Chapter 12: Submerged

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Greg came awake in the darkness.

For several moments, he simply laid there, trying to gather his thoughts, to determine where it was, exactly, that he'd ended up. His memories were a tangled, painful proliferation of confusion and anxiety. He couldn't see almost anything. There was only the dim blue glow of a comms console mounted in the nearby wall in sleep mode and a small digital clock beside it. The clock told him it was six in the evening, but that was meaningless. Time had largely lost meaning to him. Really, it was all just T minus liftoff to the next mission.

That thought sparked and everything clicked home.

He could feel Callie against him, her bare breasts against his back, an arm over him. He didn't want to move. There was a primal comfort in where he was now, warm and drowsy beneath soft blankets with a nude woman pressed up against him. After everything that had happened, the horror of facing down the reality that what he considered to be his only other viable option for happiness in life was a no-go, he didn't want to deal with anything. He wanted comfort. He wanted not to think, not to hurt, not to dream.

Greg tried to hold on to the warm, lethargic happiness he was feeling. The meal and the shower had gone a long way towards soothing him, but it was the sex with Callie and sedate, mellow cuddling afterward that had really put out the fires in his brain. It still felt strange to get this kind of comfort not just from the woman he wasn't dating, (were they dating? What was the exact nature of their relationship?), but from a woman who was actually dating someone else. But he'd surmised that it didn't really matter.

In the moment, sex was its own universe, separate from all else.

But his mind was already working against him. Greg found himself calculating how long he'd been asleep, because he'd seen the time before he'd passed out. Eight hours. They had about three hours left to get ready, and there were things that needed to be done. With a sigh, Greg shifted and gently pulled Callie's arm off of him.

But she was as light a sleeper as he was, and she woke almost immediately.

"What time is it?" she asked sleepily, rubbing her eyes.

"We've been asleep for eight hours," he replied as he sat up and stretched, feeling several of his joints crack.

Callie sighed. "I don't feel exactly recharged, but I guess that's technically enough," she replied, sitting up as well. "Want to go for another round in the shower and help me wake up?"

"Yes," he replied.

* * *

Greg stepped out of the quarters he'd been occupying, zipping up his jumpsuit as he went. He made way for Callie, who was doing the same.

"Okay, I need to get to the bridge and double-check everything," she said. "Then I'll meet you in the armory and we can go over our gear."

"I'll be there," he replied.

She gave him another kiss and headed off. Instead of heading for the armory, Greg began hunting around for Mertz. As he did, he thought that Callie had been right. Their session and the sleep had made him feel a lot better. He felt capable of thinking clearly again and the raging sea of emotions inside of him had settled down.

It also made him see other things more clearly.

Namely, he felt like a fucking asshole. He'd basically just up and left without saying goodbye to anyone but Eve and Hawkins. He tried to alleviate his guilt by acknowledging that he'd been spending a lot of time with most of his friends onboard the Dauntless over the past few weeks and that they all knew it was probably coming. But that didn't help. If it had worked out, if Kyra had taken him back and he'd settled into a new life with her, then that basically would have been the end of the vast majority of his relationships.

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