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Drifter wakes on Europa for the three hundred and seventy-second time. After this many years waking up while on Europa at all is a victory but the last few nights have been very different than the first few hundred. They’re not a crew making do with their Ghosts, wandering the wastelands, going mad.  Eris has them set up with a shelter, food, running water. Shelter's mostly empty, but it blocks the bitter cold to a point that they can wash up without the water freezing.  

There’s no privacy and no expectation of it; Drifter thinks most of the remnants of the City lost any worry about the simple stuff a few catastrophes ago. The warmth and shelter is nice, but there aren’t any beds: they have a few sleeping bags strewn across the icefloor with their coats to act as insulation and bedding.

Groaning, he pushes himself up onto his elbows, twisting his neck from side to side until something pops audibly. Eris grimaces at him, as if of all the things he’s done, that is the most objectionable. Drifter pops his shoulder with a meaty crunch just to mess with her; it never healed right after a Captain tried to rip it out and beat him to death with it. 

“Must you?” Stranger asks from where she’s settled literally in the doorway, one long leg stretched out in front of her, the other braced up, a small plate balanced on top of it with one of the ration packs. 

“I must,” Drifter agrees and stretches to grab his toes; his lower back pops audibly as it realigns after sleeping curled uncomfortably on the floor. Eris swats at him on the way past to rinse her mouth out. “Watch it, Three Eyes.” 

“I am,” Eris returns, equally dry and Drifter can’t help the startled, loud laugh that escapes him.  

Stranger’s head tips back with a metallic thunk against the doorway, watching both of them. “I’m not certain if it’s more annoying when you get along or argue.” 

Behind him, he hears the rustle of clothes as Eris starts to get ready for the day. Drifter doesn’t need to watch to map her route, the routine of it already familiar. The coffee maker rumbles to life loudly and Drifter clicks his tongue in warning before he tosses a bowl to Stranger. 

“Cover up, Moondust,” Drifter calls as he’s digging through the ration options, counting them, Stranger popping the door open. A burst of viciously cold air comes through and Drifter grimaces through it until she’s back with a bowlful of ice to melt into the next batch of water, going back to her perch at the door. “Anything?” 

“A few Vex. Patrols, not scouts.” Stranger’s eyes aren’t focused outside, they’re focused to Drifter’s right; when he follows the look, he catches the curve of Eris’ bare shoulder while she works on washing her hair. Drifter crackles the ration’s casing loudly enough that it draws Stranger’s attention, just so she knows he saw, and grins. “Now that you’re both up, I’m leaving. The Guardian should be here soon.” 

“Buh-bye,” Drifter calls with a mocking little wave. The door opens and closes with another smack of cold air and Eris sucks in a sharp breath from behind him. “Whoops. Sorry ‘bout that. Didn’t expect she’d run off.”

He’s still careful not to look back or directly at her while she’s doing this. They all have quirks; hard not to as a buncha weirdos who are the only people going to a planet that wanted them dead so bad. Buncha suicidal weirdos, at this point, going out with each other when that hasn’t worked out so well historically for their other fireteams. 

So, Eris. She keeps the eye situation bandaged up for a reason, keeps herself buttoned up to the throat even when they’re not in the middle of the coldest, shittiest planet out there. Stands to reason she doesn’t want people looking at her when she’s not all buttoned up but that’s the second time he’s caught Stranger’s eyes wandering. 

The ice on top of the heater is mostly water at this point so he pulls it over to start the pot of coffee. Amanda’s contraption is rigged up to survive the pipes freezing if they don’t run it for a few days which means it sounds like it’s going to explode, but still makes coffee even if it’s freezing.  Much as he wants to push, to treat this like a wound and dig a little deeper to see what results it isn’t the time.  This early into the mess is when to test the water, not rock the boat. He’ll save pushing for later; might be something he can use in there. For now, he starts tugging on his layers and starts working his way through a ration kit. 




390 

 

Drifter wakes with a scream caught in his throat, the creep of ice over his skin, and goes about his day.

