Title: Isolation

Author: Hephaistion's Thighs

Rating: PG

AU: The Icarus II crew complete their mission and make it home safely.



Mace was sitting in a window sill, smoking. The creak of a floorboard alerted him to another's presence - Capa near the doorway.

"What are you doing here?"

"I came to check on you. No one's been able to contact you," the other explained.

Mace didn't bother to take his turn in the conversation.

"Is your phone working?" Capa asked.

"As much as I need it to," Mace replied.

"We thought you might be dead." The physicist's tone was less apologetic for the intrusion now, more frustrated at having to come all this way. "Just answer the damn thing every once in a while."

Mace shrugged.

"Why do you stay all the way up here?" Capa asked. Exasperation was the word for his tone this time. "It's green now, you know, most places. There's life everywhere. But you stay up here, where you can barely tell we did anything."

Mace looked out the window again. "I like the isolation."

Capa sighed. "Well... Just let us know you're alive occasionally, okay?"

Mace's compliance wasn't forthcoming, so Capa started to leave.

"It reminds me of before. This is what it looked like when we were together."

Capa didn't have anything ready to reply to that.

"I always thought... I know we stopped... seeing each, because of the mission, and I understand that, but I always thought, when it was over, we would... try again."

It was uncomfortable to see Mace flush with embarrassment like that. Mace wasn't the blushing sort. The vodka he'd broken out of storage the night before might have contributed.

Capa didn't speak for a while, because again he didn't know what to say that wouldn't just make Mace worse. But finally he had to say the truth, "It's not going to happen." They'd fought too much.

Now Mace looked sad, and that was uncomfortable too.

"Will you come back with me? It's not safe for you to be living like this," Capa said.

Mace shook his head.