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Abra is quivering, suddenly, feeling those lips against her neck and strong hands caressing her—she feels warm and flushed, hiding her face into Zero’s shoulder and sounding a little whimper at his declarations of love. Her adoration for him is so constant—she doesn’t remember not loving him, not knowing him. There are brief glimmers of a life before him—but why would she want to remember a life without him? Abra’s tiny hands cling tightly onto the man, and she tenderly leans in to press a sweet kiss to his mouth.

         ”…I started—talking to. Cato. He sends a pretty dove to the window—her name is Snow White. Isn’t that something.”

Abra seems happy with this, now, eyes brightening as she nuzzles into Zero’s cheek with a happy coo.

  There are still so many details missing, but Zero is beginning to remember more and more as time goes by. He remembers life before Abra, the constant fear and anger, the girl he loved who left him. Life with Abra is the most important part, though, what stands out to him the most. Even though a lot of that is still hazy, he remembers and he feels warm at the thought, knowing that there was nothing better than this. Nothing can ever be better than this. 

  “Yeah?” he asks, not all that surprised that the weirdo in the woods would have a dove named Snow White that he sends to angels’ windows. It’s sweet in its own way, he supposes. Especially for a girl like Abra. “That sounds nice. Did you make friends with the dove? You probably having matching wings.” 

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The memory of Zero drawing out his own death is a memory that Abra feels within her bones—she hitches in a small breath and hides her face in her elbow with a small whimper, knowing that he won’t change his mind. He’ll always believe Abra is worth loving, worth adoring—he’s good for her, too good for her, and she chews down on her bottom lip only to flush deeply as she feels a strong, calloused palm flutter over the subtle rise of her breast.

Bright eyes flicker and watch the male for a moment, and she feels a chill at the touch—so very sensitive to him, she leans in to press a small kiss to his mouth, pressing in to his tender touch and drawing in a slow breath.

      “…I love you—so much. So so much.”

It was overwhelming—she draws back a fraction, gentle wide eyes holding the male as her digits brush over the hollow of his cheek. 

  “I love you, too,” he murmurs, leaning in again and pressing another kiss to her lips. 

  He doesn’t know if she’s ready, or if she’ll ever be ready, but he can give her something. Slow kisses from her lips to her neck, her skin caressed and traced gently. Hands drift over her breast and her hips, dancing around her thighs. 

  When he stops, he wraps his arms around her again and draws her closer. Once more, he kisses her lips and nuzzles into her neck, whispering that he loves her on repeat, hoping that it will somehow make things better, make her happier. She’s tiny and cold and small and he loves her more than he’s ever loved anything, more than he’s ever wanted to love anything.

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He seems so at ease, now—it’s enough to have Abra calming down a bit, soothed by his low laughter and tender voice, the feeling of his digits running through her long tangle of hair. Abra could cry—she wants desperately to know Zero as she used to know him, but he’s right in his own way. Abra is constantly told not to rush things—it worries her, for even when she does feel ready for things, Beau isn’t ready.

        “…No—but…”

Her eyes soften and grow pained as small digits brush over his neck and Abra leans in to nuzzle and kiss at his cheek.

       ”Even if I’m Abra I still—can’t go out and. Maybe I want to feel you closer, maybe—so maybe I can feel more like me. I don’t. I don’t—feel that way, now. How can you—love me like this..”

  “Because I do. Because I love you. I love you because I love you.” 

  He knows that isn’t enough of an answer for her, though. He knows that it’s too hard to wrap her mind around things when they aren’t spelled out, simple answers. The problem is that there aren’t any simple answers; not anymore, and Zero doesn’t know how to answer any of the questions he has half the time.

  “Let me tell you a story. I starved myself to death. To death. And you saved me. I proved again and again that I wasn’t worth loving, I was awful to you. And you loved me. I was a monster, and you didn’t care. You forgave me. For every mistake and misstep and… fucked up thing I did. You stood by me. And I owe you, and I love you.” 

