An: if I remember right, Nuala did turn to stone as abe held her, but bear with me. I have this tendency to want to fix tragic .
Disclaimer: No, I don't own. If I did, there would be a third movie.
The first thing he brought her was a pillow. He half expected red and Liz to say something on the futility of this, but they pleasantly surprised him. Together, they piled pillows under the fallen princess, that is, until red had a better idea. Now, her awkward position was supported by an immensely expensive chaise lounge that Liz had thought hideous anyway. Apparently, it had been a gift. He didn't presume to ask from who; easier to make up an alibi with less people knowing the truth.
Abe missed her desperately. With her ensconced on the chaise, he could almost pretend she was only ill, and may recover…or maybe that she slept. Almost. But when you are an intelligent being, such flights of fancy often deserted you quicker than you'd like.
And so, he brought her flowers as one would to a grave. Which, in truth, it essentially was. The first bushel was white roses. He figured she may have preferred the more demure white, even if his memories supported red for it's meaning. He laid them beside her, then changed his mind, arranging them so they framed her face. She likely would have thought this odd, but he couldn't help but think she looked lovely. Somewhat like a bride. And with that thought haunting him, he left for the night.
The next night he returned, bearing soft yellow tulips, to find the roses had disappeared. He stared for a moment, thinking that perhaps they had blown away, or something. But as he drew nearer, he saw the silhouettes of blooms outlined matte white against the greyer stone of her face. Even further, he could see the green of the stems outlined on the skin that would have been visible under her stone "clothes". She had, essentially, absorbed them. But why?
His mind began to whir at the possible meanings this could have. Clearly, he would have to do some research! But until he could, he made himself busy arranging the tulips over her hair.
In the following weeks, Abe learned much about the faerie kind, but they were especially hushed about their life cycles, other than the fact that they lasted most of the time until someone ended it for them. In the interim, He bedecked her with blossoms, turning her into a rather more impressionistic work of art. It was, different, but he didn't care if she awoke the patchwork girl of Oz, if there was a chance she woke up at all.
It was when he brought her a potted morning glory with a sun lamp, and she absorbed that by the vine, in a slower version of how one ate noodles, that he decided to tell the others. They were understandably confused. Liz, in particular.
"I could understand, theoretically, how one organic substance could possibly absorb another, but this-" she pointed to where the top of the morning glory had faded like a supernatural tattoo around her wrist. It seemed to have grown into her, though, as the vine did not sever, but flowed out of her. Red scratched his head.
"It's like an IV, only it's a plant." Abe tilted his head at him, impressed.
"Very like, Red. But the question is, who is feeding whom?" He shrugged.
"I dunno, Blue. Judging from the other marks, maybe it goes both ways? But what should we do with this?" It wasn't an unkind question, only practical. They stared in silence for a moment, before Liz surprised the both of them.
"I think you should bring her more, Blue. Even if we gain nothing- though I hope you do, blue—she would have loved being a garden, I think." Abe pondered this, and had to admit she had a point.
Very well. He would bring her an orchid next.
Over the next month, they were fascinated to see the vining plants (indeed, the orchid had been a casualty, and he had replaced it with honeysuckle-) twining up over and over again. Soon, the whole of her right arm was a delicate blue, while the other a speckling of white and soft yellow.
In the time following, Abe finally hit a breakthrough in his studies. It appeared that Fey, when injured, were prone to "communing with nature", an act that usually amounted to nude rolling in flowers. For his sanity's sake, Abe refused to imagine Nuala in such a light.
But, they were also prone laying their dead in similar bowers, and holding a wake. It was their theory that if that which had made them could not heal them, then it was time to give in. One scholar of the four he found contested this with a more in depth description. He wrote:
i'Indeed, there are few ailments a bower will not fix, even death can be turned back. But, only few may tread back the way they came. Those wounded by iron are dead for certain, no matter the nature of the person they were. But if a life is lost unjustly, or given altruistically, then there may be hope. But the last recorded case of this was so far entrenched in myth that we cannot be sure if "Snow White" was in fact the half-Fey daughter of the Queen and Lord Dembroth of the Seelie, or he simply was in search of the queen's regard.'/i
He read further of a more detailed version of the story of snow white (which, with this context, made infinitely more sense-), but soon set the book aside to make his nightly journey to see Nuala. He sighed, wondering if he should kiss her awake. But surely that wouldn't work.
Another month passed, and Nuala was a riot of color. His calculations said that she should be covered completely by now, even if he could not see it. And, after considering it, he had decided to kiss her. After all, what had he to lose?
It was awkward, though, because he'd never kiss anyone, or really anything, even. It hardly mattered, of course. But still.
He sat down on the generous cushion of the chaise. He'd told noone of this plan. It was, admittedly…silly. But he had to try. And so, with a soft huff, he pressed his lips very softly to her stone ones. He expected there to be nothing, b-
She gasped. Abe wheeled back, end over end, taking pot of morning glories with him with a shimmering crackle. He scrambled back up in an uncharacteristic graceless motion. She leaned weakly on one arm examining the other, in this case the one encased by layers of blue morning glories.
"Yes." He scrambled closer to her as she sank back down. Worried, his hands fluttered over her, unsure of what to say or do. She smiled at him wanly, but with genuine warmth.
"Trust you to find a way." Her white and yellow speckled hand traced his stripes shakily. He swallowed nervously.
"It was an accident at first." He trapped her hand on his face with his own, looking away. "Is this all right? I wanted you back so badly, that I didn't-"
"Abraham." Her tone was firm, but soft, and he looked back at her, surprised. "if it was not to be, then it would not be." He nodded, then leaned his forehead against hers, pleased when she smiled again.
Encouraged, he tilted his head to finally kiss her in the flesh. Nerves shot, it was only when she pushed up to meet him halfway that he allowed himself to enjoy it. It was immensely different to kiss a breathing woman, and immensely more pleasant. The kiss was chaste, but both were slightly out of breath when they parted, so new were they to this. She looked at him wonderingly, tracing his gills with her fingers, his cheekbone.
"I was beginning to think I had dreamt that part the first time around." He let out a soft huff of amusement. "Now would you mind terribly taking me out of here? I should think I'm quite tired of this place." He nodded, before carefully lifting her off of the low chaise.
On the way back to headquarters, she asked about he new markings, curious as to how they looked.
"I will make sure you're afforded a mirror. I think they're lovely-unique. They may fade, but if they don't , you may even be able to venture out with Liz into the public. Tattoos are very popular." She laughed, resting her head in the crook of his neck.
"and wouldn't that be something!"
The shock they witnessed was no surprise for Abe, but he was however surprised when Liz took one look at their joined hands smiled. They discussed briefly how they accomplished such a feat, before Nuala surprised the other three by clearing her throat. They swiveled to look at her.
"If I may-if it's alright, may I stay here, with all of you? I really h-" Red snorted.
"Of course you'll stay here. We'll work out 'permission' later." Liz nodded, rubbing her swelling belly.
"I can't imagine you'd be refused. It's not often we have royalty-"
"Oh but that's right!" Abe burst out, then uttered a quiet apology to Liz before turning to Nuala. "What about your people?"
"My Uncle is actually the next in line, and will have taken over already after-" she trailed off, adjusting her gown, before starting again, softer. "Besides, if I may be frank—I have been a kept woman for far longer than I'd like." She reached up to lay a hand on his collar, and he knew then that he'd be blushing if he could. "I would like to try living, for once."
He lifted her hand from his collar to kiss it softly, delighting when she actually did blush.
"Then I suppose we must find you a space to do it in." i Aside from my heart/i