Author Topic: Promises in the Dark  (Read 143 times)

Jake Jensen

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Promises in the Dark
« on: February 15, 2015, 10:08:28 PM »
As their party split up, each to their own amusements, in the wake of the wedding they'd been secretly working on for weeks, Leia curled her arms about Jake's waist, leaning into him with a fond smile. "So ... what is a Catholic shebang?" she asked him again. She knew her constant questions must grate on his nerves sometimes, but he was never anything but patient with her. Their bond had deepened over the past year, to the point where they had both learned to recognise each other's emotions within themselves. And tonight, Leia was bubbling with love and excitement.

"Um," Jake mumbled, a little distracted by thoughts and worries of his own that had come to a head during the ceremony. Whether they'd accepted him as family or not, he had a sister and niece back home that probably thought him dead or worse by now. "I, uh... It's hard to explain," he started, leaning into her a little now that they were left alone. "It's a big religious wedding, I guess. A very formal ceremony. Long and kind of boring, I guess." He didn't sound too sure for some reason.

She could feel that knot of worry inside him, resting her head against his chest as they stood together in the light of the many fires that burned in the darkness, his concern tempering her own exuberance. "What is it?" she asked him very gently, stroking her hands against his back. "Talk to me, a'maelamin. I can only feel your heart, not read your thoughts. You should not feel you have to suffer through such feelings alone."

"It's nothing, Leia. I'm just a little homesick, I guess," he told her, not wanting to worry her, but knowing he couldn't lie to her either. She could feel his heart and would know what he was feeling, even if she didn't understand why. "I'm happy for John and Ailis. I really am. I'm just missing my sister a little, I guess." And why wouldn't he be? He hadn't seen her in over a year, and going home was risky at best.

"Then we should visit her," she told him quietly. Though Earth, his Earth, was very different to the world she had been born on, and fairly different to Rhy'Din, Leia was far more confident when it came to technology now. "We know there are portals, and there are ways to disguise how different I am. I would rather take that risk than have you in pain."

"Maybe, but if we get caught..." He trailed off. She was right though. He couldn't stay away from Earth and his sister forever. Every time he saw John and Sam or Rory and Ailis sharing some special sibling moment, he felt a pang of homesickness, missing his sister and niece and wondering what they'd been told. Had they been told he was dead? He wasn't sure. Maybe it was better if they thought he was dead, but he couldn't help but miss them and wish he could see them again.

"So we won't get caught," she told him gently, her smile softly understanding of his worries. "Your world relies on technology, yes? I do not think there is any way they have to detect magic, and if they cannot detect magic, they will not detect us."

"Really?" he asked, almost afraid to believe her, but they'd been together over a year and he knew her better than anyone. Where he knew technology, she knew magic, and if she thought she could get them both home without being caught, he believed her. What was his sister going to say when she found out where he'd been and what he'd been up to? Would she believe him or think he'd gone mad? And what would she have to say about Leia? Going home was like opening Pandora's Box, and yet, he needed closure.

Leia's smile gentled even further, the softness accentuating the delicate features that marked her out as having elven blood. "Truly," she assured him, one hand rising to curve against his cheek tenderly. "I would not say it if I did not believe it were possible, a'maelamin. You need to see your sister and her child, for your own peace of mind. It is possible."

"Yeah, I suppose I do," Jake replied thoughtfully. In fact, he knew he did, and now that he had decided, it was just sorting out how to do it. He'd learned a lot about Rhy'Din this past year; he'd learned how to use the portals, and where there was a will, there was a way. Besides, he had Leia to help him. "You know I love you, right?" he asked, his frown turning into a warm and affectionate smile.

That soft smile brightened as his frown faded away, glad that she could help him like this, even if it was only words for now. The proof would come when they crossed the portal that first time, something she was not about to allow him to do alone. She didn't know what that kind of separation would do to either of them now they had bonded so deeply. "I know it," she promised him, the surge of deeply loving affection along that bond from her to him warm with immediate feeling. "As I hope you know my heart is yours, a'maelamin."

