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02.10.2013 , 10:53 PM |
Dreams and Nightmares
: Vierce's AU, continuing immediately after the last one. 500 words, no spoilers.
I froze when I heard Dorne's voice behind me. The old battlefield of my dreams cleared away; nothing ever made it do that before, but it seems it knew when it wasn't the most hurtful thing around.
I held still and hoped I'd heard wrong.
"Sir," Dorne said again.
"Sergeant," I said, my voice a lot steadier than the rest of me, "you can't be here." Enough things I had lost were in my dreams, I guess, but this was different. The whole reason things had happened this way was I had stayed far away from her.
"I think there's no place I'm needed more."
I turned around. I wasn't sure what she was going to look like; unlike most of my screw-ups, or even just the bloody things I'd happened to be near, I hadn't been there to see this one.
But she was as I remembered her, seemingly unhurt, armored and standing tall, tidy and ready for duty. In that moment I wanted more than anything for this to be real.
"I'm sorry," I said.
"You weren't the only one taken in, sir."
"I was the one who should've known better."
"Would you believe I'm glad to hear you say that?" She blinked rapidly a few times and ducked her head. And then, in a few quick steps, she ran up to me and…hugged me, hiding her face against my chest. "Don't think I don't know what you're doing for me," she said in a muffled voice.
Not knowing what else to do, I put my arms around her. "Too little, too late, is what I'm doing." She stayed still and quiet and hard with tension. "I will get justice," I told her. "Any way I have to."
"I know. That's something we could always count on you for."
"It's not enough. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for everything."
"I don't think
of it bears apologizing for," she said with a tiny amused lilt to her voice. "We were doing well toward the end."
"Yeah," I said around the lump in my throat. We were getting along, fitting as a team and a friendly one at that. Until I found the slightest excuse to turn on her.
"The squad may not be at full strength for a while," she warned. "Be careful."
"We'll manage." I would have to.
She took a deep breath and let it out. "Well, then." She stepped back, and I was quick to let her go. "It'll be all right, sir."
"That's not true."
She twitched a quick-disappearing smile. "I've served as best I could, sir, but in the end I'm still not certain how many people would tell me that."
If there were anything I could do to comfort her I would, but I really had neither the right nor the means to help now, except by seeing that the record was set straight. "I–" I started, and then suddenly she was gone and I was back in my bunk, cold and hurting.
I lay awake for a while after that. It was probably the most painful dream I ever wanted to go back to; but even if I could, dreams being what they are, I had already forgotten what I was going to say.
Because I have decided I'm not cool with Elara getting zero lines in this thread. Harrumph.
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