Jason made it as far as the tiny front porch before he realized that he had no idea where he was going, and only a vague idea of why he was moving at all. He could have ignored the kid, could have finished putting things away. Instead, he'd been overwhelmed by a desperate need not to hear it, and he'd... wandered off. Walked away.
He heard the door open behind him and turned. He'd been half-expecting Oberon, but it was the woman, instead. She was still beautiful, even with the missing arm, and he turned away so he wouldn't stare.
She didn't say anything for almost half a minute. Then she asked, "Is he right?"
Jason had been wondering the same thing. "I don't know. I don't think I know what I'm doing, anymore."
She must have stepped close, because he felt her hand on his shoulder. "You're helping us," she said. "We need your help."
The tightness in his shoulders didn't change, but Jason was suddenly very aware of just how much tension was there -- how much he'd been carrying around, not even thinking about it, as if it was normal.
After a moment, he said: "All right."
Her hand twitched against his shoulder, but she didn't remove it. He wasn't sure if he wanted her to, or not; being touched felt deeply strange anymore. He hadn't realized how much he'd gotten used to being completely isolated, either. Shit. Maybe the kid was right. It wasn't as if he hadn't thought about it.
He turned around, and she was right there in front of him. He was surprised again by her height -- her eyes were level with his own -- and by the expression of uncertainty on her face. "We'd better go back inside before Oberon starts trying to cook the food himself," he said, and was rewarded by the brief smile that lit her face.