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you and me versus the universe

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“Glimmer?”

Her name is muffled as she captures his lips in another hungry kiss.

“Hmm?”

Bow tries to pull away, but Glimmer draws him back in with the tantalising swipe of her tongue against the seam of his mouth, seeking entrance. They groan as their tongues meet, sliding against each other. He’s always had trouble denying her anything.

After the post-war celebrations had ended last night, they had both naturally gravitated towards Glimmer's room, collapsing dead onto the bed after a shower and changing into their pajamas. They had woken up in each others’ arms, Bow waking Glimmer up with soft, tender kisses.

Which had then led to...this. Glimmer straddling Bow on her bed, both of them kissing like their lives depended on it. Her hips gently grind into his stomach.

Oh, stars, that's new. And so good.

A moan escapes from her lips involuntarily. Bow suddenly breaks the kiss with a gasp, Glimmer whimpering in disappointment. A gentle hand at her sternum prevents her from chasing his lips.

"Glimmer, wait-"

She finds him panting slightly, eyes still closed.

"Bow?" she asks, a bit breathlessly. She feels her heart drop slightly despite the desire still coursing through her. Damn it. She's definitely gone and ruined it somehow, hasn't she?

He finally opens his eyes, swallowing hard. He must notice the apprehension on her face, because he flashes her a reassuring smile, giving her hips a light squeeze. "As much as I was- I am enjoying this, we're going to be really late for the meeting if we don't start getting ready within the next fifteen minutes," he finally says with a wry smile.

Glimmer can't help but chuckle in relief, rolling her eyes slightly. "Oh. I thought- I don't know. I thought I'd done something wrong."

His eyes widen. "No, no, nothing wrong!" His cheeks are now tinted a pretty light pink, and Glimmer can't hold back a giggle, preening a little.

He clears his throat. "It's just, well, you know...I think- maybe...umm...damn it." He squeezes his eyes shut, cringing a bit at his ineloquence. Glimmer can’t help but smile fondly at him tripping over his words, and gently strokes the back of his head until he opens his eyes to look at her. She bites back a chuckle at the forlorn look on his face. Instead, she gives him a chaste, tender kiss, nuzzling his nose as she pulls back in the hopes that that calms him down somewhat.

He takes a deep breath, and is finally able to speak, his voice gentle. "I just want the first time we...get together like that to be...special. To be nice, you know? You deserve something nice and special.” His hands stroke gently where they rest on her hips. “I mean, this part of our relationship is still new, and I don’t want to rush it and do something wrong, you know? I don’t want to mess this up."

Glimmer feels her heart melt at that, despite having wanted to jump his bones just minutes ago. She wouldn't have expected anything less from him. Her sweet, sweet, Bow.

An idea crosses her mind.

"Let's go on a date then. Just some time together, the two of us. We'll make it something nice and special," she can't help but echo his words, throwing him a cheeky wink.

He laughs at that, before shifting to take hold of her hands that were around his neck. "When are you thinking?"

"Hmm...well, it's a bit hard to say, given that nothing's really been settled yet. How about two days from now, at around 7? We can go out for dinner somewhere, and then a long night walk?"

He nods eagerly. "I'd like that."

Their plans are sealed with a kiss.

--

Two days later, however, things were very much still not settled yet.

Glimmer lets out a sigh as she checks the clock in the meeting room, and sees that it is 7.15 in the evening. As much as she would like to adjourn the meeting, they are currently discussing urgent matters that cannot be delayed, for some reason or the other.

As Netossa and Perfuma argue about yet another detail, she catches Bow looking at her. She throws him what she hopes is an apologetic look, and he flashes her a resigned smile in return. She is starting to tune in to the argument again, when she feels her tracker pad vibrate with an incoming message.

Sorry about tonight :((( Let's push it to tomorrow? -B

It's okay, it's not your fault. If only the two of them would stop arguing about all these little details!!! But anyway sure, sounds good :) -G

Gr8, it's a d8 m8! Haha I love you <3 -B

LMAO that's so dumb love you too <3 -G

--

The next day, Glimmer's heart skips a beat as she sees an incoming video call from Bow on her tracker pad. He'd been stationed at Salineas the whole day, leading the rebuilding efforts with Mermista and Adora while she had stayed at the castle to settle the administrative matters.

