Gravity of Love

by Kysra

She had believed that falling in love would be like falling off a cliff, walking on air or some other impossibly mind-blowing event. It would be sudden and surprising, earth-shattering, astronomical and heavenly - orgasmic.

There would be music and dancing, the occasional bouquet of wild flowers or roses, and boxes of candy. Perhaps, falling in love would entertain a moonlit serenade beneath her bedroom window, a quiet snuggle on a cold winter's day, or a love note left under her pillow. She would be all involuntary sighs and spontaneous blushes, unable to keep from humming incomprehensible (but strangely beautiful) tunes formed from the strands of her soul.

Her heart would thud in her chest when the subject of her affections drew near, her eyes would meet his in a fateful, yearning glance, and he would respond with an answering smile, a deliciously wicked little wink or an aggressive, possessive kiss.

He would be the answer to her every dream. Calm, beautiful, dependable, and solid, pleasing to the eye and warm to the touch. His voice would be capable of soothing and arousing . . . velvety, deep, soft and whispering over her senses and caressing her without physical contact. Kind, sweet, hers would be a charitable man, earnest but shy, loving but determined, strong but able to exhibit vulnerability. Her fantasy was a partner, and their relationship would be based on mutual respect and equality.

Reality, was markedly different from the utopian love of her girlish fancy.

Love, she found, was hard and gritty and flawed. It was hard work and committment without verbal (or visible) gratitude. It was gruff moments of frustration and borderline-hate. There were no wasteful gifts or inane little notes. No external or internal orchestra playing just for them, and no wondrous moments of absolute focus or tenderness.

Hers was a love defined by limited time, conference calls, and scheduled appointments. It was an affection displayed with unwilling touches of eyes and hands, tentative smiles and customary glares. It was an ardor allowed only behind closed doors, an unlocked passion that was as much violent as it was complete. It was an emotion whose only outlet was raised voices and heated words rather than sweet nothings.

It was everything she thought love could not be.

He was everything she thought love could not be.

Because he was all she ever wanted and more in one strange package of stiff composure and icy disdain. Though he was not a romantic prince of noble character or a dashing cavalier on a white charger come to woo her with pretty words and loving gestures, he was every fantasy she never knew she had. No matter his grumpy attitude and antisocial tendencies, he was the partner she had always pictured herself with.

For it wasn't romance between them, it was life and knowledge and so many other things that mattered. It was the way he could read her without a word spoken. It was the way she never had to be anything but herself around him - bitchy, angry, bitter, sweet, mild, happy, or sad. It was the rare moments when he let his guard down long enough to open to her. It was the burdens they allowed each other to share. It was the precious all-too-scarce laughter and the treasured-though-numerous tears. It was the learning process of being with someone so opposite he was fundamentally the same. It was the unasked for support and the blatant honesty. It was the shoulder they provided to the other when things became too much to bear. It was the unmasked anger and hurt, the unveiled scars, and the freely given comfort. It was the quiet darkness as they just held each other in the night simply breathing. It was the safety of his presence and the effortless confidence in his posture. It was the way his hair fell into those eyes of wondrous depth. It was in the beauty of his soul, something he was seemingly unaware of. It was the way he seemed so rough and harsh but took pains to be gentle with her when she needed him to be gentle. It was the coat he draped over her shoulders when she was too stubborn to admit to being chilled, and the thermos he packed into her dance bag when he knew she would be practicing late.

So many little things that were just between them, theirs and theirs alone. So many small things that would be meaningless to another but were especially cherished for their unexpected pull.

And though he would never admit there was this emotion bindng them - owning and selling them to each other, she couldn't be happier with their arrangement. Even if it was markedly different from her little girl dreams of love and romance. Even if they had spent so much time and so many complicated, chaotic moments, so many hurtful (but true) and cutting words, she knew that this horribly twisted, terrific thing driving them together was what she had always needed.

His love, no matter the form it took, was enough - grounding yet unstable, enduring yet vulnerable, exhausting yet . . .

. . . completely worth it.

Smiling softly at his sleeping face (a miracle to be sure), she bent to whisper softly in his ear. "I love you, Seto Kaiba."