Roxie was sitting on her bed, lulled slightly by the music she put on. It was the playlist that Jin had always turned on when he came over. She rubbed the ring around her neck. If she had known that night would be their last, there’s so much more she would have said. She looked down at it. It was simple, but perfect. She reached around her neck, undoing the chain. She slid the ring off and placed it on her left hand, staring at it as she reached for the bottle and taking another drink. Suppose it didn’t matter if she wore it now. The secret was out. She silently swore to Jin wherever he was that she’d never take it off.
Suddenly, her door flew open and Mako and Raleigh careened into her room.
“What are you doing here?” she said dully before taking another drink. Didn't they know that she wanted to be left alone to grieve in peace?
“Roxie, you have to come with me,” Mako nearly shouted.
“Why?” Roxie asked. “I didn’t think we were starting with the next phase for several more hours.”
Raleigh took in her bloodshot eyes and puffy face as she took another drink, the ring glittering on her finger.
“Roxie, they found a survivor,” Mako said, running over and yanking the bottle from her hand, placing it on her desk.
“What do you mean?” she asked, not yet catching on to what she was saying.
“Jin survived,” Raleigh said. Roxie’s eyes flew over to him.
“He, what? How?” she asked, jumping to her feet.
“I don’t know, but you have to come with us,” Mako said, dragging her out of the room.
Roxie started jogging down the hallway, heading for the medical bay. All she could think about was Jin. Workers and techs jumped out of the way, running into walls as the three sprinted passed. Roxie looked like a mad woman with her red hair flying around her, green eyes bright.
“Where is he?” she shouted as they ran in. She looked around frantically, meeting Pentecost’s eyes. “Where is he?”
The Marshal walked over and took her hand, leading her over to a window. Looking through, Roxie watched as dozens of doctors worked frantically. She gasped, taking in his broken body.
“How?” she asked as she grasped onto him.
“He was in one of the escape pods,” he said. Roxie laughed softly, tears filling her eyes.
“Bloody triplets,” she said. “How much you want to bet Cheung and Hu forced him in it, kicking and screaming the whole time.” Pentecost nodded silently. “Will he… will he make it?” He looked down at her.
“They think so. He’s banged up, but they don’t see why he won’t. He’ll probably wake up in a couple hours or so. Once they’re finished patching him up,” he said softly.
“Will they let me in there… when they’re done? I want to be there when he wakes up,” she said, still watching the doctors.
“Yea, I think they will,” he said. Roxie nodded, holding her hand to her chest as she played with the ring.
“So… when he did get around to asking?” Pentecost said. Roxie looked up at him.
“You knew he was going to?” she asked.
“Who do you think helped him get the ring?” he replied with a smirk. Roxie laughed as more tears spilled down her cheeks.
“Just before they detected the kaiju,” she said softly.
“Well, better get in there,” Pentecost said softly. “He’ll want to wake up to you.”
She nodded as she walked through the doors as the medics finished up. Someone brought her a chair and she pulled it close to the bedside, taking in the monitors and bandages. She reached out and took his hand.
“Hold in there, Jin,” she said softly.
He had been there for her so many times before and now it was her turn to be there for him. He was going to need her. Someone who understood the loss that he would wake up to.
Though part of her thought that he would handle it better than she had. He was frustratingly optimistic. And unwaveringly strong. Looking back, she suddenly realized that this was all in the making for a long time.
She closed her eyes as she gripped his hand.
Roxie sighed as she sat on the edge of the runway, looking out over the ocean. The sun was setting. A single tear fell down her cheek. It was the one day of the year she allowed herself to intentionally think about Jamie. Granted he was never far from her thoughts whether she wanted him there or not.
“Thought I’d find you here,” she heard Jin say. She looked over her shoulder, watching as he walked toward her, hands in the pockets of his jumpsuit. She smiled slightly and looked back at the ocean, taking a drink of her soda. He plopped down next to her. “How are you doing?”
“I’m fine,” she said. Jin sighed.
“How long have we been friends, Rox?” he asked.
“Three years,” she replied.
“I know when you’re faking it,” he said. She snorted slightly.
“Then you should know what day it is,” she said, glancing at him.
“I do,” he said. “Why do you think I’m out here with you?”
“You should also know that I prefer to be alone,” she said. She could feel him staring at her. She sighed and looked over at him. “It’s soda. I’ve been good the last two years. I’m not about to muck it up.”
“I know,” Jin said softly. “I trust you. You’ve come a long way.” Roxie nodded and looked back at the ocean. She smiled slightly.
“We’d go to the beach in Brighton when we were younger,” she said. “Looked forward to it every year. ‘Course then Jamie’d try and dunk me under the waves every chance he got.”
“I can understand obnoxious siblings,” Jin said, laughing softly.
“He was obnoxious. Tends to happen when you’re always together. As you know,” she said, glancing at him.
