vorbratta: (i'm an ordinary citizen)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-03-14 04:41 pm (UTC)(link)
[ one of the ghem soldiers gives byerly a thoroughly nasty smile, and it seems for a moment like he might actually say something, but no -- they just push byerly forcefully into sonia's cell and shut the door behind them. the hiss and click of the locking mechanism is uncomfortably audible.

they don't have to do anything more than shove byerly inside, because there's already a second cot placed inside, along with a folding privacy screen, an elaborately painted panoramic stretched across it. sonia had seen them when they'd brought her in, and she had dreaded fiercely, but when they actually bring him in...

she stares, standing stock-still, her face pale, as byerly struggles with the guards, but as soon as the door closes she drops her gaze, mouth dry. oddly, she feels even more trapped than before. ]
vorrutyer: (super broody)

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-03-14 04:50 pm (UTC)(link)
[ He feels a lance of agony through him. This is his fault. If he'd been better at this, he'd still be out there. He could have been getting her out. He could have been helping her. Instead he's here, he's - face-to-face with her - and she can't even look at him. I'm sorry, I'm sorry - now I can't save you...

He turns away from her altogether. He squeezes his eyes shut. Silently, miserably, he kicks off his shoes and climbs onto the cot. He can't even figure out the words to apologize. ]
vorbratta: ('cause girls don't want)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-03-14 04:58 pm (UTC)(link)
[ she doesn't look up, but she can see him moving in the periphery of her vision, feel him moving through the room. her chest feels impossibly tight. she might be sick. she's never felt so overwhelmed with shame and misery, except maybe -- no, this is so much worse...

she sits down hard on her cot, feeling like the weight of the room might crush her, like that might somehow lessen the tension. it doesn't. the silence in the room is agonizing, beyond awkward, and sonia breathes into her pillow so that if she cries again, it won't shatter the silence. she can't tell if it's protecting her or just hurting her. she hugs her pillow tight, curling in on herself as though that might protect her from this hurt, as though she could protect herself from the inside out.

she wants comfort. she's never wanted it so badly. thinking too hard about that night in the village, it would break her, but she remembers it, remembers that warmth and security, and she wants so badly to reach out to byerly, but she feels sick with shame and she doesn't know if that would somehow make it worse. she loses track of the time -- minutes, hours go by, she's not sure -- but when she finally speaks, it comes out as a quiet creak, hesitant and faltering and small. ]


Byerly?
vorrutyer: (Backpfeifengesicht 5)

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-03-14 05:14 pm (UTC)(link)
[ No. He's not ready to speak. Even after that time, he's not ready. He's not ready to give the Cetagandans what they want, which is - what? Intelligence? A sadistic, voyeuristic thrill? Both? He's not ready to face her, either. He still doesn't know what to say, how to apologize.

But he can't...deny that voice. That small voice. All I'll do is make it worse. Don't speak to me, Sonia. All I'll do is ruin it more. That's all you can expect from me...

It's a long, long moment before he speaks. His voice is hoarse. ]


Yes.
vorbratta: (why don't you show 'em your stuff)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-03-14 05:22 pm (UTC)(link)
[ cold relief washes over her. she knows for sure, at least, that it would have been worse if he hadn't answered at all. she opens her mouth, throat working, only to realize that...she has no clue what to say. there had been no planned follow-up to that diffident callout. her hands open and close over the pillow, faltering.

she wants to ask for comfort, but she's afraid to. he might have answered her, but he isn't looking at her, and she doesn't know if he can offer her any in this place. she doesn't know if he'd even want to try. so instead all that comes out is the only thing she knows how to say right now, her voice still quiet and small. ]


I'm sorry.

[ for all of this. for what i did. for hitting you, for pushing you, for prodding until you fell apart. i'm sorry for everything you had to see in that interrogation room. ]
vorrutyer: (super broody)

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-03-14 05:39 pm (UTC)(link)
[ He doesn't move. He just squeezes his eyes further shut, his face contorting. I'm sorry. I'm sorry? No, no, this is all my fault. If I hadn't done this, if I hadn't come here, if I hadn't, if I hadn't...

His voice, by sheer determination, stays level and even. ]


The fault wasn't yours, Sonia. You're a civilian. It was my job to keep you safe, and I failed at that.
vorbratta: (set it up and tear it down)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-03-14 05:49 pm (UTC)(link)
[ sonia hugs her pillow tighter, clutching it to her stomach as she leans over, her eyes wide and wet and red-rimmed. byerly keeps his eyes closed, but she doesn't tear hers away. she flinches slightly at you're a civilian and doesn't quite understand why, but it cannot simply relieve her of all responsibility.

keeping her safe? that was what all the cruelty was for, wasn't it? meant to drive her away, meant to make her hate him. but she couldn't. she'd failed at that. ]


That was what all that was for. [ she leaves the what ambiguous, and it isn't a question, because he'd said it himself in the interrogation. it's a plea for confirmation. there had been so much uncomfortable, terrible truth in the interrogation room -- the lies, she needs to start with the lies. her voice is still weak, raw from crying. ] I...made it very difficult for you. You were trying to tell me something. I didn't listen.
vorrutyer: (hung over 1)

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-03-14 05:59 pm (UTC)(link)
You didn't hear. I didn't say it loud enough.

