The ship had been set to pull Maya out of cryo about twelve hours before reaching the destination. Only to give her time to research the basics about the planet. When her eyes opened, she found that she was in the pod right across from Krieg, and she was tempted to awaken him with her. But… he looked so peaceful when he was sleeping. And if she were to awaken him right then, she would be tempted to tell him about the things she had dreamed of while she was sleeping. “I thought cryo was supposed to be dreamless,” she muttered to herself. For the next few hours, she scrolled through the information on the planet, called Hellifyno, on the ship’s displays. And, finally, she decided it was time to awaken the Psycho. She dusted off the front of her yellow, black, and silver bodysuit before slipping back over to the pod he was in and punching a few buttons. It would take a moment, she knew, for the liquids and such to drain and for the steam that would awaken him to fill the chamber, and so she moved back over to the pilot’s chair. It was an awkward position for her, with Fremington’s Edge strapped to her back, but she felt out of place without her sniper rifle attached to her. Well, that and the fact that the Heartbreaker was strapped just below it. On one hip was her pistol, the Hornet, and on the other was her SMG, Hellfire. Hellfire was just in front of her “book” which served to help her teammates regain health when in the field. And just behind the Hornet was her shield modulator, the Bee. At least with that on her hip, she should be safe if someone were to open fire on her once they landed. She pressed another button, letting the back of the chair shift and become a bit more pliable so that her guns could fit a bit more comfortably, and she sat back. Long legs crossed, and she waited. It was all she could do, and she was desperate to end the silence of the ship. “The monks told me to respect silence,” she muttered to herself, “to treasure the moments of inaction so that combat could be even more invigorating. Now I truly understand: they didn’t know what the HELL they were talking about!”
Something had been wrong with the feel-good needle she had used to put him in cryo. He thought that maybe she had tricked him but she wouldn’t do that… would she? She probably would if there was danger of him hurting himself if there was anything in her that thought he would accidentally hurt her. He might have looked peaceful in his sleep but his mind was in torment and his belly was filled as if with bees. His dreams, for as long as he could remember, had always been plagued with the burning intensity of memories that bludgeoned against his mind like a rolling sea, flooding his thoughts with visions of blood and gore and broken bones, usually his own, from long in his past. It was cold, freezing, and goose flesh prickled over his arms like thousands of tiny mosquito bites that inevitably fell away to nothingness until that very moment when consciousness began to arouse.
He jerks awake, hands swinging loosely at the air and as he does, the big man seems to awaken too in a state of groggy denial.
“Box cover, box cover! I’m the one who eats the stardom! I’m the hero of all the villains! You can’t swallow my morality like a lollipop pill! I’ll run around your mind and set the world record with my meat sleeves!”
He doesn’t know where they are, doesn’t even know how long he’s been sleeping but it feels nice to slump forward as his spine cracks, his hand’s fingers next. He shuffles forward, feet scraping over the ground, in the direction of the pirate ship. He doesn’t like pressing buttons, doesn’t like using them for any reason. “THE VOICES SAID ‘EMPTY, HOLLOW AND THUD’!!”
Maya didn’t like tricking him, but she couldn’t just let him run around the ship and hurt himself either. She had leaned forward in her chair, head in her hands, her breathing somewhat uneven. She could still hear that gunshot, the screeching roar of that /thing/ called the Warrior. But it was Krieg who forced her to lift her head, taking a single breath to calm herself down. She flinched, looking over her shoulder at him. “Hey, big guy,” she said softly. Her voice shook, but she was doing a decent job at giving herself the semblance of calm, right?
Before she could say anything else, there was a sound at the display, almost as if it were a soft alarm. Maya glanced over at the display, her silver eyes blank for a moment. “Shit, are you serious?” She wanted to touch him again, or at least feel his hand on her, even if it was something completely pure. She just wanted him close to her. She inhaled deeply looking back over at him. “According to this… there’s a Vault on this planet.”
For now, she turned off the display. There was time to turn it back on before they got to the planet, and she wanted to talk to him. “Krieg, come here, please?” She held out her hands, standing from the chair. Yes, she was almost a foot shorter than he was, but that didn’t stop her. “What…. what do you think? Should we go after a Vault? Or… I don’t know. We could do something else?” No one could say she didn’t talk to him like he was a normal person. Like he was no different than she was.
Krieg all but pauses where he stands instead of moving any closer to her and part of him, that part that has always churned for her, wants to reach out and touch her but he also doesn’t know if it’ll ever go past that thought. She hasn’t made a serious move toward furthering their relationship, even though they have spent several hundreds of hours being near and by one another. Her voice was shaky and, for a moment, he wonders if it was something he’s said or done that’s brought this upon them. He isn’t at all curious at the possibility that she’s the one who had put him to sleep or that she was the one who had probably gotten him in the chamber after he had passed out.
At the mention of a new planet, though, he brushes forth and one bandaged hand curls around one of her shoulders while he bends down to look at the holo screen projecting the planet’s size and what information is granted unto him and in the end, he’s growling, or at least the big guy is.
