(1939-05-18) Morning Mists
Details for Morning Mists
Summary: Keenan surprises Rue before she even has a chance to have her morning tea
Date: 18 May, 1939
Location: Keenan's flat
Related: Come Home Lass

Veruca is going to have to be explaining why it took her all night to retrieve whatever it was her mother requested, because after waking from the sated doze of their first lovemaking in a year, Keenan snuck downstairs and raided his sister’s ice box. He brought up enough food for them to have a picnic that restored their energy, enough so that they explored each other once more, rediscovering their love long into the night.

The missing letters were discussed again, as it appeared that someone had tried to separate them. Although theories were considered, in the end, it didn’t matter as much, since the goal seemed to have backfired. Spending months thinking the other lost forever had actually reinforced how incomplete they were without each other, and how deep their love ran in their veins.

Although he’d never tried to keep anything secret from Rue before (except for Christmas presents and the like that everyone keeps secret), when Keenan woke, he slipped out quietly, spelling his bedroom door with a quietus spell so as not to wake his sleeping love. Now he stands at his balcony, his gaze drawn across the rooftops as the sun’s rays pull a mist from the wet slate roofs of Diagon Alley. The door is open, his tall, lean silhouette leaning one shoulder against the frame as he sips his morning tea. His green robe is loosely wrapped over the pajama pants, and the chill of stone doesn’t seem to bother his bare feet.

It’s not any noise that awakens Veruca, but rather the absence of it. And the absence of the person that’s supposed to be in bed with her, snoring lightly. Still, she takes a moment before rising, turning her head to breathe in the scent of Keenan on the bedclothes. It brings a smile to her lips, and a contented sigh. Slipping naked from the bed, she pauses, before stepping to Keenan’s closet. About to grab one of his shirts to wear, she stops, head tilting as she sees, at the very end of the rod, something dark blue hanging well below any shirt hem. Reaching out, Rue pulls her robe off the hanger, pulling it on.

She pads from the room in search of her ginger enigma, stepping quietly, finding him in his musings at the balcony door. Stepping up behind him, her arms slip around his waist, chin rests on his shoulder. “It got cold in bed alone,” she murmurs softly.

His arm comes to rest over hers as it circles his waist, and his cheek tilts towards her seeking a kiss. “I guess ma warmin’ charms didna fool ye,” he murmurs, regret at being caught out. Or, it would be regret if it weren’t for the twinkle that can be seen in the green eyes that have come back into focus, even from the sideways angle.

He turns in her arms to lean his back against the doorway, setting down his tea so he can wrap her properly in his own. “Sure an’ye slept well until it got cold?” It’s amazing the difference one night can make in a man. Although the ever-present stubble has not been shaved, there’s a lighter expression around the eyes, the lines seem to pull more to the sides rather than down, the dimples more ready to crease his cheeks as he leans down to kiss her forehead.

“No charm could possibly match having you there next to me,” Veruca chides lightly. She moves as he does, withdrawing her arm for only as long as it takes him to turn so she can step in closer to him, not stopping until she bumps lightly against him. With one hand taking light purchase on his robe, the other lifts, fingers caressing lightly along his jaw. It may take days for her to get over the feeling that this is a dream, or she may never actually get over it. After months of shutting herself down again, it’s liberating to let the feelings out again, to revel in the joy that simply being near Keenan brings her.

Her touch is slow, luxuriating in the scratch of stubble. “I did sleep well. It feels like the first time in years that I have. And did you?”

“Hmmmm, better than ever,” he murmurs, his nose breathing in the scent of her hair as he uses every sense to make sure she’s real and not an apparition that will be disappearing with the mist rising from the roofs around them.

Once assured that she is, in fact, solid flesh, he leans his head back against the frame.
“I meant everythin’ I said last night, lass,” he tells her quietly. One hand lifts to trap a lock of hair between his fingers, his green eyes following the dark line as he lightly draws out the curl before he tucks it back behind her ear. “I wasnae just sayin’ it in tha heat o’tha moment, or just bein’ carried away because I’ve nae seen ye in too long.” His hand shifts to curl knuckles under her chin. “I love ye as much as I ever have… perhaps more… an’ I want ye tae stay here with me.”

Veruca’s eyes are soft as she look up into Keenan’s, her touch lingering on his skin. The desire to stay in contact with him is almost a need after so long apart. It’s like rain after a drought. “What would your family think?” she teases. “I think your sisters might be alright, but your parents?” She’s not even getting into the whole family, just the ones she assumes are still in London and the heads of state.

