still a little bit of you laced with my doubt
there's still a little bit of your taste in my mouth
there's still a little bit of you laced with my doubt
it's still a little hard to say what's going on
"Cannonball" -- Vienna Teng
"Mercy, mercy!" Eagle calls, laughing. Hikaru pretends to glare for a second before she laughs as well, unceremoniously dropping herself unto Eagle's lap, arms around his neck, nuzzling close.
Lantis shakes his head, but when he gets close he's not surprised that both Eagle and Hikaru turn to look towards him, eyes bright and happy. He sighs, but he's smiling, not able to even try to pretend he's mad.
"What am I going to do with you two?" he asks.
Eagle's eyes are bright with mirth, just a hint of mischievousness in the way his mouth curves.
"Oh, I have a few suggestions, just allow me to clear up my schedule and then--"
"Eagle!" Hikaru laughs, pecking Eagle before she stands up, and Lantis obediently leans close for her to be able to do the same with him, enjoying the way she smiles against his lips before she turns around, her braid behind her before she picks up her sword. "I'll see you guys back home."
"Be careful," Eagle says, but his eyes are already on the documents Lantis is giving him, smiling at him. It's routine, this, even when sometimes Geo complains about the PDA.
Lantis does look up to catch her smile over her shoulder, the bright way her eyes shine.
"I always am."
"There wasn't supposed to be a raid," Zazu says. He's shaking, barely able to sit up straight. Eagle makes a nod towards the doctor to come on closer, tries to keep on listening to his words because it's important, he has to do his job, he has people to protect. "We researched. We did everything we were supposed to do. We were just picking up a package, and then we'd be out."
"It's okay, kid," Geo says, leaving Eagle's side to offer him a glass of water. "It's okay. No one's blaming you."
But Zazu just shakes his head hard. "They came out of nowhere, Boss. I tried. We tried, but--."
He has to ignore the way his stomach has clenched, how Clef called for him directly, not Geo and not Lantis but him and he thinks about how Lantis actually left his side, and there is only one reason why he would do that.
He feels cold. "Where is Hikaru?"
"It's a trap, run!" Hikaru orders, pushing him away and Zazu has his gun out but Hikaru doesn't give him a chance to die like this, instead running herself, thinking that she made a promise, that she has to go back, so she ignores the wounds she gets, using her sword to open a way for her and Zazu to get away.
And when she falls down after a bullet lodges itself on her back, even after everything starts going black, she thinks about her promise, and she thinks about Lantis and Eagle and she thinks 'please'.
Lantis thinks a thousand things about Hikaru. He thinks she's one of the strongest persons he knows, perhaps not physically but because of her heart: if it's about her heart, she's even stronger than Eagle, and Lantis had always thought that Eagle was the strongest person he'd know. He thinks that Hikaru is beautiful when they're training together, her sword sharp and her eyes so very focused. He thinks that he loves the way she makes Eagle actually smile, something that Eagle almost never does, not since lady Ko's death. He loves the way her back curves, how she always wakes up with the sun, the tiny little angry noises she makes when something doesn't come out her way. He thinks that he loves her for being her, a bright beacon of light that this polluted city couldn't taint.
He has never thought of her as defenseless, or fragile. Not with the way Hikaru fights, giving everything inside her. Not even when she came back injured and bleeding and he and Eagle would wrap bandages about her wounds and then they'd sleep together, making sure she was alright. She was strong then, as she nuzzled against them, hurt but not broken, never broken, because no-one could ever break her away
But now she's wrapped in bandages without being able to wake up and she looks so pale, with bruises under her eyes, and he can only think about how could they have ever let her fight for this city at all.
The hospital is eerily quiet, hours later. It's late, Geo says, but Eagle doesn't nod, feeling his throat dry after the last orders he has had to give.
Eagle looks at the way Lantis sits by Hikaru's side, as he hears the way the machines beep, as he refuses to actually look upon Hikaru's face.
'Mercy, mercy' Eagle thinks as he refuses to cross the door.