Note to Disclaimers: I do not and never will Borderlands, and this is NOT for profit. All this belongs to the rightful owners: 2K games, Gearbox, whatever else…can't remember all their names but you get the drift. I own NOTHING.
A/N: Okay, here's chapter 2, finally, and sadly, it's not MUCH by way of chapters. It's short. I just have a lot going on with my other fics right now. I promise to try and update every few weeks but the chapters may be relatively short since I'm so out of the loop with BL rights. I will do my best since I know there aren't many Zero/Maya fics and they're such a great couple. Also, I know different people have different takes on Zero's appearance so…I'm taking some liberties here. Just think…Thane from Mass Effect (HOT DRELLS) LOL. Thanks to everyone who has reviewed and favorite. I truly appreciate it all. Love you guys!
"Speaking" & everything else
A Journey Unwelcomed
For Maya, everything about her secret lover was a mystery, a puzzle to be solved when there was time to do so. She watched him intently while he sliced methodically through another bellymong, his effortless movement entrancing her. His moves were precise and lethal, resembling an ancient dance of power and deception only he could pull off. At the present they were outside of Sanctuary, somewhere deep in the snowy tundra of Three Horns Divide gathering more Bellymong fur for Sir Hammerlock. It would seem as though despite a rather generous supply of specimens, Sir Hammerlock always required more and more of their body parts, particularly their fur. Lips pursed in a tight frown, Maya observed him impale another one of the creatures with his glowing blue blade, the heat of his weapon cauterizing the same wound it created. There was an audible hiss from it once he'd pulled it from its victim and she rolled her eyes when he recited a haiku to the dead creature.
Behind them Axton and Salvador were going wild with their guns, shooting seemingly endless streams of Bellymongs and enjoying it way too much for her liking. Maya turned back to where Zero was meticulously picking through blood and entrails in search of loot and anything useful to them aside from the stained fur. She had the thought to sidle up to him but considering the public area she decided against it at the last minute in hopes to avoid any embarrassment for both of them. Zero was a quiet, very personal and guarded person. Even when they met on the train those months ago she had no idea the journey they were about to embark upon together, nor did she have the time to fathom what it could mean to work with her three companions. It was odd that she had come to learn about her Siren heritage and had learned more about the people around her rather than herself. It seemed that her time to talk to Lilith would have to wait as the other Siren was still grieving over the loss of Roland with her own friends. Like so many other things that had occurred since she'd journeyed to Pandora this, too, would have to wait.
Both she and Zero turned at the sound of Axton's whistle signaling them to start heading back to the fast travel station. They all needed to head back to Sanctuary. Maya immediately decided she could use a bit more rest and time to think about how to approach Lilith regarding their unique species. It seemed no one would stop her; Zero seemed occupied. She figured to ask him about his thoughts later on when darkness fell and their teammates went out to drink at Moxxi's. As it was, they were going to head out to look for more Vaults, at Lilith's pleading request, to see if they could find any more evidence of Eridians and such. Everyone had been open to the idea—for the most part—but Axton and Salvador had complained that they'd need better weapons before embarking on such a difficult mission.
'Like fighting the Warrior wasn't difficult. Idiots,' she mused to herself as Axton steered the Bandit technical with Salvador in the gunner's seat. She and Zero sat across from each other in the back, his gaze directed towards the snowy tundra around them. The cold bit into her skin as the heat of battle had worn down long ago and she envied him for his cool temperature. Part of her knew this could be a fatal flaw for them, the attachment and the feelings lingering there between them. It was dangerous to be close to someone when there were battles to fight, a war to win. It was why, initially, when she discovered the attraction she ignored it with such defiance she was sure it would disappear over time. However, it had the opposite effect and grew stronger each day, during each battle, during each mission; it was bad. Maya knew then that there was no room for a relationship, no room for anything between her and her companion, her partner. But after it was all over, would there be, she asked herself. She wanted there to be the possibility like she wanted the war to be over, for Pandora to be safe and Sanctuary saved. Her entire being was obsessed with the probability that existed. It wasn't as if there hadn't been subtle hints though she'd be lying if she said they were frequent. Zero being Zero meant everything he did was in the guise of his true nature as an assassin, a stealthy, sly killer who observed his pray for a specific period of time before engaging in the kill.