"I know it is. I feel it all the time. I mean, I feel what you're feeling or something like that." Even after a year, it was still a little confusing. There was that worried frown again as another thought came to mind. "Hey, Leia, can I ask you something?"

Her head tilted curiously as she looked up at him, barely aware of the fact that Sloti had taken up residence on her shoulder, his own head echoing the tilt of hers. "You can ask me anything, Jake," she promised her lover softly. "Anything at all, and I will answer, if I can."

"Well..." he stammered, a little nervously. He knew they were already bonded, that she had claimed him as her mate, but he wasn't an elf, and he had traditions of his own. "I was wondering... Would you like to get married, like John and Ailis did? I mean, I know we don't have to. I know we're already bonded, but... I'm not talking about a big Catholic shebang. Just something small between us and me."

Leia blinked, surprised but touched by the nervous question. It had not occurred to her that perhaps he would want to mark their bonding with the traditions of his own people, though in hindsight, perhaps she should have considered it. "You would want this?" she asked him through a soft smile. "You would like a marriage, with me?"

"Yes, I would," he replied in a soft but sure voice, reaching to take both her hands in his and looking into her eyes almost longingly, all his hopes and dreams there in his eyes and his heart. "And someday, if it's possible, I'd like us to have children." Not right away maybe, but someday he wanted to settle down and raise a family, just like his sister was doing.

The smile that lit up her face at his soft confession was brighter than the sunrise she had grown up seeing from the rooftops of Port Blacksand. "I am living proof that it is possible, a'maelamin," she promised him. "I did not dare to think that you would wish to raise a family with me, being so different as I am to you. But I would like that very much, someday." To leave him children to love, if she were the one taken first.

That was true enough. She was born of an elf and a human, and it figured if her birth was possible, then there was hope for them. "I love you in part because you're different, Leia," he pointed out, pulling her closer. "All the women back home..." He frowned a little and shrugged his shoulders. He'd never really loved anyone before the way he loved her. He'd had a few meaningless flings, a few girlfriends here and there, but nothing like he had with her. "No one took me seriously back home," he confessed with a small frown. No one except his sister and maybe his team, but he had no idea what had become of them and he had another team now and another home. "I want to stay here with you, Leia. I just need to see my sister. That's all," he promised.

That was true enough. She was born of an elf and a human, and it figured if her birth was possible, then there was hope for them. "I love you in part because you're different, Leia," he pointed out, pulling her closer. "All the women back home..." He frowned a little and shrugged his shoulders. He'd never really loved anyone before the way he loved her. He'd had a few meaningless flings, a few girlfriends here and there, but nothing like he had with her. "No one took me seriously back home," he confessed with a small frown. No one except his sister and maybe his team, but he had no idea what had become of them and he had another team now and another home. "I want to stay here with you, Leia. I just need to see my sister. That's all," he promised.
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Jake Jensen

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Re: Promises in the Dark
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2015, 10:10:31 PM »
"Then we will see your sister," she promised him in return. "And do not think this is a journey you must make alone, for I will not allow you to go without me. It is worth a little risk to see you whole and happy once again, Jake. You have been a long time without your blood. It is time we remedied that fact." Chittering in agreement, Sloti loped up along her arm to tuck himself onto Jake's shoulder, close into the man's neck.

Touched by her concern and desire to see him happy, he leaned in to touch a kiss to her cheek. "You're the best, Leia," he told her, which was almost the same as saying he loved her, but she should know that already. "Jamie is gonna love you," he said with a chuckle, as he reached up to scritch Sloti's fur. He just hoped she hadn't gotten since he'd last seen her or Sloti might be in for some trouble.

