She Brings Me Peace
Fandom: The 100
Abby/Raven (Doctor Mechanic)
Teen and up:
DISCLAIMER: All characters belong to the CW. Just needed to borrow them.
This is my very first attempt at anything 100 related . It was only a month or so ago I that I happened to turn it on and the scene playing was with Abby checking Raven's leg. I shipped them instantly and lost my heart to Abigail Griffin :-) immediately . This woman is so strong and has endured so much and almost everything she's done to help has backfired so we know there's guilt but she has nobody to go to. (I know some will say Kane but I haven't forgotten how he's treated her as well as the shocklashing, so he will never be an option for me.) The scene that got me writing my first 100 fic however was when Raven told Abby she sucked. It broke my heart and voila.
I wanted to write something that had showed how much everything had taken its toll on her because it seems to be overlooked on the show. Now, if anyone reads my other stuff, this is by far my most angsty story yet, though that wasn't my intention. I promise you that nobody dies and it has a happy ending.
WARNING: Very strong trigger warning for self harm/cutting in the beginning. I'm not an expert on the subject, but what I described came from what I was looking for when I did it and hopefully I have not trivialized it or minimized it for anyone else. This is only in the prologue with only mild reference throughout and there will be no further cutting.
Please forgive any errors: spelling, out of character characters, time line errors. Self-beta'd.
Abby Griffin was drunk. Far drunker than she'd ever been and it wasn't nearly enough.
Nothing was enough to erase the nightmares that chased her whenever she shut her eyes. Nothing was enough to erase the torment of seeing her husband sucked out of an airlock or the horrible things her child had been forced to endure, forced to do, in order to survive. Nothing could erase the knowledge of how Abby herself had been used to force Clarke into a desperate act she knew her daughter would be haunted by for the rest of her life.
No matter how much she worked, how hard she avoided sleep or how much she drank, she couldn't escape her memories any more than she could escape her guilt. Guilt for all the people who'd died despite her efforts, or even because of them. Guilt for every death, bruise, knife wound or bullet hole that her daughter and nearly a hundred other kids have had to suffer because she couldn't prevent them from being sent to the ground as guinea pigs.
All of these things preyed on her soul and kept demanding more and more from her until she felt every bit of emotion she'd been forced to bury, fighting to come out. She could feel the sting of tears of loss and frustration in her eyes but they wouldn't come.
Unable to bear the pressure building up inside of her, she got to her feet and began to pace the thankfully empty medical bay feeling as if she was being ripped apart from the inside and with every swallow of moonshine, the pressure built up more and until she thought she would die if she couldn't release it. She stopped at a table holding surgical implements. Without much thought as to why, she picked up a scalpel. She studied it almost casually considering it's purpose and suddenly Raven Reyes face crossed her mind. She had looked so young and so scared as she lay trembling in fear on the table waiting for Abby to slice her open, knowing the pain would be excruciating. Her screams still haunted Abby's dreams and her courage continued to amaze her and it occurred to Abby that if that beautiful brave young woman could endure hours of agony so she could feel her legs again, surely Abby could manage five seconds of mild pain just to regain just a small amount of the control she needed to function.
The part of her that was always professional, always strong told her she how dangerously stupid it was but she ignored it. She mentally ran over her knowledge of anatomy and then smirked without amusement as she placed the sharp edge of the blade against her arm, high enough it wouldn't be seen and with a calculated pressure pressed through her skin. Her eyes slid shut and her head fell back as pain mixed with an almost desperate relief swept through her. She could feel it. Finally, she could feel. It didn't alleviate everything but it was just enough. She knew if she were to ever let go of everything inside of her, she would shatter and never recover, but the small amount of pain focused her mind just enough to stave off the fire and regain control of herself. A sigh of relief escaped her and she embraced the pain for a brief moment before she poured moonshine over the wound and then bandaged it. Finally her emotions had settled back into a nearly calm dormancy even as she knew they would soon rise again. At least now she had a way to control it.
"Fix yourself Abby. If you weren't so busy being Chancellor and Doctor to avoid your own pain, you'd realize you suck at both jobs."
Everything in Abby froze as she watched Raven walk away. She had gotten to know the mechanic enough to know the way she turned to sarcasm when her pride was threatened, but she had never been deliberately hurtful. Not to her. No that wasn't true. Raven had once taken pleasure in reminding Abby that she had sent her daughter to the ground to die. Almost immediately, every failure replayed itself, gnawing at the restraints of her self-control but if nothing else, she was patient. She could wait. She would return to her quarters and 'fix herself' as soon as she finished helping her patients. She was a good doctor despite what Raven thought. At least she used to be.
