Disclaimer: Disney's, not mine. We all know this.
Summary: Owen reflects on his sleeping wife.
A/N: Occurs about a month after Oberon restores Puck's powers.
A/N 2: Unfortunately, my stories relating to this were deleted ( this includes the entire Encounter Saga)when the computer crashed. sigh So I'm having to start all from scratch, but I actually found this one-shot on an old disk of mine. So I'm posting it. I hope you enjoy.
A/N 3: In the way my saga would have gone, Puck marries a three race hybrid named Kristienne Johnson. I may just do one-shots on this and other couples in the castle until I've managed to get my saga back. Things are sorta explained inside.
She is so beautiful.
I reach out a hand to brush her cheek- always so soft- and she leans into the caress. My breath catches in my throat; I don't want to wake her. But she doesn't show any more signs of wanting to wake up and I allow myself to relax.
It's been so long since I actually had time to watch her sleep; I'd forgotten how addictive it was. The gentle rise and fall of her chest, the way her hair fans across the pillow and the peaceful look on her face.
My smile freezes as I realize I haven't seen that look on her for a while. She always has this small frown that shows she's thinking or worried about something, and while that look can be completely endearing, I've seen it too much over the last eight months.
I study her eyes; they're actually still, not darting about restlessly under those closed lids. I hope that's a good sign. She needs to catch up on her sleep; the events of the past months have drained her.
Of course, she tries to hide it. That's just the way she is; she doesn't like people worrying about her. And Kristi can act very well; almost as well as I can. My thumb brushes her left eyebrow and she sighs.
She can't fool me. Nor does she try to; not anymore. When I first met her, she tried. She stared death in the face and didn't even blink an eye.
I smile. She was so brave, and she didn't fuss too much about it. No one thought anything was wrong. She talked openly about how scared she had been; but I knew something else was wrong. I could feel it when she looked at me.
After that time, she never tried to hide anything from me. My thumb brushes full lips and I feel them tremble under my touch.
I remember the first time I felt her lips tremble. She had reached over to brush something from my jacket and I had turned to thank her. The look on her face was one I had never seen before.
Her eyes were wide and her lips- so exquisite- were half open. I was afraid to move even though the inside of the Jeep had seemed to heat up. She lifted her fingers from my jacket and had just been about to touch my cheek, when it seemed she remembered where she was, who she was with and what she had been about to do.
A light chuckle escapes me. She had just turned eighteen and had looked guilty, edging into terrified. That was when I had reached out to her instead, brushing my fingers across her lips.
I remember her leaning toward me, emerald eyes locked with my ice blue ones. I remember her stopping nearly an inch from my lips. Time had seemed to stop for me- I couldn't breathe. I was unaware of anything around me except for the heat and Kristi's breath on my lips.
"Trickster, are… are you sure about this?" Her voice. Low, controlled, cautious.
"I… I…" My voice. Hoarse, breathless. It seemed like we'd switched places. I'm supposed to be the calm one, the icy majordomo. How ironic.
"Trickster?" Her voice again, but this time it quivered slightly. I saw fear in those green eyes.
"Yes, I'm sure." My voice, no, Puck's voice. My eyes had widened. Because the truth was, I hadn't been in any condition to respond to Kristi. Apparently, Puck had decided I needed a little help.
She had smiled as if she completely understood my situation. The next thing I knew, her lips had been on mine, soft, tender, trembling.
Her mouth twitches in her sleep as if she is also remembering the past. Kristi's never been a shy person. She told me once that being raised in her clan didn't give you much chance of being shy.
She's always had to be strong. I admire her for her no nonsense personality, her standards (Oberon knows Puck doesn't have many!), her willpower, her kindness.
I smirk. She's got a temper, and for some reason I think that's one of her best qualities. I just love seeing her argue; her eyes glow orange, which, for some reason makes even Goliath afraid.
Of course, that temper's been aimed at me quite a few times. I don't usually mind; as I've said before, there has to be a reward for all of that control. Besides, I find the whole glowing eyes thing very erotic.
A shiver passes through me as my gaze drops to her chest. The smooth chocolate is always tempting, but when it's encased in that pink silk camisole…
My hand lingers above her chest for a microsecond before trailing my fingers across the smooth flesh. A small whimper escapes her lips. I pause, still not wanting to wake her, but her body arches into my touch.
I reluctantly remove my hand and I could swear I see a frown flit across her face, but it's gone as soon as it comes. I resist the urge to laugh; she once called me a sadistic bastard for leaving her hanging to answer my phone.
I had tried to explain to her how important the call was, but it had taken almost a week before she talked to me and then another week before we had sex again. That last week had been pure torture.
She'd taken to wearing the sexiest outfits she'd owned and pulling away when I had tried to touch her. The look in her eyes had been positively wicked.
Looking at her sleeping peacefully, anyone would think she was an angel. I made a noise in my throat. Right. Naturally, the Xanatoses had found that entire situation hilarious. Mr. Xanatos had even told me he saw my eyes begin to glow when she walked past.
I hadn't been amused, but I haven't left her hanging since. I don't think I could survive it.
My eyes travel to her silk covered abdomen and again I smile. I remember three years ago, when she was pregnant with Kyros. She would read stories to Tori, while I ran my hand over her swollen stomach. I had felt so content.
As if sensing my thoughts, her hand shifts to her stomach. I smile; Kristi's a great mother. From the time Puck brought Tori to our universe and placed her in Kristi's arms, she'd taken to motherhood like breathing.
She'll never admit it, but she's a terrible worrier when it comes to the children. She's so protective of them and so loving, it takes my breath away.
My eye catches the sparkle from her wedding ring; a platinum band with mistik stones more brilliant than the rarest diamond. I smile as I remember the look on her face when I proposed.
