I dunno...I just had the urge to write something that wasn't angst or fluff, so I sat down and the only non-fluffy thing I kept thinking about was MessengerOfDream's awesome gift-fic that he wrote awhile ago (The Game:Young Blood). So I reread that looking for inspiration, and I kept coming back to that one Marth/Samus paragraph about their bench, and I kept wondering if that bench was special to them, and if it was, I wondered why. So with that vague idea in mind, I just sat down to write something, and here it is.
Disclaimer: Marth and Samus are not mine. I just enjoy pairing them. XD Please read, enjoy, and then review. Critique would be awesome.
A Quiet Place
The two of them sat together in the courtyard, perched lightly on the edge of a stone bench, their heads close as they laughed quietly at something trivial that they both found amusing. The grove was littered with trees of all shapes and sizes, all of them throwing their dark shadows across overgrown grass and old brick walls alike, attempting to stifle the rich afternoon sunlight streaming down from the sky, but of course the sun could not be kept away.
Blades of purest gold pierced through the gloom and branches, creating surreal, distinct beams and gave the whole courtyard a magical, distant feeling. It was a place where the world could be forgotten about. In this place, one could almost believe that this little garden made up the whole world.
The young couple broke apart, their faces flushed and excited with unspoken possibilities that neither was quite brave enough to acknowledge, as if they knew that speaking of these radical ideas would shatter the illusion of safety that their sanctuary had given them. And besides, they weren't totally positive that the other shared those same feelings, and both were too prideful to open themselves up for such harsh rejection.
So, for now, they were content just to share a smile together.
His eyes kept skipping up to her face when he thought she wouldn't notice—anybody watching would've seen immediately that he seemed to be looking at her every other second, almost as if he couldn't believe that he was sitting next to her, or he was worried that she would disappear.
In that same sort of manner, she was purposefully not looking at him. The same way he was determined to verify her existence by constantly looking at her (not that that was the only reason he was constantly watching her—she was quite pretty), she was just as occupied with keeping her eyes off of him, as if she thought that if she acknowledged the dream, it would suddenly end.
He glanced at her sideways again, his mouth unconsciously quirking up into a silent smile as he observed the way her hair stirred in a brief gust of wind that lazily wound its way through the leaves overhead. Her hair had always fascinated him; it moved like a cloud; floating around in white-gold layers to frame her face. He could imagine how light it must be, like the clouds that were moving across the sky, and he loved watching the way it floated around her head and over her shoulders whenever she tossed her head. It was stunning, just like the rest of her. He felt like he could watch her all day, just like this, and never get bored.
She was looking at the ground, but she could feel his gaze on her. She could imagine his eyes perfectly; she could picture the exact shade of blue that they were—the same shade as the endless sky. Of everything about the young man sitting next to her, his eyes were her favorite. Although they were the color of blue ice, she knew that they frequently flashed with a bright fire, and she knew that the ice occasionally seemed to melt when he looked at her. His eyes never softened like that when he looked at anyone else—she knew because the moment she had noticed it, she started watching for it when he looked at other people, but it turned out to only be her. Only for her did the sharp ice melt into a calm body of water, subject to ripples and waves in a way that the hard ice was not. When he was around her, he became soft, almost vulnerable. But there was an edge to that vulnerability—like it would only take one word to freeze him again.
He struggled with the urge to say her name, primarily just because he loved the way it sounded, and because he hoped to hear his name spoken back to him in return. There was something about his name that was special when she said it—a subtle tone that seemed to give the name new meaning. And yet, he remained silent. After all, he had no idea what he would say. It sounded stupid to him just to say her name and not have anything to follow it up with.
She secretly hoped that he would call her name. Her name, which she had always thought of as boyish and boring, was made special when he spoke it. His voice's natural lilt made her name sound like music, like something precious. When he spoke her name, it was like he was uttering the name of something close to him, something that he was going to protect.
After a long, contemplative silence, he finally came up with something worthwhile to say (for he was concerned that she would grow bored and leave if he didn't strike up conversation soon), and asked her name quietly to get her attention before he presented the thought to her.
She managed to turn to face him calmly, one of her eyebrows raised in innocent questioning as she inwardly delighted in her granted wish. As she looked at him for the first time that day, she immediately noticed the slight, calculating smile that decorated his face. Not that she really expected anything other than a calculating smile—the poor man was always thinking about something complicated. She sometimes wondered if he minded that she often didn't seem to keep up with his tactical mind. She enjoyed the mental games that they played, but she sensed that he was letting her win some of them.
