Having found what was left of Handsome Jack’s office, Fiona and Sasha had lost any hope left that they might find Rhys alive and well. Sasha had been the one to find his cybernetic arm, gasping then trying to swallow around the acid pushing its way up her throat. Fiona’s name was all that left her mouth as she stepped back, looking to her sister as she stepped closer, eyes wide and focused on the busted metal.
Fiona felt her breath leave her in a rush, eyes roving over the damaged area near it, perhaps even looking for a body. His body. Her eyes landed on another bit of ruined wire a few feet away so, curiously, she made her way to it. The blue had dulled without its power source lighting it from the inside, but she’d recognize that flash of metal.
His EchoEye, pulled from his body, and as roughly as it seemed his arm had been pulled. In a horrified silence, she wondered if he’d been pulled to pieces by something. Maybe it ate the rest of him, and left only the metal. She was suddenly afraid to go looking for the drive port from his temple. Kneeling, she carefully picked up the EchoEye, examining it slowly. With a sigh, she slipped it into her pocket.
Soon, the two were on their way, ready to leave that horrible place behind them.
Six months later, and she still can’t let it go. It’s stayed with her all this time, and she can’t seem to make herself toss it out.
It wasn’t like he’d felt that way for her. They were nothing to each other. They fought like cats and dogs.
‘But he looked so genuinely touched to have even been called your friend...You can’t say he was nothing to you, and he could never say you were nothing to him.’
It didn’t matter that he was oddly sweet. Those moments were usually preceded or followed by a remark that made her want to wring his neck. It didn’t matter that they worked well together. He was still corporate scum who lied.
‘And you’ve never lied a day in your life? Never made it your career? He lied about something bad, but you have too. You know better than anyone the reasons why someone would lie.’
She lied to survive.
She couldn’t help but wonder if maybe it wasn’t the same for him, too.
She thoughtfully pulls the eye from her satchel, rotating it between her fingers. There were loops of metal around the perimeter behind the iris, probably meant to be latch points for connecting wires. Four in total, but a thought occurs that she’d only need two. She takes a deep breath before reaching for her tools and extra chain.
She set to work with her piece as best she could, using the handy skills she’d been taught as a child (though they’d been used to make forgeries to pawn off onto unsuspecting people).
Sasha is the first to notice it resting against her skin. She eyes Fiona warily.
“Why,” she finally asks.
Fiona just shrugs, eyes not meeting her sister’s. She misses Sasha watching her walk away with downturned lips, and watery eyes.
She catches herself reaching up to touch it in a moment of potentially fatal action as she hides behind a stack of crates. The bandits on the other side whoop and holler, bullets slamming into the asphalt just to her right. Her fingers wrap around it carefully, making sure to not pull it.
She wonders when it became her charm, something to drive her mind back to reality, something to help her focus. She’s afraid to think of how long it’s been happening, and she’s not noticed.
Once more, that infuriating man has stepped into a part of her life, and planted himself into her mind. He draws her away from herself as he always had done.
And he wasn’t even alive to appreciate it.
When she sees his face again, she thinks she’s seeing a ghost, but..something isn’t right.
His left eye...it’s brown, not electric blue.
And his arm is a sleek silver and gunmetal gray.
His hair is the same; his face when he glares at her. He still pouts the same. He’s still the dopey idiot with limbs too long to be right. He still bickers and argues over everything.
He no longer looks at her like a friend. He accuses her of abandoning him.
For a moment, she feels her heart from a year ago break into pieces. Like she could ever have abandoned him. To be accused of such a heartless act...she reacts to her sadness as she always has. She lashes out. She gets angry, and decides to let the sadness come later when she can be alone. Shaming herself in front of him by pleading just won’t do.
And also, ‘He played dead all this time. He didn’t try to find you. He was busy choosing to be a corporate leader. Why are you surprised?’
They fight. They fight so hard. They save Gortys, they kill the Traveler, they cry and rejoice when Sasha is saved. They race like children across a span of desert toward their prize, only to stop at it’s door to catch their breath and smile like lunatics. They talk, and she learns there is someone he’s interested in, but he won’t tell her who. She ignores the twist in her heart. They follow one another through the portal, side by side once again, walking toward a common goal.
He helps her over the final gap in the stairs, and they come to a stop mere inches from the glowing chest in the center of it all.
A moment of deja vu, and they’re smiling at each other, and she’s never felt so happy. Absently, her other hand reaches up, fingers grazing over the piece of metal settled at the hollow of her throat. His eyes are drawn to the movement, widening once they recognize what they’re seeing. She can almost pretend he’s leaning closer, but she knows she’s wrong. For a moment, though, he sees it, but that moment is gone in a flash as their hands touch the chest.
And in an instant, they’re gone.