The Fog opens in front of her and closes behind her. The shard of bone clutched in her hand bites into her palm and she keeps walking, steady and unflinching, even as her stomach quails a little.
There's been a long stretch of bitter trials, long nights and hard fights. The Fog seems to resist her more and Meg wonders if there's a component of his will in it. There are times when the deaths, the struggle, stands between them. When they feel too raw and too hard done by and they don't speak until the fury and the exhaustion ebbs and the pain softens.
But eventually she breaks through. The night is so acutely blue, moonlight slipping through the treetops, and she hears water droplets patter down from the creaking tower as she passes it. In passive hours she can find her way through the estate blindfolded; sometimes her familiarity leaves her disoriented during trials, in the funhouse mirror version of these paths and walls. She's headed for the ramshackle building where she knows he'll be sleeping amongst the crates.
But he's not sleeping when she gets there. He's lying there, but when she clears the stairs and stops short she sees the flick of his eyes as his head turns just a hair. For a second they're both still, waiting for some thin skin on the moment to break. He doesn't move or speak, even to ask what she's doing here, and she takes one step forward, then another.
She reaches him and looks down at him, and an ache builds in her throat. There's no rage in his eyes, only a moody darkness in the tension of his jaw. She can read him like a book now, even with the mask on.
She steps over his body, straddling him, and sinks down. His hands instinctively come up to touch her thighs, surprised, where her skirt rides up. His fingers are colder than they should be, and she shivers as they spread against her legs and then flex, gripping softly. She traces the lines of his mask's cracked grin first with her eyes and then, slowly, with her fingertips.
When she reaches around to the back of his head, he lifts up without asking. The metal resists being levered apart, but it gives to her thin scabbed fingers. Why his hands can't open it but hers can she's never asked half out of fear of the answer breaking the rare permissiveness of the Entity.
The lines of it digging into his face are red even against his soot-smeared face. Meg sets it down with care beside him, and as he leans his head and shoulders back against the thin mat spread over the boards her hand slips from beneath him. To his neck, to his shoulder. Her fingers curls oh-so-lightly around the base of one of the pieces of metal jutting from his shoulder.
One of his hands squeezes her thigh again, and the other lifts to find one of her braids. He tugs it over her shoulder, running it between his fingers and watching it brush against the heel of his palm. His breath sighs out, deep and ragged. He plucks the tie free and Meg hums softly. No words, not yet, and not a real protest. Angles her head to his big hand and lets him unweave the plait.
"Evan," she says softly, and bends to him. Their breaths mingle and she kisses him with an unsteady exhale. His arms slowly weave around her and pull her in tight, muscular shackles she welcomes. The air warms between their bodies. She kisses him harder, her fingers tightening instinctively around the metal that pierces his body. It becomes almost desperately intense all at once in a hot dark tumble. His tongue strokes in her mouth and she moans, breathlessly, her voice hitching and cracking.
He pulls her back then and for an unthinking moment she gasps and resists him, seeking his mouth again. But his hands move to clutch her thighs and pull her up, tugging insistently, and when she understands she cooperates. Her skirt is swept aside and fisted in one hand and he pressed his mouth between her legs, dragging in a deep breath in a way that makes her face blaze with heat. She takes her skirt in her hands and his hand, freed, drags over her leg to between her thighs and hooks her underwear aside.
The cold air and the whispering of some haunted mockery of wind through the trees runs headfirst into the shocking heat of his mouth. Meg cries out, gasping and loud in an animal peal of urgent desire. He knows how to touch her, how to lave her flesh with his tongue. They've done this enough that even in near-silence, even with so few words as prelude he knows at what point to push a finger inside, then another, to stretch her out almost a little too fast while his tongue stays steady and luxurious on her clit. She yanks at her skirt, gasping, and tries not to crush her hips against his chin. Something tears, she can hear the sharp little rip of its seam in her skirt.
She pants his name, and then again, her voice squeezing smaller and tighter into her chest instead of louder because god, how can she say everything she needs to say, everything she came here to say? Inadequate.
But he doesn't need her words. Not right here and now, at least. He keeps one arm curved over the top of her thigh, pinning her underwear aside, and fucks her with the fingers of his other hand, and his tongue doesn't still. Her voice rises until, if there were birds in this place other than the fucking crows, she'd be scaring them out of the trees.
When she comes she lurches forward, falling to her elbows, gasping and heaving for breath. 'Don't smother him,' she thinks dimly, her heart pounding, but he keeps his muscular forearm locked over her leg even as she quakes and whimpers with aftershocks and grinds mindlessly against him.
At last the last shivers leave her. She eases back and he lets her go, settling her underwear back into place with a tug so that his coveralls don't chase tender skin. She walks clumsily back down his body on her knees until she feels his erection against her ass but hesitates and looks at him solemnly. "Evan," she says softly.
He makes some rough sound deep in his throat and he tugs on her loose hair and draws her down to kiss him. She can taste herself on his lips and she deepens the kiss, desperate, her fingers curling and scraping against his jaw. She pours all the inadequate, seething words trapped in her ribcage into this kiss and he reciprocates, winding his arms around her so tightly it's like for a moment, just a moment, he can anchor her to a small world inside but untouched by the Fog.
It's enough. For just this moment, she thinks, it can be enough.