A particular highlight of her day had been his afternoon video call, where she had been treated to the sight of him all hot and sweaty, his muscles flexing temptingly in the afternoon sun.

She glances at the clock. 6.50pm. He must be reaching home soon.

Any such hopes are dashed, however, the moment she answers the call and sees the Salineas Sea Gate behind him.

"Hey," she greets him with considerably less enthusiasm than that afternoon.

"Hey, I'm so sorry, I'm not sure why but for some reason the gate isn't functioning the way it's supposed to. I'm thinking it probably has to do with the restored magic, but I'll need to run more tests to make sure we didn’t mess it up somehow," he replies, disappointment clear on his face.

She tries to hold back a sigh. "It's alright, Bow. Ensuring Salineas’ protection is much more important right now. We can try again tomorrow. No big deal." She shrugs, though she’s not sure if she succeeds in seeming nonchalant. "Now, go make use of your smart science-y brain or whatever," she finishes with a smile, trying to get him to cheer up.

He laughs lightly, and she takes it as a win. "Okay, I'll see you later tonight. Don't wait up for me, okay?"

"I'll try. Good luck! I love you."

"Thanks," he grins. "Love you too."

As the screen fades back to black, Glimmer resists the urge to slam the pad down onto the table. She almost growls in frustration at how the universe seemed determined to ruin their plans at every turn.

Instead, she pulls a stack of paperwork closer and dives into it - anything to distract her from the emptiness she feels without Bow by her side that evening.

--

The next day, she feels her heart start to soar as everybody begins filing out of the meeting room at a quarter to 7. She meets Bow's gaze and finds an adorable sparkle in his eyes as he stands up eagerly.

Just as he's walking towards her, however, she catches sight of one of the palace guards rushing in her direction.

Her heart starts pounding. No, no, no! This can't be happening. She resolutely turns away, hoping that the guard would just rush past her. No such luck.

"Your Majesty!"

This time she does sigh, her eyes filling up with tears unexpectedly. Was it too much for the universe to just give her one night with Bow? The war was over! She should be able to take it easy! She wasn’t asking for much, damn it.

She surreptitiously swipes at her eyes, hoping nobody noticed, before she turns to the guard.

"Yes?" The guard winces at her dead tone.

"Um, I'm so sorry Your Majesty. One of the ambassadors of Thaymor wishes to speak with you."

"Now? Can this wait until tomorrow?"

"Uh I'm not sure, ma'am. They sounded very panicked on the call. They said to reach you post-haste."

A battle is raging inside of Glimmer. As much as she would like to just tell them to screw off and call her tomorrow, they had all agreed that they would try to keep business to business hours, now that there wasn't the threat of a war hanging over their heads. If they were calling this late, it must mean that something truly urgent was up.

She feels Bow coming to stand next to her, and turns to him. "Bow, I'm-"

"Hey, it's okay. I heard, it sounds pretty important. You should go get it," he says with a gentle smile. He gives her arm a quick squeeze, before exiting the room.

The guard stands there, shuffling her feet nervously.

"Ma'am, I'm so sorry-"

"It's fine. Just patch me through."

The sooner she gets this started, the faster she can end it.

------

Nearly an hour and a half later, Glimmer finally dismisses the guard, thanking her for her assistance. She gives the guard as sincere a smile as she can muster to make up for her crabby mood all evening. She stands, pressing her hands onto the table and closing her eyes. She takes a moment to focus on everything she’s feeling.

Her head is pounding, a migraine having snuck up on her somehow during the meeting. She knows that every step she takes will send a painful pulse through her head. Her lower back is aching somehow. She's hungry, her stomach roiling in protest, having eaten nothing since lunch eight and a half hours ago. Huh, that might be the cause of the migraine.

Inside, she feels all scrambled somehow. She's a jumble of emotions and thoughts, all bubbling just beneath the surface, making her skin tight and threatening to boil over anytime soon.

She curses the universe yet again. She's kind of really hating the universe right now. For her messed up date, for her headache, for making her feel like she just really wants to shout and groan right now.

She takes a deep breath, holds it for a while before releasing it slowly, imagining that she’s expelling all the frustration. She does this a few more times, and when all is done she just feels...tired. Like her body is an empty shell moving on autopilot.

