AN: This just sort of exploded out of my brain and before I had any idea what was going on, this little fic was sitting on my computer. I read Speaker for the Dead the first time a few months ago, and it was one of the greatest novels I've ever read. I swear, it broke down my entire outlook on life and made me bawl like a little kid. And I've cried maybe five times in my entire life. I love this pairing to death and I'm glad I could contribute something to them. Enjoy!

"Don't talk."

There it is, that whisper against his collarbone, the heat of her breath drifting in clouds of fire across his skin.

His bare torso lies exposed to the moonlight flitting in between the cracks in the curtains and to the cold metal walls of the Zenador station pressed up into the grooves of his shoulders. But mostly, his skin lies exposed to her eyes, those eyes of dead fathers and uncanny silences and descolada viruses all boiling behind pitch pupils. They follow every contour of his chest. He can feel her, as she stares down each rise and fall of his lungs as he breathes. The intensity of her midnight gaze bears deep into his every pore, and for perhaps the span of a single heartbeat Libo finds himself wondering if Novinha is staring straight down into every cell of his body, if she's watching them writhe and thrive, reproduce and die on the spot like millions of animals shoved into one cage and commanded to battle to the end.

Her forehead brushes the crease between his neck and his shoulder. The flicker of her eyes slipping shut waltzes across his skin like the pulsing wings of a butterfly held fast by the nets of fate. Her voice, too, flaps its wings in slow, uncertain movements, and with every twitch of it he feels her falling farther over the edge. Fly from the safety of his arms or flee to the ends of the earth, where she can finally live in the solitude of her sins? Fight like a rabid, snarling creature to maintain her composure or give in to the primal instincts spiraling through her gut and making her head ache and pound with a thousand unspoken declarations?

Her voice floats up to him, so soft her words are more the hum of the generator keeping this place running that they are her own true thoughts and ideas. "Please," Novinha whispers, and he knows that he will follow whatever phrase comes next with the ardency of a madman brought back to sanity. "Don't speak. I don't want this… to be any harder than it has to." She shakes her head, and strands of her tied–back, falling–apart hair sweep against his shoulder.

Libo's arms bring her close into the caverns of his body, then his fingers are skipping like stones down the front of her shirt, one button after another until her shivers are travelling the length of his spine and her harried breath makes his heart beat in fear and anticipation.

Slowly, the fabric seeps to floor. He keeps his lips shut tight, though his mind threatens to burst, and he prays to whatever God living in Heaven somewhere on one of those distant stars that she knows he would rather cut out his tongue and burst into flames than shatter the silence she wishes him to maintain.

His next move unwinds her hair. Ash–black locks, ink dark now but soon to mix with the in–betweens of gray like fog and mist and smoke, fall in tangled strands, curling and tumbling down her back, down his chest, raising goose bumps on his flesh and making smiles tap the edges of his mouth ever so briefly. He traces the twists of her hair until his fingers, fingers like gentle masses of callouses stretched thin, pause at the protrusions of her shoulder blades. A split second's worth of hesitation– can I really go through with this?– and then he sells his soul to the devil with the single unclasp of her bra strap and that glorious, breathless inhalation she makes as she pulls it all the way to the floor for him.

Then they break apart, and one minute is lost to their own busy work as shoes tumble to the ground and socks fall beside them, and all the rest of their clothes are ripped away from skin too long kept buried underground. When they embrace again and sigh in the paradise of their solitude, they collapse against one another in a tangle of arms and legs and serenity. Hand upon hand, gaze upon gaze, soul upon soul, their touch and their minds collide like the explosions of stars deep within the endlessness of space.

Unanimous in their wordlessness, they sway towards the guest bed propped up in the corner.

Unable to bear the thought of leaving the expanse of her arms, Libo presses himself sweet and safe to her skin. Together in one shapeless mass of Adam and Eve they stumble to their Eden and pry back the sheets that blanket it from sight. Together they sink into the conceptions and misconceptions of their Garden, halfway between quilts and mattresses, halfway between one world and the next.

The determination of her fingertips leaves scorch–marks on his body, and even here in this hallowed nighttime, Libo swears her irises glow like embers gaining spark.

His lips run the length of her jagged jawline. His heart swells, as does his hope, rising on wings into the glories of the sky where he and Novinha play harp–string lullabies in the swirls of the clouds.

And with her kiss, he burns upon the pyre of his sins and is reborn into this world a new man: a creation of neither God nor technology, neither religion nor research, but a lonely soul now finally met his match.