A Place For Only Them
Disclaimer: I don't own them, and they would probably be horrified.
Warning: Yes, Blue and Ellen are cousins. I suppose that means this contains incest of some form. If that is not your cup o' tea, please proceed to the next chapter (once it exists) or utilize the back-button in a calm and reasonable manner.
#01 – Motion
Blue has always heard that if you're feeling motion-sick, you should look at a spot on the horizon, and he knows first-hand that it works, because he had his attention too firmly fixed on big laughing brown eyes and short silky brown hair and a sweet smile for everyone, and by the time he realized he was falling, it was too late to stop it.
#02 – Cool
Once she's sure everyone is out of the house for tonight, Ellen curls up on her pretty heart-patterned quilt and spends a miserable hour sniffling into her pillows, because Blue has never been so cold and angry with her, and she doesn't even know what she did.
#03 – Young
"Do you remember when we used to play fairytale as kids?" she asks whimsically over lunch one day, and he nods, choking slightly, because it's hard to forget the climax of all fairytales, when the prince broke the princess's curse with a kiss.
#04 – Last
He can never quite bring himself to be sorry that they were born cousins, because if she was just another girl he'd dated, he'd probably hate her by now, or worse, be totally indifferent to her, even though he can't imagine not almost melting under the beaming warmth of that smile.
#05 – Wrong
"'Course it's not wrong to love the people you're related to, Pumpkin," Hank chuckles, ruffling his daughter's hair, and Ellen sighs, because Papa doesn't understand what she's asking, and her courage has given out before she can make him understand.
#06 – Gentle
In retrospect, she doesn't know why it surprised her, when he bandaged her sprained wrist as gently as that pretty Gina girl over at the clinic could have, because she's seen him with the animals, and used to think wistfully how nice it would be to have been born a pretty little brown colt for him to brush and cuddle and talk to.
#07 – One
It was just one kiss, stolen in the barn with only the sheep and cows and horses as witness, fleeting and awkward and altogether perfect.
#08 – Thousand
But now that they've done it once and the sky didn't fall down on them, they can't keep from doing it again and again, sneaking kisses when they're alone like children sneaking candy.
#09 – King
The Prince and the Princess have come to terms with a too-close familial relationship, because they aren't hurting anyone by kissing, but both suspect that the King might not be so happy with this turn of events, so it becomes an unspoken agreement that they don't let Hank find out.
#10 – Learn
He taught her to ride a horse when she was eight, so of course she could ride on her own; but it's so much nicer to hop up behind him on Cliffguard when they go on those all-too-rare rides in the mountains.
#11 – Blur
He never suspected that she knew how to swim, until he watched in amazement as that little shape, clad only in transparent wet cotton, rippled, regrettably blurred, through the water.
#12 – Wait
Uncle Hank is over at Duke's for a drink, and Blue knows not to expect him for several hours yet; nevertheless, something keeps him firmly away from Ellen's room, because even though it's the perfect opportunity, the perfect opportunity at the wrong time might ruin everything.
#13 – Change
Ever since that new candy store opened up in Flower Bud, Ellen's change from her little purchases at the Cafe mysteriously disappears before she can get home, and every Thursday, Blue finds a little brown paper bag of his favourite tiny licorice-flavoured jaw-breakers.
#14 – Command
When she asks him about her Papa's efforts of late to set him up with her friend Ann at the junk shop, she expects his terse order to drop it, but he doesn't entirely expect her calm, quiet refusal.
#15 – Hold
When he places a call to the bank and promptly gets put on hold, he sighs and grumbles in irritation, until she scurries over and hits the speakerphone button and then dances around the kitchen to the bank's hold music until they're both laughing and the banker on the other end wonders what he's missed.
#16 – Need
He strongly suspects that for her, this is just some grade-school game, boyfriend-girlfriend, I-like-you, I-like-you-too, and he's afriad that if she knew that she was right up there with his vital needs – air, water, Ellen – it would scare the hell out of her.
#17 – Vision
But then, Blue has the tendency to keep his head down, look at things from among them, focus on the day-to-day details, like a sweet, cheerful, giggling girl, and completely miss the gradual overreaching changes, like a sweet, cheerful, giggling girl who loves him more and more devotedly each day.
