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still i will live here

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Afterglow is a good look on Triss.

Yennefer realizes as she peers at her lying beside her, and basks in the joy of her realization, in the glory of finally getting the chance to have it. For she’s always wondered. Always, watching Triss, from afar, always from afar, wondering how bright these honey eyes can shine, how wide can that cherry smile curve, how pink can her apple cheeks blush. Yet now she knows.

She feels a warm hand trailing her face. Now she knows.

Triss stares at her and she feels as though she’s been laid bare, ripped open in a wound that smells like cinnamon and jasmin, that tastes like her.

Her. Always her.

She hears herself, in a less certain time, whispering. You want this?

Watches as Triss laughs, as though mad, shakes her head. It can’t be. It can’t be that easy. It never is.

I want to hear you saying it.

Laughter, again, and a smile, forever a smile. Gods, I love you so much it hurts.

She did. She does. Yennefer knows now. She knows, because of the ever present warmth of Triss’ body crashing with hers like restless waves, the tickling of her breath on her shoulder like the soft breeze of long gone happy summers finally gathering in her hands, the sweetness of her lips pressed on hers and dripping with honey, never to be parted. She knows because of the whispers Triss stroked on her ear, sweet nothings that made her gasp in their feverish wildness.

She whispered them too. And she believed them, for once, she did. And, from the way her eyes welled and her smile broke and her lips whimpered Yennefer’s name, she knew Triss did too. And she kept whispering.

Just not out loud.

There are still tears on Triss’ cheeks, or are those new ones? Yennefer can’t tell. Only that, as she cups her face, it doesn’t matter. Slowly she leans, traces her lips over them, kisses them away, all of them, with such greed as though stealing them, never to see them drop again.

She hears Triss giggling. “I don’t recognise you.”

Yennefer watches her, breathless as she is, and laughs along. “You don’t?”

A thumb trailing her lips and she leans in, presses a kiss on the fingertip. Triss squints theatrically, a teasing eyebrow raised, but then her expression softens. “I wouldn’t, once.” She gazes at her, silent for a moment. Then huffs. “But it’s too long ago to consider it now.”

Too long since I haven’t melted in the sound of your voice, too long since I haven’t felt a single touch of yours tickling for days on end. Too long, too unreal in this moment.

Yennefer smiles. She’s better at reading thoughts. Easier to believe.

Easier to be believed.

“Yennefer.”

She raises her look, sees as Triss tilts her head. And knows, at once, what is asked of her.

Triss had always been eager to believe big words anyway.

It shouldn’t be so hard. It shouldn’t be, uttering what is twirling in the maypole of her mind. And yet, and yet. I can feel you so deep in my bones that I feel like I live inside you. I want to live here forever.

More tears. Triss hides her face in her shoulder, shuffles impossibly closer. Her lips are warm on her neck and Yennefer breathes shakily, closes her eyes.

“I love you,” Triss says and it sounds so easy, so simple, pouring from her lips. It can’t be that easy.

Yennefer finds that it settles, fits in that bleeding void of her heart, certain and without expectation. As Triss nuzzles on her, she finds that she fits too, shaped to fit inside the gaping space of her arms.

She doesn’t answer. Only waits, until Triss’ breath evens and her body rests heavily on hers. Only then does she hide her face inside chestnut curls, and lets herself breathe.

“Me too.” Her whisper is light, barely there, lost in the elaborate threads of a dream. And if she feels Triss’ smile widening against her skin, it has nothing to do with that.

She will get used to it, one day. It can’t be that hard.

Anyway, she will live here forever.