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as light as air

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Cool wisps of air roll across the sheets, meeting

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the silky

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fingers of the curtains in loving

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haste. The breeze seeps through each stitch in copulation and as the

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cloth sways with the air’s dance, the streams fly off into the wind

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and the sheets return to their sulking. The thin hairs on Vers’s shoulder stand rigid as another wave shivers across

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All in a moment, Vers HOWLS and DRAGS HER CLAWS down her throat and her legs TUMBLE off the bed as she HAMMERS HER FIST against her knees and the air WINCES IN FEAR as HER KNUCKLES RIP the fabric of the air and she HURLS herself into the wall and her body QUAKES UNCONTROLLABLY and her fingers WRENCH HER HAIR and pull them TIGHT against her eyes

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Vers jiggles the pan in her hand, the light simmer and pop of a soft flame from the cooking oil catching her eye.

“How is it coming along?”

Two appendages slide across her frame and rest at her waist. She almost jumps until her mind rolls backwards and recollects the man rushing into her room and caging her with the same two arms. He guided her as she shook and cursed vehemently to his room across the hall and lulled her to sleep with soft, cool whispers.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to cook? I understand you’re tired,” Yon-Rogg asks.

“Don’t worry about it; helps me think,” Vers replies as she twists the stove knob off.

“I didn’t mean to intrude. I’m sorry if I crossed any-“

“Save it. You know I don’t like being ‘handled’, but it’s over now. I’m fine.”

Vers lays out the contents on two plates. They look flat and unappealing. The breath traveling across her temples halts.

“I don’t mean to be rude, but what is that? I’ve never cooked them like that before,” she hears Yon-Rogg say.

Her eyes focus in; she almost didn’t register how hazy her vision is. Two wet, round yellow eyes are staring back at her from each plate- no, pupils: there’s a larger white, soggy blob encircling each one. They look normal, yet alien.

“Did you make us breasts out of Gretan eggs?”

Her mind is given the last nudge, and it’s resting back in its original niche.

“How did you let me cook them like this?”

“You don’t like to be handled, if I’m recalling your earlier statement correctly.”

Vers scoffs and swats Yon-Rogg’s arms away. His cheesy grin makes her heart feel an ounce lighter.

“If you keep it up, I’ll have to spar you,” she challenges.

He gives her waist a playful squeeze, earning him an angry yelp—she nearly whacks the pan in his face for good measure—before he scurries off.

“I’ll meet you in the training center.”

 

Vers watches the cool clouds of air escape her lips as they float towards the hazy night sky just outside the window. Yon-Rogg sits at the seat across the room, watching her form sprawled across the mattress through the thin smoky veil being sown into open air from the tip of his Nico-stick.

“You weren’t the same tonight,” she comments as she slides her back, glistening from their activities, up the head of mattress.

“You’re not the only one who needs to blow off steam, Vers,” Yon-Rogg replies introspectively, as if he’s reassuring himself rather than answering her. His eyes flutter to the Nico-stick. He looks ashamed.

She turns her gaze to the open window, following the current of the wind. There’s something hidden hovering in the night sky, distant in her mind’s reach, she tries to catch it-

“Another vision?” he asks suddenly.

Vers only stares at him. She knows she doesn’t have to answer him. He switches the stick off with a slide of his thumb and sets it aside.

“Your blood is my blood. There’s no reason to be afraid,” he points out. His brow is furrowed. She’s known him long enough to see his concern veiled by any facade.

“I hate it when you use that against me.”

“I don’t,” Yon-Rogg counters lightly.

He returns to his feet and snaps the window shut. The air holds still.

“I’d say it pulls us together. You’re not mine; you’ll never be mine,” he pauses. She can’t tell if it’s regret or fear filling up his head like gas.

His muscles tense as they seem to straighten themselves properly, to remind himself of his strength and her own as he also straightens out his thoughts: “No, you’re your own current.”

Yon-Rogg turns his focus away from the skyline and his golden eyes meet Vers’s. Despite their usual intensity, she sees dim hazel rings. She guesses it’s the dark atmosphere, but he’s looking at her as if her blue irises illuminate the entire room.

“You’re greater than you know. Soon enough you’ll be greater than all of us,” Yon-Rogg ends and his voice decrescendos into a reminiscing whisper. His hands reach for the Nico-stick and he takes a huff. The smoke sifts through the air before falling at his feet.

“Of course, not until you learn to control your emotions,” he continues more confidently with a knowing glare.

Vers shakes her head and states matter-of-factly with the smallest grin, “The door is right there.”

He scoffs, and suddenly they remember their playful fling. “This is my room, you know.”

Vers knows this isn’t love- she’s felt love. She can’t remember it, but she feels that open space in her head where her thoughts must have rested once before. She doubts that he feels the same.

Somehow, it’s ok. She needs him as just as much as he needs her. Why he needs her, however, is elusive enough for the fog already clouding her thoughts.

She knows she can back out anytime. She doesn’t, though, because she’d have gouged out her eyes by then if he wasn’t there to cast out her invasive thoughts. That’s why Vers says, “Whatever, asshat. Pass me the Nico-stick.”