Warnings: Implied intimacy.
Theme: Word - fable
"Let me tell you a story," he says to her ear, which is not quite the same as to her face, but she understands that some fables easier to tell without sight, so she accepts this misdirected sort of telling.
"Let me tell you about heroes," he says another time, this time to her knee, which is sharp and angular against his chin, and he tells her all the things she didn't know about the man she'd grown to love growing up.
"Let me tell you about tragedy," he weaves a story about unrequited love against her empty belly, about queens and scholars and little farm girls who never knew better for what they had but fell in love with heroes all the same, and Ilia can't help but weep against his shoulder in a fit of hysteria, the kind of histrionics the notoriously insignificant bend to because that is their only hope of being noticed.
"Let me tell you about love," she says once, hot and explosive against his neck, "let me tell you about all the things you men of notes can't find in those papers, those studies, those pointless, fucking books of yours."
"Let me tell you what it's like to be left in dusty pockets of non-existence," she says, "And I will show you what history is really about."
And for all the man that is, Shad listens.