Pairing: June x F!Traveller (Celeste)
Fandom: Andromeda Six (I know the fan base isn’t huge so I encourage those who haven’t played to read these and see if you’d like to try it out!)
Warnings: Angst, minor mentions of gore and death.
Words: ~ 1800
Description: When Traveller tries to save June instead.
Notes: I chose my traveller for this little fic but will totally take requests if you’d like me to use yours. Just pop into me DMs and make a request! Also, this is one of several fics for A6 that I have so let me know if you’d like to be tagged.
This is self indulgent nonsense and I am sorry. I will do better next time. Actually I probably won’t.
Tags: @amlovelies @writersgonefishing @oatssss @kimberrrrr @femmeshep @serana-spring
There’s a sort of weightlessness to death.
An instant where you rest suspended in the between. Passed from warm hands into a cold, steel grip, there’s a split second where everything stops. Life no longer holds meeting and death has yet to make known its cruel face, so you are left...
It takes a moment for Celeste to realize that this isn’t the weightlessness she’s feeling. The sensation of suspense is not one due to hovering between life and death. The strength which holds her is not of some otherworldly being.
She looks up and sees kindly grey eyes. June cradles her head with gentle, reserved strength. Tawny strands of his hair fall against his forehead as he looks down at her with an expression of fear and unbridled concern, one that is utterly unfamiliar on the usually calm gunman’s features.
His fingers press against her side and withdraw, sticky and crimson with blood.
“Celeste,” June whispers, though it’s faint with the ringing in her ears.
Her name on his lips sounds sad, agonized even. The feeling that knowledge invokes within her is foreign. Once, existing only as the youngest child in a line of royals, fated for a life in the shadows, she held the belief that no one would mourn her death. Now, the look of anguish on his face makes guilt flare in her gut; she doesn’t want to hurt him like this.
He pulls her close against his chest, draws her into his arms as easily as if she were, truly, weightless. She knows of the strength that lies hidden under the layers of his sweet, gentle exterior, buried under his warm smiles and soft, thoughtful gestures.
Her fingers’ weak grasp finds his wrist, delving into the crisscrossed scars written in his skin. In them, she finds the affirmation she seeks.
Even if it drains her of blood, life, and spirit, it was worth it. For in this, just once, he will remain untouched.
She wakes to metal tables and blinding white light.
“Hey, easy now,” comes Ryona’s soothing tone. Her pale blue skin and soft, pretty features follow as she stands from her desk before rushing to Celeste’s side.
Ryona immediately starts fluttering around, reading numbers on screens and pressing buttons as Celeste puts her hand over the bandage on her newly-sewn side with a wince.
“You’re in the med bay. Came in pretty banged up, if I do say so myself. June had to carry you back.”
The incessant ringing has cleared to the steady beeping of the surrounding machines. For the second time, it occurs to Celeste in her clarity, that man has pulled her back from the brink of death and carried her toward safety in his arms.
“I’ve never seen our cowboy quite so upset,” Ryona adds, her tone full of meaning. “He really cares about you. Remember that if he-“
Celeste shifts on the table. “If he what?”
“I had to give you eight stitches, and you lost a lot of blood. You should-”
Golden eyes, filled with conflict, meet green.
“June doesn’t handle strong emotion well. He’s afraid it makes him volatile, destructive. Dangerous.”
“Oh.” The plastic sheet crinkles as Celeste settles back against it. The non-answer makes her nervous. “Okay.”
“He’ll be fine,” Ryona comforts, squeezing her ankle softly as she sits down by her feet. “Luckily, so will you. I was worried.”
Celeste stumbles in her attempt to formulate a reply. “I- thank you.”
The words stir some strange sentiment within her, an immense wave of affection threatening to drown her in their wake. Never in her life did she imagine she would be lucky enough to be cared for so deeply by people so utterly kind.
Suddenly, a knock sounds at the door, startling both women where they sit.
“That’s probably June. He sat by your side for hours until he went to get a blanket. Said you looked cold,” then, louder, “come in!”
June almost has to duck under the door, given his immense height, and he enters carrying a stack of blankets high enough to clothe a small army.
“I didn’t know which ones-“ he begins, setting the stack of fabric on the countertop, then trails off as he registers the sight before him.
Silence ensues. Ryona’s eye flit between the two of them before she stands, says, “I’ll be outside if you need me,” and excuses herself with a warm, supportive smile over her shoulder.
“I am so, so sorry,” he breathes, air rushing forward from his lungs, coming to kneel by her side. His eyes search her face, looking for what, she doesn’t know.
“What do you have to be sorry for?”
“I should’ve protected you. I shouldn’t have let you get hurt.” He looks disgusted with himself. This, this self-loathing, is something she recognizes. “There are a lot of things I should have done,” he adds softly.
