Epilogue: Perfect

So he watched. He watched her smile blossom again, her eyes shining with contentment. He watched the bruises fade, skin returning to flawless cream. He listened as she laughed more freely, squealing with delight over the littlest things. He watched her dance, watched her sing, watched her soar.

He bought three red velvet cupcakes and watched her eat them all, one after the other.

Summer rolled around, and with it a passel of bright-colored memories he would never, ever forget. The light, comfortable tan of lounging on the sofa with her curled up beside him because she swore he hadn't lived until he'd seen every Disney princess movie. The chocolate brown of swooping Oreos through peanut butter between The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. The rich green of his sofa as she fell asleep in his arms.

The bright blue of "kidnapping" her on her birthday, the sunshine yellow of her delighted shriek as he pulled off the blindfold at the beach. The pure gold of chasing her across the surf, splashing, dancing, shouting to the sky as if they didn't have a care in the world.

The vivid red of sunset as they picnicked on his RV roof, counting fireflies and waiting for fireworks. The silvery white of her cry as the first shower of fire spiraled into the air and exploded magnificently. The deepest, darkest blue as they danced together to the radio, under stars and sparks, every line of their bodies fitting as if they'd been made for this.

The shining, indefinable color of the future, together, no matter what would come. Forever and always, as she put it while they danced. Forever and always.

There was no naming that color, but Beck was fairly sure it looked a lot like a red velvet cupcake.