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Quiet Routine

She loves listening to the sounds of the ship at night. The ripple of the wind against the sails, the creaking of the timbers, the lapping of the waves as the ship glides through the water - she waits for each sound as though it were a greeting from an old friend.

There are other sounds too, like that of the floorboards sighing beneath his tread, the clack of scabbard against scabbard, or the soft muffled noise of scabbard hitting thigh, that she has grown to listen for and anticipate despite herself.

But what she loves most is that instant when all sound stills and she feels his arms go around her, his chin resting on the top of her head, and his voice comes, low and tender, warming her to the bones, "Hey."

She leans back, the knots in her muscles melting away, her fingers coming up to curl around those bare arms and hold them fast. "Hey."