?

Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Title: Defining Gravity - Chapter 1: Orientation and Perception
Fandom: The 100
Pairing: Abby/Raven
Spoilers: Up until the end of Season 2
Rating: M
Disclaimer: The bits from the show are not mine. The *feelings* and extra bits are mine but are greatly aided by the way Lindsey and Paige play Raven and Abby... (Gah!)
A/N: So I use loads of the show in the first half of this (because have you seen the way they look at each other? of course you have...) but it was a bit of a struggle to add all the requisite scenes (with extra bits and *feelings*) without rehashing the show... Hopefully I struck an okay balance...
A/N2: Thank you to:
BeaglesinBowties for Meeting Mrs Griffin (http://archiveofourown.org/works/3706807/chapters/8204105)
meqanory (or abigailqriffin) for Chasing Down the Gods (http://archiveofourown.org/works/3854662)/
and tinysociopathshaw for this vid: http://tinysociopathshaw.tumblr.com/post/120970347653/mother-of-the-clarke-has-got-it-moving-forward
They all helped keep me writing/revising these last 8 or so months!

Last but by no means least - thank you to my wifey/beta starbuck1980, Who tells me what I don't want to hear but usually has great advice. This wouldn't be the same without her.


PART ONE - Apogee

Chapter One - Orientation and Perception

"Shouldn't those be closed?" Raven asked the guards standing outside lockup, pointing to the vents above their heads.

It was her usual day to see Finn and although she knew lockup was quarantined that did not stop her from going by to see if she could find out more, particularly as the quarantine had immediately followed the supposed 'explosion' that left no mark on the hull. It was all a bit too coincidental.

The guard paused the conversation with his colleague and looked at her as if she was an annoyance he should not have to deal with, "Not my call," he replied before turning away from her to continue his conversation.

Raven continued nonplussed, changing tact, "My boyfriend is in there and I'm worried. Do you know anything?" She asked more politely, widening her eyes to look just pathetic enough to warrant sympathy.

The guard turned back to her, he was still irritated but at least he was trying to hide it this time, "All I know is that no one goes in or out," he said before turning from her a second time.

A smile painted Raven's lips as she realised what he had given away. If no one goes in or out then that includes medical aid. That means that the quarantine was not due to sickness.

"Thanks," she replied half-heartedly as she turned and made for the mess hall.

She was looking for any Council member but as she entered the mess hall she saw Dr Abby Griffin standing with a man she vaguely recognised. The doctor would be the perfect contact.

"Excuse me, Dr Griffin," she called, half jogging into the mess hall to catch her before she moved on. Abby Griffin turned to face her and although she had seen Dr Griffin many times before, having full her attention was oddly disconcerting.

"I have a question about the quarantine,” Raven began, continuing before the doctor could speak, “My boyfriend is in lockup, I went to go see him but instead I saw an open air duct. If there really was a virus wouldn't you move to contain the airflow?"

"The virus isn't airborne," Dr Griffin replied without hesitation, looking directly at Raven, "That is why the ducts are open."

"Can you tell me if he's okay?" Raven asked, her concern for Finn bleeding through her self-righteous confidence.

"I can't, I'm sorry," Dr Griffin stated, meeting Raven's eyes with a penetrating stare before bowing her head and turning.

"No you're not," Raven replied, her fear swallowed by anger.

Dr Griffin turned back to face her, face painted with a mixture of interest and incredulity.

"First the drop ship, now this?" Raven continued, holding Dr Griffin's eyes in her own. "The Council is hiding something, and I'm going to find out what it is," she finished, turning on her heel and leaving the doctor and her associate in the mess hall.

As she turned the corner she let out a breath she had not realised she was holding. She had not meant to face off quite so directly with the council but Dr Griffin was clearly lying and that only made her more suspicious and more dedicated to finding out what they were hiding.

She pushed the encounter from her mind to focus on the bigger picture and what that meant for Finn, yet as the day went on she could not quite shake the feeling of the doctor's eyes on hers. There was a curiosity in them and something akin to concern, and the memory unexpectedly lingered.

* * *

Abby Griffin watched the young woman turn from her and leave the mess hall, her words hanging in the air like the threat they were. She was already asking all the right questions and would find out soon enough that the council had sent the100 prisoners to the ground. Despite this Abby found herself admiring the younger woman's determined curiosity.

"Ballsy kid," Jackson commented.

Abby continued to watch the space recently vacated, "Yeah," she responded staring straight ahead, "reminds me of someone."

