This is part 2 to the earlier Avon/Cally story, A Matter of Survival posted on b7friday .
Genre: Post-Terminal AU
Dayna came back carrying a bundle of branches and threw them down angrily by the fire. Tarrant followed behind with a load of logs.
"I would never have put you in danger," he said to Dayna as he stacked his logs in a pile.
"Somehow I don't believe you," said Dayna.
"You didn't get hurt. I don't understand what your problem is," said Tarrant.
"Not this time," accused Dayna.
"Would you mind taking your petty disagreements elsewhere?" asked Avon as he glared at them with a look which conveyed, the farther the better. He was tending to Cally, who lay next to the fire; he rarely left her side now.
Tarrant opened his mouth to say something but thought better of it. Everyone seemed to be angry at him these days. He didn't understand why. It wasn't him who had gotten them all into this situation. Tarrant stalked off to find Vila. Bullying Vila always made him feel better.
"Sorry, Avon," said Dayna. "It's all Tarrant's fault. He…"
"I'm not interested," said Avon in dismissal. He blocked her presence out of his mind and concentrated on Cally. As long as the others didn't bother Cally, he didn't care what they did.
Avon knew that it was his fault that Cally had been injured. If he hadn't fallen for Servalan's tricks, they would never have been in this position. He hadn't even realized that Servalan had been conditioning him with her tantalizing messages. Just the prospect that Blake was still alive and was in trouble had been enough for him to throw all caution to the winds and race after him. Blake had always needed Avon to save him from himself.
Servalan had been very cunning. ORAC's verification that it was Blake's voice and the messages of a treasure which would make them both rich and invincible made it impossible to ignore. Blake had to be in trouble. The sanctimonious Blake would never have used the prospect of riches to lure him. And the ridiculous idea of something which would make someone invincible had been laughable. Not even the Liberator had been able to do that for them.
Servalan might as well have said, "I have Blake in my power."
Avon could not ignore ORAC's verification that it was Blake's voice though. On the strength of that, he had to risk it. He was under no illusions as to what his enemy wanted. The Liberator and ORAC. They had always been her goal. Avon had walked knowingly into a trap, without ever having any intention of giving her either one. He had to. As long as there was a chance that Blake was still alive and could be rescued; he could never leave him in Servalan's hands. Blake would have done the same for him.
What was I thinking? The moment I sent the crew away. I was signing my own death warrant. And Blake's. He reminded himself. The fake Blake. The real Blake is dead.
There were so many things he had done which did not make any sense to him now. I was right. Sentiment breeds weakness. Let it get hold of you and it will destroy you. It destroys all objectivity and reason.
Avon continued looking at Cally. Then what am I doing now?
In the end, no one had either ORAC or the Liberator. Servalan had lost and they had won at a terrible cost. But at least I still have you, thought Avon as he felt Cally's forehead. She still had a fever; this was worrying. There was no medication to treat her with. All of the supplies they had were buried underneath the rubble of the complex which had been destroyed.
"How is she, Avon?"
Avon was shaken out of his reverie by Dayna's question. He stared at her for a moment as if just noticing that she was there.
"She still has a fever," replied Avon.
"That's not good." As she spoke with him, Dayna reflected on how worn-down he looked. She couldn't remember if she had noticed him sleeping since he found Cally. Dayna hadn't thought it possible that a cold, selfish man like Avon could care about anyone else this much, except himself.
"No. It's not," he agreed.
"Is there anything I can do?" asked Dayna with a concerned look on her face.
Avon had never appreciated the human conventions of sentiment but he found that he welcomed the others' expressions of concern for Cally. Of all of them, she deserved it.
"Can you get some water?" asked Avon. He preferred staying by Cally's side as much as possible, in case she needed him.
"Of course," said Dayna. She went to search for one of the containers they had been using for water.
Avon lifted the blanket from Cally's legs in order to inspect her injuries. Both had been broken by a falling support beam. He felt the breaks gently. Avon sighed with relief. At least the breaks seemed to be healing.
* Avon. * Cally's voice spoke directly into his mind.
Avon quickly covered her legs again and answered, "Yes, Cally. How are you feeling?"
* I'm thirsty. *
"Dayna is getting water."
* Did you get any rest? * Cally was looking at him with concern. His face was haggard and there were dark circles under his eyes. It seemed as if he had aged several years in just a couple of days.
"I will get some rest later," he told her.
* You can't do this to yourself, Avon. *
"I don't know what you mean."
* You feel guilty so you will not let yourself get any rest. You're trying to punish yourself like you did with Anna, when you allowed yourself to be tortured. *
"A man like me doesn't feel guilt. Didn't anyone tell you? I only think in terms of rationality and utility."
* Is it rational to exhaust yourself by staying with me, when one of the others could do just as well? You once said that you never understood why it was necessary to be irrational in order to show that you care. What you are doing now is very irrational. *
"Do you want me to stop?" asked Avon.
* I want you to rest, Avon. *
"I never meant for any of this to happen," said Avon. There was tightness in his throat. She was right; she always was with him. The guilt had been eating away at him; it would not allow him to rest. Every time he closed his eyes, he could see the Liberator exploding; could remember coming upon Cally's broken body buried underneath the rubble. The first one he had been able to regard as a cruel twist of irony. The second had filled him with fear and horror. Until then, he had not known which one he loved.