From Past to Promise

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Title: From Past to Promise
Author: Doctor Xadium
Date Written: 05/12/2021
Continuity SSEU Earth 1337-A
Time Placement May 11 / 12, 2021
Synopsis Paisley urges Exeter to get past the past for their own future.
Rating PG-13
Additional Notes N/A

They lay together in bed, snuggled close, half-asleep but still struggling with a groggy sort of wakefulness.

She was still awake, staring somewhat intently at the ceiling. He noticed, reaching out and stroking her silken black hair.

"What's wrong, Paise?" Exeter asked. He felt her grip his hand in response.

"I'm frightened," she replied.

This took him aback. Paisley was generally very outwardly confident and didn't easily reveal her vulnerabilities to anyone, even him. Not even when they were this close.

"Of what?" He asked carefully, so as not to cause her to withdraw.

"Of what I see in your soul when you let your walls down at night," she whispered in reply, not looking at him. "When we're both asleep and our thoughts and dreams and souls mix freely and we might as well be the same person."

Taking a moment's pause, she continued. "In the back of your mind, you're always stuck in the past, wondering about 'what if'," she said, voice trembling a little. "'What if I did this', or 'what if I did that'. Pondering the small decisions and choices that could have spun your life off into completely different trajectories. 'What if I'd taken a chance with this person', or 'what if I'd done something differently with that person', or 'what if I'd never come to Earth.'"

Her grip on his hand tightened subtly. "All the links in the chain of your lives that led you to me would be undone by even one of those changes... and you and I both know there are beings in this world who could break those links with just a thought."

Exeter murmured slightly. "They're just thought experiments run by my subconscious, love. I don't even think about them, really. And they're about times so long ago that they were literally lives lived by a different person."

"Still!" Paisley protested. "They take up a pretty significant portion of your thoughts. It's a little beyond a mere curiousity... and I'm afraid that one day... somehow..."

She turned on her side to look at him now, her purple eyes almost black in the darkness. "That one day you might end up tugging on one of those threads and we... we would never..."

He hugged her tightly, pulling her to him. "Love, that won't even happen," he said firmly. "Right here, right now, with you, is where I want to be."

I'm sure you felt that way with the others, too. Paisley didn't have to say it. That unspoken thought weighed upon them for a leaden moment.

She nestled in close, pressing to him almost urgently. He could sense the fear in her. Most people were afraid of ghosts, or money problems, but Paisley, Exeter noted, got worked up over the fundamental existential paradoxes and pitfalls of multiversal existence.

"What can I do to ease this fear?" He asked softly, running a hand through her hair. "You know, we still haven't set a date for the wedding," he mused out loud.

Paisley took in a deep breath. "I don't want a wedding," she replied. "I want your promise," she softly whispered in his ear.

"Your promise... your covenant with me in lieu of a wedding ceremony that from tonight on, you'll bury your multiple pasts and just focus on the new beginning we forged together from that moment three years eleven months, seven days, five hours, seven minutes and eighteen seconds when we first confessed to each other on the couch in my sitting room and..."

Exeter tightened his grip on her hand, always impressed by how precisely she kept track of their time together. It was almost Time Lord like in its precision.

Paisley rolled to the side, pulling him atop her, her gaze locked to his. He slowly centered himself over her, looking her deep in the eyes.

"Our destinies started to orbit each other much earlier than that," he whispered gently in her ear as he began lowering to her. "From the moment you first appeared on the island over a decade ago, we started orbiting each other, even if we didn't realize it ourselves at the time..."

Paisley murmured as she felt his weight press down comfortingly on her, and she enfolded the small of his his back with her legs, wrapping one arm around his neck, pulling him even closer with a contented sigh.

"Promise me," she whispered back just as hotly, "that from right now, you'll forget about _____ and ____ and _____ and focus on the miracles we have today, and moving forward with me to a new future..."She raised up to brush her lips to his as she pressed his hips to hers with her legs.

"I promise," he murmured hotly, kissing her deeply, moaning through the kiss and joining with her fully, the curves of her body melding to him as the curves of their separate histories pressed fully together to form one new whole towards the future.

Sealing the promise with their ecstasy, they greeted the dawn together with a new resolve to move forward as one and leave the ghosts of the past forever behind.