"I have the best," Leia countered, hugging into Jake as he turned his attention to their furry friend, perched on his shoulder. If ferrets could purr, that was what Sloti was doing, eyes rolling back in sheer pleasure as Jake scritched his fur. He had no idea what a Jamie was or why it was going to love him, but if Jake said so, then it was on. They'd come a long way from the awkward pair they'd made a few months before.

It was true, Jake had grown fond of Sloti over the last weeks and months. He'd never had a pet of his own, and though Sloti clearly belonged to Leia, the ferret seemed strangely fond of Jake, for some reason, and who was Jake to argue with that? If not for Leia and Sloti, he'd be all alone here in Rhy'Din, without a friend in the world. The truth is if it weren't for Leia, he probably would have gone home a long time ago. "I was thinking," he started, weaving his fingers through hers a little nervously. "Maybe we should say our vows, too. Like John and Ailis did."

She blinked, surprised to hear him mention marriage again in so short a time. Did it really mean so much to him as that? Her slender fingers drew through his as she held his gaze, violet eyes warm despite their alien hue. "Tonight?" she asked him quietly. "You would wish to do it here and now, as they did?"

He knew he'd mentioned it already, but it wasn't a traditional wedding with all the pomp and ceremony he wanted. It was simply to share their vows with each other beneath a blanket of stars and the witness of whatever higher power might be watching. "Yes, here and now. Just the two of us. Well, and Sloti." A slow smile spread across his face. "Sloti can be our witness."

"I have no ring to give you," she heard herself apologize softly. The emphasis that had been placed on the rings she had acquired for John and Ailis had impressed on her mind that they were somehow necessary for such a rite.

"It's not about the rings, Leia," Jake tried to explain. "The rings are just symbolic. They represent... I don't know... fidelity maybe? People wear them so other people know that they're married. If you really want one, we could get some later. Or..." He frowned, looking a little crestfallen. "We could wait. It's probably a stupid idea anyway. I mean, we're already soul-bonded, right?"

As Jake started talking himself out of something he clearly wanted to do above anything, Sloti bit his earlobe sharply. Not deep enough to draw blood, but definitely enough to stop the babble that was confusing Leia. "I do not understand," the half-elven woman told him, her own expression almost anguished as she tried to follow what he was and wasn't telling her. "Do you want to be married, or do you not? I will follow you into anything, a'maelamin, but I do not know now what it is that you want."

"Ow!" Jake exclaimed, slapping a hand against his ear when he felt that sharp pinch of pain. "What was that for?" he asked, turning to glare at the ferret he'd just been petting not more than a few minutes earlier. "I want Sloti not to bite my ear," Jake said, grateful he wasn't bleeding. That wasn't the way he'd go about piercing his ears. He frowned back at Leia, feeling her anguish and knowing he was probably confusing the hell out of her. "I'm just not sure it's important," he said, though it seemed to be important to him. "The thing is, I was raised Catholic, and..." There was that sigh again. It was always a trial trying to explain things to her, but he had always tried to be patient.

"A'maelamin, if it is important to you, then of course we should," she told him, curling her hands to his as she looked up at him. "There is nothing wrong with asking for something that means so very much to your heart, Jake. You have been so patient with me, accepted something you did not have to believe. Why would I not wish to share such promises with you?" She glanced at Sloti, making an odd click in the back of her throat, and the ferret jumped down from Jake's shoulder, scurrying off toward the ship as Leia smiled gently. "Tell me what it is you desire, Jake."

"What did he bite me for? I thought he liked me," Jake complained, looking a little hurt as Sloti scurried away. He wasn't exactly expecting an answer. He knew Sloti's first loyalty was to Leia, and if Jake said or did anything that hurt her, the ferret would let him know in no uncertain terms, like he just had. "What I want?" he echoed. "It's a little hard to explain," he said, taking hold of her hand and leading her toward one of the wooden benches that lined the street.

"He wanted you to stop confusing yourself," she told him quietly, moving with him as he drew her toward an empty bench, away from the revelry around them. "He didn't mean to hurt you, but to stop you from hurting yourself."

