pureblood ♥ 18 ♥ barmaid
Someone comes into your world, suddenly your world has changed forever.
Archie explores, investigates - literally gets a feel for the house. Fingertips trace an old wall as lightly as if it were paper-thin, gently as though he were comforting it. Unable to hold back, he pokes at rot in a corner. With his coat swinging around him, he’s off - ascending the stairs to examine the creak they make, he alternates, playing the steps like a piano. Upon discovering an elderly but sturdy bookcase, Archie draws a book at random, pockets it after removing the last page. No use in that.
All the while he wonders about the secret story of this house, if it’s still possible to learn it or if he will be forever left guessing, to invent his own fictitious ghost stories, as the true ghosts laugh at him. Other thoughts seem to override these, however, ones he prefers, at first. The future. The endless possibilities. A decrepit, dying old house is like a dream of Archie’s. Reviving it, with a splash of colour and lifting it with light. Because it is the smallest inch from death right now and he, well, he has always hated endings. But here, but now the possibilities are so wonderfully endless.
“Something better?” He scoffs with surprise. “Impossible!…Shouldn’t be a problem for you.” Such things never are. Besides, he is sure of the contents’ excellence, so it could share a title with his Herbology textbook and it wouldn’t matter. Archie’s head ducks in to observe the room with Rosmerta, where the windows are boarded and the light doesn’t reach. The perfect abode for the ghost, if it exists and exists here. “Ooh, spooky.” His whisper is right in her ear.
It’s so big. Or it feels that way, particularly due to the way they are sticking so close together, intertwined hands ever-unwilling to part, just as they are. Rosie’s very right, if it is for them, they need some way to fill it. “Inventions. Yes.” He agrees enthusiastically, as if it were right at the forefront of his mind also. But it’s not and it isn’t that present in hers either. There’s something in the air, in their breathing of it that just screams this as fact. Even if they’re hearing it, no one’s saying it, no one’s going to. Archie beams back at her, “They’ll be sticking out the windows.” Which isn’t strictly speaking a lie.
Massive as the house is, already he has an extension in mind. “Did you see the trees outside? They’re perfect. Have I ever told you? I’ve always wanted a tree house. I never got one, for obvious reasons but now is even better, sort of. Now, I could build it myself, make it just perfect. Though, there’s only one way it could ever be that. We’d simply have to build it together, m’love.” This is when it all gets a tad too real. His tone is no longer that of musing, he’s planning, inventing already. It’s something he’s always wanted, something he sounds like he already has got. Another creaking sound gives him a nudge. After a blink, Archie sees what it is again, the picture he superimposed on the scene fades. “Wouldn’t that be something?” It is intended to have a cheery flippancy but his chin just won’t stay up and that gives it all away.
Smiles and warmth. They could spend years decorating and furnishing and constructing but truly, this is all it would take to make it live again, to make it theirs. “That’s a big can do. Top of the list. More like a prologue to it.” Archie’s voice becomes a whisper as he takes in that smile, its warmth. That’s all it takes to make him feel alive, to make him feel hers.
Breath is put on hold when Rosmerta brushes his cheek, but it leaves a sigh as Archie closes his eyes, surrenders to and relishes the feeling. Her. This. Them. Every day, for the rest of his days. No, theirs. That’s everything to him, that’s all there is. Which is absolutely, bloody terrifying but-but “The best. No doubt.” Archie agrees, arms encircling her waist to pull her closer to him, so their foreheads can meet and they can bid distance goodbye. It happens again. He gets that feeling, totally consumed and gripped and heightened by that feeling, by theirs. It prods him and it’s on the very tip of his tongue again, but Archie knows she doesn’t want to hear it, not right now. Run away with me. Come away with me. Lets go. Lets stay. We could do it. When’s tomorrow? Are we there yet?
Always the same question, always the same answer.
He won’t ask. The trouble is she always knows before he even speaks, Rosmerta can somehow see it in his big, sad but forever desperately hopeful eyes.
The house is spooky indeed. Most people would run in the opposite direction of it - most people are not Archie and Rosmerta. Archie can look at anything and find something worthwhile somewhere beneath the veneer which would send most running in the opposite direction. He looks at broken irons and dissembled bicycles and turns them to something more. Rosmerta and Archie are just right for the job of breathing life into the haunted mansion, she muses as she watches him hop around with his peculiar form of grace. She laughs, spinning around him to duck her head into all the nooks and crannies, rolling her lips together at the slight chill which washes over her.
