Fire's tears were real now, and there was no helping them, for there was no time. Everything was moving too fast. She crossed the room to him, put her arms around him, clung to him, turning her face to the side, learning all at once that it was awkward to show a person all of one's love when one's nose was broken.His arms came around her tightly, his breath short and hard against her hair. He held on to the silk of her hair and she pressed herself against him until her panic calmed to something desperate, but bearable. she thought to him, understanding now what he'd been about to ask.
Fire supposed he needed to be there in order to give rousing speeches and lead the charge into the fray, or whatever is was commanders did in wartime. She resented his competence at something so tragic and senseless. She wished he, or somebody, would throw down his sword and say, 'Enough! This is a silly way to decide who's in charge!' And it seemed to her, as the beds in the healing room filled and emptied and filled, that these battles didn't leave much to be in charge of. The kingdom was already broken, and this war was tearing the broken pieces smaller.