I turn, look into the eyes of my companion. The sunlight falls onto that face I know so well... he breaks into the trademark roguish grin.
He knows we've got as much hope as an ice cube in an oven, but he'll follow me to the end. And I will him. That's why I love him.
He holds me now. I breathe in his familiar scent. I squeeze my eyes shut. I want this moment to last forever. I never want to move. But I know I must. If we're going to make any difference at all. Even if we're not.
Ten minutes ago, I was battling against doing this at all. I wanted to scream and shout at the unfairness of it all. Finally finding what I truly needed, truly wanted, only to give it up.
Now I'm resolved. Calm before the storm. I'll take them down with me, if it's the last thing I do.
It will be the last thing I do.
I look at him, trying to drink in everything, remember him this way forever, preserve him in my memory. I can't imagine a world without him. I can't imagine a world without me.
That's the strangest thing - because no matter what happens in the next few minutes, the world will continue. Even if we're not there to see it.
'Ready?' he asks again.