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Words by Ali
Words by Ali
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Gatchaman: Legends

Damn him and his sprawl, she thought to herself with far more vehemence than she really felt. He had taken up the entire length of the sofa, head resting against one armrest and one of the soft cushions, legs stretched all the way out so that his white-socked feet were firmly planted against the other armrest. One arm lay draped across his chest, clutching one of the other soft cushions as a child would a soft toy, the other hung over the side of the sofa, fingers trapped between the pages of whatever he was reading before sleep took him.

Jun loved Hakases sofa: it was huge, soft and deep. So deep that even now, with a full-grown young man asleep on it, there was enough space for one more, if needed be. There was no point in waking him up; she could always sit in the big squashy armchair to read, which was closer to the fireplace, anyway. She dropped her book into the armchair, and moving to the chest in the corner of the lounge, she pulled out a soft brushed woolen blanket sometimes Hakase spared no expense when it came to their comfort. She lifted one edge of the thick folded material to her cheek, loving how soft and smooth it felt, almost silky.

The lid of the chest shut with a light thump and she moved back to where he slept, kneeling by the sofa as she set the blanket down on the carpet. It amazed her, to find that his hand still held the book tight, that even as he slept, the book remained in his grip, hovering over the floor. She reached out and gently worked the book free from his fingers, brushing the slender digits with her own. The Iliad. Sometimes, he surprised her.

She slipped a paperclip onto the page hed marked in his sleep. The book was battered, the pages yellow and dog-eared in some parts. On the inside of the cover, she saw the name Joshua Viney written in an untidy left-handed scrawl; Sometimes, they both surprise me, she mused with a smile as she set the book on the coffee table.

It was hard not to watch him sleep. Ken was one of those rare, quiet sleepers. He sighed, murmured, moaned, but not much else. He didnt seem to move much, either, which used to scare them in the past after missions they never quite knew if the strain of his work had actually killed him in his sleep. As she watched him now, she could barely detect the rise and fall of his chest as he breathed, unless he sighed. His lips moved only slightly when he murmured, and sometimes she could see movement behind his closed eyelids. Otherwise he lay as dead to the world as he felt.

Unfolding the blanket, she spread it over him, from his shoulders down to his feet. She tucked the soft cloth around his feet, and unthinkingly, her hands moved back up along the blanket, the silky softness under her palms and fingertips, gliding up his legs, to his hips, his chest her fingers glided across the exposed skin where the top two buttons of his shirt were undone before finally resting on his shoulders again. The shoulders shifted slightly as he sighed, murmured, slept on.

There just arent enough words, are there? She looked back at the borrowed copy of Homers classic and shook her head, sitting back down on her heels. Homer couldnt have had the right words, either. Not all at once, at the right time. Was there some kind of secret mystical combination of a selection of words that were just right? Could all the words in all the languages be enough? She didnt know. Shed never tried. She wondered if she would need to invent a whole other language, in case all the others lacked what she needed. What words would she need then, and would the invented ones be sufficient?

Her eyes fell back on his sleeping form, silent now except for the sound of his breathing. What words had he used? She couldnt remember them, if they were spoken in the right way or if they were the right words at all. They couldnt have been the right words, because she would have remembered them, as she would remember the lyrics to a good song. Did he even try?

Every now and again, Jun had trouble comprehending Kens behavior. She attributed it, guiltily, to being far more used to Ken the Eagle than Ken the man. The Eagle was of dominant power, supercharged presence, command and strength. Ken the man was strength, too, but a different kind: he was almost never dominant, more than happy to be submissive to her, and his presence was absent until he touched her skin

And there it was.

She smiled, knowing now why she couldnt remember his words.

There hadnt been any.

His every action since the end of the war had been of perfect submission: he would always slip his hand underneath hers, never atop; he would walk apace with her, or slightly behind; if ever she snuck up on him from behind, he would lean back into her, let his head fall back onto her shoulder Yours. Underneath that was the fierce undying passion and strength he carried that ensured her that he would always protect her, would be the last to harm her in any way, and if ever he did Kami-sama help him. His every move and every touch spoke words that do not, that never have nor ever will exist, save one that did: whenever he helped her into her jacket, or hugged her goodnight, or captured her with that dark, dark, shade in his eyes that told her exactly what he wanted Mine. He declared Mine whenever he touched her, held her, Yours whenever he was touched, was held. Without ever using his voice.

She knew she was learning how to do that, too. Like when she touched him as she brushed the blanket down on him. And there were so many more ways to learn

She rose to her feet, bending over to drop a kiss on his forehead, the tip of her nose just caressing his hair as he continued to sleep, and went to retrieve her book from the armchair. Just as she was about to sink into it, she heard him.

You know, he almost-sighed, his voice soft and coarse, childlike and come-hither all at the same time, theres enough room here for another, if you want. When she looked at him, his eyes were still closed, and he looked as though he'd fallen asleep again, but the blanket was now thrown off the empty half of the sofa, and the cushion hed been holding on to now sat up against the armrest next to the one he used as a pillow.

Gestures. Words.

She strode back to the sofa, smiling, carefully stretching out alongside him, pulling the blanket over them both. Snuggling down, she felt him shift, turning on his side to face her, curving his form to embrace her with his entire body. The free hand that wasnt pinned between them he draped across her stomach. All the while, he remained in that space between awake and asleep, slowly drifting back towards the latter.

In the end, she threw her book onto the coffee table, watched it land next to his, and floated away to sleep with him.

She didnt need words.
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