A/N: Just letting everyone know that this is sort of a sequel to Sweet Dreams, which in turn was sort of a sequel to Afterdark. I don't think you have to read either for the story to make sense, but maybe it would be good to read them in order to get a better idea of what's going on.
Wash sat awkwardly on one side of the bed, shifting uncomfortably, freezing in place when he realised he was just irritating South further. He drew his knees up to his chest and hugged them tight, as if he could protect himself from the rage of the woman on the other end of the bed. He felt very vulnerable just sitting there, but he didn't dare get up to get dressed in fear of provoking her.
They'd… well, they'd done it. And admittedly, it was Wash's first time (he didn't know about South, and wasn't sure he wanted to), but that wasn't the issue. If he'd been rubbish, South would just tease him endlessly before promising to get him more practice in the future. No. That wasn't the problem. The problem was he'd yelled out another woman's name, a woman who he didn't even know, and it was all because of–
Dude, I said I was sorry. It just... happened, alright? I didn't mean to piss of your girlfriend–
Shut up! Wash yelled in his mind. Epsilon was silent. I'm lucky if I'll even have a girlfriend after this! You could've screwed everything up!
But she knows about me, right? So she'll understand–
This isn't the sort of thing that she'll forgive so easily! Wash winced, regretting the truth in that statement. Just be quiet! I need to sort this out…
Epsilon was silent, and Wash sensed him going offline to give them their privacy.
"Just shut up, Wash," she muttered bitterly. Wash flinched away from her tone. South hadn't teased him or snapped at him in a while; she treated him almost as if he were made of glass, terrified he would break. Treating him with as much love as she could.
Wash didn't want to lose that, so he persisted.
"South, please. You know I didn't–"
"Didn't mean to yell out 'Allison' while we were fucking?" South snapped. She wouldn't even look him in the eye, a strange contrast to her usual confrontational behaviour. She was hurting. "I'm sure you didn't. Didn't stop you, though."
"I–I… South…" Wash was at a loss. He had no idea how to respond. She… she did know it was because of Epsilon, right? She should know that better than anyone what was happening with Epsilon after all he'd told her. Didn't that matter?
"But –Epsilon… you know he–!"
South sighed, effectively cutting Wash off. They sat there in silence for a while before she spoke.
"I know about Epsilon," she said, still looking at the other side of the room. In the faint light she looked almost ethereal, her light blonde hair turned shining silver to match her eyes. Her skin looked like it had a faint glow to it. "I just figured… it shouldn't have mattered. Not while we were… so close."
South hugged her knees tight, mimicking Wash's position, before she continued.
"I want to have you all to myself. Just once. Just one time when Epsilon isn't more important than me." Wash made to protest, but South carried on. "Because he is more important than me. He's on your mind more. Hell, he's a part of it. I just can't compete."
Anger had washed out of South's voice, leaving it a tired monotone. As if she'd given up. Given up on him.
Wash couldn't allow that to happen. She was always there for him, ever since they had made it 'official', and even before that with her demanding questions and harsh comments that betrayed little affection. Maybe she wasn't the nicest or the most compassionate. She was there, and that was what mattered to Wash.
South soon found herself locked in an embrace from behind, Wash burying his face in her neck and letting tears wet her skin. For a moment South froze, and Wash feared she would push him away. But she did not; instead she sighed and leaned her head back to rest lightly on his.
"You… really are hopeless, you know that?" she murmured as more tears fell onto her neck, running down her shoulder and then her back, cooling the skin there. She lifted her hand back to run it through his hair in a gesture of comfort she knew was wasted.
Wash did not reply. He didn't feel like he could, his throat was too tight and his mind was too muddled. All he knew was the fear of losing her, the fear of being abandoned. He could not handle Epsilon on his own. And while Maine would be there sometimes, he had his hands full with Sigma. South, who had the blessing of life without another voice in her head (even if she did not think of it as a blessing) was the only one he could rely on.
She had to stay.
They remained in their position until, slowly, Wash fell asleep and fell back onto the bed, South following him down and bringing him close.
Once again, her problems and insecurities had been pushed aside in favour of Wash's. South tried to sleep, but her mind was too busy.
Too busy being bitter about Wash's need for her.
Too busy hating herself for being bitter about Wash's need for her.
South loved him. She knew that. She just didn't know if it would be enough.
A/N: I wanted to portray a sort of unhealthy aspect of their relationship here –I hope that came through. Oh, and like the other two, this little story is based on the song 'Tsumi' (loosely meaning crime/sin, I think it's a bit more specific than that though) from the Higurashi no Naku Kori ni OST.