[ His throat is tight. His head aches, pounding; his stomach churns. He just wants to weep. But this is his job. This is your job. You can't. You have much, much more to do. ]

Please don't blame yourself, Sonia. I beg you not to blame yourself.
vorbratta: (so let me tell you)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-03-14 06:04 pm (UTC)(link)
[ something in his voice makes her stop, even if she's still thinking it. she wants to get up off her bed and run across this stupidly small room to him, to put her hands on him without violent intent, because there's a phantom sting on her palms she can't shake. but she feels so utterly frozen. all she has is her voice, still hesitant, still punctuated with hitched breaths. ]

Did you think it would have been easier if I had hated you?
vorrutyer: (sweaty)

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-03-14 06:07 pm (UTC)(link)
[ He's quiet a moment. And then he gives a non-answer - true, but not truly an answer. ]

It would have helped my cover.
vorbratta: (this is how to be a heartbreaker)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-03-14 06:12 pm (UTC)(link)
[ sonia finally drops her gaze, an uncomfortable flutter in her chest. right. the cover she has now completely blown. ]

Yes, I -- suppose it would have.
vorrutyer: (Backpfeifengesicht 3)

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-03-14 06:14 pm (UTC)(link)
[ His jaw clenches. He fights down nausea. ]

I should not have put you in a position where my cover depended on you. I've made - many mistakes.
vorbratta: (set it up and tear it down)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-03-14 06:18 pm (UTC)(link)
[ sonia bites her lip, fingernails digging into the pillow. how many mistakes, byerly? which were the mistakes? ]

It isn't your fault I was captured.
vorrutyer: (super broody)

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-03-14 06:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Perhaps not. But I shouldn't have come to see you. I should have been working on how to get you out. The entire time. I shouldn't even have tried to maintain my cover. I should have gone for you right away.
vorbratta: (stick my head out)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-03-14 06:24 pm (UTC)(link)
[ a confused response dies in her throat before she can get out another one. ]

I thought they'd sent you. [ her brow furrows and she holds the pillow tighter against her stomach as it clenches uncomfortably. ] Gone for me right away? And do what? Try and smuggle me out all on your own?
vorrutyer: (punchable intensity)

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-03-14 06:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes.

[ He swallows hard. ]

If I could have - no matter the cost...
vorbratta: (this is how to be a heartbreaker)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-03-14 06:36 pm (UTC)(link)
[ something about that answer scares her, but maybe not in the way it should. her stomach flutters uncomfortably. there's an audible creak as she gets off her cot, but she only manages one faltering step. ]

It wouldn't have been worth it. [ her voice is soft, still a little shaky, but it is heartfelt, a small absolution. ] Even if you -- ...I wouldn't get far on my own. It would be for nothing.
vorrutyer: (attentive)

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-03-14 06:41 pm (UTC)(link)
[ He doesn't move. He remains on his cot, his back to her. ]

You'd have been fine.
vorbratta: (get your hands in it)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-03-14 06:49 pm (UTC)(link)
[ sonia shakes her head, even though he can't see. she rocks back and forth, shifting her weight from foot to foot. ]

I'm not a soldier. I couldn't outrun them, or fight back, or -- I don't think I could even find my way back to the camp alone, even if I did get that far.
vorrutyer: (hung over 1)

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-03-14 06:53 pm (UTC)(link)
You'd have found some Barrayarans. They'd have laid down their lives to save you, Princess.
vorbratta: (but never on your sleeve)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-03-14 06:56 pm (UTC)(link)
[ for some reason that retreat back to her title feels like a small blow. sonia's throat tightens, and she clutches at her pillow before she finally throws it back down onto the cot in anguished frustration. ]

I'm tired of people laying down their lives for me! I'm tired of someone else always paying the price! If I tried to escape with you, Byerly, I'm not leaving you behind!
vorrutyer: (super broody)

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-03-14 07:04 pm (UTC)(link)
[ He presses his eyes closed, still not looking around at her. The Cetagandans know this already. There is no point to concealing this anymore. ]

I'm ImpSec, Sonia, and I have been all along. I'm not some conscriptee. I'm not even a common soldier. My sole task is to save and preserve the Imperium and the Vorbarra family no matter what.
vorbratta: (okay okay dolore)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-03-14 07:07 pm (UTC)(link)
[ sonia nearly staggers at that -- it comes so far out left field, so far beyond what she was expecting, that it stuns her stupid for a moment. ]

You're -- what?
vorrutyer: (punchable intensity)

[personal profile] vorrutyer 2017-03-14 07:14 pm (UTC)(link)
[ He takes a breath. All he wants to do is stay curled up in a ball, face pressed to the wall. But instead, he shoves himself up, grits his jaw, and turns, finally, to face her. His face is haggard - he looks worse, even, than during those dark days of starvation and misery. ]

Imperial Security. Domestic Affairs. Not an agent by training, but that doesn't change my obligations to you.
vorbratta: (my heart is skipping triplets)

[personal profile] vorbratta 2017-03-14 07:20 pm (UTC)(link)
[ sonia's gaze flutters, and so does her stomach. the immediate implications overwhelm her for a moment. my obligations to you. she hadn't ever wanted to be an obligation to him. and now...now it's even harder to see where the truth lies.

but there had been nothing in that interrogation but truth, cold as it was. sonia sucks in a shaky breath, looking at him like it's the first time she's seen him all over again, but there is no disappointment on her face, just a deep, quiet gratefulness she doesn't even know how to recognize yet. she clasps her hands together for lack of anything else to hold onto, takes another small step toward him. it takes her a moment to get the question out. ]


Is -- is that what you meant when you said I was...everything?

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