Title: That's a Fine Looking High Horse
Rating: T (for future chapter(s))
Summary: His surname slid from her tongue like a disgusting curse word that shouldn't be uttered. It had been weeks (maybe months) since she'd said that particular thing to his face. Her hands shook, but she kept them hid out of sight behind her back.
A/N: This was written for electricbluebutterflies on tumblr. This ended up miles away from where I had initially planned it to be. And I'm not at all disappointed.
Chapter 1: Shrine of Your Lies
Abby turned on her heels, moving away from Marcus Kane before she prepared to throttle him. He had been nitpicking and stepping on her toes left and right. And she felt he was doing it all on purpose as some sort of twisted payback to her days on the Ark of not following the laws set forth in the Exodus charter. And she wouldn't have it. Not today. Not when everything else was falling apart around her, and she was at the end of her rope.
Marcus was hot on her heels in pursuit. He grabbed her above the elbow and spun her around to face him. "This is how you deal with everything, Abby. If you don't like it, you either run from it or do it your own goddamned way, and this is why we're constantly bumping heads. It has to stop."
She pulled her arm from his grasp. "It will stop when you stop undermining my authority, Kane." His surname slid from her tongue like a disgusting curse word that shouldn't be uttered. It had been weeks (maybe months) since she'd said that particular thing to his face. Her hands shook, but she kept them hid out of sight behind her back. "You are not the Chancellor. I am."
He rolled his eyes then as he let out a frustrated growl. "I'm the one that put you in this position. Do you think I don't remember that? Do you think that I don't get it?" He shook his head as his teeth clicked tightly together. "Abby, I don't want the position. I don't know how much more straightforward I can be. Honestly, I never wanted it. But that doesn't mean that I stopped wanting what is best for our people. It's time you face the facts. We're after the same thing. Why does it matter which of us comes up with the plan that fits?" His hand moved up and through his hair, tugging at it furiously as he did so.
She moved into his space. Her lips formed into a sneer (a look she was well aware was unbecoming on her). Her hands came up to press on his chest as she tried to push him backwards a couple steps. "Because your plan is a disaster waiting to happen. It could get people killed. I thought you'd changed. I thought that you wanted to save lives, not take them."
He pushed his chest against her hands, shaking his head in absolute disgust that she would stoop to this. "That's unfair, Chancellor. And you know it." He turned his head away then, intent on keeping the look in his eyes hidden from her. Every life he was responsible for permaturely ending haunted him. Every. Life. And they'd spoken of it often in confidence, and she'd taken and twisted his words to use them against him.
She immediately regretted the words, but she had been almost powerless to stop them. Her hand flew to her mouth, swallowing back the apology that was desperate to follow it. The apology that would fall upon deaf ears. Instead, her other hand flew out to grasp his forearm. She squeezed it tightly. "Marcus..."
His eyes flashed back to her. "No." He shook his head vehemently, teeth clicking together loudly as he tried to form coherent thoughts to speak out loud at her betrayal. Instead, all he could do was the word 'No'. He pulled his arm out of her grasp almost as if her touch had burned him. His lips pulled into a downward turn. His heart ached in his chest. He'd thought they were past this, that they had finally started to see things from the same side instead of always being at each other's throats.
And he couldn't have been more wrong. Even if she hadn't meant the words she'd said, she'd still said them. And it was a sharp sting that she couldn't take back.
"This is not what I planned for." Her eyes filled with tears, which she hastily blinked back. She refused to let him see her cry. Even if it might be the only thing to show him just how truly sorry she'd been. She'd forgotten whatever it was they had been arguing about, and all she wanted was to make things right with him.
He hadn't missed the glistening in her eyes. It wasn't often that Abby had been reduced to tears in his presence. Most of those time (if not all), they dealt with Jake or Clarke or someone she felt a strong connection to. Not once had they ever been as a result of a disagreement. But then again, this was the first time since the Ark that Abby Griffin hadn't fought fair. He squared his shoulders. "Perhaps not, but what am I supposed to say? Abby, I can't pretend that I didn't hear it, that you didn't say it..." He shook his head slowly. It was more subdued than his earlier, angrier outburst.
Her shoulders moved up into a shrug, and she she breathed out, "I know that, but you know I didn't mean it. Marcus, your support means everything to me, and I know your grief is very much real..." She swallowed thickly, forcing the lump that had formed in her throat to slide heavily down to the pit of her stomach. "I'm sorry." A lone tear slid it's way down her cheek. And just as she'd gone to swipe it away, she felt his hand instead. His palm cupped her cheek as his thumb wiped it away.
"Please don't do that. I can't be angry at you when you cry," he breathed back, stepping closer to her and taking her hip gently with his other hand. He pressed a kiss to her forehead like it was the most natural thing in the world for them, but it was anything but. He closed his eyes. "Just...just be careful next time. Okay?"
She couldn't think, couldn't breathe, with him this close to her. She shifted then, moving her hands to his hips and clutching tightly at the fabric of his ragged t-shirt. She managed to whisper, "It won't happen again, Marcus. I swear it won't."
He pulled back, looking down into her eyes. He gave her his signature half grin and spoke softly, "Can I be mad at you again?" He didn't wait for her answer as he pulled her into a tight embrace. He closed his eyes. Being angry at her was easier than whatever it was they were doing right now, and they both knew it. But even if he had been able to just turn the anger on again, he found he didn't want to.
"Let's go get a drink and work this out. Alright?" He pulled away, gesturing that she make her way through Alpha station's main door and toward the mess hall.
"I'd like that. I'd like that a lot. Then you can tell me more about this plan of yours." Because if she was being honest with herself as much as she was being honest with him, she'd strongly been against it simply on the principle alone that it had been his idea. And that never got them very far when they played that game.