Jake's frown deepened. Confused wasn't a strong enough word for how he felt sometimes. Haunted was more like it. He thought things would get better with time, but he only seemed to get more confused as time went on. "It's-it's not that I'm not happy here with you," he started, looking down at their linked hands. "I am. I love you so much," he continued. "And I know we're soul-bonded. I can feel what you feel sometimes, but it's not enough. I feel like I should give you something back, something to show you how much I love you. I just don't know what."

"You do give me something," she told him softly, easing down beside him to sit close. "You give me something I had never thought I would ever have. Do you remember that you asked me the day we met if I had ever wished upon a star, and I told you that my wish had been for you?" She tilted her head, trying to catch his eye. "I stand by that. I love you, Jake, more deeply than I can say. I do not need gifts or proof. You gave me yourself; nothing could possibly touch my heart more."

He looked up at her with misty eyes half-hidden behind his glasses. "And I love you, too. More than anything. I know it doesn't matter if we're married or not. It's what we feel in our hearts that's important. I guess I just want everyone to know how much I love you, but I suppose they know that already."

"If it matters to you, then it matters," Leia reminded him quietly, drawing one hand from his to stroke her fingertips against his cheek. "If it was possible, I think you would like for this ritual to happen where your family may see it, yes?" He knew her well enough to recognize that she was having plotting thoughts; if he was prepared to be patient, Leia would move heaven and earth to give him what he wanted most.

"It would mean a lot to me, yes," he replied, though he wasn't sure why. His mother had raised him and his sister on her own after his father had left, and his sister was raising a child on her own, as well, so why was it so important to him that he do things the right way? "It's not going to change anything. It's not going to change how I feel about you, but it would mean a lot to me, yes."

She smiled, drawing him down into a soft kiss. "Then that is how it shall be," she promised him tenderly. Though she had no blood kin of her own, she understood the draw to know them and be assured of their well-being and happiness. She would do whatever it took to grant this wish for her Jake.
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Jake Jensen

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Re: Promises in the Dark
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2015, 10:12:55 PM »
There was nothing more to say, it seemed, at least not about this. He surrendered to her kiss, trusting her to fulfill this wish of his, as silly as it might seem. He felt a strong tug of homesickness and a strong tie to the family he'd left back home who likely believed him dead. He just couldn't leave them like that, and he needed them to know he was not only safe but happy.

   A scuffling dragging sound drew Leia's attention from Jake briefly, her eyes turning toward the sight of Sloti coming toward them backwards, dragging Rory's pack behind him determinedly. It said a lot for how determined the creature was that he'd managed to move the pack at all - Rory didn't exactly travel light. Leia glanced at Jake, utterly bemused.

   "What is he doing?" Jake asked curiously as he turned his gaze toward the sound of scuffling and the sight of the ferret dragging something their way. "Is that Rory's pack? You better put that back, or he's gonna kill me!" Jake warned the ferret.

   Ignoring him for a moment, Sloti turned his attention to unzipping one of the compartments on the pack, wiggling inside. "What is he doing?" Leia wondered in astonishment. She'd not seen Sloti work anything like this on his own initiative for several years at least. After a moment of scuffling about, the ferret reappeared, pushing a small black velvet covered box in front of him, which found its way onto Jake's boot. Apparently the little creature wanted to be helpful, even if he was being a little thief to do it.

   Jake watched, a little puzzled and almost in a fit of panic, worrying that if Rory caught the little creature, he just might shoot him, but then he wasn't as grim as, well, Grimm. He didn't need any explanation when the little creature pushed the box onto Jake's boot. Jake leaned over to pick the box up, looking both shocked and curious. "Are you crazy? This belongs to Rory. He's probably waiting for the right moment to give it to Sam," Jake said, contemplating the box for a moment. "Do you think it would hurt to take a peek?" he asked, unable to suppress his curiosity. It didn't do much for his ego to know that both Rory and John got their girls rings, and Jake had not.
   