  He presses a kiss to her lips—lets his hand flutter about her breast for a moment. 

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She’s sad when he uses past tense. It rarely registers right away—but when it does, she’s lying awake in bed wanting to cry because she knows that if Zero doesn’t think they’ll get better then they might not get better, ever, because Abra doesn’t know what on earth she’s doing and she needs him to guide her along.

She gives a small nod of her head, drawing in a small breath and allowing her eyes to fall shut. He says those sweet things, and they aren’t lies—but she’s worried nonetheless and looking towards the man as her teeth sink into her bottom lip.

      “…It’s been a long time. That is—what you said I. I want things to be like they were. I want to feel like Abra.”

  “I know you do. But you shouldn’t have to rush things… You are Abra. I know you are. I see it every day. When you look at me, when you laugh at something I say, when you stare at me or Liam a little too long and make us a bit nervous…” Zero taps her nose and laughs lightly, pressing a kiss to her lips. “It’s been a long time, but I can wait. And I will, until I know that everything’s okay, until you’re completely ready to do something like that again.” 

  He cards his fingers through his hair, twining strands around them. That’s something he’s always been able to remember, playing with her soft hair, nuzzling into her sweet-smelling skin and listening to her breathe, chirp, whisper out her little poems. 

  “You are Abra, okay? Whenever you’re ready for that, we’ll do it—but you won’t be any more Abra than you are now, because you’ve always been, and I love you.” 

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       ”Oh.”

It made sense, she thinks—just like eating dinner is better with Zero because she loves him. Everything should be better with Zero. She doesn’t know how she feels about being intimate—she can kiss and love, but feeling cornered is what brings her undoing. Zero didn’t want to corner her, though—he loves her, he loves her. And she loves him. She wishes other memories would trickle back—memories of love making that were cleaner, softer. Abra looks up towards the male, gaze soft.

       ”…It sounds—so nice. It felt nice that’s. What I remember, but everything feels nice with you. My Zero.”

Abra bites at her bottom lip, hiding against her arm.

       ”—Do you not. Like it anymore?”

  “Of course I do. It’s just been a long time—I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be speaking in the past tense all the time.”

  This wouldn’t be the first time he’s made the mistake. Everything was, not is—he knows he shouldn’t do that. It almost gives everything he says its own hopeless edge, and he doesn’t mean to do that. It only further isolates Abra, makes her feel as though everything is different and never going get better. 

  “But I do. I love you, and I even love just snuggling up to you like this,” he says, nuzzling into her and giving her little kisses. “I love you so much, Abra. And I always will, and anything done with you is good.” 

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       ”Oh.”

He did. He looks nervous and Abra wonders if he’s lying, but Zero is usually hiding a smile when he lies and now there is no smile to be hidden. Abra feels her chest tighten, and she wonders what it would be like to enjoy it now—she doesn’t really remember it, making love to Zero, though she catches brief glimpses of the act. The way his mouth would suck and nibble at her shoulder—his hips working against her own, and she can even recall the whimpers and moans that escaped her. It was nothing like what she had known in hell—but she’s tentative, eyes watching Zero with a quiet intensity.

        “…Why did you. Like it.”

She hitches in a small breath, pressing her cheek to the bed as honey eyes watch Zero, her nose nuzzling into her arm.

  “Well, it… it feels good. Or it’s supposed to, I know that when you were—before I brought you home, I know that things happened that made it seem like it isn’t supposed to. But it does, when it’s… done right. And it feels even better when you love the person you’re with, and I love you. So it felt especially good,” Zero says, hoping that it makes sense.

  He was always good with words, but never when it counted. There were some things that he could never find out how to explain, how to say out loud. This was one of those things. Most of the things involving him and Abra were hard to put into words.

  He offers her a smile, kissing the top of her head once more. 

  “Does that make sense?”

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        “—I had a thought. It came to me while. Grandfather was picking glass out of my hair—and I felt it. It was very real. But we don’t have to—talk about that, deeply.”

