I haven't posted anything in forever.

I'm sorry.

Life, you know?

Disclaimer: Don't own.

Reviews welcome.


Convalescence

"I love you," he says, brushing the bangs out of his eyes and leaning against the wooden post, legs a million miles long and still running.

She twists her fingers together.

"I love you too," she replies.

"Do you?" he drawls, staring at her.

"Yes."

He snorts.

"Then why do you make it seem like you're prisoner?"

She plays with the ribbon on her wrist, red splash against an expanse of starry skin.

She does not respond.

"Well," he stretches, cat-like, "you can go if you want to. Nothing's stopping you."

(It's hard to believe that once upon a time, they were a fairy tale.)

She runs her hands through her undone hair, shakes out the passion left in her, and rests her chin on her palms before smoothing the fine wrinkles in her tight dress.

"Not the moon or the sky or the sun…" he murmurs, "it's just the five feet between you and me and we're finally here."

He pauses, letting the moment drown into the waves and ripples of half understood meanings and metaphors and allegories, whichever one made girls talk and boys blush.

He considered it an art.

He isn't sure of what art was these days.

He finds he didn't care.

"We're finally here. Together."

(They are beautiful and untouchable, and no one can hurt them.)

She bobs her head up and down, fingers splayed out across her knees. "Together."

"We're too 'now and forever', don't you think?" he laughs as he looks at her expression, her eyes imperceptibly widened, mouth curled up, and cheeks flushed a delicate rose.

"Don't answer that," he continues on, "it's fine. It's completely reasonable as well. I love you and you love me."

Silence.

"Therefore, you're afraid that over time, it'll become 'I love you because you love me' and 'you love me' because, well, I love me, and I love you."

She shakes her head; he's spoken in too many of these metaphors and allegories, and she has no way to respond to his simple declarations-turned invisible-homilies.

She tries anyway.

"It's not that," she attempts to smile.

She fails, in so many ways.

"Then what is it?" he leans forward fluidly, symbolic angel, gorgeous devil.

The words can't come to her mouth and she struggles to maintain her composure.

His eyebrows are raised almost nonchalantly.

"It's never been that," she starts up again, "You and I both know it hasn't, because you're too selflessly selfish to me and I'm too selfishly selfless with you and it's just –"

"Don't cry," he places a hand on her shoulder and she manages a weak, watery grin before it's washed away again as she opens her mouth to speak, to try to fill up the five foot hole between them that could be just as long as his million-mile legs if he wanted to and she agreed.

Her lips waver.

He wrings that chance from the wet tears, and he grins and dips his head in, kissing her long and hard, as if sealing a promise made and unwept, and she wishes she could stop time. She wants to freeze this moment so she can replay it time and time again, and she'll store it next to the scent of sweet apple orchards in the fall, blueberry picking under the sun, skinny-dipping in clear waters, hanging up white cotton sheets to dry in sunflower fields, and all the make-believe pastoral pleasures Marlowe would have her believe. She'll freeze this moment and she doesn't care, because this is real and that beats any shepherd's sonnet and nymph's reply, and this won't be some unrequited love long sung after the ages; this will be just them.

Just him.

Just her.

And that's why she'll freeze this moment, so that when the apples wither, blueberries sour, lakes dry, sheets yellow, and Marlowe dies out, she'll have a token of a butterfly's kiss of summer and winter and a will-o-wisp's fleeting scent of fall and spring.

She'll freeze this moment in fire and ice because she never did decide which was a harder death. She, childishly, reckons that each would cancel out the other's pain and leave only something that remained unnamed, a pleasure and bliss too innocent and sorrowful to be marred by language and sound, known only through blood and instinct.

Maybe their love was unnamed.

It was too strong, too weak, too contradictory and hypocritical and overwhelming and if she could just stop and tear herself away from all the –

"You stopped," she states as he pulls away, eyes glimmering and teeth catching the artificial light, eyes burning and skin smoldering.

(They're made of woven fairy tales and blink-and-they're-gone whispered sweet love-nothings, honeyed vanity dripping down from laced up thighs and buttoned down wrists, doll eyes and button mouths, misplaced adjectives stuffed stickily down their throats)

"You faltered," he sighs, and he presses her hands against his forehead as he squats down in front of her.

"I'm sorry," she sighs back, and she knows it's hopeless.

"This whole mess," he starts, "this whole mess wasn't –"

He breaks off, and she flinches.

"…It wasn't meant to be," he finishes.

He's soaked up the five-foot ocean with his leaden words.

It's become a black hole.

"We weren't ever, ever meant to be, were we?" she asks childishly. She already knows the answer; she's been by his side too many years.

"We were," he looks straight into her blue-green-grey eyes, and she winces, "but I guess there's a first time for everything."

A pause.

"You're just too scared to take the chance."

She shakes her head, more tears drip-drip-dripping down, bleeding through.

"It's not that; it's never been that," she murmurs.

He smiles sadly and takes her hands and presses them against his.

Hers are too small and pale; his are too large and –

"It's never been that," she reaffirms strongly and she stares at him hard.

"It has, and you know it," he states quietly, "you're just too young to understand it."

She feels Marlowe slipping through her hands and she guesses death by fire and ice is double the pain.

(They are beautiful, glorious, and untouchable, and they have everything they could possibly ever need.)

"No," she argues, just as solemnly, voice coalescing morosely in the silence, "you're just too old to see it."

"It's only one year between us."

"It's only five feet between us."

"And the moon, the sky, and the sun?"

"What happened to the rain?"

She gives up.

He is too persistent; she is too weighed down with her bittersweet sadness, and they both can't help it.

"I love you."

"I love you too."

He leads her, hand in hand, to bed, and they dream of nymphs and shepherds and unrequited love.

They are glowing, glowing, gone.

They are married.

(They have everything they could possibly ever need, and they are dead.)

Hope it wasn't that bad; I'm afraid I've lost my touch. D:

Reviews?