“Osiris’ letters are troubling in their simplicity,” Eris tells them over the fire that night, a quiet confession as she draws her finger over the glowing ball in her hand idly. Drifter’s not even sure she realizes she’s doing it, an anxious tell. “I worry. For him and Saint-14.” 

“They’ll be fine. The Darkness is not their biggest threat in this,” Stranger says in that damned casual way, like she knows what she’s saying is true. There’s no way for her to, unless— well, it’s a pretty big unless, so he doesn’t really entertain it, just tucks it away with the rest of his observations. 

Drifter chucks a lump of snow at her back with an unsatisfying poof. Wads a second one, packs it tighter and lands it with a much more satisfying sound. That at least gets her to turn around, looking over her shoulder. “What.” 

Drifter whistles under his breath, long and slow, the rebreather distorting it. “If looks could kill.” 

“We’d all have a much easier time of it,” Stranger shakes the snow off of her back and comes closer, settling closer to where Eris is shivering, hand curled around that tooth while she stares at the information on the datapad. “Regrettably, they were not in the list of features Clovis had planned.” 

“Bummer,” Drifter drawls, and means it. “Wouldn’t worry about either of ‘em. They finished up with the Cryptoliths. Word is Osiris and one Crow, formerly known as Uldren Sov are headed to the City.” 

No one seems particularly phased by this bit of news; Eris because Osiris has probably already explained it to her and Stranger because she can read minds or tell the future or whatever it is. Crow heading to the Tower is a good litmus test for which Guardians are pieces of shit; he’s just not sure if that’s how Zavala and Ikora are going to use him. 

For a while, there’s nothing but the whistle of the wind over all the ice and snow around them. They keep their steady vigil on the Pyramids and those who would try to reach them, long past when they should have turned in. Twice, Drifter thinks he sees them move. Twice, he’s wrong, but Eris and Stranger both think they see it too. Far as they can tell the pyramids don’t, so despite there being nothing to see so it doesn’t feel exactly great.  

Eventually, the sun starts to come up and Drifter’s back starts to ache. Eris is asleep, the glowing orb tucked away in the massive drape of her robes, slumped against the Stranger who is still sitting with military precision and exo stillness. If Drifter weren’t looking, he wouldn’t see her arm tucked around Eris’ waist using the massive sleeves to cover the majority of her arm.  He is looking and he does see, and he’s three for three on catching Stranger. He can’t chuck snow without Eris waking up and this conversation isn’t for her, not yet. He settles for stretching his leg and knocking his boot against Stranger’s. They’re past the point of her reaching for her weapon when he startles her. Now she just raises her optics to him and stares, waiting for him to talk. 

“You just dragging it out to savor it, or?” Drifter kicks back against the stack of boxes, keeping half an eye on the pyramids. Stranger makes a disgusted noise and he rolls his eyes at her. “Don’t get precious now.” 

“It isn’t that. It isn’t that easy.” Stranger doesn’t look away from him and he hates it, he hates it. She always looks at him like she knows everything about him, past, present and future. That’s the unsettling part. He knows himself pretty well. He’s seen and confronted a lot of the ugliest parts and made it through. Fair number of people know bits and pieces of his past and are still around. Maybe not the whole picture, but enough of the bad he figures there’s something in there worthwhile.  The way Stranger looks at him, he wonders what version of him she saw in whatever world she comes from, how much worse it is than what he thinks he’s capable of now. 

“Don’t see how it isn’t.” Drifter shrugs. “You don’t strike me as someone who gets scared easy. No business and pleasure?” 

“I’d rather not have anything to be used against me,” Stranger tells him, and the honesty of it hits him in the chest like a slug from her gun. “You can understand.” 

“Sure do.” The Pyramids aren’t moving, but he needs to; if they’re going to sit out there, he’s claiming the bed for the evening. “You do you, sister. See you in the morning.” 

There’s only room for the one bed; they’d tried to make room for another but a Fallen cruiser had shot down the transport ship in-orbit. The second one had engine trouble on the way; Drifter’s pretty sure they’ve given up on a third for the time being. 

