?

Log in

 
 
09 November 2011 @ 07:29 pm
as far as the world extends: part iii: et lux in tenebris lucet  
part iii: et lux in tenebris lucet (and light will shine in the darkness)

She had thought she was alone as she scribbled in her notebook keeping track of what they saw; the devastation, names of survivors. It was partly out of habit, borne of a career in investigation, and partly a way to distance her from anyone who wished to intrude on her thoughts. Someone had to write down of the reality of their particular situation, the way they lived and breathed in the face of such utter chaos and destruction. In the future Kalinda imagined there would be much said about kings and presidents, hidden away in bunkers perfected from years of paranoia, working out plans for when they could emerge, and very little written about the survivors like them, forming their own little microcosm of society.

"Are you in love with my mom?"

Kalinda looked up. Zach Florrick was standing in front of her, his t-shirt wrinkled and dark hair hanging long around his ears.

"Pardon?" She blinked at him, pen poised over the page.

Zach plopped himself in the seat across from her, resting his hands on his knees. His eyes were so like Alicia's, wide and piercing, trusting but also incredibly shrewd. "I see the way you look at her."

"Do you?" Kalinda smirked, raising an eyebrow coolly.

"You're really good at hiding things, being quiet," he smiled, "I get that.”

"I'm private," she said simply. She glanced down at the notebook in her hands.

Zach laughed. "It's okay, I'm not going to tell anyone. Especially my mom."

He walked away with an awkward little wave and a lopsided smile.

Kalinda frowned. She wasn't exactly sure why exactly he thought she was in love with his mother but there was no reason why he should be noticing anything other than the sway of her hips as she strode past him.

---

She borrowed the scissors from Mika, a young woman with large green eyes that still sparkled with joy and kindness. They'd salvaged many things from nearby homes on raids and for those not brave enough to leave the compound, a barter system had been put in place.

She was back in the room she shared with a few other people, mostly people from further away.

She let her hair down out of its usual updo and without a second thought brought the scissors up and chopped off a chunk of hair. It came away in her fist. Kalinda suddenly felt lighter, both physically and mentally. A new look for a new start - a motto she stood firmly by. She continued hacking away with the slightly dull scissors, the hair falling noiselessly to the ground.

"You could have asked me, you know." The voice was loud in the silence, causing startling Kalinda.

"What?" Kalinda stood there, frozen, for a few brief seconds, scissors hovering in mid-air.

"To cut your hair. I cut Zach and Grace's hair for years."

"Not Peter's?"

Alicia smiled, just the corner of her mouth quirking upwards. "Peter liked expensive hair cuts, at a salon recommended by his mother."

"Hmm." Kalinda cocked her head to the side, enjoying the feel of the newly shorn ends of hair brushing against the back of her neck. "Would you like to finish the job?"

Alicia nodded, taking the scissors from Kalinda's hand. She leaned in close, one dark eyebrow lifted, "You need the help."

Grabbing one of the blue plastic chairs from nearby, Alicia pointed to the seat and ordered Kalinda to sit. She complied, mouth quirking up in the corner.

Alicia's hands were cool on the back of her neck. Kalinda closed her eyes and relaxed her shoulders, letting Alicia's deft fingers slide through her hair.

It had been a long time since someone had run their fingers through her hair in such a way without ulterior sexual motives and Kalinda found she relished the intimacy. It was a moment of vulnerability she would allow herself just this once.

---

The sun was just beginning to set behind the mountains, the sky a palette of pinks and orange, violet clouds dotting the horizon. Kalinda leaned on the roof edge, scanning the horizon. It had been quiet for days, not a zombie in sight. Still, she kept her M-1 Carbine against her, the cold steel leaning comfortingly on her thigh. She had three more hours on her shift before someone would come up and take over for her, constantly watching for any intruders. Since this whole thing happened one of Kalinda's remaining indulgences was the quiet of the evening watch. Watching the sun set, the continued routine of the earth, was some quiet time.

The orange sun had just fallen behind the mountains, the blanket of night creeping in slowly from the east. Kalinda stiffened, hand sliding down to the handgun she kept on her hip at all times for backup; she heard someone creeping up behind her, only a few steps away.

"It's okay, Kalinda, it's only me."

Kalinda relaxed at the familiar tones of Alicia's voice. She let her hand fall away from her gun but didn't turn to greet the other woman.

"Shouldn't you be downstairs? I heard Veronika was premiering her vegetables tonight," Kalinda said, sighing. Alicia settled in beside her, close enough that she could feel the heat from Alicia's arms against her bare skin.

"She did. It tasted like heaven. Mitchell swears that if we go two weeks without a sighting he'll take Jenny and some of the guys out to hunt, bring home some meat," Alicia smiled wistfully at her, "I saved you some dinner."

"Thanks," Kalinda said. She scanned through the trees again, making note of every branch that rustled, every shadow that fell.

They were silent for a long time. The last remnants of light were gone before Alicia spoke again.

"Do you regret this?"

Kalinda looked at her sharply, eyes shiny and black in the moonlight.

"What?"

"This," Alicia gestured widely at the rooftop and surrounding land. "Do you regret surviving."

"Do you?" Kalinda turned the question around, not taking her eyes off Alicia.

But, as always Alicia knew the answer to her question; of course Kalinda didn't regret it, she was a survivor, this was who she was. There was no other way for her to be. This was what Alicia wanted to talk about anyway. She waited silently, knowing the words would come. Secrets had a way of coming out after dark, the absence of light a damp blanket, tamping out the rest of the world.

"I don't know."



to part iv