Disclaimer: SO don't own them. At all.

Notes: This spoils several episodes of the third season, up through the end (in order: Children of Auron, Rumours of Death, Sarcophagus, Ultraworld, Moloch, Death-Watch, Terminal). And, sort of skirts around them. Missing scenes, sort of. Inspired by a LOT of different music, most notably Everything But The Girl, Melissa Auf der Maur, Stereophonics, David Bowie... Well, something like that constitutes my playlist.

Rating: R, possibly NC17, considering this is not... happy sex. It's not even good porn.

Good Cop Bad Cop

by Ana Lyssie Cotton

"It's wrong to feel this way, I know it's wrong, I know it's bad. To only see what isn't there, to want and want and never have. But you know there's more to me now don't you, you'll always cover for me, won't you?" - Good Cop Bad Cop, by Everything But the Girl

Blake would have been appalled.

Cally finds this abstractly amusing as she arches under Avon. His face is blank; perhaps he's calculating the proper angles and speed to bring them both off sufficiently. Or maybe it's new algorithms to annoy Orac with. It doesn't matter to her. She's soaked in sweat, her legs wrapped around him, and there's a strange kind of fulfillment in it.

It would be naive to believe this is something more than that. That there is a lasting peace they achieve as physical fulfillment shatters their nights and days.

Not that she feels naive.

So, no, she doesn't consider this a lasting thing. It's certainly not emotional. There's just the look, and then the sliding of two bodies.

And it all sounds improperly stupid.

Cally can't lie to herself, either. He will never love her, never feel anything other than animal satisfaction as he rests his head on her breasts after a time spent tangled together. There is no emotion that will spill from her to him and back.

In fact, it's cold and clinical, and like turning a valve on an oxygen tank.

Except that he is a warm body.

And there is some strange symmetry in it. With Blake gone, with Jenna gone, she is the last of the conscience on the Liberator.

Perhaps it is fitting, then, that this conscience is being stained.

--

"You're angry with me."

The calm words are spoken coldly, no emotion allowed or wished for. She ignores them, concentrating on the piece of paper in front of her. That bit of shading to that degree. A slight cross-hatching there. And the picture is beginning to form properly.

But he's not moving. He's standing there, watching. Knowing that he can simply wait forever if he needs to.

If he wants to.

She doesn't know anymore if she wants him to. And, finally, answers him as she crumples the paper into a ball with one hand. "Should I be?"

"Your sister for my revenge. It doesn't seem much of a bargain."

"I was unaware that you could bargain that way."

"Can't you?"

He reaches past her, picking up the crumpled paper. And his arm brushes her shoulder. For a moment, she wants nothing more than to lean back, catch him touching her. But she doesn't want that, does she?

She does it anyway, and he responds as he normally does, turning her, kissing her gently.

It's cold, it's mechanical, but it's the way he wants it. And it's what she lets it be. They come together--he with machine-like grace, she with a rough passion that leaves bruises on both of them. And maybe the passion is more because she wants to push him into feeling. Make him go that last second without release so he'll be begging, the logic shattered on his need.

So cold and calculating, and it's her who begs until he slides into her.

Fulfillment is a laugh, in the end. This isn't living, this is merely a sort of release. A physical moment when things feel right.

She catches his arm, pulls, tugs, twists, and they're falling out of the narrow bunk. He lands on the bottom, head striking the deck. There's almost a moment of viscious gladness in her as she sinks down onto him. But her knees are sore from the fall and his hands trail into her hair and pull.

A sharp jab to his sternum, and they're rolling. Now the argument has become something other than simply a coupling of their bodies. It's a match of wills and talents, no holds barred--and she's pulling her punches.

When her head snaps into the underside of the table, rocking it, she tastes blood.

He freezes under her, for a moment, something slides through his eyes. And then it's gone and they're both silently crying out as the release hits them.

"Anna..." he says, softly.

"I. I know." Turns her head, looks to the side. "I won't stop you. I won't--I can't help you, Avon. But I won't stop you."

