Looking For Alaska
“We never said it, you know.”
Wash looked over at Carolina. She had her eyes closed, back against the wall, head leaning back until she faced the corner between the wall and the ceiling on the opposite end of the room. Her scarred arms were draped on top of her knees, and she had an oddly placed smile on her face. “What?”
“Back in the Project. We never actually said it.”
“Said what? Who’s ‘we’?” He couldn’t really follow her. Maybe she was three shots ahead of him and driving on a different highway. Since she came to Blue Base, she’s been drinking more than he ever remember her to drink (granted, that was practically nothing in the first place), and she’d volunteered him as a drinking buddy. But he couldn’t - didn’t want to - keep up. It made their conversations odd and disjointed, but somehow, more true than anything they’d said to one another before.
“‘I love you’. York.” Her eyes snapped open, that odd smile still on her face. “We never said it.”
“I don’t think you ever had to.”
“We had to,” she said firmly. “We had to, because we didn’t.”
He didn’t have an answer to this. He had said it before, more than once, but once in the Project. He was about to point out that it was better, because she never had to worry about hearing it back, and worse, she never had to deal with not getting it back, when she looked at him, sharp, focused, way too intense for someone as drunk as she should be.
“Do you think he’d say it now?” She didn’t give him a chance to answer, just leaned her head back and closed her eyes into that odd smile again. “I guess it doesn’t matter. It’s just three words…”
That we’ll never hear, Wash finished her sentence in his head.
Suddenly, they were both entirely too sober.