"No, Cally." he said, "All the cold and rational just ran out." He sat beside her on the floor. Gently, he began to move pieces of rubble, trying to make her more comfortable. Her face was pale, even beneath the dust and debris. He could see that she had only a slight grip on life and consciousness.
"Cally." he said as her eyes closed. They opened again. "You knew, didn't you?" he said, "I didn't need to say it. I couldn't say it. You knew."
She blinked slowly, as if in assent.
"And now you need to hear it."
Another slow blink, but with a look of compassion, as if he were the one dying.
"I love you, Cally." he said. He held her hand. "And I won't leave." There was barely any answering grip. Her breathing became fainter. Still she looked at him. "I suppose there's no point in asking you to stay."
She closed her eyes, opening them again when he kissed her cheek. "Maybe there will be another cave-in." he said. She seemed stern for a moment. He smiled, "No, there won't be. I have to go on." She did squeeze his hand then. "Still strong, even now." he said.
Her hand went limp in his and her breathing became slow and shallow. "Cally." he said. There were long pauses between breaths now, and he found himself holding his own breath as he waited for the next one from her. Then there was no next breath. "Goodbye." he said. He took the ring from her finger, kissed her cheek and left her. As he lifted Orac, two tears fell onto the casing. He blinked back his weakness before returning to the surface. Cally had died, silent, but not alone.