A The Space Between Us fanfiction
As the shuttle took off I felt the barely familiar feeling in the very pit of my stomach. But I shook off the uncomfortable feeling and just closed my eyes and pictured Gardner, his face bright and healthy again, his enlarged heart and loving heart fine and beating perfectly.
As I walked down the corridor Migele, a young man, only twenty three, walked to me. "Hey, Gardner, you hear?A new pod is coming in today. A few youngsters like us. You excited?" He asked, bouncing up and down and lifting high into the air.
"Yeah, I guess. Hey, look, I've gotta go, my dad's waiting for me in the dining hall for lunch." I told him and walked a little faster. In reality my father wasn't waiting for me, but I wanted to get to my cabin so I could check the messages. I haven't gotten word from her in a month. The technology has improved both here and on Earth, so she should've been able to get in touch with me.
I got to my cabin to find my computer had received no insta-message. I sat on my bed in the wall in frustration, and laid my head back. I missed Tulsa so much. Her strange sense of humor, what she calls 'sarcasm'. Her light feathery touch, everything. We hadn't video chatted in over a year, I wasn't sure why, but we just hadn't. I;d changed a lot. I'm now twenty, and she's twenty two.
Believe it or not, I've actually grown. Now Im 6 3". Tallest person in East Texas. My dad is very short, and supposedly so was my mother, so I'm not sure where I got my height, but it must have been a recessive gene.
I shut my eyes and try not to let the frustration and loneliness without Tulsa swallow me. Finally, I have had enough of the self pity and begin my designs on the extension of East Texas. Over the last four years, the population has grown, as well as my abilities as an expert engineer, so I was tasked with developing the new industrial wing of the settlement. My father was employed to be a Exploration Developer, meaning he coordinates the missions on Mars.
Three hours into my work there was a rapsing knock on the door. "Open." I said and listened as the heavy metal sliding door flew up.
"Gee, the new shipment of recruits is in, we need you help to guide three of the cadets around the settlement complex, then it's dinner. Come on, put on your jumper." My dad says.
I hastily pull on my suit and follow him to the suiting bay to get into our mission suits.
The Nasa ship is landed on the new docking bay, fifteen astronauts stepping out of the ship and landing on the planet, their feet over compensating for the difference in gravity. "Okay new recruits, welcome to Mars! I need cadet three five and ten, thirteen and six to follow me to the depressurizer and then you can get out of those pesky suits and I can show you around East Texas. ALright, please follow me, don't go off trail. Now the rest of you, wait to be called by your guide. They will show you around the compound." My dad said and guided his group.
Another guide takes their pod and then I call my group.. "Ok, may I please have recruits one, two, eight,fourteen and nine, follow me." I told them and marched to the third East Texas entrance and decompression chamber.
We reached the compound and I opened the heavy latch. "Everybody, please wait for the oxygen to reach the levels of Earth, it will take a few minutes. Please stay in your suits." I tell them, going through the motions.
"Ok, please follow me." I told the newcomers, smiling as I did so.
I got out of my suit and hung it in the alcove labeled Gardner Elliot, and instructed the rest to put their suits in the small cubbies in the floor. I turn my back and play with the sleeve of my shirt.
"Alright everyone, now we are going to the-" I cut myself off when I turned around. "Oh my-" I'm cut off again only this time it wasn't me who did it, but her. My lips were suddenly in a tight lock and my hands went around her waist. We broke apart and I straightened and she dropped from her tip toes, due to our height difference.
"Gardner." She whispered, clutching my neck while I held onto her waist.
As I hold onto Gardner, I don't cry, but I hold onto him and deftly run my hands through his hair.
The other four cadets wolf whistle as I kiss Gardner again and again, holding onto him. Sadly I haven't grown, like, at all, and apparently he has, because it's even harder to kiss since four years ago.
"I missed you." He muttered into my hair, picking me up, barley using any effort due to the lack of gravity, and then he added. "Not that I would tell you."
I smiled, kissed him, then pulled away, slapping him. "That's for trying to drown yourself, for leaving me behind, although you didn't have a choice, for making me love you so damn much." I told him and then shook my head again hugging him by the waist.
He laugh and hugs me back, squatting down so that he could rest his face on my shoulder. "You seem to be exhibiting what we call Disruptive Affective Disorder." He muttured. I must have looked confused as we pulled back but still had each other by the waist because he laughed again and clarified. "Mood swings."
Someone behind us laughed and I pulled away, keeping an arm still wrapped around his waist. "You think, try living with this little fiesty midget!" It was Granny who said it, a boy about twenty five that was a sloth, hence, Granny.
"I would gladly experience that." Gardner said, and kissed the top of my head,
"Four years has been too long." I said and nestled into his arms, pleased to feel his initial strength, not all weak from an enlarged heart. "It's good to see you all strong." I teased him and poked his flat stomach.
"And you are just as rude and abrasive as I remember." He chuckled.
"Love you too." I rolled my eyes.
"Alright guys, let me show you the dining hall. You will eat meals here. Everything is grown here. We don't have meat or um...what's it called?" He said looking to me. It took me a bit before I got what he meant.
