you never speak.

well, you almost never speak. you don't talk about anything that matters, always just yes and please and don't stop and none of it actually counts as talking. but then, you're pretty sure you like it best this way, lying in her bed on your back, your hair a sweaty mess and the remains of her glitter smeared on you, while she lies beside you and blows smoke rings up at the ceiling.

everything's different with her.

you can't imagine lying in bed beside him, watching smoke drift upwards, fading slowly into nothing as it does so. you can't imagine this sort of silence, where everything's alright without it not actually being alright, but you both know that it's better than talking, so you keep quiet. you can't ever imagine silence with him, really.

if you want him, you should chase him, she says.

she knows about wanting. about love. about being chased, but not chasing.

-

he runs, of course, because that's how these things go, and it's not like you mind chasing him. not too much, anyway, but you're slowly starting to get tired of it. you just want to stop for a bit, rest, catch your fucking breath, and you're fairly certain that's how you ended up in her bed again, with her trailing kisses on your jawline, down your chest.

(you can't catch your breath when you're with her either, with kisses that leave you breathless, but you mind it less, because it doesn't make your heart pound too hard or fast and her fingers don't feel like fire licking across your skin, only soft and maddeningly slow.

sometimes you can hear her heart, when you nose her hair away from her neck and kiss the bare skin there and it smells like soap and sweat and you can taste salt on your tongue and you thinks about kissing him, who always tastes of fear and vodka and whose skin isn't freckled and whose eyes aren't as indifferent and whose hair isn't dyed ruby red.)

and sometimes you accidentally sigh his name and sometimes you say hers or a combination of the two, but most of the time you're just quiet.

-

it's not hard to find her in a club tonight. to not look at him, moving behind her. to focus on her handshipseyes, the way she grinds against him. your legs entwined with hers, with his, with. with. her nails in your shoulders, his hands on your waist. (you can pretend, like this, pretend it's something else entirely, something not.) you slide your fingers through her hair, grounding yourself. there are lights in your eyes, and voices sliding like prayer from all corners of the room. listen to her moan, to him breathe, to your own mumbled muttered pleas. and stop thinking.

and forget.

this. is progress. you fall asleep with him at your back, with her breasts soft against your chest. in the dark, your bodies fit together like truth.

they're both gone when you wake up.

a/n: the (failed) product of another challenge. the prompt was "poetry, must include the words little, ruby and freckles." hey, at least i managed two of three, right? (or four, if you count the prose-instead-of-poetry thing.)