   "Sloti ..." Leia's tone was more than enough to warn the little ferret that he may have gone a little too far in his zeal to be helpful this time. He chittered up at her, scrambling up Jake's leg to nestle between them. "That isn't yours to take," she told the ferret. "You need to put it back where you found it. But thank you, for trying." She stroked his head reassuringly, looking to Jake with a smile. "It couldn't hurt to look, could it?"

   Jake felt a little bit sneaky taking a peek at Sam's ring before Rory had a chance to give it to her, but it was far too tempting an opportunity to pass up. "We'll just take a peek," Jake said, as he pushed the little velvet box open, as curious as a cat... or maybe a ferret.

   With Leia and Sloti leaning in for a peek with him, the raising of the little lid revealed a very simple ring. White gold, perhaps, or platinum, with a single diamond set in its center - very traditional, and somehow very fitting for the woman it had been bought for. Leia smiled, touched by how well Rory knew Sam to have bought her something so pretty. "Isn't it lovely?"

   "Yeah, it is," Jake said, trying hard to hide the envy from his voice, the soreness from his heart. Though Leia had said he'd given her everything she wanted, he wished he could give her something as lovely as this - a symbol of his love for everyone to see. He thought about sliding it onto Leia's finger, but decided against it. The ring belonged to Rory, and Sam was the only one who had a right to wear it. He closed the lid and slid it back into the pack. "You better take this back before Rory misses it," he told the furry little thief.

   With a long suffering sigh, Sloti jumped down and began to laborious task of dragging the pack back to where Rory had left it in the first place, leaving the lovers alone once again. Leia looked up at Jake, concern filling her for the ache she could feel inside him. She slid closer, drawing his arm about her shoulders as she leaned up to kiss his cheek. "I would wear your ring with pride, a'maelamin," she told him softly. "When the time is right."

   "I know," he said, wrapping that arm about her shoulders to pull her close, as he turned his head to touch his lips against her temple. "I don't know what I did to deserve you," he told her quietly, the sadness slowly fading, leaving him feeling peaceful and content with her beside him.

   "You needed me," she murmured softly, cuddling under his arm as her own wrapped about his waist, reveling in the peace that spread through him and into her. "Just as I needed you." An impish bubble of mirth rippled from her to him as she recalled their first meeting, or rather, their first night. "You were so sure there was nothing you could offer me. I've never known how to tell you that you're everything to me, a'maelamin. Everything I would want, need, or wish for. It's all you."

   He felt a wave of guilt at her words, realizing that he might not be able to say the same. As much as he loved her, he loved his sister, too, and his niece, though he loved them in a different way. They were family, Leia was his other half. "I love you, too, Leia," he told her. "I don't want anyone but you." He wasn't very good with words, and it was the best he could do.

   She smiled, understanding that guilt. If she had had any family remaining, she would have felt that same tug. "I know," she murmured, both to his words and to that wave of guilt she could feel in him.

   "What are we gonna tell the others?" he asked, unsure how to tell them they were leaving, if only for a short while. At least, they weren't in the middle of a job, and with John and Ailis just married, maybe it was a good time to take a few days off.

   "The truth," she said assuredly. "The Chief can't begrudge you a little time to spend with your family, and if he does, I will talk to him." Despite her stature and apparently fragility, it was well known among the little mercenary group that the Chief was ever so slightly intimidated by little Leia and her box of magic tricks.

   "No, I suppose not," he said, a smile tugging at his lips. "Jess is gonna love you, but she's probably gonna have a lot of questions. She might not believe us at first." His smile faltered a little. "She probably thinks I'm dead." Even if it wasn't official, he'd disappeared off the face of the Earth for so long, they must believe him dead by now, though he'd gone missing a few times before.

   "Many people don't believe in magic when they are first told of it," Leia told him in her gentle way. "There are ways to help them believe, without causing harm or hurt. And it will good for both of you, to set such misapprehensions aside, and to know the truth."

