speaking.
"This is why I love you, Linka. Any other girl would have been flattered at hearing me saying such things, take it as a compliment even. You have this innate sense of justice, of how things should be in the world. There's no way I can lose you, you're like my compass."
Inches from him and his sky-blue eyes, Linka felt years of defenses melting. Wheeler had so many different shades to his personality it was hard to keep up. He was amusing enough to often steal hearty laughs from her, yet at times so irritating she felt a good smack was in order to set him straight. When he said sugary things to her, however, they were heartfelt and lovely. Surely, she was now blushing at his intense, love-sick stare. So she hid her face in his shoulder and smiled to herself a little.
Wheeler held her close, while caressing her back lightly. She forgave him 'off comments' with more ease these days, her tenderness for him blooming so much so he could sense its sweet warmth. He lifted her face upwards, a finger underneath her chin, and offered her a smile.
"So... how many kids are we going to have?"
The question filled them both with a sense of nervous surprise. It was as if they were suddenly standing naked in front of each other, with no veils to cover up the certainty of a future life together.
Linka's firm and uncomplicated response was like an immersion of those naked bodies in a nearly frozen lake. A shock to the senses.
Her smug smile was victorious like a shiny, new trophy. One thing Wheeler was teaching her was emotional transparency, although it came as no easy task to her. All her life she had put up barriers for herself, to keep separate from pain, disappointments and tears. It was a form of survival to her. Like the laws of nature, where only the strongest survived. With Wheeler, however, this had changed in a major way. He made it safe to cry, to fight, to make up and fall in love all over again.
Wheeler had to remind himself to blink and close the gaping hole his mouth had become."I see," he let out, finding his voice. He could barely believe that Linka had been thinking about a future with him, let alone a detailed future at that!
His musings trailed off as Linka gave him a soft but quick kiss on the lips. He moved to capture her mouth once more, deepening the contact to his liking. He was one lucky bastard.