Author’s Note: So it was just supposed to be a bit on how they might be dealing with the issue raised at the end of the last part, but um… it didn’t stay that way.
“Oh, if we were ever allowed back on Earth, I’d join one of those campaigns against animal testing,” she said, not wanting to move. “I know how it feels to be a lab rat now, and I don’t like it. I’m not sure what they did to me, but I don’t feel good.”
Tynan took her hand. “I have been assured that no harm would come to you, since they fear my repercussion—they are nervous enough, but I think they are terrified of what I might do to them if you are hurt, and as they have been unable to cage me again—they cannot because if they did, they’d kill you or Alvin with their machines and furthermore, I refused to leave your side no matter what they were doing to you. I cannot risk losing you. They see you as leverage, I suppose, but if anything were to happen to you…”
“You’d give up and let them kill you.” Luna let out a breath and tried to force herself to move. The whole process to lengthen her lifespan had been a bit of a blur, with one weird alien device poking or prodding her for a moment before the really bizarre drugs took over. She was not sure all of what had happened, and she didn’t want to know. She should, she supposed, but she didn’t think she would understand all the science, for one thing, and for another, she wasn’t sure she could handle what they might have done—would they have spliced her DNA with another species? Was she even close to human anymore?
She wasn’t sure she cared as long as they weren’t lying about her being able to stay with Tynan. She didn’t know if that made her stupid or desperate or just overly romantic. She’d never thought she’d love anyone, not after Dennis and all the ones before him, and so this thing with Tynan was not only unexpected, it was stronger than she’d thought was possible.
She was willing to die for him and with him, and she’d offered herself up as some kind of… peace treaty between him and then. She’d keep him from destroying anything, and they wouldn’t have to fear him. Of course, she thought the whole thing was so thin, a truce that would be broken by their side at any moment—she knew Tynan would not change his mind about hurting them, not even to defend himself, but they were still afraid of him. They’d act on that fear sooner or later.
“What is it? Are you hurting? Did they do something that has—”
“I am just worried that even with this, even with them doing what they can to extend my lifespan that they won’t leave you alone. They’ll come for you and hurt you again.”
He nodded. “I believe you may be correct in thinking so, but we have been given a chance that neither of us thought we had, and that opportunity cannot be ignored. What we will do, then, is use what time we have. It will not be forever no matter how long it lasts, but I am happy when I am with you. You said we could create things and memories, and that is worth doing. I… I found my memories of you sustained me while I was their prisoner. They let me face my fate. I had only one regret—that I had not been able to say goodbye or to apologize—”
“I don’t ever want you saying goodbye. That’s part of our deal, remember? We’re stuck together for the rest of our lives.”
“I like the idea of spending my time with you. I have told you this before. Whatever time we have, we must use it.”
“That mean you’re going to kiss me?”
He grinned. “Do you know you have a taste? I am not sure what it is like because I have never tasted anything before, but I like the way you taste.”
She smiled as he touched her face. This almost seemed impossible. She should be back in the book shop, dreaming away, heavily medicated because she’d gone completely nuts when her mother died. She was in love with a black hole, he loved her back, and he could touch her without consuming her. Yeah, almost too good to be true.
Then there was the whole thing with everyone wanting him dead, and it wasn’t good at all.
“You stopped smiling.”
“I was thinking again, and I’m trying not to be so negative, but when I consider our situation, I can’t help it. I’m worried.”
“So am I.” He moved his fingers across her cheek. “You feel the same, I think, but I don’t know. I need more, need to keep testing and see if I am right about that. I also have to wonder if you still taste the same…”
“You don’t have to wonder.” She laughed when he frowned. “You’re being silly. You can know. All you have to do is kiss me and find out.”
“Oh. Yes. I like that idea. We must test many of these things.”
Tynan leaned into kiss her and then stopped. “I had forgotten—your father spoke to me of human customs and what he thought I was not allowing you to have. Children. Marriage. I know that I cannot change the state of us as regards progeny, since I doubt there is any way our species could be made compatible in that sense, but I… I think I can give you the other part. It is a pledge to spend the rest of our lives together, yes? That is what you humans do? We have already done this, though without any formal ceremony, but if we should have one—”
“You are so adorable,” she said, smiling. “I love you. And since I think you just proposed to me, yes, I’ll marry you.”