Author: Shannon/Raindrops on Roses
Category: Romance (AJ/Mac)
Disclaimer: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Note: Author's Notes: This is another fic in my "Anagnorisis" universe. It's also in response to Amaya's No Shakespeare challenge on ajmacfic, in which authors were challenged to use a love poem not written by Shakespeare in a fic. (It was supposed to be for Sweetest Day--but hey, better late than never, right?) I went one step further and used a poem in another language. You can find the poem and the translation at the end of the fic.
Translation: a written communication in a second language having the same meaning as the written communication in a first language; the act of changing in form or shape or appearance.
At first, she was unsure of what this feeling was, this feeling that left her relaxed and secure, yet warm with a passion that almost startled her. She didn't think about it often, choosing rather to go about her days quietly.
One morning, in the darkness that preceded dawn, she finally put a name to the mysterious emotion.
She hadn't thought she would ever feel content again, much less joyful. For years, she had gone through life numbly, just... going through the motions. She hadn't been living; she had been surviving.
The only things that had jolted her out of her self-imposed stupor were the moments of pain--which were more frequent than she'd have liked. Particularly in the past year. Time after time she had taken blows which would have floored other women, but pulled herself back up. She had no choice. She was the strong one, the dependable one, the one to whom everyone turned for help. That was the only role she knew.
But a time came when she could no longer stand by herself. That was when she discovered that life was far easier when one let another help shoulder the load. The pain had been unbearable, and she had alternately lashed out at or withdrawn from the world. He had stood by her, however, holding her closer even as she had pushed him away.
Time passed, as it was wont to do. She learned firsthand that the phrase "time heals all wounds" was a total crock. However, she did learn to forget, for a while. And when she did remember, he was there to listen.
Love was only a part of it, really. She had been in love before, but those were either needy, painful affairs that left her more numb than before, or relationships that lacked the passion that she wanted. Not sexual passion--if she wanted that, she knew she could get it--but an excitement for life. It sounded corny, but he made her laugh louder, made her days brighter. Even simple household chores were made more enjoyable by his presence.
And strangely, she had no need to shout from the rooftops about her love for him. She didn't feel pressured to prove it. It was no secret, but it wasn't flaunted, either. They knew, and their friends knew, about their love, even if they had not yet spoken it aloud.
The rain pattered gently on the windowpane. She gazed at his face, composed in slumber, and a golden feeling of contentment washed over her. Her fingers traced his eyebrows, and his nose, and the strong line of his jaw. He continued to breathe deeply, evenly.
Her hands continued shaping the planes and contours of his body as she whispered. "Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde; te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo: así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera."
He shifted slightly, and her eyes flew to his face. His gaze, heavy-lidded from sleep, followed her movements. "Sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres," she continued. Taking his hand, she kissed it lightly and pressed it to her chest. "Tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía..." Her left hand reached up, and she gently brushed her fingertips over his eyelids, causing them to shut. "Tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño," she finished in a still quiet voice.
Silence filled the room, benign and unoppressive. "I didn't know you spoke Spanish," he said.
She shrugged a bare shoulder. "After Paraguay..." Her throat closed up, and she took a deep breath. He squeezed her hand, which still rested between their bodies. The now-familiar sadness came to her, but it no longer threatened to overwhelm her. She had long since come to terms with that part of her. "After Paraguay, I thought it would be good to know."
He nodded in understanding. "What does it mean?"
The crooked grin that she loved so much made an appearance. "What you just said. What does it mean?"
"You mean you don't know?" she teased.
He rolled his eyes. "I know Italian, not Spanish. Granted, the two are similar--but they're different enough to make translation frustrating."
She laughed softly. The smile slowly slipped from her face, replaced by a furrowed brow and gentle frown as she translated in her head.
When she spoke again, his dark eyes lit with her joy.
"Soneto XVII" from Cien Sonetos de Amor by Pablo Neruda
No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.
Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.
Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,
sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.
I love you not as the salt-rose or topaz,
Or arrows of carnations that spread fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
Secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as a plant that does not flower, but carries
And conceals within itself the light of those flowers,
And, thanks to your love, within my body lives
The heavy fragrance that arose from the earth.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you completely, without problem or pride:
I love you because I know no other way to love,
And in any other way, I am not, nor are you,
So close that your hand on my chest is my own,
So close that your eyes close when I dream.