The first time they met, he compared her to a flower- pretty, but weak and easily damaged. What else would he have expected? She was one of the privileged, and the privileged didn't need to grow a thick skin and sturdy roots like the rest of them. Her show of strength and determination was exactly that: a show. He held that to be true up until the first poison fog and Atom.
Despite what he had done to get to the ground, he was no killer. Seeing Atom, one of the few people closest to being his friends down here (closest only because friendship was weakness, they wouldn't respect him if he was their friend), lying on the ground dying and in pain brought him to a halt. He couldn't do it, even for mercy.
When he saw her there, he expected her facade of strength to fall, for the flower to finally wilt. Instead, he saw her grow stronger, and her eyes grow sad. She began singing. Atom relaxed a little, focusing on the sound of her voice. Then, to the tune of a haunting lullaby, she took the knife from him and did what he couldn't, her eyes fixed on the dying boy. His eyes didn't move from her.
Just like that, the image of the flower he had built up withered and turned to dust, leaving him with clear eyes for the first time since they'd all landed. He felt a tendril of respect begin to form, and he allowed it to remain – at least until he could decide what she really was, because she was not a flower.
He watched her subtly, not wanting to draw attention to the fact that she perplexed him. The more he saw however, the more he could see just how wrong he had been to box her up with the rest of the privileged on the Ark. It took him nearly a week to find the right comparison, and it might have taken longer, but that day the first storm came.
She was like a storm, with a wild beauty all her own. The comparison was a perfect fit to him. She nurtured their group, even as she shook them to their roots. She wielded her torrent with an ease that vaguely reminded him of the goddesses in the myths of old. Needless to say, he was surprised and slightly concerned at the thought.
He had called her 'princess' before, mocking the easy lifestyle she'd had back on the Ark. Now he called her a princess because that's what she was. It had changed from an insult to a sign of respect. Just when had he begun to respect her so much? That tendril had grown and grown until it now inhabited all of him.
None of the others seemed to notice her storm-like personality. The one time he'd used the comparison in a conversation (not that he was talking about her, he wasn't, it was an offhand remark, okay?), he'd gotten strange looks from Miller for the next several days. Even now, the guy still looked at him funny when he talked with her.
He wondered how none of the others felt her flood. She was a thunderstorm surrounded by mere fog for crying out loud. At the beginning, it unnerved him, because he only saw the danger she would bring them. Now though, he could see the other side of her storms. She was a healer and a warrior, a destroyer and a life-bringer.
After that first storm had passed, he had emerged from the drop-ship to discover that the world had changed. Leaves, branches, and various parts of their camp had been strewn about. The ground was covered in mud and dirty water that squelched with every step. Within the hour, they'd all forgotten what it was to be clean and dry. Their make-shift tents were destroyed, torn apart by the wind and rain.
It was a while before he had the time to make it out of the walls. Once he did though, he was nearly floored by the sharp contrast to the camp's interior. There was still a mess, but the world looked vibrant and alive, as if everything had been revived and rejuvenated. The air smelled cleaner than before, the water from the river tasted sweeter. The world was nearly glowing in health.
That was the kind of storm she was. If you were one of her own, she was a force of good. If you threatened those she cared for (or, god forbid, actually followed through on your threat), she would strike you down in an electric display of violent fury. And not even the immortals of the past would be able to help you then.
Sometimes he wondered where he was on her spectrum, seeing as he occasionally saw her destructive side as well. He didn't really mind though, even when he felt like he was barely hanging on in the face of her rushing waters.
Her floods required him to be better. He had to act quicker, be smarter, grow stronger, and run faster to avoid the resulting destruction. She challenged him in ways the others, fog-like as they were, never could. She didn't ask that he live up to her expectations of him, she demanded it. And for the first time in his life, he found that he could comply. In the short time that they'd been on Earth, she'd changed him more than anything in the past twenty years ever had, his sister excluded.
He hadn't seen it at first, but once he had, he wondered how he could ever have mistaken her for a flower, fragile and superficial. Inside, she was filled with such power and strength, he wondered how her small frame contained it all. She wasn't just a thunderstorm. If the rest of them were fog, then she was a hurricane.