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Love You Every Day

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Makkari felt Ikaris speaking as she slowly came out of her trance, but she couldn't focus enough to decipher what he was saying. She knew he was angry but it wasn’t until the steady presence of Druig by her side was ripped away, that her eyes flew open and took in the scene before her. Ikaris had Druig by the throat and was flying him up, too far up, too far away from her. Her Druig was a thinker. He was curious and brooding and so compassionate. His empathy was his greatest strength. He wasn’t built to take hits like the fighters were. Ikaris had said he would kill them all.

The world seemed to spin to a stop as Ikaris buried Druig into the earth, not 10 feet away from her, as if it was a taunt. Time stopped as her normally fast mind and even faster feet took what felt like eons to process what just happened. Because this couldn’t be happening. This was another nightmare and she was going to wake up to Druig, ever the light sleeper, looking at her with burning concern in his bright blue eyes. Her legs finally broke away from their frozen position and suddenly she was standing at the edge of the crater that his body had created after being hit with the force of a sun. But this wasn't right, blinking her tears back, Makkari tried desperately to come to grips with what she was seeing. Druig's armor was black, why, why, was there so much red? Red pouring from the cut above his brow over his closed eyes. Red covering his torso, marred by two twin burns. Red on his hands, his hands that had signed so fluidly to her, showing the centuries of familiarity he had with the motions. Hands that she had held and that had held her so carefully, always gentle. Hands that had cradled her face so softly the night before, sharing a heated kiss in her quarters on the Domo. She remembers his nervous hands and his fluttering breath and the pounding of his heart as they confessed to what had been true for as long as either of them could remember.

Makkari froze. His heart. The unique vibration that called to her every time he entered the room. The steady rhythm that she had fallen asleep to for so, so many years. She couldn't feel it. She couldn't feel his heartbeat. She couldn’t feel him. His chest was still, under all the red, his heart was quiet. His bright blue eyes were closed and his face was relaxed, as if he was asleep. But he wasn’t asleep. Druig was gone.

Something in Makkari's soul snapped in that moment. Whatever thin line of rational thought, that whispered of family and forgiveness and compassion, it disappeared with Druig's last breath. All her grief, all her neverending pain, was easily turned into a burning red rage. Rage which was the same color that stained Ikaris's hands after the death of so many of them. Ajak, their leader, the closest thing they had to a mother. Gilgamesh, their protector, who had the best hugs and the worst jokes. Countless human lives, snuffed out before they even had a chance to truly live. And Druig. The love of all of her lives, the only one that ever made her want to stand still. With an animalistic scream that was ripped from her throat unbidden, a pure expression of grief and loss, she made one final promise to her love. She will make Ikaris pay.

And make him pay she did. Slamming him into the cliffside over and over again, throwing punches until her own hands were stained red, red, red. The sight only made her angrier. And when the evolved deviant showed up, all she could see was something preventing her from burying Ikaris in the ground. She wanted to kill him, to bury him like he buried Druig. But as the fight continued, she grew weary, and she grew angrier, and she made a small mistake that ended with Ikaris clipping her side with his beams and sending her sprawling. And it hurt. It felt like her side was on fire, the pain making her want to cry out but no noise escaped her throat. Is this what Druig felt in his last moments? This burning pain all around him? She couldn’t handle the thought. Her mind conjuring up those last moments and forcing her to remember his scream of pain, the sound waves cascading over her dazed and shocked form. Her heart was pounding, she could feel her face twist into a snarl despite the tears steadily making their way down her cheeks, as she watched Ikaris, her brother, the traitor, stalk towards her. His eyes glowed gold, ready to fire the final blow, and she knew she couldn't move away fast enough. This was the end, there would be no coming back from a direct hit from a few feet away. She’s terrified, desperately trying to scramble out of the way but something happened to her knee when she fell. As Ikaris advanced, she couldn’t help but think that maybe this was ok. Maybe this way, she would see Druig again. Her mind conjures up the nights they spent together, remembering the tenderness and the adoration he showed her every time, and she thinks that those nights were the closest she would ever feel to peace. She attempted to steel herself for what was about to happen when Ikaris stops dead in his tracks and a subtle vibration catches in Makkari's mind. Small, faint, faster than usual but undoubtedly familiar. Hope, which she thought long gone, sparked bright in her soul again. A gentle brush in her mind, whispering in coveted tones "my beautiful, beautiful Makkari."