Sticking out the windows. Bright windows, clean to allow light to pierce all the places which have been so neglected and forgotten by the sun. The house could be multi-colored, suiting their passing fancies with paint strokes to fully represent what a real life would be together. “You’ll have all the room in the world for them.” Rolling her lips together, she nods, “And a few guests room to boot. For our guests.”
Because it would be. A life together would be unique, happy. Full of possibility. One which he displays when his eyes turn out to the window. They travel into the future, to see what other people would ignore. He plans with a wistful tone in his voice which makes her want to turn a treehouse into a reality desperately. “With a sun roof,” she tells him as he turns back to her. She wants to lift that chin with promises and smiles, she doesn’t want those eyes to settle back onto a bleak present. Rosmerta is realistic enough for the two of them, she wants Archie to keep dreaming because she knows eventually that will seep into her being too. “So we can see the stars at night.” Looking up to him with large, hopeful eyes, she nods, “It will be.”
That is what tomorrow is, isn’t it? A promise that it is coming. A someday.
Tomorrow feeds smiles through cobwebs and boarded up windows. “Prologue to the list. Followed by a thorough cleaning,” she laughs quietly.
He has that look on his face when he wraps his arms around her. It will be, she thinks hopefully. Getting it in before any realities can sink back into her and ruin the dream. She can not allow anything bad to happen to Archie. Unfortunately, being caught with her would be the worst thing for him - Hogwarts is the actual best. “Someday,” she murmurs, brushing her finger by the corner of his eye. Those big, sad eyes which make her want to jump up and put an end to the blasted war herself and scold Voldemort for ever being such a nuisance. She presses her lips to the tip of his nose, pausing only when she gets that feel of being watched.
"We do have to do something about this ghost after the smiles," she whispers, snapping back to the present.
For everything he isn’t, she is and vice versa. They cancel each other out in this way now. In that for all the lights he’d take down she’d put up new ones and they could carry on that way. It makes Archibald wonder what kind of progress she imagines him making, not too much, though, obviously. Right now, they’re just too different, that’s all he can see – how they’re different, how everything’s different, how she doesn’t belong here and how he has come to. The one similarity Archibald might admit to is that they’re both extremely stubborn, neither one is going to win this battle, they’ll just be fighting, forever. That will be their always. Not the one he dreamed of, was so sure of, so taken by. It will be a bitter one, a tiring one, a dead one. Unless she gives up, as he certainly isn’t giving in. He can’t do that, promised he wouldn’t do that. How is he supposed to betray himself? How can he go against the vow he made to that broken, raggedy man he was?
If he allowed himself to forget that man, who he was, then he might give in, let Archibald fall and Archie shine through. But it’s impossible to rid himself of that. That pain, that memory is always with him. Archibald embraced it, works with it, the only way to move on, because it took hold of him. In every decision, in every move that he makes, it weighs in his mind, determines. But there is a secret, one he has not let himself in on, locked away in a box, hidden corner of his mind are the mistakes. Every time he has let himself forget, left himself susceptible to her magic resides there. They must be wiped from his memory for Archibald to continue on, for just the thought of them just awakens Archie again and again. The need to repress them, forget them, however, means that he cannot learn from the mistakes. They accumulate, now there are boxes upon boxes stacked in that secret corner of his mind.
There are many dark corners, isolated compartments; there is a lot Archibald keeps from himself, from his mind, from his heart. All for his own good. He reckons.
He doesn’t know much anymore.
With everything he hides from himself, it makes sense. Now, all Archibald does is harbour suspicion for everything, tries to make guesses. Right now, for instance, he mulls over whether to tear down those lights or remain passive. The first is too reactive, and good never comes of that in his books. So his skeleton grows more rigid, dust settles on that old tie as Archibald glowers at Rosmerta for tarnishing his perfectly monochrome world with colour, spoiling his dull surroundings with light.
Rosie’s sarcasm elicits a feeble grimace from him but also just a splash of curiosity. And it produces ripples. They spread and spread, touching only a few corners of his mind, but it is enough. His mind is extensive, after all. The intrigue has him waiting and waiting (even if it doesn’t take many minutes in reality) for the addition, for the truth but it doesn’t do much to budge his frown, actually, it just deepens it. That can’t possibly be true. Rosmerta may stay for whatever little is left of Archie, but she most certainly doesn’t love, or even like, Archibald. No one could. And they are just too different, too distanced. They cancel each other out, but they do not fit together, not like Archie and Rosmerta did. Oh, even their names did, do, just the sound of them, together like that – Archie and Rosmerta. They fit together, as if there was nowhere else such names could be. Even the word ‘and’ is too much of a distance.