Going from the extreme cold to the warmth inside the little insulted tent hurts in a different way than going out in the morning. Covered in that many layers, Drifter is just sweaty, trying to shuck layers as fast as possible while keeping half an eye on the pyramids through the doors. Only once he’s out of the worst of it and it’s hung up does he start going though comms to catch up. Another inventory of the rations, dinner, and then he stretches out in the sleeping bag, asleep almost as soon as his head hits the blanket. 

When he wakes up the next morning, his back isn’t exactly loose but only half of his joints crack as he makes his way through the morning routine. At some point Stranger’d brought them both in; Eris is sacked out on the ground between her and the heater, robes used as a pillow. Drifter tosses the blankets onto her and starts coffee.

 




423

Their heater breaks. 

Not completely, not totally, but enough that they genuinely debate leaving Europa, because they’d rather deal with being cramped on a ship in space than deal without heat. 

Drifter’d laugh if it weren’t a genuine nightmare. Fallen keep trying to invade and while they know how to work well together, playing off each other’s strengths and weaknesses, there are so many. They catch snippets of sleep where they can, but the cold combined with the edge of exhaustion isn’t fun.  Maybe this is it. They’ve had a good run, haven’t tried to kill each other any more than normal but all good things come to an end.

So far it’s managed to stay workable; the inside is warm but not hot, they give extra warning before coming in and out and mostly stay in. The first night it’s Eris’ turn on the bed and she wastes no time, unzipping the sleeping bag to spread across it, unpacking the extra stacks of blankets that exist, evidently specifically for if the heater breaks. Huh. 

“Forgot these existed,” Drifter says, shaking out the third blanket onto the bed. A little musty but warm, which is the important part. Eris doesn’t quite smile as she tugs up the thick socks over her equally thick double layer of pants and crawls over to the side closest to the heater. There’s always been room for more than one on the bed, that’s never been the issue; the issue’s always been trust. One thing to take shelter in the same general space. Whole other thing to sleep close enough and be that vulnerable. “They any good?” 

“You are welcome to find out,” Eris says, very gravely, and Drifter barks a laugh as he crawls over onto the bed. 

Stranger’s the only one left; watching them both steadily. She’s less in need of body heat than they are but Eris makes the offer and waits for her, so Drifter hopes she gets it. Probably won’t say yes, but maybe she will just to spite him. 

“Fits three,” Drifter points out and fits himself against the side closest to the wall. It’s not a kindness; he’s probably not going to be able to sleep with one other person in the bed, let alone two. He’s long past the point of finding comfort in other bodies around him, but the warmth is something he does want. A few carefully placed boxes make a headboard and he slides his legs under the blankets.  

Eris’ eyes glow in the dim lighting but Stranger doesn’t move from her post at the door. “I wouldn’t be able to sleep.” 

Drifter’s not sure if she means in the middle, or with the two of them but either way it doesn’t much matter. He snakes one of the blankets up around his shoulders and huddles in. From the miniature corner he’s built himself, he has a good eye of the majority of the room, the view out the door, the view of the Stranger lingering closer to the heater than the doorway but still at a distance.

Eris falls asleep near instantly, curling into a deceptively tiny ball in the spread of the bed, shifting only a little when Drifter has to adjust his legs to keep his calf from cramping where he’s curled. 

“You ever freeze to death?” Drifter asks drowsily. Eris shifts in her sleep again at the sound of his voice, rolling over with a mumble. 

“Close,” Stranger replies. “A few times. How many did you?” 

“Lost count,” Drifter scrubs a hand through his hair and imagines pulling his gun from under his pillow and killing both of them. The thought is uncomfortable, but a possible one, which is the ideal place to be. It’s when he starts hesitating, thinking maybe it’s not worth it that he has to worry. Frustratingly, when he imagines needing to do something stupid and getting injured to save one of them if it helps the cause, he’s pretty sure he would. Worth monitoring, but not altogether worthy of concern. “Purely outta curiosity — it me stopping you from coming up here or something else?” 

“It’s none of your business,” Stranger tells him, and Drifter nods, because that’s true. He said it was a curiosity, not polite inquiry. “It is still unlikely we win. I’ve seen— it is as I said to the Guardian.  The fight is far from over but they give me reason to hope. Whatever path we are on is the right one, for now, but I do not know what step it was that was wrong.” 

