Summary: Post 'Bunker Hill. Nights like this work best when spent in bars. Beka's POV.
We were all sitting around in the Maru, drinking. Well, Harper and Rommie were drinking. Rommie was debating Nietzschean politics with Tyr, who looked phenomenally bored. I kind of felt sorry for Rommie; she really was trying, and he was treating her like an uninformed child. I was trying to control the shaking in my hands. Sure, Dylan may think slipstreaming a suicide run with the entirety of the Commonwealth fleet slaved to the controls was an easy task for me, but he didn't actually have to do the piloting. Dylan was… somewhere not near us. Lucky thing, I was about ready to tell him 'fuck all' and get myself, my ship and my crew away from his insanity. I'm fairly sure it's contagious and after what he did to Harper – gods. I didn't want to think of Harper. Didn't want to think about the rejection in his eyes nor the complete loss of faith in his forced smile – I was willing to abandon Dylan just for doing that to my best friend.
Rommie's head was resting on my shoulder, soft artificial hair brushing my neck. Tyr was smirking. I glared at him over her, and his smile only got wider. I played with the tips of the avatar's hair, curling them around my fingers. Tyr watched me and the gleam in his eyes would have been classified as jealousy, but neither of us were Nietzschean and therefore there would be no logical reason for him to desire, and hence be jealous of either of us. This fact needed to be added to the list of things I really didn't want to think about.
"This would be more fun if you guys had something to drink," Trance commented in a half giggle. Surprisingly, she may've been even more drunk than Harper. I tried to catch his eye, but he was focused on his drink.
Without looking up, he said, "They don't wanna drink, don't make them, Trance." Harper's good like that. Respecting people's wishes and beliefs and such. Tyr didn't want to drink because he's Nietzschean and sees it as a sign of weakness; Rommie didn't want to drink because there was no point; I didn't drink. He got that. Respected it. Whatever. It was nice.
Trance almost pouted. Didn't quite make it on account of her still giggling over – something. "Are we ever going to speak to Dylan again?" she asked instead.
I flinched. Harper did not look up. "We'll see," I muttered.
"Trust gets one nowhere," Tyr contributed in his usual 'look at me, I'm a Nietzschean and therefore all-knowing' manner.
"Or it gets you dead," I added almost against my own will.
"Or dumped back on the trash heap of a planet where you came from." Harper hit me and Dylan in one swoop. Me more so being that Dylan didn't hear it. I flinched. There was no fucking way he got to make this my fault. Tyr and Rommie looked sufficiently pissed with Dylan. Trance was frowning at Harper. He'd told her what I'd said, of course. Don't do drugs. They're bad.
"Seamus—" I wasn't entirely sure what I was planning to say after that, but I had to say something. Harper cut me off.
"Forget it, Bek."
Rommie and Tyr still thought we were talking about Dylan. Rommie curled herself even closer to me, trying to melt into me and disappear. I kept forgetting that she'd been there too, right alongside Harper. It would have been impossible not to be effected by the horrors she'd seen down there. I put my arm around her and carefully didn't look at Tyr to see what his reaction would be. Eventually, I'd either have to convince him to sleep with me or kill him. Later. When I felt a bit more attached to reality. Trance reached over and hugged Harper. He looked surprised at first, but put his arms around her in return. It was a poor attempt on his part, and she pulled away quickly, eyes downcast. "Sorry."
He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. She walked away from him, sitting as far from him as she could get and he finished the liquid in his glass in one long swallow. I would have glared at Trance, but Rommie and Tyr had that taken care of.
"You know," Harper said after a few minutes of uncomfortable silence. "Nights like this always work better in bars."
"You want to go home with a nameless blond at the end of the night?" Tyr asked dryly. Harper shrugged.
"Blonde, redhead, brunette. Makes no difference."
"Beka's been all of those," Trance commented. Rommie choked off a laugh. Tyr rolled his eyes. I stuck out my tongue at Harper.
He held up his hands, one of them still holding his empty glass. "Relax, Boss. You're not my type."
Rommie sat up at this. "Tall, beautiful, strong, sexy, female. What about this is not your type, Harper?"
"She's too much like my sister. Incest is bad."
I laughed. Rommie shrugged. "So you two have never—"
Harper shook his head. "Not unless you count that—"
"Imminent death, Seamus," I warned him. He grinned at me angelically and shut up. Rommie frowned. It was kind of cute how she thought she was being subtle about her crush on me. I was flattered in a way, and it wasn't like I'd say no, but… Tyr. Fucking Tyr. And no, not in that sense of the word. Though if I was very lucky…
"Dylan's an asshole," Harper exploded. I knew it was coming. He slammed down his glass, glaring at it as if there was a tiny Dylan standing in the bottom waving a Commonwealth flag in Harper's face.
"Dylan is a strategist," Tyr stated. I didn't even look at him, keeping my focus on Harper.
"You saw the video," Rommie objected.
Harper shushed her with a wave of his hand. "Fantastic. So my cousin's playing martyr for the Known Worlds so more planets just like Earth can go through the same sort of revolution, and get crushed, just like Earth."
None of us said anything. Mainly because we all knew he was right.
"He said he'd come. He promised he'd come. He promised he cared." Harper reached over to the bottle sitting on the table, refilling his glass. "And he didn't."
Making dramatic speeches was not Harper's forte, no matter what Rommie had told me about his pronouncement of revolution on Earth, and his frustrated sigh made it clear that he knew this. Rommie slid away from me, going over to crouch on the floor beside Harper's chair. "There'll be another chance," she told him softly. He stared at her.
"How do you know? You saw those people, Rommie. The way they were just slaughtered out there in the streets? That's only going to foster more fear and hopelessness in the people that didn't fight. All the people that were willing to fight in the name of those who died before them were out there, Rommie. And there's no one left to fight in their names."
Tyr looked like he wanted to say something, but didn't. I shivered, and wrapped my arms around myself. No one said a thing. Inevitably, Dylan would find us and get us all fired up for another exciting mission to save the galaxy. He'd make promises and he'd say he cared. The circle would repeat over and over and over. But for now, there was nothing more than the five of us trying to deal with the fall out. And honestly, we weren't doing that great of a job.