Pete, as expected, has become insufferable.
For her part, Myka just tries to stick to imagining about various ways to attack him with a fork at dinner, as opposed to testing them all out.
He smirks at her. "You totally kissed me."
She sighs, exasperated. "You were dying, okay, Pete? You were dead. It doesn't count as a kiss if your heart isn't beating."
He arches a brow. "I don't know, Myka. The kisses I'm used to usually make my heart skip a beat," he says, dryly.
"It's amazing I didn't just leave you," she mutters as she heads up to her room. She reaches for her running sneakers, lacing up the shoes, preparing for a run.
He doesn't follow her, amazingly enough. He just takes the boomerang football and heads out to the warehouse. She runs in the field today; she's read that running in grass is better for your joints than running on asphalt – there's more give, less chance of arthritis. The music playing, the steady rhythm of her feet, it all makes her forget about the world. Still, Rebecca's words echo in her ears. She didn't want to be stuck here when she first got the assignment, but she's grown to be comfortable with it. She even likes it … a little. But yeah, she doesn't really want to spend the rest of her professional life working here either. She wonders what Pete thinks about it all.
That night, after dinner, she sits with him in the den, splitting the small space of the single loveseat.
"You feel any different?" she asks.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean," she says, coloring a little, "I always imagined that a near-death experience would … change you, you know?"
"Well, you know, change anyone."
He reaches for one of Leena's cookies, takes a sip of the cold milk. He sighs, leaning his head against the back of the sofa. "I really wish she had a TV," he says. "You know what'd be good right now? Terminator."
She snorts. "You're such a boy."
"What? Nothing like Arnold Schwarzenegger driving a car through a building to make you forget about weird lobster things invented by – " he waves his hand indiscriminately, "whoever to make perfect soldiers."
"Turks," she corrects.
He turns his head. "What about you? I'm sure you could be doing better things right now. Reading a book?"
She hits him. "That's not all I do, you know."
"Ow," he says.
"You're such a baby," she says, taking a bite of his cookie. "Suck it up."
"You know, I died today."
"Yeah, yeah," she says, with a smile. "So you keep telling me."
It turns out he's not immune to his own brain. He has nightmares – there are intense, vivid dreams of lightning, the memories of the electricity running through him, on him. His heart beats faster, his chest suddenly clenches, and he feels the most intense pain he's ever felt.
He wakes with a gasp, teeth clenched to deal with the pain in his chest. He can't breathe.
He tries to tiptoe downstairs to get a glass of water, but she's sitting at the kitchen table, drinking some chamomile. The book she brought with her lies on the table. "Couldn't sleep?" she asks.
He doesn't say anything, pours a glass of water, and drinks a little bit. She notices his grimace.
"What's the matter?"
When the tension in his ribcage loosens, he manages, "Nothing. Just a nightmare."
She purses her lips. "You sure you don't want to talk about it?"
"The lobster thing latched onto my back and hurt like hell," he says, offhandedly. "What's to talk about?"
"It's not going to go away if you push it down."
"Well, thanks, Dr. Phil."
"I'm just saying – I'm not asking because I'm nosy, I'm asking because talking about it will be better for you."
He rolls his eyes. "I'll be fine." He takes a seat at the table next to her. "What are you doing up anyway?"
He looks at her, catches the slightest glimpse of regret, and he gets the feeling that maybe this has been the worst thing that she could ever go through today too – déjà vu. He takes her hand. She looks up at him, surprised, but her teeth bite down on her bottom lip, probably to stop herself from saying whatever obscenity she was thinking of at the time.
"You thinking about Denver?"
She huffs out a little laugh. "Yeah. Hard not to, what with you almost dying today."
The pad of his thumb traces a little circle on her wrist. "Didn't, though. That's the important part."
He shrugs. "The Warehouse job comes with its own dangers. Different than taking a bullet, but still."
Her skin is smooth, fingers long, skin a little cool. "I just – I wasn't ready for it."
He looks her straight in the eye then. "You're never ready for it."
She looks woefully down at her chamomile tea. "I need a drink."
He smiles. "You're telling me."
She looks up at him. "I'm really sorry."
"What are you talking about?"
"You know, I had – we could've – there was a straight shot."
"Listen, bullets wouldn't have stopped that thing."
"Had too weak of an electric charge to do anything to it."
She shifts closer then, wraps her arms around him in a hug. He closes his eyes. It's nice to feel like he's tethered to the world, somehow – she surrounds him: the scent of her shampoo, the feel of her arms around him – it grounds him in reality.
"I'm glad you're still here," she mumbles.
He smiles. "Me too." When they pull away, he shifts his gaze to the floor, then up again.
The spine of her book angles towards him – he catches the first bit of the title. It's part of a Sherlock Holmes collection. "I think I'm going to go to bed," she says.
As she heads towards the staircase, she says, "You going to bed soon?"
Her reply sounds tentative, but he hears the creak of the steps all the same.
(He doesn't go to sleep – spends his morning exasperatingly tired, watching the sunrise peek out from beyond the horizon. The bright orange hues remind him of her. Somehow.)