Disclaimer: I do not own anything from The Interpreter.


Silvia suddenly felt the impact of what had happened several hours earlier come crashing down on her. Kuman-Kuman was dead along with sixteen other innocent victims. She lowered her head, what remaining strength she had draining from her body. The wall of self-protection that she had erected to protect her, to block what had happened – the images of destruction, agony, fear, and grief – crumbled to dust. If she had not gotten off the bus when she had, she would have been dead.

The realization rocked her. Her hands shook, and she breathed deeply, listening to the air fill and escape her lungs and to the steady beating of her heart. Tears slowly streaked down her face, and her eyes closed.

Who had planted the bomb? Had it been meant for Kuman-Kuman? Or perhaps for her?

She was oblivious to the couch sinking as Tobin, a wet towel in hand, sat down next to her. So deep was she in her thoughts. But she was brought back to earth when his fingers touched her chin, gently turning her face towards him. Her eyes snapped open, and she stared at him.

Silvia was slightly relieved to discover that the frustration and anger had vanished from his eyes. Instead they were filled with something she could not name. After holding his gaze for a second more, she lowered her eyes.

The cold wetness of the cloth soothed the hotness of her face and stung her open scratches. She was silent as Tobin began to wipe the dirt and blood off her face. She concentrated again on the rhythm of her heart and her even breathing; but it was not enough to reassure her.

Subconsciously, she brought her hand up to Tobin's, halting his cleaning her face. Her fingers wound around his, lowering them. Her eyes fastened on them: flesh upon flesh. Slowly she raised her eyes up to Tobin's face. His own eyes were studying her, lines caressing his forehead. She leaned against him, her hands moving up his arms, her head coming to rest on his chest. Gently he leaned back until his back was supported by the arm of the couch. He rested one of his hands on her lower back and the other on her arm, stroking each spot slowly.

Silvia drew a haggard breath. Hearing Tobin's heart, feeling his arms around her, she felt a sense of sanctuary come over her. She was safe. She was alive. He was alive. They were just alive.