Chapter Four: In the Heart
Spiller made sure the bird was securely bound to a branch before he joined Arrietty by the fire.
The sun had set quickly, leaving the campfire as the only source of light and warmth for the night.
The flight had been easy that day, the wind currents had been on their side and had carried them farther than expected. The bird was mellow and never tried to throw them, and it didn't hurt that Spiller had taken extra time to find a bird that was calm and willing to be ridden.
The long day of flying had left both of them tired and a little sore. He flopped down onto the ground next to Arrietty and gently poked the fire with a broken pine needle.
Arrietty's cheeks were pink from the rush of flight, and her eyes shined with excitement. Spiller pulled out the last piece of leftover cricket from his pouch and handed it to Arrietty. "Want some?" He asked.
Arrietty smiled gratefully and took the cricket from him, but her brow furrowed when she saw that Spiller didn't have anything to eat. "Aren't you hungry?" She asked.
Spiller shook his head quickly, but he blushed when his stomach growled in protest. Arrietty tipped her head back and laughed. Spiller loved the way her face seemed to glow when she laughed.
Arrietty extended her hand towards him. "Could I borrow your knife?" Spiller nodded and unsheathed his weapon, handing it to her.
"Careful, is sharp." Spiller cautioned.
"Don't worry." Arrietty assured as she carved through the cricket leg. "I'm not as helpless as you might think, I did rescue mama from a 'bean', you know." She handed one of the halves to Spiller.
"Spiller don't think Arrietty helpless." The rough borrower's brows furrowed. "Spiller just want to keep Arrietty safe." Arrietty's eyes softened.
"I know, I'm sorry."
There was a moment of silence. Arrietty nervously took a bite of the cricket leg. "Spiller-" She started as she turned towards him. But Spiller stopped her by putting a hand on her shoulder.
Arrietty looked down at Spiller's dirt covered hands, and then turned her face up towards his. They were so close. Arrietty felt his breath on her cheek. For a split second she thought he was going to kiss her. Arrietty's eye's fluttered shut and she puckered her lips just barely.
But instead she felt Spiller's warm cheek brush against her own. He lightly touched her forearms with his hands, almost like he was afraid.
"Spiller?" Arrietty asked. She pulled away lightly so she could look into his eyes. Spiller's back straightened as soon as he realized what he'd been doing. He immediately scooted away from Arrietty, his face turning red.
"S-sorry." He stuttered. Arrietty looked at Spiller with concern. It wasn't like him to be so… nervous. Arrietty tried to move closer to Spiller.
"Spiller, what's wrong?" Arrietty asked, Spiller kept his face turned away from her, looking deep into the burning embers of the fire. Despite this, Arrietty gently took his face in her hands and turned his head towards her.
Spiller looked… sad. His eyes were weary and he had a strange expression on his face. "Please," Arrietty whispered. "Talk to me."
Spiller sighed and looked back into the fire. For a moment, Arrietty thought he wasn't going to tell her what was upsetting him, but then he spoke.
"Arrietty know Spiller have no family." He looked to her, and Arrietty nodded. Spiller had told her that when they'd first met. "But Spiller doesn't remember family at all, but Spiller thought it was ok, because now Spiller has family." He looked at Arrietty, whose heart somehow felt lighter after he'd told her that.
"But sometimes Spiller worry bad thing happen to Arrietty, or Pod, or Homily." Spiller stared hard into the flames. "And when Spiller thinks of those things, he becomes afraid."
The dying firelight gave off and orange glow on the pair. Arrietty had pulled her knees up to her chest as she listened to Spiller.
"Spiller becomes afraid of being alone again, and never seeing Arrietty again." He looked to the borrower girl in front of him. "Spiller worries that if something happen, that Arrietty will never know how Spiller feel."
Arrietty's heart skipped a beat, she could see Spiller's red cheeks, even in the dim light, and Arrietty knew that her cheeks looked exactly the same. Arrietty reached out and intertwined her fingers with his. The two looked deeply into each other's eyes. The light from the embers flickered in their eyes.
There was something about being so alone together, in the wilderness, far away from everything. It gave Arrietty a freedom that she'd never known before, and being with Spiller had raised so many questions for her.
How did she see Spiller? A friend? A brother? Or… Arrietty blushed at the thought. How did Spiller see her? What did he think when he first met her? What does he think of her now?
Being alone with Spiller made her forget about Shawn, and the longing she had for her friend.
When Spiller was alone with Arrietty, the loneliness he'd felt for so long dissipated, like he had never been alone in his life. Spiller felt Arrietty's cool finger bringing his face towards hers.
Gently they touched foreheads. "I used to think my parents and I were the only borrowers left." Arrietty's voice cracked. "But then I found you," she whispered. "And I knew I didn't have to be afraid anymore."
Arrietty lifted her hands from her sides and wrapped them around Spiller's shoulders. "And neither do you," She whispered in his ear. "Because I'll always be right here." Arrietty took one of her hands and pressed her palm against Spiller's chest, right above his heart.
Warm tears formed in the corners of Arrietty's eyes and slid down her cheeks. Arrietty quickly looked away and tried to hide the fact that she was crying. Spiller's face suddenly changed, he gently wiped the tears away and tilted Arrietty's face up towards his.
"Spiller always be…" Spiller tentatively placed his hand over Arrietty's heart. "Right here." Arrietty looked up and smiled at Spiller. In any other situation, or with any other person, this would be considered very dishonorable, especially since the two weren't betrothed. However, in this case, it was different. It was a mutual agreement, or a shared feeling. It was a promise.
The two pulled away. Arrietty was shocked to see Spiller's eyes seeming more shiny than usual, but he smiled anyways. The last of the fire burned out, surrounding them in darkness.
A breeze shifted through the grass, lifting dirt and twigs into the air, and sending chills up Arrietty's spine.
The small girl shivered and wrapped her arms around her small frame, trying to contain her body heat. Spiller chuckled lightly and draped his arm over her shoulders, along with his fur pelt.
Arrietty's shivers instantly stopped. She nuzzled into Spiller's shoulder, and soon, her soft even breaths told Spiller that she'd fallen asleep.
The hunter tipped his head up to the dark sky.
Tiny stars twinkled and glittered in the night, even though the cold darkness surrounded them, it only seemed to make the stars shine brighter.
For so long Spiller had been in that darkness, alone, but then Arrietty, his star, led him to a home. He had good reason to be nervous of going back to the cities, but no need to be afraid, because Arrietty was right here. Right in his arms, and even if the were apart she'd be nestled safely in his heart.
I'm liking this chapter, at first I was like 'ehhh' but now… I like it :) haha. Sorry about the late update, but if you read my last Author's Note, then you'll know I was at the lake, which was BEYOND fun! Anyhow, please review it really does motivate me to update quicker, and I LOVE hearing from you guys! Complements, Criticism, Ideas, anything :) I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading (and reviewing?). It means the world to me.
One other thing, I've noticed that I get a lot of reads from other countries… If you can't write a review in English I will translate it and try to reply the best I can, I really do want to hear what you have to say :)
PessimistGirl: Thank you! I love that you think that they're cute, haha. Oh, and thank you again, I did have lots of fun at the lake!
Cat-Stat-Ave: I'm glad you love the story, and I love your idea! It's fabulous! The moment I read your comment I was like, Oh. My. God. Yes!" So thank you!
IMPORTANT: I've noticed their aren't many fanfics for this category, especially for Spiller/Arrietty, (SpilleRietty?) So if you have an idea, don't be afraid, go for it. Tell me about your story, and I'll check it out! Lets try to get Spiller/Arrietty some more love! :D