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That Red Firelight ([personal profile] redfirelight) wrote2013-07-19 06:51 pm
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Title: Pretending
Canon: Pacific Rim
Characters: Gipsy Danger/Coyote Tango
Notes: human AU, with some timeline fuckery because Reasons




Neither of them want to be here.

There's a war to fight. There are battles to take part in, lives to be saved, while they sit here, watching, sidelined by the same things they so desperately need to be a part of. The grief is over -- for the most part. It's always going to be there, lurking in the back of her mind, always ready to strike when she least expects or wants it. It's as much a liability as the injuries keeping them grounded. Loss takes its toll in more ways than she wants to admit. Until the wounds, physical and mental, are healed, she won't be going anywhere. It chafes at her, irritates and angers her.

It would have been worse, had she been alone.

Tango can't really offer sympathy. She doesn't know what it feels like, to have your closest friends ripped away from you. They're still alive -- Stacker and Tamsin, if not able to be part of her fight any longer. What she does understand, though, is the feeling of being trapped. That claustrophic feeling no amount of workout or reassurance will ever rid her of. She understands the burning need to be out there again, to fight, to do something other than lie around, healing, wallowing in blame and what-ifs.

So, she'll sit, offering up an ear, or a drink, when pain medication allows for it, when the memory of that night becomes too much, and Gipsy won't keep it bottled down anymore. Sometimes she plays sparring partner, though that tends to end up with more restraining hands than actual punches, when the younger woman refuses to keep the strain off her healing arm. Sometimes she plays doctor, for those times when pride and annoyance keep her friend out of the medical bay -- cleaning the stitches, bribing her with painkillers and coercing her to just lie down for one damn minute already.

More often than not, she plays confidant. She sits, legs folded as best she can beneath her, on the edge of Gipsy's bed, listening to stories, slurred, exhausted, pained, of the brothers she knew so well. Their fights, their hopes, their dumb little jokes and fights she'd break up or join in on, depending. She absorbs this all in silence, pale eyes focused, normally stoic features softened, as the muscles in the other woman's body tense, as her scarred fists ball up and press down into the mattress, fingers digging into palms. She watches the useless pain and fury bubble up.

And extends an arm, drawing the other nearer.

No words are said. The halting flow of angry threats against the kaiju, against the world, stop. She feels the trembling rage, the grief that never wants to ease, release. Gipsy relaxes, slowly, bit by bit, unconsciously leaning and curling into the offered comfort. Tango's hands thread lightly through short, dark hair, chin resting on the younger woman's head. There is nothing in the world she can say to make it better, not their situation, not their pasts, nothing. No reason to speak.

Gipsy never asks for words. They both seem to know, on some level, what's needed. Curled against each other, they remain close, holding on to what's become a weird source of stability in their displacement. In the morning, they'll pretend this never happened, sure. Gipsy will go off cursing demanding to be put back in the field, Tango will quietly return to her appointments, her therapies and her retraining. It will all go back to normal, the sense of clawing isolation returning. They're expected to soldier on. They know they can.

When they're done pretending, Gipsy slings an arm around Tango's waist and leans there, loudly critiquing the news reels and telling her, time and time again, how they'll take on all comers. How they'll make their friends proud. Once they're out. And Tango will, with silence and grace, reach over to cover her friend's mouth, shaking her head, the corners of her mouth twitching at the indignation and eye-rolling that follows.

Neither of them want to be here. Neither of them can do anything to change it.

But they're doing the best they can.