Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VII, its characters, and settings are all property of Square Enix so I can take no credit nor claim any ownership of that. I do take some credit for the story’s plot.
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Author’s Note: Perhaps you could take this as a musical recommendation as was done in Chapter 4, but really I just wanted to share the piece that was in my ears as I wrote and edited this chapter: the score from the Pixar short La Luna found if you just click the link. Perfect for gazing at the stars. Stella nobis non concessit…
“There is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars.”
-John Green “The Fault in Our Stars”
No nightmares could find her, not where she was, as cool air tickled her face. She was still curled up, but what was beneath was not leather above hard muscle. Under her head was no epaulet for it gave way with a shush for her cheek. Something warm covered her, but it smelled nowhere as sweet as silken, silver hair. Aeris yawned and knuckled the sleep from her eyes as night air filled her lungs. She lifted her head releasing the pillow to slip down the chair where she lay. It was a big, luxurious, red affair, more comfortable than most beds. Bemused but not frightened, the Cetra peered forward and out the window before her eyes. The central panels were open, explaining the breeze that brought the smell of smoke and damp stone. Lamps winked yellow near the ground below as she remembered from Midgar, but above stars swelled in light resplendent and tinged the sudden tears on her cheeks.
“Ah, you’re awake now.” A low voice called, and Aeris tilted her face back and up. His shadow fell over and she parted her lips, but her words had been stolen by awe. “You’re quite a heavy sleeper,” Sephiroth said, smiling slightly for her expression.
Aeris didn’t know why the hot flush rose as he sat with grace on the cushioned ledge. In his hands were two steaming cups, which he set on the small table before.
“I know it was coffee you wanted,” Sephiroth told her, “but I figured tea would be more apt. It’s mid-evening and you’ll want to sleep not much later tonight.”
“How did you know?” Her shock lowered his eyes as Aeris sat swiftly up.
“I remembered your map…you’d drawn a cup of coffee. Well,” he considered, “you drew a steaming cup, but wrote it was coffee you craved.”
The flower girl didn’t bother to hide her surprise as her hand curled on the worn handle. It was still quite hot so she took a small sip and recognized chamomile. Sephiroth drank full of his own before crossing his legs and leaning forward. “If you want,” he said, “there’s sugar and honey.”
“No, thank you, but there’s no need.” She swallowed and set the teacup down looking up at her protector. It should be odd to think of him in that way, but somehow it’s really not. His hair had been pulled at the forelocks again, spilling over his black leather coat.
“Wha..where…how did you know I was awake?” All of the questions fought for place, and that one was the winner.
“Your breathing changed as I heard you shift, and I smelled the salt of newly shed tears.” He softened his voice and hid behind tea as Aeris slid a hand across her face. The moisture was dry now, but memory clung to the soft skin of her palm.
“Where are we?”
“The hotel in Kalm and the nicest of rooms. I thought you deserved that, little one.” The breeze stirred the silver to stream past his face and he shook his head to tame it once more.
“How?” she spluttered suddenly cold, desperate now for her journey bag. Sephiroth saw and the pain on his face made the flower girl ashamed.
“It’s right here, Aeris.” He reached by her chair and lifted the satchel up. She clutched it to her fluttering heart, but wouldn’t insult him by checking it now.
“H-How are you paying for this?”
“When we arrived it was late afternoon and the bank was still open.”
“You…went to the bank?” she asked fully nonplussed. “But weren’t you holding me in your arms?”
His smile held no joy as he set his cup down, nodding in confirmation. “Yes, but people see what I want them to see when I want them to see it.”
“Except for me.”
“Except for you. You’re special, my little flower…” He looked at her in shock as the words slipped past, the possessive and sweet in one breath. Draining his cup, he turned to the night, and the stars above melted in emerald.
“You keep calling me that…” Aeris breathed so softly only he’d be able to hear. “It’s such a sweet name.”
“I’m only calling you what you are.” If he looked at her now, the maid would be frightened by what now churned in his eyes. Sephiroth sighed and shut them for a moment as though to clear foolish dreams.
The Cetra clutched her hands and bit her lip before repeating the last asked question. “So you went to the bank and managed to convince them that it was truly you alive?” She couldn’t help it, but covered the giggle imagining the iconic sight. “Wouldn’t they be terrified to see you, the great general, paying them a call?”
“You’re right, Aeris,” he admitted bowing his head, “but I opened accounts in different names.”