#18 – Attention
Blue's tendency for self-denial has always made her shake her head a bit, but now that it's resulting in him determinedly ignoring her for days on end – it's already been three days since he last kissed her – Ellen decides that something must be done.
#19 – Soul
"Do you think we'll still be best friends like this in Heaven?" Ellen asks whimsially, snuggling into his arm as they stretch out on the grass stargazing, and even though he doesn't have the first clue, he nods because he can't imagine it being Heaven if they have to give up what they love most.
#20 – Picture
She hates having her picture taken, but nonetheless smiles brightly when that nice Louis poses her carefully and prettily by the hollyhocks and calls out a cheery say cheese, because Blue said that this is all he really wants from her for his birthday.
#21 – Fool
"I wasn't trying to trick Papa, you know," Ellen tells a disapproving Blue very seriously; "He asked if there was someone I liked, and I said yes, and he assumed all by himself that it was Carl."
#22 – Mad
"You can shout at me if you really have to; you're pretty when you're mad," he tells her with an adoring smile, running one finger lightly down her cheek, flushed with anger.
#23 – Child
That little girl from the Paradise Orchards who came over asking timidly if she could see the horses has been here all morning, and Blue is torn between the urge to put as much distance between himself and the kid as possible because he's just not good with them, and the urge to go join them as Ellen's sparkling laugh drifts back towards the barn.
#24 – Now
This is the best kind of night, when Papa finds everything he wants in front of his own fireplace and doesn't need to go traipsing off to the Moonlight Cafe, and Blue pulls her even closer when she snuggles up next to him on the rug, and they all talk and laugh together, and she thinks she just might burst of the happiness of this moment.
#25 – Shadow
He hates himself for doing it, but not enough that he doesn't keep carefully a few paces behind Ellen and that pretty, curly-haired boy who runs the cafe south of the Junk Shop, as they stroll through the village, chattering easily and happily.
#26 – Goodbye
And as it happens, he's not the only one who does things he hates himself for, as just a week later sees Ellen peeking furtively through the curtains of Papa's room as Blue says good-night to Ann on the front step, at the same time outraged that he hasn't offered to walk the poor girl home.
#27 – Hide
"Ellen...that's not a good idea," he groans as her breath and lips warm at his ear sends a rush of heat through him, straight to the source of his discomfort, pressing tight and hard against her thigh, impossible to hide.
#28 – Fortune
Both of them are solemnly aware of just how lucky they were that Hank chose tonight to forget his keys at the Moonlight Cafe, not to mention the fact that he doesn't even take his keys because no one in Flower Bud locks their doors, because that would have been a hell of a thing for him to walk in on, his daughter and his nephew tangled together in Blue's bed, their clothes tangled into a big ball on the floor.
#29 – Safe
He knows that Ellen feels safest around him, but sometimes he wonders if she really should.
#30 – Ghost
Ellen stopped being afraid of ghosts after the first time Papa took her to the Firefly Festival, when she was six, but Blue still isn't too anxious to meet some resident of Flower Bud from centuries past.
#31 – Book
Generally, she's not much of a reader, but the book he brought her back from town becaue he thought she might like it is special, and for two days, she barely puts it down.
#32 – Eye
She asks him imploringly to leave the hat off tonight, now that the sun's gone down and it's not so hot, because she can't see his eyes very well when he has it on.
#33 – Never
"Don't try that again," he orders sharply, grumpy and harsh in sheer relief to find her safe, if bruised and disoriented, after her failed attempt to jump over the fence on Cliffguard, only to be thrown over the fence minus the horse when the animal stopped short in a panic.
#34 – Sing
She stares at him for a bewildered moment, but finally complies and starts the old, simple little song her mother taught her in a sweet, clear voice that few people ever heard because she's not much for performing.
#35 – Sudden
They've gotten into the habit of just sort of walking into one another's rooms unannounced when Papa isn't home, so Blue has no time to throw on some clothes before Ellen bursts through the door, already chattering away.
#36 – Stop
When Ellen calls him in for lunch, he drops everything immediately and hurries into the farmhouse kitchen, even though they both know that Uncle Hank takes forever to wash up, because it's nice to spend extra little bits of time together like this.
