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Uncertainty Principle

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Gordon’s bare chest rattled with anxiety as the winds whistled around the concrete walls. He knew this wasn’t wise. Tomorrow he could be gone for twenty more years. Or she could.

Gordon closed his eyes and grasped her hips, rowing his thumbs in little circles as he admitted to her how close he was to disappearing; how in that moment he could simply evaporate from under her skin and she would find herself sitting alone in a bed grasping at the sheets as if they were the parts of him she had lost. How she could not rely on him for anything. The reply was instant, her lips settling on his in reassurance, her breath bristling his facial hair.

“No matter what amount of spacetime comes between us, your actions influence mine, always.”

Figures. She would describe entanglement, after all that tinkering with the teleporter for years. She wiped a strand of hair out of her hazel eyes and reached out a fingertip to count the rings around his green ones.

“It’s like you’re in a clockwise spin and I’m counterclockwise,” Alyx whispered, arching back up from his face and taking a breath; he longingly watched her ribs rise out of her muscled torso and just as quickly disappear. “I can’t be fully described without taking you into consideration.”

“I won’t be here forever,” Gordon barely spoke. It is an apology. To both of them. But he knew there was no turning back. He could barely keep still now. His hands were already wandering up and down her sides, across her solid abdomen.

“You’re arguing against the laws of physics, Doctor,” Alyx chuckled. She had a small smile in contrast to her concerned eyes.

She wanted him to be happy for this. She willed herself to be happy for this. Could he manage it, though? In spite of everything he’d been through? Despite the dread gnawing at his stomach?

Maybe she was right, and his apprehension was unfounded. The vortigaunts worked through quantum states. Perhaps they really were entangled‒ not just physically right now, but on a cosmic scale. Yet the question remained: was it stronger than that other, malevolent force pulling at them?

In his reverie, his fingers had halted upon the dual scars that had nearly claimed her life. They were pale, almost as much as he was. Gordon swore he could feel static behind them. Alyx, no doubt not wanting him to linger on thoughts of their mortality, decided it was her turn to explore. Her hands slid down his chest, her eyes following so she could watch his lean form oscillate under her touch. He was so full of aching of all sorts, but as he saw her sanguine face stare down at him lovingly and expectantly, he allowed himself a smile. Gordon took her wandering hand in his own and brought it against his panting lips, finally letting his emotions flood his hollow chest. He nodded.

Assured, now holding both his hands in hers, she rocked back onto him and closed the gap between their bodies.

There was no distance between them. No false veil of time or space could intervene.

He felt so close to dissipating but she was there latching on

to keep




Afterwards, they laid facing one another. One of her legs was nestled between his own, her thigh pressing into him confirming that yes, he was solid and not mere vapor. Her cheek rested against his outstretched forearm, her soft lips grazing a bruise almost in a kiss. She muttered his name.

He strained his throat in response: “Hm?”

“I really do love you,” Alyx sighed, nudging just an inch closer.

“I love you so goddamn much,” he said, and meant it.

Gordon gently laid a hand against her sweaty temple, frowning because it would never be this peaceful again.