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Avon's Story

By Catherine Salmon
Page 1 of 11

Part 1: The Longest Day

 

"Where is Blake? You promised me Blake." Avon's voice was tightly controlled, holding back his anger at losing Liberator and his fear that Servalan would not give up Blake unless he were dead. However, it would not do to let her know the extent to which she had control. He regarded the Supreme Commander stonily and she smiled in return, stepping in close.

"Oh, Avon. Such concern for your beloved leader. It's really quite touching."

Avon clenched his fists so as not to strangle her and continued to stare at Servalan. Finally, she turned away with a sigh.

"Oh, he is here, Avon. And alive. Unfortunately, his condition will soon deteriorate. You see ...," Servalan leaned closer to whisper in Avon's ear, "his life support system requires energy of which there is only a twenty-four hour supply left on this miserable planet. When I leave with the Liberator, so does the only source of energy. Blake will die. Slowly and painfully and you will bear witness to it, Avon." Servalan paused to stroke her polished nails across Avon's cheek. "I hope you enjoy it. You so like to make others suffer."

Avon's face went white at her words. Blake could not die! Not after he had searched for him, given up Liberator for him. There must be a way to save him. Servalan had to be lying.

Her departure occurred in a blur to Avon's shocked senses. Before she left, she announced that Blake was in room 2D3, if they wished to say goodbye. With a final triumphant look at Avon, Servalan teleported, leaving Avon with his crew...and Blake.

"Avon?" Vila asked worriedly. "Are you okay?"

The others crowded around anxiously but before they could ask, Avon spun on his heel and took off down the corridor. Tarrant and the women looked at Vila who just shrugged and followed Avon.

~ ~ ~

Once out of sight of the others, Avon stopped for a moment, calming his pounding heart.

"Blake would just love this," Avon whispered softly. "Avon concerned about something other than his own hide. And talking to myself no less."

Shaking his head and taking a deep breath, he turned the corner and came face to face with room 2D3. Gently touching the door first, Avon pressed the panel on his right. The door slid open, just as he remembered. Blake too was as he remembered. Bearded and too pale, he lay quietly sleeping. The only sound to be heard, the faint beeping of his life-support system. Avon stepped to Blake's side, watching the slight rise and fall of his chest as he breathed. His own chest tightened into a vise around his heart as he noticed that the life-support power levels were already below fifty per cent. Had Servalan been telling the truth or her usual lies? Could Blake possibly survive without proper medical facilities? Unconsciously, Avon brushed Blake's shaggy curls off his forehead.

"Sleeping the sleep of the innocent, Blake? Somehow I am not surprised. Though you might not believe me, I wish we both knew such peace in our waking hours."

Avon sighed and withdrew his hand.

"Do you think he'll be all right?"

Avon spun in surprise at Vila's quiet question, reaching for his gun and placing himself between the helpless rebel and the door.

"Avon! It's just me!" Vila cried out, backing away hastily.

Avon lowered his gun, replacing it at his side.

"I am sorry, Vila. You startled me."

"S'alright Avon. I understand. You're worried about him, that's all."

Avon scowled back at Vila.

"I am not worried. And you understand nothing."

Vila carefully looked from Avon to Blake and back again.

"Whatever you say, Avon."

After a moment of glaring at Vila, Avon returned his gaze to Blake's still form. Reaching out, he gripped Blake's bare shoulder, shaking gently and feeling slightly foolish.

"Blake, wake up."

Blake stirred slightly but did not wake.

Avon stared pointedly at Vila, who was still leaning against the door, keeping a watchful eye on the other two men. This time however, he met Avon's gaze and, after a moment, he nodded, turned, and left.

Avon sighed and returned his attention to Blake. Again, he tentatively reached out to Blake, brushing back his tangle of curls. Blake stirred at the light touch, so Avon cleaned closer.

"Blake. It's Avon."

At the sound of Avon's voice, full of concern, Blake stilled his restless movements.

"You came back."

The words were softly whispered and Blake's eyes were still closed but, somehow, just hearing Blake's voice gave Avon hope. Hope that they would find a way off this hunk of rock and, more importantly to Avon, though he was loath to admit it, hope that Roj Blake would recover. A faint smile tugged at the corners of Avon's mouth.

"Of course, Fearless Leader. Where else could I go?"

