When is Darcy not relevant: a blogfest

Folks! It's time for the 5th annual no-kiss blogfest  the blogfest full of almost kisses and fabulosity  and this time I thought I'd keep things short and sweet. This is also, coincidentally, because I am in the midst of finishing a thing and omg it is delish but there aren't really that many almost kissing scenes hehehehee. So! Since the rules are very loose and fast* for this blogfest I thought I'd take the opportunity to show you my a small and relevant almost kiss from my WIP.

Mr Darcy is irrelevant and yet somehow when is Darcy not relevant you feel me
I open my eyes to pain  some on my face, an ache all down my back, and a sharp sensation in my leg. Biscuit fixes me with his sternest, blackest, stare as I blink into focus. He signs something that looks suspiciously like “ASSHAT” as I kick away his sword.

“Yeah, yeah,” I say, shielding my eyes from the ache of a bright sun. The cave wall will break the blisters under my shirt, I feel an ooze already trickling down my spin, but I rest against it anyway as Biscuit continues.

I know enough signs to catch the gist. He has a way of flicking his palms, making all of his words blur into one, when he’s like this. Sparks shoot across his palms and when he pauses for a moment I think he’s going to send some of them my way.

“He was…” I begin, only to shrug.

We’ve never spoken about her. The closest we ever got was Biscuit handing me her armour one weekend, when he descended into drink and I let myself join him. He patted me, saying something about keeping her safe. That was it. I can’t tell him what she means to me. By definition, she will always mean more to him. He has decided that. He made that call. She is the centre of his everything. I’m not sure even she realises that.

YOU CAN’T WIN WITH HIM, Biscuit finally says. Deliberately. Slowly.

SURE, I sign back at him, ignoring the sting in my knuckles.

It was never about winning anyway and all I can really think about as I watch Biscuit kneel back on his heels is how she wears it better than her brother. How it’s not that the fire takes over her, but that she engulfs the fire. She is fire, and it sits on her face as if it were born there.

****

“WALK INTO A CAVE WALL?” She says when she spots me, watching her by the dying hearth. I shrug, and sign NO MORE THAN USUAL careful not to wince. With any luck she’ll assume something different. Training. Gambling. An accident.

A smile flutters across her lips as she watches me. I’m so certain that I’ve been made I almost laugh when she says, “I HAVE FIRE.”

I want to tell her of course she does. I want to tell her that she always did have fire. I want to tell her how bright she burns, even now, but I know that we’re not as alone as a conversation like that needs to be.

Instead, I reach into my pocket and hand her the stone. It’s edges are smooth now, though the crack along its side remains. Even three weeks of nervous energy could not work out the memory of hurling it at the ground. At the time I think I was hurling it at myself really; I’d let something so to me precious leave.

She cradles it like its sacred and as if it might crumble to ash between her palms. When she looks up she says “DON’T HAVE POCKETS.” I let my eyes wander down her torso, all the way to the sand stained boots. I do not let them linger, especially not on the curve of her waist. I do not deserve the thoughts that cross my mind. Or perhaps I do, as some kind of karma for my biggest shame.

When she doesn’t move, I take the stone back and shrug. I slip in my pocket, hoping she’ll ask for it again one day. Hoping on that day I’ll be able to give her the truth too, and not just some stolen trinket.

I realise I’m staring too late. But, then again, so is she. I wonder if she sees what I see when stumble by the town well at night; a face littered with scars and lies; a memory of the girl who is on fire stolen from the lips of a mother about to die.

"Are you alright?" I say, waving a hand in front of her face and catching my fingers in her hair. She gasps, and for a second I think I would do a lot more to hear such a gasp again. I lean closer before I notice the sweat beading and trickling along her collar bone. I am closer still before I understand there is something not quite right.
I catch her hand when she sways, tugging her upright. Perhaps the weight of her fire is too heavy, too intense, for she falls into me as if I am the only thing that can hold her. Physically I can take it, but I know my ice is drawn to her. And, as I hold her upright, I feel her fire being to scald me from the inside-out. It's a dangerous thing to fall in love with fire. Fire can torment and burn me, but it can never kill me. We are destined to hurt each other, she and I, but to never be able to finish the job.
W-H-A-T  H-A-P-P-E-N-E-D, I spell out when I feel something in her simply give way.
I expect denial. I expect outrage, and more than a little of Biscuit's influence to turn my concern into a fight. Instead she simply signs three words before she bursts into flames. I AM ON FIRE followed by the whoosh of fire and the white blistering of my skin.
 
 
So! That is that! A little angsty almost kind of almost kissiness from something I am writing. What a hoot! What's your favourite almost kiss moment?
 
* the rules are neither fast nor loose I am talking nonsense and would just like to apologise to the organisers Frankie Diane Mallis and Amalia Dillin for talking silly and generally not respecting rules