And suddenly he's there. Standing in the crater that once cradled his body, like he had cradled her, is Druig. He’s barely keeping his legs under him as Phastos, the closest to him, rushes to support him. But he’s alive. His heart beat reverberates across the open plane and Makkari feels that spark of hope turn into a roaring fire that consumes her entire being. Druig's eyes are a bright gold, brighter than she had ever seen them, and there is anger on his face. A rage unlike anything she had seen him wear. Not when the humans slaughtered each other, or when he found out about Ikaris's betrayal. No this was personal and nearly feral. Brought out by seeing the traitor towering over her while she was defenseless and injured. Brought on by seeing her nearly killed before his eyes. She can feel his mind, rushing with emotions and thoughts, too fast for even her mind to catch. And if she can feel his, he almost certainly felt hers. Her grief, her rage, her fear, and eventually her peace. And it terrified him. Blood was beginning to drip from his nose with the power it took to control Ikaris. He reached out his hand, the hand she had held and had held her, the hand she saw covered in his own blood, and he yelled, forcing Ikaris to drop into a dead sleep. Not a second after Ikaris fell did Druig stumble, the exhaustion of using his powers to that extent and the injuries inflicted on him catching up in that moment. But before he had a chance to fall, Makkari was there, lowering him down so he was kneeling on the soft sand. She kissed him in a way she never would have in front of the others before. It was pure, joy and grief mingling together with the fleeting terrifying notion of being alone in the universe without him. And he kissed back, matching her fear, her rage, and replacing it with reverence. She saw herself through his eyes. He saw her grief and anger, her brutality and carelessness. He saw her broken beyond repair and still, he called her beautiful. And he called her his. They part and breathe in each other, taking this moment to appreciate being alive, knowing that the battle isn't won yet. Druig is not strong enough to put the celestial to sleep, even with the UniMind. The weight of the world, the responsibility of stopping the emergence, falls heavy on Sersi’s shoulders, but her family has nothing but absolute faith in her. Druig stays awake long enough to join with the others and offer what minimal power he has left in order to finally stop the emergence.

In the after, when everyone is taking a private moment to mourn and accept what had happened today, Makkari lays Druig’s head in her lap. His hands are too broken to sign, so Druig whispers in her mind instead, as soft and as gentle as always.

"Don't ever scare me like that again, my love."

"Scare you?" She replied back just as softly. "You were dead. Your heart stopped, I couldn't feel it. I couldn't feel you. You were just, just gone. He took you away from me." She was growing hysterical again, tears forming in her eyes as she tried to take in steady breaths. She needed to be strong. Druig needed her strong.

"I felt your pain, when Ikaris hurt you. I felt your peace. And it scared me more than anything else. I was terrified he would kill you, that he would take away the only thing that ever truly mattered to me." His hand brushed her ribs, where the burn was the most painful and she hissed. His hand dropped like he himself had been burned and an angry scowl stretched across his face. "I should have killed him. I should kill him now, for ever daring to harm you."

Makkari can feel herself smile, her love for this man making her feel like she was bursting at the seams. "No, my love. You need to rest. You need to let your body heal. I promise I will protect us from anything that tries to do us harm. I’m just so thankful that you’re here with me.” Her hand has settled in his hair as her fingers gently wove through the soft curls.

"I will wake up. I swear to you. I don't know when, but I promise I will wake up. Wait for me, please." His eyes were wide, the pain starting to make him lose himself. He was scared, scared she would be gone when he woke up, but he had no reason to be.

“My darling Druig. No force could ever make me leave your side again.” And with one soft kiss to his forehead, Druig slipped deep into his regenerative sleep, head pillowed on Makkari’s lap. Despite the incredible pain he must be in, a slight smile danced on the corners of his lips.

He awoke slowly, in his room on the Domo a few days later. Despite the majority of the life threatening injuries being taken care of, his muscles protested violently at the thought of moving and his head pounded with each beat of his heart. A low groan escaped his lips as he gingerly moved his bandaged fingers to rub at the bridge of his still tender broken nose. A different hand, smaller and softer, captured his and laced their fingers together before he could harm himself by prodding still healing wounds. Another soft hand started carding through his hair, easing the throbbing in his temples with its soothing ministrations, and compelling him to finally blink his eyes open.

“You're late,” Makkari signed, with tears collecting in her eyes and a smile forming on her lips.

“But I'm here,” Druig signed with the hand not occupied by hers, a smirk playing on his lips. And that was all it took for her to lose whatever composure she had left as the tears finally came. Druig found himself wiping both her tears and his own, the memory of the past few days catching up to him. He will never forget what he felt when Ikaris was standing over her, the fear and faux peace radiating from his love mingling with the furious bloodlust coming from his former brother. It was the most terrified and furious he could ever remember feeling. Makkari simply brought out a different side of him. Slowly, gently, he nudged her to lay down next to him as he curled himself around her smaller form.

“I love you so much. For 7,000 years I have loved you every day, my beautiful, beautiful Makkari. You are the only home that matters to me.” He spoke into her mind directly, knowing that his injured hands would only hinder him in what he wanted to say. A smile as bright as the stars greeted him when he turned his neck to look at her, his sun, his love, his Makkari.

“Please, don't ever go where I can't follow. I love you too much to fathom a life without you,” she responded softly, as if she was whispering into his mind.

“Deal,” he whispered back, and sealed the promise with a kiss. “Now get some rest, my love. I’ll be here when you wake up.”