It had taken no small amount of nagging for me to obtain the jewels from Avalon; I had to convince Krion to give them to me, not easy considering we've never really gotten along.
In retrospect, it occurs to me that I could have gotten myself killed, but thankfully, all he wanted from me was a sincere apology for all of the things I've ever done to him. Which was more painful for me than I thought it would have been. Tricksters don't confess their guilt. It's an unwritten rule.
Kristi whimpers and my heart melts. I'd do anything for her; she literally saved me. Yes, I know it sounds clichéd, but it's true. Two years ago, an old enemy of mine decided to settle a score. I don't like thinking about it; I've never been that close to death before; and for an immortal that can be an extremely…disturbing experience. After a certain point, my mind had lost its ability to form rational thoughts, but what little I remember involves Kristi. I don't think I'd ever seen pure hatred on her face before, but it had been enough to strike cold dread into my heart. And the expression hadn't even been directed at me.
She'd told me later that she had just lost it; seeing me like that had wiped away all of her self control. I had figured that out; seeing my wife in full destructive Unseelie mode isn't exactly an everyday occurrence. Actually, it's about as far from her caring personality as is possible. She's the person that taught me to care.
I cared about Alexander, of course, but she taught me to care about people in general. Kristi's so selfless; she'll lay down her life for you even if she doesn't like you or doesn't even know you that well.
When I asked her about it, all she'd say was that that was what being a gargoyle meant, protecting people not based on their likeability, but simply because it's the right thing to do. Of course, being a trickster means that kind of reasoning doesn't come easily to me; it probably never will. But still, I try to be more considerate when I can.
Kristi's told me she appreciates the effort, but she loves me for me, I don't need to change. I've assured her that this is something I'm doing for myself, and that's true.
I cock my head to the side and smile. Of course, if I hadn't met her I probably wouldn't have noticed anything that needed changing.
But she's stirring now, eyelids starting to flutter open. I grin as the two emerald eyes travel their way up my body and tone it down to a smirk by the time she reaches my eyes. Kristi quirks an eyebrow and her mouth twitches. "You've been watching me sleep."
"What, is that a crime?" Puck's voice speaks before I can formulate a response. Kristi rolls her eyes.
"I wasn't speaking to you, smartass. I was speaking to Owen." This is another thing I love Kristi for. She saw from the beginning that Puck and I were two separate personalities. That would confuse a lot of people, but Kristi says she wouldn't have it any other way.
"It's like having two boyfriends in one. What more could a girl ask for?" That's what she'd said.
People never realize that every day, I hear Puck's thoughts in my head. It usually doesn't bother me, but sometimes I wish he'd just keep them to himself. Kristi startled both of us one day when she responded to something Puck said in my mind. Although I was surprised, I'm still glad I'm not the only person who hears him.
"Hello? Earth to Owen?" Her voice interrupts my reverie; she's looking at me, concern written on her face. "Whatcha thinking about, trickster?"
She raises a delicate eyebrow. "What about me?"
I reach out and brush a lock of hair away from her face. "I'm lucky to have you," I say sincerely. A flash of something crosses her face; she lowers her eyes.
"I'm serious. I don't know how I would have survived the last few years without you. You're the most patient, kind and loving person I know…"
"Trickster…" Her eyes are still lowered; her face is turned away from me. "I'm not perfect…" Modesty comes easily to her.
"To me you are," I say honestly. And she is. The life of a trickster is all about fun and games, but when I met Kristi… everything just changed. I had just felt so protective of her when we first met. I had passed it off as not wanting anything bad to happen to her; after all, she was being chased by Unseelies.
But the feeling had still been there weeks after the Crisis had passed. That's when I had become scared. I had never felt an attachment like that before. We tried to hide what was happening, Puck and I.
I was as cool and collected as I had ever been; Puck was himself, flirting with Kristi whenever she sat in on Alexander's lessons, effectively hiding how he really felt. We were doing fine. Or so we had thought.
Denice is Kristi's best friend. She proved that when she followed Kristi to Manhattan to protect her from the Unseelies. She proves it whenever the clan's in a fight; she always tries to protect Kristi from getting hurt. And she proves it by arguing with her when she's about to do something potentially suicidal.
She's cautious, she's stubborn, she's loyal and she has the uncanny ability to discern what's going through a person's mind, an irritating trait she shares with Mrs. Xanatos. I still remember her words to me that night, accent as strange as Kristi's.
"You love her. Stop fighting it." And I had. But it had taken Kristi's own confession of love before I was able to begin believing I stood a chance with her. The woman is so remarkable; she has depths, shades, colors that she's still discovering. I'm still stunned that she wants me to be a part of that.
But she's looking at me now, gratitude shining in those emerald eyes. "I'm not perfect," she says again, foreign accent unchanged after seven years away from her native island. She reaches out and strokes my left eyebrow. "But knowing that you think I am means a lot to me."
It's my turn to shift my eyes. My opinion shouldn't matter that much to her. She trusts me more than she should; I just hope I don't screw it up. She's the best thing that's ever happened to me.
As if reading my thoughts, she clears her throat and my eyes reluctantly slide back to her face. I don't want her to see the self doubt in my eyes. She studies me for a long moment, a frown starting to form. When she speaks, her voice is oddly pitched.
"You don't trust my judgment." I start to protest, but her raised palm cuts me off.
"If you did, you wouldn't doubt yourself like this. You'd trust that I knew what I was doing when I fell in love with you. I knew who I was marrying. Not the son of Loki and Hecate, not the irresponsible trickster, not Xanatos' right arm. I married you. And I trust you."
I start to nod. Because in the end, it doesn't matter if I trust myself or not, Kristi believes in me. And that's all that really matters.
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