I'll be yours
I'll be yours
I'll be yours


-"Soon, My Friend," M83

"Stop smiling at me like that," she murmurs.

The bed is warm; she is light, filled with starlings that flutter.

The back of her fingers touch his lips, the warm-wet, the pliant. The smile tender and not enough. He parts his mouth to catch the pad of her thumb, teeth gentle, tongue touching the whorls of her skin.

Kate scoots closer across the sheets, its soft grey smooth at her shoulder, under her cheek. It's nothing and everything. He's still in jeans and a tshirt; she's in pajamas. It's nothing.

"Will you stay," she says. It's everything.

"Where would I go." He lifts his hand and drags his fingertips along the inside of her forearm until he crosses the border of her wrist, skis his index finger down the slope made by the heel of her palm, lands in the cradle of her curled hand.

No question. Just the chill moving outside the room and the warm light inside her chest, a halo down deep, touching all the broken places, smoothing them, releasing the birds of someday.

He slides his fingers through hers, knit together. She slides her thigh over his, tangled together. Everything about them speaks of woven lives; the strength in two cords unbroken. She may unravel; he will not. He holds her together until she can be stitched back up.

She hopes she can be the same for him. Not yet, but soon. A time is coming when he will be able to depend on her. When he will have words and a way through to her.

His hand, his long fingers and wide palm, everything squeezes around hers, drawing her back to the way the world drifts inside of her, the way it unfolds.

"I don't need any more than this," he says quietly.

The birds - the starlings - wheel in a ever-lightening sky, glossy against her dawn-soaked clouds; the sort sol of their flocking gives way to glory inside her, bursts of it littering the air and climbing higher.

She wants to love him.

Kate slides closer, her lips pass their linked hands to skim the sharp line of his mouth, her cheek against his pillow.

She will tame the starlings, have them send messages across the sea of her psyche to reach him. Give him songs and calls, let them repeat the sound of her voice into his heart, one note at a time, let them remember her to him.

"Kate," he chides, curling her back to now, returning her home.

She leaves her lips against his cheek, sighs out so long that his other hand comes up to hesitantly curl around her shoulder. When she seeks closer, her thigh slides between his, her forehead rests against the strong tower of his throat.

His arm is a beam at her back, holding her in and up; his hand tangles loosely in her hair, his fingertips at her scalp.

"Say it again," she murmurs, letting her eyelids flicker open even though she can't see his face.

"I love you." The hand in her hair fists. "I love you."

Her heart breaks open to the sky. The feathers and the light, the wings illuminated like angels inside her.

"Don't cry," he laughs, uses their join hands between them to clumsily knock away the drop rolling down her nose.

"I'm not. I'm not." She's not.



"I love you."

Curled around her in the darkness, his body is heavy enough to keep her inside, to keep her within the edges of her sanity. And yet her skin seems permeable; the words pass between them like osmosis, one to the other. His words sink into her and wander out her skin, passing back to him.


A rumble from somewhere behind her, a throat clearing. He was asleep. "You're not tired of it."


"Te amo."

She sighs and kisses the center of his palm for that.

"I don't know French," he says.

"Je t'aime," she answers.

He laughs and brings his lips to her cheek, his voice traveling down into her through the doorway of her jaw. "Oh, really?"

She blinks in the darkness, but there is no panic, no flicker of warning lights, no self-destruct.

"Volim te," she uses next, turning in the bed to see him. What she can of him, a familiar shape in the dark room, this man in her bed, her body alert and ready but her heart not.

"Kate," he says, like he means to stop her. She puts her fingers to his lips, searches for purchase in the new landscape. The landscape of herself in light of him.

"Ljubim te."

"Sounds kinda the same."

"Ti amo."



"That all you know?"

She shakes her head. How is it that they are both still clothed and wrapped up in sheets in her bed and trading language back and forth like they are making love? Well, maybe they are, maybe this is the way she knows how. "It's all I know. But not the only language."

He reads that right, reads it carefully she sees, his fingers at her neck and brushing against the soft place behind her ear, so gentle. He reads it right. He gets it.

She has more. It's the easiest thing to pick up, the one that usually sticks. "Aishiteru."

"You made that up."


She goes through Ukranian and then Russian for good measure. She hits Lebanese and Persian, Romanian, Polish, then Icelandic Eg elska tig and rounds it out with Arabic. Various bits and pieces of languages she doesn't actually know fluently but collects like shiny things, easily and without even knowing she does it.

He doesn't ask for English. Doesn't ask for the names of what languages she's borrowing from, only watches her as she uses them to speak for her. To be her stand-in.

"Again," he says, his voice sleep-broken.

And she sails through them, one long litany of adoration that he can't possibly understand but does, he does, she knows he does.

She shifts between the languages, reforms her tongue against her teeth, the sounds sometimes in her throat, sometimes lighter and falling off her lips. He stops her with a kiss halfway through; he tastes like words.

He sits in the floor, his back up against the side of her bed; Kate sits in the V of his legs so that his arms half circle her, his chest nearly against her spine, his chin at her shoulder, cheeks brushing. The warmth of him falls over her.

She has taken off her mother's ring. She lets it slide through her fingers on its chain back down into the wooden box. It spins and catches the light before dropping.

"No more," she says.

He brushes a hand down her arm, kisses the skin at her neck where the fine hairs are, hums as he presses his lips into her.

Her body wakes and stirs.

"Again," she whispers. "Again for me."

"I love you."

She wants it to be everything.

They stay in the floor in front of the box; she wants it to be permanent, the shutting of the lid and closing off. It won't be the end of all of it because that's not what either of them wants or needs, but to be without the weight of it, to not carry it around every day, dragging at her. . .

That's the Kate who can tell him she loves him back. In his own language. Not hers.

She's finding as many ways as she can, the ways that are mostly foreign to him but which he somehow can translate. His love is a Rosetta stone, unlocking her cuneiform script with the cipher his provides. He can always tell what she means, and she doesn't know exactly how it's possible, how it's Castle - of all people - but he's the one.

This way, this morning here at the side of her bed with his body so close like a promise of someday, this way is a good way. Good enough for now.

Kate slides her palm over his jean-clad thigh, her fingers digging under his so that his hand rests on top of hers. She lifts their hands and their fingers mesh; Kate closes the lid of the box, letting his hand share the force, be the momentum behind her movement.

"Again-" Her throat closes up. She can't go past-

"You know I love you."