Disclaimer: I don't own Survivors, but I really wish I did.
Author's Note: This story takes place after the events of Season 2. I am completely devastated by the BBC's decision to scrap a third season so instead of storming their headquarters and setting someone on fire, I decided to write fanfic instead!
May There Never Be An End
A Survivors Fanfic
Written by Silksteel
They searched the area surrounding the air field for weeks, turning out every single building they came across. They walked through miles of woodland; drove down every road, from the motorways to the winding single lane farm tracks. There were plenty of bodies to be found, but none of them were the one she was looking for. It was typical, of course. Tom had always found her, not the other way around - except for the first time they met.
As she stumbled out of yet another empty building, Anya felt herself coming apart at the seams. If she hadn't known he was injured, she could have just assumed that he'd finally given up on her, that she'd finally pushed him away with her determination to deny the truth of their harsh new world. But Al and Najid had informed her most completely and now she couldn't get the thought out of her head that he might be lying somewhere alone and scared, dying, thinking that he'd been abandoned by the very people he'd been protecting for months.
'You alright, Anya?'
She was sitting on the front steps when Al found her, staring down at her feet.
'Nothing here,' she murmured, clasping her hands together and pressing them against her forehead. There was so much of Britain and Tom could be anywhere in it. She felt hopeless. She felt useless. She felt Al taking a seat next to her and putting his arm around her shoulders.
'Anya,' he said slowly, and she knew, somehow, that he was about to say the very thing she didn't want to hear.
'Don't you dare,' she snarled, leaping to her feet and backing off from him. 'Don't you dare tell me he's dead, we've got no proof -'
'Anya,' he protested, holding up his hands. 'Anya, that wasn't what I was going to say.' Al gave her his trademark inscrutable look; since Sarah's death, he'd grown up unimaginably. 'Maybe...he doesn't wantto be found,' he raised an eyebrow. 'You fought. Maybe he thinks you'd be better off without him.'
Even in her darkest moment, she could tell that Al didn't really believe in what he was saying. Tom had made no pretence of how he felt about her; he'd made himself vulnerable to her rejection and she'd taken advantage of it over and over again. He'd come back every time with the knowledge she needed his protection - something that she had denied with every fibre of her being, right up until this moment. Tom had looked out for her, guarded her freedom, saved her life more times than she cared to remember. Despite her inability to accept him the way he was, he'd continued to fight for her, and Anya knew he wouldn't abandon her now.
She looked at him, the tears welling in her eyes. 'I have to believe he's alive,' she whispered. 'I have to. I can't live with myself knowing he might have died thinking we rejected him for being who he was.'
The tears spilled down her cheeks as Al rose quickly, folded her into his arms and pulled her into an angular embrace. He was so much thinner than Tom, less muscular, less solid. 'I know,' he murmured, stroking her hair. Of all the family, Al knew the best what she was going through - but Sarah had died understanding she was loved. Tom...he had no idea what he was leaving behind.
'We have to go, Anya,' Greg told her softly, the next morning as they assembled, dressed, in the central square of the caravan park they were staying at.
The doctor shook her head wildly. 'No. No way I'm leaving without Tom.'
'Anya,' Abby said softly, coming over to grip her gently around her arms, that comforting Scottish lilt making her feel like crying all over again. 'We all want to find him as much as you do, but we can't stay here. We're out of food and water, and it's starting to get colder. We need to settle in somewhere for the winter.'
Looking around at her family, she could feel herself weakening. It wasn't fair to ask them to stay and look for Tom; they didn't owe him as much as she did. They'd done everything they could reasonably be expected to, under the circumstances. She couldn't ask for any more than that.
'You go,' she said softly. 'I'm going to stay here. Keep looking.'
'I have to, Abby,' she wailed. 'This is my fault. I pushed him away and he left, injured, rather than come back to us.' Dear god, it felt like she hadn't stopped crying in weeks, and here she was at it again, shaking in Abby's embrace whilst the rest of them looked on helplessly. 'I have to find him,' she whispered. 'Even if it's his - his body. I have to know for sure.'
It wasn't difficult to understand. The virus had given them closure on their old lives, but the same couldn't be said of the people they met and befriended and loved in this new one. Anya wasn't stupid, it was her job to know what a gunshot wound could do to a person if left untreated. It was just that...well, Tom seemed to be charmed, in a way. As if fate was giving him a chance to atone for his many sins by keeping him fit and well to the pivotal point - but she thought she know it when it came. She thought she'd be there, have the chance to say goodbye. Whatever he'd done, he didn't deserve to fade into memory.
'What about Samantha?'
It seemed like everyone in the group turned, simultaneously, to look at Najid. He smiled shyly. 'Well, we can't do what we did for Abby. This place is too big. But Samantha had that idea, about satellites.'
Abby had explained it to him, of course, and to Najid it probably seemed like television was going to be the saviour of them all. Then again, that was how the scientists found Abby. And apparently, how Dexter found Samantha. Everything in her baulked at asking Samantha for her help after everything that had happened, but Anya couldn't be too proud, not when Tom's life was at stake. If there was even the faintest chance he might see it, she'd give it a try.
'It's be more helpful than blindly roaming the countryside,' Al pointed out, his motives not entirely honourable since he didn't want to be the only grieving weirdo in the group.
'We could leave a note here, sprayed on the runway,' Najid suggested, warming to his topic. 'Just in case he comes back here looking for us.'
'And tell him what?' Greg asked sardonically.
