Author: Calic0cat
see chap. 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer

Fragments + Chapter 5

I set my pizza down for a moment. Max had already said that he didn't think he should tell me about my past, that it would be better for me to remember it on my own. But - well, I couldn't help trying. I asked curiously, "How did we meet, Max? Was it love at first sight?" I thought perhaps it had been considering that I had already fallen in love with him all over again.

Max's reaction to my question surprised me. He started to laugh. In fact, he laughed so hard that he fell off the couch. His laughter was contagious and I ended up laughing too, even though I had no idea what was so funny. When he finally got his amusement under control, he said, "Only if I was Cupid's stand-in that day, babe. And I don't think that was the case since it took me a while just to persuade you that we made better partners than rivals." Seeing my confusion, he grinned wryly and shook his head. "Don't worry about the details. You could say that we worked for the same company but in different departments and it just took a while for us to learn to work together let alone become friends or anything else."

"So we were friends first? Before we..."

"Yeah, long before anything else. Friends and - coworkers," he told me before asking what I wanted to do for the evening.

I gave in to the change of subject gracefully, guessing that I wouldn't get anything more out of him right now. "Cuddle up on the couch and watch movies?" I suggested hopefully. I didn't really feel like leaving our suite but after sleeping a good part of the afternoon I wasn't ready for bed either. Max hesitated for a few moments before finally agreeing.

It didn't take long for us to choose an action movie and make ourselves comfortable on the couch. I snuggled contentedly into Max's arms, loving the feeling of warmth and security that they gave me. Yet at the same time, deeply grateful that he didn't seem to expect anything more - intimate - from me. Though the thought of making love with him didn't frighten me the way that it would have yesterday. Even though I still didn't remember anything about our past together, I was comfortable with Max. Comfortable with him and in love with him, despite the fact that I still knew nothing about his past. Or my own, for that matter.

But the things that I was guessing based on Max's reactions towards me now were leaving me distinctly perturbed with my "real" self. How could I possibly be married to such an attractive, caring, wonderful person and not let him know how incredible he was? How could I *not* make a habit of kissing him? 'I don't understand...'

+

I woke to an empty bed again. Apparently Max was an earlier riser than me; either that or the head injury was making me need more sleep. Unlike yesterday morning, I didn't panic, despite the disturbing dreams I'd had again. I knew Max wouldn't leave me alone for long. That he wouldn't actually leave the suite without telling me first.

It still bothered me that I couldn't remember anything more than confused fragments of sound and image and scent. That my dreams were confusing and disturbing, filled with blood and violence and pain. Especially since Max wouldn't fill in the huge blanks of my past for me except in the very vaguest of terms. But in spite of his evasiveness, I still trusted him. Something deep down inside told me that trusting him was right. That he would never do anything to hurt me.

"Max?" I called quietly.

"I'm here, Odin," he called back from the bathroom.

My breath caught in my throat as he emerged from the room and approached the bed. That incredible hair was unbound, floating loose around him as he walked towards me. I slid off the bed and stepped close to him, running my fingers through his hair in amazement. "It's so soft and silky..."

Max gave me an oddly wistful look. "You like it? You don't think it's - impractical? That I should cut it all off?"

'Cut it off?!' I thought in horror. "*NO!*" I tried to imagine Max without that long rope of chestnut silk and failed miserably. "It's beautiful! Don't you dare cut it!"

He gave me a soft smile and said, "Okay."

As he started to brush his hair, I reached out and took the brush from him. "May I?"

Max gave me a startled look, then nodded slowly, "If you really want to..."

"I do."

He sat down on a chair and I started brushing his hair, careful not to pull or to get the brush tangled. Max kept giving me these odd little looks out of the corner of his eye. Sort of a wondering disbelief. Evidently this was another one of those things that the "real" me didn't do.

Well, I didn't care. The "real" me needed his ass kicked. I sincerely hoped that when my memory came back, I wouldn't forget what was happening now. Wouldn't forget that I wanted to keep doing all the things that I apparently didn't do before. Hopefully if I *did* forget, the journal that I'd started yesterday would remind me.

I set the brush aside and sat down on Max's lap, wrapping my arms around his neck and kissing him. He wrapped his arms around me and leaned his head against my shoulder. I couldn't reach his lips anymore, so I settled for just dropping a kiss on top of his head. "So what are we going to do today?" I asked him.

"Well, we didn't get as far as the exotic animal sanctuary yesterday. How about starting there and just seeing how things go? Oh, and I guess we should get fitted with clothes for the party tomorrow if you think you'd like to go..."

I laid my cheek against Max's head and thought about that for a few minutes. I didn't really know whether I *did* want to go to the party. Whether I wanted to have to share Max's attention with everyone else who would be there. I knew it would be different from just casually encountering people as we walked around the resort. That we would be expected to socialize. Maybe even to dance with other people. I didn't like the thought of that very much. The thought of letting anyone else that close, of letting them touch me, bothered me for some reason.

But I kind of thought maybe Max wanted to go. And I had to admit that part of me *would* like to go, just to show off my handsome husband. The man that my normal self - despite his apparent shortcomings - had had the incredible good taste to marry. "I guess the party sounds okay..." Abruptly, a thought occurred to me. "Uh, Max? Do I even know how to dance?"

He chuckled and assured me, "Yep, you do. Pretty damn well too. Though you *do* always insist on leading..."

"But - what if I don't remember how..." This amnesia business was confusing. How could personal memories be gone yet memories of how to do things remain?

"Hmm... well, if you're worried about that, maybe we should just try it and find out, huh?" Max lifted me off of his lap and stood. He stepped in front of me and bowed with a dramatic flourish. "May I have this dance?"

I laughed. "Why of course... But there's no music..."

Max just grinned at me and started to hum. I held out my arms and he stepped into them. He took the lead at first but suddenly I realized what he was humming - a waltz, though I wasn't quite sure which one, I just recognized the rhythm. He let me take the lead as soon as I tried.

I don't know how long we danced around the suite. Max changed tunes and my body automatically changed hand positions and steps without any conscious thought. While we were dancing like that, held in each other's arms, my amnesia didn't matter at all. Nothing did except Max's quiet, slightly breathless humming and the warmth of his body against mine.

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