notes I just wanted to write something about the two of them. I've been meaning to for a long time, but I never really had the chance. And while I'm still not entirely satisfied with this drabble, I felt like it should go up anyway. Also I think this will turn into a sort of drabble collection featuring Beat and Rhyme or something, I'm not sure yet. So enjoy! :D

we live outside the touch of time;

Rhyme feels an emptiness the second she opens her eyes in the UG. It is a wide, gaping hole that she expects to fade after a couple of hours, but it doesn't, even after everything feels normal again, even if it isn't. Her partner doesn't seem to feel anything though, and she watches him bustle through crowds, watches him run right and left and then stop, in the middle of the street to scratch his head.

"Hey, Rhyme! This the right way?"

Still, she likes Beat. She likes his clumsiness, the way he seems to tower over her like a skyscraper, even if he's only just a few inches taller. She likes all of him, from the way he shuffles down the street to the funny sounds he makes when she teases him, pink dusting across his cheeks like candy floss in childish glee on a summer day. In a way, Rhyme is fascinated by the way Beat functions; Beat runs on an endless source of adrenaline and lets his temper flare like sparks, rushes headfirst into whatever he can, and is clueless about many of the more obvious things happening around him. He reminds her a little bit of her own brother, she realizes, and she comes to respect Beat as he is—large, warm, with a comforting sense of steadiness.

He waits for her at the street corner, fidgeting and twisting his head in her direction. "Hey!" He waves, arm straight in the air waving from side to side. "We gotta get to Ten-Four!"

"I know!" Rhyme says back, pausing to catch her breath. "Beat, you're going too fast!" But instead of a discerning look, a laugh bubbles at the back of her throat. Beat stares at her.

"Whatchu lookin' at, Rhyme?"

Rhyme's stomach is clenched like a fist, muscles contracted into a knot that hurts with every laugh she lets out. "I'm coming!" When she reaches Beat, the crowds surround them on the walkway and the streets are full of people. Rhyme is reminded briefly of hardworking ants, coming and going from all directions. Rhyme giggles, and looks at Beat.

"We can cross, Beat; we can walk through them, remember?"

Beat doesn't say anything. Rhyme's smile slips off her face.

"Is there something wrong?" Her hand reaches for his, and Beat jumps, looks to Rhyme with wide, blue eyes. Rhyme slips her hand into his larger one quickly. Beat is warm; his hand is half a size larger than hers, almost, and his fingers are calloused with rougher skin.

"N-Naw," he sputters suddenly. "We good. We okay. Right, Rhyme?"

Rhyme's smile returns when Beat's hold on her hand tightens. Beat has a bear of a grip, and Rhyme imagines a heavy winter blanket when he squeezes it hard. When she closes her eyes, Rhyme sees her brother and feels the gap in her heart narrow and fill with Beat's warmth and familiarity.

"Yeah," she tells him. "We're good."

He beams at her. "Right. We goin'."

"Wait, no, Beat—Ten-Four is the other way!"

"...I knew that."

Rhyme giggles, and clutches the pendant hanging around her neck. "'Cause we're okay today, right?"

Beat's face lights up. "Now you catchin' on!" He gives Rhyme's hand one last squeeze and together, they fly. Beat had given her emptiness a name. And Rhyme just knew they were going in the right direction then.


~drabble no. one