Title: Never Be Alone
Summary: Her tears sobered him up right quick. As did the bright red hand print across her tear stained cheeks. He reached out, tenderly touching the red welt.
A/N: Written for a five times Marcus and Abby needed each other prompt.
Marcus remembered the first time he saw Abby. All pigtails and short legs. She was eight years old, and she had bowled him over in the hall as she tried to see through her blinding tears. He had caught her, breaking her fall with his backside. She'd landed right on his gut, knocking the wind right out of him. "Hey. What's the big idea?" he rasped as he tried to to help her up and keep as much of his ten year old pride intact as possible.
"I'm sorry," she whispered with a trembling lip.
Her tears sobered him up right quick. As did the bright red hand print across her tear stained cheeks. He reached out, tenderly touching the red welt. "Who-who did this to you?"
"Doesn't matter," she sniffled as she wiped her nose on her sleeve. She kept her eyes down to the ground.
He helped her to stand, ignoring the pain that she'd caused on his rear and back. "It does. They shouldn't have hit you." He had half a mind to go and find the one responsible and give them the same thing they'd given to the girl. "We should put a cold compress on that…" He gently took her hand in his and lead her toward the housing compartment that he shared with is mother.
Marcus moved to knock on Abby's door. They'd been almost inseparable since that first meeting six years ago. She was now fourteen, and he was sixteen. Not a huge age difference when you've been best friends since eight and ten. He was here to escort her to her high school entrance exam. She was extra nervous for some reason. They both knew she'd pass it with flying colors.
His knuckles rapped loudly on the metal door and stepped to the side to wait for her to join him in the hall. He rarely entered the domicile she shared with her Mom and stepfather. He looked up as she opened the door barely a crack to slip through and closed the door behind her.
She grabbed his hand and pulled him away from the door. "Come on. He's in a bad mood again." Her lips quivered as she spoke, but her hand was as steady as it ever was as their fingers entwined.
"He hit you?"
She shook her head. "No. Not me. Mom got the worst of it this time." She slowed her pace as they were now a safe distance away from her door. "He'll probably get me later. I wasn't supposed to leave." But she wasn't missing this test.
He narrowed his eyes. "If he lays a hand on you, Abby…" he swore under his breath. "I'll float him myself."
She hugged him quickly and held on tightly for longer than a beat. "I know you would, Marcus, but he won't. He knows better now." She pulled back and smiled up into his face. "You put the fear in him real good."
Marcus knew he was the last person that Abby wanted to see, but he was here anyway. He stood in complete silence as the room emptied. He'd refused to be any part of the team that floated Jake Griffin. He wasn't one to withhold the law, but even he had his limits. He wasn't going to be the one to press that button.
Their eyes met. He could see the anger as it radiated through her. They weren't close anymore, but sometimes you just didn't forget how to be that person for someone. Not when you'd spent a better part of your adolescence protecting one another. He stepped forward, placing his hand on shoulder.
He had expected the shift away from him. He'd anticipated the slap, but it had still stung. It hurt worse than any other physical harm that had ever come to him. He reached to grab both fists before they could come down in a battery of beating fury. He managed to keep hold of her as she struggled and finally collapsed in a fit of aching sobs into his arms.
He carefully held her to him, allowing her exactly what she needed. Even he knew that this wouldn't change a damn thing that had happened between them the last twenty years. It was just two old friends finding that place where they needed one another once again.
He loved her too much to deny her that.
So much had changed since learning that Earth was habitable. So much between them. So much for the others on the Ark. Even if there was no clear way to the Ground. So much was possible. Then it happened. He'd thought she was on the ship that Diana had taken to the Ground. He'd thought she was dead.
To find her alive, but barely, was like a dream he hadn't known he'd wished so desperately to come true. His arm held her gently as the air rushed into the service bay. The oxygen slowly revived the inhabitants until the doors were finally cleared and opened.
He'd gently cradled her to him. He hadn't trusted another soul to carry her to Medical. He laid her down gently so that Jackson could check her over, make sure she was uninjured. He smoothed back her hair as Jackson's carefully trained eye deemed her perfectly okay except for oxygen deprivation.
He pulled a chair close to her bed, letting his hand move slowly down her arm to reassure himself that she was indeed fine. As his fingers started to depart from hers, he felt her cling tightly to him.
And so he did.
The walk back from Mount Weather felt endless. His legs felt like they were likely to drop at any moment now. The only thing that kept him putting one foot in front of the other was how her hand clung to his. He squeezed it gently in reassurance as they moved quietly through the darkened wood.
On their very first break, he knelt beside her stretcher. He traced a finger of the hand not holding hers over the back of her hand. He met her eyes. She looked beyond exhausted, and he knew she had to be in terrible pain.
"We're going to be okay now, Abby." He lifted her hand to his face then, letting her feel the wetness as the tears finally fell from his eyes. He whispered, "I won't accept anything less."
In the past, it had always been her needing him. Today was different. This time he finally showed her that he needed her just as much as she needed him. "We'll make this work somehow. We have to. Together."