A light touch on her cheek, then his finger is gone. They're moving apart, he cleans himself off with a discarded rag, dresses efficiently, steps into his boots. And she's glad his collars have gotten taller. No one will notice the slowly darkening bruises her fingers have left around his neck except for the top one, and maybe they'll think it's dirt. He looks down at her a moment later. "I suppose that's all I can ask, Cally."

"Yes."

He's gone then, and she slowly pulls herself erect, aching in more than body. The crumpled bit of paper catches her eye, and she picks it up, smoothing it carefully.

Zelda's eyes--her own eyes--stare out at her. And she wonders if the accusation in them is merely a trick of the light.

--

This time, she seeks him out.

It's been less than a day since they returned to the Liberator. Merely sixteen solar hours since Avon had to kill the woman he'd once loved. And Cally can still feel that momentary flash of pain from him. The shock from Anna Grant. Or Sula, as some called her. Or Bartolomew, if you were known to Central Security's best agent. Servalan had known, of course. And now so did they.

When she finally finds him in one of the disused lounges, he almost doesn't notice her. Or doesn't want to. The difference is slight and she forces the issue with a glass of Kakrafoonian Brandy. It's the last of the bottle she and Vila brought back from the recce of a Federation base earlier that month. It's a smooth vintage, full-bodied, tart, and perfect. She's made it last, even hiding it well from Vila and Tarrant. Any of the others would grasp the significance of this gesture.

And the glass.

"You're not Anna." Whether he's trying to hurt--because he has finally noticed her, and he has to have some idea why she's there. She's rarely there for anything else--or whether some logical synapse felt like stating the obvious matters not.

"I know that." She's impatient with him. She wants him to feel, suddenly. To spill a hundred thousand graspable emotions at her. Not this ridiculous logic that walls him away from his own life's blood.

She offers the glass again. This time, he takes it out of belated reflex and downs it. Then blinks. "The last of your Kakrafoonian Brandy."

"I know." Again, the obvious so elludes him he must speak it aloud as truth. Perhaps it's a peace offering. Perhaps he doesn't realise the brandy is a way of sharing sorrow. But then, that feels cheap--she doesn't want him beholden to her. Deliberately, she takes the glass back and catches the last few drops on a finger.

Her tongue works lightly over them, her eyes locking with his.

And something flares in his eyes. That same something that flickered through them as he turned from Anna Grant's body and released Servalan with two well-placed shots.

Now, she can name it. Loathing.

It's probably for her, but she doesn't care. It's an emotion and she grabs at it. "Tell me." Her voice is so crisp and imperative, but she's shaking inside.

"About Anna." It's not a question, more an ironical point.

"About Servalan."

Now he almost looks surprised. He who gives so little away suddenly seems to find the floor disappearing beneath his feet like a quagmire of liquid silver that's had its plug pulled. "I made a bargain."

As if that hadn't been obvious. Her laugh cracks loudly into the room and she clamps a hand over her mouth, eyes going wide at the edges that are suddenly digging outwards.

Clamp down, pull in, retreat, stopitCally--She pulls back from him, leans against the wall. And now her hands are shaking, and she's staring at the floor, away from him, away from anything. The dark matte of the tiling has a crack in it. She traces it with her eyes.

"Bargain." Her tone is light, but it shouldn't be. She shouldn't be here anymore, she realises. And it's futile to think she can just stop it.

The prompt turns him to look at her, and those dark eyes bore into her head. As if he can see exactly what she's thinking. And comprehends it. And there's some satisfaction in knowing that he can, maybe, comprehend emotions like this. That love and hate together are enough to keep him here, looking at her. And she wants him to hate her. Because it's an emotion.

"You once trusted Anna."

"Did I?"

"I saw it, Avon. In the way you looked at her. She looked at you."

"Did you."

