A/N: I got this idea after watching a really beautiful, heartbreaking video, which can be found here:http (colon, forward slash, forward slash) .com (forward slash) watch (question mark) feature (equal) player (underscore) embedded (and sign) v (equal) ltun92DfnPY

-Just remove the words and replace them with what they say, then remove the spaces-

You don't have to read this chapter, but I urge you to watch that video.

Just... watch the video.




He watches as his partner sleeps, the gentle rise and fall of their breathing lulling him into an almost dreamlike state himself, but he fights the drowsiness to take in their face, the slope of their neck, all the way down the plains of muscle that make up their back, to the tattoo that anoints their shoulder like a badge of honor. It's there that his eyes stay, blurry due to lack of sleep, but utterly focused on the art that decorates this beautiful temple that rests in his bed...

Most would think the ink work ugly, or misunderstand the meaning, much like the few that have seen the ebony mark on his own chest; but, very much like his own design, it has a history behind it that cannot be explained in a few simple words... it needs to be personalized, needs to have the struggle that the ink commemorates fought and bleed through...

It needs to be lived.

There are a few that understand it, or think that they do, and congratulate his partner for living through 'such soul crushing hardships'. It gets them a grin, a shake of the head, and the response of 'I'd like to think of them as soul building, myself."

That usually gets them an uncomfortable chuckle as they leave wherever they were at the time...

His hand reaches out just then, his touch as soft as butterfly wings, to brush his fingertips against the words that are etched in the middle of their shoulder, smiling as they lean into the touch in their sleep... Words that say so much about who they are, what they did, and what they became; words that have a variety of meanings, a variety of ways to incorporate into every day life, and words that are as important to them as the words 'I love you', 'Always', and 'Forever' are to others...

Three little words, that say so little, and yet mean so much:

They were wrong.