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Rebekah King Rebekah King
Recommendations: 21

LAS X - Cold

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This is the tenth and last short for The Girl's Hunter, so enjoy :) This part carries on from the scene in part one

Lan looked at Sorraru’s pale face with worried eyes. He feared the worst for her. He feared that after all they had been through together, he was going to lose her now. He feared The Man would finally win. Sorraru groaned and coughed softly, her brows furrowing over her closed lids. The way her face contorted whenever she coughed disturbed Lan. He knew she must surely be in pain, but also knew there wasn’t much he could do.

As Lan watched her, he could see her body shaking slightly with stronger convulsions occurring intermittently. He reached down and took up the fur blanket off the floor, crossing the short distance and draping it gently over Sorraru. She shivered more strongly and opened her eyes. She took in the sight of him close now and the warmth of the blanket.

“Thank you,” She whispered.

Lan simply nodded in response, then he sat down by her side, back against the wall as she was, and wrapped his arms around her. She rested her head against his chest wearily, still shivering.

“You’ll warm up soon,” Lan assured her.

Sorraru nodded and stroked his chest gently with her fingertips. Lan liked the touch, but was unsettled by how cold her skin felt. It wasn’t long before Sorraru was racked with another violent coughing fit. Lan grabbed the water canteen again and waited, rubbing her back, for it to stop. When it finally did, he handed her the canteen and she took another grateful gulp. Lan couldn’t stand it any longer, seeing her like this. It was time to do something.

“Sora, we have to go.”

“I know. You go, I’ll be fine here.”

“I cannot leave you. He’ll send more men. Or something worse.”

“I can’t go with you. I’m a liability.”

“It doesn’t matter. I will carry you if that is what it takes. I am not leaving you.”

“I can walk, but I don’t know how far.”

“We will find out when the rain stops.”

Sorraru nodded, knowing Lan was right, knowing there was no time left. She was getting worse by the hour, she needed more radiation meds to prolong her life at the very least. But radiation meds were the least of Lan’s worries right now. Looking back out at the sheeting rain, he was already thinking ahead, beyond heading out and reaching a checkpoint. Enough was enough, they had to try. Sorraru was dying, they had to find a way out.

Sorraru noticed Lan’s far away but focused expression. One he always wore when strategising, planning. She furrowed her brows voluntarily this time.

“I hope you’re not thinking what I think you’re thinking.”

Lan smiled at her strange way of speaking. “That depends. What do you think I’m thinking?”

“What kind of crazy stunt you can pull that will bust us out of here.”

Now Lan frowned, halted once more by her startling ability to read him. “There is nothing for it, Sora. Either we escape or you die and he sets me free. Not that there will be much to return to the North.”

Sorraru was confused at his words at first, then her eyes widened. “What do you mean? If I die, you’ll go off and get yourself killed?”

“No,” Lan looked straight at her, neither afraid nor ashamed by his words. “If you die, I will end my own life.”

Sorraru’s eyes went even wider, her expression not betraying her shock. “No, you can’t do that.”

“There is no point to life without you, Sora. Not only will I lose you, the only person I have ever been certain I love, but I will lose my own life. You know how Homecomers are treated when they return. No one will believe you died of an illness, they will despise me for trying to pass such a ‘story’.”

“But... but what about my father? You have to go back. You have to tell him what I couldn’t say.”

“Do you really believe your father would allow me the chance to explain why I had to let his only family die?”

“He’s not unreasonable. He’ll hear the truth.”

“A grieving father still healing from the anguish of losing his wife? I doubt that, Sora. Besides, what makes you think I could even face him if I returned?” Lan’s tone was starting to become angry, his frustration at the entire situation showing in his words.

“Hey, stop... stop talking like this,” Sorraru reached out and stroked his face gently, trying to calm him with her touch. “Everything will be alright.”

“No, it won’t, Sorraru. How could it be?”

Lan’s expression was more pained than Sorraru had ever seen it. She could feel his despair and anguish resonating out from him. She wanted so much to comfort him, but she was so weak, and the despair was weighing her down. She continued to stroke his face gently, hoping to bring him back from the fear and uncertainty of their future, back here with her. Lan peeled Sorraru’s hand from his face, taking it in both of his.

“You are so cold. You need to rest. The trek to the checkpoint will be hard.”

Much too exhausted to dispute him further, Sorraru nodded and rested her head back against Lan’s chest. She pulled herself closer to him, snuggling into his warmth, clinging to it. Lan wrapped his arms tighter around her, rubbing his hand against her shoulder to try and warm her.

“You can’t talk about that anymore, Lan,” Sorraru said. “I don’t want to hear about you doing such a thing. It’s unthinkable.”

“I am sorry I upset you. I will not speak of it again, I swear.”

Sorraru searched desperately in her head for a way to change the subject to try and diffuse his sullen, angry mood. She knew something that might work, but it might also make him worse. There was nothing for it, she decided.

“Lan, there’s something I have to tell you.”

When he spoke this time, his voice was soft and his breath warm against her hair. “What is it, Sora?”

Her answer took him completely by surprise.

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