It had not been easy.
He hadn't expected it to be easy.
When he had finally found her in a dream bubble, he burst into tears from overwhelming emotion. There was so much he wanted to tell her, so much to ask her.
But she wanted nothing to do with him.
He apologized, over and over again, begged for her forgiveness, got down on his knees and begged her to listen to him.
She didn't want to forgive him. She didn't want to talk to him. She didn't even want to look at him; it took hours before she did. But when she did, her eyes softened, just a little, just enough for him to notice. Just enough to give him hope.
At first, she couldn't deal with him. She would yell at him and blame him for everything that went wrong. She had talked to others that had drifted through her dream bubble, and she knew everything he had done. There wasn't anything he could say to stop her, or to somehow convince her that he was different. She would yell, and pace the floor, and wave her arms around and shout to the heavens, and quite frequently she would start crying, beautiful tyrian purple tears running down her cheeks. He would just stand there and take it, because he knew he deserved it. A couple times she got physically violent, and he took that too. He deserved all the punishment she could deal out, and then some. After a while, she would tire of it, of him, and she would leave for a while. When she would come back, she wouldn't hold the same amount of anger. Each time she came back, she was a bit closer to her old self.
It took weeks.
It took weeks before she could look at him with something akin to the genuine affection she had for him before they died. It was gradual, so gradual he almost didn't notice it. But when he stopped and thought about what it was like when he first arrived, he smiled to himself because now she could look at him without disgust.
One day, months after he arrived, he could say that they were friends. Not moirails, but there wasn't really a need for moirails when you were dead. And one day, when they were walking down an Alternian beach, she asked him something that took him off guard.
She asked if she could see his scar.
He gnawed his bottom lip, eyes darting down as he suddenly couldn't meet her gaze any more. He removed his cape and pulled his shirt over his head anyway.
She ran her fingers lightly over the scar tissue running all the way around his abdomen. He tensed, holding his breath, clenching his fists and scrunching his eyes shut, unable to watch her morbid fascination with the wound that killed him. She walked around him, looking him over, not noticing his discomfort. When she got back to his front, she placed a hand on his chest.
"I'm sorry," she said softly. His eyes snapped open.
"I'm sorry. I didn't want anything like this to happen to you." She sat down on a rock, and slowly the bubble changed so they were in a room in his hive. He sat down next to her on what was now a couch and waited for her to speak again. Her fingers twisted together, and he wanted to reach out and take her hand and stop her worrying.
"I was mad at you for a long time. And I think at one point, I did want you to die." Her words were quiet, little more than a whisper, but he had no trouble hearing them. "But eventually, I felt really bad about that. Then I wasn't angry. I just wanted to see you again. But I didn't want you to die for that to happen." She paused, ran a hand through her hair, and looked up at him. "Then when you showed up, all my anger came back, and I was so mean to you! I wanted you to live and then you died anyway!" Her eyes were wide and seemed almost desperate. "You died! I spent a lot of time thinking about your life and what you would do, and ways that you could be happy because that's what I want for you! And then you go and die before any of it can happen!"
She seemed to have lost her original point somewhere, and she stopped. Her breathing was heavy, and her eyes were still wild. She was silently pleading him to say something.
"I'm... sorry," was all that managed to come out. She sighed and leaned her head down on his shoulder. It was almost silent before she said something else that took him off guard.
"Do you want to see my scar?"
She looked up at him, and he looked down at her in disbelief. He didn't really have a desire to, but since she was offering, he figured he might as well. He nodded curtly, and she sat up, peeling her tank top over her head.
Right in the middle of her stomach, staring at him, was a large circle of scar tissue. He leaned forward, hand extended, eyes watching her for a reaction, but he got none. He laid one hand over the scar, gently, still watching for any sign of discomfort from her, or a signal to stop, but she let him continue.
He traced the outside edge where rough scarring met her smooth skin. He scowled and his eyebrows pulled together and guilt pooled, cold and slimy, in his stomach. He had done this to her. This marring of her perfect flesh, the fact that she was here at all, was his fault. Violet tears prickled the corners of his eyes, and he tried to ignore them. He didn't want to make a big deal out of it.
She wiped away his tears with her thumbs, and he looked away as he felt more tears coming. She cupped his jaw and made him look up at her.
She was smiling.
He wrapped his arms around her waist and sobbed violently into her bare shoulder. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and ran her fingers through his hair. She held him as he cried, even letting out tears of her own.
They sat like that for a while, even after he had stopped crying. It felt good just to have her so close.
Eventually, he sat back, removing himself from her embrace, and suddenly wow he felt awkward. He just realized neither of them were wearing shirts. He flushed and looked down at his knees; now that he had noticed she was wearing only a bra, he had to keep his focus elsewhere, or things would get even more awkward.
She noticed his bright purple blush and giggled. He whipped his head up and stared at her.
That was the first time she had giggled since he showed up at this bubble.
He cracked a smile as he watched her laugh. It felt fantastic to be in her good graces again.
Without warning, she leaned forward and brushed her lips against his. It was hardly enough to count as a kiss, but it made his blush darken. He stammered, trying to find his words. She kissed him again, longer this time. He found the courage to place his hand on her arm and lean into the kiss. She pulled back, smiling, looking the happiest he'd seen her in a long time. He returned the smile and ran his hand down her arm, to tangle their fingers together. She pulled him up off the couch, saying something about going swimming before the sun came up, and he followed. A small part of him tried to figure out what quadrant they were in, but he told himself that it didn't matter any more. They were together, and that was good enough for him.