“Oh.” She put a finger beneath her lip. “That’s right. I forgot about that. And you can make it so people can’t recognize you or see a small girl in your arms.” He couldn’t believe she looked so impressed, before her brow knitted again. “But you don’t have ID for those names, do you, and wouldn’t the accounts be frozen by now? How did you manage all that?”
“Well, I…” He picked up his teacup, but it was empty and the dregs were grim.
Aeris inhaled sharply. “Sephiroth! Don’t tell me you used manipulation against those poor people there!”
Running long fingers through his silver locks, the former general stared over her head.
“…maybe a little.”`
Aeris put her hands on her hips unable to stop glaring up. His whole body tensed as though she had struck him, and the Cetra caged her next words.
“You’re right, little one,” Sephiroth insisted. “But I did so because you needed to rest, and I’d be less than the filth I am right now if I dared take more from you. Even asking you to pay would’ve been abominable. I bear some semblance of a man though a monster lives within.”
“You’re not a monster,” she said right away.
“And you’re far too kind to me.” He lifted his eyes to her forgiving face, and emerald pulsed in gratitude.
“Well,” Aeris sighed laying hands to her lap, “you were only accessing your own gil. It’s not like you were stealing from them.”
Sephiroth nodded, but only to acknowledge and not to let go of the guilt. “So long as you’re with me, Aeris, you’ll never want nor have need to spend a gil of your own.”
“So you rented this room?” She laid a hand to her stomach as it suddenly voiced it was bare.
“Yes, and I thought of that little need, too.” He nodded to the inner wall where a table lay buried in platters. “I didn’t know what you would want, so I just bought it all.”
The flower girl untangled herself from her coat and stumbled to her feet. Away from the window’s attendant night air, the savory had no place to hide. There had to be at least thirty dishes vying for space on the table. Lifting one of the covers, Aeris revealed chicken coated in heavy cream. Another was steak, while two more were salad, and at least four that were still steaming soups. There were even a couple that held desserts and her mouth watered at such indulgence. All these ingredients would never be found in the gloom of the bitter slums. The flower girl whirled and he was right there. She gave a jump with a little, “Oh!” Sephiroth backed away with his hands raised before and an apology at the gate of his lips.
“No, no, it’s fine…” Aeris insisted, surprising him by stepping near. Her eyes were wide with wonder as she looked up, and that paused the once general’s retreat. “Where are your epaulets?” She suddenly noticed. “Did something happen while I slept?”
Sephiroth glanced from shoulder to shoulder. “I just removed them, Aeris.”
She sealed the distance, standing on her toes as she leaned on him to reach up. It took all his will to clasp hands behind, but it was harder to hide the shock.
“You’re so tall,” the little Cetra said and he fell instantly to his knees. “Wh-What are you doing? You shouldn’t to me…” She shook her head as he bowed his so low. Sighing, Aeris laid hands to broad shoulders unhindered by any steel. She shut her eyes sliding across black leather, smile growing the further she went. “You’re so much bigger and stronger than me…” she mused, pressing palms into what could be marble.
“That doesn’t make me better, little flower.” The low voice thrummed so close to her ear and for a moment she forgot how to stand. It was the briefest of falters, but his arms full encased her as emerald was shaded by pale. “It was this strength that killed you…how can you bear my touch?”
Aeris slipped her arms round his neck and her sigh of joy pierced his heart. “It’s this strength that protects me now. But for you I’d be trapped in the slums…” She shuddered and he held her closer.
“You’re the most genuine person I’ve ever met, Aeris. You have no ounce of deceit.”
“Why would I ever want to deceive you?”
“That’s just what I mean, little one. You say what you think with no selfish motive, and your words are both sweet and kind. You’re a truly innocent soul, and I’m blessed to be allowed to protect you.”
Aeris pulled back and slid from his face a renegade moonlit lock. Her bangs brushed his cheeks and he wanted to unbind them and have chestnut waves wash his skin. As if the thought echoed the distance, Aeris unbound the tie at his crown. He shook his head as the silver strands spilled, lowering his lids as they caught in his lashes. The flower girl leaned her forehead to his, and Sephiroth raised a hand to her cheek. She wanted to tell him that he was beautiful, the loveliest thing she’d ever seen. Not even her dreams could match this glory, but she would sound so stupid. He had a fan club, she remembered, why would he care what a slum girl thinks? He’d be polite, because he feels indebted, but he knows he’s beautiful beyond compare.
