Title: We'll Stay Inside Until Somebody Finds Us
Author's note: Thank you to my beta, tempertemper77! Just a little ficlet that came to me in amongst all the longer things I'm working on. It didn't seem to fit in any of those so it's out in the world on its own two feet! So to speak, anyway. Set almost any time in season 2.
"We'll stay inside until somebody finds us."
- The National, Apartment Story
She's smoothing down his tablecloth when his words cause her to turn around. He's standing in the kitchen doorway, apron still on and arms hanging at his sides.
"I want to give this a go," he says, suddenly.
She opens her mouth to feign ignorance, delay the inevitable a little while longer, keep what they have just that little bit longer. But it's over now, who they were to each other, what they had. With seven words he has pushed them forward, whether she's ready for it or not, and they can never go back to where and who they were before.
So she shuts her mouth again, because she can read in his eyes exactly what he means and he can read in hers that she's seen it.
She takes the realistic approach. "And if it all falls apart? What then?"
He doesn't move towards her, doesn't want to corner her any more than he already has. He stays standing where he is, hands in his jeans pockets now because otherwise he'll fidget (she knows him so well). "I think it's worth the risk." I know it won't, is what he's really saying. He shrugs his shoulders a little, the movement screaming out that he's terrified that she, wrapped up in her own fears, will shoot him down in order to preserve whatever they can salvage from the sudden verbal honesty. It's the most adorable thing she's ever seen him do, and she feels so silly when she almost bursts into tears at his next words. "I think we could be happy."
He's reading her like a book and, right now, he probably knows far more about the emotions coursing through her than she's managing to understand. She takes a step forward, because somewhere in her mind she's already made her decision, had made it years ago, and was just waiting for the catalyst to push her forward. She was waiting for him to be the brave one.
He smiles, then, knowing that her single step forward is really more than just a step so he matches hers with his own. And slowly, as if they're in some old black and white film, they step closer together, still one step at a time, until they are within reaching distance. It seemed a little wrong to be conducting such an important discussion from opposite sides of the room.
"Ok," she says, and it's simple and matter of fact but still somehow romantic, because this is who they are and this is what their lives have been heading towards since, well really, since they first met. This is what Zoe is always talking about, what Alec saw, what Emily has been encouraging. They are, and always have been, about truths. This is the truest of truths, and she should be terrified of the change that is occurring but she isn't, because all she can think about is that they are about to become something so much better.
He smiles and it lights up the room. "Ok."