'That we've gone home,' Anya said at last. 'Dexter's dead. The warehouse is public property. And Samantha can keep an eye on us from where she is.'
Between the air field and Samantha's place, Anya barely said two words. Already she was second-guessing herself, having regrets. The thought that Tom might need her, that she was abandoning him, weighed heavily on her. No matter what the others said, she couldn't get past it, not when she was forced to replay all the things she'd said to him over in her mind. He'd been right about everything, from the guns to Fiona Douglas, to the new world order. Anya had told him she wouldn't change, without realising that she already had. Knowing Tom had changed her - for better or worse, it didn't matter. She was his, completely.
'How are we going to do this?' Abby asked as they pulled up to the gates. They'd left the others at home, just Abby, Anya and Peter along for the ride. In some perverse way, Abby wanted to brandish the existence of her son like a trophy in the war with Samantha, but Anya didn't care.
'Just let me do the talking,' she said softly. 'She might not like Tom, but I have something to barter with.'
Abby didn't reply. They both knew that knowledge was the most valuable thing Anya possessed. Her medical ability was something that couldn't be learnt from a book, it had to be mentored, which meant that she alone would be the founder of a generation of doctors in the new world. With Samantha's hopes for their future, it was an offer she couldn't afford to refuse.
The gate goons let them through with little preamble given that they weren't threatening or armed, and Abby pulled smoothly into the courtyard of Samantha's project, killing the engine and hopping out.
'Abby,' came the same smooth voice Anya thought she heard in her nightmares. 'And this must be Peter. It's so good to meet you at last.'
Samantha looked different, somehow. Older. Haggard. She still had the same steely glint in her eye, but it wasn't quite as potent. Anya wondered if, without Dexter and Gavin, she found it harder to keep the control she so craved.
'Ms. Willis,' Anya cut in before Abby managed to remind Samantha their family was responsible for almost all the bad things that had befallen her new society. 'We're here to make a deal.'
Samantha raised her perfectly arched eyebrows. 'Oh? Don't tell me you want to join us?'
Anya could barely keep the snarl from her voice, so she shook her head as compromise. 'Can you gather everyone to the courtroom?' she asked through politely gritted teeth. 'This is something your whole community should vote on.' Samantha would attempt to swindle, of course, but perhaps she would be more easily swayed by her public. Anya was about to give them the offer of a lifetime.
'Tom is a murderer. He killed Gavin. He killed Dexter. And God knows how many other survivors have fallen foul of him since. Why on Earth should we help you bring him back?'
It was going about as well as could be expected so far, but Anya wasn't troubled. She kept her expression neutral and stood firm, one hand on Abby's shoulder.
'Because I'm willing to trade. I will train you a doctor, someone who can keep all of you fit and healthy.'
An excited murmur broke out among Samantha's followers, and Anya could have wept with relief. She was banking her whole scheme on them not having located another medical professional and, thankfully, she was right.
'Well, that's a very interesting offer, Anya,' the dark woman said slowly, her voice taut with caution. 'But we've been managing well enough so far.'
Anya scowled. 'I know you don't want Tom back,' she hissed. 'And there's no guarantee he's still alive, so that should put your mind at rest. But refusing to help me is madness.' She turned to the gathered congregation. 'Any of you know how to dig shrapnel out of a chest wound?' The people, ranging from the tiniest girl to the oldest grandmother, fell silent. 'No one? How about reattaching a severed finger? Administering a vaccine? Performing life saving CPR?'
Vindicated, Anya nodded. 'You have weapons here, and you perform hard physical labour every day. One stray shot, one missed swing of a hatchet, and you're at the mercy of your own vulnerabilities.' She looked at Samantha. 'You can dictate how these people live, but do you really want to be the one dictating how they die?' Stepping closer, so close to the other woman she could smell the whisky on her breath, Anya lowered her voice. 'I'm offering you something priceless,' she whispered. 'And all you have to do is broadcast a message.'
'And if it doesn't work?'
'Doesn't change anything,' Anya said firmly. 'You still get a doctor.'
Samantha raised her eyebrows. 'How can I trust you on that?'
The nerve of the woman. Anya was almost tempted to tell her to go to hell, but she thought of Tom, of all the things he'd done for her, and laughed coldly instead. 'May I remind you, Ms. Willis, that we are not the ones with a history of going back on our word,' she told the older woman snidely. 'But you don't have to make the decision alone - why not let your constituents decide? Since this isa democracy, after all.'
Public pressure was the one thing she knew would sway Samantha, and as she turned to gather the vote, it was an overwhelming victory. She couldn't be seen to refuse on the basis of her own prejudices. Anya smiled, her expression brittle. Winning the battle was only half the story. Now, she had to fight the war.
'My name is Anya Raczynski, and I'm looking for a man named Tom Price.'
Anya clutched her hands tightly together, lips trembling but dry-eyed as the video ran. This was their last hope - if they got no response from this, she'd have to give up the search and admit he wasn't coming back. But not yet.
'Tom...if you see this...please come home,' she pleaded, voice wavering. 'We need you. We - we miss you. I miss you.'
Catching hold of herself before she started bawling again, Anya nodded once to the camera man, and the recording ended.
'Now what?' she asked Abby who stood, arms folded, next to Samantha who looked, for all the world as if she'd been spiked with something distasteful.
Abby put an arm around her and smiled sadly. 'Now we wait. And we hope.'
Final Note: This is going to be relatively short, I think. Although this is written purely for my own amusement, reviews are, as always, gratefully received.