“Mmm, ma family,” Keenan muses, as the subject is brought up. He leans his head back against the solid stone, looking up as his hand rests at the back of her neck, now, twirling in the long, dark hair. “That is a problem. Ye know ma father would never approve o’me livin’ with a woman unwed.” He purses his lips and after long consideration, he gives a shake of his head. “There’s nothin’ fer it, lass. Ye’re just goin’ tae have tae marry me tae make Tha Auld Man happy.” Of course, making Keenan happy doesn’t come into the equation at all… it’s just all for his father.

There’s a smirk at Keenan’s display of pondering the situation, but his suggestion sees one brow arching. “Hmmm… well, I would hate to be the cause of family strife. And I do like your father, it would be terrible to fall out of favour with him.” Following his lead, she also pauses to give the matter proper consideration. “I suppose it would be the best thing all the way around,” she finally agrees softly.

Keenan lifts his chin, head tilting slightly to the side as he looks down to her. “Ye sure about that, lass? I wouldnae want tae push ye inta somethin’ ye may regret.” Though the words are light, in a usual teasing banter that they share, the eyes hold a more serious gleam to them as he waits for her answer.

Veruca pauses again, looking away from Keenan finally, and out over the balcony, taking in the cobbled street below. After nearly a minute she looks back, serene and composed. “Ask me properly and I’ll answer properly.”

There’s a quick flash of green, perhaps something smug as she makes her request. The hand at the back of her neck slips down into the pocket of his robe. “I had had… every intention,” he sighs and looks over the roof tops, “of courtin’ ye properly. Takin’ our time, an’ perhaps findin’ a way tae win ye’re family over.” His left eye winks shut in a momentary wince of accepting the truth on that score. He returns his gaze to hers, and a sardonic tug twists the left side of his mouth down. “But I think we both know, now, that’s nae likely tae ever happen.”


Taking a deep breath, he removes his hand from his pocket, holding a small, wooden box, the shine of the wood coming more from age and many hands rather than any lacquer or polish. “Tá mo chroí a thabhairt” he says reverently, the words being the charm that opens the box. Nestled in a bed of green velvet is a ring, rows of tiny diamonds woven together in that simple, yet intricate manner that only Celts can achieve in their art.

Turning his hand so that she can see the ring, he displays it to Veruca, his own eyes studying the curves and sparkle nestled in the velvet. “Tha MacDiarmarda family goes back as far as any other pureblood family, an this ring has been in tha family just as long, tae tha wives o’ first born sons from the first MacDiarmarda.” A little sigh of humor escapes him. “Ma kept it fer me, even though I was sure I’d never have use of it, but mothers have a wisdom o’their own.”

He looks to Veruca, now, the green meeting blue and holding steady. “It’s said tha box will nae open if tha words are nae spoken truthfully.” Shifting to maneuver a slight space between them, he takes her right hand, lifting it palm up between them. “Will ye take tha ring lass?” he asks, for once the banter erased from his gaze, and the following words hold a weight of tradition in them. “An mbeidh tú páirt a ghlacadh do chroí agus do shaol le mé féin agus mianach?” He pauses, then translates in his most correct English, “will ye join yer heart and yer life with myself and mine?”

Veruca speaks up gently when Keenan brings up her family. “If they can’t accept what makes me happy, then they can’t accept me. I would rather give up a thousand relatives than the one man I truly love.”

A breath catches in her throat as the box is produced, and blue eyes raise from it to Keenan’s face. She watches him as he speaks the words to open the box, gaze not dropping again until he’s tilting the box for her to see the contents. The ring is elegant in it’s simplicity, and the deep meaning behind it makes it even more beautiful.

She looks up at the same time he does, eyes catching to hold as he takes her hand. If there’s one thing that can be accurately said about Veruca, it’s that she’s not prone to emotional demonstrations. Still, her eyes gleam in the morning light with the depth of feeling they share. She pulls up a phrase learned long ago, from the book Keenan gave her. “Go dtí deireadh an am.” Until the end of time.

If he needed any more proof that she had never forgotten him or stopped thinking about him, her words erase any doubts that might have still been trying to worm their way into his happiness. The warmth of his smile that comes from his heart glows in his eyes when he lays the box on her hand so that he can take the ring from its nest. Spelled with ancient charms, the ring will fit perfectly on Veruca’s finger when he takes her left hand to slide it on. Lifting her hand, he lays a lingering kiss on her knuckles, right over the finger that now bears the ring of MacDiarmarda.

“I don’t think I need tae tell ye that ye’ve made me tha happiest man alive,” he murmurs, his forehead coming to rest on hers. “But I shall be tellin’ ye anways. Perhaps every day,” he warns her, his hand coming up once more to the back of her neck as he tilts his head to find her lips for the first kiss of the morning.

