The tension was too much for her to handle. The Lady Grimmedarque stared into the shielded gaze of her Knight, her own dearest sibling. It was with no small amount of trepidation that she lifted his visor to stare into the beautiful red eyes he tried so hard to conceal from the world. Since he allowed the action, it was all the Lady could do to assume that it was as good as permission to continue.
"I love you." She did not say the unnecessary. Their relationship was taboo. While the prince and his dalliance with the lady in waiting were allowed by dint of their royal blood, the Knight deStrideur and Lady Grimmedarque's love had no such protection. If they tried to be open about it, they would be ridiculed at best, banished at worst.
The Knight did not say anything. Even now, faced with a declaration of love, he refused to let his stoicism fade long enough to utter the words the Lady most wanted, nay, needed to hear. However, he was not without action. He pulled the Lady Grimmedarque into a fierce embrace. Their lips met with intense, unrestrained passion, each one desperate for a taste of the other.
Both lovers eventually had to pull away, reluctant though they might be. "Please don't leave me." The Lady felt intensely vulnerable, but the Knight was one of the few she trusted with everything. He would not take advantage of her tenuous emotional state, and indeed only held her close in a quiet embrace.
"We could leave. Only those in the castle know we are related. We could become new people, forge new identities for ourselves, and no one need know. We could be together without repercussions. All we need is to leave."
At this, the Knight did speak up. "Are you really willing to leave behind our friends for a chance at a life together in the open?"
When it was phrased in that way, the Lady Grimmedarque paused. She did not want to leave her friends, but she did not want to hide her love for the knight. "There must be something we can do. I refuse to let our love be a shameful secret, hidden away from the light of day. You mean so much more to me than a paltry midnight tryst."
Rose was jolted awake rather suddenly by droplets of cold water on her face. Groggily, she tried to push away the hand that was flinging them at her. "What on earth... Ow, my head."
"Yeah, I had the same feeling when I got up a few hours ago to take a piss. Drinking some water helps a bit." Dave handed her a glass. Presumably, it was also the source of the droplets that had woken her up so rudely.
As she drank the entire glass, Rose looked around and noticed that it was still dark out. Bro still lay sprawled across two sections of the sofa, and John and Jade had wrapped themselves up in most of the blankets used for the fort. "Why would you wake me up at..." She took a look at the clock over the mantle, frowning at the time, "shortly after four in the morning? Is your hangover really that bad?"
"It's about your story." Dave's tone of voice left little room for debate. They were going to talk about this whether she liked it or not.
"Very well. I suggest we go somewhere a bit less inclined to anyone listening in on the conversation, however. The observatory should be adequate enough." Rose gathered up her blanket and pillow from the floor. The ones she did not recall having before falling asleep. Had Dave gotten them for her?
She brushed the thought aside, choosing to focus on leading Dave to the observatory without barking her shins on anything or waking anyone else. The last thing she wanted was an interruption. The house was silent and still, though, and they managed to climb to the top of the tower without disturbing anyone. "Might I suggest, before we begin our conversation, that the observatory remain a snark, irony, and passive-aggression free area? I feel as though the last thing we need right now is a misunderstanding of intent."
Dave nodded, expression unreadable. "That's fair. 'Cause I gotta say, what the fuck, Lalonde." His tone was even, tightly controlled to the point that the question mark at the end of his sentence became a period. "What the hell is this. Are you trying to fuck with me or..."
"I assure you, Strider, I am not trying to 'fuck with' you. Rather, I am trying to get it through your head that I would like to, as you would say, fuck you." Rose tried to ignore the blush that was creeping into her cheeks, and prayed that the gloomy light in the observatory would hide the flush of color to her face. But at least now the words were out. It had been done.
She could see his jaw working as if to form words, but it took several moments before anything came out. "What." His voice was strangled, and Rose could hear his grip on his cool unravelling into the aether. "What the actual fuck?!" It was nice to hear genuine emotion in his voice for a change, even if it was anger.
"Perhaps now you understand my frustration. I'm sure you recall my statements for a while now that have been along similar lines. Every time I gather the courage to say something and attempt to be sincere, my efforts are laughed away as passive-aggression or snark." Rose crossed her arms and tried to meet Dave's eyes. Even in the dark, his aviators remained situated on the bridge of his nose, so she had to make her best guess.
"Oh no, you do not get to do this," Dave growled, lips pulling back into a sneer. "You say shit to me after I claim I'm the fucking Batman and expect me to take it seriously? Fuck you, it ain't my fault you can't tell me you're being honest for once in your fucking life. 'Least I had the decency not to lead you on!"
That was a blatant lie, and it hurt to be so angry with him, but Rose couldn't stop the words once they'd formed some semblance of coherency in her mind. "Then what was that kiss at Thanksgiving? Your jokes of my Christmas gift being you and a can of whipped cream? The blatant flirting in nearly every conversation we've had over the past several years? If I've led you on, then you've done twice that and more to me!"
For the second time that evening, she saw how her words robbed Dave of his, and she took the opportunity to press on. "Do you have any idea how difficult it has been to try to be close to you when you spurn me at every opportunity? I don't see you in months and the most reaction I get is what amounts to a limp handshake, but then you feel the need to show me affection when you think no one's looking? You sweep me into your arms, bend time itself around us to make it last longer, and then talk about how you have to wash my taste out of your mouth? You look through my personal belongings, find a gift that I was working on for you in an attempt to admit my feelings, then proceed to ridicule it in front of our friends!"
She opened her mouth to draw in another breath and continue listing his trespasses, but Dave's hands falling on her shoulders stopped her short. Rose was certain he was going to say something, but instead the distance between them was closed and his lips were on hers. Unlike the last time, she did not feel time bending around them in strange ways, and was able to bring her mind under control long enough to wrap her arms around his neck.
After a moment, he pulled back. "Fucking hell, Lalonde, we coulda been doin' this a while ago if you hadn't-- mmph!" This close to him, she could barely make out his eyes widening behind the lenses of his sunglasses when she captured his mouth with hers. Just like the last time, he felt so unbelievably hot against her, as if he burned with the fire of Hephaestus's forge. He tasted mostly of cocoa, which was unsurprising, but with an undercurrent of tobacco, presumably from the smoking habit he had picked up shortly before Thanksgiving.
This time, when Dave attempted to invade her mouth with his tongue, Rose was a little more willing to respond and open up to allow the action. While she certainly was no stranger to kissing, none of her handful of previous experiences had truly prepared her for this. It felt like a jolt of electricity that went straight to her heart; it sent a shiver running down her spine. When he pulled away, presumably to catch his breath, and tugged at her bottom lip with his teeth, she thought her knees might buckle.
"Dave, would you be so kind as to remove the unnecessary eyewear so I can look at you properly for a change?" If the words sounded a little breathy and exasperated even to her own ears, she felt she could be forgiven under the circumstances.
"As you wish," he said, his voice not faring much better than hers. With visibly shaking hands, he took the shades off, folded the arms, and set them safely on a window ledge. Even in the dim light, Rose could see how beautifully, delightfully red his eyes were, how expressive. It was no wonder he kept them hidden, because they betrayed everything.
A smile found its way onto her lips as she reached out to touch his face. "You are infuriating, you toy with my emotions while never admitting to your own, and have no regard for personal property. And yet I can't imagine falling in love with anyone else."
Dave placed his hand over hers, pinning it against his cheek, then turned his head until his lips brushed her palm. They stayed that way for a moment, his eyes closed, breath hot against her skin. Then he moved, quicker than she could see, wrapping his arms around her, tilting her back, and kissing her again.
Rose had a feeling they would be at this for a while.