"Hey," she said.
Her knee was wrapped in bandages, her stomach was covered in another person's blood, and she still looked imperial, regal, even. He felt his throat tighten at the sight of her, and at the immediate certainty that filled him and eroded a hope he hadn't even been aware of--she can't care about me
His killings had been a matter of intellectual exercise to her, when she'd said she wanted to stay with him. He could hear it in the way she spoke--with complete disinterest, without effort.
There's another room down the hall
, he thought, to try and stifle the ache. I'll be fine
"Are you-" he started, before breaking off. "I just wanted to check if you were okay."
She swallowed. "I'm fine."
I won't argue with that
. His eyes flickered away from her, and he started to back out of the room. "I guess-" he started weakly, glancing over his shoulder. "I guess I'll-"
He stopped. "Yeah?"
"I want you to kiss me."
Oh thank God.
He didn't remember crossing the room or leaning against the headboard; one moment he was standing in the doorway and the next he was over her bed, and the weariness that had overtaken him changed, slowly but surely. It didn't exhilarate him, as had their first kiss--he was far too tired for that. Rather, it illuminated him; it made him feel like he had stepped into a familiar place, a comfortable place, a safe place. Her lips were a blanket he could pool around his exhausted body, and he relished them.
Relished them until his legs gave out and he topped forwards, to land with his head comfortably against her bare stomach. She reeked of blood and sweat and dirt and beauty and life.
"Tired," he said apologetically, after he had taken a second to drown in the scent of her.
"Hush," she said, pulling him up closer to him and kissing him on the forehead. "Go to sleep."
He was out before she pulled the covers around the both of them.
He slept long, and hard. When he awoke, so much time had passed that the sun was starting to crack at the dark horizon. Christ
, he thought vaguely. We were out for awhile.
Not that he was complaining. Not as he was.
Sometime during the course of the night they had rearranged themselves--now Raidon was lying higher up on the bed and Mizore was hurled into him, her head on his chest and one of his arms wrapped protectively around her. Raidon had never slept beside a woman before, and he now had to conceded that it was the single-most comfortable experience he could have conceived of. It felt warm and safe and right; she belonged under his arm, as he belonged as a pillow beneath him.
A moment of peace he didn't deserve. But at that moment, Raidon didn't care.
Like all moments of peace, it was all-too-brief.
"Once again, good morning, kids!" Danya's voice boomed from one of numerous speakers. "I feel like we're really getting to know each other now, in a way..."
He stiffened, and against his body he felt Soryu do the same. They listened in absolute silence as Danya named killers and kills. Without thinking Raidon noted the death of Clio Gabriella--that was one serious piece of competition he was not
going to have to deal with in the future. Still, this Gweneth girl was the better-armed for her death, and it must have taken a pretty serious kind of creature to take out someone with as murderous a reputation as Clio--he'd have to stay wary.
"...and the Residential Area."
"Fuck!" yelled Raidon, without listening to the rest of the announcements. He scrambled off the bed, digging around the bag he'd brought with him until he found a spare shirt. He thought of the spare clothes he'd left hanging in the bathroom--there wasn't time to retrieve them, not now. "Soryu," he said, tossing it to her. As she pulled it on, he hastily checked everything--food, water, first aid kits, weapons. Two guns, one fully loaded, one with just one bullet. A case of flashbangs.
"On my back," he grunted.
"Raidon-" she started.
"No buts, you're in no condition to walk." He hunched over before the bed as she climbed on and then stood up with some difficult, readjusting his bag and grabbing hers as he went.
This is going to royally suck.
And down the stairs and out the door, not even bothering to watch his back--he didn't have time to worry about ambushes or enemies, he had to keep moving. He had two things left on this island to care about, and both of them were entirely dependent on him getting the hell out of here.
(Naoko Raidon and Mizore Soryu continued in Broken Like the Sun