His smile broadened as she self-consciously tucked a loose piece of hair behind her ear. He could look at her hair all day, but her face was even more beautiful, if such a thing were possible. Her eyes were almost the same color as his own, but not quite as pure. Hers were tinted with a light shade of grey, which he found more beautiful than his own textbook blue. Her eyes were like a stormy ocean—occasionally unpredictable and wild, but at the same time deep and changeless. Although he teased her about being easy to read, there were many times when he couldn't tell what she was thinking. She was always a good sport and played along whenever he presented her with a philosophical question he had been mulling over recently, and her answers were always intelligent and well thought through, but he often wondered how much she really cared about that sort of thing.
With that thought in mind, he changed what he was originally going to say and asked a different question instead.
"Can I trust you?"
She blinked, obviously startled. Mentally, he bashed himself for blurting out such a sensitive question like that with no pretense whatsoever. What a stupid thing to say.
"If your interests don't clash too much with mine, then yes," she answered without thinking, and then noticed his surprised intake of breath and internally cringed. How could she have given such a blunt answer when he had asked something like that? And the answer itself—it could almost be interpreted as a 'no.' How horrible would that be; if he believed that he couldn't trust her?
He grappled with that latest turn of phrase, trying to decide what the best way to proceed would be. Honestly, he had planned this conversation for several days, but he hadn't expected to reach this point in it quite so soon, and having gotten here, he suddenly lost all of his nerve.
But, if he didn't speak up now, then he doubted he ever would, and wouldn't that be an awful thing? If they both had to continue like this, unable to ask what the other was thinking simply because they didn't want to risk getting hurt themselves? How selfish could you get?
Just as he was about to soldier on regardless of the consequences, she spoke up. "I'm sorry," she laughed nervously, wringing her hands a little on her lap. She wasn't looking at him anymore; her gaze was lowered down to the stone bench they were sitting upon. "I'm just…I'm sorry." She glanced quickly up to him, attempting a tight smile that was so beautiful that he couldn't help but grin lopsidedly in return. This seemed to urge her on, and she continued anxiously. "I don't want to make you unhappy."
"Me neither," he said, then flushed and amended. "I mean, I don't want to make you unhappy… either…" He rolled his eyes at his own mumblings, took a deep breath, and pushed on. "Look, you can say what you want. I won't be…offended or anything. Honestly, I won't. Say what you think."
This conversation wasn't going how he planned it. He was running on pure impulse and adrenaline now, and terror threatened to overwhelm him briefly as he realized how little control he really had. He wanted her to say something—he needed something to work off of. He needed to plan; he hated not knowing what was coming next like this.
But…he had to admit it was sort of exciting, in its own way.
She remained silent, looking off into the distance, her face flushed as she twirled a strand of her golden hair in-between her fingers. The smile slowly faded from his face as a long silence settled over the courtyard.
She wasn't going to say anything, he realized. He had been wrong. She didn't feel the same way. She didn't get that feeling in her heart when he looked at her that he got when she looked at him. That feeling that maybe, maybe there was something special about the way that he felt. That feeling that was as bright as the sunlight that stained her hair and made it glow, that indescribable feeling that seemed to fill every part of him with joy…But perhaps she never got that feeling. He had been wrong.
She bit her lip, feeling her heart sink as she watched a slow scowl come across his face. She had messed up. The dream had ended—and that was all it had been after all, a dream. A wonderful dream, an indulgent dream, a kind, absolutely wonderful dream…but nothing more. He had just been humoring her after all, and now it was time for her to wake up.
He had been wrong. He should let go. It was the ultimate selfishness not to say anything just to avoid hurting himself, but he didn't want to hurt her. He wouldn't hurt her. He would let go. But at the same time, he didn't want to.
She closed her eyes, fighting back the emotions that were crashing through her mind. She wouldn't allow herself to break down here. In the end, that would only hurt him. She had to wake up from the dream. She stood up to leave…
…And felt a hang snag her wrist.
"Wait," he said to her, his voice quiet. "Just wait. I think, or I want to think, that we just…" He trailed off, for once unable to come up with a logical explanation.
She smiled down at him. "You're kind," she said as she looked down into his eyes. Those eyes that were like the sky—untouchable. "But it's okay. It's alright." Once again, she turned to leave.
This time, he let her hand go.
