Kid slowly closed his fingers around the television remote - careful not to jostle his arm too much - and pressed the power button. The Blu-Ray menu flickered to black, leaving the sitting room in a cool, cozy darkness. He released the remote and snuggled back into the couch. Moonlight through a stained-glass awning window cast an azure glow across the tableau, rimming the almost-empty bowl of popcorn on the coffee table, falling across the giant fleecy throw tucked around their bodies, and glinting in the cobalt eye of the woman curled up against his side. Liz smiled at him, a subdued and placid smile that he couldn't help but return. She laid her head against his shoulder, and he pulled her a little closer, tightening the arm slung around her thin waist.
Patty was right about demanding those three movies for their movie night, Kid thought with mild amusement. After the frantic anxiety of the morning and the annoying chaos of the Death Scythe meeting in the afternoon, both he and Liz had been left mentally exhausted. So they had become rather frustrated when Patty had forcefully insisted on more than one film to go with their pizza and popcorn. As the whole point of movie night was to make it up to Patty for, uh... forgetting about their planned sleepover, however, Kid and Liz had obliged. And the night had turned out perfectly. Not for the first time, Kid wondered just how purposeful Patty was in her seemly-innocent maneuverings.
First, she had put in an action/adventure flick, which they had all enjoyed while they ate dinner, chatting companionably about the brilliant special effects and pointing out the exotic locations they had visited themselves. Second had come the horror movie, which had - as always - terrified Liz out of her mind. She had retreated almost immediately into the comfort of Kid's arms, eyes squeezed shut, flinching at all of the gruesome sounds and chanting frantically into his shirt, "not-watching-not-watching-not-watching," while Patty bounced on the edge of the couch and cheered every time another amputated limb went flying in a spray of blood. It had already been close to midnight by the time the slasher was over, but Patty had pushed her traumatized, escaping sister back into Kid's lap, insisting upon pain of tickle-torture that Liz hang in there for the last part of the night's trilogy. Liz had stayed, but only because - to both her and Kid's wide-eyed amazement - Patty's final choice was a newly-released romantic chick flick.
As the water-colored opening credits played, Patty had fetched a black throw from the closet down the hall, tossing the blanket across their laps before climbing in on Kid's free side and snuggling in. It wasn't the most noteworthy film Kid had ever seen - it certainly wasn't going to win any awards - but as the man and woman on screen tiptoed around each other and their growing feelings, he felt a certain sense of warmth well up in his chest. About halfway through the movie, it abruptly occurred to him that he, Liz, and Patty were all resonating with each other, their souls intertwined in a familial atmosphere of peace and contentment - just as they did when cuddling in his bed. Oh, Patty, he'd thought empathetically and had turned away from the screen to look at her. She had already been staring at him, sky-blue eyes twinkling, and at the sight of his understanding expression, had laughed cheerfully. She had snagged a nearby pillow soon after that, plopping it down on his throw-covered lap before curling up on her portion of the couch, laying on her side with her head on the pillow. Her weight on his leg was a welcome pressure, and Kid had settled his arm around her protectively, feeling Liz squeeze his other hand in approval.
Patty was already sound asleep by the time the on-screen couple confessed their love and went in for that magical kiss. He and Liz had finished out the movie together, small smiles on their faces as they caught glimpses of their own lives reflected in the fictional characters' romance.
Oh, yes. Patty was a crafty one, Kid thought as he peered down at her mop of unruly blonde hair. He gently pet her head, running his fingers through short locks so much thicker than, but just as soft as, her sister's. Oh, Patty definitely knew what she was doing, picking those movies in that order, driving the three of them slowly into each others' arms and souls before leaving Kid and Liz to themselves. He chuckled softly. There hadn't been one of her beloved animated movies in sight.
"So what now?" Liz murmured softly into his shoulder. "I don't really feel like sleeping upright. It makes my neck sore. Even though this ispretty comfortable." She pressed her nose into his shirt, nuzzling against the cloth and the muscle underneath.
"Patty's asleep," he told her quietly.
