“I think you guys might very well be idiots.” Even though Jack’s eyes were still focused on the fire, he could see River and David turn to face him. River’s face would be indignant bristling at the insult. David would be calmly curious, wondering what led Jack to say that. “We’re fighting a war here,” Jack continued, “Tomorrow we ride into battle, not a metaphorical battle or a hyperbole, but a literal battle. We could all die. The chances of all three of us coming back alive and uninjured are very slim. If you two go to bed tonight without talking, without laying everything on the line—then you two might very well be idiots.”
“Jack. What?” River managed. She was flustered and possibly murderous, but he just couldn’t take it anymore.
“River won’t make the first move because she still fears that David is holding her refusal of the Order against her even though he knows she was right. David won’t make the first move because he’s always thought that River was out his league, and he doesn’t want to hear that she never thought of him that way.” Jack finally turned away from the fire to look at his two gaping friends. “But—I swear—if you guys could see the way you look at each other when the other can’t see If you could hear the way you talk about each other when you’re out of earshot. We could die tomorrow guys. Lay it on the line. Do what you can, spend your night together. Enjoy tonight. Don’t go into tomorrow with things unsaid.”
Jack had done all he could. The ball was well and properly in their court now. He pushed himself up to his feet and started to head back to his tent, hoping they would heed his advice, hoping at the very least they could bond over their anger that he’d just spilled their secrets. He’d made it a couple of feet before he heard River ask, “Did a former priest just advise us to have premarital sex?” And Jack stopped softly.
David’s laugh was a laugh of relief. “Oh, I love you.”
It was all Jack could do to not turn around and watch them. “You do?” River’s voice was quiet, almost bordering on timid. Apparently, they’d found the one topic that seemed to scare River.
“Yeah,” David replied easily, “Yeah, I do. I thought you knew.”
“Oh—“ She paused, Jack held his breath, “Oh, David. I love you too.”
Jack smiled, stepping forward again. They’d be fine tomorrow, just fine.