AWD #033: Dying Is Easy
Dying Is Easy
Summary: After finally making it to the resistance camp, Captain Cole dreams about home.
Date: 09/02/2013
Related Logs: After Give A Little More
Cole Iphigenia 
A tent somewhere in the resistance camp.
AWD #33

Cole was eventually lead back to the encampment and eventually allowed that cigarette. It was not soon after that he finally felt comfortable enough to knock off to sleep. Laid out on a thin bedroll, his mild fever is back, a niggling reminder of an infection that the few antibiotics that Betty afforded him haven't fully won their fight. He turns over fitfully, flinging an arm over his eyes.

Piraeus is a sunlit world. That's where he is, right now. This could be any of the colonies except maybe frigid Aquaria, because he is laying under a tree, but somehow this is Piraeus. The smell of graze, of heat on the breeze, and the dappling of sunlight beyond his eyelids tell him so. And while he's laying under a tree, he is not unsupported; his head rests in a woman's lap, and her hand is stroking her hair. There might be some confusion, maybe some hope, as to who this person is, but she begins to sing in a throaty alto as she continues carress him.

"I've got my ticket for the long way 'round/Two bottles of whiskey for the way/And I sure would like some sweet company/And I'm leaving tomorrow, whatd'ya say?/When I'm gone, when I'm gone/You're gonna miss me when I'm gone/You're gonna miss me by my hair/You're gonna miss me everywhere/And I know you're gonna miss me when I'm gone."

Ari rolls his head to the side, nuzzling his nose against the comforting lap. "I love it when you sing." He murmurs drowsily, the warmth of the day making him feel like a lazy cat stretched out in a patch of sunshine. A small smile teases at the corner of his lips, and overall the man seems content.

"Perhaps I should more often." comes the reply, smooth and warm and aristocratic. But also distracted and distant, the opposite end of the spectrum in comparison to how her fingers run through his hair. "If it pleases you."

There is a rumble deep in his throat, a quiet 'mmm' as she skims her fingers through his hair. The light way her nails scratch his scalp draw gooseflesh to his arms, and the 'mmm' ends in a sigh. "Stop worrying about pleasing me, and just …be."

She chuckles, then. "As if you're any different. Striving to please. To be good enough. To be worthy." For a moment those nails seem slightly sharper, but no, they were as they've always been. "Who are you? What do you want?"

"I'm the same as I've always been. I'm just a man, trying to get home." The corner of his eyes crinkle, into a web of fine crow's feet. A wince of pain or a deepening smile, it's hard to tell in the dancing shadows cast by the leaves overhead.

"Home is a choice." One hand continues through his hair, the other slides along his cheek, thumb absently stroking his jaw. The tendness of her attention is completely at odds with the cool reserve of her expression. She doesn't even look at him. "You want it to be easy. Don't you?"

Ari finally cracks his eyes open, but try as he might, he can't get them to focus on her face. Deciding the sun is in his eyes, they drift closed again. "Nothing is ever easy. Nothing worthy, anyways. Doesn't mean it has to be a fight, though. Doesn't mean it has to bring pain." He takes a deep breath, his chest rising and falling with the action. "But I like the pain. It brings me closer to her." His brow furrows. "You." He meant 'you' didn't he?

"Oh, that's not true, and you know it." she replies mildly. "Dying is so easy. Living to die, and living in death's shadow, for you, that's only a step away from dying. But actually living? That's hard." She leans down, her tone sympathetic as she whispers, "Don't confuse grief with pain. Are you alive?"

"Of course I am. What sort of question is that?" Though his corporeal form is bruised and battered, he is in fact alive. Just not entirely well. "My grief and pain are separate, of that I assure you. The grief is for me. The pain is for you. Her." This hurts Ari's fitful brain.

"Who am I?" she asks then, cocking her head to the side. Her hair is down, and falls like a curtain against one side of his face. She asks the first, and the second question as if she really doesn't know herself. "Am I alive?"

"Now you're just playing games. You always did enjoy a good tease. You're alive, my dear. You're alive to me." Isn't that what matters? His fingers lift to tangle and untangle in her hair, feeling the silk of it run between his digit as he combs through them. "What are you playing at now?"

"Look at me." she says, her tone still soft, but oddly also steel. "Look at me, Aristides."

"I'm looking at you, m'dear." Ari's voice has a sing song quality, as if neither here nor there, concentrating more on her hair than on her words or her face. Her shadowed face that is so very hard to see.

"Say my name, dead man. Say my name and live. Or admit what you are, and even if you fly away home, you'll still be a dead man, upright and talking." She leans in, his face now taken in her two hands. Her tone is challenging in a way that Gen's has never been to date, yet makes perfect sense for her. "Say my name and be alive."

It takes Ari a while to formulate words, as if his tongue has forgotten how to form itself into Colonial Standard. His eyes search her face, as the winds shift the branch overhead allowing fingerlings of sunlight to filter down so a shadow bifurcates her facial features across the cheeks so her eyes and mouth are clear and the rest is vague. "Sacerdotisa Iphigenia." He murmurs reverently in his native Scorpian tongue.

She smiles. He's pleased her. "Soon you will come home." she promises him, stroking his brow. "But you may not realize what home means. There are decisions you will need to make, Aristides Pescador Cole. Not today. Not tomorrow. But they will need to be made. You will need to decide if you are alive or dead, one day."

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