Disclaimer: I don't own The 100. Everything belongs to whoever owns them, my wishful thinking aside.
Authors Note #1: Mostly set pre-1x01, but the ending references my take on how the season three teaser kiss could go in terms of this AU. Akachankami on tumblr asked for: "Fuck I feel like I got hit by a car… Wait I did? And it was your car?" from a list of weird prompts.
Warnings: Mild language, pre-canon season one, this is an 'oops Marcus can temporarily read minds and it's all Bio-Engineering's fault but also probably the start of a happily ever after because that is how I roll' type of fic.
"Fuck, I feel like I got hit by a car… Wait I did? And it was your car?"
He blinked himself awake. Swollen lids feeling like they weighed a thousand pounds of anti-gravity each as the ceiling of the Medical Bay slowly took shape above him.
"Though, I suppose that's kind of impossible considering - a) we are in space and b) I have never actually seen a car other than in video recordings. I probably heard it in a movie. Yeah. A movie. But you know, if that explosion had been a car, I bet it would have probably been one of those big semi-trucks because, Jesus Shit- I'm not going to be able to sit on my ass without it twinging for at least a week."
He turned his head slowly, temples throbbing as he tried to put the pieces back together and figure out how he'd gotten here. He winced. Everything was too loud, too bright – too much all at once. His vison threatened to blur out around the edges as the same obnoxiously loud voice that sounded like it was three inches from his right ear kept on talking.
"God knows they're stingy enough with the pain meds. Gonna have to see Nygel first thing for a little something-something to take the edge off. Maybe I can get an extra ration out of it if I play it up? Have to say though, I certainly don't mind the view. Griffin still has a tight ass, that's for damn sure."
His eyes snapped open reflexively. Closely followed by a vicious stab of pain that made him grunt and try to throw his hand to block them. The sudden brightness all too much as blotches of off-centre light seared across his retinas long after they'd slammed closed.
Or, at least he tried to throw his arm over his eyes.
He didn't get very far considering he was firmly strapped down to the medical bed.
What the hell?
He opened his eyes more slowly this time - adjusting. Craning his neck to look around the room until he focused on the man sitting upright on the medical bed across from him. It was a worker he recognized from Mecha Station – blond hair stained red at the temple as a nurse stitched a cut closed just below his scalp - staring openly at the woman in question as Abby bent down to untangle an IV line the next bed over.
"Shame she's damaged goods. Otherwise I'd be first in line to tap that shit for sure."
That's when it really registered.
The man's lips weren't moving.
It was the idiot's voice, clear as day, but he wasn't saying anything out loud.
It was in his head.
Almost like he was reading the man's tho-
"Huh, wonder who pissed in Kane's rations? He looks ready to kill someone. Why the hell is he looking at me like that anyway? He should be taking his headache out on Bio-Engineering. It was their containment failure after all. Poor bastard really got himself a face full of that shit. One minute he was leaning down to help that clumsy bitch up and the next moment, blamo!"
This was a dream.
He had to be dreaming.
This wasn't happening.
He'd hit his head or something.
Anything but this.
There was no other explanation.
He closed his eyes. Headache slowly starting to subside as the man was eventually bumped off the bed and absorbed back into the crowd. Replaced by a young woman who was continually counting down from one hundred in her head and determinedly not looking down at the needle as she was given a blood transfusion.
It turned out to be surprisingly soothing because the next thing he was aware of was blinking himself awake to find Abby hovering above him, quietly taking his vitals before her expression sharpened as his lashes made tracks from the hollows.
"You're awake, good," she remarked briskly, all business as she shined a pen-light at his pupils. Small hand light on his shoulder - yet somehow just grounding enough - as she undid the straps holding him in place and handed him a cup of water to sip. "How are you feeling, Councillor?"
But he wasn't listening.
Because that wasn't what she was thinking.
She was thinking inside a pinwheel of color and the backwash of slow-draining concern. She was trying not to think about what happened when his vitals had hiccuped after they'd brought him in. Something about fluctuating brainwaves and spiking adrenaline. She was trying not to think of how her chest had clenched tight when she'd heard over the coms that he'd been in the lab when the explosion had occurred. But couldn't quite put her finger on why.
He stared up at her, wordless.
"Thank god," she thought instead. Hearing the words inside his head as the syllables curled into a smile far warmer than he figured he deserved considering their usual animosity for one another.
