a house in the country

Standing side by side, just quiet, staring into the distance of the woods on one side and empty land on the other. Not quite flowering, not quite green hills usually found in the country. This is a growing suburb after all, it’s not perfect but it’s not so bad. He sighs against my side and I blink, tilting my head to look down at him a moment.

“Penny?” I never have to finish that thought since it usually does get him talking. A penny for his thoughts. He can read mine with a bit of focus but I don’t share his gift so asking has always been my only solution. He tends to keep things inside unless he’s asked about them, most of the time.

“Do you think we would have been better off in the country?” I frown at his words and I turn, he doesn’t follow my lead so I gently snag his shoulders and turn him to face me. I let my outer arm sweep out towards the almost-but-not-quite-country-like look of our surroundings. “I mean, I grew up in the country, this is nothing compared to this. I’ve always lived in big cities after I moved out to be on my own, after the Olric thing. I don’t know why I’ve been thinking about living in the country. I don’t care so long as I have you.”

I sigh and pull him to my arms where he presses close and actually sniffles softly. This is going to be one of those days. They’re bound to happen. I can’t do much for him other than make sure he doesn’t sink in too deep into his memories. After living so long, some times, remembering the past is necessary, just so you don’t forget anything.

Hugging him tightly for a few more moments, I gently pull away and I lead him back to the door that will take us back down to our apartment. This is a just-Lex-and-Eoghan day. I’m going to have to lock the door and more than likely leave a note for the twins, though I don’t think we were expecting them today. Still, never know what they might feel like discovering. Then again they’ve been relatively sparse since the volcano discovery. I’m sure they’re all right.

“Now sit and talk.” My words are soft but steady, just a little stern. When he drifts into his past, he tends to act a little bit like a child and he needs to be guided. I’ve been through this with him a handful of time and I’m just hoping I was there when he’s needed me.

He sits, staring almost blankly, on the couch and I settle next to him. I tug on his shoulder again just lightly to turn him to face me. I even reach back, snag that tie-dye blanket we both laughed at upon receiving but now use almost daily when it’s cold enough and I settle it over his shoulders.

Sighing, he closes his eyes and moves to hold onto the blanket himself. He shakes his head, as if pulling himself away from his thoughts and he struggles to find focus.

“I don’t even know what got me started this morning. I was just looking out, the wood is lovely and I know it gets better in the summer but the rest of everything is just so flat and it feels almost lifeless, I guess I was thinking about home, I mean not home here but in the realms.” Everywhere in the realms, at least those of his family, is country-like. Little houses, bigger houses, manors and castles depending on the size of the family but there is grass and hills, flowers and forests and fields. My own family realm was different and it’s something I don’t think about much.

He keeps on talking and I let him, without really saying anything. This is about him, he needs to get these things off his chest, doesn’t need me to break in to his trail of thought and get him lost on the way to wherever this trip into his memories is supposed to be leading him to.

We pause after a while when I think he’s going to stall and maybe even lose his way. I tuck the blanket a little tighter about him and I briefly head into our kitchen to prepare him a bit of hot tea. It usually soothes him and eases away whatever knots are in his memory, marring the pathway he needs to keep walking on.

When evening begins to settle with the sun dipping along the horizon, he’s quiet, he’s uttered all he had to utter and it all boiled down to little else than he’s season sick. He misses everything green. We’re just a few weeks away from flowers blooming but I might see about bringing him up to the garden, with Yael’s permission.

We’ve shifted and settled more comfortably, he’s leaning back against my chest, the blanket is about the both of us and he’s merely breathing, his eyes closed. He’s calm and it’s all I want. All I honestly want in this world is to make him happy. It took me forever to be able to understand that this was what was most important to me. I need him to be happy. I can control my gift enough and that’s all I can do about my own idiocy. Now I just focus on living my life one day following the other, I focus on making sure he’s happy and that life goes well. It’s all I can do.

He turns his head slightly, shifting to be able to look up at me. “Penny?”

I laugh softly and I simply hug him closer to me. I’d steal a kiss if I wasn’t afraid of breaking either of our necks, we’re not really settled for that. So I settle for just hugging him to me, feeling his warmth, his breath.

“I love you.” I murmur the words and his eyes soften immediately. He sighs, a sweet, pleased sort of sound and I can’t help a gently amused chuckle. I swear at times, all he needs is a heartfelt ‘I love you’ and his whole day falls into place. On days it’s that simple, on others not quite so much.

He turns until he’s sitting sideways on my lap and go with the opportunity, I steal a kiss from his lips and he breathes another sweet, absolutely pleased sort of sigh. He nuzzles my shoulder and closes his eyes. I pull the blanket closer, sealing our warmth together. We’re both rabbits, this I’m aware of but at times it’s not really necessary, we get more than plenty of all we need when we’re just settled this way.

“Love you too.” He mumbles softly, his words drowsy and I know we’re more than likely going to be spending a few hours in this position. I’m just thankful for the more than comfortable couch. I close my eyes and breathe. This is a good place. This is where I belong and I don’t want to change that for anything in the world.

I can’t make up for all I’ve done in the past so I just look forward to our future together with no more than a day or two apart at most. We could get a home in the country somewhere but he’d be away from his friends and while he would appreciate the air and the view, he’d be miserable missing everyone. So this is fine for now.

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