"Mmhmm." Kid felt Liz shift against his side, felt her body quiver as she tried to stretch her numbed limbs without disturbing the stillness. She rolled her shoulders carefully. He slid his hand slowly up and down her back, savoring the warm friction of his palm against her thin camisole. She arched forward a bit in pleasure, humming her agreement with his actions, and he felt his heart skip a beat, his ears burn. When she tilted her head back like that, her hair pressed up against the top of the couch, it exposed the beautiful line of her neck, that gently arcing curve that Kid so craved to press his lips against. He tried to make himself look away, but failed, gulping back the lump in his throat as her head lolled to the side and she opened her eyes halfway, taking in his expression with a lazy glance.
She smiled at him again. This time, however, it was a little less subdued, a little more amourous.
"What are you thinking about, Kid?"
He felt his leg twitch nervously beneath Patty's pillowed head. "Do you want me to carry her up to her bedroom?" he asked quietly, keeping his face impassive.
"Can I ask you something?" Liz countered, smile deepening.
He hesitated. "...Sure."
"Why wouldn't you answer any of Patty's questions this morning?"
Kid felt his shoulders stiffen as he sucked in a surprised breath. It took a lot of willpower to keep himself still, so as to not wake the young woman in his lap. "Don't you know what she was asking me about?" he whispered nervously.
"Yeah," Liz replied, her body trembling against his in a silent chuckle. "She was asking about us having sex. She asked me all the same questions after you left, complaining because you wouldn't tell her anything."
Kid felt his face light up in hot embarrassment. He knew that his girls discussed some of these sorts of things, but still... "It's not an appropriate topic of conversation," he murmured formally.
Liz snorted, then buried her face into his shoulder at the unintentionally loud noise. After a moment, when Patty remained fast asleep, she lifted her head and grinned at him. "Oh, come on, Kid," she teased softly. "It's just Patty. Not someone you don't know, or... or one of our friends or something. She's your sister. Just as much as she's my sister." His soul shivered as he was struck once more by Liz's total, unshakable trust in him. To share her beloved sister's familial love with him like this said almost more about the depth of their relationship than a million I love yous ever could. It was too bad, Kid thought wryly, that she was currently using this closeness against him. "If you don't feel like talking about it with her," Liz continued, "I'll tell Patty to lay off the teasing. And that's fine. I just don't want you to be embarrassed about our relationship around her." At that moment, Liz's grin began to falter a bit, as if suddenly unsure. "You're not... you aren't ashamed of us, are you...?"
"No! Oh, no no no, not at all, Liz, you know that! Oh, Father, I just..." He wondered how to get that queasy, anxious, unbalanced feeling in his stomach across to Liz. "I just feel like... its... When we're... together, it's just us, you know? Not... not us and Patty. For once. And I... I like that it's... exclusive." Kid bit the edge of his lip apprehensively, hoping he hadn't offended her - or Patty - in any way.
"Oh, Kid," Liz said, as if he had said something silly. The subdued look on her face told him that she had taken his words seriously, though. She untangled one arm from the fleecy throw and reached up to run her fingers through his striped bangs, then trailed one smooth fingertip down the side of his face. "We're exclusive," she murmured, her eyes following her finger's path. "Never worry about that. Nothing will ever change that. We have all of that set in stone." She smiled at him, tilting his head towards her with the lightest touch of her finger on his chin. He let her guide him, as he always did. "Patty's just curious. And... emotionally involved. Emotionally invested in our relationship. She likes the thought of us together." Liz chuckled once in contemplative amusement. "I think she likes to imagine what we're like when we're together, to come up with romantic stories and scenarios about us..."
"As long as she doesn't try to draw them," Kid murmured almost darkly, which made Liz snicker. He could just see the cartoonish, crayon images now. "Seriously, though," Kid added, failing to keep the rising blush from his face, "If you feel comfortable telling her about... some of our private affairs, that's fine. I can deal with that. ...But, Liz. Today she asked me if..." He swallowed, his throat tight in embarrassment. "She asked me if I, uh... If I... touch you...with my Reaper shadows." There. He'd said it.
