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Worth A Thousand Burns

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"You are special, Earth; you’re gonna fly across the universe one day, and to me that is worth a thousand burns.”

Did he really just say those things? Yes he did. They are all true but...

Having Earth in his arms is messing with his head. He's saying things he normally keeps to himself.

Jupiter releases Earth but doesn't apologize. He's not sorry. Well, he's a little sorry, but only because Earth obviously found the contact with Jupiter too awkward. Earth touches everyone and Jupiter hardly touches anyone, but this hug was different, probably for them both.

He knows this because he knows a lot about Earth. Jupiter watches Earth. Wait, he means he watches over Earth. And Mars and Venus and Mercury too, of course.

It's just that, Earth is special. Jupiter has always thought so. Earth with all his life, always changing, so bright blue, green and white.

To Jupiter, Earth has always been beautiful.

So, yeah, he has to admit to himself, Jupiter watches Earth. He watched Earth chase after Venus before he found out she was crazy. He watched Earth lead Mars on, and tease him with ideas of a future together.

Earth is temperamental and nosy and unpredictable and Jupiter loves that. He doesn't know why exactly he loves those things, but they are just part of Earth.

If you can love someone you only really know from a distance, then Jupiter probably loves Earth. But they hardly know each other. Well enough to make short conversations but nothing more. He doesn't care if Earth knows he protects the small blue planet, and by proximity Mars, Venus, and Mercury. He doesn't care if they know, he's still going to do it anyway, because he can.

And he's been doing this for millennia. He'd been doing it for millennia but-

This time Earth noticed. And tried to help him. Earth had reached out and touched him, for the first time.

Jupiter had not expected that. He had never expected that.

"I should go," Jupiter says, looking down at the soft green haired head. If he stays much longer he'll start touching Earth again.

"But..." Earth says looking up at him with deep blue eyes. Jupiter can't help thinking beautiful. Earth you are so beautiful.

"I'll be fine Earth. I am a big tough guy, I can handle it." He says it hoping that it'll comfort Earth. If Earth keeps giving Jupiter that look then Jupiter is going to take Earth back into his arms. His arms start to move with that intention so he just turns and walks away.

And Jupiter thinks that's the end of it. The weird bout of interest, concern, and physical contact.

He is very surprised then, when Earth shows up later that night, to Jupiter's room, with a soothing balm, gauze, and ice in a cloth.

"What are you doing here?" Jupiter asks alarmed, as Earth sits down next to where Jupiter is laying on the bed. There are only light-milliseconds between them.

"I think I should probably stay here. You still need help and I'm the best guy for the job. You know, with having actual doctors and tools and stuff."

"Ah, Earth," Jupiter frowns slightly, "I don't think that's a good idea."

"Well, why not?" Earth asks looking over at him, "I just want to help you. And I know what I'm doing."

And Jupiter can't say no. He's never been able to say no to Earth.

"Okay," he says. "But I still think this is a bad plan."

Especially since Earth is now climbing onto Jupiter's bed. Sitting warm and bright and so alive next to him. Jupiter can feel Earth's leg against his through the two thin layers of their pants.

"You still haven't told me why," Earth interrupts his thoughts.

"Why what?" Jupiter asks, frowning slightly. He's getting distracted by how close Earth is to him right now. It would be so easy to reach out and touch Earth's blue skin or green hair. It would be so easy to grab Earth's waist and pull their bodies together. It would be so easy to kiss him. Jupiter looks away from Earth's face.

"Why is this a bad idea?" Earth clarifies. He's smoothing the balm onto Jupiter's chest now. His touch is very distracting.

Because I want you Earth. He doesn't say it.

"You don't need to do this," he says instead, "I'm really fine."

"No, you're not." And the tone to his voice, Jupiter has to look up. And Earth has water in his eyes. A tear dips off his nose and onto Jupiter's hip. He can't help but reach up and cup Earth's face. "Hey, don't cry for me," his voice comes out more gentle than he knew it could be.

"Did you...did you mean what you said?" Earth asks. Jupiter looks at Earth stoically until Earth continues, "That you think I'm special and I'm worth a thousand burns."

Jupiter nods, "Yes Earth. That's true." Jupiter sounds calm, he always sounds calm, but no one thinks about the storms under the surface. Earth is driving him crazy right now.

"I didn't know you thought so highly of me."

"I've always thought highly of you."

"Oh," the word is just a breath, so quiet, but with meaning that Jupiter can't decider or he's just terrified of trying because he would find himself hoping for too much.

"I need you to lean up," Earth says, tone more business-like, "I'm going to wrap this."

Jupiter does and it brings them so much closer together. If Earth looked up they would practically be kissing. Then when Earth starts wrapping the gauze around his chest, their bodies brushing, Earth's hands traveling around his waist and chest and back, Jupiter's body tingles everywhere. He can't seem to get enough oxygen.

"There," Earth says happily, "Done," and thank goodness. Jupiter wouldn't have been able to-

Earth looks up.

The smile slides off Earth's face and it's replaced by a look of surprise. Earth's mouth drops open in a sharp intake of breath. Jupiter's secret is out now, Earth must see it all over his face, how he feels about the smaller planet. He takes a deep shaky breath of his own.

"Earth, I think you should-"

But Earth starts to lean forward and Jupiter can't really think when he can feel Earth's breath against his lips.

"It's true. You do like me," Earth says in quiet surprise, "I thought Mars was crazy." He's looking up at Jupiter with a little awe. And when did Jupiter's hand get on Earth's waist? His other cupping Earth's face?

Then Earth moves his leg over Jupiter's, so he's in Jupiter's lab, a leg on each side of him. Earth reaches his hands up to cup Jupiter's cheeks.

Jupiter starts to whisper, "Earth, what are you-"

"Shh," Earth interrupts and then he brings their lips together.