She leaned back with her hands on his shoulders, and said suddenly, “I have to know…” And so his hair slid through gliding fingers like endless liquid silk. Sephiroth’s eyes remained softly closed. Only that was keeping him still. If he saw her, if he looked now, he knew what would transpire. I would kiss her until all our tomorrows had turned to ageless dust. Then the image of her revulsion flayed him for having so foolish a thought. How dare you? She lets you protect her. She even lets you touch her. You’re not even worthy to breathe the same air and yet you want more than this? She is purity incarnate suffering a monster so that she can find someplace safe. You have no other use. Even your true mother wanted no part of you…
“Oh dear gods…” she whispered with hands bathed in light. “It doesn’t tangle. It never tangles, not even the longest strands.”
“No, little one, it doesn’t. It also will not break.”
“What do you mean?” Just her little voice brought a smile to his face. The genuine curiosity without malice seen even through his sealed lids.
“Try to pull just one strand out and you’ll see what I mean.”
“Oh Sephiroth, no!” she exclaimed. “I’m not going to rip out your hair. It’s…” Even without sight he knew her lower lip was worried between her teeth. “It’s far too lovely, a-and wouldn’t that hurt you?”
“Just attempt it, little one. You’re not going to hurt me.” He wasn’t trying to command, but Aeris sighed and caught a strand between her fingers. Tugging first lightly then harder in shock as it remained firm in his scalp.
“Wha…I don’t understand-”
“Yes,” he said softly and took her hand in the heat of his. Aeris halved her lids as his thumb brushed over her palm. With his own eyes shut he looked purely angelic.
“How is that possible? Why didn’t it break? You don’t even have split ends!” She huffed as his hand curled gently round hers.
“They wanted me to not only be perfect, but look the part as well.”
He lowered his head and she caught his brow on hers as he shut his eyes even harder
“Sephiroth, what is it?”
“Will you tell me please?”
How can I deny you, little flower? he thought. You’ll give me pity I don’t deserve…
“All of my senses are enhanced, Aeris, including my sense of pain. They wanted me to feel it more deeply so that I could be trained to endure.”
The whimper lived soft in the back of her throat, but the once general still heard it. He shook his head and smiled for her innocent sake alone.
“It’s alright, little one. It’s why when caged, that torture meant nothing to me. But when I was a boy, it was…more than terrible, and they used this to their advantage. I…did something. I don’t remember what, but I was a very willful child. I’d already been starved and beaten that week so something new had to be devised. This hair…” He flicked a few strands forth, and they licked up Aeris’s arms. “It was long even then, halfway down my back, and just as strong as it is now. So they tied a rope around the strands…and hung me from the ceiling.”
“Sephiroth…” she sobbed, and her cheek brushed his, wetting alabaster with her tears. The soft limbs were around his neck again, and he didn’t know why he kept speaking.
“I screamed until my lungs were empty and my voice was gone. You couldn’t break even one hair, Aeris. All of them together could support my weight. The more I struggled the more it hurt, til I thought my scalp would rip off. But they’d given me something, a pair of sharp scissors, and the choice between pain and vanity…”
“Sephiroth…please, open your eyes. There’s something I need you to see.” She leaned back as he slowly did, and his pupils split emerald light.
Before him the sorrow had colored her cheeks, but her lips had him parting his own. They were so red, they should’ve bled roses, and it took every ounce of will he had not to taste her tears.
“I will always weep you for when you tell me things like this. I wanted you to know that…I wanted you to see it.” She threaded their fingers together as Sephiroth looked at her for long moments before rising again to his feet. She followed him up, tilting back her head when her eyes could lift no more.
He sighed held in eternal summer. “You should eat, little one. It’s been a long day for you, and you only broke your fast this morning.”
“And what about you?” she instantly asked cast in the shadow of his height. His hands were still curled around her waist, and his hair tumbled in moonlit cascade.
“I already had a little,” he told her, releasing the Cetra from his grip. She threw him quite a skeptical glance before picking a platter to lift. Aeris peeked at another, took a taste here, a sample there, and sniffed at some of the odder ones.
“You didn’t even have breakfast this morning,” she reminded him, licking a crumb from her finger.
“That’s true.” He nodded. “But I told you before I don’t really need to eat. The cells of the corruption will keep me alive.”
“But you also told me you feel hunger pangs.”
“Not really so much anymore.” He shrugged as she took a spoonful of soup. “I was starved for more than punishment, Aeris. It was another pain I was meant to endure.”
