“Well,” he said, making sure his sigh was a loud, exaggerated masterpiece, in case she happened to miss the point. “Here we are again.”
There was a long pause before she snickered. “We’re nothing if not consistent.”
He could hear the smile in her voice. Yup. He rolled his eyes. As usual, she missed the point entirely.“I get what you’re going for there, Luce, but I don’t think consistency is what we’re needing in this scenario.”
“It is if every time we’re captured we’ve managed to escape.”
He turned his head toward the petite woman sitting behind him. His best friend.
The shift in his upper body tugged at the rope that tied them together.
“Or, here’s a crazy idea, we could not get captured.” He tried to shrug.
“Where would the fun be in that? Then we’d have already saved the day and I’d be home in my pajamas by 10pm. I’m too young to be calling it a night before the Late Show on a Friday!”
“Luce, I’m serious.” His voice trailed off, a grave sound in the thick silence.
Plop… Plop… Plop.
Something was dripping. Water, he assumed, given the damp, moldy smell that filled the stifling air. An old pipe maybe. The slow, steady drip of it landed on the concrete in rhythm.
“Maybe it’s time, you know?” He said when he found his voice again, gently. “Maybe we should just quit this entire freak show all together.”
He heard her sharp intake of breath. Felt her body rise against his back and fall sadly, shoulders slumped. Her voice was a whisper, all trace of her smile faded. “You don’t mean that.”
“We’re tied up in an empty warehouse with a ticking bomb and the end of humanity as we know it approaching…”
“Yes, we are. So…?”
“You’re kidding, right? Try as you might to find it, there is no silver lining to this, Luce. Not this time.”
Anger flashed hot in his veins. He fought against the ropes that bound him. “And for the first time in our lives, I wish we weren’t.”
Her pause was thick enough to slice through. He desperately wished he could see her face.
“If we die here tonight…”
“We aren’t going to die.”
“I shouldn’t have let you come.”
“Like you could stop me.”
She was so dense sometimes, it hurt. “I’m scared of losing you, ok?” He rolled his eyes. “I hate the idea that this could be it and it would be my fault for talking you into this dumb vigilante work anyway.”
“We agreed, when we started this, that either of us was free to walk out anytime. That we only had to stay so long as we believed in the cause.” He felt her fingers as they reached for his hand. He squeezed tight. “Another bad guy is trying to destroy our city. Week after week twisted people get it into their minds that they can with strength or influence or money force us into submission. My cause hasn’t changed. And so long as you’re out here, I will always be by your side.”
He bit his tongue, overcome with emotion. His cheeks were burning and for once he was relieved to be facing opposite directions in the darkness. “How do you do that? How do you stay so positive when everything just sucks?”
He felt her shrug against him. “If we’re being totally honest here, this is not my idea of an ideal Friday night. Do I have a Netflix queue overflowing with shows I need to watch? Yes. Am I upset that we missed our pizza delivery? A little…”
“You’re rambling again.”
“The point is, if I had to choose between bingewatching television and saving the world for the hundredth time, I’d always choose this option. I like it here. With you.”
He squeezed her hand one final time. “Ok then, so… what’s the plan?”
“Well I figured we could order another pizza since we missed the first one and then Stranger Things…”
“I meant for now, Luce. For escaping?”
“Oh, right!” He heard her smile fall back into place. “I thought you’d never ask.”