A nostalgic half smile painted her face as she saw the parallels to Jake and to Clarke, the determination to do what is right no matter the consequences. She only hoped it would not get her killed.

* * *

After lunch Abby and Jackson made their way to Earth Monitoring to see if they could re-establish communication with the ground.

They had been at it for hours, stuck at the fact that the bracelets were not meant as a two way communication system. It had become a frustrating loop of idea, test and failure; idea, test and failure and Abby knew they were missing something small.

They had run through another failed attempt when they both heard a rattling behind the wall.

Abby stepped towards the noise as Jackson made some comment about the station falling apart. She unlocked the keypad and opened the door to see a body hastily exiting. She pulled the body into the room, recognising the face instantly. After their encounter in the mess hall she had looked up the young woman, Raven Reyes, to see what threat she posed. Despite a troubled family life and her relationship to Finn Collins, one of the 100, her record was covered in accolades of her mechanical work. Although it did not change that she was a threat, Abby did not think Raven would be making trouble for the sake of it. What she was doing was following her curiosity, despite the dangers.

"Apparently you have a thing for air ducts," Abby commented, annoyed at how complicated this had just become. Raven put her hands up in surrender and entered the room.

"I'll call security," Jackson stated as he made a move to the comms. Abby was about to stop him when Raven spoke up.

"They're not dying," She announced, scanning the screens intently. Jackson paused.

"What are you talking about?" Abby asked, curious as to the young woman's insight but also curious how long she had been listening and what that would mean for the clearly intelligent and resourceful young mechanic.

"All that's being sent from the ground?" she asked, her eyes still searching the screens.

Abby looked at her for a moment before handing her a bracelet, "Transmitted by these," she stated. It was a gamble but she already knew too much.

Abby watched as Raven opened the bracelet and looked at it intently before looking up again.

"They're taking them off," she finally surmised, throwing the bracelet back to Abby.

"What? Why would they do something so reckless?" Jackson asked incredulously.

Abby continued to watch Raven intently, realising that she was right.

"Because we told them not to," she replied, her eyes never leaving the mechanic's as she tried to figure out how to best protect her from The Council.

Raven stared back, head cocked to the side in agreement.

Abby narrowed her eyes for a moment before breaking the gaze and turning to Jackson.

“I might be able to use that with the council,” she commented to Jackson. “But you...,” she began, grabbing Raven gently by the arm and pulling her to the side of the room before releasing it and facing her. She leaned towards Raven, eyes darting back and forth as she tried to read the young mechanic. What she was about to do was reckless but she somehow trusted this woman to keep her secret.

“If they find out you know they’ll float me. They may float you too,” she added, pain flickering across her face momentarily at the thought that she would be indirectly responsible for another death.

She looked into the young woman's eyes as the mechanic pressed her lips together and nodded. Abby held her gaze for a moment more, gauging her honesty, before backing away and turning.

“Go,” Abby commanded, gesturing to the door Raven had been dragged through. She heard the woman's footfall as she made her way to the door, the beeps as Jackson opened it and then the thud of it shutting.

Her heart was racing, hoping this was the leverage she needed to persuade the Council to go to the ground. As Raven's scufflings had faded into the distance she turned to Jackson, “You keep looking at the communications, I’m going to go speak to the Council,” she informed, turning on her heel and exiting Earth Monitoring, hoping she had not just made a terrible mistake.

* * *

Raven's head was still reeling later that afternoon. She was not sure what she had expected after being discovered (she had not planned on being so clumsy) but it was not for Dr Griffin to trust her with the secret and let her go. She had not expected that from anyone on the Council. Yet here she was, signing back into work like nothing had happened.

Finn was on the ground. It still seemed extraordinary, even for The Council, and while she did not plan on sharing that information far and wide, she had to find a way to get down to him. She let the thought percolate as she made her way through the list of tasks she had allocated that afternoon, hoping a solution would come to her.

Most of the orders that afternoon were run of the mill and the monotony of the tasks caused her mind to wander to earlier – Dr Griffin looking slightly panicked and trying to read her before letting her go. The memory made her chest constrict but she was safe and free so why was she so breathless at the thought?

She pushed the thought away and tried to concentrate on the task at hand, finding only moderate success as she pushed her way through her afternoon list.

She finished her second last job and hefted the display to show her what was next. She raised her eyebrows, refreshing before reading the display again. Sub-level 3. She wondered momentarily who was going to let her in to the restricted level but pushed away that question and the many others percolating below the surface by grabbing her toolbox and making her way down to the sub-levels.

