Inspired by the “night-time talks” request by an anon. I know you asked for a scene set before they get together, but this is what came out of my pen.
Technically this could qualify as an LtD Extra, but I’m not sure if I’m going to call it one yet, as there are certain elements here I’m not sure I want to include in LtD “canon.”
Pretty lame that with all those creative requests you gave me, the first one I write is Tup.
FLUFF. NOTHING BUT FLUFF.
This was his favourite thing, Up decided, when it was just the two of them, sticky and wrapped up together in the darkness of their quarters, listening to the slowing of each other’s breathing, laughing for no reason other than happiness at being here together. He traced her silhouette in the starlight, the one so familiar to him even as it changed through the years. She was still a Ranger, still strong. He ran his fingers gently along the muscles of her arm, down to her wrist, threaded his fingers through hers, felt the slim gold band there that matched his own.
She sighed, and rested her dark head against his chest. The nights were theirs, and precious now.
She was still beautiful, though not as young as she once had been. Faint lines at the corner of her eyes showed that she had learned to laugh. Faded stretch marks on her breasts and stomach and the thin line crossing her lower abdomen marked her as a mother, the mother of his children. Children he’d never expected to have, motherhood something he’d never expected of her, but somehow the most natural thing in the galaxy for her to be, this fierce warrior of a woman in his arms.
“Do you remember,” she said now, looking up at him. “When you first knew - when you knew that it was you and me?”
He ran his thumb along her cheek. So she was feeling sentimental tonight. “I think - I think my heart figured it out a long time before my brain did.”
She smiled, the way she only did for him. “So when did your heart figure it out?”
Up knew the answer right away, the image of it had never left him. “When I first came home from the Eagle. When I saw you in the gym, doing your kata.”
She pulled back. “Really?”
“I’d thought of nothing but you for three years. That should have been enough to clue me in. But when I saw you there, a woman grown, like some goddess of war-“
“Don’t start getting poetic on me now,” she said, pushing him over and leaning on her elbow. “I just wasn’t a little kid anymore, that’s all.”
“You were never a little kid to me,” he said softly. She smiled, and traced patterns on his chest. The sensation of her fingers changed as they moved from his human side to his robot one.
“So when did your brain know?”
“It should have known when I thought you were going to die on your rookie mission, or on that Graali moon. It should have known when we danced on Europa, or when I found you sitting in your ruined village on Earth. It should have known by how jealous I was of-“
He stopped, and her eyes grew sad.
“I knew all along, Taz, but I knew for sure in the sand on that beach at Zama. I was going to tell you that night, but you fell asleep.”
She blinked. “I fell asleep?”
“You did. And you were just so cute I couldn’t bear to wake you.”
She smacked him. “You could have woken me up for that, you big idiota.”
“Well, it worked out in the end, didn’t it?” he said, pulling her closer. “So - when did you know?”
“I had a crush on you forever,” she said, poking him. “Like any other adolescente tonto.”
“What, you?” he said, laughing. “A silly teenage girl?”
“I did, even if I wouldn’t admit it. And it didn’t go away like I hoped it might. It was at the ball, though, on Europa, that kiss-“
“That was a good kiss,” he agreed.
“Stop making fun of me! That’s when I really knew I was in trouble. But it wasn’t until Qo’noS that I knew you felt the same.”
They both fell silent, thinking of the aftermath of that day, the day that had changed everything.
“Stop,” Up said, pulling her to him, touching her nose lightly with his own. “You’re feeling guilty again.”
She opened her mouth, then closed it again. “But-“
“We love each other, Taz,” Up said, cupping her face. “That’s all that’s ever mattered.”
She kissed him then, her kisses still as full of fire as they ever had been, and he let himself forget everything else in her, his wife, his lover, his best friend.
The nights were theirs.