“And that’s all you want?”
“Just two ships, passing in the night? Michael Caine and Christian Bale at the end of Dark Knight Rises, an ocean apart and just raise a toast to the other ghost?”
“Look…we tried and – ”
“ – and it went tits up. Well…” he chuckled, a half smile at the thought of what their lewd French friend would say, “not quite, but...it wasn’t all bad. Least, I don’t think. Yeah, it wasn’t what I thought, I wish I had known that today – ”
“Would you have still come?” She displayed a casual curiosity, below deck he sensed she had perked, leaning forward just slightly to take a sip of her beverage.
He paused only to attempt to compose something that didn’t sound quite so desperate and found anything else seemed too vague to be considered a straight answer. She deserved at least that much.
“Yes. Maybe not for as long, but aye.”
“Don’t tell me it would have been different,” she warned, sensing the wind blowing.
“I mean, if we’re purely being hypothetical,” he began, the half-smile growing to a cat’s grin, “if I went back in time, I’d be armed with the foreknowledge, like Groundhog Day.”
“And is that all you want to do? Live the same day over and over, repeating it trying to get it just right?”
Dropping the clownish countenance, he shook his head.
“Even if it worked and we got it right….it wouldn’t be right, you know? Because…if it was meant to happen that way, it would have gone that way the first time. Course,” he said as an afterthought, “This is the part where one of our guys would tell their partner that of course they’d go back, a million times, as long as it took just to fight for the one they love.”
They sat a few minutes, sipping and digesting the person in front of them. It was incredible to think how much the other had grown and changed since first knowing the other. They had just been kids, foolish or innocent, children of an optimistic age not completely tinted by the scourge of society.
Around them people passed by in a general hurry, people of all different races and genders. Our pair glance at them occasionally, wondering what their individual stories are, then upon catching the other doing the same thing, look back down at their drinks.
“You know what I think?” he said after a moment.
“That Han survived in Force Awakens by jumping into a fridge the ants brought him?”
“W-hat?” he said, trying not to laugh. “I’m not sure what’s worse – you came up with the theory or that it’s probably a legit theory being researched somewhere.”
Her eyes were his favorite part about her. Her face in general was rather pleasing, much as he disdained to admit to himself. But her eyes commanded an interest to those daring enough to gaze into them, unlike soft blue eyes or artificial meadow green, they shone with a dangerous intellect, almost silently challenging the world.
“Probably,” she agreed.
“Anyway,” he took a sip of his drink, making a face. “Ugh, remind me again why I’m drinking coffee.”
“Because it’d be illegal for you to drink rum?”
“How’s that saying go?” she wondered, “Eight hours, bottle to throttle?”
Nodding, “Affirm. Course, one dispatcher I knew used to say eight inches bottle to throttle.”
Suspecting something lewd, her face crinkled.
“Aye, you keep your bottle eight inches away from the throttle as you’re flying.”
She shook her head, covering a smirk behind her hand.
“I swear, if you were any dorkier – ”
“ – you’d marry me,” he boldly injected, expecting swift retribution and not disappointed. It was almost amusing watching her posture snap like one of those slap bracelets from the 90s. Or were they around before then? Could be.
For a stunned second she only looked, attempting to compose something diplomatic. This wasn’t how she wanted it to go.
He shook his head.
“Teasing. Anyway….what I was going to say…what I think is that we may be destined to do this forever. I don’t know if I believe in fate or preordained outcomes, but I believe in us, to risk sounding cheesy.”
“Should I get the crackers?”
Wiping the smirk away, he took a breath, trying again. “I think our density has brought us here.”
“Actually I just called an Uber. His name was Daryl. Seemed pretty chill.”
He rolled his eyes. It was amazing how she seemed to bring out his inner-ten-year old.
“Sounds like a dream boat. If you can dispense with being a – how did you put it? – a sh*tc***, let me say this: If we’re destined to keep repeating this, forever to be Indy and Marion, Nate and Elena, why not have a say in the manner?”
“What do you mean?”
“We’ve done pretty well for ourselves, in our own lives. We’re both doing good. A part of me thinks it might be in spite of each other, that…our solitude from the other has made us stronger and helped forge our paths.” He held up a hand to preemptively halt any witty remarks. “Instead of letting fate or whatever control us and tear us apart only to blend us back into the mix, why not even the odds? Not a relationship,” he specified, shaking his head. “We live our lives, date who we want or don’t, we live by our own rules for three hundred and sixty days a year. But maybe once a year, for a week or so, we meet up somewhere. Not just a pop on Facebook and check the other is still alive. We go out to any place in the world, throw a dart on the map and go there, and share our stories, our characters. We can talk about our life, good things, bad things, explore the local area, get some culture, share a meal. Then, we go our separate ways until the next adventure. That is my proposal to you.”
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