A/N: So, as it says in the summary, this is going to be a collection of thirty unrelated Toddvett/Sweenett one-shots written for the 30 Kisses challenge on Livejournal. The only rules of the challenge are that each fic contain your chosen pairing, be inspired by one of the thirty prompts, and contain a kiss.
Now, I should warn you right now that though one kiss per story is mandated, there are no rules about the kiss. The kiss does not have to be between the author's chosen couple. The kiss can be on the lips, on the cheek, on the shoe, or wherever the characters please. The kiss could even just be two hands brushing, or a character imagining being kissed. So please do not throw rotten fruits at me if the kiss in the one-shot is not what you had originally hoped for. ;]
Credit for the title of this little collection of fics goes to the lovely unamuerte. Some months ago, I was yammering about how, even though most people in the ST fandom refer to Sweeney/Nellie as Sweenett, I've always preferred Toddvett. Carries a dark, seductive undertone that has always seemed more fitting to me for the pairing, as Sweenett sounds like something cute and fluffy, which really doesn't match the personas of our favorite barber or baker. She responded that Sweenett reminded her of a candy, whereas Toddvett gave her the image of burgundy velvet. I fell in love with the analogy, and, thus have stolen it for my title.
As always, feedback of any length and harshness is appreciated, so please do drop a review in my starving writer's tin.
30 Kisses prompt #1: look over here; fanfic50 prompt #37: butterfly.
"Mr. Todd – look over here."
He doesn't. She's not surprised. Setting her jaw, she stares ahead.
"It's a butterfly," she whispers to he who never listens, feet brushing across the ground and legs folding beneath her until she kneels beside the creature. It's poised on a tulip, and the rare London sunrays make its blue and brown wings sparkle.
She goes perfectly still. It's been a dream of hers ever since she was a girl to have a butterfly perch upon her skin, if only for a moment, a breath.
"What're you doing?" Sweeney grunts as he stomps up behind her.
His movement startles the butterfly: in a burst of colors it takes flight into the skies, into the heavens, into where she can never ascend.
She lets out a sigh and tilts her head back. He stands behind her, scowling at some indistinct spot over he shoulder, towering over her kneeling body.
"Mr. T, silly man," she says, "what're you doing? Can't you see that I was trying not to move or speak?"
His brow furrows. "You're always moving and speaking."
"There was a butterfly," Nellie says, exasperated. "I was being still so it'd land on me, but then you went and scared it off."
"Oh," he says, and, apparently satisfied now that he knows the reason for the disturbance in routine, he drifts away from her and reclaims his place at the base of the willow, glaring at nothing.
Shaking her head, she resumes staring at the flower, now empty.
At first she thinks she's imagining his voice. But then he calls the word out again and she realizes she's not. She shifts on her knees so she's facing him.
"Why what, love?" she asks.
He's looking right at her this time and it nearly stops her heart cold. "Why do you want a butterfly to land on you?"
She forces herself to inhale. "I . . . I dunno, love. It's just always been a fancy of mine, that's all. I mean – I know my life won't be any different afterwards, if a butterfly ever chooses to land on me, but – "
But she dreams on.
But she doesn't know what more to live for than dreams.
Something brushes against the back of her palm and her words halt as she gasps in shock, her other hand raising, fisting, ready to fight off whatever person's got it in their head to hurt her.
Then she freezes.
A butterfly rests against her skin.
She doesn't dare move, doesn't dare think, doesn't even dare breathe. Heat prickles up her body and gathers in her heart and pumps warm, invigorating blood through her veins, starting and ending at the back of her left hand, at the spindly, graceful legs that are thin as needles and light as feathers.
She sits and watches and marvels for a heartbeat that lasts an eternity – and then the butterfly's wings kiss her flesh one final time before it flits off.
When she looks up, dazed and blearied-eyed, he's looking at her like he's never seen her before. And maybe he hasn't.