For 30_kisses on LJ
It's been two days. The red emergency light's almost out, and we've exhausted everything we can think of to get out of here. Kinda tough to manage, though when all our tools are on the other side of the damn rock slide, radio equipment doesn't work in the cave, and all our pokemon have been incapacitated.
Bashou's staring at the rock wall with his arms pulled across his chest. And he's shaking. The temperature was around cave average when we got stuck here, but it's gotten colder and colder. The Spectres, those bastards who ambushed us and stuck us here, are trying to freeze us. And with no way out, it's going to work.
I know they're watching us. But I know the Spectres. They're sadistic freaks, and there's no way they're going to get us out even to take as prisoners.
"You know, it's not really possible to wear a hole in the wall by looking at it," I remind Bashou, wrapping my arms around him. "I don't think it's going to change."
"I know," he admits. "But it's something to do."
"Keeps us from thinking about everything, right?"
It takes him a second to reply and when I look at him his eyes are shut tight. "...The light in here...it makes everything look a lot hotter than it really is. It's deceptive and..." He doesn't finish, but cocks his head to look up at me. "Starting to regret taking the sleeves off your uniform?"
I kiss the top of his head, squeezing him a little tighter. "Starting to? That happened some time yesterday."
"But I suppose," he goes on like I hadn't said anything, eyes on the wall again, "that it wouldn't really do you much good to have left them on. Our only hope is to be found, and..." Again he trails off, but it's understood.
"Hey Bashou," I whisper, softer than I thought I would, "do you want to come sit with me?"
"Sure." When he turns around, the fading red makes him look flushed and washed out. Or maybe that part's his expression. Most people say he's emotionless, but they don't know what to look for. He's looking down ever so slightly and his mouth's crinkled up just a bit, and it's agonizing to watch. That's as much as he'll ever let himself show...and just thinking that makes me shudder more than the cold does.
"Come on." I relax my hold but keep my arm around his shoulder, and before he even starts walking he leans against me, putting his head on my chest. Usually he'd puncuate it with some excuse and I expect him to say something about wanting to get warm, but he doesn't. He just kinda sighs, and it's terrifying.
"Buson." It's a distant whisper and I wince. "When do you think someone will find us?"
It hurts, hearing that from him, and it takes me longer to answer than it should. "I donno. Couple weeks maybe. Come here; you're shivering really badly." He's against my chest and I've got one hand on his back and the other on the back of his head. Dammit, I wish he wasn't shaking so badly, but if he stopped, it'd mean he was on his way out.
"So're you," he said calmly. "Buson, I started to hallucinate a few hours ago."
"Really? I couldn't tell." Was I shivering? Maybe I was too far gone too. "But I guess that's our training, right? Have to be on guard against psychic attacks..."
He nods against me, clinging to my uniform. "The Boss was here, telling us how disappointed he was that we'd fall into such a pathetic trap." I was about to say something reassuring when he continued. "And then there was a giant plate of sandwiches. And then the rocks started dancing."
I can't help it and start laughing, but it sounds a million miles away. "You're a trip, you know that?"
He pulls closer against me, squeezing me in a tight hug. He'd never show affection like that under any other situation outside our quarters, and I tighten my hold on him in return. "I'm going to miss you."
It's a nervous laugh this time, and it makes me really sick because it sounds like it's inside my head. "You make it sound like we won't still be together."
"...it doesn't matter," he whispers, and kisses my uniform jacket where the branch comes off the R. "Buson...I'm exhausted."
"Yeah, me too." I run my hand through his hair but my hand's so numb I can't feel anything. We're so far downhill...and that's why I ask it. "Do you think we should get some sleep?" Dammit, I think I'm crying.
There's a brief pause, and he looks up at me. I try to hold it together but I don't know how well I'm doing. "...yeah," he says softly. "Let's...let's do that."
Quietly we slip to the floor, me with my back against the wall.
He curls up around me, his head back on my chest. "Your heart's beating so slowly," he says blankly, nuzzling the area, but continues before I can say anything. "And the ground's so cold. I think it'll be faster that way."
"Yeah, I think so too..." Why are we so calm about this? Maybe we don't have the energy for anything else.
Damn, he's shaking so badly. I snake my arm over his back just as he looks up at me. "We should say something," he tells me.
"Like what?" The hell, I can't think any more.
"Like..." And that's when the light finally goes out and the whole place gets a hell of a lot colder. It's an illusion since the light didn't make any heat, but now we're left with the dark and the cold and nothing else. But he finishes his sentence like nothing happened and then at least we have each other. "...'it's been an honor, partner.'"
I think I'm smiling. "It's been an honor, partner," I echo as I close my eyes.
He rests his head back down and sighs.
It's colder now, and the last thing I can tell before I drift off is that he stopped shivering.