She didn't know when he'd begun to observe her but knowing that he had been was enough to set the flames on her cheeks to glow brightly like her sister siren's hair. As if knowing her thoughts Zero suddenly turned to her and inclined his head to the left for a moment to acknowledge that he noticed her wayward stare but said nothing in response. She glanced away at this with premeditated trepidation of their impending journey to find another Vault. In her opinion they were procrastinating with the excuse of looking for better guns. In her lover's opinion they were wasting precious time trying to find something better. The Vaults weren't going to solve anything themselves. As it was, their first stop would be Dionysus or Artemis, the home planets of two of the previous Vault Hunters; or so she'd been told. Personally Maya preferred neither. But Axton and Salvador were hell bent on getting to the other Vaults to ensure that no other beings like the Warrior were released—or in her mind, all the riches became theirs. 'I think we're rich enough,' she mused while the bandit technical ran over a young bellymong or two. She wasn't quite sure how Zero felt about it other than his desire to be challenged. He didn't seem that interested in riches or treasures. Neither was she. The answers to her heritage were what she desired most; it's why she came. Sighing, she resigned herself to another few days, at the very least, of petty indecision and the stalling Axton seemed so keen to perform.
When they arrived back in Sanctuary Maya watched, unsurprised, as Axton and Salvador immediately departed to Moxxi's bar for drinks. Zero waited patiently across from her in silence. She wasn't sure if he was awaiting her next move but she was beyond fed up with all the bureaucracy around finding the Vaults on other planets. With an irritated glance towards their teammates she stood, brushed herself off and began making her way towards the Crimson Raiders base. Upon entering the base she bypassed Tannis who didn't seem to acknowledge her, and went straight up to the bunkers to rest. She could hear Lilith conversing in the control room through the opening that had no door but remained unsure of whom her fellow Siren was speaking to in such harsh tones. She didn't doubt it to be the remnants of the Hyperion Corporation that were on Pandora. As their new leader Lilith had a tremendous responsibility; with Roland's death, it was heavier than expected. Maya did recall seeing Mordecai more frequently as of the late and Lilith rarely ever left anywhere without him. Naturally Maya attributed this to their close friendship and the fact that Brick had returned to his post of Slab King because, clearly, bandits were too moronic to lead themselves together. And Brick was quite menacing.
With yet another heavy sigh the blue haired siren began to remove all her armor, piece by piece. She gently placed her shield, pistol, revolver and submachine gun down on the floor next to the decrepit bed. Seconds later Maya lied down on the less than spectacular bunk with a quirked brow, her mind taking off instead of getting rest. She wanted to discuss the impending trip with Lilith but found it difficult when her sister Siren was incredibly busy tending to the everyday needs of the people living within Sanctuary's walls. Outside the breeze blew by in hot, humid waves, the Pandoran heat never ceasing even when night would fall. It appeared as though Maya would remain at the base in the general solitude that followed her declined invitation to join the boys at Moxxi's bar. After particularly hectic missions and quests the blue haired siren would go off by herself for some alone time; Zero rarely, if ever, accompanied her. He respected her need to be left alone from time to time—or maybe he didn't feel inclined to chase her. Either way, his attention, and lack thereof, irked her and sometimes rubbed her the wrong way or, at the very least, made her have wholly negative thoughts about them. 'There is an us, I think.' She knew having a lover didn't mean there was an us, just that they were indeed resting together. Nevertheless she decided a break from all the bloodshed was helpful and relieving. The battles on Pandora took a lot out of someone and she was no exception to this rule, siren or not.
