Dancing

“write something that incorporates the sense of smell.” Another from a while ago that I enjoyed.

_

Getting lost in the wilderness with Jack hadn’t exactly been what Till had planned for the evening. He found himself growing steadily grumpier, sullen and pouting while Jack fumbled and swore, trying to start a fire.

It wasn’t really necessary. The nights had yet to adopt the brumal touch of late autumn. But Jack always needed to be doing something, and Till knew his skulking only intensified that impulse. So far, his friend’s efforts had only produced the faintest aroma of smoke. Shifting where he sat, Till shifted his back against a tree, pulling his knees up and resting his chin upon them. Sometimes it occurred to him how little he knew Jack—how he knew petty details but nothing real.

Jack hated spiders. Jack was possibly more paranoid and suspicious than Till, but he concealed it beneath layers of ostentation. Jack loved carnations. Jack was always crafting fatuous little puns and when nobody found them amusing, he would mutter them beneath his breath and laugh to himself. But Till didn’t know where he’d come from, and he couldn’t explain Jack’s interest in… well, him. It unnerved him as much as it comforted him.

A gloved hand appeared in front of his eyes and Till flinched and smacked the back of his head against his tree. Crinkling his brow, he blinked and rubbed at his head, following the hand to see Jack standing poised before him, knees bent, hand outstretched toward him.

“Dance with me,” Jack said.

“You’re a lunatic,” Till said. But a smile touched the corners of his mouth.

“You’re the serial killer.” Jack dropped him a wink and wiggled his fingers. Till sighed and clapped his hand into Jack’s. It immediately proved to be a misjudgment on his part, as the Immortal yanked him forward off his feet and into an embrace that he might’ve called intimate if Jack had been anyone but Jack.

Jack smelled like old leather, that’d been worn until it grew soft and supple. Jack smelled like raw water and the sun on fallen leaves. He took a broad step backward and thrust Till back out to arm’s length, flashing him a wide grin before reaching out for Till’s other hand. Catching on somewhat, Till matched Jack’s forward stride this time and they met in the middle.

Jack smelled like dust and wind through ashes. He dropped Till’s hands and shimmied in place, dancing to whatever song ran through his head, his golden eyes alight. Till, watching his friend’s long dark hair fall across his face, abruptly frowned and shoved himself against Jack, inhaling the scent of old leather. He clutched at Jack’s dark shirt, uncertain what had motivated him to end up in this situation, and now completely unwilling to untangle himself and let Jack see his face.

“Hey,” Jack said, his voice going soft and gentle. “What’s the matter?”

Till didn’t say anything. After a moment, Jack’s arms came around him, pulling him in somehow closer.

“You could have told me if my dancing was that upsetting,” Jack said, and Till could hear his smile.

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