Bits of Time
It didn't start off too well. To earn his sympathy, I had to take a bullet from him - two, rather - and endure both pain and an unplanned swim.
It took a half a day at the Alliance hospital - and a few more waiting for my broken leg to heal - to earn his friendship. I didn't know how much I wanted it at the time. Given my stupid actions, it took a whole lot longer to earn his trust.
It took me months to sort out my emotions, but merely a second in the same room as him to know my conclusions were right.
It took several long weeks - and relative world peace - before I finally gathered up all my courage and dared tell him I loved him.
It took several tense seconds before he lit up a smile, embraced me and told me the same.
I didn't even need a second to know I wanted to hold onto him forever - even if that particular hug lasted roughly as long as his patience. It is greater than you'd think.
It took him a year to ask me to move in on the yard, and not just work there. It took another week before Hilde started searching for a place of her own. With a wicked grin, she told me I made enough noise as a mere visitor. As a permanent resident, the walls were simply not thick enough - or not transparent enough - for her to want to continue living with us. Blushing furiously, I could not fool her into thinking Duo was the loud one. Through the quirks of fate, she remains our boss - and very good friend.
He needs but a look to read my innermost thoughts off my face. I need a good deal more to analyse his many masks. When I do fully understand him, I act upon it as fast as I can, hoping he'll forgive me for my tardiness.
Our kisses can be fleeting, and they can go on for a decent length plot-less movie. The taste of him lingers with me for long after that.
If he's willing, it can take as little as fifteen seconds to rid him of clothes.
If he's unwilling, add three to fifteen minutes for coercion and seduction.
If he's truly pissed off at me, I know I might as well give up - at least temporarily. Forgiveness might take an hour, a day, two, perhaps even a week - but each moment spent apart means the make-up sex will be that much better. The wait is worth it.
Our lovemaking lasts long enough - but it always feels much shorter. Fortunately, frequency and diversity helps even that out.
We have the rest of our lives together - with luck, a good sixty, maybe even eighty years - perhaps even more, and while we constantly argue what happens after that, if anything at all, I know I'll love him forever.