It’s all good, though. I feel happier than I ever have before!
the shells crack under our shoes
like punctuation points
the planets bend between us
a hundred million suns and stars
(a redraw of this)
(( ITS HARD TO WORD HOW MUCH THIS PICTURE AND THESE CHARACTERS MEAN TO ME. THIS IS BY NONESTLUX AND the fallout 3 rp aletta originates from and is canon to this rp blog is really special. i love alyssa ))
Aletta met Anthony’s eyes briefly before finding it easier to look at the pipboy. She turned it over in her lap gingerly, making out the old words penned on the side of it, unreadable in the dark. “I tried, but I didn’t get anywhere,” she muttered. “Tried to move on and do something with myself, but… it was hard.”
She shook her head and shifted in her seat, removing herself a little from Anthony. A chilled wind flowed through the new space between their bodies. “Um, you were always a good man to me, or at least you came to be,” she said. “You had to have been to be with Luke. You do look different, now, though.” She scanned his stitched-together armor and felt her stomach stir at the parts she could recognize as Legion. Though not willing to speak the truth, what she said next was an almost irrelevant, “…You look older.”
Anthony did not press anymore on the subject of Aletta’s past. “I am older, aren’t I? Almost thirty, I think. I don’t remember. Something my better half kept track of instead of me. I’ve been in the sun a lot, I hear that makes someone look older, too,” Anthony replied. “But I don’t think you’re referring to my tan. That’s not the first time you looked at me like that tonight.” Subconsciously, a hand had crawled its way to his neck, the jagged lines of scar tissue strange and familiar all the same. “If you have something to ask me, I couldn’t give you anything but the truth.”
Aletta’s eyes snapped to the pipboy and stayed there as she listened. Relief ballooned inside of her, and quickly she wiped away the wetness in her eyes. “You tried?” she squeaked. “I tried too,” was what she said next, but it was airy and died in her throat. What she had tried wasn’t honorable or full of pride, and she wasn’t prepared to tell Anthony.
Aletta put her hand on the pipboy’s unlit screen. She thumbed over the dials and heard, in the recesses of her memories, Luke’s voice explaining the controls and its uses.
"It wasn’t a stupid idea," she said after a moment, and sniffed. Her voice regained its strength. "It scared the hell out of me to find it gone but I understand what you wanted to do. He would understand, too. I think you… I think you did well."
Anthony exhaled sharply, and parked the pipboy onto Aletta’s lap. “I suppose I have done alright,” he said, tapping the tips of his fingers together. He sounded almost frustrated. “But I think the things I have done would just worry him. I am no longer what I was before — stupid, reckless, angry — but how am I supposed to know I’m any better? I have been alone for so long and I have spoken so little.” He looked over his shoulder, out into the blue-stained light of the desert.
"I do not think I’ll ever truly be a good man. I think there something so internally messed up inside me from everything I’ve seen that I just can’t be what I want," he continued, returning his eyes to Aletta. "I sound too bitter and negative with that. I mean — I mean I’ll never stop trying." He paused, swallowed. "You said you tried, too. You don’t seem to be…"
"Y— yeah, I, um… I come here to the bus sometimes… On holidays, especially. But I hadn’t visited since last Valentine’s…" Aletta paused and lifted her face up to look at Anthony. "Wait- do you have Luke’s pipboy? Is that what you were trying to say?”
Anthony pulled back and looked sheepishly away, reaching for the bag he had discarded on the floor earlier. He dragged it to his boots, fingers twitching at the zipper.
"Yeah, uh, it was me. I don’t know what I was going to do, really. I just. I had an idea, it was stupid." He pulled it out, cradling it in his hands like it was something incredible fragile. "I thought, maybe I could be as good as he was, maybe I could take what he gave to me and follow in his giant footsteps if I tried hard enough." His tongue sounded like a dry cloth across his bottom lip when he wet it. "And I have been trying. I have done nothing but try. I might’ve died and been reborn — I think I’ve grown as a person, that I’ve become something I could be proud of someday, when I’m old. I came here to see if my hand could fit the burden he could bear, but it’s just…" Anthony paused, speculating what was in his grasp. He laid the attached glove across his forearm, to his fingertips. "… it’s just too big for my hands."
Aletta curled into him instinctively, tucking toward her stomach like a string had been pulled on her back. Her free hand slipped under Anthony’s arm and held onto his bicep. “Thank you,” she said on a breath. She looked dazed, scanning the mattress unseeingly, until finally she shut her eyes, and sighed. “I’m happy you’re alive. I think it’s the first time I’ve been happy in a long time.”
His nose was crushed into her hair, but he supposed that wasn’t the reason he was having trouble breathing. “I think I’m in the same boat, I also think I haven’t cried since I was 18,” Anthony murmured, feeling warm like molded putty. “Thank you, too — thank you for waiting here to beat me up. And for being alive, as well.”