Orpheus & Eurydice


Cassiopeia is sitting in her bed late on a Friday night sketching elephants. She hasn’t sketched in a while and she loves how it just separates her mind from her body for a while and takes her mind off of things.

She’s kind of out of it when Jonny walks into her room and starts talking to her so she asks him to repeat herself.

“Do you mind if we hang, Cass?”

She smiles and nods at him while patting her bed. He takes off his jacket and takes his time to get comfortable on his side of the bed.

She goes back to concentrating on her doodle while he looks on, not saying anything. Another twenty minutes or so pass and Cassiopeia deems the drawing suitable. She sets her drawing pad on the floor next to her and turns to Jonny.

“Hi,” she says.

“Hey, you’re really good.” He motions to her sketchbook and she shrugs.

“Just doodling, nothing special. Anything in particular that you wanted to do? It’s kinda late.”

Jonny breaks eye contact with her and looks at the lights she has stranded throughout her ceiling.

“Just wanted to be with you,” he mumbles.

For some reason this makes Cassiopeia blush and she’s glad he’s not looking at her. She feels something warm start at the pit of her stomach and she’s glad that Jonny decided to come over tonight.

“I want to be with you, too.” She tells him and watches as he lifts his head up to lock eyes with her. He smiles hesitantly and she grins at him to encourage his happiness.

His eyes float down from her face and lock down at her chest. She follows his gaze and sees that he’s probably looking at the tattoo on her exposed collarbone. She hears her sheets ruffling and she looks up in time to see Jonny moving close and his hand coming up and tracing the tattoo.

She holds her breath while his light touch ghosts over the constellation she tattooed on herself.

“What is it?” He whispers and let’s his hand fall.

“Lyra, remember the myth I told you?”

He nods his hand and she looks at the tattoo from the odd angle.

“I got it to remember my mom, since it was her favorite. It was pretty hard to do to myself at this angle, but I think it came out nicely.”

That captures Jonny’s attention because his eyes go wide and she has to stifle a smile.

“Are you telling me you tattooed yourself? Isn’t that unhygienic?” He seems so worried and it makes Cassiopeia’s heart swell.

“It is if you don’t know what you’re doing. Don’t worry, I disinfected everything and used perfectly safe ink.” She brings a hand up and touches it herself, noticing that it’s fading from over the years.

“Can I give you one?”

Jonny makes a surprised noise and looks at her with open eyes. They’re curious and Cassiopeia can tell that he’s not immediately writing it off which makes her buzz with excitement.

“Will it hurt?”


“Thanks for the reassurance, Cass.”

“Well, I’m not gonna lie to you. You don’t have to do it.” She doesn’t want to pressure him into anything that he doesn’t want.

“I know, but I kinda want to. I want to be spontaneous for once in my life.” She grins at his confession and gets up to gather the supplies.

“Ok, you just wait there and think of something simple you want, I’ll be right back.”

She runs around her apartment and gathers the things she needs for a stick and poke tattoo: India ink, a permanent marker, pencil, string, rubbing alcohol, and a lighter.

She returns to her room to find Jonny spread out on her bed shirtless. The sight makes her stop in her track and just stare at him for a few seconds. Cassiopeia has never really ogled him before, but it’s kind of hard not to when he’s just there.

“Um,” she starts and interrupts him from his thoughts. He sits up and watches her walk slowly to where he’s sitting. She sits on the floor and motions him slide off the bed and join her.

She gets all the stuff ready, putting the needle in the pencil, pouring out some ink, and getting ready to disinfect the needle.

“So have you decided what you’re going to get?”

“Um, I was thinking you? Like, Cassiopeia?”

Cassiopeia feels her breath catch and she looks up at him with wide eyes. Why would he want her constellation?

“Why?” She asks.

He ducks his head, hiding his face from her while he answers.

“I – I just feel better when I’m around you. Whenever I’m with you it feels less and less like I want to crawl out of my skin. Even though we met less than a month ago, you really have changed me. Whenever I’m with you, you get me out of my head and I’m so – so grateful, Cass.”

Cassiopeia swallows the lump in her throat and swallows, catching Jonny’s gaze and giving him a grin.

“I’m glad we met.”

Jonny lets out a breath and looks so happy, it takes Cassiopeia a second to figure out what she’s doing. Once she remembers, she grabs the marker and scoots closer to Jonny.

“So, decided on where to put me?” She says, but immediately realizes her innuendo and blushes. Jonny chuckles and lifts up his left arm and points to the inside of his bicep.

“Right here, I figured less people would see it that way. Don’t really want that many of the guys to rag on me in the locker room.”

She nods and grabs his arm, noticing how big it actually is. She starts tracing Cassiopeia on his arm, already knowing it by heart.

“Why did your parents name you Cassiopeia?” Jonny asks whiles she’s marking the dotting lines from each star to make the full symbol.

“They didn’t.”

“What?” He sounds confused and Cassiopeia just smiles.

“Cassiopeia isn’t my actual name. I just felt that my given name didn’t suit me and Cassiopeia is my dad’s favorite constellation and it just felt right, yanno?”

She leans back on her feet to inspect the outline and thinks it’s suitable enough.

“So what’s your actual name?”

“Jude. Okay, you’re gonna have to lay down with your arm out so you can be steady.” He doesn’t comment on her name, but does as she asks. She gets the pencil with the needle and holds the flame over it, disinfecting it, and wraps string around the base of the needle to keep it secure.

She glances at Jonny’s face and he’s intently watching every move that Cassiopeia is doing.

“Nervous?” She asks.

“I trust you.”

Cassiopeia squeezes his bicep and starts giving him the tattoo. The first few times she sticks the needle in him, he winces, but after a while he gets used to and lays there passively.

It’s not a huge tattoo so it take about a half and hour for her to finish it. She makes sure to use a lot of ink and to be precise with her pokes so that it looks as neat as possible.

“Okay, I think that’s it.” She tells him as she wipes away the blood and the excess ink. Jonny is still on the floor with his eyes still closed and his bottom lips trapped between his two teeth. He looks terrified and also, he probably is too far in his head to have heard her.

“Hey,” she calls out while laying a hand on his cheek. He jerks and his eyes fly open. She chuckles a bit and looks into his eyes.

“Are you ok? I’m all finished.”

He blinks a couple of times and looks over at his arm. He frowns and looks back up at Cassiopeia with his bottom lip jutted out.

“It’s all red.” She laughs and picks up the lotion to rub over the sore area.

“Well, yeah, I just poked you with a needle and put ink into your body. It’ll probably heal in a couple of day. I don’t think it’s that dark so I can touch it up then if you want.” She offers. Normally, she has to touch up her own constellation a couple times a year.

“Okay,” he says simply as he watches her care for the new tattoo.

She finishes and goes to put all the things away while Jonny slinks back into her bed. She comes back into her room to see that Jonny has opened a window, but also lit some incense, juniper berry to be exact. She turns off the lights and since his back is to her, takes off all her clothes and crawls in bed.

He shifts towards her and she places a hand between his shoulder blades for reassurance.

“Merci, mon petite chou chou.” He mumbles, shifting so that their flush against each other and Cassiopeia is the larger spoon.

“What does that mean?” She whispers, her mouth brushing against the hair on the back of his neck.

“My cabbage.”

“You called me a cabbage?”

“Cass, it’s a term of endearment in French. Just go to sleep, alright babe?”

Cassiopeia flushes at the pet name but nods her head and tucks in it against Jonny’s back while slinging an arm around his waist.
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Some more comments would be lovely!!