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Smoke, Ash, Flames

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Ashley's very good at listening. Adam thinks it comes with the horse thing.

She's really good at fire starting at well. Not like that. In the wood burning stove at the back of the house, in the den, with stone walls, and black and grey mismatched sofas.

The fire burns orange, and yellow, and blue.

Ashley doesn't say much. A word here. A word there.

Adam doesn't talk much either. Not really. Hands wave in the air, fingers pulling his hair, face pulling his lips down just enough to convey despair.

But he's okay. More than okay. He's not mourning.



Sauli’s not dead and buried, he’s not gone like that. He’s just… not here. His stuff’s gone from the bedroom, the kitchen, the bathroom, and all that’s left behind is only Adam again. But Sauli’s not left him completely.

He knows that much.

Their love was a fire, a great burning bonfire of whirlwind romance and old fashioned courtship thrown out the window to make way for early morning sex, and fighting in bars, and tattoos with ink so cold it burned. Adam knew it couldn’t last. It wouldn’t last. Fires like that take so much effort to keep going.



The fire here, in the den, is warm. Adam’s cold, like Finland cold, like cold early morning showers cold, like tea left on the side gone cold but still made with love.

He's been cold for a long time now. Sauli and his relationship was slowly freezing over long before the press got wind of it. Arguing, sniping, too many cameras, too many people, not enough time.

It didn’t have a chance to burn everything all away.

But Ashley's fire is warm.

She doesn’t hold his hand. But she smiles.

He lets her catch him.

She smells like wood smoke.