Another Sleepless Night

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Zack tossed and turned again that night. Feeling cold sweat seeping through his bandages. He had been dreaming about it again... That awful place. He was sent back to the time he and Ray were seconds away from escape. When she was shot down by Danny. He felt his heart sink as she fell to the cold steel floor. "Ray?....Ray?! Raaaaay!!!!" He scooped her up in his arms, begging her not to die. She looked up into his mismatched eyes, bleeding profusely. Managing to cough out a sentence. Her voice shook as she started to slip away from consciousness. "It's okay Zack..." she whispered. Her voice just barely audible.

Though it was just a nightmare, Zack felt tears form in his eyes. Phantom tears streamed down his face as the memory continued on. Eventually Zack woke up, rubbing the back of his head as he set up. Drenched in sweat. Careful not to make too much noise he tiptoed to the bathroom. Unaware that Ray had been awake this entire time. Once He made it successfully to the shower in total darkness, he peeled off his clothes and bandages. Scrunching his face at the unpleasantness that was sweaty clothing.

Turning the shower knob to a temperature of his liking, he leaned against the shower wall. His mind still heavy with the thought of nearly losing her and almost dying alongside her. He placed his forehead against the rigid tiles. Squeezing his eyes shut in an attempt to expell these thoughts. "Fuck.. Am I just not allowed to sleep?" He ran his hands through his silky black hair. When was the last time he got it cut? He couldn't remember. "Gimme a break..." He huffed. Slightly annoyed by his own train of thought. He washed his hair, making sure to rid himself of any sliminess.

Ray sat up. Hearing the sound of running water, she looked over to the direction of the bathroom, then over to the empty bed Zack had usually spent most of his days. Was he showering again? She laid on her side, facing the opposite bed. "I wonder... If he had a bad dream? He's not usually up this late." She formed a hypothesis in her head until she came to the conclusion that Zack was probably having night terrors due to his memories of the past. He did vaguely mention before that he would have them.

Even back at the facility. Where they had encountered many different challenges and torture methods. She feared Zack would never get a good night's rest so long as he was haunted by these memories. She wanted to barge through the bathroom door and hug him but quickly realized that it would be too awkward of a situation if she had. After all, they were both adults who should be able to take control of their own emotions. She curled up in the comforters. Hugging them to her chest.

"I hope he'll be okay. I don't like seeing you this way, Zack.

The young blonde closed her eyes. Slowly drifting off to sleep until she was awoken by the sound of the bathroom door creaking open and Zack cursing not so quietly at the sound and his clumsiness. She giggled a little bit to herself. Amused by his feeble attempt to silently make his way back to his bed. She could smell a faint aroma of men's body wash and shampoo wafting off of him as he sat on his bed.It was a pleasant smell. Looking over with her eyes now adjusted to the darkness of the room, she realized he hadn't bandaged himself back up yet. Taking in the sight of his somewhat husky, muscular form. She blushed, quickly hiding her face under the covers. Zack looked over, now wondering if he had woken her up.

"Hey Ray, you awake?" She blank, popping her head out from under the covers. "Yeah. I have been for a while now. Why are you up at this hour?" she sat up, trying to ignore the fact she was sitting in the same room as a half naked man. "Just a bad dream. I woke up all sweaty and disgusting so I took a shower. An even better question. Why are YOU awake? Women your age need to get more sleep so they don't become wrinkly old hags." He teased.

Ray remained silent. As she usually did to prove her intellectual dominance. "Bah whatever." He rolled over in his side, facing towards her while propping his head up with one hand. "So... Do you ever think about what happened back there? Back at that shit hole?" She looked over. Understanding that her suspicions of him thinking about it were true. She chimed in with a quiet "Sometimes." A few minutes passed before one of them broke the silence. "Do you want to talk about it?" Ray sat up, meeting his gaze. He felt his face get warm at her straightforwardness. "N-not really. But if you want to, we can I guess." He cleared his throat. Ray closed her eyes, thinking deeply.

"...Do... you remember when we we were just about to leave? And when Danny shot me?" he nodded, shocked that she had been thinking about it too. "Yeah... Why are you bringing that up all of a sudden?" She paused, then started to speak again. "Well... Its just that ever since that day... I've been thinking." She looked down at the floor. "I've been thinking about dying. And how close I was that day. Even though it was my wish from the very beginning... I was actually very scared. That wasn't the way I would've wanted to go. Only by your hand would I have wanted it, Zack. No other way would satisfy me... But... I understand that you have feelings too and..."He cut her off.

"Just get to the point. Stop yer pussyfooting." She blank at this notion and continued. "I've said it before... I want you to desire my death too. And even though I'm older now, I still very much want that. I don't want to die for my own selfish desires. Not anymore. So unless you still want to kill me, I won't ask you about it anymore. That's a promise." Zack felt as if he had been smacked in the face with a bag full of bricks. She truly wanted to die. Even now. Yet... He couldn't get himself to be completely honest about his feelings.

"Look, all this talk about dying is making me exhausted so I'm gonna hit the sack. Night, Ray."

And with that he turned over to face away from her. She did the same. Giving her typical blank expression. Until she slowly dozed off. Wondering if he was just avoiding the question entirely. Zack however was still awake thinking about everything they talked about. His heart heavy in his chest.

He knew now that he didn't desire her death anymore. He would miss her vacant stare, her home cooked meals, her soothing voice, even her straightforward attitude and rare yet tormented smile that could cause him to stop dead in his tracks. Most of all, he would miss the girl that saved him on several occasions. He couldn't kill her but he didn't want to be a liar. He wrestled with himself internally for the rest of the night.

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