Word Count: 789
"Are you certain this is necessary, ma'am?" the tech asked.
Her only answer was a raised eyebrow; the man must have been new. Most of the governmental transport staff knew about her little forays by now, and also knew better than to ask about them. This one was at least intelligent enough not to ask a second time, instead helping her with her helmet and checking the seals on her EVA suit, then tugging on her safety line to make certain it was properly secured.
He slapped her on the back once the check was complete, turning on her air pack and getting her pressurized. "You've got about thirty minutes, ma'am, and then we need to continue to the colony for docking."
"Understood." She said, her voice echoing tinny in her own ears thanks to the suit's speakers. "Please leave my communications channel off until it's time for me to come back in, or unless Mariemeia needs something."
"I'll call if there are any problems on my end." She smiled when she said that, even though she knew he couldn't see her. "You might want to step out now." The space suit's gauntlets were a little clumsy for gestures, but he still got the idea as she waved him out of the airlock, back into the safety of the transport.
The familiar change of pressure came as soon as he had shut the door. She stood with eyes closed as the airlock cycled, and finally the door opened, revealing stars scattered across the darkness of space. A gentle push with one foot was all it took to launch her; once she was out of the ship, she used directional jets of air to move along, to the spot she'd marked with a small beacon so many years ago. The sun was bright to her left, causing her helmet to polarize and the cooling units of the suit to turn on, click, click, click.
The beacon shut off as she approached it, red LEDs no longer flashing. She used it to stop her forward movement, careful not to grab the solar panels that powered it.
In the absolute darkness, turned away from both sun and earth she floated, eyes closed. He breathing was loud in her won ears, and she felt the stirring of the inner darkness, the one that she'd hidden behind a pair of glasses for so many years. It was a safe, familiar feeling, one that she now held behind an impenetrable glass wall now, to be watched but not touched. There were times that she found it amusing; death, loss, and miscarriage and split her, so long ago, and the same things had made her whole again.
Breathe in, breathe out, and let the memories go. She strained, listening, as if for some long forgotten music.
From the darkness he came, gliding from the stars on the silent wings of an angel. Phantom hands caressed her cheeks, and she trembled at the feeling.
"I've missed you," she said.
In the whisper that only she could hear, he answered, "As I have missed you."
She kept her eyes shut tightly as lips covered hers and hands stroked her hair. She surrendered to the touch, gasping when her own lips were parted, when teeth nipped her earlobe. Then strong arms wrapped around her from behind and she was pulled back against a muscular chest, spooned against barely tangible skin. He buried is face in her hair.
"How long will you continue to do this, my lady?" he asked.
"For as long as you continue to return to me," she answered, "I would rather be in your arms only once a year than go home every night to the bed of another."
A phantom sigh, like a puff of breeze, ruffled her hair. "We are caught in the same trap, you and I."
"Do you want to be freed?" she asked.
"I can never be free until it is your time to join me," he said, "and I wouldn't have it any other way."
They needed know other words as the drifted together. At other times, they'd spoken of many things; politics, Mariemeia, the horses Une had recently bought. At other times, they came together so fiercely that she would go back to the ship blushing and embarrassingly aroused. Now needed no words; for a few precious moments, they were together.
"They'll call me soon," she said, "we'll have to go dock."
The familiar sting of tears came to her eyes, the sadness of another parting. "I miss you so much, Treize."
"In my own way, I'm always with you, my lady. Always."
"I know," she said, blinking to clear her eyes. "You're my strength."