Stranger clearly assumes he’d overheard the conversation with the Guardian. Which. He had, because he hasn’t stayed alive this long by following all the rules on politeness. 

“You worried you’d be the reason something goes wrong, huh?” 

“In so many words.” Stranger looks away from Eris and to him instead. She doesn’t try to avoid it these days; if anything he thinks she’s got a grudging respect for him. He’s grown on her, like a mold. “We all do things because we believe we are doing what’s right at the moment. But this place… we warned the Guardian about the temptation it offers. There is little way to know what is true and what is its trick. So no. I am not savoring it nor are you so powerful you could stop me from coming up there.” 

“How many nights do you intend to have conversations about me while you assume I am asleep?” Eris rolls onto her back uncurling from her ball in the center of the bed. Drifter bites back a yelp and files that information away. He’s usually got a pretty good bead on them, where they are, if they’re awake but whatever Hive magic she worked to stay safe and silent must’ve been much better than he’d heard about. 

Eyebrows high, Drifter glances between the two of them and grins, the amusement outweighing any sense of shame. “Just two, I guess.” His attention darts to Stranger. “What gives? I thought you’d be monitoring to make sure she wasn’t awake.” 

“I was,” Stranger hisses, digging her grave even deeper. She seems to realize it at least, and weighs her options. The security system isn’t failing; it’ll warn if anything gets too close. Eris knows, which means she’s shit out of luck on excuses. 

Drifter has it at 60/40 odds in Eris’ favor and flicks a jade coin between his fingers as Stranger works through whatever mental gymnastics she needs to justify the choice. Stranger gives them both a long look and then settles her gun aside, stalking toward the bed. She crawls over Eris gracefully, sliding one long leg under the cover and then the others, and for a moment there’s nothing but the shift as they all try to adjust to a third. 

Stranger’s the odd one out here and Eris seems to realize it even as exhausted as she is. She and Drifter have been a part of fireteams for hundreds of years. They’ve been out in the middle of nowhere with no one else for company except each other. Maybe not on the same fireteam but after a while sharing a bed for body heat, or sharing a bed in general are more of a bodily function sometimes addressed than anything else. 

Drifter keeps his hands to himself, still backed up against the boxes, but he watches the two of them try to settle with no small amount of amusement, Stranger laying under the stack of blankets even more stiffly than he imagined she would. Eris bears it a moment and then rolls over, glancing at him over the Stranger between them. 

“If you would prefer we make all efforts not to touch we have enough blankets for each of us,” Eris says, very carefully, and presses a hand to Stranger’s arm with a kind of casual ease and intimacy Drifter lost the last first few nights on this planet last time. 

“What Moondust means is, we’re used to huddling up for warmth. How much of that huddling comes with touchin’, though,” Drifter trails off with just enough suggestion that it winds them both up like he’d wanted. Eris flicks a mote of Stasis at him in retaliation and he catches it, flips it back at her. “You saying I’m wrong ?” 

“I am saying you are crass,” Eris is clearly fighting sleep; nearly two straight days of fighting but she’s putting up a valiant battle even here. “Not everything must be demeaned or joked over.” 

“Yeah, yeah.” Cold, hunger, lack of sleep. One of those is enough to make a normal person a little tetchy; he’s seen people killed over two out of three. Rather than follow the thread, he shrugs, slouching down in his spot as he prepares to try and catch a little shut-eye, even while sitting up.  The whole fireteam thing stopped being sacred a while ago, but she’s young; the loss of her fireteam was more recent and without her Ghost that’s a wound that doesn’t heal easy.

They settle awkwardly apart in the space, which is about as good as Drifter expects.  Eris curls a hand over Stranger’s arm underneath the blankets and holds, falling asleep with her forehead against Stranger’s shoulder.

Drifter falls asleep in fitful bursts, waking when one of them breathes or shifts too loudly, but sleeps as warm and secure as he has before the heater broke. Maybe it’s the exhaustion or the certainty that the other two are too competent to let anything too surprising happen but he finds himself waking the next morning groggily. 

