Disclaimer: Not mine. Not at all. Unfortunately.
I'm interested to know who people think this is - I myself have only just decided. Why don't you tell me in a review? Hint hint. Sorry. Shameless begging there.
Miss You Before You're Gone
He first asks her over breakfast one morning, deeply settled in their daily ritual of tea and toast. The words, casually slipped into conversation without either of them noticing, are met with a healthy dose of scepticism and a hint of amused sarcasm and it's only later that he realises he should have left the question there, where it belongs.
"I dunno…depends if I get eaten by some space slug on our next little jaunt."
The question is next asked after yet another round of running from some historical figure he may or may not have met, and the answer changes slightly. She's gasping for breath leaning against the door, and he's gripping the console for support and suddenly they're both laughing for reasons neither understands. The words are a simple reaction to the day's events, but he hears the defiant certainty in her voice and understands that sometimes the truth is only spoken when you're too giddy to think up a lie.
"As long as I can."
He asks her again, many times, always hoping for and dreading the answer he knows is inevitable. After natural disasters and invasions gone wrong, during meteor showers and rain storms, the answer is always different, but never the one he wants to hear.
Then one day he takes her to an uninhabited planet a million light years and half a century away from her home. The place itself is nothing special, apart from the night sky. Blues and greens swirling like the light catching the surface of a bubble, all shot through with reds and golds. In a way, it reminds him of her.
They sit against his little wooden box watching the light show. His arms are round her and she leans back against his chest. It's not romantic, or platonic, or mystical. It's just… them.
The words have become second nature now, their own private joke, but this time her answer is unguarded. The single word slips from her without thought, and in his hearts, he knows. Maybe not tomorrow, or the day after, but soon. He moves his head slightly and presses his lips to the top of her head.
They stay there till dawn, and he knows he will never bring anyone else here.
"How long you gonna stay with me?"
He also knows he has lost her.