“You only had one. Imagine two,” he said, rolling his eyes slightly. Roxie chuckled. But just as suddenly she stopped, the tears filled her eyes. She sighed as she wiped at her cheeks.
“I don’t think I’ll ever stop missing him,” she said softly. “It’s like part of me is gone…”
Jin looked over at her, reaching over and taking her hand in his. Roxie stared at their hands a moment, watching as he slowly intertwined his fingers with hers. She felt a tingle of something shoot up her arm as he caressed her hand with his thumb.
“I don’t know if it’ll go away. But it’ll get better,” he said. “And I’m here for you. Always.”
“Why are you so good to me?” Roxie asked bluntly. Jin chuckled.
“Isn’t it obvious?” he asked. Roxie’s eyebrows rose as she looked up at him, meeting his eyes. Her breath hitched slightly as she felt her heart start to race. “I like having you around.”
“Don’t tell the others, but I rather like having you around as well,” she said, starting to relax slightly.
“I knew I was your favorite,” he said. Roxie rolled her eyes as she shook her head.
“Cheeky git,” she muttered. “Last thing I need is for your head to get bigger.”
“I do not have a big head,” he scoffed, leaning closer to her.
“You most certainly do. Surprised you fit into your helmet,” she said, her eyes dancing.
“I like to think I’m the most handsome of us,” he said.
“Seriously, Jin!” Roxie said, now full on laughing. “You do realize you three are identical, don’t you?”
“Now, this is how I like you,” he said.
“Like what?” she asked, confused. “Taking the mickey out of you?”
“Smiling, laughing,” he said.
Roxie felt her cheeks starting to heat up as she quickly looked away. She caught a hint of something in his eyes. Something she had seen before but was afraid to address. The two had such a good friendship and it was something that she really needed; she didn’t want to ruin it with false hope that this was something more.
“Look at me, Roxie,” he said softly.
“Why?” she asked, her eyes fixed on the water.
“Just look at me,” he said.
She slowly lifted her head and looked over at him, finding his face closer to her. She held her breath as he leaned in.
“What are you doing, Jin?” she whispered, her heart pounding.
“Something I’ve been wanting to do for a while,” he said.
Part of her thought she should back away. They were friends. And she was the pilot liaison. It was improper. But she found that she couldn’t. She wanted this as much as he did.
His lips brushed against her lightly, sending shivers throughout her body. She looked up at him, her eyes wide.
“What does this mean?” Roxie asked.
“It means whatever you want it to,” Jin said. She nodded, still not taking her eyes from his.
“I don’t know what I want,” she whispered.
“Take all the time you need to figure it out. I’m not going anywhere,” he said.
Roxie smiled. She sighed and leaned over, resting her head on his shoulder.
The two sat in silence, watching the water, and Roxie didn’t want the moment to end.
Roxie stirred slightly, coming out of a light sleep. She wasn’t particularly comfortable, half lying on the bed. She sat up slightly and looked over at Jin, noticing that he was calmly staring at her despite the cuts and bruises littering his face. Despite the obvious pain he must be in. She smiled and stood.
“Why didn’t you wake me?” she asked gently, sitting on the bed next to him. “How long has it been?”
“I haven’t been awake long. You looked peaceful. I didn’t want to bother you,” he replied. He reached up and touched her cheek, taking in her still puffy eyes. “I’m sorry.”
“For what?” Roxie asked, frowning.
“You thought I died,” he said.
“But you survived,” she said softly. He nodded, his face suddenly looking downcast.
“Cheung, Hu,” he said softly. Roxie took his hand, squeezing it.
“You were there for me after Jamie… think it’s my turn to repay the favor,” she said. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m here.” He nodded.
“Where are the others?” he asked.
“Likely preparing for the mission if they haven’t started yet,” she said, wondering how long she had been asleep. She was still a bit groggy.
“Why are you here then?” he asked.
“You need me more,” she said, leaning towards him. She thought it was obvious. “I wanted to be here when you woke up.”
“Rox, I’m fine. I’m not dying. You should be in the control room. They need you,” he said. Roxie shook her head.
“You need me more,” she said again. Jin smiled slightly. He nodded towards the door.
“Go, Rox. Besides I need you to tell me how it goes,” he said. She shook her head.
“I don’t want to leave you,” she said.
They could run the mission without her. She didn’t want Jin to be alone right now.
“Roxie, we have the rest of our lives to spend together. Go. Mako and the others need you to get them through this mission. I’m not going anywhere,” he said. She nodded and stood, leaning over to kiss him.
“I’ll be back when it’s over,” she said, smiling at him.
“Go bring them home,” he said. Roxie nodded and stepped back then walked out of the room.
He was right. She had a job to do. But as soon as it was over, she would go back to him and then she would never leave his side again.