Title: From Fifty
Author: The Scarlet Pencil
Theme set: Alpha
Warning: Light mention of sex, nothing explicit.
Summary: She gave him his freedom, and he gave her his life.
Anwar didn't understand why the girl who saved this world and was busy creating the next came to someone who had lost his heart for comfort, but ultimately, he didn't mind not knowing why.
The first time they kissed, all Anwar could think of was that he didn't want it to be the last time.
For a second, Tia thought that the stranger's hard eyes had softened.
Then his fist drove into her stomach, and she fell to the cold, wet ground.
She laughed at his confusion, and told him, "No, Anwar, we eat what's underground, not the flowers!"
Anwar loved the rain, because unlike the dry, dead desert it was warm and wet and alive, just like her.
For once, Tia had scorned using the Book of Prophecy and had simply made the chocolate cupcakes herself, and Anwar's delighted expression made the floury mess in her kitchen all worth it.
He couldn't remember feeling anything, let alone happiness, until he met her.
Tia had been gone for a week finding the materials for Haochy's new communications invention; she couldn't help but grin at the familiar boy waiting for her when she finally made it home.
He liked to sit on the bank of the river and listen to it rush by, and one day Anwar realized that he was rapidly falling in love with this place.
Anwar had told her that his name was "like the desert winds," but later Tia found out that it actually meant "brighter," which she thought suited him better anyway.
He didn't understand why, but when Tia reached over to rub the frosting off his cheek, the heart he wasn't supposed to have started beating even faster.
It was only when she lost him that Tia felt she had truly lost everything.
The first time was very awkward for both of them, as they were very unsure of each other's bodies; the second time they never wanted to end.
He'd never felt desire like this before, and it was so very hard not to touch her.
Anwar had seen Tia fight, and privately thought that she had no weaknesses at all, but he still wanted to protect her, even if she didn't need him.
Tia promised herself that she would never cry again when she started to live alone, but when Anwar disappeared into the book she broke that promise.
She felt proud at how quickly Anwar was regaining his humanity, but she also felt frightened, because he might not need or want her later.
He had told her "like the desert wind" because at the time, dry, parched, and empty described him very well.
She gave him freedom when he was only asking for death.
How could he not love the person who returned his life to him?
The dark, twisting feeling in her gut when Tia saw him talking to Fana was beneath her, and she dismissed it; but she could not quite forget it.
Anwar regreted that he had hurt her with his own hands, but if he had not, he would never have met her in the first place.
The cake was exquisite as always, but Anwar didn't know how to say that Tia herself was what made it really special.
It was Tia's fate to wander the world, recording all that was good; so it was Anwar's fate to follow her.
Tia was glad that she knew Anwar would be in the next world, because now she could fully enjoy this one.
She felt sick at the sight of her blood staining his clothes, but Anwar didn't complain and just carried her away from the battlefield.
She told him that he'd catch a cold standing out in the rain like that, and then invited him inside.
He watched her dance in time to the melody, and for a moment wished that he was brave enough to join her.
Tia told him to wish upon the falling stars, but Anwar had everything he wanted already.
She didn't know when, but somehow when the word home was mentioned she had stopped thinking of her little house and started thinking of yellow, cat-like eyes.
Everything about this new world of emotion confused him, but his feelings for her were an anchor in the midst of his instability.
Anwar wasn't afraid that Tia would be killed because he knew that there was nothing under the sun capable of defeating her.
He wondered sometimes what the Spirits of the Book thought about him and suspected that if they had disliked him, he would have been struck dead by lightning already.
Ironically, Anwar found pledging his life to Tia to be the easiest bond he had ever made and kept.
He liked watching Tia weave through the marketplace, interacting with but never losing herself to the throng of humanity.
Sometimes, when she was covered in soot and Anwar had that look in his eyes which was his version of laughter, Tia hated Haochy's technology.
Tia didn't quite know why she gave Anwar that first gift, but she knew why she gave him every gift after.
The first time Tia saw Anwar smile, the world and the Book of Prophecy and everything else faded into unimportance.
Tia had seen the worst side of humanity, but Anwar was glad that her eyes still carried a spark of innocence.
When it was finally over, Tia couldn't bring herself to care about anything but a long bath and his soothing touch.
Tia found Anwar's love of the rain amusing, and she wasn't surprised at the smile on his face when he saw rainclouds heading in.
Still, she loved cloudless days best and packed lots of cake for their lunch.
Whether it was this world or the next, Anwar knew that wherever Tia was would always be his heaven.
If asked to describe hell, Tia would say, "A week of thinking the one you loved most is dead forever."
At first his golden eyes were dark and dusty, reminding her of an old, unused shield, but now they glowed like the sun when he looked at her.
Anwar, however, thought that Tia's eyes were like the moon, a guiding light in the darkness.
She took him to the ocean and laughed until her sides hurt when the surf knocked him over.
Once Anwar attempted to cut his hair, but Tia threatened him with bodily harm if he went through with it.
Rempo said that their story would become the new world's legends, and Tia knew that their love would shine like a supernova in all of the tales.