So part of this is what I think happens post 2x13 and pre 2x15 when these two idiots reappear (hopefully) and part of this was inspired by some conversations I had with thebloodwhisperer on tumblr about basically how there needs to be more Abby/everyone interactions on the show. 2x13 just killed me with all the Kabby feels and I know we won't get to see much follow-up stuff on the show with the finale coming up, so I thought I'd fill in a few of the gaps :D
The rain beats a frantic tattoo against the exposed metal of the stretcher as the caravan continues towards the camp. Abby listens to the soft pings as they echo slightly in the quiet of the forest, tries to match the beats and rhythms as she walks; a vain attempt to keep her mind off the unconscious body to her left.
The blood pack in her hand is wet and slick from the persistent shower and Abby attempts to wipe her sleeve over it in a bid to make it easier to hold. She notes that only a quarter of the deep crimson liquid remains in the pack, the rest having passed through the field IV into Marcus' exposed right arm. He shouldn't need a replacement before they reach camp, but she makes a note to check in Jackson's pack for a spare just in case.
Her gaze trails from Marcus' arm to his face, which is turned towards her although his eyes remain closed in sleep, his hair damp and stuck to his forehead. If the situation were any different, Abby would find the sight highly amusing, but right now, in that instant, just looking at him tugs at her chest, all her sorrow and anger and frustration bubbling dangerously under the surface. She knows that at some point she'll break, crumble under the pressure of her duty and her feelings but now she needs to be strong; she needs to save Marcus, needs to ensure that he'll survive.
The man himself is still a little pale, a consequence of shock and the cold, persistent drizzle that has been raining down on them since before they left the Grounder village. Abby watches as raindrops slowly trickle off the ends of Marcus' fingers onto the sodden ground below and she quickly realizes that his arm has become more uncovered from the jostling their caravan has had to resort to in order to complete their journey back to camp.
Abby suddenly reaches over and checks the IV connection, her fingers slightly fumbling from the cold as they brush over the small taped area on his arm. Satisfied that the connection remains somewhat secure despite the constant movement, she carefully tucks Marcus' arm under the now rain-soaked blanket that covers him, her touch delicate and soft as she maneuvers his arm into a safer, if not particularly drier position. Her hand lingers at his wrist, fingers blindly searching for the faint pulse she hopes to find there. Her breath sticks in her chest until, after a few horrifying moments, she feels the slow throbbing of his heart beat under the tips of her fingers. It's faint, just as she knew it would be, but it's there and it's proof that he's alive. Abby breathes out a sigh of relief that she didn't even realise she was holding.
"Is he okay?"
Sinclair's voice breaks her concentration, and Abby glances back at the man carrying the stretcher by Marcus' head. Abby quickly removes her fingers from Marcus' wrist and swipes a strand of damp hair from her forehead. She nods, just once, before her gaze drifts back to the unconscious man.
"He's been better," she says eventually, voice quiet but confident despite her fears, "but he'll live. He's stubborn like that."
Sinclair smiles wryly and nods in understanding.
"How long until we're back at Camp Jaha?" she asks after a few more silent seconds. She's been so focused on Marcus that she's barely paid any attention to where her feet have been stepping, let alone monitoring how long they've been on this seemingly never-ending trek through the forest.
"Should be about another 20 minutes," Sinclair utters quietly, his voice barely carrying the short distance that separates them. "Will he be able to hold out that long? For the surgery?"
"I hope so," is all she can think to say; it's a contradiction to everything she's said so far. Abby has been adamant to everyone who asked that Marcus would survive, but there's a doubt that niggles in the back of her mind that she's too late, that he'll die, succumb to his wounds and leave her here to face the trials of war by herself. The thought roils and tumbles in her brain and makes her feel slightly sick.
"I am not leaving you here!"
Her own words echo through her thoughts, reminding her that he'd told her to leave, to abandon him. She smiles ruefully. Even when he was dying he'd only thought of her, of reuniting her with Clarke. Stupid sacrificial bastard. She decides she needs him to survive this so that she can call him out on all his bullshit moves thus far. She lost Jake, she's not losing Marcus too.
She and Jackson had temporarily sealed the laceration in Marcus' femoral artery, and the tourniquet is still firmly in place as a precaution. But, as Abby has learnt in her short time on Earth, anything can go wrong, at any time. She knows that Marcus needs some serious medical attention, and the sooner they get back to Camp Jaha, the better.
