Her pulse leaps onto my palm as I hold her by the wrist, restraining her from the atrocity clawing at my back. The viciousness of her stare is too foreign when directed at me.
“Move,” she says, voice like the calm and its storm.
But I know that even the spine of steel that I have admired for so long will not be able to withstand the tragedy of a fallen brother. I let her through when she pulls her arm away, because she deserves conviction in her strength.
She stands by the body of her savior. That spine melts into her knees, weighing her and her pride down.
A few times, she calls his name. Her voice is low, but I can hear it quaver. She has seen death enough to recognize Him, but she denies. With her hands and her words and her being, she denies that the face beneath the bronze of her hand is as inert and cold and ashen as it has become. And it is dreadful, how unlike her the tremble of her bloodied fingers is. But let her weep, no matter how concealed the sobs, for the years they spent comrades. What bonds the two, after all, isn’t an oath of familial blood, nor is it the promise of lovers. It is a vein that when severed, bleeds freedom and trust and strength.
I approach her kneeling figure, attempting to offer futile comforts. Her lashes have huddled together for comfort, every few in a group, forming little peaks on sharp green eyes. Only seconds later, something almost tangible reaches in, deep inside that gentle soul, and cruelly draws a cry as sharp as the blade she wields.