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In a Heartbeat

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“Upset!? We’ve trusted you for 7000 years and look where you’ve gotten us. I’ve watched humans destroy each other when I could stop it all in a heartbeat.” The gentle lilt of his accent growing sharp brings you back into the moment and you can see the fire blazing in his eyes. You’d been zoning out trying to avoid all the pain you were feeling in the room. Pain and anguish from Thena; Druig desperate to protect the humans and questioning if their purpose is to just sit back and observe like it had been for so long. No, you knew he was breaking. Your family was splintering before your eyes and all you could do was watch. You knew what you were going to do no matter what happened. You’d follow Druig anywhere and you could tell he knew that when he looked into your eyes briefly before turning to Ikaris. “You’re going to have to kill me” for a second you’re afraid Ikaris is going to take him up on the challenge. You can practically feel the energy of his powers crackling in the air. But he doesn’t. Druig looks at you again before turning around “It ends now” and he starts his walk down the steps and you know his eyes are glowing. You can see all of the humans looking up towards him, dropping their weapons and waiting for him to lead them. 

Kingo is the one who grabs your wrist as you almost float after him, always caught in Druig’s gravitational pull. “Please don’t stop me.” You plead, looking up at your brother and looking at the internal fight he himself is also having. “You know I have to follow... I cannot be alone, not after all this time.” He lets go of your wrist and you look around at everyone else, nodding your head in Makkari’s direction which she returns. You have to believe you’ll see her again soon, you don’t have to say anything to each other anymore, you have your own language in the looks that you send one another. Silently you follow down the same path that Druig had gone, you can still see him walking into the forest so you know you’ll catch up eventually. It might be better for you if you stay behind and follow from a distance. It will give you time to think about everything.

As you continued walking at a steady pace, just a few steps behind the swarm of people, the sky began to darken. You walked with your wrists linked behind your back and a pensive look on your face, retreating further into your own mind. Was this the right thing to do? You knew Druig had been doubting your purpose for a long time and not being able to help the humans killed him inside. They were always so needlessly ruthless to each other, wiping entire populations out in what felt like the blink of an eye to the two of you in your eternal lives. They were also such incredible creatures and so fascinating, you grew to love them as well with all your time on the planet. You loved them, cared about their wellbeing, and especially their survival. But you were not gods, you are not entitled to act like one just because of your immortality. You knew Druig knew that, and maybe he’d weighed the pros and cons and finally decided which outcome was better. That was a conversation the two of you had been having on and off for centuries. 

Before you knew it, you realized you were actively walking through the swarm of people rather than behind it. They’d stopped walking while you were lost in your own thoughts and you could feel they knew that. They were waiting for you to make your way to Druig, as was he. Noticing you were mirroring his classic pose, you removed your arms from where they were linked behind you and shook them out, trying to portray a more relaxed state of mind than what you were actually sporting. He would know you were faking it, even though he was unable to get into your head he was very well versed in the language of your body. He knew what you were feeling before you did sometimes. 

“Deo…” Before Druig even got a chance to continue on whatever monologue he had planned, you practically slammed into his body and wrapped your arms around his waist, his arms came up to wrap around your shoulders without hesitation. He knew how much you loved your family. Neither of you knew when you would see some of them again and neither did they. You felt as if the very fabric of your reality was ripping right in half, taking your heart along with it. You clutched tightly to him, knowing you’d be okay as long as the two of you were together. “You don’t have to come with, you know…” You knew he was trying to give you an out, but even you could hear in his voice how much he didn’t believe that statement himself.

“You know I do. I am yours and you are mine, I will never be without you in my lifetime if I can help it.” You answered, pulling back and looking up at him with a serious look in your eyes. 

Ever since you had met something had sparked between the two of you. You didn’t act on it at first, there was a long fight ahead of you defeating deviants and protecting the Earth. A planet that you grew to love so very dearly. For a long time the love you had for the planet and your fellow Eternals was enough for you and it seemed it was for Druig, too. Though you never knew if he actually loved all of the others, or if it was just you and Makkari that he favored. But now that you had acted on it, there was no going back. And you had told him as much almost immediately following that conversation the two of you had, all those centuries ago. 

“I know, my love. I just hate that I’m essentially making you choose… even though I already know what your choice would be.” Druig sighed, his hand resting on the side of your neck, his thumb gently running across the skin of your jaw. He brought his forehead to rest on yours. It was your signature move, or that’s what Sprite would call it when they caught you in this pose sometimes. “You are supposed to be the only being that I cannot control, and yet here we are.” He chucked dryly, a point many people have brought up. You didn’t like the insinuation, but you could understand why someone would think that. 

“We should keep moving” You say, interrupting the moment you were having. “It’s getting dark fast and they’ll need to rest if we have a destination in mind.” After taking a breath, you take a step back, retreating from his orbit so that you are not sucked back in. 

You see Druig tilt his head to the side ever so slightly, a tick of sorts. Something he does when he’s only slightly confused by you. He doesn’t push, he probably already knows what your answer would be, and just nods in response. He starts walking backwards, wordlessly beckoning you to follow so you do. Just as he’s turning around you can see his eyes begin to glow, he’s regaining his hold on the small civilization who had moments before just been standing slack and quiet, listening to your conversation. 

You wondered if they would remember what they heard, unconsciously returning your arms to their place from earlier, linked behind your back as you followed in almost the same footsteps as your leader. That was a question that you could add to the list. Every once in a while you caught him in a mood that would make him more likely to answer questions about his powers so you had a mental running list of questions to ask. You never pushed, but you were slowly checking each question off the list as you learned the answers. You never shared them with anyone, even Makkari wasn’t allowed that privilege unless it was given to her by Druig. 

