Title: Balance

Author: Cherie Dennis.

Summary: He hated the idea of labeling themselves as a 'couple', but that's what they'd become.

Rating: T, for language and drugs/alcohol reference.

Pairings: George/Mason.

Disclaimer: Nothing really.

Author's Note: It's pretty much completely AU.

George wasn't sure why she stayed with Mason. He was drunk or high most of the times, left piles of clothes all over the bedroom floor, left crusted over dishes in the sink. He rarely cleaned, and was rarely home. When he was, he was loud and obnoxious, moving around the house because he couldn't sit still, or sprawled out on the bed snoring while she lay next to him, eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling. His hands only stopped moving when he slept, and even then they wouldn't stay still for long. He'd grip the blankets for a while, then let go and search for George, crushing her body to his without even knowing it.

He hated the idea of labeling themselves as a 'couple', but that's what they'd become. They kissed, they sometimes held hands, they fought constantly. No one really understood how it worked out, even George herself, but it did. Somehow, even with the constant bickering and screaming and the fact that he was lazy and spent most of the money he got from whatever random job he'd picked up on stupid things like drugs, somehow she stayed with him.

For whatever reason, she loved Mason. When he wasn't around, she couldn't sit still. She'd pace the house, find her fingers drumming against the closest flat surface, find her foot bouncing to some pretend tune in her head. It was like he was her drug, and she couldn't be comfortable until she got her fix, until he was home sitting next to her. They evened each other out; he'd bounce and she'd sit still, watching him.

Rube wasn't fond of the idea of them being together. He said it could muck up the reaping, that if they were too distracted they'd screw up somehow, but they didn't go on reaps together all the time. It was just like it used to be, only they lived together. They didn't really show much affection in public, especially around the rest of the External Influences division, but everyone knew. Daisy seemed happy with the fact that Mason now left her alone, but Roxie didn't understand.

"Why Mason? Why a fuck up like him?" She had her hand around George's arm and a concerned look on her face, while George stared at her in confusion. "I understand being lonely, but why a fuck up like him? I don't understand it," she said, shaking her head. George just shrugged; "We fit."

Which was true. They were like two broken puzzle pieces. They couldn't find their place with anyone else, their edges were too rough, but together they balanced one another out. And, at the end of the day, that was all that mattered. The fact that Mason's arms fit perfectly around George's waist, and how his chin found the right place to rest on her shoulder and how, right before he fell asleep, he'd whisper "I love you" into her ear.

It didn't make sense to anyone, not even George, but she didn't question it.