AN (1): Hello friends! Well, this is a new fandom for me, but I love love love Snowing, and I've also been writing a ton of serious things this semester, so here's some fluff that fulfills my hopeless romantic heart, haha. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this as much as I did writing it. Basically, in this I'm just assumming that James and Snow knew each other when they were younger (because I wanted too, haha), and that the twin borther thing never happened. So... as always, I absolutely love reviews, so please leave one! I hope this all finds you very well :)
AN (2): Recommended listening: "Suego Faults" by Wolfgang.
a century is all we need
I love you without knowing I did; I searched to remember you.
I broke into houses to steal your likeness,
though I already knew what you were like. And, suddenly,
when you were there with me I touched you, and my life
stopped: you stood before me, you took dominion like a queen:
like a wildfire in the forest, and the flame is your dominion.
- Pablo Neruda, XXII
"I'm fine," she tells him, rolling her green eyes before closing them resolutely.
"That's great," he says, untying the leather laces binding her coat. She winces.
"Really," she whispers. There's blood soaking through the two layers of her clothing - a vest and a long-sleeved cotton shirt - near her ribs. "I don't need your help."
He sighs, sitting back on his heels. She's propped up against a tree, clammy and even more pale than normal. Her hair is plastered to her forehead. "Just let me make sure nothing's really hurt. You're bleeding a lot."
Her eyes pop open and look down to the red side of her shirt, then back up to his. "Fine."
James takes a deep breath, although he hopes she doesn't notice, and scoots closer. "Your father's going to kill me," he whispers, and she laughs before groaning in pain.
"It's your fault anyways."
He doesn't hear her, because his fingers have undone the buttons of her vest and now he can see, through the flimsy cotton material of her shirt, her small, rounded breasts. She's fifteen now, and he wonders why he'd never noticed how beautiful she was until now.
"You're the one who didn't see the branch soon enough," she continues.
He clears his throat, bringing his eyes back to hers. "Yeah, sorry."
"I'm sure there will be some way you can make it up to me." She smiles and his heart somersaults in his chest.
He laughs distractedly and starts untying the string binding the upper half of her shirt. Snow doesn't seem nervous. He slips down the sleeve over her thin shoulder. "Can you lift your arm a little?" he asks.
Snow grimaces and clamps her eyes shut, but she manages to lift her elbow high enough that he can remove it from its sleeve.
Her breast is left exposed by this, and it troubles James much more than Snow. She blushes but seems too derailed by pain to care all that much, and James berates himself in this moment of even thinking of her that way.
There's a gash along her ribs from where she'd landed on an outcropping of rocks after she fell off her horse (because he'd been in front of her and had sent a branch her way on accident). A black bruise is already forming around the cut. "Do you think your ribs are broken?"
"It's quite possible," she says, resting again against the bark of the tree.
James brings his shaking hand to the gash, feeling carefully for any broken bones.
Snow's head pitches forward and she groans, gritting her teeth.
"I think they're broken," he says finally, trying to forget the electricity that runs along her skin.
"Me too," she mumbles, tucking her arm back against her side. She takes a few steading breaths. "So we need to get back to the palace."
He nods. "Right. Exactly."
She laughs a little at his panicked eyes, although he's pretty sure she has no idea why he's so frenzied. "Help me put this back on," she commands, and he tucks her arm back into the sleeve, tying the collar neatly.
"Wait," he says, and takes off a scarf he's wearing, tying it around her neck, fitting her arm inside. It makes a neat little sling.
She grins up at him, allows him to help her up, limps back to his horse.
He helps her into the saddle, trying not to feel the tightness of her muscles or the way she breathes, and then climbs on behind her.
"I really am sorry, Snow," he says into the hollow between her ear and jawbone.
She wraps the small hand free of the sling around his forearm, clenching softly in reassurance. "I know."
He tugs on the short hair at the back of her neck, trying to get closer to her. His mind is spinning with pleasure as he pulls at her cardigan.
"David," she moans, her eyes fluttering closed at his touch.
His fingers shaking, he starts on her blouse. "Why do you have to have so many buttons?" he grumbles.
She laughs. It's much lower and husky than the normal, sing-song tone of her voice. "You don't like my clothes?" She sits up, stopping her assault on her shirt.
"I love your clothes," he says, kissing down her neck. "But I like them best on the floor."
"Charming," she grumbles with a smile, rolling her eyes before she wriggles back down against her bed.
He finds her small hands against the bottom of his sweater, tugging it over his head quickly. Her gentle fingers send shivers down his spine.
Finally he undoes the last button, her blouse flayed open. She shrugs out of the sleeves. David finds his hands under the small of her back, causing her to arch towards him. He kisses the middle of her chest, smells the cinnamon and vanilla of her skin. It's the softest thing he's ever felt.