Eris and Stranger are still asleep, tangled up together in knot of blankets and limbs, Eris’ lips parted with slow, steady breaths against Stranger’s shoulder. Drifter eyes her for a moment. Imagines choking Eris with the newly found blankets, his handgun ammunition reserved for Stranger. She keeps her weapons far enough away he thinks he could eek it out so long as he surprised her. The thought doesn’t ache, doesn’t make him hesitate, so he hums a jaw-cracking yawn and goes to count the rations. 






434

So, they share the bed. 

Despite best efforts, Drifter wakes up tangled in limbs more mornings than not and can’t quite find it in himself to be mad about it. It’s not perfect: once, he wakes and nearly shoves a knife between Eris’ ribs when she crawls across the bed coming in from the cold after a patrol. Once, Stranger catches sight of him first thing in the morning and the fear on her face is enough to make even him pause. 

The heater gets fixed after the Guardian drops a spare part off. They keep sharing the bed. Eramis is defeated but they stay on this Lightforsaken planet because there’s still work to do. The Pyramids still sing to them which means they’re singing to the Fallen and they keep coming like moths to a flame. He can’t blame them; losing the Light of the Traveler was enough to drive most of them mad to begin with but following the mad Queen isn’t a good bet and without her they’re just...what, tossing themselves in to the flame?

Drifter crawls out of bed in the morning and starts on rations, flicking through comms on the edge of the bed while the other two slowly start to wake, blankets shifting. He can hear them talking, muted murmurs, the shift of blankets, Eris’ voice going from low and calm to yawning so hugely her jaw cracks. It’s a terribly human thing and she seems embarrassed by it, proof of flesh and blood. It’s not, of course, the whole reason the other two watch her, but it’s part of it. 

Eventually, the Stranger gets out of bed, optics dimmed in the low lighting. Drifter tosses the bowl to Stranger like usual. When she comes back in her eyes linger on Eris like always but this morning Eris is looking back, bare to her waist. Her nipples are drawn tight at the chill but she doesn’t flinch, waiting for Stranger to decide what she’s going to do. Well, then.

“It is your choice,” Eris says carefully, as if she expects that no is a word Stranger’s going to utter. She’s tumbled back onto the bed a moment later as the Stranger goes after her. Amanda’s coffee pot boils away happily and Drifter half-listens to them kiss, the soft rustle of cloth, the hitch of Eris’ breath as Stranger’s hands slide under her sweats. Directed at him, under the rustle of blankets. “Do you intend to join?” 

Does he? Drifter sweeps his eyes over them, imagines tangling himself up between the two of them and mostly just feels on edge, thinking about how many things can go wrong when they’re all preoccupied, thinks about too many hands on his skin he can’t fight back and feels it crawl. “I don’t think so. You mind if I watch?” 

Treating it like a transaction pisses some people off; Eris and Stranger seem to appreciate the practicality of it. Eris makes a hitched breath as Stranger’s hands do something between her thighs, all three eyes closing. A leg slides off the bed, toes curled against the ground. “N-not particularly.”  

Stranger mouths a line of kisses down her jaw, over her throat and fits her mouth to the peak of Eris’ nipple. She doesn’t have a tongue but that is less of a problem; a flicker of Stasis concentrated there and Eris groans, hands sliding across cool plating eagerly, dipping between plates and wires to grip.  

“You let me know if you need a hand, then.” It’s answer enough for Drifter; he goes about his morning routine and pours two extra cups. In the bed, Stranger fits what he’d guess is a third finger into Eris based on the way her breathing goes high and tight, rolling her hips. Even with the blanket, he can hear the wet sound of Stranger’s fingers sliding in and out of her. 

Flickers of Stasis blink into the air as Eris shudders her way through an orgasm and pants against the blankets. Riding Eris’ thigh, Stranger presses wet fingers between Eris’ lips and Drifter feels whatever it is that Eris does. Some flicker of Hive or Darkness magic, but whatever it is Stranger’s voice box crackles on a moan, lights flickering, whatever passes for an exo orgasm happening.  The pressure in the room abates, all the leftover magic bleeding out. 