“SO MANY ICONS. MY HEAD HURTS”
He shuffles back, slumping into a heavy seat that is supposedly meant to be his. It’s probably, actually, the captain’s seat since the vessel they’re using is large enough to have one.
‘Calm down, big guy. Time for another adventure?’ he inwardly questions ‘himself’.
“YES, MORE MEAT FOR THE MEATCYCLE. I CAN TASTE THE BLOOD.”
You can definitely, most certainly, take that to mean that he is on board. He shifts his weight from side to side. “We’re not there, yet,” he muses in a moment of clarity. “TASTE THE MEAT,” he’s interrupted by the outer facade of being in control. “Valkyrie… LOVE ME HARDER.”
At first, her muscles were tense, the swimming thoughts from the images flashing through her head while she had been asleep still fresh in her mind. But as soon as his hand rested on her shoulder, she relaxed. It was almost out of instinct, but her own hand came up to rest over his own, a soft chuckle sounding from her at his response to the displays in front of her. “Yeah,” she said. “It makes my head hurt too, sometimes.”
She smiled at his answer to her question about hunting another Vault. Why shouldn’t they do it? They both were called “Vault Hunters” for a reason, weren’t they? Her hand dropped as he shuffled back, and she turned her own chair to face him, her hand tucking a strand of blue hair behind her ear.
The expression on her face wasn’t really a frown, but there was a little confusion in her eyes. She tilted her head a little, fingers gripping the arms of the chair for a moment. “I still… you know, as much as I like being around you, I never did really understand what “love me harder” meant.” She glanced down, her lips pushed together as she thought about her next words. “Krieg…” She paused, still unable to look up at him. It was something she’d wanted since they met, and she had never been quite sure how to bring it up. But she wanted to try, at least.
“Why haven’t you ever let me see your face? I won’t run away, I promise.” Well, if her track record was anything to go off of, she always kept her word. She’d promised to stop Jack from controlling the Warrior, and they’d done just that. She’d promised to help Angel in any way she could, even if she felt bad about having to watch her die. And she’d promised to put a bullet in Jack’s skull one way or another. Even if Krieg had been the one to pull the trigger, in the end.
He hadn’t made a habit of using guns as often as he did his buzz-saw, There was something a lot more personal in the way he had pulled the trigger when it came to killing Jack and part of that had to do with the fact that her kind had been apprehended by Hyperion, used to charge the proverbial battery that had brought forth the hulking warrior that, in the end, had been taken down by the two of them and the rest of the team altogether. She seemed confused and rightly so but it was not because of his desire to get on the ground, to hunt this new vault as they had the previous ones. No, it was because of his words. Love me harder. What did he expect?
She was beautiful, even as she turned around, glancing down at her palms with a question at her look and immediately, there is a revulsion at the idea of taking his mask off. He needs it. They both need it. If not because it regulates their breathing but also because it hides the pulp his face has become after every experiment and every fight he has been through since this all began. Frustration rises as his hands do, the big guy fighting him the whole way. His voice has tempered, becoming snarls and growls the whole way through.
“I know what I have become… I am the inside of this world… I taste the gore, and I smell the crying… AND I WANT MORE! I want to bathe in their flesh, I want to savor their fear. I wanna live inside a castle built of their agony, AND I WANT TO CRUMBLE IT WITH AN AXE TO their CAROTID ARTERY!”
He finally tugs it up, exposing the bottom half of his face while the other is already bare in the midst of giving him a direct line of sight. His teeth clatter and his scarred lips crease before he tugs his mask back down, breathing heavily. “Love me harder.” He announces before reaching out to grab her
by either arm, tugging her from her seat and into his lap.
Maya looked up at him, the brief silence unnerving her. She’d always hated the silence, always hated the way her head spun when it was quiet. But she watched as the mask was lifted, even just that little bit.
She felt another wave of anger sweep through her at the scars, at what Hyperion had done to him, but she was composed enough to keep herself from screaming with rage and hunting down anyone else loyal to that son of a bitch, Jack.
She had started to say something, to tell him that she wasn’t going anywhere, but he pulled her into his lap. There was a gasp at her lips, and she found herself straddling his lap, just so she could sit there comfortably. Pale, yet somewhat cold, fingers reached to his chest and traced over the scars that she could see there gently.
“I hate them for what they did to you,” she whispered. “I hate them for what they did to Angel, and to Roland, and to you. And…” She glanced away from that one visible eye, shaking once more. “I… I failed them, Krieg. Roland died, I couldn’t help Angel, I couldn’t do anything other than /watch/ as Jack took Lilith… and…” She leaned against him, wrapping her arms around him. “But even though I keep failing, you’re still here. And… I want to do the same for you. I want to be here for you. No matter what.” She pulled back just enough to look at him, silver eyes seeming to waver a little as tears built up in them. She lifted her hands, touching the sides of his mask gently, but made no move to pull it up. She knew how much he hated being without it, but even with it on, she pressed her lips to his forehead. “Don’t…. don’t leave me, okay?”