Theme #31: Sweet
Word Count: 426
World: Alternate Universe
Genre(s): Romance, Fluff
They’re standing in a small clearing, truffula trees all around them and his cottage almost half a mile away. If he listens carefully, Once-ler can hear twigs snapping and wings fluttering not to far ahead. He wonders briefly how many bar-ba-loots and swomi-swans have seen fit to eavesdrop on this moment despite his constant requests for alone time with Audrey. He vows to withhold all pancakes and marshmallows for the next two days as he pulls a lump of pink cloth out of his bag with shaking hands.
He holds it out by the ends, so it can unfurl and reveal itself to be a thneed. Not just any thneed, of course, but one he spent an entire week painstakingly making, that he’d wanted it to be absolutely perfect. Not that he never puts the same care and hard work into a regular thneed, this one was just special. It was unlike any other that he’d made or would ever make again, even though it was, by all appearances, just an average thneed.
“This is for you,” he says to the young woman before him. “I made it… well, I made it specially for you, see?”
He turns it over to the spot where the tags go. Right underneath, stitched in with thread a darker than normal shade of pink, is her name in big letters. He sees her mouth move, pronouncing the syllables as her fingers brush against the fabric. No doubt she’s already seen the tiny tree he’d put in beside it. That had been a last minute addition; Once-ler finished the Y in her name and leaned back to examine his work. He caught sight of the tree in his peripheral vision, remembered how much she loved them, and was back to work before he knew it.
That was over a day ago, but it felt like much longer. Once-ler waited patiently for Audrey to say something, though this was getting harder to do the longer she kept her eyes down and her expression unreadable.
When her mouth curled into a toothy grin, Once-ler felt his heart skip a beat, and when she threw her arms around his neck, any idea that she might not have liked it melted away.
“Thank you,” she says, looking straight up at him. “This is so sweet of you.”
Once-ler hears high-pitched ‘awwws’ all around them, but doesn’t care enough to be annoyed anymore. He gives a sigh, happy, content, and very much wishing that she’d let go of his arms so he could hug her back.