Ahhh, seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won't you stop and remember me
At any convenient time
- A Hazy Shade Of Winter by Simon & Garfunkel
This is a practice run, more than anything else. Cece has just rehauled the engine in this DC-3 and Krista had offered to couple Bobby’s flying lesson with a workout of the engine too and it was as good a time as any to head up to the lodge for a half day and get the place ready for winter. It doesn’t take a lot of work to get that done and it’s a one-man job for the most part but Bobby’s company isn’t unappreciated. On the contrary, she likes Bobby’s company probably more than what’s healthy for her sanity and her relationship. With someone else. Who is not Bobby Martin.
“Krista, it’s seizing up,” Bobby says, a whine pulling into his voice as if it’s somehow her fault that the engine isn’t behaving. Truth be told, it’s probably the weather and the age of the plane and Bobby jerking it around probably isn’t helping matters. Still, he’s stubborn enough to want to keep pushing it even when they need to stop. Typical Bobby Martin.
“Engines are frozen solid,” Krista says and she watches as the altimeter drops at a sickening rate. Shit. They are so screwed. There’s a flat plain in front of them, mostly snow and very little brush, and she nods toward it. “Try to set her down easy. I’m no mechanic but maybe I can do something with it so we’re not completely SOL. Anyway, can’t be much of a hike from here to the lodge. We can hoof it.” Bobby makes a face and Krista decides not to comment. He’s a city boy, through and through.
They manage to land without completely destroying the landing gear and measuring by the scale of Bobby Martin landings, that’s probably top marks. If she’d been flying, it would have been smooth as silk, but that’s neither here nor there. Bobby’s never going to learn if he doesn’t get pushed and this is as pushed as it gets.
“You know Dad’s going to kill you for crashing this plane. See that scuff? No way to hide that, buddy.” She’s a little smug and taking a lot of pleasure in watching Bobby sweat. Krista is nowhere near as good at the business end as he can be (hasn’t been so hot lately but, hey, it happens) but she flies circles around him. It’s a nice change, since he’d been a hotshot when they were younger and she’d been scrambling to keep up.
“Yeah, yeah. Let’s just get inside so we don’t freeze to death.” The lodge is hardly luxe accommodations like down south but Krista knows she can make it hospitable. She can ensure the wind and the snow doesn’t do them in before they fix the engine and there’s always plenty of game around to hunt. Bobby, unlike Blake, is actually a decent hunter when he remembers that he’s Dene and not some white boy from Vancouver. Sometimes reminding him takes a swift kick in the ass and Krista’s more than happy to provide it.
She straps on her snowshoes and hands a pair to Bobby that used to belong to Mel. Mel’s heavier but Bobby is taller and Krista thinks it will wash out in the end. She reorganizes their packs for carrying and looks up into the sky to get her bearings but it’s a no-go. The sky’s still whiteout from the blizzard and it feels like the temperature’s dropping. If they don’t hurry, they’ll have to dig out the door to the lodge to even get inside and Krista doesn’t want it to come to that.
It’s quiet as they stride across the snow, trekking north-northwest to get from where the plane is to the lodge. The lodge has been in her family for as long as she can remember and she remembers spending tons of hunting trips here with Bobby, laughing and playing and eventually maturing from a childhood friendship to a full-blown crush. Being in love with Bobby Martin has never really been good for her future, though, and Krista’s sort of glad she cured herself of it.
But has she, really? Even now, watching his long, smooth strides across the snow, she’s struck by how much she wants him. It’s different than it was all those years ago when she was a lovesick teenager but it’s still there, and strong, and sometimes it overwhelms her with just how deep she feels for him. He looks like he was made to be here, coppery skin and dark hair stark against the pale snow. Krista shakes her head to clear her thoughts and focuses on getting to the lodge, glad to see that there’s only a little snow to shovel away from the doors before going inside.
There’s dry goods stocked, at least, and Krista’s grateful she’s not going to have to go out hunting in this mess. When the wind dies down and the snow is a little lighter, she’ll venture out and try to ice fish or hunt down an elk. She actually has a better-than-decent recipe for elk even if it isn’t some kind of old Dene recipe and they can probably manage for a few days. If she’s lucky, they can get a signal on the satellite phone and Mel can stage a rescue. As much as he complains, Krista thinks he secretly loves it.
She’s tempted to just drop the packs anywhere she pleases but that’s a bad idea when there’s always the chance of bears. Instead, she’s sure to put the foodstuffs into a metal barrel that they have for that purpose and seal it up tight so there’s no chance they can get in it. There’s a little jerky and a few protein bars and she tosses half to Bobby, who catches it easily. He chews thoughtfully and Krista finds that she welcomes the silence; Blake always tries to fill every second with the sound of his own voice.
“Sorry you’re not getting back in time to see Blake,” Bobby offers, his voice soft and actually apologetic. Krista feels a little guilty now since she wasn’t really missing Blake at all. She draws a little closer to Bobby and they both end up settling on an ancient bed with a lumpy mattress, one they’d shared loads of times as little kids. He slides his arm around her shoulders and squeezes before pressing a kiss against her hair. Krista waits a beat before making her move.
When she does, her lips meet his and it feels like every cliche she’s ever heard of: music crescendos, waves crashing against the shore, two hearts beating as one. She tilts her head and he follows her movement, lips not leaving hers for a moment and they’re so in sync that Krista isn’t sure where she ends and Bobby begins. In this moment, she thinks, it doesn’t really matter.
It’s where she’s supposed to be and it finally feels right.