"Hey, you ok?"

He looked up at the sound of her voice. "Hey Ashley."

He was sitting alone in the transport and still wearing his hardsuit. Flash lit his eyes as always.

"I heard you were pretty badass out there. Everyone's talking about it."

He didn't respond.

She walked over and sat next to him in one of the other alcoves, "That bad huh?"

After a long pause, he sighed, "Ashley, How many of us do you think there are?"

She shrugged, "I don't know."

"I don't know either, but I know there's one less now."

"I know. I heard."

He put his head in his hands, "It used to be easier before. We used to just go out and do what we'd been made to do, but now I think about what happens if we lose, and what it means for us if we don't all come home."

"I don't know what to say Aidan, I'm sorry—"

"Don't be sorry Ashley, it's not your fault. it's not anyone's fault," he turned to look at her, "It's just different now. We used to just be protecting this idea of a home, but do you know what I thought about when those Marauders attacked?"

She shook her head.

"I thought about this place. I thought about not having to hide being Aegis. I thought about what it's like to not have people panic every time my eyes flash."

She reached over and put her hand on his. The hardsuit still separated them, but her sentiment carried.

He looked down at her hand and took a breath, "I thought about you Ashley. I thought about how you bandaged my hands after I threw that stool. I thought about how you always try to distract me when we play Trellis and how you always pretend to be upset when you lose. I thought about that time Eli couldn't say Ayin and you tried so hard not to laugh, that he couldn't even be mad, and how you're always trying to make me laugh. I thought about how seeing you is always the best part of my day."

"Jesus Aidan," she said, keeping her hand on his, "you really know how to blindside a girl."

"Sorry, I just—"

"No, don't be sorry," she smiled at him, blushing, "You're the best part of my day too."