Silence. A burning, not-entirely-natural heat bleeds through the ruptured armour, through Aria's combat glove, through her skin, and still can't warm the chill that's taken root deep inside. Her hand jostles the rebar embedded below Adam's ribs and he gives no indication of having even felt it.
Then, there's movement. A soft groan keens in his throat; the lightest whisper of breath touches her skin. "Aria? I'm still here."
His voice is weak, but she could cry for having heard it again. "Adam? What just happened?"
"Guess I passed out for a moment."
If she weren't so damn worried, the evasiveness of that might have her yelling at him in anger. "No. Adam. What happened?"
Another beat of silence. She thinks she might actually snap at him to stop doing that to her when he says, "My heart stopped. That was the Sentinel restarting it."
For a moment, Aria's own heart does the same. Then it crashes back to life with a panicked slam against her sternum. "Shit, Adam… Don't try to hide stuff like that from me. What if it happens again?"
"I...I don't know. My biocell's almost dead."
Aria swallows, throat tight around a cloying lump that tastes like dread. "You said you had enough power left."
"I ought to. There was a surge when the Icarus kicked in that drained everything before I could get a shield up, but I thought I'd get some back from the energy converter. Seems I'm bleeding too heavily." She feels him shudder, and equally hates that it might be pain or a suppressed sob. "The defib's supposed to hold its own charge but I'm draining reserves now. I'm sorry, Aria. I don't mean to leave you down here…"
She doesn't give that thought chance to form. "It's not going to come to that, alright? You must have spare biocells."
"I do. In the pack on my left leg."
With the increasingly overbearing weight pressing down on her, Aria immediately realises the problem. Even if Adam could move to reach it, doing so would bring the precariously balanced concrete down on top of them. "Well, if you can't reach it, maybe I can."
"Aria…?" His voice is wary, but attempting it is better than lying here waiting for his power reserves to fail.
"Just try not to move, okay?"
The pack is on the side where her crushed aug lies dead and useless, yet on her left, Aria presses her elbow as low to the ground as she can and tries to slide her free hand between their bodies. He winces, lets out a soft whimper in her ear as the movement again disturbs the metal piercing his insides, and Aria sucks in her stomach tighter as she inches her fingers through the near-nonexistent gap. "I'm sorry. Just hang on, I'm almost there."
Adam grunts, his teeth grit, and just as Aria fears her arm will become trapped even more uselessly between them, her fingers graze the top of his pack. "It's in here, right?" She holds her breath as she twists her wrist towards his hip, straining to feel out the zipper through her gloves.
"Yeah, it's the thing shaped like a pen drive. Got a plug at one end."
"I have an aug, Adam. I know what biocells look like."
"Right. Of course."
She wonders if that came out too harshly when he's still hovering close to unconsciousness, but there isn't time to dwell. "Alright. Got one." Aria tugs the device free of its holder between her index and middle fingers, then curls them slightly to secure it. "Where's your port?"
"Right arm. There's a charging dock beneath the panels."
As she fights to slide her arm free, Aria feels him shaking again, the tremors moving beyond his shuddering chest to perturb his limbs. Her own breath turns fast and shallow as she tries to move faster.
Going back the way she came is no good. Aria twists her forearm and attempts to move upwards, sliding between the kevlar panels of chest armour that grate over each other with their breathing. The shapes of it are hard and uneven, designed to deflect lethal rounds, and progress is difficult as she navigates the jutting plates curving up and outwards around her neck. At last she frees her hand into the hollow space by her left shoulder. "Going to need you to open it, Adam."
All he manages is a soft, "Mm," before there's a quiet click and a panel springs open on the arm he has braced against the floor. Still in the dark, every movement guided by touch rather than sight, Aria reaches towards it and feels across the shapes inside his open forearm.
"This is it, right? I'm not going to disconnect anything vital?"
"Yeah." His voice has become unnervingly tired again. She doesn't press him for more.
"Alright. Here we go." With a swift movement, Aria tugs the dead cell free of its connections and pushes the recharge unit into place. There's no response.
A second, maybe ten, ticks by, and Aria feels her stomach turning over. "Adam?"
There's a moment of dread that it failed, that instead of replenishing his energy reserves she's just let them deplete to nothing. Then she feels Adam draw a sudden deep, blessed, breath.
"Yeah, you got it, Aria."
Maybe it's the sheer relief, or perhaps it's just that he's taking more of his own weight again, but Aria's own breath comes a little easier. "Okay."
With her hand now lingering somewhere level with her chin, she moves it towards her mouth and bites down on the bloodied fabric of her glove to at last tug her hand free. The dust and chill in the air immediately springs into sharp definition on her skin, sensations heightened, but Aria thinks little of it as she does what she'd so long hoped for and reaches for Adam's face.
In the dark, she finds his cheek, stubble scratching on her skin, then moves higher through the plaster dust and grime to where blood is congealing on his forehead. Her heart skips a beat, then she comforts herself that it isn't spilling freely like the wound in his side. "Better?" she asks softly, watching that gold-green flash of his eyes before it darkens as his head lowers once more to her shoulder.
"Better," he murmurs, rebreather humming again as it filters out the dust scratching at her throat. "Still fucking hurts, though."
"I know." He doesn't retreat from her touch, instead leaning into it as the tip of his nose nudges gently at the bared skin of her neck. Aria begins to run her fingers through his hair. "I've got you, Adam. They're coming for us. Just hold on."