“Got a coupla Vex clashing with Fallen out on the East end.” Drifter takes a long sip of the coffee, counting enemies: evenly matched, for the most part. A problem that might solve itself, but it depends on reinforcements. “Scratch that. Another batch of Guardians coming in.”

That’s enough to get the other two moving. Stranger rolls off of the bed and heads to the washroom to wash her hands and tidy up while Eris slowly tugs her clothing back into place, tilting her head to watch him. 

“Just ask.” The rations are labeled peanut butter and jelly today; Drifter tears one open and starts in on it while watching the movement from both sides on the monitor. 

“Is it the watching you enjoy, or do you simply prefer not to be involved?” Blunter than he would have expected. Drifter considers the question a moment and then shrugs. 

“I can take care of my own needs just fine. Safer that way, anyway. This is just dinner and a show.” Drifter jerks his chin at the two of them, amused. “I had to get details about Saint-14 and Osiris from whispers and stories. Bits and pieces. I got the whole messy plotline here.” 

“I will not be a — a sideshow.” Eris bristles like a cat poofing up angrily and Drifter holds his hands up, conciliatory. 

“You’re the main attraction, Moondust,” Drifter says, no bullshit at all, and then considers her. “I’ve spent plenty of time making people, things, make sounds that aren’t the fun kind. You two want help, my hands and mouth are all yours, but that’s about it. Bet I could help you make all kinds of good noises.” 

“It is genuinely impressive how unappealing you manage to make that sound,” Stranger knocks her knuckles against the door jamb, the shorthand five-second warning for the door opening and then exits into the cold, closing the door behind her.

 


456 

 

Drifter wakes with the certainty that the Pyramids have moved, that they’re overhead, suffocating them under their massive shadow. When he checks they haven’t moved any further but the Stranger’s half-sprawled on his chest so he shoves her back into the middle of the bed where she fits herself to Eris’ warmth even in sleep.

They’ve had no more luck in finding the creatures since the last time. Spider’s patience is wearing increasingly thin, especially given the loss of his pet at the hands of the Guardian. Whatever plans he’s got going in the background Drifter’s only half sorted out but the interest in the Darkness creatures from the monolith is unsettling. 

If he had to guess, Spider’s the reason for all the import manifest number differences the Guardian was complaining about last time she was here. Spider had them tracking down ammunition differences under a hundred units and then the jobs stopped abruptly after a few hundred of them. He’s either working on weapons to fight the Darkness or the Light and either option is one to be wary of. The message sets unanswered, for now. 

Whatever is happening, it’s building even if they can’t see the changes here. Another flood of Fallen throw themselves against the three of them and they beat them back once more. They move like a fireteam that’s been fighting for years not months and more often than not when it’s over, it feels like he’s younger again. When the thrill of fighting and winning and living made his blood rush in his veins. The Darkness gives that feeling and he can’t tell if he loves it or hates it. 

One night they tumble in and strip after a particularly difficult fight, bruised and battered and bloody. Eris’ magic doesn’t help to fix the gory slice and blood darkens the robes at her side as she breathes shallowly through Drifter’s rough fingertips exploring it. Stranger lingers nearby; she’s less helpful here, so long in the subzero temperatures that her body is too cold to risk touching any of Eris’ bare skin meaning Drifter’s the only one who can patch it up.

He’d joked once about it. Stuck his tongue out and asked what Stranger thought would happen if he licked the metal of her, like sticking his tongue to a fence.

Try it, Stranger had purred, maybe you’ll lose your tongue and we will all be better for it.

Eris still bleeds red. He doesn’t know what he expected: black, green maybe. It’s a darker red than human blood but still human enough. The slice sews up neatly enough; it will scar, probably, but that’s not the end of the world. Briefly, between slow steady pokes of the needle into her skin he imagines what it’d be like to press his fingers along the injury, to slide them between the stitches, into meat and muscle and wet, and reach until he — he doesn’t know what. 

