submitted by anoia!
they won’t grow old together. he won’t shave his beard. his hairline recedes but—because, he says, human bodies are so damn contrary, just like toddlers or krogans or old flight-lieutenants—plenty of hair grows everywhere else.
sometimes he falls asleep still wearing the hat.
the brim gets in the way of kisses. it takes her three years to convince him to employ an omni-cane. ‘it may also double as a weapon,’ she explains, while he leans back and closes his eyes. (because he doesn’t need to look at her, he admits, when it’s just the two of them, no other influence, no galaxy of expectations. all he needs is the sound of her voice. maybe a kiss or two, but that’s the bonus, not the center.)
‘you mean i can use it to poke people,’ he replies.
‘or sweep them out of the way in crowded areas,’ she agrees.
multitasking. it’s always been her thing.
except in private. when joker’s a jeff more than anybody. no hat. no nicknames. stripped down to the fundamentals: a skinny chest, a bit of a belly, the scars on his knees.
they see a movie together once a week. he eats popcorn. she holds his hand. he groans at the pilots who don’t know what the hell they’re doing. she finds the plotholes, the flaws, the implausibilities. their fellow movie critics tell them to shut up and he’s been known to throw popcorn. there are some cineplexes they’re not allowed into anymore, and the omni-cane’s a part of the reason.
‘you’re right,’ he says. ‘this thing’s fantastic. they oughta bill it as part walking aid, part asshole repellent.’
there’s a medal on the desk beside the bed they share. he handed it to her when he was younger, before the beard and his heart got so out of control. it wasn’t a ring and he couldn’t get down on his scarred knees. ‘what do you say?’ he asked.
till death do they part.
they won’t grow old together. she finds the patchy hair on his chest suitable. at least he doesn’t act his age.