"o'er fields of green"
Genre: Romance, Drama
Time Frame: Pre-Canon
Summary: Someday, their world would bloom green and fertile underneath a golden sun.
Notes: The second in a flurish of uploads this evening, done for a Shuffle Challenge on another site. So, we have flash writing, random fandoms, and speculation fic for the win. ;)
Disclaimer: Nothing is mind, but for the words.
"o'er fields of green"
The roof of the hideout was covered by a thick layer of ash. Her footprints left patterns in the grey powder, before the night's mists pushed at the memory of her steps. Erasing them. Around her, soot fell like rain, landing gently upon her eyelashes, her clothes and her skin.
As she walked, she could hear her husband's steps echo behind her, trying as he was to hide his own in the shadows of hers. Kelsier (he had no surname, for skaa were not worthy of names. Of land. Of rights. Of life.), had the light step of a thief, and the man moved as gracefully as the shadow thrown by a dancer. Still, he was no match for her when she burned Tin in the night. She flared the metal in the deepest part of her, and felt her senses rise with a clarity and sensitivity than any plain eye would never be able to match. She heard everything with almost painful acuity then; heard his breath on the night air, heard the ruffling of his clothes. She could hear that he walked heavier on his left side, still not completely healed after the blow he had suffered during the raid on Keep Okhisth the week before; and she felt a moment of worry, for one did not walk into Kredik Shaw with any weakness.
Mare inhaled deeply, calming the restlessness she could feel creeping up in her veins. The deep breath carried the scent of mountain spice and smoke to her - and something else that was uniquely her husband. Something she couldn't put a name to, even after all this time.
She waited, knowing that he was trying to walk soundlessly. Trying to get a drop on her and surprise her. It was a game they often played. She counted.
One . . .
A last step.
Two . . .
A breath drawn in deep.
Three . . .
Hands reaching, blooming with sound on the air.
She turned on her heel, dodging him before slipping around in order to appear behind him. "You are as loud as a stampeding koloss," said she, her voice fond. "Maybe next time."
"Damn, I thought I had you." No he didn't. Not really. And still he tried. If she was honest with herself, it was that which she had always loved the most about him.
Her smile was full when she tilted her face up to accept his kiss. He tasted sweet to her enhanced senses. She slipped a hand up into his hair to hold him to her, and felt that a hundred fold as well. As always, he was a sensation she would never get used to.
When she pulled away, they both went to the edge of the roof. They sat, letting their legs dangle down into the nothingness beneath them. She kicked her feet lazily, and watched as the mists made patterns all around her.
"So, tomorrow is the big day," she said softly.
"The biggest," agreed he, for such a move had not been taken against the Lord Ruler in the times since before they all could remember. It was a fool who would attack Kredik Shaw so. A fool or a genius, and Mare was content to believe the latter of her husband. Always. "And, in honor of our upcoming victory," for it never did well to consider defeat, "I have a gift for you."
A raised brow, hidden in the night. "You shouldn't have," she said, meaning it. Leave it to Kelsier to think of such things when they faced either the largest of scores, or the largest of losses upon the next day.
"And yet I did," ever quick and light was his voice. Insufferable, as Dox had the habit of calling him.
He held out a thin gift to her, wrapped crudely in tan paper. She unwrapped the string from around it, and found an even smaller piece of paper inside, folded four ways, yellowing and old. Ancient, even, as the image upon it would suggest.
The picture printed on it was that of a flower. A delicate and lovely thing with vibrant pink petals. Yellow traced the edges of the silken tongues, and its stem was bright and green. Such things were myths to her people – legends that Kelsier normally gave little heed to. Plants were no other color than brown, the sun nothing more than flaming red, the skies never anything but a tired grey – often he had told her this. Often, she had disagreed. And still, he indulged her fascination with pre Ascension memorabilia.
"This was on display in Okhisth's vaults," said she, recognizing it instantly.
"I saw you looking at it," Kelsier shrugged, tapping his left thigh restlessly, his wound explained to her now. "And it was a pretty picture. I wanted you to have it."
She smiled in the dim light, touched. Often she had told him that she was almost certain that she could sense the lingering scent of flowers under the decay of their land. When her Tin was at its brightest – when she ceased to exist, and there was nothing more than her senses and sensation, she knew that their land was wrong. She could see the glimmer of green under the russet land. She could feel the water in the air, feel the burning in the sun. She swore, at times – especially the further away from Luthadel she was, that the land was verdant and brilliant under the mire of their age.
It was this she fought for – more than Marsh's ideals, or Kelsier's hurt rage against the callus Lord Ruler's noble caste. It was the potential for their world to be as it once was, once again.
She touched the picture, and whispered, "I wish you could sense what I do." She had often tried to imagine life without her tin – without her connection to the world around her, and found it was a life she could not comprehend.
And Kelsier smiled, "In a way," he whispered, "I do." Again his eyes found the mists – the hazy suggestion of Kredik Shaw far beyond, a shadow in the fog.
She followed his gaze. Found her center. For it was this she fought for, she reflected in that moment. The chance that one day, her children and her children's children would be able to play under a golden sun . . . and smell the very same flowers she did.
Her hand found his over the ancient image between them, and as the mists swirled, she let herself hope.