Spoilers: Vaguely for up to Siege Part 2
Summary: AU post-Siege apocalyptic fic, with Kavanagh/Simpson.
A/N: Thanks to Fanwoman for the beta.
There are few left in the wake of the Wraith, a ragtag bunch of Athosians mixed with the Earthlings that escaped to the alpha site. Their numbers are small, but they get by, just. Nothing has been easy, least of all adapting to living here on an unknown word without much technology, and with those who know nothing of this way of life. Still, their community stands together, united for survival and under the pledge to resist the Wraith.
But they stand apart, the lone pair whose stances distance further than that meter that separates them physically. They are never close; they are never in agreement. They couldn't be further from friends by their words. Questions bound back and forth between them. What she says, he refutes - what he believes, she questions. Conversations are concise, always cutting to the point - but never getting to the truth. It's he said, she said, played all the time. When they aren't arguing, they're complaining about each other.
They hate each other, or so they proclaim as obvious. He's a jerk; she's a fool - they never have a kind word for the other, but they have far too many, really, for it to simply be about annoyance. It's always petty, and there's never anything that comes of it - neither makes any real decisions because they can't compromise. They're too stuck on each other, of convincing, turning their opponent into an ally. Regardless that they're both too stubborn for it to work like this - it's always stalemate, resignations, giving up until the next time arises. Sometimes, it seems they look for something to take issue with, to make that point of contact, to wring out old arguments over and over again, stringing it out, even though neither can win.
And why do they spend so much time on it? Why do they battle it out, upon some promise of 'winning'? Neither sees what everyone else can, what the old and young women alike gossip about. They both think they're wrong; they both think it will be the others downfall - but they don't realise what that means.
In this harsh life, where survival means everything to everyone, they care the most about each other, above any one else. She never says she's worried his plan will hurt anyone, except for him. The words exchanged are passionately fought and singular. He doesn't make a fuss about anyone else taking risks, but somehow he can't let her. He'll say she's being naive, that it's more dangerous than she'll admit.
He reaches for her this time, as the elders watch from their spot, sorting the herbs and muttering among themselves at the event. For a few seconds, she looks down to where his hand grips her wrist, and she doesn't move one inch. Then she glances up, eyes boring into his, and he lets go, unable to meet her stare. Unwilling to let it be more than it already is, he isn't allowed to be concerned - hiding it under a mask of outrage. He stalks away angrily, whilst she watches his retreat. He's not ready, but something has broken in her. They know why it matters still; it matters more because now they are all they have left. Now, they're afraid to let go because they can't go back to how it was. They don't really want to, but neither can they move forward. They go on like this simply because they can, because they still exist. They can still pretend there's nothing there, because it's easier to hate than to love for them.
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