#37 – Time
But no matter how much time they spend together, it always feels like it's not enough, and when he tells Ellen that, she blushes and snuggles against his shoulder, and then tells him wisely that it's because they're in love; for his part, Blue is hard-pressed to disagree.
#38 – Wash
"Well, why don't I go run and fetch Gina or the doctor, andthey can tell you that you'll get sick from wearing those sweaty, filthy things every day for a month without washing them, if you don't believe me?" Ellen suggested, arms crossed and jaw set so that Blue knew he had been beaten and reluctantly moved to peel off his favourite pair of jeans.
#39 – Torn
Since she's become such good friends with that farmer, Keltie, down at Ladybug Farm, Ellen finds herself quite conflicted as to who to cheer for during the horse races.
#40 – History
The fight is a bad one, with each party involved bringing up every stupid or inconsiderate thing the other has ever done – and when they've known each other all their lives, that only makes it worse.
#41 – Power
"Damn it," Blue mutters, rubbing his sore cheek as Ellen stomps upstairs, surreptitiously rubbing her sore hand; "I keep forgetting, she's stronger than she looks."
#42 – Bother
After being avoided and evaded all morning by a young lady whose singing and giggles seem far too forced, he corners her in the supply shed and keeps her there until she agrees to tell him what's bothering her.
#43 – God
"It's just...I love you so much, and I can't imagine having a family with anyone else, but Maria told me that babies from parents that are too closely related can have...well, defects, and the evolutionary disadvantage made it a social taboo," she admits, playing absently with his hair heedless of half a day's worth of sweat and grime; "But you don't think God would want to hurt an innocent baby just because its parents fell in love with the wrong person, do you?"
#44 – Wall
"Listen: you knew we'd have to do it sometime if we ever wanted to get marrie," he tells her sternly when she protests frantically at the idea of leaving Flower Bud; "We can't keep this a secret forever, and something like this could put huge walls between us and the rest of the village."
#45 – Naked
Maybe it's because of the undiluted terror in his daughter's eyes when she tells him, steadily and unwaveringly, her intentions of running off to marry Blue, but Hank merely smiles sadly, pulls her into a bone-crunching hug, and tells them that he'll miss them, both for their help around here and having family nearby.
#46 – Drive
It's not the nicest drive they've ever had together, still in their wedding clothes on the hottest day fo the summer, and suffering strained nerves from the planning and the goodbyes under less than perfect circumstances; yet when they stop for lunch at a little cafe on the way to the new farm, the waitress squeals over the happy little newlyweds, and declares that she could see them glowing as soon as they hopped out of the truck.
#47 – Harm
From the moment she tells him that day in autumn, haltingly and nervously, the hopes she has for next spring, he becomes nearly too protective, wrapping an arm tightly around her whenever she so much as steps outside, because a woman's got to be careful when there's a baby on the way.
#48 – Precious
The first time he looks down at the tiny creature snuggled into his arms, Ellen smiling adoringly and exhaustedly from the bed, wispy short brown hair damp with sweat and sticking to her forehead, the need to protect with his life all that's precious in it is nearly overwhelming.
#49 – Hunger
Until a tiny little hand starts pawing at his chest, and he passes off a wailing little Marcy back to Ellen, because he hasn't got much there to help feed the poor kid.
#50 – Believe
Despite their secret gnawing worries amid the everything else to do establishing the farm and building friendships and running around after a mischeivous toddler, their daughter grows up as strong and healthy as her parents, and by the time they see a happily skipping little brunette off to her first day of kindergarten, they begin, tentatively, to believe that Marcy won't be punished for a perceived sin on the part of her parents.
End Notes: Well, that's that. I hope it wasn't too heinous, but this was my first try with the characters. Next up, Gina/Alex, because Gina gets too damn much bashing, and it's starting to piss me off. I think everyone who thinks it would be OMG SO SEXY for Alex to cheat on her with Dia should be shackled to the floor and forced to watch their significant other have amazing sex with a movie star, all the while screaming out, "Oh, this is the best I've ever had! Oh, my boyfriend/girlfriend just can't compare!" Yaay!