She shuddered, turning her eyes up sadly to his passive, unmoving face. “Well, you don’t have to stand to attention for me.” And she patted the seat beside.
The former general’s lips turned up at the corner, but in an instant he was by her side.
“I can’t even imagine what they must’ve thought when you placed this order.” She was cutting into one of the chicken dishes, this one crusted with red, flaky bread.
“They really didn’t question much once they knew I had means to pay.”
“I suppose,” she conceded taking a bite and immediately sticking out her tongue. “Ugh, too spicy.”
“Here, try this.” He slid over a platter. “It’s some sort of bluefish, very delicate and light.” She took a taste and smiled serenely, shutting her eyes to savor. Sephiroth found swift distraction in pouring two more cups of tea.
“Here, have some.” It was so tender she was able to slice it with fork alone.
“I already did, little one.”
“Then have some more.” Her infectious smile beamed up at him as she held the utensil aloft. He couldn’t resist and wondered at his will falling before this one small woman. Aeris coated her thoughts in pinkest blush while her eyes traced the shape of his lips. She put the fork down and clutched at her tea, which though lukewarm was still just as good. To occupy her other hand she lifted the next cover, catching her breath at all the desserts.
“Oh dear gods, are those strawberries?!” she exclaimed, plucking one for a bite.
“How long has it been since you’ve seen one of those?”
“I can’t even remember.” The juice stained her hands, deepened her lips, and his gaze remembered blood. “Anything like this was near impossible to come by in the slums. I think it’s why so many people were sick…” She sniffed suddenly forlorn. Sephiroth took her free hand and her smile returned at the moment of touch. Confusion at that nearly had him blinking, so he picked up the fork instead. Scooping up a bit of lemon pie, he offered it to her. He expected the Cetra to take the fork, but she did as he had, and her face made Mako blaze in brilliant jade.
“I was never allowed anything sweet,” he admitted setting the utensil down. A crumb was nestled near the edge of her mouth, and he wanted to kiss it away.
“Everyone deserves something sweet now and then,” she replied brushing the morsel away.
Everyone human, Sephiroth thought, using this rue to keep himself still.
Aeris wanted to close her eyes and just bask in his scent forever. The moonlight curtain had tumbled over, tickling her face to spill over her thighs. Her imagination whirled and within it his hand reached over to lift her chin. Those half-veiled eyes would burn lashes in emerald and right through her then shut lids.
The flower girl jolted and lurched to her feet to scan the room for her boots. They were by the window and she half flung herself onto the ledge to pull them on.
“Aeris?” the low voice called in deep worry, and she had to look up for that note. Her protector had stood the moment she did, desperately holding the blank on his face. “I’m so sorry if I frightened you, little flower. Please don’t run away.”
The shock of that steadied her fingers so that she could lace her boots, and she rose when done and went back to him, so saddened by his grief.
“No, Sephiroth.” She reached for his hands. “I’m not frightened of you at all.” She bit her lip and looked the far way up as even behind his mask she saw relief. “I’ve been under the plate for far too long, and then today I fell asleep in the sun. I just need to see the sky and stars, and preferably not through a window.” She didn’t lie about that, which made her happy for she could never tell him the full truth.
Sephiroth made sure he had the room’s key before closing the door behind. The rose patterned carpet, old but clean, brought a half-smile to remember her flowers. Aeris grabbed his hand and led the once general down the dim, quiet hall. Most of the rooms were empty. Kalm really wasn’t a tourist town, and although there was an elevator, Aeris took the stairs. The lobby was deserted, but cheerful still, the desk clerk smiling as they passed.
No one met them in the streets, though Sephiroth could hear nightly murmurings. People were still awake in the town, but there was no vigilance, only peace. She could be safe here, he thought as they descended the stairs to a courtyard. But this is too close to that city of death and besides, she yearns for the sea.
Aeris slipped her hand from his and her smile nearly rivaled those stars. Looking up, she spread her arms to spin in the embrace of the night. Oh dear friend, she thought in thankfulness, how I’ve missed this so. Above her rained down in far flung myriads the light from distance untold. It was surely stardust that had fallen on her cheeks, but when she touched her face it was wet. She found Sephiroth attempting to fade in the night and dim himself in the background, but though no moon attended the heavenly court, he was still nothing but brilliant. The clear sky above ignited his skin and hair so they gleamed palely burning, but the light from his eyes almost shamed this white fire, a sea that swirled deep to forever.