"Raven, thanks for coming by." Jackson said.
"Another bad pressure valve?" Raven retorted sarcastically. "Or did Abby order you to try and nag me into a surgery I've repeatedly said I don't want."
"Sit down," he said sharply.
Raven's eyebrows lifted, surprised that the always soft-spoken doctor even knew how to be irritated but she did as he said.
"What is your problem?" He asked angrily.
"What are you talking about?" Raven asked, her own anger starting to grow.
"I heard what you said to Abby earlier along with everyone else within earshot and I want to know why you think it's okay to hurt the one person in this hell hole who doesn't deserve it. Especially from you."
Instantly, shame filled Raven as she remembered what she'd said to Abby.. Abby who'd always treated her with respect and like she was more than just a kid with a screwdriver; Abby, who was the one person Raven could just look at and everything wrong in the universe was suddenly right, who cared for her without making her feel useless, who made her knees weak with just a smile.
"I didn't mean it," she whispered. She had seen the pain in Abby's eyes as she spewed those deliberately hurtful lies and she hated herself with every word that left her mouth but she hadn't been able to stop herself.
"Really? How do you not 'mean' to hurt, a woman who already has so many burdens that she rarely sleeps and is wound so tight I sometimes think a strong wind will snap her in half, by telling her she sucks at the only thing she has keeping her together?"
Raven's eyes slid shut. She'd noticed the circles under Abby's pretty eyes and the drawn expression on her face but she'd been so caught up in dealing with her own baggage she hadn't seen it as anything other than the tiredness they all felt.
"I didn't know," she whispered.
"No. Because you didn't want to know," he said. "I know you've suffered a lot Raven as have Clarke and the others that were sent down here and it isn't fair that you've all had to do things, see things that kids your age shouldn't have to. It isn't fair that you've lost people you loved, that you were tortured and have to wear that brace, but it hasn't been easy for us either, especially Abby. She's suffered her share of physical injuries but you have no idea how much guilt she carries around and has for months. She won't ever say anything but I've known her for years. Every death, every problem she can't solve, every pain she can't heal she takes on herself, she always has and what happened with Jake and now with Clarke...not to mention having the responsibility of protecting all of us, well she's about one crisis away from a meltdown and then you kick her when she's down."
"Why would she blame herself for her husband?" Raven asked reluctantly. She'd heard the rumors but nobody knew the whole story and Raven learned long ago not to believe everything she heard.
"What do you know about what happened to him?"
"Just that she turned them in for treason which I'm pretty sure is bullshit. So what's the story?"
Jackson smiled, seeing just what it is that had drawn Abby to her. It wasn't his story to tell, but of everyone, he thought Raven should know. "Well in a way it's not far from the truth but there's so much more to it. Jake was about to tell everyone on the Ark we were going to run out of oxygen. He felt everyone had the right to know and Clarke agreed. Abby fought against it because she knew it would cause a massive panic if not riots when everyone learned we were all going to suffocate to death in a matter of months with no way to prevent it. When he refused to listen, she went to to the Chancellor because he and Jake had been friends for years. She believed Jake's old friend could make him understand why they couldn't tell the public about the oxygen. Jaha betrayed them both. He and Kane had Jake floated and then arrested Clarke to keep her quiet. She and Clarke both watched it happen and now Abby blames herself for his death and Clarke being sent to the ground to die."
"Christ," she breathed, every word like a stab to Raven's chest. Abby Griffin was hard to read on a good day and rarely showed her feelings, but deep inside Raven knew how stressed she'd been from the moment they first met. She knew, probably better than anyone, how fragile Abby's facade of strength was, but lost in her own self pity she hadn't let herself see it and she couldn't even to begin to imagine how badly Abby hurt knowing what happened to her husband.
"I think that's why she didn't fight harder against the shock-lash," Jackson continued. "I think she believed she deserved it."
"Shock-lash?" she whispered, not sure she wanted to know what he meant.
Jackson was surprised by that. "You didn't know? Everyone here knew and was outside watching it. How could you not have heard her screams?"
"When?" Raven choked and suddenly she remembered. She had been in her quarters brooding about her leg and had heard muted screams coming from outside but hadn't cared enough to see what it was about.
"It happened the day after Bellamy and Finn escaped to find Clarke. She was charged with helping them and giving them guns," Jackson told her.
