Author's note: So, that was an episode and a half wasn't it? This is set after 2x03 but takes place some time in the future; it's the inevitable reunion story :D
As always, I hope you enjoy, and don't hesitate to let me know what you think :)
She's halfway through her monthly stock take when she hears Jackson enter the tent behind her. It's mid-afternoon and she's spent the morning in Council meetings attempting to set up a new education system. The return to the familiarity of the medical tent is working to calm the tension that has built up since that morning's set of meetings. She's a respected Chancellor certainly, but it doesn't stop all of the stress that comes with the job…
"Jackson, could you pass me the Buprenorphine please? I need to place it back in the lock-up."
"I'm pretty sure I don't know what that is…"
The voice makes her stop, hand hovering over a packet of syringes and breath caught in her chest. She spins on the spot and freezes when she sees him. He's back.
Marcus smiles shyly at her, and reaches over to grab something off the nearby bench. She's sure he doesn't know what he's picking up at all, but she can't help but smile at the gesture anyway.
"Is this it?" He says hopefully, eyebrow raised in question and a soft smile on his lips. He's holding a tube of burn salve, and waves it half-heartedly in her direction, but he doesn't seem fazed by his ignorance.
"Not even close," she replies quietly, smiling back at him. "You'd better stick to the military; you're hopeless as a medical assistant." She reaches over to take the tube anyway, and ignores the shiver as her fingers slip over his when she takes it from his hand.
He doesn't reply, just stands there awkwardly in the middle of the tent. Abby doesn't really know what to say; this isn't exactly what she imagined their first conversation after his return would be like.
"You're back," she states simply, arms hanging loosely by her sides. She says it more to fill the uncomfortable silence than to actually acknowledge the fact. Her fingers play with the frayed edges of her jumper; she's nervous and Abby isn't entirely sure why.
He nods and smiles before he replies. His own hands are now tucked into the pockets of his jacket, hidden away from view; it makes him look younger, more innocent.
Abby takes the opportunity to look him over, to take in the sight of the man she hasn't seen for nearly three months. He looks tired, exhausted even, and she notes that he has a half healed cut on his forehead. It looks deep and painful and Abby takes a step forward to trace her fingers over it. He winces a little at the first touch of her fingertips, but doesn't complain, merely allows her to feel his skin underneath hers, to confirm for herself that this, that he, is real.
"What happened?" she asks eventually, eyes narrowing at the neat stitches that are helping to knit the damaged edges of the wound together.
"The Grounder commander didn't appreciate my initial offer of peace," Marcus mutters, eyes fixed on hers as her fingers ghost over the stitched wound.
"And after he did this to you?"
"Well, she," he emphasizes, smiling at the surprise on her face, "was more willing to listen to me. Said that anyone willing to come to them and face pain and death for their people was worth a few minutes of her time. Apparently we weren't the first 'sky people' she'd encountered…"
He lets the statement hang, but Abby isn't focused on his vague words; she's more concerned about the outcome of the peace talks.
"So," she finally asks, caving to her worry and need to know, "is there peace? Did you succeed?"
He nods and looks at her, another smile gracing his lips. He moves one of his hands from his pocket to sweep through his hair. It's matted and a little bloody and Abby wants to know the whole story; there's things he's not telling her and she's had enough of secrets…
"Yes, we've agreed a truce with the Grounders. It's a tentative one, granted, but it's a truce nonetheless."
Abby pauses, nods and acknowledges that the man before her has done the impossible and has laid the foundation for a peaceful existence for all of them. Relief flows through her for an instant before she stands a little straighter, determination suddenly sweeping through her. She has to ask her next question, needs to know the answer, but the prospect of finding out the truth sends a wave of panic through her that is so great that Abby suddenly reaches out to steady herself on his arm. Marcus doesn't comment, just watches her carefully, as if he's fully aware of what's coming next.
"And what about the kids? Did you find them?"
She watches as Marcus shakes his head slightly, a sorrowful look on his face.
"Not all of them," he admits, looking up at her again. There's a trace of frustration in his features, as if he thinks he's failed. She knows he hasn't, but she still feels the need to give his forearm a reassuring squeeze. "The Grounder's didn't take a majority of the kids; the people who occupy Mt. Weather did…"
Abby is overwhelmed by the new information; it's almost too much for her to process at once. First the Grounders, then survivors at Mt. Weather; what more can Earth throw at them?
"What about…" she can't voice the words, can't find a way to ask him because she is absolutely terrified to find out the answer.
"Who do you think gave me these stitches?" is all he says, gesturing towards the wound on his head. Abby just stares at him, unable to process the information. Her world stops and everything goes silent. Clarke…
"Where… Marcus… where is…?"
"It's ok Abby," Marcus mutters quietly, and he steps aside in silence to reveal the tent door. He's been blocking her view of it, and she'd been so focused onhim that she hadn't realized…
Abby's world becomes a blurry view of blonde as her daughter and her own tears hit her at once. Clarke's arms wrap around her and Abby closes her eyes and sobs.
"Mom," she hears Clarke whisper in her hear, her voice thick with her own sobs. Abby feels the wetness of Clarke's tears seep through her shirt, but she doesn't care, doesn't care at all. "Mom, I'm home." Abby's heart breaks as she clutches her daughter even closer to her body. Her daughter is back, her daughter is safe - her daughter is home…
Abby looks up at Marcus then, who's still stood somewhat awkwardly by the entrance to the tent, but Abby can see he's got a small smile on his face as he bears witness to the long-awaited family reunion.
'Thank you,' she mouths at him over Clarke's shoulder, her arms wrapped around her daughter but her eyes focused on nothing but the man who brought her back. Marcus nods, his shy smile appearing again as he ducks his head. He motions towards the door and raises a hand in goodbye. Abby smiles at him briefly before tucking her head back into Clarke's shoulder, mixing her own sobs with her daughters.
She hears the tent door flap open and close in a matter of seconds and Abby knows that Marcus has left them alone to carry on their reunion in private.
Abby thinks, as she clutches Clarke closer, that she needs to thank him properly, needs to tell him that she owes him so much.
But she can do that later, and she knows he'll understand that. Now though, she can concentrate on the relief and joy and pure happiness that Clarke ishere. She vows never to let her daughter go again…