"Hi." Aurora smiled nervously at Mal when she opened the door. Phillip leapt through the door and hugged her leg. "Phillip why-?"
"-It's alright. I hope you're both hungry?" Mal picked Phillip up and gestured for Aurora to come in.
"Starving." He announced from her arms, and she grinned as she popped him on a high chair at the island.
"I thought we'd eat on here, if that's okay?"
"Sure." Aurora shrugged out of her jacket and Mal had to blink once or twice to focus her attention. She was wearing a sheer black shirt, with black bra underneath, and high waisted jeans that looked like they'd been painted on. Mal's fingers twitched, and she turned to the oven.
"Well then, I'd better get everything laid out."
"Can I help?" Aurora's fingers ghosted over the small of Mal's back as she came to join her.
"No, no, I've got it covered. You're the guests anyway."
"Mmmm." Aurora was frowning, biting her lip and looking completely distracted. Mal knew it was because of earlier; she had spent the entire day trying to work up the courage to explain.
"Sit. We'll talk later." She kissed her gently on the forehead, and Aurora smiled slightly, and went to join Phillip.
They ate, and Mal waited until they had all finished before placing a present on the table.
"You can only open it when Aurora says so." She warned Phillip. He pouted.
"Alright. Just this once, you can open one tonight. Just so Mal can see your face."
Phillip tore the paper without any need to be told twice. Inside was a Prince's and Princess' colouring book filled with dragon battles, and a foam sword that looked more realistic.
"So you won't draw in my books or bruise me." Mal chuckled as Phillip thanked her. He immediately took his new sword and started 'practising for battle'. Mal chuckled, and took the plates to start washing up.
"Thank you. That was sweet." Aurora murmured, bringing over the cutlery. "You should let me wash."
"No, you're the guest."
"At least let me dry?"
"Fine." Mal smirked, knowing she wouldn't win.
"So... are we going to talk about... earlier?"
Mal sighed and passed a plate to her.
"Yes. But not while Phillip is... I don't think it's a conversation to have with him around."
"Okay." Aurora accepted what she had said without argument, and Mal was grateful. They finished washing and drying, discussing Phillip's birthday and what he was getting in hushed tones. By the time they had finished, Phillip had retired to the sofa and was colouring his book.
"Enjoying yourself Prince Phillip?" Mal smirked, carrying her glass of wine. Aurora followed, her glass in her hand. They sat on the sofa, and Aurora tucked her feet under her.
"Yes fank you!" He grinned.
"Good," Mal smiled. "Shall I put a film on?"
"Yes... do you actually have anything suitable for Phillip?"
Mal rolled her eyes and went to the tv.
"I'm sure Sky has something suitable."
Mal chuckled and found Shrek playing. She put it on and went back to the sofa. Phillip adjusted himself to watch, his colouring book in front of him on one of the chairs. About half way through the film, Aurora adjusted herself, leaning against Mal.
"Thank you. For tonight I mean."
"You are very welcome."
"It feels like... home, I guess." Mal stilled. "I don't mean that in a way that I expect anything." Aurora hurried. "I mean... it feels warm, safe and inviting and you make me feel good."
"Any time." Mal replied, kissing Aurora's temple gently. "Although I'm surprised; you didn't seem to be too happy when you arrived."
"Well you said we'd talk. So I trust you to tell me."
"I'm... it's not... it's a delicate subject. I wouldn't want Phillip to hear and..."
"Phillip's been asleep for about fifteen minutes Mal." Aurora murmured in to her ear. They looked over at the boy. He had indeed fallen asleep, a colouring crayon in his hand. "I should get him to bed."
"Why don't you put him in my spare room, so we can talk?" Mal suggested.
"Sure." Aurora was surprised, but she tiptoed over to Phillip and put his book and crayons on the floor next to his sword before picking him up.
When Aurora returned, Mal was sitting with her head in her hands, elbows on her knees.
"Are you okay?" Aurora murmured, sitting down next to her gently.
Mal looked up, and ran her fingers through her hair.
"I don't know. I don't know how you're going to take this."
"Why? What is it?"
"It's... it's just that you're so young. I don't want to frighten you off."
"I'm young yes, but I'm not immature. There's a difference. I can handle it, whatever it is."
Mal shook her head and bit her lip. Aurora stroked her hair, and kissed her jaw until she chuckled gently.
"Okay, enough. I'll tell you." She shifted to face Aurora. "I got funny earlier because... I didn't want you to find out that way. I wanted to tell you..." She sighed and shook her head. "Look, I had a scare a while ago. I found out I had cancer and I had to have one of my breasts removed."
Aurora stared at her, and then let her eyes drop to her chest.
"Wow. So... so when I...?"
"Yes. Please don't freak out."
"I'm not freaking out. I mean... so your breast is... completely gone?"
"You didn't get one... I don't know... remade or whatever they call it?" Mal shook her head with a small smile. "Can I... can I see?"
"If you'd rather not then that's okay. I just want to show you that it doesn't matter to me. My mum... my mum died of cancer."
"She did?" Mal stroked Aurora's hand with her thumb.
"Yes. So I guess I've seen... most things. She was in the ward for some time. She made some friends and introduced us. I wish she could have met you..." Mal leaned in and kissed her gently.
"Why? It wasn't your fault."
"I'm sorry I couldn't meet her. I bet she was wonderful."
"She was." Aurora played with Mal's fingers and the silence stretched.
"You really want to see?" Mal asked, filled with nerves.
"Yes." Aurora murmured.
Mal shrugged out of her cardigan slowly. She stood up, twisting her fingers and looking around anxiously.
"Hey you don't have to, I already said..."
"No I want to just... just give me a moment."
Aurora stood and wrapped her arms around Mal's waist, gently, kissing her shoulder. She felt Mal leaning back in to her, and stroked her stomach through the tank top she wore.
"Okay, I'm ready." Mal whispered, carefully. Aurora slipped her arms free and let Mal slip her top off over her head. She gazed at her back, slim and smooth in the dim lighting. She raised her hand and stroked her knuckles down Mal's spine, pausing at the delicate feather tattoo just beneath her bra. She pressed a kiss to the ink, and Mal shivered gently.
"Let me see you." Aurora whispered, trailing her fingers along the back of the bra.
Aurora unhooked the bra and it fell to the floor in front of Mal when she lowered the straps. Slowly Aurora made her way around to face Mal, who was standing nervously, her fingers itching to cover up her chest. Aurora stared at the scars for what seemed like a long time and then, glancing at Mal to ask permission, she lowered her head and kissed the line.
"You're beautiful." Mal's head rolled back as she felt the lips whisper those words on the scar. Aurora's hands skimmed her hips, and she pulled her in to a hug. "You're so beautiful Mal." Mal buried her face in Aurora's hair and breathed her in.
"Stay with me." She murmured. "We won't do anything just... just stay."
"Alright." Aurora smiled, kissing Mal's head, and then lifting it to kiss her lips. "I'll stay. But you'll have to wear pjs."
Mal chuckled, and kissed the other woman before grabbing her top and slipping it over her head.
"Come with me." She grabbed the bra, abandoned on the floor, and led the way upstairs.