When she came to the entrance of sub-level 3 she knocked, "Did someone call for a mechanic?" she called self-consciously. She knew most of this station inside and out but she saw the sub-levels so rarely and they felt uncomfortably foreign to her. She could feel the nervousness in the pit of her stomach as the moments of silence stretched out before her. She tried to focus on her job, this was clearly a specialist request - something they needed her for - and she took comfort in the knowledge that she was the right person to fix whatever was behind the thick door.

Moments later she heard the telltale hiss of the door being opened from the other side, white steam momentarily obscuring the view of it's occupant. When the steam cleared she found herself standing in front of Dr. Abby Griffin.

"You’re the one who called in the work order?" she asked with a mixture of confusion and concern. She could not imagine the doctor would hurt her, even down here, but her appearance only made Raven more convinced that something was off.

"We need to talk," the councillor replied with an easy manner that seemed out of place with her rank and the current situation. She moved aside to allow Raven to enter.

"Look, I'm..I’m not going to say anything," Raven preempted nervously, wondering how her composure had melted away so quickly in the other woman's presence.

"I believe you," Dr Griffin replied, her usual stern facade replaced by a familiarity that was all the more disconcerting, "and you're not in trouble, follow me," she added with the glint of a smile as she turned and took a few more steps into the sub-level.

"I'm not in trouble yet you mean," Raven commented to herself as she put her tool box down and followed Dr Griffin. "This level is off limits for people like me," Raven reminded her, crossing her arms across her chest.

"Not anymore," the older woman asserted with the ease of someone in power. Raven's eyes narrowed in confusion as she continued. "You know we sent the 100 to the ground, what you don't know is why," she began, pausing for a moment before continuing, "The Ark is dying Raven, life support is on it's last legs. I have ten days to prove that Earth is survivable or they're going to start reducing population. 320 innocent people will be killed."

Raven swallowed, shocked at the bare truth coming from Abby’s lips. She dropped her hands to her side and shifted from foot to foot nervously, "I don't get it, why are you telling me this?" she asked, part of her now more suspicious.

"I looked up your file. You're the youngest Zero-G mechanic on The Ark in 50 years..." Dr Griffin remarked.

"...52," Raven corrected, nervously looking around her, trying to find the trap, "but so what?"

“So…” Dr Griffin pulled the cover off an ancient looking escape pod, "You've got nine days to make this survivable so I can survive a drop," she stated bleakly.

Raven watched her expression for a moment, waiting for the joke or the guards, but the doctor was serious.

Raven turned to the pod and circled it. "What a piece of junk,” she commented, tapping on the shielding before making a circuit of it, “They must've found this thing when they salvaged MIR 3 in 2102.”

She finished her circle and turned back to Dr Griffin, “You want me to get an 130 year old escape pod to withstand the inferno of reentry in nine days," she commented skeptically but Abby’s face never wavered.

"Can you do it or not?" the doctor asked with a forthright directness that erased any thought that she was kidding.

Raven mentally assessed the systems needed for reentry, fiddling with the bird talisman hanging around her neck. Finn had made her the necklace days before he had gone to lockup to save her and now he was on the ground. Now she had a way to get to him.

She looked up at Dr Griffin, her jaw set and eyes steeled, "Hell yes, I can do it. But I'm going with you,” came Raven’s response.

The older woman's eyes widened as she tried to object but Raven continued, “You're not the only one with someone you love on the ground. Those are my terms, take it or leave it," Raven added, her eyes infused with confident determination.

"Alright, you can come with me," the doctor relented, as Raven's face lit up in a smile.

"You got yourself a mechanic," Raven agreed as she swaggered by Dr Griffin and back to her tools.

The idea of the task at hand excited her and her mind ran amok with simulations, trajectories and angles, heat levels and armour densities as she dropped her tools in front of the pod and took a closer look at the systems.

She could feel Dr Griffin's gaze on her as she began to work but it no longer mattered - she had a project and a way to get to Finn.

* * *

Raven was awoken by the distant hiss of the sub-level door. She sat up, wondering how long she had been asleep, as Dr Griffin approached the pod, a tray in hand.

She felt the older woman's gaze as it appraised her.

“Have you been getting enough sleep?” she asked, genuine concern in her voice.

Raven brushed it off, “I'm fine, I've been grabbing a few hours here and there,” she replied generally, gesturing unconsciously to the roll of materials she had been using as a pillow.

She saw the older woman's eyes widen. “You're sleeping here?” she answered, surprise painted on her face.

