theothermanofsteel: (hold me)
[personal profile] theothermanofsteel
He sees the crew clustered around the infirmary. He knows that look: that waiting, helpless hush.

It's Zoe who tells him what's going on, in a low murmur that she holds level with iron control. She reminds him a bit of Ororo; they are very different, but they share that. He nods, thanks her, and goes to find Kate. This is their crew, and their vigil. They're friends, all of them, but he's not one of them.

He finds Kate. He tells her.

There's nothing they can do. Nothing much to say either.

The night passes.

It's the next day.

Kate's in the bunk. Literally; one leg's drifting through the mattress as she rests her head in Piotr's lap. She's phased him with her, and his calves are sunk in blankets. It lets him stroke her hair slowly, and be her pillow.

It helps them both not think. (Helps. Doesn't stop the thoughts altogether.)

"I want," Kate says eventually, to the ceiling, "to hit something."

Piotr breathes out in reluctant amusement, and brushes his hand again through her hair. "Da."

"We could spar," he adds -- a little reluctantly, but the knee she injured is much better. Simon agreed, even. "If you really do. Or Logan might be around Milliways."

Kate shakes her head fractionally after a minute. Silence settles back around them.

"All that work," she murmurs finally, "and it's snatched away."

Piotr can only nod a little, and stare at the far wall. It's flimsy, though stronger than it looks. There's a stain on it, just at eye height; very faint, but enough to focus on. "I do not understand life sometimes, Katya." That's soft, and in Russian now. He still thinks in that language most of the time. "It never stops for anybody, the badness. It is harder to remember the rest." A sigh, and he rests his hands against her hair. "Poor Kaylee. Poor Simon."

Kate turns her head enough to look up at him, and reaches up to stroke his cheek. He bows his head into her touch. "I don't understand either," she says softly, matching his Russian. "I don't understand any of it. And death doesn't seem likely to be much different, if this place is any example." Her hand winds in his shirt, tugging him down into a kiss, and he goes willingly. "We've gotta remember the rest, Petruska," she whispers. "Too much badness to keep going if we don't."

She twists in his lap and he shifts with her, enough for her to press her forehead to his. "They have each other," she tells him, inches away. "At least they're not alone."

"Yes," he says softly, and brushes his knuckles against her cheekbone. "You remind me of the rest."

"You remind me, sweetheart," and she kisses him again, just as gently as before. "Life'll get better, Piotr. It will. You and I'll make it better. We can't for them. But we can for us. And we will."

And it's not enough to fix anything.

But it's enough for now.

Because it has to be; because they'll make it be; because, in the end, they have each other. And that's something. That's a lot.


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October 2011

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