A/N: Okay, I cheated on this one a little; there is ridiculous use of semicolons. I had a lot to say on this prompt, which is why I saved it for last. Hope you all enjoyed these; it was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Prompt#18--Absence of Fear

Most people don't understand the way I relate to others, like the girls at the bars or hanging around the poker tables; most people don't understand that physical affection is so easy for me to give, much easier than anything else. But you--you have known from the first that you are an exception to the rule, and you don't resent that I've never reached for you the way I reach for everyone else, because you understand why I don't.

Days and months and years will go by, and I will not kiss you; we will live side by side, gradually come to own more and more pieces of each other, and I will not kiss you; walls will come down, new ones will spring up, barriers will be overcome, and I will not kiss you. It doesn't matter whether it's you navigating the rocky minefield of my childhood, not knowing what looks or words will cause a detonation, or if it's me cutting through the scar tissue she left behind, naming all your fears to you and proving that you don't scare me--the slow process of taming and gentling each other will go on, two steps forward and one step back, and I don't care how long it takes. On the day I step too close to you and see a complete absence of fear in your eyes; on the day I step too close to you and feel an answering lack of fear in my own chest; on that day, I will kiss you, and your eyes will close and your arms will encircle me, and all this waiting will have been worth if.