She looks up from Marcus and gives Sinclair a final, sad smile. They carry on the rest of the trip in silence, and Abby's gaze barely leaves Marcus as they move.
It's eerily quiet as they enter Camp Jaha; even the gates seem to slip silently closed behind them as they pass through. Abby isn't sure whether the hushed atmosphere is because it's still reasonably early, or because she's managed to blank out everything except the faint pulse that beats in her ears. She reaches down again, clinging to Marcus' wrist to feel his own pulse, breathing out a long sigh as she feels it once more; the fact that he's alive is a miracle in itself, let alone that they'd been rescued and made it back here in one piece.
She watches as rivulets of rain water flow past her mud-coated boots, but gives them no more attention; muddy footwear is the least of her worries at the moment. Marcus needs to get into medical as soon as possible, or he might not survive the night. While they'd been able to temporarily seal the wound at the scene of the attack, there was still a major risk of infection if they didn't get it cleaned thoroughly and in more sterile conditions. Abby has a mental countdown running in her head and it's quickly hurtling towards zero.
Sinclair and Jackson move Marcus to the medical tent immediately and Abby doesn't take any notice of anything else; she's not a Chancellor now, she's a Doctor, his Doctor and right now she and Jackson are the only two people who could possibly save Marcus' life.
Her hands tremble as she enters the tent behind the two men carrying the stretcher. They place Marcus down carefully on the operating table, sliding him with precision so that he's lying on his back, ready to be treated. Sinclair walks towards the door but pauses briefly by her side. His hand reaches out and he lays it carefully on her forearm, the touch an attempt at reassurance that Abby feels is suddenly overwhelming.
"He'll be fine," Sinclair says, voice wavering only slightly, "he's got you; you'll save him."
She nods, looks at her friend then over at Marcus; his chest is still rising and falling and Abby matches her own breaths to the man on the operating table.
"I'll do my best," she sighs, her tone aiming for confident but probably coming out more terrified than she wants. "Can you take care of the camp for me?"
Sinclair doesn't say anything else, just nods to tell her he'll do as she asks and leaves the tent to make sure that everything else is in order following the attack on the Grounder village. The inevitable chaos that is looming above them all won't wait for her to finish here, and Abby is grateful that Sinclair is willing to step up to the plate to keep the preparations for war moving along.
Abby's hands are still trembling by the time it comes to prepare for the surgery; it's a reflex she can't help, fingers acting separately from her wishes. She knows, deep down, that it's from the shock, the aftereffects of everything that's happened to her over the last 24 hours, but she needs to get it under control, needs to make sure that she's calm enough to operate. Marcus will die if she can't stop her fingers from shaking.
She picks up a pair of scissors but drops them in an instant, fingers unable to clutch the cold metal. She growls in frustration because her only alternative is to cry; it's all too much, too soon and a wave of despair hits her as she scrambles to pick the fallen instrument off the floor with trembling fingertips.
Jackson's voice causes her to jump, because she's completely forgotten he's in the room with her. It's ridiculous really, the pull that Marcus has on her. Abby figures she'd be acting this way with any other patient, but somehow, deep down in her subconscious, she knows that isn't true.
She feels a comforting hand rest on her shoulder and Abby finally turns her head to take in Jackson. He's crouching next to her but he doesn't say anything else; the singular word that escaped from his lips is enough to tell her that he's worried. If it wasn't enough, she can see that his eyes look calm but full of concern all at once; he knows she's exhausted and unprepared for this surgery. Jackson carefully reaches out a hand and takes the scissors from her and Abby watches as he places them on the table behind him. His movements are slow, careful, as if he knows that she's this close to shattering right there in the middle of medical. He slowly takes her hand, and tugs her gently so she's standing upright again. His hands rest on her shoulders and he's gazing down at her, concern still written across his face.
"Go wash up," Jackson says from his position in front of her, tone firm but considerate; he knows, somehow, just how important this is to her, how important he is to her, so she accepts his reassuring squeeze on her shoulder and nods in acknowledgment.
She sees Jackson move in the corner of her eye, watches him walk towards Marcus and begin to quickly prep him for surgery, cutting away the fabric from around the wound and cleaning it thoroughly while Abby makes her way over to the sink.
She closes her eyes as she lets the lukewarm water wash over her skin and she carefully applies some soap. Her hands and nails are still covered in Marcus' blood, the persistent rain unable to remove the final traces of it from her skin. Abby scrubs furiously at it under the water to remove the remnants of it. She scrubs too hard on occasion and has to pull herself back to reality; if she carries on like that she knows her skin will be rubbed raw and her blood will join Marcus' in the swirling red water that disappears into the drain. She dries her hands absently after a few minutes and turns back towards the operating table.