And she hits him, moving before the thought is fully formed. Before she can grab herself back from that dangerous edge. He catches her by the shoulders and slams her into the wall, his body following. And he's leaning in, grinding against her. His lips and teeth find her neck and she gasps, the sound part-pain, part-pleasure. And when did her hands get into his hair?

It doesn't matter, because he pulls back for a moment, and the look in his eyes is taunting. This is what you want, isn't it? They say.

She does. She wants him to hurt her, because if he's hurting her, he's not hurting himself. And that's just fucked up logic again, Cally. Remember? He can't feel. He's cold as ice and still as granite, and his hands shouldn't be doing this to you.

A strangled moan escapes her when he nips her suddenly bare shoulder.

She's closed her eyes, accepted, succumbed to this pull.

--

So much time seems to have been squeezed into their little corner of the galaxy. Loathing and hating and wanting and sex. And it intermingled until he kissed her in anger. Not that Avon was really kissing her. No, he was kissing an entity using her body. But it felt the same. It made her fight its control. After all, she should be the one hurting him. Not her. Not that ephemeral creature from a hundred thousand years before. Sent back to the dark now.

And Cally wonders if some of that dark bled through her. Because she feels different.

Knows things about herself she really doesn't want to.

Avon finds her that next day. Actually attempts to be gentle, but she isn't having anything simple, and she might even have cracked a rib this time.

They lay panting afterwards, still wrapped round each other when he says it.

"You love me."

It's a simple statement, and she pulls back to meet his eyes, calm. "Possibly."

He shifts, "I hope you're not expecting--"

"Do you think I'm naive enough to believe you can actually care for me, Avon?" She snaps, interrupting his words. They're not deliberately cruel. But they sound so stupid.

"Well now--"

"Sex isn't love. It's not even trust."

"Anna," he starts, then stops, his face changing as she changes. "I suppose I shouldn't cheapen this."

And it's about the only thing she'll ever get out of him. The only moment of truth. She withdraws, sliding away from him and standing. "Yes." Cally lets her tone go cold. So cold, and she wonders if Blake would have understood. "You shouldn't."

Which is such a laugh. It's already cheap and tawdry, and she knows Blake would have objected.

--

It takes almost a week before there's any sign that the others have guessed.

She hadn't known this would be so easy, and it scares her that it is. So easy to slip into this persona, so easy to snap and act harshly, coldly, with logic that should blind her and yet doesn't.

When she was mindless, when her body was sitting in a stasis that she can't remember, she remembers knowing him. Remembers seeing him at one point, and wanting desperately to scream at him. But then the moment passed, and she wasn't herself anymore. Stored, for all intents and purposes, on a liquid crystal tube. Stacked next to a hundred thousand million other liquid crystal tubes. They didn't speak to her, she tried not to speak to them.

Dayna was so eager to tell her that they'd been worried they'd get it wrong. Fifty percent chance, and they didn't have time to remedy the situation if they'd guessed incorrectly.

And yet it's still simple to step into his shoes. To act and think as him--and maybe it's because of his brain chemistry. Does he naturally suppress the softer side of himself? Or has it become such an ingrained habit that his body can't feel anything else.

Cally isn't sure, really. She only knows that standing in Kerr Avon's boots has been less complicated than standing in her own.

They talked about it, that first night. Quiet words in her--his quarters, now. "We can't go back, can we." Her tone (his. His. And it's so fucking wrong to think that, even now)--his tone. His tone was so matter-of-fact, and it was coming from the lips she now owned.

"No." She watches him tilt her head slightly, then shake it, looking sad. "We're stuck, Cally."

Her voice saying her name and she wants to scream and rant and rave about this. But there's nothing to do, nothing to fix this at all. She simply shrugs his shoulders, then clamps down. No hysteria. Avon wouldn't be hysterical, and above all else, there is no way she wants the others to find out. Not now, when they're both vulnerable (and that's a lie, Avon is never vulnerable. Not even when he's crying out his release).

"So we are." She realised that this was the end of things. Certain things, at least. She can't imagine fucking her own body with his. And yet even now, a week later, she misses it. She craves his touch--only it's her own touch, now.