"Oh. Sweetie, you're so cute, he's talking about Hamburgers, you should've seen him on Earth when he first tried it. It was like a toddler eating ice cream." I said to the rest of the group and looked back at Gardner, who had a blank, but adoring, expression on his face.
"Alright, well, we don't have that here. Now, last stop is the residential, where your cabins are." Gardner showed the other four cadets to their cabins and finally showed me mine. Which happened to be five cabins down from his own.
"Huh. Look at that." I said and smiled. I forcefully pushed him into my cabin. "Close." THe door shut and Gardner and I fell back on a white couch thing, all spiffy and clean.
"I love you." I whispered and pressed down on top of him, kissing up his jaw and them up to his mouth, using my tongue to pry open his lips, shocking him into submission. "I missed you so much." I told him and cuddled into is chest, turning on his side and snuggling.
"I missed you too Tulsa. So, so much." He leaned down and kissed my lips so hard that it kinda felt like he had practice.
"Gardner?" I asked, nervous, and insecure.
"Hmm?" He more vibrated than asked, and continued to kiss my neck from behind.
"How did you get so much better at kissing?" I wondered out loud and frowned.
"What? Oh, probably because I practiced on my pillow. Apparently other cadets have found me 'smooching' a pillow in my sleep. I blame you, you've gotten me addicted to your lovely lips." He said and I could feel him smirk into my neck as he kissed it.
I smiled and turned in his arms. "Earth sucks without you." I told him.
"Mmm Mars sucks without you. Although you've never been here before, by the time we have spent together before, I assume this planet is more enjoyable with you, similar to the way Earth was better whenever and wherever I was, so long as you were with me. Or I was with you, because I came to you, you didn't come to me." He said, mumbling and he sounded like he was falling asleep.
"Gardner, don't you think we should eat before we go to bed?" I asked, amused. He nodded. Suddenly my cabin door opened and I looked up.
"Gardner. You should eat. Your sugar levels are already low. Hello Ms. You should eat as well, your blood sugar is low, as well as judging by the figure, you are below the weight minimum for the Mars mission." THe annoying robot turned and I laughed. On the back of his head was a term that I'd taught him back on Earth. 'If you don't like it, don't watch it'. "My god Gardner, I love you." I told him and kissed him hard.
"Hmm maybe you should eat, your tiny. Privacy! PLease!" HE yelled at the robot and glared.
"Fine, Gardner, replace me with a woman. See how you manage without me." The robot backed out of the room.
Gardner smirked, and then looked back at me. "Mmm. Glad he's gone. FOrget food, I want to stay here."
"Ah, you're a lazy bum aren't you?"
"Lazy bum?" I asked.
SHe just laughed and kissed me, "Oh um, you know what lazy means right? Well lazy bum just means that you're a lazy person." Tulsa explains.
I cuddled Tulsa to me, my long body curling around hers and holding the back of her head.
"Gardner, I know you're in there. Come out, there's a progression on your wing." I shot up from my spot, "Open" I see my father standing outside of the cabin. "Good to see you again Ms. Tulsa. Now, Gardner, I want you to show me the plans. They're thinking of entering the plans as new construction plans." I nodded.
"Sorry Tulsa, I have to go, you want to go see my cabin? After that we can go get some food at the hall and then go to mine and watch a movie, if you want." SHe nodded and I smiled. "Good. Come here." I pulled her in for a kiss and grabbed her wrist, tugging her down to the cabin.
I show both Tulsa and my father the plans, Tulsa looked impressed and my dad simply nodded. I take her down to the dining hall and greet the youngest female aboard East Texas. Or what used to be the youngest. "SHeilah, this is my...um...this is Tulsa, Tulsa this is my um...this is Sheliah. Hey Liah, can we purchase some plum cookies?" I asked, forcing myself through the awkwardness.
"Sure, but why do you need to buy 'em? Here, just take 'em." Liah said, I blushed, and Tulsa laughed.
"Oh man, Gardner, what is with you and surrounding yourself with 'resourceful' women? Huh? Ah come on cutie, let's just grab the grub and bolt. Thanks Sheliah." Tulsa said, using the hand that wasn't clasped in mine and grabbed the small cellophane bag of cookie-biscuits made with plum extract and white synthetic chocolate chips.
"Gosh Gardner, you are just so adorable, still flustered, I thought we'd been through this." Tulsa smiled up at me.
It was twelve thirty in the morning when I heard a rattling above the door to my cabin. I shrugged it off and figured it was an air ventilation problem that I would need to fix in the morning. Just as I'd closed my eyes to get back to a shallow rem sleep, when I heard the ventilation grate hit the floor, dropping from fifteen feet.
"Hey darling." Tulsa dropped down into my cabin and crawled into my bed, lifitng the silky blanket much like the sleeping bag we shared on Earth. "I was bored, and cold, and wanted to be here. Take me in?" She whispered into my ear. I opened my arms and she giggled and curled into me, her body fitting into mine. I tugged her closer and wrap her up tight in the blanket.
"Love you." I said and tried to sleep.
"SHut up, go to bed." SHe said, sweeping her long hair out of my face because her back is pressed into my chest.
"You know, it's adorable how scrawny you are." SHe whispered and I just nodded.
"Mhmh, I'm adorable, come now, let's sleep." And I blanked out.