Celeste moves to sit up and hisses as the skin around her bandages stretches.
Realization dawns in June’s eyes before they shift to her side. “Can I?”
She nods, lifting the edge of her shirt to reveal the expanse of fabric that hides her wound. Looking briefly into her eyes for confirmation, June lets his fingers brush against her skin, tracing the edges of the bandage and sending a tingling feeling up Celeste’s spine. At every point where their skin meets, warmth trickles outwards from his fingertips, seeping through her skin and settling in her veins. She can feel his breath, the unmistakable warmth of it, against her bare skin.
“You’ll have a scar,” June murmurs.
“So? You already have so many.”
He frowns. “I don’t want you to be like me, Celeste. I don’t want to make you like me. How could you- that’s the last thing I want.”
“You told me to run and I chose not to. You didn’t make me do anything. I’m responsible for my own actions. Did you really think I would leave and risk you getting hurt?”
That seems to throw him for a loop. His jaw drops slightly, eyes wide. “You- you wanted to protect me?”
She traces a featherlight touch along his cheek with a shaking hand. June’s eyelashes flutter, briefly, at her touch. “Of course.”
“You’re delusional,” June says, though it lacks any bite. He simply sounds lost, a little confused. “I’ve survived much worse than a back-alley gunfight. I can handle a few more scars.”
“But you shouldn’t- you shouldn’t have to.”
She swallows, jaw working as she looks toward the ceiling, yet she can see how he shakes his head, features pulled between frustration and overwhelming torment. “You shouldn’t have to put yourself in danger for me. I’m not worth that.”
“But you are-“
“I am not.” And the finality of his words draws her gaze towards his once more. She sees something there that she’s only seen once before, the day she stood outside his cabin and he shut the door in her face .
Anger. Fire, bright flames quickly smothered with a brush of his large palm over his face.
He breathes deep, chest rising with the motion under his vest. His grey eyes look more like steel than rainclouds as he speaks. “If you can’t follow orders, I won’t be able to take you on supply runs any longer.”
“June, please. You don’t mean that.”
She doesn’t know what she’s asking for. Acceptance? His friendship? His love? Would she dare?
Could he even give her such a thing?
“I’ll see you in the morning, Celeste.” June stands again, sleeves shifting further up his forearms to show his scars. “Get some sleep.”
He doesn’t once look back once as the door closes behind him.
The metal table beneath her feels so much colder without him there. How cruel he is, to let her taste what it’s like to have him by her side, then rip it away. Left with nothing but the hum of machinery and her thoughts, she begins to wonder if she’s broken, or he is.
Or maybe they’re both broken, she thinks. Maybe they both have jagged edges, and no matter how hard she tries to fit them together, there will always be a little space in between.
It’s an uncomfortable thought, one that lulls her to sleep under fluorescent lights and the weight of her own fractured heart.
Outside, June slumps against the wall, running his hand through his hair with a sigh.
How his heart ached when he turned her affection aside, how he wanted nothing more than to relish in the feeling of her caring for him, for him, to bask in it and soak in it and let it fill all of his cracks and crevices and make him whole.
And how he knew, just as deeply and with equal certitude, that that was the last thing he could ever let himself do.
He is no stranger to pain. But the hurt he feels now is different, gnawing at a part of himself he didn’t know existed. Not since he closed it off, so long ago. Not since-
No. Not going there. No amount of time will strength long enough for him to open those doors again.
Just look at what you’ve done to her already. All you’ll ever do is hurt her.
June presses his fists into the wall by his sides, hands trembling with the effort not to leave dents in the metal. It’s so easy for him to break and ruin, so difficult to build. And that is why he cannot have her. He won’t let her become another beautiful thing shattered by the strength in his hands.
How difficult she makes it, when she looks at him as if he’s fragile, when her lips form words like care and protect and things he never thought a monster like him could ever hope to receive. He wants to lay himself down at her feet and thank the gods for giving him something so sweet.
But he is dangerous and he is deadly and he has no idea how to love someone the way she deserves.
“You could stand to let someone in, every once in a while.”
Ryona crosses her arms as she leans against the wall beside him, one eyebrow raised.
“I won’t kill you to let yourself feel, June.”
“It’s not myself I’m worried about killing.”
June tries not to flinch as she lays a hand on his shoulder. “You’re not the monster you think you are,” she says.
A part of him wants to scream, to say that she doesn’t understand, that’s she’s wrong, but that part is smothered by the warmth that bubbles in his chest at her words.
He lets his head hit the wall and closes his eyes. “I don’t know if you’re right.”
“Am I ever wrong?” Ryona grins, eyes twinkling.
He has to admit, she does have a point.
“I hope you’re able to work this out,” she says, pushing herself off the wall. She walks back into the med bay and June keeps his eyes scrunched closed until he hears the door slam shut.
More than anything, he hopes for that too.
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