ashmusing: (siting here waiting)
Ash ([personal profile] ashmusing) wrote2010-09-01 08:04 pm

FIC: Hell of a Week

TITLE: Hell of a Week
FANDOM: M'ways (24/Avatar)
WORDS: 829
CHARACTERS: Trudy Chacon, Carl Benton
PAIRING/S: Trudy/Carl
SUMMARY: Carl finds Trudy by the lake after a hell of a week at Hell's Gate

She's out the back, sitting on the swing-seat and absently pushing herself forwards and back. Leather jacket, jeans, black curls free around her hunched shoulders; she is unfamiliar, until he sees her face. She also has a thousand-yard stare, and nods instead of saying yes, you can sit when he asks.

He lets the silence go for a moment, and then says, what happened?

Her laugh is breathless to the point of being almost inaudible. It's been a hell of a week.

They happen.

And then she says, they shot up the school.

He goes still. She may or may not notice, but now that she's said it, she has to keep on speaking. It'll put more distance between her and the words. Killed some of the kids. The older ones, mostly. They - the kids - they got angry at all the clear-cutting, set some of the 'dozers on fire. And then they came runnin' to school, hopin' the Doc'd protect 'em from the humans. And she couldn't.

She takes a deep breath, shakes her head slightly, almost in disbelief. The kind of disbelief where you shut your eyes and whisper this isn't happening, this hasn't happened, this isn't real. She continues. Everyone was so angry, all they needed was a trigger.

One syllable, carefully spoken.

We lost folk, few days ago. One of the base towers was down. We're all armed when we go out, but it's...we were on base. He knows how it goes - bases are where you are supposed to be safe. Need to think you are safe. And a...a Banshee flew in. It all happened fucking fast. Killed three, wounded seven, and then we killed it.

She's crying now, and he doesn't think she's noticed the way she switched between 'they' and 'we'.

The...the. It killed Farzan. Ripped him right open, and I couldn't, I tried- Her hands move up, unconsciously echoing the movements as she had tried to hold her best friend's body together. We've known each other since flight school. And I can't, and the Na'vi kids...oh God.

Carefully, he reaches out and puts his hand on her back. She's shaking, breath coming choked and fast. And he doesn't say anything, because he knows it's not okay, it's not alright, and to say so would give lie to her grief.

Eventually, she moves and leans against him, and his arm moves around her shoulders.

It's not over, she says once she's stopped crying, keeping her eyes closed. The Chief's oldest is dead. She led 'em, and they're not, they're not just gonna roll over and leave it alone, and I can't. Fucking. Deal with it.

He recognizes the note in her voice, an undercurrent that is numb, drained. Another dead, and another, and another set of funerals to attend, and the fight that doesn't have the decency to be an open fight isn't over because it isn't a fight, and so doesn't have an end.

He knows the feeling, which is why he says, come with me.



Goddamn Africa,
she says, but her tone is more resigned than not. You're not...not in Angola, are you?


Or Nigeria?

No. Sangala.

I never even heard of that one.
There is a smile in her voice as she adds, and I don't have to shoot anybody?

and there is a smile in his voice, too. A wry smile that matches the one on his face, but still a smile.

Okay, she says, taking a breath, okay, I think I can deal with that.

There's stars,
he says, and clean air, and trees-

You know me too well,
and she doesn't seem to mind. Okay, she says then, moving away from him slowly, as if her bones were stiff. Okay. Fuckin' oorah, she mutters, and hauls herself to feet. He watches her for a moment, and then also gets up.

I'm fixing up a school, he says, and it's her turn to go still.

The last school she'd walked into, there'd been bullet-holes in the walls, and blood, and the bodies of kids she knew. Last time she went into a school, she'd shot one of her own guys in the hand because he was swinging a machete down and he'd disobeyed an order to stop, now, corporal.

Eventually, finally, she says, I can help. If you want. Not sure how long I'll be stayin', though.

As long as you want.

As long as I need,
she corrects, her smile crooked because there is a difference, and he knows it.

As long as you need, he repeats, and holds out his hand. She doesn't hesitate in taking it, and she doesn't hesitate in slipping her fingers back through his five minutes later, as she swings a new pack of new, comfortable clothes courtesy of the Bar over her shoulder.

He doesn't take his hand away as he opens the door to his world, and he leads her through.

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