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trepidation of the spheres

Chapter Text

“They say it’s easier the second time.”

“Ah,” Peter said, his eyes closed as Harriet’s fingers carded through his hair where his head lay in her lap. “Invoking the mysterious they.”

“Yes, they,” she echoed lightly. “Including among their number, your mother.”

“Well, I suppose she would know.”

A pause. Then—



“You are...happy?”

Peter’s eyes opened and he reached for her hand, bringing it to his lips.

“Positively incandescent,” he assured. “Although, I fear, at least on occasion, I may beg your leave to be a busy old fool who cannot help making a terrible fuss.”

Harriet smiled and, unable to resist a gentle tease, replied: “Is that different from any other day?”

Peter laughed. “Betrayed thus by my own wife? You wound me, darling! I fear I shall never recover.”

“Come and kiss me then,” Harriet said. “Let me soothe the sore.”

And, muttering about wicked women, Peter sat up and did precisely that.