Categories > Movies > Pitch Black > Calculation


by Charis 0 reviews

"He does not understand until later that the words are only half true." A study of contrasts. [Chronicles spoilers.]

Category: Pitch Black - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst, Drama - Characters: Aereon, Other - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2006-10-13 - Updated: 2006-10-14 - 888 words - Complete

by Charis

Disclaimer: not mine; and if they were, I'd probably give them to Kat.

Notes: This is crack. I don't even know where it came from. It's actually not meant to be romantic, all evidence to the contrary. grumps

"Elementals," she tells him, when they first meet, "do not prophesy; we calculate."

He does not understand until later that the words are only half true.

~ * ~

He goes to see her when he is young and foolish and very sure of himself. He is certain that no-one can touch him, and she proves him wrong, though not by her words. While the prophecy - calculation - she makes for him troubles him, the mark she leaves in the moment is deeper.

He is not sure how old she is - older, to be sure, but he knows nothing of how Elementals age. He knows, in fact, very little of her race at all, save that it is whispered they foretell the future, however it is they do it, and that when he raises her hand to his lips in archaic courtesy, the shiver that goes through him has nothing to do with the breeze.

He goes for a foretelling, but pays for it with his heart.

~ * ~

She told him once, some days after his arrival, that she was a part of his doom - that this was fate. "It would be better, perhaps," she had said, with a calm he had thought feigned, "if you were to kill me here and now," but she did not say better for whom.

He, young and rash and unaware of how the world worked, swore that he would do no such thing, never would, and did not understand until many years later what that smile of hers meant.

~ * ~

His breath comes in short, harsh gasps. She fades beneath him at each sharp exhalation, but she is still there, fiercely and indubitably real as she clutches at him and arcs her back. She is all ethereal colours, this creature of air, but right now she is fire, flame, and he forgets prophecy and fate and the world waiting for him outside as he loses himself within her.

Afterwards, it occurs to him how frail she feels - looks, even without the fluttering robes that usually hide those thin wrists and slight bones. He could break her, he thinks, with an incautious movement, but then he looks into her eyes and sees the steel there, and knows that while she may be air, there is fire and immoveable earth in her as well.

She knows him to the core, those coolly calculating eyes taking his measure, but he knows nothing of her save for how she feels and tastes and sounds and looks, and that is worth nothing at all in war.

~ * ~

He left shortly after, to complete the pilgrimage he had begun, and when he saw her again, they were both changed. She was simply older, but he, standing one foot wholly in the realm of the dead and the other halfway through the door, saw more of her than he ever had before, and knew that smile years ago had been triumph.

~ * ~

"You will be my prisoner," he says. He remembers her remark from that long-ago night, and realises now that her death, then or now, would indeed have made things much easier, but though changed, he is still a man of his word.

The chains chime softly as he holds them. There is an irony to their beauty, to the soft whisper of sound they make as Helion's breeze stirs them. For a long moment she looks at him, and he thinks he can read some of what passes behind that cool blue gaze, but in the end she only lifts her wrists and allows him to clasp the chains about them.

Her skin is still soft, but this time, he ignores the frisson of desire that crawls up his spine.

~ * ~

Days pass before he comes to her in the night, ironically furtive. Though he makes a pretence of questioning her, it is not long before he learns that her lips, too, are still soft. The music of her chains sings a counterpoint to his breathing and hers, and the sound of two bodies striving towards unity in the darkness.

He is death, he thinks suddenly, and breath is air is life, and together they are a cycle, but then she raises her arms to wrap about his neck, and as the chiming of bells fills the air, he stops thinking altogether.

~ * ~

He does not understand until his life is ebbing away and his foot is crossing over the threshold:

The truth is, prophecy is mutable, and Elementals dictate.

He should hate her, for hers is the hand that destroys him, though she has not come near him - has not moved from her vantage point, has hardly moved at all. And while he thinks that he should hate her with every fibre of his being, he sees - trick of the light? - the shadow of something almost forgotten in her eyes.

It would be better if you were to kill me ...

No, he thinks; she was wrong.

The air stirs, a breath of wind that kisses his face. He gazes at her, unflinching.

When his eyes close at last, he knows she has gone.

- finis -
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