Everything about the ring is perfect, it feels like it was made for just this moment throughout it’s storied history. She tilts her head to rub her nose against his lightly, and she nods. “Tell me every day and then some. I love you, Keenan. I’ll never be able to say it enough, or show it to you.” She steps back in for the kiss, deftly slipping the wooden box back into his robe pocket, before both arms go up, around his neck. She deliberately turns their heads as she holds her hand out, so that she can admire the glitter of diamonds around her finger. The kiss is sweet, but short as she pulls back with an amused smile. “It’s just so pretty.”

Keenan gives a smile as he looks at the bejeweled hand. “‘T is,” he agrees. “Truth be told, I had nae idea what it looks like until I opened the box.” His arms tighten a little around her waist, resting his cheek sideways against her temple. “Ma grandmother was gone even before Da began courtin’ Ma. Tha ring had already been placed in tha box, an’ o’course Da bought tha ring he gave Ma when he asked her to marry him.” He chuckles, turning to place a brief kiss to her temple. “I admit, I’m fair relieved it nae turned out tae be somethin’ hideous, as some ancient things often are.”

The newly spangled hand drifts from it’s admiring distance to stroke Keenan’s cheek, the touch soft and affectionate. “I will always treasure it, just as I will always treasure you.” Amusement tugs her lips as she speculates, “So now we’ll have to work on having a boy, so there’s another generation to hand the ring down to.” She’d never considered having children at all until she met Keenan, and had thrown the idea away entirely again in the past few months. But it’s interesting to take out and brush off, and imagine little ones with dark hair and green eyes…. or maybe red hair and blue eyes.

Letting his arms loosen his grip slightly, the healer’s knuckles languidly brush the small of her back in a soothing and reassuring motion of protection. An answering smile to her words brings a thought of responding in kind, as all the treasure he’ll need in his arms at this moment. While the words are forming on his lips, she moves on to a speculation that brings all other thoughts to a halt..

In something of a paradox, while Keenan had decided quite awhile ago that he wished to spend the rest of his life with this one woman, he had not thought beyond securing that goal to what comes with a lifetime together. Having long ago accepted himself as an uncle, that would not have any children of his own, the talk of having a boy, having a /son/ of his own, not a nephew, is a thunderbolt from the blue; leaving him almost dumbstruck with wonder at the idea. His hands still, eyes closing as he turns inwards to process this entirely new, and almost overwhelming, realization that leaving behind his solitary existence means not only a wife, but a family.

She had thought it would be a speculation that would get an entirely different reaction, with his close family and how good Keenan himself is with the children of his siblings. Veruca takes a moment to watch the ginger Healer, studying his face with his closed eyes and thoughtfully pressed lips. “It’s not something we have to worry about right away,” she says, her voice quiet and now touched with uncertainty. “Or ever, if you’d thought not to. I just thought…” … that it would be what you wanted, goes unvoiced. She switches her own reasoning mid sentence, saying instead, in soft earnest, “You are all that I need in my life to be happy until the end of my days.”

With his eyes still closed, Keenan raises a finger to her lips, finding them unerringly. He pulls her in close, tucking her head under his chin, and wraps her so tightly that she can feel the beat of his heart as it enlarges to make room for the possibilities she’s opened up for him. When he finally responds, it’s first to tilt back her head so that his lips can take hers slowly, but thoroughly, until she’s forgotten everything but the two of them.

Then he finally opens his eyes, the green smoldering with a deeper combination of emotions than could be put to words. “Lass,” he says thickly. “I never allowed myself tae even dream or hope that someday I could have a family o’ma own. I had always known ma lot in life tae be one o’contentin’ myself with ma brother’s children, an’ someday my sister’s children, but never any for maself.” He smoothes his thumb along her cheek, gazing into the deep blue eyes. “I never allowed maself tae realize how much I wished for ma own family.”

Gently hushed by the press of one finger, Veruca steps into Keenan’s embrace, pressing closely to him, listening to the beating of his heart as well as feeling it. She only moves enough to accept the tender kiss, having to draw in a breath to replace what he’s taken from her, and looks up into his eyes. Her smile comes slowly and she nuzzles toward the caress of his thumb. “But you realize now,” she says softly, not really a question, because she can see the answer in deep green eyes. Then an impish light shines at him. “I think we’ll make wonderful babies. We should practice. Often.” Her hands slip into his robe, finding warm skin below.

Keenan does realize now; a slow nod being the only emphasis that he will add to the words already spoken by his gaze. He opens his arms to let her touch slide underneath the fuzzy green material, but his hands tighten about her waist to draw her hips in tight to his own. “We may need lots of practice,” he chuckles, the agreement shifting the solemn green to a wicked emerald spark that indicates a willingness to start practicing this very moment.

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