Archibald and Rosmerta sound like they belong in two different languages.
“Oh, is that so?” His voice is gravelly, with faint hints of anger, wisps of defiance. “Well, then. The floor’s yours, dear. What is it that you like about me? About being around me?” It is a challenge, cruel and mocking. This should be good. He thinks, but it is taken back as soon as it crosses his mind. No. This should be hard. Archibald, under everything, everything that makes him, wants Rosmerta to be happy. There is no happiness for her here. There is no happiness here. It cannot exist in his world, she needs out of it. This should be real. The prompt should present the irrefutable truth that this is wrong and she should go and have another shot at joy. It might out there somewhere for her. It might be someone. His frown wobbles at the thought but hardens at the realisation of what it is he’s thinking. Or rather, feeling. He shouldn’t be feeling.
Blinking, blinking away the concern and the care that keep reappearing in his eyes as she fumbles, Archibald listens. He tries to grasp words and link them together, but they don’t amount to anything, nothing he can understand. He used to be able to tell things from a glimpse of her eyes, the size of her smile, a sound in her voice. Archie knew things Archibald can never understand. But he won’t be turning to him for help. That is defeat, that’s giving in. Instead, he will just ponder and tell himself off for it and then ponder again anyway. “Never mind?” Archibald echoes, still a bit confused, somewhat dazed. Ordinarily, he’s good at that, an expert, even. Now, he can’t seem to. Rosmerta got his mind, got it fixed upon something, working a mile minute to figure her out, for her and then she brushes it off, tells him to forget it. He doesn’t think he can. Archibald begins to tell Rosie this, then remembers that he never should. “I-Okay.”
A breath catches in his lungs, it freezes there, is held as she speaks, as he attempts to locate some response. It’s difficult to find anything while the tug of war rages on in his brain – to react or not to react. Surely, he must do something. Currently, he just watches her, watches as she rants with a passion he ignited and holds that breath. Once she finishes and his time is up, Archibald sighs and the breath shudders through him. ‘So, ha’ should have thrown him but it is actually what gets him back on track, it is far too triumphant for him to allow. “So what?” Archibald seethes back, furiously underlining that they are talking of biscuits and that it is nothing. Of course, this isn’t true. They are not talking, merely, but arguing – brawling with rage and fervour and fire.
Who cares? He holds her gaze for a long time over this. It seems like a forever. It is too long, at any rate. In that extended moment, the clockwork of his mind is visible in his eyes as it ticks and tocks and turns frantically. There are only two responses to this, really. They are me and not me. No matter what he says, how coldly or warmly he says it, he will reply with one or the other. Archibald is caught, truly. With no sign of emotion, no trace of it in his features, he repeats, “Are you alright?”. It is dangerous, it was too dangerous. Those three words ignite fear in him; he scans frantically of her reaction.
As if this wasn’t scary enough. It has been a while, such a while. His parents used to set him up, waved him off on awful dates. The worst of it was the women. The very worst of it was that they were never even that bad. Most were nice and pretty, some were funny and others smart, all kind and even interesting. And he was always horrible, every single time. Archibald could start off well; he could go well for a while. He could chat about nothing and compliment them, could listen and smile but there was always something, something that would trigger him. They were different, he could get angry, and he could get quiet, mean or sad. And every time, he watched their smiles fade and felt like he just realised his nightmare was just that, because he was on a ‘date’ and it’s not with her, can’t ever be with her again, he can’t.
Anna’s smile breaks out and he can feel his own falter. This is different, but it will end the same, he knows it. She’ll be hurt; work will be harder for him. This wasn’t the right decision. This is cruel and stupid and pointless. Maybe he should move again. Archibald does feel like running now. “Of course!” She exclaims. For the first time, he notices how boxed in the whole office space is. “Great.” He fixes his smile.
The perfect fake smile is just not meant to be, today, however. Upon hearing Rosmerta pipe up beside him, it falls. She sounds weird, she sounds wrong and in this, finally she fits in well. Everything is off about this; there is no sanity, no shred of truth or goodness in this nightmare. He wants to wake up, he wants to run. He feels awake, he feels trapped. As she rambles, her words escape him; Archibald hears only his own thoughts, focuses on these two feelings.