She opens her eyes, blinking at the brightness of the meeting room, and contemplates what to do next - shower, bed, or dinner? Even thinking about it seems difficult, and eventually she settles on a quick shower first. Maybe the warm water could restore some life back into her so she had enough energy to grab a quick dinner afterwards. At the very least, it would get rid of the grime of the day, and she'd probably feel better anyhow.

She teleports to her room, and stops short at the sight before her. She rubs her eyes, wondering if her brain is somehow so drained that she's hallucinating.

The lights in her room have been dimmed, and glowing lamps are scattered around a picnic mat on the floor. Some throw pillows have been arranged neatly on the ground to form some sort of floor-sofa, and there are dishes of food sitting on what looks like thick black coasters. Plates, spoons, forks, and glasses are neatly stacked on one corner of the mat. There's an empty small vase stands next to the mat, a few flowers (that looked like they came from the palace gardens) lying next to it.

Bow turns around from where he's fiddling with one of the lamps, and sees her standing by the doors.

"Oh hey, you're done!" he exclaims as a wide smile crosses his face. "I thought I had a bit more time." He rubs the back of his neck sheepishly.

"Anyway," he continues. "I know we said we wanted to go somewhere nice and special, and so I thought..."

His words fade out of her consciousness as Glimmer takes in the sight before her. The sight of Bow standing in front of what he'd probably spent the last hour and a half preparing. She can't help but give him a fond smile as she thinks about just how lovely he is, how thoughtful, how caring. How she loves him so much. How lucky she is to have him. She doesn't deserve all this.

The image of him before her suddenly blurs as her eyes fill with tears.

"Glimmer? Are you okay?"

Her face crumples, and then she's crying. She buries her face in her hands and she feels him coming forward to wrap her in a warm hug. Her arms snake around his waist, holding him to her tight.

"Hey, what's wrong?" he asks in a gentle voice, one hand coming up to stroke her hair.

She shakes her head where it is pressed to his chest. "Happy tears," she manages to choke out.

"Oh...kay?" comes Bow's skeptical answer.

She can't help but chuckle wetly at that, swiping at the wet trails on her face as she pulls back to look at him.

She shakes her head again. "I mean, nothing's wrong. Everything's amazing. I'm very, very touched by your efforts and I've been miserable the past few days and I'm very tired now so it's making me cry. But they're happy tears." She finishes with a wide grin, and a sniffle. "I can't believe you would do something like this for me. For us."

He gives her a tender smile at that. "Well, I had some free time tonight after the meeting, and I thought ‘Instead of postponing our date for the third time in a row, why don't we bring our nice and special date to us?' And so I tried. I hope it’s okay?"

She hugs him close again, resting her head on his shoulder and soaking in the warmth of his body against hers. "Thank you."

"You're welcome." He gives her a quick peck on her temple, making her smile. "Are you sure you're okay to do this tonight though? You said you were tired just now - we can always do this again some other time if you want,' he continues.

She has the best boyfriend in the world. She shakes her head again. "Nope. Tonight is perfect." She grins.

"Okay. But if at any time you get too tired and want to go to bed just let me know, okay?"

"Okay." She pulls back to look at him again. "But for now, let's get started on the amazing food you've managed to snag from the kitchen. I'm starving."

Right on cue, her stomach gives a loud growl, making them both laugh.

He leads her to sit on the makeshift floor-sofa, and starts plating up some food for her.

She gasps at the heat of the plate when he passes it to her. "Wait, how did you keep the food so warm? I was stuck in the meeting for so long!"

He turns to her, his eyes dancing. "Are you giving me permission to geek out about the portable hotplates I built the other day?"

She bursts out laughing at that. "So they're hotplates? I thought they were, like, some sort of huge coasters!"

"Well...similar concept."

"Anyway, yes, you have my permission to geek out about your genius invention."

The look on his face is akin to that of a child in a toy store. Glimmer giggles as he presses a quick kiss to her lips and launches into a detailed account of the hotplate's history.

Glimmer always loves listening to Bow talk about his inventions, even though she makes fun of him for it sometimes. He gets a glow in his eyes that's absolutely adorable and heartwarming. Not for the first time, she marvels at his cleverness, his creativity, and ingenuity.

As she savours the food and listens, her heart suddenly swells with emotion. She's still not entirely sure what she did to deserve him. All she knows is that she's so lucky, so blessed, and so thankful that the fates decided to place them side by side. For the rest of time, hopefully.

She smiles. Maybe the universe wasn't so bad to them after all.