Abby watches as Jackson ensures that Marcus is fully under the effects of the anesthetic while she herself makes her way over to the rest of the medical equipment. She focuses on a mental checklist of what they'll need for Marcus' surgery, what they'll require to sew him back together and ensure that he'll make it through the night and beyond. The process helps to ease her mind, allows her to drift back into the familiarity of the medical procedures she's studied for years; it's only a couple of minutes before she has everything she and Jackson will need and by the time she turns to face the operating table her hands have finally, finally, stop trembling.
Jackson is silent, watchful, keeps a careful eye on her as she's done for a majority of his medical career; there's an unspoken bond of trust between mentor and mentored and now is one of the few times that the younger man has covered for her when it's plainly obvious she shouldn't be anywhere near this particular patient.
"Abby," Jackson whispers quietly, dragging her attention away from the glinting instruments before her and back to the task at hand, "he's ready."
She doesn't trust herself to reply, just nods once, twice, the second time a reassurance to herself rather than an acknowledgement of Jackson's words. She washes her hands once more and stands to the side as Jackson does the same; slow, methodical, precise. It's all just a procedure now, a necessity. She can't think about the man on the table, about the risks that they're taking. Marcus has to survive; Abby knows this. He has to survive or they'll all be lost.
She starts to don some plastic gloves that she digs out of the supply cupboard, but leaves one hand free as she moves toward her position at the bottom of the operating table. Her uncovered hand comes out, as she leans over Marcus, and brushes some of his hair away from his face. Abby looks down at him, a peaceful moment before she and Jackson have to work to save his life.
The other man comes and stands by her side, his presence reassuring, peaceful. Abby looks up at him, and returns the soft smile that covers Jackson's face.
"Ready?" he asks, gesturing towards the operating table, towards Marcus.
"Yes," Abby replies, confidence lacing her tone even if her heart isn't completely behind the word, "let's get started."
It's just over an hour later when Jackson leaves her in peace at Marcus' side, cleaning up after the operation and quietly slipping out of medical as Abby begins to administer another dosage of painkillers. Marcus still hasn't woken up from the anesthetic, but the effects should begin to wear off in the next few hours.
Abby rests her head on the end of the bed, like she'd done when both Clarke and Raven were in a similar position. Marcus is tucked up under blankets, a small bandage around his head, one secured around his ribs and the final, most important one, tightly wound over the wound on his thigh. He'd been lucky, Abby reflects, watching Marcus's chest rise and fall steadily with each labored breath he takes. They'd cleaned the lacerated artery quickly, sewing up the wound and bandaging it ensuring that he wouldn't lose any more blood before she and Jackson has concentrated on cleaning up and dealing with his other injuries. It could have been so much worse, she thinks, and now she's sure he'll make it through the night and live to see another day. He'll be sore and out of action for a while, but at least Marcus will be safe and somewhere that she can keep an eye on his recovery.
The steady beating of the heart monitor lulls her into an uncomfortable and unstable sleep, and she's only woken when a soft hand rests gently on her shoulder.
Raven's voice pulls her from unconsciousness and Abby slowly turns to look up at the younger woman.
"Hey," she whispers, voice still hoarse from sleep, "everything okay?"
"Everything's fine," Raven mumbles quietly, leaning slightly against Marcus' bed and looking at the man in question. "How's Kane?"
Abby follows her gaze, takes in Marcus' face and smiles when she realizes that the color is beginning to return to his features.
"He's fine; sleeping off the anesthetic. He should be waking up in the next couple of hours or so."
Raven perches herself on one of the medical tables nearby and furrows her brow. The look she gives Abby is one of sympathy and almost pity. Abby wonders if Raven had known the truth about the missile, had known the implications and consequences of Clarke's actions.
"Do you want me to sit with him for a while?" The younger woman asks eventually, voice hushed despite the silence of the medical bay.
Abby begins to shake her head in refusal before Raven interrupts; clearly saying 'no' isn't an option.
"You're exhausted Abby," Raven comments as she gestures between the older woman and Marcus. "Sinclair told me the two of you were stuck underground for hours, and then you marched straight back here and into surgery. You don't have the benefit of being under the influence of anesthetic; you have to sleep at some point. Your recover is just as important as his..."
