ephemeral: fifty glimpses
Theme set: Epsilon
Warnings: Adult suggestions: death, sex, insanity.
Author's Note: They're not put in any linear pattern, and they're not necessarily all related to each other. They're sort of split-up, fractured glimpses of the relationship between these two as I see it.
one - motion
This is how he wants to remember it all: prehistoric moonlight painting her silver, the yellow glow of firelight dancing on her legs, her hair down in a dripping cascade and her skin cool with water droplets, and it's almost dreamlike until she slides on top of him.
two - cool
The pads of her fingertips are cool from the soda she's been drinking, and when she runs them down the arch of his throat, the lines of his muscles, the smoothness of his inner thigh, his shiver has nothing to do with the temperature.
three - young
He's sixteen and she might be biologically in her twenties- still, he feels like the older one in this relationship.
four - last
He's the last one left of his brothers: two of them fallen in battle and one of them lost to a sickness they couldn't cure, and he lies still and barely breathing when she comes, looking as young as she always has, and when she places cool lips on his forehead, he feels the wet of her tears sliding down his face.
five - wrong
April purses her lips and a flicker of something passes across her face when Renet blithely informs everyone that's she's taking Donatello away for a few days, her fingers pressed against his bicep, leaning a little too close to be simply friendly.
six - gentle
It wasn't, not the first time, not when he was desperate and unpracticed and she was tangled up in him, arms locked around his neck and her skirt hiked up over her thighs, and both of them trying not to be heard.
seven - one
"No, that was the last time, Renet, do you hear me?" he protests as she assures him that this time is going to be a total breeze, she crosses her heart, and he knows he'll end up going anyway because who would leave her on her own to do half the stuff she winds up getting into?
eight - thousand
"I never knew there were that many," he admits as she talks about the tenth sphere of temporal power, the lords of time, and she laughs: "It's a totally gigantic multiverse we're dealing with, here."
nine - king
She can barely remember the names of them, but she'll sometimes have the most shocking things to say about their personal lives, and he's intrigued despite himself, (especially about the gilded skin paint and the strange ostrich fetish.)
ten - learn
There's a whole block of time and history/future/present she's not allowed to look at, because it involves her own life, and a lot of it rests on the world of Earth.
He moves too quickly when he fights- swift, deadly, and impossible for her to keep track of, and she sometimes catches herself worrying he can be gone that quickly, and not even time can fix it.
twelve - wait
Donatello pushes her hand away impatiently, he's trying to work on these algorithms and he doesn't have time for what she's talking about right now, something about chores and rearranging files and a new assignment involving someone named Shocking Hairdo.
thirteen - change
"Oh, shoot…I, like, have to wear the boring old uniform when I'm on duty," she says, tracing the cape's edge and looking forlornly at the dress he's holding out, sleek and pale green.
fourteen - command
"Just tell me what to do," Renet says, like she trusts the entire world to be safe on his back, and she squeezes his shoulder firmly.
fifteen - hold
In his arms she feels heavy: solid flesh and sleekly defined muscles that speak of activity and athleticism, and her ribs move with the steady rise and fall of her breath.
sixteen - need
She grabs for him, and the cling of her fingers entwining in his holds him back.
seventeen - vision
The deinonychus rushes at her in a flurry of claws and teeth, tons of muscle, and all he can see is the blue swirl of her cape, her firm stance, her arms lifted in the air as if the time sceptre is a weapon and she has all she needs to save him.
eighteen - attention
"…And that's why you shouldn't touch that particular crystal- Renet, are you listening to me?"
nineteen - soul
Centuries into the future, and she still sees pieces of him in the tilt of a chin, the cadence of a voice, the drifting monotony of a lesson on some sort of physics, and she has to turn away.
twenty - picture
"Wow, you totally have some killer reception down here," she comments, "Better than what I get in nulltime, and that's because all these little temporal glitches kinda get in the way," and he's caught between wanting to know how that's even possible and knowing he couldn't sit through the inevitably hour-long explanation, anyway.
twenty-one - fool
"Don't freak out, I was just kidding," Renet says after feeding him a story about giving flashlights to the cavemen- even then, he's still not quite sure he believes her.
twenty-two - mad
"She looked into the time stream before she was ready," Lord Simultaneous says in a voice quiet as powder falling onto cotton wool, and he takes her face in his hands cautiously, watches her head limply loll forward, her mouth half-parted, her eyes watching something in a horizon too distant to see, and he calls her name: "Renet," like a beacon, "Renet", desperate as a cry for water in the desert.
twenty-three - child
"Oh darn, I must have picked the wrong time again- ten years off, not a big problem, I'm getting better! Now you just get back to your bed, okay?" she pats his head and steps away from the dark, inquisitive eyes of a child of three, "I'll see you in maybe how many years? Thirteen? Fifteen? Something like that! Now where was the thingie again? I think it was-" and she melts away into the air, leaving Donatello quiet and thoughtful before his eyes flutter shut and he sleeps.
twenty-four - now
She says she does, but he wonders if it's hard for her to live in the present when there is no real present for her to live in.
