lyrics by the Moody Blues
for D and Lorena
Long seconds stretch into even longer minutes, an eternity of cooling heartbeats and sweaty skin, and fingers clenched tight around one another’s hands.
“I’m afraid I’m going to wake up,” Quatre confesses softly. “Did you know that dreams only last about ten minutes? Even though you can speed through years when you’re inside them?”
“You’re not dreaming, Quatre,” I whisper, tightening my hold on him. My fear is not the same as his, but I too would stave off morning as long as I could—whatever morning is, in space. Peacemillion makes no revolutions of its own around the sun, it is always dark, and time is measured only in scientific increments. It is only a sort of conditioning, innate perhaps to the human mind, that makes us believe that if we are in bed, dozing toward sleep, then it must be night. Perhaps Jung was right, and that there is some human consciousness that infuses us even when we fight against it.
And perhaps I have a tendency to think too hard, when I should simply be enjoying having him in my arms.
//I've been thinking about our fortune
And I've decided that we're really not to blame
For the love that's deep inside us now
Is still the same.//
But Quatre, it seems, is not content to lie still either. He shifts against me, turning to face me, lifting worried blue eyes toward my face. It still worries him—this guilt he carries. Maybe I would not love him so much if it did not, but still I try to ease it.
“I’m sorry,” he tells me again. How many times has he whispered it? I have lost count. I think I heard the echo of his voice while I floated into space alone, and it has haunted me ever since.
“It doesn’t matter.” This at least is true. I loved him from the moment I met him, and I love him still, nothing will ever alter that. The depth of this emotion frightened me at first—that I, who prided myself on my stoicism and independence, could within the space of mere moments surrender my entire soul to this idealistic boy.
“But it does.” It matters to him. Then it must matter to me, as well.
“You worry too much,” I tell him. “I love you. Live with it.”
His eyes widen in surprise, and he smiles.
//And the sound we make together
Is the Music to the story in your eyes
It's been shining down upon me
Now I realize//
It takes a good deal more reassuring, though, with Quatre. He wants more than anything to be the Saviour—mine, the world’s, his family’s. He holds himself to a higher standard than the rest of us mere mortals, which in anyone else would be gross egotism, but in him I think it’s pitiable. He still sees me as his failure: he wanted to save me, but he lost control somewhere along the line. I know he will never understand that I had the opportunity, when I faced him and the Wing Zero, to get out of the way. That I loved him even then, and that I made my choice with that in mind.
I was trying to save him, too.
And neither of us can be blamed if we do something stupid, or if we lose sight of ourselves in this chaos that has become our lives. Quatre (/my/ Quatre, my mind inserts)...you’re just as human as the rest of us. We don’t expect nearly so much of you as you demand of yourself.
But I can’t tell him this, without making him uncomfortable, so I do my best to show him instead--//I love you,// my body tells his, //no matter what.//
//Listen to tide slowly turning
Wash all our heartaches away
We're part of the fire that is burning
And from the ashes we can build another day.//
“What do you think will happen when it’s over?” I know what it costs him to ask this, to acknowledge, the way the rest of us never do, that there might BE a future in which we all get out alive, to admit his remaining naive hope that we will still win.
I admire that in him, too.
“I don’t know.” His face falls and my stomach clenches, but I have no other answer to give him. Until a few short hours ago, I didn’t know who I was, or who he was, let alone allow myself hope for the days to come.
I wonder if the others think it odd, or if they even noticed. My memories returned, and the first thing I did upon landing was find Quatre. He knew the moment he saw my face, and I watched an ill-concealed terror flicker across his own. He was afraid I would not forgive him. I couldn’t bear to see that pain, so I kissed him. I don’t think either of us thought much about what we were doing after that, not until we collapsed exhausted and entwined into the rough woolen blankets of his narrow berth.
My life is spinning too fast for me to plan ahead. All I know is that once the war is over, whether we win or lose, I will never leave Quatre’s side again.
//I am frightened for you children
For the life that we are living is in vain
And the sunshine we've been waiting for
Will turn to rain//
“You’re right,” he says softly, his voice trembling, catching in his throat. “After all, it might not /be/ over. Or we might not be there to see it. If it comes down to it, I know we’d all—“
“Ssh.” I don’t want to hear him say these things. I’m only just now born again, I’m not yet strong enough. “We’ll win. You believe that, I know you do. Look at how we’ve all come out of everything so far. Heero didn’t die. I didn’t die. We’re still here, and we’re still fighting.”
I have never tried to reassure anyone before, at least not like this. I may have had only myself to depend on my entire life, but at least I had no-one else to depend on me. But he is the strength for all of us.
He reaches up to brush his fingers across my cheek, my lips, my eyelids. “Yes,” he breathes at last. “We are.”
//Listen to the tide slowly turning
Wash all our heartaches away
We're part of the fire that is burning
And from the ashes we can build another day//
And because it is still dark, we can take refuge in each other for a little longer. Our bodies are not so exhausted as we first thought, each invigourated by the other’s presence, desperate to make up for time lost and perhaps, though we both know better than to speak the words aloud, to prepare in case the chance should never come again. I drown in his kisses and bury him in mine, commit him to memory in every pore of my body. He is part of me now—we have become each other, and in that at least we will both remain immortal. In the heat of his passion I find words again, I promise him all the forevers I may possess, and every breath that ever leaves my lips. He accepts it all, and I fill him, gift to him what small strength I have to heighten his own. And my name burns radiant on his lips, his faith echoes through the dim corner of our room and engraves itself on my heart.
And finally we collapse again—sated, sleepy, curled together, our limbs tangled and our bodies sore, our skin marred with bruises and scratches of our frenzied joining, but still we refuse to let go. Dreams may last only a little while, but there is never a morning in space.
//When the fighting life is over
And it's certain that the curtain's gonna fall
I can hide beside your sweet, sweet love