Abby knows that Raven is right. The consequences of Clarke's actions are still mostly unknown, and she needs to be wary, alert and awake in order to deal with them. Sitting here by Marcus' bedside until she passes out from exhaustion isn't the best way to deal with this situation.
"Yeah, okay," she eventually agrees, smiling softly at Raven, who's still sitting on the medical table. "But I'll only be an hour, I…" she pauses, looks at Marcus again, tries to find the right words, "I want to be here when he wakes up…"
Raven doesn't reply, just nods, and Abby is immediately thankful that the younger woman doesn't judge her. Even she's not entirely aware of what's going on between herself and Marcus and she's relieved that Raven doesn't push her for more insight into the changing relationship.
Abby smiles almost shyly, and moves towards the exit of the medical bay intent on heading back to her quarters. She changes her mind halfway to the door though and instead settles herself on the small cot in the corner. Abby lies down carefully, feels the exhaustion rush through her as she lifts her feet onto the small uncomfortable bed. She can just about see his face, his eyes remain closed and Abby takes reassurance in the fact that she can see his chest rise and fall with every breath he takes.
Raven has tucked herself up on one of the plastic chairs around the bed, and Abby returns the soft smile the younger woman gives her before she feels her eyes close and she falls into blissful unconsciousness.
There's a faint sound of muttering and groaning as Abby wakes some time later. Raven still perches at the end of Marcus' bed, her feet up on the side table and a tablet in her hand; clearly she is still working through some equations for the upcoming attack on Mount Weather, although her focus seems to mainly be on the man lying in the bed. Abby realizes it isn't Raven making the noises, but Marcus. Abby moves so she's upright and swings her legs over the side of the small cot.
"Is he okay?" she asks, walking carefully across to Raven, who's now deposited the tablet on the side table.
"I think he's fine," Raven answers as she gestures towards the still sleeping man. "I think he's having a nightmare; I didn't want to wake him in case he panicked and hurt himself."
"Probably wise," Abby comments. She slowly moves towards the head of the bed, and spots Marcus thrashing slightly; clearly the dream he's having isn't pleasant. Abby wants to wake him, pull him from the nightmares that are clearly plaguing him, wants to provide comfort to the man who has done the same for her on so many occasions.
Abby checks the IV, checks Marcus' pulse and relaxes slightly when she realizes that, apart from the dreams, he seems to be on the road to recovery.
"I need to get back to engineering," Raven comments apologetically, voice hushed as she moves to stand next to Abby. "Are you going to be alright?"
"Yeah, yeah," Abby replies, somewhat absently as her concentration focuses on the man that's still sleeping, "I'll need to wake him soon anyway just to see what his pain's like; he's due for another round of painkillers."
"Okay. Call me if you need anything; I think things are going to get crazy in the next couple of days and we all need to look out for each other."
Abby nods absently again and smiles at Raven as she leaves the medical bay. As soon as the younger woman has left Abby sucks in a deep breath and watches Marcus continue to shift in the bed. She leans over and grasps his hand, carefully interlinking their fingers in a bid to provide some level of comfort for him, even if it's subconscious on his part. Her other hand rests gently on his shoulder and Abby breathes out before attempting to wake him.
"Marcus," she whispers, leaning over him carefully. "Marcus, wake up, come on."
He stills then, almost immediately, as if her voice has broken through some barrier in his subconscious and instantly chased away whatever demons are haunting him. He shifts again and Abby feels his fingers tighten around her own. She squeezes his hand in return, and whispers his name once, twice, thrice more in an effort to pull him back to consciousness. His eyes snap open suddenly, brown meeting brown and Abby senses that he's confused and in pain.
"Hey," she mutters, leaning over him again, keeping their hands entwined, "it's okay Marcus, it's me, you're safe, you're safe…"
She hears him take a breath, sees him wince as he feels the pull of the injury in his leg, feels him clench his fingers in subconscious reaction.
"A…Abby?" His voice is croaky, rough; a result of the long period he's spent asleep and more than likely a consequence of the amount of dust and ash that fell around them in the subway station.
"I'm right here Marcus," Abby whispers as she tries to keep her tone calm yet authoritative. "You're back at Camp Jaha; you've been in surgery and you're in recovery."
"That's why I feel awful then," he comments, and Abby can't help but chuckle as a ghost of a smile crosses his lips. It disappears as quickly as it arrives though, as he attempts to sit up. Abby reaches over and places a gentle hand on his chest to prevent him from moving too much. "My leg? Is it…?"
