Warnings: None, really. Discussions of death?
Author's Note: Posted as a response to a prompt from comment_fic on livejournal.
Tears are streaming silently from her eyes. The ionized heat stings at her face, even through her shield which is blocking out harmful radiation. The exploding star is fluorescing far beneath them, shedding layer after layer of heavy metal.
The colors cast blinding light all around them.
Even though it is hear-rending to watch a star die, it is somehow beautiful.
Kit is also crying, and he makes no attempt to hide it. Nita can feel his sadness – right down to the bone. It mirrors hers.
"He's in Timeheart now," Kit says. The words will comfort, consolation, later. Later, Nita will cling to those words.
For now, the loss is too near.
"And all that… star stuff, will create new stars, planets, peoples…."
Kit smiles. He is still crying. "His death is Life's triumph," he says, and there is a weary warmth in his voice. The shifting, boiling colors play shadow games with the features of his face. "It still hurts, though."
"Yeah," Nita says, voice raw. "It does."
Neither of them have stopped shedding tears. But Kit puts his arm around Nita's waist, and she leans into him silently. The superheated materials that once made up an aging blue-white star are still scattering themselves through space. The two of them watch, in a silent tribute.
"We should go home," Nita says quietly. "The shield routines will only hold up against so much gamma radiation."
In unison, they start to read the transport spell, and moments later appear at the nearest worldgating facility. And then they return home – back to earth, to school and family and normal life. It might seem, superficially, that their ordeal has had no noticeable influence in their daily lives.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
It is a few days later that they sit together, under a diamond-brushed night sky. Kit's fingers intertwine with Nita's, and for a long time they search through the visible night sky.
Kit finds it first – a faint, silvery dot that they would never see surrounded by city lights. Nita smiles a little sadly, and waves.
"It'll be a million years on earth before anyone on earth knows," she says, a little sadly. "By then, he'll have formed new stars."
"We know," Kit says quietly.
Nita nods. Kit draws her close, and kisses her. For a moment, they just let the warmth linger between them. On each of their minds is the star that went supernova, the strange beauty of his death, and the strange tangle of confusion that is time, and Life. For a moment, it is all locked inside of Nita's head so viscerally – the feel of Kit's lips against hers, the warm summer wind rushing through the trees, the earth beneath her fingertips, the stars whirling overhead.
All of it, for a moment, seems to burn brighter for the death of their friend.