The cool air of night was almost pleasant. As he stepped out of the stuffy Inn he took a deep breath. Mirapulse, otherwise filled with bustling workers, voices echoing from somewhere all the time, was almost spookily silent.
Among the countless stars and the full moon, numerous fireflies were shedding light on the surroundings, a sight that invited to dream. That was just what he needed.
He sat on the edge of the rock ledge on which shops and the inn were and throw his head back to look up to the sky.
The thought that he would have never imagined his life be like this, crossed his mind inevitably. Restless journeying from one town to the next, searching for a cure which might not even exist to save a person who was already prepared to die. Nevertheless he didn't regret even one second, he would do anything for this person after all.
And as if she had known this, she suddenly sat herself next to him. He looked at her. „Can't you sleep?"
„I woke up and saw you weren't there so I wanted to look for you."
Sometimes he wondered if she feared he could run off because he wasn't able to stand her disease anymore. Similar to how he feared she would just disappear thinking it would be better for him. But he never asked her about it, he didn't want to know the answer because she could have meant a lack of trust.
„Couldn't you sleep?" she countered with her own.
He shrugged. „I did eat too much, can't sleep well afterwards as you know."
To emphasize his words he laid a hand on his stomach, she smiled softly.
„Isn't it too cold for you here?" he asked worried.
She looked defensively to the sky so she wouldn't have to look at him. „You know as well as I do that it basically doesn't matter."
They had discussed it often already, circling with their arguments until the imminent quarrel was adjourned by one of her strong coughing fits. He wasn't willing to relive this cycle this night and looked to the sky again, too. „Do you know that the stars we are seeing are already dead?"
„Is that from one of your books again?"
There was a time when she wasn't very fond with his so-called know-it-all-attitude but she began to like it with time, much to his enjoyment.
He smirked although passed on the answer they both knew and continued his explanation instead: „What we are seeing is merely the last flare-up before they die down. The light just takes so long to reach us."
„Why are you telling me this?"
Finally he took his gaze from the stars to look at her. It had been a while since he watched her consciously, her cheeks were sunken and as pale as ashes, it was no comparison to the flourishing life she held on their first meeting. Nevertheless he felt this pleasant warm feeling in his chest while looking at her, tied with the wish to just hug her and never let her go, to protect her from everything that only thinks about hurting her.
„I don't know," he replied earnestly. „I just wanted to tell it sometime but never got the chance."
She laughed amused then began coughing, so strong that her whole body was shaken.
At the beginning her attacks always managed to scare him but, he grew dull and became accustomed to it in such an extent that he just awaited an increment – and whenever he got aware of this thought he was scared of himself.
He wrapped an arm around her shoulder and waited for the attack to fade. While doing so his mind wandered to the boy who was with in the afternoon and who they entrusted with the search for a cure. It was difficult to get, possibly even too hard for himself but, that boy and his friends, Drifter altogether apparently, seemed strong enough to make it, despite their young ages. But would they return to hand them the medicine?
„We don't even know his name," he murmured lost in thought as the just sowed doubt began to sprout.
„You don't have to worry." Despite talking to him, she looked into the distance, directly into the prairie. „I know that they will come back. I have seen it in the eyes of the boy, he is earnest and wants to help."
„I hope you're right."
That wasn't too hard for him. While he was the thinking person who liked to think everything through and loved to act tactical, she was the emotional person, she always listened to her gut and he couldn't think of any occasion on which it betrayed her.
„What will we do when the cure works?"
He looked at her, puzzled. She never spoke that optimistically, normally she was the one who seemed to be ready to die but, now she asked such a question.
He got over his puzzlement fast although and got the dream he carried with him since he met her repeated times. „Well, I'd say we choose a town we like and settle down there."
„Classical with one house and a child?" she asked amused.
„Sure. Or two, three."
While laughing she gave him a powerful hit against his arm, he just hugged her a little harder. „We'll lead a wonderful life together, even without Children though, 'till we're old and grey – and then burn up like stars."
„You know, this metaphor doesn't fit?" she asked suddenly.
He blinked, puzzled. „What?"
„If we see stars after they're burned up, it would mean we recognize a person only after their death as a hero."
That made him thoughtful and after a quick considering he realized that she was right. „He, that's true."
He didn't let himself be impressed though. „Then we have to do something great before our death so people will speak about us later – and my metaphor will make sense."
„It would prey on your mind if it wouldn't, hm?"
He nodded laughing. „You know me. I hate to be wrong."
She laughed too, then both fell silent and looked into the prairie where the loud sound of a crossing train was hearable in the distance. Apparently it wasn't so late that they wouldn't travel until the morning.
They both enjoyed the togetherness they didn't experienced so consciously. To be exact since the disease has stepped into their lives and build a wall between them, but he was eagerly working to tear down the wall again so he could have her all for himself again. Even if the cure shouldn't work, he wanted to be by her side until the end.
A gentle wind let him shiver slightly. „I think we should better go inside again."
If he felt that way it must have been ice-cold for her, even if she'd never admit it because she still saw the need to be strong before him.
Instead of countering she let him help her up after he managed it to get up without falling from the ledge. She thanked him smiling and didn't let go of his hand while returning to the Inn together to get to their rooms and sleep – and to dream about a pretty future.
A/N: After watching "The Haunting in Connecticut", I thought about the conversation between the boy and his father about how the stars they are watching in the night sky are already dead and I decided to use this information for a small ficlet about one of my favourite couples.