Abby senses the question he dares not ask, understands that he probably doesn't remember much of their rescue and none of the journey back and surgery that followed.
"It's okay," she reassures him, squeezing his hand again. She's not sure why she's refusing to let go of his fingers, but Abby decides she'll deal with that later. "Jackson and I stitched you back together. You'll have to take it easy for a while as you recover, but I can't see there being any long term damage…"
"I was lucky then," Marcus responds, a wider smile crossing his features, as he processes her words. He pauses and looks up at her. "We were both lucky I guess."
Abby doesn't say anything in reply, just shrugs slightly instead before she moves one of the chairs by the bed a little closer so she can take a seat.
"How's the pain?" she asks once she's sat next to him. She fights back the urge to sweep his fringe back from his forehead, as it rests almost over his eye.
"Manageable," is his quiet reply, but Abby senses that he's saying that to prevent her from worrying. The grimace he gives as he shifts his leg slightly confirms her suspicions.
"You don't need to lie to me Marcus," Abby states calmly, her hand reaching beside her to pick up the next dose of painkillers. "No more secrets, no more lies…"
He sighs then and flashes her a guilty look.
"Fine," he states, tone grumpy but face almost amused as he looks at her, "it hurts. A hell of a lot."
"I thought it might," is all she says by way of reply, and she holds up the next injection of morphine and shows it to him. He visibly blanches at the sight, and Abby remembers, belatedly, that Marcus Kane has always had an aversion to needles. "This will take the edge off for another few hours," she tells him, holding back a chuckle as his eyes focus on the needle in her hand. "You're still recovering from the anesthetic too, so you'll probably fall asleep again once this hits your system."
Marcus nods and smiles almost shyly at her. He looks innocent, calm, thoughtful, as if all the cares and worries he's carried as a burden since the Ark have suddenly disappeared, leaving his shoulders bare and free of heavy weights. Abby wonders if, in the course of their confinement and the reality of his injury, he'd managed to find some way to forgive himself for his actions in the past.
"What about Clarke? The Grounders? And the kids?"
Abby sighs deeply at his questions and she can tell by his concerned look as she faces him that she hasn't been particularly successful in hiding her momentary discomfort at the mention of her daughter.
"Clarke's fine," she utters curtly, before realizing that the harsh tone isn't necessary. Her face softens as she takes a breath and continues. "She's headed off with Lexa and the Grounders to start the assault on Mount Weather. We're sending some more forces across in the next few hours, once they've broken past the first level of security."
"I should be out there," he whispers, and Abby notes that Marcus sounds frustrated with himself, as if his injury had been his own fault, not her daughter's.
"You need to rest and recover. You can help out from here; you're the best military strategist we have," Abby comments, smiling down at him. "And I'm not letting you out of my sight for the near future; you get into far too much trouble when left to your own devices…"
Her comment brings about a bark of laughter from him, which quickly turns into a painful sounding wheeze as his sore ribs make themselves known. Abby grabs for his hand and holds it while he recovers and the beaming smile she gets as Marcus' breathing evens out is thanks enough. She spots his eyelids getting heavy then and his eyes struggle to focus on her.
"Abby?" he whispers, and she thinks he's almost pleading with her.
"Stay?" His grip on her hand is loosening as the morphine kicks in, but he stubbornly attempts to stay awake and continue the conversation.
"Of course," Abby replies, voice low and quiet, lulling him to sleep in tandem with the drugs, "I'll be right here; I'm not going anywhere. I'll stay right by your side, I promise…"
It's a promise to herself as much as to him, and, as she feels him drift off again, Abby smiles at his unconscious form. Abby knows he won't be out for long, but they'll have plenty to discuss when he's awake again; despite how much she wants to deny it, war is on their doorstep and the two of them need to work together to make sure that every one of their people stays as safe as possible. Abby smiles down at him and her gaze first falls on their interlinked fingers, and then on the piece of hair that's fallen over his eyes again.
It's a fit of whimsy really, an instinctive move that comes from who knows where. Abby leans over, sweeps the hair from his face and then pauses. Marcus' breaths are slow and steady and she smiles again. She knows she nearly lost him earlier that day, and the knowledge that he's safe and that he'll recover causes her to lean over and place a soft kiss on his forehead. It's a faint touch, her lips barely grazing his skin, but it's enough to sooth her nerves and settle her chaotic thoughts. It's clearly impacted him as well, as she spots a faint smile on his lips as she leans back into her chair by his side.
She sits, silently, and watches him sleep.