They never should have even met, much less become lovers. In fact, they never would have met, had it not been for an intrepid baby who chose Grapes as his favorite plaything, eschewing teddy bears and blankets. His negligent mother thought nothing of the potential threat that Grapes posed (accidental choking or perhaps strangulation) and happily sent him off to daycare where Grapes was promptly confiscated. Lying alone, feeling humiliated, Grapes looked up to find Blue looking sweetly bemused at the whole situation.
"Don't worry about it," said Blue. "You're better off this way."
"That baby would have destroyed you." Blue nestled in next to Grapes. "See this scar here? It's from one who got a bit overenthusiastic."
Grapes examined Blue, and announced solemnly, "I like your scar."
Blue turned away, suddenly shy. "Yeah, well, anyway, consider yourself lucky."
Later that night, after everyone was gone, they curled in close together, Grapes resting gently in Blue's embrace, and told each other their life stories. They marveled at the strange luck that had brought them together, and their kisses were heroic attempts at conveying a magic that was impossible for either of them to voice.
Impossible, because it was the kind of magic that neither of them really believed in. Impossible, because something must fail.
And because they were both staunch realists, and in stern agreement about the impossibility of these feelings, the beginning of their relationship was necessarily marked by a sort of bizarre hesitancy, a combination of passion and reasonability whose ultimate result was an insanely heightened romanticism. Every touch they exchanged became fraught with tension, the tension of wanting to scream, "I love you, I love you, I love you!" and the determination not to give into such longing. Blue thought its heart would burst, and Blue was far too practical to let any such thing happen. But, oh god, the sweet plastic-y smell of Grapes...it was all Blue could manage not to whisper, "You are perfect."
Somehow Blue always managed to make Grapes feel truly and unequivocally beloved. It was strange: there was so little on the surface that they had in common, and yet Grapes never failed to feel a rush of deep emotion in Blue's presence, something comforting and terrifying. It found itself laughing at nothing, unsure if it was doing so because it was uncomfortable or because everything was just so delightful now. And Blue never talked about it, dodged the traps of sentimentalism or irony, instead just loving Grapes the same way it loved everything: as part of what made the world beautiful and interesting, nothing more and nothing less.
Grapes was happy, given to graceful generosity and compassion. It had the ability to intuit another's uncomfortability in a group and quietly put it at ease. Wry and given to self-deprecation, Grapes would take on the position of buffoon in order to shift attention away from someone else's mistake, and yet it managed to do so in a way that rarely diminished others' respect for it. Blue, too, enveloped the objects around it in a gentle goodwill. Utterly lacking in self-consciousness, Blue would approach the shyest object in the room, a plain-looking sugar dispenser, and five minutes later, the sound of their laughter would ring across the room. Other objects fell in love with them as a couple, and they laughed, and accepted the tribute, without making too much of it.
How do you make your peace with something too good to be believed? Blue found itself seized sometimes with the most furious fears and doubts: what if Grapes dies today, what if Grapes just stops loving me? God, what if I just stop loving Grapes? And then Grapes would be there, to laugh Blue's worries away with a pragmatic, "Yeah, what if? That'll suck!"
There came to Blue and Grapes a richness in personality, the richness that comes with feeling like enough. Not the smartest, or the cutest, but smart enough, cute enough, ambitions quelled in the face of concrete and actual satisfaction. Together, they realized the subtle difference between self-confidence and egotism. Small slights went unnoticed, all those tiny annoyances of daily living sliding off of Grapes like sand.
Grapes laughed as it told the story of a handkerchief acquaintance, assigned one of the worst jobs ever. "God, you should've seen Red Polka Dot today! Complaining about 'all that snot I have to absorb,' as it trailed snot all over the table, totally oblivious to everyone edging away from it!"
"Poor little Polka Dot!" replied Blue, cuddling Grapes.
"Poor little Polka Dot," murmured Grapes back, running its leaves along Blue's back. Two months ago the same incident would've filled Grapes with irritation, now the handkerchief just seemed clumsily charming.
It was simple, and real. It