If he was surprised when she retook his hand, the former general quelled that emotion. She led him forward where eternity coalesced and pointed up so his gaze would follow, but he knew too well what that sky could contain, and had no interest in paradise lost. As if this was their purpose, his arms slipped around so he held the little maid from behind. She lowered her hands and laid her head to the side against the leather of his coat. She looked so happy it made his heart hurt, and he could only assume it was because she was free.
You touch her as though you had such a right, you monstrous get of the darkness. Around her middle, he clenched his fingers, as Aeris sighed to re-open her eyes. The great star in the north was unwavering bright, and she saddened remembering his quest. Her little hands fell atop of his, and she threaded her fingers into his warmth. Sephiroth was forced to soften his grip, but this did nothing to silence the guilt. She lets you protect her. She even suffers your touch. You’re unworthy of less than this. How could she ever be for you after all you’ve done?
“Sephiroth?” She tilted her head to look at him, and her happiness as he filled her eyes was even greater than the pull of the stars.
“Yes, little flower.”
“Why are you looking at me and not the stars?” She almost yawned to the musing tone, and Sephiroth fought his panic.
“I-“ He waited for her desperate struggles to escape his filthy embrace, but the flower girl merely tilted her head, and from the angle it was more than endearing. “The stars sit in judgment, little one, and they don’t forgive us. They don’t… forgive me.” He closed his eyes as she rubbed her palm on the back of his hand. “Why don’t you hate me, Aeris?” She blinked up and even in the dark, his pupils were shiver thin. “What I did to you was-”
“In the past, and it can’t be changed. Hate corrodes the container it’s carried in.” Her voice softened. “You know that better than most. I always knew what my life was for, and I knew how it would end. Everything that’s happened has led us to this moment. Everything we’ve suffered has brought us to now. I wouldn’t change a minute of the past to lose an instant of this.”
“You’re the strongest person I’ve ever met.” His voice was hoarse as he squeezed her gently, and her soft laughter warmed his heart.
“And you say that while I’m completely held in your powerful arms.”
“There’s a strength in forgiveness, my little flower, that hate can never match.”
“But you’re free of that hate now, Sephiroth,” she said, trying to share her hope.
“Yes, Aeris, that horror is gone, but grief is now my due.” Lifting her face to him looking down, Aeris was caught in a wash of light. The glow pulsed around shiver slim pupils, which didn’t change in size.
“They don’t dilate, do they? At least not much. My cats had larger eyes in the dim.” Remembering them brought back a sharp pang for she fear of how well they now fared.
He tightened his arms ever so slightly in answer to her grief. “The purpose of dilation is to let in more light. I have no need of that.” Aeris shut her own to the low vibration of his words against her back.
“Can you…control how much light they give off?”
“To a point I can.” His lashes laid shadow against his skin as the glow lit a gentle smile. “They’re less incandescent when it’s bright, but there’s ever and always a gleam.”
Aeris reached up to brush his cheek and those fronds swept over her skin. “I prayed for you to come, you know,” she murmured so soft it was still half a thought.
Sephiroth shook the hair from his face, incredulously staring down. “You…prayed for me?”
“Well,” she admitted, “not exactly like that, but I prayed to not be alone.” She looked down in regret. “It was very selfish. I should’ve concentrated my efforts on the people of Midgar.”
He lifted her chin back up to his light. “I think just once you can afford to be selfish. I’m sorry I’m what you received. That seems a poisoned gift.”
“No,” she insisted, “not poisoned at all! You were exactly what I needed…” The edges of summer were moist with dew and Sephiroth thought his heart would tear. For in that moment he blessed the light that poured out of his eyes. To be able to see that beautiful smile made it worth it to be a monster.
“I’ll never let anyone hurt you, Aeris, and I’ll never hurt you again.”
“I know you won’t,” she said to calm desperation. “You needn’t look so grieved.”
“I wasn’t made to be happy.”
“So must you forever be sad? If they didn’t ‘make’ you to be happy, then you should do everything to prove them wrong.”
He lifted a brow and she grinned in triumph. “So you’re saying I should be happy out of spite?”
“I’m saying you should be happy because you deserve it.”
“No.” He forced his eyes away. “I deserve nothing but pain.”
The breeze chilled her skin and stole her next words, as he covered her arms with his own. She’d forgotten her coat in the dual desire to see the stars and escape her thoughts.
“It’s growing chill,” Sephiroth murmured, “and little flowers weren’t meant for the cold.”
