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secret histories

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"A story is a story is a story," she says. "You don't need to know mine. You already know enough, don't you?"

"You don't need to know mine," he replies, quietly. "But you already do, because you decided to study me even after you were free. You didn't have to do that."

"I did once," she says. "After that I wanted to know more. I wanted to know what they weren't telling me. I had to. So I learned."

"You still don't know everything about me," he corrects, not harshly. "But I want you to, and I want to know what you're not telling me. You're still so guarded with me, and I love you. I want to know more of you. Please?"

Her eyes are more green than grey, and he can see tears. They won't fall. They never fall. It reminds him of the first time he married her - even if it wasn't exactly real, it was real enough to them.

He wonders if she remembers much of that day.

She has so many borders. He does, too.

"I -" he pauses. "River, do you want to see? Can I?" He lifts a gentle hand to her temple, to show her what he's thinking, and strokes her skin with long fingers.

"We've been so many places, seen so many people, done so many things. I know there are things we still can't know about each other - secrets and spoilers - but ... we can do this, can't we?" His eyes hold hers. "Just create a door in your mind," he says. "That way you can hide the things that I can't know, and I can still see the things that are too hard to tell me - and I'll do the same."

She smiles, tremulously, and reaches out to touch him in exactly the same way.

Her mind is warm against his, dark blue shadows and pale gold lights. Comforting. It's like a whole new world to explore, and he hopes she feels the same about his.

I love you.