“Saves time,” Raven answered forthrightly, “my understanding is that we're under a rather strict deadline?” she added with her brow raised.

She watched as Dr Griffin opened her mouth to reply, only to close it again and nod.

She took a step forward with the tray. “Well I brought you food in case you were hungry but as the trek to the Mess probably also constitutes a time waster I imagine you're very hungry,” came the doctor's playful reply, her eyes sparkling with guarded amusement.

Raven stood, brushing her hands off on a rag before stepping out of the pod. “You would not be wrong,” she confirmed taking the offered tray. “Thank you Dr Griffin,” she added sincerely before seating herself down and taking a bite of the sandwich provided.

“Abby,” Dr Griffin corrected.

Raven looked up, chewing, sandwich in hand, trying to see her as 'Abby'.

“If we're going to be stuck in a pod together soon I'm not having you 'Dr Griffin'-ing me,” she added by way of explanation.

Raven nodded and swallowed. “Okay Abby,” she replied and the name felt strange on her tongue, like a secret shared between them.

'Abby' nodded and turned to leave, “Make sure you're taking care of yourself Raven. I can't get this pod to the ground without you,” she added, turning to meet Raven's eyes briefly before exiting the room.

After that visit Abby returned at least twice a day with food, ensuring Raven ate, and the initial hesitancy Raven felt in the doctor's presence quickly eased with the shared aim and the threat hanging above them both.

* * *

Abby took a deep breath and continued down the hallway towards Raven and the escape pod. She had successfully convinced Kane that it was not worth following her to Sub-level 3 and was trying not to think about how close they had come to being spaced.

She heard the telltale whirring of Raven at work and noted how quickly her life had altered to revolve around this piece of metal and the mechanic working on it. She addressed Raven before she fully entered the room, "How soon can you get this thing ready to drop?" she asked, hoping Raven had worked miracles and they could go now.

"I'm still trying to scraping up parts to fabricate a pressure regulator," Raven replied without looking up, "We have two more days right?"

Abby began pacing the small space beside the pod, trying to focus her thoughts but all she could comprehend was that Clarke's wrist band had flatlined and she needed to get to the ground and save her little girl.

"Can we launch without that part?" Abby asked, frustrated that all she could do was wait while trusting in Raven and her abilities.

The young woman had actually far exceeded the impressive commendations in her file and had been working nearly around the clock to get the pod in working order - Abby bringing her meals to ensure she ate - but that did not stop Abby from wishing there was something she could do to speed the process.

"We can launch but we'd be dead before we get to the ground," Raven replied with a dark humour to her voice, "And bad dead, ruptured lungs, air bubbles in the brain. We need that part," Raven continued still working on the ship. "Why? Has something changed?"

Abby was silent for a moment, debating on telling her, steeling herself against the emotion the thought caused, "Clarke's wrist signal went out," she finally acknowledged.

She heard rustling behind her and turned to find Raven emerging from the ship.

"Yea, but that doesn't mean anything right? She took it off like the rest of them," Raven reasoned, clearly trying to calm her fears. Abby stared past her, looking everywhere but at her, unable to say anything for fear that she would loose her tightly grasped composure.

"Ok," Raven nodded sombrely before grabbing her jacket, "I can get a pressure regulator today," she announced confidently, but Abby could hear the flaw in it, the slight waver in her voice that betrayed her.

"How?" Abby asked.

"The less you know the better," Raven replied, the smile on her face clearly for Abby's benefit. The thought worried Abby even as Raven's willingness touched her. Was she risking Raven in addition to herself for some fool's errand?

She watched Raven leave without stopping her, trying not to think of what this was going to cost both of them.

* * *

Raven knew Nigel drove a hard bargain but she had never expected her to try to pimp her out. She left angry, more at herself than at Nigel. She could talk her way out of almost anything but this was important, particularly to Abby, and she had failed.

She made her way to Medical, knowing that it was better to tell Abby right away, wishing that there was an option she had not yet thought of.

She faked a cough and Abby made a show of checking her pupils before pulling her through the plastic strips that bordered the clinic.

"Why are you here?" Abby asked once they had gotten out of earshot of the others waiting. Raven knew the frustration in those words was due to exhaustion but the unintended accusation lodged in them twisted in her gut.

"I messed up, I can't get the part," she blurted out - no point in hesitation when time was a significant factor. She started to elaborate on the details of her meeting with Nigel when Abby broke in.

"You went to Nigel?" Abby queried in surprise, her voice sharp, and Raven remembered that she was Council (how easily that had been forgotten).