As seemed to be the trend this evening, Liz clearly found this admission more amusing than illicit. She pressed her hand tightly against her mouth, though that couldn't stop the strangled noise that seeped out or the physical vibration of her shaking laughter. When she was finally able to regather her wits, she leaned in to whisper innocently in his ear, "But I thought we decided we liked that game...?"
"Liz...!"he hissed back, with almost a whine. "That's not the point."
"I know." She trailed her finger down his arm, pausing to lightly stroke the back of his bare wrist, not an inch away from Patty's resting head. "I thought the point was that you could still touch me through those shadows even when you're bound to the headboard-"
"-and they didn't cut into your wrists like those handcuffs did-"
"Liz, not here!" He jabbed a finger down at Patty's sleeping figure fearfully, desperately willing Liz to go along with him. Kid was already uncomfortable enough mentally, but it was starting to get physical, too. If Liz kept talking like that with Patty still curled up in his lap...
She seemed to take pity on him then, for which Kid sighed a quiet sigh of relief. After a moment's battle against the entangling throw, Liz managed to extricate herself from Kid and the couch. Her absence left his side sadly bare and cold, and he shivered a bit. With silent efficiency, Liz managed to slip her slim hands beneath Patty's pillow, slowly lifting both the cushion and her sister's head up just enough for Kid to scoot sideways out from underneath. As he struggled to his feet, he was prepared to scoop Patty up, carry her upstairs, and tuck her into her own bed. To his surprise, however, Liz only settled Patty and her pillow back onto the couch. She checked to make sure her sister's arms and legs weren't too cramped, then arranged the fleecy blanket around Patty's sleeping form before placing a soft, delicate kiss on her forehead.
"Liz?" he questioned softly as she straightened up. She just leaned against him, his arm wrapping automatically around her. For a moment, they just stood there, side by side, staring down at Patty, who - for all her adult features - looked just as childlike in the blue moonlight as she ever had. And for a brief moment, Kid thought he felt a flicker of what it might be like to have that thing that he - as the Grim Reaper - never would and never could have, no matter how many times he and Liz lay together.
"She wouldn't have fallen asleep on the couch if she didn't want us to leave her there," Liz murmured. "She could have stayed awake longer, especially with movies involved. But she wanted to fall asleep, to give us time to ourselves."
"Are you ready to go to bed, then, too?" Kid asked.
When Liz didn't answer immediately, he turned his head to look at her and was greeted by a sly twinkle in her cobalt eyes. "Are you really that tired, Kid? Really...?"
He trembled as the physical discomfort came roaring back in full force. How on earth can she affect me this strongly? he wondered, not for the first time. He blinked, feeling a warm flush spread across his cool face. "I suppose you're not...?" he asked cautiously.
"Oh, no," Liz whispered, leaning into him and pressing her breasts against his firm chest. Kid twitched. He knew she wore nothing else beneath that thin camisole. He could feel his blood rising, hammering in his veins as it raced through his body. "I think I could stay awake for a... a good few hours yet."
He shuddered in pleasure as she leaned closer and rubbed her nose against his cheek. "I might... I might be up to that," he whispered.
"Oh, really?" Liz pulled away from him, backing up a few paces towards the end of the couch and the open sitting room doors. Kid followed slowly, as if in a trance, eyes flicking towards the staircase that led straight up to their bedrooms. "Are you sure?"
"...In fact, I am most certainly up to that," he replied, a hint of his own virile confidence finally rising to the surface at Liz's coaxing. A small grin graced his lips, causing her face to light up with an expression of smug success.
"C'mon, then, Lord Death the Kid," she whispered silkily, hooking one finger around the collar of his shirt and giving a short tug. The love bites from that morning had healed, his flawless skin just begging to be marked afresh. She gestured down at Patty with a flick of her head, sharpshooter eyes trained on his with a blatantly seductive smile.
"Let's give 'er something new to ask us about."