Title: And Dream of Sheep
Author: A. Magiluna Stormwriter
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 21 June 2012
Fandom: Light, Water, Muses
Rating: PG13 [language]
Date Written: 20 June 2012
Word Count: 1156
Summary: Late night confessions do the heart good.
Warnings: No standard warnings apply.
Website: ShatterStorm Productions – Light, Water, Muses
Link to: http://lwm.shatterstorm.net/
Archive: ShatterStorm Productions only…all others ask for permission & we'll see…
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DD12
Author’s Disclaimer: All original characters belong to ShatterStorm Productions and are the creations of A. Magiluna Stormwriter and Shatterpath. They also belong in the Light, Water, Muses universe, though this is a standalone within the whole of that universe.
Note: Author’s Notes: I really don't write for Anastasia and Tessa nearly enough. This couple has been together for so long, and there's still so much to explore about them and their relationship. The vast majority of the dom/sub aspects of their relationship have gone by the wayside with time, but it's still there. I wish I'd written them some smut, but Anastasia felt introspective, so we went that route instead. Go figure…
Title Notes: The title comes from the song of the same name by Kate Bush, off her Hounds of Love album. I'm not sure why it came to mind, but it did. Anastasia liked it, so there you go.
Dedication: To my muses. I’d be nowhere without them.
Beta: Shatterpath. All remaining mistakes are entirely my fault.
I think I hate the nights like tonight the most. I'll take the insomnia and the rare illnesses. I just hate the nightmares. No, not nightmares. Disturbing dreams is a more apt description. Regardless of the best way to depict them, I still hate them. Doesn't matter if I have them or she does. They're equally distasteful.
Sighing softly, I pull back the covers and shift to sit up.
"Shh," I murmur, stroking her sleep-warmed cheek. "Go back to sleep, pet."
She mumbles something and presses a kiss to my palm before drifting back to sleep. Making my way into the bathroom, I waste no time in using the facilities, but I find myself unable to slip back into bed again. Just the sight of Tessa stretched out in the bed, one hand reaching for me, even fast asleep, clenches at my heart.
"What did I do to deserve you?" I whisper, more to myself than anything.
The night doesn't deign to answer me, not that I expected it would. It doesn't matter in the long run, I suppose. In nearly sixty years, I've never gotten a single reply to any of my queries from the night. I can hardly expect it to start now.
Shaking my head in an attempt to disperse the maudlin thoughts brought on by this evening's disturbing dreams, I grab for my robe and make my way down to the kitchen. Body moving by rote, I prepare a cup of tea for myself. Tessa's favorite bedtime blend of chamomile and valerian is pulled from the cupboard and spooned into the tea ball.
As the kettle begins to splutter and whistle, I hear footfalls on the stairs. Within a moment, Tessa appears in the doorway, scrubbing a fist at her eyes. I automatically grab a second cup and tea ball, waiting for her to come into the kitchen.
"What're you doing?" she asks around a yawn, settling on one of the bar stools.
"Couldn't sleep," I finally reply, "so I came down to make myself a cup of tea."
"Couldn't sleep or wouldn't sleep?"
I glance up from the water I'm pouring into the cups to study her face. She's not sleepy anymore, eyes following my every move. Damn! I sigh and shrug. "A bit of both, I suppose."
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"Not particularly, but I suppose I should." The words are out before I realize I was even thinking them, let alone saying them. I busy myself with the tea cups again for a moment, trying to formulate the best way to explain what's keeping me up. "My birthday is in a month and a half."
"I know," she says softly, reaching out to rest her hand on my forearm. She feels warm and alive. "How long have you been having the dreams?"
I attempt a nonchalant shrug, knowing that I'm failing even as my shoulders move. "Off and on for a couple of weeks now. They seem to be getting worse the closer my birthday draws near."
Sliding the cups toward her, I put the rest of the accoutrements away and move to sit on the stool next to her. My cheek finds its way to her shoulder and, as she wraps an arm around my shoulders, I sigh again.
"You know, you're only as old as you feel, Anastasia," she says after several moments of silence.
"And tonight I feel positively ancient."
She chuckles softly and rubs my arm. "You don't feel ancient to me. You feel every bit as vital and dynamic as the first day I met you."
I lean back to look at her skeptically. "You're far too kind, my beloved girl. I know I'm not--"
She presses a finger to my lips and shakes her head sharply. When she speaks, her voice is husky, and I can see the hint of tears in her eyes. "I speak the truth, and I'll do whatever it takes to make sure you understand and believe it. I know how much you worry about what will happen to me when you d-- when it's time for you to leave, but that's a long, long way off, Anastasia."
Smiling at her tenacity, I take her face in my hands and lean in to kiss her. She returns the kiss, but doesn't relax into my touch like she normally does. Shifting slightly, I let my lips remove the tears slipping down her cheeks.
"I've no intentions of leaving you any time soon, Tessa, my love," I reply, meeting her gaze again. "And I certainly didn't mean to upset you like this."
She shakes her head, but relaxes into my touch as I let my fingers stroke down the thick braid snaking over her shoulder to rest on the tattoo over her heart. I can feel the steady, strong beat of her heart, and some of the tightness around my own heart eases. She reaches up to mimic the position of my hand, a small smile playing about her lips.
"I love you, Anastasia," she finally says, "with every beat of my heart. Nothing will ever change or lessen that. You make me feel invincible and strong. I don't know what I did to deserve you in my life, but I have been grateful for this life we have together every single day of the last twenty-eight years."
Her words bring tears to my eyes; I know just how heartfelt they are. And in that moment, I realize that my nightmares are entirely unfounded. I am healthy and happily living with this woman that completes me in ways I cannot ever find the right words to express. Leaning in, I capture her lips again, letting our tears mingle in the corners of our mouths. When I finally pull back, I mirror her smile as a phrase tries to find its way from grey matter to mouth. What was it that KC always said when the flashbacks hit?
"Fuck mortality," I say, hearing KC, Jesse, and Bubba all saying it in my head. "Carpe diem, carpe noctem, carpe whatever-em, and nightmares be damned. You and I still have many things we haven't done yet, pet, and I'll be damned if I let myself wither away and die before it's my time."
Standing, Tessa tugs at my hand, and I let her lead me up the stairs to our bedroom. The tea is forgotten behind us in the wake of a greater need. Once in our room, she undresses both of us before leading me to the bed. As I pull up the covers, she molds her body along mine, long legs tangling with my shorter ones. When I try to tease one of her nipples, she bats my hand away and pulls my head down over her heart.
"Sleep now, my love," she whispers, fingers carding through my shorter hair. "I'll protect you from the nightmares."