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Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

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Headlights illuminate the drying tears on Kara’s face. Alice can’t bare to look at the dead android anymore--her soft smile, her bowed head, the splattered blue blood--it reminds Alice too much of what could’ve been: the broken promises of family, safety, love, and freedom that spilled from Kara’s lips like honey.

She should be furious . She should hate Kara for giving her hope. She should hate Luther for protecting her and getting himself killed. She should hate the border patrol that shot down her family like they were merely targets, rather than the living beings with hopes and dreams that they were. She should hate Rose for promising them a safe trip over the river.

She should feel something.

But she feels nothing.

She walks in a daze to the car. Snow flurries around without mercy and sticks to her clothes. She wraps her arms around herself, simulating the hug that Kara would no doubt be giving her if she were alive. A silhouette of a large woman appears in the shadow from the headlights. Alice rushes toward her and buries her face in her jacket. She should hate Rose, but she doesn’t. She’s so undeniably relieved that it makes her sick.

Rose is warm and soft, where Kara is hard and cold. A strong wave of grief hits her with the thought of her caretaker. She misses the way Kara would hug her and interface feelings of love, warmth, and safety. She misses the smiles Kara would give just to her, the strength in her voice even when she was scared, and the way she and Luther would reassure her that everything would be alright when it seemed as though the world was falling apart.

Luther. She misses Luther, too. The hulking man did nothing but protect her in the entire course of his deviancy. She misses the gentle way he read to her with a sparkle in his eye, an expression she didn’t even know androids could make. She misses his soft voice, the way he’d sing to her, and the way he’d carry her on his shoulder when she was too tired or cold.

She misses her mom.

She misses her dad.

She misses her family.

She wraps her arms around Rose and pulls her as close as her weak arms can muster. She is free, and in the face of death, she is alive. She lets herself feel. She sobs, mourning the ones who are free, but not free. She allows Rose to comfort her.

Using the last ounce of bravery she has, she pulls away and takes one last look at the body. Kara’s face is still smiling, encouraging her, even in death. She takes the hand offered to her and moves forward.

It’s what her family would’ve wanted, after all.