"Oh fuck no," Raven muttered. If she had bothered to get off her ass she she could have stopped it. "She had nothing to do with that." She now had a face to go with the screams and the image of Abby, her fierce, proud Abby being tied and tortured made her want to throw up.
"She still armed them Raven so Kane really didn't have a choice," Jackson said, watching Raven's reaction, even as he once again wondered why Abby had been the only one to pay when it was obvious she hadn't acted alone.
"I hate that fucking bastard," Raven seethed.
"It's easy for you to say that, but being in charge isn't easy. I sure as hell wouldn't want to do it. There are always decisions to make that nobody should ever have to make. Decisions that are designed to protect everyone but where ultimately someone is going to suffer. Do you think it's been easy for Abby trying to balance doing what's right as a doctor, a friend, a mother and the Chancellor? Those things rarely coincide on a good day but somehow she has to make life or death decisions that fit all of them, all the while having people questioning her at every turn, telling her how bad she is at it and unable to show anyone how much she's hurting. Hell she has risked more than any of us know just raiding the mountain to get the supplies we need, but she does it anyway and I'm pretty sure she keeps doing it just to find a way to help you."
Raven's gut twisted at that. Octavia and Lincoln had told Raven how the grounders were growing angry with their constant raids of the mountain but Abby kept doing it. Raven couldn't allow herself to believe that was for her. She wasn't worth having Abby risking so much. She swiped at a tear that had slid down her cheek as she pictured Abby's face the last time she saw her.
"She could have come talk to me," she whispered. "We're friends." No, not friends. Abby means so much more to me than that.
"It's too bad Abby doesn't know that. Especially now."
Raven was about to say something when the door flew open and Marcus Kane ran in with Abby in his arms.
"Jackson, help her," he ordered shakily.
Raven's heart stopped as she saw Abby and the blood stained shirt. "What happened?" She cried rushing to the table that Kane placed her on.
"I don't know. We were supposed to have a meeting and she was late so I went to her quarters. When she didn't respond I got worried and went in and found her."
Raven instantly wanted to call him a liar. Abby's shirt was covered in blood and Kane was a lying piece of shit that hated the way Abby defied him. Hell, he had her publicly whipped for going against him so her first thought was that he had stabbed her. Then Jackson gently cut away her shirt and she swallowed a gasp. There was so much blood.
"Oh God, Abby." Raven reached out to touch a cheek that was far too pale. "Abby please wake up," she pleaded. She'd often wondered what Abby Griffin looked like sleeping, if the worry in her face finally disappeared for a while, but she had never wanted to see it this way.
"Raven, you and Kane need to step back," Jackson ordered as he and one of the other doctors Raven didn't really know rushed over with supplies. They gently removed Abby's torn shirt and began to work.
"Raven, you shouldn't be here," Marcus said gently, pulling her away from Jackson.
"Yes I should," Raven snapped, yanking her arm out of his hand. "Abby needs me." She needs me and I'm not going to let her down again.
"I'll stay with her," Marcus assured her and I'll come get you as soon as..."
"I'm not leaving...sir," she spat, not caring if she got thrown in a cell.
Marcus was going to order her gone but then he looked into Raven's face, a young face that was more often not filled with anger and sarcasm. He was startled by the tears in her eyes but it was the fear he saw, fear that clearly said Raven was worried about someone far more important to her than a friend that stopped him. Oh boy.
"Alright Raven," he relented, not sure of what to make of his sudden discovery or the twinge of jealousy he felt.
"This isn't right," Jackson muttered as he worked.
"What?" Raven and Marcus demanded in unison, stepping beside Jackson.
"She...please Jackson tell me she's going to be okay?" Raven begged.
"Please, both of you step out of the way." Jackson ordered as he worked to stop the bleeding and repair the damage.
Marcus leaned back against the far wall watching Raven pacing frantically if a little awkwardly due to her brace. He briefly wondered if he should say something but considering her infamous temper, he decided to stay quiet.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, Jackson removed the surgical gloves they now had thanks to the woman lying unconscious on the table and turned to face them.
"She's going to be fine," he assured both Kane and Raven, but his eyes were on Raven who looked so lost and sad it erased any lingering anger he had toward her.
"How soon before she wakes up?" Marcus asked anxiously.
"I can't be sure, but I'll let you know when she does," Jackson said pointedly.
"Oh. Well, I should go change. Raven?"
"Actually Raven, can you stay for a minute?"
