roesslyng: (Birds)
[personal profile] roesslyng
Title: Icarus
Fandom: Stand Still, Stay Silent
Characters/Pairing: Emil -> Sigrun
Rating: 0+/E for Everyone
Length: 600 words
Summary: He follows her, and burns that sight into his mind.
Other: Prompt: #3, "Light".


Departing from camp, they go together, side by side as always. Quickly at first, and Emil needs to pick up his pace to keep up with her. Not that Sigrun outpaces him deliberately, but her long strides take her farther than his steps can on their own. Emil has become used to this, and decided a month ago that he does not mind. He keeps close to her, slightly behind and beside, just as aware of her as he is of their surroundings. Follow her lead. Heed her word. The responses are automatic; he could never imagine doing anything else.

When it’s just the two of them, it’s thrilling. In numbers, the going is safer, or even with three of them; Emil has learned enough about Lalli to gather a wealth of information from his wordless signals. But it's different when it's himself and Sigrun alone, on those days when she decides to take him, and only him. When her words and instructions are there only for his benefit. Emil decides to cherish those moments, to keep her words close, all of them – especially the praise, and Sigrun is never one to hold back with it when it is well-earned.

Steady hands and steady nerves. When they are out together, Emil keeps his wits sharp, his eyes and ears open. Doesn’t panic and lose himself. Doesn’t waste bullets. He has come a long way from what he was when they first met. He knows it. Sigrun knows it, too. Emil allows himself to take what he can, to drink in the warmth of her grin, the earnest praise that comes in the form of a back-slap that almost knocks him over. The feelings stay tucked inside him, close and silent, and he knows better than to ever hope for more.

As they scrabble like rats through the wreckage of the old world, he keeps her in his sights. In the cloud-covered day Sigrun’s hair is bright, a sharp spot of red against the white and grey. By now Emil knows that if he doesn’t keep up, if he manages to lose track, she’ll leave him in the dust. Then, alone, he’ll have to seek her out, have to find her, all the while keeping his voice down, moving silently. Is it a lesson? The first two or three times it happened, Emil didn’t think so. Now, he isn’t so sure.

Their time in the Silent World will be short. The days are getting longer. The snow is falling wetly, turning to rain half the time, leaving the remnants of roads muddy, the going difficult. When summer comes, she will be needed at home. He might be needed, too. So the six of them will return if they can – and then what? Emil doesn't want to think about it. Will they keep in contact? He thinks about asking her, but it never seems like the right time. There's always something else that needs to be done, matters that are more pressing.

When he first heard of their mission, all that mattered was the money he would be bringing back. Now, Emil tries to put away the request that threatens to spill from his mouth at any moment, probably the worst moment. It's better not to say anything. Never tell her. Better to do one thing: to keep his sight on that flash of red. Sear her image into his eyes. But the thought presses at Emil's mind as he moves alongside Sigrun, as he works with her. He's already followed her to the end of the earth.

Why not keep going?

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October 2017

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