Grateful for the opportunity to hide her face, she turned her shoulder and started to walk towards the exit. You couldn't leave the world forever. Sooner or later, you'd have to face reality and come back.
"I trust you!" he yelled.
She stopped in her tracks, swearing that she could feel her heart skip. Maybe… whispered a tiny voice in the back of her mind. Maybe… Unbelievingly, she turned back around to see him standing in front of the bench, bathed in warm sunlight, holding out his hand towards her. To her. To only her.
"I trust you," he repeated. "What can I say to make you trust me?" His expression was desperate. He had thrown all of his cards on the table now. The honesty in his eyes was piercing, nearly painful.
She was frozen, unable to comprehend what he was saying.
"Look, I like you, okay!" he bellowed. "I want you to trust me!" His hand was steady as he kept it held out towards her, praying that maybe, maybe, she would accept it. Surprisingly, he no longer felt scared. "I'll say whatever you want! If you want me to say that I like you, I'll say it! If you want me to say that you're beautiful, I'll say that too! I'll say whatever you want, however much you want, and I'll mean all of it!" His voice lowered a little as he finished, "But if you don't trust me, then my words won't mean anything, will they? …If you don't trust me, then all you have to do is say so."
He braced himself for the worst, preparing for that final blow that would end all doubt. He had done his best, and even now he didn't regret saying what he had said. He had to know.
"Say that you trust me."
His eyes widened.
"Say that you trust me," she repeated as she took a step back towards him. Her head was cocked sideways, and one of the corners of her mouth was quirked up in a smile that suggested she couldn't believe what she was saying. "You said you'd say whatever I want, as many times as I want, and I want you to say it again." As she said this, she took another step back towards the bench.
"I trust you." The words came easily.
"Say that you think I'm beautiful."
He grinned, like he was looking at something that amused him. "You're beautiful," he said. "Everything about you is beautiful. Your hair, your eyes, your mind, the way you think, the way you talk…It's all ridiculously beautiful. Anything else?"
"No," she said, slipping her hand into his. "That's it. In return, I'll tell you something."
"Yes?" he asked, his grin broadening.
"I like you," she said. "I've always liked you. I think you're gorgeous, I think you're smart, and I like you because you trusted me when I wasn't ready to trust you." His smile was infectious, and she found herself grinning as well.
"I want you to say that all again," he said seriously, releasing her hand just so that he could throw his arm over her shoulder, drawing her close to his chest. In a whisper, he breathed, "And then, when you're ready, I want you to say that you trust me. It doesn't matter if you don't say it now, or tomorrow. I'd just like you to say it someday, alright?"
"So," she said thoughtfully. "You don't mind that I don't trust you now?"
"Of course you trust me," he chuckled. "You just don't realize it."
"How do you know?"
"Because if you didn't trust me, you couldn't have said all that. That's how I know."
"I'm dreaming," she breathed, feeling an unexplainable feeling start to well up in her heart.
"No you're not," he said gently, hugging her close. "This is real life, and it's beautiful. So come on, let's go enjoy it."
And so the two of them left the courtyard, their heads pressed together as they arrived at a conclusion to what they would later look back on like a trivial argument and laughed at their own awkwardness together. Arm in arm, they left the safety of their sanctuary, walking out of that magical grove and into the real world. They shared a smile as they walked through the door, leaving their bench behind them. Many years later, long after she spoke those three words to him that he had said to her on that day, they would still come back to their bench—that place that had somehow moved him to say exactly what she needed to hear—and wonder if there had been something special about it.
But no matter how hard they thought about it or now much they looked, it remained an ordinary, aged bench, just like the rest, in an ordinary courtyard. Yet at the same time, it was special, because it was their bench. It was their quiet place.
I'm not entirely sure what I think of this piece. It's not angst or fluff, which puts it out of my normal style, but that was the whole point. Plus, in my main fic, Marth and Samus really aren't to this stage of intimacy yet, so it was fun to write them this way, because I think they're both extremely calculating people, so I wonder if they really could trust another person like that...But it was out of my normal style and I THINK I pulled it off decently (maybe not). So...please let me know what you think! :)
Thanks again to MoD for inspiring me on this one (I totally ripped off several of your lines-please forgive me! *sweatdrops*)
(BTW, I'll finish the next Game chapter soon, no worries! I just got (obviously) sidetracked again!)
Please review (like I said, critique/constructive criticism/telling me what you liked or didn't like is all very much appreciated!)!