Silent Fireworks

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  Lulu straddled the boat, one leg on the shifting boat, the other on the dock. If the boat were to suddenly to the left, she'd end up in the water. Not that she minded. Water was fun. Lulu had borrowed the small speedboat from a friend for the fourth of July, so she could take Willow and her husban Bucky out on the lake to watch the fireworks. Willow loved the way fireworks looked, but she coudn't stand the sound. The loud booms triggered some serious PTSD. The lake was far enough away that Willow would be able to see the fireworks, but not hear them. 

  "Come on guys!" Lulu called.

 Willow's wheelchair was parked on the dock,  she and Bucky seemed to be having a whispered argument. Finally, Bucky leaned down and scooped Willow out of her chair, carrying her bridal style across the dock. His smug expression indicated that he had won the argument. 

 "Finally," Lulu muttered, securing her grip on the docking post. She didn't want the boat suddenly shifting annd Willow ending up in the water. A sharp stab of sadness when through Lulu as she rememberd how much Willow had used to love the water. Willow had always been the first to run shrieking off the dock, throwing herself into the dark waters, swimming like she was part fish. Now if she ended up in the deep lake water, there was a good chance she'd drown, her legs dead weight dragging her down like an anchor. Willow would never swim with Lulu again, Lulu would never see Willow's silver hair slicked back with water as her friend surfaced with a handful of mud to toss at Lulu. 

 Effortlessly, Bucky stepped down into the slowly swaying boat, still holding Willow close to his chest. He walked toward the front of the boat, sitting down on the bench seat. Willow wriggled away from him, position her legs to that they lay longways across the bench seat, and so that she was basically sitting on Bucky's lap, reclined against his chest.

   God. Lulu was going to die alone. Not that she minded. At least her cat loved her.

 "You guys situated?"


"Thanks for bringing us out here."

"My pleasure, let's go!" Lulu let go of the dock and plopped down behind the boat's wheel.

"Oh god, you didn't say you were driving," Willow said, craning her neck to look at Lulu.

"Who did you think would be driving?"

"I don't know."

"Well unless you want to drive, I'm driving."

 Willow laced her fingers through Bucky's, smiling up at him serenely, "Hold on tight Buck. We're all going to die."

"I find your lack of faith disturbing," Lulu retorted, flicking a piece of white hair out of her eyes. In honor of the holiday, she'd dyed her hair red white and blue.


  Willow was so much lighter than she had once been, her once sturdy frame now just bones. But they were still the same bones she'd always had, Bucky ran his thumb over her wrist absently. The motor of the boat made a quiet humming sound, and the sound of waves gently slapping the boat was somewhat soothing. Willow loved water, loved lakes and rivers and streams. He was glad she'd been well enough to go out on the boat with Lulu. She'd been so sick recently, she deserved to have a good day. 

  "It's beautiful, isn't it?" Willow said softly.

 The sun was setting, lighting up the surface of the lake with it's colors. The rippling water shimmered in rich shades of red and orange, mimmicking the sky. It was beautiful. 


"Sunrises and sunsets are always beautiful. But I think sunsets are my favorite because It means night is coming."

 Bucky knew all of this, knew that his wife loved the night sky, loved to sit out on their back porck and stare up at the stars for hours. He knew that she liked to get up before the sun to paint the sunrise, only to paint the same sun as it set later that day. Recently, Willow had been too sick to get up and take her horse out into the woods to get in a good spot to the paint the sunrise or sunset. Bucky had had to carry her frail body out onto the porch so she could watch the sunset. 

  "I know Willow." Bucky kissed the top of Willow's head, her silver hair tickling his face.

 "I wish I'd though to bring a sketchpad, light on water's so amazi-" Willow broke off with a rough cough. Her whole body shook when she coughed.

 "You alright?" He asked softly.


 Willow settled back against him, and Bucky wrapped his good arm around her, holding her close. 

 The sunt had set completely now, and the boat was almost in total darkness. One by one, bright streaks shot up into the air, exploding into hundreds of colorful streaks. Fireworks painted the night sky, lighting it up in streaks and showers of color.

 Willow smiled, her blue eyes wide as she watched the fireworks display. But Bucky wasn't watching the fireworks, he was simply watching Willow. Memorizing the way the corners of her mouth tilted up when she smiled, the way the left side of her mouth twitched up a half a second before the right. The way the fireworks were reflected in her blue eyes, like two deep pools. Because Bucky wasn't sure how many more times he'd get to see her face like this, and for tonight, the most beautiful thing on the lake was the woman sitting on the boat with him. 

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