Her small breasts are covered by a light pink, lacy bra. He sees a small scar along her ribs, and, for some reason, brings the tips of his fingers to it lightly.
She stills beneath him, her arms falling from the back of his neck to rest on his cheeks, her head resting back against the pillow, her eyes wide, her dark hair messy.
It's the most silent, motionless moment he's ever experienced, a gap in breathing, the space between two heartbeats: deja vu so strong he can't breathe.
"You're beautiful," he whispers.
She smiles softly, and he thinks that he's missed her dimples, even though that doesn't really make sense.
He kisses her gently on the lips.
"How're you feeling?"
"Much better," she says with a smile. He notices her dimples and wonders if she'd always had those. "I thought you were leaving this morning."
He goes beside her on the balcony overlooking her kingdom. "We're leaving later today."
"My father wanted to make sure you were okay."
She laughs. "Oh, your father, huh?"
"Yes, my father," he says, flustered. "To have an injured princess on our kingdom's hands could be very damaging."
"Of course," she says, turning towards him. She's in a simple, pretty dress, white and light blue, and her right arm is in a sling. "Well, please tell him thank you."
James clears his throat. "I will."
She pats his arm, turning back to look out at the clear fields and forest. He finds her small frame pressed against his, her head leaning against his shoulder, the top of her soft, dark hair tickling his jaw. "I had to get ten stitches, you know."
He feels her giggle. "I broke three ribs."
"I felt them."
"I remember." She waits a few seconds. "The good news is, I get to miss the awful luncheon my step mother has planned today."
He smiles. "Oh, and how'd you manage that?"
She takes a step back and then turns towards him, her eyes wide, a pout pulling down the corners of her full, red lips. "My ribs hurt," she whines, rasping, then stands up straight with a triumphant grin. "My father bought it."
He shakes his head, laughing. "You're talented, Snow."
"Why thank, you, Charming. I'd say the same for you, but you did try to kill me yesterday."
"I did not -"
She swats his chest. "I was kidding."
She sighs and leans into his side again. "Thank you for helping me," she says, then adds, "Really, James."
"Snow," he says, wrapping an arm around her thin shoulders, kissing the top of her head, her hair smelling like cinnamon and vanilla, "you're welcome."
He suddenly thinks that he could stand like that forever, with her tucked safely by his side.
David wakes before her the next morning. She's wearing his sweater, curled into a tight little ball, her head resting on his chest instead of her pillow. It's cute, the way her short hair sticks up in one spot in the back, how her little hands are balled into loose fists, how she scrunches her nose in the middle of what he hopes is a good dream.
A stream of sunlight washes through the window they'd left open the night before, creeping steadily towards their faces.
Mary Margaret sighs, stretching beside him, mumbling happily. David watches her amusedly. Her eyes open and then she seems to realize that she's wrapped around him in her bed.
"You stayed," she mumbles.
He smiles. "Don't sound so excited."
She laughs, sitting up with a yawn, running her fingers through her hair quickly. "I'm glad you stayed," she says, her eyes serious.
"Me too." He knows, in that moment, that he wants to wake up to her every morning of the rest of his life, that it would make him very, very happy.
"Do you work today?" he asks, standing and following her into the kitchen, where she puts on the tea kettle.
"It's Saturday," she tells him, then kisses him with a little laugh.
He clears his throat. "Well I guess that's a no then."
She nods, brows raised, her smile amused. "Do you want eggs or pancakes?"
"Both, then," she says.
He sits down at a bar stool, watching her take out pans and eggs and pancake mix. She pours him a cup of coffee and makes herself a cup of tea. She's barefoot and there's something messy and perfect about her small form in his sweater, mesmerizing as she bustles around her kitchen.
"What?" She stops cooking, walking over to him, fitting herself between his legs.
He kisses her forehead and brushes down a few pieces of her hair that stick up. "I love you."
Her breath catches and David forces himself not to panic, but then she smiles, and her arms fly around him in a warm, tight hug. "I love you, too."
Minutes later, David finds himself propped up against the cupboards beneath her counter, her head resting in his lap, her eyes watching him happily, her breathing beginning to return to normal.
"That's the best breakfast I've ever had," he says, and she shoots up, putting the palm of her hand against her forehead.
"I completely forgot! Breakfast!"
He laughs and stands, and they look at the blackened pancakes and burnt eggs on the stove. She turns them off frantically. "You're distracting," she grumbles, dumping the pancakes into the trash.
"I could say the same to you." He tickles her ribs and she swats at his chest, giggling.
She stares at the pans in the sink, coated with burnt food. "I have oatmeal," she says.
He laughs. "That's what I wanted anyways."
AN: Reviews are magic. Thanks! :)