Clasped


Summary: Spoken words aren't always necessary. (Oneshot)
Timeline: After X3
Disclaimer: All things recognisably X-Men aren't mine - I just like making up my own stories.
Author's Note: I challenged myself to try a different writing style that included dialogue that isn't heard. I'd love for you to tell me what you think they're talking about!


He stands awkwardly in the garden as she approaches, something clasped tightly in her hand. Words are exchanged – his, short and snappy; hers, quiet and unyielding. He softens; shoulders slump just a little.

She moves closer, lifting her hand, offering something glinting and metallic to him. He reaches out. She shakes her head slightly; withdraws her hand an inch or two. Asks an earnest question.

His eyebrows furrow. Arm still extended. The other hand is fisted in his pocket. He answers her, a low growl, warning. She returns his steely gaze, resolute. Asks another question.

His defences drop; expression turns almost pleading. She pauses. She relents. The object passes from her hand to his. Fingers caress and close over glittering metal. A troubled brand of calm skims over his face, like a veil. The lighter flicks open.

He sinks onto the bench behind him, clicking at the wheel. Nothing happens. He swears, shakes his prize. Ten more tries. Ten more nothings. He gives up, slumping, defeated.

She sits beside him, close. Fingers graze fingers. He jerks his arm away, clutches lifeless metal tighter. Doesn't see the hurt in her eyes. Half-listens as she speaks gently. Answers half-heartedly, a snap with half the bite. Tries to block out her reply.

Her fingers glide slowly to his hand. They prise his fingers apart. The lighter shines coldly in his palm. She touches it, looks up at him, says something sad and firm. He narrows his eyes, begins to close his hand. She presses her palm over his, sandwiching metal between flesh. His hand closes inadvertently over hers.

She lifts her hand, bringing his with her. The lighter falls through his palm. Through a gap between wooden slats. Onto a grassy shadow.

He watches. Tries to let go of her. Looks up. Opens his mouth to speak. Closes it.

Soft words in a soft voice. Short, with long meanings. Spoken with conviction. Surety. Belief.

They watch her lower their hands to rest on wood. Look up simultaneously. Read expressions. Silent exchange of words.

She moves closer, leans lightly against his shoulder. He pauses. Gazes at her head resting against him. She murmurs something. He answers quietly.

They sit together in silence. Hands clasped.

Fin