That booming stupid voice snaps him out of it. “Did I hear someone mention a double date?” Jeff always hears when anyone mentions a double date. Though, he never hears about the collection for Janice’s sponsored walk or when someone actually has a problem with their computer – funning seeing as he’s the IT technician. Archibald knows nothing about the majority of his colleges, but Jeff is so god damn loud that he makes it hard not to know him. “Couldn’t have been old Archibald, here, could it? Surely your nurses won’t allow you out past your bed time? Nah, the excitement wouldn’t be good for you, old man.” The muscular arm is uncomfortably slung around Archibald’s neck, embracing him as though they are old pals, but his eyes do not leave Rosie. Archibald’s jaw sets, for a number of reasons, the main two being Jeff’s existence and the fact that only one was allowed to call him old man.
“What’s this I see, Edwards? A damsel in distress? Well, those are my forte, sweetheart. I’ll go on a double with you, ‘be my pleasure.”
Yes, Jeff’s existence is most definitely a problem.
He does it on occasion. It has lessened in the weeks she’s visited him, but there is still the occasional moment in which he makes his attempt. Tries to force her to leave, tries yelling, tries to make it hurt. It never works and she thought he was starting to learn that lesson but he looks at her and mocks with malice. Trying to illicit an answer from her over how she could possibly enjoy her trips to see him, trying to prove there is nothing for her. Rosmerta has an answer, of course and she believes his answer should be obvious. If he wasn’t so out of practice actually using that big brain of his, he would know. There are moments when he doesn’t look at her like he hates her, times when he talks to her as though he doesn’t. He occasionally says something sweet, something kind proving to her that all else is just an act, that he really isn’t lost. He’s funny. Sometimes in the way he used to be, sometimes in a new way. And then there is the moments when she can see his smile, or hear his laugh. All these reasons propel her towards the next visit, feed a fire of hope - but they all pale in comparison to what manages to get her even on the bad days. His eyes. Those big, sad eyes. They can be shielded, yes, but not for long. There is always a flicker, always a glimmer in the corner of them waving out to her. She missed those eyes - she couldn’t imagine ever giving them up again.
Rosie doesn’t tell him all these things, of course, because he tried to make it hurt. He isn’t ready to hear it, she tells herself and ignores the fact that it could be a bit of her own pride standing in the way of such a confession. He’ll need to figure it out, or at least meet her halfway. He’ll know when he’s ready. For right now, she merely smiles at him. The sad sort, the gentle reminder that this method isn’t going to work. He should at least know that by now.
She attempts to keep quiet - which would work with anyone else. She can give the silent treatment, she can ignore the issue but with him there has been such a lack of words exchanged in the past five years that words flood from her without any hope of stopping them. She is able to, just in the nick of time. Tells him to forget it, brushes the subject aside. There isn’t a point to letting an accusation pour from her - in the small chance she could be right. She doesn’t want to hear that Archie truly doesn’t enjoy being around her anymore, she doesn’t want to face a reality in which he doesn’t still have the same feelings for her. They had always been on the same page, she has never been alone in the way she felt. He left, but that doesn’t mean his promises of an always and a forever have to be lies. Silence is better, even if it means having to forcibly stop herself.
Silence is not the answer when in the midst of an argument, however. Angry is good. Angry means he’s feeling something, something he can’t control and that means the words start flooding out of him. That’s closer to the real Archie than the quiet, subdued man sitting in front of a computer. She raises her eyebrows, smirking. “So everything.” And sometimes, to incite anger, childish methods are called for. She is half-way towards sticking her tongue out at him to really drive the point home. Rosmerta would rather fight, she would rather listen to his quick comebacks than to get his playing-pretend that he wasn’t listening to her. She’d rather fight with him than be anywhere else.
She’d rather fight with him than accept the alternative - the one he shows her mere moments later.