Raven nodded, swallowing the palpable disappointment only increased by Abby's emphasis of Nigel's name.

"Kane's been trying to get her for years," Abby stated offhandedly, "Did anyone see you?" she asked, concern laced in her voice.

"I don't know," Raven replied hesitantly, watching as Abby's eyes widened just a little bit, "No, Abby, I'm trying to tell you, we can't launch today."

"Are you sure Nigel has the part?" Abby asked and Raven saw her brain working behind her eyes.

"She can get one, yes," Raven replied, wondering what Abby was going to do.

"Ok, I'll take care of it," Abby stated as she left Raven and walked towards the makeshift door.

Raven spun to face her, "What are you going to do?" she asked.

"The less you know the better," Abby replied, her eyes softening slightly despite her determination as she parroted Raven's earlier statement before departing, leaving Raven alone in the clinic room.

* *

Abby paced a line beside the escape pod as Raven worked, clutching the comms screen she hoped would give her some warning of her imminent arrest. She had gotten the part but it was only a matter of time before they found the missing morphine. Raven's life, the lives of everyone on the Ark, and possibly Clarke's life depended on this pod getting to the ground.

"Abby!" Raven exclaimed with a hint of annoyance, breaking the silence otherwise only populated by her drilling,"how about I pace in the operating room next time you're working?"

Before Abby could respond the screen chirriped and Jackson's face appeared as she answered it.

"Abby," he began without segue, "Did you take morphine from the clinic?"

Raven spun to face Abby, her face slack with worry.

"They inventoried already?" Abby whispered to Jackson.

"No, Kane was just here. He's on his way to Mecca to arrest you now," Jackson replied.

Abby let the screen fall to her side before Jackson had finished his sentence, meeting Raven's eyes.

"You gave Nigel morphine?" Raven asked almost cautiously, scared at the lengths to which Abby had gone to get this part, adding another space-able offence to her current actions knowing she would be found out.

Abby looked past her for a moment, trying to figure out how she could have been found out already, "She turned me in," she reasoned as soon as the obvious occurred. She came towards the pod, working hard to keep the panic from her voice. "How much longer?" she asked.

"20 minutes," Raven replied.

"They're going to be here in 5," Abby stated taking a few steps from Raven as she forced herself to think of a way to make this work.

She took a deep breath before facing Raven again, the concern and absolute faith in Raven's eyes giving Abby the strength to do what needed to be done.

"Whatever happens you launch that pod, do you understand?" she said, successfully keeping her voice even.

"I'm not going without you," Raven replied with a conviction she had never expected.

Abby was touched and frustrated at the same time, "Only one of us needs to get to the ground Raven," she reminded her, her eyes watering despite her attempts to keep them clear, "The second you find those kids you radio back, 300 innocent people will die if you don't."

She put her hand on Raven's shoulder, thumb brushing against her bare skin in an attempt to comfort her while giving her the confidence to leave.

"Abby," Raven replied with a softness Abby had never heard from her, her eyes wide and wet with tears, "they'll float you," she added, voice laced with a hurt that was almost unbearable to hear.

Abby was silent for a moment, she knew that was her fate but hearing it acknowledged chipped away at the control she was trying to maintain. "Then they'll float me," she acknowledged with finality, her voice cracking despite her best efforts.

She pulled Raven to her and felt the mechanic hold her tightly as Abby closed her eyes, taking comfort in the contact and the friendship that had formed in the last week. She let Raven go, her hands sliding down Raven's arms to her hands, holding them tightly as emotion threatened to overwhelm her. She forced herself to think of Clarke and while that strengthened her resolve it also made the pain of losing her life more acute.

"Tell Clarke I love her," she told Raven, taking small comfort in the fact that they would be together on the ground. They would take care of each other. That hope was something she would be willing to die for.

Raven nodded and moved to the pod. Abby knew she was hiding a further betrayal of her emotions but she was right, they had no more time for goodbye.

Abby took a deep breath and exited the sub-level to face her fate.

* * *

Abby kept her poise while Kane questioned her despite the pounding in her chest. She knew the less she said the more he would ask, and if she did not stall until Raven dropped they would float both of them. She could not let that happen.

They locked the cuffs around her wrists and she knew she had run out of silence and bluster. Two of the guards walked past her and toward the sub-level and her mind floundered for something, anything, to get their attention. She felt it in that moment of desperation, vibration along the hull. The pod had launched.

She exhaled. Raven was safe. It no longer mattered what happened to her.

* * *


Chapter Two: Mass and Distance