She jumped in surprise, her heart racing a little at how silent he was when entering the room. It seemed his assassin skills never ceased to amaze her no matter the time or the place; or the circumstances. He didn't approach her completely, instead standing resolutely by the doorway as if fully entering the room might break some sort of spell that had been cast upon it. She wanted to turn to him, to let him know she was fine but it was hard to do so in her current state. Her body was screaming for relief, for something more than what was offered in Pandora. She wasn't sure if it was Zero's touch she craved or the still of him being right next to her. Either way it all felt strange to her and she wanted nothing more than to melt into the ground and disappear before he came towards her. But he remained rooted to his spot, which caused Maya to release a sigh of exasperation. On most occasions she would definitely be the one to chase Zero, to track him down and make things happen; but today she was worn. The blue haired siren had no desire to seek him out, to crack his shell. Sighing again she ignored him and pretended as if she never heard him, instead lying down on the bed before her, eyes staring straight ahead while Lilith's hushed whispers floated in and out of her conscious. She felt more than saw Zero leave, his presence disappearing and leaving a cold trail of hurt in its wake, one she wasn't entirely familiar with and wasn't sure she was comfortable with at the time.
Her head felt heavy with an impending headache or possibly a migraine from all the craziness that encompassed Pandora every day. It was beyond maddening, frustrating to the point of her wanting drown herself in the ice cold lakes of Frostburn Canyon. Her thoughts were cut short when Lilith suddenly appeared in the open doorway, eyebrows quirked in curiosity.
"Hey Killer, what's up?"
Maya let out a heavy sigh as she eyed her Siren sister with distress. "Not much. What reports have you got for us? Any idea what Vault we're going to try to find first?"
The fiery Siren let out her own sigh. "Our best bet is Athenas." Maya stiffened, the gesture not going unnoticed by Lilith. "We decided that it was the best place to start since well…"
The Blue haired siren scowled. "Since everyone is already afraid of me over there? You suspect no one will challenge us for the Vault?" Lilith nodded. "Please tell me this wasn't your idea."
"Actually…it was Zero's, and Mordecai's. Don't worry though," she waved her hand. "I already told Mordecai off for the suggestion, logical as it is. He's being an ass these days."
Maya blanched. "Zero…told you it was a good idea? I guess he doesn't remember there's a bounty on my head there for killing, oh, I don't know, Brother Sophis! The Order would just love a chance to slay me. Or worse yet, capture me."
"Again, most logical choice, especially since more is known about Athenas than any of the other planets," she replied airily though her sympathetic undertone was not missed by Maya.
Another scowl threatened to form on Maya's painted lips despite the words but she held her lips in a thin line; Lilith was not entirely incorrect in her assumption. Nor were Zero and Mordecai. But the thought of returning to her old homeland, a place where there was a bigger bounty on her head than that of Pandora, was not exactly the kind of search for the vaults that she was looking for at the moment. It was, what she considered, a very bad start to that particular venture.
"Maya…if you're that uncomfortable, then pass on this one."
The blue haired Siren could barely control the annoyance that was beginning to make its way up her throat. She was beyond aggravated. "Look. I can do this. I just…I can't believe…"
"That Zero agreed with it?" Lilith sighed.
Maya blanched, a hot blush rising to her cheeks. "I don't see why that would matter."
"Everyone already knows about you two—well, Mordecai and I know, so that is everyone. We know you've been spending more…than platonic time with him. It's written all over your face. And don't forget…I've loved before, too. Mordecai and Roland both." She kneeled down to get a good look at her Siren sister, offering a sheepish smile. "Whatever it is between you two, and whatever he really is underneath all that armor, just know, Killer, that it's your choice to do whatever you want. Hell, if Mordecai told me what to do like Roland used to I'd kick his ass. The nice thing though…is Mordy never does—he's great that way. But don't utter a word to him about that."
Maya let out a laugh. "Lilith, you're killin me here."
The red haired Siren only offered another smile before standing once again. "So, what's up? Zero ignoring you?"
Again, the blue haired female blushed. "No! We just got back and they all went drinking. I didn't feel like joining the whole…male testosterone fest," she grumbled.
Lilith raised a brow. "You want a girls' night? I can speak to Moxxi and…Tannis. Maybe Moxxi can shut down the bar for a while so we can just do girl things."
"Girl things, on Pandora? Does that consist of drinking…and other stuff?"
Lilith rolled her eyes. "You don't have to strip, tell dirty stories or pole dance if you don't want to," she replied with a smirk. "Though…not sure what dirty stories you'd have to tell since you were raised by monks."
Maya scowled. "Wish I had some, damn."
