258

258 words. petruo. morning before the 57th expedition. repost.

He finds her in the grass behind headquarters. She lies there, stretched out between the flowers, staring up into the yellow glaze of an early morning sky. Around her the hair seems still, like it can’t move past her without stopping to stare, at least for a little while. He stands for a moment or two behind her, hidden by the shadows of the stable. He watches the golden strokes of sunrise play off her hair. Then she sits up, suddenly, and he knows that she knows.

“I didn’t expect to find you here,” Auruo lies.

Petra hardly glances over her shoulder. “How long have you been watching me?”

“I just got here. You looked so, peaceful, I don’t know. I thought maybe you had fallen asleep.”

She hums in response, a sigh in her voice. She lingers for a moment more, there in the grass, daisies sprouting at her feet, ignoring the unspoken things his presence says. He waits, but he can hear the horses growing restless in the stables. He shifts the weight on his feet, and the grass shuffles beneath him. Petra sighs.

“Alright,” she says. “I’m coming.”

She stands, brushing the dirt from her uniform, and they cross to the courtyard together, silent and pensive. There are no words for a moment like this: when the terror of the unknown eases itself into a calmness of mind and body that is eerie in itself. No hearts are racing, no minds are panting. They are here and now. Because that is all they can be.