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And Every Single Night (You’ve Been Gone)

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Minkowski wasn’t talking to Lovelace.

Maybe that was petty.

She didn’t really care.

It was her bomb, after all. Minkowski- Minkowski knew she couldn’t have known that it would happen, knew that she couldn’t have predicted something like the fucking star changing color. She knew, she knewknewknewknew.

Nobody could make her talk to Lovelace, though.

Commander I’m-

“Hera?” She asked. It was late.

“Yes Com-mander?”

She hesitated for a second. “Can you- can you play the audio log?”

A pause. “Which one?”

“You know which one.”

“Would you rather I play one of his personal logs?”

“Damnit, Hera.” Minkowski snarled. “You- actually.” She paused. “Please do.”

A click. “Hello, dear listeners, communications officer Doug Eiffel here! Day who-knows here on the Hephaestus station, and I’m-“

“Eiffel!”

“I’m- doing something very important, Commander!”

“Suuuure. And what would that happen to be?”

“I...uh...working this signal for signs of extraterrestrial life...?”

“Is that a question, Eiffel?”

“No, sir. Very important, high-level stuff.”

“Well, once that’s done be sure to actually do your job. I just checked, and you still haven’t changed the-“

“Turn it off, please.” Minkowski whispered, tears starting to float in the air around her. Pryce and Carter, Pryce and Carter. Crying was an endangerment to her crew.

What was left of her crew.

Which was...Hilbert.

She started crying again.

Renée had never been a loud crier, in an attempt to banish any fits before they could escalate and effect her physically. But now? Loud, gasping sobs escaped her, and she clamped a hand over her mouth to try and quiet them but they wouldn’t stop and Eiffel cried like this loud and big and over stupid things like popcorn and their sad lack of coffee that was just glorified sludge and no toothpaste and what she wouldn’t give to wake up and find him holed up in food storage screaming about his rights, the dumb bastard-

Minkowski.” There was a hand on her shoulder. Blinking through her tears, she could see-

-shrapnel bomb explosionEiffelCommander-

“Minkowski!”

Lovelace.

“You with me?” Her eyes searched Minkowski’s.

She nodded stiffly. “Yes.”

“You wanna talk about it?”

“No.” She pushed herself away from Lovelace.

Lovelace bit her lip, obviously worried. She turned to leave the room, earning a small amount of respect. “Okay.” If you say so, She meant, But you’re wrong you stupid useless Commander who can’t even kept her crew safe-

“Isabel?” Renée burst out, drawing the woman’s attention. “Does it ever get easier?”

“...It does.” Lovelace- Isabel floated closer to her. “There are days where it’s all you know. There are days it won’t bother you, days you’ll forget at first until you go to ask them something and-. Well. But there are days where it doesn’t hurt.”

“How long?” Renée asked desperately. “How long does it take?”

“I- I don’t know. I can’t give you a date.” She smiled sadly. “So if that’s what you’re looking for, sorry.”

“Right.” Minkowski looked away from Lovelace. “Well. Goodnight, Lovelace.”

Minkowski didn’t have to be looking at her to know she was making that face, and she prayed to a god she didn’t really believe in Lovelace wouldn’t press.

“G‘night, Minkowski.”

She waited until her door shut completely before strapping herself into her bunk, eyes searching the now dark room.

“Good night, Hera.” She added.

“Good night, Commander Minkowski.”

Commander I’m-

This time, in the dark room, her tears were silent.