She has no clue what he feels. Except for the times when he's slipping into her life, he doesn't talk to her much. And it seems so easy to watch him. She's done it so often before. The obvious thing is that he has to have done the same. He nails her personality and performance with rarely a hitch. Although, there are a few things he doesn't do anymore. Vila hasn't even noticed that his adored Cally barely talks to him. That Avon sometimes gives him a vaguely sympathetic smile. And she doesn't want to think about the night Dayna caught her, kissing her so passionately, she wondered if it was all a halucination. But the young woman was drunk, and fell asleep before getting further in her attentions.

Avon hadn't seemed surprised when she mentioned it to him. And she wondered if he'd had trysts before. If he'd satisfied more than her body with his. It would have made her sick, if she wasn't already there.

But more time passes, and then Vila starts to eye her oddly. 'Avon,' his eyes say as he studies her minutely. 'You're not yourself.' She wants to tell him she isn't. Wants to scream and rage about the injustice of this. Wants to have her body back. But there's nothing they can do. They've asked Orac and Zen, and neither computer was any use. Orac had been fascinated by the ramifications. He'd even wanted to test them on... things.

Now, nothing is accomplished. None of the others guess, even Vila has stopped eyeing her so oddly.

Perhaps it was because she simply couldn't handle being stuck in Avon's body. Or because she had some insane hope, some insane desire to believe that Blake was alive. That he was looking for them--except he was merely looking for Avon.

When the messages came, she tried so hard to believe...

But it's the final crushing blow. Blake wants Avon. He never even tries to send Cally messages.

So, feeling so off-balance now she wonders if this is really her, she slowly consumes the Liberator in madness, slowly obsesses and directs them obliquely to a final destination. One she can't even guess at. But she knows how Avon would react, and adjusts accordingly.

Avon tries to get her to talk. Tries to break through her sudden icy-cold demeanor.

She can't tell him why she's doing this. Because the pain ripping through her every time she breathes says she just might take them all with her if she breaks. If she lets 'Avon' break from his normal routine and feel.

There were times she'd slipped, though. Moments when if the others had been vigilant, they'd see through her. Through Avon. When Tarrant's brother died, she'd moved instinctively, hand out to touch his shoulder in comfort. But Cally had been watching, had shaken her head at her. So she'd stopped. Moved back to her original place. And tried not to feel anything.

Cally's whispered suggestion of a visit to an old friend would have disturbed her, except there was a certain thrill with completely fucking Servalan's expectations over. The kiss had been oddly intoxicating. As if it weren't really her doing it.

She'd been disturbed to find Avon--Cally, now, and that still feels wrong--waiting for her, and their brief tangle in the corridor nearly became something more.

But Blake's messages began within a day. And she couldn't allow the others to guess. Not until she was ready. Not until she'd vented her anger at Blake, made him realise what his lack of faith (or was it really a paucity? Perhaps he was right to doubt her).

And in the end, it was all a dream. A pointless chimera that sent her spinning sideways to the reality that was hers now. A dream. A drug-induced haze of psycho-manipulation and synthesised voices. Pictures, feedback loops, and physical markers that she was so sure had meant... But it hadn't. Blake wasn't alive. Blake was dead. Deader than her soul was, deader than Avon's. Deader than the Liberator.

She watched in horror as the beautiful shining ship slowly disintegrated, gravitic stresses pulling apart her unstable hull. Felt something that should have been tears, and wasn't, gather in her lungs.

Can't cry, either. Not as Avon. Cally could cry, but there are no tears in her hazel eyes.

It's too much. Hastily, she leaves, breaks her own cover. Avon slinks out of the main room. One of the crew quarters is empty of anything and she staggers in, collapses on the bed, suddenly more weary than she has been since the day she met Blake. And he's dead, so why isn't she?

"Cally."

Her own voice from the doorway, and she looks up, wondering if he can see how broken she is now. "I want..."