“Just a scratch,” he says and presses a clean set of gauze to the injury, tears tape with his teeth to hold it in place. Eris nods tightly. One hand winds a hand in his hair, pulls tight enough that there’s intent in it, and she considers him with glittering eyes. “Yeah?” 

“I should be asking you that,” Eris tells him quietly, while Stranger sits a few feet away and thaws, eyes glowing.  Her grip tugs him away from the injury at her side to further between her legs, watching him. “Yes?” 

“Been a while,” Drifter admits even as he works her pants off quickly and balls them, chucking them at Stranger’s head without bothering to see if he sinks the shot. He allows Eris to drag him by his hair down onto the bed, watches her crawl up him to settle her thighs on either side of his head. Human, here, too. Not problem, just, he’d heard rumors. Kind of wondered if she’d gone alien anywhere else.  “Anything I ought to keep in mind?” 

“I will let you know.” Eris pets a hand through his hair and grimaces as the motion with her right arm pulls at the new injury. She switches hands, guiding him up with a decided little tug, which works well enough. It’s been years, months, ages since he’s done this but what he’s said earlier was true enough: his hands and mouth are all hers and she puts them to good use, riding his face and fingers with a single-minded urgency. 

He’s right: the noises she makes when she’s enjoying things are good. The cherry on top is the way the Stranger watches, hands clenched tight in her cloak as whatever internal clock counts down until she can touch them without risk. Drifter licks over where Eris is hot and wet against his mouth and feels her thighs shake on either side of his head. One hand lifts, grips her ass and curves three fingers in her, deliberate, tilting his head just to make eye contact with the Stranger. 

After a second orgasm, Eris makes a low, shuddery noise and her thighs clench like she wants to rise up and stop him but can’t decide on it. Eventually, she slides back clumsily against the storage cubes acting as the headboard, slumping into the corner he normally sleeps in with a shivery breath that’s almost a laugh. “I had forgotten…” 

“Which part?” Drifter asks, tracing a line down the bare expanse of Eris’ leg, the delicate curve of her ankle. Her foot twitches when he reaches the soft part by her heel; his lips tilt up faintly, but he doesn’t push it to see how ticklish she is. 

Eris doesn’t answer him, laying there for a few long moments, before she begins the arduous task of crawling across the bed and sliding her pants back over her legs, wiggling into them gingerly. Already her movement has increased, Hive magic and Stasis aiding in the recovery. Neat trick. “How you hangin’ over there?” 

The Stranger gives the exo equivalent of an eyeroll and prowls closer to the bed now that she’s not dangerous to touch. If anything, her hands are hot, left near the heater for so long. She reaches out a hand to curl in the front of his undershirt and tugs him in, kisses him like a punishment, like she’s trying to lick the taste of Eris out of his mouth.  When he tries to sit up and return it she plants a hand in his chest and shoves him back down. Her free hand hand creeps up and curls at his throat and Drifter sinks back into the bed slow and steady, the realization one he should have had a long time ago. 

“It’s like that, huh?” Drifter asks as her thumb settles over his pulse and she watches him steadily, the weight of her hand spanning his throat a comfort and threat all at once.  Keeping her close til he figured her out was the right choice. “Here I thought we were getting along well.” 

“We are,” Stranger says with a crooked smile, squeezing his throat just once and sliding back. “It’s when we stop that we will see what happens.” 

Drifter hums, long and slow. Dying at her hands won’t be so bad. He trusts her to do it right. “You ever put your hands on me like that again it better be to kill me, Doc, or I’ll make you wish you had.” 

Eris doesn’t seemed shocked at the nickname which solidifies his theory that she knows who the Stranger is, too. On the monitor, their screen beeps with a message; this time, it’s their Guardian. No one pulls any guns, or makes any threats so he rolls out of bed to answer it: the Guardian, Saint, and Osiris are visiting. With them, they’re bringing the Tower’s newest Lightbearer, Spider’s latest lost asset. 

The Pyramid directly overhead lingers in his thoughts, along with the memory of how much the Darkness had done with Uldren last time. Then again: he was a Guardian, right? That was supposed to be what the balance was all about. 

They’d just have to see; either way it promised to be something.