twenty-five - shadow
Renet always looks straight into shadows now, searching out a face, the outline of a body, squinting her eyes in concentration.
twenty-six - goodbye
He holds her like he won't see her for a decade, tight and secure in his arms, and she folds up a little so she can rest her head on his shoulder and is silent, her breath warm and tickling on his neck.
twenty-seven - hide
Hide and seek games are pointless when one is a skilled ninja and the other can time-leap (if she can control it) to your location, but she enjoys kneeling beneath the table, laughing, as he pretends to walk away without seeing.
twenty-eight - fortune
She's dressed only in a pair of panties and trying to feed him Jell-O shots while he eats some leftover Chinese food, and she leans over and takes his fortune cookie in her delicately-manicured fingers and peels away the plastic to read the fortune: 'plan for many pleasures ahead' it says, and she laughs and doesn't eat the cracked cookie shell.
twenty-nine - safe
Chains around her wrists and she's dangling hundreds of feet above the ocean, but she believes him when he says she'll be safe.
thirty - ghost
Renet comes once looking more solemn than he's ever seen her, older in the face and body and much older in the eyes, and just holds him for an hour: "I just want to know you're here somewhere," she says, and leaves shortly afterward.
thirty-one - book
She gets him a book she finds in a marketplace somewhere, she forgets the time and forgets the place and only knows that it looks appropriately huge and boring and math-filled for Donatello, and when she puts it in his hands he gapes at her and asks where she found it, he's never seen anything like this before.
thirty-two - eye
"Okay, you'll never guess this one!" she leans forward, giddy, her fingers steepled with the tips barely touching, "I spy, with my little eye, something green!"
thirty-three - never
And she's not upset when he doesn't come after her again, not really upset- this wasn't meant to last, after all.
Renet sings something with an annoying pop tune in a language he's never heard, and when he tells her not to sing things from other cultures she blinks at him before the look of realization crosses her face and she says it's from here, just not from this time.
thirty-five - sudden
Renet pushes him against the wall with a gentle hand on his chest, "Why not?" and her mouth is on his, parted and warm, before he can respond.
thirty-six - stop
"You can't," Lord Simultaneous commands, and she wishes she never looked that far ahead on a whim, never saw that particular instant (ending) in his life.
thirty-seven - time
There isn't enough, not even when she has control of it, there isn't nearly enough..
thirty-eight - wash
They don't get much of a chance to, not in the late Cretaceous period, and she complains about the lack of hygiene and soap and darn it, safety razors as she takes the giant turtle shell (feels wrong, doesn't it?) of water from his hands and runs it over her hands and body, muddying the water.
thirty-nine - torn
And she is told that this is the choice she has to make: either a lifetime on Earth in one time or something like a lifetime as a Mistress of Time, but she must retain neutrality as an unbiased power, and how is she to do that with this attachment to one timeline?
forty - history
"You have the entire history of the world at your hands to view if you want, as well as the future, as well as the collective timelines of more multiverses than I can think of, and you use this power to watch all the beauty pageants there are and ever will be?"
forty-one - power
If he touches her directly after a temporal jump, when she is still wrapped in a crackling cloak of energy from the time scepter, he feels like she is static electricity in his hands, and pieces of her leap from her lips and into his mouth when they kiss.
forty-two - bother
Donatello grabs her wrist with more force than necessary; he's used to doing this with Mikey and she thinks it might leave bruises as he snaps: "God, Renet, can you be less of a pest?"
forty-three - god
A prayer jumps to his throat as he feels for a pulse and waits, one- one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand, for her breathing to start again.
It's hard to understand her when she weaves whole stories about nulltime, and temporal enforcement, and some society of zenlike monks on a place called 'discworld'- like cultural dissonance, like talking to someone in another star system (or time period.)
forty-five - naked
She looks different when she is stripped of her timestress cape and boots and suit, when her hair spills over her shoulders and the soft curves of her body gain velvet-grey shadows in the dim light- she is more solid, more tangible, more real.
forty-six - drive
"You are not allowed," he says firmly, trying not to raise his voice because he will be calm, even with the front of the car a twisted wreck of metal and the airbag in his face, "I don't care what the excuse was, never again, do you hear me, Renet?"
forty-seven - harm
"I got him, the nasty little creep," she mumbles through the blood and the possible concussion, and her grip on his arm is painfully tight, "What a jerk, trying to tie me up like that."
forty-eight - precious
Donatello sleeps lightly, and stirs at every noise and rustle of the leaves- she brushes the back of his head with her hand and whispers what her mother used to when she was restless, very far away and long ago and out of reach here.
forty-nine - hunger
He yanks impatiently at the collar of her skintight suit (damn it for being so revealing and yet so impossible to remove!), and she laughs, "Slow down, I'm not going anywhere," and they fall on the covers already entwined.
fifty - believe
She's never doubted that he'd save her no matter what the odds- and she's never doubted that she could help them in any way she could, and in the end it works out, if not for better, than at least as well as she could have hoped.