There was a knock at the door. Both sirens looked to find Zero standing in the doorway once again. Lilith nodded to him that he should proceed. "We are ready to depart for Athenas whenever you are ready."
The blue-haired siren nodded though her lips were in a thin line and her posture stiff. Lilith caught onto this and she waved Zero away. "Okay, thanks. We will be down in a bit. Give us time to stock up."
When the Assassin disappeared Maya let out the breath she'd been holding. Her face fell, a frown gracing her features as she attempted to regain her composure. She wasn't sure what was bothering her more now—their impending journey to Athenas or the fact that Zero didn't seem even remotely interested in how she was feeling about the whole plan. Sighing, she stood to her full height while Lilith looked up at her expectantly. With a small shake of her head the younger woman began her steady but heavy trek downstairs to the ammunitions storage to stock up. She'd already retrieved her most prized and trusted weapons from the storage vault upstairs but definitely needed to restock on ammunitions. She was staring at the selection of bullets when someone cleared his throat behind her. Closing her eyes in irritation, Maya slowly turned around.
"You know, you don't have to do this."
She shot Mordecai a warning look. "I wasn't aware I didn't have a choice."
"Lil tells me that this is a sore spot for you," he replied.
Seething, Maya shook her head. "I can handle it."
"So can I," he said quietly. "Look, Maya, if you'd rather stay here with Lil, I can do this with the guys." When she raised an accusatory brown, he put up his hands in drunken surrender. "Amiga, it's not that I don't think you can do it. Sirens are more than capable of taking out an entire planet all on their own. Lil just tells me that Athenas is…not somewhere you'd like to go."
"Lilith told you that?"
"I did," came the voice of the other Siren as she joined them. "Mordecai is capable. You can stay here with me, Killer. I could use the help."
"But Zero…" She caught herself at her own words and blushed brightly. Mordecai let out a chuckle and Lilith coughed. "I…a word of this to anyone and I'll phaselock you, hunter." The older man nodded with a smile. "Don't worry. I can do this. Just take care of Lilith."
"I always do. She needs it." His smirk was cut short when Lilith pinched his shoulder, sending a small electrical current into his body. "Ouch, Lil, what the fuck, that hurt!"
"Well, asshat, don't talk shit about me." She snapped.
"Better I do it when you're right here, than behind your back!" He retorted.
Maya laughed. "Hate to interrupt you guys but I'm all stocked up. I better go meet the guys at the ship. Stay safe. I'll see you guys in a few days."
With that she waved bye to her sister Siren and the Hunter, smiling at their continued banter even after she met Axton at the door. He nodded for her to follow him to the transport area where there was a ship docked and ready to take them to Athenas, her home planet. It was odd to be returning back to a place that had constricted her so much, a place that help memories of terrified people and monks who had sought to control the planet with her as their weapon. It sickened her and she snarled in disgust, which earned her a curious stare from Axton. She brushed it off before taking a seat next to Zero once they'd entered the shuttle. She was feeling aggravated about the entire mission assigned to them when she suddenly felt his stare on her. It was subtle and no one could tell beneath the jet-blackness of his helmet but she knew. They'd laid together enough for her to know what his stare felt like even if it wasn't visible. It brought a tiny amount of comfort to her despite her frayed nerves but she still felt remnants of adrenaline and such flowing through her. Sighing internally, she willed herself to relax during the shuttle ride, at least until they were much closer to Athenas and her nerves started to kick in—no such luck. It was with great effort that Maya restrained herself from reaching out to take Zero's hand. But she managed as he remained stoically seated next to her, silent but watchful even if no one else knew it.
She wasn't quite sure what was in store for them when they reached her old home planet but she knew one thing; the foreboding feeling in her gut was definitely not a good sign.
(Okay, not the best chapter out there but I promise I will start working on the 3rd one and, hopefully, it will be a bit longer. For now though, this is kind of what I got. Not too much Zero/Maya in this chapter but I'm trying guys. I'll do my best to update sooner but as I mentioned before, this fic is not my priority. I have a lot of other fics that need tending to. Thanks to all those who have favorite/reviewed and are following this. Love you all. Thanks for reading!)