There's no need to finish that statement, and they're suddenly wrapped around each other, arms and fingers reaching and hands grasping and pulling. She sucks her own tongue in, then reciprocates.

A moment later, and she's sliding her calloused hands over his taut nipples. And they were hers, once, she knows how this feels. And suddenly knows how HE feels when he'd do this. It's mind-blowing, in a way. So erotic that she really can't see straight anymore. And so she misses that first moment of mental contact.

Seconds later, she's sliding into her own body, slamming into it with a ferocity he welcomes. Their breath is coming in incoherent gasps, their hands are still grasping--bruising, now. Avon's blunt fingernails dig into Cally's flesh, but it's the wrong minds around.

Harder, faster, deeper--and now something flickers across her mind. Some momentary sense that this is wrong. And colours spatter them both.

Pieces of him and pieces of her, and then there's two minds in two bodies, four minds all total. And moments later, four minds in two bodies. Exponential reactions, equations flash across their brains. For a moment of crystalline horror there's no getting out of this melding. No resisting this over-powering need and rage and-- She can see into his soul.

And she shatters, taking him with her.

Her fingers are digging deep into flesh as are his. And she didn't know blunt nails could draw so much blood. Fascinated, in her own body, numb, almost, she watches the blood well up from her fingernails, wonders if he thinks it's sweet.

A second later, he's dipping his head, lapping at the ragged crescents dotting her skin.

She's glad no one actually insists on things like physical examinations. There are ripped fingernail tracks down his back, gleaming wetly in the uncaring light above them. And Avon wouldn't be able to explain why he let an animal savage him so. She can't think of anything coherent, certainly.

His tongue is rough, and she squirms, suddenly in pain. Perhaps it's psychosomatic, left over from breaking free of her own mind and body and into his. Then back again. And she's really not sure how this works. Out of body experiences were never her forte.

Revulsion finally claims her, and she scrambles out from under him. Dimly, she wonders if they fell to the floor, or if it was a more controlled descent.

Her own descent certainly wasn't controlled. She fell faster than a thief into a pit of gold.

She saw into his soul. It was there she found all the thousand and one emotions she wants him to feel, to understand. And they fell flat against reality. She extricates herself from them with difficulty, can feel their razor-sharp edges grate against her already taut nerves. Like a one-milimetre thin line of super-charged particles. Cut off a head in an instant, and look seamless, too.

Glancing down at her own skin, she expects to see slashes. But the only blood is that still carefully dripping from ten ragged little crescents.

It was the pain that snapped them back to reality, pain that grounded them. Pain that brought them back into their own bodies--although the pleasure began the process. And she's suddenly glad they hadn't tried this before. And can't for the life of her say why.

Avon is staring at her, still laying on his side. Watching from the floor as she tries to comprehend the last month. The last ten minutes. The last two seconds.

The bruises on her back begin to ache, and she wonders if she put them there or if he did. Not that it matters anymore. The door is at her back, now. "This has to stop."

"Does it."

Pain that centers them. And it's a pain she can't share anymore. Refuses to share. "Yes. I can't do this again, Avon." She's shivering, now. Reaction setting in. Hysteria, somewhere deep where she doesn't want to acknowledge it. And she knows him now. He knows her. He can see the hysterics bubbling up soon.

"You can't."

"This is my body again. And you can stay the fuck away from it." And she knows, standing there, shaking, that even with the gouges in her soul and the blood streaming down his back that she has been and always will be more human than he.

--

She avoids him for the next ten hours. Never actually sees him before the explosions begin. Dimly, she wonders if this is recompense for her own stains, if this is the reason she was drawn here, the reason she'll never leave...

And, Cally suddenly understands something.

She was meant to die, three years before. She was supposed to suicide-run the communications base on Saurian Major.

This is all Blake's fault.

Concrete and dust and building materials bury her. Pain and blood surround her.

And then one name rips out of her, full of rage and hatred, and pain.

In the end, it's all pain.

BLAKE

-finis-