Disclaimer: I own nothing
Author Note: An alternative take on what happened in 'Wrath Of The Gods,' set after that episode and so features major spoilers for it. Sequel to 'Misery Bindings.' Not essential to read that before reading this one. It's taken me way too long to write this pairing again. I only hope somebody out there likes it :)
STEAL ACROSS THE SKY
Mira woke with pain like fire roaring at her collarbones and shoulder and her mind hazy and confused. She gasped in air, throat raw, and clawed for answers. Memories seeped back like drops of blood. She remembered chasing foolish Germans down the mountain, firing arrows as Romans overwhelmed them. One Roman had thrown an axe at an unaware Spartacus and she had pushed past, notching an arrow...then Gannicus had shouted, and she had turned back half a step at the urgency in his voice. Pain had struck and darkness and screams had consumed her.
Words were getting stuck in her throat as she attempted speech. She coughed, once, twice. There was movement beside her as dim light played on unfamiliar walls, and Gannicus's image became clear. The shadows in his expression made her want to ask why, but coughing emerged instead and Gannicus called for the Medicus. His gaze stayed keen on her as the Medicus checked her carefully and helped her drink water. The relief made her sigh.
"The wound is deep and you lost much blood," the Medicus told her. "But you will live, given healing and rest."
Mira gazed down at the tight wrappings that held her together. She was in pain but she lived. The bargain could have been worse. The Medicus left to tell Spartacus of her progress and told Gannicus to keep watching her, as he had done before. Surprise and warmth filled Mira. Gannicus had stood guard over her?
His hand, she realised, was almost touching hers on the pallet. She reached, her hand heavy but determined, and squeezed his fingers in thanks. He squeezed back – another surprise – and almost smiled. He seemed worn down, carrying more weight than before. He was filthy with blood and dirt and his other hand clasped a familiar object. Mira forced her mouth into a smile.
"You have your wine."
"I'm glad of it."
As he spoke, darkness deepened in his face. That, paired with the strange room Mira found herself in, forced a gentle rasping question out of her pained throat.
"What has come to pass?"
Gannicus was silent for many moments. But then he seemed to pull words from somewhere unknown and gripped her hand like a lifeline. How Spartacus had formed a plan of woven vines and a climb down sheer rockface, and fire then turned against the Romans. How the rebels had swarmed like animals and Glaber had been slaughtered. How Onemaeus had fallen and had spoken of seeing his wife again and of the welcome that would await Gannicus in the afterlife.
Silence once more rested between them. Mira closed her eyes briefly, the better for taking in the stories laid out before her. Glaber was dead. So was Onemaeus. The rebels had won this victory. And though he had not said it, it was likely Gannicus had saved her life when he had called her name. She had survived and so had he. She laced their fingers together. Here was proof. Here was life.
"Gratitude." Her voice still rasped.
Gannicus smirked. "I am no Medicus."
"Yet without your voice, my path would be elsewhere."
Beside Oenmaeus went unsaid. Gannicus shifted, as though ready to raise sword against such a happening. He had lost much tonight already. It showed in the space behind his eyes and the way he watched her, like a dream that would dissolve before him too soon. His voice was twisted with wry bitterness when he spoke.
"The gods give and fucking take away."
Mira shook her head slightly. "We forge our own fates."
Her fingers flickered, to indicate their surroundings, and both of them. How could he not see it? Gannicus dipped his head, an acknowledgement as silent as so much was between them, and drank deeply from the wineskin. He could have found willing companionship this victory night, he could have drunk himself into his grief alone. Yet he'd chosen to stay beside her as she fought for life. Mira smiled, the expression coming easier to her now. There were few others she would want with her during such a struggle.
Their voices rose and fell in the candlelight, amid silences that did not need words to be comforting. With words and without, they anchored each other through a night neither had truly believed they would survive. He did not let go of her hand.