A small fanfic that blossomed into something I rather liked.
There were times when she smelled flowers.
Not the ones that he had planted outside of their window – English lavender, peach & white gladiolas and yellow buttercups – but the ones that grew by the bay, that held the ocean spray in the velvet of their petals. He would go out to sea, gone for only an afternoon or night at a time, and each time would bring back of sprig of wildflowers from the docks. She woke up to their smell next to her pillow, the first peeks of sunlight illuminating them in the new day.
She groaned, her fingertips clutching the empty pillow next to her, lines of sheet forming to meet in the heart of her palm. The wildflowers spilled over the edges, filling the room with their scent. She turned her head, her eyes squinting at the window. He stood there, his jacket off for once, his shirt loosened from his trousers. He held his hand on the windowpane, looking out over the bay but turned when he heard her stir.
“Morning,” she mumbled, pillow fluff half hanging from her mouth. He smiled, walking over to her and sitting on the edge. His nearness pulled her body up like a magnet and she draped an arm over the back of his shoulders. She rested her chin in the crook of his neck, taking in the salt air still pressed on his skin.
“Good morning, love,” he whispered, the stillness of the dawn not yet ready for anything other than hushed voices.
“Tell me,” she uttered. It was more of an order than a request, a permission for him to lose the weight of what he held onto.
He took a deep breath, in and out, his chest letting out a small shudder. She felt his heart in hers, the layers of skin and organs the only barriers between them. “A calm night, all clear. The town remains safe on the water another night.”
He smiled, looking at her, the moon still an echo in his eyes. “I saw it again.”
His past. It still haunted him, drowning him in dreams and nightscapes. “Tell me,” she repeated, a gentleness in her tone. The serenity put him at ease again, his muscles loosening just an inch.
“I keep thinking the day would be more soothing, but the night helps more. The stars help. They keep me on track, keep me sailing back to you. I keep seeing the gates and the river and the shadows. So many shadows.”
She rubbed his back in small circles, her hair draping down his collarbone.
“I feel like it’s suffocating me, sometimes. I feel wound, constantly waiting for it to end. I see this blackness, this rope of black smoke choking me.”
“But then I open my eyes and I see you. I see you in the stars…and then everything just disappears.” His voice was normal now, no longer a whisper, a small wave of nerves rippling off his tongue. She kissed the curve of his ear, pulling him into the bed, clothes and all. She wrapped her arms from behind him and across his chest. He tightened and loosened all at once, the pain of the day folding back into hibernation.
“Sleep, darling. You’re here, you’re home.” The petals crunched beneath their bodies, the remnants of the sea enveloping them, welcoming them back into pleasant dreams.