Warnings: Sap. Nothing. But. Sap.
Disclaimer: Idea and characters are mine.
AN: Just a little something I came up with while suffering from what I have come to recognize as 'chapter twelve writer's block'. That's an update of 'chapter eleven writer's block'. That being said, this is probably the sappiest thing I have ever written but I like it anyway. Enjoy.
You watch him from your soggy perch on the grass, your gaze inexplicably drawn to the soaked, frayed edges of his worn khaki pants. You aren't sure why you find the area so interesting; you just do. The dirty, sandy strings drag through the frothy ocean water as he chases his dog, Whipper, across the sand and surf, every once in a while turning to look at you with a beaming smile or a loud laugh. You become an accompaniment to his gaiety, your laughter joining his whenever the dog chooses to betray his commands and come running at you to wash your face with his slobber before galloping off to tease his owner once more. After each washing, you're sure that you have dog drool dripping off your chin and that it will be a cold day in hell before your lover ever decides to kiss you again but you know he would do no such thing, considering the fact he tells you constantly that you are irresistible. The way he lavishes his attentions on you makes you believe him.
Your hands fist in the grass at your feet, fingers gripping the blades as you continue to watch the comedy that is your lover and his dog, silently wishing that you could get up and join them in their fun but you know it can't be done. Your legs are too weak to carry you across the scratchy sand and you know you would be exhausted if you took only two steps onto the beach. So you simply choose to sit and watch. As you watch a particularly painful looking face plant caused by Whipper's untimely stop while running all out, you decide that this decision is wise. You lover drags himself to his feet as his dog sits nearby, tail wagging apologetically as sand is brushed off of clothing.
You laugh quietly but wince before launching into a full-blown coughing fit, your shoulders shaking as you fight to stop the tickle in your throat that is disrupting the necessary need for air. You barely hear your lover's running footsteps over your coughs and before you know it, you are wrapped in a loving embrace, arms and legs tight around you as he whispers words of comfort in your ear and presses an open bottle of water into your trembling hands. He rubs your back as you drink greedily, the tickle finally leaving you in peace and your head falls onto his shoulder in relief. This episode was worse than the previous ones as you taste the coppery tang of blood on your tongue. Swallowing hard, you hide this from him, choosing instead to nod when he asks if you are alright. You feel it's better if he doesn't know.
He takes the bottle from your hands and sets it beside his leg, his concerned gaze returning to you as you cough a little more. Shaking your head, you refuse his offer to go inside, saying instead that you wish to see the sun set. He obliges and allows you a few more precious moments in the wind, salt-scented air blowing gently around your entwined bodies. Whipper has abandoned his chances at fun and has stretched out before you, his head resting in your lap as you lovingly stroke the area behind his ears. His sad brown eyes gaze up at you. You stare down at him, telling him with each motion of your hand that you will be alright and that he will be alright with someone like your lover to watch over him. He licks your hand, a simple gesture but one that still warms your weak heart.
Your lover nudges you gently and you look up, your breath catching in your throat. The sunset is beautiful, a cascade of reds, oranges, and purples; a living canvas that displays something that seems to be painted just for you. The water ripples with reflected light and in the distance you can see cargo ships and pleasure boats, each seeming to pause for just a moment so you can catalogue their individuality to memory for when you need to summon the pictures on the days when the outside seems so much more then just a wall or a window away.
His grip on you tightens minutely as the breeze begins to blow cold, the signal that night is closing in around your peaceful little moments and you know you must leave this soggy spot soon. Three whispered words reach your ear and you smile, returning them without thought but with all the meaning as you can muster inside your cancer-ridden body, knowing your words will relay every emotion you feel when you're wrapped in the circle of his arms. A kiss is pressed to the side of your head, lips felt through the bandana that covers your naked scalp. You feel at peace.
You will miss these moments when you're gone and deep down inside, you know it won't be long until you take your final breath and leave the place you consider to be your heaven. You know he is your angel and that you are protected in the embrace of his wings but he can't protect you from everything, even though you know he wishes he could. He has told you this before, screamed it even, all with the hopes of turning back time and returning you to the healthy person you used to be, not the skin and bones that you have become due to the ravages of chemotherapy. But nonetheless, he has stayed beside you, holding your hand through every moment of heartbreak and joy.
As if reading your mind, his fingers find yours and wrap them in a tight grip with a squeeze of assurance. He knows that the end is close as well and you know he will be strong enough for the both of you; he knows he has to be.
With a sigh, you mention that you would like to return to the indoors and he nods, grunting quietly as he gets to his feet. You yawn and he chuckles softly as he reaches down for you and lifts you off your soggy grass throne and carries you inside with Whipper trotting happily behind. Your arms rest on his shoulders, your hands gripping his t-shirt as he tightens his hold on you with a smile. You see one final glimpse of the sun over his shoulder as it dips beneath the water and you sigh happily, content to see that last flash.
That night, as you lay in his arms you begin to wonder if maybe that final twinkle of the light you so cherished as a child was its way of saying good-bye. You feel that it was yet you feel that maybe, you will see many more. Blinking slowly, you focus your sights on the man beside you, a smile stretching your lips as you watch him sleep, his face lax with a sleepy innocence. Gently, you lift your head and kiss his forehead, whispering five words against his skin before your head falls back to the pillow and your eyes drift shut, the grip of your hand loosening its hold on your lover's fingers.