n. A line that continually approaches a given curve but does not meet it at any finite distance.
They never formally meet. Never an introduction; never a "hello," never a "hi, my name is —." They are fine with that; well, he is. She doesn't take too well to him forgetting her name, but what is she to expect of him? She is not of any significance to him, and neither is he to her.
It all comes back to Ash.
She is the friend to his rival, and he is the rival to her friend. Ash has always stood between them. He is the only thing keeping them apart, and also the one thing keeping them together. When Ash is gone, when the rivalry is over, that should be the end for them, too.
They are drawn together again by the magnetic forces of attraction, perhaps even intrigue. Yet, even though Ash is no longer there, there remains a space between them that they can't seem to fill. Magnets are supposed to stick together—opposite to opposite—but their poles make it impossible to get too close.
There are different ways to touch a person.
Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually—they only seem to have one down pat, though.
It's not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe it's even good. He's normally adverse to physical contact, but he doesn't mind so much with her. There's an irreplicable heat that's created when skin brushes against skin, a heat they can only get with each other.
Besides, it's not as if they've never experimented with the other forms, too. He's even-headed, calculating, and there are times she can appreciate that intelligence, perhaps even be awed by it. She's an emotional safe haven, a place where he—a person who's wary of the way he feels—can find repose. And there are fleeting instances in which they are dusted by something greater than themselves, greater than their thoughts and dreams and goals and opinions, and in those moments, they are in love.
A love that endures requires all four, however. They have one and three quarters.
Infinity is actually a terrible word.
It doesn't seem so awful at the surface. There's something romantic about the idea that there's more to come, that they can continue gaining understanding forever. Forever is very exhausting, though, and knowing there is no final destination is rather disheartening. They can't win with each other; there's no finish line, because the distance to it is immeasurable.
There's no stopping, though. They're in too deep.
Because when you've traveled infinity, you've come pretty far.
They won't give up, of course.
The space is getting smaller, slowly but surely. They know it will never close completely, and while it's hard, they can accept that.
They can't turn around because there are things up ahead that are worth exploring; they can't let go because there are things worth holding onto. They're worth it, and that's what makes the infinity bearable.
The surprise kiss that sent them both reeling, the one half-smile she managed to put on his face, the way she makes him feel at 2 a.m., the way she makes him feel—it all makes it worth it. She told him she loves him, and though he didn't say it back, the possibility that he will makes it worth it. She promised she'll be there when he battles for the Championship title, and that makes it worth it.
They're getting closer, but they're still miles away.