Harvey was beginning to hate it on this ship. Hated the artificial light above him, the cold steel around him, the never-ending space surrounding him, the strangers with him. Perhaps hate was a strong word, he didn't actively dislike the crew for any particular fault they possessed. They were a decent bunch, hardworking, intelligent, and actually good company. People he wouldn't mind spending time with back home. But, he couldn't help but hate them sometimes. He hated them because none of them were her.
Karen. His wife. The love of his life. The reason he hated being involved with this mission. And, in truth, the only reason he had let himself set foot on the damn ship in the first place. If Icarus II failed, if the crew failed, the world would end. Everyone and everything would die. Karen would die. He'd be damned if he'd let that happen, not while there was still a single breath in his body. Not while he was able to save her. And that's what he was doing right now. In his own little way, he was going to stop the end of the world.
Part of him still raged against it. He would lie awake at night, tortured by haunting half-dreams of her. And parts of him would scream at him. You idiot! Why did you leave? Someone else could have done this. You should be at home taking care of her! And that part of him was right. Someone else could have taken on this job. But he knew they couldn't do it as well as he would. He had been picked for this job for a reason. He was the best. And so he left her behind. Three months ago to the day.
He had hated saying goodbye to her. He would never forget it, no matter how long he lived. It was one of those memories that would never leave, but would instead remain gnawing away at him, making his insides squirm in discomfort every time he thought of it. She had been so brave, hugging and kissing him goodbye when the time came. Any tears shed were hastily pushed away when she thought he wasn't looking. She knew him so well, knew it would hurt him to see her so upset. His brave, wonderful girl. He would do anything for her. So, when she made him promise her one thing, and one thing only, he vowed to himself that, no matter what, he would see it done.
"You listen to me," she said, grasping his face in her palms, a fierce look in her eyes. "You get home safely; you get back to me, no matter what. I want my hero home in one piece". He had laughed aloud at the sight of her giving him orders, and had stood to attention, giving a salute and a professional "Yes, ma'am". She snorted in derision at that, but he managed to distract her, narrowly avoided a mocking blow to his chest, by giving her another kiss. And another one, and another one, until the time ran out, and his final kiss was bestowed on her waiting mouth. And then, he was gone. Gone from her life, gone from his home, gone from his world. Perhaps never to return.
Harvey shook himself fiercely at that morbid thought. No! He would return home no matter what it took. He wouldn't leave her alone forever. He had promised her, and this was one promise that he could never break. Would never break.