Another story, yay! This is just a little romance piece that planted itself in my head and wouldn't leave me alone. :|
It can center around most hero-civilian relationships, but when I wrote it I didn't have a particular one in mind (hence why it is on Fictionpress instead of Fanfiction).
"Why should heroes fall in love?" She mused out loud, reading the words off the magazine in her right hand, her left clutched around a mug of hot coffee. Letting her eyes wander, she zeroed in on the man snoring on her couch on the opposite side of the living room, her lips twitching up into a fond smile.
"So they have a place to go," she answered herself. Although, as important as it was for a hero to have someone waiting for them when they finished up a busy day of 'work', there was more to it than that.
Maybe she'd realize the rest as she navigated her way through this relationship.
Another reason a hero should keep loved ones in his or her life came to her shortly after he was bleeding out on the closed lid of her toilet seat, his eyes trained on her face as she methodically cleaned his wounds.
"Does it hurt?" she asked softly, securing a gauze over the gash in his side. He smiled up at her softly, sweetly, reaching a hand up to trace the curve of her lips with his thumb.
"Not when you're here."
It was after she made him dinner, situated him on her bed, and was lying on the couch staring up at the ceiling when the words struck her.
Why should heroes fall in love?
"So they have someone trustworthy to patch them up," she whispered, her words drifting off into the darkness of her apartment, even though the thought still lingered in her mind weeks later.
"I have to go," he told her through the phone, his voice equal parts resigned and anxious.
Her lips dipped into a concerned frown. "What is it this time?"
"Robbery," he told her blandly, then, "I love you, and I'll see you later tonight: okay?"
She nodded, even though he couldn't see her. "Okay; I love you too. Be safe."
"Anything for you," she didn't have to be there to know he was smiling as he spoke. He hung up, and she sent up a silent prayer that he would be careful and return to her in one piece.
All she got in response to her plea was the sudden thought that this was another reason why heroes should fall in love.
"So they have someone to worry about them." She murmured thoughtfully, eyes examining her blank cell phone.
So they have someone to worry about, she added to herself silently several days later, watching as he hovered over her with concern shining in his eyes.
"Are you sure you're alright?" He asked for the umpteenth time, hands fluttering over the bruises littering her face and arms.
She smiled gently at him, entwining their fingers together. "I'm fine," she reassured him, "You know it was an accident; I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time." It was true; it had been pure lack of luck on her part that she had just so happened to be standing in the way of drunk cyclist (of all things) on her walk home from work – he couldn't have stopped it.
Nevertheless, as he rattled on and on about doing better and getting those dang cyclists to learn not to drive after or while drinking because didn't they know she could get hurt and nobody got away with hurting her, government be darned, she couldn't help a goofy grin at the thought that heroes strive for a mostly normal life, and what better way to hold a normal life than to have someone to worry about just like other families did?
Looking at the shattered mirror above her bathroom sink, she let out a slow breath. The wall itself was caved in, and the mirror was cracked in multiple places, all stemming from when he'd thrown his fist angrily against the glass. He would apologize once he came out of his grief, she knew, but she didn't mind – not really.
It came with the territory.
He'd been torn in between two situations: a police chase to hunt down a murderer, and a car accident in which one of the vehicles involved – a large SUV holding an entire family – had been on fire and close to exploding. He'd saved the family (a brilliant choice in her opinion), and as a result the murderer had gotten away.
She had known he'd be upset when she'd heard the story over the radio, but his immense anger still surprised her somewhat. Seeing as how she was his main support system, she'd done her best to comfort him, but not before he'd taken out her poor mirror.
He was in her bedroom now, probably lying on his back and staring at the ceiling with haunted eyes. Sucking in a deep, slow breath, she ran her hands over her face in an attempt to bring some normality back to her mind.
Opening the door to the bathroom, she stepped out, walking with silent steps to her bedroom and poking her head inside. Sure enough, he was splayed flat on his back, his hands in his hair as he glared a hole through the ceiling.
"What did the ceiling ever do to you?" she asked gently, teasing in her voice.
His eyes softened, his lips twitched upwards, and he let his hands fall away from his head to rest on the bed. "Nothing. But the mirror didn't do anything either, and it still got beat up," his voice was laced with regret, "I'm sorry about that."
Her heart swelled, because she knew he wasn't just apologizing for the mirror.
I'm sorry for letting you down.
I'm sorry for always burdening you with my problems.
I'm sorry I let him get away.
The bed dipped slightly when she placed herself next to him, running her hands through his hair tenderly. She angled her head downwards so her lips brushed against his ear as she spoke. "It's not your fault; you did the right thing."
His lips trembled, and she felt her heart breaking when he asked, "Then why do I feel like I didn't?"
"C'mere," she muttered, pulling him up so his head rested in the crook of her neck. The wetness from his eyes pooled against her shirt, clinging to her like a second skin as she urged him to confess his doubts.
Over his shoulder, she spotted the magazine from weeks ago still sitting on her bedside table.
Why should heroes fall in love?
With a sad smile, another answer planted itself in her mind.
So they have someone to comfort them.
The cheering was deafening, and she had to resist the urge to cover her ears to block it out. He stood on stage, costume on, hands by his side, head held high as the mayor spoke about how he'd saved the city. To everyone else, he looked calm and collected, but she could tell that wasn't true. It wasn't much, but she knew him well enough to see the slight twitching of his hands – the way he shifted his weight from foot to foot.
He wasn't used to the attention, and it was making him extremely uncomfortable. As the mayor went on about how the city was extremely grateful to him – how they could never repay him for everything he'd done – his eyes found hers, and she saw him relax as soon as she smiled at him. She was, in a sense, the only thing that tied him down to a 'normal' life. No matter how insane the rest of their life was: he had her, and she had him.
So why should heroes fall in love? She mused to herself as the crowd began chanting his name.
Heroes should fall in love, because even heroes (especially heroes) need an anchor.
She was his anchor, and she wore that badge just as proudly and just as silently as he wore the title of hero.
Well, there's that. I'm a little shocked there was hardly any angst in this; I didn't know I could write stuff that didn't contain angst.
Moving on: thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed!
Till next time,