   There was that smile again, as he leaned close to touch a kiss to her lips. "I love you, you know. You're the best thing that ever happened to me," he told her, and he meant it. All his life, he'd searched for that one thing that was missing from his life, never knowing what it was until he'd met her and she'd filled the empty piece of his heart that never before could be filled.
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Jake Jensen

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Re: Promises in the Dark
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2015, 10:13:42 PM »
She couldn't help but smile into that kiss, even giggling a little as she drew back from it. "Even though I am a thief and not very reliable when it comes to the contents of my bag?" she asked him in a cheeky tone, the tip of her nose brushing his intimately as they lingered together.

   "I don't care about any of that," he assured her, tucking her against him again, content for now to just stay close. "I'm not exactly guiltless, you know," he reminded her, though he didn't go into details about that. He'd hinted at some tragedy in his past, but had yet to divulge it fully. "There are worse things than being a thief," he said.

   "Only if you revel in them," she said softly. She knew there was something in his past that hurt him deeply, something he had not told her and, indeed, that he might never tell her. But she was firm in her absolute belief that he was a good man, no matter what he may have done in the past. "Jake ... if I were to tell you that I know how to bypass the lock override on our door on the ship ... would that be an interesting thing to know?"

   Of course he didn't revel in them, unless it was when he was defeating bad guys. He was mostly a behind the scenes kind of guy, but he was a trained soldier, too, and he had as much blood on his hands as anyone. "We did a good thing here, Leia. Helping these people," he said, proud of what they'd done, glad that Chief had brought them here. Her question took him by surprise and he arched a brow her way. "Bypass the lock?" he asked, curiously, not quite catching her drift.

   Her smile turned more than a little wicked, a singularly inviting expression when it was turned onto him. "The lock override," she corrected him. "No more having anyone walk in whenever they think we're spending too much time in bed."

   "Oh!" he exclaimed, as what she was implying sunk into his brain. He could have just as easily messed around with the controls, but he was afraid if he fiddled with the over-rides too much, he might mess something else up and he didn't want to piss Chief off. "Are you propositioning me, Miss Camden?"

   "If you mean ... am I asking you to take me back to the ship and help me make the rivets creak, then yes, Captain, I do believe I am," she grinned back to him, easing up onto her feet to draw him up with her. "Unless you would rather find somewhere secluded and make the most of a warm night and beautiful stars."

   "That is tempting," he replied as he rose to his feet, breaking into a grin. "But it's a lot more comfortable in a bed." Where there was a will, there was a way, but Jake wasn't the sort to take it whenever and wherever he could get it. He cared about her too much for that and didn't want to be a selfish jerk. He paused a moment under the stars - the same stars that dotted the sky back home, though from a different perspective. He tucked a hand beneath her hair, around to the back of her neck. "I will love you forever, Leia Camden. Promise."

   Being a little selfish sometimes wasn't always a bad thing, but between them, they still had a few differences to reconcile to fully appreciate the bonding between them. Until then, there would always be that concern that what they were feeling was purely their own, and not an echo of the one they were with. Drawn close against him with the simple tuck of his hand to her neck, Leia leaned into Jake, her hands gentle against his chest. "Amin mela lle, a'maelamin," she promised him, words in her father's tongue that seemed to express so much more than the equivalent in the common speech.

   He wasn't quite sure what she was saying, as  his Elvish wasn't that good yet, but he was pretty sure she was echoing his own promise with one of her own. Maybe it wasn't as official as the vows John and Ailis had exchanged a few hours earlier, but it was just as romantic, just as heartfelt, and just as sincere. Under witness of the stars and whatever powers that be watched over them from afar, Jake sealed those promises with a kiss, as binding as any declaration of marriage and just as tender.

((Short but sweet. Many thanks to my fantabulous partner in crime for this scene. :) ))
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