Lucky – Black Panther Drabble

Note: Obvious spoilers for Infinity War.

Nakia receives word of T’challa’s death.

At first, Nakia thinks that she is one of the lucky ones.

Lucky, by the way, doesn’t mean much considering that she’s had to watch several of the teenagers spending time at the outreach center that day crumble to ash or crumple to the floor in sobs after their friends or family members vanished in the wake of… whatever is happening. But she’s alive and that’s good enough.

Until Okoye calls the audio-only communicator that is only supposed to be for emergencies –

From the moment that she hears Okoye whisper her name in a thick voice, Nakia knows.

“T’challa.” Nakia says his name on a breathy exhale, feeling her knees turn to jelly. She slides to the ground, boneless and all but broken. “Not T’challa.”

The sound that Okoye utters is so hurt. So fragile. “He died in front of me,” she says. “One moment he was fine and in the next, he was –”

“Ash,” Nakia says, finishing Okoye’s sentence as tears boil at the corners of her eyes. “He turned into ash.” When she closes her eyes, she can still see the mingled fear and shock on the faces of her students – her children – as they went through what T’challa had thousands of miles away. Fear strikes like lightning. “Is Shuri –”

“Shuri and the Queen Mother are distraught, but alive,” Okoye says, the naked relief in her voice an echo of what Nakia feels upon hearing that news. “They’re with M’baku and the remaining Dora.”

Nakia frowns, mildly confused. “M’baku?”

“He took the heaviest of losses,” she says. “But he insisted in protecting them despite that. I believe – he feels as though he needs to stay busy here for a little while longer.”

Nakia sighs, heart hurting not just for herself, but for M’baku and the rest of their people.

“What are we going to do, Okoye.”

“We mourn T’challa,” Okoye says, surety and strength slowly returning to her voice with every word that she says. “We protect the people who are left, and we prepare for whatever will happen next.”


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