Avon was rewarded as Blake's eyes flew open at the familiar sarcastic comment. And as Avon watched the rebel trying to understand his words, Avon recognized the truth in them. He did care about Blake. If he had to call anyone friend, it would be the idealistic rebel and at his side was where he belonged. Perhaps that held the key to Blake's uncertainty. Perhaps he really does not understand why I fight by his side. He knows I care little for the masses he has devoted his life to freeing. But does he realize that I, a reluctant follower, have no choice but to follow him? Avon's musings were interrupted as Blake settled a hand on Avon's arm. Avon looked down to be met by Blake's calm gaze.

"Thank you." Blake spoke softly.

Blake's gratitude hit Avon like a brick wall and Blake must have seen the effect for he tightened his grip.

"Avon? What is it? What is wrong?"

Avon tensed and tried to pull away. This wasn't how I wanted to tell him but I seem to have little choice in the matter. Avon steeled himself and faced Blake again.

"How much do you know about your condition, Blake?"

Blake looked at Avon sharply. "Enough. Why? Is it important?"

"Servalan is gone."

Avon said it softly and Blake stared back confused and dumbfounded.

"Is she...?"

"No, more's the pity. She escaped, Blake, with the Liberator."

Blake's eyes darkened with a rarely seen anger. "How could you let her, Avon! You have given her the most powerful ship in existence. She will be unstoppable now!"

Avon flinched at Blake's harsh words and spoke without thinking. "Oh, Blake. What I have done is much, much worse."

The sorrow and self-loathing in the Avon's voice halted Blake's tirade. He saw the pain in his friend's eyes and, as usual, felt guilty for hurting Avon. Particularly, when he was already in such pain.

"I'm sorry. I did not mean to blame you, Avon. I realize that you would never willingly have given up Liberator."

"You should blame me, Blake. I am more of a fool than you realize. I lost the Liberator because of a dream and now I realize that I may lose even the dream."

Avon struggled for control and all Blake could think to do was to comfort him. With all his strength, he pulled the unresisting comp tech to him, offering what comfort he could. Avon shivered in Blake's brotherly embrace. How could he tell Blake that he was going to die and that he, Avon, was to blame? Avon pulled away from the comfort Blake offered, rising to pace the room like a caged panther.

Blake was getting frustrated. "Avon, stop avoiding whatever it is that is upsetting you. Tell me."

At Blake's concerned and angry words, Avon stopped. He had to tell Blake the truth. If he were in Blake's position, he would want honesty, however painful.

"Blake, when Servalan left so did our power source. There is only enough power left to fuel the medical equipment for twenty-four hours. Unless your condition improves..."

Avon broke off, unable to continue. After several minutes of silence, he looked up at Blake. He lay quietly, eyes closed. Avon stepped closer, suddenly and unaccountably afraid.

"Blake?"

"Yes, Avon." The words, an affirmation, were spoken faintly but with calm deliberation. This man would not descend to hysterics or anger, no matter the unfairness of his universe.

"Blake, I am so sorry."

Avon lay his hand on Blake's shoulder. I wish I had words to comfort you, Blake. To tell you that everything would be all right. That Orac will find an alternate energy source and that we will get off this planet. But I have never lied to you before and I will not now. But I still wish I could ease your pain. Blake interrupted Avon's thoughts by placing his hand over the one resting on his shoulder. Avon instinctively returned the clasp with equal fervor. I cannot lose you, not after all I have sacrificed to find you! As Avon struggled for control, to find the right words, Blake spoke.

"Avon, it is not your fault and I will not have you blame yourself."

Avon turned away from his intense gaze.

"Avon, look at me! I am not dead yet. A lot can happen in twenty-four hours. Orac could find a solution."

Avon looked at Blake in surprise. Still the hopeful idealist, Blake? But perhaps Orac can...

"Avon, I will be extremely put out if you give up on me. I never knew you to be a quitter before."

Avon started at the challenge in Blake's voice. Perhaps he was right. Maybe the subsurface energy could be harnessed somehow...

Blake smiled at the thoughtful look on Avon's face. He was already trying to find a solution and Blake believed in him. Given time, his friend could do anything. But did they have time? Blake frowned, trying to banish that thought from his mind. Avon would find a way. He always had before. But what if...? Blake looked up again at Avon's face. Now was not the time for confessions. If luck was with them, they would not be necessary and if it was not, well, there would be time enough for those sentiments that Avon professed to despise.

"Don't let me keep you, Avon. Go on. I will be fine."

Avon started at Blake's words. Looking down, he stared at him for a moment and then, with a quick nod, he slipped away.

~ ~ ~


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