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Katrina "Sidewinder" Mojave

The entire night seemed to drag on and on, every time I  even let my eyes close I saw his face. Andrew's pleading eyes and scared voice tormenting me, haunting my dreams every single second that I wasn't awake. Sometimes, I tried to convince myself that he was still alive and that when I got up in the morning he'd still be there. That's help for a time but I'd always be pulled back into the dark. By the time that morning rolled around I was tired, my eyes red and puffy.

An aching pain in my chest that clamped like a vice. It took me an hour to drag myself off the rack and get dressed in a fresh pair of BDU's. Then I went back to laying in bed, what else could I do? We were done! The Chinese had fucking won, they were already pile drove the country. Moral was down, hope was gone, and we were all scared to death that if we crashed and lived....we'd end up just like Andrew did. Filmed for a sick man's entertainment. 

I covered my head with a pillow, just wanting to shrivel up in the corner and disappear. Sure, what I was doing (moping, sobbing, feeling sorry for myself) was pathetic and weak. Maybe I was playing exactly into their hands, but I didn't care. For weeks I had been a powder keg of emotions ready to blow sky high, and now that was me. Self destructing.

A noise suddenly startled me from my bleary self misery, I looked towards the door and narrowed my eyes. Who the hell would that be? I sat there and stared hoping and praying that whoever it was, would just go away. Finally a familiar voice rang through and I rolled my eyes, falling back on the bed. 

"Are you naked?" Young called to me. 

"What?! No!" I shouted at the question, blood running into my cheeks. 

"Okay, good." He said softly and opened the door, I groaned and sat up. Getting out of bed was not on my list of things to do that morning. 

"Could you please hear me out?"I growled and was on my feet, getting into his face I growled and starred him right in the eyes. I may be a girl but piss me off and push my buttons, I'm hell in tiny package. 

"Not when you barge into my room!" 

His eyes looked off in the distance before he sighed at me. "You need to get out." Glaring him down, Young moved and shut off the monitor. A half snarled 'No' reverberated from my throat. How he even thought he could order me around was beyond my comprehension. 

"... Okay... just, come with me, okay?" I bit my lip and just kept staring. Not dignifying him with an answer. 

"I'll give you the key as soon as we're out of this room. I promise no-one else will try to get into your room, okay?" He had his hands up, eyes pleading the same way Andrew's had. Young backed out and tossed me my key, I looked back and forth between the key and him. I sighed and rubbed my temples, finally following him out to the hanger.  

The second I stepped in, my legs locked and my jaw fell open. I could feel tremors running over my skin as I walked, or rather staggered, over to my plane. I moved slowly around the plane admiring the mural and all the details that went into it. But the one detail the that locked up my throat and made me collapse to my knees, was the 4AB painted on the missiles side in the mural. 

"Young..." I whimpered, putting my face in my hands as tears returned. Quiet, gentle footsteps eased closer and closer. A light hand rested comfortingly on my shoulder as young crouched down next to me. 

"It's okay Mojave..." he whispered. "It's okay. We'll avenge Andrew's death, we'll get back at them...for everything!" I smiled and hooked my arms around his neck, burying my face in his neck. I would have sobbed but I had no more tears left to shed. 

"Thank you Young! Thank you so much!" I hugged him tightly, not wanting to let go. It almost felt as though the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders and tossed aside. Young seemed a bit shocked at first but he patted my back and whispered words of solace and apology. I sighed, relieved that we weren't fighting anymore...that forgiveness had been exchanged.

Taking a deep breath, I kissed him on the cheek and pulled away. I walked to the plane and moved up the steps, the cockpit sat before me as if it had always been waiting for me. I looked over my shoulder and grinned, I may not have been completely fixed...but I had taken a few solid steps towards it. 

"ALL PILOTS! ALL PILOTS! SCRAMBLE! I REPEAT...." The hanger intercom sounded loudly, echoing over and over. Young and I meet gazes, nodding and jumping into our planes. I closed the canopy and hurried through the pre-flight checklist before turning on the engine. It roared to life, taxi'ing out of the onto the runway. Young's plane was quick to follow and lined up right behind me. 

"Tower, we're ready to go!" I shouted, itching to get back in the sky. Seconds passed as my fingers drummed over the accelerator, impatient. 

"This is tower, you are clear for takeoff." I almost howled with joy as I slammed the throttle forward and was pushed back into the seat. The aircraft rattled and groaned as the sudden weight of the G-forces pushed down. With a smile on my face I returned to the skies with Young at my wing. As our planes pulled above the cloud cover I relaxed back in my seat. 

"Good to be home...ain't it Mojave?" Young asked calmly. 

"Yea....yea it is."

The End

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