She glanced up and he saw his sad words in her eyes, but they were lost in a gasp as he scooped her up.
“Ah, Sephiroth, you don’t have to! I can walk, you know.”
He had already taken several strides, but stopped dead at her words. “It’s a joy to me, Aeris,” he admitted, “to hold you in my arms, but if you don’t want me to tou-”
“No, no,” she said quickly as he shielded his face behind the flawless mask. “It’s…a ‘joy to me,’ too.” She tittered a little at the odd turn of phrase as he tilted his head to her mirth.
“What amuses you so much, little one?” And she giggled again as he took the stairs two at a time.
“It’s just the way you say some things.” She smiled, but the expression was not meant to mock. “Like most people would just ask ‘What’s so funny?’ but the way you talk it’s so-”
“Formal?” He shifted her to just one arm as he opened the door to the inn.
“Mmm, maybe?” she allowed, half-shutting her eyes as lobby light broke the darkness. “It’s more than that I think. It’s definitely formal and very polite, but something else makes it unique. It’s nice though. I like it a lot. I…like the way you speak.”
She hid her face in his collar that took the blush as Sephiroth smiled again at her candor. In the room he set Aeris down and they noticed all of the platters were gone.
“It was kind of a waste, wasn’t it?” she asked biting her lip with some guilt.
“If it was, Aeris, then it was my fault. You can hold no blame for that act.”
While she showered he stood by the window, letting the breeze try to tangle his hair. The bright northern star filled his eyes with its shine and bowed his head to the pain in his heart. He wanted to pray, but had no right to speak to the Planet or shades of the dead. Aeris emerged not long after those thoughts were threatening to drag him down. She softened her step to tiptoe, and Sephiroth smiled even in the wake of his rue. Hands clasped behind until the last moment, he whirled swiftly to pick her up. One arm round her waist was all he did need to lift the little Cetra high, and Aeris rested her palms on his shoulders, face to face with grief’s residue.
“I suppose it would be near impossible to surprise someone who can hear my very breath.”
The smile lifted only a corner of his mouth as half-veiled eyes hid his scrutiny. She was wearing her nightgown from the evening before, but her hair was spilling and free. It washed his hand in chestnut waves, as he clenched the other to fist.
“I see you found the hairdryer,” he said, “I made use of that before you awoke.”
“It’s quite a luxury, yes,” she sighed, “and I don’t want to sleep with soaking hair.”
“Nor should you, little one.” He carried her to the bed. “The last thing I’d want is for you to fall ill. You have suffered enough.”
He saw it, but could barely believe, her lips pressed soft to his brow. Emerald shut fully as he dared not breathe and cut this moment short. Aeris let silver locks sweep her cheeks before she pulled back again.
“What was that for, little flower? How can you bless me so?”
She flung her arms around his neck as he encased her in his. “That was for protecting me. For carrying me out of squalor and bringing me into the light. For making me feel not so alone. For being my friend…”
He pulled back to see her face and show the bewilderment on his own. “You consider me… a friend?”
“I think,” she said casting gaze to the side as she slowly traced his shoulders, “I think I might consider you more…”
Sephiroth set her down on the large, waiting bed before sweeping across the room. The night through the window would be his companion as he sat before it on the red chair. Snapping his fingers, he silenced all light but his own as he heard her voice.
“Sephiroth?” He looked around to her clutching the covers close. “Will you please get me my travel bag?”
“Of course, little one.” It was by his seat and he walked over to place it in her hand. Aeris flipped on the light by the bed and retrieved a book from within, but before she could open she covered a yawn, and the wall he’d built crumbled to dust.
“Do you want me to read to you, Aeris?” he asked so softly by her side.
“You’d do that?” Her face brightened and Mako light brought a flush to her cheeks.
“There’s nothing you can ask that I’d ever deny.” Pulling the chair to the edge of the bed, he let the volume fell open upon his crossed legs where it broke along its binding. Aeris grabbed the pillows and plopped down on them near where he was smoothing the sheet. When he began to speak, she shut her eyes and couldn’t help but smile. His voice so low could make even things terrible sound like they were spun with gold.
“Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go…”
Author’s (second) note: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot is used again here, so I must include a source link and disclaimer for it. Must I say it? Oh, very well. I do not own any rights to the fore mentioned poem. They all belong to T.S. Eliot and his estate. Chapter 8 In Between will be posted next Friday May 15. I cannot thank you enough for all of your likes, comments, and support!