Sam tears the paintbrush from Kara's hands and calls her a liar. Calls her a coward. He isn't wrong, but maybe she's not wrong to be so afraid. He pushes at her, shoves their wedding tattoos together, begs her to remember: "You remember those? Do you remember when we got 'em? That's what's real. Okay, that is part of who we are. That is a part of who you are, whether you want to admit it or not."
("It started like it always did, with a body. This one was in the river. I could tell she had once been beautiful, but this, a bullet and fast current had taken away from her. All we are, all that we think we are, all that we are certain about is taken away from us... Bitter and sweet, tinged with regret. I'll never be free of her, nor do I want to be. For she is what I am. All that is, should always be.")
It begins with the body. She wrenches her arm again, but finally meets his eyes. "You dumb motherfrakker. I only married you because it was safe and it was easy, Sam." He points at her, raging. Just a boy. "And you were just pathetic enough to go along with it." What would you call someone who stays with a girl after she fraks around, threatens to rake out his eyes, comes back from the dead, threatens to put a bullet in his head for merely being what God made him? Just a boy. "So get the frak out." She jumps up and shoves him, screaming again and again for him to leave. He stands before her fists, teasing her, nearly weeping. Imagine the eyes of something infinite and loving, that could forgive you anything. Not like a hound, not like a pet, but something brilliant, that saw all your angles at once, the dark and bright sides, all the facets, and loved you anyway: that is the gaze of love, and it keeps you in place. Their love was always a little too rough.
"I don't want to fight, Sam," she says, twisting in his arms suddenly, nipping at him. It begins with the body. "I want to frak. You don't get it, do you? I'm not the same girl you married." He's sad, but turned on. "All I want to do right now is frak. Really frak, like it's the end of the world and nothing else matters." He kisses her back, finally, giving in. "So come on, Sam. Make me feel something. I dare you."
He shoves her across the room, she chuckles joyously. Jock love. He climbs onto her, holds her arms above her head. It's the end of the world. Nothing else matters.
Later, Kara sits on the bed. You can finally see her face. She is sated and tired, and for the moment she is real. "We were married, weren't we? I mean, that wasn't just like a fantasy." Too tired to really apply the proper archness, Sam nevertheless makes a passable joke: "Hell, no. And I got the scars to prove it." She asks if it seems different, and by "it" she means everything. "It's like everything seems so far away. The way things feel, the way they taste. Like I'm watching myself, but I'm not really experiencing it, not living it. Like my body's just this alien thing that I'm still attached to." The mystery of the resurrection, the resurrection of mystery: It begins with the body. Sam stares at her, wondering if she's singing the song; if he can dare to hope. "Does that seem crazy to you?" He stares and doesn't answer, and prays silently. Nothing else matters.