Saying Yes: Part 3
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The airport was brightly lit, Domino turned away from the counter and met eyes with Nate, who was slouched against a chair next to the wall, looking almost handsome in his cool, aloof grace. But under that diffident mask sat flagrant irritation, and she pulled the sunglasses from her hair as she walked towards him.
He nodded. "So at least two."
"Nah, the kid said twenty minutes, which means an hour. Apparently someone threw up in first class and they want to make sure no one sits in vomit."
"Free champagne and trans-continental flights don't mix."
She flopped down next to him, giving a glance to their surroundings; it seemed like nobody else was waiting for this flight. Across the room a woman was trying to herd three kids into behaving; two aisles away a little old lady sat, stuck between watching them and trying not to look like she was. Dom checked her out - little threat capability was the diagnosis. "So, why Australia?"
"I always wanted to see the Opera House in Sydney."
Snort. "Bullshit. Why?"
He tipped his head towards her, so he could look into her eyes crookedly. "Does it matter?"
"I suppose not," she murmured, looking out the looming glass to the runways, rampant with their early morning aircraft as dawn aged beyond them. "You have poor impulse control these days, you know that?"
He nodded as if it didn't matter what she said - he'd just agree with it.
"What's wrong with you, Nate?"
Again, he tipped his glance, and then looked away. "Nothing."
Domino paused, reconsidered, faced front again. "What's wrong?"
A large, blue-nosed plane started toward them, humming in the distance outside the glass, and eventually parked at their gate. "Restlessness, really. I feel...out of sorts."
Her fingers trailed over and played with the tops of his knuckles. "You're such a pain in the ass, you know. Can't even relax like a normal person."
"Does it help if I say that I feel like I forgot to wear underwear or something because I'm not packing?"
"Well, the mental image sure helps...."
They were quiet for a while; Nathan watched the horizon wobble and distort with the exhaust of passing planes. Like Dom, he missed the pressure of a weapon on his body, and the concealed piece he'd shielded away in his carry-on just didn't seem accessible enough. This place was a death trap inside; unprotected doors, blind corners, milling crowds and angry minds everywhere, a thousand places to hide, a thousand places to be ambushed in. Easy ways to die.
A man passed them, carrying skis; Nathan narrowed his gaze and listened to the quiet: *damn, I'd love somma _that_* the man thought, hooded eyes on Domino's chest as he walked by. *I bet she lets you fuck her in the a-*
The man tripped _hard_, sprawling on the ground with a sharp whack, and lay there like he'd hurt himself. His had skis shot out of his grip like rockets and landed a good ten feet ahead of him. Domino eyed the scene with amusement, having noted exactly where his eyes had been before he'd fallen. Then the man suddenly flipped over, landing hard again - almost as if he'd been thrown onto his back instead of doing it himself. She made an instinctive visual sweep of the scene for irregularities and found nothing unusual but the scene playing out before her.
He was a long, skinny man with oil-black hair and an over-tan complexion. His jacket was leather - he didn't look like a skier, and Dom rose to her feet.
"Flight 1226, now boarding."
The man's eyes bulged out and his cheeks turned pink while his mouth opened and closed uselessly. He held out this way, airless, for a good minute as Dom contemplated doing...something...for him, although he seemed an unlikely candidate for choking. On what? Gum? Strangely, no one materialized to help him.
The link tingled in the back of her mind, icily, she lunged forward, grabbing Nate's arm. In a rush, the man sucked in a lungful of air . He panted largely quite a few times before finally seeing the couple before him, staring with disquiet. "I guess I....got the wind...knocked out of....me," he breathed, starting too look uncomfortable as embarrassment began to override adrenaline.
Domino helped him up coolly, and he retrieved his skis with a blush and a glance back to see if they were watching. Nathan's icy blue eyes stayed levered on him as he walked, bent down, collected the overgrown plastic, rose, positioned them on his shoulder, kept them from falling twice before it was done right, and moved out of the waiting area into the walkway. He felt those eyes for weeks afterward, and thought about the weight that had sat on his chest - no, more like grown _inside_ his chest, heaviness from the inside that he couldn't lift off or spit out or cough up. Like cold hatred had gathered form and curled up inside his chest, under his heart, and decided to sleep him to death. He couldn't ever remember again the woman he'd been staring at, just the white-haired man and his deadiceblue eyes.
She opened her mouth to rant - "what the hell were you doing?" - but closed it. Nate was still staring after the man, minutes after he'd gone, and the freezing rage slinking along the link was enough to make her squeeze his fingers into paying attention. "Okay?" She said, meaning it with more edge than the word could really convey.
"Look, Nate, this trip was your fucking idea. If you've changed your mind, let me know so I don't have to put up with this shit for two weeks."
His mind split like a crushed cup; the cold fury evaporated and he could see her again. "Sorry," he said, clearly, not a mutter or under-breath snap. He meant it, and reminded himself for the eightieth time that he was not going to be this way. Rising to his feet, he took her hands in his, and surprised the hell out of her by giving her a gentle kiss in public, while a little old lady smiled to herself.
"Won't happen again, promise."
She gave him a curt, approving nod. "C'mon then."
He took her outstretched hand, gathered up their bags and tossed them over his shoulder in a single, easy swing. The gesture almost made him feel....husbandly.
*I bet we get the seats that were puked on.* She said as they handed over their tickets - he burst out laughing, and scared the hell out of the petite little stewardess.
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