Marcus frowned. He knew Jackson had discovered something about Abby's injury and he should be the one the doctor told.
"Jackson, if there's something wrong I should be the one..."
"No sir," Jackson interrupted. "This isn't about Abby."
Raven knew a lie when she heard one but she also knew when to keep her mouth shut, even though she wanted to demand what right Kane had to know anything about Abby considering what he'd done to her.
"Alright. Just let me know when she's awake." Marcus sighed and left medical.
Raven pushed past Jackson and was by Abby's side in a heartbeat. She placed a trembling hand on Abby's cheek, her thumb brushing the place by her lips where those mesmerizing creases normally appeared when she smiled. Raven would give anything to see them right now.
"I am so sorry for what I said Abby," she whispered desperately. "I swear that I didn't mean it and when you wake up, I'll do whatever it takes to prove that to you. In the meantime I'm going to find out who did this to you and make them wish we still floated people," she swore softly, willing the beautiful eyes to open and stroking her soft hair the way Abby had done for her so many times.
"That won't be necessary," Jackson said seriously.
"Maybe not but it's going to happen" Raven said angrily.
"Raven, this is information I should only be giving to Clarke but she's not here and you're almost like another daughter to Abby..."
"The hell I fucking am," Raven nearly shouted, refusing to have anyone see her relationship with Abby as anything close to maternal because she in no way saw Abby as a mother. Not even close.
"Sorry," Jackson hid a smile having got the final confirmation that he needed. "What I meant was that it's obvious to me that you're really the only person Abby completely trusts outside of Clarke. And the truth is, nobody did this to Abby. She did it herself."
"Look," Jackson pointed and finally Raven let her eyes drift down Abby's body and her breath caught. The sight of the white bandage already streaked with blood struck Raven but it was the lines above and to the side of the bandage that nearly had her good leg giving out.
"What are those?" she whispered, even though she had a pretty good idea and she was horrified.
"Abby's been hurting herself and apparently has been for some time," Jackson gently turned Abby's bare arm over, revealing more faint lines.
"Oh Jesus Abby," Raven swallowed, turning back to look at the still unconscious woman. "Why would you do this?"
"I read about this when I was studying for my exams. Sometimes people hurt themselves when their emotions get to be too much and they're desperate to gain control. Some do it because they want to feel something, even pain. It could be anything but usually it happens with kids. From what I can see this is pretty new for Abby."
"So she...she stabbed herself? Please tell me she wasn't trying to kill herself," Raven pleaded.
"No, I don't think she was," Jackson replied soberly. "Abby is a brilliant surgeon and knows how to cut and where to cut in order to do the least amount of harm. My guess is she was drinking again and something happened and she...miscalculated."
"What...are you sure?"
"Not completely no, which is why I won't say anything to Kane or anyone else. I don't know what he'll do if he decides Abby's 'unfit', and she doesn't deserve to have her career destroyed because she's trying to cope with things the only way she knows how."
"Then why are you trusting me with this?" Raven asked as she lifted Abby's limp hand, her heart breaking for this strong proud woman.
"Because despite what I heard you say to her before, it's clear to me how important she is to you and how important you are to her. She doesn't have anyone else Raven."
"I did this to her," Raven straightened and looked down at Abby with growing despair. "Those things I said to her...Oh my god," her hand flew to her mouth and she wasn't sure if it was to hold back the scream she felt in her throat or to keep from throwing up in self-hatred.
"Raven stop," Jackson ordered, knowing Raven could easily work herself into a breakdown and Abby didn't need that.
"What you said, no it probably didn't help anything," Jackson said honestly, still angry on Abby's behalf, "but some of her scars have been there for weeks. You didn't cause this, but I think you're the only one who can help her now."
"How? She won't want to talk to me after what I said."
"Probably not, but you're pushy Reyes. I'm sure you'll make her," he smiled.
Raven doubted it but she didn't argue. Not when there was a bigger concern. "You know Kane is going to want to know what happened and he won't stop until he finds the truth."
"That's why I'm counting on you to get to Abby's quarters and find something we can use to convince him it was an accident."
"I can't leave her," she protested.
"You need to do this Raven, for her. She'll be asleep for a while and I'll take care of her."
Raven looked at Abby then down to the bandage covering her stomach and she swallowed. She slowly reached out a finger to trace one of the light scars she could see.
"I'm so sorry," she whispered. "I'll make this right Abby," she swore. She looked back to Jackson. "Take care of her."
Jackson nodded and with one finally look at Abby, Raven left before she changed her mind.