Abra seems to be struggling with her words again, closing her eyes for a long moment before she realizes that it’s much easier to look towards Zero and feel calmed rather than close her eyes. She looks towards her husband—he had gotten a little pudgy since they had come back, and she loves it terribly, that roundness in his cheeks—the faint fluff of his stomach. Abra sinks her teeth into her bottom lip.

      “…But I was just—wondering.”

A kiss to his cheek—she lowers her lashes, digits curling at his tummy before light honey eyes raise slowly and peer towards her husband.

       ”Did you. Like making love to me—?”

  Zero’s eyes snap open at that, and he doesn’t quite know how to answer. He doesn’t know why that thought would have come to her, he wouldn’t have imagined that it would come soon—he’d just started getting used to the thought that maybe things would never be the same, that maybe they would never discuss a thing.

  Suddenly he feels nervous, but he swallows that; he wants her to feel comfortable talking to him about anything, even this. Especially this, considering how important it was before. 

  “I mean…” 

  His gaze flickers, and he wonders why this is so hard. The answer is so terribly simple, he knows. 

  “Yes. I did.” 

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       ”Don’t you lie—to me, Beau…”

Abra whispers this, feeling him kiss the top of her head and slowly dissolving into his touch. She wonders what it would be like—to feel a man again. She hardly remembers Julian—only flashes of pain and a rigid muscle within her, but she can’t really remember that, only the way he had raked his nails over her breasts and the way he had kept his hands so tight around her throat and the vicious nature of his own words—Abra quivers faintly, lashes lowering.

It’s the first time she’s thought of making love to Zero—of touching him in an intimate way. She’s woken up flushed before, but with little knowledge of the reasoning besides the silky dampness between her legs. Abra nuzzles into Zero, keeping her lashes lowered.

       ”…I want to—ask you something. Please?”

  “I would never lie to you, bunny,” Zero says, smiling with his eyes closed once more and carding his fingers through her hair. He’s always been fond of those indignant squeaks when he plays, her adorable distress when he tells her an untrue story for the fun of it. Thankfully, she always lets it go—he does know how things can get to her at times.

  He doesn’t know what’s going on in her mind, but he can feel a certain level of tension in the air. He’s aware of that sting in his chest, unsure of what sort of question she may be asking. All he can do is hope that it isn’t something too difficult to answer—so far her questions haven’t been.

  “Sure. You can ask me anything.” 

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       ”Feel—”

Abra falls silent briefly, blinking in rapid succession as Zero urges her to feel his abdomen, gifting her with a silly story that has her hiding a smile against his chest as tiny hands slip beneath his shirt to feel the warm flesh of his tummy. He’s so much warmer than her—she nuzzles close, hitching in a small breath and willing her nerves to be soothed.

      “…No, no—that isn’t…true…”

Abra kisses at his jaw softly, bright eyes raising to watch Zero. She remembers the way his flooded eyes had bored into her as she purred at him in the depths of the basement—she remembers what it was to have those arms strong and tight around her, his own possessive nature flaring as he worked into her. Abra shivers, but it isn’t out of fear—she hides into him.

      “Liar…”

  Zero smiles, eyes shut, listening to her small voice as she calls him out on his tall tale, feeling the way that she kisses him. He pulls her a little closer and tightens his arms around her, kissing the top of her head with a small smile. “No, it’s totally true,” he says into her hair, a small yawn escaping him.

  He doesn’t think about the way things were. When he does that, he tends to feel hopeless and desperately alone in a world in which he knows he isn’t. He starts to want things, starts looking at Abra with a look in his eyes he’d know she’d hate. Insatiable, would be the best way to describe that look; hungry, for so many different things. He can’t think like that or look at her like that. 

  But the moments are there. The both of them indulging in one another, doing wicked things and loving each other through the blood and the ugliness, making it all beautiful. Abra always did have that golden touch; she could make the most disgusting of words poetry, the most horrific of situations dreamy. 

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