She rubs her shoulder, not necessarily meaning her words as a challenge but from the way she can see the gears turning behind his eyes she knows that he takes it on as one. The response would have come so easily in the past, before she even had the chance to work out a sentence - he would tell her he cared. He would show her, making it so those words never even formed in her mind ever again. Things are different now, and there is a chance that he doesn’t care the way he once did. Not that it really matters because he tries to lead her to this conclusion - something which leaves a deeper sting than a corner of a cubicle ever could. Rosmerta studies his passive features, shaking her head slightly. Once again, the words are at the tip of her tongue. She isn’t alright. Somewhere along the way he has gotten it in his mind that she is better off without him, so how can she ever possibly be alright? He is about to ask some other girl out in front of her, how would that be okay? Everything about this situation was unnatural, wrong. Alright is so out of her depth at the moment, Rosmerta is surprised she can even remember how to breathe. These words do not come, because they can’t. “My shoulder’s fine,” she answers back flatly. A sufficient answer for what he had asked and not outwardly a lie. “I’ll live.” Something that would sound like a joke to anyone else makes her want to press a palm to her chest as an apology to her heart, or even a reiteration of something which feels a bit like a curse. This life, after all, is unacceptable.
She watches and wonders if he has had experience since her in asking women out. She wonders what it would be like to be on a date with someone who introduces himself as Archibald. From what she can gather, Anna is getting shafted out of a great date. She can’t waste too much time pitying the other woman, though, because her own jealousy kicks in. There is the off chance that Anna will be able to make him smile, make him laugh. Why should she get the chance to use up his now-limited reserve of those? Rosie has been putting so much work in, she should at least get the spoils. Throwing a temper tantrum over smiles seems counterproductive, however. Because if someone else can make him smile and laugh, they deserved to have the chance. She had hers, and if he could really find happiness elsewhere she had to find a way to be alright with that. Because maybe she isn’t fit for the job anymore. Maybe there are too many stories with her involved that ended with the same tragic death. Archie and Anna sounds nice enough, maybe Anna can drag this out of him.
She was willing to bow out temporarily, willing to let them see what could happen. Maybe she would show up at his flat one day and Anna would answer the door. Rosie tries to picture it, tries to practice a smile which won’t look as though she wants to sink down to the ground. She is so focused on this attempt she barely even notices the man cutting her off and saving her from a few more rambling moments.
Blinking and coming back down to earth, she gives her unnatural voice a rest to look in slight confusion his way. It isn’t so much his presence which snaps her out of thoughts of mentally preparing herself for a future she will never be alright with, it is what he calls Archie. Reminding her double dates aren’t entirely out of their wheelhouse. Madam, he would address her as, Old Man, he would call Archie. Let the old duo have their time, let’s dance. Double dates used to be looking over her shoulder and seeing Archie and Lily smiling at each other. Eventually he’d turn that genuine smile to her. It wouldn’t flicker and fade the way it does now. Lily and James would accompany them on adventures, on picnics. Everything was in the right order then.
Now she has a man calling her a damsel and sweetheart in the same breath.
Somewhere, a teenage version of Rosmerta is fuming and ready to send hexes his way until the only thing he can say is her proper name.
That Rosmerta, however, hasn’t really experienced war. She may have seen some terrible things, but she hasn’t been exhausted by pointless fighting of people trying to claim to be something more than what they were. This Rosmerta has. This Rosmerta sighs and allows the pet name to roll off her shoulders while she collects what she can to smile. Her own is unmoving, but does not reach her eyes. The handsome man with his arm slung around Archie’s shoulders is too busy looking at her like a piece of meat to notice such a minor detail. This is her type. Rather, her substitute for her type. “So many heroes in one office, I don’t know how anyone can stand it,” she jokes with an extended hand. He plays up the act by kissing her knuckles and she does her part by laughing as sincerely as she can. “Rosie,” she tells him. He tells her his name, too, but for the life of her she can’t remember what it is after it dissipates into the air.
Plans are made. Mostly by Anna and Jeff. She is asked for her number, which causes a slightly moment of fumbling after she quickly tells them she doesn’t have one. From the odd looks she gets she knows that is insufficient in the muggle world. “I’m,” she begins, furrowing her brow before looking to Archie for the inspiration she needs so very much, “Between homes right now. I’ll just meet you.”
And then, she tells her biggest lie of all, “It’ll be fun.”
Anywhere was home.
After taking a few slow, cautious steps forward, his hand comes to rest on the doorknob. There isn’t exactly a need to knock. As he pushes the unlocked door forward, there is a teeth-grinding creek. It’s perfect. The kind of noise the mind conjures up just thinking about a door so old, so intimidating. Archie has to take the moment and look back to Rosmerta with childish delight, with the smirk of a madman. Then, with an intake of breath and the summoning of courage, he’s in. They’re in.
