I'm Just Too Tired To Argue

Written for jencallisto on livejournal.

I don't own anything at all here. It's all Diana Wynne Jones's, and possibly Studio Ghibli's as well, now. Mmmm, Ghibli…

Yes, it's very short. It's just a ficlet, and I think that lengthening it would not be possible—and if it were, it wouldn't turn out very well. Sorry!

This is my first written kiss. What do you think?

"This is useless. It's absurd!" Howl scowled at his workbench, which was messily covered in . "Of all the stupid, worthless, idiotic—" He restrained himself from kicking the wall.

Sensing his father's mood, Morgan began to wail from his pen near the fire. Howl had made a special trip to Wales to get it, after Morgan had managed to climb up the workbench and very nearly send himself halfway across the multiverse. Morgan had been extremely outraged at this development, and spent all of his time there glowering at the walls and throwing his toys out of it.

"It just doesn't work," Howl said through clenched teeth, holding his (at that time, long and blond) hair in fistfuls and pulling it slowly but strongly. "No—no—I don't work. I am a failed wizard. I should get rid of my books; sell the dribbly candles. Calcifer, you're going to have to find somewhere else to stay."

Sophie stopped stirring the pot over the fire—rather, over Calcifer's bent head—and hung the spoon on a hook. She placed her hands on her hips and leant backwards to stretch her back. There was a small stuffed elephant on the floor that was right in the way of where someone might walk; Sophie picked it up and handed it back to Morgan with a soothing hush.

Howl began pulling books off of the shelf above his table. "Maybe it isn't hopeless—" he began, quickly reading a few pages of each. "No. It is. It is utterly hopeless for me to try to understand this miserable, absurd thing because it isn't a real spell." He looked panicked. "Maybe the last several years have really been just a dream—maybe I'm really in some sort of psychiatric ward in Cardiff, imagining that I'm a wizard, and now it's all starting to fall apart, starting with the spells—"

Sophie picked up the spoon again, and dipped it in the pot of soup. She held it out in front of her, and went over to Howl, who, by this point, was pounding his fist on the worktable and wondering why, damn him, why hadn't he stayed in his practical classes and become an electrician? She placed a hand on his shoulder and opened her mouth to ask him whether he though the soup qualified for his definition of Good Food, as a way of taking his mind off things, when he stopped ranting.

Howl looked down into Sophie's eyes and bent slightly downward towards her. Their lips met, and the soup spoon dangled in Sophie's fingers. Not a drop fell to the ground, of course. What else was the good of being a witch?