|nathan wuornos (painlessness) wrote in the100,|
@ 2015-09-01 11:13:00
|Entry tags:||!log/thread, audrey parker, nathan wuornos|
Who: Nathan & Audrey
What: Audrey is (was) sick, Nathan convinces her to see a doctor.
When: like a week or something before the werewolf attack (backdated)
Where: their room
Warnings: talking about fatal illness? spoilers?
Audrey wasn’t getting better.
It wasn’t just the cough, or the tiredness, or the fact that she refused to see a doctor. The worst part of it was, Nathan couldn’t feel her anymore. That much, he could have dealt with, if it wasn’t for what it meant. What he had learned recently was that he had always been able to feel her because deep down she was Mara, one of the creators of the Troubles, and therefore immune. Audrey Parker on her own, when she was split from Mara, was not immune. She also wasn’t healthy. She had been dying, and the only solution they’d come up with was recombining her with Mara.
Except this time she hadn’t been split in the first place. She hadn’t even lost control to Mara yet. Even if she had, Duke had only just arrived, and his Trouble was gone; she hadn’t given it back to him yet. Which should have meant that both of them would be okay, but Audrey was sick, he couldn’t feel her, and she wasn’t getting better.
He hadn’t told her that he couldn’t feel her yet, because he didn’t want to scare her, when he didn’t even know what it meant. But she was refusing to go to the doctor, and he knew that was because she didn’t understand the full weight of what might be happening to her, and the truth was, he didn’t either.
So, in the morning, after unsuccessfully trying to persuade her to go to the doctor, or at least stay home to rest instead of going to work, Nathan finally caved to the inevitable. He had to get her to a doctor soon, or her health would suffer for it, especially if what he thought had happened was what had really happened.
But instead of coming right out with it, he just looked at her, mingled worry and frustration written all over his face, and then asked carefully, “Did something else happen? Besides catching the sickness that the rest of us did?”
It could almost have been a normal, cop-pursuing-information kind of a question. Except for the careful way in which he said it, which made it seem more like there was an answer he was expecting.
It was cold, and Audrey had layered a few shirts to keep that chill away. It hadn't escaped Nathan's notice, nor her own. This wasn't a cold or the flu, at least not any kind she'd felt. No one else had gotten sick, not even Nathan who slept in the same bed, so this was something all for Audrey. Or Mara. Or whoever she was right now.
Before she could feel Mara brimming just below the surface. Not in any way that felt like multiple personalities, but there'd always been this weight inside her that that anchored her, and now it felt like it was gone. Floating up among the clouds and disappearing into god knows where. It was terrifying, almost like fading away.
Audrey thought she knew Nathan pretty well. They'd been partners, then friends, then more than that, and it seemed to be a good order to fall in love with someone. You knew them first, you caught their mannerisms, you understood their actions, you learned their tactics. FBI training, the stuff put in her head, had taught her how to read people pretty well. Or maybe that was just inherent in her. Maybe that was Mara. Mara had a knack for giving people shitty Troubles that matched personalities. Maybe underneath everything, she was really just Mara.
She exhaled heavily and gave Nathan an exasperated look, filled with more than a little annoyance. "You were here, Nathan. You know that nothing else happened."
Nathan couldn’t blame her for being annoyed with him. Frankly, he was irritated with himself, too. For not being able to figure out what the hell had happened to her this time, and for not being able to protect her from whatever it was. He knew he was getting on her nerves with his repeated insistence that she needed to go and see a doctor, not to mention the hovering and worrying that didn’t come out in words, and he hadn’t even given her an explanation for it — which was probably the most annoying part of all.
“I know,” he said. “I’m sorry. I’m just worried about you.” He reached out, taking her hand, just to confirm for himself once again that he couldn’t feel her skin. Nothing. “It’s more than just a sickness, Parker. I can’t… I can’t feel you anymore.”
That had only happened to him twice. Once, because she hadn’t been her at all, but a shapeshifter that had taken her place. And then, because she was split from Mara, and dying as a result. It had occurred to him, of course, that it might be the shapeshifter again, but he knew her better now than he had then. He had learned to distinguish between Audrey and Mara, between Audrey and Lexie.
But it would have been simpler if she’d been a shifter. Maybe even safer, for her, since it hadn’t been able to kill her last time. The way her body had been degenerating before… that probably would have killed her, if she hadn’t decided to be recombined with Mara.