Now, there is no turning back, only further creaks and groans from the house that is annoyed and grumpy after it has been woken. They are a bit much for it. Spinning around to take it all in, coughing in dust and indulging in echoes of ”’Ello?”. Yes, Archie is a shock to it’s system. He in life intruding on something long dead. But that could be so easily fixed, with the right tools, with the right hands.
They are currently entwined and leading. There isn’t an inch of this he wants to see without Rosmerta, so such a position is necessary, not mention comforting and comfortable. Such feeling can exist, even right in the middle of turbulent thrills and poorly concealed fright. Another emotion is effortlessly able to join these – Archie’s frustration is unmistakable as it is familiar. It has been present for months now, buried but never dormant and quickly apparent at the very mention of it. The book. “Of course is it.” He has no doubt that everything in there is wonderful but now Archie wonders if everything wonderful in existence is in there. “The title?” Rosmerta often gives him the tiniest of titbits to entice his excitement, tease his imagination and infuriate his frustration. This is a prime example, as is his reaction. “It has a title? An actual proper title?”
Eventually the kitchen is found and Archie’s jaw drops, half at the dreadful state of it and half at everything that it could become, that he sees it transforming into, right before his very eyes. Or his mind’s eyes, anyway. “Paint to say the least.” He sends her a smile, informs her that she is not the only one with her hidden but peeking ideas. His could be organized into lists, but Archie’s usually to busy crafting the next one to do such a thing.
Archie does try. In the abrupt silence that she leaves, he does try to formulate words, some response. However, all that can be produced is his open mouth, nothing after this. Rosie’s blush steals his focus, the more he beholds it, the more he can feel his own spreading. “Um, yes. Yes. We will. We can fill them with all our things.” A swift hand sweeps up to scratch his cheek. Slow as he is, Archie knows she wasn’t really talking about that, it certainly didn’t sound like she was. It is still better than saying nothing, because he can only imagine how Rosmerta must have been panicking in his quiet. “It’s quiet this place, isn’t it? Too quiet?” She’s right, it could use some company, it needs shouting and running and laughing and paint.
When she says it, it makes sense, for a while, at first. Archie nods, he does but it only takes him a second in which to realise and then shake his head. No. That doesn’t really matter. “But of course I’m gonna have the best view. I’ll be waking up next to you.” It is the warmth of her skin, of her eyes that spark ideas in his mind. Rosie’s loud laughter and her whispered words are what allow him to be most himself. Ideas are fundamentally him, they are so quintessentially Archie and are best whenever they are with her. Just like he is.
It is a place Rosmerta wouldn’t have looked at twice before him. Save for her dare, Rosie barely ever looks towards the Shrieking Shack. Old, abandoned places are hard to look at. It isn’t that they creep her out - they give her a sort of melancholy she can’t easily shake. Abandonment warps, it contorts, it turns what may have once been a beautiful home into something terrible. Something which makes children throw rocks at it and run away from. Rosie doesn’t particularly enjoy to think about such things, because that melancholy soon turns thoughts elsewhere.
But she walks through the house cautiously with Archie thinking that is it is most certainly creepy. She walks through holding his hand seeing potential through decaying wallpaper. Melancholy, she finds, has no place when Archie is by her side. There is no space for it between the little gap between them and when she thinks it might come close, she simply presses to him and it dissipates.
"Working title, I’ll have to come up with something better," Rosie answered, peering into a darkened room, eyes narrowing at what she thinks is movement.
The book is not something pressing in her mind when they reach the kitchen. She looks around, taking notes. She turns smiling to Archie when he seems to be working out something of his own. Something to make this their own. The idea of having a home in the form of a building just for them electrifies her. Gives her that same clenching feeling when Archie tells her he wants to stay, wants to run away with her.
What to fill those rooms with does not. It sends her into a panic. She’s never done this before - especially not in a relationship. Playing pretend, thinking of a future. This is play, most decidedly, because this is fun. But it fills her mind with endless possibilities to a future she desperately wants. “We can fill them with your inventions,” she whispered, faltering before smiling and escaping such big, scary thoughts.
She takes a step forward, timid and cautiously. “Very quiet,” she agrees. “It could use some smiles. Some warmth.” Chewing on her lower lip, she does just that when she presses to Archie’s side once more.
A smile that only can grow at what he says next. There’s that possibility for a future again. Waking up next to each other every day. Rosmerta reaches up and brushes her fingers against his cheek. “Waking up next to you every day would be the best adventure,” she breathes out.
… and you.