It was simple.
And he stalled on it.
"Marcus?" she questioned – out loud this time - concern rippling out into the open like miniature waves spreading across an inlet pond. Eyes unfocused as all the evidence started to pile up. Irrefutable and impossible in turn. Forced to blink rapidly when the pen-light made another sudden appearance. Wrestling with the very real possibility that whatever it was that had been contained in that lab had given him the ability to…to read minds?
For the first time in a long time, he didn't know what to say.
"Something's wrong. He looks a little off. I'll keep him overnight for observation regardless, but usually he's halfway out the door by now, doctor's orders or no. He must have really gotten his bell rung. I don't think I've seen him look this shell-shocked since-"
He'd never been more grateful for her professional detachment when her hands whispered through his hair and across his scalp. Looking for evidence of a concussion or even a fracture as she held out her hand for one of the portable scanners. He only knew all this because it was making the rounds through her thoughts. Recalling cases and training and long hours spent studying data pads spread across the floor of her parent's quarters. Chewing idly on the inside collar of her shirt as she tried to memorize the correct dosages for her quiz the next day. Smiling softly to herself as she thought about how Jake had asked to meet her afterwards – how he'd looked so nervous and handsome and-
He jerked himself free, nails biting dully into his palms.
Memories weren't linear.
"What happened?" he asked hoarsely - eventually - not exactly sure what to think as she frowned down at him. Knowing he'd missed his cue by a moon's length as he forced himself to get a grip. Squaring his shoulders the best he could underneath the gauzy hospital gown he'd been changed into after they'd run him through bio-hazard quarantine. Well aware that she was staring him down like she already knew he was holding something back.
"There was an accident in bio-engineering, you were smack in the middle of it. No casualties, thanks to you," she explained, keen eyes missing nothing as she surveyed him like a great bird of prey. Only this time around, the unruffled effect was ruined by the running commentary echoing inside – layering what was being said and what she was thinking as he cocked his head, trying to pay attention to both.
"If you'd just given them a warning before you'd waltzed in there then maybe that Bio-Tech intern I've seen twice this month for anxiety wouldn't have accidentally tripped over the control switch. You could have died, you idiot."
He raised a brow.
And okay, hold on.
That was unfair.
No wonder he had a headache.
"Other than some sensitivity to light and what is probably going to be a killer headache, how are you feeling?" she said instead, adding a layer of brusqueness over concern and irrational fondness as he struggled to figure out how he felt about all three. "Any side effects? Whatever was in that stuff wasn't toxic, but it's going to take some time to sift through exactly what you were exposed to. Anything you can tell us, no matter how small, would be a step in the right direction at this point."
He opened his mouth to tell her. Having known this part was coming since the start. Trying to find the words to tell her that everything she was thinking he could hear clear as day. That impossible as it sounded, whatever chemicals they'd been using had somehow given him the ability to- what? Read people's minds? Their thoughts?
But it was worse than that. He opened his mouth to tell her how he was stuck between wanting it to stop and wanting more. How everything felt unstable in his chest now that he knew she cared – after he'd caught a glimpse of what she kept inside. Momentarily high on the stolen intimacy of it as somewhere in the back of his mind, all those long-forgotten childish desires realized themselves into flesh.
But in the end, for some reason he couldn't.
Instead, he closed his mouth and for reasons beyond him, lied.
It wore off eventually. But not before he learned some hard truths about himself and the people around him. It gave him a lot to think about. And in a way he supposed it was actually responsible for evolving things. Slowly reshaping him - as the months trickled past and things on the Ark got worse - long after whatever it was left him alone inside his own head.
It didn't change everything. Not right away. Not even close. But in hindsight, considering the day he finally seized her up in a kiss like he'd been dying to do for months, he figured it'd been a beginning.
"It's like you read my mind," she said breathlessly, afterwards. Pulling him down for another and wrapping her arms around his neck as he brought them together – holding her tightly as he took a moment and just breathed her in. Strangling a relieved laugh into her hair before he tipped his head up towards the ceiling in silent thanks.
God, she had no idea.
A/N: Thank you for reading, please let me know what you think. – This story is now complete.
- The title, "metanoia" is a rare word meaning: "the journey of changing one's mind, heart, self or way of life."