The floor suddenly gave way beneath her. She was sure of that, and pretty much only that. What did it mean that Nathan couldn't feel her anymore? Her cold hands moved from his to his face, exploring, hoping that something would happen. Or change. She didn't know, but Audrey was really scared. What had she lost? How had she lost it?
"Why — " She swallowed hard. "Why didn't you tell me sooner? I would have —" Done something else? No, Audrey would have wanted to keep this as secret as she could. She'd always been that way. When you had no one growing up, you learned to keep things to yourself. "I don't know. Something."
Nathan gave a helpless shrug. “I didn’t know why it was happening. I didn’t… want to scare you.” Which was precisely what he’d done, he could see. He let her touch him, knowing it wouldn’t change anything. He knew her hands were there, on his face, but he was as numb to them as everything else. “I know how it happened at home, when you got split from Mara, and that made you sick too, but…”
He looked at her, despairing of the fact that he had no answers for her whatsoever. “You need to see a doctor, Audrey. You need to find out if the same thing is happening to you here, somehow, some other way.”
"Mara's not here." So that was one answer gone, even if the symptoms were the same. Audrey could be pragmatic when she needed to be, and this definitely qualified. There was something in Nathan's voice though, in the words he wasn't saying that worried her. She knew him well enough to know how he evading question he didn't like the answers to. He thought he was protecting her, not wanting to cause her any harm. "You're not telling me everything. What's the same thing that you mean? What happens to me when I get split from Mara?"
Nathan knew what she was saying, and yet, it wasn’t true. Mara had been here, underneath Audrey, underneath all the other personalities that she had taken on over the years, and she had been close to the surface. He knew that, even if she tried not to let him know that, because he knew how close she was to the time when Mara had taken over. Mara had been here the whole time, the elephant in the room that neither of them had really acknowledged except when she’d wanted to try giving someone a Trouble. Then they’d talked about it, but they hadn’t really done it since.
But if she was no longer here, in a different sense than the way he suspected that Audrey had meant it… if she was somehow no longer occupying the same body, then maybe she wasn’t. Maybe, somehow, the part of her that was Mara had simply disappeared, in the same way that others vanished into thin air around here.
“Isn’t she?” he asked, instead of answering her question. “Do you still feel her?”
Was she? No, she didn't think she did. There'd been times, when she could feel the memories of Lucy and the others, times when she'd gotten those flashes of Mara's life. After the blood fever, Audrey lost that sense. She hadn't thought much about it, the way someone doesn't think about breathing or other automatic processes in your body. Those memories were never right therehollow." Like it was just her in here. No one else. She didn't have the intuition she'd always counted on for helping Troubled people, and she knew that if she didn't have that, then who was she? What good was she?
Audrey tucked herself against Nathan. If she didn't have that immunity, Nathan would have to go back to feeling nothing. She couldn't hold him to that. Why hadn't he told her sooner? They'd been together a few times since she'd been sick. "I can't feel her."
Nathan wrapped his arms around her. It wasn’t exactly true that he couldn’t feel anything — he couldn’t feel any physical sensation when he held her, but that didn’t mean he got nothing out of it. His Trouble had never prevented him from feeling emotion, and his love for her was strong enough that not being able to feel her hardly even mattered. He knew she was in his arms, and that was enough.
He bowed his head and pressed a kiss to her hair. He could remember what it felt like against his lips, so vividly that he almost felt it anyway. “The good news is, if she’s not here, maybe you’ll be alright existing here without her,” he said. It was a long shot, especially since she was already sick, but he had to have hope. “We need to see one of the doctors or healers here, to find out what’s happening to you. Medicine couldn’t do much for you before, but there are people here with much stronger healing abilities. We didn’t have wizards and angels around before.”
That was just like Nathan, to always hold out hope that things could work out for the best. She had no idea how he'd grown up in Haven with such faith in the people. How he could have grown up with Duke, and have that faith. It prompted a small smile against his chest. This feeling that she might leave Nathan forever pulled tight in her throat. At least with the barn, she could see him again in twenty-seven years. Even if she forgot him, even if he moved on with his life, it was enough knowing that.
This was different though. Fading away, not existing. Would she die? Or just disappear? There were too many answers for that.
"We'll figure something out…" Even if she didn't feel convinced, she knew she had to sound it for Nathan. He was a lot more vulnerable — breakable even — than he let on. All of his other senses were stronger, the way they say a blind person has better hearing. Because they focus on the senses they do have. Maybe that was it. Nathan felt things stronger than he counted on because it was all he had to feel. "We'll see a doctor and figure it out from there."