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Things, When They Change, Get Better

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The sun shines in a clear blue sky as Abbie looks around the old fort. From where she stands, she can see the cannon used to stave off unwanted invaders, and even with the ceiling open to the sky, it's easy to imagine how the fort would have looked when it was first built, the stone structure standing high, overlooking the surrounding land. 

Of course she doesn't have to imagine. She has a walking, talking memory of this place right beside her. For once, Crane doesn't take audible issue with any of the facts the tour guide gives them, although his sotto voce asides to her have her biting the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing out loud. She doesn't miss how he visibly checks himself over the actual location of the cannon and she knows that a couple of years ago he wouldn't have held his tongue. 

A lot's changed in a couple of years. 

She's reminded of how much when the guide lets them look around the grounds and she's taking in the view of the surrounding countryside. She senses rather than hears him coming up behind her and he stands close to her so that his chest is against her back, allows his fingers to touch her hip gently. "It is a beautiful view," he says. 

She turns her head to look at him, expecting a lecture on the flora and fauna they see but he's not looking at anything but her. She wonders for a moment if she missed something but then she sees the glint in his eye, the satisfied little smile on his lips that's a bare hair's breadth away from smug and she laughs. "Smooth. Real smooth."

He doesn't even try to hide how pleased with himself he is. "I rather thought so." 

Shaking her head she takes her hand in his, slides it around her waist and holds it there, leaning back against him. "Lots of changes since you were last here," she murmurs and she feels him shrug. 

"True. But I have come to learn that not all change is bad." He moves his other hand so that it covers their joined ones. "In fact, occasionally, things, when they change, get better." 

The way he's looking at her makes Abbie's stomach swim pleasantly, makes her smile. "Can't argue with that," she says and when he leans down to kiss her, she doesn't argue with that either.