Silence continued as you walked a few paces behind Druig, this time at the very front of the swarm of people you were traveling with. You really hoped he wasn’t telling them the two of you were king and queen or something… No, he wouldn’t do that. He’s not that stupid. Maybe he was giving them a choice. You certainly couldn’t read minds so you wouldn’t know what was going on inside that beautiful brain of his until much later when the two of you could finally be alone. After you figured out what you were doing with these people who you were now responsible for. What were the two of you getting yourselves into? You. Were. Not. Gods. 

You shook your head, shaking the doubt out and along with it, that train of thought. You had to move to acceptance really fast if this was going to work. You were partners now, in more ways than you were before. Whether you liked it or not you had to protect all of these humans and you needed to do right by them. You’d never had blind trust in Druig, he was still just some guy and he had his flaws just like anyone else. None of you were perfect. But if he thought this was what was best, who were you to disagree? You could tell he had put a lot more thought into this moment than you would ever know. 

It’s been a couple of hours since then and you could feel the group of people around you begin to slow down. You were walking side by side with Druig now, your hand linked in his. Eventually you couldn’t take being so far away from him and being in your own brain was becoming incredibly exhausting. “Hey, I think we need to stop.” You said, pushing your shoulder into his arm after looking around in the darkness at everyone. 

Druig stopped and turned towards you before surveying the humans. “You’re right. Everyone find as much wood as you can and look for places to take shelter. We’ll get to our destination tomorrow.” With that, the group dispersed, now able to independently complete their mission. You and Druig also got to work, finding somewhere just a tad further away from everyone else and their group to build your shelter for the night. 

You were just finishing up walking around to conjure places to sleep for each of the humans out of plants and other natural growth from the Earth with your powers when you could feel his eyes on you. You looked up at him, your eyes were glowing an elegant rich shade of emerald green before fading back to their normal cerulean blue. Ducking your head, you nodded at the last of the humans before making your way over to the fire he had started. The two of you would not be sleeping tonight, you knew. Being eternals granted you many gifts, including superhuman stamina that allowed you to go days without sleeping. You slowly made your way around the fire to where Druig was sitting, his back against a tree stump and an arm around one of his legs.

“You’re so good to them.” Druig pointed out, looking proudly over at you and watching as you sat down next to him, leaning against the same tree trunk and putting your head on his shoulder. He was slightly taller than you and at the perfect angle for this. 

“We’re responsible for them now, Druig.” you spoke monotonously, already stuck back in your own mind as you were staring into the fire. You broke the spell though, to pick up your head and look up at him. “Whatever happens to these humans from now on, is our fault, good or bad.” You spoke quietly, trying to convey the gravity of the situation without alerting some of the closer humans where they were slowly settling down for the night. Of their own will or not, you weren’t sure, but hopefully nothing would happen tonight. They were just in the midst of a full on war not that long ago and now you were trusting they could sleep next to one another? God, you hoped so. You wrapped your arm around his as you leaned your head back down on his shoulder. Your eyes immediately going unfocused as you gaze into the depths of the fire. 

Something about fire has always intrigued you. Something about it always causes you to go into the deepest depths of your mind, not coming out for hours until Druig would finally pull you back and put out the fire. Druig and Makkari always gave you a hard time about how serious you could be, but someone had to be! Neither of them were very serious so you had to make up for them somehow. And maybe you wanted to make sure every single possible move was thought over so you could protect those you loved the most, no one else needs to know that. You assume they do now, of course. You’ve expressed many times how much you loved them both and they had done the same with you and each other over the years. 

Thinking of Makkari now again while you were so far away, you could feel tears prick at your eyes. When would you see her again? How would you know where she is and how would she know where you are? You didn’t realize you were crying until Druig was lifting your head from his shoulder, moving you to look up at him. The concern in his eyes quieted you a little, calming the quiet sobs coming from your lips. 

“Hey, what is it?” He asked, cupping your face in both hands, trying to figure out what you might have been thinking about as you stared into the depths of the bonfire he had created. If it wasn’t so cold out tonight he wouldn’t have even started one, but he knew you liked to be warm especially at night. 

“When are we ever going to see Makkari again?” You asked quietly, adjusting your position so you could sit up and wipe at your watery eyes. Druig couldn’t help but chuckle at the question. Of course you would be thinking of her already. You smacked him on the chest. “Are you laughing at me?” 

“No.” Druig coughed, clearing his throat. “I mean, sort of? Don’t worry, my love.” He soothed, running his hands gently up and down your arms. “Makkari will know where to find us, I promise.” 

“How does she know where we’ll be?” You questioned, a look of utter confusion contorting the beautiful features of your face. “I don’t even know where we’re going, nor would I have been able to tell her.” 

“Just don’t worry. I’ve taken care of it. I would never take us somewhere Makkari could not follow.” He assured you, brushing a couple of strands of hair out of your face. You instantly relaxed at his words. Of course he would think of everything. You didn’t know why you even considered for a moment that this wasn’t premeditated to the highest detail. You let a sigh escape as you leaned back up against him. You closed your eyes, letting the flames of the fire warm your body once again. The thought of never seeing Makkari again had made your blood turn cold and you were beginning to shiver. Druig wrapped his arms around you, feeling the shivers and pulled you more into him so he could shelter your body from the slight breeze passing through the forest.

Whatever you were going to do tomorrow you would be with your soulmate. The one person who knew you better than yourself and you just had to believe things would get better. Maybe not right away and most likely not even in these humans’ lifetimes, but you just knew that you’d see the rest of your family one day. There was no possible reality where that was your last meeting. 

You were all gifted with an eternity and you would have to see one another again, regardless of if there were more deviants or not.